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Balian Halen

"Gods? The Gods have abandoned me."

202 views · last seen in Paetax
a character in “Calisma”, as played by Something?

Description

Full Name: Balian Halen
Nickname: None
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Height: 6'2"
Race: Human

Class Paladin

Skills:
He was trained to use a sword from an early age and has practiced to hone his skills with it for many years. Aside from that, he can use a warhammer or war axe as well, but is not nearly as good. Balian is heavy armored, but fights with a mix of agility and brute force. His suit of armor is made to fit his body completely, which allows him to move around more freely. Also, Balian usually fights without a shield.

Weakness(es):
His lack of faith and thereby his loss of god given power. His own temper. Nari had it as well, but Balian is worse. If you insult him, he won't like it one bit and there's shorter from thought to action than you'd think. Keep insulting him and you might just get socked in the jaw. The fact that he has no fear sometimes gets him in dangerous situations. He's gotten out of those situations until now, but will his luck continue?

Equipment:
Now that he's already wearing armor that has been crafted to fit him with utmost precision, he sees no need to encumber himself very much with things. Balian carries his sword http://stretched.alphacoders.com/images/846/stretched-84612.jpg, a dagger, a necklace with the mark of his God that is kept out of sight underneath his armor. Then there are the necessities; a hunting bow, a whetstone and so on.

Personal Quote:
"Spirits, Gods, magic? It doesn't matter. Whatever you believe in, you'll still die by my sword. I will still take your life."

Description:
Image
Lately, Balian has taken on a certain look on his face. When sitting on his horse or walking or doing anything while thinking at the same time, the man looks almost angry. That is, however, just how he looks. Despite that, you can still catch him smiling today if you're lucky. When he has time and when he really needs it, he shaves. Black hair about shoulder length usually hangs loose, and has not seen a comb in many days. At first glance you'd think he was some sort of wildling until you spotted what he was wearing. If Balian didn't wear his armor, people had a habit of instantly assuming that he was poor. The only thing that told of social status was what he wore.

The man was built big. When he was a boy, he was always taller than his friends. Stronger too. Balian has broad shoulders and strong, muscular arms. Still he is not only muscle and no brain. The armor that was built specifically for him allows for greater movement. His strength he mixes with agility instead of using all brute force. His hands are rough and calloused, proof of being used to hard work and using your sword. His skin has some color as he is from the south, spending most of his days out in the sun. Several scars can be seen on his body as well. One runs from nasal ridge to left cheek bone. It's not hard to see that this man has been in his share of battles already.

Like his sister's, his eyes are green as well. A very vivid and in the right circumstances and lighting, almost glowing. It wasn't magic (as far as Balian knew) or a trick or anything like that. His eyes had always been that way. The man walks with a sense of pride in his steps, one foot after the other until he has reached his destination. Looking at Balian is a little strange. You can see easily that he's been through many things and been in many battles by the state of his clothes. But his armor is still beautiful. The man looks worn and weary, but the steel that protects his body tells of another story.

Personality:
Being Narenia's brother, they of course share traits. Some to a certain extent and some not at all. For instance, one thing they shared was their temper. With Balian it is a little different though. You can insult him all you want about how he looks or how he talks, but if you insult his intelligence or his family you'll strike a sore spot. When it comes to battle, he rushes into it with fury you'll rarely see. Unless it is hopeless and death is certain of course. When he is not in stressed and dangerous situations, he's a polite man. He treats people with the respect he thinks they deserve. After all, he is not a lowborn. Behind all the politeness, there is a different Balian though. He may be a paladin, bestowed with the power and wisdom of his Gods but his faith has left him. Recent events has crippled the man in this aspect. By accepting the things that have happened, can he restore his faith and his powers. Balian just doesn't know this. In his mind there is a conflict as well. It's hard for him not to hold the Prince responsible for Nari's death.

History:
In the South. In the Deluvian March, not too far from the Taphon Forest. There he was born and grew up. Balian has been lucky enough to journey through the old and dense forest to Rousillen. Balian has been lucky enough to see the Aeros Desert. All in all, a wonderful place to be born. And 28 years ago, he came into this world, followed by his sister two years later. House Halen was revered and respected, not to mention that it was wealthy. When he was seven years old, he was taught to read and write. Balian and Narenia often sat next to each other, head in their books to finish what they had to, just so they could go outside and play with the other children.

Years went by like that until his father figured that he was old enough to wield a sword. And so he was taught how to fight. Balian was taught to fight with a high guard at first, spending day after day honing his skills. A fighting style that was brutal, relying on strength and force. Soon, he too became known in their town. His sister was known for her beauty and Balian was known for his skill with a sword. Still, they had a certain responsibility, being of House Halen.

Where Balian is from, people have a certain religion. Three Gods. Thanûl, God of Death. Vitus, God of Life and Alin, God of the Earth. Alin makes trees grow anew, makes the rain fall, commands the rivers to flow and for the wind to blow. Alin also gives the bear his claws and the bird it's beak. Thanûl and Vitus though, are in control of every life and death in this world. This is important to our Balian because when he was nineteen, his father fell ill. No one had ever seen anything like it. No one could give an answer either. Balian's father was bedridden after a month and after three, his skin started to turn grey. In the end, he had turned to stone. It was terrible on his family. His mother sat in the room where their father was and cried for days, Narenia had fled the town. Search parties were sent out, but with no luck. So, Balian was left as head of his house, grieving. In hopes of finding some answers or maybe a way to help his father, he chose to become a paladin. If you wanted to heal someone who was dying, you cheated Thanûl of a life. And if you killed someone, you cheated Vitus. But it seemed that no matter how much he prayed, nothing happened. Balian was sent on quests and missions to try to find answers or cures for his father, wearing the armor that had been made for him by his father's request. He was given a sword as well, by the priests of his Gods and was never seen without it. As a Paladin, he was trained in another fighting style. A more fluent and quick style, relying on quick feet and agility. Combining the two styles he had now learned, turned out to be a great idea. It made him unpredictable to his enemies.

Word had reached their town of the King's dire state as well. It was around this time that Balian received a letter. A letter from Nari. He hadn't spoken to her sister in many years and now she had sent him a letter. It told of where she was and what she was about to do. Apparently there was a certain item, Panacea that would save the King and Narenia had decided to join a quest to find it. He had shook his head, wanting her to come home instead. There wasn't much left of their house and family. Their mother was a wreck now, rarely coming outside. Their wealth disappeared like ashes in the wind. Yet, Nari didn't come home. At least, not in the way he had wanted her to. One night, someone came riding into town and ended up falling off their horse. Balian was on guard that night and saw what happened. To his surprise and horror he saw that it was his sister. She was bleeding, half awake and mumbling. Balian had no doubt that it was her when he saw her eyes. She was carried away into the Temple of the Three and taken care of.

But there was nothing the Priests could have done. She was mumbling about being on a quest to find Panacea and then being kidnapped, taken south only to be tortured and beaten. Narenia was bleeding and Balian knew that she didn't have long. With her dying breaths, she pulled him closer and whispered into his ear.
What she told him was very important, Balian knew that, but he couldn't wrap his head around the fact that she was now dead as well. He flew into a fit of rage and cursed the Gods, casting his faith away.

So there he was, his house fallen into dust and with no purpose it seemed. Balian took Nari's bow, figuring that he should present that, and saddled a horse. Three names were scribbled down on a piece of paper. Three people that Nari had begged him to seek out. One of them was the Prince - now soon to be King - and the second was a woman named Mirabella d'Adreci. The third name on the list was Nelinia Jaze. Balian had promised to find these people and tell them what happened. And so he would.

So starts Balian Halen's journey towards Paetax.

So begins...

Balian Halen's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Balian Halen
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Footnotes

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INK

The patterns on his armor almost looked silvery against the black plate in the moonlight, despite the fact that they were made of gold. His ornate black hood was up to shield his face from the rain. Ever since he had left home it had been pouring down. Balian tucked at the reins of the great black destrier he was riding, stopping it on top of a hill that was overlooking the Vyric Plain. Many battles had taken place here. It was a good place for armies to meet face to face. No advantages for either side, just a vast plain for the soldiers to clash in an epic battle. His sword was in it's sheath, tied to the saddle of his horse. Valin had been his horse for a few years now and of the finest breed. He was big, strong and fearless. But a frightened horse wouldn't do for battle. Balian steered Valin down the hill and began crossing the great plain before him.

Meanwhile, his mind was racing. Barely did he notice his surroundings as steering the horse forward had become a habit, while his mind worked at full capacity. He had decided to gather his thoughts during his ride to the capital. Nari had died asking him to deliver her bow just before her eyes closed. What she told him just before she passed still rang in his head, the words seared into his brain. His sister had cried when she explained what had happened. The Citadel... Idassava. She had kept repeating that, voice trembling with fear. The group of adventurers had been fighting a beast. The Diralgraun. Obviously her memory was foggy when she had told the story, but Balian could easily remember when she had told him about her abduction. His face contorted, showing the pain of remembering. Nari had been kept awake under the torture, asked to answer questions which she by no means could. "I swear by my sister's name, the pain inflicted on her will be paid back tenfold." Balian muttered to himself. Nari had given him two names beside the Prince's, members of the adventurer-group she apparently cared for. Quite a bit he assumed. Mirabella d'Adreci and Nelinia Jaze.
In the end, Balian decided to race for the Paetax, bring the news to the Prince, deliver her two hunting knives to the woman Mirabella and her bow to Nelinia. 'If they're not at the capital, the Prince would know where they are...' He told himself. Whether or not the two adventurers were in Paetax, he didn't know, but the roads had been flowing with carts and merchants and nobles bound for the city. Something must be going on there, since Rydas' return.

So, with mind set he spurred Valin on and the wind caught the red sash he wore. Paetax drew slowly closer and Balian found himself with a purpose. That was all he needed. Bring the news of Narenia's death to the Prince and deliver her weapons to her friends. Still, Balian's expression was grim as he rode and he would have to remember his lessons in manners and etiquette when he reached the Prince. After all, House Halen was a prominent and well liked family. He would have to live up to the name.
'Despite that my House has fallen apart....'


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Only three times had he been to the Capital, visiting with his father. That was before he fell ill of course, so it was many years ago. Still the city was something to behold. Banners waved in the wind over the towers and two hung on either side of the gate as well. As he rode through, he looked down at one of the guards who merely gazed back at him and nodded. Balian knew that if he hadn't been wearing his armor, he would have been stopped. In one of the saddlebags though, was a suit of finer clothing if he would come to need it. It was simple though, consisting of a black attire with a red sash much like the one he was already wearing. So he wouldn't raise suspicion in any way though, he pulled down his hood and revealed his face. Sadly, there's was small chance of anyone there recognizing him. Maybe some of the adventurers might, since some facial features were shared with his sister. Whether or not they did see the resemblance, he would state his name as was expected of him. 'If this Mirabella and Nelinia were so good friend's of hers, they will remember the name Halen.'

Castle Paetax was lit up. There was something grand going on in there. Something that Balian hadn't heard about. Most likely a celebration for the Prince, if he should take a wild stab. Balian Didn't dismount his horse as he rode through the streets, wondering what to do. Should he wait until morning to seek out the people he wanted to find, or should he try now. He figured that the Prince would be the easiest man to find, but didn't see the opportunity to gain an audience as he was currently inside the Castle. 'Small chance the guards will let me in...' So that was it, two choices. Either go to the Castle and try to get in or wait until the morning.

His steelclad feet hit the ground with a heavy thud as he dismounted Valin. Balian ran his fingers through his hair and rubbed his eyes, tired from many days of riding. After some consideration he had decided to rent a room in case his attempt to get into the Castle failed. Then he'd try again the following day. "Easy, friend." He spoke to Valin in his deep voice and patted him. He'd tied the horse in the stable and paid for a few days of having him there. His feet carried him to the entrance of... What was it?
"The Black Vagabond." Balian read aloud and looked at the door before he opened it. The dim light inside was nice as he had just come in from the darkness. The heavily armored fallen Paladin didn't look at anyone in the room, but headed straight for the barkeep. "One cup of spiced wine, bread and cheese. Thank you." He threw more than his order cost on the counter and sat down. "Keep the change." As he sat and waited, he reached into a hidden pocket and pulled out the scroll with the three names on it and fixed his eyes on it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Balian Halen
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Footnotes

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INK

Mirabella had retired to her room at the Black Vagabond after the ball without speaking another word or acknowledging another person. Her thoughts were kept to herself and though her eyes continually scanned her surroundings, she was noticeably distracted. Was it from the words exchanged with the woman on the balcony, Meia? Perhaps. The viewpoints that the robed woman held could be but an echo of the population at large. Uneducated, not because of a lack of general intellect but because they hadn’t been there and they did not know the details of the quest.

The turmoil that those facts wrought was upsetting to the steadfast Triansui and even when she finally slipped into her bed, her tumultuous thoughts kept her from sleeping easily. Nightmares renewed, bringing with them the faces of friends lost and friends yet accounted for. The sight of Xan with half of his face missing had been devastating but so had the inexplicable disappearances of Acacia and Narenia after or during the battle. The last sight she had caught of the ranger had been when she had failed to fire the arrow at the ghoul and she had seen Bard girl slip towards the archway in the Citadel but… Nothing. No other recollection of their whereabouts came to mind.

The next morning she awoke with a heavy heart and a weariness tugging at the corner of her eyes but still, she rose. Readying her armor so that once more it had a brilliant shine despite its well-worn appearance and finally after she had redressed she made her way downstairs for a bit of a meal before the coronation.

“Morning, Vinny…” The Triansui half murmured and she cast him a shadowed smile as she slipped onto one of the barstools, signaling for her usual breakfast meal. The barkeep grinned and nodded in her direction, setting his cook to work as he readied a drink for the warrior and slid it across the counter. “Morning, Mirabella. It’s goin’ ta be an eventful day, aye?”

The evening he had arrived was spent on much thinking that lead to nothing. Balian had been too tired and too worn out to make a rational decision. He had actually been surprised when he had reached the capital, having gone from his home to Paetax in record time. Or so it felt. As he sat in the bar of the Black Vagabond, people came and went but Balian didn't pay much attention to them. For a long time, he sat and looked at the two names on his piece of parchment. Wherever they were, he'd find them. It was what came after he was afraid of. What he was going to do after he'd given them what his sister had requested, he didn't know. And it made him feel like cold fingers wrapped around his heart and it was a grip so tight it felt almost impossible to break.

On the brink of falling asleep at the bar, Balian decided to rent a room instead. Sleeping at the bar would probably get him kicked out and that would be a poor beginning to his visit to Paetax. When he'd paid the man he now new as Vinny, he headed upstairs to his room. His steps were heavy and his armor felt heavier than usual. The room he'd rented was nice. It wasn't fancy and it wasn't exactly clean, but it would do. In fact, he was focused on the bed more than anything. Now, the arduous task of removing his armor was upon him. Fingers that had done it a hundred times before found straps and hooks and quickly his breastplate was off. The rest of it was easy and it didn't take long before he could rest his head on the pillow and fall asleep.

'If the coronation is today, Mirabella and Nelinia are bound to be there.' The thoughts ran through his head although his eyes hadn't opened yet. It took a few seconds to realize that he was actually aware of what he was thinking and the sounds around him. The man opened his eyes and sat up. It was still early, he could see, but the Castle would probably be busy by this hour. It had been impossible to miss the fact that Prince Rydas' coronation was today, so Balian had reminded himself to get up in time. As he stood out of bed he contemplated if he should wear his armor again, or the finer clothing he brought. The decision didn't take long though and so he started to put on his armor. Of course, he made sure it looked presentable. Wearing the black tunic and his fine shoes wouldn't do him any good anyway. Balian didn't know anyone here and he didn't see the point in pretending that he was from a prominent and well respected House, now that it had crumbled and fallen into dust.

Downstairs there were still people. Most of them sat with a plate of food instead of wine or ale now. Balian decided to order breakfast. A lot of it, since the man had an appetite. Here, he didn't have to be aware of his manners either, so he could order as much as he wanted without having to worry about what people thought. Going anywhere on an empty stomach simply wouldn't do. The same serious and stern expression you had sometimes seen on his sister's face, was now on his own. Balian didn't say or do anything until he heard someone speak up. His head shot up as he fixed his eyes on the woman a couple of seats to his left. Mirabella. If that was her, he was lucky today. After a few moments of thinking it over, Balian decided that it was better to do something before she left and he missed his chance. He left his plate and slowly stood up, reaching into his hidden pocket and fished out the parchments with the two names. Quietly and in an easy fashion, he approached Mirabella. "Excuse me." He said, stepping left so as the woman could easily see him. Balian's expression had not changed much. Hopefully this would go well. "Do you have a moment to spare?"

Meeting new people had become second hand to Mirabella now though the results of her social interactions varied widely as proven by last night’s two separate conversations. Still, she was trying to not be as closed off as she had been before and she set a smile upon her lips, gesturing to the empty barstool to her right. “As long as you aren’t begging coin or trying to tell me the benefits of joining your local temple or cult then I have as many moments to spare as it takes for me to eat my breakfast.”

As if on cue, Vinny settled a plate in front of the Triansui and she tucked into her meal for a few bites before taking another look at the stranger. It was then that she noticed the strange almost jewel-like hue of his eyes and though her own brows rose in surprise, she didn’t comment upon the similarities. She was probably just likening him to Narenia because of her dream the night before.

He almost took offence at what she said, but reminded himself that the Capital was probably filled with beggars and priests. Maybe she was just used to being approached by these people. A displeased expression appeared on Balian's face for a moment, but it faded. Do I really look so poor that she might mistake me for a pauper? He looked down at himself briefly and shrugged. "I am neither poor or a priest." He uttered and sat down, looking straight at Mirabella. A moment passed in silence as he studied her, wondering what she might be thinking. He was also considering how he should say what he wanted to say. Balian knew nothing about this woman, except from what his sister had told him before she died. If this was her at all.

In his hand he was clutching the note he'd taken from his pocket. Balian opened it and put it on the table for the woman to see. "Is this your name?" He asked, pointing at where he had written 'Mirabella d'Adreci' just below Nelinia Jaze, but was looking at her. He did not wish to bother her with religion or beg her for coin, but just wanted to know if that was her name. If he had indeed found who he was looking for, he was lucky. "I don't wish to be rude, nor waste my time. It's very important that I find these two people." He was polite when he spoke, but said it so she would understand that he meant it. Balian tapped a finger against the parchment and glanced down at it before fixing his eyes on the woman before him again.

Mirabella looked at the man’s eyes again then down at the parchment which he spread before her. She took her time in responding, tearing a chunk of her bread off and chewing on it thoughtfully before finally answering though she knew it wouldn’t be in the way that pleased him the most. Being as cynical as she was, she had to wonder why an unknown man would care to find two of the adventurers from the Prince’s quest mere hours before he was sworn in as the new King of Calisma.

“The poor are not the only to beg coin, sadly. Though you don’t look as if you need the gold there are people out there that would lick their silver spoon while asking for one made of gold. You know how society is nowadays…” She paused, her honey brown eyes lingering on his features to watch for a reaction as she slowly sipped at her mead to cleanse her palate.

“So why is it so important that you find these two listed?”

She seemed to take her time with thinking. A thing that didn't exactly help on Balian's temper. When he wanted answers, he wanted answers. Of course, he could see it from her perspective as well. If this was indeed the woman he was looking for, she would be curious why he was asking this. On the day before the coronation as well. 'I wonder how she will react to the news...' All he knew was what his sister had told him and it was hard to get a real impression of their friendship from that. When Mirabella finally spoke, Balian leaned back and raised an eyebrow. If anything, she seemed a little cynical. The Capital was probably full of greedy people, but he had expected that. The most valuable things he owned were his armor and his sword.

"I take it you've met some of these people?" He asked, sighing. Undoubtedly, there would be people who wanted to hear their stories. Being pestered and constantly asked to tell the same tale over and over again would quickly annoy Balian, he knew that. They couldn't have returned without being given a reward either, he was sure and that made them potential targets for thieves and assassins. As he sat and watched her honey brown eyes gaze back at his own vivid green, the Paladin realized that telling the woman what he wanted was easiest.

With a heavy sigh and a slight frown, he decided to begin. "It is very important that I find these two people, because they knew someone who was very close to me." Balian said, pausing. He looked at Mirabella to see if she had caught on by now. Did she know what he was talking about, or would she need more information. Regardless, he continued. "I'm not from the Capital, as you may have guessed." He didn't exactly look like he was from a far away land across the seas, but it was easy to see that he was from the South. "I am here to carry out a bequest."

"I'm afraid I'm unaware of what
name or title I should call you by, Triansui."

Nari said as she caught up with the woman in armor.
"I'm Narenia Halen. Nari for short. Mead and stew
doesn't sound terrible to me at all at the moment."




"…And thank you. For partaking in
saving my life."
Nari planted her hand on
Mira's shoulder and squeezed it gently, giving her
a warm smile as if to make sure she knew she meant it.




"She's too naive. Too young, at least
of mind."
Nari sighed deeply and looked toward
the Monk again. "I can't help but care for her though."



The memories flowed rapid fire through her thoughts and she forced her gaze to settled and stay upon her mug instead on the eerily similar eyes of the man next to her. At the mention of the words knew and bequest her hold upon the handle of her cup tightened so that her knuckles whitened and she forced herself to take a cleansing breath before she responded.

“No.”

It was short, succinct and a breathy whisper that could be barely heard above the noises in the tavern and for a moment it was questionable as to whether or not that had been her reply to his inquiry.

Grief flickered through her gaze but emotion and weakness had been drilled out of her since the first day she held a blade. Instead of weeping, she clenched her jaw tightly and after pushing her plate away from her she asked a trio of truncated questions.

“Who is responsible? How?”

A brief pause before the last left her lips, “Why?”

It would seem that she had known his sister after all. He studied her face as she seemed to realize what he had just said. She let out one word at first, which made Balian sure that she had known Nari. It was barely audible, but he still heard it. A reaction like that meant that they had known each other, better than just first impressions. There was a moment of silence where he figured it would be better to let her speak. Balian had now stated why he was here, and Mirabella seemed to have figured out who he was talking about as well. Had she figured out that she was now talking to Nari's brother as well?

Next thing he knew, she rattled of questions. You could only expect that though, and he would have asked the same.

"I don't know who is responsible." It was a question he wanted answers to as well, so he could figure out who he had to kill to avenge his sister. Perhaps by gathering information from the woman before him, and this Nelinia, he could figure out who might have taken his sister. He hoped so at least.

"If you wish to know the whole story, I will tell you, but it isn't very pleasant." Balian would have to tell her what Nari had told him, and that meant reliving all that one more time. He would have to explain how his sister had been kidnapped while they were in the Citadel, fighting a beast called Diralgraun and then suddenly being abducted. She never saw her captors, but the torture had been excruciating. She had been kept alive during it all. Bloody and beaten had she shown up in her home town, where she had later died.

A brief flash of emotional pain shot across Balian's face although he quickly hid it and the stern expression returned.

That brief flash of emotional pain was mirrored upon Mirabella’s face though the Triansui hid it just as swiftly. Silence reigned for a moment as she debated whether or not she wanted to hear the whole story. Then another look crossed her countenance as she managed to say, “I do not wish to know what pain she went through, you’re right. She was…”

The warrior huffed out a sigh and rubbed her fingertips along the arches of her eyebrows to soothe away her tension. Instead of ending her own statement, she let out an abrupt chuckle as her hands moved away from her fair features.

“You know the first time I saw her was in this very bar. Nelinia, the monk you seek and the second name on that parchment had crushed a glass in anger. Shards of glass had embedded themselves into her palm and Nari helped her to pick them out and cleanse the wound before wrapping it. I thought, at that moment, that if everyone we were adventuring with had the same compassion as she did, then we would be fine. Our quest a success.”

A small lapse of quiet followed her short story and her heart clenched in her throat until she finally spoke again.

“Yes. I wish to know her story.”

As the woman before him told of the first time she met Nari, he couldn't help but smile. Despite her proud mind, it did sound exactly like her. It was clear that it pained this woman to hear of his sister's death, but still she was strong enough to ask of her story, after she had disappeared from their quest. Balian could only tell her what Nari had told him, before she had died.

"Well, I can only tell you what she told me." He started and looked at Mirabella, sighing and pausing as he tried to get his thoughts straight. It was straining and exhausting, having to tell her all of this. With another heavy sigh, he began. "A few days ago, she came riding into the town we were born in, in the south." He said. "And before that, I hadn't seen her in a very long time. Yet, she came riding into town half awake, bloody and beaten." Balian contemplated telling her about what his profession was, but decided against it. "I brought her to the priests and they kept her alive as best they could. Narenia told me that she had been taken from something called Idassava's Citadel, while fighting a beast called the Diralgraun. After that, her memories were hazy. Fortunately." He figured that she'd rather not remember the things that had happened at the hands of her captors. "Nari kept repeating your names," He glanced at the paper still on the table. "And asked me to find you and give you something. I have her hunting knives for you."

The Paladin sighed and shook his head, closing his eyes for a moment. "I'm sorry if it none of it makes much sense, I still can't quite believe that she is gone." Balian paused and shrugged. "She was my sister."

The muscles in Mirabella’s jaw tightened as she clenched her teeth together. Idassava’s Citadel… she thought, forcing herself to take a slow, deep breath to calm her reactions.

“Niluxiel,” she spat out the name with venom and she looked at Balian. “The demon must have had a hand in this. Nothing would have happened in the Citadel without her knowledge.”

Pushing herself up quite suddenly, Mirabella walked a few paces from the bar and Vinny came out of the kitchen, his brow arched inquisitively. “Can I get ya anything else?” The bartender asked but Mirabella shook her head in response and he left to wait upon other patrons.

The Triansui dragged her hand through her short blond hair and came back to where Balian sat to lay a hand upon his shoulder. “I am sorry for your loss, brother of Narenia.” She didn’t know his name so she used his relation to Nari when addressing him. “I swear to you that I will see Niluxiel dead. I have more than one grievance to repay her for, now.” Tears threatened to spill over the lower lids of her honey brown eyes once again and she blinked rapidly before sliding back onto her stool. “Nari did not deserve an end such as that.”

His eyes narrowed when the woman before him mentioned a name. Naturally that caught his attention. If she knew anything of anyone that could have had something to do with his sister's death, he would very much like to know about it. This wasn't the time, nor the place though. Before he could open his mouth though, she stood up very suddenly and walked a few steps away from him. Balian merely watched her as she seemed to be thinking, before returning back and put a hand on his shoulder.

Having found one of the three people he needed to talk to, he felt a sense of success and a tinge of hope. It was small and he did his best to get rid of the knot in his stomach. Balian needed to find Nelinia next and the Prince. The monk was to receive Nari's bow, and he wanted to bring the word of her death the Prince personally. It seemed he had picked a bad time to gain an audience with him though.

The way Mirabella reacted was unexpected to him. When she had finished her sentence, it almost looked like she had a tear in her eye. Of course, the Paladin said nothing. Instead, he kept his vivid green eyes locked on hers and waited for a moment before opening his mouth. "Whoever this Niluxiel is, I would like to learn more about her but not now." He said and clenched his jaw, sighing. In all honesty, he'd rather grab his sword, saddle his horse and go after this evil creature. "No, Nari definitely did not." It warmed his heart to hear that someone else felt for his sister. "And it has just dawned on me that I have forgotten to introduce myself. My name is Balian."

In the silence that followed, another opportunity presented itself to him. If he could find nothing else to do, he might ask Mirabella if she needed a companion for her journeys or quests she might be going on. But that was another topic entirely. One he was going to take up later.

“Well met then, Balian Halen. If I knew more of Niluxiel, our future would be easier. Until then, know that she is a demoness that has threatened the Prince and soon to be King. The other person you seek, Nelinia, is actually the proprietor of this inn and if you are rooming here, as I am, you will find her easily enough. If nothing else, you can leave word with Vinny that you wish to see her.”

She found it easier to speak as the topic strayed slightly from the news of Narenia’s death and though she didn’t want to appear rude, the Triansui needed air. She needed space and time alone with her thoughts.

“I hope you forgive me but I must go. If you need to find me once more, my room is on the third floor. First door on the left.”

Perhaps it was not going to be as difficult as he had first expected. The woman Nelinia should be quite easy to find now. The Prince (soon the King) was going to be worse. Balian listened as Mirabella spoke, although he was deep in thought. Would the other woman he searched take the news different from her, or would she react completely different. Had she been just as close to Nari?

Balian decided that he would give hand over his sisters hunting knives later, or tomorrow.

"That's quite alright." He replied after a short pause. "I understand." Judging by her reaction, it seemed like she needed to be left alone for a while. That was perfectly understandable. A couple of days after Narenia had died, Balian had just wanted to be left alone. In fact, he didn't want to speak to anyone at all. "Thank you for your time, your help and your patience. I'll give you my sister's knives either later or tomorrow, if time permits." He nodded and smiled slightly. "I hope there won't be long until our next meeting, Mirabella d'Adreci." Balian bowed his head slightly, a lock of dark hair falling down in front of his face.


'Now to find the other woman...'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Balian Halen
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INK

The city was busy. People everywhere whether it was day or night. He had expected as much, but it was still something to behold. So far, he'd only found the one person he had been searching for and had been restless since their conversation had ended. The man didn't enjoy being alone for very long but neither did he feel like talking to anyone. Nelinia Jaze was the second person on his list, but he hadn't been able to find her. Mirabella had told him that she should be easy enough to find since she owned the tavern he was staying at. Balian had been sorely disappointed. The conversation he'd had with the warrior woman kept sneaking back into his thoughts. She had been surprisingly kind.

He was in Paetax for the same reason as everyone else. The coronation. But Balian was in hopes of getting to talk to the prince himself - which he knew was very unlikely - but it was the only thing he focused on right now. He was sure that he wouldn't get to talk to him after the coronation itself, but maybe he could figure something out. He had to tell the man that his sister hadn't just left their quest, but had in fact been abducted. He would not have Prince Rydas Errion think that his sister had no honor. And then what will you do? Pledge undying fealty and allegience to him? Think you can serve him in some way? Balian knew that he only had a fool's hope, but it was all he had. When it came down to it, he was the son of a once great man that was well known and respected. Now he was the head of his house, though there wasn't much of it left. "If the soon to be First King of Calisma has no use for me, then maybe the warrior woman might have need of someone to aid her on quests and missions. Or perhaps some of the other adventurers." The paladin mumbled to himself, though he was shaking his head as he sat on the edge of his bed. "There must be something for me here."


Balian had gone to bed to escape his thoughts and rest his tired body. He wasn't quite sure what time it was now, but judging by the sounds of the city and the position of the sun, it wasn't early morning. Moving to stand from his bed, he walked to the window and looked outside. 'Can't be long until the coronation.' He thought and then turned back to the room. Balian proceeded to find the suit of finer clothing he had brought. He never really felt right dressed up like that, though it was merely a black suit with silvery patterns running down the sleeves. It had a dark red collar and buttons to match. On his chest was the sigil of House Halen, a golden eagle on red. Balian also made sure to clean and wear his fine boots instead of the ones he wore with his armor.
When he was dressed, he looked at the man that was staring back at him in the mirror and chuckled. It had been a long time since he'd worn this outfit.

Even though he left his armor in the room, safely hidden away, he still had his sword at his hip. That thing never left him and he didn't care what the guard might say to it if they saw it. "Hang on..." The paladin said out loud, stopping at the door. He realized then how foolish it was to actually attempt to bring his sword. The guards would never allow him to bring it to the coronation, and he wasn't going to let them have it in fear of losing it. Balian sighed and let his sword stay in his room as well, then headed out the door. 'Weapons to a coronation? Yeah, let's provoke an assassination....'


One foot after the other. The streets weren't as crowded as he would have imagined. Maybe he was just late. There were more guards than the day before though, that was easy to see. And even the day before there had been many guards. He felt sorry for the person that had to organize all the security. The Citadel drew closer with every step and before long it came into view. Here, people were starting to gather in huge numbers. Balian pushed through them and got to the grand doors that would lead him inside.

"Name." The officer said, looking at Balian. This would be the first problem. To get inside. As he stood there and watched the solider in front of him, he tried to think of the best way to go about this.

"Halen." He replied, pointing to the sigil on his chest. "Balian Halen." If that wouldn't be enough then at least he had some time to think of another way to persuade the guard to let him pass. Judging by his facial expression as he looked his list over, it didn't look like it would be a positive outcome. "My sister was a part of the quest. Narenia Halen."

The officer still looked unimpressed and unwilling to let him pass, but he seemed like he was at least thinking about it now. The man looked over his list again and sighed. He could see that Balian wasn't poor and that he did look like he was telling the truth, but he couldn't let him in if his name wasn't on the list.

Before he could stop himself, the words came out of his mouth. "Do you know Mirabella d'Adreci?" To which the guard nodded and smirked. "Is she in there already? If you can in some way talk to her, I assure you that she can vouch for me."

It was understandable if the man couldn't remember if Mirabella had already gone in, with all the people that had been coming and going all day. "Look, I'll see what I can do. The name Halen rings a bell and you don't look like someone plotting something dangerous, but I have to follow the rules." The guard finally said and seemed to inform one of his soldiers to go look for the warrior woman.
Whether he would find her or not was unsure.

"I understand. Thank you." Balian replied kindly and then sighed. He was stuck here until the guard changed his mind, or he could somehow find Mirabella.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Balian Halen
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INK

What are you going to tell him? The thought came to his mind as he stood with his hands folded behind his back, waiting for one of the guards to return and either allow him inside or send him away. Balian rarely had trouble talking to people, and definitely not noble people. Granted, this was Royalty but it shouldn't make a difference. Since Narenia's death however, he had kept to himself so much that interaction with other people was strange. It had gotten better since he arrived at the Paetax, but there was still a ways to go. Pledge allegiance? Which was actually something he had to do now that he was head of House Halen, though there wasn't much of it left. Balian sighed as he stood and looked down at his feet, serious expression on his face as he thought about how he was to go about this thing with Rydas.

As time passed so did all the people that were to see their new king. With every second that went by, his annoyance increased. Balian was slowly giving up on getting in there to see the coronation before it was over. The guards hardly talked to him and no one returned to allow him inside.

Before he knew what was going on, a gasp went through the crowd and everything went silent. The only thing to break it was a voice that rang through the room, but from where he was standing, he couldn't see what was going on. Chaos ensued not long after and the crowd started pouring out. Balian on the other hand did the oppposite and went inside. He pushed through people and got closer King. Or is he king? Did they crown him before this chaos? A knot tightened in his stomach as he realized that Rydas might not have been crowned yet. That was serious enough since it made Balian wonder just what had caused this chaos. Anti-royalists? Assassins from another city or another nation?

Before he could reach Rydas though, he was tackled from behind. Two guards grabbed his arms and made sure he didn't move unless they allowed it. "Don't try anything!" One of the said, which only made Balian even more confused. They began to drag him along, up the stairs. Balian struggled, infuriated and shouted profanities at them.

Thânul take these imbeciles. The paladin thought to himself and sighed deeply as he gave up struggling. From what he could gather, they were sure that he was part of this scheme to murder the Prince. Or King depending on what had happened. "I'm not here to kill my Lord! I'm here to-" His breath was knocked out of him as they pushed through more doors, a guard to each arm. They decided to make this even more unpleasant by pulling a black bag over his head. This was certainly going to make Rydas notice him, but not in the way Balian would have liked.

One of the guards pushed open the door to the library and they stepped inside. None of them said anything, instead stopping suddenly and pushing Balian to his knees. All he had to rely on know was his ears since he couldn't see much for the bag over his head. His breath was heavy and his lungs ached from the blow he'd recieved on his way here.

If you're going to get out of this one, you're going to have to be really careful, Bal. And he knew that all to well. A wrong word and it could cost him his head. He could only hope that the King (or Prince) recognized the mark of his house that was on his chest, or that there was someone in the room that he knew. Someone that had seen him or met him before. "The stupidity of the two of you is unfathomable." Balian mumbled and sighed before a knee was planted in his back.

The two guards that still had a hold of his arms stood and watched their Lord, waiting for opportunity to speak.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Balian Halen Character Portrait: Ava Ambershard
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Ava Ambershard

Having managed to finally quench her stomach pains Ava walked much happier and with not a moment to lose, her equipment had begun to become heavy. As she walked through the streets, she was reminded of the revelry’s of the day’s celebration and had decided to turn up towards the castle.

Ava’s nimble fingers and the castle’s uneven surface made for easy climbing and it wasn’t long before Ava found herself opening one of the high windows that were scattered across the castles walls. Checking each way before entering Ava pulled herself out onto the wooden walkway, she was high above the coronation but it seemed that the main focus of guards were several floors below her and she shouldn’t meet with much of a retaliation. Her boots made little noise as she walked over towards the railing to watch the ceremony far below.

She smiled slightly as the Prince spoke his oath, she had changed several political outcomes in her short career but they had all been aimed at removing problematic higher-ups. It seemed almost poetic that she should be here looming over the prince, as it was an almost guarantee that the next non-guild assassin in his presence would likely be his last.

“If any are present with claim to the throne of Calisma, and do so which to challenge sovereignty do so now or be forever sworn to peace.”

Ava rested her head in her hand as the bearded man asked but her smile was quickly wiped from her face as a new aura entered the room, it made her feel sick to her stomach and she instantly recognised the presence. “Demons!” She groaned to herself. This wasn’t good demons rarely brought anything good with them and evidently Rydas had made a powerful enemy. The sickening feeling only intensified as the flash of blood enveloped the still prince, the princess and the stupidly brave guild member.

Ava knew she had to get out of here quickly, her two sets of clothes were both obviously that of an assassin and when an assassination attempt goes sour with no one to blame the eyes would quickly turn her way, she had to move quickly and pick up a disguise.

She half ran half jumped down the stairs the sickening in her stomach putting her off from her training and her footsteps much less quiet than usual and almost as soon as she reached the bottom of the spiral staircase she was greeted with a rank of pikes. ”Halt!” one of the pikes wielders spoke. ”In the name of prince Rydas you are under arrest.

Ava could only grimace as she raised her hands above her head in surrender, there was going to be no point in trying to talk her way out of this so it was better to wait until they locked her in a cell and plan her escape from there. She was turned briskly the pikes still trained on her as they placed the shackles around her wrists and a bag over her head. The bag seemed unnecessary but who was she to complain and before she could even give a shunt of protest she was being led up towards an unknown room.

After what seemed like an age Ava was forcibly pushed down onto her knees and the bag ripped off however it wasn’t the cell she was expecting by any means, books lined each of the elaborately decorated walls and it was obvious this was one of the royal libraries. Glancing off to one side Ava could see she wasn’t the only person in the room either, another had been seemingly brought in as forcibly as she and was currently on his knees beside her. Glancing the other way Ava could see a muddle group of adventurers, aristocrats and guards whom had joined the congregation and then Ava’s eyes found the final occupant of the room, the prince himself. This could possibly be bad. Very bad. Breathing slowly Ava sank lower; although her demonic curse was only noticeable to those trained, she could feel the overbearing presence of a paladin in the room so it was possible that she could be blamed for the earlier events by misunderstanding.