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Journey to the West: A Tale of Heroes

Orlay

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a part of Journey to the West: A Tale of Heroes, by GothBabeAlex.

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GothBabeAlex holds sovereignty over Orlay, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Journey to the West: A Tale of Heroes
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Orlay

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Orlay is a part of Journey to the West: A Tale of Heroes.

10 Characters Here

Rosaline Mellikot [21] "Insert witty phrase concerning roses and thorns."
Shawn Holyfield [20] "I kill bear with fists!"
Shurik Mad-Blade [19] "Ik talam nedar, for your life is at its end."
Kalad Ashchrom [18] Runesmith Apprentice of Orlay
Django "Black XII" Faraelis [16] You need me. I'm good at what I do.
Princess Mylina [13] ...
King Albrect [7] "Heroes of Old, despite the faces you now wear, I see you for what you are. Save our people, halt the Black Legion."

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The river was a good choice, it had a high bank. However, the water was low and it had a thick mud that tried to pull a person into it, each step would be slowed, but there was little chance of being spotted by the legion. Even as the group discussed their plan the signs of the next wave of the Black Legion approached. Their matching sounded off like an echo of metal clashing against metal, a song of death for those who they marched towards. The few trees swayed from their passing.

Each would have to make their way into the waters of the river, filling their boots with mud and soaking their clothing, but better for it to be water than blood. Young Mylina watched each of the heroes with earnest curiosity, but still she didn't say a word, too over taken by the rush of things happening around her and amazed at an outside world she had never stepped into before. It was rare for her to leave the palace (only for high holidays) and to come this far out was truly unusual.

Orlay had handled invasions before, many Barbarian tribes had united to assault the Great Wall, but they found themselves repelled by the formations, archery and magic of the people of Orlay. This assault was much different, it was unstoppable and endless. Where war with men had the limitation of numbers, the Black Legion seemed to be endless. Yet Orlay would endure, so that there would be a kingdom remaining for the young Princess to return to.

It was a two hour ordeal to trudge through the mud towards the wall, and the high sun would begin its decline. There was time to talk, but it needed to be done so quietly, lest they be overheard by sinister forces. Kalad's advice had been right, but far ahead waited unbendable iron bars, enhanced with magics that took a lifetime to invoke.

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Character Portrait: Shurik Mad-Blade Character Portrait: Rosaline Mellikot Character Portrait: Shawn Holyfield
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#, as written by Cypher
Shurik waited on his haunches at the riverbank, his low murmurings coming down to complete silence as he finished the ritual cleaning of his blade and carefully returned it to its sheath, listening to the rasp of the curved blade against the rough leather of the weapon's holster. He secured his weapons in their sheaths, and then hauled up the hem of his robes, revealing thick cloth trousers and tall black boots. The assassin folded the hems of his pants and slipped them into the top of the boots, cinching each tightly with a short length of cloth before lowering his robes again. The assassin listened to Shawn speak to Rose, making his best attempts at comforting her. Shurik appreciated his attempts at increasing the obviously troubled Rose's morale, although his speech was a little ambiguous; and although the assassin appreciated the barbarian's skills both on and off the battlefield more than a 'civilized' person would, even he had to admit that Holyfield's speech wasn't the vest for increasing morale at all times.

He stood, his feet falling softly as always across the cool grass, as he stood alongside rose. His low voice was still the same calm, detached rumble as before as he said, "What Shawn means is that the Valigart are obviously more than a match for any Legionaries that may have breached the wall. Should your sisters have fallen, it was only because they lost their footing on a rampart choked with the bodies of their enemies." The assassin stood with his arms crossed, looking downriver.

"We have to go," Shurik stated matter-of-factly, hearing the clanking of Legion armor on the field far away. "The river is low and the banks are exposed; the mud will bog down our progress, and there will no doubt be some sort of cover on the spillway; a cover that will no doubt take significant time and effort to breach." With that stated, the assassin freed his knife from its sheath and withdrew his sword from its loop, taking a few test swings, readjusting his arm to its almost unfamiliar weight. "I will move ahead and attempt to scout what we will be dealing with. I would suggest that if anyone were to join me, it would be Rose or Shawn."

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6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shurik Mad-Blade Character Portrait: Marielle Silverstar Character Portrait: Rosaline Mellikot Character Portrait: Princess Mylina Character Portrait: Shawn Holyfield Character Portrait: Kalad Ashchrom
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"Coddled?" Rose couldn't help but laugh. The last thing the soldiers were was coddled. Especially her, the daughter of the greatest archer in Orlay. She had certain expectations to live up to because of that heritage . "We may not throw our children off into some wolf pit to toughen them up, but the soldiers of Orlay are a hard sort. We would happily give our lives for our king and our home. Hell, we are fighting for our homes now, and we're cornered. And you best of all should know that a cornered beast is at it's most dangerous, barbarian," She said, staring daggers at Shawn.

"Especially the Valigart," she added, raising her head up high. Depression had shifted into indignation at Shawn's words. "Do you understand how hard the woman have to work to be recognized in Orlay? Much less to become part of the army? The Valigart is the best at what we do and that's to kill whatevers threatening our home before the bastards can even see us on top of that wall," She said. "These lifeless bastards don't have that drive, they don't feel like us. If the things weren't so damn resilient, then they too would have been crushed like everything else that stood against Orlay and her safety," She said, boldly implying the Barbarian's own tragedy. Then she shot a glance to Shurik, "We do not go down easily, and we do not lose our footing, assassin. Best you remember that," She said with full conviction. Their words managed to light a fire in her heart, and now she fully believed in her own words. The Valigart would not let some undead legionnaire bastards kill them, Rose included.

Without waiting a response from either of the men, she unclasped the cloak around her shoulders and tossed it to Marielle, "Hold that for me, please?" She not so much as requested, but demanded. Rose didn't harbor any bias against the elf, but that didn't mean she too was safe from Rose's mood. Then she pulled off a bag and pressed it into Kalad's hands, explaining that, "It's Mylina's. Don't lose it," she said, talking long steps away from the group. "Come on Shurik, didn't you say something about scouting ahead? Then lets get to it," She told Shurik as she pushed forward ahead of the man, nocking an ordinary arrow into her bow as she walked. She threw her head back to the others and then said, "And if the princess is hurt when I get back, I'm going to shove an arrow up each of your asses." The barbarian didn't manage just to start a fire, but more akin to an inferno. Rose couldn't help but want to see a Legionnaire and put an arrow square in the middle of it's skull.

"Come on people, let's get this done so I can go home and stop worrying about this," She called.

Setting

7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marielle Silverstar Character Portrait: Django "Black XII" Faraelis Character Portrait: Rosaline Mellikot Character Portrait: Princess Mylina Character Portrait: Shawn Holyfield Character Portrait: Nathaniel Fenastus Character Portrait: Kalad Ashchrom
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Django was shocked to see Rose's anger flare due to Shawn's and Shurik's attempt to calm her depressed mood, but all that did was make her pissed at everyone. He felt that he should finally get his own troubled spirits out in the open but he held his peace, only giving one small hint on what he did know about the legion and what they caused him by letting several tears escape him before his face turned into an calm, yet slightly angered manner in order to act the way he made his first impression.

"Well, Lesson well taught from a barbarian on how not to calm a lady down and have her insult in everyone's faces in five syllables or less." He stated. "But I agree one thing, if we don't get a movin towards the wall and find a way through it and steer clear from the legion baddies our gooses are as well as cooked, not to mention I don't want to take an arrow in the buttocks or worse an arrow in the kneecap."

With that said he looked at Kalad. "Fire-Mage. Since Mad-man with a blade is absent it boils down to you, Madam Marielle, or the Healer Man to carry the Princess if you please?" he asked in a hushed tone. "I'm carrying a Silver Blade on my back and would not like to drop it anytime soon for it feels as though I may need it for future reference. Also, I don't trust anyone who can comfort a lady from a depressed state into a severely angry mood to do the task."

With that he then kept his ears open for any ambushes as he traveled with the others to the wall.

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Shawn simply smirked as Rose and Shurik left to go scout ahead since his ploy had worked better than expected, even if the others believed it backfired on him. There was a saying amongst his people, "A happy warrior will fight, an angry warrior will kill, but a sad warrior will die" and Shawn had simply acted on that bit of wisdom from the Clan Leaders and Shamans of old. If they wished to assume he was stupid when it came to a warriors mentality and was only good for killing, so be it. It would make it easier in the future to kill the lot of them. To spite Django's words, the barbarian plucked the princess off of the ground and allowed her to sit on his forearm, leaving his chest and shoulder for her to rest her back upon as they traveled. He glared at Django and snorted as he passed him by.

"Shawn gave her something to hate. Better than comfort for warrior. Or too busy weeping to notice?" He said through gritted teeth, Django having officially gotten on his bad side now with his words. It was a place few stayed in and lived to speak about, but Shawn would protect him until they arrived at their destination and the Legion fell. Django would lose his head as the rest celebrated victory, and Rose would have her hands crushed so Shawn could make her suffer for every clan lost when they made their way to Orlay. Even if Shawn died before he could kill her, she would never hold a bow again.

The thought made him smile.

He looked behind him to see the one who had removed the dagger from Shawn's flesh sulking behind him, and sighed. He was tired of playing nurse maid to these people's emotions.

"Whisperer, Fire user, and Elf only ones in group with warrior mind" He muttered to himself, then faced the medic of the group.

"None injured. This good, so why upset? Shawn make new injured for Shaman to occupy self with? I break Django's leg. Plenty to do then besides be sad weak baby" He said aloud, for Django to hear though it was directed at Nate. Shawn would force these coddled infants to become warriors on this journey if he had to unify them in hatred of him to do it. He shook his shaggy head in disbelief before looking at the princess.

"This best your people offer. Be glad your people not only ones protecting you or everyone die"

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Just when it seemed everyone would be on their merry way, Shawn made a comment to Rose about the Valigart, which, Kalad at first thought to be a bad idea indeed, but as he watched the barbarian he was able to read him, probably more than the others cared to do, and could see that he was choosing his words carefully, to purposefully get the archer riled up and take her mind off her fallen friends. Or at the very least, redirect that sorrow into anger. And it had worked. Shurik had tried to explain what Shawn had meant, which only made things worse, and before he knew what was going on Kalad was given the pack belonging to the princess and had been promised an arrow up his backside should anything happen while she was gone.

"Remind me not to get on her bad side..." he mutters before turning to listen to Django, who's face was still damp with tears, though he made no mention of this to the man. "A silver sword huh? Well, fair enough, though I don't know if I can carry the girl now, what with all of my own supplies and hers on top of that. But prehaps-"

The forgemage was cut off by Shawn, who picked up the princess and spoke the reason behind his words to Rose, which he had already guessed, and correctly, which made him smile a bit. His reading skills seemed to work fairly well in the real world after all, but then again, his father had had a similar way of looking at things. 'Substance without passion is nothing, rendering your knowledge useless!' he had said, which had taken Kalad a few years to understand. Now that he did, he understood that studying and practicing what he knew would not be enough, one of his own reasons for coming along on this journey.

"Take care of that blade, then. If you damage it, I can repair it, but it would not be as strong." Kalad says as he shoulders the princess' pack, then drops back to walk along side the healer as they moved out once more. "Don't let him get to you. Unlike the rest of us, he has no filter as to what he says, which, sometimes I guess could be a good thing. How are you getting along then?"

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#, as written by Iandak
His boots and a good portion of his uncomfortable leggings now covered in mud and various other bits from the forest, Nate trudges slowly behind Shawn. The medic couldn't help but frown slightly, this journey had already been dangerous enough with the Legion but now several people were already at each others' throats. Though he would normally be ignoring this childish behaviour, it could have a very negative impact on everyone's performance. Trying to figure out a way to keep the situation from getting any worse, Nate glances up to see Shawn staring back at him. In what can only be summarized as one of the oddest moments in the young man's life, the barbarian asks if something is wrong and if he wanted the savage man to break one of Django limbs. Shaking his head in annoyance Nate glares back at Shawn.

"I'm not upset, it's just this blasted armour is taking some getting used to." Nathanial says to the large man as he continues working his way through the mud."We also can't afford to have anyone becoming a cripple, so for the love of whatever it is you worship; keep your hands to yourself."

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Marielle pulled the bow-woman's - Rose's - cloak from where it had landed over her face, wadded it up, and threw it at the nearest person.

"What do I look like?" she snarled. "A coat rack? See these?" She tugged at her ears. "They're ears, not hooks."

Watching the bow woman and the monster man bicker made Marielle feel really confident in the abilities of the group to safely ferry the princess to her destination. The monster man seemed like a nice man, but listening to him made Marielle realize he only respected strength. Thankfully, strength was a part of her species. As for these others: the monster man was indifferent, and to others, he disdained. Yet the bow woman was too short to tolerate disdain. If she didn't get herself killed trying to prove herself, she'd get them all killed by provoking the monster man into a killing frenzy - if that swordsman, Django didn't do it first.

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As the heroes, divided by their infighting, approached the great wall they came to see a terrible sight. Laid upon the wall, stretched out as a man implausible with a spear was the body of one of the Great Beasts. Its wings pinned back to widen the walking space, they had turned it into a bridge. Upon this mighty frame, a former terror of the woods, there marched on the black Legion. What might could not smash apart, brutal misuse of the dead would allow them to pass. The beasts face was contorted in pain, its dying expression unaltered.

The grate was exactly where they thought it would be, but it was not possible to see to the other side, stones and wood had clogged it so that the water would not flow, perhaps the ploy of the Black Legion, or the barbarians of the woods. But it would not be easy to clear, even if the heroes could make it past the enchanted iron bars. The wall stretched up above them, smoothed stone that was build so it would not be easy to climb. And with the Legion within hearing distance, they would need to find a way to do it quietly.

A tight cluster of six of the legion soldiers walked with a seventh figure, providing it with protection and blocking view of it. But as it came down the dragon's head it became viable. Unlike the Black Legion around it, it wore no armor. It's flesh looked as if it were a mummified corpse, dry and wrinkled with discoloration. Yet the frightening display of slithering muscles beneath that foul skin betrayed its true nature, a creature much stronger than those that walked around it. It's eyes had a glow of fowl green, flickering like flames but shedding no illumination. It opened its mouth to speak rasps of unintelligible language and the Black Legion began to shift into marching lines, waiting for further instructions to proceed.

This was not a creature known to any of the Heroes, nor had any talesinger spoke of old knowledge of it. It was singularly unknown and frightening, and violated everything that was understood about the Black Legion. But a skirmish here would likely prove fatal for the whole of the group, there were many and this new foe was a mystery.

A song bird gave out cries, a loud noise that would give cover to any brief action the group needed to take.

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Marielle's mouth dropped open as she came in sight of the wall. She'd expected this section of the wall to be intact, with the breach located further away. But there was no breach, just a monster providing a bridge. So much for my belt, she thought. She had considered using it to just step over the wall, then ferrying the others over in her hands. Perhaps she still could, but that would attract the attention of the Legion and that - thing. It had to be important, that living corpse-thing; as it was guarded by Legionaries who obeyed its command. Perhaps it was a general or some other commander. Something about it made Marielle's flesh crawl. She glanced over at the monster man, then at the wall.

"Don't even think about it," she warned. "Not unless we have to." To the group at large, she asked, "Any ideas for getting through the wall? I am not fighting my way across, not with that thing leading the Legion. Besides, God in Her infinite wisdom only knows what's waiting on the tail end of that dead dragon."

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Shawn looked on at the sight of the wall with a grim face, seeing one of the old gods used as a stepping stone for the dark armors. Dragons were strong, and all clans knew to respect the creatures in death. It is why they used every part of the beasts to strengthen themselves, one of the few times they rely on any other living thing for their strength. Slaying the beast gave food, armor, weapons, and infamy to the clan who took its life, all of which were good for their survival. He was akin to seeing death, but the clans believed themselves the only beings of flesh and blood able to best the beasts in combat, and to see the Legion's disrespect at their kill enraged the Holyfield but it provided an opportunity should they find themselves able to claim the beasts bones. freeing the corpse could possibly slow down the Legion, if only for a few hours, and with a blacksmith amongst them, would be able to have strong armor and weapons.

The new Legion creature made Shawn grin, recognizing a battlemaster when he saw one, and had wondered if the dark armors indeed had one. He scoffed at the elf's warning not to charge, not so much of a glory hound that he would die now for the honor of killing the new creature. He instead looked about at the group and then at the Legion before issuing orders.

"No fight, not before scouts return. For now, go back and wait for Rose and whispering man. They may find weakness in ranks. If not, we live to make plan" Shawn said as he turned to go back where they had come from. He paused only a moment to look back at the enemy before he marched to put the wall out of sight, heading away from the river and closer to the cover of the trees. They had gotten fresh water on the trip there, so there was no need to stay in the open near it any longer, and the trees would make a large Legion assault unlikely. Shawn at least could climb one and hope they saw fit to tend to other enemies, like Django.

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Character Portrait: Django "Black XII" Faraelis
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Django was openly perplexed at how the reactions about him turned to be negative. "Okay, insulting a barbarian wasn't the best idea in the world but I tried to put my two cents in.." he muttered. He followed the others towards the wall and found Marielle and Shawn talking about something out towards the wall and looked out at it.

"By the gods..." he said in a shocked tone. he swallowed nervously at the unknown creature and the legion men and tried to study the situation, to no avail of course, but nothing seemed to convince him that going through them wasn't the best of options.

"Well, We either wait for Rose and Shurik to get back, or we think up a probable strategy. Any ideas anyone?" he asked openly looking around at the people present and half noticed Shawn leaving, "Or we just follow him." He had a feeling Shawn decided to walk into the trees for possible hiding places and shook his head. "Well, for a possible idea to get past these blokes and over the wall why not climb a freakin tree? Im sure the tallest tree in this bunch reaches over the wall...thing is, I hate heights."

He looked at the dragon's corpse that the legion was guarding and he briefly muttered a few words to himself. "Just like Sarai's village." he placed a hand on his heart and coughed a bit before waiting for the rest of the group to either walk with Shawn or wait for Shurik and Rose.

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Character Portrait: Shurik Mad-Blade Character Portrait: Rosaline Mellikot
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#, as written by Cypher
Quickly and silently, Shurik followed Rose through the woods. At one point he had traded his sword and dagger for his shortbow, keeping one arrow nocked at all times as for the sake of stealth. Shurik was no crack shot in comparison to the Valigart, but he could hold his own at range. The two traveled through the woods, low to the riverbank, for what seemed like ages before they eventually came to the breach.

Shurik had never seen a dragon before. To be perfectly honest, the Dailak-shir didn't even believe in dragons, with the exception of myths and faerie stories. They were long gone from the desert sands, chased to the far corners of the world by elves, barbarians and a wide range of other things both natural and otherwise, and the desert-dwelling scholarly types honestly believed that every last one of them were gone. So to see a dragon, even a dead one, was something new for the assassin.

His reaction was exactly what would be expected: no reaction. An intent observer would note that his right eyebrow raised a matter of microns, but other than that the assassin was unflappable. He looked at the dragon, and the Legion marching down its back, with the casual detachment one would note a crushed beetle. He traced his eyes down the ranks of the Legion all the way to the emaciated, corpse-looking commander type, then looked to Rosaline.

"We will have to use the dragon," Shurik murmured. "It is inadvisable, yes, but it is also the only forthcoming solution. We will have to distract them." He cocked his head to one side, looking at Rose with a note of inquisitiveness. "That is your specialty, I trust?"

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Character Portrait: Shurik Mad-Blade Character Portrait: Rosaline Mellikot
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Rose was no scout, that much was plainly obvious. Compared to the assassin behind her, whereas he would have been a whisper, she would have been a shout, yelling 'Hey, look at me!'. Though, it was an unfair assessment, as the Assassin most likely spent his entire life perfect and training his craft. He could make the woodland creatures- if they had been any anywhere in the whole bleeding area- stick out comparatively. On her own though she did an... Adequate job as a scout. She was trained to fight in formation with her sisters, whether it be on the wall or on the ground, and this scouting thing was relatively new for her.

But like hell was she going to give Shawn the satisfaction of this job over her. The anger she felt towards the barbarian had funneled and fueled her into determination. She carefully gauged each step, listened to the surroundings around her, kept her eyes on a pivot and always kept an arrow nocked. Where she lacked in stealth compared to the assassin, she more than made up for in accuracy- no doubt. She had believed herself to be the best in the Valigart after all.

The sight the pair of them came upon was... Surprising, to say the least. The bloody legion had been using a dragon- a beast of the wilds that she only heard of in tales from her father when she was just a little girl. Cautionary tales about the beasts and dangers of the forests. Of course she always brushed these stories off and paid no mind to them. To see one here and now, being used as a bridge for the legion no less... It was humbling. The sight sapped whatever remained of her anger and was replaced by apprehension. She wished not for the first time, nor the last, that she was never chosen for this mission.

But here she was, and those were the cards she was dealt. She looked back at Shurik, surprise clearly plastered to her brow. Of course the assassin didn't seem to be phased by this sight. A want to roughly shake the man and ask him if he even saw the damn thing shot through her head, but held it in check. He was a... Hard man to read, and shaking him wouldn't help in the slightest bit. She turned away from Shurik and further inspected the wall... The wall they would have to cross. And soon.

Aside from the dragon (which was a sight in of itself) Rose saw the Legion unit seemingly led by a grotesque monster. A dry being- for it could not be called human, nor did she believe it even was once- that seemed powerful, strong. She closed her eyes, shaking her head. Things were not fun. Her eyes analyzed the rest of the wall, taking note of where the grate had been and it's supposedly enchanted bars before turning back to Shurik. He was the first to speak. Strange, him being the stoic fellow and all.

"We will have to use the dragon," He murmured. "It is inadvisable, yes, but it is also the only forthcoming solution. We will have to distract them. That is your specialty, I trust?" "

She threw a glance back at the wall before giving him an answer. She raised two fingers and spoke, "Two flavors. Smoke and sound. Smoke to disorganize," she raised a white fletched arrow partly out of her quiver as an example, "and sound to confuse," she said, dropping the white and raising a pink fletched arrow. She grinned and added, "Am I really that predictable?"

She found herself wondering if the back of the dragon could be frozen over, like she did earlier during the charge. That would buy them some time, at least, but would it be enough? She kept her musings to herself and spoke once more, "Shall we return to the others then?" She asked.

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Kalad had followed along behind the others at a slow pace. He additional weight he now carried was not too much for his shoulders to bare, but he saw no reason in being in a hurry before they heard back from Rose and Shurik. They were the scouts after all, for the time being, and it would be upon their report that the group would decide what action to take next. Shifting the weight of his pack there is a thunk, and looking down he sees that one of the scraps of metal he took from the palace blacksmith and picks it up, staring at it while he continues along with the others, analyzing the metal to figure out what type of metal it is, what it might be a scrap from. In his opinion it looked as though it had once been a part of an axe head that had been taken off during a fight.

"I could use this to..." his thoughts on the matter of shaping metal was interrupted then when he happened to glance up and notice the others, who had just broken the treeline, had stopped. Hurrying now to catch up he happens upon the sight of the massive beast, a legend lying right before him, and he was almost sick to his stomach. "How in the name of the gods did they manage this?"

In truth, he didn't want to know, and didn't want to look upon the poor, desecrated creature anymore. Before he even realizes it he has turned back and follows Shawn once more into the woods. Once the group finds a place to stop and wait for the others to return Kalad finds an old stump, sets his packs aside, then sits down himself on said stump, scrap of metal still in his hand, and lets out a long sigh.

"It seems to me that if they have a group here at the break in the wall, there's a good chance they have patrols walking along the wall. I hate to say it, but these Legion bastards might be smarter than we gave them credit for..." the forgemage says, then blushes slightly, remembering that the princess was still in their presence. "Sorry Mylina...but, as I was saying, if there are patrols or not this might still be the best place to try and cross. I don't know of anywhere else along the wall where we would have as good a chance..."

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#, as written by Iandak
As the group came to a halt, Nate couldn't help but be awestruck at the scene unfolding in the distance. The legion had not only had improvised a surprisingly clever way over the wall but appeared to have some sort of General commanding them, something was completely unknown to the Orlayian army. Leaving the whole infiltration and scouting to the professionals in the group, Nate sat down underneath a nearby tree and pulled out a small runed quill along with a leather bound note book. The medic quickly went to work, doing very rough sketches of the commander who was barking unknown orders to the silent masses.

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Character Portrait: Princess Mylina
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The Legion continued to gather in the formations, with more coming across the wall with every moment, and endless stream of warriors to fuel a brutal and genocidal war. Their march echoed upon the ground, and while they could no be seen, those beyond the wall could be heard as trees were cut, animals were slain and the ground was stopped upon. The strange commander followed his personal guard to the front of the formations that were readying. They would make their march upon Orlay, and try again to breach the walls of the city. This strange creature was perhaps what they needed to shift the battle.

Marielle's ears picked up a distant shout, voices from past the other side of the wall and the faint noise of bone clashing against armor. It was strange, but not immediately related to what they were facing. The legion's own noise made it far too difficult to make out more specific information.

Rose and Shurik would be able to make it across in the gap that was available, if Rose were to over-fire an arrow she could bring attention to the area across from them and give a small window. But that was now, if they took the time to gather everyone to bring across then the situation could change. Shurik could surely make the distance if he ran and immediately hid, but that would leave him on the other side of the wall from everyone else.

Princess Mylina rose her left hand to gesture at the Great Wall before them, she spoke sad words, "It's dying. The wall... is sick." Her voice was an angelic whisper, melodic and innocent. Perhaps the magic's of the wall were weakening, if it were true than a pair of magi might be able to work together to breach it, though such a task would likely consume what remained of the daylight hours. The Princess looked regretful, but not worried and she did not cry though she seemed to sympathize with the plight of the wall.

Evidence would suggest to even the most inexperienced among the heroes that it was best to take action soon, or find a place further away to avoid detection by the Black Legion. Quick thinking, or a well placed plan would be the deciding factor of whether everyone would make it past or if some would perish at this early trial.

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Shawn gave the princess a curious look when she spoke, smirking slightly when she said the wall was dying. Perhaps now the enchantments wouldn't pose as much of a problem, but the section within sight was crawling with foes. Shawn set the princess down once he was certain Legion patrols couldn't catch wind of them, and turned to look at Kalad and Nate, both of whom were smarter than he by far with magic.

"Need second group to scout wall now, check strength of magic. Shawn and Elf take Fire man or Whiney man, others guard girl until Rose and Whispering man return" Shawn said, looking about for a moment as if testing his plan in his head one more time before nodding, finding everything agreeable. The elf was faster and Shawn actually liked her, and Shawn was strong and better with close range, so between the two it would be no problem to protect one of the mages long enough to verify the princess's words. They wouldn't be gone long anyway, he didn't believe, but they needed to take action now and come up with a plan. With as many Legion about at this section of the wall, it might be a good idea to try to break through elsewhere if they could. The dragon was a landmark and would be a main area for troops to congregate on either side of the wall, but if they made their own break then their odds would be far better, especially if it could be disguised to keep the Legion from finding it. Be one less area for the Legion to amass troops as well.

"Any object, Shawn fight now" The monster of a man said, standing to full height.

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#, as written by Cypher
Shurik shifted his weight from one foot to the other. There were two choices at this point: abandon the others and breach the wall by climbing the dragon, or go back for the others and risk their opportunity. It was a small window that would easily close in a matter of moments should he turn his back, and Shurik wasn't a betting man. But there was strength and safety in numbers, and personally Shurik liked the possibility of letting someone else be shot with an arrow or stabbed in his stead. He settled the heel of one hand beneath his chin, crouched low for a few moments, before sighing and shaking his head.

"Yes. Back to the others." The assassin quickly gave a single confident nod and started to slowly track back along the riverbank, moving towards where he and Rose had left the others. Along the way he continued thinking. Perhaps the others had discovered a better way to breach the wall? Or perhaps they had already gone ahead and leapt over while he and Rose were scouting? He didn't like that possibility, but the large one--the Holyfield, he believed--he had no misgivings about that one. At the first sign of weakness, the Holyfield would abandon the entire party and likely attempt to finish the quest himself. Not that he doubted that the huge man could survive to the end of the road, but he doubted that the Princess would survive the huge man's brute force approach to making it to the altar.

It was best that they stayed as a group, then. Shurik thought that last bit to himself as he hopped out of the riverbed and returned to the fold of the full group. "We have a plan," He said with some measure of confidence. "Perhaps the large one would be willing to assist us in improving it."

The phrase was delivered in such a tone that, although its wording implied it was a polite request, it came off as an order--'Help us come up with a better idea than hurling smoke and whistles at them.'

cron