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 A Roadside Travel

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Zeriken

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Posts : 6
Join date : 2017-04-11
Age : 28
Location : Math City

Character sheet
Stamina: 4
Mana: 6
Race: Human

PostSubject: A Roadside Travel   Sun May 14, 2017 5:50 pm

Sunlight beat down upon a well-worn dirt road. The heat was abated by a mid-summer breeze. This refreshing feeling was welcomed by a caravan of merchants, who seemed to be on quite the long trip. There were a few guards traveling with them, though it did not seem they were anticipating anything disastrous occurring. It was likely only the number needed in order to fend off any wildlife that decided to attack the group of merchants. Dust clung to the travelers, and though they did not look exhausted it was apparent they had been on the road for some time.

One such member of the guards was a young man with red hair. His clothing was of darker hues, and a sheen of sweat covered his forehead. A content smile was plastered upon his dust-covered face, as if he enjoyed the traveling despite the hot rays of the sun. Strapped to his back was a bow and quiver of arrows, while a simple sword adorned his side. Though relaxed, this man was still mentally alert; both attentive and sincere in the execution of the escort mission given to him. The caravan was traveling from west to east, with plans to stop in a small town near a forest. The man was not a part of a regular guard troop; instead, he was a simple hired hand. His story started much earlier...




On a dirt path towards a town, the sudden appearance of what looked to be a hunter caused dust to billow upward. Those who could sense such things would know that a powerful magic was used to travel a long distance. Coughing, the man patted down his clothes and removed the dust. This man did not seem to have the signs of being the one to have cast the spell that transported him there. He paused and gathered his bearings before moving forward, approaching the town. Grandfather... I will temper myself and return. I will not forget the favor passed down upon me. As his thoughts propelled him, the man walked towards the town. He had not spent much time in society, yet even so he still knew some basic information.

The man stopped when he saw one of the townsfolk, approaching with a smile and waving his hand while calling out. "Hello! My name is Zeriken. Could I trouble you for directions to your town's Inn? And if there is one, perhaps a bar?" He was advised these would be the two types of locations visited by travelers the most, and these two places would be the most likely place to find opportunities. The villager received Zeriken well, giving a brief series of directions to the young man before going off on his own business.

Zeriken walked through the town. The buildings looked similar in style to the ones in the village his parents lived in, so although this place was big he did not stare at the architecture. Doing his best to recall the directions given to him by the man from before, Zeriken paused. Hmm... Did he say right... Or left? Furrowing his brows, he turned left.

Zeriken continued to walk, but as he did so a sense of impatience overcame him. He knew he would eventually need to turn right again at a turn ahead, however the sight of an alleyway caught his eye. Ah! This is probably a shortcut! That street over there must be the one I will turn left onto after taking another road... It must be known that although the architecture was familiar to Zeriken due to his parent's village, he never left his parents side while there.

As Zeriken walked down the back alley he heard a muffled grunt which came from around the corner. Concerned, Zeriken turned his head as he got to that intersection only to see a young man being beaten by two burly men. Eyes widening, Zeriken recalled his training; to be an upstanding individual and maintain integrity and strength of character. Pausing for only a moment, Zeriken let out a false cough to make those three aware of his presence. "What's this going on here?"

He was concerned for the younger man, but did not impulsively step in before knowing of the situation. It was an important lesson that was stressed upon greatly during his time of training; never assume, always investigate. When passing judgement you must be certain of the truth of the matter.

The young man seemed desperate, and quickly latched upon Zeriken's question as if it were his lifeline. Help! They're trying to rob me! I'll... I'll even reward you!" The young man seemed to be affluent, his promise of reward came shortly after he requested help.

A scowl crossed one of the burly men's faces. "Get lost, quick. This is our turff, and if you try to cause trouble..." Before he could finish his threat he was nudged by his partner, who whispered something to him and pointed towards the weapon on Zeriken's hip. A change of expression quickly took over the man who had nothing but a pair of brass knuckles upon him, yet that was one of concentration.

Zeriken's brows furrowed. Turff? What's that? Zeriken had never heard the word before, and did not understand that it was the equivalent of a beast's territory.

Both the burly men seemed taken aback with this question, the feeling of tension rapidly dropped between the two. "Our boss controls this area. We make the rules here."

He was still confused, but he felt he was beginning to understand. "Oh! I see! So you're the town guards, then?" If this was the case, then even if their actions seemed wrong it still wouldn't be his place to interfere here.

Just as he was preparing to continue on, one of the burly men snorted. "We're above the town guards. In this part of the town, our boss is the ruler." These words stopped Zeriken in his tracks.

It sounds like these men must be doing something wrong. I should step in. Zeriken's hand fell upon the hilt of his sword, quickly drawing it and holding the weapon in a defensive stance. "I suggest you leave the man alone. Your actions are not Just!" He slowly moved forward, allowing the young man to scramble behind him.

Scowling, the two turned to leave. "I'll remember you, kid! Don't think you'll get off this easy!" With one last threat, the two ran off. The danger of facing a weapon at their skill level was too much for them, but they were sure to come back with others later.

The young man made good with his promise earlier, paying Zeriken a decent sum and thanking him multiple times. "Please, it was only the right thing to do! No need to thank me so much... Just be careful in the future, you may not always have somebody at your side to keep you safe! Ah, yes, could you point me in the direction of the nearest Inn?"

The young man paused, surprised. "You'll have to return the way you came. If you go out that way, and take a left, you'll eventually get there." The man pointed back the way Zeriken had come, looking at the man askance.

"..." Zeriken was speechless, yet quickly recovered. Thanking the young man for directions, he returned from where he came.


In this meeting of two people, both departed wondering if the other would be okay.


Zeriken eventually found his way to the Inn, though he had two other adventures along the path, and looked upon a notice board at the Inn. Oh... It looks like there is a competition coming up, and many will participate... Competitions are good ways of increasing one's skill! Let's see... I have to arrive to the city of Dawnstar... Ah! A caravan is going to the woods just west of Dawnstar! Lucky coincidence!


It was in this manner that Zeriken found himself employed, narrowly missing the retribution from the local crime boss, and began to make his way to Dawnstar. There he would have his chance to grow into his full potential and help protect Dragonkind.


Last edited by Zeriken on Fri May 19, 2017 9:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ezra The Mad

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Posts : 4
Join date : 2017-04-19

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Stamina: 5
Mana: 5
Race: Dorei

PostSubject: Re: A Roadside Travel   Thu May 18, 2017 11:55 pm

On a warm, summer night, a ragtag group sat around a small campfire, jesting merrily amongst themselves. On one side of the fire, an older man deftly strummed the strings of his lute, eliciting a pleasant melody that raised the spirits of all who listened. Another man beat his fingers against a small drum, creating a gentle, pulsing rhythm that danced with the melody. Similar to how the flickering flames of the fire danced with the shadows under the silver moonlight.

While the music was gentle, the men listening to it were anything but gentle. The company of men around the fire were thieves and murderers, eager for their next big heist. A heist which would come soon. Located an hour away from camp was a small trading town, frequented by merchant caravans. Those caravans were the bandit’s target. The plan was to send a couple of the men into town to infiltrate a caravan, getting hired as a guard. They would then use a few tricks of the trade to convey their position to the rest of the bandits along the journey so it could be intercepted and robbed.

One of the men that was to go undercover was found a distance away from the camp, preferring the quiet of his own company. With chin-length unkempt black hair and a short stature, he didn’t inspire fear in any who saw him. Yet, his sharp mind and nimble fingers were his true strength. Not being seen as a threat was a blessing and a curse. By acting insignificant, he was able to blend in the background and be forgettable. However, in the company of cut-throat bandits, he was an easy target for drunken aggression. Having been a slave his entire life, the man, Ezra, knew how to make himself scarce, avoiding such situations.

Minding his own business, Ezra dug a few small holes into the earth with his bare hands. Then he placed a few slivers of crystals into the holes and covered them up. This was a ritual he performed every night after camp was struck. Once he was done, he pulled out the only book he managed to steal from Ezekial’s library before it was torched and read it by moonlight. The reading material was dense, filled with complicated theorems and formulas pertaining to enchanting. For a relatively new reader, it was a challenging read and Ezra had been struggling for over a year to understand the first several chapters.

For his part, Ezra had deciphered that crystals could be charged naturally. One such method was the one he currently employed, burying them. Crystals had a metaphysical property of absorbing the energy in their surroundings, albeit very slowly. Normally, for crystal slivers, it took a week to fully charge. Thus, Ezra entombed the crystals he had in his possession, into the earth at night. During the day, if given the opportunity, he would let them soak in the sun. Ezra had spent the past week charging them, but the time he could was limited so they had barely gathered any energy.

An hour passed before Ezra grew tired from reading. He replaced the book within his pack and then laid back, using the pack as a pillow. Soon, he fell asleep, one eye kept open, watching for movement around the campfire.

---

At the first sign of dawn, Ezra stirred from his slumber. He quickly broke fast with the last vestiges of smoked jerky, collected the slivers from their burial spot, and journeyed to the edge of town. He was joined by a tall, lanky woman with dirty blonde hair. Her face was slightly misshapen and her teeth were stained from years of ratweed use, but her body was curvy in all the right places. The woman, Yvetta, would be joining a different caravan. Instead of serving as a guard, she would be gaining voyage with her body. A honey pot should surely be filled with sweeter honey… Ezra thought to himself.

They ventured together quietly, neither making an attempt to strike up a conversation. When they arrived in town, they nodded at each other before splitting up. Ezra wandered through town methodically, analyzing the layout to create a mental map. He paid close attention to the decorations of the various homes for clues to the owner’s social status. A survival skill Ezra had learned as a slave, which had become a useful skill as a bandit.

After finding a couple possible targets, he set that information to the side and made his way to the general store. Upon entering, an elderly man behind the counter smiled at Ezra warmly. ”Mornin’ traveler! ‘Fore you look around, ya should know that supplies are low. Don’cha worry, we should be restocked later on today. Feel free to look around, but if you don’t find what you want we may have it later.”

Ezra returned the warm greeting and began looking around the shop. His eyes twinkled mischievously when he heard the wares would be restocked. He wouldn’t have to wait long to find employment. Ezra saw a box filled with Elf Leaf behind the counter and he gestured to it. ”I’d like two handfuls.”

The shopkeeper nodded, grabbing two heaping mounds of the herbal stimulant and filled a small satchel with it. Ezra exchanged a few silver coins for the Elf Leaf and stored it in a waist pouch. As he turned to leave, the former slave noticed an illustrated advertisement on the wall. It announced a grand tournament in Argellon and below that mentioned that Guilds within Dawnstar were hiring.

Ezra recalled Ezekial mentioning that Argellon society was strange, with nearly every facet of the country revolving around the tournament. Victors were worshiped and given the best training. Then Ezekial had gone off on a tangent about how the Arcane Guilds were trash. Literally repeating “Trash, trash, trash…” to express how garbage the institutions were. Of course Ezra couldn’t have been sure if Ezekial was biased against Nionevras’ competition, but he knew better than to ask.

Ezra left the store deep in thought. His mind was drawn to a campfire story he heard once from one of the other bandits. A legend about the Shadow Hands, an organization so powerful it was feared by governments. They threatened to end oppression, which wasn’t a popular idea to most criminals. However, their cause stirred something in Ezra’s heart. Born into servitude, Ezra understood oppression and was just learning to understand his freedom. While he was free, there were Dorei back in Nionevras sharing his old fate. Probably punished heavily for those lucky enough to escape.

Regret gnawed at Ezra’s heart as it all came rushing back. His learning that the Dorei weren’t completely incapable of magic and the incessant need to share it. Doing so had caused so much suffering for his people. Yes, they needed to know the truth, but starting such a low-scale revolt had only helped a few and hurt the rest.

Ezra took a deep breath and when he exhaled, he let out the regret and focused back on the task at hand. He needed to find a caravan willing to hire him, one which should arrive in a few hours. One that hopefully took him close to Dawnstar. Ezra frowned, Dawnstar? No, one that looked prime for robbing --prosperous enough to have good cargo, but not enough to afford strong help.

Ezra hesitated, life as an outlaw had been a freeing experience and he loved the thrill of stealing. Yet, something inside him wanted to be stronger, to shine brighter than the rest. Strong enough to do what? Join the Shadow Hands? Free the Dorei?

What began as the teasing of an idea had solidified into desire. The tournament could get him one step closer to helping his people. This playing at banditry would continue to be what it was, fun, but surrounded by unpleasant company. Ezra wasn’t sure if he could leave the group freely, no one really left unless they died or got arrested. He would need to be employed by a caravan rich enough to afford some good fighters, then, and hope that it traveled in the right direction.

Later that afternoon, the caravans arrived and Ezra found one that was willing to hire him. The caravan was even heading in the general direction of Dawnstar. Still conflicted, Ezra purchased a large bag of edible seeds from the merchant. Throughout the journey, he would snack on the seeds and spit out the shells as clues for the bandits. The other hired hands looked threatening enough, especially the one with fiery red hair. The bandit forces would be split in half between the two operations, so Ezra was confident that any attack would be repelled. ’Why am I still chewing on these seeds…’
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