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A Tale of Lastra

Lastra

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a part of A Tale of Lastra, by Siryn.

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Siryn holds sovereignty over Lastra, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for A Tale of Lastra
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Lastra

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Minimap

Lastra is a part of A Tale of Lastra.

7 Places in Lastra:

8 Characters Here

Capella [49] "Even if the whole world has become my enemy, I'll fight it all until I'm the last thing left! If you think you can take me- Eh? What? 'Put on some clothes?' Idiot! I'm a Dragon! Have you ever heard of a Dragon wearing clothes?!"
Astrid T'vali [30] "This is my dragon. He is called Stephano. I'm currently trying to sell him to the highest bidder. He's kinda fat. He'd make a good steak."
Stephano [27] Back on the fat jokes, are we? Really? How very original.
Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun [26] "Sing--sing for me, my precious ones."
Isaehn Raxieyl [18] "What an interesting game of chess this is... though, it's a shame some of those pieces are going to fall off the board soon~"
Lain Gareev [8] "Just because I'm one of the Nine doesn't really mean I follow all the rules..."
J'haren [6] "The Nine will grow in power."
Zephyr [6] "As you wish, youngling."

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Setting

Characters Present

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

"Isaehn, it shouldn't be much further... should it?" Talon growled out, quickly becoming impatient of Isaehn’s leisurely pace. In his infinite wisdom, the assassin decided to question the wily mage once more, hoping perhaps they’d be told something informative. It wasn’t the first time he’d voiced displeasure during their relatively short journey across the city, and Jennifer suspected it wouldn’t be the last either. Isaehn’s response was predictable as usual, a vague shrug followed by a suitably vague reply. Most normal people would’ve already pulled their hair out by then, but Jennifer just found it amusing. The intermediary tended to be like that, his casual, yet scheming personality wouldn’t allow for anything less.

"Not at all, V'lyn, relax. I'll get you there soon enough."

How patronizing, she thought.

She followed them all the way, sauntering between buildings and taking the occasional time out to enjoy the fantastic view of the sun now offered by the ruined gates. Of course, there were traps to be wary off also, so she attempted to act as appropriately cautious as an all-powerful mage could – meaning not at all. The most noteworthy characteristic, or perhaps lack of, was the absence of people. Nothing, not even a speck of grime contaminated the vacant streets, all but confirming that something was amiss in the great city.

Almost immediately on cue, their destination exposed itself before them, rising over the gabled rooftops below. "Ah," Talon said as a tower arose within sights. Jennifer spotted it at the same time also, a glorified spire of bricks in the distance. The exterior design was perfectly symmetrical, disgustingly so in her opinion. So like the Ro’ell of old. A row of twisted columns decorated the tip of the structure at regular intervals, framing an abundance of open alcoves. This pattern was repeated as the building’s footprint expanded towards ground level and eventually opened up to a courtroom of sorts.

“These people can’t get enough of their rules and order,” she half-mumbled to herself. Give people enough time and they all develop in the same way she guessed.

It wasn’t hard to anticipate what would be greeting them as they passed the entrance, and thus, weave her magic ahead of them such that her clone’s integration was seamless. Her illusionary replica moved besides Talon as they absorbed their surroundings, their attentions drawn to the balcony which housed the High Nine. Inside, a number of cloaked figures waited, watching them with impudence.

"Lord V'lyn, a pleasure," stated one of the female members, not even caring to introduce herself. "What brings you to our city...uninvited?"

Jennifer rolled her eyes as she stepped aside to venture up the closest staircase. “Why does everyone act like they don’t know what’s going on? Stop wasting our time,” she groaned, blowing a stray band of hair away from her face. For the time being she was satisfied to comb the gallery of potential threats. Absentmindedly, she also noticed that Kaya had calmly taken a seat in the public gallery. The reclusive elf had said very little since their arrival at Laowlee, leading her to once again question why Talon decided to bring her along. It’s not like she served a purpose beyond being that shoulder angel Jennifer never had.

"I think you already know that, High Nine. Seems like someone wanted my attention. Well, you've got it now," Talon said, coming to a similar conclusion.

"Are you threatening us, V'lyn?" asked another council member, a tinge of blatant animosity revealed in his tone. The first woman to speak lifted her hand to silence him, as if the gesture would do any good.

"Take it as you wish. But, I was the one threatened first."

"Well, Lord V'lyn. There are many things that we wish to know. I suppose it's no coincidence that you're here now, and with your mage lover. In fact, why don't we start with her hm?" said the woman, finally cutting straight to the matter of importance. Jennifer never quite understood their need for all the pointless preamble, she could only assume they shared her natural flare for dramatics.

"What does that mean?" Talon retorted, immediately moving forwards to shield her doppelganger.

"Welcome to your trial. Or rather, the trial of Lord Talon V'lyn and Jennifer Live."

It was hard to restrain her laughter, and neither was it particularly suitable given the situation, but she did so anyway because her real form was technically invisible to everyone for the time being. “Our trial? Who died and made you kings?” chuckled her duplicate. She signaled Talon to relax by placing her hand on his shoulder and then gazed to directly address the woman. “A trial for what exactly?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo Character Portrait: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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#, as written by Siryn
Talon V'lyn & Jennifer Live

“A trial for what exactly?”

Even if her hand was on his shoulder, he couldn't relax. Always, always, they were after her. Something was dragged up in her past that they tried to use against her. In doing so, they were attacking him as well. What was with people and their power struggle? Was it not ever enough? His hand curled into a fist as he struggled to maintain his outward appearance of semi-calm.

The female High Nine who had been standing, leaned forward as the question was asked by Jennifer. Talon could almost feel the sneering smile beneath the dark cowl of the hood that covered her face. The woman placed her hands on the banister before her as she began to speak.

"Perhaps a list will help to jog your memory, Jennifer Live. Lets start with the most minor and lead up to the finale, shall we?" The woman's head turned off to the side. Next to her another of the High Nine stood and pulled out a piece of paper that they unrolled. The deeper voice rang out in the room as he announced what was written on the paper.

" 'Obnoxious and unruly conduct; using illusionary magic to disguise herself; intentional deception on many cases; using magic in public and disturbing the peace; blackmailing numerous organisations; destruction of Laowlee's gates; assaulting numerous officials whilst aiding Lord V'lyn; loitering around using illusionary magic even at this moment; and finally killing the soldiers that had been escorting her to Laowlee.' "

"Well, there you have it, Lady Jennifer, wife of the Lord V'lyn head of the assassin's cult. Since this is a fair trial, let's hear what you have to say for yourself?"

Talon ground his teeth together, "I hardly see this as a fair trial."

"You, Lord V'lyn, will be next, so I suggest you hold that tongue of yours."

"I don't have time for this!" He snapped, "I don't suppose you know of the destruction of Lethandrill do you? Or that the steward of that city has the gauntlet of Barthomel in his possession? I knew that I disliked you all for a reason. You always have something other than the important things to deal with."

"Why were you in Lethandrill, Lord V'lyn? I find it a huge coincidence that the city just happened to be destroyed with that unruly mage woman of yours at your side. That gauntlet has no power, we made sure of that. We also made sure that the Steward there was understanding of the fact that the item was to remain locked in it's chest at the farthest reaches of the treasury."

"Fine job of doing that," the assassin snarled in return, "Believe what you want. But I was there because the gauntlet wasn't were it was supposed to be. That man is drunk on power and he destroyed his own damned city!"

"Enough!" The woman shouted, her voice reverberating through the room, "Unfortunately even you lack evidence of that, V'lyn. To add to your growing list of atrocities, you've got nearly as good a rap-sheet as your mage woman, if not worse. Shall I list it out for you?"

Talon didn't say anything, only narrowed his now molten steel gaze, his head lowering slightly and the bangs of his hair falling down to give shadow to his gaze. The woman didn't seem affected by his threatening presence and continued onward with her so called 'trial'.

" 'Threatening and blackmailing the higher orders; intentional deception on many cases; using magic in public; the destruction of Lethandrill; the destruction of Laowlee's gates; the deaths of several council men in three of the Orders in Lastra several years ago; the death of Lord Astrad of Ro'ell several years ago; the death of Vicount Friez of Letolill several years ago; the death of Lady Sheir of Letolill several years ago; the death of Lord Ive and all of his family including the maids and servants of Laowlee several years ago..." the woman paused to take a breath, "Shall I continue Lord V'lyn? Just because you're the leader of the assassin's guild does not give you immunity to such vile actions. I don't care if another Order gave you orders to do such things. That doesn't give you the power or the authority to go about the land and do as you please. Now, with that out of the way, I think it's time we start discussing your future plans in our cells."

Armen Sorien

His heart seemed to settle as he noted that Fukayna was moving and her lips mouthed to him words that he seriously needed to hear. So she was alright after all, though he was pretty sure she wasn't feeling all that great. Even so, she had strength enough to communicate with him, that had to be something right?

"I'm glad," he told her softly, a smile on his lips, "I was so worried..."

"Now that she's awake, we can get stuff done," Sebastian said, his gruff voice filling the room as he lounged in the chair on the other side of the bed. The old man had his arms crossed over his chest, the leg that had been injured was wrapped tightly and he was nursing it gently by keeping weight off it.

"Sebastian... she just woke up."

"I didn't say I was gonna make her do anything, elf. I told you earlier we would discuss what to do next and I can't wait around any longer for the others. So her being awake helps. She's a part of the assassin's guild so it's important for her to hear."

The elf held his tongue though he didn't really like the assassin's tone all that much. His hand curled around hers and he looked down at her with a slight frown on his lips. Sebastian sighed heavily.

"It's alright, elf. The important thing right now is we need to find Talon and Jennifer. Nothing good can be going on if he's been away this long. I don't like how this feels."

"We can't just up and leave, though, Sebastian. Fukayna just woke up, I'm sure she's still in pain and in no condition to do anything-"

"I didn't say I would make her do anything-"

Armen continued, raising his voice slightly, "And Astrid is still bed ridden as well. As it stands right now we don't have much going for us. Seeing as there aren't a lot of assassins here and there weren't that many casualties too, I'm assuming that Lord V'lyn had sent most of the order out for something. I'm sure if we wait, we'll hear something soon from one of them."

Sebastian watched the youth for a long while before he heaved a heavier sigh than the one before. His head fell forward and he tapped his fingers against his arm. After a moment, he finally looked up slightly to gaze at Armen thoughtfully, "Fine. I see your point. We'll stay here for the time being. Soon as we hear from an assassin... well, we'll go from there I suppose."

Armen released his pent up breath and smiled in return to the old assassin, "Thank you."

Sebastian rolled his eyes and grunted. Standing he hobbled over to the doorway, stiff from having sat down so long, "No need..." he muttered and left the room.

The elf turned and watched the woman lying on the bed for a moment before he turned away slightly, a bit of a faint blush upon his face, "Is there anything you need?"

Fay X'san

Confusion assaulted her as Valentino fell off the horse suddenly as the creature simply snorted and shook. She pulled the reigns to stop the horse and turn it so that she could face the flailing man who was now on the ground. The elven woman couldn't even bring herself to speak as she watched him half in amusement and the other half in confusion.

What was wrong with him? It was just a horse, but it seemed that he'd gotten sick from it. Perhaps it was the jostling. Not everyone got used to riding a horse, she had seen her fair share of that with her own people. Technically the Navile weren't a people meant to be upon beasts for transportation. They had their magic after all. Fay was pretty sure that most elves were not all that accustomed to horses... but then she'd never been out of her forest to have any evidence of this.

She couldn't help a slight laugh at his flailing as he upstarted again, this time it was over a toad in the road. The adorable thing (adorable to her anyway) just sat there staring at the poor man who was cursing at it. After a moment, Valentino finally smote the creature and upon seeing what it turned into afterwards, he was even more upset again.

Fay hoisted herself smoothly off the horse and walked over to him calmly. He'd said something about resting in the green fields next to them. Reaching out she took his hands in her own and started to move them off the road where the roasted toad was at and the horse had wandered to eat some of the grass. Her smile was wide as she watched him.

"My apologies, if I'd know that you were uncomfortable with the horse, I would have used my magic to get us there faster," she told him smoothly. Though at the back of her mind she didn't have the slightest clue as to how she would do such a thing. It just felt like the right thing to say to him at the moment, or maybe it was because she was seemingly infatuated with him. It was definitely a little bit unnerving at times to feel so... out of control for some reason.

"I think it's a great idea we should rest here," she cooed, no it's not... we should be hurrying back to Skyfall an inner part of her mind spoke clearly and harshly. Yes, there was definitely something wrong with this picture, but she just couldn't bring herself to figure it out. Nor did she really want to. Or was it the other way around? It was beginning to get confusing.

Fay settled herself on the ground and patted the spot next to her, inviting the man to join her. She would leave the confusing stuff for later. Right then she wanted to relax and enjoy the man's company. No matter how much the other half of her screamed that it was wrong, that something was terribly off about him, she ignored it completely. A fools smile still crossed her lips as she sat there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var
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Watching as her finally consensual possession went about his little game, the Dragoness couldn't help but chuckle at what she saw, perching on the edge of a nearby windowsill and observing Dante's actions with a triple sense of curiosity, amusement, and somewhat poignant nostalgia. His actions, comical in their rather over the top appearance, seemed to Capella like an all-too-plain parallel to the attitude of a hatchling Dragon, trying at the same time to emulate the dignity of its peers whilst acting upon the playful and whimsical feelings that governed a young drake's mind. Yes, that carefree, boisterous, clumsy, and yet somehow proud and noble existence... it was one she herself must have held, a long, long time ago. Yet, if she had once lived in such a manner, Capella could not hope to obtain the slightest recollection of that past life. The memories that existed within her mind contained no such record of hatching and living as a Dragon - or even, in fact, being born and growing up amidst Humans. Loathsome though that thought might have been, it still would have been preferable to the incessant hell that she did recall, as much as it hurt her pride as a Dragon to admit that. After all, to even acknowledge that state of ultimate brokenness, of disgusting, helpless servility as her own history was a far greater insult to what dignity she could yet muster than even what should have been her single greatest shame, looking at things from the perspective of a Dragon.

It's strange, though. Surely I didn't just start existing one day in my current state, so why is it that my memory fails me so? Part of me is... Human. When was it born? From whence did it come? How did it come to be a part of me? And as for the rest of me, how did an Elder Grey Dragon like myself come to be a Human? How did I even survive as a Dragon at all? My entire tribe is dead, so how exactly do I still exist in any form, let alone in this one? It makes no sense, that a Dragon who should be dead somehow came instead to be fused with such a loathsome creature as a Human, let alone one with no memories of her past life. I don't understand. I just don't understand it! I am myself. That's all I can know for sure.

Capella sighed, glancing away from the courtyard as her hoard ran from his mentor, alternatively giggling childishly and shouting in surprise and feigned fear, like a Drake challenging its father in jest, then running away, another image that should have been nostalgic to her, but instead brought to mind only confusion and regret. She didn't want to think about that, and so instead turned her attention to her current situation. By simply focusing on the present, the Dragoness had found long ago that she could momentarily escape the past, even if she couldn't erase it. On the other hand, this diversion did little to assuage her wounded pride, thanks to the fresh insult that had only just been dealt her. Indeed, their current situation was rather unpleasant to think about, as well, with the individuals the Humans here were searching for being nowhere to be found, and themselves faced with powerful and troublesome adversaries. But, abruptly, these thoughts were suddenly pushed aside in favor of a new and surprising revelation. Capella's amber eyes widened slightly in surprise and confusion, for she suddenly realized something she hadn't noticed before. Ever since the day where she had stumbled upon the boy, Dante, and his mentor on the forest path to Lethandrill, her world had begun to grow larger. For as long as she could remember, the Dragoness had lived alone, yet on that day, she'd made a contract with two Humans on a whim, and they had become her allies. Those allies then made their own alliance, and Capella's world had grown even larger as more and more people had entered it. She couldn't say exactly when it had happened, but to her surprise, the Dragoness realized that she had surrounded herself with mortals, becoming a part of a circle of allies the likes of which she'd never even thought of before. And, moreover, although some of them were greatly insulting and annoying to her, like the Naville witch who had coddled her and tried to steal her hoard, and others didn't trust her, like the swordsman Khrae, she realized that, for the time being, they felt the same about her: that she was an unexpected, but welcome ally. Capella wasn't sure how to think about that. All of the Humans she had known had thought of her as an abomination that didn't have any place in this world. And yet these mortals... they had welcomed her? At first, she hadn't actually realized it. But, although she still didn't want to admit it to anyone, Capella couldn't help but acknowledge the fact that these were, without a doubt, her allies.

Hmph. I must be getting sof- Just then, however, the Dragoness' train of thought was interrupted by a hand suddenly placing itself on her wrist, tugging at it. Glancing down, she noticed Dante standing next to her, and it became almost immediately apparent that the boy wanted something. Not one to deny an audience with her own hoard, Capella gave a silent nod in response to his gesticulations, and hopped down from the windowsill. It was fortunate for her that she had responded so promptly, for in the next instant, Dante gave a sudden pull on her arm that actually managed to nearly take her balance, causing her to stumble hastily after him, cocking her head curiously at the apparent urgency of the matter at hand.

That is, until he actually explained things to her. Then curiosity gave way to frustration, irritation, and a feeling of slight insult. Although Dante evidently thought he was being mysterious about this whole important mission business, it wasn't at all difficult to see through his rather obvious choice of code words.

You're kidding me. Is he serious?! I do him the honor of making him my hoard, and not twenty minutes later, he's asking me to go help that witch?! Don't tell me he's still pining after her. Does he really think that he can serve two masters without slighting either? Dante... you... idiot! The Dragoness thought angrily, clenching a scaled fist in irritation at the naive boy's indecisive attitude. However, to her surprise, Capella found that the foremost emotion she felt at this indirect offense to her pride wasn't anger, it was... disappointment? Maybe she had expected more of him, she supposed. For him to try exploit her contract with him to go and run off with that Naville, Capella couldn't help but feel not only betrayed herself, but also in her expectations of the boy.

But, on the other hand, as much as she hated to admit it, she had made a contract with these Humans. Even her. It was now her duty to assist and protect them, and the Naville was certainly likely to be in danger. Besides, she had a feeling that the boy would try to go and rescue her even if she refused to help him, and that would only put him in danger. Furthermore, if she herself was present, she might hopefully be able to keep Dante in line. He was her treasure, and she needed to make sure that both Dante and the Naville witch understood that fact. So, sighing, Capella felt her shoulders slump slightly as her fist slowly unfolded and she gave a slight nod.

"You really are hopeless, even for a Human," The Dragoness sighed, shaking her head slightly and giving a wry smile. Although her words were rather condescending, her tone was more one of teasing than outright insult. The air of resignation in her voice, nevertheless, showed that she wasn't happy with this course of action, even if she was willing to aid Dante in its execution. "Still, I suppose it's my job to help you with this. I take it that we leave immediately before the stuck up one decides to see what mischief you're getting into?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

"Well, there you have it, Lady Jennifer, wife of the Lord V'lyn head of the assassin's cult. Since this is a fair trial, let's hear what you have to say for yourself?" the first woman spoke at the conclusion of her list. Damned politicians always loved their lists. Their statements caused the real Jennifer to pause by the stairwell as she briefly pondered the reason why she was being allowed to roam freely if they were aware of it.

“Ugh, Talon~” her clone protested, harassing the assassin’s sleeve like a spoilt six year old child, “We don’t have time for this – What with a lunatic waving his magic gauntlet around Reev knows where – Why don’t we just kill them and leave?”

There was more to the statement that Jennifer wasn’t willing to let the council on, a deep rooted paranoia. She preferred to call it caution. Jennifer’s terrible habit was she never really trusted anyone to complete a job done better than she could, even within the secular assassin organization. It goes without saying that the High Nine certainly couldn’t be trusted, nor any of their agents like Isaehn. If she had the time and opportunity, she would’ve dug further into the High Nine’s information bases. They should’ve been more prepared. Now at this crucial period however, the one time she needed to be exploring and securing the area, she was regulated to safeguarding Talon.

"I hardly see this as a fair trial," Talon accused, shaking off her objections. She always loathed that necessity of his too, giving others the benefit of the doubt. The man’s compassion had been the source of their problems on more than one occasion and she always felt like reprimanding him for it afterwards.

"You, Lord V'lyn, will be next, so I suggest you hold that tongue of yours," snapped the woman, evidently keen to press her point forwards.

Talon would have none of that. Quite the contrary, if her intention was to intimidate him, she failed entirely as the color flared on his features. "I don't have time for this! I don't suppose you know of the destruction of Lethandrill do you? Or that the steward of that city has the gauntlet of Barthomel in his possession? I knew that I disliked you all for a reason. You always have something other than the important things to deal with," he retorted just as quickly.

Her reply to them was, as anticipated, evasive. That’s what they were good at, shifting the blame. Jennifer half watched the progression of their conversation, continuing to scour the area for traps, until the woman’s voice boomed in a desperate cry for attention. The shout was hardly required, it wasn’t like there was an overabundance of people within the room, and that became painfully evident when her words echoed over them, carried by the spiraling interior of the tower.

Talon stood stock still, though it was clear the assassin was only remaining visibly so for the sake of courtesy. So focused was his attention that you could’ve almost called it an angry glare. Jennifer wouldn’t have been surprised had the woman had abruptly burst into flames. If the woman was concerned, she hid it well as she recommenced their discussion, drawling through another agonizing list of accusations. Her clone’s shoulders sagged as she sighed into the distance, her attention wandering elsewhere in her boredom. There were some nice vases displayed upon marble plinths along the side of the room, perhaps she’d steal some on the way out.

"Shall I continue Lord V'lyn? Just because you're the leader of the assassin's guild does not give you immunity to such vile actions. I don't care if another Order gave you orders to do such things. That doesn't give you the power or the authority to go about the land and do as you please. Now, with that out of the way, I think it's time we start discussing your future plans in our cells."

Cells? They were threatening her with iron bars and reinforced concrete walls? Jennifer thought incredulously. She’d fought no less than two ancient dragons, summoned a meteor, slaughtered hundreds without batting an eyelid and they wanted to separate her from Talon? Well fine, Jennifer could play their game also.

They could hear another sound coming from across the room, a noise which was quickly recognized as laughter. Drawing attention to her, a second Jennifer appeared next to one of the vacant seats lining the judge’s panel. “These are some nice seats you have here,” she purred, caressing her fingers over the soft velvet. Stretching obscenely, she shuffled her boots over the floor so she could plop her shapely ass on it.

“You’re getting rather ahead of yourself though ma’am. Are you not even going to give us a chance to defend ourselves? I thought that was a part of being ‘fair’ in these trials,” Jennifer’s first clone said, the one next to Talon, as she performed a gesture of air quotation marks. “Nothing you’ve said so far qualifies as hard evidence. You haven’t even presented a single piece of evidence against us. Sending us to jail now would be a gross violation of your constitution.”

“More to the point. I’d like to see you try restraining us,” the second one dared, “What exactly makes you think that I’ll come quietly?”

A lethal smile settled onto her face and her eyes seemed to glimmer as both copies regarded the High Nine, mirroring the same expression. One way or another, she was going to find out what the High Nine were planning, and she had zero qualms about employing brute force. This was who she was, snarky, defiant, and in the end, she usually got what she wanted.

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: J'haren Character Portrait: Lain Gareev Character Portrait: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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#, as written by Siryn
Talon V'lyn

“More to the point. I’d like to see you try restraining us. What exactly makes you think that I’ll come quietly?”

Talon was hardly fazed by the fact that his lover had dispatched yet another doppleganger to taunt the High Nine. She was of a brilliant mind, and that much he could count on. It took everything he had not to smirk at them, or laugh out loud. She sure had a way with words. When they were finished here and once again back at Skyfall... he was going to have her.

He slipped his arm around Jennifer's illusion's waist, pulling her close to him. The assassin's gaze didn't leave the startled group of High Nine that were staring at the second apparition. He could feel their shock, could tell that they were now uneasy about whom they were dealing with. The only one that didn't seem too far affected was the woman, giving Talon a bad feeling about her.

"You wanted proof? Well, here's one on Jennifer's account, Lord V'lyn."

"Then why aren't you stopping her?" He asked out loud as he leaned down closer to the illusion and whispered in her ear, "Found anything yet?"

"Because there's nothing to find. Sorry to disappoint," the woman said off handidly, "As for your evidence, we have plenty of that as well. You think you clean up well enough, but I assure you, it's quite the contrary," the woman pulled from her pocket a few items which she layed upon the banister in front of her. Talon eyed the gleaming objects for a moment before it became apparant as to what they were.

They were rings.

Rings of the lords and ladies that he'd taken care of in the many years that he'd been the head of the assassin order. His lips pulled into a frown, but it wasn't a frown of being caught 'red handed'. Lifting an eyebrow he lifted his molten silver gaze to her hooded face, "So? A couple of rings gives you the 'evidence' you want?"

The woman's hand curled into a fist as she stood there, clearly his response wasn't the one she was looking for. He grinned at her then, unable to help it this time.

"Well, as fun as this has been, we'll be leaving now. As my beautiful mage stated earlier, we don't have time for this," he said and turned on his heel. The air crackled around him and he registered it as magic. Though he knew that the illusion next to him would hardly be harmed or hurt Jennifer's real body, he still threw her to the side on pure reaction. A black cage dropped down around him, just large enough to hold his size. Talon had raised his hands to cover his head as it dropped around him and when he looked about, he glowered in anger.

Whirling around he lunged forward, grabbing the bars of the cage in anger, the silver of his bracer beginning to glow brightly. The moment he touched the bars, though, the magic surrounding it burst at him. The assassin gave a cry of pain, his body rebounded from it and hit the back of the cage only to have the same thing happen. He dropped to one knee, growling in anger and wincing slightly. The silver bracer ignited, white tendrils of magic curling upwards like flames wreathed his arm.

"Now that was a very big mistake," he hissed between his teeth. The woman pulled away from the banister, her head turning between him and the Jennifer in the seat not to far away. With a sound like a snort of annoyance, the High Nine snapped her fingers together and her body vanished.

Talon already had his doubts about the woman, and with that he was even more convinced. Not a whole lot of magic hurt him all that much these days. The cage around him was definitely of some sort of darker magic that had been banished a long time ago. He snatched his hand outwards and gripped the bar, ignorning the pain that pulsed through him the moment he touched it. The white glow curled around the pitch black bars and began cracking through the magic that caged him.

"Jennifer," he called, knowing she would hear him no matter where she was, "Kill her."

The others of the High Nine stared in shock at the display of magic that the woman had just done. They were immobile, in shock no doubt about the unfolding situation. Talon ignored them. The woman was his main concern, there was something off about her. Though, at the moment he really didn't care about finding that out, hence his order to Jennifer.

His magic pulsed, grinding against the woman's as he fought to break free from the cage. What kind of dark magic was this? Something about it was slightly familiar, though he couldn't put his finger on it right then. He ground his teeth, he was going to have to unleash more magic from the bracer if he wanted to break the cage. How annoying, that damned woman was going to pay dearly for weaving such a trap.

His hand tightened around the bar of the cage, the pain grew in intensity causing his frame to shudder slightly and bend over. The white glow grew as well, engulfing his shoulder as well as it spread out over the bars. He could feel the bar beginning to crack underneath his grip and a few seconds later the entire thing shattered around him completely. Talon went to stand, only to fall forward on all fours, a deep cough forcing its way through. Flecks of blood coated the floor beneath him.

When he was done, he wiped his lips with the back of his hand and glowered up at the seats before him, "If you wish to live you better stay right there and do nothing to interfere," he ordered, absolutely livid.

Armen Sorien

She rested against him and he kept his arm wrapped around her. Armen was more than happy to see that she had recovered. Fukayna had been the center of his thoughts the moment he'd regained consciousness. He'd been fearful that the woman had been killed from the attack. She seemed fine though, tired of course, but otherwise just fine. The elf released a soft sigh and leaned forward slightly to ease his position. His fingers began stroking her silky hair, pulling the locks of white through his fingers. It was so soft.

Fukayna was very small next to him, he felt he could engulf her entirely. He rested his arm across her shoulder, allowing her to lean against him. It was a strange filling that filled his chest, made his heart beat a little faster, and caused the normally pale skin on his face to heat and turn a slight red color. Armen would have loved to stay there forever, lost in her warmth.

However, after a long while of just listening to her breath against him, he felt a sharp pull in his chest. He ignored it at first, not wanting to alarm Fukayna. The pulling grew increasingly and soon he was unable to keep it a secret anymore. Lightly pushing her off him, he turned away and clenched at his chest, eyes shut tightly as he ground his teeth. It was the pain of the magic from before, but there was something else mixed in.

A faint presence began to push against his conscious, the pressure giving him a headache. Slowly he fell forward until he was on the floor. Half curled in a ball, his chest heaved, breath hitched in his throat and coming out in heavy pants. He didn't like the presence at the back of his mind, but the more he pushed it away, the more it came back until finally it broke through. Armen gasped, his eyes flying opened but not seeing what he was facing.

I've been waiting a long time for you, the deep rumbling voice echoed through his mind.

"What the... who... what do you..." Armen couldn't really get his thoughts together, nor could he finish what it was he wanted to say.

Who am I? I'm called Ivorine. I'm a dragon, and I'm calling out to you because you're mine and I am yours. What I want is to help you. I cannot allow my rider to die, that is the way of a dragon. Or rather, the way most were when we had human companions. We are a dying race, you see.

"...what?" he panted, more questions flooding his mind but washed away with the growing pain of the power that had been stirred up by the stranger the day before.

You must hurry, in that condition you won't last long.

"Where..."

The mountains behind your city. I'm only able to reach you because I've gone to the very edge of where I'm being held in chains. It's taken all I can to reach you now, I've been trying to for days. Perhaps it is your magic that is helping, who knows. But right now you need to come to me. I can help you. Be wary of those cloaked in black, my little elf.

As the deep voice continued in it's speech, the pressure in his mind slowly faded and the voice became far off sounding as well. Then it all faded away, all except the pain of his overflowing magic that he struggled to contain. What exactly just happened he wasn't sure. However, if there was a slim chance at fixing what was done to him, he'd take it. It didn't matter if it was some strange dragon who offered it to him.

Lain Gareev

The sound of heavy chains shifting filled the dark cavern where Lain was at. Out of curiosity-- or poor judgment depending on how you looked at it-- he'd followed J'haren into the caves when they'd left the headquarters of the Nine. As of late, his superior was doing some very strange things and Lain was intent on finding out what it was. Of course, he was still curious as to why he'd been ordered by J'haren to kill the elf several days ago. However, nothing had cropped up to answer that question.

So he had started his own snooping around. There wasn't much to find though, J'haren was good at hiding his tracks, even to the High Nine. Lain wasn't all that trusting of the High Nine either, so he'd not gone to them in many weeks with his questions. He figured they would either avoid the topic entirely, or turn it around on him and he would be the one in trouble.

As he crept through the cave, going even further into the darkness he could hear something very large shifting at it's end. Chains dragged along an uneven floor and soon after, the sound of breathing filled the air. J'haren's voice echoed out too soon after and Lain froze where he was, half fearful that the Nine had figured out he'd been followed. The Nine was pretty positive he'd hid his presence well enough, though.

"Still trying, hu?" J'haren's voice curdled the air with it's acidy tone. Lain shivered slightly, he'd never heard that tone before.

"Foolish human," the deeper voice was thick in an accent of a kind that the Nine did not recognize at all. It also sounded as if the common language was not one that it used often, if at all.

"The elf is dealt with, long gone and dead. There's nothing left for you here."

The strange voice echoed out with a rumbling laugh that shook the cave and the tunnel where Lain stood, "Your chains and magic will not hold me for long," scratching alerted Lain that the creature within had dragged it's claws along the ground almost as if it were threatening J'haren, "You can be certain of that."

"Perhaps, but I'm certain that it will be far too late once that happens," J'haren returned and the sound of his footsteps growing closer made Lain move.

The Nine quickly exited the cave before his superior could and he disappeared quickly via magic. He did not return to the home of the Nine, though. He had a bit to think about before returning there and he was also fairly sure that going there right then would be dangerous for his health. Lain tapped his finger against his lip. The only place with enough knowledge to even get him a bit started on his search was Ro'ell.

Time to visit the mages.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Centi85
Khrae

Khrae sat motionless in the courtyard, contemplating what he'd just experienced. The answers he received through his meditation were usually fairly cryptic and ambiguous, but this... With a heavy sigh, the man closed his eyes again, allowing his mind to clear once more. He wouldn't continue his meditation, but instead he decided that he'd focus on trying to make sense of--

'You must hurry, in that condition you won't last long.'

Yes, that.

.. Wait.

Khrae opened his eyes again, looking around in a bewilderment. No, it couldn't be... But, yes. There it was again, that voice. Had he really just heard that voice again? It was ancient, dark and powerful, but most importantly, it was still talking.

...Why was it still talking?

Perhaps then it was someone else... Someone who was speaking, but they had managed to break through the man's concentration, their words thus becoming distorted... But the courtyard was empty. It had been so ever since Dante had attempted one of his usual tricks, and the man was certain that this couldn't be just another of the boy's games. Besides, the man's concentration wasn't something easily broken. For whatever reason he'd received this particular message, and normally that wouldn't be strange in the least, as he usually openly accepted whatever answers he was granted, but then normally they didn't follow him out of his meditated state. Albeit the words were fainter now, but he still heard them nonetheless.

'Be wary of those cloaked in black, my little elf.'

Elf?

"Khrae!"

Sebastian had burst out of the double doors, his gaze looking wildly around for the man. The room where the elf was with the assassin Fukayna was right above them, the window shook violently before shattering and letting loose a loud 'boom'. It lasted only for a second, but the pressure that flooded the courtyard held the same feel as the magic that had exploded in the mansion just the other day. Sebastian ducked on impulse before looking up over to the window.

"The elf! Can you do anything?"

Khrae stood quickly, pushing a hand through his hair to straighten it from the sudden explosion of energy as he looked up to the window overhead. While the voice he'd just heard wasn't at all familiar, that surge of power was something he was acquainted with, even if only for a few brief moments. It was the same energy that had crippled Armen the previous day, and Khrae can't say that he was particularly happy to have to deal with it again. With a quick nod to Sebastian, the swordsman wasted no time in bolting towards the now opened doors, allowing the older assassin to lead the way up to the young elf's room.

Wait.. Elf? Armen.. Was it just a coincidence, or... No.

Not important. Khrae dismissed the thoughts for now, feeling that it would be better to interpret these occurrences later, when he could focus better. More pressing was the matter of the state that he found Armen in as he burst into the room. Indeed he was bursting with the same power as previously, and again he appeared to be experiencing the same horrific effects. Moving quickly, the swordsman knelt on the floor next to the young elf, putting a hand against his forehead, giving him a quick look over, and lightly placing two fingers on his neck to check his heart rate. He seemed to be okay, other than the probably excruciatingly uncomfortable feeling that must accompany having a great source of power forcing itself from ones body like an overstressed meat bag.

The fact that an elf had an untapped innate magic was nothing new or particularly shocking, but what worried Khrae was the volatile state it seemed to rest in, and then the potency it possessed when released. Whether or not the power was stronger than last time, Khrae couldn't tell right off-hand, but the man set to work anyway in trying to contain it. It was all he could do for now, and he only wished that it wasn't having any unfavorable side-effects. A powerful mage would probably know what to do better than himself, but it had worked once before and it was all he could offer until he found a way to safely channel the power out in a less explosive manner.

Tracing two fingers up from Armen's neck onto his forehead, Khrae closed his eyes, now searching for where the power was strongest within its vessel. Gently the man placed his other hand just over the young elf's chest, then closed his eyes, beginning his prayers.

Several moments later and Khrae was almost literally blown back away from Armen. While he did manage to put enough energy into the young elf to hopefully clear or suppress his power, the man's own had seemed to escape him, exploding back in his face as if hitting suddenly a brick wall. Normally the Khrae wouldn't have allowed that much to seep in, and if it did, he'd of kept control of it, but he'd allowed himself to slip, momentarily distracted by something which gave him great reason to worry.

Coughing and sputtering, Khrae moved slowly, his entire body suddenly aching not only from accepting all that power, but from having it suddenly reverse back on himself. Rolling onto his side, the man propped himself up on one elbow, trying to support himself as he stood up off the floor, all the while attempting to regain control of his body, suddenly shaking. His chest was tight, as were all his muscles, and the man spent a good amount of time simply leaning against the wall, blinking and coughing until he simply couldn't anymore. Resignedly, he simply allowed himself to press his back against the door frame, then slide down exhaustively.

Looking back up to Sebastian, he offered a weak smile and shrug, then found himself grasping at his stomach as it felt like a hot blade were suddenly piercing his abdomen.

"Ahh, Damnit.." Khrae gasped through clenched teeth. Several seconds and it passed, and the man allowed himself to go limp as he looked to Armen. Still more or less panting, the Khrae blinked again, nodding. "Heh...Agh.. Hopefu-Hopefully that'll hold..." Once the man was in control of himself again, he'd discuss with Sebastian what he had just experienced. It was definitely no coincidence, and that was definitely one of the cloaked figure's voices.

Damned mages, Khrae huffed.

"Damn," the old assassin huffed as he leaned heavily against the doorway near Khrae, "I'm getting to old for this..." Sebastian sighed, "Mages hu? Don't like the sound of this. It would be better if Jennifer or Lord V'lyn were here. In any case, looks like the elf is better. At least for the moment. What about you? That was quite a hit there."

Khrae sighed, shaking his head and waving a dismissive hand. His breathing was becoming easier, and at least he didn't feel like his heart was trying to rip itself from his chest. "Fine," he commented simply, "Just... Got away from me.."

With another huff, the man pressed up against the wall, forcing himself to stand. "We should get Armen to a place where he can rest..." Khrae said tiredly, "Then we should really discuss something concerning..." The man looked to Fukayna, then back to Sebastian, hoping that perhaps he could convey the importance without having to say anything that could possibly worry the poor girl. Until some sense was made of all this, it was no use causing unnecessary trouble. Plus, Khrae wasn't even sure what it concerned... Perhaps Sebastian could help him decipher what had just happened, but the man wasn't about to make any assumptions pertaining to any coincidences that may or may not be just that.

Moving towards the young elf, Khrae knelt to gather him, but just before the man had a chance to do anything, a thought suddenly struck him. One that, by decree of the clan, required more attention than anything else the man had to worry about. "Have you seen Dante?" Khrae inquired suddenly.

"Dante? The little runt that's always causing trouble? No, haven't seen him," Sebastian answered, an eyebrow lifting slightly, "I thought the little trouble maker was with you..." the old assassin muttered.

Pushing off the doorway, he motioned for Khrae to follow him with Armen in tow, "You can put him back in the room he was in earlier to rest, then we can talk in the hall if you wish."

Khrae moved sluggishly, if a bit lethargically, nodding as he picked up Armen and moved from Fukayna’s room, following the old assassin. His meditation had only just settled his mind and body, returning him to a refreshed and rejuvenated state, but it seemed that fate refused to allow him any time to lounge in such comforts. Even before he’d completed his meditation, someone or something insisted on gathering his attention, and not seconds afterwards, he was forced to resort to his clans Sacred Powers once again. Of course that’s not to say that the man wouldn’t waste any time in doing it again, but the physical toll was extremely strenuous, and already the man felt as though he’d aged several more years.

The man was still in his youth, however, especially when compared to some Clan Elders, but already his joints ached, his back and neck felt stiff, and his muscles burned. He knew that there were always some unfavorable side-effects, and the man could suffer through the momentary discomfort usually without batting an eye. What he didn’t look forward to were the complications that would arise later in life, most pressing of said issues being a shortened time one had in this world. Khrae wasn’t at all afraid of death seeing as he was vastly, if not entirely, a spiritual man, but the clan was dedicated to perfecting the mind to such a caliber and degree that could only be attained from the longest, purest life. Such a long, fulfilling life could only be obtained through the strictest of guidelines in every way each clansman conducted themselves.

Reading supplied the clansman with the knowledge to produce a mind sharper than any blade. Training induced discipline as each man and woman honed their abilities. Everything a clansman did was dedicated to progressing forward, with nary a move put towards counter-productivity. No action, spoken or otherwise, could ever be taken back, no mistake was affordable. The precision of the body, a blunt tool to be guided by the mind was trained to move expertly, each and every movement adequately assessed before enacted. The highest of the clansman seemed to always float, rather than walk. Carried with a certain grace, even the art of taking a step was perfected so that the hindering pauses and unnecessary undulation of the body as weight was transferred from one foot to the other was surpassed. No time was wasted, and speed, as well as every other factor, was constant. Finally, meditation synchronized everything, and even the action of remaining still in an ever changing world was turned into a constant and steady advance ahead.

Combined, a clansman was then granted access to divine enlightenment and further development under careful tutelage from the ancestors, granting abilities obtained by only the most dedicated. Such a gift was truly just that, and a carefully guarded one, not to be employed for selfish reasons, but in order to better the clan as a whole. Skilled in the complete and utter control of this power, the Clan Elders wielded it with enough efficiency as to destroy, to heal, to move, and to think. Spiritual energy. It was much more natural and refined than the raw magic these mages wielded…

Khrae contemplated this all the while he walked, knowing well that, while he was strong, he still had a great distance to travel in order to even think of matching the level of the Clan Elders. His path was then detoured even more with the acceptance of the task of guiding the free-spirited Dante, but he trusted that the Ancestors plans would surely pay off in the long run. With that thought in mind, and after having put Armen safely back in his room, the man met Sebastian in the hall.

Looking at the older assassin, Khrae sighed, sincerely unsure of where to even begin. The explanation of such a thing as what he’d happened to stumble upon was beyond him, but nevertheless, the man took a shot.

“First of, let me start by saying I’m still working on attempt to decipher what any of this means. To put it into words seems nearly implausible, so I’d like to try something. It must be witnessed and experienced first-hand.” Deciding that this was the best course of action, Khrae nodded, though it was more to encourage himself than Sebastian. The assassin was obviously a well-learned man, and so the swordsman had no doubt that he would have no trouble in conveying to him the bewildering greatness of what he’d intercepted. He still had yet to solidify in his mind that it involved Armen, but that was simply because the man never made assumptions without good reason. Of course it wasn’t that he didn’t have a good reason to assume so, but he also had a moment to stop and fully comprehend the situation, as well as employ a third-party.

“Now then,” Khrae continued casually, “have you ever meditated?”


Dante

Under normal circumstances, Dante would’ve been too naïve to notice the look Capella seemed to adopt when he mentioned the details of his plan to her. Under normal circumstances, Dante would’ve been completely oblivious to a look of betrayal, seeing as how, being the embodiment of innocence and so care-free, such a term was a lost art. That’s not to say that he didn’t have the ability to comprehend when someone wasn’t being entirely honest, nor to understand why someone would be angry, but more so he simply always got too distracted by all the other joys of life that so easily outweighed the little things. When he did something wrong, if it was accident, he obviously never meant for it, and unless outright told, never picked up on it; if on purpose, it was usually in good-humor, never malicious intent.

Of course, seeing as this was indeed normal circumstances, Dante remained completely turned off from Capella’s displeased look, only acknowledging her, albeit resigned sounding, acquiescence. With an overjoyed smile, Dante allowed only a moment for himself to be lost in an overwhelming sense of joy, grasping tight the Dragoness and embracing her in a bear hug. A moment later though, he returned to his feigned seriousness, though the playful undertone was blatantly obvious.

Crouching again, with his arms spread to either side as if ready to accept an attack or flee at a moment’s notice, Dante’s head swung back and forth before he began moving not at all silently towards the Guildhouse’s exit.

“Day one,” Dante began speaking quietly, in-between his unnecessary jumps across the hall to hide in doorways, mimicing stealth, “we’ve begun our campaign to capture subject F. Dante, witty, cunning, clever and… uhm. Smart guy… Heh. Has enlisted the help of Capella, the … something or other… capr.. capreshe? Caprishush? Dragonness….”

Running loudly across the hall once more, Dante glanced back at Capella, nodding and giving a thumbs up before spinning around the corner, adopting a fighting stance in order to combat the vacancy he found himself staring at. “The way is clear for now… Enemies lurk. Khrae, the evil, grumpy troll is around… somewhere… With any luck, we can escape his dreaded castle and return to the task at hand!”

Jumping forward, Dante landed awkwardly on his side and rolled comically a few feet, before army crawling and finally dashing to the mansion entrance. Pressing his back against the wall again, he peered through the door to the outside world.

“No guards or sentries… Why say you, Capella?!” Looking back to the Dragoness, Dante waited for her response before continuing outside, wasting no time in karate chopping a random bush and then drawing his sword and hacking away at a stump, shouting out random battle cries before running across the grass, as if being chased by enemy soldiers. His games caused him to momentarily forget that he’d left his sword impaled into the truncated piece of wood.

Rushing back, Dante spent another second or two attempting to pull his blade free, landing on his back as it finally came loose. Standing and attempting to cover the embarrassment, Dante swung the blade around and pointed down the road they had come from the previous day. “Come, Capella!” he called probably too loudly, “Our mission awaits!”


Valentino

Valentino inspected the spot Fay had chosen for him carefully. No bugs, toads, horses… Just dirt. Dirty dirt. Blech. Inwardly wincing and rolling his eyes, the man hated for his beautifully flawless white attire to be stained, and so he held up a graceful finger as an idea occurred to him. It was just enough to distract him from his previous uproar, as well as help impress the beautiful new target he’d acquired.

“One moment, darling” he offered charismatically. Turning, the man walked several paces before coming to a stop. With a blue glow emenating from his fingertip, he drew a square in the air, then began filling in details containing a large circle with several smaller ones inside it, decorated with odd runes. It was a less conventional means of magic, but definitely a more enticing one. It was mysterious and interesting to watch, and usually came with just as good results as if he were to cast a simple spell without the showmanship. Conjuration of a rock entity or whatever else was difficult, but the picnic which appeared was honestly a low-level trick. Easy mastery and it came in handy more times than most cared to acknowledge. Especially during the lonely nights when Valentino was too lazy to actually cook something.

What was laid out after a short chant was simple yet romantic. Atop a plain purple blanket embroider whimsically in gold hearts and vines sat several modest platters of cheese, meats, and some fruits. A small candle sat in the center, burning a strange pink, rather than yellow. Easy, and in truth, the only thing that Valentino could produce. But his inability to do anything other than illusions, short of this and a few other miscellaneous spells, was irrelevant. Honestly this wasn’t entirely a spell, but more of a summoning. Encrypted in a tome amongst several other locked away treasures, Valentino had sealed this spell away, enjoying his ability to use it whenever he wished, without ever running short of supply.

“I know how much you must want to be continuing on, but it’s no use traveling on an empty stomach. Why don’t you tell me a little more about yourself and these friends while we immerse ourselves in a snack? Hmm?”

With a wink, Valentino took Fays hand to help her up and relocate her to the purple fabric laid out over the grass. With a gentle kiss on the back of her hand, he gestured for her to sit.

“A little conversation never hurt,” Valentino said casually, taking a seat next to his newfound treasure. “And I’d love to hear about these people you were traveling with. They sound like an interesting group, despite leaving you behind.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Isaehn Raxieyl Character Portrait: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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#, as written by Igari

Image



Well this was...

.... interesting.

Interesting was the word she'd give this whole debacle without being incredibly insulting. Kaya had refused to move from her seat once this trial began. She did not want to be banded with the others. She believed in saving all souls, in attempted purification. But some souls were beyond saving. Such was the case with the lively Jennifer who seemed intent on angering those that opposed her. The man Talon was not much better, though more diplomatic, he was still just as hostile as the mage.

Her hands clenched into fists as the man casually turned on his heel as if about to leave the courtroom when a cage fell over him. The man growled, gnashing his teeth in a threatening manner. And then he gave an order no man ever has the right to give. She could not condone this. Perhaps she couldn't have stopped him in the past--he was the head of an assassin's guild after all.

Now she understood where she had known his name from--why this mage had seemed familiar. Even for one sheltered such as she... these two were known widely for their deeds, especially the woman. Her lip curled in disgust. How could they think they had a right to rid others of life, the greatest gift of all? The man struggled against the bars, his gaze whiplashing to the seats.

"If you wish to live you better stay right there and do nothing to interfere," What did that mean? Was that directed at her? Had he sensed her annoyance? Kaya stood slowly, glowing eyes narrowing as she gazed at the pair. There was no way she could just--

She was halted in her motions by a hand on her shoulder and turned to observe the man with the glasses from earlier. He had been so silent... she had barely even paid him any heed since they entered the room. He shook his head, a faint smile on his lips.

"Let them handle it. I have another plan in mind for you." She moved out of his grip, staring at him pensively.

"You are the one that brought them here. Why should I listen to you?" She questioned, brushing some hair out of her line of vision. The man's smile only widened.

"Because you will not want to be here once that mage woman gets going. Do you honestly think you want to be a part of the carnage?" Kaya did not trust him but the man did have a point. If she were a witness to the scene, they may attribute her to having ties to these two assassins. And the priestess did not want that. She had only come looking for answers as to why Lethandrill was destroyed and she had found them. The mage woman was responsible for the death of her kin.

She nodded, allowing him to place his hand on her arm and lead her away from the seats. He was bringing her closer to the wall but did not seem to be heading directly for the exit. She shot a look back up at the group of hooded figures, noticing that there was still one of them staring at the pair. Hm. This wasn't going to be a simple task to get out of here, now was it?

"What do they really want with them? Are their crimes truly as grievous as all that?" She asked. Even if she did not like the mage woman or her mate... she did not directly agree with the council either. The man just shrugged,inclining his head towards her.

"For the most part, yes. Those two are criminals," His smile turned a touch malicious as it widened to a smirk. "But in some circles, so am I and most certainly, so are the high nine. As for the destruction of Lethandrill, however..." He trailed off, appearing thoughtful. "Let us just say that things aren't always so black and white."

"So you're saying the mage didn't destroy the city?" She asked.

"Believe what you like, I am only an observer." Did no one know how to answer directly? Kaya was worn out simply from asking questions. She looked back over at the events unfolding in the courtroom, now a safe distance away thanks to this man. Whatever was happening... it was bigger than she had anticipated.


Image



Fukayna shifted--something was missing... Her eyes flitted underneath her eyelids as she opened them slowly, intaking her breath as she felt her body shift. Everything still ached--though that much was to be expected... She had let herself drift off for a few moments there. Armen's grip had been comforting enough so she had felt secure enough to try resting again. But now that was missing... why?

She spotted him, the boy knelt on the ground and shivering slightly. She hesitantly went to reach over, to place her hand on his shoulder, but withdrew as she felt it. That same sensation from earlier, back at the mansion. He was exuding that magical feel again--more powerful than she had even felt from... dare she say it, Miss Jennifer. She was hesitant to even compare him to such a great mage but there was no denying this incredible feeling.

The ground vibrated as a tremor passed through the room, emanating from the elf. She had to call for help--she had to get Sebastian, even Khrae!

As if answering her silent wishes, the pair burst through the doors just seconds after she conjured these thoughts. Khrae was quickest on the uptake and immediately knelt down next to Armen, skimming his fingers up to the boy's forehead. She could feel the older man doing... something. Perhaps it was a suppression technique? Either way, it only seemed to work for a moment for not a minute later, the swordsman was blown backwards from Armen and he hit the far wall.

She started, half-getting up from her perch but her body forced her to resume sitting. Sudden movements did not do her well. Sebastian walked over to Khrae and she narrowed her eyes underneath her bangs as they discussed something under their breaths. The look they gave her... clearly it was about Armen. Or maybe even about V'lyn or Miss Jennifer. She wanted to protest, to demand they tell her, but she was in no state to.

The older assassin and the mentor both hoisted Armen up, each carrying a portion of his weight from the room. Where were they taking him? Logically, he would need a bed to rest so... perhaps back to his room? What were they trying to hide from her? What did they not want her to know? Or maybe they thought she would be worried...

No! She had a right to know. She was one of the assassin's guild now. She was a part of the family. She ground her teeth together and forced herself to straighten, ignoring the pain that shot through her legs. She wasn't about to sit idly by and be left in the dark about everything.

Fukayna walked over to her chair, grabbing her furs and wrapping them about her once more. She glanced briefly at her shoes but didn't bother with them--there was no point. She stumbled over to the doorway, clasping the handle to keep herself upright. She was just able to catch a glance of the two men rounding the corner. Yes, she knew where that led. They were going to Armen's room.

She leaned against the wall weakly, trembling as she followed them at a safe distance. She was sure that with as weak as she was, her presence would barely register if at all. She paused as she caught the sound of Khrae's voice in the hallway, smooth as always.

“... still working on attempt to decipher what any of this means. To put it into words seems nearly implausible, so I’d like to try something. It must be witnessed and experienced first-hand.” She bit her lip, trying to lean closer to hear better. “Now then, have you ever meditated?” Disappointment settled in her stomach. Nothing good ever came of eavesdropping and she was being proved right.

Still she... she had to do something, right? She was different from Sebastian and Khrae. She had been a mage of Ro'ell... maybe if she was just able to observe Armen better....

But first, she had to find a way around the pair to get to his room. She sighed deeply, rubbing her temples. She would do this, somehow.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Jennifer’s clone stumbled sideways from the force of his push, managing to stagger just far enough to avoid the indomitable black cage prepared for them. The impact cracked the ground with a calamitous wham, scattering broken chips of marble across the floor. “Talon!” she screamed, picking herself off the deck. In her moment of panic, she lost the concentration to keep her illusion tangible and the doppelganger that’d been besides Talon all this time faded away like a dream.

In fact, so too did the one who’d so casually claimed one of the vacant seats above. Jennifer released a low growl as she appeared alongside another banister, her right arm outstretched towards the doorway. Her expression was furious as she passed a deadly glance over the flustered council members. To her surprise, they seemed as genuinely shocked by the sudden events as she was. Something was definitely wrong, but she was far more irritated at the fact that she’d missed such an obvious trap. The cage looked like it was made of obsidian, a substance renowned for its magic resistance. It was so effective that at the peak of its prosperity Laowlee used to be entirely constructed of obsidian, having formerly been inhabited by the non-magical races of Lastra. Unfortunately it wasn’t dragon proof.

The High Nine had showed their hand, and it was time to show theirs. "Jennifer, kill her."

Glad to see her lover unscathed, a grin curled over her red lips, seemingly emphasized by her pale complexion as Talon gave the signal. That was twice in one day that he’d given her permission to cause destruction, not that she needed it in situations like these. “Gladly, world fracture!”

Wooden planks and nails materialized over the central space before hammering into the doorway, barring any chance to escape. She’d deal with the woman first, trusting Talon to handle the cage. Their trickster had vanished with a click of her fingers, implying that magic had been employed somewhere along the line. So much for restricting magic. Jennifer was persistent however. If illusions were used then their assailant would still be close. Jennifer eyes combed over the interior, searching for any signs of movement. Gently, she began weaving illusions of her own, replacing herself with another doppelganger to step away from the railings.

It figured that the woman would show up the moment her assassin lover was in danger. No matter, she would make her way out of there with time to spare. Or rather... would have if that mage woman hadn't barred the door. Grinding her teeth, the High Nine whirled around, using the shadows. There really wasn't too far she could go. The only other places being beneath the tower and the rooms behind the one that she had held the audience in.

The tunnels beneath seemed far more inviting than being found in a room though. Another light snap of her fingers and she vanished from her spot near the door, reappearing in the dim gloom of the underground tunnels. They led into the city, the farthest corners. No one knew about them, only a few of the High Nine did.

She stormed down the hall at a brisk pace, intent on getting as far away as possible. A confrontation with the mage Jennifer was the last thing she wanted. Especially since her lover had just let her off her leash. Not that the woman ever had a tight leash to begin with. Even so, the woman only ever listed to that man and it was dreadfully troublesome. Damn... she should have killed the both of them when she had a chance. Now she had to deal with an enraged assassin and his pet.

Fortunately Jennifer couldn’t read minds, nor was she omnipotent; otherwise the tower would’ve likely ceased to exist from her careless comment. She was a fraction too late to react to the woman as the high nine’s fingers clicked and she vanished into thin air, disappearing to Reev knows where. Clearly the woman had planned numerous escape routes in advance, leading Jennifer to ponder what else they’d arranged.

“How meticulous,” she sniffed, tearing her deadly gaze back to the council. There was a tinge of annoyance as the mage readdressed the members still anxiously seated. “Eeny meeny miny mo.”

Singling out the man who’d been so promptly cut off by his colleague earlier, Jennifer leapt over the balcony to journey mid-air to his position, bringing with her what could only be described as a palpable air of dread. She floated effortlessly, naturally even, taking easy strides as though walking on an invisible bridge before sliding her legs over the barrier directly in front of him. Preceding her entry was a grid of iron bars which snapped into place behind the shrouded individual, essentially trapping him. Jennifer lifted one leg over the other as she seated herself over the rim.

“Oh my mister, that was such an impressive magic trick,” she ventured with false innocence, casually leaning back with both arms braced upon the edge, “You’ll show me how you did it, won't you?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Siryn
Sebastian, Armen and Khrae

“Now then, have you ever meditated?”

Sebastian had followed Khrae into the next room where he placed the unconscious elf upon the bed. The old assassin could only hope that the boy would be fine this time. His lips pulled into a frown as he looked at the elf's silent features. Armen had been in so much pain just moments before, it was almost a false calm that had settled over him right then.

Turning back to Khrae as the swordsman asked him the question, he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall next to the door, "If you consider sword training a type of meditation, sure. If all I need is to concentrate on nothing, then I should be fine," the old man answered gruffly.

He wondered what it was that Khrae wanted to show him. There was a little bit of worry as well. What could have possibly unsettled the man before him? Granite, he didn't know Khrae all that well, but enough to realize that something was definitely off about the situation. Once again, his eyes laid upon the elf. He was almost a hundred percent sure that whatever it was that had Khrae on edge... it had something to do with Armen. Whether that was bad or good... well that remained to be seen.

Fay X'san

“I know how much you must want to be continuing on, but it’s no use traveling on an empty stomach. Why don’t you tell me a little more about yourself and these friends while we immerse ourselves in a snack? Hmm?”

Valentino took her hand and lifted her up to her feet. She grinned foolishly at him as he led her to the blanket and sat her upon it after kissing the back of her hand. His lips, as they pressed against her skin, left a slight burning and tingling feeling that coursed from her hand up her arm.

“A little conversation never hurt. And I’d love to hear about these people you were traveling with. They sound like an interesting group, despite leaving you behind.”

Fay giggled lightly as her eyes laid upon the banquet that he'd summoned up. She was far too giddy for her own good, and yet again that feeling that something was off pulsed at the back of her mind. The Navile woman shook her head slightly, black hair that had fallen out of it's clip crisscrossed over her shoulders as she did so. Leaning back on one arm, she took a deep breath before speaking.

"Well, I don't know any of them very well. The man who's in charge of the entire group is called Talon V'lyn, but most everyone calls him Lord V'lyn. Probably because he's the leader of the assassin's order. Then there's his wife, Jennifer Live. She's a lovely woman but she's kind of mean. She doesn't like anyone other than Talon. Makes me wonder what background she comes from to have such vile notions towards everyone else.

"Then there's a couple of younger assassins, their called Fukayna and Astrid. Astrid is a bit of a trouble maker, especially with her dragon around. Fukayna doesn't speak at all, which is rather strange. But she seems sweet all the same. Then there's the elf. His name is Armen. Such a strange individual. He was injured last I saw him and Lord V'lyn and Jennifer took him back to Skyfall to nurse him back to health. It's almost like he doesn't know himself really, so I'm unsure about him. He seems honorable though.

"Then there's a pair from the phoenix tribe. I've never heard of them before, but they seem to be very powerful. Well, the one at least does. His name is Khrae and he's pretty quiet most times. A very serious man. He looks rather young, but I get the feeling he's much older than that, kind of like myself. Then there's Dante. He's quite handsome as well. He's a bit on the playful side, doesn't take things very seriously, but... I think... I think I..." Fay stumbled in her random string of sentences. Why was she even telling him that anyway? She couldn't really remember, but the moment she mentioned Dante, she started thinking about the youth fondly. Her eyebrows came down in confusion as she sat there, trying to regain her thoughts.

"I think I... might like him?" she ended in a question. Maybe she did like him, maybe she liked him much more than she originally thought. He was attractive, he was adorable almost all the time and she felt a certain attraction to him. Then of course there was that dragon woman who was attached to him too. Capella. Fay's lips pulled into a frown.

"But... there's this woman. Her name is Capella. Well, she's not really a woman, a dragon in a girls body. I'm not sure about her story, but she's claimed the boy as her treasure. As much as I do love Dante, I know that he's clueless to what's going on around him, especially with that dragon. If only I could get on good terms with her, maybe then we could all reach an understanding. It's not like I would force the boy into something he doesn't want, unlike her. She's taking advantage of the fact that he doesn't quite get what's going on," Fay sighed heavily.

She looked over to Valentino and smiled wearily, "But enough of my babbling, really it's not very polite, now is it? I do apologize. Let's eat and get back as quickly as we can, shall we?"

Talon V'lyn

“How meticulous. Eeny meeny miny mo.”

Talon watched as Jennifer waltzed over to the men up in their seats. She promptly sat herself down, putting one leg over the other as she singled out one of the men up there. She leaned forward, and Talon was sure that her usual grin was upon her lips even though he couldn't see it.

“Oh my mister, that was such an impressive magic trick. You’ll show me how you did it, won't you?” She asked, her voice velvety as she spoke. That was probably when she was at her most dangerous. The woman's smile was just a cover for her true intentions. Even having known her for many years, it still sent chills down his spine when he thought about everything that his lover was capable of.

The man must have caught on because his voice was far from solid, "I-I-I didn't... that was... A-All her doing! I s-s-swear! She... she must h-h-have gone to the... catacombs.... b-beneath us. Beneath us!" He nearly shouted the last part as if he expected Jennifer to lash out at him at any moment. Which was possible, no one ever knew what she would do next, not even Talon some times.

Talon turned to the woman who had come with them, his lips pulled into a frown still, "Why don't you do something useful and stay here to watch them. No one leaves, understand?"

Getting to his feet slowly, he looked up to Jennifer, "Come, we'll both get her. Now that I think of it, we should ask questions first before we kill her," he stretched out his hand to his lover. The bracer on his hand glowed softly. He was weak, but he still had power enough to deal with one measly woman.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Centi85
Khrae, Sebastian & Fukayna

"If you consider sword training a type of meditation, sure. If all I need is to concentrate on nothing, then I should be fine.”

Khrae nodded, but then thought for a moment as to what it was he intended to do. Nothing. There was nothing he could do other than explain to the best of his abilities what had happened, but now that he actually stopped, calmed himself and considered what he’d just said, he realized he might have insinuated something beyond what he was capable of. Shaking his head a moment as if the action could reorganize the suddenly cluttered mess of thoughts whirring through his mind, the man clarified.

“Oh, no,” he began, “you won’t need to do any meditating. So long as you understand the premise of what the activity was built upon.” Khrae stopped, trying to judge whether or not Sebastian followed so far, and then to contemplate exactly how to properly articulate his thoughts. Finally having formulated a plan of engagement for the touchy subject, the man wasted no time in diving straight in. He hated beating around the bush, especially on matters such as this. Trivial facts and round-about answers were tedious, and most of the time demanded even more thought to process, let alone fabricate.

“Through a meditation, one achieves a sound mind and body. They become one, harmonize, and it is through that harmony and clarity that some say they can be granted a foresight into many things.. Simple things like life choices, answers to what may be bothering them…” Pausing, the man was a realist, and although he grew up with this life style and didn’t doubt it one bit, he still knew of the skepticism that many held towards the subject. Sebastian seemed fairly open-minded, however, and so Khrae continued. “Some of the great elders can use this heightened state to do spectacular things. Many have documented experiences where they’ve had glimpses into the future and, more astonishingly, into the subconscious of another person altogether. Thoughts, memories, regrets, fears, you name it… All there..”

With a questioning look the swordsman pausing briefly, waiting for some sort of response to tell him that the assassin understood where he was possibly going. It wasn’t that what he said was at all confusing, Khrae always spoke so that he addressed the topic as straightforward and simple as he could and always endeavored to fill in important background information for use as reference to the bigger picture, but rather, it was the fact that many people would check out around this time, finding the notion of such talk blasphemous. Sebastian seemed to keep up, so Khrae continued.

“That being said, I had been meditating in the courtyard earlier when I stumbled upon a most curious… something. A conversation of sorts, but it was one-sided. Not like only one person was talking, I’m assuming that there was another participant, but I never caught any responses of that particular person.” Khrae paused, glancing once to Armen. “What was very much… unsettling… was simply the half of the conversation I seemed to have been stuck with. The voice was ancient and belonged to no person. It was powerful and held within it wisdom and energy beyond any I’ve encountered. ”

Khrae stopped again, deciding that the most effective approach was an outright statement of his hypothesis. If he was wrong, so be it, but he sincerely doubted he could be; all evidence pointed to such a conclusion. “I intercepted only pieces, but I believe Armen may have found his link. I believe he’s found himself a Dragon.”

After a short time to allow the weight of his words, Khrae spoke again, still maintaining the same stoic yet whole-hearted tone, as if he was screaming on the inside the urgency, however his training refused to allow such manners of conduct. “It was about that time when our little elf went cataclysmic again,” Khrae continued, “And when I had attempted to avert the power, it was like looking through a spyglass. What I saw.. It was one of those cloaked men, however he was behind bars. Moreover, he was on the opposite side of the bars behind which hold what I believe was trying to make the connection with Armen… That conversation sounded like it was being spoken underwater, undecipherable, but the image was clear as day.”

Shifting his eyes to one side, Khrae couldn’t see beyond the corner, but he knew she was there nonetheless. He assumed that Sebastian was aware of their eavesdropper’s presence too, so he merely nodded to his left, allowing for the older assassin to deal with those under his jurisdiction. Khrae had no more to say, so at this point he was content to remain quiet until questioned further.


Valentino & Fay

Valentino listened intently to the girl speak, at first maintaining a genuine look of curiosity seeing as he needed to know who he had to contend with for his prize, but eventually having to resort to his magic in order to perpetuate his appearance of intrigue. The man had no idea the girl was aligned with such powerful comrades, certainly it made no sense considering past references for Navile. Talon V’lyn; he was a foul man who commanded swarms of shadow-walkers. Assassins were one of the lowest forms of people in Valentino’s not-too-modest opinion. The man had to conceal first a look of sheer distaste, however that expression barely had enough time to fully crease the man’s lips before turning into that of fear and unbelief. He’d known it was coming, and yet he didn’t expect it.

Jennifer Live…

She may as well be the queen of mages. If there was anyone out there who played worse mine-games than himself, anyone even more insidious, devious and all-around insane and chaos-inducing, it was her. Valentino had to suppress entirely his urge to shutter and recoil at the name, because Jennifer’s reputation put himself to shame. Her magic surpassed most anyone’s in all possible ways, and she of all people would know who he was as well, and just his own presence, he was sure, she would be able to see directly through his ploy and break any and all hopes he had of capturing his prey. There was no way he could continue his endeavor with such a force to be reckoned with stymieing him. Worse yet, even if Valentino did have the courage to steal away the girl and combat Jennifer, aside from being obliterated, he’d be obliterated after having been pinned to a tree by a series of throwing knives. Talon would be backing his lovely devil a hundred and ten percent…

Valentino was lost in thought for much of the remainder of the time that Fay was talking. Only one other piece of information caught the man’s attention again and momentarily pulled him from his momentary block.

Then there's Dante. He's quite handsome as well. He's a bit on the playful side, doesn't take things very seriously, but... I think... I think I... might like him?"

Once more, Valentino received a full-on slap in the face. Broadsided entirely, the man knew he’d have to work for this particular prize, but he never thought he’d have to hurdle so many obstacles. His magic was wearing, he hadn’t recharged and so he couldn’t maintain the same powerful doses he always did. To get to his prize, he’d have to work her away from the bonds she’d already made. Talon and Jennifer were the biggest stumbling blocks, but then there was this boy… Phoenix tribe? What in the hell was a Phoenix tribe? Valentino knew of the mythical bird, but he knew they didn’t exist as well. Unless these people were some strange hybrid human-bird that doesn’t die; Valentino was scaring himself now. That would be terrible. This boy, whoever he was who had captured the attention of his beloved energy source must be something indeed, especially if he’d caught the eyes of…

"But... there's this woman. Her name is Capella. Well, she's not really a woman, a dragon in a girls body.”





…What?

W-was that even possible?

Valentino simply took on a look of being completely dumbfounded. But then again, just a moment ago he was imagining a man with fiery feathered wings and a beak… But that was simply his imagination… Fay had to be pulling his leg now, his magic must really be wearing. Even full he was no match for what awaited him, but running on reserves… Valentino was stuck now, unsure of how he could possibly continue on with his nefarious plots.

"But enough of my babbling, really it's not very polite, now is it? I do apologize. Let's eat and get back as quickly as we can, shall we?"

The man blinked several times, his mouth opening and closing like a fish without water. “Uh-er.. E-h…heh… S..” Valentino rubbed the back of his head, overwhelmed suddenly. Talon, an entire guild of assassins and Jennifer… Some flaming man-bird that doesn’t die, and a dragon girl? Valentino almost felt as if he himself were under another powerful mages’ spell. This girl was beyond words, and her story was even more farfetched than that. Either someone was messing with him, or he was being punished by a greater power he never acknowledged.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, and then standing quickly, Valentino tried hard to maintain his smile, but just couldn’t manage. “Yes, well. Uh, actually, well whaddya know! Look at that, I have to go. I-er… Well, I mean…. Oh, casserole! Yes, oven… Spells and such. Uhm, are you sure you wouldn’t want to come back home with myself?” Smiling, Valentino thought only after he spoke. What if they came looking for her? Damnit. He’d have to find a better way to engage this particular battle. First and foremost, however, he needed to leave before he came into contact with Talon or Jennifer and get up to full strength. Perhaps he could distract her long enough to take the girl and run? He’d do it now if he had the strength…

“Damnit,” Valentino huffed. “S-sorry.. I,” Valentino finally just threw his hands up and began backing up in the other direction. “I gotta go!” he said, then turned and made a fast escape. He would return, he would make sure of that, but once he had bettered his odds. Leaving with a parting gift, the man hoped that his mark in the girl’s mind would be enough to keep her somewhat under his trace, if not make it at least easier for him to reclaim her when the time came.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella
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Despite the irritation she felt, the Dragoness couldn't help but grin sardonically as she watched the boy's rather comical display. Capella, being a Dragon, knew very little of stealth, but even she was fairly sure that this wasn't how you went about leaving a building without being noticed, a fact she had become unshakably aware of around the fifth time Dante had opened his mouth to either narrate his own actions or to shout at a particularly menacing shrubbery. Then again, perhaps that was the very fact Dante was banking on? Surely, anyone who saw him right now would never guess that he was trying not to be seen, so they would just discount his rather unusual actions as being just a few more unremarkable examples of his own personal brand of shenanigans. Nobody would ever guess that he was actually trying to slip away when he was acting like this. In fact, they'd probably just ignore him. So, did that mean that he was actually planning this out? If that was the case, then Capella was certainly impressed by his sheer audacity and cunning. Then again, perhaps she was thinking this through a little too far.

Capella sighed. As usual, she couldn't tell if she was in the company of a carefree boy, or a manipulative genius. It didn't matter either way, though, she supposed. If the boy was secretly a genius and was fooling even her, it merely made her all the more proud of her Hoard. And, if he simply did not care, then it simply meant that it was her job to do the thinking in his place. In either case, Capella realized, she was satisfied merely with Dante's company. It was somewhat odd, when she thought about it, that it had ended up this way. When she had first appeared on the forest path, and had encountered Dante there, she had merely meant it to be a brief fling into Human society to amuse herself by toying with the sensibilities of the two mortals she had stumbled across. Yet, from almost the moment she had joined them, she had found herself unable to leave, fixated by the strangeness of the company she had become a part of. Like a moth drawn to a flame, the new warmth she had experienced in the boy's kindness had captivated her, and she had found it impossible to turn her attention to anything else. From almost the moment she had met Dante, although perhaps she hadn't noticed it at the time, something had changed within her. No longer was she simply sinking in an endless sea of meaningless time, too tired, too bored, too alone to even bother opening her eyes and trying to live her life. Suddenly, she had found that, almost before she had known it, she was no longer lonely.

Pushing these thoughts aside as her Hoard called out to her, Capella merely chuckled quietly and followed after him. She supposed that, even if he didn't realize now that she would be relying on him to stave off that old sense of solitary despair in the future, it was alright to allow him some level of freedom. There was no need to shut him up in a cave like a more material belonging. He was her possession, after all, and no matter where he went or who tried to claim him, that fact wouldn't change so long as she was by his side. Such was the nature of a Dragon's Hoard.

"I take it that it would be preferable to avoid a several day long trek back the way we came," Capella said rhetorically. "And I should also think that it would be more convenient to us to leave this place quickly before our absence is noticed." Getting these comments out of the way by way of explanation, she stepped forward, and, gently as she could - she even went to the trouble of dismissing the scales coating her hands, instead relocating them to her stomach, which as of yet had remained bare - slipped her arms underneath those of the boy. Taking hold of his shoulders by this means, she spread her wings.

"So," She continued in a quieter voice, given her proximity to Dante's ears. "As I am a very generous Dragon, and as it is convenient to us both, I'm more than willing to carry you. What say you, Dante?" Adding this last query on more as an echo of his own words a moment before, Capella nevertheless made the notable concession of refraining from taking off until she received his confirmation - a surprisingly polite gesture, coming from a Dragon. Given the boy's attitude, however, Capella held little doubt as to what his answer would be. She just hoped he wouldn't pull on her tail this time. Although the experience hadn't been painful - on the contrary, the sudden, unexpected jolt of sensations had been almost exhilarating, in a certain way - the boy's actions had felt very uncomfortable, somehow, not to mention embarrassing, which was a feeling that the rather shameless Dragonness was not particularly well acquainted with, nor was it an emotion she particularly desired to experience again. But, of course, given his perpetual energy and curiosity, Capella held no doubts that he would certainly find some way to make her feel ashamed over the course of a several hour long period of clinging to her body several hundred feet above the ground. Sighing, she merely did what she could, and braced herself for what was bound to be a "unique" experience.

Setting

Characters Present

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





It didn’t take much convincing before the man was practically spewing his foremost intimate knowledge of the building’s architecture to her, as if eager to escape her burning scrutiny. Granted, for all of her power, who else knew what the fickle illusionist was capable of gleaning. Perhaps she was manipulating his emotions there and then, disguised in some suitably demonic visage to add to his growing discomfort.

"I-I-I didn't... that was... A-All her doing! I s-s-swear! She... she must h-h-have gone to the... catacombs.... b-beneath us. Beneath us!" the man blurted out, stuttering his words between quivering lips.

Jennifer squinted her eyes discriminatingly for a second longer, holding his gaze, before finally relenting with a coy smirk. The slight tinge of red indicated he was well and truly flustered, meaning he was genuinely surprised, or an incredibly good actor. Either way, they were very soon about to find out.

‘What do you think honey?” she called, her voice echoing down the colonnades but not quite loudly.

"Come, we'll both get her. Now that I think of it, we should ask questions first before we kill her," Talon called from below, stretching his hand out to her like true gentleman.

“Thank you kindly for your cooperation,” Jennifer said sweetly, regarding the council member smugly for a moment longer only to relish in his distress. Then in one smooth motion, she swung her legs over the ledge to drop down in a cascade of dark browns. She landed deftly besides Talon, just at the right distance to reach to his hand, and barely made a sound as she rose up. Maybe she’d been down there the entire time and the image above had simply been another elaborate mirage.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” she asked, raising one of her thin eyebrows at him pointedly. His expenditure of energy was a constant source of concern for her and she wasn’t about to let him endanger himself. She looked around then at the conspicuous looking shards of obsidian scattered across the floor by the destructive force of his magic. “Not bad though old man, seems you still have a few tricks up that sleeve of yours.”

Even a mage of her caliber would’ve experienced difficulty breaking out from the murky prison which had been sprung on him. Huffing her stress out, Jennifer planted her hands again her waist as she paused to ponder their next appropriate step.

“Bet you I can find her before you can,” she stated abruptly, licking her lips, “World Fracture, shatter!”

Without warning, the floor before them exploded very suddenly and very violently, splintering into a thousand tiny pieces as fragments of rubble and dust sprayed across the court room. The sound of tearing was deafening, but lasted no more than a few seconds as the fog swiftly settled back on the ground. In place of the previously pretty tiles was now a gaping hole. With jagged edges and no more than two or so meters in diameter, it intersected the main walkway towards the seated council.

“Ladies first,” Jennifer chuckled, taking a running leap into the waiting shadows.

"I'm fine," he replied lightly then regarded her with a bit of a smile as she commented on his old age and having a 'few tricks up his sleeve.

"I have plenty of tricks," he said, most likely insinuating much more than the words themselves. He grinned at her as she licked her lips in thought. Talon crossed his arms over his chest, lifting an eyebrow as she announced the challenge.

Her power rocked the room, the explosion hardly fazing him, but the High Nine in their seats all gasped, jumped and a few screamed in shock. Talon let his lovely mage go first before rushing right after her, jumping down into the darkness himself. The assassin landed lightly and stood up slowly to regard the new area around him.

"You’re on, love. Just don't kill her right away," he said as he started off into the catacombs. His silver bracer glowed very dimly, the magic there was low, but slowly regaining itself. Talon knew that Jennifer was worried about him, and she had every right to be. He'd just expended a hell of a lot of power to get out of that cage and it had hurt him. He could still taste the coppery blood in his mouth.




The sound of something erupting filled the air and the tunnels shook from whatever it was. She turned around slowly, her eyes lifting upwards to see if anything immediately around her had crumbled.

Nothing.

That was good, she supposed. Except the very bad thing about it was that she was now under attack by both Lord V'lyn and his mage accomplice. Two very dangerous people. She grit her teeth and hurried on. The faster she covered their little... secret, the better.




The catacombs were noticeably simple, consisting of bricked archways and a endless corridor which spread out into two opposite routes. Then again, when did anyone ever concern themselves over complicated designs for hidden escape routes? Structures which weren't typically showcased or made available to the public. Standing precariously over a pile of rubble of her own creation, Jennifer glanced from one way to the next before sniffing the stale air, only recently disturbed by a natural air flow. The light above revealed grime, dirt and more than a few cobwebs which smeared the cobbled walls, reminding her of the dingy sewage system they'd used to originally infiltrate Laowlee all those years ago. It was possible they'd been re-used, but it was also just as likely that these chambers were new additions.

"Which direction?" she murmured, pondering the question aloud. She barely registered Talon landing besides her as the man touched down quietly without effort. He looked up and chose a path almost wordlessly, as if detecting some invisible scent. Jennifer gazed clueless at the indicated direction, her eyes still adjusting to the barely lit hallway. When it came to tracking and stealth, she had to admit that Talon undoubtedly had the advantage on her.

"You're just going to have to get there before I kill her then," Jennifer lurched before blazing forwards on a trail of fire. There was the sound of a mini sonic boom as she lift off, propelled by the wind and her fire magic. Her dark hair flailed after her as he literally left the man behind in her dust.

In a matter of seconds she'd covered more than a few hundred meters, and in no time at all she'd caught up to a robed figure, fleeing through the tunnels. Jennifer sent her doppelgangers ahead to distract the woman whilst she prepared a barrage of deadly spells, the first of which began with a hurtling wall of sharpened metal. "World Fracture! Spears!"

Talon watched her go with a frown on his lips. There were times when she was a difficult woman to deal with. However, he didn't have much of a choice at that moment. He didn't have the power to chase after her like he normally would have. With a grimace he thought about the repercussions to having lied to her in the first place. Probably not that great.

In anycase, he allowed her to go ahead of him and knew that the woman was doomed to die. Well, he supposed things could be worse. If all else failed, he could easily interrogate the men in the room that they'd just left. They were bound to know something. They always did.





She hissed in rage. Damn that woman was quick! Sounds of the magic that the mage woman wielded filled the air. Sharp objects began to barrage the hallway that she darted down. The door was just ahead of her and it was far too late to turn back now. If only she could get to that door and shut it on them... everything would be just fine.

The spears that were attacking her jutted out of the walls all around her and chasing her was not only one, but several images of the Lady Jennifer. The High Nine ground her teeth as she tried to ignore them and continued on. As she rushed towards the door, almost making it even, an image of Jennifer stood directly in her way. One of the clones.

She skidded to a halt and the moment that she stopped, she felt a sharp pain right through the middle of her back. Slowly she turned around to regard the mage who had chased after her. Her lips twisted into a curved smile as she began to drop to her knees from the mortal wound.

"What do you know..." she coughed, "And where's that damned assassin? Is he too weak to come after me himself? I'm sure he is," she spat out. Blood trickled from the corner of her lips.

"No, I'm here," came his deep voice. She glowered into the hall way as the tall assassin finally came into view.

"How much power did that take, boy?"

"Enough," he replied shortly and crossed his arms.

"Fine. Your days are numbered, assassin... there won't be much left here soon enough," she laughed for a moment before choking and then toppling over.

She'd been prepared for more traps, or at least a retaliation of some nature upon embarking on her hot pursuit, but nothing as pathetic as this. The robed figure didn't even bother to offer up an ounce of resistance as her projectiles impaled the landscape, and somehow that was even more disappointing.

"I wonder what crime this would be listed under? Care to tell me now?" Jennifer teased with false ignorance. If she couldn't find fun in hunt, she could certainly find it elsewhere. Another step brought her several meters away from dealing the death blow and she raised her arm in anticipation.

Abruptly, her dark eyes widened as the familiar, athletic frame of her partner came into view, intersecting her pathway.

"What in the..."

Jennifer came to a skidding halt behind Talon, leaving the tunnel warm and skewered in the wake of her onslaught. Simultaneously, all of her spells halted, disrupted by the assassin's sudden intrusion. Forced into a quick recovery, she raised her eyebrows at him yet again.

"She's mad. And coming from me, that's saying something," Jennifer said, deflecting his inevitable criticism, "She had nothing to threaten us with in the first place. This was such a waste of time."

"She may not have had anything to threaten us with, but she was hiding something," Talon responded. His lips pulled into a frown as he cast his lover a sidelong glance. He could tell that she was trying to divert his attention away from the fact that she had killed the woman and would have done more. The assassin sighed softly.

Blue-grey eyes lifted from the dead woman's body and looked at the door that she had been sprinting too. Stepping over the woman he reached out for the handle of the door and slowly opened it. The bracer brightened as he pushed the power at the door to keep it opened just in case something else happened. Not that he was too worried about it, Jennifer was more than capable of getting them out of a room if they ever became stuck.

Beyond the door, there was soft sounds. Chains moving along the ground was what it sounded like to Talon and he lifted an eyebrow. The echoing of the moving chains told him that the room beyond was fairly large and he wondered just how large it was, or even if they were deeper in the ground than he'd originally thought. Looking to Jennifer first, he stepped into the dark room and lifted his hand.

The bracer brightened and his magic exploded into a single ball of light that lifted up and illuminated the room. He could only see what was immediately to his right and left, but even then what he saw had his heart clenching in his chest. His gaze widened as he looked at two very large dragons on either side of the room. They were chained to the floor, unable to move very much from the lack of space.

Talon walked forward and spotted more dragons as his light followed him, "Jennifer..." he whispered breathlessly. What the hell were the High Nine doing caging up dragons? The assassin's eyes narrowed and he looked to the chains that held them down. Flicking his hand outwards, the binds holding them all broke, shattering instantly. His rage was what fueled the over use of magic and a moment after, a bit of blood trickled down from his nose.

"Give them an opening, my love," he ordered. Once they were free he would discuss with her what the meaning of it all was. Then, he would be on his way back to Skyfall. Not only did he need rest, but he needed to get Sebastian up to speed on the situation as well as everyone else.

Confusion radiated off the mage as she observed the same spectacle, thinking over the possible significance for the caged dragons. It was either a nefarious plan or the High Nine had some weird fetish for dragon collecting, she didn’t care really. Talon’s deep voice, just loud enough to be heard over the cacophony of keening howls, broke her away from her reverie and she replied with gusto.

“Not even a please?” she smirked, “I’m hurt. World Fract-”

She noticed then a faint trickle of red just flowing above his lips, barely noticeable in the dimly lit cavern. It was enough to set off her alarm bells though and she stomped up to him, breaking away mid-spell. “What’s this?!” she demanded, her high pitch seemingly drowning out the beasts surrounding them. The woman’s voice was as accusing as it was concerned as she manned up to her fellow partner, twisting her features into scowl.

“You’ve been over-using your powers haven’t you?” she said, a statement more than a question, “Didn’t I warn you about this? When we get back to Skyfall I swear to Reev you’ll be hearing about this.”

As if to highlight her anger, she outstretched her arm and wordlessly obliterated the central roof in a beam of fire. It took no more than a few seconds before white light invaded the previously hidden room. The heat from her blast was enough to unsettle the dragons and completely disintegrate the rubble which would’ve otherwise come crashing down upon them.

“Let’s get out of here.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Siryn
Fay X'san and Valentino

She watched him carefully as he suddenly stuttered at her. An eyebrow raised in curiosity as she waited for him to form a coherent thought and speak to her properly.

“Uh-er.. E-h…heh… S..”

"Um... Valentino?"

“Yes, well. Uh, actually, well whaddya know! Look at that, I have to go. I-er… Well, I mean…. Oh, casserole! Yes, oven… Spells and such. Uhm, are you sure you wouldn’t want to come back home with myself?”

"I'm sure, Valentino. I'm really sorry, but I don't think I can go back with you right now. I really do want to, don't get me wrong, but I have to see to my friends first. Perhaps another-"

“Damnit. S-sorry.. I, I gotta go!” With that the handsome man turned on his heel and ran away from her full tilt back the way they'd come. Fay watched him go in surprise. She wasn't exactly sure as to what had just happened, but didn't move to chase after him either. Her head cocked off to one side, silky black hair spilling over her shoulder just barely as she watched his form grow smaller and smaller by the second.

"Was it something I said?" she wondered aloud.

Armen Sorien

“That being said, I had been meditating in the courtyard earlier when I stumbled upon a most curious… something. A conversation of sorts, but it was one-sided. Not like only one person was talking, I’m assuming that there was another participant, but I never caught any responses of that particular person. What was very much… unsettling… was simply the half of the conversation I seemed to have been stuck with. The voice was ancient and belonged to no person. It was powerful and held within it wisdom and energy beyond any I’ve encountered. ”

Sebastian nodded slowly, keeping up with the conversation.

“I intercepted only pieces, but I believe Armen may have found his link. I believe he’s found himself a Dragon.”

Shock registered on the old assassin's features. A dragon? Pushing off the wall, he uncrossed his arms and leaned forward, eyeing the unconscious boy for a moment before turning his attention back to Khrae, "A dragon. You're saying that the elf's got himself a companion? You do know that kind of thing is very rare these days. Dragon's are going extinct. It's nearly impossible for anyone to get a dragon these days..." he stopped himself. Well, in his lifetime, all the years he's spent with Talon. If it was one thing, the word 'impossible' didn't exist in either Jennifer's or Lord V'lyn's vocabulary. He sighed heavily.

"Alright, lets say you're right and there is a dragon waiting for him. How do you figure that one though?"

“It was about that time when our little elf went cataclysmic again. And when I had attempted to avert the power, it was like looking through a spyglass. What I saw.. It was one of those cloaked men, however he was behind bars. Moreover, he was on the opposite side of the bars behind which hold what I believe was trying to make the connection with Armen… That conversation sounded like it was being spoken underwater, undecipherable, but the image was clear as day.”

"Great, so we're dealing with some cloaked fool that think's he's holding all the power in the world. Not to mention he's imprisoned a dragon. Scary if you ask me. That kind of thing takes a lot of power, one I would only think that Lord V'lyn or Lady Jennifer would have only. I suppose that isn't the case though," the old assassin sighed heavily and ran a hand through his hair. Scratching the back of his head, he stretched as he stared at the prone form of the elf.

"I suggest we wait for him to regain consciousness to ask any more details. Then we'll wait for Lord V'lyn and his lady. I know nothing of owning a dragon myself. If anyone's an expert it would be one of them," his eyes looked over to the side of the room and he frowned. Turning on his heel, he pulled opened the door and looked down at the girl who was seated there.

"Miss Fukayna. You do know that it's terrible character to eavesdrop right? Come on, get up girl and come inside," he sighed heavily as he stood off to the side and allowed her entrance, "I suppose you'll want to know what's going on, hu? Well, have a seat, we'll get right down to it."

Talon V'lyn and Jennifer Live

He felt his heart skip a beat. If it was one thing he was afraid of, it was the wrath of his wife, his lover Jennifer. She was an amazing woman, but to earn her wrath was probably the least smartest thing anyone could do. Up on the horse, he followed after her as they left the city of mages behind. Talon was happy to see it grow smaller and smaller behind them as they road back to Skyfall. The longer they spent there, the more he angry he grew with it. He hated the place, hated the hierarchy there as well. They thought themselves far above anyone else. Talon would love nothing more than to bring them down a few pegs, show them what true power was.

He sighed, but to do that would put his own position and guild in danger. Flicking the reigns of his horse, Talon pushed the stead to catch up to his lover who was riding far ahead of him. She was no doubt in a bad mood. Pulling up next to her, he glanced over at the beautiful woman and frowned.

"I'm sorry, Jennifer," he started, "I'm alright, I promise you. I know you're worried," he said, trying to calm her. Reaching out he took her hand in his that held the reigns of her horse, "You have my word, I'm alright."

He turned to look ahead of them. Spotting a figure in the distance, he lifted an eyebrow. With a soft hum to himself, he wondered who it could be that looked to be traveling quite quickly back to the city of mages.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Astrid T'vali Character Portrait: Stephano
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Astrid and Stephano
~~~


Stephano rolled his eyes as Astrid tried to get up. Again. You'd think she'd know when to when to give up and yet here was the redhead, struggling yet again.

"Other people would have given up by now, my dear." The dragon commented dryly, his posture relaxed as he lounged on Astrid's bed in the medical centre. The struggling redhead turned to her companion and narrowed her red eyes, conveying her annoyance and frustration.

"Yeah, well, other people haven't been basically paralysed for the last...for...for a really long time!" Astrid huffed, willing her legs to respond. "Besides, I can't stay here all day, I've been here for ages." Astrid bit her lip hard. She also felt terribly guilty about the fact that she couldn't help the other assassins; the ones who had been killed and those who still lived. Thus, she decided to change that fact.

"Astrid..." Stephano sighed, pulling himself up into a sitting position. "Don't push yourself too hard. You were...ill..."

"Key word there being "were", past tense. Now, are you coming or not, chubby cheeks?" Astrid grinned as she finally got to her feet and balanced. This was a good sign and one that she hoped wasn't a fluke. She felt...somewhat steady after all. The dragon rolled his eyes before flaring his wings. With a hop and a flutter, he was sat on Astrid's back. He quickly curled himself around her, his head sitting on her shoulder once again.

"I gotta admit, I missed you there, doll." Astrid scratched behind Stephano's ear, earning a little purr from the sandy brown dragon.

"Really?" The assassin's companion asked, his deep voice tinged with amusement.

"Well yeah, with all that fat, you're basically a hot water bottle there and it's nice and toasty in here." Astrid giggled, taking her first few tentative steps, Stephano coiled to catch her if necessary. He needn't worry though as she stumbled through the hardest part. The assassin beamed before taking another few steps, slowly getting to the door.

"Well, I'm glad I can be useful to you in a way other than food, transport or a bargaining chip." Stephano chuckled, giving Astrid a little lift when she looked ready to fall over once again.

"Yeah, well, I suppose you have your uses...now come on, let's go find Sebastian...He'll know what to do." And with that, Astrid left the medical centre, still a bit slower than she would have liked but finding the movement easier now. The assassin paused as she tried to figure out where the older assassin would be. Instead of thinking too hard about it, she just decided to wander. Sebastian had the quite truly ability to find Astrid whenever she was doing something she wasn't supposed to after all and the assassin supposed walking about when she was supposed to be in bed in the medical centre counted as "doing something she wasn't supposed to." He'd be around before she could find a half decent hiding place, she was sure of it.

"I thought you didn't like him?" Stephano questioned as he raised himself up a little, trying to get a look around the place.

"Not particularly, well, not when he's lecturing me for the fifty billionth time..."

"You do bring that on yourself though, my dear."

"Shut it. And as I was saying before you oh so rudely interrupted, although I don't like it when he lectures me and starts bossing me about, I have no problems with him the rest of the time." Astrid spoke quietly, her red eyes darting around the area.

"So what do we do in the mean time?"

"We wait for Sebastian to appear and to yell at me for a while before going to do something actually worthwhile and useful." And with a sunny smile, Astrid carried on wandering around, waiting for Sebastian to come round the corner screaming and hollering at her for her stupidity. Stephano merely rolled his eyes and kept his companion company, occasionally reminding her that, no, he was not a foreign delicacy and she was not going to sell him to the highest bidder.

Despite this, the little dragon was still glad to have his smart mouthed assassin up and walking, even if she was getting on his last damn nerve.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Centi85
Valentino & Impending Doom/Approaching Company

Valentino was traveling with the god’s speed, augmented with a not-so-modest amount of magic as he sped to the safety of his own domain within the city of the mages. Preservation of face, both metaphorically if he could evade the scrupulous eyes of the wily assassin head and his malicious and vivacious mage counterpart and act as if he were never involved in their ordeals, as well as literally, were on the line and Valentino valued his physical prowess. It certain wouldn’t aid him in any such manner if Jennifer skinned him alive and then reattached his exterior in some form other than that which was correct. Valentino shuddered at the thought, his pacifistic and untainted mind not akin to thoughts of mutilation or deformation, or at least not as much as his adversaries, not in the least.

A noble endeavor as it was, it just wasn’t Valentino’s cup of tea. He vowed to return to collect his prize nevertheless, but not at this moment. In the distance he knew rested his sanctuary. A relative target which held a buffer zone of other mages behind which Valentino could remain concealed from prying eyes. He was so close, and the man felt his heart suddenly sink as the silhouettes on horseback found their formation, the dark forms being painted in as they drew closer.

Valentino stopped mid-run as his worst fears were recognized. Why were the gods so goddamn annoying in their perpetual games of karma and irony, always so choicely timed as to benefit no on other than themselves? Although Valentino knew that if he were a god, his past time would most likely involve ruining the lives of those who held no power to say otherwise. Currently, however, Valentino was no such omnipotent entity, nor did he have any such reserves to combat such a being, or even the one which was presented before him now.

Mid-stride and paused with one foot held just over the ground, his arms flailing either fore or aft, Valentino conducted an about-face. No, wait… They were going that way, and that way held his abandoned prize that would no doubt have a torrent of questions under which he’d suffocate and suffer beneath upon their next meeting… That and Jennifer and Talon were going in that direction, and they’d no doubt meet up. But then, could he go this way and pass unnoticed? No, impossible… Unless…

Valentino stood in the middle of the road, looking like a chicken without its head as he contemplated what his next course of action would be. Continue, run back, run to the side, dig a hole?! Damnit! Magic… No… Shit. They’re getting closer!

Oh, right, magic! He’d just said that… Er, who cares! Valentino decided finally to employ a hardy cloak of subterfuge in the form of spells and incantations. And, go!

In the amount of time it had taken him to adequately don an appropriate disguise he’d shifted through about five forms, all illusion-based of course. To a child it might have been comical seeing a man first dressed in all white shift into a tree of the wrong species for the surrounding environment, then to an overly lithe woman whose only substantial girth was within her ostentatiously bulbous chest and posterior, then to a mouse, only for the man to once more appear, shrieking this time as he relished not being such a foul vermin, and then finally to a raggedly-clothed farmer with a large straw hat beneath which he concealed his face as he prodded at a patch of make-believe food with a sword, but to anyone else, it simply looked absurd. A moment later a strawberry bush appeared, and the sword was replaced with a sickle, and Valentino had no doubt blown his cover, but he stuck with it nonetheless as this notoriously dangerous duo rode closer atop their steeds.

It’ll work… It will. No, they saw me. But they’d been pretty busy in their discussion earlier… Or,… perhaps he’d attracted their attention?! Damnit! No, … Shit, shit, shit…. Jennifer can see through most illusions, or was that one of the myths which further accentuated the beautiful mystifying beauty of this woman? Could Talon tell? Would they even bother with… what was he again?

In all actually, Valentino was simply standing, rigid as a fence post, with his arms adhered to his sides and heels locked firmly together like an overly dramatized soldier at attention. Magic was useful in that manner, such that the caster could remain as they were allowing others to see something entirely different. Valentino only hoped that in his panicked frenzy he hadn’t given himself away, or that his thick “manly” perfume which could cause anyone to asphyxiate within a miles radius wouldn’t be detected through his not-so-cleverly-conceived veil. Only time would tell…

Did he just lose focus and shift into a tree again, or had his feigned farmer simply turned into a statue of a farmer poking a bush of… pigeons – with a sickle? Damnit.


Dante & Capella

Capella spoke in a lot of fancy words. In a way it was alluring, in a way annoying, but also made Dante want to live up to par with her elo…quincy? Eloquency? Eloquence… Dante wasn’t sure of the grammar, or even if he were simply imagining what he thought was a cool-sounding word. It was something like that, right? Either way, Dante was now positive that if he could do that too, he’d simply be even more attractive as a suitable partner with which Fay would want to… Co-…cop… copulate? Yeah.. That means sex right? Dante stood up from within a bush as he looked at the sky, an eyebrow arched in profound thought.

Oh well.

He looked to Capella now as she voiced another method of travel which was much faster than his own; especially considering his progress was stymied every two feet by a tree which had to be stabbed, or vicious and dangerously rabid squirrel which, in Dante’s eyes, was in fact a mutant Bear-o-saurous to be slain. He never succeeded, but he nevertheless enjoyed his delusions of grandeur as he continued on narrating his valiant quest. Of course the single part he did decide to omit in his perfuse overflow of his oral orifice was his acquiescence to the Dragoness’ suggestion. She no doubt figured it out after Dante had leaped onto her piggy-back style, then stabbed out at the vacant air ahead and screamed, “Onward! Westward, ho!”

It was times like this when Dante wished he had a cape, or at least one of those fancy robes that the Phoenix Clan elders and Khrea wore so that it could billow behind him as he moved like the wind, and also so that he could look cool when he entered battle. Who doesn’t look cool with a cape? He’d have to steal Khrae’s later. Capella’s hair smelled funny too, he noted idly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Capella
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The dragoness sighed, stretching her wings and once again launching into the air. Within a few moments, she had cleared the ground, and both she and the rather hyperactive boy riding on her back were soaring along on the breeze, swiftly vanishing from the sight of any watchful eyes in the guild who might have noticed them. Not that Capella particularly cared if they had been seen or not. If somebody had noticed their flight, then she could outrun them, and if nobody had witnessed their unauthorized trip, then so much the better for them. That meant they'd have a head start, and could get this whole charade over with with the minimum amount of unnesecary trouble.

Still, there was one thing that rather irritated the dragon. Although the position was likely more comfortable for the boy, and, given that he was her hoard, she was willing to make concessions for his sake, she did not particularly like having him sitting atop her back, pointing them in the direction they should go as though she was some sort of stupid horse to be harnessed and forced into compliance. She was a dragon, not a common mount, and the way the boy was beginning to make himself at home riding her was something of an insult to her pride. Furthermore, if she beat her wings too powerfully, she'd just end up slapping him in the head with their tips, considering that he was essentially sitting between them, which would have both made him squirm, making him more difficult to carry, and possibly knocked her off course, both of which would slow her down even more than reducing her usual pace and fluttering her wings a little less so as to avoid striking him accidentally. In any case, for all the inconvenience and insult involved, Capella had half a mind to roll sharply into a dive and shake him off. Or, at least, she would have, were he not her belonging. As it was, shaking him up and risking damage was something she couldn't afford to do. So, although his oblivious antics were beginning to irk her more and more with each passing moment, she had no choice but to put up with Dante's tomfoolery for now.

Idly, Capella mused once again about the boy's unique attitude, wondering why exactly it was she was willing to put up with so much just for one mortal's sake. But, the thought was shameful to her, moreso than usual considering that the boy in question was literally riding her, so she quickly discarded it for the more pleasant thought of heating her scales to a temperature exceeding 200 degrees Celsius so that when the Naville witch next tried to hug her, she'd find herself experiencing a wonderful phenomenon called "spontaneous combustion." Oh, how fun that would be - if only her contract with the rest of the mortals would allow it. In retrospect, she probably should have included a clause in her promise to assist the boy and his fellows that stated that if anybody insulted her, she reserved full rights to reducing them to a particularly blackened pile of roasted meat and ashes. Hindsight was twenty-twenty, it seemed, even for a dragon.

Still, at least he wasn't pulling on her tail. Evidently, her comment about dragons exploding if you did that had more of an impact than she had thought. So, stubborn though he was, the boy could learn. Good. That meant that, if she could just keep her patience with him, she could train him properly in the way that a Dragon's hoard should act. Then again, given enough time, she could probably have boiled the entire ocean, too, so that wasn't really saying much, but the idea of having a pet Human - especially a fun one like the boy - rather appealed to her regardless, which was, perhaps, why she had put up with him for this long. And, since she had started down this course of action, she supposed the most practical path to take would be to see it through. Even if he rode on her back, gave her orders, and tugged on her tail. And... was he sniffing her? What the hell?! She knew Humans didn't have the same standards as Dragons - uncouth mortals that they were - but still, he should have known better than to do something that Dragons most commonly associated with inspecting their property, or appraising a potential mate. Capella flushed at the thought, and gave her wings a particularly mighty beat to increase their speed, hoping the jolt would cause the boy to come to his senses before he continued acting so shameless - a thought the irony of which completely failed to occur to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Armen Sorien Character Portrait: Fukayna Muidrehd Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Dante Fuuriah Character Portrait: Khrae Var Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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#, as written by Siryn
Talon, Jennifer, Fay, and Valentino


In the distance there was a figure, a random, lone figure. Talon narrowed his gaze as he withdrew his hand from Jennifer's that held the reigns of her horse. As they grew closer, he could feel, not he could taste the magic that poured from this... farmer? The hat certainly fit, but the rest of the ensemble did not. This put the assassin in an even more uncomfortable state. What was this person doing out in the middle of nowhere, and exuding such a powerful presence of power?

Talon flicked the reigns of his steed, making it trot a bit faster. However, as they got closer, it seemed the air was growing thicker. Wincing a bit, he pulled a hand up to his lips as he attempted to breathe better. Having already wasted time in Laowlee -as well as magic- Talon was really in no mood to deal with something else. Dragging on the reigns, he directed the beast to go around the area of thick magic until he could breathe properly. What is with that awfully thick air of magic? he thought to himself with a grimace, eyes narrowed and brows drawn downwards.

Glancing over to Jennifer, he shook his head slightly. They were delayed enough as it was. Should she wish to deal with this... strange being... he would allow it. However, he wished to be in Skyfall sooner rather than later. They needed to catch up with everyone. Still... "Do with it as you please," he said to her. He paused, maybe he should be more specific. She was in a bad mood already. Allowing her free reign once more was probably a bad idea, "Wait, Jennifer. Perhaps we should take him with us. I'm unnerved by this unsettling amount of magic. If you could do something about that heavy presence, though..."

He left that open to her interpretation though. So long as she didn't kill him or anything, he was alright with it. Talon waited until she was finished there and continued on. It wasn't much further that he found the Navile woman walking down the road as well. His gaze widened as he pulled the horse up next to her. Glancing down at her, he lifted an eyebrow. Fay looked up to him and smiled brightly.

"Lord V'lyn, and Lady Jennifer. I'm happy to see you're both alright."

"What happened to you? Why are you here and not in Skyfall?"

"I was separated from the group-" she started to say more but her gaze fell upon the man that was in tow with them. Her eyes widened and she was slightly confused looking, "Um... where did you find him?"

Talon glanced over to the one they'd taken with them, "He was standing in the middle of the road. There was so much power coming from him that it's making me suspicious. So we took him with us. Come on," he offered his hand to her and hauled her up onto the back of the horse, "We'll be making Skyfall by tonight. There's much we have to discuss."

"Yes," she agreed, "There is quite a bit that we have to talk about."




Armen and Fukayna


He stirred a bit. There was someone else in the room with him, he could feel it. Armen wasn't completely sure how he knew there was someone else, but he could just tell. Maybe it was all those years in service as a guardsman. It made him a bit sensitive to people's presences. Or maybe... it was the strange power that had been unlocked from it's corner inside of him. The elf could just barely feel it stirring. He grimaced a bit as he moved a bit more on the bed, making it very clear that he was awake.

It wasn't until he sat up fully that he noted the figure on the edge of the bed. How long has she been there?! he wondered and thanked the darkness for he could feel his face burning up with embarrassment. The last few memories of his were hazy, but starting to come back through. He recalled having had a strange conversation with a... dragon? Yes, it was a dragon. He could still sense it, just at the corner of his mind. If it was trying to speak to him, he couldn't tell. The distance was too great, that or there was some sort of barrier preventing them from communicating with each other.

"Fukayna..." he said, his voice breathing her name. He felt his heart skip a beat knowing that she'd been there with him, "How long have you been here?"

He felt the question was rather redundant, but asked anyway. He wasn't very good at starting conversations to say the least. Shifting, he pulled his body out from under the sheets and sat on the edge of the bed with her. His fingers curled together in response to the urge that he felt. He wanted to hold her again like he had earlier before he'd dropped with the pain of the uncontrolled magic pulsing through him. Clearing his throat he figured he might as well reassure her, as she was sure to be worried.

"I'm alright, Fukayna. Sorry about earlier. This... power is strange. I don't know what it is or how to handle it. Then there's the dragon now too. He's... insisted that I come for him. I don't know what he want's or what it really means, but I have a impulsive urge to go to him. He's not far either, the mountains just behind the city. I want to wait for Talon and Jennifer though, before we do anything," he sighed slightly before running his hands through his hair.

With a slight laugh he looked over to her in the gloom, a sliver of moonlight slipping into the room from the window's slightly parted curtains. The white light landed on her, putting her in a brilliant light that stole his breath. For a moment he forgot what he was going to say as he gazed at her, completely awe struck.

Finally he shook himself free of the spell that she'd cast over him, "P-perhaps the dragon can do something for this. We may get lucky," he smiled, finishing his sentence just as a knock came on the door.

Without waiting, the door cracked open, making Armen jump slightly. Orange light flooded the room as the tall figure of the old assassin Sebastian came into the room. He nodded almost as if he knew what he was going to find upon opening the door, "Good, you're awake. When you're both ready, come down to the main floor. Lord V'lyn and Lady Jennifer have returned."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talon V'lyn Character Portrait: Jennifer Live Character Portrait: Fay X'san Character Portrait: Valentino "Cupid" DeAngelo
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Jennifer Live





"I'm sorry, Jennifer. I'm alright, I promise you. I know you're worried,” he spoke, evoking as much calm as humanly possible in the face of her withering gaze (which seemed on the verge of melting the city itself behind them), "You have my word, I'm alright."

To his credit, the assassin never wavered, but then again, he likely had plenty of experience dealing with her volatile anger already by this point.

“That’s what you always say,” she pouted, relenting childishly as her soft features formed a frown of displeasure, not that he could’ve seen it from his position anyway.

The journey back to Skyfall had been largely uneventful, if that, especially if one considered the absurdity of what had recently transpired. Perhaps anxious to put some distance between them and Laowlee (and their crimes), the duo adopted a hasty pace in anticipation of the workload ahead them. Just when the situation seemed bad enough, the world goes and makes things worse all over again, almost as if it were some part of a larger conspiracy. Sighing and leaning back, she rested her head in the crook of Talon’s shoulder. Content to allow him to take control over the reins, Jennifer reflected on her own thoughts, reminiscing on how enjoyable it was just to be alone with him, away from their ‘civil’ responsibilities, even slipping into that dangerous territory of nostalgia. Oh how much she missed the freedom sometimes. Of course she completely neglected to consider the fates of their missing colleague’s likely still holed up in Loawlee. They were better off without them anyway as far as she was concerned.

Reminding herself this was hardly the time for sentiments, she forced her own focus as a vague shadow announced itself unexpectedly on the horizon. An enemy? A traveler? A local? The likely scenarios played out in the better, saner parts of her mind in an attempt to rationalize the situation. In all likelihood it was probably nothing, but that didn’t explain why Talon had purposefully adjusted their course direction, or the inexplicable aura of warmth…

"Do with it as you please."

Snapped out of her trance thanks to the distinct sound of Talon’s voice, Jennifer beamed up at him like he’d just presented the best gift possible, neatly wrapped and waiting to be pried open by her fingers. “How kind of you to give your permission, do I get a treat afterwards?”

Despite hers words, Jennifer hardly needed his prompting. Twisting her neck around, she squinted her own eyes at the growing mirage to ascertain its nature. Peculiarly, the figure underwent a series of metamorphosis, not unlike a nightmare out of Jennifer’s own delusional mind. Its shape changed, shifting form and size before finally deciding to settle onto the humble image of a simple farmer, all in the blink of an eye. A trick of the mind? Or was it something more?

Unfortunately for whoever, or whatever it was, this was Jennifer Live. Considerations such as the morality of her actions never existed in the first place. She’d do anything and everything for Talon, including killing on the drop of a hat so long as that meant she could erase even the tiniest of inconveniences for him. And that’s precisely what she set out to do as she vanished abruptly from her spot in front Talon and then materialized a few meters to his flank. As if recognizing the mistake of his words almost instantly, the assassin practically blurted out the next line to his sentence.

"Wait, Jennifer. Perhaps we should take him with us. I'm unnerved by this unsettling amount of magic. If you could do something about that heavy presence, though..."

She paused only to glance up at him, “Will you take anything else with your order, sir?” she asked, raising her eyebrows before storming off without waiting for his reply. Denied of her ‘fun’ she set out with the intentions of at least venting some of the pent up fury she’d built up over the course of their stay in Loawlee. She returned to dutifully a few minutes later, dragging the knocked-out-cold body of the mystery man behind her through the dirt. Her breathing was shallow, but whether that was because of her excessive use of magic or some after effects of the man’s ‘aura’ she couldn’t say. Stripped of his disguise, Jennifer had to admit he looked remarkably handsome, if not unnaturally so, and vaguely familiar.

“One mage made to order, cooked extra rare. I'm not sure if he was affiliated with Laowlee, but at the very least he made the effort of hide his appearance if that means anything. Is it really in our best interests to spare someone like that?” she asked dismissively. The matter didn't seem like it was up for debate as as they started up on their journey again, happening upon another strange individual.

"What a coincidence," she murmured as Talon halted their horse besides Fay. "Any others strays you'd like to pick up before we get back? I beginning to think we might need a bigger horse."

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: Kaya Lillia Xenlyiun
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#, as written by Igari

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The priestess had taken some coaxing but she was following him, at the very least. She did not seem pleased in the slightest, well, why should she be? She was forced into the company of that dangerous Jennifer creature and her equally volatile husband. If the atmosphere were less tense, perhaps Isaehn would've chuckled over this. Because it was an outrageous pair. But now was not the time or place for humor. The high nine had been left in the council room, at least what was left of them. And the two of them would have to hurry in order to avoid being caught. He was pretty sure he had just declared mutiny of some sort against them. And returning to the capital was now no longer an option.

He gestured towards her to quicken pace. The woman frowned at him, glancing over her shoulder. He followed suit, there was no one there... yet. But they would have to be careful, it seemed like that mage woman was causing a great deal of havoc some ways behind them. "Through here," He ordered, pushing her through a side passage. Their best bet would be to use another exit from the building. There they could meet with Zephyr, and leave... Hm, perhaps he should stop by his office? Was there anything of significance in there? Beyond a few books that he read over from time to time... not really.

Isaehn was always prepared to leave, he never knew when but one had to be. He trusted Zephyr to make the proper arrangements for their departure. And quite possibly leave his office in shambles, he didn't need the High Nine peering into his business and the best way to ensure that was to destroy all evidence. There was a tremendous roar, he couldn't quite pinpoint where it was coming from. But it was sufficiently irritating. It sounded much like a dragon in distress. Go figure, now his day had gotten more] complicated. Excellent.

"Was that..." The woman, Kaya, had spoken. Clearly asking about what was going on around them, no doubt.

"Yes, bloody dragons. The city is going to shambles soon, we best move quickly. The High Nine won't be pleased..." Not that he cared. Those fools deserved to have their feathers ruffled. Pompous assholes. The way through the corridors turned out to be less perilous than he feared. Maybe the guards had cleared out, given the influx of magic and the pandemonium all around them. Who knew? He sure as hell didn't really give much of a damn. As they reached their exit, he spotted Zephyr waiting there for them. At least someone was punctual and could be relied upon.

Isaehn didn't need to say a word, he gestured with his hand, murmuring the spell to transform his companion into its' true form. The dragon lowered its head, allowing the two of them to climb aboard and grow more comfortable on the scaly back. He glanced at the priestess, who had a most interesting expression on her face. Kaya looked about with wonder, as if reliving some old... memory. What was that about? She brushed her fingers over the scales, some melancholy flitting into her expression. Hm. A conversation for later.

She suddenly looked up, her eyes widening. "Blessed be the goddess..." She whispered reverently. He also followed suit, feeling some surprise as well as he took note of the skies. Dragons. There were dragons flying around above them. Many more than he was prepared to witness. Where had they all... he regained himself, shaking his head. This required some looking into. But later, everything needed to be later. They had to escape.

"Fly, Zephyr." The dragon quirked its' head at him, almost as if to signal the question of where. As much as it put a bitter taste in his mouth, there was nowhere else to go. "We're going to Skyfall."


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Armen's gaze was strong. It was... very strong. Why was he looking at her like that? Was there something on her face? If he kept staring at her like that, then she was going to... she felt the heat increase on her cheeks and she shied her gaze away. She couldn't keep eye contact, it was just too much for her heart. It was already beating out of control and she had no idea why.

"Fukayna... How long have you been here?" The way he said her name, it was almost as if he were awe-struck by her. But that wasn't right, she wasn't much to look at, she wasn't very special at all. She was just... someone that served under Miss Jennifer and Lord V'lyn, someone that had... someone that... why was it so hard to think? She caught her breath with some difficulty, shaking her head to indicate that she hadn't been there very long at all. Whether instinctively or subconsciously, Armen seemed to catch on to her worry for he answered one of her worries.

However, there was a pause in his response, which brought her eyes up partially towards his. He was staring at her again. This happened between them a lot, and it did nothing but confuse her. She was sure there was nothing on her face, so why did he...? Then again, this whole ordeal was rather confusing for her, she couldn't fathom why it was hard to stay focused on words when he was around.

Because Armen was her friend, she had helped save him when they had met. He had been there to support her ever since then and she appreciated that. They had a good relationship with one another. But why did she feel differently about him than she did anyone else? She certainly didn't harbor this kind of fuzziness towards Miss Jennifer for instance. (Though she definitely respected the mage a great deal) So what made this elf different? Was it that smile? The way his hair fell at just the right angle over his eyes? Or how nice he was? Or...

Fukayna reigned her thoughts in as the door opened, bringing her attention to the other side of the room. It was Sebastian, eyeing them with a knowing look. What was all that about? He spoke gruffly, "Good, you're awake. When you're both ready, come down to the main floor. Lord V'lyn and Lady Jennifer have returned." They were back?!

The assassin got to her feet quickly, in excitement. The Miss and Lord were back! It had been so long since she had seen Miss Jennifer, she had been worried ever since they separated... and it would be wonderful to see Lord V'lyn again as well, both of them were incredible individuals. She turned a tender smile towards Armen, taking out her pad to jot down a quick question.
"Shall we greet them? She extended out her hand to help him from his bed, if needs be. He didn't look fully recovered and she didn't want him to pressure himself overly... Besides, they both needed to check in with the two assassins. The married duo were their bosses after all.