Spirits be with you... (Edgar)


Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
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#1
After many days of travel, the climate had changed. Edgar had descended from his mountainous homeland of Harland, and now the snow-covered mountains were turning into deciduous forest and rolling plains. Clouds were spread throughout the sky, covering up the sun and casting a grey pall across the land. To his west, the forest stretched as far as he can see, making its way north into Harland even, before thinning out, and then going behind a mountain, unable to be observed further, while to the south and east the grassy plains took up his vision, while a town could be seen on the horizon. Well, a black bump, with the faintest smidgen of smoke above it, indicating it was some form of settlement.

Edgar's travels had been uneventful. He had run into, and cruelly decimated, a pair of bandits who had tried to rob him on the way, their corpse chunks encased forever in ice. Animals had been avoiding him, and even the ice beasts that separated themselves from the spirits hadn't troubled him, as if, unlike the humans, they could sense the mans power. Now, however, he was in a different land, and who knew what awaited him...

((Gah, I'm sorry, I was really struggling with this, trying to get a satisfactory amount of detail in, and I think I failed >_>))
 
Feb 6, 2009
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#2
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Edgar stared into the distance. Years have passed since he lost his home. Even the destruction of those who were responsible for this didn't help him fill the gap in his hard, nor did it manage to lessen his hatred for all that was dark and evil. He was feeling lonely. The only humans he met recently were bandits who didn't even have the time to regret their foolish decision. Altough he had little compassion towards those who sought to harm others, Edgar wished to find a place where he could settle down and find peace.

Sighing, the young shaman began to march towards the town. Even if he wouldn't find a place to stay there, it'd be a nice change after these five years he spent alone in the mountains. He didn't have much with himself, only the things he needed to survive and a long branch he turned into a short staff to help him cross difficult terrain. Anything else was an unnecessary burden. Praying for the spirits to look over him, Edgar continued his journey.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
1,342
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#3
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

As Edgar began his approach to the village, another shape appeared on the horizon, quickly growing as he got near. A large mountain soon towered above the shaman as he reached the edges of the towns fields. The top of it was shrouded in cloud, but dark cloud. It looked akin to smoke, but it was unexplained. No towns near it could be seen, no columns of fire or smoke, just a pall hanging around the snow-capped peak.

The fields where mostly wheat, with a few other crops being grown as well. Whatever this town's speciality produce was, they had a lot of crops to make it, and as Edgar approached, he could see that the place was relatively wealthy. There were very few dwellings that weren't properly built, most of them wooden, and there were two stone buildings too. A large manor-type deal, presumably where the lord or mayor lived, and what appeared to be a tavern, marking itself as 'The elegant flagon' with a sign over the door.

Most of the citizens gave the Nord a wide berth, they were probably used to travellers, but perhaps something about his build, dress, or simply just a feeling that he might be bad news was stopping them from greeting him like the probably would to others. He'd have to actively seek one out if he wanted information or talk, unless he wanted to go into the tavern. People tended to be less judgemental there at least...
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
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#4
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Edgar didn't seem to be bothered by the cool welcome. After spending so much time far away from other human beings, he found it a little hard to return to society. The distance between him and others was actually helpful. However, the shaman had no idea what to do. He had no money with him, which complicated things a whole lot. While visiting the tavern seemed to be a good idea, Edgar was sure that the owner wouldn't like a customer who can't pay, and the Nord didn't want to test whether the man's fear would overcome his desire to get the reward he deserves for his work. The thought of threatening an innocent person was repulsive.

Aside of that, Edgar was interested in that mysterious lone mountain. The dark cloud around the peak looked mysterious and dangerous. The shaman wasn't sure what to think of this, but the townsfolk would probably know. After all, they lived close enough. The fact that no towns around the mountain were visible was puzzling, though. Something didn't feel right about it. Perhaps it'd be a good idea to gather some information, and the best place for this would be the tavern. Gossip wasn't always reliable, Edgar could recall that. But, it was still better than nothing. The Nord made his way into the tavern.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
1,342
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#5
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

The tavern was as you'd expect late at night, which it wasn't. At best, it was late afternoon, yet the bar was packed. There was much merrymaking, though there was no identifiable source for it. As such, there was no kind of reaction to the Nord entering. Edgar was jostled about as men made merry, but it was not hard to make his way around. The bar maids were red-faced and sweating, having to work so fast to serve all the men, and have to deal with the occasional 'accidental' gropes from the drunken men.
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
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#6
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Edgar was suprised by the size of the crowd. The men were loud and in various states of intoxication, but the Nord decided to ignore that. After some thinking, he began to look for a rather secluded place. A position from which he could listen to what the patrons are talking about without being bothered too much.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
1,342
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#7
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Quietly sliding into a corner, it soon became obvious that most of the chatter was what you'd expect in a tavern. News of the crops, who'd married or sired who, the usual. However, one particularly rowdy group caught the Nord's interest. They were the ones drinking the most, harassing the bar maidens the most, and shouting the most, allowing Edgar to listen in on their conversation with little effort. They were dressed like mercenaries, long mail shirts seen underneath uniformly coloured clothes, in pale blue colours, and various weapons hung from them. They were all gloating about the recent pay they'd had, and that is was worth the loss of a man, apparently named Jose, to receive what they'd gotten.

Listening further, Edgar could gather that the source of their new found wealth was the contracts being offered on royal behalf, paying well for the heads of demons. While he couldn't gather why demons were in the realm, it did seem rather... Disturbing, to say the least. There had never been any demons, nor demonologists to be seen back in Harland. Though of course, he knew the stories. Even being a bit of an anti-social guy in childhood, the stories were around, the island off of the southern coast, Netherworld and demonic forces constantly battling, tales of doom should either force win. Now, it seemed that the demons had done well for themselves, if they were as far inland as here, and the king was utilising mercenaries against them.
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
48
#8
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

As Edgar listened to the loud conversation, he began to get seriously worried. Demons? Here? This didn't bode well for anyone... On the other hand, this place seemed fairly peaceful. The mercenaries weren't on guard either, so it seemed that the monsters haven't reached this far. A all-out war seemed unlikely as well, otherwise these "gentlemen" would be elsewhere, gathering wealth or mould. There was nothing to worry about, for now.

Edgar grew curious. He began to wonder how to gather more info. The citizens would rather avoid contact, he noticed that during his stroll around the town. Perhaps the people in the tavern would be more trusting, but Edgar didn't know who to ask and frankly, he wasn't certain whether there'd be anyone willing to talk. The bar maidens were far too busy, so that option was out of the question. Getting the attention of the mercenaries didn't seem like a good idea to the Nord, especially since he stood out. One can't hide the fact that he just returned to civilization after a few years of exile so easily. Edgar decided to continue his activity for now. Perhaps he'd learn something, altough he found that unlikely.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
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#9
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

As was to be expected, there was little else to be found out. The mercenaries continued to recount to each other and the rest of the tavern their tales of slaying demons, while the rest of the chatter started to indicate what was the reason for celebrations. Apparently the crops were doing rather well.

However, after a little while more listening, the mercenaries gave another little bit of information. It appeared the demons had established their foothold in the region through another village some way to the south east, and the mercenaries had been gathering their bounty from those who had came forth, though to Edgar they seemed to be exaggerating their stories, unless they possessed super-human abilities. The number of them just didn't seem to fit with how grand they were talking, but perhaps that was to be expected, considering how rowdy they all were. Who wants to hear dull stories were no incredible feats are done after all?
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
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#10
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Edgar didn't pay attention to the "heroic tales" told by the mercenaries. Instead, he pondered his next move. Altough dangerous, demon hunting could be a fitting job for someone with his abilities... And personality. The years he spent alone made him hate all creatures who seek mankind's demise. He experienced pain caused by fools who sold themselves to dark forces. The Nord would not let any crime like that go unpunished.

Edgar still had some food left - travelling without gathering any supplies beforehand was a painful form of suicide. He decided to spend the night in town, then set out in the direction mentioned by the mercenaries. Of course, finding a good place to sleep would be a problem. He had no money, so the tavern was most likely out of the question. Edgar doubted he had anything that'd be worth giving in exchange for a room. For now, he decided to leave the tavern and scout around. Perhaps he'd find something.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
1,342
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#11
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Looking around, it didn't seem there were many options. The small stable near the outskirts was empty, and relatively clean. It didn't seem to have been used for a while. Before he could continue looking, a slight rumbling was felt, though it subsided almost immediately. The villagers stopped what they were doing, and looked fearfully at the mountain. Soon enough, the reason for this became apparent as a giant shape emerged. It was large enough for some details to be made out even as far away as the village. Quite simply, it matched the descriptions of dragons that were always told. Well, not exactly, but very similar. This one was bright red, and quickly soared into the sky. So high, that it became small enough to be mistaken for a hawk or some such.

Looking around, Edgar could see that the villagers had all fled inside, and a few minutes later, started emerging again, looking around fearfully. It seemed that this happened regularly enough for them to believe the dragon would come down to destroy their village, though there were no signs of recent destruction around the place.

Regardless, the shaman's continued search only yielded two new options. There was an old house, almost falling apart, on the very edge of the town, with no door or shutters left, or simply camping outside the town. From the looks of it, the stable would be warmer than the run down little house.
 
Feb 6, 2009
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#12
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Edgar wasn't entirely disappointed with the results of his search. At least he had some options available, and some of them were even quite good. However, the mysterious dragon-like creature interested him. The Nord didn't hide like the townsfolk, observing the monster's flight from the street. For some reason, the citizens were afraid of it. What was going on? Edgar decided to find out by simply approaching a random adult and asking him what was going on. Could it be a sign of demonic influence as well?
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
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#13
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

The Nord's asking around didn't yield that much. Each time, there were the usual tales. Even though not a single one could provide evidence that the big lizard had done anything except just be there, they all believed it would descend upon their village with no mercy. As further asking of the older citizens told, there was no justification of this. There were not even any tales within the boundaries of conceivable time of the beast doing anything aggressive apart from the occasional burst of smoke and it flying off, then returning. All there was were legends and myths of great dragons in a variety of colours burning the land before the kingdom had even been established, but if the recent tales were anything to consider, that was all they were. Legends and myths.
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
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#14
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

It seemed that the mysterious dragon wasn't something Edgar would have to worry about. Altough still curious, he knew better than to climb the mountain just to see the creature's lair up close. Who knows how it would react? Probably the reptile would not be amused. Edgar decided to forget about the matter - no one was hurt by the beast so far, the villagers knew better than to do anything stupid and the dragon himself seemed to ignore the settlement entirely. At least it didn't view humans as a food source, otherwise this village would not exist.

Realizing that he doesn't really have anything to do, Edgar decided to rest after his journey. Of all the possible options, the empty stable seemed to be the best choice. The Nord moved in without hesitation. It was still a bit too early to go to sleep, so the young man decided to meditate. For a shaman, this was an important part of his daily routine. He needed to be able to communicate with the spirits that dwelled around him, as well as those that were his guardians - in Edgar's case, ice spirits. They guided him, taught him and helped him in his contacts with the spiritual world. In return, the Nord usually offered them food or other tokens of his appreciation. It wasn't a very complicated system, but it required good communication skills from both parties as well as good will. That's why shamans were quite rare in certain places.
 

Mirchie

The user previously known as Hero-in-the-Dark
Oct 18, 2009
1,342
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#15
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Settling down, and beginning his meditation, Edgar would find that it was quite a wait before he could contact any sort of spirit, as if the land around here was devoid of them. However, his meditation was not fruitless, and after a while, the air shimmered, and a slight tremor ran through the earth, and a faint image of a figure appeared. A little bigger than human sized, though apparently lacking legs, instead the image blurring and fading past the waist. Their skin was craggy, and looked much like rock, and 'hair' that seemed made of vines. The form seemed much like a heavily built human male. An earth spirit had come to him. "Greetings, shaman... It is rare indeed to have the luck to encounter one of your kind around these parts... In fact, there has been no contact with mortals here for... About a hundred years... One may loose track of time every now and again..." he intoned in a deep voice, blinking lazily.

As the earth spirit was speaking, another figure began to materialise. This one was definitely female, and far slimmer than her earthen other. She glittered and sparkled, every inch of her skin and hair a pale, cool blue, with white streaks. Unlike her counterpart, the ice spirit had clothes, a sparkling, icy dress that, as with the other, gently blurred and faded away past the waist. She said nothing yet, merely inclining her head politely to Edgar, and drifting a little closer. The air in the stable dropped a couple of degrees, but was still in the comfortable range.
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,151
48
#16
Re: Spirits be with you... (Edgar)

Communication with spirits usually didn't require speaking. They existed separately from the corporeal plane, and their voices could reach only those who could listen in to the immaterial, or generally had a proper kind of magic power. To respond, a human needed to call out to them in the same manner, which was very difficult - practically impossible without training, but certain individuals tended to be able to send signals without that - a potentially dangerous talent. Edgar, contrary to what some of his friends believed in, didn't have such an ability from birth. However, hardships can teach a human many things.

The shaman wasn't fazed by the fact that he had to wait for a response. Not all spirits were eager to talk right away. On the other hand, the fact that he recieved only one response was somewhat worrying. Usually he could find some traces of spiritual activity without having to expend much effort, but this land was oddly silent. At least the earth spirit that answered seemed to be potent.

Edgar greeted the ice spirit with a bow - he was used to her presence. She was his guardian and guide, as well as the source of his power. The shaman focused his attention on the other spirit, responding to it's greeting.

'Greetings, great spirit of earth... It is sad, but the art of shamanism is no longer taught not only in this place, but in my homeland as well. It was luck that allowed me to walk this path.' He bowed his head with respect. 'This land seems to house few of your kind, though... Did my kind prove to be a problem?'