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    The Never King (dragoon93041)

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    "Brother! Up with you! Brother!"

    Breket's booming voice called out, tearing through the thin fabric of Nesak's private tent and forcing him to awaken. The tent flap was torn aside a moment later, revealing his eldest brother's burly frame silhouetted in the morning light. He crouched in order to peer in, his gaze shifting into a glare as he realized that Nesak had still been asleep. Their primitive accommodations were designed to provide shelter and be easily packed up, but not necessarily a great deal of comfort or room. Being unwed, Nesak's tent was barely large enough to hold him and his few possessions, and would remain so until he took a wife and they set out to build their own tent.

    Their swampy home didn't offer the most appealing of locations for setting up sprawling abodes anyway, though at least the damp earth and moss on which the nomadic tribe of kobolds often built their temporary shelters were soft enough to sleep on with some comfort. Twas no enchanted glade in which the Goldbloods, wyldfae beholden to no greater faerie lord, made their home; they were like their kin of old, before the near breaking of the world had forced their kind to join the ranks of the fae or be annihilated. Their ilk were among the lowest ranks among the fey, lower even than the dimwitted trolls or oft untrustworthy goatkin. Their tribe hadn't even encountered one of the high fae, the sidhe, during Nesak's lifetime, though on the continent of Arlos the courts held little sway and thus the more powerful faeries were rare. When the sidhe did appear, it was more often as an emissary demanding something from one court or another, or more irksomely as a lord seeking to carve out their own kingdom after fleeing to the wild country. More than once during his father's reign had someone forcibly conscripted their tribe as a force of arms or even as menial laborers, offering paltry reward before they were simply let go rather than offered the prestige and greater rewards they were promised.

    Their presence in the mortal world forced them to compete with mortal creatures for land and resources, and the most populous race of Arlos were not the most pleasant of neighbors. The wolfir were faster, stronger, larger, and quicker to breed than Nesak's kind, and they tolerated the presence of the Goldbloods and other kobold tribes only because verdant Arlos had enough for both to survive, and at times even thrive. While the wolfir might be able to breed more of their kind at a time, kobolds grew far more quickly, leaving them quick to replace losses when they really had to. It was simply easier for the wolfir to push the kobolds to the least hospitable portions of Arlos - like this swamp - than to go through the trouble of wiping them out, and while they might be perfectly comfortable in many types of terrain the canine wolfir like swamps least of all.

    Their lives hadn't necessarily been entirely pleasant, moving from camp to camp as they hunted and foraged through the bogs and moors and occasionally among the more pleasant patches of forest, but they had been living without major issue. Now, however, something had changed. Foreign creatures had come from elsewhere, across the sea, and begun invading the swamps. The creatures of Londo, commonly called Londoriens, were far more adapted to living in the moist environment than his own people, and had become a plague of sorts that his people had been constantly suffering for most of Nesak's life. Their tribe was pushed back again and again, as were their kindred from other tribes, but the war had not entirely been one sided. Even so, whenever they eradicated a nest, destroyed an egg clutch, or raided a village it hardly seemed to bother the londoriens, who ranged from reptilian to amphibious to fishlike in their appearances.

    His father, Groumet, was the current chieftain, and had refused to yield his tribe's place in their homeland to these invaders. Nesak's brother and current bother, Breket, was his most faithful supporter and the leader of their war parties. Phaeron, second born, had been lost to the weaving, what his people called the magic guiding their shamans, and was in training among them to harness his unusual gifts. Roruk, the third born, was of the opinion that they ought to flee the swamp and take their chances with the wolfir who were most friendly to their tribe, leaving the other tribes to continue the failing war against the Londoriens, and much of the tribe called him coward. Engren, fourth born, and his twin sister Ingta were both faithful to their father and regularly joined the war parties, though Ingta was wise enough to see that they couldn't continue like this for long. Verein, the fifth born son and their tribe's greatest hunter, was rare to speak and mostly ignored the arguments about what to do, and had been out on a hunting trip for nearly a week now. Borss, the sixth born son, had taken to despair at their people's plight and lived a life of hedonism, or at least as much as one could given their sparse resources, and contributed as little as he could to get by.

    That left Nesak, last born son, and likely last to be born as their mother, Reyna, had been declared infertile after his birth, and Groumet refused to take another wife. His own immediate family had become the ruling portion of their tribe when his grandfather had led a war party into Londorien territory, along with Groumet's brothers, and none had returned. Where his brothers were warriors or hunters or shamans or drunks, Nesak had another ambition, a greater one, for he had received a vision. Images of glory and power had come to him in his sleep, not unlike those seen by the shamans but far clearer to Nesak's mind. A great spirit had appeared, veiled in gold, and promised him not only personal power but the salvation of their tribe in exchange for service, but when he had brought up the notion of following his visions he had been shot down entirely. Heresy some called it, abandoning the spirits of the land for some unknown creature, no doubt at best an opportunistic sidhe looking to gain their loyalty without actually offering anything of value, but the visions had not ended and were too real to ignore.

    His father and brothers had tried to keep him busy, keep him from seeking the being sending him these visions, and today it seemed was no different. He'd been told last night that he was to join a war party, despite his own utter lack of martial prowess, but whether or not he would continue to obey such commands... The pull to find Sadim and free the spirit, to gain its strengthr and prove to his people that they could free themselves from their lot in life with but an acceptance of its power, had grown stronger by the day. He had planned to leave, to go seeking, but he would have to decide when... And how. His older brother's impatient glare fell across him, silently demanding that he rouse himself. Breket had always been the most disapproving of Nesak's wild dreaming, had started becoming almost as disapproving against it as against Borss' slovenly habits, and now seemed no different. "Up! Come! There is work to be done! Or are you so lost in your dreaming that even the most basic labors are beyond your ability now?"
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    #2
    Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

    Nesak sighed but only inwardly. He may disagree with his brother but he wasn't going to show any kind of disrespect. "I'm sorry brother I was-" He was about to start talking about his dreams again but that wasn't going to be a productive line of conversation. "- just worrying late into the night." He picked himself up and wondered again how he was going to pursue his destiny. Every day was like this, under someone's thumb. He gathered up his things and cautioned himself not to lose courage. He would get away eventually. He just had to have faith.

    It hadn't been too long ago that Nesak was prepared to just be the worst of his line. Yes, he had some access to power but he had no direction. He would have probably died in some fight with the reptilian race. He wasn't very tough so a trap would have ended his life quite quickly. It wasn't until Sadim made his appearance that Nesak thought outside of his role in life. Maybe there was a chance that his life and tribe could have a fate other than an inevitable death.

    That had troubled him very much of late. He had visited the graves, more each passing year. Why was it that no one else was going to stand up and do what was right? Why was it that his kin were simply resigned to be the lowest of fey-kin!? He had been informed of their weakness before and found it puzzling. His kind simply lacked strength to even be corrupted like that of the other races. There had to be a reason and, more importantly, there had to be a solution. Not to be corrupted, no, that was simply a by-product. They needed to change.

    The armor didn't fit him very well and in fact had been made for Breket when he was Nesak's age. But Breket had kept growing and Nesak... hadn't. The hunting knife was simple enough, though it was a little bit brown on the edges: Nesak knew that he had to maintain it but he sometimes forgot, lost in his plans. Both of the potions he had looked almost identical: brown and sludgy. They also tasted brown and sludgy. Just memories of the taste alone were enough to make Nesak be more careful when it came to his health.

    Nesak attempted to look interested in whatever task his father and brother had ready for him "Where are we going today, brother?"
    Last edited by dragoon93041; 5th January 2017, 20:30.
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      #3
      Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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      "We've been pushing a group to the breaking point," Breket replied, "most of their men are dead, and today we hit their nest, destroy their eggs. All of them." It would be a good victory... If they could pull it off. The tribe they'd been hitting had been fairly varied, a conglomeration of several others they'd fought and destroyed, but that the males were mostly wiped out didn't necessarily matter. Their own men could do, kobolds perfectly able to interbreed with their most hated of enemies, and some of their warriors had been kidnapped for such purpose before... Of both genders.

      "You come to war today. Meet where the hunters assemble," Bretek declared, before leaving Nesek in his tent to gather his things. Whether or not Nesek followed his brother immediately, however, was ultimately up to him. Bretek would want to leave quickly, but if Nesek wished to visit some of his other relatives, or perhaps seek out some other diversion, no one would be around immediately to hasten him to his responsibilities.
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        #4
        Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

        Nesak nodded but took a little more time than necessary to gather his things, waiting until he was sure his brother was long gone before sighing. He hated being in a warband. Fighting didn't interest him, even using his powers. He was much more fond of using his magic to examine whatever was left afterwards. Fortunately, this fight would probably give them a little breathing room. If they won, that is. Nesak had a bad feeling about this upcoming fight. If they had some kind of secret weapon, this was when they would unveil it.

        First things, though, he was going to visit his siblings, or at least the ones who weren't already at the meeting place. He wished Verein was around but his brother was on one of his long trips. He knew Verein didn't like to talk about... well... about much really but he had always found that comforting. Instead, he decided to visit the only other mystically-gifted of his siblings, Phaeron. Maybe he had something to say. He didn't know the extent of Phaeron's abilities but maybe he figured out something about the enemy's magical abilities.

        He wrinkled his nose at the strong incense they used but smoothed his face over before entering the lodge. He approached Phaeron "Brother, I'm glad to see you again. How has your training been?" He tried to keep his voice calm and nonthreatening. He had in the past disagreed with the shamans over his visions but Phaeron had never directly voiced the same complaints.
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          #5
          Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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          The formorian invaders had very few instances of individuals with magical prowess, and very rarely displayed any grand understanding of tactics as well. They had been a persistent thorn killing his people largely because they were coming in such large numbers and were more adept at fighting in the swampy environment than Nesak's people.

          Phaeron was in the tents reserved for the shamans, four of them forming a square of sorts with a firepit in the center that hid the incense burned in each of the occupied tents. He was mostly treated as a servant at this point, but to a shaman that was an easy life and already he spoke in the oddly off-putting tones of one of the mystics who did their best to guide the tribe. "Brother... Beware the blue sands. The currents are treacherous this day," Phaeron warned when Nesak approached, initially ignoring what Nesak had said. After a moment he blinked, and he continued in a more normal voice; "My training proceeds as it should... Less quickly than I would like. I must learn patience."
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            #6
            Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

            Nesak smiled slightly "Patience, yes yes, how long will that take?" Then he spoke in a more serious tone "Blue sands? Currents? Curious. I wish that visions were more concrete but I will attempt to heed them nonetheless. Thank you, brother. Breket has invited me to join the final raid against the latest batch of invaders. We are going to destroy their nest and eggs. I will see you soon." He left the tents and incense, relieved when he cleared the smell.

            The kobold didn't know who else would be coming along. Probably at least Engren. He was the only other "dependable" one. Maybe Roruk but as the thirdborn, he wasn't as easy to push around as Nesak. He was also a planner, much more gifted at strategy than actual combat. Borss was almost certainly not coming. It was usually more trouble than it was worth to get Borss to do anything that wouldn't benefit him directly. Probably some of the other warriors, though Nesak didn't know most of them very well.

            Something about this raid felt special to Nesak. After all, maybe it be this time that he could escape. Sadim was waiting and Nesak couldn't hope for a second chance. He headed for the chief's tent. Hopefully his father wouldn't be there. Nesak had never gotten along with his father, even before his visions of Sadim came. Nesak was nothing like him when it came to abilities and interests, though others said they saw a strong resemblance in their appearances. He was never sure whether or not to believe them. However, Nesak still loved his father. The kobold was getting older and it was this that pressed Nesak for change even more than usual. He was an experienced warrior but he couldn't last forever. All the same, Nesak wished to meet his mother instead. She was a balancing force within the family, keeping the peace, even if it didn't lead to solutions.

            Nesak approached the grandest of the tents somewhat timidly. He greeted the guards and poked his head in before stepping in fully. "Mother, have you heard the news? Brother has asked me to join the warband. We are leaving soon. It should be fine though. There aren't many left. So... uh... just wanted to... I just wanted to say goodbye in case anything, you know, happened. "
            Last edited by dragoon93041; 12th January 2017, 19:11.
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              #7
              Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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              Phaeron simply nodded, allowing Nesak to leave without further cryptic comments.

              Leaving the section of tents in which the shamans congregated, Nesak made the short walk to the chieftain's tent, which was well away from his own. He spotted the gathering war band nearby as he made for the tent flap, Breket organizing a dozen warriors and hunters into groups of four. Engren was there, unsurprisingly, but he managed to slink by without being roped into the gathering of weapons and supplies for the upcoming raid.

              The guard of the tent flap, an unflappable mustachio'd kobold who was otherwise bald named Derng, let him pass without making any effort to stop him, easily recognizing the son of the chief. His mother, Reyna, was to be found alone inside, sitting cross legged by herself in the corner of the more expansive tent. She'd been weaving something but looked up at the sound of Nesak's voice. Even a chieftain's wife was not free from the need to chip in and work to fulfill the tribe's various needs.

              Reyna had once been by far the most beautiful of their kind, possessing rich gold skin, a curvy frame, bright green eyes, and pale hair that glowed in the moonlight. Now she had a more matronly look about her, however, and her eyes had worry lines from the many stresses. He could see concern at the edge of her vision, but quickly gave him a reassuring smile. "Nesak... I am sure that everything will be alright! If we can stomp out this bunch we might actually have a little time to recover. Good luck, and keep close to Breket! He knows what he's doing!" She said confidently, and while she had always endeavored to keep from picking sides in the various arguments between siblings she had much faith in her firstborn son's abilities.

              "Nesak! Brother! It's time to go! Are you ready yet?" It was Engren, calling out as he approached. Breket was scowling behind him, clearly annoyed that Nesak hadn't helped them pack but, as was often the case, had argued for peace and come to retrieve Nesak himself. While he was also a warrior, Engren was more diplomatic than his elder sibling.
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                #8
                Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

                "Yes Mother, I will." Nesak left the tent and joined the band when he was intercepted by Engren and Breket. "Ah, Engren! Sorry! I was just visiting Phaeron and dropped in to see Mother before the raid began." Nesak tried to keep himself from meeting Breket's glare. He probably should have helped them pack but Phaeron's vision could be invaluable. Plus... he had seen to the looks of those he had been grouped with before. "Enthusiastic" was not a word he would have used to describe them. No one complained, he was the son of the chief, after all, but Nesak had a "talent" for stepping on branches and leaves at the wrong time and those mistakes could be fatal, though none of them had been as of yet.

                "Yes, I am ready." He patted down the armor, searching for any strap he had not tightened. And he had to do a lot of tightening. It was always just a little humiliating wearing his brother's armor. It provided protection, that was to be sure, and was made well but sometimes it didn't fit him perfectly and that fact was obvious to anyone who understood armor at all. He stood with the others, waiting for his role to be given.
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                  #9
                  Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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                  "It's fine, it's fine," Engren replied, waving his hand and then reaching it up to scratch the back of his own head, his squashed face scrunching up in a bright grin. "Just, uhh, don't go holdin us up anymore, yeah? We want to catch 'em before any recent hatchlings get too big!"

                  Much as he might dislike having to fiddle with his gear - as usual he had been saddled with a rather heavy bag, though as always it was full of the party's nonessential gear - it was undoubtedly the traveling that was worse. The brief jaunts that their whole tribe took between long term campsites rarely lasted more than a few days and were done at a fairly slow pace. They had to account for their slowest members and be careful to keep everyone and everything in intact, after all. The swamps could be deadly for those who traversed them in haste. The war parties, in contrast, had to move quickly and traverse through the dangerous areas rather than skirt around them. Many times he had had to bear Breket's annoyed glares when he proved the slowest member of their group, and today it seemed would be no different as the group gathered their packs and set off as soon as Nesak had the tool kit secured to his back.

                  "Keep up," Breket said as he addressed the group, "we have a three day journey to the next... We should get there at dusk if we aren't delayed," he pointedly didn't look at Nesak as he said this, "Nesak, Engren, Gors, Aandloo, you're all starting in the center with the heaviest gear. The rest of us are outer guard, I'll start on point while the rest of you rotate out as needed. Engren, when dusk falls it'll be your turn to lead. We'll camp after dark near the great stone, and continue at dawn." The great stone was a well known marker, a gigantic black rock that jutted high into the air and shaped like the head of a spear, unmistakable for miles around. It marked the southern border of their current territory and was many miles away, though Nesak would know from experience that Breket would keep him going until they reached it... And continue on the next day if they took too long to reach it. The other hunters and warriors in the group merely nodded, including Engren, leaving Nesak the choice to either do the same or perhaps voice protest regarding the grueling pace he would undoubtedly be forced to maintain well into the night.
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                    #10
                    Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

                    Nesak didn't want to complain. He knew that would make the situation worse. But Breket's actions weren't just harming him. So he endeavored to voice his concerns. Privately, if possible. "Brother, I am more than glad to do my part as a member of the warband. But isn't giving me a heavy burden somewhat counterproductive? After all, I... lack the endurance of the rest of the warriors and hunters. Giving me a heavy pack will cause me to slow down quickly. Instead, I bring you a solution."

                    Nesak held out his hands and several vines and other dead vegetation began to animate. They tied themselves together and gradually built into lithe humanoid shape. "This one is called the Pawn. It will do whatever I want it to do and will never tire. Give it the heavy pack and me a normal pack. When we get closer and stealth is of concern, then I can unmake it." Nesak was really hoping he'd sell his brother on his creation. He had recently discovered this power and had created several different designs. This one was the most basic out of his creations and was to be used when he just needed an extra body. It did stink to high heavens of rotten vegetation but that was a small price to pay, in Nesak's mind, and didn't exactly stand out amongst the various stinks of their home. Yes, Nesak could be a touch overly optimistic, why do you ask?

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                    Last edited by dragoon93041; 18th January 2017, 19:03.
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                      #11
                      Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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                      "And if you weren't lazy and useless and actually did some work when you weren't forced to, maybe you wouldn't be so weak," Breket snapped derisively, making no effort to conceal his voice. It was perhaps a mark of the tribe's growing annoyance with his constant efforts to distract their efforts that no one made any effort to defend him, not even Endren, and some even nodded in agreement. "No burdens are lighter than your own!"

                      He watched Nesak's conjuration of his animated construct with a sour look, but then simply shrugged and grunted; "This is why you are not fit to carry anything of value. If you would rather your child's toy carry your weight for you and remain weak, so be it. Carry Negglen's pack, he will be up front with me and is still recovering from an injury from our last raid." The glaring kobold removed his pack and handed it to Nesak wordlessly. Negglen was a staunch believer in the chieftain and Breket, and had never bothered to conceal his disapproval of the likes of Nesak and Borss. His pack was full of poisons, darts, and a pair of flashbombs, and was lighter than the one he'd been told to carry.

                      "If there are no more interruptions, may we be on our way now?" Breket demanded coolly, his temper apparently starting to shorten as they often did when they were on a raid or a hunt.
                      Last edited by Tassadar; 28th January 2017, 03:36.
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                        #12
                        Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

                        Nesak's face burned with shame. All he wanted was that he could work to help the group in the way that he could do best. "No Brother, no more interruptions." No, he wasn't as strong as the others. He had tried to strengthen his body numerous times but as he just didn't mature in the same way. Muscles didn't come as easily to him as spiritual energy. He learned he could gather his power and simply will certain things to be and they would do so. Wasn't that important? Nesak followed the others as best he could. It wouldn't matter. Nesak would always fall behind. Not only was he slower, he just couldn't keep up the level of energy necessary to continue travelling. Self-loathing was plentiful on these trips.
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                          #13
                          Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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                          The one benefit of Breket being in the lead was that he didn't have time to glare at Nesak as they started off and proceeded through the swamps. The nature of moving in a group and needing to maintain constant vigilance - there were many dangers besides the londoriens that they had to be careful to avoid - meant that, while he was naturally the slowest of the group they were forced to maintain a somewhat more reserved pace. He had to rush, following after the spindly creation he had summoned, but it was only a tiring pace rather than a truly grueling one, and being in the center left him fairly protected from the various threats that might come up in the depths of the swamp.

                          Twice over the next few hours they had to take a longer route than Breket liked, first due to a dense watering hole in which they saw a number of alligators waiting, second due to a pair of wolfir hunters bearing markings of a tribe they knew to be fairly hostile. His older brother's annoyance at least no longer fell entirely upon him, the surly warrior guiding them and grumbling about every setback. The journey was tiring, exhausting even, but not unbearably so, and would have most certainly been worse if he'd been forced to carry the heavier pack.

                          The morning came and went, followed by a potion of the afternoon before they stopped briefly to rest, eat, and collect some clean water from nearby plants that were able to provide such. Their meal was sparse, simple, and short, after which Nesak was made to join the outer guard while some of those who had had the harder tasks on the perimeter were given a chance to rest. They were making good time already despite the brief delays, but Breket spurred them onto an even more arduous pace as they proceed towards the great stone marking their first campsite for the journey.

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                          As they advance through the swamp, Nesak on the edge of their perimeter and followed by Delsim and preceded by Krog, who was nearer to the lead of their advancing circle. He was responsible for what lay directly in their path, or at least to notify the others of anything dangerous. Unfortunately, even though his senses were fairly sharp, as they traveled around the edge of a deep, particularly leafy bog he would be suddenly grabbed by the shoulder and dragged aside by Krog, who was staring intently into the water. "Watch it," he grunted stoically, indicating with a point towards something in it, and after a moment of staring he would see a shape drifting in the water - an alligator waiting for prey, ready to lunge out of the water at any moment. If he'd continued walking as close to the edge as he had, it would have put him in perfect striking distance... And if it hadn't gone for him Delsim might have walked into its jaws instead, completely oblivious to its presence and watching the treetops instead of the ground.

                          The rest of their trip for the daily was blessedly without major issue, and they arrived at the great stone around dusk. Breket had the others start making camp, the pack carried by Nesak's creation opened so they could get at the tools, and this at least Nesak didn't necessarily need to help with. He wouldn't be the only one allowed to idle, though the three hunters who weren't doing anything immediately important were all staring around, keeping watch while the majority of their party prepared a camp for the night.
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                            #14
                            Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

                            Nesak stayed quiet but it was such a relief not to have to carry the heavy bag again. The slog through the swamp was always terrible. It was hard to tell where the land was firm and where it was spongy enough to cause your leg to buckle if you weren't careful. There were puddles everywhere, even in the drier sections, that you had to avoid for the sake of stealth. But the worse was when they had to travel through the muck. It was smelly and disgusting and tiring to the extreme. At least now he could spend more energy on travelling and less on trying to make sure he didn't just tip over. It had happened once. Once was enough.

                            His opinion on reptiles in general already was pretty bad considering their enemy. The fact that the alligators were always a deadly threat to Nesak just made things worse. Wolves were also up there on the list. Things were hard enough without the Sadim-damned wolf-folk making it harder. Although he wouldn't admit it, wolves and alligators chasing him down and eating him had been the subject of more than one nightmare. Thank Sadim for Krog. Nesak thanked Krog quietly but earnestly. He had sworn that it was just a log. That had happened more than once over the years. The damn things were perfectly suited to this environment while the kobolds were not. Especially not Nesak. His skin was just a little more shiny than the rest of his tribe and that had led to him being spotted more often. It would have been a manner of pride otherwise but with so many of their objectives being based around stealthy, it just meant he got in the way even more than he would have normally. On really important missions, he had found a blend of a special kind of root, grass, and water caused his the shine to dull but the stuff felt gritty on his skin and he hated using it because it would stain afterwards, leaving odd green-black marks on his skin for weeks.

                            Nesak wouldn't take any chances when it came time to make himself useful. Despite the fact that he wanted to just rest, he spent his time keeping a look out with the others. If Breket was looking for someone to take his anger out on, Nesak wasn't going to give him any extra chances. He made sure the pawn got out of the way of the others and made sure whatever his pack contained wouldn't be needed at the moment.
                            Last edited by dragoon93041; 29th January 2017, 20:51.
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                              #15
                              Re: The Never King (dragoon93041)

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                              The empowered stack of twigs that Nesak had conjured to carry his burdens had expended most of the power that he had imparted to it by the time they went to setup camp, requiring that he donate more of his energies to it if he wished to keep it going. Bretak, generally, didn't seem as bothered by Nesak when they were in the process of setting up camp, that at least being something requiring little skill and which he could accomplish without his lack of martial ability or physical endurance endangering the rest of the group. He issued short, simple orders as he did to anyone else, seemingly reserving his ire for Nesak for when he actually caused problems.

                              The stone beneath which they camped was visible for miles around but provided for fairly good cover, and as they didn't bother with a fire - their rations were meant to be eaten unheated and they didn't need the light or the warmth - only their noise and the presence of so many bodies risked giving them away. The area around it was fairly densely wooded for a swamp, providing ample cover and natural muffling that prevented the sound they produced from carrying far among the various cries of the critters living in the swamp. A party of three consisting of Engren, Delsim and Reyng went out while the rest of them set up the places where the war party owuld bed down, hammocks hanging from trees and shrouded in woven mesh to protect from predators and insects alike for each and every member of the party.

                              Nesak was put onto one of the lower levels, though his hammock was still a dozen feet off of the ground, and once that was done there wasn't much left to be done besides rest and take his turn at keeping watch. Any other efforts he might like to make were up to his initiative at that point, though most of the warriors were speaking only in low tones and about their work to make camp.
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