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Attica Ninethorn

Druid and forest-dweller.

0 · 243 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by NorthernSoul

Description

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Full Name: Attica Ninethorn
Gender: Female
Age: 22
Sexual Orientation: Desire is desire, regardless of gender
Height: 5'9"
Race: Human
Class Druid

Skills: There is no one who knows the forest better than Attica; the properties of every plant, the call of every animal and the twist and turn of every stream. Through years of practice, she is sometimes able to communicate with the forest's inhabitants, particularly foxes. Although she is adept with her knives- thrown or not- when she has to be, she much prefers to use her hands to fight, relying on her speed and her vicious willingness to use any means possible to best her opponent.
Weakness(es): Hotheaded and often cruel, she does not often inspire fondness in others. Not that this has bothered her up until now. She also finds being in man-made environments unsettling and sometimes bewildering.
Equipment: A hide bag containing a blanket, bunches of dried herbs, a small pot of healing ointment and any food she carries with her. A row of short razor-sharp knives hangs at her hip, covered by the fabric of her cloak.
Personal Quote: Nature is not human-hearted.

Description: Tall and lean for a woman, Attica has few curves and the ones that she does have are bound tightly down with a woven leather harness when necessary. Scars- from climbing trees or hunting- occasionally mar her tanned skin with their pearly flecked shapes. Despite her hard lithe body, her face is finely-hewn and at its locus are a pair of alert dark eyes framed by straight brows. They are the eyes of a deer before its flight back into the trees or the eyes of a bear before its lunge towards its prey. Her full-lipped mouth is often sullen but always unpredictable, leaping into laughter as often as dragging down into a scowl.
In the winter, layers of wool and her fox-lined cloak are the key to her survival and only her dark eyes and a few strands of hair are visible below her snow-dusted fur-hemmed hood. In the summer, she will often adorn herself with dye from woad seeds, painting intricate patterns on her face and body that strengthen her communication with the residents of the forest. Her hair, mahogany brown and wild, is most often braided tightly back from her face and secured with a few pieces of leather.
Personality: Her independence has been hard-won and she guards it fiercely and with suspicion. Her immediate instinct is to mistrust and other people are assumed to be a threat rather than a potential ally or even a friend. She unapologetic for her mercenary tendencies and is sceptical of others altruism, believing that humans are unable to ever completely separate themselves from their most primal animalistic urges. She shows her own emotions freely and without fear and her passions, once inflamed , burn with a heat and brightness that has the potential to be truly destructive.
History: Born the illegitimate daughter of a whore, Attica spent her earliest years in a cathouse in the small town of Ivry that caught much of the passing traffic that travelled the Great North Road from Thoav to Paetax through to Vaekor. Although many trees had been cleared for the building of that section of the Road, it had barely made a dent in the vast Gaeric Forest that stretched for miles and miles beyond Ivry. The woods were home to a tightly-knit order of druids called the Kildare who were treated both with suspicion but also as a convenience by the townspeople who purchased herbcraft and their services as animal-healers. One day, two of the Kildare came across the six year-old Attica as she played- barefooted and dirty- with a young fox cub on the outskirts of the forest. Recognising her potential, they offered her time and purpose that was so different to the loud, grubby and sometimes frightening environment of the brothel that she grew to be entranced by the hushing rustling silence of the trees and the secret world that the druids helped her to uncover. Her mother, if she could be called that, barely noticed her increasing absence and after the age of ten Attica never saw her again, living out in the woods day and night with the Kildare.
Anything Else: She currently has an animal familiar- a three year-old grey fox which has a name that roughly translates to 'The smell of rabbit hairs caught in the sap of a silver birch tree'.

So begins...

Attica Ninethorn's Story

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intruder...

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay true and strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Princes are sick.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The prince! Get him to safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well they don’t look like guards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a little laugh at Nelinia's comment, and was quickly joined by Xan. She was very interested in this new woman, this wildling. She walked back to where she had eaten before to pick up her lute, now that the Prince decided that this Attica was no threat. However she stopped short when Attica told them she was being followed. Seconds seemed like hours as Acacia stood and looked around, seeing bandits dressed in all black seem to sprout all around them. An arrow landed near Acacia's foot and she sprung back.

Quickly, one after another fell, as Akdov, talking as usual, pulled the Prince to the ground and took on some bandits. Unfortunately, he was soon hit with a spear, though his staff continued attacking, and he collapsed. He was soon aided by the male ranger. Acacia noted this before diving into a roll behind one of the tents, dodging yet another arrow. She came up into a crouch and soon had a dagger in each hand, her back against the rough canvass of the tent.

She cautiously peeked over the tent, noting several of the others fighting, but no longer seeing the male ranger in the dark outside of the campfire's reach. He seemed to have been replaced by Xan. Acacia could recognize that scruffy form anywhere. As her gaze continued, she saw one of the bandits had also noticed her. She quickly ducked and edged around the tent as he rushed to where she had been. She stopped by the front corner of the tent and dashed away, passing by the fire as he spotted her again with a shout.

Her searching eyes found Alice, pinned to the ground by another of the big men, who soon was flying through the air and hitting hard against a tree. Acacia noted Alice's disappearing with relief. Now, hopefully, she would not be hurt. She realized she should be worrying about herself as the man ran after her with a large sword, quickly gaining. As soon as she left the light of the fire, she dropped to a crouch with one leg sticking straight out. The man ran on, not sure where she was and went flying as he tripped over her leg. He hit hard against a tree head first and didn't make a move to get up. Acacia saw another bandit coming up behind Nelinia, whose back was toward both Acacia and the short bandit. With a sweep of her arm, a knife lodged deeply into the man's back and attracted his, no, her attention, Acacia noted with a grimace. The woman bandit hefted her ax to her shoulder and charged.

Acacia threw another of her knives as the woman dodged. The knife sliced through the woman's left shoulder as she gave a shout and swung sloppily. Acacia doged the blow, another knife in both of her hands. Only eight left, she thought, Can't throw them all. However, she threw another knife that hit the side of the woman's throat. The woman gave another swing, unexpectedly harder this time, that Acacia almost dodged, the edge of the ax grazing her forhead. Acacia stumbled back a couple steps, hitting a tree and collpsing to her knees, her hand on the shallow cut over her left eyebrow. The bandit let her ax fall to the ground as she roughly jerked the knife from her neck, causing the blood to flow almost violently. A confused look crossed her eyes as she stared at the knife like a snake, her other hand on her throat. She took two wobbly steps and fell to the ground.

Acacia sat still as she could under the tree, now a bit away from where the camp, and most of the battle, was. She slowly brought her hand down from her head and suppressed a shriek when it came away bloody. She quickly slapped it back to her head causing a grimace. She watched, hoping the battle would soon end as she tried unsuccessfully to not hyperventilate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, as written by Celedia
It took Mirabella but a moment to release her self from the confines of the collapsed tent and though she should probably be angry at the wildling’s reaction, she actually felt quite sorry for her. The woman’s actions had been one of a scarred animal, notably so, and even as the leather-clad figure struggled in vain against the Prince’s grip, Mira could only feel pity.

Then, a myriad of reactions from the gathered members of the group left her with other emotions. Amusement at Nelinia’s oh so naïve outburst, a swift grin at the Prince’s response, skepticism at the newly introduced Attica and…

And that was when bandits began to pour out of the surrounding woods.

Everything happened quickly after that as her party clashed against the invaders. Mira had no time to babysit or keep track of the others, praying silently that the other members of the party would see to such thing as she did what she did best.

Fight.

Throwing knives flew passed her as she tore across the small clearing, sword still in hand from the inspection of the tent and she slid towards the pile that held her packs so that she could snatch up her shield. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the Priest fall with the shaft of a spear in his back and within seconds she had slipped her arm through the leather straps upon the back of her wooden shield. Standing, her gaze swept across the scene to pick out where she might be needed.

Already, there were several people injured and the warrior saw, with great relief that her companions were already tearing through the bandits easily. Bodies littered the ground and she was thankful that none were those that she recognized as she made her way towards the bulk of the group. An arrow flew into the neck of one of the men running towards her and she took the opportunity to run forward, full speed, with her shield held in front of her. At the last second, she extended her shield arm out, bashing it into the already wounded bandit and sending him reeling backwards. Once upon the ground, she drove the tip of her blade into his belly and leaned into it for leverage, driving the sword deep into his flesh.

With a practiced yank she released her weapon from his musculature and looked elsewhere. Another bandit was circling behind an apparently wounded Bard girl and Mira’s protective instinct carried her towards the man even as he raised his mace towards the bloodied Acacia. Leaping to cover more ground in less time, Mirabella crossed her blade viciously through the air so that the finely honed blade slashed across the man’s back to draw his attention towards her instead of the seated bard.

“Pick on someone your own size,” she growled and the man spun around, blocking her next swing easily with the hard steel handle of his mace before twirling it once to throw off her sword. Yet, he had obviously been trained poorly because the movement left him wide open for another slicing motion, this time catching him right across his midsection. The man stumbled back in surprise and the Triansui kicked out with one of her feet, landing it on his already bleeding stomach which caused the figure to crumple over in pain.

“That’s better. Now, die for me.” Her voice was cold and harsh, a surprising change from her normal demeanor as she drove her blade down through a chink in the bandit’s poorly crafted armor between his neck and clavicle. The crunch of bone was barely detected through the already chaotic noise of the dying battle and she planted her foot on his chest, kicking him back once more to push the bandit off of her blade so he could bleed out.

The Triansui stared at him for but a moment, making sure that he wouldn’t be getting back up any time soon before she turned to Acacia and knelt down beside her. The warrior’s eyes were now soft once more, though her face was now as bloodied as the bard’s though the wounds were not her own, thus far.

“Do you need assistance standing?” She asked, moving the shield onto her back so that she had a free hand which she used to inspect the other woman’s wound. “Scalp wounds always bleed the worst but it looks as if you’ll be quite all right.” A smile followed her words as she reached into the pouch on her hip and dug out a strip of muslin and thrust it towards Acacia as her gaze lifted to search for their party members.

“Let’s go find the others and see if they need any help. The battle appears to be dying down." A quick smile flashed across her lips as she stood up, looking down at the bard girl while extending her free hand should she need the assistance to stand. "I just realized. I saved a damsel in distress. Shall you sing songs of me now, bard girl?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella


Mirabella wouldn’t have wiped the honest grin off of her face that had crept upon her lips in response to Acacia’s comments, even if she could. The Bard, despite the fact that she had most likely never participated in battle before, had held up quite well. The Triansui was shocked that even with the surprise attack and having no time to prepare that the group had fared as well as it had. She looked around briefly, walking a few steps behind Acacia as they made their way towards the Prince and before they could come to a complete stop, Nel rushed to their sides.

The tiny brightly colored monk was quick, that was for sure, and before Mirabella’s lips could part for her to address the girl’s concerns, the petite Nelinia was already clambering about with gauze in hand to patch the warrior’s wounds. Laughter spilled from her lips as she went to stop Nel’s hands so that she didn’t waste her supplies and she warded off the tiny monk until she could speak properly.

“Nel, love, I am fine. Honestly. Thank you for looking after me, though.” She smiled at the yellow-garbed girl before turning to Acacia as well. “It is good to have people such as your selves by my side after a battle.” If this was the kindling to true friendship, then let it come. The warrior had not trusted any one before in her life but that didn’t mean that it couldn’t happen either, right?

“Speaking of such things… Where is Nari?” Her golden eyes suddenly went wide with curiosity and a touch of fear as she pushed away from the small group, her eyes seeking the red-haired ranger even as she passed by others. Mira made sure not to pass by anyone that looked injured but she didn’t happen upon anyone with more than a scratch until she approached the group of wounded. It seemed that two had fallen and Nari and one of the mages had held watch over them until the end of the battle. A smile of relief passed over Mira’s face until she noticed that Nari was, indeed, injured. Lips parted as if to call out for the cleric until she noticed that he was one of the ones upon the ground and she gritted her teeth, moving beside Nari. A grimace now replaced the smile upon her lips as she looked at the wound. It was in a bad place and it looked deep as well.

“Look at you, Ranger, getting yourself in to trouble our first battle. I thought you would be dancing among the treetops and shooting from above.” The Triansui managed a brief smile and upon closer inspection, realized she could do nothing for Nari and it was then that she remembered the wildling, Attica.

“Forest dweller!” She called out, trying to find the woman that had brought the battle upon them. “If you are knowledgeable in the healing arts we could use your assistance.” Her eyes held worry though she obviously tried to look positive when facing Nari. "If she refuses, I will try to raise the Priest. Don't move, Nari." With that, she knelt beside the prone figure of the Priest. That was when a new figure caught her eye, wearing the shiny and well-tended armor of a Knight but his words as he addressed the Prince marked him as a holy man. A Paladin. She had heard of their kind before and she prayed silently that he was trained in the arts of healing as well.

"Paladin!" She addressed Lance as such because she had not overheard his name. "We have many wounded. Could you leave the introductions for later and help us tend to them?" She didn't even bother to see if the man had agreed and she assumed he would hear her since the Prince was only a few feet from herself, tending to the other ranger. "We have a cleric which is unconscious and another ranger with an arrow in the belly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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As she tried her best to patch up the Priest, Nari could feel the arrow in her stomach. It was hard for her to concentrate on what he was doing through those wracking pains. The Thief looked like he was beginning to tire, and as it looked as if their darkest hour was upon them, the Mage came. He wrapped them in a kind of light pink transparent shield, which held Nari in awe and made her momentarily forget about the pains. Next was the Prince. The Priest had tackled him - much to Nari's confusion - but he was down and now the Prince fought along side them. She cursed herself for rushing to the Priest's aid so quickly. Nari would have been a greater help at distance, raining arrows upon their enemies. Fortunately, their ranks were thinning now.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, she caught bits of conversations from her travelling comrades. The Thief disappeared suddenly. One had to admire his fighting style. The way he used his two daggers was more than likely exhausting, although it was effective. He ran and as far as Nari could guess, he ended the lives of those who hadn't yet fled the site. Her mind again wandered to the big brute of a man, although he seemed old, that had made his presence known by swinging a great big log at his enemies. In the heat of battle, Nari had called out to him to heal the priest, but he hadn't made it. He must have been caught up. The Prince, Akdov, Acacia, Alice, Hayley, Nel, Mirabella, Xan, the Mage, Feylon. Her mind went over the core members of the group again, should they be missing now that the battle was ending. Nari had managed to stop the bleeding of Akdov's wound, so he wasn't in danger of dying unless the wound was left unattended now.

Her hand found it's way to the wound again. It was bleeding badly and Nari's was a little dizzy. In order to get the arrow out, she had to get her armor of first. The light plate adorned with beautifully ornamented leather, would make it impossible to get the arrow out. It had to come off, but all Nari did was sit back against a tree. The next thing she heard was the Prince's voice. He called for them to gather, but Nari didn't move. She looked at them though, and watched the new arrivals. Attica from before, who she hadn't noticed during the battle, the man with the log and a new one. A heavy armored man, kneeling before the prince. The Ranger woman was relived to see that only the Priest and Feylon were down and wounded, along with herself but she was still concious. The others seemed to have minor wounds as far as she could see.

She let her head fall back to relax a bit, taking deep and steady breaths. Not long was she allowed to rest though, as the warrior woman Mira had come to her and spoke. I would have thought so too, but apparently I was foolish enough to rush to the aid of that oaf. She said, serious at first and then giving Mira a faint smile. She let her hand wrap around the arrow and tried not to move, trying to get rid of the jolts of pain. Mira called for aid to the wounded, and Nari's eyes found the newly arrived Paladin. She wasn't going to have someone she didn't know treat her wounds. "Mira." She called, reaching out and grabbing her shoulder. "You have to help me get the armor off." Nari spoke between gasps and jolts of pain, her blood trickling between her fingers. "You ha-have to-" A grimace flashed across her face. "Just pull it out." Narenia leaned forward, revealing her back where the armor was tightened to fit the armor closer to the body. She had to loosen that and then lift the armor off the arrow and then over her head. "How do you know that Paladin isn't another assassin?"

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Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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The man who's throat had been found by Attica's throwing knife went down instantly, though she didn't wait long enough to check he was dead. No sooner had the knife's handle left her fingers did she dart between the tents. The camp erupted into battle and the air came alive with the thud and clang of weaponry, punctuated by cries of pain or fear. Somewhere close by, the man with the red cloak had been tackled to the floor by another, apparently in an effort to protect him. Attica's lip curled; by the strength and agility with which he'd prevented her escape, she doubted he needed too much of that. She doubted his pride would remain intact, either. Why, then? He was obviously rich, perhaps-

Her train of thought was abruptly interrupted by a figure from her left who intercepted her hurried dash between the tents by diving for her legs, his sword forgotten for the moment. Attica's knees gave way and she hit the ground hard but writhed out of his grasp like a serpent and was up and running a few moments before he found his feet. She made it a few yards towards the edge of the camp where the horses were tossing their heads in agitation at the scene unfolding in front of them before the proximity of footsteps behind her forced her to stop and turn before launching a jabbing kick at the bandit's kneecap. He staggered but advanced, landing a blow that glanced off her neck and sent her to the floor.

"You didn't think your new friends would stop us-" he grinned, but Attica kicked again, this time squarely between his legs, causing him to curl over in agony. Immediately she was on him, punching, scratching, kicking, every kind of blow she could possibly land until his face was bloody and he summoned just enough energy to shove her off him and place his arm against her throat. Attica spat in his face and he leant down harder, an animal sound escaping from the back of her throat as she gasped for air. He drew back his fist to stun her into unconsciousness. Attica tilted her chin back to glimpse the desperate sway of grey mane and the stamp-stamp of hooves.

The nearest horse reared and the metal of its shoe impacted with the skull of Attica's assailant. He was dead- head caved in- before he hit the floor. Attica gulped down a few glorious breaths of air and struggled out from beneath the dead man, his blood now half-streaked across her face, and clasped her arms around the horse's neck before her legs could let her down. Pressing her forehead to its neck, she tried to catch her breath and stop the shivers of adrenaline that wracked her shoulders. The horse whinnied and snorted but Attica's presence calmed it and it turned its head to meet hers.

Beyond, the fight in the camp was coming to an end. The man in the red cloak was summoning everyone to the fire. Attica could very well run now, she realised, and they might not even see her leave. She might even be able to get away with one of the horses and she'd be miles along the road before anyone else would have an inkling of where she'd gone. And yet the fire was warm, a warmth she'd not felt for days, and there was the smell of something sweet to eat...

Then she caught a snatch of what the man was saying. No, not just man, Prince...

Edging closer, Attica hungrily took a handful of sweetbread and listened with an expression of scepticism. Death was the way of things and it could only be postponed, not prevented. He thought that by putting his own life (and that of his stupidly loyal or else greedy followers) at risk whilst his father lay on his death bed would stabilise his kingdom? But then, why should she care? The deepest forests had always been ruled with a law of their own, whoever squabbled over control of the capital beyond its tree-line; parliaments and royal families came and went but the woods remained the same...