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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
Location: Fortress of Futillity
|Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:03 am Post subject: Backgorund for Jarko "The Stranger"
Not sure whee exactly this should go but this kind of looked like a good spot. Plus it didn't have any thing in it so I thought it might be lonley
Thsi is the first install ment fo the backstory for my charcter Jarko. Its about 2500 words at the moment so I hope its not a waste of your time to read it.
Well without fruther ado;
Jarko "The Stranger" Origin Tale, by Donny
“You must pay attention my young apprentice.”
An accompanying prod by master Ventish with his staff brought Jago back to the here and now.
“I’m sorry master,” Jago tried to look contrite, “it’s just that I’m so tired. We have ridden all day”
The men at arms within earshot rumbled with suppressed laughter at that comment.
Master Ventish rode a little closer to better look Jago in the eyes.
“Young man, some of our companions here have ridden for 3 days and stopped only long enough to rest and water their mounts.” His beard started to quiver; it always did that when he was getting cross. “What you have endured this morning doesn’t even rate as an inconvenience.”
“I’m sorry master, I don’t mean to complain.”
“Being sorry will not keep you alive, or aid those around you. We ride hard today as we are in enemy territory. Here you need to be alert and on your guard. Inattention could be fatal.”
“Yes master, I will try.” Jago squared his shoulders and looked around in an attempt to seem vigilant and on guard.
Master Ventish sighed, ”My boy, bravo on your effort, but it is not the mundane world you need concern yourself with. That is the charge of these brave men around us. You and I need to focus on any arcane or mystical surprises that may be in store.”
Master Ventish reached over and gave Jago’s shoulder a firm squeeze, in an almost fatherly gesture.
“Extend your senses and keep them focused, this is not an exercise. We are in real danger. One must keep their wits about them in this country. We are only a days ride from Morgath’s tower.” Ventish sounded very, very serious.
“Yes master Ventish, I will do my best, I do not wish to let you down.”
Jago was more than a little afraid. Morgath was a name form nightmare. An evil sorcerer said to command demons and spirits from the grave. His heart began to beat faster as the fear born adrenalin spread through his body. He would not have any trouble keeping alert now.
“Mind that I do not have to remind you again Jago, you have distracted me too long just now. A moments distraction is often the difference between life and death.”
And those were the last words Master Ventish ever spoke. Jago sensed a powerful surge in the ether to the northeast, lightning arced into the group of travellers striking the old mage first and then chaining through half a dozen men at arms. Master Ventish stiffened in his saddle, horse and man fell as one.
Jago could see the rest of the men at arms fighting with huge armoured Orcs, their bestial faces lit by the joy of carnage. Without thinking he dug his heals onto his horse’s flanks and charged for an opening in the lines. Passing the last of the fighting men and Orcs he looked around for any more enemies. In the distance to the southwest he could see the last of the men at arms fighting back to back, standing over the body of Master Ventish.
Was it possible that he still lived?
Without warning a tall man in a black robe stepped out of concealment to the side of Jago. Too late did Jago realise that in his confusion he had ridden to the northeast. Their eyes meet and Jago felt his will melt away.
“Do not fear young man, I will not kill you.” The man moved over to his side and helped him down from his mount. A sadistic smile lit up his face. Jago could see very little humour there. “Do you know who I am?”
Jaoko could feel the vice grip on his will slacken just enough for him to speak.
A hand like the talon of some vile reptile reached out and grabbed his shoulder, mocking the earlier gesture of his Master.
“Yes young one, I am Morgath.”
“What are you going to do with us?”
“Oh the others are dead by now, such is the price for challenging me in my own lands. But I have plans for you little mageling.” He laughed.
“Yes, though in time you may wish that you had shared the fate of your companions.”
A huge Orc strode up to Maorgath holding the reins of a great demonic steed. He was still licking gore off of his face with a thick orange tongue.
“Master, they are dead as ordered. All equipment of value or interest is in our possession.” Its voice was so deep it was almost unintelligible.
Morgarth turned to acknowledge his captains remark. “Good work Karrak, get your men organised, we return to the tower.”
The huge Orc moved away and started shouting in his own rough language and beating his men to get them moving. Morgarth’s grip on Jago’s shoulder tightened, sharp nailed fingers invaded his flesh.
“Now young one mount your horse, we have a long ride and a lot to do. You have your work cut out for you.” More of that dry cruel laughter escaped his lips.
“It has been a long time since I had and apprentice.”
A troubled day stretched in to a long dark afternoon. Rain clouds approached the small mining community of Duvik’s Pass. The threatening storm seemed to nip at the ragged stranger's heals.
The congenial faces of the village's inhabitants darkened with looks of suspicion and morbid curiosity. The stranger trudges through the main street his steps taking him with seeming certainty to the smith's forge and residence. The more keen observers note the stranger's hands shaking and all the while he casts nervous glances at those around him. His long hair and rough beard obscure his face.
Those even more alert noted he knew his way to the smithy, outsiders always had to ask for directions.
Crayden sat enjoying an early dinner. With the storm coming on it was pointless trying to work in the forge, the wind blew embers everywhere and he'd spend most of his time putting out fires and not on his craft. Old Keemble's order would have to wait another day. A fire in a small hearth cheerily lit Crayden's small home. The heat from the forge still came through the rear wall in gentle waves and the fragrance of coal, smoke, rust, and hot steel haunted the little cottage and the smith himself.
The remains of a good meal littered the table before him, cheese, bread, a half full mug of Rothgar's best-spiced mead, and one of Melly Draken's special honey cakes for desert. Crayden leaned back on his chair content with his life and with the world in general. He'd made a nice place for himself in the village. A smith was a well-respected man in a mining town and people had forgotten about the trouble those many years ago.
He began to doze. Smiths need little encouragement to sleep.
Muted knocking on the door connecting the cottage to the smithy woke him from dreams of Melly and what might be. It was not unusual for his customers to come to the smithy door, though Crayden recalled locking the outer doors to the forge.
He opened the smithy door, the locked outer doors in his thoughts. Before him stood a man, tall and lean, damp from the rain that started to fall while Crayden slept. His long hair, greying and untidy from the storm winds, obscured tired but hard face.
"Hello friend, how may I help you? As you can see I have stopped for today but I will do what I can."
"Hello Crayden, you look well."
"I'm sorry sir you have me at a disadvantage, when did we meet?"
"Oh we knew each other a long time ago, the last time I saw you we were both young men"
"Forgive me I don't recall your face, Durvick's Pass is such a small village. Did we meet at a festival?"
"No. I knew you well. In fact I lived very close to you."
A hard knowing look in the stranger's eyes broke through Crayden's sleep clouded thoughts and brought him back to a time he had tried to forget.
"Of course, how would I know the secret way in?"
"But I thought that..."
"They had locked me up forever and thrown away the key?" The stranger interrupted. "All these years brother and you never came to see me."
"But you, you were, were a..."
"Criminal, a murderer, a sorcerer?" he interrupted again. "No brother, I'm not evil, just unfortunate."
"But the Kings Messenger came to the village, read the writ of condemnation. You were convicted of aiding that sorcerer up north...all those people...dead."
Crayden's words unlocked decades of pent up frustration and rage in his brother, his eyes burned with emotion, his hands clenched at his sides. Jago felt the anger as a sharp pain in his chest and knew that if he did not master himself he could spoil his plans. Pushing the feelings deep inside himself he looked as his astounded sibling.
" Do you think the brother you knew could have done those things? Or is it that you've never known me?"
"You were found guilty, caught with the sorcerer and convicted in the kings court."
"So you do think me capable." Jagoo exhaled carefully.
"All I know is the king found you guilty."
"Have you ever thought that mistakes are sometimes made? That sometimes an innocent man might be punished unfairly?"
"No, I...why would the King, or the Gods for that matter, allow an innocent man to suffer needlessly?"
Jago's shoulders slumped, "It seems you have grown to be a good and simple man Crayden, but be assured that the world is not a simple place and some times there is very little good in it."
“Why are you here? Did you escape?”
Crayden’s heart beat faster. An escaped sorcerer was something to fear, even when he was your brother. What could he do? Cry a warning? His magic would quickly end any attempt to warn the villagers or subdue him.
Seeing the fear growing in his brother’s eyes angered old wounds in Jago’s heart. He had to calm him down or risk losing control of the situation.
“No brother, they let me go.”
“Let you go?”
“Yes I have served my time, paid for what they called “my” crimes,..and now I am a free man” the last choked out over rage or tears Jago could not tell which.
“They pardoned you?”
“In law only, the scar on my face makes sure that the people of this kingdom never will.” He searched through his meagre belongings for the writ of parole and gave it to his brother. “Do you see the kings mark?”
Crayden took the paper form his brother and read it;
The bearer of this writ has been lawfully paroled having
Served for a term as stated suitable for his crimes against
The King and the land.
The bearer of this writ is no longer bound by law.
Signed on this day…
The rest of the writ seemed official and that was good enough for Crayden. He stood back from the threshold and motioned his brother in.
“In spite of my initial greeting Jago, I am glad to see you. But I cannot say that your home coming is a welcome thing.” Crayden sighed.
“I’m sure my fate has brought you no end of discomfort brother.” It was hard to hide the sarcasm in his voice. “But do not worry, all that I ask is a some work and a place to stay while I get my life back…if I can”
“No it’s not right Jago, you are my brother and paroled by the King, you have as much right to live here as…”
“I know, I know, but one of our fathers son’s has a good life and I am not about to change that. I am no longer Jago Smithson, he died in prison. I am Jarko, a stranger.”
“If that is the way you want it, but…”
“Still mooning after Melly?” Jarko raised and eyebrow.
“You remember?” Crayden’s tone lightened and he smiled.
“Yes, and you can kiss her goodbye if her father finds out who I really am.”
“A fair point brother, I will do as you ask.”
“Good, I have come for my inheritance, and if it is amenable, to you to stay for a short while and pose as a labourer in the forge.”
“But brother you know so little of the work.”
“A lot has changed in twenty years Crayden. I have had to do a great many things to survive the journey back to Durvik’s Pass. You’ll find me useful have no doubt.”
“But everybody knows I cannot afford a labourer.”
“Hmph, prison labour comes cheap.” He said pointing at the scar on his cheek. “ That should be enough for most people.”
“True, but then what?”
“How about we discuss the rest over some food?” Jarko gestured towards the remains of Craydens meal.
Crayden apologised for his lack of hospitality and soon had a great mass of food, including one of Melly’s honey cakes piled in front of his brother. From there Jarko began to tell him of his life after he had left with the Mage, Master Ventish, of his capture by Morgath and his forced servitude. He did not go into much detail about his years in the harsh prison of the Ducal city, but talked at length of his journey back to Durvik’ Pass and what he had learned.
The brothers reacquainted themselves, laughed over old times, cried over old wounds, and were still talking long after the hearth fires turned to coals and then cooled to ashes.
Be kind to everyone you meet, but have a plan to kill them...just in case.
Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Location: Temple of Pelor.
|Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:54 pm Post subject:
|Bravo, very cool.
May Pelor's light guide you!
Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Location: The Shack
|Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:22 pm Post subject:
|Far from a waste of time, Don. Very entertaining. The last paragraph gave me tingles.
"My Intelligence is 4! Outrageous!"
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