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Thread: Chapter Two

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    Chapter Two


    They made their way into the circle of wagons, and everyone was already whispering and looking, trying to see if it really was an elf. Gregor paused to make sure he was still being followed, and then headed straight toward a small gathering of three women off to one side. The elf seemed to pay no mind to the stares and whispers of the rest of the group. Those Gregor was approaching were a midwife, an elderly cleric’s assistant, and a younger girl of twelve who was the granddaughter of the elderly one.

    These three were the only ones in their caravan who had any actual experience dealing with bloodshed, particularly Elda, a former cleric’s assistant. Years ago she had worked with a doctor in the town of Trannyth before marrying Gregor. Since then she has travelled with the caravan, and has been essential every time there was an accident or injury.

    Elda grimaced as she looked at the wound, even as the elf still approached cautiously. “May I take a look?” she said as she stepped toward the elf. Without even waiting for a response, Elda was testing h ow the elf’s left arm could move, trying to see how badly the tendons were damaged. After a few moments, “We can clean the wound just fine, but this will take some time to heal, several weeks at least… Please, sit down over here.” Elda guided the elf a few more steps.

    The midwife, Mari, stood between them and the rest of the caravaners, blocking most of the stares, even though the elf still seemed to hardly notice them. Elda and her granddaughter Seraphi began cleaning the wound. Any spare moment she had where she wasn’t handing supplies to Elda or holding something, Seraphi stared wide-eyed at the pretty elvish face in front of her, seemingly awestruck.

    After a few minutes of this, Seraphi worked up the courage to speak, “A-a-are you really an elf, m-miss?” In reply, she got a gentle smile, which gave Seraphi some confidence. She spoke again, “Thank you for helping us.”

    The three women introduced themselves to the elf, trying to be as welcoming as possible. After a moment, the elf finally spoke again, for the first time since she came inside the caravan circle, “I could never abandon someone in need. I’m just glad no one else got hurt… You can call me… Alithana…”

    Alithana’s right hand came up to her head, and Elda saw that she was sweating. Elda quickly felt her brow, and her eyes widened. She spoke loudly to the caravan, “Where’s the arrow she was shot with? Bring it here, quick!” Seconds later Alithana lost consciousness. Mari, the midwife, caught her from falling and laid her down slowly, a concerned look on her face.

    After a moment of confusion, one of the younger boys ran forward. He had been with Jorba’s group and grabbed the arrow off the ground after the fighting ended. Elda grabbed it and stared at the tip. During the sudden commotion, Gregor had started walking in their direction, and she turned toward him, “This arrow is covered with poison! We need to get her to Foabur now!”

    Gregor’s mouth fell agape, but he immediately turned to the caravan and began spouting orders to get everything packed up immediately. He had most of the supplies moved from the lead wagon into the others, and a group of them helped lay the elf into the now-empty wagon.

    Within a few minutes they were heading down the road south again, toward Foabur. It was past midday now, so they would be arriving at dusk. Elda and Seraphi stayed with Alithana in the wagon, and Gregor and another man rode up front.

    As they neared the town, the road leading to it became more crowded. People going to and from the various farms and outlying houses were on the road now, and the large caravan would normally be slowed greatly. Instead, Gregor took his wagon ahead and Jorba led the remainder of the caravan steadily toward the town.

    Splitting from the rest of the caravan allowed them to make it to the center of town in good time. Gregor had been to Foabur several times before, and knew where the cleric lived. He went straight there, dodging farmers and citizens in the road the entire time. Many people let out cries and complaints as they rushed past, and some man with a large wolf beside him just got out of the way and stared at them.

    They reached the house of Vicril Milner, Foabur’s only cleric. The other man sitting next to Gregor, Mareak, immediately went inside to inform Vicril of the situation. Gregor, Elda, and Seraphi carried the elf Alithana out of the wagon and inside.

    Vicril was accustomed to visits at any hour, so he hardly batted an eye. Gregor immediately spoke out, “Poisoned arrow fired by a bandit, around midday.”

    Gregor held out the arrow for Vicril to examine if needed. He looked at it a few moments and then responded, “How long did it take for symptoms to develop?” They were laying the unconscious elf onto a bed now

    Elda spoke this time, “Maybe ten minutes or so, and it was so sudden when they started to show…”

    Vicril finally got a good look at the patient as they laid her down on a bed, and he was stunned. “Is she…”

    “An elf?” spoke Gregor, “Yes, yes she is, but for now let’s keep it to ourselves. No idea how people will react.” After another moment of hesitation, Vicril pulled himself together and reviewed the information about the poisoned arrow, narrowing it down to which poison it could be.

    “It sounds like it’s Otiroot Extract. It can be found in the wilds, which could explain how the bandits had access to it. Since it’s common in the area, I should have the antidote, wait here.”

    As Vicril rushed off, Gregor turned to Mareak, “We can wait here, go ahead and take the wagon and get rooms at the inn for everyone,” and he handed him enough gold for the rooms needed. Mareak took one last look at the unconscious elf and then turned and left.

    A few minutes later, Vicril returned with the antidote and administered it.

    Alithana slowly opened her eyes. In the next few moments, she used her hearing and sense of smell to determine that no one was in the room, but some slow breathing let her know someone was sleeping on the far side of the room. Slowly, she sat up on the bed and surveyed the rest of the area. Outside the nearby window was darkness. However, for her, night was more comforting than the day, and even in the darkness she could make out the trees and buildings outside.

    The room was dimly lit by a few scattered candles, and noting a few crude instruments and medicinals, she realized this was likely a cleric’s home, and she suspected that the other person sleeping was a patient. Everything was plain and dull looking, compared to Elvish craftsmanship. It was her first time being in a human settlement.

    Looking at the sleeping person across the room, she could tell he was a younger man, with his left arm covered in bandages. Trying to move her own left arm, she found it difficult. This shoulder injury would be troublesome.

    The pain was there, but through strength of will she overpowered the pain, trying to force the arm to move. It was sluggish and weak, but it would heal, and even with a single arm she wasn’t in any real danger against human opponents, so she relaxed a bit and thought back to the fight.

    She had underestimated the human bandits that time, not expecting an archer skilled enough to land such a shot to be there, but he would never get another opportunity to do that. After being shot, she got a good look at him: blue eyed, dark brown hair, leather armor, and starting to show the signs of aging. She would remember his face.

    Suddenly, the person lying in the other bed across the room let out a low moan, likely from the pain of his injury. He opened his eyes and glanced around a bit, trying to figure out where he was. He sighed loudly after a moment, then painfully sat up and continued looking around the room.

    Eventually he focused on her, staring at her. He was utterly silent, obviously not expecting someone else to be in the room. For a moment, he appeared to want to speak, but then suddenly turned away and laid back down on the bed, facing away from her.

    She turned her legs to the side and stood up onto the ground. Her Elvish armor was thinner and lighter than leather, but tougher and form-fitting, allowing easy movement. The cloth armor was colored as black as night. Her staff was nowhere to be seen in the room, but she headed toward the door leading out of the room.

    The young man didn’t make any other moves and continued to face away as Alithana walked outside into the cool nighttime air. Taking a deep breath, she collected her thoughts:
    The others will probably be coming after me by now… Just obscuring my presence from scrying won’t be enough, but staying in a human settlement might be a good hiding place, as they won’t be eager to get spotted by humans. I think I can turn this to my advantage and find a way to reach Triln…
    She walked around the buildings, getting a basic lay of the land. It appeared to be a small town with a few dozen larger buildings in the center, surrounded by a variety of homes. After a time, she returned to the cleric’s home.

    The boyish man with the arm injury was asleep now. She was not experienced with any healing magic to do anything to even ease the pain, so she went back to the bed she was in before and laid down. Adjusting her hair to hide her ears, she entered into a half-sleep until morning. She would know if anyone came near, but no one did and the sun soon rose.

    Vicril the cleric woke up early as always. The first thing to do was to check out his son. A boar had done a number to his left arm, and Vicril was doing all he could to avoid it from getting infected. Thankfully a strange woodsman with a large wolf had saved his life and brought him here early into the night. He was eternally grateful to the man, as Trailo was his only son.

    Trailo was sleeping fitfully, but he didn’t have a bad fever and wasn’t sweating, so Vicril suspected that no infection had set in, thanks to the stranger immediately covering the arm with salves and bandages before even bringing him back to town.

    Vicril turned to the other patient, the strange elf that came in with the caravan. She seemed to be sleeping soundly now that the poison had been neutralized. He was still shocked that he would get to meet an elf once she awakens. He looked at her in the early morning light, perhaps the most beautiful women he has ever seen, but she looked quite young, way too young for him.

    From what he heard from the caravan’s leader Gregor, she was an incredible fighter as well, although Vicril had no idea if that was to be expected from an elf. Breaking away, he went to prepare some breakfast for his two patients—one his son and the other an elf.

    Last edited by Mythonian; 09-05-2014 at 01:37 AM.
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    Re: Chapter Two

    Player Characters mentioned/seen in Chapter Two: Trailo Milner, Jothal Wayland, Darik Rynthai.

    Player Perspective: Jothal Wayland

    Jothal was born in the rolling hills outside Foabur Town. His family lived a very rural life, surviving off what they could grow or hunt. He learned much of the wild through this, from what wild herbs were edible to how to fletch his own arrows. Once he was of age, Jothal helped his father hunt; often times this would lead them into the Endless Woods.

    On one particular trip, they came across a mortally wounded wolf mother, just given birth. From the looks of the scene, whatever attacked most likely had her litter for lunch. However, much to Jothal's surprise, soft barks and whines could be heard. Underneath some nearby brush, a young wolf pup lay strewn with several clawmarks across his side.

    With the approval of his father, they quickly wrapped the wounded pup up in spare bandage they brought with them on the hunting trip and carried him back to their cabin. Nursing the wolf pup back to health cautiously over the next weeks, Jothal slowly gained its trust in absence of its mother.

    Years later, Jothal lives on his own, still on the border to the Endless Woods. Ash, his wolf, has followed him this far in life. Living on the border, Jothal understands the balance that nature requires and takes only what he needs. While his life is quiet on the outskirts of the Endless Woods, he is hoping one day that an adventure will come to him...

    It was time for a trip to town. Certain supplies Jothal needed couldn't be foraged for, and while he could fletch arrows and and chip arrowheads from stones, steel arrowheads were far superior and reliable, and he was in need of more.

    He gathered his stuff and brought a pack with him. Ash, his trusted companion and closest friend, was by his side always. They had been through much together and trusted each other completely.

    He headed down the rough path from his home toward the main road. Reaching farmland soon, and after that came the road. It was the same route he always took, and the center of town was only a few miles south now.

    A few more minutes of walking, and Jothal turned around, hearing a bit of a ruckus coming from a wagon the was speeding down the road. They were going much faster than was safe, and he could hear the two men up front yelling for people to get out of the way. From what he could hear, they were headed for the town's cleric.

    Jothal pulled Ash and moved to the edge of the road to give them space, figuring it was probably someone from a farm that fell and broke a leg or something. Paying little attention to it, he continued walking toward town. His first stop was the blacksmith's forge.

    Entering the forge and approaching the man whose body was fully that of a blacksmith. Over 6 feet tall and heavily muscled, he reminded Jothal of some of the bears in the woods, just not quite as hairy.

    Speaking with the man, Jothal ordered 20 steel arrowheads. During the conversation, he realized that in the back room was a younger looking apprentice, who seemed to be looking at him every chance he got.

    He wasn't very comfortable being looked at so curiously like that, but simply gives the boy a short nod and makes a mental note that the apprentice was being a tad queer toward him.

    The blacksmith informed him that the arrowheads could be finished later today, but would take several hours to complete. Expecting this, Jothal left and headed toward the market to get a variety of meats and other foods. He hunted often, but never killed more than he needed to, and as such Ash was quite lean, more than most wolves.

    His next stop was the apothecary. Healing salves and bandages were essential for someone living alone in the woods. If he or Ash injured themselves, he had to be able to deal with it himself or the smallest scratch could get infected and kill him. He picked up the supplies he needed, loaded everything into his pack, and returned to the blacksmith's forge.

    The next few hours until the arrowheads were completed, he whittled some sticks he had brought with him into arrowshafts. Eventually, the blacksmith came into the forge and helped the apprentice finish the remaining arrowheads.

    A few minutes later, the blacksmith gathers the completed arrowheads into a bag and hands it to Jothal, who begins to inspect them. Several of them are quite well-made, likely the few the blacksmith made himself. Most are decent but not impressive, but a few are quite poorly made. Jothal suspects that the apprentice needed a bit of practice to learn the process of making them, and these were the first he tried.

    He takes out the six poorly made ones, handing the back to the blacksmith and speaks, "I am sorry, but I use my arrows for a living. Without proper equipment, I cannot make my living. Also, these arrowheads may not puncture an animal properly, leaving them to suffer, which I am against. I will pay for the rest full price though."

    The blacksmith takes a look at the arrowheads handed back to him. His brow furrows as he inspects them, and he then turns and apologizes to Jothal, blaming it fully on his lackluster apprentice whom is still learning the trade. Jothal notices that the apprentice boy is nowhere to be seen, likely aware that he'll be scolded for his bad workmanship.

    Completing the transaction, Jothal says "It's no problem; we all have to learn our trade at one point or another. It's part of life." Jothal leaves the forge, whistling for Ash to follow him, and heads toward the central square of the town, hoping to find some job offerings on the message board. He'll need a bit of extra money before winter.

    Finding a large variety as always, he ignores most of them. He has little interest in bounties and farmwork, but notices that the cleric is looking for someone to get him some herbs from the Endless Forest.

    Grabbing the paper advertising it, he recognizes the names of the herbs requested, and decides to get started immediately. He had no more business in town and heads west, the shortest route toward the edge of the Endless Woods. Quickly crossing the farmland and the sparse forest, he sees the boundary.

    The sparse forest suddenly becomes extremely dense. The foliage blocks out the sky, and even in daytime it appears to be twilight. Jothal know it's very easy to get lost and disoriented in the Endless Forest, but he has spent years in it and has learned some ways to figure out where he is heading.

    The boundary between the Endless Woods and the regular forests is very distinct. In nearly a straight line, from north to south, is a row of large deciduous trees, the same trees that make up the entirety of the Endless Woods. The regular forests have much smaller trees in comparison, and they are more spread out. It's always been a mystery why it is like that, but Jothal learned to accept it as reality long ago.

    Heading barely a hundred yards past the edge, the dense forest already blocks out the boundary completely. Every direction looks the same to most people, but Jothal begins heading west, regularly used the skills he has learned to ensure he continues in the direction he wants to head in. He keeps an eye out for the necessary herbs, planning to find some today, head home, and finish the rest tomorrow.

    Suddenly, a roar erupts from Jothal's right, toward the edge. Being an experienced hunter, Jothal recognized it to be a wild boar that was roaring, likely preparing to charge. Ash begins growling.

    Jothal knew that wild boars were not meant to be toyed with. The thickness of the forest made visibiltiy poor, so Jothal ran toward the sound. Nearing the edge ahead of him, a terrified scream came to his ears, and moments later he saw the boar attacking someone, pinning the person to the ground and biting viciously into the person's arm, shaking harshly.

    Immediately pulling out an arrow, Jothal fires toward the boar. He decides to keep Ash back, not wanting to risk Ash getting injured himself. The arrow flies, but in his haste and trying to prevent Ash from charging ahead, the arrow embeds itself into a tree.

    Yelling at the boar to get it's attention, Jothal readies another arrow. The boar seems to completely ignore him, so this time Jothal lets Ash charge ahead and aims carefully, firing the arrow and sinking it deep toward the board heart. Stunned and in pain, the boar releases the boy and tries to turn toward Ash.

    Too slow, the boar cannot turn before Ash collides into its side, digging his fangs into the boar's throat. Jothal rushes forward to check the victim, and Ash quickly finishes off the boar. He realizes that this was the blacksmith's apprentice, although he couldn't figure out why the boy would be out here at this time of day.

    Noticing the severely injuried arm, he quickly removes some of the healing salve he bought and covers the wound with it and then wraps it in bandages. Jothal does not know enough about treating this serious an injury, so he takes up the apprentice in his arms, although a bit awkwardly as the apprentice is as large as him, and begins to carry him back to the town.

    Panting as he finally reaches the cleric's home, he bangs on the door. Darkness has now fallen and it is night, but in just a few moments the door opens. The cleric is accustomed to being needed at all hours, so this was not too unexpected. He immediately sees the apprentice and his eyes widen, "Trailo!?"

    The cleric takes him from your arms, which is a welcome relief to Jothal's wornout body. As the man rushes inside and lays him on a bed, he explains about the boar attack. The cleric carefully removes the bandages and salves to get a look at the injury. He gasps at the torn flesh and gets to work immediately, paying little attention to the ranger.

    Jothal looks around a bit, noticing that this room has numerous beds for patients, mostly empty except for one on the far side of the room. It's too dark to see anything, except that it's occupied.

    After a few minutes, the cleric stepped back a little bit and turned to the ranger, "Thank you for saving my son, stranger. He was a fool to have been looking for herbs so close to the Endless Woods near dusk, but he will live. If you ever need anything, I am in your debt sir."

    After a moment, the man continued, "You should be able to find a room at the inn for the night. I can reimburse you for the cost as thanks. I am truly grateful, friend. My name is Vicril, and this is my son Trailo."

    Jothal smiles and bows his head. "I am Jothal, of the Wilds. I am glad I could help, Vicril. You save people every day, this is the least I could do."

    Exchanging a few pleasantries before leaving, he begins to head toward the inn. The innkeeper wakes from a light slumber, and Jothal informs him that he needs a room. The innkeeper is surprised by the wolf, but Jothal calms him down and assuring him that Ash won't cause any trouble.

    After a moment, the innkeeper responds, "You're in luck, there's a single room still available. A large caravan came in today and took nearly every room I had. It's 12 copper for a night, includes breakfast, here's the key. Breakfast is served shortly after dawn." After a moment, "Food for your friend there is gonna be an extra 2 copper."

    Jothal blinked in surprise for a moment. Foabur was not the smallest town, but that was a pretty large caravan coming in. He wondered what they were doing here. Jothal gave the man 12 coppers only, as he planned on giving Ash the food he had bought earlier today.

    Nodding towards the man to bid him goodnight, Jothal pulled his cloak tightly around himself as he excused himself to his room...
    Last edited by Mythonian; 09-04-2014 at 10:42 PM.
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