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Derithiue Qre Jedas

0 · 322 views · located in Allevent

a character in “Allevent, Realm of Caith”, originally authored by Equilibrium, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Derithiue Qre Jedas's Story

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Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas
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There was no way around it... He was...

FLAT BROKE.

No matter how much he shook his coin pouch up and down, nothing would come out. Not even a dust, a lint, or a speck of anything fell on the palm of his hand. It was truly official. Furthermore... He was...

DEAD HUNGRY.

It was evident as the rumbling of his stomach reverberated through out his body. He would not find it odd if other people could hear the roar of his stomach. Actually, he would found it more weird if they didn't. Looking around, he seemed to have tumbled in some busy district of city. The problem, he was not sure where he is. For, he was not also that keen to geographic locations or whatever. Most of the time, he just hitches a ride whether permitted or not.

"Where the hell am I, anyway?" He muttered in a weak manner since he had been going on for days, actually just one day without food. In any case, he should have been paid for his hard work securing the cargo. After all, they reached their destination albeit, not in one piece. Was it his fault that they were perishable? They were attacked by a gang of thieves and the only route available was the rocky one. So, there was no other choice. He should at least have some compensation... He beaten those thugs... But... NO... "Stupid traders...." He went on grumbling while other people stared at him in fear and apprehension. Well, he did look intimidating with his chosen ensemble and even more so when the expression on his face was of desperate predator.

With his one good eye, he read some sign as his eye narrowed to slits. The delusion of his hunger was also affecting his vision. "Ha'penny Pie..." Well, he was not sure what kind of establishment it would be. However, its scent was the mixture of various foods that only made his stomach growled more loudly. Plus the name has pie in it so... this would probably solve his dilemma about food. Without anymore thinking, he entered the building. The atmosphere tenseness or anything else did not matter to him. Dragging himself literally to the bar, he did not care if people were looking at him oddly. All that mattered to him was to get something to eat and fast. Finally reaching the bar, he carried himself to have his head plopped down on the counter.

"Oi... give me some food..." This was his only order as he slowly regressed to a somehow state of a corpse. The owner looked at him and noticed his eye patch and shook his head. "If it isn't the one-eyed grim reaper, failed another job?" It seemed that his reputation preceded him in a not so glamorous manner. Anyway, he ignored the words by merely scoffing at it and looked at the older man with a long beard and apparently a build fitting for a retired soldier or brute.

"GIVE ME FOOD." This earned him a sigh from the owner who decided to serve him some bread. "Here, but we don't take credits here." Those words were nothing more but air to him as he quickly attacked the bread. One would wonder how many days did he starve for? Instantly, it was gone from the plate as he raised his hand to order another. "Old man! give me more!" Unknown to him, his spectacle had already earned a few curious eyes and at the same time, he has no idea the trouble he would be causing all due to an empty stomach and a pouch without a penny in it.

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
@ Lawrence

The serving girl, a native Barberrian named Lori, approached the newcome woman as she was flagged down. "Good evening, welcome to the Ha'penny Pie," she greeted, pronouncing it 'HAYP-nee' as the locals did, "What can I get for you?" As she listened to any order or request forthcoming, her attention was momentarily drawn to the staircase as another refused applicant came trundling down. The man returned to his seat to be subjected to the teasing and pestering of the men beside him - friends presumably. Lori wondered just what was being discussed up there between that hulking northlander and that pinch-faced Applicator woman, and why so many prospective workers were being turned down. "Yes miss," she replied distractedly as she left to fulfill the woman's order.

"So what brings you here?" she asked as she returned, not specifying if she meant Barberry in general or just the Ha'penny Pie. Lori loved working here, where she could meet so many different people every day, each with a story of their own that they carried with them as they traveled the world. Every time she heard a new one it was like she'd traveled there herself -- or so she liked to imagine.



@ Jedas

The owner, Charlo, or the 'old man' as he'd been addressed, excused himself from Jedas and left from behind the counter for a moment, leaving only Lori who'd just returned from helping a lone woman at a small table. He made his way to his manager's office, but hesitated before opening it. Things could get ugly fast. Charlo knew Jedas by reputation only, and feared that the man had no marks [slang for monarchs and short for currency in general] to his name and had no plans on paying. The Ha'penny Pie was a famous meeting hall for people from Barberry and all over Allevent, but it was also a business and couldn't let in freeloaders. How to kick one out, though, if the freeloader in question was the one-eyed grim reaper?

With a sigh, Charlo stepped inside. The office was little more than a storage closet that had somehow found room amid the various filing cabinets for a small desk, behind which sat A'Lou Pevre, a Bokmakirin businesswoman he'd hired some years ago, to help him manage the Pie more efficiently. She knew how to present a friendly front for the customers, but the workers here knew that there was a shrewd, calculating mind behind those dark desert eyes. Charlo described the situation quickly, and A'Lou sat forward in her chair. "Tell him to leave," she said dispassionately. "If he doesn't, have Mqundu make him leave." Charlo nodded reluctantly and closed the door behind him as he left. Mqundu was another Bokmakirin, brought by A'Lou to impose order on the sometimes rowdy patrons of the Ha'penny Pie. As he returned to the bar, Charlo made eye contact with Mqundu and signaled the man with a quick nod of his head. Yep, he thought, things could get ugly fast indeed...

He returned to the bar to see that Lori had given the one-eyed grim reaper that second helping of bread. "Sorry, Jedas," Charlo said. "You're going to have to leave, if you can't pay." He glanced at Mqundu, who'd casually sidled up to the bar.



Isengrim

Grim climbed down the stairs, which groaned in protest under his massive frame with each step of his heavy boots. He turned to look over his shoulder at Dr. Serabel, who followed behind. "He didn't seem so bad," he said, referring to the latest applicant they'd rejected. "We'll be here all day if you don't start being more realistic." He'd worked with Applicators before, and as a general rule they were a stubborn lot, each one convinced that the world worked as mechanically and rigidly as one of their newfangled artifices. The young blonde was no exception.

"This mission is gravely important," Dr. Serabel replied, her honeyed tones at odds with her stern face and severe body language. "I had thought I'd made that clear to you." Grim clenched his teeth at her words. What was the point in having an angel's voice if you spoke only in admonishments? "We need to be patient," she continued as they reached the bottom of the stairs. "The right people will come."

Grim sighed and nodded. "Next!" he bellowed.

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas
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A thing hated by Jedas is being interrupted in his meal whether it was something he brought or something that was free. Even more so when he was having a life-altering experience, well he describes the fact that he has finally eaten as a miracle. Anyway the matter at hand, he was being asked to leave by the old man who he also perceived to have some back-up. After all, this man knew of his reputation. He would not dare cross him if there was no assurance of being reprimanded. Yeah... As if that was ever going to happen...

"You know it is considered bad manners to interrupt a person while eating." Biting his bread, the One-Eyed Grim Reaper cast a glance at the owner. Those ash green eye of his with flecks of blue glowed in an eerily manner. It was like gazing at the inevitable void of pain. Then, his eye transferred to a man who was undoubtedly sent to handle him. This was bound to get interesting and quick. "So sad-excuse for a bouncer. You're here to drag me out." Finishing his second helping of bread, he finally turned around to face the hired help to keep the patrons in line. "Put the damages on this man's tab, okay old man?" After stating that, Jedas had already unsheathed his Ophelia. The weapon that had denoted his current alias.

In that short swipe, Jedas had already put this bouncer-type person to his back with the edge of his scythe at his throat. The speed of his actions was mostly naked to the normal human eyes but those had been used to such fast-paced actions should have seen the details of his movement which was a lunge and a quick side-swept quick to the feet that toppled down his enemy and then placing the scythe at the fallen man's throat. There was a malicious smirk on his lips that defined his handsome features although, it only made it more diabolical. "Tell me chap, have you experienced a water death?" Ophelia suddenly held a translucent blue glow that implied an activation of its caith. It seemed the scythe was not only a mere weapon for it was also a specialized artifact that harness the caith Vivum. "I'll grant you one, right here, right now."

During the whole of that, Jedas had overheard some discussion about a job by a server to another customer. It intrigued him as he raised his one eye to look at the two individuals by the stairs that would have probably noticed the brawl which was started just few moments ago. "Oi! I'll join that mission." He stated it would be better to get some job and get this whole debt thingy under wraps. Although, he pretty much like to decapitate the man who was still at the mercy of his scythe. "Though, I would demand a pay in advance." Even then, the glow of his weapon did not subside. It was still awaiting the final command from its wielder whether to unleash it ability or not.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas
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Icarus Saerin



Icarus blinked in surprise as she cut him off. Before he could say anything else she quickly ran into the store. He considered going in with her anyway, but decided against it. He might just alienate her further.

"... Well... Nice to meet you too. Name's Icarus, what's yours?" He said to himself. He let out a disappointed sigh, and took the corner into Guilded Avenue.

The populace changed. Where in Merchant's Row, there were mainly gentiles and civilians dominating the streets with a few warrior types in their midst, Guilded Avenue was the opposite. Here there were many armored folk of varying races, with differing weapons, coming in and out of the many buildings that were on either side of the avenue, Some were carrying sheets of paper, mission requests and bounties most likely, while others carried their spoils from a successful run. On either side of the road, there were different kinds of buildings and businesses. Either guild headquarters or a few mission related shops, usually weapon or armor shops, or item and material shops. He had been here in The Guilded Avenue many times before, usually to meet his informant at the Ha'penny Pie, and occasionally to pick up a bounty or mission when he was running low on coin. He weaved through the crowds, making his way to the large rectangular stone building at one of the corners into the avenue.

He made his way in past the door. He looked off to one of the corner tables in the back right. His Informant was not there, Which struck him as odd, as his informant was usually much more punctual than he. He walked over to the small square table and took a seat. One of the waitresses walked over to him.

"Is there anything I can help you with sir?" She said, with an exaggerated smile.

"Water, and a slice of roasted chicken and bread" He responded, without glancing at her. He was more interested in the fact that many of the people were whispering excitedly and looking at the room above the stairs. The people sitting a few tables down seemed to be a bit to drunk to notice that they were speaking just loudly enough for him to hear.

"Did she say applicators? asked the first man, a bald, burly man with a dirty leather over coat, small dark eyes and a beard with a bit of sauce from whatever he ate left on it.

"Yeah, Dr. Serabel I think I've heard that name before, but I cant put my finger on it" Said the second man, taking a sip from his mug. This one was skinnier, with a greasy mop of hair reaching beyond his eyes just tipping his thin crooked nose.

"Wha' about the other one?"

"Dunno, They're both new here, but they both started coming hear together. Lori called him Grim."

"'Ow fitting"

"Aye... Word is their discussing some sort of top-secret mission up there, and they are searching for recruits, but everyone who has gone has been turned down"

"Must be somethin' big! Oy! We should try to ge' in on it!"

"Boris you shit your pants at the first sign of a dire wolf, if it's that big I guarantee you would"

"It was one time! And You 'member, it was the mother of all alphas! Big as a prize stallion it was!"

"Please! It was barely to your chest ya idiot"

After that, they started bickering on nonsense and Icarus shifted his attention to the two at the foot of the stairs. A thin eye-patched man with a large sickle shouting obnoxiously across the room had their attention. Despite his thin appearance, there was something foreboding about him, that he was more than many of the other patrons at the bar. Which was funny considering usually most of the loud types were the weakest, but he simply paid attention to the interaction.

Who knows, if they are just openly informing volunteers about the mission, then maybe he should try for it, Most likely it would be worth a large sum of cash, and even if he didnt get accepted, he would at least have gained some information.

He looked at the empty seat across from him. It seemed his informant was not coming. It was curious, but Icarus figured perhaps he just got stuck somewhere and couldn't make it. He turned back to the two at the stairs.

Let's see how this goes

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

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Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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Lawrence listened intently to the serving girl, her curiosity clearly piqued. Though what she had said about taking a break had been true, secret missions were hard to ignore. Her mind was already coming up with all sorts of things that could be going on upstairs. Rivers was itching to know; but dare she go up? What if she were rejected, or what if it was something she didn't want to be a part of? What if she got mixed up in something she didn't want to? Then again, this could be a nice change from the killing; the constant blood. Maybe it was something good or exciting. Her thoughts were interrupted when the man, Grim, and the young woman from the Applicators came down the steps once again. Lawrence ran through different possibilities in her head, weighing the many possible outcomes of following the duo up those steps.

Rivers was distracted when she heart a loud noise directly to her right. Her head spun in the direction quickly, her hand instantly resting on the firearm hidden beneath her clothing. It was the same man from the bar, the one who'd been yelling. She then realized, however - after getting a good look at his face and weapon - that he wasn't simply a man, but the One Eyed Grim Reaper; his name was popular in the circles she traveled in. She didn't fear him, though, and took a few steps in his direction, her hand never wavering from her own weapon.

Lawrence stopped walking as he spoke. "Tell me chap, have you experienced a water death?" His voice was almost conversational, as if he wasn't threatening another's life. "I'll grant you one, right here, right now." Rivers' heartbeat picked up a pace, thudding gently as she wondered if taking on a fight with him was worth it.

"Oi! I'll join that mission." The One Eyed Grim Reaper said suddenly, shouting to the man and woman on the stairs. "Though, I would demand a pay in advance."

The assassin's eyes darted between the stairs and the man in front of her, and then they made contact with man on the ground; the one who was having his life threatened. His eyes were fearful, staring at the weapon that was dangerously close to his neck. Lawrence sighed then, and made the last few steps toward him. She stopped at the One Eyed Grim Reaper's side, squatting slowly so they would be on eye level. "How about you take that weapon off this man's throat?" Her voice was soft and pretty, as if asking about the weather, but their was a force behind it, one that let him know she wasn't joking.

------

((OOC: So sorry guys; I forgot about the setting. Ignore that - this is all in Barberry, of course!))

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
Not everyone in the Pie was a seasoned warrior, and many of them were well on their way toward being drunk, so perhaps it wasn't surprising that no one else besides Lawrence seemed to come to poor Mqundu's aid. Many of the surrounding patrons were halfway between sitting and standing, but by the shocked and nervous look to their eyes it seemed more likely they were going to flee than engage if a fight were to break out.

Grim's stance didn't change as he waited at the bottom of the stairs. Sure, his deep bundt-cake brown eyes surveyed the scene, but his pose said nothing about him joining in. A small hand gripped his arm with deceptively strong fingers, and Dr. Serabel whispered urgently in his ear after he leaned down. "Perhaps you should do something," she suggested -- the danger robbing her of her usual harsh assuredness.

"Why not let it play out," he countered, not taking his eyes off the skinny lad with the scythe or the girl who'd crouched boldly beside him. "The man is skilled," he advised -- his own experienced eyes had had difficulty picking out the lad's moves, they were so fast. "But I want to see if the hothead has enough sense to get out of this mess."

"Exactly," the Applicator replied. Now that there was a debate to distract her from the altercation, she was back on familiar ground. "He is skilled and I want him on this mission but if he kills this Mqundu he does no good for us kneeling against the headsman's block." Grim grumbled and stepped forward.

"Put that blade away," he growled, "and you can join the mission. You'll get paid five hundred marks now," reaching into one of the pockets of his battered old duster Grim fished out a small leather drawstring purse and threw it near the lad, where the five hard monarchs inside jingled and jangled as they slid. He'd have to disengage from the bouncer to pick it up, "and fifty a day plus two hard emperors when the job is done." Considering the job would take maybe ten days the one-eyed grim reaper was looking at 3,000 marks total. "Maybe then you can afford your bread without resorting to murder," he joked, and there was some nervous laughter in the room as other patrons tried to ease the tension.

"Same rate to you," he added to the brunette who'd come to the bouncer's defense. The Applicator might have liked the reaper's fire, but Grim noted the girl was a cool customer with a level head. He didn't know if she was even interested, but he'd take her over the lad any day.

Dr. Serabel turned to a man who seemed roughly her own age despite his pure white hair with its militaristic cut. He'd approached the foot of the stairs at the start of the altercation. "So you're interested too?" she asked, her melodious tones undercut by her hardbitten words. "Come upstairs -- Isengrim I leave this to you." Her white Applicator's lab coat swished about her slim body as she turned and ascended the stairs.

What had once been an inn's upstairs bedrooms had now been converted to conference rooms, and as she unlocked one door with a key and stepped inside, Icarus would see a sturdy circular table of oak and several matching chairs. Atop the table was a crate of fresh pinewood, roughly a yard in each dimension. Dr. Serabel took a seat next to where she motioned for the applicant to join her, so they wouldn't have to crane their heads around the crate.

"My name is Dr. Serabel and I'm an Applicator," she greeted. "I have precious cargo," she glanced at the crate, "that needs to be transported safely into the far north, into huldrefolk territory, where it must remain secure for several hours while I take various measurements and calibrations with which you need not concern yourself. Have you any experience relevant to a job of this type?"

"If you are interested in coin, you heard Isengrim state your compensation. If you are interested in more than coin then let me assure you that the success or failure of this mission will have dire consequences for Allevent." Perhaps she was trying to awe him into agreement, or perhaps the young doctor had sensed something in the man that was loftier than the pursuit of mere marks.

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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Icarus Saerin


Icarus watched as the altercation took place. He hadn't noticed that the large bokmakiri man behind the One-eyed Grim Reaper was actually relevant to the situation, but apparently he had caused trouble before Icarus had entered. Which explained the slightly tense atmosphere, which he had accredited to Grim's imposing form.

Dr. Serabel and Grim began to whisper something amongst themselves. After a moment, Grim Spoke up.
""Put that blade away and you can join the mission. You'll get paid five hundred marks now..." He said, digging into his pouch. Icarus's brow furrowed. To be offering so much as a down payment, this was no ordinary mission and with the secrecy... Perhaps there was something to learn from all of this. He got a little closer. Attentive not to miss anything.

"...and fifty a day, plus two hard emperors when the job is done." There were murmurs among the crowd. A total of three thousand marks for one job. But what was it?

"Same rate to you" She said to a Tall brown woman a few tables away from the Grim Reaper. This one hand placed readily by a holster of a firearm, was more serious looking. She was taller than Icarus, a few inches short of six feet, and very fit. She was attractive, but had an air about her that gave the feeling one shouldn't try to flirt with her. She seemed to have this atmosphere that gave the sense she had no qualms with spilling your blood.

"So you're interested too?" Said Dr. Serabel. Icarus his head turned to face her, and realized she was looking right at him.

"Come upstairs -- Isengrim I leave this to you." She said and before giving him a chance to respond, she started up the stairs into one of the bedrooms-turned-conference-room upstairs. Icarus silently followed.

He had been in this room before, taking up other missions, so he was fairly comfortable with the environment. Dr. Serabel had already taken her seat at a table with a medium sized crate sitting atop it. She gestured for him to sit next to her, he obliged.

"My name is Dr. Serabel and I'm an Applicator, " she began." I have precious cargo- "tossing a quick look at the crate "-that needs to be transported safely into the far north, into huldrefolk territory, where it must remain secure for several hours while I take various measurements and calibrations with which you need not concern yourself. Have you any experience relevant to a job of this type?"

Icarus nodded, staring at the crate, trying to somehow discern what may be inside. It was not a delivery, and from what she said she would be going as well, so it was an escort mission. But why Huldrefolk territory. They were not exactly the friendliest of the races, and surely any encounters with them would lead to conflict. So What was so important that she would be willing to risk venturing up there, and paying so much money for it?

"If you are interested in coin, you heard Isengrim state your compensation. If you are interested in more than coin then let me assure you that the success or failure of this mission will have dire consequences for Allevent." She added. Icarus turned his attention to the woman. She was young, yet her eyes were those of an extremely perceptive woman, she seemed to know more than she let on, or at least have some suspicion as to what his motivations were.

After a moment, he looked back at the crate. There were a few things he still wanted to know.
"You have my interest. But there are a few things I must ask. As for what is in the crate, I will most likely be hard-pressed to recieve an answer from you, if you were willing to disclose that, you would have done so already. So I won't bother asking; But you say that the consequences will be dire... How so? And if it involves the entirety of Allevent, why not ask the military instead of a bunch of mercenaries and bounty hunters for help? Also, why Huldrefolk territory? Its about a ten-day trip, maybe more, counting for any possible complications, and considering you are hiring an entire task force, be it a rag-tag one, shows you are preparing for such complications." He said. He was going to leave it at that, then added "I understand that as part of your position as an applicator, there is some information that cannot or must nor be disclosed to anyone who isnt deemed necessary of sharing that knowledge with. So I simply ask you answer as much as you can." Many employers were put off by people who asked to many questions at the job at hand, he had to make sure not to push her away, but all the same, let her know he was not to be perceived as gullible.

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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Another thing he disliked are the type of people who butt in other people's business. Without removing his scythe on the man's neck, his eye was now on the woman who had did one of the items in his hate list. The eye seemed to hold a certain mystique and the sense that all illusions or facade will be broken effortlessly by him. "Back off wench. Don't bother with your firearm."

Jedas does not find anything to be admired or amusing in regards of the girl before him. She was a nuisance in every meaning of the word. He could even careless if she strips naked or something. But what took his attention completely was the purse with money thrown to his side. There was no hesitation in his movements as the scythe was now safely sheathed around his belt. Furthermore, he has the money pouch in his hand while juggling it casually as if trouble had never occurred. It was another show of his agility like none other.

"Oi, old man. Here is what I owe you." In the direction of the owner, coins of currency were thrown. He did not care of the old man caught it or not. After that, his eye lingered on the man who was supposedly hired to deal with the likes of him. "Take a hike before, I changed my mind." As for the nervous laughter of the crowd, Jedas simply shrugged his shoulders. "We need entertainment once in a while too bad, it was a bummer." Once that was stated, the atmosphere of within the Pie had somewhat returned to a degree of normalcy.

However as for the reputation of the One-Eyed Grim Reaper, it was once more bolstered in not the best of ways. Not even glancing at the woman who had the audacity to interrupt his fun, he walked towards the man who adorned in a dusted and tattered cloak while still playing with his acquisition of marks. Although, he was not entirely pleased with the notion of working with her. Well, he was not really pleased with a lot of things to begin with so, it was not such a big deal.

Once in front of the man who presented him with a mission. Jedas stopped playing with the drawstring purse. His eye delivered a certain edge of seriousness. "So, what is the job?" There was no force or tenacity of his temper slipping through his voice. Actually, he was rather showing a rather easy-going persona while keeping his advanced payment in his pockets with replacement of a cigarette. When it was in his hand, he used one of his ferrum generated lighter and began smoking with a hefty intake. After exhaling some of the fumes, he spoke once more. "And, when do I start pops?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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"Back off wench. Don't bother with your firearm." Lawrence cringed, audibly grinding her teeth. Who the hell did he think he was? Her first instinct was to shoot the bastard, but she slowly lifted her hand from the weapon, keeping her face calm. She placed her callused hand in the hand of the man still laying on the ground, helping him to his feet.

"Oi, old man. Here is what I owe you." The One-Eyed Grim Reaper said, throwing the coins at the man. Lawrence clenched her fists as the coins rattled loudly against the ground. "Take a hike before I changed my mind." River's resisted the urge to step forward; no one was being threatened anymore, a fight now would be useless and reckless. "We need entertainment once in a while, too bad it was a bummer."

Lawrence scoffed - he called threatening people's lives entertainment? Her dislike grew even more. However, she remained calm, never letting her face slip from it's carefully placed mask of self-control. If she let people such as him get beneath her skin, she'd never make it through the day. Her thoughts were pulled from their present course as the One-Eyed Grim Reaper began talking to the man, Grim, about the job.

"So, what is the job?" He asked casually, pulling out a cigarette. "And, when do I start pops?" Lawrence walked towards the foot of the stairs, not saying anything but clearly showing interest. She didn't want to work with the Grim Reaper, but she wasn't going to turn down an interesting, well-paying job for such a trivial reason.

Her gaze turned quickly to the front of the Ha'Penny Pie as someone kicked in the door. Nice entrance, Lawrence approved silently. She listened as the woman spoke, wondering who exactly she was addressing. Her confusion increased when she opened the bag; River's was too far away to see inside, but was that a voice coming from it? Well, this had been quite a day, Lawrence thought, and it's not even over.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
With the situation with the bouncer now diffused Grim was about to send Jedas and Lawrence upstairs to the briefing room with Dr. Serabel and Icarus -- only to be distracted by the impressive entrance of that damnable sky pirate Runa, who despite her heavy burden was practically swaggering as she entered the Ha'penny Pie. "I got your map!" the girl declared loudly, before revealing her pack contained not the requested maps but some addle-pated bint instead. With a grimace wreathing his ugly mug the hulking northlander strode to the entrance, hauled the gagged girl to her feet and stripped her of the cloth sack which he tossed at the pirate. "A little tact would serve you well," he growled before pushing the 'map' toward the staircase where Jedas and Lawrence had gathered. "Up you go," he advised to the lot, turning over his shoulder to give Raruna another glower for good measure. "You as well," he added before storming up the staircase with footfalls that sounded like twin steam pistons running out of sync.

With nothing but ineptitude, incompetence and inebriation for the last two days, it was a surprise that the mission was now coming together so quickly, but that was the way of things sometimes. With only a moment or two having passed after the Applicator had gone upstairs, Jedas, Lawrence, Runa and the somewhat hostage would reach the meeting room in time to hear the doctor reveal the nature of the mission and for Icarus to accept. Jedas and Lawrence had theoretically already accepted the mission -- especially the one-eyed grim reaper who'd taken Grim's coin -- but now would be the time for them to raise their own questions.

"Damn girl's asked to bring maps and she comes back with a playmate," Grim revealed to Dr. Serabel, who leveled her perceptive, bespectacled gaze first on Raruna then on the bound girl. "If I'm not mistaken you owe Ms. Leautia an apology, Isengrim -- she has come back not only with a map but the map." She turned to the girl, "Is that correct, dear -- are you indeed a Qi'jhariihl?" Despite knowing that the book-eaters apparent age could be misleading Dr. Serabel couldn't help but think of her as a child - partly the youthful features and small frame, plus something inherently likable about her wide-eyed stare that recalled childlike innocence.

"As for your question of transportation, Icarus," the Applicator said, switching topics so quickly it was like an engineer discarding one tool and picking up another, "I'll admit I had some worries that we wouldn't be seeing Raruna again after taking her finder's fee, but as she has returned we can avail ourselves of her airship if it is available?"

Grim groaned, and no doubt revealed to the more perceptive of the group that he harbored a distinct dislike for air travel. This explained his casual abuse towards the sky pirate, for he simply could not find it in him to sympathize with anyone who willingly took to those flying deathtraps. Or if you were more psychologically disposed you might question whether he was beating up the girl or rather himself through her, for his weakness. In either case he gave a sudden shudder as he imagined taking to the skies once more.

Grim handed out everyone else's initial wages while Dr. Serabel clarified with Raruna where her airship had been docked. Upon giving the directions to the others in the room, the Applicator stood from her seat. "We set sail, skies permitting, tomorrow at 9°30', or just before quinta for those of you who don't yet appreciate the marvel that is modern chronometry."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Siryn
"A little tact would serve you well," he growled before pushing the 'map' toward the staircase where Jedas and Lawrence had gathered. "Up you go, You as well," Icarus glowered at her before ordering her to go up the staircase as well. Runa frowned at him, her eyes narrowing as she took the bag he'd thrown at her off her head. How rude! To throw her sack at her and then insult her as well?

"I have tact! You! You...." she growled, biting her lip to keep other words from spilling from her mouth. It would be best to try to stay civil lest she lose the chance she'd been working so hard to get. Finally in the presence of the Applicators, her dream to have a name made for herself other than what she's already accumulated. If she could only prove to the higher guild, the Applicators, perhaps the Free Lancers would be more than willing to take her then.

Raruna followed the group up the stairs to the meeting room beyond the tavern like area down below. The door opened and one of the others, Grim spoke out to a woman sitting at a desk.

"Damn girl's asked to bring maps and she comes back with a playmate."

"Playmate! I did not bring a plaything! I worked my ass off to get this treasure!" Runa shot at the one eyed man, her hands on her hips as she stood off to the side. The sky pirate knew that she wasn't totally accepted in the group, only a tolerance. However, she planned to turn that around, and hopefully soon.

"If I'm not mistaken you owe Ms. Leautia an apology, Isengrim -- she has come back not only with a map but the map. Is that correct, dear -- are you indeed a Qi'jhariihl?"

"As for your question of transportation, Icarus, I'll admit I had some worries that we wouldn't be seeing Raruna again after taking her finder's fee, but as she has returned we can avail ourselves of her airship if it is available?"

Runa perked up at the mention of her beloved ship. Her bright gaze shot over to the woman behind the desk and she smiled, a large mischievous filled smile. Crossing her arms over her chest, the Pirate grinned at the group, "You should know that I'm true to my word. I wouldn't have left you all hanging," she winked, "My ship is more than available... tiny though it is... but it's in great working condition!" She muttered the middle part about her ship being small, but kept her smile, "She's located on the west side of the city, just beyond the city's gates."

"We set sail, skies permitting, tomorrow at 9°30', or just before quinta for those of you who don't yet appreciate the marvel that is modern chronometry."

"Well then, if you all have no further need of me! I will go prepare my ship," Raruna announced and turned on her heel. There were a few things that needed repairs on her vessel, things she could only get in Barberry, Damn I'm lucky that the city of Guilds has what I need... I don't know how well my ship would fare if I needed to fly to another city she thought to herself. The sails were tattered, the mechanisms for controlling the crystals were getting worn and there were a few broken parts to the metal craft. Nothing that wouldn't keep her from flying, but definitely stuff that needed repairing while she still had the time.

The sky pirate looked at the Qi'jhariihl one last time and offered her a wink before leaving the room to descend the stairs. Once she was out into the city, Raruna took to the streets and began working to gather things for her ship.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Igari


ZHERYNNIAANALORUM




Zasim eu dasuuk?!

She found herself on the floor, limbs bound to her body tightly by rope that was chaffing into her skin. She had no idea how she had even come to be here and fidgeted against the cold floor. She could feel the hard wood through the fabric of the bag, though she still could not see a single thing. She wildly tried to move about to try to loosen the bonds but that only increased the friction against her body. She winced distinctly, wondering how she was going to get out of this one. Well, more urgently, how she was going to fill her stomach! It was making a rather absurd amount of noise; she was frankly surprised that no one heard it. Then again, there seemed to be a loud commotion going on outside of her bag... There was indistinct yelling and what sounded like a bit of a scuffle.

She heard approaching footsteps and suddenly, the fabric that had been over her head was removed. Her vision blurred with the intake of light and she blinked her amber eyes several times to try to get accustomed to it. She was in a bar. A pub? Regardless, there were a lot of people around. Immediately, she tried to get their attentions but her mind was far too jumbled with what had happened and she was unable to differentiate dialects as effectively.

"Jhameur ly'sind! Washu ek cahre r'lashrei vin'le!" Her words were flustered, speedy--yet unlike in the universal tongue, there wasn't a hint of a stutter. No one around her looked as if they understood and desperately, she tried to portray the trouble she was in with widened eyes. Her kidnapper, a self-acclaimed pirate woman who rambled far too much, walked over, stuffing a gag into her mouth. The woman spoke slowly in her hair, at a volume not audible to anyone else.

"Look, if you'd just been quiet or at least worked right, I wouldn't be tying you up!" She froze a bit, blinking several times again. Was there anything in her knowledge stores that would've prepared her for this situation? There wasn't much time to focus on her knowledge reserves though, as a gruff looking man walked over and lifted her up with ease. She would've panicked but he immediately let her go once he had removed the bag and bonds from her person. She rubbed her arms as she was pushed up the stairs, feeling more like a bit of an object at this point. Jeez! SEEING it was far different than actually READING about it. She had to partially wonder if this was the real reason members of her race made sure not to be caught. If this kind of maltreatment was waiting, she couldn't blame them!

She didn't pay attention to the others that also walked into the room, finding much more interest in trying to figure out her escape route. She had read only a few books on some sort of human that dressed in all black and wielded throwing stars. She didn't have the black tunic... actually... she didn't have any of that, so the thought was kind of useless to her. It wasn't until she was addressed that she was forced to listen in on the conversation, missing the first part of the dialogue.

"... are you indeed a Qi'jhariihl?" She stared at the woman who spoke to her but was noticeably still frazzled from what had happened.

"Miduukhrim ny." Was all she muttered, casting her gaze downwards. She didn't like this, all this decision making without her consent! It irked her slightly but with the deepest of sighs, she tried to resign herself to the unfolding events. Maybe she would learn to like this within the next several minutes or something! The one good thing about being a Qi'jhariihl was that she was prone to preference shifting. So what made her uncomfortable one minute could very well bring her much joy the next.

From what she could tell, they were going on some type of journey? Adventure? Perhaps. Wait. Journey. Adventure. Treasure. Journey. Map. TREASURE? She looked up with excited eyes, all thoughts of displeasure lost in moments. "Yiryndrii! There will be treasure, nehriin? Daishi, daishi!" She flippantly exchanged languages without batting an eyelash, which was probably causing much confusion among the others. Ohh, she just could not help herself, not with mention of treasure. Well, no one actually said the word but it was safe to assume! The pirate woman walked past her, winking on her way down the stairs. She returned the gesture, literally too excited about what she was going to snack on to care that this was the same woman that had kidnapped her.

'I wonder what these new things will taste like!' She pondered to herself happily, already drooling at the thought. Okay, maybe this wouldn't be all that bad. So long as she was fed, she wouldn't be complaining... much!

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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So... basically... It was another escort job once more... Great... Marvelous... Fantastic... Wonderful... He could go on with the list of adjectives to attach to this mission he had already accepted without much thought. Well, beggars can't be choosers as they say! At the same time, this will be a good chance for him to redeem himself in some way. Although, he really didn't care about his reputation. Still, it was important for his chosen career and all. So... he cared a little bit. In any case, he studied another female joining the group who had a rather unceremonious entrance. Narrowing his eyes at this, he hated being interrupted especially when his questions was about to be answered. This woman was surely someone he dislikes much like the wench who butted in. Scratch that, make it two females as the content of the sack was revealed to them. In any case, he didn't know that it was a possibility to transport an living being in such a manner. Thinking about it carefully, he shall use the same method as well. It was less hassle and all.

Well, it did not strike him odd hearing the languages spouting from this so-called Qi'jhariihl. Jedas had heard it from the books at his hometown about this girl's kind. Well, it was just the basic as he never had the patience for staying still and all. Well, maybe he could if he was bound or something. But for now, he looked at the seemingly younger girl who was obviously off to her own version of La-La Land. Well, he had those moments as well. It was more fun than this world apparently. Exhaling some of his smoke again, he listened to the details of the mission and the other facts needed to be known by them. Well the gist of it was to protect some harvester thing while making sure no thieves or bad guys get a hand on it. Simple enough and that is fine with him. Although, there was one detail he did not like...

Ship... specifically.... AIRSHIPS... Jedas was not a fan of technology as he had lived in a backwater country most of his life. So, it is not surprising if he hates such modern advancement or be at times in childish amazement of such achievements. For now, the airship was on his hate-list and believe it, this is not the only one on that particularly long list. Adding to that, this is one of the other things he would hate the newcomer of a woman. She likes interruptions and then she has a ship. This does not bode well for any kind of social interactions at all. He finished his cigarette and clucked his tongue at the mode of transportation as for the time reading and all. Well, the clock thing is fine by him although, he still hates reading all those numbers.

"Since, this is over... See you until then chaps. I'm leaving now!" Turning his back at them, Jedas waved his hand over his head and walked down the stairs. He needed to get some rest now which means looking for an acceptable inn. Well, he was still a bit hungry so, he might chow down on some food from the stalls at the marketplace. Without much of an interruption, he left the Pie and went on his way. Hopefully, he does not find trouble along the way in which he seemed to be a part of usually.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas
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Lawrence followed Grim up the steps, still a bit confused as to what exactly she'd just jumped into. Who was the woman? And the girl in the sack? Why did they need a map? Her mind was spitting out questions too fast for River's to focus on a single one. She kept all this to herself, however, as she stepped around the corner and into a room. Inside the said room was the woman she'd seen earlier; a Dr. Serabel. There was also a young man who had shockingly white hair. That was another man she'd be working with; maybe he'd be easier to get along with than the One-Eyed Grim Reaper.

Lawrence stood a few steps back from everyone, observing silently. So this was an escort mission; just protect Dr. Serabel and the package? That wouldn't be too difficult. While they would be in a dangerous area, she was sure this lot could handle themselves. As she processed all of this information, Lawrence hardly noticed as the pirate woman and the One-Eyed Grim Reaper left. She scrutinized the girl that had been in the sack; the Qi'jhariihl. The girl had suddenly seemed excited, and Lawrence couldn't fathom why. Hadn't she just dragged from god-knows-where in a bag?

It was silent for a few moments, which was nice. River's looked at the people still in the room, her eyes calculating. She sized up the white haired man (had Dr. Serabel called him Icarus?), and decided that, regardless of his personality, he'd be good back up in a fight. His body was toned and his hands were callused in areas that suggested he was handy with a weapon. And though she'd basically already accepted, Lawrence felt the need to make if official. "I'll join you," she said matter-of-factly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
The small group slowly drifts apart, one by one, as each member announces their departure. Grim acknowledges those remaining with a gruff "Tomorrow, then," before striding out of the meeting room. The Applicator greets and thanks Lawrence for her addition to the group, but after only a few small exchanges she too bids them all farewell. With Raruna's airship as transport the mission will no longer be as grueling a slog as previously thought, but there is still plenty for each to do in preparation for tomorrow's departure. Some of you, like Runa, might be leaving to buy provisions, or like Jedas you might already be prepared and spend your remaining hours looking for food or the night's lodging. Whatever your activities, each of you will have an encounter.

The men are of nondescript appearance, with clothing that marks them out perhaps as a traveler, perhaps a laborer, but nothing so exotic or fine as to draw speculation. Depending on your activities in the waning hours of the evening, one of the men might sidle up to your spot at a bar, or perhaps be standing behind you in line at a shop -- maybe even simply approach you in the street in between destinations.

The conversations are similar: each of you is greeted politely, and each man introduces himself as Cortland, a colleague of Dr. Serabel's. How he knows of your association with the Applicator is left unsaid, but you may be able to deduce that he spotted you in the Ha'penny Pie, and must have followed you thence. Cortland offers each of you a small artifice which he calls a locator -- the lumen powered device is similar in size to a snuff box, and is little more than a metal box with a hinged lid, inside of which is the lumen crystal embedded in finely wrought glyphs, and a small button. Depressing the button, Cortland reveals, sends a wide-ranging lumen wave at a specific frequency which can be tracked via his receiver.

Depress the button once a day to reveal to him the airship's location, and you will be rewarded 500 marks, in addition to whatever you receive from Dr. Serabel herself. With that simple pitch as his job offer, Cortland makes to depart, leaving behind the locator and a small coin purse with five golden monarchs.



MISSION #001 COMPLETE!



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn


MISSION #003




The airdocks in Barberry are situated far from the cliffed coast into which the city itself is built -- the constant updrafts there are too strong and unpredictable for safely maneuvering. Although still within the uppermost tier's protecting walls, the airdocks are far enough from the cliffs for the wind's fury to abate. Here on this wide-open dirt field, a few dozen crafts of varying sizes and shapes are anchored. The largest is a transport ship, which makes its weekly trip to far south Dorstone, for passengers who can afford the expense instead of the longer journey around the horn by sea. The smallest airships are little more than one-man pods that can rise and fall according to their stannum engine's pulse, but have no ability to maneuver in air. These are used for observations conducted by the more scientific guilds such as the Applicators. Airships of every purpose and design in between are anchored here.

Raruna's airship is nestled beside a sizeable military vessel known as a sloop-of-war, and a gleaming sun yacht that must surely belong to one of the city's moneyed elite. On the ground next to the hull, Dr. Serabel stands with a small clutch of workers, giving instructions about her cargo and its safe storage. Somewhat out of the way Grim lies against his heavy travel pack, apparently snoozing the morning away despite the work going on about him.

As stated the night before, the airship should be ready to depart by 09°30', provided that you are all in attendance. The various roles are made clear to each member of the expedition. Raruna is solely in charge of all aspects of the flight, as captain of the airship. Grim is revealed to be knowledgeable of the huldrefolk region, and so once the ship touches down for the expedition to continue on foot (some hours' south of the mountains to avoid attracting huldre eyes), he will take charge of the group. The others are to guard the caith harvester during Dr. Serabel's calibrations, from both any caithness drawn during its operation and from any huldrefolk who come across their experiment.

Once everyone arrives, the ship will depart.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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Much like a child that had been left within a toy store alone, this is how the One-Eyed Grim Reaper could be described. His one good eye sparkled with great delight at the sights of various food arranged deliciously upon the stalls. He did not mind the clutter of people or the ceaseless voices of buyers and sellers. For him, this is his La-La Land and there is no way at the moment he would allow himself to wake from it. Within a few seconds, his arms were filled with various bags of treats and the same could be said about his mouth currently filled with some barbecued entrails of a giant sea worm. It was a fine delicacy despite the name adorning it. He continued to do such meaningless shopping and soon enough the money paid in advance for his mission tomorrow was gone.

A well-known weakness for this complicated mercenary, Jedas has no self-preservation in spending money. He shook the drawstring purse up and down once more but no marks came out. It seemed he had returned to his earlier situation again.

FLAT BROKE.

The difference he would probably sleep in some street corner or he could get into trouble and get thrown in jail. After all, he would need not worry about a lodging for the night. Although, he would probably be bailed by his client and that would be a cut to his payment. That is something he cannot afford. Releasing a long and heavy sigh, he continued to think about a solution for his current dilemma. "Oi, Mister are you going to buy or not?" Jedas glared with his one eye and placed his finger on his lips a gesture for silence. "Clam it! I'm thinking here okay!" The vendor of fruits shook his head in complete awkwardness and pointed behind the mercenary. "I have other customers, could you move to the side for now?" Jedas leaned his face closer to the vendor. "Why don't they move aside? I came here first. Got it." Somehow, this had caused some of the guards patrolling the area to notice. His second alternative of going to jail might come true soon enough. "Sir---" This was cut soon enough by a rather simple-looking man. "Excuse my good friend here." An arm was wrapped around Jedas' shoulder and then this stranger whispered to the mercenary's ears. "I want to offer you an additional job for 500 marks."

Upon hearing that, Jedas removed the man's arm. "Talk." The man nodded and gestured for him to go somewhere else which the Grim Reaper followed as the vendor released a sigh of relief. As for the guards, they continued with their patrols for it seemed the brewing trouble was quickly resolved. "I am Cortland a fellow colleague of Dr. Serabel. It is an honor to meet the infamous One-Eyed Grim Reaper." Jedas was not impressed with this Cortland person at all even when it was clear the man was getting to his good graces. For now, he listened. "The mission I am giving you is this." A small box was shown to Jedas which he eyed with scrutiny. "What are you going to propose to the Doctor? Man, I suggest a more direct approach. The last one I helped killed each other you know." Cortland as he called himself was not sure whether the Grim Reaper was truly an idiot or acting as one. Whatever the case maybe, he shook his head vigorously. "This is not a ring. It is a locator. Depress the button here." He demonstrated. "Once a day and it will give me the location of the ship. After that, you will have 500 Marks." After the presentation, the man gave the device to Jedas along with a coin purse. "Until, then." The man soon disappeared with the crowd of the market while Jedas looked at the tracker box in his hand.

"Well, I guess I can confirm this with the Doc. He is her colleague and all... After all, he didn't tell me not to tell anyone." Jedas went on his way with a smile as his problem of where to stay had been solved. He has now money. It seemed that Lady Luck liked him very much today but at the same time, it worries him. The fact that misfortune also follows one who had received great luck is quite true. He experienced such instances. Truthfully, it was more like his fault than an accident or bad luck. However, he would never admit that. For now, he went to search for an Inn to prepare for his mission tomorrow. "My agenda for now, a good night's sleep!"

One more fault for Jedas, he is not really an early bird. He woke up looking at the rays of the sun entering his room. "5 more minutes..." As he turned his back towards the window, he caught sight of a clock with its hands denoting 10°30'. "I have to be at the docks at 09°30'? right?" Finally realizing the time, he quickly jumped to his feet and gathered his clothes that were scattered around the floor. For anyone's information, he sleeps half-naked. Anyway, he grabbed all his stuff and quickly left his room while making a mess by bumping into furniture along the hallway. Soon enough, he made his way to the docks while panting heavily. It was safe to say he had arrived after everyone else already did. He looked at the gathered group and took a deep breath before speaking. "A man needs some relaxation, right?" Then, his stomach roared for he had yet to eat any breakfast in his hurry. "So, when are we going to eat?" Disregarding the fact, he had made everyone wait for him.



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
One by one the group recollects the next morning -- some early, some on time and one preposterously late. The doctor greets each newcomer with her oddly stern manner, but seems grateful for each of theirs presence. When any of them ask her about Cortland or the locator, she asks for them to wait for everyone else to arrive so that she can speak to them all together.

"Thank you all for bringing this to my attention," she began once everyone arrived. "You were of course right to do so. Let me bring you all up to speed. I have no association with this Cortland, although I don't doubt that he is an Applicator. As I told you all yesterday evening, there are those in my guild who would gladly see this mission fail, or better yet take control of the artifice prototype for their own calibrations. Please, any of you who were approached by this Cortland, produce the locator. Keep the marks for yourselves if you took any."

As some members of the expedition had already brought the matter to the doctor's attention, she knows who to trust for their honesty, but any who have not yet acknowledged their conversation with Cortland, now is the time, as she turns to each of you one by one. Isengrim shrugged innocently. "No, I never saw this Cortland," he replied. "Wouldn't have minded an extra 500 marks though," he joked. Dr. Serabel hesitated before moving on from him, but she nodded thoughtfully.

Once everyone has shown the locator, she looks to each of the party members. "Now what do we do?" she asks them all.




When everything is ready for launch, the doctor notifies Raruna, who is quick to get her craft airborne. With a controlled yaw and roll the airship rises free of the other craft, ascending far too quickly for some of the more sensitive members of the crew, namely Isengrim and Jedas. A surge of power from the large stannum crystal embedded in the heart of the engine room kicks the ship forward with a lurch, and soon the airship is cutting across the landscape toward the northern horizon.

Although the plains north of Barberry are not known to be especially hostile to travelers as far as caithness go, the skies are another matter. Airships are among the newest and certainly rarest of the major artifices of Allevent, and whereas caithness hunters on land and sea have somewhat stemmed the tide of caithness around the more civilized areas, in the air the party finds itself subjected to a steady stream of these random encounters.

The first fight outbreaks when a clutch of Arrowhawks swoop from the cloud cover to land on the deck, giving their piercing scream as they launch themselves at nearby party members with slashing talons and their wicked hooked beaks. Not expecting the assault, each party member is caught unawares and has to fight alone. For himself, Isengrim took a vicious wound to the leg before countering with a crushing blow from his iron totem that reduced the beast to a stream of released caith that dissipated quickly, like the last breath of an extinguished campfire. A paltry few stannum crystals showered the deck at his feet, glittering orange in the morning light. When Isengrim released a small amount of the aurum in his reserves, the other elixers of the party would see a few golden butterflies flutter about him before landing on his wounded leg, disappearing with a flash of golden sunbeams that healed his wound.

From then on the party is on alert, taking on the new random encounters in small rotating groups. Each member plays to his or her strengths. For his own part, Grim eagerly takes on any caithness with attacks that are too strong for the others to risk -- such as Spinetails or Butcherbirds -- using his bountiful reserves of aurum to nullify their attacks while dishing out his own. Conversely the large northlander swaps out with another party member whenever a particularly evasive caithness approaches -- such as Lightningales or Horned Screamers -- as his own attacks are too lumbering to be effective. The one caithness that he always fights is the Goldcrest, which is likely to release precious aurum upon its defeat, with which Grim refills his reserves. The one caithness from which he always retreats is the Nightjar, an argentum-type Caithness that often casts confusion spells to which Grim is particularly susceptible. Not wanting to turn his heavy iron rod against his own party members in a daze, Grim wisely takes cover whenever one is spotted.

In this fashion, the airship skims along the clouds on its journey north.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Siryn
Her mouth was full of food, the table set with utensils and the food that she'd cooked up. Upon hearing footsteps across her deck, Runa leapt up from her small dining table and took the stairs two at a time. She reached her deck in no time and set her eyes upon the group. Swallowing the bread that she'd been munching on she grinned at them and looked them over. Runa began making preparations as they waited for the rest of the group to reach her ship.

One of which was terribly late, the tall man mumbled something about a man having to have his rest as he boarded. Runa heard his call for food and she smiled at him, "Down below if you're hungry!" She hollered as she was making sure her sails were tied down. She didn't look to see if he went to eat, figuring that he was smart enough to figure out where the food was. The pirate was moving about the deck as she finished securing items when Dr. Serabel spoke up.

"Thank you all for bringing this to my attention. You were of course right to do so. Let me bring you all up to speed. I have no association with this Cortland, although I don't doubt that he is an Applicator. As I told you all yesterday evening, there are those in my guild who would gladly see this mission fail, or better yet take control of the artifice prototype for their own calibrations. Please, any of you who were approached by this Cortland, produce the locator. Keep the marks for yourselves if you took any."

Turning, she eyed the woman carefully. So, she hadn't known this 'Cortland'... how interesting. Runa figured that she would give Serabel the locator device later as she was busy at that moment.

"No, I never saw this Cortland. Wouldn't have minded an extra 500 marks though," Grim replied to Serabel as she turned to him. Runa raised an eyebrow as she watched the exchange. How strange for Grim to have not been approached when it seemed that most of them had already been. Well, whatever, maybe this Cortland man didn't get to all of them. It would make sense, it was only one man anyway. A person can't be in more than one place at any given time.

"I got one too, the man seemed mighty keen on figuring out my ships location. I'll give it to you once we get airborne, doc. However, this is my ship and I won't tolerate anyone giving out her position," Runa said loudly as Serabel turned to her. Runa made sure that everyone could hear her. She was dead serious about the locator thing, she didn't want anyone knowing where they were. That would be invading her privacy! No one wants to be a moving target, least of all Runa and her ship.

"Now what do we do?"

"We get airborne!! That's what we do!" Runa answered. Her voice was loud and energetic as she bounced around her deck making sure everything was locked down. Then she moved from one end of the ship to the other, tossing off the docking ropes that were hooked into the sides of her ship to keep it upright upon landing. The sky pirate leapt over a crate with ease and rushed up the stairs to the upper deck where her stern was. Pulling down her hat tighter on her head, she grinned wildly as her hands grasped the wheel. Her fingers brushed the levers of her controls and she began powering the crystals along the hull of the ship.

At first she siphoned the power slowly, warming the crystals. The moment the ship started to lift off the ground, she pushed the levers forward all the way and the airship lurched upwards at a fast speed. Adjusting a couple of the levers, the bow of the ship tilted upwards and they were shooting over the wall of the city of guilds in a matter of seconds. The wind whipped past her face as she maneuvered the vessel.

She got the ship up towards the clouds, the mast just barely skimming the low blowing mist of white. Locking her wheel with a clamp, she leapt down to the deck and began unfurling the sails. Pulling the rope that tied them up, they each fell down, unraveling neatly. The wind immediately caught them and the ship shook, lurching forward from the air current that caught them. With her sails taking them, Runa went back to her helm and turned down the crystals at the back of the ship, the ones that were propelling them forward. It saved on energy and also preserved the crystals.

Unhooking her wheel, she guided the ship easily through the wind, heading north to their destination. Her body was relaxed as she stood there. Her heart was light and her smile didn't fade away. Runa's eyes were glittering with their usual mischief, excitement at the journey ahead. She was determined to prove herself to this powerful guild.




Raruna had been steering her ship smoothly through the air, her mind wandering in fantasy of how she was going to handle certain situations, her reputation rising with each problem that she cooked up in her own mind. She imagined herself winning the fancy of the top guild that she was escorting and then her dream of joining the Free Lancers coming true. All of her fantasy dreams were shattered at the sound of a high pitched cry above them. Runa's head shot upwards as her eyes searched the billowing white cloud above them.

The moment she spotted a flash of wings her heart leapt into a frenzy, adrenaline pumping through her. Her hand released the wheel, the other tying it down, locking it securely in place. She turned then and drew her sword. The first of several birds descended down upon her ship and screamed their defiance against them. Runa sidestepped the swipe of an enormously large claw as one of the birds targeted her. Her blade came down as she moved, cutting into the things foot. With a screech, it took off, just barely scratching her deck where she stood.

However, that wasn't the end of it. It circled then came back down at her. Raruna raised her sword a second time and slashed at it as it came closer. The tip of her blade just barely cut into its chest, causing the bird to become infuriated. The creatures face shot forward as it pecked at her with its razor sharp beak. Runa ducked, barely missing the attack. A burn coursed along her shoulder and shoulder blade.

"Damn," she cursed as she came back up, turning around and slashing her sword across its extended wing. Another cut from her blade had the creature hopping towards the edge of the ship, its wing hanging limply from the damage she'd done to it. Drawing her long curved knife from her sheath, she threw the weapon at the bird. It shot through the air, covering the distance between her and the creature and buried itself into the back of the birds neck. It didn't make a noise as it crumpled, hanging half over the edge of her ship.

A second one dove down at her from behind, barely giving the pirate a chance to prepare. She felt claws dig into her shoulders as it gripped her and began lifting her from the ship. Runa twisted and turned in it's grip, struggling to free herself. Slamming her sword into the wood of the deck, she managed to lodge the blade just enough to keep from being pulled away from her vessel. Quickly, she reached with her other hand and drew out yet another knife. Her hand shot upwards and stabbed furiously into the beasts foot, hot blood streamed down and covered her jacket and shirt as she did so.

The bird released her with an angry cry and Runa dropped to the deck flat on her back. Standing up, she quickly unhooked the wheel and began pulling some of the levers down. They were too high and at that rate, they were going to be continually attacked by the arrowhawks. So, the ship descended quickly, loosing the attacking birds within a few minutes. Whatever stragglers remained were taken care of by the group, which Raruna was thankful for. That meant less damage to her ship, though it was a cover-up for her worry to her passengers.

Sheathing her sword, Runa guided her ship onwards, pushing the levers back up to gain more power. She had them back up in the air and away from the arrowhawks, but a bit lower than before just in case the bastards decided to descend upon them a second time. Runa ignored the scratch along her shoulder and back, it was small enough to not bother with, so she stayed at the helm and continued to keep an eye out for any more troublesome creatures.

The setting changes from Open Plains North of Barberry to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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My Apologies...

Setting

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Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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His question about food was answered soon enough by the so-called captain of the airship. Actually, Jedas dreaded the fact coming aboard the flying ship. He has this unhealthy dislike for anything remotely known as technological advancement. Any case, his hate meter for the woman had slightly ebbed down due to the fact of having his breakfast served. He was on the way down when the Doctor suddenly opened the topic about Cortland and the locator. Oh, he almost forgot about that. Well, his stomach was more important than some discussion. He really did not listen through all of the dialogues and such. Although, he heard the facts needed to be remembered by. Well, he thinks so.

Summing it up, the Doc doesn't know anyone by the name of Cortland. So, the guy was some sort of a stalker. Then, all of them were approached. Oh scratch that, the bulky man was not involved in the whole fiasco. In any case, he was hungry and if there were other things needed to be said or recalled. They can tell him later so for now, he procured the small box that at some point he had thought to be a wedding ring. "Oi Doc, here you go." He threw the small box not caring if the woman caught it or not. For now, he would be getting himself some grub to silence his rebelling stomach. After all, he cannot do much on an empty fuel now. Making his way down below as the woman had described, he soon found it and his eye lit in satisfaction. "Well, here goes the hatchet!"

However, the One-Eyed Grim Reaper did not anticipate the mode of transportation and effect on his rather full tank of fuel. He held onto the railings or to whatever he could. It seemed his nourishment was slowly creeping up towards his throat. Believe him, it was not a very pleasant feeling at all. This is why he does not like airships at all. He gets airsick. With that in mind, he went towards the deck and held onto the balustrade as he vomited the contents which was earlier known as breakfast. At the same time, he was feeling a bit topsy turvy from all the jolting and ascension of the ship. Stupid captain, can she not steer properly?! He will never understand what was so great about flying especially on something much like this which he had taken to call as a floating deathtrap.

"The things I do for money..." He managed to softly mutter as he once more expelled the contents of his meals on the windy skies. The mercenary was not so concerned about the fact who would received the falling blessing from his mouth. All that mattered to him is that he wants to vomit and the fact that he was feeling a bit sick. Not a bit sick. Really sick. Next time, he would probably put an exemption to him accepting missions.

STRICTLY NO AIRSHIPS!

After that passing thought, he vomited once more but it seemed that this journey would be filled with great inconveniences for him. Because while he was busy expelling his source of fuel, a caithness known as an arrowhawk quickly flew upward to his face. He was able to dodge it on the nick of time. If not, he would have a rather large hole at the center of his face. Those sharp beaks were not mere adornments. No doubt about it and it would be a shame for him to lose a face. He did make some kind of reputation with his appearance after all. Keeping steady on his feet which was really quite a feat, he could feel once more the dizziness capturing him. He held onto a nearby column and could hear some shots and rustles from the others. "Damn birds!" Not too soon after saying that, a group of arrowhawks attacked him once more. He withdrew Ophelia from its sheathe and soon the attacking group of arrowhawks were now a fine example of icicle birds.

Yet due to Jedas' speedy movement, he run to the balustrade once more and vomited. It would really be a challenge for the Grim Reaper to fight while on a flying airship. There was another arrowhawk coming down from above as he gingerly dodged the attack. He did not come out completely unscathed as his eyepatch was cut from its knot. Noticing some visions coming through his right eye, "Damn!" He immediately covered his right eye as while the eye cloth was now hanging on the side of his face. It added to his annoyance as he swung Ophelia once more. This time releasing frozen spears of ice to each arrowhawk coming down on him. Soon, the barrage of attack stopped and he made a dash towards the cabins below. He needed to replace his eyepatch immediately. Good, he brought a spare.

Through all the small skirmishes with the caithness, Jedas was nothing more but a stumbling hand. He mostly stayed out of the way of the others while he continued to vomit on the side. His airsickness was quite the enemy for him at the moment. Although, he aided the crew in regards of the Nightjar caithness. Its illusions and confusion skills does not work on the one-eyed mercenary as he hacked at them away with his scythe. Although, the more he moved, the more he got sick afterwards. So, he was quite thankful that those argentum-type of caithness just pops up at a manageable amount. Well, most of the time he was at the railings of the ship spewing out whatever contents his body could and holding on to the balustrade while everything was still circling around him. This was far worse when he got drunk and thinking about the memory made him puked even more.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Siryn
"Are you alright?"

The voice behind her startled her. Wait... how in the hell did he get behind her in the first place? She would have noticed if he'd come up the stairs. Whirling around she shot her gaze upwards to meet his sharp green eyes. Scratch that, why was he even asking if she was alright? No one ever did that. She was just a pirate, a low life, scum, the lowest of the low. Nothing, nobody, would ever think about her. With a wide grin she answered him, all thoughts on how he'd gotten behind her long gone.

"This?" She nodded her head to the scratch along her shoulder and back. Sure it looked terrible because of all the blood, but it wasn't that deep. Runa had taken far worse before, "This is nothing. If I'm still breathing, I'm good to go!" She boasted and turned back to the wheel. A familiar feeling welled up at the back of her throat. Loneliness. However, the expert pirate hid the feeling with a broader smile as she steered her ship gracefully through the sky.

"Everyone okay?"

"Just fine up here!" Raruna answered back with a slight wave of her hand, she tipped her hat at the woman who had asked the question. A bright smile curved her lips as she turned back to her wheel and their trajectory through the sky.

Runa's gaze dropped down to the deck where the rest of the people where after she'd readjusted their course. Some looked injured, probably a bit worse than herself. Her smile turned into a bit of a frown and she reached back into her pouch to touch the healing crystal. Did she dare let someone else handle it? Did she even want to pull it out and use it for someone else? Her throat tightened as she thought about it. They would need it, those that looked injured, especially the woman with the cut across her neck. Then there was the one who was sick on the side of her deck. Her stone wouldn't heal his sickness, but maybe it would make him feel better? It was worth a try anyway.

With a heavy sigh, she reached back and pulled the stone from her pocket and turned back to the man who had addressed her earlier. What was his name again? Icarus right? Yeah, that sounded about right.

"Icarus, here take this. Use it to heal the wounded," she said and handed it to him without looking him in the eye. She bit her lip as she turned back to the wheel of her ship, "And I want that back!" She snapped as an after thought. She settled against her ships wheel, maneuvering them through the skies, her thoughts not on their direction at all. No, Runa's thoughts were with the company she was in. When was the last time she had a friend? Had she ever really had one before? She couldn't really remember, all that came to mind were the fights she'd always gotten into in the streets of Barberry.

Nothing of significance ever happened there, least of all friends. Icarus' question towards her well being definitely threw her off, but it was an internal struggle that Runa was more than accustomed to. Easily pushing it aside, she had a bright smile back on her lips, however forced or faked it was. She'd gained enough practice to make it seem real enough. There would be time to worry about his statement later -which meant never- so in the meantime, Runa concentrated on her ship and nothing else.

The setting changes from Allevent to Open Plains North of Barberry

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
Fully healed save for the rip in his heavy leggings and the receding memory of pain, Isengrim turned to survey the others at work. True to his instincts, they'd so far proven to be capable of handling themselves in a fight. Even the teamwork, which didn't always take hold in a new group dynamic, was already starting to come together as the group slowly began working to recover from the attack. The huge northlander saw Icarus and the pirate captain conversing, and he moved to join them. He passed by the one-eyed grim reaper, who was busy showering the landscape below with the remnants of his breakfast, and Grim gave the man a sympathetic pat on the shoulder as he passed. Luckily Isengrim's equilibrium was stable as a table, and he never had to worry about seasickness, or airsickness in this case. No, for him the discomfort with airships was wholly mental, not physical. He just felt completely at the mercy of the winds and the will of the captain -- and that level of dependency disturbed the loner in him.

"Still alive," he greeted as he loomed near the other two beside the captain's wheel, seeing Raruna hand off her healing crystal to the white-haired mercenary. "Well done." A sturdy oaken support beam groaned in protest as he leaned against it, wrapping one arm about a column for balance. He squinted across the deck to Lawrence, whose injury seemed significant but not severe. No doubt the captain's healing artifice would tend to her quickly. Unfortunately, despite being an aurum elixer himself, Isengrim had no ability to heal any injuries but his own. Still, if he needed to he could try to infuse the artifice with his own aurum if it were to run low, so that the others could continue to be healed throughout the journey north. It seemed likely they would need it, as the skies no doubt still swarmed with caithness. Once they reached the mountain passes and continued on foot, there would likely be trouble with the huldrefolk to boot.

As the airship continued peacefully on its way, Isengrim eventually took his watchful eye from the sky and looked about the deck around him. Seeing Icarus, Grim made his way over to the man, careful to keep within quick reach of a harness or rigging in case of any sudden dips or rolls in the air. Reaching the rail, he kept an eye out for any caithness breaking from the cloud cover as he spoke. "So, you guild-affiliated at all?" he asked casually. Figuring the man was probably a mercenary, it was a good bet that he'd belonged to any number of guilds throughout Allevent. Isengrim had done a lot of traveling over the years, and as a caithness hunter he'd come across many dozens of guilds of varying rank and renown. Finding out any guilds that another man belonged to, or had worked with previously, was a good way of establishing character. Work with the Free Lancers, say, was basically a stamp of approval that would open many doors unavailable to those without such a lofty recommendation to their name. Which was part of the reason that Isengrim had taken on work with the Applicators, although he expected no official guild membership forthcoming - just informal contracting.

The setting changes from Open Plains North of Barberry to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: I.S.S.A.C. Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Igari


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Yuskreviv na'aim... na'aim... raflhej?!

There had been a loud crash from up above, a tumbling of a large crate, and now she was sprawled out on the ground. She blinked, the wall did look odd from her upside down position. Her hair was messily spread out over her body, some books laying on top of her chest. She blew a bit of her hair away from her eyes, jutting out her bottom lip in a pout. Hejrill eksha nadrem? The last she could recall, she had been around.... around... Her mind was drawing up literal blanks though a part of her did feel the slightest bit of familiarity from her surroundings. The girl was unable to place them properly however. Perhaps trying to remember where she was currently was a bit too difficult--maybe she could try something easier? A few letters moved across her irises, jumbled--uncoordinated. A trait that all of her race shared when attempting to recall pieces of information.

Hmm, she did faintly remember a bar... yes, there had been a group of sailors, they had a map in their back pocket! And the map had led to treasure! Oh!

She attempted to sit up but her current position only made her falll backwards once more. She tried a few more times, eventually having to use her hands as support to prop herself up. She had that map, right? It had looked so enticing, so mouth-wateringly delicious... She began to pat herself down, reaching into all of her available pockets. As she reached her back pocket underneath the folds of her sash, she felt the firm outline of parchment. Ah ha! Yes, she most certainly still had the map. But it was a bit too early to be snacking so maybe she would save that until later...

Something told her that eating right now wouldn't benefit her. Her stomach seemed to be on a revolt against the very thought even, for it threatened to overturn on her at the idea of feeding herself. She tapped her chin with a few digits. That memory still didn't tell her anything though... Maybe there had been something afterwards? Yes, there had been... a woman. That was right! She had been distracted by possible treasure and a woman with brown hair had come up and... thrown a sack over her head. Her eyebrows furrowed even deeper as she attempted to replay what had happened next but her memories seemed to end just as her vision had blacked out as well.

The girl stood up unsteadily with her palms pressed against the walls for support. The texts rolled off of her as she did so, scattering on the ground. She wasn't so preoccupied with it--somehow she felt she had already eaten those for some reason. She walked towards the stairs, clutching the railing on her way up. Why was it so difficult to walk straight? And why did it feel like there was rocking of some kind? There was what looked to be a hatch at the top of the stairs. She grasped the latch, turning it to the side and pushing upwards. The door clamored open and she poked her head out of the opening. The fresh air hit her face sharply. It was whirring by a bit too quickly for... ah?

That was sky. Sie daishi. Sie sie daishi! There was a flash of nervousness that hit her as she forced herself to ascend all the way to the surface, not bothering to close the door behind her. Large eyes skimmed over the people that were standing around on the deck (Maybe? She really wasn't sure...), not a single face bringing up any recognition. There was an older man--jeez, those were some deep frown lines! He could use one of those... those.... oh, she'd remember that later! She puffed up her cheeks with air as she took in each person--a man with white hair, a slender woman, another man who wore a disinterested expression on his face and--a face she could recognize!

She caught sight of a woman exiting the helm who was walking back to the steering wheel. That woman had the same brown hair she remembered from the bar and the same demeanor. It had to be the same person. She tightened her sash with a bit of hesitation as she approached the woman.

"Um..." She began, soon pausing afterwards. What exactly was she going to say? "Yuseif tarwn maji..." She trailed off, a blank stare in response meeting her words. What was she saying wrong? Maybe she was expressing herself too quickly? "Yu-se-if ta-r-wn ma-ji...?" She tried more slowly, putting emphasis on each part of her question. There was no response and the girl's frown returned on her face. "Washu rein, you look familiar?" She stated, unconsciously switching dialects in the middle of her speech. She looked over her shoulder, feeling uncomfortable with that older, grim-looking fellow standing some feet from her. She shifted so that she was on the other side of the woman before continuing.

"Could you... maybe tell me where I am right now? I can't seem to remember anything before our encounter in the bar." She didn't like this--she hated not being able to get a bearing on what and where she was. And more importantly how she had come to reside there. This had seemed to be a recurring theme, but moreso whenever she... That must've been it! She got an internal ping, snapping her fingers at the realization. She always blacked out the most when she accidentally ate too much in one sitting. That would explain why she had been in a crate full of books... Though still left much to be desired in terms of everything else.

Hopefully she would be able to figure it all out soon.



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Xerxes had been running in circles in the fields directly outside of Barberry. The large creature, a golem if he was not mistaken, didn't seem to comprehending the situation correctly. It continued its chants, jumbles of words taken from things shouted in the city. It called after him, chasing after the familiar with metallic clanks following in its wake. He wasn't the least bit worried about being caught; their difference in speed was very apparent. And it was humorous to see it unable to quite catch him, yet seemingly so determined to do just that. A boy's voice caused him to halt for a second though the animal didn't stay in place too long, he wasn't going to be caught that easily.

“You there, Golem! What are you doing?” Huehuehue, a perfect distraction. He darted out from the faintly indented earth, pouncing on to the boy's unsuspecting face. He left a scratch mark on the human's cheeks as he jumped off of him, the boy toppling to the ground. From the thunk that occurred, it seemed a safe assumption that the boy had been knocked out cold by the impact. With a flick of his tail and an infamous smirk, Xerxes was bounding back into the city. He heard the shifting of gears as the golem undoubtedly turned behind him. A persistent machine~ It wouldn't do to be chased down the main streets, though.

He darted into one of the side alleys, hopping over one of the barrels that had been overturned in the earlier commotion. There was a rough grating sound from behind him. The golem was attempting to wedge itself in between the walls to enter the thin space. Its hand swiped at thin air, hitting against the buildings as it continued its efforts. He would have to give it points for tenacity.

"Xerxes. Aaaaaaaah. Xerxes." It called loudly. Xerxes only flashed it a devious grin before scampering through the space, turning the corner into the back-alleys of Barberry. It did not take him long at all to locate his charge. Yes, just as he had suspected: wide-eyed with a trembling bottom lip. Just as helpless as always. He casually lept upon her shoulders, the girl starting in surprise.

"Xerxes!" She exclaimed. Why was she so shocked? She was the one that had called out for him after all. He rolled his eyes, not indulging a response. He pawed at one of the dangling ribbons from her hairpiece. She tried her best to be firm with him, cheeks flooding with a reddish tinge as she attempted a glare. "Xerxes, don't you ignore me!"

"Huehuehue~" She gave an exasperated sigh, pinching the bridge of her nose and looking back over at the elvish woman.

"I'm sorry fur this..." Her voice came out a bit more meekly as she addressed her new companion. Xerxes tended to make nearly anyone uncomfortable, so perhaps she shouldn't be surprised at the slight edginess she sensed from the woman at his arrival. But at least with him here, they'd finally be able to get out of the city! She always got lost on her own. She looked to Xerxes, raising her eyebrows at him. Her fox yawned lazily before stretching, pawing one last time at her before jumping on to the ground.

Her familiar was choosing to be more difficult today, keeping that smirk on his face yet not uttering a word. He trotted down the alleyway at a moderate pace, the girl gesturing apologetically to the other woman before following him. She hoped that the elf wouldn't be so put-off and would accept Xerxes' guidance--at least until they crossed outside of the city boundaries.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
Isengrim waited for Icarus to use the aurum crystal to heal Lawrence before continuing their conversation. "Yeah, this is a bit of a departure for me," he agreed, thoughtfully rubbing the stubble on his chin. "I've been kicking around Allevent for a while now, and I've done just about everything under sun. Mostly soldiering or caithness hunting. Even spent some time doing survey work for the Orienteers, as a lark. This is nice though," he added, referring to the piecemeal work for the Applicators. "Dr. Serabel says the mission is important, which is a welcome change from the piddly-shit jobs I usually take. Be nice to think that after all this time I'm finally going to do something worthwhile..."

He trailed off as the book-eater approached -- watched her converse in her frantic way with Raruna. "So," he continued, turning back to regard Icarus, "it seems that our captain thinks the skies are safe for now." He nodded toward the cabin, where Raruna had disappeared to. "But just in case I think we ought to keep at least one of the seasoned fighters on deck at all times. You, me or Jedas..." he paused, turning to eye Lawrence briefly. "Possibly the girl," he added, noting how quick she'd been with that gun of hers during the fight. "Would you mind sticking around up here a bit?" With that he dropped a heavy hand on the lad's shoulder plate in farewell before making his way below deck.

As this wasn't to be a long trip in air, Isengrim hadn't bothered seeking out any kind of living quarters, and instead had stashed his gear in a small supply closet where it had seemed unlikely to get in the way of anything important. He made his way there just to double check on things, before heading for the engine room. Along the way his shoulders practically touched either side of the corridor, and he continually had to stoop beneath rafters or when stepping through a hatch. The engine room was easy to find, especially as he neared he could feel the steady vibrations through the wood, hear the faint, pleasant hum and then see the orange light that warmly bathed the room as he entered.

The hulking northlander circled the engine, careful to keep well away from the artifice's encasement and from the various cables and coils that flowed outward like veins from the heart. The caith crystal even seemed to beat as its glow waxed and waned rhythmically -- the heartbeat of someone sound asleep. After a few moments his idle curiosity was satisfied and he turned to leave. It wasn't often that one saw caith crystals this large or powerful -- one of the dangers being that any degradation could cause it to suddenly release all of its energy in one volatile burst, spawning caithness of size and power not often seen naturally in Allevent. The likelihood was small, especially as Raruna seemed to care for her airship's maintenance.

"So how goes it?" he asked Dr. Serabel as he passed the open hatch to the small quarters she'd been given. The young Applicator looked up from her seat at a small desk mounted to the wall. The locators from Cortland were splayed out before her in various levels of disassembly.

"I don't know," the woman admitted, not looking up from her work. "I had hoped to turn his ploy against him somehow -- change the locators' frequency to create a theta wave interference pattern--" (Isengrim zoned out for the next few sentences of the Applicator's jargon) -- "but the particulars of these artifices elude me. I don't see how they function as locators at all, to be honest." In an uncharacteristic fit of emotion she threw one of the devices against the far wall of the room, where it no doubt disappointed her by remaining in one piece.

"Oh well, as long as you're sure they're not tracking us," he replied, to which she nodded dismissively. "May as well toss them, then," he advised before making his way back up toward the deck. Everything seemed to be fine, but his eyes scanned the skies anyway as he walked it perimeter, careful to keep within reach of the railing or rigging at all times. His other hand rested idly on the head of the axe at his belt, gloved finger tracing the sleek curve of steel. "You lot seeing that!?" he called out to the others on deck, pointing windward of the vessel, where in the distance another airship could be seen as little more than a dot against the blue of sky. It was driving hard against the wind, seemingly riding on orange sunbeams as its stannum crystals were running on full burn -- a sure sign that the vessel fled from some danger, and its path was leading due south for their own ship, on its stable course north.

"Wonder what's the matter," he muttered to himself or anyone who'd gathered nearby. At this distance it was nearly impossible to judge size or speed of the approaching craft, but he guessed that it was relatively small as only a fool would run a large vessel's stannum on full burn even in an emergency, as the negligible acceleration wasn't worth the significant degradation of the crystal. The pioneers of air travel had learned that the hard way some decades back, as the largest vessels virtually all went down in flames after accidentally summoning caithness of truly monstrous proportions during tests with full burn.