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Alysia

"I can help! Just give me a chance!"

0 · 420 views · located in Magvel

a character in “Fire Emblem: Conquest”, as played by 10tanksonawall

Description

Image

Name: Alysia
Age: 18
Gender: Female
Nationality: Frelian/Renaisi

Appearance: Her armor is a flat green version of what is shown in the picture, and she doesn't have glasses.

Personality: Alysia's personality is very outgoing and bubbly, and always seems to be talking or working or helping out. She cares for the people around her, and always seems to be able to find the up-side in any situation, despite how bad things may seem. She's always looking to help others, even at the cost of neglecting her own personal wishes. Overall, a selfless, outgoing, and optimistic personality.

Class: Recruit
Starting Stats:
HP: 13
Str: 3
Mag: 0
Skl: 0+2
Spd: 1+2
Luk: 0+1
Def: 0
Res: 1
Mov: 4
Sword Level: E

Growth Rates:
HP: 50%
Str: 50%
Mag: 5%
Skl: 65%
Spd: 65%
Luk: 55%
Def: 30%
Res: 30%
Starting Inventory: Slim Sword, Red Gem, Vulnerary

Strengths: Alysia is a very helpful person, and is always looking for ways to help others. She is also very driven, and will always try to finish what she starts.
Weaknesses: Alysia's outgoing tendencies mean that she often goes too far. She may accidentally prod someone to talk about things that they'd rather not discuss. Also, her drive to serve others means that she often neglects herself, and words like 'unwinnable' or 'impossible' rarely, if ever, appears in her vocabulary.

History: Alysia grew up in a small village on the Frelia-Renais border, to a Frelian mother and a Renaisi father. Her mother was a former Frelian Falcoknight, and her father had been a knight of Renais. Needless to say, she was bred to be a soldier. The only question was which nation she would end up serving. A discovery of her fear of heights quickly answered that question, and on her seventeenth birthday, she enlisted in the Renais military. Her small stature and general 'lightweight' status made her the runt of the squad she was assigned to, but her courage, tenacity, and drive quickly earned her the respect of her peers.

By her eighteenth birthday, she graduated from her training. Now, she rides to a town on the Grado-Renais border, where she is to report to her commander for orders...

Other: She wears a necklace that her mother gave to her, that was passed down from her mother, and so on and so forth. In it is set a beautiful ruby, masterfully cut.

So begins...

Alysia's Story

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Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Alysia hated to admit it, but she was lost. The driving rain had obscured one of the guiding landmarks that she was supposed to use to orient herself, and now she was just following the road, hoping to get to a town somewhere, and find directions. She didn't mind the rain, but the horse she was riding definitely complained.

"Would you relax?" She told the horse after another booming roll of thunder sounded. "It shouldn't be too much farther until we reach the next town. They you and I can go our separate ways." The ride had been required, of course, but Alysia had to admit that she wasn't looking forward to having to keep riding horses. She preferred having her feet on the ground, when a sudden roll of thunder wouldn't throw her backwards.

There was a second peal of thunder, louder this time. The horse shook, and Alysia jumped off. "Listen to me, you dumb beast! I-"

The rest of her sentence died in her throat as the shouts and sounds of battle finally reached her ears. She gulped, and led it over to a tree off of the road, tying it off. "I'll be right back." She told the horse. Then, she turned back towards the battle...

And ran right into a pair of bandits who'd just emerged from the forest on the other side of the road. She could tell they were bandits because they were brandishing axes and headed right for her. Swearing, she drew her sword and settled into a fighting stance. "Look, I'm just here for a job. What say you two just put down your weapons and leave, huh?"

The bandits just charged. Sighing, Alysia readied herself for the fight. The bandits attacked, wielding their weapons with brute force in mind. Alysia had to duck and dodge their strikes, carefully avoiding the barely-sharpened edged of their axes. Finally, an opening in one of their flurries netted Alysia a small strike on his chest, the thin edge of her blade drawing a thin, red line across his torso.

The other bandit slammed his shoulder into her while her attention was elsewhere, and she fell to the ground. Instinctively, she put herself into a roll as she fell, and spun a few feet away before scrambling back to her feet, barely managing to duck away from a strike that would've split her head open. She moved back into her foe quickly, delivering a series of strikes to her foe, drawing her sword across his chest and gut in a flurry of motion. None of the strikes managed to inflict serious damage, though.

The other bandit charged her, axe held high. Her jump to the side, while getting her away from the potentially fatal blow, got her on the receiving end of an axe blow that drove into her left side, throwing her forwards and to the ground. She winced as her body crashed into the ground, but managed to scramble to her feet before she could be finished off. The less wounded of the two bandits charged her, eager to finish the fight.

Alysia drove her sword into the charging bandit's gut, then tore the thin blade to the side, eviscerating him. The other bandit was right behind the first one, though, and his axe found its mark, cutting deep into her sword arm. She cried out in pain, and dropped her weapon. The bandit kicked her to the ground, and stood over her, grinning.

Alysia's foot shot upwards, finding the bandit's crotch. The man howled, but was distracted long enough to be floored by a second kick. Alysia scooped up her sword in her off hand, and swept the tip across the bandit's throat as he struggled to his feet, and he fell back to the ground. She knew that the adrenaline would start to wear off soon. Right now, she needed a healer. She went to her horse , and grabbed the vulnerary. It wouldn't do much more than keep her wounds from getting infected, but she knew that she didn't want to survive the wounds just to have to lose the limbs to infection later.

She looked up to the raging melee in front of her. She knew that her best shot at getting help was on the other side. She took a tentative step forwards...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Katrina
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The only time Donovan had missed a target had been when his sister had jumped on his back and even then, the arrow left a nasty gouge. For his arrow to fly wide of the intended target, it would take something even the greatest magnitude of imaginations couldn't conjure. A sight so amazing it would normal men scream. It seemed one of the few things that met this criteria was the two great Wyvern’s tearing through the bandits.

The beasts scales shone with a scarlet tone as they cleaved through their opponents with ease as the riders sat high and mighty upon their backs. The boy rubbed his eyes to rid himself of the mirage but to no avail. These were two real, live, fire-breathing dragons, just like in his story book!

Recovering from the shock and awe, Donovan quickly began to search for his next victim. Several new people had joined the fray with them but there was no time to assess their skills. They would just have to fend for themselves and try not to get in the way of his arrows. Drawing his bow string back, he took aim, firing three arrows into the horde of bandits. Though they had seemed hopelessly outmatched before, their opponent’s numbers had dwindled and things were beginning to lean in their favor as each arrowhead buried itself in a skull.

Far in the distance, a lone rider had successfully slain two of the attackers but was quickly being approached by two more. It was hard to make out much detail in the girl’s face but even from here he could see she was quite beautiful.
“Distance...about forty meters. This is going to be close.” His bow let off a cacophonous twang as the arrow flew over the writhing mass of people fighting in the square. Even from on the balcony, the shouts of the men rang loud in his ears. The arrow had cut right through the back of both their knees and sent them collapsing to the ground in pain.

Turning back to the chaos below him, a detail he hadn't noticed now stuck out like a sore thumb.

“I had a hunch you weren't one of my men.” Donovan whirled around to see a sphere of dark energy fly towards him, smashing into his chest and launching him into the railing of the balcony. The sphere dissolved into the stone floor only to reappear in the man’s hand. A desperate dive for his bow was easily thwarted as the man kicked him in the stomach. His fingers just closed around the bowstring as he was hoisted off the floor and sent plummeting from the balcony into the slaughter below.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Flexar
Things seemed to be going fairly well, until Oskar's allies attempted to take on the leader of the pack. He successfully fended off the thief and the light mage, and it took the aid of the dragon riders to keep them alive. This man was clearly not to be trifled with.

It seemed that two new allies had entered the fray. One was another dragon rider who seemed to know the other; who was apparently named "Harlaus". He was probably another Grado knight. The other person who had entered the fray appeared to be a Jehannan gypsy, and he wasn't being nearly as helpful as the dragon rider. Despite being armed with a sword, he went instead for his flute and began playing it. What on earth was he doing?! He would be lacerated before he had the chance to take the flute away from his lips. However, Oskar did have to commend the way in which he was capable of making his song rise above the din of battle.

Oskar had begun to focus so much on the bard's flute playing that his mind began to drift away from the battle, giving a nearby brigand the opportunity to knock him backwards with the butt of his lance. Oskar staggered backwards before being bowled over by another blow. As he fell backwards, hie couldn't help but drift away into the song again. He had heard it before, and it had been accompanied by lyrics telling the tale of a king of old who had fallen from grace because of the treachery of one of his knights. An idea suddenly struck Oskar; as he fell he grabbed a nearby brigand and pulled him in front of him, right into the path of his aggressor's spearhead. The lance stuck into Oskar's human shield and fortunately didn't go all the way through him. While his killer tried desperately to wrench his comrade off his lance, Oskar picked himself up and swung his blade into the brigand's skull, sending him falling into the churned-up mud.

Oskar heard a yelp nearby that seeming came from above, but couldn't be right... He looked up, and saw a boy falling from the spire of the town hall. Oskar quickly planed his sword into the ground and held out his arms to catch the boy. As luck would have it, he landed right into his Oskar's outstretched arms. Fortunately, he was a rather slight figure and didn't place too much pressure on his wound. The boy was clutching a bow; presumably he was the mystery archer. Oskar felt like berating him for getting into combat despite being so young, but he had started his career as a mercenary even younger.
"Lucky I was in the right place at the right time, eh?" Oskar grinned at him, "Find somewhere more discreet this time."

It seemed that the archer was not the only one in need of aid. There was someone who appeared to be a young girl hobbling towards the village. She appeared to be wounded, and badly so. Oskar pulled his sword from the churned up ground, sheathed it and hurried over to the girl.
"You look like you need some help." Oskar told her, "Stay close to me, kid, I'll get you somewhere safe."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Guest
Several things happened in rapid succession after that. Granted, Lenore had been raised to understand that this was the way of battle, and the true master of combat remained aware of all of it without allowing herself to become distracted and absorbed by it, but she had to admit she wasn’t feeling very masterful at the moment. She was knocked back to the ground, and then a darkly-dressed woman leaped into the fray, doing what seemed to be a substantial amount of damage before she, too, was knocked away.

The most curious thing happened, then. Where before she was sure it would take her much longer to regain her proper breathing and push back to her feet, she was suddenly able to come to grips with the pain she was in much more quickly. It was like some unknown force was wrapping around her, steadying the frantic staccato of her heartbeat and turning it into something slower, vital, strong. Lenore had never been strong in her life—but even her sickness felt further at bay than she could usually keep it. If she had to guess, it had something to do with the pace of the music drifting over the din of battle, and even as she regained her feet, clutching her sword-arm with her free one, her brows knit together.

She’d heard of the strange talents of battle-bards before, but she’d never met one. It was almost, but not quite, a form of magic, that music, and either way, she felt… not less injured, but more like she could take a little more before she was down for the count. She just hoped a little more was all the needed. “On it,” she told the swift woman with dark hair, matching monotone for monotone, except she couldn’t quite keep the grimace of pain out of hers.

The wyvern riders were still doing their grim work to the sides of the narrow corridor they’d created for her, and the one called Harlaus offered his service, as, essentially, human shield. Considering all the armor he was wearing that she did not have, Lenore embraced the practicality of this. “Then I will accept. For just a bit longer…” She cast her eyes about the field, noting that it had changed somewhat since the last time she’d been able to actually observe. Her tactician’s mind took in the falling archer as impassively as she could, as well as the mercenary’s lucky catch and the injured girl approaching from behind. It noted the precise angle of the incoming hit that struck the as-yet unnamed second wyvern rider, the way it bit into his chest a little before he shrugged it off and retaliated, taking the offending bandit’s head half off with the counterstrike.

The shaman had moved somewhat, but she found him, and she wasn’t going to waste the opportunity she’d been given. All of these people working in concert had enabled this maneuver—she was simply the vessel for a collective victory, this time. She intended not to waste it. Sheathign her sword, she drew out her light tome, holding it as steadily as she could in her injured arm, which still shook faintly with the effort. By force of will, Lenore called the magic to her, gritting her teeth and aiming it squarely for the shaman’s chest. This time, when she hit, he went down, already weakened by the work of others, collapsing in a pile of dark robes.

She was tempted to breathe a sigh of relief, but the battle wasn’t over quite yet. Their other foes still had not retreated, and it might take them a while to realize their boss was dead. Willingly stepping back behind the one called Harlaus, she decided now was an excellent opportunity to take advantage of that armor he was providing, at least until she could get her hands to stop shaking long enough to uncork a vulnerary.

Veldahar, meanwhile, was taking a bit more damage than he’d anticipated, though not yet so much that he was down. The worst of it was the hand-axe blow that had lacerated his shoulder, right at the joint of his armor between it and his neck. Just a little to the right, and he might not be alive right now. As it was, that combined with a decent spear-puncture to the side of his abdomen, and he was starting to feel the damage. His expression turned grim, and he closed off his mind to the pain and the sensation of his own hot, sticky blood running down his back and side. Another brigand opted to come for him, probably given that there were few others in range. He’d positioned himself so that the prone woman—she looked like a rogue of some sort, though he couldn’t tell for sure—was for the moment safely behind his wyvern, Lorcan, whose tail caught the bandit mid-stride and swept his feet out from underneath him. His axe came away coated in yet more blood—largely because most of these men were so unprotected armor-wise. It was starting to feel heavy in his hand, though, and the wyvern rider knew he was slowing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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Ephony had barely begun chatting up the local tavern regulars of the small Renais village when calamity broke loose. She was going on her fifth day in Magvel, her travels taking her from the port on the western coast of Renais, to this small village in the Renais-Grado border. Largely, Ephony found that most people did not really question her traveling with the dark cloak and paid her no mind. Taguel were not native to Magvel, and she wanted to keep as low a profile as possible.

It was with this in mind, that Ephony resisted the urge to go to the defense of this town. These moral situations were very difficult for Ephony. Her intelligent mind screamed for her to stay with the huddled villagers in the tavern, but her body ached to help this village from the raid of these bandits.

The decision of getting involved was made for her when the back door to the tavern blew open and two bandits, one wielding an axe and the other brandishing a sword. “Alright everyone, hand over all of your valuables!”

The two bandits began to seize everything the poor villagers had to offer, which wasn't very substantial.
“How about you pretty lady, you have anything for us?” asked the brigand holding the axe from across the high table she was standing and enjoying her pint.

Ephony raised her mug to her mouth and took a sip, and only after it left her lips did she respond with, “Sorry, you've caught me on an off day. No trinkets on me.”

“I'll be more than happy to remove it from your corpse!” With that, the bandit raised his axe high above his head, and Ephony threw her mug half filled with ale directly in the eyes of the bandit.

With a loud scream the bandit staggered backwards momentarily, only to charge forward with more rage, axe in front of him. Ephony kicked the table up and the axe drove through the wood. Charging forward herself Ephony slammed her heel on the kneecap of the bandit, driving him down. A swift kick to the table drove the bandit's own axe into his neck, lacerating his jugular and ending his life with a wet cough.

Before Ephony could be satisfied with her work the other bandit was already sending his sword tip first at her right side. A quick step back was enough to dodge her being skewered completely, but not enough to entirely dodge the blade. It tore her cloak in half and gave a shallow cut across her abdomen. The bandit continued to charge forward and knocked himself into her with such force that they slammed through the old wooden door to the tavern, spilling both of them into the streets where the carnage was still unfolding.

Rolling to her feet well before the bandit could Ephony brought her foot down on the back of his neck as hard as she could. With the slightly higher strength the taguel possessed a solid crack could be felt under her boot, signaling the end of another brute.

Outside Ephony had only seconds to survey her surroundings. During her tumble, it was apparent that many of the would-be defenders had been injured, some beyond the capacity to continue the fight. The larger mercenary that had begun the fight was huddled near an injured female mercenary, a slender archer, and an immobile thief. The wyvern knights continued their struggles taking out as many of the bandits as their large dragons could handle and the girl who was causing the light magic earlier was on one of the dragons, presumably also out of commission.

Only a small boy on the outskirts of the battle looked uninjured, for the time being. He was playing his flute and sending an empowering melody over the harsh roar of combat. The only problem was the boy was so focused on his melody, that he did not realize the bandit charging forward with a spear in his hands, ready to impale the poor boy.

“Hey! Run! Get out of the way!” The young gypsy did not move. Acting completely on instinct Ephony ran at top speed, bounding forward in almost jump like strides, planting both of her feet firmly on the ground with a loud battlecry Ephony launched herself with a dropkick at the bandit, feet collapsing on the side of his face, and a sickening pop being heard, his neck contorting visibly out of place.

She landed on her side and sprang to her feet. She stared down the remaining bandits who had taken notice of the bard. Over her shoulder she turned to the bard, “Are you okay?” Given no chance to answer, some of the bandits began to take tentative steps forward, her appearance obviously intimidating.

A fury rose in Ephony, and a gutteral snarl escaped her lips, “You will not kill this boy! Stay away!” she snarled. With that, the taguel raced forward, clutching her beaststone, and calling upon her power. In a flash of light, the beautiful young woman morphed into a silver white bestial rabbit, and she raced into the fray to meet the three bandits that would dare raise a sword against the innocent boy with a flute.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Donovan Hirsteck Character Portrait: Ephony Character Portrait:
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Nimble fingers graced the old flute deftly as the rousing melody continued to play. Calais closed his eyes, unaware that he was even doing so, and let the music take over. As the boy played, he recalled the lyrics of the tune vaguely...

'Thou naive king, dost bear a foolish heart,
I'll see ye slain here in yon court.
Thine own love shall -'


A cry shattered his concentration and he snapped back to reality with a start. Before him, a tall woman was standing over the body of a bandit. Her long silver hair starkly contrasted against the dreary, blook-soaked backdrop that was this day.

"You will not kill this boy! Stay away!" The woman snarled at the remaining brigands who were beginning to advance.

'She protected me?'

Of course. Here he was on a battlefield holding a flute. This was no place for music! What was he thinking running out here? Mentally kicking himself for being so daft, Calais felt the onset of panic and adrenaline sweep over his body once again and he instantly yearned for the melody to return.

As the boy was about to turn and flee, something caught his eye. A flash of white...and then his jaw went slack. A creature, a giant...something was bounding into the fray where, just moments before, his unnamed savior had stood. The mysterious being sported long ears and claws the length of his own hand. Red eyes glowed brightly in the dismal rain. From head to toe the creature was covered in white fur -

'White...'

- that gave way to dark skin on each of its limbs.

'That woman!'

Calais couldn't explain the "why" or the "how" but there was no doubt in his mind that this creature was the woman who'd just saved his life mere seconds ago. He watched in amazement as she bounded into the heart of the battlefield effortlessly. With each stride she appeared to dance through the enemies, striking them in their blind spots and then darting away before he could even be sure she was really there at all.

Feet seemingly rooted to the ground, all he could do was gape at the spectacle. It wasn't until he'd heard voices behind him that he tore his gaze away from the fight.

Some distance away, the large man with the scarlet cape was carrying someone in his arms while another, obviously wounded girl was standing nearby.

'Everyone is fighting so hard...what am I supposed to do...?'

The thought of charging headfirst into battle to save the day for these people sounded like a great idea. The chance of death or dismemberment that came with it...didn't seem as appealing. Still, if these people were trying so valiantly to save this backwater village, the least he could do was to contribute somehow.

Running over to the trio, Calais spoke to the man in crimson...

"I'll keep them safe. Go out there and kill stuff!"

Without waiting for a response, the boy then turned his attention to the wounded girl. She seemed to be in an intense amount of pain. Droplets of sweat were sliding down her cheeks. Calais put an arm around her shoulder.

"Take it easy, all right? C'mon...sit down over here."

The girl was young. Too young. Her petite frame and delicate features would seem more appropriate on a barmaid or seamstress, not a soldier on a battlefield. It was sad. These bandits had to be stopped so that girls like this wouldn't have to be out here, bleeding and freezing in the rain.

Desperate to do whatever he could to ease her pain, he fumbled through his pockets until he found one of the vulneraries he'd tucked away. He was just about to uncork the top when a familiar voice reached his ears.

"So this is where you ran off to, boy? Come on now. We have unfinished business, you and I..."

The deep, raspy tone made Calais' heart sink. It was him...the fur-clad brigand from earlier! His sword hoisted up on one shoulder, the man grimmaced at the young gypsy. Without warning, he lifted the blade high above his head and swung downward. Calais rolled to the side, feet slipping on the wet ground as he landed hard on his knees. He heard the wet spash as the sword struck mud behind him. Turning over onto his back, he saw the bandit raise the sword again. A bright flash of lightning illuminating his crazed face in an instant.

Instinctively, Calais, still clutching the vulnerary in one trembling hand, whipped it at the man. It hit him in the face, shattering upon impact and sending the medicine splashing everywhere. Fine cuts formed red lines on his jaw and forehead. Spitting on the ground, the bandit swore and began to advance upon the boy with renewed rage.

"Curse you, whelp!!"

The dreaded greatsword was swinging down at him once again, and it was all Calais could do to draw his own blade and block the hit.

CLANG!

Metal on metal reverberated through the air. The force made Calais' entire body rattle, his arms crumpling under the weight. He saw his sword spiraling away, landing in the mud somewhere behind him.

'I am going to die here...'

The young man's ears were ringing and his mouth was dry. Heart pounding so hard in his chest that it actually hurt.

'I am going to die.'

The bandit licked his lips, a smiling forming across them that made the gypsy shiver. He lifted that accursed sword once more. That was when Calais saw it...the dagger strapped to the man's belt.

'...no.'

Despair quickly turning into hope, Calais knew now was the time to act.

'No!'

In a flash he was on his feet, legs pumping, pushing him straight toward the fearsome brigand. With a desperate and empowering cry, the boy threw himself into the man, his hand finding the hilt of the knife.

'NO!'

The bandit was taken by surprise and his eyes grew wide. His mouth flew open in a silent scream when he felt the sting of his own blade drive into his abdomen.

Calais latched onto the man with one hand, the other driving the dagger home again and again and again.

'NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!'

Over and over again the boy stabbed, feeling the thick warmth of blood overtaking his arm.

With a raspy death rattle, the bandit toppled over backward with a sickening thud, Calais falling on top of him. Rolling off of him, the boy stared at the ominous clouds above. How quickly they swept and tumbled across the sky... How quickly life can turn to death...

As the rain continued to fall it washed away the evidence of the struggle. Streams of diluted blood ran down Calais' arm and fell, saturating the already-soaked earth below.

He was alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Flexar
As Oskar was helping the girl to safety a glimmer of silver caught his eye. He looked more closely, and his jaw dropped in disbelief. In front of him a gargantuan, silver-furred creature that resembled a rabbit was tearing through what was still left of the bandits. He was sure that he was hallucinating; perhaps one of the bandits' weapons had been coated in poison. He rubbed his eyes forcefully, but the giant rabbit was still there. It seemed to be on his side; things would certainly be far worse if it were an enemy.

"I'll keep them safe. Go out there and kill stuff!"
It was the gypsy again. Oskar quickly handed the girl into his care and set off once again onto the battlefield. Oskar drew his sword once again, and strode towards the remaining few bandits. There were only five of the buggers left, and they had all clumped together for protection. Oskar brandished his blade as he approached them; a sneer growing on his face. He was going to enjoy this.
"So, lads, how are we going to do this?" Oskar grinned, "Either you can all run off and never return, or I can kill you all here and now." he drew closer to the bandits, "Well? What will it be?"
The brigands looked at each other worriedly, each one waiting for another to make the first move. Eventually, one ran off as fast as his legs would carry him. The others quickly followed suite. However, Oskar gave chase to one, and knocked him to the ground as soon as he caught up. He pressed the man's head onto the ground with his knee, grabbed his left arm with both hands and used the rest of his weight to pin the man to the ground.
"That wasn't the full force, was it?" Oskar asked, "There are more of you, aren't there? Now, tell me, where are the rest of your bandit friends?"
"Fuck you!" the brigand snarled.
Oskar pressed down on the man's triceps with one hand and wrenched his forearm upwards with his other. There was a cry of agony from the bandit as a loud, sickening crack from his elbow joint as it was wrenched out of place.
"You won't get another chance." Oskar snarled, "Where are they?"
"Just on the Grado side of the border!" the brigand stuttered, "We have an abandoned military fortress in the hills. You'll be slaughtered if you attack, though, it's well fortified and there are even more of us there."
"Good enough." Oskar responded and released the bandit, "I wouldn't go back there, if I were you."
The bandit struggled to his feet and hobbled off, cradling his broken arm like a newborn.

Well, it was all over. Oskar grinned to himself; he'd survived what had seemed like an unwinnable battle at the start. Miracles really did come true. He pulled a vulnerary from his pouch, uncorked it and wiped the solution over his wounds. It wouldn't close them, but it would ease the pain and speed up their closure. He placed the cork back in and returned it to his satchel. He surveyed the battlefield; everyone appeared to be alive. However, the thief was sprawled out on the ground and appeared incapable of moving. She was still breathing, so she was definitely alive.
"You alright down there?" Oskar asked as he walked over to her, "You look like you need a hand."
Without waiting for any sort of response, Oskar hoisted her up in his arms and sat her down on a bench.
"You fought well." Oskar told her as he sat down beside her, "I'm glad you were on our side."

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Alysia ended up sitting on the sidelines for the last part of the battle. She watched as the number of enemies dwindled, slowly dropping as everyone else fought.

It annoyed her that she couldn't do anything to help them. That she couldn't get up and fight with them. She was a soldier! Her place was on the battlefield, not watching from the sidelines.

But when she tried to go onto the battlefield, the pain in her side flared, and her arm ached.

That didn't stop one of the bandits from coming to her, though. The brigand had broken off from the fight in hopes of finding weaker prey, and saw Alysia. She saw him coming, and realized that she'd die if she didn't try to fight back. She stood slowly, drawing her sword with her off hand, the weight of her weapon unfamiliar to her untrained left.

The bard's song reached her ears. It was an unfamiliar tune, but it energized Alysia. She felt the ache in her body disappear, and she even switched her sword back to her dominant hand.

The bandit paused, considering this new development, but Alysia didn't give the bandit a chance to change his mind. She rushed forwards, her sword ready to strike. She brought the blade down, but her foe dodged to the side, rolling away from her. She spun on her heel, and faced her foe as he brought down his axe. She moved out of the way of her foe's strike, and swung her sword as hard as she could at his legs. She heard two sets of cracks. The first came as her sword broke his right shin. The second came when her sword inadvertently slammed into his axe as he moved it to intercept her attack, splintering her weapon. Her foe collapsed in agony, and Alysia moved quickly, shoving the broken remains of her sword between his ribs and into his heart.

Then white noise filled her ears, and the stress of the day, of nearly dying, overtook her, and she collapsed onto the muddy ground.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Guest
The battle wound to a close, and from the back of a wyvern, it did not look nearly so daunting as it had on her feet. Perhaps that was the reason such men and women were renowned for their courage and ferocity—acting as the vanguards in fights that could prove longer and bloodier than this one. The two of them had certainly been impressive, though she did not think it was attributable entirely to the vantage from which they viewed the goings-on.

With the adrenaline slowly leaving her body, Lenore’s shoulders slumped considerably, a few of her tense muscles going slack, and she knew she would ache the next day. Still, it wasn’t a bad feeling, exactly. She was also… invigorated, as she’d conditioned herself to feel after such bouts, just in case another should follow. Even so, mind could only extend so far over matter. “Thank you,” she told the one called Harlaus, who had hauled her up here when it became evident that this was the most efficient way to deal with the multiple issues confronting him at once. He seemed to be more cautious than the other wyvern-mounted man, though they were both… intense about it.

Patting the scales of the dragonlike creature who’d carried her, she decided it was probably time to return to the ground. She doubted Harlaus would be all that amenable to her more permanent company, regardless of how much more comfortable it was to ride rather than walk at the moment. Swinging her leg over the side, she landed with a hard thud and a hiss, the exhale of pain unfortunately escaping her despite her best efforts at not showing it. She supposed that vulnerary she’d just bought would be helpful here, but her injuries were mostly under her clothes, in the form of bruises rather than skin breakages, so she wasn’t going to attend to them just yet. Her impact with the ground blurred her vision for a moment, but she shook her head to clear it, placing her palm against the red-scaled haunch of the wyvern to steady herself.

Once she was certain she could properly see, she examined the battlefield, such as it was. The corpses of bandits, in various degrees of obliterated, were scattered over the road and the surrounding area, blood soaking steadily into the dirt and the grass. It was well they’d not fought on anyone’s field, for surely it would have gone fallow with this much ichor seeping into the soil. Over on one side of the area, the mercenary from earlier was interrogating one of the other bandits, and she listened with some interest to the answers. That… sounded like something that needed doing. The siege of a base of operations would not be like this battle, not so straightforwardly a matter of strength, but strategy. There would be choke points and cover and walls… but it was useless to think about. She couldn’t accomplish such a thing alone, no matter how intelligent she might be, and the coincidence of all these people being here was too great to rely upon again.

Veldahar, meanwhile, had dismounted his own wyvern, and appeared to be staring thoughtfully at the side of a building. Really, he was staring at nothing at all, far too intent on his thoughts to really register much of what was going on around him. He, too, had heard the bandit’s words about a base of operations, but his thinking differed fundamentally from Lenore’s, and with good reason. He was a prince, and these people were using his country as a safehouse from which to attack settlements in a neighboring one. Normally, this was the kind of thing his father never would have let stand, but Vespasian had not been the man he used to be for some time now. “Lorcan, stay.” He murmured quietly to the wyvern, placing a hand on the creature’s shoulder. Well-trained animal that he was, the flying reptilian obeyed. It was not perhaps best to approach people you wished to establish a rapport with on the back of so fierce a predator.

Not that he knew much about how to approach people, honestly. What little he did know was little more than the barest basics of common sense. He glanced over at the mercenary and the thief, then to the other side at Harlaus and the woman with the light magic, and then at any of the others he could spy. “I intend to tempt fate,” he said, gesturing to where the group of still-living bandits was fleeing after enduring their brief interrogation. “But I am not a fool, and I would not make it far alone. If any of you have reason to flush the rest of these bandits from their den, I would accompany you gladly.”

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Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Veldahar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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A yawn probably wasn't the response he was expecting, but that was the one Eris gave. Entirely nonplussed about just being lifted like a dead tree, she simply shrugged after her yawn. She then went about rifling through the folds of her new cloak, looking for the vulnerary she kept on her person. The illfitting coat made the search difficult, as did the general soreness she was experience, but she handled the pain exemplary , hardly wincing at all. In time, the vulnerary made an appearance, and it wasn't long before the amber liquid cascaded down her head and over her wounds. The last bit went down her throat to help erase any internal injuries she might have had. Eris went about the process slowly and methodically, seemingly unaware of the man next to her.

When the bottle was empty, she callously tossed it aside and propped up her leg over top of her knee and leaned back. "Three," was the monosyllabic word that came first. She seemed in no hurry to explain herself, and after a couple of unmolested moments, she clarified, "Three bandits, and half of the mage. How much will that earn me?" She asked, finally turning her rusted eyes toward the man. Now with something in sight, her eyes latched on and drilled into the man, threatening to never relent again. Whatever his response was, it was ignored in favor of staring at another man, the Wyvern rider.

Eyes locked on him instead, saving the mercenary from Eris' relentless eyes. Her head subtly shifted to the side as the gears in her head began to churn, spitting out an idea. Likewise, the words fell from her mouth irritatingly slowly, each word handpicked to express herself fully and completely. "Bandits raid villages. Villages have treasure. Stands to reason that bandits have treasure. For fifty percent of what we find, I will aid you in this endeavor." And if there was no treasure, there was nothing stopping her from up and leaving. She had no stake with these people, they were all strangers-- she knew the name of none of them and wouldn't ask.

She then stood from the bench, the mercenary and his words completely forgotten. She lurched forward, but caught herself enough so that she stood straight. Using her sword as a makeshift cane, she took a couple of steps forward and produced another apple from her coat. Curiosity had reared it's ugly head once more, and this time the object of her curious mind was the Wyvern whose tall rider had just dismounted. Showing little to no disregard for her own personal safety she strode to the man, keeping him within the locked stare of hers, until she passed him without a word, at which she targeted the Wyvern.

Eris had never seen one of the creatures, much less up close. She came up to his side, and placed a hand on his scaly hide, running it down until she stood next to the head. That was when she bit into her apple and held it with her teeth, as she produced another from within her bottomless coat. This one was slightly bruised, but still eadible. This one she offered to the Wyvern. "Lorcan, hmm?" She hummed to herself, "You're fast for a creature your size," She stated plainly. It had been her who had tried to catch up to the Wyvern riders, though she proved to be too slow for such tactics. She got a spear slapped into her face for the effort, the blood of which still dripped down her cheek-- she wasn't planning on wiping it away any time soon.

Out of the corner of her ear, she heard a combination of a splat and a splash, and a lingering stare later proved to be the soldier girl collapsing face down into the mud. Her eyes stayed on the woman for a while without her saying a word. Until finally, she spoke. "Soldier down," The tone was empty-- uncaring even. For that was exactly it. She didn't know that woman, nor did she do anything for Eris-- Why would she care?

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Veldahar Character Portrait:
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The women had thanked Harlaus for the aid he provided, it seemed nonsense to him that he would receive thanks for following simple orders. However Harlaus choose to keep silent and provide no response to the lady as he departed to do... something. The Prince too had left to talk with the other battlers, Harlaus deciding to discuss matters with the Veldehar when he was spoken too. Until then he would watch over Lorcan and Sebastion, and looking after his own wounds came to mind aswell.

His left hand was numb and had multiple lacerations on it, an annoyance only if he had to battler again very shortly. Suddenly a shocking pain shot up through the right side of Harlaus, causing him to grimace and bend his body forward. Looking for wounds he had located the blade that ran into his side earlier, a serious wound to be sure of now, blood was still seeping out between the crusts of dry redness. Grabbing and pouring a vulnerary into the wound, the tension seemed to release and the crippling pain turned to numbness just as his hand. As the physical pain drifted away, Harlaus hoisted his body back into an upright position and became aware of the world again.

The only real change in his surrounding was the girl who was now patting the Prince's wyvern, something she most likely did not ask permission to do. She mumbled to the Lorcan, and then proceeded to attempt to feed him an apple, Harlaus felt frustrated at the ignorance of the lass. Preparing to speak, she spoke first as a noise was produced in the distance, "Soldier down." It did appear so, a small armored girl lay face first in the mud, with red speckles across her armor. Any good Knight was taught to not leave a wounded solider un-attended on a field of battle, so quickly he growled at the apple girl, "Don't touch him."

With slight encouragement Sebastion took them over to collapsed body. Harlaus told Sebastion to nuzzle her over, face side up, as if Harlaus got off his mount he feared his wounded side would cause him to join her pathetically lying in the mud. None of the blood on her armor appeared to be hers, so Harlaus choose to simply stand ward at this spot beside her until she awoke. If not a physical wound then sleeping in the mud was all she needed to get better, that was the diagnosis by Harlaus.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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As quickly as Ephony had made the startling transformation from human to beast, did she return back to her human form, feeling slightly disgusted in herself for having to resort to its use. The bandits proved to provide little resistance to her in her beast form, she darted about the battlefield as fast as he bounding feet would take her, claws rending flesh from bone. The element of surprise was heavily on her surprise as the men probably didn't even know of a Taguel's existence, let alone fight one. She did not leave the battle completely unscathed though. Small wounds that had little to no effect in slowing her down as a beast pained her greatly as a human, and she reached down and took a vulnerary out of her satchel tied at her hip, emptying its contents gingerly on her wounds.

Surveying the aftermath of the battle, rain seemed to wash away most evidence of a struggle, save for the physical damage done to buildings and the corpses that now lay in the streets. Ephony's impossibly long and thick hair was soaked to the roots, sticking to her body in gray clumps. She must look ridiculous to the rest of the combatants as they wandered around, looking slightly lost, not really knowing what to do next. Ephony shared the sentiment. Was she supposed to introduce herself? Or was she supposed to quietly take her leave, and be the mysterious beast-woman who helped save this town?

Ephony did not want to be a tale midwives told children through generations of this village, so Ephony decided to return to where they all seemed to be gathering.

Two large dragons were positioned near the group, and Ephony admired them, mentally thanking them for their efforts. They were very majestic, brave, and intelligent creatures to follow their masters into battle. One of their masters was impossibly tall, and had a regal look to him that Ephony recognized as nobility. The other was standing guard over a girl that collapsed presumably during the fight. She had an even rhythym to her heart and breathing so Ephony did not panic. But she could not help but feel sorry for the poor girl.

The other two women that fought bravely against the shaman were equally standing in silence. The more roguish looking one was standing with a look of pure boredom upon her face. The other was collecting herself after the battle, and looked to be in deep thought over the battlefield. The bard and archer were still a little from the group. Ephony was thankful that the young musician survived, and that the slender archer was protected as well.

As she was walking towards the group, Ephony couldn't help but feel eyes from every direction home in on her. Her cloaked had been destroyed and she now stood there in her battle garments, nothing shielding herself from their judging eyes.

“I intent to tempt fate. But I am not a fool, and I would not make it far alone. If any of you have reason to flush the rest of these bandits from their den, I would accompany you gladly.”

It was the tall wyvern knight who spoke. Even his speech carried an air of command to it that immediately caused shivers to go down Ephony's spine. At this point, there wasn't anywhere that Ephony needed to be, and joining a group was safer for her than traveling alone.

“I too would like to finish what we started here. If left unchecked, the bandits will only return. Besides, life needs a little excitement, don't you think?” Ephony tried to sound friendly. If they decided they liked her personality, then maybe they wouldn't mind being in the company of a beast.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Veldahar Character Portrait: Ephony
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#, as written by Flexar
"Three bandits, and half of the mage. How much will that earn me?"
The thief certainly didn't seem to be one for small talk. Oskar honestly wasn't sure of the answer, since it would depend on his own pay, which he hadn't been given an exact figure for. Perhaps it was just as well that she walked off to go and pet the wyvern of the taller of the two riders. However, it didn't go down too well with the other rider, who forcefully ordered her not to touch the wyvern. Oskar thought that it wasn't his place to say so; neither the wyvern nor his rider seemed too bothered.

"Soldier down."
Sure enough, the girl from before had fallen face-down into the mud. Fortunately, Harlaus turned her over so that she didn't suffocate. Poor kid. Oskar remembered when he had just started work as a mercenary, and it was rough. He'd been in the girl's position many times, but he had lived to tell the tale, and ultimately it had made him into a stronger man. It had been the most grueling years of his life, but they were necessary, and they had paid off, both figuratively and literally.

“I intend to tempt fate, but I am not a fool, and I would not make it far alone. If any of you have reason to flush the rest of these bandits from their den, I would accompany you gladly.”
The wyvern rider must have overheard Oskar interrogating the bandit, and was already offering to go and storm their base. That would save Oskar having to ask for his aid.
"You've probably already realised this, but I'm going as well." Oskar stated, "Pay or no pay, I'm not simply going to bugger off and let them mount another attack." Oskar turned to the thief, "I'm extending your commission. You're coming with us."

Oskar looked to the side and saw the gigantic rabbit monster approach and quickly morph into a tall, silver-haired woman. Apart from having just shape-shifted from a huge rabbit with claws and fangs, she was barely clothed. Most of her skin was exposed to the elements, including the majority of her bosom. Her clothes were more like undergarments than anything else. Oskar couldn't really tell, but his cheeks had flushed red slightly.
“I too would like to finish what we started here. If left unchecked, the bandits will only return. Besides, life needs a little excitement, don't you think?”
"I wouldn't quite put it like that, but the more the merrier." Oskar responded, "I don't suppose you could explain the whole mega-rabbit thing, could you?"

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Donovan Hirsteck
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Alysia groaned as her eyes opened. Everything ached. It wasn't the good ache that she got after a good workout. It was a new ache to her. The slow, painful throb of what she was sure was a broken rib under her armor, accented by the scream of pain that her right arm shot through her mind when she tried to use it to sit up.

She managed not to scream when she saw the wyvern standing over her, but the sight of the beast did reassure her that her heart worked fine: It started right back up after it stopped. She managed to look past the beast's impressive figure to the man riding it, and realized that she was still sitting on the ground like an idiot. Slowly, relying on her left side so that she wouldn't aggravate any of her injuries further, she stood up. People were gathered around, not because of her, she decided. Regardless, she needed to get her injuries checked out.

"Excuse me?" She called. "Does anyone here have a Heal staff?" She looked to the battered, bloody body of the bandit that she'd fought earlier. "And a spare sword?"

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Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Ephony Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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With no other audible sounds the falling rain seemed to crash down, making Calais' ears ring. In truth, it wasn't as heavy as before. With a slight groan, the boy stood up. Unruly hair was now matted to his forehead in dripping strands and as he swept it out of his eyes he caught sight of the group nearby.

None of them seemed to be seriously injured. Even that young soldier had managed to stand, though she still looked pale and unsteady. The man in the crimson cloak appeared to have taken charge. He was talking about bringing the fight to the bandits' hideout.

A sickening lurch of dread overtook Calais' senses for a moment as he realized what he must do... The entire purpose of him coming here was to put an end to the bandits' reign of terror over Jehanna; over his people. Turning tail now wouldn't solve anything. The boy knew that he had to go. Besides...doing something you don't want to do suddenly becomes much more manageable when you have no choice in the matter.

With a brief sigh he was on his feet. Shaking droplets of rain off his clothes, Calais began to remember. He thought about the time when he first began to dance and perform in front of an audience... After one particular performance, he'd received a great reaction from the audience as they laughed aloud. It wasn't until he'd gone back inside his caravan that he realized he'd torn a hole in the back of his pants and that was what everyone had been laughing at... It was a silly thing to remember but it served its purpose; Calais now wore a smile across his face. Laughing to himself, he pushed aside any negative thoughts and blinded himself with optimism. Why worry about something you have no control over anyhow? With a newfound spring in his step, the gypsy boy made his way over to the group of fighters that had come together to save the village.

"Hey!" He chimed, cheeks turning slightly red when faces turned in his direction. "If you're going to the bandits' hideout, count me in. I have unfinished business with them, myself."

When he didn't receive an immediate reply he continued to speak...

"I, uhh...promise I won't get in the way. I swear! You don't even have to pay me! And I won't be a bother at all. I hardly eat anything and I'm quiet as a mouse! So, uh...heh...yeah."

He was losing them. Fast.

"Oh! And um, don't worry about protecting me or anything. I can take care of myself! I may not be the best fighter there is but I can help in other ways...!"

He reached for his flute and held it out for the others to see. With a slightly pained grin on his face, Calais looked over his newfound friends, trying not to keep his gaze on the female members for too long and failing.

It was perfect...or at least as good as he was going to get. They had wyverns, spells, swords, and even a ruthless bunny babe! Add his music and they had a force that would decimate any bandits that stood in their way!

Like the picture on one of his mother's tarot cards depicts - the Wheel of Fate was beginning to turn.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Flexar
“Sure hun, my name is Ephony and I am a taguel. I am native to Ylisse, a continent to the west of Magvel. Taguel are human, beast hybrids. We each have an animal in our family that we can morph into with the use of a beaststone. My family can morph into a rabbit-like creature. In human form I’m the same as the rest of you, with a little extra pep in my step.”
Ylisse? There was a continent beyond Magvel? Were all inhabitants of Ylisse members of this "taguel" race? Why were there no taguel on Magvel? So many questions, but the whole concept made so little sense. Perhaps these taguel were like the manaketes of legend, only they transformed into things other than dragons.
Ephony ended her speech with a suggestive wink in Oskar's direction. Well, she was certainly forward; they'd only known each other for a minute. However, the sweet tone of her voice, the ending comment and her revealing clothing set off alarm bells inside Oskar's head. It was entirely possible that she was attempting to seduce him in order to rob him blind or extort him into becoming a walking purse. She wouldn't be the first to make such an attempt. Oskar simply smiled back at her, only without the suggestiveness that she had sent him.

"Does anyone here have a Heal staff? And a spare sword?"
The small girl appeared to have regained consciousness. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be a healer, but there were plenty of swords lying on the ground from slain raiders. Oskar stooped down and picked up the nearest sword that was small enough for the girl to wield without too much difficulty. He almost tossed it to her, but stopped himself before he accidentally impaled her.
"This looks like it's about the right size for you." Oskar commented as he handed her the blade, "I've no fancy staff, but I'm sure there's a village healer somewhere.

Oskar turned to the rest of the group before speaking:
"Everyone who's coming, meet up here at eight in the morning. We'll set off immediately. Until then, I have business to attend to."
With that, Oskar took off to the inn.

Right on the other side of the open door was the mayor, looking relieved because the bandit threat had been disposed of, but also terrified because he had not forgotten Oskar's threat.
"O-Oskar..." the mayor stammered as he attempted to form a smile.
It wasn't enough to calm Oskar. Oskar grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pushed him into the bar.
"Money. NOW." Oskar snarled, his face mere inches away from that of the mayor.
The mayor fumbled in his pockets and produced a purse of coins which he tossed to Oskar. Oskar massaged the purse before pocketing it and once again turning his attention to the mayor.
"That's just my pay." Oskar complained, "There are nine of us."
"I-I can't possibly afford th-th-that!" the mayor babbled, sweat pouring down his forehead in torrents.
"Fine." Oskar responded as he pushed the terrified man away from him, "But I want a couple of horses and wagon big enough to house us."
The mayor nodded meekly but quickly before hurrying from the building. Well, now that was over with, Oskar could finally get himself a room.

Chapter 1: The Siege


As the sun rose ever higher in the sky it cast its light through the gap between Oskar's curtains and over his tightly closed eyelids. The light was enough to force them open, and Oskar groggily woke up. His whole body ached from yesterday's brawl, but the ache would go away soon enough; it always did. He opened his curtains and looked down at the town square. Sure enough, the horses and cart he had been promised were waiting outside the inn. Nobody else had turned up yet, so he could afford to take his time. He dressed slowly, slung his sword over his shoulder and left his room.

After a hearty breakfast, Oskar left the inn. Still nobody outside. Oskar decided that he would use this time to inspect the horses and carriage. The wagon was covered with a canvas and had benches inside to sit on. It looked easily big enough to hold the whole group, only 6 of whom would actually be in the carriage, since the Grado soldiers would be riding their wyverns and somebody would have to drive. The horses appeared to be fairly healthy, and with any luck they would stay that way. Oskar pulled himself up into the driver's seat, and lay back and relaxed while he waited.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Veldahar
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Alysia woke up on the floor, covers pulled over her body. She stood and stretched, feeling the groan and pop of her joints. It was a personal... thing, for lack of a better word. She just didn't like sleeping in beds. She prided herself on being able to sleep on just about anything else, but she couldn't get to sleep on a bed. She moved to the desk that was provided in her room, and rummaged through the sack from her horse's saddle until she found the stamp, graphite and paper she'd been looking for. She set the paper down in front of her, and wrote a quick letter, folded it up, and stamped it using some candle wax. This one was harder to write than the letter she'd sent to her commanding officer at the Serafew Garrison. That one was simple: She was fulfilling her duty to her country in a different way, and that he should send for another soldier. Also enclosed in the envelope was the last bit of gold that she had remaining. This one... It was more important, arguably.

Satisfied, she set the letter down, and turned to her armor, which lay neatly at the foot of her bed. After visiting the apothecary for a much-needed healing -- one that had eaten up almost all of the money that she'd been given -- she'd inspected the plate and mail, finding nothing that would actually compromise her safety. Then, she picked up the sword that she'd claimed from the battlefield yesterday. It was a plain iron sword, hand-and-a-half grip, with a blade that seemed too light to be two-and-a-half feet long. The piece was perfectly balanced, and it made her wonder how a bandit had gotten his hands on it. There was no ornamentation, so it wasn't a ceremonial blade, and she'd tested it out on the battlefield last night during some training drills before showering and turning in: The weapon was sturdy, a true weapon of war.

Sighing, she shrugged on her armor, fastened the sword and scabbard to her waist, packed the few belongings she had taken with her back into her saddlebag, which she threw over she shoulder, and headed out of her room. She walked to the entry hall of the inn, and stood at the front desk. She knocked on the wood, and heard a thump.

"Oof!" A young man popped up from behind the counter, rubbing his head. Alysia hid her smile.
"I need to get this letter to a town near Border Mulan." She said. "As quickly as possible."
The boy took the letter, and put it into a bag riding on his shoulder. "I'll be making my rounds as soon as I find the last few letters going to Frelia."
Alysia let her smile show. "Thank you." She turned, and headed outside.

She headed to the stable beside the Inn first, taking her horse out of its stall, attaching the saddlebag to the saddle, and mounting up. She always felt unsteady on a horse. She'd been getting better at it, but she figured she'd leave fighting on horseback to the cavaliers.

An easy trot led her to the wagon, where a small group of people had already assembled. She recognized a few of them: The man on the wyvern from earlier; the mercenary who'd shepherded her across a battlefield. The others were unfamiliar, but she would worry about learning their names later.

A thought struck Alysia, and she looked back to the Wyvern rider. She swore that she'd seen his face somewhere before. She stared at him, trying to place the memory.

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Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Veldahar
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Day light breaking through the window of the room Harlaus slept in was welcomed but annoying. Harlaus never took his time to prepare, so he stood quickly from his bed and began to dress himself, carefully avoiding too much pressure on his right side. He had avoided discussing the matter of the great wound with anyone, and would carry on to his best abilities despite it, for Harlaus knew the Prince wouldn't wait and he could trust no one else. Preparing for combat Harlaus had put on his full suit of armor as well; adding a helmet, full cuirass, and greaves to his suit from yesterday. Preparing his axes and mind for the rest of the day to come, Harlaus sent himself downstairs.

Although before heading to the area where transport was arranged Harlaus sent himself over to the barn the Wyverns had been left in. As he exited the sheltered interior of the inn Harlaus realized just how late he had let himself sleep, the sun had already risen above the horizon. A small pint of shame washed across his body, it was absolutely disgusting to him that he could of held up the company, more so in the presence of the Prince. As Harlaus made plans to apologize to Veldahar he remembered the most important thing he had been told, to call him Cesper Stein. Pushing open the barn doors Harlaus cleared his mind and concentrated and readying Sebastion, setting the saddle and cladding his Wyvern in its armor was a task he took seriously.

Prepared and combat ready Harlaus mounted Sebastion and began the trot over to the caravan. It appeared he wasn't the last to join the cohort, a small relief to him. Ignoring everyone Harlaus quickly took position beside his Lord, then providing a small shout Sebastion changed his stance to keep his neck in the air, legs only slightly bent, and wings down. Harlaus then sat up straight and stood directly forward, this was what he was taught to do when awaiting orders and standing in formal formations.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harlaus Tyberry Character Portrait: Calais Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Lenore Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Eris
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#, as written by Flexar
After Oskar, the first to arrive was the lanky, blonde Grado soldier, accompanied by his wyvern. He had identified himself as "Cespar Stern" the night before, and his wyvern as "Lorcan". He seemed like a very sincere man, and was clearly outraged at the lack of effort that his country had put into keeping its borders clean. When asked if everything was to his liking, Oskar simply nodded in response.

The next to arrive was Lenore, who was clearly in need of some more sleep. Strands of her hair were sticking out in places, her eyes lacked the shine they had bore yesterday, and was yawning loudly. Oskar hadn't been a morning person when he was younger, but his job had quickly beaten it out of him.

Ephony joined the company more extravagantly than the others; she jumped straight from the inn's rooftop down to the group. If Oskar tried that, he would break both his legs, and his back if he was unlucky. Having someone that agile would certainly be a great help. Oskar returned her "Good morning" politely.

Then came the thief, who still hadn't given her name. She ignored everyone else and went straight for Lorcan, to whom she seemed to have taken a liking. She then climbed into the wagon and flicked her eyes from person to person in a rather unnerving fashion.

To Oskar's surprise, the girl from before who had been beaten up pretty badly turned up on horseback. If she had a horse, why hadn't she stayed on it? Perhaps she just preferred fighting on foot.

The other wyvern rider arrived soon afterward. He quickly rode over to his fellow knight and took his position beside him. Harlaus was far more rigid than Cespar, and clearly cared a great deal more about his appearance.

The last to arrive were Donovan and Calais. Oskar had been surprised the night before when Calais had offered to come, but he was in no position to be picky about where help was coming from. Donovan's joining was less surprising, since he was actually capable of wielding a weapon.

"Well, that's everyone." Oskar announced, "We shall depart immediately. Any objections?"
If there were, then nobody mentioned them. So, Oskar cracked the reins and the horses set off, pulling the cart with them. The three not using the cart followed closely behind.



After less than an hour of travelling, they were inside Grado. The road had led them down a narrow, winding path down the mountainside, a path that only just had room for the cart on it. Oskar looked down into the valley and at the bottom of the valley was a fort. Presumably that was their target. It seemed rather badly positioned; enemies could surround it on all sides and would also have the high ground. Perhaps that was why the military abandoned it. Oskar couldn't see properly from this distance, but it didn't look quite as dilapidated as it might be. In fact, he swore that he could see ballistae and cannons mounted on the battlements, and he could also swear that there were people milling around them. Some of those people appeared to be carrying sacks, large spheres and ballistae bolts. Realising that they would soon be victims to open fire, Oskar spurred the horses into action, going straight from a trot to a gallop.

A slender woman with long flowing pink hair made her way up onto the ramparts to survey the process.
"Faster, you dolts!" she snapped, "If you carry on at this rate, they'll be here before you've even loaded a single ballista!"
The bandits immediately sped up, for fear of what she might do to them if she got any angrier. One hurried over to her, empty handed.
"Miss Sylvia-" he began, but was abruptly stopped by Sylvia slapping him round the cheek with the back of her hand, her sharp nails leavings gouges in his skin, "Milady," Sylvia smiled this time and gestured for him to continue, "There is a woman near the east side of the fort. She appears to be a mage of some sort; she clearly has a staff with her. What should we do?"
"She's just a healer." Sylvia scoffed, "Did she look rich?"
"She didn't look poor." the bandit answered.
"Rob her blind, then." Sylvia ordered, "Bring back everything she had. Kill her if you want, but it really won't matter either way. The worst a healer could do is whinge about us to the law, who can't be bothered to do anything about us."
The bandit nodded and scuttled off, presumably to follow orders. Sylvia turned her attention to the west rampart, where the cannons and ballistae were being loaded. Most of them were ready to fire by the time she had turned around.
"What are you waiting for?!" Sylvia hissed, "Don't shoot the wyverns though, they'll fetch us a pretty penny."

Oskar heard a whistling in the air and turned to see a ballista bolt sailing through the air, right towards the cart. It impaled one of the two horses and splintered the front of the cart, breaking off the driver's seat from the passenger compartment. Oskar had almost found his balance when two cannonballs smashed into the mountainside, destroying the road beneath their feet and sending Oskar tumbling down into the valley. Terror gripped him as he was hurled to the valley floor and almost certain death.

Oskar was far more lucky than he thought he would be, but that didn't mean that he was in a good shape. He had landed in a copse in the valley and was currently sprawled out on the grass beneath an oak. Blood was pouring down from his forehead into his eyes, all but blinding him. While his whole body hurt, his left arm, his sword arm, felt far worse than the rest of his body. He attempted to move it, but to no avail. It was broken. He tried to push himself to his feet, but all that resulted in was him coughing up blood. He couldn't die here. He mustn't. Kai and Freya were waiting for him at home, the villagers had nobody to guard them, his comrades needed help! Were his comrades even alive? They could well have all been killed in the barrage, leaving him as the only survivor. God dammit, where had those bandits acquired ammunition from? The military wouldn't simply leave gunpowder, cannonballs and ballista bolts lying around near abandoned siege weapons for anyone to find and fire. He could think about that later, right now he had to get to safety. However, that was easier said than done; his own blood was clouding his vision, his left arm was broken and he couldn't stand. He tried to pick himself up once more, but only coughed up more blood. It was pointless. He could do nothing but wait to bleed out or be found by a bandit and killed. Speaking of bandits, Oskar could see a figure approaching him through the curtain of blood over his eyes. He couldn't make out anything about them, other than that they were a person. With any luck it was one of his comrades, but he strongly doubted that any of them were healthy enough to be walking. Oskar just closed his eyes and awaited whatever fate had dealt him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Oskar Character Portrait: Alysia Character Portrait: Nichole Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"I'm going to find them."

He had resolve, Nichole had to give him that much. He had something invested into this. Most people would take their second chance at life and run. This man seemed eager to get back into the fight. He forced himself along, willing himself to continue.

Nichole grabbed his arm and pulled it over her shoulders, supporting him as they walked along.

It wasn't long until they found the next of his companions. She lay collapsed on the ground, face first, a few feet from a dead horse, killed either by the ballista bolt that had been rammed through its flank, or the long fall from the cliff above. Her long, blonde hair was splayed out in all directions, her green armor dirtied by mud and blood. A large piece of metal shrapnel was lodged in her back, dangerously close to her spine.

Nichole dropped the man's arm, and moved to the girl, drawing the Balmwood staff again. She focused the flow of energy into her free hand, and closed it around the fragment.
Alysia yelped as a sharp pain shot through her back. Her eyes snapped open, and she was prepared to roll to the-

"Don't move."
A commanding voice said. Alysia froze. The voice was female, but that didn't mean anything. It could be a bandit standing over her right now.

She felt pressure on her back, and suddenly a shot of pain rocketed through her body, especially her ribs and limbs. Then, the pain was replaced by a warm, almost pleasant tingle as broken bones re-mended at an incredible pace. She felt an uncomfortable ache where she'd been injured, but she supposed it was better than being a cripple. The pressure on her back receded, and Alysia pushed herself up, coming face-to-face with her savior.
Nichole watched as the girl shakily, and looked up at her, literally. She was a small girl, maybe 5'9", but she had an air of determination about her, similar to the man's.
"My name's Nichole." She said. "What's yours?"
"Alysia." Came the reply. "Thanks for your help."
Nichole nodded. "Do you know if anyone else made it out of that alive?"
Alysia shook her head. "No clue."
Nichole nodded, and turned to the man. "Let's keep looking..." She shook her head. "Sorry, what's your name?"