Marcus Hammerstrike / "Boulder" Bill
The burden of friendship
Bill and Marcus both gave ground when Vovin took his spot between them. Likely he didn't understand why the mountain had struck his father but at the end of the day it wouldn't matter. Anger could be pushed aside but it would always linger until you did something about it. The fact Marcus had taken it without complaint or a flinch proved once again he was made of stuff harder and more dependable than the very hammer he created them with.
It was Marcus who spoke first. "You are young, Vovin. We all make mistakes. But William had the right of it to demand his revenge."
Bill crossed his arms at the use of his real name. "He's right. I am.. sorry. For my outburst and the threats, but I have my reasons." He turned to stare at Vovin. "But we all learn from mistakes. It is because we make them that we grow." Boulder Bill stared down at his hands. "But there will always be a mistake that cannot be forgiven in life. Understand what they are." With a resigned sigh, William O'dim walked into the forge. Marcus and Vovin proceeded in after them.
An hour or so later everything had been prepared for the elder forgemaster. A secluded forge had been constructed and tended by the apprentices with a sort of reverence usually reserved for holy altars of some sort. For Marcus, his personal forge room was an altar. Here was where he prayed and here was where he put his faith. Here is where he made weapons and armor for men and women who were more than just mortal. Kings and Emperor's alike would never feel for their kingdoms the way that Marcus cared and cherished his sacred ground.
It was 'lavish' in the sense that it had a lot of room for one man to work and had all the equipment his larger forge did, but condensed to one area instead of multiple ones. Not meant for mass production but instead for the finer works that took time and skill. William was in the main forge being fitted with a replacement for his armor while some of the more skilled artisans under Marcus' tutelage had returned to help make a suit of plate like the trashed one William was more accustomed to. Of course, Marcus would oversee the finishing touches and add in his own forge magics to enhance the suit but that was for another time.
Vovin sat nearby on a small well-used sofa that had served as Marcus' bed whenever he returned to his shop. Atop the desk that served as a material-bench rested the usual implements. Leather apron, Thick tongs, leather gloves, face-mask and eye protection, and the silver forge hammer Marcus had made years ago. Those were the basics.
Next to them in neat piles rested the remainder of his needs. In a wool bag was a pile of diamond dust. There was pouches of mage-ingrediants infused with a myriad of strengthening enchantments, a swords hilt (previously made by Marcus), a long thick piece of unshaped mithril ready to be shaped into a proper blade and fitted to the hilt. The last bag took up the largest portion of the desk and was spilling over it's contents. Crystals. Brittle and weak, they held a soft glow inside of them but would crack from a fairly weak amount of pressure and was usually meant for things like windows and such.
The crystal had a foreign name that Marcus couldn't pronounce but he knew everything else about it. Harvested from beneath the desert sands and traded to craftsman or artists in large chunks, the crystal was capable of holding magic by it's own innate nature. Though just because it could do so didn't mean it was often used for such and nobody ever really bothered.
Marcus had discovered that the crushed up powder of the crystal when applied to heat for a number of hours caused the crystals to melt and then reform when cooled into a bigger version of whatever it was poured into, such as a mold. The problem was that it retained that brittleness. Hence the diamond dust and the binding powder. With both of them and the right application of magic and heat, Marcus could turn the brittle crystal into something better. Something stronger. Something unbreakable. The blueprints resting atop the wall over the desk were faded and worn from being stored and unpacked and sketched on repeatedly but it was all there.
The weapon was a long curving blade coated in the crystal he intended to create. With the innate magical storing capability mixed with the diamond dusts sturdy nature it would make a blade capable of storing energy, any energy, and releasing it with the blade to cleave through armor and magical wards like paper.
He looked at Vovin for a brief moment and knew who the sword would be given to. "Are you ready, Vovin? or do you want to explore the city."
Valmyria Windstrider (tavern)
Johnus was a happy man. Always had been, since the day he was born to this great wide earth and further still when he made Mariah Zasslemar his wife and bore for him a strong son who gave him tremendous pride. Forever he would be happy as only simple men could be, happy in the life he'd made and lived in. Until now.
A worried frown took his usually very calm features to unfamiliar territory this day as he slowly made his rounds over the city, delivering packages and other various things to the wide variety of citizenry in his humble city. Everyone from one eyed mercenaries to the friendliest market tradesman. Idly he clutched at the small package tied securely to his hip, clinking lightly through the heavy folds of cloth wrapped around it as it danged from the leather straps tied to his belt. It had been requested to be delivered to the newest cause for concern, one Valmyria Windstrider. He didn't hate her but he hated to war she'd brought to his homeland. Talk of monsters he had scoffed at, Darkspawn marauders destroying castle redcliffe? Preposterous.
It wasn't until he saw the king of redcliffe praying in the local chapel that he had begun to doubt his mistrust of the rumors.
It wasn't until the dark creature had given him the package that he had truly believed the rumors.
The man.. Thing. It walked like a man, had talked like a man, but its mere presence was something entirely. Its skin was monstrous and seemed almost like scales, and the armor below the heavy cloak was heavily battered. Ancient even.
He'd not bothered to ask what the package was or why he wanted it delivered and instead hastily rushed out.
Eventually fortune smiled on him, one of the merchants had not only seen Valmyria but had heard she was currently relaxing, if you could believe such a thing!, at a local tavern he frequented called The Grey Fox.
He entered quietly, smiled to the bartender half-heartedly and scanned the room. His eyes fell on the woman drinking in the corner alone and knew he'd found her.. but now what? His thoughts whirled as he thought about what he would say to her. Oh, sorry miss, but I was menaced by a monster spit from the hells themselves who wanted me to delivery you a god damn bottle of something possibly poison! Take it and die in a corner! Johnus shook his head and banished the thought. He was a professional and he would not falter in the face of this.. thing.
Johnus still approached warily. His voice wasn't steady but it didn't have to be. Deliver the bottle and get out. He thought to himself. "Misstress Valmyria?"
The elf didn't look at him but responded in a friendly tone. "Can I help you with something." She spoke it as more of a command and less of a question.
"Package, Ma'am.. I wish I knew what told me to bring it to you." He whispered the last part as he placed the wrapped leather bottle in front of her, near the other empty bottle she had likely consumed already.
"You may leave, Mr..?"
"Johnus, Ma'am. Johnus Rinch."
"Return to your family, Mr.Rinch. You didn't see anything today, do you understand?" She half-turned to face him, with her eyebrow peaked slightly.
"Was never here. Promise." he turned and almost ran out of the tavern with a smile. Happy to be free of the monsters he played with at that very moment.
Val idly unwrapped the top end of the leather, half expecting the package to be a bottle of poison and a mean-spirited note from some fool knight serving under the king. Maybe the king himself had sent it. As soon as the bottles long neck came into view, she saw the faded tag that had turned from a light white to a stained yellow, from years upon years of age. The name upon the label had been faded but it was definitely a very rare and priceless bottle of some potent drink. Unwrapping it fully did little to reveal its nature, except for a few things that stuck out like a sore thumb.
Firstly, the bottle was in exquisite shape. It had been well preserved in a cellar for its long life somewhere they frequently checked upon. Likely a kings of some sort. Maybe a queen with a thirst?
Though the dates were faded, she ran her hand across the glass and felt the markings of the bottle. Custom made for a special occassion, with wording upon the bottle for whomever it was for. The letters had faded away almost entirely except for one part in elvish. She read it quietly to herself with another upturned eyebrow. "Loyalty is not given out on a corner. It is earned, through blood or deed." The inscription was unrecognizable after that but she hazarded a guess that it was meant for some knight or prince who had done a tremendous act of courage and honor to have warranted something like this. She almost felt bad that she was going to open it.
The last thing that struck drew blood. Near the bottom of the large bottle was four seperate lines running up a few inches. Claw marks. The glass had cut her finger as they rolled over them, but healing magic removed them entirely. The fact that it was still able to cut her at all meant they had been made very recently.
The damned hunter had sent this! The monstrous creature had the brass to give her a gift? After nearly killing her?! It all didn't make sense yet but maybe it would later. Maybe all her questions would be answered at the bottom of this very exquisite bottle of wine. She licked her lips despite herself.
The hunter prowled along the outer city, the slums or some such nonsense, that was littered with mercenaries and the foulest of men. Someone had to have what he was looking for. The night was setting in as he stalked the rooftops and back alleys, patrols were scarce and scarred faces were in abundance. But none of them looked like they offered a lot of fight..
Despite cuts that still wept lightly upon his body and the crack in his mask, Zha'Gren was still hunting. He'd ended the fight in a tie and even got a few more kills for the service of his new, though hesitant to say aloud, "Master", he was still not recovered enough to be of much use. So now he watched and waited. A suitable subject would come by and he would pounce. He would kill and he would drag it away. The scum of this place deserved no less. All of them had killed innocent children, had raped women and betrayed comrades. There would be no pity and even less mercy.
A large man with a thick mustache and a barreled chest sauntered below the hunter, the man blissfully unaware that he'd been chosen to participate in the greatest honor he could hope to achieve. Zha'Gren had stalked the man before when they'd arrived in the city. A way to kill time that had turned to something of an obsession. The man was huge, nearly 7 foot tall with corded muscles on his tatooed arms and a proud arch in his back that identified him as a commander of sorts. A leader. A light for his men to follow.
A beacon to be extinguished.
Gerak Hunt walked the streets with calm body and sharp eyes. Something was watching him. Had been watching him. Try as he might, he could never see what it was but the upraised hair on the back of his neck made it clear to him that it wasn't a friendly scrying or even a drunken soldier eyeing him with contempt. It was a threat and it was close and it wanted him for something. His hand was always within easy reach of the two curved heavy blades on his hips.
This end of the city was largely unused, meant for the richer mercenaries who could afford a stable home or a private lodge for when business brought them in. One such home belonged to Gerak, Atop a small rise on the street. Both of the homes next to him were unoccupied at the moment but he felt no concern at that. Why should he? He wasn't aware that both the men, whom served under him, had been killed already.
The home was sparsely furnished. Three rooms, ground level, a bedroom and bathing area with another room serving as his armory. Gerak walked in without the slightest care, the stalker never came close to the house anyways, and took off his sword belt, hanging it up near the door and walked to his bedroom.
A shadow followed him across the house.
"Hmm," The big man grumbled staring down at his chambers. Nobody had come by today to grap their payment. It still sat upon his dresser in labeled pouches. "Ah well. Ta' hell with em both, if they don't want their money. None of my concern." His words choked in his mouth as he turned around at the sound of blades hitting the floor.
His own blades.
The leather sheathes and his two curved swords slid to his feet with the sound of grinding wood. Geraks temper flared at the audacity of the intruder. As he looked up, he saw nothing. Not a soul. Sweat dripped down his back. It was in his house. It had given him weapons. It was nowhere to be seen. his heart was pounding as he leaned down quickly and pulled out the weapons and sighed at the relief of the feeling of cold steel in his hands. Familiar steel he would use to slit this assholes throat.
Gerak walked forward and out of the room, his heavy boots thudding with the sound of his own heart beating. Steel ahead and ready he paced into the open space and looked left and right for an attacker. He almost relaxed his guard until the hairs rose up. Whirling in a tight circle he slashed high with the heavy blades, barely missing the man in his doorway, and causing the attacker to leap ahead of the blades. He came up in a roll brandishing a golden sword. A golden sword!
Gerak roared and charged in with both blades in a series of attacks and parries, throwing clever faints before retaliating with devestating backhand swings. The stranger dodged and parried them all several times and landed a shallow cut on Geraks chest that left a tingling sensation as it cleanly slices his flesh. He barely felt the blades sting a moment later and simply thought it adrenaline blocking it out.
More swings from the big man as he tried to overpower the smaller assailant, both blades worked in a perfect routine of attack and defense that left little openings, his sheer bulk forcing the smaller man back step by step until he was finally at the wall. With a roar, Gerak came in again stabbing and regret his choice almost instantly. The smaller man hopped up and sprung from the wall like an acrobat, unhooking a vicious battle axe in mid-leap that he put to quick use. The dull underside of the blade caught around his neck and combined with the sheer force of the mans leap aided by gravity, he was pulled off his feet and strangled as momentum played out. The big man was flipped over the attackers shoulder to slam onto the floor. He felt both blades skitter away as he tried to desperatly catch a breathe.
He screamed with his remaining air when the axe and sword cut off his fingers in one clean slice. He could see the man now, not a man at all, but a monster. A darkspawn.
Zha'Grens foot slammed hard into the big mans chest, blowing his air and the rest of his scream from his lungs and quickly went to work. The poison upon dauntless was already numbing the big man, evident from how he could barely rise let alone fight back anymore. Blood flowed freely from bloody fingers and Zha'Gren went to work. He dropped both blades and slammed his fist into Geraks fist, shattering his jaw and nearly knocking him out entirely. With quick hands he tore open the mans shirt and dipped his fingers into the blood pooling on the floor and began to draw symbols. First one, then another, and another, until only a circle of bloodied markings circled around Geraks heart.
He might not have understood what they were, but he understood what it meant when the monster started chanting something and raising a dagger over his chest. He couldn't even scream as the bloody wards erupted into searing heat that cooked his flesh and seemed to flay his very soul.
Zha'Gren chanted the words to his vicious ritual, a primal chant that channeled the very essence of someones life into the one intoning the sacred rites. It was originally meant to sacrifice the old chief of the jungle tribe to the newest one, invigorating this new chief with the soul and power of the previous one. They never thought it could be used as a weapon. They never thought they would teach it to a Darkspawn.
Mist seeped out of the circle the runes made, the whole body of the sacrificed man was tense, veins lined his skin like a map. The mist was red and floated gently towards the Hunter, spreading over his skin like the ride and began closing wounds, healing bruises, fixing bones, clearing his mind and calming his body. Zha'Gren ended the chanting when he felt he was sufficiently healed and focused on the man laying before him. His skin was pale, shriveled and tight over the muscled chest of the man. He was near death but that didn't matter to the Hunter now. Healing through magic was only part of it. It was time to appease baser instincts.
Zha'Gren hoisted the man up as if he weighed nothing. His eyes, sunken but still clearly understanding his situation, almost pleaded. His voice rang out briefly in a desperate attempt for mercy that was cut short as the wrist blade upon Zha'Grens arm severed his neck deep enough to cut out the mans voice box. The bone mask fell the Darkspawns head, clattered to the floor with a hollow thud, to reveal the monsters face to the dieing man. He couldn't even scream as he gurgled upon his last bits of blood.
He lived on a little longer as the poor fellow listed to the sound of his flesh being torn off his body by his killer and devoured in a display of blood and gore.
Last edited by Zelosse
on Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.