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Melissa Bellhouse

"Open your eyes and see the world around you."

0 · 226 views · located in The Tunnels

a character in “Rift”, originally authored by Talisman, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description



Role
Princess

Age
14

Nationality
Thania

Gender
Female

Personality
Lady Bellhouse is an impossibly sweet child, very well mannered and perhaps the politest thing to come out of Thania. She loves people, loves being around them, and loves talking to them. She has a soft spoken, comforting voice that doesn't seem able to raise above room volume. The only time she ever seems miffed is when she's overlooked. As a Princess, it's one thing she's not used to. Despite her upbringing as a princess, she never lost contact with the common man. Her family has always acted in the interests of their people, and she's no exception. Lissa is always willing to hold out a helping hand, and she's eager to please. She's also rather intelligent for her age. Despite that, she can be willful without outwardly appearing so. She doesn't argue, she debates. She's a great debater. So much so that many give up and relent before she does. Then she'll smile and express gratitude. She's more clever than she has any right to be, and sharp as a tack.

She's proud of her heritage and of her country. She loves her Father and her Mother, but she is most definitely a daddy's girl. She respects them both immensely and will often find herself missing them terribly at long stretches without. This respect leads her to be fiercely protective of their names, she won't see the monarchy of Thania driven through the mud. She possesses a naivity that betrays her youth. Hate, war, and death are foreign concepts, spoken of only in her history lessons. She doesn't understand that sometimes there are just bad people who want to hurt. Lissa is the girl who would wander right into the face of danger because, to her, there is no danger.


ImagePros
Lissa possess the brightest silver tongue this side of the Dragon's pass, and enough wits to let that serve where her Guardian's sword arm cannot. She has cultivated a politician's skillset that will serve her well once she becomes Queen. Debate and compromise are her weapons. The mind is sharper than the sword, as her tutors always told her. Speaking of tutors, she's gifted with a bright mind belying her age thanks to the best possible tutors in Thania. While this doesn't necessarily translate into battle tactics, she is quick on her feet and clever, adaptable. She's also, if you cut right down to it, quite adorable. Only a souless monster could harm a tiny girl with big blue eyes-- a deadly combination when you take the puppy-dog eyes she has cultivated into account. What she can't debate her way into, she can guilt. What she can't guilt, well... That's what her Guardian's for.

Cons
The big one is that she's still a child. Still in her teens, and that causes her to be overlooked in many situations. Sometimes her voice of reason is disregarded entirely, and it irrates her. She's no warrior, nor is she a mage, she has no physical offense or defense aside from her Guardian, and she relies on him to protect her bodily. As noted before, she's also incredibily naive, and (despite the politician moniker) has trouble sifted fact from fiction. She'd more than readily take anything at face value, though she's clever enough to figure out an outright lie. Also the fact that she's a Princess is a weakness of itself. One word she's a Bellhouse and a opportunistic bandit may try to kidnap her for a ransom.

Appearance
What's there to say about little Lissa Bellhouse? She's a tiny thing at a mere five feet flat, and doesn't weigh an ounce over a hundred pounds sopping wet. She's slender, almost fragile looking in nature like a strong enough wind or a large enough bird could pick her up and carry her off-- though she's still growing she'd vehemently state. A mess of bright red curls sets on her head and bounces far after she has stopped. It can be straightened out and be presentable, if she has an afternoon free. Wide light blue orbs sit in her eye sockets, giving her a pleasant and kindly appearance. Since she's out and about incognito, she wears common clothing, a bland dress and and bland cloak-- though little help it does to hide her stature. She has her pride written on her forehead and her gait is smooth and unfettered. Lissa also has an intelligent, learned dialect, punctuated with verbal flourishes that just happen of their own accord.

History
Considering Lissa is still only a child, she hasn't had time for much life to happen. She was born in the Thanian castle to the King and Queen of the country. Nothing interesting has happened to her whilst in the castle, unless her lessons count (they don't). In fact, the reason she's exploring the world stems from this nothingness. In order to become a truly great leader she needs to see the world, and not just the walls of her castle. Plus, who doesn't like a little adventure every now and then? She brought up seeing the world to her parents and after a series of good points (and hours of "Debate") they relented. So now she travels with her bodyguard, and she has since found herself in Ley.

Other
Lissa might want you to think of her a woman and lady, but she still has her childish moments. She loves stories of grand adventure and daring. She loves sweets, especially cookies, and small fluffly animals. So much so that an adorable bunny would crack her princessly manner and send her into a fit of squees. She also loves her daddy.




King and Lionheart
Of Monsters and Men
Taking over this town they should worry,
But these problems aside I think I taught you well.
That we won't run, and we won't run, and we won't run.
That we won't run, and we won't run, and we won't run.

And in the winter night sky ships are sailing,
Looking down on these bright blue city lights.
And they won't wait, and they won't wait, and they won't wait.
We're here to stay, we're here to stay, we're here to stay.

Howling ghosts – they reappear
In mountains that are stacked with fear
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
A lionheart.

His crown lit up the way as we moved slowly
Past the wondering eyes of the ones that were left behind.
Though far away, though far away, though far away
We're still the same, we're still the same, we're still the same.

Howling ghosts – they reappear
In mountains that are stacked with fear
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
And in the sea that's painted black,
Creatures lurk below the deck
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.

And as the world comes to an end
I'll be here to hold your hand
'Cause you're my king and I'm your lionheart.
A lionheart. [8x]

Howling ghosts – they reappear
In mountains that are stacked with fear
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
And in the sea that's painted black,
Creatures lurk below the deck
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
A lionheart. [8x]

So begins...

Melissa Bellhouse's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Eskay
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Flynn's eyelids slowly opened, rapidly scanning his immediate surroundings from his vertical position. Ascertaining that he was indeed laying down, he slowly rose to his feet. He had no idea where he was, or even who he was, but the simple act of performing basic human functions was giving him a better understanding of his predicament.

"Flynn...Rowe..." he uttered to himself, "Aegis..."

This was a good sign! Not only was he able to recall is own name, but he had the capacity to think, reason, and communicate via a spoken medium. However, despite this revelation, he couldn't quite pinpoint the significance of the word 'Aegis,' though something in the back of his mind told him that that particular qualifier was important. In addition to the enigmatic term, some dormant reflex urged him to address another very prevalent issue- he was completely naked! Although initially docile, this realization also comforted him, as the knowledge of nudity and its various taboos outdoors were indicative of his civilized nature. He was also comforted by the fact that it was dark- both by the fact that it indicated that there would probably be nobody around, and by the fact that he was able to make that connection in the first place. He scanned the perimeter once again from his standing position, finding a peculiar host of items at his disposal. At his feet lay a peculiar shield, and to his left a pair of overalls and some tattered shoes.

He drew his attention to the clothes; they were, of course, an immediate remedy to the issue of his nudity. Lifting the overalls to eye level, he quickly ascertained how to properly garb himself with them, then proceeded to do so. Comforted by the fact that he could do something as simple as putting on clothes, he then challenged himself to tackle the provided shoes. They were a little big for his feet, but they certainly fared better than trekking through unknown territory barefoot!

His attention then turned to the shield that rest at his feet. He leaned over and grasped the tool by the handle on the back, effortlessly bringing it to his side. He couldn't quite wrap his mind around why, but something told him that this shield was his. It felt comfortable in his hands, and the insignia shown on the front of the tool brought him a sense of relief.

Finding no other clue or tools, Flynn thought it best to navigate around his surroundings. He cautiously made his way through the cornfield, treating each ear as though it were some foreign treasure that he dared not defile. After a few moments of aimless wandering, Flynn found himself in the streets of what appeared to be some sort of settlement. Torches lit the streets at intermittent points, and there were no signs of anything living save for a lone young man pacing back and forth.

A dormant instinct drove Flynn to a cautious demeanor. Clenching his shield tightly, he slowly made his way towards the gentleman, adopting a more open posture once he came into the torchlight.

"Excuse me, but..." he wasn't quite sure how to explain his predicament, as he was unsure of the right words himself. Even so, he managed to muster, "Can you help me?"

---
Image


It was early morning- though the sun had yet to creep out, Cadbury knew that it was only a matter of moments until daylight broke through the crisp, dusky visage. As he turned the reigns on the Thranian horse (whom lady Bellhouse affectionately named 'Sir Trotsalot,) he took a glimpse back at the Princess, who sure enough, was sleeping like the dead in the back of their humble caravan. Smiling at the child, he once again turned his gaze forward, eyeballing a small village in the distance.

The two had been on the road for the better part of an entire day- weariness had taken its toll on the grizzled butler, and though the Princess would be remiss in admitting it, he could see that she, too, was feeling the bitter sting of nonstop travel. Although he made it a point to speak eloquently on her behalf to her parents, he still wasn't quite sold on the young Princess making such an arduous journey. While he could assuredly get behind the notion of the young maiden broadening her horizons, he was perplexed at the very unconventional notion of making the journey with naught but a single bodyguard. It certainly paid to travel in smaller numbers, but surely the king could have spared some of the elite guard to serve as part of the convoy? It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the "daughter of a wealthy merchant" wouldn't employ an extra bodyguard or two...

Still, his duty was not to question, but to protect. With a bow and a smile, Cadbury could do nothing but acquiesce to this absurd request and accompany the young Lady Bellhouse on this campaign of enlightenment. The cart began to near the small village- though it pained him to do so, Cadbury felt it prudent to wake the young Ms. Bellhouse to inform her of the first stop in their journey.

"Milady," he quietly, yet jovially beckoned, "I hate to awaken you, but we are arriving at the first stop on our journey. The sun will be rising shortly, so if it pleases you, I would recommend that you gather yourself and awaken! This will be your first day as the daughter of a wealthy merchant, so we must prepare to act our parts!"

The setting changes from Ley to Taakeira

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Her dreams were a simple affair. Certainly not dancing sugarplums-- the act of riding a full day on a cart pulled by a horse saw to that. Yet, they weren't nightmares either. They were pleasant enough, more akin to a waking dream. Not completely awake, but not enveloped fully in slumber either. Neither here nor there. Her mind was awake enough and her imagination just vivid enough to create the vista's she believed she would see. Gentle rolling hills, sky-scraping mountains, fields of crops, plains of wildflowers, snow strewn rocks-- she'd been more excited about this trip that she initially let on.

Despite all of her enthusiasm for this journey through the lands she was still human, and a small one at that. The whole day before had been devoted to traveling, and it was already beginning to sink it's claws into her mind and body. She was tired, and her posterior was more sore than she'd ever let on-- though a quick glance at her could reveal hints. Lissa couldn't sit still after a while, and she slept on her belly as opposed to her back, using her arm for a pillow.

It was a good character building journey, she'd tell herself. She wouldn't be a fragile queen who could only sit on her throne. She'd be a woman of the people, and though higher-born, she'd be just as tough as they were-- at least that was the hope and plan. In practice, being "one of the people" was a lot rougher on the rear than she first believed. When she closed her eyes, she was out like a gentle breath on a candlelight. She could still feel the bumps and jars in the road even in her dreams.

One of these dream-thoughts were of Ley-- the next village they were to be passing through, Cadbury had told her. A town that farmed and raised livestock to survive, what he told her. A simple village and nothing more, they were lucky if they had an inn. So of course this particular dream-thought had upright cornstalks for as far as the eye could see, all the way to the horizon. Animals were everywhere too, the clucks of chickens, the bleats of sheep, and bellowing of cows could all be heard within her dream scape.

The one thing she did not expect though was a aged voiced, edged with wisdom. What would Cadbury's voice be doing in her dreams? It was at that point that Melissa exited her dream-thoughts and into her thoughts proper. She found herself seeing with eyes she didn't remember opening the twilight of early morning. It took her a couple of moments to register everything, and to further decode Cadbury's words before they were finally digested.

"So we get to see the sunrise. Marvelous," she stated. In any other mouth, the statement might have felt sarcastic, but in Melissa's it felt like the honest truth. And though she would have rather had a couple of hours more of sleep or whatever it was she was doing moments ago-- seeing a sunrise somewhere else besides her castle window was an opportunity she wouldn't waste.

Yawn issued forth from the girl's learned maw as she stretched and popped her bones. With little effort she rolled herself off of her belly and on her back, wincing a bit when her sore rear met uncompromising wood again. There she rested until she regained enough energy to stand, at which point she took a seat beside her guardian to get a better look of the place. A woman of the people shouldn't just sit in the back of a cart as life was happening outside.

"Ah yes. The part. I'm no actor, but I shall give it my best... Er-- What were our names again?" She questioned, a crimson eyebrow turning quizzically.

The setting changes from Taakeira to Ley

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse
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This certainly was turning out to be a most perplexing event- at the question of his identity, Flynn was at a complete loss for words. Try as he might, he couldn't quell his brow to furrow in complete and utter confusion.

Gathering his bearings,addressed the Guard, who seemed far more approachable at present. "Actually, I was rather hoping that you might be able to provide me with such information." At this point, the hapless amnesiac was simply adding to the already kindled blaze of confusion, but these people seemed to mean him no harm, so he saw no reason to employ deception.

"You see, sir, I awoke in that field over there, with naught but this shield that I may call my own possession. These garments I adorn were situated next to me as well, though I can't fathom that they are mine, as they are rather ill-fitting."

He paused, taking a moment to let the bewilderment sink in not just to his listeners, but also to himself.

"As for whether or not I am this merchant of yours...I simply cannot say. Not because I wish to conceal my identity, but because I am just as ignorant to who I am as you are. I can't seem to recall anything about myself, save for my name and a peculiar honorific.

He straightened up, realizing now that, though utterly dumbfounded, he was among friends, "Flynn Rowe is my name. 'Aegis' bears some significance to my standing, though what it is exactly, I am unsure.

Before he could ascertain the name of the guard and farmer, however, a persnickety young lady approached them, bearing news of some sort of 'rift' harboring potential ill-will towards the village.

"Milady," Flynn began, "I've actually just come from where you've indicated. On my way to this village, I saw nothing matching your description to my own eyes..."

He paused to ponder the situation, trying desperately to put two and two together. Surmising what he think may be the solution, he immediately addressed the girl again, "I don't suppose...do you think that I could be the source of this 'rift' you spoke of? It would certainly explain my predicament."
---

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"Names, eh?" Cadbury led out a regal chortle- for he had gone through all of the meticulous planning of routes, finances, and pivotal contacts, yet he forgot the simple act of constructing false identities. Leave it to Lissa to set her senile Guardian straight!

"I suppose that we should figure out who our characters will be prior to introducing ourselves then, now shouldn't we?" He gave the Princess a hearty wink, a certain twinkle emitting from his eye as the sun began to creep over the mountains, "You, my dear, are the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Since we are not traveling very luxuriously, however, it is only safe to assume that I shan't be playing the role of your father. No, instead, we will operate under the ruse that you are under an apprenticeship to began your career in being a merchant. Seeing as the Merchant's Guild frowns upon immediate family acting as the apprentice's master, I will assume the role of a family friend who is seeing to your tutelage."

He began to smile uncontrollably, enjoying the notion of portraying a character far more than he should, "As for our names, they should prim, proper, and hoity-toity-just as the characters we are going to portray! I was thinking something rather grandiose and frivolous for my character, such as 'Ichabod Devonshire III! What about you, milady?"

The village of Ley was slowly but surely coming closer to the wandering Thanians, and the whispers of a confused and harried discussion could begin to be heard.

The setting changes from Ley to Taakeira

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Ichabod Devonshire?" She asked. A corner of her mouth turned up as she couldn't help but grin at such a name. It certainly was, as he had put it, hoity-toity, but she left any further comment on the name lodged within her throat. Instead, she opted to address Cadbury's rather... Enthusiastic approach to the act. "Dear Cadbury, you're loving this aren't you? I had no idea that I also had an actor in my guardian!" she said with the sweetest smile she could muster. Again, there was no sarcasm in her voice, and she seemed to genuinely share in his enjoyment of the part.

Then she was quite, a forefinger pressed to her lips, red brows furrowed, and blue eyes peering upward deep in thought. Not everyday that she could pick another name for herself. Not to be mistaken, she loved her own name. Melissa was pretty and rolled off the tongue, and Bellhouse was a strong name, denoting her as heir to the Thanian throne. Still, a new slate was exciting! Lissa's head tilted to the side, throwing the cascade of red curls in that direction before her eyes widened and she snapped.

"Elisia Hartford, named so after my mother, Elise Hartford, and after her mother, Elsie. My great grandmother was named Agatha, but we don't talk about her. I am the heir to the Hartford Trading Company, a steadily rising company stationed in Akhar's capital, who deal with goods of all kinds and quantities. Though everyone just calls me Lisa," She said in a tone reminiscent of Cadbury's prim-and-proper comment. However, once she fancy introductions were done, she devolved into a giggling mess. It took a couple of moments for her to regain herself. She placed her hand to her chest and took a breath, donning the air she had about her before her fit.

"Oh my. This is fun. I didn't expect to play actor on this trip," she said, smiling a bright smile. Though a commotion brought her eyes back to the forefront. The whispered discussion grew louder as the cart began to approach a gathering of some kind. There was a guardsman, two farmers, and a woman, all discussing something. As to what that something was, she had no idea. One of the farmers was flailing about, pointing at the other. Whatever they were discussing, it sounded excited and hurried. Perhaps too exciting. Yes, she wanted to watch the people. It was the point of this entire venture, but she was not so blinded as to throw herself into the middle of a crowd if it could be helped.

Once again, Lissa found her head tilting on it's own accord, this time due to curiosity rather than thought. "Hmm, I wonder what they're discussing," Lissa posed. However, she was just some simple merchant's child, and certainly not a Princess. Perhaps it would be prudent to not stick her nose where it does not belong. However, if Cadbury wanted to introduce themselves, she would not be opposed...

"Well Mister Ichabod, what shall we do?" She asked.

The setting changes from Taakeira to Ley

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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(Flynn will wait for Jacia's response before responding to Irid)

Though the now-named 'Lisa's' curiosity had indeed gotten the better of her, 'Ichabod' had some reservations about diving headfirst into the affairs of others, especially when they were as hectic as they appeared to be.

"Miss Hartford," Cadbury began, "We may better fare keeping our curiosity in check, lest we draw undue attention to ourselves. I suggest that we remain here, until-"

His rationale was cut short by the abrupt appearance of a rather hasty member of the clergy. Rounding the corner of a nearby building, he almost missed her entirely.

"Well now, Miss Hartford, perhaps we may be able to get to the bottom of this inconspicuously after all! Cadbury bade her to follow his example as he addressed the rapidly approaching Phile.

"Excuse me, fair Clergy Maiden, but might you know what all of the commotion is about? We are a merchant caravan, and we are expecting to meet with some of the towns guardsmen and entrepreneurs."

The setting changes from Ley to Taakeira

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Brandon Cole was the first member of the guard Phile had came across, standing near the eastern entrance of town square stationed between the tailor's shop and Mrs. Smith's general store. He was an older member of the guard as well as the largest; prolong peace in the Akhar countryside wore away at his wits and at every evening tea Mr. Cole was prone to over indulging in honey cakes. His weight has been detrimental to his health, never mind his ability to preform his duties as a guard. Hardly able to touch his toes Mr. Cole came in only last week to have Phile heal a gash caused by his careless handling of a sword.

"Morn'in Miss Mor'imer. 'Tis early fo' such a lady 't be up!"

This was not the man Phile had hoped to see. Familiar with all of Ley's guards she had hoped to stumble across Iridian who, if she recalled correctly, went for a morning run at the break of dawn everyday without fail. Such dedication to his duty was admirable, zealous as he may be, such a contrast to the half-dozen other guards. A city man, the village girls swooned, who was chivalrous to every lady he met. Or, at least that's what they told her, Phile herself only acquainted with the idea of Iridian, but his many admirers were regular visitors to the abbey.

Phile squared her shoulders, speaking quickly without missing a stride. "Mr Cole ready yourself and alert all residents, a rift has open near Silverwood's farms. Miss Ingram came flying into the abbey to alert me and it is my intention to minimize damages." Beside her Mr Cole waddled to keep up with the priestess.

"Now wait ta' min't Miss Mor'imer, I ain't seein' nor hearin' a rift any where here," Cole sputtered out in surprise; evidently the thought that Ley could be the location of a rift hadn't crossed the man's mind, "Hol' on a min't Miss." He slapped down a fat hand onto Phile's slim shoulders; she nearly fell.

"Mr Cole we have no time-"

"Jus' take a good lis'en Miss and lis'en close." Brandon Cole gave her the most piercing of looks, his thick brow scrunched in concentration, framing his beady brown eyes. She listened. Dawn was passing, the silence which hung over the early morn was lifting as the farmers, bakers, tailors, and mothers rose to tend to their responsibilities. Phile heard robins songs and whispering trees carried on the wings of the wind, like a symphony who's melody could be so easily missed in the bustle of life.

"All is peaceful,"Phile said slowly, her voice barely a whisper. "There is no sound except that of a new-day stiring. All is peaceful. " The hefty guard nodded, removing his hand from her shoulder placing it instead on the waist band of his pants.

"Yes Miss Mor'imor," Brandon's eyes hadn't left Phile, the older man regarding the young priestess with a cool Phile envied. He neither seemed boastful or excited in his ability to perceive what she had not. "No rift Miss, but had there were, I'd been there ta handle it before ya had ta chance ta risk ya self."

Phile nodded, "Thank you Mr. Cole, that's very," she struggled to find the word, "considerate of you. Even so, I will go investigate the claim and make sure all is well. Good day Mr Cole."

The guard waved at her retreating figure. Phile was perhaps to quick to judge the man based on habits and appearances. Had she encountered the young Iridian she doubted that their encounter would be resolved as quickly. In fact, it may have caused more trouble then an empty rift would've.

She rounded a corner and before her lay Silverwood farms, but a ten minute walk. Indeed there was no rift, no horrid monster, no black magic spewing forth from who-knows-where but instead it looked as if a small gathering of people huddled around the edge of the farm's cornfield. Interesting, something must have happened, but what?

So resolute was her focus (now that the initial danger of rift monsters seemed null) she didn't notice the man and accompanying girl approach.

"Excuse me, fair Clergy Maiden, Phile jumped and squeaked with a start; she struggled to calm her heart as the man continued," but might you know what all of the commotion is about? We are a merchant caravan, and we are expecting to meet with some of the towns guardsmen and entrepreneurs."

Phile folded her hands in front of her, composed once again, "I apologize, I did not expected to be regarded so early in the morning." She glanced over the travelers, curiously examining the two but cautious to be polite and welcoming. The young girl had the most fiery hair Phile has ever seen, only matched by the fire of youth that shone behind the girl's eyes. Must be an apprentice of sorts Phile thought, with the man her guardian or master.

"I cannot say what the gathering is for, I was sent to see for myself," Phile purposely omitted news of a rift and continued, "If you're looking the town guard, allow me direct you east into the village. A man by the name of Brandon Cole should be able to help you connect with the people you seek."

There was something odd about their story. Ley was a small village and a great distance away from any of the major cities. If the goal of this excursion was to teach the nuts and bolts of mercantilism would it not make greater sense if the man took his apprentice to a town? Perhaps this warrants more investigation then the supposed rift.

"However, if you are weary, allow me to lead you to the abbey. We welcome all and will be serving breakfast soon. My name is Phile Mortimer, I am the priestess of this village." She offered a smile but decided to prod a bit, "It's rare that we get any visitors seeking to do business. Usually travelers come for a drink before leaving to parts unknown. Excuse my forwardness, but please what stories do you bring?"

Phile ushered the two up the path she had come, giving one last glance towards the cornfield gathering; that investigation could wait.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"If my fair mentor here has no objections, I don't see any harm in taking breakfast at your abbey," Lissa answered. This way she was able to observe how the clergy of this village began and set about their day. It was the real reason she was out in the world, after all. To immerse herself in the local customs and get a feel for people and not just those behind the stone walls of her castle. This was not part of their act, this was her reason. So obviously she jumped at the chance. Not to mention the possibility of warm food was casually thrown about. Breakfast sounded nice, after their hard day of traveling.

"Greetings and good morning Miss Mortimer," she greeted the priestess, lips smiling at the added alliteration. "My name is Elisia, and this gentleman here is Ichabod, as he says, we are merchants," she added with a soft smile. Though she may had been young, still a child in her teens, some gracious deity had saw fit to gift her with a silver tongue. She spoke with the diction of someone older, someone intelligent beyond her years. Maybe it made up for the fact that her arms were spindly things.

As the cart followed behind the priestess, the woman saw to pry a bit into their history. Melissa responded with a light chuckle and agreement. "I asked my mentor here why as well. He saw fit to teach me his craft not behind a desk, but on the road," she said shaking her head. "I am the daughter of a merchant, you see. My father hopes to see me follow in his footsteps one day, and in order to do that, I must learn what being a merchant really means. The Merchant Guild frowns upon family teaching it's trade within itself-- something about attempts to create a dynasty... I'll be quite honest, I do not understand it fully myself, though it's not in my position to question. Fortunately, Mister Ichabod here is a close family friend and offered to take the reins of my apprenticeship. Of course, the last thing I expected was to be on a cart bound to your little hamlet the very next day. Personally, I believe he did this on purpose. Throwing me right into the water, if you will." She added the last bit behind the transparent screen of her hand, as if trying to block the view of her conversation from Cadbury.

The lengthy explanation just rolled off of her tongue like water from a grail. She found weaving this story to be quite the fun endeavor, seeing how she got to expound upon Cadbury's skeletal frame. She was still a child, and a child's imagination was a marvelous thing. Particularly, Melissa found herself enjoying playing make believe. "Though, I will admit, the first thing I've learned is that this cart is in some dire need of cushions. I think that if I ever get out of this seat, I won't be able to sit back down for quite a while!" she said with a mirthful laugh.

"If I may, Miss Mortimer, may I inquire about your duties as the priestess? I find myself curious-- and perhaps to extend our pleasant conversation. I've had no one but Mister Ichabod to speak to for a day, and while you could not want for a nicer gentleman, I find myself in need of a fresh voice," She said, doing that little head tilt thing she does. It gave her the appearance of a curious little kitten.

The setting changes from Taakeira to Ley

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Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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This Elisia child was a wonder to hear speak. So sharp, so well-spoken, Phile felt her suspicion melt away to pure curiosity with the girl's energetic chattering, having no reservations in joining with Elisia's light laughter with a giggle of her own. Merchant's apprentice indeed, the girl was gifted with golden words that could charm every gold coin from a greedy man's hand.

Phile lead the way around the back of the abbey along a branching path as the young Miss presented her own queries. Though entertained she was not quite satisfied with the explanation the girl gave, partially because the older gentleman had nothing to add and the notable--thought easily overlooked-- lack of details: names, dates, locations, etc. Still, the odd pair seemed unlikely to be at all hostile, the curiosity the young girl expressed genuine too.

"Oh I suppose why not, but I do hope Mr Ichabod understands it was hardly my fault if you had mind to make a change in vocational studies," she shot a playful wink in Elisia's direction before continuing, "A priestess' duty varies from city to city, village to village. Here in Ley I would say that I am only 'priestess to Sol' sometimes and 'a skilled healer' most. During festivals and holidays I don my white robe, balance a silver headpiece atop my head and lead celebrations with, well, celebrating. They are but few days of the year however."

Hours of her time had been devoted in learning how to properly carry herself as a high priestess, time wasted the moment she had been assigned to Ley. Not that she resented the fact. The volumes of text she had read were enlightening (if not a bit dry) and Phile took joy in simply knowing, even if that knowledge was not used as often as her knowledge of healing. For the better too, her interest was far more invested in healing than religion.

"My duty as a healer is far more rewarding, though equally stressful. I see to any injured or ill within this region meeting calls for help even it means a half-hours ride on horseback." Phile wondered if the swell of her chest was visible or simply a feeling perceivable herself. Indeed she was proud and couldn't help but show off. "Whether it be midwifery or potion-brewing I am here to serve, out of love not duty. See over there," she pointed off to her left where her garden lay. The three had reached the back of the abbey and Phile was in the middle of tying the horse down to a post, filling the trough with water. "In my free time I tend to the abbey's garden who's plants I use to pulp into salves and creams that treat bruises and cuts. Should you like a tin I would happy to provide."

Unlocking the back door with a key kept at her hip, Phile ushered the two through the door taking lead. Already the smell of breakfast wafted through the stone corridors, the sweet scent of porridge made with fresh milk and a spoonful of honey enticing to her empty stomach. She lead them into small room, close to the kitchen with an excellent view of Lay's countryside.

Bowls and platters were set about filled with food but Phile didn't join at the table; a young woman in a tawny robe had skittered in, not uttering a word but pulled at Phile's sleeve urgently."Perhaps the most exciting of my duties--excuse me, duty is hardly the word, perhaps habit-- is to make visitors welcome here. I've had a pleasant time speaking to the two of you, but please if you would excuse me..." The woman whispered in Phile's ear and for a moment she allowed her collected composure slip but a hair.

She looked back at the mid-aged man and young girl and thought longingly, if only I could stay to chat longer. Elisia and Ichabod seemed to be the most interesting pair to pass Ley in months but, oh woe, her duties called her elsewhere. With one last smile Phile was struck by an idea, a kindness.

"Miss Elisia, one last thing. If you go into town you'll find a small tailor's shop run by Mrs. Smith. A frightfully stern lady she is but makes the best cushions in Ley. If you just tell her 'Priestess Phile needs this favor done'," she said with a mischievous sparkle in her eye,"Mrs. Smith will happily comply."

And with that, she was off.

What a morning this has been, Phile huffed as she strode to the main entrance of the abbey. The sun had hardly past the horizon and already her feet tire.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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It was all Cadbury could to do keep from shedding a tear at the sheer grace with which the fair Lady Bellhouse spoke with. Though her regal tone probably incurred more than a few suspicions from the gentle Phile, it was a trifling concern when compared to the enormous amount of pride he had for her.

As the two chattered on about their lives, he couldn't help but reminisce about how much the young Princess had grown. Why, it seemed like just yesterday that he was changing young Lissa's soiled diapers. How long had it been since he had patched up a scabbed knee, or comforted her in the wee hours of the morning after a terrible nightmare robbed her of her slumber?

Part of him felt rude for remaining silent after the young Priestess had gone out of her way to remain hospitable to them, but he simply couldn't find it in his heart to deprive Lissa of this opportunity to talk with people outside of the castle walls. This was, after all, the entire purpose behind the campaign. He felt that he would have to address her manner of speaking at some point during their travels- they were fortunate enough to have encountered another fellow silver-tongue, but he feared that her mastery of language might leave the lay-man struggling to understand.

Which was a painful thing to consider, as he spent an insurmountable amount of time teaching Lissa everything he knew about the inner workings of proper speech!

Before he could reminisce any further, however, the three had reached their destination- a rustic and very beautiful abbey, positioned at the heart of the little village. Entering its welcoming doorways enticed both visual and olfactory senses, as the aroma of freshly made breakfast wafted into his nostrils. His stomach gave an antagonistic gurgle, reminding him that it had been an entire day since he had a proper meal. Despite his slim stature, Cadbury had an impressive appetite!

Sadly enough, however, their new acquaintance would be whisked away from their very eyes just as they were about to settle down. She instructed his protege about a local tailor- an endeavor that he was actually quite interested in exploring! His aspirations to meet the tailor, however, were quickly quashed by an abrupt disturbance.

"Miss Moooooooortimeeeeeer!"

The shrill cry rang throughout the halls of the Sanctum of Sol, defiling the otherwise aura of tranquility. He shot Melissa a playful smirk, sensing her own curiosity.

"Well milady, if I know you as well as I lead myself to believe, I would wager that you are far more concerned about whatever Lady Mortimer is being called to attend to? I imagine it probably has something to do with the commotion we observed earlier."

While Cadbury himself would rather not draw undue attention upon themselves, he couldn't still his insatiable longing to figure out just what was going on. For all his bowing and silver-tonguing, Cadbury had a faint streak of mischievous curiosity that none save his wily Lissa could detect. Of course she should be able to- it was undoubtedly her impish nature that rubbed off on the otherwise characteristically 'prim and proper' butler in the first place!

"Unless, of course, you would rather consult the master tailor?" Cadbury joked, "I'm sure you are simply chomping at the bit to have a go at mending my Under Garmaments!"

Most people believe that Cadbury's non-work related joys come from his work with Magicite. They couldn't be farther from the truth, as it was, in fact, moments such as this that gave him insurmountable amounts of excitement- any opportunity to make the Lady Bellhouse either cry from laughter or cringe from embarrassment!

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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And cringe she did. The mention of Cadbury's undergarments sent shivers down her spine as she closed her eyes and tried to not think of his unmentionables. Surely, this wasn't meant for polite conversation, and she had hoped it would keep it's geniality. She tried her best to ignore the comment and focus on something else. The echoes of Phile's name resounding through the abbey was that something else. "And... Th-then you know me very well," she said, with only a hiccup to form. Seems like she still hadn't fully got the image of Cadbury's undergarments out of her mind.

"Shall we then?" Lissa said, extending a hand in the direction Phile went and her name had come from. With a wisp of a smile, Lissa spun on her petite feet and headed that was as well, with perhaps a gait becoming less of a teenage girl and more of a Queen-in-waiting. Old habits died hard. She retraced Phile's steps exactly, and before she realized it, she had came upon the culprit that kidnapped her conversational partner. Culprits, rather. Indeed, just as Cadbury suspected it had been the same people who was the center of the commotion when they arrived.

Melissa's eyes scanned the crowd. There was the guard, them two farmers, and a woman. Of course, now suspicious eyes were cast upon the second farmer, while the first was indignant for some reason. The woman, aside from Phile, looked the text-book definition of bored. Lissa tilted her head as she noted that the look did not suit her, nor did falling over because of a failed attempt at pushing the guard. Lissa smiled, certainly they were a lively bunch.

Then the other farmer began to speak (if only just barely. The man was certainly no wordsmith). They must not have noticed the little girl standing back in the hall, yet. Along with his tongue came the names of the group. The farmer was a Silverwood, by Phile's own admission. Iridian, the gaurd-- Jacia, the woman. The oddest one of the bunch was the proclaimed Flynn, the man who seemly fell from the rift by the Silverwood's account. Fantastic-- she had only heard of these rifts in passing, and then only beasts poured from their maws. And yet, here stood a man, and a quite tame one at that.

What little caution she had was thrown to the wind when it was revealed that Flynn had fallen from a rift. She took long strides (while still keeping a ladylike air) and inserted herself into the group proper. "That must have been quite the sight, Mister Silverwood. And quite the story," She added with a warm smile. Childhood imagination designed her so that she fully believed every word of this Silverwood character-- what reason would he have to lie? With what caution she had thrown to the wind moments ago, another foray into scene wasn't too much of a stretch.

She took a step forward and put herself a polite distance away from Flynn-- utterly unafraid of the man. What had she to be afraid of? The man didn't seem dangerous in the slightest. "Is it true Mister Flynn? Do you truly remember nothing?" She asked, head curiously tilted to the side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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To Flynn's pleasure, the priestess who was to examine Flynn appeared to have been reserved and competent- a welcome commodity in this otherwise bizarre situation! Even her quip at Mr. Silverwood seemed to permeate class and the wit usually reserved for the older and wizened.

Before Flynn could utter a word to her request, however, the very same Silverwood interjected in his usual harried tone, explaining the situation as best as he possibly could.

However, as he was about to explain the credibility of Kai's claims, out of the corner came even more new faces- one younger, and one with quite a bit more experience in his eyes. The younger of the two stepped up to the hapless amnesiac, inquiring to the truth of Kai's statements with a demeanor of grace that she was obviously either gifted with or very well coached into.

Gently loosening himself from Iridian's grip, Flynn knelt down to become eye level with his newest acquaintance.

"I'm afraid that Mr. Silverwood speaks truly, Milady." Flynn addressed the incognito Princess, attempting to match her air of politeness, "And that's precisely why I'm here- these nice people tell me that Miss Mortimer will be able to assist me in my predicament!"

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Though Cadbury could sense no immediate malice from the young man, his duties as a Guardian superseded any intuition he may have into his character. He knew nothing about this man, save for the fact that he fell from a Rift. Though he had never experienced a Rift firsthand, he had heard enough about the calamities that followed their appearance to know that Flynn had the potential to be quite problematic. Instinctively, he gently grabbed young Miss Bellhouse by her shoulder, placing himself between her and Flynn.

"Am I to assume that you are the young lady's father?" the young man asked Cadbury.

He shook his head, responding, "Not exactly, though I am charged with both the instruction and well-being of my pupil. Ichabod Alabastor, at your service, Sir Riftdweller." He extended a hand to shake with the strangers.

The young man accepted the handshake, adding, "Flynn Rowe, a pleasure. I'm none too sure if my memories are to be restored this day, but in the event that the situation go awry, I would recommend that you and the young lady vacate the premises..."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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"UUGHHHHH. Iridian, would you believe me if I told you that I have read over one thousand books in my lifetime, that I have sat through lectures on spellweaving that lasted nearly six hours, and yet nothing I have ever done has ever been as boring as this?"
Jacia's proceeded to follow on the complaint by attempting to push the soldier with a single finger. It didn't work. Gaze at her face, confused, was all Iridian could do before he realized the mage had pushed herself instead, and to the extent of falling. She grabbed for the squire's arm. With a hand faster than his thoughts, he reached out to hold her up without so much as shifting his position to counterbalance the girl's weight. The pull was stronger than he foresaw and Jacia's weight forced him to bend his knees and stick out his rear end, leaving him unable to pull her up and leaving herself dangling helplessly. 

Iridian couldn't remember a more embarrassing moment in his life. 

Mage and soldier stood there, trapped by gravity, beforer Kai and Flynn. Over his now, pink-shaded cheeks, his eyes widened in surprise. The buckle securing his glove became undone. Like water off a riverstone, it slid off his hand through Jacia's grip. It sounded like she fell smack on her behind as Irid struggled to regain his balance. 

And, of course, the priestess of Sol decided to show up then and there. If Irid's cheeks had been rosy a moment ago, he could feel them growing an intense shade of red. The embarrassment prompted him to remain quiet for the small conversation that followed, including the introduction of a merchant and his young protégée, choosing to merely nod his agreement with Kai in response to Phile. 

It wasn't the behavior of a proper protector of Akhar, Iridian was well aware. He kicked himself mentally for it but that merely perpetuated the crimson color on his face. He held out an ungloved hand to Jacia, hoping the gesture would ease the stirring shame.

Iridian was ready to speak only after Flynn had given his, as per usual, depressing comment. "However, Sir Alabastor, contrary to what Sir Rowe would have you believe, he has been nothing if not cooperative and courteous since we've met with him." He tried to sound as confident as possible.

"We do hope there might be something you're able to do, Priestess Mortimer."

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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"I am honored that you think so highly of my ability," Phile muttered, her hand straying to touch her chin, her mien pensive, "The dominion of the mind is, however, little understood. I've only had a handful of experiences with those..." Phile paused, "magics."

Sol had started his climb to a lofty position in the sky, rendering candles unnecessary in all but the darkest corners. Day was fast approaching. Had this been another day Phile would've been beside herself with worry; the halls were to quiet, the visitors limited to those before her. There was something wrong but she was too deep in thought to notice. The situation at hand was one so far beyond the reaches of her imagination. Phile wondered if this was some sort of elaborate prank, contrived by the same mind that had lured her up a massive oak tree on Sweetest Day after discovering the massive pile of romance novels under her bed.

She swept the thought away as soon as it had appeared; she had never been more embarrassed.

Phile examined her newly admitted patient, Flynn, if she recalled correctly from Kai's rapid-fire explanation. He was mirroring her in manor, and while mimicking is said to be the greatest form of flattery, Phile found herself confused. Did this man truly come from a rift? He looked nothing like a spawn of evil, too curious, too honest, too...

Having fully conceived a plan of action, the slim priestess moved between Ichabod's ridged figure. A simple step-by-step list, Phile hoped that she needent go beyond step two.

"I appologize Mr Alabastor, Elisia, but I must cut your meeting with Mr Rowe short," she placed a gentle hand on the older gentleman's shoulder, "I am a firm believer in doctor-patient confidentiality and, if I may be so bold, ask you to return to the room I had left you to. In fact," she looked to to the farm boy. Her taunt hadn't been received well, even now she could feel waves of ire roll of the young man. "Kai, why don't you accompany our visitors to breakfast? I doubt you've had breakfast when guiding Mr. Rowe to the abbey." It was less of a request and more of a push; she would make a more formal, well-worded apology to him later.

She turned to the guard and mage, the young man's face nearly the same color as the mage's hair. It was almost...cute. Whatever had conspired between the two was still a mystery and Phile had little time to delve into it; she suspected it being a small matter. She cleared her throat, "Mr. Valka and Ms. Jacia I request that you both stay here as I make a diagnosis. I have no means of defending myself if attacked and if your fears of Mr. Rowe reverting to a more animalistic state do come true, I would like some backup. For now, I ask both of you to take a step back."

There was going to be some protest, a push against her instructions for curiosity was a strong force to be reckoned with. But she has fought against far stronger foes; parents beside themselves with worry, husbands a nervous wreck as new life comes, silent friends and jealous lovers. It was a dual matter of soothing both injury and emotions, the latter being far harder the treat then most would expect. Words were a wonderful thing but this morning Phile simply ushered them in line with a tight smile and a stubborn look in the eye.

"Now," Phile addressed Flynn directly, "Mr. Rowe, as I've said before I value the private relationship held between a healer and her patient but given the extraordinary circumstances that have brought you here today, I ask you bare with the extra company. We will remain here. You may remain seated Mr. Rowe." Rolling up her sleeves, she shifted until she stood at arms-length from the blond.

As any good doctor, Phile presented a quick debriefing"First, I want to make sure that you're memory loss wasn't cause by physical trauma," she rattled. "There may be a chance that, having fallen from the sky, that you suffered a minor head injury upon landing. A quick diagnostic and I should be able to find the problem in a blink of an eye. It's quick and requires nothing on your part except a bit of relaxation." Carefully, she pressed the pads of her fingers together as she was taught by the clergy, drawing energy in preparation of said step.

"However, if I cannot find an underlying cause to your memory loss on your physical body," taking a deep breath, she wonders briefly what the mage's reaction will be,"I will need to resort to...ah...mind magics. It is a much more complicated matter. Hopefully, it will not come to that."

The tips of her fingers tingled with magic now, and as she pulled them apart one could see a faint green glow at each tip, a dancing energy within the early sunlight. Less noticeable is the slight glow about the pupils of her eyes of the same tint. Only those looking directly into her eyes could see it.

Only a brief touch to the chest with all ten fingers would be needed for Phile to make a through assessment. Lowering her hands so they assumed the correct configuration she paused. "I will move when you're ready Mr. Rowe."

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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"Kai, why don't you accompany our visitors to breakfast? I doubt you've had breakfast when guiding Mr. Rowe to the abbey."
The idea of breakfast was rather tempting; Kai hadn't eaten yet and the very idea of the thought made his stomach gurgle quietly in anticipation. Still, he was rather irked by the fact that Phile wanted away with him, but complied with her request nevertheless. He had been to the abbey a few times before, and knew where the dining hall was. As he set of towards it, he ushered for the small redhead and her mentor to follow.

It wasn't long before they arrived at the dining hall. Smells of freshly cooked breakfast wafted from the kitchen and up Kai's nostrils; what did it matter if he gained no knowledge about Flynn and his origins when the alternative was breakfast? Kai sat himself down promptly and ravenously began to devour the food in front of him. The breakfast wasn't particularly lavish, it consisted of buttered toast, a couple of sausages and baked potatoes, but it tasted good enough and would sustain Kai for a while. Despite the speed of his eating, Kai wasn't eating at all messily. Lute playing and farming had made him good at making simple, repeated movements, which was odd, considering Kai's clumsiness in many other tasks.

It was hardly long before Kai had finished his entire plate and wiping breadcrumbs from the side of his mouth. He turned his head to the window and peered out. There wasn't anything special outside, but the position of the sun in the sky told Kai that the rest of his family had probably all got up and were wondering where he was. Perhaps he should pop back to tell them about the morning's hectic goings-on. He felt rather rude about not having spoken to the pair Phile had sent him off with, but his family were probably fretting about him, particularly Alice. Kai pushed his plate to one side and stood up.
"Sorry to leave you so soon," Kai began, "But my family have no idea about my whereabouts, and I ought to tell them."
With that, Kai hurried off at a brisk walk through the back of the abbey so he wouldn't disturb Phile and Flynn.

Kai decided to take a shortcut home. It involved walking through some woods on the edge of town through which there was no path, but Kai had memorised the route to his house. Twigs and dry leaves crackled beneath his feet as he trampled over them, interrupted by the occasional soft thud when there was nothing to crackle beneath his feet. However, when he came to a patch where there was nothing but soft earth beneath his feet, the crackling persisted, almost mimicking his footsteps. He stopped for a moment, and the crackling stopped as well. He could hear a quiet sound like a thin piece of wood creaking gently, just like a bow being drawn... Kai realised almost too late, and as he began to move to the side, an arrow sailed from the foliage before him and drove right through his left shoulder. Had he moved any later, the arrow would have pierced his trachea and killed him instantly. A loudly shouted obscenity escaped Kai's mouth before he wrenched the arrow from his shoulder. Fortunately, Kai had developed a rather high threshold for pain after multiple incidents such as being gored by a bull and kicked in the head by a stallion (which might well explain some other things). He charged towards where the arrow had come from and ran headlong into a man lurking behind a bush. Kai bowled the man right over, causing his bow to fly from his hand and his arrows to spill from his quiver. The man quickly tried to draw a dagger on Kai, but a swift and forceful kick to the head staggered him. A couple more had him unconscious. Kai knelt down to get a better look at the man who had attempted to assassinate him. Kai had no idea why anyone would want him dead; he was just an insignificant and inoffensive farmhand. The man was dressed like a soldier, but his armour wasn't that of the Akharian military. Instead, the Eagle of Gar was emblazoned into his breastplate. Was this man just seeking to kill for sport, or was something bigger taking place? What if more troops were to follow him? What if Gar had broken its oath and now sought to invade Akhar? If so, Ley was in grave danger. Kai used the soldier's dagger to stab him through both ankles so that he wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon, and began to hobble back to the abbey, trying not to sway too much and clutching his wounded shoulder.

Now that the adrenaline was fading, the pain in Kai's shoulder became much more intense. The arrow had not only managed to dislocate his shoulder but break it as well. As if that wasn't enough, the arrow had been barbed, meaning Kai had done even more damage to his blood vessels after wrenching it out, causing him to bleed an amount that you wouldn't expect to come from a shoulder.

By the time Kai had got back to the abbey he was beginning to lose his balance and felt rather light headed. This time he had come to the main entrance, since he now had every intention of disrupting Phile. Surely Flynn could wait a while, his shoulders were both as they should be and he wasn't bleeding at all. Kai once again opened the abbey's doors, only this time with far less gusto.
"Miss Mooooooortimeeeeer..." Kai croaked, trying to lighten the situation, although he doubted it would make anyone less concerned, as he had a large hole through his shoulder and his right hand and sleeve were bathed with blood.
As he stood there, a quiet clopping noise began to resound inside his head, slowly growing louder and louder. It wasn't the most threatening of sounds, but it was easily enough to disgruntle Kai.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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As Lady Mortimer explained the procedure, Flynn felt a sense of ease. No longer was he anxious about his potential hazardous origins or danger- the soothing words of the Priestess were enough to ease him out of his anxiety.

At her request, Flynn gave an equally calming "Please, by all means" in response.

Her hands were as delicate and calming as her words were- gently analyzing his person with magically augmented fingers. If Sir Valka could see the face of the Riftspawn, he would find that his face of utter trance mimicked his own.

The procedure, however, was to be cut short by the re-entry of Mr. Silverwood, who was noticeably less eager to announce his presence than before. To Flynn's horror, he turned around to find Sir Valka crouched over a wounded Kai. Before he could offer any form of assistance, however, his horror was intensified by the mutterings of the town guard.

Ley is under attack...

The words stunned Flynn- oddly enough, however, he was not stunned with fear. The mention of an attack sent Flynn's mind into a frenzy of responsive thoughts- paradigms, strategies, counter-tactics. The news turned Flynn into a calculated and calm strategist- a response that he was quite sure wasn't normal for the lay-person.

As he heard the commotion start, Flynn quickly arose from his sitting position, eliciting orders to the individuals who were able.

"Lady Mortimer, tend to Mr. Silverwood's injury. This structure is big and sturdy enough to hold the population of the village, so it will need to be fortified as soon as possible."

His attention then turned to the mage and the farmhand, "Kai, remain here and help barricade the Abbey once your injury is attended to. Sir Valka and I will make sure that your family finds their way here safely. Miss Zash, I realize that you have no personal investment in the village's well-being, but judging from the sounds outside, the enemy appears to have the village surrounded. If not for the villagers, you will need to help barricade the Abbey to save your own life."

He had no time to ponder his seemingly innate knowledge of militaristic tactics- they came to him as naturally as walking or breathing. Hot on Sir Valka's trail, he arrived just in time to witness the guardsman slay an enemy. His mind a torrent of thoughts, he quickly strode past Iridian, taking up the fallen soldier's sword.

"Sir Valka, we must act swiftly. The incomprehensible commotion indicates that the enemy has the village surrounded. The air is rank with the smell of smoke and they bare a multitude of torches- these men intend to raze the village. We must get the civilians barricaded into the Abbey, as it is the least flammable structure in the village."

Flynn took a moment to both survey the immediate area, as well as taking a few swings of his newfound weapon. Just as quickly as his knowledge of tactics seemed to surface, so too did his apparently innate skills with a blade. He resolved to simply accept it for now, dealing with the more pressing matter currently.

[color=#696969]"Our numbers are limited, so if we are to engage them directly, we must take advantage of any form of chokepoint so that we may not be surrounded. You know the village better than I, so I will follow your lead. If our first objective is to get the villagers to safety, we must be swift.

It was at this order that the collected, yet noticeably harried Cadbury could be seen hastily making his way towards the two, the Lady Bellhouse in his arms. Despite his age, he was quite agile when the situation called for it, and he felt that carrying her was the swiftest way to avoid pursuit (despite any complaints she may have had.)

"Sir Guardsman," Cadbury began, "Where is the safest place I may leave Melissa? I will gladly offer my services to help defend the village, but absolutely no harm must come to her!"

In his bewildered state, he was completely devoid of concern for giving away their identities. Perhaps Sir Valka had caught on to his slip-up, but now was not the time to be troubled with such concerns.

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse
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The catastrophic moments that followed the dispersal of the new found group, in Cadbury's mind at least, seemed to drone on for at least three times as long as it actually did. Between the harried cluster of orders, questions and concerns, and Iridian's brief moment of anxiety, Cadbury wasn't sure whether to feel panicked himself or dejected. However, a quick paradigm shift on the guardsman's part was sufficient enough to reassure the old bodyguard- not only was his resolve restored, but Cadbury also believed that this young man was making the right call. There would be no way to save the entirety of the village, especially when the enemies' numbers were so superior to their own.

There wasn't time to think about that, however. It was time to act- to make every move as efficient as possible.

Before he could act, however, he noticed a look of utter bewilderment plastered all over Lady Mortimer's face. He was fairly sure that his tightly knit cover was unraveling thread by thread. In the face of such a threat, however, his cover story suddenly lost its importance, and he felt compelled to offer as much comfort to the priestess as possible.

"Lady Mortimer..." he began in a more formal tone.

He placed Melissa on the ground, taking a moment to put two fatherly arms upon each of her shoulders. He smiled at her, hoping to instill some form of confidence back into the once poised lady.

"Phile, I understand how you are feeling. I felt as such that first moment when I saw combat. However, though we haven't known each other long, I see a resolve in you that is one of the strongest I've ever witnessed. The villagers are looking for someone to look up to, which I believe needs to be you. You've shown such kindness to the young lady and I, so I can only speculate as to how much the villagers look up to you."

"As for these rapscallions..." he grinned reassuringly, loosing a surge of energy from his Handy Helpers to demonstrate a fraction of his abilities, "Allow me to be your aegis, milady. This old merchant has a few tricks up his sleeve, and he certainly isn't going to show them any quarter!"

With that, he chanced a glance at the young Princess. He wasn't sure if it was naivety or willpower that kept her as calm as she was, but regardless, the young lady's composure compelled the old man to beam with pride. He only had a moment to take it in, however, as he had work to do.

"Now then, Phile, if you will take the young lady's hand," he calmly addressed, taking care to mitigate formalities in order to maintain a reassuring and fatherly tone, "we will make our way to the Abbey. Do not worry about anything else at the moment- your job is to escort the young lady back to the Abbey. Once there, we will begin our efforts to make sure everyone has a safe and efficient escape. Does this sound plausible to you?"

---

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Flynn's face, a once wide eyed and submissive blank slate, now stood amongst a crumbling village as a pillar of focus and decisiveness. Though he wasn't quite annoyed at the overload of information that was clearly affecting Irid's better judgement, he was noticeably worried that they were making inefficient use of their time. In ambush situations like these, time was a premium and nothing short of swift and efficient action could make the best use of it.

Though he couldn't tell you exactly how he gained such insight...

Almost as quickly as he slipped out of reality, however, the dutiful guardsmen came to, and began acknowledging each bit of information as succinctly as each order demanded.

As Silverwood, Cadbury's group, and the Captain dispersed, he once again met Sir Valka's gaze, tailing close behind as he headed towards the direction indicated by his higher up. As they ran, the two of them came across a fork in the road, at which point Sir Valka found it necessary to brief him further about their destination.

They were delving into the heart of the city, The Marketplace. If the guardsman spoke truly, this should be the area with most people. However, if the enemy has any knowledge into the commercial tendencies of the village, it should also be the place that the enemy will target next. His words falling mute at the hands of the enemies' arrows were testament to their intents. With naught but a quick nod, the two proceeded, making sure to keep their eyes peeled and their arms steeled.

Their path brought them into contact with an enemy archer, too occupied priming a flaming arrow to react to Sir Valka's mortal blow. Even though the soldier lay writhing, Flynn's face was cold and focused, instead coming up with ways to salvage their situation despite the obvious disadvantage. As Sir Valka removed his lance from the writhing guard, Flynn took it upon himself to relieve the newest victim of his crossbow and quiver. He also removed a vial generously filled with oil from the guards left hand- Flynn was beginning to see the nature of these soldier's plans, and was hatching one of his own to counter the invaders' ambitions. Swiftly flinging the quiver over his shoulder, he ran to catch up to his ally, who had ran ahead without dallying.

The two eventually made their way into the heart of the marketplace. To Flynn's disappointment, however, the market was quite open, save for a lone beige building outlined by Sir Valka. Luring the army into this building would not be enough to deter the bulk of their forces- at most, the two of them could potentially take out a single coalition before being overwhelmed.

Sir Valka must have realized this as well, judging by the sweat that was rapidly pouring from his brow. Flynn, however, was determined not to be outdone, as he rapidly scanned the marketplace. As the guardsman had pointed out, there were several merchant tents that had already been set ablaze. Most of the actual structures were still in tact, but for how long, Flynn couldn't be sure.

...or could he?

"Sir Valka," Flynn began, "It is quite apparent that the enemy wishes to raze the village, but judging from the sparse amount of arrows they've loosed so far, I imagine that they intend to invade the village first. I believe we can use this to our advantage. A moment, please!"

Quickly dashing to the outskirts of the marketplace, he chanced a glance over to the villages entrance, where the enemy forces were steadily marching in to begin their full-scale invasion.

"The enemy marches slowly and confidently; the main invasion force, I imagine. At their speed, I'd imagine that they will arrive here in a manner of minutes." Flynn informed, dashing back just as swiftly as he had gone, "However, their flaming arrows have ceased, and I do not believe they intend to begin another fiery assault as long as they approach. Here is what I propose- when they arrive in the village, we use these arrows I've taken, combined the already ablaze tinder around us, and begin to raze the village from the inside. The quickest road that leads to the abbey is quite narrow- if we first impede their path with fire, we can split up and set fire around them, forcing them to cluster and fall back. With this strategy, we lose the village, but I believe that we are more than capable of driving back the invaders and preventing them from pursuing the rest of the villagers."

While he could certainly understand any reluctance that Sir Valka may have with the plan, it was the only one Flynn could see that diminished as many unnecessary casualties as possible. He anxiously awaited the guardsmans response, fearing that every second deliberating made their plan of action that much harder to execute.

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Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Never had the abbey seem so small to Phile. The wound on Flynn's shoulder had closed up cleanly enough but dozens more poured into the abbey hurt or traumatized. She supposed theses were the lucky. Sounds of the battle, no, massacre, beyond the abbey walls held no reservation in sharing the horrors that were occurring; in her mind's-eye she saw torn children and gutted parents to match the screams.

A shiver went through her body. Phile was sure she was trembling.

"Elisia," Phile reached down to the young red-head's hand and clasped it within her non-bloodied hand. As she helped Flynn through the stone hallways in his dazed stupor, Phile had beckoned Elisia, or whoever she truly was, to follow. The way had been busy, to say the least, the perfect situation for a young girl to get jostled and bruised. Or, Phile wondered briefly, this was just an excuse to take a breather. She chided herself silently for being so selfish.

"I do not require an explanation at this time of who you are or why you are here. Just know that I believe you to be an innocent young woman and that, as Mr. Ichabod or whoever trusted that, I am here for you, and will keep you from harm." She finished her hurried examination of Elisia. Just as she turned to begin healing the most gravely injured, the voice of the young Silverwood farmboy cut through the chaos.

All attention was turned to the prospective escape route. Several of the more able-bodied men jumped in first, lanterns in hand to scout out the tunnel. A shaky ladder decent later, with Elisia by her side, she too stood in the damp earthen tunnel. There was no time to contemplate the stability of the natural structure nor why such structure existed or, more importantly, why it was unknown to Phile until this very moment. Such was politics, and politics had little to do with the struggles of lowering a man crippled by the edge of a blade.

He will not survive to see tomorrow.

Phile shouted more instructions to the half-dozen hands that struggled bring the bloodied body down to their new haven, something along the lines of "His head, support his head more!" slapping down the magical equivalent of a band-aid down on the most serious gashes but she couldn't focus. Around the edge of the tunnel entrance stood the villagers of Ley, their figures silhouetted against the morning light. But a handful, some injured, some scatthed, but more injured to come to scramble down this ladder holding their life together with nary a thing but will.

So many were injured and Phile had but a limited amount of time and energy that she could devote per patient. She could not save them all, but she could choose which ones did.

It was if she as Sol himself with the ability to give or take life; godlike. The thought was like a rift into darkness, the most feared monster to have plagued the minds of all healers. But it wasn't disabling. Men, women, and children alike moved down the ladder in a frenzied stream and were ushered along the passage to make way for more. Phile left the entrance slowly, stopping often to treat the wounded all the while keeping Elisia pressed tightly to her side lest the girl disappear.

She dished out healing touches and mana patches like candy, a casted-spell and runic-chant for the needy, and for the most unfortunate, a pain-numbing pinch and silent prayer. The Silverwood family passed after long and it was one of few moments were Phile could, with confidence, reassure the family for continued life. Other families she could only offer condolences.

It wasn't something Phile was used to.

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Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse Character Portrait:
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Sir Valka had made the right call- though his distaste for the last resort was visibly hard for him to swallow, he must have known deep down that a villages' worth is not in the land it occupies or the buildings it sports, but rather with its inhabitants. Flynn aimed to provide aegis to them primarily, cutting any other losses out while they still had the opportunity.

As the guardsman fled to round up additional villagers, Flynn noticed that he had left his lance behind. Quickly glancing between the Garian sword he pilfered and his ally's weapon, he immediately traded, preferring the lance's reach and weight. Clasping the lance in one hand and his stolen crossbow and another, he quickly dashed towards the main road to execute his plan.

He arrived briskly at the main cobblestone path- a lone force amidst impeding invaders and retreating villagers. He positioned himself next to a burning abode, as he would need the flames to kindle his vial of oil. He placed Iridians lance and his shield at his feet- the heaviness of his arsenal was beginning to take its toll on Flynn's focus, and he would need an ample supply of it to perform this task.

Igniting an arrow, he took a moment to size up his position. The invasion force had begun to move noticeably faster, though this was probably adrenaline and not so much a tactical decision. They had entered the heart of the village and began pillaging as much as they could.

There was thankfully enough debris strewn about that would cause a fire to spread quite nicely- a move that these invaders had probably intended to be a boon to themselves. Taking aim, Flynn aimed to the right and let loose a flaming arrow, striking the heart of what had once been a humble shop. Lighting another arrow, he fired at a building nearly adjacent to it, and another at a building directly to his right. The flames would soon engulf both their targets and the surrounding wreckage, rendering the entire left side (from the invaders perspective) un-breachable.

Someone in the ranks must have caught on, as the soldiers began to break rank and look for the source of the fire. Fearing he had little time before they caught on to his actions, he quickly lit three arrows and aimed for similarly placed structures on his left. The wreckage was even worse on this side, so he wouldn't have to stick around long to confirm the kindling.

Quickly glancing to make sure that no villager was within eyeshot, he emptied the rest of his oil around the area he was standing, dropping a burning tinder into the puddle to impede the invaders from pursuing him along the main road. He fired a few potshots into the approaching army before throwing away the crossbow. Retrieving his shield and lance, he quickly made way for the abbey, eager to help the remaining villagers escape.
~~~~~

Cadbury had accompanied the two ladies up to the entrance of the abbey, stopping to help fortify the main doors. Though his duty was to protect the princess, he reasoned that the only danger posed to her resided on this side of the abbey- naturally, he would stand guard and help usher as many villagers into the building as he could before re-joining the princess and the priestess.

He had helped to usher one last wave of villagers before seeing Sir Valka bringing up the rear. He hurriedly dashed to meet him.

"Sir Guardsman, I have ushered as many villagers as I could," Cadbury began, "However, the Garian scum are approaching rather rapidly, so I suggest-"

His words were interrupted by the rapid razing of several buildings along the village. His face became pale with horror- that is, until the visage of Flynn came into his sights.

"The fire's been set," Flynn informed Iridian, nodding to the old merchant, "If you've finished your business, then I suggest that we take our leave as well..."

The setting changes from Ley to The Tunnels

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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Upon descending into the tunnel for the second time, Kai was greeted by a swarm of panicked villagers, some hurrying off down the tunnels, some pleading for Phile to save their loved ones, and some milling around the entrance, waiting for friends and family who would never turn up. Cole was hanging around near the entrance, lighting and handing out torches, of which he had a reasonable supply. Kai took one and thanked the guardsman before hurrying back over to his family.

Fortunately, Phile had been able to remove the bullet and close the wound. Alice still appeared to be in considerable pain, but could at least walk again. Kai and his family all thanked Phile rather vocally before giving her space to move onto her next patient. Kai's family began to hurry down the tunnel, but Kai did not join them. Realising this, they stopped and turned around.
"Kai, what are you doing?" Mr Silverwood snapped, "Hurry up, lad!"
"Da, there's something I need to do. Kai replied, "Just go, I'll catch up with you soon enough."
Kai's father said nothing, but complied with his son's request and lead his wife and daughter further into the tunnels. Kai, however, climbed back up the ladder and into the abbey.

Rushing in was another wave of villagers, accompanied by Iridian, Flynn, Jacia and Ichabod.
"Is anyone else coming?" Kai asked a villager he had stopped.
"N-no, we're the last group." the disgruntled woman answered, "There are still people back there, but they refuse to move."
"Well then, I suppose that can't be helped." Kai responded and sent the woman on her way.
He waited until the entire group had gone into the tunnel, then muttered "Sol, please forgive me..." under his breath. Once he had done so, he held his torch down the carpet he had moved from over the tunnel's entrance. The carpet was soon ablaze, and the flames spread quickly to a nearby cabinet, and continued to spread from there. He hardly felt good about burning out the abbey, but it would prevent the soldiers from pursuing them into the tunnel. Not wanting to be part of the blaze himself, Kai swiftly retreated back into the tunnel.

The tunnel's entrance wasn't quite so lively anymore. The only other people there now were Iridian, Flynn, Jacia, Ichabod, Phile and Elisia, who was cowering beside the priestess; everyone who had been together at the abbey's entrance earlier in the morning. Cole had left, but there were still a couple of damp, unlit torches kicking about on the floor. Things had seemed strange and chaotic then, but that was nothing in comparison to the invasion. Kai's emotions were churning with a mixture of fear, rage and grief, which were made no better by the cold, damp environment. Part of Kai wanted to wake up; perhaps this was only a nightmare; Gar would never invade, would they? Gar and Akhar had been allies for time immemorial, why start a war now? However, Kai knew that this was no dream, Gar really had razed Ley, and he was a refugee now. He had no idea what he was to do after he left the tunnels, he didn't want to end up settling down in Gar's next target, but neither did he want to end up wandering around aimlessly.
"So..." Kai began, "What now?"

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Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Jacia "Z" Zash
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Help barricade the abbey…

Interesting proposition, but not one Jacia would’ve come up with herself. That’s not to say she couldn’t, of course, but rather wouldn’t want to. As thrilling as the act sounded, Jacia found that more potential could be derived from following an alternate tangent, particularly one that allowed her to be amongst the chaos and colorful explosions which were underway outside, as well as observe the riftspawn.

Ironically enough, although the less than intriguing diagnoses conducted by the Priestess seemed to reveal that the riftspawn wouldn’t turn into a Pyro whose sole intent was to destroy the insignificant place of Ley, upon the arrival of Kai and news of an attack, he did just that. Albeit the action was done in order to stall the enemy soldiers which seemed to have appeared as randomly as the riftspawn himself, and it was done without the transformation from human to grotesque-fire-spitting-tentacle-monster, but irony was irony despite the circumstances. In addition, Jacia also noted the sudden change in behavior. Not the kind of change that accommodates a grotesque-fire-spitting-tentacle-monster of course, but one that was sufficiently different from the wide-eyed, amnesiac which had fallen from the rift this morning. Like some strange sleeper-cell, the riftspawn, formerly dubbed Flynn until she could find a more suitable title, adopted an entirely new persona, one of a well-learned field-commander and tactician. Jacia made careful note of this in her book, then watched intently as the riftspawn worked alongside Iridian to herd the villagers into the sanctuary that was the Abbey, and then the tunnel beyond.

“So,” the newly healed Kai began, once everyone who was sane and sufficiently smart enough to flee to the relative safety of underground was present and accounted for, “what now?”

What now indeed, Jacia pondered. So far the day had started rather hopefully, with the idea of investigating a newly opened rift and then capturing and testing the subject which was vomited from it. Unfortunately though, it seemed that Flynn was nothing special. Certainly his name wasn’t anything original, nor did it give any recognition to Jacia, who, being the first scholar to arrive on the scene and thus officially discover him, should be included in it. Following that let-down was a less than exciting trip to the Abbey, and then a rather chaotic disturbance which seemed to convert Flynn into a totally new person and result in the destruction of the little town of Ley. Accumulatively, the entire debacle was a lot less eventful than Jacia had hoped.

Of course, of single enjoyment she got, besides the astounding achievement of going down the ladder upside-down, was then being able to play with one of the extra torches which were left behind. Everyone else had their own mainstream ways of igniting a torch, but Jacia had magic and the creative imagination to do with it what others couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Of course such acts of genius were often overlooked by many in exchange for what said acts caused to combust, but Jacia knew that one day her experiments would merit the attention they deserved.

Returning to the group a moment later with her hair even more explosively out-of-place, she offered an overly proud smile as she brandished her torch which was glowing green, rather than yellow, as well as emitting sparks. Looking between the little congregation, and seeing as no one as of yet had anything to offer, Jacia decided that her two cents were worth more than theirs anyway.

“Perhaps,” she started loudly, before realizing again that she was speaking far above a normal octave, “we should first discover where this tunnel leads.” It was fairly obvious, but no one had stated it, and thus Jacia was obliged to do so. Standing around with the enemy a mere feet over their heads, with only a fire, no matter how pretty it was, to serve as a boundary wasn’t the place to be discussing the next plan of action. Jacia’s only wish was that whatever they decided to do next, that she’d be able to further inspect Flynn.