failed manipulation


Ruined Storeroom
Middle Archenland


The noise of the river tumbling over the rocks is nearly deafening here, cutting off most other sounds. The way ahead is partially blocked by a pile of fallen stones from an earlier collapse. This stair to the cavity below is slick with moss and the ever-present spew of water. The floor oozes with a thick coating of mud, making it necessary for the original occupant to hollow out a series of long, earthen shelves several feet above the floor. These still contain the remains of what must have been an impressive storeroom, now completely ruined by dankness and mold. A few tarnished disks of metal have been left behind, and shreds of what once might have been a fine bolt of cloth. Brackets where torches might once have stood are still affixed in place, but they are black with rust.

The path comes to an abrupt dead end, with no other visible means of escape than the same, slippery fall of rocks used to arrive here.


Lanisen forages along the cave wall, digging behind a shelf with a piece of rock. His hands are filthy, and several smaller holes along the bank and in increasingly random places along the muddy floor indicate where he has been hunting for clay. He doesn’t seem to have had much, if any, luck.

Jana peeks into the room, looking a bit cross and also like she’s been up most of the night. “Have you found anything yet? Or are you just hiding again?”
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nobody’s good graces


Across the River
Middle Archenland


The spray rising up from the waters of the tributary obscures the far bank until one is actually standing upon its uneven ground. Great slabs of stone are scattered pell-mell along the rise leading to a vast, natural chamber enclosed by walls of rock. Jagged stalactites dangle in eerie formations from the far distant ceiling, and what scant illumination there is reflects up off the waters and casts shadows on the walls.

To cross back over the river here looks to be dangerous, to put it mildly. The skeletal wrecks of several small, wooden boats tossed on the shore serve as a grim warning. Up ahead, the path divides, both forks leading further downward.


Jana sits repairing a skirt, one leg stuck out straight forward and the other curled under her.

Lanisen stands in the entrance to the storeroom, hanging back. He watches Jana sew for a moment, apprehensive and guilty. He hesitates, then steps out into the main chamber, trying to look nonchalant and unconcerned.
Continue reading nobody’s good graces

disposable


Across the River
Middle  Archenland


The spray rising up from the waters of the tributary obscures the far bank until one is actually standing upon its uneven ground. Great slabs of stone are scattered pell-mell along the rise leading to a vast, natural chamber enclosed by walls of rock. Jagged stalactites dangle in eerie formations from the far distant ceiling, and what scant illumination there is reflects up off the waters and casts shadows on the walls.

To cross back over the river here looks to be dangerous, to put it mildly. The skeletal wrecks of several small, wooden boats tossed on the shore serve as a grim warning. Up ahead, the path divides, both forks leading further downward.


Jana is sitting moodily beside Lanisen, notably not just next to him… this is probably due to the fact that he smells of vomit. She looks thoroughly displeased with the situation, rather like a cat that has just been dumped in a tub full of water.

Lanisen is curled on his side. He does indeed smell of vomit and other fouler things. His face is shiny with sweat and flushed. He appears to be asleep for the moment, a wet rag draped over his forehead.
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39 winks


Loft
Lancelyn Green
Middle Archenland


You find yourself in a well built, fairly large loft. The wood planks comprising the floor are almost completely covered in hay.  There are several piles of hay as well as a few bales to provide makeshift seating. Extra tools and equipment have also managed to find their way here. As you move a soft crunch, as well as the occasional squeak of wood greets your ears. There is a small window open to the road to the south.

As the loft extends back there are openings for the hay to be thrown down. A small gray kitten perches atop one of the bales grooming herself. With the smell of fresh hay and a rather cozy arrangement it is one of the more pleasant areas of the stable to be.


Lanisen is curled up against the wall next to the window as usual, ostensibly watching the road below. He seems to have lost track of this occupation, however, as he is quietly snoring.

Jana has been sewing something, an occupation that she appears to have been at for some time. It is not long after Lanisen has started snoring that she clicks for the kitten and squeezes it into mrowling once she has it in her hands.
Continue reading 39 winks

cleaning up


Loft
Lancelyn Green
Middle Archenland


You find yourself in a well built, fairly large loft. The wood planks comprising the floor are almost completely covered in hay. There are several piles of hay as well as a few bales to provide makeshift seating. Extra tools and equipment have also managed to find their way here. As you move a soft crunch, as well as the occasional squeak of wood greets your ears. There is a small window open to the road to the south.

As the loft extends back there are openings for the hay to be thrown down. A small gray kitten perches atop one of the bales grooming herself. With the smell of fresh hay and a rather cozy arrangement it is one of the more pleasant areas of the stable to be.


Lanisen is sitting next to the window, just to one side, keeping an eye on the road while trying to scrub his knife clean of the grime and blood from last night. He is quiet and withdrawn.

Loc sits on a haybale working on an arrow.

Jana is patching up the tunic they stole off the artist. She finishes after a few stitches and looks it over thoughtfully.

Zan yawns as he flips his newfound dagger up in the air and catches it over and over and over again. “Hey, pretty boy. Did I tell ya bout the sword? Darn pretty sword that was, too.”

Continue reading cleaning up

more blood


Cave Entrance
Western Archenland


You stand on a narrow ledge overlooking the pool below. A cool breeze blows off the spray of the waterfall, though it also makes the ledge quite slippery and dangerous. A narrow trail, littered with dirt and pebbles, goes behind the waterfall. The trail leads to a dark hole and looks to have been well travelled once upon a time.


Jana sits nearish the ledge, repairing clothes. She wears long sleeves despite the heat.

Lanisen climbs up the rope and slings his satchel up before hoisting himself over the edge. “Ugh,” he groans melodramatically, looking at his palms. “Are we moving on soon? ‘Cause I don’t think my hands will survive climbing that rope too many more times.”

Jana pulls a salve-sort-of thing of of her pack and tosses it at him. To him. A little of both, really. “Quit whining. Better hide-out than most.”

Lanisen lunges for the bottle and fumbles it. “Better’n a tree,” he concedes, picking up the bottle and unscrewing the cap. “Bleah! What is this stuff?” He sniffs suspiciously at the goop.

Continue reading more blood

editing


Cave Entrance
Western Archenland


You stand on a narrow ledge overlooking the pool below. A cool breeze blows off the spray of the waterfall, though it also makes the ledge quite slippery and dangerous. A narrow trail, littered with dirt and pebbles, goes behind the waterfall. The trail leads to a dark hole and looks to have been well travelled once upon a time.


Loc sits near the edge of the cave, allowing the water to sprinkle him from the waterfall.

Lanisen heads out to the cave entrance from somewhere farther inside. He nods to Loc and sits down just out of the spray of water. “Evening.”

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inauspicious beginning


The Narrow Gate Hall
Andale
Eastern Archenland


The Hall of the Narrow Gate is brightly lit by a large chandelier, and by
torches on the walls. A bar runs along the length of the south wall. Behind
the bar stands Dranken, the Barman, polishing a glass. The wall behind him
holds several bottles, and racks of glasses. There is also a menu offering
drinks and food. The north wall is dominated by a cheerful stone fireplace.

The rest of the room is filled with tables and stools, in little clusters all
over the scuffed wooden floor. An arch leads to the Anteroom to the south.


Jana sits at the bar, her ankles, just barely visible, crossed. She fingers a lock of hair as she chats a little too amiably with another customer.

Myrd is at a table in the back of the tavern, his face concealed in shadow. He appears to be in the middle of a game with the young man seated across from him, though his gaze takes in the other patrons as he plays.

Lanisen is sitting at a table farther into the tavern, resting his chin on his arms. His companion chatters away a mile a minute, and he gives every appearance of paying close attention, though an observer might note the frequent glances he gives to the metallic glint of a bracelet on her right wrist.

Continue reading inauspicious beginning