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Calisma

Calisma

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A fallen king places a realm on the brink of chaos. Like vultures to prey, outside forces circle the crown. With an heir ready to ascend, and as many enemies as friends, Calisma struggles for balance as it teeters on the edge...

4,828 readers have visited Calisma since Modesty created it.

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Introduction

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Peace was a relative term, but a rocky truce withstood. Thirty-two years of such strained peace had past. It was a record in the history of Calisma, a world that had been broken by war since before the records began. Those old enough to remember before the harmony recall the distress it was to live in such a time. Constant war ripped the continent, death to pay for land that was only to be lost the next day. Magic was rampant, untamed and unrefined. Aggression peaked into what would be known as the Sortelige Wars. Crude and wild sorcery created pandemonium; killing the wielders as often as those they aimed at. It was a savage world.

It was a savage world that was subdued. One man rose from the masses and put purpose to the hordes. His words brought the cessation of the wars. He created the Guild to unite the mages across the realm, and forbade the use of magic without the seal of such Guild. Cities rose and fortified, magic became art and the world flourished. The new peace that rose from such treaties united the nation, and in response he was crowned Dazus Errion, First King of Calisma.

The reign of Errion has been prosperous, but the King had fallen ill to some mysterious ailment. Some say disease, others say sorcery, but all agree that if their King doesn't recover then the realm will fall back into chaos. The court counsel offered up a reward for anyone that can cure the King, but no one is yet to claim the prize. The sole surviving Prince, Rydas, was desperate to save his failing father. He gathered a mismatched band of adventurers and set off in search of one last thread of hope: Panacea. It was a necklace of immense magical power, said to grant health to anyone that wears it. It was found, but comrades were lost, and as the last heir to the throne laying dying on a citadel floor, Panacea resurrected him. However, it was at the cost of his fathers life.

Calisma is kingless. Outside forces, that would see the King pass and have their own hand at the crown, are moving in from shadows towards the castle. The citizens are frightened, ready to rebel. Even members within the royal walls are congregating. The adventurers return to Calisma to set Rydas on the throne. Will the new King be be crowned in time to quell the rising opposition? Will the people be satisfied by their new ruler? Will friends remain friends, or will new enemies emerge?

The Oracle has a mind of her own...

See how Chapter 1 unfolded.




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One month has passed since the adventurers found Panacea, a mythical amulet sought out to heal the failing King. One month has passed since Dazius Errion, First King of Calisma has died. The realm is in mourning for the loss of the man that united them all. More and more people arrive in Paetax daily to show their respects for their fallen leader, and in excitement for the new crowning. Rydas, First Prince, is to be crowned the new king. As new people flood the castle and capital city there are as many friends as enemies joining the ranks. War has taken a new front: politics. Key groups struggle to gain control. Rebel groups are forming, the Guild reach for more power, and the council itself is torn. On the Eve of the crowing, Sena is throwing a ball in the honour of the heros, and people have come from afar just for a glimpse. Calsima teeters on the brink of chaos, still, with only Rydas and his sister able to hold it in tact. Of all the new, and familiar faces, which will be the ones they can trust?


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The Story

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •



The mid-day sun was high in the sky as it hit the crescendo of its cycle, marking another day half-passed in Calisma. Right on key a loud tolling of the great cathedral bell ripped through the streets and for one moment everyone stopped. Every single person within earshot stilled their breath, waiting and listening to the low sound, counting. One strike: the crowd tensed. Two strikes: hearts stilled. Three strikes: life resumed. The massive pausing had happened at the same hour for the last twenty-three days. It began when the King had slipped from sickness into perpetuating slumber. The bell served has an announcement: the King still lived, the city was under no immediate threat, and a cure still hadn’t been found. Political views aside, everyone waited, listening for the five-toned ring when the future would change and the only ruler fell. Today was not that day, though, and so conversation and movement blossomed again.

Prince Rydas Erridas was among the crowd that paused, golden eyes sweeping up to the tower bell. It was only the silence that returned his breath to him. Time, there is still time. Like a choreographed dance he turned on heel and fell back into the suddenly moving crowd, letting it engulph him. As he weaved through the faceless bodies, they paid him no mind: a hooded cape hid his identity for the moment. Absently navigating the streets, his mind was not on them either. His mind was on his meek sister, who was addressing the supporters that gathered outside the castle at every bell toll. He only hoped her soft voice would keep them calm until he could return. Usually it fell on him to update the people on the condition of their King and the search for a cure, but this day there were other tasks at hand.

While thoughts were elsewhere his feet carried him to his destination, guiding him like a ghost through an old haunting ground. Only when he had realized he’d stopped did he lift his gaze. Straw coloured eyes quickly read a rocking sign that was well-weathered from the winter that had just past. Mixed emotions flitted through his stomach, but they were quick to be quelled. Das would go to the ends of the world to heal his father, telling himself that blood called to blood. The future was uncertain, but if he wanted his plans to fall in place, this was the only place sure to find others as determined and desperate as himself. There was no other place in all of Paetax that housed such misfit adventurers as The Black Vagabond. To gather such opportunists he had anonymously circulated a Call To Arms. One such inducement as posted beside the tavern door. He reread it out of habit, though he knew the words by heart:


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CALLING ALL ADVENTURERS
Your Liege, The First King of Calisma
His Majesty, Dazius Errion
needs you.

Answer his call for the quest of a life time
& more gold than you can carry

Report to the Black Vagabond one hour past noon
three days after spring equinox.
-----------------------------------


The parchment was signed and stamped with the royal seal. Eyes flitted from the poster to the sun. The Prince’s lips pressed together, a sign of contentment that he was early as he’d planned. He’d wanted to see the adventurers arrive and quietly observe their behavior. While he was sure he could hold his own it was always a good idea to know who you were getting into bed with. The journey was sure to be long and arduous, even more so if he was surrounded by cutthroats. With one more breath he pushed opened the door and headed to the back.

Hood still shrouding his head he pressed himself against a wall in a space where he could see those that came to gather. From the shadowy perch he watched each of the questers enter in their own way. The Prince calculated, judged and plotted. When enough time past so even the latest would have arrived he looked for the barkeep, met eyes and nodded. The owner barred the door and retreated elsewhere. And there they were left alone.

Confident strides brought him to the front of the crowd. Calloused hands removed the hood from his head revealing a face that all were sure to recognize. If anyone in the room hadn’t seen the Prince before, the sigil on his finger and the quality of the armor were sure to give him away. Rydas cleared his throat in an attempt to gain the attention, leaving a moment for them all to adjust to his presence.

“Good Day. Thank you for attending.” He began, slowly meeting each and every person in the eye. “Allow me to explain the mission, and then I will address your concerns. If anyone is not willing to risk his or her life for your King then now is the time to leave. You will not be reprimanded for turning down this request.”

He was short, to the point and formal. But that was an Errion for you.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Paetax was inconcievable. Nel hasn't ever seen rich and prosperous before but now it translated to crowded and bustling. The yellow clothed figure looked like a stray sheep from the herd; turning heads not for beauty but for how easily she stood out from the masses. Getting to Paetax was the easy task but rumours and news often left out the importat details. Like where to meet once one was inside Paetax. Luckily, through her lost wandering, she came across a poster with the answer to her questions. "The Black Vagabond..." She said to herself and started to silently repeat the message it held with her lips. Nel wasn't a strong reader so it helped to read out the words to get a sense of understanding.

She wondered what it would mean if she had went. An "Adventurer" she would be labelled. It was quite an odd thing to be labelled as such; when she had never seen much of the outside world until the past few days. It was a heavy, cumbersome word that was awkward to spit out. "Adventur-er. Tur..er. Toorer? Ad-vent-toorer? No..." She decided to shake off the thought for the meantime, taking a new grip on her quarterstaff, and was about to dive back in to the sea of people when suddenly a bell had struck. Nel whipped her head back at the noise, reminded instantly of the same bell at the Kula Monastery they use to signify it's noon and time for lunch, and a guilty feeling started to wash over her. "They were wrong. For the first time they were wrong."

Yet there was something odd that caught her attention. The silence. The sea of people. They stopped as soon the bell rang once, then twice, then again. Then nothing. The people paused but soon got back to their buisness as if nothing had ever happened. Nel looked back and forth with a confused look on her face at the strangness of Paetax.
"Excuse me?" She asked a few of the passerby's, a few ignoring her, but a passing guard drapped in metal heeded her.
"Is there something wrong, fair maiden?" His voice was had a strong yet gentlemen tone as he asked her.
"Maiden?" Nel said, confused once more, but let it drop as there was more important matters. "Do you know where is the Black Vagabond?"
Although she couldn't tell under his helmet, he gave off a frown, and let out a groan. "Tisn't not best of watering holes but it's fair. Watch for some of the shady characters there but I think it's closed for some adventurer's gathering today. Just walk down this road and there should be a sign atop the entrance: 'Black Vagabond.'"
"I see...thank you." She said and made her way towards the direction he pointed at. "They water holes here? We just fill them up with dirt at the monastery."

When she finally pushed the door open, she was greeted with a mostly empty tavern, a refuge from the cramped streets of Paetax. The owner was a burly man shining some glasses and surely he must have some drink. Water's been sparce for about a day now and Nel's dry mouth and chapped lips were evidence of it. "Excuse me.." She said, nearing the counter. "Do you have any water?"
"Four copper."
She rifled through one of the pockets in the folds of her yellow robes and pulled out three of the brown coins onto the palm of her head. The owner took a second, shrugged his shoulders, and took the money, leaving in it's place a wineglass full of water. Nel looked at the fragile glass with a sort of wonder to how the water inside didn't break it. She carefully sat on the stool and positioned her hand right under the glass so she'd just push it up to her lips; it looked like an expensive glass. The water ran cool down her throat and brought the relief she so needed; and after laying it back down on the counter she moved to a table and sat cross legged on the chair, each foot over the opposite thigh, and waited. "It might take a while for the rest to get here." she thought. With nothing else to do, and since this was the hardly a place for exercise, she cast her gaze downwards, and let her hands fall on her lap, to wipe her thoughts away and meditate in complete silence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Everything was done. Her bag was packed, her clothes were on her body, her dagger safely tucked away, and two stolen bracelets hung on a chain around her neck along with one ring. It had only been a few months now that Alice got her Seal and was sent back to her family. She wasn't the most confident with her spells, nor did she love the fact that she was going to come back to this world. When she was at the island, it seemed like she was in a different place, a whole new world, but now she had to go back to her own world. Now, don't get her wrong, Alice hated that island. There she had to study, practice spells, and worst of all, she had to see her pointy nosed teacher everyday.What a horrible man! But truth be told, this place was no better. At lest when she was there, there was no way of getting robbed or hurt, unless she hurt herself of course. The only part of the day that brought any feeling of happiness was having the privileged to hug her brothers once more and listen to her Father speak nonsense when he was drunk. Music to her ears. Yet, try as she might she couldn't get the old bat's words out of her head. She was not useless by any means! And she would exceed his expectations! She would be famous! Those lines played over and over in her head until she saw that poster and now she was here, in the middle of the plain room with her belongings all sorted out but no courage to leave. Not that she was afraid of the journey, not that at all! But again to be set out in that hell that was given a new name, that everyone called 'Earth' was what scared her. Monsters lay asleep, deep in slumber, and never once had Alice tried to open their eyes. She would get hurt! Possibly break a bone. Now why do that? But her fears vanished when the poster was seen and now they have returned. She was going to do something that she hadn't done, ever. Wake a beast. For she couldn't go out like she was now, become famous, nor have her name heard throughout the country if she did not fight. Fight. That word alone brought her to her perfect knees, the never had seen a scar nor a bruise. Her skin was flawless, without a starch or a medal of her childhood. In the back of her mind she knew after this journey, after she woke the beasts, her skin would not remain. Who would want to marry her then! This was a foolish idea. There it was, she was going to stay. No need to ruin herself over some small petty grudge.

She said that but her hands were already around the straps of her bag. Muttering a few words, her bag left her sight. Alice was a Mage, and like it or not, she abused her power. Used it for things she could have done herself, like carry her own backpack. But the girl was lazy, someone who would rather stay home than shop in the market. Her brothers often teased her that no man would want a lazy wife. With that scene in her mind, Alice swung back her cloak and left. The door rattled shut behind her but no one was there to send her off. Father was gone to the market and her brothers had went hunting for today's meal. They had already spoke their good-byes earlier before, that was one of the reasons Alice couldn't bare to leave. But she knew she had to. This was no ordinary grudge, the old bat had insulted her power and her strengths. He saw only flaws but Alice knew better. She was ready for this! Her name would be known to every Mage and her family would be given back the honor that it had lost. It was decided, Alice would be the one to do so. Her mothers foolish actions nor her own foolish actions would let the family be dishonored. She would make sure of that.

Yes. I will be the one to do this. She smiled at herself. With a light hop to her steps, she raced across the old dirt roads, a smile plastered on her face. As if on command, her body stopped. She stayed still and there it came. The bells rung far and wide, heard by anyone that was near. Alice had no grief over the king being ill, but she was in his debt, and she acknowledged that. He was the one that brought peace. Even her own heart stopped beating as the first bell rang. Her breath caught itself in her throat, as it always did. She closed her eyes and listened. Another bell rang, but she didn't dare move until the last bell was rung. Nothing had changed. The King was still ill. If he died, her family would be in trouble, and her Father quiet liked the King. It would make him happy to hear that she was one of the Mages to rescue him. In the past few months, her body stopped everything it was doing and listened whenever the bells chimed. Her worry grew but today she would stop her worry from consuming her alive. Giggling, Alice wove through the way, avoiding the bodies that covered the streets. She turned around the corners and jumped over the hurdles, finally pushing the door of the tavern with all her might. The owner glared at her direction for causing a ruckus. Alice smiled at him, letting the door slowly shut behind her, taking the few bits of natural light along with it. The tavern itself was almost empty save for the yellow robed monk that sat on the other end of the room. She sat down near the corner of the room, her eyes almost missed the oddly shaped shadow that was placed in the dark. It took her a few seconds but she figured it out. The man was the Prince, or at least she assumed. It was the way he stood really. Only a handful of times had Alice really seen the Prince but she remembered how he stood and how the armor look upon his body. That would how Alice remembered everyone. She was no good with faces, but the way they stood she could remember.

Alice glanced over everyone that entered the room. One by one the room started to fill and her smile seemed to disappear. Females and males, some tall and others short, some that seemed like they needed to be observed carefully, and other that Alice could already guess were going to hate her. They all come through that door. The games were about to begin but did she really want to join in on the fun? Of course I do. That was all. Her mind no longer wandered and her heart no longer yearned to stay. She was going and that was that. After a long awaited time, the owner bared the door shut and all eyes fell over the hooded figure, which Alice had been correct about. A smile played on her lips as she listen to the man speak.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
An hour past noon, that was it. That was all he had to remember, to be at the Black Vagabond just one hour past noon and to stay out of trouble until then. Yet here he was, running. His hood up to cover his face, and in his hand some stolen money, as well as a very interesting orb that he managed to take from the same man he took the money from. Unfortunately his eye for shiny objects managed to get him in trouble, if it was just the money he would have been in and out of the mans pocket, his target none the wiser. If the man didn't have the orb within the same pocket as the money his hand wouldn't have touched it, had his hand not touched it his curiosity wouldn't have sparked and he wouldn't have gone back for a second take, which wouldn't have led to the current scene. Xan was running, once again in trouble with the local law on the crime of theft, but it wasn't his fault, the life of a to-be-adventurer wasn't all that profitable for him, and his funds for food were running low. The man he had stolen from looked well off, dressed in fine clothing, with the texture of the material one could assume it was made of fine silk, not something many people would wear on a day to day basis, or ever. He weaved between the crowds of people, trying to shake off his pursuers, accidentally bumping into the random person here and there, shouting a short 'Sorry' before his running feet took him out of sight. If he were to run straight for the Black Vagabond while being chased, he would only be cornering himself he would somehow have to lose his pursuers.

As his mind raced to find a quick way out, a sound came to his ear. The toll of a bell, the bell that announced the status of the king to all the people. This was just what he needed, the people around him stopped listening to the message that the bell was giving them. Even the people that were chasing him stopped at the sound of the bell, luck seemed to be on his side for the day. With the people around him no longer moving he managed to put enough distance between himself and the constables that had been chasing him. Putting away the stolen money into his pocket, he pulled up the orb and held it towards the sun. It was amazing, amazingly beautiful, within the orb where countless blue crystal like pieces that dance within it. As the light of the sun stuck it, the light changed to resemble the color of the crystals, and the resulting blue lights sparkled and danced on the ground. He held it tight in his grasp and put it into his pocket, he would look at it again later. If he were to get absorbed into it now there was a good chance that he would miss his opportunity of a great adventure that awaited him at the tavern where the story was to start. He couldn't help but have a wide grin on his face, an actual adventure. Fights, risk, treasure, and the thought of what could be the greatest adventure story of all time made him as happy as could be, this is what he wanted and he has found it. Xan started to think back to his hometown, his family, and how they would react to hear the tale of this adventure as well as the amount of treasure that it could yield.

'Black Vagabond', it wasn't as clear as day, but clear enough for him to see that that is what's written on sign above the door. This was the starting point to the path of his dreams, with a hand placed on the door he took in a deep breath and pushed it open. The inside of the tavern wasn't special in any way, it seemed to be the same as any that he had passed through in the past. He put up a hand and pulled of his hood, his hair immediately shooting off in many different directions. His right eye shot around the room, taking in the people that had already arrived before him. His left eye staying shut, making it appear as if the scar over it was keeping his eye lids together.

'And so it begins' he thought to himself as he paced around a bit, judging from the few people that were already in the tavern he knew things wouldn't really start until quite a few more people were to arrive. Being a bit early has its downside, having to wait until it got later. Patience wasn't his forte, but he was going to have to try and entertain himself until the events were to start. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his newly stolen orb again, even in the dim light of the tavern it managed to shine brilliantly. The blue crystals within it danced perpetually , he wondered if there was water inside it to keep the crystals dancing. Although curious, he didn't want to break the beautiful object to find out.

Somehow he managed to keep sane and patient by gazing into the orb as more and more people gathered into the tavern. The amount of people that had entered hadn't quite registered to him until he looked up for a moment, and the sudden roar of groups speaking at once came into his ears. He smiled a bit as he shoved the object into his pocket, the main event should be starting soon, as he had noticed a man barring the door. His expectations weren't let down as a man, that soon revealed himself to be the prince, stood at the front of the crowd announcing the beginning. Xan's face was nearly consumed by his own smile, his mind, body, and soul were ready to go at any time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella d’Adreci


The journey south had been long and arduous and by the time the armor-clad fighter and her horse finally made their way to the farm lands outside of Paenax it was already mid-morning. The heat was more apparent here than in her northern homeland but there was an eager breeze which swept over the land, cooling her face and whipping her pale blond hair about as she cast her light brown eyes over her surroundings.

She had passed several farmsteads on her way along the pounded dirt road but none so close to her path as the one that lay perhaps twenty yards ahead of her. Mirabella had come to this town seeking truth to the rumors and a family this close to the grand city would be eager to share their tales without being suspicious of her interest in the King’s well being. It would also prove a fine place to stop and rest, perhaps even gather her thoughts until she forced herself to enter the city proper.

With that vague plan in mind, Mira clicked her tongue softly, urging the chestnut mare forward until they reached a small wooden cabin with tiny faces peeking curiously out of its windows. The warrior dismounted, pulling the reins over the mare’s head as she led her to a small tree so she could hitch her to one of its limbs. Before the warrior could even turn from her steed, the front door to the farmhouse opened and a middle-aged woman came to stand on the porch, shielding her eyes against the sun’s rays.

“Y’lost, stranger? Paenax ain’t that far y’know…” She gestured to the grand walls surrounding the capital city, as if they were hard to spot and the motion drew a small smile to Mirabella’s lips.

“No, milady. Not lost. I am simply seeking a bit of information. I am a traveler and have heard word of the King being stricken with a malady of some sort….” Gossip was always best phrased as rumors or tales then laid out so that the person could refute or agree. It was less confrontational than a direct question and she could pretend as if she was deeply invested in the King’s welfare.

“Oh, you poor child. You haven’t heard?!” The woman began filling her in and her lips moved a mile a minute, explaining everything about the King that Mirabella had wanted to know… And more. Issues with the noble caste, hints of a conspiracy, and intrigue! The story lasted for well over an hour and as the farmer’s wife spun her tale, she fed Mirabella and allowed her time to wash up, even making the children feed, water, and care for the chestnut mare outside.

By the time that the fighter finally stepped back out into the sunlight, she had even heard of parchments that had begun to pop up around the city, speaking of noble adventurers being called to aid the King in a grand quest. Riches and honor, any hero’s dream, were to be offered to those that stepped forward. ”….Report to the Black Vagabond one hour past noon three days after spring equinox.” The scroll had read and so her next destination had been laid out ahead of her.

The bells sounded throughout the land after Mirabella had finally reached the town and stabled her horse. She was wandering the streets in search for the infamous Black Vagabond tavern when the first chime rang out, causing everyone to stop in their tracks. The fighter, being new to town, had no idea about the indications of the chimes and almost plowed into an entire group of people as they paused to listen. “Watch where yer goin’!” One angry man growled after the sounds faded and motion resumed once more.

It was perhaps twenty minutes later when she finally pushed open the door to the tavern. Her eyes narrowed at the sudden decrease in lighting and she paused a moment to allow her vision to adjust even as her hand went to rest on the axe hanging from her belt. City folk were generally an untrustworthy lot and as her eyes focused on the inhabitants of the room, her fingers clenched a bit tighter around the weapon’s handle.

A mage…

She had forgotten that they were more welcome here than they had been near Vaekor. Trickery, witchcraft, she knew one of them had to be a magic wielder because it simply made her skin crawl. But there were others in attendance. A shadowy figure, a scarred man, a woman in a blindingly bright robe, and the barkeep were also scattered about different parts of the room and the very sight of others made her grip relax once more. She couldn’t risk losing her chance to be a part of this quest because of some magician.

Exhaling forcefully, Mirabella made her way to the counter and crooked a finger towards the bartender, drawing him towards her so she could place an order. She had a bit of time to kill and a glass of mead would be welcome until the others arrived.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Callavan had shown up in Paetax early in the morning. He wasn't impressed. Not with its tiny streets crowded with folks who only seemed to talk and shop and talk some more, as if they had nothing better to do. He was even less impressed with the smell. The wind was weak, letting the stench sit to fester in the streets, reeking of people, dirt and horse dung.

He rubbed his temples. I've spent too much time inland. Maybe I should just head on down to Thoav, get some work guarding a trade ship. The idea of getting back to the shore where there was a strong sea breeze to wipe away the stench of this city appealed to him. He yearned for the familiar smells of salt, seaweed and old fish. With a sigh he shoved the thought aside. He was running out of money. Thoav would have to wait until he found work, which is what he had come to Paetax for.

There didn't seem to be any work for a freelance mage though. No wives wanting someone to spy on their cheating husbands. No rampaging demons to vanquish. No items to enchant. No cults to infiltrate and, ultimately, destroy. No mysterious packages to deliver to questionable persons on the other side of the city. No distressed damsels needing to be rescued from oversized reptiles. There wasn't even a leather worker looking for twenty beaver pelts to make who knows what.

Suddenly the cathedral bell started clanging, giving Van a start. Noon already? A grumbling from his stomach reminded him that he hadn't eaten since the early hours of the morning. He recalled spotting a pub earlier. It was a bit seedy looking, but it was in a less crowded part of town and the people there looked like they actually had some damn work to do. He pushed his way through the crowd, they were all standing around like a bunch of gulls watching that bell.

After a bit of backtracking, and more than a few wrong turns, he found himself at the Black Vagabond reading the notice that had been posted just outside. Hah! Lucky me. Even got time to eat first.

He made his way straight for the bar and tossed some coins on the counter. ”Bread, cheese and mead,” he grunted to the barkeep.

Only after he had some food and drink in him did he take the time to see who else had shown up for the quest. As he leaned back against he bar he noted a woman in bright yellow, some ponce in a hood off in the shadows, a fool fiddling with an orb, an armor clad woman and even a wee little mage, fresh from the Guild halls by the look of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia Winn rose a bit after sunrise, quickly got dressed, gathered her belongings, and headed down the small inn's narrow stairs. She paid the innkeeper a nice tip. It really was a comfortable little inn. She would have to remember it the next time she came to Paetax. That is, if I make it through this little adventure, she thought, a slight smirk on her face. She headed out the door, the morning already pleasantly warm as she headed out. She thought back to when she had come into town, just about four days ago.

She had happened upon this little inn, the Golden Grape, and talked a bit with the innkeeper. Innkeepers always seemed to have the juiciest rumors to share in any given city, and that would usually be the first place she would visit.To her surprise, he confirmed the rumor she had recently heard of the king becoming ill with an unknown disease. As the man apparently enjoyed talking, he also told her everything he knew about the subject, from the myriad of rumors surrounding what exactly had caused this illness to the posters that had recently gone up advertising riches for adventurers who were willing to retrieve some item that was meant to make the king well.

She was intrigued by this, but thought little about it as she made arrangements with the man to play and entertain in his inn in exchange for meals and a place to sleep. She could see him already envisioning the increase in customers a bard could bring. After a bit of bargaining, they finally agreed on the terms. She headed out to wander the city a bit before she would come back to play in the small inn.

As Acacia was walking to the market, her attention was caught again and again by the posters the man had told her about. Finally, she went up and actually read one for herself. Immediately, Acacia's full curiosity was aroused.

"An hour after noon, hmm." she said quietly, still attracting the eyes of a couple passersby as they noticed her lute. Suddenly she realized the time and made her way back to the inn. However, during the entire night, her thoughts kept drifting to the poster. What if I did go, at least to the meeting, she thought several times. The inn was bustling that night, and Acacia did not go to her bed until early in the morning. By that time, she had decided to go.

Thus, Acacia had taken leave of the innkeeper at the Golden Grape, who seemed quite disappointed that she was leaving after such a short stay. She decided to get out early to browse at the local market one more time. There were several items that had caught her eye, but she hadn't quite decided yet. The time past quickly, and soon she had added a couple more items to her collection. A hawk feather necklace, an intricately carved top, nothing big or even useful, but she still considered them great finds. Acacia then hurried off to the where the meeting was going to be held, a place called the Black Vagabond. She had already figured out where it was, so she found it easily.

She quickly read the poster just outside the door once more, took a deep breath, and entered. There were already several others sitting in the room. She took a seat in a chair by the left wall near the center of the room, facing outward so she could see everyone there as was her usual style. After a few moments, after it was obvious they were still waiting for people, and Acacia took out her lute. She began quietly playing a song she had learned before she became a bard. It was a traditional harvest song in her hometown. She began softly humming the slow tune, the words playing through her head.

At the end of the summer,
When the moon again becomes full,
The people bring in the harvest,
Before the fall again becomes cool...


After several moments, Acacia became lost in the soft, slow melody of the song. She barely noticed as the room began to fill. After a while, a man she hadn't noticed before started speaking. She stopped playing, her attention caught as she realized who he was from the ring on his hand. So this is Prince Rydas, she thought, smiling and leaning forward to rest her head in her hand as she listened. He sounded so serious. It only made her want to find out what this was all about even more. Acacia smiled even wider, excited to hear more about this "Quest of a Lifetime," as the sign had put it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley was walking through the extremely dense crowds in the streets of Paetax, this place was not quite what it seemed or anything Hayley was told it'd be. Paetax was full of big, white buildings surrounding virtually every single street. Being the capital, it's normal that you expect a large city, but Paetax was the definition of the word 'Great'. The streets were so crowded with peasants, merchants and, much to Hayley's dismay, Guards. She knew it would be a great place for pickpocketing with so many people around, but also easy to get caught since it would be pretty hard to run in there.

She kept trying to force her way through the crowds with her tiny body as the sun reached the zenith. A bell rang, time seemed to stop as everyone quit whatever they were doing to look up to a tower. A second time, no one moved a muscle or made a noise. And finally a third, and it all came back with full force, like if nothing happened, people kept walking, talking or selling their goods. Unable to resist, she took the contents of a man's pocket. Only a few coins, letting out a sigh, she put the coins in her pocket and stole an apple from a merchant, taking a bite.

Hayley wandered through the crowds trying to follow the directions a farmer gave her as she entered the city. Rumors said there would be an opportunity of a lifetime in a tavern called 'The black vagabond'. Today she was wearing a dull brown dress, like half the peasants around. It was boring and unfashionable, but it was the easiest way to stay out of sight, Hayley didn't want to pick up a fight with these six feet tall, armored guards carrying a longsword each. But it's worth mentioning her hair probably drew a lot of attention due to its vivid color, Hayley made a mental note to get a hat as soon as possible.

The girl eventually reached the tavern, standing just outside the door she took a final bite an threw her apple away before pushing the door open. Hayley quickly moved to the bar, threw a few coins over the counter and ordered a drink. Taking a sip she looked around the place. There were only two exits, the front door and another one behind the counter, which probably led to an alley in the back. Not a single open window she could use. The good thing is that there were only two places to watch for incoming people.

She finished her drink and pressed her back against the wall. The place was probably full of thieves, assassins and god-only-knows-what-else. Hayley didn't want any of these to be in a position she couldn't see. Taverns have a slight tendency to get dangerous because of all the alcohol and dangerous individuals. Sometimes it degenerates to what Hayley likes to call 'Fun', but most people just call it a bar fight.

After a while, the owner left, a man stood up from the crowd and everyone went silent as he spoke. 'It must be a royal' Hayley though, his shiny armor was something pricey, only nobles and high officers of the kingdom usually wear those. Hayley was thinking about how much gold she could get by stealing his armor and selling it back on the black market, just to remember she would end up killed if she went back to Thoav. The girl couldn't help but smile, holding back a laugh, when the man mentioned 'risking her life for the King'. She wouldn't risk her life for the King, but his gold was a different thing...

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen

Earnings

0.00 INK

[Ignore]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Megara Archend'ja Character Portrait: Asla Somon Character Portrait: Azevrec

Earnings

0.00 INK

“Now accept Deud as the supreme and One deity my child” Said the priest as he pushed the cup against the woman`s lips, she was crying and Akdov could only hope it was of joy, for he now knew that the pain was gone, kind as he and his religion were today was not the time to be gentle she had to drink the whole pint in one sip or the ritual would not please Deud and no healing would be done, but she did not waver she swallowed it whole and even coughed when she was finally done.
The crowd around them murmured a little while being awestruck by the little show that was going on

What’s next will leave them baffled

He stood up grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her to his gaze and then left her standing there, the whispers and talk began to increase and Akdov grinned “Look at the power of Deud simple folk, this woman had a broken leg yesterday and now she walks proudly thanks to the blessings of the lord!” the people looked at each other in astonishment, he turned to the woman and said in a tone in which only they could listen “Go child, go with the blessing of the one whom you have pleased with your devotion and joy and fear not for its loving gaze is set upon you keep pouring drinks to the thirsty in the Hurried Hag and Deud will be satisfied by your actions” she smiled and nodded as she ran away, she had not been able to run in weeks.
The crowd moved aside as he walked along and his acolyte was quick to join him “Most impressive priest” the young lad said, he was one of the few other members of the clergy of Deud in this heathen city of old “Do remember acolyte, that Deud will only care for those that bring joy to the great hall, that woman despite being of a foreign god had a lifestyle that pleased the lord and as such her body has mended, we are not miracle workers by any stretch we simply look over the flock and are blessed to mend their pains”

They arrived to their “church” a building half collapsed outside the city walls, it had been a farm before but lighting struck it and the family had been consumed in a fire, since none wanted to claim a cursed ground Akdov had been quick to move in and gear it to be a worthy place in which Deud might look and smile.

There were the few faithful and devout, they still did not number a hundred much to his dismay but the believers increased slowly but surely he went to the altar and gathered their attention “Believers!” he shouted and drew their looks “It is not the title a man holds or the one who sired him that Deud looks upon when it shares the blessings of joy” they looked uneasy, he had never addressed them like this before and change meant trouble “The noble king Errion is in need as you might know, yet cultists and priests of lesser gods have tried their methods and failed and now Deud looks to his priest on Paetax to deliver the solution to a man that keeps the peace that the lord cherishes so” he waved to his acolyte to get closer and tried to reassure the lad, he had a look on his face that made it clear that he would rather be anywhere but there his suspicion were correct, without Akdov to lead the Church he would have to begrudgingly step up as the priest of that sect “I present you to Azevrec he will lead the party in my absence and I ask you to support him in my stead for the path of Deud while merry is never easy”

Azevrec had drowned him with questions and doubts, the lad was regrettably not ready but few are when the time required them to step up, Akdov had told him to refer to the tome of truth for guidance and remember the trials and rituals of Deud to lead the guests of the lord`s party.
He finally arrived to the Black Vagabound and the barkeep recognized him “Vinny” he said as the man recognized him “Priest? We are not in serving hours I’m afraid” Akdov shook his head “Tis true I come here for a good drink but I`ve come here to assist the king as well” the barkeep, Vinny, laughed out loud “You assaulting the brewery to serve the king?” it was a shame that despite his work Deud was still not taken seriously “Aren’t you a funny one, get me a drink damn you!” the barkeep did as he was told and began combining a brew for the priest, he had apparently memorized his favorite.
He found that his favorite seat was occupied by a woman, if her hair was shorter, the armor heavier and a beard to cast no doubt one would easily mistake her for a pretty and attractive man, but a man nevertheless
Near the counter, a man that could have been mistaken for a shaggy dog if not for the size and the fact that he did not walked on all fours also could be found at the counter, they looked like a merry lot he sat between them in the counter “Don’t mind me” he looked around and was amused by the company
First he noticed the woman with the lute, he could swear he had seen her before maybe even last night; she was a newcomer to the bars of Paetax but won the patrons with her songs
There was the slim girl who seemed to be ignoring everything around her, she looked like a religious one and could be well in a deep prayer to her unworthy god, he would make an effort to show her the errors of those paths, starting by the fact that she was drinking water “Vinny, fetch that woman something to drink and put it on my tab”
He saw then a young woman who had yet to take a good bite out of life, she did not seemed to pay much mind to her mage seal, well after all concealing that was against the law, or was that only on Queran?
Then there were the remarkably unremarkable 3 lots that made Akdov clutch his coin purse to check if it was still there of it weighted the same, they looked like rogues or thieves in their shadowy figures and capacity to blend in made him uneasy, it was hard enough for a priest to get coin and to have these wicked fellows prey on honest men was something that he was not looking forward to traveling with.
Finally a man garbed so well that all he needed was a perfume and powered cheeks and maybe a pair of men behind him agreeing to everything he said in order to complete the set of rich and spoiled, this must be the one that promise all that gold, Akdov caught the cup that slid from the other corner of the counter and drank it in just one sip.

Let’s see what you’ve got

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

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No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Part of her wanted to just stay at the small cozy inn and remain in bed with the man she had spent the night with. But the other part of her wanted to leave before it became too intimate. Not in the physical way, but the other. She didn't want to get close. The only thing on Narenia Halen's mind was the poster she had seen around the city. Fame and fortune sounded good to her, so that was what she was heading for. She had packed all her things and wrapped the large cloak around her to conceal her body and the shortsword she carried. The bow was a little hard to hide, so it was merely on her back.
"Bread and water please. And cheese." she said to the barkeep once she came downstairs. He served the meal and took the payment, letting the woman eat in peace.

The sunlight made Nari narrow her eyes before she got used to it. Her feet carried the figure towards the town market. One hour after noon. she reminded herself and tilted her head, pulling up her hood. Staying hidden felt more welcome at the moment. Well, always. Nari didn't like to stand out in a crowd like this so her hood was almost always up. The market was bustling and full of people, but just as she entered the street it was on, the bell began to ring. Everyone stopped for a moment, listening to the first ring of the bell, then the second. Nari looked at everyone around her, trying to read their minds with her eyes. Only when the third wave of sound shot out into the streets did the people move again, as if nothing had happened. "Erie" she said under her breath, shrugging that feeling away. Finally discovering what she was looking for, the woman walked up to the stand of a bowyer. "Arrows." she said simply. They bargained over the price and what quality arrows she could afford. If I am to embark on this journey, I need some for hunting and for battle. her mind told her.
"I need some for hunting and some for battle. I'd want those jagged ones you've got as well." Again they bargained and at last came to a reasonable agreement of price, and Nari walked away with a satisfied smile.
Almost rushing towards the inn they were all to meet at, the woman was sure she was going to be late. But when she opened the door and stepped inside, there weren't anyone there really. Well, there was seven or eight people there.
Narenia picked a dark spot in the back and didn't take down her hood before she was in the shadows, so no one was really able to see her face but maybe her hair was visible on her shoulders.
The time there was for waiting she spent on studying every person in there. There was one man with shiny armor, seeming oddly placed in a tavern like this. A girl with a lute, what looked like mage. A big woman in armor, another man in armor. A dodgy looking man and a girl with flaming red hair. Then few left she hadn't come to yet had to wait their turn because now the man in shiny armor stood up and spoke, Nari listening intensely.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon opened his eyes slowly. His vision was blurred and he couldn't see much. His head was spinning and pain was shooting through his head. The pain felt like a dagger being thrust continuously through his chest. He groaned with pain as he tried to focus his vision once more. Slowly he began to visualise his surroundings. Feylon could see the cobblestones in the alley he was in, he also noticed a significant amount of blood on the floor too. His no doubt. Just as soon as he began to regain his vision it was wiped out again by another crunching force to the side of his head. A fist. His head rolled to the side as the pounding, shockwave of pain reverberated through his head once more. Again he lifted his head and opened eyes.

Seconds later the effects of shock had worn off. Pain began to flood through every nerve in his body, this was the real pain that he was waiting for. It was almost crippling as he struggled to stay conscious. However just as soon as the shock had worn off the adrenaline had come filtering through. Blocking out most of the pain he began to feel a new lease of life. His vision came back much more quickly now because this time he could see the source of his pain. Three men, two holding him up and another using him as a punchbag. Feylon thought about how he would get out of this one, but as another blow smashed into his stomach he began, for the first time, to wonder if he would be able to get out of it at all.

Feylon's saving grace came in the form of a bell, not just any bell but the bell. The bell that informed everyone of the kings health. As it rang out he could feel the men's grip on him loosen. Even the miscreants of the city paid their respect to the King. Feylon however was not so forgiving, with a quick tug of both of his arms towards the center of his back he was within reach of his two daggers. Quickly pulling them from their sheathes he jumped into the air and brought his legs up towards his chest, his weight pulling the two men holding him down far enough for Feylon to reach their upper legs. He plunged the two daggers into the men's legs. They screached in pain as they let go of Feylon and tried to pull the daggers desperately out of their legs. Feylon then took his chance and struck both men on the sides of the head just below the temple knocking them both unconscious. The third man, stood completely stunned and motionless. Feylon threw a punch into the mans gut which suprisingly caused the man to fall over. "Bloody hell mate, for a man who likes to throw his weight around you take a punch like an alcoholic barmaid."

Brushing himself off and trying his best to wipe away the blood and sweat on his face Feylon stood up and retrieved the two daggers. Then proceeded to walk towards the building he was behind. In though the back door he emerged behind the bar of the Black Vagabond to the Prince in mid speech.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


As the bodies filled the room Rydas observed. Each entered as heir own accord, some more dramatic than others. There were a few that the Prince noted as oddities among a sea of strangers, but he would wait to see who would remain. Although an untimely entrance interrupted his speech he didn’t stutter or pause. Instead, he finished the articulation. Moments passed, allowing the attendant to mull over the options he’d presented. Nearly half the room rose and left, some silently and others with grumbling curse. When the movement ceased he glanced around again, scanning the faces and saving them to memory.

Eleven remained. A fair size, though a little less than he had hoped for and a little more than he expected. He wondered how many were there for the gold, and how many were there for the duty to their king. Common sense told him that the majority was for the first. In the few seconds before he continued he allowed himself a few first impressions. A women in yellow and a female mage were quiet and watching, much like himself. A shorter man played with a globe and smiled to himself at the mention of the reward. An armor clad lady was ridged and uncomfortable at the bar, despite her mead. Another mage stuffed his face seemingly un-opinionated at the task at hand. A dark haired woman, softly humming, appeared truly interested at what he had to say. A fire-haired girl sized him up, a look that instantly made him not trust her. A cleric, judging by his robes, surprisingly downed an impressive amount of mead, challenging him with his gaze. A woman in the back listened intently, he’d nearly missed her. Lastly, there was the shady man who’d entered late and was covered in blood that, by the looks of it, was his own.They were a motley group, but beggars couldn’t be choosers, or so his father always said.

Rydas nodded, and began to speak again. “The crown give it’s sincerest appreciation for your dedication to the cause.”

He paused, thinking how to word what he wanted to say. “The King’s health is not a secret. I’m going to be forthright to with you all, we still haven’t discovered the cause for his affliction nor found a cure. Without meaning to alarm anyone, desperate times call for desperate measures. I don’t feel I need to outline the possible dire consequences if The First King does not recover. Such things have led us to the current path.”

The Prince cleared his throat.

“As a result of the damage caused by the rampant magics in the Sortelige Wars there were many objects of power said to be destroyed. Among them was Panacea, the Amulet of Healing. Many historians think it wasn’t destroyed, that it was instead hidden. This is the object we seek. If you’re unversed with the past, Panacea is said to imbue it’s wearer with the gift of health, healing any malady that may plague them. Whether magic or disease, it would restore our Liege to proper health.”

It was laughable, maybe, but it was clear that he was serious. It was taboo for anyone to speak of the wars, much more so uncommon for someone of the royal family to bring it up. Those were dark times not to be remembered. However, it was a time that needed to be referenced to get the true effect of all the negatives that were on the horizon if the King didn’t awake.

“If you are still committed please, introduce yourself and provide reference of your occupation. It will be beneficial to know what each of us bring to the table. Please feel free to voice any questions or concerns as well.” Although he was certain all knew who he was, he provided example. “I am Rydas Errion, First Prince and Commander of the Kings Guard.”

While his full name and title was a bit arrogant, it was etiquette and filled out any questions about his qualifications. That was all he said, waiting for each to tell their own.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
[Ignore- damn posting]

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella shifted on her barstool and nursed her mead throughout the Prince's monologue. Though she was listening intently as Rydas confirmed many of the rumors that the farmer's wife had shared with her outside of the city walls, the fighter couldn't help the flash of surprise that crossed her face as he spoke of Panacea. In fact, it was all she could to do withhold laughter at the Prince's plan but she was smart enough not to express her opinion outwardly. The Prince was indeed desperate if he resorted to chasing after fairy tales and myths to cure his ailing father.

Their newfound leader opened the floor for introductions and she sat there, waiting for anyone to step forward but no one seemed ready for the attention. Unafraid and unwilling to let the troupe sit around in silence, she kicked back the rest of her mead in one gulp then lifted herself from her stool and turned, facing as many people as she could while she addressed them. For a female, she may seem quite imposing in her hand-forged armor that had been passed down to her from her mother and to her mother from her grandmother before that. Though aged and not as fine a quality as the armor that the Prince wore, it was obviously well taken care of. Since she was from a poorer region, her outfit was an eclectic mishmash of components- plate pieces over chain mail or heavy leather but the odd combination gave her a bit of dexterity that full plate would lack.

The voice that came from the imposing, metal-clad figure was probably surprising to anyone in the tavern. It was a voice that was strong and commanding yet oddly melodic, musical in the way she pronounced her words. A vague accent that would be easily recognizable as someone hailing from north of the Soch mountains though few ever dared to travel that far north without reason.

"I am Mirabella d'Adreci, daughter of Augustus and Selene from the village of Douvhran, outside of Vaekor." Her pale brown eyes went from figure to figure, gauging reactions to her introduction and whenever her eyes fell upon the mages, she couldn't keep her eyes from narrowing distrustfully. Obviously there was a deeper reasoning than mere hatred of all mages but she didn't seem the type to share such things openly.

"I am Triansui," she stated her rank and then adapted her wording for those unfamiliar with her culture, "A warrior of the highest caliber in our ranks. I fight with sword and shield or axe and shield and was born to be among those at the front lines." She kept her introduction short and sweet, since there were another ten or so that she would have to sit through, she was hoping that they took a cue from her and didn't drag out the meeting with any elaborate speeches. If they were going to go traipsing about the country looking for a mystical object then they would probably have many days to get to know each other.

Inclining her head towards the Prince in a semi-bow, she took her seat once more though this time with her back facing the counter so that she could watch everyone else as they made their introductions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
The Prince's short speech had ended, Xan watched as quite a few people had filed out of the tavern and back out into the streets to go about their normal days. He wondered why they even came in the first place, wasn't risking your life an everyday thing for adventurers? He shrugged at his own question as he watched the last of those that refused the quest leave the tavern, the door shutting behind and leaving only a handful of people behind, still waiting for the details of their journey. The door shut, and no one else in the room seemed as if they would leave the Prince continued on with another short speech, the details were a bit interesting. A mythical amulet that could heal any ailment was their goal, and one that's at an unknown location, and not even known if still exists. This little journey that he had volunteered for could take quite a bit longer than he had expected, but that just meant there was more time for interesting things to happen along the way.

'Introductions?' Xan thought as the Prince himself gave one, as well as another woman that was sitting at the bar had done. He thought about it for a moment, giving his name is easy enough, but what would his occupation be? Adventurer? No, an occupation would have to be something that you profit from doing, and thus far adventuring had brought him zero coin. He thought on what he does for money, he steals it from those that look as if they have more than enough, but how would the others react to him calling that an 'occupation'? He scratched his head for a moment before taking a deep breath, and a step forward.

"I am Xan Hallister, from a little town called Systril," the start was easy enough, "and occupation, well, I guess it would be a thief? But I've also been called a Rogue, scoundrel, rat, among other things" he gave a slight laugh at the thought. "I'm here for the adventure, since I promised my family back home great stories when I return, and I suppose the reward of gold couldn't hurt either" he thought for a moment to see if there was anything else to add. "I guess that's about it, so let's try to get along with each other on this journey," he said with a smile, giving a slight wave of his hand to everyone. He pulled out the chair that he was standing next to and sat down, showing that he had finished his introduction. He was a bit curious as to the identity of the others that had remained, how would all this work out for them, hopefully it won't end with the group going at each other's necks. He sat back in his chair thinking about it, would they kill each other, would they get along, or would they simply all see this as another job and put up with each other until it ends. He hoped they would all get along, a journey with a lot of tension wouldn't be any fun at all. He gave a slight sigh as he looked around, ready to hear the introduction of the others that were still around.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

Gallow pulled his face out from his hands, eyes clenched shut against a hailstorm of conflicting thoughts. This bitter cacophony had been playing out since the day his uncle had spoken to him. The whole wretched ordeal made his stomach knot. It wasn't so much what he had to do (or could do, better yet), but what was at stake either way. So many brittle pieces, so many clamoring choices. For as loud as they were, to their merit, they were little more than whispers for all the attention he refused to give to them. Not even a battle could be this difficult! With one move the whole game's outcome could be blown to tiny pieces strewn against the grain. A murder-strike to the head of the "grand design" the more perfervid priests wailed about from their pedestals. It didn't sit well with him, just like everything else at the moment refused to settle.

He'd arrived in Paetax nearly four days before and boarded in one of the city's more well-to-do inns. There he was suddenly overcome by a swift bout of anxiety. This shocked him. He was never nervous, not since he was a young boy on his first day in the Academy. Why, now, did some meandering particle of weakness worm its way back into his brain? Accursed misfortune, maybe. It incensed him to no end. But, he challenged, maybe it was all to do with the potential, or the "jitters" as he'd heard some put it. No matter what the reason, it had to be alleviated. It would not do to enter into this affair unsettled and, therefore, unprepared. With his mind all a-mess he would be prone to missteps or worse.

He'd taken the time he had to wander the city. It was not the Deluge, and he found himself unconsciously criticizing how it was so unlike his home. The tromping cadence of the Siadhail was absent, as were the droning hums and rhythms of the pipes and drums that had grown so familiar throughout his childhood. It was also colder in Paetax. The March was so near the desert that, some days, one could swear the sands themselves were bearing down upon them in furious tumult. He'd served his time on the border with the Southern Guard. Those barren wastes, rolling on and on in the distance, seemed alive, and some of the veterans even told stories of them moving. There was no telling what horrors might have dwelt in that drought-laden hell. He missed them not. In truth, while the climate change was a bit unsettling, it was not exactly unwelcome.

He partook in no pleasantries during his short stay. He wandered the streets daily so as to clear his head, or at least that had been the hope of it. It never worked. No disillusionment came to his aid, however sorrowful it might have been. Time did not avail him, and at last the day finally came, the day the notice had said to meet at the Black Vagabond. He was still unprepared, though he was somewhat bolstered now that the coming ordeal was staring him in the eye. Rising from his seat he went to the window. Outside a bell was tolling, and he watched as the masses halted apprehensively. He could delay no longer.

Already dressed, the final preparations were made. He pieced his armor together, enclosing himself in a thick, defensive coffin. Lastly came his helm, and once locked into place he felt.. whole. As restrictive as it was it brought him calm, and his troubled mind began to ease. He took his axe in hand, holding it steady at his side, and left the inn behind. Citizens of the city scurried out of his way, wary of the farmed figure, and though many may have feared the worst of him he never faltered in his step. Some of the guards recognized the wear, and kept respectfully to themselves. When, at last, he reached the Black Vagabond he paused. This was it. The anticipation for this single moment mounted in a rush of adrenaline, drowning all fear in flame. He pushed the door open and entered.

His eyes ran over those gathered within, and he couldn't help but think it was a rather.. "colorful" lot. Then he noticed the man at the back, the one standing. So, a cold voice whispered, it was the Prince.. the Ulaid were right. Standing as tall as he could, he announced himself as he had been trained to do, "I hope I'm not too late to partake in this venture, Your Highness. I am Gallow Ó Tuathaláin, son of Farrow; Champion under the Fourth Banner of the Deluge. I offer my services to you, to aid in the restoration of the health of the King." He fell silent, and did not move. He'd spoken his piece.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur

Earnings

0.00 INK

The prince had revealed himself, well maybe he never had been hidding on the first place but Akdov failed to recognize him all the same, he then listened to those who introduced themselves

The warrior woman spoke of herself and if weight was to be given to her words, she was even more dangerous than the priest waged at first, if arrows began to fly and blades to dance he would make a note to go to this woman for counsel and protection first.
An unsavory individual then introduced himself as well, a despicable shameless thug who seemed to harbor not even the smallest regret of being called a thief or a rat or a scoundrel, those men Akdov despised… there could only be penance and forgiveness with regret and the rogue seemed almost proud of his exploits

But Deud`s judgment will come child, sooner or later… maybe sooner

Without so much as a welcome a man in armor blitzed in, Akdov got hastily up from his seat ready to defend himself but the intruder made no following move of transgression.He introduced himself as the champion under the fourth banner of the Deluge, and stood there defiantly not bothering to seat or give any further explanation.

Are you late or do you like dramatic entrances?

Realizing that he was already up Akdov judged it was the right moment to talk and be true “It is indeed a shame prince that your father was none the wiser” some men would be careful with his words but regrettably Akdov had never learned to hold his tongue “A man protected by Deud has little to fear of poisons or diseases, by any chance do you know if the King was secretly a worshiper of the merry god?” his eyes gave all the answer he needed “I am a priest of Deud, who waits for us all in its great hall, my god and I cherish times of peace and know more of war than we would like to, if a king, heathen as he might be, falls then the delicate peace that we have come to enjoy will do as well and that is something that Deud won’t have, it is the reason I am here, to keep the peace”
He gave no name, he would not give it unless he was given a good damned reason to do so “You might call me priest, and I will look to save you from damnation both in your bodies and souls”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Nel's eyes fluttered open from her meditation to a full cup of foaming mead placed precariously on her table. The monk raised an eyebrow at the brown drink that appeared out of nowhere and twisted her neck to the barkeep behind her. As if reading her mind, Vinny tilted his head toward another patron of the bar, a towering individual with a blond mane of hair surrounding his face, from the hair atop his head and the beard hanging from his chin. Such an individual looked odd to Nel, seeing as everyone in the monastery normally either absolve themselves from hair or tied it back neatly, but the last few days traveling proved people did indeed grew their hair out for some bizarre reason. An odd thing that was. She started to notice how the Black Vagabond was also filed with more people. Brushing back a few strands of hair, Nel awkwardly waved to the person, but then a man slipped out from the shadows and started to give some sort of speech. The man spoke in riddles! Was there really a talking crown? What was a “Liege?” Most importantly however, was that more questions were answered then raised, they were searching for a healing amulet, and the man was a prince named Rydas Errion. Nel thought about that for a second: If princes were kings’ sons; this must mean he’s finding a cure for his father. A noble endeavor indeed. Someone came in through the back and when Nel saw the blood covered man; she was genuinely concerned for her own safety.

After people left, scared or intimidated perhaps, the remainder were opted to introduce. The first was a woman, who by the dress of her garb of metal and leather, must have been a warrior. Mirabella had a commanding presence and a strong voice yet a strange aesthetic beauty to boot. Nel was in awe of her. In the midst of said awe, her hand took a grip on the mug of brown liquid, and she looked inside of it.

The second man to introduce himself was…unsavory at best. Xan. Scoundrel, rat, thief, rouge, a sullied life indeed. At least he’s honest; she’ll give him that. Before going back to her drink, someone had rushed in. A tall warrior, towering even the man who gave her a drink, draped in metal from head to toe and a man by the sound of his voice. Gallon O …something-or-other. A “champion”. Despite the title, Nel can’t help but feel unnerved, probably because of the lack of face where the steel helmet was.

In the midst of it all, she started to feel nervous, and naturally tipped the glass that she still held in one hand over to her lips and let the strange foamy liquid in. It had an odd taste to it yet it seemed just as familiar as water itself. Amidst letting the liquid swish around her mouth; she looked with eyes of bewilderment as the man who gave this drink, as a present perhaps, started preaching. Her eyes slowly turned to slits, staring daggers at the priest, lips opened to promptly let the flavored water flow down back into the cup. His air of impotent superiority and lies was something that struck a chord to Nel. Her grip instantly tightened on the glass and in the midst of anger the mug was crushed, glass crunched together in between her fingers, leaving only the handle to fall to the floor among the rest of the glass shards. The noise was rather receptive as it catched various glances from the people in the room.

Taking a breath to calm down, she cleared her throat, and forced by her own actions, tried to introduced herself calmly. “My name is Nelinia Jaze from the Kula Monastery in Kiron.” She took a pause, unsure if any of them knew the congregation of 100 monks, the largest of the four monasteries. “We act as guards for the city and have been for over seven centuries in the while of attaining inner peace. Despite the lack of interest in the Monastery for the King; I have come here on my own accord.”

With that, she uncrossed her legs, and started to pick up various shards of glass that hit the floor and put them on the table.
“Always clean up your own mess, child. Never let people be your servant. Be your own servant.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley stood there, leaning against the wall as the Prince revealed more details about the king's condition, and more importantly, about the possible quest. Another man entered the room as she listened to the Prince's fairy tale about the magic item rumored to be able to save his father. Such an item probably doesn't exist, and the few that don't come out of tales told to children are long lost or destroyed because of the dangers their power brings. Finally, the Prince introduced himself and called for the others to do the same.

She was a rogue, a thief, or whatever you want to call it. Hayley was used to fading in the dark, not to the spotlights. She didn't move an inch or say a word as she waited. Eventually, people started introducing themselves. First a tall, armored woman, describing her prowess with weapons that Hayley didn't find important or interesting. Then a 'fellow' rogue, coming from a small town Hayley was unable to point in a map. She hoped this thief was unfamiliar with "Thoav Underground", it would be very sad if she had to kill another person because of that. After the rogue, another warrior introduced himself, this time a giant by Hayley's definition, she was surprised someone this big didn't come out of the scary stories Hayley heard when she was young. The next two adventurers were rather unusual, a "priest of dude", Hayley wasn't into any religion, but heard priests, clerics and the like could call the strength of their gods to them. The last one to speak was what Hayley thought to be a monk, wearing a bright yellow cloak and talking about inner peace, at least Hayley liked her clothes.

Hayley decided it was time to introduce herself, the one in the middle isn't given much attention anyway. She took a deep breath, Hayley hated this part where everyone was paying attention to her. Still leaning casually against the wall she started introducing herself. "I am Hayley Furdiligit." She started, hoping no one would waste much time thinking about her last name. "And I am a..." She looked for words to describe how she earned her life through stealing and other acts that would probably have her hanged or imprisioned. "Merchant, from Thoav." Hayley finished, not really the truth, but it wasn't a lie after all. She was born in Thoav even though she hadn't set foot there for a long time. She was also a merchant of sorts, she frequently sold stolen items or otherwise retrieved under suspicious circumstances and smuggled illegal goods for a living.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

She watched as the prince spoke, introducing himself and explaining to all of those gathered what they were to set upon. Nari hadn't wasted much time thinking about lost magical artifacts much, but she had heard of them.
After the handsome First Prince was done talking, he would let every man and woman in the Black Vagabond state their name and what else of important knowledge they deemed necessary to share. Nari watched them all as they one by one stepped forth. A rather unsavory sort of man, not afraid of calling himself a thief spoke up. The dark haired ranger locked her eyes on the prince. He didn't seem to call for the guards or anything and no one rushed to seize him.
A big armored woman as well. She'll come in handy in combat. Nari thought and smirked. Her ears twitched when the big brute of a man started talking about his god. Here we go...Another preacher. she sighed and shook her head. Never had she been one for gods and prayers. Ever. She made her own living and lived her own life. Hunted her own food and fought her own battles. Although this time, it would seem she would be fighting someone else's battle for once. Nari was still standing in the shadows, not daring to come forward yet.

She seemed like a monk by garb. Her face didn't really reveal anything, since Nari couldn't see it. In her hand, the monk held a mug of mead. When the 'big brute' spoke, it was crushed in her hand. Apparently, what he said had not been in accordance with her. As another woman who had been standing against the wall started introducing herself, the monk was picking up pieces of glass from the floor. "Might as well get it overwith." Nari said under her breath.
The ranger stepped forward and pulled her hood down, revealing her auburn hair. She stopped at the monk and gently took her hand. She smiled and gently and picked shards out of her hand.
"I am Narenia Halen. I'm a ranger. Never did I think I would find myself in such a.." Nari trailed off as she looked up at the people gathered. She wrapped the cloth around the monks hand and tied it, making sure she wasn't hurting the girl. "Such a varied group of people." Her eyes shifted to the prince and locked on his. "I favor the bow and arrow, and I'm here to help you on your quest."
They didn't have to know that she mainly was in for the money, she would fight no worse and no better because of it. All they had to know, was that she could.

The only spot of trouble she could see already, was that maybe the 'Beer Priest' could get on her nerves. He didn't seem like the type to remain silent when he should, but on the other hand would speak his mind whenever he wanted to. That in itself was fine by Nari, but when it came to gods and religion, one might be careful with words. Especially since there were people of other religions gathered here. The monk for one.
Nari sat down on the chair behind the table the monk was sitting on, and let her bow rest again the edge of the surface. She looked around, watching the faces she came across. Not much response from anyone so far, so whether they thought her friend of foe was still unclear. Time would have to show.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

((Herpderp, posted to the wrong one))

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Once the prince started talking, Callavan ordered a second mead as he found an empty mug a sorry sight. He had to suppress a laugh when the prince mention the Panacea. No wonder he's hiring this sorry lot. He didn't want to waste soldiers on a snipe hunt. He stayed though. It was paying work at least, and, hell, maybe they would find it. There might even be some other treasures to be had.

His introduction could wait, he wanted to see what the others would say first. The warrior wasn't much of a surprise, but he couldn't figure out why she was giving him such a look. He had a bit of a chuckle at the simpleton who admitted to being a thief and Gallow who just stood there looking like a fool. The priest caught him off guard, he had been expecting Akdov to be another fighter. And he wasn't sure what to make of the monk, or what a monk was for that matter. The merchant managed to raise his curiosity. She didn't seem like any of the merchants he had met back home. The archer seemed nice enough, if a bit boring.

With the second drink driving a fire in his belly he ordered a third and raised it up, figuring he might as well speak. “Callavan Sole of Thoav, mage for hire.” After a thought he added, "Guild approved of course." He lowered his mug and took a gulp. “I specialize in traps and enchantments, but...” He held his left hand out, the tattoo on his palm facing upward, and felt the familiar tingle run down his harm as he channeled magic to it and a small burst of flame came forth. Not enough to cause any damage, just a little flash to impress the common folk. “I can offer some ranged support as well.” He paused, taking another drink. The mead was already weeding itself into his mind, muddling with his thoughts. He didn't mind too much, enjoying for the moment the feeling that his mind was freer somehow. ”I'm just in this for money and glory,” he admitted.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia listened with great interest as the Prince described their quest. It sounded like some epic tale from an old legend where the heroes go on a nearly impossible quest and somehow, heroically manage to accomplished their goal. She nearly laughed. In any case, Acacia knew that this quest would give her many new stories to tell at the worst, if they even ended up getting anywhere. When he asked for introductions, Acacia shifted back in her seat, watching her fellow "Adventurers" as they began the process of introducing themselves. Tal would have loved a quest like this, she thought sadly. It only made her all the more determined to take part. Suddenly a man who seemed to have just come fresh out of a brawl walked in. He didn't seem to have any violent intentions and the meeting kept on without pause.

The first to speak up was a tall woman in some various armor. It all seemed mixed and matched, but suitable for defense. She was fairly well built and spoke with confidence. She then began describing her qualifications and weapons of choice. Acacia was almost impressed as she stored everything in her memory for later.
The next was a man named Xan who blantantly admitted he was a thief. Acacia admired his audacity, especially in the presence of the Prince. It seemed he also perhaps had some interest in stories. Maybe they would get along well she thought, smiling at him as he sat.
Immediately after this, a man in full armor burst into the room, quickly introducing himself. Acacia was highly entertained by so dramatic an entrance. "Maybe I should have come in like that. Would have been fun," she mumbled to herself.
The introductions again went on without pause, only a few of those present seeming to find the sudden arrival interesting. One of those at the bar, a tall, rather large, blonde man who had been one of the few to react, then started introducing himself. Apparentally, he was one of the odd characters that followed the god Deud, and a priest no less. He almost seemed to ramble on, but Acacia, wanting to learn all she could, tried to absorb as much as possible and she leaned forward eagerly.
However, one of the others, a woman in yellow robes, seemed to dislike what he had to say. The mug in her hand suddenly shattered. What a strong grip, Acacia thought with an amused smirk. Those yellow robes seemed familiar, as if she had seen something like them before. The woman explained that she was a monk. Acacia thought over the odd name as it tickled the back of her mind. She couldn't quite place it though.
She gave a slight sigh as the next person, a woman standing in the back named Hayley, introduced herself as a merchant. If she is a merchant, then I am an enchanted cow,Acacia thought, the smirk increasing on her face.
Next was a woman who was a ranger. Acacia could almost imagine just how many places she had been. She wondered how long the ranger woman had been traveling. Most likely several years.
The next to introduce himself was a mage, who also seemed somewhat forward. He openly admitted that he was in this for only the money and the glory. Acacia did laugh softly as this, before gracefully standing to make her introduction.

"I am called Acacia Winn," she said with a bow, her arms sweeping back to dramatically flourish her cloak behind her and her hair splaying in front of her face before she abruptly straightened, tossing her head to get it out of her eyes. "You may call me Bard girl if that is too terribly hard to remember," she said with a wink. "I am merely a humble bard, looking to be of assistance to her king. I do have some ability to defend myself, so that should not be an issue. I don't think there is much else to tell, but I will let you know if I think of anything."

She then plopped back down in her seat, an overly thoughtful look on her face as she tried not to break into a smile. Her chin rested on the fist of her left hand as she held out her right hand, slowly twisting it as if to pop her wrist. When her palm was again turned upward, there was a small knife in it that she proceeded to play with, deftly looping it through her fingers and around her knuckles. She seemed to not even pay attention to what she was doing as her face still bore that silly, thoughtful look.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Ive done it again

Shame was something Akdov would presume himself above of, but he had made a mistake with the monk and was now regretting it, he should not have offered a drink to the people that place so much value to the purity of body and mind, a purity that could be potentially tainted by alcohol, neither had he failed to notice how his words have triggered something on her, she crushed his token of good will, the priest realized that the lass might not be a potential believer after all, still he would try.

Then came the emerald eyed archer, she had said everything about her while saying nothing at the same time, clever girl knew how to select her words in the end she had revealed what was needed to know, she was a marksman and probably the one who would be of most assistance if the priest ever craved for fresh boar meat... then... then came the fire-crotch

O shes full of it

Akdov drank till the cup was empty as the merchant woman introduced herself, he thought it would be hard for someone to top his loathing for this shameless gut known as Xan, but Deud preached for the sincerity and the lack of secrets that his drunken visitors showed and this woman... who did she think she was fooling?

"So weve got a Triansui, a rogue with pride, a champion of foreign lands, a kula monk, a ranger..." he stopped and drank more from the cup that Vinny had passed him "- mage for hire and a bard girl and we got need of a merchant?" Akdov was saying loud enough for everyone to hear but wasn't addressing anyone in particular, almost as if he was thinking in loud voice

I'm not letting you got off this

"Supposing our prince here needed to finance his campaign I don't see why we would need a merchant, unless said merchant deals with death or..." he looked at the area where her legs joined and chuckled "Well the flesh is weak isn't it?" he then noticed some looks and continued "Crap i am thinking out loud again!" he laughed out loud and allowed the sounds from his gutter to fill out the hall

He turned to the mage for hire and said " you look like a reliable lot good man, Deud appreciates honest men such as yourself, in me you will find an ally so long as you keep true"

hopefully salvation as well

"Sweeten my mood and drink with me damned heathen!" he said in a jesting tone which he coupled with a pat to the mage´s back that he was hoping would make the mage at ease "Vinny get us something to drink, curse you I can still count to 10 without pausing!" he looked towards the bard and lifted his cup and made a nod which he coupled with a smile, if Deud willed it she would receive this as a sign of good will

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

The bard girl's words were lost on Callavan, feeling that there was no place for a bard in this venture, so he didn't bother to pay her any heed. Instead he quaffed his drink and finished what remained of his meager meal. Or, at least, he tried to until Akdov's comments got him laughing. Though he had been trying to eat so the laughing caused him to choke and cough and beat on his chest until he could breath again. Then he managed to have himself a proper chuckle.

”Oh, you're so cruel to my fellow Thoavian,” he put particular malice on the last word, making sure that he met her eyes. ”Certainly, she appears to have no goods to sell or even the coin that selling them would bring. But I'm sure she must be able to provide a great a deal that would benefit us on our travels. Perhaps some spices or some particularly fine silverware. Or even better, a shipment of fish wherever we may go in this great land” He had himself another chuckle and turned back to the bar only for the priest to keep speaking to him.

Mayhaps it was the mead talking, but Akdov was starting to grow on him, despite his obsession with Deud. ”An ally, eh? I suppose I'll be needing one if I'm to be traveling with this motley crew.” He stroked his beard in thought for a moment, though no thoughts seemed to occur to him. It just seemed like the proper thing to do at the time. ”I'll take you up on that, and the drink as well,” he said, accepting the offer for another round. Holding his mug up to Akdov, he continued, ”May we drink ourselves into a stupor, for we must be fools to accept this quest.” With that he downed the drink in a single go and slammed the mug on the counter, eager for more.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice was silent the entire time. She said no words, not of protest or that of surprise. She watched as everyone fidget and helped one another. She watched as men came in late with stains and unruly hair. Some even in armor. Her eyes remained on the Prince who never wavered from his train of thought once. She listened till she was satisfied with the explanation. Her first thought was not of laughter or foolishness for the Prince, but rather if she would have done the same if it was her own father on the line. The answer was yes. She would have done anything to say him. But this was much more than just his duty to his father; it was his duty as a Prince. He was gambling on a quest, that may or may not have been true, but for the peace of our land and the people of our souls. Her eyes shifted to those who tried not to laugh and held only disappointment. If they didn't take the quest seriously, they why join? What a bunch of fools. As the Prince finished speaking he asked for introductions. The room had ben abandoned pretty fast when the Prince was done. That only made Alice angry. What type of people were they if they could not trust their own Prince? She tried to ignore her anger and concentrated on the speaking. The first woman that gave her own name was a woman that narrowed her eyes at Alice. One thing was sure, she was not liked. How troublesome that would be. The next was a thief. By the end of his introduction, Alice had a smile placed on her lips, not large enough o see but just enough to know it was there. One by one the introductions took place. Alice switched her eyes between everybody, only hearing bits and pieces of the introductions. Her main focus was now on how they all stood or held their posture. Wouldn’t want to get lost in the quest. Alice felt shivers run down her back as she took in every ones appearance. Exciting or plain foolishness for going into a quest whens he had just gotten her Seal remained yet a mystery to the Mage.

Last, was a Bard. Alice paid no attention to her words but more to her instrument. It was beautiful. She liked it. Just as she liked the yellow robes. They left her wanting some herself. The small figure had surprised her when she broke the glass, but it also gave her hope. At least the Prince hadn’t got such a terrible group. It was then when Alice was about to give her own introduction that the man who ranted on about his own God just a bit too much, spoke. His words were venom to some and to others, much like Alice herself, they were hard not to laugh at. Not that she thought it was funny neither how he was making an enemy nor how he was dividing everyone by his simple words. She tried to hide her laughter for it was funny how the man was ruining the games before he even began. It was funny how he would say horrible stuff, not only tot eh King but to people here and not give a second glance. And, when she was being truthful, the last part about the merchant left her giggling silently to herself. There was a large smile playing on Alice's lips. She would witness a great fight, not getting hurt herself, and before the quest even began. If she was lucky, maybe she would witness the Prince boil in rage but she pray that eh quest wouldn't be cancelled over a few insults. She still wanted to show her pointy nosed teacher what she was made of. How was a girl supposed to do that without a quest?

Alice retreated back, the introduction she had planned, completely gone. She placed her head in her arms that were sprawled on the table and she rested. This was silly and Alice would take no part in this. When it was over, they could wake her. And she had another thought in mind. This quest, no matter how interesting it sounds and no matter how prepared she was to go, was still quiet scary. Did the Prince have any leads at all? Where to begin in this quest that has only a mere thread of information for us to use and what about expenses? There were mismatched groups of lots here and just how were they going to travel? Where would they sleep? The Prince had money, would he spend it? There wasn't that much of a chance that they would even succeed, yet if he was gambling this much, surely, he could gamble some money. Oh well. The group was smart... Someone would ask... Eventually. Alice would be ready to hear it whent ehy did. The petite Mage closed her eyes, her hair falling over her face, completely covering it. She was a Mage that just had gotten her Seal. She was excited to try out her power and impress anyone that she could. The small fire the other Mage had made left Alice a bit flustered. He was a Mage himself; maybe he too would be like her teacher and spot the flaws she was trying to hide. But that mattered not, for now; all that mattered was getting this quest on the road. Alice draped the hood of her fur cloak over her head, just to make sure if things break they wouldn't hit her. Maybe, she would become a stronger woman than before after this quest. A foolish thought remained in her head. A light smile danced. If I get stronger after I help the King get well, maybe, even though my skin will be ruined and I'm lazy, I might still be able to get married. Maybe I'll have so much strength that others will be left wide eyed. I wish to marry right after this quest.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

Now.. why was everyone looking at him so strangely? The reasons were too many to number, and he cast the thought aside.

Gallow's attention was immediately turned to the priest who had bolted to his feet so amusingly. The man's words were grating on Gallow's ears, and for good reason. He seemed arrogant and vain, like most that followed his path in the names of whatever divines they claimed to be the mouthpieces for. The Deluvians did not believe in a religious caste. All priests were good for was adding complication and bureaucracy to something that should remain purely personal. A man or woman's church was their home and they worshiped, or chose not to, mostly as they pleased in the Deluge. The man's bloated sense of self-righteousness fired Gallow up to no end, but he kept his words in his throat, no matter how badly his tongue burned for him to reprimand the oaf.

“You might call me priest, and I will look to save you from damnation both in your bodies and souls." Gallow made a sound of distaste at nearly the same time he heard the sound of glass shattering. He had to turn his entire upper body to look, and saw a woman who claimed to be a monk. Apparently he shared some amount of her distaste for the clergyman, though maybe not quite to her degree. He paid little mind to the so called "merchant". He'd seen innumerable merchants and traders before, and though they'd all had a crafty air about them something about this girl rubbed him the wrong way. Perhaps just his imagination? Possibly. He made a mental note to be wary. As the ranger began to make her introductions Gallow moved nearer the counter, minding the bloodied man behind it, and continued scanning the ragtag ensemble from the helm's thin slit. A ranger.. he'd met a few of those during his time, and they'd varied greatly every encounter. He gauged her by her words and her manner. She was concise, sparing no time for weaving flowery yarns about herself. Good, he grumbled. There was little reason to say more than needed, especially when all it did was waste breath. Both she and the monk shared that attribute. He could not tell what worth a monk would be, but kept his mind open.

Now, the mage was certainly an oddity. He'd not often seen one who looked so.. rugged? Warmages followed a warrior's path, but with Guild training, and so they kept themselves neat as Deluvian martial standards dictated. Other than them, most mages he'd seen seemed more scholarly. An interesting fellow, to be sure. And maybe it was the mead (which Gallow was sure the man was drinking), but he did speak his mind. Not always a good trait, especially so if the speaker was anything like that boastful blackguard of a priest, but in certain doses it could amount to respectability. And then came the bard. His first thought was most obviously: A bard? What use does a bard serve outside spinning tales and singing songs? They were entertainment, after all, and usually little else. Not to say that he did not appreciate the talent of a good rhapsode! Oh, no. Learned poets of high calibre were greatly valued by the Ulaid, and their songs and stories were often the added highlights of many a tavern throughout the Deluge. As for her claim of being able to defend herself.. well.. they would see about that, eventually. She seemed a peculiar one, especially with the way she fell back into her seat and fiddled with a blade. Not odd in a negative way, at least not yet.

The uproarious priest decided it would be a proper time to fire his mouth off, again. Oh, sweet Donn, if only you would see fit to silence this foolish brute, he lamented silently, deciding not to spare a word at the man's worthless expense.

"So weve got a Triansui," Gallow's ears pricked up immediately, his eyes finding a haphazardly armored figure seated elsewhere in the tavern. Another soldier.. the surprises were to continue, then. His thoughts completely deafened him for a moment, and he missed the rest of what the priest had said, although that was more than likely a tremendous blessing. He said a quiet prayer of thanks to the gods. He glanced once more at the Prince, and retired to the counter. Dropping his axe to lean against the wood, Gallow unlatched his helm, slipped it off and set it down. The priest and the mage were now fit to celebrate, and with the adrenaline gone that familiar uncomfortableness was just setting in, again. It was all just obnoxious noise, and it had his nerves on edge.

His throat was dry, and his whole body felt uneasy right down to his core. He ordered a glass of wine, paying the man who served him with a few coins, and sipped at his drink slowly. Teachings among his people made clear the proper method for the consumption of wine. If one did not assert temperance then they might be overcome by drunken fits of violence. Deluvians had a long history of wine making, and as such it was rooted in their culture. Their largest trade with northern Calisma was wine, in fact. He could recall the vineyards sprawling on for eternity under a warm sun, bordered by rolling green on all sides. The memories brought him comfort in the din, and he yearned for the peace to remain.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched the final possible members of the group introduce themselves. A ranger, and archer to be precise, at least they wouldn't be lost in the forest. A mage from Thoav. Hayley would watch her back around anyone from her old hometown, especially a mage. Even though Hayley liked magic, and valuable magic items, she saw most mages as arrogant people, and this one was already showing off. At least he said he was on it for the glory, like everything mages do. The last one to speak was a bard, maybe the group would be entertained with this girl around, and she could always tell tales of their success should they ever return alive with the necklace.

And then, like it always happens, a perverted man decided to get on Hayley's nerves. The drunken priest started talking, questioning the need for a "merchant", putting Hayley's lie in question, she wasn't a very good liar after all, maybe that's why almost everyone gave her a weird look when she said it. The stupid man also had to make a comment on her body didn't he? This is when being a beautiful woman sucks, when you are around drunken perverts. Hayley stood straight and her face started feeling very warm. "Indeed, among other things, I also deal with death if that's what you look for, stupid old man, but you shall not worry about the price, yours will be free if you keep looking at me." She spat out, taking a few steps forward.

Hayley took a breath before explaining what she was. "I have grown tired of the business, and decided to change the way I live, adventuring is a lot more glorious and exciting than discussing prices." She said another half-truth, the girl fought the urge to draw a dagger and stab the man, pull one of his eyes out or turn him into an eunuch.

Then the other idiot, the mage from Thoav, spoke in his turn. Hayley got furious and almost threw one of her daggers at him, but decided against it, the mage didn't seem to be powerful enough to brag over killing him, it wouldn't be wise to start a fight with all these warriors around. But Hayley wasn't know for being prudent. The girl swiftly moved to stand just behind the mage, drawing a dagger. "Are you sure you want to make fun of me? We may have different definitions of fun." She said with a grin, dagger in hand, if he made any more stupid comments Hayley would end up stabbing this man. She examined the back door the barkeep used earlier to disappear, seemed like a good escape route should it be needed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella's posture got noticeably stiffer as words began to exchange heatedly between the members of their newly formed ragtag group. There were few things she knew about dealing with outsiders and by the Gods, she didn't exactly want to work with some of these people but she would at least try. If they dispersed before even setting upon the quest....

The Priest was the first to throw out his ideals then one of the mages. The second mage, a young looking thing, appeared to despise confrontation so she simply lay her head down upon her arms to block out the argument. Next, the 'merchant' stepped forward, answering the Priest's claims and lobbing off a threat of her own as she now wielded a dagger.

Enough was enough. No one that she had originally thought to be a 'leader' of the group, whether the aged Priest or the desperate Prince, seemed determined to step in and stop this mess. So she would. Even if she didn't stop it, she would at least express her opinion that they were all fools.

In her clear, accented voice she finally said, "Enough!" Without the theatrics of breaking glasses or drawing her sword, she simply stood up and leveled a half-glare at all those participating.

"Whether you have come here to partake this quest upon sense of royal obligation or wealth or fame or glory... Know that none of you will have what you desire if you are to kill each other before we even start."

She glanced from the Priest, to the mage Callavan, to the 'merchant' woman all in turn since they were the three closest to coming to blows.

"If she were a merchant or a farmer or even a trollop from some two bit whorehouse I would have to say that as of right now I would prefer her at my side because she would probably bring more to this quest than a love of mead. So if you all are too bigoted to put your feelings aside then let me know now because I cannot help to guard those that would stab each other in the back before we even face an actual enemy worthy of our blades."

Her pale brown eyes were afire with her anger. She decided to settle down, shaking her head so quickly that her blond hair fell into her eyes for a brief moment and causing need for her to run her hand through her tresses to tame them once more.

"If you wish to have your battle then do so now and get it over with. I will be waiting outside so that my armor doesn't get stained over petty squabbles." Her voice had lowered for the last sentence and she pushed passed everyone in the room to walk out of the front door for a bit of air.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Why had he always failed to be so… sharp when he needed to? The merchant was already closer than he would like and worse of all she was going for the bearded mage, damnit it should be the priest not the mage… he had to make her priorities change and she looked like quite the hot head it would not be hard

“Now listen to me wench, who is to blame the joker or those who laugh It was I who spat at your honesty not him, leave him out of it!” there was death in her eyes “Come and get done with it Ive got all night to get stabbed!” Deud would welcome him in the great hall he knew

And she seemed to be going to indeed do something about it, the mage was not content with being merely an spectator and was preparing a surprise of his own, Akdov wanted to shout for him to not do anything stupid when a voice interrupted them
“Enough” it was the swordsman, woman, she then continued to mark the errors in their ways and what Akdov had failed to communicate, if they did not work together they would be doomed from the start

The lying fire crotch had shown everything Akdov needed to know, she was a short tempered brute which despite the lies failed to hide the simplicity of her ways, judging that the situation was distinctively cooler now, the priest knew that the shield woman was the one that he should look upon for guidance and support most of all

He trailed after her giving a glance to the liar and the mage, he wanted to tell them to behave but it stuck in his gut not quite coming out
Making it out he saw her, the Triansui “Lady I think we need a word about this whole endeavor, something is rotten in this company and I think you are the one with the best judgment”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
[posted in the wrong place again]

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon winced as his head began to feel the pain once more, long gone was the effects of adrenaline in his body and slowly the pain had begun to seep back in. He knew he should not have gone to the meeting on his own. He probably should not have gone to the meeting at all, after all he didn't have what they wanted. Still whats done was done and he needed to focus on the task at hand, getting into this motley group of wannabe adventurers. Looking around the room he saw at least a few of them looked like they could swing a sword and perhaps if they were lucky not kill themselves with it.

He turned as the first began to speak. A woman, dressed in fine armor and expensive by the looks of it. Hardly worn and well taken care of? Well that means one of two things. Either she avoids fights and is not as great a warrior as her title suggests, or she is really not someone to mess with. I'll wait and see to reserve judgement on that one" Next the thief. Now a thief was the sort of person he would find himself getting to know. As a person of the shadows himself he reckoned that they would have similar interests and, well, lets say ambitions. Feylon made a mental note to speak more to the thief if time allowed.

Next up, although perhaps a little premature was the warrior from the South, although in his view they were more barbarians than noble warriors, but for now he would keep that to himself. He didn't want to piss anyone off that would perhaps be travelling with him for long periods of time. At least not yet anyway. The next, well what needed to be said about the next person to introduce oneself? A priest, a self-centered, self-righteous priest. Feylon didn't need to think about how well they would get along at all, already he despised the man. Perhaps a little unfair to judge someone so quick but so far Feylon was unimpressed.

A monk then brought herself forward, again unimpressed Feylon decided to not bother listening at all and zone out completely until the next participant stood up, the "merchant" from Thoav. Feylon didn't know how to read her like the others, he wasn't sure what to think of her just yet apart from the fact that she was a really bad liar. That he was certain of. However her hair, he seemed to be drawn to the fiery head, people in the city had such boring haircuts hers was a breath of fresh air. As people kept introducing themselves Feylon began to get bored, he looked down into a cup of mead he had poured himself and put money into the hands of the barkeep of whom he knew quite well. When the mage stepped up he let out a deep sigh. He had mixed feelings about mages, some of them walking around the place acting like they were the best things since barreled mead and the others, well they just wander around lazy as can be not helping anyone but themselves with their magic.

Then the ranger stepped up, just like himself it made him smile. He found other rangers to be the best company when travelling. They could adapt to the people around them more than others. At least he liked to think that anyway. Then he strayed off again. Thinking to himself, about what lay ahead. He was abruptly interrupted by an outburst of people in front if him. Feylon saw the warrior lady stand up and shouting at the people in front of her. He couldn't help but laugh and finally stand up to have his go.

"Tell me good Prince, you stand here trying to assemble a team of adventurers and yet right here in front of your eyes they fight. How do you expect to command a rabble of bandits and thieves when people are pressured and stressed out in the field of combat if you cannot even control them here in your city? Maybe you aren't the natural leader you think you are. Maybe....maybe that's why you weren't your fathers favorite." Feylon let out a quick sly smile and continued to talk. "Also I find this whole adventure rather suspicious. You seem to be ready to abandon your duties here to chase some fairy tale that might save you father on a whims notice. That either takes one of two things, a real sense of honor and love or a deep sense of guilt. That to me sounds like the most probable one. Maybe you were sick of your father not treating you properly. Maybe you decided to get him sick and heal him again. Scare him into realising that you are his only hope. I reckon thats what happened but it took a wrong turn somewhere and now to get him back to full health you need to go chasing down myth's and legends. I don't know Prince, you tell me" Feylon smirked and let out a sly snigger. Hoping to get some sort of reaction from the prince and the adventurers in front of him.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


After his introduction the company followed suit. As each rose or stood or raised their voice to present heir name and skill, the Prince devoted his full attention on the speaker. He intently listened. It wasn’t just to words or tone that he paid attention to, but to their stance, pauses, fidgeting and how they were received as well. As each finished speaking, he murmured thanks and praise.

The first to rise was a metal-clad femme. She spoke of her heritage, skill with shield and hand-to-hand weaponry. At her rank, his interest sparked. His head dipped in a show of appreciation. “Lady, the Triansui and their skill are well known to me, you are most welcome in our company.”

Next up was a man whose honesty rather than profession defined his character, at least in this stage of the game. The Prince nodded, as friendly of a gesture as he could muster, for smiles were rare especially due to recent events. “I admire your honestly, while we are often at opposite sides of the law know that your particular set of skills are most welcomed here as long as you can keep to the straight and narrow while employed by the crown.”

A quiet interruption was made as a man entered mid-introductions before stating his name and rank. Rydas eyed the man, perpetually thankful for the support of a noble family. “Please send many thanks home to the Deluge, an Ó Tuathaláin in arms with the Errions is a welcomed sight again, indeed.”

The next man to rise spoke words of hostility, though Rydas wasn’t sure whether it was intentional or just ignorance. His hand gripped his sword for a moment before releasing. “A cleric is a beneficial addition to our cause. Mind you, Priest, that Paetax is a city that welcomes all religion and spiritual beliefs. They are varied, so mind your preaching lest you wish to offend. This time alone I’ll let the insult to the King pass, but be warned that next time I will be forced to take action.”

Eyes turned once more, landing on a woman garbed in yellow, who had just broken a glass. He’d missed whatever had conspired, though from the anger burning in her eyes towards the priest, he could guess. She spoke, and the pieces fit together. “Lady Monk, you are a far ways from home, but the skill of your order is legendary. We are honoured to have you among our ranks.”

Attentions switched to a fiery-haired woman, who paused mid speech about being a merchant from Thoav. The underground of Thoav was not unknown to the crown. While many attempts had been made to curb the darker of trades, life of the city depended on the crime that took place, and so more often than not they turned the other cheek. He’d keep her secret, if need be. “Miss, your special talents will not be misplaced here. I venture your bargaining skills may come in handy.”

Next a woman rose, quiet and simple. Her honesty range true. The Prince, again, nodded his head. “Lady, we thank you for the dedication of your bow and feel fortunate to have a skilled tracker in our midst.”

It was a mage that spoke next, boasting of his seal. A spark of fire burst out of his hand and then faded. While the Prince had seen many mages the magic always impressed him, he’d never had the talent for it. “A member of the Guild is always welcome, and your talents will be most helpful on this quest, I’m sure.”

Vision drifted to the woman that spoke next, a most unexpected addition to the troupe. A bard. She was far from unwelcome, however. He’d learned with his armies that spirits and morale were kept high by song and dance. “Lady Bard, I look forward to your music on this inevitably long journey.”

And then the crowd dissented into bickering. Hardly a second to interrupt, Rydas watched as they began to combat themselves. They’re naught but children, he thought, letting out an audible sigh. Perhaps he’d have to cut the crew down further in rank. Before he could have so much as a word, Mirabella spoke up and left. While he was grateful for the chiding, the leaving was rather unnecessary. “The Triansui speaks the truth. Here, in this company, you are to be sworn under oath to a truth. Your history, for now, is to be set aside. This quest has the potential to shape the future. If you are not willing to work beside each other, you can step aside or else you will be put aside. Priest, Merchant: end this now.” But the priest exited, and the Prince weighed the odds about the results of cutting him from the group.

The bloodied man rose up, stepped forward and began to speak. This, however, was not an introduction. Rydas’ hand gripped the hilt of his sword again. An ember of anger burned in his stomach, though outwardly he appeared normal. Had those words been spoken to him anywhere else, the man would have been dead in an instance. Here, behind closed doors, he awarded the man a chance to redeem himself. “Speak to me like that again and you will not live to see the sun rise.” His voice was cold, hard and unwavering. There was no desperation here, but the confidence of a hardened soldier.

“Your political views are irrelevant here, though I assure you Paetax is in as well of a state as can be expected due to the state of the King. My duties are well covered. I’d not stand idly by well my King slips into the after life. If you have neither the love nor honor, belief nor desire for this quest, then be gone from my sight and stop wasting my time.”

The Prince was calm. Too calm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

And for every stone to drop, another will follow. At least that looked to be the way of things in life. The foolish cleric had stepped in it, as well as the mage, it seemed. He had not realized the overly bearded man had said something worthy of retribution. He watched the fiery haired "merchant" carefully. If she made to strike, should he stop her? Would it be worth it to go to the aid of the poor fellow? Then again, could he even be swift enough to cease a strike before it made marriage with flesh? Regardless, he was fixated on the focal point of tension, torn between decisions. This really was not his battle, unless it spilled his way.. he supposed there was no real reason to get himself involved in their sinuous stupidity. Although he really did not feel up for a fight were one to break out. Damned be these inconveniences," Gallow sighed into his glass.

Perhaps the truest shock came when the Triansui spoke up. When she put her foot down. He had to look over the tavern once more. Just how many women had shown up to volunteer for this mad venture? His mind on this one was made up rather swiftly: she truly did seem a warrior. All the better, really. He would have been disappointed had she turned out to be just a girl with a pretense of strength and nothing more. He could hardly blame her for removing herself from the room after the preceding nonsense. Anyone with half a brain in their head would have been fed up with it! But then, of course, the priest followed her. At least he was no longer in present company, although he did feel sorry for the woman. No one should have to put up with someone who seemed to breath sanctimonious trash.

He noticed a girl with her head down sitting alone, and wondered what exactly she was doing there. Could she have come for the quest, too? If she had, perhaps she was having second thoughts about her decision? His thoughts were interrupted by the bloodied bastard who'd been silent up 'til now. What he had to say... Well... Gallow nearly had a hard time keeping himself from laughter. This was most indisputably unorthodox behavior from Gallow's experience. The Ulaid may be civilized, but they were still nobles, and rather unforgiving ones at that! Most held their tongues in the presence of a Lord or Lady. When riled to anger they were capable of unpredictable and delightfully heterogeneous forms of viciousness in retaliation for such verbal offenses. Nonetheless, it was more than comical. Perhaps it was his detached emotional state, but Gallow did not immediately register how this would effect the Prince. Rydas was justifiably defensive, but he contained his anger.

Releasing a quiet breath, Gallow set down his glass and turned. "I can not know what affect my words may have, particularly if none have yet heeded the Triansui's nor the Prince's counsel, though I feel an obligation to reinforce what they have offered. From my experience the key to the success of any endeavor, especially one where those who undertake the weight together differ tremendously in their beliefs, lies in two things: devotion to the task and to carrying your share of the burden, and tolerance when facing diversity. Bickering like children has only ever led to the ruination and complete dissolution of any undertaking such foul influences have met." He spared a moment for a breath before adding, "If any here think themselves incapable of meeting those standards, perhaps it would be favorable for them to take their leave. Maybe I am not alone in my opinion on this matter." He bowed his head respectfully to the Prince, and returned somberly to the remainder of his wine.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Though he appreciated the priest's attempt to draw the wench's ire, Callavan wasn't one to to back down from a fight so easily.

Grinning, he said, “ Sure you want to do that 'merchant'?” He dropped his hand to down to his side with the hope that she wouldn't notice. The magic was already boiling away in him, ready to be used at a moments. His first move was already planned out. Nothing fancy, he'd wait for her to make the first move then he'd launch a fireball. It wouldn't even have to hit, the distraction alone would be enough for him to jump over the counter, putting something between them.

Then the Triansui started to speak. Some of what she said rang true to him. The rest stank of insult. His words may have been barbed, but they could cause no harm to whoever this fool girl was and she had pulled a knife on him. Yet he was the one being chastised. Was this swordswoman blind? Could she not detect such a blatant lie.

Regardless he focused back on his assailant. ”Well girl? Still think fightin' me's such a great idea?” His temper might have been slightly cooled by the Triansui's words, but he was spoiling for a fight now. Akdov's departure didn't even register with him. ”Think you can even take me?” Sparks popped from his palm, he had started channeling magic without realizing it.

The bloodied stranger seemed to be taunting the prince. He heard a couple more start talking, but he didn't pay them any mind. Callavan didn't care, he just kept watching the 'merchant' over his shoulder, daring her to strike. ”Do you really think anyone here is going to fall for such flimsy lies? What are you really? An assassin sent here to kill the prince? Or maybe you're here just sabotage his quest. No, those don't sound right. You lack the subtly those require. Perhaps the priest was right and you're nothing but a two bit whore. That's not right though, you're not pretty enough for that. No, I think you're just a lost little girl who's gotten in over her head.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella d'Adreci

((Outside of the Black Vagabond))


The doors pushed open, startling a few commoners that were lingering by the tavern's doors and windows to try to sneak a peek of the gathering. Apparently, once word had spread that the Prince himself was in attendance the brave and curious came 'round to investigate. A few made motions as if they were going to ask the warrior lass for more information but the look in her eye had them all scurrying back to their posts and they stayed still even when the Priest barged out after her.

“Lady I think we need a word about this whole endeavor, something is rotten in this company and I think you are the one with the best judgment.”

Mirabella pinched the bridge of her nose, hoping to distract herself from an oncoming headache and to try to ease the tension that she had hoped would dissipate without anyone to hover over her. Since she had no time to relax, no time to even take a deep breath, her ire was still simmering right beneath the surface and she let some of that spill out onto Akdov.

"You wish to seek my council?" She retorted, unable to keep the hint of incredulity from her voice as she turned to face him head on. "You. A priest much older than I? You are one of the reasons I am disappointed in this...." she paused to search for the word, her lips contorting slightly as if the phrase was bitter on her tongue, "Expedition. I saw you and I thought... 'Here is a man that will lead us on the right path. He is a priest so he must be benevolent and wise and strong.' Do you know how disheartening it is to realize that I trust no one in there at this moment? There are so many in there that are younger than even I am. That need guidance and leadership and someone to counsel them and do you think I am the woman for the job? No! I should not be but I also will not stand by while you ridicule people. It is obvious that she lied but did you stop to think that she is embarassed by her occupation?"

She paused, hoping that it would sink in even though she didn't think it would. He seemed to have his world easily separated into black and white, right and wrong categories with no room for negotiation. "Maybe she has had a rough life and turned to whatever it is she does to make a living but do not sit there and judge her when I highly doubt you or anyone else in there has led a life free of sin."

She had obviously run out of steam with her rant but if he (and every commoner within earshot, it seemed) had gleaned anything from her diatribe it would be that she was quite honest when she decided to share her opinions. In regards to that honesty, she didn't actually trust anyone but she seemed to be far more willing to give people a chance to prove her correct. Cynic that she was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Despite on being one's hands and knees, picking up pieces of glass amongst the flavored water, Nel still held an open ear. After her, the prince spoke to her, expressing his gratitude and knowledge of the order. It was delightful to know someone knew the monastery, her whole world until a few days ago, and it was such a relief. After the prince was a girl with fire-like hair; a merchant! The oddest place to find a merchant would be here and she wondered what was her reason: Fame? Glory? Duty? Riches? All four? Whatever it might be, Nel had to admire her aspirations, her courage for trying her hand at such a quest since she looked so frail and brittle. In truth, the tale of the merchant had a far better ring then that of the warrior, fighter, and others, more so because of her hidden bravery! Maybe it can someone Nel can really relate to, after all, she didn't know how to swing a sword, shoot a bow, magic, or even navigate a forest...thank goodness for roads. Some normalcy in this adventure, slowly starting to sound more absurd as seconds flew by, was what she truly needed.

When all of a sudden, her hand was grasped, and she jumped up, scared and ready to throw a blow until she saw it wasn't an enemy. When Narenia introduced herself, it felt, although she was speaking to the room, like she was speaking to the monk herself as she garnered to some of the glass on her hand. She only realized then, the large pieces of glass protruding from her bandaged palm, and the bit of blood that it managed to seep through the new-but-now-sullied bandages. "Thank you, Narenia." She said gratefully as she turned around to Narenia behind her, face beaming an innocent smile. "I just...uhm...slipped...my hand." Nel said awkwardly in her attempt to justify the mess, just noticing then the scar across her companions left eye, turning back to sweep the rest of the mess on her hand. Her hand DID slip. Into breaking the glass.

When she tool a seat back down in her chair the next to speak was...the man with the beard. Nel didn't knew the man but he could spot him a mile away with that beard and she was sure, so sure, that it twitched ever so slightly. She squinted her eyes just in case but it didn't move again. Like it knew it was being watched. The owner of the beard was Callavan, a mage, surprisingly since he didn't look like the scholarly type, or smart for that matter as he downed another glass of flavored water.. He showed them a little fire from the palm of his hand and Nel was instantly envious. How easier it would be to make a fire if she could just place her palm up to some deadwood. Then again, she'd have to forget the finer things of life. Like handshakes. Don't give the bearded man a handshake. The next person to speak was a bard. A bard! Her eyes lit up as Acacia, (axe-say-see-ya?) introduced herself, and she was ecstatic at the presence of someone who can play the lute. Or who can sing! Or who can do both! In the midst of the monk's thoughts, the priests words protruded her ears, and thoroughly pushed aside the fantasies of music.

She knew why he hated the priest: because he was a priest. Nel didn't in particular liked the memories that served her when someone shouted their deity whole-heatedly into the air as an excuse. Those memories served as fodder to the fire of hate. What use did priests have in such a group? Nel turned away from the conversation when it got too difficult to understand after merchants dealing with death and the flesh is weak or something. Meaningless euphemisms. The monk leaned over from her chair to grab her quarterstaff that she placed flat on the ground, something not a lot of people would have noticed, and placed it on her lap. She could feel herself slowly slipping and closed her eyes. Breath in. Breath out. A simple meditation the monastery taught children for it's simple, effective, easy use. Yet it didn't work. The voices were loud. Really loud. People were talking loudly. It was burning her ears; disturbing the meditation. She tried to block out the noise but the noise was just blocking her out. The oddest thing was: this felt familiar, like she went through this before.

Then she remembered. Children. She loved children, yes, but not the youngest ones, the newest ones, those who had to make noise consistently. That's it. This is a room full of children. Not even good children who learnt well from their elders and grew stronger, with their bodies and minds everyday, but the rotten ones, those who cry and complain, cry and complain, cry and complain, cry and complain, eat, then cry and complain again. A headache. Too few to care for yet enough to dread. It truly needed to stop. Why were the merchant and the bear- mage even doing in the first place fighting? Nel took a careful step off the chair, leaving the quarterstaff to lean up against the table she sat at, and walked toward the counter where the two were near to fighting. Just as Callavan finished his nasty insult, the monk drew closer, to get as close as she can in between them without wedging herself in. "Can you two please stop fighting?" Nel asked innocently, forearms brought to her chest, almost as is she was praying except her hands weren't clasped together. The position had little spiritual meaning though as it's easier to bring arms down then it is to bring them up if it shall come to it. She wish she had better words to say but none other could dare come to mind then.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia smiled and nodded back at the loud and almost obnoxious priest, Akdov, the knife seeming to disappear as it went back up her sleeve. Though he was loud and somewhat insulting, he also offered a great source of entertainment. Of course his comments, along with the mage's, were obviously quite offinsive and even hostile toward the redheaded "merchant." Acacia just hoped her temper didn't match her hair.

Which apparently it did. Acacia watched, groaning inwardly as Hayley began defending herself from the priest, only to lose her temper at the mage's comments. The redhead strode up to the man, coming to a stop behind him with a dagger now drawn that she was wielding threateningly. This argument sparked several others, who either tried to quench the fight, like Mirabella, who then waked out, or others who only made it worse, such as the man who had walked in bloody before. He apparently is good at antagonizing, Acacia thought with an inward smirk. She had few doubts that this would explain his interesting appearance.

Acacia could already see this dissolving into a proper bar fight. After hearing even the prince getting irritated, Acacia figured she might as well step in between the two still tense instigators of this. They also only seemed to be getting more strained as the mage began threatening as well. Acacia watched as sparks began popping out in his palm. She quickly moved her lute where it would be out of the way, scooted out from behind her table, gracefully rolled over another without disturbing its contents, and landed beside Hayley, a small smile on her face.

"Now, stupid words from drunken idiots aren't worthy of your time, are they?" she said gently. In a lower voice, she continued, "Don't worry, I will help you get back at those louts later," she smiled a bit wider, gently pushing the dagger from its currently threatening position.

"As for you, Callavan, was it? It would probably be wise to cool your head as well. Wouldn't want to get into too much fun tonight, now would we?" she said with a wink.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

She was rightfully pissed, good, a person enveloped in rage was sincere, and her words showed that she had never seen a cleric of Deud before, there might be a good reason for that
“Child age has blessed me with wisdom but I can only lead the faithful and those people would never put weight in my words I can tell, did you saw how they looked at you?” He sat, anger had soiled her fair features “If they are lying to us about something so simple how we can trust them for anything, do not think my actions are without plan, this whole bait and act has drawn the ones that can be relied upon… I was hoping it would be the prince but it seems not to be the case”

Where is a drink when I need one?

“The life of the clergy has seen attempts again my life over and over again, I am a blasphemer and the root of evil to several institutions… I will say this, you have to question everything that is given” he was not seeing any real impact on his words
“What I mean is, the prince could have easily assembled a better team himself a group of elite knights that had shared operations or the like… if he’s coming to strangers he has not seen before that either makes me believe he is desperate or that something far more sinister is at play here, he is prince yes, but no heir and none of us are bastions of virtue or admirations as you just saw… All I saw there were perfect scapegoats… but for what?” it was ill to sow even more doubt amongst the ranks but he would not hold what he saw
“I can only say that I trust the mage for hire, the monk and yourself… despite my liking for the bard she is far too innocent and sweet, something is amiss there and the disdain the monk harbors towards me, would not, could not be a part of a facade… and the merchant is far too hot headed to be of use, the right words and she could be the knife at the night to end us”
He glanced around, nobody could be listening now, not to him at least “Its better to weed out those that we can trust from those we can’t, there are many who would benefit from the king`s demise… did you looked at the prince? I challenged him and he stayed to goddamn calm, my every action was meant to touch nerves and it has served me well… one does not stay alive long with such reckless behavior”

If she is part of the plot I am a dead man

"I dont have the strength to stand in combat to any of them, I am a priest and I can only pray for the best, but goddamn sometimes it is easier to pray to forgiveness in stead of divine intervention, if it comes to it, whats your take on this?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

The innocent monk had thanked her and smiled brightly. It was only returned by Nari. One friendly action deserved another. It would seem though, that everything from here on would spiral downwards.
The priest had overspoken and of course did the woman with armor - Mirabella - taken offense to it. After a short verbal insult had she left the room only to have the priest trailing after her.
I wonder how that's going to turn out. Nari thought and raised her eyebrow. The 'merchant' had proved her temper to be that of...well.. She was hot headed to say the least. Not a moment had it taken for her to take offense and retaliate to everything the mage said. Nari's first intention was to go over to the unbelieveable rude man and tell him how exactly you talk to a woman. She had went from the red-haired woman to a wench and a whore in a considerable short amount of time. The monk with the wounded hand was still remained in her seat and kept calm for the moment. As she looked with her piercing green eyes, so did a few others in the room. A man that seemed troubled and acted like he didn't really care much for what was going on, the prince himself and the girl with the lute. For now at least.

The other man, the other ranger, or that was what Nari would guess him to be, spoke to the prince now. Just within earshot, his female counterpart could her what he was saying.
Either that man is stupid or he's been paid to do that. She thought, expecting a blow from the prince's sword any moment now. But nothing happened. All that came from him was a bone chilling warning, hopefully effective enough to make the foolish man step down. How quickly this had descended into a mere brawl and petty squabble. This wasn't what she had come here for, not at all. Nari wanted to stop the fighting and make everyone pipe down, but feared that because of her proud nature she would end up holding a knife to someone's throat. Especially the mage if he so much as dared calling her a whore.
A smile crept across her face as the innocent little monk stood and approached the bickoring couple in an attempt to end their dispute. How unlikely and unexpected that was.
Maybe she can stop them now that they seem to completely ignore their prince's command. Nari had thought that his words would have an effect on them, alas it seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Were they even aware of his presense still?

A deep sigh came from the female ranger as she looked around. The mage was surrounded by three women, two of them trying to calm the red-head down and the prince was companied by the foolish insultant. It still hadn't settled with her how a man could be so reckless as to insult a man like him, even Nari had more brain than that. The troubled man had spoken as well, but his words too seemed to fly right past everyone. Everyone except Nari at least. She nodded at him and tilted her head with a shrug and a sigh. She didn't say anything to him as he had already sat down.
In fear of losing her own temper and seeing this group worsen, making their quest seem even more impossible, the ranger woman walked towards the prince this time. He had this thing about him. Something that demanded respect, but Nari wouldn't give respect unless it was returned. And there was the fact that everytime someone made a quick move or the like, his hand went to the hilt of his sword.
"My prince."she started. "Pardon my interruption, but I fear that neither of us had expected the outcome of this meeting. Perhaps a bucket of ice cold water would cool their heads?" Nari smiled half joking as she nodded in respect to him, letting her piercing green eyes settle on the orbs in his head. "Or maybe we should - pardon me - you should give them a choice? If this nonsense can't be stopped, then there's no sense in going on this quest either." Nari leaned on her bow, glancing over at the other ranger. She awaited an answer as she too hoped that the feud and fight behind her would cease and end soon. Her patience was wearing thin.
Thank whatever gods that at least my temper isn't as bad as hers. her mind went and her eyes settled upon the red haired 'merchant' once again, before returning to the prince.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
After his own introduction he heard the words of the Prince ring in his ear.

"Keep straight and narrow? That's fine with me if my stomach is filled. I usually only take money from those that seem more than well off, and only enough for bread, water, and the occasional fruit" he said with a smile.

The introductions went by quickly, for now he wouldn't try to remember the occupation of all those that have introduced themselves. His mind more kept to the thought of keeping the name and face in check, and in memory as best he could. He thought of the awkwardness of having to ask for the person's name as they traveled, and not just once but having to ask multiple times. He could feel the back of their hands on his cheek already, as they tried to smack their names into his head with it.

"Ok, in order, first was, Mirabella D'....' he paused, unable to remember the rest, 'It's fine, I remember her first name so it should be fine' he thought looking down at his hand counting the amount of people as he thought of their name. 'Second was me, after me was the man that came in just a moment ago, Gallow, I believe he said his name was. After him was that guy,' he thought, looking towards the bearded priest, he could recall no name even being given. 'After him was the monk, Nel-inia?' he paused his thoughts again, 'I suppose I'll have to ask again later,' although he thought he was correct, it wouldn't hurt to ask, or would it? 'After her was the fake merchant, Hayley, easy enough to remember,' he thought back to her introduction, the pause and the way her eyes searched for the words to describe her occupation. A lie, but a lie close to the truth, he had his own theories as to her true occupation, although only time would tell. 'Let's see after her was, ranger, Na-. Another difficult one, Nari-something, I suppose I'll have to ask her as well. Then a man, a mage for hire as he said, Calla-... Perhaps I shouldn't call anyone by name for a good while. Finally was the bard girl, Acacia. I think' he sat for a moment, a bit disappointed in himself for not being able to remember their names as he should. Although it was no surprise, for the last some odd years he had been traveling from town to town at quite a pace, he rarely even learned a person's name. He hoped that time would slowly allow him to absorb this information at his own pace.

The scene managed to change quite drastically from the end of the final person to introduce themselves. All in quite the fast flow, it even seemed as if the scene that has displayed itself before him had been rehearsed several times before actually being done. Xan didn't say anything, he simply listened and observed the people that had started arguments and quarrels with each others. It was strange, but he couldn't help but smile and laugh a bit at the sight before him, perhaps a tavern with alcohol was not the best place for people of different backgrounds to have a first encounter in.

The first to call for the return of order was the warrior woman, Mirabella, although her words were true it didn't seem to have quite a large impact on the burning temper of those that were in the heat of their arguments. It was a bit saddening really, the voice of reason overwhelmed by the shouts of anger. As the scene manged to escalate it seemed as if the idea of everyone killing each other would be coming true before the journey even started. If this was the beginning how would things looks in the midst of their adventure. Xan shook his head, thinking about such a thing to much won't do anything, he couldn't see into the furture. Not that far anyway. Then again this could be the best possible result for the first time meeting of such a colorful bunch. He leaned back into his chair with a slight grin.

"Everyone is so lively," he said quietly, laughing a bit to himself. This wasn't what he had wanted, he hoped that everyone would be able to get along, but again this was just the introduction stage. Perhaps moods, views, and feeling will change as time passed, hopefully. Although thinking about it now, if he were to tell the tale of this to his family even the beginning would be filled with action and fights, although the fights would be among those that were supposed to be allies. Would they be impressed, or would they laugh? All he knew for now is if this continued through their journeys there would be little moments that would be dull and boring. Then another thought rang out to him, should he interject? What good would that do? He didn't exactly have a way with words. It seemed as if the only thing that could calm the bunch would be a strike of lightning landing in the middle of the tavern. There were already some that were trying their best to settle the quarrels that had sprung up among the groups, the best thing for him to do would be for him to stay back and let those that had the skills in words to settle these matters.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella d'Adreci


The Priest made his thoughts known to Mirabella and still, they did not settle well. Before this day she would have thought herself to be the pinnacle of cynicism and distrust but the older man had trumped her. "I do not see how you can even try to justify your actions in that tavern. Like begets like. You treated her with disrespect and hostility and she felt threatened and reacted. If you had said the same slanderous things to me than I would have had a blade by your throat as well."

Her tone was less violent now but still held a simmering anger. She had always despised it when people acted poorly and then tried to justify their actions instead of setting things right. "By the same token, the mage that you so dearly love? You've treated him like gold and he has become friendly to you. Is that such a surprise?" She shook her head, her eyes holding something akin to pity for the Priest. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and you just fractured a half a dozen relationships in there before they could even begin. Now, instead of a cohesive unit that wants to fight for each other as much as the task at hand, they will be second guessing and doubting and paranoid. If you had a split second when the merchant called out to warn you to duck from an oncoming arrow... Would you heed her call or think her a liar and remain standing?"

She reached up, pressing her hands against her face and rubbing her fingertips up along her temples to ease the tension which there remained despite her best efforts. "And as far as the Prince is concerned? Did you stop to think that there is a power vacuum at the moment? Perhaps the elite are best spent guarding the King instead of going on a desperate last ditch attempt to find something, anything to save him. I can only say that I will trust fully in him until he gives me a reason not to and if you do not feel the same way then perhaps it is best that you forgo this mission. Whatever honor and glory you hope to attain will be lost if your actions cause our quest to fail before it begins."

Looking towards the Black Vagabond's door, she decided- "I, however, am going to entrust my blade to his cause." Though not happy with Akdov, she wasn't rude either and she inclined her head in an informal bow before leaving his presence and pushing her way back inside. Her honey-colored eyes held a fiery determination now and she ignored all others as she pushed through the crowd. Withdrawing her sword from its sheath with her right hand, she advanced until she was right in front of the Prince before turning her blade so that its tip hit the ground as she knelt down on one knee in front of him.

"My Prince, I am with you until the end. Until the Panacea is around your father's neck or until my body no longer draws breath."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon's eyes remained fixed to the prince. He had found precisely the sort of reaction he was looking for. The Prince seemed to be able to keep his cool even though he did show some sign of temper that had almost lashed out. The Prince remained calm and composed with only a slight flicker of rage externally. Feylon managed to get this out of him and it was the the answer he needed. He needed to provoke that sort of reaction. He did not however expect the whole situation inside the bar to get quite so out of hand. Already the scene had escalated into a tense standoff because of hollow words. "Already this is promising to be a lovely adventure, I bet we can expect friendship, love and unicorns flying out of our asses with this lot" Feylon grunted and returned his attention to the Prince.

With the sly smile still firmly in position he opened his mouth to speak once more, if not shout a little to jump over the noise being created by others. "You musn't understand Prince. I am merely curious as to why you have come here to us for this task. We are but strangers who clearly do not work well together. I take it you must not trust the people within your own castle walls if you cannot find a company of adventurers from the warriors you command. Then again I could be wrong."
Feylon now realised he had not introduced himself to the room yet, not that anyone seemed to care. Still however as courtesy to those before him he cleared his throat and began once more.

"I am Feylon Haradas. I have no fancy title and no special birth place. I am one of the Taphon clans from the forest of the same name to the South. An ex-soldier in the Royal army. As for my occupation, well to put it simply I am an assassin and a spy. My employers are, for now of my own business and secrecy." Feylon placed his hand upon his forehead. When he pulled his hand back down again he could see the traces of blood in the small crevices of his fingerprints. "Now if you will excuse me, I think I need some fresh air." Slowly Feylon swiveled on his toes and walked out of the back door he came in. The fresh air hit him with a stunning blow. Everything in his head seem to be washed out of his ears and he suddenly became lightheaded. He slouched up against the wall and slipped onto the ground. He sat for a few moments before producing a pipe from inside his tunic. He could feel the blood trickle down his face like a tiny river meandering its way through a field. Once more he slowly dabbed his fingers over the gash and rested his head against the wall of the tavern. "well fuck" he thought as the blood continued on its relentless path.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

It seemed they were still too entrapped within their own petty squabbles to listen to any reason, Gallow shook his head sadly. Might this be the will of some nameless divinity, then? Were they not even to step out the door before their quest was destroyed from within? "Only if the will of men is shattered entirely will the gods put down their hands and obliterate all unity," he'd one heard an Accordant (a holy warrior, much like a paladin) say. They had not listened to the warrior woman, nor to the Prince, and now even his advice was quieted by their explosive and childish tantrums. He placed no blame on the girl, the "merchant". He may have doubted her, but perhaps she had her reasons. The priest was the source of contention; the blackened root who would only grow to bear dying fruit.

He turned his head, just a fraction, when the monk tried to intervene. Her conviction was honorable, though her manner was questionable. It would either cause others to think her a joke, or inspire something in them to listen and quell their fury. She seemed so innocent in the way she stood and spoke. Gallow entertained the idea that she did not belong outside her isolated world. It might prove to be just too much in the end, he worried. Now how odd is that? I am actually concerned over this? Then came the bard to put her weight into the moment, pressing for peace from the clamorous stupidity. Now her response held a little more worth, from where Gallow was concerned. Though how the mage might take it...

The door opened, and the Triansui returned. Gallow watched intently, his curiosity piqued, as she made her way to the Prince without so much as sparing a glance at the bickering two, and pledged her services to Rydas' cause. Such is a soldier, Gallow thought with a smirk. He barely caught Feylon's own introduction, and raised an eyebrow as he made his way back out from where he'd come. Definitely one of the more interesting candidates for this mission, to be sure. He prayed things would only calm from here. It seemed the will of men, and women, was beginning to shine again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley stood there, just behind the mage she couldn't remember the name right now with her dagger up and ready to strike. A lot of things happened quickly. The stupid, fat, old, perverted, drunken priest started his random insults. Hayley was going to switch victims and stab him first, he asked for it. That was when the warrior woman, Mirabella, or something like that. Got up, yelled at them and made a small speech to make them stop fighting then burst outside, followed by the big pile of alcoholic crap shortly after. A little stunned by the events, Hayley simply held her dagger not knowing what to do. The prince and the tall guy, Hayley had no idea of his name, intervened at their own turns. They were right, Hayley was not getting paid if she killed anyone right now. She was going to let it go when the worthless mage started some more insults.

'Enough, I'm killing you.' Hayley thought, raising her dagger for a single strike to his back. But then the monk woman appeared beside them, asking for them to stop fighting, in a gentle way. Startled, Hayley forgot she was going to kill the mage and just stood there for a couple of seconds once more. The young bard also got to them, reasoning with Hayley, she slowly pushed her hand down, Hayley let it go and put the dagger away. "Someday i will kill you both." Hayley whispered to the mage before turning away from him. "Don't stay near this pile of magic crap." She warned both the monk and the bard. Walking quickly, trying to be as far away from the troublemaker and mister beer gut as possible, she would end up killing them if they spoke again.

Hayley wasn't surprised to find herself planning another assassination when she finally sat down on a table on the opposite side to the bar.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Minutes past and still the tension was thick enough that his sword could slice through it with ease. A second more and the Prince removed his hand from his sword hilt. Quiet contemplation had rendered him without anger. Children was a like comparison; brats more accurate, filled to the brim with sweets and waiting for a smack. The callouses on his hands, however, were not from needless brutality but rather practiced skill. Not now, not ever, would he resort to mothering.

“Perhaps a bucket of ice cold water would cool their heads?" It was a soft voice, full of inner peace. A smile threatened his lips, pulling at the corners but didn’t make it all the way through. It was the closest he’d come in a long while to a genuine show of amusement. He coughed, to clear his throat, wiping it away. In quiet acknowledgement he nodded to the monk, though his eyes swept between the scene.

Thoughts returned to his former train of thought. He came to plead for help here, not because he was desperate (though the times were), but because such an elevated quest would need particular talent that the Kings Guard did not train for. He need only ask and thousands would lay down their lives for him. As if on cue, the warrior woman returned from her breath of fresh air. She headed straight for him, bending on kneed to rest upon her sword, like his Paladins did when swearing fealty.

"My Prince, I am with you until the end. Until the Panacea is around your father's neck or until my body no longer draws breath."

It was rather unexpected, but what hadn’t been that day? Unwavering, he bent to touch her shoulder, grasping it in earnest. “Rise Lady, and know that your dedication to this cause is not unnoticed or unappreciated. King Errion shall know of your loyalty when our efforts awake him from his stilled slumber.”

His gaze rose, glancing over the ranger who’d first insulted him. Assassin? Spy? He’d remember the face. The games of insult and questioning were not welcomed, and for a brief moment he wonder why he was no longer a member of the King’s Guard—the army Rydas now commanded. Perhaps the man had suffered too hard a hit on the head and lost his filter when speaking things to people he shouldn’t. For the moment the Prince gave him the benefit of the doubt. Such thought train ended in time for him to catch the threat between the firey mage and like-haired woman.

“Enough, Thoavian.” He cut in, voice taking the hardened edge of the commander. “We’ve strayed fair enough from topic. If you’re looking for a bar fight you’ve come to the wrong meeting. If you’re so desperate to spill blood, than put effort to cause or take up qualms with me instead. Details of this endeavor have been too far distracted from. You all need time to think. Such happenstance has boiled you all to point of insolence. We will reconvene tomorrow, at the same time, at the gates to the city. Think long and hard if you can dedicate yourself to cause of King, gold and glory such as this valliant Triansui has done. You will be outfitted with what you will need: food, horse, water and supplies. Leave a list of what you require with the barkeep when you leave and it will be packed on the ‘morrow for you.”

Rydas took a moment to look across the room at those that remained, instilling in memory their faces. “I thank you for your time.”

With that, and a swirl of a red cape, the Prince exited the tavern.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darius Crowle

Earnings

0.00 INK

„Outrageous” Said the young captain as an older looking gentleman entered his office. He was somewhere around his fifties and wore a very distinctive tunic similar to the black tonic of a modern judge. He took a sit without much ado, grabbed a small deviant looking pipe out of his pocket and lit it. “Excuse me, lord uncle, but I will sit down and let this ludicrous enterprise of his!” Darius walked up to a window viewing over the northern side of Paetax.
“The decision has been made whether you approve of it or not. You knew the whole situation had been keeping him on his toes. With one Errion about to collapse into his final slumber, you'd expect the other one to try do something about it. Ever since the death of his brother, Rydas whole situation has been extremely unstable.” Lord Wesson's assessment was more than a small understatement. In many ways it had been his fault. During the earlier years of their life, he had left the children live a rather carefree life. Who would've guessed a tragedy would destroy the life of a prince and end the life of another one.

“And who's fault is that?” Darius turned around and glared at him reprehensively. “You always kept those two way too close to each other. You don't stick two young lions into the same cave and expect them to cuddle.” Darius was utterly infuriated, but he knew he had gone too far with his last words. Silence filled his office. It had been some time since he had become a royal captain of the guard. He didn't completely hated the job, but he would've preferred to do something more useful with his talents than to allow court to slowly soften him up. “Look, I didn't mean that. I'm sorry. It's just...! I've done exactly what you said all this time and...”

Finally, Lord Wesson interrupted the young captain with an instructive undertone. He had always been like a father to him and he had never directed his anger towards Darius. “....and wasn't I right in all my assumptions? The king's been out for several weeks. Do I have to ask for the number of assassination attempts you've managed to hide from public? There is no point in hiding it anymore. The small council will not be able to stop a congregation of the entire council. We have, but a few short weeks before someone makes a rightful petition. All the Lords of the land will come and there will only be two possible conclusions. They will either kill the king and make Rydas give up his right to rule...” He took a brief pause to smoke a puff of his pipe and continued. "...or the one responsible for the king being sick will cure him in a subtle way and make him abdicate while he's still weak. Even if we managed to stop the process for some time. Rydas is in no position to claim the throne of Calisma. The past created too many whispers within these halls. We are at risk of a civil war, Darius. We're in no position of doing anything against our enemies openly. Having Rydas leave the castle halves the range of possibilities within our enemies' lines.”

Darius sat on his chair pulled a large scroll containing a map of Calisma.
“And what about the princess? You know well, the moment Rydas and the king are not around anymore they will try to marry her to some low-life prince for a few coins.”
The princess was the only female friend Darius had ever cherished and he would never allow for her to become but a political figure, a mere doll, within her father's court.

“Fear not, the princess will stay near her father's bed and under my godfatherly protection for as long as the king remains alive, maybe even longer. I will never understand why you chose not to romance that girl.” His uncle's words were less a reproach, but a very familiar mockery. Darius never saw the princess as a girl during his early youth. It took him several years within the army to...let's say.. appreciate the hugely disconcerning beauty the princess had gained in his years far away. When he finally come back to Paetax to assume his duties as captain, the princess had lost any interest in continuing their friendship. -As she literally confirmed in one their many, many, regular fights.- On her behalf, Darius didn't really react in any proper manner when he saw her the first time. As the brotherly figure Darius naturally was, he discovered her new-found beauty with confusion, dismay and panic. It took several weeks until he remembered that the two of them were in no way related. But even then, his duty towards the crown forbid any such thought about the princess.

“I am a knight, uncle. I have a duty towards her family and my duty is my love.”
“Duty will never give you children.”
“The people of this nation are my children.”
“I fear, you've become far too romantic to be practical for this country.”


Darius ignored that last comment. There were too many things at stage to do otherwise. “Tell me, uncle, what do you expect me to do?” Lord Wesson's face became unrelatable as he continued. “As a matter of fact, I'm not sure. I guess I would have a far easier task of protecting the king while you're around, but still. Maybe you should go with Rydas and make sure he comes back alive, if possible. I don't want you to go sacrificing your life for a king that has still to prove himself. What do you want to do?”

Silence filled the room, Darius wasn't sure. He'd feel guilty, if he left his uncle and the king in this difficult time. But then there was Rydas, he was pretty sure that prince of his would need a loyal companion to survive this quest of his.

“I'd rather accompany Rydas, if you would allow it.”



Several hours later, some time early in the afternoon.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
The voice of the Prince stirred Xan from his slightly foggy state of mind, the arguments and in fighting bored him to the point that his brain nearly shut itself off. He straightened a bit in his chair, hoping the next things that would be said would officially begin their journey for this mythical amulet. Unfortunately his hopes were not achieved, the Prince was clearly upset by the quarrels that sprang about and he gave everyone a day to clear this minds and cool off. It was for the best, and more than likely couldn't be helped. If they had set off in this mood then the journey very well could have had a very sudden and abrupt ending. He watched Prince Rydas leave the tavern, in a somewhat dramatic and entertaining way. He leaned back in his chair, his back almost parallel with the floor as he stared up at the ceiling.

'I suppose it can't be helped' he thought to himself, he straightened out in his chair and looked around the room, the atmosphere still felt a bit heavy to him.

Xan gave a sigh of disappointment, another day till everything was to begin, and it would probably feel as if it were the longest day in history to him. He thought for a moment about what he would need for this journey. It was a short process, so long as there was food he didn't really need much else, it would be easier to travel with a light pack and a full stomach. He gave a grunt as he forced himself up from his chair, a clearly audible moan as he stretched his limbs. There was nothing much else for him to do here, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a few coin, enough for a light meal.

"If there is anyone calm left, feel free to join me for a bite to eat" he said out loud as he headed towards the door, "Especially if you know where one can get a cheap, yet tasteful meal" he laughed as he said those words. He knew there wasn't such a thing, not that he knew of anyway. It was always the same, a loaf of bread, some water, and an apple or orange if he was lucky. His mind drifted for a moment from the thought of an exciting journey, to the thought of what kinds of foods would he eat at its end. His hunger was expressed to nearly everyone as his stomach gave a loud rumble, he hadn't eaten anything yet today, the excitement managed to fill his stomach until now. With the feeling gone, and a day to wait, only a void was left calling for something to fill it. "Alright, alright" Xan mumbled as he patted his stomach, there was still time left in the day, perhaps he could obtain a bit more coin to be able to purchase something a bit more filling than bread for a meal.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Fueled by booze, rage and magic; Callavan was prepared to incinerate everything that stood behind him, so infuriated he was with this 'merchant'. His focus centered on her, there was no bar, no people, nothing, just him and the 'merchant'. He didn't act, instead he waited he to see what she would do. Her dagger was raised as if to strike, exactly what he had been waiting for. A grin spread across his face, what little of it could be seen through his beard. The flood gates that had been holding his magic back folded, his hand was engulfed in flames ready to burst forth. A yellow blur entered his periphery, the monk. The 'merchant' faltered, he saw his chance, an easy shot. The monk's words hit him be he took action, he faltered, the flames held study. The world returned around him, slowly at first, others had been trying to stop him he realized, their words might as well have been directed to a rabid dog.

Now the bard entered, her words shamed him slightly, but the angered still bubbled. The dagger had disappeared though, so with a begrudging sigh the flames flickered and dissipated. Hands raised over his head he said, ”Very well, I concede,” He grunted at the 'merchant's' threat, turning around to watch her go. He considered thumbing his nose at her, but didn't.

Satisfied that the 'merchant' would keep away from him, for now anyways, he turned his attention to the monk and bard. ”I suppose I should thank the two of you for stepping in. I would have likely done something foolish otherwise,” He raised his mug then paused, holding it to his lips, before setting it down without taking a drink. Recent events suggested that it was perhaps not the best of ideas. He continued, ”I wouldn't trust her, were I you. While I may be a rash, crude drunk, I've yet to pull a blade on a stranger for mere words. She is hiding something and I doubt it is in any of our interest. Tread carefully around her.”

”Enough, Thovian.” Callavan turned back to the prince, unsure if he meant him or the 'merchant'. He listened and watched as the prince left. Did he still want to take part of this foolishness? The pay would be good, but then so would his chances of having his throat slit while he slept. Of course, the former was just as likely anywhere else with the effect he seemed to have on strangers. And the prince did offer to supply new equipment. He was short on enchanting tools, not having the coin to buy more, and getting more now would make finding work later simpler. Eh, what the hell. he concluded, I can always disappear when things take a turn for the worse. He glanced towards the 'merchant'. Which may not take all that long

Swinging his pack around, he rooted through it, retrieved a small piece of vellum and some cloth wrapped charcoal and jotted down a quick list of tools starting with what he needed to stock up on.

-Vellum and parchment
-Ink, charcoal and chalk
-String and threads of varying quality

Then he finished with whatever could be useful down the road.
-Various chisels and files for stone and metal inscriptions
-Tools for leather carving
-Black and white tempera paints, as well as a brush to go with them

He didn't expect to receive all of these, but even the simplest of these would enable to create a greater variety of enchantments. The note was passed to the barkeep, and Callavan turned away from the bar. For now it seemed best to not expose his back.

The rest of the day was his to have, it seemed. He had been employed, which meant the job hunting he had planned was no longer necessary. His supplies would be taken care of for him, which meant no shopping and less coin lost. His belly was full for now, so there was little need to search for food. It seemed the self declared thief was of a different opinion and left to eat elsewhere. Callavan decided to stay at the pub for now. Perhaps he could get to know his new found coworkers better, some of them leastways.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
After her pledge, the Prince acknowledged her, allowing her to stand back up as he gave instructions and information for their quest which would begin the next day. Some of the other attendees of the meeting seemed disheartened but obviously such an expedition couldn’t be pulled together within hours. A day, minimum, was actually quite welcome. It would give the warrior time to gather oddities as well as grab one last night of sleep in an actual bed before they began to travel the open roads.

She had been traveling for years already so the thought of camping in the wilderness didn’t affect her. There had been nothing to do in her poor, destitute village after she finished her training other than getting married and having a dozen or more children or she could have taken on the role of mentor and taught the younger generations the art of war. The first didn’t appeal to her and the second made her grit her teeth in anger. She had not studied combat her entire life to sit about and play pretend. So, Mirabella had packed her things and went in search of her own adventure, her own battles. In doing so, she had traversed a great deal of the country and met a plethora of people. She had slept in fancy inns when coin was plentiful and on rooftops or in open fields when she had nothing but her armor and her weapons upon her back.

At this moment in time, however, she was caught betwixt and between. She had a fair amount of coin but not enough to compare to the Prince or the one that called him self Gallow, that was sure. Should she splurge and dump a fair amount at a nicer inn nearer to the rich sector or should she stay in this area and find less frivolous accommodations? It wasn’t like she had to choose now. The Prince had given them until the middle of the next day to do what they must so perhaps a tour of Paetax was in order.

Sheathing her long sword once more, Mirabella cast her honey-brown gaze about the room, noting as the honest thief was half out of the door on his way to find food and the scruffy-looking mage set about on his list for the barkeep. The fighter waged a brief internal war before deciding that she wouldn’t mind the Crown picking up the tab for some of her necessities so she walked over to the bar first, summoning ‘Vinny’ over to her.

“Barkeep, do you have any parchment so that we may write our lists?” Her voice was softer when speaking normally, not as commanding or authoritative as it had been earlier when she had been trying to draw everyone’s attention. Within seconds, Vinny had produced what she required and she kept her list short and sweet, only needing a few things to supplement what was already in her packs.

In surprisingly elegant script, she wrote:
Two lengths of strong rope, a crowbar, a sack of marbles, a small bolt of cloth, a ball of twine, flint, a few flasks of oil, chalk….

She bit at her lip as she tried to think of anything else she might need for the journey but she had quite a bit in her packs already: whetstones, a bedroll, a blanket, a set of regular clothing should she ever need to be out of her armor, etc. Unable to conjure any other items, she set the parchment and pen down, sliding them back towards the barkeep with a smile. “My thanks. Please also let whoever is procuring items for our trip, know that I already have a steed so they won’t need to purchase a horse for me.”

With that, she turned and searched for the honest thief, Xan, to see if he had left yet. “I have heard tales of a Pub two streets over that boasts of its mead and stew. If you still care for company, feel free to walk with me, Sir Thief….” She cast one more glance back into the tavern at the remaining patrons and offered, “Anyone else that wishes to come? I will be at the Dancing Dragon, if so.”

Turning back to the door, she made her way out the door passed Xan and kept her pace slow in case anyone should want to accompany her.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The initial meeting had been troubling at best. His fathers words were in his mind as he replayed the gathering of ‘advernturers’: Never underestimate the citizens. In this case, perhaps, he had overestimated. The whole nation was in turmoil over the uncertainty of the future, had it been foolish to think that a band of faceless strangers with no legal ties could group up for one last hope of peace? Some would be trouble: the Thovian rogue, the pyromaniac of a mage, the drunken cleric and the ex-military ranger to name a few. Others seemed more promising: the Triansui, the monk and the Marquis’ son were topping his charts. The rest fell somewhere between but he was still thankful that they hadn’t made the first list. Such thoughts weighed heavy on his mind as he navigated the familiar corridors of his home palace. He was nearly on autopilot, so distracted by recent events. He scarcely noticed the servants and guards bow and greet as he passed them by.

Mahogany carved doors opened for him as he entered the office of his Captain. He was grateful to see the familiar face behind his desk. Without greeting he made his way to the side bar, pulling himself a glass of distilled mead that had been imported from the North: the perks of being an officer. One cup downed, the Prince poured himself another. He had never been much of a drinker, but the liquor took the edge off his thoughts. He turned on heel to face his comrade. “Am I chasing a fairytale, Darius?” He asked, thoughts weighing down his voice. It was rhetorical, further proven by the fact that he continued to speak.

“Of the thirty some odd that came only eleven remained, and they were at each others’ throats in moments. I’m not sure why I thought it’d be as civilized as the recruits. They’re children.” His musings were as close to emotional as he got. Rydas slid himself stiffly into the chair across the desk from the only man he could talk to. His gaze shifted from Darius to the window where Paetax rolled out before him past the castle courtyard.

“Gods will it, and they don’t kill each other, we might have a chance. A Triansui pledge her sword to me,” That alone was a rarity, but he continued. “and the Ó Tuathaláin’s eldest son arrived. Our families haven’t fought side by side since…”

His voice trailed off. It was unbecoming to speak of the wars. There was a silence for a bit. When Rydas spoke again his voice was quieter, more personal. “I leave tomorrow. What does your Uncle say of this endeavor?”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

Although they all seemed to be oblivious to the Prince's words, the combined efforts of him, the monk and the bard seemed to cool their heads. At least just for one moment and that was enough to bring order back to everything. The one that seemed to have had the most effect was actually the innocent little monk, odd as it was. Sometimes it was the most unlikely of things that held the most power or promise or effect.
When his words were finally able to be heard by all of them, the Prince who seemed tired of their childish behaviour made his last statement and with a swirl of his cape he exited the inn.
How well we start off. Wonder who'll show up tomorrow. Nari thought as she tilted her head and let her eyes trail after the man. She gave on last glance at the other ranger who'd been dumb enough to insult a member of the royal family and her face settled to become unreadable and neutral again. They were all left to their own now and had been told to write down what they required for the journey and that they'd all be provided with a horse should they need it. Needless to say this impressed Nari. She knew the royal family could afford it, but didn't know that they would.

The warrior woman wrote down what she needed and then offered anyone who wanted, to come with her to the Dancing Dragon. After deciding to wait and write her own list, Nari approached the barkeep and was given paper and something to write with. Quickly her mind raced to think of the things she would need on the journey.

Needle and thread.
Arrows - Jagged and steel tipped.
Rope.
Herbs and spices.
Whetstone


All else she had already, when all else she needed was her bow and her sword. Nari didn't waste much time on her list so she quickly handed it to the barkeep with a smile. Something in the back of her head told her that she would somehow be responsible for gathering food. Or at least the hunting part. And if she was going with the other ranger, Nari would have to keep a track of him as well. She didn't trust him. The thief was still there, letting everyone know that he was hungry by the way his stomach growled. Her eyes settled on him for a moment and she tilted her head, looking at him with her nearly glowing green eyes. Whether he could really be trusted or not was unclear to her. Yes he had introduced himself as a thief, but something about him gave the notion that maybe he wasn't exactly dangerous to them.
Time will let us know. her brain told her. Daring to approach the thief and reaching into her pocket, she leaned against the doorframe and handed him a few more coins. "Here. If we are to set upon a perilous and dangerous journey on the morrow, one should have the right to a decent meal. King or beggar." With a smile and nod Nari leaned away and walked out of the door. Whether the remainding people in the inn thought she was making an alliance with the thief or not, didn't really matter to her. Alliances shouldn't exist within their little group here, the alliance should be the group. "I'm afraid I'm unaware of what name or title I should call you by, Triansui." Nari said as she caught up with the woman in armor. "I'm Narenia Halen. Nari for short. Mead and stew doesn't sound terrible to me at all at the moment."

This woman had shown honor and partially the same understanding of the situation in the inn as Nari had, except that she had left instead of staying. She was impressed with herself by the way she talked. How the words formed themselves in her mouth and how she spoke. It had all come back to her in an instant; the benefit of being of noble descent. Maybe the warrior lady would return the tone of voice or at least the respect Nari had shown.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon wedged his hand between the door to the tavern. Just enough so he could hear the Prince finishing off the days dramatic events. As far as Feylon could tell he did not need any extra supplies that he could think of, maybe an extra quiver of arrows or two as spare's and backups if they perhaps strayed far from civilisation enough that his first quiver would be depleted but he wished to acquire those himself. As an archer he knew how he fired his arrows, he knew what kind of weight and materials he preferred. All the other gear he needed, well as a ranger he already possessed any camping and travelling gear. Feylon placed the pipe back under his cloak and pushed himself up off the rocky ground. The cut on his forehead had stopped bleeding, the blood presumably drying up. Slowly wiping down his cloak he pushed his arms out in front of him. A good stretch always did him well.

Once he was finished he turned and walked into the bar. The smells of alcohol and smoke wafted through his nose and into his head. The scent of mutton lingered around his nose and he realised just how hungry he was. When he searched the room he saw the redhead "merchant" and walked towards the table she was sitting at. Pulling out a chair he slumped down onto it and pulled out his pipe. Striking a small piece of flint off the the steel rim of the pipe he slumped back and breathed out the smoke. "So it seems you have made some friends already. Not that I disagree with your actions, smart to keep your real profession to yourself sometimes but at the same time, on a trip like this? I think people would be more at ease if you were honest about your occupation at least they know a little bit about you. If the first thing you tell them is a lie, then they will believe you to be a liar. If you first tell them a joke they will believe you to be a joker. That is how people reason and that is how people judge and form opinions. Which can also be used to your advantage." Feylon smiled, leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

As the prince gave a final speech and orders for everyone to write a list of things they would need for the expedition, Hayley waited for most of the adventurers to write theirs and leave the tavern before finally getting up and asking for the parchment they were writing on. She looked for odd things or valuable items in the other adventure's lists before starting her own, there weren't many things Hayley need that she didn't already have, still the bad girl she is decided to put a few items on the list since they would be having them for free.

  • Rope.
  • Hooks.
  • Camping Gear.

It's not like Hayley really needed all of that, but it would be useful, she already had the camping gear but it wouldn't hurt to have a new one. She handed back the list and ordered some lamb meat and water, she didn't like mead or beer, and wines were both costly and rare in taverns like these. Giving some coins to the barkeep she quickly finished her meal before going back to the table where she sat, thinking about asking for the nearest inn and calling it a day. But before the girl could make a decision the once covered in blood man, now cleaned up came in and took a seat, lit up his pipe and started talking. Hayley hated people smoking around her.

"Every trip and every quest is the same to me, an adventure that pays either money or valuable things, that's what I do for a living." Hayley started, it was true after all, the quests could be described mostly as robberies though. "I don't have a real profession anymore, unless being an adventurer is now considered a real profession. I used to be a merchant. I now travel through the kingdom, in search of quests that lead me to valuable items." She explained, someone who sells stolen goods is a merchant, at least in Hayley's mind. "Anyway, I do not care about how any of these people reason, or what they think of me. And as long as I know I am getting paid, I don't care about what they are, unless they bother me, like these two idiots we saw earlier." Hayley let out a sigh, annoyed by the smelly smoke this man was producing before asking. "And would you please quit smoking? That annoys me."
le

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
To be honest, Nel was terribly nervous as she tried to talk the fight in the tavern down, but was relieved as the bard, Acacia, effortlessly swooped in and managed to talk the merchant and the mage down. The monk was surprised at how effortlessly she had used her silver tongue. Not that she would know what a silver tongue is anyway. Before the merchant went off, she warned not to stay near the "pile of magic crap", which prompted Nel to check left up the heel of her foot and check the soles of her sandals. Looked pretty clean. Unless it was magical. Confused, she turned around for some explanation, and Callavan's beard started to thank the two of them and before sitting down, insinuated the merchant was hiding something. Nel wasn't as affected by his warning; mainly because she understood one would have to hide things so thieves wouldn't steal them.

During the mini-conflict, the prince promptly voiced his disapproval towards everyone, except Mirabella, and left rather dramatically, swooshing his red cape around. It was a pretty cape. His chiding, although not meant for Nel herself, still managed to pull her spirits down. Despite that, she understood fairly well that the adventure would be postponed for tomorrow, although why they didn't go now while everyone was here was still a mystery to her. Quickly though, she could see the group being torn apart, one half going out the door to see the "dancing dragon" and the other half...staying. In the midst of a clawing need for fresh air, she as well, wanted to leave but was at the counter with a piece of parchment, trying to hastily scrawl and write things that she would need. Her writing, despite her life as a monk, was atrocious...BUT! If one could squint their eyes and tilt their head to the side it would read:

Bandages

Whether or not it was illegible would be up to whoever would read it. Had it been any other time, she would have looked with awe at the feathered pen, but she quickly set it aside and joined the group just as the ranger was sharing her nickname. Nel gave a quick bow to Mirabella, having already crossed with the ranger, and since the warrior was closer then the thief. "Hello. I'm Nelinia but call me Nel." Before she could have a chance to respond, the monk ran back to her table, grabbed the quarterstaff that nearly slipped her mind, and came back to the group without so much as a huff of air escaping her. She bounced around on the balls of her feet excitedly, grin plastered on her face, eagerly awaiting the trip to the Dancing Dragon.

Although this may sound crazy she's never seen a Dancing Dragon before!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
With a hand on the door handle, ready to exit, Xan only stopped when a voice from behind started to speak with him. He released the door and turned to see whom it was that was to be his partner in conversation. It was the female warrior, Mirabella, at least that's what he thought her name was, although he could be completely wrong. She spoke of a pub that was near by, it didn't sound to bad and the company would be welcomed. Although the fact that she had called him 'Sir Thief' made him tilt his head a bit and have a bit of a laugh. He watched as she walked passed him and out the door, he was going to follow soon after, but his step was disrupted. This time it was the female ranger, whom had made her way in front of him and leaned against the door frame, effectively blocking his path out. He was curious as to what it could be that she wanted, until he watched her hand pull several coins from her pocket and hand them to him. He held out his hand to catch the coins, he was very much thankful, and also a bit confused, this was the first time anyone had given him money, until she had given her explanation. With that, she was out the door as well, and this time Xan followed behind, getting out before any more interruptions came. Third to join the small group would be the one monk that had participated in the meeting for this little adventure. He watched as she came and went, an introduction followed by a rush back to her seat to retrieve a nearly forgotten item. It was somewhat odd having the amount of people around him as there was, it had been a while since he had dined out with a group.

"So what type of stew does the Dancing Dragon offer?" Xan asked, following closely behind the group at his own pace, the food sounded good. The mead, not so much. He wasn't much of a drinker, alcohol never seemed to suit his tastes. He put his arms behind his head and relaxed, looking up towards the blue sky. He would like to enjoy this meal with the group, be he also wanted to the day to pass quickly. "I hope everyone can learn to get along" he said out loud without reason, it seems his mind was starting to wander again, allowing his thoughts to be spoken out loud. It was an odd habit, every time his mind wandered off into his own inner lands, his thoughts never seemed to be able to stay within his own mind, and instead become audible to everyone around him. Sometimes it would cause him to get into trouble, actually it would get him into trouble almost most of the time it would happen. Of course he knew of this little habit of his, but try as he might it would not disappear, so he has learned to accept it and live with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella couldn’t help the shadow of a smile that formed on her lips as Narenia was the first to follow, trailing out the door after passing some coins to the thief. Within a few steps, the ranger had caught up with her and re-introduced herself.

“Didn’t we already do this whole introduction thing once before?” she teased the auburn-tressed woman, hoping that she had an ear for humor. “If my memory deceives me, though, I am Mirabella d’Adreci. Apparently also known as “Triansui”. I should’ve expected as much when revealing my title but most of the companions I have traveled with before have simply called me Mira.” She flashed a smile at Narenia before tacking on, “So it is a pleasure to meet you, Nari.”

Next came the petite monk, Nelinia, who also re-introduced herself and proceeded to dance about on the balls of her feet, grinning from ear to ear and then seconds after, the voice of Xan sounded out behind the small group. “Glad you could join us, Nel and Xan. I have to admit I’d prefer company while eating. It saves from having to entertain strangers that sit at your table because the tavern is too full.”

Xan posed a question and Mirabella took her time in responding. “The Dancing Dragon is rumored to serve all sorts of fare, if stew and mead aren’t your taste… But I’ve heard they have the best venison stew for miles around and I trust the mead here in the city more than the water. The alcohol in it tends to kill off nasty things.” That last part of her comment was more to the poor monk who she had seen sniffing indignantly at her mead back in the Black Vagabond before she had crushed the glass in her hand. The warrior didn’t exactly love mead but some varieties had a pleasant flavor.

Their short conversation took them down a few streets until they finally approached the Dancing Dragon Pub. Though it was late afternoon/early evening, music already blasted out of the thick wooden doors and into the streets themselves every time someone entered or left. Yet when the warrior woman pushed the door open to allow the group entry, it wasn’t quite as deafening as she assumed it might be.

A small trio of musicians sat in chairs near the large fireplace centered along the northern wall of the feast hall with tables dotted haphazardly throughout the rest of the room. The bar itself was crafted from mahogany and stretched the entire length of the eastern wall, tended to by three barkeeps while the patrons at the tables were served by a handful of tavern wenches.

Making her way over to one of the corner tables, Mirabella settled onto one of the chairs and within a minute or so, a buxom redheaded waitress wandered their way for their orders while paying special attention to Xan.

“Well what can I fetch for you today?” The server asked of them though her eyes never left the thief.

The Triansui cleared her throat and grinned at both Nari and Nel before speaking up. “If it isn’t too much trouble, may I have a venison stew and a mug of Black mead?" Black mead, of course, having honey and black currants in its recipe given it a distinct and fruity flavor.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

He found his glass nearly empty about the same time the Prince bid them farewell, leaving them with their instructions and an awkwardly silent tavern to do whatever they wished amongst themselves. He had to wonder if whether or not that was even remotely a wise decision, or then again it could have just as well been an excuse to leave the whole disparaging situation behind. But, before his very eyes, he watched as the butting heads backed away, their fires fanned, and they drifted off to their separate corners to do as they wished. He sipped the last bit of his drink and set the glass down, wondering silently what he should do, now. Go back to his room at the inn? Well.. he'd have to, anyway. His sword was still there - he'd decided to leave it behind, though he had stored his dagger away in his boot as usual - along with all of his supplies. And as he sat there thinking, staring into an empty glass, the tavern slowly emptied of those remaining who'd come to answer the call. Gallow had clearly heard the invitation to the pub, but he had little love for company at the moment and treasured what time he would have to sort out his troubled mind.

Time ticked away around him, leaving him behind in its smooth passage until the burning gold above was gone below the horizon. He felt it little by the time he finally found his legs again. Collecting his weapon and his helm, Gallow left the Black Vagabond behind without a word and made his way back to the inn through the city's nighttime crowd. There was a bard entertaining guests on the lower floor when he arrived, but he ignored the warm light, the smell of food and turned an uncaring ear to the pleasant song as he made his way up the stairs to utter solitude - or as close as one could come to it in a city, really. He laid his armor out with care, looking over every inch of forged steel. There was a story in the plates of metal. His armor had been made new for wear some years ago, and he'd tended to the suit lovingly in much the same spirit the master craftsman who'd made it had when he personally worked and shaped armor into art.

Sometimes he envied the gods. Their absolute awareness and certitude. There were no moral quandaries for them about right or wrong, and their sight went far beyond into all things unknowable to the mortal mind. For a human could only guess (no matter how skilled their powers of deduction might be) as to how the pieces would lay when they fell a certain way. But he had not been blessed to be as they were, and so he and all the others of this world simply had to make due. A wretched state of affairs in all truth, but there was no rhyme or reason in arguing. Which begged again the question: why was he still feeling hesitant?! Questioning oneself in such a way was just akin to fighting circumstance. He supposed that, in the end, it was all because he was only human. His frustration lent him strength, and he buried the anxiety away.

Now the real battle was whether or not he would even be able to sleep.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Over all, Alice felt only disappointment. This whole thing, her trip here, the members of the quest, it was all disappointing. And most of all, she hated the ending of this little circus. The Prince bid farewell and left everyone to think this through? They should have thought it through when they came here, they should have thought it through when he offered them the time and the escape out of this quest. She was being selfish but she did not care. She was excited to get this quest to begin. Well, truth be told, she was just annoyed that she would have to go home and deal with her family once more. Not that they would stop her, but that she may stop herself. It took her the entire week to convince herself that this was the right move and the short cut to fame was needed. Now, the Prince gave them one last chance to run and she feared she would. Alice wasn't the most bravest of Mages and anyone close to her knew that. That was one of the reasons that they all laughed when they heard that she wanted to go on a quest to save the King. Maybe, the Prince just wanted to quit on this quest after he saw what a rag tag team he got stuck with. This was a way to do that without seeming like a coward or hurting his reputation. What a horrible way to end this all!

From under her hood, she peeked out. Some of the brutes had up and dusted. Some still stay. They chatted and slowly left the tavern. Alice made no attempt to follow. Instead she sighed and pushed back the hood. It was good, though, that they had ended it quickly. She was about to fall asleep. A small smile nudged at her but she quickly killed it. She picked herself up tot a sitting position but did not move afterwards. The Prince had left and so did many of the others. They didn't know her name, nor did they care. This would be the best opportunity to leave and never come back. She could tell her father that they Prince didn't want to do the quest anymore, but if he did proceed with it, then she would be known as a liar. Her father would laugh but she knew she was feel bad. If she told them that she thought very little of the group and figured it be best to leave. They were sure to die. Well, then her brothers would laugh and dance and sing the song of humiliation. She would be known as their little sister that could do nothing. Alice had far too much pride to do that. Then it was settled. She would just go home and return. She already knew that no matter how hard she tried, she could not lie to her family. That was something too difficult for her. In the end, Alice got up from her seat and stared at her hands. What would she need? It took her several minutes but finally she wrote her demands.

A horse.

The young Mage left with only that written. She came here to be famous, not to use the Prince's gold until she was satisfied. She had her own gold and everything she needed. Even if she did need something else, she would never say. Alice would not swallow her pride and ask. Not now, not later. If she had to she would bend the rules, but she would never ask. With a huff, Alice existed the tavern, with a deep scowl carved on her lips. This time, Alice did not run, nor did she skip away. She walked all the way back to her house, where the light were turned on and the shadows of three males danced. With a few curses and grumbles Alice opened the door. They all stood frozen looking down at the only female member of their household. Then, as if they had been practicing this the entire day, the house filled with laughter. "I knew it!" The eldest roared. "Alice would never go on a quest. Not our Alice."

"Aye, son I suppose you won the wager." Her father laughed, his body shaking.

The middle sibling, older than Alice still, gave her a hug, but he too was shaking from laughter. "Don't listen those fools Alice. It's okay to come back. That's why we have a home, to return to when nothing goes right." He gave a kiss to his sisters forehead. "How about I get you something to eat, eh darling?" Alice had turned as red as a tomato. She was expect this reaction but it still made the embarrassment just as humiliating.

"I shall be going on the quest!" She yelled over the laughter, as she was used to in a house filled with men. Her hands curled into fists and her face filled with anger. "When the sun shine tommorrow, on a better day. The Prince gave us one day to prepare." All the laughter had been silenced. This made her brother only hug her tighter.

Her father smiled. "Then aren't we lucky ones? The Prince has been kind."

The eldest was slumped into a chair. "Let us eat together, one last time. We shall await your arrival when you come back. Bring us back gifts and stories from your adventure." After that, Alice was doomed to go but she did not care for the moment. The house was bright and she was happy, even if it only last a few hours. That night, she cried.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon let out a small chuckle and removed the pipe from his mouth. Reaching his hand into his cloak his fingers scrambled around inside of a pocket until he found what he was looking for. Feylon produced a small leather pouch with a brown lace holding it together and placed it on the table. Slowly he pulled the lace away from the pouch and the whole thing began to unfold revealing a small collection of objects. It contained a small wooden pestle, a piece of flint, a cloth and a sachet of tobacco. Feylon reached for the pestle and used it to smother the burning tobacco in his pipe. Then he carefully poured the remaining tobacco into the sachet and cleaned it out with the cloth. When he was finished he wrapped the leather pouch up once more and placed it gently back inside his cloak along with the pipe. "Now, no more smoking. Back to the matter at hand though. It is foolish to not care what these people think of you. If it comes to a combat situation you are going to want those people to help protect you are you not? Do not be so naive as to think those small daggers will aid you much in a fight against a foe with a long sword. I, so far have only managed to piss off the Prince. It is of my assumption that the man is to noble and proud not to defend someone he is travelling with. The priest and the mage however is an entirely different story."

Feylon winked, smiled, and stood up from his seat. "Now if you will excuse me it is time for me to take my leave. It was a pleasure to meet you and I shall see you at the gates of the city in the morning. Also think about what I have said." Feylon bowed down and walked towards the bar. He had purchased the loft space from the barkeep some months ago and was using it as a personal hideout. It was small but cozy and provided the adequate cover from the weather outside during the night. As he walked around the bar he nodded to the barman and pushed open and old wooden door. In front of him a set of creaky, bent steps that led up the two floors to the left. Slowly he made his way up. His body had started to become stiff. It had taken quite an unexpected beating today and would most likely suffer the consequences for days to come. It was a thought Feylon did not relish. It would be uncomfortable and annoying at the best of times but he had to make do.

As he reached the top of the stairs a small room was revealed. The ceiling just high enough in the middle for him to stand up, but sloped down on both sides forcing him to crouch on either side of the room. In the middle was his not so fancy bed. A bedroll on top of straw was not the most exquisite of beds in the world but it certainly did the job. Unhooking the brooch that held his cloak on Feylon left the material slide off and fall to the ground leaving just his woodland tunic and pants. He slid his leather boots off and kicked them away from the bed. Feylon then took his tunic off and replaced it with a looser fitting white tunic. Feylon then lay down onto the bed. All the tension and pressure of his body left him immediately and he shut his eyes leaving him fall to sleep.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
As Hayley walked away, Acacia let out a small sigh. She was glad the monk girl had stepped in, as her simple words seemed to have as much effect as Acacia's own. Of course, the angry red head had only left after giving another death threat to the mage. Just another thing to worry about, Acacia thought as she frowned after her. She had also seemed to threaten her and the monk with her "Don't stay near this pile of magic crap." warning.
However, as she saw the monk's confused reaction to this, Acacia laughed softly. She seemed as though she thought the "merchant" literally meant crap. Acacia began to wonder if she had seen much outside of the... mone... something. Acacia frowned as she couldn't quite find the name. Usually her memory was nearly perfect.

Oh well, she thought with a sigh, again smiling as the mage began to thank them. He also warned them about trusting her, especially in light of recent events. Acacia could only agree. She did seem to have quite the temper. He then walked to the bar to write down his list. Acacia figured she should probably do so as well. She had been expecting that they would be on their way today, but she didn't question the prince's decision. It only seemed wise that they should cool off a bit. Acacia just hoped the whole journey wouldn't be like this.

She heard Mirabella's invitation to the Dancing Dragon. After a moment, Acacia decided she might as well join them since there was not much else to do at this point. She walked calmly to her former position, grabbing her lute and thinking about what exactly they would need for something like this. The prince had already said that they would be supplied with food, horse, water and supplies, so she probably only really needed to mention specifics. She walked up to the bar and got a piece of paper. She had gotten quite used to traveling during the day and staying at inns for the night. She didn't have a good bedroll anymore, so that would be a good thing to include. However, even as she checked a few of her pockets, she could think of nothing else.

  • Bedroll.

Well, I guess that will do, she thought, handing the paper to the barkeep before heading out of the Black Vagabond. Now just to figure out where this Dancing Dragon was. Acacia fortunately had enough money for a good meal and a night at a small inn, but after that she would be pretty much broke. At least she wouldn't have to worry much about that as long as they did indeed leave tomorrow. She stopped a young woman, who gave her directions to the inn. She soon found it, walked in and quickly walked over to those from the "adventurers' group" as she had begun thinking of it. At the table was Mirabella, Xan, Narenia, and Nelinia.

"Mind if I join you?" she said, taking a seat beside Mirabella as the waitress came over. She smiled at those at the table. When the server looked to her she told her in a certain voice, a slight smile on her face, "I will have venison stew as well, with some tea please."

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
"Venison Stew" Xan repeated out loud, still in the wandering state of mind. He wasn't quite sure what kind it was, but if they have what is deemed the best then it might be worth a taste. He came back to reality as the sound of music started to fill the air. It was soft at first, but as they came closer to the source the true volume of the music started to hit. It was quite loud, he could actually feel the sound of the music as it hit him outside of the door. He allowed the others to enter the pub first. He stood looking at the building and the sign that had its name carved into it as it lightly swung above the door. It looked as if it would be falling off at any moment, ready to hit the head of someone that entered to left at the wrong time. As those that were in front of him made their entry, he followed behind, the music felt as if it had gotten softer as they entered but it was still quite loud. He took his time getting to their chosen table, for some reason his eye kept wandering around the pub.

He was about to pull out his seat to sit when he heard a voice that came from behind. Another had decided to join the group, the bard Acacia, as she sat he wondered if anyone else were to come and looked back towards the door. In the back of his mind he was wondering if anyone leaving would get hit over the head by the sign outside that might fall. He amused himself with the thought before he sat in his chair. The server had already begun to take orders, but Xan wasn't quite sure what to get. The recommendation of the Venison stew tempted him, but he also wanted to know what else there was. He folded his legs in onto the chair, placing both hands in his lap as he thought for a moment.

"I guess I shall take some of the Venison Stew as well," he paused for a moment, "And anything that has a good amount of chicken in it was well" he said with a smile. He had only eaten chicken once or so, but he couldn't forget the taste of it. Or perhaps the flavor came more from the sauces that it was covered in instead of the meat itself, but either way it couldn't hurt to try some again. "And anything that has a sweet flavor as a drink" he finished, he wasn't quite sure of anything they had, and if this was going to be his last decent meal for a while, why not spoil himself a bit. With the amount of coin he had before, added together with the amount that Narenia had given him, he should be able to pay the tab for his meal.

After the order of his meal was complete he started to think about where to sleep tonight. It was very likely that all the money he had would be going into the meal so he knew he couldn't stay at an inn. Perhaps he should sleep somewhere close to the city gates where they were to meet again. Perhaps within a large tree near the area, he liked to be off the ground when he had to sleep outside, and if it had enough leaves those would make a nice pillow as well. He shrugged off the thought for a moment, he would find a comfortable enough place to sleep when he had to. For now it was best to enjoy the meal and the company.

"So, what is that brought you all to the decision of going on this quest?" he asked, wanting to start up some conversation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre

Earnings

0.00 INK

Image


A tumult of inquiries made itself aware to him with answers unknown. No grasp of sight nor sound could brace a foreigner for such epiphanies, such strange scents wafting through the air and leading him down darkened streets. This was not a city of pine, but of boundless opportunity. His arrival hadn't varied from his departure, which is to say he came with kit's optimism, flashing fanged smiles in spite of meek fanfare, and clouds of doubt would do little to hinder his step. What a fool he was. Cloaked from tip to tail, he cut the image of absurdity. He supposed, briefly, that he would represent all the flaws of this venture—one might call him irritatingly buoyant had he not been quelled by the wariness of the townsfolk, restricted to considered padding within the shadows of Paetax as he went forth, ever so hopeful, to the grounds where the misfits would meet.

But he had been frantic. Past noontime, the final bell berated his absence. Ears perked, strained, catching that sound and that sound only. The city had loomed a mile in the distance, grandly set on the horizon, and his pace quickened on the dusted road. Curse after curse tainted his breath. Inevitably, others would have arrived long before him, warriors or mages or devious people with years of experience, whether polished sword or pierced tongue or missing teeth. Eyepatches, even. The thought had set him into a near-dash, the anticipation eating away at him, the even anxiety more so.

And all the world's courage would not grant him words. A few thousand faces to glance over, a few hundred more to speak with, but which handful would be willing to listen? Lost among the crowd, he was but one of many, and yet the open roads had seemed entirely too unwelcoming, too prone to exposure to the common people of Calisma. Yet he could not afford to wander for long. The capital could not engulf him, not before he had the opportunity to slug drunkards in a pub fight.

What had led him to the caped man were whispers on the wind, just as tellings of the king's state and the plan of action had drifted to the ends of the earth. His presence quieted bold souls; crude talk became hushed around him, the mannerisms more subdued. Icareau was the least capable of joining his company. Through an act of admirable idiocy, nonetheless, the Feledine found his voice: "Sir, if you may please heed my request!"

Imagine the boy, then, garbed in fur and cloak and armor under the sweltering sun, the broadsword tucked at his side, the toes tipped, desperately, to heighten himself. "I seek to join the hired hands at the Black Vagabond. If the king is in need of aide, then I am willing to fall for him—that is..." At this, his speech faltered, as did his stride. Surely this man was used to such heckling. "Well, if I can find the meeting area," he added, laughing without conviction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
How could one not trust water? Nel thought as Mira told her she could trust it; a thought taking her back to the tavern sipping her glass of water. She pushed aside any worries of it for now and immediately thought of the Dancing Dragon. What did it look like? Was it a grand dragon? A small dragon? What colours decorated its skin? Music tickled the monk's ears as questions spiraled inside her head, growing louder and louder with every step she took towards the structure that advertised the "Dancing Dragon" upon its entrance. Who wouldn't advertise their dancing dragon?

To her extreme disappointment, the music wasn't being played by a dancing dragon, nor was there a dancing dragon at site in the establishment. Then she remembered the warrior's words: . “The Dancing Dragon is rumored to serve all sorts of fare, if stew and mead aren’t your taste… Of course! The dragon must be a cook! How delightful to eat food made by a dragon. Pondering what to order, the "venison stew" seemed to be a popular meal meal for everyone, despite the fact that Nel knew what "venison" was. Nel tried to look up at the waitress but immediately looked down at her feet in discomfort at the waitress's lack of...clothing across her chest.

Her head came back up as a familiar voice stood out from the music of the bards playing; a bard. Specifically, their own bard, Acacia. After she ordered, venison stew, what a surprise, Nel would put in her own order, generally playing monkey see monkey do with Mira. "Black Mead...and what's in the venison stew?"

"A little bit of everything and some deer, of course." The buxom waitress responded. Nel couldn't contain the horror that slipped through her lips in a mere whisper. Deer?
"Fresh deer from just this morning." Nel felt sick to her stomach as soon as she said that. What did the poor deer ever do to get eaten, cut into pieces and put into the fir-just thinking about it felt like she was going to hurl the lackluster contents of her insides. "Some bread please."

Amidst the sickening feeling, she could hear the honest thief, Xan, raise a question about why they were going on this quest. The monk cleared her throat and waited a few seconds for the colour to return to her face before she can speak. "If the king dies, it could be disastrous for Calisma if he's replaced with someone...else. Although most of my brothers and sisters couldn't care less. Apparently, as she's been told in the monastery, the possibility that disaster would occur in his death, was preposterous but she wouldn't believe it.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

Much to her pleasure, the iron clad woman greeted her and decided to let Nari know that she also possessed a sense of humor. It fell in good soil with the ranger woman as she returned her smile and nodded, looking at the ground for a moment. How pleasant it felt conversing with this woman. Serious when need be but also knew how to lighten the mood.
"Ah yes, you're right." Nari said, delighted that she had decided to use her nickname. "Likewise." Her smile hadn't faded yet as she nodded in appreciation to Mira.
The next one to join them was the monk, Nel, who would first bow to Mira and in the next moment she ran back for a forgotten item and returned. Nari couldn't help smiling brightly at her. The innocent little girl seemed overly excited about something, but what it was remained unknown for the moment. It really doesn't take much to excite her. she thought to herself.

She had listened intently as Mira had told them about what the Dancing Dragon served. When they had all settled and was approached by the waitress, two things amused Nari to the point that she had to looked down to hide her smile. The first one was the fact that the eyes of this waitress never left Xan, which was understandable enough. The other was that innocent little Nel seemed to be made very uncomfortable by the lack of clothing over the waitress' breast. Her eyes met Mira's once and Nari looked away to settle her face again. "Black mead and stew please." Nari gestured towards the others to indicate that she would have the same as them. Venison stew seemed popular at the moment, or maybe it was because it was a nice meal and they were leaving the next day. The next voice she heard was that of Acacia. The beautiful bard smiled at the people surrounding the table, and ordered venison stew and tea.
Nari gave her a smile and a nod to let her know she was welcome. She had been one of those not to react rashly back at the Black Vagabond. At least there were a few cool heads among them.

"What is it, Nelinia?" she asked the monk when the waitress had left, only to return at some point with their orders. A smirk played at the corners of her mouth as she spoke, but Nari did her best to hide them. She didn't want to make the monk more uncomfortable, but a little fun couldn't hurt anyone. One slightly saddening thought crossed her mind. This monk seemed so unaware of how the world around her worked. What if when she found out, some things would be too much for her?

Xan had decided to strike up a conversation though, asking what they were all doing there, joining a quest like this. Nari decided to let everyone else speak first, thinking that they might forget about her if she kept quiet about her. If they all really wanted to know, she'd find out who that was and if not, well, nothing lost.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella kept an eye on the door for any stragglers but the only other form to walk into the Dancing Dragon was Acacia. When the Bard Girl sat down beside her, she nodded her head towards the woman and smiled once more. “Of course you are welcome to join us. After tomorrow, none of us will have much of an option in regards to the company we keep. Will we?”

Though she didn’t laugh outwardly, one would be able to tell by her tone and general demeanor that she was in high spirits. Adventure called to her like gold called to a thief and with an honorable task being their new purpose, she couldn’t help but feel a bit jovial. Especially since she hadn’t expected anyone to attempt to bond with one another after the scene from the Black Vagabond, instead she had thought everyone would go their separate ways only to meet at the gates with either apathy or distrust.

Some of the others went about their orders and Mirabella finally let loose with a small chuckle at some of their questions and requests. Xan had simply asked for a sweet drink and poor Nel had turned green the moment she heard what was in venison stew before opting for bread instead. It made Mirabella ponder for a moment if the monk was vegetarian, so she spoke up to order a few more things for Nel since she wouldn’t be eating stew like the rest of them.

“Actually, miss, could you bring her a cheese platter with bread and pears? And instead of the mead, perhaps she’d enjoy Granatus in apple wine? Perhaps two mugs full of it, I believe that Xan would enjoy its taste as well.”

So they wouldn’t think she overstepped herself, she explained the drink to both Nel and Xan as the waitress went off to fetch everyone’s food. “It is pomegranate boiled down and made into a syrup that is then added to whatever you wish with a bit of sugar. It takes away some of the bitterness of whatever you’re drinking, making it a bit easier to handle.

As the conversation turned to the quest at hand and their reasons for joining, the petite monk started out with her explanation and when silence fell upon the table once more, Mira gave her own response. “As you know, my people are fighters and warriors. Without any full scale wars, we have little to do and so our skills go wasted. I doubt we will find the Panacea without running into at least an enemy or two, so I pledge to use my skills to protect the rest of the party.”

Her eyes fell upon both Nari and Acacia next, wondering if they would share their stories but the tavern wench was back quickly, depositing a mug in front of each of the party members before sweeping back into the kitchen to gather their food. It wasn’t until the woman had come back out and set their stews and such upon the table that Mira turned her gaze first to Nari who had been quiet throughout most of the conversation thus far.

“And what of you, Nari? I didn’t expect one of the woodland folk to join us in our cause, in all honesty. It seems that even during the Wars that there was little that threatened nature. Or have you not always been a hunter?”

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Earlier That Day
(Flashback)

Thoughts were heavy on his mind as he navigated the crowds in the streets of Paetax. So engulfed was he in his own mind that he’d scarcely noticed the stranger who had approached him. If not for the shade cast on his path, the Prince probably would have walked straight into said person. The shadow was attached to a figure, miniature and pleading up at him, and voice strangely male despite the height. It took a second for Rydas to detach himself from his thoughts and glue together all the abnormalities of the situation.

“That tavern is about fourty strides behind me.” He stated, answering the request. Green eyes glanced over the cloaked stranger, clearly masking appearance from the public like himself. Where as the Prince more easily blended in the crowed, the being before him did not fit in. Anything inhuman stood out in Paetax. With the source of the King’s recent illness still a mystery, any outsiders were less than welcome. And the creature, standing on the tips of paws, was most definitely not human.

“You’ve just missed the meeting though. It’s disbanded, to be reconvened on the morrow at the city’s main gates. If you leave a list of items with the barkeep they will be provided, if you need.” He informed the stranger.

Rydas took the moment to glance over the adventurer, taking note of armor and sword. If he was skilled then the Prince was thankful. And this one’s mood seemed brighter than the rest of the motley crew. A Feledine, however, might not be welcomed amongst the ranks. The race kept mostly to themselves in the south, even with fealties sworn and a truce between their peoples. Despite armor and uplifting mood, the small man (though age was hard to tell) hardly seemed battle hardened.

“Excuse me, I’ve had a taxing day. If you decide to join the quest I will see you at the gates. Many of the others are still drinking or eating at the taverns.”

And that was that. He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t ask names. The Prince excused himself and headed to the castle, disappearing the crowd. He needed to clear his head.


• • •

The Following Day
(Flashforward)

Additional sentries were posted inside the city gates, a ring cleared around a string of horses. They were highly bred beasts, beautiful. It’d been quite a large sum of coin that had been put forth for the mounts, and the gear that each held. Side bags were full to the brim with copious amounts of gear; bedrolls, nonperishable foods, bandages, water-filled canteens, flint, and everything that had been listed to the barkeep. It’d been done to the nines, and then some. Despite the fact that the group was clearly crown sponsored Rydas had given strict orders that the kings colours were not to be displayed. He’d wear his sigil, but they were venturing into unknown territories and who knew where alliances would lay.

The sun was high, warm and unforgiving. This day the Prince was uncloaked, geared to the teeth. He looked quite prestigious, his read cloak swirling in what little wind made it into the city. Citizens gathered, gawking and wondering, despite being politely urged to be on their way. He had hoped that the sight of their Prince geared and ready to go would boost morale, Gods know they needed it. He’d arrived early for that purpose. This, however, wasn’t a publicity stunt so there would be no speeches. Attentions were drawn away from him as the bell tolled again. Each toll still heart and breath. The third echoed out and again, like any other day, life resumed.

What little sleep he’d had the night before had been light and uneasy. He’d drifted between half sleep and daydreams. Upon waking he didn’t remember the content of such, but they left him uneasy. Hooves stirred, muffled grunts from restless horses. Their impatience was felt by Rydas, though he was still. He resisted the urge to pace. It was undecided whether it was a restlessness to begin or an uneasiness still lingering from the disastrous meeting of yesterday. For a moment he pondered if any would show, or more accurately if any wouldn’t. There were a few he could do without out of personal opinion, but any able bodies were needed and he would thank them just the same. Green gaze scanned the crowd, waiting from the adventurers to show.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur

Earnings

0.00 INK

The priest walked alone amongst the streets of Paetax, there was a lot in his mind, shame, rage, doubt, disappointments and delusions.
Yet there was a clear drive behind him, pushing him forward even if all the lot had forsaken the prince it would be both of them, hell if the prince had turned tail it would be him alone and if the group expelled him then he would set out on his own, his conviction had been renewed after last night

A dream…no, a vision

He had seen the hall lord, and it was disappointed by the priest`s lack of sight and trust in the plans of the merry one, why if such a task was being trusted to him did he felt like abandoning it?

The walk away from the tavern was easy, he was cursing the whole lot of them under his breath calling them sinners and heathens and worse o so much worse, yet when he fell on the dream night he saw a bloodied crown falling on the ground shattering as the shadows of swords drew in and seemed to consume the light around them until only darkness remained and the stench of Iron filled his every pore.

Then a light scorched the darkness as a cup fell splattering everything with a golden brew that was liquid sunlight, it flowed into the crown and renewed it with vigor and cleansed away the blood, the light dissipated the shadows and the swords rusted and became dust.

I was wrong to doubt great one

He arrived to the city gates, a heavy leather cloak of a brown color covering his body, a book that could be used as a coffee table hung in chains from his chest and a simple wooden cup fastened at his hip, and of course a very oddly shaped staff, everything about it was common for the exception of the tip.
It had been carved in the liking of a hand with the “thumbs up” sign.

He arrived to find that he was early, it seemed like the prince was not going to be a bad host and had seen for everyone to be fully prepared and geared, yet Akdov had not seen fit to make any expense in his own, he had everything he needed, drink, a walking stick, his holy text and faith.
He stood there with his hood shadowing his features, the beard would give him away he suspected but still he stood there and waited for the rest to come, he knew they would be hostile and aloof but this was what Deud was asking of him and he would be damned if he failed the hall lord

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan sat and listened eagerly to everyone's own explanation for joining this quest into the unknown. He was happy that they were opening up themselves to this small group of strangers turned comrades, and his face showed it. He turned his attention to the mug that had been placed before him, he sat and stared at it for a moment before reaching out for it. The explanation about the drink did make it sound sweet, and so did the smell, but he was still a bit hesitant to drink it. He wouldn't know if he would like it or not, but to take a taste is the only way to decided such a thing. He brought it up to his lips and filled his mouth with the drink, swishing it around in his mouth a bit to get a complete taste of the drink before swallowing. It wasn't bad, although a bit of a bitter after taste, it was drinkable. He set the drink down on the table just as the food they had ordered was set down. He was glad that he could finally get something into his stomach, and his enthusiastic way of eating showed it. Although his mind and stomach may have been on the meal, his ears were still open to hear the talk around him, he himself didn't talk much, mostly because his mouth was usually full.

His stomach full, and the sun gone and the moon out, Xan thought it time to go. He enjoyed the time he had spent with the group, but it had to come to an end, a good nights sleep was needed for what was to occur the next day. His hand shuffled around his pocket for a moment before pulling out all the coin he had and setting it on the table.

"Should be enough" he said as the coins scattered about. "I should be going, finding a good place to sleep won't be easy" he stretched his body as he got up from his chair, a yawn escaping his mouth. He gave a smile and a wave as he turned to leave the group, "I'll be seeing you all tomorrow, I hope" he said as he made his way to the door. As he pushed the door open, the cool night air managed to sneak it's way in, stopping when the door was fully open. The sun had completely disappeared and the moon was clearly visible. He looked up at it for a moment, taking in the sight of the moon, it looked closer than usual, but that could just be his imagination. Another yawn escaped him as he started to walk off, towards the city gates where everyone was to meet. He knew sleeping there would be the best idea, whether he would sleep in or not he would be awakened and in time to go without the fear of being left behind.

He stopped his travels in front of a medium sized tree just to the right of the gates, it wasn't to large and the lower branches seemed more than thick enough to bear his weight. Not only that the fact that it wasn't to far off the ground would mean he wouldn't be injured should he roll off the branch, which had quite a good chance of happening. He found a small bush nearby, it was young, the not only the leaves, but the branches as well were soft. He pulled it from the ground, and stuffed it into the hood of his cloak, a make shift pillow for himself. With a few slight grunts he pulled himself onto a low branch, pulling up his hood and laying his head on it as he laid back on the branch. He gave one last yawn before closing his eyes and falling into a deep and comfortable sleep.

--------

Xan was awoken by the loud toll of a bell, the first bringing him back to consciousness, the second nearly causing him to fall out of the tree that he had been sleeping in. Somehow, he managed to catch himself with his right leg before his body made an impression on the ground below. Quite the way to wake up, his right eye opened to look around, his left eye of course closed and it felt as if a dream was still being played within the darkness of his dead left eye. He looked around, towards the gate to find that the Prince was already ready and waiting for those to come, as well as a cloaked man with quite the beard.

"Good morning" Xan called, holding in a yawn, he gave a forced smile and wave. He had just awoken, he wouldn't have the same level of energy as he did yesterday until another hour or so had passed. The look in his good eye said it all, he would be dead to the world till he fully awoke. He freed his right leg that was hooked to the tree branch, causing him to fall to Earth, a twist of his body he landed on his feet which soon gave way and landing him in a sitting position. His back was to the awaiting men as he gave a loud yawn, reaching back he pulled the remnants of the little bush that he had used as a pillow for the night. He pushed himself up off the ground with a grunt, one final yawn as he scratched the back of his head. Pulling several leaves and twigs that had settled in his mess of hair he made his way closer, taking a look at the well equipped horses that had been prepared. He had never ridden a horse before, so this should be an interesting, if not quite the embarrassing, experience for him.

"It's finally the day" he said with a stretch, "I'm so excited" the words not really matching his sleepy and dull tone. A sleepy smile was spread on his face, it was an exciting day for him from today onwards he would be able to call himself an adventurer, if he survived that is. Truthfully he wasn't worried about dying along the journey, he was quite confident that he would be able to hold his own, even in the midst of battle. He wondered if there were any monster out there. Although childish, he still dreams and hopes that the creatures that he had heard in myths and stories existed within this world. Even though the realistic part of his brain told him that it was impossible, the child within him kept the dream alive. His smile widened a bit as he looked out the gates, "The unknown is calling" he said to himself with a happy laugh.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Nel felt guilty. Unintentionally stiffing the bill for her food to Mira, the monk refused to have her pay for another room, compromising they both sleep in the same room. With the thought that there was two beds, Nel nodded in agreement, and from fully satisfied with a meal she desperately needed sleep. Upon entering the room there was only one bed. There was only one option:

Sleep on the ground.

To be honest, she was used to sleeping on grounds since the idea of anything else was foreign, but the pillows and sheets said otherwise. Fine red sheets that felt so soft in between her fingers she wanted to just curl up in them and die. In a good way. Despite her mind already deciding on the floor, her body was already on the bed, writhing in the pleasure of warmth, not even bothering to take off her clothes. She could barely remember any sign of life whilst she was caught up in the euphoria of the softest sheets in the world and quickly fell asleep.

Waking up was not as pleasurable. Mainly because she noticed someone else under the sheets. Nel almost screamed but covered her mouth just in time to silence any noise. She carefully lifted the sheet up and saw the culprit from her long strands of hair to her face: Mirabella. It was Nel's fault, she thought she'd be taking the floor, then steals the bed, so it was to be expected. Besides it was a large bed that could easily fit three people. Nel instantly raised the sheets looking for another body but was relieved to find none.

Very slowly, she slipped out of the bed, and tip-toed to the door, opening slowly to avoid noise but not too slow for the door to creak and wake everyone. It was the same technique she used to leave the monastery. About to close the door behind her, she saw the bed, calling for her to come back. "Neeeel! Neeeeeeeel! Sleeep mee! Nel bit the edges of her lip as she regrettably closed the door behind her and flowed out of the tavern into the street. The sun hadn't even thought of coming out yet. The monk was used to waking up this early in the morning from the day she was brought into the Kula Monastery. Slipping into an alley, which provided some protection from the cool winds, she sat on the cobblestones cross-legged and began her meditation.

What felt like days passing were only hours and, unknowingly, a small crowd started to gather at the entrance to the alley, stricken with curiosity. At this point in time, the sun was rising over the horizon, giving a reddish-orange glow to the sky. Nel's hands slipped slowly from her lap with her forearms on the floor, slowly shifting her weight onto them until her legs, still crossed, weren't touching the ground. With all the weight transferred to her forearms, she slowly uncrossed her legs and held them up to the air, akimbo, and straightened her back. Now upside down, she kept her balance skillfully, and held the position for a while until suddenly she put tightened her hands into fists and lifted her forearms up. Hold. Nel still held steady breaths despite the beads of sweat pouring slowly unto her side. Now splaying her hands on the background, she pushed up once more, lifting her palm up into the air, and balancing off the tips of her fingers. The crowd at the entrance of the alley, still unknown to her closed eyes, was growing and watching with awe at the performance. She held the position for a while, then suddenly lifted her left arm up, and was balanced with the fingers of her right hand. Muscles quivering
and arm quickly wavering, she switched hands, held, pulled in her legs, and promptly stood up, eyes open before the now cheering crowd. Confused and sweaty as the salty water was now a second skin, her face flushed, and she ran the other end, this time mindful to bring her quarterstaff.

Whilst looking for the gate, the bells tolled again, and the human traffic immediately stopped once more. It all seemed so alien and strange to her; everything really. "I'll never fit in. She thought, just as she found the gate, and got into the empty clearing of space inhabited by horses. The prince was there in his swooshing red cape, which reminded Nel of the soft sheets that made her want to caress it through her fingers, the thief who seemed to be in a jovial mood this afternoon, and a tall character with a gold beard. The priest. Perhaps she has been too hard on Akdov. After all, not every priest would be like...him. Right?

"Good morning." Nel greeted the priest, standing beside him for the moment, trying to find a common denominator they can relate to. That was staring right at her. "That's an odd weapon." She remarked at the staff with the symbol of approval for a hand on it, looking back at her weapon, not helping the fact she felt a little plain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella continued on with their meal after allowing both Nari and Acacia to respond to Xan’s inquiry about their reasoning for joining this epic quest. A ranger and a bard, both would have to have entertaining reasons for joining and as the warrior continued to listen to and feed into the conversation, she couldn’t help but feel a little curious.

These four seemed a personable bunch but what of the others that had stayed behind or gone their separate ways? Were they devious and trying not to befriend the others in preparation for their subsequent betrayal? Were they simply shy? As a matter of fact, after she had left the Priest outside of the Black Vagabond and returned inside to pledge her sword to the Prince, she never saw him slip back inside behind her. Odd, that.

Still, she didn’t let such things worry her and after the meal was finally over with, Xan tossed some coins upon the table and took her leave whereas Mirabella held up her hand to the remaining three to prevent them from doing the same.

“Please let me pay for our meal. In celebration of newfound allies and for safe travels on the road we have ahead of us.” As the waitress came by, Mirabella pressed a good bit of coin into her hand and then stood up, stretching her aching muscles.

Bidding good night to Acacia and Nari, the warrior argued a good bit with Nel who apparently felt guilty about the larger meal that Mira had asked for and provided for the young monk. Yet, the warrior knew that the first day of travel was always one of the hardest and the tiny yellow-robed figure would need more energy than a simple loaf of bread would have provided. So she quieted her fears and eventually they settled upon an agreement that they would share a room to save coin. There had been no way that Mirabella would’ve allowed Nel to wander off on her own to find lodgings. The girl looked like she could hold herself in a fight but she also screamed of innocence and naivete. Protection was one of the few things Mirabella was good at, so she extended this to the younger monk and they climbed the stairs to their accommodations.

Though Nel fell quickly asleep, the Triansui stayed up a bit longer to take care of her armor before she turned in for the night. Taking off first her breastplate, then each remaining piece of plate, she sat down at the small table provided by the inn and polished each piece. Cleaning it and inspecting it for any repairs she might have to make in the near future, the warrior did the same to her many weapons until finally the candle was almost burning out and her eyes were growing weary from being up for so long. The last piece of armor to remove was the chain shirt which she wore under her breastplate but over her muslin tunic and she draped that upon the back of the chair, yawning once before she slipped into the bed on the side furthest from the monk. Sleep took her and she did not awaken until the sun was already high in the sky on the following day.

When her eyes fluttered open, she first noticed that the monk was gone. With a practiced ease, she slipped into her armor, strapped on her weapons and shield and gathered her meager belongings into her rucksack. Feeling refreshed from the night of rest in a fine and comfortable bed, the Triansui went out of the tavern and found the stables first. A few more easy errands came next after retrieving her steed and by the time that the bells were tolling their trio of tones, Mirabella was already riding up to the gate upon her chestnut mare and the crowd that had gathered around the Prince dispersed for her to join the rest of the mounts.

Finding that a trio of familiar faces were already in attendance, Mira nodded to Xan and Nel before moving her horse so that she was closer to Akdov, the Priest so that she could speak with him.

“I am glad to see that you have decided to join us, Priest.” Her countenance was unreadable as she prepared for the journey ahead and her demeanor didn’t seem quite as celebratory as the evening before. “Shall we have you as a true ally, from this day forth, Akdov?” She wanted to know that they could all trust him. That he wouldn’t try to fracture and plot and plan as he had done the previous day. She wouldn’t judge any man for watching out for himself in times of turmoil but she also did not want to turn to him for assistance only to be rebuffed.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

They had all left again. They wanted to stay but Alice chased them away. This way, they would not see her sulk and pout. And that’s how she left. Through the wooden door, with nothing on her back but her cloak and a pout. At first, she had small strides, kicking lone rocks that dare to get in her way. But that only lasted a few minutes before she wandered into the bakers shop. She had only come here a few months ago but she got along with the plump man. His bread was amazing as well and Alice loved her food. That was something that Alice could do all day, eat, if it wasn’t for the fact that she wasn’t prepared to get teased by her brothers. The man patted her head before she left, much like he would do with a child. It was annoying how people treated her. She was still growing! She was just a bit late… Well, that was what she told her father when he teased her at least. What man teases his only daughter for being short! How awfull.

In her hand now was a hot loaf of bread. She held on to half and the other half was thrown into the abyss that held her backpack. Now why would she hold all this? What a silly question. Just when her foot stepped out the door, the bell rang. As always, her heart stopped and she waited. What a beautiful bell. She’d miss it. But it was that very bell that brought her sprit up. She threw the bread piece in her mouth, and her legs just shot off.

Jumping over the hurdles that lay in her way and ducking under anything that was over her head, and let’s be truthful, there wasn’t much. Her hair flew around, making it look more like a mess than it was before. The brown strands cut unevenly, losing the entire ‘Smart-high-society-Mage’ look she was going for in the beginning. Her teacher had told her that her child-like actions would never give anyone that impression so it was quite futile to try and act. It’ll more look like a child playing dress up. In another word, stupid.

Giggling and laughing she saw the small dots that represented the group, too far away to see who was who but close enough to know they were there. Not many had shown up yet. As the though crossed her mind, so did her feet. With a colorful choice of curse and screams, she flew face first into the ground. She was too far away from anyone in the group to see but that didn’t mean her flush was any less red. Tears stung her eyes from the dirt that hit her face, yet she had the will power to bring them back. As red splotches refused to leave she walked towards the rest of the group, her energy to run completely gone now. Alice didn’t bother to say anything. What was there really to say? A greeting? Bah, that's too much work! She found herself a nice spot on top of a boulder, where she bit into her bread once more. Her figures played with her necklace. The worry and fear slowly decreasing. She could do this, she was a Mage after all and she had her Seal.

It was then she took time to notice everyone else. The drunk priest was here having a conversation with that woman that had glared at her before. The young monk seemed to also be having some sort of conversation with the priest. And then there was the scoundral, Alice was going to call him that at least. The Prince had brought along a few horses but there was a nagging voice in her mind that they would not be enough. Well, it was the fear speaking at least. She sighed. If she had to walk she would drop out of this circus the minute! Even her family wouldn't have a problem with that. No better than a drunk, they would say. Alice smiled, throwing in the last peice of bread in her mouth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

He was not amused by these questions, was it some kind of riddle? Had she selected the words specifically to try to make an answer impossible?

“I beg to ask what is a true ally my lady?” it was an honest question, what exactly was that “Are you asking me if I will have you over my god as priority? Are you asking me if you can rely on my assistance, limited as it might be to those who don’t share the faith or perhaps are you doubting my tolerance or perhaps wondering if I have the capacity to handle lies and distrust from these people?”

He removed his hood revealing his dark blond hair “I don’t know what a true ally is, maybe its something found amongst the steel blades and the smell of blood, but I will say this, even if for some reason this endeavor fell to me and me alone I would see it through, I was wrong to cause conflict amongst us, but my god has chosen me to carry this out an I will not disappoint the faith the hall lord has delivered in me, I will support you, see your wounds tended and if there is a task that requires the life that Deud has given back to me, returned to the hall then I will do so”

He had not smiled and had been very serious when he spat the words “I hope that answers your question”

Akdov simply laughed at the monk, well not at her really, but at the way she saw the world “It would indeed be an odd weapon, if it was one girl” he looked at his long staff and continued “I don’t see myself ever killing anything with this” he chuckled a little rethinking that statement “Well it is very good to draw smiles and laughs so I guess you could say it is a weapon against boredom and dull moods, but it is a walking stick in truth, woman, after all this old bones can benefit from having a support since I am assuming we are going for a travel long and wide”

He looked at the distant horizon, the lands were the sun sat and the mountains rested “I look forward to it I once had a pilgrimage in which I saw so many things, enjoyed plenty and suffered few…”

I was another man back then

“I just hope that Deud can give me the vision to know things apart, I pray for the strength to change that which can be changed, the discipline to accept when I can’t change things and the wisdom to tell apart which from which” he turned to his companions
“I take it you have your shares of the road as well, I hope we can share them one of these days”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia nearly burst out laughing at Nelinia's apparant embarrassment, and after Narenia's comment she did. Her laugh sounded almost as musical as her voice, causing a few in the inn to turn and look for the source of the sound. "Yes, I couldn't imagine what the problem could be," she said, still chuckling sofly, her dark eyes shining. Her thoughts tuned back to Mirabella, however. She seemed to easily take charge, quickly figuring out the needs of others and taking care of them. Acacia knew this was a quality of a great leader, but she instead focused on the possibly irritating side of having someone directing what you did. Hopefully she doesn't get too bossy, Acacia thought, a slight smile on her face. She listened to the music for a moment, noting the song before focusing her attention back on the group.

Soon the food was brought and Acacia eagerly smelled the stew. It was not bad at all and left her happy at least. The same went for the tea. This would have to be another place to remember when she came again to Paetax. She listened with interest to the answers of the others, especially Narenia, before answering for herself. "What brought me into the meeting was pure curiosity," she said, a grin on her face as she pulled out her new top and spun it on the table a couple times. "What kept me there is a different story. Sure, helping out the Prince and saving the kingdom is nice and all, but what really drew me in was the entertaining people. It is sure to be quite the adventure, I will tell you that much. Might even get a good story or two out of it." she grinned, snatching the still spinning top off of the table and stuffing it back into one of her pockets. Not exactly all my reasons, but hey, who needs to know everything right away, she thought, a smile on her face keeping her thoughts from coming through as usual.

She finished off the rest of her tea and was just about to pay and leave as Xan had, even standing up halfway, when Mirabella offered to pay. "Thank you, that is very kind. In that case, I will be off. See ya tomorrow," she said, sweeping a dramatic bow before spinning around and exiting the inn. Hmm, nice little group, she thought, breathing in the cool night air before heading off. I guess it is back to Golden Grape, but this time as a paying customer.

The plump innkeeper was surprised to see her back again, and asked how long her stay was extended, an almost greedy look in his eye. She quickly explained she was only staying for the night, rented a room, and headed up. She did her normal stretches before preparing for bed. She fell into the small bed with a sigh, thinking about her exciting day before falling asleep.
---------------------

The next morning she woke a little later than usual, a couple hours before noon. She went down to the main room, ate breakfast and relaxed a while. When it was closer to noon, she headed out. She quickly wound her way through the streets. Her attention was caught by a small girl with dark hair who was running exuberantly past her, suddenly falling to the ground just ahead of her. Something about her seemed familiar, but Acacia couldn't figure out why. Before she could check if the girl was alright, she got up. She seemed to also be headed to the gates. Acacia quickly walked up to the group, just behind the girl. She gave a small wave to those gathered. Now she was beginning to remember. This was the girl, a mage probably by her seal, who hadn't really introduced herself. Acacia walked up to the boulder where she sat, quickly introducing herself, though less dramatically than at the meeting.

"Hello, I am Acacia Winn. I suppose you're also going on this 'adventure,'" she said, her lips turning up in a friendly smile. "You're a mage right? What is your name?" After a moment she added in a more hushed voice, "I could show you how to fall a bit more gracefully if you would like," with a wink and a smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Having been spotted by Mira, Nel promptly smiled at her, but was slightly surprised she wanted to speak with the priest; something of being a "true ally? The priest went on and Nel, though not meant to listen to this conversation, can easily tell he would rather trust his imaginary God then he would the group. Monks may not know much about travel or adventure but even Nel can feel nervous with such as an answer as his. A simple "yes" or "no" could have easily sufficed; instead he had to string words together in a complex weave that needed to be deciphered. Why so needlessly complicated?

Fortunately, he didn't try that weave of words when answering Nel's question, which thank "Deud" for that. Apparently, his weapon was a walking stick, for "old bones". She promptly raised an eyebrow to his response; feeling somewhat confused by it. "I never thought boredom or dull feelings were such vicious enemies. Starting to feel the soreness in her arms, she brought up one arm and held it back down behind her head, relieving a familiar ache from her training in her shoulder. "Kill someone with a walking stick. What non-sense." She firmly said under her breath; switching arms simultaneously. "A weapon never has to kill. I thought priests would know that." The last part seemed to have a incredible amount of sarcasm put into it, bitter memories resurfacing, then suppressed through clenched teeth. "As for my name, it is Nel, not woman. No-one would call you man, yellow-beard, or tall. I'm sure if you only had a name; priest...

Both arms back to her side, she once again gripped the quarterstaff that leaned on her body, and looked at the priest for a split second before turning to Mira and giving her a small bow of respect. She felt more agitated as as he finished speaking to the priest. Nel immediately left their company for the sake of having an area to fully stretch; today would be a horrid day to pull a muscle. Any day, really, was a horrid day to pull a muscle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Mornings are fearsome beasts and should be avoided at all costs. This was the first thing to occur to Callavan upon waking. It was also the second, third and sixth things. An arm flopped over the bed's edge, seeking for something. It stumbled upon a flask, carelessly discarded the night before. He managed to flip on to his back, wincing when the light that spilled through window attacked his poor eyes. With some effort the flask was unstoppered and what wasn't splashed onto his face made it into his mouth. Now in a somewhat improved disposition, he proceeded to lie there rubbing his eyes and wishing the wrath of hell on whatever demons were pounding away at his skull.

Once he felt that the foul hammer wielding creatures were exercised from his mind, he managed to roll off his cot and make his way over to the wash basin that sat on the table. His face was shoved into it and held there in an attempt to drown whatever remained from the previous night. Unsuccessful, he was forced to come up for air as he wasn't sure whether or not he'd be able to resuscitate himself. As he wrung out his beard he tried to recover the remains of the previous day's goings on.

It started with him waking up in a field, walking into town and being turned down for every job he applied for. Nothing unusual there. Then there was the meet up at the pub and getting into an argument with a stranger. That was different, he doesn't get an opportunity to make an ass of himself in front of royalty all that often. Everyone seemed to disperse after that, except for the damn merchant, and he made an attempt at sobriety. It didn't work, which explained his current predicament. He had managed to make his way to an inn however, that was a point in his favor he reasoned.

Judging by the sun he figured it to be nearly noon, which meant he needed to be moving now. Everything was still in his pack, except for the flask which he'd have to find time to refill at some point. The room had been payed for the night before, so he simply left. He did make time for one stop on his way, for a meat pastry. The smell curdled his stomach, but the greasy spiced meat set it at ease soon enough.

Most of the others had already gathered near the gates already. He noted a small cluster of them were talking, the priest among them. He meandered on over to them, still savoring the pastry, or what little of it didn't seem to entangle itself on his face. Perhaps it's time for a shave. He acknowledged the priest and the warrior with a nod, but not the monk, Still have to figure out what a monk is, who had wandered off as he approached. They were talking about something, but he was far too groggy to care at the moment.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

As soon as the man, Feeloo or something that sounded like that, packed his smoking pipe and the unpleasant, smelly tobacco or whatever was the thing he was smoking he started giving Hayley some advice in life. It was yet another boring speech you expect old people to give, even though he didn't look old enough to speak like that. Hayley had been fine all this years making a life in the streets, among criminals and even worse people all by herself hadn't she? Hayley was old enough to make her own decisions and choose how she wanted to live. An opponent with a longsword? She'd run away and find a way to stab him in the back while he was busy killing someone else.

On a closing note Feylon told Hayley to think about it before leaving, and she would. Hayley would think of a way to ignore and maybe go against his advice. Even if it was for the good, Hayley hated feeling like she was taking orders from someone else, advice on life included.

When Feylon was finally out of view Hayley decided it was time for a fine drink before calling it a day, she ordered some wine as it could well be the last time she had the chance to drink it. Live like it's the last day you'll ever live, that's a good philosophy for someone that lives the way Hayley does. As she finished her glass Hayley let some coins on the counter and left the tavern. Hayley decided it was time to go to an inn and sleep well before the journey.

----

Upon waking up in the morning Hayley got off her comfortable bed and went downstairs at the inn. She paid for her night stay and even had some fresh bread for breakfast before leaving to meet the group at the city gates.

"Good morning." Hayley said after making her way through the crowd gathering around the adventurers. She then stood there, looking around trying to see who was missing, check the horses and look at the clear morning sky, it would be a hot day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darius Crowle Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

How do you become someone capable of ruling a country? Many nights were lost thinking about it in Darius youth. He never understood why Rydas never saw it like that. It became Rydas most admirable feature from his point of view. In many ways he thought of it as being royal, being capable of holding the weight of the world on his shoulders without ever showing traits of discourage or fatigue. The day his brother died, everything became different. It had been the only time, he allowed himself to visit the castle before becoming captain. When he finally reached Rydas room, he'd already been “punished”. He hadn't eaten since and Darius couldn't think of any good reason why to change that. Still, Darius also knew, Rydas would have to go out of his chambers at some point. That wasn't only an option, but his duty as the future king, and Darius would not allow him to escape from that reality. Looking back, Darius could've been more sensitive towards Rydas pain, but at the moment, he only wished for Rydas to embrace the truth. It took several years for their friendship to recover.

Darius' duty was to make sure Rydas didn't forget his. “I hope you don't expect me to tell you I'm surprised. The only reason anyone came to your calling was money, your highness.” He tried to look at him as kindly as he possible could. Was it pity that he felt for his friend's desperate attempt? Maybe, but he would never admit it. He had to help him, the kingdom, Rydas kingdom, depended on it. “Listen, the whole idea has two different very different issues, both of them might be this kingdom's chance of survival.”

Slowly, gently, he raised from his chair, drew his common blade and pointed at a map of Calisma behind him. “As you know, your father's reign has given us time to build up a certain defensiveness towards any foreign powers. An attack from the outside is therefore highly unlikely. Unfortunately, we have far more complicated issues. Our feudal monarchy is based on several noble families. In order for a king to rule, specially to rule peacefully, he needs the support of the vast majority of the nobles. That is still the case, fortunately, but ambition is a well-spread poison within this court.”

Now he walked on to the bookshelves right behind Rydas and rearranged some of the tomes while he continued. “Therefore, if his majesty king Erion should not recover soon enough, we might end up having civil war. I don't think looking for a long forgotten relic will save your father. I wish I could believe in something like that. I just don't. I want you to rule this country and right now you have no chance whatsoever to do so. We need to improve your appearance towards the council of nobles. Leaving the palace and going on a quest with a group of young adventurers is the stupidest idea anyone wishing to plot against the king could ever have. Even those who dislike you and wish to see you disappear will not be able to say anything against you anymore. Besides, this place is already being besieged with assassins strictly sent for you. Making you leave will make this palace a lot safer for your royal sister and father.”

He took a breat, walked right towards Rydas, offered his right hand and finally said "So, you want to go on a senseless quest with low chances of survival with a bunch of complete - I repeat - complete strangers. Those kids of yours, they will need a leader, so you better behave like one. You're Rydas Errion, my liege, my friend, but most of all, you are like family to me, a brother. Count me in on this one. If you leave Paetax without me, I will hunt you down myself. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

The random groves of the boulder kept Alice entertained as she waited for the Prince to start speaking. She wanted to know, would she get to ride a horse? The thought itself haunted her. What a horrible fate it would be if she had to walk instead. A sigh escaped her parted lips. But there was also that sickening feeling she was getting in the pit of her stomach. The first meeting had not turned out well, and the priest didn't seem very happy. Was this going to futile? A waste of time?

Alice hadn't even notice the woman that had walked in behind her, nor when she came up to her. The first thing she thought was, does she want to sit? When the woman spoke, Alice looked up. She remembered her instantly. It was the bard with that beautiful instrument, the one that had offered Bard Girl as another name. The woman introduced herself again, but there really was no need. She knew the girls name but it seemed that she did not know Alice's name. Well, that wasn't surprising. For a moment, Alice said nothing. She stared at the bard with her brown eyes but finally, her lips parted and a sentence came out. "My name is Alice Sangera." She smiled. But that smile was soon replaced as a red flush crept up her face. The bard had seen her fall! What a horrible thing. But her mind soon went on what she said next.

Gracefully?

In a house full of men, graceful wasn't something she focused on. Nor was it when she was practicing her magic at the guild. The Mage grinned. "How fun is it to be graceful? Wouldn't you rather whip out your sailors tongue and watch as people think you're the devils child?" Alice giggled. "It's much more fun, Bard Girl... but... I guess... graceful falling wouldn't be bad..." She shuffled to the side, leaving enough room for anyone that wanted to. Alice had guessed that she wanted to sit and that was why she was talking to Alice in the first place. But she wasn't complaining. For a moment Alice was silent. "What good what it be if I fell gracefully in the middle of battle? Will it leave my opponents speechless or memorized?" Alice tiled her head. "More importantly, will it be easier on my skin? I think I'll damage it if I keep falling like that." She looked over at her arms that were covered with her gloves, all the way up to her elbows. There wasn't much of a worry getting hurt. Her eyes trailed over to the bard. A question bubbled up, "Why are you going on this quest Bard Girl?" Alice smiled. "I'm going for fame." Now that her mouth had opened, it was going to be hard to shut up. "Why do you want to go? And, more importantly, are you going to play your instrument? I would love to hear you play. It looks beautiful." A smile fell upon her lips. "Acacia, was it? That's a lovely name. Your hair is lovely too. I tried to do that, but I can't wield a dagger, I recently found out." Alice giggled at how she was behaving. Like she would on a normal basis, really.

At the corner of her eyes, she spotted the red head that had been the center of attention at the bar fight, only yesterday. Oh, how was this going to turn out? Alice turned her head over to Acacia once more. She smiled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The Eve Before
(Flashback)

The initial reaction was one that made him want to take back his words. He replayed the conversation in his head, wondering if it could have been an issue he had worked out on his own There were so few in the world that he felt he could confide in. The ones he did, however, were chosen for a reason. The reason was simple, they saw a man and a crown and understood that they existed simultaneously. He had come here for a truthful answer, and not just a yes man. Darius was entitled to his opinion. It didn’t, however, stop the Prince from glowering into his cup.

An attack from the outside is therefore highly unlikely.

He lifted his glass to his lips, polishing his second glass. Rydas nodded, already knowing the contents of the lecture he was being given. He contemplated chiding the captain, reminding him of his place, but that wasn’t his style. It’d been too long of a day for political debates regardless. If Darius had been listening at all he would have known that one of the families had already sent support, and if all went well he would be back before the rest found out. The talk of civil war did not help to lighten the mood.

Complete strangers. The conversation shifted, slightly. His vision raised to the Captain before him. Your vote of confidence is astounding as always, Darius. He thought. Though the finish of the small speech enlisted his friend to his quest of insanity. A grin tugged at the corners of his lips. “So be it, friend. We’re in it to the end, whatever may come.” He rose, and said his farewells. Tomorrow would be a busy day, he’d need his rest, though he was sure sleep wouldn’t come.


• • •

Quest, Day 1
(Flashforward)

The travellers arrived one by one, each coming in their own time and at their own pace. Rydas watched, waiting until enough time had elapsed so that even those that were late had a chance to arrive. He found it odd that they congregated near the edge of the cleared area away from both the horses and himself. Momentarily he wondered if the division between them would remain constant due to social hierarchy, or if a bridge would form. Even with the soldiers he was isolated, but at least the guard didn’t separate themselves so blatantly from him.

The priest arrived first, followed by the thief. Next in attendance was the monk, and then the warrior who had pledged herself to the cause. They began talking amongst themselves, awkwardly socializing. At least it’s an improvement from yesterday. The young mage showed up, as did the bard , the fire mage and the Thovian merchant. For now a truce seemed to exist, and Rydas was greatful. That was eight including himself. His eyes swept over the crowd, looking for any stragglers. There were five that were absent; the two rangers, the feledine, Darius and the Ó Tuathaláin. He frowned. Had so many changed their minds?

Rydas steeled himself for the task at hand, pushing the no-shows from his mind. He cleared his throat, stepping towards the band. “This road behind me is not just a path out of Paetax, it is a road to fate. It is paved by duty, by courage, by honour and faith. Today we take this road to seek to secure peace for the future of our country, and through that will find health, wealth and valor. In the name of The First King, my father, Dazus Errior, I thank you for your dedication. Such commitment will receive just reward.”

He paused to look each in the eye to impact his statement on just how much he appreciated their presence. “Your needs have been seen to. All the items are stored in your side bags of your mounts. Those of you that have already had mounts, there are packs to my right. When everyone is mounted and ready we will depart. We ride North.”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella sighed deeply as the Priest replied. She had thought that he would take her words from the day before to heart and wake up with a renewed interest in the group as a whole... But perhaps she was asking too much of him. His last words spat out at her with a vehemence that she did not foresee and the shock of his reaction was apparent by the uncontrolled arching of her brows. Still, she let him respond to Nel before bothering to respond to him. Whatever he said angered the poor monk, causing her to clench her hands once more and set her jaw quite snugly before stalking away from them. Her eyes followed Nel for a moment before she spoke.

"A true ally, Priest, is one of the few things in life that you can explain perfectly and some people still would not understand the gist of what you are saying. A true ally, to me, is someone that you can count on and trust. Through roads both clear and sunny or murky and frightening. Someone that you can forge a relationship with that few others know. It is not only borne of battle but of any situation of strife or prolonged travel or even torturous endeavors. Yet, if you close yourself off from people before you truly give them a chance, then you alienate yourself. Tell me. Would your God of merriment wish this for you?"

She shrugged, an action that was barely perceptible in her heavy torso armor and another soft, forceful exhalation escaped her lips as more people began to filter into the clearing. The young mage had moved to sit upon a large boulder and Acacia, the Bard girl, had sidled up to her and initiated conversation. Then the other mage appeared, chewing on some sort of odd pastry as he nodded towards both herself and the Priest. With little left to say to either of the men, she clicked her tongue, urging her horse forward as the Prince began to speak.

Rydas mentioned packs prepared for those with mounts already and Mirabella rode forward to the small pile, dismounting easily and picking through the saddlebags to find what was hers. She had a small list so when combined with the basic necessities such as food and water, there were only three packs that were hers. Loading them up onto her chestnut mare, she climbed up into the saddle once more before trotting casually over until she was closer to the Prince.

"Not to start this mission off poorly or with any hint of disrespect, my liege..." she started, keeping her eyes forward on the others as they gathered either their mounts or their packs and began to prepare for the quest at hand. "But which way are we riding? What information are we going off of?" Finally her honey brown gaze settled upon the Prince with curiosity. "I must admit I have never worked with so little information before."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan turned his attention away from the open gates and back to the group as people started to trickle in little by little. He gave a smile as Mirabella arrived and passed a nod his way, and going to have a conversation with the Priest. He hoped it wouldn't end up in an argument between the two. With that his attention went to the horses rather than the people, he was curious to know which would be his to ride. He thought it best to try and get himself familiar with the horse and vice versa. Although it might be a horse, for some reason he thought it rude to just hop on it and force it to carry him on its back. Looking at the horses that were gathered it wasn't easy to tell which horse would be ridden by whom. If it were to be determined by the number of items the horse was carrying the one that had the least on it would be his, as he didn't list anything to be brought for him back at the tavern. He looked around himself to see that the group had grown quite a bit larger, but was still missing a few people. Had they changed their minds? or were they just late? to much to drink the night before perhaps. He could only shrug at his own thoughts before his attention was gathered by the Prince.

"It's starting" a wide grin formed on his face as he spoke the words. As he listened his thoughts on which horse was to be his was somewhat confirmed, the amount of luggage and what was in them was to determine which belonged to who. With that thought in mind he began to look through the gathered mounts to pick out which was his, looking into the bags on the sides to see what was in them. If it carried nothing but food, water then that would be his ride. It seemed that the third horse that he checked was to be his, a somewhat odd color, it looked to either be grey, silver, or white depending on the light and direction he looked at it from. "Hello my friend" he said to the horse as he gently placed a hand on it's head. He felt the horse push into his hand a bit, "It seems you and I will be partners for a bit" his hand started to gently pet the creature as he gave a smile. The horse gave a snort as a response, Xan stepped back for a moment, "If you are going to sneeze, don't point your nose at me" he said, now holding his hand out for a bit of defense, just in case. He waited for a moment before he stepped back up and put his hand on the horse once more, "Done?" he asked, the horse neighing lightly as if to respond. With a happy nod and a pat, Xan walked around to the side of the horse. He looked at the saddle that had been placed upon it.

'How hard can it be?' he thought looking at it. It seemed to be simple enough, put a foot in the stirrup and lift yourself up and over onto the horse, simple. Xan hesitated for a moment before putting his own foot onto the stirrup. 'Ok, step one' he thought, he took a deep breath and counted to three before he put his weight into the stirrup and lifted himself up and over. Unfortunately he didn't quite sit on the saddle, as he did lie on it, his hands holding onto the horse itself for dear life. The horse gave an irritated neigh, "Give me a break it's my first time" he said, slowly sitting up, "I'll get used to it. Eventually" he pat the horse on the head, "until then, bear with it my friend". The horse gave a light neigh, in the same way a person would sigh and say, 'alright' as if they had given up or given in. Xan laughed at this strange 'conversation' that he was having with his horse, but it felt as if they would get along just fine. "So. How do I make you go?" he asked a bit confused, the horse shook its head, Xan simply laughed at its response, "Come on, we'll get through this together" he pat the horse a bit more. To him the horse felt more human than beast, or perhaps it was just the way he was treating it.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

The priest left out a frustrated sigh as the two women left his company, by all that was holy what was their problem?

I will be praying for tolerance again

He wanted to scold that woman, the warrior for her lack of sight on these things, the world was not dealt in black and white Akdov knew it too well being a man of the faith, he would have told her that they had nothing to worry about, that the quest to heal the king was one that the hall lord approved of and that with or without the priest it would be done if Deud willed it.

But neither could he leave out the fact that he bent one knee to the king but he bent knee and spine for his god, if their path placed them against the principles of the priest he would not betray the merry one and if the hall lord wanted to see their quest fail, priest or not they were all as good as dead.

Maybe some things are best left untold

The prince then saw it fit to give an inspiring speech, if he hoped to become a king that would rouse the masses then he really needed to practice on those things because it was a sorry excuse that mixed senseless words like duty and honor and frankly things these lot knew nothing of

Things like fate

Still he moved forward and greeted the bearded mage "Good Callavan, its good to see you will be joining us, if Deud wills it well live to tell of it" he kept at it going over to the horses, it had been a lifetime ago since he sat atop a mount... Arthur had been a capable and ferocious knight he had slew dozens and rode off masterfully

But that man is dead

He had put behind things of the dead man behind him, he had not wore steel, he also had abandoned the ferocious appetite for women that the knight had and he was set to walk the earth with no beast carrying him, he had to be responsible for his own weight... and a cart didnt seemed to be on the options nor anyone looked to be willing to share their mount, and he didnt blame them either

"I am sorry my prince but" he was going to have an effort to not offend anyone now " It seems that many of us are still amiss, while I know were the north lays I am not certain we have got the same point for it, if indeed we are in a hurry I would suggest you set out I should wait for the others and rally them in your direction" he then in a lower voice, talking more to himself than anyone else added "also I didnt request a mount dont know how I am going to keep up with you all"

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

She looked around at everyone at the table and tried to figure out what thoughts were behind their eyes. Inside their heads.
The food was delicious, contrary to Nari's expectations although venison always was a welcome dish. Apparently now was the time to share their stories and their reasons for joining in on this dire quest.
When it came to be her turn, Nari shrugged and pondered whether she should tell the complete truth or not. She deemed it too early for that. They didn't need to know everything just yet.
"Well. I'm from the south as you may have noticed." She didn't want to tell them her reason for running away from her family. "And I've lived as a ranger for as long as I can remember. I've seen my fair share of, well, everything, so I thought that if I go on this quest there might be a reward in it." A smile crept over her face as she looked around at all of the people gathered at the table. "One big enough to at least make life a little easier. It'd be nice to sleep in a bed now and then." Her eyes shot down and disappeared into the dark depths of her drink. She took a sip and tried to calm down a bit. Had she told them too much?
If they want to know more then they can ask. Her mind told her. A few moments later, Nari deemed it time to leave. Before she could say anything though, Mirabella decided to pay for their meals. "How generous of you. Thank you, Mira." Nair's green eyes caught hers and she smiled. They floated to the rest of the motley crew at the table and she nodded, smiling as if to say goodnight.
Then she was off to the inn she had stayed at the night before where she would lay her head to rest for the last time. Come morning, they couldn't be sure of where they would be sleeping.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The sun struck her across the chest and in the face. Her hair turned a brighter red as the rays of the sun played with it, and the olive-skinned ranger stood form her bed. The covers fell to the floor and she walked to the desk under the window and sat down, looking out. It was nearly noon. "Noon..." she said to herself and looked thoughtful for a moment. That rang a bell. "Noon!" Nari shot up and began dressing herself as quickly as possible.
The beautifully ornamented armor fit her like it was made for her. When she was dressed, Nari looked around the room for anything she might have forgotten. Grabbing her bow with a nod to herself, reassuring herself that nothing was left behind, she headed out the door. Not even a word to the innkeeper left her lips, only did she throw coins on the counter as payment for the room.
Nari's feet carried her towards the gates where they would all meet. Her hair flowed behind her as she made it to the people gathered. She calmed her breathing and looked around at everyone, nodding and smiling. Lastly her eyes found the prince's and she smiled apologetically. "Pardon me my prince." she said simply and walked towards the horses. Quickly figuring out which was hers, she padded him on the head and laughed at Xan who desperately tried to climb the horse. Nari smiled and padded her horse. She mounted the beast quickly and smiled as she slowly made it trot forward. She looked at everyone gathered and drew a long breath, trying to figure out who was absent and who was there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon's eyes opened slowly. A slow breeze brushed across his face moving his hair to the side. The sunlight shone brightly in his eyes as he slowly began to adjust to the light. He could smell the scent of freshly cooked food wafting up through the old wooden floorboards he lay next to. Groaning he rolled over on his bed staring in the direction of the window. The sun hung idly in the sky as the sounds from the street filtered in through the window. Feylon could hear people milling around outside going about their daily business. Merchants flogging their wares to people walking by. Mothers calling the names of children who had wandered off into the sea of people and the clink of armour as guards walked past. The sounds from outside comforted Feylon as he looked towards the sun once more. Suddenly he realised the time of day. "Oh damn, I'm late"

Scrambling off of his bedroll Feylon reached for his tunic and cloak. He pulled his white tunic off over his head and replaced it with his green woodland tunic. He then draped his cloak over his back and fasten the front around his neck with a circular green brooch. Feylon whisked around and rolled up the bedroll he had just been sleeping on. Using two leather straps on the back of his belt he attached the bedroll to his waist. Feylon then swiftly walked towards a small table in the corner of the room. It had a coin purse, his bow and 3 quivers of arrows placed neatly to one side. Grabbing the coin purse Feylon strapped that to the front of his belt. Next he picked up a quiver of arrows and slung that across his back and then proceeded to do the same with the bow. Rushing for time he grabbed the two other quivers and stuffed them underneath his arm. The bell had begun to ring out in the background telling him that he was later than he initially thought.

Feylon dashed out of the room and bounded down the stebs into the tavern below. He gave a quick nod to the barkeep and ran straight for the door. He burst out onto the street and quickly turned down a side ally. He jumped over some scattered rubbish and rounded another corner. He appeared on a very bust street and had to push his way trough the crowd, which was flowing for the most part against him. Eventually he got to another ally and jogged down it. He passed many a familiar shop and home as he continued at speed down the ally. He was not far now from the gate where the meeting was to take place and as such began to slow to brisk jog. He broke out into a large opening where he could see swarms of people gathering around the city gates and the Prince a midst the rabble of adventurers who had showed up the day before. Shaking his head he walked slowly trough the crowd and into the clearing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
"Nice to meet you Alice," Acacia said, giggling at the flush of Alice's cheeks when she realized her "graceful moment" had been seen. "And yes, making people wary of you can be very entertaining." There was a momentary pause before the young mage continued. During this pause, Acacia leaned against the rock after Alice slid over a bit. She looked at those who were gathered so far. There was the priest of Deud, Akdov. Acacia hoped he wasn't in such an insulting mood today, though she doubted it as she saw both Mirabella and the young monk, Nelinia, walk angrily away. Xan was also there, looking as if he had slept in a bush, with leaves in his already messy hair. As Alice then continued, Acacia brought her attention back, smiling at the small girl. She wondered just how old she was. Her height alone was about average for a ten or twelve year old, though her face was a bit more mature. Perhaps she was fifteen or sixteen? Still quite young to be on a quest like this. "Ha, of course they would be memorized. How could they not?" she said, giving a playful wink. "But it also doesn't hurt that it helps you not injure yourself or get so shaken up. So yes, i guess it might help your skin, I don't see why not."

At first, Alice had reminded Acacia of her younger sister, Rachelle. She also was small, though not to the same extent, had a quiet personality, and was a bit disconnected at times though she wasn't shy. She, of course, also had similar dark hair. Though now Acacia could see that their personalities were very different. Once she had approached Alice and started a conversation, she chattered away like a chipmunk. Acacia could hardly get a sentence out of Rachelle most of the time. However, at times, when Acacia saw the mage out of the corner of her eye, she could have sworn that she and Rachelle were twins. She guessed it was something about the way the held themselves.

As Alice went on, Acacia listened, looking at the sitting girl with an amused look on her face. Fame, eh? How interesting, Acacia thought. She was highly entertained as the girl seemed not to even stop for breath, asking about why Acacia came, complimenting her lute, asking if she was going to play, all the way to talking about hair and daggers, all without giving her a chance to respond. When she finished, smiling and giggling a bit, Acacia then began to try to answer the slew of questions, a thoughtful look on her face as her eyes seemed to search the sky for the answers. She noticed a flash of red hair out of the corner of her eye. Must be Hayley, she thought.

"Okay, let's see, I want to go for a change of pace, the intriguing people, and the opportunity for an interesting story when all is said and done. Of course I will play, I would feel weird if i didn't, and thank you, it has been with me for years," she smiled at Alice before returning her gaze skyward. "Oh, that is what it was," her gaze returned to the girl, "so you're saying you cut your hair with a dagger?"

Before Alice could respond, the Prince began addressing them and Acacia noticed a few more had joined them. It was really very inspirational, and Acacia thought she might as well write it down so she could remember it word for word later. She patted her pockets, quickly finding a small pad of paper and a bit of whittled charcoal that she kept specifically to write with. A quill and ink just were not very practical in travel and as long as it didn't smudge too bad, her charcoal worked fine. She scribbled down the first part of his speech, stopping as he talked a bit about provisions and mounts, before jotting down, "We ride North." since it seemed to finish that fancy speech so well.

She smiled, watching Xan interact with his horse, and laughed at his attempt to get on. She probably wouldn't do much better. The only horse she had ever ridden was her father's old plow horse as he plowed the field, so she did know some things, but wasn't exactly an expert horsewoman. She also realised that Narenia had arrived, and she quickly and easily mounted her horse and began looking around. "Hello Narenia! Good morning!" Acacia yelled, raising her hand and waving.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Arms behind her neck, legs reaching all the way up to the air, back arching all the way to the ground until her hands caught the ground before her head, the monk stretched, twisted and turned every muscle in her body. The practice revealed how immensely flexible the seemingly tiny girl was and the euphoric relief of the exercise managed to stay her conscious off the priest.

It was official. Nel would despise the priest for many, many days to come.

Amidst the stretching, the red haired merchant had arrived, and a good morning escaped her lips. "Morning" Nel volleyed back to her, peering back to Beardman -Callavan who was being greeted by the priest. How could he even stand him? Nel's ill-tempered thoughts were interrupted by Rydas' short speech, where some thought to be inspirational, and other thought it to be dribble, she thought it to be okay. Which brought up the next problem. Feylon now looked less bloodier then usual as well.

Which horse would she go on?

Matter of fact how did you get on a horse? Their skin certainly wasn't hard enough to scale. Use their head as a step? Before Nel could make a choice, she turned around to see how everyone get on these animals, and saw how they raised one leg above the other to achieve the goal. The monk took some deep breaths before she could face her mount; a honey-sun colored horse with a dark mane. She knew it was hers because no-one was making a move to mount her. Nel put a soft hand on the horse's body and a huff from it's mouth startled her indefinitely. She closed her eyes as she awkwardly mounted the horse, the feel of leather rather comfortable, but when she opened her eyes the monk realized she was on the wrong side. About to turn the other way, she swore someone call her name, Acacia, and waved her arm from atop the horse, instinctively pressing down her heels on the horse's side. The horse galloped and the reins jumped up and wrapped around Nel's neck, viciously forcing her off to the cobblestone, dragged.

Without truly knowing what transpired, Nel's shock was overridden by her training as hands gripped the reins around her neck while tumbled painfully against the floor, and somehow got on her feet. The heels of her sandals were dragged across the small distance, getting choked out by the rope now fully twisted around her neck, until her hands managed to find the reins again. Suddenly, she pulled on them to get slack on the vice-like grip the rope had on her in order to wiggle out, the horse's head pulled into the direction, stopped it's gallop, and stood on it's hind legs neighing, pulling Nel inches up in the air, literally hanging her. In this suspension by the reins, Nel pulled her body up with her arms that pulled her up from the dangling reins that connected her to the horse, swung her left leg back as far as it could reach, to her right shoulder and released the strike on the exposed throat of her torturous mount.

The horse dropped like a rock, leaving the monk to drop to her knees, quickly unraveling the reigns that blocked her air, and took a gasp of relief as soon as it was peeled off. Beads of sweat rolled down her crown as she promptly got back to her feet; obviously disturbed by the horrified look on her face. Her first taste of actual combat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Callavan had started to listen to what was going on around him as his higher cognitive processes were gradually returned to him. The warrior was on some self righteous tirade about allies. So much babble about nothing, he thought.

In the meantime he finished with his breakfast, licking his fingers cleans and making a brief attempt at picking the crumbs from his beard. The warrior trotted off, so he assumed that she had finished whatever she was going on about.

Then the prince started talking. Callavan summarized it mentally. Suppose this is supposed to be some rousing speech that will make us forget about how we seem to hate each other and join together for the sole purpose of saving a dying old man by finding an ancient artifact that most likely doesn't exist. He regretted thinking so much immediately. Massaging his temples, he tried to stop thinking until the hangover passed. This resulted in him thinking more and coming to several realizations. These were quickly dismissed as they were utterly ridiculous and not because they forced him to think that the other may have valid reasons for what they do and they he is not necessarily right.

More words from the priest. They passed through one ear and only caught his attention by making a ruckus on their way out the other. Unsure of what the proper response would be for whatever the priest had said, he simply nodded. Apparently this was the right one, for the priest kept moving.

Noticing that the others were getting there mounts and supplies; he headed over to the horses, digging through the packs to see which was his. He found them strapped to a buckskin rouncey. The fact that he knew what a buckskin rouncey was surprised him as he knew very little about horses and it had never occurred to him that there were types of horses before. He then ceased to care, because he had new toys.

Everything he had put on the list was there and they all to seem be of a good quality. This was much better than he expected. He made a note to work for desperate monarchs more often.

A sudden commotion forced him to disregard his toys. The monk seemed to be having some trouble with her horse. He was about to help her, but it seemed that the horse was having more trouble with it's monk.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley stood there, in the clearing with her arms crossed. She wasn't going to pretend she liked being around some of the unneeded members on this group. Everyone was talking, getting to know each other a bit more, ignoring the crowd gathered around them, large crowds made Hayley nervous, she didn't enjoy being the center of attention.

Finally what appeared to be the whole group, some of the people who were in the tavern did not return. Hayley, much like the prince probably did, assumed they would not be coming. Prince Rydas began to speak. "Such commitment will receive just reward.” were his final words of the small encouraging speech, the reward would surely be good, Hayley wondered whether they would receive the full payment, if any at all, should they return without the said item, or if it failed to bring the king back to his good health.

The prince then gave details, showed them the mounts with their items and gave them a direction to start "We ride North.” North it would be. Hayley looked at the horses, trying to find out which one was hers. Eventually finding hers, she strapped some of her own stuff she was carrying, mostly clothes and items only a thief could find use such as a bunch of little tools, picks and a torsion tool, good for opening locks, useless if you don't know what it is, you can always eat salad with it though. Hayley hauled herself up onto the back of the brown horse and sat on the comfortable saddle. At least the trip wouldn't hurt that much with this quality saddle they had put on her horse, nothing worse than having a bad saddle on a long horse trip.

The girl then watched some of the others goof around with their mounts, most notably the bright colored monk, who almost killed herself trying to mount up. "She could really use some help" Hayley thought, trying not to laugh, but not moving to help the monk herself, someone would eventually do it or the monk would find her way up on her own, there was no need to act here.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice had been disappointed, once more. Thirst for adventure? That was all? That was why she was risking her life? Sure, fame was a shallow reason to go, but adventure was the most played out. She never understood. Why was it so exciting to go on a suicide mission for only the adventure? It might make others a think of that person as a hero, but to Alice, they were always just... stupid. It didn't make anyone a hero to run around fighting beast of all kinds and coming back with scars just because they love going on an adventure. That wasn't something people did out of good will, it was their own selfish want. Alice liked to knit... that didn't make her a hero, not in this world, nor the knitting world. And if she thought she was one, then she was just silly. But Alice choose not to let the Bard in on her conversation that went in her head. Instead she just smiled. At least the Bard was going to play. That made it all the better. Who wouldn't prefer some entertainment while trying to kill themselves? Her grin enlarged when the Bard asked about her hair cutting techniques. It wasn't like she had a barber to cut her hair for her. Improvise! But before a word could get through her lips, the Prince started speaking. The Mage gave the Prince her full and undivided attention, that was more than she had ever given her lousy good-for-nothing teacher. She knew that it would be a matter of seconds before she forgot every world the man said. That left her with a could of options. To white what the man had said down, much like the Bard was doing, take her chances, or just follow everyone else. The last seemed the safest. The way he spoke left Alice in a dream. He was a Prince, he was used to this type of speech, he made it all sound like a fairy tail. Like every dream would come true if you went down that path. That no matter what, we would succeed and find our way back with that item of mystery. Even though she was in a trans sort of state, she still heard every word he said clearly. And in that little speech he made, there was no reference of where the destination would be. Only, that we would be going North, down that very path. The moment she snapped out of her dream, with her bearing a giant smile and the Mages looking at her with awe, she felt nothing but irritated. We were going on a quest for the King himself yet there was no information that truly mattered even hinted to them. Only that they would look for an object that would help the King come back to full health. Sure, they were not of the best of teams, sure they were not getting along with each other, but dammit, they deserve to know more... Or at least Alice did. She didn't get involved in the fight. Of course, she didn't really plan on getting involved with any fight... They were strong men and women, they could handle themselves. Alice would be there ready with bandages when they got injured. Someone needed to do that, Alice volunteered herself. Maybe... she didn't deserve to know the information.

The Mage sighed. There was no helping it. Others had stated their opinions on the amount of information they had as well. The Priest had even volunteered to stay. What a nice old man. With a smile, Alice swung her legs, leaping off the boulder. She was ready for a horse! This would be only her second time riding one. The first time shouldn't really count, since her brother had been riding with her. She had to go to the Guild somehow. When she came back, she rode one all on her own. At that time, her smile was stretched across her face. It was so exciting riding a horse. But thanks to her limited knowledge on horse riding, she rode... a little different that others would have. "Yes, Bard Girl, I cut my hair with a dagger. A mistake on my side, but my hair was in the way and there were no skilled hands to offer some assistance." Her eyes traveled to the row of horses that just stood there. "Let's choose one!" Giggling, Alice ran to the horses, grabbing Acacia by the hand, she herself went to a jet black mount. There was no splotch of any other color but the black of the night sky. It is beautiful! Excited as could be, the Mages hair flew up and down along with Alice that was now jumping in her spot next to the horse. Just when she was going to climb on, she spotted the rare yellow robed monk who was now battling with her own horse. At first, Alice waited. Someone would do something right? But no one stepped up. Images of getting trampled by the horse found their way into her mind. She couldn't help the monk. What if she died? She couldn't go near the beast. Her legs were already trembling at the thought. But the monk was no one to mess with. She kicked the mount where it hurt and the beast went down. Alice let out the breath she didn't even know she was holding. The monk was a strong one, that was for sure. She was almost tempted to pat the monk on her head and tell her what a wonderful job she had done. Alice loved it when people did that to her. But she didn't know the monk, so she had no right. The warrior woman would do it. She would calm down the monk. But for now, Alice faced a challenge of her own. Trying to get on the horse. Her height was no help!

The smell of burning wood circled around the Mage, the iris of her eye glowing, only a bit, no one would be able to see with the sun glaring at everyone. At a habit when she used Magic, her fingers twitched, hardly seen unless you looked close enough. She took in a large breath of air. Exhale. A faint glow surrounded her body. The little figure was hoisted off the ground, making herself float into the air and place herself on the horse. Afraid that she would too have to bare with the same experience, the Mage patted the long neck of her mount. "Don't go mad with me now boy. I'm going to name you even though we will part ways later. The name I shall bestow upon you is... Eclipse. Now that we have a mutual understanding, let's care for each other." Alice nodded, happy with the way things went, her smile had returned. She took the reins in her hands and she did only that. It was if she fell. "Go, Eclipse, in a circle." She spoke to the horse in her mind and the response she got was a full circle.

A also a "Worthless human." comment from the mount. That made Alice only giggle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •



The words hadn’t meant to be particularly inspiring, just something truthful and formal. A mild ache in his head was growing the more the sun rose and he longed to feel the familiar pattern of a gallop as his mount and himself soared across open road and away from the city that was thick with discomfort. A gallop was too quick of speed for such an inexperienced and large group, so he would settle for a trot. However, it seemed as soon as he finished speaking that even a walk would be out of the question.

Golden eyes flashed, almost bewildered at the reaction of his words. They were talking, nearly at once, suddenly curious about the quest. The first question, from Mirabella of all people, asked what direction they were heading. Did I not just say we ride North? He replayed his own speech in his mind. A steady inhale, slow, through his teeth steeled his nerves while he blanked his face. Patience. He told himself.

Vision glanced at the party before him and he was suddenly grateful he’d left the royal crest off of their ensembles. Rydas debated whether to laugh or be angry. The sight before him was pitiful indeed. The rogue was smiling to himself at the speech, until he attempted mounting and laid flat over the saddle. The treasonous ranger was just arriving, late, and hadn’t even gotten to the horses yet. The bard was writing instead of mounting. The bearded mage was playing with trinkets in the saddlebags. This was going to be a very long trip indeed.

Silently he thanked those that had managed to occupy their saddles; the ‘merchant’, the young mage and the huntress. The damnable priest (hah!) had also mounted, but requested to stay behind to direct those that hadn’t made it on time. The fact that he was mounted surprised Rydas a little, but he’d long before learned not to judge a book the by cover.

“No, thank you.” He replied to the cleric shortly. “They will catch up or be left behind, we’ve delayed long enou--.”

Words were cut short by the commotion. The Prince turned in time to watch the monk, who had presumably been dragged, high kick the gentle horse in the jugular and drop it flat. He motioned for a guard to see to the beast, but it would most likely need to be put down. The bags would be transferred to a packhorse.

“Mirabella, please allow Nelinia to ride with you.” They’d have to ride double. The Triansui looked capable enough to handle the task. He wasn’t about to suffer another horse through the abuse of the monk just because she hadn’t seen fit to ask for help.

“A short lesson on mounting. If you have not found a mount, take any. There are extras to carry our cargo.” He said, loud to draw the attention for those that were having trouble.

“Hold the reins tight with your left hand, and firmly grab a tuft of the mane. Hold the offside rein tighter to not cause your horse to swing away from you. Turn the stirrup so that the fender lies flat. Place your foot in the stirrup. Grasp the canter with your right hand. Lift yourself up. When you are balanced over the withers, move your right hand up to the reins. Swing your leg over, minding not to kick the horse.” He acted out the directions in example.

“Horses are pack animals by nature, they will follow one another. If for some reason you need to stop, pull back on the reins. If you do so too roughly it may buck you off. Dig your heels into the sides if you need to pick up pace. For the most part you will just be following the leader.”

His voice was calm, carefully articulating each word. Rydas felt as if he were talking to children and wondered how people had gotten by without learning to ride. He paused for a moment, allowing everyone to learn to mount.

“We will go over strategy when we break for camp.”

With that he clicked his tongue at his pristine white stallion, pulled the reins and headed out the gates. He had been prepared to debrief them the day prior, but the had insisted on quarrelling instead. And after the disaster of just mounting, he needed some time to clear his head. Riding always soothed the Prince.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
"You need a name" Xan said, holding his hand to his chin, "I can't just keep you calling you 'You' now can I? but what would be a good name?" he sat and thought for a moment. His head turned, eyes looking everywhere, to see if something can give him a good hint for a proper name. He looked at rocks, trees, colors, clothing, seeing if he could take in or take out letters that can make a name, or combine words that will sound like a good name. He moaned and groaned as he thought, something like this was not his forte, actually most things in life were not his forte, but he still had to try. Whether it would be for the long run, or for a short period a name would have to be given to his four legged companion. A name that would not be gender specific would be needed as well, since he didn't know whether his mount was male or female, and he wasn't so daring as to check himself. "How about Myst? the color of your hair reminds me of a think mist, but spell it with a 'Y' as in 'Mystery'. Since to me, my friend, you are quite the mystery, how about it?". The horse gave a neigh and a snort, slowly bobbing its head, it seemed it didn't love the name, but it wasn't displeased with it either.

Xan simply shrugged his shoulders, if the horse was fine with it, so was he. His thoughts were broken as loud sounds started up from nearby, it sounded as if a horse had come out at a full run, but they had not begun to move yet. He looked up away from his mount to see what was the matter. He found quite the scene in front of his eyes, the monk seemed to be having more trouble her mount than he had with his. She appeared to be dragged by the neck by the reigns that were attached to the horse. Either the horse was spooked, or she did something that caused it discomfort, either way she was not in a good position. He wanted to help, but how was he suppose to stop a running horse? An experienced rider might be able to ride belong side the out of control horse and stop it, but he didn't even know how to get his to start moving. As the thoughts flowed through his mind, his eyes were not able to tear away from the scene being played out. It seemed as if the first casualty might happen here, until he saw the monk make quite the move. She managed to pull her own body upwards as the horse stood on its hind legs and give it a quick kick to the neck. His head and eyes followed the horse down as it hit the ground. It was quite an impressive scene, but he wasn't quite sure whom he should be more concerned for, the Monk, or the horse.

"So" he started as he pet his mount, "Still think you got the short end of the deal?" he asked, noticing that his horse had witnessed the entire scene as well. There was no snort, no neigh, just the simple response of a shaking head. "Thought so" he replied, giving the horse a nice pat on the side.

His attention turned once more as the Prince began to speak again. This time he was giving information on how mount the horse, which would have been much more useful earlier before his embarrassing try to mount the horse on his own. As well as a bit of information in controlling the mount with the reins. With his instructions done the Prince started off, his horse trotting under him leading the way.

"I guess we follow" he said to Myst, the horse gave a simple neigh as it followed the white stallion that was in the lead. The sudden start nearly caused Xan to lose balance, his grasp on the reins getting slightly tighter to keep himself from falling off. "Try not to go to fast" he said, keeping himself up right on the saddle, "And give a little warning before any sharp turns or if you're going to speed up" the horse neighed lightly, almost sounding as if it were a sigh. "With that kind of attitude my friend, this will be a long trip. Think positive Myst" Xan said, patting his mount some more "It will all turn out fine" he said confidently with a smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

"I'm not entirely certain whether I should feel offense or not at this," Gallow mumbled to the man who'd followed him to the stable. His dress was entirely Deluvian. A servant of the family. Gallow did not know every liaison the Ó Tuathaláin had in Paetax or elsewhere in the country, but he recognized them on sight nonetheless. They carried and kept themselves as soldiers but dressed like nobility, not exactly inconspicuous when one knew what to look for. He'd cornered the Champion in his room, and bothered him all the way to the stable, managing to cause a swath of distractions and keep him far later than he'd have liked. He'd been behind schedule for the meeting in the tavern, and now again in getting to the city gate. Worse and worse, it seemed. Though, he knew it was nothing compared to how this mad trek could become later on down the road. "I could hazard a guess at why exactly you've been sent, and you've been skirting the point for far too long," he glanced over his shoulder shortly, "But I think I'll let you take care of that. And speak swiftly, I don't need you holding me further."

The ambassador shook his head, "I have simply received word to inquire as to your decision, unless you've yet to reach certitude?"

The man's tone gave Gallow pause, but he shook the feeling off. "I haven't. It's too early for rash resolution, wouldn't you say?" He finished loading the last of his supplies onto his horse's saddle, and turned to face the man. "Something of this magnitude requires time. You and the Ulaid can appreciate that."

"Of course, I'll let them know. Who knows, maybe they'll be pleased that you are employing patience rather than recklessness." He gave a short bow, and then left as silently as he had come. He knew what the Ulaid wanted him to do, he knew why they had really sent him, but he hoped they would at least be as understanding to realize that not everything could be exactly as they wished it. In any case, it was getting late. By the time he arrived at the gate he could see the party just beginning to leave. He called out as he approached, "Prince Rydas, if you will excuse my tardiness I still mean to ride with you. I would hope you did not think I'd abandoned you or your family in this perilous time, Your Highness."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

Riding a horse was no easy task, a knight that would have a presence in the battlefield needed to know how to handle its mount just as well as its weapon if it wished to survive, and unfortunately the monk would have died a hundred times over if she ever found herself in battle, he also was slighlty annoyed that nobody offered her help

"Nelinia was it?" he approached to her while still keeping his distance in an impersonal manner "Horses are as varied as us you see, just as there are men who enjoy boasting and drinking there are those who instead would grab their daggers in bloodlust just because they were questioned" maybe he would hit a nerve again...

"In any case if all horses were ill mannered mongrels they would not be so popular, I know a thing or two about them that you could find useful, you will come to realize that they can be quite tame and gentle if handled the right way... you dont happen to have an apple do you?" the prince made then the suggestion to have her riding in the same mount than the Triansui "My prince if I might offer my wisdom id rather them not ride in the same mount, one is an armored assailant the other is a woman covered by her discipline, if there is need of a chase in the middle of the road I would rather have our combatants unhindered by the additional weight" He felt of course the need to make clear he was not of the intent of being a pervert "You could tie her horse to mine and im certain I will be able to lead us both in speed while leaving the vanguard mobile and able, or if for some weird reason she would like to share the mount id be willing if she is"

"My prince, before we set out I would like to propose a toast, a small ceremony for good luck if anyone is willing to take part in it, if not, then it would not be the first time I drink on my own"

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia was immediately pulled, more like dragged, over to the horses by Alice. For one so small, she did have some strength. Acacia gave a laugh at the small mage's excitement at her horse before quickly looking around for her own mount. Most of the horses had already been claimed so it should be easy to find the one that was hers. Suddenly, she noticed Nelinia having what seemed like a death match with her horse, the reins tangled about her neck. Acacia stood there shocked. She hadn't expected the monk to have such trouble, but it made sense that she wouldn't know much about horses. As the horse dropped, Acacia snapped out of her moment of shock and hurried over to the monk, only to be beat there by the priest. He, of all things, began lecturing the poor girl as the prince began explaining how to mount a horse. Acacia gave the priest a slightly disapproving look before brushing past, a concerned look in her eyes as she kneeled down by the monk.

"Are you alright Nelinia?" she asked softly, not caring about or hearing what Akdov said as she made sure the girl was alright. When she was sure she was alright, Acacia stood and offered a hand to help her up. She caught Akdov's offer to either lead Nelinia's horse or have her ride with him of all things. Acacia almost found this ridiculous not to mention a bit wrong. Already from yesterday's meeting and this morning, it was obvious that the priest had ticked the monk off. Not only that, but Nelinia was a young woman and he was practically an old man. Acacia began to wonder if the man liked young women as much as he liked his beer. She soon realized that she was staring at the priest with an almost disgusted look and she quickly averted her gaze.

And if she would prefer, she could ride with me. She quickly glanced at the priest to see if he had any reaction before continuing. "It might be more comfortable that riding with ...a man," she said after a moments pause. She looked around, quickly figuring out which horse was hers and smiling at Nelinia, trying not to look at Akdov. She still needed to figure out just what she felt about the man. She soon found her horse, a light red-brown mare with a mane of about the same color and a white blaze down her face. Since the prince seemed ready to leave, she mounted, ignoring his instructions without meaning to and mounting the horse more like a wall, putting both her hands on the saddle and lifting herself up, gently swinging her leg over, and then situating herself. The mare shifted slightly, looking at the girl before looking forward again with a huff and a foot stamp. It was just like she did at home, except the brown mare wasn't quite as wide as their old plow horse. She then realized that she needed to grab the reins, and she carefully leaned forward, holding the pommel tightly before gathering them in her hands. She then turned and waited for Nelinia's decision with a slight smile on her face. She was glad that they were finally starting this journey.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella narrowed her eyes in annoyance as the Prince ignored her query and began, instead, to lecture people on the proper ways to mount and ride a horse. Never before, even on jobs that were horribly managed, did she ever feel so uninformed as she did now. We ride north... That's helpful! She thought to herself somewhat sarcastically and drawing breath deeply within her lungs, she held the air momentarily before puffing it back out in a short burst.

North was quite vague, as far as she was concerned. There was a road heading out of the northern wall of Paetax, sure, but then it split off in a dozen different ways at a hundred different points along the road. They could head towards Vaekor, Orranli... Or if they were avoiding settlements of any kind they could still wander towards the Soch Mountains, Kon Falls, the Perpetual Frosts, the Lakes, the expansive forests.....


The Triansui stopped herself and instead, focused on the scene playing out before her. Hadn't she already reprimanded several people for their dismal attitudes? She put a stop to her train of thought before it soured her mood and waited for Nelinia to make her decision about who to ride with. Quite honestly, she didn't care either way. She had seen the little monk moving before and she had enough agility and grace to probably backflip right off of Mira's horse if the warrior was needed elsewhere in the midst of battle. And with the way she uppercut the horse, Mirabella was also pretty certain that Nel could take care of herself.

Though she mourned the loss of the fine steed that the Prince had no doubt paid handsomely for, the warrior still had a ghost of a smile playing across her arid lips. Surely the bard would have a hilarious tale to tell of the beginning of their adventure and the monk who had killed her own horse.

You just couldn't make this sort of thing up.

Listening first to Akdov plead his case, then Acacia came forth with her own proposal. All eyes seemed to be on the petite monk and/or the Prince. Either waiting to see who she would ride with or to await further instructions from the man in charge.

"I have no qualms, if you wish to ride with me, Nel. But perhaps you should ride with Bard Girl. Who knows? Perhaps she will need a bit of protection out there on the open road." Her tone had once more turned quite teasing and she winked at both the bard and monk before laughing out loud. With a soft click of her tongue and a gentle nudge of her foot, her own mare began to move so that she was at least turned towards the gate, ready to start this caravan to the north.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon stood quietly ignoring the commotion around him. He preferred the peace and quiet, not all this commotion. Sometimes he missed his army days. He would spend weeks on end far forward from his unit. He remembered the time 6 years ago in the Gaeric forest. He spent three weeks in the forest. No one to bother him and no one to annoy him. It was great. He spent a lot of the time tracking mercenaries and bandit groups. By the time the army had actually arrived he had managed to plot the locations of the bandit camp. Two days later it had been destroyed and the bandits either killed or dispersed. That was what he loved the army for. The days of solitude and tracking his enemies was what he lived for. Still the life of an assassin was not so different. A little harder maybe but thrived on the same skills. Now though he was travelling in a large group, of, of what? Thieves, mages and warriors. He had no idea how competent they would be in a fight and he was supposed to trust them with this. Foolish but he needed the chance to get close to the Prince.

He walked over to one of the horses. He guessed it was his because it had no requested gear. A beautiful black steed that looked like it could certainly carry himself. Feylon was certainly happy for that at least if things went ass ways up he had a reliable horse to carry him. He dropped the two quivers of arrows he had under his arm onto the floor and rubbed the hose. He reached down, picked up the two quivers and strapped them to the horse. He put his left foot into the stirrup, stepped up and swing his leg over the saddle. He was ready to go and now he depended on the others to have the competency to do the same so they could get going.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
As distraught as Nel was, there was a small sliver of excitement flowing through her veins, but immediately the worry overwhelmed her. The Prince's instructions on how to mount a horse went over her head as she looked at the unmoving horse. At first, the monk thought she killed it, but it was breathing, bare breathing, but breathing none the less...or was it just her eyes? Still shaken up, she needed to be comforted by someone, anyone.

Thus, the priest's presence was surprising as it felt like he was chiding her at first. Sure, she was the one who almost got killed by her horse, but it wasn't her fault! Lest she kept telling herself. "I don't have an apple." Nel said bitterly, eyes glued to her feet, keeping the suggestion to ride her own horse by being lead by him, almost reeling back at the priest's little tidbit about riding with him. If she was ever forced in such a position; she'd probably jog along the side of the trial of horses for miles to come.

Thankfully, Acacia's concern managed to wash away the anxiety and anger she held up, knowing someone at least sounded concerned for her. "I'm fine Acacia...but as for my steed..." Her eyes were cast low for a second before she brought them back up and flashed a tender smile to the bard to feign normality. Nel wished she could hear some sweet music and did when Acacia said she could ride with her. She waited until she mounted her horse yet before the monk could utter a word she could see Mirabella standing tall from her horse and making a slow trot towards her as well. It felt like for a brief moment, talking to so many people at once, being watched upon by either her unknown companions and the people from the crowd around the group as a whole, the world was revolving around her, and the feeling was not an enjoyable one.

The warrior's little joke about Nel protecting the bard gave her at least some imaginary comfort in the awkward position she found herself. It was fairly easy to choose which person to double up with. She definitely didn't want to get in Mira's way and be a hindrance if she was near her. "I think I'll ride with Acacia, Mira." Nel said, nervously picking at her collarbone before looking up. "After all, who else would protect her?" The joke was accompanied by her own form of laughter, obviously forced, and was extinguished with a quick clearing of the throat before she looked up at Acacia and then down at her quarterstaff. She grabbed it from the ground and stuffed it into the bag, most of it sticking back up, but luckily not falling over. Nel looked up, literally, to the bard, and hoped she understood the simple fact she needed her weapon.

Without bothering to hear anymore advice from her companions, she jumped on Acacia's horse, used her arms as leverage, and easily swung a leg over the horse. For a moment, it seemed she was going to fall, arms flailing back backwards, the momentum pushing her forward to wrap around the torso of the bard.

"We should be gong now." The entire fiasco with the horse made her nearly forget that she was going to go on an adventure out into the big wide world ad she held Acacia a little tighter.

The prospect was still terrifying.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

Image


It had stricken him then and there that the man was not only one of mere authoritative status. The whispers were true: the Prince of Calisma, through his weariness, led him to the tavern. Easily impressed as ever, Icareau had been wrought with awe, the admiration hidden by the shadow of his hood. Never would he have fathomed being recognized by royalty, not without startled gestures, no matter how brief. Strange and invigorating, that was, enough to send him dashing away to the Vagabond. Predictably, any meetings had adjourned, yet information was readily known through the barkeep. His needs were hardly demanding: a handful of spare whetstones, flasks, and rope should prove sufficiently; that, or his trek thus far had been fueled by pure instinct and luck, not to mention half a whisker or two.

He had not pursued comrades, nor had he basked in the grandiosity of the capital by moonlight. No one needn't remind him that he was not meant to enjoy it. Leering eyes cast him elsewhere, past the gates, up the hills, and down the dust trails to the cottage he called refuge. The elderly farming pair, who in time had been kind enough to lend him shelter in exchange for working hands, would tend to his belongings. Sleep eluded him. Hacking at the oak in the backyard ensured a good swinging arm—quicker, more agile, a tad more spirited, that'll do. Hours not spent in faux training were devoted to homely letters, though based on the lack of responses thus far, his efforts were made in vain. But Icareau kept at it for the sake of letting ink flow. He was as desperate as he was sad.

...And his cape was so red!

Love,
Chaton


Dawn met the city of Paetax.

Curious were the adventurers gathered at the gates, not in the least of which was the yellow-clad female who stirred heroic notions within him (for what better way was there to start a quest with a damsel, and he was ever so noble), but he remained hesitant, lying in wait until the Prince began to depart. Still others arrived after his instruction; Icareau took comfort in knowing that one was not as timely, although another's boisterous invitation to drink, however humorous, he could do without. How tragic it would be were he too inebriated to steer his mount!

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" he said to the venturing band, tail trailing loosely 'neath the folds of his cloak. One more delay and he'd be the subject of a running joke. He would not reveal himself, not entirely yet. In spite of uncertainty, the cat spun round to face and greet them all, with prolonged consideration given to the Prince. Paws were cupped demurely as he bowed, rattled off apologies, and sought the pack horse that held his requested items. The quips came rather quickly—"I am Icareau Sauveterre of the Feledine in Rousillen. We're not all bad, really, just a bit stingy. I'm so elated to travel with you all! Just think of the trouble we'll get in to. ...!"–which, in all his excitement, did not seem so detrimental. Such an array of scents and sights and sounds must be cherished. And he spoke as he swung atop his found steed, a young thing richly dark in pelt that appeared to huff bemusedly at his presence.

Less curious were the horses themselves, sans the victim of the reins incident. The forest of Taphon bred trackers, raiders, expert beasts who stole fine stallions from their trespassing owners. His riding was competent, his mounted combat skills a bit less so. Most dire was the image of his kind, especially one so small, gripping the reins so tightly, so eagerly. Had a few of the women not been shorter in stature, he might have been too flustered to attend.

To the lady in yellow, he smiled a meek smile, relieved that she was to be accompanied on her mount. To the rest, to those clad in armor or robe, to those weathered or bearded or bruised, he beckoned them as their leader had done, grinning as he directed the horse northward. Subtlety was needed, but it was hard being subtle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

She smiled as she looked down to hide it. Nari's first impulse was to go help poor Nelinia. Her innoncence and naive mind had struck a soft spot in the ranger, although she probably wouldn't admit it. She was proud and didn't really know the people present very well yet. Before she could do anything though, several people had come forth to help the girl, and some spoke words that only tired her. She clenched her teeth and looked at Mira at first, who'd made a generous offer, and so had the bard, Acacia. The Priest however. Maybe it was fueled by the tension between the four people, or maybe it was simply just Nari thinking him to speak too quickly. To speak before he thought.
Looking down again at her beautiful mount, Nari tilted her head and thought. "Vanir. That's what I'll call you." Strong and proud. And he really was. He was dark, with muscles like nothing she'd ever seen before. But something assured her that he could run fast as well, if need be.

Give the girl a chance, she can ride. Was her first thought, but apparently Nelinia decided to ride with Acacia. She frowned for a moment but then trotted forward towards them, very slowly. Nari had faith in the monk. She was sure that she could ride if she wanted to. Gods... She probably hasn't seen a horse before, let alone sit on one.
Was the priest always drinking? Now he proposed to toast to all of them before the journey. Nari didn't mind, but it was just the way he did it. She dearly hoped that he would change and be easier to be around once they knew him better. Otherwise, this would be a long journey. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the other ranger. He had appeared very suddenly, and hadn't done anything to earn trust. Not in Nari's eyes anyway. She'd keep her distance from him.

She reached Acacia and Nel, her face serious. Once she reined in her horse to be next to theirs, the ranger unwrapped her cloak around her and reached into the satchels for something. Narenia retrieved an apple and handed it to Nel with a smile. She wrapped her cloak back around her and winked, briefly looking at Acacia too, also with a warm smile.
What the prince had said about their mounts and how to mount them, honestly went over her head. Nari knew how to get on a horse and stay on it. She could fire her bow from it as well, and even do it when she was hanging on its side. It had been a long time since she'd done it of course, but the knowledge still remained. The horse trotted forward slowly, passing Mira and riding right behind the prince. He looked like he needed to clear his mind at the moment, so she wouldn't disturb him. Nari was sure that if she decided to do so, he'd keep his head cool. No need to cause him to think less of me because he thinks me annoying. She thought.
In the back, she heard the voice of a stranger. One that hadn't even been there before, or at least someone she hadn't seen before. If the prince knew him, he'd most likely adress him. If he didn't.. Well, they'd know. Nari thought of the priests proposal of a toast. If he hands me the mug, I'll drink it. Her mind told her. Nari wasn't mad at him, but no one else had given any reply to his offer to toast, so neither would she. The two of them hadn't exchanged a word yet. Nari returned her eyes to the way ahead of her, looking at the prince for a second and then back at Mira behind her. Nari smiled warmly at her for a short moment and then turned again, wrapping her big comfortable cloak around her. Her bow was strapped to the satchel of the horse and her quivers were there too. So was the food and water they'd been promised and all her other needs. Everything had been taken care of, and she was set to go. So here it begins.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a small laugh at Mirabella's comment before returning her wink. "Yes, you just never know when I might turn from a bard to a damsel in distress," she said dramatically, putting a hand to her brow as if she suddenly became faint before smiling broadly at Nelinia's decision to ride with her. As Nelinia somewhat awkwardly stuffed her staff into a bag, Acacia wondered how she would manage to get up. Maybe she could use the stirrup? She then realized her own feet weren't even in the stirrups. She really needed to get use to actually riding and steering a horse, not just hanging on while it plowed a field. Well, hopefully it will work out, she mused, scratching her head and giving a little chuckle. However, she didn't need to worry about Nelinia mounting since she easily jumped up on the horse, causing the mare to give a little start as she did a little half lurch forward. Acacia tried to put her hand back to catch the monk so she didn't fall off, her knees instinctively tightening so she wouldn't fall off herself. The monk quickly grabbed on to Acacia and gained her balance and Acacia relaxed.

"You okay back there?" she asked. Not really waiting for a response, she continued, "If you feel like you're losing your balance or are about to fall off, just grip with your knees, not your feet. Trust me, most horses will not like it," she said, thinking of a time or two she had been bucked off. "Of course you can also hold on to me a bit tighter, that will help too. Let me know if you need to stop for anything too, okay?"

When Nelinia suggested that they should get going, Acacia shot a grin over her shoulder before confidently saying, "On Ha!" to the horse while softly flicking the reins. The horse merely gave a small huff, stamped her front feet, and looked back again before bending her head down to munch on some of the plants growing through the cracks in the street. Acacia shifted to adjust with a small sigh, and wondered what she had done wrong. That is what Father always did, she thought, a confused look on her face. As Narenia came up beside them, Acacia's mare lazily lifted up her head and gave a soft neigh, maybe a greeting, to Narenia's dark colored mount. Acacia unconsciously shifted again, as she looked to the ranger with a small smile, wondering what she was digging for. She then pulled out an apple and handed it to Nelinia and Acacia' smile broadened. As Narenia's horse trotted off, Acacia realized what she did wrong. She then remembered the prince saying something about putting your heels in the sides. She tried it, and to her delight the horse started off. She then realized afresh that she still hadn't put her feet in the stirrups. Oh well.

She then hear the voice of a stranger, a man she supposed and turned to look as he walked toward them. She couldn't quite figure out what was different about him, since he was covered in a cloak. In his introduction, she caught two names. One, his name Icareau, and two, his species, Feledine. She had never seen one of the Feledine, but she had heard of them. It was odd that one would come on a quest like this. Acacia was surprised and didn't even stop the horse to turn and ask the... newcomer questions, though she soon wished she had. However, they were quickly off, following after the prince and starting their odd quest.

"Oh, Nelinia," she said after a moment. "We still need to name her." She gave the horse a small pat on the neck. "What do you think is a good name?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Freedom of the open road was just within his reach, a few strides of the lengthy steed’s legs beyond the gate, but it was halted again. More questions assaulted the back of his head. While a few of the followers fell in line, obviously competent in riding, others congregated around the monk. It seemed that where she road for the day was a huge dilemma, and everyone had their opinion. His opinion was asked one some matter or another and he dipped his head in correspondence, it was the most polite way he could answer at the moment. Vision scanned the group once more, suppressing a sigh. Sometime or another a few more of the stragglers had managed to join their troupe and find a horse without being too noticeable. The Feledine from the other day had managed to make it. Now, however, was not the time for discussing such introductions.

“The sun stretches to afternoon, we leave now.” He announced. Rydas paused a moment at the ragtag band of travellors: some would need more direction. “We will follow the road north for as long as we can, and make camp in Gaeric tonight.”

Hopefully, he thought, wondering if the group could ride so far in half a day. The Prince’s equine dug at the dirt and huffed. The beast was as restless as he, perhaps his tenseness was being felt through the saddle. Expert hands reined the horse back around and clicked his teeth, heels gently pressing into the sides and a steady walk picked up. Rydas steeled himself to maintain a slow, consistant pace to allow everyone to follow easily. Once the horses were in a line they’d obey his commands, and the irony of that was not lost on him. Rydas Errion, commander of horses but not a pack of “adventurers”. Thoughts darkened.

As the last horse passed the gates of Paetax something stirred inside him. For better or for worse, the future of the kingdom was in his control. So, he thought, it starts now.

Even as the sun descended from its peak in the sky, the day was hot. He pulled the hood of his cloak up over his head. It served for many purposes: it kept some of the head off his neck, it shadowed his identity to the passing travellers, and aided in preventing idle chit-chat from his companions. The scattered masses of people returning from farming fields or other cities towards the capitol parted as the adventurers passed. Rydas nodded in silent greeting to those he received but kept quiet, thoughts elsewhere. The looks they were given, however, were unmistakable. The Prince could only imagine how strange they must all look. They were a misshapen crew, some barely able to ride, following a shaded man with a bright red cloak on a pure white horse. They were less than subtle, but he’d imagined that the bard would have a field day.

When people began to dwindle he again clicked his teeth and urged the horse on. Happily, the horse picked up speed to a steady trot. Behind him he heard the rest of the horses follow suit. The rhythmic beat of hooves on dirt road began to soothe him, and the rest of the day passed quickly. His mind began to ease. When the day finally started to cool off and slip into evening, he looked for a place to set and make up camp. Rydas was pleasantly surprised that they had managed to make it to the eastern tip of the northern forest without any further incidents.

The Prince dismounted, sliding off with fluid ease, and tied his horse to a branch. While his mount really needn’t be tied, it was faithfully his, the others would need to and he had decided in his long hours of thought that he would teach by example. Rydas watched as the weary travellers dismounted as well. He had forgotten how painful it was for inexperienced riders to sit in saddle for so long. The dark prince frowned a moment, cursing his oversight. But there was nothing he could do about it now, except for make for a decent night.

“We will rest here tonight, and leave at first light in the morning. We still have many, many miles to travel. Please, make camp. We will eat and then discuss strategy.” His tone was a few hundred shades brighter now. The smell of pine of the deciduous forest greatly lightened his mood. One would say he was almost jovial. Riding soothed the soul, it seemed.

Patiently he showed each how to unclip their saddlebags, how to set up their bedrolls and brush down their horses. Rydas taught them how to loosen their reins on the horses so they could graze. He made fire, and threw his saddle on the ground for a place to sit, teaching any who wanted to know how to remove the saddle the same. Deft hands created fire. Fire would keep them warm, keep away the beasts of the forest and lighten the mood for all. The whole set up took a few hours, but they would learn and grow quicker as each day passed.

They had been packed rations for a few days, and after that they would need to hunt. With the few cooking utensils he had brought with, the Prince began to cook a stew for the lot. He made sure every soldier in the Kings Guard knew how to cook properly and well. Many deemed it a skill for women, or unneeded, but a good meal lightened spirits in even the most dismal of situations.

When bowls were full, and scent of rich herbs and stewed meat laced with the smoke of the fire, Rydas looked to the bard. “Acacia, I would be very grateful for a song. Would you grace us with one.”

Food, fire and music he hoped would lubricate the group for a smooth discussion of the mission at hand.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched as all the other members mounted on their horses before leaving, some had troubles, some did it with ease, notably the prince who apparently mastered riding, something expected from someone with such a rank.

Before the group could leave, a late arrival surprised Hayley. A short, cloaked figure appeared, he greeted the group before facing every member. The newly arrived had a weird beard, that seemed to cover his whole face, and his hands. Intrigued by it, Hayley watched closely as he swung atop the remaining horse, agile like a cat. He then introduced himself as a Feledine. Hayley heard stories about his type, and while they were interesting, it felt slightly weird for Hayley to be riding with a creature from an unfamiliar race, the girl had never seen one of these before.

When everyone was ready, the prince led them through the gates, direction north.

On the road, Hayley watched the people passing by, farmers, merchants, random peasants. Some of them had carts full of goods Hayley was tempted to borrow and never return, some were just walking around like they had nothing better to do. The misfit group probably attracted a lot of attention, the Prince wore a red cape and had a beautiful white horse, the monk had bright yellow clothes and they were all riding in a line in the same direction. Not something the peasants see everyday. Hayley thought as some people stared at them as they passed by.

When the masses of people on the outskirts of the city thinned out, they picked up the pace.

After what felt like an eternity passed, the group came to a halt and Hayley dismounted, the pain in her favorite body part reminded her the reason she preferred to travel in carriages. She tied her horse, removed her pack and started setting her sleeping bag for the night and following the Prince's idea, used her saddle as a seat. It would probably be better now that it wasn't moving. The girl finished unpacking as the Prince showed what to do for those who had trouble and set up a fire.

She was surprised to see him cook, not many men could do it, and Hayley was a woman who couldn't. She never found cooking a useful skill to have with the life she led. When the prince asked the bard for a song Hayley decided to speak, she had been in silence for a long time. "I confess listening to a song would be good for our spirits after a day of riding." Not something she would ask for most of the time, but Hayley had to pass as a good person for now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Attica ran along the trunk of the fallen tree and leaped, landing squarely on the slope that dropped sharply down to the stream. Her fingers dug into the leaf litter and made a hand-hold of the red ferns anchored to the soil. Below, the roots of the oak tree above her head seemed to rise to meet her feet and without missing a beat she sprang up onto the ridge at the top of the little hollow. She took a split-second to lightly run her fingertips over the bark of the tree in thanks before she was gone again, ducking and weaving through twisted oaks, slithering down banks and splashing through streams until her lungs burned and her heart drummed so hard she felt dizzy. Still, she continued for another half a mile or so until finally she shimmied up into the branches of an elderly beech and crouched in the fork of its branches, pressing herself close to its heart as she stayed perfectly still and listened for a sign of her pursuers.

Nothing. Even the jumpy redwings in the copse of silver birch to the east were undisturbed, calling out banal chirrups to each other; the ornithological equivalent of small-talk.

After a few minutes of absolute concentration, Attica allowed herself to relax. She must have lost them for good this time. She could only hope her trail had been subtle enough to be picked up by one of their party in the confusion of her escape; perhaps they had a Ranger among them as they seemed to have an uncanny ability to follow her even when she was being so careful not to leave a sign of her passing. Still, they were gone now and nothing, animal or human, could go without sleep for very long. Even if they were tracking her, they were in an unfamiliar place and the light was rapidly fading into the grey-lilac of dusk. They would make camp and Attica would use those precious hours gain a head-start in the darkness of night.

If she were to do that, however, she would have to eat. There were no berries out at this time of year and game would need cooking- she could scarcely afford to make a fire and alert them to her presence now. Roots, beaten into digestibility against a rock, would have to do. If she was lucky, she might also find a few dockleaves down at the edge of the tree-line...

Silently, she dropped down onto the earth at the base of the beech and out of the bracken trotted the grey fox that had taken to following her over the past few days. She quirked at eyebrow at it and it looked back at her before shaking down its fur and darting across the clearing into the undergrowth where it crouched, waiting for an intruder. It would give her warning if they had somehow tracked her down and managed to elude the usually-alert natural watchmen of the forest.




Twenty minute later, Attica had found something that would make her quest for food that much easier. At the tree-line, a dozen or so travellers had set up camp and strains of music and the smell of smoke (and food) drifted back towards the tree-line. Night had fallen now and it had taken little effort to lay her hands on the horses to lull them back into security when they tossed their heads at the sign of her intrusion then creep up to the edge of the make-shift canvas tents. The travellers themselves were at the centre of the little circle, milling around a roaring fire and talking amongst themselves. Though she was not concentrating on the conversation, snatches of it- both friendly and antagonistic- filtered back to her. She didn't bother to attempt to move closer and glimpse them properly. She didn't care what they looked like. All she cared about was their supplies, some of which were slowly simmering over the fire and the rest, presumably, were hidden beneath the canvas.

Choosing the tent which looked of the highest quality, she crawled up to it through the grass and, careful to keep it between her and the people milling about around the fire, silently made a slit in its base with one of her knives. Carefully drawing the canvas flap back, she crept inside.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon waited for all the horses to trot out of the gate. He watched all of the adventurers individually as they left the city. Some of them he knew would be trouble. Others might be too young or feeble to carry themselves in battle he thought. Feylon had a nasty habit of judging people before seeing what they could do. Maybe it was his army training. When he was stuck alone for days on end he had learned to look after himself and only himself. No one else would. He had seen new, in-experienced soldiers let others down with silly mistakes, which in a combat situation could get someone killed. Nonetheless he had never lost the habit, and sometimes he wished it would leave.

The black horse scuffled around as the last of the adventurers left. Feylon bowed forward and patted the horses neck. His squeezed his calf's into the horse and quickly joined up at the back of the line. The stream of horses was met by an influx of peasants walking towards the city. Perhaps they were finishing a days work in the farm or they were going to try and get a bargain before stalls began to close. Feylon could not tell and moved his mind to think about a different subject.

As the horse moved at a solid pace, the air around him began to cool. As if prompted by the drop in temperature the sounds of the world began to change. The chirping of birds became quieter. Insects began buzzing noticeably and the odd cricket could be heard in the grass. As the line in front of him slowed down Feylon realised they were stopping. He pulled back slightly on the reigns eventually bringing the horse to a stop. He slid off of the horse and walked it to a large tree just a small bit away from everyone else. He un-clipped the bedroll which until now had served as a cushion for the small of his back for the entire horse ride and unfurled it onto the floor. He propped his bow up against the tree and placed his quiver on the floor. When he slid the saddle off of the horse he could see its black hairs glistening in the faint evening light. Although he considered it an easy ride he was grateful that it was uneventful. He would prefer for the horse to trust him first before they decided to get into a tricky situation.

Just as he was about to sit down on the bedroll he heard a noise. The faint sound of a branch snapping perhaps? Or leaves brushing past a human body. He quickly glanced towards the fire. Everyone seemed to be present as far as he could remember. Feylon grew wary of the possibility that they may have been followed. After all they had taken no precautions as to confuse anyone tracking them. He assumed it was not deemed necessary so early in the trip. Perhaps however they were wrong. Slowly reaching under his cloak he produced one of the daggers that he carried there. In a swift motion Feylon assumed a crouching position and looked at those by the fire. He raised a finger to his lips and then gestured in the direction of one of the tents.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
'A Fele-wha?' Xan thought to himself as the newcomer introduced himself. He never heard of the race before, than again he was quite sure there was a plethora of things he didn't know about this world, so it shouldn't be such a surprise. Although at the end of that thinking he was reminded that he had, already, completely forgotten the newcomers name. He scratched his head a bit, thinking about it, but in the end he came up with nothing. He would just have to wait until someone else calls his name, or he says it himself once more. With the sun high in the sky, and the heat starting to rise a bit, the group finally leaves through the gates of the city, with the Prince in lead of course. Without Xan doing anything at all his four legged companion starts trotting on following the Prince's stallion. Perhaps it was best that the horse itself took the lead, had Xan been handling it he might not make it far. Xan simply held the reigns in his hands in case anything were to happen to spook his companion or cause it to go out of control.

Xan's eye wandered as the group traveled in a single line, the sound of hooves hitting the ground continuously sounded out. The surrounding area had quite a nice view, it felt natural, as in there hadn't been much human influence over the area. As the traveling group continued they encountered numerous other people that were walking along the road as well, all going their own way. Xan would give a smile and raise a hand to everyone the group passed, it was interesting to see the different people. Although there was one that particularly caught his eye, a little girl, about the age of six or seven walking with her mother. As the group approached she timidly hid behind her parent, but peeked out from behind, slightly, to see the passing group. The little girl reminded him of his sister in their younger days, she would do the same thing, except she would hide behind him instead of one of their parents. As Xan's closed in, he pulled back on the reigns a bit, not to stop the horse but to slow it down a bit. As he came to be besides the young girl he leaned off towards the side of his horse, nearly falling off, a hand in his pocket.

"Here" he simply said, his hand pulling from his pocket the blue orb that he had stolen the day before. The little girl hesitated a bit, but reached out her hand just before he went out of reaching, taking the orb. "Pretty isn't it? Enjoy it" he said as he pulled himself back upright on the saddle, he gave a wide grin and a wave before turning back to look forward. He glanced back to see the young girl happily looking at the orb through the light of the sun, it gave off a brilliant blue shine, he couldn't help but smile to himself, his eye looking forward once more.

As time passed, so did the people. It had been quite a bit since the last person had passed by the traveling gang, and it didn't look as if more people would be coming down the road any time soon. Perhaps they were now far enough from the city to where no other people would come out this far. He looked around for the sun, it had dropped from the sky quite a bit, he wondered how long they had traveled, and how much longer they would travel as well. His question was soon answered as the first horse in line came to a stop. This was where they would rest for the night it seemed by the Prince's words. Xan put his legs to one side of the saddle and pushed himself off with his hands, landing on the ground one knee nearly touching the ground. His legs coming together again felt a bit awkward after begin split in the middle by the saddle for so long. He stood up straight stretching his back and arms, giving a moan of relief. After a brief session of stretches he took his companion and tied him to a tree, unclipped the saddlebags and loosened the reigns, following the Prince's instructions.

"There you are my friend" he said patting Myst, with that he left the horse to do what it willed and placed his bedroll, looking at it for a moment. Did he truly need this? Although it probably would be more comfortable than laying flat on the ground. Still he had never slept on a bedroll, he always slept on the ground, on a large flat stone, or in a tree, although the last had a threat of him injuring himself, it was still quite comfortable. He shrugged, it wouldn't hurt to try it, but he would try not to get used to it, after all after this little adventure he didn't know if he would ever sleep on one again.

The sound and smell of food quickly distracted him from his thoughts, and his stomach consumed him completely, the only thoughts and feeling were now about food and nothing else. He took a bowl for himself and took in a spoon full. Followed by a quick muffle of words from a closed mouth and a forced swallow, followed by a few gasps of air to cool the inside of his nearly burned mouth. The next spoon full of stew he decided to blow on to cool it off a bit before shoving it into his mouth this time. Prince Rydas asked of a song from Acacia, and Xan could not agree more, the ride thus far had only the sounds of trotting hooves and nature to accompany them, a nice song would be a nice change. Although before that he noticed that the male ranger, whom until now was out of sight, showed himself, a dagger drawn. He signed for silence as well a gesture towards one of the tents that had been put up, someone not of the group had infiltrated in? Another person, an animal? Instead of hastily reaching for his own weapons Xan decided to sit and watch how this would play out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Nelinia looked at the red apple with confusion for a moment before realizing Narenia, the ranger, had given her a gift. "Thank you." The monk said softly, lips curved slightly upwards to return Narenia's smile before she left. Nel took the bard's advice about holding on with her knees, albeit without it, she wouldn't have an arm to grab the apple in the first place, and slowly let go of Acacia to slowly yet surely establish her balance on the horse. The new arrival prompted her to turn around on the horse, an uncomfortable position really, and take a look at the ecstatic creature.

The monk had no idea what a Feledine was. Upon looking at Icareau, an odd sense of curiosity stirred in her as she looked into his furry face. He reminded her of the many stray cats in Kiron; which Nel always scratched behind the ears upon seeing. It took a moment for her to register that he was smiling but once it did, the same meek smile appeared on her lips as well. With that, she turned around to relieve her back from the discomfort and wrapped one arm around Acacia, while the other was busy stuffing the apple into the folds of her yellow robe.

It was then that the bard asked what Nel though the horse should be named and Nel pondered on the question for a moment. "How do you know if it's a her?" Nel asked, curious to how she truly knew, as all the horses looked the same to her. "Perhaps...Maria?" The monk said, almost a question. Coming up with many names was difficult for her.

The ride was arduous and long, spanning the entire day, in which the monk drifted to sleep a couple of times, and half of the apple in the morning, then finished the other half in the evening, leaving only the stem behind. As soon as evening came, the line of horses stopped, and the Prince told them they were going to rest, Nel groggily unmounted the horse. When her feet left the ground, the monk took a deep yawn, bended back one leg, grabbed her ankle, and pulled to relieve the tension in her thigh, doing the same for the other leg. The lack of walking for hours on end left her feeling lethargic and the pain of inexperienced horse riding was there, albeit not severe, but an annoying element of an uncomfortable ache as she walked.

With the Prince's assistance, she unclipped her bag, retrieved her quarterstaff and bedroll. There were a collection of banadages in the bag as well, per her request, and she hoped that she wouldn't have to use them all during this journey. After setting the sheet, by watching others do the same, she flocked to the light of the fire like am moth and sat around the flames, entranced by the twisting flames and crackling of wood. Nel briefly brought up her head when the prince asked Acacia to grace them with a song, though how does anyone "grace" someone with a song was unbeknownst to her.
"I thought people can only have grace?" Nel said, conversation amongst them beginning, and yet already confused to what everyone was talking about.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

The monk and her horse problem seemed to be sorting itself out. Though all the talking only seemed to aggravate his headache more. Callavan hefted himself on to his horse. Riding was a rare privilege for him, but he knew enough to get by. With a gentle nudge he urged the horse on, following after the prince.

He slowed a bit when the cat showed up. He had never heard of the Feledines before, but he was far too hungover to care at the time. The cat seemed to be coming along with them anyways. So curiosity could strike him later.

He picked up his pace, glad to be rid of the city. The riding was pleasant enough, better than walking leastways. It was nothing compared to a good ship though. What he'd give to be back on the water. He'd spent the last seven odd years on land with only brief spells along the coast. He missed the sea air, the feel of a rope in his hands as he set the rigging or pulled in a net. Hell, he even missed packing oakum between planks. He couldn't understand how these inlanders didn't go mad so far from the sea.

As the remnants of the previous night's drinking passed and the sun faded he found his spirits improved to a small degree. He hadn't even noticed the time passing and was surprised when they stopped. It took him a moment to realize they were settling in for the night. Slipping off the rouncey, stumbling when he hit the ground. His legs were stiff from the day's riding. The inside of his thighs rubbed raw. It had been a while since his last ride. They had a lot of traveling ahead of them and plenty of time for his skin to toughen he supposed. He took a moment to stretch his legs before he saw to his horse.

With the horse settled he set himself next to the fire. He didn't bother using his saddle as a seat. The ground was good enough for him. He hadn't expected a stew for supper, let alone one cooked by a prince. Callavan didn't know much about cooking himself. Normally he would simply roast whatever he had over a fire. He gave his thanks to the prince when he received his bowl.

With food in hand he was ready to relax for the night, but then one of the rangers seemed to notice something, motioning them to be quiet. Callavan ate as he watched. The crown seemed to have enemies. Maybe some of them had tracked their party. If there was to be a fight, he'd rather have something in his belly over nothing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
While waiting for everyone else to gather their bearings, the Triansui sat proudly upon her horse as she watched the proceedings. From the depths of the crowd emerged a cloaked figure, one with a tail trailing loosely behind him or her and the sight immediately brought about Mirabella's warrior instincts as she clasped a hand onto her sword, preparing to draw steel. Yet, the voice that emanated from the figure was anything but imposing, as stories and legends of her people should suggest. In fact, the voice was almost as naive as poor, lovable Nel's was which caused her to stay her hand for but a moment.

"I am Icareau Sauveterre of the Feledine in Rousillen. We're not all bad, really, just a bit stingy. I'm so elated to travel with you all! Just think of the trouble we'll get in to. ...!"

Feledine.... she repeated to herself and her hand clenched a bit tighter while still allowing the weapon to remain sheathed. How in the hell could the Prince allow a Feledine onto this quest?

The Feledine were a race of cat like people which had descended upon her homeland in ages past and before a treaty could be forged, many from both sides of the war with the Feledine race had been lost. Though her people were a proud race of unequaled warriors, they could not have expected the bestial ferocity of the cat people and some of their best had been murdered by the nomads.

Her eyes narrowed at poor, unsuspecting Icareau and stayed upon him until her attention was turned elsewhere- They were finally moving.


As the adventure began in earnest and the Prince led the group out of the city and to the north, Mirabella allowed herself to fall behind and bring up the rear. She was used to playing bodyguard for both nobles and merchants and knew that being attacked from the rear was more likely than a head-on assault. She wouldn't allow any of her new found friends (or new found comrades, for those she didn't quite trust) to be wounded on her watch. From this vantage point, she watched as her fellow travelers interacted. So much could be told from a person's actions for they were usually more truthful than a person's words.

Nari, the ranger, was quiet, friendly and gentle. She had offered an apple to poor Nelinia, which had seemed to brighten the young monk and before she rode off to follow the Prince, she had offered another smile to Mirabella. It wasn't a calculating smile that most other woman seemed trained in but one that, once delivered, made the recipient smile as well. This strengthened Mira's perception of the slender ranger.

The one thief, Xan, had a sweet interaction with one of the younger townsfolk as they were heading out of the city. The crystalline orb that he had toyed with in the tavern yesterday was now being passed down to a girl that couldn't have been more than 8 years old. Obviously shy, the girl took the orb from Xan, her large eyes growing wider with excitement as she took her new treasure back to show her mother.

It was these little scenes that entertained Mirabella throughout the day long trip. Little things, such as one of the riders grumbling about their butt being sore from the riding thus far or another one claiming they were parched barely an hour's ride out of the gate. A smile threatened her otherwise neutral countenance as they all became accustomed to the life of riding on the open road.

The ride was thankfully uneventful. She had hoped that no one would be idiotic enough to attack them so close to the city but she did honestly expect it at some point in time. There were quite a few people in Paetax that would like to see the mission fail and for the King to slip into the oblivion of the afterlife. Yet they made their way to a clearing that they would use as their camp and everyone began to dismount and prepare for the evening. Mirabella dismounted with a practiced ease, unloading her horse and slipping the bridle off of the mare so that she could roam nearby and graze. Her mare was her companion and had been for quite a few years now. The Triansui knew how to fight while mounted and Blaze, named due to her sorrel coat, seemed to be able to anticipate her moves. This all led to a remarkable relationship between horse and rider which allowed Blaze more freedom than the Triansui might normally give to an animal and she patted Blaze on her side before telling her to roam off and eat.

Looking around, everyone else seemed to be settling in for the evening nicely. The Prince was cooking and serving stew, the other riders were all working out their aches and pains with the exception of Van, one of the mages, who appeared to be walking a bit bow-legged. Laughing, Mirabella dug into one of her packs and pulled out a jar of ointment that she had bought from an apothecary before this mission and walked over to the mage to hand it to him.

"It treats saddle sores and prevents new ones from forming. Keep it as long as you wish and share it with those that may require it as well." Her attention was caught during the small verbal exchange by one of the rangers, who crouched down and gestured to one of the tents.

Intruder...

Dropping the jar of ointment into Van's hand, the Triansui drew her blade fluidly and began to circle around to the back of the tent. If the intruder, or beast, happened to fly out of the front of the tent then they would be greeted by the dozen or so people surrounding the campfire. So the Triansui moved slowly, trying to keep as stealthy as possible in her mismatched plate/leather/chain armor until she had a clear view of the back of the tent.

The fabric was parted by a sharp slit, allowing both sides of the manmade entrance to billow slightly with each breeze that passed through the area. Without warning and with little regard to stealth or safety, Mirabella popped through the same slit that the intruder had passed through with her sword arm ready.

Her eyes fell upon a rather wild looking figure donning rather naturalistic looking armor and her brow arched as she spied the woman moving about the tent. She looked like one of the forest dwellers but wasn't one that she had traded with in her past travels so Mira remained vigilant as she asked, "I will not harm you unless you attack... What are you doing in this tent?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

No more did she see of the creature that had arrived as the last person in their group. Nari was still unsure of what his race was called, but as far as she remembered it was called a Feledine. She knew he was there in line with the others, but it wasn't exactly courteous to fall back and stare at him, asking what kind of creature he was. The ranger woman wouldn't care if anyone asked her the same, if only they kept it to asking and not judging her of what she was and where she came from. After all, her proud mind wouldn't allow insults to pass unnoticed. Mira fell back after Nari had placed her horse right behind the prince, much to her displeasure. She would have liked to speak to the woman. Not long after they had been underway, the thief did something unexpected. He handed the orb he had been studying when she first saw him, to a little girl that passed them by. Nari tilted her head she looked back at him, wondering where such kindness came from. He hadn't shown it before. Not as far as she could remember at least.

Although she had been trained to ride a horse and had done so many times, she was still sore when she dismounted her horse at the end of their ride. Nari stretched and led her horse over to a tree. "Vanir," She whispered his name and leaned her head against his. The horse neighed lowly and exhaled. "Hungry?" Nari asked and smiled. She found another two apples in the bags on the horse, feeding them to the horse. Apparently it pleased him. "Here, I'll give you a little leash so you can eat." Then she tied to the tree and let him eat. After that, all there was to do was follow the prince's example, setting up tents and making the camp as they wanted it to be. She helped making the fireplace and making it so it was possible to cook there. When she was done with her chores, the rest of the camp was already set up. Either I work slowly, or some of these people have set up camp before. Nari thought to herself and shrugged, her face serious now. As a ranger, she was used to staying on her toes and be alert, especially when out in the wild. It didn't matter to her if they were close to the city.

Nothing could have helped her when the Prince of all people, started cooking for them. Nari raised her eyebrow in wonder, half expecting that she was the one to cook. Not that she thought none of the others knew how, but because she was a ranger. In her experience she had usually been the one in charge of food whenever she had travelled with a group. "Thank you." Accepting the bowl and looking at him, she gave a warm smile and a nod of appreciation.
As she ate, Nari spied the trees around them. Force of habit. Only when the Prince requested a song from the bard did she come back to their small gathering. But before anything happened a noise alerted her of a presence in one of the tents but before she could do anything, the other ranger who she hadn't noticed very much motioned for silence. As Mira moved to the back of the tent, Nari stood up and nocked an arrow. She nodded at the other ranger and watched Mira go around to the back. If whatever was in the tent decided to come out the front, not only would she run into their midst, but Nari would have a clean shot. Did it decide to run, Nari was ranged and could still pose a threat.

She stood with bated breath as she waited for what would happen next. Her green eyes, even more visible - almost glowing - caught Nel's, and then the Prince's. She exhaled to calm her breath and then drew the string of the bow back and pointed it at the front opening of the tent, drawing her breath calmly. A voice came from inside, and Nari guessed it to be Mira's. What the intruder would reply was the only question that was on her mind.
What's the next move.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Attica edged into the tent. In the dimness, her night-tuned eyes could make out the vague shape of a bedroll that felt lightly padded beneath her palms. Next to it was a pack and in careful silence, she unbuckled it and snaked her hand inside. One by one she drew out its contents- a canteen that was heavy with water (she pulled out the stopper to take a few gulps before placing it onto the bedroll), a tinder box, an item of clothing that felt to made out of high quality wool, a small jar of some ointment... Then, what she had been hoping to find; a small bundle of waxed paper tied with string.

Deftly, she cut the bindings and unfolded the paper. Her fingertips told her she'd found a hunk of hard cheese and her lips confirmed it. Hungrily she put her hand back inside the pack and drew out another bundle, this time wrapped in cotton; a crusty loaf of bread. With the eager mouthfuls of one who had not eaten in days, she rapidly consumed a good quarter of the loaf and all of the cheese, wrapping the rest back up and stowing it under her arm. She was about to remove the last of the contents of the pack when she heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps moving around the side of the tent.

Instantly she stiffened, one of her knives finding its way into her hand. Talk outside the tent was not as loud, nor had as many participants as it had previously had, she realised. The maker of the footsteps was at the slit she had made in the back of the tent now. And if there was someone coming in through the back, there would be another waiting outside at the front. Attica rose a little, knees bent, knife out, eyes sharp.

Awkwardly, without the slightest attempt at stealth, a woman with a shock of white-blonde hair and bulky mismatched armour pushed her way in through the slashed canvas. A longsword (a ridiculous weapon to choose considering the size of the tent) pointed out in front of her. She looked like a warrior of some kind but even with this observation, Attica didn't bother to wonder why she might be here along with the rest of the occupants of the camp. More important things- like her own survival- preyed on her mind.

At her question, Attica continued to stare at her with the incredulous unblinking gaze of a trapped animal. What did she think she was doing? Stolen bread in one hand, knife in another...

In a split second, Attica kicked out at the tent pole, her heel making contact with its base to make it snap cleanly in half. The tent collapsed down on top of them immediately and she slashed out with her blade to draw it cleanly through the canvas in one side of the tent. Not waiting to see if the warrior had freed herself, her armour and her longsword from the mess of splintered wood and waxed cloth, she dived through the hole in the canvas. Struggling up to her feet, using her hands to propel herself up from the damp earth, she sprinted for the tree-line. Or at least where the tree-line would have been had there not been a man standing in the way.

Attica hit him at full speed, his armour impacting painfully with her shoulder and collarbone. Her knife thudded to the ground and the two of them went down. With a howl of anger, Attica found herself caught in a tangle of armoured limbs and red cloak and she lashed out with her fist at the first inch of flesh she could see, her heart hammering in her chest and sudden rage churning her blood.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The group ate in silence at first, each eagerly consuming the bowl of food that was presented them. He nodded his head, quite as always, to those gracious enough to thank him for the meal. While everyone received a generous portion he did not ladle any of the stew into a bowl for himself. Rations were not scarce, as it was only their first night, and he had not laced the food. Rather, the Prince scarcely felt the pains of hunger in present days. Often it took coercing from sister or advisers for him to consumer more than a few bites of cheese or bread. It was funny how anxieties of the mind so often affected the rest of the body. Sustenance aside, the Prince brewed himself a cup of herbs that smelled bitter until a tad of honey was added. What the concoction was, he didn’t say, but it seemed to keep him at ease.

Long legs stretched, lounging with the saddle at his lower back. He was propped up just enough to see the encampment. With the position, and the firelight flickering across his face, he resembled something of a wolf- ears perked, alert but comfortable as he guarded his pack. With practiced patience he waited for the bard to finish her meal, hoping she would accede to his request for song. In the quiet lull of stuffed mouths Rydas took the time to reassess the group. Mind cleared, more or less, from riding and mood swayed to a lighter tone, his impressions of the misfit brigaded were slightly more positive. Silent prayers were made that said impressions would last when next their mouths would open.

Rydas was not sure whether he was more grateful or more surprised that there had been no controversy over their last joined member- the Feledine. He knew, even in their own court, that tensions with other races ran high with the strange disease that plagued his father. Often in times of crisis the different were the first to be blamed. With the southern cat-like race being so withdrawn from common society, it was suspicious even to himself for the appearance of one now. Vision swept over Icareau, wondering what the purpose of his attendance was- had his people wished to show their support of the long-honoured treaty, or had he had a hand in the sickness? From what he could remember, the Feledines weren’t well versed with magic, but that didn’t make it impossible. Momentarily he wondered why the others hadn’t questioned the catman. They had never hesitated to voice concerns thus far. He wondered how far ignorance ran through the common people, or if it was exhaustion that froze their tongues tonight.

Thoughts were halted. The treasonous ranger crouched, making motions that he’d heard something in the tent behind the Prince. In fluid motion he rose, remarkably quiet despite amour and cloak, and paused to listen. Silence. It was an odd quiet, not even the horses stirred. Equines were timid creatures, easily disturbed. Whoever was inside the tent was well experienced. His mind momentarily flashed back to the many assassination attempts within the castle walls- how have they found me so quickly? Vision met with the Triansui and Narenia, palm raised, directing them to show caution. He steeled himself for whatever may come, standing behind the archer, as the warrior woman entered from the back.

Whatever question had been asked of the intruder was not responded with words but rather actions: quick, hostile actions to boot. A snap resounded through the encampment as the tent collapsed in on itself and those inside. Somehow the trespasser managed to dart out in time, around the archer before she could let loose an arrow. Rydas was quick too, however, and positioned himself in the way. With weight and muscle he took her impact, a wild woman crashing into his body. Strong arms attempted to grab her, but he was a moment too late. An untamed fist struck true, hitting him square in the jaw. The desperation behind the hit was felt, it’d be sure to be sore in the morning. Annoyed, Rydas grabbed wrists, swinging her around like a ballroom dance and grasping her tight against him. Kick all she wanted, efforts would be futile.

“Calm yourself, you’ll only make it worse.” He said, the firm and commanding voice of an annoyed Prince spoke forcibly into her ear. The woman smelled of pine and dew, and it was only than that he notice how scantily clad she was. As if to end her wiggling, he tightened his grip. With sight of the small dagger at his feet, and half-eaten bread, Rydas had a sneaking suspicion that they had just interrupted a robbery rather than thwarted an oncoming attack. Motives aside, his jaw had started to ache.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

"Indeed I do think she would be more comfortable with a female than myself, I would just not like to see her riding with any of our heavy armored chargers they seem to have enough weight on them as is, well than its settled she could ride with you"

Realizing that none seemed to eager to join his prayer for good fortune he departed to a corner where he placed his staff and cup on the ground, got on his knees and began to read his tome "... And so it came in their endeavor with a just cause in their path and with evil following in their wake, the brave Ruglias kept on going for even as the world told them they were wrong, evil and depraved none could cover the light of truth of the one and merry.

Their trials were dreadful and the consequences of their deeds saw some paid with death and innocents suffer from the hand of those who would seek to use faith for their own means.

With this Deud I remember my promise to you, I died a terrible man and you awoke me as a champion of the faith, guide my path and grant me strength, wisdom and patience"
he kissed the tome´s pages and drank a deep and heavy lot from his blessed cup, it was telling that none wished to join him... and potentially dangerous too, for Deud was able to bring back from the dead one of the faithful... a heathen, would not be so well looked by the hall lord

Upon his return... Akdov felt his blood turn cold and the memory of the raw, indigestible fear of his days as a missionary came rushing back to him when he saw that beast standing there... this one was smaller, and stood on 2 legs, it could be domesticated even

"Prince what is the meaning of this... creature? I was not told we would be traveling with such... odd company" yet the prince was already on his way, irked by the needless waiting of the group.

Stay true and strong

He left out a long sigh as he looked at the animal, if Deud was good he would not have nightmares, he was above that, or at least that was what he hoped.

******************************

At the camp Akdov ate scarcely, he was beyond the point of nourishment Deud saw to that but he could not have others guessing why he looked so healthy if he ate nothing, drink could only go so far.

It was while he was minding how suspicious his portions would look to the others that the priest completely failed to notice two facts that almost everyone seemed to be picking up, one was that there was an animal of sorts loose which was preying on their tents and that the prince had been quick to grab a very aggressive wench

“By Deud what is this” he approached at the prince and the female “Pri- Rydas” he had not been told that there would be need for secrecy but it was better if the woman knew not of it “… I think all we got here is a hungry scoundrel that is all”

She looked wild, Akdov had seen dogs more civilized than this feral human but as with animals it seemed that food was all it needed to get attention “She can have my night`s meal if she wishes to, just stop this, we really do not need it”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
"Hmm," Acacia replied, her eyes lightly closed as she envisioned the name, "Maria sounds about right. It seems you have a name, Maria!" She finished with excitement in her voice, though she didn't finish talking. She continued chattering on about a variety of easy topics, nothing too deep, and making various observations which she sometimes wrote down. She spoke of some of the places she had visited and some of the adventures she had in them, though she was careful not to talk much about Tal. She speculated on what the people passing by them were going to do in town, and also what kind of occupation they had, though most seemed to be farmers. She talked about how it was "so kind" of Xan to give his bauble to the little girl they passed, also hastily writing it down with some other things she had documented about the ride. She spoke just loud enough to be heard by Nelinia, or so she thought. She would have been just as happy to talk to her self though, as traveling always put her in high spirits. She noticed Nelinia fall asleep a couple times, but the almost steady stream of words never stopped.

She even recited a story she made up while in Paetax waiting for the day of the meeting. It was a sort of sad story, one that she would probably turn into a song later, about a young woman whose lover had gone off to join the army. She spoke of all the things, the little things and big things, that she would tell him when he came back. It ended with the woman telling about how she would always wait for her lover, though she had already grown old and frail. Acacia supposed it seemed so depressing because her thoughts were on Tal quite a bit during the wait, but she didn't express this thought and moved on to happier topics.

After what seemed like a short time to Acacia, the day was almost over and they were finally stopping to make camp. After Nelinia dismounted and Acacia moved to get off, she realized just how sore she was and quickly joined Nelinia in her stretches, adding a couple more of her own as well. With her soreness eased, she began following the Prince's instructions on taking care of the horse and setting the camp up. She finished setting up and gratefully grabbed a bowl. She watched the Feledine over the rim of her bowl, wondering again at his intentions. She responded to the Prince's request with a quick nod of her head and a smile. "Of course!" She smiled at the others who also responded and gave a little giggle at Nelinia's query. She grabbed her lute and began softly tuning it. She noticed it was a little off after just one day's ride.

She was still tuning when she heard Mirabella's voice coming from a tent. She looked up to see the tent collapse and a wild looking woman try to run off, only to be caught by Prince Rydas. She realized that she was already standing with a knife in her right hand and the lute in her left when Akdov spoke. He was quite right, she did seem to have just taken some food, but they really didn't know for sure. Nevertheless, her knife quickly disappeared back up her sleeve. I wonder if he will also offer to let the woman sleep in his tent. The thought flew across her mind, but she paid it no attention.

"Who are you?" she asked gently, as if talking to herself. In the now mostly quiet camp, however, it was easily heard.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
Nelinia was eager to hear Acacia play, leaning in ever so slightly as she rattled off a note or two on the lute, an incredibly odd song to the monk since she had no idea what "tuning" meant. After a while, it occured to her she might be stretching the instrument, like how she does on the morning. With that thought, she straightened her back, and pondered Acacia's existence. She knew so many stories and had so many adventures it made Nel felt in awe, onc more, and yet feel slightly benign in her presence.

She looked at the roaring fire and outstretched her arms to bask into a fiery heat before recoiling from what felt like a burn. She examined her unbandaged fingers and felt relief at the lack of damage. Nel held out her arms again, at a safer distance and felt euphoric with the warm heat caressing her fingers, a comfort that almost made her feel like diving into the fire, but even she knew better. The bowl beside her lay untouched for the sole reason that she didn't eat food in the evening, the schedule was ingrained into her memory: stretch, meditate and training, eat, spar, meditate and train, sleep. Already uncomfortably avoiding the morning meditation for the sake of traveling, gracious for the apple that Narenia had gave her as lunch, all that was left to do now was spar, meditate, and then sleep.

The yellow clad monk looked around the campfire, noticing Akdov, the blood covered man from before who's name escapes her, Narenia, Rydas/Prince, Icareau, the odd cat-like being, and obviously Acacia. Mira was walking off somewhere, quite in a funny way at that, but Nel shifted her attention at potential sparring partners. Only Nel was obviously out of the inner-message of "somebody's here, who is it?" as she searched for a suitable partner. It was then the monk, decided to choose by height for a light spar, afterall, they were eating. So her eyes lay on the Felendine once more, believing him to be actually the person slightly taller then herself, if not of even height.

Nel's eyes flashed to his ears and then back to his face. She wouldn't lie; her hands were itching to go behind the ears. Save that for later. Nel mentally told herself as she leaned in towards him. "Icareau...was it? Do you wish to spar?" She asked softly. Upon his answer though, there was a commotion as a woman, a woman Nel hasn't seen before ran into the prince, who in turn, grabbed her wrists and held her tight against him. At this point, Nel instantly had her hands upon her eyes, from deducing how...naked the woman was, and the position they were in, she could only say one thing:

"Please take your relations to a tent!" Nel said in a loud voice, face reddening, as she shrunk in her spot, tortuously pondering why they would do that out here, in the open.

Princes are sick.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

As she stormed out of the tent, the Prince had placed himself right behind her, briefly making Narenia wonder why the wild girl had hit the Prince and not her. She came out so quickly that she didn't get to let loose and arrow. If only Rydas had allowed her to pull back the string. Technically he hadn't told her not to, but he raised his palm to have her show caution. If there was a target - or even just a pontential target - the ranger always nocked the arrow and pulled the string back. She was such a trained archer that never would her arm fail her, and let an arrow loose by accident. The only thing she trusted in completely was her ability with a bow and arrow.

The girl collided with the Prince and knocked Narenia away though she quickly regained her stance. This time she pulled the string back and aimed the arrow at the girl, but it seemed that the Prince was stronger than she had expected. Though she wouldn't admit it, Nari was quite impresssed. Granted, the girl wasn't nearly as big as he was, but he brought her under control so quickly. She put the arrow away and held her hand on the shortsword under the cloak, the blade that she hadn't shown to any of the others yet. She quite liked to keep it that way. Having a weapon no one knew about could save lives.

Acacia's wonderful voice sounded from somewhere behind her and asked who the girl was, but Nari didn't pay attention. It seemed though, that her voice could soothe most people. A pity they didn't get to hear a song. The bitter taste was still in her mouth. The fact that she had failed in protecting the Prince, though he didn't really mean anything to her, still stung. She would have to apologise later. She did respect the group (some more than others), but respect was earned not given. She treated everyone equally if she didn't know them. They would have to earn her trust. Narenia had pledged her bow and arrow to the cause, and her proud mind wouldn't allow her to abandon them.

Although the situation was serious, Nari had to fight a smile when Nel spoke up. Obviously she thought they were doing something completely different. She was so innocent and naive. If Nari ever told her the entire story of her life, the little monk would walk away scarred for life. The ranger had had her share of lovers through her life. Nari glanced at the Priest when he spoke, noticing that his bowl of stew was untouched. How does anyone survive on naught but beer? She thought.
She ignored him and walked towards the girl, brushing her hair out of her face and looked at her with furrowed brows. "Wildling?" Nari asked as she looked at the Prince. When she stood next to him, she noticed how tall her was compared to her. Rydas looked even bigger in his armor. The ranger leaned in and sniffed her hair. "Definately from the forest." Had it been Nari, she would have tied the girl down and asked her questions. Firstly, explained to her that it was unnecessary to steal. If the girl had asked, Narenia would have most likely given her a bite of bread, albeit skeptically. The scent of the woods were on the girl, easily picked up if you were close to her. Nari knew, she was a ranger. Feylon would pick it up too. But why was this girl so feral and wild?

He's the Prince, you're just a ranger. She reminded herself and took a step away, still close enough to interact though. "Rope?" Nari asked the Prince. She didn't want to instantly tie her down if it was against his wishes. The odds for this girl to stay and not run the first chance she got, were not good at all. At least not in Narenia Halen's mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Her knuckles connected with flesh and she was about to launch another blow at him when she found herself being swung around, her wrists grasped tightly in his hands. As the prince had predicted, kick she did but a vicious jab at his shin did nothing but shock her foot against his armour through her thin hide boots. Trying to tear herself away from him, twisting and turning her body any way she could, she aimed another volley of kicks but still she could barely decrease her proximity to him enough to do any more damage.

As the man tightened his grip, she glared at him unflinchingly, her dark eyes meeting his lighter ones. She was panting with effort now and her fingers were tingling from the pressure he was putting on her wrists. Up close she could see that though his armour was finely made, his hands were calloused and his face was scarred, a pale sliver of skin running down one cheek that had undoubtedly been made by a blade. Soon though, her glares were diverted to those around them and she attempted a few more times to struggle away from her captor before sullenly giving in to her fate.

At mention of food by the older bearded man, Attica scowled then rolled her eyes at the shrilly naive comment that came from somewhere over her shoulder. Though she could not see its owner, she surmised they must be a child or stupid indeed. After what the warrior in the tent had asked her... Perhaps she had stumbled upon an entire camp of idiots.

Idiots, but well-equipped idiots. Not only was almost every single one of them armoured or armed, but their horses (tossing their heads from where they'd been tied to graze at the edge of the camp) were of good stock and well-fed and judging from the rich smell that rose from the pot over the fire, not lacking in food either. They were here for some purpose and Attica suddenly wondered what that purpose was. Given what was lurking in the forest, searching for her trail, it might be a good idea to stick with these newcomers. At least for the time-being.

"I am Attica," she spat, twisting to face the woman who was edging towards her. She jerked back as she came closer, apparently to sniff her hair, and her mouth tugged upwards into a sardonic smile at her assessment of her. "But 'wildling'? That will do..."

Her cruel smile abruptly flashed into a scowl at her suggestion of rope and her gaze darted back to Rydas' before she began to struggle again against his grip, more desperately this time, now her strength- already greatly drained by her flight from her pursuers- was waning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice had this ability. It's where she'd get really excited for one thing and then all of a sudden, get really bored. Fast. Her attention span wasn't the best. But, after a couple of hours, she'd get excited for the exact same thing all over again. It was like she never learns. She didn't. She never learned. She knew that she would get sore from riding for too long, but it seemed to be in the back of her mind when she was jumping up and down. Then she remembered exactly how irritating a horse was. You couldn't sleep. You couldn't lay for a break. You couldn't let both hands off the reins (Or she couldn't for she'd fall). And you had to take care of the darn thing. So much work. Who would want to do that willingly? Not her, never her. All she wanted to do was sleep. A carriage would ave been a better idea. Of course, not very helpful when running away. The ride was fun at first. But it got boring, like everything else. She couldn't stay focused on anything. So she tried to focus on everyone else. The Prince was too smart, or full of hate, or just better than everyone else, to speak to anyone without sounding like he wanted to strangle them. The Priest was figured for having bad intentions... Again. Poor man. The thief was... who knows what he was doing. By this time, she had gotten bored. She didn't even bother with the new guy. He wasn't human. Alice held no hate to the races that were not humans, but that didn't mean she liked them either. They were... Eh... Alice rode with the utmost laziness. She had let go of the reins without noticing. She was falling asleep even though the road was bumpy and the horse provided nothing smoother. She could fall asleep anywhere. Just give her a chance. The day seemed to go on forever. It was horribly annoying but she was pleased. Nothing dangerous that she had to worry about.

Whining silently to herself, and groaning as the horse decided to stop. Could have given a warning, she almost fell off the beast. She heard a snicker. What a fello she'd gotten stuck with! A rude horse, no doubt. What fine choice she had... She watched as the Prince got off, teaching... something. At that point, Alice couldn't have cared less. She was a Mage. With a flick of her fingers she was on the ground, her saddle next to her, and her horse placed securely away. Why bother to do it herself when she could do that? She claimed her spot near a tree, furthest away from the campfire. The single backpack she had was thrown on the ground with nothing but herbs and other items she may need to use when in a tight situation... like rope. She had rope. If anyone needed rope, she was the girl... and the Prince. He had rope too... He gave her rope. But he scared her. Literally. A lot. The man seemed like he had just lifted the weight of the world that was placed on his shoulder and thrown it away after a day of riding, which seemed almost, aimlessly heading north. She flicked her hand and her bedroll came out of thin air, setting itself up. In the mean while, Alice was trying to reach the lowest branch of the tree she had chosen. When she got it, she pulled her self up. It involved quiet a bit of cursing and kicking her legs, but she refused to use magic. Nature was not to be messed with. She liked it the way it was. She scaled up the tree. It would be a lie if she told you she did it no time without breaking a sweat. There were a few scratches on her face when she made it to the top. All she could see from there was the belly of the longer tree's. No beautiful scenery or the top of the trees. "Aw," she whispered to herself. Yes, she spoke to herself, like most did. "What a waste of energy."

Her lips formed in a thin white line, Alice jumped down to the lower branches, slowly getting to the bottom. By then her frown had disappeared, replaced by a smile. With a "Ofgh" she was at the bottom. It seemed she had wasted quiet a lot of time as well as energy going up that tree. Everyone had gotten distracted... with... a raccoon? She couldn't tell from her position. Instead, she got herself a bowl of the food the Prince had prepared. She didn't realize how hungry she was before she smelt the aroma of the food. Nothing could distract her, not even the raccoon. She took her spot, farthest away from the group, but close enough to the fire that she still felt the warmth. She would sleep later. Alice blew in and gently slapped the round. The voices traveled from the group to her ears but still she choose not to go or even watch. Her stew was amazing. A wildling? She had already thought about what that could be. Her mind was racing in fantasies that may be true, but her worry also increased. What type of things would a wildling bring forth? What type of things would accompany her? Her fear getting the better of her, Alice swallowed up the last of her meal and retreated back to her resting area. What if she would get a disease from this 'wildling'? No, she couldn't risk that. How was she supposed to be the most famous Mage if she died before she made the king better... or tagged along with the party that was going to make the King better? It was simple, she wouldn't. She couldn't risk that. No, no. That's what she told herself at least. She wasn't a coward, just wanted to stay be recognized and alive. Besides, if they got hurt, she could always attack from her spot here. She was still contributing, just in her own way. That was just as good. Right? She thought so anyway. Alice pulled the clock around herself, tighter, suddenly feeling a chill run down her back. From behind her hood, she watched the group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley ate the stew in silence like most of the group around her. It was surprisingly good, Hayley guessed she could call it "Royally good". She looked around trying to see if anyone was going to start a conversation, Hayley wouldn't do it, she wasn't good at this.

Since everyone was busy eating or doing something silly like the monk, who was apparently experimenting with fire, Hayley stared at the night sky. Being a thief and all, the night was her friend. Hayley enjoyed the night and the shadows where she could hide from the world, everyone needs a break sometimes, some people just happen to need these more often than others. Hayley wondered about where this quest would take her and the amount of gold she would be paid. If it was really more gold than she could carry, Hayley thought of buying carts and slaves to carry it.

The girl was brought back to earth when something happened. One man, Feelo or something similar, got up and started pointing to a tent. Hayley was trying to put the pieces together as the prince, the fat pervert, the big woman and another one got up and started moving around, encircling the said tent. Hayley decided to get up to see what was going on. Before she could follow the group members who got up quickly, the tent fell and a woman, a naked woman, burst out of it. Only to crash into the prince, who didn't have a hard time restraining the invading woman.

Hayley got closer to watch but kept her distance, they had everything under control. She wasn't needed, or useful, in that situation. Looking at the woman Hayley was inclined to say she was some sort of shaman or forest dweller. Hayley had a laugh at the monk's words realizing it would be a comic situation if there wasn't an intruder at the camp. "Who is she?" She asked everyone withing hearing range, curious about the intruder.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The window of cooperation of his ragtag group of travellers was brief. It was only that moment of coexistence and working as a team that made the next eruption of talking take less of a toll on his temper. That banding of brothers- and sisters- was something he had previously been uncertain would ever happen. No matter how short, the harmony had been there, and it gave him a little bit of hope for the outcome of the quest at hand. He waited until the talking, that was almost always at once, had calmed before he addressed the questions.

The Prince pressed his lips together, a short nod of thanks was given to the cleric for omitting his title. Aside from the less than modest clothing the woman was slim and lean, it was apparent that she wasn’t accustomed to great feasts as of late. He parted his lips to agree with the older man who had just spoke out loud his own observations; “I think you’re right, Akdov.”

The priest offered up his meal, a kind gesture though an unneeded one: there was plent of a food having been less than a day on the road. Still, others were speaking. The bard, voice as soft and melodic as ever, politely asked the wild one’s name. Before anyone else could speak, the monk was yellow. It had surprised Rydas, though he wasn’t sure why, everything that woman in yellow did was odd. It only took a second to deduce what she was getting at, and a second more for a pale crimson to colour tanned cheeks.

“I assure you, lady, that it is not your assumptions.” He said, exasperated. As if a Prince, with formally deeply engrained in his upbringing, would need to be told to keep his relations of such adult nature in private. Still, it hadn’t stopped him from blushing. He only hope that such colouring could be blamed on the struggle with the intruder or heat of the fire (both of which had nothing whatsoever to do with his or her nether regions).

It was at that second that the huntress stepped forward, smelling the woman he held captive in his arms. He knew that she would smell the forest on her, just as he had. He shrugged at the question of ‘wildling’, he assumed as much but he would wait for answers from the woman himself. His tutors had lectured him on the dangers of assuming things and Rydas tried his best not to. It was her second suggestion that brought forth his voice again. Rope? “No, I don’t think she’ll attack us again now that she knows we’re armed and eleven-to-one against her.”

Attica, as she stated her name to be, was struggling again. It was feeble. The woman was clearly tired, and by the looks of her famished. He was speaking again, his tone was less harsh than the first. “I’m going to let you go. You can eat, if you wish, and then be on your way.”

They didn’t have time for thieves, their mission was much more important. They needed rest, and food, and then to be on their way at first light. Rydas loosened his grip on the woman until he completely let her go. But not without first giving her a warning. “If you try anything foolish rope will be the least of your worries. “

His gaze rose from her, looking out at the dark and dense forest that surrounded them. He saw nothing, heard nothing, but asked just to be sure. He knew the question would put some on alert just in case: “Are you alone?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Although Xan had his attention on the events in front of him with the mystery of the tent, his arm was still subconsciously spooning stew into his mouth. His attention only being turned away from the tent when the spoon hit the bottom of the empty bowl that was in his hand. He looked down at the empty bowl and spoon, his stomach still not quite satisfied with a single bowl. He looked up again at the tension filled gathering, perhaps this wasn't the right time to ask if he could have a second helping. So instead he took the matter into his own hands and snuck another helping of the stew into his bowl. His attention not back onto the tent that a few had gathered around to capture who or what ever it was that had intruded.

The first on the scene may have been the ranger, but the first to enter and confront the intruder was the warrior woman. His mind was focused on the tent once more, although the rest of his body was focused on feeding itself. Some sounds came from the tent, then the outer edge of the tent flung up as the tent pole had been kicked out from the inside. The fabric of the tent fluttering down onto those that were inside.

"This is good" Xan said to himself, although, he, himself wasn't quite sure if he was talking about the action that was going on in front of him, or of the second bowl of stew that was still being spooned into his mouth. He saw a slight gleam coming from the top of the cloth tent that had fallen, a knife had cut another opening. The intruder from the inside leapt out from within and started at a full run to escape. Her escape was cut short by the Prince himself standing in her way, although how she didn't see him he would never know, he only has one eye and he would've seen him. The Prince grabbed the woman with force, and she struggled to escape his grasp, which of course would be natural for anyone to do when caught.

What Xan wasn't expecting were the words the Monk shouted as she saw the scene. Bad timing as well, Xan was in mid swallow as the statement was shouted out, the combination of wanting to swallow and wanting to laugh didn't mix well. He pulled the spoon from his mouth, coughing and slightly choking, and at the same time choking out some laughter. The coughing managed to subside in a little moment, but his laughter continued on.

"I-I can't believe. You. You said that!!" he managed to shout out in between break outs of laughter, he tried to subdue his laughter by holding his breath. It didn't help, snorts, splurts and other strange sounds came from his closed lips as his tries to keep in his laughter failed him. He tried instead to calm himself with deep breaths, although a few giggle fits here and there, it manged to work to some extent. Tears had formed in the corners of his eyes, and his side hurt a bit from laughing too much. He wiped the tears from his eyes as he looked back on at the scene, his arm once again feeding him. This was quite the meal, it tasted good, and he got a bit of a show out of it as well, if things continued on like this it would be a great adventure.

As he listened on several other voices rang out with offerings of food and rope, it seems thing would start to calm down a bit once more. Slightly losing interest at the events he started to focus a bit more on his meal rather than the intruder. He saw that the Prince's grip on the woman was loosening, thing will probably calm down completely in a little while, unless some more thing felt like making their way out of the woods.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
It wasn't long before Nel's flawless perception of the situation collapsed before her. She instantly heard someone choking upon her words and turned around, her shield of hands still blocking the pretend scene, to find Xan simultaneously laughing and choking on his stew for some odd reason. The merchant also laughed as well but to the extreme of the thief's. What was so humorous? Had someone told a joke and she was deaf to its comedic genius? Maybe thieves always laugh uncontrollably; suddenly while eating. Nel knew oh so little about thieves but their punishment in Kiron was ten lashes with a whip.

The prince's words caught her attention, turning her head back, eyes still covered, peeking through the gaps of her fingers as he finished speaking to confirm. What was she supposed to think they were doing? She was naked. People don't eat naked, sleep naked, or run naked, with the exception of care-free children. Perhaps she wasn't all the way there to any normal being but to Nel she was as naked as the sun was bright, turning away even upon sight of the wildling, apparently named Attica. For a brief moment, she pondered what had even brought her to the camp in question, but even her thoughts of that matter were being interrupted by Xan. His words were easy to pick out from his laughter and it brought a wave of embarrassment over the monk.

How could she have possibly thought that was what they're doing? Was her mind really that tainted; her life of meditation and training for naught?
With this, it seemed so. Without an explanation to her fellow "adventurers", she stood up and starting to walk away from the fire, having reached a new level of shame. Unconsciously, she walked towards the direction where the petite mage had situated herself far from the situation, and sat on the grass, knees brought up to her chest, looking at her feet with sad green eyes. All the age-old wisdom that the Kula Monastery burrowed in her head seemed to dissipate like steam from water.

"The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile."

Those words suddenly made sense. Nel had thought long ago that she had conquered herself through her physical body but now she could see how wrong she was. The sudden depression was now replaced with a new sense of wonder that struck Nel, now folding her legs, and pondered this thought. Just the first day of traveling with this group and she was already a step closer to reaching a full understanding of the world. For once, the nagging thoughts that constantly reminded her that she didn't belong left her. Nel closed her eyes and a soft smile reappeared on her face as she heard silence fill her mind before opening her eyes once more.

About to stand up and go back, she caught sight of the tiny mage and curious to why she was sitting out here, the monk walked until she was near here.
"Why aren't you eating with the rest of them?" Nel asked, concerned dearly for her due to the miniscule size she sported.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Attica looked up at the Prince in surprise and suspicion as he voiced his intention to let her go. When he did loosen his grip, she tore away from him as soon as she could, stooping to the ground to pick up her knife in one fluid motion. But even with the familiar grip of the blade in her hand, she found herself encircled by the rag-tag group and she turned this way and that, trying to ascertain which would be the biggest threat should they change their minds and turn on her.

She wanted to refuse their food, spit a few choice insults at them and disappear back into the trees. She did not want charity; she had left all that behind long ago. And yet, there was no guarantee she’d find food again so quickly with her pursuers closing in on her tail. She needed something to eat; her stomach was gnawing dully at itself and the struggle with the man in the red cloak had left her feeling a little light-headed. Another long-distance run through the trees would be near-impossible.

“I-“ she began, in reply to the man’s guarded question. But she was interrupted by the rustling of grass near the tree-line and the grey fox shot out into the clearing, skidding to a halt near her feet. It looked up at her with urgency and let out a short bark before shivering at presence of the band of people standing around them and backing away in a manner that was remarkably reminiscent of Attica herself just moments ago.

“I was. Not any longer…” she growled. “Bandits razed my settlement two nights ago and they saw me escape. They’re still after me.”

She pointed to the north with the tip of another knife that had miraculously found its way into her other hand. Already she’d dropped into a half-crouch, the slender sinew of her legs and shoulders tightening in preparation for fight or flight. Across the camp there came the sound of a branch cracking and an arrow flew from the undergrowth, burying itself in the ground by the fire. A dozen figures melted out of the trees, faces smeared in black paint, in scaled leather armour hung with knots and blood red beads.

“And now they’re after you too!” Attica laughed brutally, sending a knife flying into the neck of the nearest attacker.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Peace interrupted yet again, Akdov was seriously doubting the capacity of the crew for failing to have detected first the savage and then her consequent pursuers… yet he needed to keep a clear mind on the subjects, bandits she called them and for all he knew they were housing a persecuted thief from the nearest guards

The prince! Get him to safety

The priest was quick to get his walking stick in hand and run towards Rydas, he pulled him down to the ground were the missiles were less likely to get him “get to safety we cant have them scoring a lucky shot on you, and don’t lose sight of the wildling”

The group was likely taken by surprise if he had been given some time he would have issued the monster to stalk from the darkness and Mirabella to lead the vanguard, but his trust in Deud was about to be tested, that he knew

Procuring one of the burned logs with his left hand and his thumbs up stick with the right one he rushed towards the attackers, hopefully the fire of the torch would make him a target to stand out

“We have got no Ill will towards you, if you will tell us your intent an-“ he was interrupted by a hatched thrown in his general direction, he ducked just in time… someone might have pulled his rags

Well I had to try, only means they are foes now

“Striking a defenseless old priest, a dry hell awaits you” Akdov got up, a second hatched was thrown at him and in an act fueled by the divine powers Akdov parried it in mid air in a blinding flash of light from his walking stick, of the axe remained nothing it had banished “Flee, surrender, parley or die clutching your arms fiends”

Two of them had realized that ranged attacks were simply not doing it for this mouthy old man, they didn’t seem impressed by his divine displays, one of them… a skinny and tall man whose flesh was covered in black paint drew in with a spear in his hand while the other a burly man with braids on his beards and hair the color of autumn leaves that brandished two axes in each hand was circulating around him.

Well they don’t look like guards

The spearman struck and Akdov parried as he threw the torch at his face, considering him disabled for now he turned to the axeman and began to dodge as best as he could his savage blows, he was running out of room as he kept taking steps back to dodge, then he grabbed the cup that hanged from his hip and in another moment of divine intervention threw the contents at the face of his attacker.
And then just when things looked to shape up a spear found him in the back, the priest left out a shout of pain, he looked at his attacker this one was a female… and then he knew, to drop the blood of a priest was damnation

“Judgment has come” he threw his walking stick and then horror on the woman`s face almost made Akdov regret what he had done… almost but not quite

The hand in the cane began to move as the fingers grew and became long like spiders legs and the trunk… it had become fleshy and elastic like a snake, in one motion the canesnake lunged at her face as its wrapped its tail around her and the claws began to tear the flesh off her face

Still with the spear on his back Akdov fell, the world turning dark around him

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon gripped the hilt of his dagger tightly as he slowly moved towards the front of the tent. The leather on the handle pushed against his cold hands. As he got closer to the tent he saw the warrior woman walk around the back. He knew it would be too dangerous for them to both go in, certainly not with her bulky sword waving around. Instead Feylon pushed his back up against the fabric of the tent, just beside the door in case the mysterious being ran out. Right in front of him he saw the female ranger with an arrow pointing straight at the door too.

Suddenly Feylon heard the tent pole buckle and the outer wall cam crashing down on him. His grip loosened and the dagger was lost beneath the sea of fabric. With a few squirms and a bit of flailing he managed to get free of the entanglement and find his dagger. The tent was a mess and knocked over various items around it. As Feylon turned towards the Prince his nose came alive with familiar scents. Aromas of the forest began to waft its way through his brain. Bark, sap and moss were all present in the mixture. This scantily clad intruder was certainly a woman of the wild. There was no doubt that she, like himself was a scavenger and one with the woods.

Although they had not had the chance to converse, and that she had tried to rob their camp Feylon knew that they had much in common. They both lived in harmony with the land on which they now walked. That was something Feylon respected and admired. However the proceedings that followed the discovery of the "wildling" did not interest him. He slowly walked back towards his bedroll. Then the bandits arrived. Without thinking he picked up his bow that he had left leaning against the tree and pulled three arrows from the quiver on the floor. Squeezing them in between his legs Feylon nocked the first arrow, pulled back the bow string and released. The arrow certainly hit one of the bandits as the silhouetted figure slumped to the ground. His second arrow was stopped by the trunk of a tree that luckily got in the way of a moving bandit.

Feylon was about to nock a third arrow before he saw the priest. A large spear protruded from his back with an ominous looking bandit running up behind him as the priest took down his attacker. As much as he disliked the priest he would not let the old man die so quickly, after all Feylon had not even wound him up yet. Without thinking Feylon threw the bow onto the floor and ran towards the bandit. Mid-sprint he unsheathed the two daggers and lunged at the bandit. Abruptly the bandit turned to wards Feylon and swept his legs from under him. As he crashed to the floor Feylon could see the dark haired bandit coming towards him. Struggling to find his daggers a blow struck his chest. The bandit was now on top of him swinging wildly into his abdomen, he then reached for a log of wood on the ground and swung it at the rangers head. Frantically Feylon plunged one of his daggers into the chest of the grubby man but not before the log came thundering into his skull with an almighty crack. Then everything was dark.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Bandits? Now? Xan had just eaten to nearly a full stomach and he would have to go into battle now? Plus his bowl of stew was still half full, if he were to fight now his meal would go cold by the time he returned to it. Still there was little choice in the matter for him, he took one last, large, spoon full into his mouth before putting the bowl down. He got to his feet, pushing himself up with a grunt, wiping his mouth a bit and looking around. The Priest had already been struck down with a spear to the back, although it seems he didn't go down alone. His cane had transformed itself into something, Xan wasn't quite sure what it was. Another on the assault was soon after the elderly man, but the ranger took it as his time to step in. Wielding two daggers no less, why he didn't shoot down the intruder with his bow and arrow Xan wasn't quite sure, although it seems the ranger had been taken down as well, but like the priest managed to take down his attacker all the same. Although the man that attacked the ranger was still on his feet, it seemed he would go down soon enough, but Xan didn't want to wait and see.

He ran off towards the half dead man with a dagger in his chest, Xan leapt up and gave a good, strong kick to the face of the still standing assailant. The kick was hard enough to push Xan back and give him enough momentum to do a flip in mid air before landing. At the same time a loud thud was heard as the other man fell over as well, he knew the man wouldn't get up again. Xan first tended to the Priest, a spear in his back, he wasn't quite sure whether he should remove it or not as the spear could be helping to keep the blood from spilling out everywhere. Although as it was it couldn't be so comfortable for the man, with a bit of an inner struggle with himself Xan decided to pull the spear from the man.

"I'll pull it out quick" Xan said to the Priest, his hands gripped on the handle of the spear, although he wasn't sure whether the man was conscious or not to hear his words. He took in a few breaths before his grip tightened and he pulled with full force to take out the spear as quickly as possible, throwing it off to the side when he had done so.

Next was the Ranger that had been hit over the head, there wasn't really much Xan could do for the man except to make sure that he was still alive and breathing, which he was, for now.

There were still assailants around him, not only was it not a good time for first aid, but Xan was clueless as to how to give it, so instead he decided to guard the two until someone that knew what they were doing was able to come and get them. The sound of leaves and twigs being stepped on was all around them, he paid special attention to the sounds that were coming from his blind left side, his hand slid behind him, covered by his body and cloak. Someone had walked out of the treeline, with a confident smile on his face, and a dagger in hand.

"A dagger, nice choice" Xan said, "I've got some too, but mine are a bit special" as he finished his sentence only a gleam of silver light could be seen as something shot from under his cloak, hitting the man that had boldly walked out into the open right in the chest. It was Xan's own dagger, except a chain was connected to it, which lead back to him and behind his cloak. With a tug the dagger pulled itself out and flew back towards Xan, his hand never allowing the chain to leave it. With a missing eye that was the only way he could be sure that he would catch his retracting dagger, if the chain were to leave his hand he wasn't sure when it would be the proper time to hold up his hand to catch it. As the dagger pulled back, he checked his blind side for any attackers, a good thing as another was coming at him full force. Another dagger left the left side of his cloak, striking the man down just as the first dagger he had thrown came into his hand. "Sorry, but I have two" he said, giving a cheeky smile.

His shoulders were starting to ache a bit already, the draw back of these weapons were the strain on the arms, and he was still only using the basics of the basic to attack. He couldn't use anything big or else his shoulders would give out completely. As his mind sat upon these thoughts another man managed to run out from the treeline again, Xan threw the dagger he held in his right hand, evidently this man had been watching his fight with the other two and dodged it.

"Oh, nice one" Xan said, he flicked his wrist and pulled back at an angle, the dagger instead of coming straight back, whipped downwards catching a lucky blow to the neck, cutting it open. The assailant going down, a hand upon his wounded neck. As Xan caught the dagger that returned to his hand a sharp pain shot through his shoulder, his left hand instinctively going and holding the shoulder in pain. These were still the basics, and yet his body was giving out on him already. Then again it wasn't much a surprise, he hadn't used these skills in quite some time, there was never truly a need for him to use them since he could easily out run anybody that would be chasing him. He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold out for, "Someone pick these two up!" he called, regaining some of his composure as his hand left his shoulder, "I'm close to my limit" he said out loud, as his daggers pointed outwards once again, ready for the next attack.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

The day had been a long one, his ephemeral friends had given him a direction to look, even a basic, if cryptic idea of whom he was looking for, spirits could often be sketchy on information in that way. A few days beforehand Geraint had first heard word of some quest in service of the king. Through further inquiry, using both normal and... supernatural channels, the old man had, he believed, a fair idea of whom he was looking for, as well as the purpose of their journey. Based on the information he had, Geraint had to find them.

So he'd set out. Having started from more then a fair distance away he hadn't even arrived in the capitol till after the group was gone. Taking only brief time to rest, the old Shaman set out again, listening to his guides, following their leads, and, when he narrowed in on what he hoped was their trail, even using the physical evidence left behind. Horse tracks here, a scuffed tree there.

Geraint knew he needed to speed up his pace though, now he knew his quarry had horses, he'd need some aid of his own to travel, and on top of that, tracking in the usual manner simply wouldn't do. It would take too much time, something he was already disadvantaged against with their superior mode of travel. However, the old man's ever-faithful guides were certain in their quest, their route, and simply put, tracked more quickly and directly then he could. "The shortest distance between two points is always a straight line." so it's said, and it proved true in this case. Where the horses and such took a winding path this way, or walked around a hill that way; Geraint's spirits told him where to go, and so, he could take the more direct route, cutting through the countryside in order to make up lost time, and pushing himself to move faster in the process.

As night began to fall, the Old Beard started looking for someplace to make his camp. But even as he did, his guides whispered to him and urged him onward. At first he planned to ignore them but they seemed oddly insistent, and so he'd pressed on into the night.

Now, Geraint could honestly say he was glad he'd listened, up ahead could be heard the sounds of battle, unmistakeable to the trained ear, and as he picked up the pace, jogging loudly, heedless of the sound, through the brush, shrubs and grass, the light of what he could only assume was a campfire could be seen ahead. Flickering to and fro, shadows cast a macabre dance on the trees, camping supplies and battling foes. His experienced eyes surveyed the scene quickly, ascertaining which group was the one he sought. The diversity of the defenders made that easy enough, and Geraint could smell a bandit a mile away. No really, they had a terrible tendency to reeeak.

Still some distance away, the Shaman made that very distance an advantage, and sprinted his way into a full charge. With his Caber still held over one shoulder, and with a mighty roar to announce his presence, the powerfully built Mystic summoned aid from the souls residing in his weapon of choice, and rammed, Caber and shoulder first, right into the back of one of the brigands. Previously the poor sod had been training a bow on the cloaked figure now guarding two of his downed comrades. The afore-mentioned weapon was sent sailing off into the darkness however, in a manner not dissimilar to that of the weapon's wielder. The bandit took unwanted flight directly over the campfire and into a second attacker, sending the two of them crashing to the ground at the feet of one of the defenders. The first, the archer Geraint had sent sailing, was definitely down for the count, the second's condition was less certain, but Geraint didn't take the time to ponder it, as another brigand charged him from the side, swinging a longsword for the old Shaman's skull. A shift of the Caber, and the steel sunk into living wood instead of living flesh.

The old man grinned at his assailant across the large tree stump. "Care to try again boy?" Came Geraint's mocking words.

Despite the situation, Geraint had confidence the group he sought would see victory, and then he could set about explaining his purpose and joining them on their quest. The only thing he hadn't really considered was that in the dim lighting, he himself didn't stand out all that much from the very Bandits they all fought...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

The girl struggled a little again, but obviously her strength was failing her. The Prince had held her in an iron grip where the attempt to get away would be to no avail.
Rydas shook his head at her mention of rope. Apparently he had enough trust in this wildling to let her go without, and then again, she was surrounded by their rag tag group. Whatever she did, she would be caught. If not, Nari would let loose an arrow, and this time she wouldn't miss. Attica, as she was called, didn't do anything though. She must be clever enough to see the futility of trying to escape. Nari thought, smirking a little. What would happen now? Would she become an addition to their group? Would they feed her and send her on her way again? The ranger didn't even manage to think another thought, because the wildling had told them she was being followed. That she was. From everywhere around them, the bandits came out of the trees. Narenia turned in a circle, trying to figure out how many they were. She narrowed her eyes and then nocked an arrow, this time sending it into the neck of one of the bandits.

Feylon, the other ranger, was also using his bow and arrow although he switched them when he was on the ground, fighting an enemy. The only thing Nari managed to catch of the scene was, that he managed to kill his assailant, but in turn the assailant managed to knock him out. The eyebrow raised, her beautiful face giving off an expression of confusion. The Priest was lying next to him, Xan the Thief pulling a spear out of his back. Two already? She thought, pulling herself back to the battle at hand. She let loose another arrow and made it pierce the chest of an enemy. Nari had to make sure that every arrow counted. Due to the fact that they were surrounded, plus two of their men had fallen wounded already, bandits occasionally slipped through. One of them grabbed her from behind and choked her. Nari struggled against the strength of the man who brought a knife around to her throat, and her eyes widened when she saw the blade. Frantically she tried to escape him, and managed to hit him in the jaw with her armored shoulder. The bandit stumbled back and without a moments pause, she stabbed him in the heart with her short sword. Footsteps behind her. Nari flung around and pointed the arrow at the bandit that had come for her. A woman. A woman! She slowed down to a halt, but Nari released the arrow anyway. Her face was stern and serious. She didn't feel any remorse for the kill. It might have been caused by the heat of the battle or the fury of her recent close encounter. Either way, Narenia Halen didn't feel bad. They were her enemy.

As she turned to continue fighting, she felt a sharp pain go through the leather and into her lower stomach. A scream of pain escaped as she fell to her knees. Nari's hands wrapped around the arrow and she grimaced in pain. You can't fail now. Her mind told her. She felt another kick of adrenaline and mustered all her strength, and broke the arrow off so only a little bit was sticking out. It was bleeding quite a bit though. Another arrow was sent into the brain of a bandit, their numbers seeming to thin out. That was the worst part of this fight, it was dark and they could see how many enemies there were. Her train of thought was stopped short by a deafening shout. Somewhere behind her a man had come into their clearing and started fighting. But he was fighting the bandits. Nari nocked another arrow, grimacing again because of the arrow sticking out of her lower stomach. She aimed it at the man for a moment, then caught his eyes. They weren't very far apart, and all Nari did when she saw he didn't do their group any harm, she nodded as she breathed heavily. When she was a child, Nari had only heard tales of his kind. As far as she could tell, he was a Shaman. Her eyes widened for a moment before she remembered that they were in the midst of battle. Her stomach started aching badly, but she wouldn't give in. Nari made her way towards the two fallen of her comrades, reaching Xan with heavy breath. "If you can protect me for a while, I'll do my best to treat them." She told the Thief. Her eyes flew up at the Prince. As far as she remembered, the Priest had tackled him to the ground. The ranger woman half wanted to tell him to get to cover, but what was he here for if he had to hide from every battle? "Be careful." She said hastily and then returned her gaze to the two wounded in front of her. The one in need of most critical help was the Priest. Regardless of whether Nari disliked him, she had to help him. They were brothers in arms now. Or well, she was technically a sister. With great haste, Nari unwrapped her cloak from her body and put it over the Priest. She swiped away tehe fabric to get a look at the wound in his back. Her hands rapidly found the healing herbs and water in her belt. First she cleaned the blood away from the wound, and then started adding the healing herbs. The wound was so great that it made her doubt whether it would be enough. As an enemy closed in, Nari's hands found her bow and she loosed another arrow into an enemy. The amount of projectiles coming towards their group had lessened. Apparently most of their archers had been dealt with. It was still unsure though. "Don't let them in here. The Priest has to lay still." She shouted, hoping both Xan and the Prince would hear. Or anyone around her actually. The Shaman. She stopped instantly and turned her head in search of the big man, however elderly he seemed. "Shaman!" Narenia roared, her eyes meeting with his through the battle. "If you know healing then please help me! I have but needle and thread!"

As she waited for him, her worries started growing. Wondering if anyone else had fallen yet. She feared not for Mirabella. Nari feared for Nel the most. The monk could probably fight, but she seemed so young and naive. Quickly, the ranger reminded herself not to judge. Maybe she had the highest body count?
Waiting for the Shaman's reply and trying to keep up the battle, Nari loosed one arrow after the next, guarding the two fallen.
Mira, Acacia, Nel, Akdov, Hallister, Feylon, the Prince, Alice, Haley, the Mage. Nari reminded herself the core names of their group, should any of them be missing after the battle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice wasn't one to notice anything when she was cold. Being cold was like being blind. All she wanted to do was curl up in a blanket and sleep the days away. The cold would hit her at the most unusual times, even in the middle of summer, and she would be throwing a blanket around herself. People mostly that that was odd since she almost never felt cold in the winter. It wasn't as though she didn't feel the cold, it was just that when she did, she felt it all at once, but when she didn't feel it, it just wasn't there. She could go out in the winter like any other day. Of course, she would end up sick if she did that. She couldn't risk getting sick so she never went out. Always stayed in, or in a warm place, even in the Guild. So when Nel came trotting towards her, she heard nothing, noticed nothing, and only was trying to warm up. It was when she spoke that her attention zipped to the yellow robed monk. Yet she only heard half of what the girl had to say. Eating with the rest of them... Alice was no fool. She could guess the other half of the sentence. But she was a little more distracted with the robes. How did she miss a girl in yellow robes that shone in Alice's eyes? What a powerful thing imagination was. At first Alice stayed quiet, but she was due for a response. "Well," she began, liking the idea of letting her mouth shoot off again, "I already ate." Alice moved away so the girl could see her empty bowl that she meant to put away but had forgotten about. With a flick, the bowl went flying back to the other empty bowls. It was already squeaky clean when it got back. Magic, too, was a powerful thing. She pulled the cloak tighter around herself, but smiled at the monk. "Besides, I'm not fond of that wildling running around in such... clothing. I don't want to go near it, so going near the fire is forbidden." If they could be called clothing. "She must have brought something with her. I wonder what it is."

A shiver ran down her back. And then it started. A large brute jumped into the open, more came along. One that was just far too close for her liking. Instead of putting on a brave front, instead of thinking up strategies that the others were probably thinking of, Alice went numb. Her feet felt like they were rooted to the ground and her body felt like ice that was too heavy to move. What was this? What had the wildling brought with her? But this is what she had signed up for when she came to the meeting. She knew that. But, she couldn’t fight these things. Not her. She was Alice. She didn't fight. She didn't want to fight. She never had to fight. But he was so close. She was in the open sitting next to the monk with amazingly different clothing. The monk would be spotted, along with her for sure. It wasn't like they wouldn't. Before she saw it, Alice heard it. A man falling, but Alice didn't dare look. Her gaze was fixed on the man that stood in front of her. Tears welled in her eyes. What was she doing? A child should not have come to do an adults job. Sheer terror and horror of what she had signed up for left her immobilized. She was not even breathing evenly for one of her spells to take place. A single tear rolled down her cheek. One of the men, grabbed at the two. It came in slow motion. He reached, extended his arm for one of them. But which one? The evil part of her mind wished it was Nel. Not Alice, please not her. But she was wrong. It was her. The man grabbed hold of her throat, pinning her to the ground and Alice could do nothing. She was going to die. She was going to die. The air slowly escaped her lunges and none would come back in. All hope seemed to be lost, but this was Alice. The one thing she was more scared of than a fight was death. She had to do more than just cry. But she couldn't. Try as she might she couldn't convince herself. Not until the pain reached the tips of her entire body. It was then, with only one shaking hand, Alice pushed the man. The smell of fire wood sprouted out of her but got mixed with the original smell to make it nothing. A display of purple lights flashed. Her own person signature, along with her fire wood smell. The man slammed into a tree, and Alice got up. Her feet, still numb with fear, betrayed her, sending her falling to the ground before she could even get up.

Alice heard herself cry softly to herself, but she had to get away. This group had a marvelous fate ahead of it, but she herself, her fate held only death if she carried on in this path. That's what she thought at least. All thought about anyone else left her for this was a battle Alice was not prepared for. She slammed her hands on the ground, and her body soon faded from view. She was there, but or anyone else, she was not. She had simply disappeared. Instead, she went on her knees, and crawled to the nearest safe looking bush. There she sat. The man that had gone for her, had awoken again, and lost sight of her. Instead of dwelling on the past, he headed for someone else. Alice didn't care. As long as it wasn't her. No, she was a coward, no matter how hard she didn't want to believe it. It was the truth. She was foolish for going on a quest like this, for dreaming those thought. Her teacher had always been right. She was a worthless piece of junk. Who cares about her right? Right. No one id but the three men she had left behind. That was her mistake. No, she wasn't going to prove herself wrong and fight. She wasn't going to stop being a coward and get up. No. She pulled her hood over her head and curled the cloak around her body tightly. She was too stupid for something this big. No, she couldn't do this. She covered her ears and shut her eyes. This was all a lie. That's what she'd say at least. It was all a lie. No one could see her, an invisibility spell was cast and no one did. Sometimes people would come close enough to feel the heat of her body that radiated, but that was all. No one should have been able to see her. Tears escaped, gracing her cheeks with shame and terror at the same time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched as the prince set the half-naked woman free and questioned her, listening carefully to her answers. Only to wish she hadn't.

The woman pointed into the darkness, from where a bunch of armed brutes and whistling arrows appeared. The invading woman, in a lightning quick movement threw a dagger on the face of one of the assailants as they started to run and a messy fight started. Another lot of attackers came from a different direction, some falling to the ground before being able to strike, presumably due to an archer Hayley wasn't going to look around for. Hayley was not much of a fighter and found herself in trouble when a towering man, not that it takes a lot to be bigger than Hayley, came running at her. Her assailant had a sword, longer than Hayley's arm, in comparison, the girl had daggers as big as the man's hands. Hayley did the only thing she could think of in a situation like this. She threw her dagger at the charging man, it stuck to his chest but apparently didn't bother him that much as the attacker simply continued running. Hayley now had one dagger against a maniacal, screaming brute who didn't seem to feel any pain. The girl started taking some steps back, trying to buy her time to think. Hayley was nearly in reach of his sword when she finally jumped to her left, dodging the charging man, who stopped and turned around to face her and charged again. This time there was much less space and time. Hayley turned back and run away, jumping over a corpse face down on the dirt. She looked back, ready to feel a sword coming through her body only to see the brute trip over and impale himself with his own sword.

Hayley ran to his body and turned the man over so she could retrieve her dagger, it had been very hard to steal those. "Keep the change, you filthy animal." Hayley muttered as she scanned her surroundings for any threats. Some members of the group were already down. Hayley had no idea on their condition, and decided she didn't care much since the only one she recognized was the filthy priest mass, with a spear stuck on his back. "Such a shame it's not my spear." The girl thought, heartless and hateful, it was, but that's Hayley to a person she dislikes. A little disappointed when she saw two people come to the priest's help, Hayley decided her best course of action would be run around, dodge any attackers and leave them to the fighters, and maybe look for the prince, he was big and presumably a skilled swordsman, it would be safer around him.

Her plan was interrupted when a big man carrying a really big log charged into the fight, much to Hayley's surprise, hitting their attackers. Decided not to stay too close to this new, unknown ally, Hayley ran to the other side, where an archer could be seen.

Hiding behind the trees the girl managed to fade into the darkness and sneak up on the man, too busy firing his arrows to notice a girl casually slitting his throat. Hayley checked the man's pockets for anything of use, it was something stronger than her, this is the way she lives. Not paying attention to the man's seizure as his blood leaked through his throat. Hayley took a well-made knife and a thin, metallic chain before wiping her hands clean from the blood on his back and walking away leaving the items she couldn't find of any use, like his bow, Hayley had no clue on how to shoot that thing.

Now hidden behind a tree Hayley watched the fight, looking for any prey unaware of her presence, she could help the group after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a little laugh at Nelinia's comment, and was quickly joined by Xan. She was very interested in this new woman, this wildling. She walked back to where she had eaten before to pick up her lute, now that the Prince decided that this Attica was no threat. However she stopped short when Attica told them she was being followed. Seconds seemed like hours as Acacia stood and looked around, seeing bandits dressed in all black seem to sprout all around them. An arrow landed near Acacia's foot and she sprung back.

Quickly, one after another fell, as Akdov, talking as usual, pulled the Prince to the ground and took on some bandits. Unfortunately, he was soon hit with a spear, though his staff continued attacking, and he collapsed. He was soon aided by the male ranger. Acacia noted this before diving into a roll behind one of the tents, dodging yet another arrow. She came up into a crouch and soon had a dagger in each hand, her back against the rough canvass of the tent.

She cautiously peeked over the tent, noting several of the others fighting, but no longer seeing the male ranger in the dark outside of the campfire's reach. He seemed to have been replaced by Xan. Acacia could recognize that scruffy form anywhere. As her gaze continued, she saw one of the bandits had also noticed her. She quickly ducked and edged around the tent as he rushed to where she had been. She stopped by the front corner of the tent and dashed away, passing by the fire as he spotted her again with a shout.

Her searching eyes found Alice, pinned to the ground by another of the big men, who soon was flying through the air and hitting hard against a tree. Acacia noted Alice's disappearing with relief. Now, hopefully, she would not be hurt. She realized she should be worrying about herself as the man ran after her with a large sword, quickly gaining. As soon as she left the light of the fire, she dropped to a crouch with one leg sticking straight out. The man ran on, not sure where she was and went flying as he tripped over her leg. He hit hard against a tree head first and didn't make a move to get up. Acacia saw another bandit coming up behind Nelinia, whose back was toward both Acacia and the short bandit. With a sweep of her arm, a knife lodged deeply into the man's back and attracted his, no, her attention, Acacia noted with a grimace. The woman bandit hefted her ax to her shoulder and charged.

Acacia threw another of her knives as the woman dodged. The knife sliced through the woman's left shoulder as she gave a shout and swung sloppily. Acacia doged the blow, another knife in both of her hands. Only eight left, she thought, Can't throw them all. However, she threw another knife that hit the side of the woman's throat. The woman gave another swing, unexpectedly harder this time, that Acacia almost dodged, the edge of the ax grazing her forhead. Acacia stumbled back a couple steps, hitting a tree and collpsing to her knees, her hand on the shallow cut over her left eyebrow. The bandit let her ax fall to the ground as she roughly jerked the knife from her neck, causing the blood to flow almost violently. A confused look crossed her eyes as she stared at the knife like a snake, her other hand on her throat. She took two wobbly steps and fell to the ground.

Acacia sat still as she could under the tree, now a bit away from where the camp, and most of the battle, was. She slowly brought her hand down from her head and suppressed a shriek when it came away bloody. She quickly slapped it back to her head causing a grimace. She watched, hoping the battle would soon end as she tried unsuccessfully to not hyperventilate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
The flying bowl was in Nel's line of sight the entire time, mesmerized by the show of magic, until the little companion gave her opinion of the wildling which the the monk agreed wholeheartedly. She wasn't as fond for the lack of clothing either; though the petite mage's comment about the sudden stranger bringing something with her was confusing to understand.

All of a sudden, people started to appear, with weapons drawn heading towards them. As innocent to the world that Nel seemed; even she knew this was an attack. The monk was due to be a yellow-clothed guard in Kiron and had even gone out to the world twice, for the sake of collecting money, in an event that often emphasized the abilities of the monastery. However...she was 8 and 15 at the time. She didn't combat bandits neither but their legal equivalent. Shaking thoughts of the past from her mind, Nel jumped up to her feet as people started to surround her, and was instantly caught from behind. The man held one of the toughest holds in history: the Master Lock hold. The monk panicked, flailing her arms and kicking her legs up to get leverage, in the attempt to escape, but the hands pushing down her neck forced her jump useless. The grip was tightening, neck feels as if it's about to let loose and fall, constricting the bones.

With a sudden rush of adrenaline, Nel raised her arms, and held the head of the aggressor behind her, pushing his head down while pushing her own head up. The man's grip instantly loosened and broke, Nel's skull shot up and striked the bandit's jawline, a sickening crack made audible before he fell backwards. Nel's emerald eyes befall her petite companion, seemingly becoming transparent, until she disappeared into nothingness. Her surprise didn't just befall her but for the bandits that had her sights upon her, short-lived as it was, now shifting their target to the bright-yellow clothed figure.

It was easy to say she was the primary target for the group of four, having been so identifiable, and each surrounded her with an array of weapons. The monk took her position, bending her legs ever so slightly, an open palm by her chest and another outstretched, continuously turning left and right to wait for a strike. Her heart was pounding, as if trying to escape as her paranoid eyes twisted from each and every threat, and she silently disciplined herself for leaving the quarterstaff at the fire. The double-edged axe flashed from the corner of her eye and the monk's body dropped to the ground like a rock and suddenly dashed with an intensive ferocity towards the brute rogue. In her fast run, she jumped quickly, left foot landing on the man's thigh, pushed herself off once more, now with the balls of her right foot on his leather breastplate. With her left leg parallel to his torso, she launched herself up from her right foot, and mercilessly kneed his jaw, both bodies sent flying backwards.

Both hit the ground at the same time, rogue knocked unconscious while Nel landed on her feet to face the three remaining enemies, a sword suddenly shooting out of the group of enemies. Nel sidestepped out of the way, the sword slicing through her skin, leaving behind a red cut on her right arm and a painful burning sensation. Wincing at the damage for a mere moment, she quickly regained her balance, and sent an uppercut flying through the gap in the armor, where the end of the bicep lay. The second attacker howled in pain, sword released from his group, and fell to the ground in pure agony.
The last two attacker's co-ordinated their efforts, one slashing with dual hatchets, the other stabbing and slashing with daggers. A hatchet flew towards the monk's ribs but Nel closed in towards the attacker, readying a punch, until a knife suddenly appeared! The knife merely grazed Nel's cheek as she pulled her head out of the way, launching a kick to the side of the attacker, hitting a collection of ribs and a screech of pain that belonged to a woman informed Nel that her hit was successful. The hatchet man, realizing his opportunity to strike, swung back the free hatchet, but was sent flying by the same lethal kick.

The monk looked at the ground, the four bodies that lay there, and felt remorse for each and everyone with them, sincerely hoping none were dead. Her worries however were replaced with ones of the petite mage, who suddenly disappeared out of thin air, and ones for the other adventurers who were still fighting the rest of the rogues at the fire. Her heart sank, about to call for the little mage, if it wasn't for the fact that she didn't what her name was. She struggled to remember some sort of name but it was impossible. Maybe she wanted to be missing. Maybe she was hiding! A poor little girl like her...yes, she had to be hiding! It's what Nel told herself as she sprinted back towards the fire; where she needed to support the others.

She immediately found her quarterstaff amongst the ground and quickly grabbed it with one free hand. Nel was engrossed within the zen of combat, unable to take notice of the injured priest (not like she would have helped him though) or the unconscious rogue. The monk only made out brief figures of companions as she struck down one of the rogues with a series of quick lunges. The shadow of a giant seemed to be upon her and she instinctively dropped the quarterstaff to free her hands. As Nel reared her fist back, her eyes flashed towards the man's center, his solar plexus, completely unaware of the fact that he was an ally in disguise, and let the strike fly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
It took Mirabella but a moment to release her self from the confines of the collapsed tent and though she should probably be angry at the wildling’s reaction, she actually felt quite sorry for her. The woman’s actions had been one of a scarred animal, notably so, and even as the leather-clad figure struggled in vain against the Prince’s grip, Mira could only feel pity.

Then, a myriad of reactions from the gathered members of the group left her with other emotions. Amusement at Nelinia’s oh so naïve outburst, a swift grin at the Prince’s response, skepticism at the newly introduced Attica and…

And that was when bandits began to pour out of the surrounding woods.

Everything happened quickly after that as her party clashed against the invaders. Mira had no time to babysit or keep track of the others, praying silently that the other members of the party would see to such thing as she did what she did best.

Fight.

Throwing knives flew passed her as she tore across the small clearing, sword still in hand from the inspection of the tent and she slid towards the pile that held her packs so that she could snatch up her shield. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the Priest fall with the shaft of a spear in his back and within seconds she had slipped her arm through the leather straps upon the back of her wooden shield. Standing, her gaze swept across the scene to pick out where she might be needed.

Already, there were several people injured and the warrior saw, with great relief that her companions were already tearing through the bandits easily. Bodies littered the ground and she was thankful that none were those that she recognized as she made her way towards the bulk of the group. An arrow flew into the neck of one of the men running towards her and she took the opportunity to run forward, full speed, with her shield held in front of her. At the last second, she extended her shield arm out, bashing it into the already wounded bandit and sending him reeling backwards. Once upon the ground, she drove the tip of her blade into his belly and leaned into it for leverage, driving the sword deep into his flesh.

With a practiced yank she released her weapon from his musculature and looked elsewhere. Another bandit was circling behind an apparently wounded Bard girl and Mira’s protective instinct carried her towards the man even as he raised his mace towards the bloodied Acacia. Leaping to cover more ground in less time, Mirabella crossed her blade viciously through the air so that the finely honed blade slashed across the man’s back to draw his attention towards her instead of the seated bard.

“Pick on someone your own size,” she growled and the man spun around, blocking her next swing easily with the hard steel handle of his mace before twirling it once to throw off her sword. Yet, he had obviously been trained poorly because the movement left him wide open for another slicing motion, this time catching him right across his midsection. The man stumbled back in surprise and the Triansui kicked out with one of her feet, landing it on his already bleeding stomach which caused the figure to crumple over in pain.

“That’s better. Now, die for me.” Her voice was cold and harsh, a surprising change from her normal demeanor as she drove her blade down through a chink in the bandit’s poorly crafted armor between his neck and clavicle. The crunch of bone was barely detected through the already chaotic noise of the dying battle and she planted her foot on his chest, kicking him back once more to push the bandit off of her blade so he could bleed out.

The Triansui stared at him for but a moment, making sure that he wouldn’t be getting back up any time soon before she turned to Acacia and knelt down beside her. The warrior’s eyes were now soft once more, though her face was now as bloodied as the bard’s though the wounds were not her own, thus far.

“Do you need assistance standing?” She asked, moving the shield onto her back so that she had a free hand which she used to inspect the other woman’s wound. “Scalp wounds always bleed the worst but it looks as if you’ll be quite all right.” A smile followed her words as she reached into the pouch on her hip and dug out a strip of muslin and thrust it towards Acacia as her gaze lifted to search for their party members.

“Let’s go find the others and see if they need any help. The battle appears to be dying down." A quick smile flashed across her lips as she stood up, looking down at the bard girl while extending her free hand should she need the assistance to stand. "I just realized. I saved a damsel in distress. Shall you sing songs of me now, bard girl?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

The others seemed to have everything under control, so Callavan kept on enjoying his stew while he watched the proceedings. It was a wonder that one woman could cause such a ruckus. An amusing ruckus admittedly. He even had himself a chuckle at the monk's outburst. But he lost interest as they went on with talks of what to with her.

Sadly, his boredom had to be postponed due to some more surprise visitors. He grunted a curse under his breath, setting his stew by the fire with the dim hopes that he'd be able to finish it at some point. He sprung to his feet, the soreness from riding having disappeared with all the excitement. Everyone else had already started fighting. He took a moment to look around and see where he was needed most. Having to fight with a group was frustrating after spending so much time on his own. Normally he'd simply hide and pick enemies off slowly with tricks and traps, but that wouldn't work with so many people running around killing each other. Well, it wouldn't work with him trying to keep some of them alive anyways.

A sound of movement behind him caught his attention. With hand held out, he spun around to meet his assailant, a small lad with his sword held ready to swing. Before he was within arm's reach flames engulfed him. He fell to the ground screaming and writhing in pain. With a grimace, Van pulled a knife from his belt and slit the boy's throat. Fire was a poor way to die.

The priest had fallen while Van was busy. But one of the rangers rushed to his aid before Van could. Another look around and he saw that the wee mage and the monk were outnumbered. As soon he started toward them the bandits started falling. Then the mage disappeared and the monk was running off to fight someone else. This was all very frustrating to Van, who felt entirely useless as he spun around in circles trying to find someone to help. The fact that there was now an old man beating bandits with a log only made it worse.

He looked towards the priest again. The ranger was down and now the other one was helping him while the thief covered them. He seemed to be at his limit though. Which meant Van finally had something to do. He rushed over to them, rifling blindly through his satchel as he went. He pulled out a handful of small scrolls, each tied with a colored string. Keeping one with a pink string, he stuffed the rest back into the bag.

Once he was near the others he poured magic into the scroll and a clear pink bubble enveloped the group. ”It'll stop the arrows, but it won't keep them out,” he yelled. As if to demonstrate for them, a bandit fired an arrow at them. As soon it hit the barrier it slowed before tumbling to Van's feet. He'd make the bubble impenetrable if he could, but he wouldn't be able to keep it up very long if he did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
A sound from behind him caught Xan's attention for a moment. He turned to look behind him for a moment, noticing two figures fighting it out, who they were he couldn't really make out, but if they were fighting each other he knew that one was friend, and the other foe. He would just have to leave his back to them, and focus on those still hidden in front. The aches in his shoulders stabbed at him, but he knew so long as there were those attacking that he could not stop. At least not until the two that were downed were properly treated and taken to a safer area to rest. With every heartbeat he could feel the pain pump through his shoulders as well, he wasn't quite sure how many more times he could attack before both arms gave out completely. He made a mental note that he would have to re-train himself somewhere, sometime, along the journey.

His attention was drawn away once more, this time by the female ranger, Narenia, who had come to aid those that were down. Although it looked as if she would need some aid herself as well. Although it was dark, the fire light reflecting off the blood that had soaked her midsection made it apparent that she was injured herself. He couldn't do anything except nod his head to acknowledge her words. Although the rain of arrows had lessened there were still few coming, Xan spun the chained dagger and had it act as a shield at the projectiles. So long there wasn't an army shooting all their arrows at once he should be able to deflect them without much problems. The real problem was that now the bandits were using ranged weapons from the shadows. He could possibly go and find them, but that would leave Narenia and the downed vulnerable, for now he couldn't do much except to guard them from the incoming arrows.

Xan's dagger and chain only stopped when something else had appeared around them, a strange pink membrane of sorts, he wasn't quite sure what it was. Until he heard a voice close by, he turned to find the mage now joining them, apparently the bubble was something of his. It was something well needed, a guard against the flying projectiles, this was just the calm that Xan needed. He relaxed himself, his daggers now hanging by his fingertips. He closed his eyes and breathed in deep, letting out the air slowly. He slowly rotated each shoulder, a slight popping sound coming from them as he did, he did the same with his neck. His breathing still in a slow manner, long breaths in, and slow breaths out. It wouldn't stop the pain, but it could fool his body into thinking there was less damage than there really was. It would have quite the after affect of all the pain that had built up and the body ignored hitting him at once, but it had to be done.

"I leave them in your care" Xan said to the mage as he ran out into the trees where he last saw the arrows come from. It was dark, the eye really couldn't see much within the trees, and it was perfect for the ranged attackers. On the other hand, it was quite good for him as well, his mid-range weapons meant he didn't have to get to close and risk being spotted. Although his eye was nearly blinded by the darkness as well, all he had to do was wait and listen for the creaking of the bow as an arrow was pulled back on it. Then find it in the moment that a slight glint flashed showing the tip of the arrow, it was difficult, but not impossible. The first one he heard was quite close, only about an arms length away from him, and thus clearly visible as well. Instead of hurting his shoulders more by throwing the daggers, he simply tossed the chain around the assailant as he prepared another arrow and pulled him in close and directly into the daggers before dropping him.

Another sound, this time it was the sound of an arrow being shot, he was slightly worried, but was also confident that the Mage's barrier would hold strong. He crept towards the general direction he heard the sound coming from, and stopped to listen once more. His eye opened wide and focused, until the heard the creak that signaled the bow string being pulled, and he found his moments glint of silver and light. With it he threw his dagger, the scream of pain made it apparent that he had hit his mark, whether it was a death blow or not he didn't know, but it should stop that archer for not. He listened in once more, it was silent, were there only those two? Possibly, but instead of going back out into the light, he sat and waited in the shadows. Keeping his eye on his companions that he had left, to watch and see if anymore arrows were to be launched from a different direction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Word had traveled to Thoav, and to Lances ears of the quest to save the king. Without a second thought he was packed and leaving Thoav by ship, despite the wishes of his brothers and sisters at the church. Though they saved him a life of thievery and mischief, he remained a bold spirit. He would remain loyal to his god, Pelor, but that would not mean forgetting the loyalty he had to the king. So with a few fresh caught fish, herb, bread, and a steed he set sail on a ship headed to the harbor near Paetax. He took a look back at his majestic city as the ship pulled off, giving a wave and a smile to those who came to send him off. The priest, and a few of the orphans in their care.

It was on this voyage that he would hear tale of the prince and his dealings. "Oh yes." He sat at a round table, the smaller items on it swayed very lightly back and forth with the motion of the ships hull. He was joined by a few of the crew and a merchant traveling to Paetax. "What I hear is that the prince himself is leading a band of adventurers to save our beloved king. My brother in Paetax sent me this a night ago"

The merchant revealed a parchment which detailed the call for adventurers to a place called "The Black Vagabond". Promising much wealth and renown.

"This up your alley aye?" The merchant turned in Lance's direction. "Thought you church types were against such promises" He would follow this remark with a heavy drunken laugh, coughing in between chuckles.

Lance gave a sincere smile to the merchant after gazing down at the piece of paper, "Hm. This is the first I have laid eyes on this paper sir. But your news brings my heart great joy. For indeed I shall be joining the prince on his quest. But it is not riches or glory that I seek. As we set off, I looked back at a beautiful city, with smiling faces, that is what I fight for. That such peace will remain. That I will be able to wake everyday to a shining sun, a sign from the gods that all is as should be. And if that sun should ever fade, I will do anything to return it's light. No matter what amount of gold you promise me." As he finished this he patted the merchant on the back and stood up. Holding onto the parchment. From the distance as he walked he could hear the merchant speak, Yeah... well... I wouldn't mind a butt load of money in me pockets! followed once again by his bellowing chuckle-coughs that brought a smirk to Lance's face.
-------------------------------------------

Lance walked his horse, Artemis, down the wooden ramp, to the dock. He placed the saddle upon it's back as well as the bags of goods he had brought with him. As he was brushing the horse the merchant approached him with intent. "Good luck. May Paetax bring you much fortune, and tell your brother I said hello" Spoke Lance to the approaching man.

"Yeah sure. You better get a move on there hero boy, your party leaves today. The prince leads them to the woods of Gaeric. Or sos I hear anyway. The merchant said with a smug smile on his face. He was skeptical of Lance's endeavor, but just couldn't keep his trapped shut. As if he wanted to see Lance fail.

And sure enough, he was right. Lance had reached Paetax late. It was confirmed by the barkeep at The Black Vagabond, after Lance had explained his past and intent, that the prince had set off already. But before he left the barkeep gave him a map to the where the prince was headed in Gaeric. "If you ride well you should catch up soon. A wily and odd group he took with 'im. Here, take this to." It was simply a note from the barkeep that he had found Lance to be on the up and up.

"Thank you. Thank you very much sir. You know not just how big a help this is." He managed to utter that much on his way out of the bar, and with the sun past it's peek he started toward the woods of Gaeric.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


It was Attica’s last few words that put Rydas on edge again. His eyes rose to the forest just as the figures broke through the forest line. While they drew his attention he still heard the wildling’s laugh, harsh at his side. He drew his sword in a swift motion, parting legs to take the stance for fighting. The Prince readied himself, taking a moment to marvel at how foolish the bandits were – their numbers were nearly matched. Either they were stupid, or they really wanted the woman. He didn’t have time to ponder it a second longer, however, as chaos broke out.

The Prince moved to take his first step towards the oncoming enemies, but found himself pulled to the ground. Breath, thick with the stench of brewed ale, was at his neck as the Cleric spoke to him. Rydas looked over at the old man, incredulous at the idea of being given orders to run and hide. He? The Prince, Commander of the King’s Guard and future King of Calisma… get to safety? His mouth parted to rage his protest, but the priest was on his feet, burning log in hand and headed towards the pursuers before he could make voice. Rydas couldn’t help but whisper to himself; ”Crazy son of a bi—“

His arm raised to shade his eyes from the blinding light, willed by the drunken god Dued. And then the Prince was on his feet again, in time to watch the staff change to monstrous creature and then the Priest was down and wounded. He grimaced, turning to observe the rest of the group—the ranger was down, too, but it looked as if he had taken a few with him. The two rogues were leaving a trail of blood in their wake, and then they were gone.

An attack on his own person interrupted his observations. The assailant came from the left. He elbowed the man, loosening his grip on him, turning to face him. Rydas swung, but the man parried. The bandit came at the Prince again, seemingly annoyed that his victim was armed. In such close range the Prince’s sword was awkward and difficult to wield. He kicked, landing his heel in the man’s stomach and used the hilt of his sword to bash the enemy in the head.

The lull in battle allowed the bronzed Prince to look for the rest of his crew. There was an unfamiliar old man in the fray now, that didn’t quite fit with the age range of bandit brigade. But then, with so little firelight it was hard to tell. Narenia slid past him, wishing him to be careful. He nodded, returning the warning. And then she called for distraction, to give her time to aid the wounded. He set to task, deflecting any that attempted to infiltrate towards her or the downed. Between defensive blows and parried attacks, he searched for the remaining crew.

The young mage was nowhere to be seen, at least as far as Rydas could tell under the cover of night. The monk was attacking assailants with the same ferocity and skill as she had used to down her horse earlier in the day. The bard was beneath a tree, covered in blood, but he couldn’t tell if it was hers or someone elses. Acacia looked absolutely frightened, and for a moment he felt sorry for her. He stepped in her direction, to aid her, but it was then that Mirabella made her appearance. She had beaten him to the punch.

Someone was talking beside him. It drew his attention away from the two women in time to notice the mage. Suddenly, a pinkish aura radiated around them and arrows seemed to slow. It was easier to cut them from the air. While odd, he wouldn’t question and help that would come their way.

And then it was suddenly silent.

Rydas rose from formidable stance to look around. The camp was in ruins, many of the tents collapsed. Several bodies were scattered, butchered and bleeding. Some of the bandits that were wounded, he assumed, had fled. The attack seemed to be over. Again, he look around, and silently look roll call. “Adventurers, fall in!” He yelled, as if commanding soldiers.

He bent over the fallen ranger, his sword placed beneath his nose. The fog on the steel proved the man was still breathing and just knocked out. Rydas removed a packet of herbs from his saddlebags, silently thanking that their mounts—while spooked—were still present, and opened it beneath Feylon’s nose. The bitter smell was used to awaken those that were sleeping or unconscious. While he had no love for the man, he had proven himself in the fight. They all had. Again, his hope for the campaign swelled.

“Do any injuries need tending?” First things first, then he’d address the group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Blood, so much blood, Acacia thought to herself. However, her thoughts were not on the blood streaming down her face, nor the blood from the bandit woman, but on a different time entirely. Her left hand was still pressed against the bloody wound, her breathing shallow and fast, her eyes closed to keep out the blood still coming from the shallow wound. Memories from a time that Acacia had tried so hard to forget flooded her mind like a nightmare. The slash, the cry of anguish coming from her lips...

She was jerked back to the present by an almost familiar voice. There was something about it that was too harsh, but it still seemed as if she should recognise it. Acacia dabbed her eyes quickly with her sleeve to get rid of any blood on them and opened her eyes to look around. She glanced at who the voice had come from, Mirabella. She was fighting a bandit. Acacia realized she had probably just saved her life. The realization helped her calm down as she forced herself to quash the panic the had overtaken her. Mirabella quickly finished off the bandit and came back to Acacia with genuine concern in her eyes. Blood covered her face, but she didn't seem injured. Acacia tried to focus just on the woman's eyes and ignore the blood, but it was difficult and her eyes kept nervously glancing at it.

"Maybe, thank you,"Acacia said in responce to Mirabella's question, her voice still slightly shakey. At least she hadn't burst out sobbing, yet. Acacia took the muslin from her, barely keeping her hand from trembling, and pressed it to her forehead. At least the flow of blood had slowed. "I don't much care for blood," Acacia stated, a slight, forced smile on her lips.

Acacia reached out with her free hand and took the help to get up and sprung lightly to her feet. She paused a moment to gain her balance and let the lightheaded dizzy-ness pass. "Well, you can't say I didn't warn you that I might turn into a damsel in distress," Acacia laughed, a genuine smile on her face. "Perhaps I will. Then everyone will know of Mirabella, the courageous warrior in shining armor!"

As the Prince called for them to fall in, sounding like an army commander, Acacia gave Mirabella another smile and shakely began walking toward him. She would have to get her knives at some point, but she pushed that to the back of her mind. It would have to be taken care of later. When she got close, she responded to the question of injuries with a simple, "I'm fine". She stood near the growing group, nervously shifting from foot to foot. She was determined that she would not panic again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
"Is it over?" Xan quietly said to himself as he heard the Prince call for everyone to regroup. Xan had sat himself down on the grass in the shadows, his arms dropped by his sides. A throbbing pain started to spread through his arms, his technique to fool his body of pain had started to wear off as things calmed down. His finger tips twitched slightly, in all honesty he really didn't want to move from the spot he was at now. However if he didn't go and show himself people might think that he had been killed in the fight. He tried to prop himself up off the ground before falling back down, his teeth clenched to keep himself from shouting out in pain. He took in a breath before he pushed his body against the tree that he was propped up against to force himself to his feet. He put his daggers away behind his cloak again, he did so slowly, as moving his arms as of right now was quite a bit painful. Hopefully a good nights rest would cure him of this pain by the morning, that's how it usually went. Then again it had been a while since he had been in this condition, it might take two days or even more, but hopefully most of the pain will be gone by the morning.

He walked out from the shadows, back into the light of the fire, it's only then that he actually noticed the blood that was on his clothing. Most likely from that one archer that he pulled into his daggers to save himself more pain. Luckily it was only his shirt and not his pants, although how he was going to wash it he wasn't sure.

"I'm fine, I believe those two might be the ones that had it the worst" he said, replying to the Princes query. He stood by the fire to take a better look at his clothing, his shirt was a mess the blood was all over. He sighed as he gently pulled off his cloak and tried to take the shirt off. The sticking of the blood on the shirt to his skin didn't feel pleasing at all. Although as he tried to raise his arms above his head a sharp pain shot though his arms, causing him to grit his teeth and quickly put his arms down. He sat on the ground, his body seemed more like it was pulled to the ground than anything. Both hands going to the opposite shoulder, "What a pain" he said, meaning it literally and figuratively. He took a few deep breaths before he forced his arms to work and pull his shirt off, putting his cloak back on once it was off. He wondered if there as a lake or pond or some source of water near by where he could wash the shirt at. Maybe something that was deep enough that he could soak his shoulders in cool water, or was it warm water that helped with these kinds of pain? Although it would be certain that either way it might make him feel better than he did now. "I'm gonna go wash this off, if I can find someplace to do so" Xan said to the others as he started to walk off, his bloodied shirt in hand. he wanted to wash it off before it dried up.

He wasn't quite sure where he was going, but he just walked through the trees before he heard the sound of water flowing. It wasn't much bit a was small waterfall about four feet high, it was good enough for him to not only wash his shirt but to cool his shoulders as well. He pulled off his cloak again, and his pants as well this time as he headed off to sit under the little waterfall. The water was cold, very cold, but it felt quite good on his shoulders. He sat down, his shoulders being hit by the cold water, as well as putting his shirt next to him. Trying to get off the blood that had managed to stain it. It was very unlikely that all of it would come off but at the very least it would be cleaner than if he did nothing. As he wiped, scrubbed, and wrung out his shirt he noticed how much of the actual stain was being removed, it hadn't completely disappeared but the color had faded quite a bit. The cold water on his shoulders managed to numb the pain enough to where he could be a little rough while cleaning without to much pain. He looked at the shirt, holding it open in front of him, although not completely gone it was as good as it was going to get. He knew blood stains wouldn't come out completely but at least now he wouldn't have a large splat on his shirt. He simply threw his shirt off to the side onto the ground next to his pants, he would stay under the little waterfall for a bit the cold water was quite soothing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

Geraint continued grinning over his Caber at the bandit that had attacked him. Moving quickly, before his enemy had the opportunity to withdraw the blade, as it was still stuck in the tree log Geraint was carrying, the Old Man wrenched the caber upward forcefully. Twisting the sword out of the brigand's hand in the process. As soon as the cold steel left the poor man's grasp, the Shaman summoned the power of roughly half the souls residing in the Caber and thrust the living log directly at his his assailant, hurling the heavy caber at the bandit. The outlaw was hit only with a glancing blow however, the weapon only just clipping him on the head and shoulder, as he'd been able to see the attack coming. Even with the aid of the spirits, Geraint still had to adjust his grip on the caber before throwing it, and that had given the bandit enough time to start ducking out of the way. Even so, the object was heavy and caused the bandit to stagger backward, stumbling dazedly, over the brush.

However, before Geraint could press his advantage, he suddenly had the entirety of his wind knocked out of him by a blow to his midsection, causing the hold man himself to stumble back a step or two. This immediately drew his attention to the young, yellow-clad woman before him.

The child hit's like a bear!

Quickly appraising the pup the before him while he straightened, arms coming up to ward off another strike if necessary, and tried to get his breath back, Geraint blinked and shook his head. "I've no quarrel with you little one." His arms remained defensively before him, but he made no move to strike, and tried not to do anything that could be construed as offensive. "I mean to aid you and your crew, not-" His words were cut off by movement of the Bandit he'd not had the chance to finish off. Apparently the determined bastard had freed his blade of the Caber and was now leaping forward to attack one or both Geraint and the young girl.

Instead of finishing his statement, and still only partially having his breath back, the old Shaman spit out harsh words of power, sounding something like an angry snake. In response, as the bandit pulled back his arm for a swing, the blade of his weapon sprang to life. Coiling and rearing back, the steel, much like Geraint's words the instant before, seemed reminiscent of a snake, and struck out at its wielder. Luck seemed to be with this ruffian tonight though, and he dodged the snapping, stabbing strike of his own sword, in no small part because he dropped it, nay, flung it from him in surprise and fear. A cry of shock ringing out from him as he did so. With the brigand's weapon on the ground and slithering toward him, and with his allies falling or fleeing around him, the bandit did what was probably the smartest thing he'd done all day. He ran from the clearing with all the speed his legs could muster, nothing to be gained here was worth dying for.

All of this had happened in the space of a few moments, and now Geraint waited for the response, violent or peaceful, from his would-be assailant in yellow. He'd heard the cry of one of the others, asking for his aid with wounded, but he wasn't terribly in a position to lend aid of any kind at the moment, whether he actually could or not was irrelevant for now. He was also distantly aware of one of the group he'd come to aid calling out some sort of rallying cry, but again his attention was occupied. Add to that, his solar plexus was already starting to ache.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Lance, sleeping soundly in his make shift camp, lying on a bedroll next to a smoking pile of ash that was once a small fire, found himself woken by a familiar sound, battle. It was faint, and he could not hear it clear enough, or see through the dense brush and trees to get an idea of it's origin. He rose, slipping on his chain mail, gauntlets, and boots, grasping his sword and shield, when suddenly it was over. The last sound made was a few disappearing footsteps. Silently he stood and listened, when from beyond a tree he saw a man come creeping toward him, grasping his side, he was draped in black, with deep red sash around his waist, and an accordingly colored scarf around his neck. The man did not approach with intent, in fact it seemed he was not aware of Lance's presence at all, Lance took advantage of this by slinking slowly behind a tree, hoping to remove himself completely from sight. Focusing, he heard the man's footsteps stop suddenly just a few feet away. Maybe, in the faint moonlight, he had noticed the smoking ashes or the empty bed roll. Grasping tightly to his armaments, readying himself for a probable fight, he heard the man collapse.

Lance peaked around the tree, making sure what he heard was correct, and sure enough the man was face down, barely breathing. Lance rushed over and flipped the man over, cradling his head. "What has happened!" Being this close he was able to get a better look at the man. Lance moved the man's hand so that he could look at the wound. "I will bring you water, and herb." As he said this, the man strained, and coughed up a little blood between trying to utter a word of gratitude. As Lance was about to rise, he noticed something when the man strained. He knelt over and looked closer at the man's neck where he thought he noticed a marking. He lowered the scarf to reveal a tattoo of a winding snake biting it's own tail. "You bear odd marking. And your garbs are made for sneaking around at night, for certain. What is your purpose here tonight? With what group do you make allegiance?" While speaking he brandished his shield, glaring down at the man. The man laughed while spitting up more blood, scowling at Lance.

"F- Fool." This would be the man's last word. His eyes became empty, and his body limp. Death had claimed him. Lance said a silent prayer before lifting the body and throwing it over the horse. He put the rest of his armor on, absent a helmet and began heading in the direction where the mysterious man had come from. Was not long before fire light came into view, pausing only for a moment for a deep breath, Lance approached through the brush, one hand leading the horse by the reigns, the other held up in a show of peace as he noticed many people around the fire. Some wounded, some tending to the wounded. "Please, excuse my intrusion, I mean you no harm, I happened upon this man creeping away from this direction." He paused, lifting up the head of the limp man's dead body, revealing his face, but the scarf was still on, concealing the mark on his neck. Lance scanned any part of the group he could, looking for similar marks. "I brought no harm to him, he passed from bleeding out on the ground. I was simply-" As he scanned the group, a familiar face struck him, and the fine armor, combined with the sigil on a finger, it had to be. He dropped to one knee and bowed his head. He spoke again as he rose, "My prince, I am so happy to have caught up to you and your adventurers so soon! My name is Lance Elgard, Paladin from Thoav. I have crossed over by ship in hopes of aiding you on your expedition, here." Without really thinking, due to excitement, he reached for a satchel on the horse and pulled out a parchment. "I was given this map by the barkeep from The Black Vagabond." he held it out, taking one step in the prince's direction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Deallo
About to unleash another strike on the paralyzed figure, Nel noticed the white beard attached to the body, and stopped in her tracks. It instantly reminded her of the Elder, the leader of the monastery, and for perhaps a split second, thought it was him she hit. The thought immediately caused her to stand up straight and abandon her fighting position; inspiring both a mix of fear and respect. However, it was easily disregarded as the man didn't have the same shiny bare head, nor the voice as he raised his arms and spoke that he meant no harm.

Now any reasonable warrior, human being, animal wouldn't be as quick to believe him as the monk did. Whether this was Nel's secret weapon or her greatest demise; only time will tell. Just as she put that trust in him, a bandit decided to take the opportunity to attack, and the events that transpired still shocked her. She shifted her weight to her left foot and was about to unleash a kick to the knee when all of a sudden, the old man hissed angrily at him, and the bandits sword came alive. Nel stood in awe, mesmerized by the blade that acted like a metal snake, chasing the owner left running with just the hilt in his grasp.

The eerie silence returned to the camp once more, attackers either slain, unconscious, or fled, the air was tinged with the smell of red. Nel looked at the old man, albeit considerably bulky and muscular, with a grand sense of curiosity. Did he make the sword into a snake? Was he a magician? She could hear the Prince calling for them but still pinned her attention to the man in particular.

"Forgive me, it's...hard to tell who's an enemy and who isn't." Nel admitted, panting with beads of sweat rolling off her crown, looking at the floor in shame, bending down to grip her quarterstaff once more and looked up to the eyes of the old man once again. "My name is Nel. Excuse me, but I must go." The monk said hastily, turning around to the group, and walking to the small crowd that was gathering.

Nel made the mental note to arrange the bodies after.

The yellow monk scanned the members for injuries, immediately turning to Acacia and Mirabella, running up towards them with worry. Nel nearly screamed at the copius amount of blood upon both their faces. "Are you two alright? Are you hurt? Where does it hurt? There's so much blood, wait here, I'll be right back! The bombardment of questions led Nel to forget about the cut on her right bicep, staining her yellow cloth as she ran back to her pack, grabbed a couple roll of bandages, and ran back to to the two. Instantly, Nel tried to promptly wrap Mira's face with the roll, as the warrior seemed to be the most urgent and bloodied.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella


Mirabella wouldn’t have wiped the honest grin off of her face that had crept upon her lips in response to Acacia’s comments, even if she could. The Bard, despite the fact that she had most likely never participated in battle before, had held up quite well. The Triansui was shocked that even with the surprise attack and having no time to prepare that the group had fared as well as it had. She looked around briefly, walking a few steps behind Acacia as they made their way towards the Prince and before they could come to a complete stop, Nel rushed to their sides.

The tiny brightly colored monk was quick, that was for sure, and before Mirabella’s lips could part for her to address the girl’s concerns, the petite Nelinia was already clambering about with gauze in hand to patch the warrior’s wounds. Laughter spilled from her lips as she went to stop Nel’s hands so that she didn’t waste her supplies and she warded off the tiny monk until she could speak properly.

“Nel, love, I am fine. Honestly. Thank you for looking after me, though.” She smiled at the yellow-garbed girl before turning to Acacia as well. “It is good to have people such as your selves by my side after a battle.” If this was the kindling to true friendship, then let it come. The warrior had not trusted any one before in her life but that didn’t mean that it couldn’t happen either, right?

“Speaking of such things… Where is Nari?” Her golden eyes suddenly went wide with curiosity and a touch of fear as she pushed away from the small group, her eyes seeking the red-haired ranger even as she passed by others. Mira made sure not to pass by anyone that looked injured but she didn’t happen upon anyone with more than a scratch until she approached the group of wounded. It seemed that two had fallen and Nari and one of the mages had held watch over them until the end of the battle. A smile of relief passed over Mira’s face until she noticed that Nari was, indeed, injured. Lips parted as if to call out for the cleric until she noticed that he was one of the ones upon the ground and she gritted her teeth, moving beside Nari. A grimace now replaced the smile upon her lips as she looked at the wound. It was in a bad place and it looked deep as well.

“Look at you, Ranger, getting yourself in to trouble our first battle. I thought you would be dancing among the treetops and shooting from above.” The Triansui managed a brief smile and upon closer inspection, realized she could do nothing for Nari and it was then that she remembered the wildling, Attica.

“Forest dweller!” She called out, trying to find the woman that had brought the battle upon them. “If you are knowledgeable in the healing arts we could use your assistance.” Her eyes held worry though she obviously tried to look positive when facing Nari. "If she refuses, I will try to raise the Priest. Don't move, Nari." With that, she knelt beside the prone figure of the Priest. That was when a new figure caught her eye, wearing the shiny and well-tended armor of a Knight but his words as he addressed the Prince marked him as a holy man. A Paladin. She had heard of their kind before and she prayed silently that he was trained in the arts of healing as well.

"Paladin!" She addressed Lance as such because she had not overheard his name. "We have many wounded. Could you leave the introductions for later and help us tend to them?" She didn't even bother to see if the man had agreed and she assumed he would hear her since the Prince was only a few feet from herself, tending to the other ranger. "We have a cleric which is unconscious and another ranger with an arrow in the belly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

As she tried her best to patch up the Priest, Nari could feel the arrow in her stomach. It was hard for her to concentrate on what he was doing through those wracking pains. The Thief looked like he was beginning to tire, and as it looked as if their darkest hour was upon them, the Mage came. He wrapped them in a kind of light pink transparent shield, which held Nari in awe and made her momentarily forget about the pains. Next was the Prince. The Priest had tackled him - much to Nari's confusion - but he was down and now the Prince fought along side them. She cursed herself for rushing to the Priest's aid so quickly. Nari would have been a greater help at distance, raining arrows upon their enemies. Fortunately, their ranks were thinning now.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, she caught bits of conversations from her travelling comrades. The Thief disappeared suddenly. One had to admire his fighting style. The way he used his two daggers was more than likely exhausting, although it was effective. He ran and as far as Nari could guess, he ended the lives of those who hadn't yet fled the site. Her mind again wandered to the big brute of a man, although he seemed old, that had made his presence known by swinging a great big log at his enemies. In the heat of battle, Nari had called out to him to heal the priest, but he hadn't made it. He must have been caught up. The Prince, Akdov, Acacia, Alice, Hayley, Nel, Mirabella, Xan, the Mage, Feylon. Her mind went over the core members of the group again, should they be missing now that the battle was ending. Nari had managed to stop the bleeding of Akdov's wound, so he wasn't in danger of dying unless the wound was left unattended now.

Her hand found it's way to the wound again. It was bleeding badly and Nari's was a little dizzy. In order to get the arrow out, she had to get her armor of first. The light plate adorned with beautifully ornamented leather, would make it impossible to get the arrow out. It had to come off, but all Nari did was sit back against a tree. The next thing she heard was the Prince's voice. He called for them to gather, but Nari didn't move. She looked at them though, and watched the new arrivals. Attica from before, who she hadn't noticed during the battle, the man with the log and a new one. A heavy armored man, kneeling before the prince. The Ranger woman was relived to see that only the Priest and Feylon were down and wounded, along with herself but she was still concious. The others seemed to have minor wounds as far as she could see.

She let her head fall back to relax a bit, taking deep and steady breaths. Not long was she allowed to rest though, as the warrior woman Mira had come to her and spoke. I would have thought so too, but apparently I was foolish enough to rush to the aid of that oaf. She said, serious at first and then giving Mira a faint smile. She let her hand wrap around the arrow and tried not to move, trying to get rid of the jolts of pain. Mira called for aid to the wounded, and Nari's eyes found the newly arrived Paladin. She wasn't going to have someone she didn't know treat her wounds. "Mira." She called, reaching out and grabbing her shoulder. "You have to help me get the armor off." Nari spoke between gasps and jolts of pain, her blood trickling between her fingers. "You ha-have to-" A grimace flashed across her face. "Just pull it out." Narenia leaned forward, revealing her back where the armor was tightened to fit the armor closer to the body. She had to loosen that and then lift the armor off the arrow and then over her head. "How do you know that Paladin isn't another assassin?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

Travian Zarel

It was such a relief seeing Paetax again. Travian had left before the king got sick and had never stopped worrying that he wouldn’t recognize the Paetax he returned to. Even greater than his worries for the city were those for his king. As a knight, Travian’s loyalty to the king was unquestionable and the news of his illness struck him the same as if the king were a member of his own family. Knowing there was nothing he could do churned his stomach and being so far away from news only made it worse.

Still, it was a worthy cause that kept him away. He and several other members of Urusk’s church had been helping rebuild a small village that had been devastated by raiding brigands. Additionally, they had put up walls, ensuring that the village would be better defended should it be attacked again. When he left there were still a few from his party staying to train the local militia, a task he would normally have been thrilled to help with, but they could handle it themselves and he had been away from his home about as long as he could stand given the situation.

After making it to the city and stabling his horse, he made his way to his favorite tavern in hopes of getting news and some lunch. Halfway there he heard the three bells. He asked someone on the street what it meant and when he found out he was relieved to hear that the king was still alright. So relieved, that he allowed a huge grin to sneak onto his face as he entered the Dancing Dragon.

“Haven’t seen you in a while.” The bartender remarked as Travian approached.
“Urusk business, thought I told you before?”
“Aye, perhaps you did. Things have just been kind of crazy around here, I take it you’ve heard about the king?”
“Yeah…”
“That reminds me, that lady-friend of yours was here last night.”
“Mirabella!? Is she still in town?”
He also wondered at the connection between Mira and the king, but didn’t ask.
“I’m afraid not. She and a bunch of other strange characters left this morning with the prince. Some quest to help the king.”
“What!? You have to tell me more!”
“That’s all I know, but you might have more luck with Vinny at the Black Vagabond. The prince had them all meet up there yesterday.”
“Thanks.”
He passed the barkeep a coin for the information and without another word took off towards the Black Vagabond as quickly as he could go in the capital’s heavy traffic.

The difference between the two taverns, and their clientele, was immense. It was hard to believe the prince would have anything to do with this place. On top of the usual crowd, there were also quite a few rubberneckers trying to find out more about the prince’s quest. With all of that it took a moment to get the barkeep’s attention.

“I’m looking for information about the prince’s quest.”
“Yeah, you and everyone else here.”
“I’m afraid you misunderstood. You see, I would like to join the quest, not gossip about it.”
“And what makes you think I would just give away the prince’s location to a random stranger?”

Travian had to remind himself that he had never spent much time on this side of town and rather than getting angry, simply explained that he was a knight and showed him proof of it. The barkeep then took him to a private room where the rowdy patrons couldn’t hear.
“The prince’s group rode north towards the Gaeric Forest. Since you’re from around here, I assume you know the road?”
“Indeed, sir.”
Once again he gave out some money and set off. In a few moments he was on the road.

He set out at a full gallop, positive that he would be able to catch up quickly. If they had set out at dawn he was only a few hours behind them and they probably weren’t moving as fast as he was in a large group like that. However, just as open country came into view he came across a man lying by the side of the road. Though it pained him to have to stop when he was so close there was no way he could just ride by and do nothing. He dismounted and walked up to him, realizing as he got closer that the man was rather old.

“What’s wrong, sir?”
“Overworked meself in the fields again, just give me a little while and I’ll get goin’ again.”
“It’s not safe, sir. What if someone doesn’t see you lying here? You’ve got to get home; come on you can ride my horse.”

The old man struggled a little as Travian awkwardly scooped him up and onto the horse. When it was apparent that his struggling would do him no good he switched to shouting, but still to no avail.
“Now that you’re up there you may as well tell me where you live,” Travian said with a mischievous smile.
The old man did so grouchily and before long they had made it to the man’s small home. The paladin laid him on his bed and sat nearby, waiting to see if he needed anything else.
“All right you brought me home, now begone with you!”
“You sure you’ll be alright by yourself?”

“I’m fine, been by meself for seven years now.” The paladin wanted to stay and make sur