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A shadow Across Veen

Veen

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a part of A shadow Across Veen, by Irish Wolf.

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Irish Wolf holds sovereignty over Veen, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Veen

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Veen is a part of A shadow Across Veen.

6 Characters Here

Ark'al [0] A barbaric Gnoll filled with a hateful rage and a knack for violence.
Sir Edrin Bullmic [0] Morons wait for oppurtinities, smart people make them.
Sorsina the Enchantress [0] A darkly seductive enchantress with a killer instinct for self preservation.
Karag [0] Elven Assassin in service of warlord Blackiron
Avaline Meor'na [0] Calculating and manipulative, Avaline Meor'na, daughter of a Lord of Dagonnesti and wife to the late King of Evernesti, has found herself a comfortable place amongst the ranks of Raider Captains... with her 'pet' Gnoll, Ahgor, at her side, of course.
Raygar son of Slaggar [0] Mountain Clansman chief and follower of the warlord Blackiron

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The night was moonless and the stars were hidden behind a veil of clouds, heavy with the promise of rain. An ill wind blew out of the east, climbing up and over the jagged peaks of the Teeth Mountains and howling down into the dales and glens among the foothills. Flocks of dark birds gathered in the trees about the little villages and struggling towns, as the goodly folk, both men and elves looked towards the looming mountains with fear. The exposed bones of the world had long been their only defense against the warlord who ruled in the east but the omens were poor of late.

Hidden among the trees, at the edge of Cillinas, a small village, was a band of black hearted rogues. They were dressed in skins from bear, boar and deer or in coarse wool. They clenched weapons in their hands, a few rust pitted swords, axes of iron or stone, a handful of bows and spears, some tipped and some simple sharpened staffs. They were Moon Blades, one of the poor but barbaric clans from up in the Teeth. Normally they would never come down this far, so there were lords with many knights and armsmen, who would ride out to crush the clansmen but they feared them no longer.

Three months ago, Buroaw Blackiron, the complete ruler of the east, contacted the chief of the Moon Blades, a giant man called Raygar and a deal was struck. If the clansmen would allow some of the warlord’s forces to cross their mountains and carry a great raid across the rich lowlands, he would pay them with fine steel, slaves, exotic foods and declare them the rules of all the Teeth. It was an offer too good to pass up.

Still, Raygar was eager to get started. He had order his men to enlisted a few other clans, by kidnapping their woman and children, then holding them in return for the cooperation of their menfolk. It wasn’t like this was an uncommon practice among the clansmen. It was really the only way the constantly quarreling outlaws to work together. He had set a number of them in the mountain passes, to act as guides and to give him early warning of the approach of Blackiron’s men. Word had reached him a few days ago, that a number of warbands were passing over the mountains and that they should reach the first villages of the lowlanders by the coming morning. Well, he wasn’t going to let them get the loot from the first villages.

“We ready” grunted the fat chief, as he stroked the side of his massive warboar.

“Yeah Boss” hissed a nearby man-shaped shadow.

Yellow teeth gleamed in the darkness, as Raygar smiled and pulled himself into the rope and leather contraption that served as the boar’s saddle. His left hand grasped a tuff of stiff bristles, so that he could remain upright on top of the boar, as the sausage fingers on his right hand wrapped around the haft of his black steel axe. The boar stamped it’s hooves and let out a squeal.

As the village’s night watchmen woke, nearly three hundred Moon Blades raced out of the trees, screaming warcries and brandishing weapons. The village was awake in a moment, as they had been concerned of late, the men stumbling out of their homes clutching wood axes, pitchforks, rakes and the odd bow. A band of the farmers, led by an old gray beard, whom might have served in a militia, tried to gather in the middle of the village, to repel the invaders.

They might have been able to make a decent defense, if it were not for the archers among the Moon Blades, who put a dozen or more men to the ground or for the boar-riding chieftain. Raygar smashed into the ranks of villagers, swinging his new axe with one hand, taking the head off of at least three men and hacking limps. The boat slashed about with it’s tusks, ripping open stomachs and crushing men beneath it’s hooves. About the pair, the clansmen felled other villagers, somewhere slain, others taken captive. After the short fight, scrams of terror echoed into the night, as the raiders stormed into houses, taking pleasure from the women and older girls, slaying the elderly and stealing everything they could. Flames rose in the night, as houses were put to the torch.

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Quietly running through the darkness, using the moonlight as their guiding light, a small group of Gnolls quickly made their way through the Teeth Mountains. Led by the largest of all the hyena-like creatures, Ark'al turned and looked back at the other Gnolls he had been charged with command over. Only a couple were battle-worthy, and even less had actually seen combat. Most were slaves who had been malnourished and set free as long as they pledged their allegiance to Blackiron. Many carried the crude and damaged weapons that Ark'al himself had been given when he first began serving under the Blackiron banner. While Gnolls judged each other according to size, there were still very few races that came close to measuring up to the size of a Gnoll, even a smaller one who had been in slavery their entire life. However, even a dwarf with a little skill with an axe could take down a seven foot tall Gnoll who was armed with nothing more than a rusty short sword.

Ark'al looked away from the group that was considered a war-band and gradually picked up the pace. If he were going to be charged with keeping these poor excuses for Gnolls alive long enough to allow Blackiron to accomplish his campaign, Ark'al would have to use a different battle strategy then he was used to. Running into a village in broad daylight would not be wise, but quietly sneaking in during the cover of nightfall was. This would both allow Ark'al's band to prove worthy without losing half of their numbers to villagers with pitchforks and they would gain the upper hand on the other war-bands since they were probably already camped somewhere in the mountains.

"Ark'al." one of the Gnolls said from the following pack. Ark'al stopped and turned around quite ferociously. Most of the small Gnolls flinched, but the one who spoke, one who had seen war before, didn't move. Instead, he simply pointed towards the night sky, over a small mountain. Behind the mountain there was a soft flickering golden glow. Ark'al growled and gripped the hilt of his battle-axe tightly. Angrily, he barked at the group, turned, and began sprinting with all of his might towards the glow. It seemed as if another war-band had the same idea to get an early start on the raids. Ark'al knew that they were not going to make it to the village before daybreak, but he was going to try.

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The sun rose in the east, over the mountains cloaked in shadow and mist. The light shown down, through the drifting smoke from the burned out ruins of Cillinas and bathed the sad scene. Only a handful of buildings still stood, housing piles of loot and sleeping clansmen. With the brutish men were a number of the village women, those young to be attractive. Outside in the pens, along with the cattle and sheep, where a number of the villagers, mostly children, a handful of men, whom had either been club or begged for mercy.

Bodies littered the ground outside, left out for the scavengers, whom merely waited for the raiders to depart. Most were men, laying where they fell during the night but scattered among them were the elders of the village. A number of the clansmen wandered about or found comfortable spots in trees or the rooftops of the remaining buildings, having drawn the unlucky lot to stand guard over their celebrating companions.

“Why we got ta do this” whined Elkin, a scrawny bowman, to his brother, as they walked the edge of the wood, “No one got away, ta warn the other villages and any comin here wont be warriors. We should have gotten some ah da beer and ah few women for da night.”

“Shuddup” growled Lug, the older and larger of the brothers, carrying a wood axe he had claimed from the village and a large stone hammer, “We’re not watchin for more villagers, we’re watchin for them fellows come ta join us.”

“And why we doin that” asked the younger brother.

“So they don’t take our loot and women.”

“Only you got loot and neither ah us got women.”

“Shaddup, da boss makes sure all ah us gets loot and women. Just wait until he wakes up and has a few drinks.”

So the banter went back and forth, as the bothers walked around the former village. It was always like this. Elkin always complained, now matter how much loot he got from a raid or when they did robbery. Lug would finally get tired of it and slap him around a little. It had been like this since they were young. Of course they were watching the woods around the village.

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A clap of metal against rock scattered throughout the air in the mountains as a orchestra of armored toes and heels smacked against the rugged and bumpy earth that paraded the mountain sides, claps and clanks of legs moving and steel tapping against one another both amplified by the echoing effect one gets when in such a daunting environment. The wind brushed against the ears of each the men that where marching down the mountain side, each letting out a heavy blow of air as they swallowed as much oxygen as they could when lifting up a rather thick and fat metal bar that was protruding towards two of the fellows marching, each with their backs hunched forward and their necks arched up in a semi-fashion, not baring enough strength to look up as normal when dragging their bodies and the tip of those poles too. There was a good number of men, in all honesty, one could guess forty in total and most where walking up straight but in a tired fashion, those that where arch was simply four and each of them where behind and ahead of a large, horseless carriage embedded on top of two large long, previously mentioned metal bars, having the workers the rider employed carry his compartment rather than simply attaching horses and giving the box wheels. The men where all moderately well armored, each having a pair of small, circle shoulder plates that reached to their biceps while being given a chest amour, the stomachs open however and as where their legs apart fro their crotches, feet and knees, all the infantry wore a set of steel covered gloves while being given a helmet that reach only to their noses. The helmet, gloves and general amour each had a form of circles on them, each of the kneepads at least having a coin engrave into the middle, although only one kneepad had this, the other was spiked for attacks. The numerous armors where smooth but wielded many bumps and marks from the demonic design they had on their chests, the etched image being of a demonic being with coins for eyes, wrapping his teeth around a small set of jewels, them marking was un-coloured and simply left as a symbol on the chest pieces of the troops while their heads where gifted with a number of swirling lines and foreign tongue ,each being different as if customized by the wearer personally. Below the armour, they all wore a simple, plain white Jump suit although some wore cloaks too to match due to the possiblity of cold and rain.

The various marking where a good symbol, even the demon was a being of great joy in Edrin's homeland, but he was pretty far from home now. As each of these troopers clambered onwards before a loud and dusty tone bellowed from the window of the wooden box, sounding strongly deep due to the accent of the Memic and the sheer sense of aggressive nobility he held in his voice "Stop!" each of the men quickly ceased the choir of stomps they emitted, some carrying on for a moment before noticing the others and following suite as they all peered at the wooden box. The mist and air each smashed against the narrow path ways walls and jagged ribs, generating a loud, natural whistle from the elements while causing also the sound of patting from the various troopers cloaks and jump suits flapping by the push of the wind, creating a personal but subtle entrance song for the leader of the Cavcareto, Sir Edrin Bullmic who's hand had just begun to push the oak door forth, generating a bit of a squeak from the un-oiled hitches. The darkness from within shadowed over the robed figure, the only thing visible a wrinkled and vainy old hand that shivered just slightly as it was forced to push a bit of weight, his palm had a smooth but worn out affect to it, his hand looked as if they spent years in strain by the sheer tension his fingers had, perhaps too many hours lifting and counting coins over and over, or writing documents for hours on end but it matter really not such a reason as a man like Bullmic needed not any hands to get things done, Slowly a small shoe appeared, laced in various designs from well-known taylors at the bottom, each having a rune of some sort masterfully stitched while the shoe was no simple, like a soft slipper that covered just past his heel while being a chestnut brown, the same shoe however was soon expelled from as the old man from within the box got onto the ground, covering his entire body with his robe now when not stretching out his legs. So stood Sir Bullmic, as soon as he go out his pale skin seemed to fit well with the colour scheme of the cruel and grey rocky sides in the mountains, his veins burning brightly here when spotten due to the lack of shades to distract one from them, that short but well endowed beard slowly fluttered weakly before being left alone by the wind. Edrin brushy eyebrows lifted, reaching up in a somewhat surprised expression while his lips and cheeks remained long, as if he was to be curious of something but none the less keeping his frigid composure while slowly turning his ribs from side to side to peek at the area. Edrin after taking a swift breath of air to catch the scent of these new lands simply noded with a meager bow to his men carrying the box, each of them putting it down with a loud wooden "clank" before slowly walking into the formation with the rest of his servants. Bullmic let his tongue smack against his bottom lip for a moment before simply saying in a simple and casual old tone "We leave transport here. It would send a bad image...bad image, is never good for business..I walk from here. Give those men water and food..nobody make them carry supplies..they earn break.." Despite the somewhat crabbiness of his voice it did get a tad more soft as he let the men who onced carry him rest, each of them immediately being given a drink as they waited around for a couple of minutes, allowing his troops to catch a breath and bite some bread before starting to shuffle forth down the mountains at a slow pace, they where over the worst and was soon to be at the desired destination, so naturally an aging and un-fit man like Edrin would need only a small hand at best to get to the location as it was mostly down hill from there.

Half an hour past and the sounds of solders feet smashing against the grass would enter peoples ears, or at least the people that still lived as the Merchant and his men started to to come into view of the minions standing guard for the moonblade clans. Sir Edrin was quick and a good number of troops for some reason only stood at the twilight of the entrance to the village grounds, all of them staring at the thugs and killers while four fully armored solders walked with Edrin to the two. These troops all had perfect posture, even after walking so long they seemed un-hindered, two where at least six foot five and the two others where five foot ten and six foot, although they where made even taller by the fat, chunky and weighted full body knights equipment they where wearing. One wielded a spear, another a two handed axe while two had swords at their sides, each of these men made thunderous steps and armies of tats and tings when walking with Edrin, stopping as the leader halted before what would seem to be the guards of the area "Good morning, Gentlemen" He bellowed out in a very refined but happy tone, his normally long face smirking up in a snobby but friendly grin as he twirled his head to gaze at the destruction once wreaked onto the village before turning his orbs back to the two "I need to talk to you're leader, now. Tell him that time is limited" He retained his good tune but he was quick and swift in a slightly less gracious matter, as if he just snapped onto the possibility of having to talk to the two thugs in any way and stopped it before it could happen.

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Lug looked over at Elkin, as they both lowered their weapons. Both felt an uneasy about this. Not only did the boss have a great dislike about being awoken but the man who had ordered them to go get him, well he looked more like a man they would have waylaid in the mountains then fought besides. Wasn’t Blackiron sending warriors to join them? Admittedly, those following the fellow looked plenty warlike and they looked a great deal like the warriors that sometimes chased the clansmen into the Teeth but why would they be led by some money counter?

“You go get him” said the older brother.

“Why I got ta go” whined the younger.

“Cause I said so” growled Lug, giving his smaller brother a shove.

Elkin knew for a fact that he wasn’t able to force his older brother into do anything and they he’d only end up with a few extra bruises if he didn’t go. With a resigned sigh, the bowman ran back into the village of Cillinas and didn’t stop until he reached the house of the former village headman. Slipping inside, he wove his way through a maze of sleeping men, in various stages of undress and beaten women, mostly curled up in a fetal position. It was in the last room of the house, where he found the chief.

Raygar was sprawled out in the middle of a bed designed to hold a whole family. Laying near his massive body were three of the village women, ranging in age from seventeen to twenty-three. They looked less abused then the others the bowman had seen, with only one of them looking like she had been hit and that looked like it had only been done once. Of course he couldn’t seen the mass of bruises on her back or the dark spot of blood under her hair, from when she had hit the wall, after the chieftain had struck her once, as a warning to the others.

“Chief” Elkin half whispered from the doorway, hoping that was all he needed to do. The fat man didn’t even stir from his slumber. The small man tried again and again, taking a step into the bedroom each time. Finally he was standing at the edge of the bed, near a just about empty cast of dark ale. Screwing up his courage, the archer walked around the bed, so that he was on level with the boss’s shoulder. Reaching out, he shook the big man and called out his title.

Before Elkin could take a step back, Raygar’s ham-like hand shot up and wrapped around the bowman’s neck. As bloodshot, piggish brown eyes opened, the clansman was lifted up into the air, as he clawed at the hand, which had cut off his air. Slowly, the big man rose from the bed, listening to the choking of his follower, as the three women fled to the corners of the room. With a careless flick of his wrist, the Moon Blade chieftain flung the wretch across the room and strolled over to the cask, lifting the small barrel to his large mouth to finish off the ale.

“What” the fat man finally growled, as he threw the empty ale barrel out into the hallway.

“Chief” wheezed Elkin, struggling to his feet, “There’s someone here ta see you. He’s got some fighters and said that time was….time was….short or somethin.”

"Did he" said Raygar, picking up his vest and throwing the boar-hide and iron ring garment about his chest, before pointing at the youngest woman in the room, “Get me pants wench! And me belt! And me boots!”

A few minutes later, a fully dressed Moon Blade chieftain emerged from the house, blinking in pain from the light. Before the big man had taken more then half a dozen steps, his boar appeared from a half collapsed barn, hay clinging to it’s bristles and trotted to it’s master’s side. Together, they walked to where Lug stood watching the strangers. All around the village, clansmen stood in knots, weapons out and ready.

“So whos you then?” half-bellowed Raygar, planting his hands on his massive hips.

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Edrin beard seemed to flutter for a single second as a breeze from the mountain tops swirled its way down to the village and dance around his head, perking up his ears as the wind sent a chill through his lopes and brushed the very ends of his hairs before rustling that trickle of hair on his chin, al the time emitting an ambient breathing effect to the are around him before dying away and leaving his his facial hair be. The knights, each wielding red armor gleamed as the sun poked out and from the clouds that the smoke had emitted from the previously done wreck, making the tints on them shine up slightly as metal often does when meeting with light, although the light had a dramatic affect, it revealed a number of almost miniature lines in their protection when shining up, each laid out in a manner that could only be depicted as a dragon, perhaps a demon, the phyzor had two large eyes that frowned etched around them and the mouth piece which protruded out slightly quickly seemed to have shining, hard fangs mark into them, the rest was runes that pattern down their torso and arms along with scale like skin impressions, although these same drawings vanished as the sun was quick to leave when hiding behind the cloud, making these same lines become barely viewable once more. As it is an alertive nature of warriors, each of the knights started to latched their hands onto their weapons, the gripping of knuckles could be heard as they prepared for the worst but still retained the military perfect posture as they inspected the warriors ahead. Sir Bulmic although faced with a good number of possible ways to die, even when with his elite guard, he managed to keep his composure entirely, his shoulders remained at the level that they was which was respectively high but the aging process and long nights sitting down in desk meant he had a very vague hunch too, so his spine was not utterly straight nether. His hands remained open, not clenched or tighten in anticipation of danger or a battle although his tongue did leave his mouth for a moment to swallow some air before letting his glowing, stone crafted eye twirl to the approaching Chieftain. That orb, the stone one although definitely had a sense of magic about it posed no real sense of atmosphere, it's live like movements and swift observation did not aid the creation of the supernatural arts into making it seem life like, it was fake but it was not fake because of any fault of its own, it was just a feeling, it had no soul, it did not carry a single detail in its person unlike that of a normal eye which a simple stare could reveal so much. The other eye, however, that black pearl, the vague reflection in it that popped up every few seconds, told a great deal, it was like an beasts eye, no iris lurked in there but the simple fact that the black was so smooth yet clear could make one feel you was staring into the abyss, and the abyss was staring back at you. Bulmic allowed the master of the clan to stop before making any movements of his own, awaiting the moment his feet stop their tread, although the appearance of a massive boar definitely made Edrin twirl his head to it's direction, the knight all had a much more intrigued reaction each slowly sliding their heels back as if ready to jump back or maybe even push themselves forward for a stronger attack, of course a simple strike with the normal amount of power thrown in could never slay such a marvelous beast so it only made logical sense, it also made logical sense that the sudden subtle rise of breath beneath their helmets was sign of a hint of fear.

Edrin lips did not move at first as they only pursed slightly as the boar got closer and closer before slowly twisting into a big grin, a friendly and perfected smile that lifted up upon his long and daunting aged cheeks that he had and as this smile was plastered onto his face a voice soon rattled out of his throat to accommodate the pleasant grin, sounding heavy in accent due to his origins but soft in a sense and slightly caring although not overly" Good day, Chieftain. I am Sir Edrin Bulmic.You're employer sent me to take care of business and help direct things here. " a moment pasted of silence before Edrin very patiently twisted his neck, revealing a good number of his seasoned veins as he inspected all the troops the Chieftain had under his command before turning that black ball of shades back to the boar tamer "I can tell that by simply looking at you, Chieftain that you are a man who desires things to be straight forward and no pestered by petty ideals, so I will spare you the patronizing niceties I would give anyone else, I need to talk to you in private about a transaction taking place here..."Despite the abruptness of it all ,the tone he used was slightly harder but one of moderate respect, it would be the way the man talks to another when rushed for time and his tone delivered both, he no longer had that fake merchant "thank you, come again" sort of tune and feeling delivered in his voice was more of importance which in and of it self was sign that the Merchant and had some faith of the chieftains emotional capabilities.

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