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Open Swift Riding

Discussion in 'East Hyrule Field' started by Rachel Tosh, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Gill

    Gill Misanthropic swordswoman
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    The sudden rumble of the stones closing over the magma caused Gill to start and nearly draw blade. Once over the surprise she shrugged and turned back to the road, keeping note to herself to be extra wary of the Goron as her hand loosened on the handle. She wouldn't want to be on his bad side

    Noting the wave of friendly greeting, she lifted a hand in return. Hopefully that would be the extent of friendly exchanges. She trailed along, drifting with the intention to come abreast of the Hylian so as to be furthest from the Goron. She did ponder the wisdom of her choice. The man with the pole-arm might also use magic of a sort. Seamed highly unlikely if he used a weapon though.

    Really though the choice was pretty much the obvious one. It would be rude to come between the man and the lady on the horse. And she didn't want to make the horse nervous, her being a strange person, and the others, she thought, already friends or acquaintances.

    When she came close enough that speaking was necessary she commented, "Yo." with a slight salute to the man.
     
  2. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    So, Gorehide had fled Death Mountain to join the war. That fit. The Gorons had been determinedly neutral, preferring to stay removed and only interact with the war on a nonpartisan mercantile basis, and she doubted Gorehide would have any choice but to sneak away if he wanted to take a more active role. She still wasn't sure what that meant, but the story would get there eventually. Gorehide paused, reflecting, and Rachel did not interrupt. The war was long and complicated, and it wasn't surprising he'd need a moment to sort through his thoughts, especially given the spur-of-the-moment nature of the interview. Still, as the minutes ticked by, she couldn't help but wonder. Surely Gorehide's life after leaving Death Mountain couldn't be so complex that he needed this long to figure out where to start? A straight-forward story like how a man joined a war shouldn't be hard to tell. Only people with secrets to protect, hidden details they wanted to dance around, took so long in considering what to say next. Rachel remembered how uneasy she'd been around Gorehide before Adam had showed up. There was something about him that made her distinctly uncomfortable. What was this Goron hiding? Or was she being too suspicious, her nerves wound up tight after the Festival and Zen's escape?

    Gorehide spoke, and his question caught Rachel off guard. For a moment she just sat there, not sure what to think. What was her opinion of the people who fought in the war? What sort of a question was that? And how would that help the interview? She wasn't sure what to say, and she was even less sure why he was asking. After minutes of consideration, this was what he said? Why? Secrets to protect. Gorehide was fishing for information about her. There was something he wasn't comfortable revealing, and he wanted to be sure of her stance on whatever it was before he confessed. What is your opinion of the people who fought in the war? Rachel had conducted many interviews; she knew that if she didn't answer satisfactorily, this interview would be as good as over. Even if they continued talking, Gorehide would withhold information or maybe even lie to her, and his account of the war would be virtually useless to her if she couldn't trust the truth of his words. But what to say?

    "I'm not sure I agree," she said slowly. "As a historian, the worst thing I could do right now is introduce bias. The best historians are the ones who tell the stories of peoples and nations as they were, uncolored by their own personal political views and beliefs. If I tell you what I believe, there is a risk you would tailor your story to match what you think I want to hear, which would taint the tale." She hesitated for a fraction of a second, then took the risk. "Worse, what if what I say makes you leave things out? I want your story pure and whole as you see it. And don't feel you need to cut things out, either. Details that may seem trivial to you may be new to me, and even repetitive details have merit, because they support information that I have found elsewhere. Please, don't leave things out because you worry I know it already." She walked her horse closer to the Goron, then leaned in and spoke softly. There were only a couple of reasons she could think of that would cause Gorehide to hesitate in talking to her, a self-professed member of the Order of Rauru. "My job is to record the truths of the world. Nothing else. Right now all I'm looking for is information on the war. If you're worried about your safety, I can change your name to protect your identity." She met his gaze. "My views aren't important right now- only your story is. Can you believe that?"
     
  3. Gorehide

    Gorehide The Traveling Blacksmith
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    Gorehide's face expressed frustration. He rarely expressed frustration around strangers, but Rachael had earned it. Gorehide let the messenger bird catch the spider while it was spinning its web. The calm and kind facade broke down right before Rachael's eyes. It was not hostile, but it revealed his true nature, the silver tongued creature that he was. But, just as quickly as he let it show, it was as quickly concealed once more as he acted like nothing had happened.

    "Right, I see I can get nothing past you." He laughed, but a keen ear could tell it was disingenuous. Even though he said that he desperately tried to spin his web once more. He hated losing control of the situation. He was thinking of new lies, ways to beat around the truth. The pause was a minute long, but to Gorehide, it was an eternity. When he thought his web was ready, he prepared to open his mouth, he heard a voice in the back of his head. "Why do you hide your story? Were you not proud of your time in the war? You adored Lord Charcoal, yet you act as if you are ashamed to even speak his name? You left Death Mountain because the Chieftain all but silenced his people's voices, yet here you stand, with a person who could chronicle the legacy of Charcoal's Legion and you have the audacity to consider lying? Have you no shame?! What would Lord Charcoal think of you? He did not die for you to seal your lips when asked to tell your story!"
    "What if she attacks me?"
    "You are twice, if not triple, the size of her, have fought nearly twenty years in the most bloody conflict Hyrule has ever seen, and have control over lava."
    "And if I die?"
    "Then you get to see Lord Charcoal again."

    Gorehide sighed. It was a sigh of defeat. The facade crumbled, as he was clearly less friendly. He was not mean per say, but he was definitely not your stereotypical Goron with their brotherly love. "There were many Gorons who thought the Cheiftain's decree for neutrality was cowardly and foolish, as it was a sign of fear. He was notorious for being all talk and no action, so no one feared the consequences of his decrees. When I left the mountain, I did not even try to sneak away. He would not bother to hunt me down. I was just another Goron who worked the forge. Dozens of others had left the mountain to join the war either as mercenaries or joining the bloated fools that was Hyrule." He clenched his fist. "I, on the other hand, saw the wisdom in Dragmir's ideology. They did not follow some royal family because the Goddesses' allegedly said so. No, they followed Ganon because he showed he was a capable leader! He united those considered 'undesirable' by Hyrule and brought the kingdom to their knees. They killed the royal family and seized the capital! What did Hyrule accomplish?! They floundered like idiots as they prayed that their Goddesses' would protect them! They were NOTHING but bloated fools for relied solely on their royal family and a hero of time! Yet once they were gone, they were disorganized and weak, believing their Goddesses' would send another hero to save them. But that hero never came, because the time for Hyrule was at an end and it should have been the beginning of Dragmir's kingdom! But the FOOLS who took over Ganon's dream had the AUDACITY to settle the war with a WHITE PEACE!"

    Gorehide took a few deeps breaths before regaining his composure, though it was clearly no longer collected at all. He had let it all out for all of the now three people here to see. "... Could you strike that tirade of mine from the record? I feel like that something that opinionated would detract from its historical value and is little more than my personal opinion based on my limited knowledge of the fallen Hyrulian Kingdom." He sounded much more refined, but lacked the confidence he had when he first met Rachael. He had shown his true colors to the three, and they were not pretty.
     
    #23 Gorehide, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  4. Gill

    Gill Misanthropic swordswoman
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    Gill leaned forward to get a look at the goron on the other side of the party, her expression neutral, "Sometimes you gotta let it out," she commented, her tone neither hostile, nor friendly, merely matter-of-fact.

    The rant had rubbed her the wrong way, and she liked the goron even less, but she saw no need to start a debate. The past was the past, who knew what he was like now, even if he still held Hylians in low regard? She could somewhat agree about the naivety of blindly following the goddesses, for her own faith in them was tenuous at best.
     
  5. AdamJoubert

    AdamJoubert Silver Sponsor
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    Adam was shocked by the Goron's rant and even jumped slightly when he began shouting about the White Peace agreement. While he didn't know what side of the war he was on when they had first met, he made it no secret from where he stood about The Thirty Years War.



    Adam had began to trail further back. Not so much out of fear per se but more out of caution. He wasn't sure how the Goron was going to react not that he had shown his true colours to the group Adam was going to be a bit more on the cautious side with him. After all, he was a Goron who had amazing control over rock and even lava so he clearly should be taken seriously if push came to shove and they had get into a fight with him, but hopefully that scenario wouldn't come to pass and things would remain peaceful between the group.



    “Umm.. Hello.” Adam said in a soft voice to the human who had just recently joined them. He had just realized they were there and was going to try to initiate some kind of conversation with them.
     
  6. Gill

    Gill Misanthropic swordswoman
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    After her comment Gill mulled over her words. She decided she should not have chimed in at all, even if it was in an effort to negate the tension that had risen. She just got here, the lady and goron were having their own one-on-one conversation, she was just a tag-a-long.

    "Ah," she switched her attention on the other member on foot, "Hey. Sorry for just up and attaching myself to the group. Seemed like a better idea to pace myself to you guys rather than continuing on with all those awkward feelings of wondering what's going on behind my back, and how quickly the gap is widening without actually looking behind to find out."

    She paused a moment, considering if she was now committed enough that an introduction was necessary. The pause continued and she said nothing, preferring not to name herself first.
     
  7. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Rachel sat back on her horse, struggling to keep her expression calm and unperturbed. It was difficult. Something had definitely seemed off about Gorehide, but to watch his mask crumble so quickly and so completely was unnerving. And that rage! She felt goosebumps rise beneath the sleeves of her traveling dress. He was so... angry! It had been hard not to draw back as he'd shouted. She had forced herself to stay still on her horse and keep the beast moving at a steady clop, but she could practically feel the others fall behind, leaving her alone with the angry Dragmiran. What should she do? She could use her magic, escape, ride swiftly to Rauru and leave this disturbing Goron behind. But no. Her horse was tired. It needed this walk. And what kind of historian would she be if she only interviewed one perspective? Rachel was a professional. She had interviewed gang lords and professed enemies of the Order, and none of them had been fond of her or her people. But rarely had she encountered this level of venom. Even with her experience and training, it shook her. Should she continue this interview?

    He almost lied to you, she thought. You saw it, in his eyes. He was close, and you would've had to throw the interview. But now? You know this is the truth. The whole truth. What could be more valuable? She contemplated that for a second. Gorehide had calmed down. He wasn't dangerous. This was an opportunity, and as long as Rachel didn't feel threatened, she would pursue it. "I see your concern," she said, "but opinionated tirades are only historically dangerous if they were mine, as the recording historian's. I would say that there is nothing more valuable to the record than the pure truth from you, Gorehide. It shows what you were thinking, why you joined... Ganon..." she couldn't say that name without a shudder, "it shows what you believed. What could be more important to history than understanding why?"

    She looked out over the field. She felt... what did she feel? Relief over getting the truth? She could try, but no, that wasn't the truth of her heart. She felt sick. The things he said, they were sick. He insulted her faith, condemned the royal family, celebrated in their death, gloried in Hyrule's destruction, and clearly wished the war had continued. She longed to respond, to snap back and defend her people and her faith, but- no, no! She had to stay professional. She fought for a straight face, but she couldn't keep all the unease from her expression. She pressed on.

    "Gorehide, most of our history of the war is one-sided. There is almost no record of the Dragmiran account of the war. We don't know why people joined the Dragmiran side or even what life was like as a Dragmiran. What we have is hearsay compiled by people who fought against them, which paints a very unflattering picture of your people. What you said, if it was the truth of how you felt and how you and your fellows saw the world and the war, will be very valuable to history. It helps show you as people with motives instead of heartless monsters of pure evil, which is a goal I think both of us are interested in seeking." She hesitated. "Though at this point, I think it would be wise to give you a pseudonym. The White Peace would protect you, but it would not do well for your business if people knew." She turned and looked him in the eyes. "Thank you," she said softly, "for being honest. I can't use your account if I think you've lied. Your honesty opens up a new world of truth that history has, so far, been unexposed to."

    She cleared her throat. "Now," she said, her tone clearing and becoming more focused, "you left Death Mountain because you agreed with the Dragmiran ideology and wanted to take a more active role." She considered the transcript in her hands for a moment before continuining. "So, when was this? How long had the war gone on before you decided to join it? It sounds like you weren't happy with being "just another Goron who worked the forge" and that you disagreed with the Chieftain's decree for neutrality, and you say you "saw the wisdom in Dragmir's ideology," so I understand why you decided to leave, but these are things that would've built steadily over time. Was there anything in particular that happened to give you the final push, or was it just that one day you decided to go?" Her voice trailed off as she looked at him, giving him the opportunity to pick up the narrative and explain.
     
  8. Gorehide

    Gorehide The Traveling Blacksmith
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    Gorehide could since the discomfort within everyone in the party. Looks like he folded at the wrong time. Gorehide stopped paying attention to the two stragglers and turned his attention exclusively to Rachael. The situation sounded calm, but it could not be more tense. "I do not remember there ever being a 'final straw.' I think I just got up and left. As for when, it was a decade in, I was only fourteen. It did take me long to figure out how under prepared I was. I had brought a pathetic smith's hammer and no rations of any kind. My magic was much weaker than it is now, so the damage I did to that hill," He pointed the destroyed hill behind them, "was impossible. It was the third day when I had finally come across someone. It was a group of Hyrulean soldiers fighting a mismatch of Dragmir soldiers. One of which was an Aeralfos wielding two scimitars. He was just flying around, decapitating soldiers left and right. It was truly incredible to my fourteen-year old self. I jumped into the battle to help. I was... weak from lack of food." Gorehide cleared his voice. "Anyway, after the battle, I was properly introduced to the squad. I have forgotten the leader of the squad's name was, but I think she was a Gerudo Stalfos who died in the war two years prior. Or maybe that was someone else." Gorehide paused as he though deeply before shaking his head. "But that is besides the point. The point is that I met the Aeralfos. He called himself Twitch and everyone else called him that as well. Twitch and I fought side by side until the war came to an end. I do not remember if Twitch ever told me his real name. Even if he did, I do not remember it." Gorehide had a smile on his face, like he actually was enjoying remembering Twitch.

    "The squad took me in and went back to the main force. The main force was called 'Zarzak's Marauders,' run by Lord Zarzak. Lord Zarzak, better know as Zarzak the Marauder, was literally a bloated fool. He was a massive moblin who always wore leather tunics, since nothing else fit. He had a scorched-earth policy, burning everything in his path. He had three lieutenants. One I think was a Gerudo who ran the archer division and the other was a Dinolfos who was a berserker of some nature. The third, and greatest of the three was Lor-" Gorehide coughed. "Sorry, about that. Like I was saying, the greatest of the three was Lieutenant Charcoal. He was a Wizzrobe who had fire magic. He was often put on duty to burn everything. I was shoved into his division only because I knew fire magic. Lieutenant Charcoal was clearly destined for greater things, but was stuck burning everything in his path. I was in Zarzak's Marauders for three long years. I hated it, with the only saving graces being Twitch and Lor- Lieutenant Charcoal. I was ready to pack up and return to Death Mountain when a miracle happened." Gorehide paused, clearly wanting Rachel to ask him what the miracle was. He had the largest smile on his face.
     
  9. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Gorehide fell into the rhythm of his narrative, and Rachel relaxed, feeling more at ease than she had since first meeting the Goton. This was familiar to her, and she settled into her role with the comfort of a woman slipping into a well-worn pair of soft pants after a nice warm bath. Her horse walked on, the scenery passing by gradually, and the sound of conversation was a pleasant low hum behind her as Adam and the unknown traveler talked a ways back. Every so often she flipped over a new page in her booklet as the old one filled with script. The unique nature of Gorehide’s account warmed her. She would be remembered for this- how many other scholars could claim to discover primary sources of the Dragmiran side of the war? This was truly a good day.

    Gorehide paused, grinning widely, and Rachel accepted her cue. “What was the miracle?” She asked. She was curious about Zarzak and his three lieutenants and wanted to ask more about them, but she knew better than to interrupt the flow of his story when he was obviously so engaged. And it was going in a good direction- she was definitely curious about what happened next. “What made you stay after three years of hating your time in Zarzak’s Marauders?”
     
  10. Gorehide

    Gorehide The Traveling Blacksmith
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    "Well, there is a certain thing about a war that takes thirty years to complete. People grow up and rise to power. Apparently, four years before I joined Dragmir, which was seven years before the miracle, a man fought to defend his village against Zarzak's Marauders. But, like every other village before it, it was burnt to the ground. He had his eye shot out by an archer and had bad burns all over his body. On that note, from rumors I heard, which is just hearsay, when the Hyrulean's found him, they thought he was a deceased ReDead. Imagine their horror when he stood up." Gorehide laughed. "Sorry, sorry, I had never thought about the looks on those soldiers faces." He laughed a bit more before collecting himself. "Anyway, his name was Daniel Ironheart. Ironheart was a vengeful soul, wanting to make sure Zarzak's Marauders and Zarzak himself would pay for what they did to his village. But unlike most who became useless fanatics who threw themselves head first into battle, he studied. He became a tactician and lead great victories during the war. He eventually became a general himself, but many of us Dragmirans knew him as "Ironheart the Ferocious."

    "I do not know if some divine force was at work to make those two finally meet once more or if was merely by chance. Whatever it was, Zarzak was marching towards a village that Ironheart was ordered to defend. Ironheart, knowing what happened to his own village when he last encountered Zarzak, evacuated the village. Now, we marched into the village like it was any other, but we did not find the evacuation odd. Because Ironheart made his soldiers act like civilians and flee from the approaching army. Lieutenant Charcoal, as usual, was forced to stay back and burn the fields, so I was not apart of the true masterpiece of the battle. Zarzak, the Archer and her squadron, and the Berserker and his "pack," as I recall him calling it, marched into the village. The Berserker broke off to destroy the merchant stalls, and probably get a bit of extra loot. The Archer stayed back and rained flaming arrows onto the houses. Zarzak and his personal guard chased the 'civilians' into the town square. Zarzak often enjoyed personally killing civilians and went out of his way to do it."

    "When Zarzak reached the town center, all the civilians he was chasing seemingly vanished. And suddenly, out of the very buildings that surrounded him, spell casters and archers appeared. The spell casters quickly summoned a wall of fire around Zarzak and his personal guard. Arrows from the archers rained down onto his troops, who barely had a chance to even process what was happening. Zarzak roared so loudly in rage, everyone heard it. Even myself, who was in a field miles away from the village itself, heard his roar. Zarzak somehow brought down the wall of fire, though some say Ironheart did it intentionally, as just on the other side of the now gone fire wall, was Ironheart's entire infantry regiment. Some of the survivors of the charge said they even saw Ironheart himself raise his sword a high and shouted for his men to charge. Zarzak's personal guard was now half the size and Zarzak himself was covered in arrows. Like hundreds of ants, they swarmed Zarzak. His personal guard did not stand a chance as they were struck down by the dozens within seconds. Zarzak himself lasted for two minutes before he let out one last roar and gave into his injuries. Ironheart, not content with Zarzak just being dead, sent his army to clean up the rest of Zarzak's Marauders' while he took... a souvenir."

    "It did not take long for the Archer to be routed and while the Berserker put up more of a challenge, he had his eye cut out before he retreated. Now Lieutenant Charcoal was still at full strength as he marched into the village. He was in the front of his forces. Three spearmen came barreling at him when he stopped, huffed, and waved his hand in front of him, letting out a torrent of flames, incinerating the three soldiers. He then turned to us and said something I will never forget. He said,"
    "Soldiers, I know you have tended to Hyrule's fields for years now, but I ask you to preform a greater task. I ask you to tend to Hyrule's flock; for we are the wolves that will eat Hyrule's herd! And we will show the rest of our pack why we should not been made to play farmer while they played shepherd! Who is ready to show the world what we are truly made of?!"
    "I do not remember a single soldier that did not raise their weapons and cheer. We marched through the village, picking up those who did not retreat with the Berserker or the Archer along the way. We cut are way through Ironheart's army. It was my first taste of true battle. I had a fine war-hammer at the time, crafted in Dragmir Castle. I killed three men in that battle, which I remember feeling proud of. Ironheart, realizing the battle was lost, retreated. While we technically won the battle, not one man considered it a victory... for Zarzak's Marauders that was. Zarzak's body was to big to be buried, so Lieutenant Charcoal decided the cremate him. However, Ironheart had the last laugh. Remember how I said Ironheart took a souvenir? Well... turns out the guy took Zarzak's head and made a trophy out of it. Sick, I know, but he was known as 'Ironheart the Ferocious' for a reason." Gorehide paused, both allowing Rachel to process the "miracle" he had told her and to let her ask a few questions, if she chose to, before continuing.
     
  11. AdamJoubert

    AdamJoubert Silver Sponsor
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    The atmosphere was still tense after Gorehide’s outburst. Adam could tell that even as he was falling behind the two of them.


    “There’s nothing wrong with you joining up with us. It is a public road after all.” Adam told the other traveler who was on foot alongside of him. His tone was as friendly and inviting to the newcomer.


    “Oh. My name is Adam.” He told the other traveler. “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself sooner.” He continued walking until the two were side by side with each other and attempted to keep himself side by side with them. “What brings you here this fine day?” He asked in an attempt to make some kind of conversation with them. He knew that Gorehide and Rachel were going to be focused on the each other and it was going to be a very tense walk with how Gorehide was reacting with his answers to Rachel’s interview.
     
  12. Gill

    Gill Misanthropic swordswoman
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    Mm, introductions. If only there was some polite way to get around those and just be content to not know. Mum used to tell a story involving a talking cat who didn't bother with being named, because he knew who he was. It was people, who didn't know who they were, who needed names. If she could only be that cat. Oh well.

    "Gill..." she offered grudgingly, trying not to fall into her naturally hostile tone. The goron was making things tense enough as it was, she didn't need to make herself out as unfriendly or suspicious, especially if the goron turned violent for any reason. Best to be considered an ally to this Adam guy, "I guess we're both sorry then. I should've introduced too. Social interactions... not one of my strong points." she admitted.

    "Eh, as for being here," she thought about it, weighing how much to say, "I'm delivering some letters to..." she hesitated a moment, uncomfortable with naming an exact destination, "The western area of Hyrule." she concluded vaguely, unwilling to say more just yet. Maybe if she was forced--ahem-- got to know the people she had attached to better she would be more specific. For the moment though, she left it as it was.
     
  13. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Rachel knew of General Ironheart. He was a legend among her people. His story was inspiring- he had tried and failed to protect his village, had nearly died at the enemy's attack, and had climbed through the ranks to bring justice to the enemy and protect Hyrule as he could not protect his home. She knew of the battle Gorehide spoke of; it was a climax of the General's story. The village was where he had finally met the monster who had burned his home and slaughtered everyone he'd known. The village was where he had finally brought justice to Zarzak the Marauder. How interesting to hear the story from the enemy's point of view. "Ironheart the Ferocious." Fascinating.

    But however much the scholar within her relished the account, the girl who had been raised amidst the bloody and frightening war rebelled against the story. She had been 14 when the Thirty Year War ended, when peace had finally been declared, when the cloud of fear that the enemy would break through their defenses and invade her village. Her childhood had been war; it was the only past she knew, the only future she could imagine. Peace had been a welcome change in the reality of the world, but the experience of war-time was ingrained in her earliest memories. Gorehide's stories were a striking contrast to everything she had been told in her childhood, and it galled her to hear the casual brutality behind his words. He reveled in the violence of the battle and didn't care for the people's pain. Monster. And the off-hand way he mentioned Dragmiran Castle. Dragmiran Castle! It was her people's treasure, the symbol of justice and hope, the center of culture, knowledge, and technology, the seat from which the royal family had ruled Hyrule with all three of the golden virtues. And Gorehide and his ilk had seized it, burned it, twisted it for their own rotten ends, corrupting its light and making it so foul that the stories she'd been told of its holy past had been spoken with tears and sobs. All she had were stories of Hyrule Castle, and Gorehide was a stark reminder of what they had lost, the home they had been driven out of.

    Fury, outrage, and resentment surged within her like a storm of emotion, disrupting the calm sea of her mind and threatening to capsize her small vessel of rationality. She clung to scholarship to steady her- Gorehide's account was so vivid, so detailed, it would be a treasure. His perspective on General Ironheart, a legend to her people, was fascinating just by itself. She must be the scholar, the trained historian from Rauru who prided herself on objectivity and professionalism, not the angry girl who grew up terrified that her home would burn and her family be slaughtered. She must be the woman, not the girl. She needed control.

    The Goron was waiting for her to say something. Rachel breathed slowly and deeply, letting her face fade into a mask of neutrality. She gave herself a few seconds to reflect and calm down before speaking. "So Lord Zarzak fell, and General Ironheart retreated. The Archer was routed and the Berserker injured before he pulled out, and it was Lieutenant Charcoal who drove General Ironheart away and won the battle. What happened next? The commander of the Marauders was dead- how did the group move forward from there?"
     
  14. Gorehide

    Gorehide The Traveling Blacksmith
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    Gorehide was far too caught up in his own pride to notice Rachel's discomfort. "Well, the Archer and the Berserker bickered amongst themselves who should take charge of Zarzak's Marauders. They each believed they were better fit for the job. Lieutenant Charcoal eventually ended their pointless bickering and said that they were fighting on the same side of the war and should not fight amongst themselves. The two lieutenants ignored him before Lieu- No, Lord Charcoal announced that he would leave these two to fight among themselves and take anyone who was willing to follow him." Gorehide had raised his fist as if it was a battlecry when he said "Lord Charcoal." Gorehide had a much prouder tone when speaking of Lord Charcoal. "To those two fools' surprise, a third of their forces joined Lord Charcoal along with every single soldier he had before. He left those two dolts to pick their jaws of the ground as he marched away. Thus began Charcoal's Legion! The greatest legion to every fight in the war!" Pride was just oozing out of Gorehide as his eyes were brighter than a bonfire. "We marched through Hyrule, with little impeding us down. I became head of the forge with my magic. My fellow blacksmiths and I melted down anything we could find and resupplied Charcoal's Legion. I was finally able to serve my lord to the greatest of my abilities and he was finally where he belonged, leading his very own army! Lord Charcoal had gotten rid of the accursed scorched earth policy and actually took prisoners. It was always a treat to see the confused looks of Hyrule's 'finest' sat at a table across from Lord Charcoal and discuss prisoner exchanges and even sometimes exchange pleasantries. Only one general had the nerve to attack Lord Charcoal during one of those meetings. Oh Gods, it was hilarious to see the cowards retreat as Lord Charcoal flung fireballs at every single Hyrulean he could see!" Gorehide laughed as he reminisced on the event. "Oh! That reminds me of one of our greastest missions!"

    "See, it had been a few years since Lord Zarzak died and Lord Charcoal had been recognized as a true lord. He had heard from another lord that a man by the name of General Bradford, better know as Bradford the Zealot, had a Darknut in his captivity, along with some other soldiers. The lord was far too weak to take advantage of this opportunity but he knew where his village was. The village was called... it was called.... oh it is on the tip of my tongue..." Gorehide shrugged. "Eh, it will come to me eventually. Now there was no chance in hell that he would be willing to trade any amount of his friends for a Darknut, not that I could blame him, but there was one that only the most steadfast man would refuse to trade for, his daughter. His daughter was the head priestess at their temple. I cannot remember who they worshiped... It had something to do with light I think..." He paused, thinking about it. "Anyway, Lord Charcoal assembled a squad to capture the head priestess and make sure she did not escape. The squad consisted of Me, Twitch, a Stalfos assassin who called herself 'Doctor Venom' or just Venom for short, and some other people Lord Charcoal deemed to be useful in the operation."

    "Lord Charcoal attacked the village and made it seem like any other attack. While most of the main forces were busy defending the village, our squad attacked the temple. All she had was her personal guard. We mowed through them like a scythe through a wheat field. Twitch flew around the room, slicing people up. Venom danced around the room, cutting opening people with medical precision. And I, well, crushed them with my hammer. When it was all done, it was just her and a guard that Twitch had blinded. I was so ready to crush that man's skull like a melon." Gorehide began holding his hands as if his was trying to crush a melon with them. He stared at the imaginary melon with something that could only be described as bloodlust. His hand shook before he stopped and looked up at Rachel. "But!" He raised his finger. "Twitch stopped me, reminding me that Lord Charcoal wanted as many people alive. I, reluctantly, spared the worthless fool's life. We began looting the place, as we always did. We took anything made of metal, be it idols, goblets, holy symbols, even figurines, and melted them down into something more useful, like bars or weapons. We were pretty much the only army in all of Dragmir that made their own metal bars. We even sent some back to Castle Dragmir.

    "With the mission successful, we dragged back as many soldiers as we could. I was ready to put that blind runt out of his misery, but Lord Charcoal told me not to. So I did not. Come to think of it, he forbid me from roughing up the little brat either. And he let her keep a golden idol of her goddess, which he never did." He paused before shrugging. "Anyway, about a week later, both armies met up to make the trade. General Bradford was so boastful as he thought he had the upper hand. The look on his face when we dragged out his daughter was priceless. The rage! He was powerless to lash out against the man who destroyed his village, else he wanted to watch his daughter get gutted like a pig in front of him. Unfortunately, I was not apart of the exchange, though Twitch was. When Lord Bradley told his soldiers to bring out the Darknut, they had eight guard dragging him in chains! And he was unarmed! It was truly hysterical how scared they were of him! They made few other exchanges for less valuable prisoners as well. General Bradford even took that blind runt, for some unknown reason." Gorehide snapped his fingers. "I remember the name of the village now! It was Coreninth! The Battle of Coreninth! How could I forget that?" Gorehide smiled as he stared at the skyline.
     
  15. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
    Silver Hylian

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    Rachel looked down at the Goron from her saddle. Gorehide was a vile man. If there had ever been any doubt about it, if she had ever held out hope that maybe he was a decent person who had simply been on the wrong side of the war, it was gone now. There were some humanizing aspects of his story, like how his Lord Charcoal had removed the scorched earth policy and sat down with Hyrule's leaders, but these were eclipsed by Gorehide's evident bloodlust and utter disregard for human life. If nothing else showed it, Gorehide's confusion over why General Bradford would save a blinded guard proved that he didn't understand doing something because it was the right thing to do. Gorehide spoke of power and pride, profit and glory, but he didn't seem to care about right and wrong or any sort of basic morality. This man wasn't just on the wrong side of the war- he was an enemy. Rachel wouldn't let herself be lulled into a sense of security again; Gorehide was dangerous, and he'd made it clear he hated the White Peace and wanted to resume the war. She needed to be careful.

    She lost control when Gorehide boasted of attacking and looting a temple. They'd murdered the people inside and melted the people's sacred relics down into bars to be used as weapons. The thought of their idols being sent to Castle Dragmir to be smelted into weapons for the dark army? It was sacrilege of the highest order. She hissed through her teeth, and for a split second her mask of professionalism shattered as fury and disgust twisted her features. This man was evil! She would bring him to the Order and demand justice for his crimes. He could not be allowed to go about boasting of murder and desecration anymore! Magic responded to her rage and became a torrent within her, straining against her skin and demanding to be let loose. She had to act.

    No. No! She looked away from Gorehide, hiding her face, and struggled to bring a mask of peace back over her. It wouldn't come. She couldn't rid her features of her feelings. It was too much, too unexpected. This interview was spur of the moment, she hadn't gotten a chance to prepare herself beforehand, and what Gorehide said, it was too horrible. She couldn't maintain her blank mask of professionalism, and if she kept looking away like this he would realize something was off. Rachel did the only thing she could think of. She cast an illusion over herself. If she couldn't get her muscles to obey, she would hide them. She put a magical mask of professionalism over her face, unchanging, giving away nothing, and turned back to Gorehide. It was the perfect cover. She could glare all she wanted from under here. She just hoped he hadn't noticed. She glanced down at her paper. The handwriting of her notes, usually so neat and precise, had begun to wobble and distort. It was still legible, but it was clear, looking at the magically produced words, that she was losing control. She clamped down on the magic, and the words steadied as Gorehide's story continued.

    Had he noticed? She plunged on, hoping the momentum of the story would carry through anything strange he may have seen. The story of the Battle of Coreninth seemed finished, and she didn't want to dwell on it anymore. It was time to move the interview into a different area. There were two things she was immediately curious about, and she settled on the more relevant one, which was also the one Gorehide seemed more passionate about. "Tell me more about Lord Charcoal. He's a very interesting leader- you've described how he went from being a lieutenant in the Marauders to being the lord of his own legion. And his policies are definitely different than the norm, removing the scorched earth practice and actually sitting down with Hylian leaders. You seem to think very highly of him- tell me more. What was he like? What was he hoping to be, what position or goal was he aspiring to, and did he ever make it there?" Her voice was calm, thank the Goddesses, and though her face reflected her true feelings, there were only faint strains of tension and fury in her tone, and hopefully with the illusory mask she'd set in place he wouldn't notice anything odd. Hopefully. If he became violent, she didn't know what she'd do.
     
  16. AdamJoubert

    AdamJoubert Silver Sponsor
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    “This Gil person seems awfully suspicious.” Adam thought to himself but he would hide his feelings of suspicion after all, the atmosphere was already tense enough as it was, and his suspicions would undoubtedly make things much worse for the group.


    “I.. I see.” Adam said. “I’m sure you have your reasons for not telling me where you’re delivering those letters to and I won’t press on that. I understand finding social interactions difficult.” His tone was as friendly as he could be. While he wasn’t entirely sure of Gil’s intentions he figured that they also didn’t want things to get any more tense then they already were after all, things were just getting more and more tense with the group ahead who they were trailing behind from more and more as time continued to pass on.


    “As for myself. I’m looking for someone.” Adam said, “Well to be exact, I’m trying to find my mother who has been missing for years now. I haven’t been able to find any leads on where she might be in a long while now.”
     
  17. Gill

    Gill Misanthropic swordswoman
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    "'preciate it." Gill replied about her destination. It was trivial where she was going, what she was carrying, but she had long established a habit of keeping her business to herself, just to be safe.

    The goron seemed to have no difficulties keeping his business to himself. Even if she didn’t want to be the one starting anything, with half an ear to his monologuing, Gill found her hand traveling to grip the scabbard at her side, a thump pressing the cross guard to loosen it.

    Bastard should get what's coming to him, one of these days.

    When Adam spoke of his missing mother, Gill found old memories of home, of her own mother, coloring her thoughts and for a moment her carefully tended wall of disinterest and aloofness crumbled to be replaced with deep empathy.

    "What happened?" she asked, her concern vividly communicated in her tone and eyes, which suddenly met his, rather than looking everywhere else as she had done so far up to this point. She caught herself, realizing her momentary lapse of level headeness, and she looked away, ears pinking in embarrassment that she had dropped her guard for a moment.

    "I, I... I mean, not that it's my business," she tried to back pedal hurriedly, put back on the surely moody attitude she usually had, "I don't mean to pry or anythin'."
     
  18. AdamJoubert

    AdamJoubert Silver Sponsor
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    “I don't mind it at all.” Adam said. “My mother is a mercenary who went missing after she departed on one of her jobs.” He conveniently left out the fact that when he went out to find her, he was ambushed and left for dead in a ditch by bandits and had to crawl his way back to Katsuto Village. It didn't seem important or relevant to the discussion at hand.



    “My mother never told us what kind of job she took before she left. She had only told us that it was a simple job and it wouldn't take long at all. Of course that wasn't the case at all and I wonder if she knew that was the case and lied to us to keep us quiet or something.” He said with a bit of a sigh. “But despite that I've still looked for her all these years. I still wonder where she might have went.”
     
  19. Gorehide

    Gorehide The Traveling Blacksmith
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    Out of the corner of Gorehide's eye, he saw Rachel cover her face. He was quite puzzled by this at first. Why would she hide her face? He had not heard her sneeze. It then dawned upon him and a smirk grew on his face. She was a zealous dog like the rest of The Order. She hid her bias so well, but in the end, the truth was quite clear. If his facade had cracked and been exposed, then it was only fair that her composure was lost as well. He did not notice the illusion magic she casted upon herself, but he still had a knowing grin when she turned back to face him. He said nothing. It was clear that he knew the truth now, but that he was not afraid of her. He was not comfortable around her, as his stance was more alert than before, but he seemed undeterred by this revelation. He simply carried on as if nothing happened.

    "Lord Charcoal's ambitions were always a bit of a mystery to me. In his early days, he hated Hyrule and wanted to make them suffer. It seemed like he was going to burn Hyrule to the ground. But when he became an official lord, his attitude seemed to shift entirely. He fed his prisoners, which was a strain on our resources. It was always a pain to drag around those weaklings. And when we had too many prisoners, Lord Charcoal loaded them up into caravans and shipped them back to the capital. There was even one time when he let a few dozen go. Beats me why he would let a perfectly good opportunity get away. He always strived to become apart of High Command, but he was always declined. I do not recall if he ever told us why, though I assume it was because of his military talents and High Command did not want such an inspiring lord wasting his time doing bureaucratic work. Over the years, he grew less and less fond of fighting, opting to avoid confrontation where ever possible. He seemed to had wanted the war to come to an end, though we were nowhere close to defeating Hyrule. Now that I think about it, seemed like almost everyone started to stop caring about the war. Even Twitch, my battle brother for nearly twenty years, was losing heart." Gorehide's voice slowly shifted from proud to confused, his smile vanishing. He remained silent for minutes. When he spoke once more, it was much more defeated tone. "He never joined High Command."

    "It was two years before the war ended. We were low on numbers, as recruiting was becoming harder and harder for Lord Charcoal. Lord Charcoal was seen as outdated. He had been fighting the war for nearly thirty years and commanded for nearly twenty. The spark he had when he first raised his owner banner to fight Hyrule was long gone. He was tired, losing faith, and was much more passive. We stopped attacking villages. Our main source of income dried up as we stopped getting metal to send to Dragmir. Rumors of the war coming to an end were now a loud murmur, though rumors of peace talk were nothing new. We had set up camp for the evening. I do not recall if it was due to our low number or just carelessness, but an army marched upon us. The men who attacked us had no honor. We knew we were out manned, surrounded, and had no chance. Lord Charcoal, knowing this attempted to... attempted to... surrender. But these young upstarts were shining examples of Hyrule and what they did. When Lord Charcoal surrendered, they attacked us anyway. Lord Charcoal ordered everyone to retreat. No one did at first. We stood our ground as those cowards attacked us. Even though we put up an honorable fight, we stood no chance. Men started falling back, knowing that it was a lost cause. There were a few brave souls who dragged the injured away from the battle during the their retreat. Twitch... Twitch had his right wing severed. I do not remember what happened after I saw him fall out of the sky. There were a few minutes that seemed to have vanished from my memory, though I remember exactly what happened after those minutes. I was caked in ash and blood, a road of burnt grass showed where I had been. By this point, the order to retreat was no longer a suggestion, but a demand. For years after that battle, I regretted retreating. I had over exerted myself. I tapped far too freely into my magical abilities, and it took a toll on my body. I retreated because I was far too weak to stand my ground. There were only about seven that refused to fall back. The three Darknuts we picked up over the years, three of Lord Charcoal's personal guard, and an apothecary that was far too stubborn to let Lord Charcoal kill himself. I never got to see the outcome of the battle, though it was clear who the winner was."

    "We never found his body, despite our best efforts. I believed for a few years that he may have survived. What was left of Charcoal's Legion fell back to Dragmir, where we would spend the rest of the war. When the war came to an end, Lord Charcoal never showed up. It was then I finally accepted that he was dead, and if he was not, he had no desire to be found. Twitch survived fortunately, though I have not heard from him in twenty years. Last I heard, he went to live in Blue Maiden. When the war ended, I went back to Death Mountain. I had not seen the place in twenty years, but I thought I had nowhere else to go with the war over." Gorehide tightened his fist. "Turned out I was no longer welcome! They grabbed me and branded me as a traitor!" Gorehide lifted his apron to show the branding on his chest. It was of a gossip stone’s eye with an “X” over the iris. "So now I am banished from Death Mountain! I lived in the ruins of Castle Town for years, supplying the gangs with weapons! But I grew tired of just being a dealer of arms, so I set out to carry out Lord Charcoal's final wishes!" Gorehide remained silent for a few minutes before looking Rachel in the eye white a smirk. "Any further questions ma'am?"
     
  20. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Rachel sobered as Gorehide's story went on. Death was a miserable affair, and it was hard to stay bright with fury when hearing of such destruction. Also, the story gave her satisfaction- Gorehide and his murderous band had been brought low in the end. Justice had been served... to all except the odious man below her. If he had been a friend of hers, or even someone she didn't actively loath, she would've soothed him. He clearly regretted retreating, and Rachel didn't blame him- everyone he knew, with one exception, had been slaughtered in one battle, and he had ran away. He'd gotten the order to retreat, so it wasn't cowardice, even if it may feel that way. This was probably a significant scar for him; she'd seen survivor's guilt before, and it was neither easy to get rid of or easy to bear. Add that onto the literal scar he'd been branded with? It was a heavy weight to carry. If it was anyone else, she would say something. Should she say something?

    Gorehide smirked at her, and the impulse to comfort him vanished. He was vile. He didn't understand basic empathy. He didn't even agree with the others that the war was long and costly and should be ended. She would not comfort him.

    "Yes," she said, "a couple. You set out to fulfill Lord Charcoal's final wishes. What were they? I don't think I heard. It sounded like morale was low-" it'd been low on both sides, so many villages burned and families with all their men and boys marched out to the front lines- "and it seems he was less fond of fighting and wanted the war to come to an end." She understood that. Goddesses, how she did. Her family, her whole local chapter, had gathered in prayer almost daily to beg the gods to end the fighting and the deaths that were slowly strangling the life out of their village. She blinked. Was she... empathizing with this Lord Charcoal? An enemy commander? Maybe she was. Wasn't that the point? "I... well, I can understand that. The war was... hard... on everyone." She cleared her throat. "Lord Charcoal was a famous military leader who fought for almost the entire length of the war. What could his final wish have been?"
     
    #40 Rachel Tosh, Mar 16, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018

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