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Leave of the King

Leave of the King

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Private RP with Mombie

650 readers have visited Leave of the King since mjolnir created it.

mombie are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.

Introduction

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As the myth goes, in the beginning, there was King Magnus. He was given rule over everything under the sun as a gift from the Gods. At first, he was a just and kind ruler. For many years, everyone lived in peace and prosperity under his rule. Then, as if a sign from the gods, Magnus' three wives gave birth to The Three Sons, a human, an elf and a dwarf. But, what Magnus didn't know was that the birth of his three sons was the catalyst for the King's descendent into madness.

As his sons grew, Magnus began to covet his power more and more, growing unwilling to pass on his rule to his heirs. On the sons' eighteenth birthday, Magnus had finally been pushed over the edge. Greedy and selfish, unwilling to give up his power, the King tried to kill his sons. So blinded by madness, when the Queens put themselves before their sons, Magnus didn't bat an eye before cutting them down where they stood. The sons, devastated at the sight of their dead mothers, took up arms against Magnus who was no match for them.

Vowing not to follow in their father's footsteps, the sons separated the world into three kingdoms for them to rule side by side. Avalon, the sky realm, was given to the elf son, Xalterra, the earth realm, was given to the dwarf son and Ilyos, the sea realm, was given to the human son.

Peace reigned throughout the world for centuries. Memories of King Magnus and the Three Sons faded to history, and history faded to myth. As the years passed on, Magnus and the Three Sons were no more real than the Gods themselves. But the legend of the sons' vow to one another kept the lands at peace for longer than anyone could count.

But as more generations passed on, the strength of that vow weakened. No matter how hard the Kings tried, peace wasn't permanent. Soon enough, Kings would fall under Magnus' Greed, lusting after more than just their own kingdom, but control over the three. The first great war was The Great Divide, when the three Kings no longer honored the vow, breaking their reign of peace.

It wasn't a decade later when the kingdoms were fighting again in The War of Ascension. The elves grew greedy, finding themselves superior to the other kingdoms and species. They rained fire and destruction on the other two kingdoms, leaving them in ruins. Taking all their wealth and supplies, the elves shut down inter-kingdom travel, no longer allowing outsiders entrance into the sky realm.

Then there was quiet. Centuries and centuries of quiet. Each kingdom was completely shut off from the other. For a while, it was almost like the others didn't exist at all. But now the stirrings have started again, whispers carrying throughout the realms of another impending war. It is said that this will be the fight to end all fights…



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Ilyos has always been seen as a threat to the other kingdoms. Although small, it is a fortress surrounded by a treacherous sea that most elves and dwarves don't dare traverse. Even though the sea realm isn't the most powerful kingdom, its location makes it the most impregnable hold in the world. Because of its desirability, rumor has spread to the King of Ilyos that both Avalon and Xalterra have their sights set on the sea realm.

Ilyos might be a fortress, but if Xalterran and Avalonian forces both attack the small realm, Ilyos doesn't stand a chance. As a desperate move, the King launches a plan to take out the enemy before war. He offers the prisoners in his dungeon the one thing they want most, a pardon… In exchange? They must travel to Xalterra and Avalon, and kill the other Kings. Along with the prisoners, a handful of the best King's Guard will accompany them to assure the task is accomplished, keeping everyone in line, while the fugitives put their skills to use. The best part of his plan? Deniability.



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Please click on the different images to continue reading about the three kingdoms, classifications and species.

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Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn Character Portrait: Ragna Lahshrahël Character Portrait: Mundric Etehphyire Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
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#, as written by mjolnir
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rosalyn laurence
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midwifex|xhumanx|xhealer
#c89600x|xattire

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Rosalyn spent most of her days with the Queen, unless more formal affairs called for her attention. Those days she was able to visit her family or go into town. But that day things seemed more calm. The two of them had spent most of the evening lounging in the Queen's chambers reading poems, gossiping and anything else women enjoyed in each other's company absent men.

Their friendship had bloomed ever since the King brought Rose to stay on as one of the court mages. It was surreal, being trusted by a royal. She got to live a type of life that most in her station never dreamed of. And while she had access to lavish clothes and luxuries beyond her wildest dreams, she still lived a modest life amongst the nobles. She was known to wear clothing that she made with her own two hands, with cloth she purchased with her own money. She rarely relied on servants, often getting whatever she needed herself. She was odd compared to the walks of life that surrounded her. Rose knew of the whispers that spread when her back was turned or behind closed doors. But she paid no mind.

The Queen didn't seem to mind either. She couldn't care less what the other snobby noble women gossiped about. She enjoyed Rose's company. Maybe it was because she didn't suck up to the Queen or conform to what was expected of her. Their friendship was unorthodox but it worked.

"Gods," the Queen laughed, taking a bite of the biscuit she held in her hand. "You know he uses the chamberpot at least three times in the middle of the night!" She held up her hand to mask her laughter. "Who in the world has to go that many times in the middle of the night?"

Rose's laughter surprised her, nearly causing her to spit out her drink. "I wouldn't know the first thing about living with a man."

"No brothers?" The Queen asked before taking a sip of her wine.

"No. Five older sisters though."

"Good heavens, five?" Her eyes went wide for a moment. "Your poor mother. Three is plenty for me." The Queen held up her hand in surrender. While it was common for women to have many children, Queen Yvette also had very difficult pregnancies. No one would blame her for being through with it. There was an heir. So, more children weren't necessary.

Rosalyn didn't say anything, just gave a small smile before taking another sip of her water. She wasn't a fan of drinking. It'd be her luck the one time she got intoxicated, the King would call upon her.

"Oh sweet girl, I didn't mean to offend you." Yvette sat up and leaned forward, taking a hold of Rose's hand. "You're time will come. And then you can know all about the marital bliss of a middle of the night piss," she said with a hushed tone and a chuckle. Rose couldn't help but to laugh.

When she looked up she noticed the King standing in the doorway. Rosalyn gasped slightly, withdrawing her hand from the Queen's and swiftly moved to her feet. While as unorthodox Rose might be, she still knew the proper way to act when she came face to face with royalty. She took her skirt in her hands and curtsied, being sure to bow her head in respect. "Your Grace."

"Surely, my love, Rosalyn doesn't have to bow when she's just in our presence," the Queen commented, turning slightly so that she could look towards her husband.

"It's fine, Your Grace. I do not wish to disrespect the King." To be honest, she was scared to disrespect him. Living in the castle, Rose has seen and heard her fair share of the King's temper. He's not known to be the most forgiving man. And while she has earned her place there, she's replaceable and often feels like she is there on borrowed time. Rose doesn't fit in. So, if anything, she has to try harder to prove she deserves to stay.

"Smart girl," the King said shaking his index finger slightly as he stepped into the room. "I feel many people could learn a thing or two from you."

"Thank you, Your Grace," Rosalyn said, once again curtsying.

The King actually cracked a small smile before he moved to stand beside his seated wife. He lovingly stroked her hair and placed a kiss upon her forehead. "My dear, might I borrow Ms. Laurence?"

While his request was nothing out of the ordinary, Rose often was asked to aid a wounded soldier... Or even more rarely, a prisoner he tortured for information, the Queen seemed reluctant to let her go. "What for? She's being such a doll today. I'd hate to be parted from her just yet."

Then there was silence. The King said nothing. His expression didn't seem to change. If anything he became stoic like a statue as a wordless conversation seemed to pass between himself and his wife. "No!" The Queen exclaimed moving to her feet. "She is my midwife. My friend. Not one of your soldiers!"

"I do not need your permission. I merely asked out of respect as a curtesy." While his voice was calm, The King's words made it clear he would not be tested.

"She's my Lady in waiting and my responsibility. Not your pawn!" The Queen's voice raised, challenging her husband.

"She is a court mage and the best healer in Ilyos. She will do whatever I damn well please!" There it was. The King's anger was slowly coming out.

Rosalyn worried about what the anger could cause. She heard the rumors and that was enough to frighten anyone. There was context missing from this conversation, but she could piece together enough. Whatever it was that he needed her for was no normal errand. She never saw the Queen act in such a way, especially on Rose's behalf. It worried her. But not as much as the King's anger did and what that could mean for Yvette.

"I'll go," Rose took a step forward interjecting, hoping to stop the shouting before it got worse. They both grew silent and looked toward her. "It's alright. I'll go," she reiterated.

"As I said before, smart," the King commented looking between herself and the Queen.

Yvette took up Rose's hands and squeezed them. "You are brave and strong." Her eyes widened as she saw the worry and concern in the Queen's face. What did she agree to? And why did she feel like this is the last time they would be seeing each other. "Don't forget that."

"Brom, could you please escort Ms. Laurence to the war room." The King spoke to one of his guards that waited by the entrance, but his face still looked angered and his gaze did not move from his wife.

The Queen quickly pulled Rose in for a hug, which surprised her. It wasn't proper. Behind closed doors it wouldn't worry her so, but with the King's judgmental gaze, she didn't know how to act. "You can say no," Yvette whispered in her ear. Rose was confused. She wanted to know what the Queen meant but dare not ask. She only returned the embrace gently and would only let go when she did.

The King's hand fell on his wife's shoulder, which made her pull away. Rosalyn nodded her head to the royals before she crossed the room to join the guard. "I shall join you shortly," he said to her as they exited the room, closing the door after them.

As Rose followed Brom silently down the hall, she could hear the King's voice raised in anger, shouting at his wife. She couldn't make out what he was saying and part of her was thankful for that. But it didn't stop the pit from growing in her stomach. He didn't seem the type to hit his wife, but what she knew of their marriage was seen through rose tinted glasses. She couldn't help but worry about her friend. But more importantly, her anxiety grew at the unknown task the King was going to ask of her.

It took awhile for them to reach the war room. It was in a part of the castle that Rosalyn had never been too. Ladies in waiting were never privy to the council chambers, war rooms or soldiers barracks. It was unbecoming. Being a court mage gave her some freedom, but not much. And Rose dare not ever go anywhere besides where she was told.

Brom opened the door for her. "Make yourself comfortable while you wait."

Rose nodded her head to the guard before he closed the door, leaving her in the room alone. She had no idea what a "war room" was supposed to look like, but it was larger than she imagined. There were shields, weapons and stuffed beast heads that decorated the walls. On the far side of the room was a hearth that was so large she could step into it if she so desired. But the focal point was the large table in the center of the room with a map stretched across its entire surface. It showed all of Ilyos and Xalterra. Then a separate page on top showed Avalon's current location. There were small wooden ships and infantry men that covered the surface in different locations. It felt like something not meant for a woman's eyes, like she'd be reprimanded if someone were to walk in and find her standing there.

Instead of feeding her curiosity and looking longer, Rosalyn made her way to a chair that sat along one of the walls, far from the table. She exhaled a shaky breath before taking a seat and waiting. All the while, her legs bounced nervously and her hands trembled. For the first time, Rose feared for her life.





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aramis devereux
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#9f8c7dx|xattire

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Aramis had been home on Luna Isle for nearly a month. It wasn't uncommon that he'd be out at sea for months at a time. Usually his home stays were short, maybe a week at best, which gave him just enough time to repair his ship, restock food rations, see his family and then be on his way yet again. He was thankful for the down time but knew it couldn't last much longer. Boats had been shipping off for days now and it was only matter of time before his was next.

He had been climbing about the mast and sails for a couple hours checking that every rope was fastened properly, the sails had no holes and that everything was in tip top shape. Aramis must have triple checked his ship at this point, not to mention the several times his crew also checked everything. Most captains would take their crews' word for it, but he always had to see it himself, with his own eyes, before he'd consider The Siren in good sailing condition.

"Ahoy, Arie!" A small voiced sang from the dock below. He couldn't fight the smile that crept across his face. It was none other than his little niece Penelope, beckoning him to dinner. The young girl grew up on stories of pirates and elaborate tales of his voyages at sea. She loved everything about it. He had been told on multiple occasions that when he is away, she'd recount his stories to his sister, Lysandra, over and over again.

"Who goes there?" He called out. His left arm held onto the mast as he leaned out to scan the horizon, using his right hand to block his eyes from the sun. The sun that was already setting and behind him, so it didn't bother him at all. But, of course, he had to play the part.

"Penelope!" She giggled, jumped and waved trying to get his attention.

"Penelope?... Penelope? I don't know a Penelope," he said as he began to climb back down to the deck. "You must be confusing me with someone else, miss."

"Arie!" Her little voice squealed.

Aramis dropped down the last couple of feet to the deck and made his way to the dock. "Oh! That Penelope!" He jested. He then quickly reached down, and scooped up the young girl. He spun her around playfully, before raising her up so that she could sit on his shoulders. The bubbly blonde giggled the entire time as Aramis held her hands and spun around with her on his shoulders. "And how is my favorite girl today?"

Penelope laughed happily, holding tight to his thumbs. "I brought you something!"

"Oh you did?" Aramis moved his hands to gently hold her feet as she wiggled on his shoulders. "Careful," he laughed, making sure she didn't fall as she squirmed around.

After a moment or two Penelope's small hand shoved something into his face. "I made this for you."

"Wow," he said leaning his head back to try and see the gift. Her little arms held it so close to his face that it tickled his nose almost making him sneeze.

"It's a necklace!"

"I knew that," Aramis fibbed, just then finally seeing the small blue flowers tied together by their stems.

"It'll match your feather," she said as she tried her best to put the necklace over his head. He raised his right hand and helped her get it over his head without breaking it. Penelope then grabbed his hair and pulled it up and over the chain of flowers. "Do you still have your feather I gave you?" she asked as her fingers started digging through his dark locks.

"Of course I do," he said. Aramis reached his left hand behind his ear and found the deep blue feather that was fastened to a braid in his hair. Penelope instantly giggled when she saw it, running her finger tips over it.

She sighed contently as she rested her cheek upon the top of his head. Her left hand continuously brushing the blue feather. Aramis adjusted her on his shoulders slightly before walking down the docks back to shore. "Hey, Arie?"

"Yeah?"

"The next time you go out on one of your adventures... Can you bring me back a feather too?" She leaned forward, looking down at him. Her little hands grabbed the sides of his face, tilting his head back so he could look up at her. Penelope's plump little face framed by her blonde curls.

Aramis walked casually, not particularly in a rush but also not slowly either. He guided them past storefronts and houses towards the barracks. "Purple!" she chirped, before he could respond. Penelope bounced on his shoulders with excitement seeing where they were. "What are we doing here?" she teased, as if she didn't already know.

"Visiting a friend," Aramis answered as they neared the training grounds where a handful of soldiers sparred with swords and archers launched arrows into targets. If he didn't hurry and get Penelope off his shoulders, she probably would have jumped off. He lowered her down to the ground and the second her feet touched the earth, she took off in a sprint. "Careful!" he called after her as she weaved her way through men who were all used to the presence of the excited blonde.

"Renny!" Penelope called out when she finally saw him. Aramis slowly followed her not nearly in the rush that she was. He made sure to apologize to anyone she might have distracted as she zipped through the grounds. "I made you a present too!" She was so excited she nearly fell over as she bounced around, looking for the gift. Eventually she pulled out a similar flower necklace, although this one was made with white flowers and held it out to Rendrik.

"I hope we're not interrupting," Aramis said, more out of politeness. At this point it was nearly a daily occurrence, but he still never wanted to disrupt his friends training.

Penelope took a hold of Rendrik's hand and playfully tugged it. "You're coming to dinner, right Renny?"

Just before Aramis could join them he heard someone clear their throat from behind him. He pivoted on his heels, turning around to face a member of the King's Guard, Godrick. "Captain Devereux," the man greeted with a bow.

"Godrick," he replied. He wasn't familiar with every guard, but Godrick was often the one sent to give him his new orders or gather him to meet with the king. Aramis glanced over his shoulder toward Rendrik, making sure he had Penelope before he nodded his head toward the guard, signaling for them to step aside so they can talk.

"The King requests your presence immediately, Sir. Along with Mr. Hezenkraid."

Aramis sighed. Of course, a quiet day couldn't last forever. It never did. He glanced back over his shoulder toward his friend. "Rendrick... Penelope," he called out to them, before turning his attention back to Godrick. "What's wrong? Is the King ok?"

"Sorry Sir, I did not mean to worry you. Just following orders." Godrick held out a rolled up piece of parchment that contained his orders along with the seal of the King. "I've just been told he requests both of you, presently. He has sent messengers to gather you, Rendrick Hezenkraid and Laou Tsai-zhan. He requests you meet him in the war room, immediately. I apologize, I do not know anything. Just that it is urgent."

Aramis raised his right hand, running it back through his hair. After a moment, he nodded his head toward Godrick. He then turned toward Penelope who came running back to him. He squatted down so that he was more at her level. "Hey," he smiled, taking her hands in his. "I have to go. Godrick here is going to take you back home. You'll have to tell your mom that Rendrick and I won't be able to make it for super." He gave her a slight smile, playfully tugging at her hands.

Penelope frowned. "You always have to go."

"I know," he sighed softly, pulling her in for a hug. "How about this... When I'm done, I'll stop by and tell you all another story about Renny's and my adventures. Deal?"

She quickly perked up, a smile growing upon her face. "Deal!"

Aramis stood up and walked Penelope over toward Godrick. He took her little hand and held it out to the guard. "Straight home, Godrick. And you," he pointed down at the little blonde. "Don't hurt Godrick too much. He's fragile." He laughed and patted the guard on the shoulder as he walked away with Penelope in tow.

Once alone, Aramis looked over at Rendrick, nodding his head in the direction of the keep. "We've been summoned," he said with a roll of his eyes. Both of them took their jobs seriously, but that didn't mean he wasn't always a fan of the last minute summonings. He hated breaking that little girl's heart whenever he had to fall through on a promise because of the King's demands. Either way, they had to do whatever he bade. Aramis could only hope that it wouldn't be another six month voyage. It always seemed the longer he was back home, the harder it was for him to set out to sea again.





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vonmyr dalgaard
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prisonerx|xdwarfx|xbandit bard
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phaedra raephen
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prisonerx|xelfx|xassassin
#b1aecbx|xattire

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The dungeon was dark, cold and wet. It didn't matter the time of year, or the weather outside, it never changed. The waterfall that surrounded the cells kept everything in the perpetual state of uncomfortable dampness. Instead of eery silences, the sounds of dripping and rushing water echoed throughout the handful of cells. There were maybe ten cells that made up the small dungeon, all of them forming a circle surrounding the singular staircase out. The backside of each holding was absent a wall, instead water rushed past and what view could be made was of a very long and steep fall to an inevitable death.

It could be argued that Phaedra was put in the worst cell of the dungeon, if there was such a cell. It seemed the waterfall tended to slip into her space more than the others and if she didn't know any better, it looked to be open to the heart of the falls. She sat with her back against the left wall, her legs stretched out before her and her ankles crossed. With a sigh, she let her head slowly lean back until it was resting upon the wet stone.

The thought of jumping into the falls and letting it carry her to the depths below was tempting. Maybe she could defy the odds and survive. She knew how to swim. The most difficult part would be figuring out which way was up when she reached the bottom. No matter which path she took, everything would end in death. She was caught, red handed, trying to murder the King. There was no coming back from that. Even the smartest of criminals knew that.

In the cell across the way, Vonmyr sat at ease like he was in a tavern, not a dungeon. He sat comfortably upon the ground, legs stretched before him with his jacket as a pillow against the wall. The cold and damp didn't bother him. He only wished the water was fresh rather than ocean water. He was quite thirsty. His large calloused fingers slowly tuned his lute, trying to get the pitch and sound just right. It took a moment or two but once finished he gave the instrument an enthusiastic strum.

"Deep in the dungeons of Ilyos,
a prison without any walls.
Forever to stay and waste away
or find our end in the falls."

Phaedra scoffed, picking up a nearby rock and threw it into the falls.

"If you don't like my singing, you can just say so," Vonmyr practically sang at her, even strumming his lute along with his words.

Phaedra, without much emotion in her face, turned to look across the dungeon at the dwarf. "I don't like your singing."

"Well that's unfortunate," he chuckled and strummed louder. "Thalin... Thalin? What does rhyme with your name?" Vonmyr pursed his lips slightly as he tried to run over words in his mind and think up a quick line or two.

"How did you manage to get that in here? Even your ass isn't that big."

"Ha! She has jokes. And here I thought you were an old sour puss." He aggressively strummed the lute, preventing him from hearing her if she were to say anything else. "Don't get mad at me, sweetheart. I didn't make you take that job." He hummed and continued to play, no longer trying to be obnoxious, but just giving those of them in the dungeon something to listen to other than the continuous rushing of the falls.

Phaedra kicked another stone out the open back of the cell, crossing her arms over her chest. "No. You just gave me the job."

"Ho ho!" Vonmyr set down his lute and hopped up to his feet. He turned directly toward her cell, resting his arms on the iron bars. "You're quick to point fingers. Was it not you who came to me asking for my highest paying job?" When there was no response, he decided to answer for her. "Yes. Yes it was. And I thought to myself, 'Well, if anyone could get this done it'd be Thalin, Tthe great Xalterran assassin.'" He exaggerated waving his hands slightly like he was in awe. "But you failed... Or you wouldn't be here."

He slapped his hands down on the iron bars and tapped the cold metal with his thumbs. "Don't blame me for your troubles, my dear," Vonmyr said as he retreated from the bars and returned to his seat. "I've got enough of my own." Without another word, the lyrics came to him. Von picked up his lute, gave it another strum and began to sing once again.

"The great assassin from Xalterra,
Thalin, the best of the lot.
She opened her gob and took the job,
now left in a dungeon to rot."

With a final strum, he grinned looking across the dungeon to be met by her piercing gaze. Luckily for him, there were two sets of iron bars separating them. If there wasn't, he'd most certainly have a black eye. It wouldn't be the first time the angry assassin gave him a welt or two. He was used to it. Came with the profession.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
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#, as written by mombie
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T s a i - z h a n x L a o u

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guard || human || assassin
#650005 || Outfit

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Laughter, feminine giggling, the scent of exquisite wine overflowing coupled with intoxicating sweat; joy, harmony, and freedom. Laou enjoyed the frivolous Madame's House of Ladies. He is, after all a man, and men do have needs. He didn't deal with court maidens or other esteemed ladies. The royal life was too uncertain, and that made even the most beautiful women of the court untouchable for fear that they would soon disappear for one reason or the other. The establishment was useful not only for its high-end pleasantries, but also as a source for a constant flow of information. They knew him well, as both a purveyor of fine goods, and a buyer of secrets. Every assassin had eyes and ears in more than one place, and drunken lecherous men were hardly tight-lipped.

This was his personal room that he reserved; more traditionally oriental in style with a lavish bedroll, silken pillows and sheets, and privacy. No one ever disrupted his dealings or his fun. The Madame that ran the establishment was paid monthly, and it was enough of a sum to make her turn a blind eye to the things that took place here. The women enjoyed his presence as well, as he wasn't a brutish thug like some of the lowlife nobility that visits. He wasn't always so carnal. Sometimes he just enjoyed their company for games, drinking, storytelling, or whatever was on his mind at the time.

Tonight was fairly loose both about desires of the flesh and games. Everyone was having fun, and out of five women and one man, only the ladies were drunk. Laou knew better than to become too intoxicated as tensions grow between the Three Kingdoms. He could be summoned at any time. So, he dappled only in a meager sip every now and again, allowing himself to teeter on the edge of feeling good and intoxication.

The Madame knocked thrice upon his door, and he flicked his wrist to have one of the women go and open it. He was rarely disturbed, so when he was, he already knew that it was important. He was sprawled out on the bedroll, supported by a small mountain of pillows. His Hanbok was undone to reveal his chest, but his pants and boots were still on.

When the door opened, the golden-haired beauty smiled at him thinly, bowing just slightly in an apologetic manner. "I've been sent a missive for you," she said, holding the letter out for him to take. He stood up, took it gently from her grasp, and opened it up. It had the King's royal seal, which meant that it was time for him to go.

The ladies were getting dressed; some in more or less attire than others. He handed the letter over to one of them, and they tossed it into the fireplace for him. "Good game, ladies. You almost had me tonight," He tossed them one of his winks and smirks, toying around with them a little before he had to go. They all giggled at him in their drunken joyous state and waved good-bye once he fixed himself up to leave.

* * *

The hooves of Laou's horse clopped toward the castle gate. The stud was robust, tall, and armored. It was clear that Laou, while not born into royalty, was favored by the monarchy. No one really knew what he did, but they assumed he was also as untouchable as any of the King's confidants.

Once the gate opened for him, a stable boy rushed as the assassin dismounted. He took the horse away, and Laou moved into the castle. He navigated the various halls, bowed his head to those he passed, but otherwise said nothing at all. That's how the world outside of Madame's establishment saw him; a quiet specter that sometimes traveled through the castle when summoned.

His steps were mere whispers when he moved into the war room. It could be quite the startle to look up and suddenly notice him. Laou immediately snared the redhead in his peripherals, and his head tilted with curiosity. It was not often that a woman could be in a space such as this. Her anxiety was as palpable as the damp air within the castle walls. He didn't know who she was, and she probably didn't know him. He held her within his sharp monolid gaze for a few brief seconds but eventually moved on to pretend that he didn't find her presence a little disturbing.

Disturbing as in this was no place for someone like her, trembling and nervous.

He pulled out a chair at the table, sat himself down, and leaned back comfortably. The sheath for his sword was revealed as the dark fabric of his hanbok parted just slightly at the side, and the half-mask on his face was barely visible through the long inky bangs he had brushed over to that side. He looked over the table's decor, and this made him glance back at the woman.

"Are you a court lady?" There had to be some explanation for her being here amid all of this.





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R e n d r i k x H e z e n k r a l d

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guard || human || ranger
#833C13 || Outfit

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Rendrik was going over some evening drills with the King's ranged military. There were rows of young men, with a woman or two sprinkled throughout the squads, readying bows. They took turns firing at targets, and Rendrik led them through battlefield commands. He paced to and fro, his hands at the small of his back, and sometimes walking in front of the firing line. Was he risking certain death? Maybe, but he did trust his skills as a teacher and had faith in the trainees. Did he have a few scars from being marred by arrows during training? Sure. Accidents always happened.

Once he noticed that Penelope was about to come bursting through, he gave the command for all trainees to halt whatever it is that they were doing. He informed them that it was time to go get some rest, as they had trained almost all day. Ren, himself, was growing a little bit tired. Physical exhaustion combined with aging has been hitting him a bit harder lately. Nevertheless, he smiled when the spritely young girl nearly bounced through the training yard with a flower necklace in tow.

He owns quite a few flower necklaces by now, among other things. He kept many of the presents that she gave to him, as he no longer had children of his own. Penelope filled a rather small portion of the gaping void in his chest, and for the time being, she made him both sad and happy all at once.

He squatted down to accept the humble gift, "I will wear it with pride," he assured her as he let her put it on him. He stood up, gave her a little twirl, "Do I look like a princess?"

Penelope giggled jovially at him, "You're not a girl!"

He placed a palm against his chest and feigned dramatic shock and dismay at the insult. He put on his best feminine voice and batted his eyelashes, "Why, I am the most beautiful princess in all of Ilyos! How darest thou!"

She laughed again, and by this time, she had taken his hand to ask about him coming by for dinner. He looked down at her and winked, "Of course, Penelope. I did promise that I would give you extra reading work." That made her groan, but it was all in good jest.

He finally drew his attention to Aramis, clapping his friend on the shoulder with a warm smile, "It's fine. We were just finishing up."

Just before he could say anything else, they were interrupted by the King's Guard. While Aramis spoke with the man, he listened in quietly. They were all being summoned. He looked down at Penelope, "It looks like you get another pass on homework," he grinned. As Penelope and Aramis said their final words, Rendrik allowed the parting girl a quick hug before she skipped off with the guard.

* * *

The two men moved through the castle, likely having some kind of conversation about this or that. They were friends, after all. They entered the war room in no time, as they knew better than to test the King's patience by lollygagging around.

His eyes immediately went to the table with the map and the strategically placed war pieces. Then to Laou. He didn't know the man personally, but he's seen him out and about. Sometimes he even travels aboard Aramis' ship. He nodded in his direction, but then was swiftly taken aback by the presence of a... lady?

Women were slowly starting to trickle into the military ranks, but it was still predominantly male. The war room had always been a pretty masculine place. It's just reality, whether one agreed with it or not. He could tell that she was nervous, as anyone with eyes could see it clearly.

He waved and smiled at her, "Don't worry, lass. I know Aramis' ugly mug is shocking, but he's a really good guy." He threw his friend under the bus, hoping that it would help dispel some of the unease. He took a seat shortly after to wait for an explanation.





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M e l a r u e x S y l l a r

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prisoner || elf || conjurer
#322646 || Outfit

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Darkness; deprived of sight and sound and all senses. Splattered endlessly by the torturous waterfall, Melarue was condemned to an abyssal, damn, and cold dungeon cell. Her mask, of which encompassed her head in its entirety, sealed away her voice and even her sight. Heavy chains bound her wrists and ankles, and she could not move more than an inch or two. The first time they took off her prisoner's helm; she bit the finger off of one of the guards clean off. She was deemed to dangerous for interaction. Then again, when you treat a person like an animal, they might just become one.

Thanks to her feral attitude; she was not forced into unwanted situations. Not one guard wanted to touch her. Hell, not a single one of them desired to even be close to her cell. Despite the fact that there was nothing in this world that she could possibly do any longer, she was still a nightmare. Even the way her chest heaved when she breathed was scary.

There was only one guard that could deal with her properly, and maybe it was because he wasn't as scared of her as others were. She even allowed him to remove her helmet enough to eat and drink since the shackles provide an additional magical seal of her voice. He had handled her once; put her in her place, but that was it. Since then, he never treated her badly, but he did speak to her every once in a while. He had become her keeper for the last seven years. He was her only contact; her only connection to humanity.

Melarue had lost her sense of time. The days had turned into weeks and those into months. Those morphed into years, and before she could keep count of the days in her head, the concept of all of the above disappeared from her mind and body. By this time, she wished she was dead. Even for someone like her, this was inhumane. Rue felt suffering; a loss of her elegance and her Elven nature.

She wondered why they kept her alive. It had been certain years ago that she'd be executed, but the day keeps getting pushed farther and farther away. Deep inside of her gut, however, as this particular day had drawn closer and closer, she had this strange feeling that she'd not be executed this day, either.





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M e g i n a x S i g b y r n

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prisoner || dwarf || barbarian warrior
#14ACB4 || Outfit

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Megina wished that they would just execute her already. Not that she deserved it, but Humans were so stupid and ready to kill anyone that wasn't like them that she had expected to be dead a long time ago. It was wrong to keep her in a cell like this; she was wet, cold, and it was way too dark. Sometimes she thought about just jumping to her death, but sometimes - just sometimes - she thought that maybe she'd be released.

"I like your singing!" The Dwarven female chimed in, not that anyone asked her. Alas, she was bored to death and there was no one else to interact with. Sometimes she could get away with an occasional conversation with one of the guards, but they were a bit too uptight. Sure, maybe there was a decent soldier every now and again, but for the most part - no, they were mostly grumpy stick-up-the-butts.

She walked up the steel bars of her cell and clung to them, throwing her body lazily against them to plead with the guards. "Come on, when is it time for dinner? Or is it breakfast? Lunch?" She tilted her head as she feigned being in thought. Megina pressed her forehead between two bars and batted her lashes at one of the guards. Granted, she wasn't in her best shape at all. She smelled, was on the gaunt side, and needed a good bath.

One of the passing guards just kicked her cell, and she sighed at that. "If you don't like the schedule, you can just jump to your death, rock humper." He spat on the floor near her cell, and she frowned at him.

"Actually, I've never lived in the mountains," she corrected them, again. They enjoy calling her all of the Dwarven insults, and most of them had to do with beards, being vertically challenged, and rocks. Sure, she's vertically challenged, but she's never had a beard and she's never lived in the mountains.

"'Tree Humper' would be a little more appropriate." She tossed the guards one of her best smiles, and she could practically feel his disdain for her. "But really, I do question your fascination with humping inanimate objects. Are you... um... inept down there?" She pointed a finger down to his groin, and he was immediately flustered.

As he continued to walk, she moved over just a bit, "By the way, who do we petition to for our innocence? I really don't deserve to be in here. I'm just a poor case of the wrong day, wrong place, wrong time."

At this point in time, they were no longer listening to her. While she was very annoying, they've learned to ignore the woman's barrage of insults and eagerness to prove her innocence. They didn't really care about whether or not she was guilty of anything at all. Once a prisoner was condemned to the dungeons, their stay was perpetual until death.

As the boot falls of the guards sounded farther and farther away, she turned around and plopped herself onto her ass with her back pressed against the bars. She spared a moment to wipe some water from her face, which just smeared dirt and debris around and yawned too-loudly.

"Humans are so stupid," she muttered under her breath, then said it once again - this time for even the departing guards to hear.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by mjolnir
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rosalyn laurence
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midwifex|xhumanx|xhealer
#c89600x|xattire

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aramis devereux
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captainx|xhumanx|xswashbuckler
#9f8c7dx|xattire

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bayard volström
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king's guardx|xhumanx|xknight
#8ba3a6x|xattire

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When the doors first opened, out of habit, Rosalyn quickly moved to her feet and prepared to curtsy. But the person who entered was not the King, nor a noble of any kind that she could recall. Something about the man made her uneasy. Perhaps it was the way his gaze lingered on her with a strange curiosity as he tried to piece together her presence. He held it there for much longer than she would have liked as she remained frozen where she stood. She had no idea what to do or how to act.

Rosalyn would have remained standing there for as long as the man stared at her. She didn't dare move or sit until it seemed proper. Being a Lady in waiting, she quickly learned that she did not sit until told to, or until the men in the room sat before her. She didn't know what she did to be here, but she'd do her damn best not to put anything else out of order. So, she waited until the mysterious man took a seat at the table. As he looked away, she gently smoothed her skirts beneath her before lowering herself back into the chair.

There was silence, for a time, before the man's gaze found his way back to her. "Are you a court lady?"

"Yes, sir," Rose responded sheepishly, trying not to appear as anxious as she felt. "I am a Lady in waiting to the Queen, and a court mage."

Aramis and Renrik took their sweet time finding their way to the war room. Somehow, the pair could always find something to talk about. There was rarely a quiet moment in their presence, but it passed the time and made long voyages far more tolerable. Neither one of them was a stranger to the war room and had been called there on several occasions before. So, to him, it seemed nothing out of sorts.

They were laughing about something or other when Aramis opened the door for Ren and followed in after him. "Evening Laou," he said with a nod of his head.

Aramis might not have noticed the woman at all if it wasn't for Rendrik. It too, took him by surprise. He nearly bumped into the back of his friend when his eyes fell upon the fiery headed woman. She was stunning, there was no doubt about that, fair skin with hair so red it could rival the sun. He had never seen her before, Gods know if he did, he might not have been able to get the image of her out of his mind. It wasn't that women on Luna Isle weren't comely, but it was rare for them to hold such striking beauty. To be honest, it was breath taking and left him silent searching for words.

Luckily, Rendrik wasn't naive like Aramis. He spent years of his life beside a beautiful woman, so this was nothing new to him. "Don't worry, lass. I know Aramis' ugly mug is shocking, but he's a really good guy."

Rose nearly got to her feet a second time, but the two men came in with loud laughter that it couldn't be the King. She was surprised one of them actually smiled at her and waved, rather that staring at her like some albatross that didn't belong. She chuckled softly at his comment, while the younger of the two seemed to be staring. Although it wasn't as piercing as the man who already sat at the table.

Good 'ole Ren, can count on him to knock anyone back to reality. Aramis rolled his eyes and shoved his friend playfully. "Forgive my friend here. He's practically senile. He has forgotten how to act in the presence of a Lady." Aramis then did his best to bow. It wasn't something that was foreign to him. He had to do it for the King all the time. But that didn't mean he had mastered it either. "I am Aramis Devereux and the walking corpse is Rendrik Hezenkrald." He then extended his right hand toward the young woman in a polite greeting.

Rosalyn stared at the offered hand for a moment, before placing her own delicate hand in his. Aramis then lifted it to his mouth, placing a gentle kiss upon her knuckles. It was a common greeting among the nobles, but he lingered. Just a fraction of a moment longer. Nothing that anyone else would have noticed, but she did. Rose managed a soft smile as she responded. "I'm Rosalyn Laurence."

There was a loud bang on the opposite side of the room as the doors flung open and the King entered. He walked into the war room with purpose and a pensive look on his face. Bayard and another guard followed, closing the doors behind him. He motioned his hand toward the war table, seeming not to be in the mood for the pomp and circumstance of bows and curtsies. "Sit. We have much to discuss." The King took his seat at the head of the table before looking over at Rose who sat on the far edge of the room. "You too, Rose," he said, motioning his index and middle finger for her to come join them.

The King's arrival was abrupt and made Rose just about jump out of her skin. She quickly withdrew her hand and looked straight ahead. She felt like an outsider. Not only was she a woman, but she was in a room with warriors. Men who were scarred and sweaty, smelling like salt and sea water with swords at their hips. Maybe it was all a mistake... It felt like it. But when the King asked for her to also join the table, she was quickly proven wrong.

Going into all of this, Aramis thought this was nothing more than orders for another voyage. But nothing about this was routine. As the King bade, he made his way to the war table and pulled out a chair in between Ren and Laou. Rather than taking the seat for himself, he offered it to Rose and helped her scoot it in before moving to take the chair on the opposite side of Ren. None of them said anything, they just sat there in an awkward silence waiting for the King's words, whatever they may be.

"Bayard, I'd like you to also take a seat as well," the King said, motioning one of the guards forward and pointed to one of the empty chairs.

Bayard, although always at the King's side, was rarely offered a seat at his table. He didn't argue or refuse the offer, but he hesitated for a moment. "Your Grace," he nodded his head and took up the offered chair. He couldn't help but look around at the current company. Every one of them he had passed or encountered at some point in time, although he didn't know their names. There was no need. He didn't send messages for the King or run errands. His job was to protect and watch the King at all costs. Perhaps he was in danger from the people in the room? He didn't know. But the whole situation left him incapable of relaxing in his seat or removing his hand from the hilt of his sword.

"Edmund, leave us. Guard the door and do not let a soul enter." The second guard nodded his head, before exiting the room and closing the doors behind him.

The King sat in silence looking around the table at each person, one by one before he sighed. "By now, I'm sure you all are wondering why I have brought you here. Recently... there was an attack made on my life." He paused a moment to allow whispers or whatever else they might have to say. "If it wasn't for Laou, they most certainly would have succeeded." He knocked his knuckles on the table before he stood up and started pacing around the room. "There are only two people who would benefit from my death, the elf King of Avalon and the dwarf King of Xalterra."

"An assassination attempt is an act of war. But the people of Ilyos have suffered enough battles. I do not wish to bring war upon their heads. Yet I cannot let this offense go without retribution." With his final word he slammed his fist down on the table. "I'm not left with many choices. So, in turn, I plan to launch my own attack... One they will not see coming."

Aramis brought his fist to his mouth and cleared his throat, while his other hand raised to catch the King's attention. "Your Grace," he interjected. "Do you know which of the Kings it was that arranged the attack?"

The King sighed. "No. The assassin has been mum as to her employer. All we know is that a fence, some middleman from Xalterra, gave her the contract."

"So then, who is this attack against? Avalon or Xalterra?"

"Both." The King didn't hesitate.

Aramis nodded his head in acknowledgement before giving Rendrik a brief sideways glance. He didn't say anything. He wouldn't dare speak ill of the King or his plans in his presence, that was suicide. But it seemed rash to go after both kingdoms rather than seek out the one who tried to kill him. Ilyos couldn't handle a war on two fronts.

"I know what you all must be thinking. But Avalon and Xalterra have had their greedy eyes on Ilyos for centuries. There have been dozens of wars, only for old Kings to die and new Kings to rehash the same fights over and over. I seek to end these wars... for good." The King slowly made one lap around the table before returning to his seat. He leaned forward and pointed to a spot on one of the Xalterran mountains. "The bridge to Avalon rests over this location once a year during the summer solstice. I intend to send a team of dwarves, elves, and humans alike into the wilds of Xalterra... to kill the dwarf and elven Kings."

The room grew silent as the grave. The only sounds were of rustling fabrics and creaking of chairs as people shifted in their seats uncomfortably. Gazes flitted about the room, making contact with others, but no words were shared. Rose had to fight to find her voice, there were words she wished to say but her mouth was silent when she tried to speak. She took a deep breath before trying once again. "I beg your pardon, Your Grace." Her face quickly reddened when all eyes shifted to her. "But why am I here? This meeting seems far too fragile for me to be present."

"I've brought you all here, because each of you is the best at what you do." The King proceeded to address each one of them around the table. "Laou, you are my best assassin. Rendrik, my most skilled ranger. Aramis, my most loyal captain... And Rosalyn, you are the most powerful healer in Ilyos."

Rosalyn sank back into her chair as the gravity of the whole situation came into the light. The King was enlisting her to aid in the assassination of two other Kings. That was no easy task. And beyond that, Rose had never harmed a soul a day in her life, let alone killed someone. She didn't like the sound of it, any of it. Her mind quickly tried to find some excuse, anything that might get her out of it. "Your Grace," she leaned forward abruptly. "I am the Queen's midwife. I'm needed here... For her."

"The Queen is not currently with child. And if by some miracle she were to turn up pregnant tomorrow, then you best make sure you return within nine months time." Rose swallowed hard as she slowly sunk back into her seat, without another word to say.

"Sir," Bayard chimed in. "I do not see how this involves me. I am not your best soldier or bowman, nor do I have vital information about either of the Kingdoms. I'm just a King's guard. My place is here, protecting you."

"That is correct. But I've heard you are the only guard who is capable of getting anywhere near Melarue Syllar without losing a finger."

"Melarue Sy—" When the realization struck Bayard, he couldn't remain calm. He shot up to his feet, knocking his chair over behind him. "You're sending prisoners to do your dirty work!?"

While his King's Guard acted out of line, the King kept his calm. It was as if he expected this sort of reaction and it didn't phase him. "I intend to offer the prisoners currently being held in the dungeons a full pardon for their compliance. They're—"

"They are enemies of the realm! You just said that one of them tried to kill you!"

"And if a group of humans is seen wondering around Xalterra or Avalon alone, people will start asking questions. They know their lands and their people. If they go in there alone, they will die... This is there best chance." He concluded, pointing his index finger at the table.

"And what's in it for us?" Aramis adjusted in his seat, leaning forward to rest his forearms on the table. "Forgive me, Your Grace, but this all looks like certain death wrapped in plausible deniability. If we all get caught, we'll look like a band of thieves or bandits. No one will come for us because that would only prove your involvement."

"That is correct," the King agreed. "I know it is a lot to ask... And that the chances of your survival are slim. But the only other option is war." He laid it out as plainly as he could, cupping his hands together before him. "I won't force any of you to go against your will."

"And if we say no?" Rosalyn leaned forward, looking past all the men toward the King. While no one said it, it felt like the question that was on everyone's mind.

"Then you remain here, in Ilyos, under close observation until the deed is done. Word of this can never leave this room... So certain insurances will be put in place to make sure you comply."

"In... insurances?" Rose's voice quivered as she spoke. Part of her didn't want to know. But her choice held the future of her life so heavily in a balance. There was no room not to know every possibility.

"Yes." The King nodded his head. "I will have no choice but to make sure you remained mum on the subject. For you, that would mean keeping your sister Gwendolynn here in the dungeons until the task was finished. I'm sure you have an active enough imagination to deduce what would happen if you let word slip."

Rose felt the blood slowly drain from her face as the numerous thoughts flooded her mind. She had to remind herself to breathe. Breathe, stupid girl. She took a shaky breath as she moved to her feet, no longer able to remain seated. Her arms crossed over her chest as she paced back and forth. She didn't dare look up or meet the gaze of the others in the room. No doubt she was being an emotional woman. But good women weren't asked to do such things. Never in her life did she think being in the King's court would result in her having to be an accessory to murder.

The King stood up and pulled a large scroll from his jacket. He moved to the center of the table and unrolled it before them. "While I cannot guarantee your safety or survival, I can promise you this. Upon your return you all will have enough wealth that your families, for at least five generations, will want for nothing. You shall become Lords... and a Lady. You will retire to your own private islands and castles far from Luna Isle. And the crown will never have need of your services for the remainder of your lives." He then went to fetch a quill and ink well, placing them beside the scroll. "And if you were to die... all of those promises would pass to your next of kin or a beneficiary of your choosing." The King laid the feather down upon the scroll and returned to his seat. "The choice is yours."

There sat the parchment, the details of their contract laid out before them, all they had to do was sign. While all the others remained frozen, staring at it in contemplation, Aramis got to his feet. He wasted no time moving to the center of the table and picked up the quill. While others had much to debate, for him, the answer was simple. No matter the outcome, this meant his sister's family would have more money than they would ever know what to do with. He knew it meant his nieces and nephews would never go hungry like he did, and they could have a happy, full life. His life was worth that... No matter the outcome. Aramis Devereux he signed.

He grabbed another piece of parchment and scrawled down his sister's name. Aramis then slid it in front of the King. "My sister, Lysandra, and her family get all of it, every coin... Wether or not I survive. And I want her paid before I leave." He stood there unchanging and demanding. If the King could make demands, then he could make one of his own. He was signing over his life, this one thing he could do.

"Done," the King agreed, offering him an outstretched hand. Aramis took the King's hand and gave it a firm shake with a nod, before returning to his seat.

Some weren't as quick to sign their lives away as Aramis, but he had more to think about than himself. As for Bayard, he had the opposite problem. He had no family left and no particular friends of note. If he were to die, he'd be forgotten quickly. No stories would be told of him and no one would visit his grave. But what he did have was loyalty, an unwavering loyalty to the King. For him that was enough. It was his job to do whatever was asked of him by his leader and that he did.

Bayard stood up and walked over to the parchment, signing his name. "I do not have any next of kin. Give my earnings to the orphanage. They need it more than I do." He wasn't trying to make a show out of being charitable. He simply had no desire for such money. Truth was, he had a strong feeling he would never set foot on Ilyos again. At least he could die knowing he did something right in his short life. He didn't likes this, not any of it. It sounded like recipe for disaster to trust a bunch of prisoners. If they turned their back for just a second it would most likely be stabbed. He knew that if there was any chance for this to succeed he'd have to go, if anything to be a voice of reason when none other had one.

The rest made their decisions, leaving Rosalyn standing a few feet behind the seated men. It was down to her. This wasn't an easy decision to make. She didn't like what could happen if she said no. And call her naive, but she had no desire to die either. In the end it came down to her sister, as it always did. Rose sighed before slowly closing the distance to the table. She took up the quill in a shaky hand and signed her name. She had to fight the urge to cry. Gods, she refused to let these men see her as weak.

Following what Aramis did, she grabbed another piece of parchment and scribbled a message. With the paper in hand, Rose walked over to the King and held it out to him. "I'm sure you already know that I wish for my sister to have my share. But this is an additional request."

The King's brows furrowed as he reached out and took the paper. He unfolded it and read the note. 'You will not lay another hand upon the Queen'. The Queen never said it, but Rose knew that the King beat her. And while she might never see her friend again, she had to do something for her, even if she died. Rosalyn held his gaze and did not back down. She could tell he was angered. His nostrils flared and jaw clenched as his hands crumpled the note. He sat there, silent for a long moment or two, before he let out a disgruntled, "So be it." He then reluctantly held out his hand to her.

Rosalyn took his hand as firmly as she could muster, trying to show a strength most men over looked in a woman. "And I promise you, Your Grace, if you go back on your word... The truth shall spread like wildfire." She gave him a tight smile with a curtsy.

"Very well then," the King grumbled, quickly changing subject. He pushed off the table and moving to his feet. With a scoop of the scroll, he rolled it up and tucked it back into his jacket as he made his way to the door. "With no other business to attend to, we shall make our way to the dungeons." Just before Bayard could open the door for the King, he pivoted on his heels to face the group. "And if it wasn't abundantly clear... You shall be leaving promptly. I will not risk allowing you to bid farewell to your families. So I suggest you persevere if you wish to see them again."

Aramis's heart sank. Another broken promise to his niece. He hated that it happened every single time. He could only hope that the King was as good as his word and if they succeeded, he'd never have to answer his call again. He knew Rendrik had no family left to speak of, so that blow wouldn't be as hard on him. And Laou... Aramis had no clue if the man had family or not. But Rosalyn did. The woman looked as saddened as he was, but she said nothing. What could she? She signed the contract and that was that. And even if she changed her mind, he doubted the King would let her see her sister before locking her up in the dungeon. There was no winning.

With nothing to say, lost in his own mind, Aramis trailed behind the group as they made their way to the dungeons.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
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#, as written by mombie
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T s a i - z h a n x L a o u

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guard || human || assassin
#650005 || Outfit

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R e n d r i k x H e z e n k r a l d

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guard || human || ranger
#833C13 || Outfit

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Laou's head tilted; his silken raven hair falling over a shoulder as he did so. His piercing almond gaze held the woman in curious and owlish scrutiny, but he couldn't help himself; he was naturally observant and suspicious. Yes, even of women. Women were the worst if you asked him - in regards to being conniving creatures. They had beauty, which this one had in spades - innocence - which, also this one seemed to have in abundance, and so much more. They were one of the most perfect creations - feminine, soft, unsuspecting. Female assassins were some of the best in the game due to how easy it was to make a man's knees weak in the presence of the "fairer sex".

"Yes, sir," Rose replied, yanking him out of a sudden reverie. The mage's voice chastened with her less than subtle anxiety, which he had noted. How could she not be unnerved in a room meant for men? "I am a Lady in Waiting to the Queen and a court mage."

With his question entertained, he nodded his head and allowed her to remain in the peace of his silence. He didn't want to create any more tension than what was already taking her over. His thoughts traveled elsewhere as he leaned back, legs spread open in a lazy masculine posture. He deemed that attempting to be on more proper and less natural behavior, he'd just make things worse. He was settled and appeared comfortable.

"Evening Laou," Aramis acknowledged, and the assassin stood and offered the Captain a shallow bow of the head before he reclaimed his seat.

Rendrik was going to lighten this room up at the expense of his really good pal, Aramis! When the Captain bumped into him and stared at the lass like he had never seen a woman before, Ren slapped him hard on his back, "Don't stare at her like that, you virgin," he whispered all-too loudly (on purpose).

"Forgive my friend here. He's practically senile. He has forgotten how to act in the presence of a Lady." This made Ren break out in a hearty bout of laughter. His amiable and fun-loving nature was a good break from the tension that had settled in the room, from no doubt the fluke that a lady was here and then she had been alone with one of the Castle's most enigmatic characters - Laou.

"Hey, this walking corpse has more life than all of you young men combined." Then he turned toward Rosalyn with a playful grin shortly after she introduced herself and Aramis kissed the back of her hand, "I still have a lot of vigor left in me." Naturally, it was a jest. Was it an appropriate joke? No. But after seeing how star-struck Aramis was, he thought he'd jump in and pick on him without poking directly.

He kicked his boots up onto the table,"Good to meet you, lass."

Just as everyone got settled, they were all quick to their feet in a bow of respect for the King as he entered. After they took their seats again and Edmund shut the door, both Rendrik and Laou knew that there was business to be had.

The king began to speak, "By now, I'm sure you all are wondering why I have brought you here. Recently... there was an attack made on my life. If it wasn't for Laou, they most certainly would have succeeded. There are only two people who would benefit from my death, the elf King of Avalon and the dwarf King of Xalterra."

Rendrik looked over at Laou who made no remarks or gestures of any kind when the King claimed that his life was saved by the assassin. Laou did not have a boasting spirit, after all. In fact, his mind immediately wandered into the territory of Phaedra - the female Assassin that was sent for the King.

Going back to his thoughts on female assassins, it was really hard for him to turn her in. One, Phaedra was easily one of the most beautiful women he had seen in a long time. Two, she was also an assassin and business was just that - business. That's how the assassin world worked - in complete secrecy, no questions, no knowledge - just death. He sympathized with her and wished that she hadn't been caught. Had the King not been present, and the action not so glaring, he would have let her go into the night like she was never there. His loyalty was gold, not country.

"An assassination attempt is an act of war. But the people of Ilyos have suffered enough battles. I do not wish to bring war upon their heads. Yet I cannot let this offense go without retribution. I'm not left with many choices. So, in turn, I plan to launch my own attack... One they will not see coming." That was fair to both Laou and Rendrik. They both had the same questions as Aramis, who spoke up first.

"Your Grace," Aramis cut in, "Do you know which of the Kings it was that arranged the attack?"

"No. The assassin has been mum as to her employer. All we know is that a fence, some middleman from Xalterra, gave her the contract." Laou knew that Phaedra wouldn't give up the information. She's well-trained. He liked that. He smirked on the inside.

""So then, who is this attack against? Avalon or Xalterra?" Good question.

Before Rendrik could give his two cents, the King answered, "Both."

Renrik caught Aramis' sideglance, and it was then that the two were thinking the same thing. What the hell did the damn Dwarves do? It was going to be a death sentence for the forces of Ilyos. Would it not have been easier to just execute the assassin and send Laou to do the dirty work?

Laou has always suspected the King of being a warmonger. It seemed that he was hellbent on dragging all three kingdoms into a war for what he honestly considered an easy fix. An eye-for-an-eye was easier than sending the troops en masse to their deaths. The men, and lady, listened to the King as he reasoned his way into satiating his thirst for blood, and possibly conquest of the other two Kingdoms.

The Lady in Waiting spoke, and it was clear that she was immediately embarrassed as all of the men shifted their attention to her. How could they not? Laou couldn't help but smirk at her as that pallid face flushed red. It was kind of cute, and he was amused.

Then Bayard attempted to figure out why he was here. Both Bayard and Rose were met with their unfortunate answers - they were to tag along on this adventure.

The King made mention of Melarue, and Rendrik visibly shuddered. Scary! He looked at his hands to make sure all of his fingers were there and grimaced at the thought of her biting one off.

Rose asked the question that most of them had at the tips of their tongues, especially Laou. He had no interest in war games. When it came to his turn to sign the scroll, he put down the Madame's House of Ladies, for they would know to help his mother in the off-chance that he was to die on this mission. Rendrik had no one anymore. He stood at the scroll for quite some time, and then like Bayard, chose to donate to an orphanage.

Laou laughed a slight laugh, one that sort of just shook his shoulders once or twice, at Rose's moxie. She's amusing, and he watched her drift toward the parchment, make her little threats, curtsy, and then flutter away.

As the group marched toward the dungeons, Rendrik looked toward Aramis and Rose. He was a well-seasoned man with no family to speak of, so this was not a big deal to him. He made a mental note to make sure that the mage felt safe with this group, especially in the presence of the assassin that tried to kill the King and the infamous Mage of War, Rue. There was nothing that he could say or do right now, so he left them both to their own thoughts so that they can start to accept that this was their path - whether they liked it or not.

Just shy of the last step, the men were directed elsewhere. A guard informed them that they were to change into regular clothing, shedding their Ilyos armor as to not be too noticeable outside of the Kingdom. Rendrik and Laou obliged and parted way, but only for a short few moments. They occupied the same room, tugged off their armor and any Ilyos insignia, and replaced it with mundane attire.

Rendrik thought that it would be a good time to save Rose from having to grace the abyssal dungeons with her innocent presence. Not to mention the fact that he didn't want her to feel uncomfortable with the myriad of sordid personalities that haunted them. When he was was ready, he pulled Aramis and Rose aside, "The dungeons are no place for a lady. You can help me and Aramis remove the banners from his ship. He can give you a tour."

This left Laou and Bayard in the dungeon to help with the prisoners, which was fine. When he found Phaedra's cell, he grasped hold of the bars with both hands and looked inside, "A shame," is all he said, and it could have meant anything. A shame that she was locked up. A shame that she didn't finish her mission. A shame she didn't jump to her death. Anything. His gaze was brazen as it laid upon her figure; like a predator whose eyes were set upon its meal with vigorous intent, as it hadn't eaten in quite some time.

With the sound of the King coming, he stepped away from the cell and returned to Bayard's side.






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M e l a r u e x S y l l a r

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prisoner || elf || conjurer
#322646 || Outfit

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M e g i n a x S i g b y r n

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prisoner || dwarf || barbarian warrior
#14ACB4 || Outfit

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If Melarue's voice hadn't been subdued by the magically imbued helm, then she'd laugh with a haunting wickedness that could chill the entirety of this void she lived in. Boots and voices could be heard, and she knew that time was up. She'd see the beautiful sun once again. Some part of her always knew this as fact. The world would shine down upon her, and her voice would return its godly powers to her wanting vessel.

Had this not been the wolfish King's intent all along, they'd have executed her years ago. She waited patiently in her cell for her dearest Bayard. While she had played kind to him for all these years, allowing him to feed her, help her with all the things that were necessary to ensure she'd remain alive, she really couldn't wait to be with him unchained. So much time has been spent earning his trust (or at least believing she had), that she'd hate to have wasted her efforts.

He's so handsome - tall and brawny, unlike the other guards. He was like an impenetrable wall of muscle. A delight for the eyes. Who could blame an imprisoned woman for having such lecherous thoughts? Most of her was seduced by his masculine appeal, and even the decency he had shown her thus far. He's so... surprisingly gentle. A tiny part of her also wanted to make quick work of him - for she never missed a chance to make a man kneel to her will.

Then again, she could very well be executed today. The chance was slim, but she'd like for none other than her cherished guardian to swing the blade. It was the least he could do for her.

Since she could neither move nor speak, she remained in her place with nothing more than the heave of her chest as she breathed.

Megina, on the other hand, was not so delighted with the company that came down into the dungeons. Being one that isn't entirely too smart, she thought there was only one reason for the small group - execution. Not that she had committed any crime, nor had she been able to make appeals or have her innocence heard. Everything fell on deaf ears here. Maybe the King really loathed Dwarves. Maybe this was a race thing. Like most of her kind, she kept out of the business of Ilyos and Avalon, and she wasn't well-cultured.

Upon hearing all the noise and conversation, she rushed to the bars of her cell, grabbed them, and tried to practically smoosh her face between a pair. "Hey, hey, you!" She stuck her arm out and pointed to the two remaining men, Bayard and Laou, "I'm innocent! I seek an audience with your King! I deserve to be heard! This is a gross miscarriage of justice!" The Dwarven female's voice was frantic at this point, as she was not wanting to die.

Unlike Rue, who had consigned herself to death or perhaps knew that it would never come, Megina was scared to death of the idea that she would be executed. She had family, friends, work. There was still so much life to be had and it couldn't possibly end here on this day. There were so many days where she thought she should just throw herself down the falls, but she also had a little hope. A little hope that maybe she would be heard.

Laou smirked as he cast his attention toward the Dwarf, "It looks like it's your lucky day, little one. It's finally the end for you," he spoke, his voice withholding all emotion. Just as he words to Phaedra, that could have meant anything.

Megina audibly gasped, fear tightened in her chest like a ball of breath that couldn't escape. It was the day of her execution. She knew it. She was certain of it. Her legs became like... noodles, and she stumbled back until she fell on her rump. Maybe she should have just jumped to her death. Megina walked to the edge where the falls spattered at her face and looked down, deep down into the only escape from execution.

Rue was very amused by this. She wanted to laugh, taking a bit of delight in Laou's nasty jest. It was irresponsible of him, but the Dwarf's resignation was delicious.

But Laou was not an evil man, "If you jump, you'll miss your opportunity to speak with the King."

Speaking of the devil, the King entered the dungeons.

Melarue grinned inside the helmet and Megina turned around to rush to the bars again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by mjolnir
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.aramis
devereux

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captainx|xswashbuckler
#9f8c7dx|xattire
.rosalyn
laurence

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midwifex|xhealer
#c89600x|xattire
bayard
volström

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king's guardx|xknight
#8ba3a6x|xattire
.phaedra
raephen

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prisonerx|xassassin
#b1aecbx|xattire
.vonmyr
dalgaard

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prisonerx|xbandit bard
.#849152x|xattire

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The trek to the dungeons felt obscenely long. Every person they passed stepped aside, but their gaze lingered. It was an odd band, an assassin, a captain, a soldier, a King's guard, the King... a woman. It'd probably be more strange if those they passed didn't watch them in curiosity. And with such a handful, there wasn't a single word shared between them. A heavy silence hung overhead making the footsteps echoing through the halls that much louder. No one said anything, but that didn't mean the same thing wasn't on all of their minds.

The probability of success was slim to none. More than likely they'd be caught and killed in one of the other respective kingdoms. If not that, there were hundreds of other dangers they could encounter on their way there and back... Pirates, bandits, not to mention the various wild beast hidden amongst Xalterra. But the small thing that tickled at the back of their minds was the fact that... Even if they were successful, who's to say the King wouldn't have them killed upon their return? They knew too much now. And that was terrifying.

Rosalyn nodded her head and side stepped allowing the men to disappear into a separate room. As they removed whatever ties they had to Ilyos, she was left in the hall alone with the King. She could feel his ire. It bore through her very being like a chill that could not be shaken. "I'll have you know, Ms. Laurence," the King spoke, breaking the silence but only speaking loud enough for to hear. "I don't take kindly to threats."

He didn't look toward her as he spoke. The King's gaze remained forward as he stood stoic and unchanging. Rose's own posture mirrored his as she replied with her eyes fixed on the grain of the wooden door before her. "And I don't take kindly to men that beat their women." Her hands idly straighten her apron before cupping together and resting against her lap.

The King cleared his throat but still did not look toward her. "After today, you will never set foot in this keep again."

"I know," she replied plainly. "I don't expect any of us to." Rose then turned her head towards the King, finally looking upon him as she spoke one final time. "How does it feel knowing you're sending your best men on a suicide mission?" Before the King could respond, the door opened and the men rejoined them, their clothing ordinary, without station or color.

Rendrik motioned Aramis and Rosalyn aside before the party continued onward to the dungeons. "The dungeons are no place for a lady. You can help me and Aramis remove the banners from his ship. He can give you a tour."

"I appreciate your initiative, Rendrik. But I will need you all present. Ms. Laurence will need to get accustomed to less than lady like things," his gaze fell to her. And while the King didn't say anything, she knew the implications of his words. "The world is a far worse place than this castle."

* * *

It wasn't long before they reached the entrance to the dungeons. Two guards stood alert at the locked gate, greeting their ruler with a bow. The King motioned the group forward with a slight wave of his hand. "It might behove you to catch a glimpse of your traveling companions. I shall join you shortly."

The first to enter was Bayard. He was more than familiar with the dungeons than the others. Actually, he might have been the only one out of the five of them that has set foot in the bowels of the castle. It was damp and cold. The stone wept from the waterfalls that could be heard rushing all around them. The smell was a combination of sea salt and stagnant water. It was dirty and rotten, but a scent he was familiar with.

He made his way towards Melarue's cell. Bayard didn't waste his time with the other prisoners. He had seen them before, every day since they were put in their cells. He knew exactly who he'd be traveling with for the months to come. But she was the one who had been there the longest. And she was the one Bay worried the most about. Yes, Melarue didn't lash out at him like she had with the guards before him, but how much of that gentleness for him was real and how much was a ruse? That's what concerned him.

Bayard reached into his pocket and pulled out his set of keys. He grabbed the most intricate looking one and placed it in the lock. The door to Melarue's cell was complicated, and only opened with said key and several very specific lever turns. And as he pulled open the door, Bayard could feel the gaze of the others. But whatever concerns they'd have would melt away shortly at the site of the mage chained, bound and muted. Where was she to go?

"Evening, Mel," Bayard said gently. As a sign of respect and never wanting to catch the mage off guard, he always followed a routine every time he entered her cell. First he would remove his sword from its sheath and leave it outside of her cell so that it was out of his reach. He would then lower himself to his knees so he didn't come off superior or like he was better than her. Lastly, as a sign that he did not come to harm her, he would rest his hands palms up beside hers, so that Mel herself could initiate personal contact. Somedays it would take her a few seconds, others he'd kneel there for an hour before she'd approve of him invading her space.

Once Mel's fingertips touched his, he took that as permission to proceed. "I'm going to remove your visor." His voice was calm. Bayard always made sure to let her know whatever he was going to do before he did it. The last thing he wanted was to take her by surprise or make her uncomfortable. Over the years he had gotten familiar enough with her body language to know when his acts were welcome or not. His large hands made delicate work unfastening the clips that kept a blindfold type of mechanism over the mage's eyes. The King didn't command him to do such, but this is what he brought him there for, was it not? He knew Melarue better than most and knew any offer given to her would be better received if she could make eye contact with the person giving it.

After removing the visor, he moved his hand to block her eyes and help her adjust to the brightness of the room. Bayard held his hand there for a few seconds, slowly moving it away inch by inch to allow in more light. "The King is coming." he said barely above a whisper. His hand gently brushed away a few locks of her hair that had long since be matted due to perspiration. "I'll translate best I can for you." Bayard then moved to kneel beside her, leaving his hand within reach of hers. This allowed her to squeeze it out of objection, or even on occasion spell out any comments she may have.

Meanwhile, a few cells over, Phaedra sat with her back to the damp wall, tossing pebbles out into the falls. She heard the footsteps, then another cell open. Was it the mage's feeding time already? She must have lost track of time. Easy thing to do when you see no sunlight. She couldn't tell if time sped by or crawled. Perhaps it was both. But then there was another set of footsteps. Rarely was there more than one at a time.

Curiosity got the better of her. She pushed off the ground and got to her feet. She watched as the man that caught her walked towards her cell. He could have been a guard... could have been. Phaedra knew better. She had been around far too long to easily mistake a trained assassin as a brainless puppet of the King. A lot about the man said otherwise, the way he carried himself, his confidence that lacked arrogance. But most importantly she saw it in his eyes that night. She almost could have thought there was regret. A servant of the King wouldn't have hesitated. They would have offered her heart on a silver platter... While this man waited for orders.

The fellow assassin made his way to her cell, taking the bars in his hands. "A shame." The man's words could have meant many things. Most probably thought he spoke in regards to head still being attached to her body. But Phaedra knew better.

She took up the same iron bars just above the man's hands. "I've been in worse positions." Now it was his turn to decipher her meaning. Was it literal? Or perhaps she meant something a bit more... primal. Either way, it wasn't a lie. Phaedra had been in far worse of circumstances. It's hard for something to surpass being betrayed by her brother and nearly executed for a crime she did not commit. This crime was her own doing... and an annoying dwarf who talked too much. Regardless, whether or not she liked it, she deserved to be there.

"Hey, hey, you!" The obnoxious dwarf, once again, began begging for the attention of anyone who would listen. This time being the small bit of tolerable company Phaedra had received since she gotten herself into this predicament, she was annoyed it was cut short. She sighed and rolled her eyes as the other assassin left. "I'm innocent! I seek an audience with your King! I deserve to be heard! This is a gross miscarriage of justice!"

"Oh, for the love of the Gods," Phaedra groaned under her breath, pushing off the iron bars. Everyone else in the dungeons had long since accepted their fate. The Ilyosie King was many things, but merciful was not one of them. Death was inevitable, the question was when. And honestly, at this point Phaedra would have been happier with her head on a pike rather than listening to Megina plead for her innocence... again.

Phaedra left the assassin to pester the vocal dwarf. Maybe he could convince her to jump. That would be a sight. Vonmyr was a noisy enough dwarf, they didn't very well need two of them in those small dungeons. That was enough to drive anyone mad. Perhaps he would jump too? Hell that'd be enough to make her smile. Gods know the last time that happened. But no rather, her attention was quickly distracted when three more trickled down the stairs. Two men she wasn't familiar with and... and a woman. What in the hell was going on?

Rosalyn was the last of the group to enter the dungeons, trailing shortly behind the others. She took Rendrik's offered hand as they began descending the slippery stairs. They all had images in their heads about what the prisoners would be like, but Rose's perhaps were the most jaded. The most she knew about criminals and the like she read from books. They often looked like the sort who were up to no good, dark with shifty eyes and a lack of personal hygiene. But looking around at the cells, they all appeared rather... normal.

"Is little red lost?" For once Vonmyr wasn't the one making all the commotion, making him easily over looked by the newcomers that made their way into the dungeons. A woman though, that was a new sight in those dingy corridors. She looked out place... Like a dove in a cave. It was far too horrible of a place for a woman like her. Even he saw that.

Rose pivoted on her heels, turning to face the dwarf in the cell behind her. "Me?" she asked pointing to herself, caught a bit off guard.

Vonmyr chuckled, motioning his hand at the surround people. "Anyone else red here?"

Her gaze flitted around the room quickly, cheeks flushing at her out naivety. "I suppose not."

"Careful, miss," Aramis interjected, gently guiding her a few steps back from the iron bars. "You don't want to get too close."

"I'm a dwarf, not a troll," Vonmyr retorted a bit offended. "Judge me how you'd like, ser. But I'd never harm a woman," he added, holding up his hands innocently. "And I definitely wouldn't bring her here. This is no place for a bird like her... You'll tarnish her feathers."

Aramis crossed his arms over his chest, keeping his back half toward the dwarf. "It wasn't my choice." He didn't like the idea of working with criminals, not from the moment the King mentioned it. But after seeing the way they all acted it only solidified it. One dwarf was making a scene while another tried to hit on the only woman not behind bars. Then there was the assassin, almost too complacent and the restrained mage... And something about that just made him think of a caged predator. Aramis wouldn't admit it, but he was frightened to see what would happened when she was released.

When the grumpy man had nothing else to add, Vonmyr smirked slightly and nodded his head. That's what I thought. With no more arguments or back handed comments, he leaned down and picked up his lute. "Does the pretty lass like music?" Rosalyn didn't respond, just looked between him and Aramis. But there was a slight twinkle in her eye that told Von she did. So, with out any complaints, he strummed the strings and began to sing. "My heart is pierced by cupid. I disdain all glittering gold—"

"The King approaches," Aramis chimes in, interrupting the song causing the entirety of the dungeon to quickly fall into a tense silence.

The King descended the stairs slowly, with his head held high. He carried himself with a regal arrogance like everyone was beneath him, especially there, in the dredges of Ilyos. He made his way into the center of the cells, where everyone could see him. "I am sure by now, you are all wondering what is going on" Then there was a pause in his words as he studied what prisoners remained. Two dwarves that he honestly had no idea the level of the crimes, nor did he care, Melarue, which he was quite familiar with, and the assassin... who's name he had yet to uncover.

"I'm not going to mince words. I have a proposition for all of you... And if you accept, you will be granted your freedom."

Phaedra slowly walked towards the gate of her cell. She extended her arms through the openings, resting her forearms on a horizontal iron bar, her curiosity piqued. She had already given herself up for dead. There weren't many things that could qualify as worse than dying. So, before the proposition even left the King's lips, she was already considering accepting. Who's to say she couldn't just... disappear once she was let free anyway? She had no loyalty to this King or any others.

To say that Vonmyr wasn't as equally curious would be a lie. His brows furrowed at the King's words. He definitely didn't think his crimes were worth a life of imprisonment. But he also knew that if he didn't tell the King how he managed to sneak into Ilyos, that would be his sentence. This was his out. And with that... His secret would sell for more than a pretty penny to the highest bidder. "Well... Out with it," he spoke out, motioning his hand rapidly for the King to continue. He was already imprisoned. Von was beyond the point of niceties.

"Very well. I will grant your freedom if you agree to help these men... and woman," he began, motioning his hand to those now within cells. "Assassinate the Kings of Avalon and Xalterra."

There was silence, but it didn't last long. Phaedra's laughter echoed throughout the small area as she faced the King with a look of disbelief. "You're joking?" Same bullshit, new day. Hypocrisy at it's finest. She shook her head as she paced around with her hands on her hips. All these Kings claim to be better than the next, yet they all turn to the same means. Underhanded moves and assassination attempts. Killers for coin so their hands are clean when it goes tits up.

"I do not joke," the King replies coldly. His hands ruffle through his robes, pulling out four pieces of paper. "Royal pardons with my seal." He then pulls out another piece of parchment, this one larger and rolled up. He lets it unravel and reveals it to them. "If you sign this contract of employment, then I shall sign a pardon. A signature for a signature."

Whatever optimism Vonmyr might have had at the prospect of release quickly dwindled. "I'm no assassin."

Before the King could respond, Phaedra spoke up. "He doesn't care. He's not hiring you because you're a killer... It's because you're a dwarf." Her voice had a sharp bite to it as she waved her hand at Vonmyr. "Don't you see? If we're caught it's less likely to bite him in the ass if there are dwarves and an elf in the party. Why would the human King trust dwarves and elves to do his biding?... Plausible deniability," she concluded, slamming her hands against the bars with frustration.

"Kill for this King and then this King. It's a fucking wheel, each one of you takes turn being on top. Then another King gets greedy... On and on." She sighs, pressing her forehead to the cold iron bar. Phaedra regretted getting into this whole mess. It should have been an easy job. But she hesitated. Why the fuck did she hesitate? She kicked the bar again.

"I couldn't care less if you like it or not. This is your one and only offer. Take it or be executed in the morning. You all are a waste of gold and time to keep alive any longer." While the King was more understanding with the others, he had no patience for the prisoners. Take his offer or not. That was it. There was no bargaining, nothing. It was black and white, yes or no. "So what will it be?"

Phaedra sighed, closing her eyes for a long moment. "Like I have a fucking choice."

The King motioned for a guard that accompanied him to open her cell. Once it was opened, he set the contract down on a small table another man had produced. Phaedra hesitated for a moment, before walking over to the table. The King held out a quill for her. Begrudgingly, she snatched the writing implement and signed her name on the paper. "Ah. And the elusive assassin has a name after all. Thank you for your service, Phaedra." She rolled her eyes. "Shackle her," he commanded the two miscellaneous guards that lingered in the room.

"What the fuck!?" Phaedra jerked her arm free from one of the men and then the other. She struggled for a moment, before they managed to restrain her. Then a cuff was fastened around her right wrist, the other left free being held by one of the men.

"Until you're on board Mr. Devereux's ship and there's nothing on the horizon for as far as the eye can see, you will wear those. To assure your... compliance." The King raised a taunting brow. "What? Didn't read the fine print?"

Phaedra squinted her eyes. "I should have killed you."

"Yes, you should have." The King motioned to the other assassin. "Laou, if you wouldn't mind." The guard then lead her over toward Laou, putting his left hand in the other cuff, fastening the two of them together. "Think of it as a bonding exercise," the King who claimed not to joke, jested.

Phaedra shook her wrist slightly as she looked down at their bound hands. She groaned. "I imagine this is what marriage is like," she complained under her breath.

Vonmyr remained quiet as he watched Phaedra be the first one to step up and accept the offer. Nothing she said was wrong and he wasn't a big fan of the proceedings after signing that paper. But also like she said, what choice did he have? Well, none really. He sighed and stuck his hands through the bars. He didn't say anything, just motioned his index finger and middle finger for someone to come open his cell. He'd be dumb not to take the offer, they all would be. Sure, they most likely will die on this ridiculous quest... But, he'd get to see the sun once more, enjoy a drink and, perhaps, the warmth of a woman one last time. It was worth it.

The guard opened the cell door letting Von free. With lute in tow, he skirted around Rosalyn. "S'cuse me darlin'." For a dwarf, his signature had some flourish and pizazz. Fences didn't have royal seals or anything to prove a document wasn't fake, just their signature. He spent a long time perfecting it and making it as unique as he was. Suffice to say he was quite proud of it.

Before anyone could get all handsy with him, Vonmyr held up his right wrist with a sigh. "Who's it gonna be?... Personally, I choose red." He looked over at Rosalyn and flashed her a dashing smile with a little wave of his free hand.

Rosalyn had be quiet since the King began talking. The whole situation made her uncomfortable. Not necessarily because of the prisoners, just... Well, all of it. It took her a little by surprise when the dwarf mentioned her once again. When she thought of the remaining prospects of who she could be cuffed to, he didn't seem to bad. It was either him, the very noisy female dwarf or the terrifying mage. With those as her only options, she preferred him. "Very well," she agreed and moved to stand beside him, holding out her opposing wrist.

Once shackled, they stepped aside. Vonmyr held out his shackled right hand. "I'm Vonmyr... Vonmyr Dalgaard."

Rose was staring at her shackle a little lost in thought. She had never been handcuffed before. It was already uncomfortable and she could tell her skin would be blistered by the time they were removed. She made a note to try her best to avoid being shackled ever again. When she looked up, she came out of her haze and took his hand with a weak smile. "Rosalyn Laurence."

"Ah... Rose. By any other name would still smell a sweet," Von replied with hint of flirtation as he took her hand and placed a gentle kiss upon the back of her hand.

Phaedra rolled her eyes. "This is going to be a long journey." And while her comment was more rhetorical and to herself, she unknowingly said it in Laou's direction.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
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#, as written by mombie
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The hour was unusual, but the man whose foot-falls Melarue has heard hundreds of thousands of times over, was not. The cell door unlocked; a series of clicks and creaks and a shuffling of boots followed shortly thereafter. The woman could taste the way the air grew thick with anxiety when the locks could be heard clicking around. It was one of the few things that could make her smile. It was as if the walls of the dungeon ballooned with stiff air, much like a chest with a breath yet to be released. Bayard has reason to worry, for there was no reason to keep him alive. There was no reason not to attack him. Her compliance could very well be the result of a woman with basic needs, and he was the one she would allow close enough to meet them. Tomorrow was never certain in their interactions. The only thing certain was their routine, and for now, that meant they were both safe from each other.

"Evening, Mel," he greeted her, as gently and as rehearsed as ever. There was nothing she could say back, so she simply allowed him to continue without disruption or deviation. He knelt, and soon after, the warmth of his fingers could be felt inching closer to her own. Today, it would seem that she was eager for the commencement of his surprise visit, so she reached forward slowly to brush her fingertips across his calloused palms.

"I'm going to remove your visor," Bayard then said, and he did just that. Rue didn't move an inch, rather she allowed him to do as he pleased. That feeling in her gut - the one that told her she'd not die tonight - only grew with his company. He eased and comforted her a great deal, but these emotions were fleeting. She knew that. Humans were the least trustworthy of all the races. They would destroy anything. They were only kind on the surface, but Rue knew - they're all rotten on the inside. At least, that's what Elven propaganda would have all believe.

His gentle nature was confusing, even now as he shielded her eyes from the light pouring into the cell. She opened her eyes slowly, having had them closed just shy of removing the vicious visor that left her in utter darkness. They needn't exchange words; her compliance and his safety were thanks enough. At the same time, she almost drew a light smile for him as soon as they made eye contact; unrehearsed.

Bay moved beside her, his palm within reach ready for a language only shared between the two of them.

In the meantime, a steamy exchange between two assassins went unnoticed. "I've been in worse positions." Phaedra reminded him or perhaps teased him as their hands were wrapped around the cell bars just barely above one another. That put them in a close intimate space for a few seconds.

His head tilted and he smirked; amused and enticed by his "enemy". Typically, Laou would treat a woman with respect, but the carnal taunting between them was more than enough to make a man do things he might not normally. If that damned Dwarf hadn't cut the tension with her obnoxious banter, which drew an obvious and irritated expression on his face, he might have stuck his hand between the bars and violently pulled Phaedra forward. Of course, there was also a lady here, but the King was right - she'd have to face the reality of the world sometime. It was not always pretty. Romance and sex and lust were not always kind.

He didn't bother with the dwarf, though. After he removed himself from Phaedra's cell, he decided to let someone else deal with her. It turned out, everyone else was going to ignore the same ol', same ol' that dribbled from her loud mouth. No one cared. Not one soul. How surprising... He just leaned against a wall, crossed his arms over his chest, and listened to the conversations taking place. The Dwarf, naturally, just gave up when no one gave her the time of day. That was best, honestly.

To say Rendrik was disappointed that the King forced Rosalyn into the dungeon was really underselling it. He listened to the back and forth banter between the other Dwarf and the redhead. And you know what? He agreed with the little man. No real King would bring Rosalyn down here. Then again, it didn't seem like he cared right now. He had an agenda, and like always, would do whatever he needed to do to make sure that it could be completed.

But Rendrik could not recall the King ever having used prisoners before. Much less mixing his own men in with them and shipping them off. Are they not going to make it back alive? He spared a moment to look over at everyone, watching them quietly as their conversations became muted when his thoughts took over. He had no family. He had nothing. He's lived a decent life; experienced having a family, loss, regaining some semblance of a new family through Aramis and his niece. He's led men, trained them, assisted the king. He's done so much. He couldn't care less that the King was sending him on a suicide mission if that is what it is. But to force people with family? That seemed cruel. A woman that looked like she hadn't stepped out of the castle walls before? That was vicious as well. He was tossing her to the wolves.

Megina had pleaded her case for the thousandth time and was unheard for the thousandth time. But the King's voice interrupted her few moments of quiet, "I am sure by now, you are all wondering what is going on. "I am sure by now, you are all wondering what is going on. Assassinate the Kings of Avalon and Xalterra." And that made Megina burst with laughter. She couldn't help it! It just spilled out of her mouth and shook her whole body.

What a joke. Humans were such pieces of shit. What a pipe dream. It seemed that Phaedra was also of that opinion, and for once, the two ladies were on the same page. They both just laughed. Foolish King. Stupid human.

"I'm no assassin." Neither of them were except for Laou and Phaedra.

"He doesn't care. He's not hiring you because you're a killer... It's because you're a dwarf. Don't you see? If we're caught it's less likely to bite him in the ass if there are dwarves and an elf in the party. Why would the human King trust dwarves and elves to do his bidding?... Plausible deniability,"

"I do not joke. Royal pardons with my seal. If you sign this contract of employment, then I shall sign a pardon. A signature for a signature."

Phaedra was up first, and as soon as she signed she was shackled to Laou. Her exclamation of, "What the fuck!?" was also a thought that entered his head. He wanted to do a lot of things to Phaedra, but being shackled to her was not one of them. "I imagine this is what marriage is like,"

He turned to face her, and without warning, he pushed his body against hers and walked until her back was shoved violently against a closed cell door. Everyone else was distracted with signing and their own shackling. A freehand reached up and grasped a fist full of her hair at the back of her neck and pulled it so that her eyes would properly meet his, "You won't have to imagine anything. Trust me." Before anyone else could notice their close proximity, he stepped off to her side and resumed his quiet presence.

Being this close to her reminded him of something - she needed a bath. The smells, believe it or not, were not as repulsive as one would think. When you live in a poor man's world, the nose got numb to malodorous things. It was no worse than homeless people lining the most impoverished streets of the kingdom. "I'm taking her to the bathhouse. I expect there to be a change of clothes for her," And with that said, he pulled her forward so that she'd catch the hint that they were leaving. He was giving off the impression that he was dominant over his charge, but truthfully, things were a little more complex than that. For now, it was just a primal thing. He was a man, she was a woman. It was commonplace.

Melarue brushed letters over Bayard's palm, "Bath?" There was no doubt that no one in their right minds would allow her to wash herself. To be fair, it would probably be the tamest thing he has done for her. When she stood up, and after he did as well, she waited for his reply. For fear of stabbing someone to death with a quill, she allowed Bayard to sign on her behalf.

And just as the first two pairs left, Rendrik immediately intercepted Vonmyr being shackled to Roselyn. He ordered the guard to undo her bonds and free her of the Dwarf. She'd be forced to deal with that thing over Rendrik's dead body. He looked down at Vonmyr and grinned, "How sweet do I smell?" With that, they were shackled together instead; robbing the little man of his dreams of a beautiful redhead.

Last, but not least, was Megina. She signed her name, but she knew full well that it was meaningless. She didn't want to be executed here, and if she died, it should be on her own terms and in her own land. This name being scrawled in ink did not mean compliance, it was just ink.

The guards decided that the men probably were going to protest having Rosalyn shackled to anyone, so they decided to give the female Dwarf to Aramis. How lucky! "Does this bath come with some ale? Do humans even have decent drinks?" She doesn't remember the taste of a good ale, and it was the first thing on her list. Even before hygiene.

Tsai'zhan and Phaedra were the first ones to the bathhouse. It was a large space hot with steamy air as it rose off of the heated water. He made sure there were plenty of guards outside, and of course, the court ladies would bring appropriate clothes. While he tried to get them to allow each prisoner/guard pair to be unshackled, the sentries were adamant that they stay together. How nice.

He brought her toward the edge of the bath and didn't bother giving her a warning that he was undressing. All the way. The man wasn't ashamed of nudity. As expected, he was chiseled and broad, tall and pale with slight hints of working under the sun. He was marred indiscriminately from head to toe. He's taken his hits in the assassin business. He wasn't afraid to be personal in his occupation.

It was a little awkward to undress while shackled to another person, was all. He fumbled around a little but had to ask a guard to release them from their bonds long enough to get out of their sleeves before being restrained to one another again. She could undress herself, and yeah - he looked. He highly doubted that she minded.

"Didn't I say you'd not have to imagine anything?" Laou reminded her with that smirk of his and waited until she was ready to help her into the bath. He could be a gentleman every blue moon. And because he didn't want to be near any mouthy Dwarves or scary-ass mages, he opted to drag the both of them toward the far end. The court ladies would bring the prisoners, especially the ladies, scented soaps and other feminine things. He sat on the raised platform that lined the bath and let the woman do as she pleased. Meanwhile, he could lean back a little, rest the back of his head against the edge of the pool, and enjoy the relaxing warmth as his companion enjoyed her bath.

Rendrik tugged his little partner into the bathhouse and pretty much went through the same ritual. Two men bathing at once? Not a problem. Happens all the time. A suddenly naked Phaedra? Old men had urges, too. He pulled the Dwarf away before he could make some stupid comment. He didn't want the woman to murder someone already, even while being shackled to someone else. No way.

The both of them disrobed, or at least, Rendrik did. But unlike Laou, he was a little bit more modest in the presence of the ladies. He, at least, kept his undergarment on. He wasn't going to say no to heated water and maybe some of those nice soaps that women get to use. He liked them, too. He held up a hand once he sat in the bath to flag down one of the court women, "This guy likes roses, so you have somethin' rose smelling?" He gave Vonmyr his best grin. Yes, he was being a childish guy, but that was just Rendrik.

Megina and Aramis were not last, as Melarue and Bay needed a little more time. The little creature was practically dragging her partner to the bathhouse. Even for a dwarf, there was such thing as being too dirty and gross. Megina felt filthy. The guards assisted with the pair like the others, allowing them to remove their tops. Rather, Megina did hers anyway. Whether Aramis was ready or not, he was going into the bath, and she was going to get some of that smelly soap.

One would never see a Dwarf wash any faster or more desperately than she did. There was nothing feminine about the nooks and crannies she was digging into. What was the point? She didn't at all seem embarrassed, and highly doubted that a bunch of tall folks really wanted to stare at her Dwarf bits. Even if they were nice.

She handed the soap bar to Aramis, "Think you can wash my back for me? You know - help a girl out."

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View All » Add Character » 11 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence
Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Character Portrait: Bayard Volström

Newest

Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Bayard Volström

The Ilyosie Bear

Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Rendrik Hezenkrald

The Scholarly Ranger

Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence
Rosalyn Laurence

The Midwife

Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Megina Sigbyrn

Gina of the Taverns

Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Melarue Syllar

Mage of Ruin

Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Laou Tsai-zhan

Secarius of Ilyos

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Aramis Devereux

The Transporter

Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Vonmyr Dalgaard

The Procurer

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Phaedra Raephen

The Traitor Princess

Trending

Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Rendrik Hezenkrald

The Scholarly Ranger

Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Melarue Syllar

Mage of Ruin

Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Vonmyr Dalgaard

The Procurer

Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Laou Tsai-zhan

Secarius of Ilyos

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Phaedra Raephen

The Traitor Princess

Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence
Rosalyn Laurence

The Midwife

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Aramis Devereux

The Transporter

Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Megina Sigbyrn

Gina of the Taverns

Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Bayard Volström

The Ilyosie Bear

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence
Rosalyn Laurence

The Midwife

Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Laou Tsai-zhan

Secarius of Ilyos

Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Rendrik Hezenkrald

The Scholarly Ranger

Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Megina Sigbyrn

Gina of the Taverns

Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Melarue Syllar

Mage of Ruin

Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Vonmyr Dalgaard

The Procurer

Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Bayard Volström

The Ilyosie Bear

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Phaedra Raephen

The Traitor Princess

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Aramis Devereux

The Transporter


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