Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

a topic in Orsa of Terminus, a part of the RPG forum.

The lull in the war has ended, and the Orsa of Terminus is on the rise once more. Will the battle hardened Patronus remain strong, or fall under the growing might of this renewed threat? A mature roleplay. This forum is one large roleplay within a set world and designated story lines.

Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:50 pm

The Ruins of Amarathia
I've moved on. If anyone stumbles on any of my old roleplays or wants to hit me up for nostalgia sake, feel free to shoot me an e-mail me at [email protected] or hit me up on Good luck RolePlaygateway.

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:25 pm

[The content of this post was lost, and this is merely a summary of the events that transpired until the post can be recovered]

Distrustful of the Patronus, Ruan insisted on a guard being kept at the gates in case of another breach. Lianna and Shana keep watch with him. Distrustful of the Aeloran's, Sylvire in turn asked Elante to keep watch over them.

Brief discussion ensued regarding what the Aeloran's were doing in Amarathia, but still distrustful, Ruan kept the details to a minimum. While discussing, Ruan spotted movement out in the far woods and observed that the voidlings don't go near there. This troubled him, as that is where they're headed next. Lianna proposed that it could be another settlement, but Ruan remained skeptical and troubled.

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:26 pm

(Post co-written by Zephyr, Arrow and Tiko)

"Ugh..." Niv let out a groan, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. He had been listening to the natterings of this happy-go-lucky necromancer for the past hour or so now. Every time he tried to slip away, she followed, pratering incessantly about the most frivolous of subjects. He could feel his patience with her rapidly diminishing, and had already snapped at her a few times, but nothing he said seemed to phase her in the slightest. No matter how nasty or sarcastic he was with her, she didn't seem to pick up on the fact that he didn't like her. That, or she didn't care. It was like some cosmic joke; the single most obnoxious member of the party was being annoyed by possibly the most pleasant. It was rather ironic. Niv usually loved irony and utilised it as one of his tools when pissing others off, but in cases like this where it meant he'd have to deal with something he loathed, then he hated it. Yet more irony.

"Is something the matter, Niv?" Kirae asked cheerfully, wandering daintily alongside the half-elf with a smile upon her face. The small girl was filled with curiosity about this new realm she was in - for a second time! First she had found herself on Terra, and now here. It was all very interesting, and begged the question of just how many others were out there.

"You should tell me more about your friends! I haven't been able to meet them yet, but if they have as many interesting things to say as you, then I look forward to it!" The sylvari girl hopped gracefully onto the remnants of a small wall outside a ruined home as the two wandered the streets around the prison fort. Kirae wasn't entirely sure why Niv kept wandering away, but assumed that he wanted to explore the city more. Why else, after all?

Brent let out a snorted laugh and nudged Amber in the side as he pointed off at Niv and Kirae in the distance. “Looks like ol' Niv has finally bit off more than he can chew,” he chortled. “Who would have thought it would be a scrap of a girl to finally get under his skin,” he added with a grin.

[Scene ended due to player inactivity]

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:47 pm

(Post co-written by Script and Moonscar)

Outside one of the large buildings, sitting upon pieces of ruin that lay upon the ground, was Narruk and Hans. It was revealed that, when Hans was completely assembled, he was nearly as tall as Narruk, if not nearly as horrifying. They were speaking to one another, though the conversation was a mix between the common language among those Narruk had been spending his time with in Amarathia, and his own native language, filled with horrible, short growls and sounds only a monster could utter in a decent conversation.

“It is not an easy decision when I do not know completely,” said Narruk, switching to the common language fluidly. “They are powerful, yes, and harbor magic that I do not have, but there are ways,” he spoke, though his language switched over again, and it became nothing but those horrible snarls. Hans exchanged a few words, fingers on his chin in thought. The eyes all over his body blinked slowly at once. “It is no use simply sitting here, not doing a thing, is it?” he said after a long pause. “We might as well act now, or we may never act at all.”

Both of the behemoth sat in silence for a long moment before finally coming to a conclusion. Narruk stirred, placing the staff across his lap. "Yes. Indeed. I believe that is all we have to do, as well. Thank you, friend. You are dismissed."

With a nod from Hans, the man melted, turning to goup from scalp to toe, once again becoming a shrunken head.

"Speaking to yourself, Narruk?" a musical voice inquired from across the street. "Or one of your eloquent head-friends?" Aliana chuckled as she approached, smiling to the giant. "Are you well, my friend? You seemed somewhat ... incensed in the battle earlier."

The bard raised a dubious eyebrow as she approached, "And you devoured a meal of creatures I would not prescribe as safe for a dragon, thinking of their origins." A main course of voidlings was something that hardly seemed appealing to Aliana, but she supposed that Narruk's kind must be somewhat more resiliant to potential taint.

Alongside Aliana, another figure walked - that of one of the strangers that had joined the group. "I should introduce you to Aren," Aliana said, "An archer with far too many similarities to my brother to bear thinking about."

The dark-haired elf raised his own eyebrow at Aliana's words, "I have yet to meet this brother of yours, to judge whether that is a compliment or an insult. It is a pleasure to meet you, Narruk, and I must express my ah, admiration, for your efficient handling of the voidlings in the earlier battle."

Upon hearing that smooth, lyrical voice that could only belong to Aliana, Narruk turned, spotting the small woman. He raised a large hand in a small salute of greeting. "Such is the way of an Oasis Warrior, miss. Fearsome in battle, though I promise no such creatures were swallowed. They were merely torn apart." He offered a small chuckle, though it came off darker than intended.

The monster shifted his position, turning so that he may look at both of the small figures. He stood politely, towering over them, as he did most. He stretched out that same giant hand, holding it toward Aren. He closed all his fingers but the index. His whole hand was far too big for a shake.

"Pleasure meeting you, as well. Why, you do look like the young Arrow, indeed," he laughed, sitting back down so he could come to their level more easily. "And do not be afraid to be frank with me. My fighting style and my appearance is far from the norm and the beauty within a place such as this. I would not be offended."

Aliana nodded at Narruk's words, "I do know of cultures similar in that vein, berserk warriors and the like. I imagine to a less mindless enemy it would be highly demoralising." The bard chuckled, "Merely." she noted wryly.

Taking Narruk's hand ... well, finger ... Aren shook it with a smile. "Far from the norm indeed, but also far from the most abnormal creature in these lands. It is hardly my place to project my own culture's ideas of such things upon you."

The beast chuckled, pleased with the boys answer. Being grown up without such prejudice; what a thought! But it made the behemoth glad, regardless. He reached down, picking up the shrunken head, taking it into his hand, and presenting it to Aren. The head arched its brow, unable to look directly to the young boy. After all, shrunken heads also lacked eyes. "The 'ell are you doin'?" it asked Narruk, voice scratchy and hoarse. It frowned. Narruk ignored its scowl and continued.

"This one, and myself, are from the Oasis. The space between worlds," he explained, throwing the head up into the air. It landed on the back of his hand with loud complaints. "It can also be used as a road to other worlds," he went on, rolling the head from the back of his hand, up his skinny arms, behind his shoulders, and down the opposite arm into his other hand.

"Do you know what that could mean, Aliana?" he asked. He was getting to something. Something important. "Look at our situation."

Raising an eyebrow, Aliana glanced from the shrunken head to Narruk. "I understand what you are suggesting, Narruk. But you should consider the connotations that this new party could have for our plans. Speak with Sylvire - once she and Aren's captain have spoken, we will have a course of action no doubt."

Aren's expression was one of confusion as the two others spoke - it was clear he was unaware of the 'otherworldly' nature of the Patronus - but if he had any questions, he kept them to himself.

Narruk turned his dark eyes to Aliana, the head finally silent in his grasp. "Of course I shall. But, as the plague of the Orsa and the Sealed One is left back at Terra, I believed it would be a better idea than moving back through the library." he told her, sticking the skull back onto the staff with the others. They mumbled quietly among themselves.

To Aren, he then directed his attention, noting the perplexed expression. " are not familiar with the knowledge of how we arrived. Or rather, where from. Is that correct?" he asked the boy.

"That is correct," Aren replied, "I thought it impolite to inquire before our leaders have established matters, though I know we make no secret of our home. Aliana has told me that you are not residents of this city, as we first thought, so how far afield are you from?"

Aliana smiled, "Further afield than you would believe, I'm sure," she said, before looking to Narruk as if to defer the explanation.

The giant placed both his hands overtop of his staff and nodded, exchanging glanced with Aliana before turning to face Aren. "We are from quite a ways away. Not just another town or country, but...from another world," he said, gesturing towards the sky in a wide sweep of his arm, and he turned his head up to look at it. "Another universe."

His head dropped to look back down at Aren. "A place both vastly different and much not different at all from here."

Aren raised an eyebrow, "It certainly sounds as though you have quite the story to be told. Perhaps it is something better imparted in a group than individually. No doubt the lady Sylvire will explain the situation to our captain if she deems it necessary."

Smiling, Aliana nodded. "It is wise I think to leave it to Sylvire." the bard said, giving Narruk with a pensive look. As much as she was fond of this newcomer, trust was something that could be too easily given considering what was at stake. She would reserve her judgement until after Sylvire had spoken to them.
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(03:04:15) Lialore says: I wanted to be the poo.

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:47 pm

Post co-written by Imehal and Script

This is getting more than a little worrysome, Natalie thought morosely as she stepped outside of the prison fort with only polite nods for any that she passed, whether they were friend or stranger. They did not matter right now, and the one that did was not where the sorceress had left her. The pavilion was the next place on her mental checklist but it would not take a walk for her to discern whether Whisper was there or not.

Knowing that it was pointless trying to scry when distracted, Natalie attempted to clear her mind of all thoughts and do just that, eyes unfocusing once more as she slowed her determined stride to a stop barely twenty feet from their temporary home. Focus, she demanded of herself. It took at least a minute before her self-deprication had ebbed away enough to convey what she already knew – Whisper was not there, nor anywhere close.

Stay here. That is what she had told her friend... ally, whatever they were these days and that lack of returned closeness, coupled with the realisation that she would have no idea where the one she treasured most was until she calmed down, only had the opposite effect. With a groan of frustration she looked around herself, impatiently expecting the flighty woman to appear. Running a hand through her hair and clearly plagued with worry, Natalie began to pace to and fro, trying to reach a state where she could Divine and then find Whisper.

It had been something that Whisper had been doing for days now, disappearing and reappearing at her own whim, trying to figure out her head after they had intentionally broken it. The great woman that Natalie had idolised, and now sought to protect and preserve like she had been in a time that seemed so long ago. Someday, she told herself constantly, distracting herself with teaching Marxan, the monumental task that was the Patronus' ultimate goal and the greatest and often most difficult of the three; opening herself up once more to those who she had shut out.

Natalie had begun to wonder if that day would come before one of them fell for the cause, shaking her head and pausing in her pacing as she realised that she would give her life before letting any harm come to Whisper in her presence. That had been decided only days ago, when she had had to choose between attacking an ally and protecting her once-best friend.

Whilst Natalie was pacing in search of Whisper, nearby another was walking through the city for no greater purpose than simply exploring it. It was rare that you got a chance to poke your nose around the ruins of a lost civilisation - it had been so long since anyone had been able to reach Amarathia that it had acquired something of a mystical stigma in storytellings. This was not least because it was the site of the Patronus' final stand, and the first city to fall in the following invasion.

Raedan Janse, elemental battlemage and youngest of the scouting party, was gazing more at the crumbling towers overhead than at the way he was walking when he rounded the corner onto the street where Natalie was, and so when he heard her footsteps he was startled, flinching before his eyes fell onto her. "Oh," the blonde man said, "It's just you. One of the Patronus, I mean. You get used to every unexpected footfall being a void creature out there."

The twenty-two year old adjusted his dark maroon robe, the fiery gem hovering in front of his forehead identifying him as a journeyman fire elementalist, though its specific meaning would be lost on Natalie. "Sorry to disturb you, but now that I mention it, you look a little peturbed anyway - something I can help with?" Pausing, the mage blinked, "I'm Raedan, by the way. Raedan Janse, I'm a journeyman with the Battlemages' Guild back in Tai'emroth. Can I ask your name?"

Although grateful that the young battlemage had realised she was not a creature that was set upon his demise, it was impossible for Natalie to disguise her impatience at listening to him introduce himself when she was very clearly too distracted to care. His offer to try and help was acknowledged with a relenting of her off-putting manner enough to nod briskly, not that she wanted to talk about it; could not talk about it without feeling anxious. This will not do. If calm could not be achieved, then Natalie had no means of finding someone who, when inclined to be so, was impossible to find.

His enquiry into her well-being was well meant, it was clear, but Natalie could not shake the feeling of unease having been caught fretting and thus her stare did not abate even as she spoke.

By now the pacing had stopped, replaced by tentative curiosity and Natalie's desire to settle her frayed nerves, pursing her lips to prevent herself from frowning. “And I am Natalie Oldburn, professor at the Academia Celestia back upon Terra. It is a pleasure to meet you Mr Janse.” A brief pause and then she motioned to the young mage with a simple gesture. ““Whilst I appreciate your offer, I'm afraid there is nothing I can do, let alone anyone else. A friend of mine has disappeared off, as is her wont. I'm just worried as she was not with us when the voidlings came through into the city.”

Whether she knew that her expression revealed more than mere concern was uncertain, but Natalie did seem self-conscious as well as troubled, looking away from Raedan for just a moment across at the ruined city beyond.

It was clear enough to Raedan by Natalie's penetrative stare that he had interrupted a woman who was in far from good temperament. Never a wise plan in the closest of friendships, but even less so with strangers. "Ah," he said noncomittally, inwardly mulling over the pros and cons of a tactical retreat from the conversation. The young blonde man frowned, "In my limited experience of void creatures in confined spaces, it would be uncharacteristic of them to have split away from the main group upon the initial entry to the city." he noted, "I'm not sure if it is of any reassurance, but I would have thought we would have heard from any survivors by now. They aren't the most subtle of enemies."

The younger man met Natalie's gaze only briefly before awkardly averting his eyes, but he had noticed a worry that was more than just concern for an ally in her. He wasn't going to bring that up, however. "Should I ask the others of my group to keep an eye out for this friend?" he ventured, "Not that I think we are more likely to find her than you and your allies. You know this city, after all."

Raedan paused, "You mentioned an Academia Celestia? And 'Terra', I don't know of those places. Our geographical knowledge is not what it once was, given the limited nature of travel. Are they far from here?"

Void creatures were not as new to Natalie as they were to some others of the Patronus, recalling a few occasions in the bar where they had made their presence decidedly known and unwelcome but still, she knew nothing of their habits. If younger and less respectful, she might have challenged his knowledge, claimed that the only word she would take for Whisper’s safety was her own but now, Natalie closed her eyes and took a deep breath, focusing on not sniping at the boy merely out of frustration.

“I was unaware of that. The books tell of this world and what it once was, but they lack specific knowledge on what these creatures are capable of.” Natalie’s words were carefully even, glancing out to where she knew what remained of the ruined pavilion stood, startled by his offer. The kindness of strangers was something that the sorceress wanted to believe in, but experience taught her to be wary. Even some of those she allied with could not be trusted with Whisper’s safety. However, they were oblivious to her friend’s past and thus, had no cause to do her harm…

“I would appreciate that Mr Janse. Whisper was not present earlier but if I describe her to you, I’m sure you’ll find her easily enough. Frail and small, white hair and often looking very, very confused. She’s not hard to miss if you see her, believe me.” His insistence that the Patronus gathered knew the city better than those who had recently arrived brought a thin, knowing smile to Natalie’s lips. “Perhaps, but the more eyes out searching for her the better, though as I said earlier, she will only be found when she chooses.”

With her concerns for Whisper's safety momentarily assailed, Natalie found herself obliged to indulge the stranger’s questions about what she supposed was her home now. He had assailed her fears about rogue void creatures and offered to watch out for Whisper. Even if the stranger did not know it, he had gained approval through these two simple actions alone.

“Further away than I could even hope to imagine once. I am proficient with teleportation and yet could not traverse the distance between Terra and here without assistance. The Academia Celestia is a school for the magically gifted, Mr Janse, and a place that a great number of the Patronus are familiar with. It is, back home, one of our greatest bastions against the Sealed One’s followers.” Natalie prayed it still was, placing well-founded faith in the abilities of those left behind to support the besieged school. Her stare no longer seemed oppressive, softened by talk of home and things that distracted her away from her worries, though speaking and thinking on his words had brought another fear to the forefront.

“How bad it is here, Mr Janse? We have not yet left the safety of Amarathia’s walls and the history books are not very descriptive when it comes to what happened after the fall.” Not a subject that Natalie could find much information on. Of course, she knew that Lady Sylvire had been one of the last Patronus many years ago, but to find a place so assailed by the minions of the Sealed One… It was not a comforting thought to think that they had fled Terra only to find a place even more plagued by their adversaries.

Raedan listened with interest as Natalie spoke of Terra, now curious. That these people were from so far away suggested that they had travelled here by less than conventional means, which only created more questions. "A school?" the young man picked up on the term, "Interesting. Where I am from, the magically gifted are all-but drafted into lending their power to the defence of our city. To learn magic in a scholarly level of depth is a luxury I hope one day to have."

As Natalie went on to ask about the situation in Aelora, Raedan grimaced. "The history books in this city are likely somewhat out of date, considering that it lasted but a month after the Patronus died. The Sealed One's armies fell back when the last was killed - or, apparently, escaped - but returned within days." The young mage sighed, thinking back to the retellings of the land's destruction that all were taught from a young age. "Amarathia was only the first. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many known bastions against the Sealed One remain in the known world. Tai'emroth, where I come from, survived only due to its location - built into a mountain and heavily defensible. Cordelia has held out for this long due to its military strength, but it has maybe weeks left before the last settlement is overrun. There are scattered settlements within the nearby forest, and we had thought there might be more survivors here, considering the way the voidlings seemed not to penetrate its walls."

Shaking his head, Raedan met Natalie's eyes. "So in answer to your question, very. And it seems likely things will only get worse in years to come. I find it hard to imagine Aelora in any other state - it's all that most of us have known. The elder races speak of a prosperous land without war - excepting in times of political or racial conflict - but us humans haven't lived long enough to see anything like it."

These people had spent generations fighting for their mere existence in the face of a collective evil which sought to eradicate them from the world altogether. The losses and suffering incurred so far by the Patronus by comparison were slight and not for the first time, Natalie realised that the mantle taken when accepting protection of the artefacts was heavier than any of them could have sensibly imagined. Not missing the impressed tone that Emma had spoken with when Sylvire had introduced them as the Patronus. Skilled they were, but capable of making a difference to such an entrenched defence against the Sealed One? The sorceress frowned as the younger mage met her eyes, nodding sharply.

“I did not expect much better, even if I might have hoped for it.” A soft sigh and then Natalie smiled faintly, looking back towards the prison fort. “You should take this time to rest then. We have been safe here within Amarathia’s walls for days now.”

Brown eyes left him to look across the ruins to where Natalie knew the library stood, impressively undamaged by time and invasions alike. “If we can somehow end this, then there will be plenty of time to show you a life without fear of the Sealed One.” Her musing aloud faded for a few moments, as the sorceress became lost in thought, before nodding to herself as if satisfied her posture seeming both more relaxed and poised all at once.

There was not much distance between them but Natalie took a few steps forward at a steady pace, holding out a hand to him. “I can show you the school I hail from, if you would like? As someone who has seen her world in both darkest and brightest times, I believe there will be a dawn soon.” Her eyes flickered upwards briefly, looking out at the never-ending darkness that seemed to plague the skies outside Amarathia’s borders.

Raedan's grim expression softened slightly as Natalie spoke, and he nodded. "You are right. It's been a long journey to get here, I'm glad that now here we have some actual reprieve. I hope that Ciela doesn't insist we move on too soon - we have another bastion to visit before we can return to Tai'emroth."

The young mage smiled at the sorceress' suggestion, "I suppose there is no harm in hoping," he said, "I'm told that humans are the most fervant in our fight against the Sealed One only because our short lifespans give us less time to lose hope. Somewhat depressing, when you think about it too much, but I'd rather a shorter life than one that lasted centuries for that exact reason."

Running a hand through his hair, Raedan sighed and nodded. "I look forward to that day." he finished with, before Natalie went on. Raising an eyebrow, the younger mage extended his own hand towards Natalie's. "I'm not familiar with a magic that allows vision of another's memories or mind's eye, but I have heard of its use by some scouts, or at least a form of it. You'll have to show me some of the less war-based magic you know if our groups spend any length of time together."

“Every cloud has a silver lining,” Natalie agreed about the considerably shorter lives that humans led in comparison to other races of both their worlds, “but we still pass on our experiences to those who follow after us. Humans fight in the name of those who cannot continue, whereas others fight to reclaim what they have lost once.”

It was then that Natalie guided Raedan’s hand upwards to touch at her right temple, looking wary despite her own mind reminded her that Divination was nothing to fear. In the past it has caused grievances and situations best left forgotten. “Scrying and Divination is what I do best, Mr Janse.”

There was a faint smile on the sorceress’s lips, as if the notion of demonstrating magic pleased Natalie even as she strove to still her mind of all intrusive thoughts. “I’d be happy to. Now, please try to relax.”

Then her eyes unfocused briefly, without pressure or demand, images of Academia Celestia, its staff and students passed through her mind. There was a considerable degree of control these days about how much she would let through the connection and only the most fervent of emotions – pleasure drawn from educating these young (but sadly not all willing) students, affection for her brother and just briefly, annoyance when she caught Samuel in the greenhouse once, apparently trying to set everything on fire with his antics.

As Natalie ended the connection between them and moved his fingertips away from her, there was a natural exuberance to the sorceress that would be at odds with the woman he had first come across. “That is home.” And she hoped with all her heart and soul that it had endured the assault that had driven all from within its walls.

Raedan closed his own eyes as the rush of images flowed from the older mage's mind to his own, absorbing the emotions and thoughts that accompanied them, as sparse as they were. When it passed, he lowered his hand and re-opened his eyes. A smile was on his face as he nodded, "I see some resemblances to the schools we are taught in, but I must say, none of us ever thought to set a greenhouse alight."

The younger man chuckled, "I hope I might live to see something similar in my home. Even if not, there is something to work toward, no? It is a beautiful place. I'd just as soon be a teacher as a warrior myself, but we do what we must. As I'm sure you are familiar with, given your presence here." Raedan might have volunteered to fight for Aelora, but it wasn't out of any desire for battle, rather a desire for change.

"It is a feat of stupidity that I have yet to see another student surpass, I must admit." Natalie smiled back, softening with remembrance. His intent to survive all of this was heartening and she hoped that he would live long enough to see his world begin to change. "Teacher turned warrior, recruited by Lady Nasazura to protect the artefacts."

Natalie had known already from her reading that their leader was significant not only to those who followed her at present, but also in the world and struggles she hailed from. That fight and this world was Natalie's reality now and the sorceress knew that the attack today was only the beginning, nodding at Raedan's statement with grim acceptance.

Her hand was back at her side by this point, and all thoughts of finding Whisper were lost as Natalie began to focus on the situation that they were all faced with. The urgency of finding her friend who was probably quite safe, paled in comparison. "War makes fighters out of all kinds Mr Janse but everyone's reasons are different. What are yours, if I might ask?"

All anxiousness had faded from the sorceress during their conversation and Natalie was now content to converse and learn about her prospective allies. Their motivations, abilities and willingness to work alongside what attempted to pass for Patronus these days.

"In Tai'emroth, everyone is a fighter to some extent. Those who have the ability are expected to contribute to the defence of the city. If the city falls, there's nowhere for us to run." Raedan explained. It was the unified nature of the city in defence that made it so difficult to conquer. There was crime, dissent, and politics - but all were abandoned if the Sealed One's forces made a push. "But what motivated me to take my role further than one of defence was frustration more than anything."

Raedan shook his head, "I was frustrated that there seemed to be no end to the cycle of repelling the voidlings and preparing for the next assault. Very few people in Tai'emroth ever discuss the possibility of there not being a 'next assault'. It is an ideal that seems impossible, considering the total grip of the Sealed One over the land. We can only travel in small groups, and even that is risky. Any large military movement would be crushed."

Sighing, the mage shrugged. "In taking part in expeditions like this, I feel like I am making a difference, no matter how small. It's better than sitting idly within the city and trying to pretend that it isn't only a matter of time before the defence slips up, and ignoring the fact that even if it doesn't happen in your lifetime, the enclosed existance that the city provides is far from the most exciting."

The conviction to not sit around and wait for the Sealed One to end his life was one that Natalie approved of, but at the same time she realised it was one that up until recently many of the Patronus had not possessed. The later Patronus had not had many dealings with any minions of their enemy until recent events and even the more veteran members had grown lax, settling into a life of semi-alertness and seemingly waiting for him to strike before retaliating in kind.

“You are making a difference,” Natalie asserted with a smile, looking at the battlemage steadily. “If people like you had not had the initiative to try and fight back in whatever way against the Sealed One, we would be still quite alone in this unfamiliar place. Your group is small as is mine, but together we might achieve something a little more substantial than mere ‘survival’.”

This existence was his life through birth and it inadvertently had become the Patronus’s now, though Natalie wagered that not many of them could have imagined on what scale participation in this war would change their lives and not necessarily for the better. “Listen to us going on like philosophers and dreamers. It’s nice to hold hope still, however slim it may be.”

Amused but relieved that moments like this could still exist untainted, Natalie lowered a hand to extract a notebook from her pouch tied to her belt – an item that surely should not be able to fit inside such a small space and opened it, sighing briefly. Tonight was the night that Natalie would begin to test Marxan on the theoretical knowledge of healing she had taught and got him to research so far, but with her worries about Whisper and this unexpected development she was considering letting it slide back a few days.

"It seems that anything beyond dreadful pessimism is being a 'dreamer' around these parts," Raedan said, shaking his head, "But you are right."

It was then that a third voice joined the pair, as from around the corner of the street emerged a white-clad blonde woman, an elegant staff gripped in one hand and the other rising into a wave. "Raedan!" she called, her voice gentle like a mother's, "There you are. I've been looking for you."

Raedan turned to face the woman's approach, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. "Nihm? What is it?"

As she neared, the features of the woman - Nihm, as she had been named - became clearer. Pointed ears emerged from a head of shoulder-length rose blonde hair, and smooth yet mature features formed a face that spoke of the wisdom of age. "The others noted your absence, and I volunteered to make sure you hadn't found yourself a milennia old trapdoor to fall into." she said, her lips curling in a smile, "You didn't let anyone know you were wandering. We are in unfamiliar territory after all, with no offense meant to our new allies."

Laughing, Raedan nodded, though he folded his arms. "The concern is appreciated, but I'm sure I could have dealt with a trapdoor myself. Ah - this is Natalie, by the way. Natalie, this is Nihm, she's a priestess and healer."

The elven woman inclined her head to Natalie politely, "An honour to meet you, miss."

"And you Nihm. It is a pleasure." Natalie bowed her head respectfully, smiling herself at the exchange between the motherly elf and Raedan, taking a step back as reflex to give them some space. Her body language was approachable and the smile held. This was not so difficult.

"You're as bad as Whisper it seems Mr Janse, when it comes to disappearing acts. And no offense taken, Nihm. We are strangers after all, even if it seems we are on the same side."

Nihm nodded, "In a land like this, the phrase 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' holds strong. Regardless of personal differences, that we both fight the Sealed One is enough for me." she said, "I must say, it is an honour in particular to meet the bearer of one of the Patronus Artefacts - I was astounded when I heard that was who we had stumbled upon. We had long assumed the artefacts to be safe, or else the Sealed One would be fully released - but for the Patronus to return as a group, even if not as the original individuals, is something of a miracle."

The priestess smiled thoughtfully, "I was only a child when the war began. I saw the Lady Nasazura and her two remaining allies take arms to defend this city first-hand, even as my parents pulled me away to evacuate. We had family friends in Tai'emroth, where we are from, and it is only by escaping there that we survived." she explained. "That she has survived only amplifies my respect for her."

"I dare say it is an honour to meet you rather than the other way around, especially as you have been surviving and fighting against the Sealed One all these years," Natalie replied with a gentleness that implied she was trying to shift away any form of respect or honour that might be awarded to her protecting an artefact. "And us new Patronus have only been aware of his presence for a year at most."

The healer called their arrival a 'miracle' and even if Natalie would not hold claim to being important herself, there was no denying that the group together could do good, no matter how small the effort might seem. "Lady Nasazura is one who I think that anyone would be hard pushed not to respect, as a person as much as our leader."

Natalie sighed and looked down at the book in her hand for a moment, needing a distraction temporarily before she focused on Nihm and Raedan again, thoughts still once more.

"She and all of the 'last' Patronus are talked about like legends. Since it was their fall that triggered the fall of, well, everything, the Patronus have an almost mythical symbolism to them now." Raedan said, "Some people say that when the artefacts are rediscovered and the Patronus 'return', we'll finally win. Of course, you're all just people too, for all that your title brings." The young mage smiled, "So don't worry about many people genuinely expecting all that of you like magic."

Nihm chuckled, "Indeed, whilst your arrival may boost the morale of our people - if you intend to remain, that is - our leaders at the very least will be more rational about what you can achieve."

"We certainly have no intentions of losing against the Sealed One," Natalie smiled knowingly, reaching a hand up to where her artefact rested beneath her robes, "so that only leaves winning. I hope we can live up to at least some of the expectations, even if we are not legendary heroes that the populous might want us to be."

Natalie faltered again, though it was more at admitting aloud belief that they could make a difference worth fighting for rather than belief that they even could. "I don't think there is any going back the way we came, so we do intend to remain and if I know Lady Nasazura well enough to judge, she'll want to help you all as much as we are able during our stay, and there is not one in our number who would say otherwise."

Raedan smiled at this, "It will be a pleasure to fight at your side, Natalie - in the metaphorical sense, of course." he said.

Nodding, Nihm gestured to Raedan, "Come - we should return to the fort before Ciela and the Lady Nasazura finish their discussions. It would do no good to waste time having to track each other down."

The younger mage looked to Natalie, "Will you be joining us, or continuing the search for your friend?" he asked.

“Nihm certainly makes a good point Mr Janse. I will return with you both to the fort.” Casting another glance across the ruined city, Natalie relented in her search for Whisper – at least for now.

Natalie smiled faintly, as if she had thought of something rather peculiar. “Shall we?”

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:49 pm

(Post co-written by Script, Imehal and Conumbra

Emma clicked her tongue as she looked out across the ruins of Amarathia from the vantage point of the prison fort wall. Leaning casually on the side of the building, the blood mage seemed to be mentally assessing the city itself, or perhaps mulling over the new arrivals. Talos could far from tell - the woman was near impossible to read at the best of times, beyond the outer layer of utter insufferability.

Talos himself was stood further from the stairs down into the fort. He wasn't quite sure when Emma had joined him up here, but as of yet she had not deigned to speak.

"So what do you think?" Emma's voice, as if on cue, broke through the silence of their contemplation. "Of the 'Patronus'. They seem rather a ragtag bunch to me."

Talos turned to give Emma a cool and neutral gaze. "I will refrain from prejudging our new companions until such a time as they demonstrate whether they are worthy of carrying that name or not."

"Come on," Emma rolled her eyes, "You must have some vague first impressions. Personally, I think they have potential, but they're no soldiers. Most of them, anyway."

"The Patronus were never soldiers, Emma. I believe that was something of the point. The histories say that they represented an ideal, something that soldiers could not do. That they fell is perhaps the surest example that idealism cannot save us now any more than soldiers could." The Brother shook his head, "Before you ask as to what can save us, I do not have an answer. Perhaps these people will provide one, or perhaps they will live and die in defence of this land as have so many others. Time will tell."

There was a long pause as Talos finished speaking, before Emma let out a disgruntled sigh. "Good grief, talking to you is depressing."


That tentative attempt to make herself known was lost as the conversation between the two scouts continued and all Parlina could make out were sounds that she could only assume were voices on the other side of the door. One sounded distant but definitely male. Rynhart? It was worth a shot and thus, without any warning, the young druid swung open the door to reveal her presence, grinning fleetingly as she stepped out onto the wall proper.

“Oh! Hello Lady Emma,” she greeted with an energetic wave, still beaming right up until the moment she turned and saw that, much to her fleeting disappointment, it was not her ally (well, at least not the one she was looking for) sitting up here having a chat, “and hello sir-I-have-not-met-before. I am Parlina and it is a pleasure to meet you!”

Parlina dipped into a low curtsey as propriety demanded before rising and looking between the two. If either were particularly observant, they would notice that the armour that the druid had been wearing previously had disappeared, replaced with her artefact. There was a glimmer of sadness then, for Kento was not improving despite her dedicated treatment but it passed – from her expression at least – as quickly as it had come, leaving only a sunny deposition behind.

“I don’t suppose either of you have seen Sir Rynhart walking about from up here? Tall, rather pretty man with pointy ears and almost white hair?” The description was short but delivered with appropriate hand gestures indicating height and ear shape, Parlina looking hopeful all the while.

"And as if on cue..." Emma turned to raise an eyebrow at Parlina - possibly the least depressing person to talk to that she'd ever met. "Hello again, Parlina." The blood mage straightened from her leaning position, taking her staff from where it rested against the wall. "Let me introduce you to Talos. He's one of the broodier of us, but don't mind him. He's a regular ray of sunshine underneath, I'm sure."

Talos half-turned upon Parlina's arrival, hooded features assessing her briefly. "The pleasure is mine, I'm sure." he replied simply. Inwardly, the man noted the girl's young age dubiously. Her mannerisms only served to exaggerate it. "I cannot say I have seen the man of whom you speak since our leaders retired to discuss matters."

Shaking her head, Emma glanced down at the streets below. "I imagine he's off somewhere looking as disapproving as any clergyman at a satanic orgy could ever." she said dryly, smirking.

"The man is wise to disapprove, Emma. You yourself would discourage acceptance of your magic on a larger scale, it only makes sense that he would not look kindly upon it, any more so than anyone else." Talos noted, placing his gaze on the older woman.

Emma grinned, shrugging, "Hey, for all we know they could have come from a culture where everyone and their dog is a blood mage and gets by just fine by not being idiots." she pointed out.

Talos rolled his eyes. "Idiots, as you name them, are present in disproportionate numbers in most every culture, Emma. One does not need to be stupid to fall afoul of blood magic."

Though Parlina could not see Talos very well, hidden as he was behind the hood he wore, she still brightened further (if that was at all possible) at his greeting, not at all phased by the blood mage’s description of him. Her lips twisted into a frown at still achieving little success at locating her friend, averting her gaze out across the city as she listened to what was being said. That was really rude; all he had done was ask her to be careful around someone whose methods he did not approve of. He had done nothing to deserve that treatment, she was quite sure!

“Sir Rynhart was just looking out for me.” Parlina finally found her voice, a brightness in her eyes that was a touch less jovial than her usual demeanour, aquamarine eyes flickering towards Talos before settling upon Emma. “Would you have not done the same when confronted by individuals who are not only strangers but possess abilities that you do not approve of?”

Since parting ways with Emma and her allies earlier, what had been discussed about blood magic had lingered on Parlina’s mind and she found, that despite Rynhart’s concerns about the practice of such things and thus, especially considering her enlightening via Kirae about abilities that might not be to everyone’s tastes. It wasn’t like Sir Rynhart had outright condemned her!

Emma glanced back at Parlina, raising an eyebrow. "You'll learn to distinguish between genuine ire and just 'me being me' if you're around me for any length of time, druidess. I have a distinctive sense of humour. I've nothing against your frowny blonde friend, but if I'm not allowed to make a joke out of the assumptions people make about me, then I run the risk of actually getting offended once in a while." The blood mage folded her arms and smirked, "And we can't have that."

A few steps took Emma over to the edge of the wall, where she leaned casually over the battlements. "And what abilities would I possibly disapprove of merely on principle? People who trigger their magic by, I don't know, punching babies in the face? You give me a daemonologist who draws their power from a dark god, and I'll slap them on the back and say 'you show that evil bitch who's boss', right up until the point where they lose their mind and start sacrificing virgins. I couldn't care less how people get their powers so long as they don't start throwing them at the wrong people."

It took a little longer than normal for Parlina to realise that the woman was telling her that she had been joking, frowning herself at the very idea of making fun of people’s opinions, looking away from the blood mage briefly, composing herself. Though perhaps it had been unexpected for the little druid to jump to the defence of her allies, she did not wish to be at odds with anyone and listening to Emma talk on, felt like she had not put her point across very well. That was hardly surprising and even as she was appalled by the candid way the blood mage spoke, Parlina could not help but admire her a little in the process.

“I meant those whose powers who originate from those same wrong people, as well as using them against them,” Parlina tried to explain, gesturing and walking after Emma with a concentration on her face that could only be described as adorable, “I know nothing of blood magic and not once have I said I thought it was a bad thing. I don’t doubt that Sir Rynhart has had experience with it in the past that sets him at odds against it, but I would not be talking to you if I thought you a danger to me or any of my allies and friends.”

As she was not tall enough to lean upon the ramparts like anyone with a few inches extra on her height, Parlina sat herself upon one of the places where the stone defences had been lost over time, perched there quite happily. “I don’t think you invite friendliness with the way you act about even the slightest insult to your abilities and character, but I’m glad to have you as an ally if you have that mindset.” And with the bright smile on her face despite the earlier clash, it seemed that the druid was being entirely genuine.

"Heh," Emma's mouth quirked into a half-smile and she gave Parlina an appraising look, "It's not so often I meet open-minded individuals, you know. When you live in a single city for your entire life you tend to get used to a certain type of person. Rest assured, druidess, I couldn't care less what people think of me - perhaps I'm a little aggressive on that front, but put that down to a well honed survival instinct."

The blood mage winked, "Who knows, maybe if I break enough voidling faces people will learn to put up with me."

Having remained silent for this brief exchange, Talos cleared his throat pointedly. "Whilst it is true you have given me no reason to doubt your capabilities, Miss Armelle, it is not you as an individual I take issue with. Your apparent 'mastery' of the risks of your magic are the exception, not the rule."

Leaning back towards Talos, Emma raised an eyebrow, "I don't need your explanations, Talos, I know full well what you take issue with. And I take no offense, despite what my retorts might suggest. I disagree, of course, but there you have it. Allies seldom share the exact same views, if we did, we'd be like some sort of cult ..."

"Too true, too true and we wouldn't want that now would we. Cults tend not to have the best track record going up against gigantic forces of pure evil. To be fair though they don't seem to be all that good at doing...anything really, except maybe gathering a bunch of people into one area." Marxan said as he walked up to the group talking, having gotten rid of his usual armouring of rocks for the moment and instead wearing a jacket and some jeans. His two worms were extended out of his hands and wrapped around his sleeves as he walked.

He hadn't yet had a chance to meet these two new arrivals yet and wanted to get a good look at them. That and the talk he had heard about Emma's apparent talent in blood magic had gotten him interested, He held out his right hand for the others to shake and said "I'm sorry, I guess you don't know my name yet. I'm Marxan Green and if I'm not mistaken you two are...Emma and Talos right? I'm sorry if I'm wrong, names tend to get jumbled around in my head, although I'm sure I won't forget a blood mage."

"That's not to say I find blood magic distasteful. Quite the contrary really. I'm all for it as long as it's being directed against the hordes of chaos and not us." A fierce look in his eyes helped drive home his attitude on that front. "Although, I'm sure you'll be a helpful ally in our battle. Speaking of allies, I don't know if you've seen a young woman named Whisper? White hair, a little short, multiple personalities?"

"Has that worked so far, Lady Emma?"

Parlina's legs swung to and fro as the little druid continued to smile at Emma, though her sunny disposition turned its way towards Talos as he spoke also, thinking them both peculiar people to be allies of one another. Then again she supposed that every cell of companions could not get along as well as their group had, but the mere thought of Taima had her grimacing.

Raw grief sat so uncomfortably close to the surface of late, no matter how hard Parlina tried to mask it with cheerfulness and optimism. It would be a long time before the girl's smiles came as naturally as they once had in times of quiet and even as Marxan approached she said nothing, which seemed to work out just fine as the man ignored her existence entirely on the walls.

Parlina listened as the man talked, a little rambly if she did say so herself, eyes affixed to the stone floor of the battlements with an outer fascination that contrasted with actual curiosity. His enquiry about Whisper brought her aquamarine eyes briefly upwards, looking behind herself and down to the courtyard below. Weary but managing a smile as was her wont, Parlina turned her attention back to her ally and companions whilst pushing down deep the useless feelings of regret and futility.

"I don't believe Lady Whisper has come this way Sir Marxan. Do you need to speak with her?"

"Well they certainly put up with me," Emma said, folding her arms, "I don't think it's particularly endearing on a personal level, mind."

The blood mage chuckled, before looking over her shoulder as Marxan walked out onto the wall. "You'd be surprised what an organised cult can achieve. At least one city in Aelora fell from the inside to a cult before their walls were even breached by the Sealed One."

Talos examined Marxan from beneath his hood, remaining silent as Emma spoke. The Aethos wielder frowned, however, as he expressed his attitude towards blood magic. "If you will excuse me, I must speak with Nihm. Until we next speak, Emma." The hooded man turned to nod in turn to Parlina and Marxan. "Parlina, Marxan. It was an honour to meet you."

With that said, Talos turned toward the stairs and left the wall. Emma raised her eyebrow as he left, chuckling for a second time. "Yes..." she responded somewhat absent-mindedly to Marxan, "No need to worry on that front. My aim isn't that bad."

At the man's question regarding Whisper, Emma deferred to Parlina, shrugging her shoulders after she spoke. "She sounds like a wonderfully stable woman, but I can't say I've had the pleasure of meeting her - or would it be them? Well, either way."

Marxan turned to Parlina and gave a polite bow. "Sorry for ignroing you Parlina, my mind has been somewhat distracted over the past couple of hours. On addition to reading up on more magical knowledge and history than I've ever thought possible, I've been worrying about where she's gone. So yes, you could say I need to speak with her. A woman with her...past usually has to be kept a close eye on." He didn't bother to expand on what he meant by that last sentence and his look seemed to hint that he wouldn't even if asked.

Marxan gave Talos a wave, saying "See you later Talos." He then turned back to the other two and said "Let us hope Whisper is found in due time. The last time she ventured off it...didn't end well to say the least." He lowered his ehad almost revenretly for a moment before raising it, this time with a smile on his face.

"But that's a topic for another time. Frankly talking about that woman gets me depressed. I'd much rather talk about other thins, magic in particular.You see after you start perusing a library for minute details, you either become interested in magic or you drop dead out of boredome. Strangely I haven't found much on blood magic within the archives; I wonder why? So, seeing as I can't read up on it, I was wondering if you could tell me about it. I know it's run off of blood obviously, but how does it differ from regular magic and could anyone thereotcially practice it?"

"Ignoring me?" It was as if the idea had not even occurred to Parlina, smiling up at Marxan and shaking her head. "How can you possibly pay attention to me when there are wonderful new people to get to know?" The conversation continued along the veins of cults for a time and the little druid listened whilst twisting to sit facing out across the city now, the sound of voices behind her reassuring

It was only when she overheard the hooded stranger’s departure that Parlina turned back to the others, waving an enthusiastic farewell. "And you. Be safe Sir Talos!"

Marxan’s comments about Whisper went largely unaddressed by the druid, who had been largely exempt from the tumultuous events of the first night in the library. That is not to say that Parlina was unaware, but she did not desire to delve into matters that were clearly better off without too much intervention. The talk of blood magic was something that the man had clearly sought Emma out to have, and Parlina might be socially challenged at times but she was far from rude.

Emma gave Marxan a look that was something of a cross between disbelief and resignation. "What's more to tell?" she said, shaking her head, "Blood magic differs from regular magic in the sense that the very act of using it requires a pact with malevolent spirits. If you slip up, if you drop your guard or overtax yourself, those same spirits possess you and turn you into a mindless abomination against mankind."

The blood mage folded her arms, "Which incidentally answers your first question about why there aren't any books on it in most libraries. As for your last one? Sure, in theory, any hapless fool could slash their wrist and channel the energy from it after a little training. But maybe one in a hundred blood mages can practice their magic and stay sane, and only a few more can keep themselves from being possessed."

Glancing after Talos, Emma went on, "Which is why most people mistrust blood mages, and why half of my job as a sane one is stopping anyone else from trying it.”

Marxan's eyes opened wide and his statyed open for a few seconds. "Mindless...abominations you say? I can see why your particular craft can prove dangerous to the untrained. You do good by dissuasind the untrained from perusing such a course. Although I do wonder if these abominations as you put them are always mindless. Have you ever heard of abominations that keep their sanity or all of them mindless hordes?"

He looked after Talos as the man wandered off and sighed. "Anyway Emma, one more question if you don't mind and if it's not too personal. Why do you dissuade others from joining you on your path. True, the untrained masses are as like to harm themselves as someone else with the power they'd weild, but what about trained mages, people who could handle the power. Surely they could be trusted to maintain some modicum of control over these entities?"

"Is it worth the risk, Sir Marxan?" Parlina's quiet voice piped up from the battlements, her head turned to look at them both again, rather than the devastated city. It was rare for the druid to sound so contemplative, but she had witnessed the fall of friends and enemies alike to the lure of power, even if not in direct regard to blood magic. "Not only does it seem that Emma is a master of her art, but she is extremely careful in those she chooses to become like her, if indeed she allows anyone. Why knowingly teach someone that you think might get lost in the mire of spirits and power, when you know what can happen if the worst should befall them?"

Parlina turned her inquisitive gaze on Emma then, managing a half-smile. "I think you do an admirable and difficult thing."

Emma smirked, "As soon as I see a proper one of those, I'll let you know. Most trained mages are even more susceptible to blood magic than untrained imbeciles. You don't tap into blood magic like mana - it's more addictive, more unpredictable, and crucially, you don't 'open yourself' to it like most mages do with mana. Letting blood magic flow within you is the stupidest thing you can do."

The woman folded her arms, "Blood magic is magic you take by the throat. Far from let it find harmony with you, you wrestle it into submission and force it to do your bidding by sheer willpower, no matter how many demons try and weave it back into your own head. A mage's' instincts are no good, their training is no good. It just makes them more likely to die in the first lesson."

With that said, Emma gave Parlina one of her rare genuine smiles, a grin that reached her eyes, unlike her usual dry smirks. "I like you, druidess. You're a smart kid, more perceptive than most people I know and with a lot more common sense. You're a little green, I can tell, but I think you've got a good future ahead of you."

Marxan put a hand under his chin and thought about what Emma had said The young woman was certainly wise and had good advice to give especially since she was a practitioner herself. Marxan hadn't yet begun to learn healing magic, so he didn't wish to begin learning the art of blood magic jsut yet. Still it could certainly prove a useful force in the future, if used the right way and against the right people. Still, the last time Marxan had faced a demon he hadn't exactly come out on top. He'd have to add that to his list of research topics at the library.

"So blood magic doesn't use mana for powe? Interesting, I thought blood was only a catalyst or an ingredient. Still it certainly seems like a dangerous field so I doubt you should worry about me persuing it for the moment." he said to Emma. He then turned to Parlina and regarded her with a stare. "Yes Parlina, it can get dangerous and caution should definitely be used. Disregarding the uses of something that is dangerous does prevent malcontents from using it but it also prevents people who are truly capable of using it from fully realizing the positive applicaions of such a danger."

"Besides," he said "I'm surely not the only person who knows what it feels like to lose control over powerful abilities." He let the explanation for that statement remain unsaid, instead sighing and waving a hand at both Parlina and Emma. "Well, see you later. I must get back to my research if I am to make any progress. It was great meeting you Emma, you have taught me something valuable." He then smiled and walked away, going over the possibilities in his head.

Parlina decided upon hearing that explanation that she would make a terrible blood mage, grateful that the thought of trying it did not remotely appeal to her curiosities. [incomplete - scene resolves as Emma and Parlina retire to eat and rejoin the others]

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:52 am

"If you are who you say you are, and that's a big 'if', then what are your intentions here? So you've been forced back home, Lady Nasazura, after all these years - what now?"

The atmosphere in the Library was thick with tension. Sylvire and Ciela - the winged ranger that led the group of Aelorans that had arrived in Amarathia earlier that afternoon - had been talking for over an hour now, exchanging details of their situations. Both found the other's versions of events hard to believe. For Sylvire, it was comprehending that of the entire world that she had known before, only two or three places of civilisation remained - the rest annihilated by the Sealed One. For Ciela the disbelief was somewhat more to be expected - here she was, being told that this group of seemingly random associates had turned up in this ancient city from another world entirely, that they were carrying artefacts of legend and led by a figure long thought dead. It was a story so ridiculous that it seemed preposterous that anyone would invent it, and that was the only reason that Ciela tentatively accepted what she was told.

Sylvire met Ciela's gaze, folding her arms, "That has been a decision that has been on my mind since we arrived. Ideally we would return - there are artefacts lost on the other side - but with your arrival and the fact that we are blockaded in, I believe that another course of action should be our priority. There is a place in this land that holds the secrets and knowledge of the Celestials. From what you describe, this place is almost certainly lost to the infestation, but should we be able to reach it ... the knowledge there could aid us in fighting back against the Sealed One. The methods of those who first banished the Sealed One away are contained there in such a manner I am almost certain that they remain safe."

Ciela raised a hand, "Before you go on, Lady Nasazura, might I ask where exactly you refer to?"

"It is known as Moenia Aeturna. The Eternal Citadel."

"What?" Ciela's eyes widened, "The same Citadel that the Sealed One's mortal general has claimed as their base of operations?"

A dry chuckle followed, as Sylvire shook her head, "I should have guessed as much. Even if he cannot access the knowledge, he would guard it. But that he does suggests that what is contained there is invaluable."

"And impossible to retrieve," Ciela interrupted, "We're lucky to know the place exists for the number of scouts killed there when we want intel on the place."

Sylvire nodded, "That is a consideration for another time, when I am better acquainted with the situation. You say that your city of Tai'emroth is the principle focus of defence here?" she inquired.

"Aside from one failing town in Cordelia and the smaller settlements in the forest, we're the only focus of defence. Certainly, we're the only stronghold with any likelihood of a lengthy future, thanks to where the city is built." Ciela replied, leaning back on one foot.

The sorceress once again nodded, "Then I would propose to my allies that our next move be to travel there. We cannot achieve anything holed up in this city, if I can speak to your leaders then together with them we can plan our course of action from there."

Folding her arms, Ciela frowned, "You expect us to lead you there, then? You wouldn't make it there yourselves, no offense meant, but the landscape has changed since you were last here, Sylvire. There are areas that it is simply suicide to enter." the ranger paused, "And you therefore expect us to give a large group of strangers access to a closely guarded stronghold, in the middle of a war. You ask a great deal."

Sylvire smiled, "I do not think you a fool, Ciela. I would not ask this had I not some form of proof of our identity. You are familiar with the artefacts of legend, correct?"

"To a degree," Ciela replied, "Their functions are common knowledge from children's tales, even if their exact appearances are unknown."

Nodding, Sylvire's hand went to her robe, "Do not be alarmed," she cautioned, as she slowly and smoothly drew out a long blade. Ciela's brow furrowed as the sword was produced - a reflexive response to a stranger baring a weapon - but Sylvire proffered the sheathed sword to the ranger hilt-first. "Take this briefly. Unsheathe it, and see for yourself."

Ciela took the sword cautiously, gripping its sheathe, and pulled it free. As she did so, the weapon glimmered in the light - a magnificent specimen. The ranger looked perplexed, however. "It is a fine blade, but-"

"Ask me who I am," Sylvire said, "The Sword of Truth, as I'm sure you know it, will show you whether I speak the truth."

Blinking, Ciela looked down at the sword again - could it be the weapon from legend? Though truth-telling blades had been replicated through regular enchantments, this sword was infallible. Even the smallest lie was detectable, half-truths, deliberate omissions. "Alright then, sorceress. Who are you, and who are your allies?"

"My name is Sylvire Nasazura - head of the House of the White Swan, chosen for Aurion Caldore's Patronus, bearer of the Haywire Gem. My allies are those I have chosen to bear the other artefacts, to form a new Patronus to combat the Sealed One once more." Sylvire said, her voice level and her eyes meeting Ciela's. The ranger's eyes widened - the sword in her grip flashed green, and something about it made it very clear that Sylvire was telling the truth.

Of course, that could be all the sword was enchanted to do. To convince the holder that they were being told the truth. Ciela frowned, opening her mouth to speak, but Sylvire interrupted. "I understand that you will remain suspicious, ranger, but I ask you to trust that I mean you no harm. I do not ask you to convince your leaders I am who I say, but if you allow us to travel with you then perhaps you will grow to trust us. What gain would there be in us betraying you, after we saved you from the horde?"

A long pause followed, but eventually, Ciela nodded. "Very well, Lady Nasazura. You may travel with us. Once we return to Tai'emroth, I will leave it in the Council's hands to decide whether to believe you or not."

Sylvire smiled. "Thank you. Now, we should call our people together. We must inform them of our agreement."

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:28 am

[Post co-written by Script, Tiko, Imehal, Gasmask, Arrow, Moonscar, and Conumbra.]

It was in the mess hall of the prison fort that the Patronus and the Aeloran scout party had been called to assemble. After their meeting, Sylvire and Ciela had called their people together to inform them of the decisions that had been reached. There was a low tension in the air, as mistrust still hung heavily over many members of both groups - especially of those that they had not spoken with yet. To further add to this, the Sword of Truth glowed a dim yellow in its sheathe - exemplifying the level of hostility in the air.

"No doubt many of you have been wondering where our plans lie," Sylvire said, stood at the centre of the gathering in front of the blazing hearth and looking around at the Patronus, "In the week since we arrived here that has been uncertain. We cannot return to Terra by the same manner in which we arrived, without risking a fatal ambush. Until now it had been my intention to return by other means as soon as possible, but with the new information that Ciela has provided, those plans have changed."

The sorceress looked to Ciela at this point, to defer the imparting of this information to her. The ranger took a breath and stepped forwards from where she had leaned against the wall. "Greetings to you, Patronus - for those of you who don't know, my name is Ciela Featherfoot. I'm the leader of the expedition party, and on behalf of my allies I extend my thanks for your accomodation of us, and for your aid against the voidlings which pursued us. My allies and I hail from a city far from here, one of the last bastions of defence against the Sealed One. Tai'emroth is its name, built into a mountain and the most heavily defensible city of the land. We came here to investigate just why the void-creatures had never entered the city since its fall, and we found our answer in your leader."

Leaning onto the back of a vacant chair, Ciela took a moment to let the information thus far sink in before continuing. "After negotiations with Lady Nasazura, we have agreed that we will take you to Tai'emroth with us. If you can help us at all with our war, then I can say with confidence that our leaders will be willing to help you with yours. It is, after all, one and the same war, merely in different forms."

Sylvire nodded, "There is little that we can do from here, and there is much in this land which could enable us to better fight our enemies back on Terra. There is one destination in particular, the specifics of which can be discussed at another time, which could provide knowledge of how the Sealed One himself was defeated the first time."

The sorceress glanced around the room stoically, "Any of you who wish to remain behind may do so - I will ensure we return here as soon as we can, and there is plenty of food in storage to survive upon. I will need someone at least to remain and care for Aiedai. Those of you who are willing to join me, I can promise nothing other than whatever happens, we will be fighting as much for the survival of our own world as this one in any conflict against the Sealed One."

Finally, the explanation was over. "I anticipate that there will be many questions," Sylvire said, "We will be departing before dawn tomorrow. If you have anything to ask, then do so now, or approach me later today."

It was in silence that the gathered group listened to Sylvire and Ciela's words and when all was said and done, in an uncharacteristic moment, it was Rynhart who spoke up first. “Those that aren't fit to make the journey will require protection. Alair should remain behind. He's young but his sword arm is strong.”

Tactful wording perhaps to soothe the half-breed's pride. It was no secret the tension spurred by Alair in the week past. On a journey of this nature, it was paramount that each and every one of them could be counted on to trust one other with their life. Alair was a loyal apprentice but unpredictable and reckless. He was yet untested with the lives of so many. He wasn't ready.

Parlina, who was sat down on the floor cross-legged beside Rynhart, had been watching the leaders of the two groups speak with rapt attention, eyes thoughtful. She thought the plan of action sound and certainly no less risky than anything they’d ever contemplated enduring for the sake of protecting Terra. Other worlds, in the little druid’s eyes, needed protecting from the Sealed One just as much.

“Those who can’t make the journey?” Interrupted from her internal agreement by Rynhart, she turned her gaze, frowning. Kento’s condition had not improved enough these past days, so there was no way of him travelling with them into unknown danger in a day’s time. Fretful at the idea of leaving him behind for many reasons - not all of them sensible - Parlina spoke up next. “I think it is a good idea for some of us to stay in the shelter of the library, given the danger that we are about to walk into. Maybe I should stay behind with Sir Alair and the others as well? Sir Kento isn't stable yet, so he'll need someone with healing to make sure he doesn't relapse again.”

Resting a hand on Parlina's shoulder, Rynhart interjected. “Don't let your personal feelings cloud your judgment too hastily. Kento is on the mend, there is little more that you can do for him. He simply needs time and rest to regain his strength. Your services may well be required elsewhere before all is said and done. Think carefully before you decide.”

It was with a sigh that Parlina answered Rynhart initially, gaze falling to the floor. He spoke truth - she knew that well enough, but that did nothing to stop her distress at being caught out so openly. She had to make the right choice, which Parlina knew through hard lessons was never the easy one. He had spoken carefully; not telling her what to do but counselling her sagely at the same time. The druid hoped there would never be a time in the days to come where she would be without him.

“Okay.” Parlina tilted backwards to look up at the elf. Worry ill-suited the young girl's usually bright expression, but she could find nothing to smile about when faced with a decision such as this. "I will."

Arrow, stood to the back of the room, listened to Sylvire's words in respectful silence. The sorceress made sense, as usual, and there was nothing to be gained in idleness. However there was one thing that caused him doubt, and that was the artifact at his hip. The dull yellow glow around it indicated that something or someone here was not entirely trustworthy. The artifact was sensitive, however, and the tension between the groups was most likely to blame. Idle trust in a land like this was not a frequent occurrence, and if their new allies had yet to fully trust them, it was logical to assume that they would not be entirely trustworthy themselves. In time, perhaps, the glow would fade, once they became more settled as allies.

The ex-soldier looked to his sister, and once she had met his eyes, nodded to her. He knew that she would not throw herself at this cause as easily as he had, but he thought it unlikely she would let him venture off without her.

Aliana returned Arrow's gaze and nod, sighing to herself. If her brother was to commit himself to this expedition, then she was obliged to follow him. It would not do for him to come to harm, as he no doubt would without someone sensible to watch his back. The bard returned her attention to the front of the room without comment.

"You know I could go with a weapon right about now..." Samuel muttered to himself, shaking his head and making a general effort to stay out of the way like he'd been told on multiple occasions, was it multiple? Samuel didn't know and didn't really care, somewhere along the line helping out had been phased into boredom for this young man.

Heck, he had even gave up on trying to get attention at this point, whenever the boredom really ate him up, he decided to read the book he picked up in the libarary. Everything was getting a lot more serious and Samuel understood but still dwelled on how his opinion hardly mattered.

Stepping forth was currently the tallest member of the Patronus, Narruk Skinn. It was a short step, for anything bigger would carry him too far. He had listened to what Sylvire had to say, and was now he had something to add. "I would li-"

Samuel made his way to step beside Narruk and poked his side, as he coudn't reach his shoulder. "Hey." Samuel said in a low voice. "Got anything for pyromancer?" Samuel questioned, hoping he could get something worth defending himself with.

"Oh and what are you? Are you an orc?"

Stood towards the front of the gathered Patronus and scouts, Natalie considered all they had been told carefully, giving Raedan and Nihm thoughtful glances. Her pensive mood was broken as Narruk stepped forward to speak, disbelief widening her eyes.

“If you have something to add to the discussion Mr Torship, could it not have waited until Narruk was done speaking himself?" Natalie's tone was stern, but her glare softened marginally as she regarded the oasis warrior who had been interrupted. "Narruk, please continue."

With a glance to the young pyromancer, Narruk said nothing. The giant nodded to Natalie and went on, "Yes, thank you. Now, regarding getting back to-"

At this point it was Brent who interrupted Narruk's words. “Just a moment, if you would. We're not taking children with us are we?” the burly soldier inquired with a look to Samuel. Disapproval was written all over his face, enough so to speak out of turn.

Fingers patiently tapped against one another as the Giant waited. He could not really move his eyeballs over to stare at the boy, but Brent could probably feel the stare bearing down upon him from those pitless holes in Narruk's head. "Forgive me. May I continue?" he asked, though his words we-

"If I may interject!" piped up a small voice to the side of the room, as Kirae glanced between Arrow and Elante, golden eyes falling on Brent. "I shou-"

"No." the giant said flatly.

"... oh. Okay then! I'll wait." The sylvari blinked, still smiling brightly.

The Oasis warrior cleared his throat, but before he went on, waited, eyeing everyone in the room. He raised a gnarled brow, just waiting for another interruption. After a long moment, he then opened his mouth to speak.

"Now, seeing as I have your attention, I would like to regard our problem of being able to move back to Terra. Though we may have a portal through the library, it is true that the path may prove too dangerous to travel. However, I have a proposal that may catch your interest; another portal in which we may traval through freely without danger of awaiting enemies on the other side." He took a pause, looking about the members.

"My homeland, the Oasis, is a wasteland of darkness. It is the empty space between dimensions and worlds. Within this place, there are portals to all other worlds. There is, of course, one linked to Terra, as there is one here."

As Narruk spoke, Amber was picking idly at her nails with a knife point. “As long winded as the council back home, huh?” she whispered to her brother, Brent.

"I beg your forgiveness," the slightly perplexed voice of the young mage Raedan spoke up, "But I was under the impression that you all had intent to aid us - that a backdoor to your own realm has made itself apparent surely does not mean you intend to reverse that decision?" he queried.

Sylvire shook her head, "I am sure that Narruk means this only as a way for us to return once we have done what we can here." she said, "It is as we have said, we fight the same battle, merely on different fields."

"Plans, plans, plans." mumbled Samuel, who could not percieve the genius of having a plan. Plans to him were things that got in the way of burning things. Samuel liked burning things, pity he coudn't burn plans.

Damn plans.

Spying a pause in the conversation, Kirae took the opportunity to speak up, "Ah, as I was saying!" the small girl said, "As you were mentioning children, sir," the sylvari glanced at Brent, "I should take the opportunity to point out that despite my age and stature, I have reached what is considered adulthood amongst my people long ago."

She smiled, "I am aware that it is easy to mistake one of the Sylvari for a child, but I assure you I am far from it!"

"But that's among your people, that's like saying that if it was your people it's perfectly okay to well uh... set fire to people's pets in your culture kind of, it's just that while you may speak for your people, these people have an entirely differnet idea and I've learned that if you keep your opinion to yourself. These guys like you more, something to do with blunt force truama." Samuel added, his voice wasn't exactly a bastion of respect either.

"And this guy." Samuel made a point of pointing at Brent. "Assumes that just because he has a sword and I don't and that I am underage gives him the oppatunity to dismiss as well... under-"

Brent let out a flustered snort, “Why you little -” he began before reigning his words in. Amber put a hand on his arm but his pride had been stung. “Loreia assigned me to this expedition and I'll see that through, but I'm not here to babysit some whelp that thinks he knows what's what in this world. I think I speak for all of us when I say that crossing the lands of Aelora is not for the inexperienced, nor a task to be taken lightly.”

Kirae tilted her head, furrowing her brow, "I'm afraid I may have missed the link between your example and my scenario," she said, "My species are born fully developed, physically, and with the knowledge of our mother. By most definitions, we resemble adults both physically and mentally within our first year!" The sylvari smiled as she explained, unfettered by Samuel's comments.

"Yeah and my species killed dragons on a daily basis, that was fun, but if you're born with the knowlege already there, why do you feel the need to tell us that you're an adult, why not just say "Oh I know a fair bit, therefore I think you should respect a little more" because that's where the whole child and adult thing lies."

"It's only natural to protect one's young," Kirae said, completely missing the fact that she might be irritating Samuel by her line of argument, "Most humans develop at a much slower rate, and therefore require protection for longer. The children of any culture are to be cherished!"

Parlina, who had been sitting quietly with her own thoughts whilst the arguing had escalated rapidly following a few choice comments, stood with a passing glance at Rynhart, regarded the room.

"This isn't helping!" Parlina's voice was loud, hopefully high enough to drown out all the opinionated people who had entirely derailed the discussion at hand, her hands sweeping outwards, looking a great deal more relaxed than she felt. "Talk of using age to determine whether someone is fit to go on this journey is not fair. Did Lady Kirae not fight alongside those older than her bravely? I did not endure the loss of Sir Taima just to get told by some stranger that all that I fought for and lost to get here isn't enough for me to come along simply because I'm younger than you."

Looking thoroughly exasperated, Parlina paused and took a deep breath before speaking again, looking across at Brent with no malice in her voice or gaze. "Can't you rely on our allies to decide who stays and who goes? I mean no offence to any of you - you all seem really lovely - but they know best who is ready for this journey."

Rynhart rose in turn, resting his hands on Parlina's shoulders as the much taller man stood behind her. “Perhaps we should simply put the decision of who stays and who goes, to Sylvire.”

Sylvire nodded, "Thank you," she said, "And I reiterate what Parlina says. Nobody who is not ready to travel with us will do so, and nobody who is ready will be excluded for any other reason. That will have to be enough to satisfy you - the need is great, and those who can respond to that need capably are more valuable than their years might otherwise suggest."

Glancing to Brent with eyes equal parts warning and understanding, Ciela nodded, "It is far from us to say whether those we do not know are as capable as those who know them assure us they are."

Whilst the others spoke, to the side, Elante simply sighed to himself. He wondered how long this discussion would go in circles for until progress was made, or it was ended.

Parlina nodded to Sylvire with a faint smile, pleased that her words had been acknowledged. "Thank you Lady Ciela." Then she retreated a little back to Rynhart, looking down at the ground as if it were the most interesting thing in the world right now before looking up once more, eyes eerily unreadable. "I have no questions to ask about this change Lady Sylvire. I would be honoured to accompany the Patronus and our new allies if I am chosen to come and fight against the Sealed One by your side, but does anyone mind if I leave now? I wish to talk to someone who is not present."

“Go on. I'll fill you in on the rest later,” Rynhart replied. He knew where she was headed, and afforded her the privacy to do so.

Parlina placed a hand over Rynhart's on one of her shoulders, nodding. "Thank you," she whispered before heading to the exit at a hurried pace.

Samuel scratched at his neck nervously, now that had made an excellent break to the shouting and the displeasentries and all that bad stuff. Samuel wondered if it would be a punishable offence if he asked if Narruk was an orc again and if he had any weapons on him. Choices and decisions...

"You know if guys actually trusted me with a weapon now, I'd probably feel a lot more confident and be less uh... Afraid? Nah too strong a word, nervous seems better. I won't ask why you guys keep refusing to do so because I think I already know but I think you people should actually put a hand forward in trusting me instead of expecting me to, I mean heck a couple of you have known me since I was about... You know, Yey' high? I don't think I exactly pass as a spy."

"Trust?" Natalie strode towards the young man through the group. His use of that word so freely had almost rendered her speechless, but thankfully as he had continued she had found a source of frustration to find words for her thoughts. "You forfeited that right the moment that you directly disobeyed Mistress Dae by following us through..."

"Oh yeah because I totally have in posession an orb that tells the sealed one everything we're doing right now." Samuel said sarcastically. "Heck if I had known the academy, no, if my parents had known about this I doubt I would have strolled though the por-"

"Samuel." Elante interrupted, speaking up for the first time in that meeting, "We don't think you're a spy. If you were a spy you'd have blundered and revealed yourself by now. I think what you should think about is if you'd walked through that portal a few seconds earlier, you could easily be the one dead. Not Aeryn." The mage shook his head, "You just don't get what an idiot you are sometimes."

"Then I'd like if I finally had a say in things, now I know the reasons for my being here are dumb and cost you a couple of things but you're always judging from that point on and I can understand why but really isn't now the time to actually entrust me with something because there is a reason that I'm one of my father's progeny, I'm not just the wonky idiot troublemaker everyone sees, and I'd like it if you looked deeper, I thought I've been doing a pretty good job trying to help and I wish I could do more but I feel like you guys are trying to trip me up by not trusting me!" Samuel flung up his arms, grinding his teeth as Elante talked.

"And you, you're always focusing on well whatever the hell you're focusing on, can you let me talk to somebody who I'm not afraid of, or just generally someone I'd go out of my way to avoid!" Samuel finished, he'd been holding in this particular rant for awhile now.

As the arguing continued underway despite efforts to cease them, a pale ethereal figure stood in the doorway, her eyes silent and observant. How long she had been there was uncertain and she made no sound as she stepped into the room quietly.

Elante shook his head, "Your problem, Samuel, is you haven't got perspective. You're hung up on looking good in front of everyone, on being a hero. You just don't think about what all this means to some of us."

Narrowing his eyes at the slightly younger mage, Elante paused to glance at Sylvire. "I'm with you if you want me, Sylvire. But right now I need some air."

Turning, he swept from the room, brushing past Whisper without a word, meeting her eyes briefly and blankly before he was gone from the room.

With the brief pause in the yelling, Whisper interjected smoothly. “I would like to go.” Simply spoken there was little explanation into Whisper's request beyond the weight of her voice. Serious and direct.

Much of the frustration that had been in Natalie's expression just minutes before had been replaced by relief upon notcing the new arrival. Without a moment's pause however, she turned to look at Samuel brieflly, one hand raised in the air in his direction, palm outwards. "End of discussion. You've said quite enough."

Then Natalie looked at Whisper long and hard before nodding, lips curving into a faint smile at the request. "You're late."

Marxan had been considering whether to stay or leave for a while after the option had been given to him. If he stayed he could potentially help the wounded, but if he went he could help fight a war, save a small city from being destroyed. He had to find where he could do the most good. Most of the conversation went over his years, right up until he heard Natalie mention that someone was late. That's when he turned to the doorway and saw Whisper. Well he had been looking for her; he supposed that this was as good a time as any to start asking questions.

He approached Whisper carefully and casually, making sure not to look threatening. When he stood right in front of her, he held his hands behind his back and looked her over pointedly. She didn't look any different from when he had last seen her. All her clothes seemed to be in order, her body language was normal and there weren't any outward physical signs that she may be posessed or controlled. All seemed normal.

He harrumphed and said "Now where exactly have you been Whisper? That was some funny timing by the way, you disappearing during the attack while everyone was distracted. I'm sure I'm not the only one searching for answers." He then turned to Sylvire and said "I would like to go. This outpost needs all the help it can get in this trying time and I'll definitely come along if I'm allowed to bring some reading materials from the library here to help pursue my studies."

Whisper returned Natalie's look with neutral but observant eyes. She held the gaze for a moment before turning to face Marxan's approach. Her expression turned wary at his inquiry and though she seemed about to speak she hesitated. After a moment's pause she turned her eyes to look upon Sylvire, as if awaiting direction for the matter at hand. The past two times she had encountered Marxan had not been the most friendly of exchanges.

"That's enough Marxan," Sylvire warned, "Now is not the time for such questions."

Ciela raised an eyebrow at the man, "I think you misunderstand the nature of our trip if you think carrying books is a good idea. Any excess weight is ideally left behind."

Here Emma interjected, grinning, "What Ciela means to say is don't go overboard. Sure, bring one or two small volumes, but you probably won't have a lot of luxury reading time once we're out there. Besides, we have a library ourselves once we reach Tai'emroth."

"And I can instruct you in the absence of adequate written materials Mr Green," Natalie added briskly, looking between antagonist, leader and friend each in turn. There was a measure of control to her expression; reining her emotions in as she changed the direction of conversation once more.

"Lady Nasazura, Ciela Featherfoot - whilst I agree that this is the best course of action, I hold concern that we know little to nothing about the environment and circumstances we are about to dive into with our new allies." Inquisitiveness tempered by caution guided her words, which showed as Natalie continued onwards. "Is there anything you can tell us in the short resting time we have left about what we are getting ourselves into? From what I have have heard from Mr Janse and the others I have become acquainted with, yours and our wars against the Sealed One have been very different in both pace and level of challenge. I would prefer not to go into this wholly unprepared."

Marxan shrugged as he finally backed down from Whisper. "Very well, but at some point we are going to have a serious discussion Whisper." He took a moment to look around the room "Supervised of course, I doubt anyone here would let me be alone with you for more than five minutes; can't say I don't deserve it though." He sighed, however he perked up upon hearing that there would be little need for extra literature. "Alright then, I only planned to bring a couple of the materials there anyway. Guess I'm going to have to pick and choose"

He walked away from Whisper and leaned against a nearby wall and listened to what Natalie had to say. He nodded his head "She's right about that. We know next to nothing about what we're getting into; the enemy doesn't need any more opportunities to surprise us." He glanced at Whisper for a moment before turning back. "We've had too much of that already. I'll be blunt Sylvire and Miss Featherfoot, are we walking into a suicide mission?"

Sylvire raised an eyebrow, "A suicide mission? I would not risk the artefacts and the fate of the world for something so dangerous. No, I am assured that though the journey will entail risk, it is far from suicidal."

Nodding her head, Ciela turned to address Natalie, and by extension the rest of the Patronus. "The situation is grim out there, at best," she began, "Voidlings and other more powerful creatures have free reign of the countryside and the old roads. The only way to travel is quickly and quietly - imagine a scouting mission inside enemy territory in a more traditional war. Detection can mean death. The largest concentration of voidlings is outside the city, on the plains. From thereon out they're a lot more scattered, travel is easier. Once we reach the forest we should be relatively safe, so long as we aren't followed."

The ranger paused, "Expect the unexpected. Even we don't know everything the Sealed One has out there, so always be on your guards. And watch the skies - the most perceptive of the enemy are a trio of winged, harpy-like creatures. We call them the Eyes, as if they see you, they call every voidling within a dozen miles down on you. There are settlements in the forest that we'll be aiming for as pit-stops. Stopping for the night only allows a little rest, given the need for a constant watch and readiness even in those asleep."

Emma chuckled dryly, "And that's if you can sleep under the circumstances. Dead grass provides little cushioning."

Looking faintly surprised that she and Marxan agreed about anything except that the Sealed One escaping would be a really awful occurrence, Natalie accepted Ciela's explanation of the severity of the situation beyond Amarathia with a slow, considering nod. "Then we should all get some good rest now whilst we can."

Sylvire nodded. "A good plan," she said, "Unless there is anything else, we should retire to prepare ourselves for our departure. Remember, we rise before dawn to cross the plains under cover of night." The sorceress smiled, and moved to leave the room.

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Re: Amarathia: Hasty Introductions

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:31 am

(Post co-written by Script and Tiko)

As the gathered congregation was beginning to filter off out of the room, Ruan who had kept his peace through the whole affair at last made to step forward. Though it wasn't to the gathered group that he directed his intentions.

Moving to Ciela with measured steps he lightly grabbed the woman's arm before she could join the others in their departure. The gesture wasn't forceful, but rather simply intended to get her attention as he subtly nodded his head off to the side, indicating his wish to speak with her.

Ciela paused as she felt Ruan's touch on her arm, giving the man a questioning glance. Stepping aside to allow the others to pass, the ranger waited till they were alone before speaking. "What is it, Ruan?"

“This.” Ruan replied with a wave of his hand towards the departing groups. “It doesn't sit well with me. How do we even know they're who they say they are?” he questioned. He kept his voice low as he spoke, so as to not be overhead by the few stragglers still milling about the barracks. "It wouldn't be the first time the Sealed One has resorted to subterfuge."

The ranger nodded, "Do not think I have not considered this. But I feel as though this does not match the Sealed One's way. These people hardly match the traditional image of the Patronus, as ragtag and divided as they are. If this were a trick then I imagine it would play to our expectations."

Ruan grimaced at Ciela's words but some battles were simply best not to be fought and he relented the issue, though not without making his stance known. “You're heading this expedition and I'll respect and honor your decisions on the matter, but just know this doesn't sit well with me. Even this city is wrong. A single individual has accomplished what no other has? No voidlings tread within these walls. Powerful wards or an elaborate deception? We take them back with us to Tai'emroth and we could be walking right into a trap.”

Shaking her head, Ciela inwardly ran over the arguments she'd had with herself on this very subject. "The council must know of these people, and I'd rather leave it to the politicians to take the fall for turning away those who might be the genuine Patronus. What does the Sealed One have to gain by killing us with trickery over brute force? I don't think we are at risk from these people while we travel. But I assure you, if anything seems wrong, I will not allow them to return to Tai'emroth with us. You'll have to trust my judgement on this one."

“Very well.” Ruan paused a moment, a frown flickering across his face. “There's one other thing. It could be nothing but I think I should scout ahead of the main group when we leave tonight. There's something off about those woods, the voidlings avoid it like the plague. I thought I saw something earlier, but I can't be sure. Either way, it's best if we know what might be waiting for us.”

Ciela nodded, "That sounds like a wise move. I'll stay with the main group to make sure they all make it past the plains alive. It's an escort's worst nightmare - a whole party of people with no idea what's waiting for them, but most likely a set of egos that says that they can handle it." The ranger shook her head, chuckling dryly.

Ruan returned Ciela's chuckle with a wry smirk. “Alright. I'll set out a half hour ahead of the main group. And though it goes without saying, do be careful.” He cast a furtive glance towards the lingering Patronus in the room as he spoke.

Following Ruan's gaze for a moment, Ciela nodded once more. "You too - I know you know what you're doing, but we're in unfamilar territory in the forest. We haven't sent scouts here for years. Watch your back."

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