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Korriban "Aetrius" Borral

"They took everything that I had, and I will have my revenge."

0 · 1,799 views · located in Cre' Est

a character in “Assassin's Pledge: Awakening”, originally authored by Wolf's Bane109, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Aetrius Borral

Image


Full Name"
Korriban Aetrius Laua Borral

Age:

20

Height:

5' 10"

Weight:

134 lbs

Tattoos and Other Markings:

She has an emblem tattoo on the middle of her back, another emblem tattoo on her right shoulder, and then a tribal tattoo marking that fully wraps around her left wrist.

She has a plethora of scars littering her body, all ranging in sizes, shapes, severity, and recent damage tissue. Her most prominent and always visible unless covered with a mask or hood is the double hooked like scarring that starts from the ridge of her right eyebrow and goes down until it reaches her bottom lip. It has essentially disfigured the entire right side of her face as to where she needs to wear a mask. The reasoning is left unknown. But her other scars consist of burns that cover her hands and forearms as to where she is never seen without her wrappings or gloves. A multitude of scars big and small on her back, as most of those are due to whips, and then a few dozen scars from arrows and bolts all over her body, especially her abdominal region and arms. Indicating as to what she has been through, and how many close calls this one human has endured.

Voice Example:

0:19, for the tone and pitch, as the accent is very slight for her.


Basic Personality:

She is generally a cold hearted, silent, and very reserved individual. She tends to not speak to others, and the only people she will talk to are those over her in authority or those who she has under her control. She is very respectful to those who are her superiors, such as commanders or fellow mercenaries, even then she tends to be left alone.

Aside from her cold exterier, she is actually a very vulnerable, and caring person. Once you can somehow gain her trust and loyalty, as well as time, you'll see that she's really a sweet, kind, selfless, protective, determined, loyal, and good hearted person. She just can't bear to lose anyone else, so she chooses to keep to herself unless it's someone she has a close bond to, then you'll know who she really is.

Meanwhile, in combat she is ruthless and in a way, slightly detached. At a young age she learned how to kill and fight for her life, not only animals but humans as well. While killing humans isn't her preferred way of handling things, she will take another life if it means her getting what she needs. As she has had to live by herself for many years now, she is accustomed to living alone, and defending for herself, even though she does well on her own and prefers it, she wouldn't be against being with a group. Allbiet she wouldn't get attached to anyone, as it isn't easy for her to lose more people.

Basic Background:

Much of her past is left unknown, as she intends to keep who she is a secret from the majority of people. For not only her sake, but also as a way to stay as unknown to the world, being nothing more than a distant memory. But what is known is that she was born in Shaharan as the second child, to apparently an average family, but as her name states, they were a "family" of sorts. And for years, she and her sister continued to move to different places. Only staying there for a few weeks at least, and months the latest, never staying in one spot for too long. Eventually the day came, when they were on their weekly supply run, Aetrius had run into a room full of soldiers, quickly finding a hiding spot, managing to hide from them. As they slowly moved out, so did she, emerging from her hiding spot. As she exited the room, she ran into Kieran. The two slowly and as quietly as they could, exited the building, only for two Scouts to stumble upon them. In the fight, Kieran had been stabbed, unknown to Aetrius. They made their way back to their shelter, with only a small fraction of supplies, Kieran looked at Aetrius, and handed her a gun silently. She didn't understand why, only for Kieran to show her the wound. Through tears and sobs, she begged her not to, not wanting to have to leave her only family member left. But Kieran reminded her what they were taught, to not let feelings or hesitations keep them from being caught.

Kieran left that day, and was never seen again by Aetrius, leaving her sister on her own and unsure of what her fate was. Since that day, three years ago Aetrius has gone from place to place, eventually finding that it would be better for her to be on her own. Which she has been for the past year now, slowly making her way across world, without a clue as to where she may find herself. Perhaps with another group, or perhaps, as a captive as she and her sister had made a name for themselves, due to their trouble making, as well as theft, as the bounty on her head grows every day. Now, she has many kills on her belt, as she became a rather known Bounty Hunter, but her identity has remained unknown, as she wears a mask and robe(in a general sense of how she carries herself, just picture the mask) that she herself made to keep her identity a secret. As most of her past remains a secret, so does her identity to most of the world, other than when she's in familiar company. As for where she finds herself today, she is pressing onwards to the Village of Atlum, where who knows what fate may have in store for the young bounty hunter.

So begins...

Korriban "Aetrius" Borral's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán’s eyes briefly widened at Linde’s explanation of what sekhai smoke was, and the potential outcome it would have with it. He was about to ask if there was a better way to execute the idea when the two of them argued like a married couple, with the resulting suggestion vetoing. ”Well, good to know who is the more cautious thinker out of the duo.” He remarks. ”But still, Now we know where they are and how close they are. If poisoning or smoking them out won’t work, then why not trap them in the caves? Bury them alive and let them think twice about harming innocents.”

He thought it was a good plan, but the problem was if the caves had two or more entrances/exits. The problem was also that they were well defended down here, which might make it impossible.”Its either that or another alternative, even evacuation of the remaining population. I’m willing to help figure something out if need be. Unless of course, there’s another little present to give the Bandits to make them feel sorry that is.”

At this point however, he was hoping Heresta would bless them with a strategy that’d benefit everyone. He then looked around and half wondered where Aetrius walked off to. ”Probably tending to her horse. I should check on Hawk when I get the chance. He’s probably gonna scold me for wasting silver and not getting anything to recompense for it. On the other hand, who died and made a horse Financial advisor?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



The night was peaceful. With people retiring to home to rest and eat, Okumi set about her work lit only by the moonlight and the faint orange glow of the nearby lanterns. Some would have found it eerie or disconcerting, but to her, she felt an odd obligation as she moved about her work. With her injury to her shoulder it wasn’t particularly fast or efficient, but she hadn’t grown up as the kind of person to complain about that. The trundle of the wheelbarrow wheel squeaked as it moved, along with the soft sound of dirt being parted faintly filled the air. The maiden continued making the trip back and forth from the streets to the graveyard, depositing the bodies, digging graves and getting each into their own separate tomb for rest as she buried them. Not just the villagers. Even the bandits that she and the others had slain. While sounds of bar brawls and raucous laughter came from the inn and taverns, Okumi separated and isolated herself, but continued to do the work that needed to be done.

It was the early hours of the morning by the time she finished, and already, her body was protesting the strain. She was fit, but doing such work while injured wasn’t necessarily the smartest idea. Still, every single one was buried, their graves marked by twigs and a small note. She probably could have left at that point, having already done more than could be expected of her, but even if her traditions and beliefs were thought to be foolish, she’d continue to carry them out. She’d continue the legacy. Standing in prayer, she gave her respects to those parted. Even if some of them had been reprehensible in life, in death, they would have the opportunity to be cleansed of their sins. One day, everyone would find peace if that is what they sought. All things deserved a respectful burial, and the opportunity to return once more to the Earth.

Taking a brief look around her for any bystanders, Okumi saw none. Pulling down her mask, she took a deep breath of the night air. It was only at times like this, when her job was done, and everyone was safe and at rest, did she feel like her burdens were lightened. Staring over the mass of graves she had made, Okumi felt a mixture of melancholy and pride in her work. “May your body find rest, and your soul seek peace.” Okumi spoke, barely more than a whisper, before pulling her mask back up to her face. She’d planned on staying at the Inn, even before Linde’s offer. Though she was still cautious about having her injuries inspected, she was satisfied that sharing the same parchment she’d given to the doctor about her disease would be sufficient for Linde to take proper hygiene and medical care. Turning to head back to the inn, Okumi expected she wouldn’t get that much more sleep, but she was somewhat used to that with her lifestyle. Her body could rest when she was dead.



Morning couldn't come soon enough. She wasn’t sure why, but she’d had a restless night. That wasn’t to say the bed was uncomfortable - It was better than the bedroll and items she’d prepared at home, but there was something nagging in the back of Okumi’s mind. Maybe being in an unfamiliar place or amongst so many people left her body on edge? Regardless, she was tired given her time last night, and the poor rest wasn’t helping that. But it was a new day. Work didn’t wait for the weary. Having woken earlier than the rest intentionally, Okumi ate and drank in privacy, before the later meet up for dining in the commons room. There, she sat and watched them recharge and eat, politely denying inquiries into her own eating habits. Afterwards, the group made their way outside to meet with Kyero, returned from his scouting mission.

Listening to the discussion and plans for eliminating the bandit group, Okumi looked away, paying attention, but not enjoying the subject of discussion. She understood the intention of the group, and protecting the people and town of Atlum was a noble thing indeed. However, no matter how misguided her thoughts may have been, she found it senseless to go openly seeking to kill so many men. Was pre-emptive violence really the only answer? And when would it stop? Should everyone adopt that attitude, would war never end? Would people ever grow to trust their neighbours? Okumi found herself restless thinking of such topics. If she were to defend this town, was this how she wanted to do it?

For a moment, there was silence as it seemed the plan of attack was settled on. Taking a step forward, Okumi realised this was her chance to speak. Or rather, to display her opinion. Well… To do so would take time and a lot of work. Writing on such a complex thing wasn’t going to be easy, so she’d need to be brief and get the main point across. Pointing to herself, Okumi shook her head, then made a simple motion of her thumb to her neck, wrenching it across. She then gave a short bow with her hands together, a clear apology. Gesturing to herself again, she pointed up the mountains, ‘walking’ a pair of fingers on the palm of her hand, before tracing out a box with a triangle on top of it in midair in front of her. Taking a few more steps in that direction, she turned to face the others before waving, intending on making her leave. She had to return to her home. This wasn’t the kind of life for her. Killing, even to protect others, she didn’t have the stomach for it. She was a shrine maiden. And as a shrine maiden, her job was to honour the dead, not bring about more. Returning to her temple, she’d return to her simple, peaceful life.

At least… That’s what she thought at the time.

How wrong she could be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde shook her head.

"No, we have to find another way Kyero. Even with traps and your skills, there will still be too many of them."

"Do you have a better suggestion?"

"I... I don't know."

Kyero sighed softly.

Linde, meanwhile, noticed Okumi as she began to make her way to what Linde could only presume was her home. The box with a triangle on top was a universal sign for 'Home,' and Linde jogged over to Okumi and gently gripped the fabric of her outfit at the elbow.

"Miss Okumi. I-... I'm sorry."

She gave Okumi a small bow.

"I almost forgot you're a shrine maiden. The thought of killing people must be horrifying for you. I'm so sorry."

Linde offered Okumi a smile.

"We will find another way. I am not fond of the idea of killing that many myself, no matter what they did to this village. There must be another way. A better way. Wouldn't you agree?"

She kept a grip on the fabric of Okumi's outfit, gently gripping between her thumb and index finger, and turned to look at Kyero.

"Please." She whispered.

Kyero took in a deep breath, looking down deep in thought as the subtle glow beneath his hood became a bit more visible.

"A non-violent solution." He whispered.

The glow faded, and he looked up to Linde from beneath the hood.

"... There is a way that could work, though I prefer the thought of eliminating them to this."

Linde let go of Okumi, watching Kyero intently.

"It will require some reconnaissance. I was only able to get far enough into the caves to confirm it is in fact the same group. But I don't know what they intend to do yet."

He turned to look at Lonan.

"I propose that you and the one named Aetrius come with me into the caves to uncover the intentions of these bandits. If we confirm they seek further harm or damage to Atlum, then I will require your help to employ an ancient fear tactic to frighten them away from this land forever. I will explain if this chance arises."

"And if we confirm they have the intention to disband as per your deal with their leader?"

Kyero sighed in irritation.

"Then we will leave them be."

Linde smiled and returned her gaze to Okumi with a small bow.

"Miss Okumi, while Kyero takes them to investigate the bandits, would you please stay with me a short while longer? I am curious to learn about the shrine you come from, if you are willing to share."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán felt all the more prepared to help with the traps. But it seemed that Linde felt that there was enough lives lost in and for Atlum’s sake. When Okumi announced her preparation to head for her home, Lonán could only nod. It seemed to turn the pressure on Kyero via Linde to think of a better solution.

He watched as the supposed Red Eyed Demon ponder in thought for a minute or two and then rehearsed what seemed to be a recon mission with two outcomes. A scare tactic or leaving them be, and it consisted of just him, Kyero and Aetrius.

”Scare tactics.” he said with a small click of his tongue, feeling slightly disappointed in going the nonviolent route but understanding the rationalization of enough blood has been spilt for this village. Both by the Storm and the Bandits specifically. Besides, the Old Wolf pulled several scare tactics in his day. He even dressed up as a devil one time for the purpose of spooking his grandmother’s clan, the day they first met. The resulting beating she gave him, according to the man himself, was worth seeing her beauty go pale with fright.

Mentally shaking his head, Lonán put up a small accepting grin. ”All right, better then nothing. Lets go find Aetrius and tell her the plan then. The sooner we go, the sooner we can ensure the village’s safety.” He confirmed with a nod. He knew that he’d have to leave Hawk behind on this one. Caves are no place for a horse, even for a stallion as brave as him. But it couldn’t be helped.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Kyero nodded.

"Very well."

He glanced to Linde.

"I will keep them safe. You have my word."

"Mm. Please do. Because if you don't, I think you know what's waiting for you." She said with a kind smile.

Kyero smirked as he lowered his hood to hide his eyes.

"Of course."

He turned to Lonan.

"Come."

He led Lonan away as Linde remained with Okumi, turning to her with a smile and tilting her head slightly.

"I do hope you'll forgive me for prying, miss Okumi, but... You are afflicted with a grave illness, aren't you?"

Her smile shifted slightly.

"Even if I wasn't a doctor I could have put that together from your mask and your use of hand gestures to communicate. And as a doctor I can't turn away from this. Will you tell me your affliction? Maybe I can find a way to help you, or at least make your condition more tolerable?"

Meanwhile, Kyero and Lonan reached the stables where they met with Aetrius.

"We have decided to survey the caves and discern the true intentions of the bandits. If they intend to disband, we will leave them to their devices. If they intend otherwise we will frighten them out of Cre' Est forever. Will you accompany us? I could use your help."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Aetrius was lost in her thoughts, what was she supposed to do. She knew she should stay and heal, and help with the villagers of Atlum, but Kieran was still out there....In Veilbrand that is. She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard separate sets of footsteps entering the stables. Aetrius looked up and saw Kyero and Lolan. " We have decided to survey the caves and discern the true intentions of the bandits. If they intend to disband, we will leave them to their devices. If they intend otherwise we will frighten them out of Cre' Est forever. Will you accompany us? I could use your help." she heard Kyero say.

She looked up at the two and thought for a moment then spoke up, "I honestly do not see why you would want my help in this, seeing as I'm as injured as I am...But...If it's recon that you need, I can easily help with that. When it comes to stealth I may as well become one with the shadows." she said with a slight grin, she crossed her arms as she paced a bit to think further, "You said caves, correct? I remember seeing them when I arrived. Shouldn't be too hard to track those bastards down. And if they want to fight, we fight fire with fire...Calculative that is of course." a slight chuckle came from her, then she looked back at the boys, "When do we leave? I'll prepare at once."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Kyero nodded.

"We can leave as soon as you're ready."

He glanced around and saw the people of the village wandering around, and looked back to Aetrius.

"For obvious reasons I'd prefer we left sooner than later. I can't hide my eyes forever in crowds like this."

He pulled his hood down slightly further as one man off to the side seemed to be growing a little too curious about him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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They found Aetrius in the stables as Lonán went to say his ‘good morning’ to Hawk. The stallion nudged his owner as it received a pat on the head. He then ensured his horse ate a slice of apple for his breakfast and nodded in satisfaction. Hawk whinnied at him as if asking if they were going to leave or if there was other business.

”I got business to take care of Hawk. Be good.” He said as he pulled out several crossbow bolts and put them in a quiver on his left hip. Checking the rest of his equipment he took a moment whilst Kyero was still talking to Aetrius to utter a prayer to Heresta.

”Heresta, Mother of War, Mistress of Battle. Guide me this day to victory. Guide me to Honor for My Clan. Guide me to attain my hopes and dreams. To this I pray, Amen.”

He then turned to the other two and nodded at Kyero’s statement eyeing his actions and then the curious man. ”I agree. I am ready to go when you two are. Let's go and take care of them once and for all.” he stated, looking at the two with an eager look in his eyes along with a wolf-like grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Aetrius nodded understandingly as he stated he's prefer to leave as soon as possible, for both of the reasons he stated. She went back to Bree, gently petting her, "I have some stuff I need to do, okay? You behave no, got it? Or no fresh apples later when I come back." she chuckled as she pet Bree for a moment, then grabbed her bow and quiver, equipping both to a leather strap on her back placing her cloak over the weapons to conceal them, and grabbed Bree's reins. She left the stabled with Bree in tow and walked back to where Okumi and Linde were talking currently.

Aetrius held the reins out to Linde as she spoke, "Linde, please watch over Bree while I am gone. Make sure she doesn't get into any mischief, or get lonely. She tends to do get lonely when I am gone." she chuckled, for Bree to only huff at her owner and smack her with her tail. Aetrius glared at Bree playfully, "Looks like no one will be getting dinner tonight then." she chuckled, and pat Bree once more, then turning to Kyero and Lolan, "Whenever you're ready, Kyero, we may leave." she eyed Kyero and Lolan, her and the latter were both equipped with long ranged weapons, and Aetrius had her blades with her just in case things went south. They would have what they needed, so she hoped anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Kyero nodded as they walked back to Linde and Okumi, where Aetrius handed Linde the reins asking her to look after Bree.

"You have my word, Aetrius. We'll keep a close eye on her and keep her company." She said with a cute little giggle as she held her hand out for Bree to sniff and nuzzle before petting her neck and nose.

As Aetrius said she was ready, Kyero nodded.

"Very well. Then let us be off."

He began to lead them towards the edge of the village. From there it would be roughly a twenty minute walk until they reached the caves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



Okumi stopped as her sleeve was grabbed, a little startled, but not letting it show on her face as she turned back to face Linde. Watching her speak and apologise, Okumi could only faintly smile in appreciation of her concern. Shaking her head, Okumi gave the ‘Okay’ hand sign once more, indicating that Linde needn’t worry about the maiden’s feelings on the matter. They were mercenaries, warriors and assassins. The way they dealt with a situation would be fundamentally different, but she couldn’t entirely fault them for it. She just… didn’t want to be a part of that. It seemed that Linde was in agreement with Okumi on that point, which wasn’t entirely surprising given that she was a woman of medicine. Nodding at the assertion that there had to be a better way, Okumi turned in full to face back towards the group, particular Kyero as Linde’s pleas were directed his way.

The new plan was a lot more acceptable to Okumi, provided that it panned out. She liked to think they could trust the bandits to reform if they said they would, as surely strong men like that could find honest work and livings. If not, some preventative threats were far better than simply slaughtering them through what Okumi frankly thought of as gruesome means. Hopefully this could all be resolved diplomatically, in a peaceful and fair way. Nodding to herself, Okumi realised that Linde was bowing to her, turning to give her undivided attention as the woman requested her to remain, at least while Kyero and the others did their work. It seemed she wanted some company, or at the very least was curious about Okumi’s heritage. Most guests to her shrine usually had questions, so she wasn’t entirely surprised. Nodding to Linde, Okumi looked about for somewhere nearby to sit, moving over to a conveniently sized boulder to rest. Still, she wasn’t entirely sure how she was going to talk about her shrine to Linde; but at the very least she’d try.

Thinking on this as the others said their parting words and made their way for the cave, Okumi gave a small prayer and bow before waving goodbye. Waiting for Linde to come over, Okumi felt prepared enough, and so she began attempting to communicate. Hooking her hand into a ‘C’ shape, but letting her thumb hook downwards, Okumi placed her fist below it, slightly separated. The result was something akin to a question mark. Pointing then to Linde, then to herself, Okumi traced the house symbol in the air again, trying to determine what exactly Linde would like to know about her shrine. If it was simply about where it was or how she came to work there that would be simple enough, but if Linde wanted to know more about the type of worship that was going to be a little more complicated. Although she could do it, it was difficult to do a sacred dance on uneven soil, not to mention Linde might not even recognise the origin.

After waiting for Linde’s response, it seemed that the woman had something else on her mind, and perhaps tactfully, had waited for the others to leave before asking. She was direct and to the point, striking at the heart of the matter as Okumi flinched slightly at being called out. She’d managed to avoid further discussion of it with Linde at the inn since Aetrius’s wounds were far more pressing, but it seemed that Linde already had her suspicions. Looking away only for a moment, Okumi turned back towards Linde before nodding. Pulling up her bag from where she’d placed it, the shrine maiden retrieved out an old, battered looking journal. Opening it up to one of the pages marked with a tab, she then presented it to Linde to read, looking away once more to give the woman privacy to read.

The handwriting inside was neat, but different to Okumi’s. Much more tight and compact in the ligature. Of course, what Linde didn’t know was that this was her father’s journal, and contained what research he had done into their illness. The page itself covered more of Okumi’s status as a ‘carrier’ of the disease, in that she seemed immune to its negative effects, but was capable of spreading it to others. Coined in the journal as ‘The Wilt’, it seemed to spread through airborne particles from the carrier or the original source, a vibrant purple flower. Assumedly, the disease was also in the bloodstream, so it was likely that Okumi’s fluids were also capable of spreading it if ingested or let into the body through other means. Those that contracted the illness took on a variety of symptoms, including muscle fatigue and weakness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pains and hallucinations. Bloodshot eyes seemed to be an early indicator that one was about to come down with the more debilitating aspects of the disease. Following these symptoms, the body would then have difficulty regulating temperature, as well as trouble maintaining fluids, leading to both dehydration and the ‘Wilting’ aspect of the illness.

No known cure was found, though as Linde flipped through the pages a little, she saw that there were newer entries added by Okumi, indicating that animals seemed unaffected and didn’t seem to be able to be carriers. Time until death seemed to vary, but the soonest that she’d witnessed someone contract and die from the illness was three days. The airborne nature of the virus seemed to have a limited lifespan, in that it didn’t linger on surfaces or in the air too long if Okumi did choose to speak or breathe in open air, however, she hadn’t done any testing regarding this. Okumi had an assumption that those the disease killed were also capable of spreading the disease in the same fashion as her, but was uncertain if once dead the bodies would present a further health risk. In the earlier pages of the book, there were more traditional, dated entries from Okumi’s father, chronicling his family coming down with the illness, and his slow descent into the symptoms before death, watching his children and his wife pass before he too, succumbed.

Sitting and waiting as Linde read, Okumi felt… Embarrassed. Ashamed. Guilty. Exposed even. All of her history was laid to bare, but what felt worst of all was that chances were, Linde would feel one thing: Pity. Okumi hated being pitied. Not only did it reinforce the helplessness of her situation, but she didn’t deserve it. Everything was her fault. She’d been the one to bring this plague on her family and her home village. While her father had worked hard even through the pain to try and find a cure, she’d just blissfully been ‘taking care of them’, despite being the cause of their ruin. It was a bitter reminder of how cruel the world could be. Still, despair didn’t help anyone. She’d have to learn from those mistakes, carry her burden and find a way to absolve herself of those sins by helping others, and continuing the teachings of her mother. She couldn’t let her family’s legacy die just like that. She’d do what she could until her last breath.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Aetrius smiled and nodded as Linde took the reins and gave a last look and turned and walked with the others. While they were now on their mission, she remained almost entirely silent. Her foot steps among the cobblestone, then dirt couldn't even be heard, she was indeed as light as a feather. Might as well have been walking on air. As they eventually would see their destination in the distance, Aetrius looked at her companions, "So, what are our plans, exactly? I know we're only going to observe, but if things go downhill? Especially down hill fast, what are our moves going to be in this game of chess?" she asked, she had placed her, hood over her head by this time, her mouth being the only real feature to be seen. She would need a new mask, at least that is what she thought she would need. She felt exposed and not well hidden without something to hide her face behind, but her old mask was now broken and useless. She sighed, and kept pressing forwards to where the bandits would be.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As Okumi nodded and mimed the importance of the book, Linde smiled. She stood up and walked over to Okumi, taking her left hand and putting it on Okumi's shoulder very, very gently.

"I give you my word I will take good care of this book. What I want to do is study the records your father kept in more detail, as I believe there is a way to either contain or cure this disease. Everything has a weakness, after all. And I will either find this disease's weakness or at least find a way to help you contain it so that your being a carrier no longer endangers anyone else."

She let go of Okumi's shoulder and tucked the book into her pouch at her hip.

"Would you like some tea? And perhaps to go shopping for a new outfit? We can't have you wearing a bloodied and battle-worn shrine outfit like that, now can we?" She said with a giggle.

Back with Aetrius and Lonan, Kyero remained in a half-crouch as they moved closer and closer to their destination.

"If things go south, I have one smoke bomb left to cover our escape. It will last for approximately two minutes before dissipating. That should be enough time to cover ground enough to stay ahead of them."

Their goal came within view as they crossed the treeline. Kyero ducked down low behind the bushes, urging the others to do the same.

"There's the entrance... One guard, just like last night. He should be easy enough to get past. Once we're in, the cave system has support beams on the sides connected to rafters at the top. We stick to the rafters and work our way into the caves until we find either someone we can interrogate for information, or until we overhear something about what they intend to do next."

Kyero made a small bird call which got the guard's attention. As the guard stood up, he glanced to Lonan.

"Be ready to take him down once he's close enough, and don't let him sound an alarm." He whispered as the guard began approaching their location out of curiosity.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Lonán remained silent as Aetrius spoke to Kyero. He didn’t want to weigh in what would happen if things went south. Sure, he’d be ready for if it did, however he did not want to pursue that until it did. They neared the bandits’ hideaway he did as he was told and got down. Then Kyero got the guard’s attention and got the Okay to take him out as he got closer.

”One guard he says. That means I must act fast, and effectively.” He watched as the guard drew closer. 30 feet, 20 feet, 6 feet. Lonán took a breath and struck out.

Lonán’s left hand shot out from the bush grabbing the guard by the collar of his tunic and pulled him in. He punched the man in the stomach to knock the wind out of him and stop him from talking. Then The red haired Saharan punched him square in the chin. The guard’s eyes rolled into his head as they closed. Lonán lowered him to the ground and put his hand under the guard’s nostrils. Still breathing, but unconscious. He nodded his head to Kyero.

”Right everyone. Lets get going.” He whispered out as he shook his hand. He had a feeling the guard would have a very bad toothache for when he woke up. Right now, he had to follow Kyero’s lead.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Kyero smiled slightly as Lonan made quick work of the guard and set him on the ground. Kyero picked the guard up, hoisting him over his shoulder, and walked him over to a bunch of bushes about fifty feet away just to give him that much more of a task if in the event he woke up anytime soon and tried to shout a message.

Afterwards, he led Aetrius and Lonan to the entry point and peeked inside. The downward angle of the path was approximately fifteen degrees. Easy enough for them even in their conditions. Up above, the rafters were about twelve feet above the cave floor. Plenty of room to hide.

He looked to Aetrius.

"Wait here."

Kyero entered the cave and spied a crate to his right. Running to it and leaping off of it with all the grace and athleticism one would expect of the world's most deadly assassin, he caught the rafter beam and hoisted himself up with one arm perching on the balls of his feet on the sturdy wooden beam. He looked down to Aetrius and Lonan.

"One at a time. Stand on the box and I'll hoist you up." He whispered.

He held his hand down for them.

"Quickly."

Hoisting them up one after the other, taking care not to aggravate their injuries, Kyero led them along the rafters through the first several paths and turns which he remembered from the night before. Slowly they progressed beyond where he'd stopped previously, until at last the path opened to a much larger area where almost two dozen of the bandits had gathered and were talking all at once.

Kyero led them higher into the rafters of the more open cavernous space, now some twenty feet in the air. He crouched at the edge of the rafter and held onto a vertical support as he leaned over the edge to close his eyes and listen to the chatter below.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Aetrius watched as Lolan had managed to skillfully and swiftly knock the man out and Kyero drag the unconscious man into the bushes for extra measures. Silently she walked into the cave with the two men, her cloak slightly flowing in the night breeze as she sauntered in, her footsteps were of a mouse, not even an echo could be heard. She looked around as they walked, memorizing their way in and the current surroundings in case if things did go against them.

She heard Kyero whisper to them to come over and that he'd help hoist them into the rafters. She let Lolan go first after silently arguing who would go first, Lolan tried to be a gentleman, but Aetrius insisted he went first due to weight comparisons as well as efficiency, etc. She smirked when she was hoisted up and silently followed the two in the rafters, eventually hearing chatter coming from below further ahead. She moved past Lolan and got down as low as she could in the shadows, and listened to the current conversation at hand.

"The boss gave his word, that was our word as much as his." one said eagerly, "But we're a proud gang, we don't bend to other's wills." another of the group countered the first one's point rather aggressively. They were clearly at a stand still in their part, some wanting to go with the agreement, while some wanted to go back and attack Atlum, surprisingly not too shocking to Aetrius. She looked up at Kyero and Lolan, to see their shadows and motioned with her hands that she hadn't a clue on what to do, seeing as they were even confused themselves.

"We have the numbers, armor, weaponry. They don't." another one chimed in. "But they have that woman with the mask, as well as the man in the cloak, and the red haired guy. They're skilled warriors, shouldn't take them so lightly." said the man in the corner. Aetrius nodded, a small grin on her face, were they scared of the small band of stragglers? Apparently so. She listened in further to see if they could acquire anymore useful information from the bandits. "There was that rather attractive woman with them, could use her as bait seeing how fond they were of protecting her back there. the first man who had spoken up first. Linde, Aetrius thought. Were they going to be so foolish as to use her as a means to an attack? She shook her head and thought, what if they were that dumb, maybe they were, but there was no chance they were about to let Linde be used against them.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Kyero's ears and brain filtered what he was hearing below into relevant and irrelevant. Talk of anything other than attacking Atlum was marked as irrelevant, as it was non-threatening. But everything about attacking Atlum again, and everything he was hearing about using Linde as bait drew his attention.

"I say we roast that little village and take whatever survives as our pay in lieu of the boss getting sliced."

"Are you insane? He gave our word, and he always led us right. If we break his word now then we-"

"Who gives a fuck about that? He's dead! We follow our own rules now!""

If you want to violate the boss's word, you need to go through me." Said a rather burly one who swung a double-bladed axe while taking a stance.

"You wanna fight me? Fine! Let's go ya big brute!"

The one talking of burning the village swung a sword and prepared to do battle with the much larger one. They squared off and charged one another with the others around making a circle and keeping the blocked in to fight. The charge turned into a clash of blades as the weapons struck one another, and an ugly brawl broke out between them ending with the axe wielder disemboweling the sword wielder. As his insides spilled to the floor he coughed up blood and fell to the ground a minute later.

Anyone else wanna go against the boss's word?! The brute shouted.

There was a lot of murmuring, but nobody spoke up or stepped forward.

The boss gave his word that our days of raiding were over. We all knew this life wouldn't last. We stole more than enough money to all live like kings! Enough is enough! Now let's-"

A dagger was thrown through the crowd landing squarely in his jugular on the right side. He coughed and gagged and choked on his own blood before falling to the ground and going still about twenty seconds later. The one who threw it appeared from the back. A lanky fellow with a lean build and a sinister look on his face.

"All this talk of staying true to the word of a dead man grows tiresome. We didn't get into this life to be nice or stop when we thought we had "enough." We are bandits. Brigands. Thugs. Degenerates. We don't do "nice." We take what we want when we want it. And one little man with red eyes and a fancy blade isn't going to change that. Nor will his other little friends. We are still seventy strong at least. They are four or five people at most. The odds are so in our favor it may as well be a guarantee. So..." He brought out another dagger.

"Anyone else feel like being "nice" to these village idiots?"

Silence...

"I didn't think so. Get some rest and prepare "

Kyero had heard enough. He turned to Aetrius and Lonan.

"Here is what we need to do. Since that one clearly isn't afraid of me... Yet... We need to scare him to scare the rest."

Kyero looked back, and saw him sitting in what had to be the boss's chair with two large goons beside him. Obviously he had now assumed command. Kyero looked to Aetrius and Lonan.

"Aetrius. I need you to make your way to that corner," he said, pointing to the northwest corner of the room, "and be ready on my mark to destroy the chandelier hanging there over that tunnel entryway without being seen."

He looked to Lonan.

"Lonan. I need you to climb up and be ready to close the shutters of that skylight as well." He said, pointing to an open skylight at the center of the room with two hinged wooden doors.

"I need you both to be on point to my signals. It is vital that your timing is perfect and that there is as little light as possible in this room when I make my move. If he can see me, this will all be for nothing. And we will be vulnerable to a massive counter-offensive which my lone smoke bomb isn't going to save us from. Once you are in position, give me a wave. When you're both in place, I will wait for the right moment to signal you both to begin. Are you ready?"

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Lonán witnessed what went on, the battle for leadership in terms of the equivalent of a Saharan Honor Duel, and then the means of assassinating the bigger man by someone with more guile. He gave a small silent prayer to Heresta to receive the two warriors slain. ”Heresta’s Palace of Warriors, open up your doors, receive the men who fought and died. Receive them and judge their life and deeds accordingly.”

But it did become clear, the one who now lead them had no intentions of leaving. He had to be dealt with however the scare tactic Kyero had planned work. He listened to his instructions and gave a nod and began to make his way towards the Skylight, prepared to do his part and ensure it was perfectly timed.

If darkness is what Kyero wanted, he’ll get it. He kept himself hidden and gave a wave towards Kyero indicating he was in position of the Skylight prepared to shut them at his signal. ”Lets do this! The time to put fear into their hearts comes! Heresta guide this battle of intimidation!”

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Aetrius' eyes winded at the sight that had taken place, as for a bounty hunter like her that was a sight to behold. She looked at the other two and nodded at Kyero's orders for what he wanted her and him to do. With swift ease, and becoming one with the darkness, she ever so gracefully climbed over to the corner of which she was placed, she placed her hand on her hip, withdrawing her dagger and getting it at the ready, mentally preparing herself for the mark. She looked back at Kyero through the darkness and gave a nod and a wave, as well as singing On your mark, Kyero, she looked back at the red haired male and nodded as well, taking note of his placement as well. She awaited her order eagerly.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Kyero waited patiently for Aetrius and Lonan to get into position. Both moved with precision, which was excellent. Aetrius might make for a good assassin if she were so inclined someday. But it was time to focus.

Kyero looked down watching what happened below like a hawk, waiting for just the right moment to signal the dousing of lights.

"So what do we do first?" Asked one of the thugs near the new self-appointed leader.

"We rest and prepare our weaponry and armor for a final assault. If those five stand in our way again we will not stop. We will overwhelm them with sheer numbers. That's all wee need."

NOW.

Kyero gave a wave of his hand, signaling the others to do their part. Aetrius expertly used her dagger to slice the rope holding the chandelier, causing it to fall and crash by the lower entrance into the massive cavern, dousing much of the light on that side. Lonan, near simultaneously, slammed the two hinged doors closed and held them in place until he found a latch to lock them that way and move to a better position just in case something went wrong.

Kyero took that as his cue, and disappeared into the darkness.

"What happened?!"

I don't know! I can't see a thing!"

Someone get a lantern or something!"

The confusion was clear, and a moment later the leader was in the middle of the room in the dark. His outline was just barely visible.

"Someone get a fucking light in here!"

At that moment, a red light appeared almost exactly ten feet away from him.

"What the-"

A second light appeared.

"What is this?"

The lights grew brighter and brighter, and before long it was clear what they were and from what, or rather whom, they were being emitted.

"Oh... So it's you. What do you want?"

There was no response, but the eyes grew brighter.

"You want to kill me? Then come at me! So long as I know where your eyes are, I can kill you. So come!"

The sound of a dagger being drawn filled the room, followed by the sound of two other daggers being drawn. But before the leader could attempt any attack, another had rushed the red eyes. A slight shift in their position, and a splatter that was only visible because of the light of his eyes. Black liquid flew through the air in a massive stream blocking his eyes from the leader's view for a moment before he was able to see them again. A cry of pain, and then the sound of a body hitting the floor crying out in pain filled the room with an eerie echo because of how empty the chamber was now.

Another tried to rush, and again a shift in the position of the eyes, a splatter of liquid, screams of pain, and echoes of said screams resounding through the chamber and the halls beyond.

But what had the leader sweating now in the dark was the fact that the eyes never blinked or looked away. It was as if they were frozen wide open and staring a hole through his face.

"What do you want?!" He yelled.

The eyes narrowed, and grew even brighter. But despite how bright the eyes grew... There was no face illuminated with it. It was just a pair of eyes floating in the darkness.

"What do you want?!?" He screamed again.

He couldn't take the silence anymore. He rushed forward and attacked, but paused as he seemed to hit a brick wall. There was a sharp pain in his chest, and the eyes slowly disappeared from view as darkness once again took over.

A moment later, someone pulled a few levers which opened the skylight and the new self-appointed leader was dead in the center of the room with a single blade wound to the heart and lying in a pool of his own blood.

The red eyes, and whoever they belonged to, were nowhere to be seen...

"What the fuck?!"

"It was the red-Eyed Demon! He did this! He killed our leader [u]again[u]!"

"Anyone else think it's a good idea to attack Atlum?!"

Bedlum erupted through the caves as others rushed in and out through the various entrances. Kyero was back in the rafters, having pulled on a black face mask so only his eyes were exposed which was how his face was never reflected. He lifted the mask and sighed as he nodded to the others to join him. And together they watched with satisfaction as the bandits all began turning on one another and fought amongst themselves until at last they shouted what the group wanted to hear.

"No more! No fucking more! I'm done!"

"Same! I'm out of here! I'm not dying for a few more gold than I already have!"

And the others were all in agreement. Kyero pointed to the skylight, and they all left through it as the cavern was cleared of bandits. Once above ground again, Kyero smiled as he looked at his companions.

"Well done, both of you. I could not have managed that alone. The village is safe."

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Aetrius smiled at the chaos that had begun below them in the rafters, a sight to behold for sure. Panic, pure and utter panic, all due to the three of them, a genuine wide smile crossed her lips as satisfaction hit, a smile no one would bare witness to as the room was shrouded in pure darkness. Atlum is safe....For now... she thought to herself. She slowly rose to her full height, and as the others hopped through the skylight, so did she. Once it was done and over with she looked around the darkened night sky, and stretched. She looked at her companions and gave a small genuine smile to Kyero and Lolan, "Good work indeed, boys. But it was simply child's play, but Atlum and the people of it are safe, for now." she gave a slight nod and crossed her arms, thinking for a moment as she placed her hand on her chin while in thought. She looked back at Kyero and Lolan as a small rumble came from her stomach, "W-wouldn't mind accompanying me for some well deserved food after we get back to Atlum, would you? And this time, I won't end up murdering someone." she said with a slight chuckle, and began to walk back to the village, but turned on her heel to look at the others, "At least I don't think I'll murder someone else tonight....Not in my plans anyway." she chuckled again at her dark humor and headed back towards Atlum after a thankfully successful mission.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Tea time with Okumi had been absolutely lovely. They had managed to connect a little more with Linde sharing about herself and Kyero, and Okumi sharing what she could about her shrine and illness. The tea was heavenly for this time in the early morning, and Linde relished the chance to simply sit and sip tea with another person. She hadn't had the time in some number of weeks, and she had missed it dearly.

She recalled for Okumi how her work as a doctor forced her to travel a lot and leave her own clinic, the Almna Apothecary and Clinic, in the hands of her nurses and a family friend. That time spent away was like spending time away from family. Everyone in the clinic knew each other very well and were as close as blood in many cases. Despite no romantic feelings among them, the friendship and familial bond was very strong. Linde loved her employees and all of her patients as well, even those who gave her a hard time when they came in. A few young men would deliberately injure themselves to spend time with her, as she was in high demand as a bachelorette back in Cre' Est. Everyone knew she was single, and being twenty-one years old she was in the prime time of her life to find a husband.

She was not ready to settle down though. She felt something missing. Like something in her heart hadn't completed itself yet. And that before she could marry, she needed to find the piece that finished the puzzle that was her heart. She apologized to Okumi for rambling on, but Okumi tried to assure her it was no trouble.

When they finished their tea Linde took her shopping for clothes at a local tailor, picking as many varied outfits as she could for the shrine maiden which were just normal, everyday clothes. Despite her work, Okumi seemed to want to just try looking normal, and she tried on each one seemingly having a good time throughout the experience. Finally, she held up a white dress and a black dress with more of a covering to the body checking which Linde thought looked better.

Linde happily pointed to the white dress and took it from her, folding it up and preparing to walk it to the counter to purchase it.

"Perhaps I am biased, but I think this white dress draws out more of your feminine charm." She said with a giggle.

With the dress chosen, she walked to the counter and brought out her coin pouch. She had approximately five silver on her at present. She'd need to get more soon. Perhaps a visit to her clinic would be in order...

After having paid the man behind the counter, she handed the dress to Okumi to wear as they left the tailor. Linde, meanwhile, held onto Okumi's old shrine maiden outfit and folded it up nicely for her to carry as they headed to the edge of town to meet with the others. And thankfully they didn't have to wait very long.

On the horizon came three figures who walked calmly back, seemingly unharmed and in good spirits. As they drew closer they found that it was indeed their new friends. Kyero in the center wearing his cloak with hood drawn followed by Aetrius and Lonan. When they arrived, Kyero relayed the story. Linde was slightly saddened that a small handful were killed, but it was better than a wholesale slaughter. A few lives of those more aggressive and bent on conquering than fleeing were a small price to pay in the end. Still, Linde said a silent prayer for the men who assaulted Kyero and lost their lives while he intimidated and killed the self-appointed leader.

"Aetrius is hungry." Kyero said.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As they entered the town, Aetrius could see two people standing at the end of the entrance of the town. As they got closer one could see that it was indeed Okumi and Linde, perhaps they were waiting for them to return? Well, waiting for Lolan and Kyero to return anyway, least that's what Aetrius thought. As they grew closer, a small smile appeared on Aetrius' face as she looked at Linde, but then just as quickly it disappeared. She remained silent as Kyero and the others exchanged words, telling the two other girls what had taken place. Her attention was taken back when she heard Kyero mention her being hungry.

"H-hey now, last time I didn't even eat that much...If anything. Sorry that I need food?" she said as she looked down with a somewhat embarrassed look. She looked back up at the others as she spoke, "Since Atlum is safe for now, I need food and rest since I plan on heading out early tomorrow for Veilbrand first thing at day break. If any of you want to accompany me, feel free to, just know it's going to be a long trek there, and I don't know what we'll find there...Just make sure you really want to. Not going to waste time if no one actually wants to go with me. You have enough time to think it over..." she said, and started to walk to the tavern by herself, to only stop and turn to look at the other's before she continued her way to find food, "Companions would be appreciated, but this mission isn't your burden to bare....Just mine.." her voice was rather soft and sad as she said those words. Clearly this meant much to her, but as to why the others wouldn't know why exactly yet. She wasn't very keen on talking about her past or personal issues such as Kieran, and why she mattered so much to this seemingly heartless individual.

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As Kyero mentioned Aetrius was hungry, Linde chuckled as Aetrius began her response. However, she quickly moved into saying that she was going to head to Veilbrand first thing tomorrow. And to that, Linde had something to say once Aetrius was finished speaking.

"Aetrius, I must insist that you remain with us here in Atlum for at least two more days. Your injury is still fresh and at risk of re-opening. Especially with your activity going after the bandits. I would like to check both your and Lonan's bindings in the next half hour or so, since we are on the subject. Not to mention the wound was quite severe. Your bandages will have to be changed at least twice a day and the wound cleaned for the next two days if we are to be certain there is no infection. And if there is infection, I will need to treat it the moment symptoms arise."

She walked towards Aetrius and put her hands on her shoulders.

"I understand the burning desire to save someone you care about, especially now that you know where they are. But please have patience. You can do nothing for them if you let your body deteriorate before you reach them."

She smiled sweetly.

"Stay with us here for just two days, Aetrius. That's all I ask. Please just give me two days to be your doctor, and everyone else's, so that I can confirm you are all fit to travel and are past the point of worry for infection or other medical complications. For you and Lonan especially, having taken crossbow bolts, you are at the greatest risk. Because the cut on my shoulder was clean, the local doctor's stitching has handled the binding of the flesh much cleaner than those I did for your wounds. Yours will take more time to heal."

She let go of Aetrius' shoulders and took a step back.

"Will you give me these two days, Aetrius? To be your doctor? I promise to accompany you to Veilbrand either way, but I would feel better if you took these days to rest instead of travel."

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Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán followed the group into town, feeling particularly proud of himself that his contribution in the plan against those that wanted to stay helped coax the bandits to leaving Atlum alone. Hopefully to get them time to both rebuild and have the Military send for a guard. In the latter case he’d be no longer needed to aid them. Which meant two things, he needed to hopefully earn compensation from the Mayor, if he was still around, or leave to find the next prospect.

He was opting to do the latter when Linde explained to Aetrius to stay two extra days. He actually began to see the logic when she listed off the injuries commonly suffered between the Bounty Hunter and himself. He felt like an idiot for not putting his health into consideration. His Mother would have smacked him for that, as well as The Old Wolf for possibly saying otherwise.

Sighing the Saharan nodded. ”It would seems the good doctor has a point my friend.” Lonán said in interjection. ”Besides, I need to meditate on my next move too, though I will consider your invitation to heart given your motivations, alongside other things.” before he could elaborate, his stomach began to rumble and groan, begging to be fed.

He frowned as he looked at the offending stomach. ”Correction, I’ll have dinner first. Then I’ll meditate on it.” He said with an embarrassed look on his face as he grinned sheepishly before he prepared to follow Aetrius and whoever else wanted to go eat a meal before doing what he said he was going to do afterward. Meditating was a long process anyway, so he’d wait until later in the evening before he did so. For now, he’d celebrate the major victory over the Bandits with his newfound friends, and feel happy knowing he helped save Atlum.

Word would spread of this, and Honor would be gained back home. It was what mattered deep in Lonán’s heart, second only to his friendships slowly budding into bloom. He’d cherish both if he was to continue the Great Battle that Men called Life.