A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Divided by the Slyscera Mountains, the northern frostbitten territory of Khy'eras is where the Dwarven city Domrhask was founded. Naturally, this area is difficult to navigate to due to surrounding geographical obstacles and weather. Read more...
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Ruthaya Sangra
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The Rage Warrior
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A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Post by Ruthaya Sangra »

They weren't there. Perhaps it was foolish to think that they would be, so close to main roads. Rather, what passed for those so deep into the frozen wasteland. Still, Ruth had that spark of hope that her tribe had come through here recently. They didn't. The icy cavern's walls lacked the Sangra markings, even ones tucked away so none but fellow members could find it.

Thus, her mood embittered, Ruth didn't share the awe the others had when she showed them this hidden gem. The cavern was spacious and tall, with permanent ice glistening over everything, even forming ancient stalactites and stalagmites since time immemorial. Thankfully, some platforms jutted up from the bottom, giving the caravan enough elevation to keep themselves warm, as well as providing good defense. Only madmen would try to attack them here, over so much ice.

Granted, it took some ingenuity to get all the animals and wagons in here, but it was worth it. Much better than spending the night out there in the midst of a blizzard. Which is where all of these fools would be, if Ruth hadn't stumbled upon them. Like lost sheep, except less eager to follow. She tried not to hear the whispers of doubt – whether or not she was leading them all into a trap. Now, however, their tune had changed, though they gave her a wide berth.

Idiots, the lot of them.

Ruth found herself glancing at one of the side passageways leading deeper into the mountain. Her current caravan could never go down that path. It was far too slippery, perhaps even for those who knew the way, nevermind foolish travelers with crates and bags of stuff. But the nimble Sangra could've gone that way, traveling light as they do.

Once again, she faced a bitter choice. The path she wanted to take would lead to her family, but as a result she'd abandon people who clearly needed her more. It wasn't a choice in her mind. Not really. The caravaners took precedence.

Ruth muttered to that, sliding the sharpening stone down the blade of her sword in a tense motion. The campfire but a few feet from where she sat sputtered angrily, as if offering agreement. Few more minutes passed with the warrior grumbling on the makeshift bench made of stones and a plank, the metal singing as she sharpened the longsword.

Then a rattle of board against ice drew her attention.

Finally.

It was one of the many pathways the caravaners set up for ease of access to the platforms, bridging treacherous places with planks and ropes. Apparently, someone had just stepped on the wrong board, making quite the noise.

"What took you so l-" Ruth's mismatched eyes snapped over to the figure. She was expecting one of the fools. He was supposed to take the first shift with her, watching the entrance to this place. This person, however...

"You're not Griff." Ruth growled. "Where the fuck is he?"
Word count: 495

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Wish Star
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Re: A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Post by Wish Star »

Thus far, her trip to Domrhask and the lovely frozen lands of Irtuen Reaches had proved uneventful. Victor and she made little headway into finding the missing book page her mysterious bandits ran off with. She did not blame him (or herself), however. The snowy regions of Khy'eras were spacious and immense, placing limitations and challenges onto any soul who dared to search it.

As the city of Domrhask turned up no clues, Wish snuck out of the city when her and Victor were supposed to be resting at an inn. She bundled up to the best of her abilities, donning the hat, gloves, and thick jacket that she had acquired as soon as they arrived in Domrhask. Thankfully, prior to leaving Fellsgard, Wish was equipped with warmer clothing with the active winter season. Days passed and winter faded into spring, but in Irtuen Reaches, the transition between seasons was practically non-existent, so her clothing still proved useful.

Wish did find as she trekked out into the wilds that she had to tuck her wings inside her jacket, less they freeze off, a thought she did not know if possible. Her little walk was dragging on - at least three hours gone by - with no sign of people or animals. She must have picked a route far less travelled. The lack of interaction during her journey meant Wish could better utilize her ranger skills and keep tabs on where she was going and what direction she was headed in.

Unfortunately, Wish did not anticipate the oncoming blizzard, though with the commonality of these events in the Reaches, she definitely should have. At first the snow came down slow and in steady patterns, but not soon after, the wind picked up swirling the snow viciously and obscuring her vision. It got frigid and did so fast. It would seem that Wish would need to find shelter as she would not make it back to Domrhask without turning into a popsicle.

A risky move but Wish turned towards the forests where the trees started to grow in clusters, clinging to each other against the harsh torrents of wind. Out in the snowfields, she barely had any cover to protect her, but despite the threat of hungry beasts, the trees would grant her a bit of protection. And if she was lucky...

A cave!

Just a head of her was a cavern nestled in-between a set of trees, the entrance curtained with a set of tangled vines. This flora had been temporarily pushed aside by the blizzard, permitting Wish to view the gloomy entrance. Climbing over a few boulders, Wish made her way inside the mouth of the cave and breathed a sigh of relief as she immediately became warmer within the shelter of these rocky walls.

It was dark and Wish did not favor the thought of going further into the shadows of this cave no matter how comforting it was. Placing her palms out in front of her and cupping her hands together, Wish closed her eyes and bowed her head slightly.

"Ny'tha, grant me the light of the stars that I might see through the twilight," she whispered. When Wish opened her eyes, in her hands was a glowing orb of bright light, illuminating the darkness. Dropping a single hand to her side (the hand she needed to wield her rapier), Wish concentrated on keeping the light intact letting the magical essence hover an inch above her hand.

With her light source parting the veil of dusk that claimed the cave, Wish proceeded into the depths. For a time, it was still just as lonely as it was outside, and a part of her wished that she had taken Victor with her for the company. The farther she went inside the cave, the more it opened up but also became dangerous. Wish took extra precautions to watch her footing, lest she slip on ice and break her leg, which would leave her stranded and no doubt dead in the cave.

Despite being careful, Wish's booted foot came across terrain she was not expecting - boards and ropes. Were there other people here or was this a cavern left abandoned by a group of passing nomads? Wish's steps were even tentative as she crossed over the series of boards and ropes before her.

As if the elements were testing her, Wish's hesitation and over-cautious nature caught her off guard. The next board Wish stepped on unexpectedly fell off the chunk of ice it was connected to and slid down to the ground taking three or four more planks with it. Without the use of her bound and covered wings, Wish's balance was hindered and she plummeted to the floor instead of coasting on the board. Wish barely managed to save herself from being severely injured; she ducked and rolled towards the floor, likely skinning her knees and elbows in the process, but was able to get up with a huff of annoyance.

On instinct, Wish went to brighten the darkness again, but discovered that she did not need to. She had stumbled into an area where there was a campfire. To her surprise, there was a battle-hardened woman, sharpening her sword with what appeared to be irritation. The woman's eyes - one of them white and clouded - snapped over to gaze at Wish whom she was definitely not expecting. It took Wish a moment to process what the woman had said; Wish was recovering from her rather ungraceful tumble.

"You're right. I'm not Griff," Wish said simply. "I'm not sure where he is... or where I am. Forgive the intrusion, but I was guided into this cavern by the blizzard. Are you... from Domrhask?"
Word count: 955

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Ruthaya Sangra
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The Rage Warrior
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Joined: April 3rd, 2020, 2:42 pm

Re: A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Post by Ruthaya Sangra »

Ruth took the girl's answer about as excitedly as a granite statue, her mismatched eyes steadily boring a hole in the stranger. A displeased huff followed, before the woman looked up, only to see dangling ropes and bits of board still clinging where the young woman had lost her balance.

Few could say they managed to sneak up on the warrior and not get burned, yet somehow this girl got within striking distance quite easily. It was probably due to lack of sleep, and being distracted while sharpening the sword. To that, Ruth scowled at the blade as if it were somehow to blame for the oversight, before turning her glaring gaze back to the young woman.

Griff and his shirking of duties faded in her mind, in light of another, perhaps more subtle threat.

There were times when bandits grew clever by sending a child or a meek-looking individual to play lost lamb. Most traveling groups wouldn't turn away strangers, especially in frigid lands such as these and thus, the "lamb" would get fed and could learn all the lapses in defense for an upcoming raid.

Ruth herself had been the child in one instance and one alone. Even back then, she had too much fire in her to pass as an innocent, lost little thing. The gambit proved a disaster, and she had learned she wasn't cut out for playacting. Direct and brutal had always been her forte.

This girl, however, could fit the innocent spy mold perfectly.

Ruth peered at her, one hand still resting on the blade to show just how insufficient the explanation was.

"You mean to tell me," She started off slowly. "...that you were out there, aimlessly wandering before the blizzard caught you and you just happened to find this place in a stroke of luck?"

"This," The woman growled. "...better not be a trick, girl. Now sit down. You're not going anywhere until morning." She gestured at another makeshift bench, evidently meant for Griff.

But she wasn't done talking just yet.

"I'm not from Domrhask. I'm from the mountains, but these... sheep, are going there." The woman said, with an edge to her tone as she gestured to other spots in the cavern, where the caravaners set up camp, their locations marked by flickering orange lights from torches and campfires.

"And they are under my charge until I get them there. How you people keep missing the blasted towers is beyond me." She said, and quite indelicately spat to the side.

"So, what were you doing out in the blizzard? Did you stray away from your group?"
Word count: 435

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Wish Star
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Re: A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Post by Wish Star »

Her aimless wandering had not gone over well with the warrior woman Wish encountered. The lady looked quite taken aback and angered by the mere thought that Wish had somehow miraculously stumbled into the cave and happened upon the watch post Ruth was at. The woman was armed with a deadly looking sword, was clearly not one who easily believed the words of others, and had been taken advantage of by Griff who was likely lazy and unwilling to report to post.

None of this was Wish's fault, but her casual stroll did not help Ruth's mood any.

"That's exactly what happened," Wish said with a confident and unfaltering nod. "Luck can be a funny thing."

Ruth, however, from Wish's perspective, did not find any of this situation to be amusing. Thus, when Ruth gestured for Wish to sit, the Fae did so immediately, dropping her bottom to the bench and pushing her knees together, booted feet flat and ready on the floor in case she needed to spring away. The mysterious woman was gruff, cautious, and evidently temperamental, so Wish had to be ready to move if need be.

"Ah, so you are a guide of sorts then? Well, hopefully they are paying you well," Wish asked after listening to the woman's story. Wish let out a short chuckle and then shook her head. "It is difficult to see the towers when the snow filled winds are so blinding. As I have learned recently, it is easy to lose one's way when your previous tracks are quickly covered with snow. Ajteire did not teach me that."

Wish rubbed her hands together, attempting to get warmth back into her body. Although Ruth's spirit was unwelcoming, the fire was not and Wish was glad to feel her cheeks heated by the flickering, scorching element. Wish was primarily a follower of Ny'tha, but Ristgir's gifts were something to be certainly thankful for. Reaching behind her, Wish unbuttoned two slits in her jacket and permitted her previously bound wings to creep out of their confinements, the appendages stretching and gathering up warmth in the cave.

"I wasn't with a group when I wandered into this cave. I was by myself," Wish said. "Well, I am travelling with someone, but I left him back at Domrhask to rest. We are searching for a thief who stole something from me, all the way from Fellsgard. I came out here hoping an outing might turn up clues, but strolling around the Irtuen Reaches was admittedly, not my best decision. Well, you know what they say - you live and learn."
Word count: 434

User avatar
Ruthaya Sangra
Character
The Rage Warrior
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Human and Elemental
Class: Barbarian and Sorcerer
Posts: 5
Joined: April 3rd, 2020, 2:42 pm

Re: A Dangerous Trek[Open]

Post by Ruthaya Sangra »

The girl's answer, simple yet bold as it was, caught the warrior woman by surprise. More of that caustic ire bubbled up but thankfully, the stranger wisely and quickly did as she was told. Ruth paused to give her a narrowed, scrutinous look before nodding sternly. She wasn't yet convinced of the girl's innocence but at least her skepticism began to wane.

"Don't put your fate in luck's hands. It'll get you killed." She rumbled, the crack-whip tone of her voice softening. Finding the situation to her satisfaction for now, she returned to sharpening her sword, though she still kept an eye on the girl, just in case.

"Of sorts." The woman agreed. "I don't usually do guide work. I have no patience for idiocy." She growled, nostrils flaring at the mention of payment. Mercenary work paid good, in general, but often Ruth found herself doing things out of sense of duty, completely forgetting money as part of the equation. The necessity for it never sat well with the woman either.

"They're not paying me shit," Ruth snarled. "...but I'd be damned if I let the cold claim anyone on my watch. Nilbein would not have it." She huffed, running the sharpening stone down the blade with a burst of ferocity. Few more of those and she shook her head, setting the sword aside before her anger makes her damage the blasted thing.

With that done, the warrior rested her elbows on her knees as she faced the wanderer, eyeing her. "Here's a free lesson for you, girl. If you're moving away from Domrhask and the wind picks up so much you can't see the towers, you turn right the fuck back. And you never, ever go alone. Hell, you don't go in a group of less than five and without a guide, period."

While rumbling and grumbling, Ruth didn't miss the signs of someone happy to be around a fire, and perhaps wishing it was a bit brighter. The warrior herself didn't need much in terms of warmth, keeping the flames alive more for lighting's sake than anything else. It would seem she'd have to make some adjustments for tonight, unless she wanted the would-be lost wanderer to turn into an icicle during their watch.

Ruth also didn't miss the wings. A fae in these parts was a rarity, considering the dwarves didn't much like anything remotely magical. But where others would see the fae with awe and perhaps suspicion, the warrioress wouldn't be so lucky and she knew it well. One look at her hand, one whiff of her fire magic and people would run for the hills.

It seemed years and years have passed, but she still couldn't escape that particular cage. Her twisted hand itched to that. It darkened the warrior's mood and made her unwittingly glare at the girl.

But thankfully, Ruth caught herself a second later and quickly focused on something else. Which happened to be the campfire, and the fact it could use some encouragement. That, and then there were answers to her questions. Ruth nodded solemnly to those as she tossed a log onto the fire from a handy, nearby pile. "So... you tracked the thief here all the way from Fellsgard. If they are indeed here it will be difficult to find them. No doubt they've holed themselves up somewhere and Nilbein himself couldn't fucking ferret them out."

Ruth shook her head, expression sour. "What do you know of them, then? What did they steal?"
Word count: 584

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