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The Crowfall Chronicles - Part 2 Of ?


oridi
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Part 1 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/1348-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-1-of/


 

The Crowfall Chronicles  Part 2 of ?/
 

Olbuf strode through the Great Hall of the Nest, his rage neatly bottled and placed to the side until the destruction of the interloper was complete.  What had seemed to be a mortally wounded forest creature had turned into a cunning enemy that had left him bound in his own castle.

A female apparently, which made killing more difficult and easier at the same time.  Always a tough thing to kill a female as in Olbuf’s personal code of conduct women were property and prizes, to be protected as valuable assets.  But also easier to kill since they were usually poorly dressed for fighting and rarely had the strength that Olbuf had been building for years.
 

Regardless, this particular woman did need to be destroyed.  She was tricky, devious, dishonest and needed to be killed, if only to keep the story quiet of how someone bested the mighty warrior Olbuf and left him tied up in his own hall.

He stopped short at the archway that led from the Great Hall to the staircase curving down to the first floor.  Trep was close behind, sniffling and trying to keep his Master between himself and any perceived danger.  Something was odd about the railing of the staircase, something muted about the way the light hit the usually glowing wood. Olbuf stepped forward quietly, alert for ambush, and sniffed the banister.  Grease.  Bacon grease to be precise.   “Clean this up,” he muttered to Trep as he cautiously started down the stairs.

As he descended his eye was caught by something laying at the foot of the stairs far below.  What advantage Olbuf had in hearing was lost in eyesight and he squinted, trying to make out what was there.   Halfway down he realized it was his greataxe and his pace increased as his hand twitched, lost without his legendary weapon.  When he reached the bottom he restrained himself from picking up the axe immediately, looking for a well placed poisoned thorn or weighted tripwire.  The only odd thing he could perceive was a small but fresh looking Toral Root laying on the blade of the axe.

“How long was I unconscious?” Olbuf called up the stairs to Trep.  Trep froze, his tongue still mid-lick on the greased banister.  “Half a day,” the page called down.  “Half a day?!” thought Olbuf as an unfamiliar feeling of slight panic rose in him.  He cleared his mind and took a deep breath.  Nothing would be accomplished by moving into fear and it was becoming quite apparent that the encounter in the forest may not have been completely accidental.  “Search the castle,” he growled up at Trep and as he picked up the root and his axe and headed towards the weapons room.

---

 

The creature that had caused such consternation was tucked into the trunk of a tree, miles from the looming bulk of the Nest.  She had spent her morning creating false trails and tying bits of bloodstained clothing to the tails of squirrels.  She knew that there was no real way to throw the warrior off her trail completely but at least she could keep him out of his castle for a day or two so she could complete her preparations.

And there was a great deal to do.  Tunnels to dig, walls to build up, halls to divert, secret hollows that needed furnishing, and she needed stores.  Non-perishable food could be stolen from the castle’s larder and she’d need to create a network of hidden pipes to siphon water from the well.  There were plenty of crows about the place so that was a decent source of fresh food and with a bit of luck and a few days of uninterrupted work she’d be well on her way to achieving her goal.

The creature was moving into the Nest.

.---

The Nest had always been there, though ownership had changed over the centuries.  Towering over the surrounding forest, the castle was built of dark grey stone and legend had it that the dwarves had originally created the Nest as a prison to hold the worst criminals as far away from civilized lands as possible.  Time had redefined the map and now the Nest was within a day’s ride of several towns, much to the chagrin of their mayors.

The castle had never been fully mapped and the current owner Olbuf had not even seen more than a third of the massive structure.  There were labyrinths of hallways mixed with abandoned ballrooms, exquisitely ruined courtyards and miles of steps leading to broken landings and impromptu lakes of rainwater.  Rumors abounded of ancient mines far below the Nest and hidden bones tucked into moldering rooms just waiting for a lucky adventurer to strike it rich with the skeleton’s fiercely guarded hoard of gold.

In reality however few if any visitors dared the wide pool of steps that rippled from the front door of the Nest and even fewer actually lifted the crow shaped door knocker to let loose a thudding announcement that a visitor was at the door.  It was not just that the castle was said to be cursed but there were the crows to contend with.   Hundreds of them – maybe even a thousand – whirled around the Nest, eyes keen and beaks sharp.  Any visitor was subjected to first their stare, then their derisive caws, then – if the intruder was unlucky – their angry dive bombing.   And if someone actually got through the gauntlet of crows there was Olbuf to deal with.  And no one wanted to ever, ever have to deal with Olbuf.

 

 

Part 3 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/1639-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-3-of/

Edited by Oridi

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The Chronicles of Crowfall           The Free Lands of Azure            RIP Doc Gonzo.

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