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Old 04-26-2017, 11:29 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes Chronicles of Solthris

Chronicles of Solthris details the writing and character based plots of the Solthris Worldbuilding Project

An Reference of characters sorted by author and faction will be updated over time. Initial descriptions will consist only of a brief description, if someone would like more detail added to a character's entry in this post please message me.

Reference:


Places:
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Gruthar: A continent, the southern half of which is home to many Orsini (Orcs, Goblins, Bogrin, Ogres, and Gremlins) who have banded together to form the Grutharin Dominion, to fight off the Lokusi.

Istos: A small island-continent, home to the secretive Xysticid Spider-People.

Merulos: A massive castle-state sitting in the southern ocean off the coast of Xaxalin and Nulawa.

Ourothris: The continent of the elves, divided between east and west and with a Lokusi infestation to the south.

Roshanapolis: A floating city of elven magi.

Xaxalin: A jungle continent, home to a ruined city of glass.

Nulawa: A large continent with a desert in the center.


Characters:
Quote:
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Anansi:
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Istos/Xysticid:

Htchcasisth: A Xysticid warden in Istos, charged with managing captured trespassers.

Hltclhasthin: The Weaver of the Chrystishalha tribunal. Leads in matters of 'beauty'.

Jtchlisthckrischt: A Xysiticid Archivist who presents records to the Chrystishalha tribunal prior to judgement.

Stistchisth: A member of a Xysticid hunting party, charged with capturing trepassers and bringing them to the nearby city of Chrystishalha for judgement.

Thrischrishist: The Binder of the Chrystishalha tribunal. Leads in matters of 'cunning'.

Vcdrihsel: The Spinner of the Chrystishalha tribunal. Leads in matters of 'wisdom'.


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Gromak:
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Rak'shari:


Mutterscrawl:

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Grutharin Dominion/Orsini:

Algok Molhun: Grandis of the Ogres: Algok is the leader of the ogres, more of a philosopher-warrior than a politician, he often delegates such duties to Buel. He is well loved by his people for his charisma and strength.

Buel Olthan: Du-Grandis of the Ogres: The ambitious second in command of the ogres in the Dominion and their representative in the Thar'zash. Buel does take advantage of his political power to support his personal wealth, but is careful never to let his personal interests weaken the ogres or Dominion at large.

Dron Irongaze: Overlord of the Orcs: A skilled warrior and current orcish leader. Dron is rather levelheaded for an orc, and one of the first Overlords in years not to send a proxy to the Thar'zash. He was a smith before becoming a warrior and hand-crafts his own equipment in his rare leisure time.

Hron: Hobgoblin infantryman, fought against the Lokusi and was later assigned to the expedition fleet. Recently washed up on Istos.

Lekli: High Weaver of the Goblins: Similar to the practice of alchemy in other nations, the Grutharin practice a method of weaving blood, slime and other material with both mundane and magical means. Lekli sits upon the Thar'zash due to the prestige her position offers her amongst the goblins who particularly respect such weaving, and her innovative skill in the art.

Mogka: A bogrin captain of the Dominion expedition fleet. A veteran of many battles against the Lokusi and a long, interesting, life. Recently washed up on Istos.

Pirx: A goblin scout and friendly chatterbox. Ran distractions in the Lokusi wars and now part of the Dominion Expediton Recently washed up on Istos.

Raez: Prime Consul of the Hobgoblins: Sharply intelligent and oddly passionate for a hobgoblin, Raez is the leader of her people and takes a direct hand in the Thar'zash. Her focus on ensuring the Dominion's supremacy borders on obsession.

Skez: A goblin scout. Cowardly but dutiful. Ran messages in the Lokusi wars and now part of the Dominion Expedition. Recently washed up on Istos.

Kalvit: Strithix of the Gremlins: The gremlin leader, Kal does not personally attend but stays active through the students she sends in her place to attend. She is a keen magical researcher and has been working with Zulnor for some time in the Stormveil mountains.

Umodu: An orc soldier, friends with Wuzosh. A frontline warrior in the Lokusi wars and now part of the Dominion Expedition. Recently washed up on Istos.

Verz: A hobgoblin crossbowman and scout who fought against the Lokusi and was later assigned to the Dominion expedition. Recently washed up on Istos.

Wuzosh: An orc soldier, friends with Umodu. A frontline warrior in the Lokusi wars and now part of the Dominion Expedition. Recently washed up on Istos.

Zulnor: Bogrin High Chief: Leader of the Bogrin tribes, he traveled the Dominion in his youth but has not left the mountains in years, usually sending whatever young chief wishes to attend the Thar'zash in his place. He supplies the Dominions efforts happily, but his focus seems on the Stormveil Mountains to the north.

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Yaskaleh:
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Ourothris/Elves:


Narrative Posts Below
I'm really glad y'all seem to be enjoying the setting so far, I like your bit with the Lokusi ravaging the old elf empire Yask leading to the floating cities, and Anansi's Xysticid thestealth-ships are awesome too.

Folks are free to expand in other ways too, I intentionally set up a lot of plothooks in the OP so if anyone wants to add stuff building off that or if they want to craft a nation or continent on the other end of the planet that's never even heard of Lokusi that's fine too, heck, make yourself a deity and insert yourself or your species from your pet projects in if you'd like, or write an event from first or third person PoV and let others ask questions about it to add detail!

Just as an example... here's a bit of the Thar'zash meeting that took place in the Dominion shortly after the Lokusi Demigod-Queen was killed.

Quote:

The Spire Of Dominion was an impressive edifice, stretching up from amidst the great citadel, it gave the illusion of being carved from a single piece of solid grey stone, only upon close inspection could one see where the orc masons had set the blocks together. With hobgoblin made mortar, Verz noted with a twinge of pride. The interior of the spire was massive, built to accomodate ogre representatives and their guards standing shoulder to shoulder, but with alcoves and carvings built to allow easy goblin and gremlin passage to avoid getting trapped underfoot. In the center of the room sat a massive red stone carved in the shape of an open hand, supposedly found during the construction it was considered a good omen, and had been enchanted thrice-over to protect the spire from Lokusi assault. In large seats centered around it in two long rows representatives from all across Gruthar sat.

Verz looked back at the rest of guards in his line and then across the room. The six of them had been upon the front lines during the Queen's fall and so had been chosen as the ceremonial guard for the the hobgoblin representative at the Thar'zash. He'd had to admit he was grateful for the temporary reprieve from the battlefield, he'd never seen WarPact City in person, nor the leaders for the other members of the Dominion, but he'd never want to make a career of the monotonous bodyguard duty, few did. He shifted his spear a bit in his grip as he glanced over each of the representatives.

There was the current Orc Overlord, Dron Irongaze, a grey-skinned tower of muscle still wearing his spiked black and red armor with a cloak made of a piece of the banner from each of the orc clans draped across his seat. From the stories Verz had always considered him little more than another in the long line of orc warlords to assume the position simply to fill the seat before heading back to the battlefield, but though he said little the orc seemed at rapt attention throughout even the less glorious discussions of currency and canal building. To Dron's right was the Ogre Du-Grandis*, Buel Olthan, his skin was a deep muddy brown and he wore a green and black sash across his body, this news caught Verz's attention. Finally news from the deep hivelands, he'd heard nothing since being pulled back from the front.

"... And so as we clear the thicker mires we're finding more eggs and brood-warrior holdouts, but there is good news, the Hive-Flukes our cunning goblin friends slipped amongst their nests in the past seem to be running wild without the Overqueen's guidance in rooting them out." Buel nods to the goblin High-Weaver Lekli sitting across from him, who grins, hops up in her chair, and makes a small bow, the violet flask dangling around her neck swaying in the air for a moment before she settles back into her seat. We're coming across entire hives where the eggs have been hollowed or eaten through, there are some concerns of the infestations getting into the food supplies as we send caravans further south to explore but the traditional repellents still seem to be working quite well, and the flukes themselves seem content to feed on the ailing Lokusi. So long as we keep the war-breeds from regularly tearing through the infested hives to clear out the flukes, or new queens from settling them, we should be able to begin reclaiming land as far south as needed without considerable resistance." He grins, picking up a Lokusi head from the chest by his seat and slamming it upon the table, a bit of ichor splattering out and a few hive flukes stretching out from within it in surprise at the sudden motion, before pulling back in. "The fields of Gruthar are filled with the dying cries of the hungerer, I know many of you wish to be cautious, but all signs point show we are truly triumphant, no other queen has taken up the divinity of the fallen one, and they bicker amongst themselves over territory and food like meager beasts once more."

That was certainly good news, Verz had fought hives infested with flukes before, the papery bundles of tendrils couldn't kill warrior Lokusi but they could destroy eggs, cripple smaller workers, and weaken the hive's construction, they'd make easy targets for the legions as they pushed south guarding the settlers. The other leaders were nodding their heads, voicing agreements, the bogrin** beastlord and other representatives began asking questions, the conversation began to shift to the division of new lands, this was always a contentious one-

Heat flared in the air for a moment, Verz turned his head along with half the others in the room, the hobgoblin consul Raez had slammed a chunk of war-flint on the stone table and stood, her gloved palm still smoking. "Triumphant -here-." She said simply, narrowing her eyes as she looked over the room. "We are triumphant -here-. We have won a street and think ourselves masters of the city." She shook her head slowly as dismay began to rise from the others in low murmurs. "We know the Lokusi have hives upon the outer islands, we know they have hives from the south, we do not know if they have hives beyond that because we do not even know -what- lies beyond our current borders. We cannot make proper plans to move forward until we know where we stand." Agreement, questions, and more began to fill the air, Verz sighed, he'd seen this before, usually members of the dominion delegated lesser representatives to these grand meetings, but too many of those in the room were leaders, used to being the wisest or most experienced, used to being listened to. Most had come in person in hopes of celebrating the grand victory and planning together, but while they all respected one another few had actually met or worked together before. He expected it would be another few hours before they managed to-

"SILENCE!" The voice ripped through the chamber like an axe, Dron had not stood, but looked annoyed for a moment as the other representatives turned towards him, some looked ready to challenge him to a duel*** while others simply looked surprised. Dron turned his head over towards Raez and grunted. "What do you propose we -do-?" he said simply.

Raez quirked a brow for a moment, pleasantly surprised. "We must expand our navy, I have no doubt the legions could push south eventually but we have no idea any longer how far south the land extends, or even if it branches east and west past the hivelands. We must not overextend ourselves without the ability to bring more food and supplies to our forces. Until now we have only used small ships along the coasts, but we must be able to push farther, and into deeper waters eventually. We should test such ships by circling the Dominion by sea, this will let us map our borders, supply our legions as they move south, and from there we can make further plans." Raez sat at last, looking around the room as the others nodded in assent.

Amidst the other representatives, Buel frowned for a moment, but then a slow grin spread across his face a sudden realization striking him.**** He hefts a red banner up by his seat and stands. "The Ogres voice their support for this new fleet to strengthen our lands, who else will join is in making the might of the Dominion ever greater!?" Dron and Raez hefted their banners quickly afterwards, in a few moments, the decision was unanimous. The ships would begin construction immediately.
*Think Vice President

**Think Bugbears

***Duels are intentionally non-lethal, to subdue your foe without killing them is considered a greater show of skill and weavers are always at standbye to avoid important or skilled combatants being wasted by accidental death, they do form a large part of ceremonial social standing though so they are still rare. Someone who duels frequently tends to lose a degree of respect even if they win regularly because they're seen as focusing more on their own prestige than their responsibilities. The equivalent of someone being strong but spending all their time flexing rather than fighting Lokusi like they ought to.

****Buel's home is situated near the only major port in eastern Gruthar.
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Last edited by Mutterscrawl; 05-07-2017 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:28 AM
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"Nine ships, only nine ships after all of that!" Raez fumed as she tossed the scroll aside, pacing back and forth in front of her window. Brow furrowed in thought.

Verz stood by the door, keeping his face impassive. He'd expected bad news from the look on the face of the gremlin that'd handed him the scroll to deliver. It couldn't be helped though, the shipyards weren't designed for vessels of that size and there was no way to get more ready by the departure date they'd decided on based on the shaman's and scholar's weather portents.


"Not even two hands worth, four from the west port and five from the east..." Raez murmured, picking up a small stone slab and scribbling across it. "Crew, need to adjust the crew..."

She glanced up, wild eyed for a moment, then narrowing her gaze.

"You soldier, what's your name?"

Verz felt his blood turn to icewater in his veins.

-----

3 Months Later the Ironspear would wash aground on Istos, hobgoblin crossbowman Verz vomitting seawater onto its shores, and the first official contact between the Dominion and the Xysticid would begin.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:36 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Lightning Xysticid Outpost

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
for now a quick status update on the other ships

Two blown off course in the same storm that ran the Ironspear aground in Istos ended up following a Lokusi flyer and are now poking around the southern edge of Yaskas elf continent and its islands trying to get their bearings and killing any Lokusi they can safely corner

The other two eastern ships are going along the coast and have thankfully had smooth sailing since, nothing worse than sea sickness and lousy weather

Western ships have all the luck, all four stayed together, no storms, passed a boat of friendly frog people the Anuran and had a night of wild partying before parting ways
Good to know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
When the time comes and the Ogre Navigator prepares to leave, they stretch it by half an hour with extra preparations and moving away from the island slowly, one of the crewmembers starts to protest but they promptly find themselves held by the arm over the edge of the ship. The offer to swim back and wait for the captain on their own so they can tell them they disobeyed is politely declined, and the orc is tossed back on board. No one questions the navigator the rest of the trip, and they rejoin the other two ships on the east coast of Gruthar safely.
Not urgent, but how long does it take for them to rejoin the fleet? Assume it takes five days of sailing in a constant direction with favorable winds for them to escape the fog that surrounds Istos.


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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post

One goblin that goes for a walk on the beach (misunderstood the order, thought just no going into the wood alone)

The other is an orc that spotted a deer and got lost in the hunt, following it inland before realizing how deep he'd gone.

Just the one ship washed up, as detailed above the others are having their own adventures. So it's 7 crewmembers plus the other two if they get snagged.
I think the goblin beach-comber is probably safe; but there's only one way out of the wild forests of Istos, and it's not back the way you came.

So that's Verz (hobgoblin) and two unnamed goblins; one orc; and Captain Raez (bogrin), two unnamed orcs, and one unnamed hob. That makes eight, such a pretty number.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Captain: The best out of the lot, she grew up in the mountains and has been clambering up and down steep, rocky, and unsteady terrain since they were a kid with the other bogrin. They also did so during the war against the Lokusi on the old coastal runs, clambering up cliffsides near hives to attack as part of the rank and file crew before becoming a captain. Bogrin grow up in some of the only thick forest areas in the Dominion and although those are colder than Istos seems the same general principles apply.

The hob: Sharp eyed but most hobgoblin territories are pretty industrial and rocky so forest as such is relatively new to them. They have however navigated dense Lokusi-hives which are pretty slick and uneven for the most part.

The orcs: One grew up in a rocky-craggy badlands type area, and the other in a swamp. The former is probably the least suited to the forest but is not clumsy by any means.

The captain is in the center, with the hob at the front and the orcs behind her.

Sadly Verz was the best tracker out of the lot but he was on the lookout for bestial Lokusi, which while sneaky, are not sapient spider people sneaky.
Honestly, it wouldn't make much of a difference even if Verz had known what he was dealing with. Xysticids don't leave any tracks, their early-warning strands are literally microscopic, and they've had centuries to hone their ability to navigate Istos undetected. The best strategy is just to stick together, but the Xysticid hunters that are always watching don't make that easy.

So here's how it probably went down:

First party: Verz was probably separated from the other two early on, but whether he tried to turn back at that point or not makes little difference. Istos' forest is a maze in three dimensions. He would probably be on edge after his comrades disappeared, which would make him slightly harder for the hunters to sneak up on. He may have made it far enough to spot a silken game trap or two before a Xysticid nabbed him. The other two goblins were probably snared shortly after being separated from the group.

Lone orc hunter: If he was as distracted by the deer as it seems, he probably wasn't paying enough attention to his surroundings to notice anything unusual. He was probably nabbed almost immediately after losing sight of the shoreline.

Second party: Due to the size of this expedition, the party probably got far enough inland to see a handful of Xysticid traps and webs. If any of them had heard legends about giant sapient spiders, they might have begun to suspect that this was their homeland.

The two rear-guards were probably the first to disappear, more or less at the same time.

Then, once their absence was noticed, it would depend on whether Raez and the hob try to continue on their own, or make a stand. If they tried to continue, the one in back would be snatched shortly before the one in front. If they tried to make a stand, the hunters would simply watch until hunger or impatience inevitably moved the outsiders. If they tried to head back the way they came, staying back to back, they would get lost and end up tumbling into a trap, where they would be shot with sleep darts from an unseen vantage.

Xysticids are fragile, and avoid open confrontation at all costs. They manage by relying on their natural abilities and profoundly meticulous instincts to neutralize threats. Once they have those threats contained safely within their power, however, they loosen up some, as we shall see.


Now then, if you like, I'll leave you to write up Verz's and Raez's perspective on their capture. I'll write the Tribunal scene once I have more time.


---

One, two, three, four. Stistchisth watched the last bundle of silk descend length-wise
through the surface vent. "Any more?" she called upward.

"Nay!" came the response. "The rest have set sail and passed into the mists!"

Stistchisth purred quietly. Four and four made eight! A small satisfaction she wouldn't be the only one to observe.

The hunting party followed the last bundle down the shaft, emerging headfirst into the low, silk-lit corridors of a small outpost of the Xysticid city Chrystishalha. As the hunters hefted their limp prizes and followed Stistchisth into the holding cell, they made light conversation about this latest incursion.

"Did they give you any trouble?" Stistchisth asked. She poked the nearest bundle with a clawed finger. "Mine was more concerned with its prancing deer than my little webs."

"Not too much trouble," one of the others replied. "That one you're prodding might have been dangerous in the open. It seemed to be the leader before the rest left, and it moved less awkwardly than the others."

"Bogrin, yes? They say they know forests better than some."

"They do say that. What have you done with the others?"

Stistchisth clicked her mandibles, the Xysticid equivalent of a sigh. "My orc hasn't woken up yet. The others... Well, see for yourself."

At that, the group entered the outpost's holding cell, a large-ish, web-lined cave where four more bundles were suspended from the ceiling. The outpost's warden could be seen scuttling about the ceiling and walls, trying to make conciliatory gestures. It appeared to be arguing with one of the bundles, without much success.

As they got closer, the bundle that had got the warden so agitated twisted around to reveal the weeping face of a goblin. It seemed to be screaming something, but its words were unintelligible. At the sight of the hunting party, it gave an even louder shriek and squeezed its eyes shut.

The warden clicked her mandibles as the noise subsided to an uneven whimper. "Stistchisth, thank god you're back. The frightened one won't stop yelling. Please tell me you're ready to transfer them to Chrystishalha."

"Just about. These are the last four."

"Excellent," the warden said grimly, drawing a vial of sedative from her pocket. With the unnerving speed of most Xysticids, she clambered across the ceiling to inject the sobbing goblin. Its sobs turned almost instantly to snores, and she turned her attention to the next bundle.

"That won't be necessary!" came an alarmed squeak. Another goblin wriggled in the webbing. "I'll go quietly! I swear!" It then launched into a lengthy explanation of just how quiet it was really, truly, positively going to be.

A chirping, purring sort of laughter went up from the hunting party. "Is this what you've had to deal with these last three days, Htchcasisth? You poor thing."

"The frightened one wouldn't even eat its venison," Htchcasisth complained as she injected the second goblin, against its protests. She paused to look sorrowfully down at the others. "I had to feed it intravenously."

The third and fourth bundles were silent and still. The orc was still drooling, eyes closed and expression blank, but the hobgoblin was awake and alert. He seemed admirably calm in light of his situation, and only winced slightly as Htchcasisth came at him with the needle. "Sorry about this," she said, switching to the Grutharin common tongue. "You've been a good sport. But don't worry, I'm sure you'll do fine once you get to the Tribunal. Just be honest." Then his lights went out.

Clicking her mandibles again, she returned to the floor. "I've already added a dose to your orc," she explained to Stistchisth, "and if these four are fresh from the needle I think everyone should be set for the city."

"Are you coming with?" Stistchisth asked as they helped pile the bundled outsiders onto a sled like so many lengths of wood.

The warden chirped a laugh. "God forbid! I'm looking forward to enjoying the quiet again." She gave Stistchisth what an outsider might interpret as a high-five. "But be sure to let me know how it goes!"

"I will," Stistchisth affirmed as she and the other hunters set off. In the low-roofed tunnels, it was necessary for them to crawl on all eight legs, speeding along with that intricate arachnid gait so many outsiders claimed to find unsettling. The journey to Chrystishalha would take them about an hour and a half at this pace, after which the Tribunal would review the official report and revive the outsiders for their judgment.
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Last edited by Anansi; 05-05-2017 at 08:31 AM.. Reason: added scene title
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:39 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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An idea I've had concerning the magic of the Rak'shari. I've explained in the Venomancer example that Rak'shari are able to call upon the properties of their blood with their blood magic and weave magic from that - for example, a Rak'shari with venomous/poisonous traits can, weave venom magic from his blood. I've had the idea of maybe expanding on that - for example, a Rak'shari that gained the traits of a fire-breathing salamander would weave fire magic from that. Essentially, all Rak'shari magic comes from their blood magic.

Of course, this magic is only capable to be used by their Priests. Without the magic they would "only" be able to use their trait like the original user of it did - for example, be able to breath fire or have a venomous bite or something like that.

Thoughts?
That's really cool, a very nice way to balance the acquisition of traits with their users. I like it.

How would the Rak'shari view the Lokusi I wonder, which acquire traits in a very similar way, given they're merely ravenous swarms of beasts...?

EDIT:

How much blood is needed to acquire a trait?

Do they fade over time?

Do new traits overwrite old ones?




For Anansi Capture Details.


Verz:

There was a soft click as Verz checked the release of his crossbow before glancing up at his companions, satisfied his equipment was in working order. "Alright you two, the captain wants us to skim the forest for any signs of Lokusi further inland, Pirx I want you in the trees fifteen paces ahead of me and you set the pace, Skez I want you as many paces behind me, got it?"

The two goblins nodded, they were each about four feet tall but Pirx had green skin with short black hair while Skez was grey and hairless. Pirx was grinning widely as she skirted up the nearest tree and began hopping through the branches. "Yes sir, absolutely sir, isn't this exciting sir!? We might be the first goblins to step foot off Gruthar in centuries! What if we find something amazing!? Oh I bet they'd give us plaques in the Hunter's Spire! Maybe even a statue!?"

"It all depends on what we find Pirx." Verz said as he began following behind her, eyes scanning back and forth through the forest slowly. The dark grey hobgoblin was five and a half feet tall, thin and wire-muscled like most of his kin, his leathery skin was hairless, and his features sharp and angular.

Skez, for her part, was less enthused about the prospect of being away from camp, glancing back nervously as she fell into line behind the other two. The last of the trio then smiled a bit as she looked through the undergrowth for anything of note. "But we SHOULDN'T find any Lokusi, right? I mean look, there's still trees, the trees still have branches, no hive gluck anywhere, no one's heard any buzzing, any signaling cries, no one's smelled anything... it should just be an empty deserted island, nice and peaceful, right?"

Verz nodded slowly as he reflexively brushed a hand over his right ear, feeling some faint tingling, like a stray thread. Skez was right, there weren't any outward signs of Lokusi infestation but that didn't mean they weren't here. "Well, yes and no... I hope you're right but with the hives scattering since the Firemaw went up there could be new arrivals, we definitely don't want a new hive starting up here, this place seems pretty big judging by the mountains in the center. It could take a long time to burn them out if they start breeding, plus you know some of them take to burrowing, we might just not have seen the tunnels yet, and we definitely don't want them coming up under us on the beach at night."

"Gluh, why'd you have to go and put that in my head boss?" Pirx swung from one of the branches and dangled by one hand, frowning. "I'm sleeping on the boat." She declared with mock haughtiness, snickering as she clambered back up the branch, practically catapulting herself to its top.

Verz let out a wry chuckle, pausing for a moment to check some deer tracks, seems there'd be good hunting on the island if it was uninhabited. "Might not actually be a bad idea, it'd help to have someone in the shriek's nest to keep a look out and wake us up if anything comes after us from land or sea."

Skez shuddered at this. "Eughk, from sea? Don't tell me you think that story from the other night was true..."

The hobgoblin shrugged. "Before going on this mission I'd have said no but after being out of sight of land for a few days... well there's always the chance something else is out there." He looked through the woods frowning as he saw the foliage had been thickening rapidly over the last few minutes. "Hey Pirx, scale it back to ten paces, woods are getting thicker." He called out, still walking forward.

There was no scrabbling of claw on wood. No tumble of branches and bark, no reply.

"Pirx!" Verz said again, louder this time, his pace slowing to a stop.

What chilled the hobgoblins veins though was not that Pirx still didn't reply, but that Skez didn't join in. The silent absence of her walking along behind him felt like a knife at his throat.

His clawed grip tightened on his crossbow as he slowly sidestepped to a tree without looking behind him and pressed his back to it. "Skez!? You there?" his voice stayed below a scream but he couldn't mask the fear bubbling into it as his mind raced.

Nothing in the trees, no movement. No sound. How? His head swiveled left and right, too quickly. He took a breath, slowed down.

Goblins loved pranks but neither of these two would do so now, he had his crossbow out and most goblins felt their hob cousins had lousy senses of humor. Moreover Skez didn't seem the type.

Skez would've screamed if something came up under her. So would Pirx. So how? What?

Definitely not burrowing Lokusi, not flyers. No animal was so subtle and quiet as to have grabbed both of them without a sound.

No known animal.

Wrong Question. Need to run. How?

Forest was thinner to the left. Sprint. Beach. Then Rescue?

The afterthought of rescue tacked on at the last second melted away as the Hobgoblin spun to his right then circled the tree and dashed off to the left.

He got a few feet before skidding slightly on some loose leaves and mossy roots, he grit his teeth as he caught himself, heaving the crossbow with one hand to avoid dropping it as he came to a sudden stop in a half crouch, panting.

Flight had seized his mind but the glint of something in the disturbed leaves caught his eye, he spun, pointing the crossbow at it... and when it didn't move he leaned closer, gulping as he looked over the odd... snare?

What? He lifted it up with the tip of the crossbow, transfixed for a moment at the fineness of the thread, was this slimeweave? No...?

Not the time! His common sense reasserted itself, the hobgoblin standing and walking briskly to the left, glancing through the underbrush to avoid losing his footing again and keep an eye out for any more of that-

Verz felt a pinprick sharpness in his neck as he lifted his head up, eight reflective eyes coming into view. In two heartbeats he felt his limbs turn to jelly. A faint twang and a clunk sounded as his crossbow discharged into the dirt from his limp hand.

Webbing. Of Course. He thought.

"Shit." He said, as he collapsed soundlessly into the waiting limbs of his captor.



Captain Mogka:

Captain Mogka Throatsplitter was a broad figured broglin, not as obviously muscled as the orcs in her crew but taller, body covered in thick brown hair that was greying at the edges. She wore a well crafted leather vest with pads upon her arms and legs, a pouch of supplies at her hip. As she stepped through the woods, she tightened her grip on her axe, glancing back and forth, then up and down, as Hron checked the path ahead of them with his spear. After he'd nearly been yanked upside down by a silken snare she'd realized how the others must've been taken, and so she'd insisted on checking every step. None of them had protested and they all walked in each others footfalls now.

The orcs Wuzosh and Umodu had taken to muttering orc war songs under their breath. She'd allowed it. They were all on edge with the strands of webbing becoming more and more prominent as they moved deeper, and hearing more than footfalls helped her keep track of them without having to look behind her. Not that it was all that difficult to hear them. Hron was halfway decent at keeping his footing but while neither of the orcs seemed in danger of falling over themselves, there was never any chance of them being stealthy. They grunted as every other rock and root slid beneath their weight and snapped branches as they went along. She'd have ordered them to stop if she'd thought there was any chance they weren't already being watched.

Even so, the orcs were good soldiers, young, six and a half feet tall, broad shouldered, green skinned, bare headed. Umodu loved Pirx and Skez like clan-sisters. Wuzosh had come along simply to try and keep his 'idiot warbrother' alive. Hron was a typical hobgoblin save for the tuft of brownish black hair down the middle of his head, he'd confessed he didn't know any of the scouts, he just had to know what'd happened to the others or the island would haunt him.

Mogka took a silent breath and told herself again that they'd volunteered, and that insisting on coming alone would've been suicide. Then again, even if there hadn't been volunteers she'd have gone anyway. Her hackles had been up ever since they set food on this cursed rock, when she sent the others to scout she'd hoped they'd put her mind at ease, instead...

A little voice in the back of her head hissed. Should've set up the barricade, stayed on the beach. Mission was to circle the coast. Not muck about on fog-blasted... Mogka squashed it, no time for regrets now. Besides, it'd be an hour to noon soon, time to head back if they didn't see something that gave them some hope of finding the others... at least she thought so. She cursed softly under her breath, the foliage was thick enough to make checking the sun difficult if not impossible. Her natural sense of time was good, but it was still unnerving not to be certain.

Hron snapped a hand up and the entire group stopped, they'd come to a tight spot amidst the trees, and the ground was a steep drop. He swirled his spear in the dirt below before sliding down, squeezing under a branch, though when he glanced back at her, his eyes widened.

The singing had stopped, she realized.

"Spirit Tits!" She cursed, looking at the spot where the orcs very pointedly weren't. Had she gone deaf AND stupid in her old age? She fumed for a moment, reaching behind her reflexively, grasping Hron's weapon and yanking him back up, the hobgoblin letting out a yelp of surprise as he skidded up the dirt on his knees. "Get up, we're leaving, now. Nothing we can do." The words tasted bitter in her mouth, she had enough to sort out with the ancestors without this on her conscience but it couldn't be helped.

"I agree but... ah, can we?" He murmured, looking nervously through the trees.

"Stupid question." She snorted as she pulled a small length of rope from her pouch, slinging it around her wrist and then tossing the other end to him. "Tie that but leave enough slack for us to move, on three we stand back to back, I'll move us along the same path we came in on."

"Right." Hron nodded as he tied the rope to his left hand and hefted his spear in the other.


"Three." Mogka grunted, the hobgoblin moving swiftly behind her as she began to jog forward, using her axe to cut at anything that seemed likely to trip up the hobgoblin, she could feel him struggling to keep pace with her, he was starting to slip, but they couldn't afford to slow down, she'd drag him and patch him up on the ship if she had to.

And then she felt her weight lurch upward, a snare pulling her legs out from under her.

"RRR-GRAAAAGH!" Without thought, Mogka slammed her axe into the nearest tree with one hand and grabbed hold of a branch with the other. She swung her weight the other direction, muscles straining for a tense eternity as she hung in the air suspended between the snare and her axe-anchor before a creaking snap and two swift -snicks- cut her loose.

Panting heavily she lurched up, glancing back at where Hron's spear lay with the snare... but the hobgoblin was nowhere to be seen, the rope at Mogka's wrist hand limp.

No screams, no bodies. Not like the Lokusi, she thought bitterly. The captain grabbed the spear and growled, gritting her teeth as she looked up through the trees, weapon hefted in both hands. Distantly the thought of her seemingly impending death nagged at her. Dying on the battlefield would've been ideal, with a proper beast at her side, or fellow soldiers. Drowning she'd been prepared for. Dying weapon in hand but alone on some isolated island though... seemed almost appropriate.

The thought made it no more appealing though.

With a grunt, she swung the weapons in wide arcs around her, clipping the foliage as she turned, the urge to dive into the trees and try to at least bleed the webspinners that were after them boiled in her chest, honorable vengeance was a hungry thing. If she were a decade younger she'd give into it... but instead she swallowed it, dashing back towards what she was certain was the thinnest edge of the forest... but she knew she wasn't on the path they'd checked anymore, not that it mattered given how fast the things had retrapped it... all the same, she blazed through the trees, swinging from branches to get over suspicious spots like one of the great jungle apes of the south.

"Rr-rrr-rraaahhh!" She tore through two snares, smaller, not as strong as strong as the others. Meant for rabbits or birds most-likely, but it took a toll and when she finally careened into a thicker web strung through the branches she crashed to the ground, roaring and staggering to her feet as she began to pull the webbing from her face... before the pinprick struck, her vision swimming as she yanked the thing from her neck, crushing it in her hand as she staggered forward, stumbling slowly as she shook her head.

Not... not yet... damnit.

She strained to keep a grip on her axe but Hron's spear tumbled from useless fingers as she dragged her left side before finally stumbling to the ground, one eye rolling up to spot a blurry eight limbed figure watching from the trees.

And then the world went dark.

(Whew, Let me know what you think!)
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:54 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Lightning Xysticid Tribunal

"...And these are the hunters who captured them." Archivist Jtchlisthckrischt gestured. Above the hunters, whom Jtchlisthckrischt proceeded to introduce one by one, were eight unconscious outsiders, bound tight and suspended from the ceiling by silver threads that left only their faces bare.

"Yes, it was finely done." Binder Thrischrishist replied. Her comrades, Spinner Vcdrihsel and Weaver Hltclhasthin agreed. Together they composed the Tribunal of the xysticid city Chrystishalha, to which the outsiders had been brought to receive judgment.

"If all is settled, shall we begin the inspection?" offered Vcdrihsel. At a nod from her colleagues, she continued. "Hunters, you may revive the trespassers."

Small vials were drawn from the pockets of the eight foremost hunters. As one xysticid, and with one practiced motion, they shot the serum into their captives' veins.

As the outsiders began to wake, their first impression was one of an intense aching pain shooting up and down their spinal columns. For Pirx, Skez, and Verz, at least, it was a familiar sensation, and they knew it would pass in minutes. For the others, who had never before had the pleasure of waking up in xysticid custody, it was a brand new experience.

As their eyes cleared and they became more aware of their surroundings, they found themselves in what at first may have seemed like a luminous silver palace draped in colorful and intricately detailed silk curtains. Before them, the only direction they could currently face, stood three giant... spiders? One was garbed in shifting blacks and white, one in shining silver and gold, and the last in vibrant blues and greens.

(Over to you, Skytotem)
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:56 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes

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Oh, and let's say they're lined up like this:

Vcdrihsel - Hltclhasthin - Vcdrihsel
v
^
Pirx - Skez - Verz - (Orc) - Wuzosh - Umodu - Hron - Mogka

Unless you'd like them to be placed differently.
Excellent, thank you.

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"...And these are the hunters who captured them." Archivist Jtchlisthckrischt gestured. Above the hunters, whom Jtchlisthckrischt proceeded to introduce one by one, were eight unconscious outsiders, bound tight and suspended from the ceiling by silver threads that left only their faces bare.

"Yes, it was finely done." Binder Thrischrishist replied. Her comrades, Spinner Vcdrihsel and Weaver Hltclhasthin agreed. Together they composed the Tribunal of the xysticid city Chrystishalha, to which the outsiders had been brought to receive judgment.

"If all is settled, shall we begin the inspection?" offered Vcdrihsel. At a nod from her colleagues, she continued. "Hunters, you may revive the trespassers."

Small vials were drawn from the pockets of the eight foremost hunters. As one xysticid, and with one practiced motion, they shot the serum into their captives' veins.

As the outsiders began to wake, their first impression was one of an intense aching pain shooting up and down their spinal columns. For Pirx, Skez, and Verz, at least, it was a familiar sensation, and they knew it would pass in minutes. For the others, who had never before had the pleasure of waking up in xysticid custody, it was a brand new experience.

As their eyes cleared and they became more aware of their surroundings, they found themselves in what at first may have seemed like a luminous silver palace draped in colorful and intricately detailed silk curtains. Before them, the only direction they could currently face, stood three giant... spiders? One was garbed in shifting blacks and white, one in shining silver and gold, and the last in vibrant blues and greens.

(Over to you, Skytotem)


Verz blinked his eyes slowly, groaning softly as the now familiar shots of pain up and down his spine ran their course, his vision was blurry at first but the shapes were unmistakable with those familiar green clusters of eyes. They were in the spider-people's, the Xysticidhe reminded himself, city. As his vision began to clear he realized at least part of the groaning wasn't his own, others beside him were waking up as well, he glanced side to side, though turning his head completely was an impossibility as he strained faintly against the silk bindings.

Damn, how many had they caught? There was a faint sense of flattered pride that the captain seemed to have sent a rescue party but an annoyed twinge at the fact that they'd been caught as well.

"Nnnnnnnnnnnn!!!" A low shriek began to build.

Oh no, not again. "Skez..." he began, voice a bit hoarse at first, his throat felt odd, and he had to cough, but it didn't make a difference either way.

"AAAAAAAGH! AHHHH! AAAAAAAAHHHH!" The frightened goblins cries mingled with a sudden and continuous shriek from Pirx of "PLEASEDON'TEATMEITASTETERRIBLEWEALLDOPLEASELETUSG OWE'RE-"

"PIRX! SKEZ!" A deeper voice, that actually seemed surprisingly upbeat, called out, and both goblins went silent for a moment.

"UMODU!?" They called out in unison, squealing happily. "OHYOUCAMETOSAVEUSI'MSOGLADWHEREAREYOU!?"

"OVERHERE!" The orc called out, swinging in place weakly, almost laughing as he caught a glimpse of the two. "Uh, I'll be honest, rescue isn't going GREAT but we're all not dead yet so..."

The hobgoblin sat between the two as they began to catch up, sighing softly as the others began to talk over them and shout. He'd have liked a moment of quiet to try and address the three ornately dressed Xysticid in front of them but that was unlikely to say the least.

"Whuh... Where's the... deer?" The orc beside him mumbled blearily for a moment before gasping. "What in the name of the flame!?"

Wuzosh began to grumble at Umodu "Look I'm very glad you found the goblins, I'm glad everyone is alive NOW but we're all still-"

Hron blinked and looked around the chamber, letting out a simple "Huh, so that's what happened." in quiet awe.

Finally, the captain finished glaring around the room and shouted. "CREWMEN SHUT UP OR I'LL RIP YOUR TONGUES OUT MYSELF!" Despite her pointed inability to follow through on such a threat the rest of the crew quickly went silent as she shook and strained in her bindings. "Now what the rotten fuck is this?"

Finally. "We're on trial captain. Trespassing from what they told me."

"Who is that? Scout Verz? They speak our language?" The bogrin seemed somewhat chagrined. "You could've put up a sign if you didn't want trespassers you skulky eight legged bastards!"
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:53 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Lightning Xysticid Tribunal

The Tribunal waited patiently as the newly revived outsiders regained their senses and, more to the point, their voices, but it was soon obvious that the noise was not going to subside on its own. The three xysticids exchanged glances as the hubbub swelled to commotion, but were saved from intervening by a shouted command from the bogrin captain.

"CREWMEN SHUT UP OR I'LL RIP YOUR TONGUES OUT MYSELF!"

(That one is clearly in charge), commented Hltclhasthin at a pitch higher than the outsiders could hear.

(And the one called 'Verz' has merit, to have kept its wits so calm), observed Vcdrihsel as the scout replied to his captain.

"Who is that? Scout Verz? They speak our language?" The bogrin captain twisted in her webbing, trying to get a better angle. Realizing it was fruitless, she returned her gaze to the Tribunal, who were finally swimming into focus. "You could've put up a sign if you didn't want trespassers you skulky eight legged bastards!"

The captain's calmer words seemed to vaguely disappoint Binder Thrischrishist. To her colleagues, she whispered (I would have expected a more violent outburst from the bogrin, judging by how it was caught. Perhaps these outsiders may be reasoned with more readily than I had anticipated.)

Aloud, Hltclhasthin answered Mogka in Grutharin. "Would a sign suffice to keep the Lokusi off your lands?"

"In any case, if you had more thoroughly explored the shoreline, you might have found any number of sea-weathered warnings, written by outsiders like yourselves who found our island... unfriendly," continued Vcdrihsel.

"Our methods are not yours to question, bogrin," concluded Thrischrishist. "You have been brought here to stand trial. How will you persuade us that you deserve to leave this island alive?"
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:10 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes Chronicles of Solthris

Alright, after a bit of deliberation and Anansi's suggestion I've made a new thread, gonna message the mods and ask them to move the other posts in, but for now, a continuation of the Tribunal!

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The Tribunal waited patiently as the newly revived outsiders regained their senses and, more to the point, their voices, but it was soon obvious that the noise was not going to subside on its own. The three xysticids exchanged glances as the hubbub swelled to commotion, but were saved from intervening by a shouted command from the bogrin captain.

"CREWMEN SHUT UP OR I'LL RIP YOUR TONGUES OUT MYSELF!"

(That one is clearly in charge), commented Hltclhasthin at a pitch higher than the outsiders could hear.

(And the one called 'Verz' has merit, to have kept its wits so calm), observed Vcdrihsel as the scout replied to his captain.

"Who is that? Scout Verz? They speak our language?" The bogrin captain twisted in her webbing, trying to get a better angle. Realizing it was fruitless, she returned her gaze to the Tribunal, who were finally swimming into focus. "You could've put up a sign if you didn't want trespassers you skulky eight legged bastards!"

The captain's calmer words seemed to vaguely disappoint Binder Thrischrishist. To her colleagues, she whispered (I would have expected a more violent outburst from the bogrin, judging by how it was caught. Perhaps these outsiders may be reasoned with more readily than I had anticipated.)

Aloud, Hltclhasthin answered Mogka in Grutharin. "Would a sign suffice to keep the Lokusi off your lands?"

"In any case, if you had more thoroughly explored the shoreline, you might have found any number of sea-weathered warnings, written by outsiders like yourselves who found our island... unfriendly," continued Vcdrihsel.

"Our methods are not yours to question, bogrin," concluded Thrischrishist. "You have been brought here to stand trial. How will you persuade us that you deserve to leave this island alive?"
"Lokusi!? You... you bunch of slime-eyed rotten HRRRRGHGHRHAK!" Mogka's eyes bulged, she thrashed in her bindings, she knew it was likely pointless on some level but she was too angry to care, the relief at waking up alive with the others in good shape had tempered her indignation at being trussed up like a prize wolfpelt but the fading pain in her spine and the casual condescension by the haughty spider had broken that damn for the moment.

"Um, Captain? Captain?" Verz sighed, Mogka was literally starting to froth and he was honestly worried what would happen if she did get loose with how much she was straining the webbing. Either way this wasn't helping. He sucked in a breath and shouted, swaying "CAPTAIN MOGKA!" finally grabbing her attention as she let out a low, seething growl. The others tilted their heads at Verz in faint surprise.

"What!?" she said in something just under a guttural roar.

With a nervous gulp, Verz swayed in place to try and glance at her as he tilted his head up towards the tribunal. "Permission to serve as crew representative on your behalf... please?"

The bogrin bristled for a moment and then turned her head, glaring back up at the spiders. She didn't expect much, this seemed like a mock trial if she'd ever seen one, in her experience no honorable discussion took place with one group bound and helpless. She swayed in faint silence for a moment till she realized she was grinding her teeth, and realized something was bothering her, they couldn't possibly have learned their language just from the scouts. The whole situation sat like a lump in her throat, she liked combat, she liked the being in the field and being in command. Her pride urged her to keep trying to snap her bindings and start breaking skulls... but again her age and experience tempered the urge. She didn't like that the spiders had made a fool of her, made her afraid, and she wanted to hurt them.

Badly.

But as she felt the eyes of the others staring at her through the heavy silence, she felt her rage settle into a quiet simmer.

Sometimes being in command meant listening to most reasonable of ideas in a terrible situation, not the one that was the most cathartic, and this wasn't the type of problem she solved. Words and laws's were a hobgoblin's dagger anyway, and Verz had more of a chance to talk to these things than Hron did. With a heavy sigh, she tilted her head back and nodded before glowering over at the Tribunes. "FINE." She said at last. "Alright you... What do they call themselves?"

"Xysti-cid" Verz said slowly, more to avoid butchering the name than for the captain's benefit, eyes nervously glancing back up at the three, they had special titles but he'd never been able to properly hear them over Skez's screaming the past few days. "I um, don't know the proper names for their leaders."

Mogka gave a look of annoyed disdain. "I'm not even going to try to pronounce that, and they know who I mean." She huffed, shaking her head. "You up there! I formally appoint my scout as the crew's counsel for this-" Mockery. Farce. Sham. "Trial." She settled on, narrowing her eyes and tensing her jaw again as she began looking around the room and began testing her bindings more slowly, subtly, no longer thrashing and straining in them but looking for weaknesses so that if the trial went about as well as she thought it would, she might be able to get loose whenever they took them out to imprison them or execute them. She had no real chance of getting everyone else loose if they tried to kill them at the end of the trial with more poison darts but if they left them alone for any length of time in cells without being drugged maybe they could still... No that wouldn't work either. The bogrin let out a smaller sigh, still testing her bindings if for no other reason than sheer tense fidgetiness, but her gaze was now towards the scout she had to pray had a silver tongue.


"Thank you Captain Mogka, I'm honored." Verz said with palpable relief, though he felt himself sweating in the silk bindings. Hobgoblins were generally comfortable at high temperatures but the weight of the situation finally struck him, this was the Dominion's first formal contact with an outside civilization in centuries, more pressingly his life and that of a chunk of the crew's, hung in the balance.

Say something! Silence is death! His brain screamed at him as he looked up at the Tribunal. "Ah, and so to begin, I would like to apologize for our..." reaction? chaos? "... well for the screaming, we're all a bit unsettled as I hope you can understand, but it's my sincerest desire that this trial ends in an... amicable and satisfactory conclusion for all of us." He cleared his throat nervously and continued. "Now, to address your questions to Captain Mogka, while we will not question your methods I will assert that we are not like the Lokusi, we are not ravening beasts, we can surely reach some accommodation if we have violated your lands and seek to make some form of compensation in supplies or other means, but I would first need to better understand the reason for your very... prompt treatment of outsiders in your forest and what you would gain by our deaths or imprisonment. Please forgive my ignorance, but it seems you know a great deal about us from your knowledge of our language but I am... unfamiliar with your legal system and have only passing knowledge of your customs." Verz paused, feeling himself a bit short of breath and worried he was rambling.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:36 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Sorry for the double post that I've caused, but the forum sorts moved posts by date too.

If there are any other posts that need to be moved, please let me know.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:41 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Lightning Xysticid Tribunal

"Lokusi!? You... you bunch of slime-eyed rotten HRRRRGHGHRHAK!"

(THERE it is!) Thrischrishist chirped triumphantly. (I knew it was in there somewhere.)

Vcdrihsel and Hltclhasthin exchanged weary glances as the captain thrashed in her cocoon. (Yes, yes, well spun, Binder) Hltclhasthin said with a click of her mandibles. (But you do realize how this complicates matters, yes?)

Nor was she the only one concerned by this turn of events. Hunter Stistchisth peered out from behind her orc at the frothing bogrin and glanced around at the other hunters. Warden Htchcasisth had expressed her confidence that the Tribunal would find these outsiders innocent - but then, she hadn't met their captain.

"CAPTAIN MOGKA!"

Stistchisth recognized the voice. It was the one called - Vzsersch, right? She settled back as the scout talked some sense into its captain. Perhaps there wouldn't be any liquefaction today after all.

"Permission to serve as crew representative on your behalf... please?" The scout continued.

(The bogrin still wishes us violence), Thrischrishist said in quiet satisfaction, (but it will be forced to subordinate that will to the well-being of her crew.) The others nodded.

"FINE. Alright you... What do they call themselves?"

Xysticid faces are unreadable to outsiders, but Stistchisth could see a slight smile pass across Vcdrihsel's face as the hobgoblin tried to pronounce their name. She herself allowed her held breath to escape, just in time to wince at the captain's next harsh words.

"I'm not even going to try to pronounce that, and they know who I mean. You up there! I formally appoint my scout as the crew's counsel for this... trial."

(Look!) Thrischrishist whispered happily to Hltclhasthin. (She's testing her bonds, trying to come up with a plan of escape, should the worst come to pass.)

Hltclhasthin looked back at her, askance. (I'm not sure you should be enjoying this as much as you are, dear friend.)

(Come, come, it is not often we encounter outsiders on this side of the isle. Where's the harm in finding pleasure in this rare sport?)

(Hush, you two), Vcdrihsel, said softly. (Our attention is still required. Their representative has almost found its words.)

Almost, of course, being the operative word. As the scout began his stammering, meandering speech, Vcdrihsel was not the only one smiling.

"...And have only passing knowledge of your customs."

As the scout came to a halt, Thrischrishist placed her hands together and bowed her head in acknowledgment. "It pleases us to hear such respectful words..." she began in Grutharin, but Hltclhasthin broke her off.

"Do be quiet, Binder." To the captive outsiders: "We are not here to demand homage or recompense for any imagined slight. And there is no need for such stilted language. All we hope to accomplish is to establish the true purpose of your presence here and, if possible, to send you on your way."

"To this end," continued Vcdrihsel, "it is only proper that you fully understand the reasons for your present captivity..."

"Among them, violent outbursts such as that just demonstrated by your bogrin friend," Thrischrishist chimed in.

Hltclhasthin shot her a look. "The understandable violence with which some outsiders are inclined to meet our... hospitality... among them, yes."

Vcdrihsel clicked her mandibles. "Now then... I believe it is time you outsiders knew exactly what this is about..."


[To be expanded upon - but I have to go to work now]
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:05 AM
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Sorry for the double post that I've caused, but the forum sorts moved posts by date too.

If there are any other posts that need to be moved, please let me know.
No problem, thank you so much Nazja!

I'll edit my reply in here once Anansi is done with updating the tribunal.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:33 PM
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Orb of Lightning

It's been a long day and I'm not sure I'll be able to write properly until I'm recharged. Should I just sum up what the Tribunal would tell the outsiders in bullet points, or should we wait until the muse has returned?
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:38 PM
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It's been a long day and I'm not sure I'll be able to write properly until I'm recharged. Should I just sum up what the Tribunal would tell the outsiders in bullet points, or should we wait until the muse has returned?
No worries i know the feeling, personally I'm happy to wait butif you prefer bulletpoints that's fine
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:45 AM
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Orb of Lightning Xysticid Tribunal

"...Firstly, you are permitted to know this much of where you are. The island upon which your ship ran aground - it is called Istos. You may believe you know its general whereabouts, but we - that is, our society - have taken precautions to ensure no outsider will ever know its precise location."

"Did you notice, by any chance," interrupted Hltclhasthin, "during your encampment upon our shore, that the stars...?"

"Weaver!" Thrischrishist said sharply. Turning to their captive audience, she continued. "You have heard more than I would like, but ultimately not enough to find us again. Be glad of that, for otherwise we would have no choice but to... ensure your silence."

Vcdrihsel placed her hands face-down in a calming gesture. "Please understand that we have not survived so long in secret by sharing details of our natural and unnatural defenses with any outsiders who come along. But we digress. You may know this island as Istos, and it is the home to our venerable race. That you have trespassed upon it does not make you guilty, but it does make you suspect."

Hltclhasthin took over. "All outsiders who stray beneath the cover of our forests are required to face a Tribunal. We three have been elected by the city of Chrystishalha to lead it in matters of wisdom" - she gestured to her right - "matters of cunning" - to her left - "and matters of..." - she chittered with the other two for a moment - "the closest word in your language seems to be 'beauty.'" She placed one of her remaining arms on her own chest. "I am the Weaver of Chrystishalha, and these two are my fellow Spinner and friend Binder."

"It would be pointless to give you our names," Vcdrihsel said apologetically. "Your kind's vocal structure can never seem to handle them."

"But enough pleasantries!" Thrischrishist exclaimed. "I'm sure our guests are as eager to be out of those stuffy old webs as I am to see this finished, so let us get down to the business at hand, shall we?"

"Of course," agreed Vcdrihsel. She spread her long arms wide in a gesture of command "You are collectively suspected not of trespassing, but of posing a threat to our society and the security of Istos." Lowering her arms, she shot Captain Mogka a glance. "I have received a report from our Warden that described your party as, ah, 'basically harmless,' but the behavior of your captain has, alas, cast that into doubt."

"Based on its recent outburst and the obvious hostility in its gaze," Thrischrishist continued, "it is my current opinion that if freed the bogrin will attempt to perform violence upon us."

"It is understandable," Hltclhasthin said quickly, "considering the circumstances in which it has found itself. It is our role as Tribunal not only to weigh these outsiders' capacity for enmity, but also that for friendship. If we can cultivate in this bogrin a willingness to trust us, her propensity toward vengeance may fade."

"And that cultivation," Vcdrihsel said sourly, glancing across the Weaver at Thrischrishist , "is not helped by your obvious willingness to find the bogrin guilty. There was no reason to voice that opinion in a language our guests could understand."

Thrischrishist shrugged. (You two can be no fun at all sometimes.)

(There is a time and place), Hltclhasthin said before turning back to the prisoners. "You have heard our words; now how will you persuade us that you pose no threat?"
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:32 PM
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Runes

Verz and the others listened intently, noting the secretive passing mention of their defenses, wondering if the fog and storms were part of them... more likely just the fog, the storm that had caught them was abrupt, and had pushed them onto the island when the spiders clearly wanted to be left alone.

The impromptu diplomat felt the gears of his mind spinning. It was the alienness of the Xysticid more than the vague implications and threats of death that would pose a problem. Grutharin politics were awash with insincere threats of maiming and brawls to settle grudges, less so among his own people and the goblins but more so among orc and bogrin. But the Xysticid seemed to take things seriously, but not personally. They were polite enough, but secrecy seemed to be as much a part of them as battle is to the orcs, the captain's anger hadn't hurt but it didn't seem to have damaged relations too badly, The Weaver seemed most amiable, the binder seemed least, but not overtly hostile either.

Most importantly though, they seemed to have detailed, but not complete knowledge of them. He could work with this.

"Ah... Thank you." He began carefully, gulping once as he planned out his conversation. "I've heard and understand perfectly, I'm continually impressed by your grasp of our language, by which I mean no flattery but I draw attention to it because I feel it provides evidence to support the fact that my people are not a threat. Because I am not certain how much of our society that you know, and because I wish all gathered here to better understand, not just among you, or your people who guard and observe us, but among my own..." He briefly glanced across the line of silk-wrapped prisoners. "I will sum up the path of the Dominion to this point. Roughly three hundred years ago we came together, pushed to the brink of our lands by the Lokusi, and since that time we have done little but defend ourselves, the whole of our people has been dedicated to the destruction of the swarm, which we only achieved earlier this very year."

There was a murmur of agreement from the other prisoners, even a few brief chuckles. "Bet the Firemaw burned up those hives real good." Wuzosh grunts.

Verz shoots him an annoyed look and coughs, the others quieting after a moment before he turns his gaze back to the Weaver. "But yet, imagine our thoughts then? At last we are not so pressed that we must fear the hives upon the coasts and islands, the Stormveil mountains remain impassable but we know so little of the world outside of our home! Could there be other hives beyond our shores that might come and continue what the last swarm started? Are we the only island amidst a world consumed by ravening beasts? And so we set out to survey our borders upon the seas, to find answers, to learn the truth of how far the Lokusi had spread and what the borders of our lands truly were. A storm struck our vessel during our travels though and we were washed ashore here completely unintentionally, we began to search the forest only to ensure there were no Lokusi nesting further inland."

The others nod a bit as he speaks, even Skez breaks in for a moment. "Y-yeah, but there's no bugs here so no reason for us to stay! W-w-we can go home and just, n-not bother you nice spiders anymore!"

"Precisely." Verz nodded, albeit with an ounce of irritation at her. "If there are no Lokusi here we have no reason to linger or return if we are not welcome, we have ample land to the south we will still be resettling for many years, and as you've pointed out, we likely could not Istos again even if we tried."

The hobgoblin felt himself about to pause, there simply wasn't much else to say, they had no... oh! No that's perfect!

"Ultimately we must rely on your broader knowledge of the world..." He almost felt himself grin, nervous pinpricks running through his limbs from the tension. "Though our people put much emphasis on the word it is often not enough without actions or proof to support it. Yet we are far from home, we have no physical proof to offer, our orders to explore sit upon a table or in some desk across the sea, and so we must trust your judgement. If we were here to do your people any kind of harm, why did we come so ill-prepared? If you were to let us go, how could we possibly do you any harm in the future and to what purpose would we do it? In fact, it would benefit us, who have no knowledge of the wider world, to have you as allies, since you took pains to learn our language you might know languages from other lands that may help us, or other information that might aid us against the Lokusi."

Well, let's hope I didn't botch that. Verz thought to himself before hearing the captain speak up.

"Well... there was a copy of our orders on the Ironspear, not that that does us much good." Mogka grunted from her cocoon, her anger quieting a bit more. The scout had a point, much as she hated the spiders they hadn't killed her or anyone in the crew, the storm had done that, and that was simply life on the sea. The Xyst-a-cid were a bunch of sneaky conniving bastards no doubt, but if they actually were serious about this trial, and the middle one at least seemed to be, she could at least do her best to make Verz's job easier. It'd hardly disprove them being dangerous if she kept trying to break loose and strangle them all just for making a fool of her, and what would that say about the Dominion? "But what exactly would we even do if we went home that'd pose a threat to you? Tell the Thar'zash 'we got made a fool of by some spiders and so can we please go back and fight them?' Dron'd punch our faces in for wasting their time. We've got no reason to hurt any of you and, no matter how much you wounded our pride." With a heavy sigh, the bogrin leveled her head and looked across each of the tribunes. "I promise not to try and hurt any of you for stringing me and my crew up like fresh fish."
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:19 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Venom Xysticid Tribunal

The three listened to the nervous hobgoblin with the patience of their kind, gazing steadily into its eyes with their own unblinking octads. The captive scout wove a few arguments about the outsiders' obvious unpreparedness for an invasion, their inability to find Istos again even if they wanted to, and the purpose which had inadvertently brought them to the island. It concluded with an unexpectedly direct plea for assistance with the Lokusi Concern, before giving way to its captain.

The bogrin seemed to have settled down over the course of its scout's speech, and now reiterated the claim that their ship had arrived without any hostile intent. It concluded with a sigh, and the reluctant vow:

"...I promise not to try and hurt any of you for stringing me and my crew up like fresh fish."

(Promises!) the Binder exclaimed. (After all it has said and done, now it offers us promises!)

The Weaver tilted her head. (But promises do hold weight in modern Gruthar.)

(Are we in Gruthar, my dear friend?)

(Do not be foolish, Binder), Spinner Vcdrihsel reprimanded. (Even if this were not a bogrin of Gruthar, I would measure its sincerity as true. It will hold a grudge, yes, for the injury to its pride, but it will not perform violence upon us for anything we have yet done.)

(You must sense this as well, Thrischrishist), Hltclhasthin continued. (Why do you make this difficult?)

(Truthfully), the Binder said half-slyly, half-apologetically, (I have never tasted the soup of a bogrin before, and rarely does such an opportunity arise.)

(Your appetite...), the Spinner began, but Thrischrishist waved her off with a gesture of resignation.

(Yes, yes, I know my appetite cannot be allowed to compromise my responsibilities as Binder.) She clicked her mandibles. (I am prepared to recognize all eight outsiders as innocent of immediate malice.)

(As am I), agreed Vcdrihsel.

(Then we are decided - they will go free.) Weaver Hltclhasthin concluded. She began to raise one long-fingered hand to signal their decision, but Thrischrishist caught it and gently pulled it down again.

(I would first deliberate upon the opportunity we have been given to spin another scheme against the Lokusi Concern), the Binder said. (The well-mannered scout even went so far as to request our aid.)

(Your point is taken, dear friend), the Weaver answered. To Vcdrihsel, she asked (Is there any information we may give these outsiders which might aid their battle against the swarms?)

The Spinner tilted her head. (Perhaps, but you must understand that such a decision is not ours to make. It would be subject to the approval of the Grand Tribunal, as it runs the risk of establishing a direct link between Istos and the leadership of Gruthar.)

(Naturally.)

Hltclhasthin tilted her own head. (I must say I am surprised, Thrischrishist, that you would propose we offer such direct aid to an outside power, particularly in light of your appetite.)

(The Lokusi have an even greater appetite than myself, dear friend.)

Spinner Vcdrihsel glanced at the outsiders to check how they were coping with the apparent silence that outsiders heard when xysticids spoke among themselves. (The proposal, then, is as follows: at the Grand Tribunal of Erasteraschni, these outsiders will be submitted as couriers of certain well-curated knowledge regarding the Lokusi. Our verdict of innocence will accompany them, as well as a full report on our deliberations. Are we agreed?) The other two nodded. (Then yours is the floor, Weaver Hltclhasthin.)

She raised her forelimbs and announced in Grutharin "We have deliberated upon your situation and found you innocent of immediate malice. You will be freed of your bonds in short order."
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:19 PM
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Runes

For a few short eternities, Verz and the other grutharin stared at the three Xysticid as they gestured and clicked at each other, so much of the conversation seemed frustratingly silent that some of the others took to murmuring amongst each other.

"What're they doing?" Said Umodu.

"I... I can't hear them? Is something wrong with me?" whimpered Skez.

"No, I think they're just quiet? I hope that's not a bad sign." murmured Pirx.

Wuzosh squinted at the tribunal and shook his head. "I think it's just their language, their... mouth and throat parts are different than ours."

Verz nodded, though he suspected the Xysticid quite enjoyed the fact that their language was so difficult to hear he doubted it was something they'd developed intentionally.

He blinked as the Weaver raised a hand but the binder caught it, sending them into another flurry of faint chittering and near silence. That was odd, for a moment it seemed like they'd made a decision but... Ah, again, the Weaver raised her arms, this time she spoke in Grutharin

"We have deliberated upon your situation and found you innocent of immediate malice. You will be freed of your bonds in short order."

The hobgoblin felt his head swimming with relief as the others cheered, wiggling happily in their cocoons.

The captain had a look of pleasant surprise on her face and let out a soft huff of relief. "Huh, good job soldier, looks like we might all make it off this rock alive."

"Uh, thank you captain." Verz managed, shaking himself back to reality and nodding his head a bit. "And ah, thank you for your understanding and sound judgement Tribunes Weaver, Spinner, and Binder."
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:08 PM
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Orb of Venom Xysticid Tribunal

The Weaver gestured to the hunters, who injected the outsiders with a new serum. As Stistchisth helped her orc from its cocoon, taking care not to gouge its flesh with her claws, the Binder voiced her reply.

"Whether this judgment was sound remains to be seen. For now, you are free to explore our city, as long as you remain under the supervision of your designated wardens. You may rest, if you wish, or converse with your comrades, but in twelve hours you will be removed to our capital."

"We have judged this an opportunity to uplift your society's standing and power," continued the Spinner. "This judgment will be reviewed by the Grand Tribunal of Erasteraschni and, if validated, entitle you to learn from our scholars and archivists much that may help you in your peoples' battle against the Lokusi and your Dominion's reentry into the broader world."

Stistchisth offered a hand to help steady her orc, and arranged her mandibles in an unfortunate imitation of a smile. "Hi there! You can call me Tit. You probably don't remember me, considering how distracted you were by that deer you were chasing." She chirped happily. "You didn't even realize that I was right there chasing you! Oh, and don't worry about that last needle. It'll make your reactions a bit slower, but you shouldn't feel much worse besides that." Around her, other hunters were making similar introductions, though perhaps not talking quite so fast. Without giving the orc time to reply, Stistchisth continued. "You're probably thinking about food. I would be, if I were you. We have everything here. Even solids, you know, for chewing! Come, come, let us join the others."
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:01 PM
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Runes Tribunal and Future Plans

"Uh, thanks..." The orc wriggles free of the cocoon with Stistchisth's help, thankfully orc skin is fairly tough so even had she slipped he wouldn't have been badly hurt.

"I assure you we will do all we can to be honorable guests." Verz gives a remarkably steady bow just after he wriggles free of the cocoon, then subtly braces himself on the nearest object to hide his dizziness.

None of the grutharin seemed particularly inclined to sleep or rest, though they were a tad groggy from the chemicals they were all far too focused on the tribunal and the settlement around them. Each listened with rapt attention as the Weaver spoke of their capital.

Verz winced at the phrasing, 'uplifting' might bristle the Dominon leadership's pride or create concerns as to their independence. He could tell Wuzosh and Mogka felt it as well, but thankfully they said nothing, likely mollified by the mention of power as well and better getting a feel for the Xysticid's unique blend of polite aloofness. Hopefully he could discuss particulars with someone before or at this 'Grand Tribunal'. The Xysticid were clearly a knowledgeable culture, access to their archives and other knowledge could help the Dominion make up for centuries of isolation. He glanced back at Mogka and began to speak. "Ah, captain, I'd like to..."

The bogrin waved a hand. "You heard'em everyone, shore leave in the spider city just don't do anything stupid to get us all tied up again. Remember you're Dominion soldiers and we're in political-talks now." She growled the words out loud enough for all of the others to hear, earning a quick thump of the chest-salute from the Grutharin, Verz included. She looked the hobgoblin and gave him a mirthless smirk. "You're still our representative scout Verz so take whatever action you need to to make sure this grand tribunal decides to help us." She let out a sigh before giving the room a sour glance and grumbling. "I'm going for a walk, skulking storm-blasted island..." The captain didn't like feeling useless, but she had little to contribute to diplomatic endeavors, she was a weapon for entirely different kinds of problems, she certainly didn't envy the scout's work though.

"Thank you captain." Verz smiled with a mix of relief and tension as he looked back to the tribunes. "If I may ask one last indulgence before we each go our separate ways, would it be possible if my warden be an individual that can translate your written language for me, and that I may have access to a copy of your laws? I wish to ensure a strong argument for a partnership between our peoples."

Not far from Verz, Stistchisth's orc stared at her somewhat numbly. He was the only one that had been silent throughout the entire Tribunal, somewhat convinced that it was all a very bizarre dream up until he felt that last needle. "Umm... pleased to meet you... Tit? I'm Furoq." He hadn't in fact been thinking about food, but at the mention of it his stomach growled, which seemed to send a rippling effect through the others, they each began filing out of the room, awkwardly striking up conversations with their wardens. "Huh, yeah actually I feel like I could eat a whole Arctus." Furoq commented, quirking a brow as he began following her out of the room to wherever the eating chambers are. "Chewing? I mean, I know chewing, do you? Chew your food I mean?"
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:21 PM
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Orb of Venom Xysticid Tribunal

"I'm going for a walk, skulking storm-blasted island..."

As the captain turned to leave, she felt a long-fingered hand clasp her shoulder. Turning, she saw the xysticid who had injected her after the trial. "Allow me, please, to accompany you. My name is Chlrsuschiett."

---

"...Chewing? I mean, I know chewing, do you? Chew your food I mean?"

Stistchisth gave that purring, churring laugh. "You outsiders are so funny! No, of course not. We drink our prey. You know?"

---

As the others began to make their way toward the high, shining arches that led to Chrystishalha proper, the scout who called himself Verz turned back and issued a final request.

Weaver Hltclhasthin turned to the Binder, who appraised Verz's warden for a moment. She was a young-ish hunter, and although she had an adequate grasp of the Grutharin language, she had not received the security training which would have allowed her to be authorized as a personal liaison.

This young xysticid already knew this, of course. She bowed her head. (Would you like me to surrender this one to a more a qualified agent, Binder?)

Thrischrishist's reply was to wave over the archivist, Jtchlisthckrischt. (I regret to pull you from your regular duties, but if this outsider intends to ask questions about our language and records we require it to be paired with a properly conditioned agent.)

(I understand, Binder.)

(And thank you), Thrischrishist said to the hunter, (for being so quick to accommodate this emergent circumstance. You are free to do as you wish for the next twelve hours.)

(Yes, Binder. Many thanks.)

At last, she turned back to Verz. "I have selected one of our most trusted Archivists to take your warden's place. You may ask her what you will, but understand that she will not give you any information that pertains to the sensitive interests and security of Istos. You may not learn as much as you might wish."
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  #21  
Old 05-09-2017, 08:21 AM
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Runes Wandering, Food, And Politics

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"I'm going for a walk, skulking storm-blasted island..."

As the captain turned to leave, she felt a long-fingered hand clasp her shoulder. Turning, she saw the xysticid who had injected her after the trial. "Allow me, please, to accompany you. My name is Chlrsuschiett."

---

"...Chewing? I mean, I know chewing, do you? Chew your food I mean?"

Stistchisth gave that purring, churring laugh. "You outsiders are so funny! No, of course not. We drink our prey. You know?"

---

As the others began to make their way toward the high, shining arches that led to Chrystishalha proper, the scout who called himself Verz turned back and issued a final request.

Weaver Hltclhasthin turned to the Binder, who appraised Verz's warden for a moment. She was a young-ish hunter, and although she had an adequate grasp of the Grutharin language, she had not received the security training which would have allowed her to be authorized as a personal liaison.

This young xysticid already knew this, of course. She bowed her head. (Would you like me to surrender this one to a more a qualified agent, Binder?)

Thrischrishist's reply was to wave over the archivist, Jtchlisthckrischt. (I regret to pull you from your regular duties, but if this outsider intends to ask questions about our language and records we require it to be paired with a properly conditioned agent.)

(I understand, Binder.)

(And thank you), Thrischrishist said to the hunter, (for being so quick to accommodate this emergent circumstance. You are free to do as you wish for the next twelve hours.)

(Yes, Binder. Many thanks.)

At last, she turned back to Verz. "I have selected one of our most trusted Archivists to take your warden's place. You may ask her what you will, but understand that she will not give you any information that pertains to the sensitive interests and security of Istos. You may not learn as much as you might wish."
"Allow me, please, to accompany you. My name is Chlrsuschiett."

Mogka pulled her shoulder away and huffed at the spider. "Fine, but I'm not in the mood for talk, I know you have to follow but just tell me if I'm about to go somewhere visitors aren't allowed." Without waiting for much of a reply the captain began storming out of the room. The whole place felt smooth and sparkly, it struck her as oddly out of place compared to its inhabitants, and she was hoping to get into some natural caves for a bit of normalcy.

----

"You outsiders are so funny! No, of course not. We drink our prey. You know?"

Furoq's brow jumped in surprise at the noise she made before comprehension struck him. "Oh, like... just like smaller spiders? That's... huh." The orc seemed to fumble for a subject as he came up to the tail end of the group of other Grutharin moving out of the room, everyone seemed quite intent on finding something to eat aside from the captain and Mogka, but then he grasped one. "So what kinda food do you usually eat... ?" At first it seemed like the orc would say something else but then he shifted his jaw awkwardly. "Is it okay if I call you Stith or something? Your name... means something already in our language."

Meanwhile Pirx and Skez were each sitting on Wuzosh and Umodu's shoulders respectively, the goblins staring up at the silken curtains with wide eyes. "Oh wow, is that real gold? How much gold do you have if you can use it in curtains? We're underground aren't we so what're they for? To keep it warm in here?" Pirx bobbed up and down as she talked, seeming remarkably calm. Skez, for her part, was simply hugging herself to Umodu's head and staring ahead, ears perked up and still a bit tense.

Hron was at the front of the group, occasionally stopping to run a hand along the floor or to pause at one of the tapestries, checking with the nearest Xysticid to see if he can touch it.

----

"I understand and I would not expect otherwise, but any information I did not have before is information that may help ensure peaceful exchanges between our people. I thank you for your courtesy." He bowed his head up towards the Tribunes. "And I thank you for your help as well Archivist...?" He made another short bow before stepping over, mind racing, as he asked for the Xysticid's name.

"Excellent, please guide me to a place where I may sit and view any records I am allowed access to of previous requests for similar aid or trade, unless you would recommend starting elsewhere? I am curious to hear your opinion on the matter."
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:22 PM
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Orb of Venom Chrystishalha

"And I thank you for your help as well Archivist...?" the scout paused.

Jtchlisthckrischt bowed her head. "You may call me Jet, it will be easier on your tongue."

"Excellent, please guide me to a place where I may sit and view any records I am allowed access to of previous requests for similar aid or trade, unless you would recommend starting elsewhere? I am curious to hear your opinion on the matter."

"You should understand," the archivist said as she led him away, "that your knowledge of our laws and customs will matter very little before the Grand Tribunal. The trial is not designed to favor those who know our ways, but to find a more objective truth. Any records I am authorized to share with you may satisfy your own personal curiosity, and perhaps help you to better anticipate our Grand Tribunal's judgment, but you will find nothing that you may use to actively advance your case." She held a white curtain traced with delicate silver spirals aside and ushered him through to the deeper Tribunal.

---

Chlrsuschiett clicked her mandibles and followed the bogrin. She offered no further comment.

---

"It does?" Stistchisth looked puzzled. "But my friends told me 'Tit' was such a common Grutharin name." She glanced at the cluster of xysticids around the other outsiders in time to see a pair of them erupt into chirping laughter. One of them waved merrily back at her. 'Tit' shifted her eye-plates inward in a kind of squint as she began to understand. "It would appear I have been the subject of a practical pleasantry," she said stiffly to the orc, before pointedly raising her voice. "...But we shall SEE who has the LAST LAUGH." Her friends redoubled their laughter as they turned back toward the gate. Again to the orc, and quietly, she said "Stith will do. I don't think I wan to ask what... tit means."

---

In spite of the hobgoblin's fascination with the hall's adornments, and the lively goblin's constant questions, the main group eventually made it to the Tribunal's main gate. There, they were confronted with their first view of Chrystishalha.

The first and most obvious impression was the smell. The scent of something unplaceable, nothing like pine but irresistibly reminiscent of soft forest needles, struck the outsiders for the first time as they left the perfumed air of the Tribunal's hall. The momentary disorientation of such a strange, yet hauntingly familiar smell then gave way to a sight unlike any other.

The city was built within an enormous silk-lined cavern, criss-crossed with countless bands of great silver rope, connecting and intersecting with buildings and structures of all shapes and sizes. The faint silver light of so much densely-woven xysticid silk swelled to an omnipresent brilliance against which the scurrying shapes of thousands of xysticids played a game of shadows.

And there were thousands. Many of the roads were almost vertical, but everywhere their scurrying shapes darted, up, down, and side to side, from one web to the next. From the vantage of the silk-spun plaza outside the Tribunal, some of the more distant forms could almost be mistaken for common jumping spiders, but their numbers were too great, and too coordinated. A glance at the outsiders' feet would show them a - it couldn't be a mosaic, the detail was far too fine - depiction of something vaguely arachnid, but ultimately nothing like any spider or xysticid the outsiders had ever seen. It might have been dancing, and about it flapped cloths of gold and azure and red.

---

The outsiders are matched to their xysticid charges as follows (some xysticids have offered abbreviated, Gruthar-friendly names, but Chlrsuschiett and Zschechthett gave their full names):

Verz - Jet

Mogka - Chlrsuschiett

Furoq - Tit/Stith
Pirx - Vel
Wuzosh - Seth
Skez - Irk
Umodu - Clem
Hron - Zschechthett
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2017, 12:29 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes Wandering, Food, And Politics

"You should understand," the archivist said as she led him away, "that your knowledge of our laws and customs will matter very little before the Grand Tribunal. The trial is not designed to favor those who know our ways, but to find a more objective truth. Any records I am authorized to share with you may satisfy your own personal curiosity, and perhaps help you to better anticipate our Grand Tribunal's judgment, but you will find nothing that you may use to actively advance your case." She held a white curtain traced with delicate silver spirals aside and ushered him through to the deeper Tribunal.

Verz nodded a bit, letting out a soft sigh as he listened to Jet, pausing only a moment to appreciate the skill it must have taken to make the curtains spirals, excellent practice for making nets and ropes no doubt.

"Oh in truth I do not doubt you, but consider for a moment: I am not a diplomat by trade, I am a scout, a soldier, and to a lesser extent a tactician. For most of my life I have done little but find Lokusi, fill them with crossbow bolts, set fire to their nests, sneak hiveflukes in amidst their food... politics and philosophy interested me when I was a fledgling, but they have never been my profession... and yet this is the role I find myself in now." He swallowed nervously for a moment as he looked down the passage.

"I must be able to say truthfully to the Dominion's leaders when I next face them, that I did all in my power to secure an alliance with your people.
None of the others, save perhaps Hron or Wuzosh, is suited for it, and neither of them have my experience coordinating between different groups." He let out a dry laugh, rubbing a hand across his forehead. "Granted, this is going to be very different from getting orcs from two different regions to get along, or even ogres and orcs. While I trust that your grand tribunal will likely be impartial, the same principles apply, the way a truth or fact is presented can affect its reception and the way it is interpreted, and thus the foundation for new thoughts is laid."

Verz dragged his hand across his chin as he looked back at Jet. "I need to at least be able to reinforce the facts that such a partnership would be beneficial to both of our nations and that we pose no threat to you."

----

Mogka began a brisk walk out of the chamber down a side passage, but slowed her pace gradually as she began sniffing the air, looking for the next passage that would take her to proper cavework or stone, she made no move to avoid her handler but paid them no mind otherwise unless she needed to avoid an area. The faint scent from the main chamber was pleasant enough that it put the captain in a slightly better mood, but otherwise her demeanor was unchanged.

----


"...But we shall SEE who has the LAST LAUGH." Her friends redoubled their laughter as they turned back toward the gate. Again to the orc, and quietly, she said "Stith will do. I don't think I want to ask what... tit means."

The orc couldn't help but chuckle, it was heartening to see a bit of casual fun amidst so alien looking a species, and though the Xysticid's laughter was a bit unsettling the rest of the Grutharin had managed to piece together something funny had happened between the group, Pirx in particular seemed preternaturally able to hear even while she chattered on, and paused, leaning backwards over Wuzosh's shoulders as she chortled, waggling her fingers emphatically "Oh it's a very common name, that's right! Heeheehee, they got you good! I'll give you a hint though, there's two of them for every woman in Gruthar!"

Furoq rolled his eyes and snorted. "Hah. Sorry, about her though..." he gestured to the goblin. "Probably best to just nod your head at her, she can go on for hours... unless you're looking for tips to get back at your friends, Pirx dumped a bucket of crabs on my head once, she's good with pr-Uhh" The orc caught himself as the captain's words echoed in his mind. DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID an imaginary figure of the captain blared at him. "Uhhh, actually, let's just focus on getting some food."

----

As the group entered the main chamber though, all thoughts of food were submerged beneath the wave of pure awe as they marveled at the sight before them. Distantly Pirx and Skez were reminded of the Cauldron's bioluminescent plantlife, but this place was wider, brighter, and so much more... orderly than the thousands of scrambling goblins through their home. Hron's eyes traced the paths of the vertical roads, widening as if struck by some sort of epiphany as he drank in the architecture, looking aside to his Xysticid guide to ask for something to write with. Dimly, Wuzosh remembered that this was not even their capital, and felt his eyes drawn down to the artwork upon the flooring, he wondered if this was some ancient hero or distant ancestor. The others soon followed his gaze before drifting back around the room. None of them had put much stock in artwork for its own innate value before, but the beauty and elegance of the chamber mixed with the ever-flickering shadows from the Xysticid's movement left them questioning if now that the Lokusi were being driven back if there might not be more time for such efforts in the future.

Except for Umodu, whose stomach let out a low growl that one could be forgiven for mistaking for a dying mammoth. "Oof, I'm starving, which way's the food Clem?" He glances to his guide curiously.
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  #24  
Old 05-10-2017, 08:03 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Orb of Venom Verz & Jet - Mogka & Chlrsuschiett - The Others

The deliberation with which the hobgoblin scout chose his words both surprised and impressed Jet, and she slowed to give Verz an appraising look. He seemed to be recovering well from the nerves he showed at the Tribunal. "Well said. I think if nothing else you will find in our archives an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of our society."

At the threshold, the level floor and domed walls of the main hall curved back into a perfectly cylindrical tunnel of silk. Though the regular traffic of xysticid archivists, scholars, and hunters found no trouble navigating the rounded walls and ceilings of the warren beyond, Verz had to work hard to keep his feet under him as he walked down the corridor's very center.

Jet, for her part, kept pace from the 'ceiling,' measuring her steps to accommodate the hobgoblin's awkward gait as they continued toward the hall of records.

---

Although the bogrin's stride was purposeful, it was clear to her warden that she did not know where she was going. She somehow found her way into the tunnel that would lead her to the Tribunal's larder before Chlrsuschiett ventured to ask "Perhaps you are looking for something in particular?"

---

Clem and Seth were still sharing a laugh over 'Tit's name and the talkative goblin's hint when the group came to an abrupt halt at the cusp of Web Dancer-Of-Three-Colors*. The big hobgoblin, Hron, was asking for a writing utensil, and everyone else was just staring, eyes wide, at nothing very much.

"What's the matter," Seth asked, peering at her orc. "Are you alright?"

(Was there something in the doping serum?) Vel asked. (My goblin has stopped talking for some reason.)

Their concern was cut short, however by a tremendous rumble from the one called Umodu. "Oof, I'm starving, which way's the food Clem?"

(Mine seems fine!) she called out. In Grutharin, she answered "There's a place down this strand here, but something seems to be the matter with your friends."

"Hello?" Vel asked cautiously, waving a hand in front of Pirx's eyes. "Are you still there?"


*A xysticid city has 'Webs' instead of Plazas or Squares, and they're called 'Web <Name Here>' instead of '<Name Here> Square.' Their names are usually unpronounceable, so I've decided to translate them.
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  #25  
Old 05-10-2017, 10:05 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes Politics, Wandering, and Food

"Well said. I think if nothing else you will find in our archives an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of our society."

Verz nodded, smiling for a moment. "Well there's that too, I have to admit at least part of this is due to my own curiosity. Your people likely know from a young age that there are other societies out in the world, but for us... well there were still scholars who debated whether there were even other lands beyond the sea just a few decades ago."

As the pair reached the tunnel Verz set his footing carefully. Most hobgoblin settlements and structures were largely built vertically, stretching up from quarries or tunnels often populated by their goblin kin, but they usually carved thin steps into the stone, or crafted metal ledges and ladders. As a result, the effort of finding his grip and sturdy footing was more taxing than the climb itself, but he made decent progress.

----
"Perhaps you are looking for something in particular?"


"Mnn..." Mogka grunted at first as she paused then glanced back at the spider, likely she was getting near something she wasn't supposed to but that wasn't outright forbidden, or it just didn't want to tell her. Either way, it'd be childish not to explain. "This place feels... too..." she snorted, unable to find the words for it at first. "Too smooth. I'm looking for some proper stonework, if there's any down here, I'll feel better when I've got rock under my feet."

----

"Hello?" Vel asked cautiously, waving a hand in front of Pirx's eyes. "Are you still there?"

"Huh, think they're still wakin' up from that stuff you stuck us with earlier?" Umodu's tone seemed genuinely curious, the orc didn't seem to hold any kind of grudge from being knocked out along with the others, unlike the captain's wounded pride, finding the goblins alive and being unbound had actually put him in a rather cheery mood.

Pirx glanced down and blushed at Vel, the others realizing along with her that the Xysticid all seemed concerned, and Umo seemed clueless. "Oh, yeah, fine. Sorry Vel, just... this place is prettier than I expected. Brighter too."

Skez simply stared at Umodu for a moment and let out a soft sigh, patting him on the head, managing a nervous smile to her Xysticid handler, Irk right? Yes it was Irk. "Just a little tired."

"Who's the figure there?" Wuzosh asked as they began moving down the path, jutting a thumb toward the Dancer. "Must've done something great to earn a monument like that."




This has me wondering what the Xysticid impression of Warpact city or any of the others would be, I should do more detailed descriptions in the main thread.

I am curious, what made you describe Hron as the 'big' hobgoblin? He is a tad brawnier than Verz due to being a spearman but I don't recall ever describing that.
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