Dark days for a Thunden
Day Eight Without Chauntea’s Grace.
The stout dwarves found a nearby couch to sit on as Totty groaned.
“Totty been hearing about yuh froms people and froms Chauntea.”
“And?” Telli retorted, her disposition not one hidden at this point to anyone but the daft at heart.
“Totty sad. Tink Telli should pray wid Totty todays.”
“I tell yuh whats Totty… yuh come and watch Telli fights dems N’jasts scums widouts Chauntea’s helps… den… if Telli still arounds and kicking…. We do dat eh?” Telli blurted hoping off the couch adjusting her armguards.
“How dat sounds?”
“Sounds like yuhs losing faith quickly.” Totty slithered out under a deep sigh. “Totty can tulls.”
“Totty… Telli done bads… a few folks gots sicks and died… some animals sicks. Buh… Chauntea turnedededs her back on a WHOLE towns? Which worse… cause if yuh can answer Telli dats… woulds makes dis whole mess a lots easier ta understands.”
“Not abouts da town Tellis.”
“Den what it abouts?”
“Chauntea is about nature.” Stomping her foot… “not this… not town or city. You know dis Telli.”
“Chauntea abouts nature and that’s includededs crops Totty! All dems crops is ruined and goners!”
“Think wif dis.” Totty exclaimed pointing to Telli’s chest that was certain to hold a heart somewhere beneath all the bile and resentment. Telli looked down sighing and going quiet. “Then think wif dis…” She followed up the gesture with a stumpy finger extended to her head.
Sighing out her nostrils Telli nodded. “Yuh.”
“Tink whats yuh dids… ya lostedededs crops Telli BUT… but da poison it hurts MAN, TREES, MANY ANIMALS. MANY CROPS dat NEEDS da waters.
Telli’s mind raced as Totty’s eyes gauged Telli flatly and with sincerity. “Telli nots tink a its dat ways.” Telli’s head dipped shamefully with remorse.
“But yuh hads ta haves.” Totty slithered out opening her arms for a hug.
Telli’s face reddened as she waddled forward resting her face into the shoulder of her stout friend. “What Telli supposedededs ta do?”
“when da fights over me and yuhs, we guna prays until miss Chauntea talks ta us okie?”
“Right now… Telli should help her friends, AND da trees. AND da animals, AND the crops that N’jast will hurts okie?” Telli bobs her head a few times earnestly clutched in Totty’s arms as her earings jingled within the tavern.
“Would Totty do Telli favor? Tink Chauntea would gets mads if… Totty helpededes Telli do betta on da battlefielf wid her blessings?”
“Nope… but if she did gets mad I woulds talk to hers… and explain why I dids.”
“Less go dens Totty… will be nice ta haves Chauntea’s power in Telli fer once… Been a long… long… times.”
“no, not once… ALWAYS.”
The two squeezed tighter releasing one another as Totty went to prepare some blessings and the battle for the ridge loomed in the distance a day to be granted to Chauntea in death and honor.
Day Seven Without Chauntea's Grace.
The knight smiles warmly and bows to Telli _Tradition and pomp and honor are big among both courts. The Unseelie not so much with honor. They take great pride in twisting the wording without breaking its spirit. Quite the sport amongst the Unseelie noble houses.
What you are offering is not a game. The Fey COurts are no friends of mortal gods. Those of Nature, however, are at best our unintentional allies from time to time. The Seelie would be remiss to deny the Earthmother the possible return of one of her greater champions.
Once we take this memory from you, it will no longer be yours. You will be unable to draw it to mind should you try, unless circumstances bring us to return it and end our guardianship of your dreams. Even if we should return this to you someday, the Earthmother may not welcome you back into her arms.
the knight bows once more and backs away as another sidhe knight in highly ornate armor strides up beside him. The knight guestures to the great figure
_This is the of the Captain of Seelie Guard, Captain Jack. Princess Morgaine's greatest military adviser.
Captain Jack smiles to Telli and draws his ornate long sword, holding it, it's blade upright before his face.
_Kneel, mortal, if you accept our protection.
Telli waddles forward taking a knee as dust scatters to the air due to the force. As the knights sword is lofted and lowered… just as its about to touch Telli’s shoulder… she wakes. Sweat caked to her forehead and her eyes wide and fixated on the ceiling.
Idly she rubs her chest as the pendent of Chauntea lays there split in two. Between her finger it dangles and she eases herself to the side of her bed. With an audible sigh out of her nostrils she begins to lace her boots up for the day.
Telli’s boots rung heavier and with more weight in each passing step. The kind of weight that bares from the shouders down through the heart and into your gut. Adjusting her pigtails she set her sight on the Mermaids Inn’s doorway as it swung open. The image before her was that of a carnival fun house mirror, the image large, wider, and chubbier then herself. It bore pigtails though not golden like her own… they were brown… and the familiar crunching of a ration echoed through the doorframe. The familiar girls tone was one less then comforting and it dripped with tension.
“Telli… we need ta talk…”___
Day Six Without Chauntea’s Grace.
Telli that evening laid within the make shift moving encampment that the Legion now inhabited. Lying across the grass she found one lone pillow to claim as her own, a rare commodity these days. Pulling something small from her pack it looked like a homemade green trinket of sorts. When she was sure the coast was clear she took her skinning knife from her belt poking her thumb until it bled. Sealing her blood against the emerald colored gem she tucked it under her pillow awaiting her dreams that evening. The air swirled and her dreams were a little more pleasant then normal as she saw a fey knight standing in the distance. Approaching him she offered a stumpy arm to shake and smiled warmly to him.
“Telli’s glad ta see yuhs feller.”
Good to see you again, General. Sadly, we don't have the forces to dedicate that many knights to guarding mortals' dreams with full war, so close breaking out across all of Avalon.
”Sorry ta hears yuhs abouts ta experiences war too… is its gonna be a long'un yuh tink... or one wid tact dat can be won rader quickly?
Telli understands if yuhs can'ts guards many a da folks dreams heres anymore... buh... Telli gots ones really important requests... wull okee... two REALLY important requests.
Da first'un... Telli sure could use a guardian or two ta pertects her dreams and keeps ems safe. Wid war here, and Chauntea's grace gones... Telli's gonna be purdy vulnerables ta scary dreams ands needs ALL da peacefuls sleeps I kin gets... Dats of course if yuhs can spares its friend. If yuh can't Telli undastands.
Two, dis ones purdy important. Dis army N'jast is in Jiyyd's as we speaks... dey out numba us and deys well prepared. Buh we gots da heart and da tact ta prevail I's certain. I knows yuhs folks gots a war brooings and yuh can'ts spare much... buh if yuhs got a platoon yuh kin spares... Telli'll be forever gratefuls... if dats juss ain'ts possibles... wull... is der a way ta give all dems N'jasts feller nightmares? Der water supplies already tainted wid bile, venom and all sorts a tings nasty... if we coulds punch der dreams ragged dat'd leave em purdy wiped out... mebbe so wiped out dey won'ts be able ta fights as well...and mebbe makedededs somes REALLY dumbs mistakes."
Telli stands there with the knight enjoying what few moments they have of pure warless chatter.
The knight smiles before nodding. _“The small, nightly price of blood must still be paid..unless.. you are willing to trade a memory you hold dear for more long term protection of your dreams. Then…we will be happy to watch over your dreams in return.
However, we are on high alert and can't afford to divert large forces. If things turned to full war with the Unseelie, we would be at greater disadvantage than we are already. The Unseelie completely outnumber us as it is. That puts the price of our help out of your reach. Oberon's Skull is not yours to give us. Sadly, Queen Titania has certain protection in place upon the skull that would spell certain doom for any try to take it from the druids the Unsellie have entrusted it too. It's the crystal skull of our dead king..and if we got our hands on it, our war would be over very quickly and the Unseelie and Seelie would be reunited under one Court. Meaning we would be very grateful and willing to help out any way we could. As it is, Fey society may fracture further into all new Courts. Like I said, its certain doom to any but the druids she lent it to, so we understand if you cannot bring it to us.
His Voice and face turns serious. _“A future note, BOTH Fey Courts frown heavily on despoiling Nature for ANY reason. That stunt with the river we can overlook, more of the same by either side will not make us happy That may be the one thing Unseelie, Seelie and Exile can all agree on.
Telli sighs heavily watching the knights gaze turn more serious.
Oi…feller. Telli knows well ands goods dats da ends don'ts justifies da means ... Yuh tink yuhs words could stings harder dens anythings Chauntea's already dones ta Telli feller. She's gones froms Telli ands aint's comings backs... turned her backs on Jiyyd.... and cause it its fell. Dat as much Telli's faults as dat heartless woman Chauntea... Hrmmph... vowings ta pertects farms, farmas, and childrens... and juss lefts ems.
Telli's eyes become red as she pushes back the tears. Though the price of a little blood easily payable, she struggles inside herself thinking and debating a way to push away the pain she feels of the lose of her closest friend Chauntea.
Telli... Telli gots a dream fer yuhs feller... fer strongers protections... Since... yuh ain'ts abandoned Telli.
Telli turns her foot in the dirt before speaking softly on the verge of her tone cracking...
Da... day... da day Telli mets Chauntea. Yuh can haves dat'un... da day she cames down and plucked Telli froms dat landslide a rocks in dat cavern way backs whens. When she pulled me outta dat rubble and changed dis cold dwarfs hearts fereva's... Yuh can havedededs dat'un.
Telli looks down at her feet shoulders slumped... Der ain't noffings lefts a da warm Telli dats was full a smiles and cheer. Der noffings lefts buts dis bile, bitter filled heart a Telli's. Can't even go a day widouts pissings some'un off and Telli juss don't have da strengths ta smiles no mores.
Telli sniffs rubbing her cheeks clean of any remnant tears. Now abouts dis Oberon's skull... tell Telli where it is....what it does and why its so dangerous ta gets... cause Telli aims ta do one lass good ting in dis world and dats bringing order backs ta yuhs court.
Telli motions out along the dream landscape mimicking the world she inhabits... Cause lets face it... widouts order yuhs no betta off dens us.__
Day Five without Chauntea’s Grace
Telli stood there fuming at the battle lines now drawn by N’jast near the crossroads. A group gathered strategizing over what little area they had left from the crossroads to Peltarch. Lyte’s solemn vow still ringing in each individuals heart… “We’re going to make them pay for every inch with their lives for what they did to Jiyyd.” A lone hin shifted from the shadows relaying intel to those nearby while Telli stewed in her own frustration and malice. So caught in her self loathing, Telli didn’t hear a word the hin uttered till his farewell remarks.
“See ya… I’ll keep ya guys posted on what I find out!’
“Yuh… yuhs do dats mebbe –afore- its too lates unlikes when Jiyyd gots burnt down huh?” Bile and bitterness dripping from Telli’s tone.
The hin turned on his heels nearly out of ear shot before his brow raised revealing saucer sized eyes. “WHAT!?…” The sawed off runt stammered over to meet Telli face to face before shouting… “…WHAT DID YA SAY…..YUH STUMPY BULGING DWARF?”
“Telli saids… hope we gets word froms yuh AFORE sometings happens dis times arounds…. Unlikes in JIYYD!”
“Ya ungrateful pile a manure! It ever dawn on ya that maybe ya didn’t hear from us before Jiyyd fell cause my men might have been DEAD? What have ya been doing ta help anyways huh?”
“Telli’s been holding lines and nots hiding in hers own shadow dats fa sures…”
“Cursing your godess before battle… that sure helped I bet…” The hin scout snapped holding a finger up at the stout dwarf.
“You two quit it… knock it off.”
“We got enough problems dealing with N’jast, enough fighting between us!” A few gathered around retorted.
“Hrmmmph. I’ll be talking with the other scouts… if were not needed in this war, then we’ll go else where!” The hin protested as Telli made mouth moving motions with her hand. With a snide look the hin turned on his heels slinking off into the shadows as Telli’s hand motion twisted leaving an ample bird in his direction as she shouted.
“Yuh go do dats feller… don’cha gots a tree ta hide ahind or sometings… Hrmmmph.”
*Two things ran through Telli’s head while she boiled over looking more coarse then ever. One, Chauntea needed more credit then she ever got before for all the work she put into Telli and how she was able to curb the dwarves tongue prior to her departure from the stout stalwart. And two, if what the hin said was true, about her cursing Chauntea before the battle, which it wasn’t. Then that meant the little coward watched the whole battle from the shadows without firing a single arrow. Either way… neither thought lead to Telli believing anytime soon she would receive Chauntea’s blessing again. And inside she sighed, knowing without her goddesses grace, she was surely to piss off a few more people before the week was through.
Day four without Chauntea's grace.
The lines were drawn and Jiyyd's defenders with nothing more then plains to act as cover and peace among the looming smoke that bore from Jiyyd's walls. Another battle was imminent and many prepared… over near a stream Telli cooped over a large boulder etching into its side. With a grunt and a toss the boulder hit the waters with a jarring splash rippling along the surface until the rock lay at the bottom of the stream.
"Jiyyd's defeats is on yuhs shouldas Chauntea.... nots Telli's... hopes yuhs shoulders is strongas den mines..."
For the remainder of the day she continued to stoop ner the stream mourning and regretful of what lead them to this tragic point.
Day three without Chauntea's grace.
*The town goes up in a ball of flames as defenders and legionaires alike scramble to regain control of the chaos. Elementals burst within the town, trolls and dire animals rock the gates of the swamp as solid iron locks them out… archer battalions turn on the town and are quickly slaughtered.
Telli and Mel rush to the western gates with orc and peltarch batallions trying to secure an escape route for those who stuck it out far past the point of safe departure. With the hill taken back Telli rolls down the hill to rush to offer the town what little aid she still could. The scene at the gates haunts her to this day... Metal constructs known as Armatures slithered from the now blown well cap. Knight and archer flanking the monstrous creatures.
Entering town Telli saw many of her friends darting about and targets of these walkings behemoths. Pulling an arrow Telli sunk the shaft into the arm of one of the knights in the distance drawing its attention before using the side of a burning building for cover. As the knight rushed the stout dwarf he hadn't the sense to realize whom he toiled after... Telli pivoted, stomping on his toe and lunged her shield into the bottom of his chin sending his exposed neck upward before Gears slipped from a nearby shadow letting an arrow hit fresh meat.*
furious Telli watched as Rhyn ran towards her a battalion of knights on his pursuit. Even as he waved for Telli to flee she rushed head first towards Rhyn passing him and launching her body airborne into the battalion slaming her shield and girth into two snapping their necks in two from her brunt force before she rolled to her feet. A Knight loomed over her backside as Gears shifted from thin air letting another arrow find the opening in between his breastplate felling the man. Two remained as Telli swung her shield to block ones advance while thrusting her sword into the stomach of another. Rhyn regained his barings flanking one and putting a solid into its back causing it to fall.
Three armatures meandered haphazardly towardds the trio as Gears slipped back into Telli's shadow out of sight. Rhyn nudged her with a nod in thanks as he rushed off to help the others in their retreat.
"The TOWNS LOSTS!"
One of the armatures caught its eye on Glognar as it sent her across the dirtroad until another armature kicked her airborne dropping her to the ground like a ragdoll. The stout warrior pushed off the ground slowly as Telli wedged herself between her and the advancing armatures...In a flail of kicks, thrusts and rolls. Telli maneuvered between the legs of these massive monstrosities until she saw a magling in the midsts...
"TElli no...WERE LEAVING....OUT....OUT OF TOWN!.."
Ronan shouted pulling back many of those who defended the town. Telli rushed the magling thrusting her sword hitting naught but air.
The woman gleamed at Telli's distress.
"Fark off yuh wench!"
The womans hand lifted attempting to strip Telli's blessings, but not before Telli was able to reply.
"What... ain't nothings hardly on Telli is der... yuh ain'ts heard...Telli's widouts Chauntea's favor...and yuh STILL havings dis much troubles..."
Telli spat on the ground as what little blessing she had from the others was stripped and she caught the armatures from the corner of her eyes advancing. This was it....die today for nothings and fullfill her vow to Chauntea... or live to fight another day and make these monsters pay all the more. Telli gulped a haste potion and ran towards the armatures. Her stumpy legs pushing her forwards and as they lifted their hands for one solid sweep... Telli slid across the dirt on her shield between their legs flipping them off and rushing out the western gates to join the others....
the commotion outside the gates in the fields was rampant and treachery was afoot. Telli tried to gain her bearings as she watched the ridge covered with legion troops whom they once called friends start unleashing arrows at their own ranks. Telli waddles forward drawing their attention and their fire. Standing there arrows zipped past her and any luck enough to hit her were not sturdy enough to pierce her dwarven armor.
As the troops realized their shots were of no avail they began to turn on the weaker battle weary travelers attempting to flee... Telli frantically dug into her pack for a scroll and held it out towards the hill as she focused on the ridge causing a light from the heavens to burst down ontop of them stunning them long enough for the group to retreat and Lyte to advance on the hill and cause every last one of the traitors on the ridge to breath their last breathe.
"Were gonn hold here..." Lyte exclaimed.
"but...the town is lost...we need to regroup in Norwick!"
"No..." She hissed.
"They have the town, but they're going to pay with their lives for EVERY INCH they want more. Benji, Telli… I want those seige equipment in Norwick wheeled here IMMEDIATELY..."
The two rushed off to Norwick hoping their efforts would come in time.
Day Two without Chauntea's grace.
Telli stands at the front lines awaiting orders or something to amply put her boot into. Neither comes but a maelstrom of rain and eventually body parts. Body parts cascade from the night sky splattering across the Jiyyd ground sending a chilling vision among those present. Quickly Telli began accumulating the severed heads, body parts and odds and ends from among the scattered mess. Taking a nearby cart the task was done more efficiently.
“See Chauntea… Telli helpings ta –PREVENTS- disease and death outbreak… Telli doings her part… mebbe yuh shoulds give da town a hand soon eh?….”
As the pile builds near the swamps others point and motion to the rooftops as Telli groans…
“Telli… there’s more!!!”
One of the guards bursts as the stout dwarf crawls atop the roof of a nearby building scrapping entrails and hands from the rooftop. The debris falling into nearby water barrels producing a mixture of reddish-green to the murky surface. Just then the rain picks up once more and makes the rooftop a slick footing and Telli comes sliding off the roof onto the soft ground as an assortment of GOo and other body fluids splatter across her body.
“Funny…Chauntea… very funny…”
Telli now covered in what she once helped cause, the bitter irony only the most bitter of souls could muster. Wiping herself clean… Telli wheels the last of the GOo over near the swamps before unscrewing a grenade and dumping its contents around the pile awaiting Ronan’s delicate flame…
Soon the pyre ignites and disease is adverted… at least this day.
Next is the task of fortifying the troops footing with planks to combat the mud thats engulfing the town.
Clan Dolvak last edited by
((extra points for the illustration! thats great!))