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Lee Wellzli

"Death is but a cycle of life, but it still makes a nice coaster for my drink!"

0 · 222 views · located in Avia

a character in “Navile”, as played by Hinasil

Description

Name: Lee Wellzli
Appearance: Image
Take off all the curling forms of energy looking stuff and you have the basic look. Underneath his helmet he is a good looking guy: soft, short, brown hair with white skin that is not blinding but has little tanning to it. His green eyes complete his natural face. His body as a whole is in great shape, he is slightly buff and toned in all areas.
Age: 36
Race: Human

Strengths/Abilities: Lee has spent nearly his whole life in hopes of becoming the greatest wizard in history. He may not be very diverse, being an ice specialist, but his abilities are frightening when you see them at work. He can freeze miles of land within hours, cause avalanches on the most distant mountains, and form monstrous glaciers on the driest of land. That of course doesn't come without him dying of exhaustion, bu the ability and know how is there.

Weakness: Being an ice mage his natural enemy is fire, it takes a lot of energy to fight a master fire wizard. The chances of him losing are astronomical, but the strength left after a fight leaves him vulnerable to a petty thief to come and slit his throat. He also is not the kindest of friends, if you somehow do make friends with him. He is known to not help an ally for no reason other than his personality gets in the way.

Personality: As mentioned as a weakness, he is not a friendly person. Team work in his dictionary is defined as, "Let others handle it, and help when necessary because everyone else is a complete bafoon." He also has a liking for the higher, rich, and expensive of items. He doesn't have the money to afford his own mansion, servants, and endless amounts of the oldest wine, so he will take almost any chance at getting such things.

Authority to him is simply a title given to someone to spite him. He will treat the highest authority with hateful respect and with a deep sense of sarcasm. Nothing is more fulfilling than making royalty feel like a common drunk. With women, and they know this almost after the first sentence he speaks, he is always after them. He doesn't have long relationships in mind, but they would always serve as a standard of his power. He only looks for the best looking ones, ignoring those he deems ugly.

Orientation: Heterosexual

Equipment: His staff

History: Will add later, along with a few other things.

So begins...

Lee Wellzli's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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#, as written by Siryn
J'haren's hand loosened slightly on her wrist as he turned ever so slowly to face the voice that had called to him in such arrogance. Zaile's heart clenched, her eyes narrowed in further irritation as she slid her gaze over her old Master's shoulder to look at who had spoken. She found herself gazing at a tall man dressed from head to foot in glowing armor. She couldn't see his face for the mask covered it, but the way he held himself spoke enough. The elf wasted no time with J'haren's distraction and detached herself from the Warlord.

Turning, he faced her once more. She batted his sword away as he attempted to run it through her shoulder. Zaile knew then that he was only going to try to incapacitate her so he could deal with the man who'd stepped into the fight. Zaile twisted away as he launched another attack at her. Free from his grip, she let her magic shift her from his side to the man who stood a few feet away. As she came out of the magic, she caught sight of ice shards flying at the Warlord.

He never turned to face the incoming attack of large pieces of sharp ice. They broke in mid air, only a few inches from his form, three of the Navile creatures even jumped into the line of fire, impaling themselves. Zaile knew, however, that those creatures had been controlled to do so. They no longer had minds of their own, so therefore, saving their Master out of love was never possible. She ground her teeth slightly as she glared at J'haren's back.

"Fool," she hissed to the man standing next to her, "Do you not realize who it is you've just engaged in battle with?"

She tilted her head slightly, her eyes raising to look up at his masked face. She flipped her sword in her hand, turned her attention back to the Warlord and began calculating her next move.

Across the way, J'haren stood still, the darkness of his hood covering his face. The huge sword in his hand held lightly, a cold malice in his stance. Zaile knew that he was now looking at the stranger who'd jumped in to save her. She wasn't sure what he was thinking, but she wasn't going to waste time trying to figure that out.

"It seems, an introduction is in need," J'haren whispered, though his cold voice reached them easily enough.

Zaile watched him warily, a strange feeling welling in her chest. It was almost too late before she realized what he was doing. The elf moved, jumping in front of the man standing next to her. Dropping her weapons, she raised her hands and summoned her own power. The shield barely held as his power rushed across it. The only thing that spoke of his magic was a rush of air across the dirt street. When the magic faded away, she lowered her hands to glare at her Master.

Before she could retrieve her weapons, his magic shifted him much the same as she shifted. He was standing right in front of her before she could move. Instinct was the only thing that saved her as she shifted away from his singing sword.

"I hope you realize now what you've gotten into," she called out angrily to the man.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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A shadow darted effortlessly through the forest of trees, there one moment, gone the next. It weaved and tore across the ground with a speed that could not be matched by any human being. The female figure gathered momentum with every lengthened stride, her bare feet impossibly light upon the forest floor, never quite making a noise, nor sustaining injury. A wave of dark hair billowed behind her, revealing two pale, pointed Elven ears. A cloak made of light material swished noisily as the wind caught it and blew it around her willowy body. Two grey eyes faced forwards, holding nothing more than determination as strong as steel. She jumped stealthily over a fallen tree trunk, crouching as her feet connected with the earth again, as graceful as any cat. In seconds, she was off again, focused upon the thinning of the trees and the view of a house a little way in the distance. Other than her eyes, her features revealed little about her intention. Her mouth was set in a hard line, her face unreadable.

Smoothly, the Elf pulled her bow over her shoulder without slowing her pace. Just as quickly she had notched an arrow, though she didn't tightened the bowstring just yet. As she reached the edge of the trees, she skidded to a stop surveying the scene with a quick scan of her eyes. Navile creatures roamed everywhere, tearing houses down, burning everything in their paths. The Elf didn't hesitate to raise her bow, pulling back her arm swiftly and releasing almost instantly. The arrow embedded itself in the head of one the vile creatures which promptly fell over backwards. Others turned to his attacker, launching towards the slender figure that stood boldly in their midst. It wasn't long before more joined their fallen comrade in the mud, whether by arrow or sword. The female Elf moved with fluidity and grace, ducking and diving away from blows as they were thrown at her. At one point, she swung onto the roof of a house and looked over the remaining village. It was clear where the true battle was. A circle of Navile had gathered there, sneering and waiting.

Backing up, she ran across the roof, jumping on the very edge. She landed lightly on the next house and so it continued until she was in the thick of the fight. J'haren stood in the middle, advancing upon two who appeared to be opposing him. Bile rose in her throat, as she narrowed her eyes dangerously. Anger bubbled in her chest and she felt a hiss leave her lips, as she jumped down from her rooftop perch. Muttering a word or two, she allowed a small amount of her energy to leave her and flow into the ground beneath her bare feet. A tingle ran across her body as she did. It felt warm, comforting.

"J'haren, oh Master of this world," She called out, her tone laced with sarcasm as she stepped forwards, through the Navile who growled furiously. Raising her sword, she gave them a threatening glare before glancing at the two who stood out among them. It was nothing more than a fleeting look. Instead her eyes sought the cloaked figure again and a smirk tugged at her lips. "I am Faelwen, your worst nightmare. You should have never crossed my path six years ago. Now, you're going to live to regret it." When she finished, roots shot from the ground beneath J'haren and attacked, attempting to wrap him in their embrace. Faye wasn't stupid, she knew they wouldn't hold against him. But it gave them time. Jogging the last few steps, she joined the other two with a cautious smile.

"Need a hand?" She asked, drawing her bow and notching another arrow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile's lips parted slightly at the man's words. Having to fight someone who would 'harm such a prize as you' was definitely something that she had not expected to come from his mouth. She was still reeling from his speech as J'haren launched a full out attack on him that she stood there for a moment stunned before moving again. Then another woman jumped into the fight, vines shot out from under the earth and wrapped around the Warlords legs.

"I am Faelwen, your worst nightmare. You should have never crossed my path six years ago. Now, you're going to live to regret it."

Zaile ignored the girls next words, asking if they needed a hand. Instead she shifted again to her weapons, retrieved them and lunged for J'haren. The air grew thick with the sensation of pure energy, power, writhing through it. The mage, Lee, moved quickly, fluidly. Zaile wasn't sure about his declaration about being the best mage around, but so far he'd proven to hold his own. The girl, Faelwen, fought as well, but to Zaile, she was seemingly getting in the way. Her fear of harming the other elf in case J'haren were to move at the right moment, kept the dark elf from going all out in the fight.

She ducked under a swing from the Warlords blade, her sword caught the claws of a Navile that jumped in to try to swipe it's deadly claws into her. Zaile brought her free arm up to lock against her Master's arm. Sliding her weapon across the Navile that was caught on her sword, she attempted to run it through his open side. He pushed hard on her arm, trying to take her balance, but failing. J'haren pulled away, having no choice but to move away from her. Her narrowed eyes caught sight of him stumbling slightly as if he'd been hit. She took the chance, shifting at him and as her powerful magic faded, she thrust her sword at his chest... only to go through thin air. Startled, she didn't have time to turn around.

Power knocked right into her back. Flung forward she crashed into an abandoned stall of glass ware, breaking most everything as well as the stand. Her breath knocked out of her lungs, she lay in the rubble unable to move for a moment. Two Navile landed over head and her breath sucked into her lungs through clenched teeth. She tried to twist around and get her weapons up to fend off the deadly attack, but her limbs were numb from the jarring impact. One landed on her, it's claws digging deep into her arm, side and leg. Gnashing jaws nearly locked onto the exposed portion of her neck, but her hand with the dagger shot forward and was buried deep into its gaping mouth.

A slight tremble filled her as her magic flooded her body, like an overdose of adrenaline. Her normally deep blue eyes turned a slight purple. The power built, welling in her chest before she directed it towards her arm and hand. The blast that ensued from her sent up a mushroom cloud of dust, black magic sparking with electricity faded away just as fast as it had come. Zaile stood slowly, watching as the other Navile creatures hissed and backed away towards their Master.

J'haren's glare could be felt rather than seen. She returned his cold look, never wavering from his dark form. Slowly he returned his sword to it's sheathe. Gloved fingers snapped slightly and the creatures that had once been beautiful elves faded into the shadows of the burning town. He turned to look at the other two who were watching him.

"Zaile, it is inevitable. You can't save what you were meant to destroy," Just like when she shifted, the air turned cold, seemingly standing still, and he disappeared from sight. To the dark elf, his presence faded almost completely. He was no where near the town. Her blood rushed through her body, almost like it had been held back from her magic use. The feeling gave her a slight headache, her energy having been spent didn't help either. Slowly, she let her muscles relax before she realized that she had sustained wounds from the creatures.

The moment she remembered that fact, the paralyzing poison of their claws began to kick in. Her right arm first succumbed and her blade fell to the ground, then her right leg and she dropped into a kneeling position. Zaile ground her teeth. She was going to have to bleed out the poison before it took her entire body. Shifting her left arm with her dagger, she leveled her own deadly blade over numbed leg. Her leather armor made an odd sound, her eyes shifted towards the clothing to find shards of glass stuck in the thick black leather. Ignoring the little fact of possibly having scratches and glass stuck in her shoulder and abdomen, she drew her dagger across her thigh. Bright red blood spilled over the leather and continued to with no signs of stopping. Zaile ground her teeth together. Soon her paralyzed hand began to regain feeling and as it returned, she felt the burning of the deep wounds. Sheathing her dagger, she gripped her shoulder tightly, trying to ignore the pain. She was going to need the mage to heal the wound she'd given herself as soon as it bled out the rest of the poison, otherwise it wasn't going to stop and she didn't have enough energy to do it herself.

"If you can... heal.. I'll need it," she managed to say to Lee, though she hated asking for help from someone she just met. In fact, she hated asking at all. Her chest tightened at the thought of having company with her. At the same time though, she wasn't entirely against the thought either. The fight that had just occurred was enough proof to tell her that she needed all the help she could get. The more powerful, the better.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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Faelwen glanced at the mage, an eyebrow arched in surprise as he addressed the pair of them. "In your deepest dreams will that happen this time, sir," She smirked at him, her eyes travelling once up and down his body. She gave a shake of her head as she looked away. "You're not my type I'm afraid, but survive the battle...and it'll still be a no." Tossing her hair over her shoulder, she tossed him a carefree wink and another smirk.

Without another word, she turned her back on his form, instead lifting her bow so quickly it appeared to blur. Three times the bowstring echoed its sweet sound in quick succession and three Navile forms fell before their Master, trampled by the rest of their troop. As she notched another arrow, the other Elf darted past her and engaged J'haren in battle, the Elf that hadn't said a word upon her arrival. She hadn't needed to. Faye was quite aware of who she was, but until she'd seen her physical form she wasn't entirely sure she had existed. For a few seconds she watched the pair, but when a Navile took a swipe at her left shoulder she whirled around, her hair swirling around her and submersed herself within the battle again. Faye was undeniably graceful in her movements, never staying in the same place any longer than to slaughter the closest Navile. It allowed her to escape without injury. During her training she had practiced speed and accuracy more than anything else. Her ability to smoothly move with a great speed made her deadly. But it wasn't helping her reach J'haren, who was firmly and securing in battle with the other Elf.

As she drew her sword, she plunged the blade through a the calf of a Navile, which she had narrowly avoided by rolling through its legs. It howled in pain and reached for her, but Faye was already on her feet and with a swift slash she had dispatched of that one as well. As Faye turned again, a sword clashed against hers. Snarling, she moved her grey eyes upwards to meet those of her attackers. A gasp escaped her lips, as she shoved him away. Pain erupted over her chest as she backed up, shaking her head. The Navile stared openly at her, his top lip pulled back in a snarl.

"Galen," She whispered, her sword hand slack at her side. The Navile, Galen, cocked his head at her whisper. "It's me. It's Faye, your sister." Slowly, she walked towards him, ignoring the ensuing battle around her. Without warning, her brother launched forwards, slicing with his sword. Faye barely had time to raise hers to defend herself. She pushed him back, but didn't move to take the offensive. "I won't hurt you." It was barely audible as their swords clashed together again, his nicking her temple before she could block. A parry of blows followed, both equally matched, ending in a deadlock, a battle of will and power. He was stronger and managed to take Faye down to her knees. Closing her eyes, she prepared herself for the worst. Dead at the hands of her own brother, whose mind wasn't even his own. Taking a deep breath, she whispered to the Earth to accept her body. But even as she did, the pressure was gone.

Wrenching her eyes open, she watched as Galen retreated with the other Navile. Quickly looking over her shoulder, she could see no sign of J'haren, only the elf girl. When she looked back towards her brother he had disappeared into the flames. Faye cursed under her breath as she got to her feet. Sheathing her sword, she ignored the trickle of blood that ran down her pale cheek. Instead she made her way over to the other Elf. Even from a distance she could tell that she was in a bad way. Another curse left her pink lips as she hung back a little. Zaile had already asked for them man's help, if he could heal, so she wasn't really needed.

"That was some pretty fierce fighting back there," She said, arching an eyebrow and giving her a brief nod of the head. "If he can do little to help you, I know of some plants that will draw poison from your wounds and help you to heal quicker. But I'd say healing was better, if he can manage that." Glancing at the mage, she gave him a questioning look. With a shrug of her shoulders, she left them to it, instead grabbing some Navile bodies and pulling them away from the village. They couldn't leave it this way and it was only right to give the Navile a correct burial. After all, their minds were not their own and they belonged to the Earth now. Once a reasonable distance from the village, she knelt on the ground. Pressing her palms flat, she muttered words in Elvish fluently. A rumble echoed through the air, as the Earth began to shift beneath her palms. The power flowed from within her, into the arm. The warmth, the tingling, it felt wonderful. Until the task was done. Then she felt a serious drain in her energy. Groaning slightly, she opened her eyes and looked at the appropriately sized mass grave. A sigh left her lips as she moved to place the Navile in it. And so her task continued...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Kjel Strybjorn Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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#, as written by cha-kun
Kjel woke to hear the alarm bell signalling the garrison to arms. Kjel donned his armor as fast as he could, grabbed his swordbelt and shield, and rushed out the door. He knew that Navilite hordes were near. He knew that he needed to help or the town would be lost, along with the monastary.

This monastary had been his home for the past three years. Ever since J'haren's rebellion Kjel had been tasked by the High Nine to watch over this area in one of the nine sanctuaries spread across Avia. People brought their children from all over, in the hopes that their child might be the reincarnation of one of the Nine that had been lost in the war.and now the lives of these children were in the hands of the small garrison of men left here by the Nine's household guard.

As he neared the lines he knew the battle had begun, the air smelled of ash, blood, death, and decay. He knew he had to return to the monastary and retrieve Chaosbane, The blade of Brynjolf the Fierce, Slayer of Marsorex The Dragon Priest, and savior of Avia nearly one thousand years ago. He knew he had to keep it away from the Navile and out of J'haren's hands, or else the entirety of Avia would be in danger. He hurried through the streets cleaving through the Navile that had made it through the garrison's broken lines.

He did his best to help the townspeople that were under attack, but his only goal was to not let J'haren have Chaosbane. He rushed past the hopefuls being ushered through the cullis gate to the temple of the Nine, and stopped in front of the reliquary. "Shit! Where in the HELL is that son of a bitch?!" Kjel looked about wildly and fund the one he was looking for. "Ragnar! Get your ass over here NOW!" Ragnar's armored form waded through the sea of hopefuls between them and stood with Kjel at th door of the reliquary.

"Kjel, this is no time for worrying about the relics!" Ragnar had to yell to be heard over the dull roar of the hopefuls milling about.

"Listen Ragnar there are relics in there that are older than I am! Insert your key and help me get these relics to the Temple before the Navile get here, or we're all dead. You hear me!" Kjel panted looking around at the hopefuls that were staring at him. He pulled Ragnar aside and told him directly, "I understand that you don't understand the importance of these artifacts because you haven't been here as long as I have but you must understand. These artifacts are extremely dangerous in the wrong hands, and J'haren is most certainly the wrong hands. Understand me?"

Ragnar looked at Kjel,"Yes sir, I understand." Ragnar turned to the hopefuls behind him and yelled out, "All right you lot, get into a line behind me! When I open this door I want all of you to to take an artifact from the reliquary and head through the cullis gate. Understood?" The entire monastary gave a resounding "Yes sir!"
Ragnar unlocked the reliquary and all of the students gathered at the door. "All right! Single file!"

Kjel looked at his friend and clapped a hand on his shoulder, "You'll make a great warrior someday, and I am proud to call you battle-brother." Kjel hit his helm against Ragnar's and hurried through to the reliquary, and Chaosbane.

Kjel walked through the ornate reliquary, strode up the dais to where Chaosbane sat. Chaosbane was an unassuming sword but it had one distinguishing feature. It had a large, black, skull shaped diamond in the center of the cross-guard that glowed with arcane energy. "alright you, lets go!" Kjel wrapped Chaosbane in an oilcloth so as to seem unassuming as he raced through the town

"You know this is mad right?", said a shadowy voice to his left

"Yes well if I can pull it off it won't be crazy, it'll just be courageous... Right brother Hengist??"

"If you say so... I still say it's crazy boy."

"Well we'll see."

Kjel raced through the town, cleaving through Navile like a reaper through a field of wheat, to where he knew J'haren was sowing his special brand of destruction. Kjel reached the mismatched group right as J'haren managed to shift away from the battle. Kjel felt, more than heard, J'haren's voice shooting directly into his head, "Not this time, little crow...."
Kjel drew Chaosbane from its scabbard and shouted to the skies, "J'haren! Get back here you craven son of a bitch!" Kjel threw off his helm in frustration, finally taking in the full scene of devastation around him. There were corpses strewn everywhere, most of them human, and few of them wearing any kind of armor or weaponry. "Son of a BITCH!" Kjel fell to his knees, "They were villagers... All of them... I knew them... He's going to pay for this Hengist, right?"

"Of course my friend... We'll make him pay..."

Suddenly Kjel remembered the people around him. They were a mismatched trio to be sure. A human mage and two female elves, not an average sight. He noticed, however, that The elf in black was bleeding profusely. He decided to act fast. He scabbarded Chaosbane, pushed the mage aside, and stood over the elf woman.

He made the sign of the Aquila, Holy symbol of the Nine, and power began to surge to his hands. The power in his hands formed a glowing ball of energy, which shot into the elf girl's forehead, filling her with soothing power. Her wounds stitchedup before her eyes, the shards of glass in her shoulder were spit out of her body at once, and her fatigue melted away, leaving her feeling better than she had before the battle had begun. Kjel turned to the rest of the group, took off his helm and said simply, "Are you guys okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Kjel Strybjorn Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile's eyebrow came down as Lee was struck to the side from her and another man dropped in front of her and without warning his magic washed through her. The elf stiffened at the sudden intrusion, her heart clenching and her muscles tensing. All of her wounds healed, the glass fell to the ground and she felt her energy returned. The moment she was freed from his magic, she retrieved her sword and quickly stepped away from him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed at him angrily. Not that she wasn't grateful for his assistance, but even with her asking for Lee's help, she'd been wary. With the strange in front of her she was even more inclined to continue her plight alone. Sheathing her sword and dagger, her eyes swept the destruction. People were slowly beginning to emerge into the streets, the dead littered the dirt road as did the rubble from many of the destroyed buildings.

Zaile looked back to the man who'd healed her, then she looked for the other elven woman. She was off in the distance, mounds of dirt surrounding her. So, Faelwen was burying the dead. Further down the street, she could make out the form of Lee, though she wasn't entirely sure what he was doing. She turned around, putting her back to the three that had jumped in to help her.

Why, she asked herself. Why would they help her? Surely they knew who she was, and that alone was enough to have anyone of them wish to put a blade through her heart. However, there was J'haren to think about as well. Who were they more inclined to kill? Her or the Warlord? Faelwen had announced her desire to kill the Warlord upon her arrival. Lee, well she wasn't entirely sure where his true intentions lie, but he was powerful.

The dark elf lifted her head to look up at the bright blue sky. She didn't wish to stay any longer in the town. The longer she stayed the more danger she brought. J'haren wasn't going to stay away long. With that in mind she turned her attention towards the horizon. The hills lay out beautifully before her. She needed a place to stage her own defense, a place where no one else could be involved. It would be just her and her Master. Zaile's eyes narrowed. She had been running long enough, it was time to face him. Whether she was ready to or not.

Zaile started walking to the road outside of the town.

***

He had come to that town for a reason. That reason took presidency over his finding Zaile. The town had been the only one to house the artifact of Chaosbane. With that weapon his power would become absolute, Zaile would be under his control completely the moment he ran that blade through her. Death would no longer toss her between his will and her own.

Several of the Navile crawled to him on their elongated limbs. Their eyes flashing in the darkness of the forest as dusk began to take over the land of Avia. One of them reached him and slowly stood, in its long claws was a small jewel. The amber color was nearly perfect, the glittering stones of gold, yellow and orange flashing in its crystalline depths. Aside from the perfect coloration, there was a darkness inside it. A single black circle. J'haren lifted the stone in his hands and turned it to reflect the blazing light of the fading sun.

His sight reached deep into the stone and pulled out the true form of the black spot. A black dragon, imprisoned in the artifact. An old enemy of the peoples of Avia. One that had nearly taken the lands into oblivion with it. His lips pulled into a smile under the dark cover of his hood. It had taken nearly all of the High Nine's power to capture it and put it into its current confinement. J'haren had heard tales about it nearly a century after the incident. Now the jewel that had once been guarded so cautiously was in his hands.

But he wouldn't release the creature yet. He still needed several items, one of which being the dark elf woman who continually escaped him. His hand curled around the stone. Her defiance infuriated him, but he would have her back once again. In time, she would fall to him. Until then, he had need of a few other artifacts, and that meant more destruction. Something his vile Navile were especially adept at. His hooded face turned down to look at the creatures that had crawled to him.

"Bring me what is mine."

They disappeared from his sight. Turning, his eyes leveled on one of the creatures that he had held behind with his power. This one stood straight on two feet, his skin was different than those of the Navile. That was because he hadn't been one of the dark elves that J'haren had taken over. No, this one was a wood elf who had been caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time. J'haren hadn't missed the elf woman's shaking voice calling this one's name.

"Galen," he called softly, his deep voice caressing the air. The creature's eyes seemed to give focus to the name, its gaze looked directly at him while other Navile would simply stare off into one direction, never truly looking at their Master. J'haren's smile deepened. He had plans for this one.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Kjel Strybjorn Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay
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#, as written by cha-kun
Kjel looked at the blade that flashed at his throat. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" She yelled

"Shit! Ok easy now... Let's not be hasty here..." Kjel looked into her eyes and recognized the all to familiar killing instinct that he had seen so many times before. And just when he knew she'd strike, she walked away, not even so much as taking a second glance at him.

It took Kjel a few seconds to process what had just happened, "Uh, what the hell was that?"

"Well it would seem she has spared your life." Hengist looked at Kjel with a grin

"Yeah, yeah, keep it up jackass..." Kjel looked at Hengist, "I just don't understand it."

"Yes well just stay on your guard. I can't place it, but I know she is deadly, and she will kill you if you give her cause."

"She must hate that J'haren got away... I could see the hatred in her eyes..." He realized at that moment that had to stop her from making a huge mistake. He ran after her, stopping just short of her range. "Hey, look. I know what you're thinking, and I just want to say... You aren't ready to face him alone yet. J'haren is far too powerful, and he has an army of Navile protecting him. The people of Avia need to be warned... and you'll need an army behind you if you want any chance to get to him. I understand your hatred of him, believe me I do, but you are nowhere near ready... Of course I mean to add a yet to the end of that, but you get my idea..." Kjel looked at her, not really knowing if she understood the truth to his words.

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Faelwen continued her task in silence. Strands of wavy brown hair fell across her face, which she brushed back impatiently. Whilst retrieving Navile, she glanced across at the newcomer and briefly nodded her head, ignoring the ache at the base of her skull. It always came about when she'd given to much energy to the soil or Earth. With a heave, she dragged another slain Navile towards the mass grave and lay him gently down. Staring down at its form, she forced the bile to stop from raising in throat. They no longer looked like Elves, but some hideous monstrous creature. Their bodies and minds had been warped so they were unrecognisable to everyone that had ever known them or their form. So why did Zaile and Galen look completely differently? Why had her brother been practically spared the transformation? And how was she ever going to destroy J'haren's influence. Biting her bottom lip, she searched through all of her memory, but she had no memories of how to beat this. Except...

Jerking her head up, Faye searched for the other Elf woman. She had escaped the influence of J'haren and though there were many extraordinary tales about how she had done it, it must have been true. Excitement bubbled in her chest as she tore away from the grave. As she did, a clumsy human bundled out of his house and nearly ran into her. Gracefully stepping to the side, she ground to a halt and stared down at him. "See that grave, it's now your responsibility." Firmly she told him what to do next and how if she came back and the Navile's bodies had been burnt (or worse) then she would hold him personally responsible. With a nod of his head, he stared up at her with surprise, his eyes wide. Never in a hundred years had an Elf set foot in their village and now there were two of them. He gulped and reached to touch to see if she was real. Batting his hand away, she gave him a firm push in the direction of the graves.

In seconds, Faye was off again. Zaile had last been with Lee and that other stranger. But as they came into view, she could see the Elf was not with them. Letting out a sigh of frustration, she scanned the surrounding area. No, no sign of her. "Where did she go?" She called to Lee but did not wait for an answer as she ran towards the road that lead out of the village. She could see a dark form walking up ahead, completely healed and intending to just leave them to it. Well that now wasn't going to happen. Quickening her pace, she easily caught up with the walking Zaile and dropped into pace alongside her. The stranger was already there and he had just stopped talking, so Faye seized her chance to begin.

"You know, you don't have to do this alone," She whispered, looking at the other Elf out of the corner of her eye, but otherwise staring straight ahead. "I've heard the stories about you, the tales of what you did and they're impressive. But you can't take on J'haren and his whole army of Navile alone. You might have to defeat J'haren on your own, but we can fend of the hordes of Navile. You need our help." Glancing over her shoulder to see if Lee and the other had followed, she pushed her hair back over her shoulders and pulled up her hood. "And I need your help. It's imperative that I travel with you. For the sake of my brother. You're the only one I know who can assist me. So in return, I will fight alongside you and I will defend you with all the power I have. There is no point resisting this. You need us." With a small smile, she gave a shrug of her shoulders and waited for the reply. She didn't doubt it would be reluctant, or even an order to leave, but she was stubborn and not so easily gotten rid of. Especially now as her brother was involved in this whole mess. If he could be brought back to her then she would fight tooth and claw to get him back. Anything to have Galen laugh again, or ruffle her hair. Anything.

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#, as written by cha-kun

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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile had continued to walk even though the man that had healed her had rushed after her. His words hit home, but she tried to ignore him. Anger curled in her stomach, she hated being told that she wasn't ready to face him. She was more than ready. However, a lump in her throat told her otherwise. The dark elf continued walking, nearly reaching the edge of town until the elven woman Faelwen caught up to her as well. She too repeated what the man had said, but there was more to it, and what Faelwen said about hearing stories was what halted the dark elves steps.

Slowly Zaile turned her eyes towards the other woman, "Stories, hu? Impressive?" Zaile whispered, a deadly tone to her soft voice, "You don't know the first thing about what I've done," she continued in the same cold voice. Though she didn't remember a lot of what she'd done in the past, she just knew that it wasn't anything 'impressive'. The last thing she remembered was a pair of beautiful blue eyes staring at her, then fighting with her Master and dying on his blade. Anything before that was a haze. Zaile scoffed at the idea of having company, and crossed her arms as she stood there.

She shifted her gaze to look at the ground. Were they honestly willing to help her? Zaile looked up between them, she wasn't sure what she saw in their eyes, but she felt as if she should allow them to help her. The warrior was right, in order to kill J'haren she needed to get through the Navile, and they were many. With poisoned claws that paralyze, one little scratch and she was through. The dark elf took a deep breathe, cooling her anger.

"You want to fight? So be it, but don't get in my way," she said to them, the lump in throat ever growing. She turned away quickly so as not to let them look too much into her face and expression. "As for your brother, you may never get him back. You want to know how I broke free, yes? The girl who did it is most likely dead. There's nothing more I can do. Kill the Warlord, and maybe you'll have him back."

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#, as written by cha-kun
Kjel looked at the three people around him, a mage, a wood elf, and a dark elf. These people simply did not understand what he was trying to get across. "You people just don't understand what I'm saying to you! It would take a combined effort from all of the races, and countries, and kingdoms of Avia to even get close to J'haren. And it would take the combined strength of the Nine, in its entirety, to take him down. The four of us alone are not nearly powerful enough to take him out.We need help. WE not YOU, Zaile Shantay, WE need help. The four of us. Hell we hardly stand a chance of finding him as it is. He could be anywhere in the world by now... We need the Seekers..." He looked around for a minute... "There! We can use the cullis gate in the monastery. Shit, wait, no we can't, the Gatekeepers would have shut it down by now, knowing the mnastery was under attack... But, but it should have maps we can use detailing the locations of the Seekers..." Kjel looked at the three around him. "We-." He looked at the mage walking away, "Are you listening to me! We need to work together! Lee, if we don't, J'haren will destroy more wineries, and distilleries, and breweries and all of the drinks you hold dear will be gone. And Faelwen! We will need to gather the forces of the world together if you want any chance of getting your brother back! We need to gather help! Or this is just the beginning. I fought at the battle of Sancre Tor! I defended the walls at the siege of Ashten! I know exactly what J'haren and the Navile are capable of. And believe you me, we will need every able bodied soul available if we want to stand a chance. J'haren nearly destroyed this world once... I will not allow it to happen again."

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#, as written by Siryn
"We don't have that luxury!" Zaile cursed back, her arms coming unfolded, hands dropping down to grip the hilts of her weapons, "There is no time, Kjel Strybjorn. The Nine are no more, they were defeated by J'haren and myself or did you forget that fact?" The words flowed from her mouth, she wasn't entirely sure how she'd known his name, let alone his full name, perhaps she'd fought against him once before, or J'haren had. Whatever the reason, the fact still remained that she knew the Nine were no longer at their full potential, and that this Kjel was grabbing at straws that didn't exist, "No one knows better what he is capable of than myself. Or have you forgotten also that I was once his puppet of destruction?"

Her fingers tightened around her weapons, "You may need help, but I'm not going to waste my time running around Avia trying to find alliances that don't exist, whilst J'haren tears this world apart!"

Zaile turned away. She was trying to keep her frustration at bay. The dark elf mulled over his words, trying to figure a way to find common ground between herself and him. She didn't like the idea in its entirety, but she could understand the concept of getting more help. Acquiring more fighters, alerting the cities of the danger that had been released, that might be possible. More possible than gathering a full out army, that she was sure of. Plus, there also was the fact that she was certain that plenty of older warriors and fighters knew who she was, and might have even fought against her during the seven year war. Zaile didn't want to chance meeting with someone like that in fear that they would just as soon kill her as they would J'haren.

Taking a deep breathe after several minutes of absolute silence she shifted around to face Kjel and Faelwen, Lee was standing a little ways ahead of them, "Alerting major cities of the coming threat is something I'm willing to do. If we find others that are willing to fight with us, then so be it. But I am not going to waste time trying to amass an army. The goal is to kill J'haren as quickly as we can, before he destroys everything."

She let go of her weapons and crossed her arms over her chest, "Now, where do you suggest we start?"

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Faelwen kept her mouth firmly closed as she watched the argument erupt between Zaile and the stranger. All of this was simply wasting time, but it gave her time to mill over Zaile's words to her. Perhaps she could never save Galen, but she was going to give it a damn good shot. Giving up on something just wasn't her style and especially as he was her brother. They shared a bond like no other and she wasn't going to accept that he would never be by her side again. And besides, J'haren needed to be stop before he enslaved more races, or even destroyed the world. It looked like they were Avia's best chance at this point. But not until they had decided on a plan of action, which at this moment didn't seem likely. With the pair still battling it out, she stifled a yawn and looked up to the sky. In every second, J'haren could be getting further and further away from them and they were stood here bickering. Lee was still marching away, so she followed, leaving them to it.

"I do not think that is a good idea," She said when she caught up with him. Encircling her long fingers around his wrist, she pulled him to a stop. "We need to stick together, so you are not going anywhere Mr. Mage. You might be our best chance at beating J'haren. And I'm very reluctant to admit that because you are pretty arrogant and completely full of yourself." Pulling a face, she turned her back on Kjel and Zaile. Lee was the one that interested her the most. Zaile she could understand being here and now Kjel as well, but what on earth was Lee doing here? "How did you come to be here?" It was a curious question and given with a frown as she stared at him with her grey eyes, flecked with black. Brushing her hair over one shoulder, she continued to watch him, but she was listening to the conversation that was still going on behind them.

"Well, if we finally have a plan, I suggest we get going. We should not linger here." She called to the other two, who may have finally started to agree on something. With a roll of her eyes, she turned her attention back to Lee with a small smile, intent to hear what he had to say about battling J'haren. If he was the most powerful mage, which Faye was reluctant to believe, then he would have a responsibility to stand up and fight, but why would he choose to? He could let this slide and pick a side at the end of this war. What reasons did he have to battle against J'haren?

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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile eyed Kjel as he turned and began speaking to... nothing. An eyebrow rose as she watched him laugh at nothing as well. He turned to look back at her, clearing his throat. She shook her head slightly, but her anger had peaked again. For this... human, to think he knew more about J'haren and his Navile than herself was infuriating. However, there was the fact that she didn't even remember much before she was killed at his hands.

Then Lee came back to them. He abruptly smacked Lee across the back of his head before putting his arm around Zaile's shoulders. Zaile stiffened under the touch, never having someone touch her in such a way before. Though the touch wasn't long, it felt... different. She almost didn't register what he had said until he had let her go. The dark elf turned her gaze to look at him for a moment. He said something about having a leader, she wasn't entirely sure about the idea. She turned to look back at Kjel, sure that he would be the one to want to have charge. Especially since he was one of the Nine. Zaile didn't care, she had her own agenda and she would follow it no matter what.

"A leader?" She asked quietly. She looked between the two men, "You know what I want, plain and simple. I said it already, we can alert the cities, if we find anyone who wants to come with us, is fine by me. Crusading around, is not on my list. Let those... alliances, get together themselves. I want J'haren's head before he has a chance to crumble the cities and your precious alliances."

"The city of the Seekers. So be it," she whispered to Kjel after a moment, no longer in the mood to fight with him. Zaile turned, looked up at Lee for a moment, and then started walking down the road. She wasn't sure how far it was to the city, but that wasn't what was on her mind. Her thoughts lingered on Kjel's words, Lee's actions, and on what J'haren was planning to do next.

Night

Fire's spread across the village, the small town that stood just outside one of the major cities. His Navile leapt through the flames, casting writhing shadows across stone walls as they fed. Screams filled the air, crying children echoed through the darkness. Next to him walked Galen. J'haren moved slowly through the darkness, his power resonating all around him. His Navile flitted around him, the stench of blood following them.

He had a specific location in mind, another of the relics that the old High Nine had kept from him. Now, the new order protected it as well. Just as he thought, several warriors met him in battle. Only one of them was of the Nine. J'haren never halted in his advance as the warriors came to meet them. Drawing his sword, he shoved across the first warriors weapon and cut across his chest. The man dropped without a sound. Next to the Warlord, Galen drew his own weapon, the elf was becoming more and more like his Zaile. He moved swiftly, fighting against the warriors via J'haren's pure will.

"J'haren," the Nine hissed as he met the Warlord with his sword.

He smiled at the man, though the hood of his cloak covered the feature. He shifted his weapon to slide down the length of the Nine's. The steel scrapped until he hit the hilt. The Nine stepped forward, let his blade go downwards and then once it was free, took a swipe at J'haren's opened stomach. Magic swirled around him, the power emanating in the air. J'haren shifted to the Nine's other side. Though he was startled, he wasn't stunned by the move.

"How interesting," J'haren muttered.

"That your little trick didn't surprise me? Pathetic, J'haren. I've fought against you before."

"Is that so."

"You won't get what you want."

The Warlord swung at the Nine, the blow rattling both blades. Vibrations ran up J'haren's arm but didn't move his weapon from it's course at pushing the Nine's blade down. J'haren pushed his full weight against the blade, magic pulsing down his arm and into the weapon. The Nine's sword slipped, dropping slightly. Both swords slide going into a circle before they were raised again at each others throats.

"Impressive," the Warlords voice was soft. The Nine leaned forward, his weapon just grazing across J'haren's throat before it stopped short. The man before him stood still, shocked. Blood began to fill his mouth and spill out over his chin. Steel from his chest reflected firelight. J'haren pulled his sword away and sheathed it. He turned away from the Nine, and continued on to the large building near the center of the little town.

The barricaded door stood little chance against him. His fingers just barely brushed against the ornate wood, magic pulsing through the locks broke them. A push with his hand and summoned power broke any further barricades. He walked towards the back room, having been inside this holy building once before a long time ago. Once inside the room, he moved passed all the artifacts that littered the desks and tables. The walls held old swords and shields, weapons that had once been wielded by other members of the Nine. What held his attention was at the back of the dark room. A silver circlet with old elvish runes wrapped around the silver. J'haren reached out and took hold of the circlet gently. Lifting it, he inspected it from under the cowl. Satisfied with it, he put it into his cloak and left the building.

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#, as written by cha-kun
Kjel had to physically hold himself back from ripping this smug little punk in half. He chanted calming litanies in his head, reigning in the beast inside him. This mage Lee was a problem, and he knew he had to nip it in the bud. Behind him he heard Zaile agree with his idea. He decided that this was the perfect opportunity to assert his dominance over this whelp of a man. As he turned to look at Lee, Kjel put all of his will and anger into his cold, steely glare. As he walked past he added a low, quiet growl for effect, and he noticed Lee recoil in fear, it was subtle, to be sure. He knew none of the others noticed, and were it not for his razor-keen senses, honed by centuries of war, he wouldn't have noticed it either. But he did notice it, and he knew he had won. He purposefully shoved Lee ever so slightly as he walked over to Zaile to remind her that they would need supplies for their impending journey, "And I'm sure that the monastery has most everything we need. If anything there should be a repository of coin so we can buy whatever else we might need." He looked back at the monastery, "Besides, I have a few personal items that i need to get before we leave."

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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile watched Kjel as he pushed passed Lee and came next to her. She eyed him coldly, not liking him all that much. He spoke about getting supplies, and that the monastery would most likely have what they needed. She listened, but never answered. The dark elf agreed that getting horses and supplies was probably a good idea, better than hers, which consisted of just walking in a straight line and hoping to get somewhere. The only thing that was going for her was she could feel J'haren's presence whenever he was near. She could feel that he was somewhere in the north, but other than that she didn't know exactly where.

"Fine. You go to the monastery, we will get the rest," she said, a finalizing tone to her voice. Turning around she faced the destroyed town. The people who had been saved were slowly going out into the darkness to try to help clean up everything. She wasn't sure what kind of food they would be able to salvage, or even if the horses were still in their stalls.

She motioned for Lee to come with her in search of horses, "Faelwen, see if you can find any food that we can take with us. I doubt there's much though," Zaile said. She went to the stables. One half of the building was torn down, blood on the ground and under the rubble she could make out the form of two horses. The dark elf turned away, moving deeper into the stalls to see if any of the other creatures survived. Sounds of huffing at the end got her attention and she went to the stall doors. There were only two horses left. They stood in the darkness in fear, snorting and kicking at the ground, but otherwise safe.

"Only two," she whispered, then gave a sigh. It would have to do. She opened the stalls and grabbed their reins, gently leading them out of the stalls while humming something in elvish to keep them calm. She wasn't sure what it was she said to them, all she knew was it was something that would work to keep the animals from rearing at her and trampling her to the ground.

Once outside, she led the horses to the edge of the village where she waited for Faelwen and Kjel to meet her. She didn't know what it was that Kjel wanted from the monastery, and she could care less. Zaile was left to her thoughts for a little while, which consisted of how she didn't like the Nine all that much. Yes, he was seasoned in his battles, yes he did know of the Navile and J'haren, how the Warlord fought, and though it was a stretch for her, she agreed that she had been gone from Avia for several years. However, she was much older than he, she was once one of the Navile before they had been turned, a dark elf of the forests, and she had served the Warlord after her transformation. If anyone knew anything, it would be her. She scoffed at the ground though, the one problem lying in her way of that precious knowledge, was the fact that she couldn't remember much about his tactics since her death.

"Damn it all," she said to herself. The only thing that looked promising was the fact that they were going to the Seekers. From the little that she could remember, she hoped that they could help clear the fog that was around her memories.

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Faelwen barely nodded her head in response to the command given by Zaile. Without a word, she turned and wandered back towards the centre of the town, ignoring whatever it was that the others were up to. Her mind was elsewhere as she pondered what was going to happen now. They certainly were an odd mix of people who had been thrust together by Fate. First there was Zaile. She was closed off and clearly didn't want their assistance, despite needing it. Cold only began to describe her personality. Then there was Lee, who claimed to be the greatest Mage of all time. Faye didn't think much of him at that moment, but perhaps that would change. Well if he stopped being arrogant that was. And as for Kjel, judgement was being reserved on him for she wasn't entirely sure what to make of him just yet. Time would perhaps alter her view on all of them, but for now she would keep her distance and observe.

Snapping out of her trance, she realised she was made her way towards the Tavern which was in utter ruins. Biting her bottom lip, she walked forwards with her grey eyes focused upon the Keeper who was holding a weeping wife. Sadness swept over Faye for a second as she watched, unable to move.

"Get out of here Faelwen!"

Faye whirled around, a torrent of fire consuming everything within sight and a Navile dove from the flames. In the middle stood J'haren, bearing down upon them all, killing all those within his reach. They had been battling for a solid five hours, but to no avail. He was winning. The Elves were losing ground, they were dropping in numbers. Bodies littered the ground endlessly around them. Faye was bleeding heavily, but she continued to fight with an energy that couldn't be matched by any other. She wanted revenge, because she had already laid eyes on her brother. Slaying another Navile, she turned to see who had called her name.

"GO! NOW!" A rough hand pushed her backwards, away from the fight. Faye fought against them, determined to return to battle. "Faye, listen to me we cannot lose you to that monster as well." Her mother's words shook her to the core and her pleading eyes even more so. With a nod, she retreated backwards, her body numb. A last glance over her shoulder told her that her home was gone. The Glade had been destroyed. A single tear fell from her eyes as she gave herself to the Earth and encased her body from view.


Tearing herself away from the Tavern, she continued on her search. Slipping into a nearby house she gave it a quick search, coming up with some corn and a loaf of almost stale bread that had been discarded on the table. Two coins clattered on the table as she left. Faye wouldn't steal. It wasn't her style. Especially as the village was in utter ruin. In the next couple of houses she unearthed another load of bread, fresher than the last and also some more fruit and veg as well as a strip of salted meat. It wasn't much, but they would have to hunt on their travels and she could help with what plants they could eat.

In the last house she found a charred deerskin bag, which was still strong enough to hold the food. Throwing it all inside, she tightened the strings and slung it over her shoulder, careful of her bow. With that, she returned to the edge of the village where Zaile was already waiting with two horses. Jogging the last few steps, she held out the bag for their inspection, before chucking it at Lee.

"You can carry that big man," She said with a roll of her eyes. "It's a pitiful amount of food, but I didn't like to take it all. Not after what they've been through. We can hunt along the way and I can help identify plants as we go. We'll survive. I guarantee it." With a shrug, she retreated to a distance, watching them with guarded eyes as they waited for Kjel.

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#, as written by Siryn
Zaile took the sack that was thrown at Lee and hefted it up onto the horses saddle where she tied the strings to the belt that held the saddle in its place. The horse didn't seem to mind much as the sack wasn't all that heavy. The dark elf looked at the four of them. Two for each horse, she sighed inwardly. She wasn't too inclined to ride with any of them. Zaile was sure though, that they wouldn't just let her walk either. Shifting herself from one area to the next would be easy enough, but if they were attacked, she would need her energy. So, she stepped up onto the stirrup and threw herself gracefully up into the saddle and waited. She half hoped that Kjel wouldn't ride with her, but if he did, she would deal with it.

"How long is it to the city?"

As she sat there, the answer to her question coming from someone, and she pulled the reins between her hands. Zaile hardly listened to whoever spoke to her. Instead, as she sat upon the horse, her thoughts turned towards her Master. Memories pulled to the front of her mind. She remembered darkness, the smell of smoke behind her, cool air ahead of her. There was a warmth on her hands, the smell of it told her that it was blood. In her memory, she turned her head to look back at the destruction, a chaos that she caused. Next to her, her Master pulled his horse right next to her.

"My Zaile, it is time..."

The memory began to blur as she saw herself smiling wickedly back to J'haren. She shook her head slightly, coming out of the memory. It took her a moment to realize that someone was seated behind her.

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The City of Seekers

Zaile shifted uncomfortably on the seat of the saddle. She and Lee had been riding together for the last couple of days. Behind them, Kjel and Faelwen rode together as well. The journey had been somewhat silent, Zaile's thoughts intent on getting to the city and then on their way as quickly as possible. Though she was sure that Kjel had different intentions once they reached the city. In light of that, she had been making plans. The dark elf would prove her point to him in front of an assembly. She figured that the city had some kind of authority at its core, and she was sure that Kjel planned to go there to try to get an army amassed in full force. Not that she disagreed with the idea of an army taking on J'haren's pets, she just disagreed with making it their primary point of focus, and from the sounds of it, he was hoping that their little group would lead said army. She scoffed at the idea. He may have no prejudice against her, but that kind of open mindedness wasn't everywhere.

They topped the hill that the horses had been climbing and in the distance, down in the valley, was a large city wall. Spires topped the walls, reaching for the sky. The spires, Zaile was sure, were connected to a palace of some sort, probably the home of the Seekers. It took another hour to reach the gates of the city that were opened to travelers. Zaile's eyes scanned the tops of the city walls, picking out the guards that lined the paramount. The horse trotted under the wall and into the crowded street without pause or hindrance. The mass of people parted, allowing the two steeds to pass through. The dark elf maneuvered her horse to head to the largest building in the city.

It didn't take long to get there. The enormous building with spires one each corner rising into the sky was made of pure marble. The white stone glittered in the noon day sunlight. Two double doors made of a deep colored wood held the carving of a large tree encircled by symbols that the elf didn't understand. Slowly, the double doors opened as she dismounted and started walking up the five steps towards the palace. Several men and a few women moved out from the building, their gaze settling on Zaile. One in particular stood out, he wore darker colored robes than the others, and he was in the front.

"We've seen your coming, dark elf. You should know better than to step foot into such a city, or any city for that matter," he announced loudly, his voice hard.

She glared at him in return, resting her hand on her sheathed weapon, "If you've seen my coming, than you know why I'm here, and it wasn't my first choice either," she replied, turning to look at Kjel before returning her attention to the Seeker that stood atop the stairs.

"His release is your fault, Zaile Shantay. Had you not left the forest, he wouldn't have left either. Avia would still be safe. But you, in your delusional thoughts at attempting to help us, have done us a disservice by coming here."

"He would have come with or without me," she growled in return.

"Many of us have looked into Avia's possible futures, one of those consisted of his remaining in the forest if you had remained as well."

Zaile ground her teeth, her hand tightening on the hilt of her sword. The Seeker looked from her to the other three members in her company. He scowled at them, "Any friend of the dark elf's is no friend of ours. Leave our city at once," he looked back to Zaile, "And if you had any sense, girl, you would rid yourself of this world and save Avia."

"I cannot be rid of this world. If I die, you're all doomed to death after, you known damn well what happens, Seeker."

"One can only die so many times..." He turned and left, molding back into the group of Seekers and into the darkness of his palace.

Zaile clenched her jaw, the palm of her hand scratching into the raised carvings on the hilt of her sword. She turned slowly to look at Kjel, "What of your 'alliances' now?" With that said, she pushed past the three of them to get to the horse that stood in the street behind them. As she took hold of the reins, ignoring the others, a small voice that rose over her companions got her attention.

"His plans are deeper than what you think, Zaile Shantay."

The dark elf looked to the voice as she stood with one foot in the stirrup, ready to mount. An eyebrow rose as she watched the woman glide towards them down the steps. She had long brown hair and eyes, her skin was fair and her cloth was light in color and make. She looked up at Zaile calmly as she stood next to Lee and Faelwen.

"What does that mean?"

"Exactly what I said. You're thinking to just run along and kill him without needing anyone's help. You're wrong, and that will be what kills you. He has plans that far exceed just getting you back under his control. Only a few of us Seekers understand what is at stake here, Karl doesn't wish to pay attention to the truths that we've seen. You need them," her hands spread to include the three people standing behind her, "just as much as they need you. I know much about you, Zaile, as does every Seeker here. You're lucky in your companionship," the Seeker turned to Kjel, "and many remember her deeds during the war. The horror she caused, the death, the destruction. You may chose not to remember it, or perhaps you've forgiven her. But Kjel Strybjorn, there are too many who fear and hate her. You will not get far in your quest to raise an army, not while she stands next to you. Let the survivors of his most recent attacks warn the cities. You have a much larger responsibility, Kjel of the Nine. He has one of the three relics needed to release Malykesh, Rowen died defending it. More of the Nine will be struck down if you don't go after him."

Zaile had pulled her foot from the stirrup, her interest peaking as she listened to what the Seeker was saying. For some reason the name Malykesh struck something in her memory, but all she could manage to pull up was a foggy outline of a very large black beast. Still, the name sent a shiver down her spine. It wasn't something easily ignored. Judging by the reaction from Kjel, she was sure something terrible would happen if they allowed J'haren to finish what he'd started.

"You're saying we should go after him?"

"Not that you should. You need to. You can lead them to J'haren, Zaile. You're linked to him still, even with your own free will. His darkness still resides in you, locked away, waiting to be woken once again. Lead them, stop him from getting what he wants, and you will have your freedom. Avia's people will gather their own army. The alliances are strong."

Zaile felt her heart skip a beat. This Seeker wanted them to go after J'haren. It was definitely something she hadn't expected to hear. She stared at the woman for a while before she put her hands on her hips and her face returned to normal, "Where are the relics located?"

"Spread out across Avia, guarded in small towns by the Nine. You can feel his presence, you lead us, Zaile."

"You know my name and everyone else's, but we do not know yours," Zaile told the Seeker, a fine brow arched as she watched the older woman.

"Annalisha Talvaninne. Most call me Nali, it is easier. Now, you need a few more horses and supplies."

"We have enough horses."

"I'm coming with you, Zaile," Nali said, her lips curving into a smile and making her slight wrinkles around her eyes more apparent. Zaile sighed lightly but instead only nodded her head. Besides, it might be good to have the Seeker with them. The elf could learn more about her past, and that could most certainly help her against J'haren.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faelwen Character Portrait: Kjel Strybjorn Character Portrait: Lee Wellzli Character Portrait: Zaile Shantay Character Portrait: Annalisha 'Nali' Talvaninne
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#, as written by Siryn
They had left the Seekers palace to go into the city to find another horse for Nali, and gather more supplies. Kjel had gone into the palace to seek the shrine of Alaric. Zaile hadn't minded that he'd left to pray for his fallen comrade. However, when it took quite a while longer than she'd expected, she had gotten frustrated. The dark elf had wanted to leave the city as quickly as possible and be on their way. Ever since Nali had told her to use her connection with J'haren to find him, she had been concentrating on just that, and she believed she knew exactly where he was heading.

When Kjel finally came back to them, she had confronted him, asking why it had taken him so long. In response, he told her he'd acquired a dragon eggs. Zaile's eyebrow rose as she listened to Kjel describe the creature to her. Vague memories of similar tales came to her, but she couldn't make them out enough to understand completely what he was saying. So she leaned forward, pulled back the top to the saddlebag and looked inside. Resting at the bottom with white cloth all around it was a large sphere. The dark elf watched the 'egg' curiously, she'd never seen one before.

"Doesn't look like an egg..." she whispered, but only shrugged afterwards. Who was she to say what a dragon's egg was supposed to look like?

Nali moved next to them, having finished putting some supplies on one of the horses. She reached out and put her hand on Kjel's shoulder, "Alaric will lead Rowen to Ingryvald. Are we ready to leave?"

Zaile nodded, "I've been ready. The sooner we leave the faster we can get to the town where J'haren is headed. I want to be there before he gets there. It will be easier to defend that way."

"Agreed," Nali nodded.

Zaile turned and mounted her horse, she looked down at Kjel, "I'm sorry for your friend, Rowen," she turned her horse to face the gates, "J'haren will taste justice soon enough."