V'harn

Down Time at the Settlement

The choosen are few...

30th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150

During the time spent training Robeor looks over the items that Lucky picked up. He shows surprise in the dice. A keen interest. Asking permission if he may hold them. As he touches them a flicker of recognition passes over his face and look of plain concern follows. He turns to Lucky and says “You know what these are? Of course you don’t. They are named The Silver Gambit, they are ancient and powerful. They in a way embody the creational forces of the battle but in unpredictable ways. How they were made I have no idea, but the Ulutian Empire certainly knew. Summoning the power of these… oh they are active as well.” He promptly hands them back as if bitten. He goes on to explain that the Silver Gambit are used by the will of the wielder. That is if the wielder’s will is strong enough it is able to shape more over a more positive result.

Lucky indicates to Robeor that he does not understand what he means. Robeor says that the primal force in the Silver Gambit taps into the wielder urgent or present need and desire. If the wielder’s will is strong enough then it may bring about an unexpected bounty of good returns. If the wielder’s will is not strong enough then something highly undesirable maybe even catastrophic may occur. Robeor agrees that luck has some ability to control the power involved also he continues “Other than that, you would be nothing short of insane to rely on them in any good measure.” Robeor concludes.

Robeor also mentions that the surcoat that Lucky picked up has the markings of Findalus a mage that specialised in magical clothing. Looking it over and feeling the thread Robeor states that he is certain that this is a coat of weapon turning. He mentions there may be more to the coat than on an initial inspection as there may be a shadow of something else there. He will look into it further.

15th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2150
Norhtal finds himself standing in the forest somewhere near the settlement, concentrating for a moment clearing his head, he looks up at the sky through the branches above and realizes he is some two hours east of where he went to sleep. Shaking his head he tries to puzzle out how he got to where he was and then he remembers the dream. The next thing he realises just how cold he is, the steam from his breath billowing out.

Out of the woods ahead, he thinks, Norhtal hears singing a otherworldly, ethereal singing. Such beauty could not possibly be human. Checking himself over he realizes that he has no weapons and mostly no clothes on and without he yellow hat. Not conscious of himself, but feeling somewhat defenseless, he starts to chew his finger nails.

The singing continues, swelling and rising on the winds. This time it is hard to not notice, hard to resist. Norhtal grits his teeth, shakes off the feeling and steps forward crouching slightly, shifting into walking as silently as possible.

Another twenty yards he pauses as he comes to the edge of a small clearing made by a recent tree fall and crouches down in the deep shadow. There on the other side, barely more than twelve strides away sitting on the upper parts of the fallen great tree, a shimmering beauty with a voice to match. The song full of sadness. Clearly sung for the tree, the giant it is that has fallen. Norhtal waits for a long time until the song is ended, stopping as it does leaves him a little shocked and he gasps a little. The noise enough to turn the head of the woman and she rises, perceiving Norhtal.

She is not alarmed beyond initial shock and go to leave. Norhtal stands and stutters out “W-w-w-wait.” She stops, turning and smiles slightly, the moon light glistening off her dusky skin. “Yes.” she replies, the sound of the sighing wind through trees, of dew drops falling. A feeling of deep earth and sun light warmed wood creeps over Norhtal at the sound. “D-d-d-don’t s-stop, itwasbeautiful” says Norhtal with the last words coming out in a rush. The woman raises an eyebrow, above the darkest brown eyes, shakes her head little and says “No that song is sung, the great life giver, the song was his and his and he is gone.” as she motions to the tree. “Oh” mumbles Norhtal disappointed, his shoulders slumping slightly.

She turns to go again. “I-I-I think Ryrmarchim sent me to you.” Norhtal blurts out. She stops, turning only partially towards Norhtal. “You may think that, I do not. Go back to your mortal life and leave me be.” she states flatly, stepping into the edge of the trees. “Please help me, I have been sent,” his desperation momentarily wiping out his stutter. Nothing but silence.

19th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
For the last four day Norhtal has camped out in the tree fall clearing after returning to the settlement to better equip himself. he has been waiting for the woman to return. Sadly he has not seen her nor heard her. As dusk starts to fall Norhtal again hears the singing, but this time it is a different songs, a much more compelling one, one that this time he cannot resist. Drawn by the sound into the forest, entranced by the sound, stumbling on feet that no longer seem to be his own. Through thickets, briars and brambles. Scratched and bloodied Norhtal stumbles into a larger clearing, in its centre a tall branching birch, standing before it the woman her slivery green hair swaying gently in the breeze. Standing beside her two very large silver backed wolves. Norhtal stumbles and falls to his knees before her, she opens her mouth and her voice is sharp “Why do you persist in this? You will cause yourself harm if you stay, I will not be responsible for it. Tell me the truth.” Compelled by a force stronger than he has known before Norhtal rasps out the answer, “Ryrmarchim has chosen you to pass on her blessing.”

A sense of unease and uncertainty washes over the clearing, the wolves whimper a little.

“Show me,” she says and he hands grasp Norhtal’s head, tendrils sprout from her finger tips and burrow into his skull. Norhtal’s eyes roll back into his head as his body goes into a seizure, shaking but held firm as the woman closes her eyes. Norhtal inside his mind not only sees his dreams replayed over and over again, but the length of his time with Lucky, Sirath, Reollo and Tiberius also. For an age it seems, certain parts that seemed trivial are looped over and over again. He then collapses as she lets go, their breath is labored as if from exertion . “Your mind holds many mysteries to me, much I do not understand. Mortal life make no sense. But one thing I can see clear is that the Lady wishes you to be blessed, you are chosen.

With that she turns to the great birch and reaches inside it, withdrawing an ampoule. There are some muttered words, a shining light from inside its crystalline shape. The woman then cracks the ampoule open over Northal’s mouth and commands him to drink as she intones some deep, deep words that can be barely registered and audible to the human ear. Norhtal convulses once and is then still.

20th day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
At dawn Norhtal awakes. The woman and the wolves are nowhere to be seen. A whisper sound as the breeze blows through the leaves of the birch, “It is done, leave, do not return.”

23rd day of 2nd Nimos Second Epoch 2151
As the weather starts to change and deepest Nimos is waning Lucky receives another dream.

Lucky finds Andriel in the main hall with some of the younger children, as he approaches she lifts her head to look at him and smiles. As he explains to her what he has seen in his dreams and what Adaru has said a small frown creases her brow. She stands and wipes her hands on her skirts. “I can help,” she says “if that’s what Adaru and yourself want. The Ascendants and the elves have a strange relationship. The Ascendants only came out of the mortal people of V’harn. We have no claim on any of them and seeing as many of us are actually older than them, few of us are stronger than them in someways, we see each other as more or less equal in the grand scheme of things. Yes I will help, Adaru means much to us as she is from us through her mother.” She then tells Lucky to stay there and she leaves the main hall. Returning a short while later with a back pack. “Any questions before we go?” she says. Lucky asks whether he needs to bring anything. She says “No, we will only be gone for part of the day. Maybe your weapons just to be sure. We cannot be certain all the Hobs have gone and there are other things about that could be dangerous if startled. I am sure we will be okay though.”

With that she sets a demanding pace, east away from the settlement. Clearly her wood craft is much better than Lucky’s and she moves with ease and grace through the forest and underbrush. After about 2 hours of hiking Lucky starts to feel a stirring that he has not felt for the whole of the deepest Nimos. His Ilth blood is awakening. Andriel stops and says to him “We are close to a place of power, you may feel it. It is just through those trees pointing east. You go first.” Lucky nods and moves forward.

As he moves through the trees he realises that they thin out just ahead, off to either side of him are what appear to be standing stones, the sound of running water also meets your ears. Andriel steps up behind him and in a low voice says “This is place of in-betweens, the edge of the forest, the flowing of water through land, surrounded by a standing circle."

Luck feels the hairs on his arms stand on end, just like before a tremendous lightning storm. Small insects are flying around the circle, as he looks closer he realises that they are tiny winged humanlike creatures, glowing with an inner light. Andriel steps past and starts to unpack her back pack. Over the next 30 minutes she paces out the circle with a number of branches she has collected sprinkling the stones from a variety of concoctions, chanting under her breath.

At the 6th hour she stops and comes over to Lucky and asks “Are you ready, any questions?” Luck indicates he has no questions.

Andriel has Lucky stand on a rock in the middle of the stream and then paces clockwise around him chanting, splashing him with the branches ladened with water from the stream. As she does this it is as if a veil is taken from Lucky’s eyes and before him stands Adaru. Lucky can still see Andriel vaguely in the background however.

Adaru says "My sphere of influence is much harder to reach through; it is luck after all, which is capricious. Not like war or battle where blood shedding is enough to bring about a blessing. Lucky will you serve my interest in V’harn?” Lucky states that he will. With that she reaches out and touches his chest with her hand and starts to pull out long strands of silver, liquid fire. It is a curious tugging sensation for Lucky. Slowly the colour changes from silver to gold and the incessant buzzing in his veins dies down and stops. He also notices that on the palm of his right hand is now a gold, shimmering brand. The symbol for Adaru. The vision fades and Lucky finds himself return fully to the standing circle. Andriel is standing before him. “That was interesting” she says “Let’s go back to the settlement.”

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Rusty

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