Arodus 1, AR 2719
Although some could say that Isger has seen better years, that's likely a lie. None of Isger's years have been that great. Isger has always been adjacent to power, never independent and capable of forging its own destiny. Founded as a vassal of Taldor it has since traded masters for diabolic Cheliax, who considers it a glorified trade route and source of some useful resources. Isger's masters have always taken from the land, but never given back.
Isger is best understood by its river. The mighty Conerica bisects the land, cutting west to east and providing Cheliax with a vital trade route to Druma and Lake Encarthan. The Conerica is Isger's lifeblood and identity and its industry, fortifications, and military concentrate solely on this one trade route. Its hinterlands are largely ignored, which proved to be the nation's undoing when goblins flooded out of the Chitterwood and devastated the countryside twenty years ago. The Goblinblood Wars were ended by a united force of several nations, but the massacre of entire towns has left the hinterlands more overgrown and wild than ever.
Isger is now rebuilding. The mass deaths on both sides from the war lead to a surge in undead and resulting alliances between rural communities and the goblin tribes that were once their enemies. Cheliax has taken a newfound interest in Isger and their relationship has become (for some) uncomfortably close. To the north, Lastwall has failed in its task of containing the Whispering Tyrant, and refugees from around Lake Encarthan have flooded south, some coming to Isger.
Right now though, you are leaving this land, traveling southwards towards the democratic city of Almas. It is here that we begin.
The caravan bangs noisily along this very poorly-maintained road, now largely a dirt track interrupted by uncomfortably large rocks. The scenery around you is verdant forest with spectacular mountains to both the east and the west. It is beautiful here, but isolated.
It has been three days since you left Elidir, climbing into the back of one of Bort Bargith’s wagons bound for the faraway Andoran capital of Almas. The smiling caravan
master cut your travel cost to only a handful of coppers, so long as you promised to protect the wagons should any trouble arise. Fortunately, your journey through the
hinterlands of Isger has been quiet, even if the ride itself has been far from comfortable.
As you broke camp this morning, Bort announced you should arrive at the town of Etran’s Folly by nightfall, and he promised a comfortable bed for the night as a reward for a long day’s travel. The caravan’s teamsters shared a chuckle between them, trading knowing glances and subtle nods, but soon enough you are on the road again, the wagon bouncing and creaking along the uneven trail.
You are all in the rear wagon, which you share with the food for the caravan, and the camp cook, an absolutely ancient elf who goes by Cooky. He's currently curled up amongst some sacks of flour, sleeping peacefully despite the incredibly uncomfortable ride.
Gameplay thread is open! This is free RP and as such don't expect much of consequence to happen, but you can try on your characters before the game gets going proper on Monday.
On the opposite side of the wagon, sitting in his usual corner, sat a Gnome about three feet in height with vibrant blue hair. As he always did, he had his nose is a book. Every so often he would reach up and scratch the divot on the end of his nose. His eyes, one violet and the other green, rapidly twitched back and forth as he was going through the pages.
He has two bandoliers crisscrossed on his chest. One filled with all manner of strange tools and vials containing various bits of material and herbs, the other held six small bottles of unusual composition. Two had a blue tinge that made odd colours as they swirled about, two others looked like smooth stones with odd designs carved all over them, and the final two contained some sort of strange substance that if one didn't know better, you'd say looked like a liquefied spider web.
A lean young man reaches down to pull the stuck dagger from the floor that he just threw from his seat on the bench. With a deep sigh he coils his arm back and lazily looses the dagger again, spinning through the air for a split second before *thunk* it hits the floorboards again between his feet.
Shiny, tiny metal plates scatter sunlight in a thousand dancing reflections throughout the inside of the wagon as his scale mail catches some of the rays filtering through the back. The man slouches slightly, his steel shield propped perfectly in the bench behind him to give him a solid back to lean on. His red and black tunic has a few tatters and signs of weathered wear, but otherwise looks to be well made. Close inspection shows a trio of vertical lines intersecting a circle, small enough that should he turn just right, the symbol might get lost in the folds of the garment.
"So let me get this straight Gigon, you made whats in them vials without blowing yourself up?" While Pollo's curiosity is genuine, it is easily mistaken for condesension. The poor gnome has only heard this question... perhaps half as many times as he has heard
Pollo flashes a disarming smile as he pulls his dagger from the floorboards again, never taking his eyes off the little gnome.
"Never seen one of them bombs either. What you think the odds are we get a little action around here so you can show me? I could always just have you throw one at me. I bet I could take it."
The Gnome looked up from his book at the armored man, "As I have explained before, yes I made these myself. However, they are not my specialty. I prefer to heal people rather than harm them." Closing the book, Gigon continued, "If you are really interested in seeing one of these in action Mr. Pitius, remind me when we next make camp and I can let you throw one yourself."
Suddenly changing the subject, "Can I see that dagger of yours?"
Milo gazed at the scenery, his mind dulled my the monotony of the journey. Maybe I should have taken a ship all the way, after all. He hadn't fancied sailing through Chelaxian waters, given the practice of enslaving halflings in that infernal empire. Instead, he'd opted for the overland route between Korvosa and Almas, where his second cousin lived. He's never met Bella Bracegirdle, but being family, she'd invited him to stay with her for a while, after he'd reached out to his extended family.
He'd spent his whole life in Magnimar, in western Varisia, only occasionally travelling out of the city, but now it was time to be anywhere else. Leaving the local thieves' guild, the Night Scales, had proven to be more complicated than anticipated. So now he was riding this wagon, on a caravan going through the middle of nowhere. He wished that the journey was over, and that he was in Almas with his relative.
Pollo tosses the blade up in the air where it spins once, twice before he catches it again, the tip of the blade pinched between his forefinger and thumb. The steel is polished and the edge sharp. A supple leather wrapped handle bears the same symbol as his tunic, but is otherwise unremarkable.
Pollo hands the blade over to the gnome handle first, his curiosity peaked at the reason for the request.
"Thank you Mr. Pitius," The Gnome said before beginning scrutinizing the weapon intently. While not formally trained as a blacksmith, he had picked a thing or two while watching he girlfriend pound away at some piece of metal or another. After noting a couple of inconsequential imperfections in the hilt and pommel, Gigon handed it back to the man, nearly dropping the weapon as they hit another rock.
"Who was your blacksmith? They do fairly substantial work."
"Baktiq is his name. Second biggest Half-orc I've ever seen. My father acquired him from Absalom on a diplomatic trip sometime before I was born, supposedly he hailed from the Belkzan region. I always used to wonder why he didn't fight in the tournaments, until I was old enough to realize that skill with the hammer is harder to come by than skill with the sword." Pollo takes the blade back and, much to everyone's relief, sheaths it.
"I'll make sure I pass your compliments to him if I ever return." he smiles a cryptic smile.
"A healer eh? You did mention that, didn't you? Yea, I was aaahhh.... Just making sure you were paying attention." Pollo winks and grins with his eyes as much as his mouth, aware that Gigon had already relayed this information more than once before.
"You sure are quiet little one," Pollo directs his conversation now to include the halfling, "Aren't you glad you didn't take the ship? Gah! Imagine the waves and the salt... You can't ever get that stuff outta your leathers, right?"
Gigon looked curiously at the man, Is he dim, or is he just tooling with me? If he was being honest with himself, he hadn't really been paying too much attention to his travelling companions the past couple days. Thoughts of meeting his father for the first time in his life kept plaguing his mind.
Giving no further thought, the Gnome returned to his book.
The wagon suddenly lurches as the wheel hits a particularly awful rock, likely a remnant of the once-ancient road that was built here back when Taldor ran the joint. The force of the jolt sends Cooky flying out of his comfortable nest among the flour bags and back down. He still doesn't wake up. At this point you'd be convinced he was dead if you hadn't been dealing with this for the past three days. You distantly hear "Sorry!" from Bort up at the lead wagon.
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Seated near the back of the wagon is an elven woman. Her garb – plain greyish-green robes and a hooded cloak – isn’t quite ragged per se but certainly very well-worn and travel-stained, and dusty bare feet can only just be glimpsed beneath the frayed hemline of her robes. She appears to be unarmed apart from a sheathed dagger on her belt, nor does the pack resting on the floor in front of her seem likely to contain anything in the way of additional armaments.
The woman herself is the better part of six feet tall and quite slender, almost a little too much so, with very fair skin, slate-grey eyes, and blond hair somewhat crudely cropped to about shoulder-length. Her strong but elegantly sculpted features are marred by five thin, jagged scars slashing diagonally across her face like a memento from some savage clawed hand. If she turns her head just so, further patches of discoloured scar tissue become visible that suggest something once took a sizeable bite out of the side of her neck as well.
Anghariel has generally been keeping to herself, though if addressed she is soft-spoken and unfailingly polite, even a little deferential. For the most part she sits quite still, albeit a little stiffly, with her hands clasped in her lap and a faraway look in her eyes; the bumping and bouncing caused by the rough road, as well as the overall lack of comfort, barely even seem to register with her.
…well, that latest jolt does. Grimacing, the elf lurches forward to take hold of her backpack in case further, more devastating jolts follow. When they don’t she relaxes a little, though she doesn’t let go of her pack just yet. Anghariel glances around, presumably making sure everyone is all right, before her eyes settle on Cooky. “I’m not sure I have ever seen something more enviable,” she tells nobody in particular, her Common moderately accented, “than the soundness of this man’s sleep.”
Gigon scrambled desperately to catch his book as it flew out of his hands, but luck was on his side as he caught it. He responded to the Elf's comment, "Yes, quite sound."
I wonder if he takes anything?
The Gnome's gaze lingered for a moment on the Elf's scars. I wonder if it's possible to come up with some sort of poultice to take those away? His thoughts soon turned to a whirlwind theory and exposition as he put away the book he was reading and pulled out another one loaded with all manner of loose parchment and scribbled notes. There has to be something.
Milo replied to the talkative human, "Yeah, well I did take a ship from Magnimar to Korvosa — felt a little queasy at times. They say you get used to the motion." He shrugged.
At that moment, the wagon's wheel hit a rock, and he grabbed onto the side to avoid being thrown forwards. "You sure wouldn't want your ship to hit a rock like that."
At the elven woman's remark, he commented, "That guy's unbelievable! He'd sleep through an orc attack!"
The jolt launches Pollo into the air. Already slouching, his hindquarters come back down just a little forward, causing him to bounce right off the seat altogether. He chuckles at his own plight and reclaims his seat on the bench.
"Warrior. Veteran I bet." Pollo offers as the focus of the conversation shifts to the sleeping elf, offering a potential explanation. "Only two things I know of that would let a man sleep like that. Magic spells or a soldier that's seen some things. I'm no expert on spells, but I'm guessing the bumps we been through woulda broken that spell already." he chuckles.
"If I had a drink to offer I would toast to sleep we are all jealous of and wagons that don't sink when they hit rocks!"
"Ok, so three days of small talk, and I'm certain I remember your names, and Gigon might have finally got it through my skull that she prefers healin over blowin stuff up. And that guy can sleep through anything. I think that puts us all somewhere between acquaintance and 'help-you-bust-out-of-jail' friends. So whaddya say we hear some stories? Lemme see if I can peg each of you." Pollo leans forward, putting his palms together and pressing the fingertips as he contemplates.
"Milo, you're running from something. All the better your heading away from Cheliax. Bad place for your kin."
Before Milo can respond, Pollo shifts his gaze to Anghariel. "I'd say the same about you, but it's not quite the same, is it? You're trying to find something. Can't place if you lost it, or never had it."
Pollo spins slightly in his seat again, staring hard at Gigon. "You know exactly where you're going. I'm guessing you just aren't sure if you really want to get there."
Finally, Pollo turns to face Osveta. "Sorry hun, I've got no idea."
"Well? Was I close at least? Let's hear it, I'll share too." Pollo smiles. Without realizing it, the dagger is back out of it's sheath, spinning and flipping absentmindedly in his hand.
Lofty and muscular, the pale Ulfen had spent most of the trip trying to make herself as small as possible it seems whenever she wasn't on her guard duty, sleeping under the benches or in a corner. It had been a perfectly symbiotic relationship with the wagon that worked well for the both of them, until said wagon discovered rocks like a child with an unmarked lever.
Cursing as she lurched in a non-wagon floor oriented direction, revealing a grunged breastplate under her cloak she quickly and sensibly relocated herself to an actual bench so she could steady herself, an agitated shaking possessing her long after the sudden impact.
She had a wolfish face, filled with nicks and scars that probably traveled under her cloak as well. With hungry red eyes and sharp teeth she showed when she yawned she wasn't about to dispel any stereotypes about those from Ustalav. Her accent however was a prim and proper Taldane mush. "I'm from Lastwall." she relents to Pollo when he inquired.
His mention of his father "acquiring" people followed immediately by him trying to size his riding companions up didn't exactly do a passing job of loosening her tongue to talk about herself.
Looking up at Pollo, "I believe you mean he."
Gigon's eyes went wide, "Lastwall?! Were you.......were you there there when it happened?"
"I wasn't in Vigil, no, seeing as how I'm still not a smear. But I was close enough." She responds to Gigon, before looking down at her palms, a shield inked in her right and a sword in the left.
Gigon wanted to say more, but he figured it would be best not to push. His book soon beckoned again as a solution for the Elf's scars started gnawing at the Gnome's mind.
“That depends on the spell,” she offers. “Though yes, such sleep seems more likely the result of considerable practice…and a serene, untroubled mind.”
The elf looks at Pollo when he tries to get the measure of her, and there’s a glint of cold disapproval in her eyes for a moment. It passes just as quickly, though, leaving her as sombre-looking as before. “I’ll say that you are not wrong,” she softly allows after some brief consideration. “But then, is it not a rare person that isn’t looking for something in life?”
Anghariel glances towards the woman from Lastwall several times as if uncertain what, if anything, to say, before finally telling her, “I am sorry to hear that.”
Osveta’s red eyes drift towards the elf, finding herself following the scars she stops herself as she mulls over what to say. ”Thank you for the sympathy.” What else did you say in this situation? She still didn’t know, even after all these days.
Your scars are pretty, she wanted to return before she caught herself. That’s creepy. Don’t make it creepy.... oh, wait! ”My name’s Osveta, what about you?” she then turns to the Gnome. ”Gigon? If I heard correctly.”
The caravan continues to rumble noisily along its southwards journey. The caravan consists of six covered wagons, four of which are laden with supplies, trade goods, and trinkets. Bort makes his home in the lead wagon and the cabin built onto its back, while the final wagon is for passengers and the cook.
You are the only passengers on this particular journey, however over the past few days you've started to get to know the teamsters and crew working on the caravan.
Bort Bargith is of course the caravan master, a cheerful dwarf who loves to tell stories that don't go anywhere.
Cooky shares the wagon with you and is the camp cook. The crew likes to nickname him cocky on account of the fact the ancient elf only has one ear, and tilts his head a lot to hear people.
Glunda is a very shy gnomish woman with some rudimentary druidic abilities. As such, she's fantastic with the pack animals, but has not said one word to any of you and sleeps alone near the horses.
Olf and Ulf are enormous Ulfen lads from the Land of the Linnorn Kings. They are identical twins who enjoy playing pranks.
Tamli is the overseer, a stern and half-orc who has been kind of awkward with you. As such, she's mostly interacted with Bort or been heard barking orders at the teamsters.
Although the caravan is on the move anyone can hop off and run to different carts or just amble alongside if they so wish.
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Milo was about to answer, "You go first," but the man (Pollo?) had already moved on. Likes to hear himself talk.
After a few minutes, he announced, "I'm going to walk for a bit. I need a break from sitting." He jumped down from the wagon and strode along beside it.
she then turns to the Gnome. ”Gigon? If I heard correctly.”
The Gnome popped his head up from his book again, "Hmm, yes Gigon. Sorry I seem distracted. I just thought of something and I'm formulating a theory." Almost immediately he dove back into his book and began scribbling notes.
Gigon didn't even notice the Halfling depart.
You guys are awesome. This is going to be a phenomenal group, I can tell.
Pollo flashes a wry smile when Anghariel correctly calls him out regarding his attempt at drawing something out from his traveling companions. "I feel like we are pretty good friends now, so I don't have any problem telling you that is the trick." he smiles, both charming and disarming. "It's a little bit like the charlatan soothsayers. If you pick something generic enough to say, the other person will usually fill in the blanks for you. Truth be told, we've all got some kind of baggage we wish we didn't have. Thats what makes the game interesting." Pollo leans back when Milo decides to get up.
Ohh... Maybe it was something I said? Pollo shrugs before returning to his conversation with Anghariel and whoever else is listening.
"Pollo, Pollo Pitius." the man extends his hand to Osveta. "I can't believe I hadn't done that already, how rude right?
"I won't pry if you don't want to spill too many beans, but I can be a good sport too, I'll go first if you aren't already sick of me talking? I've heard it takes at least four or five days before the annoying one gets kicked out of the wagon, so I've got some time right?" Pollo looks around to see if the other's reactions are ones of interest, or resignation before he launches into his own story of how he ended up here.
Not even listening to the man prattle on, the Gnome started muttering to himself as he scribbled. "Let's see, if we do two parts of this, one part that, a pinch of those.....No that's stupid, it'll cause a rash. What about three parts of those, and even mixture of one part this and that......maybe?" The rest became hard to understand as Gigon slipped into some sort of gibberish.
As you continue to get to know one another Milo hops from the wagon and begins the fast walk that's required to move along. As he hops over a tree root he sees Ulf, or is it Olf? At any rate one of the huge Ulfen teamsters hop off of a wagon with a bit of a silly grin on his face wearing a conspicuously blue tunic. He waves cheerfully to Milo before he calls out to the wagon.
"Eh, Cooky! Someone! Haven't eaten in hours - throw a bit of cheese will ya? Is Cocky asleep again? Turn him so his ear is facing up!" Ulf... or Olf's voice is powerful but also with the pleasant lilt of his far northern people.
"Pie-Shuhs," Pollo politely corrects the woman as he shakes her hand. and for what its worth, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad you are here now though, I think we are going to become great friends.
Pollo's smile is infectious. Whether or not the others believe him, it is at least clear the talkative man is genuine.
"Cheese? Where is it? He asks as he begins to root around in the sundries.
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... why? Osveta thinks as the formality commences and ends. "Thanks," she makes herself say.
"Pie, for someone who likes to talk and ask questions about others you haven't said why you're here with us." She asks as he roots around. I could really go for a pizza now. Or a meat pie.
Pollo grins as he continues to fish through the bags and barrels looking for the cheese. Seeing a tasty looking grape, he pops one into his mouth. "Short version?" He asks, but doesn't really give an option either way as he rambles right into the short version. "My pops retired from government service. And by retired I mean he was quietly asked to stop coming. Somehow he kept his status though. Wily conniver that old man." Pollo grins and shrugs. One might think the brash young man hopes to take after his pops in some ways.
"Pops... ha! By the gods he would whip me if he heard me calling him that. Ok not so short version now. He couldn't have cared less about me, except when he threw his social gatherings. He was a small time player in the gladiatorial rings, but he didn't care to get involved. He had an agreement with one of the local hellknight branches. One of their lieutenants managed the fighters while he just collected the winnings." Pollo gives up on his search for cheese and sits back on the bench, a bushel of grapes in his hands. He leans over to offer some to Osveta before he continues.
"Lt. Ovid? Homid? Something -id was his name. Doesn't matter. He was fine I guess, but he only knew how to scare people into doing things. The slaves fought well enough, but only because they were as scared to die in the ring as they were to dissapoint... Bovid! That's his name." Pollo picks a few more grapes and tosses them in his mouth.
"Thass no way to run a ring if you ashh me." he keeps going while he chews. "An they never did. I'd do it differen," he pauses while he swallows, mercifully. "And that's why I'm here. Pops got canned, so he stopped caring if I showed up for dinner or not. I'm on my way to start my own ring. If I can figure out how to start it that is. Dominus Pollo. Dominus Pitius. No... Dominus Pollo Pitius. Has a nice ring to it, no?"
Osveta politely declines partaking in the snatched grapes by holding up her shield inked palm.
You're told not to judge quickly but then it's moot point when they prove you right. And then keep going. And going. She bristled as the Chelish man talked but kept her face neutral. "Why don't you just fight yourself." she bluntly asked. She guessed at the obvious answer, but was curious how he would answer it.
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"THATS EXACTLY IT! I WOULD!" Pollo stands up, suddenly as excited and animated as he as ever been on this trip. "See? I knew we would be good friends, you and I are on the same page!" He plops back down in his seat, but sits on the edge, arms animated and excited energy oozing from his aura.
"That's exactly what I would do different. Now, honestly I'm not sure but I don't think the rules allow me to fight in the ring, so I'm not sure how I'd handle that just yet. Totally beside the point right now. Worst case though, I'd be in the training ring with them. And I know I'd be the only one to do it, at least in the eastern reaches of Longmarch. I'll have the edge over all the others, and we'll be rich for it. My men and women and I will live like kings." Pollo leans back, basking in the grandiose glory of his hopes and dreams. "I want a team that fights like comrades, for themselves and for me. Not a team that fights to try not to get killed."
Osveta actually cocks a brow at Pollo's animation and explanation, obviously catching her off guard. Well, I'm okay being wrong when I'm glad to be wrong. She smirked slightly.
"The Chelish sure do love their rules, nonsensical as they can be," she started, remaining polite, "You'd probably have better luck up in the River Kingdoms. Tymon? I think it's called, has plenty of gladiators."
The elf returns Pollo’s smile rather more tentatively. “I used to enjoy this kind of game – though those I played it with would’ve glared daggers at you for calling it a ‘game’. At best.”
“My name is…” she starts to say when introductions are made, but hesitates for a moment. An elf’s personal name is meant to be used only among their family, and a nickname of some sort is to be given when interacting with anybody else – but she has no family. Not any more. And while Anghariel is nowhere near sentimental enough to think of her fellow travellers as her new family, she finds herself quite beyond caring about elven etiquette right here and now. “Anghariel,” she says. “I’m Anghariel.”
She too embarks on a search for some cheese when Olf…or Ulf…requests it. Unlike Pollo however, whose attention seems to wander as swiftly as his words, the elf sees her task through and eventually produces half a wheel of hard cheese, which she hands to the teamster. “You are rather eager to fight,” she notes upon resuming her seat, apparently feeling no desire to stretch her legs at this time.
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Milo walked along next to the wagon, singing to himself,
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
It was an old walking song that his grandfather used to sing, on their strolls together when Milo was a boy.
From The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Milo may well take Bard Dedication at 2nd lvl.
When one of the Ulfen twins called out for food, Milo cried, "Someone wake up the cook! The natives are getting restless out here!"
When the elf produced some cheese for the teamster, Milo said, "Thanks, Anghariel — native uprising averted."
It's been a couple hours since you've eaten and Cooky tends to sleep most of the time aside from when it's time to make food. Cooky is so old Aroden owes him five bucks.
Gotcha, though moot now as the others have successfully scavenged :3
"It's lovely," Osveta says after Anghariel gives them their name.
Ulf... or is it Olf reaches up to the wagon - an easy feat considering how tall he is, and snatches the cheese from Anghariel. "Thanks elf lady!" He runs over to the third wagon, hopping in.
Moments later you see him return on the other side of the wagon, wearing his bright blue shirt. "Eh, Cooky! Someone! Haven't eaten in hours - throw a bit of cheese will ya? Is Cocky asleep again? Turn him so his ear is facing up!"
"You know any more of those? That was pretty good Milo!"
Pollo stifles a chuckle, almost snorting one of the grapes out his nose when Osveta bluntly calls Ulf, or Olf, out on their attempt at a joke.
The young man is curious enough about the old elf he moves to look him over and see if indeed his 'ear is facing up'. "You in there Cooky?"
"I'm glad you're here too Anghariel." Pollo's smile is warm and genuine. He turns to regard the scarred elf, his attention again flitting about like a sparrow caught in a windstorm.
"You might be right. Well, no might about it." He starts to offer, unbidden. "About looking for a fight I mean. There is a certain rush to it, you know? Like this question always hanging over my head, what am I really capable of? How far can I push myself before I find the end of... Well the limit of what this body can squeeze out? There is something special about the dark places in your mind that most people are too afraid to learn. When you are in the midst of doing something and both your body and mind are screaming at you to stop because it's just too hard, you are just too tired," He pauses, searching for words to convey his thoughts.
"That's when you are on the verge of really learning something about yourself. When you find a way to push that panic'd part of your mind into a corner and tell him to shut the $&%# up. When you embrace the weariness and pain in your limbs and accept it rather than try to avoid it, there is a kind of joy and euphoria on the other side of that dark valley. Most people, humans, elves, dwarves hells even monsters are too afraid to look at the abyss, let alone walk through it. That ain't livin to me. There is life unimaginable on the other side of pain if you just have the courage to embrace the suck. I don't want to run away from it. I want to invite it in, because the secret truth is every bit of it makes you stronger. Better. Faster."
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Pollo smirks as he sits back again. "I can see why you might make that connection. Nidal isn't really my kind of place. They seem to like inflicting pain on others like it's some sort of tribute to their twisted god." Pollo crinkles his nose at the thought.
"Pain for the sake of pain is pointless. Inflicting pain as a means to control is for weak people with no imagination." Pollo philosophizes. "I'm not in it for the pleasure of pain. I don't know that I really believe that's actually a thing. I'm in it for what's on the other side. Nidal and their zealots of Zon-Kuthon are lost in the abyss, when the point of it all is what you can become when you overcome it."
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Osveta smiles. ”You may have been on to something, we might end up becoming friends. While confined to this wagon at least.”
Now watch him put his whole boot in his mouth and chew like a ghoul.
Gigon didn't pay attention in the slightest at the conversation going on around him. His mind was focused solely on the issue of removing old scars. Not even his loud stomach growl seemed to get the Gnome from looking up once.
"....Oooo, that could work. But where the hells am I going to get those herbs? Master Vollez said they only grow on high peaks. What if I substituted those with these, no, that would cause boils. Wait a minute, what if...." Gigon slipped back into his unintelligible babble once again.
It wasn't until his stomach growled a second time, and loudly, that the Gnome finally looked up from his book for more than a second. "Do you suppose Cooky would be upset if we helped ourselves to some of the food?"
Seeing the grapes in the mans hand, "Oo oo oo, can I have some?"