IC Hero Wars

Raveled

Hail Tzeentch!
Validated User
See above, Glorantha! The square of creation sailing through the vastness of the Middle Air, embraced by Aether and the domain of GATA and her daughters. Our vision falls down through the middle Air and past the disc of the sun (which is a face, and a boat, and a temple, and a dragon, and is now falling behind us). We're falling towards Gerentela now; somewhere below lies the caverns of Nakala and the realms of the dead, but our vision falls down towards the rolling hills south of Kero Fin. One of many rivers wend down the side of the goddess towards the sea and as it passes through two particular hills golden fields of barley spread to either side. Sitting on the top of the hill is Tallwalls, and its pentagonal walls almost seem to be drawing in the rest of the land as small bands of travelers continually march into the shelter of the city.

Once inside it is obvious to see why the city is called what it is. The fortifications tower fifty feet or more tall, mode of some kind of fitted stone and cast a shadow over the buildings inside. Three or four or even five-story structures scramble up the inside of the wall and the broad streets are crowded with knots of people on foot, pulling farm animals, or clustered around carts piled high. There is an air of malaise and grim anticipation in the air and if it wasn't for green-robed Ernaldan priestesses (escorted by pairs and triples of spear-armed carls wearing the city's mark on their chests) handing out loaves of bread the scene might be much uglier. As it is most of the refugees seem content to sit or stand or slump in the dirt and try to survive another day.

Some figures, though, stand out from the crowd. Some are dressed in armor or bearing heavy weapons or show signs of silks and tattoos marking them as something other than a freeman farmer or herder. These individuals have come, some of them from very far away, and they are drawn towards the grand loghouse sharing space on the hill at the very middle of the city.

OOC: Introduce yourselves! And have some questions to answer.

Serzeen, you arrived on a strange mount. What is it and how do the people react?
Kauri, what does your background in giant-fighting make you think about these walls?
Ghareen, whose toes did you step on the last time you were in Tallwalls?
Surrak, on the trip here you had to dispatch some walking corpses. What does that put you in mind of with these crowds of refugees?
Varanis, something you see marked on the outside of the walls puts you in mind of your disastrous initiation. What is it?
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
Serzeen looks like she has ridden hard through the night to get here, her dark hair stiff with now-cold sweat as she sags in the saddle, however, the ice blue eyes beneath are as keen as ever, drinking in every detail of the surroundings that they can absorb. The guards at the gate draw back and half-lower their spears at the sight of her mount, a gargantuan wolf spider, blessed of Aranea. A wry smile passes over her face as she stares them down.

"You can try to bar my passage, but I'd have no problem going over the walls. I certainly covered rougher terrain on my way here. I've been summoned by your elders, anyways, so you'd best let me pass. This thing prefers the taste of trollkin or Yelmalions, anyways. Stay out of the way and you won't be harmed."
 

stinkyfool

Registered User
Validated User
Surrak walks through the press, the various blades hanging from his person getting him a light relief from the press. His gaze sweeps methodically around him as he walks. Dark thoughts rattle in his head, feeling the desperation of the crowd. Who hear would dare to direct or aid in the creations of the abominations he dispatched earlier? Even more troubling, would anyone be desperate enough to submit to the transformation? Surrak sighs and momentarily shuts his eyes. The tension lays like a fog about him, and he knows that with things this tense there will always be those who would commit or be party to atrocities to feed themselves and those they hold dear.

As he approaches the gate, he witnesses Serzeen addressing the guards. A smile crosses his face upon observing the confrontation and he calls out in a clear, ringing tone, "Hello there, I am Surrak. I have been summoned as well. Shall we proceed forward together?"
 

Mattherbee

Registered User
Validated User
Varanis Oakenbeard, so named for the half-veil of wooden beads that covers the lower half of her face, rocks unsteadily in the saddle as her elderly, borrowed mule trundles up the path to Tallwalls. "Easy, Orlo," she says, reaching out to affectionately soothe the beast. "Don't you take a tumble, now. If I don't get you back to mother in one piece, I'll never hear the end of it."

Varanis relaxes back into the saddle to take in Tallwalls'... well, walls. Built by labor or by magic? she wondered. How many centuries old? She wished she'd had more time to read up about the town before she set out. But then, as she approaches the entrance gate, she suddenly pulls Orlo up short. Not at the sight of the sword-laden Humakti, nor the woman mounted upon a great spider, but at the details of the walls themselves. Etched across the stones above the gate, worn by time but unmistakable to her, is writing in the Auld Wyrmish tongue: OUROBOROS. The word is surrounded by a serpentine dragon, devouring its tail at the very top.

Ouroboros -- the word for "voice," or the hiss of a serpent -- the name of the Cosmic Dragon, the first being, in the dragonewt view of the world -- the name at the center of the great draconic poem-prayer-mantra. Reading the letters stirs memories that she was not prepared for, and brings up a wave of emotion, peculiar dueling feelings of terror and adoration, that completely overwhelm her.

And so, at the gate, Varanis suddenly slumps off her mule and falls in a heap.
 

oakfed

Registered User
Validated User
Something was in the air. Likely something to do with this summons. Ghareen stopped to chat and listen to the crowd and try to determine what was behind their unsettled mood.

His ears twitched and he stepped out of the way of a passing giant spider and rider. He screwed up his lips at the sight. Things with too many legs made him want to swat them, or step on them - it wasn't right when they were of the size to be the one doing the stepping-on.

A distraction like that just might make things easier, though. It was just possible that Ortossi might still be looking to bob his tail. He had no right to be angry - Ghareen had told no-one. But a man on the council ought to leave fewer clues if he meant to keep secrets. Or at least leave the right sorts of clues, the ones people understood, so they knew to look the other way. Secret payments and clandestine meetings looked too much like some kind of plot, from the outside. How could he ignore them?

And really, if one went to all that trouble to keep an exotic mistress from a foreign land, it was especially wrong to let her feel neglected...

While he waited for the right moment to slip in, the eyes of a woman nearby rolled back in her head and she fell off her mule like a sack. Ghareen rushed over to Varanis to offer what help he could.

She was still breathing, anyhow. He fanned some air over her and kept nearby animals from stepping on her. The mule, at least, wasn't a problem. He wondered it could still move.

What was she - some kind of scribe? "Lady, are you all right?" he asked. "Collect yourself a bit. You might have hit your head."
 
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Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
Surrak walks through the press, the various blades hanging from his person getting him a light relief from the press. His gaze sweeps methodically around him as he walks. Dark thoughts rattle in his head, feeling the desperation of the crowd. Who hear would dare to direct or aid in the creations of the abominations he dispatched earlier? Even more troubling, would anyone be desperate enough to submit to the transformation? Surrak sighs and momentarily shuts his eyes. The tension lays like a fog about him, and he knows that with things this tense there will always be those who would commit or be party to atrocities to feed themselves and those they hold dear.

As he approaches the gate, he witnesses Serzeen addressing the guards. A smile crosses his face upon observing the confrontation and he calls out in a clear, ringing tone, "Hello there, I am Surrak. I have been summoned as well. Shall we proceed forward together?"
"You may be as ill-suited to the temperament of this place as me, for the people of this land mistrust both Death and Darkness. I am Serzeen of the Kitori. If we have indeed been called for the same reason, I see no value in not joining together now."

Serzeen pauses for a moment before continuing.

"I don't doubt your reflexes, but I'd encourage keeping your distance from the spider. It has been known to pounce."
 

stinkyfool

Registered User
Validated User
Surrak grins and replies, "Thanks for the warning." His head swings over and watches the fainting woman being assisted, trying to discern if she needed more aid, or if it was best to press on.
 

Mattherbee

Registered User
Validated User
For a few moments, Varanis does nothing but stare unblinking up at the sky; then abruptly she blinks, waking from her daze, and focuses on Ghareen. It takes a moment for her brain to catch up to his words, but eventually she gives a faint smile. "I'm a bit disoriented, to be sure, but I believe I'm relatively intact. I've taken far harder knocks than this, I will say, and no skull fractures yet."

She climbs to her feet, straightens out her askew beard, and bows her head in greeting to Ghareen. "Thank you very much for your concern and aid, my dear fellow. I am Varanis, called Oakenbeard, of the Great Library of Nochet. Tell me, by chance, are you a local or resident of this... fascinating town?" She glances over at the Wyrmish word emblazoned on the wall, but feels none of the overwhelming emotion from just moments ago -- only great curiosity now. "I've an appointment with the city leaders, and with the streets so crowded, any guidance in their direction would be much appreciated."
 

oakfed

Registered User
Validated User
"Thank you very much for your concern and aid, my dear fellow. I am Varanis, called Oakenbeard, of the Great Library of Nochet. Tell me, by chance, are you a local or resident of this... fascinating town?" She glances over at the Wyrmish word emblazoned on the wall, but feels none of the overwhelming emotion from just moments ago -- only great curiosity now. "I've an appointment with the city leaders, and with the streets so crowded, any guidance in their direction would be much appreciated."
"Not a resident, no. My people are north a ways, near Clearwine. But I have visited Tallwalls before, and I know it well enough. You'll want the big building, just over there." He walked with her once she seemed steady. "I am Ghareen Leikisson. A hunter," though that much was obvious from sight.

"It seems we have the same appointment." And - not the spider-rider too? "Huh. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few others." One never knew what would blow in with the wind.

"I'd like to hear about Nochet. I've never seen it. If it has as many people as they say, how can so many live in one place?"
 

Dromio

Registered User
Validated User
Kauri saunters in from the direction of the Grand Loghouse with eyes mostly focused on the spider mount, though he spares a bit of attention for the mule. Save for his fighting leathers, he might easily be mistaken for a hostler or stable worker. He stops near Surrak and Serzeen and performs a Prax greeting to Surrak. Then, perhaps surprisingly, he greets Serzeen with a gesture specifically appropriate for a Hell Mother. He then greets Ghareen and Varanis as appropriately as possible as well.

He takes a few steps backward and tries to address everyone: "Welcome to Tallwalls! At the request of the leaders of the city I have been waiting and watching for your arrivals. Please allow me to show you all to the the Grand Loghouse. I would be happy to lead either or both of your mounts for you, and make sure they are taken care of appropriately, though I admit I may need a bit of instruction for yours Mother". This is truth; Kauri is completely unconcerned regarding the spider (or the mule for that matter). He is obviously curious about the arachnid's tack.

Kauri smiles nervously but is subtly uncomfortable in these surroundings.
 
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