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Leave of the King

Leave of the King

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Private RP with Mombie

837 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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#833C13 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #322646 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #650005 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #14ACB4 || Outfit
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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 how viciously she scrubbed at the nooks and crannies. 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."

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 mjolnir
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.aramis
devereux

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
captainx|xswashbuckler
#9f8c7dx|xattire
.rosalyn
laurence

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
midwifex|xhealer
#c89600x|xattire
bayard
volström

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
prisonerx|xassassin
#b1aecbx|xattire
.vonmyr
dalgaard

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
prisonerx|xbandit bard
.#849152x|xattire

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Yay. More shackles. Phaedra could hardly wait to be dragged around like a dog until they were far enough away from the King to be an issue... At least to him. She wanted to test how loose they actually were, perhaps she could wiggle free. But before she could manage it, the other assassin was there, with his body pressed against her. The force pushed her back into the cold iron bars. Under other circumstances she would have a dagger at his throat... or his dick. Depended on her mood. But she was unarmed and cuffed to him, so there was only so far that she could go. And at the time that was no where.

The man's fingers weaved through her hair like snakes. Once deep in her main, he clenched it tight, forcing her to look up into his eyes. Her shackled hand reactively followed where his guided, leaving it all but useless, while her other hand grasped the cloth of his robes. The suddenness of it all drew a grasp from her lips that might have been a moan, but only for his ears. If Phaedra didn't know before what way he took her words, she did now. She could feel the assassin's heavy breathing against her chest. There was a sexual dominance in his eyes. While her own gaze burned up at him from behind dark brows. It was all a power play, like a dance to see who was on top.

Unfortunately for Phaedra, that wasn't her.

"You won't have to imagine anything. Trust me." More vague comments. What would Phaedra not have to imagine? Marriage? The size of his man hood? It was just a game of cat and mouse. Teasing and tempting, but what was real and what was a ruse? Phaedra knew better than to think he could fall for her tricks that made other men weak. And he knew better than to underestimate her.

"Promises, promises," she whispered. Phaedra's breath was warm on his face. Her lips got frighteningly close to his own as she spoke. Perhaps they were both predators.

Just before the man pulled away, Phaedra pressed her hips into his. It was subtle. If anyone was paying attention they wouldn't have noticed. They would have been more interested with the whole will they fight or will they kiss of the situation. It was just enough for her to assert her own small fraction of dominance back. She wasn't like the women he could order around in a brothel for the right amount of coin. Phaedra was nothing like the women he's had... And he knew it.

"I'm taking her to the bathhouse. I expect there to be a change of clothes for her." He didn't ask, nor did she comment. The man pulled her forward and she followed along. But there was a bit of reluctance, like a toddler being dragged along by a parent. But what the assassin wouldn't see was her amused smirk as he tugged her onward. He didn't think she'd make this easy for him, did he?

While everything was a bit hectic for the others, it was still for Bayard and Mel. To be fair, it could't be crazy even if they wanted when his charge was chain up like a beast rather than a person. He was content with the attention being on others. He wouldn't say it, but Bay was still letting it all sink in. So he was grateful to disappear into the background.

That was until Melarue's fingers spelled a small word on his palm. "Bath?"

Bayard nodded his head. "I believe Melarue agrees to the terms." He moved to his feet and began to free her from her various chains. Unlike the other prisoners, the mage had both of her hands still shackled together, with a third connecting them to Bay. It wasn't his choice, but it looked like the King felt the need for extra caution. He looked over at Mel as he took the quill in his hand for her. "Are you certain?" Whether or not he found the King's plan smart, he wouldn't force anyone to sign away their freedom. It was completely her choice. So, he waited for her nod before he signed her name.

With her name on the parchment, Bayard started to lead Mel out of the dungeons. He was far more gentle and patient with her versus Laou's own treatment of his prisoner. He walked alongside her rather than dragging her in tow. It had been who knows how long since the woman was able to use her own two legs. So he was patient and willing to take her arm and aid if need be.

Rosalyn hadn't been chained to Vonmyr for very long. She wasn't really bothered either way, just thought it was part of the gig. But Rendrik quickly joined them. He didn't hesitate to order the guard to remove her hand from the shackles, replacing it with his own. Rose side stepped away, rubbing her wrist in slight confusion. Sure the dwarf was flirtatious, but it was nothing she hadn't dealt with before. She would have been fine. But she said nothing, just gave Rendrik a kind smile.

The male guards have been giving her special treatment ever since they saw her in the war room. Rose understood how strange it was for a female to be in a similar situation to the men. Or perhaps it was because she was a lady. Sure, she was in title, but what they didn't know was that she wasn't always. She grew up probably a street over from them. She had seen naked men and wounds too grotesque to describe. She appreciated the chivalry, it wasn't something she was used to. But she couldn't help but find it a fair bit curious when it looked like a majority of the prisoners were also women.

Vonmyr sighed when the tall dark and... old guard approached. "Ah, come on," he groaned as Rosalyn was set free and another man's arm took its place. He looked over at her with a sad almost puppy dog like expression. "I shall remember our time together fondly."

"How sweet do I smell?" his tall overseer asked, looking down at Von with a cheeky grin.

"Like goat shit." The annoyance could be heard in his dead pan voice. Vonmyr then gave the cuffs a tug and motioned towards the stairs. "Aye, let's go prince charming. Neither one of us will get a lass smelling like this." He had no idea where he was going, but he assumed the other guards did. So unlike the other pairs before him, the wee dwarf took his guard in tow, following the others toward the bathhouse.

Rose watched the pair leave before slowly wondering her way over to the last prisoner and Aramis. She didn't say anything, just simply held out her wrist in offering. She assumed one of the female prisoners might have been shackled to her, but that didn't seem to be the case.

Aramis's wrist extended in unison with the timid red head. He wasn't going to make quite the fuss that Rendrik did. At least she'd be shackled to another woman. But that dwarf looked more than capable to be a handful and possibly stronger than the mage. Regardless, the guard placed him in the binds rather than Rosalyn. He flashed her a kind smile, hoping she didn't take it personally. But it did make sense for the men to be the ones in charge of dragging around the prisoners. Plus, part of him wondered if Bayard might need the extra help with the bound mage before too long.

"Does this bath come with some ale? Do humans even have decent drinks?"

He rolled his eyes before gently tugging the dwarf towards the exit. "If you plan on being drunk the whole time, then what good are you?" It was a valid question. Aramis barely signed up for a suicide mission to kill two Kings, let alone babysit a drunk, mouthy dwarf. He wasn't a cruel man. But he wasn't apposed to tossing her overboard if she became more of a nuisance than a help. Drunks are only good for one thing, making a scene. A stealth mission didn't call for ornery insubordinates.

Rosalyn was just about to take the first step up and out of the prison when the King beckoned for her attention one last time. "Ms. Laurence, a moment?"

She stopped and turned to face him. Was this where she got her scolding? Perhaps another threat to make sure she never spoke to him like that again? Rose was curious. What threats could be more intimidating than sending her out on a quest that she will, no doubt, die on? "Yes, Your Grace?"

"This is where I take my leave. I dare not jeopardize the mission by being seen out in the commons with the party. These men," he motioned his hand to the two guards who've been by his side, but not said a word. "Will take you to a storage room where supplies have been prepared for your journey. There is also an abundance of clothing for the prisoners that I'm sure will appease Laou. You'll be needing this." He pulls out one final document from his robes. It was a royal decree for the town's blacksmith to give them whatever they may need... within reason.

Rose looked it over briefly before meeting the King's gaze. "Shouldn't Aramis or Rendrik have this?"

"Yes, but they are reoccupied. And you are sufficiently competent to carry a piece of paper to a smith, are you not?" She nodded her head. "Good. And lastly." He motioned a guard forward who held out a small, crimson velvet pouch that looked to hold something about the size of an apple.

She extended her hand hesitantly and took the item in her palm. It was weighty, far heavier than she had imagined. "What is it?" she asked as she began to tug it open.

"A syphon stone."

Rosalyn nearly dropped the velvet bag upon hearing what laid inside. Her hands fumbled to hold it by the strings, but she was extra certain to dare not touch the stone, even through the fabric. "What? Why?"

"That mage with you will not remain so docile and complacent. She's dangerous. Before she is freed from her binds, she will need to know what will happen if she steps out of line."

"...And what is that?"

"You will use that stone and take her magic from her... Then smash it."

Rose gulped, but said nothing. She nodded her head in acknowledgement before tying the small pouch around her belt so it rested at her hip. She waited patiently until the guards showed her out and lead her in a different direction from the rest of the group. All the while, her gaze never left the small swinging bag. She hated that such a thing was put in her possession. One mistake and she could accidentally strip herself of her powers. She prayed that the stone would never see use. No matter how much she tried not to think of it, it felt like an anchor on her side, dragging her down.

In the baths, Phaedra and the other assassin were the first to enter. Gods could she go for a bath. She felt disgusting. It wasn't a foreign sensation, but that didn't mean she liked it. The man beside her attempted to get her free so she could wash herself but no such luck. She was indifferent. She would get naked and clean with an audience, cuffed to another man, or all by her lonesome. It made no difference to her.

The difficult task was undressing. The man fumbled around enough that she had no chance at undressing at the same time. So she waited until he finished, or finished enough before the guards separated them for long enough so they could slip out of their shirts. Phaedra took the opportunity to undress entirely without the shackle. She didn't run, or fight. She wasn't a stupid woman. If she decided she'd try to escape, it wouldn't be then and there. It took her a little longer than him, but she was still adorned in some of her minor armor pieces and knee high boots.

Once nude, Phaedra offered up her wrist once more with a soft sigh. It wasn't until that moment that she was able to get a full look at the male assassin. He was built well and covered in as many scars as she was. She wasn't much different, to be honest. While she had a curvaceous body that was ample in all the places men loved, the faintest touch of muscles could be seen in her abdomen and chiseled arms. She wasn't buff or anything of the sort, but her physique told the story of her prowess while the marring spoke to the many close encounters. If someone didn't know they were assassins at first glance, they could once they were naked.

"Didn't I say you'd not have to imagine anything?" He smirked and Phaedra rolled her eyes with a humored grin. Men were always so impressed with themselves.

He guided them to a far side of the baths. There they were far enough away that the steam made the others no more than silhouettes amongst the fog. Was this where he planned to try and have his way with her? Ballsy. But men did often tend to think with what was between their legs rather than what lived between their ears. He was welcome to try, but Phaedra wasn't the type of women to give herself over to any man. Especially not whenever the mood strikes him. She could possibly over power him, but only for a small time. The assassin was far stronger than her and she highly doubted the guards watching would stop him. Men forcing themselves on a prisoner isn't as uncommon as one would like the think.

Luckily for Phaedra, her present company didn't seem like the type. He was dominant and liked being in control, but who didn't from time to time. It was a rare for a man to have such power over her. She was usually the one who could manipulate a man to her deepest whims. Perhaps a small part of her liked his challenging nature. It was like a game of chess that could only lead to one thing... But not yet.

Phaedra slowly lowered herself into the steaming water with the help of her new traveling companion. She wouldn't say no the chivalry. When the heat caressed her skin, she let out a soft sigh. Gods when was the last time she had a bath? She managed to snag a bar of soap that scented of rosemary and sage from a passing maid. Her shackled arm rested on the edge of the of the baths to try and keep the metal as dry as possible, while the other began to slowly wash herself. After all, she was in no rush to be held up on a boat for who knows how long.

"So," Phaedra finally broke the silence. She slowly stood up high enough for the water to be at waist height. "Does the assassin have a name?" she inquired as she began to scrub her torso and arms. She wasn't bashful, so she didn't turn away. She was trying to make conversation. It'd be rude not to face whom she was speaking with. And they were just breasts. You see enough of them they all tend to look the same. Although hers might have a few more scars than the average pair.

When she was finished, she held out the soap toward her current company. "Would you mind?" Phaedra then turned her back to him and swept her raven hair out of the way. Even when she wasn't facing him, she still glanced over her shoulder to keep him in her peripherals. Her back was marred worst compared to the rest of her body. There were memories of stab wounds, pierced arrows and even the lashing of a whip. Some were so old she could scarcely remember how she got them.

As he scrubbed her back, Phaedra's gaze fell to the water. Her finger tips slowly ran across the surface. "What would you have done if the King wasn't there?" The question had been rolling around in her head since she was thrown into that cell. She didn't mean to blurt it out. But it was already said, there was no taking it back. She slowly spun around to take back the soap, her fingers lingering on his for a brief moment. "Would you have killed me?"

Vonmyr was reluctantly tugged along. He probably did smell worse than he'd care to admit. He always prided himself in his hygiene. Women often commented on how nice he smelled. So, it was probably for the better. He wasted no time tearing off his ripe clothing, letting them fall in a putrid pile. He didn't care too much for the bath... At least until he caught a glimpse of Phaedra on the other end of the room absent her clothing. His brow quirked. Communal baths? Now that was a modern concept.

But before anything could be said or done, his cuffed companion tugged him in the opposite direction which left the woman as nothing more than a dark shadow in the fog. "You really know how to take the fun out of everything." The more he thought on it, it might have been the first time he actually saw Phaedra naked. They had been working together for years, yet he never slept with her. Shame. He should work on that. But the woman was so god damn angry all the time. He doubted he could get out of that encounter without injury.

"Did you hear that, old man?" Aramis mused as he and his charge came up to the side of the bath by Rendrik and the other dwarf. "You're getting grumpy in your old age." It wasn't an ideal situation, but Aramis would be damned if it'd be all doom and gloom. Him and Rendrik were always good at relying on humor to lighten the mood. And what wasn't funny about being shackled to two dwarves in a bathhouse?

Aramis had to try not to chuckle at the speed by which the dwarven lass undressed. He had bathed that day, so he wasn't as pressed to get clean as the prisoners were. But it'd be difficult for her to take care of himself if he didn't get in. So, he followed suit, but similarly to his friend, he kept his undergarments on. He was a bit more modest than some of their current company. No one was wanting to see what hung between his legs, nor was he in the mood to share it.

He was nearly dragged into the water by the woman though. Aramis had never seen someone want a bath so aggressively. Once in the hot water she seemed to calm down a bit, allowing him to take a seat a foot or so away from Rendrik. It seemed the pair were the most modest out of their current party. Or maybe it was just him. Men often shared large bathhouses, but never with women. It took a fair bit of self control not to let his gaze wonder. So rather, he tried to rest his head against the edge and close his eyes.

"Think you can wash my back for me?" Well that lasted a whole minute. Aramis slowly opened his eyes to see a bar of soap half shoved in his face. "You know - help a girl out."

"Sure," he said softly as he sat up. He could have been rude and said no, or ignored her, but what was the point? They all were supposed to be working together. Making things more difficult than they needed to be would just slow them down. He let out a soft sigh before he started scrubbing. "I'm Aramis, by the way." He not only said it to the woman before him but also the other dwarf. They didn't really get to introduce themselves to one another in the dungeons. Names seemed like a good first step in the direction of cooperation.

Bayard and Melarue were the last to enter the bathhouse. He was silent and patient with her. The guards seemed even less than happy to release her shackles for a moment to let her undress. Bay had to compromise for one hand at a time which made helping her out of her clothes exceptionally difficult. He remained in his undergarments, not overly worried about washing himself, just helping her. Bay tried his best not to let his gaze linger for too long, but it was hard not to when he had seen Mel the same way for so long. She was a woman indeed, and a beautiful one at that. But that wasn't important at the moment.

"It's ok, I got you," Bayard said as he helped Mel into the bath. Once in the waters, he took the key and removed her head piece. The guards that lingered near by took a step back. "What's the point of cleaning her if we leave her face and hair a mess?" They didn't seem convinced and their hands rested shakily on the hilts of their swords. "If you're going to stand their like frightened statues, could you, at least, make yourselves useful and get some soap?" Bay looked unamused as he waited with his hand out.

When he had it, he shooed off the guards. "Go away." With them gone, he let out a soft sigh. Their tension made him stressed and that was the last thing he needed. Bayard was just trying to do his job and help the woman out. Regardless of who or what she was, she deserved a nice bath.

He went to hand her the soap but froze with his lips pursed. Mel's hands were bond together and then to his left hand. That would make it quite difficult for her to wash herself. Bay wasn't wanting to get in her personal space either, but he hardly saw an alternative. "Would you like my help?" He held the bar of soap out to her in case she wished to take it and do it herself. But if she didn't argue, then he'd begin helping her. First with all the filth and grime that had accumulated on her face.

Meanwhile, Rosalyn was led to a sizable storage room. Inside there was quite selection of clothing ranging from something a commoner would wear all the way to a Lord or Lady of court. She couldn't help but wonder what this all was for? Spies? She dared not ask. Along one wall were nine leather knapsacks. They all looked a little bit different, either varying in pockets or leather. Half looked to be warn more like a satchel, while the others had two straps so it could be worn on the back.

There was a single strap bag on the far right that she knew was hers. There was a small loop on the side of the brown leather that held her staff. Rose's bag was a little bigger than the others, but on further inspection not only did hers include some rations, a little bit of gold and other common items, but there was also an assortment of herbs, tinctures and elixirs. For a moment she contemplated putting the syphon stone in her bag. But in the end, she'd rather not touch it again if she could help. So there it remained, swinging from her hip in he small pouch.

After checking that the bags seemed to be in order, Rosalyn went over to the clothing and began sifting through it. The prisoners were the only ones who needed new clothes since the men just changed earlier. So, luckily, she only had to figure out something for four of them. It took her sometime but she managed to find attire that looked pretty close to what she recalled them wearing. She also grabbed new undergarments for the guards to be on the safe side. Once she seemed to have everything she could think of, Rosalyn put her own bag over her head and picked up the clothing. The guards', thankfully, didn't make her carry all of that on her own. They picked up the remaining bags and lead her to the baths.

When they arrived, the guards halted temporarily, hesitant for her to go inside. Rose sighed. "I'm not a fragile little girl. I've seen naked men before." The tone of her voice made it very apparent that she was frustrated. "Unless you forgot about the time I took care of your gonorrhea, Fredrick."

The other guard stifled a laugh. "Uh, yes. Sorry m'Lady." Neither one of them had anymore complaints, as they stepped aside to let Rose enter.

Yes, there were naked men and women, but Rosalyn didn't seem the faintest bit bothered by it. She slowly made her way around the circumference of the baths, placing the bags down near each of the party, along with the outfits for the prisoners. First was Phaedra and Laou, both of whom hardly seemed to notice her presence, which was fine. She made sure she got one of their attentions, just long enough to point toward the items so they knew clothes and traveling supplies were there.

Next was the other mage and Bayard. They seemed to be moving much slower than the others. Rosalyn had no idea how long the woman was kept in those chains, but it had to wear on the body. When she set down Mel's clothes on a near by bench, she also placed a balm and herb. "Have her eat the herb when she gets out. It'll help with the muscle aches and soreness. The balm is for her sores." Bay nodded his head toward her in a silent thanks as she continued around the room.

She rounded one corner just as Rendrik rose his hand out of the water trying to get a maid's attention. "This guy likes roses, so you have somethin' rose smelling?"

Rose set down the remaining sacks and clothing on a near by bench. As chance would have it, a soap dish sat beside it. She slowly walked over to it and sniffed the options until she found one that she thought was roses. They weren't labeled, so she wasn't entirely sure, but she was fairly certain. She walked over to the edge of the bath. Her free hand scooped up her skirts as she crouched down so that the fabric didn't get wet. "Here you go." She held out the soap before Rendrik with a sweet smile.

"There are bags for all of you and clothes for them," Rose added, pointing to the pair of dwarves. "I'll be waiting outside while you all finish." With nothing else to say and relieved of all the knapsacks, Rosalyn exited the bathhouse. She wondered her way over to the nearest window, resting her arms on the edge of the stone. With a sigh, she waited, looking out over the view she'd likely never see again.

Vonmyr watched Rosalyn exit with no subtly whatsoever. Once she was gone, his gaze drifted back to his shackle buddy. "I didn't realize you were such a fan of roses." Did he mean the soap, or the woman... Or both? He wouldn't say. Instead he hummed to himself as he went back to scrubbing the ick from his body.

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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#833C13 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #322646 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #650005 || Outfit xxxxxxxxxxxxxx #14ACB4 || Outfit
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The sorceress, typically handled with little care and vastly feared by even the most strong-willed of men, was at the mercy of Bayard. Thankfully, he had always been good to her. Whether it was fear that made him this way or pity, Melarue would not complain about it. The woman's legs were, indeed, quite wobbly from the years of being shackled in place. It almost felt like all of her muscle turned into pockets of air, and she was all but helpless and relying utterly on the guard's physical support.

A body was just that - a body, and the fact that he undressed her and she was now bare was of no concern to her. If anything, she knew that she was unkempt and odorous. There was nothing attractive about that. The fact that he might have stared a second too long would have also not bothered her, as he is a man and she a woman. It's natural. The only thing that bothered her was the lack of dignity. She wasn't even treated as human, and that was really saying something as humans were the lowest of the low. Yet, Bayard, as he does - fought verbally with the guards on behalf of her. Not that it worked, but at least it was something. She seemed to count on him for much over the last few years.

He pulled off her headpiece and her hair fell around her shoulders; raven and stringy from the neglect. A mauve gaze would greet his own for some time; locked in place to watch him as he washed her face, wondering what would become of him later on down the line. It'd be a lie to say that she hadn't developed some strange attachment to the man. But would they fade away once she had a taste of freedom? Her eyes betrayed nothing; they were cold, yet also warm in a way. They were strange. Confused. Just like her thoughts about the man before her.

What was he to her? What would he be later? Questions, questions. A sliver of her knew that she'd betray everyone the moment she could, but another part wondered... what if she didn't? Then again, some things never die - like cold evil. It's interred bone-deep. It has been nurtured for more than a few human lifetimes. It's been fed. It's been watered. Something that comes as a warm comfort, like Bayard, was more like a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of her life. Seven years was nothing.

"Have her eat the herb when she gets out. It'll help with muscle aches and soreness. The balm is for her sores." Melarue glanced over a shoulder for just a half-second, letting her bright gaze rest on the woman. There wasn't much emotion scrawled across her face, but perhaps there was gratefulness in there deep, deep, deep down inside. Way deep.

Melarue would allow Bayard to wash her face, but she'd not force him to deal with the rest of her. Instead, she took the soap with both palms and did the best that she could whilst also fastened to him. It wasn't ideal, but she'd not be dehumanized anymore than she had been already. For one reason or another, she'd prefer it if he didn't see her fully in such a state. No one should have to. Not even she wanted to.

When she was done she returned the soap to him; rather, it slipped out of her grasp and into the bath in the process. When she bent down to pick it up, she inadvertently started to drag him down as well, so she abandoned the task as soon as they bumped awkwardly into each other somehow. The whole experience was just... not natural at all.

Her stare, for whatever it was worth, was apologetic in nature.

Rue tugged on him in a way that seemed to signal that she was ready to get out, and when they were out of the bath, she seemed to know which bag to take. She'd point both of her hands at the chosen one.

"So," Phaedra cut through the silence and went on to inquire, "Does the assassin have a name?" Just before she spoke, he had been content to rest his head against the edge of the bath and close his eyes; sparing the woman his lingering gaze. Now, since she begged for his attention, he felt obliged to give it to her in full. He lifted his head and pinned her down in his sharp gaze.

His head tilted in a way that sort of rested on a broad shoulder, and he answered her after a few seconds of silently drinking up her figure. Sure, it was just a body - but a well-crafted one was hard to be inattentive to. Even with her figure riddled by the nature of her hazardous occupation, Phaedra could still be fully appreciated in his eyes. "Secarius," he answered, and while it was not his name, persay, it was his widely known moniker. It was safer than a real name, and she knew that.

"Would you mind?" She asked, as if it was really necessary.

He stood up and waded toward her, not that they had more than an arm's length of distance between them anyway. He gently took the soap from her hand and slightly pushed at a shoulder to turn her fully around. As he moved a few stray strands of slick hair still sticking to the wetness of her back, the tips of his fingers gliding along soft skin.

Laou was quiet for the time that he spent at her back; the soap, along with some of his own hand, trekking across her back. His brows furrowed a bit at the nature of her scarring; the stories of a harsh life etched into otherwise perfectly pallid and smooth flesh. It annoyed him for some reason, to see her so marred. In the assassin profession, it was still vastly uncommon for the women to be violent, but it seemed as though Phaedra was just as personal as he was. Yet, she's a woman. That bothered him. There were safer ways for a lady to carry out assassinations, and he couldn't help but wonder what led her down the path most taken by men.

Something else perplexed him. It was the extent and degree of the damage done to her body. Phaedra's skin still had a youthful radiance to it, and she didn't seem to be aged at all. Then again, maybe the same could apply to himself. Some genetic traits never betrayed an older age. Still, he wondered... how could she nearly challenge his own scarring? By all appearances, she was human. Could it be magic? But then... why keep the unsightly blemishes if youthfulness and beauty were the goals?

He scoffed softly at himself and decided to disregard those thoughts. Whatever happened in her life, it wasn't any of his business. Questions were not part of the occupation, and she probably has as much to hide for as many reasons as he did.

His body leaned just slightly off toward her right as Phaedra's next line of questioning slipped out. "What would you have done if the King wasn't there?" What would he have done? She began to turn around, and when she took the soap away from him they were close. Intimately close. "Would you have killed me?"

He reached behind him to pull one of the silken bathrobes from the bath floor. It was an off-white color with large billowing sleeves, but devoid of any other design. It was just meant to wear when one was ready to get out. He draped out over her back first, pulled her a bit closer, and then tugged the fabric gently across her torso. His knuckles lingered between the gentle curves of her chest for a brief moment, and he leaned down just enough to look her straight in the eyes, "If you're asking, then you already know. Don't you?" Why he chose to cover her was anyone's guess. It could have been that he had no desire to look at her anymore. Perhaps he'd rather not another man look at her. Maybe it's to save her from eyes lingering on her heinous scarring. Whatever it was, it had a lot to do with saving her own dignity.

This time he made it a point not to aggressively tow her out of the bath, "Unless you had something else in mind, I believe the Court Lady brought you attire to change into. Whenever you're ready." He took a bit of time to take the soap back from her so that he could give himself a quick wash. Emphasis on quick. He'd let her lead them out of the baths this time, giving her a little more agency over her own person. Just a little bit.


"You really know how to take the fun out of everything," Rendrik's dwarf companion grumped at him.

The man just laughed heartily, "You'll thank me when she lets you sleep peacefully at night with both eyes closed."

"Did you hear that, old man?" Aramis chimed in. "You're getting grumpy in your old age."

Rendrik grinned and looked over at Aramis' shackle partner. Naturally, they'd both be the ones tasked with babysitting two dwarves, as was appropriate for their characters. He didn't mind the little ones as much as other humans might, as they seemed to have a much lighter and freer spirit when compared to his own peers. Dwarves just wanted to be Dwarves - they didn't have need or want of anything other than that.

He did wonder what these two did to end up in the dungeons, though. They are an insular species that preferred to mind their own. They were small, but their bodies were dense with muscular mass that could rival that of humans and Elves. They worked laborious tasks all their lives and are not to be taken lightly just because of their small stature. They could have done something, but Rendrik was having a hard time diving deep enough into his imagination and understanding of their culture. Maybe they were pirates. Smugglers. Thieves. Then again...

He looked between the two Dwarves...

.... maybe not. They were both loud and obscene. The female couldn't possibly be a thief, but there was always the notion that she could have been a pirate. She did seem to have that general attitude. He took a look at her just as a general survey of her physical characteristics. Some scarring, but not much that would point to being a criminal. Then he looked at Vonmyr, and giving him the up and down probably wasn't as taboo or whatever. "I'm glad Laou brought up the bath..." he mentioned off-handedly. "No one should have to be shackled to such foul-smelling creatures." His tone was obviously jesting, as he had this really dumb smile that accompanied it.

Honestly, Megina did not have a thing for humans. As handsome as Aramis was, for a human, she's not into mixing races like that. It was weird. He was very, very safe from any predatory antics that he might believe she has. When he got to scrubbing her back, her shoulders drooped in a relaxed manner. It is nice to be clean. "I'm Aramis, by the way."

"Megina, and thank you, kind Sir," she thanked him, but it almost had a sort of mocking tone to it. Unintentional, of course - she just liked to joke around and sometimes forgets that her audience doesn't find her funny at all. Their loss, really.

"Here you go," Rose's voice snatched Rendrik out of whatever spell he fell into, and he reached up to gently take the soap from her hand. While his fingers, as rough as they were, did brush over his own - she might be able to tell that the contact was benign. The woman was beautiful - there'd be no denying that ever, but he had a hard time with women.

In exchange for her smile, he offered her a silly wink, "Many thanks, M'lady." When she let the four of them know that clothing would be awaiting them outside of the baths, she left the bathhouse. He watched her parting figure for a second or two, but it wasn't for the reason one might think.

Of course... that didn't stop Vonmyr from voicing those exact thoughts, "I didn't realize you were such a fan of roses." Since the Dwarf seemed interested in being the center of attention, Rendrik was happy to oblige in his usual sarcastic nature.

Sometimes Rendrik's jokes could be laced with such serious tones that they were hard to discern from reality. He gave the little man a not-so-subtle up and down glance, smirked, put on his best flirty deep voice that had a sort of predatory rumble to it, "Who even said I liked women? I did shackle myself to you."

He'd leave Vonmyr with those thoughts, and likely Aramis shaking his head and chuckling away. He decided to rest the back of his head against the pool's edge and let the Dwarf continue to bathe without his interference. He had already forgotten about the rose-scented soap, but to be honest - he didn't want to smell like a rose anyway.

Alas, the time in the bath was beginning to draw to a close. It was necessary to move on. Melarue had allowed Bayard to dress her, and in return for his kind service to her, she did a rare thing and assisted him with his own attire as best as she could.


After the process, she snatched up one of his hands and placed it in her own, palm up. One of her fingers traced letters over his skin and a few short-hand sketches that they've learned over the years. "Will I stay shackled even when we leave here?" It was an honest question, though she felt that the answer was already there somewhere. Not that she'd blame the king or his men for their reluctance in lending her a bit of freedom. As she'd displayed time and time again until Bayard assigned himself to her if one gave Melarue an inch, she'd take a mile - and then some. It was just her nature, and she couldn't help herself.

Megina was also ready to get out of the bath, but she let Aramis do whatever it is he needed to do first. Afterward, they were out and she was tugging out clothes after drying up. The redhead sure did know how to pick proper attire! Since they were going on a suicide mission, they should all look decent.

As Megina got dressed she snuck a glance over toward Melarue and Bayard. She shuddered. A chill ran up her spine. She couldn't do anything about it. She could have sworn that she saw Rue smirk at that, too! Several guards have tried their best to do what they could with that woman, but only the man with her now could tame her obviously rabid personality. She didn't know anything about the mage, but what she did know was that she was dangerous - and that she'd likely be a nervous wreck about her presence the entire time.

Which brought her thoughts elsewhere as she continued to tug on clothes and fasten straps. Kill her King? For freedom? That was laughable. There was no reason for a Dwarf to kill their nobility. None at all. Especially not for a pathetic human. She'd rather die while attempting to escape the situation later on as they moved through the journey. Her gaze caught Vonmyr for a second, and she wondered if he thought the same thing. They'd get out of this situation sooner or later. To help a Human kill a King whose people wanted nothing to do with anyone else... Ridiculous.

Rendrik was getting dried off and dressed at just the same time as Megina and Aramis. It just so happened that Rose knew his taste exactly. He's a simple man; a tunic, some slacks, and boots - that would do him just fine. He always joked that, with his ruggedly good looks, he could make the ladies drop dead even if he were wearing a potato sack. Not that he was particularly interested in drawing the interest of any women at the moment.

The guards would unshackle the prisoners from their guards just long enough to let them get dressed without much trouble. Of course, they didn't bother with Melarue and Bayard. They just let him take care of her on his own, only tossing him the key when he needed it.

Laou dressed in something that resembled the attire that he had tossed aside shortly before bathing. It was cultural from some part of Ilyos, as humans were a myriad of ethnicities and cultures. There were few of his own race and they were vastly impoverished, but they were also deeply traditional and held steadfast to their own identity. They were still, in a strange sense, foreign in appearance and culture. Most of them went into service trades, and being an Assassin wasn't all that different. It was still a service, albeit a bloody one.

He took the time to brush his hair back, as it was long and fell to his chest. He tried the same silver ornament in his hair after sweeping the top half up in a fist. It was originally his sister's, and it had notes of violet filigree blooming in floral design. It had a feminine appeal, but he didn't care. He realized that he needed more than one hand for this, so he placed the hair ornament in Phaedra's palm and continued to hold onto the fistful that he wanted up. Afterward, he stuck the binyeo through to fasten it in place.

He never removed his mask. In fact, it was hard to see beneath his bangs anyway. Another one awaited him, though, and he exchanged the more elegant mask with the slight golden design for one that was more rugged and mundane. He turned away from Phaedra to do this, hiding away his face until he could finish strapping it in place.

When he was done he looked over at her, "Let's go." It was more a demand than anything, but he did let her finish. He was eager to be released from her and to do that they'd have to leave these castle walls and this land.

Rendrik waited for his companion to dress before they trailed after Laou. It seems that everyone was ready to be free of their charges. After they walked out of the bathhouse he caught Rosalyn staring out of a window. He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, "We are ready to go." What else could he say to her? Sorry that she had to leave everything behind?

He looked over at Aramis, who likely had some of the same thoughts of not being able to come back. He considered Aramis and his niece part of his family, so he understood. He understood what it was like to not know if they would come back or if things would be the same when they do.

Megina was content to allow Aramis to tug her along as they followed Rendrik and the Assassins out.

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 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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
prisonerx|xassassin
#b1aecbx|xattire
.vonmyr
dalgaard

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
prisonerx|xbandit bard
.#849152x|xattire

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Bayard wouldn't have minded helping Melarue clean herself. While she was a woman, he would have tried his best to be respectful and polite. No one likes having to rely on others for basic rights. He was never told what she did to land herself in the Ilyosie dungeons and he never asked. While other guards enjoyed treating most of the prisoners like vermin, Bay still saw them as people. Maybe that's why he was the one person Mel let around her. He wouldn't deny that he was a little annoyed at the fact that because he was the only person nice to the mage that he was now forced to be part of this suicide mission. Nice guys really do finish last sometimes.

His mind wandered while she cleaned herself, but he was thankful for that. With Melarue's hands so tightly restrained to his own, he had to let his arm be lax and follow wherever she guided. It had the potential to get a bit awkward when she cleaned more personal parts of herself, but his busy thoughts kept his mind elsewhere. Mostly it mulled over the task at hand. While some of them might have been the best at what they did, that didn't mean they could successfully kill Kings while keeping prisoners in check. It was a big ask.

Melarue held out the soap to him and as he went to take it the bar slipped from her grasp, falling into the water. At first she reached for it, which caused him to lean down with her and both of them to collide. Rather than try again, the mage abandoned the task and looked at him apologetically. "It's ok. I got it," he said gently, before lowering his free hand down into the water and fished out the soap.

Bay had cleaned himself earlier that day, but who knew when the next time they'd get a proper bath would be. He ran the soap over himself. It was a quick bath, but enough to clean up whatever grime might have dirtied him throughout the day. His hand that was shackled to Rue's rose to rub at the stubble growing in on his chin. He imagined all of the men would be bearded by the end of their journey... If they survived.

When Mel was ready, she tugged on him gently, motioning that she wanted to get out. Bayard nodded his head in acknowledgement. In her weakened state, he didn't know how well she'd be able to climb out. So instead, he took ahold of her waist and hoisted her up out of the water. Once she was on her feet, he managed to get himself out, only struggling a little with having one hand constrained.

"Secarius." An alias no doubt, like her own Thalin. Whatever crutch she might have had leaning on her fake name was gone when the King blurted it out in the dungeons. Phaedra felt even more vulnerable when people knew her name. Sure, it was fairly common amongst elves, not so much humans. To the best of her knowledge there was only one elf in their party. But while Melarue might not remember her... She remembered the mage. How long before the woman's memory was jogged? Phae could be a powerful bargaining chip in Avalon.

Her thoughts wandered to darker places as Secarius's fingertips ran along her back, guiding the soap along her marred skin. She was lucky the King didn't know who she really was. A Princess, even a banished one, was a strong pawn in war. She could only hope they make it in and out of the sky realm without her getting noticed. But she couldn't deny the small amount of satisfaction she got knowing that she might finally get the chance to kill her traitorous brother.

Phaedra surprised herself at the seriousness of her question. Why did she need to know? Did it really matter? For centuries she's fought for her life, defying the odds on Avalon, getting banished and finding a new way to survive in Xalterra. Maybe part of it was she was mad at herself for letting an easy job trip her up. She had the King right there. Why the hell did she hesitate? She sighed at her own stupidity as she slowly turned to face her enigmatic captor.

Secarius grabbed a robe and while she thought it was going to be for him, instead he reached behind Phaedra and draped it over her shoulders. He pulled her closer before slowly wrapping her in the white silk. Her gaze fell for a brief second as his hand briefly dragged across her chest. Intentional or not? She couldn't tell. Then he lowered his head to look directly into her eyes. "If you're asking, then you already know. Don't you?"

She said nothing. What could she say? Secarius was right. Phaedra knew the truth. She had known since the brief moment their eyes met in the King's chamber. While he pointed a blade at her throat, his eyes showed regret. If it was because there is an unspoken camaraderie amongst assassins, or simply that she was a woman, she didn't know. But something told her that he wasn't the type to spare a woman. While she didn't say it, she was grateful that he would have shown her mercy if the situation was different... Not that she deserved it.

Phaedra didn't know why he bothered covering her, modesty was a luxury she's long since lost. But it was a kind gesture. "Unless you had something else in mind, I believe the Court Lady brought you attire to change into. Whenever you're ready." She waited patiently, sitting on the edge of the baths while he finished washing himself.

"You'll thank me when she lets you sleep peacefully at night with both eyes closed."

"If Phaedra wanted me dead, she would have killed me a long time ago." The rest of Vonmyr's traveling companions didn't need to know that she might have tried once or twice before. Like he said, if she really wanted him dead he would be. He wouldn't say they had a friendship... per se. But they had a good system. She was his top assassin and the best part was she didn't ask questions. She didn't care about who gave him the job or who she'd have to kill. Just the price.

"I'm glad Laou brought up the bath... No one should have to be shackled to such foul-smelling creatures."

Vonmyr scoffed with a slight smirk and the roll of his eyes. "He thinks he's hilarious, doesn't he?" He asked mirroring Rendrik's nonchalant tone, but speaking toward the other human.

Aramis laughed with a cheeky grin. "Yes, yes he does." He didn't say anything else for the time being. But for some reason, he could see the pair becoming unlikely friends. The kind that rag on each other like siblings. Their little jabs and underhanded comments will at least be some amusement on their travels. Considering everyone else seemed pretty dour, some lighthearted banter could be good for morale... Or, at least for him.

After he began washing the female dwarf's back and introduced himself, she replied in kind. "Megina, and thank you, kind Sir." Her tone seemed a bit sarcastic, but he tried to pay it no mind. Perhaps that's just how the woman was. He also couldn't imagine anyone wanting to be overly friendly with their captor, whatever the circumstances. In the end, Aramis figured the best course of action was not being an ass to the prisoners. Perhaps if he treated them like he would anyone else, he'd be less likely to get a knife in the back while he slept.

Vonmyr, unabashedly watched Rosalyn approach and hand the soap to Rendrik. She was a fiery beauty. Whether the woman knew it or not, she seemed to gain the attention of not just himself but Aramis and the old man. Although Rendrik's charm left some room to be desired. A girl like that was one that would take a lot of time to win over. Not to say that Von wasn't willing to make that sacrifice, but did the old timer have that much time to offer?

Rendrik gave Vonmyr a once over, causing the dwarf to raise a confused brow. "Who even said I liked women? I did shackle myself to you."

The dwarf snorted. "Whatever you wanna tell yourself, sweetheart." Vonmyr continued to clean himself while shaking his head and laughing. He's been hit on by men before and the old warrior was not the type to prefer the company of short hairy men over a young, porcelain skinned woman. Shackling himself to Von was no more than a chivalrous act to save a Lady from anything less than ladylike. Unfortunately for them, Xalterra wasn't a place for ladies.

Out of the baths, Bayard haggled with the guards trying to get them to allow Melarue an inch of freedom to get dressed. The useless men were little no help, so he made do best he could. There was no rush, thankfully. He took his time helping the woman into the fresh clothing Rosalyn had gathered, also putting the balm on Mel's wrists whenever one was free. He doubted she'd ever fully heal without scarring. Years in shackles could do that, but hopefully the ointment helped sooth any discomfort.

Surprisingly, the mage also aided him in getting dressed as well. It wasn't something he expected from her, but Bayard was thankful nonetheless. Getting dressed with shackled hands wasn't easy for anyone. "Thank you," he said softly before picking up the herbs Rose left behind. "Here." He removed her mouth guard and brought the small handful of greenery to her lips. Once she had taken them into her mouth, he put the gag back on before any of the guards could jump on their case.

He gave Melarue his full attention when she took his hand and spelled out a question. "Will I stay shackled even when we leave here?"

"The King said once Ilyos disappears over the horizon I can removed your bindings. I'm sorry." His voice seemed genuine in his apology. If they were on the ship and had set sail, he didn't see the issue. But then again, he hadn't the faintest idea what Melarue was capable of beyond biting guards' fingers off when they pissed her off. Bayard picked up the sacks for himself and Mel. She had enough to worry about that she didn't need to struggle with carrying a pack too.

When Megina was ready to get out, Aramis didn't argue. He was clean enough. After all, he wasn't the one who spent an indefinite amount of time in a dungeon. He knew all too well that they would get so dirty and smelly out at sea or on their travels that they'd hardly notice it. He had spent enough time holdup with dozen of men who hadn't bathed in months and that body odor didn't phase him. But everyone deserved a good bath before dying. And that was almost certainly what was going to happen.

Aramis hopped out of the bath. He then turned around and took Megina's hand, hoisting her out of the water with ease. He dressed best he could, getting the guards' help when he needed it so that they could properly put on their shirts and whatever else. Somehow Rosalyn managed to find an outfit nearly identical to what he was wearing previously. He also skimmed through his pack seeing an arrangement of the common items needed for long travel. With a sigh, he threw it over his shoulder and headed out of the bath house with his dwarf in tow.

Vonmyr wasted no time getting into the fresh clothing. Gods was it nice not smelling like piss and shit. He had almost forgotten what it felt like wearing clean clothes. It was nice. He was a bit surprised that there were dwarves' clothes in a human keep, but he wasn't going to question it. If it got him out of his old grimey rags, he wasn't going to complain. The pack on the other hand was a bit large, but beggars couldn't be choosers. The fact that Red made sure everyone got the same treatment, prisoner or not, said a lot about her character. He appreciated that.

Meanwhile, Phaedra made her way to the stack of clothing left for her. It resembled the type of attire she often wore and looked to be close to her size. Before maids could run off with her old clothing, she made sure to grab her small armor pieces and boots. Phae would be damned if she'd spend half of the journey with blisters from breaking in new shoes. She was able to wiggle into the leather pants and her boots without her hand free, but had to wait to adorn her top until the guard freed her momentarily.

As she was adhering her gauntlets, Phaedra looked over at Secarius from the corner of her eyes. His attire was nothing like what she was used to, but she'd hardly come across every walk of human or dwarf in her time out of Avalon. The other two races were far more diverse than the elves. She envied them that. Elves always had such high standards about... Well, everything, that any Elf of worth tended to blend into the others. It was quite boring come to think of it.

While her thoughts were lost in her old life, the assassin took her hand, bringing her back to reality. She let him guide her fingers to hold a hair piece of sorts in place. As Secarius did whatever it was that he was doing, Phaedra just stood there patiently and watched. She had never seen a man with such a complicated dressing routine aside from her brother. It reminded her of the elaborate ways the handmaids used to do her hair and dress her. While she didn't miss all the pomp and circumstance that came with being royalty, she sometimes missed feeling important.

Once he was done, she finished dressing herself. Phaedra had noticed the mask under his bangs, but she didn't comment on it. Of course she was curious if he hid something beneath it. Part of her wanted to try and sneak a peek as he changed the mask. But she knew the lengths assassins went to so they could keep their identity secret. If there was a time he wanted to share whatever was hidden beneath, that would be on his terms not hers. She might not have had a choice having her identity stripped before the others, but she wasn't the type of person to ruin someone else's out of her own curiosity.

"Let's go." Phaedra said nothing. She simply threw her pack over her shoulder and let the man guide her wherever they were supposed to go next.

Rosalyn's stomach knotted as she waited on the others to finish bathing. Her hand trembled against the window sill as she watched the people far below go about their lives as if nothing had changed. Was this really the best way to avoid another war? She wasn't so sure. Regardless, she had no choice. If she didn't go it could mean the ruin of her family. While death was frightening, she'd die a million times over if that meant the safety of her family.

"We are ready to go," Rendrik said, breaking the silence.

Rose turned around putting on her bravest smile. "Right," she said softly with a sigh. Her hand then slipped into the pocket of her apron pulling out a piece of paper. Honestly, she had no idea who was in charge of this endeavor. Out of everyone, Aramis seemed the most level headed and he was the Captain. So she stepped toward him, holding out the piece of parchment. "The King said we should see the blacksmith on our way to the docks."

Aramis took the piece of paper and read it over. "Sure." He smiled towards the red head sympathetically as he tucked the note away into a breast pocket. He sighed softly before he started leading the party down the hall. It seemed like they were on their own now. There were no guards following them and the King had vanished. It wasn't all that surprising. It wouldn't be that secret of a mission if he escorted all of them through the town toward the docks.

While everyone started to follow after the Captain, Vonmyr made himself and Rendrik linger around Rosalyn. A blind mind could sense her sadness. "Family?" was all he asked. The woman didn't say anything in response, but nodded her head slightly as she walked alongside him. "It's hard... leaving family behind. I'd know. But you seem like a good person, Red." While Vonmyr didn't know what they were offered to go on this ridiculous quest, he knew it had to be sizable for someone like Rose to risk death and never seeing her family again. "They'd be proud of your bravery and what you're sacrificing for them."

Rose looked down at the dwarf as they walked. She nodded her head and sighed softly. "Thank you," she said barely above a whisper. It was a small act, but it helped. She still felt guilty for leaving and sadness at the fact she may never see them all again. But in the end, she was doing it for them. No matter what happened to her, her family would never want for anything for as long as they lived... All because she sighed that piece of paper.

They exited the castle and crossed the courtyard toward the bridges that would lead them toward the main town. Rosalyn was at the back of the pack, walking slowly with her gaze fixed on her feet. Just before she stepped off the grounds of the keep, she looked back over her shoulder toward the castle. Up on the King's private balcony she saw the Queen watching them all as they left. Rose raised her right hand slightly in a small wave. At first she thought perhaps the Queen wasn't paying attention, but then she returned the gesture with her own wave and a blown kiss.

It didn't take them too terribly long to traverse the town and end up at the blacksmith's. With Megina being guided beside him, Aramis stepped forward and approached the smith. "Captain Devereux! Glad to see you returned safely from your last deployment. How can I help you today?" While the man was friendly, his gaze did look around at the others curiously. But he knew better to ask any questions.

"Evening, William. I have a decree from the King." Aramis fished out the note and handed it to the smith. "We need some arms before we ship out."

"Of course, sir. Let me fetch what I've got from the back." With a nod towards the group, the blacksmith disappeared somewhere in the back.

As they waited on the street side for the smith to return, Rosalyn's gaze wondered. She had never been to the smithy's before, but until that moment she hadn't realized how close she was to her sister's home. It was only a few streets over. Rose could be gone and back before everyone had chosen their weapons. Without thinking, her thoughts blurted out of her mouth. "My sister doesn't live far from here... Could I say goodbye?" She looked back towards the party.

Aramis didn't say anything. He honestly didn't know how to respond. Was he even in charge of this endeavor? He looked between Rendrik, Bayard and Laou, hoping for an answer or input from someone. Before he could answer one way or another, Bayard spoke up. "I... Don't know if that would be the best idea."

"I won't tell her anything. I promise," she practically begged.

Bayard looked to the other men but no one said a word. Why was he the one that had to make this decision? If they let her go, then how long before Aramis asked the same thing or anyone else for that matter? "It's... too risky."

There was sympathy in his voice and expression, and Rose knew he was only following the King's orders. But everything had already put her on edge. At that point, she was a ball of emotions. Anger was boiling up in her and while it wasn't toward Bayard, he was the unlucky person to get the brunt of it. "We all know I'm going to die!" She half shouted at him, saying what was probably on most of their minds. "I'm not a warrior! I just... I just want to see my family one last time."

No one said a word. There was just an awkward and sad silence that weighed heavily in the air.

The smith returned with his arms full of weapons. "All right, 'ere we go." He started laying out everything he had to offer on the table before them, various swords, shields, daggers, bows, arrows and every other weapon in between. He gave a warm toothy grin as he looked about the group, sensing the tension. None of them were quick to browse the wares or arm themselves. The smith cleared his throat. "I might suggest that the lady takes a dagger. Just 'cause you might not always have your staff on ya. They're small and easy to hide in a boot."

Rose sighed, frustrated before she stepped forward grabbing a petite dagger and sheath. "Thank you." Without another word or glance to the party, she stormed off heading towards the docks.

Bayard took a step forward, going to follow her but was stopped when Aramis took ahold of his arm. "Let her go."

"But—"

"The King threatened her family if she disobeyed. Do you think she'd risk that?" Aramis knew exactly what Rosalyn was feeling and while he wanted to beg to say goodbye to his family too, he knew he'd be shot down. And if, somehow, word got back to the King, who knew what would happen to their families while they were gone. Bayard was right. But Rosalyn didn't need to be followed. She was heading toward the docks and if she was anything like himself, she wouldn't jeopardize their safety for a final word... No matter how difficult that was to accept.

"Fucking arsehole," Vonmyr mumbled under his breath before he stepped forward. He looked over the offered items, wishing he could have had his own weapons back. But he'd make do. He grabbed a short sword and dagger along with some throwing daggers. As he fastened the leather waistband for the sword around his torso, he caught Bayard glaring at him from the corner of his eye. "Calm down, Rapunzel. I was talking about your King, not you."

That didn't make it much better. Calling the King an ass around some of his loyal subjects wasn't the best way to get off on the right foot. But Bayard wasn't in the mood to linger on the subject. Perhaps, in this one instance, he'd side with the dwarf. It wasn't the best course of action using someone's loved ones as blackmail to get them to comply. He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck as he step forward and looked over everything.

He was a simple man and didn't really require anything fancy or elaborate. Bayard first grabbed a simple wooden shield and fastened it to a strap on his pack, so it hung on his back, off the satchel. Then he took one of the larger swords. As he attached the sword and sheath to his belt, he looked over to Melarue. "Is there anything you'd like?"

Phaedra waited until Secarius had chosen his weapons and motioned her forward to make her choices. She scanned everything that was offered, not much of it was really her style. That was until she saw something at the far end hidden amongst fancier long bows and what not. There was a quiver and dagger sheath that were fastened together and looked to be warn on the back. She scooped them up, putting the strap over her head and grabbed one of the nicer bows.

Last was Aramis, he waited patiently while other chose their weapons. Once it seemed everyone was done, he took a step forward. There wasn't much that remained to choose from. Just before he settled for a basic sword, the smith spoke up. "Ah, Aramis I forgot something." He looked up and watched as the man opened a wooden crate and grabbed two more pieces. "I know how you're more of a rapier man."

Aramis looked over the rapier and dagger set. He had been working with William for years, so the smith was quite familiar when it came to his taste in weapons. He felt bad taking all of the weapons without pay, but the man was always happy to offer up his wares in service for the King. "Thank you, William. Stop by Lysandra's after you get off. Mention I sent you and she'll cook you a feast, my friend." With that, he gave the smith a friendly pat on the shoulder

"Thank you, sir! Best of luck on your travels!"

It didn't take long for Rosalyn to find the appropriate ship. Most of the boats at the docks were flying the King's colors and bustling with deckhands. But towards the back was a single ship, not adorned in any colors or flags and not a soul to be found. She figured that surely had to be Aramis's ship. She could have waited to be sure, but at the moment she didn't much care. If it happened to be the wrong ship, she'd apologize to the captain and look once again.

Rose ascended the ramp, nearly losing her footing a couple times do to the rocking from the waves. Once she set foot on the deck, she had to brace herself against the railing. Gods she hoped she wouldn't get sea sick. She never had issues with motion sickness, but her experience with it was limited. Before the rocking could get to her, she took a seat on a wooden supply crate near the side of the ship. She sighed softly as she looked down at the dagger in her hands. As long as she had lived in Ilyos, she had yet to set foot on a boat or even leave Luna Isle. And in the course of a single day that all was changing. Not only would she be leaving Ilyos... She didn't know if she'd ever return and she was terrified.

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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: Rosalyn Laurence
Rosalyn Laurence

The Midwife

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Aramis Devereux

The Transporter

Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Bayard Volström

The Ilyosie Bear

Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Laou Tsai-zhan

Secarius of Ilyos

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Phaedra Raephen

The Traitor Princess

Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Melarue Syllar

Mage of Ruin

Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Rendrik Hezenkrald

The Scholarly Ranger

Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Megina Sigbyrn

Gina of the Taverns

Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Vonmyr Dalgaard

The Procurer

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Bayard Volström
Bayard Volström

The Ilyosie Bear

Character Portrait: Vonmyr Dalgaard
Vonmyr Dalgaard

The Procurer

Character Portrait: Rendrik Hezenkrald
Rendrik Hezenkrald

The Scholarly Ranger

Character Portrait: Megina Sigbyrn
Megina Sigbyrn

Gina of the Taverns

Character Portrait: Laou Tsai-zhan
Laou Tsai-zhan

Secarius of Ilyos

Character Portrait: Aramis Devereux
Aramis Devereux

The Transporter

Character Portrait: Melarue Syllar
Melarue Syllar

Mage of Ruin

Character Portrait: Phaedra Raephen
Phaedra Raephen

The Traitor Princess

Character Portrait: Rosalyn Laurence
Rosalyn Laurence

The Midwife


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