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Akdov Mur

A re-reborn man of god that is struggling with his life more now than ever, however he still burns with conviction to fight evil

0 · 641 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by Romaneck

Personality

    Character:
The Paladin

""We will not falter in the face of evil, there is a strength in us my brethren, God will guide us through ""
Akdov Mur
Image
Bio
Akdov took a new name when he accepted to become Deud´s voice and hand, but before there used to be a man called Arthur whom was son to a minor lord in the lands of Queran
Queran was a violent region where nobility of said land fought over their own bittered pride for excuses like land, legacies, rights and heirlooms.
This man, Arthur was ambitious and ruthless he had already wed for the third time and acquired lands with that bargain when his lord called for his banner men and armies, seeing the opportunity to earn favors in court and loot, fame, fortune and lands he armed peasants that had never wielded a weapon into a war that they did not chose to fight.
Arthur never really knew what his lord was fighting for, was it lands? an insult? ambition? a failed assassination attempt? He did not care either
There admits blood,sweat,shouts and cries did this man met his end, a decisive strike from a mace swooped behind him and cracked his skull and then he fell into the waters of the shivering lake in which the man Arthur mets his demise

Yet as Deud saying goes, life goes on, a priest of Deud found Arthur´s corpse and he realized that life had not entirely abandoned that man, there could still be time to replace the holes left by death, greed and evil and stitch up something benevolent that would serve others rather than see others serve himself.
Brought back from the grip of death Akdov was born from Arthur`s ashes, a man that now saw the futility of war and the evil that lurked in ambition and greed, yet violent would only breed more violence and Arthur had lived and died by the sword. Akdov would not be like that, he would make men put down their swords willingly, doing it because they would not want to kill their human brothers, not because their king told them to.

Deud´s preachings were, regrettably, not taken seriously due to its emphasis on drink and partying and despite the clergy most sincere and persistent efforts the common folk see them without the needed zeal and the highborn simply do not consider them worthy of their time

However, King Errion has fallen ill and priests of other false gods have failed to deliver a solution...The time is now...Akdov will venture forward and show not only Paetax but the world that Deud, while merry and forgiving, is not a joke and is a mighty god that can save kings and restore balance

Yet that was before the priest met his demise...


    Gender :Male
    Height : 6' 3''
    Class : Paladin
    Equipment :
    Pint of prayer: a mighty pint with supernatural properties which does not seem to ever hold anything that does not have alcohol and does not ever seem to break, men have seen Akdov pour water into the pint and swear that his breath smells of beer after he drinks of it
    Tome of Truth: Akdov carries a book with himself in which the scriptures of Deud might be found and enlighten others, the thick pages of the book carry with them many courses of actions, rituals, prayers and many more.
    Akdov will more often than not be seen reading the Tome of truth when his wisdom is not in need
    Staff: a walking stick at first glance but the wood is sturdy enough to be practical in combat, while Akdov is not a fighter he knows enough of the art to at least defend himself

    Age :20 (previously 62)
    Skills :
    Mage guard: Deud´s saying goes "An ostler has a mood and he kicks the dog. A mage has his moods and a town disappears." as the last war can attest to, Deud wont let his servants be harmed by magic and as such he seeks to guard them Akdov is no different from the rest of Deud´s priests and can guard himself and to some minor extent others as well, this is not to be confused with Akdov being immune to magic however



Personality: Akdov is an easygoing and simple man, he always is eager to convert others to Deud´s religion and offers support and encouragement to those around him, from his conviction he draws the strength to reach his goals yet this is not always for the best, he is absolutely convinced through his faith and will not back down from a challenge this can get him and those in his party in trouble, due to his noble origins and his life devoted in the clergy Akdov has seen both sides of the coin and knows that order is necessary but if laws become overwhelming a man might become slave in all but name



Weakness:
Zealotry: while commonly calm and measured if someone insults his faith or his god Akdov`s mind loses focus and logic and a blind fury takes over him, if could easily lead to death of him and his companions
Deud`s discipline: The lord has commanded his followers to never lay down their cups and please him by drinking till the bottom is dry, as such while Akdov can remain functional under the influence he isnt exactly subtle, precise, reliable or expected to fool or deceive anyone
Unreliability: The powers he once commanded with Deud as the ones that his host,Lance, once commanded with Pelor are blurry as such there are times when he will try to use things that were previously available only to find that his God aint listening
Split mind: Occasional outbursts of pain will happen to Akdvo as unwelcomed memories of the man, Lance, surface and tear his mind appart, or perhaps it is the other way around and they will happen when Akdov remembers things that happened to his past self


Anything else: Is a fish out of water due to the whole reincarnation thing hes got going on

So begins...

Akdov Mur's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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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

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, 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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, 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.

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, 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."

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, 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.

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

Setting

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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"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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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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.

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

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Characters Present

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

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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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: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, 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: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, 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: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint blinked dubiously at the yellow-clad woman who identified herself as "Nel". Her seemingly self-conscious apology and subsequent running off to aid her comrades caught the Old Beard by surprise, to say the least. Truth be told he stared after her for a few seconds before a tingling sound reminded him that he had an enslaved sword running around somewhere. His spirits didn't like him assaulting their kind more or longer than necessary. With an absent flick of his wrist and a snorted word, the Shaman let the sword return to it's natural state... laying somewhere out in the forest, having pursued its master.

The Old Man's attention was really more focused on the group around him though. They split up rather quickly, all things considered. In the matter of a few moments two of the group disappeared off into the forest, "roll call" was made, and... were those two women fighting over whether treatment was needed? Geraint shook the thought away, it wasn't important at that moment, and besides, it reminded him that someone had called out for his help during the fight. That someone was now sitting up against a tree and looking far less then healthy. Blood, red as the woman's hair and, interestingly enough her armor, was seeping from an arrow wound. There was another down near her as well, but Geraint couldn't make out details, in the current lighting; other than that he, the unconscious group member, was big enough he had to be male. Add to that, some sort of Knight had trotted into camp, complete with horse, bit and bridle, bowing and introducing himself to a man who was apparently the Prince. The Prince, now things were shaping up quite interestingly indeed.

There were a number of adventurers right around that spot, with the Prince and the wounded, the biggest clump of them Geraint could see actually, all told. So while he realized he may well be walking into a sword nest; the Old Man had to introduce himself at some point anyway, and the arrow-wounded woman by the tree had already both requested his aid, and, interestingly enough, ascertained his life calling. If there was a place to make one's first, well, second appearance, this was it. Leaving the Caber in its place on the ground for now, Geraint stepped over toward the group, specifically skirting the camp and heading for the leather-clad red-head. As he had before he joined the fray, the Old Man was consciously making a lot of noise, crunching on twigs, brushing against trees and in general making about as much noise as one could while walking around without banging pots together or some such.

Once he was within ear shot, and close enough to be attacked should those around him feel the need, Geraint stopped. He'd been too far away to hear the comments about not wanting help from unknown's, but the Shaman would have approached regardless. After all, she'd called for his help earlier right? He harumphed loudly. "You called during the battle young one? I can help with that arrow there. And..." He gestured at the unconscious form on the ground between them. "I can check on that one too if you like." His voice was gruff, but his tone wasn't unfriendly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Akdov woke up with a thriving pain on his rear, he could remember having gone at the attackers armored with fate but at some point in time he had completely blacked out and lost any sense of his surroundings, he wasn’t dead that much he could tell if that was the case Rivaldi and Opal would be here to greet him into the Hall Lord presence.

He could figure that he was located in a tent, probably he had been knocked out in the skirmish and they had won, it would be tragic if their quest ended before they even knew what it was they were looking for… it was dark since the only light on his tent came from a lamp, probably he had been out for days now.
The priest dragged himself out of the tent and realized that while the pain was there, there was no strain or bleeding which could indicate that an exceptional healer had tended him… but whom? The rangers and the thief could know a thing or two but this was a work of a person who had made a profession out of healing, clearly they held nothing against Akdov`s skill but he was a cleric… to be able to attain this results without a divine intervention baffled him, maybe it had been the savage girl?
While it would be understandable for any man to go out and ask for questions, Akdov was not any man, someone had left his belongings outside the tent

I don’t remember having a tent; some merciful soul must be sharing

He grabbed his staff, which someone had apparently retrieved, and chained his tome of truth around his chest as well as tying his cup to his girdle. Again the priest was whole now, realizing that the group had been gathering around a fire and that the prince was about to make some sort of rousing speech

If it was as good as his last he should find a spokesman or let the bard do it

He made his way when suddenly his eyes saw someone, and a shower of memories came rushing back to him
“Deud be blessed” he said while walking incredulous “It cannot be… Geraint?” the man drew a smile and nodded “I has been a long time, not since the Vradakah, I should have known that you would come to the King`s help… Just as we did beforeWhen you didn’t show up I was beginning to fear you had settled with your family or kicked the bucket”
He sat next to him and clasped his hand as they bumped shoulders against each other, he wanted to introduce them to the rest of the crew but they probably knew him already and besides the price was about to say something important

As the prince ended Akdov broke into an incontrollable laughter “So it was there all along on the citadel of Idassava” he said to those that were looking at him trying to explain the source of humor, but without the context they were not clear on his amusement

Vradakah scourged half a continent looking for that as well and it never occurred to her to look there, how many homes would have been saved from the shadows if she had found it rather than terrorize the countryside in her quest

A man in knight gear then voiced his concerns about the prince and the king lives “The man speaks true my prince, for that I must implore you to take as little part in combat as you might, the hall lord would never forgive me if you fell before such a wasted old man who is living past his days.

Im certain the prince has something in his mind about the whole endeavor leading to nothing, I think that he would speak of it if he wanted to share it, for now we must all give him our support- As well as keeping him on sight -I beg all of you to put the life of his majesty as the highest priority, the nation is quaking with the loss of their beloved king, if the prince followed I can only wager how devastating it would be.
But as always prince, Ive got no questions I am ready when you are”

He then on second thought said “come to think of it I do have a question, it just doesn't concern the Panacea but rather” he signaled at the knight who had expressed his concern for the King`s safety “Who are you?”

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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With everything calming down Callavan let the barrier fade, stuffing the scroll back into his satchel. His heart was racing, invigorated by the battle. It had been a while since he had a good fight. But now it was over and he needed to calm himself. Taking deep calming breaths, he looked around at what remained of their ruined camp. It seemed like nearly half of their merry little group had been injured. He'd help them if he could, but he was no healer. Instead he helped gather the fallen into a pile.

Once everyone had been tended to, he gathered with the others around the fire. He grunted as he sat. The rush of battle had made him forget about the fatigue of the day's travel, but it hadn't forgotten about him. He'd have to remember to try the ointment the Triansui had passed him earlier. For now he would have to be satisfied with wine and cake.

There were some new faces around the fire. He recognized two of them; the wildling (who seemed to be there of her own volition) and the old beast of a man who'd rushed into the fight with them. He wasn't sure what to make of the other two. The prince trusted them apparently and Van had seen one of them tending to one of the ranger's injuries. The fact that they showed up right after the fighting had ended made Van suspicious though.

He pushed thoughts of treachery from his mind, for he saw that the priest had recovered. ”Glad to see that you're well, ya old codger” he said, grinning. “Thought we'd lost you in that little scuffle.”

The prince had started talking again, so Van turned his attention to him. The quest got a lot more interesting once he finished. Before, Van had thought this was nothing more than a wild goose chase, but this talk of Idassava made it seem much more plausible. There was no telling what else they may find in her ruins. While the others voiced their thoughts and concerns he dreamed of lost tomes and forgotten magics.

His passing fantasies were interrupted by his own yawning. It had been a long day and he was starting to feel it. He looked around at the others who looked ready to whittle the night away with talk. Except for the wee lil mage who had fallen asleep already. Van felt a pang of sympathy for her. She looked exhausted. This was probably the first time she had been in a fight. He remembered his own first, unable to manage his reserves of power, exhausting himself with wasted spells, damn near killed himself with other spells. He thought about giving her a few pointers.

The more he toyed with the idea the more he realized that he needed to change his own style of fighting. He hadn't been much use in their last fight. Most of his offensive spells were just as likely to hurt friend as they were foe and all of his defensive ones were made just to defend himself. With a sigh he put away these thoughts for the day after, when he could approach them with a fresh mind. For the time being, he focused on what the others had to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
"Your welcome, Mira." The monk chimed, relieved that Mirabella was alright, despite how disconcerting the blood on her face was. Her words brought a smile to Nel's face The mention of Nari brought the monk to whip her head around and search for her ranger companion; when she found her currently patching up the wounds of the priest. Nel had to judge it wasn't the best use of her time, already knowing too well she wouldn't cry for his death, she would've visited her if it wasn't for the thought that Acacia might have been hurt. The hand on her shoulder, caused Nel to jump, then realizing it was the bard's before she did anything hasty.

Emerald eyes widened on sight of the wound, in a mix of surprise and shock, at the red that stained her yellow garb and stuck to her skin. "Oh." was all Nel could say, the pain seemingly invisible to her, as if she was watching someone else bleed. The bard had to leave in order to clean up and apologized shortly for being unwell around blood. As any person should be, for it should be either guilt or pain, they should feel. Pain was euphoric, the natural instinct to run away, and to ignore pain is to dull it's capabilities, transcend it. With the absence of Acacia; there was nothing to distract her from the mess of bodies around the tent. Nell closed her eyes for a moment to block her surroundings and turned away from the camp until she reached a tree.

Rolling up her right sleeve, she painfully lifted the fabric from the wound, the pain shooting up her body once more. Nel looked at the old bandages that were on her arm and unwrapped them away, assorting it into a pile, and a relief came over her as she felt the cold wind across her bare arms. Her eyes gazed down at her calloused hands for a brief moment and then dressed the cut with gauze. The monk was no expert in medicine but she knew her fair share from multiple incidents in the monastery. Awkwardly twisting the gauze into a knot with her teeth and left hand, she sat down, and closed her eyes.

It was surprisingly different to meditate. Not difficult, just...odd.

She stood up from the tree and could feel the beads of sweat upon her brow. Sweat? No, this was all wrong. Meditation was supposed to be harmonious and peaceful.

Just forget it. Nel told herself, rushing to drag the bodies together. She was familiar with this only once before and it was to show respect to the deceased in the battle as they rode away. The monk had no idea they were going to burn the pile in the morning as they left. For now, she sat near the fire, her yellow robes still stained with the blood of her right arm, beside the body of the tiny mage. Nel almost woke up the tiny ball of fur before realizing she was fast asleep. The words of the prince reminded them once more why they were here as well as some extra information. There were new faces around the campfire, the old man who Nel thought of as an enemy, which the priest seems to know, and two more armored solders. Questions were tossed at the prince and even Nel needed an answer to a rather confusing statement.

"I'm sorry, but what do you mean by sorceress? And restore back to life?" Nel said with curiosity. Of course, she had more questions and concerns, but these were questions she needed to know the answer, for her mission.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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Lance heard the old man's question but was lost in eagerness of the Princes reply to his own. Although he found opportunity in the inquiries of others to go and speak to him. He stood and, silently as he could, moved over next to the man, kneeling down to make eye level with him. He spoke low enough to not interrupt others questions, feeling a bit shameful still for having done it already. With a smile on his face he introduced himself looking into the mans eyes, "Good to meet traveler. My name is Lance, and I am a paladin from the city of Thoav." He stopped himself briefly by taking a swig of wine from his goblet.

"I heard rumor of the Prince's expedition and immediately made out to join the group. Unfortunately I had arrived late to the meeting at the Black Vagabond, but was given direction by the barkeep. Very nice man. It was during my sleep that I was awoken by the sound of the battle over here. After I had risen one of the bandits fell before me. He has a strange mark on his neck" He gestured with two fingers to the lower left of his neck. "It could mean nothing, but back in Thoav it was common for gangs of miscreant to use such marks to identify with whom they made allegiance. And now I find myself here. Rambling" He let out a solid laugh before catching himself and once again taking a swig. Wiping his mouth he remembered his manners, "And who are you? From your garbs you appear to be a man of god. Maybe..." He looked him over quickly "Like me... Yet at the same time not. But a man of faith none the less. The kind of men I like to surround myself with."

As the prince spoke, answering his question, Lance nodded with a smile. Magnificent he thought. This will truly be a quest for the ages. As he turned his attention back to the man, his eyes quickly caught the red headed woman again for a moment. But then he made his attention on the man before him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian

As the prince finished his speech, a priest that Travian hadn’t noticed before began laughing loudly. Something about the man stuck out in his mind and he stared at him thoughtfully, zoning out slightly as some of the other members voiced their concerns.

“Who are you?” The priest seemed to say rather loudly, though whether this was because it had actually been spoken so or because it had snapped Travian out of his thoughts was unclear. His guts wrenched for a moment at being called out, until he realized that the inquiry wasn’t directed at him.

As the other paladin spoke it hit him. He had seen the priest around Paetax before drinking and/or preaching, Travian couldn’t think of the name but he’d definitely run into him multiple times. As a paladin he had the utmost respect for priests of any order and he had seen enough of the man's healing skills performed in the streets to know that he was a useful addition to the party….but…weren’t there any other bold priests available for this quest? Judging from some of the facial expressions in the group he wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Despite his thoughts he had managed to pay attention to what the other paladin had to say and decided it gave him a good opening to introduce himself, before he too was called out.

“Well spoken, brother,”
he said as he stood and walked into the open. “My name is Travian Zarel and I too am a paladin, but of Paetax. It would seem that we both arrived a little too late to be of help with the bandits and I am relieved to see you all in one piece.” As he spoke he looked around at his audience, trying to gauge their reaction to him, particularly the woman he had treated and Xan. He paused as he considered his next line, deciding it would be rude to hold off an address to the prince for any longer. “My prince, as a knight I have already sworn my undying devotion to you and your kin, but as we have never truly met I take the opportunity to do so again now,” He knelt before the prince in the prescribed manner, “my spear and shield are yours to command.” He rose and faced the rest of the party again, “I should hope that none of you doubt the word of your prince, however, I would like to say that though I was unable to see the battle for myself I completely agree with his judgment. That is no small pile of brigands over there, and I say with no ego that the addition of my brother and I should ease any worries you may have.” His eyes lingered on the injured woman again as he spoke the last part. “I am confident we will succeed.”

No longer a stranger, he settled down closer to the fire. As he sat he saw the remaining cakes and realized that he had not eaten since his early breakfast and hungrily helped himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
The monk absorbed it all in, the sorceress Idassava, her evil powers over the dead, the obsession with immortality she had, and the possibility of something guarding her tomb. It's the telling of an adventure that's been spun so many times before in books and stories but it was unfathomable to Nel. She began biting her knuckles; an awful habit picked up as a child whenever she was uneasy.

The identity of the new guests were revealed as Paladin...s. Warriors of fake gods. Hypocrites. Liars. Nel glared at the paladins and her mood soured; instantly resentful towards the prince for accepting them into the group. They didn't need more people, they had...what, ten people? No, it made no sense. She'd have to sleep with hands around her throat with this many crusaders of "Gods" around. Luckily, Acacia played a song, a nice one with lyrics that Nel swayed back and forth to. Delighted, the monk clapped her hands together in applause, asking the bard how she knew how to play.

It wasn't until after, when she went inside her tent, and snuggled in her bedding that she realized something was wrong. Having been caught up in sweets and music; she tried to pin the moments that were bugging her. The image of Mirabella's bloody face came to mind. "I'm fine" she said, voice echoing inside the monk's head. "She's a warrior too...like the paladins." Nel thought, nuzzling herself in the sheets once more. She actually liked the warrior though. "I'll...make her see the error of her ways." Nel decided, knowing it'd take a lot of work to convert a warrior, ignorant about where to even start.

The yellow figure slept for a few hours and woke up shortly after; a biological mechanism built-in her mind after countless years of waking up early. She got up and exited the tent, an average tent that may or may have not been hers to begin with, and breathed in the cold morning air. The sun hadn't even thought of peeking over the horizon yet the priest, who will forever called the priest if he never introduces himself, was up. He was still speaking to the tall old man, the one who was Nel mistakenly took for a bandit. They talked as if they knew each other. The monk made sure to avoid them she was in their view but was far enough not to be approachable. The last think she wanted to do in morning was to speak with the righteous and holy.

She found an appropriate spot and began her morning regiment. First, a series of stretches that would loosen her arms and legs, and then a run. The camp provided an open space unlike the city of Paetax. The jog ensued, evolving into a run, then a sprint around the camp for what seemed to take span in three hours until she slowed down to a halt. Covered in sweat, she walked towards the stream, looking back every few seconds or so, and found a secluded spot where the stream bended behind the trees. In a matter of seconds, she unwrapped the yellow cloth around her body and jumped into the freezing cold stream, nearly screaming at the sudden change in heat, the slash in her arm reacting with pain before settling down. Just as quickly, the jumped out, and covered herself up with her unwrapped robes, which was now a long yellow cloth, and dried herself up in them.

The Monastery was fickle in the lack of necessary possessions, which included towels, and instead made the robes of quality to act like one. They taught the children to wrap the robes nice and tight to keep them from falling off and if they didn't; well...it was embarrassing none the less. Partially clothed, she dipped the segment that was covered in her dry blood, and wringed out the blood using her hands. After repeating the process a few more times, the blood finally came out from it, only a slight stain left that can be seen up-close.
Feeling slightly damp, Nel adored the cleanliness over her skin, a feeling which was almost forgotten in the three days of travel to Paetex. To think back on it gave her a shudder for how long she went without a bath. The sun shone and the morning officially arrived as Nel treaded back into the camp, tempted by the smell of cooked meats but avoiding them, just in time to see the Prince gathering tinder around the pile of corpses.

It took a minute or two to understand what the prince was doing and Nel stood dumbfounded until she noticed the fire in Rydas' hand. She wanted to voice her concern for the bodies to the prince and did so when he mentioned of a prayer for the deceased; cutting off anyone who may be speaking.
"Excuse me, but shouldn't we dig the graves first before a prayer?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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“I am quite alive Callavan, if poison, the gallows a serrated blade and a Riftwalker could not be my end I don’t think a stick stuck on my arse is anything to worry about, besides I have got an old friend to drag me back to safety if things get messy”

Now that the prince was done he figured it was time to tell them about Geraint “Ladies and gentlemen id like to introduce you to Geraint Maghdohl or… G for those who are close, in any case he is a shaman the kind that you would not like to find in a dark alley or anywhere really… he is strong as a bull and just as stubborn never argue with the shaman because once he is set on something only Deud could strafe him away… but few friends are as true, reliable and fierce”

Geraint had told him how he had not aged a day –That’s because I didn’t…- “Well I wish I could say the same about you, before you didnt look so goddamn wasted you old fart" he laughed as he spat the words... Geraint probably knew or at the very least suspected something... every time they met he always made the same remark

Akdov smirked at the paladin, this was one of the nice ones it seemed “Lance, good man we share a common goal and that makes us allies I will put all my abilities to our endeavor” it wasn't necessary to add how many times Akdov had been cornered and barely survived to the blades and clubs of the so called defenders of the faith “Fear no betrayal or secrets from me, you will see it coming if there is anything you should be worried about” there was however also something he wanted to ask of his fellows but had quite got the nerve to speak, but a Paladin was just the thing "Might I ask a little advice of you later lance? I am not the most formidable or sensible fighter maybe I could benefit from your directions"

The round up afterwards came easy, with the singing of the bard to sweeten their moods, she was good at it and made the priest realize that while she had no weight or utility in combat or practical purposes the others might as well see him as that, but she knew how to play a song and it soothed him, as everyone was making their ways to sleep he would go sleep under a trunk or something of the like, probably Geraint was going to sleep like a wild animal and snore loud enough for everything in a 20 kilometer radius to hear them all.

The priest mind came back to Ryja, never had something had pushed him so far, had she lived he would have probably forsaken his responsibilities to Deud for that maiden... but as they say... Deud has a plan for everything and if he willed for her sacrifice then it was simply meant to be,besides she made her choice and he had accepted it long ago

Even if I never agreed to it

It was good to have Geraint show up again, but memories of an unwelcome nature had surfaced as well... so many had died to stop the Vradakah and he knew it had been worth it all, even if a whole continent had to die to stop the mad goal of the Riftwalker it would be called a god damned good bargain, he was proud of what they had achieved... but it had left him full of sorrow, a survivor guilt and the longing of their company

He wasnt going to get any sleep so he might as well stand watch, he approached the prince and told him "prince, you might want to get some sleep I already got enough from that wound so im not in the right mood if you catch my meaning" the man didnt look in the right mood either, but as a priest it was the right thing to do, he figured he could lighten his mood too "You know, having two paladins a prince and a priest we could easily make a knighting here and there or who knows even a wedding ceremony" he gave a chuckle at his own joke, one the prince did not seem to share

Holy brew, the court of this one is going to be boring as the underlands

"Go catch some sleep your highness, Ill sleep when im dead"

The next morning he woke up to a discussion about what to do with the corpses, the monk wanted to bury them "lass you can not afford yo be so naive!, next you will have us tracking their family members to return any heirlooms, we`ve dallied here long enough as is and frankly we dont know if they have any friends in the area and if this is the case I wont be bothered to dig them a grave" he made a nod to the mages "let the flames purify them, they lived by the sword and died by it, only fair way to go" but a prayer was needed no matter how wicked the men and women might have been " Lance I think you, who did not drawn their blood would be the right man to say anything in the rites of passage for this wretched or..." he looked at Geraint "Well G could do a ritual for them... but they're not worth the effort of the man Id say" he scratched his beard and said "Ready when you are your majesty"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Celedia
As the bard played her tune, Mirabella allowed her gaze to settle onto the dancing fire, imagining that the flames were keeping time with Acacia’s melody until the last note drifted off into the otherwise quiet night. A few people had already gone towards their tents and with the night watches already being called upon, the warrior found herself with little else left to do other than retire for the night.

She bid everyone that remained around the campfire a good night as she stood, then brushed off bits of dirt and brush from her legs. Instead of a using her tent, she had opted for simply sleeping a bit away from the other tents so that she had a full, unhindered 360 degree view around her. This was the way she was used to sleeping while traveling and only if it rained would she bother with setting up any sort of canopy for protection.

As she neared her bedroll, a small smile formed as she recalled the night before when the small yellow-clad monk had shared her bed. The memory caused the Triansui to worry over Nel for a moment because the monk had seemed so worried about her earlier when she had thought the warrior was injured. Mira felt badly for leaving Nel’s side so quickly.

I will have to remember to catch her tomorrow before we mount our steeds to make sure that she is doing well… The Triansui repeated the thought several times to make sure that she would recall it the next morning while she settled in, cleaning her weapons and removing her chest piece so that she would be comfortable when sleep finally decided to overtake her. It was far easier to sleep in her muslin undershirt, leather pants and boots than in her full gear.

Mirabella did not even recall how long it took her to fall asleep but her eyes did not flutter open until the first tentative tendrils of dawn’s first light found their way onto her face. Giving herself a few moments to stretch and awaken, Mira then began to methodically don her armor once more and pack the meager belongings which she had unloaded from her steed the night before. If she had been riding alone, she would have given a sharp whistle that would have had Blaze running over to her side but instead, out of respect since others were still sleeping, Mira grabbed her bags and made her way over to the small clearing in which her mare and some of the other steeds had been placed.

As if sensing her presence, Blaze whinnied softly and trotted over to the warrior, leaning her head down to receive a kiss and a nuzzle upon the nose as Mira spoke to her softly. “Hey, love. Good job keeping an eye out on these folks. Have you been eating your fill?” The warrior ran a hand down over the mare’s neck once more before turning away. “We’ll be leaving soon, Blaze. Another day of travel it seems so be ready for it, aye?”

The smell of breakfast wafted through the air towards her nostrils and she breathed in deeply, deciding to double back into the forest for a moment to see if she could help out with procuring a bit of extra food since they were still in an area where fresh vegetation was abundant. She had traveled extensively before and some of that time had been with woodland people like the rangers that had shown her edible versus inedible berries and the like. Using one of the cloth pieces from her bag, she gathered up enough blackberries and raspberries until her makeshift pouch was overflowing then carefully made her way back towards camp.

“Anyone want fresh fruit with your morning meal?” She arched a brow at both Xan and Nari as she took a seat by the ranger, picking out a few of the raspberries for herself and popping them into her mouth as she finally realized there was chatter surrounding her.

The Priest mentioned burning the bodies and her nose wrinkled in disgust as she turned, seeing that the Prince already stood near the pile of corpses with a torch. “I do despise the scent of burning flesh. Don’t know about you but I am going to eat quickly before they light them ablaze.” Her words were conversational, directed to whoever was seated nearby and she held true to her statement, quickly starting on a bowl of grains and honey topped with a few extra berries.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint couldn't help but allow a small smirk to cross his lips while the Priest, his old comrade briefly introduced him to the rest of the group. Thereafter the two were kept a little more to themselves, still standing just outside of the circle of comrades while the rest ate sweat cakes and partook of wine. It was only a few moments later that the old Shaman guffawed in response to Akdov's comment about the two men's ages, clapping his old friend on the shoulder in the process as well.

Soon enough, and to Geraint's pleasant surprise, one of the younger adventurers began a little song, complete with a skillfully strummed lute to accompany the melody she had so graciously begun to spin. It was a nice reprieve after the battle, brief as his participation was. As the Old Man listened, the subject of the song brought his thoughts to far off days of his youth, campaigning for one reason or another across this or that stretch of Calisma. It was true what the song said, some days all a young soldier yearned for, more then a stalwart companion, more then a good meal or a willing maid in his bed, was that bed... that soft, comfortable place to rest, without a stone in your back, or a branch rolling onto your face... a fellow soldier elbowing you in the face while you sleep.

Old Mags was jostled back to reality by the final strumming notes of the song, and he watched as everyone collected themselves off to bed. Akdov walked over to the prince not long after and volunteered for second watch. When the Priest returned, Geraint offered to share the watch with him, and the two spent much of their watch that night conversing and catching up on old times, the Shaman leaving the majority of his spiritual allies the duty of standing guard so as not to let any of the group be caught unawares in the night.

When the morning finally arrived, it was greeted with a grunt by the bearded Shaman. Rolling out of his bedroll, he brushed any stray dirt or leaves that may have found him in the night, and after packing his meager belongings, he joined his new fellows at the breakfast fire. Giving a surprised thank you to the Prince for preparing their morning meal, he ate quickly, and set about cleaning things when the meal had finished. His cleaning slowed as he stared curiously at the argument that arose over the disposal of the bandit corpses. It burned, flared, and then was stomped out, as the call was made for dispersal, they were to be leaving soon.

The young Bear Cub was evidently going to stay behind and bury the bodies by hand. Geraint decided he'd help everyone else pack-up to go and see how things developed, a number of the compatriots were still speaking with the little yellow clad, apparently strong willed little girl. Including a greasily bearded fellow who was drawing something in the ground with a sword whilst muttering obscenities about the dead before them.

The others began to move off while this went on (I think?). But the old Shaman decided to stay, it was just the young lute player, the yellow-clad spitfire and the bearded, apparently, mage. In the event they were waylaid on the way back to the rest of the group, it would serve them to have a little iron to help stave off whatever assaulted them, and since Geraint did not yet know the capabilities of his fellows, he figured it was better to be safe then sorry, he and likely the mage could aid them in catching up to the main group if they really ended up being that far behind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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~Lance~


Lance listened intently to both the other Paladin's introduction, then Akdov's request. Giving out a chuckle he put his hand out for a shake and said, "I will do what I can. Please feel free to ask" He spent another hour or so out by the fire having drink and chatting. As he sat, he watched while the red headed girl went off to her tent. When Lance set off to bed he laid out his bedroll next to his horse and laid back, staring up to the stars. I'm really here. This feels right. he thought before drifting off to a silent sleep.
----------------------------------

As per usual Lance's inner clock had him rising up quite early. As he did he did not notice many others stirring, so he figured it would be a good opportunity to get a good morning exercise in. He took from his bag a slice of bread, and swallowed it down with a few swigs from his water bottle. The taste of wine still somewhat on his breath. As he prepared his legs by doing some lunges he could not help but really take in where he was. The sun was barely risen and the sky was golden over the tree tops. He stood up straight and took in a deep breath of the air. It was fresh still, barely tainted by the stench of the rotting pile of corpses. He took one last look around before turning and beginning a jog. He wove around the trees, making fake strikes at the branches and trunks with his hand as he ran, and he did so all the way back to the camp.

As he neared there were more figures up and about. It was not until he stopped by his horse, chest heaving a little, to take another drink did he hear that there was a debate going on having to do with the care of the bodies. He decided to remain neutral for this, having a small breakfast to revitalize him, and throwing on pieces of his armor after packing up his sleeping area. He helped silently, saying prayer in his head, as the bodies were dumped into a hole, taking one last look at the marks on their necks. He stood for a moment over the mass grave as he finished his prayer, then turned toward the group, mainly the prince, and uttered, "So, what is the next step in our journey?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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The monk was a naive, naive fool there where no two ways around it her idealism would lead her to an early grave, he could only hope she was on her own when it happened.

It was better to drop the argument and ride out with the prince, he felt odd seeing how Geraint and Callavan had stayed behind with the woman, it gave him an ache he was not comfortable at all with, the journey was long and the priest kept most to himself and to his tome of truth, he was reading the holy passages of Deud´s landing and how he built the great hall which would house all of the faithful for when the end days came.

Then at last they arrived at the ruins Idassava, Akdov could only help to wonder what had left it in such status... he was a bit rusty in his history lessons but he did not remembered the citadel ever falling victim to a prolongated siege or a divine intervention, the necromancer had one day simply banished, he knew that it had been destroyed in the Sortelige wars, but until a few days ago he didnt even knew its location... the most probable outcome was that Errion and his army destroyed it, but that would mean that soldiers under his employ would have good knowledge of the place, soldiers that the prince could have used and none of them showed up to give insight of Del Reyanth's property

I should have paid more attention to my history lessons


As night creped in he felt some sort of tension in the prince and his companions, maybe it was time to enlighten them with a history lesson or two "Say this reminds me of the tale of the Vradakah; Accacia maybe you have heard of it" he began "before the King was a king and magic became structured there were wars raging on the continent, it was a truly terrible time mages had only morals holding their power back, today if you dont have a guild sign you are taken as soon as they can... but before, before people could use their gift to be tyrants and have a monstrous advantage over others and their power paved the way for abuse

There was one in particular, Vradakah the Riftwalker a woman that was not entirely sane and on hindsight how could she?"
he almost dug holes with the stare he gave at the mages "As I have it understood, mages are taught in schools about how to properly harness their magic so that they dont become a danger to themselves and others, but before people did not had those guidelines... the riftwalker was threading a dangerous path... her power and magic had began to shatter the reality around her, the skills she had belonged to a domain of absolute horror, things that shattered the sanity of lesser men... yes, she was almost close to fulfilling her goal until..." he grinned and looked at Geraint, he was there, maybe he could give a better version than the one Akdov remembered, after all everyone else failed to share the love Ryja and the priest had "Some adventurers made short work of her, I wonder if those adventurers where like us... if the trials that they faced tore them apart or bound them together for a common cause which made them stronger"


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

The shouts woke him up... he had been having a dream at the hall and there had been a most exquisite roast, well that was there and this was here "What is all the ruckus about?" he woke up with his hair all tangled, a breath so foul it would move rocks and a voice so raspy someone could swear he ate razors last day... all in all he was looking good and feeling better

Apparently the prince was missing, Akdov would have dismissed that as him feeling adventurous but if the two rangers agreed that something was amiss he was not about to question their skills "Men of god" he shouted in a thunderous voice to his paladin companions but it seemed that they were busy elsewhere, he decided it was time to be proactive

He found Geraint half awoken and filled him in "The prince is gone get up!" he ran towards Lance´s resting place "Lance, his majesty is missing! get up we need to get ready"

Damnit, not again

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel was glad she wasn't the only one uncomfortable with traveling and the bard's words managed to bring peace to the fact that it was normal to feel a little weak while traveling. The monk expected the bard to rattle on with her various tales and stories like last time and eagerly awaited them as she remained seated on the horse until she realized Acacia was silent. The silence was unexpected; but Nel appreciated it none the less as silence was something hard to find these last few days and said nothing to voice her concern. They soon caught up with the main group and Nel refused to even glance at the prince's general direction; noticing the old man catching up to the horses by jogging. Nel would have called out to the shaman had she not been busy holding onto the bard so she wouldn't fall off.

The evening they had set up camp, spirits were up once more, stories floating around the campfire. Nel was the only person in the group to hold a grudge against the prince and one of two to hold one up against their hairy bearded mage. While she sat next to trusted individuals, those who didn't sport false deities to fight for, she made to sure to ignore the presence of Rydas and Callavan. The monk absorbed all the stories at the campfire, even the one that their priest had spoke of, envious that she had no interesting tales of adventure to speak of. The food was just as delicious to eat, a mix of various berries, some sweet, others sour, but each complimented the others flavor and was savored.

That night when she slept, her head was furthest away from the entrance to her tent, and held her quarterstaff in her hands. It was a necessary precaution; she wasn't going to be killed by soldiers of "God" in her sleep. Her sleep was, as always, short and sweet. Nel decided it'd be best to meditate, at least until everyone woke up and did so in the safety of her tent. Every sound was silenced, sounds including the Rydas' walk into the ruins, as hours seemed like days, and the sun gave light over the camp. The monk had felt refreshed as she left her tent and managed to take the time to stretch out her limbs and the voice of a shouting paladin, the one which Mirabella was fond of, started to shout of trouble. After a moment listening to the shouting around the camp; Nel could hear the distressed words that the prince was missing.

"Men of god!" The priest thundered for a moment, prompting Nel to reluctantly turn her head, then to turn it back and walk the other way. She wanted to be nowhere near that crowd. Then for a moment, she thought she could make out a figure across the trees, and started to move towards the brush until she made it into a clearing and saw the ruins of Idasseva. The monk ran towards the shadowy figure, believing it to be Rydas, until it turned around from the noise she made, and the face of Xan appeared.
"Oh, Xan." Nel said, somewhat surprised at how easily she mistook him. "Have you seen the prince? It seems he's walked off somewhere..." The monk didn't know if she was worried or glad. Everyone at the camp seemed to think it was the end of Calisma.

Was it?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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He laid on his bedroll, goblet in hand, dripping the last essence of wine that he had missed, when it rang in his head. The voices echoed, but sounded as though part of a dream. That was of course only until one rang then grew louder, even in his sleep he tried to make out hat it was saying, "Lance, his majesty is missing! get up we need to get ready". With a thunderous roar it awoke him. He rose quickly and wildly to the news.

"What? Wher- Where has he gone?" As he stood, it seemed almost in an instant that he was holding his sword and shield. It took him a second to gain focus. Seeing that everyone was in a sort of organized panic he realized that this was not a time for battle, but one of haste in action. He threw down his weapons to begin donning his armor. His eyes glanced over the party hurriedly, making it difficult to make out who was who, what he did notice though was that he is probably the last person awake.

As he struggled to quickly make ready, another voice rang in his head, that of the prince, and of his own promise to him. A heavy breath of rage and guilt heaved in his chest. Immediately he turned and began shouting orders in a way out of character of himself. "Quickly grab a small bite to eat and drink! Let us try to quickly take down camp, let us not leave too much trace. Rangers and rogues, begin tracking cautiously if you have not already. The rest will follow your lead, with mages in the middle, and the warriors covering the rear." As he was about to put on his chest plate he first rested his head on his horses saddle, attempting to gather his thoughts, center himself. "It may be best to either release your horse or walk with it, as we must be extra careful and aware from here on in towards the ruins. If the Prince's cloak is still around, someone should put it on, covered by the hood, and pose as the Prince to not raise the suspicions of any who see us."

He shouted the orders while clearing his sad excuse for a camp, reaching into his sack to blindly break off a piece of bread. The walking will have to suffice for a morning workout. The adrenaline from being awakened so hurriedly made his armor feel light as usual, but he knew it would not last. Eventually the lack of sleep and exercise would weigh on him, but he could not show it. "You're now our head of defense" the Prince's words made him shake under his armor, but he had to keep his head up and his eyes sharp now. "I will not fail you again" he whispered to himself, sheathing his sword and picking up his shield.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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To Nari, the ride seemed a little slow to begin with. It made her think heavy thoughts with grim expectations for the rest of the day, but fortunately it was all made better when Mira caught up and reined her horse in next to hers. They all started sharing stories and tales, talk being heard all around her. It made her mood lighten a little, something she was grateful for. The warrior woman next to her was the friendliest person Nari had met in a long time. Their handsome Prince seemed nice as well, but she had yet to figure him out. He was very serious when he spoke, and the amount of words Nari and him had exchanged was limited. Fortunately, there were other people she could talk to. The whole business with the monk and her desire to bury the bodies had been a bad start of their morning, Nari thinking it to be unnecessary delay. She would have burned them as well. That was how you did it in the wild, and that was how they had to do it. They didn't have the time to bury each and every one of their enemies, and Callevan couldn't keep doing that neat little trick of his.

When finally they reached their camp for the night, Nari stopped Vanir in his tracks and looked out across the open plain that streched out between them and their destination. The ruined citadel seemed eerie. Looming over the lake like some dark, destroyed watchtower. Nari took a deep breath to avoid a shudder, the feeling of a cold knife running down her spine displeasing her. Something was very wrong with this place. She knew it. Fortunately the night came rather pleasantly, no severe dicussions and arguements. The Prine however, after a days ride of fine mood and raised spirits, all of a sudden seemed tired. He excused himself and walked to his tent, apparently going to sleep. Nari's first intention was to rise and follow him, asking if he was okay. But looking into a Prince's tent, only dressed in her poor clothing she wore under the armor, seemed inappropriate. The Prince would appreciate proper etiquette and behavior, even out here. That was her impression.
When her stomach was full and she had tended to the wound she had sustained the night before, Nari went to her tent and decided to get a good nights sleep before the dawn. Luckily, hers wasn't the first watch. The night came and went, Nari sleeping rather peacefully.

The first words to reach her ears the morning after were of several people. Something's wrong. She thought, opening her vivid green eyes and rushing outside with her shortsword in hand, dressed in little more than undergarments. When she discovered that they weren't under attack, Nari began dressing herself and hoping that no one had noticed. Everything was very hectic at the moment, but she was grateful for the fact that someone had decided to take charge. The Paladin who had stitched her up was barking out orders. Nari gave him a smile and a nod, letting him know that she approved of his quick decisions. Something had to be done, and the Prince be found. Her only fear was, that the Priest would oppose. Nari could already feel the irritation building up at the mere thought of him opening his big mouth. Could he just keep quiet now, she'd be thankful. As fast as she could, the Ranger packed her things away, tied them to her horse and gathered the things necessary for scouting. That meant her bow, shortswords and a few additional belongings.

"It's such an open plain," Her hand rested on the shoulder of Feylon, the other Ranger. "I'll track the footprints as far as I can." Nari nodded at him once, and then began tracking the Prince's footprints. Her mind circled about that grim ruin ahead though. How close would she have to get before she was in danger. In her mind there was no doubt. Where else would he have gone but for the citadel?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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Akdov was shaken by what seemed to be a hasty choice by Lance, he had not yet had a good chance to see the group´s capabilities which made him wonder about things, was this his first time taking command?

"Lance?" Akdov aproached the man "Do you know any of these men? I was busy being unconscious on our last skirmish but from what I have seen right now we are in need of cool heads and distribute our formations accordingly.

We do not quite yet know what happened I wager it is a bit early but I think the citadel is our goal and properly manage our assets, we have two mages, a former soldier, a triansui, a professional scoundrel, a ranger huntress, one odd merchant, a monk a bard and two consecrated paladins.

By the looks of it the huntress is already on her way, she can be lead scout but until we realize what we are up against it is too early too manage our manpower, wait until the rangers get back to us.

I think the triansui and the soldier have military formation, they must be accustomed to lead in one way or the other, assign the safety of each of the mages to them, I think Xan is probably more used to urban environments and dealing with infiltration in man made edifications, well have to ask him when he gets here.

Travian or Geraint should lead our charge I can tell that they are reliable on that spot, the triansui and the soldier can be hold in our rear while we allow the rogues do their thing, whatever that is anyway, us and the mages should keep our senses keen in case there is something supernatural about this disappearance."
he met his stare and asked a much more personal question in a lower voice "tell me true have you ever been part of an exorcism before? I might be jumping to conclusions but we have got to consider the nature of the previous inhabitant of the citadel, if either you or Travian have had any run with this things before we would have chances that would make me confident, ill try to talk Accacia out of this, I would just feel better if she was out of harm´s way"

He walked towards where the bard was, currently engaged with the soldier in chatter

What was the soldier´s name again?, something about hard or felon

"Accacia?" he said looking to them both "good to see you are up, seems like most of us are, go to Lance so that he might better prepare our positions and... bard" judging by how well the monk and the woman were getting along this was probably as much of a spitfire "If what the rangers are saying is true we probably are going to plunge into peril head on, I just have to ask that mayhap you should stay in the camp if anything goes grim on that cursed place, it simply strikes me that the gift that Deud gave you was that of music not combat, id hate to see you go in and not out" she didnt looked particularly moved

Well time for advice

"Would you not agree soldier?" he told Feylon hoping to find some backup there

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Celedia
The rest of the ride to the Citadel went quickly, in Mirabella’s point of view. Conversation kept their minds occupied as they traversed great distances and while she kept vigilant of their surroundings, the Triansui knew of their arrival at their destination by the sudden fearfulness in Blaze’s step. The mare reared her head slightly, then shook it as if saying she would step no further and only with gentle coaxing from the warrior did Blaze finally proceed forward to the clearing where they would camp.

Another meal was eaten, this time more heartily than the night before since the commotion had caused her to eat little, and she was asleep on her bedroll before the last licks of sunlight withdrew from the area.

She was awoken by the sound of scuffling about and the loud shouts of newfound friends and allies. With practiced hands, she was armored and armed within a matter of minutes and her bronze plate shone in the morning light as she packed a few of her heavier belongings onto Blaze while keeping the rest of her things that were easier to carry in the multitude of pouches about her waist.

While she readied herself, she overheard the conversations taking place and a single golden brow arched. For once, she agreed with the Priest, which was a shock in and of itself. Perhaps there was more to him than it seemed because he settled easily into a role of leadership with a plan that was admirable.

As she passed by Akdov, she simply gave a small nod of approval before heading to one of the mages. Van was the only one that she knew the name of, the smaller girl mage never introduced herself, to Mira’s recollection, so if she were to watch over anyone, it would be one that she was at least semi-familiar with.

“Ah, I am to play escort with you, mage, but from some of your tricks that I’ve seen I have a feeling you won’t need a bodyguard.” Inclining her chin towards the citadel, she tried to joke even though her eyes held signs of worry over the Prince’s whereabouts. “Let’s go, squishy one! Everyone else is running headfirst into the unknown. I wouldn’t want to be the very last ones in. Cleaning up after everyone else isn’t as fun as it seems.”

Even after the words left her mouth, she was hoping that they weren’t true. It was foolish for so many people to just run off without a plan into the great unknown. Their one true, agreed upon, leader having seemingly abandoned them; the Prince wouldn’t have wandered off on his own which meant something else was already working against them and could get to them with little effort. A comforting thought.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by conor
Feylon looked at the bard as he processed the question. "I highly doubt he has come back. He is not in his tent, the footprints lead to the citadel and his cloak is resting somewhere down the path" as he pointed to the red fabric on the floor. Then he acknowledged the Priests question of the bard. Feylon turned to the bard and thought for a minute before opening his mouth. "While I agree with the Priest to some degree I do not wish to relegate you to camp duty. It will be dangerous down there. If you wish to come I will certainly not stop you." He un-sheathed one of his two daggers and offered it to the monk. Surely better protection than a lute and some throwing knives. Whether she took it or not was up to her and he thrust it into the ground near her feet.

As everyone began shouting and running off Feylon grew angry, People were beginning to be reckless about the task at hand. The priest had more tactical sense than he had imagined with some tweaking it would be the best shot they had of infiltrating the citadel. His anger however got the better of him. He cleared his throat and began to shout. "EVERYONE STOP!". He would not be responsible for the ones who had already run off, that was their choice and he wasn't going to strain himself to look after the ones who already left. "Right now we are heading into something unknown. Evil creatures are probably lurking inside the citadel, all of which will poses some kind of magic. We need the mages, the shaman and the priest for a magical defence and this is how we should do it. Up front we need two soldiers preferably Mirabella and Travian. In the middle of those two I recommend the shaman however it seems he has run off down towards the citadel. Hopefully if we catch up to him he can fit in. Right behind them in the middle is where the two mages should fit in. One looking left and the other out right to protect the flanks from creatures. However each mage should stick tight to the warrior in front of them for extra protection. Behind that I will slot in and the other ranger should she come back. This should allow us adequate protection for aerial attacks with our bow's. Then behind me again I would have everyone else in a semi-circular shape protecting the rear and closing down the flank's, with the other paladin, Lance?. To hold the rear line.."

Feylon took a deep breath and wiped his forehead. He waited to see whether anyone would listen to him so they could try an ordered and structured assault on the citadel. Otherwise he feared the Prince and most of the group would be lost to them and Feylon was not done with the Prince yet. Not by a long shot.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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Not long had she been tracking footprints, and searched for any clues before Xan and Nel passed her. Nari didn't say anything but let them go. Nari was roughly two thirds of the way across the open plain, towards the citadel. She shook her head and frowned when Xan decided to go in to the ruins. Has all sense left him? She thought, eyebrows furrowed. She still had no doubt though, there was no other place the Prince could have gone. And where else would he? Behind her she could hear raised voices from time to time, though it seemed surprisingly far away. Nari turned her head, acute hearing trying to pick up more words. All she could gather was, that they argued what to do.
With a nod, she let the small monk pass her. "Fine, I'll wait here until they arrive." Nari responded and looked towards the citadel entrance again. Despite her words, Nari closed the distance between herself and the ruin. She crouched down a litte way from the large dark doors. It looked so dark and dangerous in there. What creatures lurked, waiting for them to entrude she dared not think of. Dark magics and the undead?

Whatever the enemy, we'll defeat them. She told herself, chest heaving with a deep sigh. Over her shoulder, she saw the rest of them getting ready. Nari nocked an arrow on her bow and stayed where she was. If they had any sense, Feylon and herself would be fighting together. That only made her curious as to what kind of man he was. She didn't know him very well, and so far she hadn't trusted him. Would he be trustworthy in battle?
"Easy." Nari told herself and tried to calm her breath. She wasn't scared, but something from inside that ruin made her shudder. As if the cold steel of a blade was running up her spine.

Getting up and running back to the camp in a steady tempo, Nari stopped when she reached the others. "Nothing to see from the outside." She said to Feylon, giving the Priest and Lance a look each. She'd heard their voices when someone was arguing over tactics. "Not to my eyes anyway, but maybe the mages will see something else." A deep breath was inhaled as she steadied her breath and let her bow rest on the ground. Her hand moved up to brush her hair out of her face, leaving her piercing green eyes revealed. "All tracks lead to the ruins, but they seem feather-light. As if a ghost has walked the path. It doesn't look like the Prince in full armor and sword stepped that path." Nari finished her sentence, and looked around at everyone. Her eyes lingered on Mira, glad that she was with them. "I'm glad we have mages with us, as well as able bodied warriors." Her eyes wandered to the people she had mentioned, and smiled to each one.

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Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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Lance took Akdovs words very carefully into consideration. He knew he was no leader, it had never been his place and he had no qualms about it. Before he went off, Lance put his hand on Akdov's shoulder, "Thank you friend. Mine is not the mind of a leader." He gave Akdov a sincere smile and let out a great sigh. He could once again clear his mind, and focus on the task at hand. We must recover the Prince. He chuckled silently as he thought to himself, he did request that I burn his body should he perish. His jest was interrupted by the words of the ranger, Feylon, "the other paladin, Lance?. To hold the rear line.." He looked up quickly and gathered what was going on. His reply was swift and simple.

"Aye." Suits me just fine. A true smile returned to his face as he started walking his horse with the rest of the group towards the ruins.

As they approached the ruins everyone seemed to Lance, a bit uneasy. Even if it was only showing in subtle ways. The lack of organization worried him a bit, and of course there was a troubling question on his mind that he was not sure would get great response. it was before they were to enter the ruins, so he figured now might be a good time to raise the concern. "Excuse me everyone, but I can not wonder about how we are also going to handle the task at hand, which was to locate the amulet. I understand the desire to find the prince, find him safe and return him home. But I... I also wish to succeed at the task we set out for." He stood calmly, confident, awaiting the possible barrage of discontent. But he was ready for it. He did not feel that the party was ready to enter the ruins, not without foolishly losing their lives. And as much as he wanted to see the prince to safety, he wished this also of his king.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia nodded at the ranger's words. She looked toward the citadel, quickly seeing the cloak. Now, more than ever, she felt the evil that eminated from that place and wondered just what awaited them there. She was just about to hurry off and help pack up the camp when Akdov came up to them. It seemed he already needed to state his opinion, loudly of course, so early in the morning. Acacia crossed her arms and listened as he voiced his opinion on how Acacia couldn't handle what was ahead. At least that is what she took from his speech. Feylon, on the other hand, seemed much more reasonable. Acacia nodded her thanks at Feylon before picking up the dagger and tucking it in her belt.

She took a small breath and calmly responded to Akdov, though there was still a certain fire in her eyes. "I knew when I decided to come on this quest that it would be dangerous. If I were unprepared and unwilling to take that risk, I would have stayed in Paetax. If expected this quest to be safe, I would have left after the bandit attack last night. Despite what you may think, I did not come here on a whim, just to play music and entertain. I know enough about Idassava to understand the magnitude of what we are taking on. However, I am ready to do whatever possible to see this to completion, and that is not cowering in fear at the thought of 'perils' and taking the easy way out while everyone else enters this 'cursed place.' I appreciate your concern, but you greaty misjudge my character if you think I will abandon this quest because of the danger that I always knew was there."

Acacia turned from the man, not wanting to argue, with a new determination apparent on her face. She quickly helped pack everything up as several people suggested battle plans. She grabbed Maria's reins in order to lead her on, and Nel quickly found her. Acacia returned the monk's smile with one of her own and nodded at her. "Neli." There wasn't much else to say at the moment, so Acacia said little. When everyone was ready, Acacia steadily, set off toward the looming citadel. As they drew closer, Acacia couldn't help but stare at the large ruins that loomed before them.

At Lance's words, Acacia bore a considering look. "I may just be a bard," she glanced at Akdov before continuing, "but I would think that, though our quest is to find the amulet, the Prince should be our first priority..." 'since he is the only heir.' She left the words unsaid, but they still seemed to hang in the air. It almost felt as if she had shouted them. She looked uncertainly at the looming ruins, feeling uneasy, but determined to find the Prince.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Akdov was dissapointed by Lance`s lack of leadership, if he ever wanted to be a paladin he would have to accept that protecting is part of the task but so is leading and the idea of the soldier leading was not something he wanted, the man was unable to detect supernatural presences and could not distinguish if the events unraveling in front of him were to be fought by faith or by steel

"We have to move people, those that are ready prepare to move out we already have quite the lot of people headed in the citadel while I will not have anyone enter it just yet we must judge the situation from what we see in the outside and verify if Xan is back with news" despite how reluctant he was and longing for the comfort of just following around it was too risky to let others make choices that he should be making "Geraint already moved ahead, so it is settled that he will be our vanguard I know the man and can attest that he will do fine"

He pointed at the green eyed rouge "Huntress if Xan has failed to come back to us I want you as our lead scout, while I realize that the woodland might be more to your liking I hope whatever our scoundrel has unveiled can give us an edge, besides I can judge that you have some knowledge of first aid so I will be requiring you to assist me when my mending is not enough"

O shit what was her name?

"Mages" he said to Alice and Callavan "you must not under any circumstances find yourselves alone the advantage you provide is far too valuable to risk, Mirabella guard good Callavan and soldier I will insist that you keep the other girl safe, I will be needing the paladins on other roles due to their potential to fight the unholy if the 3 of us focus I believe we can heal wounds and purify the foul taint that the necromancer might have left lingering"

Some growled, some gave an approving nod and he realized that his own preferences had clouded his judgment, he had completely left out the 3 brats they had a spine all of them he knew

"Acacia I would insist, again, that you stay behind but if you must come I have a task well suited for you, I assume bards have good memory no? I hope that someday you will make a lovely tune about our courage here but I will ask you to keep a close track of the surroundings, take note of any icons or landmarks and the doors and paths we take I would not like to get lost there and that is something that would be valuable to us"

He then looked at the monk... part of him struggled to not make a smart remark of how she should be the headmistress of the rites of passing but right now he had to make bridges not pits "Monk I will ask you this, assist the huntress in whatever she might ask of you, I trust you are agile enough to perform under her direction" then there was the firecrotch, Akdov did not want hot tempers going to the Citadel with friends like those who was in need of enemies "Id like you to stay and guard our flank at the entrance dont want the enemy sneaking on our back"

Or you for that matter

"The paladins and myself will be in the center their ability in case we need either involvements of both arms or prayer we will be able to assist either the rear or the front in short notice" he looked at the group and concluded "Those that are ready accompany me to the entrance, the others dont take too much time but dont arrive unprepared either"

He had everything he needed, the tome of truth, his staff and the cup, he walked pondering if he was fit to lead... if Xan was around or the paladin lance had been up to it he would have been more comfortable with them having to bear the burden, if these where faithful then it would be different, but right now he had to act as the elder that he was and make his best to see them all alive through

As he drew closer however, the stench of something that simply was not right permeated his advance, he looked at the hellish citadel and it occurred to him that it looked more like an unholy cathedral which was a bastion of blasphemy to the faithful "Deud`s mercy" he told to himself, he was unnerved by the realization that the place was emanating something dark... in broad daylight

The prince did went missing at night did he not?

They would have to preferably end this quickly, he found Geraint there waiting "Were getting too old for this friend" he smirked giving some humor to a truth that was harmful to the pride, however in case he indeed didnt made it out he had to slip "G, look should things go sour... remember that I told you that before I became a priest I was a man of influence in Queran? I heard that my last wife had a child who himself bore a daughter later on, they probably are living off the wealth that I left them back when... they're doing good, just..." he saw how those that had accompanied him were giving looks to them "well you will know what to do I'm sure, just being a paranoid old man"

As they gathered around he began to prepare a rite, a blessing of sorts... faith would shield him to an extent, but would Deud be so benevolent to those who did not bowed?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Celedia
As the group passed through the towering archway that led into the Citadel, Mira couldn’t help but lift her chin and cast her eyes upon the massive structure. Ominous…. She had heard that word before and it fit their surroundings quite well, now. Never before had she felt such a sense of foreboding and it made her edge closer to the mage, Van.

Soft conversations echoed around her and she winced as she heard Akdov basically spout his living will to his old friend, the Shaman. A quick glare cast in his direction signaled that perhaps it was a foolish thing to speak of when the courage of some of their party members was already threadbare at best. Yet she did not part lips to verbally issue her warning because an argument would also do little for their resolve.

As they crept deeper and deeper into the stone structure, avoiding traps with the helpful markings from Xan to show what spots and steps they should avoid, there were brief bouts of silence as each party member made their way through or over the dangerous area. It was during one of these lulls in conversation that Mirabella first heard the noises.


Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.



That’s comforting… The Triansui thought sarcastically and in fluid motions, she retrieved her shield, slipping her left arm through the straps on the back then quietly drew her sword free from its scabbard with her right hand. None of the others seemed to note the sounds that were emanating from deep within the Citadel, growing louder with each step that they took further into the archaic corridors.

Pausing her steps, Mirabella held up a hand for the others to fall silent once more and the sound seemed more pronounced this time around.


Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.



Worry filled her eyes and she let her gaze sweep the passageways more quickly, noting that the thief had left the doorways open to signal that he had searched the room’s interiors before moving on. The warrior wanted to move more quickly, in case the horrifying sounds were related to the Prince’s disappearance but on the other hand she knew rushing into the unknown would be foolish.

“Perhaps we should quicken our pace to get closer to our thief scout.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian

The mage he had been trying to wake was grumpy when he finally came to, cursing and shoving his way into alertness. Once it was apparent he was truly awake and wouldn’t just roll over, Travian backed off. That task done, he began surveying the camp more carefully, his stomach began to quiver as he realized what had happened, “the Prince….”

As others-most notably the priest, began waking up and taking stock of the situation Travian made himself ready. His stomach seemed heavy; the quest had just begun and he had already failed his prince. He felt sick as he reflected on the confidence he had shown when he first caught up with the group, “just hollow words I couldn’t back up….” He took a deep breath in an attempt to just exhale all his negative thoughts. After a couple more he looked around at the others again: a few had gone off after Xan, some were still waking up and getting themselves ready, some were considering strategy, and the rest just milled about seemingly wondering what they should do. Unorganized as they were, there was something about them- he found himself thinking back to the pile of bodies at camp when he first joined the group and a new wave of confidence filled him. He- no, they had not failed yet; they could do this.

"Those that are ready accompany me to the entrance, the others don’t take too much time but don’t arrive unprepared either,” Akdov announced after explaining the third formation idea that morning. His idea that himself, Travian and Lance should stay in the middle was a sound one, and knowing Mirabella was in the front made him more comfortable with the fact that he wasn’t. Most of the party accompanied the priest to the entrance; some still seemed a little confused about the conflicting orders, but as there had been no apparent signs of distress from the group that had gone ahead there seemed little need to establish a formation until they actually reached the citadel so the issue was put aside for a moment.

As they walked, he found himself taking note of a particularly small girl that he had somehow failed to notice before. He wondered what such a meek-looking type was doing there until he saw her mage’s seal- yes it made sense now. However, despite whatever skill she may have had she seemed anxious. He started to consider whether he should take charge of her protection, that is until he remembered the priests words- once again he found himself agreeing with the man’s logic despite his own wishes. Well, he could still say something to her at the very least.

“Excuse me, Miss.” He said as he approached her, “I hope you will not think me rude, but I couldn’t help but notice that you seem rather uneasy; more so than the rest of us at least. I know it is not my place to look out for you, but should anything happen find me and rest assured my shield will defend you.” He closed his eyes and made a gentle hand motion, “the protection of Urusk be upon you.”

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

Tap…tap…tap….crunch

Travian felt his heart rate shoot up. The crunching sound in particular set his pulse pounding-it was somehow familiar but either ignorance or simply an unwillingness to recognize it kept him from identifying the source.

Tap…..tap…..tap….crunch

Under his breath he prayed for the Prince, and Xan. “Please be okay.”

“Perhaps we should quicken our pace to get closer to our thief scout.” Mirabella said from up ahead.

“Aye, and the Prince too!” he said as he began moving more briskly.

Tap….tap….tap….crunch

Damn it all! If we could just get to wherever that sound’s coming from- if I could just see it…..
a cold bead of sweat rolled down his face…. I wouldn’t be so damn afraid.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint waited, stone walls of the eery place rising up to heights great enough that he had to crane his neck backward, shaggy, twig-laden hair falling back lower as he did so, to see their peak. He listened intently as the others spoke on their way to he and the ruins both, gathering their plan of approach, and rolled his shoulders, casually stretching himself without being too obvious about it as they drew near. Vanguard then mmh? Very well. The old man smirked into the darkness ahead of them, he probably should be tired of it by now, but he still took some sort of perverse pleasure out of beating evil into a mindless mulch, and something about the ruins hinted that he would have his chance this day, whether he wanted it or not.

The place was eery, but the word didn't do the feeling justice. There was an almost literal pall laying over the land immediately surrounding the broken, cathedral-like structure sensed with varying degrees of vagueness by just about anyone whom should pass by, but definitely more readily tangible to those sensitive to such things, men of God(s), like his old comrade or the Knights, and likely the magisters as well, not to mention a certain old Shaman too stubborn to quell in the face of such energy, despite his Spirit's preference to shrink from the inhospitable place.

These thoughts were interrupted however, by the arrival of the group at large. Within moments they had gathered 'round the entrance, apparently making any final preparations before entering. Geraint waited, though realistically only having nothing to do for the scant space of the few seconds it took Akdov to reach and speak to him. The Priest's voice was low, intending to make the conversation private, though as he became, to his long time friend at least, noticeably self-conscious about the subject, Geraint realized at least one or two of the others took notice. In a response, both to Akdov and anyone else listening, the Shaman clapped a powerful hand upon his dear friend's shoulder, giving a short, rumbling bark of laughter. " Keep up talk like that Akdov and you're liable to make me think I'm the one 'hasn't gotten any older. All the stories you tell these cubs last night and you're worried about a little graveyard?" The powerfully built Shaman snorted and adjusted his caber, resting in it's usual place over one shoulder. "I'll be pulling you from your grave before I go running off to you're family you drunken sod." His words were playfully reproachful, with a trace, but not overbearing level of confidence. But the look in his eye and the firm squeeze on Adkov's shoulder were a silent message for his friend. I'll look into your family if it comes to that. They seemed to say, but that message was for the two of them alone, whereas the little speech, if it could be called that was for the morale of all whom happened to be listening.

Letting his hand fall, the Shaman shrugged his shoulders and turned toward the entryway, taking only a step or two before he heard the sound.

Tap... tap... tap... crunch.

A frown touched the weathered features of his face, and he paused, cocking an ear to the side. Listening intently for the source. It seemed neither near, nor far, but it wasn't as if it echoed terribly, it just seemed to... emanate from within the structure, on its own quite disturbing really. Setting his shoulders, the Shaman and veteran dungeon delver mentally shrugged the majority of his unease away, looking back over his shoulder. "I'm to be the tip of the spear yes? Well then, let us press on." So saying, he turned his attention forward once more and proceeded as speedily as he could whilst keeping a wary eye out, and led the "merry band" into the musty, dust-ridden bowels of this nearly hellish place.

They proceeded with a fair amount of speed, passing opened doorways and crudely, but sufficiently marked indications of traps. Handiwork left no doubt, by their fearless rogue, somewhere deeper in the structure. They proceeded further in, thankfully never coming across any choices of directions, no "T" shaped hallways or the like, so they knew that they followed in Xan's footsteps; and all the while that damnable sound followed them.

Tap... tap... tap... crunch.

The infuriating thing is that it never seemed to be any louder, never any closer, never an farther, always just there like annoying background noise. Though Geraint was certain that the moment he ceased to pay attention would be the moment they came face to face with with whatever was causing the sound... things always seemed to work out that way, in his experience. But after the umpteenth time that series of sounds repeated, he couldn't help but nod his shaggy head in agreement with the Lady Knight, they'd be best served by catching up to their trap-smith with all speed, and thus, as Vanguard, he quickened the group's pace as much as could safely be done. It wasn't much later that there was a furious sound, almost like rain, but harder and closer, more vicious, up ahead of them, and as they rounded a last corner, Geraint's eyes found Xan, the one-eyed Rogue, peering in an annoyed fashion at a hallway literally choked with arrows. Imbedded into the stone no less.

The Old Man grunted to announce the group's presence, and couldn't keep the comment that sprang to mind from leaving his lips."They're thickly resting enough, any chance we can just walk on the arrows down that hallway pup? His tone was quietly jesting, he wasn't making light of the situation, merely throwing some mild cheer into the air for everyone's sake, admittedly, his own included.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by slcam
As the group approched the looming structure, Acacia was hardly surprised at just how much it dominated the surroundings. Even she could feel the pure reek of evil and death when they first arrived at the lake, and now that they were coming closer it was almost overwhelming. Nothing seemed to move besides the approaching group. No birds chirped and fluttered in the trees, no bugs crawled around on the ground. As they approached, even the trees and weeds seemed as if the life was slowly being sapped out of them and everything seemed twisted oddly. The very earth seemed permeated with the sheer evil of the place.

As soon as Acacia recognized the graveyard inside the fence and the dead hanging from the trees, she tied Maria outside of the gates. She didn't have the heart to bring the animal into a place of so much death. Though it should have been a warm day, the sun already shining brightly, the entire place seemed cold. It was as if even the sun was wary of entering this place. Despite the horror at her surroundings, Acacia felt calm. She knew she should have been terribly frightened and worried as she was probably the least in actual battle experience, but those feelings seemed distant. There was only one goal in her mind and only one thought. Find Rydas.

She grudgingly nodded at Akdov's instruction to memorize the way they went so they could make it back out, ignoring the rest. The thought that he didn't think she was good enough to be there no longer irked her. She was at peace with the feeling that this was were she needed to be, had to be. She was thankful that her thoughts were so clear and was determined to keep them that way no matter what they faced. They went up the steps as a group and Acacia stooped down and carefully gathered the prince's cloak. She neatly folded it, tucking it securely in her belt as they moved forward.

As soon as they passed through the doorway, the temperature seemed to fall even lower, and Acacia drew her cloak closer around her. Though their way seemed clearly defined by Xan's marks, Acacia nevertheless paid attention to as many details as she could other than those marks made by that brave rogue. In a place like this, she wanted to be able to make her way out blindfolded if necessary. To be sure she would remember, she worked the details into a story in her head, carefully going over it when they were forced to slow as they navigated around the traps Xan had marked out. She noted the numeber of doors, high, arched windows, and details in the stonework, some of which was melted away. She even noted the weathered tapestries, many depicting horrifying scenes that fit the gruesome atmosphere of the citadel. Everything seemed dusty and untouched.

Acacia had the haunting feeling that their presence didn't go unnoticed. Something knew they were there. Slowly, she began hearing an odd noise. It didn't seem to grow, but rather suddenly appeared. Trying to find its origin was useless as it quietly surrounded them, seeming to eminate from the very stone. She wondered if she had imagined it until Mirabella spoke. Acacia's attention went briefly from their surroundings to the looks on others faces as they began to hear it as well.

Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.

Something about the noise both drew her in and pushed at her. The desire both to rush toward it and to flee as fast as her legs could carry her resounded distantly in her mind, still drowned by a calmness. It wasn't a total calmness now, as it had been when they first entered. Now it was the calm before a storm. She was relieved when they saw Xan, glad that he seemed unscathed. However, it seemed that nearly wasn't the case, as he was sitting mere feet from a multitude of arrows, all imbedded deeply in the walls and floor.

Though he seemed to have no apparent injuries, Acacia still felt concern. When Xan noticed them, she walked near to him, kneeling by his side with a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Are you alright?" she said, her voice soft and tinged with concern. Her eyes, however were focused where Feylon now pointed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
The structure that towered over them, despite how malicious it truly was, fear was not the first emotion to cross Nel but confusion. The fact that a graveyard was around the ruins held no fear for her, her monastery was also surrounded by a graveyard of fallen monks, although it was more peaceful and serene. The graveyard back home was filled with greenery and flowers but the one here seemed to be dead, lifeless, leeching the energy of everything connected to it. Nel held a tighter grasp on her quarterstaff as the group entered the darkness and only shadows could be made out of the group.

The monk begrudgingly followed the priests orders, walking side-by-side with Nari, and growled in the pit of her throat. She was by no means happy or glad that the priest had taken charge of the group but it wasn't like she knew anything like tactics to contest for leadership. The talk between the priest and the shaman reached Nel's ears in particular; especially the information of a wife and child that made her mentally twitch for a moment.

"Of course. Only a priest could abandon her wife and children." Nel thought and tilted her head towards Nari, whispering in a low tone so only she could hear: "If only we were that lucky." the monk said, referring to Akdov's demise. Yet the angered thoughts on the priest seemed to disappear in smoke as soon as Nel examined the insides of the ruins. She was more fascinated by the intricate details of the stonework, high arches, and design of the cathedral. The haunting presence of the Cathedral was unlike anything she ever knew and Nel didn't know if she should be more curious or frightened by the same presence.

Tap...tap...tap...Crunch.

The noise just reached Nel's ears, causing her to make a full turn and back, in her vain attempts to find the source of the noise. It was like the heartbeat of the Cathedral was still beating but it had an illness. The sound didn't become louder or quieter but it became more pronounced with every step closer they took.

Nel looked at Mirabella as she suggested they should speed up and instantly did. Her own heart was beating faster, lungs breathing faster and faster, but she wasn't tired nor exasperated. Unable to make head or tails of what was wrong with her, the monk tried to lie to herself, saying it was just the air o the ruins. Yes. The air was heavier in a place life this. They needed to find the prince before the air would crush them.

In sight was Xan, uninjured by the looks of it, and behind him a plethora of arrows stuck in the walls and floor. When Nel was going to assure of his safety, Feylon rose his hand, and pointed to the far end of the hall past the arrows. Nel had to squint a little bit before she can see what he saw.

"That's a room...isn't it? Perhaps the prince is in there." The monk said, assuring Feylon. Although the shaman's comment about walking on the arrows was a joke, by no means did she see it that way. Nel walked up to the hall of arrows, behind Xan, Acacia, the shaman, and tested the strength of the arrows by transferring weight from her feet to three arrows underneath it. Remarkably, it did seem strong enough to support Nel's weight. With evidence to confirm the idea, she jumped up onto the field of arrows, feet on about the ends of six different arrows, and held her balance. "G's right!" She said with surprise, borrowing the name the priest used to call the old man, walking rather normally from side to side, before pulling herself up on one of the arrows stuck to the wall and flipped herself to a comfortable sitting position. Sitting precariously on a couple of arrows that was embedded quite forcefully into the stone, she looked down at her comrades, and waved them over. "We can just walk on the arrows!" she shouted confidently before jumping down back down on top the makeshift floor of arrows.

The arrows that held her fall broke on impact, losing her balance, about to crash into the ground until the quarterstaff was stabbed into the ground, granting Nel a graceful jump to another patch of unbroken arrows. The monk breathed a sigh of relief and looked at her comrades; lightly laughing from her mistake of judgement on the drop. "I'll go look for the prince in the room then." Nel said confidently, softly jumping from one part of the arrow floor to the other, no clue as to what had awaited her in the room at the end of the hall.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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"Very well lets get to it" Akdov said as everyone was now geard up and ready "I dont suppose none brought any torches?" he did not count with the cat-like senses that some of the rogues had, he was a man of light and he would be damned by walking into that pit just like that.

He placed firmly his staff in front of him, then knelt as he began to read out loud passages of the tome of truth "...Thus in the days of Ruglia did he found himself starved, wounded, tired and in darkness, it was only then that he dared to ask the hall lord for help, a mercy that the kind one would give but the Saint saw not fit to bother thee..." closing the book and kissing its cover Akdov whispered something in a language known only to those close to Deud, he took a dip drink of his cup and then spit out a burst of liquid that poured into his staff.

Just like in the bandit attack the staff began changing, it was nothing as drastic but it was flashy in more than one regard the index and thumb joined making a circle and in the gap it appeared, a dim and kind light that did not hurt the eye, rather than emit light it seemed to dissipate the darkness

The citadel felt hostile and oppressive, it reeked with a malign intention toward them as if the very walls were alive and it welcomed with the friendly and kind intention of seeing them all dead, and mayhap something worse in mind for some of them

Theyre welcome to try

He was walking tall and proud, fighting blades, tracking beasts, wrestle monsters, hit far away targets, throw fireballs... not one of these things he could do... but purge the wretched taint of evil was a career and profession to him, in the dealings of men good and evil mostly fell on perspective, but there was a wisdom above their understanding that could only be labeled as benign in its kindness and desire to protect and grow, but there was also something on the other ends in a darkness beyond time and space... something that held humans in deep contempt, to put it simple if you were innocent in Deud´s eyes you most certainly were guilty in theirs.

"You can feel it cant you?" he said out loud not really expecting an answer "There is something unnatural and corrupt about this place, like a festering wound in the land, corroding that which it touches... I dont think Errion had it in him to cut the source of whatever lies here, I think he might have pacified it but not quell it... and maybe it harbors grudges towards the bloodline"

Soon they found their lead scout "Xan good man!" the priest shouted with enthusiasm, he was glad to find him alive and well "dont suppose you found the prince?" the scoundrel did not seemed wounded in any way, to be able to mark all those traps without getting some noticeable damage, Akdov was developing a respect for the man.

Accacia the bard began to ask for his health and such "Indeed are you hurt? I can help you if you are injured" and then it simply happened in a outstanding and monumental moment of wonder the monk showed that common sense was not that common and it made the priest wonder just what sort of bizarre coincidences and circumstances had led her to grow so old without getting herself killed

Like a curious cat the monk simply rushed ahead of everyone disregarding the priest sensible plans

God damn

Narenia the huntress then voiced her concerns and confusion regarding what she should do "if there are traps or wards then she is already dead ahead of us, I wont have someone dying if I can help it however" he pointed at the scouts "Xan, Huntress follow her if you can but dont risk yourselves if there is uncertainty" they were lean and agile fellows surely they could chase with ease

He turned to Callavan "Cal friend I would follow her through the arrows but im too fat and too fucking old to do so, I need your help to keep up!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Travian

With their now quickened pace, it didn't take long for the group to catch up to Xan. It seemed a trap had finally gotten the better of him as he sat huffing and puffing at the edge of a room that's floor was covered in arrows. The ranger guarding the mage girl began inspecting the room as the bard and priest inquired after the rogue's health. Travian let out a slight sigh of relief when he said he was okay. All together again (save the prince, that is) the group was allowed a calm moment. The noise persisted and Travian's heart seemed to pound in time with it, but at least there was one less thing to worry about now. The shaman even made a joke and Travian laughed lightly- beginning to feel himself relax a little.

The monk however, took it seriously and began actually leaping across the room from arrow to arrow. Travian simply gaped, maybe he could do that without his armor and equipment, but that was a big maybe and there was no chance in hell of him leaving those things behind in this place. Xan and the ranger managed to get across almost as easily- though they weren't quite as graceful.

"Cal friend, I would follow her though the arrows but I'm too fat and fucking old to do so. I need your help to keep up." The priest said to the older mage.

"Right then," the man replied as he unfurled a scroll, "Those of you who'd like to avoid getting shot...and the elderly, gather 'round me and stay close. Uncomfortably close."

Unsure what would happen, Travian did as the man said. After a moment, a protective aura surrounded the group. It was not unlike the kind of wards Travian could create with his shield, though doing one as complicated as this would have him on his knees once they made it across. Travian looked at the mage with a newfound respect.

It was slow going; the arrows had left little room for feet- especially so many clustered together. So far no new arrows had fallen, but everyone was sure to keep inside the aura in case the trap were set off again. Once they were about halfway across Xan's voice could be heard yelling back to them.

"Someone with holy abilities please make your way to the front. NOW!"


"Come with me, Priest!" Travian said as he raised his shield over their heads. The shield was big enough to cover both of them, but Traivan still cast a light ward as they moved away from the mage- just in case. As they stepped over the threshold into the next room a foul scent assaulted their nostrils; it was so sudden and intense that it was almost as though there had been a blast of air. The scent and the scene before him stopped dead in his tracks. The nights of his childhood that had been spent tucked tightly under the blankets came rushing back to him as the words formed on his lips. Ghoul.

Seeing the monk in danger snapped him out of his fear and he charged into the fray. She was in the grasp of the creature, and though Xan held it back with his chains and the ranger wailed on its arms with a dagger she was unable to escape.

"Don't let it touch you!" Travian shouted as he sprinted towards them. He knew they had probably heard the same stories he had, but a reminder couldn't hurt. He raised the throwing spear he had been carrying and tossed at the creature's face; he doubted it would do much damage but it did send it's head reeling back away from the monk. Travian then readied a melee spear and charged the creature's left hand. "If those arrows stuck into the ground, hopefully my spear will be able to as well" As the tip bored into flesh he kept running- spreading the arm out away from the monk and ranger. When the tip emerged on the other side he thrust it into the ground with all his might, about faced and began running towards the monk.

With only one arm to keep track of the ranger seemed to be doing better, and most importantly the monk was open. He moved in and scooped her up in his free hand while keeping his shield between themselves and the creature's mouth. Once he had her he ran like hell back to the priest, the foul air filling his lungs as the exertion forced him to take deeper breaths. He laid her down gently. "She's been paralyzed" he said in between gasps; hoping the man could do something to help her.

He glanced back at the creature and saw that it had pulled it's hand out from the spear which was still stuck in the ground.

"Well, at least it shouldn't be able to grab anyone with that hand," he thought as he pulled out his second close-range spear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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It startled Akdov to see just how agile Feylon was, he was under the impression that the soldier would be a swordsman or someone with practice in fencing but he moved quick as a snake following Xan and Narenia without much effort or pause

Bloody hell he should have told me about that

Callavan then made a remark that they would have to get uncomfortably close to each other, he winked at Mirabella and said "O woe us, I fear I might get ravaged by kinky hands" he laughed all the way through as Callavan led them, that was a talent of sort that the priest had even in the darkest hours he could find a reason to laugh

It was unsettling to hear action coming ahead and more so to hear Xan calling out for a man of god to assist them immediately, his voice broke no argument

So now you pray sinful children

Travian showed startling initiative by shouting that the priest should come with him and rushing ahead of Callavan´s ward, Akdov followed suit and was welcomed by the sight of Xan struggling against a thing with a chain, in yet another moment of courage that surely was making the patron of his order proud Travian charged forward without any hint of terror, whether this courage came from familiarity, hubris or the desire to help Akdov could not tell but he was moved by his actions, he looked to the monk then, she was going to be fine... just not soon.

He could break the taint, but it would take time, time the ghoul would not spare... it had touched flesh its zeal and fervor would only increase now "I can help her but first we must banish the ghoul" he would not have more victims if he could help it, healing one back was bad enough "Xan, Huntress keep your distance dont let it touch you, try to impair its movement" Travian was too valuable to send to errands but the monk could not stay here "Soldier" he told Feylon "She cant stay here the creature will do its best to get it and if it consumes its flesh things will get ugly and fast, carry her out of here well cover you, send for Lance, Geraint and the mages tell them not to allow it to get close"

A cracking sound was heard and he saw how the ghoul had pulled itself free "Damnit I could try an burial ceremony but we lack the manpower to keep it busy while I make the ritual, if I begin it will come to get me and it wont stop until I die" Travian seemed to get the idea "Once Geraint and Lance arrive I will feel confident enough to try until then " in one motion he dug his staff in the ground and then took a heavy gulp of his cup, then in one grotesque show that was not expected from other more conventional priests Akdov regurgitated a stream of highly pressurized vomit from his mouth towards the ghoul which knocked it back, Akdov fell on his knees and elbows coughing while cleaning bits of the crap that still hung up from his beard "we just need to keep it busy until the others arrive, play it safe" he spat and regained his composure

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by Celedia
Time was of the essence and perhaps it was this fact that caused the next series of events to play out both too rapidly and too slowly for Mirabella. If it were to be recalled at a later time, the warrior might bring up a flicker of random memories. A pat on the shoulder by Nari as she passed to catch up with the nimble Nel who hopped through the dangerous arrow trap to head off on her own with Xan, another agile acrobat, quickly following.

There was the eerie stillness of the citadel, the odd play of emotions through each of her comrades as they too made their way via the mage’s protective spell towards the circular room. A few jokes were told to ease tension. The mage, Van, called the priest elderly which made her lips split into a wide grin before the priest cracked his own comment about kinky hands. If hers had even been free, she would’ve held them aloft for his viewing pleasure. Those free roaming touches wouldn’t come from her hands even if they did not currently bear sword and shield. The holiest man among them seemed to be one of the most lascivious.

Then the world paused, as if holding its breath before all hell broke loose. Upon entering the room, Mirabella’s mind couldn’t keep up with the calamity. Nel, seemingly frozen, was being dragged away from a vile creature that reeked worse than any place she had ever visited. Ghoul the word was either screamed out or whispered by various people and everyone battled desperately to take down this new foe. Only the second battle they would encounter and it had to be this… This thing?

Ghouls were notoriously hard kills. In all of the lore she had collected on her various travels or through her kinsmen there had never been any real tactics shared about the creature. Holy magic, the kind that her people couldn’t cast, was useful so the only options she was given to defeat a ghoul were slim.

Decapitate it or run for your life.

Its touch was paralyzing so she couldn’t get too close but still she had to do something. The priest needed time for his spell.

Keep it busy, she heard the priest say and with that she saw the ghoul being knocked back once more, this time by the stomach-churning display of Akdov vomiting upon the creature. Disgust roiled through the warrior’s body but they couldn’t hesitate. They had to keep the beast away from the others while the men with holy magic did their duty.

Keep it busy.

Mirabella held her shield in front of her and ran full force at the ghoul. Thankfully its movements were lethargic so even as it reached out its uninjured hand, she bashed her shield into the foul undead sending it staggering back another few feet and disorienting it briefly. Over her shoulder she called out to the priest and paladins, “Keeping it busy. Do what you need to do.”

With that declaration, she caught the eye of Xan, Nari and Van. Those with ranged abilities that could give the ghoul everything they had while awaiting the spell to unfold. The ghoul took another lumbering step towards her and she parried its outstretched hand away with her sword then tried to hack at its leg with a swift blow. Perhaps, if they could disable it then it would be easier to take down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint's mouth literally dropped open when Nel bounced across the field of arrows as if it were a spring meadow. He'd been joking, joking! His complete and utter surprise was briefly compounded by two more of the group taking off after her, albeit somewhat less gracefully. The gaping maw of surprise turned into a wry grin, and a chuckle escaped him. "Well, I'll have to remember not to discount such ideas in the future then won't I?"

The Old Shaman was just pondering how to go about passing through that hallway, he presumed it was still trapped or Xan would not have been standing on this side of it still, when Callavan called everyone to gather together, and enveloped them all within a protective shield of some sort.

Magic. Never gets old does it?

Then, part way through, two things happened, the first was Adkov's comment about wandering hands, directed, apparently, toward the Lady Knight, which gave Geraint images that caused him to shudder inwardly, though all that shown on the outside was a quizzically quirked lip in Akdov's direction. Mirabella couldn't have been much older than Geraint's own daughter, if that, and the concept of the two of them together was just... ugh, it didn't bear thinking about.

It wasn't but a few moments later when there was a shout from the chamber up ahead, answered by the cry of one of the Paladin's, whom grabbed Akdov and charged forward, shield raised to the ceiling for protection. There were obvious sounds of scuffle, shouts, and all in all, the general sounds of frenzy that often accompany combat. Soon enough, though the wait felt like an eternity, they emerged into the chamber to be confronted by a ghoul. A ghoul of all things. Of course just, just as he entered the room, he had the unfortunate and dubious pleasure of watching Akdov knock the undead fiend back a number of paces... with vomit. Compounded with the overwhelmingly cadaverous stench already permeating the room, and the Old Shaman immediately turned an ugly shade of green.

He took an deep drag of breath, instantly regretted, and wreathed his face in a small torrent of wind, with an angry, contemptuous gesture. Hearing would be mildly more difficult, but since everyone was shouting that wasn't likely to be a real problem, more importantly, the breeze that now disturbed only his hair and beard kept that ungodly awful smell from his nose... mostly. It would have to do for now though, there was a battle to be fought, with many of the others already engaged. With a roar, the Shaman charged, bringing the caber to bear, reaching the Ghoul just moments after Mirabella engaged it. Keeping his momentum, he dropped to his knees, sliding alongside the enemy, and using his spirits to increase the speed of his slide, took a great swing at the creature's knees. It was surprisingly stable though, and he only managed to stagger it. However, the the attack was well timed, as the Transui's swing at the Ghoul's leg collided around the same time, taking it from it's feet, at least for the time being. All this happened quickly enough that by the time Geraint had regained his feet and turned around, the creature had yet to shamble to it's feet. Which gave Geraint time to notice something would he rather not have, two lines through the disgusting bile laden attack salvo Adkov had launched earlier led to the Old Shaman's position, and he knew without looking his knees would be covered in it.

I hate vomit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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Where Nari might have smiled before, she didn't now. She had a soft spot for Nel and didn't want to see her hurt. Her rushing forward increased her worry and hardly had the Priest's words left his mouth, before Nari followed the Monk.
She bounced across the arrow-floor, with the grace she'd learned as a Ranger. Nari's body moved like it was supposed to move in such ways as this required her to. "Thank the Gods that I am a woman." She said under her breath once she had reached the other side. The arrows felt like they were going to break beneath her, and if the heavy armored Paladins would make it across, she could not say. Feylon and Xan had landed too though, Nari a little surprised.

"Nelinia!" The Priest had told them not to waste their lives, but how could they not when they saw what was before them. The.. Thing, had caught Nel and was inches from taking a bite of her flesh. Nari nocked an arrow and almost let loose, but had no clear shot to take. If she did, she would hit Nel and be the cause of her death. If anything, Nari would rather that Nel died by the hands of a ghoul, than her own. What went on behind her, she didn't know and didn't care. All she wanted was that they caught up soon. Everything happened so fast that she barely managed to let loose an arrow without risking her companions lives. The strangest thing happened not soon after Nel had been put on the ground, luckily not dead. A jolt of worry shot into Nari, and she instinctively moved toward the Monk. The Priest decided to throw up on the ghoul. Throw. Up. In all the battles Nari had seen, though she hadn't been in any army or war, she had never seen anyone vomit on their enemies.

She placed herself in front of the Monk, letting one arrow fly after the other. All they did was stick to the monster, but seemingly not slowing it down or killing it. Nothing happened, it just kept coming. To her relief, the Priest asked Feylon to move Nel. Nari would cover him as he did, not letting either of them die by the hands of their enemy. "Van!" She called, still firing at the ghoul. Mira and the others currently fighting it were doing a good job. At least they kept it busy. "Can you do something to my arrows? Or can you do something to that?" If Nari should have any change of doing damage to that ghoul, normal arrows wouldn't be of any use. Maybe Van, or the Priest could imbue her arrows with something potent enough for a kill shot.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon panted as he tried to attack the creature and avoid getting hit.The small slender dagger he now had tightly gripped in his palm was useful only up to a certain point. Normally his targets would take one quick run across the neck or perhaps into the liver. Silent and effective if you needed the job done quickly and efficiently. This however was a tiring task. He had so far only succeeded in annoying the creature beyond its original levels. Quick movements and rapid thrusts and jabs had simply distracted the thing long enough to get the creature free. He fell back momentarily towards the rest of the group who had now arrived. Sheathing his dagger pulled out his bow once more. His arm began to feel the strain just be holding it. He managed enough strength to pull the string back and take aim. Waiting until the creature turned its back towards him he let loose a shot. Whistling forwards it lodged itself only a few millimetres into the creature.

As his arm became limp from the strain of firing and stabbing the priest asked him to take the young monk out of the way of the creature. He took a deep breath before the next few moments happened. When the priest vomited on the creature and then asked them to keep it busy he looked at him puzzled. "Keep it busy? What will you do next fart in its general direction?". He shook his head in disbelief and went quickly towards the monk. Avoiding the creature he knelt down and scooped her up in his arms. A quick heave and he was back up on his feet again and heading for the way he came in. A moment later he was trudging through the corridor at a more relaxed speed. Water splashed against his pants as he placed his feet into puddles. He decided that he should set the monk down nearby so that he would only be a few moments from the fight but far enough from the creature so that it would not be able to follow.

He slumped the monk up against the wall. It was damp and mossy and Feylon realised that would only worsen her condition. He decided to unfasten his cloak by removing the brooch by his neck that held it together. Made from the thick enough fabric to be waterproof for a small period of time but light enough to carry it had saved his life on more than one occasion. He drape the cloak behind the monk to protect her back and pulled her legs outwards so she was now sitting down. Then he proceeded to crouch down next to her, dagger in hand and ready to fight if need be.

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Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Akdov smiled as he saw the group function as a well organized party with people bringing in sausages, others chairs and most of them booze... one of these days he would show them how to party hard as in the days of Ruglia`s age

Everyone was giving their effort to see the ghoul put down, if they kept it up they probably would not even need his intervention, but they were ignorant he assumed... they had not considered that once that thing had been human, that right now there were remnants of a soul trapped in that wretched husk asking for release, a task that Akdov felt it was his sacred duty to acquiesce the vows he had taken and believe in redemption

"Paladins" Akdov beckoned them close to his presence "the others seem to have a firm grip on things, I am going to perform an intervention to send the soul that inhabits that corpse directly to the peace of the afterlife, the soul has been held long enough by the body...It is time for it to meets its host" the next part would be the hard one "I will perform the rite of Sanskar that demands that you act as my acolytes and put your arms down while cleansing your souls of any intent of violence" he knew that demanding such vulnerability in front of such creature was too much "My staff will indicate when the rite is complete, until then the ghoul will be infuriated by my presence, it must reach me only when im finished"

With not a moment to spare Akdov kissed his tome and opened it, reciting words in a sacred language, pages from the book began to fly around him forming a circle around those involved in the ritual and his cup burn bright with a golden fire that very slowly extended from his hand... once it covered his whole body it would be ready, the staff that had been planted too began took its part as well as it latched to Akdov`s back acting as some sort of third arm as he held the cup in one and with the other 2 held the book and took pages out of it to join the circle around him

The ghouls eyes shone red and an unholy frenzy took over it, now more than ever its corruption compelled it to eliminate that annoying source of divinity... it would not stop until the priest was dead

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Travian

Travian was still trying catch his breath when the rest of the group caught up. They were just in time to see an.....impressive display of projectile vomiting from the priest which knocked the ghoul back a bit. He had requested that everyone keep the ghoul busy so he could prepare a spell and Mirabella and G were eager to oblige. Not quite ready to charge in with them, Travian watched carefully- ready to run should either of them get themselves in trouble. He was also concerned about Xan, the beast may try to shake off the chains at any moment. With Mira and G coming at it, the ranger had a chance to get away and he took up the monk as Akdov instructed. Travian was relieved to see the two of them get away safely.

The two fighters worked together well and with two hits to the legs the creature came falling forward. Finally fresh and now presented with a golden opportunity Travian surged forward. His first thought was to take out the creatures eyes but he quickly realized what a bad idea that would be "don't want a creature with a paralyzing touch flailing all around...." His hesitation almost lost him his chance- the creature was beginning to shamble to it's feet.

To stop it Travian plunged his spear into the creature's neck. Its mouth surged towards the paladin in retaliation, but he easily blocked with his shield. With the its face so close it was easy to remove the throwing spear he had hit it with earlier. Not wanting to linger so close to it's paralyzing flesh he stowed the ranged spear and then pulled out the melee one that was still lodged in the neck. The creature rose as he backed away from it and tried to take a swipe at him once it was up. He blocked with his shield but the blow was powerful enough to knock him off his feet. He landed square on his back and got the wind knocked out of him. He struggled to regain his feet as he felt the creature closing in on him, but it was hard enough just getting air. It attempted to hit him again now that he was vulnerable but he managed to get his shield up in time. That was when he heard the mage call out

"Oi buggers! Best stand back now, lest you want to loose a limb or two."

He coughed before spitting out "Working on it!" It was then that he realized he breathe normally again and he scurried to his feet. He ran to what seemed a safe distance- keeping his eyes on the ghoul the whole time. Before he could see what the mage was up to the priest summoned him.

"I will perform the rite of Sanskar that demands you act as my acolytes and put your arms down while cleansing your souls of any intent of violence."

Travian had never heard of Sanskar but Akdov's description made it sound similar to the once exorcism he had been present for. Though at that time all he had to do was hold down the poor victim- this would be a lot more complicated. He made his way to the priest and removed his pack and shield. He closed his eyes and knelt before the man. He turned his thoughts away from defending himself and the others (with force if need be) and instead concentrated on helping the poor soul-peacefully- gently guiding rather than forcing it out. The more peaceful his mind became the more in tune he felt with the magic the old man was conjuring. More than anything he tried not to think about what would happen if the ghoul reached them before Akdov was ready.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint watched the battle unfold quickly after his initial plunge into the fray. The ghoul took a few more hits, before a call from Akdov and the Bearded Mage signaled the convergence of two very different plans. Plans that frankly called for entirely opposing sets tactics for those who favored melee such as he himself and the Lady Knight currently holding the foul creature at bay. As luck, fate, chance, or just good planning, would have it however, Xan, the increasingly resourceful rogue implemented a plan that would, temporarily at least, satisfy all plans and keep the remaining party members safe from harm.

Even as the undead figure raged, eyes literally glowing red with fury and hatred toward the two Holy Men whom worked to purify its soul and separate it from the unholy shackles that bound what should be a free spirit to the withered remains of the long dead corpse, it was whipped around and pinned to the wall. An impressive feat that scarcely left Geraint with time to wonder if it was the single minded fury toward the holy men that allowed such maneuvers or if Xan was really that quick and skilled.

With blades cutting through flesh, bone and biting into stone, the ghoul was pinned by the Rogue's unusual weaponry... not that the Old Shaman had cause to call anyone's choice of weapon unusual. Still, with the Sanskar infused anger fueling its limbs, the creature may not stay pinned long without aid. All were free of the blast should the Mage's trick work, and Akdov needed only time. So Geraint answered his ally's call, stepping up to Xan's side before pulling him back farther from the living corpse, willing his spirits into action as he did so, ending it with an stomp of his foot once he'd drawn his comrade to a (hopefully) safe distance. The sound echoed hollowly, as if from far away, and the stone, marred by the malevolent bondage daggers, grew out to encase part of the blades, holding the ugly fiend tighter to the wall, and sprouting additional, painful restraints elsewhere. Hopefully all together they would hold until the Ghoul was blasted to pieces or freed from its not-quite-mortal coil.

"Anyone? Now would be a choice time!" After all, he wasn't entirely certain how long that would all hold.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella was grateful for the aid in fighting the creature. Geraint had helped her in taking down the creature and then Xan had used his unique daggers to chain the ghoul to the wall. Seconds were ticking by and still she had not seen or heard the arrow fire that the mage had crafted for them. Hadn’t he said they didn’t even have half of a minute before it would blow?

Turning her head quickly to scout out the area to see where everyone was, Mira caught sight of Nari with the spelled arrow still in hand. “Everyone back!” She called to the people still left close to the monster and with all the speed she could muster, she sprinted towards the female ranger while sheathing her sword. Plucking the arrow from Narenia’s hand she moved just as quickly back towards the ghoul, praying to whatever spirits were listening that she wouldn’t be blown to smithereens and once close enough she stabbed the arrow at the ghoul’s face. Her aim had been reckless and the projectile stabbed its way through the rotting flesh of the creature’s cheek, pushing the scrolls which were wrapped around its shaft up a bit until they were pressed flush against the ghoul’s jaw.

“Nowwouldbeagoodtimetorun!” The Triansui’s words ran together as she turned on her heel and raced passed anyone within spitting distance of the ghoul. At first, she thought that her rushed efforts had been for naught. That the arrow hadn’t worked for some reason but thankfully she had not turned her face to check. Within seconds of the thought of failure entering her mind, she was quickly proven wrong as a muted boom echoed through the massive room. Mirabella didn’t stop again until she was beside Xan and she finally turned, seeing blackened bits of flesh sprawled against the wall while smoke emanated from the spot where the ghoul had been chained.

Xan’s weapons looked a little worse for wear but that was probably just undead gobs sticking to the metal. It would no doubt be hot to the touch since it had been within the blast radius and while she tried to catch her breath, the warrior looked over to the Priest and Paladins to see if they had completed the ritual. The ghoul and his paralytic touch were no longer a threat but the holy men would no doubt be concerned over the state of the monster’s soul.

Patting the thief on the shoulder, Mirabella muttered a breathless, “Good thinking, shady man. Sorry ‘bout your daggers.” Then she passed over to where the monk, Nelinia, lay unmoving. She placed her round shield upon her back then fell to her knees beside Nel, casting a look at Feylon, the ranger whose name she still did not know. “How is she doing?” Her voice was quiet, worried, and barely perceptible to anyone but those nearest to her.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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It had gotten all quite complex again, and as usual it had involved one mage that wanted to see things explode.

Merely a setback he hoped, all he would require to do was contain the explosion on the enchanted missile and then the Sanskar could proceed, it would be complicated, it would demand his best but that was just what he was willing to give it if it meant the redemption of that poor soul in that foul prison.

And then before he could manage it, the projectile went off in a loud and flashy explosion

"NO!" Akdov shouted as the target of his Sanskar was now non gone, it needed a soul, and it needed it now... could there be time to cancel what was once in motion?

He tried, time was running short the barriers where opening and now there was nothing to send, divine powers would not be amused by this folly one did not called upon them on vain, Akdov was left with a terrible choice, either fulfill the ritual and send his very own soul to the afterlife or be part in the desecration of a sacred rite of peace

Evil thoughts raced through his mind, he could send his companions in his stead, he could send the paralyzed monk and then give her a first hand lesson about why it is important to burn bodies to speed their passing... what was he thinking?

It is too late to stop it... I have to go through with it, but what if... what if...

If she died, then the Sanskar would be valid, there would be no backfire to his ritual... but if her body was restored quickly enough then perhaps, perhaps he could summon her soul back to it, was he willing to run that risk with an innocent life... naive and misguided as she was this did not gave the priest the right to use her as a scapegoat to justify the rite he had misused.

It would have to be him then.


Dropping his cup and tome Akdov sunk his hands against his chest as something dug itself out of his breast a shinning light flew of in a torrent of blood, Akdov fell his essence escaping him, he could only hope they would manage without him

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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Whatever happened, it happened fast. Nari hardly managed to understand what was going on at the time of the explosion, but she was just glad that the ghoul was now dead. The scent that followed though, was disgusting. It made her retch once, although the contents of her stomach never followed. It was that kind of smell that made the air heavy, hard to breathe. "Damn..." She said under her breath and shook her head, now able to look up and breathe somewhat properly. What she saw now though, made Nari tilt her head. The Priest radiated some kind of very bright light, after which he fell to the floor. Something in the back of her head told her that Akdov had been preparing some kind of ritual during the fight, and maybe this was the effect it had on him if it failed.

Nari did nothing though. She remained where she was with her bow in hand and watched him. It didn't matter how much she tried, the ranger simply couldn't feel empathy for the man. All she could see was that they lost a healer, which was bad. Her eyes moved to Nel, who was also unconscious. For the Monk she had greater concern, but people were already tending to her.
Gods... Her mind went as she heard the voice. It was like having the edge of a knife run down your spine. "Is that the Prince?" She wondered aloud, raising an eyebrow. Not long were they allowed to think as another beast attacked. From the ashes and into the fire.

"Aim for the eyes!" Narenia nocked an arrow, and let those who carried the unconscious pass her. A deep breath, time slowed until all she could hear was the sound the string of the bow made, as she pulled it back to her ear. Everything stopped, arrow aimed straight for the eye of this big beast. As the arrow flew, the string graced her cheek and left a mark. Much to her own surprise, Nari discovered that the arrow hit it's target, sticking out of the eye of this beast. Now that she really saw it, something from her memory told her what it was, though she couldn't remember the name. It was unmistakable though, with it's fur and two legs too much. Now that it was blinded on one eye, Nari kept firing. She hoped that she could get a clear shot at another. Until then, all she did was keep firing, keep out of dodge and follow the instructions the mage gave them.

I hope it was the real one I hit. The thought struck her. If she had hit the real Displacer Beast, then it would be easily regocnized. But as far as she could remember, the books had told her that these animals created their illusions, and kept their prey busy. Then they would close in for the kill. "Watch the corners!" She wasn't about to have something jump out and kill her in a moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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A grim grin broke out over Geraint's face as he watched the ghoul explode. Despite his years of adventuring, soldiering, and the fact that he'd engaged undead in the past, that was probably the flashiest Ghoul kill he'd ever seen. The explosion making fleshy unliving kindling out the creature, which, like the fire itself, was briefly stopped against a translucent bubble of force before falling to the ground. The grin turned to a look of confused concern when he heard his long time comrade shout out a single word in anguish. "No!" Came the cry. Geraint's face whipped around, hair whipping his face as he his eyes landed on the old priest in time to see what the Shaman's experienced eyes realized was Akdov's soul fly from his chest into a portal not far away.

The Old Shaman's face turned ashen grey as his friend fell, not just lifeless, but soulless the vomit slick floor. The sheer shock of the moment caused him to remain still long enough for the unearthly voice of the Necromancer, presumed dead, now likely undead, to deliver her soliloquy, before he even took a step toward his fallen comrade. The crunching of stone beneath immense weight and the very faint sound of claws scrabbling, even digging, into stone, diverted his attention long enough to register the displacer beast's presence... it didn't matter.

It had been many, many years since someone close to him had been lost, and Geraint was unprepared for his reaction, he had to get Akdov back, he had to. Normally it would be impossible, but with the method of removal being the Sanskar, and with the veil between the world of life and death so thin in this sanctum of evil, the possibility existed that he could draw the priest's soul back to his body, and circumvent the Sanskar ritual. Perhaps it was that possibility that drove him to act as he did, foolish by any standard, he ignored the battle about to erupt around him. Ignored the call of the mage, the arrows fired by the ranger, even the shouts of the little Bear Cub. With a swift sureness of step belaying the frayed nature of his thoughts, the Old Shaman was at his fallen friend's side in moments. As the Six-Legged Not-Cat began to attack the others, and some of the group retreated to a defense position in the corner, Geraint slammed his caber into the stone merely inches from Adkov's face, the stone splintering as he drew spiritual power into it. Channeling his allied spirits into the caber and creating an anchor for Akdov's soul to hold onto, he just had to draw it back to this plane. He closed his eyes and shut out the battle around, the sounds of the Displacer Beast pouncing on his fellows and the fighting and shouts that ensued. He peered through the veil to find the recently departed priest.

In the most basic sense, there are two planes of existence. The material plane, the plane of existence that the average man or woman knew and experienced, and the land of the afterlife. But there were other places, other planes, and, most importantly for the Shaman's purposes, places in between all of them. Akdov had been dead only moments, the transition from life to death eased by both the ease of passage in this place, and the ritual that took the Priest's life. As such the Holy Man's soul would not have traveled all the way to the land of the dead. Reaching out with his thoughts and his unique brand of power, Geraint sought and found Akdov's soul, glowing bright and golden just as it had moments before, and drew it back toward its home plane, and home body.

Eyes opened, and the pained leonine roar of the giant Not-Cat reached old ears. Hopping back effortlessly on its five uninjured legs, the Displacer Beast backed away from the foes it had already engaged, shaking roughly and violently in an attempt to dislodge the yellow-clad monk so fiercely clinging to one of its legs, assaulting the beast all the while. Finally, with a growl, a barbed tentacle wrapped around Nel's leg, wrenching her from its leg with a whip-like motion and flinging her away. Geraint had only time to see that it looked as if she was sailing in the general direction of the Mage's net before the feline eyes focused on Geraint. It occurred to the Old Adventurer then that he was standing alone in a room, near a corpse, with a vicious beast that had him to choose from out of a number of small groups of people. His old eyes widened at the realization.

Time. "I need time!"

As if an answer from a god, and perhaps in in some ways it was, Lance came roaring out of nowhere, sword gleaming in the dull light, and shield glowing with holy power. Shouting a challenge and calling upon his god, the Paladin charged the Displacer beast, shield held forward, the bright white light shining from the cross welded to it, and something interesting happened. Where the light touched the Not-Cat, it seemed to shift from where it appeared to be when viewed outside of it's glow, and the Shaman realized that the Paladin's holy light was revealing the creature's true location. Satisfied that for the next few seconds the Holy Warrior would be safe, and his contribution would aid the others in the Displacer's demise, Geraint returned his attention to his reattaching of Adkov's soul.

The weaving was a complex process, the Sanskar ritual had ripped Akdov's soul from his body true, but Akdov's willingness had made the cut clean, Geraint needed to bind and retie the metaphysical fibers of body to soul, which would be easier if he had an unraveling tapestry to work with instead of a cleanly sliced and bound tablecloth.

The Shaman wasn't sure how much time had passed, it could have been seconds, it could have been minutes. All he really knew was that the process had been started, the life-giving threads were attached, but it wasn't nearly complete yet, when he felt himself flung forward by a heavy object impacting his back. He was flung forward, careening over Akdov's still warm quasi-corpse to crash and skid several feet away. Shaking his head to clear it, Geraint looked back that way, and his eyes widened, an agonized, snarling sound ripping from his throat. His caber had been toppled, laying over and possibly crushing Akdov, with Lance sprawled partially over it, his helmet gone and a great bleeding gash on his forehead. The magic had been ruined, everything was unraveling, even if he had the free time and lack of distraction Geraint wasn't at all confident he could wrest Akdov's soul from death's parlor room a second time... and with the beast causing problems, inflicting more death and destruction, it would... it would be impossible.

Beyond the, now pile, of corpses, the Displacer Beast crouched, watching the room and group at large, eyes narrowed, likely in pain and/or annoyance against the intense cacophony of sound, one leg raised to keep pressure off of it, and blood dripping from a number of cuts along its muzzle, neck and one of the tentacles, each of which swished about defensively.

The Old Man's eyes watered briefly, but he frustratedly blinked them away as he stood to his feet. It didn't take long at all, and when he'd risen entirely to his feet, his stance was that of a predator, his eyes ablaze with a fury he'd rarely felt, and none with him had yet seen. Truly, if looks could kill, the Displacer Beast would have been banished to the deepest layer of hell, bathed nightly in brimstone and ripped apart piece by tiny piece over the course of millenia with no gap in the pain until it was too far gone with madness to even continue to beg for the end.

One hand shoved into a pouch as the Shaman set his jaw. "You will know death creature, and if you're mistress revives you I'll feed you her head before killing you again myself..." The words were lost even to Geraint's ears, but that didn't take the wind from his sails any. Indeed, with that he crushed the cat token in his hand, pulled from his pouch, his pupils narrowing to feline slits, and with a growl to match that made earlier by the giant Not-Cat itself, blurred forward at surprising speed to collide with it. There was a flurry of movement as the two grappled, and when they "stilled" if that word could be used, Geraint seemed to be grasping two handfuls of empty air, which was dimly mirrored by the two forelegs seemingly suspended out away from his body. The barbed tentacles lashed at his body, grinding his back and sides, but he ignored them, answering the roar of the Displacer Beast with a growl and a head-butt to it's nose, which caused it to let out a startled yip.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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He could hear the singing, familiar voices of those that had gone before him cheering and celebrating in the great hall, the smell of roasted meat seasoned in exquisite spices filled his nostrils, he then began to recall his life in that sinful earth.

The youthful Arthur growing up with an unhealthy ambition, he wished to rise high and beyond his menial position in Queran, it was shameful to recall how he had stripped young boys from their mothers to send them marching to a war they wanted no part in, the flashing memory of his first wife accident with the flu... holding a pillow against her head was the cause of her demise, not the goddamn flu.

Then the memory of the second woman who had drowned, she could not bore Arthur any children so a little push in a boat and she went down like a brick, that man Arthur such a terrible sinner he was... had Akdov done enough to repair the damage and mend the wounds that such a despicable individual brought down upon innocent folk powerless to defy such a cruel twist of fate?

"yes" a female voice had said decades ago, Ryja sister to the nefarious riftwalker who would have scarred the borders between realities forever had she not been stopped, but she was wrong in a way, indeed while the vanquishing of such a menace was something commendable and that so far, history had failed to take note upon the unsung heroes, it wasn't enough

The vanquishing of evil did not equal the creation of good

No doubt existed in the mind of the priest that he would be accepted in the presence of the Hall lord to have drink and dance, but that didn't meant that he was ready to go, his projects of healing Queran and establishing a proper clergy for the merry church a holy bastion which would make Deud proud.

Yet, he had failed, in his confidence he had attempted to have another soul freed from its foul chains and in the end it had been him, not the ghoul who had died, he had some regrets but the destination was a fine reward, he would be in the presence of the sacred party... and he would be with Ryja at last.

"Not yet priest" the familiar female voice echoed coming from everywhere but nowhere as well "You are needed still" he felt a pull, one that slowed his advance "The hall will be here when the day comes" then the pull became more than a restrain, it began to drive him backwards

Then he saw, it was Geraint his old comrade and Lance the eager young paladin, they were surrounding the ruin that was his corpse, if they were planning to put his soul back into its old socket they were being naive, the wound that the violent release of his essence had left would mean that he would only return to die from it... such an honest and stubborn effort should not go without its reward, but there was no point to their endeavor... the vessel of his body was wrecked.

As he went down, ever faster he managed to see how in spite of his bravery Lance was ultimately outwitted by the foul beast that now had the group on the defensive, with one swift and decisive strike the beast had ripped through Lance signature helmet and sent him tumbling over Geraint and Akdov´s own ruined husk.





Blue eyes opened and Akdov took a deep breath, he rose up blood dripping from his short blond hair he leaned on the sword he had been carrying using it for support as he got back on his feet and looked at his allies under attack from an alien creature, it looked like some sort of minion from the riftwalker rather than a necromancer... he felt feelings of vengeance and retribution race through his flesh

Vengeance...

He felt a terrible headache he touched his chest and found that there was no sign of the burst of his spirit, only hard metal plates

Metal plates?

His allies needed him! the beast used the cover of darkness to strike, he didn't knew why or how he knew but the certainty of it covered his conviction, he struck his sword and hand against the massive shield he carried and the unnatural shroud that covered the monster dissipated like cloth burnt by a fiery blaze, the eyes and ears of the group would now be hindered no longer by the threads of the beast

"Strike it down! take the offensive!" he shouted to those that were not engaged with the creature, when he began to turn to lead the offensive Akdov thought he saw an old hairy blond man lying near were he had came back to his feet, he charged towards the beast not really paying any attention where his iron gear had come from, why he felt such an outburst of vitality or why his cup and tome could not be found in his presence

Setting

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Travian

He was completely focused on the magic flowing inside him. At least until the boom stick went off. He felt the magic begin to fade, cutting off entirely with a thud in front of him. When he opened his eyes he saw the priest on the ground.

For a moment, he was frozen. He felt his mouth opening as the realization of what had happened dawned on him. A check of the older man’s pulse confirmed it- he was dead.

“No,” He said softly, echoing the word that had been the priest’s last. Like most of the group, he found the old man grating but that didn’t mean he wanted anything bad to happen to him. He would wish death on no one and especially not a comrade. Without thinking he started trying to start the man’s heart, pushing down on the chest with all the force he could muster. He didn’t know exactly what the ritual had done or if his simple first aid could even do anything where souls and magic were involved. But he had to try, he couldn’t just sit there and do nothing.

Travian hardly even noticed the eerie voice echoing through the dank room, but the sounds of battle that followed were hard to tune out. He was starting to falter and completely lost track of how many compressions he had done when G slammed his log of a staff into the ground nearby. The old shaman didn’t need to say anything to the paladin- just by looking at his face Travian could tell that the old man had it covered so he turned his attention to the battle.

Relief surged through him as he saw the little monk in the fray. He would be lying if he didn’t admit that part of his concern for the priest came from the thought that Akdov was the only one who could help her, but it seemed that the ghoul’s spell had faded when it died. He charged in just as the mage’s spell went off. A thick mist filled the area- following both monk’s and mage’s advice he began stabbing at legs where he could find them.

He was beginning to find a rhythm when a spiked tentacle came out of nowhere and hit his left side, knocking him back into the wall. His armor kept most of the spikes from his flesh, but a couple found their way in and he groaned in pain.

“Mira! Slice off those damn things if you can!”

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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The frontline troops had engaged the enemy and without illusion on its side anymore the displacer beast had the odds against it, already the Triansui and the paladin had loped off a member of the wretched creature but it seemed to be determined to not go down without first giving them a fierce remorse to go with the joy of victory.

But nobody is going to die to this cat, not one more

It appeared that his illusion nullification had affected the mages in an adverse way as well seeing how they were not busy raining hell upon it, it was of little importance the day would go to valor and zeal.

Mine... Ours

Then in a turn of good fortune the feline began to freeze as it was about to strike a counter attack at the warrior "Yeeeeeargh!" Akdov smashed himself with all the impulse he had attained in his charge against the beast putting his whole weight behind it, so mighty was the attack that the legs it used to stand upon it stayed behind in its wake glued to the ground, an effect of the freezing act that one of the mages had conjured.

Now he pressed the shield against the maimed cat pinning it in the ground, one of its tentacles was still free and it lashed around aimlessly unable to cope with the events around it in time to avoid its grim fate, it struck Akdov several times before he had the idea to stab his sword into its throat and use it to carve a bloody road till it met the jawbone and then in one last movement it had sliced the thing open leaving its elongated tongue kissing the floor as guts and fluids escaped from the foe

He had seen that done when he was young, a thug which whom he ran into at times had killed a man in a similar fashion and had told him that it was a very balanced method of slaying, elegant, painful, quick and fatal...

Wait... I... I was a noble in Queran

With the enemy down the man that had been known as Lance placed his hands on his head as if to stop it from lifting and soaring on like a humming bird, he was having a violent clash of memories, things Akdov had never seen or done

Pray to Pelor for guidance, wait... no thats wrong, there is only Deud

He screamed and kicked making his pain a well known fact to everyone as he still seemed to be struggling with an invisible demon wrapped around his head recoiling in the ground and rolling from side to side

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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His head felt as if a giant was feeling in a mood for vandalism and his brain was the only object around

The man known as Lance was grinding his teeth in agony, memories that rushed in unwelcomed and deeds of the past that he could not find no matter how hard he dug into his memory, there was a small notion of what the cleric knew about the man he had been before, but he could not recall for his life the face of his last wife, or the color of the hair of his child, nor the landscape surrounding his manor

In its place there was the streets of Thoav, the experiences of running away with a mouth half full a stomach half empty and a man shouting after him and his band and also Oleander whom had pushed him forward into the path of righteousness

But that wasn't right, it had been Aliuqet whom had taught him the ways of Deud, the first man that the person who would later be baptized as Akdov had seen, the one that had revitalized him with the spirit of the Hall lord, he could also recall the exploits that such holy man had carried out.

And he would never forget Ryja, nor her dreaded sister the Riftwalker. There were others too, Geraint the bear of a man, Emerich the marksman who had doomed himself covering his friend`s escape even as the enemy closed in around him, Nathenya the crazed warrior witch that chopped off manhoods and fed them to her wolves...

Who has he? Who am I?

He stood and watched the looks thrown at him by his companions and then finally realized what had happened when he saw the grayish ruin of a man that had a mutilated wound on his chest that was gripping firmly a book with a cover he knew all too well, he made his way forward and closed his eyelids, he retrieved the tome, the chalice and the staff.

"Callavan, if you would be so kind this vessel needs to be set ablaze" some of them objected and then he explained "I am sorry to inform you that... the cleric that had traveled with you as well as the paladin Lance are... in a different state now I dont have the answers I am sorry" he continued "I am Lance, I am Oleander`s pupil and acolyte and I remember the sacred oaths that I took long ago, but..." this was not getting any easier, he had hoped it would as the tale progressed "Above that I am also Akdov Mur, of Deud`s chosen blessed by his sacred gaze who imbibed on the holy cup of the days of Ruglia, I remember our quest, I remember that the King to whom we owe peace lays sick and dying and our beloved prince now has gone missing in a macabre maze"

He chained the tome around him, placed the staff at his back and tied the chalice to his belt with the girdle that had been in the priest "Now is not the time to doubt our duties but to embrace our task, you might call it destiny, luck or divine guidance but we are here today to set the world straight, to honor the sacrifices of those that fell we must keep forward"

A wicked giggle then was heard and then an amused clap coming from a balcony above them a woman and... Rydas? they were praising their performance and inviting them forward to a chase "By all thats holy what in the dry hell was that?" asked Akdov not really expecting an answer "I had doubts on the prince intentions but this goes beyond what I ever could have feared" the mages could probably know "Was he under any kind of spell? is he master of his own will?"

We have to thread carefully now

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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Callavan swore under his breath, though with all the noise he had made he might as well have yelled it to the heavens. Only a few had followed his plan, the rest had rushed the beast. He felt foolish, hiding in a corner while they all battled on the front lines, risking life and limb for each other. He thought to follow after, but all his experience and reflex screamed for him to stay hidden, to strike from the shadows. So he stayed in his little web, like a spider struck deaf and blind, waiting for prey that would never come.

He could hear them, barely. There was shouting, the wet smack of metal on flesh and the cries of who had yet to know defeat. The fog thinned the faintest bit, making vague blurs turn into vague shapes.

Something flew past him, striking the largest of the shapes. It flopped to the ground and fell still after a few flailing movements. Callavan looked back to see the wee mage hunched against the wall. Was she there before?

The hall went silent and the fog slowly dissipated once he cut the power to his spells. He gathered up the tools used to construct his web and offhandedly said to the wee mage, ”Good work.” It was rather handy spell work he had to admit. He honestly hadn't expected it from her.

Gathering round with the others he saw they were battered and bruised, but more or less alright. Except for the priest, who still laid on the ground. He hadn't seen the ruined chest of the man in the panic before.

"Callavan, if you would be so kind this vessel needs to be set ablaze," said Lance, followed by a bunch of other spiritual crap. Van didn't give a damn whether whether the paladin was lying or not, the priest, or at least his body, was dead. Too frustrated (and bit too nauseous still) to mourn his new found friend, he set to the task of disposing of the body. He didn't know what sort of ceremonies there were for a priest of Deud, but a fire seemed proper and as far Callavan was concerned, funerals were more for the living than the dead.

He crossed the priest's arms, closed Akdov's eyes and, after a thought, fished around his bag for two coins, placing one over each eye just in case. Unsheathing his knife he carved a spell in to the priest's forehead, it seemed crude, but it would work faster than his usual fire, converting the body into flame rather than burning it.

There was a sound of applause while he worked. He stopped, looking up to the balcony to see Rydas and the woman. As the woman spoke he gripped his knife tighter, digging deeper into the priest's flesh. He threw a ball of fire at them, but he was too late. They had already retreated deeper into the ruins.

The paladin spoke again, asking whether the prince was under some sort of the spell.

Van grunted, finishing the spell he wiped his knife clean on the Priest's clothes. ”Hell if I know. This place reeks of magic and I don't know a damn thing about spells that effects the mind. That sort of asshattery was outlawed when the Guild was established.” He triggered the spell. There was a flash of blue flame that consumed the Priest leaving naught but the ashes of his belongings. ”But I swear by the drowned god's tits that if he isn't, I'm shoving my hand up his ass and roasting him from the inside out.”

He dusted of his hands, looked around at the others and said, ”Now lets get moving. I'm sick of all this shit and the sooner I kill whoever's behind all this bullocks the better I'll feel”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a quiet shriek as Mirabella shoved the modified arrow into the ghoul and it exploded into bits. She turned her back quickly to prevent the worst of the rotting goop from covering her face. She quickly realized that she hadn't gotten quite far enough away from the faint ringing in her ears, and the newly strenghtened odor of decay was giving her a headache. She flung her arms back and forth for a moment, trying to rid herself of some of the unpleasantly slimy substance. A moment later, she heard a loud, "NO!" as Akdov fell limply to the ground. Acacia stared in horror, not able to see any injury on him, but it was soon certain he was dead, despite attempts to revive him. Geriant stooped over the priests fallen form, trying to bring him back as well. Acacia was unsure of what had taken the priest's life, but she greatly hoped that the shaman could help him. It was somewhat ironic that Akdov had been worried about her, yet she was unscathed and he was gone, or so it seemed.

She was moving toward the priest, anxious to help in any way she could, when a sinister voice rang out in the room, calling to a kitty that was likely to be something far more deadly such a place as this. It was a Dirlagraun, or more commonly know as a Displacer Beast. She had always heard that they had been hunted to extinction. Apparently that belief was false. Her face became notably paler at the sight of the large, panther-like monster. It looked grotesquely muscular with its six massive legs and sharp tentacles projecting from its rippling shoulders. Callavan called out for them to come to him in the corner, and she quickly went toward him she watched with fascination as he put up a web of rope, but, remembering herself, pulled out the dagger Feylon had lent her.

The Displacer Beast began pouncing, making multiple versions of itself as those who chose to fight it directly instead of from the corner began their assault. Callavan's next spell came into effect, causing noise and making it difficult to see. Acacia stood near one corner of the net and jabbed through the openings whenever they moved near her. To her satisfaction, she heard the Beast screech in pain more than once. A moment later, things became quiet and she saw the form of the beast become suddenly still and fall over, completely frozen. A moment later, Alice slumped to the floor and Acacia hurried over to her. "Is there anything I can do to help?" A small smile briefly lit her face as she told the girl, "That was great, Alice."

Abruptly, Lance fell to the floor and began thrashing, and Acacia stared wide eyed. 'What in the world is going on?' Turning to look, she saw that Feylon was also down. He seemed to be bleeding badly as well, and the sight made her feel lightheaded and queasy. Lance didn't make her feel any better or less confused when he got up and claimed that he was now both Lance and Akdov. However, it didn't stop there. Applause rang out from a balcony and Acacia looked up to see Rydas there with the woman, calmly watching them. By now, Acacia was severely perplexed and slightly dazed. She walked slowly across the room as her eyes continued to dart back to the landing the Prince had just disappeared from a moment before. She fished her throwing knives from among the various goop on the floor until she again had the remaining nine knives. She stood staring at them a moment, taking the time to try to put this puzzle together.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
Flung to the wall like a rag doll, Nel's back collided with the rock, stuck for a brief moment before slumping to the ground. Her left leg started bleeding from the spikes on the Displacer beast's tentacles, the bandaged she wrapped beforehand a little torn, and wet with red blood.

The scene from the battle became illuminated to the monk's eyes with the Paladin's light but she couldn't have heard a word. The explosion, manufactured by Callavan's magic, partially deafened her, a sharp high-pitched ringing in her ears. The shaman's bout with the beast, Mirabella's swiftness and strength, Lance's bravery as he nearly sliced open the Displacer's Beast head, the frost dagger's of Alice's magic stabbed into the beast were all observed like a pseudo silent play. The beast finally fell, shaking the earth in a small quake, blood flowing from it's rare dark pelt. Only when everyone, weary and tired, looked up did Nel do so as well, spotting the prince and a young woman in the balcony, clapping their hands back and forth with smiles on their faces.

A hundred questions were boggled in Nel's mind. Question like: Why is the prince clapping like he saw a performance? Who was that woman beside him? What affairs did he have with her? Did they knew they were here all this time? Why didn't they help them? Why were they walking away? What did he say? Most importantly however: why was the brooding prince they knew and love knew smiling?

After the rather disturbing display of the Prince's teeth, the seemingly love-struck couple, walked away just as a fireball hit the balcony. The monk twisted her head back, trying to figure who or what threw that, before looking back up the balcony. Her hearing was just about coming back know as the confusion amongst the party spread. Lance was about spouting some nonsense, as was the mage with the beard, Feylon was hurt but bandaged by Mirabella and Akdov's body was set to fire. Quickly looking away from the fire, she spotted Acacia, busy picking up knives, and turned her sights back on the balcony. Nel silently went to the wall under the balcony, positioning her hands and feet wround the edges of the brick, pushing herself up, scaling the wall.

With each time she pulled herself the image of the priest set on fire was searing through her mind. It wasn't the method of burial that scared her, there was no earth to scoop up, and she doubted the priest, like the prince, wanted to be buried but the mere fact that she cared so little in his death. Sure, the priest wasn't the most lovable person but he was a person and an ally. A human being who probably had parents and perhaps by his age, children. Priests were abhorrent, bigoted, liars...but this priest was an ally with the same goal. In no way would Nel muster a tear for the priest but the fact she wasn't able to conceive a thought towards it; feel nothing towards it. In the monastery, if someone died, there was a day of grieving and the children would be ever so happy on these days because their training was a little less strict. They had twenty-four hours to sort through all their thoughts, emotions, and feelings but Nel got over Akdov's death in little more then five seconds.

It scared her to even think that while she's trying to figure out why she had nothing but apathy for the priests death; she couldn't even muster up feelings, regret, empathy, or even hate for the deceased. She realized the same thing for her enemies, the giant beast, and the cannibal corpse. She felt numb to them; literally for the ghoul.

Pushing those thoughts aside as grabbed the ledge of the balcony, she flipped herself over on the platform, wincing as the pain shot up her bleeding calf. The monk turned around and watched everyone, looking so small and insignificant from there, and from there recognized the red-haired thief.

"Merchant!" Nel called, waving her hand from the balcony, probably the only one who truly believed Hayley was a merchant. "We found the prince and we're going to bring him back!" She said, updating Hayley on their status, and turned around to meet the scent of food mingling in the air. Tempted by the scent of food, having hardly eaten at the camp that morning, she followed the scent down the corridor to one of the doors open wide. Light flooded in from the room and the monk followed in...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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For all the blows Travian and his fellows seemed to land on the beast, it showed no signs of slowing down. It thrashed and clawed and bit at anyone foolish enough to get close to it. Then, in an instant it was dead. No twitches, no howls of pain; one second it was alive and the next it was just dead. It had been brought down by some sort of powerful spell and Travian couldn’t help but shudder at the terrifying power that was magic. He couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to live in a time where mages were unchecked, where displays like the one he had just witnessed were commonplace, old hat.

He was by no means ungrateful for the spell though, it had no doubt saved lives. Assuming that it was the older mage who had done it, Travian turned towards him to offer his praises. However the look of bewilderment on the man’s face suggested that it wasn’t his spell….or at least not the one he intended. It wasn’t until the others began praising the young girl that he realized it was she was the one responsible. He was not only grateful to her, but happy for her; after looking so scared before she had managed to find some courage. She seemed a little overwhelmed at all the attention the others were giving her, so he simply added a thank you to the chorus. It wasn't much but if she had paid any attention to his face and tone when he said it she would have known how sincere it was.

Just as the words left his lips, Lance became the new center of attention. He was on the ground next to the beast, screaming with his hands to his temples. Travian rushed to his side and hovered over him unsure what the man’s problem was or how he could help. The man stopped after only a few howls and was then silent for a few moments. It looked as though he was collecting his thoughts, so Travian let him be. When he finally did speak it was with a calm demeanor that suited neither his still echoing howls or what he had to say.

How could it be? How could two distinct people fuse in this way? His manner of speaking, it was very much Akdov's but the voice was Lance’s. He seemed to know the histories of both men though they had not known each other before and had not interacted much since meeting. But perhaps worst of all he saw no hope of Akdov returning, for he instructed Callavan to burn the body. Travian could not accept that. But he couldn't bring himself to say anything. Travian knew that whatever turmoil he felt must be nothing compared to what those two felt and yet they were acting as though they had accepted it. Because there was no time to deal with it right now. And if they were ready to move on then Travian had no right to hold everyone up.

No time. No time. There were those two words again as the Sorceress and her new lover left the room. No time to think about whether the prince betrayed you. No time to think about if you were all brought to be butchered. No time to think about the possibility of having to kill the man you swore fealty to. And no point anyway, since you have no idea what's actually going on.

The mage didn't know whether he had been enchanted or not. For a few moments the room was almost completely silent. Those who did speak did so with lowered voices and everyone made themselves busy in some way or another. Taking care of weapons and wounds, Travian was no exception; he rubbed some ointment onto the light wounds the spiked tentacles had left, gathered and cleaned his spears. He was ready....at least when it came to the physical preparations....

The monk however, was totally ready and she had no qualms about climbing up the balcony after the prince and sorceress. She only paused for a moment to address a red haired woman who had just caught up with them. Travian just stared at her in utter disbelief, only returning to his senses when she passed out of sight.

“DAMN IT! You think she would have learned after the Ghoul!" He took a quick look around at his companions, "We have to catch up to her before she gets into trouble again! Xan, rangers, can you scout the other rooms? I'm sure you all could make the climb but the rest of us are going to need to find some stairs and quickly.” Then turning to the other paladin. “Lance, Akdov, can I leave the wounded to you or would you prefer I stay?” Before they could respond he noticed the mage girl, floating just below the balcony as though she were unsure whether it was okay for her to follow. She was looking at him. "Go!"He would feel better with someone going directly after the monk. "But please be careful! Is there some signal you can give us if you get into trouble?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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He was afraid

No that was undercutting it, he was terrified

Terrified when he tried to heal the wounded and the calls he made went unanswered, the power and favor he once had commanded with his god were either being dampened by another source or something far worse, the blessed body of the man that had been Arthur was the one who had attained all those ointments and honors to the hall lord

Logic would dictate that it was the soul that should be the one to be held accountable for its deeds, but maybe Deud had frown at the defilement of the Sanskar, and he was inhabiting the body of another man, a man that had been sword to Pelor... maybe both gods were at an argument at the moment about what was who's

But he was needed here and now, and goddamn the lack of common sense from these people was still something that did not cease to amaze him, despite having wounded and dead some still felt like rushing in along without a clue of whatever it was that awaited them or even if their companions were good to go

I swear I cant figure how she survived into her age

The group was still gathering when the wizardess, monk and soldier moved on and that red headed troublemaker "Seems like were out of time Travian, the wounded are leaving the healthy behind seems that logic and consequence don't hold the power they do outside, we best pack things and get going" it was not long before they were on the move following the smell

a delicious smell that made Akdov realize that he felt hunger, a hunger that he had not felt in decades in his blessed body, he also could not help but to notice the pleasing anatomy that the prince`s companion featured- Goddammit these youngsters!- He did not recall feeling so, lustful, maybe it was age, maybe it was something done to him in his consecration, but she had curves where a wench should have them and everything seemed to bounce in a very feminine way.

Lance must have struggled a lot if he had vows of chastity

And the dishes, there was Umathonel wine there! those bottles were worth a small city and were holy property to the Church of Deud only to be opened at the best celebrations, and the spiced pork, and the cinnamon pineapple and the molten cheese pot and the stuffed turkey and... and...

Get back on your senses!

"Rydas I see you waited for us before you ate, how very kind seems like humor has found you at last" he noticed the tied fellows, they could be either friend or foe but they had parts to play he was certain "It is so very nice of you to have prepared this banquet for us" he moved forward boldly almost defiantly towards the table "I have to say it is nice for a change to be received like this, yet there is just one thing... " in one quick motion he pulled the mantle off the table intending to make a mess of it and instead the dishes and bottles stayed exactly in their place while a very confused Akdov held to a piece of cloth, their female host made a giggle

Well that wasn't supposed to happen

"Errr... what I meant to do was this!" he tried then lifting the table but by the barrels that thing was heavy or Lance was not as strong as the priest had been they were both now snorting and grinning "Screw this piece of sh-"he turned it over to the side instead, this time doing what he intended all along, screw up their plans "I don't know who are you or what you have in store wench!" he unsheathed his sword and pointed at their direction "But Rydas is expendable he is second in line after all and your intent to do us harm is clear so excuse me if I am rude when I decline your so called hospitality, you have underestimated us it seems "

He made a signal for the rest of the group to follow, hopefully they would and if not... well he already had made a fool of himself with the table "Feylon aim at his knees, Nernia aim at her gut!" those two smirking jerks looked awfully calm, Xan would have alerted them if something was up or the mages should have seen a hint of something to be worried about " Callavan, Alice dont let her do anything without you noticing it!" he then made a nod to Mirabella and Travian "draw your steel"

Akdov had been a man of words, he was an accomplished orator after all " Listen and listen to me well, while the Panacea might be a lie we root out the corruption in Paetax today!"

Half of confidence is being confident, well it better be causing an impression on those two

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint just stood there as the Displacer Beast was ripped from his hands... and its own limbs. His mind swirling to a semblance of coherence in the aftermath. A few moments passed, and his attention was turned to... Lakdov? Geraint's mind was obviously still a little shell-shocked in the wake of his friend's failed resuscitation, or maybe it was just that he instinctively knew enough to leave such questions for a later time. Just now, it frankly didn't matter in the slightest. They had one more body, with some derivation of holy capacity, to aid them in the slaughtering of this necromancer. Aaaand speak of the devil...

... and she shall appear.

A woman, the old man could only assume it was Idassava in one form or another. Ghost, apparition, lich, simply a spirit bound to her sanctum? Perhaps she did even have the amulet they sought and had used it successfully. The possibilities were endless and irrelevant until the group knew more. Of more interest was Rydus standing aside her. Geraint was old, he'd had a lover or two, he'd been married, he had a child and grandchildren. The way those two held onto each other it was obvious to his knowing eyes that in his current mental state Rydus thought of Idassava as a lover, a wife, something along those lines.

That however, was about as far as the Shaman's coherence went. As the others milled about, he gave Lakdov a simple nod as he passed him, heading away from the stairs the malevolent duo had laughed from, watching out of the corner of his eye as the Priest's corpse was set aflame. He stooped, and it wasn't until than that he realized, with the searing pain flowing through his upper back, that, oh hey, he'd had his back shredded by a Displacer Beast's tentacles. His armor protected him to some degree, but his back probably looked something akin to ground meat where he'd been wounded. Sucking in a breath, the shaggy grey hair retrieved his caber, slung it onto his shoulder with a grunt of pain as much as of effort, and stalked toward the stairs. His eyes closed as he walked, a light, thin, cold green mist swirled about him, seeming to seep into his wounds before flowing back out and swirling gently, almost invisibly about the tall old Shaman. His wounds weren't healed, not really, they just wouldn't continue to bleed, and they would bother him less. Sort of like magical adrenaline.

With everyone flittering about, doing whatever it was they were doing, Geraint ascended the stairs. "I'm going to kill them." He said to himself. It wasn't under his breath, it was simply stated from about halfway up the stairs. By "them" he wasn't sure if he meant Idassava and whatever was powering her and/or all her cronies, or if he meant the two magically linked lovers. He still wasn't being very clear headed, which may be why he simply walked up the stairs. The fact was, he figured the Necromancer would want to... gloat, or use them or something by this point, so the stairs weren't likely to be trapped.

Presumably he was correct, as he made it up the stairs, down the hall, and into the large banquet chamber without issue. There Geraint stood, the logician in his mind keeping him still, planning to get as much information out of the two antagonists across the room from them, near the head of the table, as he could. But the longer he stood there, the more he seethed. The woman next to Rydus was responsible for the death's or mastication of two men's souls. Two good men, holy men. One of whom was quite probably one of his greatest friends.

So much so, that by the time the rest of the group filtered in, it was taking a goodly amount of will for Geraint to keep standing there in silence, waiting. After all, it was the smart thing to do, especially considering the palpable magic in the air and the apparently sleeping "dinner guests". But when the couple across from them greets the group like old friends, he snapped. No words, no sound escaped him, save a grunt of effort. With all his strength, and not inconsiderable shamanistic aid, Geraint hurled his caber toward Idassava. The log flew straight as an arrow... or maybe a ballista bolt if one were to be more precise in their comparisons. The rational part of his brain. That part that was struggling to breath under the sea of the Old Shaman's rage, was nigh certain that there would be some sort of defense mechanism, but that hardly seemed to matter to the angry eyed Shaman.

The Necromancer was the target, but the two "lovers" were close, holding eachother, it was possible that Rydus could be collateral damage if in fact there was no defense, but in his current state of mind, Geraint just. Didn't. Care.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Yaa Oba Contee Character Portrait: Dekard Roland Character Portrait: Selene Moretti
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#, as written by Deallo
The scene that appeared before Nel was the most off-putting and confused she'd been in her life.

It was until she managed to tear her eyes from the feast that she can see the entire picture. Guests, tied down to their chairs in rope, bound and trapped. Most of them were unconscious, three of them women, two out of three as pale as the ghosts that probably haunted the ruins while the third had obviously spent most of her life outside in the sun, skin tanned to a dark hue. There was also another gentlemen, a rather scruffy looking man that can only be compared to the group's oh-so jolly mage, Callavan. Of course, they didn't matter to the monk, nearly salivating as her attention was once again on the smell and sight of food.

If only she managed to eat that one fateful morning. The heavenly scent of caramelized pineapple, roasted potatoes, and cooked meats. Though the monk had never smelt nor tasted meat in her whole life; she would have dined happily with the meal if it wasn't for the appearance of her comrades that stopped her otherwise. The ever-so baffling fact that the smaller mage was flying above her head for one example. Magic. Nel reminded herself, as the expression of their floating mage turned to one that was sour, as she was going to hurl at any moment. Nel recognized the look when she used to train children until they passed out or puked.

The monk took two steps back; redirecting herself from the trajectory should that happen.

Then, did she hear Feylon's words, after failing to realize or even know it was a rhetorical question as she tried to find some sort of answer, even without knowing what "hell" was, deduced his question. The prince and the ever-so-random woman by his side. A table. Chairs. Guests. Food. Sweet, delectable food.

"...Maybe it's a meal?" The monk said to Feylon, her statement turning partway into a question, her gluttony and her brain playing tug of war with her words.

The Paladin had come in right after, speaking directly to Rydas, and dramatically pulling the white tablecloth from right under the plates. Nel blinked for a few seconds, trying to figure out what gesture that possibly was, and was furthermore confused when he was trying to pull up the table. He was grunting and working up a sweat by his brow; had it been any other time the monk might have offered her assistance if it wasn't even a little humorous and pathetic all at once. Of course, he gave up, and turned the table over to the side, spilling all the delectable warm food crashing on the ground. It was only his little speech afterwards, did Nel pay attention again, with the paladin accusing the woman of intent to do them harm and called Rydas "expendable", another word foreign to the monk.

With the orders that came around, ordering each and every member of the team to aim at the couple, Nel turned her head around to see if anyone was complying and noticed the shaman-warrior coming up. Although Nel might not have been the best at recognizing humor, euphemisms, or the other strange social phenomenons of the world, without a doubt, she could tell there was rage in each and every step. There was no need for a nasty scowl or growling; the mere look in his eyes had enough fire to burn a hole into the stone wall.

The monk stepped aside from the shaman and went down the other side of the table where Mirabella and went down the other. However, instead of preparing herself for battle, she went to the closest chair, containing a certain tied-up scruffy haired sorcerer and watched the 'couple' at the head of the table while her fingers fumbled about the knot behind the man's chair. Surely, the fact they were taken prisoner here, in this evil place, meant they would be allies. The soundless caber passed her, pushing a small wind towards her face, and bolted like an arrow towards the two. It was too fast for Nel to do something and so watched in horror; waiting for the impact.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Yaa Oba Contee Character Portrait: Dekard Roland Character Portrait: Selene Moretti
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Callavan

Callavan watched a few of the more agile make their way up to the balcony before disappearing. Were he able, he would do the same. Instead he was stuck with the wounded and their wet nurses while they licked their wounds. He started pacing, hands held behind his back so tight that his nails dug into his flesh. It seemed that he was only growing angrier as time passed.

Eventually the others were ready to move on. He did see the Triansui and the harlot talking off to this side, but he paid them no heed. He doubted very much that the merchant had anything he needed to hear.

Van was very much tempted simply shove the others onwards as they couldn't move nearly as fast as he would like. He was even more tempted to to launch a torrent of flames once they made it, but he stayed his hand, holding it behind him as it sparked with anticipation.

Taking a deep breath, he reminded himself to stay calm and plan his next move out. His eyes darted around the room, taking in all that they could while Lakdov spoke.


Oba

There were words spoken nearby. Sounded like some mindless prattling. She opened her eyes slowly, there was a bit of haze on everything as she readjusted. She tried to rub her groggy eyes only to find her arms bound to the chair and her feet, to boot..

”Craaaaaaaaap,” she sighed, head rolling from shoulder to shoulder. Still half asleep, she tried to make some sense of her surroundings. Protective charms still hung from her neck, though they didn't seem all that effective now. Yaatu, her dear husband, was by her side as well, bound same as she. He sat straight as a board, with dulled eyes staring forward. She didn't bother asking him what was goinging on, knowing that his mind was long since gone.

Dekard was there as well, apparently in the same state as she, as well as a handful of others. Two she was unfamiliar with. There was the sorceress who had captured her and even the prince himself was there, that was a surprise.

What else was there for her to see? Oh, food, of course. A very generous serving at that. Not that it mattered, she wasn't quite capable of feeding herself at the time. Which was all the more frustrating considering how hungry she was. How long had it been since she eaten? Days? Weeks? Months? How long had she been there for that matter? She hadn't been in quite the right mindset to keep track of time since coming to the citadel.

And now there were suddenly more people. People who yelled, and generally made a fuss. It was all very grating on Oba's nerves. Her head was already pounding from whatever the sorceress had done to her. Yet, as obnoxious as these strangers were, they were, at the moment, Oba's chance to get free.

“Witch boy!” she hissed at Dekard. ”It pains me to wake you from your little nap, but it seems we damsels have found us some knights in shining armor to whisk us away.”

After a bit more yelling and some tantrum induced table flipping, the fighting finally began. Oba heard one of her fellow imprisonees say something and do some flashy spellwork. Someone threw a log that sailed right by her head which was shortly followed by some fires over her head.

”Oh don't mind us! We'll just sit here and relax while you kill each other!” she yelled.


By their powers combined......They're still just Callavan and Oba....


Van didn't have much time before all hell broke loose, he followed up the shaman's caber toss with a healthy round of hellfires and damnations. He aimed for the sorceress, mostly. Though he would have liked to injure the prince at the time, he didn't know how much of this his royalty was responsible for.

”Callavan, Alice dont let her do anything without you noticing it!" he heard the prie-ladin yell.

He responded in kind, ”Oh! And here I thought I should be staring at the wall like a jackass!”

Once the fighters had drawn around the couple he ceased his assault, figuring that his allies wouldn't appreciate being set on fire. And yet again he was left useless while everyone else fought.

Oba cackled, ”Oh-ho! The little witch has himself a littler mistress! What will that horned lass of yours think!”

Seeing that the monk was freeing one of the captives, Van made his way over to one of the other ones. Avoiding the spellcaster, the loud one and her dim eyed compatriot, he settled on the purple eyed girl that remained.

”Think you can fight?” he asker her as he slit her bindings with his knife. After a thought, he added, ”Or walk, for that matter?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Cordelia Braxton
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia's contemplation was interrupted by Mirabella's inquiry after the other thief. She was puzzled for a moment before she realized, 'Oh, the 'merchant.' She noted that she hadn't seen the red haired woman for a while. Just as Mira asked this, Hayley walked in and said that she had discovered something. Acacia hurriedly wiped her knives on her already grimy cloak and replaced them in her sleeves. She then walked back over to listen. Just a moment later, she saw Nel approaching the wall under the balcony where Rydas and the mysterious woman stood moments before. With disbelief, she watched as Neli began climbing the wall. Would this girl never stop rushing headlong into danger? Acacia thought the monk would have more common sense than that, especially after what had happened with the ghoul.It was already difficult to imagine that they had defeated both the ghoul and the Displacer Beast just moments ago.

Though Acacia was worn out and confused by this already long day, she was also furious at Nel for throwing herself into danger once again. Nel stopped after getting to the ledge and yelled back down to the red-head merchant before scurrying off into the unknown. During Nel's climb, Acacia had moved closer to the wall, worriedly preparing herself to climb after and watching with a pang of emotion, mostly jealousy, as Alice zoomed up with magic. Suddenly, she was startled as Feylon sprung onto the wall beside her and began crawling up as well.

The thought that she was hesitating when Feylon, who had been injured, jumped so fearlessly into action motivated her. She carefully began her own climb, slipping several times but holding on with fierce determination. She finally made it up to the ledge, and, after catching her breath, sprung up and ran down the hall, stopping beside the doorway. The room was large, with bare walls and a large dais occupying the middle of the room. The throne on the dais was unadorned, the wall of skulls behind it giving it an intimidating feel. One skull in the wall was decorated with jewels and seemed more important than the others from how much cleaner it was kept. The scent of delicious food was so intoxicating that Acacia was immediately suspicious. Those doubts were immediately confirmed when the woman invited them to eat. Sitting at the table were various people, unconscious and bound. As more of the group arrived, Acacia noticed several of the bound 'dinner guests' begin to stir and wake up.

A moment later, Lance/Akdov came into the room and began to confront Rydas. Acacia's eyes were immediately drawn to the Prince's content face. Things were definitely more than they seemed, they had to be. Acacia couldn't bear it if the Prince had intended to betray them all along. When she decided to come on this quest, she had, in a small amount, given Rydas her trust. She had decided to trust someone who would one day be King, though she felt that the current King had failed her in the past. It was just another if only, but it was something that she felt the King should have been able to change, to prevent. Though this accusal was usually in the back of her mind, it was always overshadowed by her own guilt. Now, however, it was prominent in her thoughts, the pain of a perceived betrayal as fresh as it had ever been. For this reason, she couldn't accept that Rydas had betrayed them. It would break her, render her unable to trust not only others, but also her own decisions. While she was contemplating this, she rubbed the material of Rydas's cloak, which was still tucked safely in her belt, between her fingers. It seemed that she was considering ripping the red cloak to pieces, confusion and anger written plainly on her face.It has to be something else, Acacia thought. He could be enchanted.

Acacia's attention turned to the woman as Lance/Akdov tried unsuccessfully to disturb the meal on the table by pulling the cloth off and flipping the table. Could this be Idassava herself? Or was it merely an illusion. Acacia had no doubts that her magic was still very much alive, but whether the actual person was living was a different matter. Acacia's eyes were once again drawn to the jeweled skull. Something about the way those emerald eyes glittered in the light made them seem alive. Was this skull somehow important. Acacia felt drawn to it, as if it held the answers to all her questions.

Geraint threw his caber at the couple, causing Acacia to stop staring at the skull and remember the captive people at the now overturned table. She hurried over to one of the captives, a woman with golden hair who was struggling to get free, a desperate look in her eye. "Calm down," Acacia said softly, kneeling before the woman and working on one of the knots. "I will untie you." After a moment of struggling with the stubborn rope around the woman's arms and chest, Acacia gave up on trying to untie it and a knife from her sleeve dropped into her hand. She quickly sawed the rope, making sure to avoid cutting the woman. After a long moment, the now frayed rope split with a jerk and Acacia unwrapped the woman. Pressing the handle of the dagger into the woman's palm, Acacia said "Do you think you can get your legs free?" Acacia stood, ready to go free someone else.

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian let out a half-hearted laugh to Akdov’s remark. As he said, the injured were leaving the healthy behind. The man with his chest sliced open had managed to climb up to the balcony almost as easily as the monk did. At any rate it seemed that he was right-there were indeed stairs nearby and close enough to make his call for scouts to find some irrelevant. Naturally those who managed the climb beat Travian and the others on the stairs to the dining room, but it mattered little- their most excellent host was gracious enough to wait for all their guests to arrive.

Travian couldn’t help but look at the feast spread before them longingly. He had barely had a thing to eat all day and felt as though he could eat most of what was on the table. Well he could have if the Prince’s words hadn’t made him sick to his stomach. Suddenly the feast was completely unappetizing. Almost as soon as the prince was done speaking their party began acting. Projectiles were hurled and the table was turned over sending food all across the floor.

While all of that was going on a few of the adventurers began freeing the other “guests” who were tied to some of the chairs set at the table. Travian was somewhat wary- could their presence be some ploy Idassava’s? Well if they were they didn’t appear to be turning immediately on those who freed them and even if they were allied to the sorceress she would probably make use of them whether they had been untied or not. Furthermore, there was no was Travian could leave them like that with a battle breaking out. Thus decided he ran over to one of the nearest hostages, a young woman with long dark hair and carefully cut her bonds.

“Are you okay?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Things were happening too bloody fast for him to keep up

First things went to hell when the group failed to heed his instructions, which part of aim for the prince`s leg and for the woman`s gut did they failed to understand, the monk went ahead and did her act of ``Ive got no common sense´´ that she was so fond of pulling on the group again and again, then for some reason they believed it would be a good idea to untie the guests at the table for reasons which he could not get any clue as the justification behind such things.

For all they knew they were fiends as dark as sin meaning to deceive those with a stupid naivety, but then as people were busy throwing curses and exchanging mean words to each other it happened, the aptly endowed woman revealed just why she was able to invoke such lust in men revealing herself to be a demon of considerable power, which again... the mages failed to do anything flashy like sending a ball of fire or a spear of thunder

They dont make adventurers as they used to

Then the enemy was upon them, hideous creatures that seemed to be flexible on a diet that had found humankind worthy of their diet fell upon the group with the clear intention of making themselves a meal

"Ha fools!" Akdov taunted the enemy, one quick exorcism and he would get rid of them all and weaken the demoness to no more danger than a limping, blind old man could present to any single of them, he clasped his hands took his cup and made a gesture towards them, for one second they all looked at him being familiar with the energies he was summoning some moved to stop him but then it was too late, he had finished his incantation and something absolutely terrible happened

Nothing

Vrocks swooped into him and knocked him off his feet as the began gnashing around at him and tearing away at his armor, had it not been for Lance`s preference to protect himself he would have died there, only good fortune saved the priest then, good fortune that came in the shape of a chain wielding rogue with blades ready to attack

"Deud bless you Xan" Akdov managed to say as the scoundrel killed one of the Vrock that had him pinned down giving him room to push the other 2 that were attacking him, with his sword he made quick work of them and saw why they would fall, unless they followed the professional example of the thief and helped each other they would all die here, he saw that Geraint and that Monk were busy enough trying to put down the leader of the enemy forces and the rest was busy skirmishing against the demons.

Gotta do something for the monk to succeed

The succubus was not simply going to stay put and if she could spot the monk`s charge one spell or strike would do her in, but would his shield survive a suicidal charge against the temptress? Only one way to find out

He ran as fast as those young legs would carry him grabbed a chair on his way and threw it at the bitch "Eat this!" he shouted, one movement of her wings and the chair shattered mid air, well there goes that idea , but still he seemed to have caught her eyes, either she would smite him down and leave an opening for the monk or he would get in range to do something with the Paladin`s sword , win-win

She turned to meet his advance as something began to pour from her hands while she made an innocent giggle, Akdov covered his advance with his shield, he knew she was about to do something, hopefully he could take it

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, as written by Deallo
The one-man charge led by Nel suddenly turned into a three-man rush, Mirabella flanking in from her left, and Lance flanking from her right. The yellow-clad monk showed no signs of stopping her mad sprint, hood flying behind her as her hair was sent loose, even as balls of Underfire formed atop the Demon's hands and were flung amongst the attackers. Four of the balls of green fire met Nel before she fully reached the other end of the table, her eyes adjusting to the speed they moved at. In one fluid movement in the midst of her dashing, her torso dropped to mere inches from the table, dodging one of the balls of fire, then her hand shot out and held her balance in place of two legs while two more balls of fire missed her lower body, right before flipping forward onto her feet and heading face first into the last fireball. The spirits that were living in Geraint's caber finally made it to Nel in this crucial moment, the extra quarter of a second enough to just tilt her head out of it's way, its fire charring a center line through her right cheek.

The burning sensation wasn't enough to stop the monk from charging and she finally reached the end of the long table, directly in front of the demon succubus and jumped, left arm outstretched forward and fingers splayed open, aiming her strike directly over the head of the succubus. Her entire body reared back with her right arm, pulling back for all the strength she could muster before her muscles suddenly tightened and released, launching the cannon-like strike to split open the head of the succubus.

Though it was indeed a powerful strike, it's very speed was sacrificed for that power, but the mere sight of such a bold move took the succubus to pause for only a short moment before weaving her head out of the way. The monk's fist merely glanced off the demon's left shoulder before crashing into the marble floor, cracking both the section of white floor she struck and the bone of her own knuckles, the pain like a circle of stabbing knives ran up from her hand and down her spine, eyes widening in a mix of shock, pain, and surprise.

Had not the demon been distracted been rather preoccupied by the Transui and the paladin; it would have been the monk's last move.

Nelinia's broken fist slowly yet painfully unraveled back into an open palm and the bloody-yellow robed monk got back on her feet, wobbling for a brief moment, partly due to the pain, the loss of blood ever so evident by the now yellow cloth stained red, sticking to her wounds, and just the sheer fact that she was tired, hungry and thirst. She eyed the battle between the succubus, Mirabella, and Lance, and waited for a moment to strike. The demon was a very natural fighter because her wings were sharp, nimble, flexible and could easily create distance between herself and fighters. Nel carried out another rush, unable to see an opening but to make her own, kicking the succubus in the knee, unable to break it due to what fortitude demons had in their skeletons, but obviously hurting the succubus.

Niluxie was interrupted with a vicious kick right under her ribs and a bear-like grip on her calf when she tried to hover away from the ever so persistent monk. The succubus was as light as her demonic frame for seducing men suggested, and already hovering in the air, had little strength to fight back against Nel's throw, and ended up being painfully slammed right into the marble floor. Just as Nel brought Niluxe back up in the air to throw her back down, the demon's wing lashed out, and cut the monk's forearm deep enough to reach the bone, the pain unbearable as Nel's grip loosened and Niluxe easily broke free.

Covered with a layer of sweat, wounds and blood; the monk was out of breath. Nelinia was reaching her breaking point.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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The fighting was ferocious, never before had Akdov felt so savage and bloodthirsty... his rage and passion had always been in check up until this moment, yet he could not find it in him to temper this outburst for blood, the demon sent in several directions streams of flame, which were easily deflected by his mighty shield.

Then he was upon her, he swung his longsword without any technique just hoping to lump off something or make something bleed but the temptress was swift and returned the ill aimed strikes with lethal precision going for the weak spots like tendons and bone joints, again Lance's armor proved to be a much needed safeguard against them.

Yet he could not harbor hope, even while they were outnumbering their current target she did not seemed to be worn out by the combat due to the lack of strikes by their part reaching their objective and to add to their woes the number of Vrocks charging to aid their mistress was enough to overwhelm a small city, by the time they made to her position death would be the only outcome, filled with dread the paladin kept slashing knowing that with each second the horde of ravenous beasts would be upon them, it was too late the succubi seemed to be incredibly dense, even when the strikes landed she simply brushed them off.

As the Vrock horde rushed in and Akdov`s water almost dropped a black angel surfaced to cover them

"Come and get it bird brains!" the rogue jumped at them charging like a madman having the numbers heavily against his favor, the tenacity on the man!

He quickly killed two of them in a swift strike at their guts, using the momentum of his charge he threw a kick which sent the majority of their vanguard in disarray breaking their advance completely, the scoundrel kept on going like a whirlwind of death. As the Vrocks were still getting back on track he grabbed the neck of the nearest one and snapped it in one wild move then not wasting another moment he gave a snapping kick to another one locking both of his heels around its neck and snapped it as well while impulsing himself through with the force of the motion.

Yet the enemy was not bereft of their own damage, while he had successfully killed at least 5 of them in less than a minute for each the claws of the demons had reached him and left wounds that if not tended immediately would grow to be fatal.

And they did not yielded, they forgot their mistress aid and went berserk for vengeance.

With the time they needed to get their act together and the agility of the rogue being dispaired by his wounds the horde of the birds fell upon him and he was soon overwhelmed but none could deny the fact that as hard as he took damaged he did not fail to deliver it back at his attackers, every scratch and bite was paid off in kind with stabs to the gut or coldly calculated jabs through the eyes.

As they began to wear her down before the joint efforts of the knight, the monk and the paladin progressive and decisive damage was being delivered on the demoness, her parries were slower, her attacks had been drained of their vitality and the smugness on her face was replaced with a palpable fear of defeat.

It was when the prince moved and clipped her wing off that she realized that she could be banished here despite her careful plans and made a retreat, as Akdov cleaned his wounds he turned his gaze to the rogue that had secured their attack, he was leaning against a wall and the punishment he had been delivered could not be hid, neither could the pile of corpses around him.

"Hold still" Akdov ran towards him desperately making incantations and prayers to request assistance to his god, assistance that never came... even at the height of his power Akdov was not sure he could have done anything for him, his scarred eye had been completely torn out, part of his left cheek was missing leaving the teeth bare, multiple lacerations had been delivered across his chest, which were still bleeding, his left hand was a maimed wreck with only thumb and middle finger remaining, the man was going to die... "We got them good didn't we?" the rogue said not clear if it was a question or an affirmation "Yes we did" Akdov blurted "The prince is he..." judging by his lack of movement Akdov could make out that the man was blind completely "Safe he delivered the finishing strike"

"Good... good, Lance... find Systril, find my sister Yun Halli... deliver her my daggers..."
Akdov clasped his hands with the wreck that were his and gave some some relief by saying "I swear it, ill find her and deliver your legacy" Xan gave something that could be a smile, it was hard to tell with half of his face missing and then finally moved on from beyond his mortal shell

Akdov stood up rage boiling as he moved towards the prince "You idiot!" he yelled at him, he would have backed it up with a blow to the face had the battle with the succubus not left him so tarnished "nice way to deliver us to the enemy's hands there prince, tell me now does your plan to get your father killed failed here or do you have some other backup plan to make a grab at the crown? did the demon failed to deliver her end of the bargain!" but it was not wholly the princes fault, the crew had been slow to react to his directions, both archers had not moved to make any damage to the prince or the temptress when the events began to fold out of control, Akdov had shouted those threats precisely to make the enemy know that they were being kept on check "And you fools" he said to the soldier and the ranger "What kind of marksmen are those that fail to deliver their mark and instead chose to simply watch as a beast ravages your companions?" then there were the wizards...wizards that sat helplessly as a monster far beyond the capacities of steel presented itself "which part of dont let her do anything without you noticing confused you? I mean maybe you noticed it but I didnt see anything flash in her general direction now did I?" he clasped Xan's daggers and made clear his frustration "If only you were more competent a good man would not have had to die to secure our assault, shame on you all who failed to give what was needed" he could now only feel that his old friend, the Triansui and the monk were the ones worth anything "G, I will need your help moving his corpse" he signaled towards Xan "I will not let such a brave soul go down on a place of such unholiness, he needs sacred ground to host his rest"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Celedia
-=Mirabella=-


Hope began to thread its way into Mirabella’s very being as both the Prince and Xan joined in their battle with the succubus. The fighter grit her teeth, trying not to focus on how Nelinia gasped in pain or how the thief suddenly fell silent but instead she kept pursuing the succubus. Her two weapons moving in a precisely timed flurry that sought to keep the demoness on her toes, holding her attention so that the others could land blows against the vile fiend.

One such hit rang true and the Prince’s sword struck Nilux’s wing, drawing a shrill cry from the woman’s poisonous lips along with threats aimed at Rydas before she slipped from their plane. The battle had ended. Their enemies were either in tattered heaps around them or had escaped and it was in the silence of the aftermath of battle that everything could be assessed. The thrill of such a fight was usually rewarded with a slain enemy but in this fight they weren’t so lucky. Not only had the temptress escaped but the group was left wounded and weary with yet another loss of life to attend.

Yet, before they could even process what had happened, much less deal with their own grievances, Lakdov’s voice shattered the silence with accusations and inflammatory remarks. Not that the reaction was anything less than what she had expected from the Priest but his timing was imperfect.

Breathing in and out slowly, the Triansui took the time to sheath her bloodied weapons before speaking softly, yet firmly to Lakdov. ”Priest,” she paused a moment, hoping to draw his attention without elevating her voice as he had. ”I understand your pain, your grief. We all do…” Her bloodied face tilted so that her troubled gaze could fall upon Xan’s body, the oddly honest thief who had given his crystalline treasure to the child outside of the gates at the start of their journey. ”But that is no reason to attack people that are already battle weary. Once again, you seem intent to divide this group instead of strengthening it. Without those mages? We wouldn’t have had the scrolled spell for the ghoul. We wouldn’t have ended the diralgraun as quickly as we did.”

Her eyes cast quickly about the room in search of both Van and ‘Eidolon’ as the Triansui named their contributions to the previous battles and then she returned her gaze to Lakdov. ”And the Prince? Judge not lest ye be judged. If that creature had set her magic upon you instead are you so arrogant to believe that you would have cast off her attempted charm? He was most likely asleep, when we’re all at our most vulnerable and I have no qualms in admitting that were I male, she would have probably made me a puppet just as easily as she had made him.”

Her finger jutted out, pointing towards Rydas though her eyes never left the Paladin/Priest. ”So, yes. It is a shame that we have lost so many in these battles today but for once in your life get your pompous ass off of your high horse and realize that your constant derision serves the group no benefit. You are not the only one who has lost a friend and comrade this day so stop wallowing in your self pity long enough to see that.”

Having said what she needed to say, the Triansui turned to check upon the two comrades that were closest to her position. First, she walked to Feylon who had maneuvered quickly out of the way of her attempted knockout earlier and slipped upon the bloodied floor, rapping his head soundly against the elevated dais instead. She checked to see if the ranger was still breathing then laid two fingers upon his neck to check a pulse that was steady and strong. He was unconscious but otherwise in good health, so she moved to the next.

Nelinia wasn’t as lucky. Her wounds were many and blood stained her yellow robes so that they had turned a mottled brown in places. ”Nel, you fool…. Mirabella chided her, trying to keep the strain from her voice. Yet, as she went to pull the monk’s sleeve back to examine her arm a flash of silvery light filled the entire room, causing the warrior to leap up and spin around with her hand upon her blade. The light had made her think of a magical attack and yet it was quite the opposite. The raven-haired woman that had been trussed up to one of the banquet chairs now crumpled to the floor soundlessly. The magic had felt… Beneficial instead of detrimental.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon opened his eyes slowly. His vision was blurred and his breathing heavy. Much of what had happened in the last few minutes was a mystery to him. His memories provided little help in deciphering what had gone on. He remembered standing in front of the mystical lady inspired by her beauty and then a sharp and abrupt pain in his side and everything went black. He remembered feeling as if he was laying in a pitch black room, devoid of anything but his own body. Slowly he felt as if every fibre in his body had been drained out, his connection with the lady diminishing until he was left empty and alone. After a few uneasy moments of what seemed to be non-existence he felt his body come back to life. As if each one of his organs, one-by-one, began to boot slowly back into life. His energy was gone but so was the haze and vapour that clouded his mind. His head was his own again.

Now awake, his face pressed against the cold floor. Nausea washed over him as if he had taken one swig too many from the jug of the mead. A trickle of blood worked its way slowly down his forehead from where he had made contact with the floor. Shivering with illness Feylon tried to push himself over, only to be met with fierce resistance from his wrist. Broken it would seem. He must have landed on it when he hit the floor, an occurrence of which he still had no recollection of. As he slowly rolled himself over he stopped when his back met the floor. All of his energy had been sucked away when his connection with the lady had been broken.

Finally nausea got the better of him as he titled his head to the side and ejected a pool of vomit. The vile, viscous liquid landing far enough away from him not to cause him any immediate problems. Free from the burden of the contents of his fragile stomach he pushed himself up. Slowly at first onto one knee and eventually, onto both feet. His hands trembled and his skin was white as the northern snows, but suddenly a wave of energy then flowed across his body. Instantly he felt as if he had been rested for days on end. The gashes on his chest now resembled three claw shaped scars that spanned across his stomach diagonally. His wrist seemed to gain normal function once more and his mind felt rejuvenated.

Feylon began to look for the source of the magic but before he could determine the persons location his ears stumbled upon Akdov and his ranting. Frustration grew inside of him as Akdov shouted and blurted all kinds of insinuations. Feylon did not regret his actions towards the Prince, not in the slightest. However Feylon knew that the responsibility of the deaths of other companions were partially on his shoulders. Although inevitable he felt he had provoked the attack, most of which he could no longer remember. Picking up his courage and pride Feylon walked towards Akdov with purpose in his stride. He squared up to him and hurled his fist in the direction of the priests jaw.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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He was so close to be foaming through the mouth, he could not recall feeling so wrathful in his life "You understand my pain? Dont bark back at me as if we were in equal circumstances woman!" the audacity on this wench "What do you know about the loss of Lance? of Akdov? of Xan? what have you lost in this struggle that marks you in the position to understand that I am stripped of my God´s graces! Graces that mind you could have saved Xan" she continued to call for reason and understanding on the capacities of the group "Am I supposed to congratulate this bluberring rable of fools then? I have seen riots with more cordination than this team of lackwits" He wanted her to shout a comeback because he was certain she was wrong and he had proof all over it

"To your eyes it may seem that I want to attack and divide, had they done as they were told maybe more people would be alive, when we entered the group I did my best to coordinate it... what happened, Nel happened! she threw caution and group effort out of the window and decided to prance on her own, should I commend her for such recklesness? Do you find her action acceptable even as she placed herself in danger and threw our organization in disarray?

Now recall if you can but Lance, Travian and Akdov were in the middle of dealing with the ghoul, in the middle of delivering salvation to a tortured soul and what do you do, you make a show of your ignorance and blow the creature to ashes condemning a soul to a guideless afterlife and killing a man that was risking his life to help, you expect me to tell you that what you did there was fine? that I aprove of that nonsense that wrecked one of your brother in arms?!

Then there is Lance who fought his ground and held it so that Geraint could do something for Akdov whilst some of you hid in a corner and our mage acted only when she was directly threathened, what did Lance got out of your coperation? why was his bravery and reliance in his comrades was rewarded with death? youre going to tell me that there was a group spirit there? If I wanted to divide us we would first need to be united and I can tell you that only some of us have showed any intent to pull in the same direction.

Dont you dare telling me about self pitty and high horses woman! what have you lost today I ask! I tried to put us in one direction I tried to give orders expecting them to be followed but this rabble does as they want and any cohesion cant be expected of them, if it wasnt for a selected few individuals, some of them who are dead now, most of us would be cold and dead

And the prince... if you have ever played chess you would know that you always keep the most important piece guarded and what does he do he Ung-"
Akdov was cut short as Feylong delivered a tactical strike that knocked him off his feet, he quickly got back up and shouted "You want a piece of me you asshole! you will get it!" he threw his sword out of his seath, he didnt want to kill the man,yet, but he was going to break something that was for sure, he rushed in towards him trying to land a grapple and get on top of him once they both hit the floor. not really minding the sudden surge of energy that had repaired most of his wounds

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Iravey Inicka
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#, as written by Skwidge
Iravey Inicka


Ira remained silent, as always, while the Prince got up despite his head injury to go back into battle. ”Thank you, stranger, for the unearned kindness. Please, if you will or can, attend to the others that are more in need.” Her facial features remained steady for that moment, but as soon as he turned his back, it took on a bored and very irritated look. ’Are all Princes this stupid? Or is this one just special?’ The female twin shook her head exasperatedly before masking her emotions again.

For a handful of moments, she watched him walk along and dispatch many of the foul creatures threatening the lives and mental stability of the others within the large chamber. She leaned over and pulled a small thread from her trousers, noting that Tal had ceased in his actions, seeing them as pointless. However, the beasts were still a very prominent threat, or rather they were.

”ARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHH. Play time is over!” Iravey’s head shot up as her eyes focused on the marred figure toward the center of the room. She was obviously talking to the prince, and suddenly, the flow of Hades’ denizens ceased altogether. Suddenly a sharp pain rapped her temple, and she clenched her teeth mutely. Her hand was quickly over it, and she winced, her eyes sweeping over the floors. There was so much blood and gore splattered over everything- black and red alike.

Softly she rubbed her temple, waiting for the small migraine to disperse. Once it did, she rose from her position and walked towards the group that was amassing, before remembering that the Prince had requested something.

”Please, someone bring me the emerald, the unchipped one.” She glanced over toward where he stood, taking the blunt of many verbal blows. This group was... strange, to say the least. They didn’t work very well together, and there were so many different personalities. With a small shrug, the rogue silently moved towards the balcony where shards of bone sat scattered across the cobbles, an emerald settled to the left, and the one the Prince sought to the right.

Stooping down, Ira closed her fingers around the chipped one, and slipped it into a small pocket nestled at her side. Soundlessly, she took the other three steps to the left, picking up the emerald the Prince had requested. Her attention was alerted to someone up above the balcony, sobbing on and off. Her eyelids fluttered in a blink before she walked back to the group.

She stopped abruptly, her visual completely enraptured by the fist coming towards the face of the one who was yelling at the Prince before. Her eyes swept lazily away from the scene, and she walked over to the Prince despite what he was doing at the moment. She was unpronounced and unexpressed as always, and her fingers rested on the Prince’s own, disengaging them from their slightly clenched position. His hands felt clammy, but it was nothing more than a momentary speculation. Vey deposited the requested item into his possession, and then stepped away from him, her facial expression barren and her eyes focused elsewhere.


Talsin Inicka


Tal had ceased in his attempts with the wire, seeing as it was unneeded, and it would only be a waste of perfectly useful material. He let out a small sigh and stuffed them into his pocket. He was, of course, aware of the monsters surrounding him, but they were mostly interested in all of the warriors and the… people in the group… oddly enough. He coughed softly into his fist, and then watched as the Prince got up to go all ninja and the likes on the Vrocks and the succubus.

”ARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHH. Play time is over!” And the battle was over pretty much as soon as it had started, though of course with notable aftereffects. He blinked, and then took two steps toward one of the balconies to skirt around most of the bodies, when something rather large and wing-like smacked into the wall where he had just been. He jumped in shock, letting out a shaky ”Ehck!” while whipping his head around to get a better look at what had just made that sickly slap against the wall. It was a Vrock body part and he hunched over in a disturbed sort of manner, sticking his tongue out. ”Please watch where and what you’re launching....” He might have squeaked, had he not been so shaken up.

However, his pupils suddenly contracted as a bright light flashed across the room after rather loud yelling coming from one of the men within the hired group. Or at least Tal suspected they were hired to help the Prince, seeing as they worked absolutely horribly with each other, and any form of army would never act in such ways. Yet once again, his attention was suddenly snapped back to reality as the very distinct sound of a sob broke through the rest of the rabble.

He looked up toward the stairs leading to one of the balconies, and quickly ascended them with striding hops. He came upon a somewhat small form, curled into one of the corners, tears streaming down her face to descend into the pool of blood surrounding her. He frowned lightly, and stepped towards her, his boots probably the thing she saw first come into her vision, seeing as how her head was slightly tilted towards the ground.

She had obviously been wounded before that... bright light which had very obviously done something to everyone, as none of his own previous mars were found on his body, but she seemed pretty shaken. She also had no apparent desire to get up and move anywhere, and he wouldn’t want her to get left behind or forgotten from the group or anything like that, so he stooped down and made quick work of getting her onto his back in a piggyback fashion, though he had no idea how he managed to do so. ”There we go. See, I gotcha.” He flashed her a cheerful grin, though his face was pretty dirty, as were almost all of theirs. He then turned right around and marched happily down the steps towards the group, holding firmly onto her legs so she wouldn’t slip straight off. He coughed momentarily, and shifted her weight a bit. ”You know, you’re very heavy.” He murmured teasingly.

However, he had gotten there just when tensions were at an all time high, and he was stepping right between Akdov and Feylon. The male twin only just managed to catch the motion of a fist coming straight at him, or really at Akdov, and managed to stumbled backwards and then sidestep. Feylon's fist then came into contact with Akdov's face, suddenly knocking the brute to the ground. Tal had a look of absolute shocked relief, his limbs going all wobbly for a second. It took all he was worth not to fall over or drop the girl he was carrying. ”Hey, watch where you’re aiming that thing!!’ He blurted out with a shaky tone.

But oh, Tal wasn’t out of the woods yet. He had managed that little sidestep to land him back in the path of the two, the fallen brute oblivious to his presence as he charged in the form of a tackle to the man on Tal’s right. ”Oh seven hells!” He squeaked, his eyes wide as that very... massive form came hurtling straight towards him and the girl on his back.

However, he felt a firm hand on his arm pull him out of the way, causing him to stagger backwards and sway dangerously with the unaccustomed weight now placed on his back. He regained his stance, and let out a sigh of relief, looking towards Ira who had managed to drag him despite her strength. The most reasonable idea being that he was very sensitive and alert to her touch and normally her presence, as they had worked all their lives with each other.

”We can’t all be amazing h-heroes like you guys, some of us had other priorities. Like our own skin, or even more importantly the Prince’s. Isn’t that what your ultimate goal is? His safety? That’s where your paychecks are coming from anyway, I presume.” He took a breath, regaining his bearings before continuing. “And even if you aren’t working for pay, no one is twisting your arm to stay in this weird scraggly group!! He flailed one arm, the other still firmly placed under the girl’s leg to hold her up. ”You’re all acting like spoiled," Tal paused, his gaze uneasily flickering to the two currently engaged in a brawl before proceeding. "... and scary children- and it’s really embarrassing. And you guys are only just learning to get along and work together, so yeah, of course there are going to be bloody mistakes, because it sure as hell shows that you haven’t been with each other very long. Besides, some of us aren’t even skilled in the arts of war and fighting... ...and I’m about to be hit aren’t I?” His countenance fell into that of a comically despaired worry, and he suddenly swerved around. ”Innocent civilian; don’t hurt me!” Despite his outburst, he still managed to get in another show of humour by using the lady on his back as a sort of guarantee of protection, even though she was a member of their ragtag group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint watched with faint pleasure as the Succubus was defeated, even if it was a defeat through her retreat. The speed with which the next set of events transpired though made him feel older than he ever had in his long life though. The young ones moving with such speed around him. Running about, shouting at each other, and suddenly there was a healing flash of light that lifted much of the exhaustion from the Old Beard's shoulders, all before he'd even made it to his feet. That was an amazing feat of magical might. The Shaman never ceased to be amazed by the power of the spirits others called Gods. He wasn't sure how they got to where they were, how they amassed such power. Only twice in his life had he encountered beings of similar magnitudes of power that weren't "gods", he'd have to look into that one day... These thoughts were interrupted when he heard the call for the gem from Rydus, but looking around could not find it.

Rising to his feet, his energy renewed, the Shaman found the image of throwing a small rock at Lakdov's head to shut him up for a bit idly bouncing through his head. But before he could even consider seriously doing so, not that he really would have, the ranger came and slammed his scarred fist into the Palli-Priest's face.... which in turn started it's own scuffle as the two began to brawl around on the floor... was that steel in Lakdov's hand?

One of the Table-Side-Prisoner's was set to dancing out of the way of that same scuffle, mumbling something about lack of group cohesion, basically the same argument everyone else had been making just from a different angle. But Geraint's eyes were caught by the glint of something in the Prince's hand at that moment. Perhaps someone had already grasped the gem for him? After everything that had happened Geraint would not stand failing in their mission, and he could only assume that Rydus had some sort of information on where to find the amulet from his time with Nilux. Perhaps his Fiendish abduction would prove worth something after all.

He couldn't fault Akdov for his rant, he wasn't exactly in the best of situations; that didn't mean Geraint agreed with him, but he could understand. Of course he couldn't blame everyone else either. There was truth in most every statement that was being cursed out. The biggest point was that now wasn't the time. They had a mission to complete, they... well they no longer had wounded to attend to thanks to the unconscious Priestess. The old Shaman would have to check on her soon, but for now he moved toward the prince, keeping an eye on the two brawling on the floor. Of the three of them, he was guessing he was the best able to handle a fight right now, they were all in similar physical states of refreshment, but he seemed to be the only one remaining with a clear head. So when he got within a few paces of Rydus, he turned and kept watch on the two. Ready to break in if it got out of hand. His spirits flowed around him, invisible to most, ready to freeze the two or help him pull them apart, stop a blade, whatever was necessary. He turned his head in the Prince's direction, though he imagined he was likely already in motion, it had taken the Old Man awhile to walk over there after all. "They may be at this awhile, we'd best finish with our business here Prince. You're father's health isn't improving any." He considered tossing in a belated comment about helping Lakdov with Xan's body... brave Xan. But the Cleri-Din seemed otherwise occupied.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by Deallo
It was the sight of the prince rushing into battle that surprised Nel most of all; the man who had first led them to this ambush was now fighting against it himself! Any demonic creature that got in his way met his sword but the monk couldn't concentrate on him, busy trying to attack the demon succubus until suddenly, a sword suddenly slashed through her wing. She turned to just meet the prince; finally joining them in battle and bleeding alongside them but also wearing down the Demoness at the same time. She could see it; it was only a matter of time until the monster would let in a single blow if she hadn't screeched and disappeared through a portal. The bloody monk tried to run in after her but the portal closed and it was too late; only running into empty air.

"That coward!" She thought with a penchant of revenge, turning back, and it suddenly dawned on her. It was over. It was all over. Nel slumped over on the table, breathing hard, black hair scattered about, dirty, reeking of rustic blood and ever so tired. For a moment her eyes met Mirabella's sad, glossy eyes as she called her a fool. Nel had no idea what a "fool" was but the way in which her friend had said it, it was that in a sadness the monk could only mistake for disappointment, and for just a brief moment, felt ashamed for no apparent reason. As Mirabella was about to pull up her arm, five tired yet innocent words left her mouth, addressed to the warrior herself: "What did I do wrong?" Just as she ended those words hand, a bright light suddenly erupted in the room, blinding her as she put an arm to shield herself.

With no time to think she could actually feel the wounds on her skin shift and move, the shattered bones of her hand move back into place, and with new vision came with her a healed body. It was almost too much to comprehend as she patted her previous gashes and slashes, reduced to mere cuts, and painlessly flexed her already healed hand. The breaking of the fist, her sixth to be precise, was healed in a mere matter of minutes then it would regular months. Nel turned her head left and right, severely confused to what had happened and who had caused it but now livelier then ever, almost rejuvenated. Her clothes were still riddled with her own and Vrock's blood, slashed by claws and sharpened wings, but nary a serious wound was on her.

It wasn't until Lakdov started lashing out at Mirabella did Nel suddenly saw Xan's cadaver on the floor and froze. Her breath gone as she horrifying visage of the thief's face, half ripped apart, embedded itself in the monk's memory. She kneeled down, inches from the body, and pressed two fingers up against his neck in the desperate, feeble attempt to feel the pump of blood. Nothing. Nothing but his skin, still warm, just escaping life minutes ago.

"What happened? Nel happened!"

The very man that saved her life from the grips of a ghoul now lay on the floor of demon corpses. Now more then ever, she wanted to cry, but it was impossible. The sadness that was supposed to arise from the death of a comrade was replaced with a dying feeling in the pit of her stomach and a single question.

Why am I here? She mentally searched for an answer, trying to find some semblance to her goal and why she was in this forsaken palace in the first place but instead, nothing.

"She threw caution and group effort out of the window and decided to prance on her own..."

The king...something to do with the king. It was such a blur in her mind; like a footnote to the chaos that had earlier ensued. A fleeting memory of childhood to the memory of adulthood. The needle in the haystack, call it what you will. Sickness...the king was sick?

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

And she had heard a conversation in the middle of her escape attempt between the Elder and another group; was drawn in, caught, and selected.

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

To decide either life or death.

"Do you find her actions acceptable even as she placed herself in danger and threw our organization in disarray?"

The ugly face of death showed his face to both Akdov and Xan; and it's such a terrifying a face he's forced to walk with the mask of a normal man. How could have anyone accepted death in it's most violent forms?

Nel bit down the sleeve of her yellow robes and slowly got up back to her feet, attention split between the half-bloodied prince and Lakdov, hate managing to win the betterment of her emotions with the belief that Rydas was only slightly injured, balling up her newly healed hand into a fist and ready to let Lakdov have it before Feylon beat her to "the punch". A little bit shocked, she watched as both of the men fought, fists flying, and frowned just as easily. Feylon's technique was as sloppy as the whore's he slept with and the paladin a wild animal lacking control. They didn't know how to fight. It was like watching two homeless men fight over a piece of bread; in her eyes a sad act considering they couldn't expect to compete with some of the extraordinary fighters she grew up with in the monastery.

Just as the young boy who carried Acacia finished his little speech, Nel came up behind both Feylon and Lakdov and subdued them, though the time was just incidental. Just as the paladin's arm was reared back for a punch, the monk grabbed him by the wrist, and redirected the direction up man's back while sporting a hefty tight grip of the long blond hair from the top of Feylon's skull, pulling his body back ever so slightly, making it impossible to move his own body but able flail his limbs to his heart's content.

"The only reason I interfered was to keep the prince from cutting Feylon in half." She growled, anger and fury mixed into her breath. "Perhaps if G hadn't struck him he wouldn't be enraged, perhaps if you hadn't started barking orders against his life he wouldn't be enraged, perhaps if we all hadn't have been standing around like sheep at one end of the room something might have changed." Nel leaned in towards the paladin and was nearly shouting in his ear at this point, wedging his arm a little bit higher on his back. "It's all meaningless! The if's and or's of the past are useless! It doesn't change the fact that the priest and Xan are dead and that their deaths weigh heavy on all of us!"

It was then that the prince had placed the emerald on the wall and exposed the room of treasures that simply demanded awe but it was center of the chamber of riches that caught Nel's attention. The amulet of Pancea that lay atop it's very own pedestal. The amulet. That was her purpose here. Nel looked at the prince, his breathing heavy, and his blood flowing from his clothing. The monk looked at the young man who seemed almost childish in nature, carrying Acacia in her back, managed to finally break a small smile.
"The boy is right. We work together now and keep each other alive; starting with Rydas. So end your petty squabbles or I'll end the both of you."

With one last tug of Akdov's arm upwards and a twisting pull of Feylon's hair, she bent her knees a bit more to stabilize herself and pushed them to the side, then running into the chamber to grab the amulet of Pancea, and force it upon the prince's neck. If either Feylon or Lakdov or anyone else dared to stop her; she had no qualms about face-punching. For the second time in her life, she'd seen death's ugly face mere inches from her own, touching bandits, demons and two of her comrades. She wasn't going to choose death for Rydas. He didn't deserve it's terrifying touch.

Now more then ever; she wanted to see life in action.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Cordelia Braxton
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Geraint knew that the Prince was going to use the gem to open something. Well, perhaps he didn't know, but he strongly suspected, he just didn't realize the door was right there. So most of his attention was on the fighting pair a few feet a way, rolling and scuffling violently. Just watching by to stop them if things fell too far out of hand.

Interestingly enough however, the little bear cub stepped in to break up the fight, showing interesting knowledge of human locomotion in the way she managed to pin, bend, or man-handle the two so they could do nothing to each other while lecturing them. If not for the seriousness of the brawl, the atmosphere and her words, it would have been an amusing sight. A young slip of a girl playing nursemaid to two dirtied men many years her senior. But even Geraint's possibility of amusement was lost when he glanced back in the Prince's direction. Nel's words were true, he had injured the man, the Shaman was still surprised he'd leapt in harms way, even though he knew that Rydus had been under a compulsion, the intensity of that compulsion had been miscalculated. So at the mention of his wounding the future king "Perhaps if G hadn't struck him he wouldn't be enraged, perhaps...!, Geraint almost unconsciously turned to look Rydus's way.

He was greeted with a surprise. The woman's flash of light had healed the noteworthy wounds on the Old Beard's body, and had worked similar magic upon the rest of the group, so he hadn't even thought to look closely at the Prince's injuries, despite the fact that he was covered in blood. After all, Geraint himself was still covered in blood, his own and that of their enemies, it was just the wounds that had been handled. But as he glanced back toward the young leader of their "merry band", the majesty of the old Necromancer's treasury was lost on him, because it seemed that, despite the divine blessing that had bestowed upon them all... Rydus was on his last legs. Geraint's eyes widened, his expression freezing for a moment as the Prince's words chilled him. "Save him Shaman. Save Calisma." a smile of all things, graced that royal face, before he slumped in the weakness that death brought on.

Almost immediately old eyes locked on the amulet displayed so prominently in that treasure chamber. But as he took a step forward he drew a breath, not for any particular reason, simply the constant breathing that every man or woman does to keep living. But the magic lacing that treasure chamber suffused his nostrils like the thick scent of a strong musk or perfume, and caused him to pause. Years of practical experience screamed that it was safest to assume that that magic was defensive in nature. Shielding, or trapping the treasure within. Particularly the amulet of Panacea. Geraint didn't know the lore of Panacea well enough to know if it could revive Rydus, didn't know if that question was dependent upon time how long it had been since Rydus had "died". As his eyes quickly scanned the room, and he weighed the risks, a yellow blur shot by him, snatching the amulet from its pedestal, and placed it around the Prince's neck.

The Shaman's old eyes watched as Nel placed the amulet around Rydus's neck, and nodded firmly to himself, turning his attention back to the treasure room. Despite the Prince's wishes, and even if the amulet was only useable this once, Rydus was the better choice than his dying father. While the First King of Calisma had brought a unity to the land heretofore unknown, he would die of natural causes in a few decades at most. Rydus on the other hand, barring illness or ill-will could rule for twice that time, at minimum. He was still the King's son and rightful heir, with any luck that would minimize the rocking of the Kingly estate when death inevitably came. Whether through his current illness, or of old age a few years from now.

The Shaman returned his attention to the treasury, though he too would stop anyone from removing the amulet from the Prince's throat, he didn't want to be side-swiped by some sort of treasury-magic-whammy.

His ears perked to attention when one of the dinner guests came to the Prince's side, spouting prophetic near-gibberish. Unfortunately Geraint's attention was focused on that treasury, so he didn't catch all of it, something was going to happen any minute now, he just hoped it wasn't going to be too terrible...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon landed the punch on the priests jaw and instantly recoiled his fist. He had very little time to react after. He saw a flash of steel as the priest jumped towards him. At that same moment a large thud hollowed from inside his bones as the full weight of the priest met his chest. Try as he might he got not stop himself from falling backwards he could not counteract the weight of the priest. Feylon's feet slid backwards as he tried to push the priest away. Feylon grappled with Akdov trying to overthrow the balance and get him down on the floor. It was a tiring ordeal but Feylon could not give up, his dignity and pride were now at stake.

A few moments later and he felt every strand of hair being pulled away from his head. The distance between himself and Akdov grew and he heard the voice of the monk behind him. She was ranting about something but he was far to angry to listen to her. Right now he wanted to finish what he had started with Akdov. Feylon turned towards the monk. "You would be wise not to interrupt a fight between two men out for blood. Some people would not be so kind as to let you go unscathed." He spun on his heels with rage in his heart and anger in his veins.

It only took seconds for Feylon's anger to be washed away however. He saw the Prince slouched on the floor. Crimson streams of blood streaked across the floor. The panacea around his neck. Feylon stopped and looked straight at the prince. His mission on the verge of failing. He could not go back to his employers like this. They would not accept this outcome. If he didn't do his job the way he was meant too he would not be paid. He would not work again. His shoulders drooped low and his face went calm. He was at a loss as to what he should do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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The air had a new taste to it, he could not say if this was due to him having gone into that citadel of darkness in the body in which he had been born and having walked out as a youthful and brave paladin or if it was because the stench of evil that had plagued the necromancer´s hideout had been left behind.

All was well, the prince in one piece after the Panacea had lived up to he expectations, the king would be healed in no time and Deud would get a huge building to house the faithful and spread the word of his might, yet... How would he be able to explain what had happened to him?

He was not really sure he grasped it, for starters he could not remember anything about his life as Arthur, all the memories of Queran were left behind and he could not for his life locate it or recall it... In its stead were others the ones who were filled with the thrill of chase amongst suburbs and stealing bread, knowing hunger and devotion to a foreign god one who stood for light, strength and healing.

Akdov held no enmity to this other.. Idol of the sun, but his devotion was to Deud and Deud alone, the hall lord allow this other aspects to be tolerated, but it was not unheard of that the defenders of the faith could do just that, Deud´s scriptures were a joke to some of the other religions at Paetax, a joke they would not tolerate to compete with... Many times had Akdov had his life endangered when he worked as a missionary, the gallows, poison, drowning and stabs on the back had not felled him.

What was he now? He had the vitality to fight now, he could endure the travels that he had once made to be a missionary...but

He looked at the prince, then at the Citadel they had left behind... That temptress was a sign of things to come, the poisoning of the King might be but the advent of a greater wave of chaos, if the king was killed that would mean an imbalance to the power structure that had held the continent together, that demoness had sought to enslave the heir, she could be in league with whatever had aimed to kill the Monarch of Paetax

We put a stop to it, or did we just fought a herald of greater evils?


The priest had done a great deal of bitching down there, he had called everyone´s incompetence up when it surfaced because mistakes like that had costed Lance and Xan a price that could not be paid twice of them... But what had he done?

He had gotten himself in a position where he had to extract a soul -and gotten himself killed for it-, he had also not been able to be strong enough to overpower the succubus on his own or hold the Vulture monsters like Xan did, if the roles had been reversed the creatures would have easily killed him and he would have failed to stop the backup from reaching the demon which the Triansui and the monk had engaged.

He simply did not match the power that some of the members of the group commanded

The Triansui would absolutely trash him at swordplay, let alone the handling of shield and arms
The monk had incapacitated him with ease with only one twist of an arm
Geraint had been a force of nature and wrecked through the enemies ranks
Xan had been vital to the advance of the group, diffused of the traps and his sacrifice had saved them
Lance had not held back even when it meant hi