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EarthDawn: A Brave New World - [ED] Nayobee


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Blood Raven

It was the 26th day after she had left the boundaries of the Blood Wood and the more distance she put between herself and the magical Woods the stronger grew that feeling of longing and sadness in her heart. She could deal with it most of the day but when the sun set and she had to find shelter she wished she never left. Staring back the road she came from she couldn’t see the outlines of the Forest anymore. Actually she lost sight of it over two weeks ago but still she looked back every single day, as if it was calling for her.

"Focus...", she ordered herself as she searched for a suitable place for the night. Her eyes quickly found a nice shelter with partially cover by trees should it suprisingly start to rain. Within a few minutes she had set camp and ignited a small fire to cook herself a nice cup of tea and eventually serve herself dinner – a tasty little rabbit she had hunted earlier.

The young elven Warrior was humming a tune as she prepared her meal when she saw something odd from the corner of her eyes. At first she thought it was just an animal that was scurrying away in the underwood but after a few moments of silence and intense screening she was convinced that someone or something was watching her. Preparing herself for the worst, Nayobee unsheathed her sword and made a few steps out of the light of her fire towards the clearing.

Being a Blood Elf has taught her to be cautious since no one she has met so far was willing to even converse with her the moment she revealed herself. It forced her to travel in hiding, with her cloak deeply drawn into her face and most of her body covered by Armor and cloth. Still she couldn’t make the blood stop trickling from her thorns or the tiny gashes it ripped open on her delicate skin. It was a pain every Blood Elf grew up with and learned to ignore and tolerate but it was disturbing and even disgusting for the unsuspecting eye.

After a few minutes of standing and listening she decided that fatigue was probably playing tricks on her mind and resumed to prepare her meal. It would’ve helped to have a map of some kind because her current strategy was only based on walking away from Blood Wood, hoping to find some kind of settlement sooner or later. She wasn’t trouble finding enough food or water – she had trained to sustain herself for months if necessary but her mission demanded results and right now she felt like wasting valuable time. Hopefully she’d meet someone who wouldn’t run away at first sight and the dark hours would be beneficiary for her endeavour but it seemed no sane traveller would continue his journey once the sun has settled. Meeting someone on the road, at night gave no results so far...

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When Nayobee went back to the fallen log that served as her seat she found a somewhat familiar yet altogether unexpected visitor. About the height of a windling a huge raven stood on the far end of the log. The light from her cooking fire shone off the deep purple leaves of Nayobee's armor as well as the red legs of the raven, marking them both as natives of the Blood Wood. There were several things that told her that this wasn't just any blood raven though. The first and most noticeable was that it was translucent; she could see, partially, right through it. Second, it was huge, even for a blood raven. Lastly, it was carrying a scroll in one foot and a swirling blue stone in its' beak.

As Nayobee stared at the blood raven, it put the blue stone down on the log and nudged it with its' beak so that it rolled towards her. It stopped about half way between the two of them, and that's when the blood raven 'spoke'. Nay! It cawed into the night, followed quickly by Bee!.

While the last caw of the blood raven still hung in the air, the stone started to hover a couple of inches off of the wood. Then she heard a voice, coming from the stone, speak to her. It was definitely male, but it had an ageless quality to it. He spoke in court Sperethiel, but in an odd, old sounding dialect.

Nayobee Menelmacar Firandiel, I am glad that Lenore here was able to find you. I know of you and both your missions, and I can help you with both of them. To let you know that I am telling the truth, I have two gifts for you.

At that point Lenore picked up the scroll with her beak and tossed it to Nayobee. When she untied the leather thong on the parchment scroll and unrolled it it revealed two things. The most obvious was that the scroll was actually a map of Barsaive and had both her current location as well as the city of Kratas marked. It also had an offset map of the city of Kratas itself, showing all the streets and all of the more permanent fixtures. The most unusual was the single acorn that wasn't a normal acorn. Not only was it larger than normal, but it glowed with a slight golden glow, and gazing upon it brought back memories of home, actually easing her desire to go back.

The voice continued:

The map is for your main, but still secret mission. The other is actually something that I managed to pick up on my many travels. It comes from our home... your parents will be able to verify its' identity. I hope that you all will see this as a gesture of good will and that we may be able to further help each other in the future.

Now, you are no doubt asking yourself who your mysterious benefactor is, why I'm doing this and what I want in return. In short I want your help. You are more mobile and less well known than I am, and so you are able to go and do things that I cannot anymore. Where this all comes together is that we both have very similar goals.

If you want my help or if you don't, keep the gifts, keep them safe. Simply tell Lenore whether you accept or decline, just keep in mind that this offer doesn't come to many, and to them it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

With that, the voice stopped, but Lenore kept her eyes on it. A moment passed, and then the voice spoke up again, quickly adding what he had forgotten.

Oh, and if you want to know who I am, simply ask around about Lenore when you reach your destination. There are plenty of stories, legends and tales about me out there...

...just don't believe everything that you hear. Some of it surprises even me.

At last the blue orb stopped swirling and dropped back down to the log with a tink and Lenore looked expectantly to Nayobee. The simple fact that this giant blood raven, whom she could see through, was sitting there staring at her, unblinking, peering into her very soul was somewhat unnerving. Still, the map was and would be very helpful, and Nayobee realized that she was clutching the acorn like a talisman. It eased her discomfort about both this situation as well as her distance from her home.

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Nayobee didn't realize that she was clutching the magical acorn tightly in her hand. It felt so good and soothing and whomever this mysterious stranger was he just made her journey incredibly easier.

Nodding at the Blood Raven she bowed as she had learned and answered in court Sperethiel, "Of course I accept this generous offer."

The young Blood Elven Warrior smiled at Lenore and almost felt like petting the magical creature but she refrained from indulging her impulses. The Blood Raven watched her for a short moment and then slowly evaporated into a reddish misty cloud leaving her all alone again. Still she never felt better since she has left Blood Wood and with renewed morale Nayobee finished her meal and made plans how to get to Kratas on the shortest possible path.

Kratas - city of Thieves and Scoundrels, at least if the stories were true her peers told her during her days in the training grounds. Blood Warder Vistroth, who has been exiled was supposed to live in that wretched city. Nayobee was both excited and intimidated by the thought finally meeting other Namegivers. Blood Wood was very much like living in Exile - a self imposed Exile but it was never her choice - the Queen decided everything. Her mission was simple - find Blood Warder Vistroth and keep an eye on him. Even if he was exiled his loyalty would always lie with the Queen and thus Blood Wood.

The night passed without any incident and with renewed strength Nayobee set out to fulfill her destiny.

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Dreams of home the only way she knew it mixed with how it was before she was born floated through Nayobee's head as she slept. It was actually the most restful sleep that she had had since leaving the Wood.

She unrolled the map scroll, thankful for the help given her, and looked at it in the light of the new day. Her location was less than a half day walk east of a small mark on the map called 'Manto'.

That could be a good place for supplies, info, or possibly even just finding a road that would make travel to Kratas easier. Nayobee still had her cover mission to think of. She had a letter from the Queen herself to give to the leader of Kratas stating that the blood elves in that city (except Nayobee of course) were outcasts from the Wood and were not representative of the Elven Court in particular or the elves or the Wood in general.

So now she had a choice: to go to town for any of a myriad of reasons, just try to hit the road outside of town, or to keep trekking overland.

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At sunrise Nayobee got up staring east to the horizon. The sun was soothing and warm and it was the first day after she had left Blood Wood that made her feel good – real good. The acorn was still held firmly in her hand and she wondered what kind of magic it harboured to have such an effect on her emotional state. Her longing for Blood Wood was still there but now it was... tolerable, just like a faint sigh but not a feeling of being heartbroken.

She took her sword and put the acorn safely in a pouch which she kept close to her body. Even through the leathery material she could feel the acorns magic and it felt good. The fire had gone out and using her sword she checked for any remaining hotspots to make sure she wouldn’t cause a major fire if she left the place. After being satisfied that everything was safe Nayobee set out to place marked ‚Manto‘ on her map with some luck she could get a nice meal and something more rewarding than water to drink.

With high spirits the young Blood Elven Warrior kept herself disguised but still visible on the side of the road, just in case a group of travellers would cross her path. Exchanging news, even if it was just gossip, would give her a feel of how the namegivers of this region would treat her kind.

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Nayobee walked down the road toward Manto, cloak wrapped completely around her body and hood pulled full over her head under the bright sun of the cloudless day. But, since having left the relative safety of the Blood Wood she had gotten used to it.

Her walk was uneventful and she met no one on the road, until just before noon when she noticed the ground starting to shake slightly. She slowed her pace and then stopped to investigate this new and unexpected phenomena further. It was then that she heard a steady BUM BUM BUM BUM coming from behind her, where she had just come from.

Nayobee turned around to see what was coming down the road, and saw... a mountain... jogging towards her. As it drew closer she was able to pick out that it appeared orange, and it looked like it was wearing simple clothing. As it kept coming she was able to pick out that it wasn't a mountain per-se, but actually an obsidiman, and one that was wearing a leather messenger's bag slung over its' shoulder.

As it drew closer to Nayobee and saw her just standing there it broke from its' jog to a quick walk, and from that to a slow walk, until he stopped about ten feet away. From this distance Nayobee could see the veins of black that meandered across its' orange skin as well as its' ruby red eyes that seemed to be glaring at her. After a short pause, the obsidiman messenger made two motions that were almost too fast to follow. The first was to put a protective hand on the messenger bag, and the second was to draw a sword that was over four feet long and point it directly at Nayobee.

The suddenness of the action caught her off guard and her hand immediately went to the hilt of her sword, but the fact that it stopped and didn't move any more kept her from drawing it... for now. In the moment of tension, Nayobee was able to get a good look at the blue, razor sharp, translucent crystal and fine craftsmanship of the sword that was pointed at her.

And then it spoke. The voice was that of the earth itself, deep, rumbling and gravelly. "Reveal yourself! Friend or foe!?"

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Nayobee’s Warriorinstincts were in full effect and her mind quickly assessed the situation. What options did she have? Strike quickly and gain the advantage – but what would she do then? Most important to her was avoiding any kind of unnecessary conflict and this Obsidiman, while intimidating by appearance, probably was just defending his delivery. His reaction was understandable, considering Nayobee‘s general appearance. She did look like someone who wanted to hide something – suspicious was written all over her.

Keeping the Messengers weapon and feet in sight Nayobee slowly lifted her hand off the hilt of her sword showing her palms to the mountainoues Obsidiman. It was a natural gesture that showed she was relenting and practically giving up but unfortunately her haste grasp for the swords hilt hat caused some thorns to poke through the leathery fabric of her gloves. Ther part the Obsidiman could see was already dampening and darking with her blood which was trickling off the thorns edges and Nayobee simply forgot about this detail since it was something she had learned to ignore over the years.

„I mean you no harm.“, she answered trying to sound calm and serene. „I am a mere traveller on the road to Manto, please forgive my attire... but...“, she straightened up to her full size and removed the cloak showing openly her face which could be considered beautiful if it wasn’t for the distracting thornes that were poking through her pale and delicate skin. She didn’t know how the Obsidiman would take this revelation but something told her he wouldn’t strike at her right away – and even if, she was prepared to fight.

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Its' voice was still deep and gravelly, but it had a tint of... compassion almost. "Ah, a protected elf. You don't see many of your kind outside your home. If you pose me no threat you may accompany me until one of us reaches our destination. But, I cannot just stand and talk, as I have a message to deliver and until I do it is my primary concern."

As it spoke, it returned its' sword to the sheath on its' back and took its' hand off of the messenger bag. It then turned and started walking down the road towards Manto. It didn't look over its' shoulder, but it had invited Nayobee to follow along.

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To say Nayobee wasn’t surprised would be an understatement. She had half expected to explain herself during an exchange of blows and strikes. Instead the Obsidiman invited her to travel with him. Nodding at the large Messenger Nayobee bowed curteously and quickly caught up with his walking pace which was faster than she expected.

„My name is Nayobee and I’m a messenger, too... more or less. Manto is just a stop on my route to Kratas.“, she paused briefly not sure what else to reveal.

She took it as a good omen and smiled genuinely. Some luck would do her good, she was sure she had more than enough demand on luck...

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The obsidiman walked a little ways, thinking before it spoke "I am a messenger, but you said you were one 'more or less'. This interests me, as I am unfamiliar with such a designation."

Nayobee looks up at the large Obsidiman and smiles shyly. "Well, I am a Warrior who delivers an important message which makes me a temporary messenger, I suppose. That's what I tried to say when I said 'more or less'.”

It kept its' eyes forward, but gave a nod. "Temporary I am familiar with, I am such myself." Again it paused. Nayobee had heard that time flowed differently (and sometimes annoyingly so) for Obsidimen. But it did speak up again. "I have heard of blood elves in Kratas." It left the sentence hanging. It could be either a complete thought if Nayobee didn't want to share anymore, or a question if she did.

"You have?" Nayobee instantly perked up. She should've maybe tried to show less curiosity but after so many days of lonesome travel she felt much closer to her goal than ever before. "Could you tell me where I can find them?"

It sighed slightly at her curiosity. "If you have a message to deliver there and have yet to hear of them, then I assume you are fresh out of your home. What I have heard isn't nice. If you believe what you hear, more than a few have been banished. They may not appreciate your showing up. Unless that is to whom you are delivering your message. In which case I suggest not going alone, unless they're expecting you. But as you know, the code of the messenger forbids me from asking from or to whom you are delivering. So you needn’t add any more. My words are simply those of advice."

"Thank you...", she realized at that moment that she didn't know the Obsidman's name. "We haven't introduced ourselves, yet. My name is Nayobee Firandiel, Warrior of Blood Wood." She hoped she wasn't crossing any rules she didn't know of since her knowledge about Obsidiman was close to nil.

"Jomano. The name of my liferock, my 'family name' as you would call it is most difficult for other NameGivers to pronounce I have found." It turned for the first time to look at Nayobee. “Firandiel, you have a spot on the court, do you not? Or, at least you did."

For a moment she slowed down, surprised by the Obsidman's knowledge about her family. "How?...", she started to ask. "I'm impressed.", she added as she caught up.

Jomano looked forward, the barest line of a smirk curling the corner of his lip. "I am a follower of the Spirit-That-Pervades-All. I have seen and done many things in my time here, including... errands for your Court."

"I was never aware of that... but my parents did hide quite some many things from me. I suppose

all with best intentions. You have been correct with your assumptions, I don't have good news for those Blood Elves in Kratas but it never occurred to me that they could be hostile...” Nayobee just realized how right this Obsidiman was. The exiled Blood Warden would surely not take her message lightly and probably protest at least... or even worse, try to kill her. She cursed herself for her short mindedness but was also glad the Obsidiman warned her.

They walked a ways in silence, Nayobee pondering the reaction of those she was going to see and Jomano thinking whatever Obsidimen think about. But he did break the silence. "If your stay in Manto isn't too short, and you would agree, I could accompany you. You intrigue me little blood elf, and the road to Manto is short." He then looked down at Nayobee to judge her reaction.

Inwardly she was glad he offered to travel with her. Having someone around who knew his way and by the way he looked was able to defend himself was a huge bonus. "I would gladly accept your offer, Jomano. How long do you stay in Manto?"

Jomano smiled, genuinely then looked back towards Manto. "Good. I know not how long it will take to deliver this message, but I suspect that it will be quick by your standards. No more than a day if history serves as an accurate guide. I hope that doesn't delay you too long, though I understand if it does."

"No, it doesn't", Nayobee answered smiling back at the gentle giant. "Not at all. One day is as good as no day. I've been travelling for almost a month now and would appreciate a day or two in Manto. That means... if I'm welcomed there." She didn't say it but it was obvious that she was indirectly asking if Jomano knew if they would welcome her or not.

"Then it is settled. There is a nice inn that is not too expensive. I think you will like the furnishings there, though you might continue to use your bedroll; as a courtesy. If you have any need of supplies, I will do my best to procure them for you while I am out. That is if you don't mind of course."

"I do not, Jomano... and I don't know how to show my gratitude for your kind offer. I am in your debt." Nayobee bowed as she had learned and looked the Obsidiman straight in the eyes. There was no doubt she meant every word she said.

"You owe me nothing little blood elf. I am simply helping a fellow deliverer." That was the end of what Jomano said, until Nayobee broke the silence.

Chat Conversation.doc

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Nayobee and Jomano entered Manto on the road that led to Yellow Spring, sometime later, having spoken nary another word. This town was a mix of human, dwarf and ork. This far from the river, the mountians and woodland there weren't many t'skrang, trolls or windlings, though there were a few. Nayobee also noticed a handful of elves wandering the sidewalks. The buildings were clad in wooden boards and had the appearance of an old frontier town. While the size of the town said that they weren't about to go hungry any time soon, the condition of the buildings said that they were close enough to the edge that aesthetics were still of secondary concern.

As they walked down the dirt street, the tall Obsidimen and the cloaked figure beside it drew the attention of everybody in the town. Everybody, ork, dwarf, human, man, woman and child slowed down and then stopped what they were doing to watch the pair as they walked. The children peeked around parents legs, while husbands stood protectively in front of wives, old men stopped rocking and started jawing amongst themselves and old ladies huddled together. But nobody made a move to welcome or ward off.

As the duo approached the town center, they could see clearly large statue of Jaspree, made out of a local grey stone. It was the traditional centaur incarnation, but this version had him reared up on his two hind legs, facing and pointing at the large, round, very well kept mayor's house and the snow-capped peaks of the Tylon mountains behind it. The closer they approached to the statue, the less notice the citizens seemed to take, and then Jomano took them past the stables and down the road that led to Kratas.

Down that road Nayobee saw everything that a traveler needs, from an herb and potion shop to a weapons and armor shop, to... the Copper Kettle, the inn that Jomano was taking them to.

Inside, the smell of bodies, traveling animals (from those said bodies) and alcohol was almost as strong as the smell of the food that was being cooked in the back. The tables were about half full with every type of adventurer that Nayobee had ever heard about in a tale sung around a campfire. There were trolls with axes as wide as Nayobee, orks with lances, elves and windlings with bows, t'skrang with swords and swagger, and dwarves with pickaxes.

Jomano ignored everybody and went up to the barkeep. "I would like a room for two for one night." The price was haggled down from 8 silver pieces to 5, and a key and some coins were exchanged.

"Our room is upstairs, third on the left," said Jomano as he handed over the key to Nayobee. "They're serving roast thundara with vegetables and have fresh dark bread. 3 silvers per plate, ale is separate and price depends on vintage. They say the local is good, but I prefer plain water myself, so I wouldn't know."


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Nayobee made sure to stay close to Jomano keeping her hood drawn deep into her face. She’d expected the people to react more hostile but it seemed that odd looking namegivers weren’t an unusual sight around these parts. Smiling at Jomano the young elven Warrior took out 3 Silver coins and gave them to her new companion. He was very kind to her so far and she felt she should pay more for the stay than him.

„I guess I’ll try the local vintage, my friend. And I’ll take the roast thundara, too.“, she placed another 4 Silver coins on the tray hoping that would cover at least one glass of wine. She had enough water the last days and a nice wine would surely warm her spirits.

Looking around she tried to find an empty table which was large enough to accomodate her new companion and slowly removed the hood as she approached the table. Making sure she wouldn’t leave any unwanted marks she put a blanket on her chair and tried to make herself comfortable by removing some of her clothing which was mostly wrapped around her body for obvious reasons. Her senses were on full alert, though. She couldn’t tell if one of the guests here would take her presence as an offense.

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As Nayobee pulled the hood back, revealing the small thorns piercing her face, the low din of the inn hushed. Every eye was on her, though nobody was actually 'looking'. As she walked to find a seat (in the center of the room), leaving Jomano near the bar, Namegivers started to talk in hushed tones as she passed. The windlings shied away, and the elves either turned up their nose or acted like they were trying to forget she was even there. Everybody else, for the most part, acted with disgusted curiosity, like they'd watch an airship crash.

Jomano handed the bar/innkeeper Nayobee's four silver coins, relayed her order, and with a nod, headed out. Nothing changed as it left, much to Nayobee's relief. The hushed whispers continued for a while, but the general din slowly came back. By the time that the human waitress brought out her food, and reminded her to clean up any mess that she made and that they would charge her for any damages that she caused, Nayobee was, more or less, just another guest.

The food that was brought smelled wonderful. Expertly seasoned, cooked to perfection, the slab of thundara took up most of the plate. It was covered in a nice brown sauce, and there were various roots and green vegetables around it for a side. On a separate plate there was a large slice of still steaming dark bread that had a slightly hoppy aroma to it. The tankard that was put in front of her had a nice head on it and looked and smelled like a good brew. All-in-all it made her miss the food from back home.

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All her worries were cast aside when she smelled the food. She was used to live from what nature had to offer and what she was able to hunt and pick but a nice warm meal was a very welcomed change.

It reminded her of home where only a few weeks ago everything was very different and far less complicated than now. Nayobee didn’t complain, though. She preferred her new life over her old and working for the Queen was a huge honour. She hoped she could fulfill her mission without much trouble although from Jomano’s words, whom she trusted, that was not to be expected.

Eating quietly and enjoying her meal to full extend Nayobee tried to devise a plan how to deliver her message without getting anyone killed, especially herself. She would have to find out more about Kratas and it’s administration. Maybe if she could contact the Mayor of the town by a semi official way...

That’s it! I employ Jomano as messenger!, a broad smile brightened her face. She would have to ask him on the next occassion and hope his price wasn’t too high for her to afford. With renewed vigor she finished her meal and ordered another tankard of the homebrew while she waited for Jomano’s return.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After Nayobee finished her meal, the waitress came back, and didn't even ask if the bloody elf wanted any seconds. Service was likewise lousy as she finished off her tankard and waited a while for refills (though the mugs of others never seemed to get below half before being topped off).

The people around her talked, and some got up and left. New people came, stared at her, then moved to replace others that had left. The angle of the light on the floor wandered along its' course, oblivious to the going-ons around it.

Still Jomano was nowhere to be seen.

By the time that Nayobee realized just how long it had been, several hours had passed and dusk was quickly approaching.

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She did notice how the other guests treated and watched her and while she tried to keep a low profile it seemed impossible to be casual about it. Nayobee finished her beverage and decided she should wait in her room for Jomano’s return, downstairs could get ugly if the evening approached the later hours. Alcohol and prejudice had the habit of enhancing each other and Nayobee had no inclination of ruining her day with a tavern brawl.

Making sure she didn’t leave any marks or patches of blood on the table or chair the young elven Warrior nodded at the waitress giving her a shy smile and went to inspect her room. It was a small and practical accommodation and the prospect of spending a night in a bed after weeks of wildlife camping was very appealing. Nayobee carefully removed her clothes, draping them carefully over a chair. She took a small towel and started to wash her face and arms. The small bowel quickly turned a crimson red as water mixed with her blood, something Nayobee didn’t notice anymore.

Once she had carefully cleaned herself she took stock of her inventory, making sure nothing of her equipment was missing or in bad shape. Now was a good opportunity to replace lost items or repair those that needed attention. Fortunately all her equipment was of the finest blood elven craftsmanship and they still looked as good as new.

I hope Jomano returns soon, I really need to know if he can help me out, with that thought she pulled the blanket over and left a small lantern burning, just in case. Soon she was drifting off to slumber.

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Nayobee slept well that night. In her dreams she was standing in the center of a large dome of light surrounded by raging storms. But inside that protective dome of light she slept soundly, never hearing the sounds of movement around her bed.

In the morning she woke with red feathers plastered to her face and completely tangled in the sheets. It took a few painful minutes for her to extract her arms from where the thorns had pierced both blanket and sheet and wrapped them around herself. Finally able to get the feathers off of her face, she realized that the thorns that sprouted from her head and face had dug into and torn open the nice, soft feather pillow that she had been sleeping on, and then the feathers had greedily soaked up the blood that she shed in her sleep. As she moved on the mattress, she could hear and feel the squish of it. Apparently it had been 'thirsty' as well.

As she looked around the room, she noticed that the lamp had burned out, which was ok because the morning light was now streaming through the cracks in the curtains and giving the room plenty of light. Then, over in the corner, beside the door she noticed a large, orange and black veined, clothed boulder that hadn't been there when she went to bed.

The rock didn't stir as she woke up, but at her first sound it creaked, groaned, shifted and slowly stood up. "The day is good Nayobee. I hope your night was as well."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nayobee looked down at the shredded mattress and pillow and slowly remembered she was supposed to sleep on her bedroll. This would surely entail some explaining and compensation on her side, probably by paying extra for a new mattress and pilow. Not being ashamed of her nakedness Nayobee stood up and went to the bowl pouring herself some fresh water to clean her body of the dried and clotted blood on her skin.

„I was supposed to sleep on my bedroll, must’ve slipped my mind...“, she half said to herself but actually it was a lie. She wanted to enjoy the soft bed but unfortunately there wasn’t much to enjoy for her. She tried to imagine how it must’ve been like for other namegivers – to enjoy a soft and gentle touch but she found herself unable to relate to this sensation. All she knew was the bitter sweet pain the thorns on her body caused, no matter what she did.

She took the ends of the blanket and stuffed the remains of the pillow and mattress in it tying it with a knot at the top. It would be easier to dispose of this for the keeper. Once she was done with that she put on her clothes and armor all the time remaining in plain sight for the Obsidiman.

„I was wondering, Jomano if I could hire you for an errand? After what you told me about Kratas and the person I’m trying to find I believe it’d be safer to hire someone who knows his way around the city and provide me with a chance to actually deliver the message I have from Queen Alachia’s Court. I hope your price is not too high, though. Do you think we can agree on an arrangement?“, she hoped his response would be positive, it was the only idea she had...

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As she spoke, Jomano rose slowly to the sound of rock scraping against rock. It started facing her, but upon noticing her lack of clothing turned around. It had learned much through its' travels, and the lessons of etiquette around the 'opposite' sex, like for all obsidimen, had been particularly difficult. So, if Jomano noticed her lack of modesty, it didn't change its' actions.

"I thought of waking and reminding you, but by the time I came back much damage had already been done. So I let you sleep." His voice sounded just as it had yesterday when they first met, if a little softer. It held no trace of sleep or weariness, begging the question of if Jomano had actually been asleep.

"As for my services, I cannot deliver a message that already has a courier, provided that the courier can deliver it themselves. However, as I have no further obligations on my time, I would welcome the chance to accompany you. You still intrigue me, young elf, and I still believe that there is much that the Spirit-That-Pervades-All can teach me through you.

I was able to buy the supplies that we agreed upon last day, so once you finish preparations here, we should be ready to leave. That is if you so desire."

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Nayobee was obviously surprised by Jomano’s offer to help her without payment. It was something she didn’t expect from a namegiver who lived outside the security of a Kaer. From the stories she had heard in Blood Wood there was no bargain done in Barsaive without some kind of payment – but maybe she was too narrowminded.

If Jomano was satisfied with `learning´as her ´payment´for this agreement she would gladly share her knowledge with him, although she doubted she knew anything that he wasn’t already aware of. He could see how she finished getting dressed ignoring how the thorns on her body obviously poked through the material and bloodfern she wore for armor. The pain she felt was tolerable and to some degree it even stimulated her. She felt confident in his presence to go unmasked and didn’t pull the hood over her face as they left the room.

She handed the Innkeeper 2 Silvercoins and apologized for the mess she made in her room then she looked up to Jomano and smiled at him – she had really a remarkebly beautiful face if it wasn’t for the distracting thorns and the blood...

"Ready when you are, Jomano!"

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Nayobee could feel the tension in the room rise as she walked down the steps from the rooms to the dining/entry area. The waitress gave her a dirty look that turned to an outright scowl as she apologized for the mess. The person who took her money started to say something but his eyes moved up Jomano's body to its' face and he stopped whatever he was going to say before a syllable had left his mouth.

They left town without further incident, and with Jomano being stoic as usual. The walk was pretty and they made good time. The trees that had been a fairly constant companion thinned as they approached the Tylon mountians, and then they came to a fork in the road. One went almost due south, straight towards the rugged peaks of the Tylons, while the other one went just south of due east, sticking to the rolling hills of the tree dotted plain.

Jomano spoke. "Here we must choose. Do you want to go the direct route, seven days across the Camfoor pass to the Tylon river where we can catch a ferry to the ruins of the Shattered Towers and then Diache from where we can then pick up the 2 day road to Kratas. Or we could go around the Tylons, add about a week and skirt the edge of the Servos Jungle before we take the Diache ferry across the Tylon river and onto the road to Kratas." It gave a slow and deliberate shrug after he had explained the choices and turned to look at Nayobee.

"Which way would you prefer?"

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The young elven Warrior looked up to Jomano and sighed briefly. Her companion seemed to not care which way she’d choose or maybe it was some kind of test? Her eyes jumped between the two roads unable to find a solution that really appealed to her.

„I heard the Servos Jungle was a dangerous place, even the outskirts of it so I suppose we shoul take the pass, we would also save some time. On the other hand it is more likely that we get ambushed by rogues if we take the faster road.“

Thinking about it for longer she started to prefer the pass, even if they got ambushed she felt confident enough to fend off any attackers, especially with her capable companion. If he had any objections or concerns he would surely speak his mind, at least that’s what she expected.

„So the Camfoor pass it shall be.“, she proclaimed taking a step towards the road.

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"The Camfoor pass it is then," Jomano rumbled as they set off. Their journey was fairly uneventful as they walked, the trees were further and further between and the ground became rockier and rocker.

Jomano told Nayobee about some of the possible dangers of their route (and just about any mountain pass). The threats ranged from bandits to both mundane and magical animals, to horrors and horror constructs that still roamed the land. Most mundane animals wouldn't be a threat if treated with the proper respect, and the same went for the majority of the magical animals as well. The bandits, on the other hand, might leave them alone because they looked capable or not well to do, or they could attack because there were only two of them or because they were desperate.

But, in the grand scheme of their trek, Jomano actually spoke very little. It left the majority of the time for either silence or for Nayobee to strike up some form of conversation.

As the rocky walls of the path started to climb higher and higher, Nayobee occasionally felt as though she were being watched, a feeling she was very familiar with from the Blood Wood. However, Jomano didn't share the feelings and missed it, all three times, when she thought that she caught movement out of the corner of her eye.

Then it was time to make camp for the night. There were still enough shrubbery and such to make a fire, and they didn't have to search too long for a patch of dirt for Nayobee to sleep on. So, before long, Jomano had a nice fire going and the camp was easily made.

Click to reveal..
There is still enough light for an elf to go scouting about. It's a mostly rocky region, with low foliage and sparse trees. If you want, feel free to roll or just describe her traipsing through the underbrush. Or you could have a conversation with Jomano, or recap what you conversed about throughout the day.

I figured I would give you the chance, each night (or when something happened) to react. If you would prefer I just completely gloss over the travel and only stop for events, then just let me know.

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Nayobee’s first attempts of starting a conversation quickly ended as she made the mistake to ask questions that were easily answered with a simply „yes“ or „no“. While Jomano had been nothing but friendly and polite his stoic personality was difficult to deal with. Yet she liked him and maybe his stoic attitued was the reason why. Blood Wood was so different and there was no conversation which didn’t have some kind of political value. Every word was measured carefully and put in perspective to ones heritage and position, living so close to the court like she and her parents did was mentally exhausting at times and she was still too young to dedicate her live to politics.

She couldn’t imagine how bad she would feel now if she didn’t have the magical acorn with her and she found herself regularly reaching for it, just to make sure it was still safe and in her possession. The odd couple hadn’t met any Namegivers for some time now and Nayobee felt confident enough to remove her hood and some of the wrap-around cloth she had used to hide most of her thorns. The linen cloth was soaked with her own blood but she had a special bag for it. Jomano didn’t seem to be bothered by this and kept his steady pace.

As the day advanced the feeling of being watched had turned into certainty but Jomano didn’t seem care or was entirely oblivious. His experience was surely a factor she couldn’t ignore but maybe he was testing her? Nayobee’s entire live has been a constant struggle and competition and she long knew that every odd seeming situation was some kind of test.

Ever alert the young Blood Elf kept her eyes on the premises but didn’t find any further proof of her ´itch´until the early evening hours. As Jomano prepared their camp and ignited a cozy fire she excused herself feeling the urge to make sure their immediate surrounding was safe. Test or no test, survival demanded to be vigilant. Nayobee didn’t stray too far from the camp though and if their would be pursuers were clever they stayed at safe distance and watched them waiting for an opportune moment to strike.

Returning to their camp Nayobee smiled at Jomano and sat down warming her tired joints at the fire. „I’ve haven’t heard too many stories about the enigmatic obsidimen, Jomano – if this question isn’t too personal, may I inquire how old you are?“

Nayobee knew that Elves were gifted with long lives, but Obsidimen seemed to overshadow even their long lifespans. Maybe Jomano was old enough to know of Barsaive before the plague. His knowledge and wisdom must’ve been endless compared to her short life.

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  • 1 month later...

Nayobee found nothing out of the ordinary as she looked around, just a beautiful clear evening in the woods below lit by a half waxing moon from above. As she entered the campsite clearing she saw Jomano staring up at the sky through the break in the trees, absently poking the fire. As she approached, there was a slight twitch in its face as it glanced at her and then went back to looking at the sky.

After she had asked her question, the silence hung in the air for a long time. Jomano was so quiet and still that Naoybee was afraid that she actually had offended her friend. But then, just as she was about to start her long string of apologies, she heard the grinding as the corner of Jomano's mouth quirked up to a very slight smirk. His words came slow, but there was a pleasant cadence to them.

"Time works differently for my kind than it does for the rest of namegivers. Save dragons, perchance, but I think that even their long view and century long schemes are different from our view." Jomano's head lowered, and the firelight glinted off the ruby eyes as they looked at and then through her. "See, the emergence of a brother takes much more time than it does for other namegivers, between a month to a century and a score, depending on how you measure it. Plus, during our lives we can meld again with our brothers, so that makes giving an age to those who aren't brothers difficult.

Suffice it to say that I saw your court in its' glory, and I am one of the few left that feel the great sadness of actually having seen and personally known the great destruction that the dark times have wrought." It was the most that Jomano had spoken the entire time that the two had known each other, and once finished, the ruby eyes turned back to the sky and effectively ended the conversation. Any questions that his response had raised would have to wait, or risk ruining the openness that it had just shared with her.


The next day was uneventful except for two instances. The first was when the pair heard a brief commotion up in the rocks to either side of the pass. Nayobee wanted to go and investigate, because she heard what she thought sounded like muffled or garbled screams, but Jomano advised her against it. He sited the prevalence of both bandits and dangerous wildlife, as well as the apparent lack of a means to reach where the noises were coming from.

Further down the trail, about half way between noon and nightfall, they heard the sound of horses coming from behind. When they looked, the large dust cloud marked them clearly, and as they approached, the first rider didn't seem to notice the small mountain and the person standing next to it in the road and rode dangerously close at a fast trot, sparing nary a glance. While the first had been dressed in finely decorated and flowing clothing, the second was dressed much more plainly. He rode behind the first, further away, and actually slowed down and offered apologies as he passed, but then had to gallop to catch up with the first rider.

Once the choking dust cloud settled, all was quiet until again they camped. This time there were a smattering of clouds that obscured portions of the sky, but Jomano stared up at it regardless. For a moment it seemed as though it shared a portion of her longing for home, but the moment passed without comment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nayobee sighed as she looked up too the sky – the moment had been to short and while she felt a strong desire to ask Jomano more about his kind and especially the past he had witnessed but she didn’t say a word.

Her disguise seemed to work since the horsemen didn’t decide to stop and investigate – that was a good sign in her eyes, yet she asked herself if she could endure playing this charade forever. Even with the magical Acorn, which greatly reduced her longing to go back to Bloodwood, many things were alien and new to the young elven Warrior. Jomano was a great companion but he didn’t talk much and she felt she had to wait for him to speak up and ask her something about herself or her people... although he probably knew better about her kind than him.

The obsidemen wouldn’t inquire about her mission either which gave her little hope that there would be more conversation over the next days. It wasn’t the silence that bothered her, but if she was in company then she expected at least to engage in some kind of conversation. Her new friend was not the type for idle banter...

As night approached the two travellers made their camp, having worked up something like a routine. She would scout the immediate area to make sure their choice of camp was safe while he watched over the fire and protected their belongings.

Nayobee rejoined Jomano and sat next to him watching the fire dance. Pictures of Bloodwood appeared in her minds eye and she allowed herself to dream a little. Her mind needed some kind of stimulation and it helped her deal with the sadness inside her.

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Though his gaze remained on the sky, Jomano spoke, the suddenness of it almost jarring in the otherwise quiet of the night. "Little Blood Elf, you said before that you were a warrior who was given a message to deliver. You also said that you knew nothing about your family's seat in the court. If you don't mind my asking, could you tell me, how is the court now. I know more of it from before the darkness, though I have seen it since. As one of the protected surely you know more about it than I."

Jomano's ruby eyes looked up, but not at the sky. They looked through both time and space, to memories long since lived, to times when the current troubles were but a nightmare.

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Nayobee stared at the Obsidiman for a moment unable to find words to answer his question. After a moment of silence which normally would’ve been considered awkward she finally said just one word, „Sadness...“

She could tell that he understood her pain and then she finally found a way to express herself, „All I can tell that there is this sadness that simply won’t go away. We suffer everyday for the price we payed to be protected as you say.“, she took another pause before she finished sharing her thoughts with him.

„I must apologize, I’m not really well educated in things concerning the Court – I’m merely a Warrior and my Queens loyal servant.“, Nayobee knew she was lying and she felt bad about it...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jomano gave a simple nod at Nayobee's answer. If it was aware of the deceit in the answer, Jomano gave no indication of it. They chatted on into the night, Jomano's answers tended to be short but insightful, and while the conversation never got deeper than the trials of a traveler, it was nice nevertheless.

In the morning they headed out again, and it wasn't but mid morning when they saw something in the distance. A flying creature seemed to be swooping and diving at something in the road. From the distance that they were at, it was difficult to make out what was happening, but the screams that echoed down the path left little doubt that something was having a very bad day.

Jomano looked at Naoybee with a slight smirk and slowly drew the enormous sword from his back. "Looks like now is the time to show your skills as a warrior little blood elf." And with that he started jogging towards the action.

As they approached, they could see the two riders that had passed them by the previous day. One of the horses had fallen over and pinned the more regally dressed of the two, and looked as though it had been partially eaten. The other horse was in a broken heap on the rocky crags, just off to the left of the pass. The plainer dressed of the two riders was standing just outside of the pool of blood of the first horse, holding a sword up in the air with all the grace and finesse of one who had only ever seen pictures of such a weapon. Circling in the sky they could make out the forms of not one but two griffons.

Click to reveal..
Please roll for init in the combat thread. Let's see how this goes.
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Nayobee looked up and fell her heart drop for a moment – two Griffons... those were truly dangerous beasts. She drew her Broadsword and readied her shield expecting this to get nasty pretty fast. When she saw the noble man fumbling around with his sword she yelled at him, “Find some cover! Get out of the open road!”

Then she looked up again and ran into the open making herself a visible target hoping the nobleman would take the clue and dive into safety as fast as he could. Bad idea, bad idea, bad idea...

Bracing herself for the worst she hardened her skin with mystical power and waited for an opportune moment to strike, every muscle tensed and ready for battle.

Click to reveal.. (Initiative!)
Click to reveal.. (My action – use Woodskin enhanced with Karma)

Woodskin Check enhanced with Karma (1d8.open(8)+1d6.open(6)+1d6.open(6)=13) – this adds 13 to my Death and Unconscious rating. New stats are 78/63 accordingly

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Jomano waited alongside Nayobee for the opportunity to act. It presented itself as one of the Griffons gave a cry and dove for the poor sap trying to protect the obviously more influential one trapped under the horse. Jomano, however, was quicker than Nayobee, magic fueling its every move. With tiger like quickness, and feet that never truly touched the ground, Jomano put its body and blade between the griffon and the servant. Blood dropped down to the ground from both combatants as sword and talons both bit into flesh.

Nayobee wasn't far behind though. She saw the Griffon striking down on Jomano and for split second she flinched. She had never been this close to one of these beasts and they looked even more impressive from up close. Her Warrior instincts took over fast enough and she launched herself upwards gaining a brief advantage over the Griffon timing her strike with a spectacular summersault as she sent her blade down across its neck. While the blade found purchase, either for fear of hurting Jomano or lack of good placement, Nayobee could tell that it hadn't caused as much injury as she would've hoped.

It was then, after they had already committed themselves to their course of action that they realized that the second griffon was already on its way down. It had aimed for where Nayobee had started, but with her graceful movements, that wasn't where she was anymore. It had only moments to slow its dive before it smacked beak first into the stone, kicking up rocks and stunning it severely.

The servant, wide eyed that strangers had come to actually help and not try to kill him nevertheless saw the opportunity that the second griffon presented and hurried over to it. He didn't so much strike with his sword as he did guide its' fall, but either way it bit deep, opening a gash all the way down to the bone on its' front leg.

In the mere seconds that it took for all this to occur, the nobleman, for all his stature, wriggled helplessly and in pain to try and free himself from the mountain of horse flesh that had started all this trouble in the first place.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jomano's feet touched ground again, but magic still coursed through its' body, lending speed and strength to the blow that it swung. Jomano's sword bit into the torso of the griffon, knocking it down and making it see stars. Jomano's voice was easily heard by Nayobee as the griffon was still registering that it was no longer standing on its' own four feet. "Help him, I've got this one"

The first griffon was staggering up to its' feet as Nayobee heeded Jomano's directing. She nodded at Jomano and quickly closed the gap to the still prone Griffon taking advantage of the situation. Her strike was graceful and supernaturally agile as she brought down her blade on its large body while offering as little as possible to be attacked in return.

The second griffon followed suit of the first one and stood on its three undamaged legs. The servant, not frightened off by the chance of renewed attack guided the fall of his sword again into the torso of the beast. It didn't cut as deeply, but it still got purchase.

Apart from the blood, groans, grunts and screams of the battle happening not but a few yards from him, the nobleman was starting to realize the full extent of his predicament.

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  • 2 months later...

Nayobee focused on covering the less experienced and probably less capable human as she positioned herself between the Griffon and him. The creature was seriously injured but not less dangerous – maybe even more dangerous than before, now that it knew this was a question of life and death. Her eyes met the Griffons angry glare and she prepared herself for the final strike, the one decisive blow to finish fight between them.

Sensing that this was her chance the young Blood Elven Warrior leashed forward using her shield to cover her advance and then making an impossible seeming somersault using the momentum she gathered to strike down with her blade.

,,Acrobatic Strike vs. the seriously injured Griffon. Since it is knocked down it should give me a +3 Step bonus for the attack (tell me if I'm wrong, then I have to make a new roll) Strain 1 (1d12.open(12)+1d10.open(10)=5) Attack = 5 (sh...) I assume that’s a miss
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  • 4 weeks later...

With a mighty blow (for one so unskilled with the sword), the servant finished off the last griffon. After seeing it stop moving, he poked it with the tip of his sword several times, just to make sure, before he ran over to the royal to help free him from his horse. "Thank you, thank you kind namegivers! We surely would've been no more than an appetizer for those monsters if you hadn't arrived."

Jomano busied itself cleaning its' bloodied sword, leaving Nayobee, to whom the comments were primarily directed, to respond.

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