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a part of Rift, by Flexar.

A small village on the border between Gar and Akhar.

Flexar holds sovereignty over Ley, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

375 readers have been here.


Ley is a rather bland village in Akhar with nothing particularly special about it.

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A small village on the border between Gar and Akhar.


Ley is a part of Akhar.


5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Jacia Zash
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At first Iridian wasn't too pleased with Phile's idea to witness the healing process in case Flynn sprouted devil wings and began breathing fire. The image of the possibility, however, was enough to scare him as to the fate of Ley if the stranger indeed underwent a demonic transformation. His morning shift as guard would have to wait. Much as he hated to interfere with his assigned schedule, he knew the appearance of a Rift was a primary concern. Which cannot excuse your five minute tardiness in the morning jog, you didn't knwo about the Rift then.

The soldier watched the priestess at work attentively. He was impressed by the soothing quality he detected in her voice, feature that had not been present when she'd berated Kai. As Phile kept analyzing Flynn, suddenly he took a step back, eyes wide open in surprise. The priestess' fingertips were glowing. Iridian had never seen magic at work from such a small distance. It was mesmerizing.

He had never taken part in an actual battle, with what still being a squire and the war ending before he was born, and his injuries from training drills he had either ignored until they went away or he had treated himself with the basic first aid knowledge he'd been taught in the army. Irid had never had the need to go to a member of the clergy to tend his wounds and this first encounter with healing magics was astounding, if a bit unnerving as well. He'd never been witness the other kind of magic at work either, the kind folks at the Arcane University deal with. Those mages had zero necessity to make an appearance in the Military Quarter of Kalistos and, as far as older soldiers had told him, they much preferred pouring over old tomes in the university. The thought prompted him to glance at Jacia but he glanced away as fast as the memory of the embarrassing moment they'd shared instants ago bloomed in his mind once more. His cheeks slightly red once more.

Kai Silverwood took his mind off that soon enough as he burst through the front doors of the abbey, echoing his previous call to the priestess. His tone of voice was not quite right however...

Whatever Iridian's initial reaction to seeing Kai once more might have been was forgotten as the guard's pupils found the sickly red wound on the farmhand's shoulder. The mark of an arrow. It didn't make sense, the boy was supposed to be having breakfast at the Abbey's dining hall, not bursting, wounded, through its front entrance. "Silverwood, what happened?" Worry was thick in his voice as he made his way to the doors, ready to help Kai steady himself. A villager had gotten hurt on his shift. By an arrow. Stray thoughts in his head were scolding him. He should've been on guard duty, not escorting someone as harmless as Flynn. The thoughts tuned out the clopping sound that rose steadily.

As Iridian took hold of Kai, however, he saw the view outside the abbey's doors. A few horsemen had surrounded the village, cutting it off from the fields and woods, handfuls of foot soldiers had arrived at the farthest buildings and were clearly pillaging and the buzz of arrows being shot unharmoniously filled the air. Ley was under attack. The first scream rang out.

"Ley is under attack..." and as he said it the truth of it pushed him into action, the soldier made his way from the abbey, Kai and his wound forgotten behind Irid's footprints. He ran towards the first villagers he saw, all the while trying to seize up the enemy. The Eagle of Gar flew ferocious on the banner carried by some horsemen. The soldiers were not in battle formation, surely because Ley was a small village... easy game.

Two women, a man and his child were cowering behind Sir Cole's girth, the old soldier unable to speak his usual, comforting words. Well before Irid reached them he yelled, "To the abbey! Go to the abbey!" The villagers hesitated for a moment before obeying. They abbey was a big building, it had a gate, and it was made primarily of stone. They wouldn't be able to light the place on fire easily, the soldier thought grimly, remembering the fire arrows that he'd seen moments ago.

"Sir Cole, go to the barracks and wake the other guards!" It wasn't his place to command older soldiers, but the fear in Cole's eyes had clearly driven all senses from the man. In fact, he seemed glad to suddenly have orders to follow. "Tell any villagers you meet to take refuge in the abbey!"

Irid's balled the fist that held his lance until they were white. This was the moment to prove himself. To defend Akhar and its citizens. All his life he'd trained in case something like this happened. He felt adrenaline pumping through his veins like cold, tiny spiders. The soldiers from Gar had not reached the abbey yet. A few villagers that'd heard his shout had. Iridian stood before the building, under the gaze of the statue of Sol, and assumed a battle stance.

A first soldier came out from behind Old Gladys' bakery armed with a sword. The Eagle on the man's uniform had a wicked eye on Iridian. The man came at Irid but the butt of the squire's lance met the enemy's head before he was in reach of the sword. It sent him sprawling to the ground, where Iridian seized the opportunity to drive the spearhead into the man's gut. The cold spiders crawled throughout Iridian's body.

So this was what the fever of battle was like.


7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Jacia Zash Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse
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#, as written by Eskay



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.


5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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The moment her fingers brushed against Flynn's temple, she was a ghost in another's body, a visiting entity touring another's land, observing with wide-eyes but reserved with her touch. To the casual observer the only magic in the room were confined to the tips of her fingers but any learned mage would know that the ethereal glow was but an indicator. Magic flowed below the surface, through invisible channels where mana roared to life like a river overflowed.

And roar did it. Upon submerging her mind's eye within Flynn, Phile was immediately overwhelmed by the mana potential the man had. A pool so wide and so deep she failed to perceive any boundary; with a mana pool like that Phile could resurrect an entire army twice over. In theory at least.

Her body felt the eyes of her companions on her body and heard scuffling dulled by the thick walls of the abbey but gave no physical response. She dove deeper, the light at her fingertips dancing up to her wrist, carving up an intricate pattern.

Flynn's body was unlike anything Phile had encountered before. She had treated men and women, young and old, fit and weak, magical and muggle, but none had such foreign feeling. It was if Flynn wasn't human, almost. Phile stored that bit away for later; she was getting side-tracked. While it wasn't usual that Phile forced another to tell their history by sheer force, it was exactly what they asked her to do.

As by her word, Phile proceeded to do a physical check-up. The bumps and bruises across his body did spell a story of a short fall but nothing was indicative of a major head trauma. Damn.

Phile withdrew her fingers from Flynn's temple but the glowing figures that have, at this point, crawled up her arms, didn't fade. All for the better.

For the second time this morning her name was called with great urgency. She had intended to inform Flynn of the results of the examination but her attentions turned rapidly toward the bloodied figure standing before the abbey doorway. Her own blood rushed through her ears and suddenly it was as if she were trodding through mud. The words "attack," "enemy," and "raze," reached her ears. Numbly she crossed the distance between herself and Kai, barely acknowledging the instructions given by Flynn and Iridian.

She took a shuddering breath, intending to clear her head but only filling it with the sharp scent of blood. Magic was still actively running through her palms and for that she was grateful. Ducking under, Phile tossed the arm on Kai's uninjured side over her slim shoulder and pressed one hand into his wound. There would be pain from the touch before the magic could numb and start the healing process, she braced herself for resulting retaliation.

"Mr. Ichabod," the lanky trader's slip-up was not lost on Phile but there were much more pressing matters, "The central chambers are by far the most fortified portions of this abbey but," her eyes strayed to the trickle of villagers that stumbled through the gateway; her stomach dropped. "But...I'm afraid that this abbey was not built for war. I...I," she couldn't find the reassuring words expected of a priestess.

Urging more mana towards healing Kai, Phile lead the way towards the abbey's inner walls.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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#, as written by Flexar

Unsurprisingly, Kai was greeted by expressions of shock and horror at the hole in his shoulder. It must have been quite the surprise for them, to see him dragging himself through the front door with an arrow wound when they were expecting him to be breakfasting, where he would be under significantly less threat from stray arrows.
"Silverwood, what happened?"
"I-I finished my breakfast quickly, so I went home to tell my family why I wasn't there." Kai began, forcing the words out of his mouth with significantly more effort than usual, "I went through the woods, and I got shot. I found the man who did it and kicked him in the head a few times and stabbed him through the ankles. I think he's still alive. He was wearing Garian uniform, and I thought it would be best to come back here before I ran into someone with a better aim."

"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. "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."
While the abbey was the strongest structure in the village, Kai had his doubts about how good an idea it would be to round up the entire village into it. Wouldn't that just make it easier for the Garians; they would have the whole population village in one place, making it far easier to slaughter them all. Then again, the alternative was uncontrolled chaos, so Kai kept his mouth shut. He didn't say anything to Flynn's request either, he just nodded weakly.

Before Kai was entirely sure what was going on, Phile had slung his left over her shoulders and shoved her hand into his shoulder wound. He winced and recoiled slightly from the pain of having something shoved into the wound again, but he trusted that Phile knew what she was doing. The pain gradually began to numb as her magic began to mend the wound, and he hobbled along towards the centre of the abbey with more ease as the wound began to close.

By the time Kai and Phile had reached their destination within the abbey, Kai's wound had now closed. A dull pain still lingered in his shoulder and he hadn't regained any more blood, but at least he wasn't losing any more.
"Thanks." Kai smiled to her, "I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused you this morning; your comment earlier was justified. If we're not all slaughtered, I'll try to be less of a nuisance in future."
As Kai walked over a rug he felt a tile press down beneath his foot. While it wasn't too uncommon for tiles to press down a bit when stepped on, this one felt like it was sinking in. Kai pulled his foot back and placed it where it was gingerly. The carpet sank in far too much, there was obviously a hole there now. Confused, Kai knelt down and cast the carpet to one side. There was definitely a hole there, and it looked like it went down quite a way. There was a ladder leading down, as well. A spark of hope ignited inside Kai's heart; maybe there was a large cellar in which the villagers could hide! Without thinking about it, Kai went down the ladder to see what was inside. It was only just light enough to see, and that was only from the light coming in from above. The floor was hard, damp and slightly slippery, and water could be heard dripping from the ceiling. Kai pressed his hand to the smooth, bumpy wall and squinted into the darkness. This certainly wasn't a cellar; this was a natural underground tunnel! Perhaps it lead out of the village; salvation was at hand! Kai hurried back up the ladder to Phile, reeking of excitement and hope.
"There's a tunnel down here!" Kai told her, "Maybe if we can round up the villagers we can get them out through here!"
Not waiting for a response, Kai hurried towards the exit of the abbey.

As Kai came out of the abbey's front door, a stray musket round smashed into the wall next to him, far too close for comfort. Keeping his head down, Kai hurried closer away from the abbey and towards Iridian and Flynn. Not feeling particularly safe, he picked up the battleaxe of a recently slain Garian soldier and clutched it tightly in both hands.
"Flynn, Iridian!" Kai called out as he drew closer, "I've found a tunnel in the abbey that might well lead out of the village! By the looks of it, it's our best bet for reducing casualties, if we can get the villagers out through it."
"A tunnel, you say?"
Kai turned around to see the captain of Ley's guard standing behind him, clutching a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. He was a tall, stocky, grizzled man in his late forties with dark skin, thick stubble and a slightly aged face. However, despite his post in Ley, he wasn't lacking in experience. Kai simply nodded in response to his question.
"Sound's like you're right lad, we'll keep casualties to a minimum if we evacuate the village." he continued, "Iridian, round up everyone you can, and get as much help as you can in doing so. You two can help him. While you're doing that, I'll buy everyone some time. And I don't want a single word of protest from you; now, follow your orders!"
With that, the captain returned to the heat of battle. Kai, following the captain's orders, hurried off to the edge of the village to alert as many villagers as he could, shouting at them to get to the abbey as he ran.

In the meantime, the captain had made his way to the centre of the village.
The man's voice was so forceful and commanding that the battle ceased for an instant. Eager for it not to spark up again, he continued speaking.
"Where is your commander? If he is half the man he ought to be, he'll come out and face me, man to man!" the captain bellowed as he brandished his sword.
From amongst the ranks of Garian soldiers one soldier rode forward. It was immediately clear that he was their commander, as he dressed far more lavishly than the others, two garments that made him stand out particularly were his mantle and a magicite encrusted gauntlet that covered the entirety of his right arm. What was even more surprising was that he did not carry a weapon. He dismounted his horse and walked confidently towards the captain of the guard; a sneer playing across his face.
"Well then, let us get on with it." he smirked, before withdrawing slightly.
All stopped and remained silent as all eyes turned to the captain and the Garian commander. He beckoned with his gauntleted hand for the captain to make the first move. And make the first move he did. Raising his sword, he charged towards his opponent and swung his sword down in a powerful arc. The Garian commander simply raised his gauntlet slightly, creating a thin, mirror-like screen in front of him. The captain's sword made contact against it, breaking his sword into two and badly jarring the shoulder of his sword arm. As the two made eye contact, the captain lost the little hope that he had clung onto, but he wasn't going to surrender. So, the Garian commander lunged forward, and grabbed forcefully onto the captain's scalp. As he tightened his grip, the captain's eyes rolled back into his head, spasms convulsed through his body and blood frothed in torrents from his mouth. Once the spasms stopped, his body was cast aside like a child's toy. However, instead of lying dead on the ground, he got up and began to move, his eyes still rolled back into his head and his mouth still wet with his own blood. He approached one of his men, staggering about like a drunkard. Instead of an act expected from a leader, he swung his broken sword into the man's neck, severing his jugular vein and killing him. The Garian commander began to laugh hysterically at the scene and ordered his troops to return to their work. The Akharians, both guards and civilians, fled in terror as the Garian military laid waste to their homes.

By this point, Kai had reached his home on the edge of the village and had sent many villagers of to the abbey. He was blissfully ignorant of the carnage unravelling the village centre. Kai arrived to find his father clutching a hatchet so forcefully that his knuckles had turned white. His mother and twelve-year-old sister were cowering behind him.
"Kai, where in blazes have you been?!" Mr Silverwood snapped, "We thought you were dead!"
"Da, it's a long story, I'll tell you later. Kai replied, "For now, we need to get to the abbey; I've found a safe way out of the village."
"It had better be a damn good one!" Mr Silverwood grumbled and proceeded to follow Kai.

Kai clutched his sister Alice's hand tightly as the family ran towards the abbey as fast as their legs would carry them, Kai leading the way. As they ran, Alice suddenly let out a loud scream and fell down.
"Alice, what's wrong?" Kai asked as he knelt down beside Alice, who had now fallen over.
"M-my leg..." Alice stuttered through a stream of tears, "Kai, I-I've been shot!"
"For the gods' sake, we do not have time for this!" Mr Silverwood complained as he hoisted up Alice and continued onwards, "We'll see what we can do about your wound once we're at the Abbey."
So, the family pressed on, Mr Silverwood carrying his wounded daughter in his arms.

The Silverwoods were by no means the first to the abbey, many villagers were piling in through the doors and being directed through by the clergy. Alice wasn't the only wounded one, either. Mr Silverwood swore under his breath, but proceeded through as calmly as possible. Fortunately, people were fairly eager to get to safety and so moved rather briskly. Alice continued to sob in pain and terror despite the kind words her family offered her. Kai just hoped that they would reach Phile soon.


5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kai Silverwood Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer
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A shudder ran through Iridian as Flynn tried talking to him. A whisper that chilled him to his core. A realization that he had tried to ignore from the second he saw the Garian eagle soaring around the village from the front doors of the abbey.

The battle was lost before it even began.

"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."

""Sir Guardsman, 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!"

"Mr. Ichabod, the central chambers are by far the most fortified portions of this abbey but...I'm afraid that this abbey was not built for war."

"Flynn, Iridian! I've found a tunnel in the abbey that might well lead out of the village! By the looks of it, it's our best bet for reducing casualties, if we can get the villagers out through it."

"Iridian, round up everyone you can, and get as much help as you can in doing so. You two can help him. While you're doing that, I'll buy everyone some time."

"Ley is under attack..."

The voices around him mixed together, a vortex in his mind stained red by the blood seeping out of the soldier he'd defeated. The words clashed against each other in confusion, unsure of where to go to be understood. Others just stood there, becoming bigger and more hideous. They flashed. They jumbled. They pleaded. They ordered. They melded together and formed an alloy, a shiny block of words that was too big to fit through his understanding. Imprinted on the block though, he saw words that had appeared amongst the people's but had not been spoken.

You broke your vow to protect Ley, no matter the cost.

Once he realized it, Iridian's senses came back to the battle, to the village that was quite quickly evolving into a wreckage.

"No matter the cost" meant to not give up even if all seemed lost.

"Sir Ichabod, Miss Mortimer is right. Take your protegee into the tunnel in the abbey. I do not know where it may lead but it can't be worse than here. And stay with her. As a foreigner you have no reason to fight this battle, but if you were to lead the villagers down that tunnel, the sacrifices of our guard might well be worth it." If Ichabod could truly fight, it would be nice for the survivors to have someone who could take care of them. Yet a small bell rang in his mind. What kind of merchant knew how to fight, let alone be confident enough to offer his assistance in a battle? Iridian ignored the stray thought, there were more important matters at hand.

He nodded his understanding at his captain, and turned to Flynn and Kai to signal for them to follow him... except when he turned to the farmhand, he realized the boy was halfway to his house. Good lad. The Silverwood home wasn't on the way to more populated areas of Ley, however, and Iridian wished the boy luck under his breath. The soldier turned to Flynn, "This way, come!" He jumped over the dead Garian soldier and made for the alley he'd come from, grimly noting the direction his captain was headed towards. As with Kai, he hoped the best for the captain, he was a good man.

Irid ran down the alley, constantly looking back to make sure the stranger was following him. He was pleasantly surprised by the man's ability to keep up. As the alley intersected with a larger road, he stopped, looked both ways and said, "We're going to the marketplace which is nearly at the heart of the city so it's likely no enemy has reached it yet. But at this time of the morning no guard has a shift there and most of my colleagues ar - were at the barracks. It's a busy place since early on and we need to make sure as many villagers as possible get out of this alive...we need to..." His words trailed off and the end was hard to hear over the hiss of arrows as they flew over their heads. While no Garian's might've reached the market yet, some of their fire arrows surely had.

Making sure the larger street was clear for a second time, Irid crossed the road as fast as he could. He didn't want to risk any enemies following them. Once they were in a second alley, the soldier ran once more. The urgency with which he moved was evident. His lance hand twitched. His eyes flickered all over.

Quickly enough their alley intersected another but as they reached the crossing point, Flynn and Irid ran into an archer with a golden eagle emblazoned on his chest. As in training drills, the squire's lance point was faster than his thoughts, but his shaken state of mind impaired his precision. Instead of a fast death, his lance delivered a non-immediate deadly blow to the man's sternum. The enemy collapsed in agony, but still very much alive for the moment. Irid chose to leave him, there was no time to deliver a fast death anymore.

They came upon the end of their alley and beyond stood a beige, square building. Not large by city standards but clearly almost as big as the abbey in Ley. Crouched behind a crate, Irid looked at Flynn right in the eye and spoke, "Inside the building, there is almost nothing but an open, square courtyard populated by several merchant tent-stands. As you can see, there are several on the outside as well. Maybe if we could lure the Garian forces inside, we could use it as a chokepoint? I'm sorry Flynn but this is all I can offer you here." There might have been one or two other possible chokepoints in the village but neither was close to the market, and the market held the most people.

Sweat formed on his brow. Some tents were already on fire thanks to the archers and somehow, some enemy soldiers had made it to that area of town already. Time was ticking. If Flynn had a plan, he'd follow his orders but if he didn't, well... "No matter the cost" meant to not give up even if all seemed lost.


6 Characters Present

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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#, as written by Eskay

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?"



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
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While Iridian had never before seen a cleric use healing magic, he had once required the assistance of an apothecary following a chance night snack at one of Kallistos' shadier quarters during a particularly humid day. Though the then-recruit had fervently battled the ensuing stomach aches for a good week, he had lost. His captain had an apothecary brought to examine him, as the pain was sometimes strong enough to wake him at night, which led to unproductive shifts.

The apothecary, a balding man with a distinct smell of ash and milk, looked Iridian over, poked his stomach in several spots and put his ear to his belly button. All contact made Irid feel like wincing in pain, yet he contained his grimaces. As a protector of the realm he couldn't allow himself to seem weak! In the end, the man declared Irid should chew on myrtle root once a day for a week and then took out a vial with a brown liquid that Irid had to consume then and there.

While he was aware that drinking the stuff would be better for him in the long run, it was an insufferable remedy. As a wooden spoon full of the stuff was brought to his mouth, the recruit smelled the syrup. It filled his nose with an asphyxiating battle between different herbal smells, all at once, a nasal cacophony. The taste was even worse. Though the liquid was cold, it scalded his tongue, and clung to it like a shy toddler. Swallowing brought the herbal dispute to his throat, where their battle flared intensely enough that for a moment he was sure he'd spit it out.

Iridian Valka felt a similar sensation now.

He knew Ley, as a village, was lost. On their way to the marketplace he'd seen several houses on fire and could even now hear the unmistakable sound of looting and ravaging by Gar. The town would not survive the day, that much was obvious, specially to Flynn. But Ley, as the villagers, was still salvageable, if at least partly. Flynn was offering him that solution. They needed to get the villagers out and there was no other way, or at least none that Iridian could think of. The stranger's medicine reeked, but it's what he had to take, what they all had. He'd become a devout protector of Ley and now he had to give the roads and buildings his back.

"Let's do it..." his whisper was barely audible over the sound of the ruckus all around them.

"I'll go alert the people in the market, could you prepare the... barricade? Or whatever we'll use to impede Gar from going to the abbey? There's stuff everywhere"... it was a market after all. But not for long.

Iridian left his lance by Flynn. Despite his ability with it, it was too long and uncomfortable to carry in situations such as running through the fiery remnants of a crammed market. As he ran closer to the tents he appreciated the full extent of the chaos that had unfurled in that section of the town. While destruction wasn't widespread, disorder was. Merchants and consumers alike had managed to topple over just about every stand, the floor of the plaza was littered with all kinds of trinkets and vegetables. He almost tripped on a fresh red snapper. He saw a mere handful of people only (and yelled instructions as appropriate), though, which made his nerves falter. Where could everyone else have gone? Surely not the line of fire.

As he made his way past the outer tent-stands and into the marketplace building, he gave a slight sigh of relief. People were inside. Some villagers had thought to make a last stand inside the courtyard within the building. It wasn't bad thinking but Irid knew it would not do. With some eyes fixated on his guard uniform, he made his way as close to the center as he could "Everyone! On the abbey there is a tunnel that will probably lead you to safety." Some incredulous glances, some smiles of relief, a mixed bag of reactions. Now he could judge the number of people that had taken refuge. Roughly half of the number that would usually be in the market at that time. His heart sank a little. He hoped the rest had somehow been directed to the abbey.

No one moved, "Everyone, please! We must move now! Run." That got some people moving, but not everyone. A woman approached him, the village's butcher, "You said 'probably', you don't know for sure?" Irid kept silent, "I'm sorry Iridian, I cannot accept that. This is a safe building, smaller than your abbey but fireproof as well. I know my family and I can withstand the looting here. There is nothing the Garian forces could want here. We'll wait out until they decide to leave. I won't take them back out there, nor get caught trying to escape. Then surely they'd have our heads. Go if you must, but my family and I will stay." A small number of heads nodded their agreement.

Iridian wanted to yell at her. Ask her why. Gar wouldn't care, they'd raze the village anyway. Except Flynn's voice, the urgency of his tone rang out in his head. They needed every minute. He couldn't afford the time to argue. The woman had made her choice. "I hope you're right," he told her, "Everyone else, follow me, let's go!"

The soldier left the building with two thirds of the people who'd been inside. He pointed towards Flynn, towards the abbey, towards salvation - hopefully. The people followed his instructions, most of them too frightened to think for themselves. He gave a thumbs up to the foreigner. The people - those who'd wanted - were out. Now came the waiting for the enemy before razing the village themselves.

After he had taken the apothecary's remedy, Irid had been able to taste it for weeks after. He wondered how many months it would take for him to stop tasting Flynn's remedy. If ever.


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Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse
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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.


5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iridian Valka Character Portrait: Cadbury Roverfield Character Portrait: Flynn Rowe Character Portrait: Phile Mortimer Character Portrait: Melissa Bellhouse
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#, as written by Eskay



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..."