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Zephyr

"As you wish, youngling."

0 · 235 views · located in Lastra

a character in “A Tale of Lastra”, as played by Igari

Description

Name Zephyr
Age Quite possibly hundreds of years old
Appearance

Image

Zephyr is a sleek, slender dragon whose looks border on majestic rather than frightening. He is quite large but his size does nothing to impede the quiet grace of his movements. When his wings are completely outstretched, they are twice the length of his entire body. His scales are smooth but thick and work as a sort of armor around his body. His narrowed eyes are a silverly azure, a contrast to the dark hues of his body, which are a raven black.

Image

When in human form, Zephyr is a tall, willowy sort with a blank face and cool eyes. He rarely smiles, so perhaps this makes him appear much more distant. He resembles something more of a shadow so it can be difficult to note his presence even when he is there. He prefers to dress in all-black and, like his true form, has stark, raven black hair. He has the appearance of a male in his late twenties, though it is hard to accurately place a number as his behavior suggests (rightly so) that he is much older.

Other He has a long scar running along his jawline--though from what, he has never spoken of. When he is amused, he snorts, causing a small blue flame to escape one of his nostrils.

Personality

Zephyr is silent, more than anything else, though he will telepathically communicate with his partner if he has need of it. He scares most with his gaze, so opportunity for actual conversation does not happen often, if at all. (This is a source of amusement for Isaehn, who chuckles over this fact) His respect is earned over time, but he does not judge based upon species or abilities. He observes and analyzes others for their true nature and if it is pleasant enough, he will speak to them. He spends little time lingering around the Order, but will come immediately if Isaehn calls him. He cares just as deeply for the boy (for to him, Isaehn is a youngling barely aged anything) as the other does for him and refuses to allow harm to befall him. He rarely interjects or tries to direct Isaehn, letting the mage make his own decisions about how he wants to conduct himself. He has the habit of calling his charge "youngling", a name given out of fondness.

Equipment

Weapons As with all dragons, Zephyr uses his claws and talons for physical attacks. His large claws are not to be taken lightly and can easily mangle someone upon contact. As such, he must be careful how much force he puts into it--for despite his appearance, he does not prefer to kill. He does not carry any weapons in human form as he does not fight in such a limited body.
Abilities He can breathe out blue flame, much like that seen at the very core ends of fire. This flame is hotter than most and can melt away flesh in seconds if he puts enough effort into it. He can disperse the flames into fireballs of different sizes; although this will require time to form and is not advisable in close combat situations. Though he is not an incredibly fast flyer, he has extremely sharp eyesight and can spot things from miles away. His aim is somewhat deadly and he has never missed a target. He can use his wings to create giant torrents of wind akin to tornadoes--thus the name that he possesses. However, he can only do so whilst flying and the energy required to flap his wings to produce the right amount of turbulence and air temperature fluctuation is tiring. His gaze strikes fear into a person who directly looks into his eyes and if he focuses, this gaze has the potential to paralyze. This tactic only works if the recipient of the stare is actually afraid of him--otherwise, it will do nothing.

History

Zephyr has always been a loner, his gaze even disturbing other dragons that had come into contact with him. He had learned to grow accustomed to the fear in others as a result of his eyes and never bothered much with conversations. He grew up in seemingly barren mountains, having to fly great distances for food or water. This turned him into a proficient hunter.

Isaehn met the dragon in younger years, when he still had not discovered his magical affinities quite yet. Isaehn was the first not to show any fear when gazing upon him, commenting that he found those eyes "beautiful and wise". Since then, their bond grew and the two are inseparable, despite the fact that they do not spend every waking minute together. Both are independent spirits and respect the boundaries set by the other. Zephyr became very protective of his charge and turns a blind eye to some of the things the mage does for the sake of his caring.

So begins...

Zephyr's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Igari
The wind that had been rustling through his hair during his flight had finally ceased as the large dragon known as Zephyr came to a halt some feet from the balcony. The dragon's rider got up slowly, calmly, each move clearly calculated and analyzed before it was taken. The blond-haired man had his hands in his pockets, gracefully walking from his previous position at the dragons neck and down the long snout of the creature. The distance from the window did not bother him in the slightest and he easily made the jump, landing silently on the ledge, still keeping his hands in his pockets.

He looked over his shoulder and a brief smile touched his lips. "You may go now, Zephyr. I have business to attend to." The dragon only nodded silently at him before turning itself over in the air and flying away from the building. Isaehn's smile reduced itself to the faintly amused expression he usually took when at the Order. He let himself into his room quietly, closing the doors that led out the balcony carefully before observing the dimly lit space. His eyes swept over the organized stacks of papers and books, casting a fleeting glimpse at his bed. A definite temptation but he had matters to attend to first.

As if on cue, there was a timid knock at his door, the softness of the sounds telling him that whoever was knocking clearly had never come to see him before. Not even bothering to fix up his hair, which was always in a state of perpetual messiness anyway, he approached the door and opened it casually. His eyes met with the form of a smaller boy, ah, a messenger. The boy was shivering as he held out an envelope, the ends sealed with wax.

"I... I was told to give this to y-you." He ended on a stuttering note as he met Isaehn's stare and immediately looked back down at his feet. Unimpressed, the man took the envelope and gave a dismissive wave of his hand.

"Delivered. Be on your way, you're wasting my time enough as it is." He closed his door before the boy could get a word in edgewise and frowned down at the envelope. Now whatever could this be? He walked over to his desk, a blunted metal knife he had made into his letter opener waiting for him on it's surface. He took the object and carefully worked the seal open, making sure not to damage the envelope or it's contents in the process. Flipping the paper over, his eyes skimmed over it's contents. As they did so, the frown disappeared and was replaced by a growing smirk of amusement.

So things were already in the works after all. "It would appear," He mused aloud to himself, purely for his own entertainment. "That Lethandrill has fallen... how very interesting." Yes, interesting and intriguing. So the gauntlet was serving it's purpose rather well after all. He glanced back down at the letter, reviewing the contents. There had been a few sightings of Talon V'lyn and that mage of his, Jennifer Live, at the palace of the steward. And... he narrowed his eyes, had he just read that correctly? He read it one more time to make sure--no, that was definitely there. To be more specific, she was definitely there. He grinned, this was turning out to be quite a game after all.

He laid the letter down on the desk, there were only scant few sentences regarding the prisoner and the Navile girl that had been trying to plead her case. Sleep now forgotten, the man turned on his heel and opened his door, heading out into the hallway. The pieces were all aligned so perfectly, now it was just a matter of getting them on to the same chess board. And he knew precisely how it was going to be done. After all, as concerned citizens of Ro'ell, why wouldn't the Order of Vyldi be worried about the sudden fall of Lethandrill or the actions of the steward? His report was already fresh in his mind as he made his way down the hallway to the leaders of the Order.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Igari
Isaehn pushed his glasses further up his nose, letting his hands fall to fit comfortably in his pockets as he walked from the meeting hall. Tch, what a bore. His eyes were slightly narrowed more than usual, the charming albeit calculative smirk that usually fell upon his lips was replaced by a slight frown. The man was unamused, to say the least, over what had just transpired. He didn't even bother to pay attention to the hesitant and wide-eyed stares of the mages that caught sight of him as he turned down the hallway. His mind was racing as he slid into his quarters, eyebrows knit together faintly and causing light wrinkles on his forehead.

As always, he could tell when something was out of place and the letter on his desk stood out to him. However, he had no wish to read it here. He grabbed the letter and the opener he had previously used, walking over to the large paned windows that led out to the balcony. He was little surprised to find Zephyr reclining some meters from the balcony. The dragon always could tell when the man was annoyed preemptively. At his appearance, the dragon shifted, lifting it's large head and meeting his gaze. Isaehn said nothing, just closing the window doors behind him as he walked to the edge of the balcony. Zephyr took his hint and spread his wings, flapping his wings to gain a bit of altitude before gliding over near the balcony.

He took a practiced jump, landing on the snout of his dragon before taking his usual place at his dragon's neck. "Will we be flying for long, youngling?" The voice of Zephyr was quiet yet crisp. Isaehn shook his head, already playing with the opener and wedging it in between the seal and the paper.

"No, I just need some air from that place. The old fools get suffocating pretty quickly." He was already reclining on to his back as his dragon turned gracefully in the air and began to fly at a relaxed pace. The cool breeze against his cheeks and the rush of the wind through his air brought with it an amount of familiar comfort. Isaehn sighed, finally able to break the seal and lifting the letter in front of his eyes. This was the second one today. He read it over, eyebrows raising as he did so. He shifted on to his stomach, flicking Zephyr on the dragon's neck. His creature gave a low, guttural noise at this, signalling to the man that his attentions were gained.

"We've gotten a letter. That woman wants information on Domieen's Gauntlet." A pause in the wing movement encouraged him to continue divulging it's contents to his companion. "The mage, Jennifer Live. She also seems to be requesting a meeting." Zephyr nodded, his long neck swaying his charge a bit. The movement brought a whisper of a smile to Isaehn's lips--he always felt better when it was just the two of them.

"Will you explain, then, why it was necessary to take this flight without permission?" The man rolled his eyes, folding the letter and sliding it into his inner jacket pocket in the process.

"Like I said, it gets suffocating. Besides," He stretched a little, leaning down against his dragon's neck. "You'd roll over of boredom if I didn't take you for walks every now and again." The sarcastic joke earned an amused snort from Zephyr, a small blue flame coming from the right nostril of the creature. They carried on in silence, Isaehn straightening after a time with a yawn. Yes, this was exactly what he had needed. Being outside of that Order always cleared his mind and gave him a small sense of freedom that was always suppressed when inside the facility.

He sighed a bit. When he got back, he would have to write a brief letter of acceptance back to the Order of Riena to confirm that he would agree to the meeting. Though he'd have to be sure to note in a polite fashion that he had no intentions of leaving and if she wished to meet, she would have to come to Ro'ell herself. The thought brought with it an upturned twist of his lips. Yes, and if she came, there was a chance she would bring her as well. And indeed, that would be more fun than simply answering questions based on the mage's whims. It would also provide him a nice chance to deviate from the boorish orders that he had just been given earlier. Following rules straight down to the letter had never really been that fun anyway.

Zephyr sensed the cunning entertainment of his charge but did not voice any thoughts of it. The dragon had been around for quite some time and had long since noted the odd behavior of his companion. The youngling had much growing to do before he would realize that his plans and game pieces would not always be a reliable. Still, for the moment, he would not burst the child's bubble. After all, there was nothing wrong with letting him play his game--if but a little longer.

The setting changes from roell to Lastra

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Xandur Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Astrid T'vali Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Igari
Fukayna Muidrehd

There had not been much time to think, between the interruption of the fight between the navile and the dragoness by the tall swordsman--and the sudden weight around her shoulders as the fiery headed Astrid smirked at the activity. Fukayna wrinkled her nose, frowning over at her sister assassin, already becoming accustomed to the fact that this girl had the rare ability to appear anywhere at any time. Questioning this concrete fact would be like trying to question the laws of physics. You couldn't fight against gravity, after all. An off-handed comment by Astrid, something pertaining to bets, only seemed to rile the dragoness more, who raised her voice to outrageous volumes as she screamed at the tall man.

The winged girl was nothing like Stephano, who seemed calm albeit sarcastic at times, particularly when his rider was around. She scratched at the back of her head, wondering if she should perhaps deign to depart from the conversation (which admittedly seemed to be spinning out of control). She was saved from the awkward decision when the older assassin she had met earlier, Sebastian, hit Astrid upside the head. The girl gave a surprised yelp as she was hit, oh, she was capable of feeling pain? Odd, Fukayna hadn't thought she was, considering the fiery woman had run into a wall with a bucket on her head--according to a story she had heard anyway.

"If you're quite done, Astrid, we leave for Ro'ell now. I've got your horses and other provisions ready. Come quickly, all of you. There's no time to waste, and Lady Jennifer hates to be kept waiting than what is necessary." With the curt words, he proceeded to drag the zealous assassin off, who went screaming and protesting the whole way. Fukayna blushed a portion, not having ever heard such colorful language used in quite a manner. Casting one more look at the trio, she shrugged, figuring it was best to just listen to Sebastian. They'd all regroup later anyway and perhaps she'd have a chance to speak to the dragoness all about how she kept her wings to beautiful.

She turned on her heel, adjusting her halberd in her hand before progressing towards the gates of the entrance. As she neared, she noticed Astrid trying to explain to Sebastian that they were clearly friends and that the bet had all been a joke. Oh dear.... Fukayna sighed and approached the duo, noting that Armen was already there. She smiled at him kindly, his manner a breath of fresh air after all the activity of the day. Astrid had a bit too much energy for her and the others, well, she had no idea how to interpret them. She silently walked over to him, standing a little nervously next to the elf. He was taller than she, much like many she had come in contact with, but his presence was comforting.

It wasn't long before the others showed up as well, the navile girl being the last one to complete their entourage. Upon seeing this, Sebastian cleared his throat, addressing everyone. "To those that don't know, I'm Sebastian. I'm what you would call a Captain among the assassins and I'm your guide to Ro'ell. The Order of Vyldi is expecting us, so there should be no problems. I'm not your babysitter and I'm not your friend. We're there to do business and nothing more. Now if you're all ready, we're leaving," Huh? Leaving? But what about Miss...? The man was already mounting his horse and riding the beast out of the gates, leaving everyone else to follow suit.

Fukayna faltered a bit--horses, again? Oh, how terrible she was at riding the things... Fortunately, she'd gotten a bit smoother with getting on the animal this time around and did so without any assistance. She felt pretty proud of herself... up until she tumbled forwards in her saddle when the horse began to gallop. How utterly embarrassing. Her cheeks were coated with crimson for the beginning of the trip, the silver-haired woman hoping privately that no one was laughing at her.

As they rode, she found company in the form of Armen, who had chosen to have his horse trot next to hers. The pace was slow enough for her to manage scribbling on her pad, answered many of his questions. Many of which simply asking after how she had been chosen to go to Lethandrill in the first place and how the Order of Riena functioned. She answered every inquiry quite willingly, charmed that he found her interesting enough to speak to for such a length of time. She was in the midst of writing a response when another horse's trot made her look up. It was Astrid, the girl waggling her eyebrows at her; pointing first to Armen, then at Fukayna, and then grinning as widely as the cheshire cat. It took Fukayna only a few moments to process what the woman was implying and her blush heightened to turn her whole entire face red. Astrid cackled and continued to trot in front of them, slowly though as the woman continued to insinuate things.

Now thoroughly ruffled, her writing faltered and she looked down at her horse, unable to meet Armen's gaze. The rest of the journey passed by in subsequent silence, for any conversation beyond the one they had was interrupted by Astrid. (Somehow, the woman had taught her horse to trot backwards as well...?) Mortified and progressively growing more and more flustered, Fukayna began to get anxious for them to reach their destination, if only to avoid Astrid's odd gestures and ideas. H-Honestly, it wasn't like that.

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Isaehn Raxieyl

Isaehn stood out on the balcony, gazing at the sky with a rather devious expression, mind racing as he pondered over the possible outcome of the meeting. He had purposely left his door unlocked once he had heard the scrambling in the hallways, anticipating that the group from the Order of Riena had arrived. His suspicions were confirmed as there was a quick knock on his doorway followed by a pause, and then the hesitant turn of the knob as his door was slowly opened. The man turned slightly, eyes falling on the guard who seemingly wilted under the gaze.

"S-Sir, they've arrived.... We, er, told them to wait in the lobby of the citadel but..." Isaehn had never been one for banter and put his hands into his pockets, raising an eyebrow. The partial disappearance of his smirk told the guard that the mage was less than pleased with the hesitation, the sentry rushing over his words. "T-That is to... to say um... there is... well, there are two really that are a cause for--that is, um..." Isaehn rolled his eyes and gave a flick of his wrist, speaking with a bored and flat tone.

"What use are you if you cannot even tell me of the proceedings in the lobby? Leave my presence, you may decrease my brain cell count the more you spout your nonsense." The guard was too nervous to look offended as he practically slammed the door behind him in his effort to get out of the presence of the reaper. The man yawned, unsurprised and rather used to this behavior. He looked back over his shoulder, shrugging a little and extending his hand outwards behind him. "Come, Zephyr, this is an important meeting and it would be a shame for you to miss it." The dragon in question had been laying some meters outside the balcony, casually awaiting the orders from his rider as to whether or not he was dismissed. The dragon raised it's head and stretched it's long neck so that it's snout brushed against Isaehn's outstretched fingers.

The mage muttered in a low tone under his breath, invoking his manipulation magic. The familiar, glowing circles of texts and symbols surrounded his hands as he cast the spell upon his dragon. With one final utterance, Zephyr closed his eyes as the magic overtook his large body, transforming the large creature into one that was not nearly comparable in size. Isaehn smirked at his handiwork as he nodded his approval, his dragon now in the form of a human male. Zephyr regarded his rider quietly, using a newly formed finger to scratch at the faded scar on his chin.

"That special of an occasion, I take it?" The masculine voice was soft-spoken, carrying with it faint scatterings of amusement. Isaehn pushed his glasses farther up the bridge of his nose and yawned, choosing to ignore his dragon's comment and striding out of his room. He didn't have to bother checking to see if Zephyr was following---though silent, his companion would never leave his side unless otherwise ordered. The mage walked through the halls, taking note of the activity of the guards, who seemed besides themselves over some commotion in the citadel. It didn't interest him enough, however, and he merely kept up his pace as he crossed down the pathway leading directly to the lobby.

He took a deep breath, settling his features into something more friendly as he opened the large doors, the slow, creaking noise enough to get anyone's attention. The first thing that caught his eyes, however, was the bobbing figure of a red-headed girl was was sniffing a vase. A very priceless vase. She pushed it casually with one of her fingers, nudging it slightly and allowing it to topple. The shattering crash did not make Isaehn wince, however, he did narrow his eyes at the girl in a very discontent glare. If he had to guess, that clutz was none other than Astrid, the notorious troublemaker of Riena. He drew his attentions away from her, privately registering each guest of the order as he gazed at them. He noted the Navile, now there was a target of intrigue, her bloodline always managed to produce entertaining results.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Zephyr tense slightly and followed the dragon's eyesight to the figure of a girl with wings, one whom could resemble a dragon if not for her human shape. He did not linger his sights on her for long, moving his eyes to the older man near the bookshelf who must've been Sebastian, the right-hand man of V'lyn. Ah, so he was the one heading this operation, not the infamous Jennifer. There was an elven boy who seemed to be looking at him inquisitively, wide eyes curiously peering at the mage. Hm, so nosy. He continued along, flicking his gaze over the two swordsman to the man oddly in beggar's clothing. Quite the colorful bunch, quite quite.

His smile widened as at last he looked at the girl he had been most curious to see, whose shoulders shot up to her ears the instant their gazes met. Fukayna fumbled with the weapon in her hands and looked down at her feet, meekly shaking her head. He could not help but let an amused light fall into his eyes. By the way the others weren't openly staring at her, she clearly had not informed them of her origins in Vyldi. Oh, this was going to be delicious fun indeed. He strode till he was just feet from the group, speaking in velvet tones.

"Welcome to the Order of Vyldi--I trust your journey was not too strenuous?" A gruff nod from Sebastian confirmed this statement and Isaehn continued. "My name is Isaehn Raxieyl and you may address my companion as Zephyr. I am sure you've all got your own sets of questions and all will be answered to the best of my ability in due course. No doubt the most pressing of these issues is Domieen's Gauntlet, I wager." He was merely being polite, Isaehn already knew full well that this was the main reason why the order had requested his presence. "I will speak with Sebastian first, the rest of you may busy yourselves among the literature until our return. It would be best for you to ready your questions so this visit goes smoothly. Zephyr, do entertain our guests in case they get bored. And..." He trailed off, now looking directly at Fukayna. The girl shifted, breath hitching as he did so. Isaehn walked over to her, casually putting a finger beneath her chin and tilting her head upwards.

"It's lovely to see you again, Fukayna dear." He retracted his touch, gesturing to Sebastian to follow him into the study. He chuckled under his breath, knowing his words were sure to incite some interesting reactions from the guests. The older assassin walked a few paces behind them as the two entered the study, the mage shutting the door quietly behind him. His smirk never left his lips as he crossed over to the desk, sitting down in the chair and giving a flick of his wrist at the seat on the other side to let Sebastian know he could sit down.

"As requested, I preformed research on Domieen's Gauntlet. From the texts I have read, this piece of equipment holds the old god's power," Isaehn stated carefully, looking at Sebastian evenly over the rim of his glasses. "And as you can guess from your ward, V'lyn, it grants its wearer quite a bit of power. But I'm sure you already knew this," He added with a chuckle. "So tell me, what did you wish to inquire after?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Xandur Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Astrid T'vali Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Lain Gareev
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#, as written by Siryn
Armen Sorien

The voice startled him as he looked up from the shelving to see a youthful looking man walking down the stairs. With the man was another and Armen got the feeling that the being walking beside the mage wasn't human at all. He arched an eyebrow as he gazed at the man steadily, inspecting him as he moved down into the midst of the group. It seemed that the mage wasn't too inclined to be inspected as Armen was doing and he felt a bit flustered that he'd done it. It was an old habit, coming from his years spent in the guard at Lethandrill. He inspected nearly everyone that had gone through the gates like that.

"My name is Isaehn Raxieyl and you may address my companion as Zephyr. I am sure you've all got your own sets of questions and all will be answered to the best of my ability in due course. No doubt the most pressing of these issues is Domieen's Gauntlet, I wager. I will speak with Sebastian first, the rest of you may busy yourselves among the literature until our return. It would be best for you to ready your questions so this visit goes smoothly. Zephyr, do entertain our guests in case they get bored. And..." the man who called himself Isaehn moved towards Fukayna and Armen felt a stir in the center of his chest. An uneasy feeling filled him as he watched Isaehn push his finger under the girls chin and look at her directly.

"It's lovely to see you again, Fukayna dear."

The elf found it hard to settle his sudden anger at the man. He closed his fist tightly to help ease the boiling rage and moved closer to Fukayna as Isaehn moved away with a slight chuckle. Armen turned his gaze down to the girl, eyebrow arched in curiosity though his unsettle anger was far more pressing than any curiosity that befell him. He waited for the assassin guide and the mage to leave the room before he turned to Fukayna and took her shoulder gently in his grip. He offered her a smile, trying to ease the tensions a bit.

"Would you like to come with me while I look around? I have a few things I'd like to research while we're here," he offered hoping to get her mind off of what had just transpired. Armen was sure she wasn't feeling too comfortable and he didn't want to ask any questions that would make it worse. Not to mention he was sure the others weren't quite as sensitive to the situation and would most likely prod the poor woman for information. He offered his hand to her and once she'd answered he led the way to the opposite side of the building and began perusing through the books. He wanted to know what it was that Torak was so afraid of and why the Steward had locked him up in the dungeons.

Fay X'san

The man named Isaehn came and went quickly, only wishing to speak with Sebastian rather than the rest of them. She guessed that was to be expected seeing as technically it was the Order of Riena who'd set up the meeting with the Order of Vyldi. Though, Fay was a bit let down in the fact that they had been left out of the meeting. That information seemed to be rather important if they were going to do anything about Torak.

Even so, she put a slender finger to her lips and tapped them in thought. Fay had picked up on his lingering gaze when he'd spotted her. There had been a look in his eye that she wasn't too sure she liked all that much. The Navile woman shrugged it off though and instead took Isaehn up on his offer of looking through the books that were all over the tower. There was a balcony upstairs as well that held shelves upon shelves of books.

Fay started up the stairs and worked her way through the shelving, her fingers trailing along new and old books. Dust collected on the documents near the back and the more she weaved through the shelving the more interesting books she found. Some were even on the Navile, whole books documenting the arrival of her species and details on their whereabouts. However, no matter how many books she skimmed through she didn't find much on what the Navile were so feared for. Not even so much as their magic.

With a sigh she tossed down the twentieth book that she'd picked up and leaned back, loosening the tight muscles around her lower spine. When she straightened she felt a presence behind her and her eyes widened, heart picking up in pace. It was a strange feeling that was behind her, a seductive pulling that was almost out of control. So much so, that it was unnerving. The pull was on her power that lay nestled deep inside her, only coming out at times she didn't want it to, or when she absolutely needed it to survive.

Whirling around, Fay drew her long knife and crossbow, aiming the weapon at whomever stood behind her. The man was leaning against the shelving, his leather clothing tight across his body. He was inspecting his hand as he stood there with one arm crossed over his chest. His black hair had an un-kept look to it, very appealing to say the least, but had it not been for his chilling smile and the strange pull on her power, Fay would have been swayed by his mere appearance.

"So, you're the Navile that I felt walk in here. Very pretty. But, alas," he sighed heavily as if he were seriously disappointed about something, "I've got orders, and orders are always followed in my book," he grinned at her. Before she could fire the crossbow he'd moved so quickly that she hardly saw him. His hand wrapped around her wrist holding the crossbow and twisted. Fay opened her mouth in pain and shock, but didn't scream. The weapon fell from her numbed fingers and clattered to the floor, the trigger jarring enough to actually fire the crossbolt.

Her magic kicked in and retaliated against the man, trying to pry him from her with a simple shot to his chest. The man took the hit, stumbled backwards with her in tow and coughed slightly. He winced as he grinned at her, looking directly into her dark gaze, "That one hurt a bit," he commented. Something happened right after that Fay couldn't comprehend. Her magic turned on her and she found it near impossible to control. She dropped her knife which hit the floor and tumbled down to the floor below as she was next to the balcony then.

Her fingers curled into a fist next to her chest and she found it hard to breathe as she glared at the man. He tilted his head sideways as he watched her, still holding her other wrist tightly. He chuckled at her and pulled her closer to him, "Well, that little experiment is confirmed. I can feel my own power starting to get a little... crazy. Time to go now though," he said and Fay was wrapped in immense pressure. Her world darkened and she felt fear gripping her chest tightly.

When her sight returned and the pressure was gone, she was no longer in the tower she'd started in. In fact, she had no clue where she was but her magic was making it hard to concentrate. The Navile dropped to the hard stone floor and squirmed as she tried to keep her power from exploding. Though it was all for nothing because in the end, it shattered from her body and shook the room she was in. Fay fell still finally and coughed heavily, tasting hot iron in her mouth.

"Shit..." she muttered as the room before her spun and she found she couldn't move a single muscle in her body. Her breathing was short and the sound of it filled her ears as the stone room she was in darkened completely.

Lain Gareev & Company

Capella, Dante, and Khrae

"They'll be a problem, especially that dragon..." Lain muttered to himself as he leaned over the balcony just enough to see everyone but far enough away so that no one saw him. The darkness of the upper portion was enough to cover him and his little bit of magic helped as well. He'd have to send the dragon woman and her two human companions elsewhere if he wanted to finish what he was sent to do. The first part of his mission having been completed he could hardly wait to report back. Lain pushed aside his impatience and stretched out his hand just enough in the direction of the three in his sight and summoned his power.

They would feel pressure right before they were sent elsewhere. Lain grinned as he watched the air around them shimmer as if a heatwave had just struck that area. In a matter of seconds he'd sent the three of them to the darkest area of the western most spire in Ro'ell. Lain's smile grew as he thought about where he'd sent them. It would be some time before they made their way back and if he remembered correctly, the Order of Vyldi were very particular about their secrets and other things. Intruders in a specified area would be rewarded with several safe guards set up by the powerful mages.

Xandur, Astrid, and Stephano

As Lain's gaze moved swiftly around the area, he quickly picked out the next set of opponents that would be problems to him. There was a man with an interesting aura around him and the Nine felt it strange to see him there in the Order of Vyldi. Such a rag tag bunch of people that had gathered... of course many of them were very powerful and should they have found him he would have been in trouble. His fingers turned quickly from his last target and he decided on a whim to send this one to where he'd sent the Navile woman.

Another specimen wouldn't hurt, right? The air around the man that looked like a beggar shimmered. Of course, Lain wouldn't put him directly with the Navile woman, that would make things much too easy. No, he would put the stranger with a stone like arm into a room directly across from the girl. His smile widened as the man disappeared from sight. Lain quickly turned to the last of his possible problems and directed his power on them.

The red haired girl and her dragon were easy to transport and he sent them to the northern most tower in Ro'ell. Oh, the chaos... he could already hear the complaints of the Order of Vyldi as he leaned over the balcony in sheer ecstasy at what he'd accomplished. Now, for his final part. The elf who was too damned nosy for his own good. He threw himself over the railing and landed into the first floor of the large library. Standing up he turned and his eyes caught sight of the elf who had finally realized that something was terribly wrong.

Lain frowned as he realized he'd missed someone. That someone was being pushed behind the tall elf almost as if he were going to protect her. Long silver hair fluttered around her face and lithe frame as she was held behind the man. Armen Sorien glared at the Nine that put his hand on his hip and smiled at them.

"Too damned nosy for your own good I see, Armen Sorien."

"And you are?"

"Lain Gareev. Not that my name matters much," Lain replied, his grin widening as he flicked his gaze between the two.

"What happened to everyone else?"

"Nothing that concerns you right now. I think you should be more worried about what I'm going to do to you now."

The elf's eyes widened visibly and he looked slightly intimidated, but maybe that was because he was weaponless. Lain disliked fighting against someone who was weaponless, but he had his orders and he couldn't ignore them. He turned on power and rushed forward, his speed causing him to close the distance between them in a blink of an eye. Armen stumbled backwards as Lain came right upon him. The man made the smart move of shoving the girl away from him as Lain tackled him to the ground.

Raising his hand, he powered his fist and the increased speed slammed into Armen's chest, no doubt breaking a bone or two. The elf gasped in pain and blood sprayed forth from his mouth. Lain took a fist full of the elf's leather shirt and pulled him forward even as the man was limp in his grip.

"I don't much like making a racket so lets make this quick shall we?" Lain ignored the woman, figuring she wasn't worth his attention and powered his body for another attack.

Sebastian and Isaehn

"So tell me, what did you wish to inquire after?" The mage asked as Sebastian took a seat. The old assassin glowered at the mage, not entirely enthusiastic about this one. He didn't like the feel of the room, the feel of the other man who stood at Isaehn's shoulder. Nothing felt right so it was no pardon for him to be a bit uneasy. Sebastian positioned himself just right to if he needed, he would be able to get back to his feet and fight if needed.

"Lord V'lyn wants to know about the gauntlets power," Sebastian started, putting emphasis on 'Lord' as Isaehn had only used the assassin's last name, "When he saw it in Lethandrill there was something strange about it. That gauntlet shouldn't have the power it has right now. Where would it get something like that? In my opinion, most importantly, why does the Steward Torak have it on his hand as of right now?"

The assassin skipped all pleasantries and went straight to business. The sooner he got things over with, the better. Every minute he sat there, the more uneasy he got.

The setting changes from lastra to Ro'ell

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Astrid T'vali Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Lain Gareev
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Astrid didn't mean to break it. Really. She never planned on these things actually happening. It was just...she couldn't help not doing it! The vase just looked so shiny and it was just begging to be prodded. So she prodded it.

And it fell.

Oops.

The assassin made a face as she felt Sebatian's gaze fall on her and burn holes in the back of her head.

"I can fix that." Astrid said quickly to no one in particular, just out of habit. Well, she did break things often. Most of the ancient magical artefacts (the ones she was definitely was not-allowed-to-touch-under-pain-of-death) in Skyfall were actually broken. Astrid had just acquired a great deal of superglue over the years and was getting rather good at repairing that kind of stuff.

Hey, practise made perfect.

The assassin's attention was taken off the currently broken vase (really, she would fix it. Maybe. Probably. Not a chance in hell) and turned to the man speaking to him and his companion. Stephano cocked his head and the general feeling of "wait...what?" shot through the bond. Astrid scowled as Stephano projected his confusion. Loudly.

"OK! You're confused! I get it! Now would you shut the feck up?!" Astrid whispered harshly, gaining a smack upside the head from Sebastian. Wow, he was not in a good mood today. At all. Astrid shook her head and made her way down with the rest of the group and arrived in a room full of books. The assassin felt her gaze drift towards Fukayna and Armen and sniggered. Ah, the art of insinutating. T'was a marvellous sport. Grinning like a Cheshire Cat, Astrid and Stephano browsed the library with very little interest. Or, Stephano browsed while Astrid looked at mythology books with pictures. The little dragon found great enjoyment with the books as Astrid did not have much literature (as you could imagine) and information was something he loved to learn.

Therefore, that opened up a huge area for Astrid to exploit.

"Wow, I'm pretty sure that's not legal. What do you think, nerd extrodinare?" The red head shoved an ancient (very likely priceless) mythology book carelessly towards her dragon.

"First, I am not a nerd. Second, be careful, that book costs more that it does to keep you out of prison. And three, that is a mythology book. You must have to take everything with a pinch of salt. Now, copy that text down for me." The dragon ordered from his perch on the table, his tail flicking to one of the many books he had open around him. His assassin grumbled but dutifully copied down the section he pointed out.

"So, what is this I'm writing anyways?"

"You'll like this. It's a sort of ancient "fairytale" telling the story of the dragon Gods."

"Like the ones who went apeshit and started tearing things to fuck?"

"Yes, those ones but before they went a little..."

"Absolutely fucking mental?"

"Emotionally imbalanced."

"That's one way to put it I guess." The assassin grumbled, writing the last phrase in her elegant script. "So what about that book?" Stephano calmly explained each book's contents, ranging from different species of plants, medical cures and defensive symbols against dark magic. Every now and then, Stephano asked Astrid to copy out some section of text to add to his little notebook. The assassin grinned as her dragon was in his element. Say what you will about him but he was very intelligent and was a well of information.

"And what about that one?" Astrid asked. Stephano blinked and looked down, embarrassed.

"It's a book of different dragon breeds..." The red head stopped, not having anything to say to that. Her dragon, despite their love-hate relationship, was very precious to her and she knew of his sore spot. He didn't match his typical breeding. Technically, he should be snow white, at least 20 times bigger and be able to breathe ice cold biting flames. Stephano was very small, large wings, a deserty brown and could breathe fire. The assassin pulled the book over to her and looked at the page. The words "Ice Dragon" was emblazed on the top in a fancy gold font. She looked up at Stephano, a rare true smile lighting up her features.

"You know it doesn't matter to me what you are, doll."

"Yes...but I would still like to know..." Stephano trailed off but before Astrid could reply she felt a jolt from the pit of her stomach and the light library disappeared, replaced with a dark stone room. The assassin dropped to her knees and coughed heavily, chest not used to the sudden relocation of her organs. Stephano shushed her, clawslightly rubbing against her back, wincing at each cough. When Astrid had recovered, she sighed heavily.

"I fucking hate mages." Stephano only offered a sneaky little grin.

"Except Jennifer."

"Except Jennifer. Cos she would have me dissected if I told her that." Astrid let her head rest against the wall, eyes darting around the room. No windows. One door. Well, shit. She eased herself up to her feet, still feeling a little weak. The assassin groaned at the sudden influx of head rush.

"Urgh, remind me not to travel by shitey magic again, cheers." The brown dragon that wrapped himself round her shoulders chuckled softly.

"I'll try, dear." Stephano replied, curling his long tail around his little notebook.

"Wait, the hell did that get here?" The dragon turned to look at his companion, a distinct look of "are you actually that dumb?" in his eyes.

"It was in your hand when we were put in here. Now, are you going to try the door or just complain at me the whole time?" Stephano asked, tail swishing impatiently. Astrid sighed heavily and made her way over to the door. She felt steadier on her feet now but still felt a little off. The assassin pushed the door and jiggled the handle to no avail.

"It's locked."

"Well, no. Someone would put us in an unlocked cell." Astrid didn't even acknowledge that with a comment, plumping for sending her dragon lovely ideas of him being served to the Nine at a feast.

"Lovely. Now are you going to pick that lock or what?"

"No time. If we're here then who knows where everyone else is."

"So what do you intend to do?"

"Torch it." And with a shared cheeky grin, the duo worked in sync with the dragon leaping up to set the door on fire and the assassin drawing her bow, ready for anyone who tried to stop them. The door was no match for the blazing dragon flame and was quickly reduced to cinders. The assassin stepped over the threshold, bow drawn and mind focused. However within a few seconds, the young woman frowned.

"No one's here..."

"Indeed. How odd." The dragon also expressed his confusion while he got back into his prefered position. However he also felt a little worry. If no one was here...then where were they?

"Hmm. let's go down here then." Astrid shrugged, gesturing towards the stairs, that and the door they had just come through being only fixtures in the empty room. The dragon offered no complaint and so the duo slowly crept down the stairs, the only noise being that of their breathing. Mentally however, the two reassured each other and offered comfort.

The assassin reached the bottom of the stone stairs and pressed her back (well, her dragon's back) against the stone wall. She slowly slunk against the wall and moved towards the door. The possible freedom. It was so close, she could taste it. Once they got out of here, the two could get back to the main part of Ro'ell, throttle the person who had the bright idea of stuffing them in a freaking cell and get the hell back to Skyfall. Astrid huffed heavily.

There was a reason why she hated mages so much.

Their stupid pride and ability to hold grudges in particular.

Just as Astrid's fingers brushed the latch on the door, she was flung backwards through the air, the wind whistling through her ears. The young woman gasped as her body smashed against the stone wall. Stephano groaned as her flexed his tail in pain.

"The hell was that?"

"I wondered when I would be seeing you again. You monster." Astrid blinked and then let out a loud sigh.

"You've got to be freaking kidding me." The assassin picked herself up off the floor, dragon still wrapped around her, feeling more and more like a comfrot blanket than a companion. She stood up and faced a mage she really wished not to see again. Ever again really. Now, the other mages may have disliked her for her troublesome nature and mischief but this chick? She hated the young assassin.

"I think not. Tis I. Lain had informed me you would be here but I did not know he meant right here. It saves me the trouble of finding you, I suppose." The mage spoke quietly, her voice sounding light as if discussing the weather. You didn't have to be too bright to hear the undercurrent of malice and dripping hate.

"Come on, Ariatyla, surely we can get past such a misunderstanding-" The assassin was cut off as the mage's face darkened and she extended a hand, throwing the young woman bodily against the wall. Astrid hissed as her back was pressed into the stone wall. Ariatyla quickly moved forward until she was nose to nose with Astrid.

"Misunderstanding?! You killed my sister, you insolent evil wretch!" Ariatyla flicked her hand away and Astrid flew into the wall opposite.

"Urgh, I feel like a pinball."

"Don't know why you are complaining. I'm taking most of the impact." Stephano grumbled, letting a little warning flit into his voice. They were in danger here. Real tangiable danger.

"You killed her!" Ariatyla screeched, hand flying to Astrid's chest pinning her to the wall yet again. The assassin hissed. She felt as if her bruises had bruises.

"Well, she was trying to take over Lastra...you can sort of understand why I was did it."

"She was merely trying to bring freedom and peace to our world once again!"

"Peace?! She wanted to subjugcate everyone who didn't have magic and kill off most of the other races!" Astrid spluttered, eyes wide. Did this psycho really fall for her mad sister's vision of "peace" that much? Aristyla threw back her head and laughed hysterically.

"Peace? You call this peace?! Magic is being repressed and contained. It is being made into a thing of disgust. We are not allowed to practise our magecraft outside these walls! This is no peace. This is a prison." The madwoman hissed, her eye dancing with madness and face pulled into a snarl.

Astrid made a face in return and let her mouth run. She was stressed, she was hurt and she had this madwoman shouting in her face. And she had noticed the madwoman's not so friendly friends skulking around the corners and coming slowly closer.

"This is why the High Nine are there. To make sure whackjobs like you and your fucking psychopants friends don't get on your fucking high horse and decide 'Hey! Who needs fucking humans/dark elves/Navile anymore?!'" The young woman snarled in response. Ariatyla stood back and her group of minions (who all looked nasty and beautiful at the same time. Of course. What other kind of mystic mage girl minion was there?) came closer.

"You are a obstruction. You are a killer. Your death will be your punishment." She turned to the others. "Kill her. And the dragon." With that, an army of mages descended upon the duo. Stephano lashed out with his claws as Astrid moved with her knives, slicing into limbs and muscle. A sudden scream sounded and Astrid grinned in satisfaction as she felt a muscle pop. That wasn't going to slow down a mage who could heal herself very much but damn, it was satisfying. Then the constant reassuring weight on her back was ripped away. The assassin turned around, eyes wide.

"NO!" Astrid screamed as a mage gripped Stephano's wings and pressed a knife against his throat. Another mage held his mouth shut tight and another had energy ties around his limbs. The small dragon bucked wildly as he tried to get back to his Astrid. Two mages grabbed the young assassin's arms and pulled them around her back. She carried on struggling as the knife wavered against Stephano's neck. She knew an ordinary knife would not make much difference to Stephano but she wasn't dumb enough to think this was an ordinary knife. Who knows what fucked up shit was on in that blade?

"So. I see you want to look after the dragon, hmm?" She flicked her hand and the knife slashed at Stephano's left wing, leaving a trail of red behind. Astrid snarled in response. Ariatyla grinned in response. She went to move the hand again but a flash of a knife becoming imbedded in her hand ceased the moment instantly with a screech. Astrid panted heavily, the mages who had let her arm free struggling to pull the wriggling woman back. That knife wouldn't kill her or even hurt that much but the satisfaction it gave the assassin was overwhelming.

Ariatyla moved over to Astrid and grabbed her face in her hands. The assassin stared up at the mage before her red eyes rolled into the back of her head. The young woman slumped boneless in the grip of the two mages. Ariatyla grinned to herself before looking back at the dragon and cocking her head.

"Now that wouldn't do. We can't have you around as well." The mage lifted her hand and Stephano was surrounded in a bright light. Then he found himself back in the lobby area they had first come from, standing beside the broken vase. The dragon stood for a few seconds before throwing himself forward to find Sebastian. Sebastian, a figure of authority. Of safety. He could get Astrid back.

The dragon;s thoughts were disjointed. His companion couldn't be heard. She just wasn't there. Stephano bit his lip and took off to find Sebastian or anyone else who could help. They had to help. They just had to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Lain Gareev
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#, as written by Igari
Fukayna Muidrehd

Fukayna trembled very delicately as Isaehn removed his fingers from her chin, trying to fight down the flustered blush that came to her cheeks. Even now, he still knew exactly what to do to make her lose her calm even if, as she was aware of, he did not mean it. She watched him walk away with a crest-fallen expression, feeling a bit let down. Was that really all he had to say to her? After how long it had been? Was she only worth a few seconds of his time? No... she had been foolish to expect anything different. This was Isaehn and the man never changed. A warm hand on her shoulder made her look up, her eyes finding Armen smiling down at her slightly. She was unsure why he was smiling--perhaps to make fun of her? Armen defied her fear, however, as he uttered his next words.

"Would you like to come with me while I look around? I have a few things I'd like to research while we're here," A timid smile fell upon her lips as he offered his hand to her and she shyly took it. It was odd to feel his hand against hers--she had no memory of every holding hands with anyone, to be honest. Yet she felt a sense of relief wash over her. At least Armen wasn't pestering her, at least he seemed to understand... As he led her away, she didn't bother looking behind her at the others as they walked to the other bookshelf. Whatever they were thinking, she didn't want to ponder over it, sure that the thoughts were anything but positive.

He did not let go of her hand, even when they reached the library. She found comfort in this fact, though the smaller girl was apt to hide it behind a small smile. However, they did not spend long perusing through the literature when Armen tensed, letting her hand fall from his grip. There was something amiss in the atmosphere, something rather... off. She also tensed, the grip on her halberd tightening as she peering around to see where the unsettling presence was coming from. As if in answer to her private inquiries, a figure threw himself over the railing, landing gracefully in front of the duo. His eyes swept over the Elf and the woman, the former pushing Fukayna behind him. This motion was familiar, he had done this at Lethandrill too. Except this time, she was grateful, she could sense that whatever this other man was, he was powerful.

The man smirked at Armen, not even bothering with Fukayna. "Too damned nosy for your own good I see, Armen Sorien." The Elf's eyes narrowed as he observed the other carefully.

"And you are?" She gazed between the two, her lips thinning as she watched the events unfold.

"Lain Gareev. Not that my name matters much," The man who had identified himself as Lain flitted his eyes over to her, as if calculating, thinking. She did not know how to interpret him and took another step behind Armen, feeling antsy and hesitant. Armen spoke slowly, also getting the same sense that pleasantries were not going to last forever.

"What happened to everyone else?"

"Nothing that concerns you right now. I think you should be more worried about what I'm going to do to you now." It happened faster than she could process but she felt Armen's rough push against her body as she was shoved in another direction, Lain tackling Armen to the ground. Fukayna went sprawling on to the ground, her halberd clattering out of her hands and falling a few meters away. She rubbed at her side, catching sight of the horrid sight of Lain raising his fist and pounding it into Armen's chest. She heard the shattering of one of his ribs and the Elf gasped, blood spurting out from between his lips.

Fukayna silently panicked, grabbing at her furs and quickly getting to her feet. Her mind was racing as she saw Lain grab Armen by the front of his shirt, smirking crudely. "I don't much like making a racket so lets make this quick shall we?" She shivered, thoughts running rampantly inside of her. She was no match for him, not physically. Even if she used her furs, or somehow made it to her halberd in time, she would not be able to push him off of the Elf or do any amount of impressive damage. Her eyebrows furrowed together.

'Think, Fukayna, think!' She urged herself, trying desperately to come up with a plan. But she was out of options, she was running out of time! If she didn't somehow interfere with Lain, then Armen would... Armen would...

"Use your magic, little one."

Her breath hitched. She heard it. Clear as day. She was not sleeping, was not barely conscious. The strong, female voice reverberated through her brain with incredible force. She shivered--she had taken the oath of silence, she couldn't break it--she couldn't... Another punch from Lain broke yet another rib of Armen's, who let out a strangled yell of pain. The man was literally shaking from the force of the blow and Lain was showing no intention of letting up. No, this was not the time to be selfish. She would have to break it, it was the only way to save her companion.

She straightened her back and forced the words through her teeth. The words that left her lips were fuzzy, even she did not specifically remember what she said. The hum of magic once again running through her body, making her fingertips tingle, was enough to drown out all other noise. Lain looked up, eyes widened, now actually paying attention to her. The magic spiraled out from her fingers as it weaved a web around the other man, casting an illusionary cloud about his mind.

"What the hell...?" She faintly heard him swear, but it was like a murmuring in her mind. She narrowed her eyes, forcing herself to focus. It had been so long since she had preformed a spell, she already felt so weak from doing such a simple exercise. She made herself continue the conjure, the spell mimicking the appearance of the woman she respected the most in the field of magic. The fake Miss Jennifer smiled coyly, much like the real copy would've done and she saw Lain retract in hesitation, perhaps even fear.

"W-What are you doing here...?" The man faltered, staring at the woman as if she were really there. "You can't possibly be here, you are supposed to be with..." Fukayna withdrew her breath--this was the fatal flaw with illusionary magic. Once the person effected began to focus too deeply into real elements, the illusion could start to shatter. Already, the image of Miss Jennifer started to grow a little fuzzy and she tried to force it back to clarity. But it was too late, Lain had seen the tremor and he turned his eyes slowly back to her, clearly displeased. She let the grips of her magic go, feeling zapped and much weakened and her legs trembled as she attempted to remain upright. Her mind was slowly blanking out as their gazes met, the girl not knowing what to do next or how to properly defend herself with her energy this low.

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Isaehn Raxieyl
Isaehn was partially paying attention to the assassin, having grown bored within the first few seconds of idle chitchat. Fortunately, Zephyr had sensed the impeding boredom and had also trailed into the office behind him. Ah, at times, his dragon knew him a bit too well... Oh, that older man was blabbing something or other. Isaehn drew his gaze away from his dragon and stared back at Sebastian.

"Lord V'lyn wants to know about the gauntlets power. When he saw it in Lethandrill there was something strange about it. That gauntlet shouldn't have the power it has right now. Where would it get something like that? In my opinion, most importantly, why does the Steward Torak have it on his hand as of right now?" So many questions--what a bloody bother. Isaehn didn't even attempt to hide his yawn as he reclined back in his seat, lazily propping his feet upon the desk. Sebastian's nose wrinkled in discontent at this; it was clear it had been expecting for the mage to exhibit respect. Well, unfortunately, Isaehn was naturally rude and rarely if ever thought someone was worth that much time and effort to actually be respectful of.

Brushing a bit of his hair from in front of his eyes, the man answered in a flat, uninterested tone. "There are always nooks and crannies for objects to be found, Sebastian, surely you are aware of that? Many odd sorts of... places for things to just pop up..." He trailed off vaguely, aware he had not even addressed or answered the question properly. "As for why he has it, perhaps--" Before Isaehn could speak another silken word, a pulse of magical energy shot out through his room. He knew this feeling very well and it was one he had not felt in quite some time. He shot a look at Zephyr, who immediately straightened and Isaehn stood up quickly. He did not even bother with the other man, not skipping a beat as he maneuvered around the office and pulled the door open.

He moved out into the lobby, narrowed eyes instantly taking in the rather empty looking lobby. Damn those fools, already moving so fast? Sebastian ran out behind him, the older assassin exclaiming in surprise. "What the--where is everyone?" The tone turned harsh and Isaehn frowned as Sebastian spoke to him tersely. "You would not have had anything to do with this, now would you, Isaehn? Perhaps guiding me to the office to--" Irritating, irritating. Annoying, stupid assumptions. He cut the other off curtly.

"If you'd shut your mouth for a moment, then may..." He came to a halt, choosing not to speak. He was wasting time if he stood here talking and that magic burst had Fukayna written all over it. He looked around, no trace of the smirk left on his face whatsoever. The most logical location to have gone would be the libraries more towards the other end of the building. Few would venture there this time of day and it was a nice enough distance away from the lobby to not be overheard. He motioned to Zephyr to keep Sebastian busy as he paced himself quickly through the hallways, making himself keep composure.

If Lain had strayed too far from orders...

Isaehn strode a bit faster, coming upon the libraries in a hasty manner. The scene that met his eyes made his hand curl into a tight fist. The Elf could matter less to him, the fact that he was bloodied and bruised was a non-issue. But. The sight of Fukayna being threatened, when he had very specifically stated... Isaehn took a very deep breath and let out his voice in a low hiss.

"Data Manipulation," And at his words, the air that had been hanging stagnant in the room combined with the cooler air fluctuating in from the outside via the window. The air sped up enough to create a controlled torrent of wind, which blew Lain backwards and away from the smaller girl. Fukayna fell forwards and Isaehn was there, just as he was many years before to catch her before she met with the ground. He glared over at Lain, who was rubbing his chest with an amused grin.

"Ah, Isaehn... didn't expect you to come out to greet the events." The man spoke sarcastically, as if entertained by the attack rather than dazed by it. The mage's look darkened and he felt Fukayna shiver in his arms. She always did grow a bit fearful when he was angry.

"Just as I did not expect you to take things so far, Lain. To exaggerate your orders this much is pushing the boundaries." Lain gave a sharp laugh.

"Exaggerate? I was following them perfectly. The others are separated and in different parts of Ro'ell. I did precisely what I was asked." Isaehn narrowed his eyes, still not willing to take the others' word for it. There was definitely a part of the puzzle not present. Nowhere in the orders had it been stated that the Elf was too be harmed in any fashion, in fact, by the state of things, harming did not seem to be Lain's intentions. But he knew better than to let the man see that he was ruffled. Lain would exploit that.

"Not as perfectly as you project. And to involve Fukayna in this? If you honestly think--" For the third time that day, Isaehn found himself cut off, but this time around was by far the most unpleasant. His harsh words had been brought to a halt by a small patch of fur that was working it's way up his arm, having snuck out of his pocket during the verbal exchange. Lain watched the animal before smirking, chuckling and giving a shake of his head.

"Still not rid of that thing, I see? Well, as fun as this has been, I do have other matters to attend to." Isaehn knew his objections would be futile; Lain using the bear as a distraction to retreat away from the scene. Fukayna fidgeted in his arms the instant the other was gone and fought out of them, crawling over to where the Elf was sprawled on the ground. Sebastian came running into the library at that point, Zephyr right at the assassin's side. Isaehn nodded to his dragon to signal that the timing couldn't have been more perfect but his mind was already elsewhere. Just whose orders had Lain been working on? And why had he been attacking Armen? Suspicion clawed at his insides but he was going to have to ignore it for now. He needed to be level-headed and not let his attentions wander.

The mage straightened, dusting off his suit jacket and discreetly also brushing the infernal bear off of his arm. He cared not where it fell as, unfortunately, the wretched thing was surely to be back in his company before long. He spoke in a firm voice as calmly as he could manage. "Zephyr, go look for where the others were taken to. It seems things have... partially strayed off course and it would do best to make sure they are not being maimed in some horrific fashion." Zephyr nodded quietly and bowed, turning on his heel and leaving the room silently. Isaehn looked down at Fukayna, who was laying her hands gently against Armen's chest in concern. It seemed she had an interest, well... that was good to see. At least the girl was finally growing up, if but a little. He slid his hands in his pockets, already prepared for the line of questioning that was sure to come for the older assassin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Lain Gareev
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#, as written by Centi85
"My name is Isaehn Raxieyl and you may address my companion as Zephyr. I am sure you've all got your own sets of questions and all will be answered to the best of my ability in due course. No doubt the most pressing of these issues is Domieen's Gauntlet, I wager. I will speak with Sebastian first, the rest of you may busy yourselves among the literature until our return. It would be best for you to ready your questions so this visit goes smoothly. Zephyr, do entertain our guests in case they get bored."

Khrae looked up as two men entered the room, one of which quickly took charge. His introduction was short and to the point, though rather blunt, and then he was gone again with Sebastian in-toe. The older swordsman merely watched the pair disappear with the older assassin before redirecting his attention else where, towards the vast expanses of the library around him. Despite having spent hours upon hours upon days simply reading as a child and up to his age now, he was never one to not take advantage of learning more if he possibly could, and he knew he could. Ancestors were only useful for so much information, and that was something that was always changing and adapting with new times, and while Khrae valued what he'd gathered from meditation, he knew sometimes he shouldn't rely on them entirely. Thus the man found himself navigating the shelves, eyes scanning for anything of even the slightest intrigue and yet still somehow managing to maintain lock on Dante. The boy seemed to be more absorbed in being as discreet as he could about turning books upside down in their places, or simply making it so they faced entirely around, leaving one only open to see their pages on the shelf instead of the spine.

Shaking his head and folding the book in his hands shut with a soft thud, Khrae looked to his student whom had just finished with rearranging the meticulously organized books into a manner that more suited his rather childish manner. In this case, apparently draconic history and herbal alchemy were of the same genre and thus should be next to one another.

Sighing, the man knew at least this meant that Dante was once more back to his old self. During their traveling is when Khrae had confronted the boy further, only to find that it was as he suspected which occupied and clouded his young mind. Seeing though as Dante would never confess to something so embarrassing as being attracted to the woman, and because all clan members were linked spiritually, Khrae found it easy enough to infiltrate the boy's mind through meditation and ascertain exactly what was hindering him. A conversation which bordered somewhat on 'the talk' was the following exchange, and after reassuring guidance from his master is when the boy seemed to ease a bit, if only enough to stop staring at the girl while they were riding to their destination.

Games back and and Dante returned to his normal demeanor however meant that Khrae's duties were to once more be upheld, and thus with silent steps he appeared by the boy, his sudden and sharp tone catching him entirely off guard.

"Dante! Just what do you think you're doing with these books?" The man nodded to the stack the boy held, or at least what remained from after he'd jumped and lost about a quarter of his initial load.

"Oh, ah. K-Khrae," the boy dropped the books and used his foot to nudge them beneath a nearby chair, as if that would hide evidence against his crimes. "Er-r.." he scratched the back of his head and looked around. "Well, these books looked... uhm.. old.. sooo I was gooing to... clean... them... Uh, yeah..."

"You were replacing them on the shelf and then just dropped them. Any mending you intended to administer was just literally thrown onto the ground and dispensed of."

"Right... Well.. you se-"

Khrae had sensed it. Imminent danger. Where it came from, what it was exactly he wasn't sure, but immediately he was turned entirely around, Dante forced behind him while he faced whatever it was that came for them. His left hand clasped tightly around the hilt of the sword on the opposite side of his person while his right hand took steady hold of the boy. It happened too quickly though, and even if the spell couldn't been slowed, Khrae had no defenses against any kind of magic, nor was he even a user of it despite what the Order of Vyldi said. His power came from a purer energy, but that was hardly important.

Empty. Well, not entirely. One wooden door outlined in steel and rivets was positioned to his left while there were a few tables elsewhere, pushed up against the far walls. They were barren, though not dust covered. Rather useless, but very well. The air seemed heavier, either a clue or simply some sort of odd effect attributed to magic having just been used, and as Khrae looked around, the fact that Capella had been relocated with himself and Dante as well triggered several more questions, but he didn't voice them. Standing now from the stance he'd taken previously, the man glanced around warily.

"Er.. Khrae," Dante said, stepping forward. "What just happened?"

Khrae had no answer, but remained silent. They were here under jurisdiction of the Order of Reina for this mission, and he himself along with Dante were part of the Order of Vyldi. Whoever had just committed this act was either drowning in audacity, or someone of great power. At least politically speaking. Though then again, this meant either he or Dante had done something wrong and perhaps this was the Order of Vyldi detaining them, because they said they would be watching, or this same fate was enacted on the other members of the party as well, thus meaning that someone else entirely was the culprit, and the information they were seeking was something someone didn't want anyone to know of. Of course the Order of Vyldi's mages probably would've just dragged he and Dante back into the meeting room, so he dismissed that idea for now. The next question was figuring out where they were and how they'd get back to where they needed to be.

Unfortunately for him though, Dante had thought of that before he did, and so the boy had moved to investigate the door. Wherever they were was probably still in Ro'ell, because not many other places have traps setup that included enchanted door handles.

The shift from the room to a brighter, even more empty place was sudden and unexpected as the boy's fingers made contact with the bewitched metal. Though this time it seemed to only affect Dante.

A cool mist flooded the area, and a brilliant light which seemed to come from everywhere overwhelmed the expanses of the fog, making everything seem to glow. Whether or not he'd of noticed that however, was irrelevant, because the spell dug straight into his subconscious and fabricated the single most powerful thought which occupied his mind. Something that would keep him trapped within the clutches of the illusion-type magic, usually a fear to drive him insane, or a happy memory to ensure he'd never escape.

What the boy was looking at as the fog gave way in front of him seemed to materialize bit by bit. Creeping forward, the air tugged at him, dragged him towards the figure of the woman, her elegant, sleek black hair let down, collapsing around and framing the delicate features of her face, her perfect complexion and flawless, soft skin. The tips of her ears protruded just slightly from the gentle rolls of her silky hair which halted, curled around and caressed the base of her neck and shoulders. Her usual leather attire seemed tighter, seemed less, lacking entirely except for the straps which clung greedily to her perfect shape, the lithe form which taunted him through thick clouds of white. Dante simply watched, completely entranced at the figure whose deep eyes sparkled at him, whose warm smile invited him.. He reached forward to hold her, to find out what she felt like in his arms, what she felt like should she wear his embrace...

Khrae simply slapped him.

"Whatever you're intending I do suggest you cease," he said dryly, . He knew exactly what was happening, and he didn't even need to try to imagine what the boy was thinking and see due to the potent magic, because frankly it was probably the same thing he'd found when he had first entered his head. The hard back-hand however seemed to do the trick in stopping the boy's advance as Dante sat up abruptly, shaking his head, his features shifted back to their normal, oblivious state of confusion. The boy rubbed the red mark on his cheek tenderly, entirely flustered and lost as to what had just happened.

"W-Wha.. The hell?" he stammered, standing quickly, trying to hide that anything had happened. He wasn't sure exactly what he was doing on the outside, but he knew what he'd been seeing in his head. At least he understood enough to realize he'd just been captured within the grasp of some sort of spell, again.

"Don't touch the doorknob." Khrae replied, stepping forward past the boy and towards the heavy wooden object which stood in their way.

"Yeah, right.." Dante said sheepishly, looking to Capella to see if perhaps she'd witnessed anything. He knew she probably did, and so he turned to hide his red cheeks, hoping only that whatever had happened wasn't anything too embarrassing. It was bad enough having Khrae walk into his mind and then give him the talk... now.. Well.. Dante decided it was best to just pretend nothing happened, and so he looked to the man who now stood with his eyes closed, arm outstretched towards the obstruction, palm flat and hovering just over it.

Khrae didn't want to use it again, but he didn't trust touching the door physically, not when he knew the wood itself could very well be enchanted too. Thus, he simply took in a calm, slow, deep breath before releasing it, detaching himself and allowing the embodiment of the ancestors, using their power. Directing the sudden surge through his shoulder, down his arm and out his palm, he opened his eyes just after the door gave way, cracking and exploding outwards under his palm, splintering away and continuing out into whatever was behind it in chunks of varying sizes of wood.

That complete, the man let out a sigh as the power drained from him before continuing out the now open doorway, the metal frame which had covered its edges being the only thing left.

Of course though there were guards on the other side. There's always guards. Lovely.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Igari
Zephyr had not wasted any time in carrying out his rider's orders. He had been around the youngling long enough to understand when Isaehn was concerned, for he had felt the fluttering of the anxiety in his stomach. Yes, just as he was sure the mage had felt. Though the man would not admit it, he had been worried for Fukayna. The thought made Zephyr smile just slightly. His rider was an interesting one. The smile faded to his usual blank expression as he made his way through the corridors, taking quick strides with his long legs. While musings on his master's way of thinking were vaguely interesting, they were not his primary focus now.

The male paused, tilting his chin upwards as his nostrils flared, sniffing for any traces of magic left behind. There was a dispersed trail spanning throughout the entirety of the Order. From the different traces of mana lingering about, it was clear to Zephyr that the previous residents of the lobby--those involved with the Order of Riena--had been sent to different locations within the confines of the facility. He was already more than aware of the dangers this posed, having been in the company of Isaehn for quite awhile to see how things functioned.

He sensed a stronger scent, one whom he instantly recognized. Ah yes, that woman--she was similar to his kin but not quite. He narrowed his eyes, the existence of the dragoness in the human body was in itself an oddity and disturbing at that. But he would have later to ponder, right now, hers was the strongest mana trail to follow. He slid his hands into his pockets, much like his rider was prone to do, as he walked through the hallways. There were very few mages around and all were too frightened to look him in the eyes. This fact would have made him sorrowful many many years ago but now, it was merely a numb fact of life.

As he rounded the corner, he saw the entrance to the western spire, guarded, as he expected. Taking a deep breath, he blew out gently from between his lips. Though not nearly as effective as his wings would've been, he was able to use enough of his inner dragon essence (despite it having been slightly tampered with by Isaehn's data manipulation magic) to create a controlled gust of wind. The torrent twisted through the air, knocking against both guards who couldn't have seen this attack coming. Both were instantly knocked unconscious, making Zephyr frown a bit. He hadn't thought he had used that much power, but then again, humans could be incredibly frail at times.

Shrugging, he lightly stepped over the two bodies, whispering an apology as he did so. He did not enjoy harming others, quite the opposite from the one he deemed as his master. He progressed a bit farther up the spiral staircase (what was it with mages and their infatuation with staircases?), his body tense as he heard a loud boom, followed by scattered voices.

"...are you doing here!? This section is forbidden!" The frantic protests of a guard stationed up above, no doubt. There was what sounded to be mirthless laughter and a feminine voice spoke up.

"Depends on where here is. I'm afraid I really don't know. Would you be so kind as to tell me, or would you prefer if I asked more forcefully?" A pause, though Zephyr understood the lethal threat behind her words. "I asked you where I am. Tell me. Now." He sighed, brushing the strands of black hair out of his eyes--something he never had to do as a dragon. However, from her words, it would be best not to bide his time any longer. Narrowing his eyes, he pushed open the door leading into the long hallway, eyes immediately falling upon the girl with the turquoise hair. The guard jumped, turning to see Zephyr standing behind him.

"H-How'd you get here?!" He exclaimed. There were too many noises--too many to alert the other guards stationed. The male did not pause, stepping forwards and wrapping his arm around the man's neck in a sleeper hold. The guard struggled, certainly, flailing his arms around but Zephyr did not let up until the guard fizzled from conscious and hung limp in his arms. He dropped the man carefully on to the ground and straightened. The dragoness did not look pleased, in fact, borderline infuriated. The male cracked the slightest of smiles, answering the question from earlier.

"The western spire, dragoness. A more forbidden part of the Order--which is why I am here. To escort you back." The smile faded, he was never overly good at pleasantries and disliked speaking for longer than necessary. There were two other males, one naive and young looking with messy, black hair. The wide eyes and dazed look in them portrayed a sense of innocence. The man next to him was much older and much stronger too, by the feel of his aura. Zephyr looked between the trio, thinking quickly to himself. The others had surely been taken away but for now, he would have to worry about these three. The western spire was where the Order kept it's most elite texts, among it's darker secrets. Even Isaehn was very cautious to mention just what was in this section of Ro'ell, skating around the issue the one time Zephyr had deigned to ask.

He was sure the female would be a bit too emotionally volatile to listen to sound reasoning so he instead turned his attentions to the older male. Before he could speak, however, there was a yell from down the corridor as four more guards caught sight of the group and began to run towards them. Zephyr narrowed his eyes, once more blowing out from between his lips. This torrent of wind was more forceful than his last, hitting the guard in the front, who bounded against the wall and fell onto the floor. The gust hit the next two, who collided with one another before falling backwards on to the fourth. It was relatively quick work, to be honest, just as the male preferred. Clearing his throat, he once again continued.

"As I was going to say, it is imperative we leave now." He said quietly before gesturing to the staircase he had just taken. He was overly casual with how easily he had taken out the guards, the men not even having posed a threat to him whatsoever. Years of experience did that. The guards he had knocked out should've still been unconscious but that did not mean they should linger.

The setting changes from roell to Lastra

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Siryn
Sebastian & Company

Sebastian rushed into the room accompanied by the mages assistant or whoever the hell it was. The old assassin didn't care all that much, but the commotion that had occurred outside the room was enough to unsettle him. Already his nerves were frayed just being in the company of a shady person such as Isaehn. He wondered to himself constantly why it was that Jennifer had contacted this one when there were surely others to be chosen from.

As he entered the scene he was met with a bloodied and unconscious elf and Fukayna being held close to Isaehn. He couldn't tell if she was conscious or not, but she didn't seem to be harmed. With that settled he immediately went to Armen's side and dropped down next to him. Isaehn ordered his mage companion to find the others.

"I thought that this place was secure," Sebastian growled at the mage as he gently lifted elf's body and rested the young man against his chest. The assassin turned his cool gaze towards Isaehn.

"You'd better hope to Vyldi that whatever happened to the others and to this elf doesn't come back and point to you. Should we find that this was a scheme of yours..." Sebastian left the threat hanging in the air. The man could imagine for himself what Lord V'lyn would do to him should they find out it was indeed Isaehn's plans. He tightened his hold on the elf as he turned his eyes to look at the youth carefully. He'd taken quite the beating and blood covered his lips and face as well as his shirt, the white colored cloth was stained crimson almost entirely as the cloth soaked up his blood.

"You can start by healing him," Sebastian ordered, nodding his head to Armen. A little while later and the companion that Isaehn had sent out came back with three of the original group in tow. Dante, Khrae and Capella followed behind the strangely quite man. A few seconds later and there was a loud sound on the other side of the room as another door burst open and a streak of molted brown crashed into Sebastian's back head on.

"Stephano!?" Sebastian yelped in surprise as he whirled around to look at the dragon. Something was wrong, especially if the dragon was without his companion. Slowly, Sebastian released Armen's unconscious form and laid him down on the floor. He turned his gaze to the three that had returned.

"Stay here and keep watch. Heal the elf, mage," the old assassin growled the last part to Isaehn and then turned to Stephano, "Lead the way little one, take me to Astrid. God's only knows what trouble she's in now," he muttered the last part to himself and followed after the quick dragon.

Talon V'lyn

The horse raced down the dirt road as fast as possible, Talon leaning into the beast to lessen the air resistance as they galloped headlong across the flat landscape. In the distance the earth rose up telling of hills that began before entering the realm of Ro'ell. It had been several days since the briefing with the new recruits. Even after the events at Lethandrill, having unleashed all the power in the bracer, the magic was beginning to build to a painful point.

He'd thought about releasing the magic in spurts along the way to Ro'ell, but what would he release it on? The earth itself? Explosions of magic were sure to draw attention to himself and that was the last thing he wanted if he was going to find Jennifer. The darkness was only penetrated by the moonlight that hovered over him. It had been three nights since Sebastian had left for Ro'ell with the large company from Skyfall. He was sure that as he was riding for Ro'ell, his subordinate was meeting with the mage that Jennifer had contacted.

There was no point in trying to get into contact with Sebastian once he reached Ro'ell for he was sure that they would all be headed back to Skyfall once the meeting was over. If they weren't leaving by morning, then something would have gone wrong and Talon would have need of contacting Sebastian. He had a dreadful feeling in his stomach though as he rode, and it wasn't the overpowering pressure from his bracer.

However, it didn't help in the least though. A cough welled up in his chest and he released it without thinking. Warm, thick, liquid spilled from his lips and splattered the saddle as well as the poor beast that carried him. The assassin tightened his grip on the reigns as the bracers magic retaliated against him. Thin white crackling energy raced up and down his arm, almost removing him from the horse that took him to the city of mages.

He fought against the raging power, the only downfall to his holding the bracer of a dragon god of old. Mostly it was because he was a mere human. Should he have been born to the mages or the elves before coming across such an item, he wouldn't have had any problems wielding the item, just like Jennifer. However, that wasn't the case and he needed the mage to take the extra power from him so that the bracer didn't, in the end, kill him.

Releasing the reigns with one hand he reached up and wiped away the blood from his mouth and ground his teeth. He was determined to get to Ro'ell in once piece. The assassin wasn't going to let the bracer's magic kill him so easily. It was far too soon for that. There was still too much left to do. He flicked his wrist and snapped the reigns spurring the horse onwards, hoping that he could reach the city and find Jennifer as soon as possible.

The setting changes from lastra to Ro'ell

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Centi85
Dante

"Dante," The boy looked up suddenly as Capella spoke, himself still quite flustered as to what had just happened. "Please stay back. If they try to harm you, I'd really rather not you sully your eyes by watching what happens to them." Dante nodded, not entirely realizing her statement but more so simply acknowledging that she'd made one. He then watched as she moved in front of him and out the door, into the room beyond where Khrae and apparently several others were facing off. Shaking his head and stepping forward, he tried to occupy himself with following the others to investigate what was outside, hoping perhaps that the conversation which was being exchanged would be enough to distract him from the images that kept playing through his mind.

Outside one of the guards was yelling, demanding an answer as to why these three strangers had just appeared in what seemed to be a laboratory. Dante's eyes moved back and forth across the walls, emblazoned with odd symbols, pieces of parchments with the same strange scribblings, charts and graphs, all seeming to glow in the dim torchlight. The words, which is what he assumed they were, simply confused him, so instead his attention drifted to the cages, jars and other such containment units, each holding within it some sort of interesting specimen, a few of whom seemed to be outrageously deformed.

"I asked you where I am," Capella's voice rang out again, sounding less than pleased. "Tell me. Now."

Dante looked from the backs of the Dragoness, to his mentor, not sure of the situation. Khrae had done nothing so far, but he knew the man would be formulating plans in his head and have them ready to execute flawlessly. While the boy so hated the man's stuck-up ways, his lack of humor and infatuation with the tedious 'exercise,' as he called it, of meditation, he still relied heavily on the man and trusted him in these situations. Though this time it seemed that whatever Khrae may have been planning as an escape, either combat or negotiation, it wasn't necessary.

"The western spire, dragoness. A more forbidden part of the Order--which is why I am here. To escort you back." The man from earlier stepped forward, over the body of the guard he's just taken down, the one which had been keeping the group from progressing. Dante cocked his head to one side, amazed at the ease in which he'd just seen the guard collapse, albeit some struggling. Khrae focused mostly on meditation before any swordplay or melee combat practice, claiming that he'd need to learn to clear his mind before he even thinks of engaging an enemy physically so as to avoid missing the small details which would kill him in combat, but then again that's around the time when Dante zones. Of what the Khrae did teach him, it hadn't included the simple yet seemingly effective manner in which the man had incapacitated the guard. Dante wanted to do that.

He couldn't remember at all what the man's name was, he couldn't even remember the name of the one whom had introduced him, the one they'd come to see, but that hardly mattered. Dante continued watching in awe as four more guards advanced, having noticed what was happening. This unnamed savior turned and seemed to simply breath in their direction, the force coming out as a torrent of wind which send all men sprawling backwards into a heap of men and armor. How he did it, the boy was unsure. He saw no sudden surge of power that rippled through the man, no glowing of eyes, and best of all, no repercussions that involved extreme fatigue. In fact it seemed like it had taken nothing at all, that alone meaning that what power the man wielded was greater than Khrae's. Dante must find out who this man was. If there was some other combat style, some other way to unlock his powers or gain even better ones without having to meditate and go through Khrae's stunningly boring processes, he'd love to find them.


Khrae

Khrae had placed a gentle hand on Capella to try to calm her, easily sensing her building rage. The fact that she'd presented her claws could've been potentially hazardous too, because if he could avoid combat he would, and he didn't want the guard to immediately assume foe. As he was about to speak however, another man appeared, the one from earlier, Zephyr. Khrae remained unmoved as he quickly and effectively removed the guard from the equation, and answered the Dragoness' question, though it seemed just as he was going to be addressed, the man had to stop and deal with the four others which had decided to make their move. That finally completed is when the man finished what he was saying.

"As I was going to say, it is imperative we leave now."

Khrae nodded in his agreement. "We thank you for the assistance." He would've elaborated on how they ended up there and everything else in the situation which didn't seem to add up, but he knew of the probable time restrictions and overall necessity to be somewhere safer before discussions. The man's own words simply consented more to that notion, so without a further word he glanced back to Dante only once, then proceeded after Zephyr.


Arriving back where they'd began, Khrae took stock of the situation. It seemed everyone else was gone, as expected, save for the Elf and silver-haired assassin. Sebastian and Isaehn were of course there, and they seemed to be in a much better state than the other two, each holding one in their laps. The Elf whom, when Khrae had first seen him, looked as if he'd just escaped imprisonment with regular beatings, appeared just as he did that day, minus the malnutrition. The young woman in the mage's lap seemed fine, conscious but seemingly scared enough to where she refused to move, and Khrae couldn't help but be curious as to if they had encountered the assailant. If that were the case, obviously they'd fended him off, and in Khrae's mind he was running through scenarios of how the battle could have occurred, intrigued at the state of both. Either the Elf was defending the girl, or she was more powerful than she seemed. If the latter was the case though, whatever power she possessed was something she probably wasn't used to using, or she was simply shocked at what it caused.

"The heck happened here?" asked Dante suddenly, walking forward and looking to both figures.

"Silence," Khrae said quickly. He looked to Sebastian, their leader on this mission for an answer, though just a moment later his eyes merely witnessed the man get hit from behind by a blur of dull brown. The form of Stephano materialized after the initial impact, causing the older swordsman to raise an eyebrow. Astrid seemed fairly attached to the dragon, harmless bickering aside, and with the current events, he could only assume what the presence of one of the pair without the other could mean. Obviously Sebastian sensed it too.

"Stay here and keep watch. Heal the elf, mage," said the elder assassin quickly, setting aside the Elf and directing the last statement to the mage. Khrae's gaze shifted from one to the other before moving forward.

"If you'd like, I may be of use. To offer my assistance is only necessary." Despite only knowing these people for the few days when they'd met and then when they were on the road together, Khrae could not simply let danger to them go unnoticed. His own morals demanded he at least try to assist, and at the very least he could try to get retribution for whatever havoc Dante may cause later. Unwavering, the man awaited an answer. Through his peripheral vision though, he could see his student kneeling over Armen. Whatever he intended to do, if anything, he only hoped it was useful. Make his ancestors proud for a cha--...

Khrae sighed inwardly. No, Dante, nudging him with your foot does nothing to help.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr
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#, as written by Igari
Isaehn Raxieyl

He was faintly surprised Fukayna had chosen to stay in his arms after all, he had been anticipating her shuffle over to the unconscious Elf. Yet the girl had not moved, though she was an unnatural type of still. He could safely assume she was feeling the proper amount of shock after having let her magic loose after so long, probably also fear. He was carefully surveying the area, the older man hurrying over to where Armen was sprawled on the ground. The older assassin shot him a rather nasty look--Isaehn could only imagine what was going through the man's head. He need not imagine, for Sebastian made it rather plain from his facial expressions that he did not trust Isaehn in the slightest. Perfectly fine by him, he couldn't be bothered to give a damn about the other anyway. The only one that mattered in the room was safely in his arms, shocked perhaps, but still safe nonetheless. Sebastian spoke in an irritated, low voice as he looked the elf over.

"I thought that this place was secure. You'd better hope to Vyldi that whatever happened to the others and to this elf doesn't come back and point to you. Should we find that this was a scheme of yours..." The man trailed off, having rested the Elf's head against his chest for closer observation. Isaehn rolled his eyes--he never took kindly to being given orders by someone who was most definitely not his superior. His grip on Fukayna's small body tightened slightly in his annoyance but he let it pass.

"I have nothing to hide, but you are perfectly welcome to think what you like," He said shortly. He was being careful not to say anything that could possibly antagonize the older man into further suspicion. It would look bad for Fukay--His eyes narrowed. He was beyond this, why did he still care what happened to her? Holding her like this reminded him of past things but that's precisely what they were. Past things. He ignored the thoughts that were coursing through him and merely sighed in an attempt to be rid of them. Perhaps he shouldn't be surprised he was having odd thoughts. This whole situation had thrown him for a loop. Lain had taken it much too far. While it was true this member of the nine never followed anything straight down to the letter, his leaps and bounds of exaggeration had potentially endangered the whole entire plan. There was also the matter of the order given to kill Armen...

'Just who gave you that order, Lain...?' He thought to himself with furrowed brows. It was disquieting, to say the least, but dwelling on it would grant him no answers. Sebastian had been dabbing at the elf's wounds with a cloth while he had been thinking, though the fabric was much dampened with blood by this point. The man sighed roughly and spoke curtly once more.

"You can start by healing him," Orders, again? Really? He hadn't really paid much attention the first time around--why would it be effective the second time? He was saved from the snarky retort that was on the tip of his tongue as his faithful companion Zephyr returned upon the scene, with a motley crew in his company. Skimming his eyes over the individuals, it was the dragoness and the two phoenix knights he had briefly been informed about. Tch. Fukayna fidgeted within his arms and Isaehn looked down, the silver-haired girl weakly pressing her palms to his chest. She was trying to move herself away shakily, though barely succeeding on her own. Sighing again, he gave her a bit of assistance, releasing his grip on her and letting his hands drop. It was obvious she was worried about the elf and she brought herself closer to Armen just as Sebastian growled one last time for Isaehn to heal the wounded.

There was no time to explain how his healing abilities worked, for the assassin had already hurried off with the brown dragon that had come bursting in loudly. This effectively left him alone with the other individuals. He pushed his glasses further up his nose, not a hint of a smirk on his face. He was not amused in the slightest.

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Fukayna Muidrehd

Fukayna placed her hands upon Armen's chest, unconcerned by the blood flecks that coated her fingertips when she touched him. She trembled a bit, anxious and frightened. The first time she had met him, he had been battered and bruised in the dungeon. It had not been so long since his escape and she feared his body had not had enough time to recover so soon after it's brutal treatment. She pressed her fingers against the skin, underneath the muscle, she could feel the cracks in his ribs. She was careful as she pressed down, moving slowly over each rib to assess the damage as best as she knew how. One, two... three... She bit her bottom lip in frustration.

'I'm sorry...' She mouthed to the elf silently, though the motion was surely unseen for her bangs fell clearly over her whole entire face with her head bowed the way it was. She removed her fingers, now sliding them into her furs, which were dangling loosely from her arms. She pulled out her notepad carefully, though some of the blood from Armen smeared on the top page. In frustration, she tore it out rather quickly and took out her pen, writing as fast as she could with her unsteady hands. Her handwriting was messier than usual but at least it was legible. She held up her note for Isaehn.

"Can you heal him?" Isaehn's eyes flashed with something, though she couldn't be sure what. The moment passed quickly and the mage pinched the bridge of his nose beneath his glasses. He completely ignored the other three and spoke to her quietly.

"You know my limitations. I will not be able to heal him properly without suffering from the same injury and in this situation, that would not be wise." She lowered her notepad, crestfallen. She tried not to think that Isaehn was being selfish--what he said was logical. It wouldn't do to incapacitate him, with things being so up in the air as they were. Still, being told "no", however indirectly, filled her with a cold feeling of dread. She wasn't even able to help the person who had watched over her when she had fainted back at Skyfall. She sniffled, quickly wiping at the tears that welled up to her eyes. If Isaehn had seen, he did not make any indication of it as he stood up with his usual air of casualness.

"As for you three," He said, finally addressing the other companions Fukayna admittedly had not even turned around to survey. "I see Zephyr brought you here without any hitches. Would I be correct?" He directed his last question at his companion, who merely nodded but did not say anything. "Good. Well, I do regret to inform you, I will be unable to heal your elven companion. That wouldn't be the more beneficial route at the moment." Isaehn said with a shrug.

"As I do not like to be flooded with dozens of question--the elf was attacked by a man who meant to deal harm to both him and Fukayna. I halted the advance but as you can tell, he slipped away in the midst of the confusion. My suggestion would be for us to wait for the rest of your companions. There is nothing for me to guess at or answer to until all the information is gathered, after all," Fukayna noticed that he had effectively left out the part where he had addressed the attacker by name. The two had known each other. She did not have a wish to bring it up, however. Isaehn was keeping tight lips about her usage of magic and in exchange, it would be safe to assume she was to do the same with his interactions. So she simply did as she had done in the dungeon--gently adjusting Armen so that his head rested in her lap and hoped that perhaps there would be someone that would be able to help him. He was in no condition to get back to Skyfall, that much was certain.

As if in response, the deep voice of Khrae spoke up, sounding concerned but firm. "If you'd like, I may be of use. To offer my assistance is only necessary." Instantly she straightened, though warily as she eyed the boy named Dante approaching Armen. He seemed a bit scatter-brained, from what she could gather, and she protectively tightened her hold on the elf. Still, she looked up at Khrae hopefully, looking back at Isaehn. Though the mage could not see her eyes, he seemed to understand her motions and shook his head.

"If you think he can truly help, I will not stop him," The gentleness in his voice was uncanny, certainly, replaced in moments by his usual coolness. "It would be best if you stepped away from the elf, boy. Your thoughts of help will only due to sully the situation more." Isaehn said with a roll of his eyes. Perhaps a bit harsher than she would've put it but privately, she couldn't help but agree. Dante did seem like a bit of a spaz. Good natured, but not really all that mature. It was at times like this she was grateful for Isaehn's nature. He really did know how to be direct when it was needed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Stephano Character Portrait: Zephyr
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Capella's rage slowly subsided as the situation swiftly changed. One of the members of their original welcoming party, specifically one she'd recognized as being a dragon somehow altered into Human form, albeit in a much different manner than her own... unique nature. In any case, as she was now being faced with yet another dragon, one doubtless even more aware of what exactly she was than the last one she'd encountered, there were more important things to worry about than simply incinerating the guards that the new arrival had already incapacitated. She took a slightly different approach, this time, however. Unlike the last pathetic excuse for a dragon she'd found, this creature was clearly a much older, powerful serpent, likely even moreso than herself. Getting into a struggle for dominance at this point would only further jeopardize her secret. As much as she hated to admit it, in this situation, perhaps the best solution would be to humble herself and simply rely on this creature's discretion to protect the humiliating truth behind her nature. And so, she sheathed her claws, and said nothing, which, in and of itself, said all that needed to be. By not threatening or trying to bargain with the other dragon, Capella showed that she knew full well how ineffective this would likely be, thus showing that she had no pretensions to being in any sort of position of power. It showed that she was simply hoping that the dragon would choose to honor her pride and remain silent, but knew that she could do nothing to influence this fact.

Fortunately, it seemed that the other dragon understood her meaning - or, at least, he didn't call her out on her nature directly, which must have counted for something. Leaving the building along with this enigmatic guide almost as swiftly as she had arrived within the tower, she soon found herself, along with her Human and his mentor, back in the library, only to be met with the sight of two of their party who had evidently been attacked. The white-haired one looked like she was in shock, while the elf seemed more like he'd just been beaten within an inch of his life. Although there was a rather annoyingly loud argument about healing the fallen elf, the arrival of a very panicked Stephano - Capella couldn't help but laugh mirthlessly, seeing him rushing around like a dog barking that his master had fallen down a well, when he should have, at the very least, been able to protect that girl himself - quickly broke up the conversation as the assassin, Sebastian, left along with the sycophantic dragon, delivering a final call for the mage, Isaehn, to heal the elf. The mage, however, swiftly explained that he wasn't able to heal the elf at this time. Capella sighed. Well, she supposed, that only left one thing. Why was it always the dragon who had to be competent in these sorts of situations? Seriously. You'd think that, given how squishy Humans and Elves were, there'd be a lot more people who actually bothered to learn healing magic!

"Move." Capella's voice rang out suddenly in the silence as she calmly strode up to the fallen elf. "You're in luck, boy. These flames of mine can do far more than just destroy. Besides, I suppose it's in my contract to save one such as you." Sighing, she reluctantly knelt by the boy's side. His wounds are serious. I suppose this means I'll have to banish some of my scales for now. Well, either that, or breathe my Life directly into his body, Capella thought, analyzing the situation. She gave a quiet chuckle despite herself. It was rather ironic that, no matter what method she chose to heal the boy, it would violate at least one law of common decency. Well, while this would usually provide her with no end of amusement at seeing their reactions if she either stripped down completely or, in the eyes of those watching, kissed the boy to heal him, they would probably just jump to annoying conclusions, not to mention causing her no end of trouble. So, she supposed, she'd just have to do a combination of both, simply bending the rules that most civilized people followed, while not outright breaking them.

Capella slowly raised her arms and spread her wings. In the next instant, a sudden wave of blue light crept down all four of these appendages, soon followed by her tail and legs. Then, as suddenly as it had appeared, this light withdrew from her body, slowly flowing out into her hands as she slowly cupped and lowered them. She grimaced, feeling an overwhelming wave of wrongness spread across the affected areas as her existence in those regions was strained, converted directly into the essence of life itself. Fatigue began to appear across the edges of her perception as, with her arms and legs now reverted entirely to a human-like form and her tail and wings completely banished, her control over her own body momentarily slipped, causing her to feel a sudden chill rushing across her largely exposed form. Her grimace of psuedo-pain turned to one of distaste. She'd almost forgotten why Humans wore such a silly thing as clothing. As it was, although her front was covered by what was essentially a backless, incredibly short halter top, and her lower regions were kept beneath a scaly coating somewhat resembling a loincloth - as she said, pushing the limits of Human decency without actually breaking them - she was still starting to feel rather cold. Taking a moment to regain her control over her own existence - she didn't want to waste unnesecary amounts of her own Life healing this elf, after all, and she rather disliked being cold, in any case - slowly, she breathed in, then exhaled, regaining her concentration as best she could. As she did this, the Life in her cupped hands slowly began to spiral upward, condensing down to a single point at the tip of her finger. Poking it downward, she swiftly used her now freed hand to open the elf's lips. Then, she slowly slipped her finger down into the wounded boy's mouth.

"I swear, if you bite me, I will turn this thing back into a claw inside your throat," Capella muttered, waiting for the elf's ragged breath to slowly take in the Life essence she was giving to him.

The setting changes from roell to Lastra

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Mikeal Character Portrait: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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#, as written by Igari
Isaehn Raxieyl

He was alone once more, save for Zephyr, who stood faithfully some meters from him. It was not this fact that affected him so as it was the way Fukayna had decided to leave. Normally, he'd have brushed it off but the encounter with one of the nine previously had turned him contemplative. Lain had been too erratic, too out of control--more so than usual. Isaehn's mind was quick on the uptake as he re-evaluated the current state of things. The attacks, the separation, the assassination attempt. Even for one so composed and controlled as he, this was enough to push him just a bit closer to the edge and cause a modicum of concern. What had started as a playful game earlier in the day had turned into a dangerous series of moves, some of which he had not been responsible for. This fact alone was enough to annoy him but was compounded additionally by the actions of her.

Fukayna had chosen the elf. She had allowed him to direct her, to leave the mage's presence. Perhaps it had been wrong of him to assume she would automatically fall back into her old habits, but yet...

He felt a hand on his shoulder and slid his eyes to the right, finding the figure of Zephyr with a thoughtful expression on his face. Isaehn didn't bother to put in any effort to trying to act in normalcy, for his dragon was much more perceptive than that to be fooled by such antics. Instead he just regarded his dragon with a solemn expression, a blankness settling across his features. Zephyr regarded him closer before addressing him with a smoothly calm tone.


"Youngling, perhaps it is time to turn from these games to more pressing matters." Isaehn paused, furrowing his eyebrows. He was not in the mood to beat around the bush and sighed as he eyed his dragon.

"They were not all games, Zephyr, and you would do well to remember that," Even when he was at one of his lower points, Isaehn was still not a man to be taken lightly. His dragon nodded his head in consent and the mage pinched the bridge of his nose with another sigh. "What did you wish to bring to my attention?" His dragon removed the hand from the mage's shoulder and instead put his hands into his coat pockets.

"I wanted to discuss the members of the group that came here from Riena. More specifically, the dragoness who had given some life essence to the previously unconscious elf." A raise of the eyebrows was the only prompt Isaehn gave to continue. "She, that woman, was an enigma. Quite unlike myself, who takes this form with assistance from your magic. And unlike the larger, fat dragon that came barreling in here not too long ago. This girl was... different--not a halfling and not involved in a possession of sorts." Perhaps under different circumstances, Isaehn would've cut Zephyr off. He hated long-winded explanations. But he needed a breather from the events that had just transpired and the soothing voice of his dragon had always managed to relax him in such times.

"I bring this up not to seemingly nitpick at insignificant details, but rather to draw a point of interest. Though the dragoness possessed similar qualities to myself, such as scales that were clearly a part of her existence, a dragon soul affecting a Human body... the soul and body in question were both completely Human. That woman was a living, full-blooded dragon, but also an equally living, full-blooded Human at the same time. Despite this paradox, however, she was clearly a single being." Isaehn took a moment to process the information, raising a hand to his chin to stroke it lightly. A paradox? Zephyr seemed ill-at-ease with the knowledge he had just disclosed, which only led to strengthen Isaehn's growing suspicions that many things were on the game board that he had not previously assembled there.

There was a touch of a frown on his face before Isaehn regained himself, pushing his glasses further up his nose. "And the others, they did not trouble you as she?" He prompted, Zephyr shifting with the direct line of questioning.

"The situation is troubling, youngling. You are losing your firm hold on the game pieces and I can see them scattering about." The mage froze, blinking at the cool impact of Zephyr's words. He? Losing his hold? What an absurd notion. He brushed off he doubt that had risen from his dragon's statement, narrowing his eyes ever so slightly. Without a word, he stood up and turned on his heel. Perhaps it was time to check to see if any more of the visitors were still on the premises. There had been someone missing earlier when he had briefly counted those that were departing. He did not bother with addressing Zephyr, displeased at his dragon's suggestion that he was not in full control. So sometimes the pieces might not be moved to a section of the chess board that was preferable. That didn't mean the game couldn't be turned around.

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Fukayna Muidrehd

She felt the plummeting feeling in her stomach, time itself seemed to have slowed as she tried to gradually comprehend the situation. Sebastian had lowered his weapon from the man, who had raised the wall between them in a defensive rush. He was making hurried claims to not mean any harm but she could barely understand his accent, as thick as it was. She furrowed her brows together underneath her bangs, trying to make sense of it all. Fukayna had never done well with foreigners or those that did not speak in the universally used dialect. So it should've come as no surprise that she was fairly confused by the exchange. Whether or not the older assassin was aware of her discomfort, she was unsure, for he continued conversing with the man in measured tones.

From what she could gather, he was going to take them through a tunnel system to a shop of sorts? She bit her bottom lip, feeling the magical tremors from the attackers that were still a fair ways off but still close enough to warrant caution. A gruff order from Sebastian that they would allow this "Mikeal" to lead them through the tunnels to escape was enough to propel her into action. If very reluctant and hesitant action. Fukayna couldn't help but look over her shoulder wistfully, privately wishing the older assassin hadn't chosen her to accompany him with Khrae. She wanted to be helpful, truly she did! But... at the same time, Armen was still with the others. Still... Wait. Why was she thinking of him?

She tried to shake herself of the thoughts but they still lingered in her mind. Gods above, why was she worried about him? Her heart was doing a small little panicked dance in her chest at the thought of perhaps more harm befalling him. But she had to obey orders and was in no position to return from him. Even though...

She fumbled with her polearm, jolting her attentions back to their progression through the tunnels. That's right, she needed to be focused on the present situation. Not on the elf she was starting to fear that perhaps she...

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Kaya Xenlyiun

The priestess struggled with the weight of the woman she was supporting against her shoulder, breathing out slowly from between clenched teeth. Kaya would be misleading if she said that the battle had not worn her out, for indeed she was quite exhausted. This mage had put up a wonderful fight, though she could not help but wonder what the outcome would've been had this woman been rational and level-headed. Regardless, the mage had provided a formidable opponent. As Kaya adjusted herself so that she could carry the unconscious woman and still walk at a relatively even pace, she cast a wary eye at her surroundings. She could not rely on her precious arachnid at the moment, not whilst it was recovering it's spiritual energies. Without her beloved creature, she could not make the journey nearly as fast, but perhaps that was for the best. Whatever had driven this woman to the point of losing her natural reasoning must've been something gruesome indeed and it would be best to stay on the alert.

One of her wisps floated in front of her, a bit dim around the edges as some of it's energies were being siphoned off to supply for her recovering pet. The shape it took was a bit warbled but faintly resembled a small pooka--though babyish in form and not nearly as odd to the eyes. The spirit turned in midair, frowning a bit as it's images distorted at the seams. "Mistress..." It began, seeming as if it did not know what to say. Kaya was too short of breath to respond properly but she gave a tired nod for it to continue.

"Are you sure you will be able to make it... to the next city?" There was a faltering on the question. In truth, Kaya had never traveled anywhere on foot, not outside of her swamp. She had no idea the distance to the next portion of civilization and it would be fair to say that she was partially worried. The mage's breathing was uneven, swollen, clearly wounded and in a damaged state. The brown-haired woman would need to be tended to, and Kaya was in no position to provide any assistance. She felt responsible somehow for this mage, maybe because they had engaged in battle, or perhaps it was because of the name that the woman had mentioned earlier.

Who was this 'Talon'? Whoever it was, they must've had great significance to the unconscious beauty in her arms, to push her so far as to lose herself in her magics. At this point, she did not dare tap into the spirit plane to see the flow of mana coursing though this woman, she was too weak to try to repair some of the damage to at least make her temporary companion conscious. Her best bet would be to wait, deal with the extra effort, and hope that somehow she'd make it alright. Perhaps...

Kaya heaved out a sigh. Goddess almighty, her vision was starting to blur... She could barely make out the trail she was wandering on and was sure she was not specifically going in a straight line anymore. She tried to force herself to concentrate on her physical senses but that was starting to fail her. Her body was already trembling, protesting against the progress she forced upon it. Still, she told herself, just a bit longer. Just a little bit longer and then she'd be able to relax, to stop.

Then she heard it, in the distance. Immediately, her spiritual flow began to swirl a bit as alertness returned to her faintly. There was someone else approaching, someone else coming down that path. Kaya had no way of knowing whether this person was going to try apprehending her or assisting her--either way, her situation did not exactly present her with the option of trying to dart off the trail. She brought herself to a halt, holding on more tightly to the woman and praying to the Goddess that enough of her energy would return before whoever it was arrived.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Lain Gareev Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Igari

Image



This wasn't fazing him--just how powerful was this man?

Fukayna had re-doubled her efforts the instant she had seen Armen's agreement to her proposal for battle strategy. And at first, she had thought they were making a difference. But whatever this man was, clearly he was not one that would be even remotely thrown off by two opponents. He seemed almost amused, like he was laughing at their efforts. She bit her bottom lip, frustrated that they couldn't do anything to scratch him. She felt weak, as if she couldn't... But she had battled with V'lyn, she had held her own, even for that short while. So why was this so difficult for her?

Armen held his ground as an attack was launched at him, Fukayna trying to use the gap of time to land a blow at the man. The low hiss of his voice came out as he dodged her blow almost seamlessly, the opponent's attentions focused so whole-heartedly on the elf. "You're very resilient. Almost too much so for your own good, elf. I think I would like to see that power of yours. I was planning to wait, but I don't think I can. Let us see what you're made of," She didn't like the sound of that one bit.

The man raised his hand, energy whirling around Armen's body before the boy could protest. He sputtered out half a word in surprise as he was bound tightly. Fukayna paused her attack in awe as she stared at him, the familiar tingles running through her body. But this was far different. So... so different from the feeling she had gotten around their enemy and even... even Miss Jennifer. The tingles were overwhelming and there was a vague buzzing in her mind as the hum of sheer power radiated from the elf.

The man seemed equally impressed as he almost purred when addressing Armen. "Your power, elf. This is your power. The amount of magic throughout your body is magnificent, Armen Sorien. Hard to control isn't it?" Then all of a sudden, those eyes were upon her--so quickly she couldn't have foreseen it. The man smirked, raising his hand and this time directing his attack at her. But her mind was blank, hazy from the power she had just felt from Armen. She could barely process his yell at her, telling her to move. Her legs didn't seem to want to respond--her body just felt so heavy.

The magic was released, cutting into her weapon. For the briefest moment, she felt nothing whatsoever. Her vision became a bit blurred and then her body began to process what was happening. Her weapon had only dulled the blast a portion, the rest of it searing through her body. And her mind unwillingly comprehended the agonizing pain as it hit her. She gasped and her voice hitched free, her screams no longer silent. Her voice rang out for what could've seemed like eternity but only a few seconds passed, then it was all over. Fukayna fell limply forward, already unconscious before she hit the ground; body twitching subconsciously from the attack.


Image



***Flashback - Two Days Ago***


Isaehn's brow furrowed as his frown deepened, the man clearly unamused by the turn of events. The scent of that man, that irritating man was in the air. Tch, annoying. He didn't want to deal with him, not today. He slid his eyes over to Zephyr, his dragon still in human form. The dragon raised his eyebrows slowly at his ward, shaking his head delicately. Isaehn sighed again, crossing his arms. Well, it didn't seem his dragon was going to be of much use to him in this event. He had no plans in interfering with Valentino's business. The first and last time he had bothered, he had walked in on a sight so disturbing, he winced every time he recalled it. Irritating.

Best not to dwell on such ridiculous matters anyway.

"Zephyr," The mage said abruptly. "I'm bored of this place." The dragon chuckled, shaking his head again as he regarded the man through silver eyes.

"You are bored of most things, youngling. This surely can't be anything new?" Isaehn ground his teeth briefly before settling his face back into its usualy, neutral demeanor. Things had been weighing more heavily on him as of late, things that shouldn't have been getting under his skin in ordinary situations. But all of the events had been compounding, especially... No, do not dwell. He rolled his eyes at Zephyr.

"That's not what I meant. You, out of everyone, should know I don't need the snarkiness." Zephyr looked away, inclining his head forwards in a slight apologetic bow.

"Of course not." Though Isaehn couldn't see it, he felt there was a touch of a smirk somewhere. Always so sarcastic, that one. "So what do you plan to do?" The mage paused, tapping his chin with his finger.

"I think we've waited around long enough. There are too many things that have gone awry and I'll not be kept in the dark and waiting. Come, we have a certain group to pay a visit to." Isaehn gestured to one of the staircases that led up to a balcony. Zephyr nodded, moving swiftly in front of the mage, the body that he had been given under the sways of magic beginning to distort and revert to its true form. As Isaehn approached the balcony, Zephyr was already waiting for him in his proper form, large, majestic, and powerful. Just the way he preferred.

The man jumped onto the dragon's snout, walking to his usual place just behind its head and giving his dragon a light tap on the side of its neck to indicate it was time to leave. It was about time he got answers.




***Present***


The room was large and spherical in shape. It was more like a dome than anything else. There were three rows up over a pedastle at the bottom of the dome making anyone who walked into the center feel small and insignificant. It was how the High Nine preferred seeing their subjects, down below them. The room was empty, the solid onyx colored chairs all empty aside for four of them. Four men in long robes and hoods pulled up over their faces that matched the dark background sat silently in their chairs as they stared down upon the man who'd entered their domain not but a day ago requesting to see them.

With such short notice to go off of, not all of the High Nine could attend the meeting, and so only four were present out of the nine. Even so, their presence was something to consider. One leaned forward slightly, putting their hand under their invisible chin as they tilted their head to look down further.

"What brings you, Isaehn Raxieyl?" The voice was deep, marking this one as male.

The mage's lips were pursed as he breathed out slowly, forcing himself to keep a casual air. The high nine had a tendency to make anyone feel uneasy, even someone as controlled as Isaehn. "Curiosity," His voice did not portray the discomfort that he felt and carried an almost whimsical tone to it. "And sadly, I could not find anyone to sate it. Perhaps you can change that?" A familiar smirk worked its way onto his face. Yes, he could play this game.

The robed figures twisted around slowly to look at each other as the mage below had answered the first one's question. They didn't answer for a while as they seemed to be speaking to each other quietly, the soft hiss of their voices just barely brushing the air. After a moment, a second one leaned forward and addressed Isaehn.

"Curiosity isn't something that one should entertain," the second's voice was a little more high pitched, marking them as female.
"What is it you wish to know?" The first one asked.

Ah, such prudes. They had never deigned any sort of entertainment value. This was another reason why he disliked associating with them. But he had matters to clear up. Something he intended to have resolved by the end of this conversation. "I wish to have a musing of mine indulged. As I know you're aware not only from my report but from... others," He paused, raising an eyebrow before he continued. "There was an incident in Ro'ell a few days past that caused a certain amount of confusion. Some... rule breaking."

"There was a... divergence that caught my attention--naturally, I thought it would catch yours too." He did not let his smirk faltered as he regarded them. They could make him as uncomfortable as they wanted, he'd never bow to them.

"You're speaking on Lain Gareev, correct?" The female asked.

Isaehn nodded. So quick on the uptake. "Of course."

Again another bount of whispers between the group before there were any answers given to the mage. The female leaned forward again, her voice rising to address Isaehn directly, "Lain is known to... deviate from orders given to him. This matter that has been brought to us is not a first offense for him," the female paused for a moment, "The matter of his attacking the elf was not detailed in the orders given to him as he was simply to break the party up. The manner in which he did this was not specified, so of course Lain would use his own methods and how he saw it should be done.

"However, it is a concern of ours that he attacked the elf without warning. We're attempting to figure out where exactly those orders came from, if there was any at all to begin with. Lain may have acted out of his own will."

"The problem remains, though. Rest assured that we will get to the bottom of this and find out who ordered him to try to kill the elf. In the mean time, I am curious as to why you had ordered Lain to separate the group? It was detailed in your report, but I wish to hear it from you personally," the male jumped in.

Hm, insignificant details really had a way of coming back around, didn't they? Isaehn didn't bat an eyelash and smoothly responded. "Yes, it seemed necessary at the time. I had suspected there had been some outside interference but I had no way of truly proving it yet. Isolating situations seemed to be logical. Besides," His smirk grew by a fraction. "Surely it's smarter to take on smaller factions than a large group? It seemed like a waste of energy to do so otherwise."

"Wise," the male commented. The female however turned her head to regard her fellow collegue and the atmosphere seemed to turn cold as clearly, she did not agree. Regardless, she didn't comment as she returned her hooded face towards Isaehn.

"This incident has been taken into due consideration, Iseahn Raxieyl. We appreciate you're bringing it to use via your report. However, I cannot garauntee that you will know the full extent of Lain's actions. He is a Nine and therefore his actions and deeds will be judged by us and no one else. If we so see it fit, anything we find will most likely be kept within our order only. Is that understood?"

Isaehn held his tongue. It wouldn't be prudent to question them at this point. But he wasn't going to settle for this vague response either. For now, he nodded. "Understood," Isaehn wouldn't back down that easily but he knew when to pick his fights. Four of the high nine together? He had confidence in his abilities but not enough to take on so many. Just one would be a challenge.

"Shall I continue my updates then?" He said without forgetting to put an inflection of politeness and respect into his advice. Two things that brought a sour taste to his mouth.

"Please, continue," the male offered, leaning back in his seat and giving a wave of his hand that indicated the High Nine was less than interested in the goings on of the mages guild. However, as he leaned back all four froze simultaneously their heads lifted slightly to look beyond Isaehn. It was several moments of silence that filled the air and a very soft sound as if someone were knocking upon the door resounded throughout the room.

"It seems that we must cut this meeting short," the female stood slowly as she spoke, a sense of power growing around her, "We've a visitor in our city and it seems they've made quite a statement."

"That power..." a third voiced, also standing.

"As it would seem. I must say, this makes our job much easier," the first responded, standing as well, "Isaehn, could we ask you a favor?"

Isaehn raised his brows very slowly. Oh he liked favors. He liked them very much. Asking a man like Isaehn for a favor was a sure way of owing him a debt later on. And the mage never forgot when someone needed to pay their dues. "Oh, I'd only be too glad to be of service." He said, his smirk growing wider by the minute.

"I'm sure you know already who has decided to knock upon our gates," the woman said, her voice colder than it had been before, "Kindly meet them. Bring them here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Zephyr Character Portrait: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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Jennifer Live

The mage’s chest heaved to display her excitement, even as Talon reached forwards to gently restrain her. How could simple touch suppress such wanton violence? For any observer, the gesture seemed futile. Yet in an impressive showcase of partnership, the rain slowed to a stop. Disappearing as abruptly as they appeared, the dark clouds parted like curtains to reveal sunny rays and blue skies. A few bleached bones enhanced the rubble strewn destruction that had been wrought in a matter of minutes. Nothing within the vicinity was unaffected, even the stone bore signs of accelerated dissolution from acid rain.

“They’re lucky that you’re here,” Jennifer huffed, offering him a queer look over her shoulder. She lowered their protective umbrella, squashing the top spring beneath her thumb and folding the canvas before tossing it listlessly. The umbrella disintegrated the moment it left her fingers, losing the materiality her physical contact offered. Her attention went to the large flapping shadow ahead of them the same time as Talon’s did.

“Isaehn…” she murmured. An angry spark of red magic crackled around her neck as she recognizing the Ro’ell mage’s smug expression. Jennifer didn’t communicate with many mages these days, not since cutting her ties with Ro’ell. The few mages she had kept in contact with, or were brave enough to converse with her, tended to be ambassadors or emissaries. Even so, it was hard to forget someone like Isaehn. She’d ordered Fukayna and the others to meet with Isaehn earlier, assuming he’d be a reliable source of information. Now, she was beginning to doubt that decision. His presence in Laowlee couldn’t have been mere coincidence.

"Isaehn. I thought you were in Ro'ell. Perhaps you could explain to me why Jennifer was taken from me so suddenly? Or is it that the Order of Vyldi wishes for total annihilation?" Talon asked, echoing her thoughts.

"I get around, what can I say? As for your concerns regarding Jennifer... Your worry for your woman is understandable but your accusations misplaced. What role would I have in her being separated from you, Talon V'lyn?" Isaehn replied calmly, shifting his gaze briefly between them. Above and below him now, it wasn’t hard to notice he was avoiding addressing her directly, a fact which gave cause to a small smile of triumph. The Ro’ell mage was as wily as she remembered him, and if her presence alone could make him crawl in his skin, all the better.

"If I knew that, I wouldn't be here, asking questions. Now would I, Isaehn?" Talon said simply.

"I assure you I had no part in... whatever debacle your woman mage might've found herself in. But from the looks of it, she has arrived unscathed. And with a friend as well." Isaehn insisted on his innocence. The mage noted the attendance of Kaya, who had so far chosen to remain silent throughout the proceedings. Noticing she’d survived also, Jennifer stuck her tongue out at the self-contained spirit seer to ensure her that her feelings of loathing had not diminished.

Their back and forth interrogation continued without mercy. The most surprising thing for Jennifer was Talon’s diplomatic manner. She was certain he’d realized that getting straight answers out of Isaehn through questioning wasn’t going to work. Was he planning something? Or waiting on her? Surely he wasn’t entertaining the thought of blindly following the mage? Jennifer’s dark eyes narrowed as Isaehn touched the neck of his dragon and smoothly slid to the ground.

"Well, I would have been in Skyfall if someone hadn't decided that it would be a good idea to tempt me. That aside, I'd like to ask some questions of the High Nine seeing as they seem to have their noses in just about everyone business."

Implying that there’s only one of them. Jennifer thought with a roll of her eyes.

"I see no reason why I cannot grant your wish for counsel. After all, that is what a good host does, correct? Makes sure the wishes of his guests do not go unanswered." Isaehn bowed non-to-graciously. "Shall we?"

"Lead the way."

“What a second rate villain. I wish he’d stop acting like he knows nothing and at least treat us with some respect,” Jennifer scoffed, “I’m pretty sure we all know where this leads.”

Despite her protests, Jennifer’s illusionary doppelganger set off to follow Isaehn obediently, walking in tow with Talon. She’d observe the procession for now and wait for the right moment to act. Neither The Nine nor Talon was likely to play it completely straight, but she was confident she could overpower them should worse come to worse. Nonetheless, best to prepare for the worst scenario. Jennifer’s nose could always smell trouble from a mile away, and at that moment, meeting The Nine smelt like a worse idea than unwashed Armen.