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The Crowfall Chronicles - Part 8 Of ?


oridi
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This has to have been the most fun chunk of the story to write so far because it has some of the other players in it from these boards.  My gratitude goes to Ellie and Fawne from Lantern Watch and guest contributor Vaands. They developed the outlines of their character and I'm very much hoping to see them in future sections of the Crowfall Chronicles.

Thank you for all the likes and kind comments- they are very much appreciated.  I started this tale to tell Oridi's back story and so far it's her background that has the least explanation.  Go figure. 

 

Part 1 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-1-of/
Part 2 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-2-of/
Part 3 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-3-of/
Part 4 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-4-of/
Part 5 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-5-of/

Part 6 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.cro...cles-part-6-of/
Part 7 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/2131-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-7-of/#entry55082

 

 

 

 

Crowfall Chronicles Part 8 of ?
(Featuring characters developed by Ellie, Fawne, and Vaands)

 

Olbuf leaned his battleaxe against the bar and lifted the glass of ale to his lips as soon as it was set down before him.  The tavern was the only place in Martletown he could stand to be in for more than a minute, mainly because at least in the bar no one pestered him.  Kill this, save those, so and so was maimed – the demands were endless.
 

Old beyond remembrance, the tavern had been the first building raised in the village.  The inside was smoky and dim, with the entire ceiling covered by an intricate grid of iron bars hung with bottles, pots, baskets, herbs, cast off pieces of armor and the occasional animal horn. The floor was polished wood, scarred from decades of brawls and boots and the barkeep Torm was said to be older than the hills.

 

The townspeople and travelers in the still, nearly silent tavern focused even more intently on Olbuf when he announced to Torm that he needed a new page. 

 

A slight woman with golden brown hair was dressed all in black and standing at the bar.  She turned her head from her companion and shot a glance towards Olbuf, her deep blue eyes alert as she heard his demand.  Her hands slowly drifted from sight and her stance shifted to one more suited to combat than conversation.

 

The boisterous group of everything from elkens to dryans in the back corner lowered their conversation down to a slight murmer as Olbuf declared his need for a page.  The well armed chinchilla perched on the edge of their table leaned over a bit as a swordwielder murmered something in her ear. The coin sized bit of white fur over her nose flashed in the dim light as she gracefully slid down off the table and was lost to sight.

 

His brow slightly furrowed, a centaur sat with his legs tucked under him on the floor, with the front wall of the tavern on one side of him and a well cared for bow & quiver on the other.  His bearing spoke of combat training and a military crest flashed on the ring he wore on his hand. His brown eyes betrayed no emotion and only the subtle shift of his hooves belied his preparation for possible battle.  

 

“And where then is Trep?  Have you released him home to us?” asked the barkeep, his hands well clear of the bar and his back nearly against the kegs behind him. Torm was a big enough man but nowhere near the size or strength of the warrior.

 

“No”, grunted Olbuf.  “He was consorting with the enemy and escaped before I could mete out appropriate punishment.  No idea where he is but kill him if you see him.” 

 

Torm let out a gasp of disbelief and asked, “What?” 

 

Mutters could be heard around the tavern:

“Trep? Consorting? He could barely kiss his own wife in public”
“Not that kind of consorting – he means teaming up with”
“Who would team up with Trep?  He’s nice but not a lot to offer teammate wise”
“Well he did find the new spot for the well”
“He did at that and remember when he got drunk that one time”
“Trep’s never gotten drunk”
“Yes he did – and he thought Barlt’s house was his and slept in the downstairs  bedroom for 2 days.  Barlt didn’t have the heart to kick him out so he slept in the guest room until Trep sobered up.”
“Remember when Billt got so drunk he wound up floating down the Curld River all the way to the sea?”
“Billt never made it all the way to the sea”
“Yes he did - and…”

 

The mutters turned to regular conversations and the barkeep leaned on the bar and asked Olbuf again about Trep, ignoring the clearly misheard order to kill him.  “So he’s disappeared then?”

 

“Yes”, said Olbuf as he settled onto one of the more solid chairs at the bar.  “I was hunting a terrible foe in the forest and Trep gave them both warning and assistance.  His punishment is death.”  Olbuf saw nothing wrong with lying about what had really happened.  No one told the truth about what actually occurred on the battlefield.  If they did, no one would ever want to be a warrior and then where would pages come from?.  “Food” he ordered as he slammed his empty ale glass onto the bar.

 

Torm nodded his head at the barmaid and she headed to the kitchen to find some food.  Feeding Olbuf was a hit and miss prospect at best.  Meat, maybe tubers, no vegetables required but the meat had to be bloody and simple was best all around.

 

“I need a new page”, repeated Olbuf to the barkeep.  “One that can hold a sword this time.” 

“We’re heading into Winter and there’s no one that we can really spare.  Maybe in the Spring”, offered Torm. 

 

Olbuf glared at the barkeep.  “I need a new page. Now.” His voice raised slightly.

 

Torm held his ground.  “You can ask the Mayor if you like, but I don’t know of anyone that would fit the bill.  Winter is coming early and every single person is needed.” There was no way Torm was sending another innocent person, man or lad, to be Olbuf’s page.  All of them had wound up dead or missing.

 

The warrior stood up and loomed over the bar, his huge head inches away from the bottles and dried herbs that hung from the rack above him.  “I need a new page.  Point me to one or I’ll pick myself. “  His voice boomed through the tavern and his hand instinctively reached down for the handle of his axe.

In a flash the black clad woman was over the bar and standing between Torm and Olbuf.  The level gaze of her striking eyes bore into Olbuf as he inhaled in preparation for another bellow.  “Do you claim the right of fealty from these townpeople?” asked the woman in a low voice.

 

“What? I claim every right from every person in this cesspool of a village!” Olbuf shouted.  “Do I not keep them safe from the predations of the Hunger?  Do I not risk life and limb daily in the deep forest, keeping the beasts at bay? They owe me their lives and regardless of that I am their liege lord! Their women are mine, their crops are mine, their children are mine and they will suffer my wrath if I’m not given a page right now!”

 

Mutters flitted through the air as the villagers in the tavern gave voice to their discontent:
 

“Yeah, some protection he offers, letting us stay every Winter underground while he sits in that huge empty castle.”
“Right and what about when he offered that snake filled tower when the Mayor asked if we could shelter on the way back from the festival?”
“Remember when Wrell’s boy got mauled by that wolf?  Did he ever catch the wolf?”
“I never saw a pelt – did you see a pelt?”
“What exactly does he do again in that Nest of his?
“What happened to Trep? Where is Trep?”
“Hey how come he needs another page so soon – Trep was there less than a cycle.”
“What about the kid before Trep – we never saw the body – that was the orphan boy that came to town from the northern road, right?”
“Did he say to kill Trep? Or that he killed Trep?”
“He killed Trep?!?”

 

The mumbled comments swelled.  Olbuf narrowed his eyes and picked up his battleaxe.  Behind him, unseen, stood the chinchilla.  She seemed quite cheerful as she skillfully climbed up the rockwood roof post behind Olbuf's stool, slipping through the heavy bars of the bottle rack and pressing herself close to the ceiling.  She silently positioned herself directly above Olbuf’s head and pulled free a length of old rope that had been wrapped around her waist.

 

The woman in black between Olbuf and Torm remained still, unmoved by Olbuf’s rant.  “Why don’t we take this outside” she suggested calmly. Olbuf looked confused and paused for a moment.  In his mind he was battling Torm, not this slip of a female and the discrepancy was distracting. 

He swung his axe up on his shoulder, forgetting how close the ceiling was for a man his height.  The battleaxe smashed the bottles hanging from the rack above him and sliced the iron of the rack like butter.  Above him the nimble chinchilla rolled sideways out of the way and then snuck back to carefully loop the rope at the base of the axehead twice where it joined the handle.  She tied the ends of the rope tightly to the sheared but still hanging iron grid and then inched herself to the edge of the rack, flipping down to the ground without a sound. She was out of sight before anyone could blink twice. 

 

Olbuf growled in a low voice to the woman standing between him and Torm. “You have three seconds to get out of the way.”  She raised one eyebrow then gave a tolerant half smile and stayed in place.

With a snarl, Olbuf grabbed the axe on his shoulder with both hands and started to swing it around over his head, intending on a blow that would separate heads from shoulders.  But the rope between axe and iron held and rather than swing the axe Olbuf wound up tugging hard on the iron grid.  Bottles and pans rained down on him, loosened by his violent jerks as he struggled to get his axe free.

 

Torm, no fool, leapt over the bar and started hustling patrons out the tavern doors and windows. The centaur rose to his feet.  The woman in black waited patiently behind the bar as Olbuf wrenched his axe free and immediately swung it at her neck.

 

She bent backwards effortlessly, her eyes following the axe as it arced above her face, missing her by an inch. Once the axe was past she swung her torso sideways and straightened into a roundhouse kick that landed on the handle of the axe – driving it through to continue its arc with renewed power. Olbuf, surprised by the added momentum, tightened his grip and as he held firmly to the handle the axe head buried itself deep into the stonewood roof pillar. 

 

The woman vaulted over the bar and, grabbing the last villager, dove out the front door.

 

Olbuf had both hands on the handle of his axe, wrenching it from side to side as he tried to loosen it from the pillar.  As he grunted with effort the centaur crossed the tavern in 2 leaps and pivoted to deliver a sharp blow with a back hoof to Olbuf’s forehead.   Olbuf fell to the ground face down among the rubble.

 

The centaur turned at the sound of a gasp.  There in the doorway to the kitchen was the barmaid, a large platter of nearly raw meat held in both hands.  She looked at the centaur then delicately picked her way through the broken shards and carefully placed the platter of food on the floor by Olbuf’s head.

 

 

The Crowfall Chronicles - Part 9 of ? http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/2228-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-9-of/


Woman in Black - Ellie

Chinchilla - Fawne
Centaur - Vaands

Edited by Oridi

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

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real talent :)

Maybe it not about the happy ending. Maybe it's about the story.

RIP Doc Gonzo "to anyone...speak your mind...defend your position...be prepared for an Argument and enjoy the process of the discussion...that's all part of any good Forum experience"

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I just need the cap 9... NOW

I loved the way you ended that chapter. Not because of the centaur (ok, a little) but because of the thing that the barmaid did with the food.  xD

"An ordinary archer practices until he gets it right. A Ranger practices until he never gets it wrong." -The Lost Stories  


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✣Junte-se a nós✣

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