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Author Topic: Ghosts of the Past  (Read 50157 times)

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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #285 on: February 25, 2018, 03:28:21 pm »
Feyd had positioned himself behind a small copse which kept him hidden from view but allowed him a good view of the path winding down the valley.  He had guessed correctly that they might come this way.  Nevertheless, he had left his few remaining resources along the road to Cuilteine, armed with merasha dipped crossbow bolts.

His own crossbow was propped against one of the trees.  He had thrust several of the tainted bolts into the ground beside it, ready for reloading.

He would have to make each shot count.  With luck, we would be able to get off a second shot before the others either ran for cover or charged his position.  He would aim his first shot at the Morgan whelp; the second would be for Lady Aliset; as lord or lady he would recognize her. 

Feyd saw the sudden buildup of dark, ominous clouds. The wind picked up and he caught his crossbow before it could be blown out of his reach.  The leaves of the trees gave him some shelter from the rain but not much. 

He had not expected the vortex that opened up in the sky between his position and Droghera.  It never touched the ground, instead it quickly dissipated along with the rest of the storm.

Feyd recognized it as a weather-working, one that had not succeeded.  No one in Meara could have produced that but the Grand Duke.  And he had failed.

Feyd considered his options.  Finally, he retrieved the bolts, put them back in their case, and with his crossbow still in hand, turned to retrieve his horse.  The plan had not gone well from the start, and the Grand Duke could not blame him for the final failure.  Nevertheless, he would not hurry to return to Grand Duke Valerian.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 04:14:47 pm by Jerusha »
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #286 on: February 25, 2018, 05:44:09 pm »
I've realised that these scenes with Dhugal should really be happening the day before the latest action involving our characters. Please adjust your imaginations accordingly

(( First failed Roll for Dhugal to contact Andrew 3+4 = 7 rl533dxzzs. Second successfull roll 4+5 =9 7cvpf6z3m8))

Dhugal stepped out of the portal in his summer residence at Ballymar, pleased to note that the guard whom he had ordered to be in place at all time in the portal's antechamber had jumped to attention and stood with his hand on his sword hilt. Recognising his Duke he took his hand away and bowed deeply, beginning to apologise.

Dhugal gave him time to straighten then clasped his shoulder, "Padraig, never apologise for doing your duty. Understood."

"Aye, yer Grace. Thank ye - I didn't want ye to think I was aboot ta run ye through."

Dhugal smiled and continued through to the Ducal quarters, with a word for each of the guards he met on the way, thanking God as he did so for their loyalty. He was thankful, too, that though Ballymar was the place where he, Mirjana, and the family could relax away from the pressures of court life, being where it was up on the northern shore of Cassan and at the edge of the highlands, it was more castle than palace and accordingly defensible.

He knocked on the door of Mirjana's solar, and entered at the sound of her voice to find her sitting alone save for a maid who was dressing her hair ready for bed. The maid curtseyed deeply, and rose, flustered, when Dhugal gently took the brush from her hand and dismissed her with a "Ye can go now, lass, I can see to her Grace's hair." As the door closed, Mirjana teased gently, with that trace of a foreign accent which Dhugal had come to love, "I'll thank you not to scandalise my maids, my Lord," but one look at his face showed her that he was in no mood for jest or indeed for dalliance.

Briefly Dhugal told her of his conversation with Kelson and of the orders he had received. "Och, I shouldna 'a shouted at him like that, but he worries me when I'm no there to protect him. Wi' Alaric gone these many years and Duncan an old man,"

"And many good young men there, as loyal and as ready to die for their King as you," Mirjana interjected gently and took his head onto her lap. Dhugal lay there, as she gently brushed his hair back from his forehead with her hand. She was right. His head knew it, his heart just had difficulty accepting the fact that he was no longer the young warrior Duke who had saved the lives of both his father and his king and he wondered, as he had wondered before, whether Alaric was not in fact the most fortunate of them all, to die in his prime in the service of the liege Lord he had served so faithfully and loved more than life itself. As he was drifting off to sleep he forced himself awake with an effort.

"Andrew, I'm supposed to be contacting Andrew.!" He sat up, rapidly explained to Mirjana what Kelson had agreed to and began to hunt for the medal, the twin of which Andrew held, which would enable him to make contact even over the miles which separated Ballymar from Culdi where Andrew currently was, enjoying what was supposed to have been a few weeks of summer leave.

"My love, think! I think he'll not be expecting a contact at this hour, no? And he'll most likely be in a tavern somewhere, yes? And how will he get access to the portal in Culdi Castle, even with your token, at this hour of the night even supposing he is sober?

Dhugal was forced to agree (( failed roll)), he would try again at first light which came early enough in these summer months, when Andrew would be alone in his lodgings, and if past experience was anything to go by, none the worse for the copious amounts of ale he had drunk.

                                             ***************************************************
Dhugal rolled away from Mirjana and sitting on the edge of the bed held a small brass medal in his hand. He allowed himself to drift into a trance and reached out with his thoughts, far away, and then further still until he reached the mind he sought, the touch made familiar with long years of contact. He sensed drowsiness, a gradual awakening and then the sudden jump to full alertness of the trained spy, whose life might depend on his ability to regain his senses in a instant. ((successful roll for contact))

"My Lord? Is aught wrong?"

"Aye, least ways something's afoot. As soon as you can the morn come here to Ballymar."

"Aye, Sir. 'Tis near enough morn now, the castle'll be stirring within the hour."

The contact was broken but Dhugal knew that Andrew arrive through the portal before most folk had broken their fast. He'd best make sure that the guards knew to expect him.

       ************************************************************
The two men sat in the Duke's private withdrawing room behind the Great Hall, supplied with bread, meat and ale to break their fasts. Andrew McGregor was a very different man from the lad he had thrashed all those years ago, thickset and weathered rather than slender and raw, but the most important change was that he was comfortable in his own self and in his identity as Deryni. He might use his gifts in ways that largely went unnoticed but here was a man who had found his place in life.  As the Duke explained the nature of his task to Andrew, the latter frowned looking worried.

"I dinna ken how I've no heard nothing of this, my lord". And I'm not liking either of the reasons which I can speir. Either I'm losing ma touch at this game, or yon's a verra powerful deryni wha's ahint a' this."

"The last is my fear, and that of his Majesty the King. But maybe Ratharkin will be where ye can find something to gie us a clue."

Andrew stood, bowed and then hesitated, the scene reminding Dhugal of his own hesitancy before the king the day before. He gestured the other to speak; Andrew took a deep breath and began as though he already knew what the answer would be but felt he must speak anyway.

"Your Grace." - Another deep breath -"If we're dealing with yin as powerful as ye speir, maybe now tis the time for ye to set a death trigger. I'd sooner that than betray any of yous." ((Rolling to see whether Dhugal sets a death trigger in Andrew. Dice roll 3+4=7 5ts3wp3gdj))

This was an old argument and though Dhugal could see the sense behind the request he was no happier with the idea than he had been when Andrew had first mooted it. It smacked too much of dark magic for his liking, and his father had been vehemently opposed when he had mentioned the suggestion to him.

"I understand why you ask, but there is one thing about having an Archbishop for a father, you're left in no doubt as to what would be mortal sin. His Excellency says no, and so do I, but I make no doubt he'll be praying all the harder for you."

Whether or not Andrew found that a comfort, he was far too wise to say. Bowing again he merely said, "As your Grace decides," and went on his way back to the portal and thence to Ratharkin. Dhugal feared for what he might find there.

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Online Bynw

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #287 on: February 26, 2018, 08:02:43 am »
Feyd was well versed in the old portal locations. He would use them again and take the nearest available portal to Rhemuth and wait.

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #288 on: March 01, 2018, 04:11:23 am »
Huntsman Rayne Lanackie could not appreciated Master Feyd’s order to be the one to race south on the road to Cuilteine. The orders were for him to contact the Mearan loyalists in that town; enlist them to detain any of the southward travelers until Master Feyd could interrogate them. The orders did not end there. Rayne was to travel further on the road to an estate near Arx Fidei activating the loyalist there. The huntsman considered these orders a poor use of his talents. He wanted to be in on the current action. But Feyd wasn’t the type of man you held your ground against. Rayne had said, ‘Yes sir, I will do that, sir,’ even if it went against the huntsman’s instincts.

Rayne was Sir Oswald’s man, Baron Oswald now. He had helped his master take down the old Baron de Mariot in an ‘accident’ that no one suspected to be fowl play until other family members started to die off too. Rayne was proud of his accomplishments. Oswald paid him well for those past deeds. But then the daughter got away.  T’was fortunate that the escape had not been Rayne’s responsibility.  The person’s whose responsibility it had been, had met with a nasty demise. Soon after the girl’s escape, Baron Oswald had come to Rayne demanding, “Find her, bring her back to me!  Harmed is fine, Dead is Not! Just don’t maim that pretty face of hers. My wife needs to be pretty. Use this and she won’t give you any trouble.” The baron had handed him a strange looking device. It was a hollow needle made of gold, shaped like a curved barb, attached to a tube with rings that fit on the inside of the index finger and a bulb at the end of the tube that rested inside the palm of the hand. A Deryni pricker the baron had called it. The bulb was full of Maresha. Touch any Deryni with the hooked needle, squeeze a little on the bulb and the drug would render the victim insensible. Rayne rather relished the idea of giving it a try. The device was in a tin canister in his bag, just waiting for a time when he could use it.

Master Feyd, however, had taken control of Oswald’s small group and Feyd’s instruction came from a Grand Duke. Rayne’s personal tasks would have to wait while he did as Feyd ordered. So on that morning, he had galloped his horse though the farmers and their herd of cows, causing the necessary distraction to bring about the capture the Lendour knight. He hated missing out on the excitement of capturing the enemy. So much so, that once he was out of sight of those on the road, he doubled back through the trees to see how it all played out.

Ha! Good, that arrogant knight was down. Two of Feyd’s men were dragging the unconscious nobleman to his doom. That would make his job of catching the girl so much easier.  He had a good notion that she would not get herself captured as easily as that knight just did, so his time to catch her himself would be forthcoming.

Oh! Look there, a wounded man was up in the big tree. This man, although weaving unsteadily, was holding himself firm to the tree branch out of Feyd’s reach. Rayne recognized him as the girl’s first protector. He would have happily taken this man out of his misery, if it hadn’t been for more men coming up the hill on horseback. Time it was to leave. Rayne raced his horse away, smug in his knowledge that the man in the tree would be soon dead and the knight wasting away in a dungeon cell. The Huntsman could complete his orders and then he would see to his real task of capturing the girl.

He galloped onward to the the town of Cuilteine. It didn’t take him long to find the contact Feyd had in that town. Feyd’s orders were passed along to the few loyalists there. They would stop anyone who managed to escape the ambush that had happened on the road. Rayne’s orders were not done, yet. Much as he wanted to stay in Cuilteine, he had one more place to ride to; he was to stop at a small estate outside Arx Fedei. This was the furthest out that the loyalists had infiltrated. As a last attempt, they needed to be aware of the game that was afoot. So Rayne had spent the night sleeping in that estates gate house, dreaming of using his pricker and seeing the effects of Maresha on that willful de Mariot runaway.

The sound of horses and men trotting up the main road had woken Rayne up to the first light of the new day. He had looked through the estates bared gates to see twenty or more riders. The banner was black with a green gryphon. Everyone knew the blazon of Corwyn. What in blazes was the Duke of Corwyn doing on the fringes of Meara? Feyd had to be warned.

There would be no passing the riders on the main road. Only one other way would get him to Droghera ahead of those riders and that was the Gwynedd Hidden valley road. Rayne’s mount was quickly saddled and he was off, up that road at a full run.

The huntsman made good time. By noon he was more than half way up the valley. That is when he saw the glints of shine on metal far ahead of him. The cloud cover had dissipated quickly to let the sun illuminate the zenith. Those strange clouds had been an oddity. But Rayne thought little about it. He was just glad he saw that helmed group of riders while he was some ways down the valley from them. It wasn’t hard to surmised that they weren’t loyalist. No they had to be more of those dratted king's men. Hum, think, he had time, if he could stop them, even slow them down, he would be doing his Queen a great favor.

Rayne veered off the road to enter an open barn on one of the larger farmsteads. Up in the vally's side hills, he had seen a man and several boys moving their cattle from one field to another. They would be too busy to notice him. He entered the barn and looked around. All sorts of tools and instruments hung from the walls and rafters. What would be a simple effective trap. With more time he could imagine several ways to take out riders. But what he had to do, he had to be fast and unobtrusively. He looked in a wooden bucket on a high shelf. Hah! That would do!

Still seated on his horse, he stood in the saddle and pulled the heavy bucked down. Cobwebs and dust came way with the bucket. It had not been moved in decades. Balancing the bucket before him on the saddle he examined one of the caltrops. Roughly made, not quiet as glorious as the old Rum war-caltrops with their barred ends. But these would do just as well. They had likely been made during the last Mearan wars. The farmers may have thought to use them to hold the Mearan army's back in the old days. There were at least two dozen of the four-pronged star devices, each metal prong three inches long. 

Rayne carried his toys back out onto the road. The upper edge of this farmer’s land was marked by a hedge three feet high and a gate that could be closed across the road. Rayne leaned over to closed the gate. Then at about three to six feet out, on the east side of the gate, he began to evenly spread out his toys. He knew many horses preferred jumping the wide hedges rather than the taller gate, so he tossed several caltrops into the grasses, both north and south of the gate.  All thirty devices were spread out, all standing with a deadly point upward to catch horses hooves, most were hidden in the grass and the few on the road would not be seen from the upside of the close gate. The huntsman looked about, assuring himself that no one had seen him, and then he galloped back down the valley, past the barn and past the next farmstead, he then ducked into a copse of trees to watch.  He waited about thirty minutes before he saw the riders as they galloped down the road. They most certainly looked to be in too much of a hurry to stop and open that gate. Most soldiers and nobleman would happily challenge themselves to a good jump; the sport of hunting necessitated the polishing of such a skill. Whether they jumped over the gate or the hedges, it mattered not to Rayne. Either way they would land right on top of his scattered little toys.

The hunter smiled with pleasure at the prospect of squealing tumbled horses and thrown injured men.

((Unless something occurs to stop the first two or three pairs of riders in the galloping group, a nobleman who is a good rider and knows how to take jumps rolls a 3d6 to see if they get over the hedge or gate. A soldier or less skilled rider rolls a 2d6 to get over the jump.  If a successful jump is made, a disadvantage 1d6 is rolled, 5 or 6=avoid injury.  2, 3, or 4= horse is lamed up. 1 horse goes down. Then if horse goes down, roll another 1d6  If 5 or 6 =rider is uninjured. 2,3, 4=rider takes one hit point. 1=rider takes 2 hit points because he lands on one of the caltrops. It will take two or three injured horses before the riders behind pull up and not take the jump.))
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 04:24:06 am by Laurna »

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #289 on: March 01, 2018, 02:34:28 pm »

The Gwynedd men were making good time at a good canter now that they were half way down the valley. Duke Kelric would not be too much further ahead, yet so far there was no sign of him. Just ahead there was a closed gate across the road, but that didn’t deter Sir Washburn in the least. If anything it caused the men around him to straighten their riding positions and to tighten their spurs against their horses flanks. Nothing like an invigorating jump.  Wash made a last sweep of the countryside looking for adversaries just as they were coming upon the closed gate.

10:11 Laurna Washburn seeking for adversaries anywhere near 1d6 roll succeed on a 4,5, or 6
10:11 Laurna !roll 1d6
10:11 derynibot 6 == 6
Wash detects an adversary far ahead.

There far ahead, much further than the range of a bow-shot, was an adversary in the distant trees. The group was nearly upon the gate. In the few paces before jumping, Washburn decided the barn ahead would be the best place to pull his group up, and decide then, how best to handle the enemy ahead.

“To the barn!” the knight yelled to everyone, just as Lord Jaxom prepared to jump the gate and the first man-at-arms moved to the hedge to make his jump.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #290 on: March 01, 2018, 06:46:15 pm »
Darcy Cameron had to admit to himself that he was enjoying the ride beside Lord Alister.  In spite of the increased vigilance they all felt, it was almost like their initial trip down to Culdi.  Easy camaraderie, no complications.

He spied the closed gate just ahead, and felt a small knot develop in his stomach.  “Lord Alister,” he said.  “They aren’t planning on jumping that, are they?”

Aliset, not realizing her man-at-arms discomfiture, nodded. “It’s not a very high gate, and one could always try the hedgerow instead.”

“I think that will be me then,” Darcy replied.  Aliset looked at him in surprise.  “I’ve been at sea for 12 years,” Darcy said.  “I’ve not been jumping many horses.”

Aliset smiled and nodded.  Darcy guided Sigrun toward the hedge, farther down from where the leading man-at-arms intended to jump.

Dice role for Lord Jaxom, 3d6 for an experienced rider.
Jerusha   !roll 3d6
15:50   derynibot   5, 5, 4 == 14

Lord Jaxom, in the lead, lined up his approach and jumped well clear of the gate.

Dice role for an uninjured landing.
Jaxom : 1d6
Jerusha   !roll 1d6
15:51   derynibot   5 == 5

With a somewhat undignified whoop, Lord Jaxom landed clear and continued onward.

Dice role for the jump of the man-at-arms.
Man-at-arms  2d6
Jerusha   !roll 2d6
15:52   derynibot   1, 1 == 2

With a shriek, the man-at-arm’s horse stopped in front of the hedgerow, pulling to the side and almost dismounting his rider.

Roll for injuries.
Man-at-arms 1d6
Jerusha   !roll 1d6
15:53   derynibot   3 == 3

The horse stopped, refusing to move further, one leg held above the ground.

Darcy had no time to wonder about what had happened.  He had Sigrun in position.  “Easy you go, Pet,” he said to his horse.  “You can do it.”

Dice roll for Darcy’s jump.  2d6, inexperienced rider.

Jerusha   !roll 2d6
15:54   derynibot   5, 2 == 7
 
Sigrun cleared the hedgerow easily.

Darcy roll for a safe landing  1d6
Jerusha   !roll 1d6
15:56   derynibot   1 == 1

 Jubilant at their success, Darcy was unprepared for Sigrun’s unexpected scream. In a moment, exultation shifted to despair as Sigrun fell forward.  Darcy managed to kick himself free at the very last moment.

Roll for injury. Darcy 1d6
Jerusha   !roll 1d6
15:56   derynibot   1 == 1
(Oh good grief!)

Darcy hit the ground hard, his breath completely knocked out of him and experiencing a sharp, deep pain in his thigh.  He did his best to roll with the momentum of the fall, but it didn’t help much.  Gasping, he turned his head and saw Sigrun struggling to her feet.  He felt along the side of his leg and was surprised to feel warm blood. “Sweet Jesu,” he muttered when he saw the caltrop embedded deeply in his thigh, blood seeping around the edges of the wound.

Still not recovered of enough breath to call out, he did his best to tap into his fledgling Deryni powers.

“Stop! Don’t jump! Caltrops!"
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 08:27:58 am by Jerusha »
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #291 on: March 02, 2018, 04:42:54 am »
Lord Jaxom made that jump like an expert houseman, for indeed the nobleman surely was. As for the son of Corwyn, he had done this often enough with several horses of various abilities. None with the competence and vigorous desire as had his current war horse. Given a free reign, Shadow would happily rush the fence and bound upward with a force great enough to jump a six foot fence. Shadow didn’t understand moderation. Washburn had learned to hold his stubborn beast back, to steady him on his hind quarters, and to fit a perfect set of strides into the short distance before the jump. Following Lord Jaxom, Shadow fought for his head, he wanted to run. “Easy, boy,” Wash said soothingly, making the stallion pace himself perfectly to the exact spot where Wash knew his steed would get the best send off to leap over the four foot gate.

Then, suddenly, the horse ahead, carrying the man-at-arms, bulked. Horse and rider crashed into the hedge. The squire riding near Wash didn’t slow. He had hoped to follow close on the man-at-arms heals, over the hedge, but that space was suddenly blocked. Instead the Squire veered, crowding Shadow as both prepared to take the gate together. Trained as a warhorse, Shadow took the crowding with displeasure. He nipped at the squire’s horse, backing the boy off, ruining Washburn’s strategy to take the jump cleanly. Spurring Shadow to pay attention, Washburn nearly missed Master Darcy's brave rush at the hedge with his fine legged mount making a clean long jump. Washburn was impressed. Until he heard the horse squeal on the landing. In the glint of sun just as Shadow was pushing off, Washburn saw one, on the far side of the gate, right where he would have chosen to land.

Nasty iron spikes there on the ground. Holy damnation! “Hold!” Washburn yelled.

((Wash jumping gate 3d6 roll= 2,2,3=7 failed Verification Number: 55ltpp7dkz))

Even as Darcy was falling to the ground, unsure of his companion's condition, the Lendour knight threw all his weight onto his horse's neck, pulling the destrier’s head hard over and breaking the stallion’s center of balance. The stallion reared and screamed, his side chest slamming the gate, his sudden stopped motion launched his rider hard against the wood slats.

((Wash staying on horse after refusal 1d6 roll 4  failed Verification number 3n2mg52b0p))

There was no staying in the saddle, not with Shadow’s hind feet slipping sideways and his front legs sliding across the top of the gate.  For a moment, Wash thought he would be squished between horse and wood. But then the big horse reversed his fall and staggered back a pace. The squire’s horse nearly ran through the gate then, unable to stop or jump. In that instant, all Wash saw was a chestnut in too close a proximity. Then he was grabbing at the smaller horse's bridle and keeping him from the danger on the gate's far side.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 04:54:39 am by Laurna »

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #292 on: March 02, 2018, 08:52:33 am »
((Edited to slightly modify beginning, since I just remembered Darcy had attempted a Mind-Speech warning, and wanted to see if Aliset would pick up on it. 

08:56   Aliset   !roll 2d6
08:56   derynibot   4, 2 == 6))

Stop! Don't jump! Caltrops!

Aliset heard an unexpected voice within her head, but did not know what it meant, and at that moment was too distracted to give it much thought.  Papillon whinnied in confused fear as she lurched to one side to avoid the chaos suddenly springing up before her, nearly throwing Aliset out of her saddle. Aliset scrambled to regain control of her panicked mount, her attention fully on that task for the next few seconds, although once Papillon recovered from her momentary alarm and grew less agitated, Aliset was able to rein her in and take full stock of what was happening.

Sir Washburn had suddenly stopped his horse rather than attempting the leap over the gate, that much had seemed clear to Aliset in that brief moment before all hell had broken loose. What she couldn't tell was why, although now that she surveyed what was happening on the other side of the fence, she thought she saw at least one reason.  Master Darcy appeared to be injured, as did his horse!  How or why, Aliset did not know. Had the horse stumbled on the landing after the jump? Aliset couldn't remember; that would have been right around the time all the confusion began.

Her keen eyes searched the other side of the fence, trying to spot whatever it was that Sir Washburn saw that had caused him to halt suddenly rather than attempt the jump. Had it been a viper, perhaps, or maybe a peasant's scythe left out in the grass rather than carefully put away?  Even as she had the thought, she knew how unlikely that was.

((08:42   Aliset   !roll 2d6
08:42   derynibot   5, 5 == 10 ))

There!  She did not know what it was, but it looked nasty and altogether unnatural. Most likely a weapon of some sort.  Were there more of them out there? Had they been scattered deliberately to injure and lame unwary riders?  And for what purpose?

Aliset shuddered as she drew alongside Father Columcil, who had also managed to halt his own Spean mere moments before following headlong into the fray.  Dismounting, she pointed out the spiky object to him.  "Master Darcy appears injured, but it might be best if we approach him slowly. There might be more of those things in the grass beyond the fence.  Maybe we should use your staff to part the grass for a better view of where we're stepping." 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 09:13:07 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #293 on: March 02, 2018, 10:39:55 am »
Rayne Lanackie almost cheered at the mayhem his toys had caused at the gate down the road, but he decided it was best not to make his presence known.  Not that anyone would have heard him above the noise of the squealing horses and general shouts of the men.  The lead man had jumped clean; the first to try the hedgerow failed and now had an injured horse.  The other man to try the hedgerow had jumped clean, but horse and rider had fallen immediately after.  The horse struggled to its feet; the man took a bit longer to rise and limped over to comfort his horse.  Rayne looked more closely at the man.  Had he seen him before?  He shielded his eyes from the sun with one hand and strained to get a better look.

Does Rayne recognize the man he had seen in the tree at Droghera.
Jerusha   !roll 1d6
16:05   derynibot   4 == 4
(Failure is not always a bad thing.)

Rayne dropped his hand and shook his head.  No, he had not seen the man before.

No matter.  He watched as the mass of men and horses tried to disentangle themselves at the gate.  He was in no hurry to leave; it would take them a while to resume their journey, and they would be travelling much slower.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #294 on: March 02, 2018, 11:50:33 am »
All was chaos at the gate as Columcil pulled Spean to a halt. Riding somewhat behind the others he had been irritated by the speed at which they approached the barrier in front of them. Blessed Mary Mother they were not in that much of a hurry! Had it not occurred to their Lordships to untie the gate and go through like sensible folk? As Lord Jaxom sailed gracefully over the barrier, horse and rider making an elegant arc, he had had his answer. Of course not. Untying gates was for lesser folk who could only gawp as their betters showed off their horsemanship. Angrily Columcil shook his head as if to dislodge his thoughts - he had better get this growing dislike of the gentry out of his head before they met up with some real nobility or he was like to find himself in trouble. Maybe it was just Lord Jaxom that got under his skin, he had respect enough for Lord Washburn and Lady Aliset. But the sooner he could fulfil his own mission on behalf of St Melangell and return home the better.

Muttering under his breath to himself Columcil saw a man-at-arms fail to jump the hedge for no reason that he could see but a stab of pain from no-where made him wince. Then Darcy went forward and he was over, but Sigrun had fallen! The pain this time was blinding ((2bxfgf7bgf 4+5+2 =11 rolling advantage to sense Sigrun's pain)), even before Sigrun screamed. Ack, the poor brave beast. His previous bad mood was swallowed up in real rage, a rage only intensified as a faint voice said something in his head about caltrops. He slipped his feet out of his stirrups and hastily dismounted, aware that Aliset was saying something to him but too angry to listen properly.

Turning to her he said tersely, "It's caltrops, some b***," he bit off the epiphet with difficulty, "has seeded the ground around yon hedge." Someone needed to do something to stop any more riders going over but they were not going to take notice of him. They would of Lord Washburn though. Pushing his way heedlessly through the horses and riders milling about in front of the gate, Columcil reached through to Washburn who was trying to calm both his own Shadow and a squire's horse. 

"Leave the beasts ta me, My Lord, and do summat wi these fools!" As he spoke Columcil had taken the reins Washburn was holding out of his hand, slipped them along his arm, and had a hand on each horse's muzzle speaking words of comfort and sending calm into their thoughts. "Cum on na, ma bonnie lads. Nae need ta fret." Washburn straightened at Columcil's calm assumption that he was the one to take charge and called out in a commanding voice for all to dismount and hold their horses still. Both horses and riders were keyed up by the speed at which they had been travelling and the shock of their sudden halt but in a short time Washburn's authority had re-established order.

The squire whose horse's reins Columcil was holding had with a sheepish expression regained control of his mount and when Washburn returned it was to find Columcil with his arm around Shadow's neck and the stallion nuzzling into the neck of the priest's robes. "I'll thank you, Father, to stop making love to my horse before he forgets he's a fierce war horse!" Washburn spoke sternly but his grin belied his words and Columcil grinned back. Aye, the lad would do, would do very well indeed.

"Aye, he looks better in his own shape." Then, serious again, he added "Well done there, My Lord. We'd best be seeing what we can do for the poor beasts over yonder. Sigrun's pain is like a knife in ma head." He hesitated for a moment, wondering if he was about to be overly presumptious then decided that this was no time to be worrying about such things. "By your leave, My Lord, I'll tether Shadow's reins next to Spean, I could do with your help with the wounded. You've healer's blood in you right enough." He could not restrain the thought And I should know, since it's mine too, but it most certainly was not the time for that comment.

((All four following dice throws have validation 63xnqpl4nm)). 

Columcil and Washburn went to the gate. Columcil was unsurprised to find that the latch was long gone but he had hoped that the replacement rope could be easily lifted over the post. To his frustration it was tied in a succession of matted knots. Muttering about poor husbandry he tentatively tried to extend his powers to prize the knots apart but Sigrun's pain was like a burning brand in his head ((1+3=4)) and he could not focus. To his relief Washburn had his sword out and with deft strokes cut through the recalitrant strands and lent a willing shoulder to help Columcil lift the sagging gate far enough out of the mud for the two of them to squeeze through.

Columcil wanted to run to Sigrun but the beast was already afrighted enough. Instead he walked slowly, his hand out and said quietly to Darcy, "Hold her still, if you can. I wilna hurt her." He did not know whether Sigrun knew that he had healed her before but she allowed him to lift her leg and bend over her hoof. The caltrop was still there, one of its upturned points embedded into the soft frog of her hoof. "Sweet Jesus!" he swore, not caring if anyone heard him, "these bloody things are evil. Hush now, ma lassie, we'll ha it oot."  He firmly grasped the wicked thing and gently pulled it out, giving it to Washburn who at Columcil's nod put it into his belt pouch. "Follow me if you will my Lord."  ((roll for rapport with Washburn 6+6 =12)). Columcil felt Washburn's mind join with his in a close rapport, evidence perhaps of all that bound them, then he forgot all else, running his hand down Sigrun's foreleg and cupping her hoof in his hand. As he felt the healing energies he could feel Sigrun relax and coming out of his healing trance he saw that all trace of the cut, and the bruising that had surrounded it had gone. ((roll to heal Sigrun 5+1 =6)).

"Bless you lad. It'll no be long before ye're doing this yersen." Columcil spoke almost absently to Washburn, there was still pain in his head, for another beast had been injured, though not one as well known to him as Sigrun. Still he must see if had the energy to heal again, this time without Washburn who was talking earnestly to Darcy. Walking back through the gate, ((as I read it the man-at-arms didn't actually jump the hedge)) he found the man-at-arms whose horse had refused the jump bending anxiously over his mount's foot. The horse having baulked at the jump and therefore not landed so heavily, this time the caltrop had not inbedded itself and Columcil found that he could slip easily enough into trance and guide the blood around the injury to bring healing. ((6+3=9)). The man-at-arms looked a little startled but grateful and managed a few words of thanks before taking refuge from the unknown by burying his face in his horse's mane to comfort them both.

Taking a deep breath Columcil began to turn towards where Spean and Shadow were grazing peacefully, but glanced towards where he had left Washburn and Darcy on the other side of the hedge. As though he felt his glance Washburn began beckoning urgently, and Columcil noticed for the first time that he was supporting Darcy. What a fool he was, he had been so taken up with Sigrun's pain that he had never thought to ask if Darcy was injured.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 11:52:54 am by revanne »
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #295 on: March 02, 2018, 03:14:50 pm »
There was a rush Wash felt as Sigrun’s hoof was healed clean. The good father’s Healing abilities were keen; he had knowledge of how animals sensed pain and how their body's healed. Even without his Deryni talents, Wash was certain Father Columcil would have made an excellent animal physician. In their Rapport, Wash could sense Columcil’s true compassion for easing the injured horse’s pain. Perhaps that was half the key to bringing forth the Healer’s ability within himself. ((1d6  rolled 1 Verification Number: 7hzmdt79vl)) yet he still could not find it. He failed miserably to help Collumcil heal the horse hoof. Somewhere, deep within himself he knew the ability was there. Columcil showed him that, yes, it was there. Both men suddenly knew it. But how to tap into it.

The priest could feel the second animal’s pain from even this far away. Having successfully Healed one horse, he quickly moved on to the second injury one.

Washburn straightened as he placed Sigrun’s good foot upon the ground and rubbed his hand down the knee feeling the past tension of the animal release and go away. Yet, there was still pain in his mind from somewhere. Instinctively, Wash looked up at Master Darcy. The man was standing against his horse's flank, his face as pale as a ghost, his eyes shut tight. Darcy was braving that which he could barely take, with short intakes of breath. Wash looked down to see the seaman’s hand pressing his thigh, blood oozing down the leg, a beastly device of Iron puncuted breaches and skin.

“Holy...No you don’t…” Wash gasped, grabbing Darcy’s shoulder as he felt the man grow weaker and start to black out. Wash tried to encompass Darcy’s mind and send him energy, but even in his weaken state those shields of his were strong.  ((1d6 rolled 1 Verification Number: 4ln7skq57z)) ((Darn, he best leave off, afore he turns Darcy into a toad.))

Wash had to give that up and go straight to the wound. Darcy had one firm grip on the saddle, which was all that was keeping him standing. Apparently at sea, a death grip on a rope might be all that could keep a man from being washed overboard in heavy seas. Darcy had that grip now.

Washburn ran his hand over the device. Angrily he pulled it out. Blood ran over his fingers, Damn! Columcil was too far away. “Saint Camber, help him!”

Calm down, center, find the key. Darcy needed him. He liked this man, too much so to let this wound take him down.  Washburn pulled forth his medallion; found his true focus. Center... Caring... Compassion.. Love of life. Those were the key.

((12:12 Wash-laurna !roll 1d6
12:12 derynibot 6 == 6))

A hand, eitheral in form, not really there, yet an embodiment of compassion covered Washburn’s hand. Without really knowing why, the knight pushed his index finger deep into the wound. He thought to squelch the flow of blood. What he felt from himself through the hand over his, was so much more. The blood vessels were made whole, the muscles knotted together, slowly as he withdrew from the wound tissues were repaired... and…. Healed… “Gades!”

“Bless you Camber!” Washburn said as he opened his hand over the leg. He knew the saint had come and had gone, leaving his blessed touch behind.

((edited for hit points healed.
1d6 rolled 5 Verification Number: 2v5zr5r5gc))  good! 3 hit points total healled
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 04:14:06 pm by Laurna »

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #296 on: March 02, 2018, 04:01:33 pm »
As Father Columcil headed forward to speak to Sir Washburn, then to tend to Healing the injured horses, her words to him apparently having fallen on deaf ears, she shook her head in disbelief.  Horses? thought Aliset. What about the injured MAN lying there!  MEN!!!  Heavens above, she would never understand the lot of them!  This was why God created women--not as an afterthought, but because He'd realized the world needed more sensible creatures than this flighty lot to serve as stewards of His creation!

Well, at least since she'd managed to avoid injury herself, and had no Healing gifts to offer, and at any rate Sir Washburn and Father Columcil seemed to be getting that end of things well enough in hand now--Aliset breathed a sigh of relief as finally someone had taken note of Master Darcy's predicament without her having to rush blindly across a field of spiky metal things to his aid!--so she decided to turn her irritated attentions to helping out in some other useful way.  Ridding their path of those accursed hazards might be one way. What had that voice in her mind called them? Caltrops?

Walking cautiously through the gate, she picked up a twig and began parting the long grass with it, peering carefully at the ground before her before placing each step forward, searching for the metal objects in question to remove them from their path. As she found each one, she carefully set it to one side, the caltrops forming a small spiky pile next to the fence.  Perhaps they should take them with them once everyone was Healed and they left this place to continue their journey towards Rhemuth.  They might come in useful against their pursuers, after all, loath though Aliset was to injure anyone's horse, no matter how foul its rider. 

As she searched, she pondered that mental warning.  Who had sent it? It didn't 'sound' like Sir Washburn's mental voice. Had that been Master Darcy's? Yes, it had to have been, unlikely as that seemed.  Having learned he was Deryni, it made sense that he might have tried to reach out with his fledgling powers at a moment of crisis.  Aliset smiled, feeling proud of him for having attempted to call out a warning to them, and even more so that he'd succeeded in his attempt, however belated it might have been.  She glanced in his direction. It appeared he'd been successfully Healed after all.  Looking at his bloodstained clothing, Aliset suppressed a sigh. More tattered laundry.  It would be a wonder at this rate if they didn't all turn up before King Kelson looking like beggars!  She would see if she could find a packet of needles and some thread the next time they found themselves someplace civilized. Perhaps there'd be supplies of that sort at Arx Fidei. 

Assuming they managed to meet up with His Grace of Corwyn and made it alive to Arx Fidei, of course.  These caltrops had not grown in this field on their own.  With a frown, Aliset looked around at the surrounding countryside, casting out with her senses for any signs of the enemy close at hand, watching them.

((15:54   Aliset   !roll 2d6
15:54   derynibot   5, 5 == 10 ))

There!  As she looked in the direction of a wooded area just at the edge of the grasslands, she thought she spotted some movement, then was sure of it as the light caught a reflection off something hidden in the trees and brush.  Quickly, she looked around for the nearest armed warrior.  Spotting Lord Jaxom close by her, she discreetly pointed him towards the motion and murmured, "We are being watched."
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 04:18:29 pm by Evie »
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Offline judywward

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #297 on: March 02, 2018, 06:06:45 pm »
((You are all doing so well! I'm so glad to have some new pieces to read. You are all so talented!!!))
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 06:23:24 pm by Evie »
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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #298 on: March 02, 2018, 06:40:52 pm »
“You can let go now.”

Darcy Cameron opened his eyes to see Sir Washburn smiling at him.  The intense pain in his leg had gone.  Muscles that had started to stiffen from bruising relaxed.  Tentatively, Darcy released his death grip from his saddle.  There was no dizziness; his legs, both of them, stood firm.

“You did this?” Darcy asked quietly. 

“Aye,” Washburn said, gripping Darcy’s shoulder in quick reassurance.  “Thank you.  You showed me I could Heal.”

“You are thanking me?”  Darcy asked incredulously.  “Sweet Jesu man, you saved my life.  I owe you much.”

“Perhaps we owe each other,” the Lendour knight responded, still on a bit of a Healing high.  But he sobered quickly.  Healing was not a gift to be flaunted, and he was not a man to boast of such a blessing.  “We need to regroup and move on.”

“Aye,” Darcy said simply.  Sigrun’s head nudged his shoulder as if to make sure he was well.  “Come, my pet.  This journey is not done.”  After a quick caress of his horse’s head, he followed Sir Washburn back to the group.

In their absence, Aliset had gathered a disturbingly large pile of caltrops.  Darcy winced at the sight.  Now she was motioning to Lord Jaxom, pointing at something in the trees farther down the road.

Aliset turned as they approached.  “There is someone watching us from that direction,” she said. 

“Lord Jaxom could take a couple of men and flush whoever it is out,” Darcy suggested.  “I could go with them,” he continued hopefully.  He had a score to settle.

“Nay,” Washburn said.  “Whoever it is, he is too far ahead of us.  We’ll ride out, but watch to see if he moves on.  When we are close enough, Lord Jaxom, have two of your men ready to ride out fast and hard. If we can catch him, I want to know what this was about.”

Lord Jaxom nodded his agreement; Washburn’s plan made sense. Darcy turned to Lord Alister.

“My Lord,” he said.  “You are unhurt?  No injuries?  Papillion is well? ”

Lord Alister smiled at him.  “Yes, Master Darcy.  No worries here.”

Darcy hoped he disguised his relief.  God help anyone who hurt Lady Aliset.  Or tried. They would find him a very determined protector.

(Edited last sentence when I realized it could be read that Darcy would not protect her.  Eek!)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 11:45:39 am by Jerusha »
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #299 on: March 03, 2018, 02:09:02 pm »
Columcil watched his three companions but made no attempt to join them. Let Sir Washburn enjoy the elation of his first healing and the knowledge that the healing blood of his father ran true in him. He would have to find a time  to apologise to Darcy, though for the young Lord's sake he was glad that he had not been there to share in the seaman's healing, but not while the feminine irritation of Lady Aliset was looking daggers at him out of Lord Alister's eyes. He had seen that look too often in the eyes of his own housekeeper not to recognise it for what it was.

It was true that he had forgotten Darcy, and he would need to make reparation for that, but he would have defied anyone to think of anything but Sigrun, the way the puir wee beastie's scream had been burning in his mind. And truth be told had he remembered Darcy, who after all though he had been in pain had hardly been in mortal danger, he might still have chosen to put the horses first. His love and care for animals came he supposed from having St Melangell as his patroness who had outfaced the Prince of Meara himself, so they said, and protected the hare that he was hunting under her skirts. Given the valley for her own, all living things had come under her protection, and though she was gone these many centuries still the folk of her valley, that was now his parish, looked more kindly on living things than was commonplace. Or perhaps, he wondered for the first time, it was the other way round and his affinity with animals was part of his father's Deryni heritage and that was what had drawn him to the service of St Melangell. Ah well, best leave well alone, he had managed well enough without asking such questions.

 

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

 

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