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VoB - Curgesing River

 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: VoB - Curgesing River Reply with quote



Post stories taking place along the Curgesing river outside of cities and towns here please.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He fell. The sweet intoxication took him into its black embrace. Seething in through every pore, through his throat; lapping and softly tugging at the senses until all was swathed in the cloak of opium, the mistress of love and comfort, the terrible queen.

The old man’s face cackled until it crumbled into shards, a titanic edifice of stone tumbling into a dark sea, wherein were washed and lathed the final remnants of the past. And Ingmann tumbled into that sea too, feeling its cool touch soak him.

‘He’s dead now,’ Karl said. ‘I wonder what his measurements are?’

‘Let’s see. Remove the brain’.

‘But he has the whole of Umbria in there. I don’t think we’ll get it out easily’.

Four enormous hands, one with a scar puncturing through it, jostled and groped at the calmness of the sea. Their fevered plunging churned the ocean, stirring forth thick seaweed, the wreckage of ancient ships, tentacled fish with gnashing teeth, sundered pillars etched with leering and uncouth faces like demons. And yet more terrible things were washed onto a shore which sought desperately to creep away from them. A procession of men and women, their washed and naked bodies were white and bloated, and they trailed shells, seaweed, cuttlefish, and hideous leaping homunculi.

The procession stole through an impenetrable light with avid lust, towards a black throne at the summit of a glistening precipice. He sat upon the throne, watching the hideous things press on his kingdom - now a ruin of paper, skulls, and swirling millet seeds. At once they exalted him as king! As tyrant! As Urias! As Solarias! As Suberus! From lord he fell to slave, and they cast him in chains, pulling at his face with wet, clawing hands. Breathing black smoke, they washed him in sin for centuries, until his skin was as pale as theirs.

They cast him on a jagged stone, to be sacrificed to profane images, but he ran from them. Hurtling through the night, he plunged into an abyss of utter darkness. He spiralled to the depths of eternity, suffering aeons of loneliness and withering despair. He felt his throat burn. Blood surged forth the colour of water, and he knew he was going to die. Vomit, blood, and water exploded in thick gouts, trailing the sweet smoke of the terrible queen and –


…. …. …. ….

Doktor Konrad Ingmann splurted the foul tasting river from his lungs as he gasped for breath. A heavy weight dragged at his coat, and he could not understand what it was until a full minute had passed. Surging on to a dark river bank, he freed himself from a log which had buoyed him for untold miles. The night was still dark and he collapsed into fitful, desperate weariness and horror.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ingmann had barely settled into sleep before the light of the sun had set upon his back. His boots still trailed in the river, cooling him, yet the warmth of the sun was enough to rouse the doctor.

Sleep had been brief - at least since Ingmann had ended his nightmare. For minutes, confusion reigned.

Ingmann was upon the Eastern bank of the Curgesing River. Trees hung over the shifting current, and thick reeds swayed with the water. A chill breeze mocked the doctor.

His purse was gone. All the money he had left in the world - his one sure means of survival; his one sure means of staying ahead of any authorities, should they ever come to track him. That his pistol was still in his coat was small consolation - the powder was soaked through.

Ingmann sat under the weight of his drenched clothing, penniless and lost in a cold and unknown wilderness. He stared into the river, watching the current take driftwood with the stream. He fell in despair that was so deafeningly silent he wondered if he was not about to die alone and unremembered in a land too squalid and vast for imagining. Only the sound of birds rousing and setting flight stirred him and made him realise that his hands were shaking from the cold.

[Ingmann removes his clothes and lays his powder out on a handkerchief. He waits for half of the day like this, slowly growing hungry, and trying to doze to chase his aching head away. I rolled a 04 on that test, so he notices the road on the other side of the river, through the thicket, but he also realises he has no means of reaching it. Once his clothes and some of the powder has dried, he will set off and look for habitation. I'll post again if you don't]
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sharp crack peeled across the open plain and resounded like a roar of thunder.

Ingmann blew the residue powder from his pistol. He had merely tested the flash charge with a miniscule amount of dry powder and was relieved to find his only weapon still worked. Sitting upon a dilapidated stone fence, he patiently loaded the gun properly and packed it away in his coat.

The plain stretched in every direction barring the river. Scrub and long grass eventually gave over to the triumphant wildness of dark and impenetrable forests. The forests became foothills, and the jagged broken stones of the foothills grew to monolithic mountains. Somewhere to the North was the city from which the doctor had been carried downstream of, but before him were only the ruins of forgotten villages and farmsteads.

Rain was assaulting the summits of the mountains. Eventually the rain would sweep down into the plane but, for now, Ingmann was dry. He assessed his situation. The crushing despair of his nightmare imagining had given over to a species of calm realism. As it ever had been for the doctor, survival was the key. Alone in the wilderness, and unable to fend for himself in the same manner as an experienced woodsman, the doctor pinned all his immediate hopes on finding friendly farmers or fisher folk. The opportunity of seeing the indigenous people of this callous land was almost a welcome chance for fieldwork.

Adjusting his coat about himself, Ingmann began to make his way along what once may have been a major trackway. The late afternoon was approaching, and he was determined to find at least rudimentary shelter before dark.

He wondered what had become of the huntsman who had been his guard. Perhaps he too had been an intended murder victim of the den's criminal masters, and now hugged the bottom of the city's filthy docks.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walking along the river bank for several hours, Konrad notes the sun beginning to dip behind the Bluttenburgs to the west. It is not long before the countryside is swathed in the dull haze of twilight as Umbria rolls across the land.

Whilst walking in the half light of dusk, it is with some amazement that Konrad realize the river has had no traffic on it all day. What little the Doktor know of this valley bound nation implied that the river was the primary source of transport, yet you haven't seen a single boat nor raft upon the waters all day. Neither has he seen any travelers on the road across the wide river.

Dismay sets in, as it grows dark and Ingmann is still yet to find shelter. But then, ahead of his, he sees the straight outline of a building. Clearly abandoned, Konrad quickly takes advantage of its shelter and gets inside. Though the smell is foul, smelling of urine and feces, the Doktor cares little, for it is welcome shelter from the wind and he soon rolls up in a dry corner and gets some rest.


[ooc]Refer to pm[/ooc]
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange fears can beset even the most rational men, when their senses have been taxed and unnaturally distorted, and when their needs are at their utmost. For Doktor Ingmann, alone in the dank and dilapidated shack, with his stomach groaning from hunger, and his body feeling an acute craving, his needs and senses were taut with strain. The smell of the place he was in was foul. The den of some animal, though thankfully not now, and the nest of wild birds, these less than salubrious environs seemed as nothing to his basic hunger.

Several times through the cold, mysterious night Konrad awoke from a fitful doze to pace about the shelter. He struggled to take his mind from his discomfort by reciting the classifications of Haig's Anatomy, or the ailments in Impurities. And in these dark hours, his mind leapt to darker fancies. In all the time since he washed upon the bank of the river he had not seen a living soul. No tracks, no distant silhouettes, no boats. His rational mind knew that thoughts of the afterlife were childish imaginings . . . yet he could not shake the sensation that this was some otherworldy torment in which he was locked, eternally, in damnation.

He cursed, and continued with his recitation of Haig's. Sleep took him at last, though it was hardly deep or long-lasting. Dawn was filtering through the cracks in the room he rested in, but it was his hunger which stirred him. Rousing with a profound sense of depression, Ingmann first noticed the sounds of some thing rummaging about the shack, on the side closest the river. He took his pistol from his coat, cocked the hammer, and slowly crept from the ruin. He took the shortest path from the river side as he could, hoping to keep his distance, though he never took his eyes from the direction of the noise.
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An amazing success on your silent move test (3!) despite it being at 50% for untrained. Failed perception test.

Moving as quietly as he can, Konrad makes his way outside the shelter. In the daylight he can see that it is an old farmhouse, uninhabited for many many years. The river is very close, only a short walk from the front door, with a collapsed jetty extending out into its wide flow.

The ever insistent snuffling continues from the other side of the building, though it is harder to hear from the opposite side. Though its nature is unknown, hidden from view by the building, Konrad knows it is not of human origin. Stranded in the bare country side, the Doktor looks around for an escape.

Moving as smooth and quiet as he can manage, Konrad makes it to cover behind a crumbling low stone fence. Having reached temporary safety, he reassessed his situation. Looking out over the river, he spotted no people on the road opposite nor along the flowing waters. Looking back towards the shelter from before there was still no sign of the creature he had heard earlier. Not far off, to the west, was a half collapsed barn, once a part on the now dilapidated farm. Not for the first time, Konrad felt very much alone out here.

Where to go from here was a mystery. To continue along the river bank the way he had been going would take him back past the farmhouse and the mysterious creature. One option was to brave the waters, although doing so would be extremely difficult, the current being as strong as it was and the river so wide. He could always divert around the farmhouse, and thus the creature, but to do so would force him to lose sight of the river and the only tie he still had with mankind out here. The final option was to wait it out, for either sight of people to come along the river or for the creature to wonder off. The stone wall he crouched behind would provide shelter from the wind, provided it didn't change direction. And there was always the collapsed barn to the west.

Sitting there, under the over cast sky, Konrad considered his options.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With his back leant against the crumbling stone rocks and cobbles of the fence, Doktor Ingmann made as low a profile as he could. He watched the hovel with nervous interest.

With a grumbling stomach, and the agonies of wet saliva taunting his appetite, Ingmann knew he could not travel more than another day without food. His best course of action lay in waiting on the jetty, in the hope of sighting any human traffic along the river. The only rational explanation for why this side was so abandoned seemed to be the possibilty that some calamity had befallen here - plague, war, famine. Supersition, no doubt, had kept the locals from returning.

[Ingmann will wait for an hour. If the animal has left, he will go and sit on the jetty and watch the river until after noon. If the animal doesn't leave, he'll take a wide path away from it, then gradually work his way back towards the city, along the river]
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The haze of morning gradually brightens, as the sun begins to climb its way up the backs of the Bluttenburgs not far to the east. Huddled behind his fence, Konrad tries to keep his warmth as he watches the hovel and its strange investigator.

He does not have to wait long before the mysterious source of sound shows itself. Rounding the lee side of the house, a large boar sniffs and roots at the ground. Standing nearly a metre tall, covered in harsh blackish brown bristles with large stained tusks, the boar moves in a controlled lumber. Searching for food, it remains around the house for nearly an hour. Konrad is not sure if it is oblivious to him, or simply does not care.

As he watches the creature, Konrad becomes aware of a noise to the east. Shifting his gaze to the barn house, he notices movement. Soon this movement materializes itself to be several young pigs, clearly awoken, moving into sight. Whilst not newly born, their small size suggests that they are the larger boars young. Soon, the group rejoin, and go on their way inland.

Once the coast is clear, Konrad makes his way to the old jetty. The walk along its short length is perilous, with the boards rotten or broken, but seen he is sitting on its crumbling end. Across the river, he can make out the road, bare of any travelers. Sitting here alone, Konrad really takes in the land he has become lost in.

Over the river, beyond the road, he spies more overgrown plains of abandoned farmland, as old and decayed as the farm he was now on. Further still was the mighty mountains, coated in their green vests of pine forests, with their sharp grey heads poking out the top. Konrad sighed, for he knew beyond those mountains was his home land, and a life far from this cold lonely jetty.

To his back, the mountains were covered in a darker jacket of oaks and beech, their high points shrouded by thick grey cloud. Through this cloud, the light of Solarias struggled to burn, instead merely turning the cloud from an ash black to a mercury grey.

Alone on this jetty, hours pass by as Konrads stomach grumbles with hunger and pangs of pain. Fatigued, the Doktor begins to doze off. Head slung low on his chest, he is soon awake as Solarias finally climbs above the clouds, its rays shining down onto the water, reflecting back up to bath Konrads face. In front of him, the blue green waters turn bright silver and gold, as the sun plays across the moving surface. Despite the hunger and thirst, even the cold Doktor can appreciate the beauty of this strange wild land.

More time passes as Ingmann tries to keep himself entertained. No life stirs on the distant road, and the air is still and cold where sunlight fails to reach. Warmed by the sun, Konrad remains vigilant for the inevitable saviour to appear. But then, the river begins to shift and move.

Jumping to his feet, Konrad is shocked as the river seems to turn and go the opposite direction. The strong southern current seems to shift as a strong silver surge pushes to the north. The surface ripples and pops as this surge pushes past the jetty, looking almost organic. Even the wildlife stirs, birds crowing and circling this strange phenomenon. From the silvery flow, fish jump and flip.

Standing back in puzzlement, it is only his academic mind that saves Ingmann from sheer panic. Despite what his eyes tell him, Konrad knows such a thing can not be. Stooping low to get a better look, his suspicion is awarded as Konrad sees the Silver backs of hundreds of Salmon pushing their way north in one of natures most impressive displays of force. Fighting the strong current, this surge of fish push hard for every metre, often jumping to clear the surface. Retaking his seat, Konrad watches the impressive sight.

So enraptured is he in this show, that he hears, rather than sees, the boat approaching from the south, as the crew shout and work to net as many of the silver fish as they can manage. Jumping to his feet with excitement once more, Konrad sees the large boat, sail pulled short, rowing up stream as men on board work furiously to pull what they can of the running Salmon before they are completely outrun by them.

Soon the boat will be alongside Doktor Ingmann.
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing the boat, Ingmann was on his feet. His hunger was temporarily forgotten. An almost euphoric rush made his knees feel weak, and he had to stand his posture so as to not fall into the river.

Ingmann began to wave his hands in the air and shout for rescue. There was little chance the boat would miss him, but there may have been some that they would ignore him. The doctor cursed the circumstances which had led him to such desperate necessity and silently swore to avoid opium from this point onwards. But, as he waved his hands in the air with hungry vigour, he could feel the ache returning.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Men on the boat point and shout towards Ingmann and the jetty. As it gets closer, a small group gathers on the prow. One, tall with dark hair and a short beard, hails Konrad in Svalish. Noticing the dumbfounded look on the Doktors face, he switches to common Balorian in a thick accent.

"Hey, what are you doing there? You lost?"

The boat gets a lot closer, and in a minute will be passing the jetty.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad calls out to them. His voice is hoarse from exhaustion and under-use.

'I'm lost! I was dumped in the river . . . some people tried to drown me . . . I,' Ingmann felt foolish trying to explain himself, and got right to the point, 'I'm a doctor. I need help getting back to the city'.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The man vanishes from site into a canvas covered cabin on the boat. As it pulls aside, Konrad sees over half a dozen men aboard, either rowing or working to pull in more of the jumping salmon. For a moment panic grips Konrad as it seems the boat is about to pass, but soon the man is back outside. He throws a long coil of rope towards the jetty, calling for Ingmann to come aboard.

The thin rope swirled in the current as Konrad dived for it. Frantically pulling at its frayed end, the Doktor managed to get a grip, fish slapping at his sides as he was pulled in towards the boat. Looking most undignified as he clambered on board, Konrad of stripped of his soaked jacket and wrapped in a rough woolen blanket and ushered below the canvas canopy on deck.

Once aboard, it was clear that the vessel was nothing more than a large fishing boat. The man who had saved Konrad was clearly in charge. His skin was of a olive complexion, with thick dark hair, beard and brows. He seemed to be nearing middle age but still showed a lot of vitality. The rest of his crew were much the same in appearance, though younger.

The tall man grinned through his short knotted beard, taking a swig from a small flask before offering it to the shivering Konrad.

"Here, to warm the belly. My name is Ristal and these are my sons. And who may you be?" A bushy eye brow raised in query.
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