Dark days for a Thunden
Day one without Chauntea's grace
As troops regroup within Jiyyd's walls, Lyte sits at her table writing airborne scoffs as others help nudge siege equipment in place. Each soldier with their order and not a person stopping for but a moments rest and a morsel of food stuffed down their craw for nourishment. In this panicked ensemble a lone figure off sets this chaos as she mourns near Jiyyd's central lake etching names into flat stones before tossing them into the waters surface.
"Thirteens folks miss Chauntea….thirteen folks diedededs cause yuhs stripped Telli a yuhs gift. And how many mores gonna dies juss so yuhs can makes yuh point ta Telli... Yuh coulda takens dems gifts anytimes yuh wanted… buh yuh waited till NOWS... till WAR was on us...
Yuh tolds Telli she was supposed ta defends farmas ands lil'uns... and keeps ems safe... wull... Telli gonna do dats... till she's deads... buh yuh… yuh get ta explains ta da folks why yuh abandonedededs ems in der time of greatestest need...
If yuhs gonna punish Telli den punish Telli...buh a lot a dese folks don't deserves its... and deys gonna die cause yuhs ain'ts here helpings... Takes whatcha hads fer Telli ands givedededs its ta someone else or sometings... buh ta juss takes its and holds onta its when so many peoples dependings ons whatcha can do... dats juss wrong... WRONG Chauntea…. wrong..."
Muffled sniffles are heard echoing from the lake within Jiyyd as a stout dwarf sits cross legged huddled within herself finally feeling just how much her squat shoulders can take and this is more then she'd ever imagined to bare.
Day One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Two Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Telli dragged her feet along the dirt road exhausted as she made her way towards Z’s farm. It was located on the outskirts of Norwick and seemed like miles to a tired overweight dwarf.
“Why did Mr Z builds his dumb farms on a hill…” Telli grumbled gripping her legs by the thigh literally helping them up the hill. Sighing she looked around wiping some sweat from her brow.
“Hey ders Max…” Z’s dog wagged his tail a bit before running off.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK Telli began pounding on Z’s door.
“Wake up Mr Z….WAKE UP!….It’s time fer our trips!....Telli didn’t tell no one likedededs yuhs askedededs.”
Standing there in silence for a while Telli dragged a nearby barrel over to Z’s window climbing atop it to look within Z’s home. It looked quiet and undisturbed…
”Whatcha doing there lady…”
“Ahhh…” Telli came crashing to the ground sending grass to the air due to the brunt force of her frame.
”oh…oh…” The halfing farmer flinched a bit holding back his hand.
“owf…” Telli dusted herself off waddling over to the stranger. “I’m lookings fer Mr Z… haves yuh seen hims feller?”
”No…can’t say I have…did you try looking in his fields….thats where he was this morning.”
Max came running up the hill rubbing up against the farmer dropping a vial by his foot.
Telli shrugged looking at the man before blinking. Deduction took a while longer to process for Telli then most.
“Oh…oh….OOOOhhhh….Telli knows… Dat Mr Z’s…its water from his fountain! Buh… he wouldn’t juss leave it lyings arounds…. I wonder where he is…”
”Mrs. Winchill mentioned seeing a flock of something flying east a here a little while back. Said they didn’t have normal wings of feathers like birds.”
“Dat nots goods…. Yuh….tink mebbe dey haves Mr Z?…. He wouldn’t have lefts dis vial ahind….”
”Don’t rightly know…”
“Will yuh watch Mr Z’s doggie fer me’s… Telli’s gonna go see if she can findededs somes helps finding Mr Z.”
”Good luck… let him know I fed Max dinner if yuh come across him…”
Telli waved running and sliding down the hill hopping to her feet at the bottom. As she made her way towards Norwick it was quickly apparent no one other then a few guards were around. Telli sighed heading north as nervousness crept across her demeanor. Her mind shuffled through the gambit of questions that trickled into her thick melon. What if she failed? How would she save Mr Z just by herself? What….What if she failed Chauntea again?
Just then a chunk of fur caught Telli’s attention from the corner of her eye. A wolf was off in the opposite direction increasing the distance between Telli and itself.
“Wait…WAIT….WAITS!” Telli screamed cupping her hands as the wolf skidded to a stop turning its head in a tilt.
“Mr Jerrick?….Mr Jerrick!? I NEED YUHS HELPS!”
The creature shifted to its hind quarters as its form altered revealing a woman.
”Its me Telli…”
“Oh…Miss Belia… hurry ders not much times ta explains.. I NEED yer HELP. Mr Z is missings…”
”He’s probably in the Norwick crafting hall.”
“No… I tink Demons mighta takens hims!”
”oh…Where…to?” She replied curiously.
“I…tink ta da Mintas Woods… Dats where… he saidededs der was dis prollem dat needed fixings…”
”..oh…were going to need help.”
“Der ain’t no ones in Norwick, and we outta times miss Belia… yuh can look…buh Telli’s gona start headings ta whats left a Jiyyd… don’t takes fereva okee?”
Telli rushed along passing the crater that was once Sam’s Hill and through the pass opening on her way to Jiyyd as Belia finally caught up.
“Any luck findings anyones?”
“Durn….dis gonna be tougher den I hopedededs fer…” Deep down Telli’s nerves were on edge, she was counting on Z to show her what was needed to push back the taint.
”There’s a couple figures on the outskirts of Jiyyd up ahead…
“Hunh?” Telli squinted seeing a contrast in stature between the pair.
“Mr….Aramuil….Mr…Theaon….whatcha two doings outs here….”
”We came to investigate some creatures that flew overhead.” Aramuil replied with a confident grin.
“Oh….um….yuh tink yuh could gives us a hand findings Mr Z?”
”Did….he go off on a pilgrimage again….”
“Not….exactlies… I tink he was takens…”
”Oh…Lead the way then.”
As the four ventured into the heart of what was once a thriving farmland, the smell of sulfur and smoke still permeated from within.
“Over der!!!” Telli pointed as a winged creatures eyes widened and lept to the sky swooping down on the four.
RAAAaaaaHHhhhh…. The creature thrashed at Telli as she shoved her spear through its wing sending it rolling across the ground.
Theaon rushed over sinking his blade into its midsection.
“I…tink dat mights be one a dems winged creatures Mrs Winchill was talkings abouts….”
”At least we now know were going in the right direction…” Theaon uttered pulling his blade from the soft portion of the beast.
The four traveled on putting down swarms of poisonous frogs and snakes as they came across them. Entering the Mintas Woods one thing was quickly evident… the lack of animals was unsettling and erie to say the least. Corpses met the group every twenty feet or so and Telli sprinkled some of the vial blessed by Chauntea on each they came across.
”Whats that?!?” Aramuil shouted as he pointed off in the distance.
“Its….Its Mr Z’s sewings kit… he definatelies is in troubles.” Telli frowned picking it up. “We betta hurry…”
The group was quickly approaching Mintas Rheglor until they heard a growl from around the corner…
Telli gasped as she turned the corner seeing a hulking beast holding a lifeless dire tiger in its grasp…
The creature flung the tiger over its shoulder rushing towards Telli….
“Oh no yuh don’t….yuh stupid big….ugly….TING!”
Telli lunged her mass at the creatures shin causing it to topple over her body to the ground.
”Dieeee….” Theaon shouted as he ran up driving his sword into the mass of the creature neck.
It lurched and shifted back to its feet as Theaon lost the grip of his two handed blade. Theaons eyes widened as the rotting creature stooped over his body.
Just then magical spheres of light shot against the creatures face sending it backwards writhing in pain as it thrashed its massive hands about.
“Mr Theaon go fer its shins….” Telli and Theaon traded blows to each leg of the beast till it crumpled to its knees once more…
A well placed arrow finished the beast as Belia looked to the others.
Its getting late, we should get going…”
Mintas Rheglor loomed in the distance as the four made their way through the gates into the haunted city. A large hole was surrounded by water that moved and shifted in arcs before rising to form creatures filled with dirty mucky water.
”I…don’t like the looks of those things.” Aramuil cautioned as Telli stepped forward shaking up the vial she was carrying…
“Telli gots a plans…” Sprinkling some of the vials contents before them Telli prayed over it as the polluted elementals came closer. As each passed across the vials contents its form shifted and the dark murky waters of their frame shifted to crystal clear waters and crashed to the ground losing their original form.
“Who’s….gonna go down dat BIG hole first?”
”I can.” Theaon replied with a shrug.
Once the coast was clear each scaled down the rope to the depth of the hole below. The tunnels below were as confusing and hard to navigate as the cold caverns. To make matters worse after every hundred feet or so a large stone with foreign writing on it was blocking the groups path. The only way through was to answer the written riddle verbally and suffer the consequences should you guess wrong. The majority of the tunnels were filled with beetles and mephitis a sorts. Three rooms possessed note worthy information.
The first, was a room with a large worm covered mound of dirt which kept struggling within itself to seek redemption or destroy everything around it. Sadly with Theaons help, curative blessings destroyed the creature and brought it rest.
The second was a hallway filled with dead priests and priestesses of Lurue, Chauntea, and Mielikki. All were being devoured and eaten upon by the beetles within.
The third and final room was one filled with a dark priest and a veiled woman clutching two daggers curved and ready for delivering death. Thanks to Yondalla’s servant the dark priest was stunned before any lasting damage could be done. However… his altar loomed in the back of the tunnel’s opening covered with severed body parts, pieces of their attire hinting to them being followers of Chauntea and Mielikki.
Cries poured out from around the corner as Aramuil, Belia, Theaon, and Telli stood before the altar looking it over.
”What….what was that?” Aramuil uttered with a quirked brow.
”Get us out of here!” The voices echoed around the open tunnels.
As the group made their way around the corner they saw a large gate blocking prisoners within. Z was among them as he stood relieved. ”You guys made it! Thank Chauntea…
”I wouldn’t touch that…” One of the the prisoners shouted as Aramuil pulled his hand away from the gate latch.
”That….feller…” She motions to a dead corpse near the gate. ”… he tried touching it…”
“Dats not goods…”
”There’s…magical warding on it….maybe… it has to do with the altar….” Aramuil casually proclaimed motioning the other three back around the corner with him.
The four of them looked over the altar once more trying to distinguish its hold and possible connection to the gates magical aura.
”What do you think Aramuil?” Theaon prodded as he crossed his arms.”
”Well…it could be connected…”
“Telli gots an idear…”
”What’s that Telli?”
“Telli’s gonna chucks dis vial at dat altar and free dems…”
”Um.. we should probably try and save them before destroying the altar…”
“Telli tinks da altars causing da wards on da ga….”
”IS THERE A PROBLEM?” Z shouted from around the corner.
”No Z…just….try to be patient….” Aramuil replied.
”..alright…” Z uttered with a nervousness to his tone.
“Telli really tinks dis is whats need ta be done Mr Aramuil… dis why Z got da dream….da altars bad…and I still gots almosts HALF a dis water from Chauntea left….lets destroy its….”
”Alright Telli….if you think so….go ahead.”
Taking a few practice throws Telli lets the vial fly end over end at the altar until it smashes into it causing a loud fwoosh. The altar begins to crack and pieces cascade to the floor as a light aura overcomes the altars blight and fades out of existence…
As the others go to free the prisoners Telli stands there hands on her hips happy to have defeated the blight effecting the Mintas woods for so long.
“Danks Chauntea… couldn’t a dones it widouts….yu-……” Just then Telli’s split wreath around her neck begins to glow and interweave back together as a shimmer of light engulfs her form healing her completely.
“uh….uh…..ums….” For a full minute or two Telli stands there speechless until a wide grin engulfs her expression running from ear to ear. As the group turns the corner to approach Telli she’s still glowing faintly.
”Um…miss Telli…everything alright?” Z replied smiling.
No words slithered from Telli’s tongue no matter how hard she tried. She just nodded with a large dopey grin plastered across her face as she snapped her fingers closing her eyes. Bark began to grow and die…..grow and die….and grow and die until it finally covered every inch of her once more.
”Oh…” Z grinned wide. ”….congrats…its… good ta have yuh back.”
“Its….good ta be backs Mr Z….”
The group made their trek back to the bodies littering the hallway as Telli tugged on Z’s cloak to slow him down a moment.
“Danks…” Telli threw the mass of her arms around Z’s thighs hugging them.
”Yer welcome Telli… I’m glad you didn’t give up…”
Letting go she rubbed her bark covered eyes a bit before joining the rest of the group gathered around the dead priests and priestesses.
”Alright…everyone grab a hold a someone or something… this is gonna take a bit and I don’t want anyone left behind…” Aramuil uttered as the group huddled in a circle before a flash of light engulfed their presence and faded. The group was welcomed by a bright sunny afternoon and a half scared Lem off the coast of Jiyyd’s outskirts.
“Telli neva gets usedededs ta dats spells Mr Aramuil.”
”It can be jarring…”
Sighing deeply Telli waved to the group before proclaiming.
“Danks…..fer yuhs helps folks…and… savings Mr Z and da oders…. I…I’ms gonna stay here a little bits…” Telli waddled off towards the flag displaying Chauntea’s colors not saying much. She sat there for the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening praying until she drifted to sleep.
The next day she awoke to the sound of birds and the sun beating down on her chubby face. It took her a moment to gather her bearing and she began to wonder… was it all a dream? She looked down to her stumpy fingertips scared for a moment to know for certain… she glanced down to her once shattered wreath that was now whole once more. The rose in the center sparkled in the daylight. Telli didn’t say much for the next few hours. She just reflected on the path that lead her to her fall.
The point where she almost gave up Chauntea and all her memories of her to the feys just to not hurt any longer. The friends she turned to and helped keep her from losing her faith forever. Totty, Mr Z, Jerrick, Grag, Lyte, and many others. She began to think of all the farming land lost and the pillaging and raping of the land N’jast had accomplished. How much more she could have done to help had she just said “No” to Mr Grag. Had she just forsaken wraith and turned to Chauntea for guidance and direction.
Telli pushed herself to her feet and closed her eyes tightly. She muttered softly to herself and began to weep. So many tears had fallen for five years of trying to earn her place again among Chauntea’s chosen. For the first time in a long time Telli’s tears fell in gratitude and not out of repentance. She held her hands high to the air and a grin trickled across her lips. The solemn words rolled across her lips…”Thank you”…
Day One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty One Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Telli made her way down Norwicks road kicking up dirt and rocks in her wake. Z had told her to stop by as soon as possible after she recovered from the battle with the giant Bebilith.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK…
“Come on in Telli.”
“What didja nees Mr Z…” Telli muttered as she took a seat offered and a meal set before her.
”I….had a dream last night Telli…”
_”.. The land to the east, near Mintas Rhelgor, is dying. Dead and dying dire animals rotting everywhere - beetles, roaches, and other vermin flowing out of the corpses like tiny rivers. Death and rot were everywhere…
Chauntea spoke to me saying…”Find the source and purify it.” That’s when I woke. Telli… follow me. I want to show you something.”_
As the two made their way towards one of Z’s cabinets he began to uncover a piece of cloth producing a vial to show her. It shimmered and illuminated the area around them.
“Whats dis Mr Z?”
_”After my dream last night… I came downstairs and… my altar to Chauntea was glowing bright…so I scooped some of the water up into this vial….
We need ta find the source of the decay and use this to purify it in Chauntea's name. After what we ran across last time we were there, I can really use your help with this.
Can I count on your help, Miss Telli?”_
“Sure MR Z… I’ll helps yuhs… when yuh wants ta go?”
”Tomorrow…stop by in the morning…”
That night Telli tossed and turned in her bed trying to get comfortable, but visions of dying animals and rivers of disease washed over her consciousness every time she shut her eyes.
“I…guess Mr Grag, Jerrick, Sald and Telli not….gets all da disease takens care of….”
Telli frowned turning to her side clutching her pillow knowing that the night would not produce much in terms of sleep. Tomorrow would be a demanding task, but at least she would have Mr Z’s council for the trip to come…
Day One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Telli perched on the ledge looking out over the river towards the ruins of Jiyyd. Under the flag of Chauntea she seeked solace as she wrote in her child like journal.
_”Dis past few years been toughs widouts yuhs miss Chauntea. Sure… yuhs wid me…buh yuh not… yuh know what Telli means. Yuh here…buh yuh not…
Ederways… Telli been fightings fer yuhs honor and glory da past few years strongs… hopes yuh saw da trips da Legions took inta da fish folks caverns. We stopped dat Mr Bonfluer or whatevers his names was froms getting his cargo ta dose folks he hired. We stopped da undeaders easterlanders….we stoppedededs dese hinnaks and lizardfolks…. And even kilts folks dats was plannings ta poison da farms outs wests….easts…..wests….somewhere out nears Pelt.
Da point….we stoppedededs ems. Even killed dis really nimble hinnak lady person who was summonings water tings ta attacks pelt….dat’d a prolly been bads if we hadn’t.
All dat good in one day….all dose crops….dem farmers….and folks savedededs. Buh… Telli never hear noffings froms yuh Chauntea… dats frustratings…
Telli doings good or not… tough ta gets on yuhs good side when I’s doings most da talkings…”_
Telli sighs looking out over the lake pausing to collect her thoughts.
”Guess yuh sorta heard abouts dems crops in Oscura nots doings so wells… Da folks down ders usedededs ta eatings mushrooms and fungi… was hopings ta gets ems better options… buh… dat ain’ts happenings till we figure outs how ta gets somes sunlight down der in one form or anoder….”
Reaching for a sandwich Telli continued as crumbs littered her paper.
_”Poison tings sure beens follerings Telli arounds latelies… not sure if dis sign….or funny joke….or lesson ta be learned by yuhs miss Chauntea. Eder way….everytime Telli see’s some sorta creepy crawly ting wid poisons in der veins…reminds Telli a what she done wrongs…
Guess dat why Telli got so mads at dis demon spider ting we came across todays… sure when it melted through Telli’s armor and gripped Telli’s shield flinging it across da field. Dat pissedededs me a little… buh whats REALLY pissedededs me off was when it bit me in da shoulder…..Telli ain’t beens poisoned likedededs dats in a LONG time…let alones… from someting so strongs…_
The edges of the writing are smeared by tear stains….
_“Guess da poison and pain Telli felts dis day was only a little bit compared tad a folks Telli kilt wid dat poison huh…
I….I’m sorry did dat Chauntea…..really ams… more den said afore….shoulda…..juss fought ems N’jast and kilt em and made em pay wid me sword in yuh honor….poison….was… cowards way…_
Sniffling can be heard from the ledge looking out over the lake as a lone dwarf sits huddled within herself doodling in her journal.
Day Twenty Two Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Telli sits there on the ridge of the coast looking out over the Jiyyd ruins. Chauntea’s flag whipping in the wind.
“Miss Chauntea… yuhs a very confusings persons ta foller. Telli workings day afta day ta gets backs on yuhs good sidedededs. Da whole time dough… yuhs putting poisonous and stingy critters all in Telli path. Yuh want Telli ta kills ems or understands ems more… very confusings…”
Telli reaches into a flap of her cloak pulling out the single survivor of yesterdays butterfly massacre.
“Mr Aramuil saidededs dese critters was tainteds… and couldn’t be savedededs. Mr Aramuil sure actededs likes he knows a lots sometimes. But… unfortunatelies Telli been arounds a LOT a times when he’s WRONGS. Is dis critter in Telli’s path ta saves? Sure Mr Aramuils magics couldn’ts savededes da girl he was goings ons abouts… buh… we ain’ts talkings abouts magics dis times… we talkings abouts blessings….blessings froms yuhs miss Chauntea. Yuh could fixedededs dis critter if yuh wanteds ta.”
The butterfly crawls up and down Telli cuff as she watches it closely.
“Folks yelled yuh was an undeader butterfly yuh lil critter. Buh Telli don’ts believe dats… yuhs juss… a little rough arounds da edges… juss likedededs Telli.”
Telli sighs looking at the butterfly as it crawls onto her hand wondering how something so small caused such a large ruckus yesterday.
Day Twenty One Without Chauntea’s Grace
Telli stands on the coast looking out to the ruins of Jiyyd. Chauntea’s flag flapping in the wind as she mulls the words people spoke the past week.
”Telli… I couldn’t help but notice… you don’t wiggle anymore.” Rhistin asked as a group of miners picked at the rock vein behind them.
“Yuh… Telli ain’t gots Chauntea’s favor no mores… she sorta… mads at hers.”
”Oh…you’re the one who poisoned the river. I was told a Legion member did…” Belia spoke up from a corner of the cavern system as the rhythmic strikes of the picks behind her echoed throughout the cavern.
Telli stood there with her head sunk deep under her shoulders before Rhistin spoke up.
”I bet you had good reason Telli… you’re a good person… this much I know.”
”Good?… the only thing it did was fuel a war…" Belia uttered curling her lips slightly.
“Da FARK it did!” Telli snapped.
“Dem killings KIDS and da OLD is whats did DAT!”
Belia went quiet as Telli fumed in her self loathing and kicked a rock well down the hall they guarded until it smacked into the opposite wall.
“Yuh almost done back der Mr Mord…cause Telli really needs sometings ta kick!”
Telli stooped holding onto the flag pole looking out over the water as the argument played back and forth across her head.
“Mebbe Miss Belia was rights Miss Chauntea… buh… Telli thoughts da whole war was already startedededs. Mebbe…Telli helped fuel da war… instead a helpings ta prevents its.”
Sighing Telli slumped her shoulders as the sun dipped down below the tree line.
“Feels likes everytime Telli makedededs progress someone or someting der ta jus kicks me in da stomachs and push me backs two steps furder. Buh… gots great news Miss Chauntea… great news I does… Might gets a chance ta builds an altars ta yuhs… and show some folks whats it means ta farm and do its rights. Dat why I heres Miss Chauntea….ta makedededs sures its okee wid yuhs…”
Dipping to a knee she continues.
“…Mr Justicar da leader feller a Oscura askededs Telli ta helps grow more foods fer der people. I can even pray and worships ta Chauntea and spreads her love tad a people. Dat place down ders purdy evil sometimes Miss Chauntea… ugly sorts wid ugly purposes. Telli even rememberededs whats Mr Will said abouts der place. Dey performs Dark Harvests… so I askedededs Mr Justicar…..cause don’t tink yuh would likedededs Telli if she usededes bloods ta helps der crops grow. Da offer seems very promisings… Telli helps ems makes food and crops and in return gets a altar and a place ta preach Chauntea. Hope yuh likedededs dats…”
Dipping her head she continues quietly.
“…Likedededs Mr Jerrick saids… destructions might happens… but wid destruction must comedededs rebuildings. Wulp… Jiyyd’s farked and done fer Miss Chauntea… will yuh makededes Oscura da farmings center a yer will. Will yuh helps Telli do somes good… no steps backwards…. Juss steps forwards ta a brighter tomorrows….okee.”
Hopeful, Telli stands looking out across the river at the remnants of Jiyyd.
“Please helps da people eat agains Miss Chauntea… makes Telli wise and able ta produce a honorables, worthy harvest in Oscura… its gonna takedededs work dough. Like untilled earth, Oscura’s gonna need ta be sifted and turned over afore it’ll prosper. Help Telli ta be apart a dat… buh only if it yer will…”
Day Twenty Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Wanderededs inta Norwick todays… when I gots ders... folks was upity ova da gates beings attackedededs by somes gobbers. Ran inta miss Traini and was filled in froms ders.
Toldededs Maythor da gates was being attackedededs by goblins. He thoughts I meants rights dens and nots earliers...so he rans off.
While out at da gates we decidededs ta pile ups da goblins and burns whats we could... what we didn'ts gets ta dough was awefully smelly. It drew a lots a beetles and somes oder snakes and critters... soon we was clearings da area of dem critters as well as da goblins corpses.
Telli sorta sads todays… Know Chauntea nots gives Telli backs her grace yuts… buh… was really hopefuls dats Chauntea would bringededs backs me friends Grom who dieds. He was a kin dats was awefully braves and diedededs helpings clears da fields a rot and decay. Chauntea HATES dose tings… so not sure why she nots brings backs me kin who died trying ta cleans ups da mess.
Buh… Chauntea’s ways nots Telli’s so… gonna need ta juss tinks and pray abouts whats happenedededs todays. Mebbe der a lesson ta be learned…
Telli feel like der a lots ta still learns if she eva gonna gets backs on miss Chauntea’s good sides. Tristana was encouraging dough. Saids ta nots givedededs ups hope. So… dat what Telli’s gonna do’s… juss hard sometimes.
Day Nineteen Without Chauntea’s Grace.
“Maythor… Telli… we need your help. Duergar have been sighted in the underdark and we havn’t seen or heard from some of our kin down there mining in quite some time.” Koirin lamented as he looked at the pair.
“Don’t worries Koirin, wull do all dat we cans!”
Telli and Maythor waddled off through the Hold and down into the mining area rolling back a familiar stone.
“Duergar May…bleah… I freakings hates dems!”
The corridors were quiet and surprisingly barren as the pair crept through the underdark watching each others flank. As they turned the corner a Duergar’s eyes bugged and he yelled.
“Ahhh… WE GOT COMPANY!”
Telli and Maythor ran thrusting their feet into the stone ground propelling themselves at the scouts flee.
THUNK As the pair rolled off the Duergar they saw that his neck was severely snapped.
“Mmm…opps… tink we gonna need ta askedededs anoder’un abouts our kin.”
As the pair wandered deeper into the underdark soon they found another opening and a group of Duegar working on a rock vein.
”Sombe yuh girl.put yer back inta those swings… they want this vein cleared by tomorrow.
“Yuh gets da’un on da left May… I’ll get da’un on da right. On threes….One….Two…THREE. AHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
Flailing their arms Telli lept at the right one as May swung his massive axe into the left one pinning him against the rock vein. “Where’s mee friends!” Maythor yelled as the dying duegar smiled spitting up blood.
“Yuh talk feller… or Telli’ll do da same ta yuh.”
The Duergar layed there pinned by Telli with a defiant sneer. Lumbering over May raised his axe before muttering. ”If you’s aren’t gonna talk…”
This course of action continued till the pair was frustrated and nearly all off the mining quarters were covered.
“May… I don’t tinks were gonna finds our kin…we… should prolly heads back ta tells Koirin whats we foundededs so fars.”
The trek home was long and saddening as the pair mulled over what to tell their kin as they returned home empty handed. As they approached the gates though familiar faces loomed in the distance… but their familiar bodies lay on the ground detached. Fellow kins heads shoved into pikes and huddled outside of the gates were welcoming Telli and Maythor back. Some of the duergar must have circled around them in the tunnels to set up this dark ritual.
”Oh no’s!” Maythor called out rushing over plucking the heads from their pikes.
“Ums….May…..dats… a darks ritual…..uh…dats was….dose heads….dey mights be cursedededs.”
Maythor groaned as he carried the severed heads into the Hold for Koirin to investigate. Though how their kin were slain was never found out, many of the others were warned as they went out into the underdark to mine. Go in pairs many were advised, and hunting groups were sent out into the evening clearing the remaining Duergar from the tunnels so close to the Hold.
Day Eighteen Without Chauntea's Grace.
The crypts door swung open, a stocky dwarf and a skinny elven man following Telli deep within Norwicks crypts.
"Dead walkers down here yuh said skinny?"
The elf nodded watching the nearby corners for movement.
"Wull…der ain't usually nothings down here worth worryings abouts....too much dats is."
As the trio wandered deeper into the crypts they veered right until they came to a large opening within the catacombs. Something hissed from the shadows.
"Gettttttt oooooout." The shimmer of fangs glistened in the light as the creature dropped to the ground.
Waving her silver hammer at the creature, Telli back peddled closer to the two with her.
With a low whisper she bobbed her head back the way they came. "Be rudy ta run…"
Quickly the vampire vanished and appeared from a shadow right next to the elf.
"Look ou..." It was too late just as Telli spit out the words the creature slammed its hands against the elf's chest sending him rolling across the catacomb floors.
Telli lept over the lifeless body as the other stocky dwarf stood there in fear. Telli and the creature wrestled exchanging flailed swings with one another before she looked back shouting.
"Oi KIN!... Grab da skinny elf and git da heck outta heres!"
"Gettt oooout… You come into MY crypts...at NIGHT... the AUDACITY!" Its words echoing within Telli head as she flailed back peddling closer to corridors opening.
Gripping a potion at her hip Telli took off after her friends. The trio reached the tombs opening as the sun peeked over the trees through the hinges of the doorway.
"Blah… commons guys..." Kicking open the door behind her Telli could hear the sneer from behind.
"Don't come back you plump morsel…unless you wish to be my dinner.
Telli frowned as she hammered a sign into the dirt next to the crypt. As she took the elf from her newly met friend, she couldn't help but to wonder as they waddled back to town. If only Chauntea's grace had been with her, the crypt would have been a vampire short and a day safer. "In Time…" Telli muttered to herself as they began the journey back home.
((Hopefully draw some conclusion and explain some of my ooc justified with IC actions as to where Telli’s been lately. NY trip was fun, but the whole 16-hour-drive back was a bit much, but without further ado.))
Day Seventeen Without Chauntea’s Grace.
The four friends began their trek into the Mintas woods. Sald lumbered in bear form dragging a bag of supplies behind him with the aid of a shoulder harness, Grag lofting another bag amply over his shoulder and Jerrick cupped his hands reciting in druidic a chant towards the tree themselves as they passed into the thickest portion circling around Jiyyd to reach the now tainted river Telli ruined months ago.
A sense of sorrow etched on each the members face as their first task to restoring what had brought Telli so far from Chauntea’s grace was just now finished. The woods now restored with healthy creatures, those that Sald and Jerrick were able to help with their blessings. Those creatures too crippled and over come with mange the group were forced to put down and out of their misery preventing the blight from spreading any further then it could.
The stream now rancid and bubbling over with rot lay before the four. Swallowing down her pride Telli looked to the trio at her rear.
“Wulp… lets gets dis over wids.”
Grag dropped his bag as he rolled his shoulders, the veins in his neck tensing slightly.
“Sorry Telli fer whatcha did that gotcha in trouble.”
His eyes hinted to a deeper remorse then the stout dwarf bared knowing his orders inevitably brought this peril down onto Telli’s shoulders.
“Its okee Mr Grag… least dis mess is finallys behindededs us… wull…will be’s…”
Telli began to grab smaller boulders tossing them into the streams highest dip. Grag and Sald followed suit heaving larger chunks of earth until quickly the old river began to stop up.
”Growing and reaping are parts of the eternal cycle, and the most natural part of life. Destruction for it’s own sake and leveling ”without rebuilding” are anathema. The re-building of the stream you damaged, may be the most crucial part to this trip…”
Telli nodded as the words Jerrick spoke sunk into her head. With the stream stopped up she began to dig out the mud and muck of the old river. Sighing with each scoop a few bones found their way into the pile of gunk and crud that now began to accumulate near the rivers edge. Flicking her wrists gunk and grime seeped into ever crevice of her gauntlets. Though her efforts were little, they were not without merit… and with friends the task went faster then she could imagine.
Before long, the old river bed was scooped clean and piled high nearby burning bright into the afternoon. The smoke and soot that carried into the air choked out the disease that had spread and festered in this river for far too long. Ironically the river that was tainted was meant to choke the N’jast troops and buy Jiyyd time to properly defend. Though it did help in this regard, it effectively cut Telli off from any blessings Chauntea’s herself would ever bestow on the stout dwarf again. Her efforts and actions choking one of Jiyyd’s greatest defenses in this war and consequently leading to its demise and downfall.
“Alrights guys… now afore we unpluggedededs dats riva, we needs ta makes sures its nice and strongs… strongs enoughs ta kills any junks dats mights a stuck and we missedededs.”
Telli motioned for the bag Sald had and set it near Grags as she rummaged through them for scrolls and vials of glowing liquid. “Alrights Mr Sald and Mr Jerrick… afta Mr Grag ands I’s dumps dis stuffs in da old riva….yuh sticks yuhs hands inta da water and do yuhs ting okee?”
Vials of holy water and potions filled with poison neutralizers began to mix together within the stream. Telli dropped a few lesser and greater restoration scrolls into the stream and nodded to the pair. As the pieces of paper began to dissolve within the old stream, Jerrick still chanting, submerged his hands within the cool stream along with Sald as they enchanted the stream removing as much of the remaining taint as they could.
“Now Mr Grags!”
Thrusting his shoulder into the make shift damn caused an outpour of water from the once stopped up stream. Telli leaned her back into another large boulder as it toppled down the cold mountain side as another portion of the river exploded out down the hillside. One of the empty bags was quickly swung around a support stone as Sald shifted forms once more digging his paws into the grass shifting the earth itself causing the remainder of the support to topple. The cascading stream filled with blessings upon blessings came gushing down the hillside until the old stream nearly exploded in girth.
The cool clear water was a refreshing sight from the once plagued stream that resided. If the act in itself was enough to redeem Telli of all the pain she caused Chauntea, her blessings soon would be restored.
”What now Telli?
Telli began to position some rocks in a small cluster around a small sapling she brought with her.
“If Chauntea’s will forgivedededs me… mebbe she’ll lets dis lil’ tree survives outs in dis harsh cold climates… Dis lil’ feller sorta likedededs Telli….widouts Chauntea’s love… its juss gonna turns ugly and dies on da insides… sorta….likes me…. Buh wid… Chauntea’s loves once more….mebbe it’ll grows big and strongs…”
Telli’s eyes meet the trio that had followed her… they were welcome to stay with her as long as they wished… but… she knew they had greater things to attend to then keeping a silly little sapling sheltered from the cold.
“Don’cha guys worry abouts Telli’s… I’ll be alrights outs heres… yuh go backs… mebbe whens yuhs see’s me’s agains… Chauntea will be wid me more den juss in spirits ehs?”
Telli shrugged taking a knee using her wide girth to shelter the sapling offering the spot as a memorial to Chauntea and the wonder she showed in war, how she brought a selfish dwarf to her knees and reminded her of how there was something more to fight for then the rush of battle… that with a little work… even a cold hardened heart could grow…
Day Sixteen Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Seemed like any other day… walk to Oscura, unload my crap with Cogan, go buy breakfast. But today… a band of adventurers came trickling out of the Mithral Mug and I followed. They went out the gates, and to the sand filled underdark and I followed. They followed fire scorched marks and I followed. Before long, Dwinnie caught my eye.
“Oi… Dwinnie, whats goings ons?”
”Looking for Lucidious cloak… some fire element has it or something.”
So the band of rag tag adventurers split into formation and made their way through the sand filled caverns of the fishfolk. Element after element reared its ugly head and one by one they were felled. After each demise the group would sift through the soot to find to their surprise, no cloak.
“Ders only a few mores turns…can’ts be much furders!”
Around the bend, the group spotted another elemental, but… this one was much bigger.
“He gotta havedededs its… looks how big he is! Telli’ll go askedededs hims eh?” Telli blurted as she looked at the group.
”I don’t know Telli….he….doesn’t look very friendly.”
“Awe, quits yers worryings… I betcha he’ll juss handededs its over.”
Telli slunk over to the beast as her feet sunk into the sand due to her weight.
“Oi… hey flamey! Where’s LUCEY’S CLOAK!?”
“Telli ain’ts food feller… where’s da CLOAK!?”
Telli and the beast danced as the others began flanking it and swinging for what was perceived to be its neck. Soon the beast crumbled to the sand and all that remained was the maglings cloak.
“We foundededs its!”
Triumphantly the group headed back to Oscura and soon down into the elf’s usual drinking hole only to be greeted with a welcoming display.
“Ohh…. You’ve found it! Excellent!” Lucidious exclaimed clapping his hands together.
**”We lost someone.. One of the adventurers slithered out of his tongue with folded arms.
”That’s most unfortunate… I wonder why this beast wanted my cloak in the first place… Here, here… your bounties as promised.”
As Lucidious made his way over to Telli he untied a small bag of coins from his beltloop offering it to Telli. Telli nudged it back at Lucey and shook her head.
“No Mr Lucey… Telli ain’ts a sellswords… juss wents ta keepedededs folks safes… keeps yuhs gold fer da rock its gonna takedededs ta brings backs da dead feller.”
”Very noble of you Telli…” Lucidious smiled as he tied the small pouch back to his beltloop.
Telli grinned and for once she felt good. Greed, war, revenge… none of these things fueled her motives this time around… just good old honor and courage. And it felt good… perhaps Chauntea was getting through after all.****
Day Fifteen Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Dozens of adventurers littered the bon fire as people began to shout over one another.
“Certainly there is something we can do!”
“That’s a stupid IDEA!”
“I’ll not see my son slaughtered for some wacko’s folly.”
Telli stood there arms crossed as she watched Grag and Lyte’s reactions.
“Will you go with us Telli?” Aramuil slithered across his tongue as the group was split between those willing to attack the demon threat inside Jiyyd and those willing to guard the Stelae’s from further destruction. This push was hopeful to buy the attacking force the valuable time it would need to retrieve the doomsday device from the bottom of Jiyyd’s lake.
Peltarch nearly ruined, the N’jast force scattered like grains of sand across the sky… this device Grag hurled into Jiyyd’s lake caused rift after rift to be disrupted opening unimaginable amounts of demons across Narfell.
“Well Telli?” Aramuil pressed further, as only an impatient elf could.
“Wulls… I’d say Telli’d only gets in da ways purdy muchs… widouts Chauntea’s grace all Telli’s goods ats is keepings folks safes. Nots really good ats hittings tings no mores. Ain’t likedededs I don’t WANNA comedededs Mr Aramuil… don’t gets me wrongs… juss tinks… could be used betta keepings ems Stelae’s safes.”
The attacking force was well on their way as a band of defenders gathered near Jiyyd’s eastern gates. Devlin was in charge of setting up defense and securing perimeters as quickly as he could.
“Alright… alright… dammit all, quiet. I can’t think…”
Devlin tapped his foot impatiently as he surveyed the stelae, three tall towers scrapped the sky and gave way to a foreboding skyline.
“Telli… you take the middle Stelae with Jerrick and you….and you….and you…”
Cupping his hands he looked off to the south… “Maya, you and a few others go south.”
“Belia and the others to the remaining stelae…”
It wasn’t long before the air split and a rift tore. Outside hopped two leathery winged creatures with talons and beaks sharp as steel. In the horizon two woman perched from a rock ledge snickering.
“Rahhhhhh” Telli kicked one of the beaked creatures in the shin before stabbing at the other. The beasts swipes took out chunks of wood from her magical shield before it began to glow softly. Telli grinned, Diet had told her the shield he gave her was blessed to defend against demons, and today it would be put to the task…
The demons would have been more troublesome to destroy if it weren’t for Mr. Roland and Miss Mel’s help.
”How are the other Stelae holding up?”
“Wish I knews… juss holdings dis one da bestests we cans…”
A small hin took off to give us reports of the other stelae’s status. She was but two steps on her way before another rift opened.
A frog stepped out this time… not just your average run of the mill frog…. One that hopped upright and called beams of light from the sky.
Telli ran up stomping on the creatures toe as Mel swung for its exposed neck. As the creature fell to the ground the sky opened up and a beam of light shot down at them blinding them both.
“Fark… I can’ts see’s!?”
Telli began to flail about as the hissing of another frog pierced the silence…
“Juss points me at it or sometings….someone give Telli a nudge would’yas?”
With a swift thrust someone sent the stout, blind, and annoyed ball of dwarven tenacity towards the creature. Its swipe sent Telli to the ground… patting around she managed to grab onto the beasts leg, and in a desperate attempt she did the first thing that came to mind. She sunk her teeth into the frog like creatures calf.
**ROOoooooowwwwwwrrrrrr……. The beast howled as Telli spit out the foul tasting chunk of meat.
“Bleah! Someone hit it wid sometings while its pisseds offs!”
Telli rolled across the ground as arrows littered the creatures flesh. And with a thrust of his blade, Roland fell the beast for good. About then, Telli’s vision slowly began to regain focus. Just in time for the hin to return…
“Wulls…whatcha find outs miss Katey?”
”Not good… not good at all… Maya’s dead. And the other Stelae….its holding up… but not that well.”
“Darnit… wull… someone go givedededs ems a hands or sometings… we’s holdings ups fines he….”
But before Telli could finish her sentence, Ronan, Grag, Lyte and all the other who pushed into Jiyyd came running up to the middle Stelae.
”We gotta go, and we gotta go now!” Ronan bellowed as people gathered and folks were sent out to rally those defending the other two stelae.
“Did’jas gets its?”
”We did…” Aramuil replied with a nod and a motion to his backpack.
“Wulp… everyones here… less git!”
The mob of adventurers made their way back to Norwick as the looming doom of Jiyyd was set in motion. They only traveled thirty feet before a small group of men stood before them and the town.
“Aramuil… destroy the device…” Beckoned the stranger that was later revealed to be one of Norwick’s traitors.
”We will….but only after finding out the safest method.” Was Aramuils reply as the opposing group eventually gave in allowing the adventurers to take care of the device should Mr Roland promise he would do such a task as soon as he was able to.
A day was spent and before long a safe plan was formulated to destroy the device. A safe mode activated and soon a devil and a celestial popped out of the rift it formed. The devil was vanquished quickly and the celestial sent home with a feather as a token of his help one day. Narfell was safe… and yet Telli still felt as though she lost. No more closer was she to finding Chauntea’s favor again then when this war first started. She stood in Chauntea’s name and was able to keep countless lines. How many more they would have won with her help… how many more wouldn’t have died… regardless, Telli was happy. Even without Chauntea’s grace, she was able to fend the N’jast troops froms her friends, and was willing to die should the time come to keep them safe. Yet death didn’t come for her… and for that she was sad. For in death, perhaps again she will see Chauntea’s face once more…******
Day Fourteen Without Chauntea’s Grace
A whistle was heard as something flaming came crashing into the peltarch commerce district sending stone and the less nimble airborn. The heat permeating across the back of defenders and legionnaires was ill received as the group listened to the front gates being slammed with a massive battering ram.
“They’ve got armatures BEATING the gates down with a RAM!!!”
Telli braced herself as splinters were sent before the rag tag group of adventurers amassed. Finally with on fell smash the gates came unhinged and fell to the ground with a jarring thud. A group of Peltarch defenders rushed into the armature line and was sent to the air like ragdolls. Another set of Defenders trickled past meeting N’jast troops head on as Rary, Telli, Lyte, and many others crashed into the first wave of armature stripping and ripping wires out… anything that looked important.
“Hold!” Lyte shouted from the center of the barrage.
Telli rolled and dodged what flails she could burning through potions, scrolls, and powders alike. Magling weavers would crawl from the N’jast encampment chucking their ill intent at our ranks. Fire barbs shot from their fingertips catching Telli’s cloak ablaze as she twirled in place killing the flames and shooting Gears from her shadow as he’d let an arrow rest firmly into a magling’s side before hoping back into Telli’s shadow.
“Lo, luv…” And he was gone.
“Alrights Mr Gears, yuh and I gonna takes out dese wigglas and singa’s…”
Telli and her shadow guardian broke free of the armature line which would only hold so long as there were bodies. And the singers and weavers were quickly picking off what they could. A firm boot caught one magling across their knee snapping it.
The screams were quenched by Gear’s quick blade and away into Telli’s comfort and shadow he remained. Telli often wondered what would happen to Gears if Telli died. Often he hopped in and out of her shadow and she wasn’t truly certain how he did it, let alone what would happen should her shadow cease to exist one of these days. Needless to say she was comforted by her shadow hopping guardian. A N’jast singing welp was next to feel Gear’s arrow to the side of his neck as blood spurt from the skalds mouth.
Telli’s thrusting of her boot to his midsection sent him into the next weaver that appeared. Sipping a vial, Telli had all she needed in the form of eyes to see these cursed enemies. The woman swung her hands enchanting and sending a burst of wind across Telli’s chest pinning her to the ground.
“Sit down WENCH!” She hissed at Telli as she was stuck. Gear hopping out from her shadow thrust the blade into the womans back and hopped back into my shadow once more. “Ahhhh”… She limped and staggered a good twenty feet before Telli could catch up to her to finish her off.
“Back ta the lines Mr Gears…commons…”
“Behind yuh Telli…” Gears shouted as he hopped again into the stout dwarves comforting shadow. Telli turned to watch a battalion of knight come charging the mouth of what was once Peltarch’s gates. Glancing over her shoulder an armature or two remained… one of the legionnaires she had trained days prior looked at Telli with fright filled eyes. It was time for Telli to put into practice what she had taught them all week long… She turned to face the advancing line of knights. Her sword scrapped across the cobblestone as if to indicate the line she would hold and bare atop her shoulders no matter what.
“Common YUH mens in SKIRTS!”
Telli dug into her position as the mass of knights crashed into her line of defense nearly toppling her over. She kicked one square in the testicles and gripped another’s cape dragging him back to her other side. One or two trickled past and she held firm to her own tutoring. “**When holding a line….one or two was an acceptable loss… but to let all trickle past was a failure in this dwarves sight.”
Telli tripped a third, and thrust her sword deep into a fourths belly before locking shields with another and thrusting a leg at the fifth. She managed to buy enough time for the armatures to be stopped and her position joined by others behind her.
“Don’t LET EM BREAK THROUGH GUYS!…. HOLD THIS LINE!” Lyte shouted giving Telli a nod before exchanging metal for flesh with another N’jast knight.
“MORE ARMATURES! AND A WIGGLER!” Someone shouted as the line was hit once more with what N’jast could unleash. This time the line was cut and pummeled back square into the commerce. The square only at the defenders heels. Somehow Telli and Gears managed to get split between the group of armatures, defender and their backs firmly to more advancing calvary and knights.
“Uh… good luck Telli…” Gears hopped into her shadow again as the dwarf was quickly running on fumes.
“Dis a bads days ta nots havedededs Chauntea’s grace…” Telli lofted her shield and sword reading another advance on her small claimed section of the cobblestone. What happened next was a mere blur as Gears hopped in and out of N’jast troops shadows stabbing them in the neck and hopping back into their shadows as they swiveled. Blood rained across the city as legion, defenders, and armatures alike were covered in the coagulating mist.
Telli’s words trickled across her lips to slowly as Gears back was met solidly with an armatures fist. The hins body rolled across the stones like a heep of flesh. Telli catapulted her frame between the advancing armature and Gears to offer what shielding she could.
“Mr Gears! GET UP!”
Telli’s heels scrapped across the stone floor with the metal monsters advance, her small stout frame offering a physical wall for Gears to hide behind rather then her shadow. A bash came crashing into her shield splintering it as she crumpled to the ground.
“Owf…” With a thrust of her feet, she sent Gears rolling a few more feet away from the armatures swipes as she stabbed at the creatures leg panels. Pulling what wires she could the creature toppled to the ground, its arms began to spasm trying to reach gears as he struggled to his feet. Patting at his waist her finally found a vial which he consumed that restored much of his vigor.
“Ow… ‘Ey yuh bloo’y ….” Gears kicked the armatures forearm before hopping into a nearby shadow. The assault on the district quelled quickly and the N’jast troops slunk back to advance another day. One thing was certain the legion along with Peltarchs help were able to halt N’jasts advance for the first time in a long time.**
Day Thirteen Without Chauntea's Grace.
The western plains are abuzz near Peltarch as Lyte, Llmare, and Telli circle around formulating a plan to hold and defend the tough chasm of defence. After much debating and plan formulating, Llmare along with Telli show Lyte a rough line along the edge of the sea that most of the armatures would need to traverse should they flank the city. With the sea at their side Llmare was adamant about kegging the ground below any advancing troops to ensure their washing out to sea. Sadly, the plans that follow were of little use because N'jast was quick to attack a floundering city and their ill prepared defend.
Day Twelve Without Chauntea's Grace.
Telli the following night slinks to her bed within Peltarch worn and ragged after helping reinforce the city. As she rests her head atop the pillow it never dawns to her about the trinket underneath till her visions mix and mash till the fey landscape becomes vivid and real. Jack's blade comes inches from her shoulder as she rolls backwards eyes wide with the realization of what almost transpired. Sighing audible out her nostrils Telli looks to the pair flatly before timidly uttering.
"Telli…..Telli thoughts longs and hards abouts yuhs words....abouts me friends Totty's words and... wull... Folks ain'ts givings ups on Telli...buh... Telli's doings juss dats ta Chauntea."
sighing more loudly she looks to Jack with sincerity and timidness in her eyes.
"Mr Jack....I....I's sorry Telli's wasted yuhs times... I...juss don'ts tinks I can go through wid dis..."
Hanging her head low Telli looks to her feet as Jack sheathes his sword turning. Telli's mind raced for a solution that might benefit all involved as he began walking out of the dreamscape leaving the knight behind.
"Wait...what....what if Telli offered ups anoda dream... anoder'un way betta den da lasts and more importants ta Telli....and...
...important ta Chauntea fer Telli ta over comes."
"Would yuhs acceptedededs dats Mr Jack? Would yuhs!? If yuh wills... Telli'll tell yuhs its..."
Swallowing hard she turns her foot in the ground below.
"One a da BEST times a Telli's life was when da orcy wars begans... dey drew in dwarves left and rights from all over da region ta aids Narfell. Sten, Ronus, Baggy, Telli, Maythor, Bitsy, Bran, Higgy, Dwinnie, Rugg, and many many mores..... evens Krig. Dose was some a da best times a Telli's life. Da catapults letting loose der barrage of rocks towards da enemies lines. Fightings ice giants toe ta toe and nots dyings... feelings da cold blades in da stomach of anoders orc. And finallies takings backs Norwicks froms dems cursed buggy bears."
"Yuh....yuh can have em ALLS. Not juss ones... buh every memory a da ORCY WAR Telli EVA membered. Cause... Telli nots care no more abouts dats... she's tired a Chauntea being pissed. And tireds a N'jasts feelings da bite a Telli's blade widouts Chauntea's helps. Hopefully Chauntea's been see'ings how toughs Telli's beings and standings against dese baddies widouts her directs helps. Buh hopefullies... hopefullies Chauntea understands even mores how much more dey'd pay and turns der tail and runs if Chauntea showed her face on dat battlefield through dis humbles servants.
Chauntea hates War... wull....so does Telli nows... strips all da memories a war any joy Telli eva gots from any one a ems. Do dats... and mebbe Chauntea will starts ta forgives Telli and grant her da strength ta end dis war fer goods wid Chauntea's grace flowing freely through hers once mores!"...
Telli stands there jaw clinched awaiting Jack's reaction and response... her hands gripping all her frustration and bitterness into a metaphoric ball of energy within her stumpy fists.
Captain Jack turns back to look sternly over the dwarve lass. _“Do not toy with us. That little fetish from my princess that you keep under your pillow that calls us to your dreams will crumble into dust if we wish it.”
Jack's face softens into a smile, _”But fret little. The exact memory does not matter to us. Mortals always have more than one cherished memory to mine out of them.”
Once more Captain Jack draws his long sword and holds it upright before his nose. The knight standing to his side places a ressuring hand on Telli's shoulder..or a guiding one, nudging her to kneel. Captain Jack looks over his blade, ”Do you give these memories freely, mortal? I cannot know all that is in the Earthmother's heart, but it gladdens mine to see the change in yours.
Kneeling, whether by own virtue or the knights guidance is anyones guess. But as she does Telli looks up with her pale blue eyes as she mutters.
"Why Mr Jack tinks Telli's toyings wid yuhs… Was der when da creepings doom was ders... was one a da only'uns willings ta hops outta dats circle and actually do sometings against dat big ball a flesh. Telli gave her life almosts ta helps yuh and yuhs mens fight dat critter till it was dusts. Telli da one who visitededededs yuhs knight while he guardededs dese dreams.
Yuh da'un dats offered ta takes one a Telli's dreams. Yuh da'un dats warnedededs Telli dis mights be a bad dream ta gives...and now... when Telli say yuhs right buh offer ups sometings even betta and bigga...yuh acuse Telli a toyings wid yuhs?
Telli don'ts toy feller... if anytings Telli wears her heart on her sleeve and its gets her in lots a troubles at times... buh one tings Telli is, is NO toyer... When I say sometings... I does its."
Telli watches Jack's drawing of the blade as her eyes hint to one of sincere hurt over Jack's comments.
"Telli accepts yuhs gifts Mr Jack and all dat yuhs princess offas..."
With clinched jaw she holds her head up as she ponders on the fondest memories of the orc war one last time before they're stripped from her focus once and for all. One last catapult fires as the rock cascades through the sky poofing to dust and fading into the dream scape sky.
The knight smiles down to Telli while Jack holds his blade high, _”The captainis not accusing you of anything, General.”
Captain Jack nods, _”Just a friendly warning.” The sidhe captain levels his ornate blade in a graceful arc, tapping each of Telli's shoulders gently,. Each tap reminiscent of knighthood being bestowed, claims a slight soft glow being drawn out from the sides of Telli's ears and up the blade, while Jack chants in <sylvan>, _”By this token of my queen and the Seelie Court, we shall stand at the Gates of Dream. To my right, the Tower of Horn. To my left, the Tower of Bone. We shall grant you safe dreams, restful dreams, meaningful dreams. You grant us memories, free of will, free of doubt. Now rest…dream. We promise you 'll rest easy. As you dram, we shall watch over you. Your memories, delicious, joyful, sad are all the reward we need. Should we fail, then again they be yours.”
As the sidhe captain recites the oath and taps each of Telli's shoulders, each memory and all emotion tied to them of the Orc War is ripped from the dwarven lass' psyche and drawn up the the captain's sword. One by one they are lifted, never to be found in the depths of Telli's mind. The glow riding up Jack's sword swirls into the ornate pommel and she sheaths his blade after saluting the kneeling dwarf. Stepping back, Jack speaks again in Common, _”"You arise, Sir Yerlo here will be you left in charge of guarding your dreams. You will see others time to time. I bid you Sweet Dreams, Lady Thunden.”
Jack bows gracefully to Telli and nods to his knight, Yerlo. _"THis is now your post. Take no wmore than three of any of our men at a time, unlessreinforcements are truly needed. You know the call."
Sir Yerlo bows in return to his superior and lord, _”Yes, mi'lord.” With that Jack offered Telli a warm smile and vanished back into the dream mists. Sir Yerlo turned back to Telli and bowed, ”We will be seeing a lot of each other it seems.”
That night Yerlo’s busy to work cutting down the nightmares and other anomalies that might arise trying to attack and cause Telli to lose even an ounce of sleep.
*Thanks to Yerlo’s diligence and stoic duty Telli’s able to accomplish much in the days to follow. She tends to sleep five to six hours and wakes refreshed, amazingly more somber and full of vigor even in comparison to those who were able to sleep nearly eight full hours. Many marvel and wonder how long the stout dwarf can continue… but the dwarf hums and continues to toil the day away digging ditches, carrying wood and stone to barricade lines, defends the lines till her body can hold, and manages to find the energy to patch the wounded with what bandages she has. All the while knowing the countless bad dreams and nightmares that are crushed, buy her precious moments in the night regenerating her vigor and resolve. Thanks to Jack and Yerlo… her efforts in this war are multiplied three fold. One thing is certain though… Yerlo has his hands filled with what often shifts and lurks inside the recesses of this borderline suicidal dwarf.
Day Eleven Without Chauntea’s Grace.
The watchtower had long ago been breached and the retreat commands ordered. Telli waddled throughout the commerce district of Peltarch as a familiar figure staggered about the courtyard.
”Oi’s… Totty nots feel so goods…”
“Yuh made it out alives…”
Totty was wearing ragged clothes barely big enough to cover her frame. Telli pulled a worn cloak from her pack drapping it over her friend.
“Totty, Telli gottedededs yuhs tings….wanna go gits ems?”
”No times… Telli and Totty gonna go prays.”
The two made their way out the western gates as Totty rubbed feeling back into her chubby cheeks. A lone oak towering higher then the rest called to them from the forest line. The two bowed before Totty spoke…
”Totty and Telli gonna be here a whiles… if Telli wanna lose hers armors she shoulds do dats afore we starts.”
“All Telli hads she gavedededs yuhs ta covers yuhs wells… Telli’ll endure… always has…always wills.”
The metal clasps bore into her knees causing mild discomfort as she cupped her hands followed by Totty.
”Telli shoulds starts…”
“Dear Chauntea….. we losts MORE lands todays… and more crops kilts… and tre…”
Totty nudges Telli abruptly with a sharp elbow.
”Positives Telli… pray positives…
Telli sighed abruptly out her nostrils.
“Danks yuhs fer da cool breeze on me neck Chauntea, and da trees we do gots. Keeps da land outs here uneffecteds by da war if yuhs cans… and if da enemies shoulds comes… Telli will do all she cans ta makes ems pay if dey harms one piece a barks outs dis ways. Keeps da streams free a pollutions ands dose who fights fer da sides a good true and sturdy. Telli really hopes yuhs saw hers givings its her bests in dats ridge battles… cause dats was fer yuhs Chauntea… every swings… every blockings… Telli savedededs a LOTS a folks dats days. Da walls gonna be breeched….or leasts tried ta be breechedededs soons. Keeps Telli’s minds sharps and calm likes da sea… and when dems N’jasts scums comes lets da rage a da waters pour onta ems and all deys coming ta destroys.”
Totty looks over nodding abruptly interjecting.
”Telli been doings reals goods Chauntea… been braves and fightings wid all she gots. Dank yuh fer da grass, da grain, and da aminals… bless dis outskirts and keeps its safes froms strangers hands.”
“Chauntea….Telli real sorry agains abouts dats stream she’s polluted… Mr Grag beens talkings abouts goings backs ta cleans its and makes its betta… Telli’s lookings forward ta rightings dat wrong.”
Totty grins watching Telli from the corner of her eye.
“Please forgivededes Telli Chauntea….cause Telli forgivings yuhs and stoppedededs blamings yuhs…. Know gonn be long longs times afore yuhs grace wid Telli agains… buh please no be silents wid Telli no more…. Dats da worse tings dens takings aways all da blessings yuhs ever gavedededs Telli’s… dat hurts….buh nots hearings yuhs voice hurts tens times mores over….amens.”
The two stand as Telli sprinkles a few seeds turning dirt over and giving them ample space to grow and be nurtured by the majestic Oak.
“Commons Totty, less go gets yer junks backs.”
Day Ten Without Chauntea's Grace
After recent events and the ridge defend. Telli makes it a point to educate and well inform those interested as well as greener legionaries of the best tactics up to this point of defeating the armatures. As well as other pearls of wisdom that seemed to be lacking in the latest battle.
"Whatcha need ta do is foller these instructions fer armatures. Many a yuhs saws Telli battling armatures toe fer toe… and wulp... didn'ts die dids I... Mr Grag nots died eder... nor miss Lyte... dough dat was closers... anyways...
Folks been askings Telli lefts and rights... how do we drop armatures... wulps... obviouslys yuh eder use a wiggla or get a priest or priestess ta bless yus weapon good and strongs. Eder way... dese instructions is fer dose near Telli and anyone else who wants ta adopts Telli's tactics...
First, getcher self a solid line holder..."
Telli amply thumbs to herself.
"course I volunteerings... buh... shoulds any of yuhs oders tinks yuh can go toe ta toe wid a few armatures wulps... yuh juss foller Telli's followings two steps dens.
Two, Getcher self one a dems cloaks coated ta pertects yuhself against dems acids flasks.
Three, get a bunch a friends ta chucks dem flasks atcha...
Easy as dat... specially if yuhs can't hurts dems armatures regularly... justs keeps chuckings dems grenades till yuh drops ems."
For clarification Telli lays out a few posters she sketched up during the evening.
"Dis Telli's strategy and clearance fer any legionaires near Telli… I plans ta have me cloak on... so chuck away!
Next... wigglas... enemy wigglas. We need betta training against ems... Telli counted a good two or three dats was lefts juss chuckings der spells ats Telli and oders. If Telli's in a farking stalemates wid an armature... I ain'ts runnings off ta deals wid a flippings wiggla while its beats on me friends. So priority Telli's sayings is on DA WIGGLAS. Archers, big swinga's... and Mr Grags. As much as Telli loved yuhs swingings ats me and da armatures. Telli'd love its betta if yuhs went and chopped dems wigglas in two spent da ten seconds it'd a taken ta do it...and dens comes backs and givedededs Telli a hands wid da big metal tin cans eh?
And lastlies... we need ta juss works on formings and holding lines betta... Telli could count on her hand da numba a legionaires and adventurers dats actually STUCK ta da positions. And dats not a good tings...
Miss Lyte... Mr Rary... dey did a good jobs holding dems lines while folks wents ands dealt wid da armatures..."
Telli eyes those gathered before motioning to a few privates...
"Oi... yuh three wid me's... we need more acid grenades... a LOTS MORES."
Telli waddles off with the trio quickly gathering reserves in explosives and other odds and ends on their trip through Peltarch and eventually to Oscura.
sd_luv last edited by
*Whenever Telli sits to pray grag stops what he is doing and prays aside her to her god and to Tyr in some kind of repentence and asking of forgiveness.. When telli looks over he simpl y wraps a arm around her and continues his prayers
Day Nine Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Rocks came cascading down from the sky raining their barrage of destruction across the ridge line taking out whatever they could.
“Hold this line… I want them working for every inch they want. Grag, Telli… you two are on the left flanks… Rary and I will hold the main stretch north towards Peltarch.”
Telli and Totty stood there watching the barrage at first only Telli breaking the silence as folks watched in horror and as flames erupted from flaming powder kegs lofted throughout the sky.
“Yuh tink Telli’s gonna die todays? And… if does… what will happens Totty? Will Telli see Chauntea’s face. Or am I farked?”
“Don’t talks like dats Telli… yuh gonna makes its.”
“What if nots? What if Tel…”
“I’ll talks wid Chauntea first if I goes dens… getcha a spot nice and close ta her if cans.”
“Telli’d like dats.”
The stout dwarfs adjusted their helms as a powder keg came dropping between them. Totty scrambled behind a rock as Telli dropped to the ground.
Telli’s cape lit ablaze as she rolled across the ground crawling to her feet and leaning against the rocks with Totty now using it for cover.
“LEGIONAIRES!… RETURN FIRE!” Lytes orders rang throughout the ridge skyward until the catapults let loose stones of their own.
The rocks came crashing into the iron barricade Myeil constructed for the legion earlier that week taking a chunk out of it as Telli and Totty rolled to the other side of the rock they were against. Their backs facing the enemy lines they yelled in unison.
“Oi… YER AIM SUCKS!…” Just then another volley of rocks soared skyward passing the iron blockade and crashed into a wall of trolls charging forward.
“Here they come. HOLD!” Lyte shouted as the trolls the size of giants came lumbering across the snow covered tundra their claws branded and ready to tear flesh. Grag’s axe bit into the backs of many before Telli and Totty found themselves back to back swinging at each critters advance.
Telli pushed Totty back flipping her a balm before crashing her shield into a trolls chest pushing him into another and drawing both their attacks allowing archers to find their flanks well enough.
_“FIRE!” Someone shouted barely audible above all the clashing metal and stones crashing to the ground. This however wasn’t a command but alas a cry from within our camp as to the status of our shelter and tents we called home for the past week.
“Quickly… put those fires out… I want it contained.” Lyte’s orders given, Telli watched as her line dwindled down to a mere half dozen. Totty joined those going up leaving Telli with what blessings she could. Telli knew these curs diversion techniques all too well and gripped her sword tight. Battles were fought in the trenches of lines drawn. But wars were won among the shadows.
Still, Telli knew the best line of defense anyone could muster in this war would be won behind the backside of a dwarf. Chauntea or not… Telli knew that burden laid across her shoulders and if it weren’t for Totty’s bolster and encouragement, who’d know Telli’s morale better then she. Soon what was meant to be a short containment burst into a full out battle atop the legion encampment as screams of death wailed from its bosom.
“Mr Rary… can… can yuhs holds dis line?”
Just then Sald and another joined the lines numbers as Telli looked at Rary with those all too familiar eyes.
“Go… just go!”
Telli thrust her stumpy legs as fast as she could as more screams billowed from the encampment. She wasn’t sure what to find… and when she did reach her destination… the sheer destruction and carnage was not one to her liking. A half dozen armatures clunked across the topside slamming legionnaires airborne off the hill crest before dropping a foot onto another.
Grag was backpeddling flailing his axe at one of the armatures as Telli guzzled a potion filled with fasty feet tossed some powder to the sky and charged after it full bent on chaos. “Time TA DIE YUH TIN CAN!” Telli’s thrusts did as much damage as Grags mighty blows. And that was none… the pair looked at each other.
With a flailing of the metal monster’s arm Grag and Telli were sent toppling down the hill crawling to their feet. A few archers arrows pelted across the armatures tough shell before Telli flapped a cloak in her pack tying it around her neck shouting out her orders.
“Grab them GRENADES… and CHUCK em at TELLI!”
As the armature slunk down the hillside its body shifted towards Telli with ill intent.
“Telli, DRAG IT DOWN TO THE FRONT LINES!”
Grag bellowed as the monsters location to the menhirs adversely effected its damage input. Telli rushed up kicking it in the shin before chucking a grenade into its visual sensors.
“Common yuh over grown can openers!”
Telli ran sliding down the hillside to the front lines as the metal beast lurched after her trying to grasp her in its hands. As Telli approached the battle lines, Rary, Lyte and others were staving off a full Calvary advance. With the armatures and N’jast troops united in the middle of the ridge all order was crushed. Spellswords loomed in the background causing archers and the less hardy warriors to flee. Spells of fear and confusion engulfed the masses but two warriors fought side by side… Telli and Lyte shifted positions multiple times. Telli stubborn and unwilling to give an inch of her positioning. “Where’s TOTTY?”
Telli’s thrusts became more chaotic and flustered as she cursed and shouted. “FER CHAUNTEA!”
Quickly multiple armtures encircled the warriors as Telli felt the air of an axe blade come zipping past her head. With a glance, all she could afford as the massive metal armature thrust its palms against her metal shell, she saw Grag. “Mr Grag? Whatcha doings?”
Multiple swings aimed for Telli’s back as she rolled and hoped around dodging a pair of armatures and Grag’s mighty blows. Chunks of dirt and rocks littered to the skys only moments after Telli lurched out of the way of the next crushing blow.
“Grag, SNAP OUTTA IT!” Lyte trickled from her lips as an armatures blow caught her solid in the chest sending her crashing into the side of a nearby stone wall.
“Mr Grag… yuhs on yuhs own.” Telli rushed at him sliding under his next swing and rolled over near Lyte yanking her helmet off pouring a potion within her mouth. With a stern yank on her arm the pair was back on their feet as Grag became the focus of the pair of armatures that used him as a ragdoll. Telli sprinted as fast as her stumpy legs would allow positioning herself between the two armatures and Grag’s barely breathing body. “Telli….wish….she…. hads… three….arms…abouts….nows….”
Lytes sword sunk into one of the armatures arms as she drew one off of Telli long enough for her to dig for some powder in her beltloop. With one hand motion the powder sprinkled to Grags beaten corpse long enough to get him to his feet. A shimmer across a spellsword caught Telli’s eyes as a blast of electricity stung against her back sparking off and zapping the armature on her position.
“Dats its wench… yuhs deads!”
Telli’s boot caught the wigglers stomach as she was sent back rolling across the snow covered ground. Ducking she dodged another mounted horseman’s advance as the magelings fingers sparked and blasted Telli in the chest once more sending her to a nearby snowbank. Shaking the snow from her frame Telli swiped her sword across the snow proclaiming this her position to hold and nothing further would advance.
Three armatures and a half dozen Calvary bore down on her position as the mageling sent flaming brands to the sky.
CLANG CLASH CLANG
“oh… errrr… rights.”
Telli flipped off the maelstrom on her pursuit as Grag and Lyte lead the retreat from the Ridge. The Ridge was lost in nearly a day, but the watchtower was next. Telli grinned from ear to ear… what she held on a snow covered clump of ground barely fortified with a minimal of Chauntea’s grace would pale in comparison to the amount of ground she could hold with proper Peltarch support. Finally the Legion was going to have help and it bore deep green colors…_
123BooM last edited by
this is GREAT, havieng a good litle story in it too, props on all your drawings