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 Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread

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ehiker133

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Buffalo
Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   20th October 2010, 2:55 pm

Caby sat on a rock ledge overlooking the tents of her tribe’s temporary settlement, knees pulled up to her chest and arms wrapped around her shins. Below her, several young members of the tribe were constructing a make-shift pen for their new clawfoot mounts. Her pensive and brooding mood did not give air to conversation, but her father sat down beside her nonetheless.

“I’m proud of you, daughter,” he proffered kindly.

Her white teeth flashed in anger as she growled, “You are proud of my failure? Thank you, father, that is just what I needed to hear right now.”

Unable to meet his gaze, she continued staring at the activity going on below. Her hand dropped down to the ground by her foot and picked up a small pebble. She flicked it over the edge of the ledge in the direction of the other Halfling youths.

He looked at her with a touch of sadness in his eyes, rested a calloused hand on her shoulder, and said, “You are too hard on yourself, Caby. You did a good thing today.”

“I failed to catch a clawfoot, father. Again! I shamed myself and brought shame to our family. The next trials aren’t until the spring and I only get one more chance!”

He brought the first finger of his right hand to the point just under her chin and lightly pulled it towards him so that her face met his. “You saved a young man’s life today, daughter. For that, I will always be proud of you.”

She closed her eyes, slowly turned her head back in the direction of the clawfoot pen, and opened them again. Even looking away, her father could see they shined with moisture. “I dropped my lasso. I should have been able to keep my mount and save Dex at the same time.”

“The best rider in the tribe could not have saved both their mount and Dex. You made the right decision – you chose the life of your friend. You are a good person,” said her father. “But sometimes bad things happen to good people. Take, for example, what happened to you last season when you and Dex tried for your mounts - who would have thought such a wild clawfoot would run with that herd! It was just bad luck that Dex couldn’t control it; just your misfortune that its claws tore your harness from your mount. These are the actions of the gods, Caby, and we should not blame ourselves for them.”

Caby shook her head slowly, a tear rolling down her cheek. “No, that was my fault, too,” she sniffed. “I was afraid Dex would get a mount and I wouldn’t, so before we went out that morning I put several fireburrs on the underside of his saddle’s cinching straps. His mount was fine until he tightened them.”

Her father’s mouth opened as if to say something, but closed when he could not come up with anything to fit the awkward moment.

She wiped away the tear trail with the back of her hand and composed herself. “I guess this is my punishment, then,” she said, a hard edge growing in her voice.

“Your punishment?” He paused, and then added, “That is why you are leaving,” and glanced at the pile of equipment next to her. It wasn’t so much a question as a statement of fact. An arm’s length away from Caby sat her scale armour, the short sword her father had gifted to her several years before, and a leather backpack filled with travel supplies, her bow and a quiver of arrows strapped to the side of it.

She turned her head to look at the man who was her rock and foundation for so many years. “I have to, father. I have to find out where I belong in this world. I have to temper myself, to create my own rite of passage.” She hesitated before making her next statement. “I… I don’t think this way of life suits me.”

Her father’s lips curled up into a smile as his mind flashed through 18 years of memories. “It never has, little one. It never has.”

A look of concern crossed her face as she said, “I don’t –“

“– I’ll handle your mother. She won’t be happy that her daughter is so much like her, but she will eventually come around,” he said. “She always does.”

He paused, and then said, “It wouldn’t do any good to tell you to be careful, so I won’t. Just keep your sword oiled –“

“- and my bow string dry,” she finished the time honored goodbye of her people. “I will do both, father.”

“And if you need anything, you know where to find us.”

She barked out a laugh at the oldest nomadic joke in the book.

He stood up and dusted off his leather breeches with a few swipes of his hand. He took in a deep breath and let it out in a short burst of resignation. “Caby?” he said, looking down at his daughter.

“Yes, father?”

“Be careful.”


Last edited by ehiker133 on 2nd November 2010, 1:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   22nd October 2010, 3:19 pm

Very nice!
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ehiker133

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Buffalo
Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   22nd October 2010, 4:07 pm

Her tears long since dried by the cool fall breeze, Caby finally decided to take her leave. After buckling on her armour and strapping her short sword to her waist, she shouldered the backpack, cinching it tight for fast travel. She didn’t completely know where she was headed, but thought a good place to start would be Korth, the capital city of Karrnath.

At this time of year, her tribe was generally in the area just north and west of the Blade Desert. This happened to coincide with the migratory path of several herds of claw foot dinosaurs, which provided ample opportunities for those coming of age to be able to select their companion dinosaur.

She knew there was a well-traveled route between Gatherhold and Vulyar to the west of her current position. She also knew cross-plain travel alone was dangerous, so she wanted to get to a populated area as quickly as possible. With all of this in mind, she adjusted the straps on her backpack once more as a matter of habit and began climbing down the rock shelf she’d ascended earlier that afternoon. Without a backwards glance, she turned west and began to run in a moderate gait she could maintain for some time.

The next few days were rather uneventful. She moved westward at a comfortable pace – spent a bit of time foraging for food when she could and slept under the stars at night in a fire-less camp. But on the third day, during a short mid-morning break, a faint vibration in the ground caused her concern. She quickly hid from sight in a clump of underbrush and waited, the low rumble of many feet pacing the ground getting louder and louder.

Less than a minute later, she spotted a small herd of eight terror birds just a little northeast of her position, headed in her general direction on swift strong legs. Before they reached her, they veered west, as if following the curve of some road she couldn’t see. A few of the large flightless birds came within 20 feet of her hiding spot. She was so close to them she could see their black beady eyes and dried blood matting the feathers around their sharp beaks. Not wanting to draw any attention to herself, she kept still even though every muscle in her body wanted to jump up and run away as fast as she could.

Alone, she might have been willing to try and bring down a single terror bird – if she were 30 yards away... and there was a 50’ deep chasm separating them. But a small herd of terror birds would spell disaster to even the greatest hunting party her tribe could assemble. They were best taken down singly in an open field or by use of pits, snares, and traps. She knew her greatest chance of survival lay in just staying right where she was.

After a minute, the dust settled and she could feel the vibration of their passage growing fainter. She breathed a sigh of relief and muttered, “I feel sorry for anyone who gets in their way!” Slowly standing and brushing dust from her tunic and britches, she followed along side the path trampled into the ground by their passing. Some time later that afternoon, Caby came across the “anyone” who had gotten in their way.

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ehiker133

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Buffalo
Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   30th October 2010, 12:12 am

A group of carrion birds (probably vultures) circling an area ahead of her was a clear indication that something, or someone, was not having a good day. For several miles her pace slowed as she cautiously scanned her surroundings while continuing west. She stopped long enough to un-strap her bow from her pack and nock an arrow, just in case. By the time she was close enough to see the birds were, in fact, the larger variety of giant vulture, the low ridge she’d been angling up had crested and Caby could make out what had once been a smaller-sized halfling caravan. She crouched low in the tall grasses and observed the mess of wagons and dead bodies for a few minutes.

It wasn’t difficult to see what had happened. The obvious path of the terror birds lead straight through the wreckage before continuing west. The caravan, unaware of the racing herd coming upon it from behind the hill to the east, was overrun so quickly they didn’t have time to react. The remains of three wooden buck wagons, the kind pulled by two-pony teams, lay strewn about in a rough line. Not one of the wagons was in any kind of useable condition – honestly, two of them didn’t even resemble wagons! The third one at least had two of the four wheels connected to an axle, though not the same one. The hitch of the third wagon extended from the front of it for about two feet before it ended in a mass of splinters. Several yards away, the remains of two ponies could be found, still harnessed to the other end of the wagon hitch.

Glancing at the ponies, “One, two… three… four, five…,” Caby counted to herself. She could vaguely see what might have been the sixth pony, but the remains were so scattered, and there were so little of them, that it was hard to tell. Then she forced herself to look for the other remains – those of the halflings who were driving the wagons.

They were harder to make out from this distance. It didn’t help that two of the giant vultures decided it was safe enough to land and feast on a pony carcass, breaking up her line of sight with the flapping of their 12’ wingspans. But eventually she was able to spot the bodies of nine halflings (or parts of them, in some cases).

A third vulture swooped down, alighting upon the ground near one of the bodies and Caby was surprised to hear a weak cry of protest call out in response! Apparently not all of the members of the caravan had perished. She quickly stood into a crouched position and side-stepped down the hill towards the wreckage, never taking an eye off of the vulture as it stalked towards the living halfling. After a few moments, she was within range, though it was a far one. She had to take the shot, there was no time – the vulture was about to add to the casualty count!

She loosed her arrow straight into the flank of the vulture, pinning one of its wings to its side. Enraged and in pain, it turned in her direction and let out a gravelly squawk. One wing spread out and flapped uselessly as the wounded creature tried to fly towards her, but all it managed to do was blow up a cloud of dust. The other two giant vultures, startled by the sudden commotion of combat, took to the air, bits of pony still dangling from their mouths.



Last edited by ehiker133 on 30th October 2010, 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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ehiker133

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Buffalo
Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   30th October 2010, 12:13 am

The wounded bird began charging towards Caby in short hops, flapping its one good wing and snapping its beak in a threatening gesture. She didn’t hesitate, but instead nocked another arrow and let it fly. This time, with the distance closed by the bird’s charge, her aim was better and it pierced the throat of the great bird, sinking several inches in, just above the breast. With one last flap of its wing, its mouth gaped silently in a cry and it stumbled to the ground. She readied a third arrow and looked up, but the other two vultures had settled themselves into a circular flight pattern several hundred feet above the ground, knowing they would eventually get their meal.

Caby slung her bow over one shoulder and returned the arrow to its quiver. Drawing her short sword, she jogged over to the injured halfling, calling out, “Don’t worry, I’m coming!”

She quickly made the distance to the fallen halfling and skidded to a stop. A quick glance around confirmed no other vultures had tried to land – apparently they planned on waiting her out. Sheathing her sword, she knelt down beside the figure of a middle-aged man who was partially covered with wagon debris. With a grunt of effort, she carefully lifted one end of it off of him and moved it aside before setting it down in the dirt.

Then she looked back at the man and studied him more carefully. He was wearing plain brown robes with a thick woven cord knotted at his waist. His head was pillowed on the hood of the robe and a small silver holy symbol of Olladra hung from a chain around his neck. Curly chestnut brown hair trimming the sides of his head highlighted a pale bald spot on top.

She scanned his body, looking for injuries. The most obvious one was a large lump on his forehead that looked red and swollen, but not deadly. He had a gash across his left upper-arm that had torn his sleeve wide open. It was no longer bleeding freely, but looked dirty and would probably need stitches.

“How do you feel? Are you injured anywhere besides your arm and your head?” she asked.

He coughed once and replied, “My legs are sore and bruised, but I do not think anything is broken. In fact, I can probably…” He tried to stand up but faltered before he even got one hand off the ground. Caby reached out and caught him. He rested on one elbow and said, “Maybe I’m not doing as well as I thought.”

Assured in her assumption that he was a man of the cloth, she said, “Rest here a while, Father, and I’ll make a fire. I hate to risk it, but you’re in shock and need the warmth. Plus, we’ll need to clean your wounds, so I’ll have to boil some water, and the fire should keep the vultures away. Besides,” she looked over at the dead bird, “it’s been a while since I’ve had hot food and we can’t let that fine fowl go to waste.” She smiled at him, reassuringly.



Last edited by ehiker133 on 30th October 2010, 12:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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ehiker133

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Buffalo
Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   30th October 2010, 12:16 am

He nodded his head, lay back down and closed his eyes, quickly drifting into a light sleep. After starting a fire, she set about to boiling water. A small portion of it would be set aside for making tal while the rest would be used to cleanse the man’s wounds and sterilize a needle for the sutures. While the water was boiling, she retrieved her two arrows from the vulture and cut away some choice meat from the breast of the bird and began to cook it over the open flames of the fire. Vulture meat is dark, gamey, and a bit greasy, but the flavor is something she’d grown accustomed to over the years. Hunting vultures is easy – you don’t even have to know where to look, aside from up.

She applied a compress to the man’s head, then cut away the torn sleeve with her hunting knife to expose the gash on his arm. While she tended his wounds, she asked, “Where were you headed?”

“We were returning to Gatherhold after bringing much needed supplies to some of the tribes north of here,” he said, wearily.

Caby looked around at the debris in the dying light of the setting sun and said, “But the wagons were mostly empty. I don’t see any goods – furs and hides and dried meats – from the tribes you traded with.”

“No,” he replied, “we didn’t trade with them. We simply brought them supplies – food and medicine. This winter is supposed to be a bad one. As followers of Olladra and Members of House Jorasco, my brothers and I do these things out of the desire to help, not for the desire to achieve riches.”

She glanced at some of the bodies again and suddenly realized they all wore the brown robes and rope belts of clergy. Resting a hand on his shoulder, she said, “I’m sorry for the loss of your brothers, Father.” She finished cleaning his arm and picked up a threaded sterile needle. Focusing intently, she went about stitching up his wound.

He was quiet for a bit before he sighed; his mouth turned down at the corners as he said, “Well… sometimes bad things happen to good people, Ms. Darkbriar. The gods occasionally demand sacrifice of more than incense and time. Sometimes they demand the lives of our enemies… and other times they demand our own lives.”

“Mmmm,” she replied, not really paying attention as she focused on tying off the last of the stitches. He would have a large scar on his arm, but at least it would be straight. Then she bound the wound with strips of cloth she’d cut from fabric found in the wreckage and sat back on the heels of her feet. “I think that should do it, Father. Not too tight?”

He looked at his arm, raising it and lowering it back down, then wiggling his fingers and moving his wrist in a circle before replying, “No, it feels good. You did well, child. I suppose living on the plains dictates the need for a great expanse of knowledge.”

“Yes, Father, I suppose it does,” she replied.


Last edited by ehiker133 on 2nd November 2010, 1:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ehiker133

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Posts : 559
Join date : 2010-10-16
Age : 44
Location : Saint Peters, MO

Character sheet
Name: Caby Darkbriar
Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   30th October 2010, 12:20 am

They passed the night with small talk, eating roasted vulture meat supplemented by some raw root vegetables Caby had dug up the previous day and the tal she’d brewed earlier that evening. She stood watch over him for most of the night while he slept, bow in hand and eyes scanning the darkness. The fire ruined her night vision, but she thought it probably did a better job of keeping the nighttime feeders away than she could have done on her own. She knew they’d have to leave the area first thing in the morning, before any larger predators picked up the scent of death and followed it to them, so she quietly packed her things in the pre-dawn light before the cleric woke.

Once he was up, they had a light breakfast and some cold tal. “Can you walk, Father? We’ll need to get moving as soon as possible. We’re about a half day walk from the road between Gatherhold and Vulyar; I can take you as far as that and we can see about getting you passage to Gatherhold with a passing caravan from there.”

“Yes, I think I can,” he replied.

“Do you want to do anything with…,” she hesitated.

“We should leave the earthly remains of my comrades as they are,” he said. “The cycle of life will return them to our gods in due time.”

Caby started to break camp which, at that point, mostly involved kicking dirt on the smoldering fire with a boot. The cleric slowly got up and stretched before walking over to the partial wagon remains. There, he picked up a walking stick that was apparently his and poked through some debris with the end of it.

“Ah, well,” he said. “I suppose I’ll have to make do without my pack, then.

“It won’t be far, Father,” Caby said. “I have supplies for the both of us, if need be. We’ll be ok.”

He smiled at her and rested a hand on her shoulder, saying, “I know we will, child. I know.” He paused before continuing, “You have shown great compassion and kindness the last 12 hours. Please accept this gift, Caby Darkbriar.” And before she could gather the words to ask how he knew her name, a small surge of energy flowed from his hand into her shoulder.

“Ahhh,” she winced. He removed his hand and she looked at him quizzically. Then she closed her eyes and shook her head a few times. When she opened them again, he was standing beside her, quietly waiting, hands clasped together behind his back, with a smile on his face as he looked off to the horizon.

She pinched the bridge of her nose between her first finger and her thumb and said, “I suddenly have a headache… What were you saying, Father?”

“I said you have a gift, child,” he replied. “You are a caring person – don’t ever lose your gift of caring. And then I said thank you. Thank you for your assistance.”

She threw him a quick smile and said, “Just trying to be helpful, Father.”

She hefted her pack to her shoulders and checked to make sure her bow, short sword and hunting knife were in place. Then they put their backs to the rising sun and began the short journey west to the road. As they walked away from the wreckage, Caby absently scratched at her left side through her scale armour. She wouldn’t notice the faint blue lines on her side until several days later, when she would finally take a bath at an inn.


Last edited by ehiker133 on 2nd November 2010, 1:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Caby Darkbriar's Story Thread   30th October 2010, 12:23 am

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