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Eugene Van Goff

"Fight to the death, or not at all."

0 · 163 views · located in Lastra

a character in “Elements”, as played by AceofSpade

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Known as the nation of a Tyrant, a legacy believed to be inherited by the New King who is now protected by an unyielding yet slowly crumbling Guardians. Yet, deep within the crevice of dirt and soil, there could be a light like none other.

Description




Eugene Van Goff





Image
Name: Eugene Van Goff
Age: 131
Description: Proud and condescending, pompous or smug, dishonest and loyal, though sometimes contradictory, these amalgamation of terms are what typically spring to mind when attempting to illustrate one such Eugene Van Goff. His appearance is not far from a nobleman, blessed with strong, regal good looks and an award winning smile. Handsome and boldly defined features are encased within ephemeral, well groomed golden locks that lovingly cling to the edges of his face, framing it flawlessly. At a considerable height of 6’2”, Eugene’s physical presence is nothing short of daunting for most, enabling him to look down at people as he is often so fond to do with his clear, sky blue eyes. Compounding his powerful aura is the ideal body for a warrior; the pinnacle of humanoid perfection, bonded together in tightly corded but well nourished muscle that help facilitate his vast reservoir of combat maneuvers.

Eugene's uniform is pressed and immaculately fitted to support his masculine build. Edges of his jacket tug at the corner of his being, but only just enough to hint at his raw capacity for brute strength. An extended collar sits upright and runs around the trunk of his neck, its rim ending just beneath his almond eyes so as not to impair his vision. Parts of his sleeves are filled with padding, over-exaggerating segments of his body's proportions in comical, yet aristocratically stylized fashions. Descending down, similar padding is incorporated into his trousers which end just below his knee-high boots. A permanent fixture on his being is the sword, sheathed and often partially hidden behind his back. The scabbard itself is lavishly decorated, coated with a layer of golden embroidering underneath polish scab red paint. Decorated as it maybe, the scabbard seems to bear little significance itself in juxtaposition to its precious cargo.

Power: Earth
Role: Protector, Sword Bearer
Race: Lares
Lares are ageless deities, beings of whom are believed to control and preserve everything within their boundary of protection. Frequently seen as guardian spirits, on rare occasions they manifest themselves as physical beings. Every lare is bound to a specific location, often a home, farm or city, but some also protect certain roads and pathways. As a spirit deity, Eugene needs zero sustenance to function. Likewise, he has no need for sleep, although he is capable to experience sensations such as pain and fatigue thanks to his mortal form. Ultimately, Eugene will continue to live until either he or the object under his protection is destroyed.

Personality: Piecing the enigmatic figure that is Eugene together, the man is best described as a self-possessed guardian of the Earth King, strong, aloof, immovable and physically imposing in ways one would typically expect from an earth user. He acts as the stone-cold hearted killer, a man of necessity and terrifying ruthlessness. In combination with his years of experience, his composure is excellent. Exceptionally rare are the times Eugene has been incapable of visibly masking his surprise or expressed anger. That is not to say Eugene is entirely immune. Eugene’s outbursts are whittled down to subtle nuances and are easily spotted by an observant eye; a slight twitch of a lip or a click of his tongue often betrays his true feelings and can serve to undermine his otherwise perfect facade.

Yet on top of this, he is also devisive, bordering on ambitious, something which is clearly reflected in his expansive earth magic capabilities and his constant bid for more information. Eugene is not so stringent a person as the rest of his cast, finding their stubbornness far too restrictive and far too imposing to live by. Instead, Eugene maintains a sharp and tempered mind. He is an intellectual possessed of a keen intelligence and battle instincts fostered over his years of deadly scenarios and life-threatening service. Likewise, these attributes give drive to an indomitable opportunist and manipulator. That said, he has a tendency for being overly confident. Though young in terms of the ageless service of Lares, Eugene is far older than most mortal races and he knows it. When it comes to fighting, as far as Eugene is concerned, he has seen it all and is better for it. His efficiency and expertise is offset by innate issues conserving group or personal relationships. Well known for his narcissism, Eugene has the awful habit of severing his interactions by simple virtue of the fact that he drives those around him away. Understandably of course, few people are able to withstand his frustrating competitiveness. Dangerously, this can also compel him into committing actions of uncharacteristic recklessness.

Underneath the slick veneer is a deep rooted loathing for the kings and their protectors. Eugene has never explained it nor gone to great efforts to display his hatred, the one thing keeping him in check likely being his binding to the Earth King; but this abhorrence exists nonetheless, meaning he is quick to blame if the dots join correctly and distrusts all others with the exclusion of himself.

History/Bio: Eugene’s circumstances are extraordinarily odd when one considers his race of origin. As a Lare, a guardian deity, it is more traditional for such beings to be tied down to a single place, a physical plane in which they would protect for the entirety of their lives. Obviously, Eugene is not your typical lare and refuses to be tied down to any one location. Eugene does not circulate around a sole domain or place; instead he guards the Earth King. If there are any interactions involving the Earth King, you can always be certain that Eugene lingers close by, watching dutifully from beyond the shadows. Yet even if he wished for it, the guardian would be physically incapable off straying beyond a certain distance for in actuality he is bonded to the Earth King. Never has he dared to disclose the consequences of wandering away from his charge for fear of revealing his weakness, though it is heavily implied that doing so would lead to incredibly painful consequences. The second mystery as to how he broke away from his original chains remains a tight lipped secret. Although to many, this could be seen as a double edged sword. To not be trapped and relegated to one place but offered the sweet, tantalizing prospect of freedom yet never be able to truly attain it is another curse in and of itself. Truly, Eugene despises this reality and is ever on the look-out for a way to liberate himself of his fate. In certain respects this makes him treacherous, but predictable if manipulated by the right minds.

The single obvious other mystery surrounding his being is the sword sheathed behind the back of his waist. The sword has never been drawn or seen in use for close combat. Indeed some even whisper that the blade itself is broken, a lost heirloom of some by forgotten era. The truth of these matters will likely remain unknown so long as Eugene refuses to share them.

Other: None




Written Sample

WIP [More to come]

So begins...

Eugene Van Goff's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Kana Gotou Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Telius Chozai Character Portrait: Kana

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Thirteen Years Ago

It all started with cheerful humming on one harmonious autumn afternoon. Beneath the sunny veil and fiery leaves that hung suspended on thorny branches, tranquility was disturbed by melodic tunes and the rustle of green grass. The sweet voice belonged to a little girl, no older than eight, her diminutive stature and joyful humming masking her intentions without fail. Her feet moved quickly, leading the wandering child and the bag of tricks over her back to a quiet amphitheatre that opened up to the clear blue sky.

A single, speechless guardian stood poised and ready to meet her, watching over the vacant space from the centre of the clearing. Basking in sunlight, his steel façade glistened wondrously, displaying his towering magnificence in all its glory. The statue was situated on top of an embroidered iron slab, its shoulders eased in relaxation. One arm held a sword to its chest, the pommel held in a deliberate upside-down fashion so that the tip of the blade just barely scratched against the ground. The other hand donned a shield, a symbol of protection. At the bottom of the statue, a golden plaque showcased, "Prosperity". Like all statues, sadly, it carried an awful stillness about it.

This monstrous metal masterpiece portrayed none other than Eugene van Goff, the Lares who watched over the surrounding town. While most all the citizens had never seen their guardian angel in person, some insist that the monument — over three metres tall, mind you — was the same size as the real thing! It was at the base of the statue that this little girl stopped, emptying her sack filled with variably-sized metal balls, shields, and chains and the like. Was she making an offering through sacrifices?

Well, that's what van Goff believed, and it captured his interest as a king finding a new country to conquer.

Even a child knows of my brilliance, he haughtily thought, but the little girl didn't actually care. This was just another of her experiments. One by one, from tiny metal pellets to her late grandmother's rings to the pair of five-kilogram shields, each object was sacrificed faster than the last, until the second shield disappeared almost instantaneously.

"So," the little girl started as she spoke to herself, "You can use the energy from one sacrifice to break down another one?" She looked up to Eugene's gleaming steel face, her own eyes overcome with fierce curiosity. She had at least fourteen kilograms' worth of magical energy at her disposal, and it was all surrounding the fantastic statue from the base to the perfectly-cast locks of hair in a twisting, twirling blue light.

"What was the incantation again?" It took her a moment to think as the length of energy latched itself to Eugene's beloved sculpture, effortlessly engulfing it. She may have missed a few words, but the deceptive strength in her young voice had worked all the same coupled with the energy she'd already built up.

"Bound by the laws of magic, I, Kana Gotou, order you to become my power." In a matter of moments, the monument was gone.

No sound betrayed the startling phenomenon. Steel atomized as the entire figure cascaded down in the span of a breath, crumbling into floating particles of blue energy that were immediately absorbed into Kana's body. The whole process was utterly mystifying until the significance of her words hit a little too close to home. The small girl looked in joy and wonder at the fruits of her labor, yet something was off.

In response to her destruction, the skies flared red, embittered with celestial outrage as a deafening thunder clap rocked the clearing. An explosion roared behind her, the force of it shattering the earth and shaking trees. Out of the smoldering crater stalked a man. The air within crackled and hissed in chaos, as if distorted by the nature of his entrance. Elegant, domineering strides brought him up the light incline towards this impudent little criminal and halted just short of her, the gap between them only being the late statue's resting place. Glowering down, the lare was nearly twice Kana's height and he used it to full effect. The man's likeness was nearly identical to that of the statue's, but he was far from placid, and he was far from virtuous. Azure eyes narrowed in irritation where the statue had once been before drifting over the girl, who seemed even more interested in what she'd just caused. He was going to wipe away that oh so innocent expression of hers. Permanently.

"That was a wonderful magic trick," van Goff began with a click of his tongue and a livid grin. "You'd have made a great mage, child. Unfortunately, you've defiled a monument directly under my protection. More to the point, you chose to destroy a monument dedicated to me. Although a statue could never quite equate to my glory, this is a crime I view as a personal insult, the penalty for which is death." Death, to little Kana, seemed harsh.

"Any last words?" he asked as electrical energy snaked threateningly around his fist. Kana went into thought once again. She had an insane amount of magical energy at her fingertips, and she certainly didn't feel like dying. Looking up at Eugene's eyes, blazing with the rage of divine betrayal as they were, she remembered the more serene and protective expression on the monument's face.

"Your statue was prettier," she remarked, exploding into droplets of water that disappeared into the sky and escaped the reach of her demise.

It was the first and last time Eugene van Goff had met the defiant little girl, but he has never lived the humiliation down. Releasing an angry curse, the lare swore to restore his honor. Fortunately, he had all the time in the world.




Present

The twin double doors to the chamber slammed open with indiscriminate haste, instantly revealing the lithe form behind them. Ignoring the attention she had drawn, Rosena, the second guardian of the earth king, wasted no time in striding forwards. Apparently, there was only one individual deserving of her attention within the room and she approached him with purpose. A hint of urgency pinched her ordinarily smooth features as the woman halted before her King and bowed formally.

"My King. I have grave news to inform you. Telius, the Water King, and his protectors, are dead,"

“The Water King’s death is hardly something to get flustered over, Rosena,” the voice of Eugene van Goff echoed snidely from beside the King. A dreadful arrogance oozed from his downward gaze. Eugene’s words were rich and deeply spoken, but the accent was oddly indistinguishable, like someone had only just introduced the native language to the corporeal Lare. A giant of a man, the first guardian stood to attention, arms crossed over his impeccable uniform. As ever, he resided closest to Telius, though he hardly had a choice in that matter. “If the Water King and his ilk died, it only means the current incarnation was too feeble to fend for himself. Rest assured Rosena, the earth faction is nowhere near as weak.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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#, as written by Siryn
Kaed Kuhti

The double doors opened again almost immediately after he'd walked into the council room. The tiny girl bounced into the room, her teddy bear clutched to her chest as she moved and took a seat immediately at the table. Kaed frowned slightly as he heard her laughter at the situation. The Protector wasn't blind to her obvious enjoyment of the situation. Slowly he moved to take his seat at Siya's right hand side.

The messenger stayed standing and looked nervously between the three people before him. Siya turned his burnt gaze towards the little girl and sighed lightly. Kaed always thought that his King was far too accepting of the little girl. He'd always thought that she was too much trouble than she was worth, but he trusted Siya, and whatever Siya saw in that girl it must mean something.

"I doubt anyone would have been invited to that, Marsaili," Siya replied in soft tones. He leaned backwards, taking his arms off the table and motioned for the messenger to start speaking, "Tell me in detail everything you know."

"My Lord," the messenger dipped his head and then took a deep breath before starting, "There wasn't any commotion in the palace for sometime this morning, it was silent. Then I heard one of the maids screaming and I rushed to see what had happened. Two of the protectors were killed, their blood stained everything in the hall leading to the King's chambers. I rushed down the hall to the room and listened, hoping that at least the King and his remaining protector were still alive. I heard nothing, so I pushed the door opened.

"Inside was the remaining protector, his own weapon run through him. Across the room was the King, he too was dead and covered in blood. A hole in his chest was there. The orb was taken from his body. Whoever killed them... they were long gone. We tried everything to track the killer, but nothing came of it. I fear for the rest of the Kings, if what my gut is telling me is true... the Kingdom is doomed to be destroyed."

Kaed's chest tightened at the story and he turned his gaze towards Siya. The young King had raised his fist to the center of his chest, clutching the black silk of the robes he wore. The orbs that the King's protected were hidden very nicely, inside their bodies, at the center of their core. The magic would pulse with the heartbeat and that was how the King's were able to cast their magic without using sacrifices.

Kaed felt his throat tighten, he didn't like the idea of someone being after the Kings' orbs, but more importantly, being after the King's life as well. Under the table, his hand tightened into a fist while the other rested easily on the top of the table. The Protector turned his eyes back to the messenger, "The other King's are in danger as well then. I assume you informed others to send the message?"

"Yes, my liege."

"My Lord, what do you plan to do?"

Siya was quiet for some time as his gaze focused on the table. His hand relaxed from its position over his heart and both hand's interlaced their fingers. It was a little while before the Fire King spoke, and when he did he raised his eyes to Kaed as he did so.

"We have to meet with the other Kings. I have a terrible feeling about this. We have to prioritize finding a new Water King, as we speak I'm sure the worlds elements are taking a turn for the worst. Water can be deadly in more ways than one. We have to get it under control as soon as possible. Once we find the Water King, we need to recover the orb."

"That'll take time, my Lord," Kaed said, "Why not find the orb first?"

"Can you control the water orb, Kaed?"

The black haired protector sat back for a moment, understanding then what it was his King was asking, "No, my Lord. I understand."

"Even if we had the orb, without the Water King, it would be pointless. Besides, finding the orb would be near impossible if we did that first. At least combining our abilities together we'll have a better chance at finding a new King. When we do that, the King can find the orb a lot easier than we can."

Kaed nodded his head in agreement, a small smile pulling his lips as he gazed at the King. He was astonished at times by how very versatile Siya was, how smart he was and how determined he was. If it were possible to have deeper feelings than what he already had, than Kaed would be lost in those depths. Turning to the messenger he nodded his head.

"It's decided then. We'll be leaving for the Earth King's home in a few hours. The sooner we get this plan in action the better," Kaed stood his eyes falling on Marsaili, "You'll be coming with us too, make sure you're ready to go."

Hebi Irikisha

“The Water King’s death is hardly something to get flustered over, Rosena. If the Water King and his ilk died, it only means the current incarnation was too feeble to fend for himself. Rest assured Rosena, the earth faction is nowhere near as weak,” Eugene stated, his voice cold as ice as he stood behind their King. The girl looked shocked and saddened as she spoke to Telius. In the darker corner of the throne room, Hebi grinned as he slowly came out of the darkness and into the light. It had been the first time that day since he'd stepped foot in the palace. Hebi had been gone for several days, out doing Gods knew what.

"What cold words, Eugene," Hebi chided, his voice just as icy as the proud man who stood right next to their King, "Of course you think that our faction is the strongest. It's only your pride that is strong, Eugene, nothing more," Hebi continued. He moved slowly across the room, his direction no where in particular but he was going towards Rosena who stood before the King.

Once he was close to her, he put his arm around her shoulder and leaned down, his long black hair falling around his face as he looked at her and smiled. The smile was cold to say the least as he spoke to her, "Don't worry my dear. When Eugene fails to step up, I'm sure our Lord will protect you just fine enough," he laughed and sidestepped away from her. Hebi continued towards the other side of the room where he leaned against one of the pillars that held the ceiling up several feet over their heads.

"Our young King is certain to be very prideful, just like our dear Eugene. I can only hope that our Lord has more skill with a sword than Eugene has with his ego."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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Telius Chozai

The wooden door produced a small squeak as it opened away from the hallway, into a dark, dusty room. If one were to have traveled back about thirty years or so, that person would have found the room to be bright and inviting. Just the colors of the large bedroom were enough to make one instantly comfortable. If one were to have traveled back thirty years or so, the room would have been the one of the most important part of the castle. People would be hustling and bustling inside, making preparations for the royals. If only thirty years could be forever. If only it could last a little longer, then maybe things wouldn't seem as bleak as they were now....

It was only on rare occasions that Telius entered the lost and abandoned part of the castle. It wasn't natural for him to go poking around through anything in the castle. Besides, he was a busy man. For three years, he had had the responsibility of removing the borders, meeting with leaders, learning the basics of economy, studying the law, and most importantly, learning how to defend himself. With half the weight of the world on his shoulders, he had learned to spend time wisely. It was foolish to use precious moments for personal use instead of using them for the growth and development of the kingdom.

However, there was something inside Telius that didn't feel complete unless he entered his parents' old bedroom every once in a while. Every time he came in, it was as though he was immersing himself into a new world.

As he surrounded himself into the cave-like silence, he strided across the stone floor, making sure to shift his eyes to the left, and not the right. Inside the room hung two distinct portraits. On the left side was Queen Veronique Chozai, the former queen of earth, and on the left, King Telius Chozai II, the previous king. There were some times when the young king was afraid to enter the room, for fear that he would glance upon his father's old portrait. The kinsmen would always tell the boy that he was a chip off of the old block, and they were absolutely right. Staring at his father's old portrait was like looking into the mirror. After the 16 years of living with the former Earth King, Telius wanted to see anything but himself. In fact, it was almost a nightmare to see himself in his father.

Telius approached his mother's portrait, and stared into her green canvas eyes. Unlike other children who had lost their parents at an early age, Telius never had any memories to rely on in regarding to what his mother looked like. He had never known what her voice sounded like, what it was like to lay in her arms. The painting was the only image he had of her. He wasn't one to sulk over the death of his mother, but only being able to see her in artwork pierced his heart.

He quietly exited the room and swiftly made his way back to his quarters. It wasn't long before he encountered Rosena, one of his green-haired protectors.
"My King," Rosena bowed, her little way of showing respect to him. "I have grave news to inform you,"
He nodded, and became alert. Grave news hadn't come in a while. What could it possibly be this time?

"Telius, the Water King, and his protectors, are dead."

The king looked as though he had a blank expression on his face, but in truth, he was bewildered. Was Rosena jesting him? No, Rosena would never lie. She was the only one of his protectors he could trust. The news came as a bit of a shock to him, and a river of questions swarmed his head. However, before he even got a chance to ask Rosena anything, his second protector, Eugene, seemed to appear from out of nowhere. This wasn't uncommon for Eugene.


“The Water King’s death is hardly something to get flustered over, Rosena,” he said, his arrogance radiating the room.
“If the Water King and his ilk died, it only means the current incarnation was too feeble to fend for himself. Rest assured Rosena, the earth faction is nowhere near as weak.”
Telius glared at Eugene, clearly offended by his words. This man was always caught up in his own opinions. It was a trait Telius had to live with. He was relieved when Hebi, his third protector, stood next to him and spoke the words that he wished to say.
"What cold words, Eugene. Of course you think that our faction is the strongest. It's only your pride that is strong, Eugene, nothing more," he said, approaching Rosena. He comforted her, and said, "Don't worry my dear. When Eugene fails to step up, I'm sure our Lord will protect you just fine enough."
Although it was a nice compliment on Hebi's part, it bothered Telius slightly. He seemed to imply that he was strong. Although he had learned the ways of the sword rather quickly, he never considered himself to be of strong demeanor. He hadn't experienced as much as previous kings.

"Our young King is certain to be very prideful, just like our dear Eugene. I can only hope that our Lord has more skill with a sword than Eugene has with his ego."

"Listen, all three of you," Telius snapped back, "I need you three to pay attention and not make fools of yourselves. If what Rosena says is true, we have a very dire situation on our hands that can not only affect us, but all of Lastra." he aimed his last words towards Eugene. "Now, before i give you three orders, I need to ask Rosena a couple of questions about this incident," he stepped closer to the green-haired girl, and locked his cold eyes on hers. " First off, was the king murdered or did he die of natural causes? Second, what happened to his protectors? Third,......is the orb safe?"

(ooc; i'll do Jumie later. VERRRY busy right now...)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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Eugene shivered involuntarily, sensing the malicious presence of the man before he even appeared. Hebi Irikisha slithered out of the shadows, materialising as though he had been present the entire time instead of wandering off like usual. The third guardian was a dangerous enigma and doubtlessly had an agenda of his own. Eugene could not even begin to fathom how Hebi had managed the cut to becoming a guardian. Where there not vital criteria necessary to fulfill the role of a protector? Namely, protecting? For Hebi certainly did not take his duties seriously. He gave up on searching for Hebi’s redeeming qualities as the other man addressed the room.

Thin lips cracked opened to spill out a deep rumble of pure mockery, "What cold words, Eugene. Of course you think that our faction is the strongest. It's only your pride that is strong, Eugene, nothing more."

The Lare glowered at the man distastefully, exercising remarkable self restraint at the given insult. Hebi acted the sympathetic, but the guardian’s intentions were far from pure, that much was obvious to even the simplest of minds. It only took one glance to identify the wicked smile and spark of mischievousness. Eugene’s jaw was set firm as he watched Hebi rest an easy arm over the shoulders of Rosena, acting like the closest of buddies. The Lare wanted nothing more than to destroy that cruel, taunting expression at the moment.

"Don't worry my dear. When Eugene fails to step up, I'm sure our Lord will protect you just fine enough," Hebi laughed at his own comment, his gaudy appearance heaving alongside his buckling shoulders. No one else joined in the laughter. Eugene knew the insolent man was intentionally provoking him, probing for the correct responses. Hebi was sick in the head, a prolific sadist of the worst kind who obviously got his kicks from watching others torment. What was most unsettling was the fact that he knew Hebi could antagonize him all day. The man could prod, poke, and hassle till the end of the world and never grow bored from it. Enjoying their disquieting silence, the man’s laughter rattled endlessly along the bones of his rib cage, forcing him to physically arrest himself before moving on. Eugene gave a sour expression as Hebi strode aside and propped himself up against a pillar.

"Our young King is certain to be very prideful, just like our dear Eugene. I can only hope that our Lord has more skill with a sword than Eugene has with his ego."

His patience, much like a twisted rubber band, finally snapped and unwound. How dare a mere mortal question his abilities. Consequences be damned, he was going to hurt that poisonous man. Hebi’s final words were like a gun trigger signalling the start of a race. Eugene was already on the precipice of exploding into a mountain of rage. If Hebi wanted him angry, Eugene was going to be so much more than that. The only sign of his imminent assault was a sharp click of his tongue as Eugene sucked in air through his teeth. Bile rose to his throat, ready to unleash all manner of hateful profanities. A slight to his honour was something he could never forgive. “Why don’t we test that theory then? Hebi,” Eugene snarled, eyes already zeroing in on an attack pattern and targeting vital organs.

Sensing that his two guardians where on the verge of killing each other, Telius intervened. Just in a nick of time also or else the building would have most certainly been ruined. "Listen, all three of you,” Telius boomed, applying his powerful authority to his already considerable tone. “I need you three to pay attention and not make fools of yourselves. If what Rosena says is true, we have a very dire situation on our hands that can not only affect us, but all of Lastra."

The last line, underlined with a hint of severity for the Eugene’s sake, was largely ignored. Eugene sniffed, allowing his temper to simmer down into mere annoyance. He offered a murderous glare to the other man, suggesting that the matter was far from resolved.

With the subject concluded, at least for now, Telius directed his full attention at Rosena. The King was obviously eager to concentrate on the more pressing matter of world balance rather than deal with the petty squabbling of two guardians. "Now, before i give you three orders, I need to ask Rosena a couple of questions about this incident. First off, was the king murdered or did he die of natural causes? Second, what happened to his protectors? Third, is the orb safe?"

Waiting for Rosena’s explanation, Eugene obediently kept his silence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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#, as written by tezza
“The Water King’s death is hardly something to get flustered over, Rosena. If the Water King and his ilk died, it only means the current incarnation was too feeble to fend for himself. Rest assured Rosena, the earth faction is nowhere near as weak," Eugene's voice echoed through the space between Rosena and himself. Rosena was quite taken aback by this snide comment, expecting more than petty ignorance from the first protector, expecting more realization of the people who may be at stake. Before Rosena could say anything, Hebi stepped in, slowly appearing out of the dark corner of the room. Rosena was clueless as to how any of the three protectors make it out alive every time they meet. Rosena was glad Telius was in the room, knowing things would remain under control. However, majority of the time, Rosena felt more like a pawn, the toy between the two boys. Being the one girl in the Earth authorities, she sometimes felt out of place, but she never let it stop her.

"What cold words, Eugene. Of course you think that our faction is the strongest. It's only your pride that is strong, Eugene, nothing more," the man's voice may as well had frozen Eugene with the coldness pulsing from his words. Hebi made his way over to where Rosena was standing, and stood a little too close to feel comfortable. Rosena felt odd and awkward, standing right in front of their King will Hebi taunted Eugene with mere words. Hebi rested an arm around Rosena's shoulder, increasing the awkwardness and unprofessional manner.

Hebi looked down at Rosena, a smile breaking across his smooth composure, a smile so cold it was on the line of evil."Don't worry my dear. When Eugene fails to step up, I'm sure our Lord will protect you just fine enough," the man laughed at his own joke. Despite the way Eugene looked so threatening, Rosena stifled a giggle, hoping for life that Eugene would not notice. Hebi released his grasp around Rosena's shoulders and sidestepped away. Rosena relaxed her shoulders, continuing to watch the unfortunate amount of jabs Hebi was taking at Eugene's expense. Although Rosena knew her king would definitely defend her better than Eugene could, she still felt slightly insulted, just because she was a girl, didn't mean she couldn't defend herself just as well as the others.

"Our young King is certain to be very prideful, just like our dear Eugene. I can only hope that our Lord has more skill with a sword than Eugene has with his ego," Hebi's last jabs at Eugene were said, clearly breaking through Eugene's self-restraint. “Why don’t we test that theory then? Hebi,” Eugene snarled back. Rosena's giggly smile was wipped clean from her face as Telius' voice rumbled through the room, taking complete authority for his immature protectors.

"Listen, all three of you, I need you three to pay attention and not make fools of yourselves. If what Rosena says is true, we have a very dire situation on our hands that can not only affect us, but all of Lastra," The king's voice rose with such authority, Rosena couldn't help but duck her head as she stood right in front of him. She removed her hands from behind her back and placed them lightly by her sides.

"Now, before i give you three orders, I need to ask Rosena a couple of questions about this incident. First off, was the king murdered or did he die of natural causes? Second, what happened to his protectors? Third, is the orb safe?" The king faced his full attention at Rosena, Rosena becoming slightly flustered at the questions. She didn't know how to reply, knowing full well that she had no clue of the answers. All Rosena managed to do was slowly raise her head and look her King into the cold eyes he held, her eyes looking bad pleadingly.

"I'm sorry, My King, but I do not know," Rosena's voice was quiet, almost inaudible. Rosena moved her hands infront of herself, her fingers intertwining, then releasing, becoming nervous. Rosena hadn't thought to ask her messenger any of those questions. Slightly disappointed with herself, Rosena changed her posture, straightening up. "However, I do know that we need to meet with the other King's as soon as possible," Rosena offered this suggestion cautiously, in fear the Eugene would again try to jab at her, in turn with Hebi jabbing Eugene. Rosena's facial expressions soon shifted back into their normal states, a slight curve of her lips, her eyebrows relaxed, her forehead clear of any frowning creases. She wanted to go outside, to relax again. She did not like tension, and she did not like the up coming problems to arise.

"My King, hadn't you noticed how odd the air outside had seemed," Rosena said pointedly, avoiding the eyes of Eugene and Hebi. "Something had shifted, a coolness sifted through the air," Rosena stated briefly. "Lastra's balance is going to shift dramatically if nothing is done. Tsunami's will begin hover over cities, and droughts will begin in others. Water is no longer controllable," Rosena said this as matter of factly as anybody else would have. The information was obvious, but stating it aloud made it feel more real. She stood infront of Telius, awaiting directions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Aarynn Fletcher Character Portrait: Mina

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#, as written by Siryn
Siya Ukomo

The door burst open and a red haired youth came stumbling in, his chest heaving as if he'd run miles to get to the council room. Siya recognized him as Aarynn, or Flynn as the young man liked to be called. The Fire King leaned forward and hid his smile by putting his hands up over his mouth in an interlocked fist. His burnt orange eyes shifted casually to Kaed who turned his deep red gaze toward Flynn in the most intimidating manner he could possibly possess.

"Ya know, where I come from, if you're late more than three times, ya get run through with a spear," Marsaili commented, her sweet voice belying her deadly intentions. She looked up then at them as silence filled the room. Siya had turned his gaze at her and frowned lightly. How he wished he could change her way of thinking sometimes.

"What? That's not the case round here? Weird..."

Siya sighed heavily and leaned his head down as he closed his eyes, "No Marsaili, that's not how we do things. It's alright, Flynn. We can fill you in on the events," he commented and shortly after Marsaili did just that, though her explanation was much less informative and dire than the messengers.

Once the little girl had left the room, Kaed turned to Siya and glowered, "Why do you keep her?"

"Kaed," Siya started softly and lifted his eyes towards the taller Protector, "She's a powerful protector, just like you two. Can't you just bear with her like always?"

Kaed's face softened as he gazed at the young King. Siya knew he'd gotten to him, he had a way of softening the strong protector, though he wasn't sure exactly how that was. Well, at least he'd saved Marsaili from Kaed's wrath... or maybe it was the other way around. Siya wasn't sure. In any case, Kaed turned to Flynn and frowned at him.

"Next time, pay attention to the messenger I send to you. You should hurry up and get ready, we're leaving to see King Telius within the next hour or so."

A pounding on the double doors filled the air and Siya looked up. His thin eyebrow rose and he glanced to Kaed before calling, "Enter."

The door opened and another messenger slipped in. He held a piece of paper in his hands and presented it to Siya, "We just received this not but twenty minutes ago."

The Fire King opened the envelope that bore the water seal of the Water King (or rather Queen as she preferred to be called). The note was short and to the point, just like Celeste.

Shrine of Aridea, this evening, sharp.

"As demanding as ever," Siya commented and folded the paper. He stood up and crossed the room towards the doors, "Change of plans. We're leaving for the Shrine of Aridea. By the time we get there it'll be evening and we wouldn't want to make Celeste wait for us."

"I'll go inform our little menace," Kaed said as he gently brushed passed Siya. The King felt a hitch in his throat as Kaed passed him, just barely touching him. Siya cleared his throat and moved down the hall on his own. He was heading for the front of the castle. From there he would go to the stables where he would prepare his horse.

"I'll meet you in the stables, Flynn," he told the other Protector, "Go get ready, and try to be quick," Siya said glancing over his shoulder and smiling brightly as the man. Siya pushed open the doors to his castle and strode down the cobblestone walkway to the stables near the entrance of the palace walls. Beyond that was his city where he reigned and watched over the citizens. He entered the stables and started working to get all of the gear ready for the long several hour ride they were about to embark on.

He was saddling the horse when a loud sound overhead caught his attention. Looking up, the young Fire King could hardly believe what he saw next. A gust of wind blew his hair and clothes about, and a solid body fell down towards him. He caught sight of the body quickly — it was a woman, no less — and he raised his arms in half an effort to catch her, the other half an effort to protect himself. The girl crashed into him, even through the roof she'd just blown through. Siya tumbled under her, falling onto his back with her right on top of him.

As soon as everything settled, he groaned and peeked one eye open to look at what the sky had thrown at him. Brushing off hay from the girl's face, he gazed at her carefully. Slowly, Siya sat up and pulled her close into his arms. She was unconscious, and her head was bleeding, no doubt from crashing into the stables' roof. She was bruised and cut in quite a few places, too. Just what happened to her? And are those... wings, wrapped around her?

Some more clattering got Siya's attention a second time, and a sword dropped inches away from his side. The girl's? Lucky enough, his horse hadn't done much more than rear and canter off to the side. At the moment the black steed eyed his rider carefully, almost... accusingly... as Siya sat there, with an injured, unconscious girl in his arms.

Carefully, Siya pulled the girl to his chest and stood up, dust and dirt falling off of him as he did so. With a sigh, he latched the girl's sword to his side and started back to the castle. He was going to have to take care of her before doing anything else. Hopefully it would be quick so that they could leave and meet with Celeste.

Kanan Thiyer

He was kneeling in the garden area of the palace, his eyes keenly examining the white buds of the flowers that were growing there. Kanan wasn't sure why but the smells of the flowers had a... calming effect on him. He often went to the garden to look at the flowers when he was irritated or otherwise 'out of place'. He wasn't quite sure how to act around the others and so found himself wandering the flower beds instead.

He reached out a heavily gloved hand and gently touched the flower bud, making it curl backwards under the slight pressure. Startled, he pulled back and watched the flower bounce back to it's original position. Kanan stood, a frown on his lips. He was used to seeing things break far too much than seeing things bend and still survive. In his left hand he held his sword and scabbard. The belt twisted around his hand as he gripped the weapon. Kanan hadn't thought to put the weapon on completely, but he never left it behind either.

He wore a simple white shirt that was opened in the front and baring much of his pale skin to the warm sunlight. The metal of the chains around his arms glinted in the light. Long black pants tucked into heavy boots made soft sounds as he moved slowly through the garden. The dangling chains and necklaces that he wore wrapped around his wrists and waist jingled around as well. Kanan wasn't one for stealth, so the noise didn't bother him in the least.

"Kanan!"

The call came from across the garden and the young Protector turned on his heel to see who it was. He looked with his right eye as the left was covered in a leather eye patch with a metal piece over the eye. His white hair fell over into his face as the wind picked up. The long strands of soft hair flipped about his features for a while before settling down. The man who'd called out to him rushed up to him and took a moment to catch his breath.

"Lady Celeste has called. She wishes for the protectors to get ready to leave."

"Where?"

"The Shrine of Aridea. That's all I know. You should go meet with her. She is in her room."

Kanan nodded slowly and backed away from the messenger. The air Protector moved towards the palace building that was built at the top of the hill. The large windows were mostly opened to let the breeze wash through the palace. It was a beautiful place to say the least, but Kanan was unsure as to how to act in such a place, especially when he was around the Air King. He was either overly protective, or too stiff, or too quiet... there was always something. He wasn't about to make Lady Celesete wait any longer for him though, even if his nerves were tied up once again.

So he quickly made his way through the halls and found himself at her door. Reaching up, he took a deep breath, and knocked gently, trying to keep his strength under wraps. Even so, the sound reverberated through the hall and the room beyond. He frowned at this and let his hand fall to his side.

Hebi Irikisha

“Why don’t we test that theory then? Hebi,” The sharp click of his tongue was the only warning that Hebi had before Eugene snapped at him. Even so, the intimidating presence of the man did nothing to make Hebi back down. No, instead it fueled him even further. Leaning off the pillar, Hebi moved his upper body forward in such a way as to entice Eugene further. His lips spread into an even crueler smile, deeper and colder than before. His brilliantly green eyes flashed dangerously as he eyed Eugene's burning blue ones.

However, his fun was spoiled as Telius jumped into the matter and shouted at them all. Hebi leaned back against the wall, a slight frown on his lips as he unwillingly tore his gaze from Eugene to their King. The young man was by far the youngest King to rule, barely even 19 the boy had much to learn. Even so, the three of them followed him. Well... maybe not all three of them. Hebi's smile returned to his face as he settled against the pillar, ever aware of Eugene's cold glare.

The snake-like Earth Protector hardly payed any heed to the exchange of words between Rosena and Telius. He didn't care much for the other King's anyway, or their protectors. He only had one to worry about and that was more than enough.

"My King, hadn't you noticed how odd the air outside had seemed. Something had shifted, a coolness sifted through the air, Lastra's balance is going to shift dramatically if nothing is done. Tsunami's will begin hover over cities, and droughts will begin in others. Water is no longer controllable," Rosena commented softly, her voice wavering ever so slightly as she addressed the King.

"I'm sure he's felt it, my dear," Hebi remarked coolly, "He is the Earth King after all. Unless, of course, he wasn't paying any attention to that, then maybe he hadn't felt it. But, my dear, you're over exaggerating things a bit don't you think?" Hebi asked as he pushed off the pillar and moved towards her and King Telius. He brought his arms up over his head and intertwined his fingers with his long, thick black hair.

"Tsunamis? Droughts? My dear, these things take time. It isn't like the orb has been lost for years, it's been lost for hours, maybe a day or so. That decrepit old Water King surely had some magic left over in the thing to keep things in balance for at least a few years. Of course, that would be the smart thing to do, but you know," Hebi heaved a sigh and flipped one hand about like he was waving off a fly as he turned his back to the King and the other two Protectors, "If he'd of thought of such things like that, maybe he wouldn't have gotten himself killed so easily. Just my opinion of course."

Hebi yawned loudly and stretched his body, his back popping effectively, "Now, if you've no need of me immediately, I'm going to retire to my quarters," he called as he started towards the double doors of the palace's throne room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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#, as written by tezza
"I'm sure he's felt it, my dear. He is the Earth King after all. Unless, of course, he wasn't paying any attention to that, then maybe he hadn't felt it. But, my dear, you're over exaggerating things a bit don't you think?" As Hebi spoke, he pushed off the piallar and walked swiftly towards Rosena and the King, bringing his arms over his head. Rosena was slightly taken aback from the sudden coldness and slight ignorance that she found in Hebi. Didn't anybody know how serious this was? Not only will the balance of the earth change dramatically, but someone was after the Kings. Rosena frowned, insulted by Hebi's condescending approach. She believed that this was the worst group of protectors in Lastra, dysfunctional even.

"Tsunamis? Droughts? My dear, these things take time. It isn't like the orb has been lost for years, it's been lost for hours, maybe a day or so. That decrepit old Water King surely had some magic left over in the thing to keep things in balance for at least a few years. Of course, that would be the smart thing to do, but you know," Sighing, Hebi flipped a hand about if waving away something, "If he'd of thought of such things like that, maybe he wouldn't have gotten himself killed so easily. Just my opinion of course.

Now, if you've no need of me immediately, I'm going to retire to my quarters."
And with that, Hebi left through the double doors of the palace throne room, leaving Rosena insulted and rather annoyed. Rosena sighed; this was going no where. She felt an ache forming in her head. She brought her left hand to her forehead and rubbed her temple, a headache forming. "Well," Rosena said into the awkward silence that had formed, "This may seem to be a small problem to Hebi and Eugene, but I'm more concerned for your safety, My King. What about the other Elements?" Rosena stated simply before dropping her hand back to her side and turned away from the King and headed to the doors that lead outside. Her strides short and purposeful.

Rosena found herself sitting in the courtyard near the gardens. It was cool, like she had mentioned earlier. But nothing too extreme. Perhaps she was exaggerating, but she felt it was right and that something immediate should take place. Rosena admired the gardens, the splashes of vivid color mixed with green of different flowers and bushes, creating a beautiful landscape on its own. Rosena closed her eyes, deep in thought. What was she meant to do now? Wait? She felt helpless and clueless. She needed to find out more information.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai Character Portrait: Lora

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#, as written by tezza
Lora
Sitting in her quarters of the Earth castle, Lora could hear the bickering of Hebi and Eugene, Rosena discreetly standing up for herself and Telius exerting his authority over them all. Lora sat on a windowsill with her window open, looking out over the forests presented before her. Everybody goes on about how beautiful landscape truly is, but Lora can’t help but feel they exaggerate it. She states what she sees and what she sees is trees, green and brown – not beauty. Oh, well maybe the way the sun shines over them might be beautiful, but she would be the last to admit it. Lora had missed the mornings findings of the dead Water King and protectors, but she had heard it. Even if she were mistaken, her sister would surely fill her in on the earlier events.

Lora heard Hebi walk post her quarters to his own, and she took that opportunity to exit her own quarters to the common room where the king and Eugene were. Lora was much like her sister, only shorter, with longer hair and different clothing. Sometimes they can be mistaken as twins, but it’s easy to tell them apart. Rosena has a more feminine physique, Lora roughening up the edges, perhaps more muscular, or maybe a bigger bone structure, she could never tell. She was always jealous of her sister, in basically everything. But she would never say it outloud, as she was just as proud of her sister as her parents were. Walking into the common room, Lora straightened her clothes and tucked her green hair behind her ears.

“Eugene,” Lora nodded at the sour man in acknowledgment of his presence before leaning against the entrance to the room of where she entered. “I heard some talk this morning,” Lora stated simply. “What’s this about the Water King and his protectors?” She asked, curious. She crossed her arms across her chest, relaxing against the cool wall.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Telius Chozai

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Hebi’s long, spidery limbs unfurled as he yawned in a manner reflecting unbearable boredom, "Now, if you've no need of me immediately, I'm going to retire to my quarters." After rudely proclaiming his disinterest, Hebi turned on his heel and departed via the double doors, eager to avoid his dreary obligations. Eugene eyed the man’s lithe form in dismay before offering an imploring look towards Telius to correct this behaviour. How this attitude managed to pass for unpunished completely floored the bristling Lare.

Rosena seemed to agree and sighed with despondence, no longer caring to hide her revulsion. A small, calculated movement was performed to minimize the sudden migraine that had assaulted her psyche, "Well, this may seem to be a small problem to Hebi and Eugene, but I'm more concerned for your safety, My King. What about the other Elements?" she said, still stroking the sides of her temples. Adopting a brisk pace, she did not wait for Telius’ answer and simply left through the same doors as Hebi.

Left alone, Eugene’s posture relaxed as he crossed his powerful arms over his chest. He hardly gave two hoots about the Kings and their protectors. What he did care for was maintaining the delicate balance of power. “I guess Rosena does have a point,” Eugene conceded after some moments passed. He gazed down at Telius with an impassive expression, “I’ll let you think about it for a moment, My Lord.”

The last to exit the room, Eugene took a left and entered the hallway beyond the double twin doors. He did not remain there for long however. Soon he was combing the inner castle, searching, seeking, looking for something.

Hebi's lips curled into a cruel smile as he watched Eugene from behind a pillar in the open courtyard of the palace. The man had obviously been searching for something after meeting with Telius. The Protector was sure he knew exactly what it was that the tall man was looking for. As his name proceeded him, he slithered out from behind the pillar into sight.

"Looking for something, oh powerful Lare?"

Eugene’s steps faltered immediately before the motionless guardian, bristling at the sound of the other man’s voice. His hands clenched into tight fists almost on instinct, displaying his annoyance. “As a matter of fact, I was,” he said without turning around to address the other protector directly.

Without warning, the large man flashed a predatory grin. In the blink of an eye, all eighty-seven kilos of Eugene was in front of the Hebi, presenting a solid wall of intimidating muscle that dwarfed Hebi. The zealous Lare had one of his fists drawn back like a barely restrained sling shot. “I was actually hoping you could help me with finding it!” he sneered before driving its tip forward with all of his inhuman strength.

Hebi's eyes narrowed in on Eugene's stiffened back, his smile growing wider and crueler with each passing second. However, the stronger Protector didn't stay far enough from Hebi for him to taunt any further. In a matter of seconds, Eugene was facing Hebi, barely inches from his face.

To Hebi, though, it was mere entertainment rather than danger that danced before him. The rings around his fingers suddenly dissipated into blue sparkles of energy and sunk deep into Hebi's flesh. The Protector stretched out his hand and summoned a wall of stone between him and the enraged Lare.

As the rock rose up between them, just mere seconds before the dangerous weapon could hit Hebi's face square on, he quickly back peddled away from Eugene, laughter on his lips.

"Oh my, serious are we? Do tell, are you truly trying to hurt me? Because that's not going to work very well with what you're using at the moment, all mighty Eugene!"

Eugene was ruthlessly fast, but Hebi was even faster in defending himself. The angry Lare roared as his solid fist connected with the wall, the kinetic force behind it cracking and then shattering the masonry like flimsy wood. Broken rock chips sprayed everywhere as his blow whisked the air in front of the other man, missing his face by scant centimetres.

With barely any effort at all, Eugene yanked his fist out of the hastily erected barricade after realising he had missed, scattering yet more rubble. “These fists are more than enough for a pest like you,” snarled Eugene, his anger rekindled by Hebi’s incessant taunting. His blue eyes were ablaze with fury now that his target was standing within his attack range. “How long are you going to hide coward?”

"Hide? Heaven's no. I don't hide, Eugene. I mearly use what I can to my advantage. Surely you know enough about that to understand what I mean," Hebi smiled back, resting one hand on his hip and watching Eugene carefully. He was set just right to use more magic, or draw his own weapon, should the need arise.

Though, he had to admit, the shear power that Eugene possessed was definitely more than enough to do a lot of damage to Hebi. Distance was his best advantage against the enraged Protector, but should it come down to a fight, Hebi was going to use every trick in the book to win.

“Well, let’s see how good you are then,” he spat. Eugene reached for his neck and with one violent motion, wrenched away the choker hiding beneath his collar. In a mere instance the object was sacrificed, disintegrating into tiny blue particles that served to empower the Lare. As he absorbed them, his entire composition changed, metalizing. This was Eugene’s iron soul, an ability which drastically improved one’s own strength and defences by hardening their skin. In this state, Eugene was just about impervious to anything.

The next attack came with a sudden explosion of rocks. Utilizing the wall between them as ammunition, Eugene lashed out with his feet, his kicks launching a barrage of stones at Hebi.

Hebi's smile faded only slightly as Eugene turned his physic into a that of solid metal. Then the Lare twisted sharply and launched off a series of kicks that utilized the remains of Hebi's last wall of protection. The snake was put on the defensive entirely as he dodged each rock that came hurtling at him. Of course, Eugene was very fast and efficient regarding his abilities and just as Hebi thought he'd gotten the hang of dodging, several of the sharp stones collided with him.

Taking each one to the chest, Hebi was thrown off balance and he stumbled backwards. He was going to have to resort to magic entirely if he were to survive against the brutality that he'd just awoken in Eugene. Wincing in pain, he glared up at Eugene from his place on the ground, having lost his balance entirely and falling down. One hand reached up and clutched his chest that was cut up by the sharp stones and no doubt would be painful bruises later that night.

"How'd you like that!?" Eugene retorted gleefully upon seeing the impacts.

"As expected of our dear Eugene, brutality without mercy. Is that how your citizens felt when you ruled over them oh so long ago? Did they fear you? Did they hate you? They certaintly couldn't love someone like you, so egotistical and unbalanced as you are!" Hebi growled the last part as he stood quickly and summoned another wall of rock.

This wall was merely meant to distract Eugene whilst the real attack began to solidify. Hebi reached out to one of the large metal statues that lined the courtyard, "I, Hebi Irikisha, am bound by the laws of magic, and order you to become that which I need," he uttered under his breath.

His triumphant expression was short lived as Hebi's baseless dribble continued to spill from his lips. "Another wall, Hebi?" Eugene tisked with a slight shake of his head. Eugene advanced to the next wall and crushed it like paper mache, oblivious to the ongoing spectacle behind it. Only after it crumbled did he grow suspicious of what the protector was planning. His eyes narrowed as he sensed the vast accumulation of power, "What are yo-?"

Hebi grinned as his wall shattered and his power finished accumulating. Vines from under Eugene's footing exploded from the cobblestones and reached up to wrap around the Lare's entirety. The Protectors grin grew as he weaved his magic. He was about to see just how strong Eugene truly was. If they weren't careful, they both might just take out the entire palace while they were at it. That was... if their King didn't stop them before hand. Of course, Hebi was enjoying himself all too much.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Lora Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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Byre Cress DelaCroiw
The Fortress Castle of Ea - Forbidden Tombstones

A lone figure stood before two headstones where two fresh bouquet of flowers now complemented such a dreary scene. Reading the writings upon each stone, it could be surmised as the graves of the Fallen Earth King, Remeidos, and Earth Queen, Lilac. As for the one visiting them, those greenish-blue eyes and appearance so similar to the Tyrant King could only mean to be the Young Lord of the Earth, Byre. This was his daily routine before beginning his official duties. It was to visit his parents who had left this world together. Even now, he could not completely understand the reason for his father's actions and his mother's benevolence. Maybe, it was better that way.

"The Water King, and his protectors, are dead."

Those words rattled Byre from his self-induced reverie. It seemed that there was no dull day for him. To prevent people from seeking him out as he tend to personal business, he would often leave a doll in the Throne Room. It was his eyes and ears however, the mouth was a different matter entirely. Although, it serves its purpose well. His protectors were once more in their usual antics of chaos. Taking one final look to the graves of his parents, he offered a small bow and left to resume his rightful duties.

Walking along the grand hallways, it was along the way that one of the messengers found him. Calling out to Byre with such urgency, he stopped in his steps and gazed at the messenger who was obviously fearful of the Earth King.

"Your Eminence!" The man immediately paid respects to Byre while presenting a scroll with the insignia of the Air Kingdom.

"She sure moves fast."

This was the lingering thought in the Young Earth King's head as he took the scroll and read its contents. "You may leave."

Byre told the messenger who quickly scampered away as the reputation of the Earth King was as intimidating as his Late Father. Although, he never made attempts to correct those assumptions. Fear was a powerful agent but also dangerous. So, he would need to maintain it accordingly. It seems that the world was going to change soon whether it is wanted or not. Well, he didn't mind but there are still a lot of problems within his territory. The Earth Kingdom was still recovering from the strife his father had incurred. Needless to say, there was a lot of work to be done. Yet, his duty as an Orb Guardian to keep the balance was also a priority. In any case, it seemed that his protectors had already left the Throne Room.

Thinking about his current round of protectors, they were quite the rowdy bunch in a sense. Eugene Van Goff was a Lare who was attached to his presence. The lure of Freedom keeps this protector of his at the edge of manipulation. Then, there was Hebi Irikisha. The Protector who had been once with his mother and other 2 previous generations. He was a slithering and crude protector. Then, he also have the sisters who were both descendants of a former protector, Rosena and Lora. Those four together were much like an unstable chemical mixture. Yet, they were the protectors who he trusts. Although, they were much like a bunch of kids.

It was then Byre came upon the scene of a battle between Eugene and Hebi. There was also Lora who was an unlikely audience. Instantly, the vines encircling Eugene disrupted into a mere specks of dusts while the flooring that the two protectors destroyed in their childlike fight was restored to its former glory. These were all the doing of the Earth King who was completely displeased with what happened. His green-blue eyes stared down at the two male protectors. His gaze was clear to all that he does not permit such useless quarrel.

"I am certain I did not permit you two to play."

After saying that, Eugene and Hebi were pulled to the wall by stone chains as they were secured to it. The chains tightened around their bodies as if squeezing them like a prune ever so in a torturous manner. It was then that the figure sitting on the Throne Room dissipated into a pile of dusts and revealed a form of an odd-looking creature. Then, it jumped down the Throne and proceeded to go to where Byre was currently.

In the meantime, Byre was not relenting his hold on to the two protectors. He wanted to ingrate to those two that such actions would not be tolerated especially in his presence. Moreover, he does not like for his protectors to be recognized as bumbling fools when they could be viewed as such.

"My toleration for such antics has its limits. Do not test them."

After stating that, Byre released Eugene and Hebi. His tone was cold and unrelenting. No wonder people conclude that he was like his Father. It was then he directed his attention to Lora.

"Prepare yourselves. Inform Rosena. We will leave for the Shrine of Aridea now. Do not be tardy."

When it was done and over, Byre left the three and at a respectable distance the odd-looking creature which had taken his place at the Throne stood before him. He reached out his hand to it who jumped and then proceeded to rest on his shoulders.

"It shall now begin, master."

Those words were spoken through the mind while Byre continued with his walk to prepare for the trip to the Shrine of Aridea. He had an idea that the Wind Princess had other things in mind. Although, the death of the Water King and his protectors also determines a much greater conspiracy. In any case, he will know much more once the aforementioned meeting begins.

"I know."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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"I am certain I did not permit you two to play."

Hebi felt his chest clench as the sound of their King snuck up behind him. He was in the midst of tying up dear Eugene and getting ready to watch the man writhe and struggle to his hearts content. Of course all of his joy was snatched away as Lord Byre easily destroyed his power. Turning slightly, Hebi caught sight of their young King and the moment he'd spoken, the power filled the air and his body was caught up in the chains that dragged him backwards.

He hit the wall, hard, and coughed on the air that was roughly jerked from his lungs. The restraints tightened their hold, digging into his lithe frame. Hebi winced slightly, but held his tongue in the presence of their true King, the last being just his puppet, a common occurrence in the castle.

"My toleration for such antics has its limits. Do not test them."

The moment the chains were released, Hebi felt the air reach his lungs much easier. He let his body drop forward, going down into a kneeling postion with one hand up in a fist across his chest. He dropped his head down so that his long black hair covered his face and hid his wicked smile.

"My Lord," he called in return, only to acknowledge the reprimand that was given, nothing more.

"Prepare yourselves," Lord Byre looked up from Hebi's kneeling form to the balcony above where Lora sat observing, "Inform Rosena. We will leave for the Shrine of Aridea now. Do not be tardy."

The dark tone in Lord Byre's voice sent chills down Hebi's spine, but not chills of fear. The man thrilled at his King's ability to strike fear in others by a mere look. As the young King left, Hebi slowly got back to his feet and shot a look over to Eugene.

"Well, you heard him. Don't wish to incur the wrath of our King do we?" Hebi purred across the courtyard.

"Shut up," Eugene turned on Hebi, seething. "You are the last person I want to hear that from."

Eugene stomped forwards and brushed away the grains of rubble still stubbornly attached to his uniform. Relinquishing his magic, the Lare's composition normalized as he swung around briskly and made off to follow the Earth King. Whistling low after the frenetic guardian, Hebi smirked and then trailed behind casually.




Moments Later

"Your protectors are here, Master."

Byre did not need to look over his shoulders to determine the authencity of such a notion. He already sensed that Eugene and Hebi were trailing behind him. However, he did not let such childish fighting get in the way of business matters.

"The Wind Princess has required our presence. I would need both of you at your best behavior. I will not allow anything else."

Stopping from his walk, those green-blue eyes finally landed on Eugene and Hebi. They were piercing and deeply cold. There was no leniency on the Young Lord of Earth's orders. As for the creature, who had made the King's shoulder as its personal perch, had a rather devious smile with the tinge of oddity at it. It was like expecting the two Protectors were going to fail at such a simple notion. "Master, these two would fail miserably for such a such a simple task."

"Maybe we should see how simple it would be to eliminate you," Eugene murmured acidicly under his breath. Hebi grinned maliciously, for once he figured he could agree with Eugene on that matter.

Upon hearing its words, Byre transferred his attention to the odd-looking creature. "I did not ask for your opinion, Telius." The creature now known as Telius simply tilted its head to a side with a never-changing expression. When this was certain and no more responses were heard, Byre continued with his walk. "The Water King died too early... " He spoke with a rather underlying meaning.

"The Water King died because of his own impertinence..." Hebi muttered behind his King, crossing his arms tightly over his chest.

Ignoring the corruptive presence behind him, Eugene's lips compressed together tightly, "What's the purpose of this meeting, My Lord?"

"Weren't you listening-"

Unfazed by Hebi's commentary which has the edge of malice, Byre simply rose his hand indication for him to stop his useless remarks. He did not like repeating himself twice especially regarding the two protectors rather showy gesture of love for each other.

"It would probably to discuss what steps to be made regarding the death of the Water King and His protectors. At the same time, the Water Orb would not be a silent issue for long."

"Master, we all know what the Sky Demoness wants the most"

Byre patted Telius' head an affection which he only shows for the creature and nobody else. It was not unknown to the Earth King, the ambition that the Wind Princess holds in her eyes. It was the same for everyone even him. However...

"You forget, She is not the only one."

"Ah yes. The Sky Demoness wishes to have world peace. A unification of the four Kingdoms," Hebi stated cooly, "A futility in my opinion..."

Looking over his shoulder, Byre gazed at Hebi and then to Eugene, The unification of the Kingdoms was only a fool's dream. The reason why the Orbs were seperated to begin with was to ensure the balance.

"It will only come true if there is only one ruler. The question no one wants to die."

Byre returned his eyes in front and did not even stop from his walk. His gait was fluid and calculating to a point.

"Until then, let us play this game of peace."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosena Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Lora Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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#, as written by tezza
Lora and Rosena

After the squabble and immature performance on Hebi's and Eugene's behalf, the King separated them before turning his attention to Lora. "Prepare yourselves. Inform Rosena. We will leave for the Shrine of Aridea now. Do not be tardy."

Lora nodded, her long green hair falling around her soft face. She pushed her hair behind her ears, walking to the entrance to the lobby-like room to outside. She knew where she would find her sister, where her sister liked being the most. It would be in the garden of the Earth palace. Where it was so peaceful, colourful and so earth-based, Rosena felt whole sitting in that garden, meditating. Lora had seen her sister sitting there from when she first exited to outside. Rosena's short, green hair stood out from a while away, instantly grabbing Lora's attention. Lora walked towards her sister with her arms behind her back, being as quiet as possible to not disturb the older sibling.

The garden was just as peaceful as Lora remembered. The garden felt cool and splashes of colour were everywhere. Mainly green of course, dominating the small area. Red's, white's and pink's were the only colours to be seen in the garden, flowers either in bloom or already bloomed. It was beautiful nonetheless. No wonder Rosena loved sitting out here all the time. It was so tranquil. "Rosena," Lora's voice broke the serenity. Rosena's eyes opened slowly, a yawn falling out of her mouth. "Hmm?"

"We need to be ready to leave for the Shrine of Aridea as of this moment," Lora informed her sister. She was standing behind her, her arms crossed behind her back. Her hair was moving so slightly with the little wind that was forming around them. It tickled her bare arms, her neck and her face. She pulled her hair back behind her ears again.

"Really?" Rosena raised her eyebrows. "I see someone finally got in touch with the King," Rosena's face remained expressionless. She was not excited by the sounds of leaving to the Shrine of Aridea with Hebi and Eugene. Not after the dispute inside. Rosena sighed, standing up and stretching her limbs out. "I guess we should go prepare our things for the long ride ahead of us," Rosena smiled at her small sibling who she turned to face. Lora nodded in response, grabbing her sisters arms, linked. They walked towards the building, entering again to their quarters.

Rosena and Lora soon found the King after collecting things from their quarters, Eugene and Hebi trailing after him. They soon caught up, following behind. Their strides matching each other, quick and purposeful.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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The Shrine of Aridea, as it is called, could be found at the heart of the Four Kingdoms. It is a neutral ground where there are no sovereign powers could influence this land. As a result, it is often used as a place where the Four Kings of the Elements would gather and discuss certain issues and matters that concern the balance of the world. It is believed that in this hallowed grounds, there would be no violence of any kind and disputes either small or large will be considered inconsequential.

This was the destination of the Earth King's entourage and it would be highly unlikely for his protectors to simply travel together without any specific notable stopovers along the way. One of this in particular was a rather interesting conversation between the Young Lord of Earth and a distant Lare.

With a brow stapled in confidence, Eugene trod assuredly over a scrub covered dune. The Lare trudged his way back to the Earth King, his gait suggesting barely restrained power as usual. Unremarkably, his uniform was immaculate, creased and tightly wound over layers of intimidating musculature. The only weapon he bore was a sheathed sword which sat behind the cervix of his lower back, not that the Lare needed a weapon to fight. Hot winds whipped passed with each step of the way, filling lungs and drying already thirsty throats. To a normal mortal being, such sensations would have been uncomfortable, but Eugene was above such simple notions. The Lare stood to attention upon reaching Byre, adopting a martial posture and slapping his heels together.

Standing underneath a shade of tree, Byre looked at the vast greenery that his eyes could grasp. He had opted to retire from the journey as he could see both of the sisters were reaching the limits of their stamina. It may not be noticeable however, the young King is a gentleman at heart. Furthermore, he highly doubted that the Wind Princess would mind him early than her. It was more better not to tarnish the pride of a lady.

As such, he had requested Eugene and Hebi to scout the surrounding area to ensure no hostility could be found. Byre dislikes needless conflicts.

"My Lord," Eugene started, carefully regarding the young Earth King, "The area surrounding us is free of hostile movement. It should be safe to rest for the moment...if you so wish." The last few words were spoken with hesitation, communicating his obvious impatience to keep moving.

Eyes of greenish-blue gazed towards the Lare. The one who was bound to him. At times, Byre would often wonder if Eugene was fine with such a situation. Perhaps, he was not. After all, he could sense the burning desire to be free. In the end, he was just a stepping stone for this Lare.

"We will rest here for now."

The young King knew well that Eugene wanted to move on. He was not indifferent to the expressions of impatience that the Lare showed him. Nevertheless, Byre's priority was to ensure the ladies health first. Although, it would be good to know that Hebi has yet to return. In that sense, he could expect that the shows of love between his male protectors would be put on hold for now.

"Eugene, not all has an endurance like yours and there is nothing wrong with giving a moment's rest for others."

The Lares deep blues eyes narrowed imperceptibly for the briefest of seconds. Eugene looked to be on the verge of cussing before he squeezed his lips together, withholding the angry outburst which threatened to surface. "Fine," he stated. From his position in front of Byre, an observer would see that the two were exactly equal in height. Nonetheless, the Lare's chin was ever so slightly upright and his eyes pointed ever so slightly downwards. "Though I'd advise that we do not linger for long. As much as I'd hate to agree to Hebi, in the same vein, I don't exactly trust the Wind King," he said, voicing his distaste for the other factions.

Eugene eased from his rigid posture into that of a casual one, though his eyes never lifted from the young adult.

"Trust is always the issue isn't it..."

Byre found the amount of preservance that Eugene used to prevent himself from spilling forth a string of angry words quite entertaining. It was like watching a dog trying to speak. During these moments, he would often surmised the Lare as more of human than a Deity. Although, he knew that his protector would vehemently refute such a claim.

"It is why I am distrustful of everyone especially to my protectors."

Those words were without a hint of humor or a sardonic remarks. It held a cold sincerity to it as Byre resorted to leaning onto the trunk of the tree behind him. He did not mind Eugene still showing his pride and superiority to him throught subtle actions. It was endearing and adorable much like an infant learning to walk for the first time. At the same time, he had learned through the reign of his tyrant father that the small slip of hope whatever it could be for that person will be enough to wallow them to eternal despair. So, why not give them a bit of that.

Eugene's sniff was derisive, as though he where mocking the King's comment. "Trust in yourself? There's certainly some truth in that."

"The Wind Princess will make her move without doubt to further her ambition. We all will. This is the starting point."

Closing his eyes for a moment, the young King relaxed with the comforting essence of the nature around them and remembered a certain memory in the not so distant past.

"Speaking of which, you have yet to give up from being released from me, correct?"

There was barely any reaction at first. A fleeting smile, a quiet tisk of a lip. Eugene's hands went behind his back as he continued to gaze at Byre's doleful expression, but the Lare was otherwise motionless. "What of it?" he shrugged, the gesture nonchalant.

"You might get the chance."

Opening his eyes, the signature apathetic expression was on Byre's face. Yet, those eyes of his held a small glint of an evasive plot not to be revealed anytime soon.

"What I am about to do will more likely result to my execution."

Crossing his arms over his chest, the young Earth King looked abover him towards the rustling leaves. There was something calming from watching nature's common gesture which was more often ignored than noticed.

"When that happens, you have done your responsibilty to me well."

Eugene gave a slight shake of his head, his golden mane reflecting the luminescence that perforated through the leaves from the simple act. He was chuckling, oddly, exhibiting a deep rumble that soured the air. "If killing you would solve this, don't you think I would've done so already?" The Lare laughed mirthlessly.

"If you plan on killing yourself, fine. But, I won't stand on a sinking ship. I'd rather find the escape raft," Eugene said without smiling, "My responsibility to you is entirely selfish, but rest assured, My Lord. I won't let you die until I can find a way out."

A ghost of a smile graced Byre's lips but it was gone in an instant. He met with Eugene's eyes and truth be told, he did not expect anything less from the Lare. From the moment, they were coincidentally tied with the threads of fate. He had found the tower in his chessboard.

"Then, I will wait and see your diabolical plan to destroy our bonds."

"Good. Just don't expect me to work well with Hebi," Eugene added, icing the other protector's name with disgust.

Straightening his posture, Byre removed himself from the support of the tree. He knew for a fact that plans are meant to awry before doing what he wanted. So for now, he would let his protectors do as they pleased. Although, everything must come to an end at some point. Thinking on Eugene's answer again, he removed his crossed arms from his chest and let his hands fall to his side.

"A suicide? Hmm... You think lowly of me. I am not like my mother, Eugene. Although, the idea of you stopping me from dying is an interesting thing to see,"

Eugene arched an amused eyebrow towards Byre. "Of course I think that. I think lowly of everyone, My Lord." Eugene responded, finally turning around to resume his own duties. "That said, it would be in your best interest not to get any funny ideas."

Raising his right arm sidewards, Telius fell down from the branches above. Byre retrieved his arm as the creature found its place on the young King's shoulder. The prideful Lare as his protector was quite the dangerous tool. But, he preferred it that way. There is no fun in things if all is within your calculations.

"You are the one getting funny ideas, Eugene. You should know better."

On another note, Byre found it funny for Eugene to openly speak that he was above the Earth King. In a different time perhaps, but for now... this Lare was his to command and in the end that is all he needs.

"As long as you do your selfish responsibility to me. It is fine. Although, I would not be so giving when you cross me. Your place is still beside me. That is all."

After stating that, Byre left the shade of the tree and proceeded to stretch his legs for now. A walk would be nice. He disliked riding inside a carriage or more over on a horse. It is was not his strongest trait. However, it was faster to journey on such instead of walking. So, this was a welcome reprieve. As for Telius, the creature's big red eyes gazed at Eugene with that impenetrable emptiness. No one could really tell if Telius was smiling, laughing, or even frowning. That expression seemed to have been plastered for all eternity.

"You're a servant in the end, Lare. All of you are."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Aarynn Fletcher Character Portrait: Mina Character Portrait: Philomena Character Portrait: Freece Character Portrait: Emrys Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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#, as written by Siryn
Kanan, Freece, Aeraki, Celeste, Tien, and Emrys

Kanan tensed as Aeraki suddenly burst into motion. He thought for a mere second of utter shock that she was about to latch onto him once more. He watched her carefully, only calming a little as he heard her say Freece's name much like she'd done his.

"Fleece~" She called out, mimicking her pattern from earlier and lacing delicate arms around his neck, though only brushing her lips across his cheek. "Give me a piggy-back ride, I'm suddenly too lazy to walk." And blatantly ignoring the fact of her wings, which she drooped to add effect.

Upon hearing the nickname that Freece hates, there could be a noticeable vein throbbing on the right upper portion of his forehead, It was intensified more as the fae attached herself on his back. He would never know why Aeraki liked to pester him most of the time.

"Oi you Airhead, let's get things straight. Don't call me that! I am not a sheep! And second you have wings to fly! So fly!"

With all of that said, Freece begrudgingly carried Aeraki despite his complaints. The fae after all was not that heavy to begin with. Even when he would be expressive in his dislikes and rude remarks, in the end, he would still do what is asked of him. Well, he still mumbled and occasionally jolted the fae by bumping her to the nearby trees or rocky walls.

Aeraki was used to this behavior by now, able to deftly avoid being jolted too much, though the motion was progressively becoming repetitive to her. She was sure that Freece regarded her as a child, a mistake a lot of people tended to make for her behavior. Oh well! It made her observations go that much smoother and it helped that he wasn't on guard about it, not that it'd make much different if he was. She shifted her gaze downwards as she flicked her brush around idly with a free hand, scattering the water on the tip all over the place. This was too long of a walk, she needed to be entertained...! Wait a minute, wasn't the knot of the tie of Kanan's eyepatch uneven? Huh... She stared at it, squinting to see if it was indeed parallel or uneven, fortunately distracting herself long enough to stop squirming and sit still for once.

"Hey Disco Wings... Stop waving that pen around!"

Freece shouted in irritation as he shook his head where some of the water nestled. After doing so, he stopped walking and looked over his shoulder. His deep green eyes were sligtly more richer in color due to the spark of annoyance present within. Furthermore, why is that this sad excuse for a fae can't pick on herself. She is a perfect candidate for her antics. Although, he noticed that Aeraki was looking at something or more specifically someone else. Following that line of sight, he noticed it was the new addition to the group of protectors, Kanan.

Kanan felt a stare at the back of his head and turned just enough to see what was going on. Aeraki was still for once, albeit on Freece's shoulders, but still non-the-less. He sighed inwardly, that girl was a lot of trouble... another thing he had trouble coping with. The silver-haired protector turned back around and continued forward as they were making their way to the Shrine.

He idly wondered who they were going to meet there. He hadn't seen any of the other protectors or the Kings before. Curiosity was working it's way into his system and before he knew it he was lost in thought, wondering what they were going to be like. To add to his curiosity he felt a pang of guilt run through him. What Lady Celeste had spoken of back at Anemoi. Were they really going to fight the other protectors? Kanan hoped they wouldn't have to. Kanan straightened, stiffening slightly and berated himself for having been lost to his thoughts. It wasn't like him to question things so much, or for so long either. He sighed inwardly and continued following the others towards the Shrine. They would be there very soon.

Emrys looked back at the trio of Protectors trailing behind him and let out an indignant sigh. Personally, he wasn't sure that they were qualified as the princess' Protectors. Kanan was a 'maybe'. The other two were simply insubordinate and, at worst, untrustworthy. Shifu Tien, though impassibly wise and knowledgeable, was simply no longer fit.

The group reached the Shrine within a few minutes. They were the first there, just as Lady Celeste liked to have things. Kanan was starting to get used to the way she planned stuff. It was only a matter of time before the other King's entered the area as well.

Siya and Kaed

"We'll have to leave the horses here, the woods are too thick for them to go through," Siya said as he slowly dismounted, careful of his injury. Perhaps if things went well, Lady Celeste would heal the wound for him. He could only hope that she would be in a good mood. On the other hand though, his thoughts had been filled with Kaed for the remainder of the trip. The tall protector had looked so worried when Siya had been injured.

There had been a look in his eyes that had shocked Siya and stirred something else inside him as well. He wasn't sure what the feeling was yet, but he could still feel it, swirling around at the back of his mind and causing chills to run their course across his body. The young King took a quick look to his protector. The tall man was quite pleasing to look at, his long black hair always flowing around his face, his dark red eyes were the most alluring. He was warm, comforting and Siya's closest friend among his protectors.

Kaed turned his eyes down, catching the King staring at him. Siya flushed and before he turned he caught Kaed's taunting smile. His heart beat had picked up erratically, his throat tight as he quickly went around to the front of his horse and took the reigns. He tied the beast to the nearest tree and tried hard not to look in Kaed's direction.

"Just beyond here is the Shrine. We should hurry through, I'm sure Lady Celeste is waiting for us as it is nearing the time to be there," the young King announced, looking up through a break in the canopy above him. The stars were getting brighter as night settled in further. Siya took the lead, bringing his companions through the thick brush and trees. It was a lushes forest, beautiful in more than one way and far enough from any prying eyes or well traveled roads.

This place was where the Kings held most of their meetings should they ever all need to be contacted for one reason or another. Siya, naturally, knew the exact way to get to the small clearing where the Shrine was. As he broke through the thick greenery, his eyes were met by Lady Celeste and her troupe already there, just as he suspected. Off in the distance, he could hear another group rummaging through the forest as well and could only assume that is was Lord Byre and his protectors.

Siya offered her a smile and bowed to her. Kaed followed suite and offered quick, sharp, glances to the other protectors as a silent order for them to do the same. Siya straightened and looked up at the Shrine nestled in the far side of the clearing. The woods were slowly beginning to take it over, vines wrapping up the large pillars of the small structure. The stone was dark with years of elemental wear against it. However, it still kept its alluring beauty and power. Siya could feel it eminating from the center of the Shrine, a small square hole where offerings were usually burnt.

"My Lady," Siya offered to her as he stepped in closer to the shrine and the King of Air, or rather, Queen as she prefered, "I assume you know of the Water Kings death. Once Lord Byre is here, I would like to propose a means of finding a new King," he stated simply, trying to keep it short and too the point as to not waste time, but also to assert that he had plans of his own as well.

Hebi

The woods were cool, dark and inviting for a being such as himself. They'd left the Earth Kingdom and had made their way to the meeting place, only stopping once. Hebi, all the while, kept his smile to himself. Of course, he didn't have much to be smiling about as he had only heard portions of what his King and Eugene had talked about, but it was still amusing none-the-less.

The trees were getting thicker as they moved and Hebi knew then that they were much closer to the Shrine then. It would only be a matter of minutes before they were at the meeting. The meeting. How dull, Hebi thought to himself, loosing the amused smile for just a moment. He had better things to do and more interesting ideas to say the least.

No matter. As long as he didn't have to do much, then it wasn't a problem. He followed his King as they broke through the brush, entering the Shrine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Aarynn Fletcher Character Portrait: Philomena Character Portrait: Freece Character Portrait: Emrys Character Portrait: Ha Tién Long Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw Character Portrait: Nes, Son of Dar

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Byre Cress DelaCroiw
The Shrine of Aridea - Meeting of Rulers


The rest of the journey was more to say a humdrum. Assassinations, attacks, common thievery and the such never occurred or loomed over Byre even once. Somehow, it was a bit of disappointing in his opinion. After all, it was not too often that he manages to leave the domains of his kingdom. Yet, there had been little inputs along the way as he traveled with his chosen Protectors. The twisting conversations with Eugene, the fleeting observations towards Hebi, and his last protector who entertains him through silence. It was a conundrum of eccentricities that he appreciated in different ways.

"Master, they have already arrived."

Radiating within his consciousness, Telius' conjecture brought the Young King to the reason for this sudden walk out of his realm. The odd familiar was still lounging on top of Byre's shoulder as if it was a charming nest of softness. It seemed that the Wind and Fire Rulers had arrived at the Shrine of Aridea. As such, there was no need for him to linger around in such a relaxing pace. He had only done so in respect to the pride of the Wind Princess who always desired being on time. Adding to that, he did like the idea of being waited upon. It is one of the many luxuries of being late and awareness of the time.

"And so did we."

After stating that, Byre walked through the bushes that had gratefully parted to give way to the Earth King. His clothes reflected his status and rather militaristic qualities of his dominion. He wore white collared shirt with a blue necktie overlapped with a black vest which was covered by an opened military jacket with gold stripes at the end of its sleeves matched by a pair of black pants, half gloves on his hands, and combat boots on his feet. Upon the jacket, there were respective medals and badges some connected intricately by lithe silver chains. It fitted his form perfectly and not a speck of dust or leaf could be seen on his person. He was a vision and without a doubt inherited his father's intimidating yet good looks.

"Greetings Lady Celeste." Byre offered accompanied by a cordial bow to the female King who would without a doubt take another step in this three-way game of chess or even perhaps there were more players than he could conclude.

"I extend them also to you Lord Siya." In this regard, Byre only offered a courteous nod of the head. He had took notice the brief scent of magic that pilfered the winds, the touch of cinnamon and the allure of the forest nymphs.

"You seemed to have trouble on the way Fire King. It is good to know you are still here with us."

The string of words that Byre spoke had no specific tone of sympathy or concern. One could say it was rather empty and dull as if spoken only through the lore of politeness. This was only evident more to his rather apathetic expression as he slightly observed Siya's condition. His eyes also transferred to the Fire King's chosen Protectors.

"It is a pleasing thought that you have reliable protectors with you. Keep them well."

There was a seemingly underlying meaning to those word that its depth has yet to be seen. After saying that, Byre's eyes made a passing glance to a specific guest in the Fire Crew. The sense of a tainted being emitted from the frail form of a girl. He had read about such a creature once in a passing whim. It seemed that the world still have many secrets to be revealed to him. Knowing such concoction, the Earth King only spared a second worth glance to his protectors. He expected them to behave or his temperament would not only be limited to mere chaining them to the wall. It was delivered with the subtle serious intent within those greenish-blue eyes of his that seemed to glow.

As if to emphasize this, Telius who was still on Byre's shoulder delivered his words through the mind of the Earth Protectors in complete secrecy to the others present.

"Bad servants shall be punished. Will you be able to be good little protectors? I highly doubt it."

While the mental charade was going on, Byre once more looked at the Wind Princess and her retinue once she was done healing the wounded Fire King.

"Shall we begin then? The matters to be discussed are of great concern after all. The Balance and The Future are on the agenda as they always have."

Without further ado, Byre lead the way knowing full well his protectors would follow to where the Center Table laid. However, the Earth King stopped before the entrance and gestured for the Wind Princess to enter first. After all, he still have his trained and innate manner to consider in such instances.

"After you, Lady Celeste."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw Character Portrait: Nes, Son of Dar

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Byre Cress DelaCroiw
The Shrine of Aridea - Meeting of Rulers


Without further ado, the meeting had finally commenced as the Three Remaining Ruler of Elements sat upon the center table. It goes without a doubt that these people vary in more ways than one. This difference does not end only with their chosen elements, it was also on how they view things especially on what must happen first. As such, they began discussing certain key issues which would be about the continuance of balance in Lastra . One to be noted was the suggestion of the Fire King, Siya.

"Before we undergo anything, I suggest that we look for the King of Water first. Once he is found, than we can concentrate our efforts on finding the water orb. We can pool our own power to look for the King, we all know how a King's power is and so it shouldn't be too hard for us to find the new King. If we were to try to find the orb first, we would never get anywhere. The sooner we get started, the faster we can gain balance again."

The young Lord of Earth leaned on his chair and looked at Siya who was still recovering from his early mishaps from the travels to the Shrine. He had concluded that the demise of the Water King would be one of the many concerns to be discussed. So, they should seek the Heir to the Water Orb. However, it would be a dangerous move to do so. The murder of an Element King was not an easy task. It showed that great care and patience was taken to ensure the success of such a heinous deed. A meticulous plan was conceived and without doubt, he can conclude that the mastermind behind all of these was waiting for another perfect chance to strike.

It was the turn of the Wind Princess to speak. Her words were well-founded and he had a feeling that the she liked taking the lead or even more so to make the first move. His greenish-blue eyes gazed at Celeste more so when she directed her attention him. Byre took the note as Telius, Earth King's familiar, who remained on his shoulder peeked to look at the card which was handed. He did not mind at all as he calmly read its contents. No expression or notable change could be seen across his face. As such, it was hard to tell whether he agreed to it or held objections.

"Utterly ridiculous."

These were the words that left Byre's lips. There were no signs of reprieve, hesitation, or apprehension even. He had delivered it in an indifferent manner although, his voice could be heard loud and clear. To emphasize his point further, he tore the card into pieces and with ease and then turned its fragments into dirt as he allowed it to fall on the ground from his hand. He then stood from his seat and then looked at the Fire King first.

"I will only speak of this once. So, do listen well."

Then the Earth King transferred his attention to the Wind Princess who spoke of the words of unison. In his childhood days, he had heard how much of a thorn was the old Wind King in the words of his fallen father. Perhaps, the apple does not truly fall from the tree.

"Severus Damien is dead and I have killed him."

After saying that, Byre's powers activated as the grounds outside the Shrine trembled at the issuance of the Earth King. His words did not drip with ridicule or humor. It was delivered with precised conviction and those eyes of green-blue did not betray any intentions that the Earth King might have.

"Now, you know your enemy. What will you do Fire King Siya, Wind Princess, Celeste? Shall we now play a game of war? I will take hold of the Water Orb and all of yours. Make this as the declaration of war."

After saying that, Byre turned his back from the two Rulers. Telius remained on his shoulder as it looked at the two Kings instead with those crystal red eyes that showed no change of expressions.

"Master, you are making such a bold move."

Without answering the noted commentary to him, Byre left the Shrine of Aridea with his protectors in tow. He grabbed hold of Hebi's hair on the way out and technically dragged the said protector to show that he was rather irritated at his arrogance. Furthermore, disobedience was something that young Lord of Earth did not take lightly. It also showed that his punishment was to come. He also noted that the Lare might finally catch on what the meaning of the light conversation they had on the way.

"Let us leave. It is time to prepare for a war."

After saying that, Byre disappeared from sight along with his protectors. The move he had done had made him a villain in everyone's eyes. However, the truth of those statements were not to be casually dissuaded. After all, the Earth King never makes light of the words he speaks. He was the kind to follow through and that made the King Byre frightening in the eyes of his dominion and fellow nations.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Freece Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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#, as written by Siryn
Ménage à trois


After having been dismissed by the Kings, well more like being kicked out by Celeste, they all had gathered outside of the Shrine area, in the woods of the surrounding forest. Hebi turned his cold green eyes towards each of the Protectors. His eyes went to the one he'd antagonized earlier.

"You're gaze towards your King speaks volumes, Kaed."

The fire Protector turned slowly to address Hebi. He ignored the comment, shook his head slightly and turned back to what he was doing. Kaed had one of the small knives in hand and was wiping the blade down with a bit of oil on a cloth.

Hebi smirked, "What do you think, dear former Lare of a non-existant country?"

Unfortunately for Hebi, Eugene disliked his fellow protector as much, if not probably more than he loathed the protectors of the other factions. Such scepticism would have surely been catastrophic amongst allies. Yet it seemed that Hebi Irikisha’s personality naturally bred animosity, like smoke after a fire. Without gracing the capricious protector with his attention, there was a sharp intake of breath as Eugene reluctantly spoke. “I think you should shut that worthless trap of yours,” he hissed under his own breath, “No, on second thoughts, why don’t you keep wailing on them. That way I’ll at least have something interesting to watch when they try to kill you.”

Bored emerald green eyes gazed at the interactions of the other protectors of the other High and Mighty Sad Excuse for Rulers. He really did not like iinteracting with the others. Although, he is quite feeling good since he had finally gotten his hands on a bowl of doughnuts with varying flavors. As a result, he continued munching one while seeing the rather clear hostility between the two Earth Protectors. Well, it was not much but quite entertaining. As such, he continued eating when one of the doughnuts fell in the ground as it rolled between the snakey-type of person and a Lare.

"Try is the key word there, ex-king of some country. Of course it would be entertaining," he continued. His gaze shifted downwards to watch the pastry like thing roll between himself and Eugene. He turned to look at Freece, but didn't say anything. Only a cruel smile curved his lips as he crossed his arms and searched for another target to antagonize.

"So, what is your relationship with your King, dear fire Protector?"

Kaed sighed heavily and looked over, "I protect him, like you're supposed to do with your King."

"Ah, protect, yes I've heard of that. However, with that gaze of yours... makes one think there's more going on then just.... protecting..."

Kaed sheathed the little knife and drew his sword then, turning to face Hebi full on. The Earth protector uncrossed his arms, a look of triumph spilling over his pale face, sickly green eyes widening as they watched with anticipation. Unfortunately, that anticipation was short lived as a hard grasp on the back of his head took hold of his hair and he was suddenly dragged along side his King who growled at all of his Protectors that they were leaving.

Siya Ukomo

The note slid over to him and Siya took it gently. Prior to such, the Protectors had moved a distance away from the three Kings, knowing that such meetings were only meant for King's to hear. It was... common knowledge between them all. Siya opened the envelope and read the contents. A faint blush rose over his cheeks as he realized the very true statement that she'd written down on the paper. Slowly he closed the note and looked up as Byre spoke and promptly tore his apart. A flash of anger and shock washed over the fire King.

"Severus Damien is dead and I have killed him. Now, you know your enemy. What will you do Fire King Siya, Wind Princess, Celeste? Shall we now play a game of war? I will take hold of the Water Orb and all of yours. Make this as the declaration of war."

His dark eyes bore into Siya as he spoke, shifting between him and Celeste. Siya felt his chest clench tightly, his heart pounded hard in his chest. It couldn't be... no... it didn't seem right? Was it even possible that Byre would think such things? Was it even true that he'd killed the Water King? Now he was after both him and Celeste as well? He couldn't... no, he wouldn't believe it. He slammed his hands on the table and stood up abruptly, determined to face Byre. However, the Earth King had already begun to take his leave, dragging Hebi and the other protectors with him.

Celeste's cool voice followed him right after, “Earth King Byre DeLaCroiw—we have not the time for your game of war. Now, there are much larger things at stake. You may choose not to side with us but know this: The lone warrior may the bravest of them all, but there will be a time that he slips. He will turn and find no one to help him regain his stance.”

Siya's head dropped forward. A heavy sigh left his lips and his shoulders sagged a bit. After a moment he looked to Celeste, "I don't think he's truly left us, Celeste. Let us try to believe that he is still our ally, no matter what he may say. Until he completely proves that he's declared war against us and comes after our lives... only then will we think him our enemy."

A loud sound stopped Siya from further expressing his thoughts. It was like the forest had suddenly come alive after Byre's departure. A deep growl filled the air and following it, the sound of breaking branches, crumbling bushes and finally a large rock-like beast broke into the clearing. Of course, it wasn't only one beast, it was a few beasts and not all of them were rocks, others were twisted up vines taking form like that of foxes or wolves, even twigs had bonded together to form tall like figures that limbered in and loomed over the group with deadly intentions.

Siya's eyes widened slightly as he whirled around to face the sounds. He exited the small Shrine where the table was and got out into the open. Drawing his sword, he prepared to face off with the first of the many creatures, all the while his thoughts going to Byre and his declaration of war. Had he spoken to soon?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Aarynn Fletcher Character Portrait: Freece Character Portrait: Emrys Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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Marsaili pulled a face. Why was everyone so boring? Not even poking at Kaed's (obvious) attraction to Siya seemed like fun.


Well, not when the Herby guy was taking all the good jibes. That guy seemed to suck. Although it was rather fun. Marsaili groaned loudly and poked at Kaed's shoulder with the handle of her sword.


"Heeeeey. Heeeeeeeey, Kaaaaaaaaed. Pssst. Kaed. Hey. Hey Kaed. Psssssst." Marsaili mock whispered, her orange eyes bright and playful.


Kaed turned to the incessant pestering of the young child who poked him, "What is it! Marsaili!?" He nearly shouted at her, though his voice was clipped. Between her and Hebi, the normal Protector who always seemed to have a good hold on his anger, had just about lost it completely. Though he had to say, watching Lord Byre drag Hebi by the hair was almost satisfying, made better had Kaed done it himself.


Marsaili blinked and drew away from the yells. Demon she may be but being shouted at was never fun for any child.


"Sorry. I just wanted someone to talk to..." Marsaili looked down at her teddy and poked the loose stuffing a little before wriggling away from the other Protector. It wasn't her fault if she was bored! Demons get bored super easy! Like, she had once gotten so bored, she decided to sink this big ship. It was a super big one and was all "insinkable".

Hey, when anything had a few holes screwed out, it went down. And that wasn't easy stuff to drill out either.


Marsaili made a face as she thought about who else she could bother but realised only Kaed would tolerate her and he wasn't too forgiving right now. So she was stuck. The hellspawn sighed heavily, glaring a little at Kaed. She couldn't blame him though. He was being bullied about something really important to him. But still! It wasn't very nice.


Kaed sighed heavily immediately regretting losing his temper. Even though he'd scolded the girl plenty of times before, he'd never yelled at her like he did right then. Sheathing his sword which was originally intended to be sheathed in Hebi's chest, he turned and knelt down in front of Marsaili who was currently glaring at him. Yeah, he deserved that.


"I'm sorry Marsaili," he replied softly, he reached out and gently patted the top of her head, running his fingers through her hair slightly and smiled at her, "What did you wish to talk to me about?"


Marsaili squirmed under the Proctector's gaze. Nobody really asked her stuff like that. She was more of an interjecter than a conversation starter. Although, something had been preying on her mind.

"Who are all those guys and how come you know 'em?" The demon asked, her small face furrowing. She hadn't met any of these guys before. But she was a rather new Protector and had never really ventured around Lastra. She wasn't there to sight see after all. But still, it intruiged her to no end. Who were these people? And why did Kaed hate Mister Herby so much? Sure he was...frustrating (Marsaili didn't think so but Kaed was a little sensitive, obviously) but why all the hate?


Kaed smiled at her warmly and shifted his body to a better position in order to talk to her and maintain eye level. He sat down, one leg lifted up revealing the black pant beneath the long robe like dress that fit his frame. The split ends of the robe fell away, off to the side and he shifted again so that the other leg was underneath the risen one.


"I met them a long time ago. The only one's I don't know much about are the new ones. Hebi was a protector to Lord Byre's father, and his father before. Eugene was once a Lair to an old country some years ago, but he started serving as a Protector soon after Lord Byre took over from his fathers death.


"Freece, well... Freece has always been the same, a man who is easily distracted by things and has no real care for anything else." Marsaili giggled at this. This Freece guy sounded like a few demons she knew, Aza and Zale. The little mischeif makers where her partners in crime back home. She was obviously the brains of that operation. She had to say, she missed them. She missed hell. "Then there's Celeste's protectors, Aeraki has been with her since Celeste began her reign, a unique creature who posses a special skill over the winds. Watch her carefully some time Marsaili, I think you'll find what she does interesting.

"Then there's Kanan. I don't know much about him, he is very new, much like yourself. However, I get the feeling that he's worthy to be a Protector and will do everything in his power to protect Celeste. Finally there's us and you know all about that," he sighed heavily and looked up through the canopy of tree limbs over head, "I knew the Water King and his well too..." he muttered softly but didn't indulge in anything more.


Marsaili looked Kaed dead in the eye and frowned a little. She wondered what that meant if he knew that Watery guy. Was he sad? The hellspawn cautiously patted Kaed's knee and gave him a tiny shy smile. Well, that's what people did to make others feel better, right?


"Uh huh, I know you," Marsaili poked her fellow Protector's chest lightly and grinned, "and Flynn, the late samerai. He is always late. And I said before, where I come from, late means lava." The hellspawn shrugged. "And then there's me too." She grinned again before lifting her teddy.


"And Mister Smiles too! He's my Protector. My daddy gave me him. So he can be Siya's sub-protector, OK? Cos if he's protecting me and I'm protecting the King, it works!"


The girls touch on his knee was a surprise and he looked down at her, crimson gaze widened in shock at her action. She replied to him in a matter-of-factly tone and he smiled in return, a slight laugh coming from him as she poked his chest. His gaze shot over to Flynn as Marsaili continued on with how he'd been late early that morning to the meeting with Siya.


He turned to look down at the teddy bear that Marsaili always had with her, it was the first time he'd heard the name of the bear. Or maybe he had been told it, but he hadn't been paying attention. Mister Smiles, hu? Kaed reached out and gently touched one of the bears ears, the fluff around the stitching was coming out so he was careful not to desturb it too much.


"Yes, I think between you and Mister Smile's our dear Siya is in the best hands, don't you think Marsaili?" He started to stand then and that was when the ground rumbled under his feet. Immediately he turned, all thoughts of their conversation gone as a large rock like creature came bursting through the trees. Siya came into sight as well and Kaed's heart leapt as he watched his King jump out right in front of all of the creatures.

"Siya!" Kaed shouted and drew his sword, calling on his fire to leap forth and protect his King


Marsaili leapt to her feet before wincing a little. She still hurt from earlier but as the hell energy was still rather detatched, it would be easier to summon. She clenched her fists and a tall hell hound shaped animal took form in front of her.


"Easier...than I thought it would be!" She giggled quietly, her hand reaching out to grasp Kaed for support. It may have been a little easier bringing this piece of hell up but holding it here? Now that would be a different story. A handful of metal scraps in her pocket disappeared as the demon made her creature charge. The beast of pure darkness collided with the rock creature, causing a gasp to emit from Marsaili.


"Alright, dear, calm your tits. No need to go bashing into that thing, it hurts, ya know?" The hellspawn complained, clutching her side. Stupid hell essance, always so disregarding of the poor demon's health and wellbeing. The form flickered as Marsaili fought to stay alert and focused. Focus was hard to maintain when you had a big old drain on your mind.


A large being came forth from the earth, his form that of dark magic and the air was filled with a certain scent. Sharp sulfur and brimstone filled the area around Kaed immediately after the black dog was summoned. The tall Protector was about to lung into the fight as well, but a tug on his clothing took his attention.


Looking down, he spotted Marsaili's small hand gripping the side of his robe tightly. She leaned towards him, her lips moving as she said something that he didn't quite catch. She doubled over slightly, her other hand snaking over to grip her side and Kaed dropped down next to her. Wraping his arm around her, he pulled her against him and stayed there, covering her as she controlled her summoned creature.


Several of the twig like creatures limbered over to him and Kaed ground his teeth in irritation. The fire wall he'd sent to Siya moments ago had taken much of his energy so he needed another sacrifice. Reaching into his pocket with his hand that was around Marsaili he felt a couple of rings there. He invoked the power to change them into energy and he felt the power rushing through him.


Fire erupted from the tip of his blade and he allowed it to lung forward off the steel's tip and engulf each tall twig figure. The creatures went up in flames in a matter of seconds and waved their spindly arms around giving off a high pitched, inhuman shriek. A growling sound got his attention and he spun around to face the next opponent. It was a wolf like creature formed from vines. The wolf-thing bristled and arched forward it's back. From the back of the thing, it released a dozen sharp vines at them.

Kaed pulled his sword back around them, dragging Marsaili to the other side so he could better sheild her. His blade cut through the vines as they shot at him, a few getting through and cutting into his arms and exposed back, "Focus on the rock, Marsaili," he told her as he fought off the attack, "If you need more energy, there are more sacrifices in my pocket. Take the dagger if you need," he managed to get out as he struggled to free his sword from the vines wrapping around it. An eruption of fire did the trick, and he continued with slicing.


Marsaili exhaled deeply as she forced herself to focus. Her huge animal like thing reared up and roared. A sweat broke out over the little girl's forehead and she burrowed into Kaed for protection. The demon knew pretty well that if something went after her, she'd be doomed. The large demon threw itself at the rock creature, causing a tiny gasp to fall from Marsaili's lips. She clutched Kaed's side tightly and sighed harshly.


The beast snarled and its huge jaws snapped around the rocky beast. The hell hound jumped back and growled darkly. A few wolf-fox vine creatures launched themselves onto the hell animal. Marsaili let out a weak cry and started swatting at her back in desperation.


"Shhh, get away, get off me..." She whined as she fought to hold the huge beast of energy. The being seemed unconcerned of his demon's problems and slashed his claws through the vines. The flora shriveled up on contact with hell. Suddenly, Marsaili's concerntration broke and her beast faded into nothing. A quick slash across her back forced the little girl to her knees. She fell almost limp, her hands torn away from Kaed's robes. A shrill scream grabbed the other Protector's attention as the hellspawn was ripped away from his side by a gang of vine foxes. She wriggled, too tired to do any real damage. Marsaili's demonic qualities fell away and revealed a scared little girl underneath. She let out another scream as one of the monsters slashed across her stomach, slicing neatly through the skin.


"Kaed! Siya! DAD! Help me!" Marsaili cried out, trying to crawl against the things dragging her away. The vine creatures carried on their attack, biting and scratching at the hellspawn who had almost no strength left. She didn't have any magic anyway. She had used the last of her sacrifices earlier and was much too tired to gather up any form of protection from hell. She was completely at the mercy of the animals.


"Someone, please!"


Her scream caught Kaed's attention and he whirled around as he lost her from his grip. He lunged forward, desperate to get her back but missed entirely and instead failed to protect himself. The vine wolves lunged at him and several of the nasty things cut deep into Kaed's shoulder, back and legs. Unable to move, pinned as he was, he couldn't get to her. Twisting around he concentrated his efforts on freeing himself before he was further injured.


Siya whirled around as he heard the high pitched scream. He watched in horror as Marsaili was ripped from Kaed's grasp. The vine wolves tore into her without mercy and she was terrified. The Fire King wasted no time as he pulled away from his own fight and sprinted towards her. Already he was preparing his magic to burn away the vines that tore into her.


As he rushed to her, he spotted the Wind Princess' protector turning at the same time. It was the younger, newest protector who had turned. His one bright blue eye widened in shock at the sound of Marsaili's wails. Without a thought it seemed, Kanan brandished his sword and a rush of wind blades tore through the area, sending with it a calming smell of chamomile.


The wind blades cut through several of the vine wolves just as Siya's fire erupted over the group and burned them to ash. Kanan continued his attack, turning to where Kaed's form was being overwhelmed by vines. Wind blades slashed and cut into the thickests parts. Siya dropped next to Marsaili and pulled her close to him.


"Marsaili? Hey, hold on, ok? You'll be just fine," he told her as he looked over her wounds. Across from him Kaed was freed from his prison. A mixture of wind attacks and his own explosion of fire was what did the trick. Kaed slowly crawled from where he'd been trapped and looked over Siya's shoulder.


The large rock formation was going on a rampage and his current target seemed to be the bulk of the group. Kaed was too tired to continue fighting, and he also knew that Marsaili was in no shape to do much about it either. Siya caught Kaed's gaze and turned to look over his shoulder.


The young King gasped as the rock beast tore at the ground in preparation for a charge. Siya pulled Marsaili up into his grip and moved out of the way as quickly as he could. The beast tore through the area and hit a couple of trees before stopping. Turning to look over his shoulder Siya shouted to the others, "Help me kill this thing!" After calling out he starting building up on his power, the more fire he could produce, he thought that he could at least melt the beast down.


Marsaili's orange eyes widened and she let out a wail as the rock formation charged again. She was starting to get familiar with the thing's attack. Run, charge and go through anything in its path. In her panic, the demon burrowed into her King and cried out for the one person she knew would help.

"Daddy. Please!" She whimpered and almost instantly, a calming feeling of hell washed over her. The child's muscles relaxed as the comforting growls of pure hell hounds spitting fire filled her ears. Her daddy didn't seem too pleased and was giving her a bit of a helping hand in killing the thing that tried to hurt his baby girl. Combined with Siya's fire, she felt comfortable in the thing's demise. The blast of heat showering her back told her that the rock beast was slain. All the energy slipped away from her and her eyelids fell shut as she let the tiredness claim her. Before she fell unconcious, she mumbled to Siya quietly.


"What even were those things, Siya? And why did they wanna hurt us?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Freece Character Portrait: Emrys Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw Character Portrait: Nes, Son of Dar

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Freece, Wind Protector
Shrine of Aridea - Battle grounds


"Butter cream Doughnut. Strawberry syrup Doughnut. Chocolate covered Doughnut. Sugar glazed Doughnut. Vanilla Mint Doughnut. Mocha coated Doughnut. Original recipe with sprinkles Doughnut."

These were the thoughts that played within the Air Protector's head. His green eyes affixed on the bowl of doughnuts that he cradled so delicately like a precious treasure. The meeting was underway and the Princess was inside with the other Kingly personae. So, all that he has left to do was to eat his most favorite food. Actually, the only food that he recognizes worthy to be eaten. Leaning on one of the pillars, he munched on his meal while occasionally listening to the hearsay of the other people that were there. He disliked being dragged to some meeting but the freebies were amazing so, he really didn't mind it this time too much. As for the fleeting conversation, some were not worth listening to and others do peak his interest from time to time.

“Let us leave. It is time to prepare for war.”

This was enough to make Freece glanced towards the direction of the Earth King who was now dragging one of his protectors by the hair. It was very entertaining. But the most important fact that took his attention was the word, 'war'. He pondered on that which made him stopped in the middle of his doughnut eating. Isn't this meeting for some peaceful purpose or something? He really didn't read the report beforehand, so he has no idea. Perhaps, these days war means peace or something.

“Earth King Byre DeLaCroiw—we have not the time for your game of war. Now, there are much larger things at stake. You may choose not to side with us but know this: The lone warrior may the bravest of them all, but there will be a time that he slips. He will turn and find no one to help him regain his stance.”

Scratch that. It was not a peaceful term at all judging by the Princess' echoing words to the wind. However, the Earth King seemed untouched by it and continued on his way without looking back even once. Soon, the Earth Crew disappeared from their sights. With one question in mind, is the Earth Country really hell bent on war and domination? Well whatever the answer would be, he will remain still in his position and that is eating his doughnuts. At that point on, he resumed his meal and has a nonsensical care of everything else until----

BAM!

A huge boulder just missed his head by a mere inch. That did not bother Freece at the very least. What bothered him was the fact his bowl of doughnuts was now on the ground.

BAM!

Adding insult to injury, another boulder was thrown and it squashed his doughnuts to oblivion.

"Freece, Aeraki! Join forces with the Fire Protectors—take out those rock creatures! They pose the greatest threat!"

Oh, there was no need for Emrys to say that those rock creatures were the greatest threat. Freece will pulverized them into ashes! They will pay for their actions of harming his precious doughnuts. Those eyes of green glowed in an eerie manner as flames enveloped his lithe frame. Before leaving the palace, he had turned all the kitchen wares and table wares into sacrifices due to the fact they do not produce doughnuts. The Princess would probably scold him for it later on.

"You dirtbag! I will grind you into a fertilizer!"

Without missing a beat, Freece lunged into the air with incredible speed which was inherent in him. He landed on top of the rock creature who had dared throw boulders at him. He then accumulated all of the flames that surrounded his body into one big ball of fire into his fist.

"This is my vengeance!"

Delivering a punch straight to the noggin of the rock creature as it pierced through the rocky exterior and blowing it from inside. It was then Freece landed on the ground as he wiped some dirt on his face.

"Who is bloody next?!"



Byre Cress DelaCroiw
Shrine of Aridea - Outskirts


The land reverberated beneath his feet. Byre stopped from his walk and took a long glance at the forest lines near the Shrine. He could sense the turmoil through the swaying of the trees and the words of the Wind Princess permeated around him. However, it was only scoffed at and continued on his way once more.

"Master, they seemed to be in trouble." This was Telius' remark as his eyes could perceived the scene currently happening at the Shrine grounds. The creature was also sure that Byre knew of the sudden attack as well.

"They would not be defeated by such earth-bound manifestations so easily. If they are, then it was not worth it making them my enemies now." This was the answer of the Earth King who was mildly amused of what was going on and did not care its possible meaning to be attached to him. At the same time, there was no ounce of concern dripping from those monotonic statements. As Byre finally released Hebi's hair from his hold, he spoke.

"Once, we returned to the Castle. I will have the armies mobilized to strike at the Fire and Wind Kingdom. Furthermore, we will seek the Water King."

His eyes of green-blue did not reveal any hints or doubts in whatever plan was being concocted within Byre's mind. However, those eyes looked at his protectors with such seriousness as if piercing through them with a warning if they ever choose to betray him, death would be their just rewards.

"Eugene. Hebi. Nes. Your place is by my side. Do not ever forget this."

Once that was stated, Byre continued on his way knowing his protectors would follow even if they have confusion of what was going on or why the sudden declaration. For in the end, they were bound to him one way or another. The shackles placed upon them could only be removed at his demise. That was not going to happen for a long time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw

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“Earth King Byre DeLaCroiw—we have not the time for your game of war. Now, there are much larger things at stake. You may choose not to side with us but know this: The lone warrior may the bravest of them all, but there will be a time that he slips. He will turn and find no one to help him regain his stance.”

A haughty snort preceded her words, “And that’s why he’s got his protectors.”

With a tiny scrape, Eugene turned on his heels and dutifully followed after the Earth King. His expression bore an awfully superior smirk as he watched Hebi being unceremoniously dragged along, a fistful of greasy black hair clenched between within Byre’s iron grips. As usual, the Earth King was ever the pragmatist, but he had a lot to learn as a human. Strangely, the Lare could not shake the tingling of unease that had attacked his spine. Judging from the recent flow of events, the conference had ended on less than agreeable terms for both the Air and Fire Kings.

But most alarming was Byre’s reckless declaration of war. That sole word associated with death and disaster. Eugene could already see the dangerous precipice which balanced the fate of Byre’s kingdom. War. As much as he disliked the other Kings, he was also forced to acknowledge their necessity. Eugene shuddered to think what one person could achieve if they possessed all four of the orbs. How had things escalated so quickly? Was the young king simply hot blooded? Despite the tsunami of questions, Eugene’s composure remained upright. Stubborn arrogance kept his facade perfectly straight except for the slightly crooked smile that was expected of him.

Before he could voice his objections however, a burst of activity ravished the fragile peace. Ceremony was discarded all too quickly in the favour of arms as elemental summons burst from the green thickets and assaulted the shrine’s inhabitants. Drained of all idleness, the smirk dropped from his face.

“Someone’s very brazen and very stupid if they think this is going to stop us,” he spat, adopting a defensive stance. The sword behind his back remained sheathed.

Then, Eugene’s blue eyes narrowed in the confusion, not in fear or amusement, but revelation. Regarding the torrents of magic uncertainly, he glanced back in the direction of Byre, gauging the human’s reaction. Most concerning was not Byre’s casual dismissal for that was typical of the clinical perfectionist. No, rather it was unexpected betrayal that briefly froze the Lare’s mighty physique. Someone amongst the gathering of protectors or kings had planned this. The ambush itself was so trivial, so paltry that Eugene was hesitant to call it even that. Given the forces presented however, assassination hardly seemed like the mastermind’s intentions. Was antagonising their goal? Or were they testing the kings? Numerous assumptions could be drawn from the attack, all of which annoyed him.

"Once, we returned to the Castle. I will have the armies mobilized to strike at the Fire and Wind Kingdom. Furthermore, we will seek the Water King," stated Byre. Eugene kept his staunch gaze on the Earth King but lowered his arms. So this was his answer. "Eugene. Hebi. Nes. Your place is by my side. Do not ever forget this."

“Yes sir,” he responded.

The Lare emitted a low tisk of disapproval and ‘encouraged’ Hebi to get on his feet with a vicious kick, “Get up you disgrace, we’re moving out.”

Of course his suspicions naturally diverged to the black headed snake, but that did not rule out the other kingdoms. Without sparing the thug a second glance, he trod forwards. The Lare would have to be content with watching the king for now, regardless of his disposition towards war, for his fate was invariably tied with Byre’s. For now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kaed Kuhti Character Portrait: Marsaili Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Celeste Macavelia Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Aarynn Fletcher Character Portrait: Byre DelaCroiw Character Portrait: Nes, Son of Dar

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#, as written by Siryn
Hebi Irikisha

His King dragged him some ways away from the meeting, Celeste's voice carried through the woods after them and despite his position, Hebi grinned maliciously. Soon enough, he was released from Lord Byre's grip and he stumbled, falling down to the earth on hands and knees. He stayed there, unwilling to get up and have his King take him back down to the ground again. Instead, he bowed his head to Byre and let his dark hair fall over his face, hiding his grin.

"Once, we returned to the Castle. I will have the armies mobilized to strike at the Fire and Wind Kingdom. Furthermore, we will seek the Water King. Eugene. Hebi. Nes. Your place is by my side. Do not ever forget this."

"My lord," Hebi said softly in reply.

“Yes sir. Get up you disgrace, we’re moving out,” the voice belonged to Eugene who kicked the earth Protector hard in his ribs. Hebi fell over from the attack and gripped his ribs with one hand. He looked up at the tall Lare through dark strands of hair. One eye was closed tightly from the burning in his side, but the other one stared steadily upwards at the man. Hebi responded with a cruel smile curving along his lips. Slowly he got to his feet and brushed himself off.

"Did that remind you of your time as a Lare? Wonder how your citizens dealt with such a vicious and cruel ruler. Perhaps you should take lessons from our Lord Byre. At least then the only thing you'd have to worry about is your enormously large ego!" Hebi snapped back, but made sure to keep a good distance from Eugene. Should they fight right then, not only would Lord Byre deal out harsh punishment to them, but they'd also lose their chance at getting a head start to find the water King. Ah, the Water King. Hebi's green eyes flickered with an odd light, his tongue snaked out to lick at his lips before he turned and followed obediently after Lord Byre.

Siya Ukomo

"What even were those things, Siya? And why did they wanna hurt us?" Marsaili's voice was soft as she slowly lost consciousness. Siya glanced down at her and pulled her close to his body. He cradled the small girl in his arms as he released his fire upon the charging rock creature. His eyes were narrowed in concentration as the fire exploded from him. In the split second before the flames engulfed the rock, he spotted one of Celeste's protectors lift into the air and launch a... dragon? at the rock creature. Never-the-less, the dragon creation tore the rock in half and helped to aid his flames in melting it down.

Once the dragon was finished, it went off and began destroying other creatures that had seemingly risen up from the forest. Siya sighed heavily, his breath short. He leaned over Marsaili's unconscious form and watched her sadly. She would need some healing very soon, the best that he could do was to stop the bleeding. Reaching down he ignited his hand and ran it over the worst of her wounds. Her being unconscious made things easier, though he still winced inwardly. The poor girl was going to be in so much pain later on.

"I don't know, Marsaili," he whispered to her though he knew she couldn't hear him at that point. He turned his head and caught sight of Kaed who was kneeling on one leg, his sword held tightly in one hand and his gaze flicking about the area for any stragglers. The Protector turned and looked upon his King, then got to his feet and made his way over to the young Fire Lord. Kaed dropped down next to Siya and looked at Marsaili with a frown.

"Will she be alright?"

"She will, I've stopped the bleeding, she just needs to be healed," Siya answered and closed his eyes tiredly. However, he forced himself to get some semblance of strength and energy. The fight was over with, short and quick as it was. Even so, he was tired after having expended so much energy to take out the bulk of the enemy and the large rock entity. He looked up at Kaed who wrapped an arm around Siya's shoulders and hugged him tightly.

"You're alright?"

"Fine, Kaed. You're in worse shape then me," Siya pointed out, eyeing the multiple places where Kaed was bleeding from. His Protector only offered him a smile and stood up slowly. Kaed sheathed his sword and offered his hands out to take Marsaili. Siya stood up and gave her over to him. Turning, Siya looked to the other Protectors and Lady Celeste.

"I don't know what you plan to do, Lady Celeste, but I still plan to find the King of Water. I have a feeling that no matter what enemies may be following us, they may already be several steps ahead of us in finding him. If we find him, we can protect him until he's given his orb. There's no way we can find the orb, we've not the power to do that. Only the Water King can. I'll be on my way once Marsaili has been healed in the village not far from here. If you wish to accompany me, I'll gladly welcome you and your protectors. I could use all the help I can get."

Siya looked to Flynn and Kaed before nodding his head in the direction that he wished to head in. The nearest village was a couple hours away and if they retrieved their horses, they could be there even sooner. Besides, their horses had more supplies than what Siya had right at that moment. Bandaging the wounded Marsaili was first on his mind.

Kanan Thiyer

He finished off the last of the walking twigs and a couple more of the wolf like vines that lunged at him. His blade swung continuously, sometimes sending out waves of wind blades, other times just cutting straight through by the swords edge. He twisted around and launched another pass of magic at the approaching enemy, tossing them backwards. Kanan wasted no time and finished them off with a final attack of wind blades, the sound of sharpened air cutting through branches filled his area of the fight.

Then it was all over. He glanced around, taking count of the bodies of the elemental's and who was injured if any on his side. He was happy to see that his Queen was just fine as she was hovering up in the air. Off a distance away, Siya stood with his Protectors. It seemed that the girl had taken quite a blow and even the tall one named Kaed seemed to be injured just as well. Siya, though, looked unharmed. Kanan felt relief at that notion, but felt bad for the Protectors, especially the unconscious girl in Kaed's arms.

He listened to the exchange of words from Siya to his Queen before sheathing his weapon and looking around once more. Siya began making his way to where they'd come into the forest earlier. It was obvious he was heading back to where they'd left their horses or whatever means of travel they'd used to get to the Shrine. Kanan spotted Aeraki and started making his way to her. She was inspecting one of the elemental's quite closely so he leaned over her shoulder, his single pale blue eye narrowing in on what she was looking at.

"Different kind of magic than I've seen before," he muttered to her. His eye flicked up to look at her, to see if she would confirm his suspicion, "I think it's safe to say that Byre and his group did not intend this fight. Which leaves the question of who did..." he pondered this on his own, leaving Aeraki's side to look to his Queen.

Dropping down to one knee, he placed one fist on the ground and bowed his head to her, "My Lady, forgive me, but I think that Lord Siya is correct in going after the Water King. We should find him first before Lord Byre or anyone else does. Offering him protection is, in my mind, the best course of action," he offered to her gently. He wasn't entirely sure why, but it just seemed that he should tell her about his agreement. Even if she disagreed, he would still follow her orders unquestioningly. However, it still felt right to go and try to find the Water King first.