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Zhyle Alkuow

Horse archer exiled for his father's deeds.

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a character in “The World Beyond”, as played by Lightning Flash

Description

Image
Notes: His nails are not black
Age:20
Height: 6'0
Theme song: Magika

Personality

Zhyle is talkitive and a free spirit. He is opinionated but is willing to listen to opposing arguements (Not that he'll change his mind though). He tends to get into arguements a lot because of this but rarely tries to pick a fight. When with money, Zhyle is normally very conservitave to the point of stingy. He hates giving money away for something he could make or do by himself. This trend is broken for only a few things. Mainly, weapons and horses. Around women, Zhyle is a minor flirt and likes to impress them, but not to the point of being stupid. This can get him into trouble sometimes though, as Zhyle often has bad luck. However he normally just shrugs this off (And the possible slaps that may ensue) and continues on his way. Zhyle doesn't really let many events get under his skin and lets then slide off almost to the point of being carefree. Which can sometimes be a bad thing.

Equipment

Skills: Expert horsemen and very good archer. Unpolished skill with a blade.
Weapons: Shortbow for use on horseback and on foot. Basic longsword.
He can use Wind Magic but cannot use it yet

History

Zhyle grew up with no fanfare or indications of anything unusal other than growing up without his mother. According to his father, his strangest trait was that he read books so often. (His father had very little schooling and was a hit first ask questions later kinda guy) However even with his love of books, he had no desire to look like a bookworm, a trait inspired by his father's insistance. So while he continued to read all the books he could, he stopped getting formal schooling, so he could work on his family's farm. While on the farm, Zhyle was kept in near isolation (Due to his father's laziness in older age) but didn't mind particularly. During this time, Zhyle perfected the arte of horse riding, a trait he had been aquiring since childhood. Soon after, he picked up using a bow as a hobby, but then became more serious about it as he learned his love of it. When he was 16 and practically running the farm by himself now, he bought his first bow that was suitable for horseback, and soon spent all of his time devoting himself to prefecting this art.

However, his father wasn't particularly fond of this weapon choice and decided to hire somebody to teach Zhyle the "noble" weapon, the sword, when he was 18 years old. Zhyle did this only to pass the time and was never really serious about learning although he did show potential with the weapon. Instead he spent most of his time teaching himself how to use the blade on horseback rather than on foot.

However, Zhyle had no idea what was going to happen to him. One day, he came home from doing business in town to a full search of his home. Rightfuly so. In his laziness and leaving Zhyle to take care of the farm, his father had been looking for easy ways to make money. So he turned to illegal smuggling, both into and out of Tyvern. He had helped smuggle everything from liquor to arms to people. (Mind you, none of it found its way into the profits of the farm) So Zhyle and his father were tried for smugling and his father was found guilty and would hang for the sheer number of smuggling runs he had made. Zhyle however now faced exile. (Largely due to his notable absences and multitude of witness of him in town at the times of various smuggling runs)

So he was allowed to return briefly to his house and get his horse, all of the money he could get, some provisions, and his weapons. Then he was taken back to the city where he was put into the jail and told to wait until there until there was a group to leave with. It has been a week since time, and earlier that morning Zhyle was dragged out of his cell to be informed that he would be meeting the rest of the group that day. So he gathered his things in the barracks and the stable and headed off to meet the rest of the group.

So begins...

Zhyle Alkuow's Story

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Zhyle watched somewhat in awe as Miralda finished off the arena in rather spectacular fashion. She was truly no stranger to combat at least. It made him question what those nobles actually did with their time. He smiled to himself at that thought. Nah, any time he had been in the crowd to see some pompus duke or whatnot making his way to their winter villa through his humble hometown, they were nothing like her. She certainly was different, not that he was complaining of course. It went without saying they were far more likely to survive with Miralda here than Baron von Fattenstein.

Zhyle turned and slipped into the crowd that was exiting the arena. He had lost his "date" a while ago and really didn't think that it would be a good idea to run into her again after ditching in the middle of Miralda's fifth match. He couldn't help it! She was just too noisy.

Luckily his exit was uneventful as he found himself once again on the streets of the town, once again in no better standing of what to do than he was before. He decided to explore the city some more, and take in some more of the sights that may prove common in Haarpa. He couldn't be an outsider forever, may as well learn what he could while he was in a place he was planning on leaving.

After a short walk he found himself in the craftsman's quarter. The place was a hive of activity, the ringing of steel being forged rung through the air out of the smitheries, as some hawkers yelled their wares from out in front of the storefronts. Zhyle soon found himself ducking into one of the quieter forges to get himself off of the street for a moment.

What greeted him was first and foremost the blast of heat from the lit forge, to which Zhyle grimaced. The second thing he noticed was the large man sitting behind the counter, finishing the wrapping on a new blade, the man looked up for a second to study Zhyle before turning his attention back to his work. "Welcome in boy-o. Need a blade for swordpractice? Looking to make a name in the arena?"

Slightly miffed at the implications of what he was saying Zhyle snapped back at the smith, "No. There are better things to do with my time than to risk life and limb for coin. Though seeing what the fighters can do in this town I guess I wouldn't risk much."

"Then what are you doing here? You know, if risking life and limb ain't your cup of tea?"

"I don't even know myself. The matches in the arena that interested me are over, so I thought I would spend my time exploring the town" Zhyle responded honestly. The smith nodded in agreement. "The big guy won, yeah? Man's a monster with that axe. Dunno where it came from, as much as I wish to claim it came from my forge."

Zhyle smirked smugly "Actually, no. A newcomer won. A newcomer from Tyvern. Cleaned up 25 rounds in a row. Big guy was number 24." which earned him another glance up from the smith.

"Joking, yeah? Hadn't heard Tyvern had sent some idiots over this way. Right messed up lot some of them are, sending their problems into our lands. S'been a while since any of them made it as far as our city though, so guess I can't complain. They ain't steppin on my lawn."

The irony of this comment was not lost on Zhyle as he continued the conversation with the smith.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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With a hearty laugh Zhyle exited the smithery, waving backwards to the smith. The man was a good, honest man, his type of person. The pair had exchanged pleasantries and banter late into the evening as Zhyle probed for as much information about the city and town as he could get. Obviously he had lied about where he had come from, and the smith had apparently bought the fact that he came from a family of traders that made their living off of trade with Tyvern. Zhyle simply told him that his idiot father had sent him looking for an easy path through the wastes to cut on travel times and save money.

As stated; his type of people. Simple and honest.

From what he could tell, they had been fairly lucky to stumble upon this town. The colosseum that dominated the skyline was the pride of this settlement. With the dubious influence of colosseum clientele this was a good way to at least meet people or make some quick cash, even if they weren't citizens of Haarpa and had no background to claim. It would probably be worthwhile to spend time to stock up on supplies at the very least. With Miralda's showing that morning it shouldn't be too hard to make a quick buck or two. He had no idea how much she had earned this day, but he was wary to the fact that staying and fighting in the colosseum would be gambling with the odds rising against them.

His thoughts turned to Miralda. He had been shocked by her performance in the arena. It worked to his benefit of course, but the fact that she had so much skill with a blade as a noble worried him somewhat. He new very little about swordwork himself, the very little he knew was pounded into his head by his instructor long ago. At least he knew not to hold the pointy end. But even to one who knew nothing as he did could tell she had been born with a sword in her hand. It made him question her nobility somewhat...

Not that it was any of his business. He was exiled too.

He sighed as he walked into their room in the inn and was greeted by the sight of Miralda studying a map carefully. He was almost tempted to interrogate her about her performance today, but thought better of it. That was no way to treat a lady. Instead he walked up next to her, placing his elbow on the edge of the table, resting his chin on his hand. "Good to see ya, Miri" he said casually, smiling at her out of the corner of his eye. "Knight and a scholar too, eh?" he quipped settling into his position at the desk.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh

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The door squeaked open as Saerin eased into the room. Sweeping his cloak across the bed, he deposited three modest bundles. He sat, not feeling entirely at ease in the small, simple wooden chairs, and unfolded the cloth around his own. Within sat three steaming bowls containing rice, spiced beef, and steamed vegetables. Two small metal sticks flashed into his hands as he began to pick at his meal, holding each bowl as he alternated between them. His eyes moved towards the boy.

"Many people are gifted with simple lives- farmers, smiths, warriors... fortune tellers." He once again focused on his meal. "It would appear that neither of your companions are so lucky." He picked an unwieldy piece of meat apart and placed it in his mouth, then passed bundles to his two compatriots.

This meal was arranged specifically to the needs of the trio- the rice would provide a boost of energy, the meat would help Mira recover from any soreness of the match, and the vegetables would help fine-tune the party's senses. If anything were to happen tonight or in the morning, as was prone to happen in a town where newcomers swooped in and earned a substantial amount of gold, they needed to be as fit as possible to run. There was a certain sense of unrest among the spirits that told him that it was better to be on the safe side tonight.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh

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#, as written by Chari
Mira nodded at Zhyle as he came in, but for the most part was to focused on the map to hear what he said. She really was only broken out of her contemplation when a bowl of food was placed under her nose by Saerin. She blinked momentarily, then smiled slightly and thanked Saerin before she started to dig in.

While the group was eating, she figured now was as good a time as any to ask what they thought they should do. After eating about half her meal, she started, "Zhyle, Saerin... Perhaps it is presumptuous on my part, but I was assuming that we could continue to travel together, at least for a little while longer. If you two are okay with this, then I would ask; where do you think we should go next?

"Personally, I think we should head north, to Jinera. It should be much easier to carve out a place there, and we wouldn't have to deal with much anti-Tyvern sentiment since they are so focused inward. What do you all think? The only other real option we have is to try our luck in some of the archipelagos to the south."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh

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Zhyle frowned slightly as he was frankly ignored by Miralda. Aww, she's no fun. He however graciously accepted the meal that Saerin had brought to the group, as his stomach reminded him that he had eaten very little since leaving Tyvern, and a nice hot meal was greatly appreciated. He nodded his thanks to the older gentleman as he moved across the room and sat down at one of the beds and listened to Miralda begin to speak. After gulping down a couple of bites Zhyle answered to the lady.

"Hell, why not. I don't see any reason we should split up here. Frankly I don't wanna stick around this hellhole longer than I have to. Doesn't seem like a great place to just stop down and settle roots to me. Too much blood and sand for me."

He paused for a moment before continuing though.

"Though you really sure about Jinera. I mean... It's Jinera. The people are bloody savages there, yeah? At least that is what I have heard, country bumpkin like me." He joked, smiling between bites of food. "But what I mean is, yeah, they won't care that we're Tyvern in all probability, but does that really increase our chances of survival?"

He thought to himself for a moment, setting down his now empty bowl on a stand next to the bed he was sitting on. Jinera, huh? He never dreamed he would be considering going there. Place was crazy, power was everything there from what he had heard. Granted he had never met anyone from there but to be frank he never really wanted to. Nobody from the countryside really wanted to. Needless to say they were kind of boogeymen to farmers, people who would come and pillage your farms at night because it was within the right of the strong to take from the weak. And now he was seriously considering going there.

Well, it would be an adventure to say the least. How long it would last was a different question though.

"Well, I'm in." He said collapsing backwards on the bed. "Isn't likely we would be going anywhere else anyway. Catching a boat from Haarpa would probably be hard anyway if we get revealed as Tyvernian, so that kinda takes out the possibility of long travel, or at least make it unreasonably hard. It will probably be easiest to cross into Jinera anyway. Doubt too many people wanna stay around that border."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Zhyle shifted nervously in the stands as the melee began. He had been excited as he had entered the stadium, but as he had watched the competitors pour into the stadium he had slowly been filled with a sense of dread. Sure he may trust Miralda in those one-on-one matches, but in a chaotic brawl such as this... he didn't know how well her nobly trained sword would fare. It would also be much harder for anyone to read these opponents in the matches, every second wasted could be an opportunistic thug looking to put a club or hatchet into the back of your neck.

He rested his chin on his fingers as he furrowed his brows towards the competitors making their final preparations and the announcer began to energize the crowd. Zhyle nervously caressed the clasp on his sheath as the crowd's energy rose to a fever pitch. Normally having the blade by his side didn't really make him feel that safe, but when surrounded by people that were largely armed with bare fists the lump of steel made him confident that he would not encounter any trouble.

Once the announcer signaled Zhyle watched the competitors leap into action. As expected the large portion of the fighting was happening near the center of the arena with those bold and or fool enough to rush headlong to meet their foes. Around that initial bloodbath of meatheads the cleverer competitors toed the edges of the fights, looking for sneaky or flashy kills to eliminate competition or dissuade others of approaching them. The grandstanders were Zhyle's morbidly favorite to watch. They were they type of people that may inspire fear in a round such as this, but their flamboyant methods would not hold up in later rounds unless they were made of tougher stuff than what they were showing here.

Zhyle smiled amusedly at the scrum before a small cluster of people on the outer ring caught his attention. While there were certainly those that were trying to avoid conflict altogether and simply survive the initial onslaught, one group in particular caught his attention. Then he groaned. A group of four men had seemingly formed an alliance and had their sights set on Miri. Perhaps they had been slightly too successful in making their money through the arena. Zhyle's mind worked as he surveyed the battlefield. Fighting head on would be a poor decision while running would simply end in her being encircled. Distance alone wouldn't be enough she needed bodies in between her and the makeshift coalition. The only place that she would be able to find that was the mass of blood and bodies in the center of the arena. The group couldn't follow her there since they would no longer be able to communicate or avoid conflict.

As Zhyle arrived at this conclusion he found himself standing at the edge of the wall surrounding the arena. Well, if he was here, might as well roll with it. Adding his voice to the roar of the crowd around him Zhyle bellowed "Miri! Center of the fight! Lose 'em!" As he shouted, unsure if his words reached his intended target he noticed something else strange. One of the men, who were standing in between Miralda and himself turned and looked at Zhyle, narrowed his eyes, looked off to the side and gestured back towards Zhyle.

Zhyle winced as he realized two things from the motion. One, the men in the arena thought that Miralda had a support group outside of the ring trying to rig the fight for her. Two, the men had a support group outside of the ring and they were coming for him.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Zhyle's mind was predominated by the word "shit" as he turned and walked away from the edge of the viewing gallery. So people were coming for him. They knew what he looked like and in their messed up little world he was somehow involved in fixing fights.
This is not what he had hoped for when he arrived at the arena this morning.

Worst of all it wasn't like he could just clear up this misunderstanding. What was he supposed to say? "I don't have any money? Oh why yes murderous bastard, I do live with those people, but I assure you they have nothing to do with me." And EVEN THAT was assuming he got a chance to speak to them in the first place. It wasn't like he could guarantee safe parlay with them.

He needed to move. He needed to leave, get to somewhere away from the arena. Maybe lose the pursuer(s). If he remained where he was he could be easily found and at worst get his throat slit. So he needed to move. He walked hastily up to the nearest vomitorium and entered into the central concourse of the colosseum. Which, upon arrival to the concourse, he found to be depressingly empty.

"Well of course it is you little shit." he muttered to himself. "Everyone is watching the arena, like you should be right now. You and your big mouth." Composing himself slightly he began making his way through the pathways towards the exit. He had hardly gotten one-hundred feet before he heard the footfalls of running approaching from behind him. Zhyle spun around with a look of surprise plastered on his face as he saw a girl, roughly his age tearing down the concourse after him, short sword already drawn. She skidded to a halt as he turned to face her and evaluated his expression. "What" she spat at him "not what you were expecting?"

"Indeed not" he replied, "I expected at least a hint of subtlety"

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Zhyle had seen a fair bit of blood here and there. Watching the colosseum the past few days had seen to that at least. He had even seen his fair share of his own blood. Like that time he had fallen off of his horse when he was 11, leaving that scar on his scalp. Or that time he cut open his hand on the nail working on the barn, also known as the only time his father’s alcohol had come in handy at all. But this time… was slightly different. A cut from a blade was very, very different than any of those minor injuries he had sustained before. Because this time there was intent. This time, someone was actually trying to kill him.

And they were making a damn good job of it so far too.

He staggered through the alley outside the colosseum blindly, focusing on applying pressure to his gouged arm. His sword had been lost somewhere inside the concourse of the large structure, though the lump of iron hadn’t been much use against this swordswoman he had faced.

Her… Dammit he felt humiliated. He could tell just on her face that she had been shocked at how inept he really was with the blade on his hip, and it only took two passes of blows before she had scored her first hit on him. And the next couple of attempts had not fared much better, leaving Zhyle with a number of small gashes on his shoulders, chest and legs where he had clumsily attempted to block or parry. This had all culminated in the large gash on his left arm that he had stupidly flung up instinctively to protect himself to no avail.

It wasn’t all bad though. He was currently still breathing, albeit at a much more rapid pace than he would like. After their final pass Zhyle had been able to outrun the female fighter, catching her off guard as she gloated and taunted him. And upon reaching the entrance to the arena he thought he would be safe. She wouldn’t murder a man in broad daylight in the middle of the street right? He just had to stick to the crowds.

But dammit she did have a quick wit, Zhyle had to give her that. He had made up maybe a half dozen paces before she charged after him, screaming and accusing him of being an escapee from the arena. A dishonorable criminal that had killed a man and escaped from the melee to run away. And nobody that was in town would disbelieve her story, would they?

Zhyle grimaced, thinking about the likely scar on his left forearm as he attempted to staunch the trail of blood as he ran.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh

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Saerin hurried through the crowd, the ends of his sleeves folded in on themselves to hide the blood that had covered them when his daggers had torn holes through the torsos of the two men who had held him pinned just minutes ago. Surprisingly, no one looked close enough at him beneath his cowl to see the blood dripping from his brow to chin. Eventually someone would ind out he was wounded, and then the questions would begin. Not being one who was willing to sit under any scrutiny, that meant the sooner he got out of here, the better. However, he had bigger fish to fry...

Miralda and Zhyle were definitely in trouble, if Artur had been telling the truth. Of the two, Mira had proven to be able to handle herself through her performance in the arena so far. She could probably wrap things up for herself and collect her winnings without too much fuss about it. He could probably leave the town now and meet up with her later, or continue on her own. They had only agreed to travel together for a little while longer...

He shook himself back to reality. The blood loss and strain of his channeling was causing his thoughts to become erratic. He couldn't leave these two, not now. Their fates were linked when they began their journey. He stopped for a moment to re-focus.

If he left the city now, Zhyle was going to be in a bit of a tight spot. A city is not a place one can easily use a bow, especially near a crowded arena, and Saerin had little confidence in the boy's swordsmanship. Plus if his attackers had any type of longer ranged weapon, like a staff or polearm, he would likely lose his weapon before he could get in range (though, if his skill was lacking enough, he would probably be disarmed anyway).

That meant Saerin had several things to do, in order of importance:
  1. Make sure Zhyle wasn't killed by an assassin.
  2. Drop a small pouch of gold off for Bartholomew's children. Likely just hide it in a place his wife would discover it; the less he had to deal with her the better.
  3. Leave a note at the inn for Mira so they could regroup later.
  4. Retrieve his horse and get out of this city before anyone deduced that the bloody man running out of the alleyway was related to the streaks of blood on the ground leading to a pile of corpses behind some stacked crates.

Saerin's concentration on this list was broken by shouting near the entrance of the arena. Since it was his best lead at the moment, he started to make his way towards the noise.

He was mildly surprised to see that, while being wounded, Zhyle hadn't been killed by his attacker. That meant the boy was either extremely lucky, more skilled than he had appraised him as being earlier, or just very, very fast. He kept a reasonable distance from the two, ready to spring in if the girl pursuing him was ready to deal a fatal blow, but decided to hold for now. The kid had surprised him already, and he wanted to see if he could do it again.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
  1. possible duplicate content

    by Lightning Flash
  2. possible duplicate content

    by Lightning Flash

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Double posted somehow...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Damn that… rat! He just didn’t have the audacity and come out and die like a man did he!? Selk glowered at the alley in front of her. The blood trail had been steadily increasing in volume and frequency, making the trail easier to follow for her, for which she was thankful. While many would think being a mercenary would lend one to back alley dealings and shady sidestreets, Selk had never seen the appeal of the cloak and dagger. She preferred the finer things in life. Like a fine sword or a nice bath after working up a sweat.

That was a thought that brought a grim smile to her face. Oooh, boy what WOULD she do with the money after she killed this bastard. Cheating in the colosseum wasn’t the worst thing that she had been called to do justice for, but she wasn’t really here to ask questions about where the money was coming from. She was just here to get a purse.

She paused as she reached a larger pool of blood. It was fresher than most, and much larger. He had stood here for a while, and as she looked up she knew why and almost laughed out loud. The rat had found himself back on the main road. She smiled as she looked about the street of artisans. He had almost nowhere left to hide, if she could find one of the sparing guards in the city due to the tourney they would almost certainly believe her lie and return the rat to her custody. Where he would be summarily executed. Easy peasy. She slowed her pace as she followed the blood trail up the street before making a turn down the main road and ending at an unassuming solid wooden door smeared in blood. Bingo.

“A blacksmith” she thought to herself as she glanced up at the sign. He might have half a brain after all. Most smiths would be interested in the matches happening down at the colosseum and how their blades may be faring in the game, or just to admire the weaponry of the contestants. Most would have left their shops with only an apprentice unfortunate enough to be tasked with keeping the furnace alight.

She smiled widely as she reached down to the blood soaked handle of the door and swung the door outwards,hopping back out of the small pool of blood that had been left on the front stoop. And she was instantly barraged by the sound of the hammer and anvil of an active smithy.

The poor rat! He had probably picked the ONE active smithy in the district! He had to be just hiding in the front! It would make her story all the better! She slowly unsheathed her blade and poked her head into the doorway and into the sparing interior of the building. Edging inside the building she slowly turned her blade towards the boxes and counters that made the storefront of the building while her mind raced. Where was he!? Where did he hide!? What was happening here!?

“Lady, if you want your blade reforged, you’ve come to the right place, but please, for now sheathe your steel.” She jumped as she realized the sounds erupting from the back of the room had stopped and the mountain of a man at the forge had stood up facing her. While inwardly she cursed her inattentiveness she forced a smile. “Sorry, but I am here on… other business. You see I was just enjoying my boy’s… uh… attempt at the arena. But the coward just up and ran as soon as he got a scratch. I swear, the only thing strong about that boy is his bluster.” She joked lightly, while shaking her head. “I followed his trail, which seems to lead to your shop. Now, where is he? I don’t know where you have hidden him, but please, I need to have a serious talk with the boy.”

The smith furrowed his brow… thinking of an excuse she assumed before responding. “Now… lass, I am sorry but I have seen no boy but my apprentice this morning whom I sent to enjoy the festivities. Now I can assure you, that you are the first person to grace my shop this day. Now if you could tell me what your apprentice looks like, I may be able to help you if I do see him”

Selk gritted her teeth. Shit. The man was testing her. She quickly thanked her lucky stars that she had a clear portrait of the man in her mind before starting off her brief description of the man, while adding her own embellishment here and there, such as scars on his legs or arms that she could talk her way out of later. All the while the man just nodded slowly, taking in the information. Once she had finished there was silence for a second before the smith opened his mouth and spoke with a growl.

“Now I don’t know who you are girl but I do know this boy you speak of, as I am sure you are aware. Unfortunately for you, I know him better than you seem to think. I may be a simple smith, but I am not a dumb man you seem to believe. But I do know a boy who is as uninterested in combat as that would have no master such as yourself. So get out of my shop, scoundrel.”

As he spoke those words the smith began hefting his hammer and it suddenly looked like a warhammer in the eyes of Selk. And she gritted her teeth in frustration… and fear. Shit. This day was looking SO good too. She was gonna get paid today. Dammit that nice bath would have to wait. Hopefully she would get to keep some of her commission if the other idiots in the ring managed to kill the cheater herself. But for now, if the rat was under the protection of this smith… there was really nothing she could do. She wasn’t particularly looking for trouble with the town guard and this smith was not included in the immunity that she had been promised for killing the rat.

“Fine.” She yelled, dropping her useless act and backing once more out the doorway to the shop. “But you better make damn sure he gets out of town before I see his face again, otherwise he is a deadman. And you can take that to be a promise on my word as a sword!” And with that she dashed down the main street, lamenting the loss of that nice fat purse.

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Zhyle couldn’t help but mutter under his breath, chuckling to himself. “Don’t worry, sister, I don’t plan on being in town for very long”. He shifted briefly behind the rainbarrel at the side of the building. It was a tight squeeze into the side alley of the smithy and it had been even worse as he had to be sure none of his blood spattered onto either wall. The faintest shine reaching the swordswoman could have given her away.

Zhyle leaned back smiling as he listened to her steps fade into the distance and the rhythmic sound of the smithy start back up looking back on his plan. Once he had come up with the idea of what to do he had slowly began caring less and less about containing his blood, giving the appearance of losing strength, while making sure to gather a substantial amount of blood absorbed in the improvised sling of his shirt he had made. Upon reaching the main road he wrung his shirt out creating a pool of blood, making it look like he stopped. He needed a little time and he wasn’t sure how far behind she was. Afterwards he sprinted around the corner to the blacksmith he had frequented this past week. The old man would be there, he was sure. The man had said so when the two had talked about their plans for the tournament.

From then all he had done was smear his bloody hand on the door handle and slam his bleeding arm against the door and finish wringing out his shirt at the entrance to the shop. Then just let her draw her own conclusions as he removed his shirt, wrapping the entire thing around his bloody arm and squeezing his way to behind the rainbarrel in the narrow alley at the side of the smithy.

He breathed deeply before carefully unwrapping his arm and wincing at its appearance. He would have to get it dressed soon, covering it with a dirty shirt was not exactly sound medical practice. So, redressing he emerged into the main street before heading in a roundabout way back towards the inn that he shared with the other two.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow

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Zhyle had plenty of time to ponder the wonders of adrenaline on his way back to the inn. While he knew how to (roughy) tourniquet and bind an injury, herbal remedies or medicine was not his area of expertise. He would have to pick up a book on that later.

He had made a point of at least containing his injured arm inside of his shirt, to try and make the least scene possible, most people were still at the arena watching the tournament. And, if he was lucky they would be there for a while longer. But just to be safe he made sure to keep a wide birth from the arena, as he could only guess that is where the sword lady would go, to report to her comrades.

Zhyle slowly made his way back to the inn among increasing crowds. Now this was both a good thing and a bad thing as far as he could see it. Even without evesdropping on the chatter of the crowd the electricity and thrum in the air indicated that these were folk coming back from the arena. The good news is that he would likely be able to blend in since he was making an effort to conceal his injuries. The bad news was that there was probably nothing from keeping that mercenary from tracking him down again, as her schedule just likely freed up. He could only hope that the old man had made it out of there before trouble found him right quick.

He made his way up to the inn through the heavy crowd of drinking patrons bemoaning their lost coin accompanied by the exciting renditions of the fights. He let out a sigh when he finally reached the door to their room, releasing the tension he had been holding that entire day at the prospect of sitting down and possibly getting some proper relief for his arm, and opened the door.

It hadn’t occurred to him that someone might be inside the door, so when he saw a figure lying on one of the beds he stumbled backwards taking a sharp breath.

Of course he promptly felt very silly for his surprise upon recognizing Miralda on the bed. So she had pulled through, well that was good. Well, good and bad, good because her dying would be a bit of a bummer but bad because if those people were thinking they were cheating before, now they would be CONVINCED. He walked slowly over to the bed before sitting down at her side with a bit of a grunt.

“Glad to see you’re still kicking tiger, but a few things first.” he said while shaking the back of her head with his left hand. “One, I am pretty sure we should get out of town yesterday. Two, you know anything about treating cuts, or want to help me wrap this?” As he finished he revealed his injured right arm, removing the dirty bandages from around them with a wince.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh

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It took all of Saerin's focus to drown out the voices of the spirits as they pounded against his consciousness. The adrenaline brought from running helped only slightly as he made his way through the streets, dimly aware of the people he passed. Eventually his flagging stamina became an advantage as he reached a steady rhythm in his gait, his mind focusing on only one thing: escape. He locked his gaze on that singular thought and allowed it to drift only to the movement of his feet as he dodged through foot traffic. As long as he kept moving, that would be his armor.

He reached the inn, ignoring the concerned look of the innkeeper as he pushed through towards their room. He swiftly pulled out his room key, and after a few moments of difficulty locating the keyhole he threw the door open and moved in. His mind barely touched on the two figures in the room as he, catching himself, managed to not slam but firmly close the door. He then slid to the ground, back against the rough wood of the door, as the exertion caught up to him. The mental claws of his spiritual associates, by now, had retreated a distance, circling with hackles raised like a wolf ready to pounce. They knew that he was weaker than normal, and if they struck again while he wasn't on guard he may not be able to stop their advances. His right hand raised to his temple to steady his mind, he took a moment to examine his surroundings.

Mira appeared to be alright, probably about exhausted as he was from the way she had fallen on her bed. Well, perhaps not as much... while he kept up his training, it had been some time since he had run quite that much. Her breathing was heavy, but his own was very labored and rasped deeply with each inhale. Appearance wise she was dirty, but about as much as one could expect from a tournament champion. Given a brief time to recover she would likely be back to "normal."

Zhyle, though, seemed another story. He had watched over the boy before to make sure he didn't die, but he hadn't gotten a close look at his injuries. A few sword pricks at his shoulders, arms, legs... spots commonly left exposed by novice sword wielders. Whoever had dealt those blows seemed to have been wanting to play with him before finishing him off. That gouge on the left arm, on the other hand... maybe not inherently lethal, but definitely the first stroke of the attack meant to finish him off. Assuming it was the same person who had dealt the other wounds, they likely meant to disarm him and close in as Zhyle's desperation and fear rose. They had underestimated him, though, and his cleverness allowed him to escape with his life.

Saerin himself was not looking much better. While there most of the blood on his robes were those of others, he had sustained several lesser wounds (as well as a light cut on his neck) that would take time to heal. His powers had taken the brunt of the attack, though... if he allowed himself to use any of the abilities that might help them, he would be opening himself up to the spirits and allowing them a point to attack. Until his mind had time to settle from his earlier possession that was something he could not allow.

He brought his legs in to a folded position, despite their protests. He didn't get this far to be stopped by something like fatigue. He held them there for a moment before rising. "I will ask the innkeeper for a wash basin and some clean cloth. After we've all cleaned up, we need to talk."