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Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

The third most powerful nation of Feila, ruled by the Canine. The current system of government is Feudalist/Absolute Monarchy, with the monarch as the control of power and the aristocracy. It's military is fourth largest in number, and weaker than Gawain's or Edwin's. It consists of the Domus Army and Navy. It is geographically one of the smaller nations of Feila. Similar to Earth's medieval France.
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The Friar
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by The Friar » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:08 pm

Soon, the sun begins to get lower in the sky, with the diminished light casting a somber pall over the entire journey. In a matter of eerie coincidence, this is also when the path being taken itself becomes ever darker and darker. At this point, the only thing keeping the travelers on the path are the guidance of the scribblings on the trees. The dirt path is completely overgrown with weeds and grass, and completely covered by a layer of leaves and other dead plant matter. The drawings carved into the trees also become significantly more morbid and surreal, particularly those featuring the two stick figures. The two figures are portrayed committing horrific acts towards one another including murder, mutilation, assault, cannibalism, immolation, and other acts which are simply...unspeakable. In all of these disturbing images it is notable that the taller, robed figure is always depicted as the aggressor, or the otherwise dominant party.

At one point, where the leaf litter is particularly deep, there is a bizarre sight before the travelers. In the middle of the path, several feet away from the group, is a dead tree with the face of a male raccoon dog carved into the bark in detail that is a marked upgrade from the stick figures they had seen so far; a primitive, stone hatchet has been buried deep into the center of this carving.
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Chester
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by Chester » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:56 pm

As the woods surrounding them began to grow more dim by the minute, Chester kept a more frantic eye about him. Although he stopped examining the images a little while back, as they grew more horrific he began to take more interest. Finally his curiosity peaked and he padded over to a nearby tree. Its mangled bark bore a scribbled depiction of a gruesome act, and he began to notice the patterns in similarity between them all, particularly those involving interactions between the two figures. As he ran his fingers over the wood curiously, the handle of the hatchet which jutted out sharply from the wood had caught his eye.

Someone clearly wasn't too terribly happy with this raccoon dog. Chester stared at the disturbing display for but a few moments before glancing up at the mountainside, from which the voice from earlier had shouted from. It would only make sense that the voice belonged to whoever had scrawled such depictions, though he didn't like the thought. As much as he stared at the strange carvings, he could not find meaning in them. Perhaps the fox they were tracking was one of the figures in the depictions, though he didn't know enough about the fox to know which one. Though whoever this strange animal was, Chester decided he wasn't too enthusiastic about meeting him.

Finally deciding he was done staring at the image, Chester pushed onward. Seeing as no more dramatic changes occurred in the carvings, and they all followed the same gruesome pattern, he took no interest unless they strayed from this formula. Thus he kept on the trail, guided by the string of slashed trunks and strange depictions, all of which told him he was on the right path.

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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by HawkerTheGreat » Fri May 04, 2018 1:56 am

(Forgive the slight wait, irl came up.)

It had grown darker quickly as the sun set and the overhead trees blocked out most of the sky. With a lack of path, the obvious choice was to follow the strange carvings - these only slightly bothered Umbra. Yet he padded along with the group, his bare paws slowing him down in the undergrowth as the terrain began to slope more and more upwards. With a gentle paw, Umbra fumbled with the hooks on his belt, he unhooked a steel lantern. Its sides were protected with glass, which revealed its cloth wick. The top of the cage had its own hook, with a loop that had a steel striking tool and a rough flint shard strung together with a thin cloth strand.

What seemed like a rather fresh wick lighted easily with a careful strike or two from the flint shard, sparks flying wildly from inside the lantern till a steady flame took hold. Once the flame had taken hold and the lantern had been sealed back up, Umbra looped the string tied flint and steel back onto the top of the lantern and hooked it back into the ringed belt holding his Field Plate together with its hauberk vest. While it was still fairly bright, the small flickering flame would make it considerably easier to navigate the mountains once the sun fully set.

Further along the path the carvings became more intense, darker and quite a bit morbid at times. It unsettled the Draconian seeing these images, but none as much as the final one. After Chester moved past the tree, Umbra stepped forward,stepping through the deep litter of leaves in the front of the tree, stopping at the carving. 'Could this perhaps of been the Fourier the female had mentioned? Was he in fact pushed over the edge by the other brothers and sisters of the monastery?' Gripping the handle of the hatchet, Umbra went on about the details Jéanne had mentioned in his head. While it wasn't enough to completely understand the orphan's downfall, it all came together into a terribly sad story.
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by HawkerTheGreat » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:31 pm

(I know everyone gets busy every now and then, but its been over a month and I feel like it would be best to continue on with the three of us for the sake of keeping this alive and going.)
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by The Friar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:26 pm

(I will try to get a post in tomorrow and push the story forward.)
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by The Friar » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:15 pm

As Umbra grips the handle of the axe, he can feel a sort of thin string pressing against his hand. Upon further inspection, the draconian will see that a thin thread, possibly some sort of plant fiber, has been tied around the upper section of the handle of the axe. The thread is translucent as well as notably thin, making it difficult to perceive if one is not directly searching for it. From the handle, the string leads upward into the foliage of the tree above, its tautness suggesting it is tied to something hidden within the branches. Putting further pressure on the string, or beginning to remove the hatchet from the tree, will lead to the creaking and snapping of branches to ring down from the tree above Umbra. Within seconds, a loud and energetic laugh, identifiable as the voice that the adventurers had been hearing throughout these wilds, erupts from further along the path; this time, it is not from as far as had been heard previously. The hermit is close.
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by HawkerTheGreat » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:40 am

At first, the Draconian had grasped the handle in a way that the less obvious fiber hadn't brushed against the fur of his paw. However as he re-ajusted around the handle in an attempt to unhinge the tool, he paused, the feeling of a thin fiber against his palm. For a moment, only his eyes moved as if trying to make out anything in the dim light of the evening sunset. Slowly his paw unwrapped, the tip of a claw gently following up the wooden handle to where he felt the string before. It was a fragile strand, barely viable and tied to something above in the treelines, just out of eyesight.

It occurred to Umbra that releasing the tension on the fiber would possibly be dangerous, but a slight curiosity struck him. Rather than letting go of the fiber and proceeding up the path, Umbra wrapped his paw along the line, making an attempt not to damage it as he slowly tugged on the fiber. Each gentle tug lead to a satisfying snapping noise from the tree above... 'It must be just barely holding up something heavy.' Umbra was lost in his thoughts, separate from the outside world till the hermit's laughing broke through the forest. Breaking his concentration, Umbra shifted his gaze further out into the distance with a startled look.

With a slight yank, Umbra pulled his paw away from the fiber, quickly losing track of it as his focus shifted. It was hard to tell if the string attached to the axe had been damaged or pulled, but Umbra wasted no time setting about to catch up with Chester and the others who had gotten far ahead. Stepping through the dense leaves was loud, even with bare paws.
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by Chester » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:26 pm

Chester glanced back as he noticed Umbra had fallen behind. He looked on from afar as the tree snapped and creaked when the draconian gently yanked seemingly at nothing. Perplexed by the sight, Chester stared harder and tilted his head, attempting to get a good look at whatever lay in the draconian's furred grasp. Finally catching sight of the thin fiber, he watched as the soft tugs caused cracking up in the trees. For a few moments, Chester eyed the rudimentary device, trying to see what the string could be tied to. Alas, the thick foliage surrounded the source of the noises, protecting it from prying eyes. Stifling his curiosity in favor of the task at hand, Chester spun on his heel and started on the path once more.

As Chester stalked down the dim forest trail, a laugh echoed through the forest, stopping him in his tracks. With wide eyes, he scanned his surroundings, yet the survey held no answers. He cocked his ears, rotating them around to distinguish the origin of the laughter, but could only determine it came from further down the clearing. By now, Chester had little doubt of whether they were on the right trail or not, as the primitive depictions paired with the occasional vocal intervention all pointing to them being on the right path. Still slightly shaken, he continued down the trail as Umbra approached. The unsettling chuckle caused apprehension to rise in his stomach, though he forced it down as he kept on.

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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by The Friar » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:37 pm

The sun finally begins to set over the long day of travelling through the wooded foothills. The setting sun paints the forest canopy with a glowing amber light. The hermit's path, demarcated by the grotesque, childlike carvings, becomes practically indiscernible from the rest of the woods. As they continue on the path, he drawings seem to turn to a mix of the grotesque style and the original, benign style. The birds and various other fauna of the forest, once again, go silent as the laughter of Le Frère continues on; the hermit gets gradually calmer and less enthusiastic with his cackling laughter. After a while, they come across the entrance to a small, though deep, cave. It is clearly perceivable that the hermit is inside the cave, beyond the point here the fading light cannot penetrate the darkness. Just before the beginning of the cave sits a line of small, sharpened, wooden stakes driven into the ground; while not a subtle defense, only those determined to get to the hermit would bother navigating the stakes.
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by HawkerTheGreat » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:47 pm

It didn't take long for the draconian to catch up with Chester, Umbra was moving at a steady pace now. It would have been a bad idea to get separated from his group with the hermit so close. Glimpsing every now and then, he would notice the carvings in the trees as they changed styles, but generally paid no mind to them till he caught up alongside Chester. Slowly, the draconian gave a glance at Chester's eyes as they met back up. He never seemed to shiver, but it was obvious that the laughing left him on edge as they proceeded deeper into the forest. As the sky started to blacken, they would be finally there - the entrance of a cave, lined with wooden stakes nearly everywhere. The smallest of trips would make these defenses fatal, a bloody pain filled mess waiting to happen. Instead of rushing over the spike covered entrance, Umbra took moments to think, examining the cave entrance for any missing or damaged spikes that might be less threatening to climb over.
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Re: Man of the Cloth, Man of the Mountain (OPEN)

Post by Chester » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:00 pm

Despite the lack of any proper trail to guide them, it wasn't long before they stood before the mouth of the cave. The floor of which was littered with sharp, wooden stakes, their defensive intent was obvious. As Chester paced back and forth in front of the stakes, he noticed how the light began to retreat along with the setting sun. The sky darkened with every passing moment, and it had already grown dim enough to black out the rest of the cave, hiding whatever may lie within. After briefly skimming over the primitive defenses for a bit, no clear cut path was evident through the mass of wooden stakes. Slightly frustrated, Chester began to study the placement of the spikes, attempting to discern the safest possible route for them to take.

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