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Kain

"If it bleeds, it's prey."

0 · 217 views · located in Continent of Drevair

a character in “Gods of Drevair”, originally authored by Sench, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Name: Kain

Age: Unknown

Race: Elf

Gender: Male

Relationship Preference (optional): None

Description: Image

Kain possesses the delicate appearance elves are known for, but he does not look in tune with nature like the rest. Instead, he has a refined air about him, one more fitting of a human noble. His attire - a nobleman's clothes in black and gold colors - adds to the impression. His ears are mostly hidden below his long blond hair, so he can easily be mistaken for a human at a glance. He has a pale complexion and green eyes. His only possession (besides the clothes) is his sword, which he personally enchanted and linked to his feeding ability.

Abilities:
Undeath. Because of the forbidden magick he used on himself, Kain cannot be killed. His existence will not end with anything short of complete annihilation of his physical body. He doesn't age, either.
Walking Husk. Kain's body is a mere container. While it is capable of performing all the functions of a living body, none of them are required. He doesn't require air, food, water or sleep. He doesn't feel pain, never gets sick and poisons have no effect on him. He has full control over how his body behaves.
Unholy Power. Alongside his immortality, Kain was granted great power. All of his physical and magical abilities are empowered by the dark magicks that fuel his whole existence, being greater than what the average person is capable of achieving. He never gets tired until he taps out these reserves.
Dark Sorcerer. The ritual gave Kain many things. One of them is a great aptitude with "dark" and "evil" themed magic. He had also studied many others forms of magic, although none of them he is as skilled at.
Perfect Predator. Kain's power comes from consuming the lives of others. When he does, his body is rapidly regenerated and his power gets restored or even increased. To help him hunt under any conditions, he can precisely sense all living creatures in the vicinity.
Dominant Species. Among Kain's darkest powers is the ability to dominate the minds of other creatures, turning them into his thralls. This only works if the creature's will was broken, regardless of the means used.

Weaknesses:
Unlife. Although he is almost immortal, feels no pain and doesn't fear the loss of blood, Kain is not invincible. Damage to his body may prevent it from moving as he desires, and he does not heal naturally. The rate at which he regains his expended power is very slow.
Empty Shell. Kain doesn't require any of the things a living creatures does to survive but may still choose to breathe, drink, eat and sleep. However, it makes absolutely no difference in terms of regaining his power or healing.
Black Heart. While he gained great power, Kain had lost some abilities common to living creatures. He is completely unable to use "divine", "light" or any beneficial magic. He is also unable to receive beneficial magic from others, and spells which are meant to heal cause him harm. At the same time, harmful and "dark" spells work as intended.
Unnatural Evil. Kain is not a creature of folklore, but he shares some traits with them. Any spells (or other products of magic) that can be classified as "divine" or aligned with nature are particularly effective against him. He cannot ignore the pain inflicted by such and they weaken him. Metals like silver and gold also hurt him, although they are not particularly harmful beyond that.

Personality: Kain's defining trait is that he cares for nobody but himself, with nothing but his own best interests in mind. While he looks down on all creatures as hopelessly inferior, he does not needlessly behave the same way. He is quite intelligent and learned, and at most times appears quite pleasant to converse with. He is not above flattery and subservience, as long as he believes it to be the best way to achieve his goals. He cares not for the troubles of the world, but he is still as inquisitive as he was before the 'change'.

History/Bio: Kain was born a long time ago, under a different name which he no longer remembers. His life was quite ordinary among the elves, an average child from an average family. He played with his peers and studied alongside them, never possessing a single outstanding quality. He met a nice girl and was doing pretty well for himself. Everyone expected him to become another functional member of the community. He could have led a perfectly content life.

It was this sense of being completely average, of being just another elf, that drove him insane. More than anything, he wanted to be different, to be special in some way. While in his earlier years it only led to some "healthy" trouble-making or working hard to be recognized, it had completely consumed him by the time he had become an adult. No matter what he did, he was still well within the statistical average. He loved his fiance, his parents, his hometown, his forest and his people, but breaking out of the "average zone" seemed much more important than all of those combined.

Ironically enough, it all ended on a completely average night. Kain sneaked into the library's vault, where the most forbidden of magicks were being kept, and stole a particular book. The knowledge contained within would help him become different, not just from the people of his town, but from everyone else in the world. The price was great: the life of one's most precious person. He ended the life of his young wife without hesitation. He then proceeded to kill his parents and best friends, just in case he had misjudged his own feelings. By the time he was caught, the ritual had been completed. Kain was killed, but he didn't die; in the resulting confusion, he managed to escape.

Having achieved his goal of becoming different from everyone else, Kain lost the reason for his existence. With no obsession to occupy his mind, he started thinking about what exactly he had done. The realization drove him to insanity, a different kind from before. He made many attempts to take his own life and put himself in situations where others would, but he could not die.

He roamed the world like a mere husk for years before finally coming to his senses. This was what he wanted all along, to be a unique existence. He had no place anywhere in the world, but he didn't belong with anyone. He was different, special, superior. And he had the ability to become even more special, to accumulate knowledge and power like none before him.

The appearance of the "gods" piqued his interest, but more than that, he decided they were a threat to him. He wasn't sure whether they would attempt to eradicate him alongside all living creatures on Drevair, but he needed said creatures to continue his own existence. Knowing that, he set out to destroy them, and learn their secrets if he could.

So begins...

Kain's Story

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Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
A young man was having a drink in a roadside inn, resting and listening to rumors. The town he stopped at was close to the borders of the Triumvirate, to the place where he was heading before. He didn't know the names of the local settlements, but he wasn't following maps or road signs to his destination, but a certain feeling. He was in a rush before, but now he spent his time leisurely: he was already too late.

Rumors of the attack had long ago reached this place, as well as rumors of the sole survivor being burned at the stake for heresy. Kain could do nothing but laugh silently at such actions; the people in charge destroyed their only lead for fear of losing their authority. Ignorance and fear were pretty typical for humans, but none surpassed the citizens and leaders of the Triumvirate in that respect.

Remaining this close to the "holy nation" was not the most prudent course of action. Kain had once been the enemy of all elvenkind, hunted wherever they could reach him. It took him years and a lot of effort to enthrall all the people who knew what really happened on that night decades ago, making them forget he was anything more than a psychotic murderer. He was still a wanted criminal back home, but the elves no longer bothered him outside of their lands.

He didn't want a repeat of that, especially since the Triumvirate was in possession of much greater resources than his former kin. That and being an elf alone was almost enough to be hunted in this land of extensive brainwashing. In a way, it was commendable that the leaders of the religion managed to bend so many to their will without even using any form of magic. They managed to turn unquestioning obedience into one of the greatest virtues for these people.

Of course, as an intelligent and educated individual, Kain knew that their faith was a big hoax, that no "divine trio" actually existed. Using "divine magic" and "holy relics" as a counter-argument was just silly in the eyes of one steeped in magic. What one really needed to use magic, apart from practice, education, intelligence and talent, was confidence. Belief in some deity was merely a suitable substitute, and evidently more easily achieved in the naturally inferior humans than belief in oneself.

But those were empty musings, irrelevant to the present situation. What was relevant was the new "god", the one responsible for the destruction of a whole town. No one knew anything about him, only that he was exceptionally powerful. Unfortunately, Kain already knew that from when he felt his life force. Even more worrying was the fact that Kain sensed several similar creatures, but the Triumvirate was only aware of the existence of one. That was easily explained: there were no witnesses of the second town's destruction.

The "man of crimson" appeared out of nowhere and with no warning, and so did the others. Ignoring such a powerful being would be the epitome of foolishness even had his appearance been predicted and his motives clear. Unfortunately, it appeared there was nothing he could learn while maintaining a safe distance from the Triumvirate's forces, and the "god" himself should he prove hostile. This was not a matter he could ignore, so there was only one course of action left for Kain: to investigate the ruins himself in hopes of finding some clue.

He set out without a clear destination in mind. There were two towns, although only one survivor was left. Kain had no doubts that one person was left alive intentionally. The question was, would he be able to learn more from visiting the survivor's town, or the one where none were left? He couldn't decide one way or the other. In the end, he picked his destination at a road sign: the town of Kartolheim was closer. He walked briskly, eager to discover any secrets he could. Learning anything at all about these powerful beings would be worthwhile.

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Kartolheim

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Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
The former village of Kartolheim greeted him with nothing but... actually, there was simply nothing at all at first glance. The dirt road that led to it from the paved tract just ended abruptly where the village was supposed to begin. Even from a close range it seemed like the village simply disappeared into nowhere, the place where it stood appearing almost untouched by man. However, the clearing was practically barren, with but a few blades of grass beginning to emerge from the ground.

An ordinary person, even an experienced mage, could search for days and find absolutely nothing. Besides the fact that a whole village simply disappeared here recently, nothing seemed or felt off about this place. It sort of looked like a field, one that was abandoned right before planting and rain and wind later evened out the soil. It was like the place was wiped clean and prepared for nature to reclaim it. The ground almost emanated fertility, prepared to give birth to countless plants.

Kain was circling the former village, searching for any signs of danger before heading in, when he realized that this feeling was more than an impression. It was obvious that something unnatural happened here simply from the fact that the barren land ended abruptly, and the areas around it remained completely untouched by whatever made the village vanish. It was like a patch that didn't match the color of a larger cloth, though comparing it to a hole was likely more fitting. The "lifeful" feeling came from the ground within the village borders, but not from without.

After concluding that he would be in no immediate danger from entering the barren area, Kain headed in to continue his investigation. He was certain the "living soil" was the key to this mystery, and it just so happened that he was properly equipped to open the metaphorical lock. Wasting no time, he headed to the center of the former settlement, where he sat down and entered a meditative state. He had already realized that it was his ability to sense living things that alerted him to the special qualities of this soil, but probing only the surface told him nothing. He needed to focus, to dig deeper with his mind.

For a while, the elf could discover nothing new. It was the same strange sensation, like the ground was full of life energy. And yet, it wasn't "normal" life, something about it felt off. This feeling was familiar somehow, as if he encountered a similar situation multiple times before. Feeling like he was on the right track, the young man focused his unique form of perception deeper underground. It was difficult to imagine, but he was beginning to suspect just what had happened to this village.

The discovery broke his meditation. Deep below the surface, there was Death. Dozens of people were buried under this strange soil, and all of them died within the span of minutes. It was like the ground simply opened up and swallowed the village whole. The lucky ones were crushed to death by the ground or collapsed buildings before they could really feel anything, the rest were left to suffocate in complete darkness. Their deaths were slow and terrifying, the best kind for sacrificial rituals.

Kain stood up on unsteady legs, his senses still overwhelmed. Not unlike himself, the ground absorbed the life energy of these people for itself. He wasn't even sure how that was possible. Any moderately educated person knew the seemingly lifeless ground was full of tiny organisms, but this was different. With a little effort, he could tell there were very few such creatures and plants within this strange soil. It was as if they only started populating the area very recently, as if all of them were somehow removed at some point.

He barely managed to fight back the sudden urge to throw up. The revelation filled him with disgust. One could argue that he was the same way as this soil, but it wasn't the case. He wasn't a living person in the common sense of the word, but he was sentient and had free will. The way he fed on people was not that different from the way any predator fed on their prey. But this place was nothing like that. It was the non-sentient feeding on the sentient, the non-living feeding on the living. It was against everything he considered natural.

It took him some minutes to regain his composure, at which point he decided to tackle another important issue, namely how the village disappeared. The option of the whole place being anomalous in some way was not even on the table - it would have been noticed long ago. It had to be a spell that caused this, but that raised another issue.

Who could have done this? While the elemental magic of earth wasn't his forte, his power was great. And yet it would have taken him days to prepare for such a spell. That or several hours and a good sacrifice. Needless to say, anyone walking around the village and leaving strange objects or drawing strange signs at seemingly random places would have been noticed and reported to proper authorities. In other words, the one who did this resorted to no such method. And while Kain couldn't be sure there was no sacrifice, he was certain that it wouldn't have been nearly enough to power such a spell; it would have left a distinct "smell" if there was.

His discoveries were unsettling to say the least. Kartolheim wasn't destroyed by the man wielding fire, but likely by another from the group he sensed. The elf only hoped that this one was the most powerful of them. Even then, the weakest of the group would be significantly more dangerous than he originally anticipated. He knew there were at least three of them, but there could be more. Their motives remained unclear, but both attacks were indiscriminate massacres. Perhaps both destroyed settlements being part of the Triumvirate meant something, but he couldn't tell either way.

In the end, Kain learned nothing that could be of use to him. He could get a better grasp on the extent of this group's power, but it wouldn't really change his approach: he always exercised maximum caution when dealing with something unknown. With an uneasy heart, the young man returned to the tract and headed in the direction of Bergstadt. He wasn't too hopeful about what he could find anymore, but it was still his best lead.

The setting changes from Kartolheim to Bergstadt

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#, as written by Sench
The charred town of Bergstadt was a depressing sight, much more so than the bare ground where a village used to stand mere days ago. And yet it soothed Kain, made him feel more at peace. He didn't usually find solace in death and destruction, but the sight of a burnt-down settlement was something ordinary, relatively common, in fact. Even simple bandits could do something like this. While this town suffered a fate similar to Kartolheim, it didn't seem nearly as unnatural.

It seemed as though he wasn't the only one who thought this way. There were no signs of death or violence that an ordinary person could find at the vanished village. Furthermore, its sudden disappearance should have made everyone confused and curious, but people and animals alike avoided it like the plague. While neither could make sense of that place, it appeared as though they instinctively knew to stay as far away as possible.

The area around Bergstadt was different. Honest folk passed a good distance around the ruins, knowing what sort of crowd such places attracted. Animals weren't getting too close either, but only because wild beasts knew to avoid human settlements. They would gradually get closer if the town was left as it was. As for unsavoury folk, they were already out and about, searching for any valuables that could have remained and using the ruins as a hideout. Some were bold enough to assault random travelers, as Kain deduced after coming across a scene of recent bloodshed.

The town was a hideous sight. The ground was covered in ash, the remains of the buildings were black from soot. It wasn't a big town, so most buildings had a number of wooden supports and were now collapsed. The people had burned more thoroughly and few bodies remained to be found. Most of them turned to bones alone. Many skeletons weren't whole, as if their bodies were torn apart before being burned. This was the work of the "man of crimson", a wielder of fire.

Unfortunately, Bergstadt had no secrets to share. It was almost the same as Kartolheim. Death filled the air, but it wasn't quite as concentrated, nor were the lives taken used to nurture the earth. Apart from the scale of it, and the fact just one being was responsible for this destruction, the scene was pretty normal. There was even less for him to learn here than there was at Kartolheim.

Kain cursed under his breath. The sole survivor of this massacre was supposed to carry a message from this "man of crimson", he had no doubt about that. But the ignorant people of the Triumvirate marked him a heretic and killed him. The rumors he heard were likely born from whatever the poor man had to share, but the actually important parts of it were now lost forever. Even if the leaders of this land recorded his words somewhere, it would do Kain no good; he had no means to access them.

The elf was frustrated. This was a matter of great importance, but he was left unable to do anything because of some stupid humans. As he walked through the town, he felt two people somewhere close. Marauders, he thought; who else could it be? If it were people who had to come to give the victims a proper burial, there would have been many more. He needed nothing from those two. He wasn't yet sure where to go next, but he headed toward the edge of town regardless. He'd stay there until he came up with something.

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Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Valeria had never been in a forest before, the only place with trees on the island is the Holy Grove. This is a chance to fully observe the ways of life, Valeria knelt down to see a red flower with a white trim, it was stunningly beautiful. She placed her fingers carefully around the stem and snapped it off. She stood up, touching the soft delicate petals to the flower, never in her life has she seen such wonder in a little flower. She put it in her hair and looked up, the sun shone over head, peering through the trees, the sky was cloudless and blue. Today...Is a great day. she thought to herself, smiling. She took a deep breath and kept walking through the forest which is full of life. She had been so caught up in daydreaming she had forgotten what was in front of her path. Suddenly her leg caught on something, it was a log. She feel forward, letting out a little squeal. She landed face first into the soft grass, her legs still on the log. Valeria lets out a quiet sigh, and stands up, brushing any trace of dirt off her clean skin, and brushing her head with her fingers for any twigs or leaves that may have found their way into her long auburn hair. She sighed to herself and kept walking, Maybe i'm not cut out for this duty... she pondered.

She had reached the end of the forest, only to see ash and death. The charred bodies of villagers and animals covered the area, the ground wasn't filled with soft grass but gray deadly ash. Ruins were left where the buildings used to be, now she has seen it first-hand. The aftermath of the destruction that she had witnessed in her vision, she was full of horror and shock. She took a deep breath to regain herself, and decided to take a look around, in hope that there may be survivors. She was about to take a look around when something caught her attention. A figure in the distance, Maybe he is a bandit? Or here like she is, to investigate what happened here? She decided to walk towards the figure, to try and figure out who this person is. When she was about ten meters away she had yelled out, "Hello?" The yell was louder that she had expected, probably from the shock she had from her initial reaction of the state of Bergstadt.

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Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
Kain sat idly by the edge of Bergstadt, on a large cut stone that used to be part of a house's wall. He took the time to flip it around before sitting down: he didn't need his clothes to get any dirtier from the soot that covered its top. It wasn't difficult, even if by the looks of him it should have taken several people like himself to perform such a task. He couldn't help a smirk that crossed his lips as he dusted off the stone block; there was much more to him than met the eye, a fact he couldn't be happier about. He had paid a dear price for it, once, a lifetime ago.

He remained almost motionless. There was nothing more for him to do in this ruined town, but he had no reason to go anyplace else. Unlike an ordinary person, he had no need of simple commodities like food or lodging for the night, and could stay in literally one spot for days if he needed to. He would do no such thing under normal circumstances, as he hated to waste any amount of time.

For now, however, it was most prudent to stay. He had a specific goal, and he wasn't going to go anywhere until he discovered a way to further it. There was a small probability it might advance from him leaving the place, by luck alone, but he wasn't one to rely on chance. From a logical standpoint, there was no way Bergstadt would simply be left in this state for long. Someone from the Triumvirate would come around eventually, and at that time, Kain might learn something new.

He wasn't so lost in thought as to miss a lonely person approaching town. As they emerged from behind the treeline, he saw it was a young woman. To say she looked out of place would be saying nothing. Everything about her seemed like the complete opposite of the carnage to be found in this town, and her attire was completely unfit for travel. He noticed a peculiar trinket on her robe, a symbol that he knew belonged to a group calling themselves the "Gold Society" or some such. He heard of them, and if memory served, they were some sort of an all-female religious sect. He never found them interesting enough to learn more.

The girl called out to him, much louder than she needed to. Was she a little weak in the head? He had no illusions about how suspicious he must have looked, his gaudy attire as out of place among these ruins as her own. In her place, he would find brigands more trustworthy than himself. Then again, he knew exactly what he was. To the girl, he must have looked like a proper gentleman, likely one mourning the loss of some relative that used to live in Bergstadt.

"I'd bid you a good day, but it hardly seems like one." Kain said, nodding his head at the town behind him. He stood up from the stone and dusted himself off a bit. He took a moment to check if he was breathing and his heart was beating; he didn't want to reveal himself needlessly. "But still, well met. There are many shady folks roaming around. Scavengers as they are, they would gladly assault the living given the chance. This is not a good place for a delicate lady." He gave a small smile as he said that. "What brings you here, miss?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The killers golden eyes tracked the knight as moved to leave. The introduction was short, curt even. His peace said he moved to leave, rid himself of the stain the assassins presence no doubt caused on his clean holy world. The ridiculousness of this knight and all like him sickened Athos, it always had and undoubtedly always would. This man was no different, better to fail nobly than succeed questionably for any who was not like them was a sinner and therefore not fit to breath the same air as them. A minor fantasy of Athos slitting the knights throat played in the assassin's mind before the paladin's voice snapped him from his day light dreaming.

The dark smile that had etched its way onto his face faded as Johannes did something Athos would have considered impossible for one of his ilk, he asked for help. Obviously restrained and not without some hesitation but there it was. A saint asking the aid of a sinner, in the burned out ghostly remains of a church none the less. The moment would have been beautiful if it was not so absurd. Athos tilted his head ever so slightly as he took a step toward him, as if he didn't truly believe what he was hearing.

"I may have answers, answers those bathed in holy light may be blinded to for they do not inspect the darkness close enough and risk sullying their frocks. Yet..."

Athos said stepping towards the big man quizzically. This man was not so different then all the rest. Big, brave, bold and strong yet his ignorance crafted through religion had a single chink in that shield of stupidity, this one was intelligent enough to see that even the best of men needed help at times.

"I'm surprised you would be interested in hearing them if they do not come from scripture or the words of some old crone draped in white."

Athos' words were scathing for sure, most of what spewed from his mouth was overly harsh and blunt yet there was and always has been truth in them. The overly faithful, in Lorio's experience, were hardly ever interested in the truth. Completion of their holy quest was all that mattered, regardless of the truth of what they were asked to do. Burn the village full of heretics, whether the people within were wicked or not for it is not their place to question only to serve. Past experiences aside this man may be, at least to some degree, different.

"I can tell you that of the living arch mages, dark sorcerers and high wizard masters no single one could have accomplished the feat we see here. The residual effects of their magic lingers to such a degree I'd be hard pressed to believe that it could be done by any who now walk Drevair. So unless the dead soul of one of the fallen Mage Lords now walks this earth we are dealing with an obscure magic user, one that astoundingly is self taught or otherwise schooled in the dark arts."

Athos spoke, before turning away and stepping past Johannes to stand just outside the door way, looking out onto the ruinous remains of Bergsadt.

"I can tell you that what was done did not happen at the hands of one but two. There was another, this one wielding not flame but song. A song that fills the mind with dread and panic, one that must have made it impossible for the villagers to flee or fight. A death song... a ballad of doom."

Athos' voice trailed off for a moment as he recalled Faleen's words, spoken to him only an hour earlier. Her body was no doubt still smoldering in the ash and soot. The assassin closed his eyes and forcibly willed the girls face from his mind before speaking again.

"I can also tell you that I can track them if we...."

Athos voice froze in his throat as his eagle eyes caught something in the distance, just on the exterior of the village. Two figures, one masculine in stature, the other definitely feminine. A fire lord and a musician perhaps?

"We are not alone."

Athos said darkly as his eyes locked onto the faceless figures in the distance, already his deadly brilliant mind was working out the best way to reach the figures and end their lives before they could even react. His posture, the way his eyes seemed fixed on the figures in the distance were entirely predatory. He was ready to kill, but was the paladin?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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She had gotten the mans attention, he looked nice enough. Probably mourning someone he had lost, at the thought of this Valeria felt stupid. Now that she was closer she could see him closer, he seems like a human noble, he has the appropriate attire for it. But there was something...inhuman about him as well. But then again it might of been the scent and aura of death around them, so she decided not to bring up the subject just in case he would of been insulted. Valeria pushed back a brown wisp of hair and was about to introduce herself, when the blonde man had spoken instead,

"I'd bid you a good day, but it hardly seems like one," He had said, nodding in the direction of the razed town. He then stood up and dusted off any ash that was on his clean attire. "But still, well met. There are many shady folks roaming around. Scavengers as they are, they would gladly assault the living given the chance. This is not a good place for a delicate lady."

Valeria was somewhat annoyed at this remark, but decided to reply in a nice tone, "Yes, death has made its mark on this place. And I think I am more than capable of defending myself, for I Valeria Marietta am on a miss-..." She had stopped in her speech suddenly, as she felt like she was being watched. Like her magical aura was being penetrated by the eyes of a hawk. She didn't want to alarm the blonde man, she had to turn around and try to see where the eyes were coming from. So she gave out a forced chuckle and said, "Well, if you don't mind me. I need to get going..." She bowed awkwardly and began walking swiftly away, almost turning into a slight run. She had went behind a large crumbled wall, out of the sight of the man and almost every ruin around. There she stood, gripping to the wall like silk to wet skin. She had succeeded, the thought of being watched was gone, she was somewhat safe behind the crumbling stone ruin. She had noticed that her silk robe, and skin was almost fully covered in soot, at this she sighed and began brushing herself off with a delicate touch.

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Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
Kain did his best to hide the mild amusement he felt at the girl's words. She wasn't a child, at least not physically; a momentary glance was more than enough to discern that. Biologically, it would be most accurate to describe her as a young adult. She was a human, judging by her 'smell'. But she was hardly ordinary, her strange choice of clothes - it was like she was asking some men to assault her - and membership in some sect notwithstanding. Her 'scent' was different from most people, like the finest liqueur was different from cheap beer. This girl was a delicacy he rarely had the luck of finding. At another time, he would be eager to 'take a bite'.

Right then, however, her being special was of more importance in correlation with her presence at the ruins. It would have been foolish to think that the Triumvirate was the only major power of Drevair to take interest in the recent events. Certainly, it was the nation the two destroyed settlements belonged to, making them the most interested in finding the one responsible. But if any rumors of this spread beyond its borders - as they evidently have - then every group or person of influence would send an agent or two to check out Bergstadt. Of course, it didn't have to be rumors. Kain himself was alerted to the 'man of crimson' and his companions by his unique senses. He wasn't so ignorant as to think other unorthodox methods didn't exist. This girl wasn't there by chance, which meant she could know something.

With little warning, the girl who introduced herself as Valeria hurried away, a bit clumsily he would say. It wasn't hard to discover the cause of her distress, as her sentence was cut off around the same time he felt a predator's gaze, as he called it. It wasn't threatening to the blond man - few things were - but he recognized the sensation instantly. He used to have trouble with it in the past, when his only merit was being hard to kill and he would give himself away to strong warriors and mages while stalking his prey. To pick up on something like this took a certain measure of skill, so it seemed as though the girl could take care of herself to some extent. Then again, she would never have made it to Bergstadt in one piece with that sort of outfit if she couldn't.

Still, did Valeria's alarmed state imply she expected to be followed? Just like no mere peasant could sense a predator's gaze, no mere brigand could have one. Was he mistaken about the girl? Did she come to Bergstadt by chance, while running from her pursuer or hoping to hide among the ruins? She did announce, in a rather pompous manner, that she was on a mission. She didn't finish that sentence, so it could actually have been something completely irrelevant to this place. Was it, though? There was a chance she came to the burned town on purpose, and someone being after her could be a coincidence. If he remained idle, he would lose his chance to learn the information the girl probably had. It wasn't a risk he was willing to take.

While Valeria seemed to have some skill, talent or both, she betrayed her complete lack of experience in an instant. If she thought she could hide from an assassin - or anyone who had such sharp and malicious eyes - just by running behind a wall, she was sorely mistaken. Normally, it would only be a matter of time before she found herself with a blade in her back. But she was in luck: Kain felt she could be useful, so he'd protect her, for now. He followed the girl with flawless precision; being unable to see or hear her was not a hindrance for him. He didn't rush as much as she did, feeling no immediate danger to her, so she was already trying to brush herself clean when he turned a corner and came face to face with her again.

"That's not going to come out easily." He said calmly and sympathetically. "In fact, I'm afraid you may have ruined your - dress? - completely." He added, reaching into his coat's pocket and revealing a clean handkerchief. "But you should at least wipe your face with this." He handed her the white cloth. He was buying time with that gesture as he considered his next words. Valeria had the mentality of a child. What a woman would perceive as a compliment, she took as an insult to her abilities. Speaking to her as he would to an adult would not bear any fruit. As far as he was aware, dealing with kids was all about patience. Fortunately, it was one of his best qualities.

"I apologize if I hurt your feelings earlier. I did not mean to question your capability." Kain said with a soft smile. "I was merely expressing concern for your safety. Bandits always attack in numbers, and, without experience facing multiple opponents, even the most capable of people may find themselves overwhelmed." He had hoped that explanation would satisfy her. "You are here to investigate what happened in Bergstadt, are you not? In that case, I believe we could help each other."

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Johannes frowned slightly as the cloaked man’s knife of words reappeared, once more stabbing quickly and potentially lethally, for lesser men. It was a wasted effort on the man’s part, but Johannes slowly but certainly began to feel an urge rising up from deep within him, an urge to bash this man’s teeth out. He gritted his teeth as Athos’ vocal onslaught of cynicism and foulness continued, even as he slowly gripped his sword tighter. It wasn’t until the man started dealing in facts of what occurred here that he realized the knife of words had found a chink in his armour and drawn blood. With a soft sigh he sheathed his sword and turned his full attention to the man.

A slight tinge of nervousness crawled up his spine at the mention of arch-mages. Their kin was best avoided, if only for their continued refusal to aid the great faith. Nonetheless, even the Triumvirate Faith knew enough to be wary of their powers. In a way, it made the man’s theory that this could not have been perpetrated by their living kin all the more shocking. It had been Johannes’ first inclination that it was a renegade of their kind that had done all of this. He had to resist the urge to spit on the ground, especially since he was still wearing his helmet.

Yet, the shocked revelations did not end there. The Triumvirate spoke of only one man, the one with fiery red hair. Johannes had perused the transcript of the heretic who witnessed the event, but it made only one mention of that men. Perhaps there was a mention of music, but it would have been dismissed as the ravings of the mad, justly so. The demented and heretical often heard things that had no presence in reality. The man continued and a slight grin appeared on Johannes’ face as Athos mentioned he could track them. Not send by the three perhaps, but no less useful for it. After he found the red haired man and delivered the just and holy punishment that man deserved, he could always knock this man’s teeth out for suspicion of heresy afterwards.

"We are not alone."

Johannes’ smile faded as soon as it had come and in a single smooth motion Johannes’ sword left its sheath once more. With careless abandon and filled with holy fervour Johannes followed the man outside and looked around eagerly. Yet, he saw no one. What senses had his man that he could detect beings not even within sight? The mysteries of the cloaked man kept piling up, although Johannes was now certain he held more than a prodigious talent for hiding himself and murder.

“I see no one, but I shall believe you for now. Tell me, do you sense the unholy perpetrator of this tragedy? Lead me to them, so I may smite them in the name of the Triumvirate.”

Johannes spoke, making an effort not to sound too eager to murder whoever Athos had detected and mostly failing.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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[ignore]

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Athos' eyes had never left the figures in the distance, even as Johannes spoke the assassin's gaze tracked their movements. He watched as the female broke off, taking cover behind a wall. The killer had to suppress a chuckle at the sight. The slayer of kings and high priests, the shadow of death, the no where man, bested by a simple free standing wall. This one was none too bright and certainly not the being he and the paladin pursued. The other followed after her shortly, it was unclear from this range whether he was foolishly attempting to hide as well or if he was serving as a shield to her and merely moving in to safeguard. Finally ready to make his move Athos turned to Johannes.

"I would lead but you would not be able to follow sir knight. You cannot follow what you do not see."

Athos turned looking once more in the direction of the two figures seen only to him.

"I cannot lead you and hope to make use of the element of surprise, you will need to follow only my words..."

A ruinous smirk etched its way on his face as he turned back to Johannes.

"Have faith."

A light chuckle paused his words before he causally began to go over the route the knight would need to find what the assassin already located.

"You will walk along this line here, do not waiver. You will serve as the sword, I will be the dagger. Trap them between the two of us and there will be no escape. If they attack you head on you will strike from the front, I will come up from behind as the knife in the back. If they seek to flee I will be on them before their feet leave the charred ground of Bergstadt. If they seek to hide then they will die in the darkness."

Athos took a step away from the paladin, ready to vanish at a moments notice, but paused to inform Johannes of one final thing.

"I am not convinced these are our killers but there is only one way to be certain."

And with that he vanished, cloaked once more in an air of invisiblity, completely absent from sight to any and all, Athos teleported around the wastes, quickly circling the duo. Johannes moved swiftly and with purpose along the route Athos outlined. His magnificent blade in his hand he seemed unafraid of whatever he may encounter. It wasn't long before the assassin, watching from unseen shadows, noticed that the two individuals had caught sight of the paladin moving in on their position. One appeared to be of nobility, or at least dressed like one. An elf, male, with golden blonde hair and exquisite cloth. Athos' eyes focused on him, curious what one of his ilk would be doing out here without company. His predatory gaze flicked to the female at his side. Young, beautiful, bountiful in her assets and draped in next to nothing. The harlot could very well be his concubine, a courtesan picked up from one of the neighboring settlements for a little business but to bring her to the remains of a ghost town made no sense. So the noble and the whore now found themselves standing before the holy, indignation of the massive paladin Johannes de Witte who now spotted them, closing the distance.

Athos watched from the shadows, hands on a dagger ready to burrow it in one of their spines should they move. He would allow Johannes to address them and discern who they were and what they wanted. Not until he was certain they posed no immediate threat would he step fourth into the world of what was visible and make his presence known.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Valeria was eager to get the mess off of her robes, this is the only this that she had to wear, she couldn't walk around in nothing, what would people think? That she was just a harlot, frolicking from town to town looking for work? No she was a proud Arch-Sorceress of the Society of the Golden, and she is a force to be trifled with! But with all the magic in the world she couldn't seem to get rid of terrible soot that coveted her robes. Why is this happening? she had thought, sighing deeply, first it was trying to escape those brigands who wanted to take her purity, that is how she got in the forest in the first place. Now this is happening. She had closed her eyes and wished that she was back at the Castle Dawn. Where the stone halls were filled with heat provided by the fire elementals under the control of the Fire Mages. Where in the Great Hall the sun shone through the coloured glass depicting the history of the Society. Some nights, her aunt would allow all the young girls to gather in the great hall, and it was filled with plush pillows and blankets. She wish that she was home, where her friends were. But no, her Aunt had received a letter from some people from the Triumvirate faith or something. That is when Valeria began to wonder, why would worshippers of Sia take orders from the Triumvirate faith? It just didn't make sense, neither the less Valeria had got given a duty, and she will fulfil her goal by any means necessary.

She had taken a deep breath and opened her eyes to see the blonde man she had seen before, "That's not going to come out easily. In fact, I'm afraid you may have ruined your - dress? - completely," he had said, seeming sympathetic for her. The man had reached into his pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief, "But you should at least wipe your face with this," he added, handing the handkerchief to her. Valeria took the handkerchief and and started to wipe away at her face, feeling the delicate touch of the soft cloth. She had lifted the handkerchief from her now roughly clean face and gave it back to the man. "I apologize if I hurt your feelings earlier. I did not mean to question your capability." The man had said with a soft smile. "I was merely expressing concern for your safety. Bandits always attack in numbers, and, without experience facing multiple opponents, even the most capable of people may find themselves overwhelmed."

Valeria had suddenly realised how apologetic the man was and began to speak, "I should be the one to apologize, being out here is suddenly a new experience for me. As for the way I acted just a few moments ago, I must apologize, for you are the first of the...opposite gender for I have had the pleasure of speaking to." her speech became more womanly and adult other than the way she had spoken before. It was true, he was the first man she had spoke to, well he wasn't her type of male to be true. She always wanted a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet, like in the story books that her mother used to read.

"You are here to investigate what happened in Bergstadt, are you not? In that case, I believe we could help each other." The man had said, still keeping that smile of his. She nodded in agreement, for that was her mission. To put to justice for what monster did to these people.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Johannes followed the assassin in silence, his mind focused on the task ahead. He disliked the idea of ‘having faith’ in a man as devoid of faith as this one, but he did as he was bid nonetheless, while faith was reserved for the gods, he could trust this man. In this instant at least, he was not as foolish to assume he could trust this man in general. So Johannes followed vague directions and the sound of a voice. It was harder than he had expected, to follow a man he could not detect unless the man willed it and he found himself nearly getting turned around once or twice, but he marched on relentlessly nonetheless. Divine punishment needed to be eked out.

Only the consideration from Athos that this pair were not likely to be his target cooled his temper somewhat, but he still kept his sword in his hand, just in case. Wisely so, he reflected, as the two finally came within sight. He slowed his steps somewhat and pulled himself up to his full height, taking a few steadying breath before approaching the two.

What he saw both confused and disgusted him. At first sight, he could only see a nobleman with a soot covered women, an unusual sight, but not a fearfully strange one. It was only after he approached a few steps further and got a good look at them that Johannes felt there was something very off about these two. The noble was perhaps expectedly well-dressed and of a pale complexion. But the woman was dressed as a harlot, which in and of itself was perhaps not strange either, harlots existed, Johannes knew, displeasing though the knowledge was.

But to find a harlot here, in the ruins of a town, days after the attack that destroyed had taken place was very odd. By now all towns around Bergstadt should have heard the news and no harlots would attempt to travel here to ply their trades. This woman was nothing short of highly suspicious, not to mention shameful. Johannes could feel a slight burn on his cheeks just by looking at her, her shame infected him as well, it seemed. Johannes eyes narrowed on her as he slowed his steps to a standstill, a respectable distance away from the pair. No doubt he had already been noticed by this point, but he didn’t care. He would not approach this woman carelessly.

He had heard of cultists often dressing their female members in such a fashion to draw the sharp mind away from their true calling. Or perhaps she was a succubus and the nobleman an innocent who was turned into her thrall by dark powers. The scriptures were clear what a knight of the Black Cross order his calling was when faced with creatures so suspicious. Although these circumstances were unique, to say the least, he would still follow the scriptures. Drain them off all information that may lead to other heretics, then slay them. Johannes gritted his teeth as he stepped forward and pointed his sword at the pair.

“State thy business on hallowed ground, dark one. Pray that it stays my sword from cleaving your head from your shoulders.” He allowed his deep voice to boom over the open space between them and from the slits in his helmet narrowed eyes stared them down, burning with the desire to destroy the heretic and demon where they stood.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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#, as written by Sench
Valeria spoke similarly to how she ran and hid a minute ago: rather clumsily. She explained herself a moment later, saying the elf was the first man she had ever met. That was a bit surprising. He knew that her order, whatever it was called, didn't accept men. But for her to have never seen one, she had to be born into it, or at least taken at a very young age, before she could remember her parents, and sheltered from the world outside. That made him wonder how they avoided dying out: as far as he knew, it still took a male and a female to make children. Or was she a special case?

He gave an uncertain nod to that revelation. He wasn't sure how to best handle such an unusual person, so he would behave as normal. At one point he considered offering her his coat, but she didn't seem conscious about her revealing clothes. Satisfied with her agreement to mutual aid, Kain was about to introduce himself and ask for whatever information regarding Bergstadt she possessed. Unfortunately, the people he sensed moving weren't simply passing by. In fact, they found him and the girl quickly and without a single wrong turn.

Things escalated pretty quickly, that was what Kain thought first. It was amusing, in a way, and certainly more interesting than his average day. One minute he was following a very confused and somewhat bratty girl through the ruins and offering his condolences over her ruined clothes, the next he had a huge armor-clad man point an equally large blade at him, with someone else lurking nearby. It was likely the assassin - as he assumed from the fact he remained hidden - from before.

He recognized the large man as a knight of the Triumvirate, just like anyone who hadn't been living under a rock would. For a moment, the elf thought about where the man approached from and looked around the ruins. With a frown he realized that these two were probably the ones he sensed earlier. While their intentions were questionable, they were definitely not marauders. He didn't care about their identities that much, but he hated being wrong. Besides, in front of him stood the man of Triumvirate he was hoping to find for information before, but he lost his chance to greet the knight on his own terms.

"Typical Triumvirate, really." He said under his breath before facing Johannes. Knowing his own nature, Kain assumed the man was talking to him specifically. Him being an elf was also a factor, and the angle he was going to play. Unfazed by Valeria's choice of clothes, he hadn't considered how a chaste and 'holy' man could react to it. "I have no obligation to answer a murderer of women and children." He said with as much scorn as he could muster. The Triumvirate had some very bad history with the elves and other 'lesser' races.

"Unlike your kind, elves respect all life. I came here to search for the one responsible for this tragedy and see that it never happens again." The blond explained his purpose nonetheless. It was all calculated, of course, the initial provocation and the contradictory fallback. His words weren't completely true, but allies were not made by revealing your intentions. "I assume you are here for a similar purpose." He paused. "The being that did this is not something you or I - or anyone for that matter - can handle alone." Kain glanced at Valeria as he said that.

"This is bigger than the history of our peoples..." He said through his teeth, like a true elf. "I can forget about the past for the sake of the future. Can you do the same?" He didn't extent his hand towards the armored man or anything, but the offer was clear enough: to join forces for the greater good. He made no mention of the assassin that followed Johannes. Perhaps the knight was not even aware of his presence. More importantly, the elf couldn't pinpoint his location. He felt he was close, but his position was unclear, constantly shifting. He wouldn't be able to neutralize the assassin like this, so for now, he choose to simply be vigilant.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Karvilus and Kalson made their way through the blasted ruins of Bergstadt, searching any intact houses or particularly gruesome scenes for clues. In the end, all they'd found was more hatred for the culprit, along with a fair helping of nausea and pity for the deceased. "Still hope that red haired son of a bitch doesn't have any friends," said Karv. "Dealing with one of these things is already looking to be a nightmare, but more's just going to add further complications." "We'll find a way," said Kalson in his reliably thick accent. "There's go'a be a way. Nothin's impossible, all y'need's the proper amount o' effort and desperation." "Heh, words to live by right there," replied Karv. The two wandered around a bit more, before happening across a strange sight. It appeared a rather tense conversation was taking place between a giant of a man and two smaller individuals, a man and a woman. Seeing this as a potential clue, Kalson and Karv went to go investigate.

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The assassin watched and listened with wicked glee in his golden eyes. The elf, so full of scorn for the holy knight amused Athos immensely. The whore fell silent, no doubt frightened by the authoritative bark of Johannes. There was something about the courtesan that made Athos question her profession. While she seemed to be incapable of hiding her womanly bounty from the world she didn't carry herself like a common street walker. Instead of flaunting her assets through seduction and sass she seemed timid, frightened, even child like in her posture and the way she allowed the elf to speak on her behalf. Perhaps the whore was no whore after all.

Athos turned his attention back to the elf as he silently slipped his dagger back into it's sheath deciding that he would not take the noble's life after all. His words made logical sense, something Athos had been thinking himself. This danger was indeed bigger than one race and would require multiple gifted individuals to fell beings with such power. Though the bit about elves respecting all life did make him shake his head with a silent laugh. Athos, perched on his vantage point, just above the elf and his companion he caught sight of three approaching individuals. A dwarf judging by the stocky short size of him, what appeared to be another elf, and an armored warrior.

Athos squinted before teleporting closer and stalking the small group, examining the individuals closely. The dwarf was of average height and build for one of his race. He was encumbered with numerous trinkets, gizmos and devices the likes of which Athos had never seen. A true tinkerer yet it was the construct that truly caught the eye of the assassin. Mistaken for an armored warrior at first before closer observation revealed him to be metal automaton born of magic and science. Apparently this dwarf's ever vigilant guardian. A gifted inventor and mechanical genius to be found in a dwarf was truly a rare find indeed, should he be added to the group he would make a significant force multiplier.

The other was obviously an elf judging by his typical elven good looks, the only feature to mar his otherwise flawless skin was a cross patterned scar hidden behind a leather eye patch. This elf was tall, even by elven standards with an athletic build without being bulky. Yet it was the way he carried himself that stood out to Athos. A swagger that exhumed arrogance and skill. The bow and quiver on his back designated him as an archer and by the overly confident way he seemed to strut at the dwarf's side he was no doubt one of great skill or at the least, believed himself to be. While Athos was quite gifted with a bow a true marksman could come in handy.

Teleporting back to the knight, the noble and the harlot Athos seemed to appear as if out of nowhere, no doubt startling the young woman whom he was now standing directly behind. Free from his shroud of invisibility the assassin seemed to step fourth from the young woman's shadow itself, a killer wreathed in dark armor. Athos mused at the fear he induced in others, even when it was only short lived.

"Gentlemen, milady..."

Athos said in greeting as he slowly stepped around the young woman like a hungry panther circling a gazelle. His golden eyes seemed to track the woman as she stood amongst the others knowing full well she was the most unsettled by his presence. The noble seemed calm but defensive. Johannes looked ready to skewer them all. The woman on the other hand, her curvaceous frame even more alluring up close, just seemed out of place in such dangerous company. Athos moved to stand between the elf and the paladin, preventing one from lunging at the other directly as he spoke.

"Would either of you be expecting further company? A dwarf and another elf perhaps?"

Athos asked causally as he folded his arms across his chest and nodded in the direction the pair would appear from only moments later.

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Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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She had given her truthful speech, as the man answered with an uncertain nod. She was quite calm with their mutual agreement, now she wouldn't have to do this alone. The man looked as though he was about to say something before stopping again. He was obviously feeling something that he did before, that Valeria wasn't. Maybe this man was a bit...soft in the head? Almost instantly Valeria felt a presence behind her and spun around quickly. “State thy business on hallowed ground, dark one. Pray that it stays my sword from cleaving your head from your shoulders.” There was a shining sword aimed at her head, wielded by towering man, with the armour of the Black Cross Order. An Order that she had learnt about when she was 16, a group of knights or something, the memory was vague, probably because the lesson was boring. Her education did not focus on the Triumvirate Faith. But on the Mother, Sia.

"By Sia's light, stay your sword knight!" She had said out of pure quickly, raising her hands, taking a few steps backwards, now beside the blonde man. She had thought that the man directed his say at her, she now realised it may be a sight of a young woman to wear next to nothing, as an evil harlot of some sorts. She heard the blonde man say under his breath before approaching the knight, "Typical Triumvirate, really," He seems rather angry or annoyed now, losing his smile he had given her before. "I have no obligation to answer a murderer of women and children. The man had said, Valeria was confused by this. Wasn't knights supposed to be helpers of the weak and poor? Or was something deeper at hand here? "Unlike your kind, elves respect all life. I came here to search for the one responsible for this tragedy and see that it never happens again." Then it hit her, that is why she had felt some weird vibes from the man, he was an ELF! She no quarrel with elves, in fact there were a couple back at Castle Dawn, they were really connected to the earth magic actually. Then the elf had continued, "I assume you are here for a similar purpose." The man gave a brief pause, "The being that did this is not something you or I - or anyone for that matter - can handle alone." He gave her a short glance. As she nodded in agreement, putting her hands down, feeling safe behind the Elf.

She felt someone behind her, their presence was close as she could feel their body heat emanating from their bodies. She turned around to see a man standing directly behind her clad in light armour, the armour of an assassin of some sorts. His mouth was covered leaving golden eyes darting across her figure like a hungry beast, this caused her to gasp and flinch backwards, almost bumping into the elf. Now they were surrounded by a knight and an assassin, what if the knight has gone rogue and teamed up with the assassin to take the innocence of young girls?! She wanted to run, but there would be no doubt that the masked man would be able to catch up to her and TAKE HER PURITY. She had shaken her head, trying to get the scarring images out of her delicate mind and stood frozen still, squirming as the man looked her over.

"Gentlemen, milady..."

He began to circle her slowly like she was some meat ready for a tiger, she stood still trying to forget his gaze. He stopped in between of the Elf and the Knight, probably to gain their attention. She turned around slowly to look at the group, trying to avoid looking at the assassin. "Would either of you be expecting further company? A dwarf and another elf perhaps?" the man folded his arms, and nodded over at a spot behind them.

Mustering up all the courage she possesses Valeria replies, as kindly as she can, "No we aren't, and we weren't really expecting a knight shouting accusations and an assassin to appear out of thin air either." She had said, crossing her arms across her chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The woman’s response told Johannes all he needed to know. A heretic. A foul believer in that sinful demoness known as Shia. He should’ve known really. No decent woman would ever wear such revealing frocks. Johannes took a step forward, he would first slay the woman and then the nobleman, just to be sure. But before he could begin his charge, the nobleman spoke. He spoke of Elves and duplicity on the part of the holy faith. What was it today with cutthroats and less beings criticizing that which they had no comprehension off? Were they truly so small-minded that none of them understood the glory and holiness of the Triumvirate?

Such mental exercises were left for the scholarly priests, it gained Johannes nothing considering the words of some Elf. Too powerful to handle alone? Hah! Perhaps for some wispy Elf that lacked conviction, which, Johannes realized, was likely all of them. Johannes rolled his shoulder slightly and leaned forward a little, ready to charge down and sent these heretics to their rightful place. Right as he was ready to rend both asunder, Athos appeared out of the shadows. Johannes had forgotten about him. The cloaked man spoke, although Johannes had trouble making out the exact words. But he did know the cutthroat had purposefully placed himself between Johannes and the pair, clearly he didn’t wish for Johannes to slay the pair where they stood.

For a moment Johannes entertained the thought of just cleaving through all three of them and be done with this entire aggravating affaire. Yet, the mention of a Dwarf and another Elf stayed his hand. How distasteful, it seemed that the entire world of Drevair seemed intent on annoying him today. Yet, it wasn’t until the woman spoke that Johannes could feel the irritation boiling over. Accusations?! The nerve of this succubus!

“Accusations! How dare ye! What am I supposed to think, with you dressed as a harlot gallivanting around in the ruins of a town with some wispy Elf! No decent woman would do such a thing! This is all your fault for being so suspicious!”

Johannes answered the woman, far more forcefully than he had intended. He could feel his cheeks burning and made an effort to avert his eyes from the woman. Truly, the nerve on this wench. With a grunt Johannes realized that any charge on his part at this point would most likely be useless, the element of surprise and his righteous anger lost. Johannes collected the pieces of his self-control that weren’t shattered by the succubus and turned to Athos.

“What of this Halfer and his tree-hugger friend? Truly an unholy union if ever there was one. Don’t tell me they are the pair who did this?”

Johannes spoke through gritted teeth, slowly feeling his earlier irritation return. He wondered who was the most aggravating, between the Elf with his idiotic misconceptions and poorly contrived lies, Athos, who was fairly similar but somehow more distasteful for being human, he should know better really, and the woman in her enticing garbs, so quick to tempt him away from his vows.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Athos looked at Johannes with a mild smile beneath his mask. The knights reaction to the young womans simple response was so flustered and full of furious indignation Athos couldn't help but chuckle. Athos began to think that this paladin had never actually spent any length of time with anyone not of his faith. While not entirely uncommon among the armored and blessed it did make for interesting conversation. Especially when the faithful were forced to endure the company of thieves, beggars, harlots and all around questionable folk.

"Ah... quaint but no, big man. No I think our late arrivals are others such as ourselves."

Athos said before his eyes drifted back to the sultry curves of the scantily clad young woman whose name was still a mystery.

"Or perhaps traveling rapists come to plunder any bountiful young maidens they may happen across. And you certainly are bountiful aren't you?..."

His words were full of implication yet cold like the voice of a night prowler. Athos' cruel jest was aimed at the young woman's already shaky composure. Athos was already thoroughly enjoying scaring her with ugly truths.

"Fortunately for you you're not alone, isn't it a knights duty to safeguard the helpless and all that? Or does that only apply to the faithful who are helpless? I can never keep it straight, such much hypocrisy in one organization it can be difficult at times."

Athos said as he put a finger to his chin, feigning thought as he joked at the paladin's expense. A dark grin on his face he lowered his hand and folded his arms over his chest once more.

"In any case, they're not far and headed this way. The dwarf has a construct companion, if it is his construction the tinkerer could be of some use. If he's skilled enough to create the semi-sentient than he should have some ideas on how to kill a god."

Casually leaning his back against the wall Athos continued in a relaxed tone as if the whole business of having this conversation was not only boring but wasting his time.

"The elf is an archer, time will show if his skill merits the title. Carrying a bow does not make you an archer anymore than... dressing in finery makes you a noble."

His eyes flicked to the supposed noble elf knowingly as if Athos implying something only known to the assassin and the elf. While Athos had spent most of his time since making his presence known letting his eyes drift over the young womans curves that went on for days he had actually been paying close attention to the elf as well. He carried himself like a man without fear. While many of the nobility acted unafraid due to their supposed power their wealth afforded them there was a difference between pretending to be unafraid and truly not knowing fear. This man knew not fear even in such company. Being this close to the paladin alone should concern the elf given their species history with the Triumvirate yet he seemed completely relaxed, almost disinterested in the knight. Something was certainly different with this man, Athos merely needed to discover what that was.

The setting changes from Bergstadt to Continent of Drevair

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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As Karvilus and his new found dwarf and automaton companions gained ground towards the strangers, he squinted towards them at confusion before babbling to the dwarf; "Hang on a second, was that masked fella their before? My wonderful eyes never would miss something obvious as that! After all, I can shoot a fly in a forrest miles away from where I stand! And backwards! Ofcourse he must of been hiding! No man coul- Why hello!"
He cut his words short as his attention was diverted, ignoring the masked man, the Triumvirate soldier, and the nobleman to a rather scantily clad woman with an open chest robe, covered in soot, no doubt for trudging in the burned down city. This fact, why this lady was here, or who were any of the unfamiliar men around her were, was not in the slightest of interest or concern to Karv at this point, He almost immediately picked up his great-bow that was taller than Kalson from his back, and quickly grabbed one of his large arrows out of the quiver, and began drawing it.

He turned to Kalson with the obvious glint of a deadly sin glowering in his eyes as he announced; "My dwarven friend, you might be able to see my terrific abilities first hand! It seems some poor unfortunate lady is being harassed by a nobleman and Triumvirate soldier, not doubt the masked man hired to assist them in causing misfortune to poor beauty. You and your rusting toy give me some back if needs be, though with me on the front line, I doubt it would be necessary." He jogged away from the dwarf a few meters before harmlessly firing the first arrow as a warning shot, embedding itself into the charred ground next to the wall the group was standing at. The elf quickly sprinted at blazing speed diagonally to the left, keeping some distance between him, his new friend, and the unknown 'assailants' of the unlucky woman, and began once again drawing his great-bow.
"Gentlemen, you are currently in the aim of one of the greatest archers that graced the earthly plains of Dreivar! This bow I clasp in my very hands is enchanted, and therefore no mere wooden lump for a simple huntsman, and it is not the only thing that is enchanted! I recommend you all step back from the gorgeous young lady who's beauty would make the Triumvirate tosser here reconsider his religious views, before you all suddenly highly resemble a hedgehog."

The setting changes from Continent of Drevair to Bergstadt

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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"Idiot."

The words spoken from the lips of the assassin dripped with malice and cruel intent before he vanished from sight. Leaving his compatriots seemingly alone in the cross hairs of the illusive bowman would surely result in their demise. That would be of course if the killer had fled like it appeared he had. No instead of leaving the knight and the noble and the woman alone to be riddled full of arrows Athos appeared behind the elven archer, a dagger pressed to his throat.

"Warning shots are sloppy. Talking that much does nothing but give your position away. But of course as one of the greatest archers that has graced the earthly plains of Drevair you already knew that."

Athos whispered into his ear with a calm yet deadly tone. One wrong move, a single tiwtch would result in the elf's blood pouring out onto the ashen dirt of Bergstadt, adding just one more body to countless dead of the ruined city.

"Now... lower that bow before I spill more than you can spare."

To empahasize his point Athos slolwy applied a slight bit more pressure, the razor sharp blade drew a tiny pin pricks worth of blood cauing it to trickle down the elf's throat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annikar Greyhelm Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Annikar's eyes opened as she heard voices in the far distance, carried along through the empty and otherwise silent town and picked up by her sharpened senses. A smattering of discussion and briefly raised words. Slowing standing up, Annikar made her way through the ruins towards the sounds. She stepped carefully, making sure to make as little noise as possible. Of course her armor and the crunching ash and wood was hardly subtle, but it was enough and she made sure she moved while the voices were speaking.

Creeping up what was left of a house, Annikar crouched behind a scorched pillar and peered at the odd gathering that had formed. Two elves, a dwarf, an automaton, three humans. Curious indeed, but unlikely to be the culprits. She continued to observe, listening to what seemed to be a petty religious quarrel. Further curious still, but ultimately irrelevant to Annikar's goals. There was still the matter of finding whatever had destroyed this town, and she had no time to banter with ignorant crusaders or whatever manner of folk the rest of these strangers were.

Remaining in her hiding spot, Annikar surveyed the rest of the town. The presence of so many strangers would make tracking difficult, but whatever had caused such havoc surely would not leave the same trail as these mere mortals did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annikar Greyhelm Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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Kalson remained behind a pile of burnt rubble with Dyntan, readying his own Pistol should conflict arise, while Karv drew his bow and shouted some declarations of intent. Bloody fool was going to get both of them killed! Karv was demanding that they release some girl the were glaring angrily at, presumably with intent to harm. At least Karv had good intentions. Bit too haughty, though. At that moment in Kalson's thoughts, He heard a soft rustling noise and whispers from an unknown voice somewhere in Karv's general area. He wasn't sure how someone could make it over there so quickly, and without making a bit more noise, but he couldn't dwell on such thoughts for long. He used the unspoken link between Artificer and Creation to command Dyntan to slowly walk out and brandish his Scaldsword. Kalson soon followed suit with his Pistol, and spoke calmly to the stealthy assailant that had now positioned Karv between himself and Dyntan.

"'Ey now, ain't nobody wantin' a fight 'ere. We're just here to search the town, and I be assumin' tha's yer intent 'swell. Please pardon me friend 'ere, he's a bit too proud fer 'is own good, and I must be admittin', you and yer friend over there were lookin' at the wee lass a bit threataninly. But, I be assurin' you that we'll lower our weapons if EVERYONE else'll do th'same."

Now, Kalson was waiting for a response from the assassin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annikar Greyhelm Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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A loud and deep groan escaped from Johannes’ throat as the cutthroat was now ready to cut the throat of some elf, which would get Athos shot through the head, good riddance really. For a moment he considered waiting around to see it happen, but no. Johannes had had enough. He had expected this man might be of help, he had thought that perhaps the succubus and the other elf had information. But this was getting him nowhere. With an exasperated sigh he sheathed his sword and moved back towards the burned village.

He had let himself get side-tracked, which was disgraceful in its own way. He was a knight of the Black Cross order, not some bush knight eager for adventure. Truly, if someone where ever to chronicle the great tale of how Johannes slayed the evil red headed man, he hoped this part would be let out. Perhaps he should simply tell no one it had ever happened. He was here on a holy quest and it wouldn’t do to dawdle further. He stretched his back slightly, looked around for a few moments to find the route he had taken before entering.

He spared the gathered people a final glance. The succubus, he now realized, he might’ve treated to harshly. Indeed, even calling her a succubus now was rude of him, but she was suspicious and associating with the likes of Athos had made him more cranky than usual. The elves were as he had expected, idiotic and backwards, they deserved the company of Athos and weren’t worth exerting himself over. The dwarf was inconsequential, as was befitting his race. Johannes nodded once to himself, he had made the right decision to leave the band of misfits here before they further stained his honour.

“I am not regretful to announce we shall part ways here. Clearly I overestimated the use you all might’ve posed for my holy quest. The red haired man is even now turning the innocent to ash and, though the idea is tempting, I have no time to stain my blade with your blood. I wish you all… I shall just say I pray for your souls.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalson Threisker Dorn Character Portrait: Athos Lorio Character Portrait: Johannes de Witte Character Portrait: Karvilus 'Karv' Leafgrinder Character Portrait: Valeria Marietta Character Portrait: Kain
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The assassin growled as the barrel of the pistol was leveled at his head. He hadn't expected a gun. Guns were a rarity in the world, few had the mechanical intellect required to operate them or the monetary wealth to afford them. Given that this dwarf had crafted his own construct it wasn't hard to assume he could have some form of firearm. Athos should have suspected that. He should have forseen the possibility and been able to avoid this. As it was he was forced to silently curse himself for his stupidity and set his mind to the task of avoiding a hole in the head.

Athos went over the dwarf's words in his head, inspecting them for weaknesses in seconds. It didn't take long to find a few chinks in the verbal armor.

"You say you're not looking for a fight yet you greet with arrows and threats. Strange don't you think?"

Athos said aloud to the dwarf with the pistol, all the while keeping up the pressure on the elf in his grasp. His tone darkened before he spoke again. The dwarf seemed to be a kind soul, one who earnestly didn't want harm to come to the girl or the elf who Athos had restrained. Kindness, was a weakness.

"Oh and don't threaten, you're not in the position to do so. You may turn my head into a canoe but not before I spill this ones blood all over the ash, give him a grin I don't think he'll soon be rid of."

A single look at the assassin, garbed in black with blade in hand and anyone could see he was telling the truth. He meant to kill that elf should the dwarf seek to end him. It would be his final act on this earth if the dwarf forced his hand. A part of Athos almost wished the tinkerer would shoot, shoot and send him to his beloved.

"You may be willing to kill me dwarf but are you willing to cause the death of this elf as well? All for what exactly? Hmm? A misunderstanding? A case of misjudgment?"

Athos words were intellignet yet cold, like the unfeeling numbers of a death toll.

"Me, I'll kill this man. I'll kill him and should I live, sleep welll tonight. What about you master dwarf? Are you willing to take two lives for no good reason?"

The question posed, Athos awaited the dwarfs response all the while not noticing the paladin taking his leave.