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Isengrim Lupul

Caithness hunter and lone mercenary

0 · 475 views · located in Allevent

a character in “Allevent, Realm of Caith”, as played by Wrenn

Description

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Name: Isengrim "Grim" Lupul
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Race: Half human half huldrefolk
Occupation: Caithness Hunter

Past: The rape-born child of a human who was waylaid by a band of huldrefolk, Grimshak (as he was then called) recognizes neither human nor huldre culture his own. Brought up in the barren mountain passes of the huldrefolk tribes to the north, Grimshak was the oft-abused runt of the small tribe, but was still expected to learn the fighting style of their raiders and participate in their savagery in their infrequent sweeps south of the mountains. Eventually he learned enough of their hardy, scavenging ways to be able to escape and survive on his own when he was sixteen. Despite his fear of the tribe catching him Grimshak knew next to nothing of human society except as victims and enemies, and was just as afraid of venturing farther south as he was of returning to his mountainous homeland. Posing as a mute, Grimshak was able to find work in the small human settlements of the north, where despite his youth he was finally larger and stronger than all around him. Eventually he learned the language and ways of the humans, and when he was twenty years old he named himself Isengrim Lupul, joined a mercenary guild and spent the next ten-odd years of his life traveling all about Allevent, learning much not only of the myriad human cultures but even exotic races such as elves and xiphreim. Unfortunately even though he learned more of the world he never learned where his place was within it, and eventually quit the guild to seek the familiar solitude of the wilderness. For the last thirty years the man has built a reputation as a caithness hunter and mercenary.

Present: Except for the slight yellow tinge to his complexion, like a fading bruise, Isengrim passes for human -- with his thick black hair, heavy brow and massive jawline he could even have been described as handsome in his youth, although now time and old wounds have given him a grizzled, scarred mug. Heavily muscled and well over six feet tall, Isengrim is an imposing specter, but nothing like the monstrous huldrefolk of his upbringing. Isengrim is a quiet man wreathed in melancholy: a runt compared to one side of his heritage; an abomination to the other. Except for the bloodlust he welcomes in battle, he avoids all other pleasures available to a mercenary of some status and wealth. He dislikes public places and avoids drinking and the company of women -- all of these because he is afraid of losing control of himself to these passions and becoming the same kind of monster that raped his mother.

Currently working as a lone mercenary in addition to his caithness hunting, he has recently found himself working for the Applicators, the Master League guild of artificers and inventors.

Future: In his youth Isengrim had a fervent goal to somehow return to the north and wreak his revenge on not only his tribe but all huldrefolk. The last fifty-odd years have seen a steady decline in their presence, and the feverish intensity of that goal slowly burned itself out over the years, leaving a hollow in its place. Now nothing motivates him except the day to day goals of the task at hand, except sometimes in moments of melancholy he still longs to belong somewhere, or to someone.

Skills:

Aurum Elixer - Isengrim is an incredibly strong aurum elixer, capable of holding staggering amounts of the healing caith within him. Paradoxically he is one of the least dexterous elixers imaginable, and he has never been able to heal anyone but himself, and even then only crudely, like a huldrefolk seamster attempting a knitted lace shawl. Even though he is still as fit as a man half his age thanks to his prodigious healing powers, his body is a tapestry of old wounds and half-healed scars that are the proof of his brutish elixer abilities. His familiars are small golden butterflies that glow and leave trails of dissipating sunbeams as they flutter about him, touching him and disappearing. The greater his injuries and the more caith he casts, the more butterflies that surround him.

Survival Skills - Over his long career in the wild Isengrim has developed myriad useful survival skills such as wilderness first aid, bivouac sheltering, navigation, hunting/tracking and bushcraft, among others.

Guerilla Fighting - Isengrim has trained as a huldrefolk raider, guilded mercenary and lone caithness hunter, and so has a crosswork of fighting skills and styles that tend toward the brutish and efficient, with little call for quarter.

Strengths: Attack, Defense, Perception

With the tremendous strength of his huldrefolk bloodline and the rapid healing capabilities as an aurum elixer, Isengrim excels in soaking up the damage and dishing it back out, making him a terror on the battlefield. His long years in the wild have made him quite perceptive in terms of his environment, but not in the motives or machinations of men.

Weaknesses: Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, Willpower

Isengrim has some skill with the bow when he is hunting and has all the time in the world to prepare before releasing, but in combat he lacks the dexterity to use the weapon capably. His years of survival have made him cunning, but Isengrim isn't especially intelligent in terms of thinking abstractly or quickly comprehending complex ideas. Isengrim is a loner through and through, and has no ability to convince people to side with him. In specific settings like the patience and dedication required in wilderness survival Isengrim has willpower, but in broader settings he shows little drive and often gives up an argument if he senses he's losing. If he is staunchly against something it will be hard to shift his opinion, but only if he knows he's being manipulated.

In combat his strengths can quickly become his weaknesses -- his all-out melee attacks are effective unless the enemy can coordinate ranged attacks or cast offensive spells, in which case he can quickly be overrun. Despite his ability to withstand physical trauma and various poisons/illnesses due to his incredible healing factor, he has to be consciously casting the aurum. Catch him off-guard or asleep, stun him or knock him unconscious and he's as easily dispatched as anyone else.

Equipment: His primary weapon is an iron rod known among the huldrefolk as a totem -- as long as a sword but as thick as a man's wrist, with a leather-wrapped handle. Two-handed and slow, but fearsome in his powerful hands. He also carries a hatchet and a heavy-bladed knife that he dual wields when the totem is too cumbersome an option; these give him incredible speed but lower range and little defense. In addition to a motley collection of hard-won battle gear, thick leggings and stout leather armor Isengrim often wears a battered, brown, hooded duster. Because of his incredible strength as an elixer he doesn't often carry aurum crystals with him (preferring the caith to be drawn within for ready use). Carries a small collection of useful artifices.

What others will know about him: Isengrim is a name that is traded often in caithness-hunting circles: he has been around forever in a profession not known for its longevity, and over the years his reputation has expanded as previous deeds are exaggerated, and some outright fabricated.

What others won't know about him: He often feigns naps in order to eavesdrop, to hear what others think of him.

So begins...

Isengrim Lupul's Story

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul
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#, as written by Wrenn


MISSION #001



On the heights of Barberry, at that glorious and fabled tier known as Guilded Avenue, our adventure begins. For hundreds of years the guilds here established have been the lifeblood of Allevent, and Barberry its beating heart. Although this thriving coastal city has a nominal government it is widely known that the guilds hold the true power, and none more so than the Master League -- the five most prestigious and historied guilds, each alone worthy of a Bardic Saga. For now it will suffice to only name them: the Applicators, Beggar's Bounty, the Glyphkeepers, the Physiologic Society and the Free Lances. Their guild halls sprawl impressively atop Barberry's cliffed coast like proud lions sunning on a rock, casting their long shadows over the lesser guilds and establishments around them.

The Ha'penny Pie is one such establishment -- once an inn but now best described as a meeting house, this square-cut stone structure offers food and drink and the promise of adventure to any who enter. Popular with members of all guilds and travelers from all lands, the Ha'penny Pie is the destination for newcomers to Barberry. Whether seeking a job, seeking answers or seeking mischief, you all know that within these four walls you will find what you seek.

The layout inside is simple, although the general commotion may obscure this simplicity at first. As you enter you see the large open floor to the right, filled with two great elongated trestle tables and benches, at which several dozen patrons are situated -- drinking, laughing, eating, arguing. Around the perimeter of the room are smaller, square tables that can seat four. At the far side of this room is the massive stone hearth, currently unlit. Its strange design suggests it is has been converted into a heat engine, a simple ferrum artifice that can pour out steady heat in adjustable gradients. To the left of the entrance are the kitchen and store rooms, which have a steady bustle of serving girls flowing in and out with trays of food and drink, calling orders and instructions to each other. Directly ahead of the front doors is a set of stairs that leads to the second floor, which has rooms that have been converted from bedrooms to private meeting rooms, which can be rented from the man at the foot of the stairs, who sits on a stool behind a podium.

Whether or not this is your first visit to the Ha'penny Pie you are likely to notice that the atmosphere doesn't feel quite right. The perceptive among you will sense, despite the general commotion, a tension in the air like an electric charge off a lumen dynamo. You discover the source of this tension when a man and a woman descend the stairs, conversing quietly. They are a study in opposites -- the man is absolutely hulking and wears a battered brown duster over stout leather armor; the epitome of the grizzled veteran. The bespectacled woman is primly dressed in a thin white overcoat that may look exotic to those of you not familiar with the telltale uniform of the Applicators. Her severe facial expression mars what would otherwise be youthful good looks.

The enormous man shrugs as the woman shakes her head in refusal, as they seem to come to a decision. "Next!" he booms, looking over the crowd. Although many in the room seem to be here on their own business and are only watching out of curiosity in between bites of their food, a good portion of the Pie's crowd seem to be here for this strange duo. Eventually a beanpole of a man with a gaunt face and a scavenger's eyes climbs from his place on the bench and makes his way over to the foot of the stairs. The three ascend the staircase together to retire to a private room, and the tension more or less lifts as conversations return to fill the air.

Your adventure begins here.

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Characters Present

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.

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Jion Tane
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After an oddly spoken apology the girl sprang over Jion's head, much to the dyruma's surprise. He swished his tail, embarrassed. He was simply offering help, but he should have seen how much of a hurry she was in. This was where he was going to have to become more experienced. Maybe he could read the often times discreet signs of an animal or caithness, but he still had a long way to go before he figured out the difference between too hurried to stop and simply hurried.

Suddenly Jion was reminded of the strangeness of the foreign ground he was standing on. All these people, things, activity... how could one stand it?

Nonsense. They're used to it. I bet they would feel just as out of place in my home. Jion shook his head, realizing he hadn't moved from the spot he was standing, much to the annoyance of those around him. Taking a step forward, he mazed through the crowd again, beginning to grasp the dance that was required to move through the busy streets.

But where could he find a job? He had hoped to find a hunter's guild who needed a new recruit, but he was no closer to finding one than when he started. An idea struck him, causing him to grin, showing sharp, predatory teeth. He had seen advertisments for a place called the Ha'penny Pie, where all sorts of people were said to gather, including potential employers. Tail held high with newfound purpose he asked directions from a shopkeeper and set off.

It took Jion quicker than he expected to reach the Ha'penny Pie. Perhaps it was closer than he expected, or maybe he was getting better at this city walking business. Whatever the reason was he sat down at the counter and called for a serving person. The little pastry he had earlier wasn't enough to sate his hunger for long, and he was thirsty, too.

"I'll have the leg of mutton with some water, please," he said to the serving person.

"Next!" a loud voice boomed.

Jion looked at the source of the voice, a tall man standing at the base of the stairs. He cocked his head in a questioning way, giving him a distinctly bird like appearance for a moment. Interest raised, he nevertheless wanted to satisfy his hunger first. He didn't know if the man was talking to anyone or someone specific. After the mess up earlier he didn't want to intrude without finding out more first.

When the serving person returned with his food and drink Jion nodded at the man and asked, "What's going on over there?"

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Jion Tane Character Portrait: Lawrence Rivers
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#, as written by Wrenn
The serving person dropped off the Dyruma's order at roughly the same time Lori returned with the woman's, just as the large northman bellowed across the Pie. Hearing the Dyruma and the woman pose the same question, Lori shooed off the other server and turned to answer them both. It wasn't often that she was the one with the story to tell, and she wanted to milk it.

"I've never seen them before, but this is their second day here so I've learned a bit about them both," she began. "Dr. Serabel is from the Applicators." She assumed that the two would both be familiar with one of the Master League guilds, so she didn't explain that the Applicators were home to the best artificers in Allevent, and responsible over the last decades with virtually every new caith-powered artifice. Not that they built each and every one, but they researched and designed the prototypes for artificers the world over to reproduce.

"The big one's called Grim," Lori added. "Apparently he's some caithness hunter or mercenary or something -- definitely not an Applicator. Hold that thought!" she called when a man waved her over from another table, and she scurried off. After taking his order and delivering it to the kitchens, she eventually returned to the two.

"Where was I? Oh, so they come in here yesterday and start asking the usual suspects if they're interested in a job. 'Cept they're keeping it hush-hush in one of the meeting rooms upstairs. Everyone's been turned down so far, and none of them are saying much about what the job is, so after two days of this everyone's getting pretty curious -- myself included. There's even some friendly wagering going on about who'll be the first one accepted, or what the nature of the mission is.

"I lost a hard crescent on that guy," Lori admitted, pointing with her thumb to one of the nearby tables, where a man sat doing his honest best to drown in his mug of ale. "And he goes up there drunk and comes back down with a bloody nose for his troubles." She shook her head ruefully. "So if you think you got what it takes, let me know and I can win back some of my marks," she added with a wink, before getting called back into the kitchen with an order.

As though waiting for her to finish her story, the moment Lori disappeared back into the kitchen, Grim and the doctor came down the stairs once more, ready for anyone else who wanted to join the mystery mission.

Characters Present

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

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.



The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin
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Icarus Saerin



Icarus walked down the street. The sun had made it further down the sky. It was beginning to reach evening. He had 500 marks, plus some pocket change that he had left over. He used the pocket change to pay for a quick mashed potato meal. He quietly ate his meal while The blue eyed woman, Grim, and The doctor dispersed. He nodded to them all on the way out.

When he finished, he walked over to the guild shop across the street from the Ha'Penny Pie. Here they had many of the basic materials one would need before heading out on an adventure. He had a pretty good idea about what he would get when he went in, so it was no wonder that after about ten minutes he had what he would need by the time he got out. Three hundred and twenty marks later, he came out with a Collapsible, roll-up tent/straw-cot bundle, a large whetstone, a few hygienic supplies, and a map of Allevent, and a hog bristle toothbrush. Then he went to geribali's and bought a new coat, this one thicker than his cloak, and snow white with fur lining and many pockets on the inside. It was tied on the front by light grey leather belt straps.
Being a Sylph, he was used to extreme temperatures of both sides; hot and cold, but it may rouse suspicion climbing a snowy mountain with light gear on, and not really suffering any effects. Besides It might help stay hidden better than his bright armor or his dark grey cloak. He also bought some non-perishables. Honey, Dried meats, Dried fruits, Medicinal herbs. He was sure there would be food in store on the ship, but better to be on the safe side when travelling was on foot. He then went to the inn he was staying at to pack up his belongings and pay the innkeeper for his last night.

By the time he finished, the sky was beginning to grow dark the sun was on the far side of it's arc. He decided to wander around the town, before getting a bit of rest. He grabbed his sword and placed it at his belt, and donned his cloak before he left the inn. There were less people on the streets, and the merchants had begun to pack their wares and beggars now sat on the corners counting their money, paying much less attention to passers-by. He went to the fountain at the town square. Deciding to sit and think for a little while. He walked over and sat on the stone bench. He stared up and began to count the few stars that had already begun to appear.

Oy... He thought. Hopefully this mission will prove fruitful... He stared at his hands. His left there was a scar from his training at the Sky Islands, years ago. He missed his home... He missed his family... He missed life in the guard.... and most of all, he missed-

The back of his neck began to tingle. He was able to sense subtle disturbances in the air pressure caused by movements, He turned his eyes to the left, to see a man approaching him. He non-chalantly sat up, not looking at the man. But his hand found itself on the hilt of his sword, ready for any possible confrontations. The man walked up to him, and took a seat next to him. Icarus turned to look at him. He was a normal enough looking man, nothing particularly abnormal about him. Icarus's guard went down, but not by much. People usually don't walk around at these hours. As they were prowlers about. So this meant that either this man was incredibly confident, or incredibly stupid.

"Im sorry to disturb you, my name is Cortland, a colleague of Dr. Serabel's." He said suddenly.

Icarus eyed the man suspiciously. There was nothing to raise any alarms about the man, but when Dr. Serabel's name came up Icarus's attention grew.

"Alright?" Icarus said curtly.

"Yes, well, I would like to ask you to take on a mission for me, I will pay you up front-" he said, dropping a back of coins in front of Icarus. "-five hundred marks."

Icarus eyes never wavered at the money.. He continued staring intently at the man. The man nodded slowly and pulled out a small box. "This is a locator. I need you to, each day, press the button inside, it will allow us to keep track of the ship, so we may be able to know where you are should you ever need help." He said. He got up "Whether you accept the mission or not, keep the money, in good faith."Thank you for your help in the mission. You are aiding us in an advancement that could change the future of Allevent forever." He said, and with that, He turned and walked off. Icarus watched as the man disappeared from his view. And continued staring after he had gone. He looked at the money pouch beside him. He grabbed it and began to walk back to the inn.

He began to run through what just happened. From what Dr. Serabel told him the mission was a secret that only she and a few others knew about. She never mentioned anyone by the name of Cortland however. And even so, how did he know his relation to him. It could be that she had told him about Icarus, but it seemed Preparations were being made, and the plans were moving forward quickly, it seemed like anything having to do with the Applicators themselves was done. So it was more likely the man was already there... Also, why him? Icarus had been with her for about 20 minutes, why entrust him with the safety of the group to that degree. In fact. Why entrust him with this job? It seemed like something she herself could do, after all its just pushing a button once a day... So it was unlikely that she even gave the order. He looked to the locator, opening the top. The locator button, a small yellow crystal sat at the center.
She never mentioned to him about this, in fact, from the sound of it, it seemed to be a hidden mission even from her own guild. So why report her location to them?

Icarus closed and pocketed the box. He had an Idea of what to do with it, but decided to check up with the doctor first. Had she wanted him to do this, surely she would have mentioned it during the meeting, in fact she would have given it to him. She didn't seem like the type to be so forgetful as to forget something she is willing to pay an extra 500 marks for.

He got to the in and walked to the room on the second floor. He got out of his armor, bathed and slipped into the bed.


The next morning, Icarus woke up. The sky was mostly blue with a few strands of pink at the far side of the sky. He donned his armor and his cloak, picked up his belongings and left the inn. He stopped at one of the small kiosks selling foods and bought a sandwich. He saw a clock at one of the nearby stores, on the display. Assuming it was working, it was around 8 ° 30.

He walked over towards the air docks, where the pirate girl, Runa's ship would be waiting. He saw Dr. Serabel and Grim standing side by side by the Plank. He walked up to the doctor.

"Doctor Serabel, You know a man named Cortland?" He said, pulling out his locator and showing it to her. He said he was an acquaintance of yours, and paid me 500 marks to use this Locator to transmit our location. It didnt quite sit right with me however, so I decided to check with you...

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

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Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin
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The large crowds had dispersed by the time Lawrence left the Ha'Penny Pie; while there were still people milling about, most were safely in their homes or quickly on their way to getting drunk. She could hear their loud laughter and singing from several pubs near her. Lawrence never particularly liked pubs; though she did have a taste for a good glass of beer, the way it affected her mind left her a bit uneasy. Being completely in control at all times is something she nearly worships and alcohol isn't worth giving that away, even if only for a night.

Lawrence had already booked an inn previously in the day, and slowly made her way there while replaying the day's events in her head. It was all very strange and spontaneous. Generally, she'd spend days thinking over a job, calculating the risk, the time it would take, the supplies, the victim and their crimes... River's had never just taken something on like this and it made her feel a little different. Maybe it was possible to change after all?

These thoughts were cut short when the assassin noticed a man walking straight towards her. Her hand instantly went to the dagger she had hidden in the folds of her clothing. She assessed him as he approached - he was of average build and height, not particularly strong or weak. However, the way his eyes took her and their surroundings in belied the fact that he was very aware of what was going and had no fear. Lawrence couldn't tell if he posed a threat, so she stopped walking and let him come to her, moving her jacket back to show her firearm.

"Ah, Lawrence Rivers," the man said as he stopped a few feet in front of her, "It's nice to meet you."

"You have me at a disadvantage," Lawrence replied, "You know my name, but I don't know yours."

"My name is Cortland; I'm a colleague of Dr. Serabel's. I actually have a small...side job, for you." River's tensed as he reached into a pocket, but what he pulled out wasn't a weapon but some sort of small device. "Easy now, Miss Rivers, it's only a locator. It's charged by this lumen crystal here. All I need you to do is press this button every day and we will know the location of your ship. And here is 500 marks upfront." He pulled out a pouch that was weighed down with coins and placed them, along with the locator, into Lawrence's hand.

Lawrence glanced at the money and the locator, a bit puzzled. When she looked up, Cortland was gone. "That was a bit odd," she muttered to herself. How did he know her name? And how had he found her? Perhaps he'd followed her from the Ha'Penny Pie. But why hadn't Dr. Serabel told her about this? It was a lot of money to simply push a button, it must be for something rather important. But why would they need to know where their ship was; hadn't Dr. Serabel said it was a secret mission?

Making a mental note to ask Dr. Serabel about it, she stuffed both items in two of her many pockets and continued to her inn.

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Lawrence woke at dawn, weak sunlight just barely reaching through her window. She stretched thoroughly and swung her legs out of bed. Groaning, she placed herself on the still cold floor and began doing crunches. From there she moved onto sit ups, push ups, pull ups, punches, kicks and then hurried outside for a run. When she was finally done, she felt invigorated and ready for the world.

River's bathed quickly, then changed into a pair of almost-tight black pants and a loose, white blouse. She slipped her feet into her black boots, then wrapped her holster around her hips. After cleaning the weapon, she placed her firearm inside of the said holster, and quickly adorned herself with throwing knives and her two favorite daggers. Having not unpacked yesterday, all of her clothing, supplies and other weapons were still in her bag.

Lawrence made the bed and cleaned up the room till it looked like it had before she entered. Cleanliness is a bit of an obsession of hers. Carefully slinging her bag over her shoulders, she made her way to the docks. It wasn't too long until she saw the many ships and picked out the one she needed. The white-haired man from before was standing just inside, saying something to Dr. Serabel. Lawrence nimbly climbed aboard, and approached the doctor and Grim. "Good morning," she said curtly.

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

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Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin
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"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." replied Dr. Serabel. Icarus had originally planned on taking all the locators to a courier, and having him carry out a similar mission, only in the opposite direction; to throw off the Applicators. However, he figured that Dr. Serabel would have a plan on her own and she seemed intelligent enough to come up with an adequate way of dealing with the situation, so he instead handed the locator over.

"No, I never saw this Cortland. Wouldn't have minded an extra 500 marks though," Said Grim. the corner of Icarus's lip twitched into a brief smile, He didn't think Grim capable of humor, if that's what that was. It seemed logical that he was not approached. If it really was that Cortland had been at the bar, then he would have known that Grim was in charge of the mission, right under Dr. Serabel, so asking someone that high in position to sabotage the mission would have been foolish at the least.

It was then that the Captain, Runa spoke up. "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" She said, announcing that last part loudly enough for everyone to hear. He couldn't help but smile broadly. The girl had the can-do attitude of an Air Captain. Her vessel wasn't the largest or nicest ship, the fact highlighted by the neighboring ships, but she still took pride in hers. It seemed to be interesting working with her.
Icarus realized he was in a particularly good mood. Perhaps it was the anticipation that he would be back in the skies, albeit briefly. Sure he could fly up as much as he wanted, but it didn't quite match the feeling of being on a stannum ship.

Dr. Serabel turned from Grim and addressed the group. "Now what do we do?".

Runa's eyes flashed with excitement and she jumped in immediately "We get airborne!! That's what we do!" She had barely finished her sentence when she was dashing about the ship tying down loose materials and setting the sails. She had an almost unhuman grace moving around, barely looking where she was walking, but dodging and maneuvering past obstacles with extreme ease, a testament to how comfortable she was in her ship. In a matter of minutes she had the ship ready to fly. She quickly made her way to the stern and began pulling levels. There was the soft buzz of caith crystals at work, and the small orange crystals along the hull began to glow lightly. The ship seemed to jump slightly, and after a bit of calibration with the other levers, she lifted one of the levers all the way up, and the ship suddenly lurched high.The ship then slowed down a bit, and the bow began to tilt up, and suddenly it moved forward and they were off. Icarus walked over the the door where the staircase where the living quarters would normally be. He walked down and saw a small corridor with separate rooms on either side. He took the second one on the left, and inside was a small empty room with two bunk beds built into the wall. He layed down his things in the corner and began to set his bed. He sat down and and leaned against the wall, closing his eyes. He was not tired, after all the day was still young, but he needed to clear his mind a bit. He waited for the ship to level out, as he could feel they were still ascending. He waited... and waited... He realized that they were still climbing and looked out the small round window to see the foggy white mist about 50 yards above the ship. His eyes widened... what is she doing? He thought to himself. Thankful he had not yet removed his armor, he grabbed his sword and ran up the stairs.... It was dangerous for small vessels to be flying up so high, the more dangerous airborne caithness resided in the high skies. He burst through the door and looked up at the stern, to see Runa just leap out of the way of an assault from a large arrowhawk. There was the sound of a loud crash and glass breaking and he turned around to see Grim wielding a large iron totem, now sitting in the center of a pile of caith crystals, His leg was gashed, but he held his hand over it, and suddenly a number of golden butterflies materialized in the air, gathering around him and disappearing into golden sunbeams after a short while. Aurum Magic. He wouldn't have seen that coming.

He felt a disturbance in the air beside him and leapt forward into a roll, drawing his sword, an arrowhawk sunk it's talons into the floor where he was standing, He reared its long ugly neck and released it's piercing scream. Icarus grimaced as the scream caused his head to spin, his ear to ring, and his eyes to water. The bird then snapped, its head stretching forward to take a bite at his arm, he batted it away his sword and shook his head, trying to regain his composure. The bird immediately struck again he sidestepped once more and swept downward at the bird's out stretched neck. His sword bit into the birds flesh and with a dull thunk, it's head fell and burst into caith crystals, followed by the rest of his body.

He looked up; Arrowhawks were known to be followed by their young. While Elder Arrowhawks were stronger and more fierce, Young arrowhawks were still a force to be reckoned with. Their beaks were straighter, and they were much more agile. Not only that, but they were best known for flying through sails and tearing them to shreds.

He could see about seven young arrowhawks circling above the ship. Runa was still engaged with one more arrowhawk. He jumped, flying up high to the circle. The arrowhawks began their dive. Noticing Icarus on the way down. He waved his hand briskly to the side, and the birds were blindsided by a gust of wind, knocking them all to the left. Normally he would have just blown them back, and it would have taken them longer to get their rhythm back enough to fly but due to their aerodynamic shaped, they were known to zip right through forward gusts of wind from unsuspecting stannum elixers, who were then pincushioned to death.

The birds flitted about, regathering their formation. From the corner of his eye, he saw the tips of the sails begin to lower, turned and saw runa back at the wheel, guiding her ship down. He grabbed the hilt and winged gaurd of his sword, and twisted the hilt to the right. He pulled up, and a secondary part to his telescopic hilt came out, this one was lined with 5 dimly glowing lumen crystals. He twisted it back and the hilt locked into position He now carried a long bladed spear. The ship was safely out of harms way, or so it seemed. The young arrowhawks were known for chasing a ship miles away from its clutch, so it was a dangerous situation. He prepared to take out the young when he heard the piercing scream of an adult arrowhawk. He slashed at the arrowhawk, the spear bit into the arrowhawk's chest, he was pushed back by the impact. The arrowhawk disengaged but was still alive. It spun around dived at him from above. He lifted the pommel of the spear and batted the bird aside, it spun out and fell, flapping wildly to regain its balance. He pointed the spear at the bird, there was a hum and the air pressure seemed to drop, and suddenly a bright blue flash of lightning blasted out of the point of his spear. It connected with the arrowhawk, who exploded into crystals that plummeted to the ground below. He saw the young had already regained their formation and were ready to dive at the ship which was now much lower, but not out of range from arrowhawks who has already targeted them. He zipped down, quickly passing the arrowhawks. He was now between the ship and the young birds. He held out his hand the air about 25 yards above him began to spin. It slowly gained a greenish hue as he condensed the natural nitrogen gas found in the air into a small cloud the size of his two fists. He lowed a little bit more, out of the way of what he was about to do. The birds began to dive, unwittingly attempting to dive through the gas cloud. He didn't hesitate. He whipped his spear forward, pointed, and shot the bolt of electricity right when the birds got within range. As soon as it hit the small cloud, the condensed gas ignited, and there was a loud explosion. When the flames cleared, there was another shower of crystals. He looked down at the ship, now unharmed, for the most part...

So far there has been the issue of cortland the day they found out about the mission, and now an attack within minutes of their departure...

This does not bode well for this mission He thought to himself. Snapping the spear back into it's sword form, and returning it to it's sheath. He dove down to the ship and landed softly at the stern, a few feet behind the Captain.

"Are you alright?"

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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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My Apologies...

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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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.



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