Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

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DrunkMaster
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Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by DrunkMaster » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:41 pm

It was a cold night. The wind was not so bad now that Hennesey was in the deep woods. He was out of the hills but the wind still chilled him through his thick fur lined garments. The moonlight shimmered off the ice-glazed timber. His half-numb fingers burned from the cold. He pulled the reigns of his bear turning him southeast toward a pinpoint of light deep in the woods.


It was trying ride, even for such a thick-skinned dwarf as Hennesey. He had lived his whole life in these frozen lands, but hardy and strong as dwarves were; knowing how to survive outside of their halls deep in rock and stone took many years of experience. Hennesey had led many rescues to find missing frontiersmen. This experience in his younger days had earned him a reputation in his clan as not only a superb warrior, but also the best scout in the region.


Twice a year he made the trip to the Vale of Harhooth, the caves where a great evil was said to dwell. He was to scout the area looking for signs that the evil had awaken. The rumors that the Harhoothian caves were rich in gold and maybe even the priceless relics highly valued by all dwarves had been stirred up again lately. Every so often, someone got it in their thick skull that there must be uncountable troves of undiscovered treasure in those caves. Before long, it always spreads to others who are on the lookout for some way to get rich quick regardless of the risk. Gold itself would blind most dwarves to the dangers of exploring these arctic lands, said to be the resting place of the demon lord Jalista. Dwarven children were brought up on stories of the horrifying evils this one had wrought. His body is believed to be buried deep in one of the thousands of cave dotting the Creston Mountains. The allure of Ilaryn relics, however, could not be resisted by even the wisest of all dwarves.


There was Dundale; a remote mining town two days north of the end of the old north trail and still a week from home. In some ways, this frigid northland was home for Hennesey. Isolated from the questioning gossip, and politics of the great hall, a solitude where no one would notice his loneliness. Dundale rested at the foot of the great Dunlin mine, founded three hundred years ago by Dunlin Bragis. He was the first prospector to break rock in this once rich system of mines. Hennesey could smell the pork scented smoke and rich spices that rose from the chimney of the Bear’s Paw Inn long before he rode into town. He had heard Kar’s stomach growl with anticipation a few miles back. Hennesey’s only companion on many of these trips was a mountain of a bear named Kar.


Kar was a well-suited mount for traversing the icy crags, and snow covered valleys of these northern lands. He was huge; on all four he was nearly as high as any horse of the men folk, and weighed twice a much. His thick deep brown fur made the saddle and rider seem to half disappear. It was ideal for the seemingly endless days Hennesey had spent in the deep cold. Mounted bears had to be tamed from birth, it took dedication, nerve, and a selfless commitment that was unnatural for most Dwarves. Kar filled a void that ached deep in Hennesey’s heart. Hennesey and his bear were a familiar sight to most folks in these parts, so it was no surprise to most to see a large cave bear snoozing in front an inn or drinking hall.


Dundale was once a bustling town that was now a mere shadow of its former glory. Dozens of oval and stone mortar building formed the town center. There were no streets as such, just stone covered paths crisscrossing between the homes and shops. Most of the town had been abandoned long ago, and now was in disrepair at best. Many of the small round houses were partially collapsed. Logs and crumbled stone stuck out of the deep snow; weathered and hopelessly destroyed now by the ravaging winds. There were still a few residents left scraping up a living. Some trapped and others mined a few poor iron veins. Hennesey figured this place would last maybe two or three more years at best before it would vanish into the hillside.


The Bear’s Paw inn was by far the largest usable building still standing. The ground floor was two-thirds dug into the earth. Stone and mortar foundations rose to the second floor, which was constructed of finely interlocking logs. The second floor had numerous rooms for guests to rent. The small rooms were more then adequate for any dwarf and could even accommodate a rare human guest. The main room was large enough to host fifty patrons. It was dimly lit by large oil lamps hanging along its perimeter. A dozen or so large round wooden tables were placed at seemingly random places around the large room. It was late, almost past closing time. Most of the chairs were set atop the tables. They were quite dusty; long had it been since more than handful of people had passed through the large oval door that Hennesey had just closed behind himself. He cast a quick glance back at the door; he could hear the muted howling winds. They almost seemed creepier due to being muted by the thick door.

On a table across the room, Hennesey could see a large bowl and half loaf of brown hill grain bread. The smell of garlic, onions, and smoked pork now to made his stomach pinch with hunger. The trail rations Hennesey had been eating over the past eight weeks did the job, but were not the tastiest things in the world. They mostly consisted of rolls made up of salt dried meats and biter whole grains. Holly Lophoble’s pork and onion soup sat there steaming. A large black kettle simmering atop the massive wood burning stove was the best homing beacon for old Kar’s nose to follow the last few miles of their trip.


Holly was the best cook; next to his Grandmamma, Hennesey would always add, that ever graced a kitchen. His place would always be set before he even came though the entry. Hennesey began to remove his thick artic garments. He waved and gave a warm smile to Holly when she came out of the storage room near the rear of the main room. The gray haired gnome seemed a bit depressed, but still forced a smile for one of her favorite customers. She placed a large mug of gooseweed ale at Hennesey’s place. It was so sour and bitter only a dwarf could drink it she would often say. As Hennesey sat, her smile slipped shortly, showing her despair.

“Why the long face?” asked the concerned dwarf. “Oh you know me, every year we get a bit more of the grey, and me old bones force me to slow down a bit.” Wittingly spoke the aged gnome. There eyes locked for a moment, her dark green eye were half hidden behind her drooping eyelids and thick bushy brow. He could sense the distress on her loving face. Hennesey did not really have to ask what was weighing on her mind, Holly’s family had lived in this town ever since the first foundations were dug, and slowly like her, it was dying.

This might be the last time she would serve a bowl of her world famous smoked pork soup to Hennesey, she wanted to make damn sure it would not be eaten cold. Pointing a large threatening wooden serving spoon, she spoke to the now concerned dwarf. “You best eat that soup before it chills!” warned Holly. Her smile was rich, dozens of lines told stories of the one hundred and twenty years of life she had lived. Her ears would always rise out of her thick gray curls when she did this. What ever was it was that grieved her would have to wait, his life would be short if any food went cold in Holly Lophoble’s kitchen. Hennesey started taking in large mouthfuls of seasoned pork, it was hot and rich with flavor. Holly let out a faint sigh as she sat a stool a few feet across for the blissful dwarf. Halfway thought his second bowl, she began to open up. “I think I’m going to close the inn.” She said sadly. “I was wondering if you might help me and the others to the south pass before you’re on your way to Hammerfrost?”

“To Lisinloft, wouldn’t you like to live near your kin?” asked Hennesey concerned. “When’s the last time you heard from Quid?” Quid was last of the Lophobles, and Holly’s only child. He had joined Lord Kunou’s cavalry five years ago. Hennesey with all of his years of story telling in Bear Paw’s inn captivated the starry-eyed Gnome. Quid was always fascinated with Hennesey’s tales of high adventures with Lord Kunou, and the times he spent with the Crimson Brotherhood. Quid’s father had passed away before Hennesey started making his trips to the northlands. The once shy lad grew to love his adopted uncle. Holly did not mind Hennesey writing a letter of recommendation for Quid wanted to join the Thunder Hoof Cavalry. The huge armor plated boars with their tusk sheathed with deadly blades had fascinated Quid as a child. Quid had done well and was now a corporal of the Thunder Hoof brigade. She wanted more for he son then to watch her grow frail, and for him to grow old in Dundale. “Follow your dreams and don’t look back.” Holly whispered into Quid’s ear the day he left their dieing town.


Morning came; Holly and the three other remaining residents of the town of Dundale were waiting out front. Their mules ready for their trip to a new life in Lisinloft. The other three gnomes were the town’s last prospector Paplin Tinmen, his wife Tess, and Gim Bimbelly the trapper. A bright spring sun was cutting thought the thinning clouds, but here in the Creston Valley a change in weather could kill if you were not prepared.

Hennesey knew Holly and the other sturdy mountain folk knew how to survive the long bitterly cold winters of the northlands. Still he gave a quick look at their previsions and gear before the group started on the three-day trip to the southern pass. Each of the Gnomes had only one mule for all their worldly possessions and it seem they had packed light. Holly was smiling as she climbed on her mule, grabbing its reins; she pulled it around to give the sleepy town one last look.

Hennesey stood out front the Bear Paw’s inn and gave a loud whistle. Within moments, Kar came galloping from behind of the building. He had been finishing off the huge pile of scraps Holly had put out for him at breakfast. The gigantic scrabbling bear almost sent the mules into a panic; Kar always loved giving them a good scare. After a light scolding, Kar was ready for the tempting trip south with the tasty mules. The sky was almost cloudless as the south pass came into view. A full day into the trip they were, and still was at least a full day ride before they would come to the large clearing where Dunlin forest would end. At the end of the winding mounting trails, thick pine forest would give way to sparse snow-covered brush lands.

‘The Pass’ as it was known, lay between the two largest mountain ranges of the north; the southern tip of the Creston, and the mighty Bal’runden range, home of Mount Hammerfrost. The pass was the only land way south for a thousand miles. There at the pass’s narrowest point they would find the walled fortress of Fort Ashtur. In the Great Ilaryn war, Jalista’s dark army was held until the lights of spring and the famous Paladins of the Human King Orious rallied. They routed the forces of Jalista, and freed the besieged Dwarven city of Hammerfrost. The remaining Dwarven army with then young Lord Kunou and his new allies drove the bewildered Harhooth army deep into the north to die a cold death in the unforgiving waste.
Drunken The Master: Crimson Brotherhood, Desolation



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DrunkMaster
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Re: Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by DrunkMaster » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:56 pm

I'll post part 2 somtime this weekend, lost some of this so i have to re-write a bit in some parts, anyone have it from Play to Crush site?
Drunken The Master: Crimson Brotherhood, Desolation



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Tadpole
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Re: Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by Tadpole » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:11 am

Glad to see ya writing again. keep em coming love the stuff

JimBeaver
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Re: Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by JimBeaver » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:20 am

Where's part II? POST IT.
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kyntyn
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Re: Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by kyntyn » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:46 pm

I would also like to see part 2
" the truth is out and eventually this will all die out."- Peekachew discussing the fact on how -x- cheating will eventually not be discussed.

Side
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Re: Epic: A Crimson Brotherhood Story part I

Post by Side » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:28 am

CB, lulz.

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