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Life Anew In Eronnis: Chapter 2

Introduction

Life Anew In Eronnis

Chapter Two: The Conflict

In Chapter One, The Beginning... roleplay/life-anew-in-eronnis/


As the days grow shorter and Autumn presses further in, the temperature continues to drop. The first frost is just a memory now and every morning the fallen leaves are illuminated by the rising sun, the veins white with ice and the edges crisp with the recent fall. And every morning, through these leaves, the citizens of Jarvaise and Vestern trudge to their duties, ever aware of the coming Winter. Yet they are not put out, this is another year of hardship they shall have to endure and at the end, when the first harvest is taken, all will celebrate with a mighty feast that spills out onto the streets. The ale flows, the last of the Winter reserves are cooked and fellowship between neighbours will never be stronger. But that has yet to come. Our tale picks up in the full swing of the Fall, at a time when only the young, inexperienced and foolish are not preparing for the freeze. Those who can afford it may move South as the frost runs it's course but in these days there are few outside of nobility who can afford such a luxury.

Amongst the life-long citizens in the equatorial cities are those who do not know the dangers which lurk behind the obvious at this time of year. There is more at work to destroy a man than cold weather and food shortage. These are things which are rarely spoken of aloud for fear of inciting Winter's wrath. And these naive strangers to the land are just as busy, if not busier, than most around them. Adjusting to a new life takes a lot of work and the strain begins to show on some faces, while others embrace their newfound freedom.

In the port city of Vestern, on the Eastern coast, the Union occupation has reached a standoff with the Rebellion soldiers. The inner city is controlled by the Union military, as is the Northern side of the city, however the Southern and Eastern paths have been abandoned due to the growing number of attacks from bandits and rebels. The rising power here in the East also controls the seas, preventing any Union forces from reaching the mostly unpopulated Ember Isles. Why is a question that can only be speculated upon and is the focal point of many debates within the hierarchy of the Eronnis Army. Encounters between soldiers and rebels are infrequent as the lines between occupied territories are clearly marked by burnt out buildings and destroyed merchant carts. What was once a minor uprising is rapidly becoming a substantial problem

Hidden within the ordinary citizens is a band of merchants with ulterior motives. Led by the deadly and unshakable Lieutenant Kali Reshma is a group of humans from Earth who still have no idea what they are doing in this land which is so strange to them. As life takes turn after turn they are slowly being trained in many arts, from combat and infiltration to sorcery and diplomacy. They have been together for a number of weeks, yet only time can tell how the pressure will affect each of them in turn.

Meanwhile, in the Capital city of Jarvaise, citizens are setting about in the same routine as elsewhere; taking the last of the harvest in and stockpiling wood for fires. But above the regular and constant flow of citizens going about their daily business, questions are being asked. The High General, Mattius Herne, demands an end to the Rebellion in the East and his best Captain, Loger Kronis, is nowhere to be seen, having taken off on a mission of national protection. Soldiers have stopped being dispatched since the river broke it's banks and the Rebellion took the oppurtunity to increase it's foothold there. The only way from Jarvaise to Vestern now is through the perilous mountain paths which mark the boundary of the Northern Baronies. Reinforcements have been called from the frozen towns in this region and powerful mages have come to the aid of The Union, though their trust is never to be assumed as their people have always lived a life of solitude away from the bustle of life below the mountain ranges.

For those who have arrived here in Eronnis, times are perilous. One must tread carefully, else fall right through the floor. There shall soon be no middle ground left and sides must be chosen. The conflict has begun.


*Only one month has passed since a handful of people from present-day Earth woke up on the streets of Jarvaise, the thriving metropolis and capital city of Eronnis. As some come to terms that they appear to be stuck here, others still insist on finding a way home. Whether they have been struggling alone or been thrown into a group with other 'visitors', the reality has dawned upon on them all that they may never make it back home.


*There are characters from Chapter one that have “died” or are currently lost somewhere, but luckily YOU have managed to make it past your first month of living in this strange, sometimes scary, new world. You are either in Jarvaise, never having left the capital city since you arrived, or you are wandering around in or near Vestern (Simply for ease of pulling newcomers into the storyline). Maybe you found a kind local who has taken you in under the wing and has shown you the way of Eronnis day-to-day life. Maybe you were fortunate enough to have a skill in demand and found employment, perhaps even started building a life for yourself. Have fun and be creative. Nothing is going to be normal about your life after living a month in this fantastical, medieval society.

*Keep in mind no matter where you are, life isn’t so easy. There are things out there that know about you, and want you captured. Danger lies around every corner, often disguised as a blessing. In time the details will become clearer, whether you want to know or not.

*At this point your character must have a mission... whether it is to find a way back home, find others out there that are wondering where the hell they are, or maybe you have been in Eronnis your whole life and you are involved in the Union vs Rebellion uprising.

*Please familiarize yourself with Chapter One’s Intro and backstory, so that your character will enter into the plot smoothly. The introduction and posts are available to read but a summary will be up soon for those who haven't the time to read the whole story.


RACES AND POSITIONS

Races:

As a person of Earthly origin, basic human form is the norm. Some of those who traversed the distance to Eronnis may have taken on slightly altered forms, possibly animalistic traits, but nothing that would seem out of the ordinary here in such a varied mixture of races and cultures.

There are also those who were born and raised here. Aside from humans and semi-humans there are a vast variety of creatures who would be considered supernatural to a visitor's eyes. Vampires, golems, trolls, elves, dwarves and everything in between. For the most part they are less common than the average human and some exist in exile through fear or hate while others are welcomed and praised for their skills.

Positions:

Independent- You follow your own heart and are neutral when it comes to being involved in politics; You stay out of the way of the two warring parties and just try to get by; you might hire yourself out to either side as a mercenary for the money or maybe you are just looking for some excitement.

Union Loyalists- The Union has complete control over Eronnis through government and military power; Loyalists live slightly better, are paid slightly more, and ignore poverty as best they can. Jarvaise is home to the majority of Union loyalists; Dirty secrets, greed, and corruption haunt many of the loyal Union followers, but at least there is the safety of knowing that numbers are on your side. Either you are loyal to the Union through family tradition, or maybe out of simple fear of punishment if any rumor spread that you shared a connection to the rebellion. Maybe you are a Soldier in the Union army.

Rebel Forces- Most who join the Rebellion strive for a return to ways of old, when a Royal lineage dictated the laws and rules. Times were more relaxed and a military presence was rarely enforced. People were also wealthier as taxes were lower, but the grass is always greener on the other side and the Royal family hid secrets of their own.


EXTRA:

THE GUILDS- Unofficial in title these days, are just as busy as ever. The Mage's fellowship, the Alchemist association, the Band of Warriors, the Trade confederacy; all exist as a means to an end, a way for those to make a living who have been gifted in any way from skill in battle to being silver of tongue. And nothing goes on in Jarvaise without someone in one of the guilds knowing about it. To be an honored member is to be on the cutting edge of city news.

POTENTIAL CHARACTER ROLES NEEDED:

**Lieutenant Kali Reshma**- A much needed role from Chapter 1. She is a fierce warrior who used her exceptional skills of infiltration and assassination to rise through the ranks. Captain Loger Kronis, head of the Town Guard, personally mentored her and it was a direct result of his position that she managed to overcome the discrimination which would usually have held her back. Aside from being female she is also of unknown descent and many are unsettled by her unusual appearance. [Read more in the Chapter 1 characters]

*Inhabitants of Earth– The more the merrier as far as these are concerned. Each human was brought to Eronnis by an item found in their daily life. It may be bland and uninteresting or it may be strange and fantastic. Either way, they have kept it and carried it with them, at this point now noticing that it is not quite what it appears.

*Scholars– As the characters progress through their journey and events unfold, they will doubtlessly move across the length and breadth of the great and varied land that is Eronnis. Enlisting the help of a guide may prove to be a useful move.

*Rebel soldiers– Lives have been traded for hardship by those who believe so strongly that The Union must fall. Hunted outcasts, the members of the Rebellion have only each other in the constant struggle to make a change. Led by a mysterious and anonymous figure, most soldiers answer directly to one of the officers {See Rowan Harper in the characters section]

Toggle Rules

*IT IS PREFERRED YOU READ AS MUCH OF CHAPTER ONE AS YOU CAN: THIS INCLUDES THE INTRO AND AS MANY POSTS AS POSSIBLE.

Read all character profiles approved. You take the time to make it, so it is only fair everyone reads your hard work.

No Godmodding: Includes, but is not limited to, controlling other peoples characters, deciding outcomes of actions and being a perfect character in every way.

Please take a moment to check your spelling and grammar. It's not hugely important but I like it when I can understand your posts.

Detail is essential, a couple of paragraphs a post please but not one sentence paragraphs, real paragraphs. 500 words per post minimum. I didn't write a lengthy intro because I want one liners. That said, I know how difficult it can be to reach that when your character hasn't much to respond too so I won't be sending out angry messages if you write 499 words in a post.

Regular posting is essential! Every other day if you can. If you go 5 days without posting (without giving me a reason why) then I'll have your character incapacitated. Maybe in jail, maybe kidnapped, depends on where they are. Another 5 days and I'll kill them off. Everyone loves a good public execution.
*** It is completely understandable if you are experiencing a lot of stress in your real life that is preventing you from getting online to post... whether work or school or health issues becomes a problem, just inform one of the GM’s and we promise we will be understanding. We have real lives, too!*****

Try to check in on OOC as much as you can, updates will be made there and I expect your character sheets may need changing as we progress.

OOC remains just that, any chatting, discussions or brain storming is more than welcome. Any and all of that stays in the OOC thread only!


Character Sheet:

Name:

Age:

Race:

Appearance: [Photo and description is preferred; No anime photos unless given the OK by A Rubber Chicken and/or Echored]

Personality:

Skill:

Affiliation: (Union, independent, or rebel?)

Mission/Goal (You’ve been in Eronnis now for a month AT LEAST, longer obviously if you’ve lived here all your life, so what is on your mind? What is getting you through the days? Are you aiming to destroy the rebellion, or do you want the Union army to be crushed? Are you wanting world peace? Mention it here):

Your Brief history:

*If you are of the Chosen Humans, what is the Item you found?: [The item you stumbled across that brought you to Eronnis. It should be small and relate to what you hope your character to develop into, as the items will develop themselves, becoming an integral part of the story. It will be the only item, other than clothes, that you arrive with in Eronnis so make it count]


*Please note: Appearance can change when passing into Eronnis (Take on some slightly inhuman traits if you so wish) but abilities CANNOT. Your character, sadly, cannot develop supernatural powers just by being moved to another place. They can learn magic, epic swordplay and what not, but cannot have a natural ability to fly, or some similar strange skill, nor can such a skill be instantly obtained simply through the item found. Your characters are people and will not become superheroes upon entering Eronnis. Just to clear things up.

If you are unsure of anything or have any questions in general, don't hesitate to PM me or my partner Echored

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 9 authors

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The act dropped, replaced by what seemed to be a cold and collected demeanor, that was a few respect points towards the man, he knew when he had been figured out and ceased all unnecessary actions relatively quickly.

“If you thought he was interesting, you’ll think I’m all kinds of shiny, friend.”

The voice changed as well, it had a strange accent along with it, one that Artemis hadn't heard, ever, and that peaked his interest in this man more and more, he had time to look over the man more now that he was drawn into conversation, the clothing was also different, he hadn't seen pants or boots like that before, though it was nice to see that someone cared for his footwear so much.

“Name’s James Reaper, most call me Grim Jim, or just Grim, whichever you prefer.” That was another interesting fact of this man, his nicknames, for someone to gain a nickname like Grim that meant that there was something in his past, something he would find out later in all hopes. Names were good though, get a hold of the right people and you could really find anything, but not from a street urchin, he had to go to a thief with a guild for good information, and well that didn't come cheap either, or do it the hard way; find information himself.

“What’s your interest in the kid, Shah-leh-nah?” The last word was different, was that the language of the dwarves, it had a sound to it like it had been, then again Artemis didn't get along with Dwarves, so he never took the time to learn the language properly.

"Shah-leh-nah, I like the sound of that." Though he would have to find what it meant at a later time. He took another gulp of the ale before his eyes snapped on the woman, who had taken a statuesque stance, but returned to Grim's before he spoke.

"He doesn't seem to be from around here, and now that I get a good look at you, you to have an otherworldly look about you." He didn't have much time afterword to get anything else in, the woman stepped up next to Grim, that was going to be his name, he liked that one most; taking his arm into a hug it seemed; her giggling did nothing but irritate Artemis a little, though he didn't let that show.

“Oh, come on you two, no one here wants to start a serious fight… breaking ribs in a bar fight is something far acceptable for the Union, but if you are about to get serious, maybe I get…" She drank a little more of the ale, her eyes seemed to be searching the area, what was she trying to pull? “I’m not sure than anyone in the bar would…survive, my elf friend.” He wasn't really surprised that she figured out his race, there were tons like him about, though the fact that she had picked up on it, respect point for her. “Since we all know how the Union greatly maintains situations and keeps the peace in our land in a fair price of course.”

The bar had gotten a little more quiet than normal, looks crossed over peoples faces, she was attempting something, was she going to run? What was the point, had he offended her? He was busy looking over the now slightly hostile crowd, missing the personal conversation the other two were having. When the bar seemed to erupt in chaos, great. He turned about to the others, but the girl had walked away, and in her wake a very angry looking man was approaching him, and he seemed he wanted a fight. Great, he sighed at the sight.

The first punch was obvious, and wild, what he expected from someone who had been drinking all evening, he dipped under the wild swing putting a little distance between him and his attacker, what had he done to piss this guy off? Or was he attacking him just because the girl had brought up the union, but no one wanted to fight her after her little display earlier? The man recovered, turned and went right back on the offensive taking another swing, that brought him in close enough for an opportunity.

Artemis ducked away from the wild swing again, grabbing at what clothing he could, and shoving his knee into the man's gut, with enough force to put him down, gasping for breath, luckily he didn't puke, right away. It also gave him enough time to look around at the chaos that had broken out, and the men that were surrounding him. His hand went for the weapon on his hip, his favored sword, maybe it was time for a little scare tactic, enough so that he could get out of this place before the guards took notice.

"Enough of this." It was loud enough to be heard but it wasn't a yell and it didn't overpower the sounds of destruction on the background.

He grabbed his sword and ripped it out of the sheath, willing it to blaze. The sudden bright light seemed to throw off his attackers, but then again, it could be that he just pulled a weapon in a tavern, where fisticuffs were the usual tactics, that and the blade was on fire, so much for keeping a low profile. He pointed it at the men that were coming at him a moment ago, and it seemed to get the point across, move or die.

"I would take this chance to get out." He said it plainly, it was what advice he could offer to Grim as he made his way towards the door, the blade still pointed at what he thought could be attackers; he passed the woman on the way out the door. She was too dangerous to really try to talk to at the moment, so maybe another time.

He re-sheathed the weapon as he hit the door, no need to walk out into an open street with a weapon drawn; he heard whistles going off as he walked out, the guards reacting to the clatter in the tavern, he took off full sprint, he might have not known the city that well, but he could lose a tail more so than that of an ordinary man.

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#, as written by Kirinak
James smiled as he followed the woman towards the door. He knew exactly what was coming, and his precognition was satisfied as she smashed a blow into the face of an aggressor blocking their path.

"A woman after my own heart!" he laughed, this was what he remembered from home, and the thought of cracking heads threatened to over overwhelm him in a wash of blood lust. The cogs locked into place as he combat instincts kicked into high gear. The Corps had taught him many different forms of combative techniques and he decided a blend of Israeli Saf Ma'gras and hapkido were the best tact for the situation. A man started towards him with a chair raised to strike him over the head. James sidestepped the wild downward arc and he made three quick palm strikes to the shoulders and chin. Before the man knew what was going on he was on the ground with two dislocated shoulders and a broken jaw.

"I would take this chance to get out."

The words cut through the combat fog that clouded Grim's mind and as the door swung open to admit the hooded one to pass through, the shrill cry of guard whistles could be heard on the night air. He grabbed this partner in crime by the shoulder, trusting that she would know him as friend rather than foe.

"Listen missy, Crackin heads is a wonderful first date and all, but I hear the guards a comin, so hows about we grab my horse and effects and get the hell out of dodge," he said. His tone left no room for argument and he turned on his heel and strode through the path left by the hooded man. He made a quick left once through the door and made his way to the livery by the inn. He called the stable boy out of his quarters, but to his surprise instead of the stable boy a union soldier stepped out of the small apartment.

"What's your business here," he paused for a moment as he took in Jim's strange attire "Citizen."
"I've come to get me effects, horse, wagon, and bag serah, is there a problem?" replied Jim, acting cool and collected, tossing the local word for sir in for good measure.
"You've the look of someone in a hurry, what be the rush?" asked the guard
"I just arrived in the city you see and I wanted to procure a room, however when I went in to do so I discovered a rather nasty brawl. So I'm choosing to take my business to another establishment." he paused for a moment and added quickly, "There should be a lady just behind me, it's my wife, just thought I'd let you be aware so as not to startle you." he said with a disarming smile. The soldier relaxed a great deal and called the young stable boy out to fetch the equipment.
"Sorry to hold you up serah, the boy will get your things and you can be on your way. Now if you'll excuse me I must attend to the nasty business in the Inn." said the soldier, who then strode from the barn.

"Damn that was close, I hope that kid hurries up before they figure out I had something to do with the whole mess," sighed James.

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#, as written by echored
The Rebellion Camp
Rowan's Mood: Awake and Excited

It was nearly sunset, the day after which Jack and his men had returned. The night that had passed brought the camp enough gold coins and bars that would make a pirate think he had died and gone to heaven. It had also brought word in that foreign travelers were working, and seen with Union officials, which was definitely something to stay on alert for. Rowan was never one to like surprises. While she waited for a safe time to leave her shelter from the sun, the camp was busy as ever now. Not a single hand below rested idly, each able body loading up satchels and wagons for the journey into Vestern which a few select rebels were about to make, Rowan included. Horses were brought in from their stables out in the woods to the main area of the camp. They were being fed and cleaned so as to be in top shape for what was to come. Some were designated to pull luggage, others were for personal use, having their owners at bay. Rowan's horse was a beauty, standing majestically tall at 9 feet. It had a sheer black coat, dark as night. And it could run fast, which allowed Rowan the chance to save energy and, of course, blend in to the crowd by having a horse instead of her own speed. Rowan had purchased the horse 5 years back and at this point, the horse listened to her every word and was trained to the T. She didn't ride it often but there was no question the horse knew its owner. Anyone besides Rowan who attempted to ride the horse was asking for trouble. The two shared a unique personality trait which made them get along so great: both loved the night.

Inside her safe house, Rowan dressed and equipped for her journey. Her outfit consisted of black trousers with a drawstring waistband, a black tunic that fell right above her midriff, and of course, a black hooded cloak made from dwarves of the North, able to withstand even the most brutal of winters. Around her waist she added an extra brown belt, full of many holes to attach items such as weapons and a money satchel. Lastly she put a nice set of leather boots on that reached midcalve. Rowan opted out of any particular armor for several reasons. One, it was shiny and would make her stand out to bystanders, and or the Union, as if a soldier or knight, which was the opposite of what she wanted. There would be at least a handful of Union soldiers in town that would recognize her, seeing as it wasn't that long ago that she was a member of the Union army as well. Two, being a vampire had it's benefits- her body was tough as stone and not easy to puncture or wound. As well, any sustained injury, if not killing her instantly, would heal within the day. She was an opponent that you would not want to meet in battle. So her thought-process adapted: any protective armor was simply extra baggage (aside from the rare occasions like war). Unnecessary attention, in the end, would be more harmful to those around her than to herself. 

Weapons on the other hand, those were needed and prized. She enjoyed her assortment of knives and swords. After being alive for so long she had a very sizable collection. Armor might not have been fun to wear but weapons were like toys. Sure, she could get by without. This being said, it was in poor taste to solely rely on her physical capabilities. There was a decent reason for it, too. She didn't want anyone to know what she was. Only her rebellion camp knew that she was a vampire, and a few Union soldiers, though as far as they knew she was long gone. She had to stay hidden until the perfect moment. Captain Kronis hadn't the clue her undertakings and that was how she liked it. Any potential soldier on the future battle field would only assume she was human if they joined the army after her departure, which would require some weapon handling. Having the upper hand is a must, or maybe just a really addicting pet peeve.

Before her was an open chest, the lining made of red velvet. In the chest were her go-to weapons,a stash of gold coins, and some magic items, all very rare collectables that she acquired over the span of her life. Rowan reached for the white dagger to the far left, made from casting white gold, about 8 inches in length. The handle had 3 rubies inset as well as a scorpion engraved along the blade. She took it from a prince overseas 100 years ago. By now it must be worth at least one gold bar. She sheathed the dagger in a brown leather case and attached it to her belt. Next she took two miniature throwing knives, concealing one in each boot by her ankles. For now that would be all she needed blade-wise. She scooped up a handful of coin, as well as some magic smoke balls. They were the size of small pebbles but, once throw down, could consume a decent sized area in smoke within seconds. The smoke balls confused attackers and gave her the opportunity to attack. She put these items in a satchel at her belt and was ready to go. Perfect timing for the sun was now kissing the horizon goodbye. She would have 12 hours from this point until she would need to retreat back inside somewhere safe from the sun.

Rowan exited her safehouse, walking down to the main camp where everyone was packing up. Her horse caught eye of her and bobbed its head with power and energy. Noir, her horse, was one of the only creatures she ever felt care for and exposed her soft side. The horse was saddled and beckoned for her to hop on, which was exactly what she did. There was no time to waste for, even at the speed her horse could run, the trip to the main city Vestern was two hours or more away, and that is without counting any disturbance on the way there. She figured she would have no problems seeing as not many people traveled at night, leaving the roads less watched by soldiers and shepherds. While on her horse and still at the camp, Rowan rode over to Jack.

"You plan on making the trip to Vestern, correct?" she asked, though it was more like a command. Her face was smooth but her eyes looked... wild. Wild because of the anticipation, and because she was going somewhere different. She was getting restless at camp and was happy to venture to a bigger city, even if it put her in more danger.
"I will be staying at the Black Rock Inn if you decide to come," she finished, and with that, she gave the cue to Noir to run. In minutes they were on a path that led to Vestern. They molded into the dark landscape, her and the horse in all black with the hood of her cloak covering her fiery red hair. The cape of the cloak whipped in the wind, her body hunched low to the horse for better speed. Their movements were in-sync and on the verge of magical. Soon Rowan would be in the mists of the Union controlled city and things were about to become interesting.

-----


As predicted, Rowan and Noir arrived two hours after their departure from the hidden camp further north of the city. The night was still young and the city was alive with energy, but things were different. More lively than usual. Lanterns lit the worn down streets. Things looked more.. active... Rowan hopped off her horse, taking it by the reins to guide it through. Her eyes were a deep red because of the fact that she was hungry. As a dwarf walked past, she called for his attention. "What is the reason for the commotion?" With a drunken grin, the dwarf smiled and said with joy, "Why, the festival, m'lady! Them Union soldiers finally doin' sometin nice for the town folk!"

Rowan smirked and turned from the man, continuing on her walk down a packed street of locals and travelers. Some smelled of the area and some smelled of the far south. She was searching for one scent in particular and kept her senses on overdrive. At sight of a barn, Rowan dropped off her horse and paid a decent amount of coin to make sure Noir had the best treatment and the best stall available. Once she knew he was in good hands, it now made her even more inconspicuous. Now she could freely travel the crowd and possibly find a warm meal, and by warm meal she meant fresh off the streets. Of course she mostly had a taste for humans, no other creature was as appetizing. Before anything though, she had to check in at the Inn. She kept her eyes down and her hood over her head, listening calmly to the click of her leather boots as they made contact with the stone below.

In a sudden motion, a figure whipped past her, bumping into her shoulder. She lurched forward from the unexpected force, her hood falling from her head. To put it nicely, Rowan was annoyed. The figure that ran into her had slowed down upon contact, which gave her the chance to catch up with him. She gripped the shorter man, no elf, she could tell by his smell, by the shoulder. Her grip was powerful and it prevented the elf from continuing on. She followed by dragging him into a dark ally between one tavern and the next. It happened so quick that no one witnessed where the two went. Once there, she pushed him up against the wall. It happened in a blink of an eye. She quickly put her hood up, hiding her red locks once more. Being on an empty stomach made her more moody and less likely to put up with clumsy fools.

"Apologize and I won't rip your head off," she threatened him, her words thick with warning and anger.

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Sebastian saw the woman's eyebrows shoot up, though it seemed involuntary as the rest of her features remained somewhat impassive. In honesty he had expected a more vigorous reaction. He himself had charged from a meeting which had been the only thing he had looked forward to in days, shouting uncharacteristically and running rather ungracefully. Yet this healer, or Doctor, could do little more than raise her brow. He knew people who had grown far more accustomed to life here in Eronnis than himself but such a locked expression was disconcerting and, frankly, a little irritating. Yet he mimicked the lack of revealed emotion and allowed her to speak, learning her name and incredibly coincidental proximity to his own homeplace.

“The others are American, though the number we have grows less as time goes by. Which is why I need your help.” He knew it was a risk to confide in a stranger but he was running out of people and options. There was no one in Eronnis he could trust, not even Kali. She was a killer under orders and if those orders ever changed he knew she'd obey. No, the truth had to be kept to those who needed to know.

But the truth was not easy to find. It was locked away and the keys were visible if only someone knew where to look. And so Sebastian looked, his eyes flickered downwards, a gesture of awkwardness to hide his intent. He saw nothing out of the ordinary, which was typical, his own item was obviously a relic of this land itself and would not stand out to anyone. Thus far only Flin, who had recently done a disappearing act himself, had acquired something which, Sebastian assumed, had transported him here that resembled an object from home. Which is why he needed to find the man again. As well as see what Rhiannon had gathered through her journey here.

The news that she was being held against her will (Possibly) was unsettling. The options left for him were to make the trip to the barracks whenever they needed to converse or to get her out from under the watchful eye of the Union soldiers. Each had downfalls. He doubted he would be spending much longer here in Vestern, whatever information he could gleam from this city had been religiously noted down already. And breaking Rhiannon out was a criminal offense, not good for someone under the care of the Union also. However, there was one major difference between the two of them – His care held sway over most of the soldiers in the city should she call for the need. True, they were supposed to be avoiding detection, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

“As a Doctor, I'd imagine they'd be keeping you here to help with the frontline casualties. The Rebels get more daring by the week and it seems to me that you've already made an impression by sending for your equipment to be forged.”

It was a fair assumption but not even he believed it. It seemed more likely that someone with such advanced knowledge of medicine would be more likely to attend a tribunal of some description and answer questions about where such training came from. The answers, Sebastian thought, were not ones he would like to make public knowledge if possible.

And then he was forced to think fast again, his easy entry came under scrutiny.

“A man in a plain, black traveling cloak bearing the trader's insignia is unlikely to be anything but a trader. What possible damage could I do surrounded by soldiers?”

Sebastian may have spoken believable words but the truth of the matter was that he had had dealings with the lower branches of the military recently and his passage was pretended to be ignored in order to prevent attention being brought to him from the higher ranking officers. If these people were holding Rhiannon against her will he really did not wish for her to know that he was friendly with them, at least not yet. Kali, however, was an altogether different matter. She held power, as did Leech, over most soldiers here. He could not invoke names on anyone's behalf but he could certainly ask them each to help the situation. Surely there could be some lie or other that would facilitate her quiet release -

Damn you Sebastian, these lies are getting too much for you to handle and your loose tongue has fetched you enough trouble already over the past few weeks. Stick to the truth!

Another mental telling-off from himself.

He leaned in even closer yet, eyes casting to the sides to ensure they were not being watched. “I may know somebody who could help you. And if not, I'll find a way to get you out of here. I want to get home and I think you can help me do that. I'll do whatever it takes to make this happen.”

The usual passive professor demeanor had vanished, replaced by a passionate, homesick and desperate intellectual with an overwhelming desire for a decent latte. His eyes burned with a renewed sense of purpose and he felt excitement flowing through his veins, an adrenaline-charged lust to carry out a thousand tasks at once. Not since first beginning to gather information that might bring him closer to home had he felt so alive.

And that called for the end, he thought, of this conversation at least. A few dodgy deals with weapons of a questionable origin wasn't enough to keep him ignored forever. Sebastian straightened himself up and tipped his head in a formal manner, speaking loud enough to be heard by anyone in the close vicinity now..

“Miss Bartlett, it was a pleasure to meet you. I'll return with your equipment as soon as Master Sholtane has completed his work. Good day.”

And with that he turned on his heel and strolled out of the infirmary, exchanging a nod with the guard at the entrance whom he had traded with but days before on his way, and took a lungful of fresh – Or what could pass as fresh this close to the market – air, followed by another. Half a dozen deep breaths later and he carried on his way, no longer paying attention to the stallowners who were attempting to flog their wares desperately before the sun sunk low in the sky on the last day before the controversial festival would begin. And the celebrations, it seemed, had already began, as what seemed like a small riot had started to consume the far side of the marketplace.

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#, as written by Caelus
The punch quickly met a man’s face while Lilith thought if she took the fastest way to the door, the woman sure enjoyed to break noses and lead people to unconsciousness but killing would attract the kind of attention than she didn’t seek. ‘Not than I started a barfight for attention’, the woman laughed while dodging a wild punch throwed by a drunk man wearing a green shirt. She spun on her right foot, the punch aiming perfectly to the man’s neck when she saw it. “Enough of this” where the words from the hooded man shortly before he unsheathed his sword, that started to blaze. Lilith wondered if he did that by stupidity or to find a quick way to the door. A question that was answered in a matter of seconds, and that small amount of time was enough to completely throw her concentration away. The punch hit thin air when the man managed to step on his own feet.

Some men managed to stop fighting to watch the hooded man create his way toward the door. ‘Ah… so much work to arrange a way to entertain him and he just jumps away from it?’ Lilith smiled when she fully hit a man’s face with a punch. After being sure that people close to her were busy trying to break other people’s faces she spun on her feet to watch where the man named Grim was, she was quite surprised when she saw him completely dislocating someone shoulders and breaking the man’s jaw with only a few punches. ‘Hope he can teach me that someday’ were the words crossing her mind when both heard the hooded elf speak, words clear as pure water but still made a perfect advice for the situation. “I would take this chance to get out.” Lilith tried to track down from where the sound came from, quickly leading to the bar’s own door. The elf’s shadow disappeared with the sound of the guard’s whistles, for her surprise someone managed to touch her shoulder. In her position little could be done to avoid a punch, but she barely moved before the words reached her ears.

"Listen missy, Crackin heads is a wonderful first date and all, but I hear the guards a comin, so hows about we grab my horse and effects and get the hell out of dodge," Grim’s accent, she nodded but the man was far away from her to see it. She saw the direction and started to move. Drunk men tried to stop and fight her but the alcohol did not allow them to, she calmly dodged a few punches while she moved to the door. For her surprise Union soldiers managed to reach the door shortly before she tried to walk through it, ordering her to exit the place and stand a few meters away from the door. Five soldiers entered and tried to calm the people in there, three stayed with she. “For your own safety ma’am” were the words from a soldier with a different armor from the others, Lilith could hear that more men were about to reach the bar when the soldier exited the place.

“Thanks for waiting now hear, we need to ask a few questions to understand what happened in there an-“, he was interrupted by a soldier that just exited the Inn. The alabaster skinned woman somehow wondered if that was good news or bad news, since Grim just entered the place. “No need for that, sir, everything is explained. Ma’am, your man is waiting for you; your horse is probably ready by now, and sorry for this,” he looked to the bar “inconvenience.” ‘Wise move, Grim.’ Lilith smiled to the man and walked to the inn, quickly finding Grim.

“Now that was close,” she sighed and smiled “but since I’m your wife, maybe you should know my name. It’s Lilith, simple as that, Grim.” She emphasized the last word and started to move to the wall. “I sure hope than you know an Inn and that we will be on the move shortly” Her back met the wall in a way that she could watch Grim and the door, her expression showing that she wouldn’t enjoy to enter in a direct fight against Union soldiers. “We did quite a show there” she looked to him, smiling and waiting for his answer. Her left knee failed as she fell to the ground, her face showing the very definition of pain.

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#, as written by Kirinak
The stable boy brought the horse and wagon around just as his new found friend entered the livery.

“Now that was close,” she sighed and smiled “but since I’m your wife, maybe you should know my name. It’s Lilith, simple as that, Grim,” she said as she smiled and moved to stand against the wall. “I sure hope than you know an Inn and that we will be on the move shortly, we did quite a show there.”

James turned and smiled but as he was about to respond, Lilith's left knee buckled and she collapsed with a look of terrible pain writ in large across her face. The horse was temporarily forgotten as he grabbed a small kit from his wagon and rushed to her side. There was no blood soaking through her clothing that he could see, so instead of doing a normal field triage by cutting off her pants leg he gently straightened her leg and smoothed out the fabric. He rummaged about for a moment in his kit and produced a roll of mildly stretchy linen weave cloth, in essence what passed for an ACE bandage in this place.

"I don't know if you can hear me through the pain, but I'm going to put a pressure dressing on your leg," he said gently. It was far from his usual bedside manner, but she was a woman and she had just helped him out of a scrape, so she deserved some gentle and kind treatment.

He propped her leg upon his, so that her Achilles tendon rested on his shin bone. This allowed him enough room to pass the bandage under her leg as he wrapped it tightly about her knee, forming a brace. He then stood and gently lifted her small frame into the front seat of the wagon. He retrieved his kit and momentarily gazed up to her position in the seat and offered a rare, honestly caring, smile.

"Helluva way to kick off a honey moon innit," he laughed "There's another dive up the street that I saw on the way in, the bent sickle or something like that, we will head there. When we get there I'll have their people stow the rig and get us rooms, unless you wanna share one to keep up the pretext of marriage." he paused for the moment and added quickly, "I'll sleep on the floor if that's the case of course, I aint tryin to sound like I'm tryin to...." he trailed off embarrased, his cheeks reddening under his beard, "Ya know what, I'm gonna get us to the inn how about that? You just let me know what to do when we get there."
He turned quickly away, feeling sheepish and dumb, and took the leads on the horse and lead them into the closing market towards the Inn.

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Rhiannon listened to the man speak. At once her mind was trying to assemble facts. American...now there were two possible correlations there, and no clear way to discern either for certain. He seemed agitated though, perhaps more so than she'd thought likely for someone who had heard her own predicament.

At the last he leaned forward. “I may know somebody who could help you. And if not, I'll find a way to get you out of here. I want to get home and I think you can help me do that. I'll do whatever it takes to make this happen."

The rest of the conversation was a hasty, loud dismissal designed to be overheard. She nodded to him regally as he left, and then returned to her patients, deep in thought. Clearly he knew more about the political situation here than she did. What was it he was hiding, or at least nervous about?

Sighing, she got back to work for the time being.

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#, as written by Caelus
Lilith's pain prevented her from speaking, the words she heard were fragments from the former phrases. Things sometimes moved far too fast, sometimes too slow. 'So confusing,' the man named Grim spoke to her, and tried to make some sort of bandage. The bandage hurt, but somehow it manage to lessen the pain. The man took her to the wagon, she didn't notice that it was there, she wanted to laugh for some reason, but the very thought emanated the pain the laughter would create. She tried to keep conscious at her best, Lilith heard Grim speaking the words 'pretext' and 'marriage', the sound seemed to be more distant that her blurred vision showed her. "Marriage, yes" were the words she mumbled before falling unconscious.

The memories that followed were blurred and made little to no sense, she remembered to be on the wagon, Grim at her side. She saw some guards looking at them, but before they moved their mouths she fell unconscious. After that she was in front of another Inn, Grim discussing with someone close to the door, it didn't look like they would fight but they surely weren't being friendly. A dozen stairs followed, the woman didn't know how she was moving. She woke up on a bed, a a fur blanket covering her. The bandage still applied pressure on Lilith's leg, but the pain was long gone. She sat on the mattress, the leg probably wouldn't allow her to walk long distances, but she arrived at Vestern yesterday. 'Yesterday...' the word brought her memories about the barfight, the wagon and the man named Grim. Lilith turned her head, analyzing her surroundings. The room was large, the floor covered with wood. A window showed West while the door was on the opposite side of the room. The black cloak was over a small chair, two swords stood close to the door. Grim was sitting on the floor, contemplating the third sword. The blade's steel was pale, a phrase followed from the tip of the sword until the hilt. The latter was simple, it was made of steel but a thin piece of black letter allowed to hold it better.

"There are thousands of ways to die, the sword you are holding is one of the worst ones." Lilith moved to the edge of the bed, gently putting the left leg on the ground after the right one. She wasn't willing to test if she could stood. "'Thou, oh foolish beast, shall be slain, be it by the blade, be it by the venom that shall corrupt thy blood.'" The woman smiled, "it's a warning, one that shouldn't be ignored." She was about to stand up when Lilith heard Grim's words.

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Dante spent the rest of the evening drinking and playing cards with the others. At one point, a man and a woman with a broken ankle or some other injury entered. The woman was helped upstairs, they obviously having rented a room. Dante honestly didn't give it much thought though, his head fuzzed by drink and the ruckus of the bar. The night marched on, with few other major incidents to be had.

The next morning, Dante had risen a bit earlier than usual to chop wood for the inn. As the nights began to grow colder, firewood was a ever more needed commodity. He knew it would be appreciated, and he was staying for free after all. Dante felt as if he may as well give back at least a little bit of work in return. So just after the first rays of the sun were shining down, Dante was out back of the inn. He grabbed the chopping axe, situated a hunk of wood, and brought the axe down hard. A satisfying cracking and splitting sound emanated as the blade slid through in an instant. 'One down, a crap-load to go..' Dante thought to himself, a grin on his face as he exhaled in the morning cold.

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Sebastian wound his way through the market stalls rather than risk running headlong into confrontation at the bar. It was a regular enough occurance these days; spirits were high, nerves were shot and the undercurrent of the Rebellion flowed beneath their feet like an unseen river, spreading distrust and prejudice wherever it meandered. Those in favour of them were few but those who were indifferent... Well, that was an altogether different matter. It took some doing to turn a man from a Union Loyalist into a Rebel but to weave a tale strong enough to make a person's contempt for the Rebellion waver when they had no affiliation in the first place was becoming simpler by the day. Sebastian only hoped this attempt to bring the people back to the side of law and order would work, if only to make his life a little easier.

Your time here, Sebastian, not your life. Your life is in London.

So, with shouts heard from afar creating the background noise for yet another evening, the teacher-who-was headed for the place that he, for reasons of keeping matters simple, called home.

It took only a few minutes, he was in a hurry after all. He made his way down the same alley, head overflowing with thoughts and ideas and things he could say to change Kali's mind when she rejected his idea of pulling some strings to free this Doctor. He was so wrapped up in it all that he didn't notice what was happening around him. He did not notice the sounds of the crowd growing louder as time ticked by. He did not hear the neigh of horses now being straddled to take on a mob. He did not hear the chants of those who, in a drunken frenzy, had taken to opposing the High General. He did not see what really mattered. In the darkness, in the shadows of a familiar sidestreet he had walked a hundred times, he did not see the hooded figure dressed in black. He did see not the shimmer of a blade being drawn. He did not see the figure lunge out at him.

There was barely a second to react and Sebastian was not the quickest at any time. In no time at all there was the point of a dagger against his throat, piercing his thoughts as well as the outer layer of his skin. He gulped, all too aware now of the pressure behind that dagger. In a single move his throat could be split and he would lay dead here, failing in his quest to return home. In those first few instants his initial instinct told him to run, but of course he could not. This was not his first encounter with the hooded figures and he knew what they were capable of. And he also knew, very soon, that there was more than one of them.

The breath was on the back of his neck, hot and moist as the words were no more spoken than they were hissed. The image in Sebastian's mind was that of a gargoyle, it was the least repulsive thing he could possibly attribute to that voice.

"You will come with us, stranger. We have been searching for quite some time for you and your friends."

Everything seemed to be happening at once, all senses shot into overdrive. The sound of the slithering tongue of a wretched serpent so close to his ears barely audible over the rising sounds of a dispersing riot, the smell of sweat and grime emanating from the men around him, the strand of moonlight creeping through a crack in the rooftop of an abandoned building illuminating the ink of the hooded man's face, marking him as a man of the North and one condemned to death. The point of the blade against his adam's apple and the weakness in his knees was far from a fine combination.

"But first, you will take us inside so that we may fetch the others."

He could not believe they had tracked him down after all this time. Why were they after him in the first place? It was a question he could not ask, frozen with fear and helpless in this deserted place.
Deserted? I think not
The sounds of the mob grew louder and from around the corner a dim light of a torch in the dusk cast a covert glow along the walls. The night before the festival was a bad time for private business.

"This is not over, friend."

Sebastian did not respond, only watched in shock as the man in front of him slipped back into a shadow and the one behind disappeared without a sound. A few seconds later, when the torchlight was strong enough to pierce the darkness, both men were gone, though there was no route they could possibly have taken without being seen. He fell to the floor, eyes blurring and extremities growing numb. He had just enough time to take note that he had not fainted and thought he was dealing with it all rather well. In fact he felt calm, happy even. When the first of the mob came into sight he laughed, a mad cackle which echoed up the walls. Then the blackness of the darkest night washed over him and-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-He woke up. In his bed, in the safehouse. As if nothing had happened at all.
Which it may not have done he thought.
It could all have been a dream, everything. The Blacksmith, the Doctor, the man in black. It would be good news and bad, whichever held most gravity was a decision that would be weighed up without hasty decisions. And not on an empty stomach. By the Gods, he was famished!
Shifting a leg towards the edge of the bed in order to find some food revealed a number of facts. Firstly, the fall he had experienced certainly felt real as his left hip was ablaze with agony the second he moved it. Second, he was sluggish and unco-ordinated. And third, he was stark-bollock naked. Now this was particularly disconcerting as he could not remember making it home and could not recall a time since his university days that he had slept a night alone and unclothed. He attempted to piece together the facts and found that his head usually acute senses of reason and recall were as slow to respond as his limbs. So too was his throat unable to swallow at it's usual pace, feeling as though he had not drank water in days.

It was at this point that the door was unceremoniously opened and Kali strode in, wearing her usual morning attire of light combat material. And she did not look impressed. In fact, she looked downright pissed. And that was not a sight that was welcome first thing in the morning. Her face, which was usually stern but nothing more than a little intimidating, was a complex combination of anxiety, anger and frustration.

"What's going on?" Sebastian just about managed to mumble.

"I don't know but you had better get yourself up and ready for battle, Pherson. If what you told me last night is true then a fight is coming to us very soon." She fixed him with a cold stare, which only turned to a look of pure annoyance when it was met with a blank wall of an expression. "You don't remember a thing, do you?" She should have sighed, and would have had there been a sliver of compassion for idiots mixed in amongst her years of military training and razorsharp mind. Instead she carried on talking, hurriedly, as she set about pulling a large chest from atop a cupboard and started packing various items. "You fell through the door just as the moon was reaching it's highest point last night-"

Deep within the confines of Sebastian's subconscious lies the tale of his journey home. It is mostly uneventful and begins with him undergoing a rather substantial transformation. While sat on the ground he loses all comprehension of time and priority and admires the glow of a torch on the wall. Before he knows it he is being helped to his feet by a man who seems to be asking if he is alright. Apparently he seems dazed and confused. He replies he is fine, just feels a tad strange. Oh, and isn't that window pretty in this light he might have said. He is ordered to go home and, naturally, Sebastian obeys. Goodbye gents he might have said as his feet begin to walk without his head having given them permission. He must obey, he had been told. But which way was home could be was a problem. He knew it was somewhere along that street but he couldn't see it yet. The walls flashed by and he realises that he must be walking at a quick pace, perhaps a march. Left, right, left, right he might have said. And there is home, right in front of him. He raises his hand but the door opens before him without him touching it. I should have more fun with magic he might have said. And then there is Kali in front of him, telling him not to use magic in plain sight like that. For the rest of the night he used no magic. Then she is telling him to explain where he has been and why he appears to be drunker than rat half-drowned in ale. You should loosen up he might have said, before explaining fully the events of the day. The rest is nought but a haze and a flash of images.

"I don't remember any of that" Sebastian said firmly. "I didn't even drink last night!" This was true, he hadn't touched the stuff at all in the past 48 hours.
"I know, you were given a mild poison. I could see when you faced me, that pinprick left by the dagger has the classic signs of being treated with a service tonic. Use has been banned and production stopped since the time of the Monarchy, it was used to make slaves more obedient. Someone must have access to alchemists of great skill to recreate it now."
"Wha... I mean... Huh?" A head full of cloud his Mother would have said, no words would come despite the many questions he had. Instead of speaking his simply sloughed back the sheets and dropped his feet onto the trousers that lay on the floor, hastily pulling them up over his backside wile Kali busied herself with the chest.
"We are moving, Leech already found us another place, closer to the marketplace so we'll have better access to the festival tonight."
"But... They'll be there! Of course they'll be there, they won't give up that easily!"
"And we will catch them. Alive if possible. They're searching for something and I have a feeling that we'll want to get it first."
"Hey, speaking of getting things, people, whatever, did I mention the Doctor last night?"
"Yes you did, at great length. And in answer to your next question, no, I will not pull rank to free her. If you wish to remove a fugitive from the company of the law then you shall have to take matters into your own hands, to use a phrase of yours." Kali turned when she finished speaking to assess whether he would argue or not. When it was evident that he wouldn't she continued packing, leaving Sebastian with nothing more to say, quite literally as his brain felt half-pickled. So he let his shoulders slump and made his way to the bathroom to prepare for the day.

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Well he had thought he had lost the guards, he was going as fast as he could through a crowd filled path, when he bumped into someone, and he was no longer running. He felt a the world spin and then was slammed, almost like a rag doll into the wall, down some alley.

"Apologize and I won't rip your head off."

He didn't quite hear what was said more interested in the guards that continued to run through the main street in the direction he was headed. He relaxed a little now more focused on the strength of the new person he had run into.
His hood had fallen in the little round about he had had a moment ago with this....woman, he didn't let the surprise roll over his face but he was still intrigued. She was beyond strength that even he had, and the fact that he had been disorientated meant that it had happened extremely fast.

He looked at her a little interested, she had a cloak donned just as he which meant one of two things if not both, she was easily recognized by the wrong people or she was just a traveler. The guards whistles hadn't phased her so much as him bumping into her.

Her hair and eye color was off with the rest of her, an auburnish, and the eyes weren't much to look at really, their color almost a scarlet, he had no place to really talk having yellow eyes himself but this was different, almost a blood red. The pressure of being pressed against the wall and the look of agitation brought him back to the now.

"I didn't mean to offend you, just didn't see you in time to react." He had missed the order before to apologize. Her push meant that she was waiting for something else. "Umm, I'm sorry."

He looked up and down the alley, trying to take note of his whereabouts, the only thing he could figure out was that they were near another tavern. Easiest place to stay tonight was the building he was pressed against, that was if this woman let him go.

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#, as written by Kirinak
"There are thousands of ways to die, the sword you are holding is one of the worst ones." Lilith moved to the edge of the bed, "'Thou, oh foolish beast, shall be slain, be it by the blade, be it by the venom that shall corrupt thy blood.'" The woman smiled, "it's a warning, one that shouldn't be ignored."

"So too shall thine heart fall prey to the kiss of venom, by not the tip of a blade, but by the lips of a lover shall you fall," replied James distantly, he was lost in the delicate scrolling on the blade. He came to his senses as the words left his lips and he smiled, mildly embarrassed. "It's an old saying that I am familiar with, though the application was quite different where I came from," he explained, "For my people, it meant that life is short, and you could die in battle, or by the bite of a snake waiting amongst the rocks. But the finest death of all was the death of a single soul to become one with that of the one you love."
He sheathed the blade and moved to her side. He spoke not a word as he unwrapped the bandage from her knee, he felt of the joint for signs of swelling and further pain, finding none he nodded to himself and rolled the bandage back up. As he repacked his triage kit, he turned his head slightly and spoke, "I wasn't meanin' to offend if I did, I have a problem with flash backs ya see... Any way the festival is starting today around about noon. I'm gonna head down and see if there's anythin' interestin', after a bite to eat of course. I'm goin' downstairs, unless you'd rather me wait up for you?"

He continued to face away from Lilith as he rummaged through his bag. Finding what he was looking for he pulled off his shirt, exposing his muscular tattooed back, the blood red skull inset in the center seemed to shine in the weak light of the window. Of course he was unaware of this and pulled on a black, close fitting, sleeveless shirt. He then turned to face her, awaiting an answer.

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#, as written by Caelus
"So too shall thine heart fall prey to the kiss of venom, by not the tip of a blade, but by the lips of a lover shall you fall. It's an old saying that I am familiar with, though the application was quite different where I came from"

The woman smiled while she heard Grim speaking, “It’s a beautiful saying…” He checked her bandages without speaking a thing while Lilith still tried to remember what happened last night. When she returned to the present the man was changing his shirt. She stood up, putting all her weight on the right leg, slowly adding weight to the left leg. “Well… if you don’t mind waiting a bit, we need to speak about a few things.” Lilith walked to her cloak, the leg didn’t hurt, but she probably shouldn’t run for a few days, “the festival is today but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rebellion made a show there.” She checked her hips, the belts that held her swords were still there, she wore her black cloak. “Look… I’ve been traveling for quite a month to arrive at Vestern, not to join the Rebellion, but because I’ve been told that,” the woman reached her swords by now, slowly putting the sheathes at the belts, “many important people would soon gather here… people that aren’t exactly from here.” She took a deep breath, “And then I met you and Flin in the very first night I arrived here.” Lilith’s back met a small, she looked carefully to Grim.

“I don’t know if this makes any sense for you, but I think we need to find where Flin is, and if I’m right about the Rebellion, many things could go wrong. Well, I’m not saying that you should answer me right now… it’s hard to answer anything with an empty stomach.” She giggled, trying to remove her brother from her thoughts. Lilith opened the door, moving to the corridor while she smiled. It apparently was completely empty, with all doors closed, sounds of pans and cutlery could be heard, they probably were one or two floors below.

Mind if we have a small breakfast?”

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After what was close to an hour and a half or so (Dante was still getting used to a world without watches and clocks for the most part), Dante had split a good amount of wood. Would easily keep the inn warm for three nights or better. Dante stretched his back and popped his knuckles before setting the axe aside to make his way in.
Dante strode through the main hall, making his way behind the bar and into the kitchen area. A few of the employees that lived on-site were congregating, and the couple that knew Dante smiled and waved. A cook that was half orc named Trehj, and the young girl with brown hair who'd brought his wash water that first morning. Her name was Melody.
"A fine mornin' to ye, mister Dante!" Melody said, as Dante sidled up and stood with the small group. "A good morning to you as well Melody, and to the rest of y-, ye.." Dante still stumbled on words, trying to implement new speech patterns and words. "Aye, good morn Dante." Trehj started, "Ye wantin' anything fer that rumblin' belly? Seems ye worked up somethin' fierce with all that choppin'." It was only at that moment that Dante heard and realized his stomach was rumbling. "Haha, well I guess you're right Trehj! Sure, whatever ye feel like throwing together. I'll be back down in a minute though, after I wash up." With that, Dante made his way out of the kitchen and up the stairs toward his room.

As Dante got to the top of the stairs, one of the doors to another room shut. 'Looks as if I'm not the only one awake now.' Dante thought to himself, as he continued to his room. He changed out of the slightly grubby shirt he'd put on to work in, and replaced it with a clean one. He also donned the cloth armor for extra warmth, and also made sure to grab his cloak, just in case. He also saw another note from Sam. "D, going to pick up loose odds and ends for the festival tonight. I won't need your help until evening, so take this and have some fun. Sam"
Underneath the note in the basin, was a nice little coin purse with a few coins in it. Dante'd been hinting to Sam that he'd been needing a purse to keep his money in. Good to know the hints hadn't fallen on deaf ears. "Good man, good man.." Dante said to himself as he smiled, just to be interrupted by a knock at his door. "Yes?" Dante called. "'Tis Melody! Got'cha water!" The girl called. Dante opened the door, took the water after thanking her, and proceeded to wash up quickly.
A few minutes later, Dante was ready for the day. He'd freshened up, put all his coins in his new purse as to not lose them, and connected his sheathed dagger to his belt. Dante made his way downstairs, taking a seat up at the bar area. Trehj saw him, calling out, "Aye, be done soon Dante." Dante nodded with a smile, withdrawing his pipe. He packed it with some tobacco, then lit it with a match.

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#, as written by echored
Part One, Rowan


Rowan stared down the elf in her grasp impatiently, eyes holding their narrow gaze. She understood that the quick transportation of the elf from the street to this ally would have disoriented him, like it did any of her victims. But as the many years progressed she had lost any ounce of consideration for this factor, and what fell in it's place was anger and quick-temperment. The fact that her reasonings and logic at the moment were cloudy also contributed to the impatience with the fellow, all stemming from the core issue: that she was beginning to feel ill from not feeding. It was a quick yet long ride into the port city and before she left camp, there was no time to feed from the human prisoners. Desperate times called for desperate matters. Her blood of choice was humans. When pressed into a corner, other creatures blood would do.

Normally the elf would have an advantage, seeing as how his blood type was one of the lowest options on her food scale. The few times that Rowan did try elven blood usually ended in giving her a strange high, and her tolerance to light diminished severely. It even, dare she admit it, made her more clumsy in her movements. All of these hinderances made it rather frustrating as she held back a growl from her throat. But he was there, already in her grasp. She could deal with the high as long as she made it to safe quarters quickly, particularly the inn she had in mind. The pounding of his live heart beat faster the longer she glared him down, and the smell of his blood lingered like paste in the air, even if it was no more appetizing than actual food like bread. In fact, the only human food she could stomach was meat, cooked rare. If he knew such information he would be praying to his lucky stars. That of course, if it was any other moment than now. Ignorance would be his bliss if she acted quickly, before he could figure out what she was. The legends of vampires were of storybooks, even in this land, so any chance that he might have guessed what she was was nearly impossible. Their rarity and folklore was all due to the simple truth, that vampires never existed originally in this land. Any information about the infamous creatures of the night had travelled from overseas, of distant lands that few Eronnian's ever dreamed of visiting. Rowan was from overseas herself, coming to Eronnis much later in her life, or should she refer to it as afterlife. In fact, the only time citizens of Eronnis ever fancied the idea of such creatures existing was years back when there was rumor that the Union might have housed a vampire amongst their army, but all stories and gossip had ran dry within months after Rowan's disappearance to the North. The Union made sure to cover up her tracks, that was for certain. To the issue at hand, this elf ran in to unfortunate luck, literally.

Her force against his chest increased as she studied his expression. Unlike most, he showed no sign of fear or shock, only what seemed to be interest even as her arm carried the weight of a boulder on his air cavity. She would have to do this quickly, for several reasons, the most pressing fact that the streets were littered with Union scum, who referred to themselves as "guards". Pathetic, really. But secrecy was of prime concern and since they were on high alert, she had to as well. Rowan shifted her hold on the male, right arm keeping him at bay against the wall as her left hand reached up to his cheek, stroking his skin gently before thrusting his head against the wall. She tilted his head to the side and went in, fangs exposed as she bit down into a main artery in his neck. Her teeth sank in quickly as she drank what she could. Her eyes winced shut, his blood already beginning to take effect throughout her system. The ill-feeling of hunger slipped away, and now existed a dizzy state of mind. As she pulled back after 5 minutes, blood staining her lips and fangs retracting, she wondered if it was a rash decision she'd regret. But there was no time for shoulds and shouldn'ts.

Rowan let him drop to the ground. He was still much alive, since she couldn't handle draining him. She would have been high for days if that happened, which would be rather unpleasant. She stepped back in a predator crouch, knees bent as she clung to the shadows. The oil lamp over his head hurt to look at, the light blazing as if it was the sun itself. "Damn," she thought to herself, further drawing her hood over her face. Her eyes were wild and the ground seemed to move, side effects of eleven blood dancing through her body. At least her strength was in tact. Because she couldn't leave him in the ally to give away in clues of her existence, she had to bring him along. She moved back into the light, eyes only opened a sliver as Rowan lifted his small frame over her shoulder. Standing was an entertaining sight to see, and she shook her head in hopes that it would sober her up, to no avail. "Such a pain," she snapped at him, though she wondered if he was still conscious or not. The latter would be better. Rowan opted out of going back to the main street, instead relying on the crisscross of alleyways to lead her to the Black Rock Inn which to her luck was not far. During the journey to the Inn, she almost had a few wipeouts. Her combined speed mixed with warped vision equalled multiple clashes with trash barrels and strung-out beasts that have had too much to drink to be able to move.

A crooked grin emerged as the back door to the Black Rock Inn came into view. This was an inn she had stayed at multiple times. The owner was a rebellion supporter named Erik, secretly of course to the public, but anyone that was a rebel knew this was the safe place to stay when visiting Vestern. He always offered Rowan and her men a handful of rooms to sleep and hold meetings. Because Rowan was a familiar to him, there was no need to concern over entering through a backdoor. In fact, she would have probably came in through this way to begin with, elven blood in her system or not. With her right leg she kicked forward, the wooden door violently slamming open, smacking the inner wall of the inn. It was a surprise the hinges held on. Now she was in the back, hallway long, narrow, and dark. Erik kept rooms down this hall especially for rebellion troops since there was a larger room for meetings to be help. Seeing as what time it was, there would be several members of her camp already waiting inside for her to make an appearance. As her eyes locked on to the door, she huffed with relief, walking straight as best she could before opening the door to the meeting room. It was windowless which would allow her to stay in here during the day. As Rowan assumed, there were 5 men she had sent out the night before to scout the area. The men were seated around a large table, drinking some dark ale and eating pork meat. Their attention turned to Rowan as she entered, their posture's tightening up quickly and their expressions smooth and ready for orders.

Rowan lifted the elf off her shoulders, dropping him against the right wall. It was hard to tell if he was sleeping or not. "He ran into me at the market," she stated, keeping her gaze to the floor. The room was littered with candles. The ones within close vicinity to her she immediately blew out. It was after this that she finally took her seat in the velvet red chair at the head of the table. Rowan curled into a ball as soon as she sat down, tugging her hood forward and further wrapping her cloak around her body. "Don't let me drink elven blood again," she said in a semi-friendly tone, a few of the men laughing softly at the odd circumstance.

One of them spoke up. "What are you going to do with him? He might figure out who we are and what we're here for," Lucus said, keeping what he said vague for precaution. Rowan's head was leaning against her knees, face buried to try and block the light and keep the spins from returning. She shooed Lucus with her right hand, speaking through the warm fabric around her body, "Let us not worry about that for now. Apparently there is a festival tomorrow. In the morning blindfold the elf and set him free in the market. By that point the wound on his neck will heal and he won't have any evidence of what happened to him." Rowan's men nodded in unison then diverted their eyes to the elf on the ground. They knew it was his fault that Rowan was acting strange, so they would not be gentle on him once the day broke.

Meanwhile Rowan kept her face shielded. Through a little sliver of light she could see the elf on the ground. The night ended with her watching him until she fell asleep in the chair.

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It wasn’t actually that long before a couple of soldiers came in for her. Rhiannon felt a weight of anxiety in her chest, wondering if they’d associated her with the man who’d just come to see her. They made no mention of it. Instead, they motioned to her to come with them. So she did.

They passed through the cobbled courtyard slowly enough, hobbled as she was by her injury. True, she did rather emphasis it. If she was likely to need to escape it would be advisable to seem less capable than she was...and besides, making sure these young men felt somewhat guilty for marching her around might be to her advantage.

If they did feel guilty for relocating her though, they gave no sign of it. The large building she entered was evidently well guarded. Soldiers could just be seen on the ramparts above, keeping a careful watch on all who passed. They were allowed to pass by the guards manning the doors, and waved in through a small postern in the eastern wall.

She was marched through a maze of corridors, or so it seemed to her. Soldiers were patrolling regularly, though from the sounds coming from a nearby room there were several enjoying themselves in the mess hall. Up a flight of stairs – now that took time – and another. A length of carpet down the corridor denoted the status of these rooms, even if the height of the ceiling or the stern guards hadn’t been a clue. Eventually she was brought before a specific wooden door. A salute, an exchange. The new guards escorted her in.

The man she was brought in front of seemed harassed, but nodded to her politely enough after a mere moment’s scrutiny.

“Ah, Miss...Bartlett, was it? Please, take a seat.”

So far so good. This wasn’t going to be the old-fashioned military interrogation...at least, not yet anyway.

“Now, what am I to do with you?” he said with a sigh. “Let’s start with the simple questions. Where are you from, Miss Bartlett? And please don’t presume to insult my intelligence by mentioning the village. It’s quite clear that you are certainly not from these parts.”

She hesitated. “I...can’t tell you.”

“That’s a pity. You do understand, Miss Bartlett, that this is a city in the midst of a civil war? An unidentified agent from an unidentified region... it would hardly be unreasonable to suspect a foreign spy. Or indeed, a rebel spy.”

“With this leg?” Rhiannon raised an eyebrow. “I have no – ”

“An injury gained during nefarious activities, perhaps,” he said, interrupting her. “Why don’t you tell me what you are doing here? And by here I mean in the environs of the city.”

She had to admit, it looked bad. She also hated being interrupted full flow. “As I was about to say – I have no interest in your city’s politics, save for the people that may end up being killed because of it. Those I will treat. I swore an oath – ” – her Physician’s Oath – “ – to respect human life. To save it, not to destroy it. Why your idiot leaders don’t just mud wrestle for the issue to be resolved, I don’t know.”

The man frowned at her, though a quirk at the edge of his mouth indicated just a faint hint of amusement. “As to why I can’t tell you why I’m here,” she went on, “The answer is simply – I arrived by accident. I’m hazarding a guess that your superiors – the ones who wanted me brought in – might well know more than I do. As for why I was near the city... I was injured during my arrival.”

“Magic then,” he said with a sigh. “You see, Miss Bartlett, you pose a problem. I have been advised – discreetly – to watch for... anomalies. Especially anomalies that seem out of place. As far as I am aware, you have committed no crime. You have assisted my soldiers and I find it hard to believe you are a spy. Certainly you lack either the subtlety or the diplomatic skills of one. Nevertheless.”

He tapped his fingers on a ledger for a few moments. “I feel it would be advisable for me to keep you under surveillance. If for no other reason than that if my superiors ask why I let you go, I need an answer to give them. So. I would like to keep you in the infirmary, but it appears that Master Ezar strenuously questions your methods... where did you train, by the way?”

Rhiannon sighed. “UCL,” she said, though she regretted the flippant comment moments later.

The tapping stopped. “Indeed. Well. I will permit you to remain in the infirmary tonight. Tomorrow you will be assigned as medic to the Twenty-first Foot. There is to be a festival, as I’ve no doubt you’re aware, and they will be patrolling the streets to provide...extra security. You will be there to treat any injuries that may arise, and so that your conduct can be examined. Incidentally, I will also be arranging for some members of the Mage’s Fellowship to speak with you. Perhaps they can learn more about this ...accident.”

“I can however confirm that you will be renumerated for your services and allocated lodgings. In the circumstances... I feel that this is more than fair, don’t you?” He sat back, waiting.

“I ...suppose so. Yes,” she said, reluctantly. She was rather less than happy about it, to be honest. Serving as a medic for the Union was hardly ideal. It indicated partisanship for one, and she had a distinct feeling that there would be rather more danger involved than she liked. Not to mention that she had no official ground to fall back on. Still, given that she had no citizenship or rights here at all, he could have opted to put her under lock and key. It was even possible that her strange contact – that fellow Londoner – would be able to locate her again.

“Excellent. In that case, I suggest you go with Private Ryckel here, and quarters will be found for you. Do speak with me again if you feel a sudden return of memory, won’t you?”

*


The quarters were simple but clean. Rhiannon permitted herself just a few moments to enjoy the rest before getting back up again. There were still people dying in the infirmary, and the longer she was gone the more likely it was that someone would try to cup and bleed them...

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Character Portrait: James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim
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#, as written by Kirinak
the woman smiled while she heard Grim speaking, “It’s a beautiful saying…” she said quietly, seeming to drift away in her thoughts. When she returned to the present Grim was changing his shirt. She stood up, putting all her weight on the right leg, slowly adding weight to the left leg. “Well… if you don’t mind waiting a bit, we need to speak about a few things.” she said, moving to her cloak, the leg didn’t hurt, but she probably shouldn’t run for a few days, “The festival is today but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rebellion made a show there.” She checked her hips, the belts that held her swords were still there, she wore her black cloak. “Look… I’ve been traveling for quite a month to arrive at Vestern, not to join the Rebellion, but because I’ve been told that,” the woman reached her swords by now, slowly putting the sheathes at the belts, “Many important people would soon gather here… people that aren’t exactly from here.” She took a deep breath, “And then I met you and Flin in the very first night I arrived here.” Lilith’s back met a small, she looked carefully to Grim.

“I don’t know if this makes any sense for you, but I think we need to find where Flin is, and if I’m right about the Rebellion, many things could go wrong. Well, I’m not saying that you should answer me right now… it’s hard to answer anything with an empty stomach.” She giggled, trying to remove her brother from her thoughts. Lilith opened the door, moving to the corridor while she smiled. It apparently was completely empty, with all doors closed, sounds of pans and cutlery could be heard, they probably were one or two floors below.

"Mind if we have a small breakfast?” she asked.

Jim rubbed his chin thoughtfully and nodded, "It's always good to think about things like this on a full belly." he agreed. He moved to the hallway where she stood,carefully locking the door behind him. He briefly returned her smile and led the way downstairs. He let her choose a place to sit and spoke to the half ork chef, who was apparently on his way to make someone else's breakfast. "'Scuse me big fella," he said politely, and laying a gold coin on the bar, "Two slabs of roasted pork, four eggs, bread, gravy and a decanter of juice if you please." After thinking about it he flipped an additional silver to the bar and added, "Something extra for your trouble."

He rejoined Lilith at the table, giving her a thoughtful look before speaking, " Our breakfast is on the fire, now to the matter of Flin. You obviously know that I aint.. how did you put it.. "exactly from here" but I'm far from being important in the grand scheme of things here," he said. He nodded his thanks as the barmaid brought the pitcher of fruit juice and poured them each a glass. He took a long drink and continued. "I took to flin because he is the first person that I have seen here that is from the same place.... roughly, anyways as I am. As to why I took to you, well that I really caint answer because I aint really sure," he paused at that point, sitting back in his chair. "Maybe it was because you were simply in the right place at the right time, maybe it's because fate, as twisted as it is, decided that I was the one one to help you with something," he smiled before he added the last thought to the list, "Or maybe it's just because I love a woman that can break six ribs with one punch." he said laughing heartily.

The food was brought out to them then and he began slicing up his roast pork. After a few bites he spoke again. "I have no real interest in politics, in this world or mine. Government is a bad joke in it's worst form designed to drain it's people dry. I could exist on either side really. However if Flin is that important to the matter at hand, it may be in our best interest as to find out who's side he is on before we go throwing our allegiances at one faction or the other. But what I wanna know from you is, what is it exactly that you hope to gain from castin' your lot in with me?" he asked.

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The first hour after being told the events of the night before were hectic to Sebastian. He was forced to handle a dozen tasks at once and whenever one was finished he would be commanded to move to another place in the house they had inhabited for the past fortnight. Though in better physical health than he had been since his teenage years, Sebastian was breathless and aching by the time all essential equipment had been packed away in trunks and crates for the move, while all unnecessary items were hauled into the handily large fireplace. The return of the men in black meant a change in scenery, which meant calling Kali's contact; Leech.

Since arriving in Vestern Sebastian had seen the man barely a handful of times. It was always when Kali needed something and it was always supernaturally quick. He would stroll through the door with a chirpy tone and a pleasant greeting, peasants attire looking out of place on his soldier's body. Leech lived up to his name, he had a way of drawing people in with quick speech, swift moves and an honest expression and somehow managing to bleed them dry of any information he wanted. Sebastian often thought of him as one of the street merchants back in his hometown, a swindler with a false smile. And it was false, no matter how good the mask was, it was clear to anyone who knew that he was a military man. When those lips pulled back in a toothy smile his eyes never quite matched and the ruthless killer was visible. But then, if Sebastian had never met him and did not know he was an acquaintance of the Lieutenant would he still see the man beneath the outwardly charming and carefree individual? He doubted it. Which made Leech a man that Sebastian did not trust in the slightest.

But today he was not to meet Leech, which was something of a relief. The festival had begun and the plans had not changed.

“What? You want me to go to the festival, unarmed, after what happened last night? Forget it Lieutenant!” He could not believe the lack of consideration the woman had for anyone but herself and her damn Captain.

“You will go there and do your job or you will not be given the address of the next safehouse. Now get out, and try not to cause any more damage.” Plain tones, no feeling, no regard for anything but the mission. Typical. There would be no negotiating today, not without getting his ass handed to him on a plate.

So, without another word, Sebastian turned tail and headed back upstairs. He quickly washed again, partly to cool off after the graft and partly to calm himself. The strong wind blowing in through the open window helped with both and caused his hair to flicker around his ears as he contemplated the odds of being found in the crowd later in the day, and how to defend himself should he be discovered. And, lastly, what he would do about the Doctor he had found the previous day. Kali was far too busy, and in too foul a mood, to help so it was up to him.

Wow, she hasn't got a hope in hell.

Despite a moment's rage at the prospect of such pitiful self-doubt, Sebastian had to admit that as a single man in a military festival, the chances of breaking out a fugitive from the hands of the town guard, on the busiest day of the year, were damn close to non-existent.

“Screw it,” he said aloud as he pushed up from the wash basin on the floor. “I'll think of something on the way.” In a flutter of black and the slam of a door he was gone from the room. By the time he reached the bottom of the stairs his gloves were on, a wide-brimmed, black hat sat atop his messy hair and the last of his coins were flung into his pocket.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The shadows on the ground had barely shortened by the time he reached the marketplace. He was one of the ones who passed through without being searched. Perhaps it was the trader's insignia that pinned his cloak together or perhaps it was just good timing, either way it didn't matter as he had left his bow at home. His old bow anyway. Sebastian hesitated at the edge of the pulsing crowd that had gathered already in the square. It was a marvel that such a grand stage had been erected and so much preparation carried out so effectively. He doubted even Lieutenant Reshma could have pulled this off with such finesse. But he did not have time to dawdle, he had a weapon to collect.

After negotiating the mass of people, and nearly starting a number of brawls in his haste, the teacher-who-had-been arrived at the Blacksmiths he had visited the day before. Sure enough, Master Sholtane was still there, working away. A few basic tools were on show, some ornaments, horse-shoes and various other pieces of junk that would be relatively harmless in most hands now adorned the walls that had not 12 hours before showed some of the finest crafted weapons in the Eastern Baronies.

“Master Sholtane!” The large man looked up from his work and acknowledged Sebastian with a nod as he put down his hammer and wiped his hands.

“Didn' think ye'd show afta ye took off the way ye did. But I got yer stuff made.” Sebastian breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh, thank you, did the coin cover the costs?”

“Aye, just abou' enough left ta pay fer the otha tools aswell. Union were gonna requersition 'em so I sent 'em on ter the infirm'ry for ye.” Sebastian had just about forgotten about the surgical equipment.

“Excellent, brilliant, you're one in a million!” A smile, a real one for a change, as he realised he'd done a good deed and was about to get his compound bow. Up on a shelf that was out of reach of most hands lay a rolled up blanket, the same one that had been brought in the morning before, and Master Sholtane took it down, leaving it wrapped up. Before handing it to Sebastian though, he frowned.

“Err, I been meanin' ter ask... What exactly is all this 'ere?”

“It's... Experimental. A, erm, communications device. Very high tech, very complicated... Can I have it now?” Too eager... “Someone's paying a high price for these parts and I have debts, I'm kind of in a hurry.” He gave his best apologetic face and held out his hand, waiting for the indeterminable amount of time for the frown to leave Sholtane's face.

“Alrigh', I got no problem with that. You need anything else doin' and I'm only 'ere fer a couple more days, you 'ear?”

“I'll remember that. Thank you.” With a grateful nod, Sebastian took the bundle and spun on his heel, making for a quick exit, mind buzzing as he tried to think where he could assemble his prize. A tavern would likely be the easiest but the guards were patrolling and on high alert in all public areas. An alleyway was too conspicuous and he couldn't leave the marketplace. His only real option was booking a room for the night and using that but on the eve of the festival prices were sky high and he had barely enough coins for a hearty meal, let alone a private room for the night.

But you don't need it for the night, just the afternoon.

That damned voice echoing in his head again. It wasn't a conscience exactly, more a voice of reason despite the moral implications, something he had developed gradually since being here. And a nuisance it was too.

Everyone who booked a room for the night will be out perusing the festival today. You slip in to an occupied room, assemble the bow and slip out. It's your own design, shouldn't take more than a few minutes to put together if you hurry.

Talking to himself in the third person, Sebastian wondered if he was losing his mind. But apparently not as the information was spot on the mark, even if a little against his personal code of conduct. And it also happened to be his only option.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few minutes later, after carefully picking his way through the crowd, Sebastian strode through the door of a tavern, The Bent Sickle, which seemed the least busy along the stretch of street he reached first. With a purposeful walk and a bundle beneath his arm, no-one would suspect he was up to no good. He was, by all who could see him, just a man heading upstairs to his room with a purchase from the festival. A man who, just for a split second, hesitated as though seeing the interior of the building for the first time. But the moment passed and people, he guessed, were too busy to notice through the excitement of the day.

Up the stairs and along a couple of doors, the first would be too noticeable after all. It was locked.

Dammit

The next door too was locked. And the next. He guessed they all would be.

Time for a little ingenuity

Magic was definitely Sebastian's forté and he had been working on a few things to make life just a little easier for himself. Some of these things had been suggested by his newfound inner self, including a few techniques for breaking and entering. The locks were simple and far from sturdy. This he found after rattling the door while glancing over his shoulders for anyone approaching. He had not yet performed this particular feat either under pressure or on anything more complicated than the lock on his own chest but, hell, what was the worst that could happen?

He drifted his hand in front of the doorhandle and concentrated, fingers tapping the air rythmically as he summoned energy from God only knew where. The physics of magic were a complete mystery to him but he knew there were definitely some physics there, he could feel them working, flowing, pushing like an undiscovered force. Most times the simple act of using magic gave him a rush but today he felt only nerves. Nevertheless, barely ten seconds later he heard the lock click and, not before his eyes widened in surprise, he quickly opened the door and scampered inside, shutting it softly behind him.

Inside was a basic room with a bag on the bed and a shirt on the floor. It looked to him as though two people were staying here but he got no further in his analysis than that, there was work to be done. He hastily unrolled his blanket and began arranging the components of his bow for assembly.

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Character Portrait: Lilith
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#, as written by Caelus
Lilith smiled as she added the eggs to the dish that lied in front of her, she looked to the man's eyes before speaking. "Well, since you're asking I'll give you the short version of the history," she drank a bit of the juice, "as you probably heard in the bar before we made our show, I've been traveling to reach this city. What you don't know is that I've departed from the North, far from the mountains that are close to Jarvaise and as you probably heard, those lands belong to... mages and blacksmiths. I didn't count the time it took, but I'd say at least a month and a few days from now. Hopefully that date will recall something that happened." The woman ate the eggs and drank the juice, she added the roast pork to her dish before gazing the man once again. "Long time without eating anything with taste, pardon me. Anyways, let us just say that I've been living in the North for a nice time, learning a few things from the blacksmiths and trying to understand some things with the mages, until I've been told by them that important things would happen here, and they would lead to someone that... well, I've lost long ago."

Her face moved, her eyes looking anywhere else as she tried to ignore the thoughts that crossed her mind, within time she closed her eyes, and exhaled deeply before looking to Grim once again. "Never understood how they got that info though... about politics, I've never cared about that, but it sounds right to choose a side before the maelstrom starts." She lowered her voice, just to be sure that no one would hear that part, "and I think it would be better if we didn't speak about that so loudly, would be terrible to seek another Inn today, specially after you made the chef so happy." Lilith friendly smiled to Jim after eating the pork that was left on her dish. "I hope you don't mind if I ask you to find Flin, I'm pretty sure you will find him in the streets, I need to check a few rumors that I've heard." Lilith stood up, "and don't worry, I'll be fine," she winked with the right eye before walking to the door, she heard many times about the Black Rock Inn and the types of people that stayed there, maybe, just maybe, she could find someone from the Rebellion there.

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Rhiannon tweaked back the canvas folds of the tent. She had only been here for perhaps an hour or so, but already she was feeling exceedingly restless. The regiment she'd been assigned to were currently on guard duty around the vicinity of the market square. A podium had been assembled at one end for the occasion, and the massed crowd were already milling, perusing vast wares laid out over many colourful stalls.

Above the tent, she knew, there was a pennant flying bearing the Union design. So far though, the casualties she'd had to deal with had been exceedingly minor. A pickpocket who'd had his hand trodden on by the soldiers who'd chased him down and rewarded him with a bloodied nose for his efforts. A small girl called Erin who'd been knocked down during some shoving near a particularly impressive stall and had lost her mother. Thankfully she'd only been kicked accidentally once. Other than that, the tent was empty.

Why do I have the feeling it won't stay this way for long?

Because, she conceded to herself, everyone was afraid of some Rebel attack. The mania with which the crowd were enjoying the scene was almost surreal. There was an edge to it, a sense that many were holding their breaths. Rhiannon wondered idly if there were many concealed weapons amongst the crowd.

Well, the edginess was getting to her. Once again she wished for the simple convenience of a ready timepiece. Her own world's modern era.

She let the canvas fall and went back to her patients. At least the tools had been finished, although it seemed the barracks infirmary had not yet seen fit to send them to her. She worried a little that the healers there would have kept them, then decided that they might well not know what to do with them.

A short while later there was a loud blast of horns and trumpets. The first parade had started, then. She watched as the Union soldiers marched slowly through the square to the sound of general cheering, displaying their colours with evident pride. Well, it was certainly stirring, at least...

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#, as written by Kirinak
James nodded to Lilith, her request seemed simple enough, however he would need to change tack for the occasion. He stayed at the table for a few moments more finishing the juice and what was left on his plate. He left a couple of coppers on the table as a tip for the barmaid, an old habit that he would probably never break himself of. He made his way up the stairs and towards the room that he was sharing with his new-found friend. He placed his hand on the catch and immediately felt something different. Low resistance, the door was unlocked, someone was doing something they shouldn't. James opened the door without a sound and there stooped over a rolled out blanket on the bed was a slender man, who was apparently too absorbed in his task to notice the large marine filling the doorway. He stepped quietly inside the room and then loudly closed the door, nearly making the man jump out of his skin.

"Out of all the rooms in this hall, you just so happened to pick the one occupied by by a very large and pissed off redneck that hasn't left of the day. You got just about the worst luck of anybody that I know." said James, cracking his considerable knuckles. Just then he happened to glance beyond the man and actually notice what was on the bed. The curve, the gearing, coated gut string, that was a modern compound bow, just as sure as he was a misplaced marine. His eyes narrowed and he stepped forward to examine the man more closely. He spoke again, barely more than a whisper, as he lowered himself into a combat ready stance.

"Just who in the hell are you mister? More importantly, how did you get here?"

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Character Portrait: Leander Michaels
0 sightings Leander Michaels played by Kurokiku
A quicksilver mind and a razor tongue, drowned in the bottom of a bottle.

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View All » Add Character » 19 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Sebastian Pherson
Character Portrait: Captain Loger Kronis
Character Portrait: Rhiannon Bartlett
Character Portrait: Jack Seer
Character Portrait: James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim
Character Portrait: Harper "Rowan"
Character Portrait: Flin Wallace
Character Portrait: Artemis Pendragon
Character Portrait: Robert De Luca
Character Portrait: Lilith
Character Portrait: Dante

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Character Portrait: Dante
Dante

Trying to find a place in this second chance.

Character Portrait: Lilith
Lilith

Knight willing to kill to find her long lost brother.

Character Portrait: Robert De Luca
Robert De Luca

A bladesman-to-be, who fears to wear fetters.

Character Portrait: Artemis Pendragon
Artemis Pendragon

It's nothing personal, just buisness.

Character Portrait: Flin Wallace
Flin Wallace

You say left, he goes right. You say no, he says hell yes. You can never guess what his next move might be.

Character Portrait: Harper "Rowan"
Harper "Rowan"

Vampire looking to serve a personal plate of revenge to a certain someone.

Character Portrait: James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim
James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim

Jesus saves...... I withdraw.

Character Portrait: Jack Seer
Jack Seer

"Is that gold in your pockets or is everyone just happy to see me?"

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Bartlett
Rhiannon Bartlett

Med school trainee with interest in neuroscience

Character Portrait: Captain Loger Kronis
Captain Loger Kronis

Head of the Town Watch in Jarvaise and a soldier tipped to one day become General.

Trending

Character Portrait: Captain Loger Kronis
Captain Loger Kronis

Head of the Town Watch in Jarvaise and a soldier tipped to one day become General.

Character Portrait: Artemis Pendragon
Artemis Pendragon

It's nothing personal, just buisness.

Character Portrait: Flin Wallace
Flin Wallace

You say left, he goes right. You say no, he says hell yes. You can never guess what his next move might be.

Character Portrait: Jack Seer
Jack Seer

"Is that gold in your pockets or is everyone just happy to see me?"

Character Portrait: Harper "Rowan"
Harper "Rowan"

Vampire looking to serve a personal plate of revenge to a certain someone.

Character Portrait: Lilith
Lilith

Knight willing to kill to find her long lost brother.

Character Portrait: Sebastian Pherson
Sebastian Pherson

A friendly teacher with a taste for the quiet life

Character Portrait: James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim
James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim

Jesus saves...... I withdraw.

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Bartlett
Rhiannon Bartlett

Med school trainee with interest in neuroscience

Character Portrait: Dante
Dante

Trying to find a place in this second chance.

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Harper "Rowan"
Harper "Rowan"

Vampire looking to serve a personal plate of revenge to a certain someone.

Character Portrait: Lilith
Lilith

Knight willing to kill to find her long lost brother.

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Bartlett
Rhiannon Bartlett

Med school trainee with interest in neuroscience

Character Portrait: Artemis Pendragon
Artemis Pendragon

It's nothing personal, just buisness.

Character Portrait: James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim
James Lazarus Reaper, Aka: Grim Jim

Jesus saves...... I withdraw.

Character Portrait: Captain Loger Kronis
Captain Loger Kronis

Head of the Town Watch in Jarvaise and a soldier tipped to one day become General.

Character Portrait: Flin Wallace
Flin Wallace

You say left, he goes right. You say no, he says hell yes. You can never guess what his next move might be.

Character Portrait: Robert De Luca
Robert De Luca

A bladesman-to-be, who fears to wear fetters.

Character Portrait: Jack Seer
Jack Seer

"Is that gold in your pockets or is everyone just happy to see me?"

Character Portrait: Sebastian Pherson
Sebastian Pherson

A friendly teacher with a taste for the quiet life


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