Against the Darkness: Return to the Hall of Heroes

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Against the Darkness: Return to the Hall of Heroes

Postby *Kain* » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:12 pm

(OOC: This is a closed RP, only those invited to post, may do so.)

The rain had long since drenched the man seeking to strike up a fire. He had gathered some dry grass for cases like this one, and there was a little dry wood left in the saddle bag, he would use that to get the fire started and then built a little before adding some of the semi-dry wood he found in the forest. It took some doing, but he finally got the fire started and huddled by it. The man had no protection from the elements, but he had grown used to this. He had travelled across almost all of Avarlund with only his loyal steed by his side. The horse came over by him, shielding him from the rain, and he patted the mount's side, thanking him.

He was anxious to return to Astrail and have a drink in the hall of heroes once more. To see his good friends Mara, and Griffon Shadowbain, and their little girl Oriana. He laughed remembering the little girl claiming she was going to marry him someday, and calling him her champion, and the glares he would recieve from Griffon. She was an adorable little girl, had ten years changed that? Had ten years changed his friends as well, Mara and Griffon. Then he thought of Mara, the woman was like a sister he never had, she had guided him back onto the right path in life. He had been a sell sword from the age of 14 until he met Mara, back during that fateful day in the tavern now called the hall of heroes.

They had come together and drove orcs from the then small town of Astrail, and the tavern which had been destroyed in the fight was rebuilt and renamed "Hall of Heroes" after himself, Mara Brightblade, Griffon Shadowbain, Drefan Nightfall, Rune Arlin, and Maxx the mage. He longed to see it once again, recalling the other times he and the others rose to the defense of Astrail. They had combatted orcs, vampires, demons, and a crazed Sirian mage and his army.

Griffon and Mara had taken over Astrail as it's guardians, when he had left on a journey to learn about the world at large. In his absence Astrail had grown from a small town to a city, or so he had heard in his travels. It didn't matter if it was abandoned now, he still longed to see the place where he was reborn.

He brought out a trout he had caught earlier and started cooking it over the fire, it didn't take too long, he was in a hurry because of the rain, but this was the last of his food and he hadn't eaten in two days. His rations were long gone, as was his coin. The coin had been stolen but he didn't care it was only 3 copper pieces, and the thief could probably use them more than he could.

After he ate, he kept warm by the fire a little bit before dousing it, and gathering his things. He would be able to make it by evening if he pressed on now. He didn't like pressing his horse in the rain, but they would both sleep better in someplace dry.

Soon he was off again, and racing down the road towards Astrail. His excitement grew, the day marking his 33rd year on this world was nearing as well, and it would do him good to celebrate in the company of old friends.

About a mile out of town the rain suddenly died out, and the sun's wiltering rays pierced through the clouds, casting an orange light about the world. Sure, we're almost there and now it stops raining. He laughed inside, it didn't matter, soon the drenched warrior would find shelter.

He knew he was getting close, this terrain hadn't changed much in ten years. He rode up a large hill to the right of the road, and looked down in the plains below. There just before a massive forest he saw Astrail, the place had grown indeed. It was a small city now, but there seemed to be little activity, the warrior attributed this to the rain that had plagued the area for the past week. The city was now walled in as well, with 2 gates, on the Northern and Eastern side.

He rode down the hill at a thunderous gallop eager to visit home. Approaching the northern gate a guard came out and ordered him to halt. The warrior did as the guard asked, State your business sir. he sighed, he had encountered situations like this in many cities. Normally the guards don't stop people, but when traffic doesn't come for awhile, and when it starts getting late, guards seem to get rather suspicious of travellers. I'm just seeking shelter friend, I have no more food, and no place to go. Any inns you recommend around here? The guard nodded. The Hall of Heroes is a popular one, run by the Shadowbains. The traveller's eyes brightened at the mention of his friend's family name.

Well good sir, would it be too much trouble to have a message sent to the Shadowbain's for me? Tell them Kain Dragonhand would like to see them. The guard stood there stupified for a moment. Was this haggard traveller actually Kain? He had only heard the stories about the man who had helped the Shadowbains along with their other friends in the defense of Astrail so many times. I don't have all day friend. The guard nodded, and went back to the gatehouse, soon another guard was seen running towards the location of the Hall of Heroes. The first guard returned, Sorry lord Dragonhand, the message had been sent, you are free to enter the city. Kain sighed, he didn't like it when people referred to him by a title, especially one that Kain did not have. I am no lord my friend, just a man with a sword, out to do some good for the world, much like yourself. With that Kain communicated to his horse via their link that he wished to go through the gate and on to the Hall of Heroes.
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Postby ~Oriana~ » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:40 pm

Gabriel Shadowbain don't you dare! I mean it Gabriel you lay one finger on me and I'll...

Oriana Shadowbain had been backed into a corner of the inn her parents ran in the now robust town of Astrail by her older brother Gabriel. Oriana an apprentice mage who had been away for over a year studying under the most elite mage in the lands had finally been granted a week long reprieve from her tedious studies by the Archmage Azrael, and she was going home. The look on her parents faces when she arrived would forever be burned in her memory, she swore she even saw her father, Griffon, tear up but she would never bring that to his attention, after all her father was a proud man, not to mention built like a brick wall and one of the most talented warriors she had ever seen. Her mother, Mara, beautiful with peaches and cream skin, hair as black as pitch and eyes like sapphires had of course eveloped her in arms giving her a hug that Oriana swore would go on forever. When she had managed to untangle herself from her mothers arms she was pleased to see Raynalia a flaxen haired blue eyed elf and her dearest friend sitting at one of the tables grinning up at her, all the welcomes and pleasentries had been done with, but there was one that the girl, now all of sixteen winters old had not lain eyes on. An ebony brow quirked while she inquired where her beloved yet bothersome brother was and when her mother informed her that Gabriel was still sleeping a gleam screaming of devilish delight came into the girls eye.

Oh really? Well he wont be for long. No one sleeps through my homecoming...

Blue robes rustled with each hurried step she took up the staircase that led to the rooms above the main floor of the inn. A few seconds later a loud banging echoed from the rafters followed by a deep bellow and a shriek. A blue blur flew down the stairs with a very angry and very wet well muscled man not far behind. Oriana ran around a table but Gabriel had been faster than her, he was always faster than her and when he caught her she was slowly backing up into a corner with her hands out in front of her pleading.

I'm sorry Gabe I am! Really Gabriel!

She screamed when her brother lifted her from her feet and threw her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes,her arms and legs flailed wildly.

Gabriel put me down! Raynie for the love of.. control your animal!!Gaaaaaaabriel lemme loose!!!

She landed with a thud flat on her back, he had let her down alright and probably bruised her backside in the process. Well if he thought she was done with him yet he had another thing coming. Scrambling to her feet she stared her brother down and pointed a finger at him, softly a whispered chant fell from her lips and from across the room an egg went flying through the air and crashed down on her brothers head.

That'll teach you to tangle with me Gabriel Shadowbain!

The look on his face sent her running for cover all over again, only this time she was a little more strategic in where she ran. This time she ran right into the arms of their father, turning her head she stuck her tounge out at her brother daring him to try and get her with their papa there to protect her.
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Postby Gabriel_shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:00 am

Gabriel Shadowbain was fast asleep...his snores would have been loud enough to wake the dead hadn't Raynalia, in her ultimate wisdom, placed tissues in his nose to keep him from snoring....when he was very suddenly, and rudely, awakened by a very icy splash of water. And like the typical man he was he woke with a hellish bellow that could have sent the undead back to their graves.

Opening his heavy eyelids he was greeted with the vision of his dearest, and most treasured sister. Under oridnary circumstances he would have been elated to see his sister returned home after so many weeks of arduous training. But he was not wakened in any sort of traditional way so his greeting was instead a furious bellow of anger as he stormed after his sister down the stairs.

He has Oriana in his burly arms for a moment before he mercifully let her go, being the good big brother that he is, when he quickly played her next card and cleverly hid behind his father, the powerful Spartan and City Constable. He glared angrily at his baby sister and he cautiously planted his feet and devised his way of getting his proper payback on his sister.

Oriana you venomous rascal! If you think hiding behind father is going to save you you're sadly mistaken and using Raynalia is not going to help you either...you've only won yourself a temporary reprieve!

Her stuck out tongue burned him to the core...he would have his vengence on his sister but he would bide his time...for his father was giving him the always stern and disciplined stare down he always gave his son when he wasn't pleased by his actions. As old as the man might be Gabriel was smart enough not to cross his father in the arena, the man was a bear of amongst foxes....and none he met could stand against him in a fight, which is what made him such an effective Constable.

Gabriel wisely doubled back and looked back at the girl that held his heart, the lovely Raynalia...the woman knew she held him by a string even though he would never admit such a thing to anyone. And he smiled as he tipped his head to her.

Good morning Rayne...it's always a pleasure.

Next he turned to his mother, still beautiful and ever powerful and he wrapped his bulky arms around her and hugged her close, with a kiss on his mothers cheek.

Good morning mother! I know I'm up late but I had a busy night.

Putting his mother down he took a few steps back to stand next to Raynalia and to take measure of his surroundings when a city guard ran into the inn, breathing heavy the man spoke loudly to his father.

Constable Griffon, Lordess Mara, a man has come to see you, it would behoove you that you meet him, he just entered the city!

Gabriel turned to the man mystified....who would come to this city demanding an audience with his mother and father that would get a city guard all riled up over...and the fact that there was no name made the notion even more mysterious and intriguing...turning to his mother then to Raynalia, he looked questioningly for an answer.
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Postby Mara Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:38 am

Oriana don't tease your brother, unlike your father... Mara Shadowbain shot a look at her beloved Spartan, even after all the years that had passed he still took her breath away, still made her long for the day to turn to night so they could be alone. The look she gave made the man slowly loosen his hold on his daughter... ... I'll gladly hand you over to him. And Gabriel don't toss your sister around like she is a bag of wheat regardless of how you two might rumble she is still a girl and you still overpower her, you're going to hurt her one of these days and then I will have to hurt you. Gladly accepting the kiss on her cheek and the embrace of her son Mara took in her surroundings, her face beaming with prideful joy, it had been too long since the whole of her nuclear family had been together under one roof, it would have been an even more joyous moment had the rest of their family, Kain, Rune, Drefan, Maxx even Rhaven been there to share in the laughter of watching brother and sister have a go at each other. Orianas visit had been a surprise and hearing that her little girl would be home for a week before having to return to the tower of the magi felt like she had just been given the worlds greatest treasure, adding onto that was seeing the bond that had been forming between her son and the rough talking elven maid over the years grow even stronger. Everything in their world was perfect. Smiling over to Griffon Mara was just about to say as much when she was stopped before she could even start.


Constable Griffon, Lordess Mara, a man has come to see you, it would behoove you that you meet him, he just entered the city!

Throwing her hands in the air the woman sighed heavily. Its always something around here isnt it? Well then, you may tell whoever it is at the gates that Lady Shadowbain is sending the most meanest bloodthirsty warriors she knows to answer the call... She winked at her husband then looked to her daughter. Well? What are you waiting for little miss bad ass who thinks she can take on her brother and win, go get'em... oh? you dont think your such a bad ass? Alright then I suppose I can send your father instead.
She grinned at Oriana with the same evil gleam in her eye that her daugher had just a few moments before before she went to Griffon and kissed him soundly. Off with you then Constable, go do your job.
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Postby Griffon_Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:02 am

Griffon Shadowbain had enough on his platter with keeping his town safe and doing his damnedest to keep his beautiful wife pleased when he was tossed a whole 'nother load when his almost grown and just as gorgeous daughter was returned to his home by the renowned Archmage Azrael. The emotions that tore through the man's soul were almost more than he could bear and he only barely held them at bay as he gave his daughter the most hearty and and happy hugs he could reserve his most precious princess. He could remember the day when he has to have his daughter wrested from his grip by his wife on the day she was sent to train with the Archmage...he wasn't happy and there was no way he could ever be, but he was proud of her, more proud then he could ever show, and as he held her in his arms and out of harms way of his powerful and stout son Gabriel, he glared down at his son with all the power that was and authority that was his by nature and right saw his son back down and instead turn to his mother and greet her and Rayne as was right.

He laughed softly to himself, watching the timid way he acted around Raynalia knowing full well the emotions that battled with his son...as much as the young man tried to hide them his father knew all the portents of a brewing love...for he had been through enough his wife as it was. But that was not the issue at hand right now as an exhausted guard burst into the inn shouting about visitors requestin audience with himself and his wife. Turning to Oriana he raised a brow and almost laughed at the goading she gave to her precious daughter...although Gabriel was not her son by birth she treated her as such and it warmed his heart to see him treat her the same way.

Off with you then Constable, go do your job.

Recieving his wife's kiss he returned it with one of his own and nodded slowly. He always found it difficult to seperate himself from his wife, her absence always hit him deep down and he always yearned to have her near him. Letting his darling daughter go he leaned down and whispered in her ear...

Give him Ori...give him hell.

As much as he loved his son he loved to see the power that his daughter had gained and loved to see the rivalry and good hearted fun that would be unleashed between them...but he had no time for that.

Ok Joseph....take me to our guest.

Nodding the guard quickly doubled back and lead the way to the city gates...but Griffon didn't need to make it that far...for halfway there Gabriel ran into the last man that he ever thought he would run into....and the smile that grew on his face showed his surprise and he bellowed.

Kain! Oh my good heavens it is you!

There was no warning for the man as he was quickly overwhelmed by the Spartan as he was torn off his horse and crushed by a hug that might have overwhelmed even his daughters' homecoming.

Oh you old scoundrel! What brings you out to our humble little hamlet? And don't tell me it's to steal my beautiful daughter away...because I'm afraid I'd have to kill you.

The look on Griffon's face would have daunted a normal man but it belied his true feelings and easy for Kain to read.
"The first rule of combat is to kill your opponent before they kill you."

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Postby *Kain* » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:37 am

Kain was surprised by Griffon's bear hug, he had forgotten entirely too much exactly how big Griffon really was. The spartan had lifted him from his saddle, squeezed the life out of him, and then set him on his feet.

Then Griffon asked why he had come by, and then chided him about his daughter. Surely she has abandoned the fantasies of her childhood, where her and I would get married and ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. How old is little Ori now? Kain laughed at the thought of it. Had he seen that little girl already, he probably wouldn't have laughed. It was good to be home.

Kain was soaked to the core, his wet hair dragging on his shoulders from the rain. Griffon had a wet imprit on his shirt from hugging the sopping wet traveller. Before you answer that Griffon, think we can get Megiltura in the stables, and me inside, I've been out in the rain for a week now, I'm cold, tired, and hungry. That trout had done little to satisfy his stomach, and it had been hours since he ate that meal, his only one in nearly three days.
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Postby Griffon_Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:48 am

Surely she has abandoned the fantasies of her childhood, where her and I would get married and ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. How old is little Ori now?

Griffon laughed heartily as he dropped his friend down on the ground and listened to his response to his good hearted question. Of course he could not know his daughters' feelings toward the man anymore, but who could really say, he had only seen Ori for a few moments before Kain himself had walked into town, it was almost more than the poor man could handle...but he recovered quickly as Kain inquired a stable for his steed and and inn for his cold and weary bones.

I cannot tell you the feelings my daughter has for you anymore, for she has only just returned to us from her training with Azrael, but this is a jolly homecoming indeed for now one of our dearest friends is here! And worry yourself no more, I will take you to the Hall of Heroes so you may eat and rest your weary bones! Mara and Ori both will be excited to see you Kain!

Taking his friend by the arm he handed the reins to the the horse to one of the guards as he lead Kain towards the inn so that he may eat. He could only imagine the reaction that Mara would have towards Kain...it had been so many years since any one of them has seen the man...tis a merry day indeed!
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Postby Oriana Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:09 am

What'cha gonna do now huh big brother? Thought with papa gone you could pick on me and I would just stand there and take it? Ya feel stupid now dont ya? C'mon Gabe just say the words.. "I feel stupid now Ori"

As soon as their father had left to handle the lastest business of the town Gabriel had come stomping after her like a raging bull. With their father gone the seemingly innocent, almost defenseless little girl was gone, in her place stood a sister determined to provoke and bait her brother. She stood stone still just grinning arrogantly as he rushed closer to her and just when he was about to grab her she whispered a quick incantation that took him off his feet and left him hovering upside down in the air near the rafter of the inn.

You could at least compliment me on my latest accomplishment Gabriel, how do you like the new spell I learned? Fun isnt it?

Just then she was poked in the ribs, her concentration lost her brother came crashing down, whirling she came face to face with Raynalia who was grinning just as evily as she had been.

Oh.. so you want to play too Raynie?

Taking a deep breath the girl bellowed at the top of her lungs.

Mama the barn door was left open again! You remember how traumatized I was the last time it was left open and what I saw! You better tell your son to start controlling himself I dont want to be an Aunt any time soon!

She gave Raynalia a smug grin and laughed heartily as she watched the elven maids face change color.

Oriana Shadowbain watch your mouth! Your brothers... activities are none of your business! Behave yourself young lady!

Her mothers small scolding had made her forget for the briefest of moments that she still had a very agitated brother after her, she had started to protest, to claim her innocence but was cut short when she felt her brothers arms around her. At once she picked up her leg and brought her foot down hard on top of her brothers, causing him to cut her loose once again and this time she bolted straight for the door. She didnt get very far, as soon as she reached to open the door, she collided with something or rather someone that sent her flying onto her backside....
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Postby *Kain* » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:29 am

Careful there friend, he bites. Kain gave a quick look to Megiltura, behave yourself you hear? The horses ears flattened and it looked away from Kain. The man only laughed and headed for the inn with Griffon, a man whom he considered friend, and Kain had few friends. The spartan was a man Kain could entrust his life to, they had fought side by side many a time, and had come out victorious often. Though Kain was nearly a half a foot shorter than Griffon, he wasn't small himself, standing at about 6 feet in height.

When they got to the Hall of Heroes, Kain stopped outside and took a long look at the tavern. I'm finally home. He spoke as if he was completely refreshed, despite his dishevelled appearance.

He walked up to the door and opened it when a girl came running towards him, not realizing he was there she ran into him and bounced off falling on her backside. Kain quickly knelt down to her, and offered his hand to help her up.

My apologies m'lad.... Ori? He was taken by surprise, that little girl he remembered was no longer just a little girl. The dumbfounded look on his face would have probably made anyone who saw him have a laughing fit.
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Postby Oriana Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:48 am

There she was smack dab on her backside with her brother close behind her probably mad enough to draw blood and she had some fool trying to be all apologetic and polite. The words she had on her tounge died right then and there when she looked up and saw just who that fool was. How long had it been? Her own face now started to change color when she thought of the secret (which wasnt much of secret at all thanks to a certain brothers eavesdropping) she had told her mother once when she was a little girl of no more than five or six. She really did not have the luxury of worrying over something as trivial as childish dreams at that moment, her brother was going to tear her into tiny little pieces when he caught her and Raynalia would probably be more than happy to help. Grabbing Kains hand she could not help but feel the warmth of skin, or just how his blue eyes sparkled despite his soak and wet appearence. Dammit old girl quit acting like you've never met the man before she thought to herself as she was pulled from the floor. Immeadiately she threw herself in his arms.

Gabriel is gonna chop me up into little pieces and feed me to the dogs your my champion do something!
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Postby Gabriel_shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:04 am

Gabriel was overwhelmed with anger, not only had Oriana the gall to hide away with dad to protect her, but just when Oriana was in his grips she decided to use her magic trickery to turn him upside down. As he hung there, feeling the blood rush to his head from more than just his gravity flowing in it's polar opposite direction, he plotted his sisters' ultimate embarassment.

Mama the barn door was left open again! You remember how traumatized I was the last time it was left open and what I saw! You better tell your son to start controlling himself I dont want to be an Aunt any time soon!

If Gabriel's face hadn't been red from hanging upside it would have been there. He turned to Rayne, seeing his poor love's face turn crimson as she turned away, he turned back to Oriana after being dropped back to the ground. Enough was enough...she had drawn the last straw and she was going to pay.

Letting out a bellow of frustration Gabriel chased after Oriana like a hound after a fallen duck, and just before he could pounce on his prey he found himself standing toe to toe with someone he had not in his wildest dreams he'd see again, and with Griffon standing besided him he took a step back, not sure how to approach his new dilema.

Gabriel is gonna chop me up into little pieces and feed me to the dogs your my champion do something!

He was drawn out of his confusion by the sound of Oriana's voice and he quickly grabbed his sister by the collar, even though she was in Kain's arms and he looked at both Oriana and Kain with eyes filled with venom.

Kain....I'm going to ask you kindly to let my sister go....this is a family issue, Ori and I have things to discuss, so please take a step back.

He looked down at Oriana who stared up at him defiantly, sure that her champion would not fail her now, then up to her father, who was set in his own mind to stay out of their little rivalry. He was sure his father was more interested in what would unfold between his daughter and Kain.
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Postby *Kain* » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:22 am

She surprised him again when she literally threw herself into his arms, asking for his help, calling him the title she was so fond of calling him as a little girl. Then Kain saw the source of her worries, her brother, who looked so much like Griffon bounded up and took ahold of her collar demanding he let her go.

He really didn't have time to admire her looks, as he was thrown one surprise after another. He looked at Gabriel, and then down at the balled up fist holding Oriana's collar.

I suggest you take your hands off of her right now Gabriel, as Oriana's champion I cannot let you bring harm to her. So why don't you take a step back, before you make this pleasant homecoming a rather unpleasant scene. His voice was stern, and chastizing as a parent's voice would be, as was his countenance. Then he threw a small wink to Gabriel letting him know he really wasn't angry at him, he was only playing his part.

It was then that Kain actually saw the face of the girl in his arms, it took him a few moments, but he pulled Oriana to him until Gabriel let go. Kain would have lost himself holding that girl had he not seen Mara come walking up. His eyes brightened at the sight of her.

Hello Mara. He said smiling, I'm in a bit of a predicament here, and this oaf next to me isn't helping anyone, can I get a little help with these two?
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Postby Mara_Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:44 am

Your on your own with those two Kain Dragonhand and it serves you right being gone from home so long.

Hardly able to believe her eyes Mara watched the scene unfold, her children were running wild doing what they did best when together, Raynalia was doing as much as she could to keep herself from either strangling Oriana or falling over dead from embarassment, and Griffon, her beloved Spartan stood there in the middle of it all, with Kain by his side, grinning from ear to ear oblivious to the chaos. Kain, she couldnt help but smile when she thought of the boy, no she reminded herself he was not a boy and ten years away had made sure the rest of the world would notice that he man. It didnt matter how many years he had been away he would always be that sweet, insecure, loyal and trusted one that she had taken under her wing and nurtured as one of her own. Alright, alright. Gabriel maim your sister later, Ori untangle yourself from Kain before your father starts getting the wrong idea in his head, and as for you... She glared at Griffon hands on hips while she waited for her daughter and son to do as they had been told.. And as for you... She winked at him.. I'll deal with you later... Oriana having removed herself from Kains arms had hidden behind the warrior still not trusting that her brother wouldnt feed her to the dogs if she left the protective barrier her father and Kain provided. Now it was her turn. She grabbed hold of the man and held onto him tightly, his wet clothes dampening her own reminded her that they were standing in the doorway like a band of fools while the skies opened up again, the rain coming in through the open door. Pulling Kain completely inside she marched him over to the fire, now in full fleged mother mode. Sit and warm up little love, Gabriel let your sister go now bring this fool of a man some elven wine to warm his belly, Oriana I told you to stop baiting your brother march yourself upstairs, in the second room at the end of the hall you'll find dry clothing bring them here. Rayne towels are behind the bar... thank you dear. For over the next ten minutes the woman fussed and fawned over the warrior drying his face and hair until Oriana returned with dry warm clothing. Into the kitchen with you then Kain, dress by the fire there, no worries you'll be left to your privacy, theres an empty tub near the hearth toss your wet clothes in there and I'll fix you something to eat when your done.
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Postby Raynalia » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:15 am

Every night when she lay her head down to sleep the elven woman whispered a little prayer to what ever gods would listen thanking them for bringing her into the lives of the family she now found herself a part of, and every morning she whispered another prayer thanking them for allowing her to live through the night to see another day with the Shadowbains. Theirs was a lively family, full of mischief, laughter and above all love, she had never seen such an abundance of caring, never knew, or didnt remember what it was to be a family. Her own family had been lost to her, or rather she had been lost to them when she was very young, even by human standards, her memories of them were now nothing more than shadows and whispers. Kidnapped from her home when she was no more than seven in an act of mutanity and revenge against her father the young Raynalia had been sold into slavery and lived her life as that of a slave until six years prior to the reuniting of old friends and family. Six years ago, nothing but a blink of the eye to most elves but to her it felt like a lifetime. Oriana, who was known to go off romping through the streets in exploration happened up the elf in a bad situation, the latest family she had been bartered to had been kind to her but their son, a vile leech of a boy if there ever was one, had thought to take liberties with the elf that she was not willing to give. Raynalia had not seen the girl, all of ten then, but she had heard her, and she sounded like a banshee tearing through the street screaming for what sounded like Gabriel to her, the last thing Raynalia remembered about what happened in that alley was the fist that connected with the side of her face and waking up to find the most amazing set of eyes staring down at her. That began her stay with the Shadowbains. Mara had taken her in, treated her like she were her own flesh and blood, Oriana had become her dearest friend and Gabriel, her rescuer, had taken her heart. This was her family now.

After giving Mara what she asked for the elf decided to play rescuer for her violet eyed friend, saving her from her brother was a task easily accomplished, Gabriel having brought wine for Kain was eyeing his sister from where he stood, the look saying more than words could. She went to him and snaked her arms around his neck no longer embarrassed by displays of affection between them in front of his family and placed a small warm kiss at the space beneath his ear and neck.

Looks cant kill Gabriel as hard as you try, your only going give yourself a headache. Let it go for now and leave her be, you know she loves you and lives for these go rounds with you, but you'll be needing to get ready for your shift at the gate soon and I have yet to be properly introduced to your familys friend.
I wanna heal,I wanna feel what I thought was never real
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Postby Griffon_Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:43 pm

((OOC: I know I shouldn't do this here, but I want to make my one OOC here and say I hope you like my new icon.))

Standing in the midst of what could have been taken as a whirlwind of chaos for some brought a great smile that few see onto the Spartan's face. His family was finally reunited and one of this closest friends was home again. In his eyes nothing could go wrong and as he watched his son and daughter give one another the stare down it was all he could do to keep from laughing. But the chaos was quickly replaced by order as he watched Mara issue out commands that were quickly obeyed.

He laughed softly to himself as everything was carried out and just let out a shrug as he went to the kitchen to have some food and drinks brought, he cam out later and all was finished with Kain walking into the kitchen to change, Rayne and Gabriel were arm and arm...no real surprise there. As he joined his wife in the center of the room he looked to his daughter with mischief gleaming in her eyes.

Oriana, I want you to go upstairs and dress into something nice for dinner tonight, since you're here and we have an honored guest, I think it calls for a feast and a celebration...what do you think my love?

He turned to his wife who responded with a nod, then turned to Gabriel and Rayne.

You don't have to worry about your shift tonight Gabriel, I'll have someone replace you for the night, but you'll have to pull a double shift tomorrow. Now get yourself changed. And Rayne that was our old friend Kain, I know you weren't granted a formal introduction but we will take care of that at dinner. Now I would suggest you go and change as well.

The smile that crossed his son's face quickly turned to a groan as he ran off upstairs to do his father's bidding. Griffon was a fair man, but he made sure that even his son pulled his weight around town when it came to his duties in the city guard. With the tavern nearly cleared he turned to his wife again and pulled her close, her wet clothes moistening his breastplate slightly.

Hmmm you need to get yourself out of those wet clothes.

A flash of mischief flashing onto his face now as well.

I would come up and help you but I have to go and find a replacement for our son...maybe later tonight though we can......work something out.

Giving his wife's hip a gentle squeeze he leaned in and gave her a fiery kiss, letting it last a few moments before seperating himself from her and moving towards the door. Opening it slightly he turned back to her.

Oh and dear make sure to keep an eye on Ori, we all know how fascinated she is with that boy...just...watch them.

With that said the man was off to the gate to find a replacement and to do his rounds.
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Postby *Kain* » Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:11 pm

He made a mock frown when Mara told him he was on his own. Then she came to his rescue anyway. Kain smiled and gave Mara a hug that was similar to Griffon's hug to him. Then the rain picked up again, and started soaking them in the doorway. Mara then dragged him inside the tavern and sat him by the fire, then issued out orders to her family. Then he heard her term of endearment she used for him so many times, it was the best thing he had heard in ten years, "little love." Kain laughed inside, he was far from little, but when he had left Kain was 5 inches shorter than he was now, still in his teenage years.

Gabriel brought him some wine, Oriana brought him clothes like their mother asked, and an elfess unfamiliar to him brought towels. Kain wasn't used to people fussing over him, he did afterall spend ten years on the road. Kain would have laughed at Griffon's comment as the spartan left the tavern to set up the guard, like he did before. After seeing Oriana though, laughing was not the first thought that came to his mind.

Mara then ordered him into the kitchen to change into some dry clothing, he stood to his feet and hugged Mara one more time. It's good to see you again dear one. He smiled, and went into the kitchen. There he found the fireplace just like she had mentioned and the tub. Kain set the dry clothes on the counter and undressed, then he took the towels and dried himself off. He did his best to dry his hair out too, but that would still be damp for a bit. He finally slipped into the dry clothes, and tossed the wet clothes, and the towels in the bathtub. Then he realized that in his saddle bag he had extra sets of clothes that needed drying. He sighed, that could be taken care of later he figured. He then sat on the edge of the tub to think about what had just happened in the other room. It's good to be home indeed. He said to himself absently with a smile.
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Postby Gabriel_shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:47 pm

Gabriel found the events that unfolded around him to be nearly overwhelming. Here at the Hall of Heroes was his sister whom he hadn't seen in a very long time, and now a man he hadn't seen in an eternity. He wasn't sure where he standed with Kain anymore....their run ins hadn't always been on good terms back in the old days, but he was hoping things weren't rocky anymore. But there were other things to worry about as he hurried off at his mother's request to get a bottle of wine for their soaked friend.

He returned with the bottle after a short trip and waited in the hall with Raynalia at his side. He smiled warmly as he felt her arm slip around him.

Looks cant kill Gabriel as hard as you try, your only going give yourself a headache. Let it go for now and leave her be, you know she loves you and lives for these go rounds with you, but you'll be needing to get ready for your shift at the gate soon and I have yet to be properly introduced to your familys friend.

Gabriel laughed softly and squeezed cherished elf maiden close, he wasn't sure about what his parents knew of his and Rayne's relationship he felt that was being uncovered rather quickly.

You're right Rayne and you know I mean my little sister no real harm, just a little tough love from her brother who missed her so much.

Before he could get any further Kain was ushered into the kitchen and his father was issuing a new set of orders to Oriana and himself, it seemed Griffon had a great feast in mind for the evening and that was indeed a great plan. And he felt even better hearing his father was going to replace him for the evening so he might enjoy the homecoming, but the fact he had to pull a doulbe shift the next day was not so appealing, but that was the price you paid when you worked under stern command of Griffon Shadowbain. Letting out a sigh Gabriel nodded to his father and placed a kiss on Rayne's forehead as he turned to take the stairs to his room, but stopped for a moment hearing Rayne follow.

Having Rayne join him, he took her hand and the two walked upstairs and down the hall toward their rooms. Even though the two were only a wall apart from each other the two had a tendency to spend the evenings together on most nights. Stopping in front of his room he turned back to Raynalia and smiled.

Hmmm....I guess I should let you change. But you could always change with me...I know you have some clothes in here somewhere

He gave her hand a squeeze then turned and went into his room, he wasn't sure if Rayne was going to follow or not, so he left his door open just a crack as he went about finding something suitable for the evening.
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Postby Mara Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:08 pm

After all their years together Mara still believed that her husband was trying to kill her, he knew very well what such a kiss as the one he had given her before he left her would ignite in her, how in the hell did he expect her to keep her mind on matters at hand rather than constantly thinking of the way he moved, how his arms felt around her. Far from being old but still old enough not to think or act like a silly schoolgirl with a crush it was obvious to anyone who ever crossed paths with Mara and Griffon Shadowbain that they were deeply in love, it was that love that kept their spirits young. She watched her Spartan leave the inn and sighed fully appreciating what she saw. Laughter from behind her snapped her back to attention, and she turned glaring at the blue eyed beauty and violet eyed wonder both trying to hide their laughter behind their hands. Dont you two have something to do? I know I heard Griffon tell you both to go get yourselves ready. Really ladies, cant a woman appreciate the fact that shes married to a handsome man rather than a troll? You shouldnt be laughing anyway Raynalia I see how you look at my son..

Mother!!! Oh good god, I do not need to hear this!

Mara laughed, her daughters embarassment evident with the reddening of her cheeks. Alright alright I wont traumatize you anymore little one, now off with you my darlings, Griffon will be home soon and will be expecting us to be ready.

Shooing both young women up the stairs she turned towards the kitchen, a different gleam in her eye meant that she was going hunting, and she found her game sitting on the edge of the tub near the hearth now looking warm and dry.

Shes not quite as you remember is she? Not such a little girl eh Kain? I saw the look on your face when you saw her little love... so tell your Mara, I know its awkward but you know you dont need to hide anything from me and you know it would be in your best interest to have me as an ally if you chose to persue this.
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Postby *Kain* » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:18 pm

Mara came in suddenly, taking Kain from his thoughts. She brought up the subject he was thinking about immediately. That was Mara for you, never beating around the bush, and that's one of the things Kain admired most about her.

No I must say Mara, it caught me well off guard. I never expected her to look so.. He struggled to find the right word, still finding it akward that his first real conversation with Mara was about her daughter. Beautiful, she looks like you in so many ways, but there is something different, I can't put a finger on it. He sighed, as for pursuing this, I don't know Mara. Can we talk about something else? Kain shifted uncomfortably, he realized that Oriana was almost half his age, she probably had plenty of boys after her already. He wanted to take his mind off of it however, standing up he took his magical cape and put it on, it was still dry, despit the heavy rain Kain had ridden through. Then picked up his blade and put it on as well.

A lot has changed in my absence, think you could tell me exactly how much they have? His hand rested on the hilt of his blade, as his fingers nervously fidgeted with the grip.
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Postby Raynalia » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:23 pm

The only clothes I have in here are not the kind one would wear for a celebration such as this Gabriel...

The elf has slipped through the door leading to her beloveds room and closed it softly behind her, his comment about her clothes had not gone unnoticed and she stood there with a rather sheer slip of a "sleeping" gown hanging from one finger.

... I do believe if I even attempted to dress in such an outfit I'd be out of it before it was even fully on...

Her grin was suggestive but she made no move towards him, her mind as actually running through the events that had taken place downstairs, particularly the ever so subtle look she had seen on Orianas face when she had seen Kain again after a decade making the elfs own curiosity run wild. Oriana was going to get the grilling of her life once the elf got a hold of her. Paybacks are such a delight she thought.

Actually I'm going to go change with your sister, she'll need help with that wild mess she calls hair and theres something I've been meaning to talk to her about anyway..

The question in Gabriels eyes made her laugh and she went to him to kiss him soundly then patted his arm.

Its womans talk Gabriel, nothing you need to hear, dont worry I wont reveal any of your secrets to her, hell she'd just use them against you the next time you two had it out and we wouldnt want that would we?

Flashing a dazzling smile she left him to dress while she went on the prowl for Oriana knowing exactly where she would find her.
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Postby Gabriel_shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:51 pm

Its womans talk Gabriel, nothing you need to hear, dont worry I wont reveal any of your secrets to her, hell she'd just use them against you the next time you two had it out and we wouldnt want that would we?

Gabriel laughed softly as he threw off his guard uniform and picked out a more respectable set of clothes from the dresser that sat against the wall.

Well, girl talk huh? Well if you find anything good out, the do let me know...I could surely use the ammunition myself. And if it has ANYTHING to do with Kain, you better tell me.

The conspiratorial look that was on his face as he finished his sentence brought a laugh out of Rayne as he watched her leave.
The grin that was on his face now was villianous as he thought about Rayne's comment about changing into one of the garments that were so casually left in his room. He just pictured her in one of lovely outfits and nearly forgot what he was doing entirely.

It truely was an interesting night, he could only imagine where things would go from here on as he wondered how long Kain would be staying, and how things would unravel between him and his sister. He couldn't imagine things going far...I mean come on, Kain had to be like...what 25 years old...at least as old as he was if not older...and his sister was only 16. Yep he was sure in his own mind that nothing would happen between them. Just the thought of it started to creep him out in a way.

He suddenly had his mind set...there was no way he would allow anything to develope between Oriana and Kain, but he was also sure that there wouldn't be much for him to worry about because he knew his father would agree with him completely. As much of a friend he might have been, there were always limits. Sure in his mind that nothing could go wrong here with his master plan.

Finished changing into a more respectable outfit Gabriel left his room and started to walk back towards the stairs when he had an idea....turning around he quietly made his way down the hall towards his younger sisters room...there was no doubt that if he tried he could hear something worth while from them...even if it was just a little gossip.
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Postby Griffon_Shadowbain » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:34 pm

Griffon walked the streets quickly that evening, there was still much for him to do tonight with his proclaimed feast coming about very shortly. The streets were quiet he noticed as he watched the sun drop slowly over his peaceful city. He was proud of all that he and his friends had made of Astrail, it started out as just a small town he had come to it so many years ago. He could remember very clearly why he had come to Astrail...he had been exiled from his home so long ago...wandering the lands for years searching for a reason to live, when he came to Astrail and met Rune, Mara, Kain, Drefan, and Maxx. He had instantly fallen in love with Mara and devoted his life to protecting her and the others as they traveled the land ridding it of the evil that tried to destroy it...and when everyone else left he and Mara alone stayed to rebuild the town and to make it greater than it was before.

He looked over the buildings, many he had helped to build with his own powerful hands. He passed a guard...a young warrior that he had recruited himself named Gailen. He was a promising swordsman with alot of potential. He nodded a greeting to Gailen which the guard returned and again he was alone.

He reached the gate house just as night took over the sky and he found things were not as quiet as he had thought they should be. There was a great commotion in the gate as one of his Officers, a great grizzled man named Uriel was talking hurriedly to one of his suboridnates. Tapping the officer on the back the man quickly turned around expecting to have to shoo off another traveling requesting to pass through the gates, but sighed deeply seeing Griffon instead. The man smartly saluted and went to attention.

Stand at ease friend. I see there is a commotion...why is everyone at alert?

Griffon looked down the wall of the city. He looked at Uriel with shock as he finally noticed that the gates of the city were closed and barred....that wasn't normal at all. Astrail had been at peace for years and always left it's gates open during all times of the day, a sign of welcome to all weary travelers.

I'm sorry to bring this to you Constable. I was hoping to handle this situation without disturbing you, especially when the hero Kain has returned.

Griffon grimaced at the thought that his senior cadre were keeping information from him for any reason... and made it obvious as his next sentence came out as a growl.

Spit it out Uriel, why are the gates closed and why are my men running around in a panic?

Uriel's face turned crimson...which was a surprise to all the men around him. Uriel was always a competent and efficient leader, and seeing him show a flash of emotion was a shock to them.

Constable one of our patrols have not returned.

Griffon nearly laughed aloud upon hearing the news, patting Uriel on the shoulder Griffon smiled at his friend and looked over at his men...who weren't smiling at all.

Well of course they might be late...the weather past week has been horrid, they're probably held up trying to help some sunk in carriages out of the mud. It's hardly a reason to bar the gates.

Griffon was confident in his assessment but his smile quickly vanished when he saw Uriels expression not changing.

Um....that was my guess at first too Constable, and so I sent out a group to find out their whereabouts...they haven't returned and were sent out at noon.

Griffon's brow furrowed as he thought about the change in the atmosphere...he hadn't noticed it before with all the good news he was getting but he could feel it now...something was definitely amiss and not just the missing guards. He could feel something was terribly wrong.

Looking at his men and then Uriel he nodded confidently and turned to one of the guards.

Alright. You men keep calm and alert, I'm going to take Mkoll...he's an excellent tracker and we'll go find out what the big deal is.

Uriel looked to him making a move to object but was stopped by a look from Griffon. As much as the Spartan wanted to just send another patrol to find the guards he knew he couldn't. He had to set an example here by finding these men himself. So he signalled to Mkoll to follow and they left through a small opening that was made in the gate. And off he was....stepping into the Darkness again.
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Postby Mara_Shadowbain » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:59 am

Unaware of what was happening outside, sheltered by the warmth and safety of the inn, Mara carried on as she would on any peaceful day in the prosperous world whose foundations had been laid down by her companions and herself and built upon under the watchful eyes and loving hands of its people. There hadn't been an incident in Astrail for a little over ten years, nothing aside from the usual troubles that came with so many people living together side by side. The worst that had happened since her Spartan became the law were the few drunken brawls, petty thefts, and on one occassion someone became a little too grabby thinking to lay his hands on woman who had rejected him, Gabriel had handled that particular case and so much good had come from that incident, her son was in love, his happiness shone in his bright eyes, though he dared to admit to it, and Raynalia was given the home and family she deserved. Yes life was good, and they all deserved their peace, even Kain who now shifted uncomfortably looking like he wished he were anywhere but cornered in her kitchen. In the time it took for him to answer the few simple questions she had put to him he reverted back to the boy she had once known, and she could not help but laugh, it was not a mean spirited laugh but one of understanding and she leaned down to kiss the top of his head like a sister would a brother changing the topic of conversation with ease.
There are more new faces calling Astrail home each day, new shops and taverns opening, new cobblestones laid down for new streets, new laws made when needed, the last was made just about the time Raynalia came into our lives, the batering of people is not allowed, if one wishes to hire out help then they are to pay fair wages, the next time you are outside take a good look around Kain, Astrail may have grown inside but it is still the same simple, peaceful town it has always been, it is still home.
Another kiss was planted. Dont ever forget where home is little love and always remember whose in your corner.
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Postby Oriana Shadowbain » Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:12 am

Ouch! Damn Ray!

Oriana sitting before the vanity in her room winced with each stroke of the brush the elf ran through her mass of wild curls, one particular knot had been troublesome, the girls head jerked each time the elf took the bush to it pulling at the tresses.

D'nay be ouchin me girl, iffin' ye'd keep this mess braided like ye Mama and I have tole ye, ye would nay be havin' ta deal with it now would ye?

Glaring Oriana smirked.

Oh sure be all proper in front of everyone but get you alone and this is what you turn into? I bet my brother loves that...

The solid back of the brush connected with her head stinging.

... what in the hell was that for?!

Ye brother be none of ye business girlie... runnin' jaws 'bout Gabriel tis not the reason I be 'ere...

Trying to tame this mop on my head isnt either is it Ray? He sent you didnt he? Well you can go back and tell my brute of a brother you werent able to get a damn thing out of me! I'll not be sharing any secrets this day!

The grin she saw from the mirror did not settle well with her, Raynalia had that look in her eye that told Oriana she wasnt going to make it out of her room if she didnt start spilling her guts. The tone in her friends voice changed suddenly as did her speech and this made her even more uneasy, Raynalia was determined to get whatever she could out of her.


I'm not asking for your secrets Oriana, I'm just trying to be an ear for you to talk to because I know there are just some things a girl needs a friend around to hear. Who was the first person I told when I started having feelings for Gabriel? You. Who is the only one who knows everything that happened to me before you and brother brought me here, before your mother and father took me and made me one of theirs? I have told you things that would make others quit speaking altogether Oriana, and you cant tell me whats going on inside that head of yours?

Sighing Oriana turned around, took the brush from her friends hand and started absent mindedly brushing her hair.

It was a long time ago Ray, I was a silly little girl with silly little girl dreams..

Aye but your not a little girl anymore Oriana, hell most the girls you grew up with already have husbands, some even have children..

Who the hell said anything about husbands? Damn elf already has me married off! Ray listen, all I am saying is I know better, I'm not going to prance around thinking that all those silly little girl dreams are coming true just because he walked through that door. Am I going to lie and say my heart didnt damn near fall out of my chest when I saw him? No but I am not stupid Ray, one hes never going to see me as nothing more than that little girl he remembers and two I have new dreams now, I'm not bragging but I have the potential to become as great as Azrael in the ways of the Art, and that is what my focus is on. Go on now I can finish this on my own, and Ray? Slap Gabriel, I know he's listening...

Left alone Oriana sat looking at herself in the mirror, scowling. She was not going to start thinking of what ifs, what ifs only lead to trouble, and she was no longer that silly little girl, she had no interest in Kain in that way she told herself, and she would keep telling herself that same thing over and over again until it was time for her to return to the tower of the magi, until she actually believed what she was saying.
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Postby Griffon_Shadowbain » Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:08 pm

The night was dark and overpowering. The darkness which clung to the sky was not ordinary, and the farther he got from the city, the more uneasy it made him. He looked back now and realized that he could barely see the city when he was only a mile out. He looked down at Mkoll who was checking a set of tracks that he found in the soft soil, then back around him. Mkoll was quiet...the man was always quiet. In the time that he had known the scout he has never said more than what he was required to say, he knew the man was deep in his own thoughts so he didn't interrupt him. Griffon now was just worried for the safety of his men that were lost out here.

These tracks are strange.

Mkoll whispered as he rose to stand. Griffon hadn't noticed but the man's bow was out and an arrow was already nocked. Griffon took the sign of alarm as one of caution from the expert woodsman. And he too drew his great claymore which glowed and pulsed in the night...but even the power and light of the blade did little to push back the encroaching darkness.

Strange? What do you mean by strange?

Mkoll was quiet for several moments, most likely thinking of a suitable answer to Griffon's question. His dark eyes darted across the empty landscape searching for something. After a few quiet minutes he answered, his voice barely more than a whisper.

When you first see these tracks you'd thing they'd belong to a passing farmer and cows....they have the hoof and soft boot prints...but that is where the semblance ends. This road isn't even a road that most farmers cross, the more fertile grass which the cows graze on is to the east, here in this area it is mostly mud and rocks from the battles of the past. Besides with the weather like it has been no farmer would stray this far from his plantation without a damn good reason. But that's not the weirdest part.

There was a pause in his dialogue as he turned straight to Griffon. His face was still the even unconcerned look that everyone always got from him, but Griffon could see there was alot more going on in his eyes.

These prints are not right in so many ways. An ordinary man or inexperienced tracker wouldn't have noticed this, but if these were cows or oxen, then they only walking on two legs.

Alarms were ringing in Griffon's head as he looked off in the distance now. He no longer feared for the welfare of his men...for he felt he knew already what happened to them.

Why didn't we realize this sooner? Then that means this unnatural darkness really is the mechinations of something much more dangerous.

Griffon's mind raced as he turned his options over in his head...his cautious side told him to turn around, that there was a trap. That he should wait till morning and with the light search out his men and the source of this darkness. But is reckless, barbaric side told him to wade in, find the trouble and quash it now. But his thoughts were interrupted by the drawing of a bowstring beside him.

Do you smell that? I smell an overpowering stench of beasts...and blood.

Griffon hadn't noticed it at first but he could smell it as well, and he knew his blade could sense it because he could feel it's hunger grow as evil drew closer. He couldn't see past the light of the his blade and that of the torch which was now stabbed into the ground but he knew there was something out there. His natural senses were turned up so high now that he could hear them now...his ears picking up the sounds of snorting and and breathing. Every once in a while he thought he could see a shadow dart just into the light and the back out. But he couldn't make the figure out.

Come on cowards! Come to me and feel my cold steel as it rends your body in two!

Griffon could feel the adrenaline coursing through him again...it had been so long since he had felt it's comforting presence. But before he could dwell on the idea for two long it started. First with a sharp braying of what could have been a goat, then a sharp roar. And the shadows leapt that them from the darkness.

There were so many, they poured at them from the darkness like a horde, 20 shapes were men and with shapes that were not men. Things that were taller than him and built almost as well. They had a human body and arms, but two great cloven feet and heads like that of animals. One a goat, another a ram, and the last that of a bull. He heard a scream nearby as an intruder went down by an arrow from Mkoll, then another, and one more before the bow was dropped and his hatchets drawn. Then there was chaos as the two roared and leapt into the attackers.

The human aversaries were easy to dispatch. They fought with a skill of a man who draws the sword for the first time...but their ferocity was another story, and their resilience greater than anything he had seen. He watched as a man had his arm removed by his blade, and instead of drawing back, clutching his bloody stump like other men would do, he instead leapt onto Girffon, nearly knocking him down. He looked at the man's eyes which were filled with a madness he had never seen before in his life, his mouth was a froth of blood and saliva and the words the man spoke were unrecognizable and chilling to the bone.

Griffon ran a dagger through the mans throat and tossed him from his shoulder before throwing the dagger into the chest of another attacker and impaling him on the end of his blade. He looked over to see Mkoll, holding his ground well but close the being overwhelmed. The humans were little match for his talent with the axes but the great cloven beasts were another matter all together and he found that it was all Mkoll could do keep the monsters dire mace from caving in his skull.

Griffon felt a blade pass by his head and doubled back into the battle he was in. He watched on of the monsters before him take the head off one of his own men and toss his body aside as it tried to get closer to Griffon.

Good lord what madness is this?!?!

Griffon shouted as he watched the two beastmen slaughter two more of their own in a frenzy to get close. Finally one was through, a great brute with a rusty and chipped axe. The monster wasted no time going into an offensive and as Griffon blocked the axe he felt himself nearly going off his feet from the force of the blow. He parried the beasts attack and took the head off another of the madmen, then tried a slash at the monster's midsection. The agility of the monster as it moved away astounded Griffon...how something so massive could move so fast scared him. He heard a cry behind him and turned to see Mkoll go down under the fury of the beast which assaulted him. Griffon cried out to him, but his cry turned to one of pain as he felt a blade cut into him.

Rage erupted in the Spartan as he slammed a fist into the beast in front of him, the monster staggered and that was all the reprieve he needed, letting out a beastial roar, Griffon brought his blade in a great arc for the monster's head. It tried to parry with his own but the axe was broken apart and there was a gush of blood as the headless beast fell to the ground. He did not pause as he turned to the next of the monsters, this one the goat headed one. He stood his ground and made no move to avoid the twin blades as one pierced his shoulder. He grunted in pain, eyes flaring with a madness of their own as he grabbed the arm of his attacker and snapped it. The beast bleated in pain but had no chance to recover before Griffon's solid skull crashed into it's face.

The monster fell back and landed hard on one of it's own. Standing over the beast Griffon let out a howl and plunged his blade down into the heart of the monster and gave it a twist as the monster died. Then at once the battle died down...he heard a roar from the last of the beastmen and as quickly as they had come the monsters disappeared into the darkness once again. Griffon stood there hunched, his shoulder and side bleeding slowly. As the adrenaline slowed and the reason took hold he looked to Mkoll. Yanking the blade from his shoulder he ran to the man. He was bleeding badly from his head but he was alive. Griffon was glad of this and wasted no time putting the man over his shoulder. He had to get to the city, the people had to be warned. He looked back toward the city which was just a tiny light in the distance...and he began to run towads it.
"The first rule of combat is to kill your opponent before they kill you."

~Griffon Shadowbain~
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Griffon_Shadowbain
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