Plot: Wyvernwater



  • Everything regarding the Wyvernwater plot.

    Writers:
    Trystan E'leluath - Mayhem
    Theliobar - Sithspawn
    Katherine Rogers - Jared
    Abigail Crows - O'louth
    Adre Darksteel - lizard-man



  • Alright:

    INTRO - Sithspawn/Theliobar

    Part I - Jared
    BEGINING - Begining of Wyvernwater
    END - TBA

    Part II - O'louth
    BEGINING - From Abigail joining WvW
    END - Abigail getting fired

    Part III - lizard-man
    BEGINING - From pvt rank at WvW tourney (with wail of banshee etc.)
    END - Fall of WvW + "exodus"

    Theliobar - Sithspawn
    Narrator-ish snippits

    Conclusion - State of WvW after all what happened, something about unsuccesful forays made to end the demon menace. Likely covered as Adre unless someone can get a better angle on it.



  • @WvW:

    Introduction
    Freelance Adventurer

    Deep within the carved stone of the City of Caravans; Arabel, the gem of Cormyr, sat a man unshaven for at least a couple of weeks humming a morbid tune in one of the city’s fine cells. He was a large man, broad shouldered, scarred, the typical war veteran who didn’t want to turn to farming, and instead opted for Adventuring. A notched battle axe was knotted into place at his belt, while the dented towershield he’d relied on for years past hung loosely from a shoulder. A guard came up to the bars of the communal cell and rattled the bars with his halberd’s shaft. The inmates all looked to the bars, before the guard pointed at the man with the axe.

    Adre fumbled around a little to lift a bag over his spiked shoulder-pad before making his way up to the bars. The guard’s face was hidden as always, completely impossible to tell who it was, and his voice was as blank as any other. “Name.”
    “Darksteel. Adre Darksteel.”
    “Occupation.”
    Adre scratched the back of his neck. “Adventurer, I used to serve in a militia up nea-“
    “Crime.”
    Sigh. The prisoner held both his arms at either side of himself, letting his hair hang over his forehead just short of his eyes, before looking back at the guard, no longer with a resigned look to his eyes.
    “I beat the snot outta the scum who was flinging rocks at me.”
    The guard paused, before finishing the writing in his notebook and walking off. Adre waited at the bars, until the boots sounded once more, coming back. “Seems this ain’t the first time you’ve been taken in for…” He glanced down at his notebook. “Beating the snot out of someone. You keep going on like this and I’ll put you down for serious crimes. If I see you down here again you won’t see the light of day for a month at least buddy, and if it’s armed assault the next time you can wave bye-bye to this here city. Got it?”
    Deep breath. Take it easy, you’re in far enough as it is. “Aye. Aye sir, no problem.”
    “Good.” The guard lifted his halberd off the wall and unlocked the door to let out Adre.

    Chapter I
    Return of the Archmage

    Adre sat hunched with his cloak pulled tight around himself. It was another rainy day in the windswept crags of the village of Wyvernrest. It was a fool’s errand to be out in the wilds this day, no animal would show its face to this storm, let alone anything with half the brains of a goblin cook. Oh he’d come a long way since the times when he was still brawling in the city, with nought but scraps of metal to call armour. A long way. At current he was still trying to get used to his new armour, though how he got it was a tale in itself. A golden, gleaming waraxe, a huge shield that was barely scratched and a full stomach, he’d come a long way indeed. Now he was sitting on the edge of a rocky land cliff with a pathetic little torch, earning some seven or eight coins an hour. Wyvernrest was his home now, a small village perched on the edge of the lake, the Wyvernwater. Together with it’s rag-tag Wyvernguard and the villager’s Wyvernwatch and the Wyvern’s Nest inn and the Wyverncouncil – he never did check up on that one – it was pretty obvious that whoever picked names wasn’t very imaginative. There wasn’t even a sole wyvern to be found in its wilds, just a bunch of hungry animals and bloody monsters.

    In the village itself he’d gotten to know a few of the inhabitants. There was the councillor Markus Markalay who was constantly trying to get hold of more construction materials – mostly with the help of a brutish half-orc woman who would be arrested for disturbing the peace were she to wear anything more revealing. Of the militia itself, the only members he got to know in his first few weeks were the life and soul of the land. Katherine Rogers as the Warden, and Myra Talanyl who was head of the spellguard division. There was also lieutenant Belinda Faldenmere, a cleric of Oghma as it turned out who wore spectacles by day and fought with dire wolves by night. Vino Bross was the only scout Adre got to know well, with a moustache as jumpy as a goblin snot-flinger on haste magic. However, Wyvernwater was far from just a village with a motley crew of workers and lively facial hair, even in the middle of nowhere power struggles were abound, and without Theliobar around, the Archmage of Wyvernwater, nothing was certain.

    “You know, you should really watch out for Warden. I’ve a feeling she’s not even on our side.”
    “What? Well whose is she on then?”
    “Didn’t you see her before? Abigail Crows came and said she’d like to talk somewhere private – like a hidden cave somewhere far off in a forest – and she accepted!” Vino’s moustache was shifting dangerously from side to side, jumping up at every chance. He was in a rebellious mood. “I mean this was in front of what, three? Four of us? And she went alone. She trusts Crows to not stab her in the back and she treats us like dogs!”
    “I can’t say I’ve seen her get that worked up yet. What’s wrong with you?” Sergeant Darksteel turned from Vino to look off into the distance of the wildlands. It was a clear morning and it wouldn’t be likely for them to catch anything much at this time of the week. “Do you think she’s actually a threat?”
    “Gods, Adre. Can’t you see? Oh, well I suppose you weren’t here before anyways. Listen, it shouldn’t be Kat managing Wyvernwater’s military, it should be Myra! She’s got the know-how and the connections to hold her own you see.” Oh boy, well he does have a point you know? “Kat’s making Wyvernwater look weak.” Vino spat to his side.
    “She’s Warden. She’ll blab all she wants but in the end it’s not her doing the dirty work. I can make sure the job gets done, she’s just there to call the shots.”
    “And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. She’s not content with just calling the shots she wants to be there to see them happen too, and she’s not able to do that. Kat wants to keep us on her leash but if she does that we just can’t do our job right no more. Trust me, I’ve known her longer than you and let me tell you that the only reason she’s Warden is because of some dirty-tricks she pulled. Everyone knows she’s not up to the job.”
    “Lt Faldenmere seems to think she’s alright.”
    “Well of course she does, I bet she only got that promotion because of some deals Warden made. And now? Now she thinks you can be her bodyguard so she’s raising you to sarge, but you’re not going to become her puppet, are you?”
    “Hell no. I’ll stick to my ways, but that doesn’t mean getting involved with any of this stuff, right? You and Myra can do what you like, I ain’t getting involved.”
    “You think it’s just me and Myra? Damn Adre, I bet over half the militia here feels the same way. Warden’s nothing but a two-bit opportunist who’s nabbed the best paying job out there and is now surrounding herself with ‘like-minded individuals’ if you get what I mean. Before Abigail got discharged outta here, she made sure to name Kat as ‘acting Warden’ understand? They’re in league with each other – it just ain’t right!”

    The two men walked back through the wilds until they reached the path. From there Vino went off-duty and headed for the city while Adre went towards the village instead. Sitting on the bench was the councillor Markalay, looking somewhat glum but lighting up his face when he saw Adre.

    “Sergeant! Good to see you. Good to see you. Congratulations on the promotion by the way, I knew a rough and tough man like you would make it in this village.”
    “Thanks, councillor.”
    “You know, I’m thinking of how we can get more resources collected here, I mean like wood, stone and iron. Puugdush is fine with her axe, but that’s just one worker I mean. Any ideas, sergeant?”
    “No, councillor.”
    “Pity, perhaps a sending could be made to ask for people to come? Mentioning the pay?”
    “Yes, councillor.”
    “Perhaps- Oh! Here’s Warden Rogers.” Adre looked over his shoulder to see the Warden walking briskly into the village through the gates. Smiling, waving, is she my boss?
    “Councillor Markalay.” The words could not have been said more coldly if she tried, but a rigid smile was held over her face. “Good to see you well, is everything alright?”
    “Yes, Warden, I was just discussing the resource situation with the good sergeant Darksteel – it’s Darksteel, yes? Good, I can’t see through helmets unfortunately – and was about to ask for a sending to be-“
    The ground jumped. Markus stopped his speech and started open-mouthed at the gates. Again the ground shook and once he’d made sure it was still under his feet, Adre turned around to face the gate as well. Standing between the gate was a statue that had certainly not been there before, and it carried a staff. More prominently noticeable though, he was surrounded with floating runes that emitted a blue light, and encased in an iridescent sphere. Yet more eye-catching was the twenty-foot tall golem made of sleek dark metal that was certainly a step or seven up from iron. The golem was staring right past the trio, as the statue simply stood there.
    “M-my lord? Theliobar?”
    “Is that Theliobar?” Warden looked to her left at the councillor’s words. “It might be that wizard who turned Adre into stone again. Be ready.”
    But Markalay edged forwards despite the warning, until the statue tilted its head a little suddenly, making the three almost jump.
    “Councillor, what has been going on in my estate during my absence.” The figure started to walk forwards, while the golem behind him took up a position beside the gate and stood guard. “I am tired, so keep it to the point.” By now Theliobar had walked past Markalay and was standing in front of Adre, looking over him and rubbing a crusty chin.
    “Ah- Yes, milord, right – right this way – I’ll explain everything in the uh, Wyvern’s Rest Inn. Right this way.”

    Adre relaxed his stance and watched the archmage walk away, until Kat speaking brought him back to his senses. “My gut tells me it’s Theliobar, but keep an eye out anyways sergeant. We haven’t seen him underneath the stone skin and he might be an impostor. I’m going to follow him in and have a chat with the two. Get yourself in uniform meantime, let’s show him just how disciplined we can be, hm?”
    Uniform? It occurred to Adre he was still wearing a dyed suit of fullplate armour. Uniform? If I’m not in uniform, then just what is she in? No one had made any fuss about the uniform to date. This was the same armour he wore when fighting giants for his sergeant’s pay, surely it was good enough for his employer. Warden was already gone though, too late to argue. Adre made his way to the garrison, but before he was even out of the garrison gates he’d decided not to wear uniform.

    Back at the garrison the most of the men were at their usual stations, so Adre went inside the garrison itself, which was a cave outfitted with a couple of doors, a table, some bunks and other necessities. Tragil was just leaning back in the only chair, playing around with a piece of string he must have acquired off a bunk. He swiftly rose and salutes as Adre entered.
    “Tragil, Theliobar’s back.”
    “Oh? Really? I mean, great, now what?”
    “Get the men out on the garrison grounds, we’re to appear spick-and-span as a tidy bed no one’s been pulling strings out of.”
    “Yessir.” With a technique that still baffled Adre, Tragil raised his voice within a sentence to one recognised by any soldier, anywhere. The effect of this was an unparalleled ability to strike fear into the hearts of the other privates. “Parade order, on the grounds in five minutes! And bythegods, any man who’s not-out-of-their-bunk-by-the-time-I-open-this-door, that man is a volunteer for fighting the very next dire bear we get!” There was a bit of a groan from the other side of the door, before Tragil added: “Naked!”
    Adre was simply staring at the door to the guard quarters, from where what sounded like someone falling off one of the top bunks and hitting their nose on the solid stone floor was heard. There were a couple minutes or so of general hustle and bustle, a lot of clanking metal plates followed by the door being swung open. One by one each of them ran out onto the grounds, followed by the last one who was holding a bleeding nose with one hand and leaning his head back. Tragil flashed a triumphant grin, before locking the door and joining the rest up top.

    Surprisingly, Theliobar was not making his way to the garrison though the men lined the entrance. They visibly relaxed when the only one to come through was Warden. “Stand down men, at ease. Theliobar is back as some of you may have heard, but he will not be inspecting the garrison at this time. You can go back to whatever it was you were up to.” Some of the privates gave Adre a meaningful glance before moving off, it was just as well their helmets hid the expressions. “Oh, and sergeant, I’d like a word.”

    Right now, Adre stood on The Cliff. This was where wills were broken and men were made. At least, that was perhaps how he might have described it to new recruits. In actual fact, The Cliff was just where you’d be taken to have a private chat about your career usually. It probably just got over-hyped because everyone saw you go up there and therefore knew something was up.

    “Adre, I know you’re a trustworthy man and that’s why I need to speak to you here. Privately.” Kat looked far more sincere than usual, and had that conspiratorial look about her that usually preceded being drawn into politics. Oh boy. “I’m sure you know the good councillor Markalay well, yes?”
    “Perhaps not ‘well’-well, but more like ‘I get along with him’ kind of well.”
    “Fine, fine. Either way, he’s open with you and doesn’t suspect anything.” This was met with a raised eyebrow. Should he? “You see, I have heard a… most disturbing rumour, that our own Markus Markalay is none other than the man who used to be friends with the best assassin in Arabel.”
    There was a small pause, before Adre managed to decide he ought to speak his mind. “And? Something’s wrong about him because he used to be pals with an assassin before he knew better?”
    “No, you’re missing my point. I want to know if he’s still involved with… it, still. Just see if you can’t uncover something. And if you do, then let me know immediately. I can’t emphasise how important it is to handle this expertly and discreetly.”
    “No, I don’t think you need to, Warden.” Adre saluted stiffly and marched off down the slope towards the garrison. Hells, Vino was right, and now she’s trying to take out Markus!
    “Oh, and Adre, while you’re going to the garrison, mind mentioning something to the lads for me?”
    “What?”
    “I’m no longer acting Warden.”
    Adre stared blankly from his helmet.
    “The Lord Theliobar has named me Daywarden Rogers.”

    Chapter II
    Wolf Pack

    Wyvernwater was only getting stranger by the day since Theliobar’s return. What’s the one most improbable thing that could happen to this small village in the middle of nowhere, beset by beasts, monsters, pacifists and worst of all: Tree huggers? Well this was possibly not the most incredible happening, but it certainly ranked pretty high. Thing is, with Wyvernwater, politics were not what the Guard was hired to deal with. Especially situations where peace-talks were concerned, and these Tree huggers really had strange ways to show they come in peace. In this case it was a naked elf woman standing between the gates waiting for someone to take notice.

    Unluckily for Adre, he was just making ready to leave on the next caravan back to the city. It was dawn now and the air was still and misty outside the garrison. There was a soft thud as he dropped his rucksack in shock, followed by removing his helmet, rubbing his eyes thoroughly and then trying his eyesight again to convince himself he wasn’t seeing ghostly woman trying to enter the garrison gates. The nightshift does this kind of stuff to people, especially when you’ve been drawing it for three days in a row.
    A soft, haunting voice called from the gate. “You are of the Archmage’s men?” The figure stepped forwards a little, and Private Cooke almost jumped into the air as he noticed the elf for the first time, passing through the gate.
    “Blimey! Varis, I think – I think, Varis! – I think Sune’s heard your prayers!” Varis shot his head up and mumbled an apology systematically of how he’d had little sleep last night, and hadn’t been making off at the bar and getting drunk and certainly had not forgotten to feed the dog again. “No you goblin fu- I mean, Sergeant Darksteel!”
    The elf scanned the inside of the garrison walls, and it seemed she was almost not hearing Cooke’s frenzied conversation and the blank stares of the rest of the Guard. Tragil stormed out of his cave like some disturbed ogre, mouthing off all the way until he was also standing gaping at the strange spectacle. “Are you, or are you not one of the Archmage’s men?”
    Adre finally managed to muster up some words, though they didn’t quite sound as great in the air as they had in his head. “We be – I sergeant - yes. Who’re naked… woman you?” Tragil coughed into his fist after a pause that lasted far too long. “I mean yes – yes. We’re the Wyvernguard, and I’m Sergeant Darksteel. Now who’re you?”
    “I am here on behalf of the grove. The druids send their-.”
    “Right!” In a couple of seconds half a dozen guard rods were aimed at the elven woman, even Debale joined in from outside the gates, brandishing his own at the chance of arresting someone. “You’re nicked.”

    So much for having a decent day’s rest, Adre was now sitting back in the garrison’s one chair, nursing the bandage covering his right arm from shoulder to elbow, while waiting for Tragil to find Theliobar. Wherever he was, the man had a problem of teleporting all over the place, making it increasingly hard to pin him down. The druids really had no business down in Wyvernwater, after all it was them who had lead an attack upon it before, trying to burn down the houses and all. Goddamn tree huggers, never know when to quit. Could never tell what they’d try next either. Adre lowered his hand to give the garrison’s emaciated hound a ruffle between his ears, only to find he was feeling thin air.
    “Woof!” Traitorous mutt! The dog was wagging its tail happily at the barred jail door, on the other side of which the elven druid sat smiling and stroking him. An apple core lay to the side of him.
    “Down boy! Come here, don’t fraternise with the enemy, that’s treason that is!” Adre rose up out of the chair and the dog gave the briefest of glances over, for the first time since he’d been here, the dog’s expression was almost a smile. The Sergeant faltered, unsure of what to do. The elf took the opportunity to stand up, while the dog curled up into a ball and lay outside the bars, as close as he could to the druidess. “What spell have you put the poor fellow under, witch?”
    “Why none, man-of-the-Archmage, it appears rather that you’ve not been feeding your… pet very much.” The dog raised its head and let out a quiet whine to nod its agreement. The elven woman furrowed her brows and looked at Adre questioningly. “Why do you put me behind these bars?”
    “What? What kinda question is that? You and yours are the reason this village was almost gone off’f the map. There’s two major threats I’ve been told of to Wyvernwater – beasts and monster tribes aside – and one of those are druids, and the other be elven warbands. Now you’re a druidess or so you said, and you’re an elf.”
    The woman cut in: “And I come unarmed. Alone.”
    Adre raised a finger. “Now you listen here!” But his mouth lost the plan and he simply stared. “You listen here, miss elf.”
    “Nessa. I am Nessa.” Nessa, well at least it wasn’t one of those long elven names. “The High Druidess.” Adre’s finger dropped limply.
    “You’re in charge of the druids?”
    “We are a gro-“
    “No no no, you’re in charge of the druids?”
    “In a manner of speaking, perhaps.” Well if he didn’t get promoted for capturing the High Druidess trespassing and possibly preparing hostile actions against Wyvernwater, Adre didn’t know what would happen. A bonus to his salary at the least. Nessa dug into what looked like a small pouch attached to a circle of wood that served as a belt of sorts, and pulled out several bottles. “You look hurt, man-of-the-Archmage, drink these.”
    Adre recognised healing potions in all their guises, and the trio of bottles Nessa revealed were as big as the biggest potion bottle he’d managed to lay his hands on. She dropped them with some clinks by the dog, stretching her arm through the bars. Must be worth more than a hundred gold, that’s like several days’ wages. Nessa waited, and Adre fought to keep himself from the bottles – they must be poison! Don’t touch them man! Marching quickly, Adre scooped up the bottles, inspecting them. The elf seemed to have returned to playing with the dog and looking away. This was his chance, no one would even know. “The day I ‘ccept ‘healing potions’ from a druid I’ve never met afore, is the day that…” Now that’s a tough one. “…the day that – the day that druids are allowed back into Wyvernwater!” Good save. He strolled back to his chair, sat back down and set the bottles on the table. Nessa looked up from the dog and gave him a puzzled look, before a sound like glass breaking a thousand times over sounded behind Adre’s head.

    Theliobar nodded in passing while Adre tried to recover from shock, and stand back up despite the encumbrance of his armour. When his eyesight had returned there was the distinct flavour of burnt flesh hanging in the air. The dog had edged away from the cage and was loyally sitting at its post once more. “Archmage.” Nessa’s voice was still controlled, though how in the Nine she could contain her senses right now was beyond Adre. “I am here to… negotiate.”
    Theliobar gave her a scrutinous look, with Adre’s cursing slowly dying out in the background. “And you decided to come… naked?”
    “Surprisingly even that is not enough to convince your men that I come unarmed, in peace.”
    The Archmage looked over his shoulder at Adre, now trying to get his helmet back on, before turning back. “To be honest, druid, I would have preferred that they –“ He paused, contemplating at the ceiling before snapping his fingers. “- ah yes, ‘roughed you up’ a little. Your kind isn’t wanted here, and I’ll make you sorry for showing your face in here yet.” The wizard turned on the spot, his cloak now fully unfurled, and perhaps with added wind effects that were somewhat magical in nature.
    “Wait, I have come to talk of peace. The druids shall leave you be if you agree.” He stopped just at the first of the steps out of the cave and looked back at Nessa. There was a long silence as Adre glanced between the two, before from the cave mouth came the familiar, urgent shouts of Tragil.
    “Adre! Sergeant Darksteel! Theliobar’s on his way right now, I managed to catch him at-“ Theliobar politely stepped aside to let the bewildered Tragil back into the cave, before turning to Adre.
    “Sergeant, release the prisoner and bring her above ground. Get her some rags perhaps while you’re at it.”

    The last chapter is only half written there



  • While this isn't the -very- beginning of Wyvernwater, its pretty close. Quite a while before the town started getting made at least. More will come later, since this part is just the intro to the character.

    A could wind whistled through the trees as a small, lone figure made its way through the thickly forested area. A bit of sun filtered in through the trees, momentarily revealing the maroon coloured hair of the stealthy explorer. Quickly stepping back into the shadows of the trees, the figure pauses. Then, with a small chuckle, continues on through the woods.
    Stepping out into a small clearing, the figure was revealed to be a pretty teenage girl, ill-equipped but armed with a small, decrepit looking crossbow. At her side was a short sword attached to a rope belt on her old leather armor. Her green eyes scanning the area carefully, she presses on to the other side of the clearing and once again disappears into the woods on the other side of the clearing.
    The woods seemed darker in this area. No birds sang and the only animal life she noticed was a green snake that slithered out of her path as soon as she noticed it. Knowing the dangers of traveling in the wilds alone (but not caring enough to turn back), she loads a bolt into her crossbow with a click, and a small prayer to Tymora that the old thing would actually work if she fired it. Sliding along the edge of a cliff where it met the forest, she made her way farther to the north. Suddenly, she heard a deep, loud growling in the distance, then sounds of battle. Erring on the side of caution, she drops low and crawls on her belly towards the source of the commotion.
    After only a few moments, she comes to a clearing and sights the source of the sounds. A wounded dire wolf was busily attempting to chew off the platemail of a wounded, or perhaps dead, Wyvernwater militia person. A few seconds later, she spotted another one, this one in leathers, also lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood. Deciding that she had a good shot, she steadied her crossbow on a small boulder, aimed for the distracted dire wolfs head, and pulled the trigger. Without even looking to she if the quarrel hit the mark, she jumped up and scampered into the branches of the nearest tree to her. Glancing down at her foe, she saw that her aim had been true, as the massive wolf tried to hobble away from its meal, then dropping into the dirt. Shimmying down the tree and drawing her sword, she collected her crossbow and made her way, carefully, to the dire wolf.
    It had nearly been a perfect shot, the bolt protruding from the wolfs neck rather then its head, but that didn’t particularly bother her. She then moved over to examine the two militiamen. She couldn’t tell if they were dead, or just nearly dead, but she suspected the former. Sighing at her bad luck, she realized she couldn’t just leave them there. Gathering up a few large boughs from some low hanging branches, then fashioning a few long poles, she quickly completed a makeshift stretcher that would slide along the ground and hopefully allow her to carry both the men back to the garrison she had passed onto the way into this area. Doing her best to be gentle, whether it was necessary or not, she slid the two men onto the stretcher. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed onto the ends of the stretcher and tried to pull. Her slight frame could barely get it going, but once she had some momentum the design seemed to help and she was able to move it a few feet every after several minutes. It would be a long way back, she realized, and dangerous with the smell of blood from the two men.
    Night was near when at last she neared the territory that the workers in the area had started to clear for what was going to be the village of Wyvernrest. A small sigh of relief when escaped her when she realized her luck had stayed true and she passed through the woods unharmed, but her joy was short-lived when a goblin appeared from the bushes beside her. It seemed as startled to see her as she was to see it. Before it had a chance to open its mouth, a short sword blossomed from its chest, leaving the hands of it wielder barely seconds after she sighted the creature. Recovering the sword, she checked the goblin for any loose coins, gathered up a few coppers and a single silver, then grabbed the stretcher and pressed on.
    Most of the workers were asleep in there tents as she passed through the work area. One drunk lumberjack was about to make a pass at her, but then held back with fortunate conservatism when he noticed her dangerous seeming appearance, and the fact that she carried two dead men behind her. The man suddenly found his ale much more appealing. Grimacing, the young woman pressed on, nearly at the end of her strength, until she reached the bridge that led up to the Wyvernwater militia garrison, where she laid the stretcher down, then collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.
    Despite her fatigue, she noticed some hubbub coming from the garrison, then a lone figure in robes approached her. When the figure neared, she realized with a start that this was Theliobar, the owner of these lands. Pushing herself to her feet after deciding she did not want to confront such a powerful mage sitting down, she waited until he reached her. He glanced at her once, then down to the bodies, and demanded in a commanding tone, “What happened to my men?”
    Speaking quietly, she told the archmage of her experience in the woods, after which he quietly brooded in silence for a few moments. He then removed two scrolls from his pocket. The girl stepped back involuntarily from a mistrust of strangers that had been ingrained on her for most of her life. After intoning a few words, the archmage accessed the magic of the scrolls. Recognizing the spell as Resurrection, a divine spell with which she was familiar, she stood back to watch the spectacle as first the plate armored man gasped, his wounds closing over, then the other man in leather doing the same. She stepped a bit closer to examine the men, who appeared to be a little worse for wear after there ordeal.
    Not really expecting to be rewarded for her efforts, and satisfied that her task was complete and she could return to doing whatever it was she wanted, she turned to leave, but was stopped in her tracks by the authoritive voice of the archmage Theliobar. “Hold!” he commanded.
    She stopped and turned, green eyes looking into his own wordlessly as she waited to see what this powerful man wished.
    “What is your name?” he asked, in a more civil tone then she expected he could manage.
    “Kat. Kat Rogers,” the young woman replied
    The mage pondered this a moment, then looked her directly in the eyes with a piercing gaze.
    “Do you wish to join my militia?” he asked, temporarily surprising the girl.
    Kat pondered the question a few moments. She had never even entertained the idea of getting a job, but she knew that she had no place to stay, no food to eat and no money to spend. She also knew that there were much worse things that a girl like her could end up doing when they were desperate. Making a decision that would forever change the course of her life, she replied,
    “When do I start?”



  • DRAFT!

    Chapter 1:

    The wizard looking man and his robes at the far off East gate of Arabel was always an intriguing sight for Trystan. The red and black robed man was always attentive, speaking to those who spoke with him in a kind but professional voice. Just recently an upstart market dwelling merchant hawking various wares for the adventuring crowd, and sometimes appraising items for purchase, Trystan always wondered why people even went to that place called Wyvernwater. There was nothing for him there, no anvil, no leather stole, no bowyer shop. The only time he’d ever been there before was to speak with a man named Emery Morell. The man had hired him to post some bulletins about a paper he was starting, something called the Arabel Enquirer. The man paid him 200 gold coins to post them! Hah, a good deal. He turned away his gaze and continued selling his wares, exchanging coin and trying to hear the gossip floating from the blonde-haired elf girl standing on a stone amidst the trees of the market square, stealing admiring glances here and there at her form and grace. He’d heard she had a wicked tongue, but was too shy to find out.

    The call came over the system that sends voices throughout the city. It was from one of the more prominent merchant families in town, the Thond House. Apparently, an auction was to be had in their auction room, just north of the bustling market. Walking into the Wet Whistle Bar, curiously looking at his competition, Trystan spied a man with a glowing staff standing by the wall. He was an average height, but his features were hidden behind a stone wall of skin. His presence dominated the room, causing most of the people near him to give space. Trystan backed up into a booth, ordered an ale, and sat talking with some of the dwarves from the Iron Anvil, a merchant clan of dwarves that had helped him get started in his business, Trystan’s Trade.

    Pathfinder Senthent and Alarphon Wellington had spoken to him, pestering him about why he thought he needed that suit of stone. Theliobar was his name, and Trystan had no idea what lay in store for him with this man. The auction turned out to be way above his head. Items were being sold at four thousand, ten thousand coins. He might have two thousand in the bank. After walking out of the auction, Trystan had a sinking feeling about his future as a merchant in this highly competitive town. The only break he really had was that his one-time aquaintence, Cindy, the halfling merchant from the League of Trades disappeared, and caused a vacuum in market. Trystan quickly stepped in and made as much of a name for himself as possible.

    The following morning, Trystan awoke to the sounds of a herald crying out some news about Wyvernwater at the local bulletin board. His room’s window at the Dancing Dragon that night was facing the market area. He walked over to the window and shoved aside the thin burlap curtain that separated the morning air from his room. Below, a armored man in red and black colors was seen tacking up a parchment, complete with crest and fancy writing. Thinking nothing of it, he threw on his signature black and silver leather armor and cloak. He wiped his teeth using some salt water and a damp cloth. Walking out of the room with his sack of wares, he went straight passed the parlor on the bottom floor, skipping the smells of cooked sausage and fresh cut fruits. His interest was in making some coins for his business, so he can compete in the auctions.

    Having already forgotten about the morning herald, he struggled past the bulletin. His eyes were on the grassy area under the trees on the south end of the market square, directly across from Kesterby, the sausage seller. Having gotten his wares in place and crying out his newest trinket or possession, Trystan settled in for a long day at the market. The blonde haired elf was there, pretty as could be. He had met her once, at the DeSchurr Fortress. She was strikingly beautiful with sharp cheeks and high, pointy ears. Her blue eyes were sparkling in the morning sun. A customer asked over a few wares and Trystan quickly became engrossed in the merchant-customer affairs of his trade. During some bartering with a brown-haired man, wearing black and yellow armor, he felt a tug on his cloak, more of a slight, gentle, moving tug, nothing harsh to get his attention. Trystan’s immediate reaction was to draw his blade and apprehend a thief! However, as he reached for his blade, he spied the customer he was talking to smiling. Trystan turned his head as far over his should as he could to see the blonde haired elf drawing on his cloak with some white chalk. His new, black, cloak was now a stark background for what the girl had drawn… a rabbit. She looked up at him and smiled, “Bunny!” she said. Trystan, somehow struck by her smile, was also perplexed that this elf would be so bold as to draw on his cloak!

    “Miss, what was your name again?” Trystan asked.

    “Cleo.” she said.

    “Umm…” Trystan crinkles up his nose slightly, “why did you draw –that- on my cloak?”.

    “Because you are adorable and shy, and I wanted to. Besides, your back and this dark cloak made a perfect drawing board!” Cleo said as she giggled.

    “Right.” Trystan said. Now more intrigued than annoyed.

    “Merchant man, you need to look at that sign.” She pointed to the bulletin that had just been tacked up by the red and black armored man.

    “Why’s that? What’s it?” Trystan asked.

    “A place of your own, quit lugging all this stuff around silly!” Cleo said.

    Trystan peered off to the bulletin and saw some large letters offering a service. He packed up his gear and bid the customer a short adieu, noting the man didn’t really want to buy anything anyway. Kyle was his name. Good lad. Trystan walked over to the board and read the sign. "Rooms for Rent! Wyvernrest is renting rooms for 100 coins per week. Come and see what we have to offer. Contact the Wyvernwater Garrison, Warden Darksteel."

    “Now this could be interesting, but the trip from there to here everyday would eat up my profits.” Trystan said softly. He was on to something and his mind started spinning wheels. 100 coins, not bad. Even if he hardly used it, it was a great place to get away. He made straight way for the wizard looking man in the robes, and asked for passage to Wyvernwater. It was lunch, and he was hungry. he looked in his bag as the caravan made its way across the dusty roads to the land-surrounded body of water, Wyvernwater and the town of Wyvernrest. The apple he bought from Cleo was fresh, and it made him think of her.

    Chapter 2



  • Mayhem: I like it, and it looks like it could fit in seamlessly the way it's laid out. This stuff will be changed in editing probably anyways, but I should say it here as well to avoid confusion later on:
    In pargraphing, take a new line for a new speaker in conversation, or generally when simply making the read easier. Double-spacing (leaving an empty line between the last paragraph and the next) should be done when you're either changing the time/setting, or starting a conversation. eg:

    The town was crowded. There were lots of people about. They had guns. A few even carried bazookas. A merchant shouted that he had bigger guns for sale than the other. Someone shady was standing by a lamp-post and glaring around at anyone who get too close, threatening to cut off vital body-parts if they didn't 'shove off'.
    Mr. Protagonist walked past a group of gun-merchants. He thought how pointless life was with all these guns going about, and started walking home.

    When he got home, there was his pet talking-dog waiting on the couch, reading today's newspaper.

    "You took your time" Said the dog.
    "I was delayed." Said Mr protagonist.

    Chapter IV
    Taste of Defeat

    On the day of the games, it seemed clear sky for once, but as chilly as any evening beside the Wyvernwater. The Warden was standing on the hilltop on the Garrison’s grounds while two teams shuffled into place for a practice run. Adre, Belinda and some Privates were to be maintaining the peace in the area for the brawl, since ultimately that’s what it was. Of the two teams though, it seemed somewhat unbalanced. There was the Banite priest, Raemos Dagmoth who had turned up to see what was happening, and Alysa Lyonarshby, a fighter Adre had defeated in a tournament before, but barely. But Kat’s expectations for the day was not changed by any of this. The sun was shining with pale light from the west, and it was time to start the preparations.

    “Alright, Wyvernguard move into the wilds and check the perimeter again before taking your positions. I’ll follow with the two teams in a few minutes.”

    Myra was not on duty at the time it seemed, neither were Vino or Ekhmet. Surprising, though Raemos had turned up. By the time Kat lead the two teams into the clearing just before where the wilds truly started, the light had gone from pasty white to orange as the last rays of day settled. “I want a clean round people. If an enemy yields you let them go. If the fall and don’t attempt to rise up you should count that as them yielding. Whichever team has the last man or woman standing on the fort area, wins.” Katherine’s voice was shrill in the biting cold that now swept over Wyvernwater. “Go!”

    There was a pause. None of this seemed right, it was all pointless somehow. It didn’t seem as if anyone had any particular desire to see what would happen, and the raw air left even Adre feeling the futile attempt this was. The pause lengthened until Kat herself started walking, then one of the bowmen from a team ran in, and soon followed the rest.

    The moon was rising high, and the wilds were still, thankfully. Nothing moved between the trees save for the contenders, who were itching to let loose on the other team before the reached the fort. Something was still very wrong though, Adre and Kat were running with the teams towards the fort, but none of the other Privates who should have been standing guard were in sight.
    Adre called out ahead. “Ho!” The breath clouded as it came out of his mouth, the temperature seemed to have dropped to freezing point as he waited for an answer. There was some noise up ahead in the distance from the direction of the fort. Mist was falling fast as the teams rumbled silently to their goal, and it was becoming increasingly hard to make out anything in the distance. There was some shout from ahead, a wolf’s howl followed it.
    “Sergeant, get that axe of yours out and clear the path!.”
    Adre pushed himself past the others and started running in earnest. All the travelling he’d done along paths now forgotten had given him a bear’s endurance and relentlessness. He pelted up the slope, as the noises of wolves ripping into flesh came. The guard rod that hung by his side beeped a deep red and rumbled in its strap to his belt. “Belinda!” There came no answer. He slowed as he came upon the scene. A body lay mauled with its insides hanging from bloodied mouths of a pack of dire wolves. It was impossible to tell who it was from where he stood, but his eyes were drawn to the pack itself. There were at least half a dozen dires, big as a man and with grotesque canines embedded in their jaws. Without warning the closest one dropped the guardsmen’s thigh from his mouth and jumped for Adre. There was barking erupting around him as he barely managed to push the monstrous wolf away without falling over. An arrow flew over his shoulder and pierced a wolf’s shoulder, but the beast didn’t even seem to notice. Instead he rushed at Adre with gaping jaws again, but this time a golden waraxe rammed into his cheek from below, cracking its neck with the force of the blow. The two teams slowed to a halt as they reached the scene, some of them joined in, until the pack finally retreated back to the forest. While Adre caught his breath, the Warden lowered her bow and went over to the lifeless corpse in the center of the ‘fort’.
    “It’s Bel, those wolves must have got the jump on her. Adre, take her back and see if Salds can save her.”
    Adre looked through his helmet visor at her. She seemed so calm about the whole thing, he’d expected her to break her shell and burst into tears or something when the true horrors of battle were finally revealed, young as she was it was made yet more unnerving.
    “Sergeant! That’s an order, now!”
    Adre lifted up the mangled corpse onto a shoulder and began marching back towards the garrison. He could hear Kat issuing orders to the teams to start again. As he cut through the trees though, a strange sight greeted him. Three men were walking through the woods. At the front of the column was - it seemed - a cloud of shadows, encircling an elf sized being with a staff, giving off a pale green light at its head. The second man was hard to make out; though his armour was so dark it seemed almost to suck the light from around itself. The third on the other hand stuck out like a sore thumb, wearing shiny bright blue chain mail and waving a cheerful hello to Adre as the troupe passed. The blue one he recognised, Kevin Morenson, which meant one of the other two must have been Ristin Tiavor. The two were a tourney duo, arranging arena brawl after arena brawl in the city, and he hadn’t clicked with either of them. Both were now his enemies after he had said Kevin couldn’t sing, and if he had his way, they would be rotting in separate cells. Unfortunately, the garrison only had one cell.

    After a treacherous walk through the forest, weighed down by Belinda’s lifeless body, Adre finally emerged into a clearing, and the garrison road lay ahead. No sooner than he had raised a foot though, the guard rod beside him began its tune once more. He hastily dropped Bel and ran back towards the forest. Trust Morenson and Tiavor to make his job harder.

    The leaves on the ground crunched under his metal boots, and suspicious eyes watched from behind the trees. He had no time to check his back and just ran as well as he could, encumbered by his drawn shield and axe. There was no noise coming from the distance ahead, nothing to suggest an emergency, not even a bear roared in triumph. Regardless, the guard rod continued to blip faster as he drew closer to where he had left the other Wargame hopefuls.

    “Staff down, it’s the law of the land.”
    “Very well.” The elf-sized figure lay down his staff by the nearby cliff-face, surprisingly without the slightest hint of annoyance. It was getting hard to make him out, and Adre realised that the light was actually dimmer around him than it was elsewhere.
    “State your business.” Kat was standing facing the creature, weapon drawn. Morenson and Tiavor stood to the side, and he just knew they were whispering some plot or other. The combatants stood back, though a few were still armed and bloody from the dire wolf ambush.
    “I don’t have time for this.”
    “State your business, or you’ll be stating it from behind bars.” Morenson took a casual step back from the creature.
    “As you wish.” For a brief moment, the elf-sized man dug into various pockets, and eventually pulled out a rolled piece of paper. All eyes lay on him as he steadily unrolled it.
    “Stop him!” Kat gave the shout and the present guardsmen rushed at the being. He couldn’t have been more than twenty feet away from the furthest guard, and yet in seconds a terrific jolt shot through Adre and his head felt like it was about to shoot off. His shield-arm felt numb but he realised he was still running and drew his axe back for a swing. Another scroll came out indifferently from a side-pocket, and another blast shot through the forest. Birds flew off as fast as their wings could carry them, and this time Adre was blown sideways. His shield flung through the air as it was wrenched free and his whole body twisted with the force, but he managed to stay standing. In an instant his eyes took in the stilled form of a helmeted guard, resting against the far cliff wall and smoking under the armour. Warden was trying to get back up, a mane of tangled hair sizzling from under her helmet, and then he was running at the mage again. A few of the combatants rushed in, but they were being quickly dispatched with a quick volley of spells, except for Lyonarshby. The only two to reach the wizard before falling were Adre and her, and the moment he could swing his axe at the wizard’s side, the creature almost flung a scroll into his face and he felt the ground grinding past him as he rolled backwards over the rough ground. There was a sharp pain throbbing through his body under his armour of burns, he found himself unable to lift his head, and eventually the sounds of fighting faded, along with the world.



  • Chapter 2 – DRAFT

    Trystan climbs off the back of the wagon, grabs his various bags and struggles to the double wooden palisade that looms between two cliffsides. The small stream that cuts between the valley and the caravan route is crossed using a stone bridge. Some of the caravans’ guards trudge through the hip-high water without hesitation, but Trystan is more concerned about his wares getting wet than his boots.

    As he comes to the large double gates, a few guards in the red and black armor he’d seen before are on duty, asking each traveler their business. As Trystan was mostly alone besides a few commoners and the odd mercenary, he quickly makes his way through the line.
    “State your name and business” asks the guard, not mentioning his own, as if it mattered.
    “Trystan E’ Leluath, here to see Warden Darksteel about the rooms for rent.”
    “Fine. Enter the cave and ring the bell, he might be in.” replied the guard.

    Trystan enters the cave somewhat hesitantly, not sure what to expect. A large rope hung from the ceiling of the cave, to some device he couldn’t see. He gave it a hardy pull and he heard some bell. He looked around, nodded at the lone man sitting behind a table. He was a blonde haired man, a large ring hanging from his belt, with a few keys attached. The man didn’t speak, didn’t even acknowledge Trytsan’s presence. Trystan, now feeling even more ill at ease, takes a seat at the edge of one of the chairs against a wall, a small corridor that led to a single set of bars that looked like it held a jail cell behind.

    Seemingly out of thin air, a highly distinguished man appears, his large flowing robes are red and black, he carried a staff of what looked to be immense power. Trystan gets to his feet as the blonde haired guard rises and acknowledges the man’s presence with a stiff bow. Trystan follows suit and give the man a bow, not sure if he should speak first or remain silent, he chose the latter.
    “I am Theliobar. Who are you?” the man asked.
    “Trystan E’ Leluath, a small merchant from Arabel looking for a room to rent. I saw the posters in town and made the trip to see what was available….sir.”
    “Trystan. Yes, I believe there was a set of armor that you carry. I wish to buy it. It was brought to my attention, and I am intrigued. There was also some sort of mace, or hammer. You have them?” he asked. That’s when Trystan recognized him. Although not covered in stoneskin, the man’s voice carried authority and eloquence. He recognized the man as Theliobar.
    “Yes sir. I have the armor and the hammer.” Trystan begins unpacking his wares, taking care to pull the armor and hammer out of a small bag that didn’t look like it should fit a set of half plate and a hammer.
    “What price do you seek?” Theliobar asked with interest. Trystan was quite nervous at this point, not sure if he was going to ask too much, and ruin his chances of future business, or not ask enough and lose respect as a merchant.
    “6,500 coins sir is what I ask.” After all, it was an insanely nice set of armor, enchanted with additional protection and able to cast Bless three times per day. He had gotten the armor at the same time he had aquired Fiernar, an elven sword designed to kill Orcs and Half Orcs with ease. The armor was part of a set of items carried by a Tymoran Warband. Trystan went with Alexander of House Thond, who led an expedition to the Anarauch to retrieve them from a swarm of ant-people things.
    “Done.” Theliobar replied.
    “Yes, sir. You like the hammer? I’ll offer that as a gift.” Trystan replied, shocked at the ease with which the man spent 6,500 coins.
    “Very kind of you.” Theliobar smiled. “I will show you what we have available for residences.”
    Taken aback, and somewhat dumbfounded that Theliobar offered to personally show him Wyvernrest, he glanced quickly at the blonde-haired guard, who at this point was interested in the conversation and gave Trystan the briefest of nods.
    “I would be honored.” Trystan replied.

    Theliobar takes the lead and walks from the cave. Soldiers at the gate snap to attention and provide a greeting to the wizard as he strolls gracefully from the cave to the second palisade, which leads over a wooden bridge to the trail that will take him and Trystan to the town of Wyvernrest.
    “You seem to be making a name for yourself, Trystan. Very ambitious of you.” Theliobar comments.
    “I appreciate the compliment sir, it is a struggle to make your way into an already crowded market. The Iron Anvil have been most gracious in befriending me, allowing me to sell their wares.” Replied Trystan.
    “Oh yes, the Anvil. Stout lads, to be sure. They are letting a half-elf sell their dwarven made wares? Unheard of. You really must have sparked something with them.” Said Theliobar.
    “I saved a few of their lads and recovered some of the clans items. I took it as an opportunity to expand my capabilities.”

    They made their way a short distance to a large cave entrance, the stone well carved and neatly cut on the walls, the ceilings braced with stone and large timber in places. Upon entering the cave, there was a door to the right, and a series of passages that led down into the mountain cliff that served as the face of the Cave entrance.
    “The room we will have available is under construction.” Theliobar said as he turned a key in the first door on the right. “Each room is equipped with a bed, a chest, fresh food and water, with artificial light coming from an enchanted flame that also provides a steady temperature. For 100 coins a week, that really is something to consider.”
    “Sir, this is perfect. However, I’m very interested in having a larger chest, one that can hold my wares. You see, lugging this stuff around all over Cormyr provides it’s own set of challenges.” Trystan inquired.
    “Of course, that may take a little more time, but the rent will have to increase significantly. 350 coins per week for a chest the size you wish, with a room that can hold it.”
    “Deal.” Trystan replied quickly.
    “Very well, I shall show you the rest of the complex and the ideas we have for the local area. I do hope that you plan to make your new home a place where others will wish to come to you, rather than you always having to go there.”
    “Sounds like a lot of hard work, but I’m sure that once people get to know my name, they would take the caravan for the quality goods we carry.” Trystan answered.

    Theliobar went on to show Trystan the mining veins, the room designated for a smithy, some deeper, uncut caves, and the plans to expand an entire town under the mounting. They exit the cave and continue further down the trail to Wyvernrest proper, where a few buildings and an outdoor market are in place. The two hard structures are the Wyvernrest Inn, and the Council Chambers. The two wooden, two story buildings, the backs of which provide a beautiful view of Wyvernwater Lake, were hardy structures, made with large timbers from trees most likely cut from the ground on which they stood. Orchards, forests, and small dirt trails expanded in each direction from the small town square.

    “Over along the hillsides there, a Thayan Tower and a Banite Temple are under construction. We hope to have them finished, provided that the remaining sum of coins is provided within a reasonable time.” Theliobar explained, as he pointed West towards a series of plateaus’ overlooking the town.
    Trystan nodded, feeling something inside him burst the bubble of elation he had just had. Banites. Thayans. Trystan thinks to himself, “why does every good thing have to be balanced with bad. Banites! Why would Theliobar allow them here? Thayans? I had best tread carefully.” Trystan offers a small prayer to Chauntea to provide him guidance and direction as he struggles through the scenarios that could unfold.

    On Trystan’s ride back home, he could only think of the pressures he would face under such an environment. Banites and Thayans. “Next they will invite Zhent scum to provide security”, Trystan thinks to himself. Something deep inside told Trystan that when his room was built, he better have either a plan for how to conduct himself in such an environment, or just forget the whole thing.



  • Mayhem, I'm thinking to spread Trystan's chapters out over Act III. For instance, the chapter characters might go something like this:

    Adre
    Adre
    Adre
    Trystan
    Trystan
    Adre
    Adre
    Trystan
    Adre
    Trystan
    Trystan
    Trystan
    Adre
    Adre
    Trystan
    Trystan
    Adre
    Theliobar

    etc.

    Not in that specific order, but just that there would be some gap between the continuation of each of your chapters. In the case of ones like this where the gap is just a caravan trip it would probably just be one chapter of Adre's inbetween (if that).

    Also, I do like the whole thing but I get the feeling you're sticking too much to the present-tense (I really regret trying to reinforce that point earlier, good intentioned but badly presented). From what I can read it's not because you're a writer who's got his tenses messed up but one that's trying to fit a circle in a square here. When I said present setting I meant more like that events shouldn't be being 'looked back' on, which isn't what you're doing because it reads like the reader is following Trystan.

    SO. Another thing that would be changed after editing but that you might want to keep in mind for later chapters (if it helps you from tripping over the tenses) just write as you will, and what feels right. My present-tense rant was more on the actual reader's-perspective than not, and I'm not in least bit miffed about your piece there since that's perfect.

    As an example if you still don't know what the hell lizard is on about again:

    As he comes (present tense) to the large double gates, a few guards in the red and black armor he’d (past tense - he'd = he had) seen before are (present tense) on duty, asking each traveler their business. As Trystan was (past tense) mostly alone besides a few commoners and the odd mercenary, he quickly makes (present tense) his way through the line.
    “State your name and business” asks (present tense) the guard, not mentioning his own, as if it mattered.
    “Trystan E’ Leluath, here to see Warden Darksteel about the rooms for rent.”
    “Fine. Enter the cave and ring the bell, he might be in.” replied (past tense) the guard.

    This could read more smoothly as:

    As he comes to the large double gates, a few guards in the red and black armor are on duty, asking each traveler their business. As Trystan is mostly alone besides a few commoners and the odd mercenary, he quickly makes his way through the line.
    “State your name and business” asks the guard, not mentioning his own, as if it mattered.
    “Trystan E’ Leluath, here to see Warden Darksteel about the rooms for rent.”
    “Fine. Enter the cave and ring the bell, he might be in.” Replies the guard.

    As he came to the large double gates, a few guards in the red and black armor he’d seen before were on duty, asking each traveler their business. As Trystan was mostly alone besides a few commoners and the odd mercenary, he quickly made his way through the line.
    “State your name and business” asked the guard, not mentioning his own, as if it mattered.
    “Trystan E’ Leluath, here to see Warden Darksteel about the rooms for rent.”
    “Fine. Enter the cave and ring the bell, he might be in.” Replied the guard.

    There has to be some mix of tenses, and the only way to get it right is to custom-build each new word to what the sentance contains already. It can all get fixed in editing if this is all confusing, but in case the confusion was coming from my previous posts, I thought I ought to try and clear it up. But generally (if this helps, if not then ignore it) narration in past tense and conversation in whichever tense is suitable ("he will be gone." Said the man. "he is gone." Said the man. "he had gone already." Said the man.)

    Though if you ask me, the first example paragraph I gave reads more like one of those.. whatchamacallit.. 'adventure-books' that tell the reader what he's meant to be experiancing rather than a 'normal' story.



  • EDIT: Change made since Katherine never touched alcohol after all! The changed section is in bold to avoid people reading the whole thing again to spot the changes.

    Chapter V
    (might be joined up to last chapter)

    The smell of cooked meat reached into his nostrils, and Adre eventually realised he was still sprawled face-first in the dirt. His arms ached, but he wasn’t dead, thankfully. His vision was still blurred, and his mind throbbed painfully. He pulled his helmet off after some fumbling with the strap and looked down at himself, now standing up. Whole sections of plate armour had flown right off against the magic, and sections of chain were resting in smoking heaps around him. Rubbing his eyes helped bring something of his sight back, and he followed the dishevelled path he’d left on the grass with it until he came to see the rest of the scene. Most of the competitors still stood back, some of them murmuring politely, Raemos stood aside from them, and Alysa was talking to the Warden, who looked in little better condition than Adre. Of Morenson and Tiavor, there was no sign. A light rain began falling over the forestland, preceding the dawn to come.

    The whole matter had been such a dismal failure, that it was hard even for Katherine to find some positive point in it, and she herself was in a sombre mood long after the new day had come. Private Salds, the local cleric of Umberlee, Goddess of the stormy sea and constant foe of the sailor, had returned Lt Faldenmere’s soul to her dishevelled body, but seeing her walk about groggily and occasionally suffer a lapse in memory did little to help forget the fateful night. She rested in the bunks now; the sky was overcast, the ground was wet, and Wyvernwater was, once more, devoid of unnecessary excitement. Decisions had been made, repercussions planned, and a scapegoat found for the night’s failures in Tiavor and Morenson. They lead the strange creature into the wilds, or rather were lead by him, so since the creature was beyond jurisdiction, they would have to do.

    Adre marched across the uneven, muddy road towards the village. Soaking wet, miserable conditions, wearing several layers of armour and a cloak on top. There was not much conversation around usually, the Green Dragons conducting their business dutifully and listlessly, slaughtering any threat that came in sight, and saving their individuality for the local tavern. On entering the village - a cluster of buildings surrounding a meagre garden with a bench or two, now warping and bent – he was surprised to see two figures on the nearby cliff which joined onto the seawall. Through the sheets of rain it was difficult to make out faces, but one was certainly Theliobar, the Wizard of Wyvernwater, with his prominent staff emitting an unnatural glow. The other was bulky, as if wearing thick armour, it was impossible to tell at this distance, but it was not Wyvernguard uniform, and it was not Green Dragon uniform, yet certainly looked familiar. Adre decided to move on when it seemed they were staring right back at him, and entered the Wyvern’s Nest inn, and was mildly surprised to see Kat lazing back in a chair, helmet resting on the table along with a now empty plate on the table in front of her, picking her teeth with a bone.

    “Ah, Sergeant, come in, have a seat.” Adre shuffled over and pulled out one of the chairs surrounding the small table, careful not to sit down too heavily lest the legs snap under the combined weight of him and his armour. Removing his helmet, it was easier to see that the Warden was still disgruntled with the wargame’s result.
    “His lordship’s up near the seawall with someone, any idea who it is?”
    “Tiavor. Ristin Tiavor,” she lowered the bone for a moment to answer, “and may Ilmater see an end to his suffering sooner rather than later.”
    “Tiavor? Didn’t we agree- Didn’t you say we wouldn’t be seeing those two around here anymore?”
    “Aye, but his Lordship seems to have other plans. They’re not exiled, neither of them.”
    Adre took a drink of cold water from his canteen, and tried to figure out what could possibly be going on to make the Wizard of Wyvernwater jump in himself to overturn the Warden’s ruling, but to no avail. Saving two scoundrels from exile was apparently more important then the Warden’s reputation, now those two would keep pushing – or Morenson at least – until someone snapped well and truly, because Theliobar had sided with them against his own guards. A right bloody mess this was going to be, but still it was impossible to figure out just what had convinced Theliobar to protect these two.
    Following a mutual silence, the door creaked open again as a group of lumberjacks, soaked to the bone, entered. One of them, a bearded and bald man of bulky build tapped Adre on the shoulder.
    “The Wizard wanted to see you, up on the cliff.”
    “Anyone with him?” Adre couldn’t bear having to stand and watch Tiavor savour his victory in front of him.
    “Not that I saw, but his Lordship’s not the kind to keep waiting, aye, sergeant?”
    The Warden gave a nonplussed gesture with her head, motioning Adre out the door with her free hand, before returning to her previous engagement.

    The dirt paths linking the village were now thick mud, with puddles forming sporadically on either side. When Adre rounded the corner, he saw the familiar sight of Theliobar’s staff, and he was indeed alone now. On climbing a steep incline that gave access to the plateau above, of the cliff overlooking the village, he saw that the Wizard had not so much as chanced a glance at him. The slick helmet he wore, decorated with slender shapes in the red dyed metal bordered by the black, tapped repeatedly against his skull as the rain continuously fought his progress with all it had. By the time he reached Theliobar, there had still been not so much as a nod from the archmage. The situation’s expectations plummeted further as Adre realised just what the wizard may do if he was disturbing him unnecessarily, if the lumberjack had missed out some critical detail in the message.
    “Lord Theliobar, you sent for me?”
    The wizard’s chest rose with a slow breath before he began. “Sergeant, you are to make sure there are no more skirmishes against these ‘shadow creatures.’”
    He nodded after a pause. No more skirmishes? By now at least a quarter of the garrison must have had a score to settle with the things, and he was to order a ceasefire if another one showed its face in Wyvernwater? “Of course, Archmage, but what if they ‘open fire’ again?”
    “No more engagements. I’d sooner not have my village reduced to rubble in my absence because someone refused to put away his staff. They don’t seem the kind to take action without provocation, so pass on the order.”
    “As you say, my lord.”
    “In fact, put up a notice inside the sleeping quarters with this information.” There followed a pause, silence save for the drizzle of rain, before Theliobar began again as Adre was about to take his leave. “Ristin Tiavor and Kevin Morenson are not banned from my estate either, sergeant, in case there are any mistakes made concerning their stay in Wyvernrest. I have spoken to Ristin and made my decision, I do not wish your opinion on the matter, you are dismissed, Lieutenant.”
    Adre had offered an instinctive salute and begun the walk back off the plateau, before he realised the small oddity in Theliobar’s word-choice, but on turning around there was no sign of the wizard any more, save for a peculiar play of light in the place he was standing a moment ago.



  • I noticed I never did put up the ending of chapter 2, i'll get around to it whenever the hard drive with the file on it gets recovered.

    Chapter V
    Out of the Ashes

    By the time the caravan was rolling back up to the gates of Wyvernrest, night had fallen once more and Adre sat huddled in a corner of the nearly empty wagon at the rear. The smell of fresh onion supplies drifted in its wake, and didn’t help the lieutenant’s dreams much.
    “Come on lieutenant, we’re back.” An unknown face pushed its way into his vision, before he felt himself being pulled by an arm and having his luggage dropped into his arms by someone - he couldn’t tell if it was the same person. The garrison was still somber, all that had changed was day had turned to night, and a thin fog had landed.
    “Hells lads, did someone kick the bucket and not tell me about it?”
    Cooke shifted in his armour, but it was Stokes who spoke up: “Lt. Faldenmere’s resigned.”
    “Bel? What, why?”
    “Left us for the Green Dragons, I hear.” Two-timing double-crosser, that ain’t on. Cooke tilted his helmet up – the strap wasn’t done, Adre noticed – and spat on the feet of a nearby statue, of someone who had tried to murder Theliobar and was turned to stone for it if the plaque was anything to go by.
    “They don’t even get paid a copper but she left us for that lot. Guess the village life didn’t suit her none after all, being an oghman priest and so.”
    “Are we still discussing Lt. Faldenmere’s resignation?” Both turned to look at the cave, from where captain Talanyl strolled out, using a gnarled branch for support which someone had decided should be part of Spellguard uniform. “She’s gone, left us for the Green, but we’ll be fine as is.”
    Myra walked over to Adre after he’d given her a salute, helmet held under an arm and lowered her voice a bit: “Markus Markalay’s been evicted.”
    “Councilor Markalay?”
    “Aye, it was War Wizards what did- I mean, he was…”
    “Evicted, private Salds. Markus was evicted.”
    Adre looked between the two. “Who’s owning the Inn now then?”
    “Private investor, but rumour has it that-”
    A bright red light appeared on the bridge, bobbing up and down and Myra cut Salds off. “Theliobar - Atten-tion!” The privates stiffened up, and Myra and Adre donned their helmets and walked to the side of the open gate, as Theliobar came through, followed closely by Kat who had something of a sad smile on her face. She was not wearing her uniform. The Wizard paused when he neared the center of the garrison’s grounds, then turned around to face Myra and Adre as if a chance thought had just occurred to him.
    “Captain. With Katherine’s resignation, the position of Warden is now open and I do not want the mix-up that happened last time, in my absence.” Myra’s face was unreadable under the helmet, and she remained silent. “Day Warden, or Night Warden?”
    “Night Warden, sir, thank you.”
    Theliobar nodded and then turned his face – which was currently a swirling sea of shadows much like the rest of him, a result of one of his current favourite spells – towards Adre. “Congratulations, lieutenant, you are being promoted to Commander of the Wyvernguard.” Adre barely had time to blink before the dark mass moved what served it as a mouth again. “And furthermore, you are being promoted to Day Warden of the Wyvernwater militia. I have pressing business to attend to, Rogers can fill you both in on any questions for now.” And with that, he vanished once more into the steadily building fog in the direction of the newly arrived caravan.

    “Wardens! We’re both Wardens now, and none too soon – Adre, it’s time Wyvernwater rose again.” Adre tried to drink some ale again, though his mug had been empty three tries before already. Myra was transfixed on all the new possibilities, but Adre was in the mood to get blind drunk and pass out, maybe wake up later and retch a few times and complain of ill health and demotion back to lieutenant, or even commander. Kat had left some brief instructions, although when she asked “any questions?” Adre was too dumbstruck as it was to think up any, beyond “Why?” but decided against voicing it. Warden - Kat, now - had left for the city. Part of Adre’s mind was still busy thinking up schemes to avoid making the mistakes he knew he would whilst the other half was knocked out, lying in a pool of its own dribble at the opposite end of his head. “Too bad Vino and Ekhmet disappeared, but we’ll manage something. Now I think I’d like to go see to the men – it is night, after all. Our first priority has to be recruitment – our numbers are down and some new blood cannot hurt. Put some posters up next time you’re in town, and maybe see if there’s people about interested in the job that you know. Just do your best not to give off the idea that we might be desperate for numbers. As far as they must know, we’re doing fine as ever.”
    “Aye, Myra. I’ll be in a bed somewhere come the dawn. Here or the garrison I’d wager, though I’d not rule out that comfy looking bench outside just yet.”
    “You’re a Warden now, act like it Adre. We’ve got to inspire the Wyvernguard, they’ll still be dispirited by these resignations, and might decide to leave as well and we are not going let that happen. We are not, so act like it and make Theliobar proud of choosing us. This village has a future.” Adre nodded glumly. The ride from Arabel had not given him enough sleep, and after draining the air from his mug a couple more times, the new Day Warden made his groggy way outside, with the garrison in mind.

    A blank stone wall appeared in front of him, as his vision went from blurry to slightly less blurry. Raising his head, he realised it was the ceiling of the garrison quarters. He’d gone to sleep wearing plate armour, and comfortable as any could make steel, the new Warden did not fancy his chances of having made it through the night without acquiring several cramps. A few others were sprawled across some of the other bunks, and the door was opening as the last of the night-shift came to get their rest. Behind them, Tragil’s bald head came and peered at the beds, before stopping on Adre’s.
    “Someone to see you, Warden.” He gestured back up the garrison entrance with his head.

    Coming up the entrance tunnel proved as troublesome as getting out of bed in the first place. Adre made his way up the passage with his stomach threatening with vomit at every other step, as the pale glow of the early dawn began to seep over the stone corridor, and the firelight of torches upon the surface waiting to be put out. Out in the garrison area, the mist from last night had all but cleared, and there now stood an elf in the middle. He was lean, long haired, looking as wild and unkempt as any traveler, but a longbow almost the size of him was slung across him and leather straps, odd bits and pieces of clothing and daggers, knives and arrow quivers and some hard leather ‘plates’ covered his figure. He was playing with his hair. The sun was coming over from the east and hit the elf straight on the face, making his head remain lowered.
    “Tragil tells me someone wanted to see me. You him?”
    He peered up for the briefest of moments. “Yes, Day Warden, I’m D’rain.”
    “D’rain eh.” He moved forwards to get a better look at the visitor. “What can I do for you exactly, D’rain?”
    “I – I’m… Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wyvernwatch?”
    “Wyvernwatch? You mean the Wyvernguard. Wyvernwater militia?” Too many names beginning with ‘wyvern’ for the same meaning, far too many.
    “No, the Wyvernwatch. Did Warden Rogers not…”
    “Ex-warden Rogers.”
    “Did she not mention the Wyvernwatch before she… left?”
    “Not at all, so what is it you want, elf?”
    He played with his hair a moment, eyes downcast, and then began talking again, “Well I’m D’rain, head of the Wyvernwatch. We have a room in the council building. Ex-Warden Rogers formed us and put me in charge, we’re kind of… a militia. She made us a while back. Long while.”
    Adre scratched his helmet where his forehead should have been, by rights. “Say what?”
    “We work for no pay, for our home, Wyvernwater, to defend it and help it grow. Not like the Wyvernwater militia at all, actually, or actually just like it, except without… uniforms and pay.”
    He grunted, something about this elf made him uneasy, as if standing in his presence made his own position seem weaker, this stammering elf being the head of a Wyvernwater militia just like Adre. “What do you want then, Wyvern… Guardsmen?”
    “It’s the end of the week, Warden. I’ve come to pay my rent.”
    “Alright.” There followed a pause, as Adre stood with one hand on his axe-handle and the other holding the shield-strap taut across his chest, and D’rain studied his feet.
    “Will you be taking them now? Or is there… is there… some other…”
    “Uh. Oh. Hold on right there for just a minute.”
    After a brief checking on some garrison files and old memos of past Wardens, Adre took the bag of coins following much erring on both sides, managed to find where to put the bag only to watch it disappear in a puff of purple smoke, and got pointed to the tax records by Tragil to update the figures. Once done, the sun was clear in the sky and it promised that winter was at an end for another year, but the elf still stood there.

    “Perhaps you’d… come with me, into the wildlands. I’m sure there’s a troll or a giant or… or a landshark, or you know.”
    “Come on then, and tell me some more about this militia of yours. How many, how well armed, how well trained…”
    “I’ll send you a copy of the roster. We’re not many, we never have been, but we survive.”
    “Aye. That sounds like someone I know.”
    “There’s myself – I patrol the wildlands now and again, and inform the garrison if there’s anything too dangerous lurking about – and then there’s _________”
    “Right. Grand. Wyvernwatch. Good.”

    The two struck off the road where it turned to the village, and went through the pass that served as the entrance to the southern wilds. The elf drew his bow and notched an arrow with surprising deftness for all his stammering speech, and together the two made their way further into the forest. On the one hand, there was D’rain who seemed to fit in place with his surroundings as well as if he was just another tree, in the wood brown, leaf green clothing which garbed him, and the dark cloak which hung about his shoulders, which were lowered in his near perpetual crouch; Adre stuck out like a strawberry though: red steel bordered by black, with engravings and patterns worked into his heavy greaves, gauntlets and chestpiece while the great towershield hanging by his left arm shone the sun back at any who cared to look for breakfast, as a beacon, but right now he liked to think of them as moths finding a flame. The elf beside him was odd, to say the least, and for all his apparent insecurity while speaking, out here, in the wilds, D’rain was in his element, and half the time the Day Warden couldn’t even see him at all, but right before he had decided to call for him the elf would appear again, hopping down from a low branch, bow and arrow in hand, and return to his calculative gazing of the surroundings and joining Adre’s side to walk a bit.
    “So you boys just do what you can for the village, is it? Mining resources, protecting the lumberjacks and…?”
    “Yes Warden, though of course we stand ready to aid the militia in any matter that requires us – just sound a horn loud enough, and we will come.”
    “Kat formed this group, you said.”
    “Yes.” D’rain stood straight and looked off towards a small clearing, where a waterfall fed in through a stream to form a natural pool.
    “What did she form it for, exactly?”
    “Just… to aid the militia, mostly. She did have it in mind to use it as a means to find suitable recruits for the militia, though.” The elf notched an arrow and drew his bowstring back in a fluid movement, aimed at the clearing. “Direwolf, Warden.”
    “Right!” Adre loosened his arms, and shook his head a bit to clear up any straggling remains of last night. The fresh air had been one of his better decisions to make. “Fire a shot off and I’ll give it a chop as it comes for us, elf.” Even as he tested the grip on his axe in readiness, there was a soft thrum from behind him and a wooden shaft raced past him. The great wolf was lapping water from the edge of the pond, and sharp bones grew from its back and at its paws like armour. It didn’t see the arrow coming, and it flew true to its course, as the surrounding trees kept the wind clear. A series of gurgling yelps sounded and the wolf - which stood near as tall as a small man - staggered away from the pond. The arrow was straight through its thick neck, and it bounded off into the opposite direction after finding no attacker to assail, barking and stumbling, until its form lay limp across a fallen log, accompanied only by the odd moan. Adre looked over his shoulder to find D’rain, only to see the wild elf slinging himself up by some branches, bow held to his left shoulder by its string, and crouching up a higher branch to peer back the way they’d come.
    “Warden, there are ogres approaching.”
    “Well damn, how many?”
    “Four at the least, one bears an orcan double-axe, Warden.”
    “Okay, well I’ll take them what come past the left of that tree, and you take the right.” D’rain gave a short nod, whisked his bow back to his shooting arm, and drew a couple of arrows from a waist-quiver and pulled the string back to his head, the fletching of both brushing his ear. Adre just gave up.



  • I noticed I never did put up the ending of chapter 2, i'll get around to it whenever the hard drive with the file on it gets recovered.

    Chapter V
    Out of the Ashes

    By the time the caravan was rolling back up to the gates of Wyvernrest, night had fallen once more and Adre sat huddled in a corner of the nearly empty wagon at the rear. The smell of fresh onion supplies drifted in its wake, and didn’t help the lieutenant’s dreams much.
    “Come on lieutenant, we’re back.” An unknown face pushed its way into his vision, before he felt himself being pulled by an arm and having his luggage dropped into his arms by someone - he couldn’t tell if it was the same person. The garrison was still somber, all that had changed was day had turned to night, and a thin fog had landed.
    “Hells lads, did someone kick the bucket and not tell me about it?”
    Cooke shifted in his armour, but it was Stokes who spoke up: “Lt. Faldenmere’s resigned.”
    “Bel? What, why?”
    “Left us for the Green Dragons, I hear.” Two-timing double-crosser, that ain’t on. Cooke tilted his helmet up – the strap wasn’t done, Adre noticed – and spat on the feet of a nearby statue, of someone who had tried to murder Theliobar and was turned to stone for it if the plaque was anything to go by.
    “They don’t even get paid a copper but she left us for that lot. Guess the village life didn’t suit her none after all, being an oghman priest and so.”
    “Are we still discussing Lt. Faldenmere’s resignation?” Both turned to look at the cave, from where captain Talanyl strolled out, using a gnarled branch for support which someone had decided should be part of Spellguard uniform. “She’s gone, left us for the Green, but we’ll be fine as is.”
    Myra walked over to Adre after he’d given her a salute, helmet held under an arm and lowered her voice a bit: “Markus Markalay’s been evicted.”
    “Councilor Markalay?”
    “Aye, it was War Wizards what did- I mean, he was…”
    “Evicted, private Salds. Markus was evicted.”
    Adre looked between the two. “Who’s owning the Inn now then?”
    “Private investor, but rumour has it that-”
    A bright red light appeared on the bridge, bobbing up and down and Myra cut Salds off. “Theliobar - Atten-tion!” The privates stiffened up, and Myra and Adre donned their helmets and walked to the side of the open gate, as Theliobar came through, followed closely by Kat who had something of a sad smile on her face. She was not wearing her uniform. The Wizard paused when he neared the center of the garrison’s grounds, then turned around to face Myra and Adre as if a chance thought had just occurred to him.
    “Captain. With Katherine’s resignation, the position of Warden is now open and I do not want the mix-up that happened last time, in my absence.” Myra’s face was unreadable under the helmet, and she remained silent. “Day Warden, or Night Warden?”
    “Night Warden, sir, thank you.”
    Theliobar nodded and then turned his face – which was currently a swirling sea of shadows much like the rest of him, a result of one of his current favourite spells – towards Adre. “Congratulations, lieutenant, you are being promoted to Commander of the Wyvernguard.” Adre barely had time to blink before the dark mass moved what served it as a mouth again. “And furthermore, you are being promoted to Day Warden of the Wyvernwater militia. I have pressing business to attend to, Rogers can fill you both in on any questions for now.” And with that, he vanished once more into the steadily building fog in the direction of the newly arrived caravan.

    “Wardens! We’re both Wardens now, and none too soon – Adre, it’s time Wyvernwater rose again.” Adre tried to drink some ale again, though his mug had been empty three tries before already. Myra was transfixed on all the new possibilities, but Adre was in the mood to get blind drunk and pass out, maybe wake up later and retch a few times and complain of ill health and demotion back to lieutenant, or even commander. Kat had left some brief instructions, although when she asked “any questions?” Adre was too dumbstruck as it was to think up any, beyond “Why?” but decided against voicing it. Warden - Kat, now - had left for the city. Part of Adre’s mind was still busy thinking up schemes to avoid making the mistakes he knew he would whilst the other half was knocked out, lying in a pool of its own dribble at the opposite end of his head. “Too bad Vino and Ekhmet disappeared, but we’ll manage something. Now I think I’d like to go see to the men – it is night, after all. Our first priority has to be recruitment – our numbers are down and some new blood cannot hurt. Put some posters up next time you’re in town, and maybe see if there’s people about interested in the job that you know. Just do your best not to give off the idea that we might be desperate for numbers. As far as they must know, we’re doing fine as ever.”
    “Aye, Myra. I’ll be in a bed somewhere come the dawn. Here or the garrison I’d wager, though I’d not rule out that comfy looking bench outside just yet.”
    “You’re a Warden now, act like it Adre. We’ve got to inspire the Wyvernguard, they’ll still be dispirited by these resignations, and might decide to leave as well and we are not going let that happen. We are not, so act like it and make Theliobar proud of choosing us. This village has a future.” Adre nodded glumly. The ride from Arabel had not given him enough sleep, and after draining the air from his mug a couple more times, the new Day Warden made his groggy way outside, with the garrison in mind.

    A blank stone wall appeared in front of him, as his vision went from blurry to slightly less blurry. Raising his head, he realised it was the ceiling of the garrison quarters. He’d gone to sleep wearing plate armour, and comfortable as any could make steel, the new Warden did not fancy his chances of having made it through the night without acquiring several cramps. A few others were sprawled across some of the other bunks, and the door was opening as the last of the night-shift came to get their rest. Behind them, Tragil’s bald head came and peered at the beds, before stopping on Adre’s.
    “Someone to see you, Warden.” He gestured back up the garrison entrance with his head.

    Coming up the entrance tunnel proved as troublesome as getting out of bed in the first place. Adre made his way up the passage with his stomach threatening with vomit at every other step, as the pale glow of the early dawn began to seep over the stone corridor, and the firelight of torches upon the surface waiting to be put out. Out in the garrison area, the mist from last night had all but cleared, and there now stood an elf in the middle. He was lean, long haired, looking as wild and unkempt as any traveler, but a longbow almost the size of him was slung across him and leather straps, odd bits and pieces of clothing and daggers, knives and arrow quivers and some hard leather ‘plates’ covered his figure. He was playing with his hair. The sun was coming over from the east and hit the elf straight on the face, making his head remain lowered.
    “Tragil tells me someone wanted to see me. You him?”
    He peered up for the briefest of moments. “Yes, Day Warden, I’m D’rain.”
    “D’rain eh.” He moved forwards to get a better look at the visitor. “What can I do for you exactly, D’rain?”
    “I – I’m… Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wyvernwatch?”
    “Wyvernwatch? You mean the Wyvernguard. Wyvernwater militia?” Too many names beginning with ‘wyvern’ for the same meaning, far too many.
    “No, the Wyvernwatch. Did Warden Rogers not…”
    “Ex-warden Rogers.”
    “Did she not mention the Wyvernwatch before she… left?”
    “Not at all, so what is it you want, elf?”
    He played with his hair a moment, eyes downcast, and then began talking again, “Well I’m D’rain, head of the Wyvernwatch. We have a room in the council building. Ex-Warden Rogers formed us and put me in charge, we’re kind of… a militia. She made us a while back. Long while.”
    Adre scratched his helmet where his forehead should have been, by rights. “Say what?”
    “We work for no pay, for our home, Wyvernwater, to defend it and help it grow. Not like the Wyvernwater militia at all, actually, or actually just like it, except without… uniforms and pay.”
    He grunted, something about this elf made him uneasy, as if standing in his presence made his own position seem weaker, this stammering elf being the head of a Wyvernwater militia just like Adre. “What do you want then, Wyvern… Guardsmen?”
    “It’s the end of the week, Warden. I’ve come to pay my rent.”
    “Alright.” There followed a pause, as Adre stood with one hand on his axe-handle and the other holding the shield-strap taut across his chest, and D’rain studied his feet.
    “Will you be taking them now? Or is there… is there… some other…”
    “Uh. Oh. Hold on right there for just a minute.”
    After a brief checking on some garrison files and old memos of past Wardens, Adre took the bag of coins following much erring on both sides, managed to find where to put the bag only to watch it disappear in a puff of purple smoke, and got pointed to the tax records by Tragil to update the figures. Once done, the sun was clear in the sky and it promised that winter was at an end for another year, but the elf still stood there.

    “Perhaps you’d… come with me, into the wildlands. I’m sure there’s a troll or a giant or… or a landshark, or you know.”
    “Come on then, and tell me some more about this militia of yours. How many, how well armed, how well trained…”
    “I’ll send you a copy of the roster. We’re not many, we never have been, but we survive.”
    “Aye. That sounds like someone I know.”
    “There’s myself – I patrol the wildlands now and again, and inform the garrison if there’s anything too dangerous lurking about – and then there’s _________”
    “Right. Grand. Wyvernwatch. Good.”

    The two struck off the road where it turned to the village, and went through the pass that served as the entrance to the southern wilds. The elf drew his bow and notched an arrow with surprising deftness for all his stammering speech, and together the two made their way further into the forest. On the one hand, there was D’rain who seemed to fit in place with his surroundings as well as if he was just another tree, in the wood brown, leaf green clothing which garbed him, and the dark cloak which hung about his shoulders, which were lowered in his near perpetual crouch; Adre stuck out like a strawberry though: red steel bordered by black, with engravings and patterns worked into his heavy greaves, gauntlets and chestpiece while the great towershield hanging by his left arm shone the sun back at any who cared to look for breakfast, as a beacon, but right now he liked to think of them as moths finding a flame. The elf beside him was odd, to say the least, and for all his apparent insecurity while speaking, out here, in the wilds, D’rain was in his element, and half the time the Day Warden couldn’t even see him at all, but right before he had decided to call for him the elf would appear again, hopping down from a low branch, bow and arrow in hand, and return to his calculative gazing of the surroundings and joining Adre’s side to walk a bit.
    “So you boys just do what you can for the village, is it? Mining resources, protecting the lumberjacks and…?”
    “Yes Warden, though of course we stand ready to aid the militia in any matter that requires us – just sound a horn loud enough, and we will come.”
    “Kat formed this group, you said.”
    “Yes.” D’rain stood straight and looked off towards a small clearing, where a waterfall fed in through a stream to form a natural pool.
    “What did she form it for, exactly?”
    “Just… to aid the militia, mostly. She did have it in mind to use it as a means to find suitable recruits for the militia, though.” The elf notched an arrow and drew his bowstring back in a fluid movement, aimed at the clearing. “Direwolf, Warden.”
    “Right!” Adre loosened his arms, and shook his head a bit to clear up any straggling remains of last night. The fresh air had been one of his better decisions to make. “Fire a shot off and I’ll give it a chop as it comes for us, elf.” Even as he tested the grip on his axe in readiness, there was a soft thrum from behind him and a wooden shaft raced past him. The great wolf was lapping water from the edge of the pond, and sharp bones grew from its back and at its paws like armour. It didn’t see the arrow coming, and it flew true to its course, as the surrounding trees kept the wind clear. A series of gurgling yelps sounded and the wolf - which stood near as tall as a small man - staggered away from the pond. The arrow was straight through its thick neck, and it bounded off into the opposite direction after finding no attacker to assail, barking and stumbling, until its form lay limp across a fallen log, accompanied only by the odd moan. Adre looked over his shoulder to find D’rain, only to see the wild elf slinging himself up by some branches, bow held to his left shoulder by its string, and crouching up a higher branch to peer back the way they’d come.
    “Warden, there are ogres approaching.”
    “Well damn, how many?”
    “Four at the least, one bears an orcan double-axe, Warden.”
    “Okay, well I’ll take them what come past the left of that tree, and you take the right.” D’rain gave a short nod, whisked his bow back to his shooting arm, and drew a couple of arrows from a waist-quiver and pulled the string back to his head, the fletching of both brushing his ear. Adre just gave up.



  • Enter: The Banite

    Chapter VI
    Bane’s will

    The files were a mess, there were records waiting to be filled left, right, and center, and construction plans and meetings and recruiting and far, far too much for any one man to handle. The Warden’s job was seeming more and more distant than what Adre had imagined it to be – maintaining the lands’ security – and coming ever closer to leaving the bulk of its day-to-day handling in the hands of himself and Myra. The Night Warden was rarely seen now, by him at least, and no trace was to be found in terms of notes left, or letters it seemed. The area had calmed down a bit since all the recent turmoil, and relative peace had dawned on Wyvernrest, save the occasional troll tribe attacking, or an orc raiding party, goblin warband – the usual. Trade routes had been reopened to the Anauroch desert far to the north and orders issued to begin patrols on them once more. An Alarphon of Cormyr turned out to be the new owner of the Wyvern’s Nest Inn. At this time it was fairly hard to grasp just what this meant for Adre, all War Wizards were people not to be messed with, but this one liked to show up in rather revealing tunics as though she was going to some fancy dinner whenever she came to pay her rent, and the way her eyes were both separate colours was more than a little off-putting. The inn itself was maintained by its current workforce, minus one councilor now, and it seemed few if any were complaining, which suggested not just a few knew of the new owner. Of course, this was all meant to be strictly confidential and apart from Adre, Myra, and Tragil – who had been promoted duly to Sergeant for… dependency – no one else was supposed to know, but somehow the talk spread regardless, through some medium the War Wizards could not, or cared not to track. Adre wondered if the high druidess had taught their dog to speak while his back was turned.

    On returning from his afternoon patrol – the last one for his day – Adre entered the Garrison to find Theliobar standing by the odd sink-like contraption into which rents were paid when they were collected. The Wizard was in his usual stony form, magic-staff-with-swirling-vortex-at-the-end held casually in one arm, as usual, but there was something out of place. Tragil seemed to have spotted it too. The Wizard of Wyvernwater was emptying a large sack – like one might use to store potatoes in – into the sink, and this sack was full of glimmering gold coins. Purple smoke frothed from the sink’s focal point as the coins disappeared, and Adre and Tragil both stood their distance for a good minute or so, until the last coin had been emptied into the sink, before Theliobar made his way past Adre to the surface once more with the smallest of nods.
    “What…”
    “I think I’m willing to guess.”
    “What…”
    “Banite temple, Warden. Banite temple.”
    “What!”
    Tragil picked up the empty sack where the wizard had dropped it, and folded it neatly as he could. “It’s starting now, they’re going to start building east of the village, there’s not a living thing left there now. Wolves, trolls, goblins, orcs, and the rest: they’ve all been driven out finally, so they’re going to start building everything, and I think his lordship just got the down payment for that temple – or fortress, if the builders are to be believed. Apparently it’s going to look more like a small castle keep than any temple.”
    “Well damn, and things just looked like they were getting peaceful again.”

    Sure enough, builders were already moving wooden scaffolding into place on a hill overlooking the village, not just for the temple but for everything else as well: Purple Dragon garrisons, a compound for the local knightly order – sure to spark off trouble with the Bane temple – and a tower for diplomats from Thay, along with the construction of Theliobar’s own tower. On one of the small cliffs overlooking the village and the lands stood three figures. One of them was recognisable as Theliobar by his staff, the second was clearly a War Wizard by her robes – the Alarphon, most like – but the third was a stranger, a woman armoured in dark platemail. They were simply inspecting the builders as they went about their business it seemed. Adre turned around to leave – it didn’t do good to be seen dilly-dallying when there were visitors afoot - through the gateway entrance to the village from whence he came, only to find a tanned bald man in red robes and a woman in yellow silk with bright red hair coming through. Thayans.
    “Greetings, I am here to see the constructions which have begun on the tower I am financing to be built here. Please inform Archmage Theliobar that Senior Magus Vorn of the Thayvian Enclave is here.”
    Adre looked over the two again, more carefully, before turning his head to face Theliobar’s distant position. “His lordship’s currently unavailable, might be that I can show you what you want instead, though, unless you had some pressing business with him.”
    “Oh no, nothing of the sort, do go on. And you are?”
    “Warden Darksteel, of the Wyvernguard.”
    The bald man smiled at his shy companion, who seemed to be blushing for the third time in the last minute, before stepping in behind Adre.

    After some talking of how apparently the tower had been moved from one cliff to another, and its now close proximity to the temple of Bane – Adre assured the mage that it could only result in increased security – he left the pair at a raised plateau which was a sort of natural garden, to whatever the magus had in mind, but his companion was still red in the cheeks.

    Back in the village, Theliobar and the armoured woman were speaking outside the Inn, and the Alarphon seemed to have taken her leave.
    “Ah. Right on time.” Adre saluted Theliobar in reply, but kept his helmet on as the woman studied him.
    “And you are?”
    “Day Warden Darksteel, ma’am. Glad to be of assistance, milord.”
    “Very good, I am Tyrant Tamal Bentant, and it seems you and yours have done a fine job of cleansing these lands of their previous inhabitants.”
    An odd title, Adre thought, but then she must be a Banite. She had a stern face and dark hair, but didn’t seem to give off the totalitarian air he was suspecting whoever was heading up the temple to have. “We do what we can… Tyrant.” Adre was glad for having his helmet.
    “I must take my leave now, Warden, and it seems to me your shift is coming to a close, and you must be eager to get some rest. If anything should happen regarding the Banite temple, you may contact Dreadmaster Raemos Dagmoth, though he will doubtlessly make himself known to you soon.”
    He remained silent, as Theliobar’s figure strode alongside the Tyrant to escort her to the gates.

    The days were growing longer, and longer as summer drew on and the lands were alive with life and colour despite the daily killings held across its face. It had taken near a year to clear the lands east of the village, and work had started long before Adre had ever arrived in Wyvernrest. He did not want to try and estimate how long it would take for the western forest, let alone the southern wildlands which the Wizard had more recently decreed to be cleared for construction. The Green Dragons patrolled the roads dutifully as ever, but they were more a threat to Adre now, than any companions: a constant reminder of what awaited Wyvernrest should the militia ever fail it. The Dragons were always eager to expand their domain, and Adre did not want them taking the one place he’d found solitude in. A long time ago he himself had applied to join their ranks, and until they found out he’d had a record for being dangerous it seemed he might have become one, but after seeing the blank gaze of each and every one of these men, even those he counted among close friends within the city, he became glad that he had been refused.

    Back at the garrison, there were ballistae being mounted on the walls and cliffs overlooking the two entrances to the small fort. Builders and workmen were moving around here as much as the village to see the designs implemented. The sun was falling though, disappearing in a red haze over the Wyvernwater itself, all its blue glory shimmering yellow and orange instead with dusk. Myra’s figure came into focus in the middle of the garrison’s yard, and more interestingly there was a man facing her bearing metal platemail dyed to the colours the tyrant had worn. A Banite, no less, his face was covered by a full-helm and all manner of weaponry and equipment hung tight about him.
    Adre walked over and set his thumbs into his belt, blatantly studying the stranger while Myra turned her own uncovered head to him. The warrior looked to face Adre, and was as unreadable under the armour as Adre found himself hoping he was just now.
    “Ah. Day Warden Darksteel, this is a new recruit for the militia. Torgor Bor’tal.” The warrior didn’t so much as nod.
    “Torgor eh. Well, glad to have you aboard then, I don’t suppose you can fight?”
    “I can.”
    “Good, good. Pay’s not bad. Advancement prospects are pretty high just now considering that there are no ranking members of the militia besides the Wardens, and the death rate of new privates has nearly doubled since the dragon showed back up. Hah.
    Myra gave Adre a puzzled look, and offered a shrug to Torgor who was still gazing blankly right back at Adre. “Well, Private, come on inside and we’ll get you kitted out with militia gear and I’ll give you a rundown of the basics of what this job entails. Warden Darksteel’s off the beat now, and I’m sure he’d like to get some rest.”
    Adre gave an uncertain nod, and the Banite finally turned away his gaze to follow Myra into the garrison. Oh boy, well this was to be expected sooner or later. The Banites were moving into Wyvernrest, and they had long-term plans for the place. Looking towards the road to Arabel, Adre saw some Green Dragons lead by a retainer of Lord Deschurr unpacking a mining trip’s work into piles. It was ironic, really, since the rivalries between Green Dragons and Banites had risen literally over the night - supposedly because the Banites wore similar colours – and yet these building materials would more likely than not be going towards the construction of the fortress.
    “Hey lads, nice of you to drop by down. I hope you got yourselves a giant on the way down, or if not you can find yourselves one down in the wilds, courtesy of Wyvernwater.”
    Some of them paused as Adre came over, and he tried to recognise as many as he could. Kael, the battlepriest of Tempus, was easy enough to spot in his distinctive armour, even with the helmet on. One day I’ll try and learn more about that man. The massive soldier beside him was Edward Morth, a demon swordsman who might have been feared much as a Banite if he did not keep himself so restrained out of battle – Adre always felt uneasy around him ever since he won the hand of a girl Ed was after, Natalia, there always remained a cold wall between them, every word spoken out of duty or necessity rather than the banter they both normally got amongst their own friends. Retainer Wilera Dilinger was ordering them about, and gave Adre a nod. How dare she, he thought, perhaps still drunk on power, I am King here if I wish to be, how dare she nod at me? Regardless, he returned the nod, and decided to save his delusions of grandeur for the night. The others were recruits, or people he did not know too well for good or bad.
    “I hope you’ve a fat purse ready Warden, my boys and girls have been chopping and mining since dawn to bring down this lot for ya.” Wilera allowed them to continue on as they were for a moment, and Adre wondered how important her ordering what goes where all the time really was just now.
    He looked over at the resources being unloaded and got a number in his head for each type. “Seems to me that’s near a three hundred in total, but I’d need to get figures to give you an exact.”
    “Three hundred, is it? I guess we’ll carry more next time. What do you pay most for?”
    “Iron. Iron ore, though bars will do just as fine.” She just grunted, and turned back to the others. “Most I ever paid out in one go was – let me think now – to Lyonarshby, the woman with the big sword. Damn near four hundred, and she was going at it alone too.”
    Kael stretched his back after dropping another large stone from a wagon into the pile building up outside the garrison wall and faced Adre. “I hear they’re starting to build now, and I thought a shrine to Tempus wouldn’t be amiss around here, considering what it is you do.”
    “Aye, Kael, I’ll give my personal recommendation on that one for whatever it’s worth.”
    “Good, maybe I’ll stick around after and you can show me the lands for a spot.”
    “Aye, just let me see to all this first.”
    Another shrine, well at least this is one bound to be happy. Whatever else might happen, the Banite temple will certainly bring war to Wyvernwater.


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