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Chapter 1 - A Gathering of Many, A Choosing of Few

 
Chapter 1 - A Gathering of Many, A Choosing of Few

Hlaungadath



Each dark shape arrives in their own particular manner, crossing over the soft dunes on their way to Hlaungadath. Some can clearly be seen on horseback, and a few arrive on their own feet. One floats in as a bird, her feet as clean as they day she was born. Another travels on the back of a strange beast, not quite a horse yet still capable of holding a rider. Regardless of how they arrive, they all see the same thing as they get nearer to the fort.



Stone and mortar rise high above your heads, reaching up towards the clouds. It isn't the most beautiful building you've ever seen, but it looks to have stood for hundreds of years, and seen countless battles waged for it. There are gaps in its face, yet they seem to add character to it, rather than weaken the structure. Sand and dust billows in front of the behemoth tower, obscuring it slightly and making it seem all the more formidable.
A sturdy stone wall lies in your path, and the tops of several other structures can be seen peeking up behind it. To your left, you can see the outline of small buildings in the distance, though whether they are real, or simply a mirage, you cannot tell. Other than that, there is little to be seen. This place seems designed more for function than for form, though in this harsh desert climate, that stood true for most everything.

As you near the wall, you can see two armored figures standing by it, though no gate is in sight. In one hand they wield tall spears, end sharp and gleaming, and in the other they each hold a small necklace, its appearance foreign to you. As the various travellers head towards them, nearly a dozen in all, they raise their spears and extend them outwards, speaking only a single word in unison.

"Halt."

The guards look you over, then slowly lower their spears.
"State your name, and your purpose. Speak only the truth," the first guard says, his voice deep and hoarse. He is clearly older than the second guard, whose face is as hairless as the legs of the finest harlot.

The first guard turns to the figure on the far left, who begins to speak.
"My name is Elonsa, I am here to join the Order. I saw your summons and was intri-"
"Enough!" the second guard shouts, rudely interrupting her speech, before turning to the figure on her right, a silver-haired being of enormous height carrying a long, thin blade.

"The name is Tamrik Lorin, sir. I am but a traveler, an adventurer of sorts. I have no love of these gods that bestow gifts to those who do not deserve it. I believe in only one thing. The strength of myself, and the strength within ever person. Good and evil are perspectives, not the rule. I heard there are others of my beliefs here, and wish to come to understand them, and know their reasons why." Tamrik says with confidence. He spoke truth, of course. He smiled as he looked down upon the guards who stood in front of him. He was tall and well built. He had a long thinblade on his hip, and wore basic studded leather armor. Clear steel blue eyes, and silver hair that betrayed him as either old or not human. His appearances were mostly human, but he had an interesting aura about him. Something many of his travelers may feel ill about. Looking to his left he sees a human knight of some kind, Tamrik nods to him to tell his story to the guards.

"Hmmm... Good thing that I brought an extra Waterskin... It's toooo hot, here..."

Lorem had travelled a lot to arrive in that hole in the desert. And he still couldn't quite understand what tempted him so much to travel all the way from Sundabar trough the desert and then... There. Yes, the proposal was appealing, but normal men wouldn't travel that far... Well, he was no normal man. That was for sure. He had no normal past, no normal goals... He was awoken from his thoughts by the harsh voice of two guards.

"Very gentle, I can see..." When he was his turn, he began to talk.

"The name's Lorem. The surname it's not important. I'm here because I saw the announcement, and the thing interests me. I think... We have similar line of thoughts. Next..."

please don't pressure me I will get nervous and ... :P well here I go
ooc

Two figures drag themselves through the burning heat. "I told you! You should have gotten that mule instead of that overpriced armor!" Gerwin clearly seems unhappy about this whole thing and the sun wasn't helping her good mood to show up soon. "You had to follow this one had you not? Couldn't we just have slain a dragon of sorts? NO! you had to drag us into the open desert arr!" Joachim, the blond man ignores her and points forwards to a colossal tower. "See! I told you we would be there in no time!" he smiles and moves direction to a small group that has formed in front of two dread looking guards, at least in his opinion.

Just in time to hear a man on his side to introduce himself. Surprised Joachim looks around as he noticed several people expecting something for him. Gerwin gives him a push into his back and whispers so that only he can hear it "Yer name". The man smiles with a big smile and as he is about to speak his word is cut of by another stranger. He coughs once shortly to get the attention of everyone gathered and begins.
"My name Is Joaquim Laross, we travelled all the way from Neverwinter to defend the good that is within people, we seek no fight with anyone. We are only here to assure that everything is happening in a good light and that there are no dark forces behind this so called cult as I hear speaking!" Not really sure about the reaction of the others Joachim looks around giving a beautiful snow white smile to view. Another push in his back almost a punch. "Oh! and of course this is my beautiful beloved wife Gerwin"

The figure walked over the blazing sands of the desert with an armored dog at his side. By looking at him, he appeared to only carry a sling, but walked as if he were invincible. His expression was cold, yet his eyes spoke of an unsatisfied rage. There was a terrible unchecked fury in this one, and it was waiting to be fully unleashed. His blaze red hair was a stark contrast to all of the black equipment he carried. Upon closer inspection, even the color in his eyes was black.

He wore studded leather armor that was as black as a starless night. Every inch of it was perfectly maintained, yet it had no shine to it whatsoever. The dog that padded along at his side wore similar studded black armor and carried the man's pack on its back.

His eyes were fixed on the horizon. For several miles, he had now been able to see his destination. He had heard of an order that wanted to stand against the gods...to perhaps even fight against them. Though he had once been a devout worshipper of various gods, the brutal execution of his family proved to him that the gods were bullies who took joy in torturing those in the world. He knew now that if he wanted anything in life, he would have to take it and not count on some god to do it for him.

So he began to summarily eliminate those that had robbed him of his innocence. In just a short period of time, he had become quite proficient at killing his targets. In fact, he even enjoyed it. From stalking his prey to figuring out how to get close to them; it was all a game. A dance. A match of wits.

The Order was of particular interest to him. He hoped they would have a place for him, as his revenge would not stop with man alone. The gods must also pay.

There were several that had approached the fortress before him, so he waited to approach until they were finished speaking to the guards. His dog sat in the sand by his feet and whimpered slightly. A waterskin was removed from the back of the dog and both took a drink to quench their thirst. He scratched the dog behind its ears where the leather barding prevented the animal from scratching. Garak had found the dog after the death of his family and they almost immediately bonded. He had no experience in training animals, so he did his best to provide for the animal and protect it. In return, the dog followed him where he went. They could not communicate with one another, yet they seemed to be happy with keeping each other company.

The ones that had arrived just before him seemed to be waiting for the rest of those that had just arrived at the gates, so Garak approached as well.

Over lowered spears, the older looking guard stated, "State your name, and your purpose. Speak only the truth."

The answer was easy. "I am Garak. I seek out the Order. I believe we share similar ideals." He looked down at his furry companion. "This is Kohl. He's with me."

His words were as expressionless as his face. They were spoken in a deep, calm voice with an even tone. The spears were all but ignored, yet he showed no sign of disrespect. The guards were just doing their job...and he was here to do his.

He waited then for the rest of those present to state their answers...

ooc: edited to reflect the fact that all the PCs arrived as a group at once.

As they guards gaze falls onto Raen, he pushes his smile inwards. Insulting these men at this time would earn him no favours, but the heavy armour they wore and the long weapons they carried signified to Rean that they were sluggers. Toe to toe fighters, who could only fight in one direction ... forwards. He rested his arms on opposite blade hilts, two light weapons of exceptional quality that hung by his side, and tried not to let his confidence in his skill show through too much.

"My name is Rean Meyerlorne, formerly of the Isle of Evermeet." Raen dips his head in a short bow, albeit as a courtesy rather than sign of respect. "I am here to join the order also. I have grown weary of the gods turning my life against me, and seek to become my own master." Casually he lifts a hand and runs it through his mop of brown cropped hair, his hazel eyes regarding all those who have spoken. Judging from their stances, he was the only martial adept here, that should prove interesting. He had fought with non adepts before, recently even, and knew that the balancing of their skills with his would take time. But, if it could be done, the team's versatility in combat would be unmatched.

Flicking his eyes to his right, he nod curtly to the person there, indicating he was done.

The next man in the row started moving, a tall man, probably 6'2" with an athletic build, a skin tanned by the scorching sun and a handsome face with a trimmed beard. He seemed to be the only one who wasn't uncomfortable with the climate, he was wearing a leather armor with bizarre
fins, see sandstorm for details
modifications to disipate the heat, the rest his clothes where fairly different from the others too, they where billowy and loose, and they included a caftan, a turban, a scarf and high cloth boots. Clearly this was a man of the desert.
There was one other thing in his gear that was uncommon, there was a sword on his back, the haft was at least two feet long, and the blade was at least one feet wide and it was so long that it reached below the back of his knees, the old sheat was covered with rich patterns, and it must have been very beautiful when it was new.
The man aproached the guards, and took out a medallion from under his armor, and said: "Kashue the Bedine, returning from a mission".

The smaller guard turned to Garak as he spoke, a half-smile marking his face.
"Indeed we do, dark one. Indeed we do..."
They then turned their attention to Raen, whose not-so-sly reaching for his weapons made the guards stand just a little bit taller. The older guard looked at his companion, and for a brief moment you could swear they were thinking as one, before they turned back to the group.
Kashue was next to speak, and the larger guard nodded curtly to him.
"Welcome back, Sandrider," he spoke, before turning to those who had not yet introduced themselves.

Who's left? Sonata and the NPC's, correct?
OOC

Joachim looks around wondering why he is not getting more atention, he is used to have a few people looking at him, specially woman. Normaly its rare he is not confronted with a conversation when in more crowded places. He thinks of engaging one of the others here gathered in speech but then discards that idea instead stands there doing nothing.

A bickering couple drag their sorry asses to the gates, and the guards immediately turn their attention to him. The smaller guard chuckles softly at Gerwin's words, but the larger guard stays silent. Perhaps he knows Joachim's pain...
Regardless, a mere sampling of words is not enough to lighten his sullen mood, and at hearing Joachim's next-to-last sentence, a frown darkens his countenance.
"How dare you call The Order a cult! In any other circumstance I would gut you where you stand...consider yourself lucky The Order is in need of recruits! But mark my words, if you continue to insult The Order, you and your nagging wench shall soon be sharing a shallow hole in the ground!"




 

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