A simple medieval role playing setting based of Crossroads Keep from Neverwinter Nights 2.
 
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 Walking Down a Sunlit Path

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Alex Hawklight



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PostSubject: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:31 am

Alex wearily placed one foot in front of the other. The road from Neverwinter had been long and despite Lathander blessing him with his vision, he still had no idea just how far south he had to walk. Could it be he was destined to go as far as the Mere? Baldur's Gate? Amn? He squared his shoulders for what seemed like the hundreth time, still unused to the weight of the pack on his back, even after two days walking. His armour was an unfamiliar feeling too; he was more used to the robes of his order. It was a necessary precaution though. The road south of Neverwinter wasn't exactly the safest highway in the world, even if patrols had been stepped up somewhat recently, for some reason. He closed his eyes slightly as smiling lady Tymora saw fit to have a little fun with him, just as that thought crossed his mind.

Eight, villainous-looking men in rough leather armour and hefting a variety of axes, clubs, a crossbow or two and even one with a sword stepped out from the brush around the road. Their faces were smeared with mud and branches and leaves were tied to them in bunches, giving them a highly effective camouflage among the bushes. Alex held up a hand as the one with the sword opened his mouth to speak. "Don't tell me," said the young cleric, "Your money or your life, right?"
The bandit blinked, but soon recovered his composure, thumbing the edge of his soot-blackened sword in a menacing manner, "Smart man. You catch on quick. Drop that pack and that sword at your side and your armour too and we might even consider letting you go."
Alex shook his head, "Please, you're making a mistake. I'm but a cleric of the Morninglord. I can pay my way though. If you have any injuries or hurts that need tending, I can call upon my god's grace to heal the-"
The bandit cut Alex off by whipping the sword up to point at his un-protected throat, "Save it. I know you clerics of Lathander are all loaded and now you've gone and tried my patience. Drop the pack. Oh and why don't you show us just what's in that bundle before you go two?" He motioned at the long, wrapped item secured between Alex's back and his pack.
"I'd rather not. It's kind of important to me."
The bandit sneered as his friends all raised their weapons, "Oh, but I'd rather you did. And I don't think you're in any position to argue. See, there's, what, eight of us? And only one of you."
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Avera

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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:09 am



The sun was up, birds calling and the brush of cool wind pleasant in the heated afternoon. Even though others would have trouble in this kind of heat this bardic ranger had no trouble at all. It must have been a lot easier when a person could stay hidden under ferns as they went along and avoided going onto the road itself. It was trickier this way. Bandits and undead certainly did not look for the smaller folk or creatures such as foxes if they weren't easily seen: so why be seen if you could avoid direct difficulties.

Avera smiled as her silent footsteps brought her further away from the keep and closer to her destination for hunting. It had been her plan to take the day relaxing and trying to capture some food for the larders. It would be good to have fresh meat since many of the regular hunters were not having much luck.

Voices wafted upon the wind making the halfling's brow go up.

"Please, you're making a mistake. I'm but a cleric of the Morninglord. I can pay my way though. If you have any injuries or hurts that need tending, I can call upon my god's grace to heal the-"

She sighed but continued walking, quietly coming closer to the commotion.

"Save it. I know you clerics of Lathander are all loaded and now you've gone and tried my patience. Drop the pack. Oh and why don't you show us just what's in that bundle before you go two?"

"I'd rather not. It's kind of important to me."


"Bandits." Avera whispered lighter than the breeze. She looked about calmly and grinned as she saw the situation through the ferns then climbed a tree quietly.

"Oh, but I'd rather you did. And I don't think you're in any position to argue. See, there's, what, eight of us? And only one of you."


An arrow shot past the man's shoulder just before the tiny lady spoke in an authoritative, strong voice using her bardic skill to carry the sound, "If you wish to live you will leave that gentleman alone now and be off. The Knight-Captain of Crossroads Keep does not take well to fools like you."
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Alex Hawklight



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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:41 pm

Alex smiled as the arrow struck the dirt between him and the bandit.

"If you wish to live you will leave that gentleman alone now and be off. The Knight-Captain of Crossroads Keep does not take well to fools like you."

Female voice. High pitched too and considering the arrow, that pointed to one of the smaller folk of the realms; a halfling or perhaps a gnome. Still, surprise counted for a lot, as did concealment. His smile grew wider at the irony of the bandits own tricks being used against them.
"Perhaps you had better count again, my friend," he said calmly as the toughs looked about nervously, "For I see three and count the worth of three hundred. Myself, my woodcrafty friend and of course, my shining lord Lathander." The crossbow-armed pair of bandits had made a foolish mistake, turning away from him to sweep the bushes they had just come from. Alex slowly gripped the leather-wrapped hilt of his short sword and drew it from its scabbard, the oiled metal barely making a whisper as it came free. He muttered a brief prayer before speaking again, "Oh Lathander, I pray thee, grant thy servant and those who wouldst stand with him intercession and a measure of thy favour, should he be found worthy."

The bandits started to sweat as the afternoon sun beat heavily upon them like an angry, unblinking eye, while Alex felt a joyous warmth spread throughout his bones and a sense of peace come over him, a sense that, he knew, would be shared by his unknown ally. "I'd do as she says," he advised, his words carrying just a hint of menace, "None of you need to die this day. Go find an easier target." The bandits shifted nervously. One or two of them clearly wanted to be somewhere else, but their leader just looked angry. What was about to happen, was anyone's guess. He was suddenly very glad that the order had seen fit to teach its brothers the basics of combat, as well as religious scripture.
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papersamurai00



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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:42 am

[img][/img]

Fangs bared. Hunters.

The small fox silently padded around the path, getting to the edge closest to the sword-weilding banded. She was mindful not to run into the pair that fled.

Big fanged one not scared. Alpha. Kill alpha, dominate pack.

She coiled like a spring, only a slight growl crossing her lips before taking her leap right at the swordsman, transforming to her human form in mid leap, and landing on the bandit, her claws slashing for his face and throat.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:18 am




"Perhaps you had better count again, my friend, for I see three and count the worth of three hundred. Myself, my woodcrafty friend and of course, my shining lord Lathander."

Well this man certainly knew how to improvise and that prompted a quiet chuckle as she watched the sword come out of the man's scabbard, "Oh Lathander, I pray thee, grant thy servant and those who wouldst stand with him intercession and a measure of thy favour, should he be found worthy."

A peaceful warmth brought a smile upon her face as the man prayed. It had been a long while since she'd been around one casting such a spell and even though she'd kept her distance from the religious for her own reasons the joy which this casting sent through her caused these feelings to be cast aside for the current time.

"I'd do as she says, none of you need to die this day. Go find an easier target."

Then Fox went into action, a flurry of red directed upon the leader of the bandits with claws swinging in an almost mesmerizing arc to his throat, tearing his jugular and eyes. The feral form was quite the naked vision of fury standing upon the bandit as his body began to fall.

Two arrows sprouted from one of the men beside the leader, one whizzing past him into the ground just past the new body.

"Your leader is down. Leave now or die."
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Alex Hawklight



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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:20 pm

Alex bit back a curse of surprise as a russet-furred form leapt from the undergrowth, turning to a woman in mid-air and tearing the throat from the bandit leader. An instant later, the second one went down, arrows piercing his boiled leather chestpiece and piercing his heart. One of the bandits swore and turned his crossbow on the woman crouching on the corpse of his leader. Alex brought his arm down on the weapon, forcing the quarrel into the dirt. His sword swung up in a vicious jab and slid under the bandit's chestplate to tear his stomach. The unfortunate thug's hands went limp and he gave a whimper of pain as alex pushed him back roughly, blood running down his sword to colour his hand. He supressed an internal wince of sympathy; gut wounds were almost always fatal, but they took a long time to kill and were exceptionaly painful in the meantime.

The rest of the theives, seeing half their number cut down in as much time as it takes to tell of it, promptly decided revenge and plunder weren't worth their lives and took to their heels like a pack of daemons pursued them. Alex knelt beside the dying man, who was still making pathetic sounds of distress and trying to crawl after his so-called friends. The wound was still fresh though, so he had a chance. "Lathander of the dawn," murmured Alex, turning the man on his back and ignoring his yell of pain, "I pray thee, grant thy servant a measure of thy vitality, that this wound might be closed and the flesh made whole." A soft glow of yellow sunlight suffused the cleric's outstretched hand and ran along the edge of the ragged cut, knitting flesh together and restoring split blood. The man would be weak for a short while, but by the grace of the gods, he would heal. No-one truly deserved to die in agony in a ditch by the road, Alex decided, no matter if that was how such encounters usually ended. He stabbed his blade into the dirt and wiped it on the recovering man's breeches to clean it before sheathing it again. "My thanks to you," he said, adressing the rough direction the arrows had come from, "Uh, both of you." He pointedly tried to avoid looking at the fox-girl's nakedness, highlighted by the ruby spray of blood on her skin. "If you hadn't shown up, I might have been in serious trouble." He unslung his pack and produced a hempen rope from within it, inexpertly binding the surviving bandit's arms behind him, "You mentioned a keep, I think? This one could do with a good spell in a dungeon to cool his hot head."
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papersamurai00



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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:14 pm



The fox retook her animal form and shook to try and get some of the blood off. She hopped to the edge of the road just under the brush and licked at her paws to get the blood off.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:17 pm



Vigilance was required while the next bandit was run through and the others ran off. The others could have attacked at any moment but these ones were a little more intelligent then most to leave so there was no need to push further at this time so Avera allowed them to escape unharmed. She would tell Kana that this road was once again a target and the issue would be dealt with through troop movements.

Words came from the man upon the road and even though they were low enough to be unheard it was easy enough to realize that they were a prayer. So this one was not a ruthless being. That was a wonder in this day and age. She wasn't sure whether it was remarkable or idealistic for anyone to care so much to another like that. Most of those she knew would have either left him dying or made sure he was no longer in any mortal pain ever again.

She came down from the tree then walked to the road, taking her time as the man tied up the bandit.

"My thanks to you. Uh, both of you. If you hadn't shown up, I might have been in serious trouble. You mentioned a keep, I think? This one could do with a good spell in a dungeon to cool his hot head."

The man was a gentle enough soul that Avera went directly out onto the road to speak with him. Normally she would have kept just out of sword range but she felt he was not one to attack without provocation as he had not done so with the bandits. Why do so with such a small being as she who was no danger unless you angered her.

"You are welcome, good sir. I hail ..." She looked back at Fox then to the man once more, "We hail from Crossroads Keep just up the way. Where were you headed to before these men delayed you?"
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Alex Hawklight



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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:37 am

Alex smiled at the diminutive woman; a halfling, as he had guessed. He kept a wary eye on the fox though, remembering his lessons regarding lycanthropes. Not all wer-creatures were evil however and this one seemed to at least have no quarrel with him... He grabbed the corpse of the bandit slain by arrows and managed to work one free, tossing it to the woman, before heaving the body into the ditch. The survivor had recovered enough to try and crawl off, despite the ropes binding him, so Alex put a warning and not overly-gentle boot on his back, before turning at the sound of the halfling woman's voice,
"You are welcome, good sir. I hail ..." She looked back at the fox then to Alex once again, "We hail from Crossroads Keep just up the way. Where were you headed to before these men delayed you?"
Alex shrugged, "Me? Thither and yon, there and gone, as they say. I was heading south... But that's a small tale in itself. If you like, I could share it while we walk. I may as well re-fill my pack while I'm passing, if there's anything to spare. I can pay; I have a little gold."

The bandit muttered something sullen under Alex's boot and the cleric scowled back, "Look, I can either hang you from a tree by your ankles and wait for the beats or the next travler to finish you off," he said, casting a pointed look at the fox, cleaningh her paws, "Or you can take your chances in the dungeon. It's your choice." The muttering died away. "Smart man," he turned back, pulling the bandit upright and shaking his head. "My name's Alex, by the way," he continued, without missing a beat, to the halfling and her... Pet? Friend? Either way. "Might I have the honour of knowing those who saved my life?" He gave the bandit a push and layed a hand on his sword as they started walking. Forgiving he may have been, but he was no fool, taking chances with a captive.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:25 am



"Me? Thither and yon, there and gone, as they say. I was heading south... But that's a small tale in itself. If you like, I could share it while we walk. I may as well re-fill my pack while I'm passing, if there's anything to spare. I can pay; I have a little gold."

This man's wary regard of Fox was not unusual and Avera could understand the cautious attitude as many were beings were not always the kindest of creatures. She did not feel that he would react towards Fox unless the little were reacted towards him but felt it best to keep herself between the two just in case there was anything one did which the other may misinterpret as threatening. Caution was one thing she did not wish to throw to the winds. At least not in this situation.

The sun was starting to lean in to later afternoon which meant they would not make it back to the keep until after midnight at least. With a criminal in tow this man would be easier prey for if those bandits returned making it so that leaving this person to travel alone was not an option. It would be bad enough with the captive but the bandits could also very well return in force.

"A small tale?" A lopsided grin played upon her lips, "I quite enjoy a good tale and will be able to share whatever we catch with you. Crossroads Keep is more than half a day away so if you don't mind camping out with little beasts then it would be a pleasure to travel with you."

She'd noticed the bandit trying to blunder off then being stopped. It was quite an enjoyable sight even though it meant that this bandit would be almost as troublesome as a four year old. A large four year old. The fool even had the audacity to mutter about his plight.

"Look, I can either hang you from a tree by your ankles and wait for the beats or the next travler to finish you off. Or you can take your chances in the dungeon. It's your choice." The muttering died away. "Smart man."

Avera chuckled at the scene. Not much dampened her spirits so when something did it was usually quite big.

"Might I have the honour of knowing those who saved my life?"

"My name is Avera and this is Fox." She was not quite sure what to call her new, red friend as it was strange that the werefox would show up so soon after her companion disappeared, "Glad to meet you, Alex." Avera gave a nod of her head, "So ... about this tale ...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:48 am



Paws clean enough.

The fox stood and headed to Avera, keeping close. She kept her good eye on the new person. Avera wanted to save him, so she saved him. Otherwise, he was a stranger. Strangers were to be taken carefully. His shining armor and flowery words made no difference. Many beasts can hide their fangs.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:18 am

"Glad to meet you, Alex." Avera nodded, "So ... about this tale ...?"

"Oh-ho, you're going to like this," chuckled Alex, "Asuming you don't just think I'm crazy." He kept half a wary eye on Fox as they started walking down the path, sun-dappled by the branches overhead. She didn't seem to trust him, but that was fair enough. Avera was standing between the two of them though, apparently in an effort to keep the peace, so he decided not to press the issue and continued with his story.

"Well, first things first; I'm a cleric of Lathander, in case the payers and the armour didn't already tip you off," he tapped the etched sunrise on his breastplate for emphasis, smirking, "I used to live at the temple in Neverwinter. The one in Blacklake; you know it? Anyways, it was a good life, but I kind of felt like there was something... Missing, you know? Lathander teaches us that we should foster hope and aid those in need, but cloistered away in that temple, the brotherhood were doing neither. Oh they were pious enough and they certainly helped those who came to us, but no one beacon, no matter how bright, can dispell all the darkness in the world," he shrugged and half-drew his sword, giving the bandit a nudge in the back with the pommel, as he was looking for a way to escape again, "Don't get any cute ideas, pal. Where was I? Ah yes! Well, about a year after I became a full Dawnbringer, just an ordinary Cleric to anyone not in the order, I... And here it gets wierd, I had a dream."

Alex's eyes grew distant as he recalled the surreal events. "I was standing in a field, bathed in golden sunlight. Everywhere about me, I could feel life and joy and vitality... But before me... A great shadow fell across the land. It was like a black wall I couldn't see anything beyond. It was... Terrifying. I was about to run from it when... I felt something. Like a warmth, calming me and easing away my fear. Not dispelling it, but making it easier to face. I felt gentle hands turn me and guide me towards the shadow, moving my arms, pushing at my back slightly," he closed his eyes, his brow furrowed in thought, but his face somehow tranquil, "It was Lathander, I'm sure of it. I took a few steps toward the darkness with his guidance, but then moved on on my own. I remembered that as thick as the shadows may be, it only takes one candle to push them back, even a little way. As I walked forward, I saw the shadows retreat and I felt that I wasn't alone in facing it. I felt others smoehow, far from me to the south, but there none the less. When I woke, I learned that I'd been asleep a full two nights and a day and I hadn't been idle either... I woke up in the temple's forge, a hammer in my hand and this lying on the anvil," he tapped the linnen-wrapped bundle on his back, "I had finished it just as dawn broke. I've got some passing skill with metal, but re-shoeing a horse, or maybe making a cooking knife's the extent of it. I can only guess that Lathander saw fit to guide me somehow... Anyway, my path was clear enough. I begged my leave to go and started south that very day. Not the best travel plan in the world, as I've no idea how far I have to go, but I figure I'll know when I find it. After all, a huge shroud of shadows can't be that hard to miss, right?" He looked down at Avera, slightly nervous of her reaction. The priests had accepted it readily enough, but then, they'd seen the evidence. This was the first time he'd shared his story with anyone else.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:11 pm



A warm grin was upon her face when Alex said she would like the tale as only tales which would put others off usually started off in that manner. Those kinds tended to be the bread and butter of the bard. Her eyes lifted to watch his face as she couldn't quite watch his eyes except when he looked down at her. At two foot eight this was something the tiny one was quite used to. It was noticeable that both he and Fox were eying each other still with an un-trusting air but as long as both behaved she would be happy.

Her tongue kept still as the tale was told and she either nodded, smiled or gave other facial expressions as he spoke. So he was a cleric not a paladin and one whom had been sent upon a quest by his god. It was interesting to hear and even more interesting that he had an artifact created through the experience. It could just be a tale or it could be true in all senses that he had dreamed and worked Lathander's might to start upon some quest but only time would tell. If Lathander had sent him to help destroy the King of Shadows then all the better.

Avera looked up again as he completed his story, noticing the expression. She'd had that same expression before when she knew she'd told others of her own dreams and thought they would disbelieve, "Getting a vision from your god is a great honour, Alex. I understand what you mean. I have had my own dreams of the future, vague though they may be, but ... there it is. Have you any clue as to what this could be? I certainly know of a darkness but I wish to hear what you have gathered up to now."
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:02 pm

Alex was more than a little relieved that Avera seemed to believe him.

"Getting a vision from your god is a great honour, Alex. I understand what you mean. I have had my own dreams of the future, vague though they may be, but ... there it is. Have you any clue as to what this could be? I certainly know of a darkness but I wish to hear what you have gathered up to now."

He chuckled dryly, "I only set out a couple of days past, sorry to say. I know Lathander did me a great honour by guiding me so directly, but he did not illuminate all mysteries for me. All I know is that it is my duty to find this darkness, whatever it is, and face it with whoever else gathers to oppose it. There's the sword I forged by his guidance, too... But I don't even know why he saw fit to do so. Am I meant to wield it? Or am I meant to bring it to someone else; someone more fitting? It seems too fine a weapon for a simple Dawnbringer like me."

He reached over his shoulder and pulled the bundle from where it hung, untying the cord that held it wrapped. The sheath the blade was housed in was simple leather, nothing special, but the pommel was a glittering diamond, set securely in steel, the hilt was wire-wrapped and the cross-guard was formed from the rays of a golden sun. Alex drew the sword a little to show Avera the blade, the silvery metal gleaming bright in the late sun. He sheathed it again with a snap and quickly re-wrapped it, setting it back between his shoulders. "It's enchanted too, I think," he said, "Although the Hells take me if I know how. This whole affair's a little mystery. But what about this darkness you mentioned? I get the feeling you might have more to offer in the way of answers than I."
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:16 am



Gods? Darkness? Enchanted swords? What do they mean?

The fox suddenly stopped, looking into the brush.

Food.

She coiled up, getting ready to pounce. It was only a big brush rat. Still, prey was prey. She kept still, hoping it'd more watch the loud clanking stranger and the little one than her.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:47 am



Alex's relief was plain to see in the way he moved as well as his expression which she caught as he looked down at her. She could understand that as many would not believe such claims and ignore them. This little one had seen too much to disbelieve.

"I only set out a couple of days past, sorry to say. I know Lathander did me a great honour by guiding me so directly, but he did not illuminate all mysteries for me. All I know is that it is my duty to find this darkness, whatever it is, and face it with whoever else gathers to oppose it. There's the sword I forged by his guidance, too... But I don't even know why he saw fit to do so. Am I meant to wield it? Or am I meant to bring it to someone else; someone more fitting? It seems too fine a weapon for a simple Dawnbringer like me."

So he'd only been on his quest for a very short time. That was an interesting piece of information to note. Lathander must truly believe in dealing with the current crisis if he was acting through extending his reach into a person's dreams and directing them. This was something to consider. What it meant was veiled but it could range from simple concern to the situation being more difficult than Avera could have imagined. Only time and more information would tell.

This all flashed through Avera's mind as Alex gave her a slight look at his sword. It was enchanting and she wondered if it were related to the Sword of Gith or if it was one. Everything was unclear and becoming cloudier with each new addition to the situation at hand.

"It's enchanted too, I think, although the Hells take me if I know how. This whole affair's a little mystery. But what about this darkness you mentioned? I get the feeling you might have more to offer in the way of answers than I."

"Fate seldom chooses one who has already achieved higher standings to be a light to illuminate a path through chaos." Avera grinned at her words considering them for a new song then sighed at the complications which were mounting, "There has been an evil growing down south, as you already have learned from Lathander. It started in a little village called West Harbor and has grown from there. A sentience has unleashed a deadly miasma and has been amassing the undead in it's service. It is disastrous enough that Lord Nasher has had Crossroads Keep set up as a last defense. There are some who have knowledge of what it is but there is much to do in order to contend with the threat."

She noticed the bandit becoming nervous, looking about again for a way out, "If you wish arrows upon you then just keep it up. I can follow you anywhere if you try it." Her eyes strayed to Fox who seemed to be hunting then she looked ahead once more, "We have been gathering our own forces and working on stopping this evil. Maybe that is why you have been directed this way. Surely Lathander would have indicated the safer roads otherwise." She smirked, "Personally, I do not tend to travel the safer routes."

Her words upon traveling safer routes had more meaning to them than the surface implications as she'd been traveling unsafe territory for so long she had no idea if she'd ever leave them. If anything, the halfling also did not believe in happenstance when it came to the intervention of gods. Alex had to have been sent this direction on purpose.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:10 pm

Avera smirked, "We have been gathering our own forces and working on stopping this evil. Maybe that is why you have been directed this way. Surely Lathander would have indicated the safer roads otherwise. Personally, I do not tend to travel the safer routes."

Alex looked down, a mixture of concern and understanding on his face. Avera was a full-grown woman, by halfling standards, clearly competant with her bow and wise to the way of the wilds too. She was still only the size of a child though and Alex felt the same pang he would if a child were placing were placing herself in danger. He stamped the feeling back down though, a neccesity of dealing with any of the small folk of the realms. "I think," he said slowly, contemplating this news, "That even if my final destination is not here, that it would be for the best if I did what I could. This miasma, the undead," he scowled at the word 'undead' as though it left a foul taste in his mouth, a tribute to his Lathanderese schooling, "There is no doubt in my mind that they need to be opposed and fought. Even if it is not for that purpose Lathander granted me this vision, I don't think he'll object to me stalling here for such a purpose. Consider my sword yours. Both of them."

Alex glanced back at Fox, who seemed to be preparing to end the life of some small furry critter in the pursuit of her dinner, then checked the prisioner, who seemed at last to be resigned to his fate. "Tell me," he said to Avera, trying to move the topic away from the heavier subjects, "What kind of a place is Crossroads Keep? They didn't let us out of the temple much; I'm kinda curious."
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:41 pm



Fox's prey seemed intent on herself and Alex, not noticing the other danger coming along behind it just as Fox had wanted. It seemed to be looking for anything the people could drop. Avera saw this and continued on knowing that one of them would be soon fed. She would have to go off herself a bit later to catch their dinner.

Avera ignored the reaction from Alex as she knew those expressions to be the warring of one wishing to keep her safe as a child and knowing that she was full grown and capable. She felt a pang of regret that most people she knew went through those conflicts when they first met but left it to him to sort out. It was true that she did not appreciate those who assume she is a child but she did appreciate those who did their best to treat her as an adult. If once in a while that slipped she did not mind.

It seemed that he finally got at least a bit of control over his feelings when he started to speak slowly in consideration of her words, "I think that even if my final destination is not here, that it would be for the best if I did what I could. This miasma, the undead: there is no doubt in my mind that they need to be opposed and fought. Even if it is not for that purpose Lathander granted me this vision, I don't think he'll object to me stalling here for such a purpose. Consider my sword yours. Both of them."

The scowl spoke volumes to his dislike of the undead and that she could understand easily, especially for one trained as a cleric.

"We will be pleased to have you. A cleric's skill set is nothing to scowl at, especially when directed on the undead."

"Tell me, what kind of a place is Crossroads Keep? They didn't let us out of the temple much; I'm kinda curious."

Once again she smiled as it seemed that he decided to get onto calmer topics. This was fine with her as she did not wish to speak too heavily upon this situation with the bandit in tow. You never knew what one would do in the future even if they were currently tied up and behaving at the moment, "Crossroads Keep was ... abandoned," Well it was more taken over than abandoned, "Or actually, acquired from the removal of wizards working for the force behind the miasma and undead. Lord Nasher gave the duty of reviving it to Knight-Captain Cairan Farlong and since then Cai, with help, has turned it into a thriving keep. There are many people there now mostly soldiers but a thriving hamlet has erupted inside the walls. There are merchants and families, farmers and all that sort of deal. A hostel has been made for those who cannot afford houses and it keeps growing. A household for orphans has also been put up inside the walls. It isn't completely sunshine but no place is. The Greycloaks' barracks are located there as well and they train within and outside the keep walls."
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:56 am



The group now traversed an area with many branches overhanging the road as the trees were closer to the median in this section. It was a bit darker as the sun was setting even further making a pleasant colour in the sky where one could see through the foliage. The area was quiet except for the normal sounds of the wilderness even though a shadow detached itself from the corner of a tree. It moved within other shadows until it came out into the road and stood before the group. Before anyone could react it threw something round at Avera.

<DM note - The thrown object is in the air. Both Fox and Alex can react.>
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:16 am

"There are merchants and families, farmers and all that sort of deal. A hostel has been made for those who cannot afford houses and it keeps growing. A household for orphans has also been put up inside the walls. It isn't completely sunshine but no place is. The Greycloaks' barracks are located there as well and they train within and outside the keep walls."

Alex chuckled dryly, "Greycloaks, huh? I'll be busy then. I don't think there was one day in Neverwinter we didn't have at least half a dozen of them coming to us or the priests of Ilmater with some kind of injury from training," he glanced at the darkening sky, "How far is it, anyhow? I'm not too comfortable about traveling with a prisioner at night."

As though to prove his point, as his eyes left the sky, he managed to catch a glimpse of a shadowy figure on the path ahead, just as it threw something round at Avera. Potion? thought Alex, Some kind of weapon? Hell, could be an apple, for all I know... Best not to take chances though. Acting quickly, Alex kicked the legs out from under the bandit, knocking him prone to keep him out of the way. The cleric's left arm flew out, into the path of the object, feeling it strike the tough leather of his bracer. His right scrabbled for his sword, inexpert fingers made clumsy in their haste. No time to utter a prayer; if this figure was hostile, as he feared, he'd have to act without Lathander's aid.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:47 am



His chuckle was infectious and Avera chuckled with him.

"Greycloaks, huh? I'll be busy then. I don't think there was one day in Neverwinter we didn't have at least half a dozen of them coming to us or the priests of Ilmater with some kind of injury from training. How far is it, anyhow? I'm not too comfortable about traveling with a prisoner at night."

"Yes the Greycloaks do have a bad tendency of ..."

The shadow moved quickly and as the object was hurled at Avera, Alex got in the way and captured it. Avera grinned with amusement as she strode towards the cloaked form, "I thought you were at Highcliff with the others doing a search?"



The round object Alex intercepted had indeed turned out to be an apple. As Alex caught it and Aver spoke, the person who had thrown it rushed up to Avera, knelt down and gave her a big hug, a spiked tail wrapping around the halfling along with her arms, "We were! It sucked Avera. Those two are just such spoilsports and they never let me do anything. I stole Khelgar's money a couple times to relieve some boredom before he threatened me with that newfangled axe of his then Casavir couldn't handle me lifting purses from the nobles. It was no fun at all. I wish I could have stayed with you. Or if that stupid ranger had come then I could have at least had some entertainment watching the men fight."
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:51 pm

Alex looked at the apple in his hand stupidly. Okay... He'd been wrong. Looked like Avera knew this person. He let his right arm relax, dropping it from his sword hil. "Erm, care to fill me in?" he said, "For the record, just appearing like that tends to make people a little twitchy." He waved the apple uselessly as he checked the prisioner. The bandit was swearing, but at least looked none the worse for his sudden drop, so Alex took a moment to inspect just who had surprised them. At least it looked like they were a friend of Avera's, if the hugging was anything to go by.

Average height, slim build, penchant for dark clothing; that pointed to a theif or a rogue, which would explain how she was able to ambush them. Wait, was that a tail? Alex whispered a prayer under his breath, too quiet for anyone to hear, expect the one for whom it was intended. "Shining One, I pray thee, grant me thy illumination that I might see the evil in this world." It was a simple prayer, capable of causing Lathander's power to light up those who were particularly evil, good, law-abiding or free-spirited depending on the inflection. The trussed up outlaw at his feet instantly started glowing a sickly blood-red, visible only to Alex's eyes, but Avera, Fox and the woman with the tail simply showed a dull grey haze. The haze was present to indicate that they were inteligent enough to be concerned with morality, (and that was only a little surprising, coming from Fox. Animals usually didn't bother with morality, so weren't effected by the spell at all), but they weren't evil.

He offered his hand to the kneeling woman. "You're a friend of Avera's I take it? That makes two of us. I'm Alex. You?"
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:07 pm



"Erm, care to fill me in? For the record, just appearing like that tends to make people a little twitchy."

The robed one looked up and watched as Alex stood watching them then offered his hand to her, "You're a friend of Avera's I take it? That makes two of us. I'm Alex. You?"

"Oh, appearing like that's just to keep my skills up, Alex." With a shake of the head the robe slid off the figure's head to show short brownish hair, little horns and bright red eyes. It was all a sure indication of a tiefling whether Alex had or even had not seen one, "I'm Neeshka. Nees to my friends if you please." She took his hand, getting a tingle from the holy energy, "And yes, Avera and I are good friends. You'd never know from that little frame just what you're getting but what I got is one of the biggest friends about." She giggled pleasantly then continued as she stood, "Can I count on the same from you?" She winked at him, "How do you find these well mannered holy gents, Vera?" Neeshka looked Alex over and smiled at him then gave Avera a wink.

Suddenly she noticed Fox and squealed excitedly, "Oh a FOX!! Oh Vera you found a new companion!" She put out a hand towards Fox and made clicking noises, "What's her name?"



Avera rubbed her forehead as Neeshka looked Alex over like a piece of meat. Alex probably wouldn't have noticed but she certainly knew her friend's perchance towards good looking men and the wink she gave clinched that Nees was considering his stature. She almost laughed, "The holy gents seem to pop out of the woodwork but Alex only equals two."

As Neeshka called out to Fox and mentioned a new companion she looked away to the woods sadly, keeping her eyes trained away from the others for the moment, "I don't even know if Keza ..." She sighed and shook her head as her voice held a sad tone but she got it under control, "Her name is Fox and that's a story in itself. I'll tell you later but we should discuss all of this over supper, yes?"

Avera looked up at the darkening sky, "You're right about traveling with a bandit at night, Alex. I see a stream and small clearing over there. You two might as well make camp and I'll get us food for supper then we can talk more about stuff." With that she melded into the foliage, humming a melancholy tune, and as far as Neeshka and Alex could tell, she vanished.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:13 am



The fox had finished her supper in the brush. Small rodents weren't long to eat. She merely followed at a safe distance until the tiefling tried to coo her close.

She glared, making a little growl. She didn't know this person. She'd sooner bite off a finger than trust immediately.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking Down a Sunlit Path   Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:49 am

Alex stared after Avera, giving up quickly when it became aparent he wasn't going to see anything but foliage. "Is diasapearing into the woodlands a 'thing' with you people, or something?" he jokingly asked Neeshka, "Oh and I wouldn't put my hand too near Fox if I were you; I don't think she's the friendliest of critters." His eyes had hovered on her horns for a moment when she had revealed them, confirming his tail-founded suspicions of a daemonic heritage, but somehow he found he didn't mind. If anything, he found them rather endeering, lending the young tiefling an exotic look, although, he though, shaking his head slightly to clear it, that could just as well come from being brought up partly on a rather seculded farm and partly in a rather human-dominated church. He made his way to the campsite, pushing the bandit in front of him. "Stay put," he growled, fetching a couple of sturdy branches from the treeline and quickly sharpening them into stakes with his short sword. He then cut a notch in each and stamped them down hard into the clay soil, looping a rope from his pack between the two. When he was done, their prisioner was tied between the two, the rope at just the right length that, while he had a little room to move, he could reach neither to work himself free. Alex then set himself to work gathering wood for a a cooking fire and to keep any curious beasts away in the night. He scraped a small pile of shavings off a strip of birch bark and used them as tinder, taking a small tin pot to the stream for water once the fire was going. "Neeshka, could you double-check my knots and maybe see to some shelter, while I get some water for dinner? Don't want our friend getting loose and knifing us all whiel we sleep."
"Sure."

Alex filled the pot at the stream, lamenting not bringing a fishing line whith him on his journey when he saw a few, fat boork trout swimming there. By the time he'd got back, Neeshka had thrown together a trio of bivouacs from various branches and had rid herself of her cloak, instead sitting by the fire. Alex couldn't quite find a topic of conversation, so he busied himself with preparing for when Avera for back with dinner, forking some water in a leather mug and a hunk of bread from his pack over to their prisioner, who glowered at him, but accepted the food nonetheless. Once that was done however, he suddenly found he had nothing to say or do, besides look at the fire. The silence stretched out, growing to awkward lengths, Alex studiously avoiding looking at his new companion, lest she think he was staring, whereas she, having no such inhibitions regarded him with a quirked eyebrow, wandering why he seemed so awkward.
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