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Calisma

Calisma

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a part of Calisma, by Modesty.

None

Modesty holds sovereignty over Calisma, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,602 readers have been here.

Heads Up: Completed Storyline!

This universe is marked as COMPLETED, indicating that no further changes will be accepted.

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Calisma

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Minimap

Calisma is a part of Calisma.

21 Characters Here

Rydas Errion [137] First Prince of Calisma
Mirabella d'Adreci [99] Only the dead have seen the end of war.
Senalae Errion [27] First Princess of Calisma
Siobhan Brennan [24] It's harder to heal than it is to kill.
Talsin Inicka [21] "You can find beautiful music in any situation. You just have to know how to look for it."
Iravey Inicka [15] "If one remains mute, one hears and sees everything."
Vyga uther, Emerth [10] Strength is not all tha is required of me, unity is also needed for this agreement.
Tariel Vaynell [8] I mean, I'll do my best, but don't expect miracles. I'm not that amazing.
Cadeyrn Gaile [8] "...."
Emma Armelle [7] Do I make you uncomfortable? Are you sure it's me, and not that stick up your ass?

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen

Earnings

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[Ignore]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Megara Archend'ja Character Portrait: Asla Somon Character Portrait: Azevrec

Earnings

0.00 INK

“Now accept Deud as the supreme and One deity my child” Said the priest as he pushed the cup against the woman`s lips, she was crying and Akdov could only hope it was of joy, for he now knew that the pain was gone, kind as he and his religion were today was not the time to be gentle she had to drink the whole pint in one sip or the ritual would not please Deud and no healing would be done, but she did not waver she swallowed it whole and even coughed when she was finally done.
The crowd around them murmured a little while being awestruck by the little show that was going on

What’s next will leave them baffled

He stood up grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her to his gaze and then left her standing there, the whispers and talk began to increase and Akdov grinned “Look at the power of Deud simple folk, this woman had a broken leg yesterday and now she walks proudly thanks to the blessings of the lord!” the people looked at each other in astonishment, he turned to the woman and said in a tone in which only they could listen “Go child, go with the blessing of the one whom you have pleased with your devotion and joy and fear not for its loving gaze is set upon you keep pouring drinks to the thirsty in the Hurried Hag and Deud will be satisfied by your actions” she smiled and nodded as she ran away, she had not been able to run in weeks.
The crowd moved aside as he walked along and his acolyte was quick to join him “Most impressive priest” the young lad said, he was one of the few other members of the clergy of Deud in this heathen city of old “Do remember acolyte, that Deud will only care for those that bring joy to the great hall, that woman despite being of a foreign god had a lifestyle that pleased the lord and as such her body has mended, we are not miracle workers by any stretch we simply look over the flock and are blessed to mend their pains”

They arrived to their “church” a building half collapsed outside the city walls, it had been a farm before but lighting struck it and the family had been consumed in a fire, since none wanted to claim a cursed ground Akdov had been quick to move in and gear it to be a worthy place in which Deud might look and smile.

There were the few faithful and devout, they still did not number a hundred much to his dismay but the believers increased slowly but surely he went to the altar and gathered their attention “Believers!” he shouted and drew their looks “It is not the title a man holds or the one who sired him that Deud looks upon when it shares the blessings of joy” they looked uneasy, he had never addressed them like this before and change meant trouble “The noble king Errion is in need as you might know, yet cultists and priests of lesser gods have tried their methods and failed and now Deud looks to his priest on Paetax to deliver the solution to a man that keeps the peace that the lord cherishes so” he waved to his acolyte to get closer and tried to reassure the lad, he had a look on his face that made it clear that he would rather be anywhere but there his suspicion were correct, without Akdov to lead the Church he would have to begrudgingly step up as the priest of that sect “I present you to Azevrec he will lead the party in my absence and I ask you to support him in my stead for the path of Deud while merry is never easy”

Azevrec had drowned him with questions and doubts, the lad was regrettably not ready but few are when the time required them to step up, Akdov had told him to refer to the tome of truth for guidance and remember the trials and rituals of Deud to lead the guests of the lord`s party.
He finally arrived to the Black Vagabound and the barkeep recognized him “Vinny” he said as the man recognized him “Priest? We are not in serving hours I’m afraid” Akdov shook his head “Tis true I come here for a good drink but I`ve come here to assist the king as well” the barkeep, Vinny, laughed out loud “You assaulting the brewery to serve the king?” it was a shame that despite his work Deud was still not taken seriously “Aren’t you a funny one, get me a drink damn you!” the barkeep did as he was told and began combining a brew for the priest, he had apparently memorized his favorite.
He found that his favorite seat was occupied by a woman, if her hair was shorter, the armor heavier and a beard to cast no doubt one would easily mistake her for a pretty and attractive man, but a man nevertheless
Near the counter, a man that could have been mistaken for a shaggy dog if not for the size and the fact that he did not walked on all fours also could be found at the counter, they looked like a merry lot he sat between them in the counter “Don’t mind me” he looked around and was amused by the company
First he noticed the woman with the lute, he could swear he had seen her before maybe even last night; she was a newcomer to the bars of Paetax but won the patrons with her songs
There was the slim girl who seemed to be ignoring everything around her, she looked like a religious one and could be well in a deep prayer to her unworthy god, he would make an effort to show her the errors of those paths, starting by the fact that she was drinking water “Vinny, fetch that woman something to drink and put it on my tab”
He saw then a young woman who had yet to take a good bite out of life, she did not seemed to pay much mind to her mage seal, well after all concealing that was against the law, or was that only on Queran?
Then there were the remarkably unremarkable 3 lots that made Akdov clutch his coin purse to check if it was still there of it weighted the same, they looked like rogues or thieves in their shadowy figures and capacity to blend in made him uneasy, it was hard enough for a priest to get coin and to have these wicked fellows prey on honest men was something that he was not looking forward to traveling with.
Finally a man garbed so well that all he needed was a perfume and powered cheeks and maybe a pair of men behind him agreeing to everything he said in order to complete the set of rich and spoiled, this must be the one that promise all that gold, Akdov caught the cup that slid from the other corner of the counter and drank it in just one sip.

Let’s see what you’ve got

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Celedia
[Ignore- damn posting]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

Gallow pulled his face out from his hands, eyes clenched shut against a hailstorm of conflicting thoughts. This bitter cacophony had been playing out since the day his uncle had spoken to him. The whole wretched ordeal made his stomach knot. It wasn't so much what he had to do (or could do, better yet), but what was at stake either way. So many brittle pieces, so many clamoring choices. For as loud as they were, to their merit, they were little more than whispers for all the attention he refused to give to them. Not even a battle could be this difficult! With one move the whole game's outcome could be blown to tiny pieces strewn against the grain. A murder-strike to the head of the "grand design" the more perfervid priests wailed about from their pedestals. It didn't sit well with him, just like everything else at the moment refused to settle.

He'd arrived in Paetax nearly four days before and boarded in one of the city's more well-to-do inns. There he was suddenly overcome by a swift bout of anxiety. This shocked him. He was never nervous, not since he was a young boy on his first day in the Academy. Why, now, did some meandering particle of weakness worm its way back into his brain? Accursed misfortune, maybe. It incensed him to no end. But, he challenged, maybe it was all to do with the potential, or the "jitters" as he'd heard some put it. No matter what the reason, it had to be alleviated. It would not do to enter into this affair unsettled and, therefore, unprepared. With his mind all a-mess he would be prone to missteps or worse.

He'd taken the time he had to wander the city. It was not the Deluge, and he found himself unconsciously criticizing how it was so unlike his home. The tromping cadence of the Siadhail was absent, as were the droning hums and rhythms of the pipes and drums that had grown so familiar throughout his childhood. It was also colder in Paetax. The March was so near the desert that, some days, one could swear the sands themselves were bearing down upon them in furious tumult. He'd served his time on the border with the Southern Guard. Those barren wastes, rolling on and on in the distance, seemed alive, and some of the veterans even told stories of them moving. There was no telling what horrors might have dwelt in that drought-laden hell. He missed them not. In truth, while the climate change was a bit unsettling, it was not exactly unwelcome.

He partook in no pleasantries during his short stay. He wandered the streets daily so as to clear his head, or at least that had been the hope of it. It never worked. No disillusionment came to his aid, however sorrowful it might have been. Time did not avail him, and at last the day finally came, the day the notice had said to meet at the Black Vagabond. He was still unprepared, though he was somewhat bolstered now that the coming ordeal was staring him in the eye. Rising from his seat he went to the window. Outside a bell was tolling, and he watched as the masses halted apprehensively. He could delay no longer.

Already dressed, the final preparations were made. He pieced his armor together, enclosing himself in a thick, defensive coffin. Lastly came his helm, and once locked into place he felt.. whole. As restrictive as it was it brought him calm, and his troubled mind began to ease. He took his axe in hand, holding it steady at his side, and left the inn behind. Citizens of the city scurried out of his way, wary of the farmed figure, and though many may have feared the worst of him he never faltered in his step. Some of the guards recognized the wear, and kept respectfully to themselves. When, at last, he reached the Black Vagabond he paused. This was it. The anticipation for this single moment mounted in a rush of adrenaline, drowning all fear in flame. He pushed the door open and entered.

His eyes ran over those gathered within, and he couldn't help but think it was a rather.. "colorful" lot. Then he noticed the man at the back, the one standing. So, a cold voice whispered, it was the Prince.. the Ulaid were right. Standing as tall as he could, he announced himself as he had been trained to do, "I hope I'm not too late to partake in this venture, Your Highness. I am Gallow Ó Tuathaláin, son of Farrow; Champion under the Fourth Banner of the Deluge. I offer my services to you, to aid in the restoration of the health of the King." He fell silent, and did not move. He'd spoken his piece.

Setting

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No characters tagged in this post!

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((Herpderp, posted to the wrong one))

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice was silent the entire time. She said no words, not of protest or that of surprise. She watched as everyone fidget and helped one another. She watched as men came in late with stains and unruly hair. Some even in armor. Her eyes remained on the Prince who never wavered from his train of thought once. She listened till she was satisfied with the explanation. Her first thought was not of laughter or foolishness for the Prince, but rather if she would have done the same if it was her own father on the line. The answer was yes. She would have done anything to say him. But this was much more than just his duty to his father; it was his duty as a Prince. He was gambling on a quest, that may or may not have been true, but for the peace of our land and the people of our souls. Her eyes shifted to those who tried not to laugh and held only disappointment. If they didn't take the quest seriously, they why join? What a bunch of fools. As the Prince finished speaking he asked for introductions. The room had ben abandoned pretty fast when the Prince was done. That only made Alice angry. What type of people were they if they could not trust their own Prince? She tried to ignore her anger and concentrated on the speaking. The first woman that gave her own name was a woman that narrowed her eyes at Alice. One thing was sure, she was not liked. How troublesome that would be. The next was a thief. By the end of his introduction, Alice had a smile placed on her lips, not large enough o see but just enough to know it was there. One by one the introductions took place. Alice switched her eyes between everybody, only hearing bits and pieces of the introductions. Her main focus was now on how they all stood or held their posture. Wouldn’t want to get lost in the quest. Alice felt shivers run down her back as she took in every ones appearance. Exciting or plain foolishness for going into a quest whens he had just gotten her Seal remained yet a mystery to the Mage.

Last, was a Bard. Alice paid no attention to her words but more to her instrument. It was beautiful. She liked it. Just as she liked the yellow robes. They left her wanting some herself. The small figure had surprised her when she broke the glass, but it also gave her hope. At least the Prince hadn’t got such a terrible group. It was then when Alice was about to give her own introduction that the man who ranted on about his own God just a bit too much, spoke. His words were venom to some and to others, much like Alice herself, they were hard not to laugh at. Not that she thought it was funny neither how he was making an enemy nor how he was dividing everyone by his simple words. She tried to hide her laughter for it was funny how the man was ruining the games before he even began. It was funny how he would say horrible stuff, not only tot eh King but to people here and not give a second glance. And, when she was being truthful, the last part about the merchant left her giggling silently to herself. There was a large smile playing on Alice's lips. She would witness a great fight, not getting hurt herself, and before the quest even began. If she was lucky, maybe she would witness the Prince boil in rage but she pray that eh quest wouldn't be cancelled over a few insults. She still wanted to show her pointy nosed teacher what she was made of. How was a girl supposed to do that without a quest?

Alice retreated back, the introduction she had planned, completely gone. She placed her head in her arms that were sprawled on the table and she rested. This was silly and Alice would take no part in this. When it was over, they could wake her. And she had another thought in mind. This quest, no matter how interesting it sounds and no matter how prepared she was to go, was still quiet scary. Did the Prince have any leads at all? Where to begin in this quest that has only a mere thread of information for us to use and what about expenses? There were mismatched groups of lots here and just how were they going to travel? Where would they sleep? The Prince had money, would he spend it? There wasn't that much of a chance that they would even succeed, yet if he was gambling this much, surely, he could gamble some money. Oh well. The group was smart... Someone would ask... Eventually. Alice would be ready to hear it whent ehy did. The petite Mage closed her eyes, her hair falling over her face, completely covering it. She was a Mage that just had gotten her Seal. She was excited to try out her power and impress anyone that she could. The small fire the other Mage had made left Alice a bit flustered. He was a Mage himself; maybe he too would be like her teacher and spot the flaws she was trying to hide. But that mattered not, for now; all that mattered was getting this quest on the road. Alice draped the hood of her fur cloak over her head, just to make sure if things break they wouldn't hit her. Maybe, she would become a stronger woman than before after this quest. A foolish thought remained in her head. A light smile danced. If I get stronger after I help the King get well, maybe, even though my skin will be ruined and I'm lazy, I might still be able to get married. Maybe I'll have so much strength that others will be left wide eyed. I wish to marry right after this quest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched the final possible members of the group introduce themselves. A ranger, and archer to be precise, at least they wouldn't be lost in the forest. A mage from Thoav. Hayley would watch her back around anyone from her old hometown, especially a mage. Even though Hayley liked magic, and valuable magic items, she saw most mages as arrogant people, and this one was already showing off. At least he said he was on it for the glory, like everything mages do. The last one to speak was a bard, maybe the group would be entertained with this girl around, and she could always tell tales of their success should they ever return alive with the necklace.

And then, like it always happens, a perverted man decided to get on Hayley's nerves. The drunken priest started talking, questioning the need for a "merchant", putting Hayley's lie in question, she wasn't a very good liar after all, maybe that's why almost everyone gave her a weird look when she said it. The stupid man also had to make a comment on her body didn't he? This is when being a beautiful woman sucks, when you are around drunken perverts. Hayley stood straight and her face started feeling very warm. "Indeed, among other things, I also deal with death if that's what you look for, stupid old man, but you shall not worry about the price, yours will be free if you keep looking at me." She spat out, taking a few steps forward.

Hayley took a breath before explaining what she was. "I have grown tired of the business, and decided to change the way I live, adventuring is a lot more glorious and exciting than discussing prices." She said another half-truth, the girl fought the urge to draw a dagger and stab the man, pull one of his eyes out or turn him into an eunuch.

Then the other idiot, the mage from Thoav, spoke in his turn. Hayley got furious and almost threw one of her daggers at him, but decided against it, the mage didn't seem to be powerful enough to brag over killing him, it wouldn't be wise to start a fight with all these warriors around. But Hayley wasn't know for being prudent. The girl swiftly moved to stand just behind the mage, drawing a dagger. "Are you sure you want to make fun of me? We may have different definitions of fun." She said with a grin, dagger in hand, if he made any more stupid comments Hayley would end up stabbing this man. She examined the back door the barkeep used earlier to disappear, seemed like a good escape route should it be needed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

Why had he always failed to be so… sharp when he needed to? The merchant was already closer than he would like and worse of all she was going for the bearded mage, damnit it should be the priest not the mage… he had to make her priorities change and she looked like quite the hot head it would not be hard

“Now listen to me wench, who is to blame the joker or those who laugh It was I who spat at your honesty not him, leave him out of it!” there was death in her eyes “Come and get done with it Ive got all night to get stabbed!” Deud would welcome him in the great hall he knew

And she seemed to be going to indeed do something about it, the mage was not content with being merely an spectator and was preparing a surprise of his own, Akdov wanted to shout for him to not do anything stupid when a voice interrupted them
“Enough” it was the swordsman, woman, she then continued to mark the errors in their ways and what Akdov had failed to communicate, if they did not work together they would be doomed from the start

The lying fire crotch had shown everything Akdov needed to know, she was a short tempered brute which despite the lies failed to hide the simplicity of her ways, judging that the situation was distinctively cooler now, the priest knew that the shield woman was the one that he should look upon for guidance and support most of all

He trailed after her giving a glance to the liar and the mage, he wanted to tell them to behave but it stuck in his gut not quite coming out
Making it out he saw her, the Triansui “Lady I think we need a word about this whole endeavor, something is rotten in this company and I think you are the one with the best judgment”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

And for every stone to drop, another will follow. At least that looked to be the way of things in life. The foolish cleric had stepped in it, as well as the mage, it seemed. He had not realized the overly bearded man had said something worthy of retribution. He watched the fiery haired "merchant" carefully. If she made to strike, should he stop her? Would it be worth it to go to the aid of the poor fellow? Then again, could he even be swift enough to cease a strike before it made marriage with flesh? Regardless, he was fixated on the focal point of tension, torn between decisions. This really was not his battle, unless it spilled his way.. he supposed there was no real reason to get himself involved in their sinuous stupidity. Although he really did not feel up for a fight were one to break out. Damned be these inconveniences," Gallow sighed into his glass.

Perhaps the truest shock came when the Triansui spoke up. When she put her foot down. He had to look over the tavern once more. Just how many women had shown up to volunteer for this mad venture? His mind on this one was made up rather swiftly: she truly did seem a warrior. All the better, really. He would have been disappointed had she turned out to be just a girl with a pretense of strength and nothing more. He could hardly blame her for removing herself from the room after the preceding nonsense. Anyone with half a brain in their head would have been fed up with it! But then, of course, the priest followed her. At least he was no longer in present company, although he did feel sorry for the woman. No one should have to put up with someone who seemed to breath sanctimonious trash.

He noticed a girl with her head down sitting alone, and wondered what exactly she was doing there. Could she have come for the quest, too? If she had, perhaps she was having second thoughts about her decision? His thoughts were interrupted by the bloodied bastard who'd been silent up 'til now. What he had to say... Well... Gallow nearly had a hard time keeping himself from laughter. This was most indisputably unorthodox behavior from Gallow's experience. The Ulaid may be civilized, but they were still nobles, and rather unforgiving ones at that! Most held their tongues in the presence of a Lord or Lady. When riled to anger they were capable of unpredictable and delightfully heterogeneous forms of viciousness in retaliation for such verbal offenses. Nonetheless, it was more than comical. Perhaps it was his detached emotional state, but Gallow did not immediately register how this would effect the Prince. Rydas was justifiably defensive, but he contained his anger.

Releasing a quiet breath, Gallow set down his glass and turned. "I can not know what affect my words may have, particularly if none have yet heeded the Triansui's nor the Prince's counsel, though I feel an obligation to reinforce what they have offered. From my experience the key to the success of any endeavor, especially one where those who undertake the weight together differ tremendously in their beliefs, lies in two things: devotion to the task and to carrying your share of the burden, and tolerance when facing diversity. Bickering like children has only ever led to the ruination and complete dissolution of any undertaking such foul influences have met." He spared a moment for a breath before adding, "If any here think themselves incapable of meeting those standards, perhaps it would be favorable for them to take their leave. Maybe I am not alone in my opinion on this matter." He bowed his head respectfully to the Prince, and returned somberly to the remainder of his wine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Acacia smiled and nodded back at the loud and almost obnoxious priest, Akdov, the knife seeming to disappear as it went back up her sleeve. Though he was loud and somewhat insulting, he also offered a great source of entertainment. Of course his comments, along with the mage's, were obviously quite offinsive and even hostile toward the redheaded "merchant." Acacia just hoped her temper didn't match her hair.

Which apparently it did. Acacia watched, groaning inwardly as Hayley began defending herself from the priest, only to lose her temper at the mage's comments. The redhead strode up to the man, coming to a stop behind him with a dagger now drawn that she was wielding threateningly. This argument sparked several others, who either tried to quench the fight, like Mirabella, who then waked out, or others who only made it worse, such as the man who had walked in bloody before. He apparently is good at antagonizing, Acacia thought with an inward smirk. She had few doubts that this would explain his interesting appearance.

Acacia could already see this dissolving into a proper bar fight. After hearing even the prince getting irritated, Acacia figured she might as well step in between the two still tense instigators of this. They also only seemed to be getting more strained as the mage began threatening as well. Acacia watched as sparks began popping out in his palm. She quickly moved her lute where it would be out of the way, scooted out from behind her table, gracefully rolled over another without disturbing its contents, and landed beside Hayley, a small smile on her face.

"Now, stupid words from drunken idiots aren't worthy of your time, are they?" she said gently. In a lower voice, she continued, "Don't worry, I will help you get back at those louts later," she smiled a bit wider, gently pushing the dagger from its currently threatening position.

"As for you, Callavan, was it? It would probably be wise to cool your head as well. Wouldn't want to get into too much fun tonight, now would we?" she said with a wink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
After his own introduction he heard the words of the Prince ring in his ear.

"Keep straight and narrow? That's fine with me if my stomach is filled. I usually only take money from those that seem more than well off, and only enough for bread, water, and the occasional fruit" he said with a smile.

The introductions went by quickly, for now he wouldn't try to remember the occupation of all those that have introduced themselves. His mind more kept to the thought of keeping the name and face in check, and in memory as best he could. He thought of the awkwardness of having to ask for the person's name as they traveled, and not just once but having to ask multiple times. He could feel the back of their hands on his cheek already, as they tried to smack their names into his head with it.

"Ok, in order, first was, Mirabella D'....' he paused, unable to remember the rest, 'It's fine, I remember her first name so it should be fine' he thought looking down at his hand counting the amount of people as he thought of their name. 'Second was me, after me was the man that came in just a moment ago, Gallow, I believe he said his name was. After him was that guy,' he thought, looking towards the bearded priest, he could recall no name even being given. 'After him was the monk, Nel-inia?' he paused his thoughts again, 'I suppose I'll have to ask again later,' although he thought he was correct, it wouldn't hurt to ask, or would it? 'After her was the fake merchant, Hayley, easy enough to remember,' he thought back to her introduction, the pause and the way her eyes searched for the words to describe her occupation. A lie, but a lie close to the truth, he had his own theories as to her true occupation, although only time would tell. 'Let's see after her was, ranger, Na-. Another difficult one, Nari-something, I suppose I'll have to ask her as well. Then a man, a mage for hire as he said, Calla-... Perhaps I shouldn't call anyone by name for a good while. Finally was the bard girl, Acacia. I think' he sat for a moment, a bit disappointed in himself for not being able to remember their names as he should. Although it was no surprise, for the last some odd years he had been traveling from town to town at quite a pace, he rarely even learned a person's name. He hoped that time would slowly allow him to absorb this information at his own pace.

The scene managed to change quite drastically from the end of the final person to introduce themselves. All in quite the fast flow, it even seemed as if the scene that has displayed itself before him had been rehearsed several times before actually being done. Xan didn't say anything, he simply listened and observed the people that had started arguments and quarrels with each others. It was strange, but he couldn't help but smile and laugh a bit at the sight before him, perhaps a tavern with alcohol was not the best place for people of different backgrounds to have a first encounter in.

The first to call for the return of order was the warrior woman, Mirabella, although her words were true it didn't seem to have quite a large impact on the burning temper of those that were in the heat of their arguments. It was a bit saddening really, the voice of reason overwhelmed by the shouts of anger. As the scene manged to escalate it seemed as if the idea of everyone killing each other would be coming true before the journey even started. If this was the beginning how would things looks in the midst of their adventure. Xan shook his head, thinking about such a thing to much won't do anything, he couldn't see into the furture. Not that far anyway. Then again this could be the best possible result for the first time meeting of such a colorful bunch. He leaned back into his chair with a slight grin.

"Everyone is so lively," he said quietly, laughing a bit to himself. This wasn't what he had wanted, he hoped that everyone would be able to get along, but again this was just the introduction stage. Perhaps moods, views, and feeling will change as time passed, hopefully. Although thinking about it now, if he were to tell the tale of this to his family even the beginning would be filled with action and fights, although the fights would be among those that were supposed to be allies. Would they be impressed, or would they laugh? All he knew for now is if this continued through their journeys there would be little moments that would be dull and boring. Then another thought rang out to him, should he interject? What good would that do? He didn't exactly have a way with words. It seemed as if the only thing that could calm the bunch would be a strike of lightning landing in the middle of the tavern. There were already some that were trying their best to settle the quarrels that had sprung up among the groups, the best thing for him to do would be for him to stay back and let those that had the skills in words to settle these matters.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

It seemed they were still too entrapped within their own petty squabbles to listen to any reason, Gallow shook his head sadly. Might this be the will of some nameless divinity, then? Were they not even to step out the door before their quest was destroyed from within? "Only if the will of men is shattered entirely will the gods put down their hands and obliterate all unity," he'd one heard an Accordant (a holy warrior, much like a paladin) say. They had not listened to the warrior woman, nor to the Prince, and now even his advice was quieted by their explosive and childish tantrums. He placed no blame on the girl, the "merchant". He may have doubted her, but perhaps she had her reasons. The priest was the source of contention; the blackened root who would only grow to bear dying fruit.

He turned his head, just a fraction, when the monk tried to intervene. Her conviction was honorable, though her manner was questionable. It would either cause others to think her a joke, or inspire something in them to listen and quell their fury. She seemed so innocent in the way she stood and spoke. Gallow entertained the idea that she did not belong outside her isolated world. It might prove to be just too much in the end, he worried. Now how odd is that? I am actually concerned over this? Then came the bard to put her weight into the moment, pressing for peace from the clamorous stupidity. Now her response held a little more worth, from where Gallow was concerned. Though how the mage might take it...

The door opened, and the Triansui returned. Gallow watched intently, his curiosity piqued, as she made her way to the Prince without so much as sparing a glance at the bickering two, and pledged her services to Rydas' cause. Such is a soldier, Gallow thought with a smirk. He barely caught Feylon's own introduction, and raised an eyebrow as he made his way back out from where he'd come. Definitely one of the more interesting candidates for this mission, to be sure. He prayed things would only calm from here. It seemed the will of men, and women, was beginning to shine again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
The voice of the Prince stirred Xan from his slightly foggy state of mind, the arguments and in fighting bored him to the point that his brain nearly shut itself off. He straightened a bit in his chair, hoping the next things that would be said would officially begin their journey for this mythical amulet. Unfortunately his hopes were not achieved, the Prince was clearly upset by the quarrels that sprang about and he gave everyone a day to clear this minds and cool off. It was for the best, and more than likely couldn't be helped. If they had set off in this mood then the journey very well could have had a very sudden and abrupt ending. He watched Prince Rydas leave the tavern, in a somewhat dramatic and entertaining way. He leaned back in his chair, his back almost parallel with the floor as he stared up at the ceiling.

'I suppose it can't be helped' he thought to himself, he straightened out in his chair and looked around the room, the atmosphere still felt a bit heavy to him.

Xan gave a sigh of disappointment, another day till everything was to begin, and it would probably feel as if it were the longest day in history to him. He thought for a moment about what he would need for this journey. It was a short process, so long as there was food he didn't really need much else, it would be easier to travel with a light pack and a full stomach. He gave a grunt as he forced himself up from his chair, a clearly audible moan as he stretched his limbs. There was nothing much else for him to do here, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a few coin, enough for a light meal.

"If there is anyone calm left, feel free to join me for a bite to eat" he said out loud as he headed towards the door, "Especially if you know where one can get a cheap, yet tasteful meal" he laughed as he said those words. He knew there wasn't such a thing, not that he knew of anyway. It was always the same, a loaf of bread, some water, and an apple or orange if he was lucky. His mind drifted for a moment from the thought of an exciting journey, to the thought of what kinds of foods would he eat at its end. His hunger was expressed to nearly everyone as his stomach gave a loud rumble, he hadn't eaten anything yet today, the excitement managed to fill his stomach until now. With the feeling gone, and a day to wait, only a void was left calling for something to fill it. "Alright, alright" Xan mumbled as he patted his stomach, there was still time left in the day, perhaps he could obtain a bit more coin to be able to purchase something a bit more filling than bread for a meal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin

Earnings

0.00 INK

He found his glass nearly empty about the same time the Prince bid them farewell, leaving them with their instructions and an awkwardly silent tavern to do whatever they wished amongst themselves. He had to wonder if whether or not that was even remotely a wise decision, or then again it could have just as well been an excuse to leave the whole disparaging situation behind. But, before his very eyes, he watched as the butting heads backed away, their fires fanned, and they drifted off to their separate corners to do as they wished. He sipped the last bit of his drink and set the glass down, wondering silently what he should do, now. Go back to his room at the inn? Well.. he'd have to, anyway. His sword was still there - he'd decided to leave it behind, though he had stored his dagger away in his boot as usual - along with all of his supplies. And as he sat there thinking, staring into an empty glass, the tavern slowly emptied of those remaining who'd come to answer the call. Gallow had clearly heard the invitation to the pub, but he had little love for company at the moment and treasured what time he would have to sort out his troubled mind.

Time ticked away around him, leaving him behind in its smooth passage until the burning gold above was gone below the horizon. He felt it little by the time he finally found his legs again. Collecting his weapon and his helm, Gallow left the Black Vagabond behind without a word and made his way back to the inn through the city's nighttime crowd. There was a bard entertaining guests on the lower floor when he arrived, but he ignored the warm light, the smell of food and turned an uncaring ear to the pleasant song as he made his way up the stairs to utter solitude - or as close as one could come to it in a city, really. He laid his armor out with care, looking over every inch of forged steel. There was a story in the plates of metal. His armor had been made new for wear some years ago, and he'd tended to the suit lovingly in much the same spirit the master craftsman who'd made it had when he personally worked and shaped armor into art.

Sometimes he envied the gods. Their absolute awareness and certitude. There were no moral quandaries for them about right or wrong, and their sight went far beyond into all things unknowable to the mortal mind. For a human could only guess (no matter how skilled their powers of deduction might be) as to how the pieces would lay when they fell a certain way. But he had not been blessed to be as they were, and so he and all the others of this world simply had to make due. A wretched state of affairs in all truth, but there was no rhyme or reason in arguing. Which begged again the question: why was he still feeling hesitant?! Questioning oneself in such a way was just akin to fighting circumstance. He supposed that, in the end, it was all because he was only human. His frustration lent him strength, and he buried the anxiety away.

Now the real battle was whether or not he would even be able to sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

  • Bedroll.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur

Earnings

0.00 INK

The priest walked alone amongst the streets of Paetax, there was a lot in his mind, shame, rage, doubt, disappointments and delusions.
Yet there was a clear drive behind him, pushing him forward even if all the lot had forsaken the prince it would be both of them, hell if the prince had turned tail it would be him alone and if the group expelled him then he would set out on his own, his conviction had been renewed after last night

A dream…no, a vision

He had seen the hall lord, and it was disappointed by the priest`s lack of sight and trust in the plans of the merry one, why if such a task was being trusted to him did he felt like abandoning it?

The walk away from the tavern was easy, he was cursing the whole lot of them under his breath calling them sinners and heathens and worse o so much worse, yet when he fell on the dream night he saw a bloodied crown falling on the ground shattering as the shadows of swords drew in and seemed to consume the light around them until only darkness remained and the stench of Iron filled his every pore.

Then a light scorched the darkness as a cup fell splattering everything with a golden brew that was liquid sunlight, it flowed into the crown and renewed it with vigor and cleansed away the blood, the light dissipated the shadows and the swords rusted and became dust.

I was wrong to doubt great one

He arrived to the city gates, a heavy leather cloak of a brown color covering his body, a book that could be used as a coffee table hung in chains from his chest and a simple wooden cup fastened at his hip, and of course a very oddly shaped staff, everything about it was common for the exception of the tip.
It had been carved in the liking of a hand with the “thumbs up” sign.

He arrived to find that he was early, it seemed like the prince was not going to be a bad host and had seen for everyone to be fully prepared and geared, yet Akdov had not seen fit to make any expense in his own, he had everything he needed, drink, a walking stick, his holy text and faith.
He stood there with his hood shadowing his features, the beard would give him away he suspected but still he stood there and waited for the rest to come, he knew they would be hostile and aloof but this was what Deud was asking of him and he would be damned if he failed the hall lord

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

They had all left again. They wanted to stay but Alice chased them away. This way, they would not see her sulk and pout. And that’s how she left. Through the wooden door, with nothing on her back but her cloak and a pout. At first, she had small strides, kicking lone rocks that dare to get in her way. But that only lasted a few minutes before she wandered into the bakers shop. She had only come here a few months ago but she got along with the plump man. His bread was amazing as well and Alice loved her food. That was something that Alice could do all day, eat, if it wasn’t for the fact that she wasn’t prepared to get teased by her brothers. The man patted her head before she left, much like he would do with a child. It was annoying how people treated her. She was still growing! She was just a bit late… Well, that was what she told her father when he teased her at least. What man teases his only daughter for being short! How awfull.

In her hand now was a hot loaf of bread. She held on to half and the other half was thrown into the abyss that held her backpack. Now why would she hold all this? What a silly question. Just when her foot stepped out the door, the bell rang. As always, her heart stopped and she waited. What a beautiful bell. She’d miss it. But it was that very bell that brought her sprit up. She threw the bread piece in her mouth, and her legs just shot off.

Jumping over the hurdles that lay in her way and ducking under anything that was over her head, and let’s be truthful, there wasn’t much. Her hair flew around, making it look more like a mess than it was before. The brown strands cut unevenly, losing the entire ‘Smart-high-society-Mage’ look she was going for in the beginning. Her teacher had told her that her child-like actions would never give anyone that impression so it was quite futile to try and act. It’ll more look like a child playing dress up. In another word, stupid.

Giggling and laughing she saw the small dots that represented the group, too far away to see who was who but close enough to know they were there. Not many had shown up yet. As the though crossed her mind, so did her feet. With a colorful choice of curse and screams, she flew face first into the ground. She was too far away from anyone in the group to see but that didn’t mean her flush was any less red. Tears stung her eyes from the dirt that hit her face, yet she had the will power to bring them back. As red splotches refused to leave she walked towards the rest of the group, her energy to run completely gone now. Alice didn’t bother to say anything. What was there really to say? A greeting? Bah, that's too much work! She found herself a nice spot on top of a boulder, where she bit into her bread once more. Her figures played with her necklace. The worry and fear slowly decreasing. She could do this, she was a Mage after all and she had her Seal.

It was then she took time to notice everyone else. The drunk priest was here having a conversation with that woman that had glared at her before. The young monk seemed to also be having some sort of conversation with the priest. And then there was the scoundral, Alice was going to call him that at least. The Prince had brought along a few horses but there was a nagging voice in her mind that they would not be enough. Well, it was the fear speaking at least. She sighed. If she had to walk she would drop out of this circus the minute! Even her family wouldn't have a problem with that. No better than a drunk, they would say. Alice smiled, throwing in the last peice of bread in her mouth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

He was not amused by these questions, was it some kind of riddle? Had she selected the words specifically to try to make an answer impossible?

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

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

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

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

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

I was another man back then

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

As soon as the man, Feeloo or something that sounded like that, packed his smoking pipe and the unpleasant, smelly tobacco or whatever was the thing he was smoking he started giving Hayley some advice in life. It was yet another boring speech you expect old people to give, even though he didn't look old enough to speak like that. Hayley had been fine all this years making a life in the streets, among criminals and even worse people all by herself hadn't she? Hayley was old enough to make her own decisions and choose how she wanted to live. An opponent with a longsword? She'd run away and find a way to stab him in the back while he was busy killing someone else.

On a closing note Feylon told Hayley to think about it before leaving, and she would. Hayley would think of a way to ignore and maybe go against his advice. Even if it was for the good, Hayley hated feeling like she was taking orders from someone else, advice on life included.

When Feylon was finally out of view Hayley decided it was time for a fine drink before calling it a day, she ordered some wine as it could well be the last time she had the chance to drink it. Live like it's the last day you'll ever live, that's a good philosophy for someone that lives the way Hayley does. As she finished her glass Hayley let some coins on the counter and left the tavern. Hayley decided it was time to go to an inn and sleep well before the journey.

----

Upon waking up in the morning Hayley got off her comfortable bed and went downstairs at the inn. She paid for her night stay and even had some fresh bread for breakfast before leaving to meet the group at the city gates.

"Good morning." Hayley said after making her way through the crowd gathering around the adventurers. She then stood there, looking around trying to see who was missing, check the horses and look at the clear morning sky, it would be a hot day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darius Crowle Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

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. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

The random groves of the boulder kept Alice entertained as she waited for the Prince to start speaking. She wanted to know, would she get to ride a horse? The thought itself haunted her. What a horrible fate it would be if she had to walk instead. A sigh escaped her parted lips. But there was also that sickening feeling she was getting in the pit of her stomach. The first meeting had not turned out well, and the priest didn't seem very happy. Was this going to futile? A waste of time?

Alice hadn't even notice the woman that had walked in behind her, nor when she came up to her. The first thing she thought was, does she want to sit? When the woman spoke, Alice looked up. She remembered her instantly. It was the bard with that beautiful instrument, the one that had offered Bard Girl as another name. The woman introduced herself again, but there really was no need. She knew the girls name but it seemed that she did not know Alice's name. Well, that wasn't surprising. For a moment, Alice said nothing. She stared at the bard with her brown eyes but finally, her lips parted and a sentence came out. "My name is Alice Sangera." She smiled. But that smile was soon replaced as a red flush crept up her face. The bard had seen her fall! What a horrible thing. But her mind soon went on what she said next.

Gracefully?

In a house full of men, graceful wasn't something she focused on. Nor was it when she was practicing her magic at the guild. The Mage grinned. "How fun is it to be graceful? Wouldn't you rather whip out your sailors tongue and watch as people think you're the devils child?" Alice giggled. "It's much more fun, Bard Girl... but... I guess... graceful falling wouldn't be bad..." She shuffled to the side, leaving enough room for anyone that wanted to. Alice had guessed that she wanted to sit and that was why she was talking to Alice in the first place. But she wasn't complaining. For a moment Alice was silent. "What good what it be if I fell gracefully in the middle of battle? Will it leave my opponents speechless or memorized?" Alice tiled her head. "More importantly, will it be easier on my skin? I think I'll damage it if I keep falling like that." She looked over at her arms that were covered with her gloves, all the way up to her elbows. There wasn't much of a worry getting hurt. Her eyes trailed over to the bard. A question bubbled up, "Why are you going on this quest Bard Girl?" Alice smiled. "I'm going for fame." Now that her mouth had opened, it was going to be hard to shut up. "Why do you want to go? And, more importantly, are you going to play your instrument? I would love to hear you play. It looks beautiful." A smile fell upon her lips. "Acacia, was it? That's a lovely name. Your hair is lovely too. I tried to do that, but I can't wield a dagger, I recently found out." Alice giggled at how she was behaving. Like she would on a normal basis, really.

At the corner of her eyes, she spotted the red head that had been the center of attention at the bar fight, only yesterday. Oh, how was this going to turn out? Alice turned her head over to Acacia once more. She smiled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

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"

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

She looked around at everyone at the table and tried to figure out what thoughts were behind their eyes. Inside their heads.
The food was delicious, contrary to Nari's expectations although venison always was a welcome dish. Apparently now was the time to share their stories and their reasons for joining in on this dire quest.
When it came to be her turn, Nari shrugged and pondered whether she should tell the complete truth or not. She deemed it too early for that. They didn't need to know everything just yet.
"Well. I'm from the south as you may have noticed." She didn't want to tell them her reason for running away from her family. "And I've lived as a ranger for as long as I can remember. I've seen my fair share of, well, everything, so I thought that if I go on this quest there might be a reward in it." A smile crept over her face as she looked around at all of the people gathered at the table. "One big enough to at least make life a little easier. It'd be nice to sleep in a bed now and then." Her eyes shot down and disappeared into the dark depths of her drink. She took a sip and tried to calm down a bit. Had she told them too much?
If they want to know more then they can ask. Her mind told her. A few moments later, Nari deemed it time to leave. Before she could say anything though, Mirabella decided to pay for their meals. "How generous of you. Thank you, Mira." Nair's green eyes caught hers and she smiled. They floated to the rest of the motley crew at the table and she nodded, smiling as if to say goodnight.
Then she was off to the inn she had stayed at the night before where she would lay her head to rest for the last time. Come morning, they couldn't be sure of where they would be sleeping.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The sun struck her across the chest and in the face. Her hair turned a brighter red as the rays of the sun played with it, and the olive-skinned ranger stood form her bed. The covers fell to the floor and she walked to the desk under the window and sat down, looking out. It was nearly noon. "Noon..." she said to herself and looked thoughtful for a moment. That rang a bell. "Noon!" Nari shot up and began dressing herself as quickly as possible.
The beautifully ornamented armor fit her like it was made for her. When she was dressed, Nari looked around the room for anything she might have forgotten. Grabbing her bow with a nod to herself, reassuring herself that nothing was left behind, she headed out the door. Not even a word to the innkeeper left her lips, only did she throw coins on the counter as payment for the room.
Nari's feet carried her towards the gates where they would all meet. Her hair flowed behind her as she made it to the people gathered. She calmed her breathing and looked around at everyone, nodding and smiling. Lastly her eyes found the prince's and she smiled apologetically. "Pardon me my prince." she said simply and walked towards the horses. Quickly figuring out which was hers, she padded him on the head and laughed at Xan who desperately tried to climb the horse. Nari smiled and padded her horse. She mounted the beast quickly and smiled as she slowly made it trot forward. She looked at everyone gathered and drew a long breath, trying to figure out who was absent and who was there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Gallow Ó Tuathaláin Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

Image


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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched as all the other members mounted on their horses before leaving, some had troubles, some did it with ease, notably the prince who apparently mastered riding, something expected from someone with such a rank.

Before the group could leave, a late arrival surprised Hayley. A short, cloaked figure appeared, he greeted the group before facing every member. The newly arrived had a weird beard, that seemed to cover his whole face, and his hands. Intrigued by it, Hayley watched closely as he swung atop the remaining horse, agile like a cat. He then introduced himself as a Feledine. Hayley heard stories about his type, and while they were interesting, it felt slightly weird for Hayley to be riding with a creature from an unfamiliar race, the girl had never seen one of these before.

When everyone was ready, the prince led them through the gates, direction north.

On the road, Hayley watched the people passing by, farmers, merchants, random peasants. Some of them had carts full of goods Hayley was tempted to borrow and never return, some were just walking around like they had nothing better to do. The misfit group probably attracted a lot of attention, the Prince wore a red cape and had a beautiful white horse, the monk had bright yellow clothes and they were all riding in a line in the same direction. Not something the peasants see everyday. Hayley thought as some people stared at them as they passed by.

When the masses of people on the outskirts of the city thinned out, they picked up the pace.

After what felt like an eternity passed, the group came to a halt and Hayley dismounted, the pain in her favorite body part reminded her the reason she preferred to travel in carriages. She tied her horse, removed her pack and started setting her sleeping bag for the night and following the Prince's idea, used her saddle as a seat. It would probably be better now that it wasn't moving. The girl finished unpacking as the Prince showed what to do for those who had trouble and set up a fire.

She was surprised to see him cook, not many men could do it, and Hayley was a woman who couldn't. She never found cooking a useful skill to have with the life she led. When the prince asked the bard for a song Hayley decided to speak, she had been in silence for a long time. "I confess listening to a song would be good for our spirits after a day of riding." Not something she would ask for most of the time, but Hayley had to pass as a good person for now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

Attica ran along the trunk of the fallen tree and leaped, landing squarely on the slope that dropped sharply down to the stream. Her fingers dug into the leaf litter and made a hand-hold of the red ferns anchored to the soil. Below, the roots of the oak tree above her head seemed to rise to meet her feet and without missing a beat she sprang up onto the ridge at the top of the little hollow. She took a split-second to lightly run her fingertips over the bark of the tree in thanks before she was gone again, ducking and weaving through twisted oaks, slithering down banks and splashing through streams until her lungs burned and her heart drummed so hard she felt dizzy. Still, she continued for another half a mile or so until finally she shimmied up into the branches of an elderly beech and crouched in the fork of its branches, pressing herself close to its heart as she stayed perfectly still and listened for a sign of her pursuers.

Nothing. Even the jumpy redwings in the copse of silver birch to the east were undisturbed, calling out banal chirrups to each other; the ornithological equivalent of small-talk.

After a few minutes of absolute concentration, Attica allowed herself to relax. She must have lost them for good this time. She could only hope her trail had been subtle enough to be picked up by one of their party in the confusion of her escape; perhaps they had a Ranger among them as they seemed to have an uncanny ability to follow her even when she was being so careful not to leave a sign of her passing. Still, they were gone now and nothing, animal or human, could go without sleep for very long. Even if they were tracking her, they were in an unfamiliar place and the light was rapidly fading into the grey-lilac of dusk. They would make camp and Attica would use those precious hours gain a head-start in the darkness of night.

If she were to do that, however, she would have to eat. There were no berries out at this time of year and game would need cooking- she could scarcely afford to make a fire and alert them to her presence now. Roots, beaten into digestibility against a rock, would have to do. If she was lucky, she might also find a few dockleaves down at the edge of the tree-line...

Silently, she dropped down onto the earth at the base of the beech and out of the bracken trotted the grey fox that had taken to following her over the past few days. She quirked at eyebrow at it and it looked back at her before shaking down its fur and darting across the clearing into the undergrowth where it crouched, waiting for an intruder. It would give her warning if they had somehow tracked her down and managed to elude the usually-alert natural watchmen of the forest.




Twenty minute later, Attica had found something that would make her quest for food that much easier. At the tree-line, a dozen or so travellers had set up camp and strains of music and the smell of smoke (and food) drifted back towards the tree-line. Night had fallen now and it had taken little effort to lay her hands on the horses to lull them back into security when they tossed their heads at the sign of her intrusion then creep up to the edge of the make-shift canvas tents. The travellers themselves were at the centre of the little circle, milling around a roaring fire and talking amongst themselves. Though she was not concentrating on the conversation, snatches of it- both friendly and antagonistic- filtered back to her. She didn't bother to attempt to move closer and glimpse them properly. She didn't care what they looked like. All she cared about was their supplies, some of which were slowly simmering over the fire and the rest, presumably, were hidden beneath the canvas.

Choosing the tent which looked of the highest quality, she crawled up to it through the grass and, careful to keep it between her and the people milling about around the fire, silently made a slit in its base with one of her knives. Carefully drawing the canvas flap back, she crept inside.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
'A Fele-wha?' Xan thought to himself as the newcomer introduced himself. He never heard of the race before, than again he was quite sure there was a plethora of things he didn't know about this world, so it shouldn't be such a surprise. Although at the end of that thinking he was reminded that he had, already, completely forgotten the newcomers name. He scratched his head a bit, thinking about it, but in the end he came up with nothing. He would just have to wait until someone else calls his name, or he says it himself once more. With the sun high in the sky, and the heat starting to rise a bit, the group finally leaves through the gates of the city, with the Prince in lead of course. Without Xan doing anything at all his four legged companion starts trotting on following the Prince's stallion. Perhaps it was best that the horse itself took the lead, had Xan been handling it he might not make it far. Xan simply held the reigns in his hands in case anything were to happen to spook his companion or cause it to go out of control.

Xan's eye wandered as the group traveled in a single line, the sound of hooves hitting the ground continuously sounded out. The surrounding area had quite a nice view, it felt natural, as in there hadn't been much human influence over the area. As the traveling group continued they encountered numerous other people that were walking along the road as well, all going their own way. Xan would give a smile and raise a hand to everyone the group passed, it was interesting to see the different people. Although there was one that particularly caught his eye, a little girl, about the age of six or seven walking with her mother. As the group approached she timidly hid behind her parent, but peeked out from behind, slightly, to see the passing group. The little girl reminded him of his sister in their younger days, she would do the same thing, except she would hide behind him instead of one of their parents. As Xan's closed in, he pulled back on the reigns a bit, not to stop the horse but to slow it down a bit. As he came to be besides the young girl he leaned off towards the side of his horse, nearly falling off, a hand in his pocket.

"Here" he simply said, his hand pulling from his pocket the blue orb that he had stolen the day before. The little girl hesitated a bit, but reached out her hand just before he went out of reaching, taking the orb. "Pretty isn't it? Enjoy it" he said as he pulled himself back upright on the saddle, he gave a wide grin and a wave before turning back to look forward. He glanced back to see the young girl happily looking at the orb through the light of the sun, it gave off a brilliant blue shine, he couldn't help but smile to himself, his eye looking forward once more.

As time passed, so did the people. It had been quite a bit since the last person had passed by the traveling gang, and it didn't look as if more people would be coming down the road any time soon. Perhaps they were now far enough from the city to where no other people would come out this far. He looked around for the sun, it had dropped from the sky quite a bit, he wondered how long they had traveled, and how much longer they would travel as well. His question was soon answered as the first horse in line came to a stop. This was where they would rest for the night it seemed by the Prince's words. Xan put his legs to one side of the saddle and pushed himself off with his hands, landing on the ground one knee nearly touching the ground. His legs coming together again felt a bit awkward after begin split in the middle by the saddle for so long. He stood up straight stretching his back and arms, giving a moan of relief. After a brief session of stretches he took his companion and tied him to a tree, unclipped the saddlebags and loosened the reigns, following the Prince's instructions.

"There you are my friend" he said patting Myst, with that he left the horse to do what it willed and placed his bedroll, looking at it for a moment. Did he truly need this? Although it probably would be more comfortable than laying flat on the ground. Still he had never slept on a bedroll, he always slept on the ground, on a large flat stone, or in a tree, although the last had a threat of him injuring himself, it was still quite comfortable. He shrugged, it wouldn't hurt to try it, but he would try not to get used to it, after all after this little adventure he didn't know if he would ever sleep on one again.

The sound and smell of food quickly distracted him from his thoughts, and his stomach consumed him completely, the only thoughts and feeling were now about food and nothing else. He took a bowl for himself and took in a spoon full. Followed by a quick muffle of words from a closed mouth and a forced swallow, followed by a few gasps of air to cool the inside of his nearly burned mouth. The next spoon full of stew he decided to blow on to cool it off a bit before shoving it into his mouth this time. Prince Rydas asked of a song from Acacia, and Xan could not agree more, the ride thus far had only the sounds of trotting hooves and nature to accompany them, a nice song would be a nice change. Although before that he noticed that the male ranger, whom until now was out of sight, showed himself, a dagger drawn. He signed for silence as well a gesture towards one of the tents that had been put up, someone not of the group had infiltrated in? Another person, an animal? Instead of hastily reaching for his own weapons Xan decided to sit and watch how this would play out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

The monk and her horse problem seemed to be sorting itself out. Though all the talking only seemed to aggravate his headache more. Callavan hefted himself on to his horse. Riding was a rare privilege for him, but he knew enough to get by. With a gentle nudge he urged the horse on, following after the prince.

He slowed a bit when the cat showed up. He had never heard of the Feledines before, but he was far too hungover to care at the time. The cat seemed to be coming along with them anyways. So curiosity could strike him later.

He picked up his pace, glad to be rid of the city. The riding was pleasant enough, better than walking leastways. It was nothing compared to a good ship though. What he'd give to be back on the water. He'd spent the last seven odd years on land with only brief spells along the coast. He missed the sea air, the feel of a rope in his hands as he set the rigging or pulled in a net. Hell, he even missed packing oakum between planks. He couldn't understand how these inlanders didn't go mad so far from the sea.

As the remnants of the previous night's drinking passed and the sun faded he found his spirits improved to a small degree. He hadn't even noticed the time passing and was surprised when they stopped. It took him a moment to realize they were settling in for the night. Slipping off the rouncey, stumbling when he hit the ground. His legs were stiff from the day's riding. The inside of his thighs rubbed raw. It had been a while since his last ride. They had a lot of traveling ahead of them and plenty of time for his skin to toughen he supposed. He took a moment to stretch his legs before he saw to his horse.

With the horse settled he set himself next to the fire. He didn't bother using his saddle as a seat. The ground was good enough for him. He hadn't expected a stew for supper, let alone one cooked by a prince. Callavan didn't know much about cooking himself. Normally he would simply roast whatever he had over a fire. He gave his thanks to the prince when he received his bowl.

With food in hand he was ready to relax for the night, but then one of the rangers seemed to notice something, motioning them to be quiet. Callavan ate as he watched. The crown seemed to have enemies. Maybe some of them had tracked their party. If there was to be a fight, he'd rather have something in his belly over nothing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

"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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

Alice had this ability. It's where she'd get really excited for one thing and then all of a sudden, get really bored. Fast. Her attention span wasn't the best. But, after a couple of hours, she'd get excited for the exact same thing all over again. It was like she never learns. She didn't. She never learned. She knew that she would get sore from riding for too long, but it seemed to be in the back of her mind when she was jumping up and down. Then she remembered exactly how irritating a horse was. You couldn't sleep. You couldn't lay for a break. You couldn't let both hands off the reins (Or she couldn't for she'd fall). And you had to take care of the darn thing. So much work. Who would want to do that willingly? Not her, never her. All she wanted to do was sleep. A carriage would ave been a better idea. Of course, not very helpful when running away. The ride was fun at first. But it got boring, like everything else. She couldn't stay focused on anything. So she tried to focus on everyone else. The Prince was too smart, or full of hate, or just better than everyone else, to speak to anyone without sounding like he wanted to strangle them. The Priest was figured for having bad intentions... Again. Poor man. The thief was... who knows what he was doing. By this time, she had gotten bored. She didn't even bother with the new guy. He wasn't human. Alice held no hate to the races that were not humans, but that didn't mean she liked them either. They were... Eh... Alice rode with the utmost laziness. She had let go of the reins without noticing. She was falling asleep even though the road was bumpy and the horse provided nothing smoother. She could fall asleep anywhere. Just give her a chance. The day seemed to go on forever. It was horribly annoying but she was pleased. Nothing dangerous that she had to worry about.

Whining silently to herself, and groaning as the horse decided to stop. Could have given a warning, she almost fell off the beast. She heard a snicker. What a fello she'd gotten stuck with! A rude horse, no doubt. What fine choice she had... She watched as the Prince got off, teaching... something. At that point, Alice couldn't have cared less. She was a Mage. With a flick of her fingers she was on the ground, her saddle next to her, and her horse placed securely away. Why bother to do it herself when she could do that? She claimed her spot near a tree, furthest away from the campfire. The single backpack she had was thrown on the ground with nothing but herbs and other items she may need to use when in a tight situation... like rope. She had rope. If anyone needed rope, she was the girl... and the Prince. He had rope too... He gave her rope. But he scared her. Literally. A lot. The man seemed like he had just lifted the weight of the world that was placed on his shoulder and thrown it away after a day of riding, which seemed almost, aimlessly heading north. She flicked her hand and her bedroll came out of thin air, setting itself up. In the mean while, Alice was trying to reach the lowest branch of the tree she had chosen. When she got it, she pulled her self up. It involved quiet a bit of cursing and kicking her legs, but she refused to use magic. Nature was not to be messed with. She liked it the way it was. She scaled up the tree. It would be a lie if she told you she did it no time without breaking a sweat. There were a few scratches on her face when she made it to the top. All she could see from there was the belly of the longer tree's. No beautiful scenery or the top of the trees. "Aw," she whispered to herself. Yes, she spoke to herself, like most did. "What a waste of energy."

Her lips formed in a thin white line, Alice jumped down to the lower branches, slowly getting to the bottom. By then her frown had disappeared, replaced by a smile. With a "Ofgh" she was at the bottom. It seemed she had wasted quiet a lot of time as well as energy going up that tree. Everyone had gotten distracted... with... a raccoon? She couldn't tell from her position. Instead, she got herself a bowl of the food the Prince had prepared. She didn't realize how hungry she was before she smelt the aroma of the food. Nothing could distract her, not even the raccoon. She took her spot, farthest away from the group, but close enough to the fire that she still felt the warmth. She would sleep later. Alice blew in and gently slapped the round. The voices traveled from the group to her ears but still she choose not to go or even watch. Her stew was amazing. A wildling? She had already thought about what that could be. Her mind was racing in fantasies that may be true, but her worry also increased. What type of things would a wildling bring forth? What type of things would accompany her? Her fear getting the better of her, Alice swallowed up the last of her meal and retreated back to her resting area. What if she would get a disease from this 'wildling'? No, she couldn't risk that. How was she supposed to be the most famous Mage if she died before she made the king better... or tagged along with the party that was going to make the King better? It was simple, she wouldn't. She couldn't risk that. No, no. That's what she told herself at least. She wasn't a coward, just wanted to stay be recognized and alive. Besides, if they got hurt, she could always attack from her spot here. She was still contributing, just in her own way. That was just as good. Right? She thought so anyway. Alice pulled the clock around herself, tighter, suddenly feeling a chill run down her back. From behind her hood, she watched the group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley ate the stew in silence like most of the group around her. It was surprisingly good, Hayley guessed she could call it "Royally good". She looked around trying to see if anyone was going to start a conversation, Hayley wouldn't do it, she wasn't good at this.

Since everyone was busy eating or doing something silly like the monk, who was apparently experimenting with fire, Hayley stared at the night sky. Being a thief and all, the night was her friend. Hayley enjoyed the night and the shadows where she could hide from the world, everyone needs a break sometimes, some people just happen to need these more often than others. Hayley wondered about where this quest would take her and the amount of gold she would be paid. If it was really more gold than she could carry, Hayley thought of buying carts and slaves to carry it.

The girl was brought back to earth when something happened. One man, Feelo or something similar, got up and started pointing to a tent. Hayley was trying to put the pieces together as the prince, the fat pervert, the big woman and another one got up and started moving around, encircling the said tent. Hayley decided to get up to see what was going on. Before she could follow the group members who got up quickly, the tent fell and a woman, a naked woman, burst out of it. Only to crash into the prince, who didn't have a hard time restraining the invading woman.

Hayley got closer to watch but kept her distance, they had everything under control. She wasn't needed, or useful, in that situation. Looking at the woman Hayley was inclined to say she was some sort of shaman or forest dweller. Hayley had a laugh at the monk's words realizing it would be a comic situation if there wasn't an intruder at the camp. "Who is she?" She asked everyone withing hearing range, curious about the intruder.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Although Xan had his attention on the events in front of him with the mystery of the tent, his arm was still subconsciously spooning stew into his mouth. His attention only being turned away from the tent when the spoon hit the bottom of the empty bowl that was in his hand. He looked down at the empty bowl and spoon, his stomach still not quite satisfied with a single bowl. He looked up again at the tension filled gathering, perhaps this wasn't the right time to ask if he could have a second helping. So instead he took the matter into his own hands and snuck another helping of the stew into his bowl. His attention not back onto the tent that a few had gathered around to capture who or what ever it was that had intruded.

The first on the scene may have been the ranger, but the first to enter and confront the intruder was the warrior woman. His mind was focused on the tent once more, although the rest of his body was focused on feeding itself. Some sounds came from the tent, then the outer edge of the tent flung up as the tent pole had been kicked out from the inside. The fabric of the tent fluttering down onto those that were inside.

"This is good" Xan said to himself, although, he, himself wasn't quite sure if he was talking about the action that was going on in front of him, or of the second bowl of stew that was still being spooned into his mouth. He saw a slight gleam coming from the top of the cloth tent that had fallen, a knife had cut another opening. The intruder from the inside leapt out from within and started at a full run to escape. Her escape was cut short by the Prince himself standing in her way, although how she didn't see him he would never know, he only has one eye and he would've seen him. The Prince grabbed the woman with force, and she struggled to escape his grasp, which of course would be natural for anyone to do when caught.

What Xan wasn't expecting were the words the Monk shouted as she saw the scene. Bad timing as well, Xan was in mid swallow as the statement was shouted out, the combination of wanting to swallow and wanting to laugh didn't mix well. He pulled the spoon from his mouth, coughing and slightly choking, and at the same time choking out some laughter. The coughing managed to subside in a little moment, but his laughter continued on.

"I-I can't believe. You. You said that!!" he managed to shout out in between break outs of laughter, he tried to subdue his laughter by holding his breath. It didn't help, snorts, splurts and other strange sounds came from his closed lips as his tries to keep in his laughter failed him. He tried instead to calm himself with deep breaths, although a few giggle fits here and there, it manged to work to some extent. Tears had formed in the corners of his eyes, and his side hurt a bit from laughing too much. He wiped the tears from his eyes as he looked back on at the scene, his arm once again feeding him. This was quite the meal, it tasted good, and he got a bit of a show out of it as well, if things continued on like this it would be a great adventure.

As he listened on several other voices rang out with offerings of food and rope, it seems thing would start to calm down a bit once more. Slightly losing interest at the events he started to focus a bit more on his meal rather than the intruder. He saw that the Prince's grip on the woman was loosening, thing will probably calm down completely in a little while, unless some more thing felt like making their way out of the woods.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by conor
Feylon gripped the hilt of his dagger tightly as he slowly moved towards the front of the tent. The leather on the handle pushed against his cold hands. As he got closer to the tent he saw the warrior woman walk around the back. He knew it would be too dangerous for them to both go in, certainly not with her bulky sword waving around. Instead Feylon pushed his back up against the fabric of the tent, just beside the door in case the mysterious being ran out. Right in front of him he saw the female ranger with an arrow pointing straight at the door too.

Suddenly Feylon heard the tent pole buckle and the outer wall cam crashing down on him. His grip loosened and the dagger was lost beneath the sea of fabric. With a few squirms and a bit of flailing he managed to get free of the entanglement and find his dagger. The tent was a mess and knocked over various items around it. As Feylon turned towards the Prince his nose came alive with familiar scents. Aromas of the forest began to waft its way through his brain. Bark, sap and moss were all present in the mixture. This scantily clad intruder was certainly a woman of the wild. There was no doubt that she, like himself was a scavenger and one with the woods.

Although they had not had the chance to converse, and that she had tried to rob their camp Feylon knew that they had much in common. They both lived in harmony with the land on which they now walked. That was something Feylon respected and admired. However the proceedings that followed the discovery of the "wildling" did not interest him. He slowly walked back towards his bedroll. Then the bandits arrived. Without thinking he picked up his bow that he had left leaning against the tree and pulled three arrows from the quiver on the floor. Squeezing them in between his legs Feylon nocked the first arrow, pulled back the bow string and released. The arrow certainly hit one of the bandits as the silhouetted figure slumped to the ground. His second arrow was stopped by the trunk of a tree that luckily got in the way of a moving bandit.

Feylon was about to nock a third arrow before he saw the priest. A large spear protruded from his back with an ominous looking bandit running up behind him as the priest took down his attacker. As much as he disliked the priest he would not let the old man die so quickly, after all Feylon had not even wound him up yet. Without thinking Feylon threw the bow onto the floor and ran towards the bandit. Mid-sprint he unsheathed the two daggers and lunged at the bandit. Abruptly the bandit turned to wards Feylon and swept his legs from under him. As he crashed to the floor Feylon could see the dark haired bandit coming towards him. Struggling to find his daggers a blow struck his chest. The bandit was now on top of him swinging wildly into his abdomen, he then reached for a log of wood on the ground and swung it at the rangers head. Frantically Feylon plunged one of his daggers into the chest of the grubby man but not before the log came thundering into his skull with an almighty crack. Then everything was dark.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

Hayley watched as the prince set the half-naked woman free and questioned her, listening carefully to her answers. Only to wish she hadn't.

The woman pointed into the darkness, from where a bunch of armed brutes and whistling arrows appeared. The invading woman, in a lightning quick movement threw a dagger on the face of one of the assailants as they started to run and a messy fight started. Another lot of attackers came from a different direction, some falling to the ground before being able to strike, presumably due to an archer Hayley wasn't going to look around for. Hayley was not much of a fighter and found herself in trouble when a towering man, not that it takes a lot to be bigger than Hayley, came running at her. Her assailant had a sword, longer than Hayley's arm, in comparison, the girl had daggers as big as the man's hands. Hayley did the only thing she could think of in a situation like this. She threw her dagger at the charging man, it stuck to his chest but apparently didn't bother him that much as the attacker simply continued running. Hayley now had one dagger against a maniacal, screaming brute who didn't seem to feel any pain. The girl started taking some steps back, trying to buy her time to think. Hayley was nearly in reach of his sword when she finally jumped to her left, dodging the charging man, who stopped and turned around to face her and charged again. This time there was much less space and time. Hayley turned back and run away, jumping over a corpse face down on the dirt. She looked back, ready to feel a sword coming through her body only to see the brute trip over and impale himself with his own sword.

Hayley ran to his body and turned the man over so she could retrieve her dagger, it had been very hard to steal those. "Keep the change, you filthy animal." Hayley muttered as she scanned her surroundings for any threats. Some members of the group were already down. Hayley had no idea on their condition, and decided she didn't care much since the only one she recognized was the filthy priest mass, with a spear stuck on his back. "Such a shame it's not my spear." The girl thought, heartless and hateful, it was, but that's Hayley to a person she dislikes. A little disappointed when she saw two people come to the priest's help, Hayley decided her best course of action would be run around, dodge any attackers and leave them to the fighters, and maybe look for the prince, he was big and presumably a skilled swordsman, it would be safer around him.

Her plan was interrupted when a big man carrying a really big log charged into the fight, much to Hayley's surprise, hitting their attackers. Decided not to stay too close to this new, unknown ally, Hayley ran to the other side, where an archer could be seen.

Hiding behind the trees the girl managed to fade into the darkness and sneak up on the man, too busy firing his arrows to notice a girl casually slitting his throat. Hayley checked the man's pockets for anything of use, it was something stronger than her, this is the way she lives. Not paying attention to the man's seizure as his blood leaked through his throat. Hayley took a well-made knife and a thin, metallic chain before wiping her hands clean from the blood on his back and walking away leaving the items she couldn't find of any use, like his bow, Hayley had no clue on how to shoot that thing.

Now hidden behind a tree Hayley watched the fight, looking for any prey unaware of her presence, she could help the group after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Word had traveled to Thoav, and to Lances ears of the quest to save the king. Without a second thought he was packed and leaving Thoav by ship, despite the wishes of his brothers and sisters at the church. Though they saved him a life of thievery and mischief, he remained a bold spirit. He would remain loyal to his god, Pelor, but that would not mean forgetting the loyalty he had to the king. So with a few fresh caught fish, herb, bread, and a steed he set sail on a ship headed to the harbor near Paetax. He took a look back at his majestic city as the ship pulled off, giving a wave and a smile to those who came to send him off. The priest, and a few of the orphans in their care.

It was on this voyage that he would hear tale of the prince and his dealings. "Oh yes." He sat at a round table, the smaller items on it swayed very lightly back and forth with the motion of the ships hull. He was joined by a few of the crew and a merchant traveling to Paetax. "What I hear is that the prince himself is leading a band of adventurers to save our beloved king. My brother in Paetax sent me this a night ago"

The merchant revealed a parchment which detailed the call for adventurers to a place called "The Black Vagabond". Promising much wealth and renown.

"This up your alley aye?" The merchant turned in Lance's direction. "Thought you church types were against such promises" He would follow this remark with a heavy drunken laugh, coughing in between chuckles.

Lance gave a sincere smile to the merchant after gazing down at the piece of paper, "Hm. This is the first I have laid eyes on this paper sir. But your news brings my heart great joy. For indeed I shall be joining the prince on his quest. But it is not riches or glory that I seek. As we set off, I looked back at a beautiful city, with smiling faces, that is what I fight for. That such peace will remain. That I will be able to wake everyday to a shining sun, a sign from the gods that all is as should be. And if that sun should ever fade, I will do anything to return it's light. No matter what amount of gold you promise me." As he finished this he patted the merchant on the back and stood up. Holding onto the parchment. From the distance as he walked he could hear the merchant speak, Yeah... well... I wouldn't mind a butt load of money in me pockets! followed once again by his bellowing chuckle-coughs that brought a smirk to Lance's face.
-------------------------------------------

Lance walked his horse, Artemis, down the wooden ramp, to the dock. He placed the saddle upon it's back as well as the bags of goods he had brought with him. As he was brushing the horse the merchant approached him with intent. "Good luck. May Paetax bring you much fortune, and tell your brother I said hello" Spoke Lance to the approaching man.

"Yeah sure. You better get a move on there hero boy, your party leaves today. The prince leads them to the woods of Gaeric. Or sos I hear anyway. The merchant said with a smug smile on his face. He was skeptical of Lance's endeavor, but just couldn't keep his trapped shut. As if he wanted to see Lance fail.

And sure enough, he was right. Lance had reached Paetax late. It was confirmed by the barkeep at The Black Vagabond, after Lance had explained his past and intent, that the prince had set off already. But before he left the barkeep gave him a map to the where the prince was headed in Gaeric. "If you ride well you should catch up soon. A wily and odd group he took with 'im. Here, take this to." It was simply a note from the barkeep that he had found Lance to be on the up and up.

"Thank you. Thank you very much sir. You know not just how big a help this is." He managed to utter that much on his way out of the bar, and with the sun past it's peek he started toward the woods of Gaeric.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
"Is it over?" Xan quietly said to himself as he heard the Prince call for everyone to regroup. Xan had sat himself down on the grass in the shadows, his arms dropped by his sides. A throbbing pain started to spread through his arms, his technique to fool his body of pain had started to wear off as things calmed down. His finger tips twitched slightly, in all honesty he really didn't want to move from the spot he was at now. However if he didn't go and show himself people might think that he had been killed in the fight. He tried to prop himself up off the ground before falling back down, his teeth clenched to keep himself from shouting out in pain. He took in a breath before he pushed his body against the tree that he was propped up against to force himself to his feet. He put his daggers away behind his cloak again, he did so slowly, as moving his arms as of right now was quite a bit painful. Hopefully a good nights rest would cure him of this pain by the morning, that's how it usually went. Then again it had been a while since he had been in this condition, it might take two days or even more, but hopefully most of the pain will be gone by the morning.

He walked out from the shadows, back into the light of the fire, it's only then that he actually noticed the blood that was on his clothing. Most likely from that one archer that he pulled into his daggers to save himself more pain. Luckily it was only his shirt and not his pants, although how he was going to wash it he wasn't sure.

"I'm fine, I believe those two might be the ones that had it the worst" he said, replying to the Princes query. He stood by the fire to take a better look at his clothing, his shirt was a mess the blood was all over. He sighed as he gently pulled off his cloak and tried to take the shirt off. The sticking of the blood on the shirt to his skin didn't feel pleasing at all. Although as he tried to raise his arms above his head a sharp pain shot though his arms, causing him to grit his teeth and quickly put his arms down. He sat on the ground, his body seemed more like it was pulled to the ground than anything. Both hands going to the opposite shoulder, "What a pain" he said, meaning it literally and figuratively. He took a few deep breaths before he forced his arms to work and pull his shirt off, putting his cloak back on once it was off. He wondered if there as a lake or pond or some source of water near by where he could wash the shirt at. Maybe something that was deep enough that he could soak his shoulders in cool water, or was it warm water that helped with these kinds of pain? Although it would be certain that either way it might make him feel better than he did now. "I'm gonna go wash this off, if I can find someplace to do so" Xan said to the others as he started to walk off, his bloodied shirt in hand. he wanted to wash it off before it dried up.

He wasn't quite sure where he was going, but he just walked through the trees before he heard the sound of water flowing. It wasn't much bit a was small waterfall about four feet high, it was good enough for him to not only wash his shirt but to cool his shoulders as well. He pulled off his cloak again, and his pants as well this time as he headed off to sit under the little waterfall. The water was cold, very cold, but it felt quite good on his shoulders. He sat down, his shoulders being hit by the cold water, as well as putting his shirt next to him. Trying to get off the blood that had managed to stain it. It was very unlikely that all of it would come off but at the very least it would be cleaner than if he did nothing. As he wiped, scrubbed, and wrung out his shirt he noticed how much of the actual stain was being removed, it hadn't completely disappeared but the color had faded quite a bit. The cold water on his shoulders managed to numb the pain enough to where he could be a little rough while cleaning without to much pain. He looked at the shirt, holding it open in front of him, although not completely gone it was as good as it was going to get. He knew blood stains wouldn't come out completely but at least now he wouldn't have a large splat on his shirt. He simply threw his shirt off to the side onto the ground next to his pants, he would stay under the little waterfall for a bit the cold water was quite soothing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

The child hit's like a bear!

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Icareau Sauveterre Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

As she tried her best to patch up the Priest, Nari could feel the arrow in her stomach. It was hard for her to concentrate on what he was doing through those wracking pains. The Thief looked like he was beginning to tire, and as it looked as if their darkest hour was upon them, the Mage came. He wrapped them in a kind of light pink transparent shield, which held Nari in awe and made her momentarily forget about the pains. Next was the Prince. The Priest had tackled him - much to Nari's confusion - but he was down and now the Prince fought along side them. She cursed herself for rushing to the Priest's aid so quickly. Nari would have been a greater help at distance, raining arrows upon their enemies. Fortunately, their ranks were thinning now.

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

Travian Zarel

It was such a relief seeing Paetax again. Travian had left before the king got sick and had never stopped worrying that he wouldn’t recognize the Paetax he returned to. Even greater than his worries for the city were those for his king. As a knight, Travian’s loyalty to the king was unquestionable and the news of his illness struck him the same as if the king were a member of his own family. Knowing there was nothing he could do churned his stomach and being so far away from news only made it worse.

Still, it was a worthy cause that kept him away. He and several other members of Urusk’s church had been helping rebuild a small village that had been devastated by raiding brigands. Additionally, they had put up walls, ensuring that the village would be better defended should it be attacked again. When he left there were still a few from his party staying to train the local militia, a task he would normally have been thrilled to help with, but they could handle it themselves and he had been away from his home about as long as he could stand given the situation.

After making it to the city and stabling his horse, he made his way to his favorite tavern in hopes of getting news and some lunch. Halfway there he heard the three bells. He asked someone on the street what it meant and when he found out he was relieved to hear that the king was still alright. So relieved, that he allowed a huge grin to sneak onto his face as he entered the Dancing Dragon.

“Haven’t seen you in a while.” The bartender remarked as Travian approached.
“Urusk business, thought I told you before?”
“Aye, perhaps you did. Things have just been kind of crazy around here, I take it you’ve heard about the king?”
“Yeah…”
“That reminds me, that lady-friend of yours was here last night.”
“Mirabella!? Is she still in town?”
He also wondered at the connection between Mira and the king, but didn’t ask.
“I’m afraid not. She and a bunch of other strange characters left this morning with the prince. Some quest to help the king.”
“What!? You have to tell me more!”
“That’s all I know, but you might have more luck with Vinny at the Black Vagabond. The prince had them all meet up there yesterday.”
“Thanks.”
He passed the barkeep a coin for the information and without another word took off towards the Black Vagabond as quickly as he could go in the capital’s heavy traffic.

The difference between the two taverns, and their clientele, was immense. It was hard to believe the prince would have anything to do with this place. On top of the usual crowd, there were also quite a few rubberneckers trying to find out more about the prince’s quest. With all of that it took a moment to get the barkeep’s attention.

“I’m looking for information about the prince’s quest.”
“Yeah, you and everyone else here.”
“I’m afraid you misunderstood. You see, I would like to join the quest, not gossip about it.”
“And what makes you think I would just give away the prince’s location to a random stranger?”

Travian had to remind himself that he had never spent much time on this side of town and rather than getting angry, simply explained that he was a knight and showed him proof of it. The barkeep then took him to a private room where the rowdy patrons couldn’t hear.
“The prince’s group rode north towards the Gaeric Forest. Since you’re from around here, I assume you know the road?”
“Indeed, sir.”
Once again he gave out some money and set off. In a few moments he was on the road.

He set out at a full gallop, positive that he would be able to catch up quickly. If they had set out at dawn he was only a few hours behind them and they probably weren’t moving as fast as he was in a large group like that. However, just as open country came into view he came across a man lying by the side of the road. Though it pained him to have to stop when he was so close there was no way he could just ride by and do nothing. He dismounted and walked up to him, realizing as he got closer that the man was rather old.

“What’s wrong, sir?”
“Overworked meself in the fields again, just give me a little while and I’ll get goin’ again.”
“It’s not safe, sir. What if someone doesn’t see you lying here? You’ve got to get home; come on you can ride my horse.”

The old man struggled a little as Travian awkwardly scooped him up and onto the horse. When it was apparent that his struggling would do him no good he switched to shouting, but still to no avail.
“Now that you’re up there you may as well tell me where you live,” Travian said with a mischievous smile.
The old man did so grouchily and before long they had made it to the man’s small home. The paladin laid him on his bed and sat nearby, waiting to see if he needed anything else.
“All right you brought me home, now begone with you!”
“You sure you’ll be alright by yourself?”

“I’m fine, been by meself for seven years now.” The paladin wanted to stay and make sure the man was really okay, but at the same time he wanted to be on with his quest.
“Very well. Take this,” he said as he laid some coins on the man’s bedside table, “should be enough to get you a good mount. It will make the trip home much easier and can even help in the fields.”
“Get going, would you?”
The man said, rolling his eyes. Cranky patients were always so difficult to deal with. Before leaving for good he knocked on the door of one of the neighbors and explained the situation so that they might keep an eye on the man. Their expressions showed that the man was just as much of a grump to his neighbors as he had been to the paladin. They sighed; remarked on how much more pleasant he had been before his wife died and assured Travian that they would watch out for him.

Once again the paladin was on the road. Night fell before he could make it to the woods. He knew it would be hard to find them in the woods at night, but as he was impatient to catch up he decided to try anyway. He followed the river, knowing that they would probably have set up camp nearby. After a while he came to a small waterfall, under which a young man appeared to be relaxing.

“Excuse me sir, have you seen a group of adventurers around here?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan peace and relaxation was disturbed by a voice calling to him, an unfamiliar voice. After what had just occurred his usual act first and think when things go sour mindset wasn't quite on, he was still in semi-battle mode. He opened his good eye to look at the man that had called out to him. At this point Xan was completely soaked, his hair had been pulled down showing it's true length. The back nearly reaching down to his shoulders, the front hanging down below his eye nearly going passed his nose.

"Perhaps" he replied, standing up, his right hand grabbing the chains of his daggers that he had set next to him to allow the blood to be washed off by the rushing water. "My apologies" he said, tossing a dagger to his left hand, both hand grasping the handles of his daggers. "But as of now I'm not quite in the mood to speak of the matter without fully knowing whom I'm giving this information to". His shoulders had been numbed quite a bit by the cold water of the falls, but that didn't mean he was healed. If he were to engage in battle at this point he would be at a disadvantage, he wasn't sure how many throws he had left before his shoulders were to completely give out, or even leave their sockets. Even as he stood he was in a position to where the cold water was still hitting his sore shoulders at least a little bit.

He watched and waited for the stranger to say or do something. His eyes locked onto the man, looking at his eyes and watching to see for even a minute movement that would qualify him as a threat. The positioning of his hands, the direction of his eyes, a shift in shoulders and waist, any and all of these would reveal if he were to go for a weapon to attack or not. Xan made sure not to let the slightest observation slip by him, was this mean the leader of the bandits, although with the way he's dressed that was quite unlikely, but best to be safe. In this situation the only one to get into trouble through a slight misjudgment wouldn't just be him, but his comrades as well, and some were injured a bit.

"Who are you, what do you want, and what do you have to prove that you are not a threat?" his right hand changed position on his dagger, from holding the handle to holding the first chain link. From this position the dagger was easier to throw, and also have the advantage of being able to be thrown from a plethora of positions, in case he needed to dodge what could possibly be an on coming attack.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

Travian Zarel

As the man stood he revealed a pair of chained daggers and raised them defensively. The reply he gave was just as defensive as his stance and Travian began to think it may have been rude of him to bother the man. He wondered if the man had any connection to the party. He was also curious what had him so defensive, since he hadn’t appeared startled. Furthermore, the man looked completely worn out, could he have run into trouble of some sort? Although the paladin supposed that if he had, he’d gotten away from it or he wouldn’t be relaxing under a waterfall.

"Who are you, what do you want, and what do you have to prove that you are not a threat?" The man said in a harsh tone as positioned his daggers to strike.

Travian knew the man would do so at the slightest provocation so raised his arms above his head and gave a friendly laugh to try to ease the tension. “My name is Travian of the Zarel family. I am a knight of Paetax and a Paladin of Urusk. I happened to hear that the group I seek was on a quest to aid the king and I aim to join them. I mean you no harm.”

He nodded towards his horse which was grazing a little ways behind him, oblivious to the scene around it. “Not that I could attack you if I wanted, as you can see all my weapons are on that stupid horse back there.” He laughed again while making a mental note to resume his usual policy of not trusting a horse to keep up with anything important. “As for the proof you mentioned, I do have proof of my knighthood which you may see if you like.” He slowly reached into his pocket and held out the small piece of thick parchment that he always made sure to carry with him.

“Oh and I guess it won’t matter much if you don’t know the group, but I happen to know one of the adventures. A warrior-woman named Mirabella, she can vouch for me.” He gave yet another laugh at his own awkwardness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit. Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Lance gave as much help as he could to those who needed it. This included gathering the scattered bodies and bringing them together, ready to be burned. Hoping that the apparent raid would end the excitement for the evening, he removed his armor placing it near his bedroll. As night wore on he took his place around the fire with the others, taking this calmed opportunity to get a better look at everyone. His eyes were paused slightly by the notice of a young red headed woman. He thought he recognized her but could not make out where.

As drink came to him he took it in well. It was not often that he had the chance back home. But he much enjoyed it. Everything about it. The taste, the smell, and of course how it made him feel. It always succeeded in lifting his spirits, even if they are not down. As he drank and ate, he listened intently to the words of the prince. He was still a bit in awe of the presence, many questions raced through his mind as he listened. But as the prince finished up. There was one that stuck out severely. One that he was, quite honestly, a bit afraid to ask. He hesitated, and in that moment the girl he noticed spoke. And as she did he finally recognized her. It was not easy for him to keep things to himself of pressing matter. Made him a particularly poor secret keeper.

She stopped speaking, and he knew not what to do. He did not want to be rude and interrupt her question, nor did he want to bombard the prince with questions. But seemingly without control he blurted it out. "Believe me when I say I am very sorry," he began, looking to the red headed girl, "but the pressing matter on my mind is... one of a more grim nature. My allegiance to the king is unfaltering, but as he is tended to, I am out here to tend to you, and make sure you make it home safely, whether we find this artifact or not. So I must know, are we prepared for failure? Should, for whatever reason, you return home empty handed, will you be ready to take the throne? And lead your people along proper path? For who knows what should come if the king should pass. And again, I apologize for asking such a thing out of turn." He swallowed, staring ahead unfaltering.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Xan gave a slight sigh at the answers that were given, they were convincing enough for him to think of the man as less of a threat. He stepped out from under the water and placed both daggers in his right hand.

"Follow me" he simply said as he bent down and picked up his clothing. His shirt was still quite wet and cold, as well as his body. The feel of the night air didn't help at all, he felt as if he would freeze soon if he didn't get back to where the fire was. He started to walk back towards the camp, with only his underwear on he could feel every brush of the leaves and twigs that stuck out from the bushes as he walked. They tickled slightly, and some even hurt, he didn't even notice some of these bushes when he walked down to the little waterfall. The light of the campfire started to, dully, shine through the leaves and trees showing that he did indeed go back the right way. 'Finally, I can warm up a bit' he thought as he gave a slight sniffle.

"Mirabella!" Xan called out as he finally passed through the last of the trees and back into the camp, "Found some guy, says he's a friend of your" he quickly said, his feet never stopping and heading straight for the camp fire. The only thing he could think of at that moment is some warmth, the fact that he was still in his underwear as he entered into the large gathering of people didn't really bother him. He sat as close to the fire as he comfortably could, placing his shirt down next to it as well for it to dry. "It's cold out here" he said, putting his hands up to the fire.

As he sat he noticed that cake and wine were being offered this time, again he wasn't that much of a drinker, but cake, well he couldn't pass on that. He took large bites from the cake, a long with a few sips of wine if his mouth and throat went dry. In the end most of the wine that had been given to him was left within the cup, and with the cake gone he had no more reason to touch it. He listened as the Prince described the quest at hand in more detail, their destination was a citadel that was inhabited by a sorceress during the war. Seemed interesting enough, and even if the amulet wasn't there, there was sure to be a lot of other mythical treasures to be found, maybe something that even better than what they were after.

He licked his fingers, still tasting a bit of sweetness on them. He picked up his shirt to see if it was dry, slightly damp, but not completely wet, and it was warm thanks to the fire. So he slipped on his shirt, as well as his pants and cloak, his clothes felt nice and warm against his skin so much so he felt like he could fall asleep right then and there.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He saved her from Death’s clutches once already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn

Earnings

0.00 INK

The man who's throat had been found by Attica's throwing knife went down instantly, though she didn't wait long enough to check he was dead. No sooner had the knife's handle left her fingers did she dart between the tents. The camp erupted into battle and the air came alive with the thud and clang of weaponry, punctuated by cries of pain or fear. Somewhere close by, the man with the red cloak had been tackled to the floor by another, apparently in an effort to protect him. Attica's lip curled; by the strength and agility with which he'd prevented her escape, she doubted he needed too much of that. She doubted his pride would remain intact, either. Why, then? He was obviously rich, perhaps-

Her train of thought was abruptly interrupted by a figure from her left who intercepted her hurried dash between the tents by diving for her legs, his sword forgotten for the moment. Attica's knees gave way and she hit the ground hard but writhed out of his grasp like a serpent and was up and running a few moments before he found his feet. She made it a few yards towards the edge of the camp where the horses were tossing their heads in agitation at the scene unfolding in front of them before the proximity of footsteps behind her forced her to stop and turn before launching a jabbing kick at the bandit's kneecap. He staggered but advanced, landing a blow that glanced off her neck and sent her to the floor.

"You didn't think your new friends would stop us-" he grinned, but Attica kicked again, this time squarely between his legs, causing him to curl over in agony. Immediately she was on him, punching, scratching, kicking, every kind of blow she could possibly land until his face was bloody and he summoned just enough energy to shove her off him and place his arm against her throat. Attica spat in his face and he leant down harder, an animal sound escaping from the back of her throat as she gasped for air. He drew back his fist to stun her into unconsciousness. Attica tilted her chin back to glimpse the desperate sway of grey mane and the stamp-stamp of hooves.

The nearest horse reared and the metal of its shoe impacted with the skull of Attica's assailant. He was dead- head caved in- before he hit the floor. Attica gulped down a few glorious breaths of air and struggled out from beneath the dead man, his blood now half-streaked across her face, and clasped her arms around the horse's neck before her legs could let her down. Pressing her forehead to its neck, she tried to catch her breath and stop the shivers of adrenaline that wracked her shoulders. The horse whinnied and snorted but Attica's presence calmed it and it turned its head to meet hers.

Beyond, the fight in the camp was coming to an end. The man in the red cloak was summoning everyone to the fire. Attica could very well run now, she realised, and they might not even see her leave. She might even be able to get away with one of the horses and she'd be miles along the road before anyone else would have an inkling of where she'd gone. And yet the fire was warm, a warmth she'd not felt for days, and there was the smell of something sweet to eat...

Then she caught a snatch of what the man was saying. No, not just man, Prince...

Edging closer, Attica hungrily took a handful of sweetbread and listened with an expression of scepticism. Death was the way of things and it could only be postponed, not prevented. He thought that by putting his own life (and that of his stupidly loyal or else greedy followers) at risk whilst his father lay on his death bed would stabilise his kingdom? But then, why should she care? The deepest forests had always been ruled with a law of their own, whoever squabbled over control of the capital beyond its tree-line; parliaments and royal families came and went but the woods remained the same...

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

Travian

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

She was curled up into a little ball. Tears had dried on her cheeks but she didn't dare move. She was scared that someone might see her. She didn't want to be seen. She didn't want to even get up. Finally, all the noise seemed to stop. She wanted to look up, but she couldn't force herself to. All energy was drained from her. She screwed up on the spell when all she had in her mind was running away, that spell was not an easy one. Instead of taking the magic from her surrounding, she took it from her own body. Normally, she would have stolen some from the earth, it was the best method, for herself. The Earth was bustling with energy and it got more and more stored up each minute. Taking some from it wouldn't affect it at all. Of course, there was a limit on how much you can take in each area. She usually never hit that limit. But since she took the energy from herself, not only did she take all her energy, she also got herself a little bit sick. For the time being, no magic could be performed by this Mage. It didn't matter though. Getting sick did not happen often to her, so when she did get sick, she didn't even realize what she was doing. Do NOT practice magic when you are not in your right state of mind. It was the obvious rule. The Prince's voice echoed around her, yet she still didn't move. She heard the murmuring of people, asking how one another was, and if someone could heal someone else. After a while, all she heard was a buzz. Though sick, though tired and drained, she still had the spell cast upon her, draining more energy every second. Staggering, and stumbling, she got herself up to her feet. The world spun only for a second before it became clear once more. The Prince had spoken and finished. The group was scattering trying to bath themselves or what not. There were new faces, mixed in with them, that raccoon women that called herself the wildling. That wench! Brought a bunch of bloody-thirsty, evil beings bent on killing the lot, yes she did! The spell wore off, slowly making the little Mage come into view of anyone that bothered to look in that direction.

Dragging her feet, she made her way to the place where her own little bedroll was placed. It wasn't there anymore. She sighed. Well, what was she expecting? The camp was ruined. Her legs shook with every step she took. Other than a layer of dirt, nothing was on her to make her dirty at the least. Alice's leg gave way just beside the fire and she was completely content. Her stomach growled and shivers ran down her spin. For a minute, everything was black. She felt light as though she was jumping on clouds, completely happy and worry free. The past few days flew in her mind like a movie. She saw and heard everything but it just didn't seem real. It couldn't be real. It was all just a horrid dream. That's what she thought anyway. She loved it there, so it was rather disappointing when she woke up looking directly at where the fire met the wood. People were loitering around, listening to what the Prince had to offer. Quiet a bit of time had passes since the group was fixing each other up. It was then she realized that she had passed out and that it was not a dream at all. Alice toned out everyone else and pulled her cloak on tighter around her. What an awful day she's been having. Her whole body trembled as a sneeze puffed out. Alice hated it when people looked in her direction, she was small and weak and... well... there were other things they said. Therefore, she had worked on ways to make sure that people didn't notice her as much. One of them was not speaking to others unless spoken to first. Another way was being as quiet as could be, but that one was harder than it seemed, for when she got excited, she did tend to jump around and squeal. But she had mastered sneezing so only she could hear. Lazily, her eyes landed on cake. It was so far away! She didn't want to get up and she couldn't use magic... what a horrible fate indeed. Alice gave up. There was no way she would get up just for some food, and since she couldn't reach the abyss with the magic she had left, there was only one option left. Go to sleep until she got better.

After a chain of small sneezes, her attention fell to the Prince and his plans. At first, she heard only a fable, something her brothers would tell her to hush her up. It was until later that she began to understand that this was not a fable nor a good story but the truth of this madman’s plans. They would go out to find an artifact that could be or very well destroyed or just a plain myth. She had heard that before but this was Alice that they were talking about. She had a large amount of belief laid upon the fact that the it was still there. If she had anything at all, it was the power to believe and imagine what could be. Like her fame, which now just seemed like another myth. What a fool she had been and that had to stop. She wasn't going on a quest like this where she could die so an old man could live. Her brother had said that she could come back anytime, now seemed like a perfect time to do so. She was going back on her word, but what did that matter. She was a worthless Mage, the other bearded Mage seemed much more talented in the arts of Magic. She had no spot left anyway. But she still listened for it excited her. Another story that left her with a smile, that was all she thought this was, but a story was a story and this one was great. She soaked up every word and still, she trusted it to be true. She was sure that the item could be found and used again. It was Alice, if she couldn't believe in stories, what else had she left? Another story, another smile danced on her face. Then her dreams were shattered. People started to ask questions that scared her, others pledged their loyalty, something that she couldn't do. They weren't sure if it was real, they just wanted to let the Prince know that it might be real or that they would follow him even if he had a loose screw. Didn't they know, every story or myth, had a string of truth in between the strings of lies. It was real. It was. "It's real..." she said to herself before she fell asleep. Her cloak wrapped around her and she curled up into a little fur ball, softly flying to the word of dreams, which she visited often.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

With everything calming down Callavan let the barrier fade, stuffing the scroll back into his satchel. His heart was racing, invigorated by the battle. It had been a while since he had a good fight. But now it was over and he needed to calm himself. Taking deep calming breaths, he looked around at what remained of their ruined camp. It seemed like nearly half of their merry little group had been injured. He'd help them if he could, but he was no healer. Instead he helped gather the fallen into a pile.

Once everyone had been tended to, he gathered with the others around the fire. He grunted as he sat. The rush of battle had made him forget about the fatigue of the day's travel, but it hadn't forgotten about him. He'd have to remember to try the ointment the Triansui had passed him earlier. For now he would have to be satisfied with wine and cake.

There were some new faces around the fire. He recognized two of them; the wildling (who seemed to be there of her own volition) and the old beast of a man who'd rushed into the fight with them. He wasn't sure what to make of the other two. The prince trusted them apparently and Van had seen one of them tending to one of the ranger's injuries. The fact that they showed up right after the fighting had ended made Van suspicious though.

He pushed thoughts of treachery from his mind, for he saw that the priest had recovered. ”Glad to see that you're well, ya old codger” he said, grinning. “Thought we'd lost you in that little scuffle.”

The prince had started talking again, so Van turned his attention to him. The quest got a lot more interesting once he finished. Before, Van had thought this was nothing more than a wild goose chase, but this talk of Idassava made it seem much more plausible. There was no telling what else they may find in her ruins. While the others voiced their thoughts and concerns he dreamed of lost tomes and forgotten magics.

His passing fantasies were interrupted by his own yawning. It had been a long day and he was starting to feel it. He looked around at the others who looked ready to whittle the night away with talk. Except for the wee lil mage who had fallen asleep already. Van felt a pang of sympathy for her. She looked exhausted. This was probably the first time she had been in a fight. He remembered his own first, unable to manage his reserves of power, exhausting himself with wasted spells, damn near killed himself with other spells. He thought about giving her a few pointers.

The more he toyed with the idea the more he realized that he needed to change his own style of fighting. He hadn't been much use in their last fight. Most of his offensive spells were just as likely to hurt friend as they were foe and all of his defensive ones were made just to defend himself. With a sigh he put away these thoughts for the day after, when he could approach them with a fresh mind. For the time being, he focused on what the others had to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Alice Sangera Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Geraint watched quietly as the young Knight came to the injured ranger's aid. She made no protest, nor did the others around her, and credit had never been something the Old Man was interested in. So instead he simply watched to make sure that the boy didn't damage anything in his attempts to patch the wound. When it had been treated to the armored stranger's satisfaction, Geraint too was satisfied with the results, and so he left the whole affair at that.

Scarcely had he had time to sweep his gaze about the perimeter of the little encampment, littered as it was with bodies and the stumbling forms of the tired and wounded group members, when he heard a strangely familiar voice call out his name. The Shaman turned his gaze in the direction of the call, and his crinkled brow rose, eyes widening. A man was approaching that looked almost exactly like an old friend of his. Only Akdov's words convinced Geraint that Akdov was in fact the old priest that he once knew. As the two clasped hands in an old warrior's greeting, Geraint couldn't suppress a wide grin. "Oh not quite, you old Keg Drinker! I've just been out of circulation." As the two men parted, the Shaman shook his bearded, shaggy head and stared at Akdov in wonder. "You've hardly aged a day my old friend..."

Their reunion was cut short however, by the gathering of Akdov's companions and the speaking of one in particular. The Prince? Well that explains some things... It would seem that Geraint had found the troupe just in time to be fully, or at least more completely informed of their goal. The revelation's and his priestly companion's words reminded the old Beard too of the Vradakah, only Geraint was quite glad that the amulet had never been found. In the first place the odds of it being intact would have decreased, and in the second the idea of that Fiend having possession of the Panacea was a sobering and terrifying one.

Not wanting to interrupt and feeling that the time for introductions was not yet right, the old man merely listened. He shared a question or concern that others raised here and their, though he would have phrased some differently, the young Paladin's in particular, but they'd been asked and so there was no need for Geraint to voice them again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Lance heard the old man's question but was lost in eagerness of the Princes reply to his own. Although he found opportunity in the inquiries of others to go and speak to him. He stood and, silently as he could, moved over next to the man, kneeling down to make eye level with him. He spoke low enough to not interrupt others questions, feeling a bit shameful still for having done it already. With a smile on his face he introduced himself looking into the mans eyes, "Good to meet traveler. My name is Lance, and I am a paladin from the city of Thoav." He stopped himself briefly by taking a swig of wine from his goblet.

"I heard rumor of the Prince's expedition and immediately made out to join the group. Unfortunately I had arrived late to the meeting at the Black Vagabond, but was given direction by the barkeep. Very nice man. It was during my sleep that I was awoken by the sound of the battle over here. After I had risen one of the bandits fell before me. He has a strange mark on his neck" He gestured with two fingers to the lower left of his neck. "It could mean nothing, but back in Thoav it was common for gangs of miscreant to use such marks to identify with whom they made allegiance. And now I find myself here. Rambling" He let out a solid laugh before catching himself and once again taking a swig. Wiping his mouth he remembered his manners, "And who are you? From your garbs you appear to be a man of god. Maybe..." He looked him over quickly "Like me... Yet at the same time not. But a man of faith none the less. The kind of men I like to surround myself with."

As the prince spoke, answering his question, Lance nodded with a smile. Magnificent he thought. This will truly be a quest for the ages. As he turned his attention back to the man, his eyes quickly caught the red headed woman again for a moment. But then he made his attention on the man before him.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
As Acacia sat, pleasantly tired, her mind began getting restless despite listening to the questions and introductions. Though it had been a long day, in more than one way, she still had quite a bit of energy left. It would be a shame to just go to sleep so soon, as she noticed Alice doing. She made sure to properly note the names of the new additions to their group. There was Attica the wildling, Geraint who seemed to be an old friend of Akdov's, Lance the paladin of Thoav, and Travian Zarel the paladin of Paetax who seemed to be a friend of Mirabella. She said the names over in her mind a couple times to be sure that she would remember. Now it seemed that their party had grown to sixteen members.

Once all the talk had died down, Acacia figured she might as well do something or she was likely to run screaming off into the woods, just to blow off some steam. She realized she did still need to retrieve her knives and clean her clothes. She wondered if there was anyway to put it off, but she knew it would just be harder to do in the morning. "Well," she said, standing and stretching, "I am going to retrieve my knives and wash up a bit better. If anyone wants to join me, they are welcome to."

She strode off to where she had been fighting the bandit woman, waiting a moment to let her eyes adjust before looking through the grass. She quickly found one of the knives, the one the woman pulled out of her throat, holding it by the handle with two fingers. Further away she found the other that had grazed the bandit's shoulder, but despite her searching she could not find the last one. She assumed it was still stuck in the woman's back, somewhere in the pile of bodies. She gave a sigh and decided not to worry about it.

She walked back through the camp, grabbed the dirty rag she had used earlier, walked off in the direction where Xan had come from, and soon came to the same river. It was a bit further down, just a shallow pool, but Acacia gratefully stuck the two knives and dirty cloth in to clean them. She was glad it was dark, except for the moonlight, and she could pretend she was just washing off dirt. She washed and wring out her other stained clothing, cleaned her face, and put the damp clothing back on. Feeling much better, she went back into the camp.

After sitting by the fire until she was no longer dripping wet, she said, "I think I will grace everyone with a song now." She smiled and winked at Nelinia before removing the lute from her back and cradling it in her arms. She decided to do a funny little ballad that was very popular in Paetax. It was made by a songwriter known only as Conor. She began playing, the lute sounding out the clear, quick notes as her fingers danced on the strings. She sang,

There once was a warrior from Paetax,
who's wit was as sharp as his tongue.
He joined with the army to avoid paying tax,
and was sent off to war with his axe.

Fighting battles far and wide.
Against foe's tough and sly.
With his sword he hacked into their thigh,
and managed a few in the eye.

Then one day a solider said:
What do you miss from home the most?
He thought until an answer came into his head,
and he said of course I miss my bed!


She ended with two short strums, the notes of the song quickly dying away as she smiled and laughed, looking at the faces around the campfire and feeling truly happy. All the cares, worries and fear of the day were forgotten, at least for the moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
Questions and introductions, those were what Xan heard as the Princes explanation was finished. Although he had none of his own, it was interesting to hear those of the people around him. The information about their destination was more than enough for him, so he really didn't pay much attention to the answers that the Prince gave. His mind was elsewhere, or perhaps nowhere would be the right descriptive word. He was tired from the fight, and the gently warm feeling of his newly dried clothes didn't help to keep his eyelids open. A silent yawn managed to escape him as the names of the newly joined members managed to make their way in one ear and out the other. Then again it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference, as he wasn't that good with names anyway.

The group started to calm down a bit, conversations dying out little by little, another yawn escapes. It was a tiring first day, and he wasn't sure how long the fight with the bandits had gone on, meaning he didn't know how much time was left for sleep. With that thought he forced himself up onto his feet and started towards his bedroll, or where it's suppose to be anyway. It seems quite a few things were moved around during the fight with the bandits, he simply shrugged as he looked at the bare ground that used to have his bedroll.

"Too sleepy" Xan said to himself, his body falling to the ground, an arm wrapping his cloak around him like a blanket. He freely let out a yawn as his back was towards the others of the group. It was about this time that Acacia decided to start up a song for the group. The words slipped into his ear faintly, he let out a slight snort as the song ended, "Nice song" he managed to say out loud before he fully fell into the abyss of darkness that is sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hayley Furdiligit.

Earnings

0.00 INK

As the rest of the group made some questions regarding the panacea or irrelevant things about the kingdom, Hayley watched in silence, letting everyone speak freely. When all questions had been asked, the prince started giving out answers. And they didn't make Hayley feel any better about what may expect them at the citadel. Some introductions followed, but Hayley didn't care that much, she was busy with the cakes and wine, they were better companions than lawful people getting in harm's way for the kingdom.

Decided to stop eating and drinking, the girl searched for a distraction. Looking around her, Hayley could see the rest of the group talking to each other. One of the newcomers, apparently a paladin from Thoav, who was talking to the fat priest looked over at her. The girl quickly looked the other way. She had been arrested a few times back in Thoav for petty crimes, and a paladin that came from there could possibly recognize her, and then she would have to explain she was just a rogue in search for more riches and valuable loot.

Decided to avoid having to explain anything to anyone, Hayley choose to call it a day and go sleep. The days that followed would probably be very long and tiring, every moment of rest could be a life-saver in such a situation they were in, attacked on the first day of travel and heading to a place known to have been the home of an evil being. Thinking about the possible dangers that lie in Hayley's way to more gold than she could carry, she got up and headed to her tent in silence. A song started playing on the outside. At least they got their song she thought, almost smiling after hearing the lyrics. With that final thought, she laid down and into her bedroll, trying to sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by KuroRyu
'It's morning?' Xan asked himself as he saw the bright light that managed to pierce through his eyelids. 'Already? now, as in right now, this minute, this second, it's morning?' he kept thinking as he groaned a bit, pulling his cloak over his head to try and block out the light that was assaulting his eyes. He wanted to sleep more, a second, a minute, an hour more, if he could he would sleep an entire day away before he made even an effort to sit up. That is unless the scent of something good to eat was to pass under his nose, as one was right now. He opened his good eye as the aroma passed through, although most of his mind and body was still dead to his world, his stomach was fully awake and ready for food.

"Fine" Xan said out loud, although he still made no effort to get up. He simply made his way to the scent of food with a series of rolls and a bit of crawling on the ground, which might have been tougher than actually getting up and walking. "Food" he said, as if he was in a trance and could only think of that one word at all. Still half asleep he, somehow, managed to get himself into a sitting position without falling over.

For a moment he simply stared down into the bowl that contained his morning breakfast, he wasn't sure whether he would eat it or dive into it as he fell asleep sitting up. With a yawn he managed to get his spoon in hand and scoop up a mouthful. His eye wandered, although not really looking at anything in particular, and nothing he looked at really embedded itself into his head. The jerky, he put one end into his mouth and simply started to chew on it as is. His open eye closed again, as if he were falling asleep while eating. If his mouth wasn't moving to chew it would look as if he really did fall asleep, the noises he was making while eating also told that he was awake. Although he spent a good deal chewing it was as if he wasn't making any progress eating, although his stomach wanted the sustenance his mouth was wanting to do nothing.

Eventually he managed to eat up his fill of food, in the course of eating he managed to wake up a bit more. With his meal finished he finally got up onto his feet for the first time that morning, he stretched his arms up, and even went up onto his toes as he stretched, a groan sounding from him. A scratch here and there, and a twist of his body he was ready for the day, somewhat.

"Good morning everyone" he finally said, although he and everyone else would have been awake for quite some time by now. It was only now that he had the energy to say anything that was longer than a single word. He turned on his heels and made his way to where the horses were being kept. "And good morning to you as well my friend" he said, a hand on his horse giving it a few loving pats; his horse giving a reply with a snort and a shake of it's head. He turned again and made his way out of the camp and through the trees back to where the little waterfall and stream was that he had bathed under the night before. He knelt down at the bank and placed his hands in the water, quickly bringing it up and splashing the water in his face. It was cold, freezing even, but it woke him up a bit more and gave him some more energy. "Alright, ready" he said as he dried off his face with his sleeve, he made his way back to the group in time to hear the Prince ask for any prayers for the those that had been killed last night. Of course Xan didn't know any, than again he had never really prayed at all for anything or anyone before.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

“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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Sangera

Earnings

0.00 INK

It was unexpected but somehow, Alice managed to sleep rather peacefully. No nightmares at the least. It was beautiful but it didn’t last. Nothing beautiful ever lasted. Voices drifted through the air and towards her. It wasn’t the food that woke her, even though she slept quiet close to the burning wood. Her eye fluttered to life, the long eyelashes casting shadows on her cheeks. The first thing Alice heard after her departure from her sleep was an angry sentence. "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." To her surprise the one arguing was the peaceful monk herself and that too, arguing with the Prince. Very bold indeed, not something Alice could ever do. No guts, no glory. That summed her up pretty well. Her stomach rumbled in protest, but Alice couldn’t miss a fight like this. She watched as the Prince expressed his opinions on the matter and how his anger was flickering from a small glow to a raging fire. The monk herself wasn’t backing down either. Oh how fights amused her. She needed a better look. Alice jumped to her feet, the little cold she had last night, completely gone now. A good nights rest was all that was ever needed. Just as she stood fully upright, red fabric caught her attention. Circling her feet was a fine red cloak, one that she remembered instantly. She swiped the cloak off the ground instantly. There was no way it could be his. She didn’t know the man long enough but he seemed to always be mad or emotionless, nothing at all that hint of the caring type. But as she examined it, all her doubt washed away. This was the Prince’s cloak, his cloak. It was obvious that she had not felt a thing, how could she with her own cloak on, but it would have been laid on her after she fell asleep. It was horrible. She had the Prince’s cloak and it touched the ground when she was handling it and on top of that, there was no way she could give it back. She was scared of him for goodness sakes. She could offend him in some way, she could make him angrier, she could make him hate her! No, she couldn’t allow that. If she handed him the cloak back with a small thank you, things would be alright.

Wrong.

He was already mad. The monk had awoken his anger. Alice looked up just to see the Prince address the rest of the group to carry on and ride like they had been preparing to do when they woke up. With a small frown, Alice wiped the cloak of any dirt that remained. The monk had started to throw the bodies on the ground, clearly stating that she would give all of these horrible creatures a proper ceremony. Careful as could be, Alice folded up the cloak. With one last lingering look, Alice went to where her mount was. She was too gutless to give the cloak back and thank him and she cared nothing for the brutes that tried to kill her. Sure, she could go help the monk because she seemed trust worthy, but if that was all she had then she might as well have nothing. Just because she seemed trustworthy didn’t mean she was. Without realising it, Alice had started to stare at another horse. It was the Prince’s horse. She had memorised everyone’s horse subconsciously. The petite Mage laid the cloak on the back of the horse, jinxing the cloak not to fall off and for a faint mist to float on top of it in a certain pattern that spelled ‘thank you’. Of course, the minute that Prince touched the cloak both the spells would fade. Content, Alice went back to her own horse. “Weakling. You should have just given it back to him. I bet that you didn’t even fight.”

“Oh be quiet, no one asked for your opinion.”

“What about the naïve girl there, trying to bury all those bodies by herself? Can’t you use that Magic of yours to help her?”

“I could, but I’m sure in a matter of minutes the armored women will go help along with the scoundrel. If they need Magical assistance then the bearded Mage is far greater than I in the practice of the Magical arts. More will come to her aid. I do not need to.”

“You fool. How is someone to trust a girl like you?”

“But Eclipse, why should I trust them? Don’t you know? Everyone will stab you in the back.”

“Then what are you good for? You are useless in this quest. A weakling like you shouldn’t be here.” At that, Alice gave the horse a smile.

“I know. No we ride, be nice.” The horse gave a last disapproving sigh before he became quiet. She didn't care anymore. She looked mad talking and replying ot a horse. The horse was all set up in a matter of seconds and Alice was grooming Eclipse’s long neck. At that, her stomach rumbled once more. She chanted a few words under her breath and then stuck her arm out. Her arm had completely vanished, as if it was plunged into another realm. Alice struggled for a bit but then pulled her arm out with half a loaf of bread. It was still warm to the touch. She got herself up, once again, using her little tricks. She was ready to ride, but while nibbling on the loaf, her attention remained on the monk and her dead bodies.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

~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?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Narenia Halen Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Mirabella d'Adreci Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Travian Zarel

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

Lance gave a smirk at the Prince's comment as he rode behind. "Not before I got you home Rydas."

For miles and hours they trotted towards the ruins. The time was filled with laughs and stories from all around the group. Lance even found an opportunity to tell one of himself before they made camp. Between stories Lance admired the surroundings. Even the darkness of the forest had entranced him, as it was the furthest he had ever been from his home in Thoav. But inevitably the sun would begin setting in the sky ahead of them and they would have to stop for camp. Confined to his thoughts he spent much of his time pondering how things were going back at the church. But then his thoughts would drift to the quest at hand. The many chances of success, and failure, and of the symbol worn by the bandits from the previous evening. He had seen many symbols of the same nature in Thoav, and figured it was the mark of their group. But he could not associate a particular group with it. So as they broke down to prepare for the night he suggested, "Maybe a couple should scout ahead, see how far or close we may be to the ruins. Maybe the mages or the druid could set up some sort of wards? To let us know if we have any surprise visitors. And of course if we don't have anything to burn we should search for that as well. I would volunteer myself for that. If it's not too much bother of course. I don't mean to take charge or anything, haha."

He was a little embarrassed at being the one to request all of that, but then remembered, "Would anyone have a way of sending out communication beyond our little group here? I have some suspicions about the marks the bandits had." He asked all this while doing off with most of his armor, hoping silently for a quiet night beneath the stars.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Callavan Sole Character Portrait: Rydas Errion

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Earnings

0.00 INK

Travian

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

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

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

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

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

“Wake up! There’s trouble!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Nelinia Jaze Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, 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: Xan Hallister Character Portrait: Akdov Mur Character Portrait: Acacia Winn Character Portrait: Feylon Haradas Character Portrait: Geraint Magdohl Character Portrait: Lance Elgard

Earnings