Author Topic: Norbayne Short Stories  (Read 4085 times)

Phoenixguard09

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Norbayne Short Stories
« on: May 22, 2014, 06:18:44 PM »
Okay, I have a few ideas for shorts stories jumping around in my head, but it's too late to put them down on electronic paper tonight.

What I would appreciate though, knowing you guys as a creative bunch, is if you could give me idea on just what you'd like me to write. What bits of Norbayne would you like to see covered in a narrative fashion? Or failing that, perhaps just a theme and/or event or something. I don't know really, that's what I'm asking you for. :P

I'll be putting stuff up soon, just wanted to get this in tonight so I could have a look at it tomorrow and hopefully have some requests. ;)

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Pentagathus

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 10:48:40 PM »
Stuffs. All of the stuffs.

Clockwork

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 12:19:02 AM »
Love/hate sarcastic relationship between a feartabh and a danann who are sent to stop a mildly inconvenient wizard at the behest of their barkeep.
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Phoenixguard09

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 04:50:32 PM »
Already begun on it, and have about 1000 words. Should have it up pretty soon. ;)

Anything else guys? :D
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 06:08:21 PM »
Okay, here's the first part of it. Thanks for the suggestion Rob. ;)

Quote from: The Mountain and the Shadow
The Red Bull Inn had a cosy atmosphere, a warm fire blazing in the hearth, a talkative and numerous clientele and, tonight at least, a half-decent minstrel. The last few had been pretty shocking as Banfred reminisced to himself, but this one tonight wasn't too bad at all.
"Must remember to give him an extra chunk of bread when he collects his meal," Banfred said to himself as he dried an empty tankard and watched the wandering musician perform.

The clientele of course loved the music, good, old-fashioned and lively country songs. None of that 'tragic' crap that was all the rage in the palaces and courts. No, in the Red Bull, only classic tunes which spoke to the hearts of the common people could be heard tonight, songs of love won and lost, songs like, How Can I Miss You If You Will Not Go Away? and You Are The Reason Our Children Are So Ugly. Not the most high-brow of entertainment, and Banfred would be the first to say it, but the village of Trenhurst needed as much diversion as possible in these times.

After all, several kingdoms in the immediate area were at war, rumours told of dark happenings in the south and to make all that worse, now some blasted sorcerer has taken over the old fortress on the hill north of Trehurst, practicing his dangerous craft, summoning up monsters and scaring away the locals. To top it all off, it was shaping up to be a hard and cold winter. In the last week, three families had relocated to other villages and the trickle looked to become a flood.

Thinking about the families which had already departed, Banfred's gaze was drawn to his daughter who was waiting on the villagers with practiced ease. A young lass of just fifteen summers, she looked just like her mother with her curly auburn hair and willowy figure. She was all he had left now, just his little Lyrin and his Red Bull Inn. He put the tankard down with a sigh and leant on the bar. Yes, the people needed a diversion, but a diversion from these woes was just a temporary solution, and Banfred knew he needed something more than that. And the best way for him to safeguard not only his livelihood, but that of his daughter, was to find a way to be rid of these menaces.

Brokering peace between kingdoms, fighting off a horde of monsters from the south and changing the weather of the world, well that was probably a bit beyond him. But this sorcerer? Him, Banfred could take care of. In later years, when retelling this story, Banfred was in fact just about ready to close up the Red Bull and prepare himself for the hike up to the old fortress when the doors flew open, letting the bitterly chill night air inside.

Framed in the doorway was a massive figure, easily eight foot tall, crowned with four long, heavy horns. His shaggy grey pelt was frosted with snow, as was his thick dark green cloak. Clad in a heavy chain hauberk with a thick leather jerkin over the top, the Feartarbh cut an imposing figure, accentuated all the more so by the broad-bladed greataxe on back.

All eyes drawn to the first arrival, most missed the slightly-built figure behind him. But upon close inspection, the second arrival was not diminutive by any stretch, tall and whipcord-lean. Features shrouded by a large, hooded cloak, the second figure was at least six foot tall and armed with an assortment of blades and a longbow at his back, the fletching of at least a score of arrows visible from the top of his quiver.

As soon as the doors swung open, the music had died and the pair, of them mainly the Feartarbh, had drawn the eyes of everyone in the tavern. And not many of those eyes were friendly. But not those of Banfred, for in those two figures he saw something no one else did. Opportunity. Here were two obviously experienced adventurers who could do what he was planning to do himself. And, if he thought about it honestly, they would probably be more successful than he himself. But that feeling was not one he would recount in his retellings.

The Feartarbh, in the face of this silent hostility turned to his companion.
"Well they do not like the look of you. Maybe you should stop eating children?" the Feartarbh suggested, a deep chuckle breaking through his false sternness.
"Shut up Fortus, you great snowball, they actually believe I'll do that around here. Brush that armadillo off, you look like a seabear threw up on you," the Danann growled back, throwing his hood back away from his face and exposing his angled features, pointed ears and clan tattoos, a stylised black lion's head marring the right side of his face, his eye sitting in the lion's mouth.  Moving towards the bar and ignoring the staring clientele, the Danann stared down Banfred as he approached in a similar manner to how a snake mesmerises its prey. Before the bartender knew what was happening, the Danann's slender fingers rested on the top of the bar and he was leaning forward in an inquiring fashion.

"Do you own this charming establishment?" the Danann asked, his tone laconic.
"Uh, ye-yes. I do," Banfred responded, pale and fumbling for a tankard. Up close, he could see the Danann's pointed teeth and pitch black eyes.
"Well then, my companion and I would like some food," the Danann responded, one eyebrow raised.
"Of course sir, right away. Anything to drink?" Banfred asked, wringing his hands beneath the bar.
"Yes, a tankard of mead and a barrel of ale if you please," and with that the Danann turned, dismissing Banfred from his attention and joining the Feartarbh at a table in the corner. As the two new arrivals took their seats, the minstrel struck up his tune once more and found his voice and the rest of the room found themselves dismissing the two wanderers, though the attitude in the tavern was certainly far more subdued than before.

The Danann smirked to himself, watching the barkeep attempting to scrounge up something for them to eat. The chair beneath Fortus creaked with discomfort.
"Get off that thing you oaf, you are far too heavy."
"It's not my fault that the people around here cannot work wood properly," Fortus responded under his breath.
"Fortus, you are fat."
The shaggy grey Feartarbh shook his heavy head.
"Scatha, you are blind. I am not fat, I am just not built for this environment."
Scatha was just about to respond when the chair finally gave up its fight and Fortus fell to the floor amid the splinters.
"Fortus, you are fat," Scatha stated with a grin. Fortus just grunted in response, conceding the point and deciding instead to just kneel at the table.

Lyrin had grabbed a broom and was about to sweep up the mess when Banfred held out his arm to hold her back.
"No sweetling, let me," he said and took the broom from her. Waiting on the regulars was one thing, but these two were clearly dangerous. He took the broom up and walked over to the two strangers. When retelling this story, Banfred would always tell this part differently, but this is what he actually said to the two mercenaries in his tavern that night.
"Would you two, um, be looking for work?"
Fortus looked at the man, nervously sweeping the pieces of the broken chair aside.
"What kind of work?" the Feartarbh asked, massive fingers stroking the fur under his chin. Banfred hesitated.
"Well, your kind. I would imagine," he replied, hesitantly.
"And what, barkeep, would you imagine our kind of work to be?" Scatha asked, lounging back against the wooden wall.
Fortus laid a hand on the Danann's shoulder.
"Easy Scath, he's already shaking."
"I am not shaking, thank you very much, I am just cold!" Banfred replied angrily. "And you are mercenaries, are you not? Or do you just carry around those weapons for no real reason?" Immediately he raised a hand to his mouth, and began inwardly cursing. Any moment these two vagabonds would stand up and dismantle him, his tavern, his village and worst of all, his daughter and it was all his fault.

And then he heard the most peculiar sound. A deep, gruff chuckle from the Feartarbh followed by a darkly humorous snigger from the cloaked archer.
"Ah Fortus, you always manage to rile up the natives," Scatha laughed, sharp teeth glinting in the firelight. For his part, Fortus continued to chuckle. "Peace my friend," he said, turning to Banfred, "Yes, we are mercenaries, and I am sure you will find that our prices are very affordable. What do you need dead?"
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Clockwork

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 11:33:39 AM »
Nice! :D
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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 05:35:48 PM »
Quote from: The Mountain and the Shadow: Part 2
At dawn the very next morning, Scatha and Fortus left Trenhurst and began the walk up the hill to the old fortress. Two fur-covered figures battled their way through the snow, wind whipping at them and the cold seeping through their layers of fur and leather. The short hike to the top of the hill would take less than an hour in decent weather, but on this morning any headway was difficult to make. 
"The sooner we reach the top of this hill, the better. I need a wall between myself and this damn wind," Scatha called up to Fortus, teeth chattering. The Feartarbh chuckled in response.
"Are you a bit cold, little Scatha?" The Danann only scowled and Fortus' mirth only grew. After all, his own pelt and size afforded him just a little more insulation against the weather. Violently shivering, Scatha couldn't do or say much in response, so he just put his head down and kept walking. Later, he'd get his revenge on the big furry pile of fat he was following up the hill. Oh yes, later.

Just as the sun had broken free completely of the horizon, the two wanderers finally reached the summit of the hill, the gates of the old fortress opening up before them. It was still cold up here, but at least the snow had stopped falling and the wind had died down. The fortress itself was a cold, grey stone affair, with high walls and a thick wooden gate, which now hung open to allow them access. The place had a forlorn feel and seemed abandoned, but according to the innkeeper it was anything but.

Fortus unlimbered his axe and began to make small practice swings, warming his muscles. For his part, Scatha took his bowcase and untied the drawstring, taking out his bow and stringing it, bending the seasoned stave with some difficulty. Then, with bow ready and cloak shrugged back to ensure his hands were free, he joined his companion. Neither of them knew what to expect up here, save that this sorcerer had lit up the night sky with his magic in the past. Fortus thought back to the conversation with Banfred in the Red Bull and muttered to the archer beside him.
"The innkeeper said this man was capable of lighting up the sky with fire," Fortus said quietly, advancing slowly through the gateway, axe held at the ready. 
"Yes, but he also said the man was twelve foot tall, could fly and had impenetrable skin. That's not a man, it's a dragain," Scatha responded sarcastically.
"You don't seriously think a dragain has come this far north do you?" Fortus asked, his tone incredulous. Yet despite his tone, he could not help but look to the skies. Scatha scoffed at his companion's action.
"No, there's no reason for one to. Too many regions south of here with far more livestock. Any dragain coming north would have settled around any of those places to the south," he replied, crouching down to look at something on the ground. "No, I believe that it is far more likely that our employer was simply ill-informed on the subject he was speaking about."
"So asking him for information was-"
"A complete waste of time, yes. Now quiet Fortus, and let me think." Grumbling to himself, the Feartarbh stood over his companion and scanned the surroundings for danger.

The courtyard of the old fortress was empty, and set in the shape of a square. Directly opposite the gateway was a large wooden door which presumably led to the inner sanctum of the fort. All around the courtyard, the high walls towered, offering shelter from the wind, which, while not as biting as earlier that morning, was still chilling. To Fortus' eyes, the place had been abandoned for decades, centuries even.

"Fortus, there's someone here," Scatha's voice broke the temporary silence as he brushed his glove-clad fingers lightly across the packed dirt ground.
"Are you sure?" the Feartarbh asked, his tone disbelieving.
"No, I decided to just sprout falsehoods for no reason," Scatha responded, rolling his eyes. "Look at this," he said, pointing at the ground before him.
"What, dirt?"
"No Fortus, the markings in the dirt. Surely even you can make out the prints there."
"I see nothing except the scuff mark you made yourself just a moment ago," said Fortus, shaking his horned head. "Seriously Scath, I think you're seeing things again. Remember that woman in the Greenthorn Forest three summers back?"
The Danann gritted his teeth in annoyance.
"Yes?"
"Then you remember how when you chased after her you followed her tracks all the way to a marcwolf den, right?" Fortus continued brightly.
"I still think that one of those marcwolves was her Fortus!" Scatha snapped back.
"Oh, of course you do. That would be why you were letting one of them maul you to death, right?" Fortus, laughing at the look on Scatha's face.
"Are you done?" Scatha asked bitterly, while his companion just laughed.
"Yes, yes, just about. Please, tell me what you've found this time Scath," the Feartarbh replied, still chuckling.
"Well then, you great furball, right here before me is a boot-print, approximately one week old. The one who left it was heading into the keep at a brisk walk and was probably carrying something heavy." Fortus looked down at the Danann with some respect. He would never tell the archer, but Scatha's tracking ability had never ceased to amaze the massive Feartarbh. But that wouldn't stop him from giving Scatha crap whenever he got it wrong.

The archer's gaze lifted from the tracks he was studying and he continued, staring at the keep.
"Yes, the one who left it was probably very heavily armoured. Around seven foot tall. Armed with a sword and housecarl's round shield. A dagger sheathed in his right boot. A heavy black helm and a thick fur cloak."
"Wait a minute Scath, there's no way you can get all that information from just... Oh, you're looking at him aren't you?" Fortus said, turning on the spot to address the possible threat.

The figure he saw was huge for a man, standing taller than Scatha and far broader in the shoulders. A massive round shield was slung at the man's back and broad-bladed sword hung at his belt. Clad in thick furs and heavy armour, face hidden behind a black steel helm, he appeared a formidable opponent.

But Fortus and Scatha had made a living off taking down formidable opponents. With a roar, the Feartarbh charged, greataxe raised and ready to cleave the man in half. It took Fortus just two strides to cover the distance between himself and the figure, but in that time Scatha's hand had moved in a blur and already two arrows scythed through the air, punching through the man's armour. Fortus' axe descended an instant later and he felt no resistance as the figure burst apart into a flock of pitch black ravens, all of which flitted away into the shadowed corners of the fortress.

"Well...." Scatha said, taken aback. Fortus just shook his head.
"That was odd," the Danann finished.
"Not as odd as you. Whoever that was just made us look like fools. Forget the money, now this is personal," the Feartarbh growled, pawing at the ground with a great cloven hoof.
"You had a difficult childhood didn't you?" Scatha asked, smirking.
"Not at all.  However, unlike you, I am not accustomed to being made to play the fool," Fortus replied striding to the doors of the keep.
"What are you doing now?" Scatha asked, adopting a long-suffering tone.
"I'm going to knock on the door. And don't think you can stop me."

The heavy blade of Fortus' axe cleaved into the wood of the door, and despite the thickness and hardness of the seasoned wood, it was never going to equal the Feartarbh's prodigious strength. Scatha would never tell him, but the way Fortus handled that massive lump of wood and steel had always amazed the jaded and cynical archer. In seconds he had forced his way through and the two wanderers were into the inner sanctum.

A long hallway stretched before them, grey flagstones covering the floor, covered by a thick red rug which stretched down the centre of the hall. The walls were carved stone and the painted ceiling barely visible from where they stood. Numerous torches were bracketed into the walls, which provided light to see by as the room was windowless. The fact they were lit suggested that someone was indeed here, but there did not appear to be anyone in the hall.

From where they stood, neither Fortus or Scatha could see any passageways out of the hall they were in, but that didn't mean that there weren't any. Cautiously they moved forward, eyes scanning for danger, movement, anything out of the ordinary, but nothing caught their attention.

"Fort, the place is empty," Scatha said relaxing and releasing the tension on his half-drawn bow.
"What do you mean the place is portugaling empty Scath? There's obviously something here!" Fortus responded, and with a roar, swung his axe at one of the walls. And everything went black.

The Feartarbh could feel no resistance to his ferocious swing and stumbled forwards, disoriented by the sudden lack of light. He roared in frustration again.
"Are you alright Fort?" Scatha called from the darkness.
"Yes, only my pride is bruised. Another illusion trap and I fell for it," Fortus responded grimly. Just then, a point of light appeared in the darkness, gently illuminating the room the two wanderers now found themselves in. The floor was still stone flags, but the once-red rug was but a faded mockery of its past lustre. The glint of light now approached closer and they could see a robed figure walking with it. Closer to, they could see that he walked the ball of light like one would walk a hound, tethered to his hand by a glowing strand of light. The man was short, clad in a thick woollen robe and a fur-trimmed hat. He was also old, at least sixty summers if he was a Midlander, wore his grey hair and beard long and walked with a pronounced limp.

"Well now, you two have made quite a mess haven't you?" the man said, smiling at the two mercenaries. "Not to worry," he continued, rubbing his hands together and causing the ball of light to dance around above his head, "I was getting a bit bored of the place and don't mind starting again."
"Wait, what do you mean?" asked Scatha, taken aback.
"My dear boy, I'm renovating!" the old man replied brightly. "You should see what I want to do next. I'm thinking something like the Toraa palaces of the Far East, bright silks, golden wood panelling on the walls and magic lights set into the walls. It will be magnificent."
"And, pray tell, for what purpose are you doing this?" Fortus asked, equally dumbfounded.
"Why, there is a market for it of course! How many people would wish to live in a certain style but not be able to do so because of mundane constrictions such as labour constraints and cost of materials? But I can make anything they want real, in a sense, simply with a little of my time."
"This is... I mean, you are...." Scatha began, lost for words.
"What my friend means to say is that you are not what we were led to believe would be waiting for us up here," Fortus finished.
"Well I say, whatever were you expecting to find?" the man enquired, his kindly face marred by a look of concern.
"Ah, well... Not you," Scatha volunteered, desperately trying to find a decent response.
"We kind of expected, well, fireballs," Fortus suggested lamely.
"Fireballs? Why on earth would I do that to visitors even if I could?" the man replied, scoffing.
"There were reports that you had lit up the sky with fire. We naturally expected anything," Fortus replied.
"Hmm, those dull little villagers are telling tales now are they? I expect I can turn into a dragon now too, hey?" asked the old man with a grin.
"Told you so," Scatha whispered to Fortus. The old man suddenly frowned.
"Oh that reminds me, where's my hospitality? Would either of you care for something to drink? I have some very fine wines laid up in store, just shifted them up here about a week ago," the figure responded, already turning and beckoning them to follow him.
"So I was right about the tracks out the front Fort. He must have been carrying the wine casks inside," Scatha said in an undertone as they followed the old man further into the fortress.
"Right, but what about the ghost warrior?" Fortus responded.
"Let us ask him then," Scatha said before calling ahead to the old man. "Just why do you have a heavily armed guard who bursts into birds when struck waiting outside?"
"Oh, he's my secretary. Anyone who needs to talk to me can just leave a message with him," the entrepreneurial businessman replied. "Although seeing as you've dispersed him now, it seems I will have to make another one. Still, that's okay, lesson learned and all that."
"What kind of lesson do you learn from that? And why did he need to be such an imposing figure?" Scatha asked incredulously.
"Well to answer the first question, obviously he needs to state his purpose before he is dispersed. And the second, well I did not feel like having to answer the questions of every damned nuisance who made the journey up here, so I made him rather frightening. He frightened me anyway," the old man responded with a laugh.

And so did Fortus and Scatha meet Philister, called the Mad Hermit by some and the Great and Powerful by himself. And they shared his wine and his food and parted as friends after sharing some choice ideas regarding ephemeral architecture with the illusionist, who pronounced the ideas as, 'splendidly good,' and 'fantastically insightful,' the praise heaped upon the designs increasing in both quantity and magnitude as the wine was consumed.

Upon parting, the wanderers made their way to Trenhurst, where they informed Banfred the innkeeper of what had transpired and that the old man was no threat. In a remarkable show of generosity, Scatha insisted that the innkeeper keep the promised money, asking instead for only a meal and a bed each for the night, which Banfred happily accepted.

And that's the end, hope it was enjoyable. :D
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By the power of Ga'haarr I command you to vanish! VANISH!
I CANNOT BE KILLED BUT WITH FIRE!
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Pentagathus

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2014, 08:12:01 PM »
I enjoyed it, so I guess it was enjoyable.

Phoenixguard09

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 04:25:03 PM »
This one draws some inspiration from two sources, the first of which was Rob suggesting a taxidermist going around describing the fauna of Norbayne, which I found very interesting. The second was something else I can't think of at the moment, but it was, again, someone writing a bestiary of a fantasy world by going out and observing the creatures.

Unfortunately, Boclæden of Baél-Ád went to the Black Fens, and we'll see how that goes for him.







« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 06:24:51 AM by Phoenixguard09 »
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Clockwork

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 04:02:17 AM »
Great read! You're really good at this :D
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Phoenixguard09

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 04:57:33 AM »
Thanks mate, really appreciated. :)

Any other ideas, feel free to post them. For that matter, if anyone else wants to write something set in the world of Norbayne, they are more than welcome to post it here. I am also more than happy to answer any questions anyone has regarding the setting.

I intend to continue the Lost Journals. Hopefully I can have a few more entries up tonight.
Cheers,
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Clockwork

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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 12:52:25 PM »
Leathe bruiser character; part time crime fighter but funded by thievery she dances with her inner deamons about morality. She's not the hero Norbayne wants but the hero it needs.
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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2014, 01:43:16 PM »
Sounds awesome. I'll get on it soon. ;)
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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2014, 05:57:34 PM »
Batman will be jealous :P
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Re: Norbayne Short Stories
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2014, 06:22:32 PM »