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Artos Ragnall

"As commanded, so shall it be."

0 · 663 views · located in Quies

a character in “Far From Home: REBOOT”, as played by Taunbon

Description

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"Between Beast and Saint lies Man."



"Let us feast, let us rend flesh from bone, let us taste their tears, we must bath in their screams, we are hungry, so very hungry."



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Full Name:
Artos Ragnall

Nickname:
Butcher of Kar'Groth
Monster of Wickerbattle
Savior of Toren
The Beast
The White Knight





Dialogue Colors:
The Beast

The Knight
The Man

Age:
28

Gender:
Male

Brief Physical Description of the Knight:

Divinely beautiful. Artos is almost ethereal in his appearance, something far more then human that can captivate the eyes and hold them for eternity for such is the Knight, the Ideal of 'Perfection'. Very tall, he tends to tower over most others standing nearly 6'5, his body lean and willowy with cord like muscles running beneath the flawless light skin. Long, flowing silky white hair frames piercing green eyes underneath thing, arching eyebrows. His cheekbones are high and thin, his jaw strong and sharp matching perfectly with his small nose, his face mocking in its perfection as if the gods themselves had carved him from marble for little reason more then to taunt the mortals who would never know true beauty.

The picture of elegance and regality combined with lethal purpose, Artos moves with precession with no wasted movements, he does not slouch for his station would not abide such laxity. His strong chin is always raised and looking ahead. But, perhaps, the most striking features on Artos are the 'signs'. The Lunar Cycle has a critical impact on Artos, his mind, and his appearance. The closer to the full moon it gets, the more the Beast has control, the closer to the New Moon, the more the Knight has control.

In his 'Knight' Form, on the new moon, he looks like a sinfully beautiful human, free of the beast's markings. But as the month goes on, markings and changes will start to take place, his nails will slowly grow into claws, his teeth with sharpen and his fangs lengthen, various 'strips' will start to appear on his face and over his body, and the moon will appear on his forehead. The moon is a warning to all as it displays the Moons current strength, as the moon on his head fills in, the bestial changes increase and his control lessens, as the moon wanes, the Knight resumes control and he retains a more human appearance. When the Full Moon is approaching, the moon disappears from his forehead completely until the true moons gradual return.

His voice is a deep baritone with a slight rasp. He takes his time, speaking slowly and stressing words of importance.

Brief Physical Description of the Beast:

A large, powerful monster. A grotesque union of man and wolf, standing massive at over nine feet tall, the Beast stands upon two legs, a mockery of the human it was moments ago, long, powerful arms are joined with massive claws that shear and tear whatever is in their path. Its long tail waves back in forth, an often used indicator for the beast's current mood and mindset. Its body is a mass of large muscles covered in snow white fur that would make it beautiful if the fur wasn't so often marred with the fresh blood and fleshy bits of prey.

Its wolf head has a long, slender snout with massive teeth and fangs, designed to tear and rip at flesh, and the less said about the Beast's breath the better. Its long ears are sensitive to hearing, far superior to that of mere dogs or standard wolves, its nose able to pick up the faint scents from prey, to flora, to even the musk of fear and arousal in other beings. Its fierce green eyes are so similar yet so different from the Knight's, where the Knight's were cold, the Beast's eyes are lit with a fire of rage, desire, and the promise of the horrors to come.

Hellishly fast, no horse could ever hope to compete, and monstrously strong able to shatter trees with its might, the Beast is truly an apex predator with a dark voice that is rumbling, seeming to crawl over the skin yet it retains its 'animal' magnetism, the Beast is truly a nightmare made manifest, and many stories exist of the white wolf that walks upon two legs and hunts the land for young children with which to satiate its unending hunger.








The Man
Intelligent || Dedicated || Brunt || Broken

The man known as Artos is all but gone, a husk that is constantly being pulled back and forth by the two beings that now dominate his Psyche, the Beast and the Knight. Beings a part of Artos' very nature, but taken to extremes. The Knight is what Artos always wanted to be, aspired to be, but could never be... well, at least it is if someone were to take it and make it into an emotionless nightmare consumed by the idea of duty and honor with no regards to mercy and compassion. The beast is the darker part of Artos' soul, the instinctive desire to eat, mate, and self-indulge. The beast is all of Artos' darker emotions and desires made manifest, its hunger for blood, flesh, and destruction is without limit.

But, on occasion when the Moon is half, the man that was Artos resurfaces as the Knight and Beast pull is evened out allowing a 'balance' to be established within his soul. Yet even this is barely a shadow at who he once was for his memories before becoming what he is now are gone, only flashes and glimpse remain content to taunt him forever just out of reach. Yet, despite this, Artos is still an intelligent man, highly educated and quick of wit as that has never truly left him, while he may not be able to recall all of his teachings and lessons, his demeanor and nature tell of a man sure of his own intelligence, even if they are doubtful of their sanity.

Much like his personality aspect, Artos is dedicated seeking to honor his commitments even if he isn't always the one who makes them, and he persistently tries to regain control or fight the control of the Knight and Beast, but he does not expect victory nor does he hope for it. For him, fighting has become the mundane and normal, a habit and reflex. He struggles in vain against forces beyond his will because it is all he is able to do. It his hearts way of lashing out in vain defiance towards the outside control that has collared him. This morbid look at the futility of his existence and his vain struggle against impossible odds has made him rather blunt and coarse. He will often lash out at people for little to no reason or provocation as it is a means to vent the pain that he is caged with.

Above all, Artos is a broken man. He has been forced to watch as his beast murdered and pillaged its way through the world, remember the taste of blood and the feeling of flesh giving way to claw. The cold emptiness of the Knight as he upheld his 'vows' and slayed all those commanded without remorse or regret. Years of this, years of being locked within his own body without memories of who he was before his split has broken his spirit and nearly shattered his mind, and a part of him firmly believes he deserves all that has happened to him. He created his own pain, his own curse, and he shall live with it for the rest of his life.


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"I Pledge My Service And My Loyalty, Body And Soul, To My Lord.
While I Draw Breath, No Debt Shall Be Owed.
My Heart Will Know No Deception,
For My Words Are Truth.
My Blade Protects The Innocent,
And Renders Judgement Upon The Wicked.
Never Shall I Waver,
Never Shall I Falter,
Never Shall I Hesitate.
This I Swear On My Blood And Breath."




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The Beast
Dedicated || Cunning || Obsessive || Savage

It is odd to think of the Beast as dedicated, but he is. Once the beast has settled on an action or a target, it will pursue it to the ends of the realm and even into others if necessary for the Beast loves the hunt, loves the challenge, and if something were to challenge him, he cannot allow it to go unanswered. Just like the others, the Beast must obey the Command even if his instincts tell him to lash out against the control, against the leash, for not even it, with all its fury and might, can fight the power that holds him at bay, and he will go to any lengths to achieve his goals.

The best, or worst, of all his traits is that the Beast is deceptively cunning. While he is not truly intelligent by normal standards, the Beast has a powerful low cunning that allows it to deceive and outsmart unsuspecting prey or those that mistake that spark in its feral eyes as anything but a cruel intelligence and cruel it is. The mind of the beast is always geared towards either its own survival, the attainment of something it desires, or the cruel plans it makes for others which can often be incredibly elaborate, but it is the same no matter his objective, those who underestimate the Beast soon find his teeth upon their throat.

Obsession, the Beast has a tendency to 'fixate' on a being. Male, female, adult, child... such things matter very little to the Beast, but it will find someone 'interesting' or 'worthy' of its attention for small reasons and then he will mark them for the hunt. He will watch them, study them, learn how they smell, how the air taste when they are near, how they think, how they act, what arouses them, what terrifies them, what they like to eat, their habits they have, their little quirks, their ambitions... every tiny little detail is meticulously noted then it starts to work. His actions vary upon the being, sometimes he will hunt them down, allowing them to run from him until they are driven mad, other times, he will catch them and slowly feast upon their flesh, enjoying their screams as his teeth dig through their still living flesh, while others, he takes everything they love away until they take their own life. No one that has ever caught the Beast's attention and received the mark has survived his... attentions.

And then the Beast is savage as his name applies. He has little use for sympathy, kindness, compassion, for 'civilized' behavior, the Beast is a being of baser instinct and desires for which he will go to any lengths to satisfy despite understanding that he will never truly be satisfied, it is in his nature to want more, to need more. He delights in the pain of others, and enjoys it even more if he inflicts it himself, and he is incredibly vengeful and does not forget insults or strikes against him. The Beast's Anger is easily raised, and it will never go away for the Beast does not understand the concept of forgiveness.


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The Knight
Intelligent || Honorable || Empty || Sardonic


The Knight is a being of logic and duty. He is cold in his approach to problems, if they do not concern him or his vows, it is dismissed, and if they breach them or his duty, he will strike it down without mercy or hesitation. Because of his cold nature, the Knight is unhindered by petty things like emotions allowing for his mind to dominate his decision making, every action is considered and calculated, his words chosen for their value and worth, people judged and weighed for their abilities with little care given to their age, sex, or appearance making the Knight incredibly intelligent and, often, cruel because of it. He has little qualms in 'talking' down to others and has no use for those without abilities to be valuable or contribute and will not hesitate to inform them of this as well as means to increase their ability so that they will no longer be a waste of space.

The core of the Knight is his Vow. The Vow Artos took when he became a Knight, himself, has become ingrained into the Knight, and he follows it without question or doubt. It guides his decisions and actions, and he upholds it with an almost religious zeal. This does make the Knight very 'honorable', he will always repay a debt, real or imagined, he will always protect the 'weak' even if he finds them useless and strike down those that are 'wicked' and 'unjust' with little regard to the reason behind their actions. His always follows through on his word and will never lie for he has no use for such things. The one who controls his 'command phrase' becomes the target of the Vow, his 'Lord' that he will obey at any cost even if the orders go against another section of the Vow for not he, the man, or the beast can go against the command.

The Knight is empty, he lacks any warmth, and true emotions. His blood 'runs cold', and there is no light in his eyes. The Knight is the 'perfect' being in that he is without the human 'weakness' that plagues so many. He does not get angry, he does not get jealous, he does not feel fear, he does not understand love, and he does not have time for greed, lust, pride, compassion, mercy, or wrath. Because of this, it is debatable that the Knight is truly less human then even the Beast for the Beast, while monstrous, understands emotions and feelings something that is beyond even the Knight's considerable intelligence.

Interestingly, the Knight is very... sardonic in nature. He will often make sarcastic quips or witty jabs at others for his own amusement. He does not feel 'happy' while doing this, nor even does he feel truly 'amused', well, most of the time, if he has more 'beast' in him then he finds it amusing, but he does it because it keeps his mind and his 'companions' minds sharp and on task. His sarcastic quips are always given out very deadpan, he does not raise his voice or show facial expressions as he insults, undermines, or comments on something he sees making it an often frustrating part of his 'personality' when others are dealing with him.

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History:

Artos was born to a family of minor nobility, the second born son of the Ragnall family, and like second children of minor nobility, he was destined for the military. Due to his families prestige and wealth, Artos enjoyed a complete and well-rounded education in swordplay, academics, strategy, and horsemanship, but despite training from an early age and the amount of gold that was invested Artos was never much of a knight lacking the instinct of a swordsmen or the understanding of tactics. The only thing he seemed to excel in were academics much to his Father's dismay and much to Artos' dismay, his older brother, despite not training as extensively in swordsmanship was far superior at it then he. It seemed he was destined to a life of mediocrity.

As Artos grew older, his desire to prove himself worthy to his father grew. Every time he was defeated by his brother, it was another muttered oath that he would improve, every swing was done with the vain hope for another's approval, but the lack of talent could never be overcome, the wall was there, and he was close to hitting it. He would never be a master swordsmen, or even better then most other knights. It was a crushing realization, but it was replaced by the desperate inner plea that perhaps, just perhaps, he could overcome this shortcoming by being the 'greatest' knight. By being loyal, noble, honorable... to become a beacon of virtue.

To become a beacon of virtue is a wonderful dream, but not something that is easily done. When Artos was knight, he spoke his oath before his Queen, and burned the words into his mind. He would exemplify them, he may not be the greatest knight in martial skill, but he would be one that was spoken of throughout the ages for being the 'ideal' knight. He took whatever job was presented, did not balk at the tedious guard assignments or patrols even if he was raging on the inside, and slowly, he rose in statue and prestige. He never entered the Tournaments keenly aware that ending up on his behind in the first round would quickly crush his hopes, so instead, he would humbly speak of how he would not wish to enter because his blade was meant only for the Queen, and his 'humble' words sparked curiosity and rumors that his skill was far greater then it was, and he made no move to ever dispel that belief. There was nothing more the court loved besides a hero, well, perhaps besides a juicy rumor of debauchery, but heroes were a close second.

Thus Artos' undeserved reputation flourished until he was able to attract that attention of a powerful family who desired to have the 'mighty' Artos as part of his family and offered him the hand of their beautiful second born daughter, Amelia. Artos who was always plain by his families standard lacking his mothers luscious onyx hair and instead having mangled ruddy brown hair, sharp green eyes, and a receding chin to be offered the hand of one of the most beautiful women in the kingdom was a gift from the God's themselves, something he thought he so rightfully deserved for his ego had grown along with his false reputation.

They were wed on a breezy spring morning, and that is when his life started to take a turn. Amelia had never wanted to marry him, she was already in love with a peasant boy, and more then that, Artos was what she called a, 'Strutting Peacock,' filled with more self-inflated ego and delusions of glamour then common sense or any sign of the honor and nobility he led others to believe he had. Of course, it was easy for Artos to pretend that she was attracted to him as many of the court women were, and their marriage descended into lies and secret meetings with other partners within shadowed alcoves of the palace, but they were both fools to think that their actions would go unnoticed for long as the court is eternally hungry for tales of debauchery for nothing pleased them more then to tear down the idols they had helped put up, and so rumors of both Artos and Amelia's infidelity spread like wildfire, and it destroyed both their reputations. They were quickly disowned by both their families for such rumors, even baseless, could not be left as should it be found true, the shame both families would suffer would cost them greatly in wealth and prestige, it was much easier to dispose of the second born children then it was to risk the family legacy.

The fall from grace was hard for both of them, Artos took to drinking heavily, gambling what little gold he received from his 'new' position as 'guardian' of a small village on the desolate western plains, and Amelia fell into a crippling depression, burying herself in books and shutting herself off from the world. Few words were ever passed between them until one night where Artos came back smelling heavily of ale and cheap wine, beating down the door of the cottage, he entered Amelia's rooms and deaf to her screams, he forced himself upon her declaring that she should honor her 'wifely' duties. It was an action that could never be undone, even as he awoke to see her huddled on the side of the bed, her torn clothes hanging from her bruised body, no amount of apologizes or guilt could amend such an action.

Through the monstrous dead, a child grew in Amelia and Kayla was born nine months later. The birth had been difficult as Amelia had sunken further into depression and had often refused to eat, but despite the odds, the baby was born, and when she was placed in her arms, a light came into Amelia's eyes, she had a purpose once again. She could love and be loved even in the middle of nowhere married to a pathetic man who had forced himself upon her and ignored her pained screams.

Artos, on the other hand, could not forget what he had done. He took to drinking more and more, eager to bury all the harsh memories away that even the birth of his daughter could not amend. Her cries at night a constant reminder of the deed he had done, until one day, news reached him in the form of terrified and paranoid farmers of a witch, a spell-caster with ill intentions that had nearly cast a hex upon them for trespassing. It was as if the gods were offering him a second chance, a way to redeem himself. He would slay the witch, defeat her evil magic, and be 'reborn' from the noble feat. Perhaps, just perhaps, he would be allowed home once again where he could atone for what he had done to Amelia.

Grabbing his sword, he took off towards the hut that held the evil witch. When he arrived, he was moderately surprised to find a small, well kept hovel almost expecting it to be a tent or some decaying skull covered house, and watching from a distance, he saw a figure, obviously female, bent over in the fields. Creeping up on the bent figure, readying his blade to strike before she had a chance to use her foul magic, his mind full of the rewards he would receive and the adoration he would get, he lunged, plunging the steel blade into the woman's back. The cry of surprise and pain was cut short as the blade plunged through her chest, tearing her heart and ripping out through her chest, splattering the ground in blood.

With near glee, Artos planted his boot into the small of her back, and tore the sword free, the once silver blade running red with the blood of the witch... and then a scream ripped through the air startling him out of his self-adoration. An older woman was kneeling in the door, screams of anguish pouring from her, and finally, Artos looked down to see the result of his handiwork. A small girl, not a witch... not even an adult, she had to be no more then twelve winters. The truth was there were no witches or spell-casters at the hovel, just an older woman who had spurned the advances of a group of drunken men who in a fit of rage had turned to the 'guardian' in order to strike back at the prude.

Dropping the blood smeared blade, Artos fled from where he came, and even over his frantic heartbeats, he could make out her sobbing, broken voice screaming at him, "I curse you, I curse you Artos Ragnall. By all the Gods, I curse you, you monster. You murderer."

Artos never looked back as his feet hit the ground carrying him back towards the village, back towards home, back towards the rest of his sins, but there was no where to flee. The Gods had indeed been watching, a curse born on innocence blood and the anguished cries of a mother could not be ignored. As he fled through the forest, his body started to spasm and convulse, he roared in pain as he clutched at trees as his body was torn to shreds, his bones snapping and rearranging, his skin tearing itself apart as warm blood ran down his body, as he became the monster the had lay dormant within his soul. He watched helplessly from his own mind as his new, monstrous body ran through the woods heading for the village.

The screams of the villagers filled the air as the beast descended on them, tearing them to shreds. Shearing apart bodies, ripping off limbs, and feasting upon their screams. Men, women, and children, none were free from the Beast's insatiable hunger for carnage and destruction as blood ran in rivers as the white fur was stained red with the blood of innocent and the guilty alike. Until the beast made his way towards Artos' home. Artos screamed inside his mind, pounded on the invisible walls and fought the shackles that held him in place as the beast broke through the oak door as if it were paper and moved towards its goal. Amelia, braver then her husband had ever been, stood defiant in front of the door preferring to die then watch something try and harm her child, but it was all for naught. She was knocked away with a absent minded blow, and the beast approached the crib and towards the cries of a small baby.

The baby represented his sins, his mistake, his faults, but she was his daughter. Artos screamed and pleaded with the monster, begged and cried, but it only seemed to fuel it as it bent over the small walls and closed its jaws. The small wails cut off in one sickening crunch as blood sprayed across the white blankets, marring them forever with her blood. Artos watched, in shock, as the beast turned on Amelia to finish what it had come to do, and Amelia, her face devoid of emotion looked into its eyes and a flash of recognition gleamed through her tortured eyes, those green eyes. Those cruel green eyes, the same eyes that Artos had that night.

Sorrow turned to disbelief then rage before her eyes dulled as her mind finally shattered. The blood of his child still on his teeth, the Beast closed his jaw around Amelia's neck and finished the task it had set out to do. The Beast let out a roar, the blood running down the side of its face matting the fur as the iron taste was forced and burned into Artos' He had taken her family, and so the Gods had taken his, but the debt had not been paid.

The next day, Artos awoke to find he still did not control his body, he was locked within his own mind for his crimes, but the beast was gone. In its place was another, one void of warmth or emotion, one of unequaled beauty and regality. One whose skills with a blade vastly outdid all the other knights in the Kingdom, it was being he had always pretended to be. The Knight. His goal, his deception, made tangible. A finally mockery to his pathetic life. Artos fell, his mind blocking out the painful memories and his actions, as he was forced to watch the two of them, the Knight and the Beast live his life.

He wandered, for a time, his Beast doing what it wills when it emerged, the Knight upholding his vow throughout his travels. Villages burned, people murdered, villages saved, and maidens rescued. Good and Evil. Noble and Savage. All being done by the being. The Knight Artos was soon heralded as the 'White Knight' a being of peerless skill and virtue, while the terror of the Beast was spoken in hushed whispers with some saying the Beast and White Knight were forever suck in a constant chase and search of each other, no one understanding the true tale that the White Knight and Beast were one in the same.

But his curse was not quite done. As Artos craved attention from others, so would he forever dance to their tunes. With a simple phrase in a forgotten language, Artos would be forced to obey the speaker. The knight and beast both forced to kneel before another, to obey their orders without question or hesitation. To commit great good or evil in their names. "Gwrando Fi Ac Ufuddhau Fy Ewyllys," and the great beast and mighty knight would become nothing more then a pawn to even the meekest of being.

(Pending. Brainstorming for what role we are going to have him play.)

So begins...

Artos Ragnall's Story

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Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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#, as written by Taunbon


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Artos moved through the unkempt cobble streets, his emerald green eyes jumping around him, taking in the sights, or perhaps, lack there of as well as the miserly little people that occupied it. His long white hair floated behind him, left to its own devices as its master could not be bothered to tie it out of the way. His eyes snapped to a man of much smaller stature with a peculiar smile riddled with decaying or missing teeth as he brushed past him, the man's shoulder brushing over Artos' white shirt and causing a rather unpleasant sensation of thin chainmail shifting over the thin treated leather vest that lay underneath which dragged upon his pale skin pulling a rather uncomfortable sensation in its wake.

Flicking his eyes up to the windows and back down to the street, he took extra care to watch for people tossing out their waste and trash from the windows above as well as on the constant look out for puddles of mud or less attractive substances that lay within the holes in the poorly maintained cobble road as he had no desire to have to purchase a new pair of hosen as the 'stable master' a false title if there had ever been one, had already managed to afflict his greed upon others, Artos could only imagine the state of corruption and greed the seamstress would indulge in. Despite his roaming eyes, Artos' mind was adrift, fixated on that... fine man who had so eagerly offered his 'services' in taking care of his horse for a paltry amount.

Two copper. It was almost unfathomable that such extortion was being allowed. Two copper pieces for the stables to 'care' for his horse for the day, inconceivable, what did they expect his horse to eat? What false luxury had they promised to bestow upon the beast of burden? What possible reason could that old man and his wife, whose age had made him dubious of the validity of their union, supply that would explain those prices? It was puzzling as while the answered seemed so obvious, that mere greed was the root of the problem, it begged the question of why such action was given free reign. If such actions had been going on and not opposed, it had to be condoned, and if it was being condoned that meant what the old man was doing was 'accepted' by the letter of the law which meant that the old child-loving fool's greed was not only being protected but exemplified for all who would enter the city known as 'Sheepish'.

The name of the aforementioned city had been the source of musing and contemplation all on its own. Sheepish, a peculiar name. What could have possessed the founders of this beacon of corruption and filth that they were deign to name the city 'Sheepish'? During the ride throughout the wilderness, among the beautiful trees, rays of light, and splendor of nature, he had been consumed by that simple name. Something for his mind to turn over again and again as he considered the reason for such an existence. He had come to the conclusion that the name was a jest, some clever little jest that a man who was smarter then his fellows put forward. Sheepish. The City of Sheep. Home to the mindless masses that wandered the streets, guided and carouled by walls and signs, herded into their task and branded into social cast, perhaps that was the clever little jest. The City of Sheep for the crafty Shepard to lead them, Artos could appreciate the nature of the jest, if not the shady nature of the crafty Shepard, but it did leave open a further question, who would play the wolves?

Artos was snapped out of his musings by a simple brush between a man and a small child. Such a simple little act, seemingly innocent and reinforced by the rushed apologize the young boy said to the older man, but his sharp eyes had seen that small, dirt crusted hand slip near the man's belt, the slight glint of rusted metal, and the swift removal of the small pouch containing the man's paltry amount of coin. As fast as the boy was, no doubt tempered by long practice at the removal of property from innocent citizenry, Artos was faster, his left hand shot out from his side and his long fingers wrapped around the small boy's neck causing the almost mandatory gurgle as the child's throat was compressed, and what air that was seeking refugee in the boy's small body was cut off.

The child clawed at the hand around his neck, tears of pain springing into his eyes as his body naturally fought for air, his small brown eyes running over the cold face with a single purple stripe on the face of his attacker, "I detest thieves," Artos said as if he was discussing the current state of the weather, he bent his knees and lowered his body as his hand tightened around the soft flesh of the child's throat.

"What are you doing?" A man's concerned voice spoke out as his hand reached out towards the large man gripping the child by his throat, "Returning your property," Artos said, his voice level as his eyes remained locked into the boys wide, panicked brown eyes. With his right hand, he removed the small pouch from the inside of the boys dirty and torn tunic, holding it out for the man as his left hand remained locked, "And punishing this cretin."

The man blinked at the offered bag, his mind taking a few moments to make the connection between the small bag filled with precious metal, his eyes shot down to his waist as his hands moved to check, and sure enough, he found his to be missing. Slowly, as if unsure of what the large seemingly unhinged child strangler would do, the man took the bag with a muttered thanks before his own dull brown eyes bulged with shock as Artos reached to his arming sword and slowly pulled it out, the sound of metal scraping filling the street and hushing the obnoxiously loud area quicker then any scream or shout could ever hope to do.

"W-What are you doing?" The man said, his eyes fixed upon the blade as the child in Artos hand struggled more, his feet kicking in the dirt as his wide, terrified eyes reflected back to him from the blade, "Punishment," Artos said and while it was not there, the man could almost swore he heard a hint of annoyance at having to repeat himself.

The man's eyes darted around the once crowded street looking for support or the guards, perhaps both, but his eyes met with neither. A few people were simply watching, while others were looking down or away from the scene as they walked on not wanting to become involved even if it lead to the mutilation or death of the child. Not finding support and realizing he was alone with this madman, he lowered his eyes and turned to leave when the child let out a mangled gurgle, tightening his hands into fist, the man gathered his courage and rounded on Artos.

"You can't do this, he is just a child. My money was returned, no harm was done. How about we just let him go or inform the guards?" the man said and he fought the shiver as the lifeless, cold green eyes turned to look at him, "You would stand in my way?" The man asked, his voice level and void of emotion as if he had merely went into a store and were purchasing produce.

The man could feel the ball in his throat, his hands sweaty, as he planted his feet and started to nod, but he did not get far. The sword flashed before his eyes, and searing pain filled his shoulder as the blade parted flesh and bone, slicing deep as his blood splattered onto a nearby woman staining her dress and drawing a scream of shock out of her. If Artos had not been occupied, he would have found the situation an example of the sheep wretches within the city. Content to let the crimes of the boy go on uncontested, but should the blood of those that would enable to child get upon their precious dress, then, and only then, would they raise their voice against it.

The man fell to the ground, his hand holding onto his shoulder as the blood pumped out over his hands, his mouth open in a silent scream as shock filled his mind. Tears streamed down the child's eyes as he clawed frantically at the hands holding his neck, Artos turned back to the boy, the crime that had to be punished. In this city of corruption and squalor, he would not trust the 'guards' to uphold their duty if men like the stable master were given free run of their actions. No, he would enact the justice himself, the boy should be honored that his punishment was being given out by him.

Holding the boy's throat with his hand, he raised his blade with the other, ready to bring justice down upon the miserable little thief stealing to keep food into his tiny stomach.

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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#, as written by Layla
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iii. Akari's Light




Grey bled through the door like a glass silhouette reflecting the values of light seeping through the windows. His low voice reverberated through her bones, nudging old memories awake. Rui was oblivious to the words rumbling past his lips as she stared at him, through him and into the sticky remnants of a past life. How many years had it been since she was exiled from Atlantis? How many more since the knight before her knelt beside his brothers before King Toriton?

The years flailed, trapped in the fog of her mind like flies in a pool of molten caramel. Memories of the shredded individual came in pieces, and then all at once. She saw the glass dome of the throne room stretch above his head, fragmenting the brilliant light that bled through the transparent castle, a structure forged of crystals and gems, and not a single nail. Blood stained his uniform now, but then it had gleamed, pressed and pristine. How she had marvelled at the sword pressed against his side, the strange and beautiful tattoo etched into one eye and the knowing that seemed to roll from his skin in tides. Princess Akarui had yearned to stumble after the knights when they left, but her feet remained frozen beside her father's throne. Like her memories, Rui was an insect ensconced.

A scream tore through the thin veil of tranquility, slicing across the distance like a dagger into Rui's head. Her palms found her ears as she squeezed her eyes shut, begging the voices to grant her silence. A stampede of morbidly curious mortals rushed towards the doors, their bodies playing ball with her own. Rui's small frame was jostled about as she was carried by the wave of nurses, patients and visitors out the door. Panic curled its fingers around her throat, squeezing reason from her lungs.

"What's happening?" she asked her thoughts, but it was the woman beside her who answered.

"Pickpocket got 'imself caught by a nasty one!" the woman said quickly. "Bleedin' everywhere!"

A small crowd had already gathered around the source of the commotion and Rui's body tipped forward as she was pushed to the front of the crooked circle. Needles burst from her palms and knees and she slid across the rough pavement, leaving a trail of blood and skin in her wake. Rui gave the pain a terse nod as she scrambled to her feet, clutching her raw elbows. She glanced over her right shoulder first, silently admonishing her own teasing shadow for tripping her feet.

When Rui turned, she was met with her own reflection gleaming on the smooth polish of the sword's face. Her aquamarine eyes were stretched wide enough for her lashes to brush her brow bone and her lips were parted in surprise. Hair the hue of eggplants in the sun fell in wild strands across her face as her head jerked from the sword's pommel to the blade's wicked point, before lurching towards the trembling figure whose neck was encased in a hard fist. Her wide gaze followed the coiled muscles as far as the elbow before rage dyed her vision red.

She saw her eldest brother, blood curling at the edges of his sword before sinking into Raiden's vacant gaze as her feet brought her forward. Fury electrified her bones as her blood simmered beneath her skin. Lightning pierced the sky overhead, the static lifting a fiery halo around her head. She daggered the towering figure with her stare, venom stinging her throat as they struggled to drag their spindly bodies across her tongue.

Rui's skin barely grazed the large hand that gripped the boy's throat, a sizzle of light glancing across his knuckles from the tips of her fingers, before she jerked back, eyes wide with horror. She parted her lips, let him go ready in her mind even as her lips formed other reluctant syllables. Her lips pressed shut, opened, shut again. How could she twist the truth so it became a lie? How would she stop him?

Naughty girl, the curse hissed, gnawing at the veins linking her eyeballs to her brain. No cheating. Her shoulders curled inwards as she struggled to remain upright even as the monsters wrapped their limbs around back, embedding their claws in her flesh.

"That was just a drill," Rui blurted, her migraine retreating as she exhaled the lie. She nearly sighed with relief as the beasts fell off her back. "We're teaching civilians how to spot thieves and defend themselves against pickpockets."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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"People seem nice here after all..." Francine thought. She was surprised to see a person covered in blood suddenly arrive. And the first reaction for people here was to help him instead of trying to defend themselves from him.

"Here." Fran approached Reshiro and gave him a bread bun she was saving for later. "It's most likely not poisonous."
She smiled at the blond girl who offered a place to stay for the four of them.
"This is very sweet of you." she smiled. "Thank you very much."

A sudden scream reached everyone's ears. A small crowd was forming around an unclear to Francine scene. She ran to see the cause of all the panic. Fran immediately stopped next to Rui. Her irises shrunk at the sight of a seriously injured man in a large puddle of blood and another man, holding a child by the throat and preparing a collision between a blade and the young boy.

"That was just a drill, we're teaching civilians how to spot thieves and defend themselves against pickpockets." this is what the little red haired girl said. What was happening?

"What are you doing with the little child?" Francine's tone changed completely, along with her eyes glaring at the scene and mouth that erased her usual smile.
"Why is that person over there laying and bleeding? Let the boy go."

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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One of the Dreamers thanked her causing Arin to smile. This was what she wanted, for people to be happy.

'No problem. I'm happy to h-' Her words were cut off by a high pitched scream from outside. Eyes wide she pointed to the bloodied boy, 'don't go anywhere,' and left.

Once outside she was met with a horrible sight. A bleeding man sat off to the side while the red head and the nice girl watched on. A tall white haired man held a young boy by the neck. Arin gasped and stumbled forward.

'H-hey! You...um....' She thought back to what the red head had said. The lie to help this poor boy.

'Yes. This was planned. Um, my father helped pay for it. It's just a drill.' And if you knew her father that wasn't far from the truth. He donated money all the time to help better the town though usually at Arin's insisting.

Ideas to save this boy ran haywire in her head and she pointed behind her. 'These girls are in on it to. They would test the citizens awareness of pickpockets. It's uh....a job. They're getting paid er...for it and you just ruined all their hard work.'

She cleared her throat and stood a little taller. 'Now let the boy go and I won't press charges for messing with my father's plans....um... please.'

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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Abraham stared back at the bloodies man. "Alright man, that's fine. As long as you're sure you're okay! With that, Abraham stepped back a few steps, allowing one of the dreamers to step up. It was the tall, long haired one. She seemed pretty nice. She handed the bloodied guy a bread bun. Abraham didn't mean to stare, but that bun looked really good. Pretty sure you could hear his stomach by now growling. Ugh, I need to find some food soon. I can't go on without eating. He thought as he took his sight away from them. He wondered where that red headed girl went. Didn't take too long to figure out though. Abraham heard another scream coming from the outside. Following the scream, Abraham had to check it out. His curiosity wouldn't let him pass up this moment.

Looking outside the Hospital, the amount of people have increased. In the middle of the crowd, there were three figures. Another bloodied man, and a white haired man holding a boy. Man, there's so much going on tonight already. He thought as he looked down at the scene. Abraham had to act quick however, seeing as the white man holding the boy had a sword close to him. Held in a way that read that he was going to attack. Dammit! How am I going to rescue this child? Why is he doing this? Abraham started freaking out. Before he could continue though, the red headed girl spoke out. She claimed it was a drill. A DRILL?! He thought as he looked at her. Is she mad? Is that girl working for that white haired man? So many questions were being left unanswered. Of course, it didn't make things better when the blonde girl chimed in agreeing with the other girl. Abraham couldn't waste time wondering what that girls' intentions were. He had to save that bleeding man down there first. At least close the wounds and stop the bleeding. He needed someone else to perform this healing with. He needed to go unnoticed. looking around, he saw that long haired girl near him. He had no choice.

"Hey, so I need your help with something. I'm Abraham, and I can heal people, and with your help I'll be able to heal that man down there, along with the boy. Just stand there, and make sure not to draw attention over here okay?" He explained as he placed himself behind the girl. Closing his eyes, Abraham chanted a healing formula. He's never performed this on another person before, so the odds of this working were minimal. He had to try though, there was no other option. Acting quick, he focused his energies on the bloodied man, making sure he wouldn't die at the very least. Pretty soon there was a small blue circle surrounding the man. Oh my god, it's working! The healing circle is working! Abraham was most certainly pleased with his work. The circle should mend his wounds so he stops bleeding. The bloodied man should be fine for now. He was more worried about the boy however. He wasn't sure how he was going to help him out. Think! Think dammit! Frustrated with himself, Abraham looked around. Turning to face the long haired girl again, Abraham spoke. Hey, you have to help me save the boy now. Are you able to do anything? Do you have any powers?" He asked. He wasn't sure if the Dreamers had any hidden abilities, so he had to at least ask.

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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For some reason the blond girl went along with the small red head. Maybe they were trying to win some time in an odd and unclear to Francine way. Soon, the blue haired boy asked her to cover him without bringing attention. Unfortunately Francine had already rushed her actions by confronting the man. Yet she stood there, not moving a muscle.

The boy was healing the wounded man. That brought slight relief for Fran - whatever happened next, at least there was a healer.

Fran took a deep breath when Abe asked her if she had any abilities.

"I have no powers, skills, sharp weapons or brains. All I have is brawn." Francine replied, squeezing a bat. The serial wounder probably had everything Fran said she lacked. His strength was likely to be ten times bigger. Yet she realized she couldn't just stand there, doing nothing. There was a whole crowd that would probably help if something went wrong. The blue haired boy would help, which brought Fran comfort.
Out of sudden Fran went inside the Lion's mouth. She ran to the white haired man and with all of her strength she hit the none sharp part of the blade with her bat in an attempt to disarm him. Was it successful?

The setting changes from quies to Sheepish

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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#, as written by Taunbon


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Curiosity, yes, curiosity was what stayed his hand at the appearance of the tiny red haired child as she had approached him and reached up to his hand. If she had been an adult, he would have struck her down for getting in his path as the other man had quickly learned, but she was merely a child, there was little she could do to him, and more then that, children were always odd in their actions and purpose. But it seems he had underestimated the child, his emerald green eyes narrowed the tiny sparks that seemed to dance between his knuckles and her hand. The lightning that seemed to crackle in the background despite the sky being clear, it was an odd mixture, one that to his surprise, no one else besides himself seemed to notice. Were the others simply fools or oblivious? If his brief venture into this cesspit of sheeps and shepherds had taught him anything, it was likely that it was both.

Gripping his blade, he prepared to finish his task pushing the fire haired child out of his mind, for now, until she had done something to surprise him once again. Her words sparked a momentary hesitation in him as his eyes flicked over to her again, did she truly think that such a thing would work? Drills? Was she out of her wits? What kind of falsehood wa... no, perhaps it was the truth for why would someone choose such an obvious falsehood? Artos roamed the child's face, her fierce eyes that almost seemed to be challenging him, daring him to call her bluff, but was it? The people here seemed to have no idea what she was talking about made painfully obvious by a rather dull woman who could not seem to make a connection unless it was put in front of her. He was tempted to inform her that a man bleeding and another with a blade should have been an answer on its own, but he did not, as his mind was consumed by the small child, did she dare try and deceive him with such a bad deception? Or... was it the truth?

Another sheep had come to the pen, this one a blond, his eyes noted, as she seemed to back the child's story up, or try and support the deception. The girls? Was she referring to the oblivious black haired woman with the odd club? That seemed rather unlikely given how clueless she was of what was transpiring, but perhaps she wasn't referring to the girl with the metallic club? The idea that she would 'press' charges was laughable, the corrupt guards in the city would do no such thing if this truly was no deception then they should have done a better job of informing people of what was going on, and he could not allow himself to be held for he had a task to complete, and he would cut down anyone that tried to stop him.

Again?, the dark voice crawled into the back of his mind, I did not recall asking for your input, Artos thought back, his eyes staring at the two before him, the girl and the child.

The order... must be obeyed. Master demands, Artos let his blade lower a fraction of an inch as he realized the creatures meaning, yes, perhaps this wasn't a deception, but he did not have time to waste on the corrupt and ill-trained sheeps pretending to be guards. Yes, he would allow this 'boy' to leave.

Artos closed his eyes for a fraction of a second as he regained control of his mind and locked the beast back within its cage, but his eyes snapped open, and he turned his head to the left, towards the bleeding man to see a boy kneeling next to him, chanting and healing him. His eyes narrowed, they had deceived him. It had been a ruse, a ruse he had almost fallen for. They had been waiting for him to be distracted.

It was a quick and simply movement as he stepped to the side, pulling the boy with him as if he weighed nothing, and thrusting the blade down and into the leg of the nearly healed man, the blood spluttering forth as the main artery was severed; it was merely a shame the man had already passed out from bloodloss before. The boy that healed him would also suffer for his part deception, but his thoughts were cut off by the sound of running footsteps, turning his head, he barely managed to catch sight of the same clueless woman running at him with that strange club of hers taking a swing at him. With his blade on the other side of him, he would not be able to deflect her, so he used what he had. If the woman wanted to save the thief from his punishment, she would be the one that carried out the sentence. With his left hand still holding onto the boys throat, he lifted him off his feet and into the air... straight into the path of the oncoming metallic club.

The setting changes from sheepish to Quies

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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#, as written by Lyx
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Reshiro stood, stunned, as the blonde haired girl offered him and others a place to stay at her house. She had no idea who he was and the people had already established he had a frightening appearance, so he was shocked that she had so blithely said that he could come to her house. He would have done nothing to harm her, of course, but she couldn't have known that. Yet the trust was gratifying. Reshiro trusted people easily, and it felt good to be trusted with such ease in return.

To add on to the kindness of these strangers another one of the people, a black haired girl, gave Reshiro a roll. A grin lighting up his face, he thanked her and wolfed it down. Ahh, it was so much better than the hardtack and dried meat he had been living on. His esteem for these people was steadily rising.

Then a scream rent the air. The little girl, the cheery blonde, the blue haired healer, and the roll-giving girl rushed outside one after the other. By the shock on their faces Reshiro judged that this was not normal. He swallowed the last of the roll and went outside after them.

He arrived to a mess. A white haired man stood coldly strangling a boy and a man lay crumpled over on the side, bleeding profusely. Listening to the crowd's chatter brought Reshiro up to date. What kind of sick weirdo was the white haired man? The crime was taken care of! By this point the thief was likely scared enough stop pick pocketing. It wasn't necessary to kill him! There were other forms of punishment that didn't involve taking a life. And the victim who had tried to stop the white haired man!

The movement of the black haired girl swinging her metal club at the white haired man caught his eye. The white haired man lifted the thief's limp body to shield the blow. Without a thought Reshiro dove in front of the club's path. Pain jarred his back, but he ignored it. He had survived far worse.

"Please get back," he said to the club-wielding girl. He backed away from the white haired man and drew his sword from its sheath on his back, but kept it low in what he hoped was a non-threatening position. He didn't want to aggravate this volatile man, but he wanted his sword out so he could defend himself if need be.

"Sir, is it really necessary to kill both the boy and the man?" Reshiro addressed the white haired man. "There are other punishments for a thief, and the man was simply an innocent. Death eliminates the problem within people, but it also eliminates any good that they could do as well. Please reconsider what you are doing."

Even though Reshiro hoped the man would listen to his words, he was prepared to fight if need be. He figured he would be the weaker of the two if it came to a sword fight, but he couldn't back down. When he had been remade by the Mages and the Kanth Stones he had been redesigned to follow a certain set of morals. Even if he wanted to he wouldn't be able to go against them. Perhaps this made him blind to other points of view, but he couldn't think of living without them now since they were so integral to his being. The problem was, would the white haired man recognize the value of those morals?

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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Things began to happen so fast that Arin barely had time to react to the at welding girl rush towards the swordsmen. She let out a shout, but it did nothing. Fearing the worst she clamped her eyes shut, unable to watch.

By the time she drew enough courage to open them the whole scene had changed. The bloddied boy was standing protectively in fount of the raven hair girl, sword drawn. Gasping she lurched forward and grabbed the boys arm that held the sword.

'Don't fight fire with fire...' She whispered to Reshiro before moving in front of him.

Hunched over she gazed at the white haired man. 'S-sir...If it's money you want I can give it. And if it's punishment.....' She took a large intake of air and straightened. 'May I take the boys place? Don't you think a better punishment would be to have him watch someone get hurt in his place? It, um...it'd stay with him his whole life I bet. The...the guilt I mean.'

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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Cerin was jolted out of his shock to see that everything had changed. He had seen the events unfold in a blur, and was still processing that she was here...

Running over to the scene which had unfolded, he studied the layout. An odd knight-like figure stood over a boy wrapped in healing rings that Cerin recognized... then his mind blanked. Leaving him with naught but the action.

Stepping up next to the blonde and the petite redhead, he listened gravely. Apparently there were conflicting sides- many wanted to help the boy, where others were simply claiming it was a drill. Then, a black haired girl- One of the Dreamers, he remembered- strode up to the man and swung a bat. A boy leapt out of the crowd and intercepted the bat. He heard a sharp crack and hoped that no bones were broken.

Then the blonde next to him walked up to the man and nervously stuttered something, maybe a bribe? Or an offer? He put his hand on the girl's shoulder, the one that reminded him so much of his lost love. Knowing that this was going to be painful, he opened his mouth and uttered something he could regret instantly.

"Do... do I know you? You seem so familiar, and I cant remember anything, but you seem like a huge part of my memory, like some sort of void I cannot fill... Is that weird?"
Very eloquent there, Cerin.
he hissed mentally, hoping that he hadn't driven away a source of his past. A lifeline, it almost seemed- she was the only thing tying him back to life.

He only hoped he hadn't completely creeped her out.

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Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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Looking back at the long haired girl, she didn't have any powers. Abraham sighed as he was trying to think of another way to do this. It wasn't long before the white haired man realized what was going on. It also didn't take him long to kill the wounded man. Abraham stared at the guy."Dammit! Why is he doing this?" He said to himself as we backed away slowly from now new corpse that lay in front of him. This wasn't fair. This shouldn't be happening. Not. here. Not to these innocent people. Sure, the little boy may have taken something from the man, but he doesn't deserve this treatment. No one does. Abraham was looking at the white haired man, knowing that he was coming for him. To his amazement though, the long haired Dreamer went in to attack the white haired man with her bat. Wide eyed Abraham exclaimed. "No! Wait! What are you doing?" He yelled as he saw her get closer. The white haired man pulled the boy up, as if he wanted the boy to meet with the girls' bat. "Hey look out!" Abraham yelled as if it were going to help this dire situation. Although out of no where, the guy from before that came in all tattered up ended up taking the blow. Oh it looked like it hurt, but he acted like it was nothing. Who is he? He thought as he let out a huge sigh of relief that the boy didn't get the impact. Although, he'd wished that the tattered man from before hadn't taken the hit either.

A paused happened. Letting everyone that was watching this spectacle happen be taken in. It was all happening so fast. Not long before the tattered man from before spoke up. He tried dealing with the white haired man. Reasoning the best he could. It didn't look like it was very effective though. The guy had a defensive stance. His hand was close to the handle of his sword. As if to anticipate a fight. Of course, Abraham didn't blame him. This guy was unpredictable. Not long had passed before the blonde hair from before cam chiming in. She mentioned money. She said she'd pay for the money the boy took. That her father had all the money he needed to pay him back. Then it clicked. Abraham knew she looked familiar. Her family was one of the richest around here. What's her name again? Arin is it? He thought it over a bit before coming to a conclusion that she is in deed Arin. Arin Desmond. Pretty girl she is. However she's pretty impulsive to always try and help people it seems. Arin then mentioned that she would take the death over the little boy. Stupid girl he thought. Can she realize that's not going to resolve anything? Abraham needed to act fast. He couldn't let this girl take the heat. She did nothing. "Hey! Don't be brash! We don't need you dying too. Back away he's too dangerous!" He pleaded. He couldn't let her die. It'd be horrible.He noticed the boy Dreamer take her by the arm and take a few steps back. Good. They need their distance. Now he needed to act. And he has a plan.

Abraham walked over to the long haired dreamer from before. Without going noticed he tapped her on her shoulder. "Hey! Shh Shh, keep it down. I have a plan that might work. And I'm going to need your help ok? He started. He explained that he was going to need her strength in order to pull this off. More of a diversion. He knew that the tattered man from before would be near by. Most likely to stop the long haired dreamer from getting hurt. Hopefully, it'll distract the long haired man long enough for Abraham to cast a protective barrier on the little boy. The barrier will not only protect the boy, but it'll also shock anyone that comes in contact with the barrier. It'll shock the white haired man's hand, and hopefully he'll release the boy. "So what do you think? You think you can help me?" He looked into her eyes pleading.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall
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Francine quickly stepped back once Reshiro went in front of her. Maybe she worsened the situation. In the process Arin, the one who had offered her home, started risking her own life. Fran had no idea what to do. Maybe she was useless, even worse.

Or was she? The healer asked her for help. It was similar to what she did before - recklessl acting. This time it was for distraction. Francine would cringe at the thought that she could have harmed the little boy because the white haired man was more skilled. Yet, the child was still alive, it didn't have any blade wounds yet. If nobody acted, the little thief would be dead.

"I'll do what I can." Fran whispered to Abraham.

Distraction for the white haired man. How could she pull this off without causing more harm? Abraham would need time to cast the barrier. Artos was fast and skilled. The others trying to stop her could get harmed too. However, Fran trusted Abraham's strategic skills.

Francine quietly went behind Artos, grabbed his wrists and started squeezing them, hoping she would weaken his grip, or at least distract him so she could win some time for the rest. Fran would be at least annoying enough to weaken Artos' focus. She tried to avoid causing needless violence as it could easily backfire. It was all a diversion.