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DARKNESS, A TRADITIONAL RP

Time has come, one and all, for the journey to begin. Please try to post at least once per update, to a good standard. Some updates, it will be beneficial to do so more than once per update - I'm not stopping you, please do. It is also worth checking the map and names to provinces on the recruitment to identify where on Kolnur we are. Anyway, without further ado, let us begin the Darkness Traditional RP.

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SPRING 1243

The new dawn was rising on Megant, the westernmost nation on Kolnur, its buildings gleaming in the morning sun. This area of Jurma (one of the nation’s provinces) was just less than normal for the seafaring nation, with most buildings made of dirtied white marble, and a few made of baser materials. The city of Jurma itself was several miles away to the north, closer to the wastelands that lie to the west, and was constructed entirely of gleaming marble, cleaned monthly - unlike most of Kolnur. Jurma was always one of the nation’s nicest cities, and many took their retirement there, even those from other nations. The large port town in question, however, was known as Wyrmsport, after the cave that formed most of its dock, which was reputed to have been inhabited by a sea wyrm once. It wasn't the nicest of cities, but it was cosy and inhabitable.

For years, there had been peace and prosperity, but those days were gone: the Shadow had arrived. There had been reports of undead movement around all of Kolnur’s nations, something which greatly disturbed the world’s powers and leaders. The scouts in the wastelands had been reporting movement for the first time in centuries, and Megant was worried.

But the day was not one to worry about the political affairs and the situations of nations, for this was a day for the individual. In Wyrmsport, there was an open-air bar known as the Sea Wyrm Bar, reputed for being one of the least savoury places in the city. The bar served food and drinks all day, and had well over a dozen rooms for travellers, hanging over the Wyrm’s Cave. The bar itself was half indoors, half out, the actual building part made and held up by seaweed-covered wood. In the only secluded corner of the bar was a round table, and this is where our adventure shall begin.

Around the table sat a variety of characters, not a strange sight in Wyrmsport, but their motives were less than ordinary. Hemjeg, the town’s resident senile sailor, was, as normal, telling drunken stories with more than a little truth to them. Hemjeg was known by locals to be somewhat of a drunkard, taken to recounting stories both inane and fantastical, and being very grumpy, a feature which waxed and waned based on how drunk he was. These people had never met him before, but had seen his posters around the city, offering a bounty of treasure and a merry sea journey, and had come to hear whatever he had to say.

“All ye who listen,” He shouted. “I shall tell ye the tale of the Gemstone Cavern, tha’ ol' mystical cave which everyone looks for.”
The group leaned in towards the middle of the table, anxious to hear the old man’s insane story. The drinks on the table were shifted forwards towards the central candle, which was barely surviving the breeze coming in from the sea.
“They say tha’ what you wish for becomes wha’ you get in that magical place. Anything tha’ a man wishes for, he gets. I think those nonhuman folk get it too, but I be na’ too sure on tha’.” A few non-human bar patrons looked at him disparagingly for his dry racism, then returned to their drinks. “A dragon’s hoard, a sword tha’ cuts through anything, even the booze and wenches you’ve always dreamed o’. Prophecies tell of a group tha’ll go find it, one day. Now, I’m going o’er to the west in a few days, so if you want to go find the Cavern, I’m happy to let ya on, for a fee…”

The old man walked away from the table quite suddenly, having delivered his offer, and then turned again with a sharpness that belied his age. “Oh, di’ I mention? I know where it be hidden.” He turned again and walked out, taking a mighty swig of his booze and stumbling around. Even the thickest at the table knew he just wanted money, but was his tale genuine? Was the cavern real? It was a well-known nursery rhyme on Kolnur, the tale of the Cavern of Dreams – could this be it? The listeners began to talk, getting to know those that they may be working with on this wild goose chase, and discussing the truthfulness of Hemjeg’s tale. Whatever happened now would set the fate of Kolnur, and the fates were watching eagerly.
 

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"Aye, what a bloody waste of our time," Kai muttered, "but I guess somebody must believe him. Anyone else here get one of these?"

Throwing the fancy envelope on the table, inside was a very elaborate request written in his native language on an obviously pricey piece of parchment. The kind usually only high level mage schools or nobels use.

"Received this via messenger, no information on who from or why." The part about the large payment the messenger handed him to communicate how legitimate it was supposed to be, he kept to himself. He didn't keep much money anyways, usually giving most of it away, but one certainly didn't bring up money to strangers, and definately not in a place such as this.

"I have been hired many a time by those looking for this so called cavern, and I tell you only one thing has been certain, all we ever find is death."

Oddly enough that was the reason why he was here. He was paid afterall, and slaying undead, demons, or other dark creatures was what he did, cavern or not.
 

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Glaïmbar raised an eyebrow questioningly as Hemjeg spun his yarn, shaking his head slightly as he downed the stein of ale with a single swig. He rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck before slamming the vessel down and raising a hand to signal a human barmaid over.

"Another," he rumbled, gesturing at the stein, his weathered skin showing itself to be slightly darker than that of a dwarf from Kerin-Curan due to the life he had chosen on the seas. Looking around, he saw the crew of the Sea Cleaver - dwarves, orcs, elves and even an ogre - deep in their cups, sagging over tables and shook his head. Only one remained sober enough to notice his gesture and nod, raising his glass in recognition. With that, the dwarf was satisfied - the half-human/half-elven Arnatuïle was a good sort. When he heard the human grumble, Glaïmbar shook his head, resulting in the tumble of black hair waggling slightly.

"I wouldn’t be so sure, lad. I’ve been on the seas for nearly four decades and met many like Hemjeg, thrust off to the side, named drunkards and mad ... There tends to be a kernel of truth in many of their tales." With that, the dwarf shrugged once more and his eyes lit up; a plate of food piled high with chicken drumsticks, beef and pork was being carried over to the table by a gnomish woman and his next stein was also coming over. He grinned, smacked his lips, and reached into the gold pouch he kept at his waist, drawing two silver coins and a bronze. When the food and drink were set down, he smiled brightly, and placed the coins in the gnomes soft hands. "Thank you, love," he murmured in an offhand manner, gesturing vaguely, but her eyes widened noticeably when she saw how much he had given her. She squeaked a thank you and backtracked quickly, almost as if she was afraid of him choosing his mind. "Anyway," the dwarf said around a mouthful of chicken, "It wouldn’t surprise me if this Gemstone Cavern is real.
"Oh. I'm Glaïmbar, known as 'The Steel Arm' in some circles. Of Kerin-Curan."
Wiping his greasy hand on a rag from the table, he extended his strong hand in the offer of a handshake.
 

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Kai reached out his arm towards the dwarf, "Kai Evansur," Kai replied, shaking the dwarf's hand firmly, though not so firm as to issue a challenge, he had done that once on accident, and while he did bruise the dwarf's hand, he had to see a healer to insure his hand wasn't crushed. The dwarf had laughed at him in a friendly manner afterwards, slapping him on shoulder while saying he lasted longer than most humans.

Releasing the dwarf's hand, Kai continued on, "Well Glaimbar of Kerin-Curan, regardless if the cavern is real or not, I am sure wherever this little adventure takes us, there will be creatures lurking in the dark, and I'm not one to turn down such a promis."
 

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Barog-Shal wasn't sure what to think. He'd travelled the seas of Megant for many years, and had heard more outrageous myths and legends than he cared to count. But more, rather than less, of these legends had shown small nuggets of truth, and had come together as a hoard of treasure or an enchanted weapon. Yet in all of his days he'd never heard something as outrageous as this. 'It couldn't exist,' he thought, 'how could something so powerful remain so carefully hidden for so long? Maybe it's enchanted to hide or move itself, or maybe it's guarded by an even more unbelievable beast?

'More importantly however,' he realized, 'how does a lowly drunk know of a cave that even the strongest haven't found? While the cave may be real, this man is clearly trying to get money by sending us on a goose chase.' Suddenly his mug cracked in his hand, spilling mead onto the person next to him. He hadn't realized how hard he was holding the mug while he was thinking, a common occurrence that went unnoticed on his ship, something, he reminded himself, which he needed to stop doing. He hastily apologized and held out his hand.
'Sorry 'bout that. The name's Barog-Shal, are you here about the Cavern too?'
 

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'This old goat has totally lost it and this is a total waste' Marcus thought as the old sailor walked away, 'What a fracken east of time'. As Marcus finish draining his mug of ale he looked around the table at the other individuals that had come for this adventure. There were a couple Dwarves, another human, an Orc, a goblin crossbreed, and himself. 'And this is an odd lot to go looking for a cave anyway' Marcus was thinking as his left side was suddenly showered with mead and cup fragments. Marcus immediately whipped around to his left to see what had happened and dropped his hand to his sword in case it was needed. He looked just in time to see the large orc look at his hand where he had crushed his cup in surprise.

The orc quickly recovered, dried his hand off, and said " 'Sorry 'bout that. The name's Barog-Shal, are you here about the Cavern too?'

"Marcus Flavius Octavion of the Empire," Marcus responded as he look the orcs hand, "and if you wanted to give me a drink friend, there are more polite ways to do that. But yeah, I'm here wasting my time for that mystical cavern also. How did you come about to be here Borag?"
 

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“The Cavern had best be real. I’ll be damned if I leave the Sea Cleaver for as long as it will take us to do this and then leave unrewarded.” He paused for a second and his brow furrowed. “And I’m sure Goimiil hasn’t let me survive this long just to fail.
“As far as creatures are concerned ... Cleaver will take care of them,”
the dwarf said with a small smile on his face, patting the haft of his axe which leant against the side of the table, blade resting on the floor.

The dwarf then looked at the noise from the other side of the table and chuckled. “You are quick to go for your blade, Marcus Flavius Octavion of the Empire. Not always a bad thing, but I’ve been to the Sea Wyrm Bar before - draw a blade and within minutes you’re likely to be in the centre of a deadly brawl.” His eyes misted over for a second, and then with a conspiratorial glint in his eye and a tug at the edges of his lips, said, “In fact, do it ... Not had a good fight in a while. The only sea-goers worthy of fighting my crew are the pirates of Dagren. Complete bastards, and as honourable as a a sea-slug, but amazing sailors. Not good enough for us, though!” The boast was said jovially, and Glaïmbar nudged Kai in the ribs, although more forcefully than he realised. “Ah ... Sorry, Kai ...”
 

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'Well,' he replied to Marcus Flavius Octavian, 'when you've travelled as far as I have, you meet people. Some of them want to kill you. Others are happy to make themselves acquainted. Both of them will tell you lots of useless gossip, but when I heard about this, I couldn't resist coming.' This wasn't the entire truth, but it wasn't the best first impression to tell someone that they're here because of a letter taken from the corpse of a ship's captain. 'I've always enjoyed a good adventure.'
'What's 'dis? Filthy Orcs?' shouted a very racist man who had just entered the bar 'What's yuur skum doin' here?' Get outta my bar!'
Barog-Shal flew up from his chair and squared up to this very small racist.
'Orcs aren't scum,' he said, 'you have 3 seconds to get out of here.'
'What's yuur skoom gonna-'
The punch hit the man square in the chest and knocked him almost straight across the room, where he hit the wall and slumped, unconscious.
'I'm not too good at first impressions, am I?' he thought as returned to his seat.
'So Marcus Flavius Octavian, how did you get to be here?'
 

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The nudge hit Kai square in the side, only slightly dulled by the darker leather armor he wore beneath his cloak. While it did register as pain and most certainly would leave a bruise due to the dwarf's strength, it wasn't anything debilitating nor crippling enough to apologize over.

Kai turned to the dwarf with a sly smirk while patting the end of the sword across his back, "You know Glaimbar, I think 'Cleaver', and Negotiator are going to get along just fine." Kai had ignored the Dwarf's apology, to accept it would have meant in dwarven culture that he felt that Glaimbar had done something wrong.

At that moment Kai heard a drunk mumble something loudly about orcs for all to hear, prompting Barog-shal to stand. The orc was impressive, easily the biggest person at the table, and covered in plate armor, "You might just get that brawl after all."

As the drunk then suddenly flew across the room, Kai let out a chuckle, "Or not,". It was not wise to challenge an orc, especially one with the patience to let you walk away after directly insulting him the first time.
 

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As Borag-shal stood to deal with a drunkard that had insulted the Orc race Marcus looked across the table as he heard a the dwarf across the table from him start to talk, “You are quick to go for your blade, Marcus Flavius Octavion of the Empire. Not always a bad thing, but I’ve been to the Sea Wyrm Bar before - draw a blade and within minutes you’re likely to be in the centre of a deadly brawl. In fact, do it ... Not had a good fight in a while. The only sea-goers worthy of fighting my crew are the pirates of Dagren. Complete bastards, and as honourable as a a sea-slug, but amazing sailors. Not good enough for us, though!” Glaïmbar rumbled in his deep voice.

"Your Glaïmbar, the ship captain right? You do not live long while fighting the Shadow and other enemies with out being quick my friend. And as for a brawl, there is no one here that would pose a challenge, so would just be a waste. If you really want a fight, come to the Empire and serve with one of our border Legions. You will fight and battle all sorts of enemies and monsters. Even ones you would never even believe existed."

As Marcus finished replying to Glaïmbar, he saw Barag-Shal sit back back in his chair after dealing with the insult thrown at him and his species. Barag-Shal then turned to him and ask, " So Marcus Flavius Octavian, how did you get to be here?'

Marcus took another long pull from his mug and said while chuckling, "Just call me Marcus, its easier to daily and doesn't make me sound like a stuck up diplomatic runt. And as for why I am here, my Emperor received a letter informing him about this meeting and I offered to be his representative. Dumbest thing I ever did. Now I am here while my men fight and die with out me." As he finished he lifted his glass and beckoned for a refill from the waitress.
 

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Having left the odiferous confines of the merchant vessel he had stowed away on, Subetai took stock of his new surroundings. Stretching his legs and flexing his muscles, he drew his hood up and made his way through the docks of Wyrmsport. It was not long until he heard the telltale sounds and smells of a local watering hole and having a hunger wrought by weeks of hardtack and the occasional apple, Subetai ducked into the open air affair to wet his whistle. Greeting a barmaid, Subetai ordered a flagon of ale and a bowl of stew, paying with a large gold coin. The barmaid gave him a look, for his currency was foreign and somewhere near ten times the value of his order. "No questions, please. Just make sure I'm not bothered." The server took the hint and hurried away as Subetai took a seat at a corner table.

Tucking into his stew, and taking a gulp from the flagon, Subetai could hear an old salt blustering about some lost treasure. Listening further, he realized the man spoke of the Cavern of Dreams. Subetai finished his stew, leaving the bowl but taking up his flagon and walked to the table nearest the man, around which a motley crew of adventurers had gathered.

Pulling up a stool, Subetai sat down just as an orc sitting at the table decked a drunkard for an unheard offense. Finishing his flagon, and beckoning the barmaid who had served him earlier over, he whispered something in her ear. She took his flagon and giggled, returning quickly with a fresh one. Subetai laughed aloud, "ahh, dry land. It does have its benefits. By the way, I could not help but overhear the old man speak of the Cavern. My name is Subetai, of Kogan-Sul, and would like to discuss the matter of finding said cave."
 

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“More’s the pity,” the dwarf grumbled to Kai, rubbing his chin with the palm of his right hand. “And yes ... Yes, they just might,” Glaïmbar said solemnly before grinning ruefully. “Goimiil will protect!”

When Marcus spoke to him, Glaïmbar smirked back. “Aye, I am. Captain of the Sea Cleaver, the finest ship to be created by the shipwrights of Kerin-Curan. I have cannons, ballistae, Dragon’s Breath - which are known in some places as flamethrowers, I understand - and a crew of two hundred; dwarves, orcs, elves and my helmsman Orgash, an Ogre of Iron Rock.
“And whilst there may be no real fight here, a brawl is always fun. As for fighting with one of your border Legions, I’d show you a fight which requires more skill than simple blade-work - try fighting the pirates of Dagren in the middle of a storm-tossed sea near the Eerengo Archipelago. Goimiil alone knows how we managed to survive that ... It was probably only due to Arnatuïle’s magicks - wind and water. Only sorts for sailors, in my opinion. For everything else, there’s real weapons.”
 

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Kai sat solemnly, gripping his flagon tighter and tighter while the military officer tried to recruit Glaimbar. Typical good soldier boy, he thought, his knuckles now completly white from his grip as he remembered what happened to Evamora.

He knew it wasn't Marcus' fault, hell, he had wiped out every soldier of the group that had attacked the town, but the pain was still there.

Just then a newcomer approached and Kai could feel his sword begin to softly glow, the light undoubtedly drawing some attention. As the man sat and introduced himself, Kai touched the hilt of his sword, calming it. He didn't sense any ill intent, and tilted his head at the man in acknowledgement. Kai didn't know if the man had ever been persued by hunters, but if he did, then the tilt of his head was to set him at ease.

However the man may have never been chased by a hunter if he never drew attention to himsef, or worse he didn't realize his condition. Kai would have to find a way to confirm, whether vampire or werewolf, it would be dangerous if he didn't realize what he was. Though a welcome ally if he did and could control himself. "Well Subatei, I believe the table is still open?" Kai looked around quizzically, letting the others speak their mind on his joining.

"So Marcus," Kai then started, he didn't want to make a negative impression upon the man, "you have experience fighting the darkness?"
 

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Wyrmsport was wet, cold and cast aside in the shadow of its gleaming neighbour city, forever to be known as the inn-town and stop-over of travellers - often of a repute that lent them the desire to steer clear of the more established settlement and, more often, its authorities. This made it much the same as every other small coastal port Nitan had passed through over the years. Fighting with the crudely drawn map he’d received, courtesy of the ship’s captain and some of his last few coins, Nitan tried to orientate himself in the hustle of the docks, turning the cursed parchment in an attempt to make sense of the hasty scribbles. Sighing in defeat, the gnome scrunched up the wretched thing and tucked it away, knowing full well he’d have to ask for direction and probably part with a few more of his dwindling silvers to find an inn. With muttered curses under his breath, he gingerly picked up his bags, praying that the deck hands hadn’t broken anything important, and began the effort of finding the Sea Wyrm Bar.

An odd hour later, Nitan shouldered open the door with yet another worthless page of directions in his teeth and his equipment bags in his hands. Breathing with relief, he threw himself down on a free stool, finally feeling the week-long voyage catch up to him. He immediately ordered a strong glass of ale to settle his stomach and pulled out the poster he’d torn down Wesort, claiming to offering cash and treasure to any willing to seek the Gemstone Cavern. “I’m sorry, would you know where I can find a Mr Hemjeg?” the waitress laughed at the request before realising Nitan was serious and shook her head, “He’s pulling them lot’s ears at the moment. I’m sure he’d like your attention.” Nitan looked over at the table and the manic old man weaving his fiction with the fact. Fantastic, so this was Hemjeg? Nitan had to admit however, that he had managed to interest quite a few people who looked like they meant business. Dwarves, men, elves and even an ogre sat around the table, with many brandishing armour and weapons that looked like they’d been used before. Nitan’s eyes narrowed at a man who carried himself somewhat different from the others, he looked like an Imperial soldier – a Pilus, he thought; that was high ranking in the Legions and definitely a commander of men, so what was he doing this far West of his homeland? By this point the serving girl was becoming impatient, “Look, are you going to order something or are you just going to be burning air?” Nitan nearly jumped as he remembered where he was, and looked up at the woman with her hands on her hips. “I’ll take what he’s having please” he said, gesturing to a dwarf sitting on another table, “Say, what’s a gnome doing in the Megant anyway?” The woman smiled at him, “I might ask you the same thing.” Nitan grinned as she walked away, not rusty from the trip then .. “The only sea-goers worthy of fighting my crew are the pirates of Dagren. Complete bastards, and as honourable as a a sea-slug, but amazing sailors. Not good enough for us, though!” Nitan smirked at the overheard comment, wondering if the Captain had ever sailed North enough into Iron Navy patrolled waters. He looked up to see the serving girl returning with his stew, “Say, how many gnomes offer you a drink around here?” the woman winked at Nitan in response, “Two silver.” Laughing to himself, Nitan felt his pockets and his face fell, oh feth . Suddenly, the waitress’s flirtatious smile was replaced by narrowed eyes, but a loud crash from a man being thrown across the room offered safety. “Bugger! I, ah, better go see if I can help him out. Pleasure to meet you!” As quickly as he could Nitan leapt up from his chair smooth, very smooth. Kneeling beside the unconscious man, the gnome felt for a pulse and slapped the drunkard a couple of times in the face to try and get him to stir. Sighing to himself, Nitan checked him for a concussion before concluding to himself that he’ll probably confuse the hangover in the morning with the blow. Standing back up he walked over to the Orc’s table, the conversations on the table all moved on from the scuffle, content with its result. “By the heavens what do you think you’re doing laying into a man like that? With your kinds’ strength you could have shattered his ribs!”
 

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And it came to pass in those days, as it had come and would come again in the turning of the age, that the Shadow lay heavy on the land and green things died and hope itself failed. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountains, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Lady of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Mistress of the Dawn shelter us from the Shadow, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Herald ride again on the winds of time
- from Charal Drianaan te Caesar
The Cycle of the Herald

Author unknown, the Fourth Age

Prophecy. My whole life has been dictated by prophecy. I have no wish to be the Herald. To be the Herald is to be a woman feared because of what she can do and the risk of what might happen to her. I am not mad. Daquile’s presence does not mean I am mad. She has been more of a help to me than a hinder, teaching me all I know of magic. Without her, I would have been dead a thousand times over. I have fled my home, fled my destiny. Maybe here I can find some way to stay sane. Maybe here I can die without harming anyone else. I know not. But if I have any chance of survival I will take it.
The journal of Muriel en’ Mavar
Spring 1243 of the Third Age​

I had arrived the previous evening and taken a room at the inn. More fool me.

In the common room when I came down there was a man. His name was Hemjeg, the town’s resident idiot as I later learned. But then I didn’t care for he spoke of a reward and I would need greater funds if I was to find someone who could help me. Or to find a place where I could die without harming anyone else. Urien’s face flashed in front of my eyes and I blotted out the memory of him, for if I remembered him I would remember how I had used him to kill the Lich. I still did not understand that, but I refused to dwell on it.

Yet more people entered the inn and went to Hemjeg, forming a circle around him. I leant with my back against the wall and my arms crossed, using flows of air to let me hear what Hemjeg said “All ye who listen,” he shouted. “I shall tell ye the tale of the Gemstone Cavern, tha’ ol' mystical cave which everyone looks for.” The group leaned in towards the middle of the table, anxious to hear the old man’s insane story. The drinks on the table were shifted forwards towards the central candle, which was barely surviving the breeze coming in from the sea. I turned my head away, I had heard enough of the old man’s stories

“They say tha’ what you wish for becomes wha’ you get in that magical place. Anything tha’ a man wishes for, he gets. I think those nonhuman folk get it too, but I be na’ too sure on tha’.” A few non-human drinkers looked at him disparagingly for his racism, then returned to their drinks. “A dragon’s hoard, a sword tha’ cuts through anything, even the booze and wenches you’ve always dreamed o’. Prophecies tell of a group tha’ll go find it, one day. Now, I’m going o’er to the west in a few days, so if you want to go find the Cavern, I’m happy to let ya on, for a fee…”

I nearly left there and then and even so I cursed under my breath. “Bloody prophecies,” I muttered. “I’ve had my fill of them.”

I walked past the group on my way to the door, slowing my pace as I did so to listen into their conversations and study them. Kai Evansur, a Human. Marcus, a Human of the Empire. Subetai, a Human of Kogan-Sul. Glaïmbar, a Dwarf. Barog-Shal, an Orc. Grick'grack, a Goblin and Elf Half-breed. All of them with stories of their own. And all of them planning to accept Hemjeg’s offer. I stopped, eyes half-closed. I listened to them, heard the bitterness in Kai’s tone, the pride in Marcus’, the confidence in Subetai’s, the camaraderie in Glaïmbar’s and the contained blood lust of Barog-Shal, buried so deep down as to be almost imperceptible.

I turned back to them, my eyes fully open and my hands uncurled by my sides. It was curious. I almost felt drawn to this group. A tugging in my soul that told me I needed to go with them. That was all that tipped me between leaving immediately and joining them. I walked over to them and leaned my forearms on the table, looking at them all contemplatively. A curious bunch to say the least and each wrapped up in his own conversation. I suddenly caught a sense of considerable power from somewhere to my right, the ability to draw deeply of the Aether though when compared with my own it was far less impressive. Still the ability of this mage was not negligible and when I turned to look at him, I realised that he was probably far more practised at magic than I was. I had the raw strength but I knew less than a hundredth of what I do now, so many years later. And while some of my knowledge came from Daquile who was a murmuring voice in the back of my head at that moment, the rest was all guesswork. But as I turned and saw him, Kai, Daquile started screaming. “Kill him,” Daquile shouted in the back of my mind. “Kill him, kill him, kill him. He is a threat. Kill him.”
 

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Glaïmbar raised an eyebrow at the newcomer, shrugging his shoulders easily beneath his cloak. As he emptied his stein again, he swallowed noisily and cleared his throat. “The man was a fool; if he was going to insult an Orc he should have the ability to defend himself. What kind of idiot starts a fight he can’t finish?”

He flashed a grim smile and shrugged again, waving a barmaid over. “A stein ... No, make it three, of your finest ale. And a Black Whisky from Kerin-Curan,” he said thoughtfully, placing more than enough for all the drinks and more in her dainty palm. ‘Human, but pretty,’ the stout dwarf thought as she walked away to get his drinks.

“Now,” Glaïmbar announced, turning his attention to Nitan, “Who are you, and what gives you the authority to preach at anyone? We’re in Wyrmsport! That wasn’t even a scuffle here!” The Steel-Arm glared at the half-breed with slight distaste, noting the pointed elvish ears on the clearly gnomish body. It wasn’t that he disliked either race, he just disapproved of the dilution of blood through inter-racial breeding. The dwarves of Kerin-Curan wouldn’t do such a thing lightly. Before he realised it, his drinks were in front of him, a rough wooden tray swimming with spilt ales and spirits. His eyes settled on the Black Whisky and lit up, a smile tugging at his lips. His thick fingers grasped the imperfect glass in which it flickered gently in the poor light of the bar and he raised it to his lips, tipping the contents straight down his gullet. A little spilt from his mouth and rolled into his beard, but he didn’t make to wipe it away, only gasping as he slammed the glass down.

“Goimiil only knows, that stuff is strong. But it’s amazing, I have to say ...”
 

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The group was indeed a motley crew, complete with sea faring dwarves, an orc, half-goblin and even an Imperial. Subetai had spent some time with an Empire detachment in the past, training their scouts in the finer points of horsemanship and archery. Marcus was not of their ilk, though, being a commander of some sort, evidenced by his speech and demeanor. Subetai thought it would be good to fight along one such as he, for Empire troops of the line were the most disciplined and tactically proficient soldiers he had ever come across, aside of course from a stout phalanx of shield-dwarves.

Settling into his seat, and raising his flagon for a drink, a young man across the table spoke up, addressing the behemoth hailing from the Empire. "So Marcus...you have experience fighting the Darkness?" Subetai paused for a moment to gauge any response, casting a furtive glance at the man before returning his flagon to the table. The man addressing Marcus had an aura about him, but Subetai could not place it, an oddity as Subetai was usually quite observant. There was to be quite a bit of fighting if they indeed were headed to the famed cave, and Subetai needed to know if Kai's curiosity was born out of a need to know the capacities of the group, or from inexperienced awe at meeting a true slayer. Deciding to pipe up, and continue introductions by way of conversation, Subetai addressed the man."Kai, is it? Have you much experience fighting the Darkness?. Really gets the blood flowing, in my opinion!" Subetai slapped the table and let out a laugh, beckoning for a refill of his emptied flagon.
 

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Kai re-focused his attention to the man; Subetai, as he asked about fighting the darkness.

Giving a slight grin he answered, "Depends at how you choose to look at it. As the nation's pull their armies together, squabbling and puffing their chests at one another, the number of undead, fallen fae, and evil creatures roaming the country sides has grown drastically, even the occasional Demon."

Kai took a quick drink from his flagon.

"I have seen an entire squad of the finest troops wiped out by a demon, a commander charmed by a succubus ordering his men unknowingly to their slaughter, a village ruled by a liche, drawing in travellers and adventurers with the promise of riches to add them to its undead army.

" So, while I have not faught the darkness directly in a line of battle, I have spent almost my entire life fighting the result of it's presence, and I am quite familiar with its more subtle practices.

"For example," Kai said somberly, taking on a very serious tone, "That pretty bar maid over there, my sword glows when something supernatural is nearby," Kai stopped for a brief moment, letting it sink in. He knew most of them at the table had seen his sword glow briefly when Sebutai approached, "She's a succubis, strong enough to kill us all. Now don't look, she won't attack unless she realizes you know."

"BARMAID!!! A ROUND FOR MY FRIENDS HERE!"

As the barmaid approached, the eyes of some of the members at the table who were listening grew wide as they reached for their weapons, prompting Kai let out a laugh.

"Ahh! You should see your faces. Totally worth buying you all a round!"
 

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Barog-shal was now very drunk. He'd foolishly bought 3 dozen mugs of the strongest ale the bar had, and not so he could share them around. If it weren't for his unnatural resilience to anything damaging, he would have puked up most of his insides by now. But it wasn't his health that made it foolish for him to drink too much. He was more vulnerable to... them, when his mind was weak. He was vaguely aware of a conversation around the table, but was far too drunk to here any details, he heard something about a succubus, saw someone join the table...

Crack!

He fell to the floor, clutching his head.

Crack!

The sounds in his head got louder and louder.

CRACK! CRACK!

He writhed on the floor, his vision slowly fading, being replaced by
something...

CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!

'No...' he murmured, trying to shake away the image forming in his head.

CRACK! Crack! Crack...

The sounds and the image faded from his head, replaced with a silent table, everyone looking down at him with concern.
'Drunk too much,' he murmured, ' 'Gonna sleep now'. He thought better of telling everyone that he'd very nearly seen a glimpse of the future.
 
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