Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the sixth chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound
Turning and leaving the tent Bella noticed that Stanley was standing at the edge of the road. She walked up next to him and touched his shoulder slightly. Knowing somehow that things weighed heavy on his mind and heart. Such a task for such a young man. But for some reason she felt he was capable.
“Ahh Avatar. You startled me. I have been reading through Edvard’s book. Tis a wonder that man survived at all. He is a strange one for certain…Now as to you. I think food and rest are instore for you. And I will see about getting you fitted for your journey. Not too fancy mind you. We have not much to offer here. There are merchants in and about town though that are fairly reasonable for their wares.”
“Captain. What of these swords. What should I do with them. And I have this note as well from one of the fallen guards.” She showed the swords to him and the note. Her shook his head and swore under his breath. Apparently, he knew who the sword belonged to. And told her to look for Emily. Either in the camp or the Inn. She would have to break the news to her alone. He needed to write a dispatch for Commander Cugel and find a courier. As for the note she held it would have to be delivered to Celestis. The woman, Zorabeth resides there. Walking away he headed towards the town. Bella followed a few steps behind him.
The path into Soltown was a solemn walk. Stanley made an even-tempered walk towards the entrance. Knowing what he had to do Bella did not regret that part. Asking for help was not always an easy task for anyone. Especially one who was in charge of so much. She looked about at the homes along the road. Some fancy some plain. And many had their hawkers out selling wares to would be travelers. Having only a few coin in her pocket she though best to just hold on to it for now. She would assess what Captain Stanley finds for her and go from there. As she approached the gateway into town she noticed a man waving to her. She walked up and introduced herself.
“Hello good sir. Might you tell me where the inn and tavern are?”
“Aye Outlander. Tis up the road to the left. Nice little place for some rest. Not fancy mind you but it’s better than nothing. I am Merrick the town crier. I can tell you just about anything to do with this town.”
Frowning at the man she just did not understand why everyone kept calling her Outlander. It was beginning to get a bit annoying actually. And she had only been of this world for two days. Maybe it was obvious she was not from here. Looking down at her attire that very well might be the case.
“Thank you for now. Just need the inn for now. I am in need of a bath, food and sleep. Neither which comes first matters to me right now.”
The man looked her up and down and smiled. “Indeed, M’lady. No offense but you look a bit worse for wear. I have seen a lot lately though with all the attacks and such. Dismal times it is. Poor folk from Solace Bridge finding their way here after the attack. I heár tell Blood River and Highvale are in the same situation. Mad times for sure.”
Looking at the man she could see fear and sadness in his eyes. Something terrible indeed has been happening here. Shaking her head, she smiled at him weakly and turned towards the inn. A few people walked about aimlessly. Guards walked about with that lordly manner like they were better than the rest. She thought to herself the faster she got out of here the better. Her temperament would not last long with the likes of some of these people.
In front of the inn sat the hooded woman. Arabella. What was she doing here? How did she get here so fast? Shrugging Bella walked up to her. “Hail Mistress Arabella. Tis good to see you again.”
Arabella looked up. Sadness in her eyes as well. Bella thought to herself that she would never get used to that look. But just as quickly a sparkle appeared in Arabella’s eyes.
“Ahhh Avatar. Tis good to see you made it. I feared you might not make your way through Solace Bridge. I hear that it is forsaken and lost for sure.”
Confused by that comment she just smiled softly at the lady. “Aye. It was a bit more than I had expected. Master Edvard was helpful though. I did rescue a small child from there but brought back troubling news to Captain Stanley. He is sending a courier off to get aid.”
“Ahh. Good, good. That is good news. Perhaps Ardoris will come to aide these poor folk. I know the garrison at Solace Bridge outskirts is trying its best to fend off the undead and cultists. Many of the people have gone there before coming here. I am not sure how goes their fight. Perhaps you can go and see if you can help.”
Sighing deeply, she nodded. “I would like to find some food and a short rest if possible. A lot has come about in such a short amount of time. And I need to outfit myself better as well”
Arabella looked her up and down. “Yes. Yes, you look like you could use a meal and bed. Go into the inn and tell Richard that your meal and bed are on me. I will scour around town and see what I can get for you.”
Nodding her head, she turned and walked up the rickety stairs into the inn. The air was stale and reeked of moldy bread and old ale. The floors were littered with leaves and dirt. As hard as the barmaid tried to clean it seemed useless.
She walked up to the counter and cleared her throat to get the innkeeper’s attention. Standing with his back to her he continued to clean the mugs with a dirty cloth. Rolling her eyes, she knew how this was going to be. She had been in enough dirty dank taverns to last her a lifetime. Again, she cleared her throat and finally the portly man turned.
“Ahhhh. Welcome welcome! And what can I do for you today? Perhaps an ale or pint of beer?”
Shaking her head, she smiled wryly. Typical. “Nay sir. No spirits for me today. I am in need of a bed and food if you can accommodate me. The Lady Arabella said she would pay the bill for me.”
Looking at her with a curious eye he eventually smiled. “Of course. You must be one of them Outlanders. Come to help defeat all this riffraff across the lands….All I can say is good luck to ya. Tis a bad bit of news indeed about Solace Bridge. Bad for business at first but now its picked up some with all the travelers and you Outlanders.”
Again that word. She just looked at the man and waited. “Emily will get you a bed ready and then bring you some food. Would you be wanting a bowl of water to wash with. She can get you that too.”
Emily. She looked around at the woman sweeping the floor. She now knew where to take the sword. She would wait til she could get her alone to break the news to her. She didn’t need to do this with so many around. “Thank you…..what was your name again?”
“Aye. I be Richard. Proprietor of the Soltown Tavern and Inn. “
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the fifth chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound
Waving with a small smile Edvard then turned and walked back up to the bridge. Standing in the middle he watched as the boat made its way down river and as the sun became hidden behind the mountain. Strange sounds started up again throughout the forested area. Soon the creatures would be on the prowl again.
Charlotte curled up as close to Bella as she could. It was hard to row the craft with the child nestled against her so closely but she did her best. Edvard did not lie about the dangers of the darkness. She could hear the moans and screams coming from the river banks. Rustling bushes and brush as things seemed to make their way out into the dark. This alone made her want to row faster but she was beginning to falter in her strength. She was so tired. Much had happened to her this day. No time to rest. Must get to Soltown. Where is Soltown? Exhausted she kept rowing praying with every stroke that she did not fall asleep or worse.
Hours in the darkness eventually became less as the sun began to creep up through the trees. She had been at sea so long that she forgot how long it took for the sun to rise. Having not been on land much of late she needed to get her bearings again for life on land. The river began to narrow putting the banks much closer to the boat. This worried her a bit…but the noises from the forest became less and less with the rising sun.
Up ahead she saw the faint light of torches. Light that will soon be extinguished once the sun was out. And there …..a dock. This must be the place. Please let this be the place. A man in strange armor stood at the end of the dock. Turning his head he saw the boat and waved them forward. As if she was not doing that already. Bumping along the edge of the dock the man reached down and gained hold pulling them up closer. He pulled the tether from inside the boat and tied it to a post.
Reaching down he put his hand out to help her onto the docks. She waved him off and hoisted the child up to him. “Take her please. We have just come from Solace Bridge. Edvard bade me to bring here here to her mother. I am Belladonna Rose, the Avatar.” Blinking she was not sure if this was how she was supposed to introduce herself or not. No one said otherwise how she was to do so. No matter. Titles were not that important save one. And seems that one is long lost.
“By the stars. It is true. Another Outlander has come to help. Thank the stars. I am Captain Stanley and this is Soltown. I am in charge here til Commander Cugel says otherwise.”
Bella pulled herself up on the docks and tried her best to stand tall. Fatigue was winning over for sure now and apparently the Captain saw this. “Lets get this wee one to her mother. I know her well enough. She is across the road in the refugee camp. Abigail will be happy to see her and will want to thank you personally.”
Bella honestly could care less about thanks right now. All she wanted was hot food and sleep. Hopefully this woman will take pity on her and give that much. Smiling softly she followed Stanley across the road to the camp. Looking about she saw several tents and people milling about a roaring fire. Many children scampered about playing at being guards. From the looks of things they got away from Solace Bridge with barely the clothes on their backs. Which she knew how that felt. That was all she had.
The refugees saw Stanley and ran to him….huddling around him like vultures. He pushed his way past them to the far tent. A tall woman came to the entrance of the tent and gasped as Stanley approached. Handing the child to her she hugged the girl tightly. Crying out to the skies she turned away with the child. Many of the others cheered and applauded. Among their own despair they were happy that at least one of them had some happiness returned to them.
Stanley went to the fire and gave a short account to the people. Telling them of Bella’s journey from Solace Bridge. He told them he had news from Edvard and was going to send a dispatch to Cugel in Ardoris. They were saddened by the news. Solace Bridge had fallen. Now they had to decide what to do and where to go. Many had already left. Making way to other places throughout the lands. Some to smaller towns some to outlying areas. The pilgrimage from Solace Bridge for some would lead them far and wide. Some would stay close just for the memory or just because they had lost all hope.
Seeing this in their faces caused a pang of regret in Bella. But that is what the Oracle said. She said that she would feel regret, sorrow and many other emotions as she travelled the lands. Forsaken Love. This is the path she was on. To restore Love to the people. How the hell was she supposed to do this.
She stood by the fire as the refugees walked by patting her softly on the back or giving her a quick embrace for what she had done. As they did so she watched the woman…Abigail..tuck her daughter under a blanket on a rickety cot. The woman turned and motioned for Bella to come to her. Walking into the tent she saw there was very little here. A sack which was probably all she owned. The woman fumbled in her pocket and reached out to Bella. Taking her hand she placed a handful of gold pieces in her hand. Looking down at the pittance she looked back at the lady. Sorrow and what looked like shame crossed her face.
“Tis all I have to offer M’lady for your service. You brought my daughter back to me when I all but thought she was lost to me. There is nothing of my husband I assume…not that I thought there would be.”
“Nay M’ lady. I do not know of your husband. I do not know much of anything as I am new here. I was sent to Solace Bridge and that is where I found Edvard. We then found the child and I was sent here. Other than that I am as lost as you seem to be.”
The lady looked at Bella with astonished eyes. “Outlander…Avatar. The one the prophecy speaks of. You have done more than you could ever know. Please take the gold and make use of it. Armor, weapons whatever will aide you. It is the least I can do.”
Bella smiled and took two coins and gave the rest back to Abigail. “Please…take the remainder of this gold. Make your way out of here. Make your way to a better life if you can M’lady. For the sake of the child.”
Nodding and smiling the lady took the gold and put it back in her pocket. Little that it was it might be enough for food to get her and her child elsewhere. She would figure the rest out later.
Hello Caveloot.com readers! We were at the Kamm Island Music Festival in Mishawaka, Indiana this last weekend and thought we would share some photos of the booth setup. Please note that we were given a lot less time to set up than normal so had to skip a few things … Continue reading →
R56 for Shroud of the Avatar really begins to start taking us in a new direction and begins to fire things up for Episode 2! Caveloot want’s to celebrate this release with fellow Shroud of that Avatar players, and that is why for the month of August you can get … Continue reading →
If you missed us live yesterday, which is likely as we haven’t done a lot of advertising on this new thing yet, as we work out the technical issues, we did another live hangout while recording Echoes From the Caverns!
Want to join us on next week’s hangout? Chat about the news with us? Toss out some jokes? We’d be very interested in having people join us! Contact either of us and we can send you a hangout link. Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every think about doing a bit of acting? Virtual style?
The New Britannia Theater Troupe is in need of some additional staff! As a founding member and actor myself, I can tell you that it does not take long, it is rewarding and fun. You should give it a try!
The following is from director Asclepius:
This is a CASTING CALL to all aspiring Thespians!
As you may know, I am the director of the New Britannia Theater Troupe. Between us we have delighted the community with many plays and stories, both live in-game plays and audio only radio plays.
I am currently looking for actors willing to take part in a live, in game play we are developing. I need one male and one, possibly two, female actors.
The deal is: I forward you lines to read. You record them and return them to me. I splice everything together, adding music and sound effects, to create an audio file.
At appointed times, we get together in game to rehearse. Our characters act out the story on stage, copy/pasting the text in time with the soundtrack as it is running.
When we are ready, we present it to the community. We have a truly wonderful location for the performance, it only awaits a production. As we perform, the audio will be simulcast on Avatars Radio, so the audience can see and hear the production.
So what am I looking for, and what do you need?
Firstly, enthusiasm. The most important requirement. I am not interested in people who accept a role and then don’t come through. This has been in the works for quite some time; for the sake of everyone else who has put effort into it, it deserves to get done and be shown to the community.
A decent voice is useful. Don’t stress, this is not Carnegie Hall, and you are among friends. Just the ability to read lines 😊
You also need a microphone and some recording software. Audacity is most commonly used – it’s free and easy to use. We mostly work with mp3 files, but I can accept almost anything.
You also need to be available for rehearsals and live performance in game, at times that suit everyone (by negotiation).
If you would like to join a great team, PLEASE PM me in the forum or at Asclepius@thecaverns.net. Love to hear from you, and I will be glad to talk you through any questions you have regarding recording, live work or anything else.
One, We are still here!!! The webpage itself just does not see a lot of activity that can be seen by the public because… AND NOTE, THIS IS IMPORTANT:
Our Guild Discussion forums are located at a different link, using PhpBB software. Why a guild webpage and separate forums? Last time I checked there was no decent way to Embed PhpBB Forums (or any of the other decent forum packages), into a WordPress site. The forum software is updated too often for it to be used for anything more than forums, and so a website outside of the forums is needed. While WordPress does offer forum type plugins/software, I find it very inadequate to a full blown forum software package. So we have both!
ALSO NOTE: When you go to the forums there is a general discussion section that the public can see.. and that’s ALL! There IS an ACTIVE guild member only forum section, but to see them you have to have access to them!
To get access to the forums, you will need to register an account, which I will then have to go in and manually verify. While this is a pain, it is the best anti-spam measures available.
If I don’t do this within a day, use the contact form on this website to drop me a note and I’ll get it taken care of for you.
Only Guild members are granted access to the guild forums OR prospective guild members that would like to have an opportunity to hang out in our forums. If your thinking about joining the guild and want guild forum access, just contact me!
The reason the “website” does not see much use, is I don’t have the time to do a lot with it. If someone wants a feature or asks me to do something, I will most likely do it if someone is asking me to.. because someone is asking, so they are using or looking at it, and that makes me happy to do it.
Otherwise, for general care – we need someone to maintain some things on the website. Hopefully, we eventually recruit someone interested in doing at least one of the things the site needs loving attention given to it, for! Maybe you?
What are those things?
-Maintaining the guild roster page(s)
-maybe we put a calendar up and keeping that updated with guild events and info
-general updating of the content on the site as needed
-someone to publish posts (like this one), about the guild and guild member related projects. Recap’s of guild events
-Anything else your imagination can supply.. Ill help with software installation if needed!
It’s all very easy to do. Much like using a word processing program! Drop me a note if interested