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Loric Syntel..A Bards Tale
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:47 pm Post subject: Loric Syntel..A Bards Tale Reply with quote

The moonless night's gloom covered the two agile shapes slowly snaking their way up the brick facade of the aging, two story building. This was a brazen adventure; and certainly ill-advised by anyone with even a lick of sense. Everyone in the Den knew the unwritten rules... and most never challenged them. Never, that is, without factoring in the inevitable fatal consequences of such. It was an unwise folly conceived by a couple of short-sighted, carefree youths without much insight into the principles of risk verses reward. Yes...everyone knew it never made sense to rob a pirate lord....but no-one could ever accuse Dodger or Loric of having an excess of common sense.

They both were on the streets at an early age...each a victim of the loose morality prevalent in the squalor of Buc’s Den. Both boys were raised by whoever fed them last. Their mothers were but vague memories that were more wish than fact...but shared nonetheless by two boys who clung to the hope that they were loved someone.

Streetwise and penniless since they could remember, Dodger and Loric knew how to survive the many pitfalls of being orphans in an unsympathetic society. They learned how to find the dry places to sleep or where to cop a meal when starved. They knew who they could pull their pity act on to gather a few well as who was too dangerous to try. The boys were like brothers...since all they had for family was each other. It had been that way for ten years... running the alleys of the windy Buc's Den....trying to survive another day...another month...another year.

Loric loved Dodger. Dodger looked after him like an elder brother, even though he was only two years older at sixteen summers. Dodger had plans...big plans. Plans so fantastic, that Loric would listen in wide eyed amazement at the prospect of them coming true. Oh...and they would come true...Dodger said so.... and Dodger always knew the score. So when Dodger told Loric that stealing the Crown of Lilyth would make all their dreams become reality, he believed him...and would willingly help.

Rumor had it that the Crown was in the possession of the Pirate Captain LeFitte. It was said to be kept in a locked room on the second floor of his private brick townhouse on Dead Cat Alley. Dodger said it would be easy to scale the old brick outer wall and sneak in though the second story window. Dodger was pretty good with locks.... such so that Loric found the plan sensible.

So here they were...slowly edging up the old brick and mortar side wall. Some places were crumbled.. leaving small hand and footholds that the boys carefully negotiated. Finally Dodger was prying open the window and slipping through. A gloved hand reached out to Loric who gratefully grabbed on and was pulled through as well.

The room was unlit and deathly quiet. Waiting for their eyes to adjust seemed to take a small eternity. Finally the outline of a small table could be distinguished in the dim pallor of blackness. Loric heard Dodger quietly whisper to stay put while he slowly stepped toward it. Dodger stopped with a pronounced whispered curse as a loose floorboard creaked loudly. After listening for a moment and deeming it safe, Dodger continued to his destination and lit a small candle found sitting on the table. The warm glow of yellow light was soothing as it flooded some insight into the hidden corners of the small room. There by a metal reinforced door was a large chest!

The boys exchanged grinning glances as Dodger carefully approached the chest on his hands and knees. Loric watched as Dodger examined the large padlock that held the big trunk closed. A bent wire appeared in his hand and after much jiggling and cursing, it clicked open and fell to the floor with a thud. Both boys looked at each other in wide eyed excitement.

Dodger then touched both sides of the lid and began to slowly push it open. Loric's head alternated looking over Dodger's left and right shoulder in untamed curiosity. A bejeweled crown glimmered in the candlelight like a beacon of hope!. It sat on a puffy purple pillow like some regal monarch of salvation...Dodger and Loric's salvation!

Grinning like monkeys, the boys made a grab for the crown simultaneously...and the minute their greedy little hands removed it from the cushion, hidden bars dropped from holes above the window. A barely audible hissing sound could be heard as a gas like smell was evidently filling the room. A muffled clanging sound rang out beyond the locked door.

The boys’ grins were gone and a look of confusion replaced the smug confidence of a few moments ago. Dodger ran to the window and found the bars were effectively locking them in. Loric tried the door before realizing it was secured with a dead bolt. The two beggars held their collective breaths for as long as they could before finally breathing in the tainted air. It didn't take long to do its appointed job.

A bit later the metal reinforced door opened and two men entered and stood over the two forms lying on the floor.

"Thieves Captain...shall I dispose of them?" asked the larger of the two.

The other, dressed in a plumed hat and a fancy blue coat, answered in well-spoken common.

"I don't think so Mr. Creedy...These are just boys who apparently have not the sense of a jackass...yet I admire their brashness...Have them taken to the ship...By the time they awaken, we shall be underway...We are in need of a cabin boy and a crow's nest monkey...Give them the choice of that...or the deep blue sea. I'm sure some sound wisdom shall quickly develop!"

"Aye aye Captain!', grinned the first mate as he began to gather up the sleeping burglars.

....And amidst all the LeFitte robbery rumors that abounded over the Den the next few days.... no-one still, would accuse Dodger and Loric of having a lick of sense....

Last edited by Loric on Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:19 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:52 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

The clomping sound of heavy boot steps echoed from somewhere up on the dark, fog-shrouded cobblestone lane. A wiry, blond-headed man waited dispassionately with arms folded for the source of the noise to appear. The moon had a way of playing tricks on a man's eyes when it reflected off the ground mist that covered the skinny, alley-like streets of Buc’s Den...And sure enough, when the boot-wearer became visible, he burst wraithlike from the fog looking ghostly and surreal. His huge overcoat was black and bulky... his ebony beard untrimmed. A red, tricornered hat couldn't cover all of the greasy hair that stuck out haphazardly around its sides. He stopped a few yards from the well-dressed man who calmly blocked his path.

"Well...If it ain't the pole monkey beggar!" grinned the larger man in a non-flattering way. "Who let you out of yer cage tenight!"

The blond-headed man squinted his eyes coldly toward the other, causing the big man's grin to slowly disappear.

"So Loric...I sees ye gots a murderous look about ye tenight." The man slowly opened his overcoat as he spoke, revealing a nasty looking scimitar at his waist. "Ahh would love te tells ye it would pain me te kill ye....but I'd just beh lyin...I DO really enjoy that sort o' mischief." The man's grin returned but it was a bit more sinister. "This ain' aboot the bleedin' wench is it!?"

"Her name was Molly...But too be sure don't 'have a brain big enough to be rememberin' even ye OWN name, now doo ye?" Loric's voice had a bit of a musical tone when he spoke...he added barded inflection to certain words, making them flow pleasantly off his tongue.

"I asked you , Creedy, to stay away from her. I did warn you...but as don't listen."

The tall man looked a bit surprised that Loric was talking to him this way. After all..Loric was just a homeless beggar the Captain took in a few years back.

"Ohh...She was a tight one too! smirked Creedy callously, "I kin see why ye liked her soo ...real soft she she liked ye too!..Aye she did!...She didn't want te take ole' Creedy...put up a real fight! But in the know 'ow it is...She lost!" Creedy taunted the other man like he enjoyed it.

Loric winced for a second. "Did you have to kill her?" he asked slowly, "Wasn't humiliating her enough? You couldn't just 'ave had your pleasure and let her go?"

"Ahh...Noo," answered Creedy happily, " Ohh!..and she screamed yer name when I was cuttin her teh!..Thought ye migh' wants te knoe thet!..She really luved ye matey!" Creedy inhaled like he was remembering a fragrance. " she had thet perfume on...the lilac stuff ye bought 'er on our last port o call...She smelt real good Loric."

The slim man’s eyes hardened again as his hand went to the hilt of his rapier, drawing it out. He pointed it at Creedy and swished it around a bit.

"I suggest you defend yourself, you poor excuse for a human being!"

Creedy's mouth formed a wide grin, revealing some well-rotted teeth. He pulled out his scimitar and started to walk forward. His pace increased steadily until he was in a full charge, complete with a bloodcurdling war cry.

Loric coolly awaited the onslaught.... calmly positioning himself sideways in a fencing stance.

The scimitar came down hard but was deftly dodged. It crashed on the cobblestone, sparking a bit of light in the ground fog. Loric countered with a clean cut into the arm of the overcoat, slicing it, and the flesh on Creedy's sword arm.

The big man yelped in anger and, recovering quickly, straightened up and switched hands. This time he did a quick left-handed lunge at Loric.

The rapier parried the blow and, in a circular motion, snaked up past the hilt-guard and injected itself into Creedy's exposed wrist. Drops of blood spurted onto Loric's impeccably tailored clothing as the weapon punctured a vein. The large man's scimitar rattled to the ground as he knelt down and tried to hold the wound closed with his other hand. Creedy looked up at Loric with an expression mixed with venomous hatred and surprise.

"Ye shark-bait now ye scurvy cabin boy!" barked the kneeling man. "I got's lots o friends name be mud now in the Den! Ye attacked ye superior over a woman!!!??" Creedy was yelling arrogantly now. "Ye all done boy!.. Ye hear me!! ALL DONE!"

Loric looked down at Creedy in a relaxed manner before tracing the point of his rapier softly up the chest of the man. This seemed to suddenly change the man's attitude from one of anger, to one of concern.

"Loric! Now don't ye beh doin' anythin stupid!" begged Creedy, "We kin work this out!..Surely we can!..Ye gots talent lad..I didnt know it before!..I'll put a good word in with the Captain!...This be just between you an I...woon mention it again...Whaddaye says?...We gots a deal?"

Creedy looked up into the eyes of Loric Syntel and realized too late that there would be no bargaining. It was too late because Loric had already lightly caressed the exposed neck of Creedy McShane with the sharp point of his rapier. It didn’t seem like much...a quick scratch is all...but it was quite deep enough to sever the artery that fed life to the underused brain of the pirate first mate. Creedy's hand went to his neck as the copious spurts of red became apparent. His eyes widened and he assumed a fetal position...barely visible in the mist.

Loric quietly sheathed his rapier and rummaged through his cloak. He uncorked a small bottle and poured its contents onto the dying man. He then hurled the empty bottle away and knelt down to whisper into Creedys ear.

"Don’t worry Creedy...when they find ye tomorrow.." Loric inhaled the pleasant fragrance of lilac, "..You’re gonna smell real nice!...Really nice..."

Last edited by Loric on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:40 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:15 am Post subject: Reply with quote

The slight nudge prompted Loric to open one of his bloodshot eyes and waggle it around the barn searching for the source of his discomfort. All he could see in the dust filled beam of early morning sunlight was a pair of black boots standing near his prone form. Loric reclosed his eye in hopes the annoying boots would exit his hay filled sleeping spot, leaving him alone to continue his dreamless slumber. Wishful thinking....Another nudge...this time harder, compelling both his eyes to fly open and his body to slowly sit up.

"You must have a death wish," mumbled Loric's dry lips as his body leaned back against the barn wall with a thud. "Why are you waking me in the middle of the bloody night!?"

"You confuse me with another who has a death wish...and he sits possessed by an ale-induced stupor in front of me," spoke a voice that was surprisingly soothing. "Loric, I wish to offer you a bit of life for a change."

Lorics's hand shielded his eyes in a salute-like position on his forehead. "Who in blazes are you?" He tried to focus, but saw only a tall dark shape looming over him holding a water bucket. The image was icy cold water exploded onto his face causing him to jump up disorientedly.

"You've had it now!" Loric grumbled reaching for his rapier. Another booted foot kicked it away a moment before his hand touched it. "Alright," conceded Loric, "What in blazes do you want?...I see ye
want something...Spit it out then...and let me go back to sleep!...You hooligan!"

Loric could now see a blond man with a kind, aging face staring back at him with a bit of amusement. “I hope you clean up well... We have an appointment."

"Not till you tell me who you are and what business you have with me!" complained the blond headed Loric with arms folded.

"You really don't remember me do you?" countered the older blond man. "Think back... a narrow alleyway in Bucs Den ...two boys in the and... Dodger wasn't it?...Dodger.. Yes...That was him."

When the man mentioned Dodger, the word stung Loric's fuzzy thoughts into shocked attention. His mind tried to follow the man's description back...back to Buc Den...back to a dark night in Rat Alley...back to the cold driving rain....

10 Years Earlier....Buccaneers Den.

"RUN LORIC!..RUN FAST!" screamed the small teenage boy to a smaller one running just behind him.

"THEIR GAININ!" Desperate feet splashed through the rain soaked cobblestone alleyway as two lumbering shapes followed close behind.

The boys suddenly skidded to a halt and pulled on the small doorway at the end of the alley. It was locked up tight. "Buggers Dodger!...They said they would leave it open!...Trapped like rats!" Both boys jumped behind some old barrels and quietly waited... shaking in fear.

The two half orc sailors grunted and wheezed as they entered the trash filled dead-end. "Har Har!...Yous be ours now!..Make it easy on yous and come out!" offered one of the smelly brutes.

Loric knew if they were caught by these two, they would be sold to one of the ships captains as onboard slave laborers. They might as well be dead now then to go through the torment that would await them if caught. Dodger and Loric exchanged frightened and solemn glances. They knew capture wasn't going to be an option.

One of the Half-orcs waited at the skinny entrance while the other trudged closer wielding a great club. "Come out now make me work hard and me no hurt you bad!" chortled the thug.

"We got to make a break by them." whispered Dodger. "We can't be caught!"

The boys started to get up just as the barrel was kicked aside and a club came down. It crashed into Dodger's head knocking him out cold. Loric yelled out in terror while drawing a small dagger out of his boot. He waved it unsteadily up at the half orc.

There was a moment of silence as the big brute blinked and took in the absurdity of the small utensil...until he broke out in laughter.

"Yous gonna kill me!!...Nooo!..Doon kills Uglum...he surrender!" joked the looming thug just before leering at the boy with menace.

"Now you come!" spit the half orc as he raised his club and covered Loric's small shape in its shadow. Loric closed his eyes and waited for the blackness to come... but it never did.

Music...Loric heard music..and when he opened his eyes to peek, he saw the brute... frozen in mid-swing. The half orc was grimacing, as if in pain, but wasn't moving an inch.

"Well, shall we get out of here or would you prefer to wait till they awaken!" said a handsome, blond headed man armed with a warm smile and a soothing voice. He looked a bit like a dandy the way he was dressed but was, in Loric's mind, a much better risk than the two sailors.

The bard picked up Dodger and quickly slipped out of the alley and to the safety of a room in the tavern. Loric studied the blond man as he attended to Dodger with a cold compress.

"Bad news for the Den...He will live!" smiled the man with a playful expression.

Loric couldn’t help but grin now. He liked this one. He felt a nurturing that was rare to him. "Who are you mister?" inquired the lad, "and why'd ye help us?"

The other turned and grinned at the boy. "Boston Grey, ,alleged singer and songwriter at your service... and as for why I helped you?" continued Boston. “Let's just say I did you a favor, and someday, you shall do one for me in return...Deal?"

The boy Loric felt gratitude that there were no strings attached other than a future favor. Hell, he probably would never see the man again anyway. So what did he have to lose?... Nothin!

"Deal!" the boy chimed. "A deal it is!!"

"You are Boston Grey aren't you?" asked Loric as his mind returned to the present.

"That I am...and I'll be collecting that favor me?" Boston walked to the barn door and opened it.. waiting.

Loric stared at the bard for a few seconds before picking up his gear and following Boston Grey out of the barn... without so much as a word of resistance. His interrupted sleep, the only freedom he knew as of late, would have to wait.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:39 am Post subject: Reply with quote

Freezing....Why am I so cold inside?...Where am I?...Why can I not move!?...Molly?!...Is that you Molly!?...Can't keep awake...Don't go!....Please stay!...MOLLY!"....

"What Loric?!" giggled the slender, red haired girl standing behind the bar. "You always mumble so when you address me....You KNOW I don't bite!?...Well...I don't bite hard anyway!" She winked one of her large blue eyes in a mischievous manner.

"Umm..I..err...Well...Can I .." stuttered the eighteen year old blond headed youth. "Umm..Molly... maybe you could..."

"Just say it Loric!" chirped the petite bartender, "Say it'll help you!" Molly then moved her finely featured face close to his and in a playful whisper said, "Repeat after me....Molly...Can I have ale please?" She kept constantly smiling as she looked into his eyes, further intimidating his already nervous disposition.

" ale please," blurted Loric in his best attempt to be suave.

"Buggers Loric! You must be the shyest boy in the whole city!" Molly poured ale from a wooden keg as she spoke in an energetic voice. "You know I already like you!...Isn’t like you gotta be guessing or anything...What are you so scared of me for!?..Tell me!"

Loric could only look at her and be paralyzed by the warm tingles that shot through him whenever he was in her presence. He thought of asking her what a man was supposed to do when his heart tries to beat its way out of his chest at the mere sound of her name?...And what does he take to dispel the butterflies that flutter in his stomach when he sees her?....Can he ignore the contentment he feels when she moves close to him?... or the rumbling below when she kisses him?

His eyes found the courage to lift themselves up into hers.... and his tongue finally braved the wordless moment to say how he felt about her.

" really like you too Molly!" blundered the hopeless kid.

'Real smooth Loric...You idiot!" he thought.

Molly smiled and patted his hand. "I like you too Loric...very much." Molly could see his forehead glistening and gently used her bar cloth to pat it dry...." are sweating!'.....

"Why am I sweating!...Burning up...Soo hot....Can’t move...Help me!...Someone bring me some ale...ALE!..Please!...I thirst...and I tired..."

"Tired!!" bellowed the bare chested man swishing a thin rapier. "We’ve hardly begun Loric...En Guard!"

Rapiers crossed noisily as the two combatants entered the deadly dance of thrust and riposte across the sunny deck of the three mast ship, ' Highwayman.' Captain LeFitte was in the habit of sparring with his cabin boy Loric for a triad of reasons. One, the boy shouldn't be bullied...two, he liked the exercise...and three; the boy had some raw talent.

As they continued the lesson, the crew gathered more and more frequently to watch. At first, no one cared...but now...the boy was getting better. Wages were being made on which day the student would draw first blood from the master. The blades moved quicker than lightning as each contestant matched the other's thrust with a riposte. They were poetry in motion this day...twins of the art...none faltering...each answering perfectly...Then... it happened!

It had occurred so fast that no one even saw it... until a reddening line appeared in the captain's right shoulder. Both parties stopped simultaneously as a gasp was heard from the crew. There was utter silence except for the wind flapping in the sails. Then, Captain LeFitte brought his rapier straight up with the point to the sky. He kissed the hilt of his favorite weapon before presenting it to Loric with a flourishing bow. The crew went wild with screams of delight and loads of applause. The lad stood dumbfounded as the captain turned and marched back to his quarters. Most of the crew approached Loric, slapping his back with 'atta boys' and 'good shows.' All except Creedy, the first mate, who stood aft and gave the boy a look that made him shiver.....

"Freezing....Can't stop shaking....HELP!...Please...ALE!...I'm so cold....

A small window in the door opened and Boston Grey looked through at the blond man bound by leather straps to the bed.

"He keeps yelling for ale Boston," spoke the lovely woman standing next to the blond Reever. "Still only water?"

"Yes Lenore...he will need a few more days as he is...and no matter what he says...only water."

The small window closed with a dull thud...deadening the screams that emanated from somewhere deep in the bowels of Britain’s old theater house.

Last edited by Loric on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:18 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

"Drawn to a flame....She is far away....out of reach......"

There was not a dry eye in the place. The audience stared in quiet silence as the handsome man onstage paused his verse and gathered himself for the finale to his song. His long blond hair seemed windblown due to the offstage man fanning the stale theater air. Loric knew this added to the effect of the sweet song of love and loss. He also was aware how light worked in his favor when properly dimmed for mood creation. Since his ‘drying out’, his life took a turn for the best. Musically, he caught on in Vesper and became somewhat popular. His rare performances were always packed due to the bard's raw talent and clever marketing. Loric created his own mystique by withholding himself from his following. He would rarely perform more than twice a year and charged an indecent price to gain entrance to his shows. Much thought was put into a "theme" for each event, and all were totally different in content.

"Will she burn her wings?....I can only watch....out of touch....out of my mind..."

This time, his listeners were rewarded with a series of songs that invoked strong memories of love and loss. The blue eyed bard seemed to project himself like never before. There was a trace of true sadness in his voice and a sense of ownership. This was well received by most listeners, who frequently dabbed tear filled eyes. Something had happened to Loric over the previous year. Feeling good about himself was an experience that was completely foreign to him. Yet here he stood...filled with new purpose and direction thanks to a bard named Boston Grey.

"Wish I could tell....If she's alright...out of sight..."

With his new found sobriety he was able to settle issues dealing with the death of Molly as well. This created a period of unsurpassed creativity due to the emotional residue of the loss. The impending result was this last concert that his audience now enjoyed. Its theme was love and loss.

"Lucky for me....I'm not a jealous man....out of hand....out of my mind..."

Loric knew this would be his last performance for a while. He was quitting singing professionally. Another calling was tugging him and he decided to follow it. He would soon travel west and look up the Bard who rescued him from himself. Maybe he could actually do something for someone other than himself for a change. He would inform his agent tomorrow of his decision to quit. Loric chuckled at the thought of how the greedy Vitrious Gruel would react. Vitrious saw Loric as his fatted cow and would surely object vehemently.

"When this love is over.....start again.....a new friend....fall in love again...."

The singer also used this time so to gain the closure he never allowed himself regarding Molly. He wanted to celebrate what she was and say goodbye properly. Hundreds of fresh lilacs were brought in giving the theater a flowery scent. He saved his farewell song to her for the end. He now raised his eyes to his weeping listeners with his last verse before the theatre went dark.

"Get yourself rye....and then say goodbye....don't you cry..."
"Go ahead break your heart....but don't fall apart..."

"It's like saying your home....for the first time...."
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:32 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

“What do you mean you quit!!....You can't quit," complained the dwarf-like man incredulously, "You're very popular now due to a LOT of my work!....What will you do Loric?...For God's sake what will I do?!!!"

"You, my good friend, will find another act to launch into immortality," countered the bard as he packed away some belongings, "but this bard now follows another tune."

Vitrious Gruel, Loric's promoter of five years paced the room uncomfortably. His beady, dark eyes flicked about in his head as he tried to think of some magic words to bring his meal-ticket to his senses.

"Loric! You can't do this! Think of the following you have worked so hard to attract! ...How can you just throw away all that coin!...Your concerts pull in riches like clockwork now," pleaded the desperate manager.

Loric tucked a long flowing blond lock behind his ear. "I grew bored with gold as soon as I realized I had more than I need. It's lost it's...luster."

"I tire not of it!!!... screamed Vitrious, "What of ME?!"

The bard tossed a bulging pouch toward the distraught man. It jingled as it landed in Vitrious' fat palm.

"That should carry you for a few years, IF you drop your taste for high-end wenches a notch," smirked Loric, "And when it's gone, I might suggest you take some singing lessons, don a blond wig, and hold your own concerts."

As Vitrious spouted like some betrayed spouse, Loric continued to pack for the trip to the Theatre. His life had become without purpose since the woman he loved was whisked away by a man named Creedy. After her cruel murder, the singers' thoughts on love had become shallow and self-indulgent as he took to the bottle more and more. He confused the word 'love' with 'lust'...a blissful physical release that he would share with whatever woman was in arm's reach. And there were plenty star-struck females willing to throw themselves within that reach. Loric was blessed with looks and a voice. Such a combination tended to create a persuasiveness that proved irresistible to some....and the bard knew full well how to apply his gift.

But something had changed when Boston Grey found and redeemed him. Void of the booze and self-pity, Loric had finally learned to distinguish the difference between love and lust...and the latter had become less and less attractive to him. The word formed new definition that he began to associate with other emptiness. That small, first taste of real love that brushed his heart was the catalyst that revealed how shallow his existence really was....and how much he was missing. Molly, the only woman he had ever truly loved, had now touched him from the grave to catapult the bard on a new journey of adventure and self-discovery.

Boston Grey was more than the head of the troupe of actors and singers called the Miracle Players. The Playhouse was also home to a small network of operatives who worked in some way for the benefit of the city. The group had the common purpose of manipulating events and circumstances that may jeopardize the general well- being of the populace. Boston inferred that someone… or something… posed some sort of threat. Loric now had a chance to do something for the greater agenda with a purpose other than his own. He was ready to fulfill his promise to Boston Grey.


Vitrious was still having acceptance issues and his screaming brought Loric out of his quiet reflection.


Loric finished closing his sea bag and threw it over his shoulder. He walked slowly to the door and took one last look around at his apartment for eight years. He would take some good memories from this place, but knew better ones were to be made elsewhere.

Loric glanced at the hurt and seething Vitrious and flashed him a sympathetic smile.

"Worry not Vitrious," said Loric, "and put away your jealousy. Tis not your replacement I hunt...but a bard I seek..."

Loric then exited the door of his apartment leaving the short, balding Vitrious scratching what little hair he had left on his head.

Last edited by Loric on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:31 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweat poured down the magistrates' pudgy face as he sat at his desk and conversed with the uniformed man standing in front of him. The mood was not jovial, as was evidenced by the angry words and worried expressions that passed between the two men. Lord Bumswottle, the grossly overweight judicatory of the NuJel’m Office of Justice, was berating a young soldier while simultaneously patting his generous cheeks with a lacy handkerchief.

"How could this have happened Sergeant Acton!!...Please!... Tell me again how a convicted murderer can escape from ten of YOUR guards in route to the gallows!!" Bumswottle's voice cracked incredulously. Do you have any idea what this will do to ME!! ...It could ruin me!!"

"Sir!...I apolo..."

"SILENCE!" interrupted the noble loudly as he stood up and stretched his reddening face over the desk and into the sergeant's. "I WILL TELL YOU WHEN TO TALK!...I have a good mind to put YOUR sorry arse right where his was three hours ago!!" Bumswottle spewed saliva as he spoke. "That man killed thirteen young women! It took us a year to catch this bloody piece of rat dung! And YOU!!...YOU let him just walk 'is bleedin' arse off like 'e was some innocent choir boy!"

Bumswottle sat back down massaging his bald head as if to keep it from exploding. His voice took on a more reasonable tone. "I've got to calm down....Think!....We have got to recapture this worm quickly before the Mayor finds out about this....He'll have my bloody 'ead... AND BY GOD I'LL HAVE YOURS!" He waggled a porky, ringed finger at the helpless soldier.

After taking a deep breath the noble pointed to a map of the docks district. " say the docks are guarded so he can't escape by boat... but have any ships left before you surrounded it?"

The sergeant swallowed hard. "Just one sir....but it left only minutes after he escaped....the chance he that he was able to get on that ship in the time he had is highly unlikely!" Acton spoke with great confidence on this point. "We will find him sir...The roads into the merchant and noble districts are also heavily monitored."

"So you think he’s hiding in the docks district?, queried the magistrate.

"We know it sir!...He was spotted entering there.....and we are executing a house to house search as we speak. And may I add sir...due to the hideous way he cut up all those poor girls, no one will hide him. We WILL have him soon!"

The Lord looked into the confident eyes of the sergeant and seemed a bit more relieved than he was minutes ago.

"Very well sergeant, carry on....and remember.... your very career bloody well depends on you finding this insect!... DISMISSED!" barked Bumswottle.

" YES SIR!" a saluting Acton responded and retreated toward the door.

"Oh Sergeant! Wait!".. blurted the noble. " For the record, that ship that got out just after he escaped...where was that headed anyway?"

The sergeant unfolded a parchment and ran his finger down it. "It was a rum merchant sir... seems it's headed for Yew to deliver and pick up a load of wine from the Abbey there.

The magistrate nodded..."Very well...Carry on sergeant...."

He then glanced toward the blond agent sitting in the shadowed corner of the office and nodded. The recipient of the signal seemed to understand the unspoken word and slipped out the back door....

The clang from the ship's bell cut through the fog and made the merchant's presence known well before she made snug in Yew’s rural berth. The crew began preparing to unload the cargo of rum with more than casual relief. The storm they weathered nearing Yew village was unnatural to say the least. The Pegasus held a crew that was veteran to the man, and to the man, they all agreed that the storm they bullied through was not normal.

"Ah woon says ah'll be hurt none ta beh on solid ground this day!"

"Aye...Ye ain't just talkin' there none!...Ain't been sick on a ship fer a bloody lifetime!"

"Ah be kissin’ the floor o' the first tavern ah sees!

"Sumthin' did stir th' depths real mean!

As the dockworkers unloaded the thirty casks of fine spirits, a pair of dark eyes watched from behind some crates aft. The man they were attached to also felt relief...but for entirely different reasons. He watched patiently while gently stroking the captain's cat as it purred in his arms.

A bit later, the man would quietly slip off the ship and disappear into the morning fog....and much later than that....after the Pegasus sailed... the crew would be commenting on what kind of monster would disembowel an innocent kitten....

Last edited by Loric on Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote

Julia had met the man in the Yew town square just this evening. She was alone and a bit vulnerable since her lover had thrown in his lot with another. Angry, hurt and vengeful were fair adjectives for her mindset when the stranger sat down beside her. At first she ignored him as he commented on common subjects most speak of when first meeting. He touched on weather, local gossip and landmarks before testing a few light flirts in her direction. Julia would throw him an occasional weak smile as he charismatically attempted to achieve a goal that was apparent to both of them. She was not in the mood. The man then did a bit of unexpected magic and she softened. At the same time, she thought of her lover with that other woman. Take a bit of attraction...sprinkle in some loneliness... combine a dab of vengeance…and you have motivation. Words were not needed as their eyes spoke clearly their intentions.

The couple wandered off to find some dark place to carry out the passions that they had aroused. As what so often happens in matters of urgency, there was no time to find the Inn. Soft whispers and breathless words were exchanged in the darkness against the wall of some nondescript building. Promises that both knew wouldn't hold longer than this night were uttered freely. He pressed against her willing form and kissed her lips and neck. Her face was flush with anticipation of a new unfamiliar body to explore. He gently guided her head onto his shoulder as he fumbled with his trousers. One of her legs wrapped around him and her lids closed dreamily as she waited for this most welcomed invasion.

When it came....her eyes opened wide for an instant. Something was not right. She felt a bit cold inside. She looked up at his face and saw eyes glassy with passion. She felt something warm run down her leg...just as she heard a ripping sound. Her eyes widened again as her last living thoughts bore only the signal of pure terror.....
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:50 am Post subject: Reply with quote

The tall ranger listened quietly as the elven woman spoke. Her voice was soft, almost musical, as she related passing a young monk on the road to Yew a few days back. Rye Lockman was asked to look into the apparent disappearance of the now overdue lad. The abby was worried. It is like the recruit merely vanished without a trace.

The elven woman was lovely. One shapely ear poked out of a mane of fiery red hair. Like a magnet, it drew the ranger’s eyes there. A bittersweet memory swept over him. He hadn’t thought of “her’ for some time. Choosing to bury the past was much less painful. He couldn’t allow distraction in the profession he chose.

Yet after a few minutes, his attention became divided. Half of him listened to her account, while the other half traveled back to another time…

*10 years earlier*

"Aluvia! Have you seen my sword?" A young Rye Lockman yelled up the stairway.
He was on his hands and knees looking under the bookcase.

"Love! Can you help me? I've got to meet the High Ranger in town soon!"

A soft melodious voice answered with a bit of amusement.

"Try under the bed Rye. The place you chose to ravish me to no end last night.”
“And with nary a word!" she added
The lilting voice grew louder as a petite elven woman slipped down the stairs....
"Not that I'm complaining..." added Aluvia playfully.

The young ranger looked up at his wife. She was gathering her cloak for the long ride to an outlying farm. He drew in his breath as he recalled last night.......her small supple body lying under him....... Her cobalt eyes were gazing into his. Rye was truly in love. From the time she had said hello by that secluded lake in the Yew woods, his heart was hers. No fears...just unconditional love.

Aluvia wore simple brown breeches and a cotton shirt for comfort. Her healing skills were needed to treat a local farmer for snakebite. Her long shapely ears stuck out through her silky auburn hair as she smiled goodbye to her starry eyed husband.

"Oh Rye,...have you given any more thought to letting the new man, Jericho Young, take over for you on this job?" asked Aluvia.
“You have virtually finished the work and he is not known to them. You, on the other hand, have attracted a few enemies according to the gossip."

The ranger just stared at his wife before opening his mouth.
"Do I tell you who to heal...or when to heal... or where to do your job!? Why do you insist on meddling with mine?!"

Aluvia was a bit stunned by his impatient response. She calmly explained that she was simply worried for him. There was no need to accuse her of being some sort of controlling shrew!

"Then stop acting like one!" said Rye with a bit of irritation. “Stop poking your pretty little nose into my business!" he spat, before thinking it through.

Now they both just stared at each other in quiet anger. Until ‘it’ happened. The dreaded ear paradox! Rye knew he was sunk.

You see...when Aluvia got really angry with him, her long, shapely left ear would start to droop. And for some reason it affected the ranger in a most endearing way. She looked so childlike and so damn adorable to him that he could not keep a straight face!

So...there he was, straining to keep a grin from forming. Rye knew from experience that she hated if he laughed when she was angry .She considered it rude and invalidating. And she was right. And Rye knew he was dead when the grin finally burst onto his face.

"I’m out of here!" she fumed and immediately stormed out. She got on her horse, and rode off toward the western farmlands. She never even looked back at her sorry looking husband. He watched her until she disappeared from view. All Lockman could do was sigh and shuffle off to his meeting.

There are some pictures young men never see. Oh they can spot the ones right in front of their noses easy enough. But due to youth, arrogance, ego, or a combination of each, they almost always miss the big picture.

Rye Lockman was one of those unenlightened youths. He just hadn't lived long enough to develop the gift of wisdom. And the fool living in his head hadn't even suggested that anyone but he was in danger. Never in a thousand years could he dream it possible that they would target grace itself....

They said his cry was heard from Vesper to Yew when he found out the news. The crossbow bolt entered her neck and had cleanly cut her spine. She did not suffer. But Rye did.
And that was the day that something closed inside of him. A place he would not open to the living to this very day.

Rye also prayed to the gods in hopes that, from the instant the bolt hit, until she took her last breath, she had found time to forgive him.

“Sir?” the sweet voice queried, “are you alright?” The elven woman was looking at him quizzically.

Rye returned his full attention on her. “Oh yes I am fine M’lady. I was just digesting some information,” he lied.
“Is there anything else you can remember?” asked the ranger.

“No, that is all I can remember.” She smiled shaking her head a bit.

Rye thanked her and watched as she slipped into the woods. And as her lovely form disappeared into the tangle of green, something sparked inside the tall ranger.

Just a speck.

A small a place that hadn’t breathed in so long a time.

Last edited by Loric on Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:01 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

The woman was obviously murdered in a most grisly manner. Her body was found sitting slumped against the outside log wall of an empty private residence near Yew’s west coast. Her eyes were open wide with a look of shock and surprise. The wounds were barbaric yet applied with precision. Some of the incisions were over two feet in length. Rye Lockman found the remains while searching for the missing monk recruit and notified the Abbey. The body was of an unidentified young female wearing a robe made of a quality fabric. There were no witnesses so far.

The blond man's blue eyes studied the area around the body in great detail. The evidence seemed to indicate she wasn't killed and dragged here...and she didn't run after being cut. It looked to the bard that she may have been lured here or even might have known her assailant.

Loric had asked the head Abbot for a bit of time to examine the scene before they cleaned up the mess. He produced some sort of document that seemed to sway the abbot in the bards favor. He had a special interest in this murder and in finding the murderer. The bard was almost sure now that this was the man who escaped Nujel’m justice a few months back. This was the same method used on thirteen women in the other city.

Loric shivered at the thought of Cat, Dem, or anyone else he knew in Yew being left alone to die alone in some cold woods like this poor girl.

" Have you finished up there yet?” asked a short mustached monk. "I’ve got orders to get this cleaned up before the whole village knows an' we get a panic."

Loric looked up at the man and the two workers waiting behind him carrying shovels and a wooden coffin.

"One more minute!", Loric said as he noticed something strange near the body. It was small and out of place here. He carefully wrapped the item in a cloth and tucked it away.

"I'm all set now...Thanks for the time!" said Loric as he stood up and walked toward the abbey.

The workers shuffled up to the remains and began to tidy up.

As the concerned bard watched the poor girl being closed into the box, he thought of this killer and the justice waiting for him once he was caught. Loric was not sent to bring him back. The judicial process had already been awarded to the animal. No...There would be no more trials. Once this fiend was in hand, and positively identified, justice would be very swift indeed.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:38 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

Loric watched the woman called Cat with quiet curiosity. She was unique in many ways, beginning with the fact she was really a feline. He had met her early upon his arrival to Yew. Her tail and catlike eyes and ears were exotically striking, meshed with her lovely female frame.

Outside of her apparent physical attributes, her personality was special. She had the 'gift'. He met only one other that possessed this special charm. Cat reminded Loric of one of the most remarkable woman he ever met. It was during his first assignment in Nujel’m. A prostitute no less! And although Cat was certainly not a lady of the evening, they both possess qualities that are rarely seen.

As Loric watched her effortlessly interact with customers and guests at her villa, his mind couldn’t help but go back to Lania…and Nujel’m….

Lania was an enigma. Loric watched her amusedly from his bench across the green.
She nothing less than amazed him... in a few contradictory ways. Her open smile and easy going nature defied how one would normally act when surviving a not too distant traumatizing abuse.

But there she was…surrounded by several possible male suitors beguiling them all without pretense or artificial efforts. Her hand would touch one man's arm ...her eyelids would flutter at another...a smile would flash out to anyone she missed. They all felt included...they all felt loved... this was her gift.

When Loric first arrived there on assignment, the first person he met was Lania. He recalled how friendly and trusting she seemed to a total stranger. She even spoke openly of her recent heartbreak as they walked on the twisty paths of the surrounding countryside. And, as he needed an ally there, he confided in her. His decision turned out to be a sound one. Discretion seemed another of her worthy traits.

Lania and Loric formed a rather fast friendship over the next few weeks. It mostly developed due to a mutual respect for each other's clever, playful bantering. It got so that Loric would look forward to running into her at the park in the early evenings. It was always light, witty and would help them smile away the trials of the day.

Inevitably though, before the night was through, she would disappear on the arm of a new lover…who just couldn't defend himself from her large brown eyes. And she would always leave Loric with a thoughtful wave and an apologetic smile.

One evening, the two of them spoke of things that only the comfort of a close friendship could allow. Loric revealed the circumstances of his love’s tragic death and the guilt he carried because of it. He told her things that were, until now, a secret to all but himself. Much pain was exchanged to each respective heart.

Lania spoke of her own secrets. The abusive kinds that tend to damage souls and leave marks…They both shed a few tears and just sat together till the wee hours of the morning.

The comfort of long denied human contact left Loric both drained and contented emotionally.

When he awoke in the park chair...she was gone. No doubt found another soul to massage.

Over the next few days when he would see her, it was in a bit of a new light. For when he watched her administer her magic on the starry eyed men, who were clearly without resistance,
Loric smiled...and felt... and understood…a bit more of their joy.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:44 am Post subject: Reply with quote

A gentle hand coaxed a lock of brown hair off the angelic face of the sleeping woman. The blond haired man lay on his side with his head propped up by the palm of his right hand, his elbow sunk into the soft goose down pillows. His grey eyes were lovingly locked on the sweet features of Lenore who lay on her back next to him as the early morning light appeared through the stained glass window. A contented expression was etched on the face of Boston Grey as he watched her chest slowly rise and fall with every quiet breath she took. The bard found himself once again counting his blessings.

Boston's thoughts bounced around lazily in his head this morning. It was unusual to find a peaceful moment such as this with all the uncertainty surrounding him of late. But sometimes it was important to forgo worry and take stock in one’s assets.

As the bard absently traced a finger along Lenore's eyebrow, he felt a sense of relief knowing his two operatives were handling the Yew incident. Both were well trained and thorough in both judgment and discretion. This fact served to reduce the constant pounding that had occupied his head in the past few weeks.

The bard continued to memorize Lenore’s graceful features with the pad of his index digit, following the ridge of her perfectly shaped nose.

His young ward, Sunny Snowdowns was safe at the theater. Her rescue from those filthy goblins by Loric several years ago, deposited the orphaned girl in their care. She was the only survivor out of her family of twelve. She still carried scars that will have to be healed. Sunny, and her whole family, were trying a go at establishing a farming homestead on the dangerous Isle of Fire. They were strangely diminutive a group. Some referred to them as 'Halfling". Sunny wants to be involved. He will use her as a runner to quell her persistant requests.

A light touch of his thumb along Lenore’s full lips caused a gentle moan to escape her throat. She wrapped an arm around him and nestled her head onto his chest.

The Noble from Nujel’m sent another letter demanding satisfaction in the matter of the escapee. It seems his office is threatened by the embarrassment. ‘Of course that’s much more important an issue then the death of thirteen young women’, thought Boston sarcastically.

Lenore unconsciously pressed her supple body against Boston while still engaged in some pleasant dream.

Boston turned his thoughts to the Reeves agents who tirelessly stood watch on the enemy...taking notes...developing ideas to harass, confuse and deny them peace. It was a dangerous business...with dire penalty if exposed. A bit of worry slipped into the mix of his untroubled reverie when he thought of young Robert. He had not heard from the agent since sending him to pose as a monk at the Yew Abbey. He sensed something was compromised. This further bolstered his suspicions concerning the Abbey. He prayed Rye could find an answer to Robert’s disappearance.

Lenore's green eyes fluttered open. She looked up at the bard and engaged him with a generous smile. Boston returned the gesture before moving his lips to touch hers ever so lightly. She sensed his passion grow as their lips did a few mutual tugs.

"Are we feeling a bit energetic this morning Milord?" she teased. "Is this the same young bard who complained of feeling like an ancient relic yesterday?"

"That was yesterday Milady!", quipped Boston, "Today, this distinguished bard has found his proverbial second-wind and plans to ravish your person in no uncertain terms..."

"Milord must learn that threatening this woman with such action and not following through will most assuredly lead to your demise," Lenore spoke playfully, "Are you sure Milord is not too 'old' for such youthful endeavor?"

Boston grinned and rolled over on top of her cupping her face in his hands.

"You madam, apparently have not heard of my impeccable reputation in these matters," answered Boston coyly, "Now prepare yourself for the most memorial ten seconds of your life!"

The two of them then broke out into a fit of laughter that drifted happily through the halls of the Theater...bringing more than a few smiles to the staff members as they went about their morning business...

Last edited by Loric on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:03 am Post subject: Reply with quote

“Sunny?! What are you doing here!?” blurted the blond bard as a diminutive female stood grinning at the door to his room in the abbey.

“The boss sent me!” she said excitedly. “I’m gonna be a real spy now!”

Her ear to ear grin abruptly vanished as Loric quickly grabbed her and dragged her into the room. “Buggers!”

He sat her down on the wooden chair, speaking quietly. “Firstly, spys never announce they are going to be spys in public.”

“Oh..right! Forgot that part!” grinned Sunny, “Woon happen agin!.. Nope..ain’t lyin’ this time neither!”

Secondly, they always follow orders even if they don’t like them.”

“Yes sir!” she blurted saluting him with three fingers to her forehead. “What’s my orders boss!”

“You will go home and immediately. It’s very dangerous here at the moment.” The worry on his face was apparent.

“Aww Loric ahh can’t go home. Boston said I could be a spy and deliver ye messages! And ye knoe spys GOTS te follow orders!..Ye said so yerself!"

Her ear to ear grin returned simultaneously to Lorics resigned sigh.

‘What is Boston thinking’ he thought before taking a deep breath.

“Alright Sunny…here’s the deal. You can continue to be a courier but not here. We shall look for another place safer to live for a bit. An apartment maybe.”

Sunny’s face lit up. “And ye will show me how te open them locks like ye been promising!!”

Loric nodded resignedly.

“Yay..Woo Hoo..Yippee!” she hollered and ran around the room.

As he watched her celebrate and marveled at how she had grown, a fleeting thought of the misery she experienced reran in his mind….

*Five Years Earlier*

"You doon look like much....thought ye be bigger." The large farmer spoke in between spits of some sort of disgusting brown juice, some of which still ran down his chin. He watched Loric, the agent sent from Nujel’m, search around the empty farmhouse. "'An ye look too pretty ta be any kina threat!" laughed the large man, revealing a black gap where a couple of teeth once nested.

The blond, well-built bard went about his business with professional courtesy, examining the ground around the house looking for any clues to the disappearance of a whole family of farmers. "You say this was discovered three days ago?" spoke the agent evenly.

"Far as we kin tell...Ole Mr. McCroy found it deserted three days back when 'e come up cuz the wee one didn’t deliver 'is pies. " 'Ees got ta 'ave 'is pies ye knoe...big sellers they are!"

Loric listened patiently to the man's poor attempt to speak common and, as he interpreted and absorbed the information, became more concerned. He had already found the tracks leading toward the forested wilds. There was a half-ass effort made to cover them, but keen eyes could follow them. Goblins...maybe more than a dozen. The unmistakable large prints were the farmers...They were alive 3 or more days ago, but undoubtedly were running out of time. He would have to move swiftly.

The trail was not hard to follow and as dusk arrived, Loric's steady blue eyes were looking down at the entrance of a small cave opening tucked into a wooded hillside. As far as he could tell, this was a rogue party of goblin raiders who journeyed a bit too far east. The two guarding the entrance loudly fought over a bottle of something or other. Their grey mottled hands were tugging in opposite directions. They never heard the quiet human approach. When they was already too late.

"Emina nak eroaa!" (time to sleep) The surprised goblins fell to the ground only seconds after the quietly sung words left Loric’s mouth. No alarm would be sounded by these two as the bard quickly and coldly dispatched them. He did not enjoy killing... but understood that these thugs would destroy lives he valued more. After wiping the dagger on the leg of one the dead guards, he slipped into the shadowy opening.

The smell was enough to turn his stomach forcing him to quickly pull out a scented cloth and hold it over his face. It was the smell of death… He feared he was too late.

Loric quietly continued down a narrow sloping passageway toward the sound of light snoring. After another few steps he could see a bit of flickering light ahead. Peering into a small alcove, he spied three bedrolls with blanket-covered lumps in them. The smoky torchlight danced eerily on the shadows as he slowly crept up on the sleeping shapes. The first two beds had goblins happily snoring away in them... They would not see the light of another day. The third was covered completely, giving the cause cause to peek. After all, he did not want to chance killing something he came to rescue. As he slipped the blanket off, his eyes widened and his knees buckled forcing him to sit weakly. The hair stood up on the back of his neck as a wide eyed, severed human head rolled from the like pile under the covering. He held the scented cloth closer to his face as he counted about seven of them. All had a look of terror still frozen on them. It took all his discipline not to cry out in outrage. He sat for a few seconds to gather himself, and that's when he heard a female yell.

"Someone's still alive!" he thought hopefully as he moved with all the speed caution would allow toward the terror filled scream. Loric slowed as he approached a larger cavern. The entrance was above the sunken cave. He would have to access a sloping ledge circling down to enter. He assessed what he saw quickly as his training dictated.

There were six goblins around a cage containing a sorry looking tiny female. There was a huge hobgoblin in a crude log chair seemingly directing them. The cave was lit with torches and a large fire pit. A spit, with the remains of something burnt and roughly humanoid, sat in the coals. Cleaned and half-eaten bones lay everywhere. The goblins were pulling a terrified Halfling girl from a cage. Her screams and their joyous gurgling filled the hollowness. Loric arrived just in time to see one of them hit her hard on the head, causing her to fall limply. The bard went to work decisively.

Loric boldly walked down the slope toward the gathering, in hopes his sudden appearance would take their attention off the girl. He coolly drew his rapier and let it spark noisily against the wall as he approached. The six goblins dropped the girl to their surprised shock of a human walking into the camp. They looked toward the hobgoblin who angrily ordered them to kill the intruder. The six picked up clubs and charged wildly. Loric never even slowed in his steady march toward their leader.

"Emina nak reafaa" (time to fear) screamed the bard in such a painful, off-key note that the six dropped immediately to the ground, mostly dead or incapacitated. He stepped over the bodies, whose ears were all oozing blood onto the floor, and walked resolutely up to the now standing, somewhat-dazed hobgoblin.

"Time to go” spoke Loric unemotionally as his rapier entered the hobgoblin's chest and exited its back. The blond man didn't even wait for the dead leader to fall. He removed the sword and headed for the girl. He quickly knelt to check for life signs as the thud of the dead leader hitting the floor reached his ears.

A look of relief appeared as she was still breathing yet unconscious. Loric wrapped her in a cloak and gently put her over his shoulder for the trip from hell and to safety.

Last edited by Loric on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:08 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

As Rye Lockman slept an uneasy sleep in the wooded Yew campsite, a voice in his head caused both eyelids to quickly open. His long quiet heart began to transmit messages in complete conflict to what his head knew to be true. The ranger sat up and brought his knees to this elbows holding onto his head while slowly rocking uncomfortably.

“Aluvia!... Why do you haunt me now?!.... Please!...", Rye heard his own voice quietly commanding himself. "Let me go…”

A flood of sorrow and loss then invaded him once again. Incomplete phrases...hurtful images... disappearing scenes...voices from the past...all attacked in one, swift emotional assault.

He attempted to gather his self-control and delve into the mass of sight and sound... But all seemed just beyond his vision. So he rocked and tried to merely identify something. He hoped to later piece together an answer for these sudden and frequent episodes.

Many faces and places flashed and twinkled away as he concentrated. A wolf grinned at him before being replaced by a camp of some lost woodsmen. They faded quickly and the face of Sunny appeared.... illuminated in a red light that suddenly changed to yellow before exploding into another image. It was the witch of Cove...she was speaking some words..."Are you rosy with one?"...Poof!...gone...A fortune teller...quick images....A dragon in water… bathed in blue light......The dead!....faces of the dead!....all lying in their own blood...

He rocked helplessly in the glade...still seeing many things...familiar and not...A pale female human...white uniformed guards with big feathered hats surrounded in a bright amber glow. This madness in his head continued until suddenly a figure appeared off to his right. All else slowed down. Rye’s heart beat quicker as he squinted to identify this new image. It was back-lit in some way that he could not see but walked toward him in a slow, steady pace.

The glade was silent now as the intruder's face became visible. Soft light bathed delicate features armed with a kind, sympathetic expression. Dark blue female eyes smiled down at him lovingly. Rye’s shoulders began to shake as he knelt at her feet and began to weep.

“Aluvia....forgive me!", cried the ranger as he knelt completely exposed to her will. "I was such a fool!...I should have protected you!"

A soft melodious voice answered, "And headstrong?"

Rye nodded and conceded.

"And arrogant...let’s not leave that one out"...smirked the voice playfully

The ranger nodded again...keeping his eyes to the ground.

"Ohh...and insensitive!...Can I get an insensitive too?", her voice sounded amused.


"Unenlightened?...hmmm...yes!..That works too!"

"Aluvia! Dammit! This is not funny!!" I am in pain here!!!" the ranger spat out the words with little amusement.

"Oh my dear were always soo dramatic..". She looked down on him lovingly while lightly touching the top of his head.

Rhy shook at her touch, cleansing himself of long pent up anxiety through a few tears of relief. "Aluvia?...Why can’t I move on without you then!...Something holds me in place! Forgive me for my failure!”

“Tis not I holding you up my love...since I never had anything to forgive!" A warm smile lit her face as she spoke. "You did nothing but love me... and I died with the warmth of that greatest of love still in my heart. My dearest Rye...." The voice full of affection continued..."as for your inability to move know the reason for that dilemma...Have you lost your wits since my absence?...Hmmmmm?" ..she teased.

Rye groaned..."I see you have merely come to torture me...Have I not suffered enough!!"

"Very well"...she conceded..."Since it seems only answers will make you fun again." Her words were filled with gentle sarcasm. " I shall help you my dear!" She spoke again lovingly. "You are so full of love Rye, as I can verify first hand. Yet your love is misdirected to this very day! "

The ranger looked up curiously.

"Rye"...she slowly shook her head sympathetically... "You have unwisely deprived the person in your life most in need of your unconditional love and forgiveness...and that would be yourself my dear Rye Lockman!" She smiled as she spoke his name. "Tis time to forgive yourself . Silly man." "You blame me as the reason for your inability to take on a meaningful relationship," she lectured. "You look for reasons why you can't. But in reality, you deem it will somehow be a betrayal to me."

The ranger listened in spite of being stung by the truth of her words. She sensed his dejection and softened .

"Rye," she whispered, " You only betray yourself, not me... I am beyond that coil."

The ranger knew she was right. .He always found some reason to move away from those who wished involvement. He pushed them away. Rejecting them was punishing himself; a sentence he felt he deserved. It was like he was acting a part in a play; but with a role that was sterile and empty.

"Who’s the lovely one that caught your attention a few days ago.? You know! ...The elf you admired, teased Aluvia, "What will you find wrong with her?...Teeth crooked?...Bad grammar?"

"No need to be mean Aluvia," muttered Rye.

Aluvia touched Rye and a warm smile appeared.

"Rye...It is time to let your heart bleed again... Not for me...but for someone who matters. And now I must go... and as you know,." she paused.... " we must never meet again my beloved.."

A bittersweet bath washed over him as he watched her start to fade back. He knew in his heart she was right...he must let her go... for good. He fought his feet from running and catching her.

"Wake up my love....your life calls you..." Aluvia then vanished quietly into the trees....

"Rye wake up!!"

His eyes opened to see another pair of worried eyes staring down at him.

"Loric?...What's wrong?!", he spoke a bit disoriented while his eyes looked warily around the campfire.

Loric and Sunny looked down at him with a bit of concern. "We came to find you and you were screaming in your sleep...We couldn't wake you up...Are you alright?"

Rye sat up and rubbed his eyes.

“Hello Sunny,” Rye managed. “I’m surprised to see you here.”

“Ye scared me real bad! ! Ye wuz yellin’ an everything!” The girl was shaking a bit. “You better now!?”

He held out his arms invitingly. Sunny moved into them and he hugged her looking gratefully up at the early morning sky.

" I think I'm better than ever Sunny." He fussed a bit with her slightly disheveled hair...."Better than ever....

Last edited by Loric on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:06 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

Two sets of eyes peered through the early morning fog that blanketed the market area of Yew.

“What are we looking for Boss?” questioned the diminutive female. She was peeking out from behind the cloak of the blond headed man.

“A man Sunny,” said Loric as his blue eyes scanned the street from the shadows of the large Yew tree. “A very bad man.”

“Oh right...Like that man that attacked that poor servant girl in Nujel’m. Is he like that one?” queried Sunny, the newly arrived ward of the bards.

“Yes ….That would be the same one.” answered Loric.

Sunny's brow furrowed curiously. “Hey Boss? I thought they caught him and put him away?! He was a monster ye said! He can't be here can 'e!”

The Bard’s expression took on a concerned mask but didn't answer her question directly.

“Don't we have a lock pick lesson for you to complete young lady?” deferred Loric. “I found a nice place for us to stay for a bit. I’m going to take you there today.

“Aww…I wanna stay here! They got really good sausages!” pouted Sunny.

“Oh so you don’t want to meet a real countess then. Alright we will stay here then!” teased the bard.

“Wait!” blurted Sunny. A real countess is there?”

“Yes. Didn’t I just say that?"

“Yup, Ye did. Wait! She kin show me how te be a real lady!” Sunny blurted excitedly. “Ah doon own a dress though!” Sunny’s brow furrowed a bit as she thought this out.

“I might buy you one if you behave yourself.” interjected Loric.

“Ye will?! Yippee! Woo Hoo! What are we waiting for! Let’s go!” She uttered with enthusiasm.

“Alright” agreed Loric,“Get your things from the Abbey and we will go. Hurry now, I want to get there before dark.”

As she ran off, Loric’s thoughts focused on the Countess he rented the cottage from in the village of Ashencrosse. She called herself Aurelia and she looked like no Countess Loric had ever seen. She was lovely and seemed much too young to be titled.

He couldn’t exactly fathom why he felt a connection. He was used to beautiful women so it had to be more than that. Maybe it was the music connection. The bard could be attracted to a talented bardess. Maybe it was her posture he chuckled. It also may be the fact she had brains and portrayed an independent spirit. She founded the whole town. This was no small achievement. Then it dawned on him. It was all these things, coupled with the notion that he was curious to learn more.

His plate was full at the moment, so for now he would have sum up the notion of the Countess in one word... Possibilities….
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