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Narenia Halen

0 · 385 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Full Name: Narenia Halen
Nickname: Nari
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Age: 26
Sexual Orientation:Although she's never been with a woman or anything the like, it isn't something that seems strange or repulsive to her. So, so far, straight.
Height: 5'7 or 170 cm's.
Class Ranger
Skills: Incredible with a bow and arrow. Minor skills are such as smithing and tailoring. The basics when surviving in nature. She's a great cook.
Weakness(es): Although she is an incredible archer and somewhat skilled in sword fighting, Narenia lacks phsyical strength and knowledge about magic. If she was to engage in swordfight with a big brute of a man, chances are, that if he knew what he was doing with the sword she might just end up losing the fight.
Equipment: A bow and a quiver of course. The bow is her most prized possesion since she has had it all her life, and the string never breaks. Narenia also carries a medium length curved sword, a long cloak she can wrap around her, armor that lets her move around easily so obviously it's light. Most of her clothing is dark so she hides better.
Personal Quote: "I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

Description: Nari doesn't exactly look like someone skilled in archery and used to living off the land. Her eyes are green and piercing, her skin smooth and a little colored from spending most of her time outside in sunlight. Her hair is long and wild, with an auburn color tinged red. Due to her living off the land in the wilderness, she's quite toned and muscular. Yet still with a certain feline grace. The woman is very agile, lithe and limber, able to adapt easily in ecumbering situations. She also wears a ring and a necklace. The ring of silver and the necklace of gold with a motive of a crescent moon. Her eyes seem to glow very slightly when the sun has disappeared. It isn't something you see straight away, but if you lock eyes with her, you will. Her left eyebrow is scarred from a knife cut; just one of the scars she has.
Her clothes are rather simple. Feet clad in rough leather boots that end just below her knees. Her legs are covered in dark cloth under a layer of chainmail wrapped in leather so it doesn't rattle and make noise. A beautifully adorned light plate covered in a very dark red leather and gold covers her upper body. Her cloak is almost always on her shoulders. Under the armor she wears a dark blue shirt and on her arms, from her wrists to her elbows, there are bracers to protect her. Although cetain parts of her clothing his very beautiful, it is partially masked because of the dirt that's on it. Nari doesn't spend most her time cleaning it.

Personality: She's very proud. Insulting her is ill advised as this hot tempered ranger quickly retaliates and refuses to wait for someone else to defend her. Vengeance is a word not unfamiliar to Narenia Halen, although the people that would put the work into it, may find her to be caring and loving. Undyingly loyal and fierce to those worthy of it, though she expects it returned. Her love and loyalty does undeniably take some work to discover and earn. Rarely does this expert of archery rush hot headedly into battle. Instead, she uses her wit to think and calculate the outcome of her next decisions. Narenia isn't used to other people as she's only been around them when visiting towns and cities on her travels. Romantically, the woman never sustains relationships for a longer period because her heart and mind is incapable to allow it, yet she yearns for a friend. Because of her proud demeanor, she speaks politely and expects the same in return, but isn't a stranger to the talk of drunkards of a barroom. Nari has developed certain skills in wriggling herself out of the grasp of such people. If you offend her and she grows angry with you, it'll either take an apology that comes from the heart, or a long time before she forgets and forgives. Remember, she's proud. Enemies fall before her without the slightest bit of remorse. Almost. If the battle is over and a dying enemy is gasping on the ground, Nari will gently put them out of their misery.

History: Born in the south and raised by a rather wealthy family, she was used to running around in her dresses with her hair flailing around her in the sun. Her mother and father loved her dearly, as well as they loved her brother. Their community consisted of relatively no poor people, and the Halen family was very popular. Ever since she was a small child Nari loved running around town and getting into trouble. As she grew older though, she gained the attention of the young boys when they came of a certain age. When she was around sixteen years old, everyone knew who she was both because of her social status and her beauty. Back then Nari was a shy girl though, and did nothing. She had a reputation to consider after all.
On her seventeenth nameday though, her father fell ill from unknown desease. Her entire family was stricken with grief when no one knew what was wrong with him. It didn't take long for him to be bedridden and after that he gradually lost the ability to speak. Later, the ability to move. The only man of medicine that could come up with an explanation said that it was some kind of arcane and magical poisoning or curse. A spell that turned her father to stone. It would turn out he was right. After a couple of months of this illness, her father's skin turned more and more grey and eventually he had turned to stone, lying in his bed. Nari's mother couldn't bare moving him from her room as she had sat there almost everyday of the last month, and it was up to her children to take care of their home. Her birthday gift for her seventeenth nameday hadn't been given to her until she found it one day. It was a ceremonial bow, enchanted with a string that would never ever break. It was the finest gift she'd ever been given. In tears, Narenia gathered all her belongings and packed her things. She couldn't stand watching her house crumble and fall apart. It was simply too much, so she walked off and disappeared into the woods. Always had she enjoyed hunting with her father and his friends, so the young woman knew how to hunt, but it was to be a hard life she'd chosen. Yet, she survived.
Nearly ten years later, she still roams the forests. The woman goes into the towns she comes across and trades and drinks and lay with men, rarely staying for more than a month or two. She can't connect with people on a romantic level very well, so it's nothing but the occasional short 'fling'. The trading of leather and meat and clothing doesn't earn her enough money, so Nari works for people that needs problems solved. Sometimes as a sort of mercenary and sometimes helping them with their harvest.

"Howcome you haven't been here before?" the man asked and looked up at her.
"Because my fate has not sent me this way before." Nari wrapped the covers around her tighter and tilted her head.
"I fear the time you've chosen to visit is badly timed. The king is ill."
"I know, I've seen the parchments." she stood and began dressing herself.
"Are you leaving?"
"Yes. Did you expect me to stay?"
He smiled and shook his head. "You never do. But I should tell you something. There might be a reward for that...quest they're setting upon. A reward that should make you able to settle and stop roaming the wilderness for the rest of your life."
"Shane, I've already decided to go. I'm leaving for the tavern tonight." Nari turned and flung her cloak over her shoulders, placing one last kiss on her lover's lips before walking out of the door not planning to ever see him again.

And there she was, her mind set for fame and fortune. She remembered what her family used to be and she missed them, but in her mind it had been too many years for her to return home. She didn't even know if they were all still alive. She knew they had risen to be known as far as the capital, now that she had heard her own family name on her travels. Narenia had made it a habbit never to tell anyone her last name, unless the situation required it. Now the greatest journey of her life began as she walked with graceful steps towards the Black Vagabond inn.

So begins...

Narenia Halen's Story

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Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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She watched as the prince spoke, introducing himself and explaining to all of those gathered what they were to set upon. Nari hadn't wasted much time thinking about lost magical artifacts much, but she had heard of them.
After the handsome First Prince was done talking, he would let every man and woman in the Black Vagabond state their name and what else of important knowledge they deemed necessary to share. Nari watched them all as they one by one stepped forth. A rather unsavory sort of man, not afraid of calling himself a thief spoke up. The dark haired ranger locked her eyes on the prince. He didn't seem to call for the guards or anything and no one rushed to seize him.
A big armored woman as well. She'll come in handy in combat. Nari thought and smirked. Her ears twitched when the big brute of a man started talking about his god. Here we go...Another preacher. she sighed and shook her head. Never had she been one for gods and prayers. Ever. She made her own living and lived her own life. Hunted her own food and fought her own battles. Although this time, it would seem she would be fighting someone else's battle for once. Nari was still standing in the shadows, not daring to come forward yet.

She seemed like a monk by garb. Her face didn't really reveal anything, since Nari couldn't see it. In her hand, the monk held a mug of mead. When the 'big brute' spoke, it was crushed in her hand. Apparently, what he said had not been in accordance with her. As another woman who had been standing against the wall started introducing herself, the monk was picking up pieces of glass from the floor. "Might as well get it overwith." Nari said under her breath.
The ranger stepped forward and pulled her hood down, revealing her auburn hair. She stopped at the monk and gently took her hand. She smiled and gently and picked shards out of her hand.
"I am Narenia Halen. I'm a ranger. Never did I think I would find myself in such a.." Nari trailed off as she looked up at the people gathered. She wrapped the cloth around the monks hand and tied it, making sure she wasn't hurting the girl. "Such a varied group of people." Her eyes shifted to the prince and locked on his. "I favor the bow and arrow, and I'm here to help you on your quest."
They didn't have to know that she mainly was in for the money, she would fight no worse and no better because of it. All they had to know, was that she could.

The only spot of trouble she could see already, was that maybe the 'Beer Priest' could get on her nerves. He didn't seem like the type to remain silent when he should, but on the other hand would speak his mind whenever he wanted to. That in itself was fine by Nari, but when it came to gods and religion, one might be careful with words. Especially since there were people of other religions gathered here. The monk for one.
Nari sat down on the chair behind the table the monk was sitting on, and let her bow rest again the edge of the surface. She looked around, watching the faces she came across. Not much response from anyone so far, so whether they thought her friend of foe was still unclear. Time would have to show.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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Now.. why was everyone looking at him so strangely? The reasons were too many to number, and he cast the thought aside.

Gallow's attention was immediately turned to the priest who had bolted to his feet so amusingly. The man's words were grating on Gallow's ears, and for good reason. He seemed arrogant and vain, like most that followed his path in the names of whatever divines they claimed to be the mouthpieces for. The Deluvians did not believe in a religious caste. All priests were good for was adding complication and bureaucracy to something that should remain purely personal. A man or woman's church was their home and they worshiped, or chose not to, mostly as they pleased in the Deluge. The man's bloated sense of self-righteousness fired Gallow up to no end, but he kept his words in his throat, no matter how badly his tongue burned for him to reprimand the oaf.

“You might call me priest, and I will look to save you from damnation both in your bodies and souls." Gallow made a sound of distaste at nearly the same time he heard the sound of glass shattering. He had to turn his entire upper body to look, and saw a woman who claimed to be a monk. Apparently he shared some amount of her distaste for the clergyman, though maybe not quite to her degree. He paid little mind to the so called "merchant". He'd seen innumerable merchants and traders before, and though they'd all had a crafty air about them something about this girl rubbed him the wrong way. Perhaps just his imagination? Possibly. He made a mental note to be wary. As the ranger began to make her introductions Gallow moved nearer the counter, minding the bloodied man behind it, and continued scanning the ragtag ensemble from the helm's thin slit. A ranger.. he'd met a few of those during his time, and they'd varied greatly every encounter. He gauged her by her words and her manner. She was concise, sparing no time for weaving flowery yarns about herself. Good, he grumbled. There was little reason to say more than needed, especially when all it did was waste breath. Both she and the monk shared that attribute. He could not tell what worth a monk would be, but kept his mind open.

Now, the mage was certainly an oddity. He'd not often seen one who looked so.. rugged? Warmages followed a warrior's path, but with Guild training, and so they kept themselves neat as Deluvian martial standards dictated. Other than them, most mages he'd seen seemed more scholarly. An interesting fellow, to be sure. And maybe it was the mead (which Gallow was sure the man was drinking), but he did speak his mind. Not always a good trait, especially so if the speaker was anything like that boastful blackguard of a priest, but in certain doses it could amount to respectability. And then came the bard. His first thought was most obviously: A bard? What use does a bard serve outside spinning tales and singing songs? They were entertainment, after all, and usually little else. Not to say that he did not appreciate the talent of a good rhapsode! Oh, no. Learned poets of high calibre were greatly valued by the Ulaid, and their songs and stories were often the added highlights of many a tavern throughout the Deluge. As for her claim of being able to defend herself.. well.. they would see about that, eventually. She seemed a peculiar one, especially with the way she fell back into her seat and fiddled with a blade. Not odd in a negative way, at least not yet.

The uproarious priest decided it would be a proper time to fire his mouth off, again. Oh, sweet Donn, if only you would see fit to silence this foolish brute, he lamented silently, deciding not to spare a word at the man's worthless expense.

"So weve got a Triansui," Gallow's ears pricked up immediately, his eyes finding a haphazardly armored figure seated elsewhere in the tavern. Another soldier.. the surprises were to continue, then. His thoughts completely deafened him for a moment, and he missed the rest of what the priest had said, although that was more than likely a tremendous blessing. He said a quiet prayer of thanks to the gods. He glanced once more at the Prince, and retired to the counter. Dropping his axe to lean against the wood, Gallow unlatched his helm, slipped it off and set it down. The priest and the mage were now fit to celebrate, and with the adrenaline gone that familiar uncomfortableness was just setting in, again. It was all just obnoxious noise, and it had his nerves on edge.

His throat was dry, and his whole body felt uneasy right down to his core. He ordered a glass of wine, paying the man who served him with a few coins, and sipped at his drink slowly. Teachings among his people made clear the proper method for the consumption of wine. If one did not assert temperance then they might be overcome by drunken fits of violence. Deluvians had a long history of wine making, and as such it was rooted in their culture. Their largest trade with northern Calisma was wine, in fact. He could recall the vineyards sprawling on for eternity under a warm sun, bordered by rolling green on all sides. The memories brought him comfort in the din, and he yearned for the peace to remain.

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: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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The innocent monk had thanked her and smiled brightly. It was only returned by Nari. One friendly action deserved another. It would seem though, that everything from here on would spiral downwards.
The priest had overspoken and of course did the woman with armor - Mirabella - taken offense to it. After a short verbal insult had she left the room only to have the priest trailing after her.
I wonder how that's going to turn out. Nari thought and raised her eyebrow. The 'merchant' had proved her temper to be that of...well.. She was hot headed to say the least. Not a moment had it taken for her to take offense and retaliate to everything the mage said. Nari's first intention was to go over to the unbelieveable rude man and tell him how exactly you talk to a woman. She had went from the red-haired woman to a wench and a whore in a considerable short amount of time. The monk with the wounded hand was still remained in her seat and kept calm for the moment. As she looked with her piercing green eyes, so did a few others in the room. A man that seemed troubled and acted like he didn't really care much for what was going on, the prince himself and the girl with the lute. For now at least.

The other man, the other ranger, or that was what Nari would guess him to be, spoke to the prince now. Just within earshot, his female counterpart could her what he was saying.
Either that man is stupid or he's been paid to do that. She thought, expecting a blow from the prince's sword any moment now. But nothing happened. All that came from him was a bone chilling warning, hopefully effective enough to make the foolish man step down. How quickly this had descended into a mere brawl and petty squabble. This wasn't what she had come here for, not at all. Nari wanted to stop the fighting and make everyone pipe down, but feared that because of her proud nature she would end up holding a knife to someone's throat. Especially the mage if he so much as dared calling her a whore.
A smile crept across her face as the innocent little monk stood and approached the bickoring couple in an attempt to end their dispute. How unlikely and unexpected that was.
Maybe she can stop them now that they seem to completely ignore their prince's command. Nari had thought that his words would have an effect on them, alas it seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Were they even aware of his presense still?

A deep sigh came from the female ranger as she looked around. The mage was surrounded by three women, two of them trying to calm the red-head down and the prince was companied by the foolish insultant. It still hadn't settled with her how a man could be so reckless as to insult a man like him, even Nari had more brain than that. The troubled man had spoken as well, but his words too seemed to fly right past everyone. Everyone except Nari at least. She nodded at him and tilted her head with a shrug and a sigh. She didn't say anything to him as he had already sat down.
In fear of losing her own temper and seeing this group worsen, making their quest seem even more impossible, the ranger woman walked towards the prince this time. He had this thing about him. Something that demanded respect, but Nari wouldn't give respect unless it was returned. And there was the fact that everytime someone made a quick move or the like, his hand went to the hilt of his sword.
"My prince."she started. "Pardon my interruption, but I fear that neither of us had expected the outcome of this meeting. Perhaps a bucket of ice cold water would cool their heads?" Nari smiled half joking as she nodded in respect to him, letting her piercing green eyes settle on the orbs in his head. "Or maybe we should - pardon me - you should give them a choice? If this nonsense can't be stopped, then there's no sense in going on this quest either." Nari leaned on her bow, glancing over at the other ranger. She awaited an answer as she too hoped that the feud and fight behind her would cease and end soon. Her patience was wearing thin.
Thank whatever gods that at least my temper isn't as bad as hers. her mind went and her eyes settled upon the red haired 'merchant' once again, before returning to the prince.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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Although they all seemed to be oblivious to the Prince's words, the combined efforts of him, the monk and the bard seemed to cool their heads. At least just for one moment and that was enough to bring order back to everything. The one that seemed to have had the most effect was actually the innocent little monk, odd as it was. Sometimes it was the most unlikely of things that held the most power or promise or effect.
When his words were finally able to be heard by all of them, the Prince who seemed tired of their childish behaviour made his last statement and with a swirl of his cape he exited the inn.
How well we start off. Wonder who'll show up tomorrow. Nari thought as she tilted her head and let her eyes trail after the man. She gave on last glance at the other ranger who'd been dumb enough to insult a member of the royal family and her face settled to become unreadable and neutral again. They were all left to their own now and had been told to write down what they required for the journey and that they'd all be provided with a horse should they need it. Needless to say this impressed Nari. She knew the royal family could afford it, but didn't know that they would.

The warrior woman wrote down what she needed and then offered anyone who wanted, to come with her to the Dancing Dragon. After deciding to wait and write her own list, Nari approached the barkeep and was given paper and something to write with. Quickly her mind raced to think of the things she would need on the journey.

Needle and thread.
Arrows - Jagged and steel tipped.
Rope.
Herbs and spices.
Whetstone


All else she had already, when all else she needed was her bow and her sword. Nari didn't waste much time on her list so she quickly handed it to the barkeep with a smile. Something in the back of her head told her that she would somehow be responsible for gathering food. Or at least the hunting part. And if she was going with the other ranger, Nari would have to keep a track of him as well. She didn't trust him. The thief was still there, letting everyone know that he was hungry by the way his stomach growled. Her eyes settled on him for a moment and she tilted her head, looking at him with her nearly glowing green eyes. Whether he could really be trusted or not was unclear to her. Yes he had introduced himself as a thief, but something about him gave the notion that maybe he wasn't exactly dangerous to them.
Time will let us know. her brain told her. Daring to approach the thief and reaching into her pocket, she leaned against the doorframe and handed him a few more coins. "Here. If we are to set upon a perilous and dangerous journey on the morrow, one should have the right to a decent meal. King or beggar." With a smile and nod Nari leaned away and walked out of the door. Whether the remainding people in the inn thought she was making an alliance with the thief or not, didn't really matter to her. Alliances shouldn't exist within their little group here, the alliance should be the group. "I'm afraid I'm unaware of what name or title I should call you by, Triansui." Nari said as she caught up with the woman in armor. "I'm Narenia Halen. Nari for short. Mead and stew doesn't sound terrible to me at all at the moment."

This woman had shown honor and partially the same understanding of the situation in the inn as Nari had, except that she had left instead of staying. She was impressed with herself by the way she talked. How the words formed themselves in her mouth and how she spoke. It had all come back to her in an instant; the benefit of being of noble descent. Maybe the warrior lady would return the tone of voice or at least the respect Nari had shown.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Deallo
To be honest, Nel was terribly nervous as she tried to talk the fight in the tavern down, but was relieved as the bard, Acacia, effortlessly swooped in and managed to talk the merchant and the mage down. The monk was surprised at how effortlessly she had used her silver tongue. Not that she would know what a silver tongue is anyway. Before the merchant went off, she warned not to stay near the "pile of magic crap", which prompted Nel to check left up the heel of her foot and check the soles of her sandals. Looked pretty clean. Unless it was magical. Confused, she turned around for some explanation, and Callavan's beard started to thank the two of them and before sitting down, insinuated the merchant was hiding something. Nel wasn't as affected by his warning; mainly because she understood one would have to hide things so thieves wouldn't steal them.

During the mini-conflict, the prince promptly voiced his disapproval towards everyone, except Mirabella, and left rather dramatically, swooshing his red cape around. It was a pretty cape. His chiding, although not meant for Nel herself, still managed to pull her spirits down. Despite that, she understood fairly well that the adventure would be postponed for tomorrow, although why they didn't go now while everyone was here was still a mystery to her. Quickly though, she could see the group being torn apart, one half going out the door to see the "dancing dragon" and the other half...staying. In the midst of a clawing need for fresh air, she as well, wanted to leave but was at the counter with a piece of parchment, trying to hastily scrawl and write things that she would need. Her writing, despite her life as a monk, was atrocious...BUT! If one could squint their eyes and tilt their head to the side it would read:

Bandages

Whether or not it was illegible would be up to whoever would read it. Had it been any other time, she would have looked with awe at the feathered pen, but she quickly set it aside and joined the group just as the ranger was sharing her nickname. Nel gave a quick bow to Mirabella, having already crossed with the ranger, and since the warrior was closer then the thief. "Hello. I'm Nelinia but call me Nel." Before she could have a chance to respond, the monk ran back to her table, grabbed the quarterstaff that nearly slipped her mind, and came back to the group without so much as a huff of air escaping her. She bounced around on the balls of her feet excitedly, grin plastered on her face, eagerly awaiting the trip to the Dancing Dragon.

Although this may sound crazy she's never seen a Dancing Dragon before!

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by KuroRyu
With a hand on the door handle, ready to exit, Xan only stopped when a voice from behind started to speak with him. He released the door and turned to see whom it was that was to be his partner in conversation. It was the female warrior, Mirabella, at least that's what he thought her name was, although he could be completely wrong. She spoke of a pub that was near by, it didn't sound to bad and the company would be welcomed. Although the fact that she had called him 'Sir Thief' made him tilt his head a bit and have a bit of a laugh. He watched as she walked passed him and out the door, he was going to follow soon after, but his step was disrupted. This time it was the female ranger, whom had made her way in front of him and leaned against the door frame, effectively blocking his path out. He was curious as to what it could be that she wanted, until he watched her hand pull several coins from her pocket and hand them to him. He held out his hand to catch the coins, he was very much thankful, and also a bit confused, this was the first time anyone had given him money, until she had given her explanation. With that, she was out the door as well, and this time Xan followed behind, getting out before any more interruptions came. Third to join the small group would be the one monk that had participated in the meeting for this little adventure. He watched as she came and went, an introduction followed by a rush back to her seat to retrieve a nearly forgotten item. It was somewhat odd having the amount of people around him as there was, it had been a while since he had dined out with a group.

"So what type of stew does the Dancing Dragon offer?" Xan asked, following closely behind the group at his own pace, the food sounded good. The mead, not so much. He wasn't much of a drinker, alcohol never seemed to suit his tastes. He put his arms behind his head and relaxed, looking up towards the blue sky. He would like to enjoy this meal with the group, be he also wanted to the day to pass quickly. "I hope everyone can learn to get along" he said out loud without reason, it seems his mind was starting to wander again, allowing his thoughts to be spoken out loud. It was an odd habit, every time his mind wandered off into his own inner lands, his thoughts never seemed to be able to stay within his own mind, and instead become audible to everyone around him. Sometimes it would cause him to get into trouble, actually it would get him into trouble almost most of the time it would happen. Of course he knew of this little habit of his, but try as he might it would not disappear, so he has learned to accept it and live with it.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella couldn’t help the shadow of a smile that formed on her lips as Narenia was the first to follow, trailing out the door after passing some coins to the thief. Within a few steps, the ranger had caught up with her and re-introduced herself.

“Didn’t we already do this whole introduction thing once before?” she teased the auburn-tressed woman, hoping that she had an ear for humor. “If my memory deceives me, though, I am Mirabella d’Adreci. Apparently also known as “Triansui”. I should’ve expected as much when revealing my title but most of the companions I have traveled with before have simply called me Mira.” She flashed a smile at Narenia before tacking on, “So it is a pleasure to meet you, Nari.”

Next came the petite monk, Nelinia, who also re-introduced herself and proceeded to dance about on the balls of her feet, grinning from ear to ear and then seconds after, the voice of Xan sounded out behind the small group. “Glad you could join us, Nel and Xan. I have to admit I’d prefer company while eating. It saves from having to entertain strangers that sit at your table because the tavern is too full.”

Xan posed a question and Mirabella took her time in responding. “The Dancing Dragon is rumored to serve all sorts of fare, if stew and mead aren’t your taste… But I’ve heard they have the best venison stew for miles around and I trust the mead here in the city more than the water. The alcohol in it tends to kill off nasty things.” That last part of her comment was more to the poor monk who she had seen sniffing indignantly at her mead back in the Black Vagabond before she had crushed the glass in her hand. The warrior didn’t exactly love mead but some varieties had a pleasant flavor.

Their short conversation took them down a few streets until they finally approached the Dancing Dragon Pub. Though it was late afternoon/early evening, music already blasted out of the thick wooden doors and into the streets themselves every time someone entered or left. Yet when the warrior woman pushed the door open to allow the group entry, it wasn’t quite as deafening as she assumed it might be.

A small trio of musicians sat in chairs near the large fireplace centered along the northern wall of the feast hall with tables dotted haphazardly throughout the rest of the room. The bar itself was crafted from mahogany and stretched the entire length of the eastern wall, tended to by three barkeeps while the patrons at the tables were served by a handful of tavern wenches.

Making her way over to one of the corner tables, Mirabella settled onto one of the chairs and within a minute or so, a buxom redheaded waitress wandered their way for their orders while paying special attention to Xan.

“Well what can I fetch for you today?” The server asked of them though her eyes never left the thief.

The Triansui cleared her throat and grinned at both Nari and Nel before speaking up. “If it isn’t too much trouble, may I have a venison stew and a mug of Black mead?" Black mead, of course, having honey and black currants in its recipe given it a distinct and fruity flavor.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by slcam
As Hayley walked away, Acacia let out a small sigh. She was glad the monk girl had stepped in, as her simple words seemed to have as much effect as Acacia's own. Of course, the angry red head had only left after giving another death threat to the mage. Just another thing to worry about, Acacia thought as she frowned after her. She had also seemed to threaten her and the monk with her "Don't stay near this pile of magic crap." warning.
However, as she saw the monk's confused reaction to this, Acacia laughed softly. She seemed as though she thought the "merchant" literally meant crap. Acacia began to wonder if she had seen much outside of the... mone... something. Acacia frowned as she couldn't quite find the name. Usually her memory was nearly perfect.

Oh well, she thought with a sigh, again smiling as the mage began to thank them. He also warned them about trusting her, especially in light of recent events. Acacia could only agree. She did seem to have quite the temper. He then walked to the bar to write down his list. Acacia figured she should probably do so as well. She had been expecting that they would be on their way today, but she didn't question the prince's decision. It only seemed wise that they should cool off a bit. Acacia just hoped the whole journey wouldn't be like this.

She heard Mirabella's invitation to the Dancing Dragon. After a moment, Acacia decided she might as well join them since there was not much else to do at this point. She walked calmly to her former position, grabbing her lute and thinking about what exactly they would need for something like this. The prince had already said that they would be supplied with food, horse, water and supplies, so she probably only really needed to mention specifics. She walked up to the bar and got a piece of paper. She had gotten quite used to traveling during the day and staying at inns for the night. She didn't have a good bedroll anymore, so that would be a good thing to include. However, even as she checked a few of her pockets, she could think of nothing else.

  • Bedroll.

Well, I guess that will do, she thought, handing the paper to the barkeep before heading out of the Black Vagabond. Now just to figure out where this Dancing Dragon was. Acacia fortunately had enough money for a good meal and a night at a small inn, but after that she would be pretty much broke. At least she wouldn't have to worry much about that as long as they did indeed leave tomorrow. She stopped a young woman, who gave her directions to the inn. She soon found it, walked in and quickly walked over to those from the "adventurers' group" as she had begun thinking of it. At the table was Mirabella, Xan, Narenia, and Nelinia.

"Mind if I join you?" she said, taking a seat beside Mirabella as the waitress came over. She smiled at those at the table. When the server looked to her she told her in a certain voice, a slight smile on her face, "I will have venison stew as well, with some tea please."

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by KuroRyu
"Venison Stew" Xan repeated out loud, still in the wandering state of mind. He wasn't quite sure what kind it was, but if they have what is deemed the best then it might be worth a taste. He came back to reality as the sound of music started to fill the air. It was soft at first, but as they came closer to the source the true volume of the music started to hit. It was quite loud, he could actually feel the sound of the music as it hit him outside of the door. He allowed the others to enter the pub first. He stood looking at the building and the sign that had its name carved into it as it lightly swung above the door. It looked as if it would be falling off at any moment, ready to hit the head of someone that entered to left at the wrong time. As those that were in front of him made their entry, he followed behind, the music felt as if it had gotten softer as they entered but it was still quite loud. He took his time getting to their chosen table, for some reason his eye kept wandering around the pub.

He was about to pull out his seat to sit when he heard a voice that came from behind. Another had decided to join the group, the bard Acacia, as she sat he wondered if anyone else were to come and looked back towards the door. In the back of his mind he was wondering if anyone leaving would get hit over the head by the sign outside that might fall. He amused himself with the thought before he sat in his chair. The server had already begun to take orders, but Xan wasn't quite sure what to get. The recommendation of the Venison stew tempted him, but he also wanted to know what else there was. He folded his legs in onto the chair, placing both hands in his lap as he thought for a moment.

"I guess I shall take some of the Venison Stew as well," he paused for a moment, "And anything that has a good amount of chicken in it was well" he said with a smile. He had only eaten chicken once or so, but he couldn't forget the taste of it. Or perhaps the flavor came more from the sauces that it was covered in instead of the meat itself, but either way it couldn't hurt to try some again. "And anything that has a sweet flavor as a drink" he finished, he wasn't quite sure of anything they had, and if this was going to be his last decent meal for a while, why not spoil himself a bit. With the amount of coin he had before, added together with the amount that Narenia had given him, he should be able to pay the tab for his meal.

After the order of his meal was complete he started to think about where to sleep tonight. It was very likely that all the money he had would be going into the meal so he knew he couldn't stay at an inn. Perhaps he should sleep somewhere close to the city gates where they were to meet again. Perhaps within a large tree near the area, he liked to be off the ground when he had to sleep outside, and if it had enough leaves those would make a nice pillow as well. He shrugged off the thought for a moment, he would find a comfortable enough place to sleep when he had to. For now it was best to enjoy the meal and the company.

"So, what is that brought you all to the decision of going on this quest?" he asked, wanting to start up some conversation.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Deallo
How could one not trust water? Nel thought as Mira told her she could trust it; a thought taking her back to the tavern sipping her glass of water. She pushed aside any worries of it for now and immediately thought of the Dancing Dragon. What did it look like? Was it a grand dragon? A small dragon? What colours decorated its skin? Music tickled the monk's ears as questions spiraled inside her head, growing louder and louder with every step she took towards the structure that advertised the "Dancing Dragon" upon its entrance. Who wouldn't advertise their dancing dragon?

To her extreme disappointment, the music wasn't being played by a dancing dragon, nor was there a dancing dragon at site in the establishment. Then she remembered the warrior's words: . “The Dancing Dragon is rumored to serve all sorts of fare, if stew and mead aren’t your taste… Of course! The dragon must be a cook! How delightful to eat food made by a dragon. Pondering what to order, the "venison stew" seemed to be a popular meal meal for everyone, despite the fact that Nel knew what "venison" was. Nel tried to look up at the waitress but immediately looked down at her feet in discomfort at the waitress's lack of...clothing across her chest.

Her head came back up as a familiar voice stood out from the music of the bards playing; a bard. Specifically, their own bard, Acacia. After she ordered, venison stew, what a surprise, Nel would put in her own order, generally playing monkey see monkey do with Mira. "Black Mead...and what's in the venison stew?"

"A little bit of everything and some deer, of course." The buxom waitress responded. Nel couldn't contain the horror that slipped through her lips in a mere whisper. Deer?
"Fresh deer from just this morning." Nel felt sick to her stomach as soon as she said that. What did the poor deer ever do to get eaten, cut into pieces and put into the fir-just thinking about it felt like she was going to hurl the lackluster contents of her insides. "Some bread please."

Amidst the sickening feeling, she could hear the honest thief, Xan, raise a question about why they were going on this quest. The monk cleared her throat and waited a few seconds for the colour to return to her face before she can speak. "If the king dies, it could be disastrous for Calisma if he's replaced with someone...else. Although most of my brothers and sisters couldn't care less. Apparently, as she's been told in the monastery, the possibility that disaster would occur in his death, was preposterous but she wouldn't believe it.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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Much to her pleasure, the iron clad woman greeted her and decided to let Nari know that she also possessed a sense of humor. It fell in good soil with the ranger woman as she returned her smile and nodded, looking at the ground for a moment. How pleasant it felt conversing with this woman. Serious when need be but also knew how to lighten the mood.
"Ah yes, you're right." Nari said, delighted that she had decided to use her nickname. "Likewise." Her smile hadn't faded yet as she nodded in appreciation to Mira.
The next one to join them was the monk, Nel, who would first bow to Mira and in the next moment she ran back for a forgotten item and returned. Nari couldn't help smiling brightly at her. The innocent little girl seemed overly excited about something, but what it was remained unknown for the moment. It really doesn't take much to excite her. she thought to herself.

She had listened intently as Mira had told them about what the Dancing Dragon served. When they had all settled and was approached by the waitress, two things amused Nari to the point that she had to looked down to hide her smile. The first one was the fact that the eyes of this waitress never left Xan, which was understandable enough. The other was that innocent little Nel seemed to be made very uncomfortable by the lack of clothing over the waitress' breast. Her eyes met Mira's once and Nari looked away to settle her face again. "Black mead and stew please." Nari gestured towards the others to indicate that she would have the same as them. Venison stew seemed popular at the moment, or maybe it was because it was a nice meal and they were leaving the next day. The next voice she heard was that of Acacia. The beautiful bard smiled at the people surrounding the table, and ordered venison stew and tea.
Nari gave her a smile and a nod to let her know she was welcome. She had been one of those not to react rashly back at the Black Vagabond. At least there were a few cool heads among them.

"What is it, Nelinia?" she asked the monk when the waitress had left, only to return at some point with their orders. A smirk played at the corners of her mouth as she spoke, but Nari did her best to hide them. She didn't want to make the monk more uncomfortable, but a little fun couldn't hurt anyone. One slightly saddening thought crossed her mind. This monk seemed so unaware of how the world around her worked. What if when she found out, some things would be too much for her?

Xan had decided to strike up a conversation though, asking what they were all doing there, joining a quest like this. Nari decided to let everyone else speak first, thinking that they might forget about her if she kept quiet about her. If they all really wanted to know, she'd find out who that was and if not, well, nothing lost.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella kept an eye on the door for any stragglers but the only other form to walk into the Dancing Dragon was Acacia. When the Bard Girl sat down beside her, she nodded her head towards the woman and smiled once more. “Of course you are welcome to join us. After tomorrow, none of us will have much of an option in regards to the company we keep. Will we?”

Though she didn’t laugh outwardly, one would be able to tell by her tone and general demeanor that she was in high spirits. Adventure called to her like gold called to a thief and with an honorable task being their new purpose, she couldn’t help but feel a bit jovial. Especially since she hadn’t expected anyone to attempt to bond with one another after the scene from the Black Vagabond, instead she had thought everyone would go their separate ways only to meet at the gates with either apathy or distrust.

Some of the others went about their orders and Mirabella finally let loose with a small chuckle at some of their questions and requests. Xan had simply asked for a sweet drink and poor Nel had turned green the moment she heard what was in venison stew before opting for bread instead. It made Mirabella ponder for a moment if the monk was vegetarian, so she spoke up to order a few more things for Nel since she wouldn’t be eating stew like the rest of them.

“Actually, miss, could you bring her a cheese platter with bread and pears? And instead of the mead, perhaps she’d enjoy Granatus in apple wine? Perhaps two mugs full of it, I believe that Xan would enjoy its taste as well.”

So they wouldn’t think she overstepped herself, she explained the drink to both Nel and Xan as the waitress went off to fetch everyone’s food. “It is pomegranate boiled down and made into a syrup that is then added to whatever you wish with a bit of sugar. It takes away some of the bitterness of whatever you’re drinking, making it a bit easier to handle.

As the conversation turned to the quest at hand and their reasons for joining, the petite monk started out with her explanation and when silence fell upon the table once more, Mira gave her own response. “As you know, my people are fighters and warriors. Without any full scale wars, we have little to do and so our skills go wasted. I doubt we will find the Panacea without running into at least an enemy or two, so I pledge to use my skills to protect the rest of the party.”

Her eyes fell upon both Nari and Acacia next, wondering if they would share their stories but the tavern wench was back quickly, depositing a mug in front of each of the party members before sweeping back into the kitchen to gather their food. It wasn’t until the woman had come back out and set their stews and such upon the table that Mira turned her gaze first to Nari who had been quiet throughout most of the conversation thus far.

“And what of you, Nari? I didn’t expect one of the woodland folk to join us in our cause, in all honesty. It seems that even during the Wars that there was little that threatened nature. Or have you not always been a hunter?”

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan sat and listened eagerly to everyone's own explanation for joining this quest into the unknown. He was happy that they were opening up themselves to this small group of strangers turned comrades, and his face showed it. He turned his attention to the mug that had been placed before him, he sat and stared at it for a moment before reaching out for it. The explanation about the drink did make it sound sweet, and so did the smell, but he was still a bit hesitant to drink it. He wouldn't know if he would like it or not, but to take a taste is the only way to decided such a thing. He brought it up to his lips and filled his mouth with the drink, swishing it around in his mouth a bit to get a complete taste of the drink before swallowing. It wasn't bad, although a bit of a bitter after taste, it was drinkable. He set the drink down on the table just as the food they had ordered was set down. He was glad that he could finally get something into his stomach, and his enthusiastic way of eating showed it. Although his mind and stomach may have been on the meal, his ears were still open to hear the talk around him, he himself didn't talk much, mostly because his mouth was usually full.

His stomach full, and the sun gone and the moon out, Xan thought it time to go. He enjoyed the time he had spent with the group, but it had to come to an end, a good nights sleep was needed for what was to occur the next day. His hand shuffled around his pocket for a moment before pulling out all the coin he had and setting it on the table.

"Should be enough" he said as the coins scattered about. "I should be going, finding a good place to sleep won't be easy" he stretched his body as he got up from his chair, a yawn escaping his mouth. He gave a smile and a wave as he turned to leave the group, "I'll be seeing you all tomorrow, I hope" he said as he made his way to the door. As he pushed the door open, the cool night air managed to sneak it's way in, stopping when the door was fully open. The sun had completely disappeared and the moon was clearly visible. He looked up at it for a moment, taking in the sight of the moon, it looked closer than usual, but that could just be his imagination. Another yawn escaped him as he started to walk off, towards the city gates where everyone was to meet. He knew sleeping there would be the best idea, whether he would sleep in or not he would be awakened and in time to go without the fear of being left behind.

He stopped his travels in front of a medium sized tree just to the right of the gates, it wasn't to large and the lower branches seemed more than thick enough to bear his weight. Not only that the fact that it wasn't to far off the ground would mean he wouldn't be injured should he roll off the branch, which had quite a good chance of happening. He found a small bush nearby, it was young, the not only the leaves, but the branches as well were soft. He pulled it from the ground, and stuffed it into the hood of his cloak, a make shift pillow for himself. With a few slight grunts he pulled himself onto a low branch, pulling up his hood and laying his head on it as he laid back on the branch. He gave one last yawn before closing his eyes and falling into a deep and comfortable sleep.

--------

Xan was awoken by the loud toll of a bell, the first bringing him back to consciousness, the second nearly causing him to fall out of the tree that he had been sleeping in. Somehow, he managed to catch himself with his right leg before his body made an impression on the ground below. Quite the way to wake up, his right eye opened to look around, his left eye of course closed and it felt as if a dream was still being played within the darkness of his dead left eye. He looked around, towards the gate to find that the Prince was already ready and waiting for those to come, as well as a cloaked man with quite the beard.

"Good morning" Xan called, holding in a yawn, he gave a forced smile and wave. He had just awoken, he wouldn't have the same level of energy as he did yesterday until another hour or so had passed. The look in his good eye said it all, he would be dead to the world till he fully awoke. He freed his right leg that was hooked to the tree branch, causing him to fall to Earth, a twist of his body he landed on his feet which soon gave way and landing him in a sitting position. His back was to the awaiting men as he gave a loud yawn, reaching back he pulled the remnants of the little bush that he had used as a pillow for the night. He pushed himself up off the ground with a grunt, one final yawn as he scratched the back of his head. Pulling several leaves and twigs that had settled in his mess of hair he made his way closer, taking a look at the well equipped horses that had been prepared. He had never ridden a horse before, so this should be an interesting, if not quite the embarrassing, experience for him.

"It's finally the day" he said with a stretch, "I'm so excited" the words not really matching his sleepy and dull tone. A sleepy smile was spread on his face, it was an exciting day for him from today onwards he would be able to call himself an adventurer, if he survived that is. Truthfully he wasn't worried about dying along the journey, he was quite confident that he would be able to hold his own, even in the midst of battle. He wondered if there were any monster out there. Although childish, he still dreams and hopes that the creatures that he had heard in myths and stories existed within this world. Even though the realistic part of his brain told him that it was impossible, the child within him kept the dream alive. His smile widened a bit as he looked out the gates, "The unknown is calling" he said to himself with a happy laugh.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella continued on with their meal after allowing both Nari and Acacia to respond to Xan’s inquiry about their reasoning for joining this epic quest. A ranger and a bard, both would have to have entertaining reasons for joining and as the warrior continued to listen to and feed into the conversation, she couldn’t help but feel a little curious.

These four seemed a personable bunch but what of the others that had stayed behind or gone their separate ways? Were they devious and trying not to befriend the others in preparation for their subsequent betrayal? Were they simply shy? As a matter of fact, after she had left the Priest outside of the Black Vagabond and returned inside to pledge her sword to the Prince, she never saw him slip back inside behind her. Odd, that.

Still, she didn’t let such things worry her and after the meal was finally over with, Xan tossed some coins upon the table and took her leave whereas Mirabella held up her hand to the remaining three to prevent them from doing the same.

“Please let me pay for our meal. In celebration of newfound allies and for safe travels on the road we have ahead of us.” As the waitress came by, Mirabella pressed a good bit of coin into her hand and then stood up, stretching her aching muscles.

Bidding good night to Acacia and Nari, the warrior argued a good bit with Nel who apparently felt guilty about the larger meal that Mira had asked for and provided for the young monk. Yet, the warrior knew that the first day of travel was always one of the hardest and the tiny yellow-robed figure would need more energy than a simple loaf of bread would have provided. So she quieted her fears and eventually they settled upon an agreement that they would share a room to save coin. There had been no way that Mirabella would’ve allowed Nel to wander off on her own to find lodgings. The girl looked like she could hold herself in a fight but she also screamed of innocence and naivete. Protection was one of the few things Mirabella was good at, so she extended this to the younger monk and they climbed the stairs to their accommodations.

Though Nel fell quickly asleep, the Triansui stayed up a bit longer to take care of her armor before she turned in for the night. Taking off first her breastplate, then each remaining piece of plate, she sat down at the small table provided by the inn and polished each piece. Cleaning it and inspecting it for any repairs she might have to make in the near future, the warrior did the same to her many weapons until finally the candle was almost burning out and her eyes were growing weary from being up for so long. The last piece of armor to remove was the chain shirt which she wore under her breastplate but over her muslin tunic and she draped that upon the back of the chair, yawning once before she slipped into the bed on the side furthest from the monk. Sleep took her and she did not awaken until the sun was already high in the sky on the following day.

When her eyes fluttered open, she first noticed that the monk was gone. With a practiced ease, she slipped into her armor, strapped on her weapons and shield and gathered her meager belongings into her rucksack. Feeling refreshed from the night of rest in a fine and comfortable bed, the Triansui went out of the tavern and found the stables first. A few more easy errands came next after retrieving her steed and by the time that the bells were tolling their trio of tones, Mirabella was already riding up to the gate upon her chestnut mare and the crowd that had gathered around the Prince dispersed for her to join the rest of the mounts.

Finding that a trio of familiar faces were already in attendance, Mira nodded to Xan and Nel before moving her horse so that she was closer to Akdov, the Priest so that she could speak with him.

“I am glad to see that you have decided to join us, Priest.” Her countenance was unreadable as she prepared for the journey ahead and her demeanor didn’t seem quite as celebratory as the evening before. “Shall we have you as a true ally, from this day forth, Akdov?” She wanted to know that they could all trust him. That he wouldn’t try to fracture and plot and plan as he had done the previous day. She wouldn’t judge any man for watching out for himself in times of turmoil but she also did not want to turn to him for assistance only to be rebuffed.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by slcam
"Nice to meet you Alice," Acacia said, giggling at the flush of Alice's cheeks when she realized her "graceful moment" had been seen. "And yes, making people wary of you can be very entertaining." There was a momentary pause before the young mage continued. During this pause, Acacia leaned against the rock after Alice slid over a bit. She looked at those who were gathered so far. There was the priest of Deud, Akdov. Acacia hoped he wasn't in such an insulting mood today, though she doubted it as she saw both Mirabella and the young monk, Nelinia, walk angrily away. Xan was also there, looking as if he had slept in a bush, with leaves in his already messy hair. As Alice then continued, Acacia brought her attention back, smiling at the small girl. She wondered just how old she was. Her height alone was about average for a ten or twelve year old, though her face was a bit more mature. Perhaps she was fifteen or sixteen? Still quite young to be on a quest like this. "Ha, of course they would be memorized. How could they not?" she said, giving a playful wink. "But it also doesn't hurt that it helps you not injure yourself or get so shaken up. So yes, i guess it might help your skin, I don't see why not."

At first, Alice had reminded Acacia of her younger sister, Rachelle. She also was small, though not to the same extent, had a quiet personality, and was a bit disconnected at times though she wasn't shy. She, of course, also had similar dark hair. Though now Acacia could see that their personalities were very different. Once she had approached Alice and started a conversation, she chattered away like a chipmunk. Acacia could hardly get a sentence out of Rachelle most of the time. However, at times, when Acacia saw the mage out of the corner of her eye, she could have sworn that she and Rachelle were twins. She guessed it was something about the way the held themselves.

As Alice went on, Acacia listened, looking at the sitting girl with an amused look on her face. Fame, eh? How interesting, Acacia thought. She was highly entertained as the girl seemed not to even stop for breath, asking about why Acacia came, complimenting her lute, asking if she was going to play, all the way to talking about hair and daggers, all without giving her a chance to respond. When she finished, smiling and giggling a bit, Acacia then began to try to answer the slew of questions, a thoughtful look on her face as her eyes seemed to search the sky for the answers. She noticed a flash of red hair out of the corner of her eye. Must be Hayley, she thought.

"Okay, let's see, I want to go for a change of pace, the intriguing people, and the opportunity for an interesting story when all is said and done. Of course I will play, I would feel weird if i didn't, and thank you, it has been with me for years," she smiled at Alice before returning her gaze skyward. "Oh, that is what it was," her gaze returned to the girl, "so you're saying you cut your hair with a dagger?"

Before Alice could respond, the Prince began addressing them and Acacia noticed a few more had joined them. It was really very inspirational, and Acacia thought she might as well write it down so she could remember it word for word later. She patted her pockets, quickly finding a small pad of paper and a bit of whittled charcoal that she kept specifically to write with. A quill and ink just were not very practical in travel and as long as it didn't smudge too bad, her charcoal worked fine. She scribbled down the first part of his speech, stopping as he talked a bit about provisions and mounts, before jotting down, "We ride North." since it seemed to finish that fancy speech so well.

She smiled, watching Xan interact with his horse, and laughed at his attempt to get on. She probably wouldn't do much better. The only horse she had ever ridden was her father's old plow horse as he plowed the field, so she did know some things, but wasn't exactly an expert horsewoman. She also realised that Narenia had arrived, and she quickly and easily mounted her horse and began looking around. "Hello Narenia! Good morning!" Acacia yelled, raising her hand and waving.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

...And his cape was so red!

Love,
Chaton


Dawn met the city of Paetax.

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a small laugh at Mirabella's comment before returning her wink. "Yes, you just never know when I might turn from a bard to a damsel in distress," she said dramatically, putting a hand to her brow as if she suddenly became faint before smiling broadly at Nelinia's decision to ride with her. As Nelinia somewhat awkwardly stuffed her staff into a bag, Acacia wondered how she would manage to get up. Maybe she could use the stirrup? She then realized her own feet weren't even in the stirrups. She really needed to get use to actually riding and steering a horse, not just hanging on while it plowed a field. Well, hopefully it will work out, she mused, scratching her head and giving a little chuckle. However, she didn't need to worry about Nelinia mounting since she easily jumped up on the horse, causing the mare to give a little start as she did a little half lurch forward. Acacia tried to put her hand back to catch the monk so she didn't fall off, her knees instinctively tightening so she wouldn't fall off herself. The monk quickly grabbed on to Acacia and gained her balance and Acacia relaxed.

"You okay back there?" she asked. Not really waiting for a response, she continued, "If you feel like you're losing your balance or are about to fall off, just grip with your knees, not your feet. Trust me, most horses will not like it," she said, thinking of a time or two she had been bucked off. "Of course you can also hold on to me a bit tighter, that will help too. Let me know if you need to stop for anything too, okay?"

When Nelinia suggested that they should get going, Acacia shot a grin over her shoulder before confidently saying, "On Ha!" to the horse while softly flicking the reins. The horse merely gave a small huff, stamped her front feet, and looked back again before bending her head down to munch on some of the plants growing through the cracks in the street. Acacia shifted to adjust with a small sigh, and wondered what she had done wrong. That is what Father always did, she thought, a confused look on her face. As Narenia came up beside them, Acacia's mare lazily lifted up her head and gave a soft neigh, maybe a greeting, to Narenia's dark colored mount. Acacia unconsciously shifted again, as she looked to the ranger with a small smile, wondering what she was digging for. She then pulled out an apple and handed it to Nelinia and Acacia' smile broadened. As Narenia's horse trotted off, Acacia realized what she did wrong. She then remembered the prince saying something about putting your heels in the sides. She tried it, and to her delight the horse started off. She then realized afresh that she still hadn't put her feet in the stirrups. Oh well.

She then hear the voice of a stranger, a man she supposed and turned to look as he walked toward them. She couldn't quite figure out what was different about him, since he was covered in a cloak. In his introduction, she caught two names. One, his name Icareau, and two, his species, Feledine. She had never seen one of the Feledine, but she had heard of them. It was odd that one would come on a quest like this. Acacia was surprised and didn't even stop the horse to turn and ask the... newcomer questions, though she soon wished she had. However, they were quickly off, following after the prince and starting their odd quest.

"Oh, Nelinia," she said after a moment. "We still need to name her." She gave the horse a small pat on the neck. "What do you think is a good name?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intruder...

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Princes are sick.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by KuroRyu
A sound from behind him caught Xan's attention for a moment. He turned to look behind him for a moment, noticing two figures fighting it out, who they were he couldn't really make out, but if they were fighting each other he knew that one was friend, and the other foe. He would just have to leave his back to them, and focus on those still hidden in front. The aches in his shoulders stabbed at him, but he knew so long as there were those attacking that he could not stop. At least not until the two that were downed were properly treated and taken to a safer area to rest. With every heartbeat he could feel the pain pump through his shoulders as well, he wasn't quite sure how many more times he could attack before both arms gave out completely. He made a mental note that he would have to re-train himself somewhere, sometime, along the journey.

His attention was drawn away once more, this time by the female ranger, Narenia, who had come to aid those that were down. Although it looked as if she would need some aid herself as well. Although it was dark, the fire light reflecting off the blood that had soaked her midsection made it apparent that she was injured herself. He couldn't do anything except nod his head to acknowledge her words. Although the rain of arrows had lessened there were still few coming, Xan spun the chained dagger and had it act as a shield at the projectiles. So long there wasn't an army shooting all their arrows at once he should be able to deflect them without much problems. The real problem was that now the bandits were using ranged weapons from the shadows. He could possibly go and find them, but that would leave Narenia and the downed vulnerable, for now he couldn't do much except to guard them from the incoming arrows.

Xan's dagger and chain only stopped when something else had appeared around them, a strange pink membrane of sorts, he wasn't quite sure what it was. Until he heard a voice close by, he turned to find the mage now joining them, apparently the bubble was something of his. It was something well needed, a guard against the flying projectiles, this was just the calm that Xan needed. He relaxed himself, his daggers now hanging by his fingertips. He closed his eyes and breathed in deep, letting out the air slowly. He slowly rotated each shoulder, a slight popping sound coming from them as he did, he did the same with his neck. His breathing still in a slow manner, long breaths in, and slow breaths out. It wouldn't stop the pain, but it could fool his body into thinking there was less damage than there really was. It would have quite the after affect of all the pain that had built up and the body ignored hitting him at once, but it had to be done.

"I leave them in your care" Xan said to the mage as he ran out into the trees where he last saw the arrows come from. It was dark, the eye really couldn't see much within the trees, and it was perfect for the ranged attackers. On the other hand, it was quite good for him as well, his mid-range weapons meant he didn't have to get to close and risk being spotted. Although his eye was nearly blinded by the darkness as well, all he had to do was wait and listen for the creaking of the bow as an arrow was pulled back on it. Then find it in the moment that a slight glint flashed showing the tip of the arrow, it was difficult, but not impossible. The first one he heard was quite close, only about an arms length away from him, and thus clearly visible as well. Instead of hurting his shoulders more by throwing the daggers, he simply tossed the chain around the assailant as he prepared another arrow and pulled him in close and directly into the daggers before dropping him.

Another sound, this time it was the sound of an arrow being shot, he was slightly worried, but was also confident that the Mage's barrier would hold strong. He crept towards the general direction he heard the sound coming from, and stopped to listen once more. His eye opened wide and focused, until the heard the creak that signaled the bow string being pulled, and he found his moments glint of silver and light. With it he threw his dagger, the scream of pain made it apparent that he had hit his mark, whether it was a death blow or not he didn't know, but it should stop that archer for not. He listened in once more, it was silent, were there only those two? Possibly, but instead of going back out into the light, he sat and waited in the shadows. Keeping his eye on his companions that he had left, to watch and see if anymore arrows were to be launched from a different direction.

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: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella had moved like a spectre after everyone had been healed from the battle with the bandits. Silently, she moved off from the crowd to the patch of forest she had seen Xan exit from previously. He had been soaked from head to toe and carrying equally drenched clothing so she knew there had to be a stream or lake nearby which she could use to wash up.

As she pushed through the last bit of brush and into the clearing, her eyes widened at the sight of a waterfall and a hint of a smile played across her lips. Even here, after seeing so much bloodshed and the worry and fear in her newfound friend’s eyes, there could still be a hint of beauty in the world. Droplets which were cast off by the rush of the falls hitting the lake beneath spread into the air like tiny crystals and formed an ethereal rainbow in the air. For a moment, just a single moment, Mirabella knelt by the pool of water and closed her eyes.

Rest and relaxation were not on the itinerary for the evening, though, and the Prince had mentioned that he wished to speak with the group at the campfire so the Triansui hurried her movements. Using the crystal clear water, she easily cleaned her face, hands and hair, slicking her blond tresses back away from her face as she stood up and wandered back towards camp.

As she made her way to the campfire, everyone else seemed to already be seated and she caught the middle of the Prince’s speech about the Panacea. A single brow lifted upon her forehead at the revelation of their intended destination but she did not utter a single inquiry afterwards. Too many already filled the air around her and she listened intently to each response the Prince gave before allowing them to disperse if they wished. Only when Ian stood up and gave a formal introduction did humor play upon her countenance once more and as he settled down close to the fire, she neared him after grabbing a sweetcake, nudging him with an elbow before taking a seat herself.

“Sorry our greetings earlier were cut short…” Her eyes sought and found Nari, watching the ranger to make sure she was all right before returning her attentions to the Paetax Paladin with a smile. “But I’m glad you finally decided to join us.”

At the first hint of silence, Mirabella called towards Acacia with a teasing grin curving her mouth, “Bard Girl. Did you not promise us a song with our dinner?” If the bard were to look her way, she’d wink at her then fall silent just in case Acacia decided to play.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan's attention turned to Narenia as her voice came into his ear, "It's always difficult in the morning" he said with a smile, a large piece of jerky still being held in his mouth. "I believe I should be asking if you are alright" he said, taking the piece of jerky from his lips, "you seemed quite injured yourself. I'm sorry to say I have no knowledge of treating wounds so I was no help. As for injuries to my own self, I got out quite unscathed, although because of my own lack of regular training my shoulders couldn't quite keep up." He rubbed his shoulders a bit, although they felt much better than they did yesterday, the sharp pain now only a slight ache when he tried to raise his arms above his head.

The ranger was soon joined by Mirabella, whom had a bowl of berries that she had brought from somewhere. She simply remarked as to how she would eat quickly before they were to start burning the bodies. Xan turned to look at the pile of bodies that had been stacked up the night before, 'So that's what was planned for all that' he thought as he placed the end of the jerky that he had been chewing on back into his mouth. He really didn't care or mind what they did with the bodies, it wasn't something to put to much thought into, although it seemed that not everyone thought the same. He looked on as the monk came upon the Prince and a slight discussion began between the two, which quickly escalated. 'Is that really something to get heated about?' he asked himself as he listened on to their argument, it somewhat astonished him as to how far the little argument exploded and ended the way it did. The Prince left the monk to do as she pleased, but told the others to mount their horses as they were to ride on.

Although it would be against his best judgement he decided to give his own opinion to the little monk that was now clawing at the ground, trying to form graves for the fallen bandits. He decided just to say what he needed to and move on before she had a chance to explode on him as well.

"There are many people with many different views that live in this world," he started as he walked towards the monk, "and so" he said as somewhat of a grunt as he crouched down next to Nelinia, "There will be many times that a clash of views will happen. In this time I believe both you and the Prince should have taken a bit of time to think about the others views. You want to bury those that are dead as a form of respect, but in the same sense in the Prince's view the burning of the body of those fallen in battle is a form of respect just as much. Plus, the Prince is also going against time, as I do believe he wouldn't want to return home only to find that they are preparing to do the same with the King's body. I suppose what I want to say is no matter how much you kick and scream there will always be someone that sees things in a different light, and no one will ever truly be right or wrong."

Xan wasn't really sure of what he wanted to say, nor how to phrase anything right, he wasn't very good with words.

"If you're really going to stay and dig graves, all I can say is; catch up soon"

He let out another grunt as he stood, he wasn't sure if he had just angered the little monk more, so he decided to escape before she could really react to anything he said.

"I suppose I'm going to rely on you again my friend" he said, placing a hand on Myst, his four legged companion staying silent. Xan took in a breath as he put a foot in the stirrup and hopped onto the saddle much quicker and easier than he managed to do yesterday. Although is balance upon the saddle still wasn't the best, he managed to sway back and forth for a moment before he stabilized himself on top of the saddle. "I wish this thing would be a bit more comfortable" he mumbled slightly adjusting himself a bit in the seat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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She smiled when Mira came over and nodded, moving a little so she could sit down at a more comfortable spot. The ground was more even where Nari had taken a seat. She held a hand up to decline her offer of berries with their breakfast. Nari was fine with the bit she had already taken. "No thank you," She said and smiled. "And thank you. For partaking in saving my life." Nari planted her hand on Mira's shoulder and squeezed it gently, giving her a warm smile as if to make sure she knew she meant it. It had really meant a lot to Nari that another person had actually come to her aid. It also gave her hope that this quest might actually succeed. At least the group wasn't fully without a sense of unison. The ranger took another bite of her food and chewed, glad that they were at least offered something to prepare them for along days ride. The Prince had said they were going to Pyzer Lake. In her mind, Nari wondered if they were going to travel further inland, or if he would follow the coast along the bay.

She laughed briefly and looked down at the ground, giving a shake of her head when Xan told her that it was always difficult to get up in the morning. Fortunately, Nari had never had that problem. At least, not during the time she had lived on her own in the wild. As a Ranger. When she had still been a child -living in the South- due to her highborn heritage, she was allowed to sleep late some days. And the days she weren't allowed, she did it anyway. Her excuse was that she needed her beauty sleep. "I'm quite fine." Nari said and nodded, giving Mira another smile and then searched for the young Paladin who had stitched her up. She was unable to find him though. "The young Paladin was a great help though. He did a good job." She lifted her dark tunic once again and looked at the stitches. It was strange how it seemed so rapidly healed already, leaving Nari to yet again wonder if the young man had any healing skills beside just needle and thread. Her eyes were still upon the thief as he walked off. Nari too had noticed the escalating arguement between the Prince and the Monk. She gave Mira a look and wrinkled her nose at the mention of burning flesh. Nari agreed with the Prince though. Burn them and let that be it. She shook her head and ate the last of her jerky. "She's too naive. Too young, at least of mind." Nari sighed deeply and looked toward the Monk again. "I can't help but care for her though."

People came and went to the fire, eating their breakfast and minding their own things. Some of them gathering at the scene of the two argueing. Too Nari's own agreement, the Prince gave her an ultimatum, like you'd give a child, and let her stay behind to dig. He was under pressure of time and worry. They had to move on. "She'll scratch her nails off before she gets a foot deep." Another sigh escaped her as she stood and brushed her behind, ridding it of dirt and leaves. "We should probably get ready." Nari pointed toward the mage now helping them digging a hole. If that would speed up the process and let it be the last to hear of it, that was please Narenia as she was tired of hearing about it. As harsh as it was all put to the Monk, it was sadly the truth. They simply didn't have time to bury each and everyone of their enemies. "If by chance you'd like to, feel free to ride by my side. I'd like to talk to you, Mira." With that, Nari stood up just to hear the last words of the Prince Rydas. They were told to mount, and so Nari did after donning her armor and strabbing her sword onto her horse so it was easy to draw. Her bow was there as well, and the quiver on the right side of the horse. She gently kicked the horse and rode up the Prince, waiting for him to lead the way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian
As Travian began eating, a girl pulled out a lute and announced that she would play. He perked up in excitement; a bard was always a welcome addition though he found himself wondering how well she had fared in the battle. He made a mental note to watch out for her. The song she sung was a familiar one, and he would have joined her if the rest of the group hadn’t been settling down to sleep. His singing was of the kind only welcome in boisterous celebrations where everyone was too drunk to discern quality.

The wine helped his exhaustion catch up with him and he dazedly prepared for sleep when the song was done. He didn’t have a bedroll so instead he pulled out his cloak and laid it out on the ground. He decided to take off his plate mail for the night since he knew it was a luxury he might not have in the future, given their destination. The back of his mind nagged him about the possibility of more bandits but he shrugged it off, “I’ve still got my chain mail on….”

As he settled in he saw that the priest and the older man he introduced were preparing to stay up and keep watch. He felt a pang of guilt for not thinking of that and volunteering himself, but it had been a long day and the two men seemed glad for the chance to catch up.

The smell of the food woke him. As he rose he saw that pretty much everyone else was up and nearly ready to go. Though his stomach rumbled, he decided it was best to get everything ready before settling down to eat. He began with the horse. The grey mare may have been dumb but at least it wasn’t intentionally disobedient or stubborn. It let him put on the saddle and packs without any fuss, “I guess it could be worse.” He decided he may as well come up with a name for it, but that could be decided later- it would give him something to do while they rode.

As he began putting on his armor the ranger he had healed approached him. “Thank you, Paladin, for coming to my aid.” She said as she bowed her head.

“No problem, I kind of shut everything out when I see someone is injured, sorry if I seemed cold.”

She sat down and he decided to join her once he finished getting his plate mail on. She gave a friendly greeting to Xan who seemed to be having trouble being up so early. Before he had a chance to address the thief, Mira joined the group with some fresh fruit. Since she offered he ate a little bit but left most of it for Mira and the others.

Xan was looking a little more awake after he finished eating so Travian decided to talk to him. “Your name’s Xan, right? I wanted to apologize for interrupting your privacy last night. I was impatient to find the group and didn’t consider that you were enjoying a moment alone.”

It was then that the Prince addressed the matter of the bodies. He knew a prayer for the dead, but before he could make his way over a heated debate broke out. Like the Prince, he was accustomed to cremation and though burial was not a totally foreign concept it was one he was unfamiliar with nonetheless. It was apparently very important to the monk though and she refused to budge on the issue. The argument ended with her attempting to dig graves by hand as the Prince and most of the party set off. He was a little torn, he wanted to help but he knew the monk was still fuming and might react with hostility to a stranger. That didn’t stop Xan and another man from giving her some advice before they left, but he could tell by her expression that even Xan’s friendly words only made her angrier.

He was relieved to see someone- the bard, come to help her. She finally seemed to calm down a little bit so he went to help too. And he was not the only one; a bearded man who soon revealed himself to be a mage used his magic to create a giant grave for them. Travian was grateful that he sped up the process but a little irked at the man’s rude words- they certainly weren’t going to make the monk any happier.

Travian and a handful of other people helped the girl pull the bodies into the hole. Once they were done the mage sealed it up again. He delivered his prayer quickly and silently before returning to his mount, giving the monk some space. He waited for everyone else to set off before bringing up the rear.

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

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Theyre welcome to try

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

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

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

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

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

God damn

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

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

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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#, as written by Deallo
"I'm just checking if the prince is inside!"

"So the sooner we can leave." The thought of Nel's echoed in her head. A pungent scent started to fill the air as Nel got closer and closer to the end of the hallway. Her nose started to crinkle up on the wind of rotting flesh that swept over her. The monk was coughing by the time she had managed to enter the circular room, doubled over in the intense smell, wearily looking up at the pile of bones in the room and the figure shrouded in darkness. At first, Nel thought it was the prince, making a step towards it until it stood up.

The shadowy figure gave off a cold moan; causing a shiver to crawl up the girl's back. The monk stood tall and held her breath in order to keep her already hazed mind from passing out. The figure shrouded in black held an aura of evil that Nel could feel attacking her, like the force of a whip, and another haunting moan from the apparition caused Nel to take a step back. Her hands were shaking, even more evident with the wavering quarterstaff that she held on for dear life, and suddenly, thrust towards the belly of the creature. The staff went cleanly through the flesh like a spear and out the other end, the monstrosity not even noticing the attack as it's arms were stretched out.

The cold iron-clad grip of the undead hands felt itself around Nel's small shoulders and leaned it to get it's first bite of sweet living flesh. The sudden grip was enough for the monk to gasp, the scent now intensified, mere inches from her face, and adrenaline to start pumping. Her hands left the staff still stuck in the monster's stomach and was on the ghoul's rotten shoulders, halting it's teeth from reaching any farther. The ghoul viciously snapped it's teeth, so close to it's first proper meal yet so far, greedily yearning for it's first proper dinner in ages.

Nel would have easily overpowered the being if it wasn't the source of the noxious odour that made her dizzy and weak all at once, barely able to keep the ghoul and it's snapping teeth from taking a bite off her face.

"G-get away!" The monk manage to spit out, rearing her head back, fingers deep in the rotting flesh each shoulder. She could feel the bone of the monstrosity before her and flesh in the palms of her hands. She could also see the snapping teeth of the ghoul and every detail of it's corpse-like face, ready to devour her, just as soon as it could get those few inches it needed to finally consume a meal...

Setting

Characters Present

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

Bloody hell he should have told me about that

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

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

So now you pray sinful children

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Decapitate it or run for your life.

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

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

Keep it busy.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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It didn't take Callavan long before he caught up with those who had run ahead. By the time he did he saw that the monk had already fallen and pulled to relative safety by the paladin. The thief and ranger were making some attempt to busy the creature. He had in fact, arrived at just the right time to observe the priest's projectile vomiting. This combined with the taint of foul magic and the eau de ghoul offended his stomach to such a degree that it spewed it's own contents in retaliation.

With such bodily functions properly dealt with (which involved a healthy round of dry heaving and a half hearted attempt at wiping his beard clean with his sleeve) he returned his attention to the ghoul, who was currently being battered by G and Gods dammit, what the hell is her name. Still feeling a bit dizzy, he braced his left hand with the other and pointed it in the general direction of the abomination. He hesitated. He was just as likely to hit an ally as the beast and even if he did manage to hit the thing he doubted it would do much damage and would just leave them with a flaming ghoul to deal with. With a sigh he lowered his hands and ran a mental checklist of the spells he had prepared. All of them were either ineffective or were as likely to hurt friend as foe. He swore and followed it up with another bit of dry heaving.

The other ranger called out to him, asking if he could enchant her arrows. He shook his head. "No, it would take too.." he broke off as an idea occurred to him. "Wait, wait a moment," he finished as he dug through his satchel, retrieving two scrolls. One was the barrier spell he used earlier and the other was new, an explosive spell that he normally used for demolition. It would be the first time he tried using it in combat. Unfurling the barrier scroll, he knelt on the ground with a piece of charcoal. It would need some modifications for his plan to work. "Arrow," he said, holding a hand out once he had finished.

With great care he wrapped the scrolls around the shaft of the arrow, using the ribbons from them to hold them in place. The barrier spell worried him some. The charcoal smudged so easily it could ruin his plans. Ink or paint would have worked much better, but there wasn't time for those to dry. And if it did work he'd be short a spell as he had not prepared any others. Hopefully they wouldn't be needing a barrier any time soon.

Before handing it back to the ranger he gave both scrolls a charge of magic. "Alright, this should at least slow it down some. One of these will create a small explosion. The other will hopefully create a ward to contain the explosion." With a shrug he added, "No idea if it'll work or not. Never tried something like this."

To others he yelled, "Oi buggers! Best stand back now, lest you want to lose a limb or two." Turning back to the ranger, "Oh, you should fire that soon. You've got about twenty seconds before it blows up in your face."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Time. "I need time!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

No that was undercutting it, he was terrified

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

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

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

I swear I cant figure how she survived into her age

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

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

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

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

Get back on your senses!

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

Well that wasn't supposed to happen

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Senalae Errion Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by Celedia
-=Mirabella=-


Fierce words were lobbed back at the Triansui by the Priestadin but Mirabella ignored every bit of venom that spewed forth from his mouth. He claimed kinship with the honest thief, Xan, but his speech was not taken to be as acerbic as it would have been if he had bothered to feast with them at the Dancing Dragon before their journey. She, however, would take Xan’s wish that he had shared that night to heart: "I hope everyone can learn to get along…”

So she turned from Lakdov and the others until the amulet hung around the Prince’s neck. When Rydas’ sickening screams had lessened, the party began to disperse and even as the Priestadin spoke to her once more, this time almost cordially, she still ignored him. Only when Nelinia announced that she too was parting ways with the group did the warrior’s bloodied features fall.

”Home?” She repeated the monk’s words dully as her gaze raked over the yellow-clad figure. The tiny melee fighter had become one of her closest allies in the massive group and she couldn’t come to terms with parting from her this quickly. Arguing wouldn’t solve anything so instead Mira wrapped her arms around the weary monk in a bear hug and embraced her quickly before stepping back.

”Be safe, Nelinia. If you ever need anything….” Her words trailed off and a sad smile clung to her lips. Honey brown eyes searched for her other close companions: Nari, Acacia, and Ian to see if any of them would be leaving as well. Those of the group that wished to travel back to Paetax were gathered together. With Ian’s help, Mira managed to load the Prince onto the back of her mare, Blaze, who had just happened to linger around the entrance to the citadel with a handful of other horses. The ride to the capitol was uneventful and as soon as they had reached the gates the Triansui reined her horse around to face north.

”I must travel home,” She murmured to herself but the realization that there was nothing really left for her there emerged. Most of her life she had been a nomad, wandering from place to place in search of gold and adventure and an honorable fight. It had taken them a few days to travel to the capitol and she realized that there really wasn’t anywhere that she would truly call home anymore, so perhaps she should simply continue her adventures elsewhere. When trying to pick a destination, she inadvertently turned her steed southward instead, towards the Shallon Woods, towards Kiron and the Kula Monastery.

She took her time on the trip and it was only when three more full days had passed that she had breeched the perimeter of the town. Exhausted, Mirabella barely noticed the agile monks hopping swiftly from tree to tree above her and though on any other day she would be halted and questioned regarding her entry into Kiron, she was allowed to pass into the village itself with no hesitation. As she brought Blaze through Kiron towards the large monastery, a small group exited and stood by the doors as if they had been waiting for her arrival.

”Ahhh. You are early but no matter.” One of the yellow clad figures stepped out to meet her and though Mirabella arched her brow in confusion, her reaction was ignored as the figure turned quickly to a rather short man that looked as if he had seen his fair share of battle. The monk that had greeted her quickly stood back and half-bowed towards the short man whilst introducing him.

”I present to you, the Elder. Elder, this is the representative that…” With a lightning quick gesture from the battle hardened man, the other monk’s words halted so the Elder could speak but not before his steely gaze assessed Mira with great intensity.

”Come, we have much to discuss.” The Elder turned without waiting for any sort of acknowledgement from the Triansui and puzzled, she had no choice but to dismount and follow along. She was led to an area where they could sit down and a small meal was placed before her.

”We have come far,” The Elder started, a conversational segue which confused Mirabella even more than it had before, but she assumed that Nelinia had simply told the man of their adventures. Not wanting to interrupt, she remained silent while she ate.

”If you have not heard the news. The King as passed. All that remains is the lesser son, the Prince. He won’t prove much of a challenge, will he?”

Mira’s honey-hued eyes widened at the statement, her spoon missing her mouth and spilling the heated soup that she had been served down over her breastplate. One of the Elder’s apprentices ran to fetch her some cloth to clean herself with while the Elder barely even registered her actions and he continued to deliver information to her. All throughout the man’s monologue the warrior couldn’t help but wonder exactly who he thought he was speaking with. None of this made sense. Where was Nel?

What had started out as a simple trip to visit what she had considered to be a dear friend, ended up being a one-sided conversation that brought a hint of intrigue into the Triansui’s life. The Elder chose all of his words carefully, as if he were speaking in code, and though she drew hints of treason from his speech she had no time for inquiries. Almost as abruptly as she was greeted by the Elder, she was dismissed. He stood up when he was finished and made a swift motion towards his apprentices. ”They will see to your needs and you may deliver the message to your superiors.”

What superiors? Who or what did they expect to visit them? Where is Nelinia?

Those troubled thoughts echoed in Mirabella’s mind and it wasn’t until the following day when she was leaving Kiron that she decided to ask someone of her friend’s whereabouts. Though her query was met with narrowed eyes, she was eventually given a brief response.

”Not here. That is all you need to know.”

It was a response that left her with more questions than answers.

Time passed. A messenger had hunted Mirabella down during her travels over the next few weeks and hand-delivered a satchel that was quite heavy and a rolled piece of parchment bearing the Royal seal. Both were expected and both were well received: her payment for the Panacea quest and a letter inviting her to the coronation of the First Prince and Future King of Calisma, Rydas Errion.

The gold she managed to hide away, like a squirrel preparing for winter. The scroll was slid behind her belt, keeping it firmly by her side to prove that her presence at the castle had been requested. Unlike other more vain warriors, Mirabella hadn’t used her newfound wealth to buy new armor or weapons. Her breastplate was still the one that had seen her through the battles in the citadel, her blade was still the one used to hack at ghoul, diralgraun, vrock and succubi. The only thing that had changed during the month long absence was the look in her eyes. Though still caring and jovial at times, her meeting with the Elder had proven that everyone had secrets. Even the most unsuspecting entities could be worthy of her distrust and cynicism.

Ascending the stairs with her head held high and her shoulders set proudly, her breastplate polished to a mirror finish and her golden hair pulled away from her face with a leather tie, Mirabella approached the Royals and the monk. A flash of surprise and curiosity flashed over her fair features as she came upon the tail end of the conversation then she bowed low before righting herself once more.

“Prince…” she trailed off with a nod and a friendly smile towards Rydas before she greeted his sister next, “Princess.” Another bow and acknowledgement before she proceeded, “It is an honor to be invited.”

Her eyes turned briefly to the monk as she murmured a brief greeting to Nelinia as well, though whether it was from suspicions based on her visit to the monastery or simply because she didn’t quite know the protocol when royalty was involved, it wasn’t clear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Balian Halen Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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The patterns on his armor almost looked silvery against the black plate in the moonlight, despite the fact that they were made of gold. His ornate black hood was up to shield his face from the rain. Ever since he had left home it had been pouring down. Balian tucked at the reins of the great black destrier he was riding, stopping it on top of a hill that was overlooking the Vyric Plain. Many battles had taken place here. It was a good place for armies to meet face to face. No advantages for either side, just a vast plain for the soldiers to clash in an epic battle. His sword was in it's sheath, tied to the saddle of his horse. Valin had been his horse for a few years now and of the finest breed. He was big, strong and fearless. But a frightened horse wouldn't do for battle. Balian steered Valin down the hill and began crossing the great plain before him.

Meanwhile, his mind was racing. Barely did he notice his surroundings as steering the horse forward had become a habit, while his mind worked at full capacity. He had decided to gather his thoughts during his ride to the capital. Nari had died asking him to deliver her bow just before her eyes closed. What she told him just before she passed still rang in his head, the words seared into his brain. His sister had cried when she explained what had happened. The Citadel... Idassava. She had kept repeating that, voice trembling with fear. The group of adventurers had been fighting a beast. The Diralgraun. Obviously her memory was foggy when she had told the story, but Balian could easily remember when she had told him about her abduction. His face contorted, showing the pain of remembering. Nari had been kept awake under the torture, asked to answer questions which she by no means could. "I swear by my sister's name, the pain inflicted on her will be paid back tenfold." Balian muttered to himself. Nari had given him two names beside the Prince's, members of the adventurer-group she apparently cared for. Quite a bit he assumed. Mirabella d'Adreci and Nelinia Jaze.
In the end, Balian decided to race for the Paetax, bring the news to the Prince, deliver her two hunting knives to the woman Mirabella and her bow to Nelinia. 'If they're not at the capital, the Prince would know where they are...' He told himself. Whether or not the two adventurers were in Paetax, he didn't know, but the roads had been flowing with carts and merchants and nobles bound for the city. Something must be going on there, since Rydas' return.

So, with mind set he spurred Valin on and the wind caught the red sash he wore. Paetax drew slowly closer and Balian found himself with a purpose. That was all he needed. Bring the news of Narenia's death to the Prince and deliver her weapons to her friends. Still, Balian's expression was grim as he rode and he would have to remember his lessons in manners and etiquette when he reached the Prince. After all, House Halen was a prominent and well liked family. He would have to live up to the name.
'Despite that my House has fallen apart....'


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Only three times had he been to the Capital, visiting with his father. That was before he fell ill of course, so it was many years ago. Still the city was something to behold. Banners waved in the wind over the towers and two hung on either side of the gate as well. As he rode through, he looked down at one of the guards who merely gazed back at him and nodded. Balian knew that if he hadn't been wearing his armor, he would have been stopped. In one of the saddlebags though, was a suit of finer clothing if he would come to need it. It was simple though, consisting of a black attire with a red sash much like the one he was already wearing. So he wouldn't raise suspicion in any way though, he pulled down his hood and revealed his face. Sadly, there's was small chance of anyone there recognizing him. Maybe some of the adventurers might, since some facial features were shared with his sister. Whether or not they did see the resemblance, he would state his name as was expected of him. 'If this Mirabella and Nelinia were so good friend's of hers, they will remember the name Halen.'

Castle Paetax was lit up. There was something grand going on in there. Something that Balian hadn't heard about. Most likely a celebration for the Prince, if he should take a wild stab. Balian Didn't dismount his horse as he rode through the streets, wondering what to do. Should he wait until morning to seek out the people he wanted to find, or should he try now. He figured that the Prince would be the easiest man to find, but didn't see the opportunity to gain an audience as he was currently inside the Castle. 'Small chance the guards will let me in...' So that was it, two choices. Either go to the Castle and try to get in or wait until the morning.

His steelclad feet hit the ground with a heavy thud as he dismounted Valin. Balian ran his fingers through his hair and rubbed his eyes, tired from many days of riding. After some consideration he had decided to rent a room in case his attempt to get into the Castle failed. Then he'd try again the following day. "Easy, friend." He spoke to Valin in his deep voice and patted him. He'd tied the horse in the stable and paid for a few days of having him there. His feet carried him to the entrance of... What was it?
"The Black Vagabond." Balian read aloud and looked at the door before he opened it. The dim light inside was nice as he had just come in from the darkness. The heavily armored fallen Paladin didn't look at anyone in the room, but headed straight for the barkeep. "One cup of spiced wine, bread and cheese. Thank you." He threw more than his order cost on the counter and sat down. "Keep the change." As he sat and waited, he reached into a hidden pocket and pulled out the scroll with the three names on it and fixed his eyes on it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Balian Halen Character Portrait: Narenia Halen
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What are you going to tell him? The thought came to his mind as he stood with his hands folded behind his back, waiting for one of the guards to return and either allow him inside or send him away. Balian rarely had trouble talking to people, and definitely not noble people. Granted, this was Royalty but it shouldn't make a difference. Since Narenia's death however, he had kept to himself so much that interaction with other people was strange. It had gotten better since he arrived at the Paetax, but there was still a ways to go. Pledge allegiance? Which was actually something he had to do now that he was head of House Halen, though there wasn't much of it left. Balian sighed as he stood and looked down at his feet, serious expression on his face as he thought about how he was to go about this thing with Rydas.

As time passed so did all the people that were to see their new king. With every second that went by, his annoyance increased. Balian was slowly giving up on getting in there to see the coronation before it was over. The guards hardly talked to him and no one returned to allow him inside.

Before he knew what was going on, a gasp went through the crowd and everything went silent. The only thing to break it was a voice that rang through the room, but from where he was standing, he couldn't see what was going on. Chaos ensued not long after and the crowd started pouring out. Balian on the other hand did the oppposite and went inside. He pushed through people and got closer King. Or is he king? Did they crown him before this chaos? A knot tightened in his stomach as he realized that Rydas might not have been crowned yet. That was serious enough since it made Balian wonder just what had caused this chaos. Anti-royalists? Assassins from another city or another nation?

Before he could reach Rydas though, he was tackled from behind. Two guards grabbed his arms and made sure he didn't move unless they allowed it. "Don't try anything!" One of the said, which only made Balian even more confused. They began to drag him along, up the stairs. Balian struggled, infuriated and shouted profanities at them.

Thânul take these imbeciles. The paladin thought to himself and sighed deeply as he gave up struggling. From what he could gather, they were sure that he was part of this scheme to murder the Prince. Or King depending on what had happened. "I'm not here to kill my Lord! I'm here to-" His breath was knocked out of him as they pushed through more doors, a guard to each arm. They decided to make this even more unpleasant by pulling a black bag over his head. This was certainly going to make Rydas notice him, but not in the way Balian would have liked.

One of the guards pushed open the door to the library and they stepped inside. None of them said anything, instead stopping suddenly and pushing Balian to his knees. All he had to rely on know was his ears since he couldn't see much for the bag over his head. His breath was heavy and his lungs ached from the blow he'd recieved on his way here.

If you're going to get out of this one, you're going to have to be really careful, Bal. And he knew that all to well. A wrong word and it could cost him his head. He could only hope that the King (or Prince) recognized the mark of his house that was on his chest, or that there was someone in the room that he knew. Someone that had seen him or met him before. "The stupidity of the two of you is unfathomable." Balian mumbled and sighed before a knee was planted in his back.

The two guards that still had a hold of his arms stood and watched their Lord, waiting for opportunity to speak.