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The Crowfall Chronicles - Part 9 Of ?


oridi
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Another fun section!  This time our guest character creators are Fiblit and Luscia - and I had a great time adding them in. 

As always, thank you for the kind words and comments.
 

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.cro...-of/#entry55082
Part 8 of the Crowfall Chronicles - http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/2168-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-8-of/

 

 

Crowfall Chronicles Part 9 of ?
(Featuring characters developed by Fiblit and Luscia)

 

 

Oridi struggled through the snow, her slight frame buffeted by the winds that came swooping around the corner of the castle. Olbuf, Lord and Master of the Nest, had been gone for 2 days now, off to the southern village to get a new page if Trep’s nervous babbling was correct.  The warrior was likely to return at any moment but Oridi wanted to get one last piece of Trep’s old clothing into the forest, to be stolen by squirrels for their nests or used by otters to line their burrows.  Her eyes squinted against the wind and her face was wrapped completely in woolen scarves in an effort to repel the winter chill long enough to finish this last task.

 

A loud caw interrupted her thoughts and she stopped short at the sight of a crow hovering just in front of her, its wings spread as it rode the wind - a master of sky and storm. Another loud caw came from it and Oridi half cawed in return, both intrigued and puzzled.  The crow moved towards her and she took a step back.  As she did so her glance went to the treeline of the forest and she felt her breath stop at the sight of the horribly familiar bluewhite presence of the Hunger, flickering just at the edge of her line of sight into the trees.

 

“Gaea bless you” she murmured without thinking to the crow and backed up quickly – never taking her eyes from the Hunger as she made her way to the castle wall and then quickly around the corner to the stable gate. She was over the gate in a instant though the climb felt like it took years. The crow stuck by her side, now floating in the wind, now flapping circles around her.

 

Oridi slammed open the door to the stables and ran down to the hay bales stored against the farthest wall. A shift of a few bales revealed a tunnel through the pile and she crawled in quickly and then stopped to look for the crow.  It was perched on a rafter far above and seemed to be ignoring her now that the immediate danger was over.  She muttered her thanks once more and tugged at the heavy hay bales, moving them back into place.

 

---

 

“I tell you, it was the Hunger” Oridi insisted to Trep, who maintained that it was mid Fall at the very latest and simply too early for anything remotely Hungerlike.  Oridi dragged him out of the bed of furs he spent most of the day in, pushing and prodding him until he put on a warmer robe and wearily climbed the main stairs to the battlements, shifting angles a few times to keep his walking lines straight.  The two of them stepped out onto the battlements, leaning against the wind as they made their way to the arrow slits overlooking the northern edge of the forest.

 

The blue white flickering was unmistakable. It had spread to most of the upper part of the forest within view and while the wind obscured the sound of the animal’s  screams it made no difference.  Once you had seen and heard the Hunger take its prey there was no way to forget.  Oridi shook her head and put her hands over her ears as if to block out the sounds coming from within.  

 

Trep’s face was even whiter than usual. “This is unbalanced.  There should be no Winter now but the storm is a Winter storm.  There should be no Hunger and yet there are the Signs and the colors of death.”  His voice was altered – somehow stronger and more confident, as if the danger brought him to his senses.  “We need to warn the villages.”

 

“We also need to get down off these battlements” ordered Oridi, as if she had not been the one that  forced Trep to come up there. “Olbuf will be back at any moment and just think how wonderful it would be for him to see us here, still in the Nest right under his nose.”

 

“We need to warn the villagers”, repeated Trep as Oridi pulled him back to the stairs and they headed down out of sight.

 

“How?” snapped Oridi.  “You saw how quickly it’s moving.”

 

“The crows. We’ll use the crows.”  Trep sped up and took the stairs 2 at a time, his elbows and knees at odd angles, his straight lines forgotten as he raced down to the bottom then ran pell-mell out of sight.  

 

Oridi frowned then shrugged, continuing at an even pace down the stairs. Her day would be filled with double checking hidden stores of food and making sure that their presence in the Nest was well hidden. If Trep wanted to save the villagers then he could have at it.  She had no love for them.

 

---

 

The Mayor of Martletown was a pleasant enough fellow, and folks just usually called him by his first name, Eld.  The high bridge of his nose and heavy cast to his brows were a bit on the Elk side of things so plenty of jokes were made by the young ones in town about the Mayor hoofing it to visit someone or throwing a stag party.

 

No jokes flitted between the 5 people gathered around a round wooden table deep underground.  The room they met in was full of art and the walls were richly colored.  None of them paid the décor any mind as they pored over a tall pile of old papers placed on the table.

 

Eld the Mayor was there, and Torm the Barkeep.  Krell, the scarred man that had instructed the lads to turn shovels into weapons was there and so was the village doctor, Marl. Marl had been raised on an outer world free from the Hunger but had spent most of her life on this inner planet Parl, caring for different villages and final settling in Martletown.  Lastly there was Ellaarn, who had no official title but was a combination scientist, lore expert, and Hunger master.  Nothing much happened in the village without her knowing so it was easier to just bring her into the decision making process rather than move forward to find her blocking things down the road.

 

“You can see where the edge of the hunger rolled right through the inner fields last cycle.” Ellaarn pointed at the top paper on the pile.  It was a map of the village and the surrounding fields and forest edges. Hand drawn on translucent paper, it was carefully color coded to show where the key resources were in the town and  environs, with the permanent structures and natural landmarks drawn in heavy black ink.  There was one map for each King’s Year, going back for at least a century. 

 

The areas impacted by the Hunger were colored in a bright, aching blue and a quick inspection of the maps for the last few decades showed a distinct shift in the pattern of the Hunger.  It was getting closer and closer to the Village.  This year they were likely to have the Hunger come in close enough to cover the entrances of the underground village.  No one alive could remember that happening.

 

Martletown was built in a spot where the Hunger did not spread in the Winter.  Natural hill and rock formations and forest growth guided the Hunger to certain patterns – or at least it had. Now the Hunger had spread everywhere and there was no escaping the fact that once the villagers went underground they were there for the duration of Winter.

 

“How long are we provisioned for now?” asked Marl, frowning at last Year’s map.  Most Winter years the villagers were able to slip above ground and do some quick hunting or tend to the winter crops.

 

“6 months” offered Krell.  “There are fewer folks in the village so the non-perishables will hold out for 8 to 9 months but we’ve only enough fresh stores for 6 months.  The wells are still good and the spring down there is still running strong so we’ve got water indefinitely.  If we’re not able to get out at all to hunt then we can push it until the non-perishables run out but it will be grim living.”

 

Last cycle’s Winter had lasted nearly 2 years.  The men and women around the table knew that the village’s chance of surviving the Winter while cornered underground by the Hunger was slim to none.

 

---

 

Baord, Sill and Port sat silently with their backs against a wall on an upper level of the underground village. The vent on the floor next to them was part of an intricate system of air circulation that was connected to the room where the Mayer and his advisors were talking. 

 

Silently Baord motioned for the others to get up and follow him.  Clearly distressed, he led them around a corner and down a hall out of earshot of the vent. 

 

“Did you hear that?” he sputtered, nearly incoherent.  “The Hunger is boxing us in down here and we won’t have enough food to survive.  We’re going to starve to death – it’s a matter of numbers and numbers don’t lie.”  His eyes filled with tears and wordlessly he sat down in the middle of the hall.

 

Sill sat down next to him, his usually worried face blank.  “What are we going to do?  We can’t survive outside, we can’t survive inside. What are we going to do?” Sill’s last question came out as more of a plea.

 

Port sat down facing the two boys. “We’re going to clear the tunnel to the Nest.”

 

“We can’t go to the Nest.  Lord Olbuf will kill us.” Sill’s voice was like a knife on stone.

 

“Not if he has a page that convinces him to take the village in.”

 

Baord and Sill stared at Port as if he’d gone mad.

 

Port stood up.  “I have no family anymore.  The Hunger got them all.  You are as close as I have to family and I’ll not see you or anyone in this village fall to the Hunger while I can help it.”  He half smiled, half winced at Sill. “You can have my job at the threshers until the village goes underground and you Baord can have all my books.  Don’t think I’ll be having much time for reading.”

 

With that Port turned and strode down the hall, his feet going faster and faster until he was running.  Baord and Sill looked at each other for a long moment in disbelief and then jumped up and ran after him.

 

---

 

The afternoon light was slightly tinged with green as it slowly moved across the tavern floor.  It nearly reached the bootclad feet of a slender figure seated by the fireplace, a hood covering his face as he bent over a convoluted mass of wood and wire on the table before him.  The surface of the table was scattered with bits and pieces of wood and random lengths of wire mixed with delicate tools.  The tangled pile before the man was a broken instrument, though it was not clear whether the instrument started in its current condition or was repaired into it.   Curled asleep on the table, half on top of a pile of broken staves, was a small fox with brilliant white fur.

 

The mess on the tavern floor left by the fight earlier in the day had been swept up and except for the rather empty state of the bar things looked fairly normal. One thing did jar the senses a bit and that was the still prone figure of Olbuf, his breath whistling through his nose which was slightly squashed against the tavern floor.  Next to him still was his plate of food, now cold and congealed.

 

Seated at the table closest to Olbuf was a Knight, dressed in black with a pattern of lanterns scrawled onto the fabric.  His shaggy black hair was clearly cut with a combat knife - that and the crescent moon tattoo around his left eye hinted that he was an experienced fighter. His eyes kept up a steady rotation of front door, back door, larger windows, Olbuf.

 

The bar door slammed open and Port came barreling into the room, avoiding Olbuf’s body on the floor at the last minute by leaping over him.  Bright green eyes flashed as the fellow repairing the instrument glanced up at the new arrival.  The fox and the Knight did not stir. 

 

“Lord Olbuf! Wake up sir, you’ve slept most the day away and you must return to your castle.  Sir!  Wake up!” Port gave up on just shouting and braved a quick shake of Olbuf’s massive shoulder.

 

Olbuf opened his eyes but did not move.  “I will not leave this village without a page”, he growled, the volume of his voice rising with every word.  The hooded fellow raised his eyebrows and nodded as if he could almost admire Olbuf’s consistency of thought.

 

“I will be your page my Lord, if you’ll have me”, said Port in a voice nearly but not quite shaking. “Only we must leave now as the night will soon fall and even you my Lord don’t want to be in the deep forest after dark."

 

Olbuf rose to his feet, standing securely as if he’d never been laying face down on the floor.  He bent down and grabbed a chunk of meat, gnawing at it as he gestured to the still open door.  “Start running then lad and if you can beat me to the Nest then you can be my page.  If you arrive after me you can spend the night outside.”

 

Port did not hesitate.  He tore out of the tavern and ran full tilt past Baord and Sill who were on their way to talk him out of becoming Olbuf’s page.  When they saw Olbuf come out of the Tavern next, the bloody hunk of meat still in his hand, the two boys quickly turned to the side and pretended to be gazing out over the fields, pointing and nodding in fake agreement.

 

Once Olbuf had safely strolled by behind them the boys edged their way, wild eyed, over to the tavern. They slowly peered into the window closest to the door and met the eyes of the Knight.  With a gasp they ducked below the window ledge and started a rapid fire conversation interspersed with sharp exhalations and occasional shakes of their heads.

 

“Was that?”

“It was!”

“The Mayor?”

“Must have!”

“He came!”

“At the call of the Mayor!”

“Do you think?”

“The sword?”

“The sword!”

“The diamond one?”

“Did you see it?”

“No did you?”

“Is it him?”

“Is there a sword?”

“I don’t know!”

“Port!”

“Port!”

“He ran by us”

“Back below ground?”

“Where else would he go?”

“But the Knight - did you see a sword?”

“I don’t know!”

 

The boys scrambled to their feet and went into the tavern, jittery but determined.  They stopped at the sight of Olbuf’s unfinished meal on the floor and then were jostled forward by the crowd coming into the tavern now that Olbuf was gone. 

 

The tavern quickly filled with people all calling for ale and revisiting the events of what was now being called the Great Fall of Olbuf.  Torm the barkeep could be seen shaking the hand of the Knight and the white fox finally woke up and stretched, baring its bright white teeth and then settling down to watch its companion work.

 

The 2 boys were pushed nearly to the back door before they were able to hold their own and claim a spot where they could see both the front door and the table where the Knight had been.  They both held their breath as the Knight was suddenly visible, paused at the front door before leaving.  He turned just a bit and the sword sheathed by his side was seen for a moment, the hilt glittering in the pale late afternoon light. His mouth quirked in a private smile when he heard the explosions of “did ya see?” “yeah I saw!” float over the crowd from the direction of the boys.

 

The Crowfall Chronicles - Part 10 of ? http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/2260-the-crowfall-chronicles-part-10-of/

 

 

Woman in Black - Ellie

Chinchilla - Fawne
Centaur - Vaands
Man with Fox - Fiblit
Knight - Luscia

 

Edited by Oridi

pixS8Wt.jpg


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

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The afternoon light was slightly tinged with green as it slowly moved across the tavern floor.  It nearly reached the bootclad feet of a slender figure seated by the fireplace, a hood covering his face as he bent over a convoluted mass of wood and wire on the table before him.  The surface of the table was scattered with bits and pieces of wood and random lengths of wire mixed with delicate tools.  The tangled mess before the man was a broken instrument, though it was not clear whether the instrument started in its current condition or was repaired into it.   Curled asleep on the table, half on top of a pile of broken staves, was a small fox with brilliant white fur.

Hahah! That's me!   :D

 

 

Great work as always! 

Edited by Fiblit

Life is not a Destination  -- Enjoy the Journey

Stand back, then, my friend. Stand back, watch and learn.

wxDQ4r3.png

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Best installment yet.

But I wonder where the group that felled Olbuf went?

My bets are either underground, another village, or they got taken by the hunger.  :o

Life is not a Destination  -- Enjoy the Journey

Stand back, then, my friend. Stand back, watch and learn.

wxDQ4r3.png

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But I wonder where the group that felled Olbuf went?

 

That will depend on whether they let me continue their story! 

 

Introducing them is one thing but what actually happens to their character next involves a level to their backstory that requires much more participation from the character's creators.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep weaving their characters into the story.

pixS8Wt.jpg


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

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Oh Oridi, you are as cruel as the CF devs.    Written brilliantly as usual, but so many questions unanswered.   As Chancellor mentioned we Need to know about the group that left the Oaf on the ground sleeping.  :)

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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That will depend on whether they let me continue their story! 

 

Introducing them is one thing but what actually happens to their character next involves a level to their backstory that requires much more participation from the character's creators.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep weaving their characters into the story.

Just tell me what to do and i will do it. 

"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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I'm just dying to know about my Green Lady. I can't do much of anything with a personal story until I know what I have to go on. 

 

All I know is: She is a tea master and a naturalist with an affinity for herbal blends of varying lethality. She loves woodland creatures and uses them as familiars that travel along on hedge riding adventures. She dislikes crowds and prefers to live among the oak trees. Druidic, or shamanic perhaps. Deadly if provoked; an observant creature with a taste for sarcasm and no patience for fools and cowards. She will not hesitate to call for Ellie if need arises, and the two are often found together, pouring over ancient books of shadow and crafting strategies to triumph over the evils of men and Hunger. 

 

***Hedge riding refers to magical practice that requires riding the thin line between the mundane and the magical worlds. My Green Lady can also send people to ride the hedge with various potions, unguents, and teas. She sometimes does this in service to Maat, the Weigher of Souls, in payment for her wisdom and protection. 

 

Oridi, I think I was supposed to post this somewhere else, but I can't remember where, and i just had a moment to sit down and dash it off. Sorry. 

Click your profile name>Click Manage Ignore Prefs>Find "Add a new user to my list" at the bottom of the page>Type in a username>Check options>Save Changes>Silence is bliss.

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