• Mature • Siege of Storm's Edge: Flown the Coop

Spooked and free, the Justiciar's Storm Rocs have flown from their nest. Find them and bring them back!

18th of Cylus 720

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

Moderators: Pig Boy , Basilisk Snek

User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Siege of Storm's Edge: Flown the Coop

18th trial, Cylus, 720
North-East of Storm's Edge
Between Mistral Village and The Spire



"Look like one of 'em?"

"Boy, dat could be a fuckin' pigeon from where I'm sittin'..."

The young Knight scowled and scowled and while Kasoria couldn't see it, he could feel the heat. Mayhap he was one of these kids that thought armor and a nice helm gave him magical powers; that with enough time and gazing, he could melt the Etzori's impudence and reduce him to an apology. Kasoria gave his opinion to that concept by pointedly leaning forwards... and hawking a stinking load of chewed root juice into the dirt in front of them. Only then did he turn to face him.

"Problem?"

"You are a crude man, Karim."

"Youse have no fuckin' idea, boy," Kasoria said as he got to his feet, stretching out sore, tired muscles. "But even out 'ere, I got me uses, it seems."

"Unfortunately."

Ah, now that drew a chuckle from Kasoria. A little honesty, dryly expressed, was always welcome over pomposity and forced civility. He nodded and looked over their little band, growing smaller by the trial. They'd set off with two dozen men, and now they were down to half that. Only a couple had been lost, however. One in a fissure under the ground that swallowed him and the horse he rode on; the other in the dark of night, where something vast and scaly had dragged him screaming into the darkness to feed. The rest had left, one by one, as they had reclaimed, one by one, what they sought to find out here in the blasted square of land bordered by the lake, the spire, the forest, and the wastes.

"How many more're we lookin' fer again?"

"Two more," the Knight said, going back to squinting at the circling dot on the horizon. "That will make six. We would be fortunate to find all of them."

Kasoria grunted and removed the plug of tobacco from his mouth, tossing it away. He'd sucked and gnawed all the satisfaction he could from the thing. He followed the boy's gaze upward, watching as he talked.

"Prob'lee will, I'd say. Got the others back. Reckon there ain't much out here gonna be huntin' a massive fuckin' eagle fer dinner. 'specially not when there's a bunch of 'em."

"Colony."

"Hmm?"

Kasoria turned to face the boy, who spoke without turning his way. "A group of Storm Rocs is called a 'colony'."

"Huh. Well. A'right, then..."

A shadow flashed over the group and all eyes shot up right away. They may have been hunting Roc's belonging to the Knights, but there was no telling if others wouldn't be out here and view them as simple prey. Kasoria had his bow shrugged off his shoulder and in his hands before his head had finished the movement. There was indeed a feathered creature above them. Moving swift through the achingly bright and clear sky. Diving down on their party, wings barely flapping as it curved into a gentle landing. Yet for all that, he did not draw or nock or aim.

For the creature that landed was armored and helmed like the boy at his side. Just quite a bit senior in the rank structure.

"I found them," said the Avriel, trademark smirk finally showing itself for the first time all trial. "Half a trial's ride from here. We move through the night, we'll catch them by morning."

Kasoria nodded, needing no more information than that. He'd learned much since the hunt had begun, trials before. The Roc's hunted during the day and rested at night, like people did. That meant they could catch up with them if they pursued at night. He'd learned that vast and ferocious as they were, having an Avriel as a scout and experienced trackers in their party made all the difference. Not to mention almost all of them carrying arrows specially prepared by the apothecary at Storm's Edge.

Stinking of something quite familiar to Kasoria. Something he'd used before, just not on a big bird.

"Mount up!" The young Knight barked, sending volunteers and warriors and hunters alike to action. "Stalwart Valdayr Rangarian has caught sight of our prey, and we shall pursue!"

Kasoria turned away and walked towards the pony assigned to him. He flicked a look up at the sun and sighed. Plenty of breaks left in the trial, too. Fates save his poor, sore fucking arse...
word count: 766
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Flown the Coop

"Wossit fer?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, why's it there? Zit like a library or summin'?"

Sir Gerald was about to make a reply when another voice lashed out from the scrub-

"Quiet, there!"

-and that was that. He cast a furtive glance to the distant, shining needle of marble and stone on the horizon. Dominating it for leagues around, the structure known simply as The Spire. Gerald had known of it since he was a boy, but now the Etzori asked, he'd never actually learned the purpose of the place. It had always been a "bastion of knowledge", but... what knowledge? Martial? Historical? Magical? Agricultural?! Now the questions chased themselves in his head and he had to shake it to throw them away.

Damned Etzori. Every time he opens his mouth he seems to annoy someone.

Valdayr was not thinking of the Etzori, save for what the man could do. He gave no heed to Sir Gerald either, save for the fact he could be commanded and knew well his duties. Every man around him was but a means to the end, that being the completion of their mission. The Avriel swallowed hard and his throat ached for wine for a thousandth time that day. But no, no... he was rationing himself. A reward for every Storm Roc found and subdued and sent flying back to the Edge with their reunited rider. Now there were only two left and, well... that warranted the rest of the wineskin, he'd wager.

The Avriel Knight drew the handful of arrows from their quiver, and inspected them one final time. Ilaren wiling, he would not need them. They were a precaution, a last resort. But if he did...

Timing. Dosage. It has to be perfect.

Maybe fifty yards from them, the sounds of mighty slumbering came. The Rocs were roosting in the vast clump of shrubbery they had gathered for themselves. He knew the majestic creatures wouldn't be satisfied with such a humble abode, nor scarce food in the surrounding plains. Lake Lovalus was to the north, though, and if their mammalian senses could already feel the tinge of water in the air, theirs certainly had. Rocs preferred to live around water, hunting those great, juicy lizards and other such worthy prey. These two were stalling, uncertain, raised their whole lives in the comfort of Storm's Edge. Their instincts had yet to fully awaken, completely untrammeled by domestication... but they would.

Valdayr knew it, and knew they didn't have much longer. Once they managed to reach the Lake and beyond, they would have to expend more time and effort to reclaim them than was worthwhile. Already the keep was over a trial to their back, and who knew when another swarm of monsters would assault it? No, he wanted this hunt to be done, over with, and-

A bird call warbled from the scrubs on the other side of the huge nest. Of a breed not seen around these plains. One of the Rocs seemed to know that, for its raptor head snapped up, eyes blinking away sleep within trills.

They'll smell you soon, or see a flash of movement. That's all they'll need.

"On my mark, Etzori..."

Kasoria cracked his neck from side to side, and drew deep into himself. He wasn't much of a game hunter, being a city boy and all, but understood there was some measure of... fairness, in the whole culture of it. Which he'd always thought was horseshit, frankly. Deer and rabbits couldn't shoot back at you, after all. This was a little more affair, given the scale of their prey, but a dozen men against two animals? No, this struck him more as a mission than anything else. No need to be sporting, just get the job done.

His hands started to glow, then his eyes. The Rocs were both awake now, wings huffing and flapping gently, feeling the magic in the air with senses a thousand times sharper than a man's. All around them, a dozen humans readied their weapons, all waiting for one sound, one signal, one voice-

"NOW!"

All was furious movement. From men, from Knights, from hunters, from gigantic eagles that spread wings so broad they blotted the sun and sky, bellowing as they did so. Beady black eyes swept around and saw a dozen of the creatures they'd once known as their masters, and they were confused. Confusion would lead to only two outcomes: attack or flight. But one of the humans wasn't about to let that happen.

Kasoria's hands went from open at his sides to punching forwards, snapping closed into fists-

-and the Rocs shrieked against as it flt like a mountain's worth of chains crashed down on them, forcing their wings back to their bodies, denying them a chance to escape.
word count: 821
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Kasoria
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 1260
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Flown the Coop

"Fuck... me...!"

He ground the words out so thick through teeth clenched so tight that they were barely recognizable as Common. Sweat sprang across the Etzori's brow within trills of the magic being cast. It wasn't tied to blood or muscle, yet he'd leaned how much of a strain was put on them when his Spark was fully roused to life. More accurately, when it was deployed, and its target fought back.

He felt every ounce of pressure. Though they were dozens of yards from him, every heave of their wings, every stifled flap and swipe of their heads felt like it was smashing against his body. Fates, in a way, that's exactly what it was doing. His Spark was tied to his life force, his soul (heh, and that thought alone made him mentally chuckle), but the body was still the vessel for them both. Whenever efforts against his magic made, it was his muscles and skin and bones and sinews that suffered. Like when one of the Rocs managed to flap one wing free-

-and Kasoria grunted, going down to one knee, screwing shut his eyes and forcing more ether into the spell. Clenching his hands so tight the knuckles whitened-

-until the Roc screeched again as fresh chains sprouted from the very air, Shackle-bands of chain-like ether pinning both wings down... and the rest in the party were not idle, either.

Nets with weights at their tips were flung through the air. Ropes with lassos on the end expertly deployed. Catching the vast creatures around the wings, over their heads, even at their feet, before net after net fell on them. Kasoria grunted again, tasting bile in the back of his throat. Five hundred pounds, at a minimum. That was how big Storm Rocs grew, according to the Avriel. Fates, but he could feel every pound of that right now, seemingly in each hand. He could feel their terror and confusion as snares magical and physical weighed them down, humans hollering and roaring as they rushed forth to pin them down.

"Just a little longer, Karim!" He heard Valdayr's voice but didn't dare open his eyes. All his thoughts, all his being needed to be focused on maintaining this cast. "They're nearly-"

One of the Roc's had a different idea. With a massive jerk of its wings it seemed to slice through the ropes and nets and the magical bands pinning it down. Maybe the mage was focusing more on the other one; maybe the humans had done much the same with their crude, catching tools. Whatever the reason, Kasoria yelped as he felt his magic ripped apart, and as his eyes opened-

-he saw the Roc start to take off into the sky, leaving its comrade screeching and trapped on the ground. Every flap was like a hurricane gust, sending it further, further away, to freedom-

"Forgive me, cousin."

TWANG

Kasoria heard the Avriel speak. He'd never thought his kind felt any real kinship to the Rocs, anymore than his did with apes... but those same words had passed the Stalwart's lips every time he'd had to use those arrows. He could smell the Lightning Grasp over the wafting air around him. Knew what that poison could do, crafted from so beautiful a flower, now smeared onto every arrow in the Knight's quiver. The blunted tip flew through the air and caught the Roc under the wing. Not a killing shot. No organs or arteries or even wings targeted. At full speed and proper height, it would have been a nigh-impossible shot. Which was why the Knight had waited, bow half-drawn and arrow notched, waiting and hoping... only to be let down.

By you. He'll probably mention that. Wanker.

"Karim?!" The Avriel bellowed over the screeching Roc. "Don't let him-"

"I won't, damn ye!"

Fates, like he needed to be told that again.

He let the other hunters swarm over the Storm Roc already downed, hammering the edges of nets and tightening the ropes lashing the creature. It had nowhere to go, and corporeal bonds were stronger than the ether he was exerting over it. So with a twist of his wrist, Kasoria ceased his efforts binding that creature, and devoted all his energies to the one in the air-

-but not for long, not with Lightning Grasp rushing through its veins, numbing muscles, killing coordination, sending it spiraling back down to earth-

Kasoria roared and threw out his hands again. As if his small form could reach out and catch the bird without any other effort-

Yet that was what it seemed to do. Valdayr watched with mingled awe and fear as the air around the falling Roc seemed to... ripple. As if it were water instead of air and emptiness. Ether worked through it, crafting it and changing it. Thickening it so that it was a padding for the Roc to land on. Even slowing the fall seemed to strain the gruff little man; sweat was dripping from him now, as he guided the Storm Roc down to the ground, depositing it as gently as he could manage... and even then, it was still not happy. After ensuring the first was subdued, a portion of hunters scurried over to the second and threw a net over it, tightening their grip and holding it down.

The Stalwart nodded to the two men flanking him: the men he would really need in this moment. They nodded back, took off their helmets, and moved towards their old friends.

Enough.

Kasoria cut his Spark off from the world with that single, whispered word through his own mind. At once, the strain stopped, but the pain remained. He was not exerting himself, but like an athlete who still suffers after the grueling race is over, he ached and throbbed over his whole body. He stayed on his knees, panting into his chest until someone pressed a water skin into his hand. Then he gurgled it down until they took it away from him again and he was coughing his guts up again.

"You lost control."

Kasoria laughed out a short, sharp bark. "Aye, well, youse try keepin' dis shite goin' dis long. An' less my eyes fuckin' deceive me, they're both fine."

Valdayr's eyes narrowed and his wings shivered behind him. Kasoria shoved himself upright, knowing the signs of a man on the edge of losing his temper, be it human or birdie-boy. He even managed a crooked smile as he jutted his chin towards the second, wounded Roc.

"Yer man's sure he'll be okay wi' him?"

The Stalwart of Storm's Edge did not like the Etzori, this... 'Karim'. Probably not his real name, for sellswords did not often traffic in truth. They changed names as often as shirts and socks, running from one disgrace or another. But he was skilled in the Abrogative arts, more so than any other within ten days ride of Storm's Edge. They needed him, and the little man knew it. But still... but still... the words kept repeating in his head, and he knew he was not the only one to think them.

Were it bandits or invaders we were facing, instead of beasts who could not bribe or persuade, I would kill this one myself, for he would surely betray us.

"It is not so easy a thing," Valdayr said eventually, watching Sir Tybol approach the Roc. Not with fear in his step, or even caution. Just... understanding. As one would for a maligned friend, not a scared animal. "They have been wild for trials, now. Living without riders, without walls, without restraint. They have been raised their whole lives as... not pets, but beasts of war. Bonded to a rider, a human. Trained to obey them. Yet their nature, their instincts... they need only the briefest window to shatter arcs of loyalty."

There was nothing but thoughtful silence from the Etzori. Not a smirk, not a laugh, not a quip. He turned away as a new sound greeted them. Something almost like a coo, if through lungs the size of Kasoria's entire body, through a beak that could rend chain-mail like paper. The first Roc had its rider again. The Knight was on its back and petting its neck. After a few tentative moments, the man rested his head against its golden-brown feathers... and the Roc actually leaned over and nuzzled his hair.

Now the Etzori chuckled. A low and brief thing, for it was with honest mirth and not mockery. Valdayr was scarce sure he heard it, it was gone so quickly. Then they turned back their eyes to the second Roc. Sir Tybol was bidding the hunters away. He grasped the arrow with one hand, steadying the other on the neck of the Rock and yanked-

-the great eagle screamed and shuddered, but Sir Tybol did not quail. He kept patting the feathers of that terrified creature, his old friend, his mount and comrade through many a battle. He tossed the arrow away and turned to Valdayr.

"Leave me with a couple of men, until the Grasp has worn off. Then I shall fly return home, and the men shall follow."

"Volunteers?"

There was a rush, as always. These were not men driven by gold nor greed; they protected their homes and families, and the honor of Rharne itself. So it was with some surprise that the little Etzori stepped forward, and would not be moved by the calls of others.

"Yeh'd need me, if the thing got loose again. Keep 'im grounded."

Ser Tybol scowled at the Etzori, petting Grackle's neck protectively. "He's not some wild beast, mercenary. He wouldn't try and bolt."

"Aye, course not. S'why we're out here inna first place-"

"Enough, the both of you." Valdayr said eventually, stepping between Knight and sellsword. "Your skills are no longer needed here, Karim. Ser Tybol will have a squire and a tracker, should he need it. I would rather you accompany the rest of his back to the keep, so your magic can be best applied in its defense."

Kasoria wanted to mention his other abilities would be just as handy, but all future conversation was dashed away by a great gust of wind that nearly knocked him over. Ser Crewe had got his mount into the air again, laugh of victory clear over the beating of wings. Unlike Grackles, it had no poison in its blood, and once the nets and ropes were loose it rose clear into the sky without trouble. All below watched them go, including Grackles. The Storm Roc made a mournful sound, watching its fellow fly away without him.

"It's okay," Tybol whispered, petting his neck gently. "You'll see him soon."

Valdayr turned back to Kasoria, seeming to see the man with fresh eyes... if only for a moment or two. He nodded curtly, as if in dismissal.

"Back to the horses, Karim. If we make haste, we can be back at the keep by nightfall."

Kasoria nodded to himself, trembling hand vanishing under his cloak for a moment. When it reappeared, it was no longer shaking, and the plug of tobacco went easily into his mouth.

"As yeh will, sir."
word count: 1906
Common Speech | Thoughts | Ith'ession Speech | Speech of Others
User avatar
Doran
Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer
Posts: 3608
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Alchemist
Renown: 1162
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Letters
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 10

Re: Siege of Storm's Edge: Flown the Coop

Image
Kasoria:

Knowledge:
Skill:
Abrogation x2
Hunting x3
Endurance x1

Non-Skill:
NPC Stalwart Valdayr Rangarian: Avriel Lightning Knight
Storm Roc: Massive Eagles of Rharne
Storm Roc: Used as Mounts by the Lightning Knights

Loot:
Wealth: -
Injuries: Medium Overstepping: Cramps throughout the body parts used to allow flow of ether while casting.
Renown: 15
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I don’t think that I have read a thread from you that I haven’t enjoyed yet. The dialogue was great and felt natural, and the action was exciting. I especially enjoyed reading Kasoria’s using his magic in the last post. Great job, and enjoy your rewards!
word count: 112

Mutations

N/A

Blessings

N/A

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
Post Reply Request an XP Review Claim Wealth Thread

Return to “The Stormlands”