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Thread: The Hubris

  1. #21
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    Gryphon charged through the brush with such speed and power a gaping hole was left in his wake. It was easy to follow, even for Grimwald who was no keen tracker.

    A small grey Farbett, a kind of elongated rabbit creature, bolted out across an open, green field. Gryphon was a few strides behind. Grimwald arrived just as the Farbett and Gryphon exited the opposite end of the clearing. Grimwald was jogging leisurely, exerting just enough effort to keep his furry companion in sight.

    As Grimwald paused in the field to catch his breath, a strange feeling of being watched washed over him. Grimwald, began rummaging with his bundle of cloth, while covertly scanning the treeline. That's when he spotted it. It was standing about five feet into the wood, camouflaged in shadow. It stood in a black hooded robe. No features visible.

    So soon, Grimwald thought, they've already started to gather. It was a bad sign indeed, and the party leaving Hubris was now in even more jeopardy. Without warning, the eyes of the watcher began to glow with bluish energy. Suddeny, the world about Grimwald began fading to black. He could no longer hold his concentration and fell to one knee. The hooded watcher crept out of the treeline and began slowly moving towards Grimwald. The unnatural visitor seemed to glide across the grass more than walk, his eyes shining brightly the entire time.

    Grimwald was weakened further, tumbling to the ground on all fours. Shaking his head, trying to clear his mind, Grimwald reached into his cloth bundle, and extracted a long, brilliant long sword. In a single swooping motion, he brought the sword before him, and mumbled something under his breath. At the conclusion of his words, a wave of energy swept out from the sword encompassing Grimwald. With renewed vigor Grimwald rose to his feet, his body encased in a light blue energy identical to the pale.

    The hooded figure froze in the middle of the field as Grimwald rose. Grimwald in turn raised the long sword before him with both hands, in a manner set to charge at his opponent. The hooded figures eyes erupted in a dazzling blast of blue energy, causing Grimwald to shield his eyes momentarily. When Grimwald regained his sight, the hooded figure was gone.

    Grimwald spun around, searching intensely for his opponent, distrusting his own eyes. Oblivious to the danger that was just present, Gryphon slowly trotted back into the clearing stopping a few feet from Grimwald's feet. His bounty, dangled lifelessly from his mouth, his eyes wide with pride.
    Last edited by Nicodemus; 12-30-2013 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #22
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    Neeko saw the fear in the young thief’s eyes. He knew that look all too well. It was the look of a troubled man; a hunted man. He heard him tell the small group “None of you turn around. There is a man coming toward us. He is not a guard, but he is armed. I don't recognize him." This must have been the danger that Neeko was sensing. It had been far too long since he had been in a fight. Hunting and trapping was one thing, and after “the incident” he swore to never take another human life.

    The princess issued her orders “Everyone else, we need to discuss our goals for this journey; however, I understand that we also need to get ready for our journey. I would appreciate some time to discuss this with my father before we make plans, so let us adjourn for an hour. In one hour, I want to meet in the library. Tell the guard I asked for you if you have any problems.”

    The princess seemed to notice they dangerous man as well and sent the young Thadar to the gardens. Neeko felt a need to protect this young man, he reminded so much of his younger brother. He moved to the young thief before he slipped away to the gardens.

    “Thadar, I know you do not know me, but you seem to be in some sort of trouble. I heard the princess could not send a guard with you, so would you accept my assistance” he glanced again to the hooded figure slowly making his way towards them. “I have a feeling you are going to need it”.

  3. #23
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    Thadar jumped out of the opening, pressing the button to close it after he landed. "Meet you at the West Gate in one hour? Yes Princess." Thats probably the lamest trick in the book, but I have to try and buy as much time as I can. I don't know how they found me so fast. He was almost to the door when Neeko grabbed his shoulder.

    "Thadar, I know you do not know me, but you seem to be in some sort of trouble. I heard the Princess could not send a guard with you, so would you accept my assistance? I have a feeling you are going to need it."

    Thank the gods. "Oh, yes, thank you!" Thadar felt some of the color come back into his face. "The gardens are this way. Let's go." Thadar ran/walked down the hallway the Princess had pointed out. Every time they came across a servant, Thadar would hold out a gold coin and say, "There's a man coming behind us, wearing a dark, hooded cloak. Slow him down without risking yourselves."

    As they made it to the gardens, Thadar looked at the surrounding buildings to get an idea of where he needed to go. "Head to the southwest. It's that way."

    The man smiled as the young man and the hunter left the room. They had separated, just as he had hoped. The guard the Princess had sent walked over to him. The man punched him in the gut and shoved him into the crowd, inciting another fistfight. By the time the guard untangled himself, the man was gone.
    Last edited by DanceOfTheShadow; 12-31-2013 at 11:44 PM.

  4. #24
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    Not waiting to see if anyone else was responding she watched as Thadar and Neeko left towards the gardens, "May the Gods watch over you, and keep you safe."

    Turning on her heel she walked towards her father's room, where he usually went to sulk when he was unhappy with the outcomes of the day. Guards stood outside the door, protecting their king, and bowed as Zella walked up to them. Smiling she spoke iwth a regal manner, "I wish to see my father."

    The guards exchanged glances, knowing that the kings say was final, but the princess could be scary if she was angry. The one on the right hesitantly spoke up, "Princess, your father wishes privacy."

    I really don't have time for these games. She sighed to herself, "You are a clever man, I'm sure, otherwise you would not be his personal guard. My father has also said to obey my rule as if his own, are you going to disobey me?

    Shaken he tried to look straight ahead, "No princess; he was very clear th--"

    Narrowing her eyes, and crossing her arms across her chest she frowned, this method of intimidation isn't going to work. Shaking her head she let off a small smile, "I apologize, you are absolutely right. I should not have asked you to choose between your king and the princess. Please forgive me. In order to avoid either of you getting in trouble... she pushed past them as they were bowing their heads, and opened the door, "I will just force my way in."

    As the doors open her words echoed into her father's chambers. It was dark, minus a candle light on the desk where her aging father sat. The shadows hid a smirk, knowing his daughter tricked the guards once again to get into his chambers, though it was quickly replaced with a grimace as he turned to face her. The guards looked confused as the turned in their bulky armor, "My king, I am sorry! She..."

    The king held up his hand to silence the guard, "You were tricked, again, by a mere young girl. Leave us."

    Zella smiled triumphantly as she waited for them to close the doors behind her. The light from the hallway was gone, making her eyes adjust for a few moments before she was able to completely see again, "Father, we have to discus--"

    King Robert turned to her and pointed towards the chair in front of a unlit fire place, signalling her to sit, "Yes. I am upset that you decided to step over me in front of my people, to get what you want. Why did you not speak to me first and ask for my permission. I would have agreed."

    Sitting down, with her legs crossed in front of her, the dress ruffles swaying as her legs swung, "Father, you kid. You would never approve your only daughter to go on this journey...not without a hundred guards to protect me. This way, they see you are a strong king, I get to travel and see the outside world, and we can keep guards here to protect the city in case the world around us learns of us losing The Pale."

    King Robert knew she was right and sighed as he sat across from her. Sometimes he wished she was like other air headed princesses that he once heard of, that knew nothing of the world around them, "Fine...let us talk."

  5. #25
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    The sun slid behind the western mountains, setting the sky ablaze in hues of purple and red. Grimwald and Gryphon had become silhouettes against the failing light, as they walked along the shore of a vast lake. It was the largest body of water within a thousand leagues, yet known to only a handful in Hubris. Grimwald was one of those few.

    Grimwald collected his firewood and made camp in a quiet nook on the lake's edge. A small pool of water about twenty feet in diameter, surrounded with dense trees and thorn filled shrubbery. In moments time, he had a significant fire going, and was roasting a large sugar bass he had caught earlier in the day.

    Grimwald and Gryphon sat by the crackling fire in peace silence. The night slowly grew on as thoughts of the Pale, Hubris, the princess, and her band of merry men danced in Grimwald's mind. As Grimwald sat affixed in thought, to the flames before him, Gryphon's ears suddenly shot up. Without more than a twitch of movement, ears erect, Gryphon began growling.

    In a heartbeat Grimwald grabbed his long sword, and stood at the edge of the wood sword and burning log in hand. Gryphon slowly crept toward the treeline growling low and steady, his head down, teeth exposed, hairs on the back of his neck up. Grimwald moved closer to the trees peering deep within. Slowly he moved the makeshift torch in front of him from side to side, as he searched for the intruder.

    "Dangerous to be lurking in the shadows of a man's camp. Step out from the darkness and greet me as friend or face me as foe."

    Grimwald, abruptly swung his torch back to his side as something caught his attention. Focusing his vision with all his effort, he gazed at a shadowy figure within the wood. Slowly, the figures eyes came into view. Bright yellow, almost glowing under the torchlight. Grimwald grasped the hilt of his sword tight. The figure stirred in response to Grimwald's gaze and began to move towards him.

    The intruder moved through the brush silently, unnaturally. Grimwald and Gryphon stepped back simultaneously, as a figure in a brown hooded cloak emerged. He wore a long bow on his back, a quiver of arrows on his left side, along with a long sword. A number of smaller blades dangled about from various points on his person.

    Quickly, and silently, the figure removed his hood. To Grimwald's surprise, a pale, feminine face framed in flowing golden green hair was revealed. Thin, pointy features, greenish hued lips and similarly colored eyebrows thin and distinct. The woman had high sharp cheek bones and elongated pointy ears. The ears and green tinted hair gave away her identity, for although Grimwald had never seen one before, he had read about them. His evening caller hailed from the Elven empire.

    "No ill will intended friend. I didn't mean to startle you or your beast." she said in a calming soft voice.
    Last edited by Nicodemus; 01-03-2014 at 11:19 PM.

  6. #26
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    The tumultuous Courtiers were cleared from the chamber, and King Robert had retired. The volunteers had fled and his Princess had followed her father. Cornelius stood rigid in the aftermath as guards and attendants cleared the mess.

    What is happening? the old man wondered. Do they understand what has happened? Do they know?.

    He raced through the labyrinthine corridors of his memory, knowledge forged and clad by myriad ancient texts.

    How could they know? So much of the old time is forbidden, so much more lost. If only the appreciated the extent of the calamity.

    He leafed through the tomes he had brought with him, contemplating the secrets within. They spoke of warnings, and of the horror to come once The Pale was gone. The guard and the militia would be sore pressed to keep Hubris safe. This errand into the wild may well be for fools, and doomed fools at that, but it was perhaps the only chance.

    The ancient scrolls and books spoke not just the monsters and horrors that The Pale kept out, but something far worse. It was likely that the outer woodlands were already being affected. Time was pressing. The Pale must be restored before it was too late.

    He headed to the King's private chambers to await Princess Zella. The arrangements for the grand leaving would need to be made in haste, and there was so much to do.
    http://luddite1811.blogspot.co.uk/

    It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Typhoo the thoughts acquire speed, the teeth acquire stains, the stains serve as a warning. It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion.

  7. #27
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    Young Thadar seemed relieved at Neeko’s offer for help. “Good,” he thought to himself. They sprinted through the hall. Neeko made sure to glance behind to make sure they were not being followed. It did not seem they were, but Neeko could not shake this feeling. Neeko felt every shadow was the enemy. He could not understand where this feeling was coming from. Maybe the news of the Pale no longer in placed had shaken him more than he realized. Maybe it was the man who seemed to be after the young thief. Neeko could not place any reasoning for his fear but it was there and it was only getting stronger.

    Thadar instructed them to go Southwest. Neeko once again glanced behind and saw no one.

    “Thadar, do you know who that man was and why he is hunting you? I sense you are in some sort of trouble and my offer of help still stands but I would like to know why. I do not want to intrude on your privacy, but if I’m risking my life to help you so I’d like some kind of clue as to why.” Neeko could not help but see his younger brother in this young man. He would help this young man; maybe in this he would at last find redemption from his brother’s fate.

  8. #28
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    Thadar and Neeko skipped to a halt at the beginning of the gardens. "Well, like I said in the throne room, I've never seen him before. My guess, though, is that he is one of the Pack Leader's assassins. He only really sends them on assignments really important. They're excellent trackers and ambush setters. I've dealt with them before." Thadar rolled his sleeve up. Underneath the large tattoo on his upper arm that identified him as a Slum Lion was a series of claw marks. Upon a closer inspection, one could realize that they were burned into his skin.

    "I had a father figure in the gang named Izaac. He taught me most of what I know." Thadar pulled both of his knives from within his cloak as he stepped into the garden. "As we all do, he got older. Eventually, he was the oldest man in the gang and the Pack Leader was still sending him out. It was insane. We all thought he was going to just fall over and die in the street." He took a breath, remembering that week. "A group of us decided to help him get out of the gang. The details escape me," That's a lie, i just dont want to remember. "but we got him out of the city and into the woods surrounding the city. That's where the assassins caught up with us." He felt the fight replay in his eyes. "Izaac was executed and the rest of us were branded. Just to prove that we belong to the gang."

    Thadar scanned the garden as he moved, "And now I've publically disrespected the Pack Leader. I'm guessing they won't brand me this time." Movement to the left He flicked his field of view to a small gateway, as the tail end of a cloak flowed out of sight. "I just want to know how they found me so fast."

  9. #29
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    Gryphon lunged at the intruder with the vigor of a mad dog. As he soared trough the air, the she-elf made no attempts to move, instead she stared deeply at the dog, locked eyes, and stood her ground.

    "NO!" shouted Grimwald, "Down!".

    It was too late, Gryphon barreled into the female elf's chest knocking her backwards to the ground with tremendous force. Gryphon was as big as the elf herself, and neither could be distinguished from one and other, as the two rolled about on the dirt. Gryphon barked ferociously as the elf gasped for air and screamed out in pain. Grimwald rushed to the their side, grabbed Gryphon by his collar and tried desperately to wrestle his hound free.

    Practically on top of the two, Grimwald quickly realized the she-elf was not screaming out in pain, but smiling and laughing uncontrollably. In turn, Gryphon was not attacking at all, but playing as though he and the she-elf were long lost companions.

    After much exertion, Grimwald pulled Gryphon off the elf, and steadied the dog. "I've never seen him act like that with anyone, never mind a stranger."

    "I come from a long line of beast talkers. No animal true of heart will ever harm me." the elf said brushing herself off.

    Grimwald moved back to the fire, his best friend in tow. "Beast talker or not, I've always found Gryphon to be a fine judge of character. Come then, join me by the fire, and tell me your travels..."

    The she-elf slowly followed. Cautiously, she sat on a large rock opposite Grimwald. She removed her leather gloves and held her hands up to the warmth of the flame. Her golden eyes reflected the firelight so strongly, they seemed to glow yellow from a hidden inner power. The she-elf peered into the fire in an almost trance like state, as she began to speak...

  10. #30
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    The garden was overflowing with the scent of jasmine, odd for the time of year as jasmine was not in bloom. Thadar and Neeko vigilantly made their way along the center path of white marble. Thadar moved with blades in hand, Neeko his bow notched at the ready.

    As the two neared the center of the garden. Neeko noticed footprints on the stone below him. He knelt to the floor, rubbing the soil from the print between his fingers and smelling it curiously.

    Without warning, a thick white smoke swept in from every gate to the garden. It was a heavy smoke, that rolled along the ground and poured towards them in an unnatural manner. Within seconds, Thadar and Neeko could no longer see the perimeter of the garden.

    Suddenly, an ear wrenching shriek rang out all around them.

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