The War Within the Castle - Play

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The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:03 pm

Once upon a time, there was a great war within the castle walls.  A war that went completely without the notice of the humans who dwelt within the castle.  This war, though small in scale, was vicious and tore apart the races of the little folk, each race intent on overthrowing the others.  That war has ended, but the scars of it still remain with the descendants and the few who witnessed it first hand.  
In our present day, it is more of a cold war, with the occasional turf dispute and a lot of silent hatred.  Individuals might slip off to fulfill their own agendas, but the races as a whole are trapped within their icy, festering feuding, not active waring.  Occasionally, one race might make intentions of encroaching on another's territory, but it is rarely more than a token of aggression that is quickly quailed.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:25 pm

Chazwick Chubblebuz hummed softly in happy harmony with the honeybees as they flew over his head.  "Good little buzzy bees, pollinate the crops," he mumbled contentedly.  It was difficult for Chazwick to do anything except mumble thanks to his thick beard and mustache.  Everything came out rather muffled.  He used his cane to steady himself as he stepped down into a huge rut and crossed over the path the humans used to push their big ol' carts down the center of the herb garden.  Silly beings.  Such huge carts took up so much space!  And made such wide paths.  He was out of breath by the time he made it from the cilantro to the lavender.
"Chazwick!  CHAZWICK!!"  
"Eh?"  Chazwick turned around slowly, bewildered.  "Who's callin' my name?  Is that you, flowers?"
Martin huffed in annoyance as he caught up to the older gnome, climbing up out of the rut with ease.  "No, Chazwick, it's me.  Martin.  I've been calling your name for ages!"
"Oh, I did not hear you," Chazwick said with an absent smile.  "How may I help you?"
"Are the squash going to be ready to harvest soon?" Martin asked loudly.
"Eh?  squash?  Aye, I'd say they are about ready.  Mayhap a day or two," Chazwick nodded.
"Good," Martin sighed.  "We need to get one of them before they are taken and used.  Keep that in mind."
"Yes, sir!  I'll do that!"
Martin shook his head as he turned and headed back inside.  He was not confident Chazwick would remember what he was supposed to do five minutes from now, but the old gnome was still a dependable gardener.  Most of the time, the gnomes were content to let the humans do all the work of harvesting, but it was hard to beat the goodness of a sun-warmed squash, so sometimes the gnomes helped themselves early.  It wasn't like the huge beings would miss it.  When the crops were bountiful, it seemed enough food rotted to feed the entire Gnomedom because the humans couldn't keep up!  Lazy, slow things, but good for a lot.

~~~~

Urskek gripped her blanket tighter as she scurried through the space between the walls.  Her heart pounded in her chest.  So close!  She had gotten so close!  She hurried a little faster as she tried to find her way back to the others and find someone to tell what she had seen.  It was amazing!

~~~~

Acheflow floated along the rafter, her grey dress hiding the gliding movements of her feet as she moved along gracefully.  She paused above two other Banshee and smiled smugly.  Ah, there they were, far below her.  They would never notice who was up here.  A perfect scheme!
The last few days had been dull and quiet.  Up here in the attic in the heat of summer, everyone was too hot to have any energy to do much of anything at all.  Today was a much more reasonable temperature, and Acheflow intended to take advantage of it and liven things up a little.  Not even the Elves in the levels below them had been doing much of interest, so she was forced to target her fellow Banshee sisters.
Carefully, Acheflow situated a basket of soot on the edge of the beam and knelt beside it.  A childish trick, to be sure, but it was something.  She took a handful and tossed it out over the pair below and watched as the soot spread out in a cloud and decended down.  She tossed a few more handfulls so it would land in a steady stream then paused to hear the reaction as the first cloud reached her victems.


Last edited by Jiminy on Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : It was pointed out that tomatoes were considered poisonous during this time)
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:44 pm

Donar Hagen was in the stables, as usual.
“Ah, such a grand day this is,” Donar said happily as he gathered clean straw for the “firewood” pile. He pointed at his feet, “Fresh smelling straw." He smiled as he raised one hand upward, "Sun streaming in through the windows." Then with both hands raised, face upward, eyes closed, and a great grin on his face, "What more could a fellow want?”

“Well, I think a fellow could want the cozy comfort of the cellar,” said Birger Ness.

“Ohh!” said Donar dropping his arms and opening his eyes to see who was interrupting his enjoyment of the day. “You startled me, Birger.”
“What brings you all the way to the stables?" he asked. After a slight pause he added, "Away from the comfort of your cellar?”

“My books are off,” stated Birger matter-of-factly. “In review, I think it has to do with your deposits to the storehouse. Please stop by my office after you make your delivery today.” With that, Birger turned and carefully walked back to his comfortable cellar.

“What a downer,” frowned Donar. Then he looked at the golden straw at his feet, smiled, and started whistling as he continued gathering armloads of straw.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:49 pm

Kaia stomped by Olaf who was relieved that she had walked on by. After a few feet, Kaia twirled around and stomped back to Olaf. She pointed her gnarled finger at him. “Have you seen that young Gjeng Urskek?”
Olaf was a bit surprised; he wasn't expecting this. “Urskek?” He asked somewhat dazedly.


“Yes, Urskek!” Kaia stomped her foot. “Is everyone dim today?”
“Urskek was supposed to help me today, and now I cannot find her. Most inconvenient, most inconvenient.” Kaia turned and continued on her way, grumbling about inconsiderate youth.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:55 pm

“Well, Gregers, we have made it through the great war and 60 years of marriage! Now, if we can just . . .”

“Keep the peace going,” finished Gregers.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:02 pm

Éile felt the black cloud descending around her. She felt the panic rise up, her breath coming in shallow gasps. It had been only a few seconds since the black cloud was first noticeable, yet it seemed like hours; she couldn't stand it any longer. She screamed, “A….Bell!” Then she flew frantically and erratically from one end of the attic to the other shrieking and wailing with an “A…Bell” thrown in here and there.
Aibell was startled out of her lethargic musings by Éile’s screams and rushed to find out what could be causing the desperation she could hear in Éile’s voice.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:30 pm

The sunlight streamed through the small attic window. Lyr sat reclining on its sill, basking in the brightness. Light was rare in the attic, and as the most senior banshee she usually claimed what little there was for herself. The gardens were lovely at this time, and the hustle and bustle of the giants (and the gnomes, she thought with a twinge of disgust) was entertaining to watch. She liked looking out the window. There was no knowledge of a life outside in her memory, but she always entertained the notion. If it weren't for her people, for Alannah, she would have left long ago. Better to waste away in some wilderness than to rot in a stuffy attic. But that's exactly what she's done. Who knows if she could even get past the enemies below if she tried to leave. So she stayed and stared out, dreaming of what life (or death) could have been like on the outside. A commotion stirred her out of her contemplations. She rose with a sigh, composed herself, and glided down to the floor. "SILENCE!"

~~

Alannah seemed to almost fly along the ground, she ran so fast. She went off exploring again and got so lost in her discoveries she hadn't realized how far she had traveled. Now she was in enemy territory, as Lyr called it, and completely alone. All she could think of was the horrible stories of what the Gjenganger did to her mother, and the thought of facing those horrors herself made her gasp for breath. In her haste, she rounded a corner without checking it first and ran directly into exactly what she had just been fearing: a Gjenganger. A Gjenganger in as much of a hurry as her.

~~

Sylvanus crept silently along the rafters toward Acheflow. She'd been dealing with this troublemaker for years, and she had long ago lost all sense of humor. She watched in confusion as Acheflow started sprinkling what looked like dust down onto the floor, but when the screaming started Acheflow's plan became clear. Sylvanus leaped at Acheflow, knocked her off the rafter, grabbed her wrist, and said calmly to her, "One of these times I might forget I can't kill you."
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:59 pm

Chazwick wandered into the stables, humming a merry little tune.  He stopped short and stared curiously at a pile of moving straw.  "Oh my!  The straw grew legs!"  He peered down.  "Gnome legs.  Donar, is that you under there?"

~~~~

Urskek let out a gurgling cry as something right into her and nearly knocked her over.  Instinctively, she shoved back as hard as she could.  "What do you want?  Who are you?"  Her eyes focused on the bright figure and she let out a squeak.  She shuffled back and cowered against the dirty stone wall.  "Banshee!  Don't hurt me!"  She had heard of the Banshee's terrifying speed and their horrible tortures.  She wasn't fast enough to run.  Should she try to scream louder?  She'd thought she'd heard the very faint grumbles of Kia and Olaf.  Maybe they could get to her in time to save her!

(I'm making a logical assumption that after generations of living basically in the dark, Gjenganger have terrible eyesight and amazing hearing.)

~~~~

Acheflow watched the commotion with soft, happy little snickers as she threw down more ash.  A bell?  What did Éile mean? Aibell, perhaps?  Nevermind, it was funny.  Especially as Aibell came running out to help her.
That was all the time Acheflow had to enjoy the chaos before Lyr's furious voice cut through the attic with far more force than her tiny frame should allow.  Almost simultaneously, Sylvanus struck her hard, knocking her from the rafters.  
Acheflow glared at the other Banshee hatefully as Sylvanus told her,  "One of these times I might forget I can't kill you."
"How could you!" Acheflow screamed, forgetting all about Lyr.  "It's just a little fun!  Why do you have to be so mean all the time?!?"
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:18 am

“Well, I am Donar,” answered Donar, spitting a piece of straw out of his mouth. “Who and where are you?”





   Aibell watched as Éile seemed to bounce off the attic walls. As she considered how to help Éile, she noticed another commotion in the rafters. Ah! Acheflow. It figured. She flew up to Acheflow.

“Why does she have to be mean all the time! What about you? That was pure meanness on your part toward Éile,” Aibell yelled.

Aibell let loose with a ear piercing screech as she flew toward Acheflow, who tumbled backward in surprise. If looks could kill, Acheflow would be dead, if she wasn’t already that is. Just before what appeared to be a sure collision between the two, Aibell shifted and darted toward Éile.

Éile and Aibell were the ones who collided. It was the only way Aibell could think of to get Éile to stop. Aibell held Éile by the shoulders and after she had her attention asked, “Éile, what happened, why are you in such a panic?”

“Ashes. Ashes raining down on me. It was, it was like …” With that Éile started howling again, although in a slightly lower volume.

“Oh, Éile, Éile. Come with me, away from everyone, and we’ll talk . . . about . . . things.”
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:29 am

    
As Olaf watched Kaia continue down the passage in search of Urskek, Kaia stopped, listening.

Now, when someone is in ‘war time,’ saying something like, “Someone is in trouble, come help,” is much too cumbersome. Even saying a two-syllable word like “trouble” is just too much trouble to say. So, the Gjenganger had come up with a ‘war cry’. Oh, it wasn't loud and earsplitting like the Banshees or even as fearsome as the gnomes, but their low pitched cry could be quite unnerving to their opponents.

Suddenly Kaia shuffled off as fast as she could manage, her war cry reverberating off the passage walls.

After a brief moment of shock at what had just happened, going from asking about a 14 year old Gjenganger’s location to a full war cry, Olaf grabbed his pitchfork (a human cocktail fork) and hurried after Kaia.

The Olhouser’s had been contemplating marriage, war, and future peace, when they heard Kaia’s cry.

Gregers turned and grabbed his staff (a human metal candy cane ornament that had been painstakingly smoothed to a point at the end) as he said, “We spoke too soon, Woman. Peace…” and hurried down the passageway toward the war cry.

Grunhilda had also turned and reached for her spear (a sharpened human jam knife) at the first sound of the war cry; now she and her voice “....Isn’t here yet,” followed Gregers down the passageway in her fast shuffling gait.


Last edited by Rivka on Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:55 pm

"Aibell! Éile! Here! NOW!" Lyr cut over the commotion. The sound of her voice brought many of the banshees to a standstill. Anger wasn't in her voice, only a grim command, but it still terrified many of her people. For those who fought beside her, it took them back to darker times during the wars when she would charge forward, commanding them to leave all and follow her to death. They followed her then, they would follow her now.


Lyr scanned the attic, and her eyes finally traveled up to the rafters. "Sylvanus! Bring her here." Lyr ordered.
"If you insist," Sylvanus shrugged, preparing to drop Acheflow to the floor in front of Lyr far below.

"Unharmed," Lyr added with a hint of malice.
With one swift motion Sylvanus swung Acheflow up to the rafter and barked at her, "Get going."


~~


Alannah picked herself up and shrunk against the wall in horror. A Gjenganger. Her worst, and present, fear materialized in front of her. "Maybe she summoned it by thinking of it," she thought panickedly. It didn't seem to be doing much. Maybe it was in her mind. "But I ran into it. It's even making noise. It must be real." All of a sudden a low cry reached her ears. She had never heard a war cry of any of the races, but Lyr had taught her well. There were more Gjenganger headed her way, a whole army of them! The very thought paralyzed her. She couldn't make her legs obey. The image of Lyr's scarred face hovered in her mind, how much it must have hurt. But then the thought twisted itself: how brave and strong Lyr was to survive that. "I must be brave," she whispered audibly, as she darted forward striking the Gjenganger in the eye before running as fast as she could away from the war cry. Maybe if she kept moving, she be a survivor, like Lyr.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:40 am

"You are a mean, bossy little..." Acheflow grumbled.  She let the sentence trail off, unable to think of a good word that wouldn't get her in trouble.  She let Sylvanus drag her along, resisting a little out of spite.  Aibell and Éile she ignored entirely those old hags didn't understand fun at all.  Who were they to judge?

~~~~

Urskek squealed and fell to the ground.  She rolled about wildly on the floor, squealing and clutching at her face.  So wild was her panic, she didn't even realize she was blocking the way for anyone who might try to chase after her attacker.  She blubbered and bawled hysterically.  The banshee had touched her!  She was blind!  SHE WAS BLIND!!  She was going to go through the rest of her life crippled!
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:33 pm

Kaia rounded the bend just as Urskek fell to the ground. When Kaia reached her, she grabbed a handful of Urskek’s hide and held her up. Certain that she was mostly okay, she shouted, “Stop that nonsense!” Then she dropped Urskek on the floor against the wall and continued on her way to find that banshee. 

Kaia had just caught a glimpse of the banshee standing over Urskek before the banshee had turned and ran. Those banshees! Kaia had lost her husband to the banshee; she would not tolerate this intrusion and needless attack on this small one, noisy though she may be.


Aibell wasn't sure what she thought of Lyr, but they had needed a place to stay and had been, well, not welcomed but, allowed to stay here at least. Aibell told Éile to stay put, that she would take care of things, and she floated down to Lyr.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:57 am

Sylvanus shoved Acheflow in front of Lyr and stepped down, all the while eyeing the troublesome banshee. Lyr glared at both Acheflow and Aibell with enough malice to melt even the proudest spirit. "The giants already suspect us," she began slowly, spitting each word with venom. "Every scream echoes through their lands. If they knew we were here..." She left each listener fill in for themselves what the giants would do to intruders. Their imagination would create a much more terrifying threat than she could invent. After a moment she turned her gaze to Aibell. "We took you in. We took your sister in. And now you endanger us because of a little ash. Cowards, the both of you." Before Aibell could answer Lyr shot her eyes to Acheflow. "And you..." It felt as if the attic got a little colder as she uttered those words. Lyr wondered if Acheflow was of another race she could hate her more than she already did. All she did was make noise or cause others to make noise. If it weren't for Allanah's fondness for the troublemaker Lyr would have thrown her from the window herself. It was this thought that made Lyr realize Allanah had been gone too long. "Go find Allanah. Come back with her, or not at all." If there was one thing a trickster knew how to do, it was avoid unwanted attention.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:13 pm

(Sorry I didn't get Donar earlier)

"I'm Chazwick, and I'm right in front of you," the old gnome said cheerfully.  "Hello, Donar!  I thought you were straw with legs."

~~~~

Urskek sat huddled against the wall, pulling her hides close around herself and whimpered.  She was going to die and no one cared!  No one cared one little wee bit!  She would sit here our of everyone's way and die here where she wouldn't be a nuisance.

~~~~

In the floor above, yes in the floor, Limahl looked down with a frown.  What a commotion!  What was all this about?  And what was that noise the Gjenganger were making?  So strange and disruptive.

~~~~

Acheflow sulked as she bowed slightly and started backing away.  "Yes, Lyr.  I'll find her."  She turned and hurried away.  Lyr was just no fun!  Lyr and Sylvanus both.  So what if the giants figured out about them?  They were cowardly things, easy to scare away from their home.  Acheflow would go find that silly little girl and bring her home to Lyr and maybe earn a few points in her favor. And if she and Allanah happened to have a little fun on the way home, why not?
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:14 am

Donar put down his pile of straw. "Oh, hello, Chazwick. It is so nice to see a familiar and friendly face. How is your gardening?"

~~~~


After Acheflow went off to find Allanah, Aibell silently drifted upward and went back up to Éile.
"How are you doing, Éile."
"I am okay now, Aibell. I am sorry I got so upset, it just reminded me of the fire. I panicked."
"I understand, Éile, but I really need you to calm down. I know the fire was traumatic for you, but we will lose another home here if you keep upsetting Lyr. It seems to be important to her that we don't upset or come to the notice of the other races."
"Yes, Aibell, I will try not to do anything to upset Lyr."
"Good. Now, find a nice place to settle in. Try to get to know some of the others better." Aibell started to drift away.
"Aibell," Éile said softly. "Thank you for helping me so much after the fire, for bringing me with you to find a new home. I won't let you down again."
 Aibell smiled at Éile. "You are welcome, Éile. And thank you." Aibell turned and floated off.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:46 am

With two graceful bounds Lyr resumed her place in the window. Before drifting back to her daydreams she looked out over the attic. They were so helpless, so clueless. Without guidance they'd be scattered within weeks. But she didn't want to provide that guidance any more. "Perhaps," she thought with a slight smile, "Allanah might take my place...if she ever grew up." She turned slowly, catching out of the corner of her eye Sylvanus slink off after Acheflow.

~~

After a few minutes of running, Allanah collapsed against the wall to catch her breath. Thoughts of the Gjenganger were suppressed to make way for another fear: elves. She had made it to the level of the elves, and unlike on her way down she wasn't on a little-used side path. She was on a main road. Most likely the elves had already spotted her. The thought wasn't as terrifying as the Gjenganger, but it was still worrisome.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:58 pm

Chazwick smiled amiably.  "Good, good, thank you, Donar.  How is your straw?  Nice and yellow, but no gold yet?"

~~~~

Limahl followed the sound of panting.  Right around here somewhere.  Ah, there she was.  Limahl slipped around and stood right in front of the Banshee.  He dropped to one knee and grabbed her arm. "Look what we have here."
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:03 am

Donar, looked down at his pile of straw, "Ha! Ha! That is a good one. No, no gold yet. Although Martin and Birger would certainly like it if it were," Donar finished with a grin. 
"I was taking this load to the cellar, and then I am supposed to report in to Birger," Donar explained. His smile had dipped to a slight frown at the thought of reporting to Birger. Then he brightened again and asked, "Would you like to walk with me to the cellar? You can tell me all about the garden happenings while we walk." 

~~~

Kaia had totally forgotten what had gotten them here - Urskek. She had known the girl would be okay and that someone would stop to take care of her.
Kaia gave a shout of triumph when she spotted the banshee. She could hear that the others right behind her.
"Humm, an elf and a banshee. What *can* be going on." Kaia wondered as she continued on toward her prize.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:49 am

Allanah looked at the elf for a moment, stiffened, and let out the loudest screech that she could muster. Maybe, just maybe, she might startle the elf away. She doubted it, but that didn't stop her from screaming on and on.

~~

Sylvanus heard a banshee cry echoing from the elven lands. There was only one being who could be down there: Allanah!
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Jiminy on Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:44 am

"Of course, it will be nice to get out of the garden for a bit," Chazwick agreed amiably.  "Here, I'll even give you a hand with the lovely straw."  He leaned down and started gathering up some of the clean, yellow stalks.

~~~~

Limahl did draw back and clamped his hands over his ears.  Loud!  So loud!  Were his ears bleeding?  Probably, but he didn't dare move his hands to check.

Acheflow heard the screams and ran, floating through the cracks and flying so fast she was naught but a blur.  Even as quick as she was, she had no idea how she reached little Allanah so quickly.  She dove forward, grabbed the girl roughly by the arm, and dragged her back.  They had to get out of here!
The older Banshee gave Allanah no choice as she yanked her back the way she had come, running back up toward the attic and away from the Elf and the Gjenganger.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by Rivka on Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:01 am

Kaia, Olaf, Gregers, Grunhilda, and the others all came to stop, almost on top of one another. They watched the surreal scene up ahead: the elf in distress; a second banshee suddenly appearing, grabbing the first banshee, and dragging her off.

(I am going to make the determination that while their hearing is good, they don't hear the higher decibels of the banshee screem.)  

"Well!" huffed Kaia.

Gregers sighed a sigh of resignation. "All right everyone . . ."
"Let's go home," finished Grunhilda, almost brightly.
Gregers turned back toward the others and said, "The banshee that hurt Urskek has returned to its lair. Let us return home as well and . . ."
"find out just what happened here," said Grunhilda. "Maybe we can get a coherent story out of Urskek."

"Doubtful," groused Kaia.

"That will be something to hear," laughed Olaf as he headed back home.


~~~


"Say, thanks," beamed Donar. Then he gathered up the remaining straw.

"Isn't this a great day," asked Donar as he started off out of the barn. "Beautiful sun, fresh smelling summer day. Well fresh smelling when you don't have your nose stuck in a bundle of straw," laughed Donar. Thinking of Birger, he added, "I feel sorry for those people who can't appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. Yes, yes, a grand day."
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

Post by strategygamer22 on Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:36 pm

The jerk of being pulled away made Allanah stop screaming. She went limp under Acheflow's control as she was dragged along.

~~

Sylvanus watched as Allanah was pulled to safety. She'd be alright. Now for other business. Sylvanus stepped out of the shadows and toward the elf.
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Re: The War Within the Castle - Play

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