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VoB - Bluttenburg Pass
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: VoB - Bluttenburg Pass Reply with quote



Post stories here relating to the Bluttenburg Pass
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upon the border, the venture gathers. Some have been waiting here for days, pitching camp in the shadow of the border tower. Over several days the various different groups of workers gather here, miners and other workers early, the higher standing later. Upon this last day of gathering, several dozen men are pitched in camp, preparing to leave this last rest place in the morning and head down the mountains into the great unknown that is Svalsing.

Soon Shorn Shuldtz, the head of security for the venture, sends a runner around the camp, letting everyone know that this shall be their last day of rest before the journey east and that all should make the most of it. Food and drink rations shall be increased for this evening, but attendance isn't required. he also warns that none are to leave the clearing and enter the dangerous Bluttenburgs.

Though it is only early, camp fires are soon dotted around the clearing, and the smell of food fills the air. Most people seem to keep to their groups, having travelled thus far together. However one larger fire is soon raging in the centre of it all, a large fire rages, with many of the workers sitting around and laughing whilst sipping drink and listening to the tales of a charismatic man from Gustenburg, who acts out many situations of adventure and excitement for the boys and men of the venture.

Lord Holtz and his Retinue are all in a quiet tent off to one side, awaiting some more of their more upper class subjects to join them before heading to the tower to dine with the guard captain.

Here, in this clearing high in the mighty Bluttenburgs, the turning of a new chapter in the lives of a few brave souls takes place.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although the men and women on Holtz’s venture busied themselves with preparing fires and settling down before evening set in, Konrad Ingmann stared mournfully at the land from which they had come. He had long left behind him the comforts of academia, and the certainty of a life cloistered safely within the stone walls of the great halls of learning. What reputation he could gather from his research could now only be won in the uncertain land ahead, in the dark and twisted wilds of a valley cut off from the leash of empire.

Since leaving Ipsburg, Ingmann had found some small profit in Strassburg for a time. He had been able to return to his gathering of data, carefully breaking into the graves and tombs of the forgotten dead. Yet, his work had once more been ignorantly labelled desecration by temple authorities, and he had found that he had to yet again escape the clutches of the law. Undetected, he had joined Holtz’s venture firstly out of desperation. Once considering the fact that an entire region of people lay before him who had not yet been systematically studied by any scientist, Ingmann understood that he was in a unique position to triumph over his peers, to create a new field of learning devoted to the catalogue of Man.

Before departing, he had purchased a few supplies for the voyage, though his haste had denied him the opportunity of being more meticulous. Yet, his new – and more scientific – method enabled him to accurately measure skull capacity far more cheaply. Though his replacement of lead balls with millet seeds meant that he had to discard much of his earlier work, the confidence in his new method was worth the loss.

With a final glance back to the land from which he came, Ingmann turned and regarded the camp. For a while he simply watched the people at work, neither particularly interested nor disinterested. Then, when he invented a game of trying to match someone’s facial structure with their likely role in life his own countenance took on a colder and more discerning aspect. He drew his tunic coat more tightly about his frame and simply watched.

[OOC – before he left Strassburg, Ingmann purchased a set of Good Quality Clothing – a dark olive coloured tunic coat, waistcoat, collared-white shirt, and black trousers – he keeps his other clothes mostly for travelling, but has the habit of dressing up for evening meals. He also purchased another ten shots and ammo for his pistol, a spade, a pick, and a chisel. Finally, he managed to secure himself a small supply of Opium. Due to the hasty nature of his departure, I rounded all these costs up to 6 GC, if that’s alright]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis de la Foręt glances around, then heads over to where the storyteller is captivating the audience. He gets himself a mug of wine, moves to an open space to the side, and starts listening.

[ooc]Are there any women present?[/ooc]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking a seat, Louis recognises the man telling tales as Giraud-Louis, one of his direct superiors. The current tale he is telling is about how, during a job in Fellum, he drove his shipment through a tight gully off the road in order to avoid a toll station, only to run straight into a group of bandits. He goes on about how he managed to retreat, pulling his wagon train hard towards the the Toll station while the bandits gathered them selves together and put up chase. When they caught up with them, the wagon train was near enough to the toll station to call for aid and soon Fellish forces were coming to their aid. During the subsequent action, he managed to slip his wagons through the now unattended checkpoint. Whilst far fetched, Louis gets the feeling that this man has many more stories of this type.

During this tale food is served up, slabs of fire roasted beef and lamp with bread and cheese. Some food is bought over to Louis by a young girl of fifteen years. Her bale and innocent face offers a light smile to the men as she hands out the plates.

An older woman walks over to Konrad, her apron grease stained and grimy. "Would ye be in need of dinner tonight Doctor?" She says in a thick Lornish accent "Or would ye be dining with his Lordship in that tower there?"

[ooc] Those purchases are fine montresor.

Louis, there are several woman on the venture, mostly servants and camp followers, related to some of the workers. Most notable are the Buxley sisters, three girls of 11, 14 and 15 who are daughters of Mr and Mrs Buxely, who take care of most of the food on the trip, with help from some of the other camp followers. [/ooc]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Woman wrote:

"Would ye be in need of dinner tonight Doctor?" She says in a thick Lornish accent "Or would ye be dining with his Lordship in that tower there?"


Ingmann regarded her for a brief moment. Her skull is robust; of a large size, yet its potential for superior cranial capacity is evidently diminished by the overal thickness of its set. The woman is destined to live a life of meanness and servitude; her dull and weathered features betray her mute simplicity. A fascinating specimen.

'Of course, I shall dine with his Lordship,' Ingmann faintly nodded. 'If they are serving, they shall not wait on my account'.

[OOC - Ingmann will depart and head for the tower, going to eat with Holtz, and whomever else arrives or is present]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raphaelus had remained in his tent most of the previous night, fretting over his possessions and refusing to recieve visitors. The journey from Baloria to Strassburg had been bad enough, but the journey to Svalsing was becoming almost unbearable. His sleeping patterns were out of sync with the travelling schedule, and as a result he was getting even less sleep than usual. His back was giving him grief most mornings, and sleeping on a crude, rudimentary mattress was not helping his cause. Now the expedition was setting off again, on possibly the most difficult leg of the journey.

His mind began to wander, thinking about trivial matters. Some of the witches of the South claimed they could harness the power of the Night-winds to sweep them away to parts unknown. Raphaelus found himself wishing he could believe the myths, and be borne to Svalsing on a carpet of air. He shook himself back to reality. Summoning the Night-wind requires blood-sacrifice, preferably a first-born child. Smiling wanly to himself, he recalled a line from the blasphemous poet Pietro D'acciaio; "High be the price but then nothing is free, my soul I'd gladly trade." If only he had brought some D'acciaio with him on this journey, but no matter. He had far too much work to do to allow for casual reading.

Turning to his rucksack, he removed The Book of Qeithuth from its vellum binding, and began to slowly flick through the pages. Perhaps some mindless translation would take his mind of the journey. He reached for his quills. Selecting a page near the center of the tome, and less affected by the mould and rot, he began to transcribe.

Raphaelus wrote:
We call upon the darkness to grant us vision, and beseech the unlight for guidance. Oh on this night of holy secession, come in to our presence so you may receive our worship. Blessed is Archaus, bringer of wine and song. Blessed is Erui, she who calls forth water from stone. Blessed is Fernus, protector of the sacred hunting grounds.


Raphaelus paused. This passage was unlike the rest of the translated work. Everything he had transcribed thus far had dealt specifically with the Dark One, in the monolithic way the Solarian church perceived Urias. Urias was even mentioned by name in several passages. But this was different. This passage appeared to be an invocation of local, minor deities. Raphaelus frowned. While the functions certainly corresponded to myriad local deities around Alinia, he did not recognize any of the names, and this troubled him greatly. He had obtained The Book of Qei'thuth from a barrow mound in the Gustaland, but despite his efforts he had never been able to determine the true provenance of the ancient manuscript. Translation, it seemed, was creating more mysteries than it was solving.

Raphaelus sighed and returned the grimoire to his rucksack. The throbbing in his back had abated. It was nearly dark outside, and the smell of cooking meat now reached his tent. His stomach rumbled. If he was to eat, he would have to leave his austere living quarters, but he would not leave his possessions. Carrying his rucksack, he set off to sate his hunger.

[OOC - Raphaelus heads towards the closest food distribution point. He also keeps a weather eye out for some wine.]


Last edited by Raphaelus the Younger on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis de la Foręt wrote:
[ooc]Are there any women present?[/ooc]


Dorian wrote:
[ooc]Louis, there are several woman on the venture, mostly servants and camp followers, related to some of the workers. Most notable are the Buxley sisters, three girls of 11, 14 and 15 who are daughters of Mr and Mrs Buxely, who take care of most of the food on the trip, with help from some of the other camp followers. [/ooc]


[ooc]So... in this culture, do 11, 14, or 15 count as "women"?[/ooc]

Louis, still with the group listening to his new superior spin tales, accepts the plate of food from the young girl. "Merci, mademoiselle." he smiles to her. Over her shoulder, he notices the flap to the old man's tent flip up. Soon, the old man himself painfully totters out, with a rucksack slung over one shoulder. He seems to be guarding the bag overly, like it contained hidden treasures.

Louis calls out to the girl who gave him the food. "Mademoiselle, est-ce que vous... ah... could you bring another plate over to the old man there? When you come back?" He gets up himself and carries his uneaten plate in the man's direction.

"Good evening, Monsieur. We have not yet been introduced, but I'm guessing by the look of you that you'd be interested in some food. I took the liberty of asking the girl to bring another plate over here for you, though I haven't yet touched this one." Louis holds out the plate, with a smile.

"Oh merde. I haven't introduced myself either. Pardon my manners, monsieur. I am Louis de la Foręt, at your service."
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis de la Foręt wrote:

Louis holds out the plate, with a smile.

"Oh merde. I haven't introduced myself either. Pardon my manners, monsieur. I am Louis de la Foręt, at your service."


Raphaelus was barely out of his tent when he was accosted by the enthusiastic young Gustan. Unsure how to react, he took the plate with a muttered "Merci beaucoup." He wolfed the meal down with a vigor that belied his appearance, and the Gustan's smile grew wider. "You've ah, got some in your beard monsieur?" His eyes sparkled with contained mirth. ''C'est la vie, it happens." Raphaelus grunted, picking the meat out. Motioning to the mug of wine in Louis' hand, Raphaelus enquired as to its source.

[ooc]Raphaelus appears ungrateful and cagey to the young Gustan, failing to appear remotely sociable. Raphaelus is also completely oblivious to the Gustan's interest in his satchel.
[/ooc]


Last edited by Raphaelus the Younger on Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad Ingmann wrote:


[OOC - Ingmann will depart and head for the tower, going to eat with Holtz, and whomever else arrives or is present]


Approaching the tower, Ingmann noticed the tall Shorn Shuldtz, dressed in his finest uniform standing before the entrance. The man smiles at the doktor, though his crystal eyes remain cold.

"Ah, Ingmann, pleasure to have you join us for dinner. Holtz is late, as usual." The mercenary absent-mindedly kicks the earth "I'll never get used to the laxness of civilians. I expect you had a pleasant enough trip?"

Without waiting for an answer the cold man looks east. "Things will only get harder from here. I entered Svalsing once. Cant say I'm a fan." He then produced a small pipe and a tin of pipe weed.

"I hope you don't if I smoke Doktor. Its a habit I picked up during action in northern lands. Remarkable place with odd peoples and rituals, have you ever been?"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Oh, le vin... The girl should be here with my plate of food. We will ask her for more." He takes another sip of the wine and grimaces. "Though, that's a mixed blessing, I think. This wine wasn't meant to touch a discerning palate. Probably local Strassburg stuff."

The serving girl arrives then, steaming plate in hand, and hands it to Louis. "Merci, mademoiselle. I believe that... this gentleman whose name I haven't yet heard, would like some more of your excellent wine." He leans in to whisper conspiratorially into her ear, "In fact, if you could just bring a bottle back with you, it'll save us from having to walk back and forth for the rest of the night."

The girl heads off back to the kitchens, and Louis turns back to the old man. "There. Your vin, as much as it can be called such, will be here shortly. So, by what name shall I call you, monsieur?"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Raphaelus, late of the Upper Palantine." He had decided from the outset not to use an alias, as deception in the name of the church did not sit well with him. "Their wine matches their cuisine then. Unfortunate." There was an awkward silence. Raphaelus' gaze wandered. "Forgive my manner, monsieur. I am not disposed to traveling." He looked around the campsite, searching for something to say.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Don't think me forward, monsieur, when I suggest that your opinion of travel is easy to discern. For my own part, I am a chasseur... uh... a hunter, you would say. So, please, if there's anything I can do to make this journey less unpleasant, ask it of me."

Louis pauses for a moment. "As I look around at the people gathered here, about to set out on this journey... I see quite a few people used to uncomfortable living. Hunters like myself, the Buxley family who prepared our fare, and these other menials here. But you are the only one who has seemed not possessed of a rustic nature. Perhaps that man I heard called 'Doctor' just now?"

"Anyway, it seems to me that you wouldn't be here unless you were master of some skill not found in any of the rest of us, a skill so important that they're willing to compensate you enough to make it worth your while to brave all this to be here. But, at the same time, you're not so used to power that you'd expect a spot at His Lordship's table, like the 'Doctor' I just mentioned."

"All of this tells me that at some point in the coming months, it will probably be in my best interests for you to be as comfortable as I can make you."

Louis glances over Raphaelus' shoulder as the girl returns with most of a bottle of wine and another mug. "Excellent, my dear. Merci!" he says to her, taking it from her and pouring some for the scholar.

Louis raises his own mug to the man, "Et, I'm sure that earning your goodwill cannot hurt me either, n'est-ce pas?"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shuldz wrote:


"I hope you don't if I smoke Doktor. Its a habit I picked up during action in northern lands. Remarkable place with odd peoples and rituals, have you ever been?"


'Not at all'.

Ingmann briefly turned from the soldier to gaze at the tower looming above. Solid stone, with foundations unlikely to crumble into ruins just yet; though a ramshackle character over-shadowed the edifice. The doctor wondered if the tower stood as an allegory for Strassburg, or for Svalsing.

Shuldz had lit up by now, and was puffing away at his pipe. The languid curling of the smoke spirals made him think of his own pipe, and of its special purpose. His hand began to ache, and he thought of the sensual haze of opium smoke of the last den he had been in. The cravings were coming more frequently; this time he would have to make a concerted effort to reduce his dosage.

Ingmann had to take his mind off it. 'Svalsing? You have been into her before, then? Tell me, what are the people like?'.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shuldtz regarded his pipe for a second. "I could not honestly tell you a lot. They're a quiet and mistrustful lot. We past through quickly but received a lot of dark looks when we got around." He took another draw on his pipe.

"They're odd to look at. Pale skinned, with dark hair and bushy eye brows. Gives them a certain look of dullness. Also, they seem shorter than us, and seem to be more weathered looking. But ultimately they're a simple stupid people, you wont find their company fulfilling Ingmann." He spat on the ground and banged the burnt weed from his pipe.

"That Holtz had best turn up soon or I'll be forced to eat my own arm." He turns and regards Ingmann for a moment "Tell me Doktor. What brings you too Svalsing? Surely one of your skill could seek more gainful employment back home."
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis de la Foręt wrote:
"Anyway, it seems to me that you wouldn't be here unless you were master of some skill not found in any of the rest of us, a skill so important that they're willing to compensate you enough to make it worth your while to brave all this to be here. But, at the same time, you're not so used to power that you'd expect a spot at His Lordship's table, like the 'Doctor' I just mentioned."

"All of this tells me that at some point in the coming months, it will probably be in my best interests for you to be as comfortable as I can make you."

Louis raises his own mug to the man, "Et, I'm sure that earning your goodwill cannot hurt me either, n'est-ce pas?"


Raphaelus sipped the bitter wine, wishing he had a bottle of fine Montepulciano D'abruzzo, and not this Strassburgian balsamic. It was harsh, and had an biting, acidic finish. "You are apt to assume much, Huntsman." He paused, remembering his own words to the Solarian Emissary. Such is the zeal of youth. "But I thank you for the meal, and the wine, such as it is." He forced a smile. "Now I must return to my studies. My apologies." He made to re-enter his tent, then stopped at the entrance, a strange look on his face. An errant, fleeting thought had crossed his mind, like a shadow in the night. He turned back to Louis, lowering his voice. "You are a chasseur, monsieur? And well traveled? I wonder then, does the name of Fernus mean anything to you?"


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her small canvas tent pitched against the sheer rock wall running along the northern side of the narrow clearing, Elena rested on her haunches just outside the opening and poked at the small fire in front of her with a stick. Other fires, larger so as to accomodate more people, had sprung up around the glade, but this early in the expidition she was content with her own company. One of the daughters of the camp cook had brought her a roast leg of mutton and some smoked cheese on a slab of dark bread, so all she needed were some embers to keep the chill away.

As the sun surrendered the sky to his sister and slipped behind the mountains, Elena sighed inwardly and allowed herself to relax a little. She always felt more comfortable in Lunarion's embrace - the day was somewhere she had to be, but the night was somewhere she belonged. Looking around discretely, she could see at least a handful of others who could be described the same way, and many more who definitely could not.

Like the old man with the satchel who had just emerged from his tent. If there was anyone on this mission who should tucked up in bed, it was him. Picking up the last of the bread and cheese that had been balance precariously on her knee, Elena took a bite and sat watching as he was accosted by a younger man - one obviously far more at home in the shadows.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doktor Ingmann felt a rush of excitement as the soldier talked about the Svalsings. Pale skin, short statures, bushy brows. I can almost see the knitted brows, the sloping foreheads, the stolid and heavy jaw-sets. To get my hands on some of their burial sites . . .

Shuldz wrote:

"Tell me Doktor. What brings you too Svalsing? Surely one of your skill could seek more gainful employment back home."


'Hmmm?' the doctor had barely been listening; the question surprised him. He had never even thought of having to give a reason - why would these profiteers think of anything else than money?

Before Shuldz began to repeat his question, Ingmann interjected, almost too quickly. 'Money. Well, opportunity. The chance to - well, the opportunity to advance my understanding of human physiognomy'.

It was the partly the truth, yet the haste of Ingmann's response would have caused suspicion from anyone who was astute enough.

'And practical experience,' Ingmann continued. 'One in my trade can never shy away from doing their duty to medicine and man. Cities, you see - like Strassburg - have an abundance of ailments running rampant amongst them, but I would prefer to continue my surgeon's art. There are far more opportunities to set bones in the wilds amongst working people, you would imagine, than in the city'. Realising that the opposite, in his experience, was true, Ingmann redirected - 'Will there be anyone else joining us tonight?'
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shuldtz eyes seemed to almost look through Ingmann for the long second it took before he replied. "Just a couple others. The lord, his lackey and an associate of mine. Ah and there they are.."

He nodded across the clearing as Holtz came into view. He was dressed in clothes far to fine for such out door environs, coming across as a man who had wealth and wanted everyone to know it. To his side was his mute guard, dressed in a long travelling coat of dark green with leather shoulders, and his signature leather hat. Accompanying the two was a man Ingmann had seen on the security detail. A quiet man, shoulder length hair dressed unassumingly and a neat beard. Ingmann knew he was a Gustan based on his accent he had heard earlier on the trip. As always the man had a melancholy frown.

Holtz nodded his greeting. "Shuldtz, Ingmann good to see you chose to join us. Now please, let us go in, this chill is a curse."

The inside of the tower was dark and musty. Clearly designed for purpose rather than aesthetics, it had the depressed coldness of such structure the world over. Soldiers of the Strassburg Bluttenguard were seen around the place, armed with pike and cross bow. Now obsolete with the decay of the Nissian empire, the garrison here seemed much too small for such a fortification, which added further to the quiet and depressed isolation one felt inside.

The group were led into a dining room, lined with banners and flags of the regiment. A warm fire cracked in the hearth as they were seated. The aide to lead them there informed them the captain would be available soon and to please wait. Wine and brandy was laid out for everyone to drink.

Holtz was clearly irritated to be kept waiting. despite the fire he rubbed his hands together for warmth.

"These blasted mountains are far too cold. Only a foolish man or a greedy one would wish to come so far." whichever he considered himself to be was unclear. "Ingmann, you seem well travelled. Is your home in the south as depressingly chilling this forsaken place?"
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Raphaelus the Younger]I wonder then, does the name of Fernus mean anything to you?"[/quote]

"Fernus? No monsieur, I don't know that name. Perhaps if you can tell me something about him, it might jog my memory, though."

[ooc]Dorian... if the name Fernus should mean something to me, PM me the details?[/ooc]
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