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 Chapter Two: In An Elven Way

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DungeonMaster

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PostSubject: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:31 pm

In a sudden flurry of motion, the four heroes are surrounded by dark figures in cloaks There are 12 figures that are visible, but a sheen of light behind them reveals that others may be hidden behind. Each figure has a weapon trained onto the heroes. Some hold bows and others hold crossbows. Each one is trained  with steady hands on the party members. The figures are of varying heights ranging between 5 to 6 feet and all have dark cloaks with hoods and dark colored clothing.  Even their weapons have been blackened  and the  metal points don't even shine.  

Movement from one side of the circle reveals one of the figures moving forward. This figure seems taller than the others and is not holding a weapon trained on them. The figure seems to survey each of them, its gaze lingering on Ashwyn longer than the others. Finally the figure reaches up and pushes its hood back.  

The figure is a female elf with long coppery red hair braided to frame her face and then tucked under her cloak. Her skin is a deep tan and her eyes are a muted gray.  

"You are strangers to these woods." When she speaks her voice is level and deep. It wasn't a question. "You will follow." She said and turned, walking back into the forest.  

It doesn't appear that the heroes are being given much choice, so they follow. They are led single file through the woods with the other figures keeping their weapons trained the whole time. As they walk they can see other figures darting in and out of the tree trunks around them. Lopiena is in front, next comes Zane, then Sigurd and Ashwyn behind them.

As they walk they notice that the trees around them seem to be getting larger and taller. The trucks are getting fuller and they seem to stretch higher into the air. Off in the distance there starts to appear soft pin points of light. Circling around a particularly large tree trunk, the heroes are met with an incredible site. Stretching out below them is a vast valley with the largest trees any of them had ever seen.  The trees themselves were the size of skyscrapers and seemed to have been hollowed out. Windows were carved into the trunk all the way up and various structures were built onto the outside of the trunks. Hovering throughout the area were small balls of light that allowed the area glow with a soft light even in the harsh stormy conditions.

The figures walked then forward down a winding path that led into the valley. As they approached the size of the massive trees made them feel like ants. The sheer majesty of it all was overwhelming. To think something like this has existed in this forest for who knows how long and no one outside of the forest knew? They were led to one of the massive tree structures where there was a very large door cut into the trunk. As they approached the doors opened to a large open room cut into the trunk. It was lined with more of the floating light balls, enough to make the room as bright as daylight. There were several pillars throughout the room and it was clear that these are what remained of the solid trunk structure as they were seamless with the wood floor and wood ceiling.  

The figures allow them time to take in the scenery for long, as they were led through another doorway and began walking up a vast spiral staircase that seemed to travel the outer ring of the trunk. Every now and then they'd pass a window that revealed their climb to the top of the tree. Finally they arrived at the top of the staircase and exited into a sprawling platform. At first it resembled a room, but it was soon clear that there were no walls to speak of. It was merely surrounded by the upper leaves of the tree so thickly that it seemed to be walls. The leaves above them have been woven together and sealed to create a roof so the rain did not touch them here and there seemed to be some kind of dampening spell in affect because he roar of the storm was lessened here.  

They were led down a long pathway that led to a raised platform. On top of the platform was a long table with three chairs behind it. All three chairs were empty but there was one figure standing in front of the table, its back to them. The figure was bent over the table and seemed to be working with some type of tool on a large piece of wood. The table was littered with various piles of papers, books and scraps of wood.

They walked right up to the stairs leading up to the platform before commanded to stop. The red-haired elf woman continued on to the base of the stairs and then knelt, holding her hand across her chest.  The figure at the table had not stopped working.

"Master Aewarin, The visitors are here."  

The figure finally put down his tool, which the players can now see is a chisel, and turns to face him. He is a also an elf, though appears different than the red-haired elf woman. He is tall, standing around 6ft, and his hair is long and silvery white. His skin is somewhat ashen and wrinkled. He is clearly very old. He's wearing clothes that are reminiscent of a carpenter in mostly greens and browns, though on his forehead is something that resembles a crown that seems much more fine than his clothing might suggest.

He stares at the heroes in turn, studying them.  

"Ahh yes....yes I see..." He says. He walks down the stairs towards them and begins to circle them in turn. He inspects Lopeina's staff without touching it, leans in close to her face as though inspecting her (though with a complete lack of awareness for personal space).  

"Yes...yes..." He mumbles as he moves on to Zane. He circles the gnome several times, randomly poking him. "Tender...hmm...I see..." He mumbles and moves on to Sigurd. He looks  him up and down, looking closely at his armor and then leaning into his face.  

"Ahh yes....very interesting..." He mumbles before turning to Ashwyn. He hesitates on her for a moment, pausing to stare intently at her ears before circling her once. "Hmmm....yes...i see, I see...." He moved back to stand in front of him and the Red haired elf from before joins him.

"Excellent!" He suddenly exclaims and claps his hands together. "Welcome friends!" He says with a large smile on his old face.  

The red haired elf steps forward. "Allow me to introduce you to Master Sylvar Aewarin. High Chancellor of Eventide."

[The players are now in the town of Eventide. They have taken a short rest but only regained a 2 hit points each from their previous fight. They are still quite tired and in some cases wounded.]



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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:25 pm

Zane stepped forward, his head held high. "Greetings to you, Chancellor Aewarin. May I ask why you have brought us here in such a manner?" He asked, sweeping his arm around at the armed guards still surrounding them.

The elven chancellor looked around as though just seeing the guards for the first time. "Oh. Yes of course, yes of course." He turned to the red head.

She turned to the guards and nodded once, curtly. The guards lowered their weapons and stepped back. They removed their hoods revealing a mixture of various kinds of elves. Some had tanish-copper skin like the red head, others had the same ashen skin as the Chancellor and still others had dark black-blue skin. It was a very strange combination to see all together like this.

As soon as their hoods were removed, they all relaxed and began sheathing their weapons and talking amongst themselves. Most seemed to speak Elven but there was a smattering of undercommon as well.

The Chancellor smiled widly and clapped his hands to get everyones attention. "Yes yes, you are most welcome here! We so rarely get visitors. And visitors from such strange races is an even more wonderous treat! Humans are rare enough out here, but a gnome? And even a werewolf?" He all but giggled in his excitement.


"Werewolf??" Zane gasped and began looking around in a panic. Before he could make a fool of himself, Ashwyn stepped forward.

"Forgive me, Chancellor, but you haven't answered his question. Is there a reason you brought us here under armed guard?" She asked.

The Chancellor smiled at her. "Ahh, my dear..." He approached her and held his hands out as though he was going to take her face in his hands but he resisted. "We have known you were in the forest since you entered it. We have eyes everywhere, you see." He placed a finger by his nose and chuckled. "I've wanted to meet you since you first arrived but we didn't want to intrude until you were close enough." He swept his arm out to the group around them and particularly to the red head elf. "I sent Ishal out with her team to bring you here. We were so concerned when you came through the Octo Swamp. I wanted to make sure you were alright."


Ashwyn glanced at the red head. She didn't seem thrilled that they were there. "So they were sent for our....protection?"

The Chancellor nodded. "Yes yes, of course. Of course when she saw how powerful you were, well, she didn't want to take any chances of you misunderstanding, you see. The forest can be a very dangerous place you know."

The Red Head seemed to glare in their direction before turning and leaving the area.

"Oh but where are my mannors??" The Chancellor gasped. "You all have had quite an ordeal. Please, please rest. I've prepared some of our finest rooms for you to rest up in." He placed his hand on Ashwyn's back to lead her and pointed off to the side where there was an entry way that led to other rooms built from sweeping branches.

"Just through there, oh and there's a banquet in your honor tonight. Plenty of time for that after you've rested. Please make yourselves at home. We'll talk more at dinner tonight." He said and led them all to a large suite. The room was large and had four beds situated in a circle around a central seating area. There was a fruit basket and a bundle of bread on a table in the middle of the setting area. As the Chancellor left he was going back to his muttering.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:53 am

While a forced march through the forest is less than relaxing, the majesty of the forest as the trees grow in size and stature helps rejuvenate Lopiena. When they arrive at Eventide, she gasps in amazement with open-mouthed awe...trees of such grandeur have only been described in stories; she had never expected to see one, much less a city of them! The lights, the trees, the elves, the trees, the curving avenues and oh the trees! Even though she is quite afraid of what these elves might want with them, she is content having seen such beauty. Climbing all those stairs, however...she's beyond exhausted and starting to shake from cold. When the red-haired elf kneels before the Chancellor, she automatically copies more to keep from falling over than from reverence. The Chancellor's intense scrutiny is...intimidating...but his friendly manner is both unexpected and comforting. The baleful glares of the red-haired elf is concerning, however...there is clearly something going on under the surface.

When the party reaches the room, Lopiena stops in the middle of the floor and looks wearily at her companions. "This place...it's too much. I don't even know where to sit. I'm still covered in mud. My gear is covered in mud. I don't suppose our benefactor has thought about hot baths or clean clothes? Especially if we're to go to a banquet tonight?" Sighing, she picks a spot off to one side and starts removing her cloak, pack, and boots...anything that can come off that is caked in mud. "Not to say that I trust it. It's...just too much." Abruptly sitting on the floor next to her gear, she starts shivering in earnest, and barely manages to open her pack and pull out her sodden blanket with shaking hands. "I...d...don't know w...what else...t...to do." Wrapping her blanket around her shoulders, she curls into a ball, trying to get warm.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:17 am

As if being summoned, a meek looking elf girl enters the chamber. She is carrying large fluffy towels and she sets them onto a chair. Then she silently walks over to a section of the wall between the far two beds. She pushes the wall and a door swings in. Inside is a large hot springs that seems to be directed from a nearby rock formation that the tree had grown into long ago. It has been hallowed out and benches added along the room.

She exits the room and addresses the heroes. "Please feel free to freshen yourselves." She says, then bows and leaves the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:06 am

Ashwyn looked around the room with unease. Something about all of this felt very...strange to her. Then again, she hadn't spent much time among elves since being shunned from so many in her life. In fairness, these were an entirely different breed of elf than the ones she was used to dealing with but...she was still uneasy. The woman they called Ishal didn't seem to like them much.

Though she was unsure how all of this would play out, she decided to at least try and dry herself off. She walked over to one of the beds and removed her cloak. She draped it over the bedside table and watched it drip to the floor. She placed her pack near it, but kept her weapons for now.

She looks over at a shivering Lopeina and approaches her. She places her hand on the soggy blanket covering the young druid. "You're going to catch sick. Why don't you strip your wet things and warm yourself in the hot springs."

Zane had already removed his muddy and soaked through robes and laid them out on one of the benches to dry.

"Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I personally, am going to enjoy this welcome break." He said with obvious happiness. He strips down to his small cloths and climbs into the hot springs, a rather loud moan of appreciation echos in the room.

Ashwyn rolled her eyes. It wasn't as though he did much...except nearly die. Standing she felt her own tense muscles and the thought of a hot spring did sound nice. She just wasn't sure she trusted all this luxury.

"Well, we may as well replenish ourselves." She said finally. She entered the hot springs room and placed her weapons on the ground near the water so she could easily grab them if needed. Then she removed disrobed to her small clothes as well. Her breasts were still concealed by a wrap of fabric that strained to hold in her considerable assets and another similar cloth wrapped around her crotch. They were soaked as well but she left them on just the same. She wasn't sure being nude in front of Sigurd was a particularly good idea for her at the moment.

Zane had moved himself to the far corner and closed his eyes as he relaxed. She sighed. Did anything concern him? So Ashwyn stepped carefully into the water near the edge. The hot water washed around her and she had to fight to keep the moan from escaping her lips. Despite her worries, the hot water felt divine against her sore muscles. She pulled the leather cord out of her hair, letting it loose around her body and then dunked her head under, running her fingers through her hair to pull the mud from it and she sighed in contentment.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:19 am

At Ashwyn's touch, Lopiena looks up and smiles. Still curled under her wet blanket, she strips off everything, leaving her wet and stained clothes in a pile next to her gear. Shuffling over to the hot springs, she finally removes the blanket and drapes it over one of the benches lining the side.  Totally nude, she climbs into the hot springs slowly.  Her skin is so cold that touching the water turns her bright red, and a small hiss of pain escapes her lips as she slowly immerses her feet and legs in the water. Standing half in and half out of the water,  she's suddenly aware that both Ashwyn and Zane kept their small clothes on...blushing furiously, she almost jumps in the water to hide.  The shock of the sudden temperature change leaves her gasping...
Finally completely immered except for her head, she smiles shyly at Ashwyn.  "Sorry...I didn't realize...natural hot springs are a rare treat, and I didn't think about certain...sensitivities. I just don't have much to hide."  Blushing again, she dunks her head under to wash out the mud and grime from her short hair.  That done, she settles on one side of the pool to relax. The heat is slowly permeating into the rest of her body, and as her muscles relax so does she. Glancing at Ashwyn's weapons near at hand, though...she guiltily realizes that her staff is still next to her pack, wet and muddly. She'll have to clean it later.

"So what do you think they might want from us? Or do they know something about what's going on, and where we should go next? At least maybe we can get a better map...the Chancellor mentioned the Octo Springs as a place they were familiar with, but...Zane, you said there was no indication of a swamp on your map, which is certainly no fault of your own." she nods at the gnome on the other side of the pool.  "At least we can hope for some useful information about these lands."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:37 am

Sigurd's head snapped up at the motion of the elves closing around them, his first instinct was to shift again. Had it only been him he would have but with the others he wasn't going to risk their deaths. His eyes darted around taking stock of their numbers (what he could see anyway) and their weapons. Sighing he relaxed his guard and reluctance at the ten elf's command he followed.

The rain still heavy Sigurd's disconnection to his enhanced smell and hearing was becoming bothersome. Once he had fought a wizard that stopped him from being able to shift into his hybrid form. He still died but feeling that disconnection from a semblance of himself always bothered him since. As the trees grew larger and started  to look more inhabited Sigurd's unease grew along with it, The more bodies that they were surrounded by the harder it would be for them to escape should the need arise, He'd have no problem of it on his own but now he felt responsible for the others.

As they were lead into one of the trees he felt his senses come back to him, the rain still echoed from outside but his ears were filled now with conversations and footsteps, his nose was filled with the smells of the wood that surrounded them, perfumes from some of the women, food, the mud and grime covering himself and his party, it was good to feel normal again.

The scent of freshly carved wood filled his nose as they were lead into Master Aewarin's chambers Sigurd didn't think too much of the man, he smelled as old as he looked. When the old mans face got dangerously close to Sigurd's his nostrils flared and his upper lip twitched slightly as almost poised to bite Aewarin's.

When Zane stepped forward Sigurd snorted softly almost as if he was half expecting the Gnome to assert himself. The corner of his mouth curled when he was almost completely ignored. Watching the guards sheath their weapons made his muscles relax slightly but not completely. Visitors.. Visitors usually come into a place of their own free will... he thought to himself. Sigurd's face betrayed a slight look of surprise when he was outed as a werewolf, that wasn't normally something could pick out just by looking at him once.

As he spoke about having been watching them Sigurd tried to remember if he noticed anything out of the ordinary... other than the abnormally large animals and tribal warrior but nothing came to mind. At the mention of the 'Octo Swamp' he couldn't help but chuckle to himself, they were just going to have to call it a swamp now... his eyes locked with the red headed elf's and he studied her for a moment there was strength in her, though she didn't look it he knew he'd have to be mindful of her. Their gaze separated when she turned and left.

Walking into the room he smiled this was much more welcoming than the inn was, the beds looked as sturdy as the tree they were currently residing in. He walked around the room and took a deep breath, everything smelled clean, and wooden and best of all, it was dry and warm. He watched Lopiena sink to the ground and sighed she worried too much, she could have easily sat anywhere, muddy or not he was sure they expected dirt and would clean accordingly. Watching as a smaller elf girl came in and revealed the springs behind one of the walls Sigurd smiled that would fix a few issues.

One by one he watched his companions disrobe carefully and enter the spring, he caught himself staring at Ashwyn as she disrobed and was surprised as the shape of her body, her assets didn't look as shapely and... abundant with her armor on as they had now, even so he could only assume their cloth restraints served to suppress their noticeably. Sigurd smirked when Lopiena fully disrobed, she'd have felt at home in ThunderKnoll, Many of the residents refused to take a human form and also felt that clothing was optional, some shared the same sentiment even in human form.
Sigurd sighed softly and started towards the spring, reaching under the material his breastplate was attached to he flipped a small snap and pulled on a leather strap, this caused his armor to almost disintegrate into a pile of  leather and steel. A design feature in case he was stuck in a situation where his armor hindered him. He made no effort to pick it up and soon after his blue tunic came off and made it's own pile, then his trousers, and his small clothes. With not a single shred of shame He made his way into the spring room and gently lowered himself into the water.

His body was nicked and decorated with various scars, some looked as if they were made by some beast and others by blades, some puncture wounds and grazes. It was very apparent that he had seen a great deal of combat in his time and the solidity and definition of his muscles proved that he could and did step up to each challenge. As if it were some sort of magic any and all worries and stress melted away from Sigurd like the mud and sweat from battle. A throaty groan escaped his lips as he sunk up to his neck and rested his head against the side of the spring.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:02 am

Ashwyn was laying back and letting the hot water melt away the tension in her muscles when her ears told her that Lopiena was joining them. She heard her enter and sit down, then heard her say something about her lack of clothing. She opened her eyes and looked over at the now nude druid and she chuckled.

"I only remained clothed so as not to offend others. It doesn't bother me." She shrugged. It was at that moment that the loud clank of Sigurd's armor made her turn her head. She was quite impressed by the design of Sigurd's armor and made a mental note to ask him about it later. She had never seen it's equal. She was still staring at him, lost in her thoughts on his armor, when the rest of his clothes vanished and she realized she was now staring at his nude body without thinking about it. Her eyes widened, more at the shock of herself loosing focus than anything else, and she felt her cheeks flush.

She had already known he was muscular but something about seeing him like this made it all real. Her eyes danced across his various scars and she felt her fingers unconsciously travel across her own scars. Her body was mostly unblemished, her stealth and speed helped with that, but she was not completely unmarked. Along her arms were a few small scars, mostly from snapped bow strings or various bushes and brambles. But most notably was a jagged scar along her pelvis, just under her navel. The scar that held the most unpleasant memories. Realizing her fingers were tracing that scar she shook herself out of her thoughts and finally broke her gaze on Sigurd.

She couldn't help the soft turn of her lips at his groan upon entering the water. It seemed they had all needed this reprieve. Deciding that it would need done eventually, she sighed and sat up. Reaching down to her chest she unstrapped the cloth wrapped around her and carefully unwound it. Once it was free of her body she did the same with the lower clothe. She set them aside with her weapons making a mental note to wash them along with her clothing. Since everyone seemed to be too focused on their own relaxation, surely they wouldn't notice her own. She lay back and closed her eyes to relax. Though she seemed to be falling asleep, her ears were carefully tuned in to any and all sound around them, just in case an attack was imminent.

--

Zane glanced up at Lopeina as she entered and his face turned about 4 shades of red. "REALLY woman, have you no shame??" He gasped and turned away until she disappeared into the water. When Sigurd joined he was absolutely abashed with shock. And by the time Ashwyn had stripped off her small clothes he had gone a nice shade of purple.

"Deplorable...I'm in the company of brigands..." He muttered, though not nearly as quietly as he thought he was.

As Lopeina's questions, he perked up. "Well, I suppose that remains to be seen, now doesn't it? It is rather strange to be welcomed so quickly but...if we keep our heads this won't end up being a bad thing. And perhaps we will gain the knowledge we have been seeking." He nodded matter of factlly.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:09 am

As the heroes relaxed, two new figures entered the room. One was the small elf girl from before and the other was a male elf who looked almost identical to the girl. They were carrying a pile of clothing. The girl began turning down the beds while the boy began collecting their clothing. The girl approached them in the spring but looked away when she saw their state of dress.

"Please, continue to relax. We will wash your clothing and armor for you and bring them back to you before night fall."

The boy joined her and nodded. "We have brought you replacement robes for the banquet tonight and something comfortable for you to sleep in until then. The robes are of the finest materials. The Chancellor wishes you would wear them tonight." He bowed his head and he and the girl left with all of their muddy clothing and armor.

[They have brought one long night shirt for each hero, sized to fit them perfectly. They have also brought fine robes for Sigurd and Zane and ornate dresses for Ashwyn and Lopiena. They are laying out on the beds and have nice shoes to match.]
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:21 pm

Still blushing from Zane's comments, Lopiena looks up in time to see Sigurd disrobe himself...and her mouth turns into a perfectly round O. She's not wholly unfamiliar with the male physique...the village boys at home were always showing off, and the last time they'd chased her into the forest they had made their intentions perfectly clear...but they were a flickering candle compared to a roaring bonfire. Looking away, she glances at Ashwyn and is hit with a sudden pang of jealousy. She seems to have it all together...strong, great with many different weapons, and incredibly beautiful...but such thoughts are absolutely not appropriate, and she banishes them with a shake of her head. Mentally chiding herself for such foolishness, she focuses on Zane's comments.

"I certainly hope we gain knowledge. I know if we keep wandering around this forest will eventually find answers, but we don't even know what we're looking for yet."

Watching the young elves take their clothing, she's suddenly nervous about getting them back but lets it go for now...they need to be washed, the robes look comfortable, and she's perfectly capable of doing what needs to get done without it. The dresses now...she's never seen such things before, and isn't entirely sure she would know how to put them on.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Sigurd's eyes opened when he heard the sound of his things begin collected, Shooting up out of the water “Put those ba-” they were gone... He stood staring at the door for a long moment. He had always tended to his own equipment and the thought of others handling it made him uneasy. Nothing could be done about it now so he just sighed and lowered back into the water again. “some sort of direction would be nice...” he said closing his eyes again. Partly to relax and partly to avoid staring at his companions. He may have been a fearless fighter and werewolf. But he was still male after all.

"We'll get our answers after dinner. One way or another."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:22 pm

When the young elves left with her things Ashwyn frowned. She didn't like the idea of her things being in the hands of an unknown. It was a luxtury for most, sure, but she always prefered to handle her own equipment. It was clear SIgurd felt the same as he jumped up. For a moment she was worried that he would chase after them, but then he sat back down.

It was then that it occured to her that she now had nothing to wrap around herself when she climbed out of the spring. The towels were still in the main room and she had no clothing at all to cover herself. She felt her blush coming back but she tried to ignore it.

Zane seemed perfectly comfortable with them taking his items. "Oh yes, wonderful. Do remember to polish the brass buttons won't you?" He called to them as they left. He settled back into the water and sighed contentedly.

Ashwyn resisted the urge to roll her eyes.... Again. No sense in worrying about her state of dress now. At least she wasn't the only one in the same situation. She noticed Sigurd purposely avoiding looking at them and she hoped that meant it was because he was relaxing and not because of.... Well.... Anyway...

Working to push those thoughts out of her head, she lay her head back down against the rocks. The cool rocks against her head combined with her body in the hot water was heavenly and she tried to focus on that. At SIgurd's words she nodded. "I do hope so. I feel very uneasy being around these people. They're far too....accomidating..." SHe all but shivered at her own words.

She was laying back against the rocks, mostly underwater, though her chest size made it difficult to conceal ALL of her. Her eyes turned to SIgurd, working very hard to NOT glance below the waterline.

"Sigurd, I noticed your armor seems to be specially made. It's very impressive. Your change didn't even affect its fit. i wonder... Could something similar be crafted of leather?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:48 pm

“Leather is what it's mainly made of, there's a special braided stitch that allows the overlapping material to expand slightly without ripping, The metal plates split apart so we don't lose mobility. We started doing things that way before I was born, one of our armor smiths created the design when he was turned and noticed how inefficient our old armor was. It's mostly uniform but mine is one of a kind. So nothing had better happen to it...” Sigurd explained. He put his arms up on the side of the spring.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:22 pm

Ashwyn noded as he spoke. When he added the aside about them not damaging it she smiled a bit. SHe'd hate to see what happened to whoever damaged it... She imagine'd they wouldn't live long...

"It's construction is very impressive, but I was more referring to the fast removeability. I never would have considered something like that but I can imagine it's very convenient. Do you think that... Well, do you think your armorsmith would make something similar for someone who isn't a member of your tribe?"

---

While Ashwyn and Sigurd discussed armor, Zane addressed Lopiena. " At least we get to be properly dressed tonight. I must say I'm looking forward to it. Of course I understand the importance of our mission and I absolutely determined to see it through. But it's such a pleasure to be in civilized circumstances. i do hope the robes are... Appropriate. How embarassing to show up in illfitting robes, don't you think?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:00 pm

"with enough money and the bright connections anything is possible" he said with a deep chested laugh. "The quick release strap helps for when we get stuck in pathways if we're in hybrid form or if we need the extra speed but I don't see why you couldn't get something close, I don't imagine a ranger could have any use for plate armor."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:05 pm

Ashwyn shook her head to his question. "No, not plate armor. Something like that would only hinder what I do. I usually wear regular leather armor, though about a decade ago I was given a special set of studded armor and the added protection has been very helpful." She sat up to face him more completely, enjoying this conversation.

"i don't usually keep much coin around, but that can change depending what he would charge. I'd love to have something like it if he thinks he can make it. Is it complicated to put back on?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:34 pm

"it's.. tedious" he said softly "you have to lace it back together but once you do it enough its second nature, like cleaning your weapons." If there was anything people could get Sigurd to talk about it was weapons and armor. His stoic, grumpy facade seemingly melting away in the comfort of his new friends. And Zane. "The thing I had to learn was how to tuck the release strap away so it won't get caught and I end up having no armor, learned that the hard way" he chuckled remembering a bad training day.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:42 pm

Half listening to Sigurd and Ashwyn discussing armor, Lopiena doesn't at first recognize that Zane is talking to her...but the pitch of his voice is impossible not to notice, and his comment about "civilized circumstances" makes her cringe.
"Uhh...I guess?  I'm not really familiar with that type of dress.  But...Zane, please...with all due respect, can you not make judgments about what is or is not civilized around me?"  Biting her lip, she decides that it's time to say what needs to be said.  Climbing out of the water, she walks dripping out of the room and picks up her staff. It's still covered in mud, so as she returns she gathers the entire stack of fluffy towels and places them in the hot springs room.  Taking one of the towels, she gets back in the water on the far edge of the springs near where the water naturally runs out and starts cleaning her staff.
"This staff was made from the heartwood of a great oak that used to grow near my village.  It was strong, and massive...hundreds of years old.  When I was a girl, lightning struck the oak during a huge storm, splitting it in two...we were able to put the fire out, but the damage was done.  The oak was dying.  My grandmother can talk to trees, and as she had her hands on the oak she heard his dying words.  'Do not let my body crush my children,' he said.  The area surrounding the oak was full of smaller trees, many themselves quite large and magnificent but not near the size of the Great Oak.  If the Great Oak fell, it would have destroyed many of the smaller trees.  To prevent that from happening, my grandmother, mother, and I all worked through the night slowly cutting off branches and lowering them safely to the ground.  But the Great Oak was still alive...I remember my grandmother's tears every time we had to cut into his heart, slowly killing him piece by piece.  By morning, all that was left was his heartwood and the many trees we'd saved by taking down the Great Oak the way we did."
Lopiena looks at Zane squarely.  "That to me is civilization.  When one life gives their all that others may live.  I know others do not see it that way; to them civilization is buildings. Hot baths, clean clothes.  I enjoy these things, but they are just things."  She takes a deep breath, looking back at her staff.  "Not long after the Great Oak was cut down, the mayor of the village decided that to be 'civilized' they needed to have a proper Town Hall.  They took the remaining wood from the Great Oak, cut down all the trees he had saved, and used their wood to build a magnificent Town Hall in the cleared area. The finest Town Hall ever seen, the people said.  It made me sick every time I walked through the village...not only did they make his sacrifice futile, they made a mockery of it.  All in the name of 'civilization.'  So please...Zane...don't try to tell me what is and is not civilized."  Done cleaning her staff, she places it carefully on one of the benches outside the pool and gets fully back in the water, eyes closed.  "Sorry for going off like that. I do respect your views, just please be aware that not everyone shares them."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:55 pm

Ashwyn nodded. She wasn't really surprised that it would be more complicated than a standard set of armor to put on. Maybe, if she was able to get some, SIgurd could help her figure it out.

When he spoke of the mishap with his armor, she laughed. "I can't imagine that went over well." She chuckled. SHe was enjoying this side of Sigurd. He always seemed to serious and silent. Hearing him get animated was enjoyable. SHe was getting so lost in the conversation she hadn't even noticed that her upper half was completely exposed as she spoke.

It was about that time that Lopiena stood up and left to retrieve her staff. Ashwyn achknoqledged that she left but didn't think much of it. It seemed natural that she'd want to retrieve her weapon and wash it. She had planned to give her own weapons a good cleaning as well. But when the young druid began to speak Ashwyn turned to listen.

As she spoke of the Oak in her village and it's sacrifice it pulled at her heart. SHe hadn't really seen Lopiena as someone who was very strong... But she was very wrong. It would take great strength to do such a thing. Her level of respect for the young woman grew greatly in that moment. It didn't hurt that she was also putting Zane in his place.

--

Meanwhile, Zane sat stunned, just staring at her as she spoke. He had never been spoken to so... So... Susinctly. He didn't even notice her nudity, too distracted with her admonishment. WHen she finally stopped, he sat, open mouthed and speechless for the first time in his life. He had no idea what to say. WHen she relaxed and began to appologize he finally cleared his throat.

"No I... I believe it is I who should appologize." He sat up a bit straighter and faced her. "I... I have not been considerate as I spoke. I meant no disrespect, persay. I only meant..." He paused, took a breath, and then continued. "You are quite right. I have made an ass of myself. I do hope that you will forgive me my rudeness. YOu and I come from different backgrounds and that is nothing to be ashamed of. i do hope you will accept my apology." He said, bowing his head towards her.

--

Ashwyn sat shocked. She had a hunch that some kind of confrintation like this was going to happen but honestly she figured Sigurd would be the first to burst. Sitting in shock at the happenings she found herself leaning in to Sigurd and though she whispered, she made sure it was loud enough for the others to hear as well.

"Well... It seems the little druid isn't one to be triffled with." She winked at Lopiena to show her approval and then smiled at Sigurd, not realizing how close she had leaned in. So close her chest was pressing up against his chest and she was tucked under his arm.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:43 pm

Lopiena smiles and opens her eyes. "I...yes, I accept your apology, Zane. We are all from such different backgrounds, but in spite of everything I really think we're starting to come together as a team. I sincerely hope that we can work through our problems and become stronger, together."
At Ashwyn's comment, she blushes...a very high compliment coming from someone so strong. Looking toward Ashwyn and Sigurd, she stops and considers. "Sigurd, you remind me of that oak. Standing strong on your own, but going to such sacrifice for others. I sometimes think you would give anything to save those close to you..." Suddenly aware of all the eyes on her, she lowers her head. "I'm sorry...I shouldn't have said that. I don't presume to know you."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:22 pm

Sigurd laughed "that's how I got this scar" he said pointing at one of the piercing marks on his abdomen. When he looked up he couldn't help but notice Ashwyn fully exposed chest, her assets were most impressive especially in their unbound state. He was about to say something when Lopiena got out of the water, her body wasn't terrible to look at either.

When she got back and calmly tore Zane a new orifice he smiled. Small though she was there was a fire in her yet. The gnome offering his apologies so progress was being made to reign in his ego. When she compared him to the Oak tree of her village he smiled warmly at her "I've known you a short time, I was mistaken to have sized you up so quickly I feel as this adventure continues, you will"

There was a strange warmth on his chest he turned to look and noticed Ashwyn's breast pressed against him it. He tried to subtly move away slightly and stealthfully but that only served to cause his arm to slip off the side of the bath and around her shoulder, the weight of his arm pulling her closer to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:49 pm

Ashwyn was still chuckling at Lopiena's words when she felt SIgurd shift. SHe suddenly realized how much she had leaned in the split second before his arm fell off the edge of the spring and landed across her back. She felt his fingers brush her backside and her face flushed brightly.

"Oh! I'm-I'm so sorry." She put her hand out to push herself away from him but the motion of his arm falling across her backside put her off balance and she fell forward. SHe reached out to catch herself and her hand landed on SIgurd's inner thigh, brushing against something that made her ears turn a bright red.

"Oh!! I didn't....I'm so sorry..." SHe blushed furiously, trying to push herself away but due to her own embarassment and panic she was unable to gain purchase on any solid surface.....well, other than SIgurd's body....
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:09 pm

Sigurd's face could have lit the room with how red he had gotten he had never felt the warmth of someone's flesh against his in this manner before. He had no shame of his own body but he was embarrassed all the same. Electricity shot though his body as Ashwyn's hand brushed his manhood a gasp left his lips and he reached forward to catch her fall only to gain a handful of her breast. "Lords forgive me!" He says swimming back and sinking to his nose and turning away. He wasn't sure if the heat he was feeling was from the spring or his embarrassedness.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 pm

Feeling SIgurd's hand come down on her breast made her squeal in embarrassment... Well... Even MORE embarrassment...

She jerked her hand away from his private area and finally managed to push herself away from him as he himself swam to the other end of the springs. Completely humiliated by her own clumbsiness and insensitivity she covered her face in both her hands just willing it all to go away.

She sunk down into the water to her chin, her hands still covering her face. She was at a complete loss as to what to say,... Or do for that matter. How could she have allowed herelf to be so stupid?? And with how quickly Sigurd pushed away from her she was certian that he thought the worst of her too. So much for new friendships... SHe thought miserably.

FInally uncovering her face she looked over to Sigurd. "I am so very sorry. I didn';t mean... I never meant to..." She trailed off, her words a babbling mess in her mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two: In An Elven Way   Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 pm

Calmly watching from the other side of the pool, the sudden splashing and visible embarrassment from Lopiena's companions is a bit of a surprise. They seemed to be completely comfortable getting close a moment ago...not concerned in the least, she turns and notices Zane looking more than a little scandalized by their actions. Suddenly grinning, she distracts him by splashing under the water herself, dousing the gnome. Surfacing a bit further away from him (and incidentally placing herself between Zane and the others) she rubs at her short hair. "Philosophical discussions aside, I wonder if there is any soap...the mud is long gone, but nothing beats a nice herbal soap. Right, Zane?"
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