Basic Fantasy RPG game set in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy

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That breath of life...extinguished
Plimble crept quietly through the thick tangle that surrounded the camp. Night had fallen and her feet sank a bit in the nutrient rich soil of the forest floor. It had been raining for days and although it had finally stopped, the ground was still soggy.

Re-adjusting the pack over her shoulder, she pulled out her bow and kept an arrow nocked. If she was caught, they would force her to marry Lichen. She was NOT a brood mare. If she was ever going to marry, it would be for love and love alone. She would rather die than go back.

She hadn't gotten very far when she heard the whistling. It was lazy. A gentle ballad. Turning quickly, ready to shoot, she saw Lichen leaning against a tree with that self assured smirk on his face. He was beautiful, she would give him that, but she did not WANT him.

"And what will you do with that, little girl?" He stepped away from the tree and drew his sword, striding forward with a cruel glee in his eyes.

Plimble froze. He was bluffing. He would never truly use that sword on her...would he?? Should she kill him? COULD she kill him?

He was still coming towards her. She lowered her bow as he raised his sword, calling his bluff. He moved faster, face contorting into a rictus grin. She watched it fall.. coming at her as if the gods had slowed down time just for the moment of her death, that she might suffer it to their full delight.

Suddenly she watched as both the blade and Lichen burst into millions of tiny glowing embers. They flew around in a flurry of orange and black, dancing around momentarily before catching an air current and flying away.

In shock, she realized that behind where Lichen had stood, was Braignir. Eyes closed, as if in relief, he breathed in deeply. Pain shot through her chest. Why? Why did this hurt? Hadn't he just saved her life? He was her best friend after all. She was about to run to him and throw herself into his arms when he opened his eyes. There was fire in them. Actual flames. Fear and love coursed through her as she called out his name. Why were his eyes on fire??

It was a reflection, she realized. They reflected the fire. His eyes were entirely black. Solid obsidian orbs glittered back at her and she watched the flames flicker within.

They were in a town. She spun around, startled. She had been so sure they had been in the forest. She began a hesitant retreat. This couldn't be her Braignir. Not with those eyes. Not with that look of murder, aimed at her.

He came at her slowly, a blade in each hand. The buildings around her cracked and crumbled as they burned. Her hair whipped around as the wind fed the inferno. Stray embers flew into her face and burned her eyes. She felt the flames lick at her skin when she backed too close to the fire. Still, she never took her eyes from his. Never broke contact with those murderous orbs that reflected her tiny self and the fire that threatened to consume her. She began to weep.

"Braignir! Please! I love you!"

He continued forward as if she hadn't spoken. She sank to the ground, complete despair washing over her. She had lost him. Again. Again? Wait, why again? Where was everyone else?

He stood before her. She looked up at him with her heart in her eyes as her sorrow bled down her cheeks and spattered onto her shirt front. He was surrounded by an aura of embers and fire. Then he spoke.

This is your fault.

She shook her head. "I tried! I love you, Braignir!"

Love is weakness. You made me weak. I died protecting you. This is your fault.

Plimble nodded. Tears streamed down her face as she looked up at the only man she had ever loved with all of her heart. The only man she had ever fully trusted. Her father and brother figure rolled into one. He was right. She deserved to die.

"You are right. Kill me then, my Braignir, my heart."

He raised both swords and clasped them together. They fused into one and came down at her.

PLIM!!!

The demonic Braignir before her was now cracking apart. Molten fissures appeared in his skin and light poured from inside him, almost blinding her. He screamed as he exploded in light and she threw up her arms to protect herself.

Little one.

Plimble cracked open her eyes. She saw trees and petals floating on the wind. She could smell moss and wildflowers. Something was tickling her nose. She was laying on something. She glanced down and saw a familiar hand holding a sky blue feather in her face. She slapped it away and looked up. Braignir smiled down at her with a joy she had never seen in him. He had been holding her in his lap and tickling her nose with one of the feathers from his wings. WHAT??? Wings?!

She flipped over and sat up, eyes wide and jaw slack. "WHERE did you get WINGS?!"

He chuckled and craned his neck, looking around at his new appendages.

I don't know, this is YOUR dream, not mine. Really, Plim? He reached back and plucked one of the multicolored feathers from just behind his shoulder. Yellow??? While we are at it. Why bird wings? I mean you could have at least given me something more impressive like dragon wings. I look ridiculous. He smiled as he teased her.

She threw herself into his arms, weeping into his chest. "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I failed you twice!"

He stroked her hair and shushed her, rocking her back and forth like a small child.

No. No my little one. My Plim. You SAVED me. You gave me happiness when I didn't deserve it. You gave me love when I was unlovable. You brought peace to my soul and you tried to give me back my Sam. I should never have told you to take care of her. I didn't believe I would die, and now... you have so much resting on those tiny shoulders.

Plim looked up at him and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him closer in death than either of them had ever allowed her to do in life. She wept and wept. "I don't want to wake up." She breathed in the scent of his hair. Forest and petals and his favorite tea. He pulled back and put a hand on each side of her face, turning it up to peer deeply into her eyes.

Plim... I will always be with you. Please remember, none of this was your fault. Not my death, nor Sam's should she pass on. You put so much stress on yourself to protect the ones you love. Sam still needs you, but please don't forget to take care of yourself too. I never said this to you in life, but I will say it now. I love you. Take care of my Plim for me as well as you are taking care of my Sam.

With that, he kissed her forehead and hugged her close, wrapping his wings around them both.

Now... my little one. Wake. She is weeping and needs your comfort.
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Suspicious Patrons
Something's up with this group. I've been running protection on trader carts traveling between the keep and Oakhearth for a few months now, and I took notice of a very peculiar group of adventurers. Everytime I've come back to the keep their group changes, with the exception of three of them. According to various tavern patrons and a Corporal, these people are getting injured and dying almost every week. What the hell could they possibly be doing? Even more suspicious, more people seem to keep joining their ranks, replacing the ones that died.

I hadn't actually planned on investigating them any further, but I noticed one day that a very beautiful woman appeared in the tavern with them. Over the course of a few days I grew particularly fond of her. From afar, anyway, she had an anger about her that I didn't want to disturb.

Today she wasn't angry. Not at all. Her husband had apparently died in a recent adventure with "The Group". I saw no anger in her eyes that day, only sadness and regret, I think. As impulsive as I can be, there was no way in hell I was going to approach her. Besides, she and a halfling were doing a decent job of consoling each other. I resolved that I'd try to approach her soon, to try to warn her about them and their misfortunes. Unfortunately, I was too late.

They carried her into the keep, covered in a cloak and nothing else. At first, I thought her dead. Then I noticed the tears streaming down her face and her mouth moving. While the little one went to her room, I drew closer to her in an attempt to hear her words. I could see that she was gravely injured. "Braig.....oh Braig..". She was broken, repeating that name over and over, as if her brain couldn't focus on anything else. She didn't move a muscle below her neck. Not a twitch, nor a fidget. I left her side in shock and horror. They'd done it again, they'd gotten someone else hurt. A woman this time. I know I have to investigate these occurrences. I've made up my mind to join them in their travels, to find out what exactly they are up to. I can't let them endanger more lives.
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Comfort Food
Plimble slowly trodded through the dark courtyard of the keep. She kept glancing around nervously, a bit afraid of being caught outside alone. It wasn't that she was doing anything wrong, per se, it was just that she didn't want to have to explain WHAT she was doing if anyone happened to see her... especially since she kept tripping over things and spilling tea from the tiny clay pot and onto the front of her tunic. Embarrassing, that. Damn, it was dark. Even with the hazy light spilling here and there from the windows of this house or that into the night. The night was like velvet, absorbing what light it could get and not allowing it to travel further than it should.

She followed her nose. She knew the general direction of her destination, but the smell of horse was the true guiding line.
Once she was there, she pushed open the door and walked past the sleeping stable boy, curled up on a pile of sweet smelling hay next to a lantern burning low. Setting down the bundle she had slung over her back, and the clay pot of tea, she began to search around. She checked each pile of hay, and then to be sure, peeked into each stall. A horse nickered softly at her as she gently pushed on its rump to move it aside. She giggled when it nudged her with its head, nuzzling her neck and lipping her palm as she held up some lumps of sugar for it.

"What? Oh... its the squirt." The stable boy, who happened to be only about three inches taller than Plim, had woken at the sound of her giggle. "If you're lookin for that mean-eyed chump, he's up in the loft. Ladder's just over there." He pointed and rolled over, obviously eager to get back to sleep."

Plim grinned, picked up her bundle, and slung it over her back. She frowned down at the pot of tea, and wondered how she would climb the ladder with one hand. Her next thought was one of shame as she realized that Braignir had had to do just that. If he could do it, she could as well.

Once at the top, she peered around, searching for him. It was so black up here. She poked each lump she could make out in the darkness with her foot. Hay. Hay. Hay. Crate. Hay. Crate.

Plimble quietly squealed as something warm closed around her ankle and she almost dropped the pot. She heard a familiar grunt and sighed in relief. That last lump hadn't been a crate, it had been her Braiggie. His hand was wrapped around her ankle and he was now struggling to see her in the dark. She had once heard that elves were supposed to have night vision, but that had sadly proved only a myth. Would have come in handy right about now, for him anyway.

She set down her bundle and hurried to light an old candle stub. She had at least brought that with her. It wouldn't last long, but it was enough to eat by. She looked down at Braignir and happily began to unpack her bundle. Using the inside of her cloak as a tablecloth, she placed on top of it the pot, a small, chipped bowl, and cheesecloth covered cakes and fruits she had left over from the days meals. She had yet to see Braignir in the tavern, not since Sam arrived, nor had any of the barmaids seen him in there.

He stared at her a while, as if trying to wake up. When he made no move to eat, Plimble tore off a bit of cake and shoved it into his mouth. With big, sad eyes, he chewed and swallowed. She poured him tea as he finally sat up. She smiled at him as he slid over to sit next to her and began to eat. There. Now, she at least knew he wasn't going to starve to death. She sighed. It was a start. She wrapped her arms around the one he wasn't using and snuggled it, sleepy, but relieved.
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What have I gotten myself into?
The past few days have made me rethink my decision to join this group. It seems there is some type of trouble between Brag, and a new lady named Sam. I have stayed out of it, for it does not concern me in the least. At least for now. The little Halfling girl spends all of her time with this Sam woman now, while Breg or Brag, or whatever his name is seems too afraid to even enter the keep much less the tavern. This Sam's business had better come to a close soon, for my business is pressing. I spend my days studying the pendants trying to understand their power. I dare not let the others know what I do, they do not understand and I fear would try to take them from me.

I must find the wand whispered to be in those caves, I must have its power! I cannot grow as a caster without it.

The Halfling girl sent me a note speaking of a strange message of a giant, then sent me another saying it was not a giant. I fear this long stay in this keep has brought madness to her mind and maybe to the minds of the others. I will continue to watch them very closely, and if when I get my wand, if I have to I will make the hard choice and put them all out of their misery. It would be a waste for it seems they are what I need to fulfill my needs for now.

I would like to have at least one person that I could at least trust, but that is just a child's dream. I would need at least 1 person to trust me first, and I do not see that as a possibility. It is not like anyone in this group is any different than anyone else in this world when it comes to trusting strangers, much less a stranger that claims to channel the arcane arts.

Always alone, even in a group always alone. But that will change when I get that wand, and its power. Then everyone will have to see me not as a joke, but as someone to be revered. No one will laugh at me then. I will even silence the laughter that echoes in my mind. Just play nice for a little bit longer.
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Blood and Ashes
Hello again,

I have much to write and I don't even know where to begin...

I suppose I should start with Sam. How I came to know her is a very long story, so I will just try to keep things short. Sam is Braignirs WIFE!

Please, sir book! Try to contain your shock! I was also much befuddled to discover this. Not that I didn't think Braignir is good enough for a wife or anything, he just never mentioned her. He had good reasons for this, as who would want to share such a painful past with anyone they just met? I mean.. I like to think he likes me. That I mean as much to him as he does to me. That he sees me as a sister, as I see him as the big brother I never had. I never told him my own painful past, even loving him as I do, so why should he have told me his?

I have wandered from the tale, I'm sorry.

Braignir had thought his beautiful Sam had been murdered. It is what those people had told him. He and Sam had already lost their very much beloved unborn child. Taken from them in violence with a knife to her womb. Braignir already had so much to overcome, I don't believe his mind was capable of holding itself together after learning that she had been taken from him and slaughtered. He laid waste to the entire town. His anger was like a force of nature. The explosive rage coming from him like a storm of calamitous brimstone, wiping out an entire town and leaving nothing behind but blood and ashes.

What he didn't know, COULDN'T know, was that she was alive. Alive and witnessing all of this hellfire, fury, and destruction. The ending of all things, good and evil, in the name of her and her unborn child. Destruction of innocence. Destruction of any memory that could be attached to him with love and happiness. With every human life he took, in her eyes, he lost his humanity and became more and more a demon. One that would have made any prince of hell proud to count among his servants.

She, who had lost her beloved unborn child, had now lost husband as well. Her mind became dark with the desire for revenge. Too many children. Too many innocent children had been slain. Just like her child, and his was the hand that dealt the mortal blow to each ruddy cheeked, wide eyed innocent. They had stared up at him in horror as he took their lives. In those innocent eyes, she saw fear, despair and panic... and all HE saw... was red.

It was too much. Like a maternal Goddess bent on revenge, she had sought the blood of her beloved. She believed that, and only that, would avenge the innocent lives taken at his hand on that night, when hell had opened its maw and consumed the town in a roiling typhoon of fire and baleful screams.

*puts down her quill and looks over her shoulder at Sam*

There.. sitting still... I wonder when she will move. She didn't eat much this morning, though she did laugh a bit at mister weebles. What does she see in that looking glass, I wonder. It is so cloudy and cracked. Still, she stares into it as if trying to scry the future within its depths. Her eyes are still puffy and bloodshot. Two beautiful gems in a setting of pink silk. Her little nose is so red and she cries every few hours. Last night she woke up crying, and I ran to her from the little bedding I had made in the corner. She cried and cried and I just held her like I would hold my mother when she was feeling unwell. I sang to her and combed her hair. It calmed her, and she slept. I fell asleep like that, her head in my lap, brush in hand. and in the morning she was sitting in that chair, staring at herself. I hope she will eat soon. Perhaps... some cake?

*hops down from the windowsill where she had been perched as she wrote*

"Sam!Sam!Sam!!!" *ran up to Sam and tugged at her sleeve*

*No response*

"SAMMMMMM!!!" *Joyfully tugs her sleeve and, still getting no response, clambers up into her lap and takes her head in both hands, rocking it back and forth like a rocking horse. Continues in a tick-tock, clickety clock, singsong voice*

"SamSamSamSamSamSamSam(...)"

*Sam, pupils contracting, slowly begins to look at Plimble as if she finally SEES her. At first confusion creases her brow, and then, a spark of recognition, followed by a tiny grin and then finally a full blown smile that reaches her eyes, making them sparkle*

*Sighing deeply, and grinning* "What is it, little one? Have I truly been so lost to my thoughts that you had to take this recourse for some attention?"

*Plimble smiles and nods vigorously* "Sam! We need CAKE! Mr. Weebles is so very hungry and I can hear your stomach talking too! We can get elderberry! Its Bra..." *stops herself from saying his name, as she was going to tell her it was Braiggies favorite*

"... Bra..Brand new! I mean.. thats what I hear.. they only started making it a short time ago...at least.. I THINK thats what I heard.. I could be wrong..." *she finished lamely, looking down in embarrassment.*

"Is that so..." *Sam was smiling now. A very tired look in her eyes, but also a spark of something warm and kind.* "Well then.. let me wash my face and hands, and maybe you can do my hair before we go down to eat. Would you like that?"

*Plimble brightens, nods, and scampers off of her lap* "Let me just finish something while you do that!"


*Picks up her quill again*

I will have to write more later, Sir Book! I still have much to say about how I came to know this beautiful Sam lady. We are going down to eat some elderberry cakes, though perhaps I will ask for a small variety instead so I may learn her favorites as well. She wants me to do her hair!. WANTS me to do it!!! It's so nice having another girl around! I even dressed her up like a doll that first night! See, her clothes were all filthy, and she hadn't rested in so long during her pursuit of Braignir, that she realllllllly realllllly needed them washed and mended. She had no other clothes though, and mine wouldn't fit her.. So I talked to one of tavern keepers, and seeing as how I had taken one particularly troublesome rodent out of their hands, they agreed to let me borrow one of the gowns left behind by previous travelers who pass through. Normally they just resale them after holding them over a season, but they agreed that when I leave, I can either buy it, or return it. I had three to choose from. One was a light green silk, one a simple blue linen, and one a very lightweight pink cotton. I chose the pink cotton because of the bell sleeves and the roses on the bodice and hem. I have pink ribbons to match and pink looks really gorgeous on her. I mean it also kind of brings out the rosy nose and eyes that she has from crying... but she really looks like a human sized forest fairy come to life. I will braid her hair, I think, and weave the pink and blue ribbons in and out of the braid and then roll it up and pin it behind her head. She will look even more the fairy.

She is ready, and I am hungry! Till next time, Sir book!

-Plimble Mae
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