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Cedric

"I wonder if I could invent a hex that turns a hamster carnivorous..."

0 · 298 views · located in Archanea

a character in “Fire Emblem: Nightfall”, as played by Flexar

Description

Image
Name: Cedric Blackmore
Alias: N/A
Description: Cedric stands at a fairly average height, with little muscle to speak of. His head hosts a mop of long, dark blond hair which Cedric usually keeps tied up in a short ponytail, but still allows himself to keep a fringe that covers most of his forehead and occasionally falls down to cover his right eye. Speaking of his eyes; they are heterochromatic as a result of a failed hex, so his left eye is a fiery orange and his right is an amethyst purple. Both were originally blue. His skin is soft and pale from spending most of his time indoors. Cedric bears the mark of Grima on his back, a mark he does his best to hide. He isn't sure why it is there, or when it appeared, but he knows that it has been with him at least since he went to live with the archsage the Grimleal sent him to.

As for clothing, Cedric usually isn't too fussy about what he wears. Usually he will don a loose grey shirt, his royal blue mage's robe, brown trousers that are slightly too long for his legs, a loose belt and black, laced shoes. He also carries a small satchel in which he keeps his tomes, vulnerary and notebook.

Age: 18
Sex: Male
Class: Dark Mage

Growth Rates (Fixed): HP - 55%, STR - 15%, MAG - 70%, SKILL - 50%, SPD - 50%, LUCK - 35%, DEF - 40%, RES - 45%

Starting Stats: HP - 19, STR, 1, MAG - 6, SKILL - 6, SPD - 6, LUCK - 2, DEF - 3, RES - 4

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 85kg
Hair Color: Dark blond
Eye Color: Cedric's left eye is orange, and his right is purple.
Body Type: Lean
Voice Type: Tenor

Personality: There are two types of intelligent people: intelligent people who are unpleasant, and intelligent people who are crazy. Cedric falls firmly into the latter category, and is certainly a colourful individual. While people have theorised that thirteen years of studying dark magic is to blame, Cedric has always been strange, but not in an unpleasant way. When Cedric's mind wanders, he may muse over some rather peculiar thoughts along the lines of "Tongues are just meat tentacles in our mouths". He often mutters such remarks while he sleeps.

Strange as he might be, Cedric is still a likable person. He cares deeply about those close to him, and is easy to befriend; perhaps a little too easy. For the most part, he wears his heart on his sleeve, so if he likes someone, he will say so. However, this also means that he doesn't tell white lies, and often gets confused when telling the truth upsets someone.

One thing that irks Cedric greatly is the general consensus on dark magic. Outside Plegia, many see it as evil and unholy, and inside it is seen as drawing upon Grima's power. Cedric does not see magic as inherently good or evil, he simply sees it as a power that can be used for either. He is very vocal about this, even going as far as openly dabbling in necromancy.

Strengths: Cedric is a talented mage who specialises in dark and fire magic, but has had a go with all kinds of magic, resulting in good all around knowledge. This leads to him being able to hit hard and fast with his magic. He is also very intelligent and a good puzzle solver. Surprisingly, Cedric is good with children and is capable of keeping them entertained for hours on end.
Weaknesses: As skilled a mage as he might be, Cedric is very vulnerable to physical hits. He is also inquisitive to the point where he seems very nosy, but means no offence by it (most of the time, anyway).

Equipment: Flux, dying blaze, vulnerary.

Biography: Cedric was born to a fairly ordinary family in Plegia, and for the first five years of his life, everything proceeded normally. However, shortly after turning five, Cedric proved that he was capable of shattering glass by merely waving his arms around in a certain fashion, and destroyed every pane of glass in his house. Impressed and frightened by Cedric's talent, his parents took him from home and gave him to the Grimleal, so they could help him to make use of his talent.

The Grimleal in turn gave the boy to a gifted archsage, who was capable of casting all kinds of magic. Cedric lived with this man for the next thirteen years of his life, and considered him as his parent more than either of his biological parents, against whom he continues to hold a grudge for simply sending him away at the first sign of trouble. The archsage soon discovered that Cedric had accidentally performed a hex, and so first taught him dark magic. It soon became clear that Cedric's talents lay in more than dark magic, so the archsage gave Cedric the chance to try any other forms he liked. Cedric proved to be capable of wielding light magic and staves, but showed no interest in them. Anima, however, was a different matter, particularly fire.

Over the next thirteen years Cedric became an accomplished mage, but while he was growing into a fine young man, his master's health was worsening. On his death bed, he handed Cedric a fire tome and told him that he was only to use this tome in the direst possible situations. The tome was no consolation to Cedric, and in his anguish he attempted to bring his master back from the dead. The result was not as Cedric had hoped; his master's corpse was only animated, nothing was left of the soul of the man who had once inhabited it. Cedric killed his creation and watched in ever growing anguish as his master's body turned to dust. In his rage, Cedric publicly damned both Grima and the Grimleal. Enraged that one of their own had turned on them, the Grimleal tried their best to silence Cedric. However, Cedric was well aware that the Grimleal would be after him and so fled to Ylisse. For some time he has lived near the border and assisted the Ylissean military from the shadows, and occasionally fought the Plegian forces on his own.

So begins...

Cedric's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric

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#, as written by Flexar
Along a dirt trail on the Ylissean side of the Ylisse/Plegia border walked a young man in simple peasant clothes and a mage's robe. Despite the natural beauty of his surroundings and pleasant weather, he was in less than high spirits. After defending a village from marauding bandits for over a week, he had been driven out at the ends of torches and pitchforks after the mark of Grima had been discovered on his back. This young man was Cedric Blackmore: ex-Grimleal and dark mage.

The events of two days prior still weighed heavily on his mind, and amplified by the lack of sleep he had managed to achieve due to a burn on his right arm he had sustained from being clouted with a torch, and spending two nights sleeping on the ground; constantly waking up in the night after nightmares of being found by muggers, angry peasants, or worst of all: the Grimleal. He felt like screaming at the sky, like tearing down a tree with his magic, like hexing every idiot who had raised a pitchfork against him, but he knew that none of those would help him in the slightest. The only thing that would help him would be the removal of his brand, and that was impossible unless he peeled all the skin on his back off. At least it wasn't too far to the next village, and with any luck its inhabitants would be rather more hospitable.

Cedric continued to walk, whistling to himself in an attempt to raise his spirits, but to little avail. Still, he was beginning to appreciate his surroundings more; everything looked so alive and green; why was this place known as "the Red Carpet"?

Suddenly, Cedric felt something nudge against his boot. He looked down to see the head of a grizzled man in his thirties against his boot. It lacked body, but what it did have was a trail of blood behind it leading up the hill. This was probably why it was called "the Red Carpet". It was clear that the man had been killed recently, as his blood hadn't even started to separate yet. It was also clear that he had not been killed by a human, but by and animal. His head appeared to have been ripped off, most likely by fangs. Cedric would have to advance with caution, lest whatever was up the hill did the same to him. In one fluid movement, he tossed the head up in the air, pulled his Flux tome from his satchel, opened it, and with his free hand directed power from the tome into the airborne head. The space around the head shined a mixture of black and purple and then suddenly pulled itself in, causing the head to explode. The explosion was rather more forceful than Cedric had anticipated, causing a decent amount of blood to spatter over his clothes and face. He wiped the specks of blood from his face and looked around; there were bits of exploded head everywhere. While he felt that his power had increased, he also felt that he needed to take more care in directing it. With his Flux tome in hand, he advanced up the hill.

At the top of the hill was not the pack of ravenous wolves he was expecting, but a group of seven people, and almost forty corpses. Just as he was about to ready a spell, he noticed that the corpses were of bandits, almost certainly from Plegia. Cedric's fear was replaced with annoyance; had he arrived earlier he would have been able to assist the group in fighting off the bandits. How much use he would have been in such close combat, especially with his burn, was up for debate. Still, these were all people, none of them had gaping maws filled with razor-sharp fangs. Except for maybe one. Cedric quickly realised that one was a Taguel, and had probably been the one who had sent him the head.

It suddenly dawned on Cedric that he had been standing there for a while now, with blood-spattered clothes and a dark magic tome in hand; he hardly looked like a harmless commoner. They'd all noticed him by now, so it would make sense to make an introduction.
"Um... Hello?" was all that came out of his mouth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric

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Raven let out a sigh as he helped Edge onto his feet. A bit heavy considering how tired he himself was but he managed just fine. So the Bunny wanted to join them? The idea was rather… interesting, yet Edge seemed to agree so who was he to complain. The idea of having to find a way to keep food up for another member sounded more like a chore if anything. None the less he have her a welcoming smile, a new way to strike against their enemies if anything. She seemed to be a bit bigheaded in the fight which could prove to be an issue when working with others. Though thinking back Edge was always the bigger issue to deal with considering his hot headed nature. If he could work around that he could work around this as well. Though in all honesty thinking of a good role for a… bunny, would require some thought. None the less he would have plenty of time to do that on the walk back to town.

Raven pulled out a map of the surrounding area, as he often did, and began planning out a route back. Normally he would say just go back the way they came but this was different. There were allot more of them than per usual, and there were more bandits this time than he was used to. It had him a bit on edge and he was worried about running into another group. He looked over the map silently as the rest of the group began to converse. Heading threw the forest a short and keeping the road to their left shoulder at all times would get them home, going by a zig zag pattern would slow progress but they would be harder to find. He was worried about Iris though, he wanted to get her back to normal as quickly as he could, He knew she should be fine but it was in his nature to worry and assume things are worse than they were, it was his job after all. It was unlikely they would run into much resistance once they hit the trees, or at least any opposition a group of this size couldn’t deal with even with the injured. A straight path threw the trees would have to do.

He folded up the map and let out a sigh, It was obvious troop movement, very predictable to anyone with a mind for this sort of thing, but these were bandits things were different. A new voice was then heard. He looked over to see a new person rather lean with dark blond hair. A large group of people they seemed to be gathering. He didn’t have time for more introductions; they were at the red carpet hardly the place to have a friendly chat. “All right every one routes planned out. Conor will take the lead fallowed by my as navigator. Frey will take the third spot, followed by Silka in the middle carrying Iris green hair over there should take fifth spot and Edge as rear guard.” He spoke out with an oddly loud and Confident voice. He turned his attention to the new man who appeared. “You’re welcome to join us but you stay in the back with Edge.” He put the map away and walked over to Conor awaiting the rest of the group to prepare to move.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric

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Silka turned her attention to the man who was actually in charge, a man named edge, 'Odd.' She thought as she turned to face the new man. She honestly thought the heart beat would be correct again, it almost always was. She listened to him say that she was welcomed and that her wound should be checked on as well. She didn't like the idea of willing accepting man-spawn help, but she knew she had to trust these people if she was to help Ylisse. She almost lashed out when he suggested she carry Iris, 'A proud Taguel carrying a mage like a horse!?' She yelled in her head. Another lesson put on by her parents, never let them ride you, it is demeaning.

Although, she had let some of her human friends when she was younger ride her, and they found it fun as well as her, but that was a long time ago. She let out a deep breath and began walking towards the heartbeat of the woman. However, a misplaced corpse had caught her foot, and she tripped, feel flat on her face. She got a huge case of embarrassment very quickly, and she got up just as quickly and started to kick the corpse, "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid! No heartbeat, no way to tell if it's around!" She yelled at the body and then turned back to her comrades, who would most likely be looking at her now. "Oh yea, I'm blind as a bat." She said coolly, as she was used to this. "Also, I doubt that city wants me around, so if you can find my cloak, I dropped it rushing into the battle. I can take Iris, but I'll have to be quick." She said and then transformed into the rabbit form.

She got up close to the woman and sniffed her. She seemed friendly, if somewhat weak, but Silka could respect her still. Instead of waiting for her to get on, Silka took her left paw and grabbed the girl and tossed her onto her back, sattle style. She laid her ears back, "Hold them, unless you wish to fall, Iris." She said flatly.

Once ready she noticed the heartbeat of a new member, 'Do all men-spawn find them like this?' She pondered to herself, before saying. "I am ready to travel, are you alright, Iris?" She made a note to herself to actually try and use the names of people she was traveling with. Most taguel she knew liked being called by their names, as did her few human friends, but any human she didn't like or know fell into the category of Man-Spawn. She already decided she didn't like Raven, too uptight, and his heartbeat was also the slowest in the group, and that was always a sign of underhandedness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric

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Chapter 1: Fragility of Bonds


“All right every one routes planned out. Conor will take the lead fallowed by my as navigator. Frey will take the third spot, followed by Silka in the middle carrying Iris green hair over there should take fifth spot and Edge as rear guard... You’re welcome to join us but you stay in the back with Edge.”

Iris looked over at Edge and gave him a weak nod as Silka came over to her and suddenly flipped her onto her back. Iris cringed at the pain across her stomach, but put it to the side in favor of grabbing hold of Silka's ears as per her warning.

"Th-thank you Silka... I'm so sorry about all of this. If the cut had been vertical I could stand and walk on my own, but it's horizontal and cuts perpendicularly across my muscles rather than down their length which makes it hard to hold my body upright so I can't walk on my own." She said.

Edge walked up and patted Iris's shoulder as reassurance before turning to Raven.

"Alright guys, let's get out of here." He yelled out.

Connor took his position at the head of the group as he began walking back towards the nearby village. If there was a healer waiting for them, their talents would be much appreciated. Connor walked slowly enough for everyone to keep pace, but fast enough to allow them a decent clip. It was night and the grounds were bloody and littered with corpses. Along his route he called out stray bodies and other obstacles so that Silka would be able to judge where they were in relation to herself and be ready to step over them or kick them out of the way. It was not only for Silka's benefit though, it was for everyone's. With nightfall upon them and clouds in the skies blocking the moon the bodies were hard to see so Connor made sure everyone knew when he had found one.

Before long they were out of the area with bodies and on their way back to the village. It took about twenty to thirty minutes of walking, but they managed to make it back without further bandit encounters and Connor looked back to the others as he raised his sword to the sky.

"Alright everyone, we're here!" He called back.

Edge looked around and found the one who'd said he knew a healer and patted his shoulder.

"Alright, it's all you buddy. If you could, please take us to your healer friend. We could all use it." He said with a smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Raymond winced as the Taguel tripped over a corpse. Being blind made sense, and the fall must've been embarrassing, but seeing it kick at the corpse made him glad that he was on their side. He didn't mind the addition of the Dark Mage into their group, though he was sure to keep an eye on him until they began marching. Then, he kept an eye on each side of their path, and a hand on his blade. It helped that Connor, the man at the head of their column, called out obstacles in their path.

Finally they reached town. Raymond felt a pat on his bad shoulder. He breathed sharply, and turned to see Edge. "Alright, it's all you buddy. If you could, please take us to your healer friend. We could all use it." Raymond nodded, and turned around, leading the group through the town, keeping one eye on the path, and one eye on the steeple of the church.

They passed through the town, and on the outskirts was the monastery. It was a moderately sized compound, with the gathering space empty. No mass was being held today, which was fortunate for them. He walked up to a collection of nuns tending to a garden under the light of some torches.

"Excuse me, sisters." He said politely. "Do you know where Sister Alexandria is?"
The nuns looked up to him, and smiled. "Ah, mister Raymond. Yes, she's with Father Armand, working on tomorrow night's sermon."
Raymond nodded. "Thank you, sister." He began moving again, this time heading for a small building attached to the main church building. He knocked on the door, and a voice called out from inside.
"Just a moment!" There was a scraping of a chair's legs against a wood floor, and the shuffle of footsteps. The sound of a bolt being released was soon followed by the opening of the door. Standing in the frame was a brown-haired, blue-eyed cleric. She was standing just an inch taller than Raymond, her hair down past her shoulders. She was wearing her normal attire: Brown leather pants, leather work-boots, and a simple white textile shirt. She wore a look of confusion for a moment, then Raymond's face registered in her mind.

"Ray!" She said, hugging the mercenary, throwing her arms over his shoulders, eliciting a sharp breath as pain registered in his mind. She broke the hug quickly. "Are you alright?" It was then that she noticed the people behind Raymond. She paled. "Father!" She called. "Get the staves! We've got injured!"
There was another sound of scraping, and another face, this one older, wrinkled, chin covered in stubble and head grey and sparse, appeared. "Raymond! Come in, bring your friends and come in!" He and Lexi moved aside, and Raymond motioned for the group to follow. He moved to the table where sermon notes were laid out, and Lexi and her father sat across from him.
"How-" The priest began.
"Most of us are fine." Raymond said. "A few injuries here and there. The girl mage needs attention first, the Taguel afterwards. We'll go from there."
Lexi nodded, and went off to grab a staff. The Father Armand remained for a moment.
"Did you... did you find it?" He asked.
Raymond reached into his pocket, and produced the medallion. "This what you were looking for?" He asked.
Armand took it carefully, and released a hidden latch on the side. The front of the medallion swung open, and the man's eyes lit up. "Th-thank you." He said, tears coming to his eyes. "You don't know how much this means to me."
"Believe me, I do." Raymond said, pulling out his mother's ring on the necklace he wore. "This is all I have left of my mother."

The man nodded, stood up, and went to help his granddaughter with the healing. Raymond put the necklace back under his shirt, and waited his turn for healing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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As was promised by the one known as Raymond, Iris was tended to first. Sister Alexandria helped set Iris down on a small bench to lay her out straight as she carefully examined the wound on her stomach. Iris looked up at the sister for a moment and offered her a smile.

"I'm so sorry about the trouble..." She whispered, her skin pale and her voice weak.

As the sister tended to Iris, Edge and Connor sat down in chairs and watched her work. While Edge was the type to more appreciate the overall results of the work, Connor's eyes carefully studied the sister's movements and how she worked the staff. While he was never going to be one for healing, he was fascinated by how the staff functioned and about whether or not physical movement was ever needed or directly involved with how the healing took place.

Edge looked over and patted Connor's shoulder.

"You doing alright bud?" He asked.

Connor looked at him with a small smile.

"I'm a bit sore and my collar bone just missed being cut in half, but I think I'll be alright." He said as he looked down at his wound.

The axe had cut a bit deeper than he'd realized during the heat of the fight. The adrenaline had been enough to keep Connor's mind off the wound, but ever since the battle ended the pain had been flaring and he now knew why. Looking down at it, he could actually see that it had cut through all of the thin tissue covering the collar bone and had cut into the bone itself by about two millimeters or so. It was a painful reminder that his swordsmanship needed work, and so too did his practice fighting from the ground. Had he trained a bit more diligently in the art of fighting from the ground, he'd have been able to fend that attack off without taking any damage whatsoever. The rest of his soreness came from being knocked to the ground several times by the larger enemies which came his way.

"... Did I mention that I hate being thrown down into the ground?" He said to Edge.

Edge laughed a bit, patting Connor's non injured shoulder.

"Nah, but I know what you mean. In armor like this, it's not easy or fun being knocked to the ground and having to get back up again just to keep fighting. At least you don't have to worry about the heavy armor part eh?" Edge responded.

Connor chuckled a bit as he looked around to some of the newer faces and his eyes landed on Frey.

"Excuse me." He said, tapping Frey's right arm at the elbow to get his attention.

"So how did you come to be at the Red Carpet this evening?" He asked, hoping to break the ice and begin some proper introductions now that they were clear of danger for a while.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Silka felt Iris’s heartbeat even better when she was onto of her. The closer someone was to her, the better she could hear everything. Even when walking to the city, which she dreaded, she was fascinated. Iris’s heartbeat was incredibly similar to her nephews, Vox. No matter what, everyone knew Vox was Silka’s favorite kid. He was only seven at the time the Warren had moved, and she missed having him around. Hearing her heartbeat brought that back, and she suddenly felt very protective of Iris.

When walking into the city, she held her head down, even though it was dark, due to fear of these settlements. She could still hear and smell everything in this town, from the tavern to the homes, and even the temple they found themselves at now. She followed her companions and enters the church, which thankfully had a big door. She let Iris off of her and transformed back into the human form.

She had never spent any time in temples of man-spawn, despite worshiping practically the same gods. She shrugged as Iris got her medical attention and everyone was settling in. The heartbeats around her told her that a couple of the members of the clergy were afraid of her, but most were busy. Eventually one approached her and a man asked her if she needed any healing. She agreed and listened to the muscles of the man who used some staff and her wound suddenly feeling better already. Before he ran off, she asked him for a cloak of some type. He seemed weary, but agreed.

Once she had it on, save for the hood, she wondered what it looked like, something she didn’t worry about too much. She sat down on the floor of the temple and listened to everything around her, wondering about her Warren. And in that moment, she actually gave a small prayer to Naga to protect her Warren.

Eventually, around three seconds later, she grew bored and stood up. She listened for Iris’s heartbeat, and found it rather quickly. She moved slowly, not sure what stood in her way, over to the girl. Once she reached around three feet away, she threw herself on the ground to where her head should be.

“I have a question for you, Iris.” She said somewhat quietly, “Do you mind telling me what this cloak I have on looks like. Something tells me it’s plain cotton, but I worry someday I’ll put on a cloak with ‘cony’ written on the back of it.” She finished, and actually smiled, not like when she wished to join the group, but genuinely, for her heartbeat seemed stronger, and again more similar to Vox’s.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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#, as written by Flexar
The first to reply to Cedric was the man with dark hair in dull, grey armour. Even then, it wasn't so much of a reply as it was a remark.
“You’re welcome to join us but you stay in the back with Edge.”
It had hardly been what Cedric had been expecting. The usual reply to the appearance of a strange dark mage was the brandishing of weapons, not an invitation to join a group. Strange as the prospect seemed, it wasn't unappealing, there was safety in numbers, and these people seemed to know the way to the village. Besides, he was interested in the Taguel. He'd read about them, and knew that most of them had left to Plegia since they thought that it would be the winning side. Cedric hoped with all his might that it wouldn't be, otherwise he would be burning at the stake. As the flames in his mind raced up his body, he felt his burn ache with an unpleasant, dull pain.

Before he could say anything, he was shuffled into a single file line and placed between the tall, stocky man with a lance and the slightly smaller, blond swordsman. From what he could tell from what the tactician had said, the big one was called Edge. Cedric continued to clutch his flux tome; it would not do to be caught off guard while marching. Still, he could always cower behind Edge's bulk.

The march was hardly comfortable; corpses littered the ground and everyone was moving too slowly thanks to their wounds. If Cedric had the opportunity he would have to come back here later; there were so many corpses upon which he could practice his hexes and necromancy, and everyone who had cared for them was dead, too.

They eventually reached their destination: a fairly bland and ordinary monastery. A nun came out to greet them and then directed them into the abbey. They came to another room, and a happy and tearful reunion between Raymond and two members of the clergy ensued. Something to do with amulets... They were quickly ushered in and sat down before the priest and his daughter hurried off to get staves.

As Cedric sat and waited, uneasiness crept into his mind. He didn't feel so comfortable in a church dedicated to Naga, even though his days as a Grimleal were behind him. After all, it had been followers of Naga who had chased him out of every settlement he had almost settled into. He could only hope that the clergy here were more understanding. Perhaps he would ask one of them some rather ambiguous questions later.

When the priest came to Cedric, he rolled up his sleeve to expose the burn.
"That burn is days old." the priest commented, "None of your companions have burn marks, and you don't have any incisions like they do."
"It's a long story." Cedric replied. He didn't feel comfortable lying, but he still had no intentions of telling the clergyman the truth.
The priest held a staff to Cedric's burn, causing a pale blue light to wash over it. It stung a little at first, but was replaced quickly by a feeling akin to that of clean, warm water. Cedric watched his skin regenerating to a healthy state as the blue light seeped into his arm, and sighed in relief; the burn would no longer impede him. He thanked the clergyman and lay back in his chair. Tonight, he would get to sleep in a bed, without having to worry about being murdered in his sleep by Grimleal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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#, as written by Flexar
As Cedric sat and stared at the ceiling, the others began to get up and converse with each other. Cedric, not knowing any of them very well, decided to remain seated. What if they picked up on his Plegian accent and shunned him, or even worse, skewered him on the spot.
"So, Silka, now that you're a member of the Grimsbane I'd like to take this opportunity to officially welcome you to the group. Every time we get a new member, like we did when Connor and Raven joined up, we have a small celebration with a ceremonial sparring match between the two most recent members. However, given what we all just experienced, we'll hold off on that match for the time being. Never the less, Connor and Raven joined up at about the same time so you can have your pick as to which of the two you'd like to spar with once we have a better chance to execute our little ritual. So, which one will it be?"
Edge's booming voice shattered Cedric's train of thought. He'd heard rumors of the Grimsbane, but he never knew how small a group they were. Still, to have taken out over 30 armed men by themselves... Maybe Cedric could tag along with them for a bit longer. But what if they discovered his brand? As the Grimsbane, they would likely kill him on the spot.

Cedric sat there for some time, weighing up the pros and cons in his mind. However, he didn't make a decision until he realised that everyone else had left. It was now or never. He quickly rose from his chair and hurried out of the monastery, brushing past a few members of clergy.
"Wait!" Cedric cried as he hurried out of the monastery's doors and into the street, "Take me with you! I promise that I'll be an asset; I've been studying magic for over a decade, and I'm capable of casting elder magics and hexes. I know you haven't seen me fight yet, but dark magic is capable of inflicting grievous wounds, especially against those ill-equipped to deal with mages. I've been fighting off Plegian bandits along the border for a while now, but safety in numbers, right?"
Cedric stood and waited, hoping desperately for approval. While more marching hardly sounded fun, he would be much safer in a group, and the bigger the group got, the more productive it would be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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"Wait! Take me with you! I promise that I'll be an asset; I've been studying magic for over a decade, and I'm capable of casting elder magics and hexes. I know you haven't seen me fight yet, but dark magic is capable of inflicting grievous wounds, especially against those ill-equipped to deal with mages. I've been fighting off Plegian bandits along the border for a while now, but safety in numbers, right?"

Edge and Connor both listened to the plea, and they looked to each other for a moment before Edge nodded. Connor remained silent, wary of a dark mage in their midst, but with Edge as the leader Connor could do nothing against his wish.

"Alright, then tag along and stay close!" Edge said loudly.

"Sheesh, we're rackin' up more members tonight than I ever expected to find in months worth of searching and recruitment advertising." Edge said to himself happily.

Connor was more wary of their situation than Edge was, but he hadn't seen anyone yet who made him raise his guard. The dark mage was a bit of a surprise, but otherwise he seemed genuine enough. Iris too was surprised at their new members, Silka especially, but she was happy to have some new friends and conversational companions.

Connor led them all to the pub and opened the door, and the sight horrified him. All of the singing and the volume of the music was something Connor was never very fond of. He liked music, but not when it became this loud and (in his opinion) obnoxious. He spotted Raven inside and looked over at Edge who gave him a sarcastic jerk of the head to go get him. Connor complied and walked inside and up to Raven, giving him a tap on the shoulder to get his attention.

"Time to go!" He shouted over the music.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Raven had been doing exactly what he had set out to do by the time the others showed up. He was sitting at the table talking to some of the solders while some random songs continued to be sung. He looked up to see the group and gave them a friendly wave until he heard the call to go. His face sunk into a rather side look as he looked up and down from his cup and up to Connor. He let out a sigh of disappointment and took the cup from the table. “I’m taking this.” He quickly stood up and walked out of the happy scene with a disappointed face. He took a sip from his cup as he patted Connors back walking past him and outside. It put a smile on his face to see Iris back on her feet and every one back in spirits and to there normal form, no deaths today, and hopefully he could keep it that way.

Raven looked over the much larger group that had formed. He assumed that they had decided to join up though there reasoning was a bit out of his reach at the moment. None the less it looked like there small group had doubled in size in only a day, not something he was really expecting but by no means did it seem bad, at least not from what he could see. The bunny Silka, an excellent front line and be rather helpful with recon given her alternative way of seeing. The mage whose name he had yet to memories, support was the best he could think of with his limited knowledge, although he expected to see his talents soon enough. The green haired man Raymond, from what he had seen a fighter if ever there was one front line, possible recon, although Silka more likely than not out classed him in this. Finally the brown haired girl, sister to Raymond seemed to had tagged along as well, a cleric from what he understood he didn’t pick up a name before he had left, her role would be rather clear given her profession, best to keep her to the rear. “Well seems to some group gathered hu?” he took another sip from his cup getting lose to empty. “So where to now?” he said with a raised brow. Figured he’d start looking at routes now sense there seemed to be a larger want to leave already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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“So where to now?” Raven asked.

Connor looked over at Edge, as if to ask "how did this guy become our tactician?" Raven was good at what he did, but his love of drinking and merriment had Connor ill at ease. It wasn't that he disliked Raven, but he wasn't too fond of his fun loving attitude. Being a Grimsbane was serious business and it seemed that he didn't treat it seriously enough in Connor's eyes. Edge though had a different opinion. While he wouldn't touch alcohol himself, he didn't mind Raven's habits and felt that Connor was just a bit too stiff. Edge definitely wanted to make sure that the Grimsbane did their job, but he didn't mind it when they took some time to just relax and enjoy themselves.

"Same old Connor." He said, patting him on the back.

"Alright then... Let me think..." Edge said as he put his hand over his mouth to think.

Connor looked over at him once again.

"I think we should investigate the rumors of a bandit hideout not far from the border city of Quve. It's about a half a day's trek to the southwest and. I know a route off the beaten path that could lead straight passed the city and into the region where the hideout is said to be, so with your permission Edge I'll show this route to Raven so he can plan the best approach once we reach our target area." He said.

Edge nodded.

"Fair enough. Alright Raven, get the info from Connor and start drawing up a battle plan!" He ordered.

Connor nodded and walked over to Raven as he pulled out his own map and began marking the route before giving it to Raven. The route itself was fairly straightforward. Connor made note of an animal trail at the edge of the woods a few miles north from the city which led through the woods towards their target area which was highlighted in red ink. The animal trail was windy and slightly confusing to look at by itself, but Connor had also marked in red the best route he believed they should take to reach their destination in the shortest amount of time. The only thing he hadn't been able to plan for was how best to approach the target area. His drawn route through the forest ended a few hundred meters away from their search area, and go figure that the area itself where the bandits were said to dwell was littered with large rocky outcrops despite the forested region it lay in. This was bad news for the group since it gave their enemies plenty of cover to work with. Also, the rest of the forest was uneven terrain the closer you got to the search area which gave the group a poor line of sight so long as they stuck to the animal trail.

Raven had his work cut out for him to draw up an effective battle plan for such poor conditions, but being the tactician that's what he was there for. As soon as Connor had handed over the map he took point and began leading the group away towards the southwest in the direction of Quve. As he began the trek, he did a quick mental check of his equipment and supplies. Thanks to the encounter with the bandits, he was running low on his own medical supplies. His Vulnerary was already about half empty, and if he planned on surviving he'd have to restock after this next mission regardless of whether they found bandits or not. Healer or no, she could only be in a single location at one time so if he received an injury which she could not immediately attend to, he'd need his Vulnerary handy. Once he was satisfied he continued focusing on the path ahead. It was still late at night when they left and dawn way approaching quickly. Connor calculated that they'd likely arrive at their destination about midday so at least this time they'd be fighting in daylight as opposed to nighttime when their eyesight was at its worst.

Silka didn't have to worry about that, but the rest of them did. Connor almost envied Silka's ability to use her ears to "see" the world around her, but also felt bad that she couldn't actually see the way they did. It had its perks, but was still a slightly sobering thought to know that sight could be so easily taken away.

The trek to Quve went into dawn and through to mid morning as the afternoon began to creep up on them. their was some idle chatter among the group, but nothing too substantial. Iris stayed in the back with Edge while Connor and Raven led the group with Silka close behind and everyone else in the middle. As they reached a turning point near a large hill, the forest came into view and Connor led them all over to the area where the animal trail began. It was so faint that it almost couldn't be recognized as an animal trail, but Connor had been here multiple times before in his travels and knew this trail by heart. Still, once they reached their destination they'd need Raven's advice on how to proceed safely into the search area without alerting the bandits. The animal trail was easy enough to follow once you found it, but otherwise was still very confusing with many turns and pathways which led to nowhere. Connor carefully led the group, who now traveled in a straight line as opposed to a bunch, through the trail. This way and that, following very specific turns and changes in the brush beneath their feet, they walked carefully and quietly towards their destination.

Finally, after a half an hour of walking and crouching, they arrived within striking range of their search area and Connor deferred to Raven to announce the battle plan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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#, as written by Flexar
As soon as the pub's door was opened, the sounds and smells flew from the door and hit Cedric like a ton of bricks. He scanned the area for the group's tactician, and sure enough there he was, chugging down beer, pounding the table and heartily adding his own voice to the chorus. Although it was probably too early to judge, Cedric was rather unimpressed by the tactician's behaviour. Surely he ought to forego binge drinking in favour of activities that would leave him with a clearer head. Cedric had always disliked the beverages that were sold in pubs, but was rather fond of wine; red wine especially, but knew when to put the bottle down.

After Connor had somehow managed to bellow above the din of the pub, the tactician reluctantly left his table and stepped outside, taking his mug with him. He soon began to discuss plans with Connor, and within minutes it became apparent that they were to set off immediately.
"But, but..." Cedric began quietly before quickly giving up, as everyone else had already started walking.
He had been walking for almost the entire day, and couldn't bear the thought of continuing to do so. So much for a soft bed and plenty of fresh corpses to experiment on.

The journey seemed to go on forever, and Cedric's movements became more and more zombie-like as the journey went on. His legs felt like jellies with a ball and chain, large bags began to form under his eyes and he found it increasingly difficult to stay awake. Silka bumped into him more than a few times because he had dozed off, making him feel more and more awkward with each bump. Had Silka not possessed the acute hearing of a Taguel, she would not have been able to understand a single word of his mumbled apologies. Even Cedric himself wasn't completely certain of what he was saying.

Even more walking brought them into a forested area where they followed an overgrown footpath through the forest. Cedric stumbled and almost fell multiple times from tripping over brambles and the like. Much to Cedric's chagrin, it took another hour and a half before they reached their destination.

Once they did, Cedric slumped back against a rock and let out a loud, weary sigh. He'd never felt so knackered in his life; having achieved a meagre six hours of sleep in the past three days, all six hours of which had been on the ground, and endured countless hours of walking. He wanted nothing more than to fall asleep there and then, but he could sleep once the mission was over, preferably in a bed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Raven let out a yawn as the group started walking off. Raven thought the whole idea of jumping from one battle to the next was a poor decision, but nothing could be done now. People tend to fight poorly if there tiered; moral is a powerful thing after all. None the less he pressed on along with the others it coming threw rather clear that the group was tiered, some more than others. He himself was tiered but he was used to it, given his military training keeping him up threw most nights. He was confident it wouldn’t affect him largely enough to take effect on his combat ability.

It felt like such an odd path that they were being lead on but he trust Connor enough to believe in his path, however odd it may be at least they would be hard to fallow. He was questioning the reason behind there sudden departure, they were hardly a military unit and most of what they went on were just rumors, something he was never a fan of. He didn’t like the leaving without any real proof thing and he was sure the others would find it to become old rather quickly, could be in there best interest to talk to Edge about this when there adventure was over. As they arrived at a stopping point he raised a brow at Connor for only a moment before he let out a soft sigh, he was up he supposed.

Raven took a look around the best he could, given their poor vision rom the spot, but he managed. Odd set up the bandits had going for them, all the rocks would work as great cover and the surrounding trees would make this place nearly impossible to find without a map. It was where he would set up camp if needed. There poor vision would work well to hide them as well, if they had poor vision of the surrounding the surroundings had poor vision of them. Even so it wasn’t like they were the ones trying to hide. A few ideas flowed through his head as he looked around at the group and the rocky area, as well as the lack of knowledge of what they were actually up against. It took him a short while bu he came up with two plans.

“All right every one gather around.” He spoke out silently enough to not be heard from outside of their group. “Here’s the plan. The way I see it we have two options that would work best given out situation, both however require some of us to play as bate.” He crotched down over the dirt and picked up a stick beginning to doodle in the ground. “Our first option is a three sided offensive in the rocky terrain.” He went on to draw a rather cartoon picture of both his face an Iris. “Me an Iris will head out into the rocks in an attempt to lure out the enemy forces and have them give chase, and of course flinging what magic we have back at them to keep them in the chase.” He drew a couple of raged looking faces chasing his own. “The second group will consist, Silka, Raymond, and Edge as leader, with who will fallow after the decoy team keeping their distance until the decoy team gives out the signal for you to strike from the side cutting their forces in right down the middle. You’ll be in the thick of it for only a moment so strike quickly and hard.” He drew the three with cartoon faces right in between of the bandits cutting a line right down the middle. “Finally the third team will consist Connor as the lead, with Cedric who will fallow behind team two keeping their distance. This group is to strike from the rear a moment after the bandit’s forces are split” he drew their faces heading towards the back. “As for Our healer friend she well accompany team three until they engage the enemy, from there I leave it to your judgment to go to which ever group needs you most.” He draws her picture off to the side. “If everything goes according to plan their forces should be thrown into confusion with the sudden three fronts, and the rocks obscuring there view.” He crosses two X’s threw both groups of bandits. “Watch or Iris to launch a spell into the air so pay attention to where you see it come from.” He lets out a soft sigh and stands back up brushing off his hands. “If the Decoy team doesn’t manage to find the enemy well resort to plan B which I’ll go over with you if the need arrives.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Edge, Connor, Iris, and everyone else gathered around upon Raven's request. Edge and Connor listened intently to the plan of action and while they were not exactly strategists, they could see how much trouble Raven had putting this together. The terrain was a beast unto itself and would make any plan difficult, and they both acknowledged that perhaps this mission had been rushed with a simple nod of their heads. Edge was going to say something, but Connor beat him to it and though he was no serious tactician, he had his moments.

"I am not sure that you and Iris should be the bait." He said, taking a closer look at the drawings in the dirt.

"Iris has only just recovered from her wound after all and both of your magic skills are an asset we can't afford to lose. If anything, I think you and Iris should switch places with me. I'll be the bait, and the two of you can help cut their forces from the rear. It'll be more of a surprise and a shock to them to have magic thrown at their backs rather than handheld weapons which they can actually defend against should the chance to see it coming. What do you think Edge?" He asked.

Edge nodded.

"I think he's right Raven, with all due respect. We'll still go with your plan, but you and Iris will take Connor's place and fire magic from the rear to split their forces. That way we keep you mostly out of harms way while allowing you to do much more damage across all of their forces than if you had been the bait before hand."

Edge stood up and looked around.

"Everyone here in agreement? Connor will lure them out and our teams will work to split their forces and isolate small groups so that we can take them down piece by piece rather than in one giant head to head brawl like last time." He said, looking around for objections.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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#, as written by Flexar
Upon Raven's request, Cedric came closer to see what plan Raven had concocted. The plan was for the Grimsbane to divide into groups, separate the enemy, and then kill them while they were split up. Cedric's role was to accompany Connor and come in from the back and pick off any stragglers. Cedric had no objections to the plan, but the same could not be said for Connor.
"Iris has only just recovered from her wound after all and both of your magic skills are an asset we can't afford to lose. If anything, I think you and Iris should switch places with me. I'll be the bait, and the two of you can help cut their forces from the rear. It'll be more of a surprise and a shock to them to have magic thrown at their backs rather than handheld weapons which they can actually defend against should the chance to see it coming."
Edge was next to speak, voicing his approval of Connor's idea.
"Everyone here in agreement?"
"Not quite, I'm afraid." Cedric stated before he proceeded to pick up a small, pointy rock and draw Connor's face along with those of some bandits a bit behind him, "Should the bandits catch up to Connor, he'll have about as much hope of survival as a pious, Naga-worshipping 5-year-old in a Grimleal temple." Cedric drew arrows from the bandits to Connor, and then put a large cross over Connor, "However, should a mage accompany him, they'll be able to ensure that a distance is kept between the bait and the bandits until Edge's team arrives. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I think I would be the best of the three potential mages for the job. Flux is not a projectile spell like fire, but causes a fluctuation in space where the user decides to place it. It'll be close to the bandits for longer than a fire spell, and coming into contact with Flux has side effects including physical warping, internal hemorrhage, exploding in a bloody mess of bone and flesh, and if we're really lucky we might get to see someone implode."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Cedric

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Connor and Edge looked at each other after hearing Cedric's idea. Neither of them wished to see implosion, as that was going overboard. Not to mention Cedric seemed a bit too eager to see such damage done which had them a bit concerned. Still, Connor had to admit that having one ally with him would be of benefit.

"Alright Cedric, if you want to cover me then I'm open to the idea." Connor said to him.

Edge grunted.

"Alright then, are we in agreement now?" He asked, looking about to see if anyone else had anything to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Frey Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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"Alright then, are we in agreement now?"
"Yes." Raymond said. "But there's something I should say." He took a deep breath, calming his nerves before speaking. "I... I've been here before. Fought these exact bandits before. And it didn't end well when we fought them." He looked around the group, his eyes landing on Lexi. "They're not ordinary bandits. They're Plegian raiders. Ex-Plegian military-cum-outlaws. Plegia would normally hunt them down, except that this bunch decided to start preying on Ylissians. They're trained like soldiers, and they're armed like soldiers."

He looked at Edge. "This will not be an easy fight, but... I think that we can do it. I'm stronger now." He sighed. "I'm not going to back out. I just wanted to let everyone know what we're getting ourselves into.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Cedric

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Edge looked at Raymond and listened to his little speech about being stronger than last time, but if what he said was true then Edge knew that the group had likely found a real fight that would make their last look quite simple by comparison.

"Alright then, looks like we're all in agreement. Let's move out. Connor, Cedric, good luck." Edge said as Connor and Cedric took off.

Connor took a look back to make sure Cedric was keeping up with him, and when he saw that Cedric was keeping up he continued onward. They ducked through many trees and passed bushes to reach their starting point for the operation, and once they arrived Connor could hear voices just beyond the rocks. Connor crouched down and looked back at Cedric.

"Alright, so how shall we get their attention?" He asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Cedric

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#, as written by Flexar
Cedric wasn't entirely sure whether or not his suggestion had been well taken, since Connor and Edge looked a tad disturbed and concerned, but Connor said that he was fine with the suggestion. Perhaps it was to do with their lack of familiarity with dark magic. Anyhow, Cedric's plan was still going ahead.

"They're not ordinary bandits. They're Plegian raiders. Ex-Plegian military-cum-outlaws. Plegia would normally hunt them down, except that this bunch decided to start preying on Ylissians. They're trained like soldiers, and they're armed like soldiers."
Now that Raymond mentioned it, Cedric had heard of a large military defection a few years ago, back when he was still Grimleal. Nothing had been done about it, though, since they'd all fled to Ylisse. Rumors had gone around that the defection was fake, and the "deserters" had in fact been sent by the military to provoke Ylisse, but whether or not there was any truth in them, Cedric didn't know. Quite frankly, he didn't care, either, since their affiliation wouldn't matter once they were dead. Still, he would have to be careful, but so long as he kept his distance he should be fine.

"Alright then, looks like we're all in agreement. Let's move out. Connor, Cedric, good luck."
"The same to you." Cedric replied, "Once you see a purple, fluctuating void in the air, that's your cue."
With that, Cedric hurried after Connor.

Cedric followed closely behind Connor, trekking through even more undergrowth. However, Cedric wasn't stumbling like he was last time; adrenaline was pumping through his body and his heart felt like it was trying to hammer its way out of his chest. This was the first time he was going to be involved in a proper skirmish; all he'd done before was pick off the odd stragglers and hex bandits to make the Ylissean military's lives easier.

Upon arriving at their destination, Connor and Cedric crouched behind some rocks. Cedric could hear the bandits talking on the other side. Connor was listening too, and soon turned to Cedric.
"Alright, so how shall we get their attention?"
"Like this." Cedric grinned.
He pulled his Flux tome from his bag and drew energy from it to his fingertips, where it swirled around in deep purple wisps. He stood up slowly and quietly and focused on the head of one of the bandits. With a flick of his wrist, the space around the man's head began to fluctuate, causing his cranium to burst violently. The bandit's comrades watched in shock as his corpse dropped to floor.
"Over here, you low life, greasy vermin!" Cedric yelled out to let them know the source of the destruction.
He wasted no time in yelling at Connor to run and proceeding to do so himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Connor heard Cedric yell and was in absolutely no rush to disobey. If Raymond's warning was to be taken seriously, these foes were going to be some of the most challenging he'd ever faced before. Connor took off on a sprint with Cedric right behind him. The angry and still flustered and disturbed bandits were now chasing them in force. Connor and Cedric led them back towards the main group where the others were waiting, and as they passed by a certain checkpoint along their route Iris and Raven unleashed their magic to split the enemy forces as planned.

The maneuver was successful as the bandits began splitting up to take on the varying groups which had appeared around them and chasing them down. Their movements were coordinated and precise, as one would expect of ex military.

Iris had managed to wound one of them with her lightning tome earlier in her initial attack, and she used another blast of it to finish him off as he began running towards another group. For whatever reason that one didn't think to go after the ranged attackers which was kind of stupid on his part, but a few of his comrades did and so Iris was forced to run and keep a proper distance from them. She ran through the trees and used short controlled bursts of her lightning magic to either scare or damage a few of the enemies chasing her and her friends, before concentrating a larger burst to take down one of the bandits who was getting too close for comfort. The blast struck him, but he had some kind of armor on which dulled the effect and he ended up falling on top of her, stunned, but very much alive. He shook his head and grinned down at her as she struggled to get free.

"Well that's too bad isn't it?" He asked with a wicked grin on his face.

He took a quick look around and found that both he and Iris had gained some fairly considerable distance from the rest of the group, and so he looked back down at her and dropped his axe as he slammed his hand down on her wrist that held her tome and threw it out of reach once she dropped it. Without her tome, she couldn't attack him anymore. He locked both of her hands above her head, and because he was so much larger than she was she could do little more than try to wriggle free, but he was sitting on her stomach with his legs on either side of her hips to keep her in place so that was not really an option. Using his free hand, he groped at her chest and squeezed her breasts, hard. Iris started screaming, partially out of pain and partially out of desperation to attract attention from someone nearby to help her. The bandit looked about, but nobody was in a position to help as they were all too busy facing down his comrades. He continued to grope her chest and fondle her breasts before deciding that doing it through her clothing was no fun.

He gripped the cloth just beneath her throat and began ripping it and tearing it away from her, taking a large chunk of it away from the front of her body. With her chest exposed, Iris's face turned bright red as she began screaming even louder. The bandit smiled and continued to fondle and play with her breasts a while longer as she struggled wildly beneath him. After a few moments he leaned down and used his teeth to bite down on her breasts, at first gently, but it wasn't long before the bites became harder and more focused. Iris's screams were beginning to run dry as her throat became coarse from all of the yelling, and tears welled up in her eyes as she struggled desperately beneath him to get free.

But it was no use.

The bandit did another check behind him and found the battle still going on, and it looked like his friends were actually doing pretty well. A few had fallen, which was unfortunate, but the others were still going strong so he turned his attention back to Iris and ripped what was left of her shirt off as he started to scoot his weight down so that he had access to her pants. Iris continued to struggle but her energy was fast running out and his weight now pinned her legs down so she couldn't use them. He used his free hand to toy with her groin area for a few seconds before getting a full hand grip on the top of her pants. Iris's struggles began to ebb away as her energy ran out, and the bandit then gave one mighty yank and tore away the top of her pants. Since they were made of a softer cloth for ease of movement and to allow them to breath, they tore easily as well and Iris's groin was now left exposed as the bandit grinned down at her. Iris's tears flowed even harder as the last of her energy drained and she could fight him no more. The bandits hands fiddle and toyed with her between her legs, but as he focused on this task there was a single sharp moment of pain in his neck and shoulder before his pupils turned grey and his body went limp atop her.

Iris slowly opened her eyes and saw a blade had been shoved down through the opening of his clavicle behind his collar bone and down into his chest likely cleaving part of a lung and his heart on its way down. The hands holding the blade released the handle and grabbed the bandit's shoulders and threw him back to the ground. Standing over his dead body was Connor, who instantly grabbed the bandit's legs and hoisted them off of iris as he leaned down and helped her sit up. Iris was so tired and horrified by what that man had done that she couldn't even say anything to Connor as she buried her face in his chest and continued to weep. She'd never in her life been violated like that, and never did she think she'd have to endure it. But here, today, she had. She'd just survived and barely escaped from every woman's nightmare of being raped, and she could do nothing but cry.

Edge, in the meantime, had been helping his comrades by using his weight and his lance as a means of walling for them while they struck out quickly from behind him while he wrestled and grappled with the enemy. He had managed to keep them at bay for a time, but his energy was fast running out as well and he barely kept himself on his feet through a few of the attacks aimed at him and those around him. He finally caught a break when two of them were knocked to the ground, and he used his lance to stab each of them in the stomach beneath their armor. The wounds were deep, but not immediately fatal which allowed them to struggle and continue to try and lash out as they tried to stand. They wouldn't live long, but they were still capable of doing damage. Edge was able to stab one of them in the chest, but the man grabbed the lance and tried to pull Edge in to hack him with his lance. The blow caught the edge of his armor and glanced away, barely missing his neck as Edge fell backwards to the ground and the bandit fell in the opposite direction with the lance still embedded in his chest.

Edge scrambled to his feet as another bandit came in to attack him and tackled him to the ground. Reaching for an axe nearby that had been dropped by another bandit earlier, Edge brought the blade down across the man's throat and used his body weight to press it down until it hit the spine at the base of the skull and could go no further. The man went limp and Edge fell off of him, exhausted beyond measure as he breathed hard and tried to sit up to see how his comrades were doing. He saw Connor with his arms wrapped around Iris who looked like she had lost the clothes on her upper body. The sight alarmed Edge and gave him a brief instant of strength to allow him to stand and start limping over to them as he'd taken a few good shots to the legs which were now aching to the point where it was hard to stand. As he got closer he saw that Iris had next to no clothing on at all save for what remained of her pants around her knees and ankles as well as her shoes. Beyond that, nothing. Edge blushed as he came forward and also wrapped his arms around both Connor and Iris as Iris continued to weep, using his large body to protect her bare body from being seen by the others.

The sounds of the battle died down, but it was mostly quiet around them now.

"Anybody out there have spare clothes?!" He yelled out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Cedric

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#, as written by Flexar
Cedric hurtled away from the enraged bandits as fast as they would carry him, setting off the occasional Flux spell to keep his pursuers away from him. He made sure to stay behind Connor so that he could place his spells more accurately, and because he simply wasn't as physically fit as Connor. As they ran, Cedric set off the signal Flux, and not a moment too soon. Edge, Silka and Raymond gave him a much needed physical shield. Or so he thought. As he slowed down slightly to catch his breath, the butt of an axe was slammed into the side of his head, stunning him and knocking him to the ground. Once Cedric's head had cleared enough to function properly, he noticed the axe's blade being swung down towards him. He instinctively rolled to the right just in the nick of time; the axe sliced off the end of his ponytail. Cedric was glad that the bandits were properly armed, as a dull blade wouldn't have severed his hair and would have left him trapped. What he wasn't so glad about was that he had rolled the wrong side; there was now a bandit between him and his Flux tome. He still had his fire tome, but he was reluctant to use it, as his master had warned him to use it only when absolutely necessary. Could he hex him? No, he didn't have time, nor any ingredients for any useful hexes. He'd just have to make a dash for his tome. So, Cedric charged, only to have the bandit knock Cedric off his feet, sending him sprawling once more. At least he was on the correct side of the bandit now, but he wasn't particularly close to his tome. As he began to crawl towards it, he felt the bandit slam his boot into his back, knocking him down again. The bandit flipped Cedric over with his boot and proceeded to pin him down by twisting his arm behind his back, pressing one knee into his gut and using his weight to keep Cedric down.
"Yer that deserter, ain'tcha?" the bandit grinned at Cedric, "A spindly dark mage wit' long, blond 'air an' he-, het-, hetra... Yer eyes are different colours!"
"Heterochromatic." Cedric pointed out dryly.
"Don't ya give me lip!" the bandit snarled, and proceeded to twist Cedric's arm forcefully, breaking it.
Cedric cried out in pain as he felt his bones snap. It was antagonising, worse than anything he'd ever felt before, even the assault with a torch he had suffered merely days ago. To make things worse, the combined weight of the bodies of Cedric and the bandit were pressing down on it.
"Anyway, some big names in Plegia want ya dead, and I intend to be the one who kills ya!" the bandit grinned as he raised his axe in preparation to cleave off Cedric's head.
At this point, it was do or die. Fighting against the roaring agony in his right arm, Cedric pressed his right hand against his fire tome, and drew energy from it and into his left. Merely by touching the tome he could feel the raw power it possessed, but that power was unstable, and the tome would burn itself away if overused. Still, only the most antagonising death befitted scum like his oppressor. He grabbed the bandit by the throat with his left hand and released the tome's fire onto his body. The man went up in a flash of crimson flame like a mound of paper drenched in oil, and fell off Cedric, screaming in agony as the flames ate away at his body. Within a matter of seconds, his body had been reduced to no more than an unrecognisable, charred corpse.

Cedric lay there, gasping for breath for a while, before crawling over to his Flux tome and returning it to his bag. As he staggered to his feet he looked over to the smoldering remains of his opponent, he couldn't help but grin sadistically at his handiwork. He had deserved worse, for those before Cedric, and those who would have died after him. Cedric prodded the corpse with his boot, causing a lump of charred flesh to break off from what were once the man's ribs. A quick look around told him that he was the last to finish, which was fortunate, since Cedric couldn't bear to face another enemy.

"Anybody out there have spare clothes?!"
That was Edge's voice. What an odd request. Cedric turned to the source of the voice, and saw Edge and Connor standing in front of Iris, seemingly attempting to hide her. Cedric could see her face through, and she was crying uncontrollably. Wait a minute; clothes being requested, Iris being hidden and sobbing violently... Well, fuck. Cedric didn't have any spare clothes, but he didn't didn't a shirt quite so much as Iris did. His robe was too loose to cover her up properly, it was his shirt or nothing. Unwillingly as Cedric was to reveal his brand, the poor girl had just been raped, making his assault seem positively delightful. With his functional arm, Cedric pulled off his robe and shirt, not bothering to attempt to unbutton them, and tossed them to Edge. Fortunately he was big enough for his shirt to hang down over Iris' waist. Cedric was now completely shirtless, and to anyone stood behind him, his brand was as clear as day. There was no point trying to hide it, so he simply cradled his broken arm in his other.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Raymond charged the second he got the chance, and quickly found himself in battle with two of the brigand, killing the first by cutting open his gut, rubbery intestines spilling out onto the ground. He recognized the second, not by the style of his combat or the fire in his eyes, but by the scars on his face, scars that Raymond himself had placed on him, the reminders of what he'd done that day. The ache of the near-fatal wound that he'd received that day, the one that had crushed his left shoulder and drained nearly a quarter of his blood, returned dully as he fought with the bandit. He seemed to recognize him.

Raymond threw up his blade, blocking the vicious strike of his foe, only to feel the blunt face of the axe slam into his elbow, the metal clubbing his arm to the side, but not hard enough to break it. He quickly retaliated, but only managed a small flesh wound on the bandit's chest.

"I'll not suffer another damned scar on your account!" The bandit roared, practically throwing his axe in his next attack, easily breaking Ray's guard. "I won't have any reminders of what a dead man did to me!" The next strike caught Ray's left forearm at a glance. Not a severe injury, or a debilitating, but it hurt. A lot. More than a simple axe wound should. His head felt light, but he pushed through, and managed to score another strike on the bandit's body, this one cutting into the flesh of his leg.
"Don't worry." Raymond managed through the haze gathering in his mind. "I don't think the dead keep their memories."
This seemed to enrage the barbarian even more, and he resumed his wild charge. Raymond regretted his decision, his blood pumping faster and faster as he struggled to keep up with the bandit's flurry of strikes. He began to slip up. A nick on Raymond's leg, another on his shoulder. His vision hazed and blurred, his movements became sluggish, his body ached with pain. The realization that the bandit's axe had been poisoned came too late. By now the toxin was coursing through his body. He couldn't stay up much longer.

Then, a miracle. Lexi, Restore staff in hand, charged up and swung the metal end of the staff at the bandit. The momentary distraction that the blow afforded was just enough. As the bandit turned to the source of this new aggression, Raymond lunged, using what little fine motor control he had left to place the tip of his weapon between his foe's ribs, the heavy blade blasting through the man's heart.



Then, Raymond collapsed. Lexi was confused for a moment, since his wounds were only superficial. Then, she saw the first wound, the one on his forearm, and she realized what had happened. She rolled Raymond onto his back, tilted his head to the side, and pointed her staff at him, closing her eyes and focusing her energies into the staff.



Raymond came to about thirty seconds later, and sat up slowly, a very bad taste in his mouth and a slight feeling of vertigo. His mind had cleared significantly, and though his body ached, it was nowhere near as bad. He looked up to Lexi, who held a relieved smile on her face. "You've got vomit on your..."

Raymond wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and came up with very little. "Not that much."
Lexi shook her head. "No." She rubbed the side of her face. Raymond followed the motion, and his eyes widened. "Oh. Oh." He stood up, steadied himself from a sudden head rush, grabbed his canteen and hand cloth, and after wetting it, cleaned his face. The cloth came back very dirty, a combination of sweat, dirt, and vomit. He dropped the cloth, and took a swig of water to clear his mouth of the bile's aftertaste.

"So I guess we won?" Raymond asked.
Lexi nodded. "Yeah, I think so. I wonder whe-"
"Anybody out there have spare clothes?!"
Why would Edge need spare clothes? Raymond wondered. Raymond and Lexi began to walk over to where Edge, Connor, and Cedric stood. As they neared the group, Raymond noticed the corpse of a bandit, pants laying at his ankles, and the practically nude figure of Iris sitting behind Edge and Connor, and the realization clicked. Raymond's eyes went wide. "Oh shit."



Lexi's were wider. Everything came crashing down on her in a blur. Battle. Rape. Stress. Raymond. The icing on the cake came when Cedric took off his shirt, tossing it to Edge, and the Brand stared her in the face. Her racing mind screeched to a halt. The fact that there was a Brand on his back registered on every level in her head, but she refused to believe it. Something in her mind refused to accept the presence of a Grimleal among them.
"N-no." She began to stammer. "Th-that's not... That can't be... How could this... Oh dear Naga."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Silka Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Raven was against the change in his plan but it wasn’t significant enough for him to speak up about it. While in theory having magic at the back sounded good, having at least one full on melee combatant would pull more success, none the less Raven was capable of both and the change shouldn’t put too much pressure on them. He thought perhaps putting himself in Connor in the back would have been a better choice but he didn’t exactly have the time to go over before the attack. He listened in on Raymond’s words carefully but in the end paid no heed to it. Trained or not no one was above panic, hell if someone launched an attack like this on their group it would be a panic. He shivered a bit at the thought of having to gather and retaliate against something like this. Note to self-avoid low vision in the future when needed.

With that thought Connor went off with his group. “Common Iris minus well cover Edges approach before we swing round the back.” He motioned for Edge to begin the operation as he went off to the side along with Iris. There seemed to be no signal like he wanted but that came as no surprise considering who the two in the front were, he trust Connor but he lacked any real way to get a signal off within all the rocks and trees. As Edge and his group began their approaches Raven and Iris unleashed down on the bandits center. Iris seemed to have a clear vision of what he had described. Ravens attack were different however, he wasn’t aiming at the enemy per say, but instead was firing around their sides just skimming around them as to cause them to flinch away from the center. Iris had the right idea but was a bit more aggressive than he was. The moment Edge and the others came crashing down into the middle exactly the way it was planned, this was just below being over already, now he just had to hit from his side and that was that.

A small group of bandits went after Raven and Iris side, no surprise there. Raven drew his blade and the sound how steal clashing against one of the man’s Hammer rang out. The second was coming down on him quickly while the third took off after Iris who in response had ran off away from the battle in an attempt to get away. He quickly pushed the bandit away and attempted to turn to help her before they got too far ahead but was meet only with the second bandit swinging his axe right at his neck. He had only a moment and dashed to the side the axe slamming against his plated shoulder with a thud. Raven responded by throwing his own shoulder against the man’s chest fallowed right after by a rather sloppy strike from his blade that found no real success save slicing against the man’s wrist. His axe fell to the ground and before his ally had a chance to respond the man panicked and threw his entire weight into a tackle that hit Raven like a brick. The both took off the ground for only a moment before they both flew off the rocks and went tumbling down into the trees sliding against dirt and rocks on the tumble down. They broke apart as they tumbled down Raven being flung further down until he hit the ground. He scattered up to his feet his face and armor covered in dirt, he didn’t even have time to spit out the blood that was leaving a bad taste in his mouth, as the bandit came tumbling down only to be meet with Raven slicing his blade right across the man’s throat, a twist as the man hit the floor and the blade cut across his spine. Raven had no moment of peace as the moment he turned back towards the hill he had come tumbling down he was meet with the second bandit who had fallowed after his hammer slamming right into Ravens left arm denting the plate and locking his arm into place and sending him a sliding a few inches across the dirt. He coughed out blood and desperately tried to regain his breath, the bandit came at him again his hammer swinging with the same force right at his gut. Raven responded with a downward swing at the man’s head. There weapons both hit their target the hammer slamming his chest plate leaving yet another dent, and Ravens blade cutting right down the man’s face. Raven went falling back getting a moment of air time before he hit the ground with a thud and he sound of a rip cracking. The bandit stood motionless for only a moment as blood spouted out of his face, first his knees hit the ground, then his face the blood mixing in with the dirt.

Raven could hardly breathe, and what breath he did have was just a wheeze, blood pushing up threw his longs and out threw his mouth. He did his best to get up on his feet and managed to do so to only stumble and fall forward into the dirt. His thoughts quickly went to Iris who would stand little chance if the man caught her given how mightily he himself had struggled. He clawed at the dirt he lay on with the hand he still had use of in an attempt to get up the mountain and to his allies but found no success, he was alone. He hoped she had managed to eliminate the man before he had reached her and that even without the back line the others had managed; he regretted not being able to stay in his position with all his heart. What he had feared had happened; With Iris fleeing he had no real chance of holding the line alone, and he had failed to do so. All he could do now was hope when the fighting died out It would be his friends who remained.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edge Character Portrait: Iris Character Portrait: Connor Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Raven Character Portrait: Cedric Character Portrait: Lexi

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Cedric was the first to answer Edge's call for some clothing for Iris, and when he did Lexi seemed to be in a state of shock behind him once his shirt came off. Edge didn't know what she was going on about, but it didn't really matter at this point as he took the shirt from Cedric and turned around to help Iris dress. She was so reluctant to move from crying into Connor's chest at first that she didn't accept it, but with a little coaxing from both of them she finally stopped gripping his chest long enough to put the shirt on. Once it was on and covering the majority of her body, she still refused to stand up. The horrible feeling of having been toyed with between her legs made them weak and unwilling to cooperate with what her brain wanted them to do. Thankfully the wretched man hand't gone all the way, but having even touched her there was bad enough on its own.

Connor and Edge finally stood up with Connor's shirt being drenched in tears as he gave Edge a rather sorrowful look before looking back down to Iris. Edge gave him a pat on the shoulder.

"Well... We won at least." He said quietly.

Connor shook his head.

"No we didn't. Not today." He said, leaning down and gently gripping Iris's shoulders and finally helping her to stand up.

The shirt Cedric gave was just long enough to cover her down to just passed her groin area, but left very little room to truly hide what lay beneath if her steps were more than about a foot wide. To that end, Connor told her to walk slowly as he put his arm around her shoulders and started leading her back towards the others who had finished fighting. The sounds of combat had stopped, so it seemed that they had indeed won the day, but with a casualty like this in their midst Connor could hardly call it a victory.