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Feylon Haradas

"Trust me, If you get to know me I will just end up pissing you off"

0 · 552 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by conor

Description

Full Name: Feylon Haradas.

Gender: Male

Age: 27

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

Height: 5' 7"

Race: Human

Class Ranger.

Skills: Worked as a scout in the army, good shot, skilled in making remedies from resources in the wild .

Weakness(es): reckless, drunkard, outspoken, opinionated, sarcastic, erratic.

Equipment: Feylon tends to travel lightly when it comes to weaponry. He carries a slender and simple bow made from ash with no decorations or markings on it. A quiver of arrows slung on his back with a strap coming across his chest. Feylon also carries two, hook type daggers on the small of his back.

Personal Quote: "People are too concerned about what will happen to them if they are bad people, will they get into their afterlife? Well screw that, I know this is my only life and I will live it the way I want to."

Description: Image Feylon dresses in a woodland garb covering his entire body in a woodland camouflage styled kit. The cloak and his main garb is shredded in most places. A hood slightly torn is normally found draped over his head which covers all but the most central of his facial features. Under his hood his long blonde hair is tucked neatly inside and down his back. The hair is unevenly cut and in places some clumps of hair are shorter than others. His face is riddled with scars making him look a few years older than he really he is. His body is extremely slender with little to no muscle on his body other than some on his arms from constant use of the bow.

Personality: Feylon could be described by most people as an asshole. Hardly a charismatic and friendly person he shuns most of society in an extremely cynical way. As a person he is extremely reckless and often walks into situations without fully understanding the dangers of the situation, even if that means putting the company he is travelling with in danger too. Many of the scars he has accrued over the years have been a direct result of his recklessness. He is also a heavy drinker, through years of drinking he has managed to obtain an extremely high threshold to the effects of alcohol. Feylon is critical of hierarchy and bureaucracy, a very outspoken critic of religious belief too he has often found himself in almost fatal situations with over-zealous people.

History: Feylon was born somewhere in the Taphon Forest as part of a travelling community. He was trained as a ranger from a young age wandering all around the forests of Taphon honing his skills to the point of obsession. Eventually he was old enough to join into the scouting and hunting parties of the travelling community which is where he learned his skills in archery and becoming a survivalist. At the age of 18 he left the forest and traveled North through Calisma eventually arriving in Paetax. He joined the army working as a scout and continued to do so for just over 4 years.

Around the time of his 24th birthday Feylon decided, for reasons unknown to many, to leave the army. He became a ghost rarely being spotted outside of taverns and whore houses but was seen quite a few times entering the castle in Paetax. His business there he has kept only to himself and told no one that didn't need to know what he was doing. When the king became ill his visits became less frequent but more secretive. Now Feylon is preparing to join the group of vagabonds setting off on a journey to save the king.

So begins...

Feylon Haradas's Story

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

  • Rope.
  • Hooks.
  • Camping Gear.

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

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

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

Which horse would she go on?

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre
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It had stricken him then and there that the man was not only one of mere authoritative status. The whispers were true: the Prince of Calisma, through his weariness, led him to the tavern. Easily impressed as ever, Icareau had been wrought with awe, the admiration hidden by the shadow of his hood. Never would he have fathomed being recognized by royalty, not without startled gestures, no matter how brief. Strange and invigorating, that was, enough to send him dashing away to the Vagabond. Predictably, any meetings had adjourned, yet information was readily known through the barkeep. His needs were hardly demanding: a handful of spare whetstones, flasks, and rope should prove sufficiently; that, or his trek thus far had been fueled by pure instinct and luck, not to mention half a whisker or two.

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

...And his cape was so red!

Love,
Chaton


Dawn met the city of Paetax.

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: 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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
The flying bowl was in Nel's line of sight the entire time, mesmerized by the show of magic, until the little companion gave her opinion of the wildling which the the monk agreed wholeheartedly. She wasn't as fond for the lack of clothing either; though the petite mage's comment about the sudden stranger bringing something with her was confusing to understand.

All of a sudden, people started to appear, with weapons drawn heading towards them. As innocent to the world that Nel seemed; even she knew this was an attack. The monk was due to be a yellow-clothed guard in Kiron and had even gone out to the world twice, for the sake of collecting money, in an event that often emphasized the abilities of the monastery. However...she was 8 and 15 at the time. She didn't combat bandits neither but their legal equivalent. Shaking thoughts of the past from her mind, Nel jumped up to her feet as people started to surround her, and was instantly caught from behind. The man held one of the toughest holds in history: the Master Lock hold. The monk panicked, flailing her arms and kicking her legs up to get leverage, in the attempt to escape, but the hands pushing down her neck forced her jump useless. The grip was tightening, neck feels as if it's about to let loose and fall, constricting the bones.

With a sudden rush of adrenaline, Nel raised her arms, and held the head of the aggressor behind her, pushing his head down while pushing her own head up. The man's grip instantly loosened and broke, Nel's skull shot up and striked the bandit's jawline, a sickening crack made audible before he fell backwards. Nel's emerald eyes befall her petite companion, seemingly becoming transparent, until she disappeared into nothingness. Her surprise didn't just befall her but for the bandits that had her sights upon her, short-lived as it was, now shifting their target to the bright-yellow clothed figure.

It was easy to say she was the primary target for the group of four, having been so identifiable, and each surrounded her with an array of weapons. The monk took her position, bending her legs ever so slightly, an open palm by her chest and another outstretched, continuously turning left and right to wait for a strike. Her heart was pounding, as if trying to escape as her paranoid eyes twisted from each and every threat, and she silently disciplined herself for leaving the quarterstaff at the fire. The double-edged axe flashed from the corner of her eye and the monk's body dropped to the ground like a rock and suddenly dashed with an intensive ferocity towards the brute rogue. In her fast run, she jumped quickly, left foot landing on the man's thigh, pushed herself off once more, now with the balls of her right foot on his leather breastplate. With her left leg parallel to his torso, she launched herself up from her right foot, and mercilessly kneed his jaw, both bodies sent flying backwards.

Both hit the ground at the same time, rogue knocked unconscious while Nel landed on her feet to face the three remaining enemies, a sword suddenly shooting out of the group of enemies. Nel sidestepped out of the way, the sword slicing through her skin, leaving behind a red cut on her right arm and a painful burning sensation. Wincing at the damage for a mere moment, she quickly regained her balance, and sent an uppercut flying through the gap in the armor, where the end of the bicep lay. The second attacker howled in pain, sword released from his group, and fell to the ground in pure agony.
The last two attacker's co-ordinated their efforts, one slashing with dual hatchets, the other stabbing and slashing with daggers. A hatchet flew towards the monk's ribs but Nel closed in towards the attacker, readying a punch, until a knife suddenly appeared! The knife merely grazed Nel's cheek as she pulled her head out of the way, launching a kick to the side of the attacker, hitting a collection of ribs and a screech of pain that belonged to a woman informed Nel that her hit was successful. The hatchet man, realizing his opportunity to strike, swung back the free hatchet, but was sent flying by the same lethal kick.

The monk looked at the ground, the four bodies that lay there, and felt remorse for each and everyone with them, sincerely hoping none were dead. Her worries however were replaced with ones of the petite mage, who suddenly disappeared out of thin air, and ones for the other adventurers who were still fighting the rest of the rogues at the fire. Her heart sank, about to call for the little mage, if it wasn't for the fact that she didn't what her name was. She struggled to remember some sort of name but it was impossible. Maybe she wanted to be missing. Maybe she was hiding! A poor little girl like her...yes, she had to be hiding! It's what Nel told herself as she sprinted back towards the fire; where she needed to support the others.

She immediately found her quarterstaff amongst the ground and quickly grabbed it with one free hand. Nel was engrossed within the zen of combat, unable to take notice of the injured priest (not like she would have helped him though) or the unconscious rogue. The monk only made out brief figures of companions as she struck down one of the rogues with a series of quick lunges. The shadow of a giant seemed to be upon her and she instinctively dropped the quarterstaff to free her hands. As Nel reared her fist back, her eyes flashed towards the man's center, his solar plexus, completely unaware of the fact that he was an ally in disguise, and let the strike fly.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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The others seemed to have everything under control, so Callavan kept on enjoying his stew while he watched the proceedings. It was a wonder that one woman could cause such a ruckus. An amusing ruckus admittedly. He even had himself a chuckle at the monk's outburst. But he lost interest as they went on with talks of what to with her.

Sadly, his boredom had to be postponed due to some more surprise visitors. He grunted a curse under his breath, setting his stew by the fire with the dim hopes that he'd be able to finish it at some point. He sprung to his feet, the soreness from riding having disappeared with all the excitement. Everyone else had already started fighting. He took a moment to look around and see where he was needed most. Having to fight with a group was frustrating after spending so much time on his own. Normally he'd simply hide and pick enemies off slowly with tricks and traps, but that wouldn't work with so many people running around killing each other. Well, it wouldn't work with him trying to keep some of them alive anyways.

A sound of movement behind him caught his attention. With hand held out, he spun around to meet his assailant, a small lad with his sword held ready to swing. Before he was within arm's reach flames engulfed him. He fell to the ground screaming and writhing in pain. With a grimace, Van pulled a knife from his belt and slit the boy's throat. Fire was a poor way to die.

The priest had fallen while Van was busy. But one of the rangers rushed to his aid before Van could. Another look around and he saw that the wee mage and the monk were outnumbered. As soon he started toward them the bandits started falling. Then the mage disappeared and the monk was running off to fight someone else. This was all very frustrating to Van, who felt entirely useless as he spun around in circles trying to find someone to help. The fact that there was now an old man beating bandits with a log only made it worse.

He looked towards the priest again. The ranger was down and now the other one was helping him while the thief covered them. He seemed to be at his limit though. Which meant Van finally had something to do. He rushed over to them, rifling blindly through his satchel as he went. He pulled out a handful of small scrolls, each tied with a colored string. Keeping one with a pink string, he stuffed the rest back into the bag.

Once he was near the others he poured magic into the scroll and a clear pink bubble enveloped the group. ”It'll stop the arrows, but it won't keep them out,” he yelled. As if to demonstrate for them, a bandit fired an arrow at them. As soon it hit the barrier it slowed before tumbling to Van's feet. He'd make the bubble impenetrable if he could, but he wouldn't be able to keep it up very long if he did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon's head was spinning. An eerie silence swirled in his brain as he slowly began to regain consciousness. He could hear the voices outside. The muffled shouts and piercing of human flesh began to die down. He guessed the battle must be over. He had no doubt in his mind that the group had survived. After all warriors, rangers and mages in a group were a force to be reckoned with no matter how much surprise you had on your side. Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted. Something new was working its way into his brain. Seeping through his nose a smell began to mix in with his thoughts. A putrid smell. Just as soon as it had entered followed a harsh stinging sensation. Instantly Feylon shot open his eyes an thrust his head upwards.

Slightly dazed it took a while for his eyes to focus. Bodies, lots of bodies came into view. Most notably the one he had slain with his dagger. Still clasped tightly in his hand a scarlet liquid ran freely down the hilt. It covered most of his hand and some of his sleeve. It took him a while to remember the smell, which came back and hit him with force. He looked to his left and saw the Prince kneeling over him with some sort of pouch in his hand. "Bloody hell what is that? Did you grab a pile of horse shit and stuff it in the bag or something?" He thrust himself upwards and pushed the pouch out of his way.

Bodies lay strewn all over the camp. Streams of blood glistened in the moonlight and slithered their way down the green grass. Tents lay mangled on the floor. Ropes holding up the poles were knotted and the poles themselves cracked in some places. Then he remembered what had happened. He had dropped his bow and lunged at a bandit with just his daggers. He clenched his fist smacked it against a tree. "You fool. You could have gotten yourself killed and for what? A bit of reckless bloodthirsty action?". Feylon knew that his liberal use of alcohol and tobacco was starting to effect his judgement's. They all began to add up. A little slip here and a little slip there was starting to mount to even bigger mistakes and now he had acted rashly and stupidly in combat.

Enraged and angry with himself he walked out of the camp and leaned against a tree. The night was growing cold, and the darkness was now enveloping every inch of forest. He leaned his back against the tree. Peering through the tree line just enough to make out the members of the camp, most notably the Prince. "You have a job to do Feylon. If you mess up now you wont get close enough to the Prince to finish your job. Think of the pay, enough to live in a whorehouse for the rest of your days." Feylon sighed, to make matters worse he was now talking out loud to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon noticed the chill air start to envelop his body. The temperature was noticeably different now that he was just outside the perimeter of the camp. The heat from the fire no longer wrapped itself around his skin. Instead the cold dark chill began to creep around his body. An opportune moment to go back to camp he decided. He noticed the unfamiliar faces introducing themselves to the Prince. An odd time to join a group of blundering adventurers, but Feylon decided that he had seen more interesting introductions in his lifetime. The air began to warm up as he neared the camp. Gliding slowly and quietly into the camp he noticed the smell of wine. A quick smirk darted across his face as he thought to himself: "Surely one, or two couldn't hurt?. With that he sat down by the fire, finding a small flask of wine and taking a large swig from the container. The bitter tasting liquid washed down his throat with a roaring appetite. Feylon instantly felt revitalised after his knock and began to perk up immediately.

It was only moments later that he realised he as still without his bow. He walked over to the pile of corpses resting underneath the body of a female bandit he saw the tip of his bow pointing out from underneath. With a quick tug the bow broke free from underneath the body. It had remained miraculously intact and lacked any blood residue at all. Of course he would have to re-wax the string later in case there was some unseen blood but that could wait for a while. He stepped slowly back to the camp fire and sat down with his legs crossed. The heat from the fire was not overwhelming it was just at a nice temperature for him to sit comfortably. He took a number of things from beneath his cloak. First some wax in a small leather pouch, and then his pipe and tobacco. A bit couldn't hurt him now anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia looked up, her left hand still holding the muslin to her wound, when Nelinia came up and began firing off questions. Apparently she was concerned that they were badly hurt and Acacia wondered just how... messy her face was. She decided she probably didn't want to know as Nelinia hurried of to get bandages an came back to bandage Mirabella, who Acacia thought wasn't even hurt. Acacia gave Nelinia and Mirabella a wide, if short-lived smile.

"I am glad you feel that way Mirabella. I feel the same," she said her smile slowly fading as Mirabella strode off and began yelling out orders. Acacia rolled her eyes, I knew she was going to be bossy, and turned her gaze back to Nelinia. "I am fine as well. I mostly need to clean up." Glancing down slightly, Acacia's eyes were unavoidably drawn to the blood staining the monk's right sleeve. She gently put her hand on Nelinia's shoulder, her eyes nervously jumping back to meet Nelinia's. "It seems you are the one that is hurt." Hearing the Prince, she looked up, noticing a large, old looking man had joined them. Since no one was attacking him, Acacia figured he must be a friend. The Prince then gave some instructions, and Acacia decided she should probably go clean up since her face was already beginning to itch from the drying... mess... on her face. She took in a shaky breath and said,"I think I will go clean up." She realized she might seem rude just walking away like that and quickly added, "Sorry, but I don't do all that well around blood." She gave a quick smile and quickly walked back to where she had set her lute.

Thankfully, the lute hadn't been damaged in the fight, and Acacia strapped it up on her back where it belonged. She went up to her packs and pulled out the canteen of water and a cloth, which she wet and used to wipe most of the grime off her face. She tenderly wiped around the cut on her forehead and pressed the muslin to it again to make sure it wouldn't open again. That might complicate things. There were still stains on her shirt, but those would be difficult to get out without a larger source of water. She replaced the canteen in her packs and set the cloth down on a patch of tall grass to wash out later.

Feeling a bit more presentable, and still trying not to pay to close of attention to the various bodies lying around, Acacia found a spot by the fire. She gratefully took some wine, taking a large gulp to take the edge off the still present fear. She wondered if she would ever get over it. A warmth spread through her as the sour liquid reached her belly. After eating a bit, a peaceful sort of tiredness swept over her as she calmed. It seemed a bit quiet around the fire until the Prince spoke. He introduced himself to the newcomers and went into more detail on their mission. Acacia now knew where they were headed, the Citadel of Idvassa Del Reyanth on the Pyzer Lake. From the stories of the ruins, Acacia guessed this would not be their last battle, or their worst.

She listened to the various comments and questions in silence, her eyes fixed on the Prince, waiting for his answers.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon watched the fire as the it burned through the wood below it. He had no interest in what the Prince was saying. He had no interested in where they were going or even how they were going to achieve the intended result. He had come on this quest for one reason and once he had finished his dealings with the Prince he would take his leave. As people began to leave he got up and walked slowly towards the edge of the camp where he had placed his bedroll. The tall dark horse remained standing up as he was the moment he left him earlier in the evening. Taking is cloak and pulling it around him Feylon sat against the tree and shut his eyes.

The rising sun on the horizon pierced through his eyelids signalling it was time to get up. Groggily he managed to stand up, although not with ease. His back ached from lying against the tree and his legs were stiff and sore. Nonetheless Feylon packed up his sleeping roll and clipped it onto his horses back. It was then that he began to hear the conversation concerning what to do with bodies. Curiously he walked over to see what all the fuss was about. It was when he arrived he realised what everyone was talking about. Religious things. Feylon sighed and rubbed his head. "Look, I really don't think that they care about what we do with bodies. Do you know why? Because they are dead, that's it. Stop wasting your time bothering about any of it. Leave them to the wolves and let nature take its intended course."

Feylon stood and looked as people began to walk away. He saw the monk pawing at the ground like a dog looking for its bone. Feylon rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. He walked over the monk and bent squatted down next to her. "Listen. You can spend all day here digging a shallow grave for that pile of worthless scum over there or you can get back on a horse and continue with the journey. You don't have the tools to dig them a proper grave and neither do they deserve one. They tried to kill you remember. Do you know what they would have done if they had gotten to you? Think about that and take a look at what you are doing. Those bandits over there have probably killed many innocent people and destroyed families. Scum like that are sub-human. They do not deserve a proper burial because they showed no mercy or dignity to any of their victims. So you can either get up and continue with the quest or you can sit here for two weeks digging more than a dozen 6 foot holes in the ground for people who tried to kill you" Feylon pushed himself up with his legs and held out a hand to the monk. He hated being nice.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia was happy to see that many had enjoyed the song. She felt it was a fitting to end the long day on a happy note, literally. She bid those still sitting around at the goodnight and went to retrieve her bedroll. She found a bedroll near her bundles and decided it might have been hers. It was somewhat dirty, but otherwise unharmed. She moved it a bit closer to the fire, dusting it off, and lay her lute gently by her belongings. She took a folded piece of cloth that unfolded into a waterproof sack out of one of her bigger pockets and slipped the lute into it, firmly tying it shut. She would have to buy a real case eventually, but she had yet to find one that was good enough. She took off her cloak, tunic, and boots and snuggled into her bedroll.

She quickly fell into a deep, troubled sleep. Nightmares plagued her as they hadn't in months. She woke up in the morning feeling more tired than when she had gone to sleep. She wasn't the first to wake up or the last, but she could already smell breakfast cooking. She wriggled out of her bedroll and put on her boots, still only dressed in her white shirt and pants. She began packing, still only half awake gathering everything so it could easily be packed back on the horse. She went to the river again, this time finding a small waterfall, and washed up before returning to camp. Now more fully awake, she returned to the fire, got dressed the rest of the way, and ate breakfast, smiling at Xan as he sluggishly got up. It seemed she wasn't the only one that was not a morning person.

She paid little attention to the various conversations around the camp, her mind still foggy with tiredness. She quickly finished the breakfast, noting how good it tasted but not really registering it, and lugged the various packs and lute over to the horses and arranged them with the Prince's help. Soon after, the Prince was ready to burn the bodies. Obviously, and surprisingly to Acacia, Nelinia thought this was barbaric and wanted to bury the bandits. Acacia did not have much care either way, though burning them would take less effort.

Quickly bored, Acacia decided she might as well get some exercise to wake up a bit more, and began to do some quick stretches. A moment later they were still arguing, a few others joining in, and Acacia put her hands on to the ground an lifted her feet in the air, her cloak, tunic, and hair hanging crazily around her head as she easily balanced on her hands. After a moment, she began walking on her hands around those arguing over the bodies, feet pointed gracefully in the air. The action was very much like a child bored of his mother chatting with friends and trying to find something to do. When the argument finally ended, Nelinia deciding to stay behind and bury the bodies, Acacia gave a relieved sigh.

Tipping forward so her legs began to fall, she tucked them in and rolled to her feet. She wondered what Nelinia would even dig these graves with, she hadn't seen a shovel among their packs. She supposed that while Nelinia had decided to just catch up later, it would be difficult since she had no horse, not to mention she would be digging the graves alone and without a shovel. Nelinia seemed a bit angry, yelling at Prince Rydas, but Acacia thought little about it, seeing the argument as unimportant anyway.

Walking over to the monk with a lighthearted smile, Acacia put a friendly arm around the angry monk's shoulder, turned to look at the prince with a silly smile on her face, and said, "Well, I suppose that means I will stay behind as well. Can't leave my riding buddy behind, now can I?" She winked at Nelinia. "Anyway, it seems like she could use some help," she said, looking at the pile of bodies with a sigh. Nelinia began digging and Acacia joined her, squatting down and pulling a dagger out to make digging a bit easier. She looked up as Feylon came over and tried to convince Nelinia to just leave. She sat with her hands on her knees and waited for the monk's response.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Deallo
Anger wasn't a feeling that Nel was used to but it was something she managed to hold onto surprisingly well as she unearthed clumps of dirt from her hands and flung them behind her. Her ears were burning from all the shouting and she found herself taking deep breaths. The scene was all too familiar to her. Her hands were smaller and less calloused then, heavy droplets of rain beating against her head and monk robes, desperately trying to dig out the mud along with all the other hands. Hands of all sizes assisted her endeavor and twenty graves were miraculously dug out in the rainy weather. The small girl dragged three of the equally small yellow-clothed bodies.

The monk was brought back into present by the words of the group's self-proclaimed thief who had brought the duty upon himself to lecture Nel. She ignored every single word...unaware of the seed of doubt Xan planted in her fertile mind. His words would've been convincing enough had it not for the anger clouding her thoughts. "I wasn't kicking and screaming."[/i] Nel spoke bitterly, looking at her side to discover him already walking away. Speak and leave; it's all everyone does." she thought bitterly as her hands were immersed in earth. The hand on her shoulder caused her to jump up again and to nearly throw a blow until she caught sight of the bard's face and heard her voice. [b]"You mustn't scare me all the time Acacia but thank you for the help." Nel said, slightly happy at the fact someone decided to help her.

A shadow was cast over Nel and the shadow squatted down; prompting itself to it's owner. Feylon. From what she remembered him as; the bloody man at the Black Vagabond. His words were filled with hate towards the men they have killed. "To justify an evil by deeming it be used on evil is still evil. I cannot pretend that spilling the blood is anymore right then spilling the blood of a child." Nel however stopped digging for a moment and looked at the ranger's face, noticing all the various scars that took place and then down at his hand.
"This isn't the first time I had to dig graves." Nel quietly admitted, turning her attention back to the ground, rearing her arm back she stabbed her palm deep into the dirt and shoveled large clumps of wet earth by hand. "I shall be finished by noon." She said rather quaintly.

The next person to lecture Nel was the man with the beard. Though with such a description that could now pertain to three people of their motley group of adventurers, it was the mage who had spoken, Callavan, who was also dragging around a sword as he spoke. The harsh words made Nell stand up; to instinctively stand her ground literally and mentally to his cruel words. As soon as she was told to step back, Nel opened her mouth, ready to speak back, until she noticed no sound could come out of her throat. Nel tried again but was met with only the sound of air. A desperation to speak came over her. No matter how hard she tried; she couldn't talk back. That was when the ground started to shift, in and out, into a large circular hole.

Nel contemplated whether or not she should lash out at the mage. On one hand, he insulted her, her monastery, and her fellow monks in one fell swoop. On the other hand, it seemed he created the hole with magic, thus supporting her? Was it truly support? Was it pity? Was it contempt?

Clueless on what to say, angry enough to ball her fists, but grateful enough to accept the help, the monk went around the circle and went to the pile of bodies. She hadn't noticed the fact how hard she was pulling each body, damn near throwing them into the pit with one arm each, obviously venting her anger in each and every pull until there were no more bodies to pull. With the weapons of the dead left in a pile, Nel grabbed each sword, and stabbed it forcefully into the perimeter of the hole, any weapon that could stab was dealt in this manner, any weapon that had just an edge or shields were thrown onto the perimeter.

As soon as the monk was done with the procedure, she no longer wanted to see Callavan's face nor hear his insulting words any longer, and proceeded towards the fire to grab her quarterstaff with dirty, bloody mud-stained hands. With glazed over emerald eyes, she managed to walk over to Maria, Acacia's horse whom Nel promptly named, taking unsteady breaths, and awaited the bard to follow suit.

The monastery steeled her hands and skin but it never would've nor could've; steel her fragile heart.

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Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by conor
Feylon simply looked at the monk and pulled his hand away. There is no point trying to reason with someone who refuses to listen to reason he thought. He went back to where he had slept the night before and untied his horse from the tree. He gathered his belongings and quickly rose up onto the back of the horse. After last night's raid on the party he was reluctant to leave his bow slung around his back. Instead he opted to carry it down by his side with an arrow loosely nocked just in-case. After all. If they had been attacked only a day away from the capital. They could be attacked now, at anytime during the day.

The landscape ahead was often deserted as they skirted around the forests. There seemed to be nothing alive as they traveled. A deathly silence followed everywhere they went. Maybe it was just him or maybe it was the atmosphere of his companions. He could not say for sure but when asked to scout ahead of the group by the Prince he welcomed the distraction gladly. He was upset however that there was nothing ahead of them but an open landscape for them to travel uninterrupted every time he went out to check. It was a shame that they would see nothing interesting this side of the day anyway.

As the sun began to sink below the horizon they settled down for the night. Again he laid out his bedroll on the floor like the night before and rested his eyes. He awoke mid way through the night. The moon subtly shining into his eyes he stood up and walked toward the shadowy figure by the camp. Beckoning to him that he would take the rest of the watch, Feylon pushed himself against a tree and looked out. The stars twinkled blissfully in the night sky. A soft wind caressed his cheeks like a square of velvet. It was cool tonight, perhaps an indication of a warm day tomorrow. Feylon was interrupted from his trance by the snap of a twig somewhere behind the camp. He saw a shadowy figure move from inside the camp towards the forest. He guessed it must have been somebody going taking a quick nip to the bathroom. Moving his head once more towards the horizon to check for movement he failed to realise that whoever had left the camp had failed to com back.

When the sun began to peek its light over the horizon again he relaxed. The tension in his body washed away into the ground below him. An uneventful night was always a good night when on watch. He was about to leave his grip let go of the bow when he heard a voice calling out in apparent unease. He saw the rogue and followed him quickly to behind the camp. Feylon froze. His blood now ran cold through his body and his face became as pale as snow. Not only was this the figure he saw leaving the camp last night but he had seen this before. Far, far to the north he had seen the same occurrence whilst on patrol. Five of his men had died that day. The memories haunted Feylon. The bodies they found were disfigured and un-human. Some of the men said it was the wraiths and banshees from the castle that lay outside their camp. Others figured it was a pack of wolves that had gone hunting. Either way Feylon was scared mentally by the images he saw.

The footsteps on the ground were staggered, almost as if the Prince had been in a trance. He quickly looked up at the rogue, "Xan" he thought to himself and began to speak. "Get the mage's. We will need ward's to defend against creatures that are no longer part of this world. They should know what to do." Feylon scrambled to his feet and walked east of the footprints to find some herbs. He needed the ingredients for an anti-hallucinogen potion. He hoped he would not have to make one but he feared for the worst. Running back to were the rogue had found the footprints he waited to see if everyone would arrive.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Travian

Travian was surprised how quickly the burial group caught up with the main party. He was also relieved to see the young monk opening up to her riding partner. Out of the group that stayed behind the older man stayed at the back of the group with the young paladin. Travian couldn’t be sure of his name but he remembered him being introduced as a shaman. It stuck out in his mind because he wasn’t exactly sure what a shaman was, though he could tell the man was formidable by his ability to keep up with a horse on foot.

The group was in a pleasant mood, chatter and laughter surrounded them. Travian felt right at home and spoke freely with the others. The cheery atmosphere went on into the night, combating the unease of being so close to the eerie tower. However, as everyone began to settle down to sleep and the silence of night crept in Travian’s mind began to wander back to stories he’s heard. Legions of soldiers that marched on no matter what injuries they took until the attackers were overwhelmed. Their bodies would be raised by the necromancers and the next combatants would have to face their comrades’ soulless husks. It was truly horrifying.

Sleep did not come easily- and not just because he decided to sleep in full armor that night. An eerie feeling filled him and try as he might he could not push such dark thoughts from his mind. He fell asleep without realizing it and his dreams were full of dark voices whispering to him. Dead faces staring out at him.

"Hey, Hey!!" a familiar voice shouted out, "Everyone wake up!! We have a situation!"

Travian jolted awake. His shield and a throwing spear were in his hands as he looked around. Xan and the male ranger were a little ways into the woods, inspecting something. Xan moved out of sight as the ranger called out to get the mages. Travian wasted no time, he immediately found the bearded one that had used magic to dig a grave the morning before and began shaking him.

“Wake up! There’s trouble!”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia was content as Neli talked of the monastery. It sounded like a good place, like a family. That was something that Acacia had been missing for some time, but she pushed the thought aside."Wow, that many? Must be hectic," she said at Nelinia's estimation of how many children there were. She couldn't imagine having to look after that many, even with the lifestyle Nelinia was talking about. "I know what you mean about the traveling. It feels odd not being in a nice inn for several days, playing and telling stories early into the morning." Her thoughts continued, 'It still feels weird not sharing it all with Tal. I... it is my... my fault though.'

She was oddly quiet as they caught up to the group, a sulky look on her face though there was more than sulkiness in her heart. Through the talking and stories, she smiled and even chuckled when appropriate, but her heart wasn't in it. After a while they came in view of the lake and some of her sadness faded at the beauty of it all. She dismounted, held out a supportive hand for Nelinia if she needed it and stretched. They set up camp and Prince Rydas excused himself. He seemed exhausted.

After eating, Acacia also went to bed a bit early, rolling out her bedroll, taking off her boots and cloak, and snuggling in. It was almost as if she could feel an evil, threatening prescence emenating from the ruins. Slowly, to the sound of the others talking, she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. All night, she tossed and turned. Eventually she was completely tangled in her bedroll.

Early in the morning, she was awakened by yelling. It was something about a situation. It sounded urgent enough to completey wake her, her mind already imagining, wondering what could have happened. Where they being attacked. She finally untangled herself from her bedroll and threw her cloak and boots on. She hurried over to where Xan had been and gaped at the tracks. She looked back to their origin, the Prince's tent. "Are you sure he hasn't come back?" she asked Feylon when he returned. "What's going on?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

I should have paid more attention to my history lessons


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

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


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

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

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

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

Damnit, not again

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well time for advice

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel wished the self-proclaimed thief would expand on saying where the prince was. Really, he could've been anywhere, just taking a long walk. The monk heard the rattle of metal and glimpsed at the source; Xan's chain and dagger weapon. For a brief moment, Nel thought about how he could use such a weapon, but it was pushed aside as she finally had a clue where the prince might've been. Xan was going in after the prince in the ruins by himself and the monk would've followed suit if he hadn't asked of her to bring the others. "I'll make sure to bring them here." Nel assured Xan before he looked inside the ruins.

The thief's next words made Nel slightly confused; as she had little to no idea what a "trap" was. His joke lost all humor by the time it reached the monk's ears and it held very little humor to begin with. The thief disappeared inside and Nel wondered if she should say anything before she left. "Be careful!" she decided on shouting out. Those words of caution felt oddly appropriate if the ruins were as dangerous a place as she thought it to be. She started to walk back to camp to tell the others and to retrieve her quarterstaff, something she kept forgetting to grasp in the beginning of her travels, when she was met with another familiar figure. "Nari!" the yellow-clad monk called out, waving her hand at the same time.

When Nel was close enough she explained that Xan had gone inside the ruins to look for traps. "I need to bring the others to the entrance and get ready myself." She told the ranger just before she started to speed up her walk, jogging towards the camp. Nel soon arrived and just as quickly, ducked into her tent to grab her quarterstaff, and went to Maria's side to pull out four rolls of bandages. While she overheard orders being barked by the man she only knew as the bloodied man, she wrapped both legs in the bandages, calves down to her feet, leaving only the heel and toes visible. It was a tradition for any monk who would soon spar with someone or enter battle to wrap their limbs in bandages to shield their skin and bone from damage.

Nel couldn't help but think how everyone was gathering their weapons and preparing for a battle. As the monk tore a hole on one end of the rolled bandages with her teeth, she walked toward the ranger that seemingly made himself in charge of the operation, and started to roll the bandage across her knuckles. "Xan went in the ruins to find...traps. He told me to bring everyone to the entrance." Nel said in a very professional manner, discipline showing in her speech as the bandages stopped at her elbows. She gave a nod to the ranger and started to wrap her right arm; walking towards Acacia, kicking her staff along, until she stopped beside her and Nel's lips pursed into a smile. "Acacia." Nel said, motioning with her bandaged hand to get her in order.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

O shit what was her name?

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

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

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

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

Or you for that matter

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

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

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

The prince did went missing at night did he not?

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

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

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Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon took his bow and rested it down by his side. An arrow nocked and ready to fly if the moment arose. He had barely noticed that they were almost at the citadel now. As they plunged into the darkness he took a deep breath. He listened as the priest and shaman conversed without a care in the world. "Thats right, talk about death as we walk into this hellhole. If you flirt with death it shall wait to embrace you with a cold, suffocating grasp." He couldnt help but think that if death did take the priest, it may even improve morale. After all, the only good priest, is a silent one.

The walls seemed to close in on them as they delved deeper into the citadel. The damp, moss covered walls chocked the oxygen in the air leaving an empty vacuum that filled the void with only fear. The floor seemed to be a sludge filled sewer system. Mud swirled its way around his feet as he displaced the silt below. Deeper into the citadel they traveled and more intense did the anxiety grow between the members of the group. He found himself staying within eyesight of the bard. He felt some sort of affinity with her. An innocent soul caught in the wrong kind of adventure. Still, if she survived this ordeal there was no doubt there would be some great songs.

As soon as the chance to smile arose it was quickly wiped away by something sinister lurking within the keep.

Tap....Tap....Tap....Crunch.

As every second passed the noise became overwhelming. His trained ears picking up every echo, every harrowing noise. He could hear something breathing. The noise carried down the corridor so quietly that it would have been hard to pick up without the trained ears of a ranger. He almost wondered if the other ranger was having the same problems as he was with the over powering sound. When the group stumbled across Xan he knelt down and placed his hands on the floor. The sludge oozed between the tips of his fingers as they sunk a little into the ground. Something ahead. Was it the Prince, or something else.

Forcing himself back up he walked towards the front of the group. Feylon raised his arm and pointed past the where Xan was standing and through the wall of arrows. There is something down there. The resonance resembles a room, circular in shape with a very, high ceiling. The sweat on his palms was noticeable now. Was he sure of what he was saying, or was he being deceived by the walls. He could not tell.

Setting

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

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

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

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

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

Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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Nari sighed deeply and agreed, along with everyone else, that this was the plan. She tied her horse outside the ominous cathedral, to the broken fence that was still remaining. The ground she stood on seemed lifeless and sick. It was as if the energy that was coming from the huge building, simply drained the life from every living thing around them. That all made sense, thinking of the fact that it had been a necromancer who had inhabited the place. Had. Had. I don't hope she's still there. Nari thought to herself and shook the thought aside. She couldn't afford to worry about that now, all she had to focus about was looking out for what was ahead, and finding the prince. Even though Nel probably didn't like it, Nari was happy that she had been assigned to walk beside her.

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

"What in all hells is that noise." She said in a low voice, but loud enough for the people around her to hear. It was eerie and an ill omen. She didn't like the sound of it, but at the same time couldn't do anything about it. The other members of the group had heard it as well, obviously. Nari looked over at Feylon as they walked, trying to figure out if he could make out what the sound was or where it came from. To Nari, it sounded like it came from, well, all around her. It was not louder nor any quieter as they moved further into the citadel. In her stomach, a knot formed from worry about Xan. She wondered if he was unhurt and hoped that he had made it through without any injuries. She had been farily surprised and impressed with the signs and clues he'd left behind, to indicate that there were traps and things to look out for. Oh, Nel. Nari had to smile, though she tried to hide it. She looked over at the Monk and smirked, though shaking her head slightly. "You behave." Nari nudged her and nodded ahead, to make the Monk focus. "How's the hand, by the way?" The memory of Nel's injured hand came back to her. When they had first assembled at the tavern, Nel had crushed a glass in her hand and Nari had picked the shards from her hand. It seemed like it had healed nicely so far, seeing as the monk was still able to fight.

It seemed like the little girl hadn't quite heard what she had said, because when they reached Xan, she was off. Acacia had asked Xan if he was okay, which it seemed like. Nari gave the thief a nod and a smile, approving of his work so far. She passed Mira, putting a hand on her shoulder as she did. In her mind, Nari thanked her for being there. It made her feel safer that Mira was there, and also the Paladins. "Nel!" Her eyenrows furrowed over the piercing green below them, looking at the Monk. "Wait! Come back, you don't know what's ahead." Narienia looked ahead and tilted her head, squinting. It was hard to see what it was, if it was another room or just an illusion. You never knew what magic lurked in this dark place. "Don't be too quick to rush into death's jaws." They couldn't afford Nel to be too reckless and rush ahead. She'd throw herself straight into the arms of some undead creature. That's makes me wonder. Why haven't we encountered any enemies yet? The thought was worrying, but on the other hand, maybe it was a good thing. "Should I fire an arrow toward the door? Or maybe one of our mages can tell if there are wards or any dangerous spells?" Nari asked everyone. Possibly the ones that had taken charge the most.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by KuroRyu
"I'm fine" Xan said, lightly patting the hand that Acacia had placed on his shoulder, "Although a bit peeved that I lost my cloak along the way". He gave the others a little wave and a smile to show that he had no physical injuries as he came through. He looked towards the male ranger whom was doing something with the floor, he wasn't quite sure what the man was trying to do, but still looked on. The man rose and pointed out, through the hall of arrows and towards a room at the end. Xan's eye shifted towards that door, as the joke of the old shaman rang out, soon followed by the monk actually attempting the feat and succeeding. He was unsure as to what he should say, or rather, if he should say anything at all at this point. He wasn't really willing to try such a thing even if he had thought of it since he had lost place of the trigger for the trap, buried under arrows or not it was still there and still alive. However he was concerned that the monk had gone ahead without knowing what was in store, the question of whether she knows what a trap is or not was a valid one with her.

Although reluctant Xan managed to get himself on the top of the arrows, the monk had managed to avoid setting off the trap, so he should be safe as well if he traced her steps and followed the same path that she had. It wasn't something that he was used to doing, but he still managed to get up to a good enough pace to catch up at the other end.

"What a wonderfully...unique odor" he said, on the verge of having his breakfast come up for a quick escape from his stomach as the scent forced it's way into his nose.

Xan looked back to see that the mage was doing exactly what he had hoped, another bubble had formed around the group, although they looked quite compact within it. At this point there would be no real reason to wait for the group, they were already close behind and making good time catching up.

The travel was made short as he soon found himself at quite the scene, the Monk had managed to get herself pinned by. Something. It was something that Xan had never seen before, and not only that the scent was far stronger than it was just a few paces back. He stopped his breathing completely to try and rid himself of the smell, but that didn't work, the putrid scent still managed to waft in through sheer force. Holding back his gag reflex and tears as well as he could Xan re-positioned the way he held his daggers. Instead of having the blades point outwards and in front of him, they now pointed back behind him. At this point the daggers would be useless, the creature was obviously not something that was living, or not something he would consider living at this point in time. Instead of throwing the daggers, he simply lashed out with the chains, creating a loop that would coil around the creatures neck. As the chains made their way around the monstrosity's neck Xan coiled as much of the chains as he could around his own hands and pulled outwards, causing the chain to tighten itself around the creatures neck.

'Hopefully the things head doesn't come off' he thought as he turned sideways, using all his body weight to pull the being at the end of the chains off the monk and over his own shoulder.

"Someone with holy abilities please make your way to the front. NOW!" Xan shouted aloud, as the creatures body landed a good bit away from himself and in the direction the rest of the group was approaching from.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by conor
Feylon stood quietly as the nimble monk made her way across the arrows. The trick seemed to be quick, light movements across them rather than dallying for too long as the shaft slowly bent downwards reaching a snapping point. After Xan had gone over he decided to try his luck. Placing one foot at the edge of the gap he placed a foot on one of the arrows. He decided the path he was going to take even before he put his weight onto the arrows. A creaking noise came from the arrows as the weight of his body pushed down on them. Moving quickly he placed his other foot in front of him and transferred the weight once more. Repeating the process he made it to the other side with relative ease. The arrows were stronger than he thought and they carried him well.

He stopped and looked back at the others hoping they too would make the jump across. It was then he heard the call from Xan. "Someone holy? That cant be good" he thought to himself. Then he was forced to make a decision. Wait and try help others across, or assist Xan and the monk. He decided on the latter. There was nothing much he could do if people did not cross. At least he could help with the two ahead an buy some time. Quickly he spun on the toes of his feet and began to jog ahead. The arrow he had nocked earlier remained resting in the bowstring as he had intended.

As he approached he saw the problem. A large...thing, an undead being. "What the shit?" he cried. He was frozen to the spot both through terror and confusion. What the hell was this creature? Soon however he regained his composure. Bringing the bow up towards him he stood facing the creature. The bowstring now up against his nose he took a deep breath. He was aiming for the head area and took his shot. Sliding his fingers of the string the arrow let loose and whizzed towards the creatures head. It penetrated the skin with relative ease however it didn't seem effect the creature at all. The magic wielders needed to hurry the fuck up. He let of a few more shots in rapid succession, no longer caring where on the creature it hit as long as he hit it.

Feylon noticed Xan trying to snare the creature with a chain. As he pulled its neck the creature seemed to be pulled away from the monk. As the sweat dripped down his forehead he dashed towards towards the creatures arms. Slinging his bow he pulled out his remaining dagger from the sheath and flailed desperately at the creatures arms to try and get the monk loose.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Bloody hell he should have told me about that

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

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

So now you pray sinful children

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia was relieved when Xan assured her he was fine. His comment about his cloak, however, was enough to make her smile briefly. She stood, still straining her eyes for a glimpse of what might be making that noise. She caught her breath as Nel jumped onto the arrows, seeming to mess around a bit and even breaking some before she hurried off toward the noise. Acacia was shocked that she would be so foolish as to rush toward something that she knew nothing about. She could easily be killed!

Acacia, unsure she could do the same arrow hopping as Neli did, waited and watched a couple of the others. Her observant eyes quickly picked out how they did it and a cry of alarm from the room helped her with her decision. She couldn't wait for those in heavy armor, and just those who were heavy, to slowly make their way across. With a spry jump, she was soon moving across the arrows, at first awkward, but quickly picking up speed. She made it to the other side as Feylon began flailing at the creature with his bow.

As she came closer, her nose was assaulted with the putrid smell of long decaying flesh. It was a worse smell than anything she could even imagine. She was grateful that she hadn't had the chance to eat anything that morning, because she would have quickly lost it. A throwing knife was quickly in her hand, Feylon's dagger in the other. She hastily and cautiously went closer, immediately releasing the throwing knife into the ghoul's already pierced face, noting the fact that it had little effect before another knife appeared in her hand.

The creature was a ghoul, a eater of flesh. It was said that even a touch from those rotting hands could paralyze someone while the ghoul feasted on their flesh. Many said that ghouls were once human, now not quite dead as their taste for flesh seemed to bind them to their still rotting bodies. Physical attacks would be all but useless. Only the men of 'god' in their group would have any effect on this creature.

Acacia looked around frantically for something to get the monster off Nel when Travain rushed into the room, Akdov not far behind. The paladin pinned the ghoul's hand to the floor and dragged Nel away from it. Her relief that Neli was safe for the moment was soon overpowered by more disgust than the retched smell accounted for when Akdov used projectile vomit to attack. The main group arrived and Geraint slid across the floor, through the vomit, to attack the ghoul.

With sympathy, Acacia noted the disgust on his face as the rest of the group entered the room. Acacia let another dagger fly, hitting the ghoul in the side of the head and briefly attracting his gaze to her. She instinctively took a step back, haunted by its stare. At that moment, Callavan called out for everyone to stand back and Acacia did so. At this point, the only way she could help was to stay out of harm's way herself and help distract this thing. It would be no help to anyone if she had to be dragged out of the room with Neli.

Acacia watched with wonder as Akdov began turning golden as if on fire, pages whirling around him as he started his ritual. The ghoul seemed even more frantic, this time its goal was to kill the priest. Acacia, knowing her little daggers, and even Feylon's larger one, would do little to keep the creature from charging, began looking for something heavier that she could use if necessary. She continued to keep her distance, waiting for Narenia to fire the enhanced arrow.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Deallo
In that crucial moment of time the monk held back the ghoul; her arms and legs suddenly went limp. It was as if her body had shut down, the Ghoul's teeth neared, and all she can think about was about how this was going to end. Eaten alive. A mix of terror and fear flowed through her blood as the creature grew closer and closer while she was utterly powerless. Nel couldn't even scream. The worst part of it all was that she couldn't even close her eyelids to block the reality of being eaten by a zombie; forced to watch it as was going to happen before her very eyes.

The ghoul's rotten face grew closer to the monk's, jaw unhinged, rotting teeth begging for the gluttony of meat about to doom Nel until it's head suddenly reeled back. Shock and relief poured in Nel's mind as her eyes caught the chains that were wrapped around the zombie's neck. Xan. With one vicious pull, the ghoul was hoisted into the air but it's grip on the monk's shoulders didn't waver, pulling her up with it. When she landed hard on her side, she couldn't feel neither pain or floor, but heard and saw everyone who attacked the beast. The monk could see Feylon slashing away at the creature's arms with his knife and the spear of the Paladin pinning one of the arms of the ghoul. Travian tried to pull Nel but the ghoul's grip was relentless.

It wasn't until a stream of high-pressure ...vomit hit the creature, pushing it back, and finally weakened it's grip enough for the paladin to pull Nel away. Unfortunately, Travien had placed her in front of the one person she didn't want help from. The Priest. In such a weak and vulnerable position; she mentally debated which of the two she would rather have in front of her. The ghoul or the Priest? As luck would behold, he didn't even acknowledge her presence, glowing with holy magical energy. Though she couldn't scream; the monk would've pulled herself into a fetal position at the sight of it. Horrifying memories flashed before her eyes. So much blood. Screaming. Chaos.

Just as quickly as she was placed in front of the priest, she was swooped away once more, away from the battle. Her head was lying back, staring up into the ceiling, unable to see her savior. Nel was propped up against the wall, sitting down, and could finally see who it was that carried her. The rogue Nel knew as "the man covered in blood" back in Paetax. Despite being unable to feel the moisture behind the walls; he layed it under the monk to keep her dry.

She felt like a child all over again, being watched over, and powerless to do anything while everyone else fought. Nel was the injured one all over again. Worst of all, she couldn’t even see the fight with the angle she was given, allowing her imagination to fill in all the details. Unable to just turn her neck; the monk was caught in a waking nightmare. It was impossible to breath, a heavy weight baring down on her chest, and dizziness came over her.

Just as the ghoul exploded, the weight from Nel’s chest was lifted, taking a sudden gasp of air before coughing and at the disgusting smell that overtook the room. Had the scent of ghoul been not any more sickening before; it somehow manage to get worse with bits of the creature’s burnt flesh splattered around the room.

It wouldn’t stop the monk from breathing in the precious air, despite how sickening it was, and turn her head at the scene before her. No-one was hurt except that of the priest; yet an odd thing his injury was.

“Is it over?” Nel managed to cough out to Feylon; hands starting to get feeling once again. She spotted Mirabella running over and heard the warrior inquire about her condition. The women in yellow manage to squeeze out a smile to her friend. “I am fine.” She managed to sadly speak, looking down at her feet as she did.

“But useless.”

A voice brought her back to reality; a voice unlike any she has ever heard. Something about it brought shivers down her spine but those shivers were nothing in comparison to the creature that manifested from the shadows.

The giant panther-like monster made Nel’s blood ran cold with fright as she inspected it. Armed with six legs and two shoulder tentacles with spades as sharp as blades on them. Evil practically emanated from the creature. She heard the voice nagging in her head:

“Cooooward. Nothing but a useless coward.”

The Displacer Beast looked directly at the crowd of three, leaned back on two if it’s legs, and smacked its lips in anticipation. Perhaps it was such the proximity of the prey or perhaps that group caught his attention at first glance by the yellow robes one of them wore. Nel recognized the gesture from a few black cats in the village whenever they were hunting mice. It was very much the same stance.

The monk stood up; leaning against the wall for a brief moment before regaining her balance. She stood erect between her two comrades about to speak just before the creature suddenly pounced in the air toward them. With her wits finally about her; Nel's instinct practically screeched to move. She ran in between both Feylon and Mirabella, one hand at the rogue's stomach and another at the warrior's back who faced the being.

"Forgive me." She uttered just before taking one more step, pushing them with all her might, launching them towards the direction of the creature. At first, it might have been an incredibly stupid tactic to see, to just charge head-on against an enemy. In hindsight, it was an excellent maneuver, for if anyone observed a cat, big or small, their pouncing relied on precision with their prey.

Yet as Nel shortly followed suit, it seemed the two paws were directly overhead, ready to crush her. She closed her eyes in the run but felt nothing as the front paws flowed through her effortlessly, the impact crashing into the ground two feet behind her, alongside with two of the creatures deadly spade-like limbs. Dirlagraun were intelligent predators and this creature was no different. It's plan was to scatter the small group by pouncing in front of them, pinning at least one of the prey, forcing the rest to run backwards or through the sides, ridding the stragglers with each of its deadly spade limbs.

The three were directly under the belly of the beast, where it's spade limbs couldn't reach them, in between the six legs of the creature. Nel's heart was practically beating out of her chest over her near death with the illusion of the beast but she knew all too well it was too soon to stop and breath. The monk grabbed one arm from both the rogue and the warrior; forcefully yanking both of her comrades back to her feet.

"The knees." She said quickly; finding it unnecessary to give any more further explanation. Everyone should've known as she did that the knees were one thing that'd bring down any man or woman, small or large, and the monk hoped that applied to creatures of this magnitude as well. The orders from the mage, Callavan, were in all honesty, the absolute worst advice she's ever heard. Perhaps it was the philosophy of the monastery rubbing off her or the common sense a bare fist fighter had but being backed up in a corner against a regular foe was a recipe for failure. Being in a corner with this thing as an enemy is a damned catastrophe.

It was the mayhem, the fact that she was nearly eaten by a ghoul, nearly crushed by a monster, the in-fighting, the actual fighting and the life-threatening advice that caused the tremor of a voice she never heard before. "Don't get trapped in a corner!" Nel shouted strongly, surprised to hear her own voice loudly but so...satisfied to hear it. "Get under it and break it's legs!" The monk ordered just before running up to one of the front legs of the beast, jumped up, and raised a leg into the air only to be brought back down. The vicious axe-kick was about to crash into the creature's knee but instead went directly through with no resistance.

Nel landed the drop and threw strike after strike at the leg of the beast, hitting the illusions spot on, until she swept her hand throughout the entire leg and felt the invisible calves. It was all a trick but now she found the secret. One hand grabbed the invisible pelt and clenched the fur of the creature in her vice-like grasp while the other hand reared itself back to gather the power necessary and shot through the air; landing on the front of the knee with an audible crack left to her delight.

"Grab it! You can't miss if you grab it!" The monk shouted for the last time, clinging on to the leg as the creature ran just before the room was filled with white mist of a strange scent, continuing to strike the leg with brutal punches and elbows until the room suddenly exploded, a painful ringing swelled in her ears.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

The vanquishing of evil did not equal the creation of good

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

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

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

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

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





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

Vengeance...

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

Metal plates?

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon looked at Mirabella when she came towards him. He could sense the discreetness of her question. Obviously not wanting anyone else to hear. Feylon only assumed that she wanted to keep her affection for the monk hidden. Perhaps to avoid anyone taking advantage of what some would see as a weakness. He nonetheless obliged and just as he was about to speak an arm grabbed his. He looked down to see the monk staring at him, fear in her eyes. He placed his hand on hers and said "Yes, it is over". As quickly as he had said it she had already shot upwards. A new foe approached.

The next few moments were a blur to Feylon. He found himself being thrashed around by the small monk. Who knew she possessed such strength. After he found himself against a wall he struggled to get back up. The damp, slimy liquid on the walls seemed to glue him in position. It was only after a few seconds of thrashing was he able to break free. At the same time he could see the creature before him lash out. An attempted dive out of the way was in vain as Feylon felt a sharp burning sensation across his chest. A short moment later he landed with a thump and blacked out on the floor.

Battle sounds wore out as he regained consciousness. The sound of the beast hitting the floor led to a hollow and brief silence. Using his hands he propped himself upwards and inspected the source of the now searing pain in his body. 3 large lines across his chest were oozing blood. Claw marks from the creature his comrades had just slain. On the uppermost gash he could see the protruding white image of a rib. Cursing profusely he scrambled to look for something to stop the bleeding before he lost to much to keep consciousness.

Setting

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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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

No that was undercutting it, he was terrified

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

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

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

I swear I cant figure how she survived into her age

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

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

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

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

Get back on your senses!

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

Well that wasn't supposed to happen

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon stared with a blank expression on his face as the events unfolded before him. The bodies that he originally assumed were lifeless began to reanimate and come alive. Except they never were dead, just asleep, or unconscious? He wasn't quite sure. He knew there was evil magic all over this citadel and he dared not think about it much longer for the sake of his own sanity.

When heated words began to fly back and forth he turned his attention to the prince. His bellowing voice filled the hall and they filled Feylon with rage. How pitiful an argument he was creating. Trying to distort the thoughts of the adventurers. He had gone on this journey because of the wishes of a friend. He had traveled this far because he had a job to do and now his efforts were looking to be in vain. The Prince sat upon the throne like a snotty nosed kid upset that he wasn't getting his way. Feylon of course knew this was some form of black magic but he could not be sure of the woman behind the Prince. Was it just a material projection of Idassava’s spirit? He did not know but he wanted to find out.

Feylon broke into a slow but angry walk. He walked all the way to the end of the room and stood a mere few feet from where the rince now sat upon the throne. Clearing his through he began to shout. "You call yourself the future king of Calisma, but that was not always a title that belonged to you was it Prince? You were never the one destined to be heir to throne. Your father loved your brother a thousand times more than you and for good reason too. You are weak. Your mind is easily contorted. Look at you know sitting up on this throne, a play thing of an evil woman. Your father would be ashamed. Your father wished you were the one who died that day. Not your brother. Your are inferior a decrepit sole. You are not the King this kingdom needs, you are not the son your father deserves and you are not the one capable of carrying out this task, do you remember the task? The quest to bring back the Panacea for your father as he lies there dying in his bed. Or are you resigned to leave him die. You shame your family and the people of Calisma and I spit on your legacy"

As Feylon took a step back he felt all the energy sap out of him. He had put all of his effort into that and he had drained his last reserves. He only hoped now that his gamble would pay off. Enrage the Prince so much that his mind blocked out the control of the magic. He never was a good liar but he was good at aggravating people. Feylon hoped the Prince would not see through his falsified truth, and if his plan failed well things might take a turn for the worse. All the same Feylon loved a good gamble.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Cord Braxton
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia looked at the woman, a bemused look on her face. The woman said something about oats, but Acacia wasn't certain whether the woman was addressing her, or merely making some sort of riddle. Though Acacia was good at riddles, she could make little sense of what she was saying. At least the woman was able to cut her own bindings. The golden haired woman then jumped up and stretched, oblivious to the confrontation going on around them. Acacia took a step away to go free someone else, only to be stopped by the woman grasping her arms with a strong grip that made Acacia wince. She suddenly became frantic, saying that the Lady of Silence was gone, but soon began to just babble incoherently. Acacia quickly began to wonder if the woman's captivity had done something to her mind.

At the same time, Prince Rydas began yelling at them, making it seem like they were in the wrong, and telling them to stop freeing the prisoners. He accused the prisoners of being part of the Tk, something Acacia had a hard time believing. The more Rydas spoke, the more she was convinced that he was bewitched by the woman sitting next to him. If he wasn't either he, or the group, was missing some vital piece of information. Mirabella attempted to reason with him, and Acacia hoped he would see the sense in what she was saying. Feylon, of course, decided the best thing to do was to insult him. Why did he like doing that so much?

Acacia's focus quickly went back to the woman who was still tightly grabbing her arms, still frantically babbling. Acacia tried to pry the woman's painful grip from her arms, but to no avail. The woman was frantic enough to make Acacia believe this Lady of Silence was extremely important to her. She looked into the woman's eyes and asked, "Who is the Lady of Silence?" After a pause, she moved her arms up to grip the woman's shoulders and, with a single shake, continued, "Where is she? Who took her? Who took the Lady of Silence?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Dekard Roland Character Portrait: Cordelia Braxton
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#, as written by Deallo
The sorcerer's coughing fit left Nel feeling guilty. On one hand, she could offer a throat message, but even she could tell this was hardly the time and place. She leaned forward and grabbed the mystical red jewel that clattered to the floor, watching the enchanted ruby sparkle in the light before closing in her fist and slipping it into her pocket, mentally telling herself it'd be a memento of the only good thing to come out of the trip to this forsaken place.

Rydas shouted and when Nel stood back up; greeted her with the tip of his blade aimed at her neck. His demands to stop had fell on deaf ears, especially since the man had been freed the help of someone in a cloak, and when one of the prisoners themselves asked who TK was, it was obviously some sort of trick. The monk scanned the faces in the room but couldn't recognize anyone who was a "high-ranking" official of the TommyKnockers. The prince of Calisma was mistaken but Nel wasn't going to be the first to tell him otherwise.

It was the whole reason why she was here in the first place.

Nelinia stayed silent and raised her hands up behind her head in a gesture of surrender. Of course, it wasn't entirely genuine. Unless swords can jump; there was no way Rydas could've stabbed her from that distance, unless he decided to charge. Mirabella spoke softly to him, attempting to jog his memory, and even jogging Nel's as to why they were here in the first place. The amulet. The monk thought; and bit her lower lip as a slew of thoughts went through her head. Had the prince found the amulet? Did he truly deserve it? Did this womanizer of a prince, finding strange woman in the forests and in abandoned ruins, who lacks so little empathy for his enemies to just set their bodies on fire, and now threatening her life, deserve the amulet? Deserve to be king?

Mira's assumptions on the woman left Nel, and only Nel, with the exception of the prisoners, confused to what she was actually implying. The possibility of a dead sorceress coming to life wasn't even remotely possible to the skeptic's mind; unlike everyone else in the party. From her right, Feylon started to slowly but surely insult the prince, either for the sake of insulting the prince or some long-winded arbitrary plan, got extremely close, close enough to be slashed by the prince's blade if he so much as take a swing at him.

At the same time, one of the prisoners, an odd woman speaking nonsensically started to approach the prince and his lover with a small knife in her hand. Nel recognized that very same knife from one of the cruel training methods she received from the monastery. It was a position, squatting down, arms stretched out the sides with a knife just like that attached to the bottom of each bicep with rope so if she slowly put them down, the pain of the knife digging into her sides would cause her arms to shoot back up her sides. Her longest time for holding the position was about half a day, from morning to noon. The tiny scars on her sides were a testament to it's sharpness.

The monk looked back between Feylon's suicidal approach with his aggravating speech and the woman who was most likely going to stab the prince.

"You are weak."

Nel bit her bottom lip as she had to figure out what she was supposed to do. The woman was angry and most likely, crazed and approaching the prince and his lover. If someone didn't do something, she's going to stab one of the two and kill them.

"Your mind is easily contorted."

On the other hand, the prince himself is already delirious with rage after being stricken with the caber, and after threatening Nelinia, the monk had no confidence he wouldn't cut down Feylon the moment he finished speaking.

"You are inferior.

She couldn't just stop both of them at once. Nel clasped her head in her free hand, rubbing one of her temples with her thumb as her eyes zipped between the crazed woman and their ranger. To the monk, It was either one or the other. Feylon or the prince.

"A decrepit sole.

Comradery or loyalty to the talking crown.

"You shame your family and the people of Calisma and I spit on your legacy."

With one fell swoop, Nel took two large graceful steps, towards the tip of the prince's sword still pointed at her, quickly closing the gap. While Rydas had his attention on Feylon, the monk kicked the flat end of the sword up into the air with her good leg, gritting her teeth in the pain of balancing her body on her bloody leg. With one more large steps, she was finally close enough to grab the prince's hand so she can stop the sword in place before he could give it another swing, her iron grip and strength could easily overpower any resistance the prince can put forth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Cordelia Braxton
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Travian was relieved to hear that the woman was okay, though he was still somewhat wary of her.

“A gift, if I may?” She said as she turned towards him with her arms gently raised in front of her. Any doubt he may have had about her was erased completely. Her whole figure bespoke peace and calm, things he sorely missed in this place of death and decay. If this was a trap it was one he was happy to fall into. Sensing her intent, he knelt down in front of her so she could reach his face. With a palm on each cheek she softly spoke in an ancient language and a light filled her that even his closed eyes could sense.

“You worship the Boar but I give you the strength of the Bull. Use it wisely, Holy Warrior. I will try to release the others….You are needed in battle, it seems.”

The sensation that coursed through his body as the spell took effect was possibly the best he had ever experienced. It was as though he had bathed in a cold mountain spring; he felt refreshed and cleansed of all the negativity that burdened him. Hunger, weariness, fear, doubt; they had all been washed away and replaced with an incredible energy. It was like a rush of adrenaline and at that moment he felt he could do anything.

But when he opened his eyes he found not the combat he was now itching for but words, strange words. The prince’s account of what had happened was odd, like a warped version of the truth. For a moment Travian couldn’t help but wonder if they had all been bewitched. But the doubt that had begun to creep back into his mind was vanquished yet again when the prince claimed that the prisoners were of the Tommy Knockers. No, that was impossible. There was no that woman had anything to do with such a violent organization.

Mirabella tried to reason with the prince- many of her words echoing Travian’s own thoughts. When that didn’t seem to work Feylon began insulting the prince. There was a sincerity to his words that gave Travian the impression that the man was glad he had an opportunity to say such things. But though the paladin may not have cared for his attitude, that sincerity gave his words a powerful bite that did seem to have an effect on the prince; though the paladin couldn’t tell if Rydas was struggling against enchantment or merely an overwhelming anger. The monk-reckless as always, took the opportunity to try and kick Rydas’ sword out of his hand.

“ENOUGH!” The word reverberated throughout the room and chaos followed.

First the woman began transforming. Her body took on numerous grotesque additions: wings, horns, claws, fangs, a tail- the rest of her was still beautiful but now there was a clear reason for the underlying horror one felt when looking at her. She did something to the prince and then Feylon before finally unleashing a whole flock of other monsters into the room.

Blood boiling, Travian charged into battle. He quickly threw his three throwing spears at the first enemies foolish enough to come into range. His first victim was killed instantly, but he had missed the vitals of the two that followed. He ran up to the first creature, grabbed the spear sticking out of it and used it to finish them off.

As he put the spears back into his quiver the screams of the frazzled woman caught his attention. Travian had been dimly aware of her presence during the conversation but was too absorbed in it to pay her much heed. Well she had his attention now along with everyone and everything else in the room. She was in trouble, but he was on the other side of the room from her. Luckily the woman he had freed managed to get to her and drag her onto the balcony out of the fray. He saw that at least one monster was following them so he ran to the balcony to cut it off, getting there just in time to do so. He skewered it through the shoulder and thrust it into the ground with all his might. Then holding it in place with a foot on it’s stomach he pulled the spear out of the shoulder and jammed into the heart.

He looked around and saw no other enemies in his vicinity, so he took the time to stab all of his spears into the dead creatures flesh like it was a pin cushion. This way he could access them more easily and move about more freely. Normally when he used this strategy he would arrange the spears in an arc around him, but he didn’t think the marble would hold them as well as the corpse did. He then cast a ward around himself.

“Nothing’s getting through here so if you get hurt get your ass to the balcony!”
he shouted to his comrades. He doubted the demon woman would leave such a cocky statement unchallenged but that was fine with him. Bring it on.

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Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon stood with his hands clasped behind his back. One hand held the leather bound hilt of his dagger ready to unsheathe it if necessary. He had hoped he could provoke some kind of reaction from the Prince. Anything that might sever a connection between his mind and whatever he thought was clouding his head. He guessed that it was the mistress standing behind him. He felt as if something about her was amiss. As he got closer to the Prince and indeed to her something began to ferment inside of him that made him think that the something was wrong, something evil was brewing inside of her. Of course he couldn't be sure. He was no expert on magic or spirits at all. Far from it. Feylon had never trusted magic in all his life, it was something he could not grasp. How someone could safely bend nature to their will. Something nobody should control. However he kept it too himself. It was his business and he had no intention of standing out on the streets like a madman preaching against it.

He was caught unawares by the booming, echoing voice flooded the hall in a cacophony of noise. It was the woman behind the Prince. He watched as she transformed into a creature of horrors. A succubus, a creature that before now he thought was only a part of myths and legends. Something parents would tell their children to stop them doing wrong. Now though, now one stood before him and more vile than he ever could have imagined. As she turned to him and and acted out a blowing gesture he found himself unable to move away from it. He blinked and the monster that once stood before him had become the lady once more. Feylon found himself increasingly attracted to her beauty as rebellion against this magic slowly became weaker. He stumbled slowly to wards her. Unable to see the creature in its true form he stopped and looked up at the image of the lady. A large shroud of haze surrounded his thought and rationale as he swooned at his infatuation with the woman in front of him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by Celedia
Chaos erupted as the succubus revealed her true form and for a moment, Mirabella was stunned. With the lore and dark magic emanating from these darkened halls she had expected the mysterious woman to be the physical manifestation of Idassava not…. This. The demonic creature summoned more of her ilk and they dropped from the magical portals like rain, their massive bodies interspersed between her and her cohorts so that each being was practically cut off from the other.

The warrior had heard legends pertaining to certain demons but seeing them in person created a whole different perspective. The vrocks which had joined the battle were each around 8 feet tall and weighed anywhere from 500-800 pounds a piece. Fear lanced through the Triansui’s body as she thought about the smaller members of their ragtag band. The rogues, the healers, the monk, the rangers. Where were they? She couldn’t let them duel the beasts on their own yet before she could even move to assist, one of the monstrous creatures took her by surprise and with a single heavy-handed swipe of its hand had her flying across the dais and slamming into the back wall. The very breath was knocked from her lungs and while already dazed from the impact, the creature let out a shrill scream. The stunning screech caused her to raise her hands to her ears and even then she wasn’t quick enough to recover. Pain pierced her eardrums, disorienting her so that when the creature moved again to attack she was helpless to defend herself.

The next hit, thankfully, caught the corner of her shield so that the blow was deflected slightly yet the vrock’s knife-like talons still grazed her forehead. Scalp wounds are notoriously bloody and as the red rivulets flowed down into her eye, Mira seemed to kick into survival mode. The creature, cocky from its first two victorious assaults, was preparing for a death blow when suddenly the Triansui let out a scream of her own- a battle cry that was filled with fury. Her right arm struck out, impaling the creature’s thigh with her sword and she jerked the blade viciously, tearing sinew and muscle as her body lifted and spun to send her shield slamming into the demon’s side. The mangled leg mixed with the offset in balance sent the creature tumbling to the ground and Mirabella followed though, standing over the vrock and driving her sword down into its eye socket. Gore and blood erupted from the wound and once more, she twisted her sword to increase the damage, only pulling away when the creature’s body had stilled beneath her.

Her vision was now blocked on one side and using the back of her hand she tried to wipe the blood from her face so that her gaze could sweep the area. Assessing the situation, she noticed that most everyone was caught within the fighting, the injured were moving towards the balcony which Ian seemed to be protecting. Two figures moved towards the succubus, Nel and Feylon yet the monk was going to attack whereas the ranger was bespelled.

Still located at the wall behind the dais and therefore, behind the succubus and Feylon, Mirabella switched out her off-hand. Her shield was removed and placed upon her back once more and she withdrew her hand axe once more though it was still somewhat bloodied from the last battle. Moving forward, she tried to remain silent but a murmured, “Sorry, ranger…” left her lips as she brought the pommel of her blade down in an attempt to knock Feylon out.

Unable to see whether she had succeeded or simply ticked the ranger off, Mirabella had to move quickly since her movements would no doubt catch the succubus’ attention. With Nelinia almost upon the demoness, Mira aided her by flanking their enemy with both weapons at the ready.

“Demon whore, let’s play!” She yelled, trying to distract the succubus so that Nelinia’s hits would strike true and the warrior moved in for battle. Twirling quickly, the Triansui aimed each blade at the demon’s torso and wings, whichever she would come into contact with first.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Talsin Inicka


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

"What happened? Nel happened!"

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

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

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

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

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

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

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

To decide either life or death.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

What had he done? How would he help if the succubus was but a slight rash of a deadly disease... How would he stop it? He had to take a path that the followers of Deud rarely took... While the Hall of the merry one was open to all, there were some whose behavior inside could not be accepted, the hall needed to be guarded against supernatural entities and intolerant mortals as well, the defenders of the faith, the paragons of virtue, the keepers of the words... The Paladins of Deud.
He would have to rise up to the challenge and ask of him more than what he had already been given, this was mayhap, Deud´s secret and convoluted plan... All part of it scheming to have a champion to fight the darkness that advanced on them.

He clasped Xan´s chain daggers and told the group "We have succeeded were few would have, Panacea is retrieved and the prince is safe... While our loses were dire only a fool would have expected to come out of such unforeseen adversities without any consequences... Yet our bargain has been met and I must part ways for I made a promise to one of our companions and I will not defile his legacy by forsaking his dying wish" he faced the prince "Deliver the Panacea to your father Dazius, tell the old man that I want a statue of in my image in front of the church, he promised it last time and he never got around to it " he chuckled... The prince remained cold- smile for once you bastard, should have left you on her charm- "I jest your highness, have my reward be delivered to Azevrec my acolyte, he is the one leading the church now... I want your promise fulfilled your highness, Deud will have a great hall inside the walls of Paetax were the cult might at last have the recognition it deserves and the faithful might have the necessary room to pray without being hindered by other zealous churches"

He moved to the Triansui "See them safe to the capital woman, you do your people proud with your skills and righteousness, if you ever need divine assistance my Church will aid you or your people for what you did for us in this journey"

Then it was the turn of the mage "Callavan I am afraid that your powers are still raw, while this rune working of you is a craft unknown to me I am certain you will make a great mage one of these days, stay true to yourself and support your King, the times before the guild were dark, but mages with your promise and discipline confirm that this generation is in safe hands"

He could not let Feylon walk out on him "I will look forward to ending what we started below that accursed place one of these days soldier, who knows, maybe I can teach you how a party is really all about, consider reading one of Deud´s preaching at least once, you might find some faith in you"

The foreign paladin had also need some commendations "Travian you are the example of everything your order should be and a pride to Urusk, be safe and see the Prince safe to the capital" he gestured to Accacia "without your help we might have spent weeks in there lass, I am glad this didn't weighted down on you as much as it did to others"

He then finally talked to his old friend "G, Ill be seeing you again that's a promise, were getting too old for this shit aren't we? All this shit about sorceress, demons, undead and wizards... A man can only take it so far... Glad to see we aren't even halfway there" he chuckled as he gave him a pat on the shoulder

Then he addressed them all as he walked away "I made a promise to Xan, I told him that I would go to Systril -wherever the hell that is- and find his sister, deliver her his legacy... And while at it make sure his family does not suffer a day of hunger with all this treasure we found, I'm taking both of our horses for this reason, once I do that I shall return to Paetax... Tell them that Akdov died, that he fought and fell for Deud and the King, let others take strength in the sacrifices of the few that bought the safety of the masses today and make sure the King can hold together the peace"

That marked the farewell of Akdov to the group... He would return, but when? And under what conditions?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Then

The entire ordeal ended quickly as far as Feylon could remember. The sound of the Princes agony eventually died down and the Citadel was now behind him. Some said their goodbyes and others stuck around. When Akdov talked about finishing what they had started he could not help but let out a wolfish grin. "Oh we will finish Priest, but do not be so certain about me finding faith. I have witnessed and carried out things that would change even your views on the gods." Feylon decided he did need to say anything else and parted with no emotion from the priest.

The journey back home took some time and the ailments of the Prince did not help. When they did eventually get home news reached them that the old King had succumbed to his illness and passed. A shame yes, but with the passing of a king many of the powerful nobles would plot to usurp the throne from the current family. Of course for an assassin and a spy, that meant good business. Once the Prince had been safely delivered to the castle Feylon decided that now was the time to leave. He melted away from the procession into the castle and walked briskly through the narrow alleys of Paetax. He eventually arrived back at the Black Vagabond. Where the journey began and now where it ended.

Pushing open the door the inn and the stench of ale flowed through his nose. A hearty and jovial warmth that he had not felt in weeks filled his body and lifted all of the weight from his shoulders. With a new sense of purpose Feylon walked behind the bar giving the barkeep a nod and heading up the stairs to his small loft. The bed lay in the same position it had been the morning he left. The room was tidy and all of his valuable items tucked away safely. Feylon could not help but smile, for this first time in a long time that he was at home once more. His journey was almost over, if not for one little thing that he had to do the next day.

....

The air was chilly outside as the citizens of Paetax awoke from their slumber. His hood wrapped around his head comfortably keeping most of his face warm. As he shifted slightly he saw the silhouette of his guest mvoe around the corner. A sweet aroma filled the alley as the figure drew closer to him. An outstretched hand appeared from under the cloak carrying a a purse of coins. He had completed his job and now he received payment. The figure was now much more recognisable. A woman of slender build. The exchange was quick and and informal. Before he took his leave he stopped and turned. "You know where to find me in the future" With that he turned on the balls of his feet and walked off.

Now

The steps to the castle towered above Feylon as he walked up. He was not enthusiastic about his invitation to the castle but nonetheless knew it was foolish to turn such an offer down. He strode confidently up the steps and and stopped at the top. The familiar face of Rydas met him and the other face was remembered as if some form of old acquaintance that he had once met. He gracefully took a bow before each of them and spoke. "Greetings to you Prince, Princess".

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
Feylon smiled politely to the Princess, "The crown employed me in my...role....for over two years your highness, it would take more than the passing of a king to shake my loyalty. That is, provided the crown continues the paycheck. However I am guessing that that is someone else's decision to make." Feylon turned his gaze to the Prince. "Who knows, maybe the next monarch will have no need for my particular, services." Feylon bowed once more to the Princess and ducked his head for the Prince before continuing into the castle.

The interior of the castle brought back many memories for Feylon. Of course he was saddened by the death of the king. He knew him well. Working as spymaster to the king granted him benefits most would not have. After 2 years he knew and trusted the old king. Hours spent in secret discussing security and defense had given him insight to the king. However it was now the past. Feylon knew now he had to secure more employment if he wished to maintain his current lifestyle. Which was exactly the reason he chose to attend. Everyone has secrets.

When a housemaid arrived to show him his room he dutifully obliged. After traversing long, winding corridors they arrived at a large oak door. He bid the housemaid farewell and walked inside the room. A brilliant ray of sunlight lit the room through the window on the opposite room. Brilliantly decorated walls with paintings and tapestries. A double bed with ornate sheets and linens took up most of the room to his right and a tall cupboard to his left. It was very cozy and suited him. He took his pack off of his back and dropped it on the bed. He pulled out a pair of green robes. The robes were from the last days he spent with his tribe before leaving for the capital. They signified the ultimate stage of adulthood, leaving the clan and going into the wild. A vast ritual is performed lasting 3 days in which the person celebrating adulthood is subject to many physical and mental trials. Passing the tests granted them adult status in the clan and they were rewarded the custom made robes as their rite of passage.

It would be the first time he had worn them since but Feylon declined to think about it. Instead he quickly undressed and put on the ceremonial garment. He would not exactly be up to royal standards but he did not care. The robes had leather armor embedded to signify his clans love of fighting. It was the last remaining piece of his past that he cared to remember and he saw no better time to wear it. Pulling his hands through his hair he tied it into a ponytail. He dusted himself down and set off for the dining hall.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Azevrec
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#, as written by conor
The corridors seemed to go on forever as Feylon silently moved down them getting closer and closer to the hall in which the banquet was taking place. More nervous than he usually would be. He came out of respect for the king, but primarily because he needed a new job, and Rydas was the one he was offering his services too. He stopped in the middle of a brightly lit corridor and took a deep breath. Servants and maids could be heard not to far away scurrying about. Finally regaining his composure he pressed on down the corridor, finally breaking out into the hall wherein the feast was to take place.

He took his seat quietly and looked around. Familiar faces greeted him as he analyzed the guests at the tables. a few faces he did not recognised he guessed must be nobility, one of the many families either kissing royalties arse or scheming to be the next royals. Either way nobility were among his least favorite of the social classes narrowly being beaten by members of the clergy. The table was lavishly decorated from head to toe in all manners of finery and utensils. The meal ahead he was sure was going to be one of the best he would ever lay eyes on, and indeed ever consume. He would savor it that's for sure.

Finally the Princess began to speak. Thanking them for their service to the crown. Feylon saw it more as a contract of pay rather than a service to the crown. At least that's what he wanted himself to think. He enjoyed working for the king in the past, and as much as he hated to admit it he was saddened that he was now gone. Would Rydas live up to expectations now that his father had set the bar. When the Princess had finished talking it was the turn of Rydas. Who seemed unenthusiastic about the whole event but then Feylon would too, entertaining people was never his strong point, even if that was not the reason for the Princes lack of enthusiasm.

When the Prince asked them to stay after the meal he was pleasantly intrigued, a new way to make money perhaps? It had been a while since he blew most of his money from the previous journey purchasing half of the whore house in the seedier district of Paetax. At least he got free servicing from now on. However his enthusiasm was cut short when the new priest was announced. "Yay, nothing beats talking to your delusions before a nice meal" he muttered to himself. He sat staring at the opposite wall waiting for the prayers to be over.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by conor
The deer grazed elegantly on the small patches of moss on the forest floor. It was oblivious to the world. All of the politics, the poverty, the lies and deceit created by man meant nothing out in the forest. The animals went about their lives as if the world of man never existed. Perhaps in this way, they were better off. All the deer focused on was survival. To preserve ones life, and suddenly a whistling noise piercing through the air took that life away. Th arrow slammed into the deer and pierced it's lungs. Within a minute the animal had died. Unfortunately for the deer, the world of man had come to it.

Feylon dragged the carcass up the hill as the dawn sun broke through the treeline. The cold air chilled his body as he left the forest. After the journey to find the Panacea Feylon decided to leave Paetax. He had no future their, the king was dead and thus he had no job. He of course had the option to go back to the army but he decided against it. The regimental live of fool sent to do the work of royalty did not interest him. He had his share of that demeaning lifestyle and wanted no more. So he left, he packed his few remaining possessions and turned his back on a place he called home for the second time in his life.

Although fate would have it that he would end up just half a days ride from the city, a small village bordering the edge of a great forest. He had set up here in this quaint little village. At first the local population was skeptical of him. A foreigner to their tiny little universe. Feylon decided it would be best perhaps to settle just outside of the town, and he built a small (quite small it has to be said) cabin on the very edge of the forest. However the townsfolk, after learning of his skills with the forest herbs accepted that Feylon had his uses and they opened their arms and accepted him. Feylon made ointments from the local herbs and in return he received some bread and a few vegetables. Not a bad life he thought to himself.

However the peace did not last. One morning a rider bearing the royal symbol rode to Feylons cabin and presented him with a letter. An invitation, to a ball. Feylon cursed that the messenger had been able to find him. No doubt the village folk had divulged the information. After all, in a place as small as this gossip was rife. Feylon gazed at the invitation and let out a heavy sigh.

--

The castle cut a dark figure above him as Feylon climbed the steps to the main doors. His clothing was far from suitable for such an event, but he didn't care. He was not a noble, he didn't shit gold and eat like a king. No, he lived on what he could afford and fancy clothes was certainly not on his shopping list for this week. Instead he wore a dark brown pants and a green tunic. Over his shoulders a woodland cloak fastened with a silver, leaf shaped brooch. Slowly Feylon strode up the stairs and approached two short guardsmen. Upon noticing him they stood upright and blocked his entrance to the castle. 'This is an invitation only event, I recommend you go back to the alley you came from.' sneered the guard. Feylon rolled his eyes and pulled the letter from beneath his tunic, he pushed it into the chest of the stubby guardsman, 'Here, my invitation. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be heading through.' Striding forward he took only a few steps before being stopped by the guards hand. 'No weapons inside the castle, leave your bow and arrows here. The man said pointing to the bow shaped bulge under Feylons cloak. 'Fuck off shorty' Feylon snorted. 'No one inside there is worth wasting an arrow on.' However the guard was not impressed, as Feylon could now feel the cold steel of the guards halberd pressing up against his tunic. 'The bow stays here' the guard said sternly. Reluctantly Feylon removed the bow from his back and handed it to the guard.

The castle was alive with sounds and people chatting. He could hear music flowing as if coming from the very walls themselves. The light from dozens of candles flickered and bounced of the stone walls. For once the castle seemed happy. Feylon approached the main hall coming across another short, stubby man. The herald no doubt. He asked for his name but Feylon waved his hand and brushed the man aside. He had no need for people to know he was here. He didn't fit in and people would sense that immediately. He wanted this done and over with. Feylon found a quiet spot against the wall towards the middle of the room. Everyone to busy flattering others to notice he was there. He spotted some friendly faces in the crowd. At least, as friendly as Feylon had remembered. If friendly was even a term he could use to describe them.

It wasn't long before the room quietened and the man of the hour was announced. Out strode Rydas and the room turned to admire. 'As pompous as ever' Feylon thought to himself and plucked a chalice of wine from the nearest table. Throwing the sweet liquid down his throat.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Tariel Vaynell
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#, as written by Celedia
The chaotic soiree was almost overwhelming to the Triansui. She acknowledged Nelinia’s statement with an almost imperceptible inclination of her chin before her honey-hued eyes scanned the crowd once more. None of the faces swirling and milling around her were recognizable. Perhaps that is why the tiny monk had gone to higher ground to scout out their friends. Until then, the warrior woman was left alone to her own devices.

It was only then that she caught the gaze of a rather effeminate figure studying her. With an arched brow, she returned the look though she made no move towards the stranger. Mirabella wasn’t the most sociable creature in the realms and she was perhaps only a rung or two above trained monkeys when it came to unstructured small talk.

It took Tariel a moment to realize that the armour-clad warrior had noticed his gaze. He instantly averted his eyes, embarrassed to have been caught out. No doubt she thought him to be staring disapprovingly at her armour, or something equally poncey. In an attempt to make himself look a little better, he lifted his hand in a small wave and smiled nervously. There, now he at least looked friendly. That was a start, right?

The stranger’s reaction caused Mirabella’s brow to rise a bit higher upon her forehead and as the costumed man’s gaze fell, she swiveled her own head slightly to cast a look around her. Is he looking at someone else? This is all rather… awkward. Still, she would rather engage in awkward conversation than to be left alone in the center of the ballroom so she immediately made her way over to Tariel. Her hand was settled comfortably upon the pommel of her sword which might be taken as a slightly aggressive stance, especially when coupled with her blunt greeting.

Her voice was strong yet melodic, tinged with a noticeable accent. “Did you wish to speak to me?” It was obvious that she had not taken his gaze as an offense or condescension about her armor.

When Tariel realised the woman was moving over, hand on sword, his eyes widened. Oh god, I’ve done something horribly offensive and now she’s going to stab me in the middle of a crowded ballroom.

If he was honest with himself, Tariel knew that was probably an unlikely outcome. The woman wouldn’t be here if she was that volatile. Probably. Still, in the face of a warrior with a potentially aggressive posture, the young mage felt very small indeed. Tariel looked up at her with a gulp as she spoke. “I... ah, I was just observing your armour, miss, and coming to the conclusion that you must have been one of the adventurers who accompanied the Prince on his quest.” He managed to spit out nervously, “I didn’t mean to stare.”

He paused for a moment, before blinking in realisation. “Oh! Where are my manners? My name is Tariel.” He offered a hasty and slightly clumsy bow.

The Triansui’s lips twitched at the man’s nervousness and after he delivered his formal greeting and bow she laughed out loud. A quick yet honest burst of sound that caused her torso to shake slightly and while the amused sound still escaped her lips, she bowed in return.

“Well met, Tariel. I am Mirabella d’Adreci.” She left out confirmation on being an adventurer and instead she turned his observation into a question of her own. “What interest do you have in the adventurers? Are you planning on becoming one?” Her features had softened somewhat, making her seem a tad friendlier than before though her gaze remained sharp as she studied the man. In the few weeks since the group had returned from the Citadel, she had been bombarded with requests to share the tale or she had been asked to share secrets about the Prince and future King.

Tariel stared in bemusement at Mirabella’s burst of laughter, hesitantly laughing lightly in kind. “Oh... I don’t know about becoming one. On paper it’s all very exciting, but... well, I don’t think I’d be very good at it.” He half-grimaced, “Besides, I don’t think there are any other grand quests going around. Perhaps I could slay some boars for a local farmer and bring their snouts to him, or find a cellar with an overabundance of rats, like in every bad adventure story?”

He shrugged his shoulders with a small smile. “I’m only rather average, sadly. I’m a mage, but not a particularly powerful one. Better at reading books about daring and heroic deeds than actually performing them. I don’t know, I suppose I just thought that an adventurer who’s seen the world and stuck a sword in it would likely be better conversation than one of the nobility who’s scarcely seen beyond the end of their own nose. There are a lot of those around tonight.

Tariel wrinkled his nose. “I blame the gaudy masks. Probably further inhibiting vision already partially blocked by oversized egos.”
It was then that Mirabella decided that she rather liked this fellow.

“Oversized egos are sadly not confined to nobility. I have known adventurers that suffer from the same ailment.” Her statement was in the form of a murmur as thoughts traced back to Akdov before she shooed away such thoughts. “And never doubt yourself or your skills, Tariel. Even if you are a mage and even if you believe yourself to simply be average, remember that even the smallest stone has the chance to begin a landslide.” A ghost of a smile tilted her lips again as her eyes settled upon his. “And don’t rule out adventuring too quickly, you never know what the future holds.”

She took her time to scan the crowd again before continuing. “So tell me… You must have more experience with these events than I do. Is this… it?”

Tariel laughed, “Maybe. I mean, I’ve not got much better to do than reading. I’m sure my family wouldn’t approve, but that’s more of a running theme than particularly troublesome...”

At Mira’s second question, he glanced around the room in turn, “Well, the Prince will get here soon, and then I imagine he’ll make some sort of speech, maybe. After that... well, there will probably be dancing and possibly feasting.” The young mage shrugged, “For someone without any interest in the political games that get played at these sorts of thing, it’s not exactly exciting. There’s nice food, but not much else going for it beyond meeting people.”

The warrior’s nose crinkled in distaste. It seemed funny to her how people clamored and begged to be allowed entrance to these events. No offense meant to the Royal family but drinking, feasting and dancing seemed like a silly way to spend an evening. At least the dancing part did, anyone in Paetax would probably never complain about the feasting portion of the evening.

“Well, then if I take away anything from this evening it will at least be that I met you.” Unlike the nobility surrounding them, Mirabella’s words could be taken at face value with no underlying message hidden within. “If this is the world you live in then I can understand why you would wish to lose yourself in your books.” A passing servant holding a tray of glasses aloft began to pass them and the Triansui stopped him long enough to snatch two before letting him proceed. Handing one over to Tariel she cast a suspicious eye upon her own drink then shrugged and smiled. “To friends, old and new.” She toasted, clinking her glass against his a little too forcefully before downing her entire drink in one go.

Tariel smiled warmly, pleasantly surprised at how friendly this warrior seemed to be. He didn’t think he’d ever made a friend faster. “I try to spend as much time away at the Guild as I can, just so mother stops trying to matchmake me and father stops telling me to learn to use a sword.” He said, “It’s hard to have so much as a conversation with either of them without them trying to form some elaborate plan for getting me ‘ahead’. At the very least, though, I have the independence to just ignore them now.”
He clinked his drink with Mira’s, nearly spilling it down his front with the force she put behind it, but managed to salvage it in time. “Hear hear!” he agreed, taking a rather more demure gulp of the beverage.

“I can honestly see the point behind teaching you to use a sword but that may just be me being a bit biased.” Another grin lit her features as she rested her free hand upon the pommel of her own sword once more. “But it should be because you want to learn it and not because it is forced upon you. No skill that is forced will ever be truly learned because you will always be holding a part of yourself back, preventing the lessons from really sinking in.”

The now empty glass was placed upon another passing servant’s tray. “I don’t know if it’s rude for me to ask this but why are you here if you would rather be reading? You don’t seem the stereotypical noble and if you don’t wish to ‘get ahead’ as your parents wish for you to do then I also can’t see you rubbing elbows with the majority of the people here.”

“Mostly because I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t attend. As much as I’m not that concerned about what the rest of the nobility think of me, I try to keep up some appearances just to avoid the trouble.” Tariel laughed, “Besides, this is a coronation ball. Anything could happen, considering how reclusive the Prince has been of late. I have to admit, I was curious to meet the group who went off to save the king, too. It’s not very often you get a real life quest that could be compared to the story books.”

He laughed, “I imagine you get asked about it a lot, though. I don’t want to be a hassle.”

Mirabella averted her eyes for a moment and the honey-hued orbs took on a vaguely faraway look before she refocused her attention on Tariel. Her smile was a bit softer as she responded to him more fully than she had to anyone before which wasn’t saying much because usually she told people to sod off and go listen to the bards if they wanted a fanciful tale.

“Real life quests aren’t all they are cracked up to be.. But then again, they are. People think it is all heroics and defeating the evil so the good can rise up and claim their winnings. Most stories fail to portray the true depth of the sacrifices made to obtain the happy ending.”

“I expected as much,” Tariel said, “I always joked back at the Guild that for every epic adventure detailed in a novel, there were another two-dozen would-be heroes who’d already tried to do the same thing and died horribly in the process. They just didn’t write about them.” He chuckled. “I’ve considered just travelling at some point or other... but I don’t know the first thing about where I’d go, or how to survive on the road... I’m self-admittedly soft.”

The young mage thought about such things a lot, but the truth was that he was awfully fond of comfortable libraries, warm baths and soft beds. He hadn’t quite decided whether it was worth the trade-off of curing him of his eternal boredom. Maybe he just needed some new hobbies.

…died horribly in the process…

Mira’s gaze grew distant again as if she were viewing some other scene before her gaze snapped back to Tariel and she looked almost startled at the transition. “If you ever travel then travel with a group. The road can make fast friends out of even the most diverse people. If you’ve ever got need for a sword arm….”

Her sentence was cut off abruptly as a hush fell over the room and a loud booming voice, ”Without further ado, I have the esteemed privilege of introducing tonight’s guest of honour- First Prince, m’lord Rydas Errion.”

As the announcement was made, Tariel too turned his attention toward the prince. The dark, imposing attire he wore suited him well – certainly it was less ridiculous than the fanciful array of colours and extravagant dangly-bits on many of the others here – and the young mage allowed himself a moment to admire it (and the Prince, but he couldn’t think along those lines for more than a moment before mentally scalding himself to avoid the blush that threatened to form on his cheeks).

’I am constantly amazed at how I manage to embarrass myself in my own head without actually doing or saying anything.’
“It’s good to see the Prince is well,” he finally murmured to Mira, “Nobody’s seen him for more than a month. People have been saying that Panacea had disfigured him, or driven him mad, or any number of bizarre rumours.”

Mirabella thought of the heart wrenching screams that had echoed throughout the deserted Citadel after Nelinia had placed the amulet around the Prince’s neck. She had been just close enough to have a front row seat to the spectacle and to this day she couldn’t seem to rid herself of the images. The wounds that magically manifested upon Rydas’ body before disappearing once again… It was the stuff of nightmares.

“He is a strong man. What he has experienced would have driven anyone of weaker will insane.” Her own voice was kept soft so that only Tariel would hear her despite the eerie silence that now befell the room. She wanted desperately to go talk to Rydas, to see how he had fared in the past few weeks but she knew better than to approach him now.

The young mage glanced across at Mirabella curiously, wondering just what ‘what he experienced’ was. He wasn’t about to ask, however. It had obviously been jarring for her as well as for the prince himself. “I think he will make a good king.” Tariel said quietly, “I don’t know him on a personal level at all, but just from what I’ve seen and heard of him...”

He nodded his head. “My mother isn’t overly fond of him, which is a sure sign that I ought to like him.” He remarked with a small smirk. “If only to annoy her.”

Thankfully, hushed conversations began to take place all around them and the murmuring mostly hid her next abrupt laugh which she expertly covered with a cough then a clearing of her throat.

“Forgive me for saying this but your mother and father sound like people I never wish to meet.” A smile altered her countenance and she turned slightly upon noticing Feylon passing through the room. Though in all of the time she had spent with the group he was the only one which she had never caught a name for though she recalled him clearly since he was the one that had punched Lakdov square in the jaw. She inclined her head towards him in greeting as his gaze swept over their section of the crowd and she returned her attentions to Tariel.

“But yes, I believe Rydas is a man worthy of knowing. I believe he will make a remarkable king.” Once he believes in himself… She added silently.

"I exaggerate how bad they are a little, and I really do love them. They're just difficult. I don't fit into how they perceive their family should be, and they aren't sure how to deal with it. They try, I think, but are more inclined to try and change me than broaden their outlook." Tariel shook his head with a small sigh, "Alas. In the grand scheme of things, they could be much worse. In any case... I wonder whether he will be making any sort of announcement. We'll just have to wait and see, I suppose."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Cadeyrn Gaile
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas & Senalae Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
(A collaborative post with Deallo & Skwidge)


As the diminutive monk walked away from Magna, getting the last of her giggling out of her system, she scoped the ground of the ballroom floor, looking left and right, noitcing the ever-so-present grumpy Feylon in the middle of the room. Although, she in particular did not knew his name, such a thing never reaching her ears, Nel did remember how he sucker-punched Akdov, so points to him. As the woman walked with her gaze distracted upwards in awe at the lunarshrooms which mimicked stars, boots hitting the ground with each step as the peaceful music of the band played, the very moment she looked forward and crashed into the back of the figure adorned in red and violet. A plume of black feathers flew into the air as wine was spilt from both ends, leaving an ever-so-perplexed Nel clueless, both her and the woman's dress stained.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" The monk said hastily yet sincerely, unsure of what to do.

A shocked cry, much as if she’d just had a bucket of cold water splashed upon her, wrung up and over the music. Attentions turned directly from her current conversationalist to her assailant. The feathers flitted down listlessly, setting on gown and in hair and at her feet as she twisted to see the damage done to the one-of-a-kind gown. The sound that escaped pretty lips drew much attention from onlookers. They immediately began to whisper and point, clucking their tongues and shaking their head at the lady in yellow who had managed to ruin the Princess’ dress before the first dances.

“How could she do such a thing? After all the Mother has done for the Prince and his Adventurers tonight?”

“…I saw, it looked like she did it on purpose…”

“It was such a beautiful gown, I was going to have one made when I got home in resemblance.”

Ladies stepped forward, wrapping helping hands around the Princess who was clearly taken aback. A blush coloured her cheeks beneath the paint, though out of embarrassment or anger was anyone’s guess. On the wait out a side door, guided by her ladies in waiting, she paused to nod back to the woman in the yellow dress.

“Guards, please remove the interloper immediately.” Her voice was distressed. Of course, without the ceremonial garb of the monks Sena had no idea just who the woman was. The Guards, commanded by royal blood, moved to quickly seize the party crasher.

The monk was frozen in shock, instantly guilty, although for what reason she didn’t know. It was just wine and a few feathers on a dress! There was no way…it’s like they thought she murdered someone right in front of them! Yet their very whispers, the very looks everyone gave her through their masks went clean through her, the eyes of persecution seeking, nay demanding justice, the eyes of fear and disgust.

She had heard the word “Mother” among the whispers and the very thought that she had indeed angered the princess was a concept that was difficult to grasp. All at once, she became saddened at the deed of which she had done, resigned to her spot as she heard the ever malicious whispers around her.All of which had changed when she was suddenly grasped by cold steel gauntlets on both arms, eyes widened at the realization that there were literally guards, stopping and apprehending her.

“Wait, what’re you doing? Let me go! I didn’t do anything wrong! It was just wine!”

“Shut up, you wench!” The third with the halberd shouted at her, tilting it to her direction to promote the fear and the severity of her situation.
And at once, they stopped. They must have only dragged Nel a feet or two before she leaned back, stuck both feet in the ground and lowered her position, resisting against the pulling.
“What’re you idiots doing? Move her!”
“We can’t.”

“Let me go.” Nel said with a grave tone, promptly ignored by the guards.
The guard with the halberd moved to her front,
“For the love of gods, just- ”

All at once, she jumped with the strengthening pull of the guards, and with the soles of both boots, the yellow cloth of her dress sent flying as she hit hard on the guard’s breastplate who flew back, crashed onto his back, and rolled on his stomach. The other two lost their footing at the sudden movement and with a kick to the back of a knee the guard suddenly knelt, his grip lightened, and with a sudden pull Nel freed her right hand.

She moved with skill away from the other guard and with her free hand, opened her palm, and pushed it up the helmeted chin of the guard, head tilted back, before pushing it down and felling the last guard.

At once, she started to back up from the scene as the man with the halberd started to get back up, and the other two were on their way up, drawing their swords, angrier then ever.

By now a crowd had gathered. The feint of heart were shaking, gasps of fear as the mad woman in the yellow dress swiftly downed three of the King's Guard with nary an ounce of effort. Rydas grimaced. For all his speed he hadn't been quick enough to maneuver through the crowd from the buffet to the mosh pit of fine cloth and hard steel. With a strong arm he helped the furthest guard up from amongst the downed feathers before placing a hand on his wrist to prevent his regulation sword from being drawn.

“Halt!” It wasn’t quite a yell, but it was a firm command that years of service in the military had provided and perfected. “There is a misunderstanding.”

Rydas interjected himself between sword tip and skirt, eyes moving from the soldiers who immediately obeyed to the lady. The faintest of smiles began to tug at the corners of his mouth, though with a breath he wiped the slate clean. Nelinia; her trouble was boundless.

“This woman is a guest of mine and should be treated as such. Return to your posts.” The words were clipped and not to be disobeyed. Moderately dismayed, the three men obliged. Voice then rose to the crowd, a hand outstretched to Nel.

“Apologies for the interruption, Ladies and Gentleman, but I hope you enjoyed the demonstration of the skills of Nelinia Jaze, adventurer and warrior monk.” His words sounded as if he were an announcer and something rare and exciting had just happened. It was tactful. Those that hadn’t met the adventurers before thought it was a performance and began to cheer before resuming whatever they were doing before.

“The dress suits you, Nel.” He commented, a shadow of a smile in his eyes. Rydas tipped his head in greeting to his employee who still looked annoyed from the whole ordeal. “Lock.”

In hindsight maybe she should’ve just let herself be dragged out by the guards. Full plate armour protected most, if not all, the spots of a body, the damned dress was going to make it hard to move, and people were looking at her like some kind of monster. It would have been wise to just start running off and any case she would have if it wasn’t for that tell-tale figure clad in black assisting one of the guards up. As the prince helped one of the guards up in the ground and dismissed them, he called the attention of everyone, and in a strange turn of events everyone was suddenly cheering. An ever so confused Nelinia didn’t know how to react at the sudden change of atmosphere, the nervous smile of someone glad yet confused graced her lips before everyone went back to their business.

While she most likely might have contemplated the dangers of such nobility easily swayed, she was both grateful for Rydas’ help and trapped by his very presence, when what little plan she had for the afternoon was to get drunk enough to talk to him herself, was ruined.

“I can’t breathe in this thing .” Nel said bluntly before adding on, “As it turns out, blood is hard to clean from my robes and the dress came with the invitation but thank you.”
Her mouth felt ever so dry and her hands clammy as she spoke. A drink would have been much appreciated if she hadn’t dropped her own while apprehended by the guards.

“You look well. How have you faired since…" Panacea, The Castle, the time we had to drag you since all of your wounds and more opened and closed as you screamed in pain, your father’s death… None of which were the right things to say and Nel simply cut off herself as she looked for the right word.

None of the stress, loss or heart-wrenching nostalgia that Rydas felt at such simple words made way on to his features. While he was rarely one to outright smile, a simple press of lips together would satisfy as a response.

“Better, thank-you.” The minimalistic reply was true, something he was sure Nel could appreciate. Then again, it was doubtful he could have gotten much worse than it had been. ”I hear congratulations are in order for your acquisition of property within Paetax.”

His eyes caught sight of something in the crowd. ”Please excuse me. I hope to see you at the coronation.”

Rydas gave a short nod of respect before excusing himself to make way through the guests.

As people began to crowd around whispering and hissing, Lock crept backwards so as to draw less attention to himself. This yellow-clad figure certainly was interesting and certainly was not aware of how social events worked. Normally one didn’t assault the host, especially if that host was of royal blood. It was definitely entertaining watching her take down the guards with such ease, or rather showing off the incapability of the guards around the castle. The nobles that surrounded seemed to begin to hyperventilate from all of this action and threat, and Lock’s eyebrow began to twitch in irritation as he clenched his jaw lightly and rolled his eyes. Nobles were impossible.

It was then that Rydas swooped in and saved the day, informing everyone of this lady’s adventurer status. It piqued Cadeyrn’s interest, although he had already filed the possibility of the girl being within the questing group. Suddenly everyone was cheering and returning to their previous business, and Lock stepped back forward as he was addressed. He made a stiff bow to the Soon to be King with honest respect. Other than that, no interaction was shared between the two men and Lock stuck around the general area as the yellow clad lady and Rydas began to speak with each other, and soon Rydas departed, and Lock was going to follow his lead shortly after.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas
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#, as written by Modesty
[font=Gill Sans]
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
(A collaborative post with conor)


As Rydas exited the dance for he had the distinct aura of calm surrounding him. The discussion with the cleric had left him discernably relaxed. She had reminded him in just a few words that there was a loyal following behind his uncontested ascension to the throne. It was the belief of the people that steadied his steps, giving them purpose. It was these necessities, and her positives, that would be the light in whatever darkness might cloud the future.

It seemed his dance had spurred others to partake. The crowd grew denser heading towards the ballroom floor while he took steps against the current. Dodging and weaving between the varied costumes he suddenly found his way blocked, very nearly bumping in to the figure before him.

“Pardon me.” He was quick to excuse himself. Eyes beset a familiar face: Rydas was certain that if any present could upset the enlightenment he’d just begun to feel, that this was the man to do it: Feylon. While much of the citadel was distorted, his words still echoed through his mind. On dark nights when sleep wouldn’t come, he heard them often;

”You are not the King this kingdom needs, you are not the son your father deserves and you are not the one capable of carrying out this task, do you remember the task? The quest to bring back the Panacea for your father as he lies there dying in his bed. Or are you resigned to leave him die. You shame your family and the people of Calisma and I spit on your legacy.”

Feylon glanced around the room as the hall began to fill up. Dignitaries and nobles from all corners of the Kingdom seemed to have made their way here. Many of them dressed in fine clothes and escorted by beautiful women. Some of them looked like they cost more money than he had made during his time in the army, and that was just the women. Feylon felt out of place. He was standing there in a world that he did not belong. He hated everything about the nobility. The rich fools who were born into a life of luxury and privilege. It made him sick. They did nothing and reaped all the rewards of those who did. Feylon scoffed. He was tired of repeating the same things to himself over and over. Fueling the hate. Tonight he one goal, to drink.

As people drifted around him he took his first proper look at the room. He noticed Mirabella, the warrior woman standing across the room. Ho noticed many others both old and new. Those he had set on the adventure to the citadel with and those he had no idea of who they were. It was then his attention was brought to a commotion in the middle of the hall. The Princess was shrieking over something and guards began swarming towards her. An assassination attempt? Here in the royal walls? Surely no? As people began reeling away from the scene it became clear to Feylon that it was far less sinister than he imagined. Wine. Wine had been spilled on the Princess's dress. Hardly an event to cause such an overreaction. Although considering it probably cost more than a tanners lifetime earnings maybe she was a little upset.

Feylon looked away from the commotion not seeing who the perpetrator was. Poor bugger was probably going to be thrown into a cell for that. Hardly a fitting punishment for such a meager crime, If a crime is what you could call it. Almost immediately the voices around him drowned out outside noise. An older lady walked passed, scoffing at him as she glided by. Clearly not impressed with his sense of dress. She quickly moved on and Feylon forgot about it. No point expanding energy on that.

As he began to relax again he felt someone bump against his back. Wheeling around to see who the person was he was instantly disappointed. 'Ah Prince, no King now. How fortunate. It is nice for you to finally come out and show the people your face, or well considering how you look maybe not. Last time I saw you you were being dragged up the steps of the castle half dead. Good to see you kept the look. I'm sure it's a winner with ladies.'

It was with those words that the night ended. Rydas felt the muscles in his forearm contract, his hand balling into a fist and a vision of it colliding with Feylon’s face. The anger, self disappointment, frustration, loss and pain was boiling itself into aggression. Instead, he breathed. Head nodded.

“Feylon.” The name was said, though traitor still lingered beneath his breath unconvinced that the man was as trustworthy as his father thought him to be. For all the anger he felt, though, he would not disgrace his father’s memory that night. One day their differences would be settled, but not that night.

He didn’t linger. Rydas ascended the stairs, pausing briefly to make a short speech that didn’t hold all the usual sparkle. Sena had arrive again, looking somber in a simple dress that was untarnished. She placed her hand on her brother’s arm, and rose her opposite one to calm the music.

“Thank you all for attending this evening. My sister has done a wonderful job this night,” he paused, waiting for the applause to end and Sena smile.

“Still, even the decorations can not outshine my gratitude for all of your support here tonight. The coronation is quickly approaching, and I hope to see you all there. Court will be held directly after where matters of state will commence immediately. Your concerns will be addressed, suggestions considered, and stations aptly filled for the new era.

Matters of state aside, please stay and drink and dance until it pleases you.”

The night ended soon after. Rydas slept soundly that night, worn out from emotional exertions. Sena stayed to direction the clean up; any left over food would be donation to the impoverish people and the rest replaced back to where it came from.

The days following were busy. The entire city was in a buzz; banners being hung, streets cleaned, new attire being made. The morning of the coronations was a buzz. Every bed was filled with people pouring in from all over the continent, eager to be witness to history as it was set in motion. For all the excitement in Paetax, the castle was no exception. Already servants darted here and there, greatly under Sena’s direction as they dusted and scrubbed every crack and crevice.

Rydas, though, was an exception. His moves were quiet, precise and calm with each strong strike of his sword as he practiced alone in the training grounds. For reasons unknown, a blade in his hand and physical excretion was the only thing that seemed to calm his quivering nerves. The reality of the day was setting in.

He sighed, his breath visible in the morning air, as he realized the time was nigh; he needed to get ready. Today was the day that he would be crowned Rydas, King of Calisma.