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Friv
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
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Twilight of the Second Age, Ch 3, Sc 2 - Stranger

19 May 2006, 11:24

Table of Contents

-----

“Grayhyssop?” Jhonn Tardson shook his head at the four travellers, rubbing his thick black moustache. “You don’t want to go up there. A haven for dark spirits and the like. Very dangerous. And nothing but bad luck for the rest of us.”

“Luck has a way of changing.” Kieran smiled broadly, taking a sip of his drink. The wagon had stopped in the town of Hollow’s Point, only a few hours south of the swamp, and stopped at the inn to stable their horses and gather what they could find about the situation to the north. “Is there a town on the edge of the swamp?”

“Well, sure, but they’re real strange. Anyway, they were. Bog-dwellers, ya know. Frogmen. Creepy, green fellas.” Tardson shrugged again. “Anyway, no one goes north anymore, haven’t for a few months at least. The road don’t go straight anymore, and you can’t get up the river – which is twice the size it used to be.”

“What do you mean?” Khory raised an eyebrow. “Was there some sort of flood?”

“Nope, it was all gradual-like. Just sort of… rose. Now, you go north, you come out back here. Don’t matter how you do it; road, forest, river.” Jhonn leaned in, conspiratorially. “Some folk have seen something, though. Stories say it’s got the body of a strix and the head of a lion, with a man’s face on it. Sits on trees whose branches couldn’t support its weight, and watches you.” He drew a line from his eyes to Kieran’s. “Just staring, waiting for you to make a mistake, and when you look away and back again, it’s gone, like it were never there. Black as night it is, and the wind starts to whisper in the trees whenever it’s around.”

Kieran considered that. “Hmm… sounds like a Yanis.” When the others looked at him askance, he elaborated. “A minor wind god. They’re keepers of secrets; each secret they know increases their power, and they have the ability to keep things and places secret; they’re used by sorcerers to hide things. Must be a strong one to hide the whole swamp, though. We’ll have to try and negotiate with it.”

“You’d better be careful. They say that, before the road went wrong, the whole swamp was turning into a lake. Even the froggies were scared of that. And they say that there’s some sort of crystal, out in the middle of the lake, glows red under the moonlight.” Jhonn shook his head. “Let me tell you, you won’t catch Jhonn Tardson going up northwards, strangers.”

“I think we have to.” Kieran rubbed his chin. “Red crystal, eh? We’ll have to take a look. Thanks for the help, Jhonn.”

“Don’t mention it, lad. Just be careful, huh? Don’t want to see a nice boy like you floating back down the river, you know?” Kieran nodded, and the four left the tavern. Outside, Kieran turned to the others.

“Well, we have a destination, now. I’ve charged up the thaumaturgy crystal, so if things get bad, Elena, use it.” Elena nodded, patting the device where it sat beneath her cloak. “But wait until they do. It only has one charge, and I don’t want to give whatever’s up there two chances.”

“Why… why are you doing this?” Nia spoke softly. “It sounds very dangerous… and no one’s been hurt.”

“Not directly, maybe. Maybe they have. There’re the frogmen, after all. Who knows what’s happened to them.” Kieran looked northwards, and then back to the group. “More importantly, rogue spirits are bad. They’re dangerous to Creation, especially when they start pulling stunts like this. We know that the spirit here is responsible for what happened at Gemmel’s Reach, indirectly at least. That’s reason enough to find out what makes it think it can take over the swamp like it did.”

After a moment, Nia nodded. “I think I see.” She smiled, faintly. “Thanks.”

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Khory grinned, and started striding forwards. “We’ve got a spirit to talk to.”

“Let’s just hope it goes better than our last trek to find a rogue spirit…” Elena frowned, as the four set off northwards. Jhonn watched them go from his place at the bar, nothing on his face showing that he had heard every word they spoke. After a moment, he came to a decision, and nodded to the barmaid. “Lusi, watch the bar, I’ll be right back.” He smiled, and strolled back through the kitchens, nodding to his wife, Ethel, who smiled and nodded back as she pulled a steaming tray of buns from the oven. She called out.

“And where are you going, Jhonn?”

“For some fresh air. Expect me back soon.” He smiled a secret smile as she nodded, pushing open the back door and striding outside.

It was less than two minutes later that he walked back in, his hair dishevelled, and straw on his shirt. “Ethel?”

“What in the blazes happened to you? Fresh air, you say!” Ethel gaped at him, and he shrugged dazedly.

“I don’t know. I think I fell asleep.” He frowned absently. “Is it the afternoon already? Where did the morning go…” Ethel frowned, and walked over to him, checking his head for a bruise. He must have fallen in the street; he certainly hadn’t been gone long enough for it to have been anything else.

Outside, and down the street, Jhonn Tardson strolled northwards. In the light of the day, his hair seemed more gray, white hairs mixed in with the black. He chuckled faintly, and looked around. Seeing no one, he broke into a run, and as he did so, his body flowed forwards, arms stretching out even as his centre collapsed. A moment later, a sparrow flapped its way northwards, moving to catch up with a small group of travellers heading towards the heart of a swamp, its feathers dappled with white on the brown.

-----

Because, y'know, there aren't nearly enough NPCs in this story. :twisted:
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Elric
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19 May 2006, 11:39

Lunar? Or that spirit from earlier?
 
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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
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19 May 2006, 16:01

Elric wrote:
Lunar? Or that spirit from earlier?


Oh, Lunar. Don't worry, he'll appear again and make it abundantly clear. ;)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Epiphany
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20 May 2006, 22:38

I like him. He's interesting.

It's also great to see what writers come up with. Working with canon characters and beings is always tricky but it's equally trick to come up with original work that feels like it could be canon. I think you succeed there.

Please, sir, may I have more?
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

21 May 2006, 01:00

fallstavia wrote:
I like him. He's interesting.

It's also great to see what writers come up with. Working with canon characters and beings is always tricky but it's equally trick to come up with original work that feels like it could be canon. I think you succeed there.


Ironically, there are three canon beings serving as backdrop for this story. They're just invisible. *makes spoooky noises*

But thank you! :) I don't like to work too much with canon characters, I feel too constrained to display them the way someone else wrote them.

And I've just finished up the next part, so you're in luck. ;)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".

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