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Alice Sangera

"The brightest light casts the longest shadow."

0 · 402 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by percy book nerd2

Description

Full Name: Alice Sangera

Nickname: Alice

Gender: Female

Age: Nineteen

Height: 4'5

Race: Human

Class: Mage

Skills: Alice will bring forth the only thing she can, magic.

Weakness(es): Well other than her having no aim what so ever and being a bit on the clumsy side, Alice is a coward, a lazy coward. If she feels she is in danger most likely she would run with her tail between her legs. If she doesn't care for you then there is no stopping her from running away.

Equipment: Alice carries one small dagger with her hidden neatly in her boot. It's the last resort kind of things. Other than that, she has only her tunic and her cloak, which aren't very helpful.

Personal Quote: "The brightest light casts the longest shadow."

Description: Alice is a mousy girl. Her nose small and round, lifted up just a bit. Alice carries two large brown eyes with full lashes, though her eyes do little more than observe the actions of others. Her eyes had specks of gold when angered. Her hair is a chocolaty brown color, but when she goes outside and the sun hits it just right, her hair tints red. It's very short -- only up to her shoulders -- but messy as she had cut off her hair herself with a simple knife. She let her bangs grow long enough to cover her face, they brush against the ridge of her nose. Alice is a skinny girl that can fit into a lot of things for her height. Her fingers are long and slender, and her nails sharp ready to strike a person. Her legs are longer than her body with a pale outer layer. Underneath her pale skin are small muscles that are barely used. She is a light girl therefore make little to no noise when she walks. Even though she's lazy, Alice is flexible. She can bend, twist, and crouch in all different shapes and way. Her body bares a few mark, a picture of a wing on the side of her stomach, and a couple of beauty marks splattered randomly. On on her thigh, three next to her eyes, one on her lip, another on her ear, and one on her back. On the outside Alice wears one ring which she never takes off and a bracelet made out of copper more for her magical use than anything else. She fit snugly into a purple tunic with a leather belt, that carried pouches with various items, leather gloves up to her elbows, and leather shoes. Apon her shoulders rest a fur clock that all the mages in her Guild wear.

Personality: Alice is a silent girl for most of the day. She rather watch people speak than speak herself. Alice will also not speak to anyone that she finds boring. Why waste her breath? Alice isn't very rude but that said, she is't very nice. Alice also happens to be very naive. She'll fall for the oldest trick in the book and not have a clue what hit her. If you give her your word, she'll wait for you to do what you had promised, whether it's now, in a week, or two years. She'll wait. Yet, this girl is not very trusting about herself. She won't tell you her darkest fear nor will she tell you what has happened to her. She prefers to keep everything bottled up, at least everything about herself. But that also means she'll keep your secret you just gotta be more detailed with her. You have to tell her that she cannot tell anyone else, that would be the only way she won't say anything to anyone else, if you don't tell her that little piece of information, then she'll assume that it's not a secret and everyone knows. Aside it all, Alice will most likely always be smiling, with her mouth just letting out a little too much information. Alice also doesn't like to follow the rules, they can be bend and twisted, she always says.

Alice is, over all, a judgmental person. She'll observe how you act and what you do before she decides anything. But at the same time she is a person that will change opinion easily, unless you did something really horrible to her. If you act nice enough to her, she'll say you aren't that bad, even if you are rude to others. But if you do a chain of events that just push her off her chair then there's absolutely no turning back, she'll hate you, but she just wont say anything. And lastly, she's not a very brave person. A stranger in trouble! Oh well, it's not like she knows her. Why help them and risk her own life? She's a coward. Maybe if she likes you she'll help, but in her mind, no one is worth saving because even friends will back-stab you. Now or later, it doesn't matter. But if she herself isn't in danger then Alice will try to help. It isn't like she doesn't care about you, it's just that she cares for herself a bit more. Alice isn't all a bad person, if you complain about not having something then sure as hell Alice will get it for you, but you'll just have to wait a bit. When she goes out, even if she needs something herself, she's get what you were complaining about or wanting first even if she just ends up in trouble. It's when her life on the line or when physical injuries can occur that she'll run away.

History: Alice was born into a family of Mages. When young she was surrounded by magic and grew up with it. The old teddy bear that a child has when growing up, was a ring given to her by her father. It was far too large for her before so she wore it as a necklace, which she still does now. A mans fingers are far wider than a females and she took after her mother. Her family was not rich nor poor, they were just fine where they were. Alice lived her days by happily... until their mother left the family. She left Alice and her two older brothers to their father and ran off with her lover. It was then when Alice learned that the nicest looking people could have a mask and that no one was to trust. But try as she might she couldn't bring to dis-trust her brothers nor her father, that was left heart broken. When Alice started her magic lessons, she was sent away to the Guild, an island far away from everyone else. There she learnt that what had seemed so easy before when her brothers used magic, was actually much harder! And worst of all, there was no short cut! How was a girl to lie and cheat if there was no way to do so? Not that her teacher let her. When Alice did finish her work she would end up asleep in class. Needless to say, Alice wasn't liked by her teacher and truth be told, Alice didn't like her teacher either. But she got enough marks to pass her exams. The men of her family never scolded her at the least bit when she's sent a letter every now and then, she became a little spoiled. Being the only girl she got away with a lot of minor things, that spoiled her about bending the rules. It was when she turned eighteen that her brothers started to become strict. They expressed their opinions about how she should practice her magic more. It was horrible! even though Alice knew they just wanted her back, Alice would have rather done the work around the house than practice her magic. But it helped her a bit, getting her grades up. Her father laughed at the boys attempt to make her study, he would say that Alice was lazier than the town drunk when he was drunk and a no better traveler. Her father had finally been taken to her brothers side about her studying and when he wrote back, he too become strict. All the men started to get strict with her, telling her how to improve and asking the teacher to give her harder lessons until she grasps the concept. But it's far too much work! How was she supposed to do this all alone? Magic got tiring and the spells got more difficult then the last. It was hopeless. She needed a way out of it. But of course there was none. When she had finally passed and gotten her seal, Alice was excited. She was to show her family immediately! Her teacher was more happy than the student, he finally got rid of Alice. Alice over heard the teacher speak about her as a very weak and poor girl. It was then Alice decided to make her name famous and show her no-good-annoying-teacher what she was all about! She would be famous! And that's when she heard. A quest to help the King, not that she cared much about him. But it was a short cut to fame! If she could help to find the treasure that everyone was so desperate to find then she rub it in her teachers face. She would be more known that her teacher, and for that she made a promise. With a hop to her step she made her way back home to tell her family the news. They were horrified. "No!" They said "Not the daughter of our family! You're too young." So Alice fought. With all her might she fought and they argued until, slowly, one by one, she got them all on her side. They didn't like it, and Alice never admitted it, but she didn't want to leave her family behind either but she must for her title as a Mage to be known far and wide. For a small little short cut. A grin as wide as she could get, Alice ran to the local tavern hoping that she would return soon. A fog had entered her mind filling it with nonsense. She thought that it would be a easy quest, the ugly reality, she refused to let in.

Anything Else: Alice didn't show anyone but before she left, she took the notes that both her elder brothers had prepared for her. That and she stole their bracelets.

So begins...

Alice Sangera's Story

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

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

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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.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

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

A horse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

Gracefully?

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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: 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

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
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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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Image


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

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

...And his cape was so red!

Love,
Chaton


Dawn met the city of Paetax.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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.

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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She was curled up into a little ball. Tears had dried on her cheeks but she didn't dare move. She was scared that someone might see her. She didn't want to be seen. She didn't want to even get up. Finally, all the noise seemed to stop. She wanted to look up, but she couldn't force herself to. All energy was drained from her. She screwed up on the spell when all she had in her mind was running away, that spell was not an easy one. Instead of taking the magic from her surrounding, she took it from her own body. Normally, she would have stolen some from the earth, it was the best method, for herself. The Earth was bustling with energy and it got more and more stored up each minute. Taking some from it wouldn't affect it at all. Of course, there was a limit on how much you can take in each area. She usually never hit that limit. But since she took the energy from herself, not only did she take all her energy, she also got herself a little bit sick. For the time being, no magic could be performed by this Mage. It didn't matter though. Getting sick did not happen often to her, so when she did get sick, she didn't even realize what she was doing. Do NOT practice magic when you are not in your right state of mind. It was the obvious rule. The Prince's voice echoed around her, yet she still didn't move. She heard the murmuring of people, asking how one another was, and if someone could heal someone else. After a while, all she heard was a buzz. Though sick, though tired and drained, she still had the spell cast upon her, draining more energy every second. Staggering, and stumbling, she got herself up to her feet. The world spun only for a second before it became clear once more. The Prince had spoken and finished. The group was scattering trying to bath themselves or what not. There were new faces, mixed in with them, that raccoon women that called herself the wildling. That wench! Brought a bunch of bloody-thirsty, evil beings bent on killing the lot, yes she did! The spell wore off, slowly making the little Mage come into view of anyone that bothered to look in that direction.

Dragging her feet, she made her way to the place where her own little bedroll was placed. It wasn't there anymore. She sighed. Well, what was she expecting? The camp was ruined. Her legs shook with every step she took. Other than a layer of dirt, nothing was on her to make her dirty at the least. Alice's leg gave way just beside the fire and she was completely content. Her stomach growled and shivers ran down her spin. For a minute, everything was black. She felt light as though she was jumping on clouds, completely happy and worry free. The past few days flew in her mind like a movie. She saw and heard everything but it just didn't seem real. It couldn't be real. It was all just a horrid dream. That's what she thought anyway. She loved it there, so it was rather disappointing when she woke up looking directly at where the fire met the wood. People were loitering around, listening to what the Prince had to offer. Quiet a bit of time had passes since the group was fixing each other up. It was then she realized that she had passed out and that it was not a dream at all. Alice toned out everyone else and pulled her cloak on tighter around her. What an awful day she's been having. Her whole body trembled as a sneeze puffed out. Alice hated it when people looked in her direction, she was small and weak and... well... there were other things they said. Therefore, she had worked on ways to make sure that people didn't notice her as much. One of them was not speaking to others unless spoken to first. Another way was being as quiet as could be, but that one was harder than it seemed, for when she got excited, she did tend to jump around and squeal. But she had mastered sneezing so only she could hear. Lazily, her eyes landed on cake. It was so far away! She didn't want to get up and she couldn't use magic... what a horrible fate indeed. Alice gave up. There was no way she would get up just for some food, and since she couldn't reach the abyss with the magic she had left, there was only one option left. Go to sleep until she got better.

After a chain of small sneezes, her attention fell to the Prince and his plans. At first, she heard only a fable, something her brothers would tell her to hush her up. It was until later that she began to understand that this was not a fable nor a good story but the truth of this madman’s plans. They would go out to find an artifact that could be or very well destroyed or just a plain myth. She had heard that before but this was Alice that they were talking about. She had a large amount of belief laid upon the fact that the it was still there. If she had anything at all, it was the power to believe and imagine what could be. Like her fame, which now just seemed like another myth. What a fool she had been and that had to stop. She wasn't going on a quest like this where she could die so an old man could live. Her brother had said that she could come back anytime, now seemed like a perfect time to do so. She was going back on her word, but what did that matter. She was a worthless Mage, the other bearded Mage seemed much more talented in the arts of Magic. She had no spot left anyway. But she still listened for it excited her. Another story that left her with a smile, that was all she thought this was, but a story was a story and this one was great. She soaked up every word and still, she trusted it to be true. She was sure that the item could be found and used again. It was Alice, if she couldn't believe in stories, what else had she left? Another story, another smile danced on her face. Then her dreams were shattered. People started to ask questions that scared her, others pledged their loyalty, something that she couldn't do. They weren't sure if it was real, they just wanted to let the Prince know that it might be real or that they would follow him even if he had a loose screw. Didn't they know, every story or myth, had a string of truth in between the strings of lies. It was real. It was. "It's real..." she said to herself before she fell asleep. Her cloak wrapped around her and she curled up into a little fur ball, softly flying to the word of dreams, which she visited often.

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.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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It was unexpected but somehow, Alice managed to sleep rather peacefully. No nightmares at the least. It was beautiful but it didn’t last. Nothing beautiful ever lasted. Voices drifted through the air and towards her. It wasn’t the food that woke her, even though she slept quiet close to the burning wood. Her eye fluttered to life, the long eyelashes casting shadows on her cheeks. The first thing Alice heard after her departure from her sleep was an angry sentence. "Then to bury a man's trinket is to bury just a trinket with no value. The man needs to be buried as a whole." To her surprise the one arguing was the peaceful monk herself and that too, arguing with the Prince. Very bold indeed, not something Alice could ever do. No guts, no glory. That summed her up pretty well. Her stomach rumbled in protest, but Alice couldn’t miss a fight like this. She watched as the Prince expressed his opinions on the matter and how his anger was flickering from a small glow to a raging fire. The monk herself wasn’t backing down either. Oh how fights amused her. She needed a better look. Alice jumped to her feet, the little cold she had last night, completely gone now. A good nights rest was all that was ever needed. Just as she stood fully upright, red fabric caught her attention. Circling her feet was a fine red cloak, one that she remembered instantly. She swiped the cloak off the ground instantly. There was no way it could be his. She didn’t know the man long enough but he seemed to always be mad or emotionless, nothing at all that hint of the caring type. But as she examined it, all her doubt washed away. This was the Prince’s cloak, his cloak. It was obvious that she had not felt a thing, how could she with her own cloak on, but it would have been laid on her after she fell asleep. It was horrible. She had the Prince’s cloak and it touched the ground when she was handling it and on top of that, there was no way she could give it back. She was scared of him for goodness sakes. She could offend him in some way, she could make him angrier, she could make him hate her! No, she couldn’t allow that. If she handed him the cloak back with a small thank you, things would be alright.

Wrong.

He was already mad. The monk had awoken his anger. Alice looked up just to see the Prince address the rest of the group to carry on and ride like they had been preparing to do when they woke up. With a small frown, Alice wiped the cloak of any dirt that remained. The monk had started to throw the bodies on the ground, clearly stating that she would give all of these horrible creatures a proper ceremony. Careful as could be, Alice folded up the cloak. With one last lingering look, Alice went to where her mount was. She was too gutless to give the cloak back and thank him and she cared nothing for the brutes that tried to kill her. Sure, she could go help the monk because she seemed trust worthy, but if that was all she had then she might as well have nothing. Just because she seemed trustworthy didn’t mean she was. Without realising it, Alice had started to stare at another horse. It was the Prince’s horse. She had memorised everyone’s horse subconsciously. The petite Mage laid the cloak on the back of the horse, jinxing the cloak not to fall off and for a faint mist to float on top of it in a certain pattern that spelled ‘thank you’. Of course, the minute that Prince touched the cloak both the spells would fade. Content, Alice went back to her own horse. “Weakling. You should have just given it back to him. I bet that you didn’t even fight.”

“Oh be quiet, no one asked for your opinion.”

“What about the naïve girl there, trying to bury all those bodies by herself? Can’t you use that Magic of yours to help her?”

“I could, but I’m sure in a matter of minutes the armored women will go help along with the scoundrel. If they need Magical assistance then the bearded Mage is far greater than I in the practice of the Magical arts. More will come to her aid. I do not need to.”

“You fool. How is someone to trust a girl like you?”

“But Eclipse, why should I trust them? Don’t you know? Everyone will stab you in the back.”

“Then what are you good for? You are useless in this quest. A weakling like you shouldn’t be here.” At that, Alice gave the horse a smile.

“I know. No we ride, be nice.” The horse gave a last disapproving sigh before he became quiet. She didn't care anymore. She looked mad talking and replying ot a horse. The horse was all set up in a matter of seconds and Alice was grooming Eclipse’s long neck. At that, her stomach rumbled once more. She chanted a few words under her breath and then stuck her arm out. Her arm had completely vanished, as if it was plunged into another realm. Alice struggled for a bit but then pulled her arm out with half a loaf of bread. It was still warm to the touch. She got herself up, once again, using her little tricks. She was ready to ride, but while nibbling on the loaf, her attention remained on the monk and her dead bodies.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Alice watched as the rest of the group left. Her own horse didn’t seem to move. Not until they had gone quite a few ways down did Eclipse decide it was time to go. It was obvious that Alice wasn’t going to tell him to go anyways. He trotted down the path, gaining with the rest of the group with ease. Alice finished her bread and was bored. She watched the path and its scenery. It all seemed the same. Without realizing it, Alice was playing with the ring that was strung around her neck. The night seemed to replay in her mind. Even now, fear was still sitting in her mind, ready to grow. Her eyes darted behind them, from time to time. She had to make sure nobody was there. The wind seemed to speak to her, trying to scare her. She whipped her head every time it mocked her. She grew tired of being scared, of looking for signs that someone was behind them, ready to attack them now. The horse was getting boring as well, and it just hurt now. Alice tried shifting, trying to sit in a different position that wouldn’t leave her cramped. But nothing. She was considering putting herself on a curse just to make herself fall asleep.

She frowned, tired of getting spooked by the wind. Finally, Alice just threw her hood on. She would wait. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. Irritation lined her mouth. She took out a few crumbled papers and recited them. They were notes her brothers had made for her. She had memorized… none of the things that were written. There were attack spells and defence spells. She sighed. For the hours she spent on the road, riding away, her mouth was whispering spells to herself. She would remember them. She wouldn’t be useless.

Alice jumped off her horse at the first chance she got. She try to fall asleep fast, once again. But this time, she ate her food first. She woke constantly after a few hours. No one but the group was here but she couldn’t let herself dream in peace. Try as she might, she kept waking up. After a while, she just put a defence trap around herself. It was then she let herself fall asleep.


She woke up after she heard yelling jump around the camp. Her eyes fluttered as they adjusted to the light. Stumbling, she picked herself so she was in ear shot of what the group was saying. Some had gone first, to look for… well she wasn’t sure what they were doing. She wasn’t sure what anybody was doing. She furrowed her eyebrows, trying hard to listen. “The Prince…”

Alice looked over at the Prince’s own tent. She crawled over to it, knowing it was rude but she did it anyways. There truly wasn’t anyone in there. She frowned. What the hell was the Prince doing? Was he trying to scare everyone? She was scared. She crawled back to the group trying to listen to what they were saying. A Mage would provide useful in this quest. It wasn’t like she was going to die anyways. If they asked, she would listen. If they didn't, then she would just follow the rest of them. Alice smiled.

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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?

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Alice had her things thrown into the abyss, tired of having to pick it all up and mount it on her horse. Eclipse had a hard job already, trying to follow the rest when his instructor would just sit and stay quiet throughout the ride. You had to pity the poor horse for drawing the short straw, but not more than the horse that had gotten stuck with the monk. She smiled as she pulled the horse along. He was rather jumpy as it was and she didn’t need anything to become worse. The only thing that could go any worse was if her horse ran away. Eclipse was no coward, not like her, so she found that hard to believe but a horse was a horse and it did what any other horse would do. Likewise, she was a coward and would do what any coward would do. She would run when she had too or fade into the background. No one ever noticed her, and that was a great advantage. She usually used that to her benefit.

Alice blinked. Why was the place so scary looking? It never occurred to her that they might actually be going into a deathtrap. Oh what fun. Yet, as she stared at the building, she could practically see it glow. It had Magic dancing around it in circles, giving even the old bricks some new light. It was beautiful in a creepy sort of way. She could imagine how it would have looked before when it was all in one piece. Her entire body felt overwhelmed. She would be crushed. She had just obtained her Seal, how did they expect her to fight such Magic and win? It seemed impossible. Well… there was the other Mage. She gave a warily glance at the other man. He seemed like the guy that would have a few tricks up his sleeve. Hopefully… she was no good at judging people. To look like she was actually doing something, Alice patted her boot, smiling as she felt her dagger. She had her copper bracelet around her wrist and the two she stole from her brothers hidden neatly in her sash. Alice wrapped her hand around the ring that dangled on her neck, finally positive that she had everything she needed.

Her head flew upwards when her title was spoken out loud. She looked at the priest who was disliked by most. He had suddenly taken charge of the entire group. Alice had no protest what so ever. Actually, she was quiet happy. He made sure that she was guarded in the end. She won’t die a gruesome death after all. This was turning out to have a happy ending after all. It be an even happier occasion if the Prince wasn’t dead and they would make it out alive. Yey for positivity! Alice nodded her head as she heard the instructions. Good instruction from a semi-good man. This could work. Hopefully. It didn’t matter, she would do whatever anyone told her without a second thought. She had always been a follower, never once the leader. Who wanted to bear the weight that heavy on their shoulder? She never understood that, but she never asked. Why ruin a good thing. Someone had to be the leader. She didn’t even bat an eyelash when the temporary leader didn’t know her name. Matter of fact, no one knew her name. Oh well, the better way to leave without notice. Alice skipped along the way, humming a light tune to herself. The faint smell of burning firewood circled her. She wasn’t going in without any armor. She made sure to add a small barrier around herself so that any odd poisons floating through the air wouldn’t reach her. This time, she took the energy from the Earth, now, she wouldn’t be as tired. There was still something left unclear to Alice, who was the person assigned to her? She couldn’t remember their face.

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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.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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A man she had seen, but never spoken to had said a few words to her. He would be there to give her a shield if she needed one. It was then, she realized, everyone who glanced at her direction could tell she was shivering in her boots. It was like a slap on the face. Alice was the one girl that could always repress her emotions and play an act perfectly. That was the one thing she exceeded at. But he called her out, ripped that mask that she thought she had on. Then, she was determined to be of use this time. She would march along the rest and fight the evil that lay waiting. Be brave. But, Alice forgot a very important aspect about herself. Once she had felt even the smallest presence of the ghoul, her mind forgot all thoughts she had. She may have been called out, but Alice was the least noticed, so when she faded from view, even before the ghoul came, no one saw her. She wanted to run away, but her legs shook, they felt as though they had been stripped of any muscle and she fell into a heap. Eventually, she pressed her body against the wall and watched. She watched the rest play and fight. Watched as some were wounded, and some were left fighting. She saw courage, creativity, and fear that they all repressed. She couldn't repress her fear as they did. It killed her. She was Alice, she never changed. Whether it be a week, a month, or twenty years from now. She would still be the lazy Mage that skipped to the local bread seller. Her height didn't even change for years now.

After a while, she couldn't register anything that was happening. The ghoul seemed as though it was winning. They were all going to die, save for her. The ghoul had no knowledge that she was even there. She was proven wrong when the ghoul burst into bloody pieces. Alice shut her eyes so tight that they pained her but that didn't shut her nostrils from taking in the repugnant smell. She closed her eyelids, taking in the silence. The entire time the ghoul had been alive, her heart was pounding against her chest, as though any second, it would rip out of her. She felt only relieved now. The minute seemed so short. Then a voice bounced off the walls. Her breath was as cold as ice, icicles pierced her throat. The words rang in her ears, male laughter tangled her thoughts. Her eyes were fighting with her mind, whether or not to look at the black blob that had taken shape. Eventually, her emotion of fear won over the rest. She had somehow missed the death of the priest. Before she could even let that fact sink in, Alice had gotten distracted by the other Mage. He shouted instructions that she didn’t understand but it didn’t matter, she followed them anyway. It took a few seconds for the Monk to counter the instructions.

At that moment, she realized something. She hated the monk. Not even dislike, pure, fire burning, hatred. She didn’t have any good reason, but she knew that feeling well because she didn’t get it often. She hated that yellow-robe-wearing-dumber-than-a-stick- monk. She could even stop pushing away that malice of hate, feeling that it was bad. She watched as the girl ran towards the beast. A thick fog had made its way into the open. It snaked its way into skin, setting goose bumps down her arms. She heard screams and thumps. Abruptly, Alice clutched her ears when a sound as sharp as a knight’s sword pierced her ears. She opened her mouth but no noise came out. Great… I’m deaf and mute. Through cringed eyes, she watched as the monk flew, and the beast turned towards the old man with long hair. Even at the heat of death, she had to say, he had better hair than she did. Her spell was still in full affect, she couldn’t stop it. It was obvious that she wouldn’t be able to be any help. She wouldn’t get in the way either. But she would do something. Alice pushed her legs, until she was standing. Slowly, from faintly parted lips, she took a deep breath. She closed her eyes, and opened them once more. She needed a new, clear perspective. The petit mage ignored the large panther-demon hybrid and took out a few trinkets of sorts. A pendant made of crystal, her dagger, and she unclasped her copper bracelet. She kissed her bracelet, more for good luck than anything else, and then she dabbed the tip of the dagger with it. She put on her bracelet, and held her dagger under her crystal pendant. The dagger started to glow until it flew by itself. Alice flicked her pendant and the dagger flew. Her bracelet started to glow as the tip of the dagger started to change color. Multiples of the dagger peeled off from the original, she clenched her fists. They hit the beast at the joints, causing a patch of frost to break through, paralyzing him temporarily. His mouth dripped saliva into a small puddle.

Alice leaned against the wall as a new layer of sweat beaded her forehead. Her ears ringed as she skidded down the rough wall. A puff of sparkles flew around her until she came back into view. Alice was lined in a blue glow, her hands brighter than the rest of her. She clenched her fists tighter, the frost grew thicker, getting larger, the beast screamed. Her body trembled, she had but mere seconds before her hands uncurled and the frost sizzled away. The first actual spell she had cast since she had entered the cursed place and she was rendered into a sweaty, srivled ball. Alice bit her tongue, channling the pain into her mouth instead of her fists. The metalic taste of blood quickly dropped in. She gave a hollow laugh at her own weakness.

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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

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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”

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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.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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#, as written by Celedia
Just as quickly as the battle had begun, it came to an unforeseen halt. It was not by blade or bow that the devilish creature had been downed but by… Magic. The very essence of which Mirabella neither understood nor trusted and yet it was that essence, that magic that had felled their foe and the warrior had front row seats for all of it.

With her sword lodged firmly into the displacer beast’s side, she had begun to crawl backwards like a crab, axe still clasped firmly in her hands and ready to rise if the dirlagraun decided to attack. Then, even as the cat’s body crouched into position, projectiles appeared out of nowhere. Magic daggers exploded in luminescence against the blue-black pelt and freezing limbs into place so that the creature could do barely more than stand as a statue for all to view. Then the Paladin, Lance, insured the beast’s death by ripping its broad torso from its very limbs and both man and cat clattered to the ground in a cacophony of chaos. That was the end of it, right?

No, it would seem that the show was not over though applause rang out through the cavernous room and two figures appeared above them, cheering their production as Lance crumpled to the ground with hands clasped to his temples. A quick look around the room noted that everyone else was either standing still, stunned, or wounded in some way whether it be physically or… Mentally. Mira didn’t know much in the way of healing arts but she knew a basic combat first aid so her tasks were set before her.

First, she walked to the dirlagraun’s corpse, eyeing it warily before planting one booted foot upon its side. Her axe was sheathed in its leather holster so that both hands were freed to grasp upon the hilt of her sword and she kicked out with her foot while pulling fiercely with both arms to free her blade from the dead beast’s flesh. A wet slurping sound accompanied the removal of the blade and she wiped it upon that prized blue-black pelt to clean it as well as she could in the current situation before sheathing the sword as well.

Next, her eyes scanned the remainder of the group once again. Out of all of the wounded, it seemed that Feylon was the worst off after the Priest but as she saw Van set the cleric’s corpse ablaze she knew that Akdov would not need her aid. So, she crossed to the ranger and popped open one of her pouches along her belt, drawing a length of cloth and a small jar of ointment. ”This will help aid you…” She said, a weary smile curving pale, arid lips as she lifted the jar for him to study. Mira had it bound tightly so it wouldn’t leak out in her bags and once it was opened, an oddly aromatic smell was noticeable. ” A natural astringent called Agrimonia eupatoria, Achillea millefolium which stops the bleeding, and Calendula to aid in the regeneration of healthy cells.” Trying not to wince at his wounds, she applied it to his side where the cat had ripped down to the bone and once she had a liberal dose upon the skin she tucked away the jar for safe keeping. ”It’s not magic but it’ll do…”

Then, she gestured for him to remove his tattered shirt so she could bind his wounds. All the while, the Triansui tried not to pay attention to anything else. Her mind would break if she also listened to the Paladin/Priest and Mage speak to each other about their witchcraft and wizardry. The Paladin was both Lance and Akdov? She had more questions even after the cleric’s short explanation but they had no time for inquiries. Now that they had the chance, no matter how small, to regroup and tend to the wounded she was going to make every second count.

When Feylon’s wounds were tended and his torso wrapped as well as could be expected, Mira next moved over to the little tiny mage that no one ever seemed to notice. As she approached the young girl, she passed Acacia who had just been speaking with her. The bard and mage seemed to know one another but sadly, the warrior didn’t even know the girl’s real name and thus had conjured a nickname for poor Alice. Kneeling down so that her face was level with the mage’s, Mirabella smiled before speaking. ”Eidolon. I can tell by your hands that it is you that cast the frost daggers and for that… I thank you.” Rising back up into a standing position, she extended her hand towards the tiny mage and offered a helping hand up. Whether the newly titled Eidolon accepted or not was up to her but she had obviously gained respect in the warrior’s eyes. Anyone that had your back in the thick of battle was as close as kin.

Her ever vigilant gaze cast once more about the room as she looked for the others. Xan, Acacia, Nari, Nel? Were they okay? She had lost sight of them in the midst of battle and sought them out to confirm that they weren't among the dead or wounded. And what of Ian and Geraint? Both had been wounded. Did either need bindings? Her mind sifted through those present and those missing until she eventually realized there was one she couldn't account for.

"What in the hell happened to the other thief? The flame-haired one?" Her voice rang out as she asked the question though she didn't even know if anyone could answer her.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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The light around Alice died slowly as the beast was broken to pieces. Her fingers uncurled, letting her muscles relax. Her signature smell of her Magic circled her. The Bard came to her aid swiftly, a playful smile lit up on Alice. She was kind but it seemed that she needed more help than Alice did. She watched her expression change as she saw the wounded body of Feylon and the thrashing of Lance. "Thank you," Alice replied in a whisper of a voice. She wasn't sure if Acacia even heard her. The girl was transfixed with everything that was going around and seemed that she only needed to work things out. The Bard wandered away, Alice sat there for a few seconds just watching the body of Lance just scream and shout. That may have been her second time witnessing a soul transferred to another body but she was too tired to give it much thought. Alice smiled at the other Mage's compliment as she thought she should. She never understood compliments; they never helped her feel better. Soon the body of the priest was turned to ashes by Magic nonetheless.

Alice turned her head to the clapping sound. The mighty Prince stood at the top with a woman that had an ugly glow to her. Through the tension, Alice couldn't help but smile at the two. If the Prince is seduced with such ease, the fate of the King is only the beginning of the worries. The couple fled the scene as quickly as they had entered. She tried not to wince at the bearded Mage's vulgar words. He had a mouth on him. Was it Magic? The possibility was high but she wasn't sure of which kind. Maybe if she had paid more attention in class. She sighed, looking down at her hands. They had almost always been perfect. She hated getting her hands dirty in anyway but today they had four small slits that shed a small amount of blood. Nothing damaging for even that to be worried about but to Alice, it was horrible. The pressure she had applied just to save a few folks when she could have just saved herself and ran away. No, that was wrong. She didn't do anything to save anyone but herself. She just wanted someone that could help her get out of the castle. She was too scared to go alone and the threat of a trap was fresh in her mind. Even when she did something right, she did it for the wrong reasons. A coward to the core. But there was still hope in her mind. If she went along with the quest, just maybe, she would find a little box that had been welded shut inside of her. She would open the box and all her bravery would come to her, maybe. She had to hope.

In her moment of peace she had not noticed the warrior at all. The moment the faintly familiar voice was heard, Alice flinched, whipping her view from her hands to the blonde that was staring at her. She remembered everyone, even if they didn't remember her. Mirabella, the warrior that had sent waves of hatred to her at the Black Vegabond. She had made the mind of staying clear of her, who wanted to get into a useless argument with one that was repulsed by a Mage? Not Alice. It took her a moment to fully understand what the woman had said to her. She called her by a name that was not hers but at least there was no fight. Alice grinned at the warrior, whom she had thought to be cold hearted. She took the offered hand and helped herself up, not bothering to tell the warrior of her real name. She liked the one that she had gotten. Yet she was still confused. They were comrades, why had the warrior thought she wouldn't help in a time of need? She was certain no one knew of her cowardly status, so what other reason could there be? As much as she wanted to know, Alice kept her mouth shut. She didn't want to ruin anything when everything was going just fine, especially since the warrior was scary. You'd have to have much strength to send waves of hatred with no Magic. Alice wasn't so keen on finding out how much strength. When the warrior had gotten herself busy with her own thoughts, Alice quietly turned around and ran to the shattered beast. She fell to the ground like a rag doll and searched. There were several daggers in him, all that Alice had thrown. The petite girl waved a hand and all but one dagger had disappeared. She smiled. All she needed was the original dagger. It was her only weapon if she got stuck without the use of her Magic. "Do forgive me Demon, I bet you were a lovely kitten as young."

Biting her bottom lip, she ripped the dagger out of the beast. "You were still lovely. Loyal to your mistress, that's what matters in the end. Lovely but grumpy..." As odd as it might be Alice preferred to have conversation with things that couldn't speak back to her. That way, she never got hurt and neither did they... and it amused her. She just really liked talking, but it was hard to speak to people. Things that didn't talk back were much easier. "Like my brother! Oh kitty-cat, we could have been the best of friends! If only we didn't try to kill one another." She gave a final smile to the large beast before she got to her feet. Alice turned to see the Merchant had come back, fiery as ever, it seemed. Alice tucked her dagger back in and waved her hand. Her body rose to the air, her feet hovered off the land just a few inches. She wasn't going to climb anything nor would she risk walking and setting off any traps still left. Alice loitered around the air, waiting for anyone to tell her it was okay if she followed the path that the lovely couple had taken.

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?"

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Alice was starting to feel at peace when a shouting man had nabbed all her attention. He gave her the permission she needed to go follow the couple and she was just about to go when he spoke his last sentence. "But please be careful! Is there some signal you can give us if you get into trouble?"

Alone. He wanted her to go alone. The word bounced in her head, getting louder and louder. No! She didn't help them to go alone and die! If she wanted that she would have run away ages ago! But it wasn't like she could refuse a request like that, he told her to go. Dammit! It was so much better just trotting alone behind them! The Gods are punishing me... How rude. Alice lost any emotion of curiosity she had on, forcing herself to nod and pointed her finger. A small flare shot out of her finger and zipped around the man before it died. That would be her signal, but she felt no need to say any of that. Instead, Alice just looked upward. Before she could fly away, a rouge had started his climb upwards. She watched as he got to the top and for an odd reason, felt no comfort that she wouldn't exactly be alone. With a sigh, Alice curled her fists, the familiar smell of her Magic calming her nerves. Her body began to fade from view and she shot upwards, following the path the rouge and the monk had taken before her. It was these moments that Alice liked to think of herself as a soul of the newly departed, out for revenge on those who hurt her. Never did she think that she would be so terrified once she actually withheld the situation. Down the path she went and finally, her eyes lay on them. They stood at the doorway so Alice hovered above them.

What were they so keen about? She should have known. The mighty Prince and his lover were speaking sweetly to each other but it was the food that put a smile on Alice's lips. She was so hungry and the food smelled just so good. Magic particles hung in the air, like a wall made out of ice. It killed any interest she had in the food. What could be in the food was the question of the year. Alice looked over at the woman who tried to kill… everybody… more than once. She was far more beautiful up close. Never give you trust to a beautiful person. The memories of the fight circled through her and fear overtook her thoughts. Alice whipped her head around, but there was no black goop chasing them nor any hybrid demons snarling at them, the only scary beast was the Prince himself. Yet she was left wondering how the skulls behind the couple were made, and if whatever made them would come back. The sorceress was of no threat at the moment for she was too engaged. Feylon himself was busy asking pointless questions that no one was going to answer, it seemed. Alice took the moment to roam through her pouch and her any part of her clothing that could hold something. Alice was never one to remember where she put something. In a matter of minutes, she had pulled out a couple of items that were useless. To go against a sorceress of that potential, well she needed more than a twig or a silver coin. Still flying and out of human sight for most, Alice punched the air, like a child thrown a tantrum. Sure enough, the rest of the members came in. As the room started to fill, Alice started to pay more attention to the other guest. Some of the guest that she had presumed dead were very well alive. What had they done to deserve this fate? And was she going to end up just like them – waiting for a hero in shining armor to kill the sorceress?

The Mage had soon gotten distracted, if it was even possible to be distracted by such a sorceress, by one unique skull that had a pair of eyes. The question just dawned on her slow train of thought, how was the sorceress even alive? And why that skull? Till this moment, Alice just assumed that her Magic was alive, not the woman herself. Magic could always go wrong and she had seen people let the Magic possess them. The petite Mage always believed Magic had a mind of its own. Alice wanted to move closer, just to have a better look, but it was the woman’s aurora and the Magic that Alice was surprised a dead woman could possess that kept Alice at bay. When everyone had arrived and the wave of commotion was over with, the Prince spoke, commanding everyone’s attention, like he always did. The woman spoke again, with the same chilling voice but Alice was sure that the smile the Prince had on that was the real reason everyone was scared. Trying her best not to admit defeat to the all-powerful dead woman, Alice riffled with the papers she had at hand. There had to be something she could use to hurt the sorceress. The skull was completely erased from her mind. What interest could a skull hold compared to the festive mood that the Prince and his lover was in? The girl took in a deep breath and shoved the papers she had back. It was no use, she couldn’t even read anything. Something was sure to go wrong. Who would be the first to strike? Alice stood rooted to her place at the doorway, hovering over everyone. Her stomach was so nauseous, she was sure she would vomit or pass out from dizziness. Oh what great fate I have...

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: 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.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Alice curled her thin fingers to cover her mouth, which was now gaping. She was still non-existent to the naked eye and floating over everyone else, but unlike the rest, she was silent. The Prince was spewing non-sense. No one was pleased; some were more disturbed than the others. Alice herself was feeling a tingle of sadness as the food was thrown. She was willing to try the food... whether it be poisonous or not. A girls gotta eat. But her attention was quickly adverted to the Prince, again, who was bleeding. That was a bad omen for sure. Everyone was getting mad, people were yelling their thoughts and she was left confused. She could understand the Prince not being in the right mind to do all that he has done, the woman was behind it, but what was wrong with everyone else? He was the god-damned Prince! Did they not know that he could get their heads, and their families heads, cut off in less than five minutes? He was the Kings son! Not someone that was acceptable to throw insults at. Defiantly not a man that would take them lightly. He was an old grump. She made a pained sound when the insults about his power was thrown around. Why reason with him? Why anger him? Why not just kill that wench with no words exchanged? Why waste time as they were doing? What was the point of doing all the pointless shows of power or the pointless acts that maybe they cared about him? He wasn't himself. He had no senses. It was all a waste of time. They were wasting precious time the group did not have. But she didn't voice her opinion.

Being absorbed as she was, she barely noticed the others trying to help the guest. She made no action herself to help any of them. Eventually, some of the braver guest started to ramble and attack. Alice almost wanted to yell at her to stop her foolishness, almost. She was replied as she should have been, and after an insult, the monk also jumped at the idea to hurt the Prince. Everyone knew those two never got along. Yet, she never expected the monk to look so aggressive, so into it. She never expected the monk to turn. It was her own foolishness that led her to believe that everyone in the would be loyal to him. She never thought for alternate motives, only pledges. How could someone go on such a quest and not trust their leader? It didn't make sense to her, but it seemed as though she was the only one that thought so. All Alice knew, was that everyone was approaching it all wrong. Distract the Prince, kill the bitch, and run away. Easier said than done, of course. And there was still the matter of the amulet. So many things that needed to be solved, so many things that just weren't getting solved. Wincing at all those who got beaten really took a girls power source. Eventually, Alice had placed her feet on solid ground. The illusion that she wasn't there, faded away. She stood, near the walls, scolding herself. Too stupid for a quest so large. The Mage covered her ears when the woman clearly shouted her thoughts. Her voice sent chills down her spine, as they did often.

Alice's body wrestled with her minds curiosity on the matter of covering her eyes or watching in silence and complete terror as the woman morphed in a demon hybrid. Her curiosity won. Through parted fingers, she watched the woman change and the Prince getting a tight metaphorical slap on the face. Alice started to tremble when the clouds rolled by, forcing herself to not use her magic to hide like always. No. She was too scared to even hide this time. She was frozen in a sort of numb state. Creatures flew out, displaying the demon hybrids true power. It was horrifying and at the same time, something so impressive that it was amazing. To play with so many people, as though they were dolls, the woman was scary, no doubt about that. But if the magic aspect was isolated, then the woman was truly magnificent, someone worthy of looking up to, someone to stare in awe at.

Yet, her magic was not as appealing as it sounded, or looked, when it was hurling at you in an incredible amount of speed. No, not at all.

The creatures attacked everyone. That included Alice as well. She pushed herself away from the wall as one of the creatures lunged at her. Worry about anyone else? She didn't have time, nor the capacity. She shook, terrified of it all, yet her fear turned into small flashes of power that allowed her to avoid attacks. She dodged but didn't have any control. It was like watching a movie. She could see everything, hear everything, but it all seemed artificial and she couldn't control one aspect. Maybe if she could, then she would have used her magic. But no. She danced to the tune of a coward, not even enough sense to hide. Just dance.

The petite girl fell to the ground as another demon swooped before her. The sounds, the colors, the feeling was all starting to return. She wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or bad. She wasn’t sure of anything, nor did she care, it seemed. The demon bounced up, much before Alice could, and lunged at her once more. Alice watched him. She couldn’t move. Nothing was responding. The beast was was as horrifying as his mistress. With a body of a man, that seemed to have been starving, and legs almos human but with long talons and covered with feathers. She wasn't sure if the beast hade four arms or two, since the leathery wings themselves looked as though they were held up with mutilated arms. But theaviest with its many small, sharp teeth were the most terrifying. The beast practically sat on her with its legs diggin into her stomach, sinking it’s fangs into her arm. She opened her mouth to scream but her voice was lost in the chaos. A pool of blood gathered. The pain numbed away. The beast jumped to the side, pulled her up, with its fangs and power that was surprising, still digging into her. She wasn’t sure if it hurt. It didn’t feel so. Her half shut eyes were glued to the blood. The beast put one giant foot into the blood. Instincts of training in the Guild took over. Her teacher, as reluctant as Alice would be to admit it, was very good at his job. He made sure that whether Alice was sane or not, she wouldn’t go down without a fight. Her eyes shot up, turning into a purple color. The blood bubbled and clumped together, snaking up the beasts leg and evaporating inside, leaving the feathers clean and sparking, as though it hadn’t been there at all. The beast threw her against a wall. Smeared with blood and a fresh wound gashing out of her arm, she smiled. The smile was haunting, like a porcelain doll. The beast took a step back, confused and even a bit scared of the chill it had gotten. Without warning, spikes of all sizes shot out of his belly. Deep, red spikes, solid and sharp as any weapon, tearing open the flesh from the inside. The beast had but a moment before it slumped into the ground, only but a limp body. The spikes dissolved away, back to blood.

Alice didn’t care. She couldn’t feel anything at all, but she saw her arm. Some of the skin had ripped off leaving a great view of her throbbing flesh and the blood that oozed out of it. Lazily, Alice covered the bite mark with her good hand. Her signature smell floated around her. When the good hand dropped, the bite mark had vanished. She slumped to the ground herself. Her blood traveled into neat circles around her. Like she was the center of a dart board. Any beast that had the misfortune to step on her blood, even touch a drop of it, or attack her from above, met with the same deep red spikes and died the same way, as the first. Her eyes remained purple yet were stripped of any light that indicated she had a soul. At moments she showed signs of fighting with her fear, returning to the world and then she would be swept away again. But she kept fighting. She didn’t care about anyone other than her family. They were safe. She cared for no one in the group. All she wanted was to be famous. At times, Alice would stare at the woman in charge, feeling nothing but hatred for her. At times, she almost got up. Almost.

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.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Alice heard the screams but felt no pull or even the least bit attracted to the source of those screams. She didn’t really care for any of it. Her vision was playing tricks on her, leaving any bodies out and only showing her the scenery. She wasn’t aware of when others left. After a while of trembling, when her strength had returned to her legs, and she could feel her power slowly come back to her, Alice waved her hands and up she flew. Making sure to fly on the outside of the castle, for weather she was in her right mind or not, her subconscious wouldn’t let her. The dead leaves and grass blurred past her feet but she was too drained. Her limps were sore and loose, she almost believed that they had been loosened on purpose, and her movements were jerky. Sometimes her hand would just stop midway although she wanted it by her side. She flew up and down in an unnatural way before she tumbled to the ground. She spit the dirt in her mouth while picking at the leaves on her. Her eyelids grew heavier until they refused to get back up. Her lips twitched to a smile as her body became light as a feather and roamed in a sea of darkness that felt as soft and warm as the heavens themselves.

In one rapid motion, her eyes had flipped open and she saw the sky in a soft pink glow. If she recalled everything correctly, then it had been a while since her eyes opened last. Her groans danced in the air as she pulled at her arms. A familiar dark horse nudged at her, interpreting her stretches. She pinched her eyebrows together, trying her best to remember why the heck this creature was by her side. Her eyes rounded as her questions were answered. In an unfamiliar fluid movement, she had mounted the horse. Every so often, Alice would sneak a peek over her shoulder; not exactly sure of what she was expecting to pop up.


They were staring at her. Sometimes they would whisper. She saw it every time. This wasn’t her first time having this reaction. It was only people from her neighborhood, sometimes others she had no knowledge of would as well, but that was unlikely. As much as she loved the how famous she was getting, she also weary of everyone that spoke in a hushed voice or even glanced in her direction. But today was different. News had spread about the Prince who was to replace their beloved King practically when the Prince entered his castle. Some were pleased while others were… well, Alice wasn’t sure what they were up to. What were they going to do? Kill the Prince? Like that would turn out well. No matter, Alice would rather ignore news about the Prince. She didn’t care much for politics. There was one piece of information that tugged at her ears. News about the invitation for the Prince’s crowning had spread like the plague. It was rumored that all who went on the quest would be invited. That meant Alice. She didn’t bat an eyelash. When she got back to her own neighborhood, the gossip was ten times worse. They spoke so loud and without fear that Alice was certain that no one could even see her. How rude. Being as she was, the Mage took the opportunity to swipe an apple from under a rude-rumor-filled-vendors nose.

Rude people deserve no courtesy.

When she pushed open the doors she was astonished to find her entire family circled over the dinner table. Did someone cut their hand again? Alice scurried over to them, squeezing into her place, taking a large bite out of her apple. No one even bothered to look at her. Her voice clogged in her throat as she stared at the invitation card sitting in the center of the table. It had her name on it with magnificent looping writing. The rumors were true. She sighed. Involuntarily, her eyes gazed at her brother, Scath, the middle child. Words and pictures painted themselves into her mind, before she could control anything, her mouth opened and words rolled out. “You know, I’m a growing girl. Sometimes, people grow significant amounts in short period of times.”

The men reluctantly shifted their gaze to the only female of their household. None said a word. Alice continued. “Some might say a girl can even grow… oh… about six feet in a fort night, perhaps one month.”

Her father leaned back into his chair, a hint of amusement in his bearded face. “Who hasn’t commented on our uncanny resemblance, brother? More so than Elder Brother.”

Scath stepped back. Their father had the largest smile on his face while Lexon was quietly watching his two younger siblings play out another stupid play. “I have many clothing, if some tear I care not. And… suppose… I could fill that want of yours to meet the Prince? Would you not take it?”

“No!” Scath yelled just as the two other men started to laugh. “I’m not posing as you, not in front of the Prince! I’d be a mockery for the royal family if truth seeks ears!”

“But there’s a princess!” That made Scath rethink the entire situation, but once his father reminded him of royalty, his mind was set. He would not go dressed as his sister. She showed him how he could go, a simple cast to make him seen as Alice to everyone else, or a few stiches to her gowns – she hated them anyway – but nope. Scath wouldn’t go. She had resorted to pleading. She told him how almost no one knew her name, some called her unfamiliar names. Nothing made a difference. Finally, fed up with his baby sister, he simply said ‘Don’t go then!’. “… But… Brother…” she muttered. He looked back her, his small, fragile sister, that needed his help. His only sister. His lips parted only a bit before he spotted Lexon watching him, and returned to his task at hand. He wouldn’t bend to her will. How would she be heal then?

One day, when she returned home after a walk, she found her father waiting for her with a new gown and other pieces of clothing. After a moment of silence, she asked her father how he knew she was going to go in the first place? His reply was simply, “Do you know how many Sangera’s won’t take credit for their achievements or pass on a chance to be famous? A lot of them. Never the women.”


It was true in the end, she was on her way. Maybe it was pride or the need to get acknowledgements for the damages that were caused and the quest itself. For days, she had locked herself in her room. She was scared at all times. Sometimes she would have flashes of bloodshed and others she’d rather not see. That wasn’t how a girl should spend her time. It was supposed to be a quest, an easy one, that got her famous. Never had she expected it to make such a big impact on her life. It felt like she couldn’t breathe at times. Going to land she didn’t know was horrid. That was why her family stayed in the same house, why they changed nothing in their lives even though they had received the money. She was slowly getting back to her normal rhythm.

When Alice stepped onto unfamiliar land, she caught herself looking back at the path she had taken. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, fingering her necklace. She spotted the Prince and the Princess, who the yellow clad monk and the warrior had approached. She saw two others that she barely recognized. Soon she found another warrior with another female Alice scarecly remembered. She gripped her necklace tighter. Greeting them would have been the right thing to do, but for an odd reason, authority was starting to seem meaningless. She tried to look away, but what recogniction would she get without greeting the Royals? Alice checked the signs she had recently carved into her inner wrist from under her glove, then did a curtsey to both the Royals. She resisted the urge to scream her objection to about how much the Prince had spoken about her. No, she smoothed the non-existent wrinkles on her gown. I hate this... Moving to the outter side of the small group that had formed, she waved her fingers over her gown, a flower materilized in the softest pink, the exact same as the top of her gown. She waved the flower in, what would seem to untrained eyes, a random pattern. The smallest smile snaked into her lips.

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Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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Her heart was beating like a jack rabbit when she had been taken to the room she had been assigned. As quick as she could, she ran in with a smell of burning firewood circling her. The doors slammed shut behind her and she fell onto the unfamiliar bed. Her clothing undid herself, quickly being replaced by her beloved tunic. The sheets wrapped themselves around her and the beating of Alice's heart slowed until it fell into a steady rhythmic pattern just like her breathing. Alice felt herself being pulled away from her body and into the corridors of the palace. Everything was black, only shades of blue showing the construction and items. Alice wandered aimlessly, used to the new reaction of being torn apart from her physical self. New places, she thought, hate them. Finally, Alice had walked into the doors of the library. The smell of bonded books written by hands was lost to her yet she found herself smiling. The unfamiliarity of books was like a warm blanket. Though she knew nothing of them, it was the one thing that she was willing to get to know. They were safe.

Alice extended her reach but found her fingers just falling through. She sighed. Her stomach started to tumble as her tunic was tugged at. The Mage pulled herself down to the ground, clawing her nails into the floor. But her legs floated into the air, being taken held of by an unseen force. "Miss...?" A voice echoed in her mind. Alice lost hold. She was flung back, pulled into the hallways and thrown back into her own body. Alice shot up, her blankets flying with a crazed look in her brown eyes. A woman in a uniform that Alice had noticed was strapped on the servant that had shown Alice her room, took a step back. "Miss, dinner is being served soon." Alice knitted her eyebrows in anger.

"Get out." The maid stumbled away, clearly embarrassed. Alice racked her fingers through her hair, feeling nauseous. The petite figure went back to bed stretching her precious time till alarms flared inside her. She had nothing else left to spare. The Mage stumbling to the door, pressing her face to the cool wood. With a great intake of air, Alice walked out, her clothing changing into the proper attire exactly as both feet were placed on the floor of the corridor. Arrows only visible to Alice lit the way for her, although the streams of noblemen and duchesses was a clear clue of where the dinner was being held. She walked in, unnoticed by the majority and decided to take a chair. She sipped her wine quietly, paying no attention to the banter of others. It wasn't till she was approached by a wealthy looking man did Alice look away from her empty glass. She saw his lips move and the words write themselves in a line formation dancing out of his mouth.

"Don't you say?" He asked in a sleek voice. Alice pursed her lips together and nodded. A strained smile was pulled on with a string. She nodded again. One slip of the attention was all Alice needed. She disappeared from sight to the astonishment of the man that Alice had not even caught the name of. The brunette appeared to the other side of the room, swishing the new wine in her glass.

Moments passed, Alice smiled when she needed to, courtesy when it was required, but managed to remain silent through it all. Her eyes fixated on the red liquid. She hated this... A genuine smile stirred. She realized that she hated quite a few things. The scenes around her blurred into motion when the Princes voice rang in the room. Alice took any seat she could find, twisting a strand of hair. Her ears were picking up every word but her eyes had remained on the food that was placed in front of her. Feeling bitter from her little trip, Alice managed to avoid as much as she could. For the very first time, Alice was staring at the Prince with a open mouth. Slowly, her eyes traveled to the pile of objects. She didn't remember much of the ending of the quest, much to her preference. Did the others know anything of them? She wondered but stayed as still as a mouse. Her attention traveled back to the prince, waiting on the edge of her seat for his next words, his next actions, his very next deep breath. Anything. A new thought had settled in Alice's closed out mind. The Prince had changed, no doubt, she was sure everyone had changed. But Alice had never wondered before weather the change was good or bad. Was he still fit to be King? Was that demons claws still in him? Should she hide?