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Quest ᴡᴀʀʜᴇᴡɴ


Chicken Broth Paragon


Water clashed against water, rumbling as it spanned the height of the cavern, rushing into the glassy surfaces. The chatter of the water weaved in with that of the local flora and fauna. The rustle of leaves, and the afternoon piping of avians, with the hoarse calls of distant animals. The noon zephyr drifted in and out, emitting a dry noise as it howled through the cave's mouth; a crescendo one time, a diminuendo the other. It influenced, alongside the queer quiet of the hollow precipice, the trees that came close. By all means, it was a sanctuary, this cave, tranquil and the least touched by mankind. Yet, in this place which demanded more rest than attention, a sound belted out within the distance. It had stricken from the background, perhaps somewhere both far and near. Though the waterfall outweighed it greatly, it had yet to cease. As time passed, strangely by the twos and paces, the noise increased. It flit in and out of life, but it was continuous. Determinate. And soon, it surpassed the waterfall, becoming nigh jarring with its adamancy. The paces clung to the air with surety.

The man, who had up till now rested, shuffled awake, bones aching from his prolonged case of sitting. He looked around, his eyes adjusting. Darkness. Light came, though late, but it came. He set out his ears to hear better. Hasty footfall, he could recognize. He edged forward, numb knees throbbing. He paid little heed to the pain. Curiosity became more a priority than the care of his body, or his mind.

“Brother Frane, Frane!” the voice — it was a voice indeed, yet the man appeared unfazed by it — became thicker as the source of his disturbance approached. It was a thin voice, yet to be leavened by the effects of age, and still spry with youth. Frane, half-lidded, tensed up. The person, now at the foot of the cave's entrance, stopped in his tracks. The clatter of sandals against the rock floor ceased. The person was likely a monk, for their silhouette implied that they wore a baggy robe. Monks were nigh unfashionable these days, except for the higher clerics and priests, and had little to do except be wary and pious all the time — of course, you don't need much clothing to do just that.

Though many still wore baggy robes, there wasn't any logic in traversing a rough terrain with one — with the sole exception being said monks. Besides, the place closest to the Zowm forests, whose heart bore this cave, was Hardwym's monastery. It was normal for a monk to venture into the forests seeking for herbs.

Frane lifted his head, prying open his heavy eyes, and squinted at the figure. It was a monk all right: Rotund, with a salmon-pink face and nondescript features, topped off with the ridiculous haircut most monks wore — by fortune, Frane was wholly bald. The front of the monk's neck, melding with the chin, was covered with two folds of fat. The eyes were grey, and the lips tight.

“Frane, Frane,” The figure's voice lessened. The man was obviously tired, supporting his body with a hand on the wall, covered by the sleeves of his robe. There was only one man in the monastery who had sleeves longer than normal.

“Ven? Is it you, brother Ven?” Frane said. He looked like Ven, for sure. Ven was a monk fresh out of university and assigned to this monastery just recently. Frane grimaced at his mistake. How had he not recognized the voice, the distinct Meorosian accent, earlier? The half-sleep he had been in, from which he was broken out off, must have dulled his senses, he supposed.

“Frane,” Ven sputtered out, between his ceaseless panting. Hardly wasting a single moment, the boy hunched, hands flying from the wall and onto his knees. The boy's breathing came hoarse, and by the wan light that filtered through the mouth of the cave and the cavity above that let in the water, Frane could see the sweat that riddled the neophyte's forehead. He was truly tired. “Raiders. They attack us. We must flee.”

Frane sat still. His heart skipped a bit. How? Why? Of all places, why a monastery? Barely, had alms ever covered their needs, and riches were beyond their imagination — the only thing of any value being a few relics of the olden days, otherwise useless, and an entire library of books. Frane shook his head. He himself had worked on a lot of books, copying and penning, over the decade he had stayed in this quaint monastery. Frane accustomed to death, true, but he couldn't help but feel a pang of sorrow at the loss of his work. The raiders were likely going to burn the place down. He paled at the thought of that, though regained his composition with haste.

“Where are the others?” Frane said as he stood up. Ven straightened up, shoulders sagging and eyes drooping with despondency.

“I know scarce, brother, but they were last in the outskirts of the Zowm, where I had left them in search of you,” Ven paused, breathing deeply. His expression was hollow, more doubtful than optimistic. “I assume they won't stay long, for I fear the raiders have scattered them.”

“Perhaps,” Frane mumbled, frowning thoughtfully, before composing his back, and the joints of his creaking limbs. He widened his eyes for a moment, adjusting them to the dull light. How long had he been sitting, brooding in this darkness? For a moment far too long, and for my own good, it seems.

Ven continued. “They were a fearsome lot, brother. Eager for blood-”

Frane winced. “A bit too eager, I suppose?”

Ven nodded grimly, the contours of his lips set even tightly, distorting to a thin line. “What are we to do now, brother Frane?”

1. “The tide moves, brother. Let us vacate.”

2. “As God wills it, we shalt do what's right. We must search for the rest of our brothers.”

3. “God rewards bravery, and condemns cowardice. We must set forth and confront those savages.”​
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The One who Knocks
1. Hella damn, get your asses outta there, boys. What do you expect two bald monks to do when they're confronted by desperate armed men with nothing to lose? I bet my balls that those churchgoers aren't up to the task of divine asskicking.


Chicken Broth Paragon


The water rushed as it did always, its fall evergreen. Water danced upon the short cliff that edged behind Frane, lapping to and fro against it. Drops of sweat trickled down his back. He still had much difficulty in perceiving the situation. Frane sighed. “Wheels turn, tides move; it is as the God wills, and we must go where the wind carries us, brother Ven.”

Ven appeared bewildered. His eyes, though naturally mellowed, betrayed the brash energy that all youth bore. “But, brother Frane, won't ill happen to the fruits of our-” Ven began to speak, though started back as Frane interjected.

“Our scriptures, Ven!” Frane snapped, brows furrowing. He stepped forward and lifted a finger towards the boy. “You think I haven't thought about that?”

Ven attempted to mumble an apology. “I-”

“Do you think me a coward? A despondent? What are we, an old man and a youth, going to do against men in their prime, with steel on their hands and desperation within their hearts?” Frane's hovering finger curled back into a fist, drooping to his sides. He let out a sigh.

Ven looked down, the peak of his chin leaning down on his chest. His stance dripped with shame. Frane shook his head. “If anything, we're going to die.”

“I see.” Ven said, though his tone said nothing of acceptance. His eyes despairing, and his arms slack beside him, the youth looked devastated. Frane cursed at himself. He was a monk. What was he doing?

“Look, boy, it's necessary,” Frane spoke as he walked forward. “You've got a life ahead of you, and I've got far too many things in my head to waste away. Death's a fool's choice now.”
Frane came near the boy, putting a hand upon the youth's callous shoulder. He intended to do it in a gentle manner.

“Raiders come rare, Ven.” Frane said. He licked his chapped lips. His mouth felt like sandpaper. Even mere talking was a struggle — of all places, why this? Why him?

Frane dismissed those thoughts. “We have to report it to the city official.”

“Gryewood?” Ven asked. Frane stood quiet, observing the boy with a half-lidded gaze. It would do good, he supposed, a bit of purpose. Young men and their nigh infantile habits. Frane shrugged.

“Brother Frane?”

“Yes, yes,” Frane replied, in an oddly uncouth manner, before beckoning him to move. A shove on the shoulder, pushing Ven to the forest mire till he gained control of his senses. Time was bare on their side, but if they hurried, they could spark the militia to mobilize. If they believed Frane with conviction, that is. What was he thinking? Vengeance was a sparse option. Then again, the raiders could be raging on other towns by now.

1. Militia

2. Master of religion

3. “Brother Ven, I think you're onto something here. We could pursue the rest of our brothers...”


“Nothin' good 'appens 'round 'ere,” Shallad grumbled. He picked at his fingernails with the tip of his belt knife, cursing each time he pricked flesh. The man was three kinds of ugly, mixing badly with the towns because of his Hotd origins — stark yellow skin, four scars disfiguring his face, and the lack of an ear. It didn't make him despised. Rather, it just made him altogether more unique.

Barso examined the dull lands that lay before the watchpost. The trees were dead, normal for this wintry season, and only ashen critmars strode the lands. Large ugly creatures with ten limbs, all flitting on the ground, and a thick ashen carapace. Wasn't any different from Shallad. “Here,” Barso said. “I expected them Enadsmen to strike at winter. Now.”

Shallad stirred straight. “But they do tha' on summer,” he swept back into his slouch again. “Weird men.”

“It has something to do with fishes, I think,” Barso said.

Shallad cursed again, more a yelp, wrenching away his knife. Barso supposed he had stabbed himself again. That man had no experience when it came to knives, yet still went on and tried to make a show of it. More and more of a crit, these days.

Shallad turned towards Barso, yellowed teeth bared. “I'll tell ya' this, they don't know no shit abou' fishing. All 'em lunkheads got their seasons wrong.”

Barso glanced at Shallad. His long duster, oiled well and blackened, swayed with the wind. “You're likely right, Shallad.”

Barso sighed, before turning back towards the horizon. Moody as always, nothing new — but, apart from that, something ominous clung to the air. Barso couldn't help but feel unsettled at the thought of that. He shrugged, before slacking back against his chair. He reflected on his life. Right about now, he was probably in his...

1. 40-45s

2. 30-35s

3. 20-25s

Barso sighed again. Years wasted. He always wanted to be a surgeon, but as fate wanted it, he got to be a watchman. He hated those helmets.

“Ya' think our shift's done now?”

“Look,” Barso muttered, pointing towards the setting sun. “Our shift's done all right. Damn it if I'm going to let that shitheel Orin have a moment of rest, at our expense.”

“Right ye' are, Barso, Orin's a fuckin' shitheel. I'd love ta' smack 'im awake. What're we goin' ta' do now?”

“Besides smacking Orin awake?”

1. Slack around.

2. Drink about.

3. Get equipment fixed.

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The One who Knocks
Choice A: Frane

1. I'd say the best option in your hands right now is to let the authorities handle this while you sit this one out. There is nothing to gain by acting out on your own, let your powerful friends decide what to do on dangerous situations like these. Remember, you have access to the military power of an entire city in your hands, don't ruin the opportunity. Run as fast as you can to the city and mobilize the militia, they'll most likely send a small unit of cavalrymen to pursue the bandits. Hopefully, they'll move swiftly enough to catch the raiders in the act and save what's left of the monastery.

Choice B: Barso

3. 20-25s, Barso isn't that old! It would be a shame if he spent all the years of his youth guarding some godforsaken gate for extra pennies. I'd like to see him move up in the world with years to spare.

Choice C: Barso

1. Slack around and party like there's no tomorrow! Hell, I'd even suggest that you'd go straight to Orin's house and smack him awake for shits and giggles. And if that doesn't work, lift him up and toss him high into the air and then catch him just before he hits the ground. Repeat the process until he's 100% awake and begging for you to stop. Crap like this isn't so bad since it helps keep your morale high without getting shit drunk. Besides, beer costs money while you can make jokes and act like children free of charge.


The One who Knocks
@Elephantom Any chance this will be revived?
You know, I'm a friend of his, I'll ask him more directly. He has some things keeping him busy since he already writes and he reads a lot of books but. . . damn it the story he writes here is pretty good! I'm not letting this story pass up without consulting him first.

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