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Thread: December Vignette

  1. #1
    Super Moderator

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    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    8,285
    AP
    73
    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    December Vignette

    Standard vignette rules apply.
    They can be found here.

    December Prompt: Your character becomes lost in a snow blizzard (or other similar extreme weather condition), the worst one seen for many years, miles from any known settlement. This can be in Salvar, Berevar or in a place where it might be very unexpected. How does your character survive, and how will they plan to get to civilisation? How did they get there?

    Note:
    this is an open festive thread. If you want to make it festive then please do. If not, then you do not need to.
    Last edited by Philomel; 12-01-2017 at 09:34 AM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

  2. #2
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    176
    AP
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    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    Two years ago

    Stretching across the harsh and frigid northlands, the vast, mighty kingdom of Salvar was still rebuilding from years of civil war between its Church and State. Though the clashes had quieted, and the two sides had finally reconciled in a de-facto peace, both had been reduced to fractions of their former power. Anarchy and chaos reign supreme as the citizens of the icy wastes of Salvar struggle to survive.

    That was what Shinsou and Bane were told.

    Their campfire occupied the centre of a clearing just north from Salvar’s port of Tirel. As Bane, the burly ranger that had been ever-present at the Telgradian’s side, looked around, he saw the ghosts of his men staring back at him. Those weather beaten and rough looking rangers all perched around the coals, their black coats and fleeces pulled tight to protect them from a night in the open and their focused faces illuminated by the flickers of the dancing flames in front of them. There would have been no complaints of the cold of this place, and as they talked in hushed tones they would all sharpen their weapons and waited patiently for their food to cook.

    Now, they were all dead, killed in an ambush on Corone’s coastal path. They were men he missed dearly, and if it hadn’t of been for Shinsou, he would likely have joined them on the corpse pile.

    For that, he was thankful.

    Perched on the snow-dusted trunk of a fallen tree, Shinsou Vaan Osiris peered out from underneath his hood, pulling his fleece tightly around him to keep in the warmth.

    As the heat of the fire licked at his cold cheeks, Shinsou looked around to Bane. He didn’t truly observe him too often, but as the Telgradian’s eyes fell upon his chassis, he saw the man was more of a giant than he had realised – his own young, infallible complexion and comparatively meagre frame must have looked so out of place next to that of the battle hardened former ranger. Men like Bane were a tough and complex breed. After all, that’s why he had originally hired Bane as an escort. He was experienced and a man of great strength, for the most part. But now, in these times, the man was so much more than just a hired hand. They had become fast friends. The only thing that troubled Shinsou was the worry that friendship and muscle would count for very little against what he expected to be sent his way any day now.

    He had felt it when they had arrived in Salvar, and he could still feel it now.

    “Dad is here in Salvar, Bane. I’m sure of it.”

    Bane spat into the coals just to hear the sizzle as his saliva evaporated, which had now become a terrible habit of his. His monstrous shoulders were barely concealed by a tattered coat, hardly appropriate attire for the hellish cold of Salvar. He sported his traditional year-old black beard with thin sideburns meeting a sort of crew cut on top; a proper ranger’s haircut. A giant custom double-edged sword, which was basically two great broadswords welded together at their hilts, lay in the snow at his feet and the flawless steel of its blades glimmered in the fire.

    The man turned to Shinsou, and raised an eyebrow.

    “You can sense each other’s presence?”

    “It’s complicated,” Shinsou said, brushing a hand through his freezing brown locks. “…because it’s him, I just know.” As he shrugged, his breath hit the cold air and turned to steam.

    Bane repositioned his sword he had by his feet onto his shoulder, and began to polish it.

    “Can he sense you?”

    Shinsou gulped down a cup of Bane’s ale that he had by his side. As it hit the back of his throat, he could taste and smell the familiar strength of the stuff, and decided that one was all he really needed, wiping his mouth with the corner of his sleeve.

    “We’d already be dead if he could.”

    “Good,” the ranger replied, “That buys us some time here.”

    “Bane, I have a lot to thank you for,” Shinsou started again, rubbing his hands to warm them. “…but listen well. This will be a fight over Telgradian affairs, and I want you well away from it. I don’t want you killed because of me.”

    Bane didn’t look up. Instead, he reached down for one of the bags by his side and flung it at the fire.

    “Don’t be so fucking stupid. You think I came all the way here to do nothing but freeze my arse off and scrape you off the floor?”

    The canvas bag spun through the air, and as it struck the fire it ignited, feeding the flames with fuel once more.

    ***

    The second stint of their journey up north was much more challenging than the first. They were trying to reach a small settlement at the foot of a frozen mountain range called Tael where Shinsou had suspected a Telgradian portal had been constructed and as admirable the effort on foot had been for the pair (trudging over acres upon acres of tundra without a horse between them), they had now gone far enough north for strange things to start happening.

    The snow was relentless, filling their world with harsh, unyielding white. The nights began to get longer and the days shortened to the point where the concept of time became almost meaningless. Their only method of working out roughly what progress they had made during the day was deduced from the time it took for their stomachs to growl at them compared to how much closer the all encompassing mountain range in the distance had gotten to them. Even that was made all the more difficult by the disorientating effects of the blizzard.

    The sun never seemed to rise properly, instead just squinting over the horizon. When nightfall came, the stars were hidden by the incessant pounding of the snowstorm. Trying to orientate with them became the very definition of madness as the two men struggled to keep an accurate record of each star’s location.

    It wasn’t so much a problem for the journey to Tael as it would be for the journey home.

    Though confident and upbeat at first, Shinsou soon realised that Salvar had the kind of environment that could drive a man insane in a matter of hours. There had been very little time for preparation, bar an estimation of food consumption and the appropriate gearing up with winter clothing and hunting tools, and now the harsh climate and sparse environment was starting to irritate him. Salvar was known for chewing up civilization and spitting it back out. Only a few scattered human tribes lived this far north, bar the settlement they were destined for, but as annoyed and drained as he felt, the Telgradian knew that reaching Tael was the only thing that mattered at the moment.

    “How are you doing, Bane?” He shouted through a sheet of snow as the wind kicked up furls of white and dusted his face.

    “Apart from this fucking wind, I’m fine,” Came the ranger’s yelled response. “Keep going!!”

    Compared to Shinsou, Bane was an all-weather, all-terrain machine. He seemed to know not rest, hunger or thirst and just kept going and going. His stride was such that Shinsou had trouble keeping up with him several times. As they got closer to the mountains, to where Tael was situated, Bane’s legs pounded the icy terrain like bombs, as if being driven by some higher power. He would bury his head in his fleece as he tried to ignore the growling of his stomach or the parched dryness of his throat.

    As another surge of energy took the ranger, Bane lowered his gaze from the barely visible mountains ahead and saw the landscape change before him. The endless white sheets of the blizzard had been interrupted by some sort of makeshift campsite. Some of the snow around the perimeter was stained with blood. There was a single spit with a leg of meat on, but no fire or attendants. Then, Bane and Shinsou saw figures. They looked human, but consisted only of white silhouettes through the heavy snow, barely opaque enough to make out any details at all.

    “Shit and derision…” Shinsou’s utterance was stating the obvious, but confirmed Bane’s own misgivings about their surroundings.

    Three dozen and more sets of eyes focused on them in utter silence, indicative of a larger gathering than this place had seen in years.
    "By the time they figure out what went wrong, we'll be sitting on a beach...earning 20%"

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