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Lysandra Teraviel

"There is something wrong with everyone--some manage to keep them hidden away, while I must bear mine for the world to see."

0 · 326 views · located in White-walled Adelost

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

Description

Image

NAME: Lysandra Teraviel

AGE: 163 (still relatively young for elves)

GENDER: Female

RACE: Elf
Elves are a wood-dwelling race, much like the Xiphreim. They are a long-lived people; most members live to see 800-1000 years. Members of their species are rather slim and frail-looking, almost as if they seem too fragile to be alive. For this reason, many young elves take up professions that prevent them from dealing with the frontlines, such as learning archery or medicine; a rare few end up learning about the wonders of alchemy and artificing, having seen such devices for themselves and finding a strange beauty in the wonders of these technologies. Elves feel a calling to nature and work to help promote a sustainable relationship with the earth; however, some find a calling in wandering the lands and spend a portion of their lives travelling across the continent. As rare as they are, Elixer-born elves find themselves gravitating toward studying Alumun and Cuprum-based magics.

APPEARANCE: Like most elves, Lysandra is lithe and frail, almost too fragile to touch for fear of her shattering to pieces. She is fair-skinned, slightly paler in comparison to her elven brethren. She has long blond hair that falls to her waist and bright green eyes that seem to glow whenever she uses her magic. She has a slender frame, which is normal for elves. Perhaps her most startling feature is her right arm, which is now encrusted with what appear to be Lumen crystals. She is extremely self-conscious about this and attempts to do what she can to cover them from prying eyes—mostly by wearing long, billowy sleeves that cover her arms completely.

PERSONALITY: Lysandra is very reserved, partly due to her elven nature and partly due to her… condition, for lack of a better word. She would much rather spend her time with her head buried in a tome about caith studies than attempting to socialize with people. She feels that she is not worthy of being called an equal due to her deformity, and she is also slightly afraid that what may be happening to her could spread to others. If there is some sort of advantage to working in a group for a temporary amount of time, Lysandra will grudgingly put up with others as long as they do not attempt to get close to her. Some would call her cold and aloof; Lysandra would say that she’s looking out for everyone’s best interests.

OCCUPATION: Vagabond

PAST: Lysandra was born into a tribe of elves deep in the forests over a century ago and grew up in relatively normal conditions for any elf. Slightly unusual was her predisposition to the bow (males were often recruited to join the defense), but the tribes were always looking for any skilled individual to assist with hunting and defending the forest from those that would do it harm. It was during one of these hunts that her latent Elixer abilities manifested—as a pack of wolves descended on a fellow elf after a botched hunt, Lysandra miraculously released a blinding flash of light from nothing and scared the creatures away. She was hailed as a hero until that fateful day…

After a few months of experimenting with these newfound powers, Lysandra began experiencing sharp pains in her right arm. To her surprise, she noticed pale yellow crystals beginning to grow from her skin. While they looked just like caith crystals and responded to her abilities, they seemed to neither store energy nor enhance her abilities. Lysandra left her clan in order to find the cause of this strange phenomenon and to hopefully return one day when she has been cured of it.

PRESENT: Currently with nothing better to do and no place to call a home, Lysandra wanders the lands of Allevent, looking for somewhere, anywhere that could use her skills despite her condition. She has found temporary refuge in a human city but is still searching for answers to her condition.

FUTURE: Lysandra wishes to return to her home, cured of whatever this disease or curse this may be. If this is impossible for whatever reason, she hopes to find out the cause of these growths and prevent them from spreading out of control.

SKILLS
ELIXER (LUMEN): Lysandra is able to manipulate light and electricity, even create it from free caith in nature. She can also use these abilities to imbue weapons with either of these elements. Despite her skill with it and the amount of time she has spent learning about caith manipulation, she is self-conscious about these abilities because of the growths manifesting across her arm.

ARCHERY: Having been brought up in an elven homestead, Lysandra is adept at the bow. She brings with her an ivorybark bow that she calls her most prized possession at this point in time. Due to her abilities with caith, she is able to imbue arrows with light or electricity. On rare occasions, Lysandra is able to create arrows made of pure light or electricity, but this drains her energy quickly and she is afraid that more crystals may grow across her body with extended use.

STRENGTHS
DEXTERITY: Elves are naturally gifted with a graceful agility that Lysandra is able to use with her archery skills. She is also above-average when it comes to speed and has experience with remaining hidden from enemies, especially in a forest setting.

INTELLIGENCE: Being off on her own has given Lysandra time to study esoteric topics. She is particularly interested in researching Elixer and caith, especially if it will bring her closer to finding answers with her own deformity and the mystery behind its emergence.

PERCEPTION: Trained in the art of the hunt, Lysandra’s perception is very keen. She is able to pick out details that many may gloss over, especially out in the wilds and during the hunt. Being a sort of wallflower has its perks, she feels.

WEAKNESSES
ATTACK: Without a bow or her caith abilities, Lysandra is weak physically. She does not know how to wield melee weaponry and struggles to even hold up heavy weapons such as maces or greatswords.

DEFENSE: Elves are naturally frail creatures that do not often train in melee combat or find heavy armor easy to wear. Lysandra is no exception; coupled with the fact that she prefers to stay to the backlines whenever possible, she is extremely easy to overpower physically.

CHARISMA: Lysandra is extremely self-conscious about her deformity and shies away from people and interacting with them for fear of being shunned or ridiculed. If necessary, she will interact with people for mundane things but will attempt to minimize interaction whenever possible.

EQUIPMENT
At this point in time, Lysandra has nothing to her name except her ivorybark bow and a set of robes that helps to conceal her arm. There are times when she is forced to interact in a settlement, so she also carries a coinpurse which, at the moment, is empty.

WHAT THE PARTY DOES NOT KNOW
Lysandra did not leave her tribe on her own accord; rather, the elder members of her home believed that she had been cursed or diseased. The others were extremely fearful of her and were afraid that they might befall the same fate as she, so they socially shunned her. Afraid that Lysandra would contaminate her village, the elder members exiled her until she could prove that this disease could be cured.

So begins...

Lysandra Teraviel's Story

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Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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Lysandra Teraviel




Barberry: the City of Guilds! How the air seemed to carry a scent of adventure and danger, of coin and mead, of scum and sophistication! Hundreds of people hustling and bustling across cramped streets, going about their business as usual—vendors selling their wares to passersby, guards patrolling into the streets protecting the citizens from criminals, guilds planning their next escapdes as they sat outside a tavern. This city was the place to be when one wanted to get anything done. Barberry had the latest gossip, fashion, entertainment, technology--anything one could think of, it could be found here in this city!

A robed figure walked through the crowds, silently absorbing the scenes as she kept up a mild pace. Across her back was a large white bow, which stood out in stark contrast to her brownish-red robes. She was in no hurry for now; she knew that there would be time enough for what she needed to accomplish. The markets, the wares, the dull roar of the crowds as they ebbed and flowed like the tides--none of this seemed to bother her despite her foreboding feelings. It was the people--yes, that had to be it! They could sense that she was out of place here; they knew that she didn't belong! She had no business here among the humans of Barberry!

The figure stopped dead in her tracks, giving herself a chance to filter out these invading negative ideas. Stop this foolishness--you know they have no way of knowing about it... she whispered to herself . She inhaled deeply through her nose and closed her emerald-green eyes, regained her composure after a few seconds of breathing, and continued to walk across the cobblestone boulevard.

It was in this moment that she realized she had no idea where she was to go. Looking off to the side, she spied a stand that was run by a jovial-looking human with green and white clothes. His wares were mostly semi-precious stones and other assorted jewelry, and he seemed rather eager to please any approaching customer.

"Ah, I see you've eyed my exotic wares!" he laughed as the robed figure approached the stand. She reached out a hand, eyeing a sapphire with delicate fingers and inspecting the detail of the cut for herself. "Care to make an offer for anything that tickles your fancy?"

With a look of slight disappointment crossing her face, the woman placed the gem onto the table once again, reaching for a small blood ruby and eyeing this gem in the same manner as before. "I'm looking for the Imperial Archive," she glanced away from the stone toward the salesman, her gaze bringing an air of gravity to the situation. "Do you know how to get there from here?"

The merchant turned his gaze toward another busy street to the woman's right. "Oh, the Archive? Take Merchant's Row to Guilded Avenue, hang a left there and it'll be all the way down at the end of the street, across from the Embassy--you can't miss it!"

The woman nodded and placed the gemstone back on the counter before following the merchant's directions. She figured she could still acquire some books before the Archive closed for the evening. The woman felt a newfound sense of urgency in her step as she fell back into the throngs of people, becoming lost in the crowd once more. She breathed a silent sigh of relief as she continued--that merchant hadn't noticed after all--

All of a sudden, a jolt of pain in her right arm. The woman, clear panic in her eyes, looked down toward her sleeve and found a small furry creature with a bushy tail dangling from her arm. It looked as if it was trying to gnaw at something hidden in her robe. Wide-eyed with fear, the woman began to shake her arm violently through the air in an attempt to hurl the creature to the ground. When it only clamped tighter around her arm, the woman was forced to grab the creature with her free hand and forcibly tear the teeth from her flesh.

"Get off of me!" she screamed at the creature; it responded with nothing more than a sly smirk. It was only at this time that the woman noticed that the scene had grown deathly still--all eyes were now on her and this attacking animal. She held the fox--this was the closest thing she could relate it to at this time--in her free hand and stared at it with wide eyes.

It... It bit down on something... something not flesh... she thought as she looked at a slight tear in her sleeve and saw a flash of yellow.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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Icarus Saerin



Icarus walked down the greyish-brown cobblestone street. On both sides, merchants were peddling their wares, everything from small fire crystals for 20e to various caithness body parts they claimed to work as a panacea for the low price of 5M. Such things were a normalcy here on Merchant's row.

But mid-day shopping was not his reason for being here. His true destination, the Ha'Penny Pie, was on Guilded avenue, the street that is the reason why Barberry earned it's name, the city of guilds. He was to meet an informant there. To see if there was anything new that might bring him closer to figuring out what the Or-

"Get off me!" Shouted a shrill voice. Icarus just kept walking. It was not rare for a particularly inebriated man to wander off from whatever tavern he was wasting his sense on, and get handsy with random maidens on the street. He turned toward toward the sound of the voice to see a red-robed woman shaking off what seemed to be a fox-fur boa that was caught on her sleeve. Upon closer inspection however, Icarus saw a flash of teeth, and noticed that the fur boa was alive. He walked quickly up to the woman in an attempt to help, but before he could reach her, she managed to grab onto the fox and tear it off of her arm, but not without it tearing off a piece of her sleeve along with it. Suddenly she became deathly still. Her faced paled and the was an expression of pure terror. He tried to see if the creature had drawn any blood, as some were like to get sickly at the sight of their own blood, or the blood of others.
But there was nothing. Her sleeve was dry, aside from a bit of saliva from the slinky rat that was latched onto it a second ago. All that he could see was a bit of yellow light on the inside of her sleeve. It reminded him of the lumen crystals on his gauntlets. Perhaps she had a similar gauntlet? But that wouldn't match the rest of her... He didn't know many, if any bow users who wore a metal gauntlet, as it was likely to snap the string on draw.

Whatever it was, her eyes continued flicking between it, and the crowd. Icarus caught on and stepped into the circle where the crowd had gathered.

"Alright people, the show is over, Just our newest entertainer trying out her new comedy act, you can see it, and more, at the Green Heron Inn&Tavern, in Port Garatt three days from now. Please enjoy the rest of your day, and we hope to see you there!" He announced, waving at the crowd. He positioned himself in front of the arm with the torn sleeve to avoid further exposure. The crowd mumbled and dispersed, a few chuckles of approval, a few grunts of annoyance, but before long, everything was back to the way it was. He turned back to the red-robed woman.

"There is a tailor not far from here, it's actually on the way to where I am going, so if you'd like I can take you to get that fixed." He offered. He turned his head to the rat, which turned out wasn't a rat, but a rather smug-looking fox. "We might want to have something done about that, however, lest it go on to attack more innocent bystanders."

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Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela
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#, as written by Byte
“Wow... S-So big!”

Aela looked about with widened eyes as she entered the bustling streets of Barberry. People scurrying about with no heed for who they bumped into, the young tribes-girl having a hard time wringing herself through the mass to find a spot that gave her the time needed to take in this gigantic blob of – Civilisation.

A city wouldn't normally cause this much distress and amazement from anybody, but to Aela this was like venturing out into a strange and unknown world. Sure she had a taste of what this society was like in the much smaller settlements, but that was nothing compared to this!

“D-do these people live here? H-how...”

Her surprised remark attracted a few glances from the locals. Of course, it was a tad weird to see a child standing on a stack of crates talking as if she never had seen a city. Not to mention, it wasn't a common thing to see a member of the few human tribes – Let alone their younglings exploring the more... crowded parts of Allevent. Most just stuck with the wilds, spending their journey there, rather than mingling with an entirely different culture.

“Only a few steps into a city and already daunted, are you?”

A deep, male voice taunted just out of earshot from the locals. Though there wasn't any presence near Aela that it would've come from. “Anyway, if you are done gaping at the most common thing in the world here, how about we- Y'know, get to finding what we came for? Just a thought.”

“U-huh...”

Those words had pretty much fallen on deaf ears, as Aela was far too busy deciding on where to go, and how to get there. Eventually after some more staring and pointing, the tribes-girl found the courage to descent from the stack of crates and actually scurry about the streets. All the while asking a barrage of questions like; what are they doing, why are those people shouting, and what are those shiny round chips. The latter, Aela soon recalled to have been called money. Something she had been offered by one of the farmers a few towns back. A reward for helping out with gathering the flock of sheep that had ran off.

The voice, that Aela referred to as Jack, was happy to explain all these questions that were thrown at him. So this was a market, a place where people buy clothes and food. Those people shouting were merchants selling their wares. Jack explicitly told Aela that what they told was usually only half true, as merchants liked to exaggerate how they got their wares -- let alone their actual use.

As the young girl ventured further into the streets, she was abruptly halted by a large crowd of people that had gathered in a circle. All standing there in silence, something that definitely got her attention as it didn't take her longer than a second to squeeze her tiny from through the mass.

“Alright people, the show is over, Just our newest entertainer trying out her new comedy act, you can see it, and more, at the Green Heron Inn&Tavern, in Port Garatt three days from now. Please enjoy the rest of your day, and we hope to see you there!”

A voice called out, which resulted in the crowd instantly leaving the two strangers that were, apparently, the centre of attention. Aela had no clue of what was happening, and could only stare at the duo; A tall, white-haired male who had the look of a seasoned warrior, and a beautiful woman clothed in red-robes.

“We might want to have something done about that, however, lest it go on to attack more innocent bystanders.”

Aela followed the man's gaze, only now noticing the small fox. “Don't!” Aela shrieked, as her instincts compelled her to get between the tall man and the little fox before anything drastic would happen.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela
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Lysandra Teraviel




The silence was deafening as the woman stood in the middle of a circle in the crowds of people, clutching a fox to her chest and wrapping her arm around the torn cloth of her sleeve. They were all watching the spectacle--their eyes were focused on her! Why did this stupid animal have to get loose and make such a scene? It even held a piece of the fabric in its mouth, proud of the fact that it had gotten away with this! She cursed under her breath as she clutched her arm to her chest, squeezing the fox against her body. Had it known? Had any of those people seen underneath the tear?

"Alright people, the show is over! Just our newest entertainer trying out her comedy act! You can see it and more at the Green Heron Inn andTavern in Port Garatt three days from now! Please enjoy the rest of your day, and we hope to see you there!" a voice called out from behind her. She froze, uncertain of how to react to this situation. First the crowd staring at her, and now this man lying on her behalf--why did all eyes have to turn on her today? The fox wriggled in her arms slightly, a wicked grin across its face as it flaunted the tattered piece of cloth in its mouth.

Thankfully, the lie seemed to work--the crowds dispersed and the people started to return to their regular business. As she was about to turn and walk away from the commotion she had caused, a pale man with snow-white hair and piercing green eyes stepped in front of her, his armor glimmering in the setting sunlight. She would have run the other direction if it had not been for the realization that this man was blocking the view of her torn sleeve to the populace; as it appeared, however, it seemed as if the creature had bit into her skin and left a wound--nothing suspicious, they should not have noticed anything out of the ordinary...

"There is a tailor not far from here--it's actually on the way to where I am going, so if you'd like I can take you to get that fixed." The white-haired man offered, extending a hand toward the panicked woman. As he did so, the animal in her arms opened its jaws and nipped at his fingers whenever he attempted to reach out, cloth still stuck on a pair of fangs. "We might want to have something done about that, however, lest it go on to attack more innocent bystanders." The man's tone suddenly shifted, a bit of disdain in his voice.

“Don't!” a shrill cry pierced through the market as a young girl hurled herself toward the pair. She was adorned in a less-than-optimal amount of clothing, covering only her upper chest and her waist in leopard-print. Across her back she could make out a long single braid and... was that an axe? What was such a small girl doing with such a large and heavy weapon, especially in the middle of a busy market like this? Granted, the woman in red carried her bow with her whever she went, but it wasn't like a blade, something that a drunkard could accidentally kill something with. She attempted to force herself between the pair, arms outstretched as if to protect her--but from what?

The woman's stunned gaze shifted between the two newcomers, her arm still covering the tear in her robe and pinning the grinning fox to her chest. Another one!? This is fantastic--I don't need this many people trying to help me at once... She grimmaced as she attempted to calm herself down, recollect the last few moments in her scattered thoughts. There was mention of a tailor? But that would set her back on her research, and daylight was burning fast--any more distractions and she would not be able to access the Archive until the next day at the very least, possibly longer! Still, the tear would not repair itself any time soon, and the longer her sleeve remained torn like this, the more likely someone would perhaps stumble upon her... condition... or worse, the entire sleeve might be torn from her robes, and then what? No use hiding it anymore; might as well kill herself right then and there if the embarrassment didn't do that first!

"I... I..." the woman's gaze fell to the ground, unsure of what the proper response to this situation should be. The fox continued to squirm around in her arms, trying to escape but not quite using enough force to free itself. Another moment to compose her thoughts, a slow meditative breath to calm herself. It was not worth the risk, she decided--if she was forced to spend the night here in this city just to give herself the opportunity to search the Archive again, so be it.

"...thank you..." she replied slowly, raising her eyes to the white-haired man before stepping around the girl that had thrown herself between the two others. The woman in red made sure to cover the hole in the fabric, taking every precaution to make it appear as natural of a bite wound as possible (if that was even possible). "...would you mind leading the way?" Her voice wavered slightly, as if she was not sure whether she should accept the male stranger's offer.

What are you getting yourself into?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Jion Tane Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela
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#, as written by Igari


XIOBAN EFIALTIS




She had been trying to squeeze her way through the throng of people, fighting to get through the crowd to reach her companion. She was determined to "purrservere", however, as Xerxes had a tendency to get into copious amounts of trouble if left unwatched. As she pushed herself through the crowd, she faintly saw someone move out of the corner of her eye--cutting through the large group with ease. Before she could side-step them, the figure had already come to step into her path with almost too much ease. She let out a surprised mewl, already hastening back a few steps, wondering where on earth he had come from.

"Are you looking for something? Do you need help?" The words failed to process for a moment as she was more preoccupied at looking at this... being before her, colorful and rather vivid. It reminded her a little of the tropical forests she had visited once with her tribe but she remembered little of the journey. She bit her lip as she tried to look around him, narrowing her eyes a bit to see into the distance. The jolt of his appearance was steadily fading--becoming replaced by unease.

"M-Meeewr...." She didn't have time to waste on much conversation yet did not want to be rude about it. Shunning strangers who could potentially by buying her wares the next week would not do her business any good. She rubbed at her nose to try to keep Xerxes' scent fresh, as his was starting to creep into her senses. Being rude wasn't the optimal route but she did not have a choice. She was going to have to cut this interaction short--already, the feeling of tension was increasing in the pit of her stomach over what antics her animal companion could be getting into.

"I-I'm furry sorry!" Was all she managed before bending her knees and releasing her body into a pounce. Her feline alignment allowed her jump to arc over the stranger before landing gracefully on the other side of him. She did not pause, running in the direction Xerxes had scampered off to before there could be any more interruptions. She weaved through the crowd, rounding the corner just as her ears picked up a loud shriek. The young woman paused, turning to her right to see a dimming commotion of sorts. Almost immediately, she clammed up, face paling. She could very clearly see her fox, smugly in the arms of a tall, frail-looking woman. That in itself wasn't the problem. It was the amount of people around her animal companion that were causing her breath to hitch in her throat. So... so many...

She had never been good in such social settings but by the looks of things, she was going to have to step in to retrieve him. There was a primal looking girl positioned between the woman and a man with silver hair. Talking to the woman by herself wouldn't have presented an issue, she could already tell from a distance that she was an Elf. Naturally, she felt at ease around this race, given the kinship that was shared between them and her own tribes. But the other two in the equation were enough to push the summoner over the edge. She bit her bottom lip, almost inclined to turn on her heel. But there was that odd-looking stranger that she had left behind and she had no way of knowing if he would pursue after her (which was a disturbing thought). And there was no way she could leave Xerxes by himself, that was for sure. And what kind of Xiphreim would she be to leave her beloved summon behind?

Forcing the breath past her lips in a bit of a hiss, she made herself take slow steps forwards to approach the individuals. Xerxes had been waiting for her arrival, it seemed. As soon as he caught sight of her, he bounded out of the woman's arms, nonchalantly trotting over to her. He had a red piece of cloth between his teeth. She didn't take long to put it together in her mind. It was evident that this fabric had come from the woman who had just been holding him. He stopped a few inches from her feet and spat out the cloth on the ground, almost as if presenting her with some glorious catch. She frowned but there would be time to reprimand him later. She would have to make amends to that poor woman for the ruckus that he had caused.

Casting a stern gaze at Xerxes that she hoped explicitly told him to "stay purrt", she walked only several more steps so that she came to a halt some feet from the small gathering. Her face was already starting to heat up as she tried to get the words out, unable to focus on any one person in particular and settled for looking at the ground. "I apurrogize... fur any trouble my furmiliar caused you..." She trailed off weakly. How did one even make amends in the first place...? She glanced back at the fabric that was still on the ground near Xerxes, sliding her magenta orbs towards the woman. From the way she clutched at her arm, he had probably ripped a portion of her sleeve off (though she really couldn't think of how this had happened in the first place...). The only thing she could think to do was somehow pay for the repairs, maybe that would suffice? Reaching into her pouch, she took out two gold crescents and, for extra apologetic measure, also took out one of her potions.

Moving as quickly as she possibly could, she shoved the items into the hands of the woman and bowed to her, turning immediately and running from the entourage. She couldn't even manage any well-wishes, too tongue-tied and light-headed to think properly. Xerxes was fast on the uptake and darted after her as she ran blindly through the streets. She cared not for where she ended up, so long as she was far away from the group. After several minutes, she finally allowed herself to stop. She leaned against the wall, heaving out a large sigh. Her cheeks were flush with the embarrassment she felt and the nervousness that was slowly dissipating. Now that she was finally alone, she could feel the constriction in her chest beginning to loosen up. Xerxes padded around her ankles casually, yawning as he looked up at her almost innocently.

"Feeling better?" He asked her, the summoner nodding slowly as she furrowed her eyebrows.

"I think so...." She smiled a little shakily at him, unable to fully hide how uncertain she had felt during the prior interactions. She reached out her hands slightly, offering to lift her fox companion up on to her shoulders. Xerxes only wrinkled his nose but complied, jumping into her arms and settling on her shoulders. Surprisingly, he rubbed his cheek against hers, which caused the girl to smile. He always knew how to make her feel better, didn't he? Though now the next order of business was to figure out how exactly she was going to get home... She had no idea where she was in the city any longer, having run without any set destination in mind. And now she stood in what appeared to be a large plaza, blinking her wide eyes as she took in the surroundings. She heard a chuckle near her ear and turned her head a bit to the side to regard Xerxes.

"What is so amewsing?" She questioned, receiving only a motion towards the center of the plaza. She followed his directives, eyes coming to rest...

... Ffffffffnyah?!

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela
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Icarus Saerin


Icarus was about to reach over when suddenly a barely dressed girl tossed herself in between he and the red-robed woman.

"Don't!" She shrieked, Icarus stopped his approach, but before he could even grab the fox. He turned to see a barely dressed child in leopard print clothes. She looked like one of the tribal children of the Eastern Jungles, however whether she was from there or from another it was hard to say. The most curious thing about her was the large axe tied to her back. It was clearly much to big for it to be used well -if at all- by someone of her stature, But he kept his curiousity to himself.

Icarus slowly pulled his hand away, careful not to trigger an adverse reaction from the girl or the fox, who was now squirming in the red-robed womans arms, more just for the sake of squirming than actually escaping. There was something about the foxes eyes that gave the impression that it was much or intelligent than just some wild animal, but Icarus could not quite pin the reason why.

The woman suddenly spoke. "I... I..." She said, fumbling for words. Icarus was about to suggest something, but stayed quiet, realizing the woman must have some introverted qualities, and suddenly being the center of attention must have been difficult for her. He waited for her as she collected herself, It was then that he realized she was actually a quite attractive woman. In the heat of the previous situation, he had not been able to get a very good look at her, but now he was able to take a moment to see the slender woman before him. Her skin was quite pale, almost to the point of the average Sylph maiden, if not at the point exactly. She also had green eyes that glittered with life, despite being so reserved. She had thin, dainty features, but not so much so that it robbed from her attractiveness. He took note of the long pointy ears, and suddenly realized another major component of her allure...

She was an elf. Elf women were notorious for their allure to human men, seeing as how almost all of them surpassed the beauty of human women at an extreme degree. Sylph were a sister-species to the humans, so naturally the effect would be the same.

He caught himself staring, and immediately looked off into the distance. She didn't seem to notice. He breathed a silent sigh of relief, knowing that had she noticed, she may have raised her walls again and that would have been the end of that.

She took a breath and tried again.
"...thank you..." She said, adjusting her sleeve to cover the tear in the smooth fabric. "...would you mind leading the way?" She said. Icarus nodded, and was about to ask what to do about the fox, when it suddenly leaped easily out of the woman's arm and walked over to another woman, this one a shorter girl with a cute cat-eared hat The ears looked so real he kind of wondered if they were cut off some animal, preserved, and stitched onto the hat as is, but he dismissed the thought. She looked nervous at first, glancing back and forth between everyone in the group, then suddenly regarded the fox, at first she remained with the confused expression, but that soon changed to an expression of realization as she noticed the small piece of red fabric the fox was brandishing proudly. She muttered something that sounded like an annoyed purr to the fox, and then nervously walked over.

"I apurrogize... fur any trouble my furmiliar caused you..." She said. Icarus raised a brow at her peculiar manner of speaking, but mentioned nothing about it. She looked around nervously, as if trying to find the right words or right actions to finish the situation as quickly as possible. Suddenly she reached into her pouch, pulled out two Crescents and a potion, and shoved them into the uninjured hand of the woman, bowed and as quickly as she came, she was gone.

"That was... odd... However, I believe that solves the problem of who will pay for the tailor. I was going to offer, but seeing as how she gave you that. Im sure that will be more than enough. You might even be able to buy yourself new, give or take a few silver monarchs" He said. He turned around to face the young girl once again.

"I'm sorry if you though I was going to hurt the fox by the way. I was simply going to give it to one of the guard, who would have brought it out of city limits, and released it to the wild." He said. Although he figured that a guard might find more use for it selling it to a fur clothing shop. But he didn't have the hear to tell her that. He turned towards the direction of the tailor, which was on the very corner of Merchant's Row and Guilded avenue.

He scratched his head for a second waiting in case some other unexpected turn of events decide to take place, when he figured it was safe, he "So, if that marks the end of the interruptions... Let's go" He said, offering a half smile.

He walked down the street, the woman following close behind. They weaved through the crowd, ignoring more peddlers and merchants, and after about two minutes of walking, the reached the corner. He pointed to the sign, it was a pair of Blue scissors and a golden spool, The spool on the sign was encrusted in small lumen crystals, giving it a soft glow that caught the eyes of those who passed by.

"Here it is, Geribali's Tailor&Clothes Shoppe. Pretty damn good at what they do, and for a decent cost. I'm sure they'll have you fixed up in no time." He said. He looked around the corner, into guilded avenue, He could see the Ha'Penny Pie, about four buildings down. "Would you like me to go in with you, you seem kind of nervous with crowds, however I'm sure there aren't more than three or four people in there, and most browsing clothes. The tailor is in the back on the left." He realized that she might realize she would either have to expose whatever she was hiding under her sleeve to get it fixed. "The can give you a temporary change of clothes, since it seems you don't have any, and you can wait in the changing room in the mean time. Just request it. Geribali is a reasonable man." He added quickly. Hoping to calm any fears she may have, should she choose to go in alone.

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela
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Lysandra Tereviel




As the woman attempted to step around the wild child, the fox managed to finally free itself from her arms and scamper off toward a young woman that had just appeared among the throngs of people going about their business in the market. She looked rather pale standing at the very edge of the group, her bright eyes growing wide underneath her eccentric hat with what appeared to be cat-ears sprouting from atop gray hair. Her cloak billowed slightly as she finally took a few tentative steps toward the gathering, her hands reaching into a pouch in a decent-sized bag as a look of bewilderment crossed her face.

"I apurrogize... fur any trouble my furmiliar caused you..." her voice was soft and hesitant, as if she was forcing herself to speak to the woman. The lisp caught the woman in red off-guard, and she was unsure as to whether this whole thing was a joke; if it were, it was completely unnecessary. The girl's eyes bore a semblance of panic as she pulled out a pair of golden coins and a vial of... some strange-colored liquid and literally shoved them into the elf's arms before running off in the opposite direction as quickly as possible, the fox--or familiar, as she called it--bounding at her heels.

That would explain the look it gave me... the elf thought to herself, trying to hold all of these new items in her arms while keeping the tear in her sleeve covered from prying eyes. She understood that the girl wanted to make amends, but she refused to accept charity. There was nothing worse, in her mind, than having someone feel that she should be pitied, especially if--

Her eyes grew wide. Had she noticed anything? Was that the real reason she had given these things to her? No, she couldn't accept them then! She had to give them back--

The girl with the cap was gone, lost among the crowd. There was no way to find her now...

"That was... odd... However, I believe that solves the problem of who will pay for the tailor. I was going to offer, but seeing as how she gave you that--" the woman in red stopped listening after the white-haired man ramble on about the events. Was he going to pay for her repairs? Why would a complete stranger offer to do this for her, especially after the commotion she caused? ...Was he doing this because he saw her arm? All sorts of thoughts buzzed around like a swarm of hornets in her head, but she was unsure of which to listen to and which to ignore.

"So, if that marks the end of the interruptions... Let's go," the stranger offered, leading the red-robed woman along. She adjusted her hand so she would be able to cover more of the tear in the fabric as she stepped around the young girl that had attempted to protect the fox, hoping that the shift would not draw any more attention to her bewildered look on her face. The potion was cradled in her arms, although she was trying to make sure that it did not fall to the cobblestones below and shatter--no use trying to return a broken flask to that girl with the cat-eared hat...

The white-haired man stood out against the bustling crowds of shoppers--how could he not with his armor? He pushed ahead, glancing back occasionally to make sure the woman in red was following. As much as she wanted to duck off into an alley and find the tailor's shop herself, she knew that she would most likely become lost in the hustle and bustle of the city. She knew she couldn't ask anyone else for directions either--what if they recognized her as the woman from the square that had been attacked by the fox? What if they saw her arm like this?

After a brief stroll, the armored man stopped in front of a shop. "Here it is--Geribali's Tailor and Clothes Shoppe. Pretty damn good at what they do, and for a decent cost. I'm sure they'll have you fixed up in no time." The man was speaking the truth: the displays showcased fine-tailored clothing made from seemingly-exotic materials with small advertisement displays such as "Starsilk: Designed for the heavenly look" and "Cuprum-weave: Revitalizes the body naturally". The woman in red didn't care for these sorts of fineries--her current robes were rather comfortable, but beyond that, they had billowing sleeves which helped to hide her arm.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the white-haired man looking up the street for a moment before turning his gaze back on her. She almost imagined him scanning her arm, looking through her hand to see what exactly she was hiding. Her face paled as she tried to readjust her arm to help facilitate the flask of liquid cradled between her arms, fearful that he would attempt to pry further.

"Would you like me to go in with you? You seem kind of nervous--"

"No!" she interrupted, surprised at how automatic her reply was. She could feel her eyes widen with shock and embarrassment just from the abrupt nature of her outburst. "I-I mean... no, thank you..." The woman turned her gaze to the ground as she hurried up the stairs and opened the door to the shop with her free hand, careful not to hit her bow against the building. As quick as lightning, she was gone inside the tailor's store.

"Welcome to Gerbali's!" an older gentleman called from behind a counter. "How can I--?" he paused when he saw the woman clutching her arm close to her body. "Oh, my... Are you hurt? Please, sit down!" he offered the woman a chair.

The elf shook her head, still holding the arm close to her body. "My sleeve has been torn, and I can't walk around in public with tattered robes," she explained. How easily it slid off of her tongue, even as she was panicking on the inside! "I'm looking for something similar to these robes--color does not necessarily matter, but I prefer... longer, billowing sleeves..." Her eyes scanned the wares, hoping to find something resembling what she had in mind.

"Oh, well why didn't you say so?" the shopkeeper breathed a sigh of relief before chuckling. "Perhaps I could repair your sleeve instead? It'll take an hour at the longest, but it will save you some money--"

"I would like new robes," the woman insisted firmly, never letting her hand off of the tear in her sleeve. She placed the coins on the counter using her free hand, sliding them across the wooden surface with delicate fingers. "What would I be able to get for this?"

The old man's eyes lit up at the sight of the money. "Well, it won't be enough for anything like we're displaying in front, I'm afraid... However, I think I've got something that might do the trick... Follow me, please!" The shopkeeper beckoned for the elf to follow. "I have this if you want something in the same color--" He displayed a mannequin with adorned with blood-red garments embroidered with golden embroidery close to the edges of the fabric. Most important were the sleeves--they were long and would help to hide her arm just as well as her old robes.

The elf nodded as she grabbed them with her free hand once more. "Is there a fitting room I may use?" she asked quietly, cautiously glancing around the store.

"Certainly, miss--let me show you."

The elf was led to a small stall with an open door and a mirror. "Take all the time you need, miss--if you require anything else, please don't hesitate to ask!" With that, the shopkeeper returned to his duties, leaving the elf alone with her new robes.

She quickly ducked into the stall and shut the door before finally grabbing the flask from her arm and placing it in a corner. Her heart felt as if it were about to burst from her chest at any moment, and she could feel sweat begin to bead across her forehead. She let her arms finally fall to her side again as the blood began to flow back into her right hand. Her left hand, however, had indents and creases from where it had held not skin but pale yellow crystals sprouting from her arm. The woman removed her torn robes and placed them in a pile on the floor.

The woman glanced down at her right arm, staring at the growths protruding from her skin. A sickening feeling began to brew in her stomach as she tried to recollect the events from the past few minutes and piece them back together. So much had happened--the fox biting her arm, the tear, the strange white-haired man and the girl with the cat-ear hat, and now this. She hated what her arm forced her to do! She hated the crystals, hated the care she had to take, hated the constant fear of being ostracized again...

She picked up the new robes and began to try them on, taking extra precaution to make sure that the crystals did not tear the fabric apart as she inserted her arm through the sleeve. The shopkeeper had chosen well--these robes were comfortable and soft and the sleeves were large enough to keep from arousing any suspicion from passersby. For a moment, everything seemed as it had been for decades: she felt normal again...

...until she saw the potion and her old robes sitting in a pile in the corner. She sighed, a forlorn look across her face and her reflection in the mirror. Although she had solved this problem, the elf had another to take care of: she had to find the girl who had given her the flask. She couldn't take that charity from her despite the fact that she just spent the money on these robes--there'd have to be some way to pay her back--

But what about your research? The reason you came here in the first place! You can't just abandon that now!

People saw the arm--they know and they're going to kick me out anyway...

You can't be sure!

Yes I can! Why else would they take pity on me?

You're already here--you might as well stay and do your research! Spend the night in the city--

Are you crazy!? Risk exposing myself to
more people!?

If you don't stay, then what was the point of coming at all!?


The elf sank to the floor, cradling her head in her hands. Tears began to wet her palms as she attempted to hold back quiet sobs. The woman was frustrated, agitated, disappointed, wary, paranoid, tired, utterly alone.

What am I supposed to do now?

~~~

((OOC: Disregard the location, it's in Barberry, not Allevent))

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

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

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Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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Lysandra Teraviel




The distraught woman finally managed to compose herself in the dressing room, wiping the tears from her eyes and drying her hands on her old, torn clothes. The flask of liquid that she never asked for sat in the corner, oblivious to the myriad of emotions that the elf was feeling now. Despite the new robes, which fit her very comfortably and even did an exceptional job at hiding her arm, those nagging thoughts of doubt and paranoia continued to flit around her brain--had the tailor seen anything before the switch? What if that white-haired man was still waiting for her outside the shop?

A small knock at the door of the changing stall--the elf jumped at the sound and felt her heart begin to beat faster in her chest. "Ma'am, are you doing alright in there?" the tailor's voice called from the other side. "Is everything OK? I thought I heard some crying and I wanted to make sure--"

She opened the door after grabbing the discarded robes with her crystallized arm, the potion in the other hand. Her eyes were forlorn, yes, but for a completely different reason. "Yes, I'm fine..." her voice was soft, almost contemplative. "It's just... I've had these robes for a long time and now they're ruined..."

How easily the lie rolled from her tongue! Before she had begun her travels across Allevent, she never would have felt comfortable stretching the trouth to anyone, no matter how slight; yet now she felt almost a sort of compulsory need to do so in order to hide her arm. Perhaps this had to with her spending time among humans and other races away from the forests... Maybe this was a bad habit that developed out of necessity? Either way, the woman tried to make herself look as natural as possible--if the tailor suspected anything off about this statement at all, he might start thinking about other things: what might she be hiding from him?

The tailor took a quick glance at the robes in her hand before looking back up to the woman's face. "It's a shame, too--those robes looked well-crafted and cared for. It's understandable that you would be sad to see them go. I could always patch that tear up if you like, or I may be able to use it in the future as a display piece--"

The woman's face grew pale. Why would this man want her torn clothing? Did the growths leave any sort of residue or dust in the sleeve after all these years? Would he be able to figure it out just from that? If he did learn about something, would he take back the clothes he just sold her?

"No!" Startled, she took a few quick steps toward the door. She stopped, realizing that this probably would arouse more suspicion than anything else. "I... I mean, no, thank you..." she walked up to the counter and grabbed her change--a few small silver coins--and immediately left the tailor's shop, letting the door slam behind her.

This entire journey was growing more and more frustrating with every single misstep. First the spectacle with the fox and her sleeve, then the people getting close to her and trying to examine what happened to her, and then the whole thing with the white-haired man--it was all too close for her comfort. Luckily, there was no sign of the armored man who had led her to the tailor's shop, and that at least gave her a slight bit of relief--had he been waiting for her to finish her business, she probably would not have known what to do.

In any case, she glanced down the street toward a commotion in front of a tavern. Of course, she would try to stay away from the ruckus as much as possible--the tavern scene never suited her, especially with all of the drunkards that could potentially try to pry their beady little eyes into her clothing. She had learned that humans were very susceptible to the poison that was alcohol, and their inebriated state of mind often caused all sorts of bizarre and unwanted scenarios to play out. Thinking about trying to check out the situation sent a chill down her spine--perhaps it was the wind telling her that she should continue what she had set out to do in the first place.

She began to walk back up the street toward the plaza; away from the tavern and the densely-packed shops of the alleyway, away from the crowds of people that might have recognized her from before. Despite her new robes and her no-longer-torn sleeve, she continued to look suspiciously at any passersby, wondering if they could see through her robe, hoping that they would not recognize her from the commotion she had caused with the fox familiar. Her gaze fell to the flask of liquid in her hand--how would she ever be able to find that girl with the cat-ear cap now that she had run off into the crowds of people? What if she had seen something and brought it up as she tried to give the flask back? The elf shook her head as she attempted to brush away those nagging thoughts--there was a time and a place to worry about that, but this was not it.

The Imperial Archive came into view as the woman in red turned the corner--the stall owner was right after all. The building looked more all the more impressive with the setting sun off in the distance. Judging from the architecture, the woman guessed that this building was hundreds of years old--easily older than even she--but it still appeared well-maintained and cared for. She hoped that there would not be a large crowd browsing through the archives, especially if there was anyone that could have possibly seen her in the marketplace with her arm--especially with a group of potential scholars, she did not want to become the center of attention with such an... interesting condition.

Luckily for her, the halls were rather empty, and most that were there were too buried in their research to even glance up and give her the time of day. This was exactly the sort of environment that she was hoping to find. Browsing the many tomes gave her a sense of familiarity, something she had been longing for for nearly the past decade. After finding a few old leather-bound volumes that seemed to relate to the subject matter she was searching for, she carried them to an isolated table in a bit of a darker corner and began to read.

The elf sat and began to read, oblivious to the others in the archive just as they were to her. This was exactly how she wanted it--no one else meddling in her business, nothing to interrupt her from her research, no one to make any sort of comment or notice anything about her arm.

...so why did she all of a sudden feel like she was being watched?

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Adion Volf
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Adion knew that to get to land of the Huldrefolk, he would need a map that at least shows where they are in comparison to this country. He picked up his stuff and went down to the bar, alerted the bar keep that he was leaving, and headed for Barberry.

From some of the stuff that Adion had learned from the humans, there was a large library in Barberry that dwarfs all other libraries. It might even have a map of the land of the Huldrefolk. Adion had also heard that there were some sort of working groups or something that gave out jobs that usually paid well and required a fighter, something that all vere are. The nice part about Barberry was that there was no need to get a map to there, it was marked on all the street signs.

Adion had already past Adelost's front gate and went on the main road. Following the signs at a vere's traveling pace, Adion found himself in front of Barberry within 2 or 3 hours. Going in the front gate, he watched as all the people bustled around packing the streets with their bodies.

He began to walk down the street, stopping to ask a passing human to ask for directions to the town's largest library. Following the human's directions, Adion found his way to the Imperial Archive. Walking in to the building Adion got a few glances from those within who looked at him with odd stares. This was something that Adion had gotten used to. He looked around seeing the massive shelves of books that were organized to an amazing precision. Adion marveled at the amount of human knowledge that was store here, for those who had the will to read it.

After a few mores steps forward, Adion was snapped out of his awe filled walk by a scent of a race that he was not familiar with. He sat down next to the slender and beautiful woman. Adion caught a glance of some faint yellow glow. It looked familiar to him, so Adion checked under his fur finding a faintly glowing ferrum, dipping his hand in something that was in his bag, and then gently pulled the small, glowing crystal off with little struggle. Once he had the crystal placed on the table, he would wait for the woman to look up from her book and he would say "Hello. Do you mind if I ask some questions about you and your people?"

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela Character Portrait: Adion Volf
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Lysandra Tereviel




The elf buried her face into a tome, attempting to absorb the information from the literature. Even if it had nothing to do with anything that she wanted to research, she felt strangely at home in the archives--there was an eerie sense of calm that she felt when she could isolate herself from the rest of the world. Whether out in the wild or lost in a book, pushing herself away from any potential... mishaps was the best way to go.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone walking toward her wearing thick wolf pelts--something that seemed rather out of place in a library. The elf ignored this newcomer, assuming that he would be doing his own research as she was; minding one's own business was the norm in a library, so why was he so intent on sitting close to her?

And then, the strangest thing--she saw this newcomer reach into his bag and pull out a small glowing crystal before setting it on the table next to her. She froze, feeling the skin grow cold as her face paled. What was the purpose of this particular action? Did he know about her condition? Could he have seen something at all? Were these new sleeves not nearly as opaque as she had thought? The elf looked down at the fabric of her new robes, a look of panic in her eyes as she found that her clothing was completely opaque. There was no way he could have seen anything, so why did he place a crystal on the table as if he did? The elf cautiously turned toward the newcomer, recognizing the race. She had seen a few of his kind wandering the forests before she began travelling the land in search of answers.

"Hello. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about you and your people?" the vere asked. The woman in red remembered that the few that had come to their tribe were also wanderers--archivists for their race, they called themselves. They asked all sorts of questions to the various tribesmembers--everything from culture to crafting, from hunting to dancing. She had no idea why the elder members were so open to them in the first place, but she could not imagine what had happened to the information that these past vere had gathered from their tribe. Had they onlynow realized that their information was possibly outdated, or did they perhaps lose their entire record on the elves? In any case, she was in little mood to do any talking, especially to nosy archivists that she thought knew too much already.

"...is this what your kind does?" she asked, avoiding eye contact and trying to keep her voice down as to not draw further attention to herself. This was proving to be somewhat difficult, as a few wandering eyes had followed the wolf-creature for the sheer novelty. She did her best to attempt to keep her voice steady but was finding it more and more difficult to hold back her apprehension. Did she sense fear in her tone now? "Do you always go around asking random passersby for their life stories? What if--"

A loud noise interrupted her train of thought as her attention snapped toward a young girl sitting on the ground, surrounded by a pile of books. After getting a glimpse of the interrupting force, the elf had a sickening revelation: this was the same girl from the market who had thrown herself in front of her to save the familiar that had torn her sleeve! What was she doing here in the archives? Was she spying on her? Had she suspected something and followed her here? If she had been attempting to remain hidden, she had obviously failed; however, how long could she have spent studying her from afar?

Shutting her book and placing it on the table, the elf hastily grabbed the flask from the floor and stood up from table, quickly making use of the distraction created by the fallen girl and ducking around a bookcase out of view of the vere and other onlookers. She could feel her heart pounding in her throat as she ducked out of the archive, frustrated and disappointed that she could not be left alone to her own devices. Why did everyone seem to be so interested in her on this particular day? Why had the fates conspired to make her feel more alone than ever before?

The streets were eerily empty outside the Archive, almost as if something had chased the masses away. The elf did not seem to mind nearly as much, despite the fact that her nerves were still spiraling out of control. She had to keep her cool, though--she couldn't let anyone see her falling apart like this: not here, not now. Once she was outside the city, it wouldn't matter anymore. She would be away from these people and she could get away from this awful place; away from prying eyes and curious noses trying to force themselves into private matters.

You knew this would be a bad idea... Why did you decide to go back when that girl followed you in?

How was I supposed to know that she would want to follow me? What if she wasn't there because of me at all? Maybe she wants to do her own research...

How can you be sure? What about the vere asking questions? Don't you think he was a little bit
too eager to get your story?

I was never planning on divulging sensitive information, especially when I don't even know myself... It's not the right time...

Don't you see? It will
never be the right time to tell anyone, least of all a vere with no sense of personal space!

...perhaps I
was too harsh... If it's what they do--

Does it matter if it's what they do? If they find out about your condition, they'll never leave you alone... No one will ever leave you alone after they find out...


The elf appeared visibly stressed, her face still pale and her pace quickening as she barreled down the empty street. She was so focused on trying to avoid any potential route where people could be hiding. Would it be better to stay out in the open? At least there she would be able to find her way out of the city, but she would draw attention to herself being the only one out and about right now. On the other hand, if she were to duck into an alleyway, she could maintain an element of stealth at the expense of being utterly and hopelessly lost...

Before she could make that decision, she noticed a figure sitting alone in the plaza, the setting sun outlining the silhouette. The most striking feature she noticed were the two cat-like ears atop her head poking out from a cap. She stopped, recognizing this figure from before as the owner of the familiar that had torn the sleeve from her old robes. The elf was about to walk in the opposite direction when she remembered the weight in her hand. The flask! This girl had forced it into her arms after apologizing for the foxarms after apologizing for the fox's behavior! Unfortunate that she had no extra money on her, otherwise the elf would have relinquished the sum given to her.

Slowly, cautiously, the elf made her way toward the girl, keeping her bad arm behind her back and holding the potion with her other. She felt ridiculous, willingly approaching someone that might have actually seen something she shouldn't have. In fact, it had been her ineptitude that caused her to panic in the first place! Shaking aside the negative thoughts, the elf finally approached the girl, unsure of whether she had actually noticed her approach.

"...I believe this belongs to you..." she finally broke the silence, placing the flask on the cobblestone ground next to the frazzled-looking girl.

If she says anything about your arm--

She was too busy trying to run after her familiar!

How can you be too sure? Perhaps she's more observant than you think!

If she has, then I merely turn around and walk away...

You know it's never that simple, right?

Nothing is ever simple anymore...

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

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Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Aela Character Portrait: Adion Volf
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Adion had heard the tribes girl smash into the books and the elf leave. Something was wrong though, normally he would just help the tribes girl. But something had cracked off of the elf's arm, a tiny caith crystal. A small fragment similar to the ones that formed under his fur. Adion knew what caused it, unstable casting resulting in the unintentional formation of caith crystals, and how to treat it, using warm salt water to get the crystal to move away from organic material. So, he made his decision. It would be the most beneficial for all if the elf could be able to show her arms again.

Adion had no trouble honing in on the elf. Most could not tell, but elves tended to have a sweeter, more natural scent. Adion still had the small piece of broken caith and moved a little ways from the elf to where she could see him. He then removed a caith crystal from under his fur, trying to show that he could help her. He wanted to help her. It was what vere do. The only thing that they ask is information. That is their tradition. That is the vere way.

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

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Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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#, as written by Igari


XIOBAN EFIALTIS




She was on her knees, seated somewhat helplessly on the ground as she looked around her current position. Her eyebrows were furrowed, lower lip jutting out and trembling slightly as she fought back some tears. She was alone. In a city. Alone--city. These were two words that did not belong in the same thought pattern. Being in a large city such as Barberry was troubling enough and took much courage from the summoner to even bear to walk its streets for a single day of the week. But at least then, she had Xerxes by her side. Even if he was a snarky piece of work, her familiar was her familiar and brought the comfort of home with him. Now that he had left his usual place upon her shoulders, she felt almost abandoned and most certainly lost. She was doing her best to keep herself together but her composure was slipping.

She had spent an hour or so fruitlessly searching around to try and locate Xerxes after he had scampered off. The destruction left behind by the large metal creature was far too disorderly for her to make heads or tails out of and there was no scent for her to follow. And unfortunately, the pandemonium and disjointed movement by the city-goers had marred the scent she perhaps could've hoped to pick up on. All of this compounded with the fact that she had, just until recently, been carried by that... thing... had stacked up and now here she was, on the ground and mewling like a small kitten.

"Murr..." She sniffled, wiping her nose and sighing deeply. A few pattering footsteps from over her shoulder made her tense and she fought the urge to straighten her ears upright in fright. Who was approaching her now? Somewhere in her mind, she could almost see Xerxes having that smug look on his face, reprimanding her for her lack of courage. It was not that she was scared, just... social situations really weren't her thing! And after the invasive looks she had been receiving as she had searched, she couldn't say she was all that eager to try conversing with another.

She saw the edges of the approaching figure's shadow overlap her own, contorting a bit as the person seemed to lean down. "...I believe this belongs to you..." The voice that greeted her ears was low, a bit hardened but definitely a woman's. There was a light clink as she saw a flask being put on the ground out of the corner of her eye. The color of the potion was instantly familiar to her--this was one of hers.

Instantly, she swiveled her eyes to meet the stranger's to see who was going about returning her merchandise. Had she not sold it effectively enough? No one had ever returned anything before...

Yet the woman that fell into her line of vision was most certainly not one of her regulars. She frowned a little as she gazed at the other, trying to place them. Her eyes flickered over the red robes and the long blond hair--yet it was the pointed ears that brought it all together. This was the elf! A bit of color returned to her cheeks as she processed this, chest feeling a bit less constricted. She was alright with elves, elves were kindred spirits. And the posture this woman had wasn't threatening so it would be alright to relax... a little bit.

She looked between her potion bottle and the woman, trying her best to get on her feet. She was proud of her wares and was a bit embarrassed to be caught in the position she was in. Even if she was feeling desolate, she had to do her best to be polite.
"Mew, I'm sorry--I didn't mean to be so rude earlier." She said slowly, raising her eyes to match the gaze of the elf. Judging by the condition of the woman's sleeve, it was evident that her money had gone to good use for repairs. She decided not to bring that up--best to leave that in the past. Xerxes was always causing so much trouble.

She went to take another breath, about to apologize again and take her potion back from off the ground when she was interrupted by... clanking metal. But it was not like the clunks from earlier made by the large metal creature--it sounded different... Yet still off-putting. She looked a bit past the elf with narrowed eyes, pupils dilating into slits once more for more efficient eyesight. She caught sight of guards, still a safe distance from them but they were wandering into the area. She tensed up--why wouldn't they leave her alone? She had done her best to avoid them and they still followed after her!

She slid her eyes back to the elf, unsure of how to proceed without seeming too panicked. "E-Erm..." She stumbled. There wasn't a lot of time and now that she thought on it, staying in one area wasn't that smart either. She still had a fox to find. Mustering up her strength the best she could, she tried to speak to the woman again. There would be no point in trying to think of a lie and besides, those felt tart on her tongue. The elf seemed to be a little flustered herself; perhaps they had something in common--at least for the time being.

The elf noticed the panicked look in the girl's eyes--stranger still how the dilated like a cat's, but she thought better than to bring it up at this time. The clanking grew louder and louder behind her, and she turned her head behind for a brief second to catch a glance of half a dozen armor-clad guardsmen heading in their direction. Her face paled--this day was getting more and more exciting, which was the exact opposite of what she wanted. Had someone alerted the guard about her condition? Did they think she was dangerous? If the vere did notice something... She let out a hurried breath, looking back toward the girl with the cat-eared hat atop her head... although... she shook the thought from her mind; there were more important things that were happening around her, whether or not she wanted them to directly involve her.

"Purrhaps we have a common point of interest?" She suggested the best she could, gesturing towards one of the alleyways. "I do not normally mewr... travel in the streets directly." She didn't want to be too presumptuous, but lingering wouldn't be good for either of them, it seemed. She bent down quickly, depositing her potion into her pouch and taking a few steps forward. She looked over her shoulder to signal to the other woman but again tried her best not to specifically direct. Elves were an independent race, much like her own, and one of the only reasons they had been able live side by side for so long was mutual respect. She squeezed into the alley carefully, working her way around a sharper turn and into a back area of the city.

Still, ducking around behind the scenes... She already knew her weakness for getting lost, especially when she was stressed. She looked behind her again to make sure the elf was still following her and stopped gradually, regarding the woman.

"You don't... happen to mind fur, do you?" She asked shyly, trying not to scare the woman off too much with the question. With as touchy as things were, the wrong combination of words would be enough to make either of them feel distinctly uncomfortable. She closed her eyes, focusing on the feel of her familiar and reaching out towards Xerxes.

Hopefully he would be able to sense her plea for assistance. She really didn't want to be here any longer.

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Image




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: I.S.S.A.C. Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Arto Kelmt
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The girl with the cat-eared hat turned toward the elf with the realization that her potion was being returned to her. She stared at the elf, scanning her figure and immediately making her feel slightly uneasy. She instinctively retracted her right arm behind her back despite the sleeve covering her... growths. It was more of a force of habit now than anything else, but especially so now because this was the person with the fox; even though it was missing for now, she had no idea where or when it would strike next...

"Mew, I'm sorry--I didn't mean to be so rude earlier." She said slowly, raising her eyes to match the gaze of the elf. Despite her harried expression from before in the marketplace, she seemed rather... lucid now. Perhaps it was just the fact that the square they were in was rather devoid of people, but it was eerily comforting that she did not have to look over her back every few seconds--

The vere--was he following her? He had been so interested in finding out about her history, and she had been rather standoffish in her approach, which was a faux pas on her part, she admitted, but still! Had she not been clear in the archive? What did she need to do to make it clear to him that she did not want to be bothered, especially when he was prying for details as he was?

Instead of the wolf, however, the sound of clanking metal rang through the air as the elf spied a few guards heading in their direction. Her face paled--this day was getting more and more exciting, which was the exact opposite of what she wanted. Had someone alerted the guard about her condition? Did they think she was dangerous? If the vere did notice something... She let out a hurried breath, looking back toward the girl with the cat-eared hat atop her head... although... she shook the thought from her mind; there were more important things that were happening around her, whether or not she wanted them to directly involve her.

"Purrhaps we have a common point of interest?" the cat-eared girl offered, seeing the rather concerned wide-eyed expression collecting on her face. "I do not normally mewr... travel in the streets directly." She gestured toward the back alleys before taking a few steps out toward the sidestreets.

The elf was hesitant at first, as well she should have been. She was an outsider to the city, someone that stuck out like a sore thumb as it was. This girl, who she had never met before earlier in the day, was now offering to take her into the dark alleys where she would undoubtedly be lost in the labyrinthine backstreets of the city. Still, it was better than potentially being stopped by the guards for fates-know-what--if they wanted to bring her in for analysis... she shuddered at the thought. With nowhere else to go, she reluctantly followed after the girl into a more... desperate part of town.

She ran after the young woman, ducking around the corner of a building and out of the sight of the pursuing guards. Around another corner, and another, another still--where was this girl taking her? Did she actually know where she was going? What if they got lost in the streets and the guards still ended up capturing them? Suddenly, the elf had a very uneasy feeling about following after a complete stranger down a dark alley despite the alternative solution...

After another few minutes of ducking around corners and navigating the maze of streets and alleys, the girl with the cap finally stopped. The elf was most definitely out of breath--she could feel her heart pounding in her throat, both out of fatigue and out of fear that someone would still be able to navigate the path they had taken. She could feel her right arm throbbing slightly; a quick glance at the sleeve betrayed no outward signs of protruding crystal growths nor any textural abnormalities, so there was that, at least... If this other girl had not seen anything before (although she was doubtful of this), she certainly could not see anything now.

...but if she had seen something, why wasn't she trying to verify what she thought she saw in the marketplace?

"You don't... happen to mind fur, do you?" the girl asked somewhat hesitantly. What sort of question was that to an elf? Her people hunted for food and used the skins of their prey as clothing; however, they did try to create as harmonious of a relationship as they could with their forest. She respected the life that sprang from the loins of the earth and only thought the best of them--well, her familiar was an exception to the rule, now that she stopped to think about it...

And then she remembered--on top of everything else, she owed this girl money for her new robes! The elf cursed her luck as she realized that she had little need for currency anyway, living mostly outside of the city. When she did force herself to go into the city, she normally was able to get by without it, but now... Now she had to repay her somehow, but with what? She was unable to get a job anywhere without risk of exposing her deformity, and even if she could find such a line of work, she was not willing to forego all of her research in order to live with a bit of coin to her name...

Suddenly, a brown blur skimmed across the ground and leapt onto the girl's shoulders, pawing at her hair. "Xerxes!" she cried out, evidently surprised at the creature's sudden appearance. "Xerxes, don't you ignore me!" The elf immediately noticed that this was the creature that had bit down on her sleeve and had torn her old robes. Even more unsettling was the fact that it seemed more intelligent than she had given it credit for from earlier--

And then it hit her: this 'Xerxes' fox had bitten down on a crystal. Would it think to tell the girl about what was different about her compared to every other being it had ever encountered? Would the cat-eared girl just abandon her in the backalley if she found out?

"Xerxes. Aaaaaaaah. Xerxes." A metallic voice cut through her thoughts, followed by the sound of something solid rubbing against... brick or stone? The color drained immediately from the elf's face--what was this... this thing that was coming after her familiar? What did it want from it? Had she in fact been used by the girl and her familiar? Of course everything that she had tried to do today had been flipped on its head and been thrown back in her face almost as if to spite her--why not this too?

"I'm sorry fur this..." the girl meekly stated as she attempted to get the fox off from around her shoulders. The elf's eyes grew wide as she tried to take in all of these stimuli--the fox, the girl, the back alley, the... thing trying to come after them--yet even through all of these things that were potential dangers... the girl's tone was genuine. Despite the misgivings she had about the fox she "controlled", the girl herself... maybe she was not out to put her away at all; maybe she had not seen anything after all...

The fox had finally leapt from the girl's shoulders, bounding down the street they currently occupied toward the unknown. Turning around for a brief second, the elf was bekoned to by the girl as she followed the familiar almost blindly. Of course, the woman in red was not ready to trust her well-being to this person she had barely even met and was only relying on for these direst of circumstances, but... The threat of being cornered by what sounded like a huge creature that was coming after the girl's familiar was right in front of her. She could stay put in the hopes that it would go away in case it saw 'Xerxes' running away, but that was a lot to hope for--what if it didn't see either figure and assumed they still stayed back with her? And then what of her situation after they left? She would still be lost in the city with guards trying to find her...

No other options to go with, she bit her tongue and ran after the fleeing girl and the fox. This went against everything that she had been just worrying about mentally, but... there was no other reason for her to stay...

Another scraping sound against the stones that held these buildings together, another outcry of "Xerxes. Aaaaaaaah. Xerxes. Fffffffffnyah." The voice sent a chill down the elf's spine, and she suddenly felt the urge to run after the fleeing figures. Around one corner, then another and another--seconds turned into minutes as their footfalls echoed through the empty walkways, the beating of her heart pulsing in her ears.

Make sure that you keep the sleeve covered! Don't get careless now!

It is! Besides, there's no one else around now, what with that thing chasing after the fox--

And you're trusting this person, the one whose familiar got you into this panic in the first place?

Should I trust the guards instead? Would that be better for me?

...If she ends up betraying you, you only have yourself to blame...


After a few minutes more of running, the buildings thinned out--there it was! The plains were within her reach, and she continued sprinting ahead, closing in on the positions of the girl and her familiar. Never before had she been so relieved to see a sea of grasses before! She threatened to keep up with even the fox as she felt the plants brushing against her legs. For the first time all day, she felt relatively calmer. Anything to get away form the city would best for her--

What had caused the grasses to flatten? Someone--or something--had been stomping around in the fields, perhaps as a prank. The massive footprints, though, disturbed the elf slightly, as nothing human or human-like would be able to do anything nearly as destructive as this on their own--

What was the girl doing now?

The nekomimi girl masked her hesitance rather well--she had not fully expected the elf to follow after her. Or at least at such a close distance. She paused as they approached the flattened grass, noticing an indent some meters away. It looked almost like... She walked a little closer, slowly leaning forwards. She caught sight of a boy, black hair messily strewn across his face. He was clearly knocked out for the count and... were those claw marks on his cheeks? Xerxes had caused so much trouble today! She reached into her pouch, digging around in it until she was able to produce a green vial. She garnered they wouldn't have much time to stop and she wasn't all that eager to want to bring him along with them to begin with, but she felt she would at least have to make it up to him somehow. His wounds were partially her fault.

The two female figures ran for about another minute or two before the elf realized that she was running very low on breath. She took a bit of time to pause, feeling the sweat drip across her forehead. She never thought that she would have had to run so fast just to get out of a city before, let alone with a complete stranger that had an animal that had spontaneously decided to attack her and ruin her clothing. The things she did when there were so many people that might be coming after her! What did they want from her, anyway?

After watching the girl set the flask down by the fallen man she had failed to notice before, the elf realized that she should be a bit more thankful. She did, after all, owe her something for the gold she had been given, even though she was not entirely to blame for her earlier predicament, but what did she have to offer in return? Certainly not her bow--the ashen-gray weapon slung across her back was most definitely off of the table.

Mustering up her courage, she took a few tentative steps toward the cat-eared girl. "...thank you..." she spoke quietly but sincerely, partly because of her breathlessness. "I feel... I feel I must repay you somehow, but I lack the funds to do so..."

The setting changes from Barberry, City of Guilds to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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She was completely out of breath, clutching her sides as she attempted to get a hold of herself. They had been running for a generous amount of time and that was enough to wear her out. Of course, it wasn't as if she was out of shape but running like that would wear anyone out. She took a few minutes to relax, bent over slightly and readjusting her hands so that she was supporting her weight with them against her knees. Xerxes padded around her ankles, flicking his tail against her legs but seemingly unaffected by the day's activities. She would really need to reprimand him later, for now, recuperation.

Her legs trembled a bit and the girl released a very deep sigh. She was going to have to sit down... She looked over her shoulder, noting they were a safe distance away from the boy she had caught sight of in the grass. Nodding to herself, she plopped down on the ground with a faint purr of relief. Out of the city at last! She glanced upwards as a rustling nearby told her that her companion was approaching her. The blond-haired elf looked just as worn as the summoner felt.

"...thank you... I feel... I feel I must repay you somehow, but I lack the funds to do so..." There was an airiness to the tone, perhaps breathlessness? The girl patted the ground next to her with a tired smile, trying her best to be friendly. She had never had any qualms about like-kin and honestly, after what happened in the city? It was comforting to be around another forest-dweller.

"No need!" She managed with a light laugh. "But if you really want to repay me..." She paused and partially extended her hand out towards the elf. "Purrhaps you can tell me your name? Mine is Xioban," She offered first. Elves were secluded creatures, much like her own kin, but hopefully asking after a name wouldn't be regarded as too intrusive. She gestured with her outstretched hand towards Xerxes, who was pawing at a lone flower playfully. "And my furend is Xerxes, though it mewbe more accurate to say he is my furmiliar." Xerxes didn't even look up when his name was mentioned and pounced on the flower, taking the stem into his mouth as he did so.

She patted the ground again when she noticed the woman still had not taken her up on her offer. "I don't bite! And I purromise Xerxes won't either; he knows he's been a bad fox." Xioban wrinkled her nose at Xerxes purposely, who slyly grinned at her before biting into the stem. He always had an odd way of showing his approval for others and she knew it would be difficult to explain that his seemingly violent acts were really shows of affection. It took her awhile to get used to it herself. She smiled a bit at the memory. Her guardian had caused her much confusion and discomfort when she first discovered his unfortunate habit of gnawing on hair.

Since then, of course, she had gotten used to such odd displays. She adjusted her position, wrapping her arms around her legs and leaning forwards so that her chin was on top of her knees. What could she say here? She felt bad about the circumstances she had met the elf under but was certain that, at least, not everything could've been her fault. Hopefully...

Oh! Idea! Her ears straightened underneath her hat, though the movement was barely noticeable given the looseness of the fabric. "I don't know if you planned to go back to the city but if you'd like, I know a safe place fur us to stay that isn't too far fur..." She cleared her throat. "From here." She didn't make any sudden movements and didn't bother to get up quite yet. The elf was still ill at ease around her, that much was obvious. And Xerxes wasn't really making things better, what with his pantomiming of biting and using the flower stem as an example. Still, she had always been taught to show hospitality when it was needed and better that she offered something than nothing at all.



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She still had her arrow notched as the white-haired man moved around her and the captain, heading towards the device with an inquisitive light in his eyes. She didn't take her eyes off her target though she saw his movement out of the corner of her eyes. He seemed to be observing something near to the device and she heard what seemed to be a latch opening or something of the sort. She couldn't see what happened after that, only heard the man's statement of having located something and with a casual remark of going to investigate, he was gone. The pirate woman swore when he left, calling after him.

"Wait! Icarus! Don't just go doing random things!" The yell was unanswered--it didn't seem that he would be returning immediately. Raruna swore again, loudly at that, and angrily paced back and forth on the deck. Her sword was already in her hand as she looked between Zherynnia and where the white-haired man had disappeared to. A low growl sounded from beneath the book-eater's feed but she didn't spare a glance downwards. The target could move while her attentions were diverted.

"Stay here!" Raruna called and she, just like the man, descended into the gods knew where and in a matter of seconds, she was the only one standing near the device. She took a few hesitant steps to the side to get a better view of what was above her. Whoever was up there was apparently good at hiding because she couldn't hear any sounds, save for the rush of wind and the faint yells from the other airship. She was going to have to force whoever it was out--and possibly others who may have been lurking about.

She reached into the quiver on her back, taking out another type of arrow. She flicked the tip against the wood quickly, causing a small flame to catch onto the arrow. Notching it on her bow, she aimed it towards the crow's nest again. The arrow made contact and a few of the flames spread--a figure suddenly straightened. Their face was shrouded in cloth so she couldn't make out any features. Zherynnia did not pause, striking more arrowheads aflame and aiming them at all the high platforms on the airship. Had the whole crew been above them the entire time?

One of the men above her swung a rope with a claw attached to the end of it and secured a line to the side of the airship, using it to make his descent down to the decks. She was tempted to cut it to impair his landing but she had no way of knowing if that would literally throw him off the sides of the ship. She was one for knowledge after all and that would be a good waste of finding out precisely what was going on. She didn't move from in front of the device as several more figures descended, the group moving to try and surround her. The book-eater wasn't put off in the slightest though--she had faced worse odds... None that she could remember at the moment but she was sure that she had.

One of the men lunged forward, knife at the ready and the steel blade aimed towards her stomach. She jumped back, letting an arrow loose. He side-stepped but the metal sliced against his shin. He gasped and fell to one knee--while he was incapacitated, she quickly fired another one at his weapon to disarm him. The others did not wait, all of them darting forwards at once. She quickly assessed the weaponry--axes, daggers, and a pole-arm. And all of them had their faces covered--whoever they were, they didn't want anyone else having a wager at it.

Zherynnia bent her knees and slid to the deck of the ship as one of them swiped at her, turning over and using the momentum to fire another arrow at her attackers. Tch, this wouldn't do--she was at too close of a range! But Raruna had told her to stay near the device, if she moved away--but if she didn't, then she wouldn't be able to win this fight. She got up and decided it would be best to look after herself in the immediate moment. She ran towards the center of the airship, the sound of pursuing footsteps told her that, at least, her attackers were too distracted by her to consider messing with the device.

As she ran, she took out a few arrows and dragged them along the wood to set them on fire before releasing them at the fabric around one of the men's ankles. The cloth lit on fire and he screamed, dropping his weapon and trying to put out the flame. So long as she stayed at a distance, she would be ok--wait, where was the...

Her question was answered as a sharp blow to her back caused her to falter a few steps forward and a few more blows to her wrists caused her to drop her weapons. She rubbed at her skin, sidestepping as she looked behind her. Of course, the one with the pole-arm... She glanced down at her bow but he already kicked it to the side.

"Nowhere else to run, girl... and looks like you're without a weapon now," His other companions began to walk slowly towards her, weapons held up and at the ready. She flicked her gaze between each of them quickly--she might've been cornered... no, it only looked like that. Her arrows would still hurt. She took some out of her quiver and before her opponents could react, she dove forwards and sliced at their legs with the arrows she held in her hands. She whirled, driving an arrowhead into the chest of one of the men. A look of surprise flashed in his eyes as he fell forwards on the ground, dead before he hit it.

She had no time to grab the arrow from his chest and rolled onto the ground, grabbing her bow in the process. She now stood between her assailants and the device once more, arrow notched against her bowstring and a firm expression on her face.

"Washu ek iregyn masiit ehl." She said with a calculating smile. She wasn't going down that easy.

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Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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The cat-eared girl, despite her fatigue, actually looked up to the elf and smiled. She seemed somewhat relieved to be out of the city, away from the bustling crowds and the... thing that had apparently been chasing them. The elf, however, was rather concerned with the fox creature that was playing in the grasses around her feet. Since the market incident, she had become rather... wary seemed to be best word for how she felt, especially after she watched it begin to chew on the stem of a nearby flower. How could this girl not feel ill at ease with such an uncontrolled creature at her side?

"No need!" The cat-eared girl managed with a light laugh. "But if you really want to repay me..." The elf watched as her incidental companion extended a hand, reaching out for some sort of common ground that they could both stand on. "Purrhaps you can tell me your name? Mine is Xioban..." The girl turned to the fox now playing with another flower off to the side. "And my furend is Xerxes, though it mewbe more accurate to say he is my furmiliar." The animal did not even seem to recognize his name being called, instead occupying himself with attacking this new flower. Why did watching his creature play make the elf feel so uneasy?

The girl--Xioban, she had called herself--patted the ground next to her, almost as an invitation to sit down and catch their breaths together. "I don't bite! And I purromise Xerxes won't either; he knows he's been a bad fox." At the mention of the word 'bite', the elf flinched a little, feeling her left hand almost instinctively reach up for the same spot on her right sleeve that had been torn open earlier that day. Her eyes grew slightly wider as if someone had taken a hammer to her chest and knocked the breath out of her, but she felt the overwhelming urge to sit down, if only to get the building pain out of her now-fatigued legs. The elf took a seat across from the cat-eared girl, making sure that she was able to keep an eye on both her and her pet--moreso the latter than the former, but still...

Why was this girl so interested in knowing about her? The elf attempted to avoid all sorts of eye contact with Xioban, instead focusing on the familiar as it gnawed on the stem of the newest flower he had found. It had a... fondness for biting things, she noticed. As it turned back toward the other girl, carrying a flower in its mouth, the elf reached for her sleeve again, keeping her arm close to her body... just in case. Even as the other girl seemed to smile and giggle at this newfound docile nature he displayed, the elf was on edge--then again, when she was around people that wanted to get to know her, she normally pulled herself in tighter anyway; it was what she did, especially since she had left the confines of her tribe in the forest years ago...

The cat-eared girl's eyes seemed to widen with some sort of sudden realization. "I don't know if you planned to go back to the city but if you'd like, I know a safe place fur us to stay that isn't too far fur..." She cleared her throat. "From here." Was she serious? She had only known of her existence for a few hours, and now after their whole debacle, she was offering the elf a place to stay? The woman in red had no idea how to respond to this sudden shift in mood.

What do you do now? Do you go or do you say no?

...I have no idea what to do. She seems nice enough, but--

What if she wants to examine the wound that familiar inflicted? Don't you think that would be problematic?

But if she hasn't said anything by now, then perhaps she never noticed at all--I mean, she was rather focused on other things in the market...

And the fox? What if it decides to try again?

Why would it do that? If it wanted to, I imagine it would have tried to do so by now...

You're playing too recklessly now--if this girl finds out anything...


The elf inhaled deeply, closing her eyes to clear her thoughts before speaking. She hated the conflicting ideas bouncing around in her mind, but she had been duelling with them for years at this point--they were just as much a part as the growths on her arm...

"...I..." the elf began, her voice hitching slightly before she cleared her throat. "I don't understand why you would offer me a place to stay..." she kept her voice quiet and soft as she looked to the ground, almost as if she were ashamed and confused at the cat-eared girl's generosity. "...you barely know me, yet you treat me as kin... give me money for new clothes, which I will repay... eventually..." her voice trailed off as she felt a slight chill run across her body; must have been the wind. Yes, it must have been.

"...forgive my hesitance... It's just in my nature... I am not used to such generosity..." Her voice reflected the stifled confusion that racked her mind. Just who was this girl, and what did she want from her? Was she just like the vere from the library, who wanted information about her past? The elf could feel her heart pounding up in her throat at this point, but she dared not show her fear to this girl in case she could capitalize on it in this moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas
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#, as written by Igari

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The young woman tilted her head--she had heard that elves were reserved creatures but this woman certainly was setting an all-time record. She waited politely as the woman seemed to have an internal debate of sorts. Her introduction seemingly went unheeded, she was at a bit of a loss as to whether or not it was rude to re-ask for someone's name. Xioban reached out a few fingers to brush them against Xerxes' cheek, scratching behind one of his ears. He continued to gnaw on his plant stem though she was sure she heard a content growl. The elf sucked in her breath, displaying very obvious signs of discomfort and distance.

"...I... I don't understand why you would offer me a place to stay... you barely know me, yet you treat me as kin... give me money for new clothes, which I will repay... eventually..." The summoner was about to interject--she had just said there was no need to worry about that! Money wasn't much of an object to her; she only needed minimal amounts to afford foreign herbs and spices. The rest, she had no idea what to do with. She held in her thoughts, it seemed the elf was not finished quite yet.

"...forgive my hesitance... It's just in my nature... I am not used to such generosity..." Ah, she wondered if she had over-stepped her boundaries. But they were both children of the forest so why shouldn't the elf be treated as kin? Unless things had changed between their two tribes... Xioban briefly considered that perhaps the woman was unable to identify her--well, that wouldn't be the first time and people normally wouldn't be able to differentiate her from a human. Still.... had this woman never been shown kindness? The elf acted as if it were a foreign thing--strange and confusing.

Before she could respond or think of a way to ease her companion into the idea, she heard prickling laughter from the ground as Xerxes finally removed the stem from between his teeth. "Huehuehue," As always, his laugh carried with it its amused sarcasm as the fox stretched, tail flicking casually. "If the stupid woman does not want hospitality when it is offered, then she isn't worth the time."

"Xerxes!" Xioban frowned, crossing her arms. "That's a furry mean thing to say, purr." To demonstrate her distaste for his behavior, she only made one purr as opposed to two. Her familiar paid no mind to the disapproval as he padded a few feet away.

"Leave her, Xioban. We have things to do." His tone was firm, yes, she could hear it. She released a low hiss from between clenched teeth--she didn't like it when he spoke like that. Because when he used that tone of voice, that meant it was an order. And she wasn't in any position to disobey nor could she, even if she dared. She sent him a frown, the fox chuckling in response. "Don't give me that look, she obviously does not understand kindness so there is no point in wasting it."

"Xerxes, what if--"

"There are stupider, less uptight people to befriend, huehuehue." The summoner looked back over at the elf, lips pursed as she felt a flare of embarrassment. The residents of the forest weren't stupid! He was just too smart for them. "We're going home. I think I've had my fair share of sight-seeing for the week." There was nothing else to be done, Xioban was going to have to follow him. Her ears dropped just a little under her hat as she straightened, dusting off the seat of her skirt.

She muttered an apology under her breath, glancing at the elf once more. "Mewr..... I apurrogize.... but if you are still in the city, I always open my stall once a week." An intentionally loud growl from over her shoulder told the young woman that their chat time was over. She quickly bowed before turning on her heel, hurrying after Xerxes. She hoped the woman would be able to find her--ah, she had forgotten to get the elf's name! Oh well... she hadn't had the time anyway, no thanks to her familiar. Hopefully the elf wouldn't think too poorly of her after all of that.


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Fraujln, fraujln! Nasamet lariik mahl!!

One moment, she had been facing a group of armed men, the floor beneath her opening up to reveal the figures of the sky pirate and the white-haired man. And now in the next, she suddenly found herself being lifted up by something ethereal and tossed roughly on to the deck of the airship! The poor book-eater had no idea how to make heads or tails of the situation or, frankly, how to even react to it in the first place. The first thing that went through her head, however, was not "what on earth was going on". She was more preoccupied with the loss of knowledge that was occurring. The knowledge that was being whisked away from her that was still on the deck of the enemy ship!

The girl could do nothing and was in no position to fight the urgings of the man that had summoned the hand in the first place. All she could do was lament over the men that were surely going to perish and the fact that they had no idea why the ship had wanted to impede their progress. She rubbed her tushie (for she had fallen on it quite hard) and stood up unsteadily. The girl's shoulders were shaking and she ground her teeth together as she turned to regard the man that was now hurling over the side of the ship. Zherynnia didn't care that he was sick, she didn't feel bad that he just could not cope with air travel. No, he had committed a great disservice to her in his actions and she wasn't about to let that go by.

With a bit of red coating her cheeks in her anger, she stomped right over to him--hands balled up into fists. "Redraklyin!" She hissed at him, a slur used by her people much as swearing would be used in common tongue. "Do you have any idea what was lost on that ship?!" Her voice came out almost whiny in its anger but she didn't care. Her eyes flashed in irritation and she drew back her fist, hitting him over the top of his head before turning on her heel.

Ugh! How could he not see what precious things were lost due to his selfishness?! She had the situation under control and she had had another plan. Her stomach gave a disappointed growl, her body just realizing that it wouldn't be snacking on anything new. She didn't even turn her head to regard any of the others as the girl kicked open the door to below-decks and walked down the stairs. How could that mafrei jhaner ek anii omerijn?!

Her mind was finding it difficult to tell languages apart in her frustration and with a deep sigh, she promptly threw herself on to one of the beds in a free room. She buried her face into the pillow, breathing into it as she gave a big huff. It was officially decided. She wasn't going to go back up there until they landed and she was never going to talk to that redraklyin for the rest of the trip. Not until he learned the precious value of information and how much of it he had so casually gotten rid of.
In her childish fit of rage, the book-eater couldn't have possibly noticed that all the information hadn't been lost and paid no attention to the figure that walked the halls behind her towards the cargo hold.

The setting changes from Allevent to Barberry, City of Guilds

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Character Portrait: Xioban Efialtis Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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"Huehuehue..." the fox snickered as the elf watched on in surprise and confusion. Did that fox just laugh at her? It should not have been surprising in the least, considering the girl--Xioban, she had said her name was--had told her that the animal was a familiar, something much more intelligent than its appearance belied; she was just not expecting it to come across with such a caustic first impression: "If the stupid woman does not want hospitality when it is offered, then she isn't worth the time."

It was not the fact that hospitality was being offered that bothered her, although that in and of itself was strange enough for the elf--no, it was the unexpected openness that which she had been offered asylum in... well, wherever the girl in the cat-eared cap had offered to take her, she could not remember. That, coupled with her unease around the familiar--who continued to only assume the negative about her--caused her to remain silent and slightly bashful. If it continued ot think this poorly of her, it was no longer a question of if it let something potentially slip about what it bit down on in the marketplace, but when.

"Xerxes! That's a furry mean thing to say, purr." The elf took notice of the strange lisps that the girl was prone to letting slip every so often. There were a lot of things that did not quite add up about her--if she was peddling wares in Barberry, did she not have a home in the city? Perhaps she had come from Adelost--but why would she herself come to Barberry to peddle her wares when an entire city at her disposal could have found use for the vials of liquid she was selling? Where was she from if she left the city and was in no way thinking about returning? And the familiar--how in caith did one manage to stumble across one of those just willy-nilly? Only the most wealthy could have afforded such a luxury, and even then, familiars were few and far between to be sold; most would not agree to be viewed as such property, so how did this girl manage to befriend such a blasphemous creature?

...unless... Could she be--

"There are stupider, less uptight people to befriend, huehuehue." the fox's corrosive tone cut through the elf's thoughts one last time. "We're going home. I think I've had my fair share of sight-seeing for the week." With that last statement, the girl stood up, her lips pursed in slight embarrassment at the whole situation.

"Mewr..... I apurrogize.... but if you are still in the city, I always open my stall once a week." Another low growl from the familiar snapped the girl's attention back toward the impatient and inconsiderate fox, and she began to walk away from the direction of both Barberry and Adelost--

"Where is your stall?" the elf called after the departing girl, hoping to get the information before two of them left her sight. Either her question had gone unheard or ignored, for she received no answer in response.

The nerve of that familiar! Not only had it caused the entire catastrophic chain of events in Barberry to unfold, but it had the audacity to call her uptight! If only it knew the panic and paranoia its little stunt pulled, it might have been a bit more apologetic, but as it stood, there was nothing more she could do. There was, however, still the matter of how much it actually knew from biting down on her arm...

You're going to let that rat get away and blather to that girl about your deformity?

What am I going to do about it now?

You could follow them...

And what would that do, exactly? It would only make things worse between what little relationship the girl believes us to have--not that I'm looking to improve it, but--

Do you realize what that girl is!? She is
selde taure!

...if such a thing exists, then better to hide my deformity from the entirety of nature than pursue the matter further...

You know that as soon as one knows, they will tell the others...


The elf shuddered at the thought of all of nature knowing about her condition--what would they do if they realized that there was one among their forest-dwelling brethren was contaminated? How would they react? How could they react if they had ever met again and she--or any of the selde taure, if they did exist, for that matter--asked about what happened to her...

...could that have been the reason why the familiar ripped part of her sleeve? As a reaction to something it may have sensed?

No, stop your worry... They are gone--keep them out of your mind for now...

Yet she could not bring herself to do so--she had a debt to repay, whether the cat-eared girl had told her that it was unnecessary to return her money or not. Even though the elf herself had no need for money--despite the fact she required it to replace her robes that should not have been ruined in the first place--she knew that she had to repay this Xioban character... even if it meant having to deal with that upstart familiar again...

...but where to come into coin? The elf would not dare to even think about venturing back to Barberry at this point--she had caused enough of a commotion between the marketplace and the tailor's shop and the library, not to mention the... thing that had been chasing after the familiar and cornered them in an alley. Besides that, the guards surely must have been looking for her after someone caught a glimpse of her arm, and she did not want to have to deal with any sort of interrogation or exposure that could shame her or her race further.

How to earn money... She knew that people required chores to be done around their homes and farmsteads--cooking, cleaning, physical labor and the like. While she knew something about cooking and cleaning, she involuntarily shook her head at the thought of menial physical labor. The fact of the matter was that she had never been too strong, even for elven standards, and what she carried on her back now was nearing her maximum comfort level. Even if she was in fact strong enough to perform these tasks for extended periods of time, the growths on her arm would make this labor more than uncomfortable; even worse, she risked exposure to random citizens--how would they react after seeing something like that?

There was an alternative... Another city a day's walk away, one with white walls and another large archive to boot. It had been a while since she had visited... Perhaps she could inquire about a temporary job sorting books--that would work out rather well; sorting books was not very labor-intensive, exposed her to more potential leads and tidbits of information, and most importantly allowed her to keep as much cover on her arm as possible without exposing it to too many random scholars. What did they care about an assistant like her, anyway?

The elf sighed as she trudged in the direction of Adelost, following the signposts along the darkening trails to find her way. Of course, she had no money to her name at this point, as it all belonged to the girl with the cat-eared hat in her mind; she would be forced to sleep outside the city gates, which was no bother to her at all... Of course, that problem would be addressed before she arrived there in the first place...

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Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel
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The night had been long, the elf remembered. Sure, there were probably inns in the city of Adelost that she could have probably found a room, but after what had happened in Barberry, she was still rather hesitant to trust herself to the whim of others, especially after what had happened merely a day eariler in the marketplace. She doubted that something as ludicrous as the familiar of another selde taure tearing another hole in these new robes; still, there was something about the sheer absurdity of the situation that caused her hesitance.

What was that old human saying? "Lightning never strikes twice"? Well, they had never met someone that could shoot lightning from their fingertips. There was something out that phrase that should have brought a bit of a smile to her face, but for some reason she found little comfort in that bit of human wisdom. She knew it was wrong, anyway--it was an extremely rare occurence, but she had seen in twice in her extended lifetime.

Shaking the thoughts from her mind, she gathered in what courage she could find within herself and began to walk through the gates of Adelost. White-walled Adelost--the inhabitants nicknamed the city this for its ivory-colored walls that kept out most unwelcome intruders--was slightly smaller than Barberry but still large enough to be a decent-sized city. The people of Adelost were somewhat welcoming to most outsiders, although most outsiders usually did not include elves or any of the more exotic races that roamed the lands of Allevent. Still, the red-robed elf managed to somehow blend into the crowd and walk into the heart of the city with little problem.

So far so good... Now just hope that there aren't any more of those foxes that come to expose what's underneath the sleeve...

The main marketplace was busy for the morning, but it was nothing compared to the hustle and bustle of the crowds in Barberry. Regardless of how much smaller the throngs of people in this city were in comparison to the other one, there were still hordes of passersby that would potentially be curious as to why an elf would wander so far away from her home. This sort of thing was what she was afraid of--people poking their noses into business in which they did not belong. That was one of the things about humans that she did not particularly care for very much.

She sighed as she found a posting board with all sorts of advertisements and notices. Things about having competitions and tournaments were also rather popular, it seemed, as there were a few younger humans that were discussing an upcoming archery competition. As the elf studied the notice board for anything related to a potential opening at the archives, one of the young men--obviously the leader of their trio--let out a low whistle.'

"Oi, dat's a noice bow y'got dere, ma'am," the de facto leader commented. "Wif somefin' like dat, bet'cha could run th'others out'f th'competition!"

Caught off-guard by the comment--and not quite sure if it was sincere--the elf merely glanced over and nodded to the group before turning back to the board, studying the fliers intently until she came across one that she was hoping to find--

"Y'know, Ah don' fink we've ever seen a knifey compete in one'f these tournaments before... Dey's too proud'n snobbish fer us..." another of the group commented, looking toward the leader.

"An' you'd be roight, Reg..." the leader turned back to the elf, who was doing her best to ignore their presence next to her. "If y'ain't here to compete but'cha brought a bow into da city, Ah fink da only fing you can do is sell yer weapon t'us. How much?"

So they were con men after all. Picking on some lonesome traveller for kicks. Perhaps there was not even to be a tournament after all; even if there was, there was still no reason for her to go out of her way to join it. This had too much sentimental value for her to be given away for coin--if there was even any to be had--and she was not about to entrust a weapon of this magnitude of craftsmanship to a random stranger on the street.

"It's not for sale," the elf replied simply but assuredly, finding the information that she needed. There was indeed someone looking for assistance at the Archives; a certain Ambrosia character was looking for someone to assist him with bookkeeping and book sorting. This was exactly the sort of low-key low-labor work she was hoping to find. It might take a week or two to finally have enough money to pay back that Xioban girl, but she was going to try and get that business taken care of before anything else.

The leader of the group chuckled as his other two men walked around behind the elf. "Sorry, but yer not walkin' away 'til we've got'cher bow." With that, the men behind her grabbed her arms, hoping to hold her back as they took her weapon with ease. However, the man to her right grabbed on to something unexpected.

"Damn!" the lackey known as Reg screamed as he looked down to his hands to find that there were a few splotches of blood forming in his hands. The elf struggled underneath the strength of the man on her left, but the leader was too busy looking at his other man's wounds to pay too much attention. "She's got somefin' sharp underneaf dem robes!"

"Sharp? She's not made of metal, you dunce! Lemme see!" the leader smacked her over the head as the elf's eyes widened in fear. That lackey had felt something! Now his leader was going to try and figure out what was happening!? This was just as bad as the day before, except this time she knew for a fact that someone knew that there was something different about her. She began to thrash around in the man's grasp, hoping to run away before things escalated further.

"Now now, we don' hafta do dis da hard way, ma'am--y'can give us yer bow an' be on yer merry way, or we can take it from you! Looks like it might be worf somefin' after all--maybe along wif whatever ya got under yer sleef..."

What happened next was performed out of sheer panic.

Out of nowhere, the leader of the thugs was thrown back by a bolt of electricity that struck him square in the chest. The sudden strike was almost too much for the leader and he collapsed in a heap on the ground, a hole through his clothes and a burn mark square in his chest.

"What the hell was that?" the thug with a hold on her arm shouted as he dropped the poor elf onto the ground and ran after his fallen leader. Reg also knelt down at his leader's side, trying to do everything in his mind that he could think of to resusitate his leader. Bystanders were crowding around the fallen thug, trying to comprehend what had happened to the man.

In all of this confusion, miraculously, no one bothered to look toward the elf that had managed to blend in with a passing crowd. She was nervous--she had every right to be, she felt. Not only did those men try to assault her, but they knew there was something wrong with her! This knowledge only fell on the wayside when she realized that there was a light shining from inside her sleeve onto her feet. This was accompanied by a slight tingling sensation as she attempted to try and dim the light as quickly as possible.

Please let no one have seen that light... They can have the lightning, but please not the light that's coming from my sleeve...

Why are you even walking in the crowd if you're afraid that people are going to see you?

It's better than having to stick around and explain why I was forced to shoot a bolt of lightning into that man's chest and having to deal with his cronies...

But if they manage to find you and turn you in to the authorities, then what happens? You have no money, you have no job opportunity, you are sent to a cell and examined--

If I'm on the move now, I'll have an opportunity to continue moving and find the archive...

But if they see your arm and the light--

Why do I constantly argue with myself in these situations?


After trying to calm herself down for a few minutes and receiving a few strange looks from passersby about her facial reactions to seemingly nothing, the elf came to a large structure with large columns and a few academic-types wandering within from what little light in the doorway she could find. She broke free from the crowd and hurried inside, quickly glancing behind to make sure that the thugs were not trying to follow her. By this time, the light had faded from her sleeve, but she still felt that tingling across her right arm, almost like static electricity in the air...

The elf was greeted with hundreds upon hundreds of rows of books, much like she had been in Barberry's Imperial Archive. People were searching the shelves for any and all sorts of tomes that may help them with their research--perhaps in her downtime, the elf would join them in their pursuits of knowledge, but for now, she narrowly escaped arrest and interrogation. She finally arrived where she wanted to be, albeit with more plaguing her mind than she was comfortable with. After a minute of catching her breath and regaining her composure, the elf walked over to a side desk where an elderly human sat filling out some paperwork.

"...excuse me, ma'am?" The elf interrupted the woman's work after finally finding her voice and speaking softly.

The human looked up with a small smile on her face. "What can I help you with?"

"...I'm here to talk with... Ambrosia... Yes, Ambrosia, about the job opening?" the elf was very cautious, trying to keep calm but feeling ready to explode and shoot lightning in all directions. The woman was not saying anything about it, though--either she was being polite or the elf appeared much more stoic than she felt.

"Oh, yes, the flier... Please, take a seat over here, miss, and I'll let him know that he has someone interested for the job." She stood up from her seat. "One minute, please..." With that, the old woman walked away from the desk toward the back of the archive, leaving the elf to dwell on her thoughts of the events of the past few minutes.

News travels quickly in a city like this, so how long would it take for this Ambrosia character to hear about the events that took place in the market? About the elf that zapped some poor human in the chest with a lightning bolt and then ran off? She shuddered as she waited, putting her head in her hands and doing her best to keep her composure in spite of the circumstances in which she found herself. If the woman or her boss, however, came out to see her crying and acting shy, though, they might dismiss her on the spot...

...or would they just not hire her for being an elf? That elf from the market?

"Miss, mister Ambrosia will see you now. Please follow me."

The older woman gave a smile and nodded in the elf's direction. She had no choice now but to see this through to the end. The elf silently pleaded to whatever deities that may or may not exist that everything that could potentially go horribly wrong did not.

The setting changes from White-walled Adelost to Allevent

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raruna (Runa) Leautia Character Portrait: Isengrim Lupul Character Portrait: Icarus Saerin Character Portrait: Zherynnia Analorum Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Derithiue Qre Jedas Character Portrait: Ambrosia
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The small girl glared up at the man who was currently looking at her with just as much animosity. True to her final decision, she had not once surfaced since the escapade with the foreign airship. She had only just poked her head out from the cabins when it had been announced that they had arrived at their destination. But now here she was, face to face with the redraklyin who seemed bloody intent on getting on her bad side. The book eater didn't back down at all, peering at him as her grip around her bow tightened.

Just as she was about to growl back at him, the pirate woman stepped between them with a rather unamused expression on her face. "This is still my ship and I won't allow anyone to kill anyone else on my ship! I'm sure Grim will feel the same about this whole expedition since he's in charge of that half. What could she have possibly done to make you want to kill her, hu? It can't be that bad," Zherynnia clenched her fist tighter, sticking her tongue out at the man while the woman continued.

"I think you're still just a bit air sick. Walk around a bit and cool your head, Jedas. Get a drink or something. There's no need for killing. Though, if you wish to have a bit of fun sparing, I'd be more than happy to be your partner."

"No!" The girl exclaimed quite suddenly before the man could properly respond. "If anyone is going to fight him, it should be me." She said firmly with another scowl towards this "Jedas" character. "He dishonored the value of knowledge with his actions and could've endangered us all with his ridiculous need to show off." It was decided, she did not like him at all. Zherynnia was the type to always try and give everyone a chance, for there was always something to be learned from others. But there was nothing of value to him, not if he so needlessly tossed away information.

And it was with this thought that she scrunched up her face briefly and spat on the ground at his feet. Not even bothering to continue, she turned on her heel, stepped around the pirate woman, and walked down the plank to where Grim and Icarus were chatting amongst themselves. Hopefully now that they had finally arrived, she would get the treasure that she was promised. Because so far, this whole trip was far from worth it.


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It was the knocking on his door that brought his attentions upwards. The man had been recording down a few notes from the open texts upon his desk. Many notes were scattered about and an ink bottle had been overturned, the drops not heeded as they leaked on to the floor. Yet, there was a small sense of organization to the chaos before him. Books were grouped by category, notes stacked atop one another in a large (albeit precarious) pile. He would've continued his research if not for the noise from outside his door that alerted him of another presence.

His golden eyes found their way to the figure of a woman, slightly older but modestly touched with that age. "Sorry for the interruption, Sir," She said lightly, not making any moves to enter into his study. He shook his head and smiled kindly at her, putting his quill down atop the papers.

"Not at all, did you need me for something?" He asked politely, casually moving one of his papers atop another to shield the information. As sociable as he could be, he still preferred it if others did not see direct information pertaining to him. The woman nodded, gesturing behind her.

"Ah yes, well, there is a young woman here to apply for the assistant's position? She mentioned the flier in the main square." His eyes lit up--ah, right, it hadn't been that long since they had put up that flier, had it?

"Of course. You may send her in then." The woman nodded as she closed the door behind her once more, giving him a little bit of time to at least make his desk semi-presentable. It was then he noticed the ink bottle, still leaking on to the floor steadily. Ah well, nothing to be done about it now. He tilted it back upwards, making a mental note to clean that up a bit later on.

The woman returned shortly with another who was taller than her, far too tall, in fact. He scanned her over briefly as the young woman took the seat that was offered to her, long blond hair tumbling around her shoulders as she sat. He had always been quick with his observation skills and it did not take him long at all to notice her pointed ears or willowy form. This woman was an elf, one would have to wonder what she was doing in this particular part of Adelost.

Still, he had never been one to turn down those that walked into his Archives. Those who pursued knowledge came from all works of life after all. He smiled warmly at her, noticing the slight tenseness she had about her and hoping to set her at ease. "So you're here about the flier?" He began, choosing a more rhetorical question than any to begin with. "You came just at the proper time, we've been a bit, shall we say, overloaded with paperwork as of late. As you can no doubt tell from the state of my desk, I'm sure." He laughed a little, a charming sort of chuckle before shaking his head a bit.

"In any event, let me give you a short run-down of what will be required of you if you do acquire the job. This particular archive is the largest of them all in Adelost and is home to tens of thousands of books. I'll not bore you with the specifics of departments and sub-departments of literature here but needless to say, there is a book for everyone here." He paused, taking a moment to look her over again. She was a reserved one, seemingly quiet at that. Not bad qualities to possess but he wasn't one to pry.

"The job is more of a personal request of mine. Lately, it's just been difficult to manage the books here, primarily because I haven't had a lot of time to devote to the archives as I normally would. That being said," He smoothly moved away from that particular topic, no need to inform her of his personal responsibilities. "You would be responsible for sorting, categorizing, and marking off literature, starting with a section on the first floor. Before I get into too much detail, why don't you tell me about yourself?" He raised his eyebrows slightly, leaning forward in his seat to look at her more closely.

"Primarily, what brings you here, to the archives?" He decided not to bombard her with a series of questions. She did not look like a city-goer, she lacked that certain air about her. Even so, he could not simply let anyone who applied for the job work merely because they "looked nice" or "acted a certain way". He smiled at her one more time to perhaps lighten the atmosphere between them. After all, if the would be working together in the future, it would be best to be on amicable terms rather than distant ones.

The setting changes from Allevent to White-walled Adelost

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lysandra Teraviel Character Portrait: Ambrosia
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The elf sat on a couch, waiting for the return of the elderly human who had promised to return with news of this Ambrosia character. Surely it would not have taken this long for her to come back out and inform her that they were not looking for someone like her--an elf too far away from her home and with no business doing anything in Adelost at all. She observed a few passersby take a few glances in her direction, doing their best not to gawk for too long at the blonde with the bow protruding from behind her back.

After a terse minute of waiting and twiddling her thumbs, the elf saw the woman from behind the desk return. "If you'd come with me, ma'am, I'll take you back to Mister Ambrosia's office--he wanted to speak with you, sort of an interview."

The elf, with no other options at this point but beginning to regret her decision to come to the city at all, smiled weakly and followed the woman to the back of the archives to a small secluded office with a label marked in golden letters: Ambrosia.

"Oh, don't look so nervous, dear--he's rather friendly, especially to the ladies." The woman from behind the desk gave a smile before opening the door and allowing the elf into his office.

The first thing she noticed were the papers strewn about every which way around the room. There were small ink stains on the floor that she managed to catch glimpses of in the right light, but the elf felt it best to not make any mention of them lest the man sitting behind the desk would mark that against her. The figure--Ambrosia, from what the door suggested--offered the elf an open seat across from his desk, which she gingerly sat in after stepping around some papers that had been left on the floor.

It was at this moment that the elf noticed the antlers protruding from the sides of his head. Her heart began to race as she thought back to the Xioban girl and her familiar--was this man selde taure as well? And if he was, did he have a familiar as mischievous as Xerxes? Another horrifying thought flashed across her mind--what if Xioban had found out about her arm through her familiar, and then told this Ambrosia character? The elf's skin began to crawl with goosebumps, although a chill in the air could have easily been to blame for the outbreak if he asked.

"So you're here about the flier? You came just at the proper time, we've been a bit, shall we say, overloaded with paperwork as of late. As you can no doubt tell from the state of my desk, I'm sure." Ambrosia was attempting to lighten the mood before breaking the news, wasn't he? The elf forced a weak smile at his joke, not sure whether she should relax or continue to stay on her guard. If he knew something about her, anything at all, it would have been better to get it out in the open...

"In any event, let me give you a short run-down of what will be required of you if you do acquire the job. This particular archive is the largest of them all in Adelost and is home to tens of thousands of books. I'll not bore you with the specifics of departments and sub-departments of literature here but needless to say, there is a book for everyone here." Ambrosia stopped to look the elf over once again. What was he looking at? What was he looking for? Was he searching for something on her arm? Did he know? What would happen to her if he did know something?

"The job is more of a personal request of mine. Lately, it's just been difficult to manage the books here, primarily because I haven't had a lot of time to devote to the archives as I normally would. That being said, you would be responsible for sorting, categorizing, and marking off literature, starting with a section on the first floor." The job itself did not seem too difficult for anyone with a working mind, which was good news in case somehow everything went according to plan and nothing went horribly wrong...

"Before I get into too much detail, why don't you tell me about yourself? Primarily, what brings you here, to the archives?"

The elf froze, not quite knowing how to answer this question. She had come in the hope that she could find some work in the city... or perhaps the answers to questions about her arm--but she couldn't tell him that! Even if he did know something about what she was experiencing, what if he only wanted to exploit her? Use her for experiments? Surely a man of science could win some sort of award for discovering this... this abnormality that grew on her arm...

"...truth be told, Mister Ambrosia..." the elf began, clearing her throat and coughing into her left sleeve. "...I... I'm in a bit of debt... I owe an acquaintance a bit of money, and I need a job that does not require a lot of manual labor and strength... As you can see, I'm not quite suited for that kind of work..." her voice trailed off, not quite sure whether she meant that as a joke or not.

"...in any case, I would have come here anyway... to do a bit of research on my own time..."

You know he's going to pry and ask, right?

Just be as vague as possible; don't go into any more detail than you have to...


Dismissing the thoughts with a shiver, the elf forced herself to look up at Ambrosia for a second before looking back down at the papers atop his desk. Why was she so afraid to look up at this man? Was it because he potentially knew something that he should not have? Was it because he had the authority to refuse her offer of help? Was it because she was an elf and he was... a humanoid figure with antlers? No matter the case, she knew that she looked absolutely terrified in front of him and that if she wanted any sort of opportunity to get past all of this nonsense with Xioban and her familiar, this was the only way without having to resort to begging on the street...