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Tryst21 updated the adventure log post Bake at 350F till Crispy
6 days ago
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Tryst21 updated the adventure log post Endings and Beginnings
Tryst21 commented on the adventure log post Endings and Beginnings
Last Updated: 6 days ago
Play Status: In Planning
Back in The Saddle
Doldo on The High Seas
Forcing gritty eyelids open, Callindra winced in pain. Her shattered ribs screamed agony and she thought her left wrist was fractured. She tightened her right fist and felt the reassuring resistance of Brightfang’s hilt in her hand. At least she hadn’t dropped her blade. She slowly rolled onto her side and stood on shaky legs. Pain wracked her body as roots grew through her skin and into her side, setting a broken rib with ungentle strength.
Callindra shut her eyes against the pain “AAaaa FUCK!” When she finally managed to get her eyes open again, the sight that greeted her hurt worse than her ribs.
The colorful caravans that had been parked close to The Drunken Thief were now piles of ashes. Those children deserved better, creepy adult eyes or not. Her eyes swept over the destruction looking for her siblings and it wasn’t hard to find them.
Tryst lay in a small crater, his shield cracked down the center and breastplate caved in. He didn’t appear to be breathing. A short distance away Vylhelm lay in a puddle of his own mud mixed with blood that trickled from his mouth. Cronos wasn’t faring much better, one sword still sheathed, the other a short distance from his right hand and severe burn marks on his head and chest.
“Tryst. Wake up, Vyl and Cronos need you.” Callindra’s voice rasped in her ears. Tryst didn’t move. She put her face next to his and didn’t feel any breath. “Shit, I don’t know anything about this.” Moving to the door Callindra slammed her sword hilt against it. “Open up you fucking cowards!”
The runes had begun to dissolve. No, decay was a better word for it. The magic was rotting, diseased and the impact of her inscrolled blade was the last straw. The protections that had enclosed The Drunken Thief fell to the ground like last year’s leaves. “Open this door or I’ll fucking break it down!” Callindra’s shout was barely louder than a whisper, but despite the pain in her ribs the pommel of her sword made plenty of noise.
“Is it gone?” The voice reverberated from behind the door.
“What? Yes it’s gone.”
The door creaked inward showing a cluster of cautious eyes that resolved into some familiar faces. The bouncer was standing behind the door, his club nowhere to be seen. The bartender was crouching behind the bar and there was a solidly built man in the center of the room holding a forge hammer in one hand.
“Hey, do any of you know first aid or healing? My brothers need medical help.” The flames from The Ravenger had scorched her throat to the point where she could hardly talk. When she paused to take a breath a vine sprouted from inside her throat, growing out of her mouth and nearly choking her. Callindra bit it in half and spat it out, the sap coated her mouth and wind pipe like a salve, soothing the wounds. The buxom barmaid who had approached with bandages in hand and a concerned look on her face looked startled. “I’m fine, just see to my family.” She continued in a more normal tone of voice.
Mili moved from Vylhelm to Cronos, bandaging wounds and casting small healing spells. “Merel, I need you to carry this one inside.” She was easily restraining a struggling Vylhelm with one hand; a testament to how injured he was. “He has burns all over his body and shouldn’t try to move.” Merel put his forge hammer down and lifted Vyl easily, carrying him inside.
“Why didn’t you fuckers help us instead of cowering behind your barrier? We could have beaten it if we’d had your help.” Callindra fixed the occupants of the room with a glare, “You call yourselves men? You were quick enough to throw me out last night but it seems you only have the guts to pick on sixteen year old girls. You’re disgusting.”
“The only reason you survived is it thought you were dead. Nobody survives The Ravenger, everyone knows that.” The bartender wouldn’t meet her eyes.
“You might as well be dead. As for me, the next time I meet that monster I’m going to kill it. I’ll be ready this time.”
“I need help!” The barmaid priestess was bending over Tryst, “He’s not breathing and I can’t get his armor off!” Callindra and Cronos were at her side in an instant, both straining to bend Tryst’s breastplate so that it could be removed
“Damn it, this thing is stuck. I’ll cut the strap.” Callindra reached for her blade.
“Wait, you’ll ruin the armor. Give me a second.” Cronos incanted a spell and touched himself, then the same spell again and touched Callindra. She was familiar with his Strength magic and nodded.
“Good idea, let’s try again.” Even with their new strength they were barely able to bend the breastplate enough that Mili could loosen the buckle. The breastplate ran like a bell as it loosened but Tryst still wasn’t breathing.
“I can’t do anything for him.” Mili had a confused look on her face, “He’s dead. Or at least he’s not breathing but somehow his heart is still beating.” A greenish golden glow emanated from Tryst’s breast. “He’s beyond my ability to help, but maybe if you bring him to my Master he could help. He’s far more skilled than I am.”
“Your master? Who is he and where can we find him?” There was another awkward silence and when Callindra glared at them again the bartender Agon broke it.
“We exiled him from the village. He’s insane and believes he can cure the green flame curse. Not just that he was doing experiments on infected creatures. He was a danger to everyone and it wasn’t safe for the village for him to stay.”
Callindra’s anger showed in her eyes and the Winds echoed it, whipping through the space between her and Agon in a violent gust. “He’s the only person who can save my brother in this gods forsaken place and you THREW HIM OUT OF THE VILLAGE?”
“Please calm down… Callindra is your name right?” Mili laid a hand on her arm and gave her a pleading look, “Pierce is only a couple days away I think. I promise I’ll watch out for your brother until you can bring him back here OK?”
“What’s a true innocent like you doing in this place in the company of these… people?” Callindra was trying to calm down with varying degrees of success. The men still wouldn’t meet her eyes.
“We just ended up here I guess. Now Merel helps protect the tavern and I do what I can for the victims after the dust settles.”
“What aren’t you telling us? You know more about this creature than you’re letting on!” Cronos had approached from behind and the intensity of his voice startled Mili. “What are you keeping from me?”
Mili turned to look him in the face, “Honestly I don’t know anything other than it comes here and kills everyone it can when it’s not out slaughtering travelers.”
After a pause, Cronos spun on his heel and stalked painfully back into the tavern. “Is there a place I can carry Tryst? So that he will be as safe as he can be in this hell hole?” Callindra asked. Her magically augmented strength allowed her to easily lift her brother although the effort nearly cracked half healed ribs.
“Of course, he can stay in the infirmary. Bring him in, I’ll show you the way.” Once they had reached the infirmary they found Cronos and Vylhelm in a heated conversation.
“Listen Cronos, Tryst will be FINE. This has happened before and after a little time he came to on his own. We need to keep searching and more importantly stay out of the path of The Ravenger. It’s too powerful for us.”
“I’m not going to take that chance Vylhelm, he’s our brother. If he recovers while we’re gone that’s fine but I’m not going to hang around here sitting on my thumbs waiting while he could be dying.”
“Then we bring him with us like we did before. No big deal right. Calm down little brother.”
Callindra carefully laid her brother on a table near to where Vylhelm was sitting. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with Cronos. If he gets dragged underwater by those giant alligators it won’t take much to snuff out whatever life he has left. We can’t waste any time. If you are staying behind that’s your damn deal. I’m leaving as soon as possible.”
“Fine, have it your way Callindra. You always seem to anyway. We’ll leave as soon as we are recovered.”
Before they left, Mili came to stand before Callindra, “Listen, I know we haven’t been much help but we’re doing what we can. Here’s something to use as a last resort since you don’t have a healer right now.” She pressed a small carved wooden box into her hands.
“These potions don’t permanently heal so be careful with their use. They will temporarily assuage wounds so that they can heal on their own. After they wear off though they are gone and you could go from healthy to stone dead in seconds.”
“Thanks Mili, they’re certainly better than nothing. And thank you for watching Tryst too. You’re pretty much the only person here who I think is worth the skin covering their body… but maybe I’m too harsh a judge.”
On her way out she looked the men in the room in the eye with her hand on Brightfang’s hilt above her shoulder, “If anything happens to Tryst, you’ll answer to me.” The threat of a slender sixteen year old girl shouldn’t have made burly fully grown men flinch. But it did.
It had been several days and Callindra was getting impatient. “Where the fuck is that old man anyway? Maybe they just told us this to get us out of town.”
“Relax, at least we haven’t had any trouble sister.” Vylhelm was in a good mood.
“Shut up I’m trying to listen!” A muffled roar came from a thicket ahead. Cronos looked down at the ground.
“Good call Callindra. I think there are some cave bears around here and from the sound of it they’re pissed.”
“I don’t have time for this and neither does Tryst. Get ready boys, we’re going through these things as fast as possible.” Callindra drew Brightfang and he began to resonate with arcane forces as she invoked her most powerful spell. Another set of roars erupted from behind them and two giant bears lumbered into view, a thin green mist trailing from their mouths and the familiar emerald flame burning behind their eyes.
Moving fast enough that tears streamed from her eyes and leaves whipped in tiny cyclones in the wake of her passage, Callindra ran at the bears. One opened its arms wide to swipe at Vylhelm while the other attacked Cronos. Her entire body reverberated in a rhythm focused on Brightfang and as she approached one of the monsters her mere presence began to destroy its body.
Roaring in rage it turned to take a few clumsy swipes at her that she easily dodged, her blade digging a trench deep into the animal’s side. Before it could react she sliced it again, this time straight across the gut. Glowing green ooze leaked from the wound instead of the coils of intestines that should have spilled out.
The other bear picked Cronos up in a massive hug and began chewing on his shoulder. Callindra slashed at the beast that had her brother trapped but her blade slid harmlessly through its ribs and struck Cronos instead.
“Damn it that HURT!” Cronos twisted in the bear’s grip, still unable to get loose. Callindra managed to avoid a few attacks and put a few more slashes into the bear’s hide before suffering the same fate as Cronos.
She struggled in the bear’s grip as it opened its maw and spewed acidic vitriol on her causing her to scream in pain. Luckily the monster was nearly dead and was quickly destroyed simply by being close to her; the reverberations of her magic tearing it apart.
Although the fight had been short it had also been brutal. Cronos was on the border of slipping into death and if it hadn’t been for the Goddesses gift Callindra would likely have been in the same situation. Taking one of the potions she dumped a couple doses down Cronos’s throat.
“I know it’s not permanent but if we can just patch you up until your body heals on its own you’ll be OK. I hope.”
They stayed the night, nursing wounds and meditating to regain their spells. In the morning, Callindra was surprised to see Vylhelm up and working a simple set of spear forms with decent proficiency.
“Wow Vyl… you’re actually getting pretty good at that. When you first started I was afraid you were going to cut your own head off but it looks like you’re getting the hang of the basics. I’m impressed, you’re a quick learner.”
He turned his head to look at her and the hood that usually covered the ravaged side of his face fell back. “Yeah. Learning quickly is something Master Ping taught me. Pain is a good teacher I suppose.”
Callindra flinched unconsciously and touched her right leg, as if reassuring herself that it was there and in one piece. “Yeah you’re probably right. Hey, now that you’re getting better do you wanna spar?”
“I’ll pass sister. You’ve been swinging that sliver of steel for years, I’ve only got a few weeks with this spear. Besides we should be heading out pretty quickly here, we don’t want to delay finding Pierce.”
After some searching, they found a trail and followed it to a giant bramble wall. Cronos approached the wall, Vylhelm put his hand to the ground and attempted to contact the plants and Callindra yelled out “Hey! Pierce! Let us in we need to speak with you!”
When Cronos got close, the brambles reached out and slashed him across the leg. “They’re dead. Not evil per se, but they are definitely dead. Cronos get away from there.” Vylhelm rose from where he had been kneeling. “Seriously Cronos get the hell away from the wall!”
“Pierce, I don’t have time for this, I’m coming in!” Callindra spun in a circle, whipping Brightfang from his sheath and flung herself into the air as jets of wind erupted from her feet. Running lightly above the wall, she made sure to keep a careful distance between her and the reaching thorns. Upon landing on the other side a few feet above the ground she suddenly found herself unable to move.
An old man in a brown cassock was emerging from a small building brushing crumbs from his front. “I’m coming, have patience. The wall will shred you if you don’t wait for me to open it.” He was muttering almost to himself as he paused in front of the wicked looking thorns and waved a hand.
On the other side Cronos nearly unleashed a flame spell to incinerate the bramble and cut it off before searing the little priest. Callindra found herself able to move again when Pierce walked past her again.
“I was just having breakfast, it’s early. I would have come sooner but your friend there was activating my defenses and I was trying to keep him from coming to further harm. Will you join me?”
Inside the cottage there was a table with a full breakfast spread. Eggs, bacon, fruit, fresh bread and cheese, even coffee and cream. Pierce fussed around the table, smoothing the table cloth and seating himself in front of a plate of food with a satisfied sigh.
“Look. My brother is dying back at The Drunken Thief from wounds Mili says only you are going to be able to heal. I need you to come with us. Now.” Callindra’s nerves were stretched to their limit and she was out of patience. “We spent too much time finding you, we can’t wait for breakfast.”
“What kind of wounds? Mili should be able to handle most minor adventuring injuries. Besides my work here is too important to simply put aside.” Pierce took a bite of bread with honey on it and poured himself a steaming cup of coffee.
“He fell to The Ravenger. He’s not breathing but his heart still beats. It happened once before but under different circumstances and I can’t afford to take the chance that this time he’ll die.”
“Well if The Ravenger is involved I’m certain he’s beyond my ability to heal. Once the flames begin burning, it’s only a matter of time before the host is consumed by the corruption.” He sipped his coffee and reached for an apple. “Besides, it’s dangerous out there. Many infected creatures roam these swamps and I have no desire to leave my sanctuary except when gathering specimens.”
“Callindra. If he won’t help us it’s not like we can force an old man against his will.” Vylhelm stood near the table with his arms crossed. “Let’s just go.”
Not paying attention, Callindra locked eyes with Pierce. “Listen up you old motherfucker, I’m sick of all the goddamn cowards in this fucking swamp. First those assholes whine and cry about The Ravenger when we could have ENDED that bastard with their help and now the person who can help my brother is too frightened of the boogeyman to leave his hovel?” She took a step closer to the table and the Winds whipped around her, echoing her fury. “You come with me willingly or by the GODS I’LL FUCKING DRAG YOUR GERIATRIC ASS!”
The candles in the room were snuffed out. She slammed her hands on the table and the air stilled completely, dust motes suddenly held in stasis and the tablecloth froze in mid ruffle. Callindra’s voice was deadly soft as she leaned in close to Pierce’s face. “Do I make myself clear?”
“You. Have quite a foul mouth young lady.” Pierce was leaning back in his chair, mouth pursed in speculation. “But you interest me. You say your brother has been infected before and recovered?”
Vylhelm broke in before she could blow up at him again, “Callindra, now stop making things up. Tryst has never been infected before. He was just injured, and that’s all that has happened this time. I’m sure he’ll recover just like last time. Come on you’re insulting this poor old man in his home it’s time for us to leave.”
Callindra looked at Pierce and slowly shook her head. His eyebrows rose but he said nothing. “Vyl we’re not going anywhere without him. You may have faith that Tryst will recover but I do not.”
“Tell me more about his condition. Perhaps he would be a good research subject.” Pierce leaned forward, looking at Callindra with sudden interest. “Well regardless, I won’t be able to do anything for him without some additional mystic assistance. There is a crate that Mili sent me which was stolen by those blasted frog creatures. It had some components in it that I need. Then there’s the flowers that seem to grow wherever anything infected dies grow; they have properties that could be beneficial. Finally, the priest who taught me used a magic crystal as a focal point; its power will be most critical in the process. Help me find these things and maybe there’s a chance for your brother.”
“Help you? You mean you’re coming with?” Callindra’s voice dripped sarcasm, “I’m glad to see you finally strapped on a pair of balls. Don’t worry big sis will protect you from the big scary beasties.”
Ignoring her he turned to Vylhelm, “Would you like to see my latest research? These bears are most fascinating.” The pair of them wandered off to a fenced enclosure where a monster was being held captive, paying no mind to Callindra’s impatient outrage.
“Cronos, would you help me corral these fuckers? We need to get the hell out of here!” Cronos, however, sat silently studying his spell book by the door, oblivious to her anger.
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