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Zaldir Kestal

"Where...am I? Who are you?"

0 · 481 views · located in World of Fenarin

a character in “Defenders of Fenarin: The Kingdom of Secrets”, as played by Firewind

Description

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Name: Zaldir Kestal


"The first thing I remember is my name."


Character Themes: Main Theme-This is My Road- Kanon


Age: Unknown (looks to be 22)

Race: Elf
"My Ears are obscured by my hair. So yes I am a member of the Elvahn."

Gender: Male

Face Claim (optional): Casshern of Casshern Sins

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Description: A young man standing near about 5"6, with brown hair that is wavy and reaches down to his shoulders if becoming wet, his hair also covers his pointed ears, which signifies his elvish nature. His body shape is wiry, almost light like a feather. But don't let it fool you. His body is composed of muscle with not a single drop of body fat upon his body. Essentially, he is a well built individual. He also has a harsh scar upon his back.

Equipment: The clothes He wears upon his body seem to be made of an enchanted weave with magic older then he could be. The center of his clothing seems to be adorned with a crescent symbol. He also sometimes wears a helm upon his head, with a visor that covers the lower half of his face. Near where he was found is a Katana like weapon of elvish make.

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Strengths:
  • Combat- His expertise in the ways of hand to hand combat and the sword makes him seem to be a former soldier in training. How he got the training he fails to remember
  • Hearing- He has a splendid sense of hearing which works for or against him. Out of hearing range is slightly several yards wider then normal. Pointed ears are never for decoration. He also is a very light sleeper because of it. Any source of sound would wake him up.
  • Magic Abilities- When he gets into a state where he has to use his magic, his eyes briefly turn green for a short time as he closes his visor. Zaldir's strength and agility get a temporary boost to take the enemy by surprise before the boost is halved to get into an honorable fight. But his anger sometimes dictates when and where he does it.

Weaknesses:
  • Amnesia- He doesn't remember much of anything before he first awakens. Only brief flashes of his memory here and there crop up, giving him a minor headache, which ranges from annoying to extremely painful.
  • Anger- Zaldir's anger is like a small fuse to a large rocket, light at own risk. He usually gives a warning sign when his eyes begins glowing further in its green color and he starts growling like a dog. In his anger he sometimes finds it hard to identify friend from foe.
  • Scar-The scar upon his back which seemed to be grievous injury is also the source of pain at random times, making him scratch at it when said pain crops up. It is quite annoying for him.

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"What am I? A fighter or a Monster? I can't be sure."




Personality: Despite first impressions if he sounds confused or almost spiteful in his anger, he is a kind soul at heart. Willing to defend anyone he calls a friend or loved one such as family. Zaldir's amnesia makes him feel confused about what certain foods or objects are, as if he's never seen or heard of these items. He also has a secretive side to him, a hidden desire to uncover the mysteries of his past for some reason or rhyme. He also hold initial distrust for any Dark elf that crosses his path.

He has a harsh temper that seems to stem from way deep into his past that ingrains into his combat, making it an unpredictable tool. When he gets too mad a low bestial growl can be heard from him, followed by his visor closing and his eyes turning green. His other emotions can be very close to the surface as well at times, making people know what he was feeling.

Likes:
  • Friends - he loves meeting people and making new friends. He holds them in a high regard and would do anything for a friend.
  • Old Tales- He loves to listen to the stories, every time he does he feels like he's one step closer to many of the answers he seeks.
  • His Sword- one of the first things he adores is his sword. Almost as much as his own arm.

Dislikes:
  • Maelthra- Just the near mention of his name is more then likely to set off either a painful headache, or send him on the path of anger.
  • His Amnesia- He wants to have as much of his memory back as possible, his amnesia and the memories it blocks doesn't help his case at all.
  • Followers of Maelthra- "His ways are Evil, can you not understand? Follow him, and it leads to death."

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"It would seem that Fate possibly gave me another chance."



History:Long ago, Zaldir Kestal was once a servant boy to a powerful Princess, who later became a Queen and lead her people and his to a war against an Evil known to many in the world as Maelthra. Quickly picking up the skills and combat, he rose from the ranks and became a Commander. With his aid, the war effort against Maelthra became evenly matched, and he never left the Queen's side. He even grew to love her even though compared to her, he was a monster to easily trample upon her, who was a delicate flower.

But one day, fate took the reins again as Maelthra's final battle took the Queen's life, sending him to a blinding rage. None knew why, but he charged at Maelthra and dueled against the Maker of Dark. His Rage struck a fatal blow, whilst he himself received a grievous injury that required medical attention. He was sealed in a healing chamber in the guise of a tomb and pronounced dead to give Maelthra's followers room to breathe and try to find a way to resurrect their master. Zaldir was magically sealed in the tomb, to be woken only in a time of peril. He has been asleep ever since, slowly losing track of his memory.

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"I'm unsure who you are, friend or foe. So I ask this question, do you seek life or death?"

My favorite anime is Casshern Sins. Episode 8 gives a lot of feels for the Post Apocalyptic world the characters live in.


So begins...

Zaldir Kestal's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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And So The Tale Begins....




"This Madness with this so called cult must be dealt with immediately!" shouted one of the Five Regents of Orina. The matter they have been speaking of was of the rumors of a cult searching through archaeological dig sites for something as of yet, unknown. The more they seemed to talk about it, the more argumentative they became. With 'Call the Army to Action' this, and 'We'll be defenseless' that. It seemed more like they were a bunch of scholars arguing a theory.

However, eventually they calmed down and eyed each other with both envy and respect, as neither one of them has yet to overcome the other in terms of power due to the one person they have found difficult to control. Their old King's daughter, Arianrhod. They knew they had to do something with her eventually.

"Hmph. Maelthra take us all if all this nonsense isn't dealt with." Muttered one regent. A slight tremor of the earth seemed to come and go as quick as a flash, almost as if someone made the wrong spell in the nearby Magi's Tower. The nobles agreed that that was the case.

-----

A Servant was walking to a door and knocked lightly before walking in, holding a curious note addressed to the occupant. which was placed on a stand near her. "Princess, this letter turned up whilst I was organizing His things. It seemed to be one of the last things he wrote." The servant said with a nervous now before leaving Arianrhod. The letter read as follows when gazed upon.

"To My Dear Daughter, if you are reading this then I have left this world to finally be with your Mother so she wouldn't be alone anymore. But these rumors that I myself have heard so painstakingly before my passing has me worried not only for the safety of the people of Orina, but the Whole of Fenarin. I have one and only one favor to ask of you with my passing. Listen well, and make sure the advisers do not find this letter afterwards. This is a Secret that is only known to You and I of our Royal family, and it must remain so.

By the time there is no one in the Throne room, go to it immediately. Upon my throne there is a switch, in the right hand arm of the chair itself, where I set you on my lap. Use it and it shall open a passageway that'll shut when you enter. Fear not, there is a switch upon the left stone of the entryway on the other side to open it again. Follow it down and do the instructions given to you there by the writing on the wall.

Good Luck and Take Care,

Your Father."


----

In the meanwhile, within said passageway, there was a remarkably large chamber, with writing on one side of the wall written in an ancient elvish writing, with a strange ornate Sarcophagus underneath it. The writing itself seems to have some sort of phrase spelled out, which if translated read only this;

"Awaken, Zaldir."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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#, as written by Feyblue
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Arianrhod sighed, glancing out the window of her high tower into the window of the courtroom of the building beyond it, her keen vision picking out the forms of the argumentative Regents as they debated whatever issues might have faced the kingdom at the moment. From here, they looked so small, like ants squabbling atop a heap of rubbish. Were it only that these petty and arrogant men could be dealt with so easily.

Indeed, just as they knew they had to push her out of the way before her influence became too strong, she realized that, if she were to ever escape her current state of imprisonment-in-all-but-name, she would have to get rid of the Regents. The thought sickened her, as harming others solely to better her own political station would make her no better than the monsters of men who had slain her beloved mother. But this wasn't just for her sake, she told herself. Those fools were only good at hoarding money and keeping themselves in power. Under their careless jurisdiction, the kingdom had stagnated and grown distant from former allies and trading partners. The people were taxed ruthlessly, and worked solely for the profit of the nobility. No nation could continue to exist under these circumstances. Something needed to change, and who else but the Crown Princess was to go about making such reforms?

"Nonsense..." She muttered, sinking deep into the cushions of her chair and sipping her tea with another deep sigh. "What can I do?" This was a rhetorical question. She knew full well what she could do. Indeed, it would have been impossible to forget, given how the curse inside her screamed to be given the chance to exterminate her enemies, to consume their lives and obtain their vitality. Surely, neither those old men nor their guards could stop her if she chose to simply stride into one of their conferences and slaughter them all. But that wasn't the way she wanted to do things. She remembered the last time she had killed - the stench of the corpses, the horrible squelching of flesh torn from flesh, and the blood, especially the blood. Blood on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling, on her.

She spat back out her tea, the revolting memory bringing a twist to her stomach that made her feel as though she might retch. No, she certainly couldn't simply kill them all and be done with it. That was something a tyrant would do. Although it might have been the most efficient way, it was wrong. However, perhaps she wouldn't have to get her hands dirty at all? Maybe she could simply play them against one another and have them dispose of themselves in whatever manner happened to suit them? It wouldn't be too difficult, considering how loosely allied they were, joined solely by the desire for greater power. But such a plan would entail great risks, both to herself and her kingdom, and the young princess was too afraid to think of such things.

Sighing, she took a napkin and wiped off her mouth, setting aside the tea for the time being as she stood, wandering over to a nearby bookshelf in search of something with which to amuse herself. Indeed, her room was piled high with books, countless shelves lining all of the walls, with even more books, atlases, and other such texts spilling over into small piles on the floor. Of course, she'd already read essentially everything within the chamber, as there was little else to do, but nevertheless, reading some old story she'd partially forgotten about would keep her occupied for the time being, and keep her mind off of the disturbing thoughts she'd been having lately.

However, at that moment, there was a knock on the door. "Come in," She said off-handedly, turning to see what was the trouble as a servant entered, placing a note on the table by the window before explaining himself.

"Princess, this letter turned up whilst I was organizing His things. It seemed to be one of the last things he wrote," explained the servant boy. Arianrhod's eyes widened slightly in surprise at hearing this, for she had been out of contact with her father ever since she had been locked away in the tower, which she thought had been done by his command. She had always felt as though he had rejected her due to her curse, and had sentenced her to be sealed away from other people because of it. Yet, he'd still left her this letter before his death?

"Thank you," She said, nodding slightly as the boy bowed in a rather frightened fashion. She supposed she couldn't blame him for being afraid. Nobody knew exactly what she was capable of, or what had happened to her. The common talk amongst those in the know of her cursed nature was that she had been possessed by a demon, and through its powers could tear people apart with her mind, and didn't die even when she was killed. She'd have called such superstitions silly, if they weren't actually startlingly close to the truth. "It eases my heart to know that my father still cared about me in his final days." She smiled, reaching into a small cupboard and taking out a box, handing it to the surprised servant boy, who looked within it to find a small assortment of rather expensive sweets.

"Princess? This is...?" He asked, confused by the sudden gesture.

"Your reward," She replied with a slight, shrill laugh that echoed through the chamber. "You have done well. Let it not be said that Arianrhod venn Orianna does not return kindnesses shown to her. Take it, and my gratitude."

"T-thank you kindly, Princess!" Said the boy, giving a broad grin as he bowed deeply and then departed. Arianrhod smiled sadly, returning to her seat as the door closed once more.

"That's one less person who fears me, at least," She sighed, reaching down to the note on the table, and unfolding it, equal parts hopeful and concerned at what her father had felt she had to know, prior to his death.

.....

That evening, perhaps by fate or by good fortune, Arianrhod attempted to steal from her room, finding that the door had been left unlocked. Evidently, the servant boy, so overjoyed as his gift, had hurried off to tell the others and forgotten to lock it once more. The Princess moved silently outside, the words of her father still resounding within her mind. A secret chamber beneath the throne room. There were only a few things such a place could house. Nevertheless, she refused to allow herself to jump to conclusions. She would simply see for herself, and discover what mysteries her father had left behind.

Her skirts swished quietly over the floors as she made her way silently through empty halls lit only by the radiance of the moon. The only ones awake at this hour would be the guards, but even so, there would likely be some men patrolling the corridors, meaning she would have to be quick. Slipping into the great hall outside of the throne room, she ducked behind a row of pillars, watching to make sure no one else was present.

There was nobody else there. She was alone.

Striding up to the great doors of the throne room, she glanced upward at the massive portal. Normally, it would take either several men or a large mechanism to open this, but fortunately, she wouldn't have to deal with such difficulties. One of the perks of her curse was how much it had enhanced her physical capabilities. Placing both hands on the door, she pushed against it, feeling the heavy stone edifice slowly give way as, with all her might, she forced one side of the double-door open, the hinges making only a slight, deep groan as she slipped in, and then allowed the entrance to shut slowly behind her.

The throne room was dark, devoid of light save a column of moonbeams rushing down through a stained glass window in the far wall, painting the giant chamber in various shades of half-luminescence. Striding purposefully forward, the rebellious princess surmounted the stairs leading up to the giant throne that made up the center of the room. Looking it over, she at last sat down, gazing down into the dark hall beyond. This spot... it was hers. The duties of the crown were hers, and its burdens were hers to bear. For her freedom, and for the good of her people, one day, she swore, she'd sit in this grandest of places, and bring about a new age for her country and its people.

But there was no time to dream of such things. Standing up, she went to the side of the throne the note had indicated, reaching under its right hand. Sure enough, the stone slid back, revealing a hollow aperture inside which was concealed some sort of apparatus. Flicking it, Arianrhod rose as a faint click resounded through the silent chamber, and then, with a low, dull rumble, the floor of the podium on the right side of the throne slid back, revealing a shadowy staircase. The Princess glanced around her, her eyes settling on an unlit torch resting in one of the racks on the far wall. Reaching up and taking this, she withdrew a match from her pocket, struck it, and set the torch alight. Then, setting foot into the passage, she entered the darkened tunnel as the stones sealed up in her wake.

What was this place, she wondered? The passage spiraled downward, featureless walls burrowing deep beneath the earth until at last they emerged in a large chamber, empty save for two things which sprang out amidst the firelight: a giant, ornate coffin, and a small inscription above it.

"A tomb...?" The Princess murmured to herself, her eyes widening as she realized what this meant. This must have been the legendary resting place of Orina's most famous warrior, one who had faced the Maker of Dark and been victorious. But what did her father mean when he said to follow the instructions of the writing on the wall? Looking closer, she tried to decipher the ancient script, remembering the Elvish she had been taught.

"Hau'oun..." She muttered to herself. "The characters are similar, anyway. It's saying... 'Awaken?' But what's this second phrase... Wialdir? Although, the 'wi' character isn't used anymore... so I guess the closest modern approximation would be 'Zaldir...'" That was odd, she mused. She didn't recognize that word at all, so that meant... a name? The instructions she was supposed to follow were simple, but they made no sense. Who was Zaldir? Was he the warrior who had been buried here within this tomb? Then in that case, how was she supposed to awaken him? She could heal the sick with her curse, but she couldn't raise the dead. Nevertheless, she at least wanted to see whatever it was her father had told her to seek out. And so, steeling herself for the rotted skeleton she expected to find beyond the coffin's lid, she released the clasps holding it shut, and then, in a flurry of dust, she opened it...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


The tomb lit up as she said the elvish words for the words upon the one wall, lighting several murals upon the other walls of the large room, each one depicting a person wearing a horned helmet in several different moments in his life, from his entrance to the Military, to his momentous battle against a man enshrouded by darkness.

----

Dark, that's all he felt. Dark and calm. It's all he'd ever known. Sometimes he'd dream, and within these dreams are snippets of visions he'd get. Some are vivid, others not so. He recalls a woman, but couldn't recall her name, without really knowing why. He did feel a great attachment to this woman. And he wouldn't want to leave. But now his dream descends into a nightmare, the woman and the scenery around her slowly melts into darkness. He ran towards the woman trying to reach her.

Hau'oun.....Zaldir.....Hau'oun......Zaldir...Hau'oun Zaldir!

The words echoed in his ears. Who was Zaldir? Was he Zaldir? The last time the phrase was said in his head caused him to breathe in sharply and brace himself, as if he was about to get sucked out from whatever hell he was inside of.

----

The moment Arianrhod opened the casket and the dust settled, inside would not be a skeleton, but an elf in perfect almost undisturbed sleep. The young man seemed to be in almost adequate shape if corpse he'd be. His brown hair rested as on the headrest he had been placed upon, and was a long mess. It almost wrapped around his ears, concealing them from sight. A helmet rested atop a sword, both of whiche were delicately placed on his chest. He was a sight to behold.

Then, almost slowly but surely, Zaldir opened his eyes and sat up from the coffin he rested in, making his sword and helm drop to his feet almost awkwardly as he moved it outside the coffin, before looking around in slight confusion, wonder, and fear. His eyes then fell upon the woman nearby, with his expression turning to one of further confusion.

He tilted his head slowly to the side, as if trying to read her. "Who are you? Where...am I?" He asked slowly whilst looking further around. He slowly breathed in the dark cold air of the place where he rested. He wondered what sort of place was he at this moment.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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#, as written by Feyblue
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The Princess drew back as the form began to rise from amidst the dust. Covering her eyes, she coughed against the upsurge of particulate matter that rushed into her throat. Raising her fragile hands before her face, she tried to fan away the dust to get a clear view of what appeared to be a being rising from inside the coffin.

"Who's there?!" She asked, raising her torch to cast light upon the man before her. He appeared to be Elvish, probably of one of the more diverse sects from the fields and plains, given his dark hair. But what was strange was the fact that he was, obviously, quite alive, waking from within the coffin as though he'd merely been taking a pleasant afternoon nap. How could that be? She knew better than most that magic could perform strange feats, but even so, it seemed impossible for a man to live for centuries inside his own tomb, then return to life.

This must have been Zaldir, the one she had been told by her father to awaken. She lowered her hands from before her eyes, not wanting to be seen as a coward. Raising the torch over her head, she tried to examine him more closely. Yet, it seemed he was doing the same.

"Who are you?" He asked confusedly, cocking his head to the side. "Where... am I?"

Reacting instinctively, Arianrhod took upon the visage of a calm, polite, and composed princess, acting as she had been taught. This man, if she had guessed his identity correctly, was one of the ancient heroes of old, and should have been treated with veneration and respect, if only to gain his support. Such was clearly the intention of her father, in any case.

"My name is Arianrhod venn Orianna," She said, giving a respectful curtsy. "I am the Crown Princess of Orina, if perhaps only in name. Could you tell me your name?" She asked.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


The woman seemed to think him somewhat of a proper person as she stated her name formally. Arianrhod venn Orianna. He slowly tinkered with his mind, trying to think on how to answer her question. The torchlight illuminated the murals around them as he turned to look at them in blatant curiosity. "I am," He said briefly before The Young elf slowly squinted in frustration as he tried to think. Slowly but surely the words slowly came back to him.

"I am Zaldir Kestal, of the Kestal clan." He said in a small reply. He slowly gripped his hands on the side of the coffin and pushed himself up and onto his feet outside the coffin. He then picked up the items he placed on the floor, starting with the sword. He pulled it from his hilt as if to check it's condition and slowly nodded to himself before using the strap on it on his back.

Next was the helmet, it's almost white color along with the golden crest on it's head seemed to signify something. But what, he can't recall. He bent over to pick it up and had managed to grab it when his legs, still slightly asleep, caused him to do a complete flip which made him land on his rear end with a thud. Zaldir had a look of surprise at the fall and looked at his legs as if trying to find which one was the guilty party.

"Cursed legs," he said quietly as he rubbed and hammered them lightly to get the blood flow going. Which was a mistake on his part as the sensation of it was unfamiliar as he hopped back on his feet in surprise.

"Ouch!" He said in the same amount of surprise. He then held his helmet in one hand as he looked at Arianrhod. "So, Princess," he then said, trying to change the subject. "Where exactly is this Orina?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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#, as written by Feyblue
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The Princess had at first been afraid of the man in the coffin, and then somewhat reverent as she realized his identity. Now, however, she was simply somewhat confused. He spoke with hesitation upon even being asked his name, and toppled the moment he took a few steps. She supposed he must still have been drowsy from his long sleep, but still. He certainly didn't look as though he was a an ancient warrior of great power and renown. He seemed more a curious child in the body of an adult, uncertain of the world around him, and out of place.

Of course, she realized, she couldn't expect him to understand what she spoke of when referring to things such as Orina, or even Humans, which had not existed in his time. Extending her free hand to help him up, she wondered how best to break it to him that the world he had known had disappeared long ago into the ancient past.

"Orina is a small kingdom in the flatlands of Fenarin," She explained. "Most of our population lives in isolated farming and trading towns, while the capitol, Orina itself, is located a few leagues to the west of Kreandor, and northeast of the Zankor Wasteland." The forests of Kreandor, at least, he would likely be familiar with. The Elven nations had hardly changed since his time, painstakingly maintaining the traditions and customs of their forefathers' forefathers. "It's primarily populated by Humans, myself included. I guess you could think of us as a somewhat imperfect form of Elves - their distant descendants." That seemed like a good enough way to explain what she was, and where they were. "Er..." She stammered, now reaching the difficult part. "You've been asleep for a very, very long time," She finished lamely, not sure how else to say it. "In fact, a great many people - once again including myself, until just a moment ago - thought you were dead."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuki Hayashi Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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(Ignore it was a double post. Arrrgh!)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuki Hayashi Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal




The Elf took her hand slowly and rose up, soaking in the information like a sponge to water. He felt something missing from within his mind, a deep empty space that went on and on. The Princess then hit a subject that almost made him feel shocked. "A very long time?" Zaldir echoed the phrase in the form of a question. A hand instinctively reached his head as a small pain in his head sprouted. Flashes he could not understand flourished in his mind. The next thing that came to his mind caused a more harsher pain.

"Dead?" He said as he heard other sounds, coming from behind Arianrhod. Large, foreboding footsteps. The next thing he registered was a large figure, followed by several others.

"Yes. Dead." Said The chiefest of The Five Regents who grabbed Arianrhod harshly by the shoulder. "I should thank the little abomination for providing us with a possible answer to our problems. But it also means she is attempting to take the throne from me. I do not like that idea at all. However, I can kill two birds in one. Kill her for treason and lay the blame on you. No one will believe you are who you claim to be. The Killer of Maelthra."

The single utterance of that ancient and dark name, suddenly registered in Zaldir's mind. It felt like a spark in a shed filled with straws. A fire was glowing in his mind as he placed his helmet onto his head. The helm was a perfect fit, almost as if it was made for him. His eyes suddenly glowed a faint green as a hidden visor slid into place on his lower face, whilst some of the other four regents were muttering about the idea spoken out. Almost unaware of the great danger they awoke deep inside him.

"No one will ever know the truth. You can rest in peace again knowing-Arrrgh!" The Regent's arm fell off of Aria's shoulder. In fact, the arm fell off the Regent's shoulder. Zaldir's sword was out and it was dripping with the blood it shed. Zaldir's eyes had the look of battle as the other Regents watched in terror.

"You Bastard! I'll have your head on a silver platter! You Harmed the rulers of Orina!" The regent would've barked more but then a sword came through his heart.

"The only ruler I see, is the young woman you threatened." Zaldir growled out from his helm, pushing the man from his blade, before he gazed upon the other four who watched in horror. "Does anyone else challenge the right of her rule? If not, kneel." he sheathed his sword as he awaited their reply.

---

A wind blew throughout the city, towards the west. It seemed to blow outwards towards Kreandor, as if a message was sent forth.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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#, as written by Feyblue
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She'd been followed. Of course she'd been followed. She should have known that the Regents would catch on to her little escape attempt and try to eliminate her as a threat while they had the chance. They must have discovered the note, and sent the servant to deliver it so as to lure her to a concealed location and eliminate her. She hadn't heard them enter behind her, which meant they must have already been lurking somewhere in the passage when she'd arrived.

She did not attempt to shake free of the man's hand. If she showed resistance, they would attack her, and she would lose control of herself. No matter what happened, people would die. Trying to stay calm, she pondered her best course of action. On the one hand, releasing her curse and eliminating them would save herself, but then how would she justify their deaths to the people? An assassin, perhaps? No, such an individual would target her personally to induce a crisis of succession, just like the last time an attack had been made on the royal house. She was still thinking when suddenly, the man she'd awakened lashed out, severing the arm that bound her in an instant.

She recoiled, giving a suppressed cry of terror and disgust as she hastily stumbled away from the man as he collapsed in a pool of his own blood. Blood, yes, that scarlet ichor that dribbled and ran all over the floor, very nearly soaking into the edges of her dress as she retreated, trying to avert her gaze from the horrid spectacle. Images flashed before her eyes of another corpse lying slain in such a pathetic state, prompting her to cover her eyes and begin shaking her head violently as though trying to banish the thoughts from her mind.

And then, it hit her. It would be so easy, so delightfully simple, to cover this up. A hidden tomb beneath the palace, in which all five regents would meet their untimely end, their deaths witnessed by nobody. It would be easy enough to use the mass hysteria of the populace about the cult of Maethra to inculpate them, saying they had been caught performing a demonic ritual in this hidden chamber, and slain by a loyal retainer who had followed them, suspecting their heresy. She wouldn't even have to conceal who the real killer was. Nobody noticed nor long remembered the names and faces of the palace servants. She could simply hide Zaldir's real identity, forging him a false one and bestowing upon him the honors for his heroism. Instating him as the captain of her personal guard, she could thus directly gain command over the most legendary hero ever to walk Fenarin.

The curse whispered such thoughts to the young princess, who, afraid of the repercussions she would face if she did not heed these bloody commands, slowly lowered her hands and turned to face Zaldir, a grave look coming over her face.

"I am afraid," The Princess began quietly, raising a hand to cover her golden eye in a habitual gesture. Even so, a faint yellow light seemed to seep between her pale fingertips, especially visible in the dimness of the torchlight. "That things will not be so simple. We cannot trust these men. They are liars and thieves by profession, and now that they have proven themselves traitors and murderers as well, they must be punished accordingly." Sentencing them to death thus, she sighed sadly, shaking her head as she explained her reasoning. "If word gets out that a Regent was killed for my sake, it will simply seem as though I am grasping selfishly for power. I might obtain the crown and my seat on the throne, but I would lose the respect of my people. The nobility would be up in arms against me, claiming divine justice on their side, within the month, and the citizenry, not knowing the truth, would join them. We would have civil war, rioting in the streets. For the sake of order, the corruption that taints Orina must be purged."

"What right to do you have to sentence us?!" Cried one of the Regents, taking a step back so as to be the first onto the stairs as he tried to put the others between himself and the vengeful Princess. "We raised you, protected you! We made this kingdom what it is now!"

"You locked me away in a tower to rot, and have turned the entire land into a cesspool of corruption and poverty," Arianrhod said with a sneer. "As matters stand, I feel little sympathy for you. As for what right I have, need you ask? Perhaps I wasn't clear before."

Amidst the darkness, something began to move, writhing its way up the stairs amidst the shadows. Its shape could not fully be determined, nor its form identified, as it lurked on the very edge of the perceptions of those within the chamber. Nevertheless, an oppressing sense of suffocating wrongness was beginning to emanate from the girl who stood at the room's center. Nevertheless, mastering herself, she calmed the raging curse inside her, reminding the voice within that begged her to slaughter those who threatened her that if she showed her true nature to Zaldir, he would likely attempt to slay her. And, as he'd killed a god in the past, she doubted her chances of overcoming him, even with her curse. And so, the darkness slipped back into the ground, disappearing almost before it could be noticed.

"I, Crown Princess Arianrhod venn Orianna, no longer have any need of your services. For your crimes of corruption, high treason, and now attempted murder, I hereby exercise the right of the throne to pass judgement on you. I find you guilty, and sentence you all to death so that this kingdom may continue to exist in peace and prosperity. May the gods have mercy on you, for you shall find none in this world." Turning to the elf who had just awakened, she gave a regretful, yet somehow disturbing smile. "Zaldir, was it? I apologize profusely for involving you in something so unsavory from the moment I awakened you. It was not my intention. Thank you for protecting me. However, I will not ask you to perform any more such duties for my sake. If someone must stain their hands with blood for the sake of this country, then I, as Princess, shall take on the sins of my nation, and soil my own hands in the deed of disposing of those who threaten Orina. So, then... would you please give me that sword?" She asked, reaching out as the Regents as one began to flee, tumbling over one another as they tried to get up the stairs. Of course, it would be useless. Even if they did get to the top, she'd jammed the lever to open the way out with a fragment of a torch, just in case anyone had followed her and tried to open it from the outside. By the time they could get the passageway open, she could easily dispose of them. And, besides, watching them tumble over one another in their frantic, mutual attempts to use each other as meat shields was amusing, in a sick way. Any time one got close to escaping, the others would pull him down, thus remaining caught just a few steps into the narrow passage. How pathetic.

"Do hurry up, please. I do believe they may escape some time in the next hour," She added sarcastically as an afterthought.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


Zaldir looked at the girl with both worry and fright. She turned almost cold towards those hostile to her. But then he looked at his handiwork as the glow in his eyes faded. Reluctantly, Zaldir passed his blade to her hand. "Please treat it carefully, it's my father's and older then I." He said at last as his body quivered and the he leaned on the nearest wall looking almost uncomfortable about the situation he ended up in.

"Oh, it's you Zaldir." a dark whisper permeated in his mind. "It's been a long time....Hm, I feel confusion. How am I here you ask yourself? My spirit endured whilst my body was being dead."

"Do I know you?" Zaldir's thoughts tried to make sense of the current mind struggle in his head.

"Hm? Don't remember? Must be one of those wounds I gave you in my death throes. You know, after you murdered me? Think on that awhile Last of the Kestal Clan. I look forward to our next meeting if these people can work any faster in their search." and with that, the presence in Zaldir's mind was gone and he was having a splitting headache.

The pain was excruciating. It was like his entire head was being pressed down by a two ton boulder. Any moment his mind would burst. He slowly gritted his teeth in agony. He breathing heightened in its speed as if he was afraid of the pain. He was close to sliding down onto the floor. However, the pain faded as he then waited for the Princess to return.

When she did he slowly looked up at her. His visor was open and his face looked like it was frowning. "How long did you say I was sleeping? 300? 400? Princess, I want to know. I want to know!!" he said in a desperate sounding way.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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"Thank you," Said the princess quietly, taking the blade and running her hand down its flat, ignoring the blood that stained her fingers. The balance was easy enough to adjust to, although it was heavier than any other object she was used to precisely holding. Nevertheless, she was much stronger than she looked. It would not be an issue. Already, the Regents were staggering to their feet, several drawing weapons in a last ditch attempt to defend themselves against the vengeful girl's wrath. Evidently, with her curse suppressed and Zaldir's threat eliminated, they had remembered that they were just here to kill a single girl, and grown more confident. Arianrhod merely smiled. That would just make things easier. Eying up her opponents, she analyzed her chances, and the course the battle would take. Their weapons were long knives at best, and, as was more often the case, little more than oversized needles. This would be too simple.

"You may have the better weapon, but we have the advantage of numbers and skill!" Roared one of the Regents, lunging forward with his knife. "Let's see you kill any of us with a sword you don't even know how to-"

He got no further, for in the next instant, she had casually sidestepped, bringing down her elbow at the same time as she brought up her knee, catching the old man's wrist between them and snapping it with an ease that clashed completely with her fragile form. The strength of the curse simmered beneath the surface of her body, shrieking with delight inside her very soul as the regent fell to his knees, clutching his shattered hand and whimpering. This, too, was swiftly silenced as the elven sword she wielded gently - mercifully, even - pierced through his windpipe with the ease of a knife through wet paper.

"Would anyone else care to make good on their promises of high treason, or will you all be so kind as to lie down and die for me?" Asked the princess calmly, her tone a mockery of her usual polite, gentle cadences.

The Regents felt terror for the last time.

"No? I thought not. In that case, I'll demonstrate to you the error of your ways in challenging your Princess," She said, smirking as she lowered herself into a crouch, then leaped forward, pouncing like a wild predator and closing the distance immediately. The Regents, cowed by the deaths of their comrades, offered little resistance as they attempted to flee. They made it, at most, two steps before they were cut down, their pitiful gurgles of terror silence by the crimson-stained edge of Zaldir's sword.

Arianrhod stood over the bodies of the men who had controlled her, trying to brush their blood from her face, but only serving to spread the scarlet claret over her visage. Turning, she deftly turned the blade on its side, taking its flat with both hands and offering it back to the elf.

"Thank you for trusting me," She said quietly, stepping back into the light of her dropped torch, now soaked quite thoroughly in blood. This, coupled with the almost-visible glow of her right eye, made her look quite terrifying. Nevertheless, her voice was as calm and polite as ever. "I understand that I must seem quite the savage to you, but I ask that for the time being you believe me when I say that this was the only path available to me. Had they lived, they would only have served to destroy this kingdom."

However, the response she got was not the one she'd expected. Instead of questioning her on her motives and reasoning, what she got was a panicked inquiry into how long Zaldir had been unconscious. She averted her eyes, understanding the terror and disbelief he must have felt. To think that the world he had known had been gone for an immeasurable time, and he was only just now waking to find everything changed forever.

"It's been much longer than that, I'm afraid," The Princess said quietly, not wanting to face him as she broke to him what must have been horrifying news. "You were recorded to have died in the ancient legends. The best estimate we have at present as to how long ago that was, exactly, is approximately seven millennia. I'm afraid that's the closest thing to an answer I can give you." She grimaced, biting her lip as she watched his expression, feeling responsible for whatever horror and crestfallen despair she might witness flashing across it.

"I'm deeply sorry," She said.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna Character Portrait: Jing Su

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Zaldir Kestal


Terror, confusion, an above all else, sadness crossed his mind. Because not only did he realize the weight of his long sleep, but the toll of said sleep, came at a terrible price. His memories were lost to him. He can only remember certain names, certain faces, but other then that, he couldn't burst the void to remember further. He then he turned to the man he killed and then the sword in hand that he took back from the woman.

"Why am I here, and what sorcery keeps me from remembering my past, that I do not know why?" He mused out loud. "Where is my home, my family, my loved ones? Where are they, I do not know."

Silently Zaldir sheathed his sword and turned to the one who awakened him. Arianrhod was in the torchlight but she looked sorry for telling him the answer he asked for. He frowned as he placed a reassuring pat on her shoulder and offered a small smile. It was then he finally noticed her right eye. Still holding his smile, but holding slight concern he looked a little closer at the eye.

"You've been through your fair share of evil in this world." The young elf said softly. "I guess that hasn't changed since I was gone. Seven Millennia and evil keeps crawling out of the gutter." He then sighed. He didn't know what else to say. But then he felt another pang. This time, it was his heart that felt the pain. He remembered something from within that portion of memories. Almost as if he said those words before.

"Can we leave this place now? The stench in here is suffocating to me." He said in a plain sounding voice. "And you need a wash Milady." He gave a small grin as he offered his hand to lead her back to the exit.

----

Meanwhile in the palace dungeons, A guard wearing different Armor, signifying as the captain of the castle guard went to the cell that seemed to hold the party of one. "The regents are too busy with state matters to deal with you. But from what I hear, you're pretty honest." The captain said as he pulled out a key to the cell door. "Just don't climb on rooftops anymore then you have to. There's an inn nearby with a room that has a lovely view of the western lands. The 'White Ram'. I suggest going and renting that room if you want to sightsee sir. Exit's down the hall, first door on the right."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuki Hayashi Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna Character Portrait: Jing Su

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Jing Su stood up from the bed and bowed, grasping one hand in the other and leaning forward slightly "Thank you, sir. Please forgive me if I caused you any inconvenience and thank you again for the recommendation." he smiles beneath his hood before exiting the cell. He picks up his belongings and his weapon from another guard and walks up the stairs. As he's walks up, he starts thinking on what his father told him about learning more of the world. "Was it that no matter what you do, some won't appreciate your actions...? Hm..." he brushes his chin a little, thinking on it.

When he reached a castle hallway, he knew something didn't feel right. Something in the air felt cold and terrifying, referring to Princess Arianrhod's curse. He thought about whether or not he should investigate, but if he stayed longer than he needed to, the guards might get suspicious again, so he makes for the exit of the castle. He had enough stressful events for one night and he hoped that this was the worst of it as he walked silently down the halls. Even after being led through here when the guard took him prisoner, he still marveled at the massive corridors of the castle, wishing he could stay longer and explore every room. He sighs deeply, knowing that he shouldn't stay long and turned right at the end of the hall. Smiling when he reaches the entrance hall, he makes his way towards the gate, eager to make it to the White Ram and pay for a nice warm bed.

Try as he might however, Jing Su couldn't shake the air of hostility that permeated throughout the castle, not just from within, but also approaching. He rubs the wire at the end of his sword's hilt between his thumb and index finger, meditating as he slowly makes his way towards the gate "Ancestors guide me through these chaotic times...let no harm be brought to those around me...grant me the strength to give protection and guidance." he whispers to himself as he walks.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Arianrhod grimaced, averting her gaze from the man and covering her golden eye out of habit. "I suppose you're right," She said. "In any case, now that these men are dead, we'll have to invent a cover story to keep what happened here our little secret. Currently, a cult dedicated to Maethra, the dark god you slew, lurks beneath the surface of day-to-day society. We'll claim that this chamber was a ritual sanctum dedicated to him, the Regents his worshipers, and myself their attempted victim. The public hatred for the Cult should be enough to satisfy the populace, so that the transition of power takes place peacefully - at least, for now." Composing herself, Arianrhod sighed, continuing. "However, at the same time, there are those who, hearing of your revival, would doubtless stop at nothing to claim your life. For the time being, we should conceal your identity. It would be best to simply claim that you were a palace servant who stumbled across their 'ritual,' was 'discovered,' and killed them in self defense with one of their own weapons. For saving me, you would be rewarded and lauded as a hero, and placed highly enough within societal rankings that nobody will dare question you. Through this means, we can keep the peace for the time being."

"I understand this will probably seem quite unpleasant," She said quietly. "But please, you have to believe me when I say that this is the only way we can keep both the civilians and the nobility in line. If the citizens find out I've staged a coup, the nobility can easily manipulate the telling of things to make me seem like I've gone mad, and turn the country against me. If that happens, they're free to begin civil war, take over, and run all of Orina into the ground for their own gain. To save this country, for now, we must deceive everyone, and prepare the nation to face the threat the nobility will doubtless one day pose. I will not beg for your cooperation, nor will I try to force you into following me. But I will ask of you one thing... will you trust me?" She at last met Zaldir's gaze, a twin sense of hope and fear in her eyes.

"My father left me a note telling me I should wake you from your slumber. He told me how to get to this place, and how to bring you back from your sleep. I think he knew that I would need your help to reform Orina, to right the wrongs that have been ingrained into our very system of government over the past millennia. You've saved the whole world once. I know that. I know I have no right to ask any more of you - you, who I've brought back from within his own very grave. Even so... You can save me. You can save all of Orina. So... will you stand with me?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


Zaldir looked at the girl strangely as she said all this, although, since he was older then normal however, he had to admit she had a point. The incident had to be covered up and him as a wandering palace servant in this place seemed like a good idea. However, when she mentioned this cult his body tensed up in anger. But he took a deep breath and tried to keep calm. The stench however slowly got the better of him as he took her hand to take her up towards where the exit was indicated.

"Only under these conditions; you must promise me you'll follow through with them." Zaldir sighed, knowing that he has no other choice but to trust this girl. "First, you have to help me figure out my past and the reasons I ended up where you found me. Second, I want to investigate this cult and find their intentions, any follower of Maelthra is not a good thing and probably one of the reasons Your Father wanted you to find me, if they do the unthinkable, The world will need my help once again."

Zaldir stopped at the exit and saw the torch that jammed the switch. He pulled it out and sighed as he turned to give her another smile. "Third and final condition. Possibly the easiest. You must show me this new world I'm about to embark into. Seven Millennia, or whatever true amount I've been gone. I want to see it. Every new or unknown marvel to me. You promise to do these things, I will help you in your plight, for I feel that soon you may eventually become part of what I have to do in the second condition. I may even need your help during that point."

Zaldir gestured for her to pull the switch. "So Princess, Do we have a deal?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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"Of course," replied the Princess, nodding composedly. She did not hesitate for a second in agreeing to his conditions, because she'd already expected each and every one of them. After all, if he was to help her save Orina, he would most certainly want something in return. The completion of the tasks he'd given his life to start upon would be the natural choice, as well as helping him adapt to the new world, and to understand what had happened to him while he slept. "Although the Regents dismissed the Cult as a myth, I assure you, I already was intending to look into their affairs even before I met you." Removing the broken off piece of torch from where it had been jammed into the switch, she reached up to pull the lever. Smiling wryly, she glanced back at Zaldir.

"Well, then, I suppose it's my turn to play the part of the damsel in distress, barely saved from a horrible fate by an unknown hero. It should not be too difficult, considering my current appearance. I just hope my hysterics have been sufficiently practiced." Throwing the switch, she opened up the chamber, stepping out into the moonlit throne room. Clearing her throat, she glanced back to the elf, offering him a hand up the last step.

"So, what say you? To get our story out and make it seem credible, we'll need to make something of a ruckus to announce the Regents' 'crime,' and their deaths. Shall I call for the guards, screech about how I was almost murdered and then become suddenly overcome and faint dramatically after the climax of my tale? Or would you prefer to be the one to raise the alarm?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuki Hayashi Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna Character Portrait: Jing Su

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Zaldir Kestal


"You may call out and shout, and tell the tale and then faint." Zaldir said nodding in slight approval. He had half wondered what will entail next after the guards hear the tale and such. Also he hoped he could find an excuse for his clothing and sword. All were smart ideas. He waited for her to start shouting.

When she did, several guards would enter the room. "What is it what's the matter?!" Would be the cries of the guards as they came.

Meanwhile....


"I wouldn't go in there if I were you, dear Child of Dark. came a chilling voice in Yuki's ears. It almost sounded like the selfsame voice that haunted Another's mind not too long ago. "You'll find only death there, Death and suffering at the hands of my greatest foe. Seek out a forgotten shrine to the south my child, if you can. I'll be waiting." and with that the voice fell silent.

White Ram Inn


The White Ram's public bar area of the inn was incredibly busy during this time of night. If one would call minding some drunks and tending to midnight travelers looking for a place to rest their bones a busy night. The Innkeeper was sitting on his chair bored as he wrote on a business ledger trying to make sure his supplies, orders, and stocks in the pantry were accounted for. The innkeeper, one Phillip O'Cyrus by name, was a simple man around aged forty, he had family over in the provinces where elves frequented Orina on business.

The family he had here was pleasant enough as well, the Barmaiden who was napping in one of the vacant rooms was his daughter of 18, and helped him out working out several supplies. In the meantime most of the travelers either left the inn or Rented a room for the night. And he half expected no other visitors at the moment.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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"Very well then. Your attire is simplistic, and should not be questioned. Still, I might advise you to hide that helmet somewhere. It stands out far too much. You could use the tunnel, for now. If all goes as planned, we should be able to access this room any time we want from now on, so retrieving it should not be of any difficulty."

Once the helmet was safely stowed away, the Princess sighed, took a deep breath, and then mentally prepared herself for the act she would have to perform. Everything hinged on their tale seeming credible. But, then again, she'd been waiting for this day all her life. She couldn't afford to fail now. And if her own fate, and that of her country depended on it, then Arianrhod was confident that her chances of failure were as good as zero!

So, doing her best to sound shaken and terrified, she screamed out at the top of her lungs. "GUARDS! GUARDS! COME QUICKLY!" In an instant, the sound of rushing footsteps was heard in the outer passage, and the great doors swung open, several men with torches rushing in. Their eyes focused immediately on the Princess, soaked in blood, before darting to the man at her side, holding a bloodied sword. In an instant, they drew their weapons, staring down the unknown individual. "Princess," The leader asked. "What happened here?!"

"T-the regents!" She shrieked, eyes wide with feigned terror. Zaldir might have noticed immediately that she was good at playing whatever role was required of her - including, it seemed, the damsel in distress. Given her experience with the subject of being the victim of an attempted murder, it wasn't difficult to recall how she'd felt and acted then and replicate the experience as best she could. "They were mad! MAD!" She wailed, taking the guardsman's hand suddenly in both of her own, staining the shocked man's palm in the blood that soaked her. "They took me to some sort of tomb beneath the throne room... t-tried to kill me!"

"What?!" Asked the man, his eyes wide with shock.

"I think... I think they were trying to sacrifice me in some sort of ritual...! If this servant hadn't come to my rescue, I would have died for sure!"

"Where are the regents now, Princess?" Asked the man, looking around.

"Secret... chamber..." She gasped, stepping backward and pointing vaguely in the direction of the throne. "They're... they're all..." At this point, she let out a wild, terrified shriek and allowed herself to fall backward, carefully positioning herself to stumble right into the arms of Zaldir, her face seeming pale in the moonlight as she "fainted," presenting the perfect image of a hysterical almost-victim, and Zaldir, her savior.

"You," Said the man, looking straight at Zaldir and sheathing his sword. "Tell me your name, and what happened - now."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


Zaldir had hidden his helmet just behind the door before the guards came and watched Arianrhod play out her scene of playing the would be victim. The guards watched both her and him and knew they were suspicious of him. He had to think of something carefully before something catastrophic happened to blow his soon to be cover, and ruin any of his chances to figure out the truth of his past, and why he ended up sleeping for 6,000 years. He only knew two things, his name, and The name Maelthra who seems to set him off in anger.

He then saw Arianrhod fall right into his arms, causing him to drop his sword and catch her immediately. She was taking pretending too far. He nearly believed it himself. But that put him in the precarious position of explaining himself, and forging a different name. "Thanks a lot Aria...."

It was then his mind gave a jolt in his head as he seemed to remember another name. "My name is Talion, son of Cilion. I'm an attendee to the Princess's tower. I wish I can explain the monstrous sight I witnessed. The Regents dragged her down a secret chamber, it looked like some sort of tomb, and attempted to do a dark ritual and taint the sanctity of it. That sword was there, ancient elvish of my kin of old. So, I was there, they didn't notice me until it was close to too late. They're all dead by that blade. I had to quickly say a prayer to the deceased individual to catch up with her for out of fright she ran."

His explanation ended on that note as he silently hoped it'd hold through. If so then all would be well and everything would be fine, if not, he'd have to prepare to defend himself and Arianrhod if need be. Either way, he'd collect his helmet from it's hiding place in anticipation.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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"The regents are dead?!" Asked a guard, eyes wide with horror as he realized what might happen next. "Then... who will lead Orina?!"

"If they were with the Dark Ones, then perhaps it is for the best..." Spoke up another man uneasily from the midst of the small group.

"You - Talion," Spoke the captain of the guard. "The Princess says you saved her, so I have no choice but to accept what you say as true. However, you've just confessed to mass regicide. Normally, the sentence for such a crime would be banishment at the very least." Glancing between the "servant" and the "terrified" young "victim" in his arms, the Captain sighed and lowered his sword. "However, it is also customary for those who perform a great service to the country to be granted a title, and a boon. You have saved our Princess today, and as such, we will stand down until she wakes." Bowing respectfully to their Princess' rescuer, the man turned to face the rest of the assembled guardsmen. "For now, it is our duty to escort the Princess back to her chambers, and to see to it that she is protected from any further harm until she awakens."

"But what then?" Asked a man amidst the guardsmen. "The Regents, those authorized to govern Orina by the crown we swore fealty to, are dead. Who then shall lead us?"

"We swore fealty to the crown, not to the Regents - and I believe I speak for everyone in this nation when I say that we shall mourn their passing little," Contested another guard.

"But the Princess is cursed! Can she truly be trusted to succeed her father?" Protested a third man.

"She is the only one who can!" Bellowed out the captain of the guard, silencing the lot of them. "As of now, serving her is our only duty." Clearing his throat. He pointed towards the unconscious girl, and spoke the words uttered by all those loyal to true blood during a time of succession.

"THE REGENTS ARE DEAD!" He roared. "LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna Character Portrait: Jing Su

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Zaldir Kestal


Zaldir felt relieved that they bought it. However, he knew he only killed a fifth of them whilst Arianrhod took out the rest. None of that mattered much though, his sword, he pretty much did the deed. Then the captain of the guard shouted in announcement that the Princess was now the Queen. "Long live the Queen. Long.....live....the Queen?" his mind slowly drew a blank but the guards helped him up and started to lead him, with Aria in his arms, to her chambers.

But his mind felt like it was recalling something so long ago. But he could not place the strange memory that wormed in his mind

---

He was standing at attention as she was being crowned Queen, wearing a helmet that was not yet adorned with the crest upon it. She looked every bit a Queen, Long had he served her in his youth as a Princess. He watched her in her flowing silver dress which brought about the brightness of her silver eyes. Both Servant and mistress had grown and matured in their own environment.

He dutifully followed her orders of being in the military, having had training of the sword by his own Father. But then, a black creature appeared and started attacking the guests, clawing and gnashing it's way towards the Queen. He began to charge at the monster...


-----

Zaldir's Mind snapped back to reality and found he followed the guards to Arianrhod's Chambers and they left him alone with her. He set her down on what seemed to him a bed as he eyed a cup with strange liquid. Curiosity egged him on as he took the cup and sniffed it. He took a small sip of the cup and immediately set it down quickly and backed up, starting to smack his lips at the strange taste of his first taste of tea.




White Ram Inn


"Oh, yes sir, that'll do kindly." Phillip said as he started writing the amount on his logbook. "This'll cover a night and a nice warm meal. And if you wish sir I'll make a Welcome package for ya. For an extra Two Silvers I give you from a week to a month's worth of staying in White Ram, Free of charge."

Phil paused in his writing when the stranger asked for any rumors about. "When isn't there Rumors lad? Are you some kind of adventurer? Anyway, aside from the world wide cult rumors, I hear tell of a small goblin den or two an hour's walk from the Capital that the farm folk of that area are having troubles with. Perfect start for a man like you."

Phillip then flipped the book around. "Just sign on this area here and your room is the Second door to yer right upstairs."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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The Princess opened her eyes in the instant the door had shut, smirking as she heard the footsteps of the guards walking away, the familiar sound of the key turning in the lock nowhere to be heard. Her golden eye shimmered faintly in the half-light as she propped herself up against the many pillows of her bed, glancing over to the elf in the corner, laughing quietly to herself at his reaction the cold cup of tea he'd stumbled across, leftover from her evening meal.

"That's called tea," She said helpfully. "You're normally supposed to drink it hot." Composing herself, she pulled herself to a fully upright seated position, her legs dangling over the edge of the bed, lost in the folds of her bloodstained dress. "Queen, huh...?" She murmured quietly, glancing over to a portrait hanging on the far wall, a look of sadness in her eyes as she looked upon the visage of the last queen, rendered lovingly in painted form now that the woman herself lay at rest beneath the earth. "Well, I must admit, everything that has happened today has been most unexpected. Nevertheless, there is little time to remain at ease. Ideally, we could have deposed the regents through their own corruption, displaying the evidence for all the nation to see. That would have engendered the most goodwill towards our new, pure regime. Although we've dealt with them permanently, there still may be those in the kingdom who will see through our charade and realize that their deaths were a scheme on my part. The nobility, too, will be in a panic when they find that those who supported them while in office are dead. Under best case circumstances, they'd probably begin arriving and trying to curry favor with me within a few days of the proclamation. However, considering the circumstances of the regents' deaths, I believe it's more likely that they'll refuse to acknowledge me as queen, due to the threat I present to their power. They won't act out immediately, since they'll need time to prepare and organize themselves, and to draw others to their cause, but... I believe that Orina may soon face a full revolt of the nobility. As we are now, our armed forces are not prepared to face such a crisis, nor could our economy withstand it. Should the country fracture permanently, it would mean catastrophe - a dark age the likes of which have not been seen since the coming of Maelthra."

"That being said, our first priority should be getting you up to speed on the current state of events. Perhaps with a hero such as yourself to show the common people, we could inspire others to follow your example should war actually break out, and with your skills on our side, we could hopefully put a swift end to any sort of coup d'etat. In addition, though, we'll need to establish alliances with the nations surrounding Orina, so as to deter any prospective rebels. Once we've prepared ourselves for the inevitability of a succession crisis, we can turn our attentions inward, and investigate this cult that seems to have prompted father to tell me of your existence."

"You must have many questions. As thanks for all you've done, I'll do my best to answer whatever you may ask. It's the least I can do to help you find your footing."

(Arianrhod venn Orianna: Turning normal fantasy RPs into Game of Thrones-esque jumbles of plotting and political intrigue. On the one hand, she's really fun to write. On the other, though, it's a bit difficult. XD)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zaldir Kestal Character Portrait: Arianrhod venn Orianna

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Zaldir Kestal


Zaldir looked at the teacup suspiciously as if trying to consider finding a way to heat it up. But then he heard Arianrhod explain about the other nobles who might not like her. She also explained the normal citizens might plan a revolt, which made Zaldir more worried then ever. But then the Name Maelthra came up and he clenched his fist slightly.

"Aria, I call you that because your name is a mouthful, let's understand this. The citizens are slowly getting worried about this cult you speak of, and the normal overseers of parts of your land only care for their own skins and power? That sounds like...nothing compared to the realm I lived in, but, what should I know, You say I'm from a time long past." Zaldir sighed as he snapped his fingers almost instinctively as his helmet appeared in his hand, holding it by one of it's golden horns.

He set it down reverently on the table as he sat down. "You need to make your people love you. Let them know your first major priority is the common folk's safety. We can worry about the noble's at another time. If anything the first thing they'll try to cry for is a punishment upon me." He stated quietly, "If they utter a threat against me, I will imply my true nature...if I remember what I was as Maelthra's slayer."

Zaldir noted the look Arianrhod had of the portrait of the Woman. Her mother possibly. He gave a soft sigh as suddenly the image of the woman he saw in his slight gaze of his memory came to mind. "Lastly, I just had a bit of my memory return, though I don't know from whence it came. I remember a woman. A woman with Eyes of Silver, skin like snow. Hair that was so beautiful...even Corellon the Creator would be envious."