How do you reintroduce a character after taking a break for nearly a year? If you're a member of the Wildfire Riders, apparently you get a massive story written about you! Beltar's story "begins" here, on his player's blog (I'd advise reading it first so you know what's going on).
Done? Okay then, read on!
Over the past weekend, a bunch of us have put a huge amount of effort into one big fic, where the Riders go to find our buddy and bring him home. Led by Tarquin, it has parts written by every single character involved in the story-- including yours truly! (I didn't really do much, but I helped edit at least!) It ended up being about 27k words, and every bit of it is amazing. And you can read it on a public Google doc here!
And now I'm totally going to steal Anna's idea and post the foreword here. Enjoy!
* * * * * * *
came at sundown, fifteen armed and armored, when the color was leeching
from the dun hillsides and the few hardy pines that straggled up the
crags. There were wings to be had, of gryphon and dragon and things yet
stranger, but the Horde contested the skies here, so they marched on
foot like soldiers of a past age. Twice they had to duck into the scrub
as wyverns flew overhead, flattening themselves like rabbits under a
hawk. They shook the dust from their boots and marched on, with
At the top of Windshear Crag, in the high hills, they met their spy,
the fox-faced little sprite of a woman their chief had sent ahead. The
work went on in the mines; the garrison slouched about the fortress,
enjoying their leisure but eager for a fight. They made their camp,
sixteen now, and waited for the last of the light to fade. Mage-bread
and dried meat, served cold. None of them, even the lean young woman at
her first real battle, thought to ask for a fire. They knew the answer.
When their creased and smiling tracker judged the sky dark enough, it
was back on their feet. Packs were slung, laces were tightened, blades
were checked and checked again. Their chief made his last instructions,
salting the air with lilting curses and burring imprecations, and they
all clasped hands, traded jokes, and said a few hundred words with only
one meaning. Don’t get killed.
Then they split. Six to the mine, the vulpine scout guiding them; seven
to the base of the crag, bristling with weaponry; three to the high
road between mine and fortress, swallowed by the night. They spread
through Windshear Crag like splinters of bone from a bad wound, drifting
through blood to find the heart. Sixteen scum of the earth, come to
strike a blow in the war that a week ago they’d been working to stop.
Come to bring their brother home.