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I told the witch doctor...

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Demo Game III: RPG' started by Shaitan, May 2, 2003.

  1. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    43,496
    Location:
    New Suramar City, Vekta, United Terran Systems
    Soon Maximilian Gontsky comes out of the shadow. He noticed his freind Zeitel Jade is with them

    Zeitel Jade: Ahh Maximilian Gontsky. How are things

    Maximilian Gontsky: Not so good, I lost my son during the storm

    Zeitel Jade: My simpathy

    Maximilian Gontsky: Thanks, I have decided to do a bit of traveling to take my mind off of the death of little Andrew.

    Marvcus: My simpathy is also with you Maximilian

    Maximilian Gontsky: I would place my skills to use, Marvcus. My troubled mind needs to be kept occupied away from the death of my son. Ill donate my Tracking skills to aid you.
     
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    8,010
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    Don't notice this post.
     
  3. Shaitan

    Shaitan der Besucher

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Messages:
    6,546
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    * The growing troupe continued onward to the village. Germanicus entered and procured local clothing for all of them. Their slight stature and odd weaponry would still identify them as Fanatici, and there was simply no way to effectively disguise Marvcus with his body and face virtually covered in tattoos and pierced rings, but a casual glance would not betray them. That night they entered the village after the watchfires were lit and the villagers were settled down. They were well into the living areas of the village before they were challenged. *

    Guard: Hold there. What mischief are you up under cover of darkness?

    * Germanicus holds up several carcasses. *

    Germanicus: Getting in late. We startled a brace of rabbits on the way in and it took us longer than expected to get them.

    Guard: See to it that Worin gets his share. Sleep well, hunters.

    Germanicus: We will, to both. And a good watch to you.

    * The companions continue inward following Germanicus through the maze of huts. *

    Maximilian: Who is this Worin? The clan chief?

    Germanicus: No, he is the god of this tribe. A portion of all hunts and getherings are sacrificed to him. When I was young this was done on the family hearth. Over time it became more and more strict until, just before I left, the offerings had to be given to the priests who would then sacrifice them. It was one of the reasons that I left. You see, I had fletched a score of arrows and given one to the priests for Worin. A week later I killed a deer that had been arrow shot. It was my own arrow, the one that was supposed to have been burned for the god. I realized that the priests were keeping the sacrifices for themselves. I did not wish to be here when Worin's wrath fell upon them.

    Zeitel: But surely you do not still believe in this god Worin? You are heading for a purification ritual to become a Karbala!

    Germanicus: As Marvcus has taught me, there are many aspects of the greater spirits. I believe that Worin is one of them. And it is not Karbala that he is an aspect of, but Phear - the spirit of the flames.

    * Zeitel and Maximilian shudder and make the sign against evil. Phear is a force of destruction and consumption, never sated until there is no prey left. It is seldom called upon in the ceremonies in Noshuret and then only when other spirits are at hand to quel his fiery hunger.
    The companions arrive at the hut of Germanicus' family with no further incidents and he leads them inside. A small fire is buring in the center of the hut and the smoke hole in the roof is not adequate to keep the room clear. Through the haze they see several people. Germanicus introduces his two sisters (both widowed), seven nephews and another cousin. Aparently Germanicus' large size is a stamp of the family genes for his cousin is of a size with him. Even the youngsters are large for their age.

    The group settles down together and the sisters quickly skin and spit the rabbits. After several mugs of heather ale and friendly conversation everybody dines on rabbit and wild onions. As the sun begins to rise Marvcus motions to Germanicus. *


    Germanicus: It is time. We will need all of you to leave the hut until Marvus or I emerge. It could be quite fast but I have been told that it sometimes takes days. It depends on how pure the vessel is to start with and I confess that I'm starting at a disadvantage.

    * Everybody laughs at Germanicus' joke and then gather their belongings and leave the hut. Maximilian leaves with Germanicus' cousin to go hunting and Zeitel helps the youngsters with things around the village in order to keep an eye on the hut as best he can.

    Marvcus dons the wolf mask, the fearsome visage of the Karbala, and begins to dance. Germanicus sits before the fire and tries to meditate as he was instructed to do. Every so often Marvcus throws different powders into the fire. Some turn it different colors or send fiery streamers flying about the hut. Some are meant to help the initiate to purify his mind and find the spirits.

    After several hours the combined effects of meditation along with Marvcus' chanting and dancing and the effects of the various herbal powders that he inhaled Germanicus enters a deep and powerful trance. He is staring at the fire and sees a pale shadow writhing on the walls. All is quiet except the crackling of the flames as they consume the wood. The fire mesmerizes him with its shifting patterns and its elemental beauty. He reaches into it to feel its flow. He feels something very wrong. This is very wrong. There are rocks all about the fire, aspects of Tersus. They restrain the grace and joy of the fire! And even worse he sees that the life of the fire itself is in danger. The poor fire is starving and there is so little to eat. He lifts it out of the prison of rocks and holds it to him, like a mother nursing a babe.

    It begins to feed. Slowly at first but then with greater speed. As it does, he feels the strength and rage of the fire building within him. In a short time the fire has consumed him but at the same time his is still whole. He IS the fire. He stands and looks about him. The shadow is gone and in its place is a great wolf with eyes of blackness. *


    Karbala: I was afraid it would be you.

    Phear: Of course you were, old dog! I am PHEAR!

    Karbala: The vessel is strong, and you cannot hold it for long. When you flee we will take him back under our wing and teach him to resist your temptations. You are the strongest aspect in him but you are not the only one.

    Phear: I shall not need the vessel long and I greatly pity that you will not have much to work with once I quit it. I have a debt to collect. One that is many years overdue.

    * Phear, the great bear with fur of flames, stands erect and roars. He reaches up and pulls the roof of the hut in. The dry timbers and thatching catch fire in a heartbeat and the hut is an instant inferno. The great bear lumbers off to find his prey. *

    --------------------------------

    Zeitel: What in the name of the spirits? Children, hurry! Call out that there is a fire in the village! FIRE! FIRE!

    * Zeitel does his best to battle the blaze until help arrives and it arrives quickly. Few things are more feared in the village than a hut that is ablaze. Bucket brigades are formed and everybody helps to try to douse the raging flames. Zeitel drives them on faster and faster. He knows that anybody in there must be dead but he hopes beyond hope that Germanicus and the Karbala have somehow survived. *

    --------------------------------

    Phear: Begone you beast! You will not stop me. I will have my revenge!

    * Karbala stood in the middle of the path, blocking Phear's way. His hackles were up and his teeth were bared. He bunched his legs and lept at the great bear. Phear swung clumsily but managed to connect, sending Karbala flying. The wolf knew this was a hopeless task. Karbala was the most powerful of the spirits but Phear was the strongest of them all when he was enraged. And especially when he was engorged. Still, it was his duty to stop the great bear, or at least mitigate the damage he caused. He continued to harass Phear and at least succeeded in slowing him down a bit. *

    --------------------------------

    Maximilian: Zeitel! What is happening? Where are Germanicus and Marvcus?

    * Maximilian entered the smoke blackened clearing that was once a hut of Germanicus' family. There were scores of barbarians, all exhausted and some crying. He caught Zeitel's arm and swung his overwraught friend around. *

    Maximilian: Zeitel! Snap out of it! Where are Germanicus and Marvcus?

    * Zeitel tried to talk but could only cough. Even breathing was a nightmare. He pointed to the blackened ruin of the hut. *

    Maximilian: They were still in the hut?

    * Zeitel nods and a tear runs down his cheek. Maximilian is stunned. He can't comprehend that the great witch doctor is gone. He is brought out of his daze when he is roughly grabbed. *

    Ottogoth: Thrice damned Fanatici!! You drive us out of our hunting lands, you take our streams and now you would burn down our very homes?! Hang these two!!

    --------------------------------

    * That bloody wolf was still following, nipping and pouncing and generally infuriating him but there was nothing under the skies that would prevent his vengeance. He arrived at the large hut of the priests and tore straight through the great door. They were there, sitting around HIS altar. Eating HIS food and drinking HIS wine, just as they had been for years. With a horrific roar he attacked. They scattered but he caught one as it tried to jump past him. With a quickness that belied his great size he picked up the unfortunate priest and sent him flying into another one. A distant pain in his side made him look down and he saw a spear sticking out of his gut. A priest was holding it and driving it it in further. Phear grabbed it and pulled it out, then yanked the priest into his arms. He buried his teeth into the screaming man's throat and ripped it out. Another was trying to slip to the door but he reversed the spear and cast it, pinning the priest to the wall of the great hut. He felt slow for some reason but his fury was still at its peak. He charged into a group of priests that were trying to hide behind a partition. His claws ripped the leather curtain down on top of them and he fell on the wriggling mass of men.

    He had just finished the last of them and stood up when he realized how quiet everything had become. There were no priests left in the hut. Not alive at any rate. He was tired too. Very tired. At least these cretins wouldn't dare to steal from him any more. The ones that had managed to flee would not dare to tempt his wrath again. He saw the wolf saunter into the hut but he didn't care any more. He had done what was needed and nothing Karbala was capable of could undo it. *


    Karbala: We didn't realize that the hate was so strong in you.

    Phear: Not hate. Anger. Rage. Fury! They stole from me. They stole from their own people in MY NAME!

    Karbala: I see. You saw a wrong and have made it right. But at what cost? This is your tribe and through your actions you have doomed them.

    Phear: I have set them back on the correct path!

    Karbala: You have set them against the Fanatici, my own people. Like you, your Ottogoths are hotheaded and arrogant. They will blame the Fanatici for this destruction and will turn to destroy the Fanatici. They cannot. The hill people are too strong for this little band of plainsmen, no matter how fierce they are. And look what you have done to your vessel. That wound is mortal, even I could not heal that.

    Germanicus: It is? I don't even feel it, to tell the truth. I just feel so tired. Very very tired. Marvcus, the visions were so real. So much more real than life. Did I do well?

    Marvcus: Yes, great bear, you did just fine. Lay your head here, I will cushion it. I am sorry that I cannot heal that spear wound but I can make the passing peaceful.

    Germanicus: Thank you Marvcus. I don't mean to be rude but I am really so very tired. I'll just close my eyes for a minute if you don't mind.

    Marvcus: Not at all my friend. Be at peace.

    Germanicus: Farewell, old wolf.

    * Marvcus sat and held his friend until the breathing stopped. It was not a long wait. He then arranged the body carefully on the altar, cleaned the wounds and placed Germanicus' weapons upon him. The other dead could burn where they lay. They had cheated the spirits and he would not help them now. He took a brand from the fire and went outside. He walked around the entire circumference of the great hut, lighting the thatch at every step. Then he calmly walked into the wilderness, the inferno at his back.

    He had walked less than a mile when he heard soft footsteps somewhere behind him. He turned and waited for his pursuer to catch up. Within a minute one of Germanicus' nephews came running into view, gasping for breath. He stopped when he saw Marvcus. *


    Marvcus: It is Scipio, is it not?

    Scipio: Yes, great one. I new you had not died in the hut, though everybody else thought you and Germanicus were trapped in there.

    Marvcus: Indeed? And how did you know?

    Scipio: I saw them! I mean, I saw you! You and Germanicus, the wolf and the bear.

    Marvcus: That is rare power indeed that could see the aspects without undergoing the Rites. What will you do now?

    Scipio: If I may, I would go with you. The tribe is in an uproar. They have slain your companions. I yelled that they had not started the fire but nobody cared. The people are filled with anger and would not listen to me.

    Marvcus: (sadly) Yes, I felt when they passed. It is sad that so much promise has been wasted, caused by greed and stupidity and fear.

    Scipio: May I come with you then?

    Marvcus: Of course, dear boy. After all, it was you who I journeyed to find. It would not do to leave without you.

    * Marvcus and Scipio turn together and begin the long walk back to Fanatica. *
     
  4. Shaitan

    Shaitan der Besucher

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    * Scipio and Marvcus continue their travels back to Fanatica. They travel quickly as they are not burdened by worldly goods. They eat as they come across berries or tubers and drink when they find water. Scipio proves to be an excellent shot with his sling and is able to supplement their diet with the occasional rabbit, squirrel or bird. Throughout the journey, Marvcus teaches Scipio of the ways of the Spirits and the Fates. Scipio also shares his life story and the tale of the deaths of Maximilian and Zeitel. *

    --------------------------------

    Scipio: So we managed to put out the fire before it spread to the neighboring huts. I can't say how as it was the fiercest blaze I have ever seen. Many were burned or hurt in battling it.

    When the flames were reduced to smoldering embers some of the warriors realized that your friends were Fanatici. They grabbed them and called for their deaths, in retribution for the fire. The old one...er...

    Marvcus: Maximilian.

    Scipio: Yes, Maximilian. He broke free of the warrior holding him and grabbed a nearby axe. Nobody was carrying weapons as we had just been fighting the fire but there were many strewn about that people had dropped when they arrived. He threw it with great force and buried it in the head of the man that was holding Zeitel. The two then backed up to a hut. Zeitel had managed to grab a knife and a club. Maximilian had another axe.

    I yelled then that these men had nothing to do with the fire. That they had both been off helping our people with different things when it started. I tried to tell them that it was Zeitel who had spotted the blaze and sent the alarum in time to save the village. They didn't care. My people have great animosity to yours. The Fanatici are better armed and more numerous. You expand into our territories and we have no choice but to move back. The Ottogoths were once a predator but increasingly their teeth have been pulled and in their place is a mouth of bitterness.

    The warriors took up weapons and advanced on your friends. They had no chance but they sold their lives dearly. Including the man that Maximilian slew to free Zeitel there were four dead and at least that number dearly wounded.

    Marvcus: I do not doubt it. They were both fine warriors themselves and they had Karbala's help. The Great Wolf always enacts a high price for Phear's excesses. I hope that the Ottogoths realize what is driving them and seek a peaceful route but I fear that will not happen. As Worin, Phear has regained control of them with his ravaging of the apostate priests and he will want revenge on Karbala.

    Scipio: Indeed I think you are correct, master. Even before all of this happened many of the scouts and raiders were preparing to set off for the southlands to help with some attack on Fanatica. If the tempers stay as I saw them as I left I would not doubt if the entire tribe comes south.

    --------------------------------

    Marvcus: Scipio is an odd name for a Goth. How did you come by it?

    Scipio: My father is an Ottogoth but my mother was Fanatici. She was taken as an axe wife in a raid a few years before I was born. She died when I was very young but I still remember her strength and how she always made me feel better when I was ill. Everybody came to her when they were sick or hurt and it was a great blow to the village when she died birthing my sister.

    Marvcus: She was a healer of Fanatica?

    Scipio: Yes. She always called herself a witch until the priests beat her for it. Then she still called herself a witch but only when there were no priests about. She was a very strong woman.

    Marvcus: Sometimes it is a marvel how fate intertwines the threads of the tapestry of lives.

    Scipio: I don't understand what you mean.

    Marvcus: My teacher, Niven Karbala, lost his father and an aunt from an Ottogoth raid 15 years ago. His father was slain and his aunt was taken away by the raiders. She was a very powerful witch, the strongest in a family that was strong in the Spirits. Her name was Nineveh.

    Scipio: That was mother's name! So I am a cousin to your teacher Niven? I should be very happy to meet him!

    Marvcus: That is not possible, not in the flesh anyway. He passed away some time ago. But there are many other of your kin in Fanatica and we will be sure that you are reunited with them.

    --------------------------------

    Scipio: What of all of those plants that you had in your travois? Will you need to make this trip again? I tried to pull it out but I did not have the strength so it burned with the hut.

    * Marvcus reaches into his robes and pulls out a large scrip. He opens it and shows the contents to Scipio. The walls of the scrip are lined with small leather pockets. In each is a collection of seeds. *

    Marvcus: I did not lose all that we collected, just the live specimens. It will be more difficult with just the seeds but we will make do. With my knowledge of plants and your knowledge of the area these came from we should have little problem in growing them.

    --------------------------------

    * After several days journey, Scipio and Marvcus arrive in Noshuret, coming up the trail that Marvcus and Germanicus had gone down so long before. There was great excitement as Marvucs introduced Scipio as his protege and as a lost Fanatici returned. They were fetted as Marvcus relayed the stories of the companions' adventures and the great danger that approached. Scipio met several of his kin and was able to give them an account of his mother's great acts and her position of importance in the Ottogoth village. Eventually darkness fell and Marvcus concluded the evening with a Rite of Protection for Noshuret, calling on Karbala to defend his chosen from their oncoming enemy. The two weary travelers then traveled the several hours to Marvcus' hut in the wilderness and sank into the peaceful sleep of the exhausted.

    The witch doctor was finally home. *
     

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