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A Battle against the Cold and Fatigue.

A blistering desert that stretches for hundreds of miles around Nashaki, with very little relief from the baking heat.

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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:12 pm

Prospecting for an Enclave

Hotlands - Deep Deserts
15th of Cylus - Morning
The Scrolls of Anar Verse One, What is Ours, #6 Building the First.


I
t was freezing today on an early Cylus morning, freezing in the desert. There was no way around it, the hotlands were biting hard. Kaladis was probably more used to freezing temperatures than most walking the desert, nicknamed iceskin by the locals. While his body was no more durable than a human, it was far more acclimatized to Viden temperatures more than desert temperatures, and this was more like Viden. This was why they’d planned to arrive in Cylus, to experience the icy chill rather than the burning hot sun, and slowly adapt with the season, or so the theory went.

Well wrapped up, the two figures riding their lone horse out into the hotlands were not doing it for sport, they were to begin settling an area for themselves. A sturdy cart horse, it managed the extra weight without too much trouble, the breed not built for speed as much as it was pulling power. With no water nearby, it was a good thing Ralari was a competent defier, and this would be their edge. To maintain a small source of water underground, far from civilization or water, where few would disturb their true work.

Coming across roaming undead trials prior, had both been a blessing and a curse. A curse because they would have the dead of another powerful being to contend with out here, and a blessing because once the undead were broken, they’d have fresh bones walking right in their front door for spare parts. With Kaladis’s oath that he could not raise a man, only an animal, Ralari was bound by no such oath, Kaladis wrestled in his conscience with this fact, he told himself he was not breaking the oath if another raised them, because he was still true to Vhalar. Which was important to the young Eidisi, there was no deception without an Oath, there were no shadows or fear without truth.

An advantage of having the maps for local ore deposits and landmarks, meant the pair could avoid them entirely, and find the most out of the way, untraveled part of the hotlands they could. Finding a flat, open, completely exposed area of sand, Ralari dismounted, Kaladis put up his tent and they sheltered the horse inside. Two large shovels were equipped, which Kaladis was forced to find the two gold nel for, more than his entire wage since he’d got here. That and the rest of the tools they’d bought, were going to cost him a small fortune when it was all totaled up.

Making sure the cart, materials and horse was secure, they looked at each other, this was it, the start of their dream of solitude and a place to study the arcane completely undisturbed. Here they could revel in their nature and gifts, as time allowed. Walking into the pitch black of Cylus, Kaladis setup a torch digging a small hole to support it. Beginning to move one shovel of sand at a time, Ralari soon dug with him nearby, creating the first grooves in the sand. Both already feeling the bitter cold, any excuse for body heat was welcome.
~
Last edited by Kaladis Anar on Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:47 am, edited 6 times in total. word count: 561
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:05 pm

O
ne break had passed, and the enormity of the task was not lost on them. Digging directly into sand brought more sand down into the hole, meaning their descent required an area bigger than you might think. “We are deep enough, we have enough shelter from any winds” Ralari instructed, taking out the first corpse to be raised. Kaladis would watch and learn, his mentor took something of academics view of raising the dead, being very methodical. Whereas Kaladis considered it more a musical art form, which explained the differences in practical necromancy and bonesong well in his mind.

The corpse he took from his pack, was a cleaned, polished and well prepared skeleton. A third shovel, again having cost Kaladis a further gold nel was readied for the thrall. Two men digging in the desert would take forever, a small group of undead doing it would never tire and never stop. “Cave ins will never matter to us again.” Ralari spoke solemnly, he and Kaladis both knew the perils of them well from their past. Thralls being crushed would only be a temporary setback, friends were irreplaceable. The only thing holding them back was how many tools they could afford, and how many skeletons they could obtain.

“It is almost time.” His mentor quietly advised. The bones of the skeleton were fixed together with care, an adhesive substance helped give them their initial connection, it would not be required once the ether took form around them. Ralari was careful if nothing else, slow but careful.

K
aladis had gathered several dead sand beetles on their journey, three or four could fit in the palm of his hand, he had eight corpses at his disposal, a very small swarm of his own to maintain. Not useful for digging, or offering much protection, but very useful for scouting across the desert's floor. While his Mentor drew the ether to his will, pooling it around the skeletal body. Kaladis began to sing a low hum to the beetles, feeling the same ether fill his vocal chords and echo outward in a swaying melody. If he had been any good at singing it might have been hypnotising, as it was, it sounded like sharpening swords at the forge. When his voice reached a crescendo, the beetles began to twitch, righting themselves and lining up for his command. The young necromancer sang outward, for them to scout around the digsite and to the stone below, seeking out cracks or looser pieces of stone, weaker areas to begin with. Realising he could cover more ground, he separated them into two tiny swarms, for a total of four thrall's worth of concentration at his command.

Ralari’s undead sat up with a jolt, clicking its bones fully into place. At his will it stood, and snapped its joints once more, like a man clicking his knuckles to make ready, only every bone at once. Taking a shovel, it was given a simple mental command to “keep digging till it reaches stone”, removing the sand out of the hole as it went. As an important afterthought, Ralari added, “unless one of us is in the way.” Kaladis raised his eyebrows, glad that he wasn't about to be hit with a shovel.

Back to work, plus one pair of bony hands, and a fist full of beetles.
~
Last edited by Kaladis Anar on Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 571
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:37 am

T
heir skeletal helper they’d raised had twice the speed of them, eventually they were just shovelling out what it piled up. It was a welcome difference to be using its tireless endurance to their advantage, as opposed to being on the end of that same endurance trying to kill him.

Kaladis’s own sand beetles had reached the stone beneath the sand, and were moving along the harder surface to find the easiest point of access “3 more feet.” He signaled to Ralari, as his two miniature swarms skittering about at the point of contact. Closing his eyes to steady himself against the freezing temperatures, a distraction well and true, Kaladis sung once more. He was having more trouble reaching the two tiny swarms, and called for them to return closer for a time. Cementing his understanding that proximity to him brought strength to his thralls, renewing their connection. Feeling in a small way part of the song, the ether concentrated in his voice and although he was still a terrible singer, the connection to both small swarms was restablished fully.

Ralari was his lifelong friend, the only one that would tolerate Kaladis’s off key voice without so much as a word. Kaladis’s hearing impairment meant he struggled to ever match the same key others sang in, always appearing out of tune even when in his head he was in tune. Ralari observed his student closely, always ready to offer advice should he need it. The valuable bond between initiator and initiate meant he would often make intelligent or thoughtful comment as to how Kaladis might improve his technique.

B
eetles beginning their search once more along the bottom of the sand layer, it had been a gamble that they may or may not find a cavern, or may or may not find iron or metal here to work with. Anything might be beneath that sand, solid rock for 50 feet, softer stone, or harder granite. It might take severalsuch attempts to find somewhere worth settling.

In the end what the beetles found wasn’t a cavern, red stone iron or hard rock, it was a workable softer source of sandstone, easier to dig through and concentrated to the right of the hole they were digging. “There.” Kaladis pointed for Ralari, “we should make entry here”. Almost in time with his words the single skeletal digger changed direction. The beetles had been of use, saving them a few breaks.

It would not be long now before they struck stone. Which given both were feeling the cold visibly now with a shiver or two, was a welcome thing indeed. “I’ll get the pickaxes.” Kaladis walked back up on the hole to check on their horse, who was the most important part of all of this, their way to civilization. Their civilization, free of magical hindrance, tamed potential and fear mongering.
~
word count: 492
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:21 am

H
is horse Alisender, meaning of the white mountain from Viden, waited for him inside the tent. Alisender was mostly settled here, due to his frequent trips prospecting, and its shaggy Viden coat keeping him warm. Not completely at ease due to being in darkness, he comforted the beast, whispering words from home in its ear. It was out of the wind here, and the tent was as close to the torches as was safe, which both helped. Moving to the cart, he picked up the tools, and after resealing the tent door, made his way back down the sandy hole they were forming, feeling a distinct wash of cold wind against his face. They would need to work quickly before the temperature dropped further or frostbite kicked in for either of them.

When he got back, their skeletal helper had reached firmer rock below. Handing out the pickaxes, the skeleton was ordered to take one, as did Kaladis, while Ralari continued clearing sand from around the entrance. He worked with the skeleton using its tireless endurance to drive him, the skeleton hit, and then he hit, using the softer sandstone as their point of entry. For as long as Kaladis could he kept up with it, with Ralari shovelling out or moving away what sand or stone fell nearby.

They were not digging out hard granite, and had the right tools for the job, but even so the work was slow. Less slow for the skeleton who never stopped to pause, constantly hitting the rock over and over again. Ralari had begun preparing part of the sandy hole they were in for a stone ringed dung fire, he was trying to clear enough room to put the tent down here too, though it looked unlikely for a while. Kaladis instructed him how much dung he’d need to burn, from his time working the forge, and for a small time it felt good to be the one telling the mentor how to do things.

A break wore on and they’d made miserably slow progress digging into the rock, inches into the rock face at most. Kaladis had to stop for a rest, and Ralari took over to pair with the skeleton. Dropping down by the fire, Kaladis’s arm was burning from the work, taking a swig of the water to refresh himself. He remembered to hold his hand up to Ralari, to assure him he would not drink too much, they had to ration what food and water they had, till he could return with more.

Wind pushed a burst of sand down the hole and gave him a light spray, he sealed the waterskin before it could get inside. When Ralari began creating more water, they’d need a way of keeping the sand out of any supply, he had no idea how he was going to accomplish that. “Audrae, we build into the darkness, under the darkness, your domains all, let this place be in your name, grant us your favour.” Kaladis meant every word, getting to his feet, picking up a shovel and clearing more of an area for a tent, his arm would just have to hurt.

Ralari had warned him in trials prior, but paid little attention now, having accepted his student’s religious leanings, even if they were dangerous for those from Viden. Around their hole in the sand, the clunk and clang of metal on sandstone continued, while the winds blowing above them were their only company, and not a soul could be seen walking in this desolate place.
~
Last edited by Kaladis Anar on Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 608
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:16 pm

“How have the nightmares been?” Ralari asked his student, visibly sweating even with these temperatures, which was dangerous because the colder air could chill the sweat and plummet body heat. Something Kaladis had learned well in Viden, was keep warm. So Ralari didn’t fall ill, Kaladis moved to take the pickaxe off of him, which Ralari happily relinquished.

“They come and go.” Kaladis said solemnly, taking Ralari’s place beside the skeleton, only matching one of every two of its strikes at this stage of the day. Although they wouldn’t get the tent down here, they did get the dung fire going. “Work on water when you feel well enough,” Kaladis suggested.

His mentor and he had a strange relationship, being friends before the initiation and given Kaladis’s personality, you were never sure who was in charge. Truth was nobody was in charge, they took charge when it suited them, or the situation demanded it. Kaladis wondered if their friendship would always remain on equal terms, hoping it did.

The rock face showed two feet, of man sized imprint into the soft sandstone, not enough to shelter a sleeper yet. Ralari was not done advising his student about the nightmares, as Kaladis expected. “Don’t ignore the dreams,” he advised Kaladis. “I can’t fight dreams,” his student stated, in a curt tone that showed Kaladis wanted to change the subject. “You don’t have to fight them. You heed them,” Ralari tried to assist. He felt his mentor’s hand on his shoulder, and nodded. “As you say,” Kaladis offered half-heartedly, not feeling great confidence in his ability to make any sense of his recent nightmares. He should feel happy to see shadows, gifts from the Mistress of Shadows, but shadows of those, and what, he once loved were a different matter. Towers of perpetual blackness were not the same thing as well hidden secrets or hidden truths.

Their fire staved off the frostbite, contained and sheltered in their wide hole in the sand. It was as close to the tent edge as they could risk, so the horse could benefit from ambient warmth. “This sandstone could fetch a price in the city,” Ralari suggested. Not much thought Kaladis, here in the desert it was common enough, but someone would pay for building material. “I will take some back with me,” it was better than making the return trip back empty.

Feeling the work now, with arms that were becoming heavier and heavier with each hit, he began to consider he'd pull a muscle soon. If he could just get Ralari under some stone shelter, that would be enough to see him safe. Otherwise they’d both be making the return trip together, rather than having the skeleton working through the nights.
~
word count: 478
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Kaladis Anar
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:45 am

S
weat running off him, grazes along the arm from contact with the stone, gritted teeth kept him going. Discipline, the discipline of an arcanist Ralari would remind him, to not let distraction claim your focus. That same discipline was in each hit, mind over matter to keep himself going. He could feel his muscles filling with lactic acid, it had been the same on their days long dig in Viden.

No matter how stubborn you are, something eventually had to give. Luckily for Kaladis his body was young for his race, and any strains would probably heal in days, not weeks or more. Mining the rock to the point of exhaustion, Kaladis let the pick sag to the floor, unable to physically hold it upright. They were in four feet now, not enough for all of Ralari to be sheltered, the burning sensation though Kaladis’s muscles was too much and he had to swap over to an already weary Ralari to assist. Heedless of anything or anyone, their skeleton kept on going, the pick would likely break before the skeleton did, its pace at this later stage seemed rapid by comparison to the two of them.

Slumping back near the fire, the winds were howling and the cold setting in. Wind they were sheltered from, the sand above was a different matter, washing over him and threatening to blow out their fire. Kaladis had an idea, he hauled a few of the lumps of sandstone in the direction of the wind, using them as temporary windbreak, it would take some time for the sand to rise over them, and when it did, it would further mask this hole in the sands, creating a thin line of stone above them, the first beginnings of a roof for below, and foundation for above.

Looking out on the dark, barren wastes, he paused reminding himself why they had come here. There was nothing for leagues in any direction. An advantage of being in this desolate place, who would bother them out here? Even if they discovered roaming undead in a hole, would anyone be in a rush to come to the middle of nowhere to vanquish them? A few zealous individuals perhaps, but there were bandits, the imperials, wild tribesmen, monsters, sand storms and a few hundred of Vri’s marauding undead out here to deal with also. A handful of dead in a hole in the ground, would not likely be of any consequence to anyone, it was all part of their plan to use the lawless hotlands to their advantage.

“Time we headed back,” Kaladis’s fatigue had decided for him. Ralari saw fit to disagree, “we have shelter enough,” the bitter cold was enough to council Kaladis that was unwise, he rubbed his temples with a sigh, knowing exactly why his friend wanted to stay.
~
word count: 486
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:29 am

“The business under the city, it is better if we face it,” Kaladis said directly, knowing Ralari would rather move on or hide from the problem than hit it head on. Kaladis was tired of moving on, tired of playing the martyr for other’s games. He felt people often created situations where they were the victim, because it was what they were used to. “I tire of running Ralari,” he said honestly.

Ralari’s instincts were still of self-preservation, over image or concerns about reputation, a conflict with Kaladis’s more prideful nature. “We should stay out of sight for dozen trials or more, let things settle.” Ralari found energy to counsel eagerly, even while his digging arms were little more than straw on the wind at this point.

“It will look more suspicious avoiding notice,” for once Kaladis thought they should appear as visible as they were before, if not more so. Ralari lit a small herbal pipe and took a breath of it, sitting down by the fire with his friend. “A city festival is coming Ralari, we should make ourselves known.” Kaladis drunk a sip of the waterskin, then Ralari began to encourage more water inside of it, refilling it slowly with his concentration and shaping of the ether, drawing moisture from the air together to collect, and increasing what was there already. It didn’t refill their supply straight away, but it did mean they’d rarely be without water here.

Kaladis ended up with a wet hand and leg, Ralari wasn’t exactly perfect yet in where exactly the moisture collected. Shaking water off himself, “wait until you are holding it,” Kaladis said with a sigh. “Then I might get wet,” Ralari smiled and took a drink himself, both men sitting back and watching the skeleton hit away long into the night. It was unsure who had won their argument, as often was the case.

Bits wore on, and it wasn't long till both had fallen asleep, each covering themselves with excess clothes, sacks and the blanket they had. The dung fire was a lifesaver, and although messy to collect, Kaladis never let any of the horse's dung drop or be wasted. At first his pride had hurt at collecting dry dung at all for the smithy or his own use, but out here it was life and death. There was pride in surviving against the odds, cold or no cold. How they would survive the warmest summers, he had yet to plan out.

Fin For Now
~
word count: 436
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NPCs: Ralari - Alaya| Themes: Social - Dreams - Nightmares
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Prospecting for an Enclave

Sat May 06, 2017 11:21 pm

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


KALADIS ANAR:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +0 (solo)
  • Structure: +5

You MAY use these points for magic

Knowledges:

  • Animal Husbandry: Keeping the Horse Out of the Cylus Wind
  • Cartography: Reading the Smithy's Maps
  • Construction: Planning to Dig Down into Sandstone
  • Discipline: Timing Pickaxe Strikes With a Thrall
  • Endurance: Pacing Yourself With Exhausting Work
  • Even the Hotlands Get Cold in Cylus
  • Field Craft: Building a Dung Fire
  • Field Craft: Building a Wind Break with Broken Stone
  • Field Craft: Generating Body Heat in Cylus
  • "Iceskin" - Nickname for Eidisi
  • Logistics: Beetles Make Good Burrowing Searchers
  • Logistics: Roaming Bone Yard Risen Will Serve as Marrow Parts
  • Logistics: Thralls are an Efficient Work Force
  • Necromancy: Always Fully Consider the Command to a Thrall
  • Necromancy: Bonesong: Thrall Must be Able To Hear the Song
  • Necromancy: Marrows' Joints Need Initial Connections to Raise
  • Necromancy: A Swarm to Search Out Small Details Over a Big Area
  • Psychology: Looking Past the Fear of a Nightmare
  • Psychology: The Pride of Beating Adversity
  • Ralari: Considers the Dig Site a Good Place to Lay Low
  • Ralari: Not Bound by Same Oath to Raise Only Animals
  • Ralari: Puts Up With Your Off-Key Singing
  • Strength: Swinging a Pickaxe For Breaks on End

Loot:

Nothing to speak of


Loss:

Nothing to speak of


Injuries:

Strained muscles and sore joints


Fame: 0

Sorry, you are specifically hiding out


Devotion: +1 (Audrae)

Pray to Audrae


Comments:

PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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