The Storm: Part 2

Korbel's one-shot game

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Benedict
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 09 Mar 2017, 15:23

- It's only fair to become your customer, since I chased the others away. What is your price woman?
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Korbel
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 09 Mar 2017, 17:43

- Oh! look... this fool has lost his purse when he was wisely retreating. Please bring it to me and that will be your payment.

She inspects Ruthard, watching him with her discolored eyes.

- But there's another thing, boy. If you wish to learn a secret from the future, you will have to share a secret from your past with me. But be wary! You must tell the truth to hear the truth, and reveal something well hidden to discover a well hidden knowledge. Give me your hands, close your eyes and speak...
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 09 Mar 2017, 18:29

Ruthard grabs the purse and tosses it to the woman. Then he presents his hand.

- What it is you'd like to know that you can't see already?
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 09 Mar 2017, 19:05

- You must tell me about something you keep hidden deep in your heart... otherwise, I won't be able to help you. We all have secrets, I'm sure you have a story you keep only for yourself. Only by revealing one of them you can gain something else. So?
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 10 Mar 2017, 17:28

- There's one secret I have to kill. Perhaps by sharing with you I can finally bury it.

- As a young lad I had sweetheart - Hilde - and a best friend - Karl. These two people were the only ones that did not feared or loathed me for my *appearance*. These two and my father. Then my father was murdered and the villagers chased me away - the murderer persuaded them that I'm a demon and the one to blame. I fled for my life and became a soldier.

- Two things kept me going, vengeance for my father, and love for Hilde. I managed to kill the murderer and avenge my father. I also met with Hilde and Karl. They got married, they have a child - Otto - and they are happy.

- My secret isthis. I gained vengeance but lost love. Now I must turn my heart to stone and forget her, otherwise we all will suffer.

- There's nothing more to hide oldster. In truth, I am lost, having achieved my one goal and lost the other.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 11 Mar 2017, 09:37

- I see, this is very interesting...

She closes her eyes. After a while her hands - still holding Ruthard's - start to shake a little and her throat produces a strange, continuous sound. Suddenly she opens her eyes and with clear, strong voice says:

- Hilde and Otto will die! I can see you and your friend Karl, mourning them. This is what's going to happen if you fail! And there's something more: your heart belongs to Hilde, but I see two more people close to it and you'll know them soon. A man and a woman. Search in a place where a thief didn't steal and you'll find the truth, though it might prove painful for you. That's all...
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 27 Mar 2017, 04:36

Ruthard listens attentively to the woman.

"I.. see. Well, as a soldier if I learned one thing, is that everyone dies. I only hope I won't prove you true, since I don't plan on failing my mission. I have to take my leave of you now woman. God bless you."

Ruthard turns his steed around and marches off towards the soldiers.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 11 May 2017, 08:48

The small traveling group continues their journey north-east. Next day, after spending the night in a small village, they reach Siegfried's domain finally.

- ... and he was always very concerned about his reputation - one of the guards is chatting with Ruthard about sir Erich - to the point of obsession. First, he was striving to become the best fighter... then, the best military commander. He expected perfection from the units he commanded. With time, his ambition also affected other aspects of his life - you know, always wanting to negotiate the best deal possible, earn the biggest amount of money, and so on, so for us it's... hey! Looks like we've arrived! This village ahead sits closest to the castle, which can be seen further in the distance, on this hill...

The second guard decides to show off with his knowledge about geography:

- On your right hand side, there's a river called... uhm, well who cares... then there are forests, if you were riding for a day or three, you'd reach Kingdom of Poland - he spits - and more on the north, behind baron's forests, lies the territory of the Teutonic Order - he finishes his speech.

- So, what is your plan, Ruthard? I think we'll stay here in the village and rest a little, and you can deliver your message, right?
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 11 May 2017, 12:10

- That's exactly what I had in mind. But not before I groom the horse and clean my clothes.

The albino spends a good hour on these chores, eats a spartan meal by himself, then gets ready. He makes certain his apparel looks perfect, mounts the horse, and says to his compaions.

- Till we meet again men.

- Till then. They respond in unison, as Ruthard trots towards the castle.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 12 May 2017, 05:37

The guards turn away and head to the biggest barn in sight, to ask for a place to rest for them and their horses.
Ruthard - as usual - can feel many looks while riding through the village, but not all of them curious or terrified (to which he's accustomed to) - one man is more daring then the others, taxing the stranger as if he wanted to catch every detail. The rest of the people try to stay away from Ruthard, but he can notice that they're just as miserable and malnourished as in Erich's village.

The sun is slowly setting, illuminating the castle ahead in gold. It's not very warm, the sky is clear and it looks like the forecoming night might be quite cold.

After a not very long ride, Ruthard arrives at the base of the hill and his horse starts climbing its way up. On top of the walls, he can see a few guardsmen, wearing dark gambesons with red tabards and carrying their crossbows. The bridge is lowered and the front doors in the gatehouse opened - but one can only get inside and no futher, the second portcullis blocks the way. Behind it, there is an armored guard, assisted by two crossbowmen. They look at Ruthard hardly even trying to hide their disgust and ridicule, but the one in armor silences them quickly and shouts:

- Who are you and what brings you here? - his voice full of boredom, like even such an extraordinary, albino traveller couldn't break the monotony of his duties - come closer and speak, as we're going to close the gates for the night soon.
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 12 May 2017, 09:18

- Greetings soldier. I am Adler, former Captain of the White Company. I act as messenger for Lord Erich, bearing a sealed letter for Lord Siegfried. I am ordered that my message is for his eyes alone.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 12 May 2017, 10:54

- Fine. Give me the message then and we'll take it t our lord. You can...

But before he has a chance to finish, a loud cry of the guard from a top of the gatehouse draws everyone's attention:

- RIDERS ARE COMING! DRAW THE BRIDGE UP, OPEN THE DOORS! - he shouts frantically.

Another voice, supposedly from a second guard, reprimands him:

- Oh shut up you stupid fuck! The gates are open already! Now we just need to raise the portcullis... and by the way, that's your job.

The armored man who was speaking with Ruthard tries to stay calm and serious:

- Lord please have mercy.... - he looks at Ruthard as if he was asking: with whom do I work with?

The riders are drawing closer, Ruthard can see them now. They're fully armored and armed, wrapped in white cloaks with black crosses - the symbol of Teutonic Order! As they approach the gate, the portcullis is already raised, so they just ride through, rudely forcing Ruthard to step aside. Almost a dozen of men pass him by and head straight to the stables. When they're gone and the dust settles, the guard continues speaking with Ruthard.

- As I was saying, you can stay in the village and wait for the response. Give me the message and come back tomorrow morning.


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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 12 May 2017, 11:45

Ruthard stares intently at the gate guard, as if weighting his options.

- I told you soldier. This letter is of Lord's Siegried's eyes only and I am to deliver it to him and him alone. Otherwise I must take my leave of you, and the message with me...
Ruthard leaves, and after a few heartbeats he stops, as if thinking. He casually turns towards the guard and says with a condescending smile.

- I have given you my name, but you have given none. At least tell me your name soldier. When I return home my master will be very interested as to who obstructed his correspondence with your master.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Korbel » 12 May 2017, 12:29

- You dare to threaten me? Drop the portcullises, now! - he orders.

Before he can react, Ruthard finds himself trapped - iron bars blocking his way out and into the castle.

- Listen man, and listen carefully. Now you will give me the message and I'll take it to my master. Don't worry, I won't open it, I'm not that stupid. And you will be waiting here. Maybe you will be released today, if Siegfried cares to respond that fast. Do you understand? Now, give me that.
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Re: The Storm: Part 2

Post by Benedict » 12 May 2017, 12:39

Ruthard shoots a venomous glance at the guard.
- Stop threatening me fool! Who do you think you are? You are speaking to a captain! Let me pass and deliver my message. Otherwise lift that portcullis of yours and let me out. If you want to have this letter you'll have to pry it from my dead fingers. You are welcome to try anyway. Then my comrades will inform my lord of this misdeed. And all the realm will know what sort of men Lord Siegfried keeps under his roof.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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