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Geraint Magdohl

"The spirits are everywhere little one, and they talk to us always, you simply need to know when to listen."

0 · 290 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by Relics_of_Auir

Description

Full Name: Geraint Magdohl
Nickname: Ger, G, Jerry, Old Mags
Gender: Male
Age: 72
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Height: 6'1"
Race: Human
Class Shaman

Skills: Open lines of communication with spirits, manipulation of their wills, powers and movements. Affective unarmed combatant, though likely not to the degree of the monk or the Feledine, prefers weapons. Physical strength; knowledge of natural things; Well traveled.
Weakness(es): His bulk makes him slower then smaller foes in combat. Quietly arrogant, he won't beat you over the head with how awesome he is, but he is rather over-confident. Whether truthfully or not, often believes his way is the best, that he knows best. Blunt in conversation.. Little patience for politics, though he understands their importance.

Personal Quote: "The spirits are everywhere little one, and they talk to us always, you simply need to know when to listen."

Description:
Image

Witnessing this man is like witnessing a summation of all that the world has been without King Errion. He is gruff and battle-worn. Weathered, beaten but not broken, still standing, though perhaps less tall then once he might have. He is much like a weathered stone.

Geraint stands at 6'1" his age evident in his features and the white-grey coloring of his mussy, shoulder length hair and large, occasionally twig laden beard. A large man, he is powerfully built by any standard, especially when one considers his extreme age. Scars litter his carved body beneath his clothing, most visible on his arms, as they're the most visible part of his body. He wears a garment that closely resembles a kilt over a plain brown wool tunic and darker brown breaches. Underneath these he wears his, largely nondescript leather armor, which covers most all of his body, save his arms, which are left bear for increased mobility. Battered steel bracers adorn his wrists and forearms, granted additional protection and utility without hindering his movements. He wears calf-length boots softened through wear, and like much of his outfit dirt and mud-stained. Though on him the whole earthy affair looks somehow in place instead of in need of being cleansed. A belt beneath the kilt holds a number of pouches, his knife strapped to his hip, and a leather pack is slung over his back. Over it all he wears a thick cloak, usually thrown back over his shoulders unless the weather would otherwise require. Lastly, his ever visible Caber is often carried over one shoulder.

Personality

Personality: Geraint is old. He tends to take a patronly position with those younger then he, acting as guide or counselor if they let him, and usually throwing out his advice or thoughts whether they want them or not. Often he even throws in nicknames for his fellows in the form of names for animal young, (kit, cub, pup, etc), an unconscious reference to his upbringing. He's tired of game play between peers, and as a result has become very blunt in his dealings with others and in his speech. He speaks plainly, saying what he means, not layering his words in mazes of meaning or intent. A strangely spiritual man, the old Shaman recognizes that everything has a life, a spirit, from the rocks and dirt to the birds flying above, even the very air itself, everything is alive. While he doesn't believe in gods as such, he recognizes them as significantly powerful spirits, not fundamentally different from any other, merely carrying a greater presence then most.

Equipment

Equipment:
- Small pouches of herbs and other plants.
- A 4' by 2' remains of a tree trunk, the roots still visible from one end, which he uses as a weapon (calls it his Caber), the Caber houses many uprooted spirits and is still alive, growing and healing itself should it be needed.
- A knife usually used for utility purposes.
- A number of small totemic objects.
- Well-used leather armor worn beneath his clothing.
- Assorted supplies (Flint, tinder, an old bedroll, etc.).

History

History: Geraint was born in a small village, Caderas, forgotten by time due to being destroyed in one of Calisma's many wars. He was raised as a farmer and sheep-herder, his mother died in childbirth, though Geraint and his twin brother Deckaird survived and grew into strong sons. Together, the boys and their father tilled and planted fields and herded and birthed the sheep. But those days were not peaceful, and more then once the three would be called to war, forced to leave their fields and flocks, or "sell" them at pitifully inadequate prices to the Lords of the Lands for the war effort(s). It was debatable which caused their profession of choice more difficulty, being called to war, or the wandering bandits that ransacked the villages and lands surrounding their home.

Either way however, the climate created hard, strong men and women and the Magdohl's were no exception. Each could fight with blade or bow, though Geraint's brother Deckaird was admittedly the most gifted in combat of the three men. But to their father that was not their calling. The land and their herds were his love, especially with the death of his wife, and it was his will that his son's follow in his footsteps. But neither son shared his wishes or beliefs, and ultimately, it was not to be. Deckaird studied and trained in the ways of blade and blood with a zeal and skill that was matched by none in their small home, gaining prowess, skill, and reputation with each new campaign they were called to or with each raid they repelled. All the while, Geraint himself quietly cultivated his own skills. Since he was young the boy had been able to hear whispers of conversations as if they were just on the edge of his hearing. As he grew, he slowly began understand how to listen to these voices, to understand who and what they were, and eventually... how to talk back. Magic was less controlled back then, and it would be many years before the young Shaman even fully realized what his powers were, or that they weren't the only form of mysticism out there, but nonetheless he did slowly cultivate his abilities and learn to view the world through the eyes of the stone, the lamb, even the sword.

Then, the day finally came when the boys were merely 16, that doom descended upon their small village. Often isolated from initial assaults from Lords opposing their own, Caderas usually needed only withstand the not-so-occasional raiding incursion. But on this particular morning, the full might of an opposing army descended upon their small home. The Magdohl's were spared blades in their sleeping bellies only be nature of their rising early to tend their fields and herds. A trend that, fortuitously, spared many of their neighbors from the long sleep as well. Rising to battle, the small, but battle-hardened group of people rallied and defended their homes valiantly, but briefly, the sheer scope of the onslaught was far too great, and in the they fell. The young and strong were captured, to be made useful later, among them Geraint and Deckaird. The group of captured Caderans was small, less then a dozen. And the brother's presumed the rest, friends, family, neighbors, to be slaughtered.

Three days out from Caderas, another, larger town was ransacked, and the ranks of the captured swelled, more then doubling in number. Apparently high command decided to send them back, to be used as slaves, conscripts? Geraint never knew for certain, and was never given the "opportunity" to find out. A little over week later, they survivors had decided upon an escape plan. Their numbers were nearly two-thirds of their guards, and with numbers that closely matched, the guards only advantage was weaponry, and possibly training. But they'd come up with a plan to circumvent at least one of those, after all, the element of surprise was one of the oldest and most powerful war tools in existence. Again, luck favored the Magdohl's. The very night the escape was planned, the party was beset by yet another opposing faction, significantly tipping the odds in the captured survivor's favor.

In the aftermath it was discovered that the attacking group was actually loyal to the local lord, the very one the survivor's had sworn fealty to, willing or not. Some of the survivors returned to their homes, but a few, the Magdohl brothers included joined up with the military forces that had rescued them. Believing their father slain, neither had any desire to return to their former home. Just 19 by this time, the brothers joined the standing military of the local Lord, and campaigned under his direction for four more years. It's possible that Deckaird served him longer, reveling in the soldier's life as he did, but the last time Geraint saw him was before being laid low during a massive battle. When he awoke, he was chained in a cage with some others, most of whom he didn't know. Within the month, he was forced into slave labor. He worked under the whip and the lash for somewhere in the vicinity of a year before making a jump in his Shamanistic abilities that ended up freeing him from his servitude. Over the last four years, seeing battle more then once a week, and doing drills in between, he'd learned to silence the voices of the world around him, hearing the crying and screaming of the elements around him combined with the already horrific scenery of war had been too much. He'd numbed himself to the spirit world's cries.

But one afternoon, tilling a field for his taskmasters, one not unlike that from his long gone home, there was a tree stump in the way. Needing to move it he set about ripping it from its place that it might make way for the field. The work was slow, it was rooted deeply, and the longer and harder he worked, the more he started to hear this plea, a plea that became louder and wailing in his ears, until eventually he stopped and realized it was the tree itself speaking to him. Geraint had already been taking awhile on this project, so when he stopped, a slave driver started making his way over to him. Geraint was none-the-wiser however. He'd not heard the voices in so long, he'd actually almost forgotten about them, and this startled him. He just stared at the remnants of the tree, the voice growing silent, though as Geraint concentrated, he could feel the Spirit's presence still.

It was then that the slave driver arrived. "Why've you stopped?" Geraint didn't answer. The driver waited only a few seconds more before speaking again, more forcefully. "Get back to work." Geraint didn't move. An annoyed grimace passed over the driver's face and he drew his whip. "I said get back to work!" Geraint turned to look at him, blinking stupidly, somewhat bewildered by this whole turn of events. "Move it!" the slave driver cried before the whip lashed out, slashing across the young slave's shoulder, causing a cry of pained surprise as he stumbled and caught himself against the tall stump. He blinked, his eyes widening, as he literally felt the stump come alive in his hands, the voice roaring in his ears, and almost in a trance, the muscles on his arms bulging with intense effort, Geraint grabbed hold of the stump with both hands, and with a roar, ripped it from the ground and swung it around all in one motion, smashing the slave driver's face in all in one motion. An action that even with his powerful frame the young Shaman, something he could once again claim to be, should not have been able to to. The spirit of the tree stump had aided him in felling his foe. Lightening the load of the tree, even throwing itself forward and aiding in the strike.

Not sticking around long, Geraint fled and escaped slavery that day. Opening himself once again to all the voices few others could hear. He was eventually guided, at the time unknowingly, to an old man with similar talents. Together the two learned from each other and Geraint came to a better understanding of his shamanistic powers, abilities, and to some degree even the responsibilities that his position entailed. He was 24 when he met the older Shaman. he stayed with him for three and a half years, learning things and settling himself internally. Learning to control his power, drown out or enhance the voices of the world's spirits, use their power for his own, grant his strength to them, etc, etc. All that time, and to this day, he kept that tree trunk that saved him from slavery, Geraint gave it energy of his own in youth, that and the host of other spirits that would eventually come to reside within it's frame are what keeps the wood alive even to this day, decades after being chopped apart and ripped from the soil.

At the age of 27 the young Shaman, now much more in control and aware of his abilities, parted ways with the old man, and went in search of his old home, Caderas. He'd studied with the more experienced Shaman in what would be the northern regions of modern Gaeric Forest. Caderas was located roughly south east of Krinnem Pond. (reference Almanac for locations) So he'd had quite a journey to arrive home, and saw many things along the way. Some of which were worth their own stories.

When he arrived home however, he was glad he'd finally had the strength to make the return trip. Part of the reason he had gone with his brother instead of returning home was the simple inability to face the likely loss of his home and father. By the time he'd left to go find Caderas again years later, he'd finally worked up the courage to handle whatever he came across, and it was a startling sight indeed when he arrived. What was once a small village was now only ruins. The burnt and blasted timbers and stones of the buildings weren't recently damaged. Truthfully the lad had no idea how long Caderas had been that way. It could have been the remains from the attack where his father died, or it could have happened less then a year before, there was really no way of knowing. No one still lived there, and nothing seemed to have done so, barring small wildlife, for awhile. Geraint wasn't as torn up about it as he had thought he would be, considering he'd believed his father dead for nearly half a decade anyway, and he doubted Deckaird was in Caderas whenever it fell for the final time. A small consolation but one that he took.

With nowhere specifically to go or thing to do, he set out in search of his brother. Drifting toward places he heard had the most heated combat, as he assumed that's where Deckaird could be found. The Lord they had both served had been felled in years past, so Deckaid was obviously no longer in his service. He spent several years journeying into the thickest frays he could find in search of his brother, but the twin was never found. To this day Geraint hopes and believes his brother his alive somewhere, maybe even raising his own family, but he has no way to be certain one way or the other. It was around this time that Errion began the push that would eventually have him crowned king. Fighting many notable battles and gaining reputation and notoriety. In his search for his brother, Geraint would fight in armies both for and against Errion, thinking at the time that he was merely another War Lord, and thus it didn't really matter.

By the time Errion was named High King however, Geraint, had stopped looking for his brother, indeed had been settled for a year or two, with a wife. But when peace "broke out" people were needed to help ensure it stayed, and to spread it. He volunteered and traveled the length and breadth of Calisma with others on the mission, helping keep or create piece for three years until his contract was up, sending his pay home all the while. When it ended, he returned home to find that his wife had conceived not long after he'd originally left, they had a daughter nearly three years old. She hardly knew her father, but that was rectified over time. The child had been named Gwen after his wife's Grandmother, and Geraint loved her dearly, raising her and glad to have the help of a woman to do so, having lived all his life in war and with men.

Time passed, his wife took ill, reaching her deathbed only two years before his Gwen was married at the age of 19. Geraint stayed around for about a year or so before leaving to wander the world again, helping to pick up pieces of lives along the way, remnants of the old war. It was during this time that he collected many of the spirits now inhabiting his caber. This travel has been most of his life since then. Now, 12 years later, Geraint has been living a hermit's life for the last season or so, his only family, Gwen, now 31 with children of her own is doing well last he checked. Though he's not seen them in a little over a year. Life is, frankly, more peaceful then he's ever known it to be.

He'd traveled to a nearby town he sometimes did business with not long ago. Trading for this or that, when the rumors of High King Errion's illness reached him for the first time. Concerned, he'd looked into things, and made the discovery of the band setting out in search of a cure. He'd never reach the capitol in time for group to form. But, spirits willing, he could find them and aid them once they'd set out.

With any luck, that was them he could see camping off in the distance their, it was the direction the spirits had been guiding him at least. Errion could not die, Geraint. not let his children and grandchildren grow up in a world such as he'd lived through.



Anything Else: Having lived 40 years in a world without the peace of Errion's leadership, harsh and strained though it may be, Geraint has a vested interest in seeing the man restored to health and his thrown. People may say or believe times are harsh now, but most have no idea just how tempered the world has been by the High King. Geraint would see the civility remain longer if it is in his power to do so.

So begins...

Geraint Magdohl's Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint continued grinning over his Caber at the bandit that had attacked him. Moving quickly, before his enemy had the opportunity to withdraw the blade, as it was still stuck in the tree log Geraint was carrying, the Old Man wrenched the caber upward forcefully. Twisting the sword out of the brigand's hand in the process. As soon as the cold steel left the poor man's grasp, the Shaman summoned the power of roughly half the souls residing in the Caber and thrust the living log directly at his his assailant, hurling the heavy caber at the bandit. The outlaw was hit only with a glancing blow however, the weapon only just clipping him on the head and shoulder, as he'd been able to see the attack coming. Even with the aid of the spirits, Geraint still had to adjust his grip on the caber before throwing it, and that had given the bandit enough time to start ducking out of the way. Even so, the object was heavy and caused the bandit to stagger backward, stumbling dazedly, over the brush.

However, before Geraint could press his advantage, he suddenly had the entirety of his wind knocked out of him by a blow to his midsection, causing the hold man himself to stumble back a step or two. This immediately drew his attention to the young, yellow-clad woman before him.

The child hit's like a bear!

Quickly appraising the pup the before him while he straightened, arms coming up to ward off another strike if necessary, and tried to get his breath back, Geraint blinked and shook his head. "I've no quarrel with you little one." His arms remained defensively before him, but he made no move to strike, and tried not to do anything that could be construed as offensive. "I mean to aid you and your crew, not-" His words were cut off by movement of the Bandit he'd not had the chance to finish off. Apparently the determined bastard had freed his blade of the Caber and was now leaping forward to attack one or both Geraint and the young girl.

Instead of finishing his statement, and still only partially having his breath back, the old Shaman spit out harsh words of power, sounding something like an angry snake. In response, as the bandit pulled back his arm for a swing, the blade of his weapon sprang to life. Coiling and rearing back, the steel, much like Geraint's words the instant before, seemed reminiscent of a snake, and struck out at its wielder. Luck seemed to be with this ruffian tonight though, and he dodged the snapping, stabbing strike of his own sword, in no small part because he dropped it, nay, flung it from him in surprise and fear. A cry of shock ringing out from him as he did so. With the brigand's weapon on the ground and slithering toward him, and with his allies falling or fleeing around him, the bandit did what was probably the smartest thing he'd done all day. He ran from the clearing with all the speed his legs could muster, nothing to be gained here was worth dying for.

All of this had happened in the space of a few moments, and now Geraint waited for the response, violent or peaceful, from his would-be assailant in yellow. He'd heard the cry of one of the others, asking for his aid with wounded, but he wasn't terribly in a position to lend aid of any kind at the moment, whether he actually could or not was irrelevant for now. He was also distantly aware of one of the group he'd come to aid calling out some sort of rallying cry, but again his attention was occupied. Add to that, his solar plexus was already starting to ache.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
About to unleash another strike on the paralyzed figure, Nel noticed the white beard attached to the body, and stopped in her tracks. It instantly reminded her of the Elder, the leader of the monastery, and for perhaps a split second, thought it was him she hit. The thought immediately caused her to stand up straight and abandon her fighting position; inspiring both a mix of fear and respect. However, it was easily disregarded as the man didn't have the same shiny bare head, nor the voice as he raised his arms and spoke that he meant no harm.

Now any reasonable warrior, human being, animal wouldn't be as quick to believe him as the monk did. Whether this was Nel's secret weapon or her greatest demise; only time will tell. Just as she put that trust in him, a bandit decided to take the opportunity to attack, and the events that transpired still shocked her. She shifted her weight to her left foot and was about to unleash a kick to the knee when all of a sudden, the old man hissed angrily at him, and the bandits sword came alive. Nel stood in awe, mesmerized by the blade that acted like a metal snake, chasing the owner left running with just the hilt in his grasp.

The eerie silence returned to the camp once more, attackers either slain, unconscious, or fled, the air was tinged with the smell of red. Nel looked at the old man, albeit considerably bulky and muscular, with a grand sense of curiosity. Did he make the sword into a snake? Was he a magician? She could hear the Prince calling for them but still pinned her attention to the man in particular.

"Forgive me, it's...hard to tell who's an enemy and who isn't." Nel admitted, panting with beads of sweat rolling off her crown, looking at the floor in shame, bending down to grip her quarterstaff once more and looked up to the eyes of the old man once again. "My name is Nel. Excuse me, but I must go." The monk said hastily, turning around to the group, and walking to the small crowd that was gathering.

Nel made the mental note to arrange the bodies after.

The yellow monk scanned the members for injuries, immediately turning to Acacia and Mirabella, running up towards them with worry. Nel nearly screamed at the copius amount of blood upon both their faces. "Are you two alright? Are you hurt? Where does it hurt? There's so much blood, wait here, I'll be right back! The bombardment of questions led Nel to forget about the cut on her right bicep, staining her yellow cloth as she ran back to her pack, grabbed a couple roll of bandages, and ran back to to the two. Instantly, Nel tried to promptly wrap Mira's face with the roll, as the warrior seemed to be the most urgent and bloodied.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella’s face and armor were covered with blood, mostly arterial spray from her two kills but also from having it on her hands from checking the bodies or helping her allies and then smearing it over her face or into her hair as she pushed her locks from her face. She must’ve looked a mess but thankfully, she wasn’t hurt. The rest of the gang had taken out a majority of the bandits before she had even drawn her blade.

But Nari… Nari was injured and as soon as the auburn-tressed ranger told her how she could help she had freed her hands and began to unclasp the leather straps upon the back of the ranger’s armor. It was almost silly to see how many straps and latches a piece of armor could have… Or perhaps it only felt like there were too many closures due to her impatience to get the arrow out of Nari’s abdomen so that she could be healed. Mira didn’t care who healed the ranger which is why she had issued the call for aid to each person still left standing that looked capable of such things. It surprised her that an older gentleman whom she didn’t know was the one to heed her call.

“Who are you and what are you doing in this camp?” Her tone wasn’t unfriendly but she had never seen Geraint before so she wasn’t about to accept him so easily either. The warrior woman had not been near when Nari had called for the shaman’s assistance so she was wary about his sudden approach.

The ranger’s armor was now unbuckled and with Nari’s help, Mira managed to lift it out a bit from the ranger’s skin so it couldn’t snag on the broken shaft of the arrow before pulling it up over her head and laying it beside them. “Pulling the arrow out could cause more damage.” She spoke, knowing that the others would be aware of this fact as well but she wanted to issue her warning anyway. Her slender fingers wrapped around the wooden shaft of the arrow and her eyes met Nari’s for a brief moment to ascertain if she was ready for the next step. It would hurt like hell.

Even without an answer, Mira pulled hard at the arrow, dislodging it from Nari’s midsection and tossing the arrow to the ground as she substituted her hand over the wound to staunch the bleeding.

“Now would be a good time to heal her, if you can.” Her eyes flickered up to the Shaman and she hoped that she hadn’t relied on the wrong person.

Her name was called out by Xan and her gaze flickered his way even as her palm remained pressed against Nari’s wound. “Busy here, Xan.” She called back but noticed that he hadn’t even paused in his travels. The thief had gone straight for the fire instead. So the Triansui allowed her eyes to flicker back to the trees where Xan had exited, keeping watch for this man she knew. If it was anyone, it could only be the Paladin from Paetax.

“Ian, is that you?” If the Shaman couldn’t heal Nari and if the visitor was indeed Ian then she wouldn’t be so worried anymore. Travian Zarel was one of the best healers in the city, if not the country, and she would know.

He saved her from Death’s clutches once already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Travian

The younger man sighed and told Travian to follow him. He gathered all of his things and began walking off into the woods. It was then that Travian realized the man was wearing nothing but his underwear and began to really feel awful about disturbing him; he for one wouldn’t want to run into some stranger practically naked.

“I guess he really is part of the group,” he thought to himself as he retrieved his horse’s lead and began following the younger man.

It didn’t take long for a fire to come into view and once the trees dispersed the man ran, still wearing next to nothing, towards the fire without paying any heed to those around him. Definitely not the modest type. He called out to Mirabella as he ran and Travian followed his line of sight to where she and some others were gathered.

She responded without looking up, “Busy here, Xan.” So his name was Xan. Travian resolved to formally apologize to him later. Mira then looked up from whatever she was doing, he couldn’t quite tell from his angle and called out to him when their eyes met. “Ian is that you?”

“What? You didn’t think someone like me would miss out on a quest for the king did you?”


He looked around the camp as he approached Mirabella. He’d definitely been correct when he wondered if Xan had gotten into some trouble, there was a pile of bodies at the edge of camp and everyone in sight had at least a little bit of blood on them. He didn’t see the prince anywhere, but Travian just figured that he was relaxing somewhere private for a moment.

Now that he was closer to Mira’s group he could see that they were all around an injured woman. By the looks of it Mira had just pulled out an arrow and was using her hand to stop the blood. A panic seized hold of him. Most of his life had been devoted to the practice of creating wounds, not healing them. Suffice to say it was the most difficult skill for him to learn in order to become a paladin. It wasn’t really so much that the techniques themselves were difficult as it was the pressure of literally holding someone’s life in your hands. It always flustered him and when there are so many things to keep track of, being flustered is not ideal. Even though he had a much better reign of it now, the panic he felt looking at the wounded woman was little different than it had been with his first patient; a certain warrior-woman who’s constant teasing had only made things worse for the poor rookie.

And so as the now-familiar sensation set in, he dropped his horse’s reins and rushed towards the woman. As he did so he quickly unbuckled his shield and set it on the ground, following suit with the pack underneath the shield. He fished out his first-aid kit, pulled off his glove and gauntlet and rolled up his sleeves.

“Let go, Mira. If we let it bleed for a minute it should flush out some of the nasty stuff that might be in there.”


He carefully watched the blood flow; it was coming out at a decent rate so he couldn’t let it go freely like this for too long. Once he’d let as much flow out as he felt he could allow he took some thick gauze from his kit and pressed it up against the wound. Whenever the blood started to soak through he put down more gauze and pressed a little harder. Once it finally seemed to have stopped he removed the gauze. He then got out a vial of salt water.

“This may sting a bit.” He paused for a moment before proceeding to thoroughly douse the wound. As he gently rubbed his hand over the wound he prayed; he’d never been able to miraculously seal a wound like he’d seen some clerics do, but with any luck his prayers would at least make it heal faster. He then placed some herbs on the wound and bandaged it. He heaved a sigh of relief and backed away a little bit. He realized that his heart was pounding and his hands shook as he tried to put away his supplies. It was only while doing so that he really noticed the old man next to Mira. The way he was looking at the patient made Travian guess that the man was some form of healer himself. The realization sunk in that Travian had just rushed in and got to work without really assessing the situation; had he essentially just butted this guy out of the way? He blushed slightly and looked away from those around him. When he did, he saw that his horse was using its new-found freedom to inspect someone’s tent. On the one hand it gave him an out on the other “OH SHIT! PLEASE DON’T BE THE PRINCE’S TENT! THIS IS NOT HOW I WANTED TO INTRODUCE MYSELF!”

“Oh- uh, I guess I better take care of my horse.”

…About the time he finished brushing down the odious creature, the prince emerged from a tent which thankfully was not the same one the horse had been poking at earlier. Travian walked over to the campfire and sat down like the others but a little bit away from anyone else. The prince explained the details of the quest and then asked if anyone had questions. Travian was loathe to interrupt everyone’s train of thought by introducing himself now, but fortunately he had no questions so introducing himself wasn’t necessary just then. He was totally devoted to the royal family so in his eyes the details weren’t too important, he would stick by his prince no matter what. He contented himself with listening to everyone else’s questions and getting a feel for them all- trying to pick up names when he could. Once they were done he would formally introduce himself to the prince and his followers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Mira helped her get the armor off. It was an incredible relief to have the weight lifted off her shoulders, and even more so to not have it pressing down on the arrow shaft. Nari clenched her teeth as Mira wrapped her fingers around the arrow, as their eyes met Nari nodded and grabbed her shoulder. She yanked out the arrow and a scream of pain escaped her lips, Nari hurling her fist into the ground. The moments that followed were spent on trying to calm her breathing. Another jolt of pain presented itself though, when Mira pressed her hand against the wound. "I thought we were becoming friends!" She managed to say, smiling at the warrior-woman. Mira invited the Shaman to heal the wound, but before he could answer another man came to. Apparently Mira knew him, or so Nari thought.

Biting her tongue to not say anything, Nari let the man treat her. He let the blood flow in order to have it as clean as possible before he cleansed it himself. When he told it might sting a bit, Nari shook her head in annoyance and looked down at the wound. She lifted up in the cloth a little more, revealing more of her skin. Thankfully the only wound she'd sustained was where the arrow had gone in. When he poured the salt water on the wound, Nari groaned and her grip on Mira's shoulder tightened. He proceeded to clean the wound and wrapping a bandage around it, herbs underneath to help it heal. The sweat started appearing on her skin, but fortunately the worst was over now. Nari looked up at Mira and nodded, a brief smile appearing on her face. "Thank you, stranger." She added to the man who had treated her, but noticed his distraction by the horse. Nari couldn't help laughing, but was abruptly stopped when she felt the pain in her stomach. If this doens't heal fast enough, it's going to make riding a lot more painful. She thought bitterly, closing her eyes for a moment.

Nari stayed where she was for a short while, until she heard the Prince call out to them. He wanted them assembled around the fire and said there was much to discuss. With a sigh and an annoyed look at the Prince, Nari struggled to get up and grabbed her armor. She was helped to the fire, and put her armor on the ground close to the fire, resting her head on it and wrapping her cloak around her. She closed her eyes as she listened, beginning to feel tired. Nari enjoyed the fact that the Prince didn't have trouble in talking about the Sortelige Wars. He just spoke of them. Nari was from the south herself, and she had always hated it when people didn't dare talk about the Wars.
"Be honest, Prince." Nari spoke in a quiet moment, before he had chances to answer the other questions that had been asked. Her eyes were still closed, the flames dancing over the skin on her face. "What are the chances of survival?" For now, she was tired of not knowing enough. She knew what they were after and now knew where they were going, but Nari had a feeling that the Prince told them less than he knew. Even if he told them that their chances were minimal, Nari would still go.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even if I never agreed to it

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn 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 had finished her breakfast just as some of the others were beginning to trot off on their mounts and the argument that had ebbed and flowed behind her appeared to be resolved. Nel was surrounded by a few caring people who had not abandoned her to the task and the Triansui wasn’t surprised to see Bard girl by her side but she was intrigued that Ian, Van and Geraint had stuck around.

Nari spoke to her and though she agreed with every bit of it, she also had a soft spot for the monk but the small band that was burying the bodies already had a handful of capable fighters so it was with great reluctance that Mira decided to ride on after the Prince as well.

Still, she couldn’t leave the monk without saying something and she crossed the clearing and pulled the girl close, wrapping her in a quick bear hug before releasing her. “No act of kindness, no matter how small and no matter whom it is directed towards, is ever wasted. Do not let anyone ever let you believe differently.” With a smile and a nod directed to each of the others that would stay behind, Mira went for Blaze and mounted easily, clicking her tongue until the mare was set to a canter so that they could catch up to the others.

When she reached the group, she slowed her pace, settling her trail beside Nari’s where they would converse throughout the rest of the ride. Many subjects were broached but none delved too deeply into their pasts. Their friendship still, perhaps, too new for such things. Every once in awhile, the group fell into a comfortable silence, simply enjoying the sounds of nature that surrounded them.

It was during these lapses that Mira could not help but turn around to look behind her to see if the others had caught up to them yet. Hopefully, they would not be more than an hour or so behind the main body of travelers. Who knew what they would run into on the trail to the ruins since they had already had one battle less than a day after setting out from Paetax?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Everyone seemed to be all brisk business once the bodies had been "properly" disposed of, well, with the possible exception of the bearded mage, but it was entirely possible, even likely, that the younger man had expended a great deal of energy opening and closing a hole in the earth that size. As such his relative lethargy was excusable at worst. Still, Geraint waited, for everyone to get up and ready to go and then followed, acting as vanguard for the group on their trek to catch up with the rest of their fellows.

The old man didn't have a horse, and a combination of pride and newness to the group precluded his asking to ride along with someone. He hadn't exactly been much help with the body disposal, and wouldn't he look the old crotchety fool to stay behind, do nothing, and then have to beg a ride to catch up with the others? Fortunately, and Geraint had kept this thought well in hand before making the decision to stay, he had a "Shamany way" to handle the problem. While he'd waited for the others to gather themselves together, the little bear cub, her riding companion, and the others, the aged watched had reached into one of a number of pouches kept beneath his kilt, pulling from the soft leather confines two small tokens. One was a crudely carved depiction of a spotted cat, though it's eyes seemed almost to move of their own accord if you looked at it out of the corner of your eye; the other was a much more detailed little elephant, ridges, wrinkles, trunk and all, intricately worked with obvious care and skill.

Plucking a long fallen leaf from the ground, the old Shaman crushed the brown brittle thing in the hand not carrying the tokens. He kneaded his fingers a moment or two, before opening his palm and blowing the leaf's fragments over the two animal tokens, muttering something in a gravely voice as he did so, and squeezing everything tightly in his fist for a moment or two. Then without further ceremony, he popped them both into his mouth, completely ignoring the fact that they were made of wood and sparsely covered in plant matter, and pressed them beneath his tongue. There was a tingling sensation as they seemed to meld their forms with his own "dissolving" in the old man's mouth, and then all was ready. Including his compatriots.

When they began to move, Geraint took up his caber and stayed to the rear, moving in only a light jog and yet matching pace with the horses. The dual tokens he'd used served, as one might expect, two purposes, one was to allow him to move at greater than normal speeds, the other was to give him the endurance to continue for the whole day if necessary. Like much of his mysticism they could be used differently depending on the situation. For example he could have used the speed token to grant him speeds faster than most mortal beasts, but the charm would have lasted only a few moments, a minute or two on the outside, whereas this lesser modification would last him the day. Either way, the spirit within would be spent for the rest of the day, until it had had time to recuperate.

Almost surprisingly, making Geraint realize he was getting pessimistic in his old age, his group seemed to catch up with the rest of their party with little incident, and indeed the remainder of the day past in a similar fashion. Till finally the time came for camp to be made, fires to be readied and tents to be pitched. One of the knights calling out duties shortly after everyone had grouped up in their chosen place for the night's rest.

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

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.

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Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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The camp was set up quickly enough, and when the time came Geraint was surprised to learn that the Prince himself was cooking their meal. It was surprising but good for him. The more self sufficient and capable the Prince was, the better off everyone would be, both here and now with this group, as well as the kingdom at large when the young Prince's time to rule came... whether that was sooner or later. Interestingly enough, none of the others seemed surprised by this turn of culinary events, and the Old man assumed that everyone was either tired, unaware of the interest that Rydus's actions brought to the common man, or perhaps he'd done this before. It was possible, Geraint hadn't caught up with them until well after they'd all been together anyway.

In what seemed only moments after the food was finished however, the Prince excused himself to rest, presumably for the remainder of the evening. The Old Shaman frowned through his beard, eyes narrowing thoughtfully as he watched the obviously tired noble shuffle off to sleep. He hadn't eaten a thing, and while sleep was all when and good for reinvigorating oneself, the body needed fuel to stoke its fires. Indeed he'd considered following the prince in and handing him the plate of food that was passed Geraint's way, but a quick ethereal glance into the tent and Geraint's allies told him that the Prince was already gone the world of dreams.

That minor shamanistic act itself brought a brief shiver to his old bones however, and involuntarily his eyes were cast in the direction of the ruins. Like an unseemly growth it stood upon the lakes edge, visible even in the night, camped on the edge of the wood as they were. It's black twisted stone fingers stretching into the dim evening light, and marring the otherwise picturesque view of the lake, fed by the mountain waterfall. It might not even have been so bad if t'werent for the easily, for him, felt pall of unsettling energy emanating from the ruins. There was a cold, evil chill on the air, but that was to be expected and Geraint didn't let it bother him. Especially since everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves. Why he even managed a grin when Akdov began regailing them with the old story he remembered so well.

***

Eventually everyone had retired. As usual Geraint set his spirits at watch for the evening, while he rolled out his bedroll and slept beneath a tree, the Caber planted next to him within easy reach. When the shadow of the Prince left the camp during the night, all whispers and silent footsteps, the Shaman's friends from the other side fussed at him to awaken, but whether because he was unusually tired, or because they didn't raise the alarm so much as they raised a worried query, the Old Man waved them away, still mostly asleep, and so the Prince departed without the Shaman's knowledge or interference.

The next thing he knew, he was awoken by a shouting call of his name from Akdov the next morning. The shout had Geraint's eyes snapping wide open immediately, and he looked around the camp at the frenzied activity with familiar eyes. He'd always been a morning person, so rising, especially with the mild adrenaline rush this particular awakening gave him, was not an issue. Using the Caber to aid him in getting to his feet he looked around, and with everything going on it wasn't hard to discern that the prince was missing. Which more then a few of his allies nagged at him about in an "I tried to tell you so kind of way." He merely scowled internally and snorted at them, angry with himself and taking it out on the spirits the beset him.

Quickly gathering his bedroll and stuffing it in his pack, the Shaman stalked off after the rangers, most of whom were heading away from camp at least a bit, toward the ruins. Akdov and one of the Knights, Lance was it? Seemed to be discussing tactics, but bottom line they both wanted him doing basically the same thing, guard the flank and smash things if they came along. Considering his mood, that sounded just fine. Turning a head over his shoulder he called back to the group at large. "I'll keep an eye out on those ahead, catch up quickly if you would. The prince his more important than a few horses and tents! Then he turned back to the matter at hand and went to catch up with the others. Two of the group, a cloaked young man Geraint was as yet unaquainted with, and the bear-cub, were particulary far ahead, practically at the gates to the ruins, with the ranger that had recognized him the first night and another not far behind. Wait for the others comrades! There's no telling what's inside! Came the deep, gruff call from behind them.

This could not end badly. Saving an aging King's life was all well and good, and was, truth be told, exactly what Geraint had come to do. But whether this quest was successful or not, Errion was getting old. He wouldn't live forever, maybe another decade or two, but that was likely all. He needed an heir to take his throne, he needed a Prince. Calisma needed Rydus to live. True, Geraint had no idea how well, or exactly how Rydus would lead when his time came, but the Old Shaman, father and grandfather had to believe, for his family's sake, that it would be a good rule, because realistically, there were no good alternatives.

The Prince must not fall. The Prince will not fall, not while I still draw breath... and if this is just you being irresponsible Rydus, I'm shoving the next meal down your throat as a lesson, spoon and all.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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Geraint stood there in exasperated silence for a solid minute or so. He'd just been both passed and ignored by both the little fire-cracker monk and the ranger that had called out to them; Narenia and Nelinia he believed were their names.... passed... in the opposite direction. Due to some forethought and attentive listening he'd picked up that Xan, the rogue, was ahead in the ruins, checking for traps. A useful notion, and valuable use of his time, assuming he could handle or avoid whatever was in there, trap or foe, until the rest of the group arrived.

When the two young women had passed him without a word or a glance at, Geraint at first opened his mouth to say something, and instead just left it hanging that way as they passed him. Thus his sixty seconds of exasperation began, occasionally turning his gaze toward the ruins or toward the camp. For the first time in a very long time, Geraint felt old, like a fixture to be chatted over on occasion, but not to be used or otherwise given purpose.

Finally however, he simply heaved a mighty sigh, and trudged off toward the ruins, the others would catch up with him swiftly enough, and there was no reason the Shaman should make the trek across the plains twice, especially since he had all of his gear already, meager as it was. Besides which, by the time everyone else caught up, they'd have figured out how to tie their collective laces. Or... they wouldn't, in which case they would all speed into the ruins without coordinated thought, plan or action. But as the veteran former soldier was well aware, the greatest weapons, the most durable tools, were most often formed in the hottest of fires. He'd driven into more then one den of evil with comrades untested, or untrusted, and made some of his fastest allies and friends in the process, still, that wasn't exactly the ideal way to handle any given situation, especially one in which the Prince's life hung in the balance.

Either way however, Geraint planned to go into those ruins, even if he had to do it himself.

Nearing the entrance that the rogue had presumably used, since that's where Geraint had seen the little Monk speed back from, the old traveler took up vigil by the entrance and awaited everyone's convergence. While he did, he pulled up a little listening charm he'd fashioned in his younger days. Within a minute or so, there was a noticeably stronger air current flowing from him back to camp. Anyone or anything that passed through that current would be able to hear something happening anywhere from one end to the other. When the magic had taken hold, it was like the Shaman was standing in the camp itself, the first thing thing he heard was a woman's voice, the soldier woman he thought. "... ble bodied warriors."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

O shit what was her name?

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

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

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

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

Or you for that matter

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

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

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

The prince did went missing at night did he not?

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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


Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.



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

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


Tap… tap… tap…. Crunch.



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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Magic. Never gets old does it?

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

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

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

I hate vomit.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Time. "I need time!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

The vanquishing of evil did not equal the creation of good

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

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

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

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

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





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

Vengeance...

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

Metal plates?

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Celedia
Once more the chaos of battle took over the small group and with the lack of leadership weighing heavily upon them, everyone seemed to disperse. One moment she was on her way to the corner to guard those that needed it but then on her way over, the small monk yanked her down to the ground with a strength and a quickness that she did not believe the young girl capable of possessing. It was just as her back hit the stone flooring that she felt the faint whoosh of air as something passed over top of them and though she didn’t say it, she was thankful for Nelinia’s quick thinking.

The displacer beast was a bastard to fight, that much was sure and as soon as she was standing on her own two feet once more she tried desperately to slice her blade into the creature’s flesh. Yet, how can a warrior without a hint of magical know-how attack a beast that is shielded by illusion? The image of the creature seemed to always been a few feet away from the actual body and though a couple of lucky strikes hit something she didn’t feel comfortable battling a hidden foe while there were so many of her comrades in close proximity. Nel was attached to one of the beast’s many legs and Travian and Lance would both zero in, slashing at the creature before retreating to assess the situation once more.

The mist and cacophony of sound that the mage summoned seemed to hinder the creature’s attempts but it also affected their side equally. Those with keen hearing stood about clutching their sensitive ears and it was only then that Mirabella noticed that the mist that Van had summoned would part in a way that didn’t make sense. The displacer beast would pounce towards someone but the mist would part three feet to the side of the illusion and it was then that she found her answer. Attack wherever the mist was cleared from movement and not the actual visualization of the creature itself.

Using this logic, she struck the beast with great force three times and annoyed it so considerably that it leaped in her direction, causing her to just barely evade its massive form but the dirlagraun’s paw still caught her shoulder which knocked her off balance and sent her tumbling to the ground.

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

”Oh, right Ian because I was simply waiting for you to give me the go ahead, I’ve been practicing my footwork for the next masquerade ball. What was I thinking?”

Though her comments were sarcastic, they were also good-natured. The Paladin and Triansui had a history of ribbing each other and even in a situation as dire as the one they were in now, she couldn’t let the opportunity pass to respond. Yet, both Geraint and Ian were right. With the illusion of the displacer beast nullified, now was the time to go on the attack and she pushed herself up, steadying herself briefly while she swapped out her shield for her hand axe. The beast was massive so there would be no shield pummeling it into submission so she may as well use her free hand for something useful, like an extra blade.

Now wielding her short sword in her right hand and her axe in her left, the Triansui sprinted forward while the dirlagraun’s attention was focused on Ian. Using a stabbing motion, she buried her sword into the creature’s side to keep it steady then swung her axe at one of the tentacles. Her axe had remained unused since it’s sharpening in Paetax so it cut cleanly through the appendage, causing it to fall off of the beast while the dirlagraun let out a vicious sound that was somewhere between a squeal of pain and a roar of anger.

The blond warrior grinned but the victory was momentary as the beast wheeled around, its attention now focused solely on her and as she jerked her arm to withdraw her blade from its musculature the dirlagraun vaulted towards the Triansui with renewed ferocity despite its many wounds.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Who has he? Who am I?

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

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

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

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

We have to thread carefully now

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

... and she shall appear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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It was like a fog was slowly lifting from Geraint's mind. He looked about, chaos was everywhere, demonic figures, Vrock he believed they were called, flew about causing havoc, his companions and those freed from their bindings at the table engaged them, the succubus stood tall and proud, as yet unmolested, two Vrock lay dead in varying degrees of wholeness at Geraint's feat, he himself covered to the arms in their offal. Yet he had barely any memory of the events leading up to this moment. Despite the danger of the situation, he couldn't help but try to recall through the haze...

He'd thrown his caber, and for whatever reason hadn't anticipated the addled Prince leaping into the massive projectile's path to save the woman near him, Geraint's target. Certainly pull her aside perhaps, have the caber be stopped by some sort of magical barrier, but being deflected by clipping Rydus's skull? For some reason that particular possibility had not occurred to the old Shaman. Events had unfolded quickly after that. Words were spoken, some kind, some harsh, all belonging to the Prince were confused, for any fool with an inclining of understanding either of the man before them or magic could see that he was bewitched. The scantily clad young woman behind him the presumed source. Blows were traded, the Prince's sword arm restrained, finally a shout, and they all discovered that the woman was neither so young, nor, so much a woman. A demon, and based on the number of lesser demons she summoned moments later after her small villainous speech, a powerful one at that. Not the necromancer in some form of unlife then, Geraint remembered thinking rather dimly.

Chaos had broken out then, with the arrival of the small army of flying demons, everyone scattered to battle them in their own, way, for himself, the shaggy old Shaman was still too enraged to act rationally, and he'd hurled the closest object he could find, a golden, jewel-be-studded goblet from the overturned table, at one of the Vrock. It sailed true, bouncing off it's head, causing the thing to squawk in outraged surprise before diving toward its assailant. It had fallen, and then another, and all the while battle raged around the Old Beard, while he, oblivious, vented his rage and anguish upon the denizens of hell whom strayed too near. Until finally his senses began to return to him.

... So much had happened in so short a time, years of experience had finally won out over his surprising bout of passion. One did not make it to Geraint's age living in a war-torn land if you couldn't keep a level head in battle, and similar to muscle memory, the Shaman's rationality had finally taken hold and taken over for him, so that for seemingly the first time since he'd watched Akdov fall, he was thinking clearly, seeing the world without a blood haze clouding the way. Quickly his eyes scanned the room, many were wounded, allies fared with varying degrees of wellness, but still there were more Vrock. His rage was tempered by his mind, but it still boiled, and it was time to bring that to his advantage. Passion was fuel for people of his profession and those similar, and Geraint had a bonfire stoked to levels he'd rarely had prepared. With stomp and whisper of thought and will, his caber began rolling toward him of it's own accord, roots, moving and undulating to give it movement. While it traveled the Shaman took a deep breath, calling on his power as he did so, and shouted out a loud, leonine challenge to the hordes of hell that had assaulted the room. The shout would attract attention by itself, but it had been infused with a pull, a challenge, making the Shaman seem a threat that had to be dealt with.

A Vrock charged the Old Man, just as his caber reached him, and in one motion Geraint planted his feet, stooped to retrieve the great log of a weapon, and turned his rising motion into a sort of tree-stump powered uppercut, a long swing that caught the Vrock just below the beak, cartwheeling the spindly creature midair, to land face first again on the stone floor. It was then made to kiss the floor by the insistent prodding of Geraint's heavy, stomping boot. Another Vrock flew in to engage the caber-laden Shaman, and the fact that it had flown in caused Geraint to notice something. His challenge had worked, three Vrock flew just above him, hands joined and dancing through some sort of macabre serious of motions, how long they'd been there he didn't know. But this realization came too late he soon discovered. For the very moment after he deflected the oncoming blow from the charging Vrock, his caber knocking the lunging taloned strike to the side, the three above him let out a triumphant shout. Lightning laced their bodies and flew to strike Geraint with a force that immediately sent him to his knees, shouting in pain. The electricity boiled his blood, tightened his muscles, and lashed his already injured frame with unholy power. The Vrock before him shouted in similar triumph, and flew to join its brethren, linking hands and adding more current to the assault on the convulsing form several feet below.

Through the nearly blinding agony, Geraint was able to place a hand on his caber, it had been dropped when he'd fallen to his knees. It had after all, been victory not to land on his face. In the caber, at his command, lived over a hundred spirits, a number of them related to weather phenomena in some form or another, gritting his teeth through pain that would have brought tears if the heat didn't evaporate them before they could ever truly form, he called upon every one of them now. The pain dimmed to about half, which was still considerable, as wind began to sweep around him, the lightning still pouring from the hellspawn flying above, racing in ball around him, but the arcs and currents still found him, still kept him on his hands and knees. After a few moments, Geraint had what he needed, his spirits had wrested control of the power, had amplified it. With a pained shout of "Now!", that came out as little more than a grunt too quiet and too unintelligible for any but beings mentally linked to him, such as his spirits thankfully were, to understand. The churning ball of lightning around him raced upward, back along the bath of evil energy being flung by the flock of Vrock, as their eyes widened and they sqawked in confusion, try to bolt away, the four demons were consumed by their own lightning, sounds of screeches were heard, and the four creatures fell lifelessly to the ground, one of them landing on the Shaman, causing him to grunt in pain, both at the impact, and the abrasion of his burned skin. The smell of charred meat would flow heavily from his "corner" of the battlefield soon.

Reinforcing his "adrenaline" spell, Geraint was able to force himself to just his knees, hands resting on his caber for support, to look around. Progress had been made, more companions were down, but even more Vrock littered the floor. What caught his attention most though, perhaps because of her proximity, was the little Bear Cub racing across the table at break neck pace, straight for the Succubus.

He had to get up, he had to help. But it was going to be a moment. Silently, he sent a few spirits Nel's way as he heard her shout "Stop this at once!". They'd protect her a little, through a combination of invigoration and anticipation, helping her to see the reactions of her enemy a little sooner, move a little faster. It wasn't much, but it would have to be enough, because at the moment Geraint didn't even have the strength to stand completely to his feet.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

They dont make adventurers as they used to

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

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

Nothing

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

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

Gotta do something for the monk to succeed

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: 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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl
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#, as written by Deallo
Then...

"I've seen children put up better fights." Nel muttered under her breath, meant for no-one but herself, a great deal of annoyance from Feylon suppressed. Children brought up like her to know nothing but combat. As she turned to the prince, expecting his wounds to be magically put together, she was treated to a different sight.

The prince was supposed to live. Those blood-curdling shrieks of pain and the wounds that suddenly appeared on his body were beyond the monk's comprehension as she watched, horrified, slowly backing herself to a wall. She was killing him. Killing him. Through what cruel twist of fate, Nel looked at her hands, blood from the demons she killed and maimed and her own mingled together in a crimson red and black. It may not have been the prince's blood but it might as well have been. Covering up her face with her palms, she smeared the fresh blood across her eyes, and wanted to oh so badly curse Panacea. Yet she had no words to shout, to articulate, to speak. Lies from the beginning! Her efforts in saving the prince was now dealing his own death, she could see images of the mutilated prince flash in her mind, and can still hear him sing a torturer's song that grated against her ears like a banshee's scream.

Only after he stopped his song of pain did Nel peak from the corner of her bloody tear filled eye to the clean corpse. Just a sliver of doubt probed her head; telling her that he was alive. The monk had no words to respond with to any criticisms or reassurances for her. As mute as a man with his tongue cut off, the opposite state of the paladin, roused by the recent actions to speak, and speak, and speak. Yet Nel could hold no malice against the paladin; noticing the fact the he most likely failed to address her but failing to care otherwise.

He set off with Xan's body and as much as Nel had his dislike of the priest, she can trust him to take care of his body, maybe set it to pyre. It's what Xan would have wanted, she thought.

The entire trip back to Paetax was accompanied by the prince's obvious pain and the mute monk left with a sickening feeling. Sleep was nigh impossible with the visions of demons, the menacing succubus, and the mutilated prince haunting her dreams. Safe within her meditation, it did nothing to quell her growing weariness. By the time the group sans the paladin reached Paetax, they were each paid handsomely, the prince was healthier and Nel finally spoke.

"Thank you." She made sure to tell Rydas, avoiding to look him in the eye before turning to everyone else.

"It was-" Nel paused, closing her eyes to remember the word before opening them again. "-an honor to meet you all."

Managing to finally press her lips into a smile, it quickly disappeared, and her tired visage quickly came back. Her sight centered themselves on each individual. Mirabella, the warrior who felt like the closest thing to a relative, Acacia, the bard who told her of such tales of woe and happiness of the world she never knew, Travian, the paladin who protected the weak in the fight against the succubus, G, the old man who was passionate of heart and spirit. Yes, even the images of their fallen flashed through her eyes: Xan, the man who had saved her from being eaten alive, and yes, even Akdov. For some strange reason, she thought of the first day setting off from Paetax, and that oddly staff with the absurd shape of a hand with a "thumbs up" sign. "Well it is very good to draw smiles and laughs so I guess you could say it is a weapon against boredom and dull moods..." Nel managed to give a small, abrupt chuckle.

"I'm going to go home." She said and decided. If anyone wished to join her, it'd be impossible. The monastery had no care for strangers.


Corrupt.

The Elder was a short battle-hardened man, a relic from the days of war in Calisma, wrinkles a testament to his wisdom, lithe oddly muscled body a testament to his power. As he watched over the training over his assistants, the chatter of other yellow clad monks of all shapes and sizes went through the walls and grew louder when the double doors swung open to the Elder's private training room. He was familiar with the face before him, unnerved by the splotches of dry blood that surrounded Nel's cloth, while all the other monks behind her looked with a mix of wonder and horror at the scene that was going to play out in front of them.

"Elder, please tell everyone that I'm to stay." Nel said, exasperated by the countess questions by her former companions. With the edge of his sharp eyes, she looked at her with a cold almost steel look and voice.

"You've left the monastery, Nel. We can not allow you to come back."

Nel's lips parted, her eyes widened and pupils dilated in a mix of shock and surprise.

"But you sent me out-"

With naught but a swift movement, he turned towards her, brows knitted together furiously.

"Don't you lie!" He boomed, the Elder's voice slapping her across the face and wrenched her heart. While every monk behind Nel bowed, the proper custom when the Elder faced a student, Nel only noticed a few seconds after and bowed.

"A wolf in sheep's clothing, you left the purity of the monastery and became corrupted of your own fault. Get up and leave. If you come back, you will find no friends in these walls. GO!"

Tears welled up in Nel's eyes against the harsh words but her teeth clenched against each other and her hands balled up in tight fists. Some of the monk's noticed and gasped from their kneeling position. That by itself was an act of treason. The Elder motioned everyone to stand up and they did. For just a split second, Nel thought she may have been mistaken, but she pushed that aside. Nel turned from the leader and the fellow monks she now faced parted a way out. With tears streaking down her face, she faced forward and refused to break down into a weeping mess. She was right and nothing could have taken that away from her.

The monks and villagers of Kiron looked at her like a sick leper. Out of the outskirts of her home and now in the Shallen Woods; there only one more place she can call familiar.

A week after the quest of Panacea, Nel found herself back in the Black Vagabond, the pack that was given to her for carrying the gold in question stuck to her back created a spot of sickly sweat between her shoulder blades. Vinny, the bartender and former owner of the Black Vagabond, recognized her. How hard was it to forgot about the motley meeting the prince himself hosted alongside a woman who wore bright yellow? With the gold she had layed on the counter, a sack, he thought she was going to buy the Black Vagabond and brung her the deed to the bar.

Although she needed to do a little bit of explaining on what was going on, an exchange (without any sorts of haggling) was made, ripped-off she was but it mattered not. All that gold did was weigh heavy on her back and annoy her, at least now she had some home, food, and drink. Vinny was still the bartender, the old crow he was, he wasn't ready to just up and leave, and Nel did at least respect him for that. Still, he was kind enough to help her adjust to life in Paetax, she was after all his boss, whether she realized that or not. She figured out how to buy things and check the quality of clothes, though haggling was still far beyond her comprehension.

She still trained, whether it be on the roof of the Black Vagabond or on the farmlands around Paetax. Her sleepless nights were spent inside the bar, sometimes telling the tales of her adventure, sometimes listening to the tale of others, and sometimes drinking. Most nights, she had to act like a mediator between spontaneous fights, break them up, and through the patrons out the door. Though she had made acquaintances, they were by no means friends just because she knew their names. When everyone sleeps or everyone in the bar is passed out in drunken bliss she'd meditate. Memories always brought her back to the monastery, whether when she was a mischievous child, or she was a teacher and had to deal with her own batch of them, she cherished those precious mental images.

When she got the message from the prince himself, Nel was reluctant to accept it, looking back to the yellow robe that hung from a hook in her room. The faint splotches of blood were still on it, no matter how hard she tried to scrub it off with soap or water, they served as constant reminders. After shedding off her clothes, tracing the light scars around her body for a moment before replacing them with the yellow robe, she was almost surprised to see that it had still fit, despite it only being a month since she felt comfortable wearing it. She threw a couple of punches before jumping up striking the air with her legs. Somehow, it still felt normal. Dinner social, combat, sleeping, it just felt right. The very fact that it did made her happy and sad all at once.

She was the among the first to appear at the gate, clad in yellow and meditating, to pass the time. She'd easily break her meditation and welcome her friends, even the paladin. Upon the gates opening, the familiar sight of Rydas strung up feelings of guilt, and the other familiar sight of that woman brought feelings of scorn, too familiar with those that thought she was godly, though she had more then a few problems with the variety of religions in the capital. Yet when she welcomed those who've arrived, Nel took to pause for a few moments, alternating sights between Rydas and her sister, mesmerized by the royal colors for a moment before stepping forward and speaking. Life in Paetax still hasn't prepared her for speaking to royalty and in meditating; she forgot Vinny's advice about addressing royalty.

"Thank you for inviting us. It's, uh-" She cleared her throat.

"-good to see you, Rydas." It was a half lie.

and good to meet...your sister." Nel said hesitantly, forgetting her name, not prepared to call her either Mother or Saint.