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Nelinia Jaze

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it's called present."

0 · 914 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by Deallo

Description

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Full Name: Nelinia Jaze

Nickname: Nel

Gender: Female

Age: 24

Sexual Orientation: Keeping in mind that she has been with neither gender, nor will be, neither. For now.

Height: 5'5

Race: Human

Class Monk

Skills: Nel brings to the table her unmatched hand-to-hand combat capabilities, enhanced by her superior agility and strength, ability with the quarter staff, some skill with first-aid (Though it'd pale in comparison to a cleric) , and a rudimentary knowledge of edible plants.

Weakness(es): Besides the fact that she wears no effective armor? Consider her pacifist moral creed, mostly sheltered life and she's gonna have a hard time adjusting to the world and companions around her.

That and she's kinda ignorant to most, if not all, to the various cultures and customs surrounding her.

Equipment: What does a Monk have, really? She carries a simple quarterstaff with a thin red cloth attached to it, three copper coins, a small beggars bowl, and some pieces of bread.

Personal Quote: Ch.1 - "Even a mosquito is a mother's baby child."
Ch.2 "At times, we must purge things from this world that must not exist."

Description: Standing at a height of 5'5, she weighs in at 135 Lbs, notably due to her body which had toned itself, grew stronger and stronger, yet remained agile, limber and flexible from the rigourous exercies as a monk. However, it's not evident on first inspection as her body is clothed in the bright yellow robes of a monk, which makes her seem significantly smaller, with the exception of her arms and the knees down which remain bandaged because of the abuse they sustain daily in training. Out of their bandages, both hands and feet are heavily scarred, calloused, and rough to the touch. Under Nel's hood is a young face, adorned with short black hair, which reaches her shoulders, that's normally tied back for the sake of comfort and emerald green eyes.

[Currently] - She's wearing a dress adorned in warm colours, yellow being the prevailing colour but with secondaries such as orange and red. Eloquent and skilled black stitching among the sleeves that became symbols of spirals and ran down the length of the dress. It's a corset-type dress which posses a solid yet soft material with the hem that reach just four inches off the floor. Her chest has been tightly bandaged and she's wearing black knee high boots meant for winter.

Personality: Nel is a pacifist at heart and has been raised as a pacifist. She's not someone to make rash decisions but instead think things over before deciding. Despite her solitary nature as a monk; she's more then willing to be an extrovert most of the time despite the eventual problems she might have with understanding sarcasm, jokes, dirty euphanisms, and such. She's a patient, kind, and trusting woman who see's the better in people and is guided by her own strict moral compass. There's little Nel hates except stealing, murdering, and preachers. All are considerably destructive in her eyes, stealing is directly proportional to envy and greed, murder a heinous action for the weak to take, and preachers as those who spread lies of the existence of deities. Although she is a pacifist; don't expect her to stand idly by if someone does something she dissaproves. "Only through inaction will you silently agree." Afterall, this thought was how she got swept up into this quest.

History: Nelinia was born in a small village named Oversi. She wasn't originally named Nelinia though; instead she was Iji Redels born into a poor family that made little more then a few coins every month of the year...barely enough to eat. Iji's history isn't as complicated as it needs to be. One day when she was three, a group of monks passed by the village seeking young ones to take under their wing, and join the monastery. These monks were in particular part of the Kula Monastery, as there are different monasteries with varying beliefs, who promised parents that their children would be given the cloth, food, water, and strength they would need to survive the world.

While most parents rejected the absurd idea, the poor had thought otherwise, unwilling to let their children suffer the same worthless lives they have and give them to the monastery for a better life. Some adults tried to join but they were ultimately refused due to "being tainted in the years". After that, the youth were shaved of their heads, given new names, and lived in the monastery following the way of the monk. These youth underwent the same rigorous training all monks go through and learned the art of meditation through every year that has passed them til this very day in the search for true inner peace.

Recently the rumors of the king's plight even reached the walls of Kula Monastery, alongside the search of adventurers to aid in the search for special medicine, and roused the monks within. Although a varying amount are worried, the majority has agreed to stay put, and to keep their sights on the varying dangers that may affect the town they're currently centered in, Kiron, as they've become the unofficial guard. Silently disagreeing on the other hand was Nel, who had preached about the danger's of a new ruler for Calisma, was ignored. Unable to sit idly by and let this pass on, Nel snuck away early in the night and set off for the road, to aid in this predicament.

Anything Else: There are four primary monasteries: The Kula Monastery, The Feran Monastery, The Yulan Monastery, and lastly, The Jade Monastery. Each have varying customs and minor details to differ one another but they follow the general principal of the self and a underlying sense of godlessness.

She's a vegetarian. And in case I failed in conveying it as a writer; she despises priests and paladins.

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So begins...

Nelinia Jaze's Story

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze
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#, as written by Deallo
Paetax was inconcievable. Nel hasn't ever seen rich and prosperous before but now it translated to crowded and bustling. The yellow clothed figure looked like a stray sheep from the herd; turning heads not for beauty but for how easily she stood out from the masses. Getting to Paetax was the easy task but rumours and news often left out the importat details. Like where to meet once one was inside Paetax. Luckily, through her lost wandering, she came across a poster with the answer to her questions. "The Black Vagabond..." She said to herself and started to silently repeat the message it held with her lips. Nel wasn't a strong reader so it helped to read out the words to get a sense of understanding.

She wondered what it would mean if she had went. An "Adventurer" she would be labelled. It was quite an odd thing to be labelled as such; when she had never seen much of the outside world until the past few days. It was a heavy, cumbersome word that was awkward to spit out. "Adventur-er. Tur..er. Toorer? Ad-vent-toorer? No..." She decided to shake off the thought for the meantime, taking a new grip on her quarterstaff, and was about to dive back in to the sea of people when suddenly a bell had struck. Nel whipped her head back at the noise, reminded instantly of the same bell at the Kula Monastery they use to signify it's noon and time for lunch, and a guilty feeling started to wash over her. "They were wrong. For the first time they were wrong."

Yet there was something odd that caught her attention. The silence. The sea of people. They stopped as soon the bell rang once, then twice, then again. Then nothing. The people paused but soon got back to their buisness as if nothing had ever happened. Nel looked back and forth with a confused look on her face at the strangness of Paetax.
"Excuse me?" She asked a few of the passerby's, a few ignoring her, but a passing guard drapped in metal heeded her.
"Is there something wrong, fair maiden?" His voice was had a strong yet gentlemen tone as he asked her.
"Maiden?" Nel said, confused once more, but let it drop as there was more important matters. "Do you know where is the Black Vagabond?"
Although she couldn't tell under his helmet, he gave off a frown, and let out a groan. "Tisn't not best of watering holes but it's fair. Watch for some of the shady characters there but I think it's closed for some adventurer's gathering today. Just walk down this road and there should be a sign atop the entrance: 'Black Vagabond.'"
"I see...thank you." She said and made her way towards the direction he pointed at. "They water holes here? We just fill them up with dirt at the monastery."

When she finally pushed the door open, she was greeted with a mostly empty tavern, a refuge from the cramped streets of Paetax. The owner was a burly man shining some glasses and surely he must have some drink. Water's been sparce for about a day now and Nel's dry mouth and chapped lips were evidence of it. "Excuse me.." She said, nearing the counter. "Do you have any water?"
"Four copper."
She rifled through one of the pockets in the folds of her yellow robes and pulled out three of the brown coins onto the palm of her head. The owner took a second, shrugged his shoulders, and took the money, leaving in it's place a wineglass full of water. Nel looked at the fragile glass with a sort of wonder to how the water inside didn't break it. She carefully sat on the stool and positioned her hand right under the glass so she'd just push it up to her lips; it looked like an expensive glass. The water ran cool down her throat and brought the relief she so needed; and after laying it back down on the counter she moved to a table and sat cross legged on the chair, each foot over the opposite thigh, and waited. "It might take a while for the rest to get here." she thought. With nothing else to do, and since this was the hardly a place for exercise, she cast her gaze downwards, and let her hands fall on her lap, to wipe her thoughts away and meditate in complete silence.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel's eyes fluttered open from her meditation to a full cup of foaming mead placed precariously on her table. The monk raised an eyebrow at the brown drink that appeared out of nowhere and twisted her neck to the barkeep behind her. As if reading her mind, Vinny tilted his head toward another patron of the bar, a towering individual with a blond mane of hair surrounding his face, from the hair atop his head and the beard hanging from his chin. Such an individual looked odd to Nel, seeing as everyone in the monastery normally either absolve themselves from hair or tied it back neatly, but the last few days traveling proved people did indeed grew their hair out for some bizarre reason. An odd thing that was. She started to notice how the Black Vagabond was also filed with more people. Brushing back a few strands of hair, Nel awkwardly waved to the person, but then a man slipped out from the shadows and started to give some sort of speech. The man spoke in riddles! Was there really a talking crown? What was a “Liege?” Most importantly however, was that more questions were answered then raised, they were searching for a healing amulet, and the man was a prince named Rydas Errion. Nel thought about that for a second: If princes were kings’ sons; this must mean he’s finding a cure for his father. A noble endeavor indeed. Someone came in through the back and when Nel saw the blood covered man; she was genuinely concerned for her own safety.

After people left, scared or intimidated perhaps, the remainder were opted to introduce. The first was a woman, who by the dress of her garb of metal and leather, must have been a warrior. Mirabella had a commanding presence and a strong voice yet a strange aesthetic beauty to boot. Nel was in awe of her. In the midst of said awe, her hand took a grip on the mug of brown liquid, and she looked inside of it.

The second man to introduce himself was…unsavory at best. Xan. Scoundrel, rat, thief, rouge, a sullied life indeed. At least he’s honest; she’ll give him that. Before going back to her drink, someone had rushed in. A tall warrior, towering even the man who gave her a drink, draped in metal from head to toe and a man by the sound of his voice. Gallon O …something-or-other. A “champion”. Despite the title, Nel can’t help but feel unnerved, probably because of the lack of face where the steel helmet was.

In the midst of it all, she started to feel nervous, and naturally tipped the glass that she still held in one hand over to her lips and let the strange foamy liquid in. It had an odd taste to it yet it seemed just as familiar as water itself. Amidst letting the liquid swish around her mouth; she looked with eyes of bewilderment as the man who gave this drink, as a present perhaps, started preaching. Her eyes slowly turned to slits, staring daggers at the priest, lips opened to promptly let the flavored water flow down back into the cup. His air of impotent superiority and lies was something that struck a chord to Nel. Her grip instantly tightened on the glass and in the midst of anger the mug was crushed, glass crunched together in between her fingers, leaving only the handle to fall to the floor among the rest of the glass shards. The noise was rather receptive as it catched various glances from the people in the room.

Taking a breath to calm down, she cleared her throat, and forced by her own actions, tried to introduced herself calmly. “My name is Nelinia Jaze from the Kula Monastery in Kiron.” She took a pause, unsure if any of them knew the congregation of 100 monks, the largest of the four monasteries. “We act as guards for the city and have been for over seven centuries in the while of attaining inner peace. Despite the lack of interest in the Monastery for the King; I have come here on my own accord.”

With that, she uncrossed her legs, and started to pick up various shards of glass that hit the floor and put them on the table.
“Always clean up your own mess, child. Never let people be your servant. Be your own servant.”

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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.

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze
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#, as written by Deallo
Despite on being one's hands and knees, picking up pieces of glass amongst the flavored water, Nel still held an open ear. After her, the prince spoke to her, expressing his gratitude and knowledge of the order. It was delightful to know someone knew the monastery, her whole world until a few days ago, and it was such a relief. After the prince was a girl with fire-like hair; a merchant! The oddest place to find a merchant would be here and she wondered what was her reason: Fame? Glory? Duty? Riches? All four? Whatever it might be, Nel had to admire her aspirations, her courage for trying her hand at such a quest since she looked so frail and brittle. In truth, the tale of the merchant had a far better ring then that of the warrior, fighter, and others, more so because of her hidden bravery! Maybe it can someone Nel can really relate to, after all, she didn't know how to swing a sword, shoot a bow, magic, or even navigate a forest...thank goodness for roads. Some normalcy in this adventure, slowly starting to sound more absurd as seconds flew by, was what she truly needed.

When all of a sudden, her hand was grasped, and she jumped up, scared and ready to throw a blow until she saw it wasn't an enemy. When Narenia introduced herself, it felt, although she was speaking to the room, like she was speaking to the monk herself as she garnered to some of the glass on her hand. She only realized then, the large pieces of glass protruding from her bandaged palm, and the bit of blood that it managed to seep through the new-but-now-sullied bandages. "Thank you, Narenia." She said gratefully as she turned around to Narenia behind her, face beaming an innocent smile. "I just...uhm...slipped...my hand." Nel said awkwardly in her attempt to justify the mess, just noticing then the scar across her companions left eye, turning back to sweep the rest of the mess on her hand. Her hand DID slip. Into breaking the glass.

When she tool a seat back down in her chair the next to speak was...the man with the beard. Nel didn't knew the man but he could spot him a mile away with that beard and she was sure, so sure, that it twitched ever so slightly. She squinted her eyes just in case but it didn't move again. Like it knew it was being watched. The owner of the beard was Callavan, a mage, surprisingly since he didn't look like the scholarly type, or smart for that matter as he downed another glass of flavored water.. He showed them a little fire from the palm of his hand and Nel was instantly envious. How easier it would be to make a fire if she could just place her palm up to some deadwood. Then again, she'd have to forget the finer things of life. Like handshakes. Don't give the bearded man a handshake. The next person to speak was a bard. A bard! Her eyes lit up as Acacia, (axe-say-see-ya?) introduced herself, and she was ecstatic at the presence of someone who can play the lute. Or who can sing! Or who can do both! In the midst of the monk's thoughts, the priests words protruded her ears, and thoroughly pushed aside the fantasies of music.

She knew why he hated the priest: because he was a priest. Nel didn't in particular liked the memories that served her when someone shouted their deity whole-heatedly into the air as an excuse. Those memories served as fodder to the fire of hate. What use did priests have in such a group? Nel turned away from the conversation when it got too difficult to understand after merchants dealing with death and the flesh is weak or something. Meaningless euphemisms. The monk leaned over from her chair to grab her quarterstaff that she placed flat on the ground, something not a lot of people would have noticed, and placed it on her lap. She could feel herself slowly slipping and closed her eyes. Breath in. Breath out. A simple meditation the monastery taught children for it's simple, effective, easy use. Yet it didn't work. The voices were loud. Really loud. People were talking loudly. It was burning her ears; disturbing the meditation. She tried to block out the noise but the noise was just blocking her out. The oddest thing was: this felt familiar, like she went through this before.

Then she remembered. Children. She loved children, yes, but not the youngest ones, the newest ones, those who had to make noise consistently. That's it. This is a room full of children. Not even good children who learnt well from their elders and grew stronger, with their bodies and minds everyday, but the rotten ones, those who cry and complain, cry and complain, cry and complain, cry and complain, eat, then cry and complain again. A headache. Too few to care for yet enough to dread. It truly needed to stop. Why were the merchant and the bear- mage even doing in the first place fighting? Nel took a careful step off the chair, leaving the quarterstaff to lean up against the table she sat at, and walked toward the counter where the two were near to fighting. Just as Callavan finished his nasty insult, the monk drew closer, to get as close as she can in between them without wedging herself in. "Can you two please stop fighting?" Nel asked innocently, forearms brought to her chest, almost as is she was praying except her hands weren't clasped together. The position had little spiritual meaning though as it's easier to bring arms down then it is to bring them up if it shall come to it. She wish she had better words to say but none other could dare come to mind then.

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.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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Hayley stood there, just behind the mage she couldn't remember the name right now with her dagger up and ready to strike. A lot of things happened quickly. The stupid, fat, old, perverted, drunken priest started his random insults. Hayley was going to switch victims and stab him first, he asked for it. That was when the warrior woman, Mirabella, or something like that. Got up, yelled at them and made a small speech to make them stop fighting then burst outside, followed by the big pile of alcoholic crap shortly after. A little stunned by the events, Hayley simply held her dagger not knowing what to do. The prince and the tall guy, Hayley had no idea of his name, intervened at their own turns. They were right, Hayley was not getting paid if she killed anyone right now. She was going to let it go when the worthless mage started some more insults.

'Enough, I'm killing you.' Hayley thought, raising her dagger for a single strike to his back. But then the monk woman appeared beside them, asking for them to stop fighting, in a gentle way. Startled, Hayley forgot she was going to kill the mage and just stood there for a couple of seconds once more. The young bard also got to them, reasoning with Hayley, she slowly pushed her hand down, Hayley let it go and put the dagger away. "Someday i will kill you both." Hayley whispered to the mage before turning away from him. "Don't stay near this pile of magic crap." She warned both the monk and the bard. Walking quickly, trying to be as far away from the troublemaker and mister beer gut as possible, she would end up killing them if they spoke again.

Hayley wasn't surprised to find herself planning another assassination when she finally sat down on a table on the opposite side to the bar.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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Fueled by booze, rage and magic; Callavan was prepared to incinerate everything that stood behind him, so infuriated he was with this 'merchant'. His focus centered on her, there was no bar, no people, nothing, just him and the 'merchant'. He didn't act, instead he waited he to see what she would do. Her dagger was raised as if to strike, exactly what he had been waiting for. A grin spread across his face, what little of it could be seen through his beard. The flood gates that had been holding his magic back folded, his hand was engulfed in flames ready to burst forth. A yellow blur entered his periphery, the monk. The 'merchant' faltered, he saw his chance, an easy shot. The monk's words hit him be he took action, he faltered, the flames held study. The world returned around him, slowly at first, others had been trying to stop him he realized, their words might as well have been directed to a rabid dog.

Now the bard entered, her words shamed him slightly, but the angered still bubbled. The dagger had disappeared though, so with a begrudging sigh the flames flickered and dissipated. Hands raised over his head he said, ”Very well, I concede,” He grunted at the 'merchant's' threat, turning around to watch her go. He considered thumbing his nose at her, but didn't.

Satisfied that the 'merchant' would keep away from him, for now anyways, he turned his attention to the monk and bard. ”I suppose I should thank the two of you for stepping in. I would have likely done something foolish otherwise,” He raised his mug then paused, holding it to his lips, before setting it down without taking a drink. Recent events suggested that it was perhaps not the best of ideas. He continued, ”I wouldn't trust her, were I you. While I may be a rash, crude drunk, I've yet to pull a blade on a stranger for mere words. She is hiding something and I doubt it is in any of our interest. Tread carefully around her.”

”Enough, Thovian.” Callavan turned back to the prince, unsure if he meant him or the 'merchant'. He listened and watched as the prince left. Did he still want to take part of this foolishness? The pay would be good, but then so would his chances of having his throat slit while he slept. Of course, the former was just as likely anywhere else with the effect he seemed to have on strangers. And the prince did offer to supply new equipment. He was short on enchanting tools, not having the coin to buy more, and getting more now would make finding work later simpler. Eh, what the hell. he concluded, I can always disappear when things take a turn for the worse. He glanced towards the 'merchant'. Which may not take all that long

Swinging his pack around, he rooted through it, retrieved a small piece of vellum and some cloth wrapped charcoal and jotted down a quick list of tools starting with what he needed to stock up on.

-Vellum and parchment
-Ink, charcoal and chalk
-String and threads of varying quality

Then he finished with whatever could be useful down the road.
-Various chisels and files for stone and metal inscriptions
-Tools for leather carving
-Black and white tempera paints, as well as a brush to go with them

He didn't expect to receive all of these, but even the simplest of these would enable to create a greater variety of enchantments. The note was passed to the barkeep, and Callavan turned away from the bar. For now it seemed best to not expose his back.

The rest of the day was his to have, it seemed. He had been employed, which meant the job hunting he had planned was no longer necessary. His supplies would be taken care of for him, which meant no shopping and less coin lost. His belly was full for now, so there was little need to search for food. It seemed the self declared thief was of a different opinion and left to eat elsewhere. Callavan decided to stay at the pub for now. Perhaps he could get to know his new found coworkers better, some of them leastways.

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

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel felt guilty. Unintentionally stiffing the bill for her food to Mira, the monk refused to have her pay for another room, compromising they both sleep in the same room. With the thought that there was two beds, Nel nodded in agreement, and from fully satisfied with a meal she desperately needed sleep. Upon entering the room there was only one bed. There was only one option:

Sleep on the ground.

To be honest, she was used to sleeping on grounds since the idea of anything else was foreign, but the pillows and sheets said otherwise. Fine red sheets that felt so soft in between her fingers she wanted to just curl up in them and die. In a good way. Despite her mind already deciding on the floor, her body was already on the bed, writhing in the pleasure of warmth, not even bothering to take off her clothes. She could barely remember any sign of life whilst she was caught up in the euphoria of the softest sheets in the world and quickly fell asleep.

Waking up was not as pleasurable. Mainly because she noticed someone else under the sheets. Nel almost screamed but covered her mouth just in time to silence any noise. She carefully lifted the sheet up and saw the culprit from her long strands of hair to her face: Mirabella. It was Nel's fault, she thought she'd be taking the floor, then steals the bed, so it was to be expected. Besides it was a large bed that could easily fit three people. Nel instantly raised the sheets looking for another body but was relieved to find none.

Very slowly, she slipped out of the bed, and tip-toed to the door, opening slowly to avoid noise but not too slow for the door to creak and wake everyone. It was the same technique she used to leave the monastery. About to close the door behind her, she saw the bed, calling for her to come back. "Neeeel! Neeeeeeeel! Sleeep mee! Nel bit the edges of her lip as she regrettably closed the door behind her and flowed out of the tavern into the street. The sun hadn't even thought of coming out yet. The monk was used to waking up this early in the morning from the day she was brought into the Kula Monastery. Slipping into an alley, which provided some protection from the cool winds, she sat on the cobblestones cross-legged and began her meditation.

What felt like days passing were only hours and, unknowingly, a small crowd started to gather at the entrance to the alley, stricken with curiosity. At this point in time, the sun was rising over the horizon, giving a reddish-orange glow to the sky. Nel's hands slipped slowly from her lap with her forearms on the floor, slowly shifting her weight onto them until her legs, still crossed, weren't touching the ground. With all the weight transferred to her forearms, she slowly uncrossed her legs and held them up to the air, akimbo, and straightened her back. Now upside down, she kept her balance skillfully, and held the position for a while until suddenly she put tightened her hands into fists and lifted her forearms up. Hold. Nel still held steady breaths despite the beads of sweat pouring slowly unto her side. Now splaying her hands on the background, she pushed up once more, lifting her palm up into the air, and balancing off the tips of her fingers. The crowd at the entrance of the alley, still unknown to her closed eyes, was growing and watching with awe at the performance. She held the position for a while, then suddenly lifted her left arm up, and was balanced with the fingers of her right hand. Muscles quivering
and arm quickly wavering, she switched hands, held, pulled in her legs, and promptly stood up, eyes open before the now cheering crowd. Confused and sweaty as the salty water was now a second skin, her face flushed, and she ran the other end, this time mindful to bring her quarterstaff.

Whilst looking for the gate, the bells tolled again, and the human traffic immediately stopped once more. It all seemed so alien and strange to her; everything really. "I'll never fit in. She thought, just as she found the gate, and got into the empty clearing of space inhabited by horses. The prince was there in his swooshing red cape, which reminded Nel of the soft sheets that made her want to caress it through her fingers, the thief who seemed to be in a jovial mood this afternoon, and a tall character with a gold beard. The priest. Perhaps she has been too hard on Akdov. After all, not every priest would be like...him. Right?

"Good morning." Nel greeted the priest, standing beside him for the moment, trying to find a common denominator they can relate to. That was staring right at her. "That's an odd weapon." She remarked at the staff with the symbol of approval for a hand on it, looking back at her weapon, not helping the fact she felt a little plain.

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.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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He was not amused by these questions, was it some kind of riddle? Had she selected the words specifically to try to make an answer impossible?

“I beg to ask what is a true ally my lady?” it was an honest question, what exactly was that “Are you asking me if I will have you over my god as priority? Are you asking me if you can rely on my assistance, limited as it might be to those who don’t share the faith or perhaps are you doubting my tolerance or perhaps wondering if I have the capacity to handle lies and distrust from these people?”

He removed his hood revealing his dark blond hair “I don’t know what a true ally is, maybe its something found amongst the steel blades and the smell of blood, but I will say this, even if for some reason this endeavor fell to me and me alone I would see it through, I was wrong to cause conflict amongst us, but my god has chosen me to carry this out an I will not disappoint the faith the hall lord has delivered in me, I will support you, see your wounds tended and if there is a task that requires the life that Deud has given back to me, returned to the hall then I will do so”

He had not smiled and had been very serious when he spat the words “I hope that answers your question”

Akdov simply laughed at the monk, well not at her really, but at the way she saw the world “It would indeed be an odd weapon, if it was one girl” he looked at his long staff and continued “I don’t see myself ever killing anything with this” he chuckled a little rethinking that statement “Well it is very good to draw smiles and laughs so I guess you could say it is a weapon against boredom and dull moods, but it is a walking stick in truth, woman, after all this old bones can benefit from having a support since I am assuming we are going for a travel long and wide”

He looked at the distant horizon, the lands were the sun sat and the mountains rested “I look forward to it I once had a pilgrimage in which I saw so many things, enjoyed plenty and suffered few…”

I was another man back then

“I just hope that Deud can give me the vision to know things apart, I pray for the strength to change that which can be changed, the discipline to accept when I can’t change things and the wisdom to tell apart which from which” he turned to his companions
“I take it you have your shares of the road as well, I hope we can share them one of these days”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, as written by Deallo
Having been spotted by Mira, Nel promptly smiled at her, but was slightly surprised she wanted to speak with the priest; something of being a "true ally? The priest went on and Nel, though not meant to listen to this conversation, can easily tell he would rather trust his imaginary God then he would the group. Monks may not know much about travel or adventure but even Nel can feel nervous with such as an answer as his. A simple "yes" or "no" could have easily sufficed; instead he had to string words together in a complex weave that needed to be deciphered. Why so needlessly complicated?

Fortunately, he didn't try that weave of words when answering Nel's question, which thank "Deud" for that. Apparently, his weapon was a walking stick, for "old bones". She promptly raised an eyebrow to his response; feeling somewhat confused by it. "I never thought boredom or dull feelings were such vicious enemies. Starting to feel the soreness in her arms, she brought up one arm and held it back down behind her head, relieving a familiar ache from her training in her shoulder. "Kill someone with a walking stick. What non-sense." She firmly said under her breath; switching arms simultaneously. "A weapon never has to kill. I thought priests would know that." The last part seemed to have a incredible amount of sarcasm put into it, bitter memories resurfacing, then suppressed through clenched teeth. "As for my name, it is Nel, not woman. No-one would call you man, yellow-beard, or tall. I'm sure if you only had a name; priest...

Both arms back to her side, she once again gripped the quarterstaff that leaned on her body, and looked at the priest for a split second before turning to Mira and giving her a small bow of respect. She felt more agitated as as he finished speaking to the priest. Nel immediately left their company for the sake of having an area to fully stretch; today would be a horrid day to pull a muscle. Any day, really, was a horrid day to pull a muscle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella sighed deeply as the Priest replied. She had thought that he would take her words from the day before to heart and wake up with a renewed interest in the group as a whole... But perhaps she was asking too much of him. His last words spat out at her with a vehemence that she did not foresee and the shock of his reaction was apparent by the uncontrolled arching of her brows. Still, she let him respond to Nel before bothering to respond to him. Whatever he said angered the poor monk, causing her to clench her hands once more and set her jaw quite snugly before stalking away from them. Her eyes followed Nel for a moment before she spoke.

"A true ally, Priest, is one of the few things in life that you can explain perfectly and some people still would not understand the gist of what you are saying. A true ally, to me, is someone that you can count on and trust. Through roads both clear and sunny or murky and frightening. Someone that you can forge a relationship with that few others know. It is not only borne of battle but of any situation of strife or prolonged travel or even torturous endeavors. Yet, if you close yourself off from people before you truly give them a chance, then you alienate yourself. Tell me. Would your God of merriment wish this for you?"

She shrugged, an action that was barely perceptible in her heavy torso armor and another soft, forceful exhalation escaped her lips as more people began to filter into the clearing. The young mage had moved to sit upon a large boulder and Acacia, the Bard girl, had sidled up to her and initiated conversation. Then the other mage appeared, chewing on some sort of odd pastry as he nodded towards both herself and the Priest. With little left to say to either of the men, she clicked her tongue, urging her horse forward as the Prince began to speak.

Rydas mentioned packs prepared for those with mounts already and Mirabella rode forward to the small pile, dismounting easily and picking through the saddlebags to find what was hers. She had a small list so when combined with the basic necessities such as food and water, there were only three packs that were hers. Loading them up onto her chestnut mare, she climbed up into the saddle once more before trotting casually over until she was closer to the Prince.

"Not to start this mission off poorly or with any hint of disrespect, my liege..." she started, keeping her eyes forward on the others as they gathered either their mounts or their packs and began to prepare for the quest at hand. "But which way are we riding? What information are we going off of?" Finally her honey brown gaze settled upon the Prince with curiosity. "I must admit I have never worked with so little information before."

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

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

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

Which horse would she go on?

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.
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Hayley stood there, in the clearing with her arms crossed. She wasn't going to pretend she liked being around some of the unneeded members on this group. Everyone was talking, getting to know each other a bit more, ignoring the crowd gathered around them, large crowds made Hayley nervous, she didn't enjoy being the center of attention.

Finally what appeared to be the whole group, some of the people who were in the tavern did not return. Hayley, much like the prince probably did, assumed they would not be coming. Prince Rydas began to speak. "Such commitment will receive just reward.” were his final words of the small encouraging speech, the reward would surely be good, Hayley wondered whether they would receive the full payment, if any at all, should they return without the said item, or if it failed to bring the king back to his good health.

The prince then gave details, showed them the mounts with their items and gave them a direction to start "We ride North.” North it would be. Hayley looked at the horses, trying to find out which one was hers. Eventually finding hers, she strapped some of her own stuff she was carrying, mostly clothes and items only a thief could find use such as a bunch of little tools, picks and a torsion tool, good for opening locks, useless if you don't know what it is, you can always eat salad with it though. Hayley hauled herself up onto the back of the brown horse and sat on the comfortable saddle. At least the trip wouldn't hurt that much with this quality saddle they had put on her horse, nothing worse than having a bad saddle on a long horse trip.

The girl then watched some of the others goof around with their mounts, most notably the bright colored monk, who almost killed herself trying to mount up. "She could really use some help" Hayley thought, trying not to laugh, but not moving to help the monk herself, someone would eventually do it or the monk would find her way up on her own, there was no need to act here.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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Riding a horse was no easy task, a knight that would have a presence in the battlefield needed to know how to handle its mount just as well as its weapon if it wished to survive, and unfortunately the monk would have died a hundred times over if she ever found herself in battle, he also was slighlty annoyed that nobody offered her help

"Nelinia was it?" he approached to her while still keeping his distance in an impersonal manner "Horses are as varied as us you see, just as there are men who enjoy boasting and drinking there are those who instead would grab their daggers in bloodlust just because they were questioned" maybe he would hit a nerve again...

"In any case if all horses were ill mannered mongrels they would not be so popular, I know a thing or two about them that you could find useful, you will come to realize that they can be quite tame and gentle if handled the right way... you dont happen to have an apple do you?" the prince made then the suggestion to have her riding in the same mount than the Triansui "My prince if I might offer my wisdom id rather them not ride in the same mount, one is an armored assailant the other is a woman covered by her discipline, if there is need of a chase in the middle of the road I would rather have our combatants unhindered by the additional weight" He felt of course the need to make clear he was not of the intent of being a pervert "You could tie her horse to mine and im certain I will be able to lead us both in speed while leaving the vanguard mobile and able, or if for some weird reason she would like to share the mount id be willing if she is"

"My prince, before we set out I would like to propose a toast, a small ceremony for good luck if anyone is willing to take part in it, if not, then it would not be the first time I drink on my own"

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia was immediately pulled, more like dragged, over to the horses by Alice. For one so small, she did have some strength. Acacia gave a laugh at the small mage's excitement at her horse before quickly looking around for her own mount. Most of the horses had already been claimed so it should be easy to find the one that was hers. Suddenly, she noticed Nelinia having what seemed like a death match with her horse, the reins tangled about her neck. Acacia stood there shocked. She hadn't expected the monk to have such trouble, but it made sense that she wouldn't know much about horses. As the horse dropped, Acacia snapped out of her moment of shock and hurried over to the monk, only to be beat there by the priest. He, of all things, began lecturing the poor girl as the prince began explaining how to mount a horse. Acacia gave the priest a slightly disapproving look before brushing past, a concerned look in her eyes as she kneeled down by the monk.

"Are you alright Nelinia?" she asked softly, not caring about or hearing what Akdov said as she made sure the girl was alright. When she was sure she was alright, Acacia stood and offered a hand to help her up. She caught Akdov's offer to either lead Nelinia's horse or have her ride with him of all things. Acacia almost found this ridiculous not to mention a bit wrong. Already from yesterday's meeting and this morning, it was obvious that the priest had ticked the monk off. Not only that, but Nelinia was a young woman and he was practically an old man. Acacia began to wonder if the man liked young women as much as he liked his beer. She soon realized that she was staring at the priest with an almost disgusted look and she quickly averted her gaze.

And if she would prefer, she could ride with me. She quickly glanced at the priest to see if he had any reaction before continuing. "It might be more comfortable that riding with ...a man," she said after a moments pause. She looked around, quickly figuring out which horse was hers and smiling at Nelinia, trying not to look at Akdov. She still needed to figure out just what she felt about the man. She soon found her horse, a light red-brown mare with a mane of about the same color and a white blaze down her face. Since the prince seemed ready to leave, she mounted, ignoring his instructions without meaning to and mounting the horse more like a wall, putting both her hands on the saddle and lifting herself up, gently swinging her leg over, and then situating herself. The mare shifted slightly, looking at the girl before looking forward again with a huff and a foot stamp. It was just like she did at home, except the brown mare wasn't quite as wide as their old plow horse. She then realized that she needed to grab the reins, and she carefully leaned forward, holding the pommel tightly before gathering them in her hands. She then turned and waited for Nelinia's decision with a slight smile on her face. She was glad that they were finally starting this journey.

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
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella narrowed her eyes in annoyance as the Prince ignored her query and began, instead, to lecture people on the proper ways to mount and ride a horse. Never before, even on jobs that were horribly managed, did she ever feel so uninformed as she did now. We ride north... That's helpful! She thought to herself somewhat sarcastically and drawing breath deeply within her lungs, she held the air momentarily before puffing it back out in a short burst.

North was quite vague, as far as she was concerned. There was a road heading out of the northern wall of Paetax, sure, but then it split off in a dozen different ways at a hundred different points along the road. They could head towards Vaekor, Orranli... Or if they were avoiding settlements of any kind they could still wander towards the Soch Mountains, Kon Falls, the Perpetual Frosts, the Lakes, the expansive forests.....


The Triansui stopped herself and instead, focused on the scene playing out before her. Hadn't she already reprimanded several people for their dismal attitudes? She put a stop to her train of thought before it soured her mood and waited for Nelinia to make her decision about who to ride with. Quite honestly, she didn't care either way. She had seen the little monk moving before and she had enough agility and grace to probably backflip right off of Mira's horse if the warrior was needed elsewhere in the midst of battle. And with the way she uppercut the horse, Mirabella was also pretty certain that Nel could take care of herself.

Though she mourned the loss of the fine steed that the Prince had no doubt paid handsomely for, the warrior still had a ghost of a smile playing across her arid lips. Surely the bard would have a hilarious tale to tell of the beginning of their adventure and the monk who had killed her own horse.

You just couldn't make this sort of thing up.

Listening first to Akdov plead his case, then Acacia came forth with her own proposal. All eyes seemed to be on the petite monk and/or the Prince. Either waiting to see who she would ride with or to await further instructions from the man in charge.

"I have no qualms, if you wish to ride with me, Nel. But perhaps you should ride with Bard Girl. Who knows? Perhaps she will need a bit of protection out there on the open road." Her tone had once more turned quite teasing and she winked at both the bard and monk before laughing out loud. With a soft click of her tongue and a gentle nudge of her foot, her own mare began to move so that she was at least turned towards the gate, ready to start this caravan to the north.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, as written by Deallo
As distraught as Nel was, there was a small sliver of excitement flowing through her veins, but immediately the worry overwhelmed her. The Prince's instructions on how to mount a horse went over her head as she looked at the unmoving horse. At first, the monk thought she killed it, but it was breathing, bare breathing, but breathing none the less...or was it just her eyes? Still shaken up, she needed to be comforted by someone, anyone.

Thus, the priest's presence was surprising as it felt like he was chiding her at first. Sure, she was the one who almost got killed by her horse, but it wasn't her fault! Lest she kept telling herself. "I don't have an apple." Nel said bitterly, eyes glued to her feet, keeping the suggestion to ride her own horse by being lead by him, almost reeling back at the priest's little tidbit about riding with him. If she was ever forced in such a position; she'd probably jog along the side of the trial of horses for miles to come.

Thankfully, Acacia's concern managed to wash away the anxiety and anger she held up, knowing someone at least sounded concerned for her. "I'm fine Acacia...but as for my steed..." Her eyes were cast low for a second before she brought them back up and flashed a tender smile to the bard to feign normality. Nel wished she could hear some sweet music and did when Acacia said she could ride with her. She waited until she mounted her horse yet before the monk could utter a word she could see Mirabella standing tall from her horse and making a slow trot towards her as well. It felt like for a brief moment, talking to so many people at once, being watched upon by either her unknown companions and the people from the crowd around the group as a whole, the world was revolving around her, and the feeling was not an enjoyable one.

The warrior's little joke about Nel protecting the bard gave her at least some imaginary comfort in the awkward position she found herself. It was fairly easy to choose which person to double up with. She definitely didn't want to get in Mira's way and be a hindrance if she was near her. "I think I'll ride with Acacia, Mira." Nel said, nervously picking at her collarbone before looking up. "After all, who else would protect her?" The joke was accompanied by her own form of laughter, obviously forced, and was extinguished with a quick clearing of the throat before she looked up at Acacia and then down at her quarterstaff. She grabbed it from the ground and stuffed it into the bag, most of it sticking back up, but luckily not falling over. Nel looked up, literally, to the bard, and hoped she understood the simple fact she needed her weapon.

Without bothering to hear anymore advice from her companions, she jumped on Acacia's horse, used her arms as leverage, and easily swung a leg over the horse. For a moment, it seemed she was going to fall, arms flailing back backwards, the momentum pushing her forward to wrap around the torso of the bard.

"We should be gong now." The entire fiasco with the horse made her nearly forget that she was going to go on an adventure out into the big wide world ad she held Acacia a little tighter.

The prospect was still terrifying.

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: 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.

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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: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre
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#, as written by Deallo
Nelinia looked at the red apple with confusion for a moment before realizing Narenia, the ranger, had given her a gift. "Thank you." The monk said softly, lips curved slightly upwards to return Narenia's smile before she left. Nel took the bard's advice about holding on with her knees, albeit without it, she wouldn't have an arm to grab the apple in the first place, and slowly let go of Acacia to slowly yet surely establish her balance on the horse. The new arrival prompted her to turn around on the horse, an uncomfortable position really, and take a look at the ecstatic creature.

The monk had no idea what a Feledine was. Upon looking at Icareau, an odd sense of curiosity stirred in her as she looked into his furry face. He reminded her of the many stray cats in Kiron; which Nel always scratched behind the ears upon seeing. It took a moment for her to register that he was smiling but once it did, the same meek smile appeared on her lips as well. With that, she turned around to relieve her back from the discomfort and wrapped one arm around Acacia, while the other was busy stuffing the apple into the folds of her yellow robe.

It was then that the bard asked what Nel though the horse should be named and Nel pondered on the question for a moment. "How do you know if it's a her?" Nel asked, curious to how she truly knew, as all the horses looked the same to her. "Perhaps...Maria?" The monk said, almost a question. Coming up with many names was difficult for her.

The ride was arduous and long, spanning the entire day, in which the monk drifted to sleep a couple of times, and half of the apple in the morning, then finished the other half in the evening, leaving only the stem behind. As soon as evening came, the line of horses stopped, and the Prince told them they were going to rest, Nel groggily unmounted the horse. When her feet left the ground, the monk took a deep yawn, bended back one leg, grabbed her ankle, and pulled to relieve the tension in her thigh, doing the same for the other leg. The lack of walking for hours on end left her feeling lethargic and the pain of inexperienced horse riding was there, albeit not severe, but an annoying element of an uncomfortable ache as she walked.

With the Prince's assistance, she unclipped her bag, retrieved her quarterstaff and bedroll. There were a collection of banadages in the bag as well, per her request, and she hoped that she wouldn't have to use them all during this journey. After setting the sheet, by watching others do the same, she flocked to the light of the fire like am moth and sat around the flames, entranced by the twisting flames and crackling of wood. Nel briefly brought up her head when the prince asked Acacia to grace them with a song, though how does anyone "grace" someone with a song was unbeknownst to her.
"I thought people can only have grace?" Nel said, conversation amongst them beginning, and yet already confused to what everyone was talking about.

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Princes are sick.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

The child hit's like a bear!

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Nel made the mental note to arrange the bodies after.

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: 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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even if I never agreed to it

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: 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.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas & Nel
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The religions and beliefs of the party were not discussed for the obvious reason that there were many within Calisma and few of separate faith that would get along. That, and religion held no sway over the task at hand. It was a woman’s voice, however, that answered his question. He turned his head, staring down at the monk and another one of her peculiar questions.

While he knew that, for some, it was customary to bury the dead, it wasn’t his faith nor appropriate. His family members, like his brother, were cremated or set to sea, or both. Burial seemed barbaric. The idea that if, by chance, one were simply unconscious and were consequently buried alive was frightening. There were other reasons for his distaste for graves. The thought of flesh and bone rotting in the ground for eternity was disturbing. Burning the bodies seemed the most humane, and took the least amount of time. Individual graves would take half the day, and a mass grave seemed insensitive. Even for enemies.

“I’m sorry, we haven’t the time. It is customary to set the fallen to pyre after battle.“ He replied, voice steady. Rydas hoped he needn’t explain further.

The time that it took the prince to answer made the monk unsure if it he was pondering on his actions or trying to phrase his answer in a way she could understand. Yes, perhaps she was foreign to the traditions of the world, but even she understood the pain, suffering and destructive power that came from fire.

Her distaste towards the idea of setting bodies of fire were instilled traditionally from attending burials of former monks. Friends were placed in coffins and safely pulled down into the ground. Nothing would bother them six feet under and no harm would reach them. In essence, she didn't think them to be dead or like to think them as dead, but thought they were merely resting so their souls would be free.

Nel widened her eyes in shock, nearly stepping back, unsure of what she heard from their prince. "Customary?" She thought with horror unsure how to respond with such an allegation when all of a sudden their priest chipped into the conversation. The monk tightened her hand to a fist a couple of times, trying to keep herself at bay, and patiently turned to Akdov with a dagger-eyed stare in her look that could be felt in her words despite the calm tone: "If flames are purifying; perhaps it's best for you to make a fire and to purify yourself, priest."


She promptly turned back to the Prince. "Excuse me, but if we haven't the time to honour the dead then we haven't the time to desecrate them."

The Prince saw the camaraderie already breaking. Gaze shifted between the monk and the priest already noting the tension in the air. For a holy and healing man the cleric had not learned the craft of delicate speech. His gaze fell back to the monk. For such a small and calm young woman there was a ferocity insider her that always caught him off guard. She reminded him of the wind; as gentle as a breeze, as sudden as a hurricane.

Rydas cleared his throat, quick to interject to avoid an argument between the two. His gaze leveled with hers. “I apologize if it offends your customs, these are the proceedings of battle. If it would ease your mind you could bury a trinket from each of the dead in place of their bodies.” He would wait for that, if it would ease her heart and mind.

“Or you are welcomed to stay behind and tend to them, but twelve graves for men who wanted the throats of ours is not time I have nor am willing to spend.”

The prince's calm demeanor quickly soothed what leftover resentment Nel had for the priest but still bothered her deeply. The two options given didn't satisfy the monk; and she visibly frowned to show the prince so. "I haven't killed these men. That is what you and the others have done. You'd be burying their bodies with the same hands used to kill them." It was true; at least what Nel thought then.

"Then to bury a man's trinket is to bury just a trinket with no value. The man needs to be buried as a whole." The monk stated plainly; the idea that arguing with a prince may be a bad idea hadn't struck her at all. "If we have no time as you say; then we'll just leave their bodies unburned and untouched."

Rydas’ patience was wearing thin. He’d given her two viable options that would help her keep to some semblance of her faith, but she wasn’t working with him. She was justifying her actions by the fact that she hadn’t killed any of them, but neither had the Prince. His mood was quickly turning for the worse.

“To leave the bodies for the wolves is barbaric at best.” He replied, tone implying that he’d had enough of the argument. “I’ve attempted to come to some form of agreement which you’ll have no part in. You’re wasting daylight. Stay behind or watch them burn, I care not. But decide now.”

The polite conversation quickly began to tense up, the prince affirming himself now, leaving Nel an ultimatum. The monk got as fed up with the conversation as the prince had, first shocked by his tone but quickly angry as well, removing the dried leaves and sticks from the pile of bodies.

"To leave the bodies to burn in a fire is barbaric at best." She replied, throwing and kicking the remaining tinder away, before facing the prince once more. "If you are as childish to not change your ways; then I guess I shall right these wrongs and stay behind."

The monk forcefully grabbed one of the top bodies by the arms and pulled it out of the pile onto the earth. She looked up at the prince for a moment with the same dagger-eyed look she gave Akdov and began digging up the dirt with her bare hands. "I weep for the future of Calisma!" She shouted with a tone she never heard herself speak before; echoing into the forest and most likely resonating in the ears of her fellow "Adventurers".

Rydas stood still, watching her. There was little amusement at him being called childish while she threw a tantrum. While her words and looks were bordering on treason he opted to put it aside. Clearly the woman was letting foolish emotions get in the way of better judgement. The Prince sighed, then turned to address the rest of the party, clearly accepting her decision. She seemed to need some time alone. “Mount up, we ride.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.
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The sun seeping through the small openings under the tent warned Hayley that it was already morning, or another weird dream. The last one involved boats and thunderstorms, but that didn't matter now. Taking the sun as a cue to get up, Hayley rolled back her bedroll and started repacking her tent. Hayley put everything she had taken out back into the packs, deciding to strap the knife she had 'found' the night before to her right boot and wear the silver chain she had 'retrieved'. It had a ring attached to it, nothing of great value, but Hayley liked shiny things.

Now outside with her pack ready, Hayley carried, or dragged it to her horse and struggled to tie it back in place for a few minutes. When it finally looked secure Hayley headed back to join those already awake. "Good morning." She said serving herself with the good-smelling breakfast and eating quickly, most of the group was already around and they would probably be leaving very soon. As she finished her morning meal, Hayley saw the prince and a few others gather around the pile of corpses from the previous night's battle. Apparently something held them up.

Just burn them already! They can't possibly be planning a funeral for this. She thought, getting up and moving closer to better understand the scene.

It turned out to be an argument between the prince and Nelinia. The monk found it disrespectful to burn the dead, apparently more disrespectful than letting their corpses to be eaten by the wild beasts that lurk on these forests. Burying them was not an option since they didn't have the time or a reason to do it. Hayley watched the confrontation unfold without interfering, the fate of the dead was neither her problem nor her call.

As the monk went crazy on a dead-human rights protest and started yelling and digging up the earth, the prince called for the group to get ready to move. Hayley untied her horse at the clearing and swung herself on top of the brown steed, adjusted herself to the saddle and waited for the rest of the group to do the same. The monk looked decided to stay. So be it. Hayley thought, ready to ride as soon as the others started.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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With conversation dieing down Callavan took his leave of the fire's warmth. He faded into the woods for a bit of privacy as he applied the ointment from the Triansui. It took a lot of the bite from his sore legs. With that taken care of, he returned to his tent to find that it had been trampled in the brawl. Taking a closer look, he saw that it wasn't too damaged and was still usable, but he was tired and didn't much care for setting it up a second time in one night. Instead he took his bedroll and found a soft patch of grass to sleep on.


Dawn came much faster than he would have liked. The sun shone right into his eyes to wake him. A few of the others had woken as well, but there were others who had managed to stay asleep. He sat himself up and reached for his flask only to find that it was still empty. Being sober for so long was starting to sour his mood.

Stifling a yawn, he packed up the trampled tent and set it aside with the rest of his pack and tack, figuring that there was little point and saddling his horse so soon. He'd let the beast rest for now.

With what little chores he had set for himself taken care of, he made his way to the fire where breakfast was in the works. While the Prince cooked, Van pulled out some parchment and charcoal. His hand moved slowly, weaving lines together into intricate patterns. It had been a while since he had worked on any new spells he realized. He had crafted a new spell easily enough, but sticking to spells that he was already familiar with had made him forget a lot of the nuances of spellwork. This new spell was far too inefficient and weak for what he wanted. He crumpled the parchment and tossed it into the fire before pulling another sheet from his satchel. This was repeated a dozen or so times before the food was ready.

He shoved his writing tools away and sat fuming while he ate. He ignored the others mostly, sticking to his own little mindscape. So much mindless chattering, he thought to himself. It was only when the Triansui joined the group around the fire that he pulled himself from his own reverie. He retrieved the ointment from his satchel and tossed it into her lap.

”Thanks for that. It was useful,” he said. His food was finished and the prince was getting ready to burn the bodies, so he left her that and went to ready his horse.

It didn't take him long and seeing that most of the other horses were readied as well, he thought that their merry little band was set to go. This left him only slightly surprised to find them arguing over what to do with the bodies. The fact that the monk of all people was the one arguing was much more surprising. Callavan didn't much care what happened to the bodies. He found it difficult to give a damn about anyone that tried to kill him. Rather than joining in, he waited for them to come to a compromise.

When they didn't and the monk chose to stay behind, he simply shrugged, happy that they were ready to leave. A couple of others spoke to the monk, making some very good points he noticed. Then the bard joined her in digging graves. Van rolled his eyes, thinking that it was entirely pointless. Still, he thought back to the bar, where the two had stopped him from making a complete ass of himself over some petty squabbling.

”Oh for fuck's sake,” he muttered to himself before calling out to the leaving group. Oi! I'll catch up with the lot of you!

Walking over to the pile, he pulled a sword from one of the bandits. With that he dug it into the ground and started drawing out a spell. He spoke as he worked, ”I'm only doing this once and in all likely hood, I'll be the first to set fire to the next bunch that attacks us. You may be from some hole in the ground where everyone farts fairy dusts and rainbows, but out here you're gonna have to grow a thicker skin. How many innocent people do you think these bastards have killed? How many women they raped? Children's throats slit? They don't give a damn about anyone else and if we hadn't killed them, they'd have just as easily killed us. And now you want to take your sweet time just to give them whatever the hell you think a proper funeral is?”

By the time he finished ranting the spell was set. ”Alright now, back the hell up,” he said. Bending down, he placed a finger on one of the lines. He could feel the magic swell and pulse around him as he channeled it into the sigil. The spell required more power than he'd normally use at once. By the time he was finished with this foolishness he'd probably need to wait at least a few hours before he could cast anything else. When the spell had the all the power it needed he backed away. At first it did nothing, but then the earth bowed inward, towards the sigil. It flowed up and out into a neat ring of dirt around a circular hole that was as deep as a man was tall and about four times as wide.

”I'm not digging a grave for each man. If they fought together then they can rot together,” he said. ”Now help me move these bastards.”The sword he left planted in the ground, he'd need it again when he filled the hole. Hopefully they'd be done before the others got too far. At worst they'd have to ride through the night to catch up.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: 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?

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by slcam
Acacia gave a small smile as Nelinia refused the ranger's hand, as she expected. Though Nelinia was naive, she was also dertermined, 'And downright stubborn,' when it came to doing what she felt was right. As even Callavan came over and began lecturing, Acacia began digging. She wondered if everyone would lecture the monk. She acted child-like at times, but she was definitely not a child. Digging, for this purpose especially, made Acacia fidgety as she refused to think of other times, times which had come to the forefront of her memories too many times in the past few days. Perhaps more that they had in the past several months.

Acacia noticed Callavan carving symbols in the ground with a sword. She decided it must have been some sort of spell and wiped her knife on the grass before it disapeared up her sleeve. She stood, and hearing his abrupt warning, backed away a bit. She thought about pulling Nelinia back as well, but figured she might actually get punched if she startled the still angry girl. Suddenly the ground opened for one large grave. Immediately, Nelinia went over and began flinging bodies in. Acacia managed to drag one body over before they were all taken care of. She was amazed at just how much strength Nelinia had. The mass grave was soon covered and it was time to go catch up to the rest of the group.

Nelinia stormed over to the horse, Maria, with a troubed look on her face. Acacia gave one last look at the camp and then at the grave, giving a small shudder. She smiled briefly at Nelinia and thought about saying something. She decided against it, the girl had been lectured too much already today, and it wasn't even noon yet. She strode over to Maria, checked to make sure everything was in place, and climbed into the saddle. She helped Nelinia up and made sure they were both firmly seated. It felt odd to be sitting there, and all the forgotten sore spots from yesterday felt just as sore again. This time, she remembered to put her feet in the stirrups, but just as quickly withdrew them. They were too high and Acacia had no desire to adjust them. When those others who had stayed behind were also ready, she set off, surprised to have no further difficuties so far.

After a few moments of silence that made Acacia antsy, she spoke, unable to bear it anymore. "So, Neli, if you don't mind me calling you that?" It came out as a question and she gave a small pause before continuing, "Tell me about where you come from. The mon..." She paused again with a sigh as she still couldn't remember. They caught up to the rest of the group quickly, and Acacia hoped the tension from earlier would be gone by now. That kind of tension was never any fun.

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Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel stared at the stray strands of black hair wavering at her face and blew them forward with a huff only to have them fall back down again. Back in the monastery, this would've been the extent of her frustrations, had there been no little ones to teach as well. Mischievous little brats who'd pull pranks every so often and needed a slight punishment.

The monk wondered who was worse; the naive, undisciplined, sometimes mischievous children of the monastery or the insulting, patronizing adults of the group she traveled with now. In that instant; the latter definitely seemed worse. Nel caught the bard's smile and tried to smile back but simply couldn't do it. After being helped up onto the horse, the monk pulled up the yellow head over her head, and concentrated on her breath. She prolonged each inhale and exhale in an effort to calm herself and found the exercise, the same one which was taught when she herself was just a child, effective in finding some sort of peace. She thought back to when the warrior embraced her and gave her the words of encouragement no-one else was willing to give. The memory was comforting to have.

The horse trotted forward and Nel found herself looking at the back of Acacia, in between her shoulder blades, when she had conjured the nickname Neli. She paused for a second, having never been called Neli before, but found it oddly suitable. "The monastery?" Nel asked, somewhat surprised she had taken interest. "It's a big house where all the monks live, train, and eat in. There must be...120 something? 160 with the children?" She twisted her head, wondering what was the exact number before continuing. "The monastery is in a town called Kiron and the people are kind and grateful. We normally train our bodies or our minds through the days."

Nel paused and frowned, heaving a sigh as she glanced at her right arm, eyes focused on the area where the sword ailed her. "All this traveling to Paetex, and now, hasn't given any time to train or meditate. It makes me feel weak."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Deallo
Nel was glad she wasn't the only one uncomfortable with traveling and the bard's words managed to bring peace to the fact that it was normal to feel a little weak while traveling. The monk expected the bard to rattle on with her various tales and stories like last time and eagerly awaited them as she remained seated on the horse until she realized Acacia was silent. The silence was unexpected; but Nel appreciated it none the less as silence was something hard to find these last few days and said nothing to voice her concern. They soon caught up with the main group and Nel refused to even glance at the prince's general direction; noticing the old man catching up to the horses by jogging. Nel would have called out to the shaman had she not been busy holding onto the bard so she wouldn't fall off.

The evening they had set up camp, spirits were up once more, stories floating around the campfire. Nel was the only person in the group to hold a grudge against the prince and one of two to hold one up against their hairy bearded mage. While she sat next to trusted individuals, those who didn't sport false deities to fight for, she made to sure to ignore the presence of Rydas and Callavan. The monk absorbed all the stories at the campfire, even the one that their priest had spoke of, envious that she had no interesting tales of adventure to speak of. The food was just as delicious to eat, a mix of various berries, some sweet, others sour, but each complimented the others flavor and was savored.

That night when she slept, her head was furthest away from the entrance to her tent, and held her quarterstaff in her hands. It was a necessary precaution; she wasn't going to be killed by soldiers of "God" in her sleep. Her sleep was, as always, short and sweet. Nel decided it'd be best to meditate, at least until everyone woke up and did so in the safety of her tent. Every sound was silenced, sounds including the Rydas' walk into the ruins, as hours seemed like days, and the sun gave light over the camp. The monk had felt refreshed as she left her tent and managed to take the time to stretch out her limbs and the voice of a shouting paladin, the one which Mirabella was fond of, started to shout of trouble. After a moment listening to the shouting around the camp; Nel could hear the distressed words that the prince was missing.

"Men of god!" The priest thundered for a moment, prompting Nel to reluctantly turn her head, then to turn it back and walk the other way. She wanted to be nowhere near that crowd. Then for a moment, she thought she could make out a figure across the trees, and started to move towards the brush until she made it into a clearing and saw the ruins of Idasseva. The monk ran towards the shadowy figure, believing it to be Rydas, until it turned around from the noise she made, and the face of Xan appeared.
"Oh, Xan." Nel said, somewhat surprised at how easily she mistook him. "Have you seen the prince? It seems he's walked off somewhere..." The monk didn't know if she was worried or glad. Everyone at the camp seemed to think it was the end of Calisma.

Was it?

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan stopped and turned as the sound of footsteps came up from behind him, it was no doubt someone from the group, but he wasn't expecting it to be the monk that was the first to come out.

"I have not seen the Prince" Xan replied, he turned his head towards the ruins of the citadel that stood before him, "but I do believe I know where he could be". His feet started to move again as he answered, the sound of metal rattling came as he pulled his chains and daggers from behind him. Quickly passing one dagger from his right hand to his left he gripped his weapons as he looked into the darkness that was the entrance to the citadel. The floors were made of stone, so there wouldn't be any footprints for him to follow from here on. He looked in, the light of day illuminated some of the inside, but most was still left in the shadows. For being called ruins the building wasn't in the worst shape of its life, and that wasn't a good thing, for it could mean that any and all traps that were set are still alive and well inside.

"I'm going to go in as far as I can" he said turning to the monk, "perhaps you should go back and bring the others to the entrance of this place" he said. He wasn't quite sure what he should tell the girl, in all honesty he didn't want to bring the monk inside with him. The inside was calm, and looked as if it hadn't moved since it was overtaken, and that somewhat worried him. If the Prince came in of his own will, wouldn't some traps have been triggered by the man? Perhaps he was just looking into it a bit to much, it was still the entrance to the building, would there really be traps this close to the entrance? Then again it would be best for the inhabitant if all intruders were taken care of before they got to far in. "I wanna see what's inside, I'll also try to set off some of the traps" he paused for a moment, "although I may be only able to set off one" he said as a joke, referring to the fact that the one trap he sets off would be the one that kills him.

Xan started into the citadel, his body finally passing through the entry way. Although the walls and ceiling had some opening to them his footsteps still, somehow, managed to echo throughout the area. He tried to keep his focus in front of him, as well as where he was placing his foot with each step. If there were traps he wasn't sure how they were to be triggered. Perhaps by some type of pressure sensitive block placed somewhere that could be easily stepped on. If the traps were magic based he didn't really have a grasp on what they could do, nor how they could be triggered, but he was confident that he would be able to make it back out alive. Somewhat.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: 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."

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

O shit what was her name?

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

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

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

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

Or you for that matter

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

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

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

The prince did went missing at night did he not?

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Bloody hell he should have told me about that

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

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

So now you pray sinful children

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Magic. Never gets old does it?

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

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

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

I hate vomit.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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It had gotten all quite complex again, and as usual it had involved one mage that wanted to see things explode.

Merely a setback he hoped, all he would require to do was contain the explosion on the enchanted missile and then the Sanskar could proceed, it would be complicated, it would demand his best but that was just what he was willing to give it if it meant the redemption of that poor soul in that foul prison.

And then before he could manage it, the projectile went off in a loud and flashy explosion

"NO!" Akdov shouted as the target of his Sanskar was now non gone, it needed a soul, and it needed it now... could there be time to cancel what was once in motion?

He tried, time was running short the barriers where opening and now there was nothing to send, divine powers would not be amused by this folly one did not called upon them on vain, Akdov was left with a terrible choice, either fulfill the ritual and send his very own soul to the afterlife or be part in the desecration of a sacred rite of peace

Evil thoughts raced through his mind, he could send his companions in his stead, he could send the paralyzed monk and then give her a first hand lesson about why it is important to burn bodies to speed their passing... what was he thinking?

It is too late to stop it... I have to go through with it, but what if... what if...

If she died, then the Sanskar would be valid, there would be no backfire to his ritual... but if her body was restored quickly enough then perhaps, perhaps he could summon her soul back to it, was he willing to run that risk with an innocent life... naive and misguided as she was this did not gave the priest the right to use her as a scapegoat to justify the rite he had misused.

It would have to be him then.


Dropping his cup and tome Akdov sunk his hands against his chest as something dug itself out of his breast a shinning light flew of in a torrent of blood, Akdov fell his essence escaping him, he could only hope they would manage without him

Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But useless.”

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

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

“Cooooward. Nothing but a useless coward.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Time. "I need time!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

The vanquishing of evil did not equal the creation of good

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

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

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

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

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





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

Vengeance...

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

Metal plates?

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by conor
Feylon groaned as the pain in his chest grew worse. He needed to stop the bleeding but he could not put sufficient pressure on all three wounds with only two hands. He began to breath heavily and his head fell back against the wall. His spirits lifted when he saw Mirabella coming towards him. She opened a vial of what she said would stop the bleeding. The scents fluttered around his nose. They were oddly pleasant as he took in a small breath of them. The next few moments were gruelling for Feylon. Although Mirabella guided her hands deftly it was not enough to stop wild flashes of pain shooting through his body. He could feel the nerves all around him rattling to life. Screaming in anger as his wounds were tended too. The older scars across his chest and back seemed aggravated too, as if they were none to pleased about this new addition to the grotesque family.

When she had finished Feylon let out a small sigh of relief. The make shift bandages wrapped tightly around him and his now tattered shirt become his new attire. He was glad that Mirabella had attended to his wounds in the traditional manner rather than use magic. Doing battle was a noble thing. The injuries inflicted upon you by the enemy was your trophy. Your enemy should carry as much honour into death as you do as victor. Your enemies should be treated as equals on the field of battle and when they are no more. It was a code that Feylon lived by, although in the case of these monsters he was unsure. He found it ironic considering his line of work was in stealth and subterfuge but nonetheless he stuck with his code. He felt that somehow it stopped him from being desensitised to the plight of a dying soldier.

As he pushed himself off of the wall he felt a new energy driving through him, he had unfinished business with the prince that no one was going to take away from him. After all his employers would not be happy if he failed. He walked over to Mirabella. "Thank you. It is a favour I shall not forget I promise you. As quickly as he came to a stop he was off again. This time in the direction of the other adventurers. He reached Travian just as he shouted for him to climb up to where the figure of the Prince was seen. He moaned at the thought of putting his wounded body under such stress but he was not one to skimp out on his duties, military life had taught him that the hard way, by means of fifty lashes.

Cracking his fingers he jogged at the wall and took a leap into the air. His hands slammed into a rock and grasped tightly as he pulled himself upwards. He began prancing from rock to rock slowly making his way up the wall getting closer and closer to the edge at the top. Had he not spent most of his life in trees the journey would have taken much longer. Thankfully he was nimble enough to achieve such a climb. He reached the top and hauled himself over. His breathing was heavy and his chest pushed against the bandages around his torso. He pulled himself up again, slightly out of breath and light headed. He slowly stumbled down the corridor looking for any rooms or dark passages that the others might find danger in but their was nothing. The corridor let straight into a brightly lit room that was just a few metres away from him now. He could hear voices. Slowly unsheathing his little dagger he noiselessly moved across the floor. A bead of sweat tumbled down his forehead as he grew closer. Now he could smell succulent meats of all kinds. To say he was confused would be an understatement. As he came into the entrance a large hall opened in front of him. Brightly light and elegantly decorated with mounds of food he stood there quite anxious and unsettled. In front of him he could see the redhead and the monk and then beyond that the Prince and a mysterious lady.

"what the hell is going on?" he let slip from between his lips.

Setting

Characters Present

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

No that was undercutting it, he was terrified

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

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

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

I swear I cant figure how she survived into her age

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

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

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

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

Get back on your senses!

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

Well that wasn't supposed to happen

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Yaa Oba Contee Character Portrait: Dekard Roland Character Portrait: Selene Moretti
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Callavan

Callavan watched a few of the more agile make their way up to the balcony before disappearing. Were he able, he would do the same. Instead he was stuck with the wounded and their wet nurses while they licked their wounds. He started pacing, hands held behind his back so tight that his nails dug into his flesh. It seemed that he was only growing angrier as time passed.

Eventually the others were ready to move on. He did see the Triansui and the harlot talking off to this side, but he paid them no heed. He doubted very much that the merchant had anything he needed to hear.

Van was very much tempted simply shove the others onwards as they couldn't move nearly as fast as he would like. He was even more tempted to to launch a torrent of flames once they made it, but he stayed his hand, holding it behind him as it sparked with anticipation.

Taking a deep breath, he reminded himself to stay calm and plan his next move out. His eyes darted around the room, taking in all that they could while Lakdov spoke.


Oba

There were words spoken nearby. Sounded like some mindless prattling. She opened her eyes slowly, there was a bit of haze on everything as she readjusted. She tried to rub her groggy eyes only to find her arms bound to the chair and her feet, to boot..

”Craaaaaaaaap,” she sighed, head rolling from shoulder to shoulder. Still half asleep, she tried to make some sense of her surroundings. Protective charms still hung from her neck, though they didn't seem all that effective now. Yaatu, her dear husband, was by her side as well, bound same as she. He sat straight as a board, with dulled eyes staring forward. She didn't bother asking him what was goinging on, knowing that his mind was long since gone.

Dekard was there as well, apparently in the same state as she, as well as a handful of others. Two she was unfamiliar with. There was the sorceress who had captured her and even the prince himself was there, that was a surprise.

What else was there for her to see? Oh, food, of course. A very generous serving at that. Not that it mattered, she wasn't quite capable of feeding herself at the time. Which was all the more frustrating considering how hungry she was. How long had it been since she eaten? Days? Weeks? Months? How long had she been there for that matter? She hadn't been in quite the right mindset to keep track of time since coming to the citadel.

And now there were suddenly more people. People who yelled, and generally made a fuss. It was all very grating on Oba's nerves. Her head was already pounding from whatever the sorceress had done to her. Yet, as obnoxious as these strangers were, they were, at the moment, Oba's chance to get free.

“Witch boy!” she hissed at Dekard. ”It pains me to wake you from your little nap, but it seems we damsels have found us some knights in shining armor to whisk us away.”

After a bit more yelling and some tantrum induced table flipping, the fighting finally began. Oba heard one of her fellow imprisonees say something and do some flashy spellwork. Someone threw a log that sailed right by her head which was shortly followed by some fires over her head.

”Oh don't mind us! We'll just sit here and relax while you kill each other!” she yelled.


By their powers combined......They're still just Callavan and Oba....


Van didn't have much time before all hell broke loose, he followed up the shaman's caber toss with a healthy round of hellfires and damnations. He aimed for the sorceress, mostly. Though he would have liked to injure the prince at the time, he didn't know how much of this his royalty was responsible for.

”Callavan, Alice dont let her do anything without you noticing it!" he heard the prie-ladin yell.

He responded in kind, ”Oh! And here I thought I should be staring at the wall like a jackass!”

Once the fighters had drawn around the couple he ceased his assault, figuring that his allies wouldn't appreciate being set on fire. And yet again he was left useless while everyone else fought.

Oba cackled, ”Oh-ho! The little witch has himself a littler mistress! What will that horned lass of yours think!”

Seeing that the monk was freeing one of the captives, Van made his way over to one of the other ones. Avoiding the spellcaster, the loud one and her dim eyed compatriot, he settled on the purple eyed girl that remained.

”Think you can fight?” he asker her as he slit her bindings with his knife. After a thought, he added, ”Or walk, for that matter?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Yaa Oba Contee Character Portrait: Dekard Roland
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Compulsions ripped through Dekard’s diaphragm as he violently coughed himself back into consciousness. Driven my some shouting about a witch boy, a title his subconscious knew to be his. It was a watery sounding cough, sounding as though he had just accidentally inhaled a bit of water. When the short coughing spell had subsided, he started to become aware of his surroundings. Which he regarded in a jaded fashion, as he had not fully rembered what exactly was going on.

The smell hit him first. Freshly cooked food, a myriad of different fragrances. All begging for his tired and hungry body to find the source of the smell immediately. He licked his chapped lips as his eyes flickered open. Though he quite disappointed to find that the sources of the beautiful smells was strewn across the floor before him. It’s table base flipped to its side.

Suddenly his attention was drawn away from the disappointment of the ruined food and toward the side of his torso. Someone was fiddling with his body. He tried to move his arms to push them away, but quickly found out that his upper torso was bound tightly by rope. He turned his head to see that the source of the fiddling was a young looking woman clothed in robes. Though her attention had temporarily been pulled in a different direction.

”Oh-ho! The little witch has himself a littler mistress! What will that horned lass of yours think!” He heard a familiar voice. One that he recognized as Oba’s and also brought with it the memories of how he had come to be in his current position. Though the thought of them did little but fill his mind with rage. Dekard immediately tried to yell, meaning it to be potentially some mix between an primordial roar and various curses aimed at the Sorceress who had restrained him. However, instead it ended up becoming simply another coughing episode.

After the coughing resided, his mind quickly became one track. He scanned the room for J, barely acknowledging the others about the room who were preparing for battle. He eventually found the demon to be sitting only a few feet away beside him. Though it was wearing some sort of robe, obscuring most its defining features at a glance. Unbound with rope it appeared that it should have no trouble moving, however Dekard knew better. There was an amulet now hanging around his neck that bounded the demon more efficiently than any rope or chains, as it chained the binding between its will and his own.

“You-” He spoke much more softly than he had attempted to the first time, trying to call the attention of the distracted woman who had been trying to free him. “-forget the ropes. Remove the amulet.” He hoped that the woman would listen to his advice, as if he had his way he was sure he would be free faster with J able to help him. Then if he could focusing on helping J to eviscerate the bitch who had slain his father.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Dekard Roland
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#, as written by Deallo
"Wha- no, no, I'm not a mistress!" Nel exclaimed to the woman covered in charms; all the while fumbling with the rope to free the..."witch" and momentarily pondering what a mistress was in the first place but deciding it didn't sound good the way she had said it.
For all of Nel's strength and dexterity; she'd never encountered a single knot in her whole life. The monk was even silently wondering if she was only tightening the bounds around the scruffy "witch". The man started to talk as soon as he got a look at her face and ordered her to try to get the amulet around his neck off.

Orders she can do, especially when she understood them without all the jargon and such, discipline a major aspect of her life as a monk. Quickly abandoning the work on the rope, she grabbed the small steel chain that hung on the back of his neck, and tried to break it loose by pulling it. She'd never put on a necklace or an amulet in her entire life, as she didn't realize there was a small ring on the back that connected it together, and ended up unintentionally choking the very man she tried to free. Nel hadn't noticed until the sounds of gurgling escaped him, ceasing the use of it at once, immediately sending apologies as she tried to pull the amulet up over his head.

"Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me!" she said in a fast manner, trying to pull the chain of the amulet up and over, but it got stuck in between the man's lower lip and couldn't go up any more.

"Wait, let me just..." The monk pulled the necklace back down around the man's back and went around his body to face the front; where he saw the ungroomed man face-to-face. He was a