The Discovery of a Lifetime

The Ancient Lake is situated before a forest of equal age. They were formed at the dawn of this world, and have remained relatively unchanged. The very air is alive with the old magic of Rivyn.

The Discovery of a Lifetime

Crito
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Crito
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Joined: June 10th, 2013, 12:49 am

September 14th, 2014, 11:55 pm #1

The journey from Cordia had been long, but well worth the time. Practically bouncing from excitement, Beorill reviewed his maps in his tent just one last time. The high of the geographical discovery had failed to wane over the many weeks of travel and preparation, and it was indeed this same sensation that washed over him now. His ties with the global academic community allotted him this humble exploration team, but little else.

It took every favor owed him, letters of recommendation from each of his previous professors, a near interrogation officially documented as an "academic interview", and the striking down of many a naysayer in live debates to get what he had. Some two dozen students of history, a few wizened handymen and a small guard detachment not five men strong. Despite all of his proof, there were few that believed that Beorill's discovery was indeed Karak-a-Khazad.

This motley crew of eager hands had taken up temporary residence in Settwick, by the graces of Ritt. Beorill wove a compelling story about the long-lost Dwarf hold and this moved the tribal leader greatly. He allowed the company to erect a small camp near the forest, where they might prepare for the journey through the mountains. Beorill had gone through great lengths to send couriers to a few key individuals, all of whom he hoped had interest in this adventure.

Sitting in his tent in the heart of the small erected camp, Beorill pushed his maps away long enough to prop up his chin with bent elbow. Letting out a long sigh, he allowed his hand to run through his ample beard. There was much riding on the success of this academic endeavor, and a seed of doubt had been planted in the back of his mind.

"Perhaps just one last look at those maps..."
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Colby_Fraust
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Colby_Fraust
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September 15th, 2014, 2:01 am #2

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Mouse
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Mouse
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 12:14 am

September 15th, 2014, 7:03 pm #3

Of all the places in Rivyn, Riktor had spent the least amount of time in the Wilderlands. For the most part he simply passed through, the area being little more than a peaceful stopover before reaching Anget. Even the area's exports usually went south to Anget before travelling to the rest of the world, so Riktor had never really had much reason to stay very long.

That, of course, was before he had received a rather peculiar summons.

The letter had made some very interesting promises, and, as trade would soon begin slowing down with the approach of winter, the mention of 'a great sum of gold' had been rather attractive indeed. He had thumbed the little rune without a moment's hesitation, finished up his last bit of business in record time, and begun the journey east.

With little more than his freight harness and a small amount of food for the journey – superstition compelled him not to take fish from the Ancient Lake – Riktor made good time from Angeth to Settwick, flying low over the water and alarming more than a few sailors as he went. After only a couple of days' flight, sleeping on sandbars and rocky outcrops, the opposite shore came into view, along with a little town that could only be Settwick.

Beating his wings furiously to slow his descent, Riktor still landed harder than he would have liked on the outskirts of the town. People stopped and stared, as they always did out in the lonely places where dragons could mean fiery death. His brown leather harness stood out against his grey-green hide, though, so most of the townsfolk refrained from fleeing as they realised this particular dragon was at least somewhat civilised.

Riktor took a moment to get his bearings. Most of the houses were wood, not stone, arranged along the edge of the lake. On the other side he could see a group of tents, likely where the scholars had set up camp. He flattened his enormous wings against his sides and made his way across town, bidding people good afternoon as he went. By the time he reached the encampment, the air of concern had mostly dissipated.

The tents were set up so that the largest stood in the middle, so Riktor assumed that was where he'd find the leader of this expedition. Carefully he walked through the camp, holding his tail high off the ground and lifting his feet like a hackney pony so as not to tear up any of the tent lines. Riktor pushed open the flap of the central tent with his nose and poked just his head inside.

A beastkin gentleman sat inside, along with a dwarf who sat poring over books and papers. Riktor dipped his head low, and hoped he was not intruding. “Excuse me,” he said, in as gentle a voice as a fifteen hundred pound dragon could, “but would either of you know where I could find a Mister Beorill Grudgebearer?”
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Crito
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September 22nd, 2014, 2:03 am #4

The sudden appearance of the Foxmorph startled the Dwarf. With a bit of a jump, Beorill's head snapped up and his chair practically flew from underneath him. The now standing academic quickly realized his first visitor and a smile spread across his face.

"Master Cyprus, welcome! Welcome!"

He was absolutely giddy with intellectual glee.

"I am indeed your sender, Beorill Grudgebearer at your service!"

He bowed so deeply his beard brushed the floor.

"And your family's!"

After recovering from his cowtow, his head began darting around his modest tent. A lone lantern hung from the tent's center, providing much of the current amber lighting, and aside from his footlocker containing his various notes and references, only a dwarf-sized table and chair bore residence. With fingers quivering from the excitement, Beorill grabbed his chair and offered it to Cyprus.

"Please friend, take a seat! I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of refreshments, I'm quite caught of guard. I think I may have some cheese stashed away in my trunk here, or perhaps a nice vintage if it's to your liking. I know Jupp makes a fine blueberry tea if you'd like..."

The dwarf continued to prattle on unendingly with his attempts at hospitality. He hadn't even noticed if Cyprus had moved to take the seat offered him, as his nose was buried in his trunk in desperation to find libations for his guest.

It wasn't much after this that another visitor appeared in his temporary abode. The dragon's words, though gentle, further startled the rambling Dwarf. Losing his footing, Beorill slipped, crashing head-first into the contents of his trunk. His stocky legs kicked vainly in the air for a few moments before the entire trunk tipped, spilling the Dwarf and the ensuing tidalwave of papers and tomes atop him.

"By the helm of Moradin! A little help here lads?"
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Colby_Fraust
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Colby_Fraust
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September 22nd, 2014, 12:21 pm #5

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Mouse
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September 23rd, 2014, 3:55 pm #6

Riktor winced as the dwarf went head-over-heels into the footlocker. He had this effect on people, sometimes. He almost took a step inside to snake his neck into the tent and pull him to his feet with his jaws, but if just the sight of a dragon was enough to throw him off balance, then the sight of said dragon's teeth didn't bear thinking about.

Remaining quiet as the foxkin gentleman pulled the dwarf to his feet, Riktor shifted his weight across his shoulders, still mindful of tent ropes and poles. He had always found camps like this a little uncomfortable, which was something of a problem in his line of work. At least most of the time he could simply remain on the outskirts, but in this case that wasn't much of an option.

He was almost a little startled when the foxkin spoke to him openly, given the dwarf's reaction. “I would assume so.” he said, dipping his head a little lower out of politeness. “Is this him?” he asked, tilting his nose in the direction of the dwarf, whom Riktor still wasn't convinced was ready to answer the question himself.

“My name is Riktor,” he continued, “aerial courier and occasional guide, scout and bodyguard.” He could tell the foxkin was watching him out of the corner of his eye. Not unreasonable, given the behaviour of some dragons Riktor could name, but it still wouldn't be ideal if their working partnership was marred by the simple fact that Riktor was a fourteen hundredweight fire-breathing behemoth.

It took a moment of consideration before he committed to the action, but, in the hopes of establishing himself as an entirely civilised creature, he reached one clawed, delicate hand into the tent. Riktor offered it to the dwarf first, as he seemed the more scholarly of the two and thus more likely to be in charge here, if not Master Grudgebearer himself. Hopefully the dwarf would be able to stay upright this time.
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Mesaphish
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Mesaphish
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Joined: April 19th, 2012, 9:43 am

September 24th, 2014, 8:17 am #7

It's not my fault if in God's plan
He made the devil so much stronger than a man
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Crito
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September 28th, 2014, 11:15 pm #8

"Sorry lads, afraid I'm a bit excitable these days!"

Chuckling to himself, he took the help of Cyprus and Riktor. Once upright, Beorill brushed himself off, thanking his soon-to-be-companions as they helped him. After running a hand through his beard, Beorill took the dragon's hand as best as he could and shook it. Though not the mightiest Dwarf in recent history, Beorill was deceptively strong.

"Master Riktor! Beorill Grudgebearer at your service, and your family's!"

He moved to tidy the enormous mess that he had just made in his lodgings before he realized another visitor had appeared.

"Bless my beard, is that Tyrann?"

He turned to see the older dwarf in his makeshift doorway and immediately broke out in a smile. With a hearty laugh he gripped Tyrann's hand with both of his own.

"It is so good to see you kinsman! I'm honored to have such of Dwarf of repute venture with me into the halls of our ancestors!""

He sought to return to his materials, only to remember of the catastrophic mess he had made. With a sigh, he turned instead to address his fellow adventurers.

"I know you all must have questions, as I'm sure some of the other team members do. I'll gather my materials and hold a meeting for everybody at midday tomorrow."

Beorill stopped himself, his gaze drifting to the floor in contemplation. As he weighed something internally, his eyes met with each of his personal sortie before he smiled weakly.

"But you all deserve explanations, so I will grant them tonight. Know the biggest details I'll be going over with everybody tomorrow, but if there's anything specific you'd like to know now I will happily discuss it."

As he ended his statement he moved to the pile of resources on the floor. Gathering a scroll case and a few books he returned to his seat at the table and clasped his hands together atop the retrieved items.
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Colby_Fraust
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Colby_Fraust
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Joined: June 9th, 2013, 7:04 pm

September 29th, 2014, 8:46 pm #9

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Mouse
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Mouse
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September 29th, 2014, 10:28 pm #10

Riktor bowed his head as the increasingly enthusiastic Grudgebearer shook his hand. The strength of the dwarf's grip was impressive, given his work was more with a pen than a pickaxe. He tilted his head a little at the mention of his family – what did family have to do with any of this? From his various contacts with the many peoples of Rivyn he had learned of the dwarven emphasis on family, but Riktor's family, whoever and wherever they were, were providing no service to this gentleman. Riktor almost brought it up, but again found himself thinking better of it, this time for fear of insulting his host's hospitality. Even after a century among the 'civilised' peoples, he still couldn't quite get his head around some of their customs.

Behind him, Riktor heard the sound of blades sliding out of their scabbards, and his shoulders tensed. A growl rose from the pit of his throat even as he had been reminding himself of civilised manners. He turned his head to one side, ready to back out of the tent and fight if anyone threatened him, until the sound ran in reverse as the swords were sheathed. Riktor's instincts quieted, and with a deliberate exhalation he forced himself to be calm.

One of the approaching party made his way past him. “Oop - apologies.” said Riktor, and he shuffled to one side to let the newcomer through. Another dwarf, hardly surprising given the location. The others he had arrived with remained outside, and he twisted his neck around to poke his head back through the tent flap. Several armed and armoured guards stood watching him, and Riktor felt his wings rise just a little as that instinct to make himself look bigger took over. He made a show of pulling his wings closer to him as soon as he noticed, and dipped his head to the guards as well. “Good evening to you.” he said, then pulled his head back inside.

Inside, Beorill was clutching the newcomer's hand, and at the mention of 'venturing with him into the halls of their ancestors', Riktor realised that the man's presence was not an official response to a dragon – rather, he had been invited to travel with them. He relaxed visibly, his back and neck loosening now he was fairly certain he was not going to receive yet another polite request to leave and stop scaring the horses.

Beorill chattered on, and Riktor nodded along. For one so... highly strung, the man seemed reasonable. With no real questions of his own to ask, at least until he knew more about what he was asking about, he remained quiet until the beastkin gentleman spoke. The word 'thievery' brought the tension back into his spine, and this time Riktor made no attempt to conceal it, even as the man made his assurances that he would not turn his skills against the group. Beorill suddenly seemed an awful lot less reasonable.

Nevertheless, the man had asked a question. “Once again,” - they had a newcomer, he thought it only best to repeat the introductions - “I am a professional courier. I'm going to assume I was hired to scout, haul artefacts, and... protect the group, as needs be.” He turned to look down at their newcomer. “Riktor is my name, by the way.”
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