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[The Church On The Hill : Monday Morning] It began as a day like any other. Cool, only slightly overcast, with the sun just now creeping over the treetops in the distance. Tirkas "awoke" like any other. Since the warband departed he had taken to living in the basement of the old Church ruins, just in case the closeness to the place of Constans' awakening afforded Tirkas some kind of vision from god. No such vision ever came. He heard the people approaching the church. He had instructed them to do so a few days prior. The people grew restless and Tirkas could not say that he didn't understand. He wanted answers as much as anyone else, so he formed his own warband, a Lance of forty men and women, craftsmen and warriors alike. He could not address them as he was now, a nude elf with funny green veins on his arms and legs. He whistled quietly in the murk of the old Church and along scampered his newest companion. A Page, a boy named Silus, who had lost both of his parents to the Lizardmen. Tirkas found him cowered in the corner of his family domicile with a kitchen knife clutched to his chest. The knife had blood on it, and not his own, but that of one of the lizardfolk that snatched the boy's father and killed his mother. He had fire in his heart, and Tirkas took to him because of it. The boy would learn the ways of Knighthood, and as such he started with the lowliest of tasks. In this case, he was to assist Tirkas in donning his arms and armor. The boy couldn't have been older than six winters. He was a small thing with raven black hair and brilliant blue eyes. Tirkas quite enjoyed looking at the boy's eyes as he carried over some freshly washed robes and Tirkas' faithful boots. The elf ruffled the boy's hair as he took his garments and got to his feet to dress himself. While he did, Silas ran off for the next thing. He wasn't yet strong enough to carry all of Tirkas' armor, but he could manage the sword and the dagger spear. He helped Tirkas tighten the various straps and latches of his armor, from the sides of his brigandine, so the latches of his greaves and sabatons. The boy was especially useful when it came to the vambraces since those were always a pain to buckle one handed. When he was all set to head out, he took some dried fruits and a bit of cheese from a table and shoved it into the boy's hands. "Eat, boy, we've a long day ahead of us." Tirkas demanded as he took up a small clay jug of water and took a big gulp from it. He then put that too in Silas's arms. On their way out of the basement, Tirkas collected a few small things. A pigeon that he had helped Silas kill last night with a sling and a wreath of lilies, blackened with charcoal. He carried these things up with him and entered the sunlight for the people he had requested to finally see him. He stood in silence for a few moments while his page toddled up behind him. It had been too long now since the town had heard from Constans. Not one of their number had returned, not even Lady Ioreth who had been so charmed with God's light that she had seemed an angel in the flesh. It wasn't just Tirkas who assumed the worst, and he wasn't the only one wearing armaments this day. Among the crowd gathered was a Lance to accompany him to the north. A group of forty or so, consisting of men at arms and craftsmen. Among their rank were riders as well as wagons, and they were set to depart the village for the northern reaches. Silas took the offerings that Tirkas held, placing the pigeon upon a small flat stone in front of the church ruins. Tirkas placed the lily wreath around it and as he did Silas set the offering ablaze. No one spoke while it burned. Everyone held their breath hoping the flames would turn green but they stayed orange, as one might expect. Tirkas sighed. "God gifts us with many things." He began to address the crowd as he walked to his horse. "He once brought us safety, and he empowers you all to rule your own lives. However." He paused as he mounted a white mare while his page climbed onto the back along with him. "He will not do everything for us. We have to make the most of today, in this world we are given. His holiness, Father Constans, rode into the north. You all heard the stories, about what a catastrophe occurred there. We go, today, to see for ourselves." The crowd didn't exactly cheer at this. Their task was somber to say the least. Only Silas, among their group, seemed to retain the wonder of his youth long enough to whisper at Tirkas' feet. "He's with daddy now, I bet. Watching over us." [North of Coth : Wednesday Dusk] The warband had traveled for two and a half days now, and as the sun was beginning to set over the western hills, they laid eyes on the rumored site. A battlefield where a great cataclysm was supposed to have happened, only the sight they saw this evening was wholly different from what they had expected. To the warriors of the band, the tell tale signs of battle formations were clearly present. The ground was torn up and while there were some corpses strewn about it was and eerily barren battlefield. There were weapons, there was armor, shields, pavise; everything that might lead one to believe that there were once people here and that they planned on fighting each other in vicious battle. But. . . "Sir Tirkas? Where is everyone?" Silas asked his master from the back of the horse. Tirkas wracked his brain for an answer but it kept coming back blank. He was silent as he let himself off his horse and looked into the boy's wondering eyes. "I. I don't know Silas. Wait here." He motioned for some of the trackers in the group to follow him into the field at the foothills of the mountain. He needed to know, he had to search. Constans wore very unique robes, and his traveling companions were also similarly unique. If they were here, like all of these clothes and arms, then theirs should be within as well. The elf went over it in his head repeatedly as he searched, well into the evening with the sun retreating wholly below the horizon. Most of the warband had taken to helping in the search, carrying torches and reflectors. Tirkas needed no such assistance, and his eyes glowed a bright green in the dark. It had been long enough that all of the scents in the field had mingled, so he couldn't rely on his bear-like sense of smell. He relied on his eyes alone. Hours of scouring, hours of deep thought, and Tirkas had formed a thesis in his mind of what took place here. He could tell how the troops moved based on how the ground was tamped. He could guess their formations based on how their armor and weapons lay. Their bodies had vanished, leaving behind all of their earthly possessions. Apart from those who had clearly been slain and who's bodies remained where they lay there wasn't a speck of blood to be seen anywhere. He was just about ready to give it up when he came upon a familiar sight. He recognized that helmet. It belonged to Viscerex. A man whom Tirkas detested, but who had also been blessed by god. Tirkas ran over to the object in question, and laying nearby as Tirkas had hoped it would, a dark and flowing robe. He froze in place for a moment. He had hoped against hope that he would not find those robes. His lip began to quiver for the first time since his first night in Coth village. He could feel the emotions within welling up to the surface and he scrambled over to it. He dropped to his knees beside the empty garment, his quacking hands scooping it up as his vision went blurry. He is with god now, he's gone to a better place. He thought to make himself feel better, but it didn't stop the tears flowing down his face. The sadness that took him would be lasting and heavy, and once the others noticed they too gathered around to mourn, for this seemed to all to be confirmation that Constans was truly gone forever from their lot. Tirkas gathered the Robes of Constans, the Helm of Viscerex, and the Gown of Ioreth. The wanted to make sure these things were preserved, so that the people would remember where they came from. "A chest. The best one we have." [Temple City: Thursday Afternoon] Tirkas and his Cothite warband decided to make way for Temple City the next morning. It was, after all, much closer than Coth and many had never been before, including Tirkas. They all knew of the road that lead from Coth to the Temple City though. In fact, among Tirkas' Lance were a few of the honored Knights who lived in Coth. The warband had high hopes for this excursion, but they would quickly find their dreams dashed upon reaching the city limits. Chaos had befallen the region, it seemed, and the streets were largely empty. Asking about to some of the locals, it seemed that the leadership of the Temple just up and vanished one day. The people, left to their own devices, devolved into a state of anarchy. While the populace eventually got themselves into a controlled state (controlled enough that it wasn't an open riot) there were still signs of the previous state of unrest. A church, in one of the blocks near the south edge of town, seemed to call out to Tirkas in his wandering about the streets. Even Silas noticed it, which was promising. A broken stained glass window which had previously depicted Gaia had been smashed out, leaving behind only what looked like a green pair of eyes that the light shone through. "This wont do. If we leave them like this for long they're bound to upset the whole region." Tirkas mused to his fellows. It was a lesser chapel compared to the grand stone temple carved into the side of the cliffs off in the distance, but it was large enough and in well enough condition that Tirkas thought it would serve as a nice hub. He hatched a plan in his head on how to utilize the place, and he set about searching through the town for any skilled workers he could find. Masons, glass workers, silversmiths, and tailors would all be needed to achieve what he wanted to achieve. "We'll be staying for a while, everyone, so go ahead in and get comfortable." After all, they aren't using it anymore. Tirkas, in the meantime, took to his search with Silas in tow. The boy, weary from the day's travel and being young as he was, rode atop Tirkas' shoulders. Their first stop was to be at a masonry, which lucky for them was only a few short minutes away. @Witches Brew @Better Than Gore
This day had already been long enough, and too many things have happened already. This was supposed to be a simple day, weeding Dale Thimmick's garden and having lunch, then going home to take care of her animals. That was supposed to be it, but apparently the Gods had other plans for Mythandriel today. Instead of her simple, non-exciting day, she helped some random child, murdered some horses with a flaming carriage attached, and helped some stranger kill some lizard-folk. Now, instead of going to get her wounds looked at, Mythandriel was hopping onto Dorian's back, and gripping her neck fur tightly. The elf was exhausted, and in pain, but that Magician or whatever he was, he mentioned something Myth couldn't get out of her head. Grayboy. She could be completely wrong, it could be someone entirely different. Her hopes were high, and her heart was pounding. All this adrenaline coursing through her veins was keeping her from feeling the pain in her burns. She clicked her tongue, and Dorian took off. As Dorian ran, Myth's mind raced. What if it was Zanzarog? Was he teaming up with these Lizardmen? Why? Why did he leave home, after everything they've shared together? Why would he leave her? Leave her here all alone? Tears welled up in her eyes, and she blinked them away. She was all alone yet again, everyone she loved seemed to leave her, in one way or another. Her parents, then Ioreth, and now Zanzarog. She leaned forward, urging Dorian to run faster. The elk bleeted as she pushed her legs to push harder, sending them faster towards her home. As they got closer and closer, she could hear Tamlen barking from inside the house, he must've been at the front door. Someone was there, Tamlen wouldn't be barking otherwise. Myth narrowed her eyes, moving her bangs out of her face as Dorian got closer and closer to the house. "Hey! Stop!" She shouted, upon approaching the house, seeing a large armoured figure standing next to Black Philip. Though that Springjack hated her, that was one of the few things she had left of Zanzarog's. She yanked hard on Dorian's fur, and she looked at the faceless figure, glaring down at him. "What are you doing on my property?" She hissed, her brows furrowed. Dorian paced around the figure and Black Philip, huffing angrily. What if he had something to do with Zan's disappearance? If this man hurt her beloved, then he would face her wrath, or what little was left after that mini battle she was just in. @Better Than Gore
Vice trudged through the darkening streets of Coth with some irritation on his features. He'd made the trip into town after one of the soldiers who remembered him from the plagued village a week or so earlier had come insisting that his child was on death's door, and must have caught the illness that had caused such trouble before from her father's proximity to it. He'd been dubious, but the soldier seemed so panicked that he'd agreed to come have a look at his daughter. After all, if it was the plague again, better to nip it in the bud now. So you might imagine that he was not best pleased to discover that this child who was supposedly deathly ill child was just a colicky four-month-old with a bit of a cold. And very nervous new parents. He'd given them a decongestant and a gentle telling-off about making him tromp all the way out here for a runny nose, then left them looking embarrassed but relieved. However, it seemed a shame to put the whole trip to waste. And while he did have some apple wine fermenting back at his tree, it would be months before it was fit to drink. So a stop at the tavern then. Wouldn't hurt to get some idea of the sort of people he was dealing with, since his only dealings with these Cothites thus far had been twitchy and over-worked guards and some despairing villagers on the outskirts. Korben, of course, was trotting happily at his side, either oblivious to his master's poor mood or simply used to his grump. However, once they were at the door of the Laughing Springjack, as the tavern was apparently named, Vice waved him over to the stable they kept for more conventional steeds. Korben gave a whine and made a few indignant grumbles, but Vice just rolled his eyes. "If you were still a pup we might swing it - but unless the owners are amenable to horses being brought into their barroom, you are just a mite too big." He scolded the huge dog. Korben made more unhappy sounds, as if he'd actually understood all of that, but plodded over to the little stable and flopped into a mound of hay before letting out a long-suffering huff. "I will see if they have any beef bones for you." Vice promised, before turned back to the door and stepping inside. The streets of Coth were relatively empty past sundown, but the tavern was still fairly lively, likely with laborers in from their day's work grabbing a pint or two before heading back home. Truly, he was glad for the bustle - it made him stand out less. And elves weren't a strange sight in these parts, so even when he removed his hood and revealed his pointed ears, it didn't garner so much as a blink from most of the occupants. Hell, he even had the right color eyes for the town, though his didn't have the faint glow that many of the natives sported. He approached the counter and quietly put in an order for some ale, which was placed in front of him swiftly in exchange for a few coins. And with that he retreated to an empty table to enjoy his drink in peace... hopefully. @Opaquely Translucent
Zanzarog had been saving for quite some time, he had even purposely avoided his favorite food stand in town just to ensure he had enough to fork over for the materials. What materials you might ask? Everything that was a necessity for building a house. Not only that, but the cost of labor to hire on the townsfolk to assist him. It would have taken him months to do it himself. They had been working for weeks and finally had the house in a livable condition. In just a few more days it would be complete, the Cothites would be in and out of the house periodically to finish up the interior and whatever else they initially missed. Until then, Zanzarog would focus on the exterior, mostly the additions and more specifically Mythandriel's garden. Currently, he was shoveling manure that Dale Thimmick so kindly provided, he had spent a majority of the day going back and forth between Dale's and their house. It would have been easier had Black Phillip agreed to help him with the transportation, but that damned beast was just as stubborn as he was, instead the Springjack stood just outside the house and silently judged him. His red beady eyes were filled with amusement every time he watched his master toil. “Yeah yeah, keep laughing you arse.” --- "BAHHHHH!" This hadn't been the first time they exchanged words today, that was just the tamest of words. “I'm trying to get this done before Myth shows up, it would have been finished---ah, what's the use.” Zanzarog sighed heavily as he shovelled the manure into an ever growing pile. Before too long, he emptied the last wheelbarrow and finally began spreading it evenly in the rather large space they designated for Mythandriel's garden. Sweat beaded from his forehead and places he wasn't aware he could sweat from, needless to say, he needed to bathe. Maybe Mythandriel would join him later. "BAAAAAH!" --- “What now damnit?” Zan looked over his shoulder at the Springjack, trying to figure out what was disturbing him. He had already tried to gore a couple of the Cothites, they finally learned to keep their distance, so it obviously wasn't them approaching. Then he saw her and couldn't help but grin. Mythandriel was nearly here, but she wasn't alone, Dorian was there as well, but another figure walked alongside her. “Afternoon love!” He shouted, waving his arm about. @Witches Brew
Dale Thimmick loaned Zanzarog a horse to enjoy for the afternoon as compensation for helping out around the farm. Dale offered him coinage for his hard work but the Half Orc respectively declined, this was the next best thing. Riding was one of the greatest feelings in the World, there was so much to explore and discover, and it sure as hell beat walking. There was a trail he normally chose to trot down, but today was different. The townsfolk spread rumors of mythical creatures and monsters that prowled the forest and he was on a mission to find them. Did he believe them? Hardly. He was probably the only monster they had ever seen. Zan had nothing better to do today, save for spending time with Mythandriel, but she had to tend to her garden. So off he went, riding until he came to a split in the path, the townsfolk said to take a right and keep on going until the trees were plentiful. Just beyond that was a grassy hillside and there, that’s where the so-called creatures would be. So far he had only seen a couple of deer and a fox, he’d have to come back here with a bow one of these days and bring some pelts to Myth. Bringing the horse to a gallop, he’d eventually reach said hillside, it was riddled with colorful flowers. Nothing but flowers and bees. God damn did he hate bees, little bastards did nothing but buzz in his ear and sting him. ‘Don’t swat at them, you’ll only make them angrier’, Myth always warned him, but did he listen? Nope. Zan would let the horse rest, for the time being, it seemed pretty happy with the assortment of flowers and grass to graze on. It would nibble and cut the tops off the fresh grass, chewing relentlessly and nay every once in a while. He would simply enjoy the view, not a hobble or street merchant in sight. Today was a good day. @Spooky Mittens