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Rydas Errion

First Prince of Calisma

0 · 1,265 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by Modesty

Description

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Full Name: Rydas Errion
Nickname: Prince, First Prince, Your Highness, My Liege, Sir… or, to the few that he is exceptionally close to, Das
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Height: 6’3”
Race: Human
Class First Prince of Calisma
- - -

Skills: Rydas’ lineage has afforded him to best education in warefare, combat, strategy, negotiations, history and politics. It is well known of the Prince's skill with a sword, having been particularly dedicated since he was a young child. Although he prefers to use two short swords in the old style, he has been forced to use a long sword, like his knights, for sense of propriety. His wealth and royal status could afford benefits in particular times as well.
Weakness(es): In the wrong company his status could be a hindrance, used for ransom if overcome or ignite anger for those that do not support his father's reign. Title aside, Rydas, by habit and upbringing, is detached from society and finds it difficult to relate to others. He has an inability to create close personal relationships. Furthermore, Rydas has a fixation on achieving perfection that borders on obsession.
Equipment: Items that never leave the Prince’s person include a longsword and a sigil ring engraved with his family’s crest. Nearly always he is clad in armor and adorned with a red cape.
Personal Quote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
- - -

Description: Some say courtiers are like peacocks, pretty and strutting without purpose. While for some that may be true, such is not the case for the First Prince. Purpose aside, Rydas sports no ‘feathers’ unless special occasion dictates. His no-nonsense attitude can been seen in both his lack of adornments as well as the constant stern expression that befits his features.

Das’ features would have been attractive had not he been so practical and uncompromising. Said features are solidly structured on a square-face that is usually clean shaven when not travelling. Lean, lithe body has been hardened from a life time of training, embracing his quickness and stamina rather than trying to greaten strength that he was not built for. Any lack of shoulder width, that was usually made up for in armor, often aided in his swordsmanship. Such skill was marked by permanent callouses on his large hands, further proving him more predator than peacock.

Skin, too, also showed him a man who worked for position no matter of birthright. It assumed a golden hue from days in the sun. Such tanned skin was not unmarred; a scar, faded from years and sunlight, sliced down the left side of his face from temple to check bone, as well as several from lashings across his back. Dark brown hair and golden eyes were passed down to him from his father, a sign of the Errion blood.

Personality: The Prince is a man of inner conflict, constantly battling desire against who he naturally was. As a child he was rash, angry and spontaneous. While careful conditioning as created a calm and calculated man, there is a piece of that wild boy still in his heart. A need for his father’s approval, however, keeps the mask carefully controlled. Rydas feels that success will be the only cause for him to be well-received by his father, and there for as become driven by ambition. Any failure creates much inner turmoil. He has removed room for personal relationships and throws his all into any task at hand. He finds duty to be of the utmost importance. The Prince is pragmatic, rigorous and remorseless… all of which has become a necessity for his survival. He admires similar traits in others. He finds emotion bothersome.

History: Born the second son of the First King of Calisma, Rydas Errion was named Second Prince and Second Heir to the throne. The uninspiring title never bothered him much. Rydas strived only to please his father and brother, idolizing them and wishing to be forever in their service. As a boy he always loved the stories of the warriors the best. In glorified dreams he aspired to be one, and for one who never cared for the throne was satisfied with being able to command an army in his future. Still, his older brother (Dyton) was the better fighter. For as strong as Dyton was, Rydas could never be. Adaptation took hold and the Second Prince learned to be quick and cunning, agile and aggressive. Such aggression was quelled, however, when he reacted to rashly in a duel with his brother. The pair trained daily, often times letting competition heat up. Anger took hold and Rydas lunged at the First Prince, but that day his speed would not aid him. Dyton narrowly missed his throat, and Rydas had his face stitched. Such threat on the First Prince had forever marred his face and earned him thirty lashes. The pain faded, but the scars and the lesson remained.

The day Dyton died had two outcomes; it named Rydas as First Heir and Prince of Calisma, and immortalized Dyton as the King's favourite. While the King loved both sons, Rydas never felt it was equal. He vowed one day to earn the same level of love and respect from his father and mend the man's heart a little. From that day forward he trained with double earnest, quelled his impulsiveness and devoted himself to his duties. Not a day passed where candles didn't burn until dawn, pouring over books of strategy or wold history, or metal rang out against metal as he drilled himself as well as his soldiers. The more time that passed the harder Das grew; both in body and personality. The longer that passed the more the obsession grew. It wasn't long before some mistook his desires for dark ambition. Had it not been for his training companion, Darius, the Prince probably would have broken into insanity.

The day the sickness took hold for his father was the third and last important day worth mentioning. Those that wished to sew mistrust amongst the court spoke ill words of the Prince. There were whispers that Rydas poisoned the king, or paid a mage to put a spell. As the coma took hold over their King the rumours grew to go back even further still, saying Das killed his brother. The turmoil these words caused him was great. When the Prince could take it no longer he decided to set out for an item he had only read about in legend... if anything could help, such an amulet could. And when his father woke he could give Das the respect he deserved, and the rumours would be silenced forever.

Anything Else: The Prince can confide in only to two people to date; his younger sister (First Princess of Calisma) and his second in command, the Royal Captain of the King's Guard (Darius Crowle)

So begins...

Rydas Errion's Story

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •



The mid-day sun was high in the sky as it hit the crescendo of its cycle, marking another day half-passed in Calisma. Right on key a loud tolling of the great cathedral bell ripped through the streets and for one moment everyone stopped. Every single person within earshot stilled their breath, waiting and listening to the low sound, counting. One strike: the crowd tensed. Two strikes: hearts stilled. Three strikes: life resumed. The massive pausing had happened at the same hour for the last twenty-three days. It began when the King had slipped from sickness into perpetuating slumber. The bell served has an announcement: the King still lived, the city was under no immediate threat, and a cure still hadn’t been found. Political views aside, everyone waited, listening for the five-toned ring when the future would change and the only ruler fell. Today was not that day, though, and so conversation and movement blossomed again.

Prince Rydas Erridas was among the crowd that paused, golden eyes sweeping up to the tower bell. It was only the silence that returned his breath to him. Time, there is still time. Like a choreographed dance he turned on heel and fell back into the suddenly moving crowd, letting it engulph him. As he weaved through the faceless bodies, they paid him no mind: a hooded cape hid his identity for the moment. Absently navigating the streets, his mind was not on them either. His mind was on his meek sister, who was addressing the supporters that gathered outside the castle at every bell toll. He only hoped her soft voice would keep them calm until he could return. Usually it fell on him to update the people on the condition of their King and the search for a cure, but this day there were other tasks at hand.

While thoughts were elsewhere his feet carried him to his destination, guiding him like a ghost through an old haunting ground. Only when he had realized he’d stopped did he lift his gaze. Straw coloured eyes quickly read a rocking sign that was well-weathered from the winter that had just past. Mixed emotions flitted through his stomach, but they were quick to be quelled. Das would go to the ends of the world to heal his father, telling himself that blood called to blood. The future was uncertain, but if he wanted his plans to fall in place, this was the only place sure to find others as determined and desperate as himself. There was no other place in all of Paetax that housed such misfit adventurers as The Black Vagabond. To gather such opportunists he had anonymously circulated a Call To Arms. One such inducement as posted beside the tavern door. He reread it out of habit, though he knew the words by heart:


-----------------------------------
CALLING ALL ADVENTURERS
Your Liege, The First King of Calisma
His Majesty, Dazius Errion
needs you.

Answer his call for the quest of a life time
& more gold than you can carry

Report to the Black Vagabond one hour past noon
three days after spring equinox.
-----------------------------------


The parchment was signed and stamped with the royal seal. Eyes flitted from the poster to the sun. The Prince’s lips pressed together, a sign of contentment that he was early as he’d planned. He’d wanted to see the adventurers arrive and quietly observe their behavior. While he was sure he could hold his own it was always a good idea to know who you were getting into bed with. The journey was sure to be long and arduous, even more so if he was surrounded by cutthroats. With one more breath he pushed opened the door and headed to the back.

Hood still shrouding his head he pressed himself against a wall in a space where he could see those that came to gather. From the shadowy perch he watched each of the questers enter in their own way. The Prince calculated, judged and plotted. When enough time past so even the latest would have arrived he looked for the barkeep, met eyes and nodded. The owner barred the door and retreated elsewhere. And there they were left alone.

Confident strides brought him to the front of the crowd. Calloused hands removed the hood from his head revealing a face that all were sure to recognize. If anyone in the room hadn’t seen the Prince before, the sigil on his finger and the quality of the armor were sure to give him away. Rydas cleared his throat in an attempt to gain the attention, leaving a moment for them all to adjust to his presence.

“Good Day. Thank you for attending.” He began, slowly meeting each and every person in the eye. “Allow me to explain the mission, and then I will address your concerns. If anyone is not willing to risk his or her life for your King then now is the time to leave. You will not be reprimanded for turning down this request.”

He was short, to the point and formal. But that was an Errion for you.

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


As the bodies filled the room Rydas observed. Each entered as heir own accord, some more dramatic than others. There were a few that the Prince noted as oddities among a sea of strangers, but he would wait to see who would remain. Although an untimely entrance interrupted his speech he didn’t stutter or pause. Instead, he finished the articulation. Moments passed, allowing the attendant to mull over the options he’d presented. Nearly half the room rose and left, some silently and others with grumbling curse. When the movement ceased he glanced around again, scanning the faces and saving them to memory.

Eleven remained. A fair size, though a little less than he had hoped for and a little more than he expected. He wondered how many were there for the gold, and how many were there for the duty to their king. Common sense told him that the majority was for the first. In the few seconds before he continued he allowed himself a few first impressions. A women in yellow and a female mage were quiet and watching, much like himself. A shorter man played with a globe and smiled to himself at the mention of the reward. An armor clad lady was ridged and uncomfortable at the bar, despite her mead. Another mage stuffed his face seemingly un-opinionated at the task at hand. A dark haired woman, softly humming, appeared truly interested at what he had to say. A fire-haired girl sized him up, a look that instantly made him not trust her. A cleric, judging by his robes, surprisingly downed an impressive amount of mead, challenging him with his gaze. A woman in the back listened intently, he’d nearly missed her. Lastly, there was the shady man who’d entered late and was covered in blood that, by the looks of it, was his own.They were a motley group, but beggars couldn’t be choosers, or so his father always said.

Rydas nodded, and began to speak again. “The crown give it’s sincerest appreciation for your dedication to the cause.”

He paused, thinking how to word what he wanted to say. “The King’s health is not a secret. I’m going to be forthright to with you all, we still haven’t discovered the cause for his affliction nor found a cure. Without meaning to alarm anyone, desperate times call for desperate measures. I don’t feel I need to outline the possible dire consequences if The First King does not recover. Such things have led us to the current path.”

The Prince cleared his throat.

“As a result of the damage caused by the rampant magics in the Sortelige Wars there were many objects of power said to be destroyed. Among them was Panacea, the Amulet of Healing. Many historians think it wasn’t destroyed, that it was instead hidden. This is the object we seek. If you’re unversed with the past, Panacea is said to imbue it’s wearer with the gift of health, healing any malady that may plague them. Whether magic or disease, it would restore our Liege to proper health.”

It was laughable, maybe, but it was clear that he was serious. It was taboo for anyone to speak of the wars, much more so uncommon for someone of the royal family to bring it up. Those were dark times not to be remembered. However, it was a time that needed to be referenced to get the true effect of all the negatives that were on the horizon if the King didn’t awake.

“If you are still committed please, introduce yourself and provide reference of your occupation. It will be beneficial to know what each of us bring to the table. Please feel free to voice any questions or concerns as well.” Although he was certain all knew who he was, he provided example. “I am Rydas Errion, First Prince and Commander of the Kings Guard.”

While his full name and title was a bit arrogant, it was etiquette and filled out any questions about his qualifications. That was all he said, waiting for each to tell their own.

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella's posture got noticeably stiffer as words began to exchange heatedly between the members of their newly formed ragtag group. There were few things she knew about dealing with outsiders and by the Gods, she didn't exactly want to work with some of these people but she would at least try. If they dispersed before even setting upon the quest....

The Priest was the first to throw out his ideals then one of the mages. The second mage, a young looking thing, appeared to despise confrontation so she simply lay her head down upon her arms to block out the argument. Next, the 'merchant' stepped forward, answering the Priest's claims and lobbing off a threat of her own as she now wielded a dagger.

Enough was enough. No one that she had originally thought to be a 'leader' of the group, whether the aged Priest or the desperate Prince, seemed determined to step in and stop this mess. So she would. Even if she didn't stop it, she would at least express her opinion that they were all fools.

In her clear, accented voice she finally said, "Enough!" Without the theatrics of breaking glasses or drawing her sword, she simply stood up and leveled a half-glare at all those participating.

"Whether you have come here to partake this quest upon sense of royal obligation or wealth or fame or glory... Know that none of you will have what you desire if you are to kill each other before we even start."

She glanced from the Priest, to the mage Callavan, to the 'merchant' woman all in turn since they were the three closest to coming to blows.

"If she were a merchant or a farmer or even a trollop from some two bit whorehouse I would have to say that as of right now I would prefer her at my side because she would probably bring more to this quest than a love of mead. So if you all are too bigoted to put your feelings aside then let me know now because I cannot help to guard those that would stab each other in the back before we even face an actual enemy worthy of our blades."

Her pale brown eyes were afire with her anger. She decided to settle down, shaking her head so quickly that her blond hair fell into her eyes for a brief moment and causing need for her to run her hand through her tresses to tame them once more.

"If you wish to have your battle then do so now and get it over with. I will be waiting outside so that my armor doesn't get stained over petty squabbles." Her voice had lowered for the last sentence and she pushed passed everyone in the room to walk out of the front door for a bit of air.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


After his introduction the company followed suit. As each rose or stood or raised their voice to present heir name and skill, the Prince devoted his full attention on the speaker. He intently listened. It wasn’t just to words or tone that he paid attention to, but to their stance, pauses, fidgeting and how they were received as well. As each finished speaking, he murmured thanks and praise.

The first to rise was a metal-clad femme. She spoke of her heritage, skill with shield and hand-to-hand weaponry. At her rank, his interest sparked. His head dipped in a show of appreciation. “Lady, the Triansui and their skill are well known to me, you are most welcome in our company.”

Next up was a man whose honesty rather than profession defined his character, at least in this stage of the game. The Prince nodded, as friendly of a gesture as he could muster, for smiles were rare especially due to recent events. “I admire your honestly, while we are often at opposite sides of the law know that your particular set of skills are most welcomed here as long as you can keep to the straight and narrow while employed by the crown.”

A quiet interruption was made as a man entered mid-introductions before stating his name and rank. Rydas eyed the man, perpetually thankful for the support of a noble family. “Please send many thanks home to the Deluge, an Ó Tuathaláin in arms with the Errions is a welcomed sight again, indeed.”

The next man to rise spoke words of hostility, though Rydas wasn’t sure whether it was intentional or just ignorance. His hand gripped his sword for a moment before releasing. “A cleric is a beneficial addition to our cause. Mind you, Priest, that Paetax is a city that welcomes all religion and spiritual beliefs. They are varied, so mind your preaching lest you wish to offend. This time alone I’ll let the insult to the King pass, but be warned that next time I will be forced to take action.”

Eyes turned once more, landing on a woman garbed in yellow, who had just broken a glass. He’d missed whatever had conspired, though from the anger burning in her eyes towards the priest, he could guess. She spoke, and the pieces fit together. “Lady Monk, you are a far ways from home, but the skill of your order is legendary. We are honoured to have you among our ranks.”

Attentions switched to a fiery-haired woman, who paused mid speech about being a merchant from Thoav. The underground of Thoav was not unknown to the crown. While many attempts had been made to curb the darker of trades, life of the city depended on the crime that took place, and so more often than not they turned the other cheek. He’d keep her secret, if need be. “Miss, your special talents will not be misplaced here. I venture your bargaining skills may come in handy.”

Next a woman rose, quiet and simple. Her honesty range true. The Prince, again, nodded his head. “Lady, we thank you for the dedication of your bow and feel fortunate to have a skilled tracker in our midst.”

It was a mage that spoke next, boasting of his seal. A spark of fire burst out of his hand and then faded. While the Prince had seen many mages the magic always impressed him, he’d never had the talent for it. “A member of the Guild is always welcome, and your talents will be most helpful on this quest, I’m sure.”

Vision drifted to the woman that spoke next, a most unexpected addition to the troupe. A bard. She was far from unwelcome, however. He’d learned with his armies that spirits and morale were kept high by song and dance. “Lady Bard, I look forward to your music on this inevitably long journey.”

And then the crowd dissented into bickering. Hardly a second to interrupt, Rydas watched as they began to combat themselves. They’re naught but children, he thought, letting out an audible sigh. Perhaps he’d have to cut the crew down further in rank. Before he could have so much as a word, Mirabella spoke up and left. While he was grateful for the chiding, the leaving was rather unnecessary. “The Triansui speaks the truth. Here, in this company, you are to be sworn under oath to a truth. Your history, for now, is to be set aside. This quest has the potential to shape the future. If you are not willing to work beside each other, you can step aside or else you will be put aside. Priest, Merchant: end this now.” But the priest exited, and the Prince weighed the odds about the results of cutting him from the group.

The bloodied man rose up, stepped forward and began to speak. This, however, was not an introduction. Rydas’ hand gripped the hilt of his sword again. An ember of anger burned in his stomach, though outwardly he appeared normal. Had those words been spoken to him anywhere else, the man would have been dead in an instance. Here, behind closed doors, he awarded the man a chance to redeem himself. “Speak to me like that again and you will not live to see the sun rise.” His voice was cold, hard and unwavering. There was no desperation here, but the confidence of a hardened soldier.

“Your political views are irrelevant here, though I assure you Paetax is in as well of a state as can be expected due to the state of the King. My duties are well covered. I’d not stand idly by well my King slips into the after life. If you have neither the love nor honor, belief nor desire for this quest, then be gone from my sight and stop wasting my time.”

The Prince was calm. Too calm.

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: 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.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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#, as written by Celedia
Mirabella d'Adreci


The Priest made his thoughts known to Mirabella and still, they did not settle well. Before this day she would have thought herself to be the pinnacle of cynicism and distrust but the older man had trumped her. "I do not see how you can even try to justify your actions in that tavern. Like begets like. You treated her with disrespect and hostility and she felt threatened and reacted. If you had said the same slanderous things to me than I would have had a blade by your throat as well."

Her tone was less violent now but still held a simmering anger. She had always despised it when people acted poorly and then tried to justify their actions instead of setting things right. "By the same token, the mage that you so dearly love? You've treated him like gold and he has become friendly to you. Is that such a surprise?" She shook her head, her eyes holding something akin to pity for the Priest. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and you just fractured a half a dozen relationships in there before they could even begin. Now, instead of a cohesive unit that wants to fight for each other as much as the task at hand, they will be second guessing and doubting and paranoid. If you had a split second when the merchant called out to warn you to duck from an oncoming arrow... Would you heed her call or think her a liar and remain standing?"

She reached up, pressing her hands against her face and rubbing her fingertips up along her temples to ease the tension which there remained despite her best efforts. "And as far as the Prince is concerned? Did you stop to think that there is a power vacuum at the moment? Perhaps the elite are best spent guarding the King instead of going on a desperate last ditch attempt to find something, anything to save him. I can only say that I will trust fully in him until he gives me a reason not to and if you do not feel the same way then perhaps it is best that you forgo this mission. Whatever honor and glory you hope to attain will be lost if your actions cause our quest to fail before it begins."

Looking towards the Black Vagabond's door, she decided- "I, however, am going to entrust my blade to his cause." Though not happy with Akdov, she wasn't rude either and she inclined her head in an informal bow before leaving his presence and pushing her way back inside. Her honey-colored eyes held a fiery determination now and she ignored all others as she pushed through the crowd. Withdrawing her sword from its sheath with her right hand, she advanced until she was right in front of the Prince before turning her blade so that its tip hit the ground as she knelt down on one knee in front of him.

"My Prince, I am with you until the end. Until the Panacea is around your father's neck or until my body no longer draws breath."

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Minutes past and still the tension was thick enough that his sword could slice through it with ease. A second more and the Prince removed his hand from his sword hilt. Quiet contemplation had rendered him without anger. Children was a like comparison; brats more accurate, filled to the brim with sweets and waiting for a smack. The callouses on his hands, however, were not from needless brutality but rather practiced skill. Not now, not ever, would he resort to mothering.

“Perhaps a bucket of ice cold water would cool their heads?" It was a soft voice, full of inner peace. A smile threatened his lips, pulling at the corners but didn’t make it all the way through. It was the closest he’d come in a long while to a genuine show of amusement. He coughed, to clear his throat, wiping it away. In quiet acknowledgement he nodded to the monk, though his eyes swept between the scene.

Thoughts returned to his former train of thought. He came to plead for help here, not because he was desperate (though the times were), but because such an elevated quest would need particular talent that the Kings Guard did not train for. He need only ask and thousands would lay down their lives for him. As if on cue, the warrior woman returned from her breath of fresh air. She headed straight for him, bending on kneed to rest upon her sword, like his Paladins did when swearing fealty.

"My Prince, I am with you until the end. Until the Panacea is around your father's neck or until my body no longer draws breath."

It was rather unexpected, but what hadn’t been that day? Unwavering, he bent to touch her shoulder, grasping it in earnest. “Rise Lady, and know that your dedication to this cause is not unnoticed or unappreciated. King Errion shall know of your loyalty when our efforts awake him from his stilled slumber.”

His gaze rose, glancing over the ranger who’d first insulted him. Assassin? Spy? He’d remember the face. The games of insult and questioning were not welcomed, and for a brief moment he wonder why he was no longer a member of the King’s Guard—the army Rydas now commanded. Perhaps the man had suffered too hard a hit on the head and lost his filter when speaking things to people he shouldn’t. For the moment the Prince gave him the benefit of the doubt. Such thought train ended in time for him to catch the threat between the firey mage and like-haired woman.

“Enough, Thoavian.” He cut in, voice taking the hardened edge of the commander. “We’ve strayed fair enough from topic. If you’re looking for a bar fight you’ve come to the wrong meeting. If you’re so desperate to spill blood, than put effort to cause or take up qualms with me instead. Details of this endeavor have been too far distracted from. You all need time to think. Such happenstance has boiled you all to point of insolence. We will reconvene tomorrow, at the same time, at the gates to the city. Think long and hard if you can dedicate yourself to cause of King, gold and glory such as this valliant Triansui has done. You will be outfitted with what you will need: food, horse, water and supplies. Leave a list of what you require with the barkeep when you leave and it will be packed on the ‘morrow for you.”

Rydas took a moment to look across the room at those that remained, instilling in memory their faces. “I thank you for your time.”

With that, and a swirl of a red cape, the Prince exited the tavern.

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The initial meeting had been troubling at best. His fathers words were in his mind as he replayed the gathering of ‘advernturers’: Never underestimate the citizens. In this case, perhaps, he had overestimated. The whole nation was in turmoil over the uncertainty of the future, had it been foolish to think that a band of faceless strangers with no legal ties could group up for one last hope of peace? Some would be trouble: the Thovian rogue, the pyromaniac of a mage, the drunken cleric and the ex-military ranger to name a few. Others seemed more promising: the Triansui, the monk and the Marquis’ son were topping his charts. The rest fell somewhere between but he was still thankful that they hadn’t made the first list. Such thoughts weighed heavy on his mind as he navigated the familiar corridors of his home palace. He was nearly on autopilot, so distracted by recent events. He scarcely noticed the servants and guards bow and greet as he passed them by.

Mahogany carved doors opened for him as he entered the office of his Captain. He was grateful to see the familiar face behind his desk. Without greeting he made his way to the side bar, pulling himself a glass of distilled mead that had been imported from the North: the perks of being an officer. One cup downed, the Prince poured himself another. He had never been much of a drinker, but the liquor took the edge off his thoughts. He turned on heel to face his comrade. “Am I chasing a fairytale, Darius?” He asked, thoughts weighing down his voice. It was rhetorical, further proven by the fact that he continued to speak.

“Of the thirty some odd that came only eleven remained, and they were at each others’ throats in moments. I’m not sure why I thought it’d be as civilized as the recruits. They’re children.” His musings were as close to emotional as he got. Rydas slid himself stiffly into the chair across the desk from the only man he could talk to. His gaze shifted from Darius to the window where Paetax rolled out before him past the castle courtyard.

“Gods will it, and they don’t kill each other, we might have a chance. A Triansui pledge her sword to me,” That alone was a rarity, but he continued. “and the Ó Tuathaláin’s eldest son arrived. Our families haven’t fought side by side since…”

His voice trailed off. It was unbecoming to speak of the wars. There was a silence for a bit. When Rydas spoke again his voice was quieter, more personal. “I leave tomorrow. What does your Uncle say of this endeavor?”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

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

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

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


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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre
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A tumult of inquiries made itself aware to him with answers unknown. No grasp of sight nor sound could brace a foreigner for such epiphanies, such strange scents wafting through the air and leading him down darkened streets. This was not a city of pine, but of boundless opportunity. His arrival hadn't varied from his departure, which is to say he came with kit's optimism, flashing fanged smiles in spite of meek fanfare, and clouds of doubt would do little to hinder his step. What a fool he was. Cloaked from tip to tail, he cut the image of absurdity. He supposed, briefly, that he would represent all the flaws of this venture—one might call him irritatingly buoyant had he not been quelled by the wariness of the townsfolk, restricted to considered padding within the shadows of Paetax as he went forth, ever so hopeful, to the grounds where the misfits would meet.

But he had been frantic. Past noontime, the final bell berated his absence. Ears perked, strained, catching that sound and that sound only. The city had loomed a mile in the distance, grandly set on the horizon, and his pace quickened on the dusted road. Curse after curse tainted his breath. Inevitably, others would have arrived long before him, warriors or mages or devious people with years of experience, whether polished sword or pierced tongue or missing teeth. Eyepatches, even. The thought had set him into a near-dash, the anticipation eating away at him, the even anxiety more so.

And all the world's courage would not grant him words. A few thousand faces to glance over, a few hundred more to speak with, but which handful would be willing to listen? Lost among the crowd, he was but one of many, and yet the open roads had seemed entirely too unwelcoming, too prone to exposure to the common people of Calisma. Yet he could not afford to wander for long. The capital could not engulf him, not before he had the opportunity to slug drunkards in a pub fight.

What had led him to the caped man were whispers on the wind, just as tellings of the king's state and the plan of action had drifted to the ends of the earth. His presence quieted bold souls; crude talk became hushed around him, the mannerisms more subdued. Icareau was the least capable of joining his company. Through an act of admirable idiocy, nonetheless, the Feledine found his voice: "Sir, if you may please heed my request!"

Imagine the boy, then, garbed in fur and cloak and armor under the sweltering sun, the broadsword tucked at his side, the toes tipped, desperately, to heighten himself. "I seek to join the hired hands at the Black Vagabond. If the king is in need of aide, then I am willing to fall for him—that is..." At this, his speech faltered, as did his stride. Surely this man was used to such heckling. "Well, if I can find the meeting area," he added, laughing without conviction.

The setting changes from Paetax to Calisma

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Earlier That Day
(Flashback)

Thoughts were heavy on his mind as he navigated the crowds in the streets of Paetax. So engulfed was he in his own mind that he’d scarcely noticed the stranger who had approached him. If not for the shade cast on his path, the Prince probably would have walked straight into said person. The shadow was attached to a figure, miniature and pleading up at him, and voice strangely male despite the height. It took a second for Rydas to detach himself from his thoughts and glue together all the abnormalities of the situation.

“That tavern is about fourty strides behind me.” He stated, answering the request. Green eyes glanced over the cloaked stranger, clearly masking appearance from the public like himself. Where as the Prince more easily blended in the crowed, the being before him did not fit in. Anything inhuman stood out in Paetax. With the source of the King’s recent illness still a mystery, any outsiders were less than welcome. And the creature, standing on the tips of paws, was most definitely not human.

“You’ve just missed the meeting though. It’s disbanded, to be reconvened on the morrow at the city’s main gates. If you leave a list of items with the barkeep they will be provided, if you need.” He informed the stranger.

Rydas took the moment to glance over the adventurer, taking note of armor and sword. If he was skilled then the Prince was thankful. And this one’s mood seemed brighter than the rest of the motley crew. A Feledine, however, might not be welcomed amongst the ranks. The race kept mostly to themselves in the south, even with fealties sworn and a truce between their peoples. Despite armor and uplifting mood, the small man (though age was hard to tell) hardly seemed battle hardened.

“Excuse me, I’ve had a taxing day. If you decide to join the quest I will see you at the gates. Many of the others are still drinking or eating at the taverns.”

And that was that. He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t ask names. The Prince excused himself and headed to the castle, disappearing the crowd. He needed to clear his head.


• • •

The Following Day
(Flashforward)

Additional sentries were posted inside the city gates, a ring cleared around a string of horses. They were highly bred beasts, beautiful. It’d been quite a large sum of coin that had been put forth for the mounts, and the gear that each held. Side bags were full to the brim with copious amounts of gear; bedrolls, nonperishable foods, bandages, water-filled canteens, flint, and everything that had been listed to the barkeep. It’d been done to the nines, and then some. Despite the fact that the group was clearly crown sponsored Rydas had given strict orders that the kings colours were not to be displayed. He’d wear his sigil, but they were venturing into unknown territories and who knew where alliances would lay.

The sun was high, warm and unforgiving. This day the Prince was uncloaked, geared to the teeth. He looked quite prestigious, his read cloak swirling in what little wind made it into the city. Citizens gathered, gawking and wondering, despite being politely urged to be on their way. He had hoped that the sight of their Prince geared and ready to go would boost morale, Gods know they needed it. He’d arrived early for that purpose. This, however, wasn’t a publicity stunt so there would be no speeches. Attentions were drawn away from him as the bell tolled again. Each toll still heart and breath. The third echoed out and again, like any other day, life resumed.

What little sleep he’d had the night before had been light and uneasy. He’d drifted between half sleep and daydreams. Upon waking he didn’t remember the content of such, but they left him uneasy. Hooves stirred, muffled grunts from restless horses. Their impatience was felt by Rydas, though he was still. He resisted the urge to pace. It was undecided whether it was a restlessness to begin or an uneasiness still lingering from the disastrous meeting of yesterday. For a moment he pondered if any would show, or more accurately if any wouldn’t. There were a few he could do without out of personal opinion, but any able bodies were needed and he would thank them just the same. Green gaze scanned the crowd, waiting from the adventurers to show.

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

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

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

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

--------

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

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

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

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

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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: 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Darius Crowle
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How do you become someone capable of ruling a country? Many nights were lost thinking about it in Darius youth. He never understood why Rydas never saw it like that. It became Rydas most admirable feature from his point of view. In many ways he thought of it as being royal, being capable of holding the weight of the world on his shoulders without ever showing traits of discourage or fatigue. The day his brother died, everything became different. It had been the only time, he allowed himself to visit the castle before becoming captain. When he finally reached Rydas room, he'd already been “punished”. He hadn't eaten since and Darius couldn't think of any good reason why to change that. Still, Darius also knew, Rydas would have to go out of his chambers at some point. That wasn't only an option, but his duty as the future king, and Darius would not allow him to escape from that reality. Looking back, Darius could've been more sensitive towards Rydas pain, but at the moment, he only wished for Rydas to embrace the truth. It took several years for their friendship to recover.

Darius' duty was to make sure Rydas didn't forget his. “I hope you don't expect me to tell you I'm surprised. The only reason anyone came to your calling was money, your highness.” He tried to look at him as kindly as he possible could. Was it pity that he felt for his friend's desperate attempt? Maybe, but he would never admit it. He had to help him, the kingdom, Rydas kingdom, depended on it. “Listen, the whole idea has two different very different issues, both of them might be this kingdom's chance of survival.”

Slowly, gently, he raised from his chair, drew his common blade and pointed at a map of Calisma behind him. “As you know, your father's reign has given us time to build up a certain defensiveness towards any foreign powers. An attack from the outside is therefore highly unlikely. Unfortunately, we have far more complicated issues. Our feudal monarchy is based on several noble families. In order for a king to rule, specially to rule peacefully, he needs the support of the vast majority of the nobles. That is still the case, fortunately, but ambition is a well-spread poison within this court.”

Now he walked on to the bookshelves right behind Rydas and rearranged some of the tomes while he continued. “Therefore, if his majesty king Erion should not recover soon enough, we might end up having civil war. I don't think looking for a long forgotten relic will save your father. I wish I could believe in something like that. I just don't. I want you to rule this country and right now you have no chance whatsoever to do so. We need to improve your appearance towards the council of nobles. Leaving the palace and going on a quest with a group of young adventurers is the stupidest idea anyone wishing to plot against the king could ever have. Even those who dislike you and wish to see you disappear will not be able to say anything against you anymore. Besides, this place is already being besieged with assassins strictly sent for you. Making you leave will make this palace a lot safer for your royal sister and father.”

He took a breat, walked right towards Rydas, offered his right hand and finally said "So, you want to go on a senseless quest with low chances of survival with a bunch of complete - I repeat - complete strangers. Those kids of yours, they will need a leader, so you better behave like one. You're Rydas Errion, my liege, my friend, but most of all, you are like family to me, a brother. Count me in on this one. If you leave Paetax without me, I will hunt you down myself. "

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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The Eve Before
(Flashback)

The initial reaction was one that made him want to take back his words. He replayed the conversation in his head, wondering if it could have been an issue he had worked out on his own There were so few in the world that he felt he could confide in. The ones he did, however, were chosen for a reason. The reason was simple, they saw a man and a crown and understood that they existed simultaneously. He had come here for a truthful answer, and not just a yes man. Darius was entitled to his opinion. It didn’t, however, stop the Prince from glowering into his cup.

An attack from the outside is therefore highly unlikely.

He lifted his glass to his lips, polishing his second glass. Rydas nodded, already knowing the contents of the lecture he was being given. He contemplated chiding the captain, reminding him of his place, but that wasn’t his style. It’d been too long of a day for political debates regardless. If Darius had been listening at all he would have known that one of the families had already sent support, and if all went well he would be back before the rest found out. The talk of civil war did not help to lighten the mood.

Complete strangers. The conversation shifted, slightly. His vision raised to the Captain before him. Your vote of confidence is astounding as always, Darius. He thought. Though the finish of the small speech enlisted his friend to his quest of insanity. A grin tugged at the corners of his lips. “So be it, friend. We’re in it to the end, whatever may come.” He rose, and said his farewells. Tomorrow would be a busy day, he’d need his rest, though he was sure sleep wouldn’t come.


• • •

Quest, Day 1
(Flashforward)

The travellers arrived one by one, each coming in their own time and at their own pace. Rydas watched, waiting until enough time had elapsed so that even those that were late had a chance to arrive. He found it odd that they congregated near the edge of the cleared area away from both the horses and himself. Momentarily he wondered if the division between them would remain constant due to social hierarchy, or if a bridge would form. Even with the soldiers he was isolated, but at least the guard didn’t separate themselves so blatantly from him.

The priest arrived first, followed by the thief. Next in attendance was the monk, and then the warrior who had pledged herself to the cause. They began talking amongst themselves, awkwardly socializing. At least it’s an improvement from yesterday. The young mage showed up, as did the bard , the fire mage and the Thovian merchant. For now a truce seemed to exist, and Rydas was greatful. That was eight including himself. His eyes swept over the crowd, looking for any stragglers. There were five that were absent; the two rangers, the feledine, Darius and the Ó Tuathaláin. He frowned. Had so many changed their minds?

Rydas steeled himself for the task at hand, pushing the no-shows from his mind. He cleared his throat, stepping towards the band. “This road behind me is not just a path out of Paetax, it is a road to fate. It is paved by duty, by courage, by honour and faith. Today we take this road to seek to secure peace for the future of our country, and through that will find health, wealth and valor. In the name of The First King, my father, Dazus Errior, I thank you for your dedication. Such commitment will receive just reward.”

He paused to look each in the eye to impact his statement on just how much he appreciated their presence. “Your needs have been seen to. All the items are stored in your side bags of your mounts. Those of you that have already had mounts, there are packs to my right. When everyone is mounted and ready we will depart. We ride North.”

The setting changes from Calisma to Paetax

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: 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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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The priest left out a frustrated sigh as the two women left his company, by all that was holy what was their problem?

I will be praying for tolerance again

He wanted to scold that woman, the warrior for her lack of sight on these things, the world was not dealt in black and white Akdov knew it too well being a man of the faith, he would have told her that they had nothing to worry about, that the quest to heal the king was one that the hall lord approved of and that with or without the priest it would be done if Deud willed it.

But neither could he leave out the fact that he bent one knee to the king but he bent knee and spine for his god, if their path placed them against the principles of the priest he would not betray the merry one and if the hall lord wanted to see their quest fail, priest or not they were all as good as dead.

Maybe some things are best left untold

The prince then saw it fit to give an inspiring speech, if he hoped to become a king that would rouse the masses then he really needed to practice on those things because it was a sorry excuse that mixed senseless words like duty and honor and frankly things these lot knew nothing of

Things like fate

Still he moved forward and greeted the bearded mage "Good Callavan, its good to see you will be joining us, if Deud wills it well live to tell of it" he kept at it going over to the horses, it had been a lifetime ago since he sat atop a mount... Arthur had been a capable and ferocious knight he had slew dozens and rode off masterfully

But that man is dead

He had put behind things of the dead man behind him, he had not wore steel, he also had abandoned the ferocious appetite for women that the knight had and he was set to walk the earth with no beast carrying him, he had to be responsible for his own weight... and a cart didnt seemed to be on the options nor anyone looked to be willing to share their mount, and he didnt blame them either

"I am sorry my prince but" he was going to have an effort to not offend anyone now " It seems that many of us are still amiss, while I know were the north lays I am not certain we have got the same point for it, if indeed we are in a hurry I would suggest you set out I should wait for the others and rally them in your direction" he then in a lower voice, talking more to himself than anyone else added "also I didnt request a mount dont know how I am going to keep up with you all"

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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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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •



The words hadn’t meant to be particularly inspiring, just something truthful and formal. A mild ache in his head was growing the more the sun rose and he longed to feel the familiar pattern of a gallop as his mount and himself soared across open road and away from the city that was thick with discomfort. A gallop was too quick of speed for such an inexperienced and large group, so he would settle for a trot. However, it seemed as soon as he finished speaking that even a walk would be out of the question.

Golden eyes flashed, almost bewildered at the reaction of his words. They were talking, nearly at once, suddenly curious about the quest. The first question, from Mirabella of all people, asked what direction they were heading. Did I not just say we ride North? He replayed his own speech in his mind. A steady inhale, slow, through his teeth steeled his nerves while he blanked his face. Patience. He told himself.

Vision glanced at the party before him and he was suddenly grateful he’d left the royal crest off of their ensembles. Rydas debated whether to laugh or be angry. The sight before him was pitiful indeed. The rogue was smiling to himself at the speech, until he attempted mounting and laid flat over the saddle. The treasonous ranger was just arriving, late, and hadn’t even gotten to the horses yet. The bard was writing instead of mounting. The bearded mage was playing with trinkets in the saddlebags. This was going to be a very long trip indeed.

Silently he thanked those that had managed to occupy their saddles; the ‘merchant’, the young mage and the huntress. The damnable priest (hah!) had also mounted, but requested to stay behind to direct those that hadn’t made it on time. The fact that he was mounted surprised Rydas a little, but he’d long before learned not to judge a book the by cover.

“No, thank you.” He replied to the cleric shortly. “They will catch up or be left behind, we’ve delayed long enou--.”

Words were cut short by the commotion. The Prince turned in time to watch the monk, who had presumably been dragged, high kick the gentle horse in the jugular and drop it flat. He motioned for a guard to see to the beast, but it would most likely need to be put down. The bags would be transferred to a packhorse.

“Mirabella, please allow Nelinia to ride with you.” They’d have to ride double. The Triansui looked capable enough to handle the task. He wasn’t about to suffer another horse through the abuse of the monk just because she hadn’t seen fit to ask for help.

“A short lesson on mounting. If you have not found a mount, take any. There are extras to carry our cargo.” He said, loud to draw the attention for those that were having trouble.

“Hold the reins tight with your left hand, and firmly grab a tuft of the mane. Hold the offside rein tighter to not cause your horse to swing away from you. Turn the stirrup so that the fender lies flat. Place your foot in the stirrup. Grasp the canter with your right hand. Lift yourself up. When you are balanced over the withers, move your right hand up to the reins. Swing your leg over, minding not to kick the horse.” He acted out the directions in example.

“Horses are pack animals by nature, they will follow one another. If for some reason you need to stop, pull back on the reins. If you do so too roughly it may buck you off. Dig your heels into the sides if you need to pick up pace. For the most part you will just be following the leader.”

His voice was calm, carefully articulating each word. Rydas felt as if he were talking to children and wondered how people had gotten by without learning to ride. He paused for a moment, allowing everyone to learn to mount.

“We will go over strategy when we break for camp.”

With that he clicked his tongue at his pristine white stallion, pulled the reins and headed out the gates. He had been prepared to debrief them the day prior, but the had insisted on quarrelling instead. And after the disaster of just mounting, he needed some time to clear his head. Riding always soothed the Prince.

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"

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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
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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.

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Freedom of the open road was just within his reach, a few strides of the lengthy steed’s legs beyond the gate, but it was halted again. More questions assaulted the back of his head. While a few of the followers fell in line, obviously competent in riding, others congregated around the monk. It seemed that where she road for the day was a huge dilemma, and everyone had their opinion. His opinion was asked one some matter or another and he dipped his head in correspondence, it was the most polite way he could answer at the moment. Vision scanned the group once more, suppressing a sigh. Sometime or another a few more of the stragglers had managed to join their troupe and find a horse without being too noticeable. The Feledine from the other day had managed to make it. Now, however, was not the time for discussing such introductions.

“The sun stretches to afternoon, we leave now.” He announced. Rydas paused a moment at the ragtag band of travellors: some would need more direction. “We will follow the road north for as long as we can, and make camp in Gaeric tonight.”

Hopefully, he thought, wondering if the group could ride so far in half a day. The Prince’s equine dug at the dirt and huffed. The beast was as restless as he, perhaps his tenseness was being felt through the saddle. Expert hands reined the horse back around and clicked his teeth, heels gently pressing into the sides and a steady walk picked up. Rydas steeled himself to maintain a slow, consistant pace to allow everyone to follow easily. Once the horses were in a line they’d obey his commands, and the irony of that was not lost on him. Rydas Errion, commander of horses but not a pack of “adventurers”. Thoughts darkened.

As the last horse passed the gates of Paetax something stirred inside him. For better or for worse, the future of the kingdom was in his control. So, he thought, it starts now.

Even as the sun descended from its peak in the sky, the day was hot. He pulled the hood of his cloak up over his head. It served for many purposes: it kept some of the head off his neck, it shadowed his identity to the passing travellers, and aided in preventing idle chit-chat from his companions. The scattered masses of people returning from farming fields or other cities towards the capitol parted as the adventurers passed. Rydas nodded in silent greeting to those he received but kept quiet, thoughts elsewhere. The looks they were given, however, were unmistakable. The Prince could only imagine how strange they must all look. They were a misshapen crew, some barely able to ride, following a shaded man with a bright red cloak on a pure white horse. They were less than subtle, but he’d imagined that the bard would have a field day.

When people began to dwindle he again clicked his teeth and urged the horse on. Happily, the horse picked up speed to a steady trot. Behind him he heard the rest of the horses follow suit. The rhythmic beat of hooves on dirt road began to soothe him, and the rest of the day passed quickly. His mind began to ease. When the day finally started to cool off and slip into evening, he looked for a place to set and make up camp. Rydas was pleasantly surprised that they had managed to make it to the eastern tip of the northern forest without any further incidents.

The Prince dismounted, sliding off with fluid ease, and tied his horse to a branch. While his mount really needn’t be tied, it was faithfully his, the others would need to and he had decided in his long hours of thought that he would teach by example. Rydas watched as the weary travellers dismounted as well. He had forgotten how painful it was for inexperienced riders to sit in saddle for so long. The dark prince frowned a moment, cursing his oversight. But there was nothing he could do about it now, except for make for a decent night.

“We will rest here tonight, and leave at first light in the morning. We still have many, many miles to travel. Please, make camp. We will eat and then discuss strategy.” His tone was a few hundred shades brighter now. The smell of pine of the deciduous forest greatly lightened his mood. One would say he was almost jovial. Riding soothed the soul, it seemed.

Patiently he showed each how to unclip their saddlebags, how to set up their bedrolls and brush down their horses. Rydas taught them how to loosen their reins on the horses so they could graze. He made fire, and threw his saddle on the ground for a place to sit, teaching any who wanted to know how to remove the saddle the same. Deft hands created fire. Fire would keep them warm, keep away the beasts of the forest and lighten the mood for all. The whole set up took a few hours, but they would learn and grow quicker as each day passed.

They had been packed rations for a few days, and after that they would need to hunt. With the few cooking utensils he had brought with, the Prince began to cook a stew for the lot. He made sure every soldier in the Kings Guard knew how to cook properly and well. Many deemed it a skill for women, or unneeded, but a good meal lightened spirits in even the most dismal of situations.

When bowls were full, and scent of rich herbs and stewed meat laced with the smoke of the fire, Rydas looked to the bard. “Acacia, I would be very grateful for a song. Would you grace us with one.”

Food, fire and music he hoped would lubricate the group for a smooth discussion of the mission at hand.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The group ate in silence at first, each eagerly consuming the bowl of food that was presented them. He nodded his head, quite as always, to those gracious enough to thank him for the meal. While everyone received a generous portion he did not ladle any of the stew into a bowl for himself. Rations were not scarce, as it was only their first night, and he had not laced the food. Rather, the Prince scarcely felt the pains of hunger in present days. Often it took coercing from sister or advisers for him to consumer more than a few bites of cheese or bread. It was funny how anxieties of the mind so often affected the rest of the body. Sustenance aside, the Prince brewed himself a cup of herbs that smelled bitter until a tad of honey was added. What the concoction was, he didn’t say, but it seemed to keep him at ease.

Long legs stretched, lounging with the saddle at his lower back. He was propped up just enough to see the encampment. With the position, and the firelight flickering across his face, he resembled something of a wolf- ears perked, alert but comfortable as he guarded his pack. With practiced patience he waited for the bard to finish her meal, hoping she would accede to his request for song. In the quiet lull of stuffed mouths Rydas took the time to reassess the group. Mind cleared, more or less, from riding and mood swayed to a lighter tone, his impressions of the misfit brigaded were slightly more positive. Silent prayers were made that said impressions would last when next their mouths would open.

Rydas was not sure whether he was more grateful or more surprised that there had been no controversy over their last joined member- the Feledine. He knew, even in their own court, that tensions with other races ran high with the strange disease that plagued his father. Often in times of crisis the different were the first to be blamed. With the southern cat-like race being so withdrawn from common society, it was suspicious even to himself for the appearance of one now. Vision swept over Icareau, wondering what the purpose of his attendance was- had his people wished to show their support of the long-honoured treaty, or had he had a hand in the sickness? From what he could remember, the Feledines weren’t well versed with magic, but that didn’t make it impossible. Momentarily he wondered why the others hadn’t questioned the catman. They had never hesitated to voice concerns thus far. He wondered how far ignorance ran through the common people, or if it was exhaustion that froze their tongues tonight.

Thoughts were halted. The treasonous ranger crouched, making motions that he’d heard something in the tent behind the Prince. In fluid motion he rose, remarkably quiet despite amour and cloak, and paused to listen. Silence. It was an odd quiet, not even the horses stirred. Equines were timid creatures, easily disturbed. Whoever was inside the tent was well experienced. His mind momentarily flashed back to the many assassination attempts within the castle walls- how have they found me so quickly? Vision met with the Triansui and Narenia, palm raised, directing them to show caution. He steeled himself for whatever may come, standing behind the archer, as the warrior woman entered from the back.

Whatever question had been asked of the intruder was not responded with words but rather actions: quick, hostile actions to boot. A snap resounded through the encampment as the tent collapsed in on itself and those inside. Somehow the trespasser managed to dart out in time, around the archer before she could let loose an arrow. Rydas was quick too, however, and positioned himself in the way. With weight and muscle he took her impact, a wild woman crashing into his body. Strong arms attempted to grab her, but he was a moment too late. An untamed fist struck true, hitting him square in the jaw. The desperation behind the hit was felt, it’d be sure to be sore in the morning. Annoyed, Rydas grabbed wrists, swinging her around like a ballroom dance and grasping her tight against him. Kick all she wanted, efforts would be futile.

“Calm yourself, you’ll only make it worse.” He said, the firm and commanding voice of an annoyed Prince spoke forcibly into her ear. The woman smelled of pine and dew, and it was only than that he notice how scantily clad she was. As if to end her wiggling, he tightened his grip. With sight of the small dagger at his feet, and half-eaten bread, Rydas had a sneaking suspicion that they had just interrupted a robbery rather than thwarted an oncoming attack. Motives aside, his jaw had started to ache.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay true and strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Princes are sick.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The window of cooperation of his ragtag group of travellers was brief. It was only that moment of coexistence and working as a team that made the next eruption of talking take less of a toll on his temper. That banding of brothers- and sisters- was something he had previously been uncertain would ever happen. No matter how short, the harmony had been there, and it gave him a little bit of hope for the outcome of the quest at hand. He waited until the talking, that was almost always at once, had calmed before he addressed the questions.

The Prince pressed his lips together, a short nod of thanks was given to the cleric for omitting his title. Aside from the less than modest clothing the woman was slim and lean, it was apparent that she wasn’t accustomed to great feasts as of late. He parted his lips to agree with the older man who had just spoke out loud his own observations; “I think you’re right, Akdov.”

The priest offered up his meal, a kind gesture though an unneeded one: there was plent of a food having been less than a day on the road. Still, others were speaking. The bard, voice as soft and melodic as ever, politely asked the wild one’s name. Before anyone else could speak, the monk was yellow. It had surprised Rydas, though he wasn’t sure why, everything that woman in yellow did was odd. It only took a second to deduce what she was getting at, and a second more for a pale crimson to colour tanned cheeks.

“I assure you, lady, that it is not your assumptions.” He said, exasperated. As if a Prince, with formally deeply engrained in his upbringing, would need to be told to keep his relations of such adult nature in private. Still, it hadn’t stopped him from blushing. He only hope that such colouring could be blamed on the struggle with the intruder or heat of the fire (both of which had nothing whatsoever to do with his or her nether regions).

It was at that second that the huntress stepped forward, smelling the woman he held captive in his arms. He knew that she would smell the forest on her, just as he had. He shrugged at the question of ‘wildling’, he assumed as much but he would wait for answers from the woman himself. His tutors had lectured him on the dangers of assuming things and Rydas tried his best not to. It was her second suggestion that brought forth his voice again. Rope? “No, I don’t think she’ll attack us again now that she knows we’re armed and eleven-to-one against her.”

Attica, as she stated her name to be, was struggling again. It was feeble. The woman was clearly tired, and by the looks of her famished. He was speaking again, his tone was less harsh than the first. “I’m going to let you go. You can eat, if you wish, and then be on your way.”

They didn’t have time for thieves, their mission was much more important. They needed rest, and food, and then to be on their way at first light. Rydas loosened his grip on the woman until he completely let her go. But not without first giving her a warning. “If you try anything foolish rope will be the least of your worries. “

His gaze rose from her, looking out at the dark and dense forest that surrounded them. He saw nothing, heard nothing, but asked just to be sure. He knew the question would put some on alert just in case: “Are you alone?”

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The prince! Get him to safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well they don’t look like guards

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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?"

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


It was Attica’s last few words that put Rydas on edge again. His eyes rose to the forest just as the figures broke through the forest line. While they drew his attention he still heard the wildling’s laugh, harsh at his side. He drew his sword in a swift motion, parting legs to take the stance for fighting. The Prince readied himself, taking a moment to marvel at how foolish the bandits were – their numbers were nearly matched. Either they were stupid, or they really wanted the woman. He didn’t have time to ponder it a second longer, however, as chaos broke out.

The Prince moved to take his first step towards the oncoming enemies, but found himself pulled to the ground. Breath, thick with the stench of brewed ale, was at his neck as the Cleric spoke to him. Rydas looked over at the old man, incredulous at the idea of being given orders to run and hide. He? The Prince, Commander of the King’s Guard and future King of Calisma… get to safety? His mouth parted to rage his protest, but the priest was on his feet, burning log in hand and headed towards the pursuers before he could make voice. Rydas couldn’t help but whisper to himself; ”Crazy son of a bi—“

His arm raised to shade his eyes from the blinding light, willed by the drunken god Dued. And then the Prince was on his feet again, in time to watch the staff change to monstrous creature and then the Priest was down and wounded. He grimaced, turning to observe the rest of the group—the ranger was down, too, but it looked as if he had taken a few with him. The two rogues were leaving a trail of blood in their wake, and then they were gone.

An attack on his own person interrupted his observations. The assailant came from the left. He elbowed the man, loosening his grip on him, turning to face him. Rydas swung, but the man parried. The bandit came at the Prince again, seemingly annoyed that his victim was armed. In such close range the Prince’s sword was awkward and difficult to wield. He kicked, landing his heel in the man’s stomach and used the hilt of his sword to bash the enemy in the head.

The lull in battle allowed the bronzed Prince to look for the rest of his crew. There was an unfamiliar old man in the fray now, that didn’t quite fit with the age range of bandit brigade. But then, with so little firelight it was hard to tell. Narenia slid past him, wishing him to be careful. He nodded, returning the warning. And then she called for distraction, to give her time to aid the wounded. He set to task, deflecting any that attempted to infiltrate towards her or the downed. Between defensive blows and parried attacks, he searched for the remaining crew.

The young mage was nowhere to be seen, at least as far as Rydas could tell under the cover of night. The monk was attacking assailants with the same ferocity and skill as she had used to down her horse earlier in the day. The bard was beneath a tree, covered in blood, but he couldn’t tell if it was hers or someone elses. Acacia looked absolutely frightened, and for a moment he felt sorry for her. He stepped in her direction, to aid her, but it was then that Mirabella made her appearance. She had beaten him to the punch.

Someone was talking beside him. It drew his attention away from the two women in time to notice the mage. Suddenly, a pinkish aura radiated around them and arrows seemed to slow. It was easier to cut them from the air. While odd, he wouldn’t question and help that would come their way.

And then it was suddenly silent.

Rydas rose from formidable stance to look around. The camp was in ruins, many of the tents collapsed. Several bodies were scattered, butchered and bleeding. Some of the bandits that were wounded, he assumed, had fled. The attack seemed to be over. Again, he look around, and silently look roll call. “Adventurers, fall in!” He yelled, as if commanding soldiers.

He bent over the fallen ranger, his sword placed beneath his nose. The fog on the steel proved the man was still breathing and just knocked out. Rydas removed a packet of herbs from his saddlebags, silently thanking that their mounts—while spooked—were still present, and opened it beneath Feylon’s nose. The bitter smell was used to awaken those that were sleeping or unconscious. While he had no love for the man, he had proven himself in the fight. They all had. Again, his hope for the campaign swelled.

“Do any injuries need tending?” First things first, then he’d address the group.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn
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#, as written by slcam
Blood, so much blood, Acacia thought to herself. However, her thoughts were not on the blood streaming down her face, nor the blood from the bandit woman, but on a different time entirely. Her left hand was still pressed against the bloody wound, her breathing shallow and fast, her eyes closed to keep out the blood still coming from the shallow wound. Memories from a time that Acacia had tried so hard to forget flooded her mind like a nightmare. The slash, the cry of anguish coming from her lips...

She was jerked back to the present by an almost familiar voice. There was something about it that was too harsh, but it still seemed as if she should recognise it. Acacia dabbed her eyes quickly with her sleeve to get rid of any blood on them and opened her eyes to look around. She glanced at who the voice had come from, Mirabella. She was fighting a bandit. Acacia realized she had probably just saved her life. The realization helped her calm down as she forced herself to quash the panic the had overtaken her. Mirabella quickly finished off the bandit and came back to Acacia with genuine concern in her eyes. Blood covered her face, but she didn't seem injured. Acacia tried to focus just on the woman's eyes and ignore the blood, but it was difficult and her eyes kept nervously glancing at it.

"Maybe, thank you,"Acacia said in responce to Mirabella's question, her voice still slightly shakey. At least she hadn't burst out sobbing, yet. Acacia took the muslin from her, barely keeping her hand from trembling, and pressed it to her forehead. At least the flow of blood had slowed. "I don't much care for blood," Acacia stated, a slight, forced smile on her lips.

Acacia reached out with her free hand and took the help to get up and sprung lightly to her feet. She paused a moment to gain her balance and let the lightheaded dizzy-ness pass. "Well, you can't say I didn't warn you that I might turn into a damsel in distress," Acacia laughed, a genuine smile on her face. "Perhaps I will. Then everyone will know of Mirabella, the courageous warrior in shining armor!"

As the Prince called for them to fall in, sounding like an army commander, Acacia gave Mirabella another smile and shakely began walking toward him. She would have to get her knives at some point, but she pushed that to the back of her mind. It would have to be taken care of later. When she got close, she responded to the question of injuries with a simple, "I'm fine". She stood near the growing group, nervously shifting from foot to foot. She was determined that she would not panic again.

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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.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard
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Lance, sleeping soundly in his make shift camp, lying on a bedroll next to a smoking pile of ash that was once a small fire, found himself woken by a familiar sound, battle. It was faint, and he could not hear it clear enough, or see through the dense brush and trees to get an idea of it's origin. He rose, slipping on his chain mail, gauntlets, and boots, grasping his sword and shield, when suddenly it was over. The last sound made was a few disappearing footsteps. Silently he stood and listened, when from beyond a tree he saw a man come creeping toward him, grasping his side, he was draped in black, with deep red sash around his waist, and an accordingly colored scarf around his neck. The man did not approach with intent, in fact it seemed he was not aware of Lance's presence at all, Lance took advantage of this by slinking slowly behind a tree, hoping to remove himself completely from sight. Focusing, he heard the man's footsteps stop suddenly just a few feet away. Maybe, in the faint moonlight, he had noticed the smoking ashes or the empty bed roll. Grasping tightly to his armaments, readying himself for a probable fight, he heard the man collapse.

Lance peaked around the tree, making sure what he heard was correct, and sure enough the man was face down, barely breathing. Lance rushed over and flipped the man over, cradling his head. "What has happened!" Being this close he was able to get a better look at the man. Lance moved the man's hand so that he could look at the wound. "I will bring you water, and herb." As he said this, the man strained, and coughed up a little blood between trying to utter a word of gratitude. As Lance was about to rise, he noticed something when the man strained. He knelt over and looked closer at the man's neck where he thought he noticed a marking. He lowered the scarf to reveal a tattoo of a winding snake biting it's own tail. "You bear odd marking. And your garbs are made for sneaking around at night, for certain. What is your purpose here tonight? With what group do you make allegiance?" While speaking he brandished his shield, glaring down at the man. The man laughed while spitting up more blood, scowling at Lance.

"F- Fool." This would be the man's last word. His eyes became empty, and his body limp. Death had claimed him. Lance said a silent prayer before lifting the body and throwing it over the horse. He put the rest of his armor on, absent a helmet and began heading in the direction where the mysterious man had come from. Was not long before fire light came into view, pausing only for a moment for a deep breath, Lance approached through the brush, one hand leading the horse by the reigns, the other held up in a show of peace as he noticed many people around the fire. Some wounded, some tending to the wounded. "Please, excuse my intrusion, I mean you no harm, I happened upon this man creeping away from this direction." He paused, lifting up the head of the limp man's dead body, revealing his face, but the scarf was still on, concealing the mark on his neck. Lance scanned any part of the group he could, looking for similar marks. "I brought no harm to him, he passed from bleeding out on the ground. I was simply-" As he scanned the group, a familiar face struck him, and the fine armor, combined with the sigil on a finger, it had to be. He dropped to one knee and bowed his head. He spoke again as he rose, "My prince, I am so happy to have caught up to you and your adventurers so soon! My name is Lance Elgard, Paladin from Thoav. I have crossed over by ship in hopes of aiding you on your expedition, here." Without really thinking, due to excitement, he reached for a satchel on the horse and pulled out a parchment. "I was given this map by the barkeep from The Black Vagabond." he held it out, taking one step in the prince's direction.

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?"

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


It was in agreement that the Prince nodded next, having come to the same injury count as Xan. His eyes followed the thief as he retreated, heading in search of water to wash off the blood and sweat. He didn’t need to look around to know that many of the others would wish to follow suit as well, but privacy seemed more the goal of the man so he let him go in peace. While instinct wanted to warn the rogue to be cautious, he figured it would go without saying and the man seemed to be able to handle himself. He repressed a smirk at the outburst of the ranger as he awoke from the herbs, though didn’t chase after him as he sought privacy among the trees. . When the figure faded into the night his attentions were turned back to the group.

Before any words could break the newly acquired silence, a new figure and horse broke through the trees. He was quick to drop to fallen knee, head bowed in show of allegiance and respect. In light of the recent events Rydas was a little taken aback, but the action was one that was familiar. He accepted the parchment, quickly recognizing it as one of the few maps he had left behind incase anyone changed their mind and wished to aid their cause. He cleared his throat. “Rise, knight. Your presence is most welcomed and appreciated.”

Well. Secret was out. The other two who had arrived knew his identity now. He glanced from the wildling, Attica, to the bear of a man that had joined them mid fight. He studied them. Rydas decided that while his company stood whole, more or less, and at least alive then those in attendance must not be enemies. He addressed them all. “Bind the cleric’s wounds, bathe yourselves if wanted, and then take seat around the fire. There is much to be discussed.”

The Prince excused himself, ducking into his tent. As best as he could, in dark with naught but a candle to light the area, he cleansed his skin. The blood stuck to his skin, staining it. He pitied those that were more in the heart of the battle, they would be having a hell of the time trying to get clean. When he was satisfied at the state of himself he left the tent. In the brightness of the fire light it was apparent that dirt and blood had severely diminished but had not been completely eradicated. Still, he dind’t seem worried. Whether it be upbringing or fancy armour, Rydas still managed to seem princely after the battle.

Time elapsed. When the company returned to their saddle seats around the fire there was notice of wine, to lift spirits, and sweet cakes, with the sugar to calm nerves. He allowed each to indulge, though took none for himself, and waited with patience until all had settled. The bodies had been dragged to a pile, a pyre made to burn them in the morning before they left. If they lit it now, they wouldn’t be able to sleep. The smell of dead burning was unfavourable by far, and blood stench muchly preferred. There was always an eerie calm after battle.

“For those of you that have just joined us and do not know, I am Rydas Errion, First Prince of Calisma. We seek Panacea, the very amulet from legend said to heal the wearer of whatever ails them, to save the King. After much research, we believe it’s existence to be honest. “ He paused. “The investigation of this artifact is not whimsical. Our scholars were looking into it’s authenticity before my father fell ill. In light of events, this opportunity is optimal to bring it home. Quite frankly, this is a last ditch effort.”

His mood was somber, but he continued. He started with reciting the lore behind the object, breaking the crown’s usual habit of avoiding speaking of the wars. “Panacea belonged to Idassava Del Reyanth, a powerful sorceress who played a key role in opposing Errion forces in the Sortelige Wars. It’s thought that when she foresaw her own demise she locked up her precious possessions in her citadel for an avenger to find and restore her back to life. Her citadel, which was destroyed near the end of the war, was on the shores of Pyzer Lake. We head there.”

His vision shifted to the fire. “At the very least, there should be some clue to the location there, though it is believed that the amulet still rests there.” It went without saying the dangerous of the ruins. They were dilapidated, and said to be haunted. Perhaps even magic traps, not yet activated, laid there. All things in the shadow of the Soch Mountains tended to take a more… sinister alignment.

Eyes lifted to the newest members of their band of travellers. "The crown has offered gold for any that assist in this endeavour." It was then he sat back and waited for the inevitable bombardment of questions.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.
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Hayley watched the battle end from the security of the darkness behind the tree. As most of the bandits were killed or permanently incapacitated, the last few ran away, one of them being chased by his own sword. "Magic..." The girl muttered before leaving the shadows and head back to the camp. Before getting there she saw another unknown guest arrive, bow to the prince and get back up as the prince dismissed the group and headed into his own tent.

Now at the center of the tent area, Hayley could see a some presumably dead bodies lying on the ground and a few broken tents, including hers. "Guess I'll have to fix that." She thought before kicking the nearest body to check for signs of life. Satisfied the body didn't move, Hayley crawled under the tent and grabbed the pole. Glad it wasn't broken, she set it straight up again. Hayley then got out of her clothes, looking for any dirt or blood stains on it. Finding none, she wiped her hands and face clean of anything that could be left and put her dress back on. Thinking of putting a lighter one whenever they were expected to fight again, Hayley walked back outside and sat around the fire were she had been previously.

As the minutes passed, most of the group came back and sat down, some wine and sweet cakes were passed around. Hayley loved wine and sugar. The girl happily took some of both and started eating. A strange pleasure spreading through her body as she tasted the cake, an inside heat appeared out of nowhere when she took a sip of the wine.

After some time sitting there, the prince decided to speak again. Telling the tale of the rumored magical item and how they were to retrieve it for those who hadn't heard the story yet. Hayley listened carefully and finally discovered their destination. Pyzer Lake. Hayley had never been there, probably because there were no people living around for her to steal from. Now aware of the location, Hayley decided to get more information from the prince. "Do you know of the dangers in this citadel? Any traps, curses or creatures left to defend it? Sorcerers are weird people, they like to make things complicated." Hayley asked, aware that the prince knew more than he said, and would only tell them what they asked for. It's not good telling a group of people that they are very likely to die in the course of whatever they are doing.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


It was with forced patience that the Prince listened as the group vocalized their questions and concerns. Some remained silent, content with wine and cake, but others did not hold back. Rather than addressing each as they were asked, he waited until all had spoke their mind. As he listened, his gaze stared into the dancing flames of the fire, mind constantly working to phrase the answers. When the sound died down to the crackling of the logs before him, his head raised to address the speakers.

The last question, from the unpredictable monk, was responded to first. A genuine grin pulled at the left side of his lips for a second before it was gone. It was the first emotion he had showed in a long while. The naivety of the woman astounded him, though in that moment he began to find it endearing. Rydas cleared his throat, briefly paraphrasing chunks of the history of Calisma. “Before magic was regulated by the Guild, it ran rampant. There was no balance. A sorceress, or sorcerer, had great magic powers, severely twisted by the dark arts. They drew their power from the death and evil in the world and used it solely for their own greed. They were corrupt. Idassava was a great necromancer who held dominion over the fallen. She was obsessed with immortality and was said to have found a way to return to this plain after she had died her mortal death.”

Green gaze moved on, falling to the little mage who had fallen asleep. He had heard that it was easy for mages to exhaust themselves if they weren’t careful channeling their energy. It would be a long and arduous journey for her if she didn’t learn. Come to think of it, he hadn’t even seen her during the fight. He removed his characteristic red cloak and laid it over her body, a silent thank you for her support to his cause.

Vision then moved to the Thovian merchant of death, the red head, who was the first to speak. He nodded in agreement. “It is sure to be as complicated as Idassava was. I would bet the crown’s coin that there will be obstacles along the way, though where and what I cannot say. “ He paused, looking around the group to the rangers and rogues that specialized in detection. “That is where your varied skills will be critical.”

Another pause, obviously considering the next words carefully. Rydas decided full disclosure would receive the most merit. “While I don’t have a name or description, the texts mentioned that Idassava’s tomb was watched over by her guardian. Knowing her dalliances with the dark and sinister, one can only guess what might await us. “

It was the last questions that he was careful about. His lips pressed together, calming breath taken before speaking. While Rydas supposed that the knight’s words had not been meant to measure him as a rule, it was easily taken in such negative context. The subject was difficult. It was vital to not directly discuss political strategies with unknown persons at risk of sabotage. Nevertheless, careful safe falls had been put in place in case of the worst circumstances. Rydas’ mood sobered further.

“Paladin, your order is not unknown to me, and so I trust your unfaltering dedication. I assure roper measure has been taken to prepare for all possible outcomes. While this venture may seem reckless it has been carefully considered, and I would argue dire circumstances warrant greater risk. Still, there are failsafes in place. Should it come to it, I am ready.”

Attention moved to the cleric. He frowned, slightly. If they all heeded Akadov’s words things would get more dangerous, possibly impeding vital maneuvers. As commander and Prince, it was his way of saying he could hold his own- he had only trained for it his whole life. “I thank you for your confidence. While your concern is appreciated, you were not hired as a bodyguard. It is your individual skill sets that will get us through this; healing, fighting or otherwise.”

There was one more concern to address. Eyes set on the ranger who had played nurse when the cleric had fallen earlier. “Be honest, Prince. What are the chances of survival.” Honesty was what she wanted, she he spoke the truth. “Last day, and this morning, I was unsure. To see everyone in action has inspired faith. Provided that this newly found unison remains, our chances are greatly increased.” He wasn't a statistician, it was the best he could offer. The day's events, and lack of sleep, were wearing on him. Hands raised to rub temples trying to massage away the exhaustion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


One of the newcomers was the first to reply. He identified himself as another Paladin, though one from Paetax and Rydas instantly recognized the city colours. He nodded his head, showing thanks for the kind words and devotion. “Your dedication, Knight, is welcomed and appreciated as well. Help yourself to wine and cake so you are well rest incase we need to use your spear tomorrow. I fear this isn’t the last fight for us.”

Whether it was with nods of heads or murmurs of approval, the answers he had given seemed to be accepted. Rydas was grateful that the meeting had gone so smoothly, giving at least a little credit to the weariness that the battle had caused. The crew seemed to have flipped to the same page, a thin thread had formed bonding them to the cause. Come what may, they had committed themselves to the cause and in so to each other. A quiet fell over the group again, each lost in their own thoughts or weary minds for a moment. It was a comfortable silence, at least to the Prince. The cooperative spilling of blood had seemed to ward off any uncomfortable strangeness between them. It was a completely different dynamic. Rydas found it hard to compare them to the boisterous misfits that had been at each others’ throats barely more than a day before. The change was welcomed.

The quiet lasted only as long as needed. A melodic voice that could only belong to the bard picked up, changing topic to song. She chose a ballad that was not unknown to Rydas. He had heard his soldiers sing it many of times, and while he knew the words, he left the singing to the woman. Acacia was skilled, her deft skills plucking at the strings of her instrument with practiced familiarity. He watched her through the flames, quietly thankful to have her along for the journey. It was times like this where the value of music was priceless. Around him he watched as some swayed or tapped their feet to the music, friendships formed through idle conversation, and others nodded off to sleep.

One by one the travellers began to retreat to their tents, seeking comfort and rest in their bedrolls. He offered his tent, which had remarkably remained intact, to any that weren’t so fortunate. He took first watch over his followers, and when the second watch came to wake him he attempted sleep. Like all the nights before, since the King had fallen ill, his night was restless. There was so much at stake, his mind did not pause its constant worrying.

When morning arrived Rydas was not certain whether or not he had slept for even an hour. Nevertheless, he rose from bed and set to task. Quietly, as not to wake the others, he disassembled his tent and stored in on one of the packhorses. The next thing on the agenda was breakfast for his men and women. Water was fetched from the nearby stream and boiled with morning grains. Spices, from Thoav, and honey were added for taste. It was the jerky, though, that’s smell was most likely to wake the crew; dried meat was barbequed over the fire, salt and fat dripping off the sticks.

The morning was chill, but work warming him. He silently reminded himself to retrieve his cloak from the small mage when she woke. When all had finished eating he help whoever needed it to pack the camp, load the bags, refill canteens, feed and equip the horses. There was only one more thing to do before they set out to ride: attend to the dead. The corpses had already been dragged into a pile some odd meters from the camp. He gathered any branches and dry grass he could find to use as tinder and began creating a pyre around them. He wondered if any of the Holy candidates would say a word of prayer as he retrieved a torch, and paused before setting them afire.

"Does anyone have prayer for the deceased?" He asked, unsure of whose faith dictated what.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Xan Hallister
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She heard the Prince's reply and just nodded faintly as a reply, closing her eyes. Nari was tired and wanted sleep, though part of her mind wanted to thank the Paladin that had stitched her up in the battle. She hadn't even seen the wound so she didn't know how well he had done, or if he had healing powers to close it up on the spot. Either way, it didn't feel so painful. The last she heard was the beautiful voice of Acacia when she started to sing, playing on her lute as she did. Nari was thankful for having her with them on the journey, her music brought a soft relief over her. Then she passed of to sleep.

Her next sight was the ground on which she lay. Nari was on her side as she was woken up by the noises from her fellow travelers. Leaves in her tangled hair and with her cloak around her, Nari hurried to get up on her feet. There was no way she would let the others do the work as she just slept the morning away. She had just been worn out by the wound and the battle. "Vanir!" The ranger called and watched her horse trot toward her. "I'd half forgotten how big you are." Nari smiled and patted him, planting a kiss on his head. She reached up and stroked him, winking at her horse as if to tell him 'Good morning'. "Go. Go eat the days first meal." Vanir walked off, toward the trees and started searching for food. Nari turned and walked toward her tent, the scent of the jerky being cooked over the fire reaching her nostrils. It was a heavenly smell. She hadn't expected their food to be of this quality, but then again, they did travel with Royal purpose. And a Royal member. She could feel the wound on her belly, but it didn't pain. It felt as if the skin pulled at the stitches a little, but that seemed only logical. At her tent, she found her armor and her bow from the battle, the night before. She praised herself lucky for the fact that it was still all there. Slowly and with a little struggle, Nari began packing her tent down.

Once she was done, and everything had been put in it's right place, she called Vanir again, and packed her things on her horse. All but her armor. At the moment, Nari was only wearing the cloth on her body. None of her light plate, or the mail was on her shoulders. Or anywhere else for that matter. She sighed and took a deep breath, feeling a little dizzy. Her hands found the edge of her shirt, pulling it up to reveal the bare skin on her stomach. Nari traced a hand over the wound from the battle, where the arrow had gone in. The Paladin had done a remarkably good job, yet it nagged her that she couldn't remember his name. I shall have to thank him later. She thougth, setting her direction toward the way Xan had disappeared after the battle. Once she had found the small stream, or river, Nari knelt down and splashed water onto her face. It felt nice and cleared her mind as the cold water seemed to freshen her up a bit. Nari hadn't spoken a word to anyone all morning, and wouldn't notice if anyone was watching her for the moment. Maybe this is reckless, unarmed and alone. Her mind warned her, but she thought nothing more of it.

Her clothes were clean and her spirits lifted, and Nari headed back for camp. She walked straight to Vanir and put her arms around his neck, resting her head against him for a moment. That was until she noticed the Paladin that had saved her. Nari walked toward him, no smile but just a neutral face. "Thank you, Paladin, for coming to my aid." She said, bowing her head slightly. Although he had saved her, Nari held no ill will toward him, but neither did she trust him. He may have sworn fealty to the Prince, but that wouldn't make her drop her guard. Respect is earned, not given. The words had stuck to her all her life. With a nod, Nari turned again and made sure she had nothing left to pack. She would also have to thank Mira as soon as she spotted her, and had a moment to do so. Her ears caught the voice of the Prince. Nari looked at him, and shook her head gently. In her proud mind, their enemy deserved no prayers in their death. Not these cowardly dogs who had ambushed them from the trees, fighting with cheap tricks and low blows. As she couldn't find anything else to do, and most of the others seemed done with their own packing, Nari sat down near the fire opposite Xan. Should anyone need help, they could call for her. Starting a fire to burn the bodies couldn't be very hard, and she doubted that they'd light it while they sat and ate.
"Was it difficult getting on your feet?" She asked Xan with a smile, tilting her head at him. Due to her remembered manners and nobel birth, Nari didn't start eating before the last of them had arrived, or the Prince had given them permission. It was a strange thing to see herself not in her ranger attire, but in the clothes she wore underneath. Her shirt was a dark green, nothing special about it. It was short sleeved and made of cotton. Her legwear was a dark brown, made of leather, fur on the inside to keep her warm. The boots were the same though, reaching halfway up to her knee. Nari ran her hand through her hair, closing her eyes again. "Are you alright? Did you sustain any injuries from the battle?" If she was sitting there, Nari might as well talk to the man instead of just stare at him.

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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard Character Portrait: Akdov Mur
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~Lance~


Lance listened intently to both the other Paladin's introduction, then Akdov's request. Giving out a chuckle he put his hand out for a shake and said, "I will do what I can. Please feel free to ask" He spent another hour or so out by the fire having drink and chatting. As he sat, he watched while the red headed girl went off to her tent. When Lance set off to bed he laid out his bedroll next to his horse and laid back, staring up to the stars. I'm really here. This feels right. he thought before drifting off to a silent sleep.
----------------------------------

As per usual Lance's inner clock had him rising up quite early. As he did he did not notice many others stirring, so he figured it would be a good opportunity to get a good morning exercise in. He took from his bag a slice of bread, and swallowed it down with a few swigs from his water bottle. The taste of wine still somewhat on his breath. As he prepared his legs by doing some lunges he could not help but really take in where he was. The sun was barely risen and the sky was golden over the tree tops. He stood up straight and took in a deep breath of the air. It was fresh still, barely tainted by the stench of the rotting pile of corpses. He took one last look around before turning and beginning a jog. He wove around the trees, making fake strikes at the branches and trunks with his hand as he ran, and he did so all the way back to the camp.

As he neared there were more figures up and about. It was not until he stopped by his horse, chest heaving a little, to take another drink did he hear that there was a debate going on having to do with the care of the bodies. He decided to remain neutral for this, having a small breakfast to revitalize him, and throwing on pieces of his armor after packing up his sleeping area. He helped silently, saying prayer in his head, as the bodies were dumped into a hole, taking one last look at the marks on their necks. He stood for a moment over the mass grave as he finished his prayer, then turned toward the group, mainly the prince, and uttered, "So, what is the next step in our journey?"

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Less than seconds passed after Rydas had barked his order at his sellswords. He had promptly turned on heel and taken dedicated, long strides to his mount. There he quickly untied it and the others. There he had found his cloak, denoted in brilliant red, folded neatly with a message written in the air. The area tingled his skin, a sure sign that magic was active. Visions searched the packed up campsite for the little mage who was already ready to go, before sweeping back to the garment and putting it back on.

It was in one fluid motion that the Prince found himself atop the white horse, reigns in hand and ready to go. Even with such graceful movements a metaphorical storm cloud was evident atop his royal head representing his less than savory mood. His tongue clicked, reigns pulled to the side. He guided it, and along with it the pack horses, away from the yellow-clad monk who had been pawing at the ground like some kind of feral, burrowing beast. Brows knit in clear frustration as he started blankly at the trees ahead. There, at the edge of their stopping area, he paused momentarily for others to catch up.

"So, what is the next step in our journey?"

The words drew the Prince out of his private thoughts. He glanced to the side and found the speaker to be one of the newer additions to the expedition, the Thoavian paladin. He sized up the comrade a moment before allowing his attention to turn back to the trees and the direction they were heading.

“Towards Idassava’s Citadel, or it’s ruins I suppose. We’ll break camp before nightfall. I want the full benefit of light before we venture into there…” His voice trailed off. He needn’t speak the rest of the train of thought. It was obvious why the light would be beneficial. Who knew what kind of creatures, traps or spells awaited them within the crypt-like crumbled walls that once belonged to the sorceress? While the woman had long since been dead, the threat of her return still plagued his mind. It would haunt dreams that night, and not just his, he was sure.

Some had gathered, waiting to leave on his orders. The Prince came to realize that some had volunteered to stay behind, to assist the monk in her silly personal quest. Faces like the bard’s and the beared mage were absent, though he did his best not to take account; grudges were a dangerous thing to grow. Rydas tilted his head in a sign to follow. His heels dug in to the lean sides of his horse, urging it to start. Judge by the trampling of hooves the other’s follow suit. Again, his horse was tense and wanting to run, empathetic to the Prince’s own restless mood. Still, he held back to a slow trot as to converse with the paladin on the journey.

“Promise me, Paladin, that should I die you will burn my body.“ And that was the last thing that he would say on the matter.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Rydas Errion
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The Prince’s bad mood ebbed with each passing stride of horse. The familiar sway of ridding lulled Rydas into a state of content. As the day wore on said mood even lifted to elevated state. He found himself laughing along with the others; a smile that had not been seen for nearly a month or longer. The day passed by listening to the stories told and songs sung by the others, enjoying the multifaceted views of the group. At last he had allowed himself to become one of the campaigners as opposed to their leader. He was pleased, again, at how far they had come from the ragtag band of misfits that they had begun as, hard to believe that it was only a short day ago that it had all begun. And still so far to go.

Despite cheerful mood, eyes were ever watchful as they followed the tree line of Gaeric Forest to the north. He was careful to stay within the shade of the trees as to not draw attention from unwanted others. On occasion the Prince would send scouts out, usually the rangers, to secure the parameter around travellers, though was pleased when all reports came back clear. Beneath the smiling face of the crowned prince, however, was a feeling that couldn’t be shaken: a cold un-comfortableness dripping down his spine, like prey being hunted.

As the sun was falling low on the horizon they arrived at the northeastern tip of the forest. In the distance the Soch Mountains, in all their glory, loomed high into the sky. They were imposing to say the least, but not the target of the expedition. If vision fell lower it was clear to see great falls pouring out of the massive landscape and pooling into a body of water: Pyzer Lake. And there, on the shores of the lake and barely visible in the twilight, was the once-great citadel of Idassava, now in ruins. A field stretched between the forest edge of the rubble, but the white horse stilled. Rydas pulled reins to turn around and face the group.

“We will make camp here, in the shadow of the trees,” He said, sure that his thoughts were on everyone else’s mind. The sight of the citadel was unnerving, even at a distance. Here in the safety of the forest, not in the open. “And venture forth at first light.” Because who knows what waits in the dark of that place.

It was then he noticed the shaman running besides he horses, keeping up with ease. While eyebrow rose in question, clearly impressed, his mind was elsewhere. Again, in ever-fluidity, the Prince dismounted and set to task. The packhorses were disencumbered along with his own steed. Tents, his own and others, were staked up. Horses were tended to and brushed down. Saddles were removed. A fire was made. And the Prince was cooking again; some kind of bread with a bird that had been produced (perhaps from one of the hunters, though it wasn’t sure).

Rydas did not stop until someone was speaking. His gaze rose to Lance, who was talking safety and scouting. It was clear, however, when the Prince looked up that all the weeks with little food and little sleep were finally wearing thin on him. Usually handsome features were lined with bags, worn with stress and weary. He nodded, and when replying his answers were vague, voice trailing off and no longer that forceful self-assuredness that had developed from years of being in an authorities position. “Hm? Yes. That’s a good idea, Lance. Please see to it. You’re now our head of defense.”

He was murmuring. But such babbling was interrupted by a yawn that he stifled, before apologizing abruptly. “Apologies. I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. This damn journey…” But it wasn’t the journey. He’d ridden days non-stop on horseback and been better. It was easily explained by all the realm’s troubles being supported on his shoulders for the last month and a half. “I think I need to get some sleep. Someone take first watch please. See that everyone is fed….”

Rydas rose, wobbly from exhaustion, and made way to his tent where he remained for the rest of the evening while everyone fed, drank, talked and trained.

• • •


Despite food and conversation the Prince never rose from his sleeping roll to take any other watch that night. While it was uncharacteristic for him, it was easily understandable, and the group had been together for so short of time that few would probably notice the odd behaviour. Rydas did rise that night, however, just not for appropriate tasks.

Darkness fell. The group had long since peeled off and made way to their own sleeping rolls or tents and a steady slumber set over the camp. Despite how exhausted the Prince was, though, he did not sleep well. He tossed and turned in that lucid state somewhere between awake and deep slumber where vivid dreaming became so real it was hard to discern which was what.

“Ryyydassssssss.”

The voice was pleasant; female, low and sultry. He sat up, emerging from his tent. The First Prince slowly put on his armor, strapped on his sheathed sword and adjusted his cloak. He slipped through the trees as quiet as a ghost, leaving his horse behind. The dark prince moved steadily across the field. He was surefooted as his booths found the stone threshold of the great and looming citadel. He stopped, green eyes looking up to the broken peaks. Rydas slowly removed his cloak, letting the red fall to his feet like a pool of blood. In the darkness he entered the great archway that once held doors and as the shadows enveloped him into the bosom of the fallen necromancer’s keep, that same sultry voice as heard again.

“Rydas, I’ve been waiting for you.“

In the morning, when the adventurers woke, the prince was simply nowhere to be found, with only footprint leading up to the citadel to guide them.

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by KuroRyu
As the Prince's steed started it's trot towards their next destination the rest of the horses that were to follow followed. Xan looked back to see the bearded mage doing something in the dirt with a sword that he had picked up, the others that had stayed behind watching the man work. Xan looked back towards the direction in which the group was travelling in. It looked as if it would be another long ride, and he wasn't sure whether he could stand to be split in the middle for a long period of time once more. Instead he took his feet out of the stirrups and crossed his legs a top the saddle. He wobbled a bit, nearly losing his balance completely before he managed to get used to the rhythm of the horses trot. It felt a bit awkward, but he hoped that if he were sitting in this position he wouldn't end up with the pain in his crotch that he had after the first ride.

As the ride went on conversations sprang up from within the group, people speaking here and there, eventually conversation engulfing the entire group. Stories and laughs came and went, Xan simply throwing a few one liners in hopes of getting a laugh or two, or at the very least a smile. He didn't really have any stories of his own, not yet anyway, hopefully this little search for the cure would give him the story to end all stories. His eye would look towards the forest that they were following along, trying to see if he could see anything of interest. Nothing really caught his interest, just tree after tree with even more trees behind it.

Eventually the group came to a halt, along with the announcement that they were to make camp. Although the area that they were making camp in wasn't anything special, the scenery before them was quite nice. The sight of the mountains that was to be seen before him was quite the sight, he could probably stare at them for a day and not get bored of the sight. Further down was the sight of a large waterfall, giving water to the lake that lay in front of them. One the shores of the great lake was their final destination. Although their journey here wasn't as exciting and filled with action as he had hoped he knew there was still a good chance for things to start getting good within the ruins. In truth he wanted to run into those ruins at this very moment, but he held back the urge to. He decided to distract himself by tending to Myst instead, pulling off the saddle from his mounts back and giving it a good few pats.

"Feel better, right?" he said with a smile, smoothing out the hairs on his mounts back a bit. It seemed that was about all he had to do to relieve his four legged companion, he didn't use a tent, and his bedroll went missing in the battle the night before. Xan simply shrugged at these facts, it wasn't necessarily essential for him, he was just fine sleeping on the ground.

Had this been all he needed to do, his mind probably would've went back to the ruins that lay so close. Luckily something else managed to distract him, the scent of food that lovingly caressed the inside of his nose. The thought of food, and the hunger in his stomach were more than enough to take complete control of his mind and keep it from wondering about anything else.

It was, once again, the Prince himself that was cooking the meal, and if were to be anything like the day before Xan was sure it would taste great. Although something about the Prince was slightly off, he didn't quite have the presence about him that he had before. It seemed quite a bit of exhaustion was hitting him at once, which might be a good thing. It could mean that his high strung tension had loosened and he was finally able to be at ease, at least a little bit. The Prince excused himself after asking for someone to take first watch, and to make sure that everyone had their share of food. Xan supposed he could do as much, although he wasn't quite sure how long first watch would be, hopefully short enough that he wouldn't fall asleep on the job. He got up and went to where the Prince had been cooking, he looked at the bread and foul that was prepared as everyone's supper. He took a little look around before finding the necessary supplies to divide up and serve the meal to everyone equally; or at the very least as equally as he could get it. Placing, to him what looked like equal, pieces of bird and bread on a plate before passing it to the nearest person so they could pass it along as well until it hit the end of the line. Eventually having a plate for himself when everyone else had one in their hands.

The night went on just as the last did, without the unexpected bandit attack ofcourse. Xan managed to keep himself awake for the first watch, thankful that someone had come to relieve him of these duties before he completely passed out. As soon as it was clear that he no longer had to stay awake he simply wrapped his cloak around himself and fell asleep where he sat

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The morning rays blinded Xan through his eye lids once again, he moaned and groaned as he tossed and turned, trying to find a direction where his eyes wouldn't be assaulted by the suns rays. He simply groaned louder as his attempts ended in failure, his eye opening halfway, sleepily looking around. It felt about the same time that he had awoken the day before, but with one slight difference, there wasn't any scent of food cooking flowing in the air. He couldn't be awake before the Prince could he? He managed to get himself up to a sitting position, his sleepy eye looking around, not a sign of the Prince anywhere.

'Well he did seem pretty tired last night' he thought as he let out a yawn, a hand rubbing his good eye to try and wake up. He stretched himself as much as he could while still staying in a seated position, a few snaps and pops were audible as he did. Xan looked towards the Prince's tent that he we to sleep in last night, should he go and wake the man? It didn't feel quite right to wake a crowned prince to have him make breakfast, but then again Xan didn't know how to cook, and he wasn't sure who else in the group could. Still, there was something in the back of his head that bothered him, he wouldn't wake the Prince, but simply checking on the man couldn't hurt, right? Xan managed to get himself up onto his feet, wobbling a bit after the first step, nearly falling back down to a sitting position. He managed to catch himself before that could happen and continue on his way.

"Good morning. ?" he said as he opened up the entrance to the Prince's tent, only to find it empty and abandoned. Strange, could he have gone out to find ingredients for breakfast? He looked around again before he saw foot impressions on the ground, leading to a cluster of trees. Xan sat down next to the footprints, it was clear that it was left by the Prince, simply from the fact that it did start from his tent, and he went of his own will. Unless of course some person could pick up and carry away the man without any struggle, fight, or sound. Then again the prints weren't deep enough for it to belong to someone carrying the weight of another man. Not only that the edges of the prints were dry, the footprints were quite old by this time. Things definitely weren't right.

"Hey, Hey!!" he shouted out, "Everyone wake up!! We have a situation!" although he wasn't at a one hundred percent certainty that something bad had occurred or not, but it would be best to have everyone be aware of the situation. He followed the footsteps that were left until they broke through the trees so that what lay on the other side was visible. The footsteps became slightly lighter as they continued on into the field, his eye traced the path that would have been taken, his sight resting at the remains of the citadel that they were to enter today. Had the Prince gone in on his own? No, that can't be right, if he intended to do something like that from the beginning what would be the point of gathering people to accompany him on this quest. Then again the footsteps told a different story, but if he had gone in on his own why? and was it of his own will? He started down towards the citadel as well, a hand going behind him to retrieve his weapons.

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Who has he? Who am I?

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

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

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

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

We have to thread carefully now

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Idassava’s Fallen Citadel
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


“With Kitty’s untimely death I think I’d like another pet, perhaps something of constitution. I’ve seen these darling three-headed dogs...” The sweet voice filled the enormous room.

The room itself was easily the largest, placed specifically at the center of the entire estate, though it was difficult to tell from the maze of corridors one had to travel to arrive at it. Within the middle of the room was a dais on which sat a singular throne; an imposing chair of cold metal and a high back. The walls were sparse; whatever tapestries had once adorned them had long since rotted away. The wall directly behind the throne, however was exempt and littered with numerous cubbyholes each full with a skull. One of the said skulls’ eyes was befitted with large emeralds, though the rest were decorated with dust and cobweb.

“Whatever you wish, my love.” Came the reply from the Prince, his head turned to gaze up at the woman he spoke to. The conversation was entirely too casual in light of recent events, though neither seemed perturbed by any of it.

His hand rose to caress hers as she tenderly massaged his shoulder. His response drew forth a smile from pretty lips. What a pair they made, each painfully beautiful and out of place in the dark hall. The woman’s skin was pale and pristine, like a porcelain doll. Her eyes were dark, as was her hair that fell in soft waves down to small of her back. Her slender body was clad in a gown of fine silk, corseted and completed in flowing sleeves. The gown hugged her generous curves in all the right places; a sight to cause any man’s gaze to linger a second longer than appropriate. And Rydas looked much the same, save for the lack of his characteristic red cloak and the gain of a smile that was both handsome and unbefitting of the Prince that all of Calisma knew. Rydas never smiled.

It was the sound of footsepts that drew both to break gaze with one another, and turn to the entrance straight across from where they stood and sat. Slowly, in small groups and one by one, the adventurers filtered in, drawn by smell of food and sound of voice.

“Ah, my Prince, the rest of our dinner guests have arrived.” She murmured, smile widening. “I was beginning to think that they had gotten lost.”

The only light source was from the torches that burned at equal intervals around the room and from the candles that decorated the long table covered in a feast. The smell of the feast was delectable. The entire table was covered with food that ranged from game, to bird, vegetable dishes and spiced soups, baked breads, dessert, and more than enough wine for even the dearly departed Akdov to consume. The table, however, was not unoccupied. Within some of the many seats around the table were unconscious persons, tied in upright positions and varying intervals. Clearly they had not come of their own free will. The soft tingling of magic was in the air.

Rydas rose in a sift, agile motion that seemed appropriate for the Prince, holding out his hand to the lady at his side. His other hand rose in greeting, smiling pulling just a little brighter as the adventurers gathered like an audience waiting for their king to speak. “Friends, I am so glad you could make it.” He spoke, though these were not expected words from the Prince they had come to know.

“Please, everyone, have a seat before our meal grows too cold for consumption.” Came the voice from the woman, the same sweet voice that had called the kitten to ‘play’ in the room before. The same kitten that had fallen one of their comrades, and wounded others.

Rydas just continued to smile.

Setting

Characters Present

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

No that was undercutting it, he was terrified

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

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

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

I swear I cant figure how she survived into her age

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

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

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

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

Get back on your senses!

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

Well that wasn't supposed to happen

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

... and she shall appear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Iravey Inicka
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#, as written by Skwidge
Talsin Inicka


The soft melody of harp strings filled Tal's void mind, his body having been inactive for quite some time, it came as a subtle surprise to himself. As the song ended, his eyes fluttered open, and he sucked in a deep breath, his vision blurry. However, as soon as it cleared, the tight ropes constricting on his abdomen and legs suddenly became apparent, and he struggled experimentally against them; To no avail. He blinked a few times, his eyesight focused on his legs, as his head was drooped over. Flaring his nostrils a bit, he dazedly lifted his head up, leaning it back to get a slight stretch.

It was then all of his memories flooded back into his mind. He brought his cranium back to it's normal position, his eyes scanning quickly across the scene. There was a dull vibrating in the room he was being held in, and he notified it as two bodies locked in speech. He turned his head, only to see some unfamiliar man sitting on a throne, the woman who had trapped he and his sister there beside him. Wait, my sister? He tilted his head to the side, looking at the body next to himself, to find her still out of it. This caused a frown to settle across his lips, and he glowered silently.

That is, until a whole bunch of new people flooded into the area on the balconies above. He was about to open his mouth to express his confusion, when suddenly random projectiles were fired at him, or rather, the table before him. He let out a gasp, kicking at the ground underneath him and overturning his chair. He collided with the floor, a resounding thud filling the chamber. "Wh-what the!?" He croaked out, his voice new to being used again. He blinked, craning his neck to try to see what had become of his sister as the table had been flung over their bodies. She was apparently awake, and had managed to wriggle against the ropes and duck down. That little eel! He grinned mellowly at her, turning his head back to stare at the ceiling as the place broke out in chaos.

It was pointless to struggle against the ropes, as he couldn't reach the dagger in his boot anyway. Besides, he would really rather not freak her out, if that was even possible. He could hear yelling and shouting all around, and people seemed to be thudding against the flooring, indicating they were running about.


Iravey Inicka


A small bell was ringing rhythmically somewhere in the back of Vey's mind, the image of a pigeon's feather floating downwards against a clear blue sky, the sun casting golden rays against it occupied her mind's vision. Her eyes suddenly flashed open, and her right ear wiggled slightly. Suddenly, the table scraped against the flooring, and she pushed her arms together and slid downwards in her bindings to duck out of the way to prevent herself from being beheaded.

She blinked, every sense alert, her eyes slowly moving from left to right to take in the scene. The girl's lips were pressed together, and she remained docile. Ira didn't even bother to struggle, though she turned to stare into the eyes of her brother as he fell over with a thud. Always the sure-footed one, Talsin. She thought to herself without a word, watching as his lips turned up in a grin. She didn't smile back, but knew that he would remember she was smiling back on the inside.

She watched as people scurried around before turning her attention to the front of the hall, her eyes locking onto the man lounging on the throne. Who is that man? He looks so familiar, but I have no memories of him specifically. Her face revealed nothing in particular, and she sniffed the air quietly. Food was scattered everywhere, and shards of broken everything littered the ground. She tried to catch the eye of one of the strangers in the hall, but so far she had no luck.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Idassava’s Fallen Citadel
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


With one came many. The throne room was quick to fill with the fatigued and famished, gathered around the dais at a distance to see the peculiar scene that presented it to them. The Prince, with lady at his side, offered seats to guests around a presentable meal at a table already occupied. Despite all smiles, savory scents and sentiment, however, he was not well received. Seconds passed, stretching longer than needed at the sudden silence. None moved, none reacted, none returned the bronzed Prince’s smile.

Vision of green swept across the familiar sea of faces, waiting for some of the bolder ones to speak. It was Lance, the most recent paladin to join the troupe, who spoke first. The words, however, came as questions. Questions to answer questions were rarely kind; a lesson he had learned in court many times. As if to prove the lesson right several attempts were made at clearing the table in unceremonious fashion. Finally the smile on the Prince’s face began to fade, and its place the familiar look of scolding seriousness, like a sitter to a child.

”Wench?” He thought, ”Expendable?” The harsh words would be expected from the some of the more emotional of the members, like the naïve monk or the drunken priest, but hearing them from the mouth of the faithful Paladin seemed to sting all the more. Eyebrows knitted in anger as the food he had been preparing for half the day, by hand, toppled to the floor. Stiff, furious footsteps launched in the direction of Lance, ready to interrupt the tantrum and set the man in his place when he was stopped short by treasonous words. Eyes again shifted, looking to the companions that were just ordered to aim at him.

”Has this been the plan all along?” He grimly mused, ”A band of rebels removing the only heir by taking him to a secluded place and eliminating him? Or are they misguided, words have surely been twisted here…” A cold feeling filled Rydas’ stomach, were they then all members of the brigade designed to unleash magic into the world again? He glanced around, sizing up his enemies, hands outstretched as if to protect the woman at his side.

It was the old shaman who made the next move. Soundlessly he parted the crowed, stepping forth. He seemed less man, somehow, tense and shaking. There was sorrow and loss, anger and misfortune, all interwoven through facial features. Rydas’ lips pressed together, in a loss at how to council the man for something he not know of what plagued him. Still, before words could come a great weapon was thrown, aiming straight to the defenseless lady at his side. Without hesitation he leapt in it’s way, the blunt side of the caber striking his skull. A thud, and then a clambering to the floor was all that was heard. A large hand rose to grip the wound site, blood quickly pouring through fingers and pooling on the ground, and lots of it. It was amazing how much head injuries bled.

His vision blurred. It took a moment for things to come into focus. The lady, his lover, looked horrified. She gripped his face, searching his eyes for recognition. Still, neither could speak as events progressed quickly. A known voice, the warrior, spoke loud of the others… “Are we quite done hear?” As Mira stretched for battle the Prince knew that they weren’t on the same train of thought, but he’d had enough.

“Yes, quite done here.” He said, straightening to his full and imposing height. Even with the blood smeared down his face he managed to look regal. All momentary happiness had been removed from his features, even as he gently removed the woman’s hands from his person. ”Excuse my words, lady…” And his voice raised to a near-yell. ”But will someone explain what the fuck is going on here? Pray you all that Idassava’s ghost lingers these halls and has in someway bewitched you all, for nothing short of that will excuse such treasonous actions against the First Prince and future King of Calisma.”

You had to know that Rydas was angry if he was pulling out the full and lengthy titles. A creeping headache was making way up spine and sprawling out like cobwebs across his cranium. The blood flow slowed from his head, clotting, and he dropped his hand to his side. There was talking elsewhere, words like harlot adding the mix and only angering him further. In what world did common people refer to courtiers as such lowly stations? For all the outrageous things done on the voyage thus far, none made him regret decisions of hiring sellswords such as this. He could hear the court council laughing at him now, as they surely would should he manage to escape the current situation unscathed. The lovely lady at his side remained quiet, features unreadable.

Rydas’ clean hand outstretched to the mysterious and elegant woman, who in turn accepted it and stepped forward. He cleared his throat, swallowing some of his anger only through practiced patience. ”I’d like you all to meet Lady—“

Words were halted by new voices added to the fray. The pair turned to the side, the unconscious guests pleading to candidates for release and instantly being aided. Both lady and Prince called out at once, urging those to stop. Rydas dropped the hand of the woman. In a fluid movement, impressive with the likely concussion he had received, he had sword drawn and pointed at neck of the monk in yellow, though there was still some distance between the two.

”Halt. Hear you me, any aiding these prisoners will be punishable to the furthest extent of the law. These are rebels, high ranking members of the TK, and traitors to the King.” His words were sober. It was a serious accusation. The Tommyknockers were the one strong movement against the royal family and the Guild working to overthrow each and release wild magic into the world. Thoughts of the Sortilege Wars came flooding back. Still, the TK was just a rumoured organization that had never been proved. What lies had the woman in white told to twist the Prince’s mind into turning against his own companions? Something just wasn’t adding up.

One thing was for sure. Magic was tangible, whether from woman or rebels, and the blood of the Prince had already been spilled. What of Idassava, what of Panacea? All thoughts of the dying king slipped from mind in the stand off of friends and foe.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci
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#, as written by Celedia
-=Mirabella=-


The Prince spoke and Mirabella knew not whether he could possibly be serious in a situation such as this. Rydas looked at them with astonishment tinged with contempt when he had seen them battle the monstrosity that was the dirlagraun in the fetid aftermath of their triumph over the ghoul. Yet he dared to pretend that they were out of line?

Her feet paused in their travels to flank the couple even though they were almost upon the dais as her mouth gaped in astonishment. Shock, surprise, anger and betrayal- a full bevy of emotions flitted across her fair yet bloodied face yet her golden gaze never left the Prince. He has to be bewitched.. There is no other explanation for it. Her thoughts tumbled loosely through her mind, edges dulled by the unwillingness of the Triansui to believe any other avenue of events. With her blade still held at the ready and shield still hanging upon her arm in defense, her words bit fiercely into the stunned silence of the room after the Prince’s diatribe. Though not seething from rage but from disbelief for she had pledged her sword to him to save his father and yet he was intent upon the guilt of the group as a whole? It made no sense.

”First Prince and Future King of Calisma,” she started, using his title as he had before amending the moniker to one used less often as she hoped it would remind him who was friend and who was foe. ”…Rydas.” At the informal greeting, her voice softened slightly though her weapon remained clenched in her hand since she trusted the woman at the Prince’s side less than she had trusted the ‘merchant’ with her coinpurse.

”I should not have to remind you of events thus far but obviously you are not on the same page as we are. You left camp in the middle of the night without a word to the rest of us. We- who had vowed to fight by your side and gather the Panacea in hopes of saving your ill father, the King.” Once more her honey-brown eyes sought his, hoping to find a flicker of recognition while she all but ignored the beautiful woman that he was trying so valiantly to protect.

”So we followed you here. To this dark and depressive Citadel that has reportedly been abandoned for a time and we fought through traps that our rogues and our mages assisted your team in passing until we reached the hall in which you saw us last.” A sweeping gesture with her shield hand as she indicated the small pathway that led back towards what she would call the ‘battle room’ since that was the only activity that had taken place within its walls.

”In that room we, your team, fought two deadly creatures. Many of your people were wounded.” Like a cleric or village elder trying to help the Prince sort through his thoughts and feelings, she tried to remind him of his relationship with the group gathered around. Recognition and familiarity might trump sorcery even if for only a split second of time. That was all she needed- a moment of remembrance for the Prince to recall that they were on his side.

”Nelinia was paralyzed by the ghoul. Akdov has died.” Her words paused, lingering upon the still air to let that sink in for him. No need to mention the odd new combination of Akdov and Lance in the Paladin’s body. That would be shared later, if there was a later. ”Geraint, Lance, Travian, Feylon, and I were all harmed by the dirlagraun. Some more than others… Her gaze left the Prince momentarily, sweeping back to the others before returning once more to Rydas.

”The dirlagraun beckoned by your… Lady which we finally took down but before the battle haze could even clear our eyes you were both standing there applauding as if it were a show? Then you wander off to this feast hall and pretend upon our entrance that you are our gracious hosts and have come to invite us to a meal?” The incredulity was palpable in her voice now and it was only then that anger seeped into her tone as well. “Tell me, Rydas, First Prince and Future King of Calisma which seems the more likely scenario… That these people who have fought and bled to find you have betrayed you somehow? Or that you are being deceived by the one woman in this room who reeks of magic and death that you just happened to stumble upon in a seemingly abandoned Citadel?”

She waited for a response either from the Prince, or the Sorceress, or at the very least from her comrades. Perhaps conversation was out of the question and the Prince’s mind was too far gone to be reasoned with but she knew that if she hadn’t tried she would have regretted it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Iravey Inicka Character Portrait: Selene Moretti
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#, as written by Skwidge
Talsin Inicka


A silent breath escaped the man's lips, and his head craned a bit to try to get a good look at the couple up front once more. He blinked a few more times, before giving up his pathetic attempts. His neck was so stiff in any matter. So he ceased in his actions, a small thud coming from the back of the chair as he allowed his cranium to drop into the groove which seemed to have been hallowed into over the time he had been trapped there.

The brown-haired boy's lips turned down in a subtle frown as he internally complained about how tight the bindings were as his eyes focused on as much detailing as he could... of the ceiling. However, his gaze was suddenly captured by a new figure kneeling next to him, leaning fractionally over him and going at his arms, and then pushing his chair up a bit. His head instinctively swayed away in apprehension from the unknown silhouette. "Hey, what are-" He squinted, trying to make out just what this person was up to in his personal space, and then he got his answer as his precious hands numbly made their way to his sides. "Oh, thanks." He wrinkled his nose slightly, re-assessing his current condition.

“Are either of you wounded?“ Tal's eyes snapped back to attention as the woman, or at least he was fairly certain it was a woman, reiterated her question to him. He flashed her a lopsided grin before answering. "Other than my voice and my pride, I think I'm... fine. But my limbs are fairly stiff, so I believe... I'll just stay right here." He tilted his chin down in a slight nod of confirmation, almost as if he himself had been testing his words for their truth value.

His eyes slid to the left, indicating that she should return to whatever it was she wanted to be doing, well, if she could even see his eyes. If he stayed right in his little chair, he'd also be out of the battle, which Talsin preferred immensely. He needed both of his hands for playing. Other voices murmured in his hearing range, but one filtered into actual words, and a wry smile scribbled itself upon his face.

"Don't worry; I have no immediate intention to become closely acquainted with the floor, nice as it is."

He tilted his head carefully to the side, his eyes seeking out the individual to whom the voice belonged to. Once Tal got into the vague area of where he thought it was emanating from, he opened his mouth, coughed quietly, and then began to speak. "Nay, the floor could use a hug. It does so much work being a floor. You should embrace it! Just look at me, I practically fell over with over-exuberance in respect to it!" He clicked his tongue against his teeth, tapping the surface with the heel of his right foot.

Tal winced, looking up as a new voice began to fill the chamber. He rolled his head a bit to the side to get a look at the couple before the throne. He could see the man stagger a bit, something seeping from the side of his head, and it was unmistakable that it was blood. He let out a small hiss of an exhale escape through his teeth, and he scrambled backward a bit despite the vague throbbing in his legs.

”Halt. Hear you me, any aiding these prisoners will be punishable to the furthest extent of the law. These are rebels, high ranking members of the TK, and traitors to the King.”

"Wait, what? Where's the evidence in that!?" He pursed his lips, a thoughtful frown on his countenance. Tal then paused, wonder soon replacing what was previously occupying his facials. "Uh, what's the TK again?"


Iravey Inicka


Iravey remained silent, her eyes following the figure that jogged to her chair, the woman's intent clear. Without a word, the female twin watched as she thumbed the dagger under the ropes binding her hands and then saw through. As soon as her legs were free, and the stranger turned to help her brother, she was already backtracking into the shadows, using the black of her clothes to conceal herself all the easier.

She listened as the stranger asked her brother, and herself for that matter, if either one of them were hurt. She wouldn't have answered the woman in any case, and listened to the soft thrum of her twin's voice as he answered her. 'His voice is still cracked.' Ira observed. If she herself were to speak, she'd be quite the opposite, as she never spoke much anyway. She wasn't as eager as her brother seemed to be in compromising position with speech. Or at least in this case it applied. She recognized everything around her as danger, while he was easygoing and too lenient. But that was why they worked so well together.

Her eyes flickered away from the two and up towards the throne, eyeing the couple warily while the man spoke.

However, suddenly something came from one of the balconies, and the prince shifted to get directly into the path of it, obviously protecting that vile woman. It connected with his head, a thunk sound spreading a small way throughout the room before ceasing as soon as it had started, and the prince staggered, and ultimately fell, to the floor. 'Pain.' The sole word grew in her mind, registering what the contact must have felt like, and wincing for a second. The woman quickly bent over to scan his face, but Iravey was already slipping along between torches along the wall, keeping to the flickering shadows the luminescence cast across the floors. She was rapidly regathering her memories of experience on what should be done to keep oneself masked and greatly unnoticed as the Prince carefully rose to his feet again, his voice, slightly wavering, filling the room once more.

”But will someone explain what the fuck is going on here? Pray you all that Idassava’s ghost lingers these halls and has in someway bewitched you all, for nothing short of that will excuse such treasonous actions against the First Prince and future King of Calisma.” The blood was still slowly trickling down the side of his face, taking on that of a gleaming persona from the light of the torches. She was now situated behind the two, the pitch black vest-tunic off of her shoulders and in her hand as she, without a sound, approached the Prince. 'So that's who the man is....' The blood was already slowing, but it would still be a small period before it actually clotted, and it shouldn't be exposed like that after it did. It had a fair shot at becoming infected, and even more so if it grazed the ground and collected the dirt or dust or whatever might have been on the surface.

Vey was only meters away from his head, warily holding the soft material of her clothing piece, hosted in one hand quietly outstretched, as she attempted to get close enough to stem the bleeding. It was about then he unsheathed and pointed his sword in the direction of one of the other captives, his attention distracted for the moment being. Ira was being incredibly stupid, and she really didn't act out like she was at that point. But hey, her twin got to be an idiot most of the time, so the female simply reassured herself that she could afford to at this moment. The only thing she hoped was that she wouldn't have to pay for it with life or limb. She just had to get close enough, wrap the thing around his head and secure it, then swiftly return to the safety provided by the limitation of his range.

It had become increasingly obvious that there was something wrong with the ma- the Prince, but she didn't want him in pain caused from fever or delusion, or whatever truly came with infected wounds- she wasn't a cleric after all, she only knew that it was something painful and awful. She'd experienced it when she was younger, and it was not a pleasant time at all.

Setting

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Cord Braxton
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#, as written by Adantas
She was unseeing, there were voices all around her, but then when wasn't there? It was confusing her, never had there been so many human voices mixed with the furious howling of the spirits. She couldn't decipher any of it and the words she did catch from some mysterious person off to the side, made no sense. Instead, she had to focus on the task at hand. Getting Oats to help her find Lady Silence. Too many people, too many sounds speaking all at once, no space for her own thought. She suddenly found herself being squeezed back, and there was the sing song voice again. The spirit that wasn't a spirit, Oats was talking to her. She came into sharp focus, her chattering stopping and eyes locked onto the young woman in front of her. She had never heard Lady Silence's name spoken by another and it felt like somewhat of an intrusion, but she couldn't harm someone with the voice of the spirits. Arms falling limp by her side, she addressed the woman, her questions only then registering.

"Who? Tweet Twoo, no, not a who. No, no, no, no. Calm yourself." It was like a click of the fingers, the change in Cord was instant, she went from disjointed, energetic rambling to thoughtful, slow and deliberate sayings, she hadn't even realised that the change had been brought upon by the two simple words that Lady Silence had often told her. "There were many, a wondering, a path, following the whisperings." Her features scrunched slightly, trying to recall the memory of how she had been brought here. "Two, buzzing, so angry. Black and one shrouded, the masked one and the Vixen." She looked quizzical for a moment, something niggling at the back of her mind. She turned to the side, where the commotion was happening. It was difficult to see past the many bodies that were all addressing someone but as she just caught a glimpse everything came flooding back. It had been that man and the woman beside him. She was bathed in a darkness, something that angered the spirits. She was a sort of conniving and shifty woman, an appeal that the Lady Silence had told her was called seduction, something woman often used. But that simply wasn't just it, the spirits were telling her, they were wailing at her that there was something wrong. The man, he was not dark like her, but in the same token he had a mist surrounding him like he was cloaked in the blackness of The Vixen woman.

That fact would be of some importance, but to Cord she had no interest in the Vixen woman's doings, all she was concerned about was the fact that they were the two who had taken lady Silence from her. Calmness was swiftly ebbing away from her and the mumblings started again. Her eyes were fixated on the two, the male was standing, directing his sword to one in yellow, looking ever imposing. But that was irrelevant to Cord, who was more concerned about how she would get this strange man to give her back Lady Silence. With surprising force, she tore herself from Oats' grip and began marching towards him, her hand digging deep inside the many folds of her tunic that concealed her ornate dagger. Her voice began to rise and words began to sound clearer.

"Foolish, trapped behind the gauze, blinded don't you see? Trapped in Vixen's claws, both you and Lady Silence! Retract, retrieve and reveal!" She had her dagger out and with extended arm was pointing it directly at the man, she was still a few meters away, but was shortening the gap. She was getting angry, influence of the writhing spirits around her, but it was no longer the masked one that she was facing, instead her direction changed and she was heading straight for the woman. "They scream at you, they wail at you. Why? Donned in black, friends with death, you've cast your net now release Lady Silence!"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"You are weak."

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

"Your mind is easily contorted."

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

"You are inferior.

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

"A decrepit sole.

Comradery or loyalty to the talking crown.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Iravey Inicka
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#, as written by Skwidge
Talsin Inicka


Talsin’s lips remained pursed together rather forcefully as he watched as everyone began to get agitated, making a very mob-like formation as a few of them slowly progressed towards the Prince, casting many curses and angry words to him.

It was probably only worse, seeing as the guy had a whole mess of blood dripping down the side of his skull to fall onto his shoulder and stain it. ’Someone should probably get that taken care of for hiiiimmm- wait a minute….’ The male twin’s eyes swept over the room, seeking out his birth mate, his suspicions only being confirmed as he saw the form of his sister just slightly, coming up behind the prince. “I-“ He began, about to call out her name rather loudly before he promptly shut his mouth, not wishing to get her throat mauled by the sword in the prince’s grasp. ’Or was in his grasp.’ Tal speculated silently, watching as the Yellow-robed monk did some fancy shmancy kick to the thing, sending it upwards.

Tal didn’t have much taste to watch the following scene, but forced himself to do so nonetheless, the reason being his sister was fairly close to the two main stars in this scene. It was then that things got really interesting.

First, he was fairly ticked that the woman had turned and threatened his sister, and that alone was almost enough to make him go up there and drop kick the lady; second, that lady was NO lady, as he soon discovered.

”ENOUGH.” That sole word echoed through the expanse of the chamber, effectively silencing most everyone. An eerie feeling quickly ran up his spine, and he scrambled backwards into the shadows, though staying fairly close to one of the torches. The woman grew fairly grotesque, taking on a new form of the netherworlds, and his face twisted into a comically revolted expression, his tongue sticking out and one eye squinted. ”Oh dear ‘gawds’, NO.” His hollowed words formed, still somehow managing to make light of the situation in his tone. Though he quickly began to trot towards Iravey to protect them both, but he didn’t want to attract attention to himself either.

"And the rest of you, since you have ruined my dinner plans, please entertain my new guests." That did not bode well either, and Tal didn’t even want to look at what screaming meanies she had summoned from the eternal plains of damnation.

Iravey Inicka


Ira froze as she heard the voice of the woman, and the faint eye catching glint of the metal from the sword she equipped in her hand. A small blink and her brows knitting slightly together in irritation was the only reaction from the female twin, or at least facially it was. In physical aspects, her fingers let go of some of the fabric, thus causing it to spread out towards the ground, and her opposite hand was already shifting over toward one of the small pockets to where she kept one of her smaller blades. She needed to remove it anyway, but no one else needed to know that.

She was about to slam the sole of her boot down onto the woman’s foot and swing her left arm against hers which wielded the blade and then push up with her elbow, thus in attempt to dislodge the weapon from her grasps, when something kept her frozen to the spot. It was a very strong personal hesitation obviously caused by some kind of force around her.

That some kind of force was soon explained as the woman quickly revealed her true form, which was not a very welcome sight in Ira’s eyes. The small blade was slipped into another pocket without any vocals from the girl, though the smallest features of distress were scribbled here and there on her face. As the woman spoke, Iravey went into action.

Since she was no longer ‘barred’ from the prince, she ended the distance between them, quickly grabbing him by his arm and tugging him backwards while he was still in shock, and not to mention weakened by his wound. Stumbling a bit, the twin attempted to drag him away from the woman and out of danger. He wouldn’t be able to really react properly, not to mention he’d be an ample target if one were to take into consideration demons and blood scent.

Glancing up for a moment, Iravey clenched her teeth, putting her arm around the man’s upper arm and over his chest to his shoulder, pushing him forward in a sort of weak vice grip, using her free hand to press the cloth of her vest tunic against his wound, the material seeming to almost greedily begin to soak up a bit of the blood. Once she got him to the wall close to a corner, she pressed down on his shoulder rather roughly in order to indicate her desire for him to sit quietly.

Meanwhile, her brother watched the exchange, smacking his forehead and letting out a small groan. His sister could be a real idiot sometimes…. Actually, not really ever, and that’s what surprised him. He froze in his shadowing of the two as he heard a very disturbing growl. That was when he turned his head to see some really scary stuff. He hightailed it after the two, finally letting his frustrations vent as he neared the two. ”Iravey, what are you thinking!? That’s the prince. Don’t you know what could happen!?”

Iravey’s head tilted upwards as she watched her brother, shifting uneasily as she watched everyone move into action against the monsters. She really didn’t think much of her actions through, but it was all in good intentions. But she didn’t need to bring trouble to both he and-

”Seriously, you might catch his crazy!” Tal shook his head, clicking his tongue against his front teeth, despite the insane situation. ”Seriously, be carefulll.” He whined, his eyes scanning over her searchingly. ”But in actual seriousness, throw me some wire already.” He hissed, almost upon the two.

The female twin shook her head, indicating she didn’t have them on her. Talsin made a very comical ’Ughh’, much like a child in a small fit, but only to lighten the situation. ”Check your boots.” He demanded, and she complied, quickly running her finger under her laces toward the sides, pulling out a few lengths of tripwire and twine. Once Tal got close enough, Ira tossed him the requested items.

He gave her an exasperated smile before commenting one last time before running off to set up the wires. It was to secure his sister’s position just in case the uglies came their way; at least they’d have a form of protection. ”Corner; and you really aren’t thinking today, are you?” Ira remained silent, rolling her eyes in her own exasperated way while sliding into the corner as her twin had requested, her hand still around Rydas’ arm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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#, as written by Deallo
While Nel stayed the Prince's hands from delivering the potential death blow to Feylon, the monk scanned the prince's face for some semblance of understanding, finding a wide-eyed look of surprise. So far, he didn't try to thrash around, rendering Nel's other hand, reared back for a potential punch, useless. Rydas needed to calm down; and the sword in his hand was doing no justice to that fact.

"Enough!" Boomed behind her and she turned, still keeping the wrist grab on the prince, to the dismay and horror of his lover, who underwent a harrowing transformation. As evil as it was, Nel couldn't look away even with the vortex of underworld wind pushing against her face as the seemingly normal woman transformed into her true monstrous succubus form, forever etched in the back of the monk's naive mind. The vile air around the monster seemed to snake itself inside the monk's body and squeeze her heart, forcing it to nearly stop altogether, before letting it go and beat with raw fear. Just as shocked as the prince was, she slowly relinquishing the hold on his wrist, as words flew out the lips of the demon.

The purple gas clouds that slowly formed overhead was enough to make Nel slowly step back, away from the prince and succubus, and closer to the wall. Suddenly, a downpour of winged monsters came through the clouds, screeching, and attacking the party. One of them spotted the monk with her back against the wall and came down after her, razor-sharp talons at the ready to rip her apart. The devastated monk had no more space to walk back on and was forced to confront the Vrock head on as she stepped into the monster's attack; having to get within range of the foul creature's breath. The creature hadn't anticipated the move, talons grazed into the side of her right bicep, ripping into her yellow garb, drawing blood but expecting a death blow. Nelinia didn't think or hesitate, her life of training suddenly becoming instinct as she jumped up, one feet pressed up against the feathery chest of the being while the other struck it's weak long neck, the Vrock gagging on the surprisingly effective blow as it flew back. The monk landed effortlessly on her hands and took her fighting stance, fear washing off her like dirt in a bath, just as the cry of "OATS!" penetrated the air.

It was the crazy woman again. The monk ignored the call just as soon as she realized the creature she struck was up again, letting out a shrill shriek before it decided to charge the woman once more. "How did it get up so quickly!" Nel thought in surprise before stepping round into the side and grabbing hold of one of the creature's large wings. The monster started to screech louder as it started to turn and move to the monk's accord, falling head first against the marble floor, cracking it's skull open, and leaking vile blood all over the floor.

Nel put down the wing and let go of the handful of feathers she tore of it to scan the room. The prince and a couple of the prisoners were in the corner, the tiny mage was seated, protected by her magic, and everyone else was fighting. Just then, the sight of Acacia trapped in the grasp of one of the Vrocks caught the monk's eye, shooting panic into her blood as her legs suddenly ran, running clear across the room back to the other head of the table. Her speed didn't let up, she barely slowed as her feet ran up the wall in the space next to Acacia, taking three steps before jumping off the wall, her right leg raised, heel cutting the wind as it crashed into the monster's skull.

A resounding crack permeated the air and the Vrock so full of anger, hate, and viciousness, suddenly stopped it's onslaught. It's eyes glossed over and it fell over; sprawled out on the marble.

"Acacia!" Nel called out; despite the close proximity between them. "Are you okay? Hurt?" The monk said, bombarding her with questions, checking her for injuries, noticing the blood going down her shoulder just as the paladin called for anyone who's hurt to get their "ass" on the balcony. "The balcony. Please." She told the bard when all of a sudden her back was slashed with the claws of another beast. She screamed as the pain sent ripples through her body. "Now!" Nel managed to growl, disregarding her own bloody leg, arm, and back, turning around to deal with another winged monstrosity.

The monk threw three powerful blows, three punches straight into the gut, before the Vrock can swipe again with it's deadly claws, the speed consideraby slowed by the pain it just received. Closing in the distance, she stuck out one hand to the forearm of the beast to stop the strike in it's tracks, and brought her leg up to kick the elbow. As the shin connected with the elbow, it broke it in half, shooting up through it's flesh right up to it's skin. The creature howled in agony and gave another shriek as that same leg came down on it's knee and shredded it into three.

Nel just had to take a step back as the creature fell and was thoroughly incapacitated, pathetically flapping it's wings trying to get air, but just sticking to the ground. She stayed her thoughts from the monster, feelings of pity for it quickly subsiding for the abomination, as her eyes were now focused on the woman who was Rydas' lover. The fear that first overtook her was gone as she started to ball up her hands into tight fists and clench her teeth. The succubus was the one responsible for all this. It's she who's brought forth all these terrible beasts and now harming her companions. Her eyes narrowed into slits, eyebrows furrowed, mind hazed by a seething rage.

"Stop this." She whispered, walking towards the direction of the succubus, until another one of those winged creatures blocked her way, charging towards her as it shrieked a battle cry. The monk let out a hiss of air and twisted on the balls of her bloody leg, completing a turn, and winding her good leg close to her chest before shooting it out directly in the gut of the creature, stopping it's forward momentum as it's body froze in the kick it ran into. Nel swiftly took her oppurtunity as she jumped, bringing her attacking leg down, and readying her bloody one forward, pushing the paralyzed monster with her center of mass, sending it sprawling back and knocking into the head of the table. The push, forced the heavy long table back on it's four legs, the massive weight of the table held down the vrock as it pinned one of it's wings to the floor with it's sturdy legs.

For the monk it was a straight path to the demon succubus.

Nel sped up her steps to a run, body aching all over as blood trickled down her back, arm, and leg, staining her yellow garb, jumped on the table with what grace she could muster, and sprinted.

"Stop this at once!" She shouted, pushing herself on the balls of her feet, feeling just a bit faint, ready to strike the demon as soon as she could close in the distance.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Idassava’s Fallen Citadel
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Niluxeriel’s true form was quick to be revealed, and with such revelations all chaos broke loose. Great violet clouds swirled into existence, and with them rained the violence brought forth from hell itself. She, a lady of the courts of the Underlands, quite literally had brought hell to their doorstep. Lesser demons, Vrocks, poured from the misty portals; twisted vulture-beasts, whose muscle and sinew had withered away to naught but bone and flesh. No heart beat in their darkened chests, but rather something more sinister spurred them onwards. They came, arrived at the beckon call of their mistress, but the vengeance and contempt held within them that they acted on own free will, unleashing fury and gore unto the band of travellers. Their attacks were chaotic, sharp beaks and lengthened claws attacking what was nearest. As each fell another two took it’s place, the stream of foe seemingly unending.

Rydas stood on dais step, back to the employees he had just charged with treason and faced he love as she evolved into something more. Whether shock or concussion, his addled brain and damaged body remained frozen, mouth slightly ajar. The world spun around him, image of beautiful woman and sinister succubus flickering back and forth. The room was filling with vile creatures, sweeping the room and engaging his mercenaries, but still he stood. It wasn’t until forceful hands pushed him back and away. He scarcely blinked, barely looking up to see what stranger laid hands upon him. He could feel cloth pressed against his seeping wound, and somewhere in the back of his mind his body told him it hurt, but still he was frozen.

The past days evens replayed in his mind and suddenly the story wasn’t so cohesive. How had he gone from tent to fortress, how had he navigated the winding labyrinth? Surely Nilux had guided him, and yet he wasn’t so sure. So soon after battle why had he slaved over such and extensive meal, and entertained bound dinner guests? The Tommyknockers were a rumour meant to frighten children and castle guards, not reality, and yet why had he bought into it so quickly? His mind had been riddled with poison, laced with lies until the knots wound so tightly that he wasn’t sure what was dream or reality. Surely he would wake any moment.

Slowly, the First Prince began to turn his head. His troupe fought valiantly around him, engaging creature after creature without fail. The walls were wash with blood; a new scent, and char, mingling with what once would have been a delicious meal. It wasn’t until tortured wing pierced flesh that he began to come to his sense; talon pierced the rogue, Xan, and the thief crumpled to the floor. It was a wound that he wouldn’t survive from, and not long after he had saved Lance. That was two, now, that had fallen: the priest and the rogue. And it was his fault. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Perhaps the ranger had been right, perhaps he was unfitted to rule, perhaps just because he was next in line didn’t mean he could live up to his departed brother. Guilt clenched at his heart, whispering under his breath; ”No...”

Rydas slowly raised his hand to grip the woman’s that tended his wounds. He squeezed Iravey’s hand with earnest force, raising green gaze to meet with hers. ”Thank you, stranger, for the unearned kindness. Please, if you will or can, attend to the others that are more in need.” His words were soft, too calm for current events, his mind still plagued with the shifting tides. Nevertheless, the Prince rose with the characteristic litheness that had come to define him, pausing only to retrieve his sword that was coated with blood.

The path he followed was to Siobahn, the strange cleric that had taken anothers wounds unto herself. There was a Vrock closing in on her, ready to attack. With one thrust of his sword he had pierced her attacker, and another fell swoop left it decapitated. His arm was quick to wrap around her waist, easing her to sit on the floor. Vision assessed her wounds, still calm, before catching her gaze. ”You will live, stay strong.”

Again the Prince rose with fluidity, this time his voice rose, strong as ever and serene, yet still commanding. ”Medics, tend our wounded. Wounded, make way to the balcony. Warriors, to me.” They were battle commands that he barked. Although with a quick assessing gaze, the majority of the troupe were wounded or otherwise involved with their own battles. And if recent history had taught Rydas anything it was that these sellswords scarcely followed orders or otherwise used sense. Yet, who was he to judge? Was it not his doing that they were here, many wounded or worse. He shook his head; there was a task at hand, he would lay blame on self after.

Elsewhere, in the centre of the room, the battle was intensifying. The boastful call from Travian had drawn attention from Vrock, and other demons that now littered the room. A swarm was headed, ready to make lies of words promised. Likeminded with Rydas, three of the strongest fighters headed towards the succubus woman; Mirabelle, Nel and Lakdov. Niluxeriel blew another luring kiss, meant to mind yet another male to her will and fight for her, though it wasn’t aimed at any in particular. She then turned attentions to the trio closing distance. Kisses were abandoned for hotter topics; UnderFire. It burned green, charring naught but bone and flesh. It formed in balls in her hands, tossed at will in random directions towards the three. When the distance was closed enough, it was sharpened wings that would hack and slash, before she would hover backwards to toss more fire.

”My my, you are all so fun to play with. Silly humans.” That same, sickly sweet voice was entertained with demonic echo.

Rydas had changed paths. He had a straight b-line towards his former lover. Still he was tranquil, vision betraying him with flickers back to the young, drawing woman had had previously fallen for. Still, his sword was clenched all the harder. He paused only to slay whatever foul beast entered his path; swift strikes dropping foe before a blow could be landed upon his royal person. When at last he had arrived close enough, the tranquillity erupted into a fury so far unseen from his highness. All the anger, contempt and betrayal fuelled aggression to the fullest extent. He dodged and rolled each blast of underfire, leaping up to thrust and parry against the Lady of hell.

”Mmm... feisty aren’t we little Prince.” She hissed, and slashed out with sharpened wing. Her hit struck him, tearing through his side and slashing nearly down to bone of ribs. Blood began to poor again; the second spilled from the one and only heir. Rydas fell to knee, but not for long. Adrenaline pushed him forward, eyes raised up at her as she giggled. The Prince gritted his teeth and leapt up. For him he saw the maiden in white, and anger reached an all time high. His sword fell, ripping through wing. A piercing scream echoed through the hall from the succubus.

”ARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHH. Play time is over!” Nilux screamed. The portals dissipated, the stream of demons finally ended. From the succubus’ wounds dripped black blood that boiled and melted the stone, like acid. Still, she managed to smile. ”Until we meet again, little Prince.”

One last portal and she disappeared through it, it closing after her. Her words echoed through the hall, a threat and a promise that wouldn’t be forgotten. Rydas gripped his side, the blood seeping through his hands yet again, as he leaned against the wall. It was only adrenaline that kept him standing. Green eyes gazed around, words flooding his mind. How did he apologize? How did he sum up a day of regrets that took two lives, maybe more? The band of travellers was wounded, tired. Words failed him, so he didn’t bother trying.

”Please, someone bring me the emerald, the unchipped one.” He said, and motioned to a hollow in the wall where it would fit, a little like a key. Clearly Rydas still wasn’t in his right state of mind, whether from the evens, concussion or loss of blood though, it wasn’t sure.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Selene Moretti
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Selene was momentarily surprised when the man she vaguely recognized as Prince Rydas began to berate the surrounding crowd with a vehemence that Selene wouldn’t have believed to be possible, given his appearance and previous behaviour in regards to the aforementioned group. While she was not privy to what had gone on before her slow transition to wakefulness, she realised then that some kind of bond must have been forged in order to produce such a reaction. Not that any of this helped her, but Selene had always been a great believer in what the powers of observation could achieve, and any kind of insight – however small – could make a huge difference.

Then, however, she was denounced, with the rest, as a rebel, words which she answered, privately, by rolling her eyes. “Predictable,” she muttered under her breath, eventually dragging her gaze from the couple to scan the room, searching somewhat desperately for the items that she’d started this fool venture with. She missed, in particular, the familiar weight of her staff – the polished wood never failed to bring a smile to her face even in the middle of a crisis.

Another voice sounded somewhere to her left, and Selene’s attention wavered from her immediate task as her lips kicked up into an immediate, genuine smile. “You are correct, sir. The floor is often over-looked, taken for granted, when really we should be giving it the respect it deserves.” Amusement was clear in her light tone, softening her somewhat clipped accent.

Selene’s gaze was dragged inevitably back to the other end of the throne room as another strident voice filled the momentary silence. Oh, give it a rest, please. Her thoughts were hardly complimentary towards the various speakers – she was feeling almost antsy, restless, and had to suppress the urge to start pacing around the room. It would hardly improve what was already a volatile situation.

Selene realised, suddenly, perhaps belatedly, that one of her feet was tapping rhythmically against the floor, the soft clipping sound utterly inaudible beneath the general hum of voices in the hall. Clenching her jaw, Selene struggled to get it under control. Okay. Okay. Breathe, damn it. You’re fine. We’ll get out of here soon. Breathe. In. Out. All that stuff. As her thoughts calmed, the tapping stopped.

Then the familiar crackle of magic cut through the air again, and several things appeared. Selene idly categorized them as demons even as she spotted a familiar length of wood propped up against a wall just to the right of her. Her grin of triumph morphed swiftly into surprise as she found a demon running towards her, and she instinctively took off towards her staff, with only a short cry of “gah!” punctuating her sudden movement.

Scooping up her weapon, Selene idly spun it in her grip, her finger settling into the grooves worn into the strong wood by long hours of training. Spinning it around and down, she drove the end up into what she had estimated was the chin of the thing in front of her, and was rewarded by a sort of choked gurgle. She followed it up immediately, raining blows on the thing until it collapsed gracelessly in front of her. Drawing herself up, she stepped gracefully over it to scoop up the rest of her effects, and only then realised that she was bleeding. She stared with some confusion at the gashes in her arm, until her mind supplied the information that the demon must have caught her one while she was belaboring it.

Ah well. You win some, you lose some. Then, of course, the pain kicked in, and Selene grabbed hold of the wall – as much as you could grab a wall – and closed her eyes, praying that she wouldn’t throw up.

Her foot was tapping again.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Callavan Sole
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#, as written by Celedia
-=Mirabella=-


Hope began to thread its way into Mirabella’s very being as both the Prince and Xan joined in their battle with the succubus. The fighter grit her teeth, trying not to focus on how Nelinia gasped in pain or how the thief suddenly fell silent but instead she kept pursuing the succubus. Her two weapons moving in a precisely timed flurry that sought to keep the demoness on her toes, holding her attention so that the others could land blows against the vile fiend.

One such hit rang true and the Prince’s sword struck Nilux’s wing, drawing a shrill cry from the woman’s poisonous lips along with threats aimed at Rydas before she slipped from their plane. The battle had ended. Their enemies were either in tattered heaps around them or had escaped and it was in the silence of the aftermath of battle that everything could be assessed. The thrill of such a fight was usually rewarded with a slain enemy but in this fight they weren’t so lucky. Not only had the temptress escaped but the group was left wounded and weary with yet another loss of life to attend.

Yet, before they could even process what had happened, much less deal with their own grievances, Lakdov’s voice shattered the silence with accusations and inflammatory remarks. Not that the reaction was anything less than what she had expected from the Priest but his timing was imperfect.

Breathing in and out slowly, the Triansui took the time to sheath her bloodied weapons before speaking softly, yet firmly to Lakdov. ”Priest,” she paused a moment, hoping to draw his attention without elevating her voice as he had. ”I understand your pain, your grief. We all do…” Her bloodied face tilted so that her troubled gaze could fall upon Xan’s body, the oddly honest thief who had given his crystalline treasure to the child outside of the gates at the start of their journey. ”But that is no reason to attack people that are already battle weary. Once again, you seem intent to divide this group instead of strengthening it. Without those mages? We wouldn’t have had the scrolled spell for the ghoul. We wouldn’t have ended the diralgraun as quickly as we did.”

Her eyes cast quickly about the room in search of both Van and ‘Eidolon’ as the Triansui named their contributions to the previous battles and then she returned her gaze to Lakdov. ”And the Prince? Judge not lest ye be judged. If that creature had set her magic upon you instead are you so arrogant to believe that you would have cast off her attempted charm? He was most likely asleep, when we’re all at our most vulnerable and I have no qualms in admitting that were I male, she would have probably made me a puppet just as easily as she had made him.”

Her finger jutted out, pointing towards Rydas though her eyes never left the Paladin/Priest. ”So, yes. It is a shame that we have lost so many in these battles today but for once in your life get your pompous ass off of your high horse and realize that your constant derision serves the group no benefit. You are not the only one who has lost a friend and comrade this day so stop wallowing in your self pity long enough to see that.”

Having said what she needed to say, the Triansui turned to check upon the two comrades that were closest to her position. First, she walked to Feylon who had maneuvered quickly out of the way of her attempted knockout earlier and slipped upon the bloodied floor, rapping his head soundly against the elevated dais instead. She checked to see if the ranger was still breathing then laid two fingers upon his neck to check a pulse that was steady and strong. He was unconscious but otherwise in good health, so she moved to the next.

Nelinia wasn’t as lucky. Her wounds were many and blood stained her yellow robes so that they had turned a mottled brown in places. ”Nel, you fool…. Mirabella chided her, trying to keep the strain from her voice. Yet, as she went to pull the monk’s sleeve back to examine her arm a flash of silvery light filled the entire room, causing the warrior to leap up and spin around with her hand upon her blade. The light had made her think of a magical attack and yet it was quite the opposite. The raven-haired woman that had been trussed up to one of the banquet chairs now crumpled to the floor soundlessly. The magic had felt… Beneficial instead of detrimental.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Travian Zarel Character Portrait: Cord Braxton
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#, as written by Celedia
Image



Siobhán attempted to move from the balcony to seek the wounded but it was as if the vrocks, like other predators could sense the weakest of the herd as the cleric suddenly became overrun with enemies. Yet, the pack of warriors and combatants that she was not truly a part of came to her aid just as quickly. Several monstrous demons were slain in her wake by the man she had blessed earlier, then the woman with short hair that she had called to for assistance. Spears and daggers drew the attention of many of the creatures until just one was left, trailing her so closely she could feel its hot breath through the thin fabric of her traveling gown.

It was then that the man everyone had named as the Prince came to her rescue. Quite obviously a well-trained swordsman, he pierced the half-ton creature then decapitated it in a flurry of movements before wrapping one muscular arm about her waist and settling the now-shocked cleric down upon the floor.

”You will live, stay strong.” His voice seemed calm and she could barely nod before he was off, weaving his self into the calamity once more. Though she heard shouts from many of the warriors urging their comrades to seek medical attention out upon the balcony on which she now rested there was no one else that came to her for the remainder of the battle. So with the Paladin guarding the entry to the balcony, Siobhán took the opportunity to kneel and pray to her Goddess. The Moonmaiden must be getting weary of me… The cleric thought with a hint of a smile tilting her lips but still she clasped her hands, eyes closed as she drew forth an image of Selûne in her mind as she thanked the Goddess for Her patience and guidance and begged Her once more for assistance.

The battle raging in the banquet room sounded fierce and they would all no doubt need some form of healing; healing which Siobhán was currently too weak to perform. It seemed that once more the Lady of Silver showed favor to the young cleric and the entire balcony became alight with Her blessing. To anyone that stood close to Siobhán including Cord and Travian, they would feel reenergized as if they had experienced a full night of sleep.

Thankfully, the war between demon and human had ended because Siobhán knew not how long the Goddess’ blessing would last and she wanted to perform the spell before she was once more too weary to do so. Stepping daintily over mutilated carcasses and trying to pick her way through the splatters of blood and gore that now littered the ground, Siobhán pressed on until she was directly in the center of the room. Her moss-hued eyes cast about, searching to make sure each and every human stood within range of her spell.

Then, without a word, she clutched her Holy Symbol between both hands and recited a few words in an ancient language, known only to the Selûnites. Whilst praying, her aura became visible as a shiny silver corona and once the last of the holy words had left her lips, the cleric thrust both arms straight out to her sides and her aura seemed to explode. That faint silvery glow pushed out from the center of the room like a tidal wave, flowing over her allies and once her energy was expended, Siobhán collapsed upon the ground, unconscious. The spell would heal any human of their serious or moderate wounds but may have left some scratches, bruises, etc if they were not life threatening. Unfortunately, the divine magic would also be unable to bring back the dead. Siobhán had obviously not been prepared for a battle at all, much less such heavy casualties. Her own hip wound remained unhealed but at least she gained no other injuries.

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Talsin Inicka


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rydas Errion
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#, as written by Modesty
Idassava’s Fallen Citadel
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


The silence that followed was thick, engulfing. It lasted only a second, but a second that held steady in Rydas’ heart for what felt like eons. It swelled and burst. There was shouting and yelling, accusations and harsh words all being thrown in mostly his direction. His eyebrows knit, momentarily confused; the lips that were moving belonged to the gentle Lance, but the words would have sounded more appropriate to the priest. Other joined the argument, chiding the words as childish and rash.

Pain ripped through his side. The Prince’s head rolled back to rest against the cold stonewall, eyes closing in momentary agony. His hand was still outstretched, waiting for the response to his query, which seemed to have been lost amongst the argument. It was only in this private moment that Rydas absently mused again; they, for the most part, had survived all the impending challenges and now it seemed like they would destroy themselves. The bronzed courtier contemplating putting them in their places like unruly brats, as was the usual, but he feared it would be his last breath.

Breathe. He in took a sharp breath from another stabbing pain. Eyes fluttered opened again to glance around the room in time to see Feylon’s fist punctuate the objections some had to the Priestadin. The ranger wasn’t the first he had pegged to raised word against what was being said; in past instances he would have been the first to spout them. Rydas had denounced the man a heretic from the get-go, but now he wasn’t so sure. Nothing was certain anymore.

A flash of light filled the room; a warmth slid over his skin and caressed his wounds, but as the light receded his wounds remained. Green vision glanced around the room at all his companions, newly healed, and quietly thanked whatever deity had blessed them with a new cleric. The Prince’s wounds, however, were too great to be healed. He smiled, sadly, he knew his fate. Rydas cleared his throat again. His voice was raspy, throat dry; “Please, someone, the emer-“

As words were spoken soft, familiar hands placed his wanted object into the palm of his hand. Gaze shifted to the quiet face of the woman who had saved him earlier. His rare smile, still sad, tugged a little wider. His head nodded in thanks, words too much to produce at present time. The weight of the gem in his hand seemed enormous. Fingers roamed over the smooth edges, feeling the shape much more than seeing it. His vision was blurry, hazing in and out of darkness. The words, harsh, still continued to flow from one adventurer to another but they were indiscernible from the Prince’s own heartbeat that now was slowing in his own ears.

The old Shaman was near him now, speaking of his father. At mention of the King Rydas snapped back to consciousness. His hand, that had been cupping still-deep wounds, braced himself against the wall while the other slid the gemstone into the carved indent. Blood smeared from covered hand, the wall giving away to a room. The room was filled with mass amounts of gold, and gems. Trinkets filled chests, treasures dotting the walls of the room and displayed on pedestals. A thick, tangible blanket of magic laced around the room. In the center, on a pedestal of it’s own, lay a necklace that could only be Panacea; the amulet that could heal all wounds and maladies.

”Save him, Shaman. Save Calisma.” Smile broadened again. The Prince collapsed. The amount of blood that pooled around his wounded body seemed too much for one man, but they had all seen enough death that day to know that Rydas was about to join their fallen comrades. His vision was quickly fading to darkness, the shadows closing in.

“Forgive me, Lakdov...” The names blurred together, his tongue heavy in his mouth, his last words babbling from loss of blood. “But fear not, for the crown is no longer in my fate…”

Rydas’s eyes closed and breath slowed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Siobhan Brennan Character Portrait: Travian Zarel
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Travian

The succubus didn’t rise to his challenge, but the vrocks did. They weren’t actually coming after him, but rather the wounded he was protecting. They were instinctively drawn to the weaker targets. If it wasn’t for the cleric’s spell he probably would have been overwhelmed, but with it he was quick and strong enough to intercept every beast that tried to get through. With so many coming at him he couldn’t keep track of what was going on in other parts of the room, and was beginning to get a little concerned that no one was making their way towards him. Was it a sign that the battle was going well or that his allies were unable to get to safety?

It was actually something of a relief to see Acacia stumbling towards him. He ran over to cover her from a pursuing beast, bashing it with his shield and then stabbing before it could recover from the shock. Not far behind him he heard the bard collapse onto the floor, she hadn’t made it to the balcony and was very exposed. He edged back closer to her but was too busy with oncoming vrocks to turn and get a better look at her injuries. He didn’t even realize that cleric had come out until he saw the flash of the prince’s sword out of the corner of his eye.

“Dammit we’re too spread out!”
he thought frustrated that he could do nothing to help his allies, though he was relieved to see the prince back to normal. He knocked down foe after foe but they just kept coming, keeping him pinned where he was; it didn’t take long for him to loose track of the cleric. And if that weren’t bad enough he could hear Acacia sobbing behind him. Then suddenly the stream of monsters ebbed. Looking around he saw that they had all stopped flying wildly around the room and were now moving toward the center where the succubus was.

He immediately went to check on Acacia. She had lost a decent amount of blood but aside from that her injuries weren’t too serious; none of her vitals were in trouble. She was still conscious but she may as well have been asleep for all the attention she was paying him or anyone else in the room. It seemed that her mental wounds were much worse than her physical ones. He took a look around the room again, the vrocks were still circling around the center of the room, he couldn’t see beyond the birds but he knew some of comrades must be in the middle of the vortex.

He had to do what he could to help them, but first he needed to help the bard while he was able to. He grabbed some water and bandages from his bag which he used to clean and wrap her wounds. It looked like they were pretty much done bleeding by this point, so with the bandages helping to stop it up she would be okay. He tried talking to her, but there was no response and mental wounds weren’t something he really knew how to heal. Sounds from the battle tugged at him, he was loathe to leave Acacia but he reminded himself that however damaged she was her life wasn’t in peril and he couldn’t say the same for those fighting.

He wasn’t going to leave her completely unprotected either. Using his shield he cast a ward around her, much stronger than the light ones he usually cast on himself. The ward came from the shield itself so he didn’t need to be holding on to it to keep the spell going. He leaned it up against the wall next to her. For about 15-20 minutes anyone trying to attack her would be repelled, though it probably wasn’t enough for a foe as powerful as the succubus it would easily stop the vrocks.

He needed to rest a moment after casting such a strong ward, the extra energy the cleric’s spell had provided was definitely used up now. But he still had strength enough to fight. He ran over to where he had placed his spears and quickly tossed the three light ones in to the vortex of Vrocks. Then taking a heavy spear in each hand he began picking off beasts from the outside. It was pretty awkward handling, spears definitely weren’t ever meant to be dual-wielded but the Vrocks were so focused on what was going on inside their midst that he didn’t need to do anything complicated. He simply thrust with both hands, one then the other; over and over again. In between the circling beast he could see some hint of the battle going on within, but nothing was really clear until the succubus howled out with pain for the first time. All the vrocks froze for a moment before disappearing entirely along with their mistress.

Once again Travian looked back at Acacia, but his attention was quickly drawn to the cleric who strode into the middle of the room where the battle had just been raging and performed a spell that healed and rejuvenated everyone in the room. Such a powerful spell took it’s toll immediately and she collapsed where she stood. He tried to rush in and catch her but was too late. The others were too busy arguing to even notice her, the woman had put all her energy into healing them and they couldn't do so much as catch before she fell on the hard floor. It really pissed him off and not just because he knew what it was like to have a spell completely drain you like that. Now that he was close to her he could see that she had a wound on her hip. At first he thought she must have been attacked when he hadn't seen her but on closer inspection he saw that the wound was very strange. It didn't look like it had actually been carved into her flesh, more like it had just manifested there. That struck a cord in his memory, he had heard of healers who took other's wounds onto themselves; but such a "gift" was truly rare. He took out his supplies to treat it but he wasn't sure how much good it would be, if it wasn't made like a normal wound than it might not heal like a normal wound either.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

"What happened? Nel happened!"

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

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

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

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

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

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

"Should I commend her for such recklessness?"

To decide either life or death.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Cord Braxton
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#, as written by Adantas
Plunging blackness that caused waves of dizzying nausea. There has no substance anywhere, an endless coursing of pain and confusion that Cord had never experienced before. Then in a sparking moment it was as if she were soaring above, she saw herself below but at the same time was completely conscious of herself lying there curled up in the fetal position. It was some unearthly nightmare and deep within herself she knew she was partly in the spiritual realm, brought on by the demons poison that was flowing through her. She had no control over anything, she was simply a helpless spectator to her own torture. Being so completely disjointed from herself it was as if her thoughts were finally her own and the timeless limbo that she had found herself in seemed to be the gateway to clarity. But with the clarity, knowledge that if she managed to return to reality, lucidity would not be hers. It struck something inside her, a deep grief that she would never be able to hold onto a firm understanding of anything. The grief and pain began to drown her. Her throat constricted and it felt as if her heart was seizing up. It seemed to magnify the utter deficiency that her life had been because she couldn't grip reality. The anguish she felt was a tidal wave of emotion burying her deeper and deeper within herself. Through hazy vision she watched as she began to slowly fall towards her limp body. She knew that should she connect with that feeble and defeated version of her consciousness, there would be no waking up.

This knowledge was just enough to cause a crack in the engulfing abuse of sehnsucht. It was as if she could see a small light streaming through the hole. Suddenly, any physically pain that she had felt before washed away, an abrupt relief wrapped around her pained limbs and aching organs. With this, the hole began to crumble and widen, letting in more light. The torment was weakening and she was slowly able to fight back. But it was hard going, having this sanity made it even harder to fight for reality. She would be giving up a lot, but if she didn't there was no chance of even surviving. She didn't know how, yet she forced her hand to reach for the light. It was like moving through syrup and having that prickling numbness all over each time she moved. There was no way of telling how close she was or how long she had been trying for, because in the next instant everything flashed white. Blinding yet she could see clearly. The pain was gone and any aching that she had for her sanity was ebbing away. In it's wake she could feel the cloudiness and strange confusion of her madness returning. She knew it wouldn't belong before she returned as before and would awaken. But before that moment, she saw two figures walking towards her, slowly losing their blurriness. Then, standing before her was Lady Silence and the man she had seen before. The same surge of power she had felt before in his presence was there but slightly dulled by the serenity that Lady Silence emitted. She knew she would only have a few moments with them and that brought a tear to her eye.

"I've missed you." She whispered, which was received by a sad smile from Lady Silence. The old woman took a step forward and placed her palm against Cord's cheek.
"I know child, but I've never been gone."
"Magdala, we have no time for this." The man's voice interrupted harshly. " She must know, future events depend on it."
Magdala turned to the man and said sharply."You have gone unfeeling for so long Seamus." A pause before she turned back to Cordelia. "I will do as I must. Sweet Cordelia, you must listen very carefully. I'm afraid I can't divulge in too many details but what you must know is that Royal blood will die but a king will live." A last deep look shared between them and then the two spirits were gone, ghostly words echoed in their absence. "Never let go of bravery and courage."


Cord woke up violently, she shot up, causing her head to rush. Blinking to take away the spots that were swimming in front of her vision she tried glancing around, trying to orient herself. She felt an emotion that she couldn't quite place nor understand why she was feeling it. Her memory of what happened only moments ago was all jumbled like pieces of a puzzle. None of it made sense but she knew that Lady Silence had spoken to her and that brought a bout of grief on. But something else pushed forward in her maze of a mind, something about blood, death, royalty and life. There was no way she could fully discern what it was but she knew it was important and she had to tell someone. Finally taking in her surroundings she realised that she was on some sort of balcony. How she got there she had no idea. There were people everywhere, but at the same time there was no one near her. She felt terribly alone and even the furious spirits had quietened down to a gentle chatter. But then rising from the quiet came the distinct sounds of yelling. Coming sharply into some sense, or as much that was normal to Cord, two men were arguing and nearby there were several unconscious bodies. Cord recognised one of them as Oats and a sudden sense to to go her aid struck her but another man quickly attended her. There was more arguing and talking which then broke out into a fight. Cord simply watched, dazed and confused.But she soon lost interest, her eyes drifting to another body. She felt a sort of tingling in the back of her head as she gazed at the man. Realisation struck her. It had been the cloaked one, but he was no longer cloaked in blackness. But that wasn't just it. There was something about what the spirits had told her. If only her mind wouldn't twist and distort like that of a disrupted pool! Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated she rose to her feet. Graceful as ever she took gliding steps towards the Prince. By this time, the fighting had been stopped and a woman had come to kneel beside the Prince. She had placed a strange amulet thats jewel shone iridescently. Oblivious to the others Cord stepped towards the two and gently knelt down.

"Of unshielded mystery and copious confusion, much blunder and triumph the knot has tied. Then, now and forthcoming all connected. Leaking blue, spilt now untold. Drawn askew but not erased. The pointed coronet which lays upon the dying will remain. But the ghastly grips of Thanatos has squeezed all of the last drop of blue. One will die for the other to live. Here or there we will see." All through her idiom her eyes never left the Princes pale and serene face. Her voice, no louder than normal, seemed to echo throughout the hall. As soon as the last resonance of sound left her mouth, she stood again. No longer interested in the prince as she knew that his life was now in the hands of something much more powerful than her, she fervently searched for Oats. Her ominousness gone, replaced with a wild eagerness. Finally spotting Oats she bounds towards them. She paid no heed to the grim atmosphere that had blanketed the room. Halting in front of the young man carrying Oats, her brow creased slightly.

"A bright glow and hearty proficiency, umbrageous no more but tucked unto languor." Cord sounded a tad impatient at the fact that Oats was sleeping soundly and wasn't awake since she had been healed. Like an impudent child, this upset Cord and wanting her way now, she swiftly removed something from her small pouch that hung to the side of her waist and thrust it under Oats' nose.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Talsin Inicka Character Portrait: Iravey Inicka Character Portrait: Cordelia Braxton
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#, as written by Skwidge
Talsin Inicka


Tal shifted uneasily in his stance, feeling no sudden bombardment of bodies against his own, which was good, of course. He turned back around, only to be confronted by a very strange and boisterous woman stomping towards him. The male twin took a cautious step back, but it was to no avail. "A bright glow and hearty proficiency, umbrageous no more but tucked unto languor." Her babbled sentence immediately threw him into confusion, thus making her next action throw him off guard even more.

The woman suddenly grabbed something out of a pouch and brandished it towards him. ”Woah, woah, woah! Hey, personal space! W-what are you-“ The woman took no heed of his words, and thrust the object straight past him to the lady on his back.

He then gagged, his face scrunching up for effect as his eyes began to water slightly. ”It’s shin mah noshe, oh godsh, what ish that!? Aughhh, it burnshhh!” Tal doubled over, despite the woman on his back, trying to get the vile smell out of his system. However, without any warning, the woman’s weight shifted, and her grip tightened violently around his neck, causing him first to sneeze- successfully dispelling the object’s effects- but it then began to restrict his windpipes. ”Urk.” With a choke, his hands started to gingerly, though frantically, pull at the woman’s strangling grip in attempts to make her loosen up. However, he hardly had to, as she just as suddenly eased up on her own, readjusting her position.

The male twin felt the soft tap on his shoulder and he turned his head to look at her. "Excuse me, would you mind letting me down? Thank you for your help, but I think I am fine now.” He blinked, a second passing before he dropped his arms. She immediately slipped from his back and stepped away from him. He ran a hand through his hair for a moment before he realized what else was going around him.

His eyes focused on the Prince, who was just laying there silently, his breathing slowing down dramatically. Tal’s gaze was suddenly distracted by the chamber filled with treasures and his precious harp. His mind went two ways, one rooting him to where he was standing, the other desperately wanting to go to his item. The yellow monk entered the room and grabbed the amulet resting on the pedestal, rushing back to the Prince and draping it over his neck.

Iravey Inicka


Ira had returned to the place near the Prince after she had saved Tal from being mauled by two very large men, again. It had actually happened before in their lifetime. However, the Prince caught her eye once again. The bright flash of light that seemed to heal everyone didn’t affect him at all, and that troubled the female twin deeply.

Once again, she swept by his free side, as the yellow robed woman entered the chamber he had opened with his requested emerald, while another man stood by, speaking about his father. Ira placed a hand on his forehead for a moment, his blood quic