Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Legends of our People




"What history there is lies in carvings. In stone, in wood, in the earth itself, in some cases. Ours is an insular culture where oral histories and religions take precedence.

Some people have learnt to write and use things like bark and stone to etch their words but it is a work and a half to do so and therefore is less than popular.

We praise the Gods of the stream, of the trees, that rock over there. We call on the deities of the Eagles, of the otters, the bears and the salmon for help and guidance. We revere nature in all of its forms and thank them for their bountiful harvest and for allowing us to feed off of them.

Our histories tell of a time before magic became every-day. We know this time as the time of 'Pre-enlightenment'. Those were dark days and even darker nights when life was a major toil. Our calendar starts at EN:0. Or Enlightenment Day 0 to give it the full name.

The Solar Eclipse lasted a week.

During that week any person walking in the half-light could, if they so put their minds to it, see the Gods and Deities of the local lands, skies, waters and animals. They could walk the leylines of the land and feel power and become refreshed and enriched.

If talked to those Gods would ask the person what he did and then might have offered to teach them to find their internal magic to help them with their tasks. Some asked nothing for these teachings, knowing that to aid the people would mean less waste in the hunting and gathering of things they needed and therefore ensure natures overall survival and grace.

Some, in return for their teachings asked that they may have their devotion, either to nature as a whole or to themselves only. Our cults were born in that week.

Yet others, in their greed and self-importance, demanded more of those Gods and Deities and in the process corrupted some of them and killed yet others. The Dark Cults and magics were also born then.

Yet still others saw the power in the land and animals and felt a place within themselves awaken. They saw others harness power via the Gods and Deities and then devote themselves into slavery. In that seeing they decided that they needed not the help of others to harness and use this power. They delved deep inside themselves and the successful amongst them drew forth power and butchered it unto their own ends. Sorcery was born, but it is no natural thing.

This is but a fragment of the histories of that time. Most has been lost to time, even though we pass our histories down through the generations. The time will come when you too must pass on that which you know and and have learnt. Never forget!"






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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Legends of our People



A voice spoke in the light of the fire.

"We live in the west country, in the vales of the chalk, which is dominated by the followers of the White Horse, the god Hors. There are other Gods of course, innumerable amounts of them in fact, but Hors is the main Deity. History tells us that a grand white stallion, with a black diamond on its noble chest, helped one of the Ancestors in that time of the eclipse. His life was in danger from perils long forgotten to us, but they were real enough to him at the time.

The danger was not an immediate one, in fact it was not even human in nature, but it threatened his existence. Part of that threat was from the Ancestors own haste and worry over so many things. Hors came to him and the Ancestor was most surprised to find that he could hear and understand what Hors said to him.

Over the next few days Hors taught the Ancestor how to delve within himself and be strong, be patient, find reserves of courage and strength he did not know he possessed. When he was ready Hors taught him the Common Magics that would help him in his trade and life. Much was learned in those few days but more was to come.

The Ancestor decided to pledge his and his descendants lives to Hors in honour of that which he had been taught. This pledge came from the Ancestor himself and was not an idea born of Hors. Hors was most pleased however, and bestowed upon the Ancestor the Divine Magics that some of us know today, and so the Cult of the White Horse was started.

So that we are not so single minded as to ignore all others to our detriment, we still respect and sometimes even worship the other gods. The Sun God and the Moon Goddess in particular need praising at their equinoxes. Gods of the streams and of the crops we placate with gifts and sacrifices, though the tradition of human sacrifice we long ago passed over in favour of animals or metal gifts.

And so to this day, from that day so long ago, when the Ancestor met Hors, we give thanks for all the teachings and wisdom imparted. Praise Him. Sing and dance and be merry on this the feast night.”


These are the words spoken by the Elders, Witches, Wise-men and women of the tribes of Wiltshire. On these nights of celebration all children and any adults who wished to listen, heard the age-old and oft told tale of the Ancestor and his meeting with Hors. Other stories are also told and remembered by all those who wished to hear.

This was the night, many centuries past, that the Ancestor had met Hors, and so we revere that night with a small festival, a fire and a dedication to our great protector. The next week would be one of celebration, though daily life and chores would have to go on as usual, for this was the week that had been the Eclipse.
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Ancient Wiltshire's Horse Tribes needs Legendary help.


"The Nomad Horse-Breeders roam the Wiltshire country, but have the sacred area of Avebury, Silbury, Kennet and Woodhenge as their main grounds. Recently they have become insular, more paranoid, and traders have noticed a marked drop in their herd numbers.

The God, Hors (pronounced Horse) is troubled by his herds depletion and the growing strength of certain other darker cults.

As believers in the God Hors (whether he be your main deity or not), or members of the Hors Cult, you have been asked by your Elder to find the Nomads and see if you can help in any way."

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A Map of the Area.





(Press the -/+ buttons top left to zoom in. Click on image to view various sizes.

An even bigger version of this, if you wish to download it, is at:
http://www.seaxeandsorcery.co.uk/images/Biffords_Files/Legen...
with a 50% smaller version at:
http://www.seaxeandsorcery.co.uk/images/Biffords_Files/Legen...




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This particular week of the year, early in spring, was always a busy one. It didn't really matter where you were at the time, there was bound to be a village within half a days walking distance that would be holding celebrations of one type or another. The first harvest was an important one as it marked the end of winter and the start of what would hopefully be a prosperous year. But it also marked a time when the Gypsies and Merchant Caravans would become much more active and start to travel the lands freely once more.

The village of Hors Field, between Crow's Bridge and Melks' Shrine swelled to almost three times its normal size during this week. The Holy places always provoked an increase, and their field had one of the fabled White Horses etched into its side, with a single standing stone not far away in the direction of Crow's Bridge. It was one of the smaller horse figures in the area and did not draw in as much attention as some of the others but the village was named after the God of the region, Hors, and this alone provided them with ample wanderers and pilgrims.



Hors Field Village was once more packed with travellers, traders and everyday folk. The trader's area was overflowing, spilling out into the families living area and butting right up against the circular earth mound that surrounded the village as well as the foot high logs that surrounded and segregated the Meeting Place from the rest of the village. Blankets of all colours were laid on the ground with the merchants' wares carefully placed on top. There was the occasional hand-cart, but these were kept to the edges of the area and were considered a nuisance in this busy week.

Circulating amongst the village were a Healer, a Shepherd, two Hunters and a Druid. They each went about their business the same as all the other folk.




The Meeting Place was the heart of the village, an area inside the giant earthworks which was kept clear of living and working spaces. It was ringed off from the rest of the village in a large semi-circle with short stumps of wood that could also be used as seats. This area was used for the training of the cults skills and magic and for gatherings. To one end there was a formidable sight - a circle of tall wooden posts, twice as tall as any man, surrounding a space at the centre of which was a large flat stone slab.

At the other end, standing on a permanent wooden platform was the tribe’s leader, Shalva. To Shalva’s right stood the tribes warrior leader, Melkin, and to his left stood the Wise-Man, Corinth Solhael.





Corinth was telling his tales. Stories of the ancestors and of the time of The Eclipse and their peoples' period of learning. Stories of the buried ancestors helping the younglings in their time of need, and of the turn of the seasons.

After his tales had finished Corinth walked amongst the tribe and their guests and talked to everyone there. By the end of his rounds he was quite tired so sat on one of the seats where upon a lass brought him a flagon of mead, which he pledged to Hors before slowly drinking. She then brought him a plate of meat, potatoes and vegetables, all grown locally which he slowly ate.





Shalva stepped forward and beckoned for quiet. The five people all heard the command in the man's voice, and came forward to listen to him the better.

“Disturbing news has been coming in from our sister tribes these past months.” Shalva was never one to beat around the bush, and he continued in much the same way. “It has been noted that the herds of the great and noble Nomad Horse Breeders have been dwindling for no apparent reason. Their people have also become more withdrawn and have made little to no contact with the villages thereabouts.

I ask now for a group of people to volunteer to locate and talk to the Breeders and to discover what has befallen them, and if it can be rectified. Their prosperity, or otherwise, affects all of us and so the problem needs to be dealt with if it is possible."




OOC: Maelmadog, Rhun, Epona, Illmwai and Eirlys - Please feel free to spend a moment narrating a small backstory about how you came to be in Hors Field Village at this time (and if any of you travel together/know each other write that into the text also). Then, if you wish to step forward to offer your services please do so, but you may wish to hold back initially to see who else comes forward? I leave it all up to you.

For Aife only! :
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Aife, I shall of course bring you in soon


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Caroline Berg
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Eirlys stood and looked around the village. It was bustling with activity brought on by the festival. Even though she had not been to this village before, she had been in over a dozen other villages like it in her lifetime. The feel of it was as familiar as the ax hanging at her side.

And - if this was anything like any of those other villages - during festival times they could use all the healers they could get. For some reason, fools seemed to pour out of the woodwork at times like these - taking stupid bets as to who could climb higher in a tree, and then falling. Or, when trying to impress a lover, some accident would occur. Not to mention the feuds that would occasionally break out between families despite the celebratory air.

Yes, Eirlys was all to familiar with the types of healing people needed during festivals.

She made her way over to the healing hut and offered her services. In her experience, there was always a shortage of healers - and she was usually welcomed with open arms. 'At least there they would not shy away from her scarred face. Whereas in the crowds, she was sure to draw negative attention.' With those thoughts, she tugged her hood closer to her face.

Eirlys had come to the area for two reasons. The first was the herbs. There was wild comfry growing in the forests. It would be ready to harvest in a couple of weeks - for it was still too early in spring to take the first cuttings.

The other reason were the whispers of rumors. If the horses were dying - as some of the rumors said - then perhaps she could help with her knowledge of healing.

By the time Shalva stepped forward with his call for volunteers, Eirlys had made up her mind. The comfry could wait.

"I will go. If it is an illness that is making them withdraw, I offer my services as a healer to treat them. And if it is not, at least we can be assured that some plague has not struck them down."
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Professor of Pain
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Maelmadog remembered the old crone's words clearly. "You must seek opportunities to help the land and her people in your wandering year," the elder Druid Eirianwen had told him. "The Beltane festivals and gatherings will be an excellent time to search for such opportunity. This will mark the beginning of your journey into the next circle of our order. Remember, beginnings are most important as they shape all that follows."

Maelmadog had been reciting an initiate prayer to the Earth Goddess as he walked toward Hors Field in the early dawn. He was a bit taken aback at the sight of the crowd and felt a moment's fear. Recitation of another short prayer to the Goddess for strength calmed him. He strode boldly into town, greeting those he knew, exchanging pleasantries with a few relatives, hoping to find his twin sister there. Sadly, she was not in sight.

Maelmadog did see another familiar face, the shaman woman Eirlys, who came with her master a time or two to consult with the Druids of Eirianwen's circle. He greets her just as Shalva begins his plea. He listens to Eirlys with admiration, thinking how well she spoke. Remembering his teacher's words, Maelmadog steps forward with almost no hesitation.

"I will seek them out, along with Eirlys, although... we could use some help," Maelmadog declares, looking around hopefully.
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Aife was hanging around the back of the crowd. She had been studying the activity all day, keeping to the background. During the busiest hour she had already taking a small stroll around the trading grounds, untill she felt one of the traders started watching her more closely. She had retreated to the edge of the meetingplace. There, in the middle of the village was a group of travelers sitting around taking a rest. Here she would go unnoticed and could watch the traders, the people entering Hors' Field and the huts on the other side of the village.

Now that most of the attention was focussed on that tribe leader, she could continue her stroll around the village.
Aife's stomach started rumbling as she passed by the pastries stalled out by one of the traders.

'Hmm, I could sure do with some food.' her last meal had been in the last village, which was quite a walk. 'Too bad traders know exactly how to exploit these markets. They triple their prices and watch their stands like hawks. And of course I'm broke -again!-' *sigh*

Aife looked around at the crowd in the meeting place.

'Well at least this nice little speech is keeping the crowd busy in that square. Those idiotic village leaders are always so full of themselves... And of course all the others listen to them as if they're actually saying something interesting.'
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T'Leynti / Leonie
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Epona wandered alongside her uncle towards the woodworkers. She wanted a new bow for a while now and her uncle did have a keen eye for quality. Corinth's voice could be heard all over the place, it was hard not to listen to him while her uncle was checking the bows for offer. When Shalva stepped forward she unconsciously came nearer. If there is one thing she learned in the monastery, it was she was always expected to help others out. At first it was a task, later she learned to understand it was a blessing she is able to help. It is what her mother expect her to do anyway.
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Rhun had come to the village festival largely to sell; hides, preserved meat, and some leatherwork items. They'd brought a decent price, though, not as high as he'd hoped. Not enough for that raptor he'd so admired. Standing by its cage in the market, staring into the clear eyes of the bird, he felt a kinship with the hunter. He'd gazed in admiration for a moment longer before moving on, noting also its lethal talons. 'A kindred spirit; would that I could afford you.' He'd said as much to the proprietor, promising to return when his purse was a little heavier.

That was yesterday. This morning, as he moved about the gathered crowd, catching most of an elder's address, he was planning his next route, despairing as he calculated just how long it might take to pull in what he still needed for the bird. The lands beyond his normal hunting grounds offered larger game, but he was less familiar with the area, and venturing out alone would be foolhardy. His ears then perked at the tail end of the elder's piece, and the young people now speaking up in response.

Horse breeder land could be rough (that's why its people employed such large animals), but the creatures there were also valuable for the same reason. Remote, wild, rare. To the eyes of potential buyers, anyway. He sized up the young pair who'd spoken up: healers, by the looks of them. Useful. He made up his mind.

Elfbane wrote:
"I will seek them out, along with Eirlys, although... we could use some help,"
Rhun raised his voice over the murmur of the crowd. "Indeed you could! Those are rough lands. I would accompany you–for protection–if deemed worthy…" His eyes met those of the elder. Did he see a glint of approval there, or did he imagine it? Rhun felt slightly dishonest for what he'd left unsaid: the promise of protection was as much for himself as for the others.
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Yes! I was going to say that Eirlys had run into Maelmadog before - but Eirlys is bad with faces (she doesn't look at faces, so that people don't look at hers...) She could identify you by your boots though! And voice...

Eirlys turned around and looked at who had spoken. The voice was familiar, as was his bearing. 'And he had used my name!' Frantically she wracked her mind for who it could be. Then she looked down and it came to her.

"Maelmadog!" she broke into a smile that none could see, for it was hidden by her hood. "Your company is most welcome. It is always good to have the blessings of the gods," Erilys pauses and inclines her head at Maelmadog, "and goddesses."

Then another voice was heard in the crowd. Eirlys turned towards it.

MichMedia wrote:
"Indeed you could! Those are rough lands. I would accompany you–for protection–if deemed worthy…"
"I, for one, would welcome your company. Many hands make light work, as the sayings go."
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Illmwai had witnessed many early spring festivals as a young boy from distant hills in the company of his father and flock. When their family was on the road traveling, scraping by, but surviving, he had been present at many spring festivals. These were not happy times for Illmwai and his family, they were opportune times on which to capture on the bright spirits and generosity of those around him. The last few years saw a return to the earlier time and so a cycle was complete, he had been witnessing the buzz from distant hills with his brothers, flock, and crumhorn.

This year was different. Father wanted Illmwai to make more connections with the locals, since his own reputation as a fair dealer was growing. There may be opportunity for Illmwai to learn the art of trading with his father and so his father had sent him to mix and mingle with the crowds. Illmwai attended with a mixture of strange feelings: shame put its familiar arms around him, anger at the wealth and easy happiness of others, loneliness and a longing to be in the peaceful hills, his true home. But not everything he felt was gloomy and brooding, there was an air of excitement and opportunity for something new.

Love propelled his movement through the festival. He hoped that Affazia would be there and that Feydrin would not. Illmwai was on the lookout for both of them when Shavla addressed the crowd. He felt the hushed importance and it drew his attention, in a way he had not before experienced. He listened and felt something pull at him. ‘breeders… dwindling… withdrawn:' these words caught Illmwai and he felt an immediate connection. Then his father’s words echoed in his mind, ‘Take any opportunity you can to gain the trust and respect of the people.’ Illmwai only vaguely heard volunteers stepping up to help as he looked around frantically to see if Affazia was present. He caught a vision of her enthralled with what was happening and his decision was made.

I will go.” Illmwai’s voice caught in his throat and a couple people around him looked at him. He cleared his throat and yelled, “I WILL GO
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Rhun inclines his head toward the cowled young woman in response, just as a… spirited voice speaks up.

TopherMel wrote:
I WILL GO
Rhun marks a nearby bird startled to wing.
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TopherMel wrote:
I WILL GO

Eirlys turns towards the latest voice. There is strength behind the words, which is greater than just the volume at which they were spoken. She walks over to stand by Maelmadog and says to him,

"It would seem there are others that wish to make this journey. This is a good sign."

A bit louder she adds, "Your company is most welcome."
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adularia25 wrote:
"Your company is most welcome."
"Indeed," Rhun agrees, nodding a friendly smile to the young man.
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Shalva had spoken, people were answering his call. Epona would have preferred no company at all but that was because of memories still haunting her. She looked at the ones who had volunteered. Their faces weren't the ones engraved in her mind. She had to take the chance. With a voice that betrayed a little of her fears she finally answered.

"I will go, if I'm deemed worthy."
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The crowd quietened down as first one voice and then a further four were raised in affirmation of help. Then murmurs started in several places and soon threatened to drown out any further speakers so Shalva raised his arms and quite quickly the voices quieted once again.

"You all have the Elders thanks! Eirlys and Maelmadog, I know you both and you are welcome. The others of you, come forward and introduce yourself! Then we shall see if you are indeed worthy, though I do not doubt that by the simple fact that you spoke up when no others did, that you are. Are there any others who will join these folk in this mission?"

As Rhun, Illmwai and Epona come forward Corinth stands and moves to stand once more beside Shalva.

Shalva waits patiently for Rhun, Illmwai and Epona to make their way forward then steps down off the dias, Corinth following his lead, and looks each of you in the eye, judging your worth. Finally he steps back and opens his arms wide, smiling as he does so. "You are all most worthy and also welcome. Come meet Eirly and Maelmadog. No other has spoken out so these are your travelling companions and new friends. Well met."

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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Aife stands off to one side, fairly near to the traders but in a place where she can keep an eye on the meeting place as well as the food and goods vendors. Her tummy rumbles in response to the lovely smell of the pasties and other food she can see and smell.

As she watches there is a small commotion as an elderly lady with a wicker basket over her arm slips in the churned up mud and falls, her basket empting its contents in front of her. She looks more surprised than hurt, but several of the vendors go to her and help her gather her goods. A number of the blankets are left unattended, including the pastries she had earlier salivated over, sitting on top of the upturned wooden boxes that carried them here.

For Aife Only:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Change of plan due to your earlier narration! Your pastry seller has just moved away from his goods. The pastries are not on the ground, but are instead sitting on top of a number of upturned wooden slatted boxes to keep them away from insects/bugs. Now's your chance to slip in and take one. Roll me a d100 against your Sleight Skill (60) but don't specify what it's for in the comment box - I'll know. I will then roll against your Sleight to see if you fail or succeed. It might actually be that you get away with the steal - and if you do I'll roll with that! But of course you can expect to get caught this one time!
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"Shalva, it is good to see you! Eirianwen sends her greetings to the elders," Maelmadog says happily. With a hint of sadness, he adds, "As you may know her frailty keeps her away these days. It may not be too long ere the Goddess gives her a new form."

Turning to Rhun, Illmwai and Epona as they approach, Maelmadog smiles broadly, arms opened wide in greeting. "Well met friends! Well met!" he says, then, hands moving in a benediction adds, "Blessings of the Goddess be upon you.

"I am Maelmadog, a Druid Initiate and devotee of the Earth Goddess. I suggest we do what preparations we must today, and leave on the morrow. We are not under geas, but I gather there is some urgency to our task. Shalva, what aid can you provide us, if any?
"
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Eirlys is content to let Maelmadog take the lead, as she feels uncomfortable when meeting new people. Still, it would be impolite to say nothing, "Welcome," Eirlys nods her head Rhun, Illmwai and Epona, "I am Eirlys, a simple healer and devotee of Derezema of the forest. This news is extremely troubling, and I am glad each of you has decided to step forth and discover what is wrong."
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'Ugh look at them all, being so busy and important! Everyone staring up at them.' Aife shudders involentarily (getting attention is not really her thing).

Than she notices the commotion at the stalls. The old lady is drawing all the traders awayfrom their blankets and carts. Casually Aife walks in the general direction of the pastries. She looks around half-heartedly (or so it's supposed to look) as if there's nothing of interest.
Good the old clumsy woman is still getting all the attention from the traders, nobody is looking at me

As she passes by the pastries Aife swipes, very casually, one piece from the box on which it is displayed. She doesn't even break her casual stroll to do it.
1d100 = (12) = 12

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  • 518128. mebririth
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  • Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:24 pm
T'Leynti / Leonie
Netherlands
Oud-Beijerland
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Live long and prosper
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You proceed from a false assumption. I am a Vulcan. I have no ego to bruise.
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Epona nods in acknowledgement of the others.

"I'm Epona, a hunter. The forest will hold little secrets for me if it wishes too."

Epona isn't completely at ease, but if they're all deemed worthy and stood up they must be people she may learn to trust.
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Christopher Melenberg
Canada
Prince Rupert
BC
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Illmwai stepped into the forming oblong semi-circle of volunteers. He realized he didn’t know what to say, but it was too late to think of something.

I’m Illmwai, a shepherd. It’s… well. I am happy to be joining you.” Illmwai smiled at saying this and looked around at the people he would be spending a lot of time with. He was anxious, but he was also glad for a change. Most of his time with people other than his family was with strangers. “While I don’t know formalities, I do know animals and I do know trouble. I hope I can help.
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Paul
United States
Michigan
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"Too late, too late" will be the cry…
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…when the man with the bargains has passed you by.
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TopherMel wrote:
I hope I can help.
"Well met, friend; a herdsman will be invaluable in open country. If nothing else, you can jump the game!" Rhun barks a good-natured laugh, clapping Illmwai on the shoulder. Sweeping his new companions, Rhun's gaze rests on the other young woman, Epona. Another hunter. Help, yes… but perhaps competition, also. "I am Rhun, son of Rhein, hunter and tracker."
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
England
Melksham
Wiltshire
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Bifford the Youngest
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Aife procures the pastry with narry any trouble and moves on as though nothing had happened. Carefully, but with practised ease she slides into the crowd so as to be away from the gaze of any of the traders who may have seen her take the food. When she is sure she is out of sight of the traders Aife starts to eat her prize.

As she does so Aife continues to walk and inadvertently finds herself standing just behind the semi-circle of cut logs that mark the boundaries of the meeting place.

For the GM only:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
GM secret 1d100 = (69) = 69


Aife's attention wanders as she enjoys her food and too late she notices the wiseman elder, Corinth Solhael striding towards her, flanked by the village's warrior leader and another man who carried a bow over his shoulder.

Corinth's hand comes down gently but firmly on Aife's shoulder, preventing any means of escape. Aloud, so that all those around may hear he says, "We have amongst us another volunteer! I have been watching this young lady and marvelling at her skills and abilities. One such as her will fit well with this brave group of people and she has graciously agreed to help them in their quest! Come, young lady, and introduce yourself to your new companions."

As Corinth and the military men escort Aife towards the group of adventurers Corinth lowers his voice so that only Aife can hear him.

For Aife only:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
"You performed that manoeuvre well, lass. However you let your guard down once you had your prize and so you did not notice that I saw your actions. You would do well to be mindful of everything around you at all times. Now, you will help my friends here or I shall be forced to bring the law of the land down on you, and you know what that means to one such as yourself. We shall talk on this more soon, for now, play along."


And with that they join the group.
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  • 518348. Bifford
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  • Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:54 am
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