Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
A little background first...
Lohendi Kailan Vanima was born to Silmerano and Irime Vanima in the Kryta province of Tyria. Irime, Lohendi's mother, died so the little girl was brought to Ascalon at an early age. Watching her father march around the city, she grew curious about one of his weapons: the bow. At age nine, Silmerano gave her her very own set complete with a quiver full of arrows.
"Learn to use these now and well, and someday you can join me at the wall," he told her.
From that day on, Lohendi ran around with her pet Melandru's Stalker who she had named Isilosse. Thinking it safer for Lohendi, her father had her moved to Ashford Abbey to study with the monks and scholars there. Several years later, a few weeks before her 23rd birthday, she received a letter from King Adelburn telling her of her father's death in a rush of Charr at the wall. Determined to avenge her father's death, Lohendi gathered her few belongings including some money, her old bow and quiver, a salvage kit, and identifying kit and a satchel of food and began her long walk to Ascalon City.
Thus began Lohendi's journey of trials and befriendments and guild and adventures beyond her wildest dreams.
After the trials of what is now known as Pre-searing, Lohendi overcame several trials and was aided by a few people she met along the way.
Enter: Panderus Windreader
After narrowly escaping the stone elementals, gargoyles and devourers, Lohendi took a deep breath and slumped against the cool rock wall. What had happened? The last she remembered before she blacked out and woke outside that ruined city was fighting the Charr alongside Prince Rurik. `The Charr…' she thought. `Vatlaw Doomslang. Yes, that was the menace they had faced. But hadn't we killed him?' She sighed. "Guess not," she muttered as she wiped the sweat from her brow with her sleeve. She wished now that she hadn't left Isilosse at Ascalon. Even his kittenish behavior would be better then being alone in this godforsaken land. "At least things couldn't get much worse now"
At that moment, however, a Grawl Shaman and two longspears showed up. Choosing to fight then run away this time, Lohendi rose and aimed her bow at the Shaman. The longspears thankfully stayed back as she killed the healer. When he collapsed with a moan, he dropped a short knife. The longspears, having seen this, became enraged and charged her only to be slowed down by her Mesmer skills. Lady Althea had taught her something useful after all it seemed as she stood before the dead bodies.
Picking up 23 gold, an intricate Grawl necklace, and the knife, she continued down the pathway to the Abbey. A glint of light in the distance caught her attention and she held her hand to her eyes, squinting to look at it. The glint stopped and disappeared behind some rubble.
Curious, Lohendi followed to where the light had come from. A crunch from beneath her foot startled her. Looking down, she saw a broken flute. `Odd… It looks just like… Oh well,' she thought. Returning her gaze in the direction she had been going revealed the light again, only this time the light was a now eerie glow on a silver-plated man who was currently looking in the opposite way at a monk fighting some Grawl.
Sidling the ruined wall of a house, she kept her gaze on the fierce warrior that stalked the burning grounds. It was if the Gods themselves made him glow with their otherworldly power. She spied movement to her left and managed to duck behind some rubble in time to avoid being seen by the Grawl patrolling the area. Sighing softly, Lohendi returned her gaze to where the glowing figure had been and saw nothing.
Quickly, she put her back to the wreckage. Eyes widening, she took and arrow from her quiver and notched it, pulling the string slightly taut.
From a distance she had seen his evil blade, and the dark glint in his eyes told her he was not one to be trifled with. `This is a mistake being here,' she thought to herself.
Taking a deep breath, she made to stand up when a sword came clanging onto the moldering rocks to her right. Letting out a sharp cry, she rolled out of the way of another blow and faced her threat, bow and arrow ready. Muttering softly, she let loose a duet of flaming arrows to ricochet off of his armor. She was in trouble.
Backing off without turning from the advancing warrior, she demanded "What is your name so that I may send your soul with peaceful rest to Dwayna?!" `Well,' she thought, `maybe I can bluff him away.'
"My name, little girl, is Bonetti, and you shall be the one to die this day." Oops, bluff called and failed. With that, he ran at her, bellowing a horrible battle cry that left her ears ringing.
Lohendi raised her bow in defense, taking the force of it and went crashing to the ground. His blade withdrew and plummeted back down to strike her shoulder.
Nearly screaming in agony, she grabbed at the blade and pulled it out feeling the sticky hot blood from her wound on her fingers. As soon as she was free from the weapon, she thrust a foot out into his shin hard.
Bonetti fell to the ground giving Lohendi mere seconds to cast Imagined Burden on him, get up and run towards Ashford Abbey. She could hear her footfalls pounding on the disintegrating cobblestone pathway and close behind was the clinking of his heavy armor and weapons. `Almost there, keep running,' the thought leapt to her mind as the gateway in came to view. A guard that stood there saw her and ran to her defense, holding Bonetti at bay.
Without a backward glance, she called out a thanks and stepped through the gate. The once green and beautiful Abbey where she has spent some of her childhood was now a crumbling hazard of waste and dust and had the smell of old death. She saw in a scrawled handwriting Sardelac Sanitarium and immediately felt worse. Even in her panic, the destruction she saw in here, at this safe refuge, struck a painful chord as she choked back a sob.
Remembering why she was here, and the guard out there who had probably died to save her, she yelled for help. "Please, help! There's this guy out there and he's killed the guard and almost killed me! Please… anyone? Help?" Her knees collapsed from under her and she covered her face with her blood and dirt caked hands. At the verge of tears, she knew that this has all happened because of her curiosity and failure to heed caution.
"Hey." A deep voice said softly. "I'll help." Looking up, Lohendi saw a man in a mask with a leather coat and a bow on his shoulder.
"Really?" she could scarcely believe that he was going to help her.
"Sure, lets go." She could hear the laughter in his voice as he helped her to her feet. His eyes narrowed as he felt slick blood on her palm from where she had grabbed the sword. Glancing at her again, he saw her shoulder injury. "But first…" he closed his eyes for a moment. Suddenly, a bright light enveloped him, spreading to her.
Almost at once Lohendi's wounds felt much better. Blinking, she touched her shoulder and found that it was healed. Shocked, she looked at him. "Thank you for that. I'm Lohendi." She smiled at him.
"Panderus. And you should be more careful. At any rate, shall we go and find this raging fighter friend of yours?" he led the way out, grabbing his bow from his shoulder and put an arrow to it.
Passing through the magic-protected gate, Lohendi noticed the scars on his fading leather coat and the scuffed boots that carried him quietly across the ground. Lohendi looked at the bow in his hand and couldn't help but gasp. A Stinger. This ranger who led her was not a beginner by any run of the mind. He was a seasoned veteran of the wilds, well learned in the Ranger and Monk ways. Lohendi wished now that she had paid more attention to Mhenlo all those years ago instead of Althea.
"Where was he?" his voice broke her thoughts and she bumped into him.
"Sorry," she stuttered.
"No matter." Panderus shrugged.
"Um- he was over there," she pointed. "With the gargoyles and the Grawl. He told me his name was-"
"Bonetti. I know. He's been plaguing these parts for some time now. Thinks he's holy and sent by Dwayna to smite the wicked and some such crap. More like sent by Grenth. No, what you need to do to make sure he doesn't harm you much is to use Troll Unguent, Conjure Phantasm, Imagined Burden, Dual Shot, and Ignite Arrows. You do know those right?" He continued at her nod. "Any other skills you want to bring at this level of monster is pretty much up to you. Find what works best. Come on then." Lohendi followed him as he tracked her hurried steps past the Ascalon Guard's body and back down the hill.
Mimicking his movements, they got past most of the Grawl and gargoyles without agroing them. At last, there Bonetti was. Once more pacing the charred earth like he owned it.
"Are you ready?"
"As I can be…" Lohendi gripped her bow tightly. She watched as her companion invoked a few spells that she did not know and leapt into action. Rising to her feet, she ignited her arrows and let them fly again at the unsuspecting Bonetti. Several more arrows joined hers. Thinking back to what he had told her, she cast Imagined Burden on her foe, making him slow down considerably.
Excited, she looked at Panderus who had notched another arrow, his grey eyes full of concentration as he let the arrow fly to hit it's target between the eyes, taking him down for good.
"Wow! That was amazing!" Lohendi was in awe.
"It takes time and practice, thats all," he replied. "So, where are you off to now?"
"I don't know. I was just wandering around here. Then he," she gestured with a jerk of her chin "attacked me. Thanks again for your help."
"How about a journey to Yak's Bend then?" Panderus poked his bow into the ground and leaned on it. "Of course, you don't have to if you don't want to."
"Sure, if you don't mind," Lohendi held her bow in both hands in front of her, wishing now, after seeing his armor, that she had bought something in Ascalon. `Oh well, there's time and money for that later on,' she thought. Still the armor she wore, or so she had came to understand from the talk at Ascalon, was almost three years old now. That would be on her definite `to do and improve' list.
"Lets go back to town for a minute, then we'll start off. Don't forget that." He pointed to Bonetti's body. Beside it were a few coins and a green dye.
"Oh! Nice!" she smiled, picking them up and pocketing the dye. "You want some gold?" she asked, proffering the coins that she held.
"No, thank you. Come on, let's go to storage." He turned and walked up the hill. Panderus stopped at the corpse of the guard, knelt and touched his forehead. A few moments later, the man started to breathe and his eyes fluttered. Again, Panderus muttered another verse and the men's wound healed themselves. "Come on, Lohendi. He'll be fine." Nodding wordlessly, she followed him.
After passing the gate, she went to the merchant, looking at a new salvage kit and wondering if she should sell the small knife that she had found. Rethinking, she put the knife away and counted her gold. 768 gold. Not bad, but not good either. Sighing, she decided not to get the kit and went to sit next to the ruined statue of Dwayna.
Putting her bow on her lap, she leaned against a rock and waited for Panderus to return. A few minutes later he did, only this time he held his Stinger and another bow that she hadn't seen before.
"Here," he handed her the unknown bow. "This may be a bit better then yours."
Taking the bow with shaking hands, Lohendi stammered a thank you. "The bow has a long-range so you can stay back. It requires little experience in marksmanship to hit properly. It will also help your fire damage."
"What's it called?" Lohendi asked, caressing the smooth curves of the wood.
"It is a Fiery Ascalon bow of Shelter. A good bow to travel with. Now are you ready to go?"
"Yes, just let me put my old bow in storage and I'll be right with you." Almost running to the Xunalai agent, she happily deposited her old bow with care for it had kept her alive and served her well since childhood. Hurrying back to Panderus, she said "Ready!" With a nod, he turned and left to the gate.
Having already thought about the skills that she would take with her (as she didn't know many), Lohendi strode with confidence to the glowing gate.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out, she stepped into it, feeling the familiar tingling of the evil-cleansing magic pass over and through her, the light almost too bright to handle. For a moment she thought she could smell the sweet fragrance of summer iris flowers and feel the heat of the warm sun on her skin. The cheerful chirping of birds sounded around her, turning into a loud ringing growing louder as the earlier sensations mingled and mashed together, turning sour and foul as the brightness faded into the Ascalon of now.
It still bothered Lohendi being so close to that once perfect world only to be thrust back into the harshness of how it was this day. Letting herself catch her breath, she quickly found Panderus and the two left on the trail that would lead them to Yak's Bend.
*i appologize beforehand for any misspellings/errors you may find. also for lack up updates i do have a life outside writing *
Man you really kept to the game mechanics!! Your monsters drop dye and necklaces even in the story? I like it, haha =)