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Caleb Beth-dagon

"Salvation through service."

0 · 530 views · located in Faerun

a character in “Seasons of the Lich”, as played by The Cynic

Description

B e t h - D a g o n.
Servitor of Torm.

Image

n a m e s a k e :
¬ Full |birth| Name: Caleb Sindal Beth-dagon.
¬ Spoken |used| Name: Cale.
¬ Acquired |aliases| Names: None, without.

n u m e r i c a l :
¬ Appearing Age: XXV.
¬ Factual Age: XXXV.

s o c i o l o g i c a l :
¬ Class: Paladin.
¬ Profession: Crusader - Mercenary.
¬ Alignment: Lawful Good.
¬ Marital Status: Widowed.

b i o l o g i c a l :
¬ Height: 6'1.
¬ Weight: 169 lbs.
¬ Hair: Dark chocolate.
¬ Eye: Slate, lacklustre.
¬ Skin: Pallid, ashen hue.
¬ Body Art: None, without.
¬ Scar Tissue: Long scar from right shoulder to left ribcage, in-between bosom.

¬ Genetics: Amnian.
¬ Race: Choose: Human.
¬ Attributes: None, without.
¬ Immunity: None, without.

Image

m e n t a l l i t y:
¬ Demeanour: Placid, soft-spoken, tranquil, aloof, calm, collected.
¬ Tendencies: Slightly cold of heart, lack of empathy, few of words.

a r s e n a l:
¬ Offence: Hallowed Redeemer.
-- type: Two-handed sword.
-- paragon: Red Steel.
-- enchantments: Admits wielder minor resistance to evil & fire.
-- other: This sword was a gift from a veteran Paladin in Caleb's
youth. In legend, it was said to have been bestowed to a knight by
Torm himself.

¬ Offence: Tymora's Stiletto.
-- type: Dagger.
-- paragon: Steel & Gold.
-- enchantments: None, without.
-- other: This dagger is forged of steel with gold integrated into the
handle. It has a single ruby embedded in the pommel.

¬ Offence: Heartseeker.
-- type: Long-bow.
-- paragon: Treant.
-- enchantments: Mild enchantment to improve wielder's aim.
-- other: Legends say that craftsman Pinn O'Reffen fashioned this bow from
the heart of a Treant, though how he came to possess such material is
unknown. He certainly did not anticipate the enchantment within, magic
that makes the archer's aim almost infallible for a short period every
day. Pinn claimed his skill was responsible, but it is more likely that
some aspect of the soul of the Treant is still within the wood. This bow
requires a strength of 18 to use.

¬ Offence: Splitmarrow.
-- type: Battle-axe.
-- paragon: Steel.
-- enchantments: None, without.
-- other: Caleb carries an axe and shield as an
alternate weapon-set against her two-handed
sword.

¬ Defence: Pride of the Legion.
-- type: Full-plate mail.
-- paragon: Steel.
-- enchantments: None, without.
-- other: Not many suits of this armor, originally used by the legions of Unther,
remain in use today. The few suits that exist are usually in the hands of
rich collectors. Simply finding a suit of this armor is enough to earn an
adventurer a small fortune.

¬ Defence: Helm of Infravision.
-- type: Helment.
-- paragon: Steel.
-- enchantments: Gives wearer the ability of night-vision.
-- other: 'The eyes of Truth.' Being a scavenger of a sort, Babette
Maelstrom had this created to aid her in her dungeon excursions. She
would later attribute her gathered wealth solely to its power, though likely
it was as much her keen eyes as anything.

¬ Defence: Buckler.
-- type: Small shield.
-- paragon: Steel.
-- enchantments: None, without.
-- other: A small shield to ward off missiles and minor blows.

Image

b a t t l e c l a d:
¬ Upper Body: None, without.
¬ Full Body: Pride of the Legion.
¬ Head: Helm of Infravision.
¬ Arms: Gauntlets, steel.
¬ Waist: Leather girdle, cinch.
¬ Feet: Boots, steel plate.

a t t i r e :
¬ Casual
¬ Feet: Leather boots.
¬ Waist: Leather belt.
¬ Legs: Doeskin trousers.
¬ Hands: Gloves.
¬ Upper Body: Pale tunic.

p r o f i c e n c y :
¬ Two-handed swords
¬ Long-bows
¬ Daggers
¬ Axes

a c c e s s o r i e s :

Ring of Rire-Resistance: This ring grants the wearer 40% resistance to fire.

s p e l l s :
Lay on Hands: The paladin’s version of ‘Cure Light Wounds,’ however, it requires the caster’s fingers
to make contact with the wound, and transfer a portion of their energy to mend it.

Detect Undead: Grants the caster the ability to sense the aura of any undead creature, and decipher
its strength by the potency of the aura.


Protection From Evil: This spell wards the caster from attacks by evil creatures, from mental control,
and from summoned creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the subject at a distance of 1 foot. The
barrier moves with the subject and has three major effects: deflects a small percentage of minor blows,
possession of the mind or enchantments, suppresses bodily contact of the creature.


Endure Elements: The caster suffers no harm from being in a hot or cold environment. It can exist
comfortably in conditions between –50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The creature’s equipment is likewise
protected. Endure elements doesn’t provide any protection from fire or cold damage, nor does it protect
against other environmental hazards such as smoke, lack of air, and so forth.

Bull’s Strength: The caster is enchanted with the strength of a bull.

So begins...

Caleb Beth-dagon's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon
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P r e l u d e:


A ray of linear sol pierced the red veil that had befallen her mind; an answer of holy blight that shattered the corruption of evil. She felt her heart rear and seize; paralyzed by a fork of hot light. The weight of divine power coursed through her like liquid flame. Splinters of white energy rippled across her peaked flesh, reducing her to a medium of divine wrath. Her body crippled and all she could distinguish was the sound of air flooding and fleeing her lungs. It had answered her - the very threads of fate had answered her, yet in it's weave, all she could feel was despair. Lackluster eyes - hues the color of storm - watched helplessly as the foe before her relinquished his weapon; a blade that had painted her halls in blood and drank the ichor of the innocent. The onyx sword clattered to his side as he shrunk. A mass of corpses carpeted the floor beneath their feet. The dwindling cries of her brethren clawed at her mind, yet she did not hear them. It was rouse that was neither dream nor reality, only a nightmare. How could you...? She looked upon him, and he the same, as if they both gazed upon a mirror. The man before her glazed over with a look of utter emptiness, his face a blank canvas, heart hollow and void of guilt, ashen visage marred with coagulating crimson. For a moment, beneath all the sin and maniacal torment, she found herself looking at her double - her twin - her beloved kin. He was a soul whom she had lived, trained, cried, and laughed with, and he was crying. Tears seeped into the blood that streaked his cheeks. The holy fire seized to fester in her skin and stretched out for him, engulfing his essence. A scream tore from his lips and the fire began to sear his soul and tear his body asunder. The sword at his side likewise began to seethe, and the entirety of her consciousness dove in a divine gleam. Her ears thundered and her eyes simmered, until the light dwindled and submerged her gaze into a thick shade. She was left broken and solitary in the darkness until the shadow yielded, and disclosed horror to her eyes.

The blood soaked chamber was adorned with bodies, even with the absence of the butcher. His instrument of slaughter no longer glowered with a cold menace, it had manifested into a blade of gold and quicksilver. She reached for it with trembling digits, until she realized that the shaft was still drenched in blood. The chamber began to resonate with the sound of armored footsteps and distraught voices. A squad of faceless knights rushed into the macabre .Their leader tore away his helm and surveyed the carnage, unveiling a half-elven face contorted in anger and misery. The others she could not see, but she felt the heat of their anger brand her flesh. She had done this - she had killed them all.

"The warrior shan't escape, but she shall run.
The gallows await, o'hunted beauty.
I be'eth an escort to oblivion."


~~~~~~~~~~

Caleb awoke with a sharp breath stolen from her breast. Her dark lashes fluttered and battered her cheeks. Her pale sockets were moist with night terrors, and slate oculars riddled with fright. Beads of perspire trickled down her brow, and her lips quivered gently with gasps for air. A dream, it was only a dream. She tore out of her bedroll and wrestled out of her rugs, feeling insufferably hot and damp beneath her tunic. The billet was sultry and suffocating, dimly lit by a camp fire roaring beyond its canvas. It felt stagnant and fetid after a month of being pitched in the Cloakwood. She needed out. Her hands felt for her belt and stiletto and she rocked forward to kneel. Caleb tucked her tunic into the mouth of her trousers and cinched them up, and then strapped her dagger to her waist. She did not take the time to tend to her mane; her chocolate locks spilled onto her shoulders and draped her frame in devilish coils, giving her a rather uncharacteristic appearance. The knight was always comely with a tight weave in her hair. When void of braid and helm, her womanly beauty triumphed over her masculine demeanor. It was scare occurrence. Caleb barreled out of her tent and stepped into the gelid embrace of night. The chill pricked her flesh with bitter kisses, and her breath seeped from her lips in a salient vapor. The Cloakwood was bright that night, illuminated by platinum pools filtering through the canopy. The moon's rays brushed over the brambles and thicket, and rimmed the trees in silver shade. Beyond the awning, the sky was a tapestry of diamonds and sable cloth. Caleb's eyes flickered from the trees to the camp, searching for any animation. Zacchaeus was no doubt preparing to brief them on their mission and send them down the Coast Way. He had told her she was to lead them....and it was a task she did not favor. The main camp fire seemed to well tended and devouring a pair of newly placed timber. It was undoubtedly late - or early - with a few hours left till dawn. Soon the moon would yield to night, and they Bloodsails would begin their journey up north. A silent sigh billowed through her lips, and she paced for the fire, sitting down harmoniously to stare into its tongues.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta
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Yonder the amber dance, and into the deep thicket of the forest belly, the Monk drew into her soul the peace and tranquility of all that encompassed her this night. The left toe of her maleable boot was plastered upon the blanket of flora, and her right foot gently and featheringly was placed upon her left calf muscle with the seemingly akward bend of her knee. A neck, softly sun-kissed and slender, was elongated as her chin tilted towards the heavens above. With eyes closed, and the silently perfected animation of her hands, she whispered from her rose red lips winds of orisons to flutter into the still of the night air. Neither the phantom gusts of frigid gales, nor the pitter-patter of wildlife could thwart such a mind void of pensiveness, and emptied into complete and utter concentration. When the cool atmosphere danced upon whatever flesh was bare, she let it flow from the canals of her mind; when a twig would snap, she would allow that, too, to wash away from her thoughts. In her head right now was nothing short of a void - there was nothing there but peace and the complete connection of her soul. Basked in light violet robes with silver trimmings and a flowery decor, she seemed at complete ease. To get to this state had been an endeavor that held both its merits and its dangers. Yet, at the same time, as pointless as one may deem this relaxed state, it was also a danger to her enemies. To have the influence over every movement, every fiber of sinew, and every thread of bone, was something that could prove fatal in battle. Without weapons Aletrayu, the Sun Soul Monk, could be easily mistakened for a doe. Such a display of paragon glinting and sparking when engaged was a great sight to see, but its system was extremely flawed. Nothing - nothing could compare to the sheer ability to accomplish great feats unarmed. It was a true skill of combat, tact, and self-control.

This female had been in this same state for a few hours; sleep attempting to interlope when it was not welcomed. This journey would be one that was tasking, arduous, and dangerous. There was no turning back from what was destined. When the last shiver of troubled thoughts abandoned her mind, those soft fleshy curtains fluently peeled open to divulge that envious shimmer of a clear mind through the mingling of canary and chestnut orbs. When Aletrayu was at peace in mind and soul, it was transparent to others. One could see no wrath, fear, or tremoring thoughts wrinkled into the skin of her facet. Everything about her would somehow turn into a bright lustre, and she was neither content nor anything negative; it was almost like a limbo of her emotions.

Pivotting upon her heel seconds after placing her wayward foot upon the ground, she moved towards that distant campfire. That halo of silk, inky and soft, drenched over her crown and down to her midback. However little she thought of herself in regards to her appearance, to be untidy was unbecoming of her person. She went to great lengths to take care of herself, for she thought that in order to tend to the soul, one must always render careful aid to its shell. As she neared the cannibal element of fire, which she enjoyed thuroughly, the muscular figure of Caleb was caught in the snare of her eyes. Drawing closer, it was by no hint of power that the distress of the woman was imprinted upon her face. Honestly, the fiery knight starkly contrasted that clean look in this elder cast of night. Caleb was never a sight for sore eyes, but it was not usual to witness her neglect to care for herself.

It could not be said that what fell across her lips was a smile, but the ghostly curl of of being rid of all things troubling and bothersome. Fingers, thick with trained musculature, yet long at the same time to stave off a masculine appearance, entwined at the lap of her attire. "Troubled?" The Monk did not know Caleb all that well, and would not deny her well-deserved space and silence if that was what she wished at this moment. Many, much like the turbulant mind of the woman before her, would always inquire as to just how Aletrayu could maintain such an uncaring state in the face of what could be certain doom. She would always reply with the same thing; it was being one with yourself and fate. It was trust that your deity would carry you upon the wings of their embrace. It was knowing the peace and harmony of yourself, as well as your capabilities and fears. Then, lastly, it was having the intestinal fortitude to dismiss all that will make you tumble and fall, and rise with a courage that has always been trapped within. The emotions of fear, sadness, and pain were always deviling within her core, but she had faith - and that was unable to be maimed no matter the damage to her person.

Taking a moment to flit her eyes over the scenery that surrounded them, she figured that everyone else was still pleasantly lost in their slumber. She couldn't blame them. Something about careful meditation made her mind feel free, and her body being depraved from the burden of nagging sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Brolo
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Torrential waves of flames drenched the village in vibrant shades of crimson, orange, and amber, giving the sky an almost hellish sheen as coal black smoke continued to rise over the heads of panicked villagers. Homesteads were quickly reduced to ashen ruin; choruses of screams filled the air like a symphony of chaos written by the most demented and depraved souls to have ever walked upon the Abyssal planes. Families fled with children in their arms, others stayed a safe distance away as their souls were wrenched in sorrow watching their childhood homes burn to the ground. Amid the roiling chaos, one man surveyed his work proudly with his hands at his waist cackling in triumph.

His dark eyes continued to gleam in the firelight while he stood on the only road leading into the village. So far from other settlements, the likelihood of help arriving before the structures collapsed was slim. Villagers passed by the stranger, shooting him glances of shock and confusion as they fled the rising inferno. Some stopped to plead for his assistance, whereas others simply took it upon themselves to try to save what was left using their primitive irrigation system.

Again, Kanvergiss could only laugh mockingly at their feeble attempts to survive.

The inhabitants only made it so far before a sharp pain collided with their backs, the force of the impact enough to send them sprawling into the dirt. Darkness was an excellent cover for murder, Kanvergiss believed. His vest of throwing knives wasn’t nearly empty, snuffing the lives of stragglers as they passed. A sadistic glee-ridden chill ran up his spine as the dull THUD of the knife reached his ears, eliciting a smile from the young man.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Brolo quickly opened his eyes, having propped his body up against his birchwood staff instead of lying down with his head in the dirt like many of the others. Not that he considered himself better than the others in the Bloodsails, just that he was a little more random in his sleeping patterns. The sorcerer looked down at his hands, noticing that his fingers had gnarled themselves into the final spell position for his explosive pyre, which made the sorcerer grin.

”To think if anyone would have woken me, they would be a charred corpse in an instant.” Brolo wriggled his fingers, making sure to not lose the spell first as he stood up and surveyed the camp. The others were still asleep, aside from the Monk and the Paladin which in truth, he didn’t quite understand. It must have been their utter disrespect for the powers that be, those powers being chaos of course. He never bragged to be a supporter of Talos, nor did he make himself stand out any more than the other mercenaries, but Brolo did indeed choose to shoot first and ask questions later.

The sorcerer could overhear the women prattling on to themselves, not so interested in their conversation as he pulled the tip of his staff from the dirt. He was a good looking young man some might say, not too on in his years being just a few shy of thirty. Brolo kept his long, dark hair tied back in a tight ponytail, the rest of it either being slicked back with some substance used for styling or just left slightly looser in the front. Today it seemed that a few lone strands were to dangle in his face as they would go about their day. A quick survey of his surroundings noted that it was still night, leaving the sorcerer to wonder why his companions (to which he was told he had to entrust his life) were already awake and shunning their slumber.

“If you’re having trouble sleeping, I don’t think it’s beyond Caine’s ability to offer a merciful punch to assist in knocking you out.” Brolo said as he spoke from across the fire, the flames almost tracing him in golden-red light. His dark eyes shimmered as he moved from around the fire towards the two, checking his vest with his free hand while his staff rested between his elbow and his chest. “It’s still the middle of the night, and I believe it’s someone’s turn for watch duty.” Brolo commented, keeping a decent distance between the two, lining himself up with their bodies so that from above they looked almost like a perfect triangle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn Character Portrait: Brolo
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#, as written by Celedia
Depending on whom the query was being directed towards, one might think that the elven and human races were either eerily similar or oddly disparate. The elven race is long lived, majestic and closely bound to nature whereas the humans seem to be doing all that they can to tear down the Earth and all of her children in order to make room for their selves. Their short, harried lives cause them to make quick and often foolish decisions leading to rash actions that affect not only their race but every other race surrounding them.

It is for these reasons that Araina tended to step away from camp at night to fall into her reverie, the elven dream-like state more akin to meditation than actual slumber. East of the fire and small circle of bedrolls, a slowly sloping hill rose towards the sky and at its crest was a clearing surrounded by ancient oak trees. The druidess had found this spot when they had scouted the area, making sure that the way was clear for camp and immediately she knew this was where she would settle in for the evening, taking up the mantle of ‘first watch’ along with her elven kin.

For the reverie of elves was dissimilar to the human’s slumber in many ways, allowing them to be aware of their surroundings at all times even if they weren’t able to immediately act upon dangers. Instead of closing her eyes and dreaming, Araina’s eyes were opened and a slightly dazed countenance would appear to anyone that approached her. Instead of dreams or nightmares, elves tended to relive past memories either joyous or terrifying though they had no control over which of these past events cycled through their minds.

So, upon settling into the silent green grove after the humans had lain upon the ground, Araina prayed to the Forest Father for guidance and strength, for wisdom and compassion, for nature itself and for the souls of those that destroyed it. Her gaze glazed over as she meditated upon these thoughts and after a short span of time, recollections of her past began to surface.

Pant. Pant. Pant.

Inhale, exhale, stop, listen.

The smoke-filled air burned at her lungs but she could not stop her trek now. She was too close to her goal and would not falter in the path set before her.

A bright flicker of light off set by a plume of smoke caught her eye and her heart tripped over itself as one of the majestic and ancient trees tumbled to the ground with a thunderous boom.

Humans. Her thoughts echoed for but a second as her feet found the earth once more, digging into it with each labored step and each forcibly drawn breath so that she could ease closer to the commotion to see what was happening, in detail.

Upon reaching the fire and the flames, Araina hid behind an untouched ash tree, taking shelter from the prying eyes of the large mob gathered around the edges of the forest.

“Set it ablaze! Quickly, men! We shall not wish to see hide nor hair of the dreaded beasts as long as we stake claim to this town!” A tall man stomped his metal-clad boot down upon the ground, adding flair to his statement as he pointed a gloved hand towards the untouched patches of bush and briar so that the torch-wielding commoners could set them alight.

Fire… Nature’s enemy…. Araina’s arid lips parted slightly in sorrow and a single tear slid from her eye as she saw the death and destruction wrought upon those that she was meant to protect and shelter.

Failure… Yet, it did not have to be this way. The humans did not have to win this game and they most definitely would not survive the night even if they had tried.

Stepping back and planting her feet firmly in the earthen floor to center her, Araina allowed her eyelids to close for a moment and she rose both of her hands and her chin skyward.

“Forest father… help us…” she murmured, knowing that passion and not volume raised his good graces.

Her mouth opened and a loud warbling battle cry issued from her throat followed by a string of words in druidic, a language known only to her kind. The plants and animals and caretakers of the forest- calling them to aid her in pushing back the fire-wielding men to save the woods that they called home.

Drawing her staff from the leather loop on her back, Araina opened twin emerald orbs and drew one more deep breath before rushing out into the throng of men, her staff moving almost as fluidly as the rest of her body in combat. Twirling like a dancer, she extended her staff and struck the first man in the head, stunning him enough both literally and figuratively so that his body immediately fell upon the ground. She allowed her eyes to flicker about until they focused on the leader of men, the man issuing his orders and hiding behind his cold steel armor.

Another loud rumbling sound issued from her right and her teeth clenched, expecting another tree to fall beside her but instead, a large brown bear galloped from the underbrush, plowing over a half-dozen men before it came to a halt. It roared, loudly, and it was then that the rest of the forest erupted with the sounds of life.

Squawks, roars, gibbering, growls, hoots and screams accompanied the approach of the forest’s inhabitants and an eerie smile danced upon the druidess’ lips as she turned to the armored man, lifting her staff so that it pointed directly at him so that there would be no questions as to whom she was addressing.

“Leave this forest now, flee and warn your kin that we do not take kindly to being invaded. Stick to your cities and your shores and your villages and do not encroach upon the forest any longer. We will not give up our homes easily.”

The man paused, faltering as if he had not expected an opposition and then it seemed that the Gods themselves heard her ultimatum. Rain began to fall heavily from the skies, allowing the burning trees to be extinguished one by one as the handful of woodland creatures that had responded to her call, rallied around her.

Sensing defeat, the man put out his torch and sheathed his weapon before turning to the flame-haired elven lass with his jaw set in determination. Yet he did not say a word and instead, motioned for some of his followers to pick up the incapacitated man so that they could take him with them as they retreated.



A flash of movement caught Araina’s eye, followed by the subtle cadence of voices, human voices, causing her to willfully drag herself out of her reverie and long forgotten memories and into the present day. The moon was descending onto the horizon and the sun was slowly beginning to thread its fingers into the twilight, trying eagerly to pull itself from its slumber just as the humans were doing.

Twitching her ear slightly, like a cat, Araina caught three separate voices in the darkness and once more she drew in her breath though this time it was clean and fresh, lacking the harsh smokiness of her memories.

Pushing one hand into the ground, Araina stood and adjusted her clothing then pulled her staff out so she could use it as a walking stick. The elder branch looked as if it was still alive with green sprigs shooting from its apex and one slender, pale hand wrapped around its center as she made her way down to the campfire.

“It’s still the middle of the night, and I believe it’s someone’s turn for watch duty.” The fire mage’s words filtered towards her pointed ears as she made her way into the camp itself, sticking to the edges and closer to the woods so that she was seen but not too close to the others.

“If you wish to sleep then do so. I do not need any more rest….” Her words trailed off slightly though she was already keeping her tone low out of respect for those still in slumber. No, with memories like that she did not need to spend any more time today in reverie. Her people had new problems to contend with, something was disturbing the animals of her homeland and this time, she didn’t believe that humans were wholly responsible.

Her emerald gaze settled upon Caleb and she sensed a restlessness within her “I can watch over everyone until dawn.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn Character Portrait: Brolo
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Azrael

Azrael watched the camp from a distance, sitting beneath one of the many trees that made up Cloakwood. His eyes didn’t focus on anything in particular, at times watching the flickering flame or closing as he thought. He had risen many hours ago, not being one for sleeping very long, instead sleeping only a handful of hours a night, at least on most nights. Whether it was achievable due to his many years of practice or due to his Elven blood he could no longer remember, the days when he slept long periods forgotten, if ever present. For the assassin it was simply the way things were, he woke far before most and usually he had such times to himself, taking advantage of the silence, focusing his mind and preparing himself for whatever was to come. Apparently the day was not going to be as it usually was, as people were rising from slumber earlier than they did most days, and if he believed in such things he would call it an omen. Chances were it was nerves, most were bothered when a new assignment was to be given or when they were to move soon, even seasoned veterans such as the individuals that comprised their small group. Then again there were many reasons to awake earlier than need be. It caught his interest that multiple people were gathering around the fire. His eyes focused on the three that had already come together, inspecting them from afar.

As he watched, he pulled out a particularly sour type apple found in the woods, something he had scavenged earlier before he settled beneath the tree. He ran his thumb over the glossy peel, searching for any rotten parts, even pulling out his little stone to insure that it was perfectly fine to eat, always being rather cautious with food, especially in Cloakwood. When he was satisfied that all was well he began to take small bites of the crisp fruit, continuing to watch the others from afar. He hadn’t come to know much about those he traveled with yet, talking to the others but divulging nothing of importance during the conversations. If anything he was usually just flirting without real intent with one of the ladies or chatting lightly to pass the time. He had figured out the names of each of them though, that much had been easy enough and made him seem so much friendlier, if such things were even possible. Other than their names he had learned a bit about their fighting styles and basic habits from watching, each one of them bringing something different to the table, including himself. It was a diverse group, no doubt created like it was on purpose.

He turned his mind away from pondering just what the groups true purpose was, not caring much seeing as he had his own reason for joining up, and instead turned his attention back towards the three gathered. The first to have taken a seat was Caleb, a tough woman to be sure but also, as her current state made clear, she was quite beautiful as well. To Azrael she seemed reliable, a relative point of view to be sure but she had a feel to her that if, and when, something went wrong, she would know how to handle it. Then there was the Monk, Aletrayu. She had been up for some time but her routine was similar to his own, out of the way, quiet, and peaceful, so it didn’t really bother him. There was the Sorcerer Brolo as well though, a man whom Azrael had disliked from the beginning. There was no real reason for his dislike of the man, he was just one of those people, a natural irritant to the Assassin. Maybe it was his personality but it didn’t much matter, Azrael had his own reason for being with the group and it did not include getting into it with the Sorcerer, so he made himself civil whenever they spoke. Besides, even if he disliked the sorcerer, there were others he disliked more in the world, and he hadn’t killed them. Hell, not that it mattered how much he liked someone, for the right amount of money he would kill just about anyone.

The thought of being paid to kill the sorcerer amused the Assassin, if only he was really paid to kill people he personally found annoying, life would be so much more enjoyable. The man took a final bite out of the apple, tossing the core back into the thick wooding behind him before pushing himself up off the tree, deciding to be a bit sociable instead of watching from afar, he did enough of that in his line of business. As he began walking over, he paused, watching as another joined the group. It particularly caught his attention because, like himself, she had not been in camp but away from it, farther than he was in fact. It did make sense if he thought about it, she was a druid and an Elf at that, it was a double dose of nature friendly. With a shrug he made his way over to the group, his boots causing him to make no noise so he whistled gently as he approached, not about to sneak up behind a group of trained combatants, whether it would really be all that dangerous or not. Azrael got close to the fire immediately, only briefly nodding to the others, not being one for a cheery hello, especially when everyone was just waking. So he let his body warm up a bit, catching Araina offer to watch over them all. He was not about to go back to sleep though, no, his long day had already started and if she decided to keep watch he would simply give her a hand, although he had a hard time picturing everyone else just going back to their slumber.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn Character Portrait: Brolo
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The night was dreamless for the Fighter hailing from Baldur's Gate. A symphony of snoring escaped the mouth of his tent as he slept with his head propped up on his shield and his enchanted cloak over his large frame. The cloak managed to keep him warm in the chilly night thanks to that enchantment. The sleeping countenance of the fighter was relaxed and even somewhat serene despite his brutish nature. Truthfully, the warrior had no worries to speak of. Life and death were just two sides of the same coin, one he flipped every day that he woke up in the morning. He had faith in Tymora and trusted his luck in everything that he did. It was no different that night than it had been for countless others.

In truth, while Caine felt no worries, he did feel excitement. A new day brought on a new fight and a new adventure. He was never one of those sit and watch kind of being, nor was he a thoughtful man. He lived to test his mettle day in and day out. Caravan guarding, bounty hunting, bandit cleansing, mercenary work, it was all a means to an end for Caine. And that end was to live his life to the fullest, filled to the brim with excitement and danger. He often thought of his life like the tales the bards sang. Glorious battles and honor hard won. Of course, there had yet to be a glorious battle for the Fighter and his honor tallied up to nothing more than a mercenary. Still, it did little to dissuade Caine from his chosen profession. Perhaps he would find his battle yet.

Then the Fighter drifted awake, his mind still dazed and groggy from sleep. At first he closed his eyes once more in search of slumber, as a glance through his tent flap revealed it to still be night. However much as he tried, he could not will himself back to sleep. An hour passed and he still found himself awake as sleep was found to be elusive. He sighed and gave up and instead began to stare at the roof of his tent. The light of the sun was bound to rise in a couple of hours anyway, so what was the use of sleep? A waste of time in his eyes. His thoughts lingered on the silly elves and their method of sleep- or unsleep. His bones began to itch for activity. He began to toss and turn underneath the warming cloak in an effort to exhaust the itch yet it still proved rather resilient. His hand found it's way to the the coin strung around his neck as it usually did in times of idleness, his thumb tracing the grove worn into the gold metal. Nothing could relieve Caine of his restlessness, save getting up. At least he wasn't the only one who was awake. He could hear a couple of the others likewise employed with him moving outside.

Finally giving up and giving in to his restless urge, Caine sat up in his makeshift bed. A glance to his side revealed his equipment strewn haphazardly around his tent. He collected his boots and his tunic and left the tent, making his way to the fire. As he approached, he managed to catch Brolo's comment.

"I don't punch women, Kanvergiss," He replied to the sorcerer's comment, "Especially when one can punch harder than me," he finished with a nod to the Monk. The proximity of the fire illuminated the body of the Fighter, displaying a number of scars etching his stout frame and the tattoo inked into his right arm, not to mention the glint of Tymora's coin laying flat on his chest. He donned his tunic and approached the gathering around the fire and took a seat between Brolo and Aletrayu. He held his boots close to the fire in order to allow the flames to let the heat sink into the cool leather. As he waited, he added with a grin, "The Smiling Lady favors the brave and the bold, not the stupid. I'd get my arm snapped for sure." It wasn't a fight Caine was against, mind, and in truth the Fighter would probably have found enjoyment in the scuffle. However, it was neither the time nor place for such games.

As he slipped into his boots, the campfire was approached by two more of their company. The Druid and the Assassin. He shot a curt greeting to both of them and then began to poke and prod the fire with a stick, sending billows of sparks up into the air. Then came Araina's offer to keep watch. "I'm not going to be able to get back to sleep," he shrugged, "Now that I'm already up. Sunrise shouldn't be too far off now anyway, right?" he asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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K N I G H T

A faint whisper of footsteps tore Caleb's gaze away from the flames. Her icy orbs were with shaded with fire and still perturbed by her restless night. Nightmares were evident on her visage - a pallid face of concealed beauty - but her pride swiftly masked her enfeeblement. Aletrayu's form was birthed from the forest's womb and illuminated by the blaze. The knight knew very little about her comrades apart from what Zacchaes had disclosed to her, and the brief confrontations she had shared with each one. She had no qualms with monks, particularly this one; a petite yet powerful woman who had the look of a native from Kara-Tur. Where she truly hailed, however, Caleb did not know. 'Troubled'? the monk asked. Caleb's chin canted and she gazed at the woman silently. If anyone had dared yet place the paladin, they would judge her as the ' strong silent type.' Caleb was aloof, undaunted, and incredibly forbearing. Outwardly, she was the epitome of a 'paladin,' yet inside, she often screamed. She had been born unto knighthood, and the holy had been her birthright - not her choice.

"Nay," Caleb finally replied. The woman's voice was deep and dulcet, which could often unnerved, yet also soothed. By the time Brolo entered the ring of light, Caleb was slowly rising and brushing the soil off her hind legs. She was lofty for a woman, standing just over six feet with a physique of liberal curve and toned muscle. Though her hands were calloused, her digits were nimble and svelte. The sorcerer's voice penetrated the air and caused her eyes to narrow; instinctively she had disdain for him. Brolo's existence challenged her duty and presumed divinity, and if she had been born any other paladin, she would have surely tried her hand at eradicating him. Nonetheless, Caleb was 'divergent' from the rest of her Order, and strived not to judge blindly. The knight disregarded the majority of his words and then pivoted away, but she stalled her steps when she heard the acquainted voice of Araina emerge from the thicket. Caleb considered the druid and offered her a glance, but shook her head in variance. The devotion and purpose of druids was something she had always respected, and though she admired the woman, they didn't require a prolonged watch. By that time, the infamous Caine had roused from his sleep and seized his infernal snores; materializing from the shade with his tunic half-way pulled over his torso. Caleb caught the fighter's jest and managed to smirk, but the notion dissipated swiftly. Azarel had also joined them, to her incredulity. Silent as always, the paladin had no present qualms with him, yet his presence often quelled her unease; perhaps it was his profession, she did not know.

"Aye, the sun will dawn within the next hour and we must be prepared to leave thereafter." The paladin absorbed the last remnants of the chatter. "I encourage you all of you to prepare and provision…" It was still insidiously early, but the knight placed high value on diligence and punctuality. Still, despite all the obligations encumbering her mind, the nightmares that had riddled her sleep lingered in her thoughts. She did not dream often. It had felt unbelievable tangible. Caleb held a swallow in her throat and wandered off. While retreating for her tent, she register an ache in her bones and an abrade gnawing in her hands. Her eyes flickered down and she turned her palms up to her gaze, quaffing dryly. Twin burns marred the breadth of her hands. The flesh was sore and chafing, and the wounds freshly made. 'By Torm…' She breathed lowly, clenching her fists. The paladin ducked into her tent and began preparing for the journey ahead. Perhaps it had been no mere dream…

The setting changes from The Sword Coast to Faerun

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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The setting changes from Faerun to The Sword Coast

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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Image


There was something to be said about the stars in the sky. The drow of the underdark often never see them, or the sun for that matter. In fact, Veilyn himself had not gazed upon the infinite expanse of space until he was a ninety-seven, a lifetime for humans, but for him, just a brief chapter of his life. Something about the stars stirred within him a sense of awe, a primal feeling that started in his stomach and clawed its way into his heart that told him, "behold how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things." It was thoughts like these that filled his mind during his reveries, which often; as they had this evening; take place on a thin roll arranged outside so that he could gaze for hours into the blackness. He had long forsaken the practice of reliving his memories, for he had too many, and very few of them pleasant. "Besides," he often argued to himself, "there is no use dwelling in the past."

Though he had distanced himself from the camp by a sufficiently large margin, he was acutely aware of the gathering around the fire. First, was Caleb, the Paladin. Veilyn liked her a lot, and not just because she was attractive. Despite being one of those "virtuous" people, she had the same kind of grim strength that so many that survived the underdark share, a demeanor that only graces those who have been through hell, and lived. Second came the Monk, whose name Veilyn could still not confidently pronounce, forcing him to refer to her with names such as, "you", "monk", "girl", or "kid". She was pretty, not the same way as Caleb. Where Caleb was strong, Aletrayu was refined. Where the paladin was grim, the monk was stoic. Veilyn's ears picked up the monk's voice for a brief moment, before the night fell silent again, and only the crackling of the fire could be heard. Then came the sorcerer, Brolo. Veilyn didn't know what to think about him. He had a recklessness about him that Veilyn respected, but it was recklessness spawned from inexperience, rather than experience. He did seem a little short tempered, but Veilyn had yet no quarrel with him, so it was best to let him be. Morning must have been creeping up on them, and the sun's light dimmed the stars as it prepared to crack over the horizon and spill it's golden light all across the landscape.

Turning his attention back to the fire, he saw that two others had joined the group. The druid, Araina, and the newcomer, Azrael. There was little that Veilyn had to say about Araina. She was a surface elf, which automatically put a strain on their relationship, and though undoubtedly attractive, she seemed like the kind of nature-loving, tree-hugging elven stereotype that Veilyn tried to avoid. If he ever pursued anything with her, he felt as if it would somehow involve the forest in an unpleasant way. Azrael, on the other hand, was the one Veilyn was watching out for. Veilyn, of course, had long ago learned never to fully trust anyone, especially new people, but this went deeper. He was always aloof, and he had a strange habit of waking in the small hours of the morning. In talking with him, Veilyn realized that Azrael talked around his past and his motives. Whatever they were, the man did not want Veilyn to know. He'd also noticed that Azrael never makes a sound when walking, even when stepping on branches or dry leaves, meaning that the man had boots enchanted for utter silence. Veilyn knew very well the shadowy paths, and he knew that only thieves and killers bothered to silence their footsteps. The most off-putting thing about Azrael though, was his similarity to Veilyn, at least in outward interaction. He played charismatic to learn about the group but the way he acted when he wasn't chatting someone up suggested it was only superficial. Veilyn would not let his guard down.

He pulled himself from his state of rest and stood, refreshed and ready for the day. It was still sufficiently dark, and the shadows still clung to his armor and cloak, slightly obscuring him. Adjusting his straps, he fastened his sword to his waist and his bow around his torso. He took one more moment to stretch before stepping softly towards the fire. Another man had joined them, Caine. He reminded Veilyn of Caleb, and he wondered why the two were not a couple, although he had an eagerness that she did not, which was probably off-putting to her. As Veilyn neared, the light from the fire melted off the last remnants of the darkness that clung to Veilyn, and cast his shadow long behind him whilst illuminating him a strange mix of firelight and morning sunlight. Veilyn caught the end of what the Paladin said, but did not deign to reply, as he had nothing to add. Instead, he lead with a different topic, his cadence slowing for a moment as Caleb left.

"I am not too late to this party, am I? Fashionably late is one thing, but most of you are here and that makes me feel like I am interrupting something. I hope that is not the case." He glanced around, then continued before anyone could reply,"So... breakfast?"

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Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: The Crowcatcher
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C R O W

The shadow cat slinked through the brambles and briers of wood, treading soundlessly upon the forest’s floor. Her sable fur caught a glimmer of moonlight, and her chartreuse orbs glowed vividly in cowl of night, embellished by a pair of onyx saucers. The creature was scanty and illusory, often dissolving into the gloom. Her ears flickered and listened to the voices of the cabal gathering around the red-flower that burned and smoldered; the stench of elf, human, and smoke plagued her sharp nose and she sneered. Bounding away, she trotted off to join her keeper... The Bloodsails leader remained unseen in his perch, observing his employees from the quiet shroud of a willow.The Lythari’s spindly digits stroked the arched spine of the beast, and she released a soft mur in delight. A wolfish grin sprawled across Zedek’s ivory jaw, and he mused quietly to her. “Is that so, my Crow?” The lycanthrope released a low chuckle, and gently scratched the mangy fur of the umbral feline. Dawn crept on the edges of the wood and stained the verge of the sky in pale hue of violet, cueing a symphony chirps and chimes from a bushel of sparrows. “It is time for you to sleep, my bird,” Zedek quietly cooed to the shadow cat, then sent her on her way. Reluctantly, the dark creature hoped off, and then dissipated in a cloud of black fog, returning to her home on the Plane of Shadow. "Good girl."

K N I G H T

Provisions, arms, bed-roll, tools...her tally was a long one, and despite her strength, she feared to be too heavily encumbered. It was a difficult task to carry one's home in a satchel whilst defending themselves from the perils of the wilds and the monstrosities that lurked within them. Caleb's raked her digits along her scalp and combed through her dark tresses, carefully weaving three thick segments into a tight braid. She had adorned herself in a light gambeson and suite of light onyx chain, both by no means light, but lighter than most. She tentatively picked up the breastplate of her Pride of the Legion, and gazed into the distorted refection that stared back at her. The armour had been a gift, like many of her other belongings. The pallid chrome often gleamed like gold in the sunlight and hugged her form modestly. The surface was well worn with a few shallow scratches and one gash across the the left rerebrace, and void of the lower body-plates. She disdained wearing heavy armour on her legs, therefore she didn't. It had never been an easy task, adoring one-self with pounds upon pounds of extra weight. She often struggled even then, but managed, whereas a great many knights required the aid of squires. Caleb slipped on her gauntlets and flexed her fingers, listening to the nostalgic crink of metal whisper against her hands. A spectre of a shadow managed to grace her lips - it had been some time since she last prepared for a sojourn...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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Lucien Alamancie

Cloak Wood, it was a nice enough place. There was always some sort of adventure to be had, all one had to do was walk in the woods for a day and some sort of encounter or confrontation could almost be assured. Still, Lucien was a wanderer at heart. Wonderlust was his birthright as a Moon Elf, and keeping camp in seclusion for a month was about all the bard could handle. It would have been alright had they actually been in a city, there were lots of different things to do in cities. But he had been all through these woods already, he knew the secret spots, the hidey-holes, and he was already a well known figure at the various wayfarers' inns within walking distance. He was at one such inn now, enrapturing the patron's of the inn's bar with his harp.

This would ideally be his last performance in the area, the Bloodsails would be moving on in the morning, so he was going to soak up all of the attention and admiration he could. Apart from wandering from land to land, exploring, experiencing, and seeing, he loved to have an audience to play for. There was simply noting like it. The thrill of having an audience, the gratification afforded by demonstrating his skills to impress others and garner their admiration.

Eventually, the crowd of patrons dispersed to their bedrooms, some called by their internal clocks, others by their lovers and mistresses. For his part, Lucien stayed in the tavern room, resting in a booth against the wall. Slipping easily into the trance-like state of the reverie. His was not a troubled rest, this time his visions were of a past performance, this one in a city square. Such visions were far and away the most common. Though less pleasant one were beginning to become more and more frequent, especially after the outbreak of the plague.

Lucien roused himself from his reverie in the early morning hours. It was still dark out, but he decided it was about time to return to camp. Wouldn't want to miss the departure. And come to think of it, he still hadn't received the mission details. He hoped Caleb, or Zaccheus would fill them in soon, the anticipation was killing him. As Lucien walked back to camp, he idly strummed at his harp, the sound filtering through the woods. After a time, he arrived back at camp. Seeing most everyone around the fire he approached as well, calling out in a bright manner, "My my, aren't we all up early?" He had caught Caleb's call to mobilize, but his gear was already packed, he was always ready to go off exploring and adventuring at a moment's notice. It would seem he had arrived just in time to set out.

The setting changes from The Sword Coast to Faerun

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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#, as written by Celedia
.

The setting changes from Faerun to The Sword Coast

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Aletrayu Habretta Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Araina Narthanellyn
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#, as written by Celedia
Emerald orbs surveyed the scene around the campfire as the druidess stood apart from the others, seeking the comfort of the trees lining the clearing rather than the people within. Her right shoulder rested against the gently curved trunk of a hiexel tree, one of the two arbor oddities that existed in Cloakwood. The tree itself was easily identifiable, bearing a green, waxy wood and marked by oval shaped leaves and sparse branches. While the others began to pack their belongings, Araina slung her staff into its sling upon her back, turned and then rested her hand against the tree as if sensing something about it.

To the others, it may look like she was praying, and they wouldn’t be far from the truth. She was, in fact, asking the tree for the use of its wood since it may prove useful in their journeys. Hiexel wood burns and produces a thick, black smoke that is oily and chokes those that breathe it in, making it useful to drive off enemies or light signal beacon fires.

A soft green glow seemed to shimmer between her palm and the bark whilst several branches fell suddenly to the ground. The druidess smiled, a slight curvature of petal pink lips as she stepped back and bowed towards the tree.

Ask and you shall receive…. Her thoughts were casual as she picked up the wood which had been cast off and took a length of cloth from one of the many pouches hanging loosely from her leather belt. Winding the strip carefully about the small bundle of switches, she secured them tightly then hooked the free end of cloth around her belt so that the pack of hiexel kindling hung against her hip as well.

It was only then that she meandered closer to the fire, green eyes still regarding the flames with subtle hostility before lifting up once more to regard her companions. They were an affable lot, mostly. Caleb seemed an archetypal strong and silent type- beautiful enough to be amongst the finest in the human cities yet choosing a life on the road. In fact, it seemed odd that most of the people she traveled with were each eye-catching in their own way.

The monk, Aletrayu, was exotic in appearance yet had a calming quality that extended to those surrounding her unlike Brolo, the fire mage, who tended to incite the darkest emotions in others. Azrael and Lucien were closer kin than they appeared. Both the moon elf and half elf exhibiting the sort of charismatic life-loving attitude that most of her long-lived species seemed known for. What good was an extended life if one didn’t enjoy themselves? It was a mantra that many of her elven kindred shared and she couldn’t fault them for such an attitude. They laughed frequently and flirted shamelessly but were both formidable when the situation called for it.

Their darker elven brother, Veilyn, was equally charming but she could not overlook the innate hostilities between their people. The constant warring between the sun-kissed races and the shadow-tainted hordes left little love between them and even when a drow left the Underdark to venture up onto the surface, he or she was still usually discriminated against. Still, she tended to love or disdain all living creatures with equality, so she treated the dark elf as casually as she did any of her other party members. That even included the human, Caine. Despite her predisposition to abhorring the human race for the atrocities it commits on a regular basis against Nature, she tried diligently not to fault him for the acts of his people especially since she would be required to travel extensively with him.


Her thoughts had once more gave way to the reality set before her as the others began to circle once more about the fire. Everyone seemed to be laden with packs and bags of various weight, causing her to inquire, “Do any of you require assistance with your things?” Her voice once more issued throughout the quiet campsite, a melodic lilt affecting her tone the way it did for most woodland elves. It was an honest inquiry, for the druidess had little of her own to take with her. The various herbs and foodstuffs that she gathered were carried in the pouches hanging about her hips, her weaponry was a light enough load and she required no tent or bedroll. Having lived over a century living off only what nature provided, she was adept at procuring what she might need with the occasional aid of the Forest Father.

The setting changes from The Sword Coast to Faerun

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Veilyn Glannath Character Portrait: Azrael Zakesh Character Portrait: Brolo Character Portrait: Syranni Yukreth
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Azrael

As Azrael stood near the fire it seemed everyone was going to be getting up, apparently the group being in sync on this particular occasion. The newest edition to the ensemble was Caine. Caine was the usual fighter type, always ready for action or more accurately, always yearning for action. Azrael didn't mind the man though, in fact out of all the men in the group he probably liked Caine the most, especially since they both seemed to share a disliking for the sorcerer. He nodded to the Fighter before he began to poke the fire, only turning away when Caleb spoke. "Aye, the sun will dawn within the next hour and we must be prepared to leave thereafter." As much as he liked sitting around and observing those in the group, he was about ready to get going, the need to move around and have a bit of fun overwhelming. "I encourage you all of you to prepare and provision…" Azrael nodded again, this time towards Caleb, deciding not to move immediately but already going over what he would need to do in order to be totally prepared for the departure. He was already wearing his armor and weapons, so the only thing he really needed to do was get all his equipment together and make sure he had his rations packed up which would take no time at all. Caleb departed quickly though and as much as he hated to see the woman leave he had expected it, the reliable one as always, going to prepare herself as soon as she advised others to do so.

As much as focusing on beautiful women would have been Azrael’s pleasure, yet another person, Veilyn, had joined. The rogue was of great interest to Azrael, the half-elf already knowing a good bit about the Drow. He was a former member of the Shadow Thieves Guild, and a traitor at that, one that had made quite a few enemies before his quick departure. Azrael knew this because he had been hired to eliminate the rogue, and while he was currently enjoying the current situation as it suited his needs, he would eventually fulfill his contract and end the Drow's life. As for when he wasn’t quite sure, all he knew at the moment was that the rogue, as was the rest of the group, always close. That meant there would be an abundance of opportunities for Azrael to do what he was paid to do in the near future. Besides, when the time came he would gladly finish it, he didn’t much care for the man and the fact that he was a Drow made it all the easier, not that he had as much hate as a full-blood would have, but he still had a general distaste for the dark-skinned dwellers of the underworld. So, for the time being he would simply watch the man, learning whatever he didn’t already know as he continued his journey as part of Bloodsails Inc.

"I am not too late to this party, am I? Fashionably late is one thing, but most of you are here and that makes me feel like I am interrupting something. I hope that is not the case." It was a ridiculous notion, to think he would be interrupting something at such a time, though it was most likely just Azrael’s dislike of the man causing him to punch holes in everything he said. The Drow didn’t stop there though, he continued, his previous comment being passed up even by him. "So... breakfast?" The assassin was hungry but not nearly hungry enough to accept food from the Drow, even with his stone he wouldn’t feel comfortable, besides he had his own ration packed away just for such an occasion, although the annoyance of hunger had yet to bother him so it was just as well, he didn’t need any food. Azrael shook his head as he passed Veilyn, uttering a polite, “No thank you” before heading towards his humble camp abode. On the way he shot a nod and smile to Syranni who had just arrived before going off and disappearing into his tent.

It wasn’t until inside his tent that the smile disappeared, not that it had been insincere but he just didn’t see the point in continuing to smile whilst alone. Instead he got straight to business, checking the gear he had equipped to make sure he had the various items he always kept with him, his weapons, certain magical trinkets, and of course the other various tools of his trade. Then he got his bedroll nice and neat, situating it along with spare clothing and plenty of his own rations and other odds and ends. It didn’t really take him long to pack up but he took advantage of every minute of it, going slow and making sure he had absolutely everything accounted for, and even when he had finished he didn’t leave the tent, instead he sat down and just stared down at the tents entrance. Azrael was focusing himself, going over everything in his head as a final checklist, because in his experience one could never be too prepared. Besides, if you ever forgot something it would end up being the exact thing you needed later on. He didn’t want to take too long though, the presence of beautiful women all gathered in one location made it hard for him to concentrate since he would much rather be outside with them, having fun and flirting shamelessly.That would come soon though, after he finished his checkup, he couldn't afford to miss a thing, and once he left the tent he would rather not have to end his conversation with the others in the camp to go grab an item he forgot the first time.

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The setting changes from Faerun to The Sword Coast

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K N I G H T

The hum of their voices riddled her ears, and she listened vigilantly to their prattle beyond the billet. These were to be her companions? A nefarious crimson mage, an abhorrent devil-may-care warrior, a sinister white which of Auril, a salacious drow of the Underdark, a cordial monk of the Sun, a reclusive druid of the High Moor, a conservative scout of the High Forest, an elusive assassin without heritage, a vivacious lyrical moon-elf, and a – her thoughts quieted. The barbarian…She considered him for a moment, cinching Tymora’s Stiletto and Hallowed Redeemer to her waist. The knight had only seen him twice; the barbarian was as any could judge – infinitely dangerous. He was berserker, impudent and rash and impossibly towering, even for her. He had kept his distance during the entirety of their sitting-spell, and had not showed himself to even dine on the cooking pot. What was his name…? She could not recall.
Caleb sifted through one of her totes and unravelled a clean roll of linen dressing. She gingerly bandaged her seared palms, deciding she would deal with the issue later. The majority of her possessions had been heedfully packed and her bed tethered and rolled, yet despite her concerns of weight distribution, the burden of the road was a welcomed sense of nostalgia. By the time dawn had formally crept over the canopies, she had nearly concluded her rituals -until she felt a cool whisper against her nape. The lythari was as silent and intangible as a shadow upon entry, but she had felt his latency before she saw him. In a fraction of a second, her instincts sprung for her dagger and abdicated the blade from its sheath. The stiletto sliced through the air as she spun on her heel, and her arm swooped down in an ark to strike her stalker. The shade countered with haste that far surpassed her own, and deflected her blow without sound. An unseen force warded off her dagger, and her arm recoiled violently. Barrier…?

“A perilous thing it is - attacking one’s employer…” the figure said. Her eyes deciphered the contour of the male and her ears defined his voice. Zedek…She realized her err and swiftly sheathed her weapon. “That is a dangerous arm you possess, my knight. I dare say – my head could be naught but décor upon the ground.” It was a compliment to him, but a grim sentiment to her. Not many warriors could sever one’s skull from their spine with a dagger– the lythari liked her. Caleb, however, was increasingly wary of her leader. She had traversed the realms from Comyr to the Moonshaes, and met many creatures and souls in her time – but none like him. Even his name was an obvious fabrication. He himself was elven, but Zacchaeus was not. The man could seemingly exist and then seize to exist. Though many would find his talents and enigma, she knew how he accomplished his feats. The Shadow Plane.
“My apologies…” she retorted. Caleb pivoted for her pack, but the elf’s deftly digits seized her wrist. Even though she dwarfed him in stature and build, he was strikingly strong.
“And what do we have here…?” he mused. The lycan wrenched her wrist, but she did not stir. He inspected the bandages with a wry smile, then relinquished her. “Bad dreams?” he questioned. Before she could answer, he dismissed the matter with a wave of his hand, and then tossed her a tiny blue tote. She caught the item, glancing at him wordlessly. “A bag of holding, Caleb. You will need such things.” The sound of her name on his tongue oddly riddled her spine with an unpleasant shiver – he had never done so in the past. “I will herd the flock – be ready.” With those words, he was gone.

C R O W

When the sun’s fire graced the horizon and stroked the awning, Zacchaeus emerged and paced for the cabal. “Good morning, my intrepid friends!” he hailed cheerfully, stepping into the light of the camp. When shadow fell, his true visage was revealed; haggard, unkempt, and pallid. The lythari’s mane was thick, wiry, and black as crow feathers, and his obsidian eyes gleamed with a red tint beyond the cowl of his hair. He was lithe for a male, barely reaching five-foot-seven, and his build was limber and slender. One would never guess his elven lineage, for even his ears were veiled. “As always, your patience is MUCH appreciated…” he grinned broadly. Everything about him was off; his odd appearance, his wolfish smiles, his shadowy aura – even the affects he wore and carried. Black. “I trust you are all ready to depart?”

The setting changes from The Sword Coast to Faerun

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Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: The Crowcatcher
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C R O W

Obsidian oculars turned in his sockets, swooping down upon brusque monk beneath a thick raven veil. He held her in his scrutiny, until a sinister arc formed atop his lips and he spoke in a tone only befitting of he. "I do not eat the fodder of mortals," he admitted, perhaps only to unnerve her. "And though I prefer you lot strapping and fit - I having more important matters to see to. So..." he cleared his throat and glanced at a frigid form pacing for the atypical party. His grin broadened. "Ah - the priestess of Auril! So good of you to join us. I must confessed, I longed to see your bitter beauty again!" A rouse, all of it. A beast like he had no inclinations towards mere mortals. But with that all side, he truly had a pressing agenda. "To the east of the Cloakwood, a gypsy caravan has recently caught the eye of a small Brotherhood of brigands that frequent the outskirts of the forest. At the moment, they have posed a moderate threat and have attempted to raid the gypsies on two unsuccessful and separate accounts. These caravans have no lack of valuable goods...very attractive to bandits and mercenaries alike." The lythari was none too subtle in his allusions.

The lean elf's digits slipped behind his spine and laced together, and then he began to circle the fire. With every step, his eyes bore deep into the faces of his employees. Dissecting them, watching them..."I implore you to seek out this caravan on your journey to Baldur's Gate. You lot are unburdened with wagons and children - it will be easy to intercept their progress - hopefully before the elusive Brotherhood." A curve still teased the ashen seams of his mouth, and his onyx eyes twinkled insidiously in the light of the flames. "I am certain if you pose as their guard, they will have no reservations to accept your aid...nor rewarding your efforts." It was a tantalizing prospect on all accounts. A decent reward, thrilling exotic company, good food and wine along the way - and of
course - the opportunity to scalp a few bandits to boot. Many outposts in the cities paid well per head.

It was by then that the paladin had sifted her way in quietly, standing idle with her arms crossed upon her breastplate. The Lythari gestured towards her, "Your captain will be the noble Beth-dagon. I am sure you have heard tales of her murderous brother, but I confident that there is no finer champion in all of Amn." His lips peeled back, revealing a pearly grin adorned with sharp canines. Caleb's countenance flinched at the remark, but she kept herself composed, remaining statuesque and silent. Her brother was a sensitive issue, she loathed for any to speak of it. Abel Beth-dagon was a traitor, Shadowdancer, and an assassin...one with an abdominal reputation and a ledger dripping with innocent blood. The Lythari knew how she felt about it, the Lythari seemed to know everything, yet he jabbed at everyone's sore spots without the slightest inhibition. "She will be acting upon my behalf...I expect all of you to do her bidding," his words grew heavy and malicious, and darkened in his throat. It was a warning - insubordination would mean no money in their pockets, or worse, depending on how he was feeling that day.

"Your current mission is to reach the city of Baldur's Gate within half a fort-night. There I will meet you again and debrief you - OH! Would you look at the time..." The lythari gazed beyond the awning, where the horizon had crept over the top breasts of the canopy and dove into the forest, shedding dim rays upon the autumn leaves. Time to go... "Farwell, friends!" he chimed, dissipating into a fog of black mist.

K N I G H T

Icy eyes narrowed within the gloom, waiting for the fading remnants of Zedek's presence to be carried off by the morning's gelid breeze. A soundless sigh escaped her breast. It is time... "Regrettably, our morning has been concluded. Gather what you can of your provisions. I possess one Bag of Holding that will lighten the burden of bedrolls and other equipment. Hand me what you do not require on the day's road, then we shall be off." It had been quite some time since she had journeyed without a heavy-horse. She disdained going on foot - she yearned to be in a saddle again. Alas, the beasts were expensive, and she and her companions - for the
time being - were short on gold. Now then...

"Zedek has granted us half a fortnight to reach the capital. That gives us seven days, yet by cross-country we could easily reach Wrym's Crossing in two. I believe he has allotted us this extra time to take care of business - either our's or his own." Clearly, there were things Zedek had to get done, and there were many tasks the mercenaries could fulfil before then. "We will accompany the gypsy caravan to the Friendly Arm, restock from there, then head to the city." If anything else happens along the way, well...at least they had the time for it.

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Character Portrait: Caine Abel Character Portrait: Caleb Beth-dagon Character Portrait: Johnathan (Illumination)
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#, as written by Baby
Johnathan of the Illumination.


-The night before



No one doubts the exarch of Tempus
Whose dogma has yet to forsake us.
Remember my friends, when the troops are led,
The Red Knight is always, three steps ahead.


Before Johnathan could bow, his audience stood up and shook the ground with their stomps. Their hands were endlessly clashing with an applause that was surreptitiously asking for another tale by boosting the bard’s ego and egging him for more.

Johnathan knew this trick well and occasionally deluded his audience by appearing to be touched by their applause and giving them another tale. But tonight he was tired and had to travel to Baldur’s Gate in a few hours to serve as a replacement in a mission. He raised his instrument to the audience of Tethyr and took a bow, his silent response to their request for more. When they calmed, Johnathan spoke

“Happy birthday princess Zandra. And may your life be filled with many more.” Johnathan’s deep, musical voice echoed in the hall, easily reaching the princess, sitting on a throne-like chair in the far back. The princess was still young and easily excitable, and had a small group of her female peers seated next to her. Johnathan made it a point to watch her intently with his eyes until her pale cheeks reddened in a blush under his seemingly passionate stare. His serious face lifted with a smile, directed at her and left his face when he broke eye contact, so everyone else could see that the smile was only for the princess. That motion would stir gossip for the people of Tethyr, and be awarded plenty of giggles from the princess’s entourage.

With that, he left the stage, his violin being carefully placed in its makeshift holster on his back, where his quiver would normally be. He was greeted by blue eyes, of similar size but more intensity than his own. “Johnathan. I do wish you would stare at me like that. I am your mentee.” The woman hissed, giving Johnathan a jealous frown and lowering her steel blue eyes.

“Allora, you know that no matter how many other women come into my life, you are still the-“ Johnathan was joined by Allora, who rolled her eyes as they both recited his famous line given to her. “-apple of my eye.” “Yes, yes Johnathan. Sing me a song I haven’t heard before.” Johnathan wasn’t offended by his mentee’s unrefined remarks, after 20 years, he was used to it. Even when she was a child, Allora was very possessive and hated seeing Johnathan with another being, be it man or woman. Johnathan found this both off-putting and complimenting, not letting her jealousy stop his flirting and traveling nor letting her jealousy influence his feelings for her.

Johnathan walked alongside Allora as she joined their arms in their leisurely stroll to their home. While listening to her talk of her practicing for the day, Johnathan smiled at familiar faces in the road, who also receiving a warning glare from Allora. “Are you still seeing that boy, Allora?” Johnathan hummed, interrupting Allora and also shocking her. “What boy?” Allora asked, confused. Not confused at his question, but confused on how Johnathan found out about her secret relationship with Caine, a boy she met after one of her performances.

An hour and several arguments over jealousy and fairness later, the siblings were inside their family mansion, walking up the stairs to their rooms. “Allora I just do not see how I cannot get to have any friends, but you can have a boyfriend. You are not being fair to me. “Johnathan said calmly, though under his stone expression, he was actually very upset. This argument has been going on for years and Allora always ended it on a sour note. “It’s not fair to me! I just want to spend some time with my older brother and mentor, and all you can do is think about every pair of legs that walks by you, Johnathan! You don’t love me!” Allora yelled, storming into her room in front of the stairway and slamming it shut. “That is not true!” Johnathan raised his voice while going into the room right next to hers. He did not slam it shut, but wanted to.
After a few minutes of being angry, Johnathan felt his mood lighten. He was never one to be sad or angry for long, he sung better when he was happy, and he always made the effort to be happy.

He picked up his violin and started to play very close to his eastern wall, the wall shared with his sister. Every member of the Illumination family was a lover of music, and the family’s crest had a lyre for their symbol. The Illumination blood runs deep and produced countless bards in their centuries, many famous. The blood couldn’t be thicker for Allora. Nothing, and absolutely nothing can alter her mood so quickly, other than the strings of an instrument. Within minutes of hearing him play, Allora joined him with her lyre, humming a little as the duo played.


Allora, you are heaven’s melody.
And your notes play the tragedy of my soul.
I’ve crossed through the garden of beauty,
And loving you is my toll.
If we were not bound by blood
Would you love me?
If I worshipped you and took your hand,
Would you marry me?”


Johnathan ended his part, dragging his last note for emphasis. Allora loved Johnathan’s nocturnes, and he exploited that whenever they argued. He quieted his instrument to better hear Allora, as he always indulged in her singing. Her voice was suited to opera and she was a prodigy of the musical mastery. He mentored her as best as he could, but knew that she would soon surpass him and become a legend. Even their father, a stone critic of his children, let her sing without interruption, only correcting her missed notes after her songs were over.


Johnathan, Johnathan
Have your words won me over so soon?
Surely your love is but a passing storm,
Dynamic yet temporary.
I know you’ll leave this maiden forlorn
But my heart says “Quite the contrary!”
You are filled with many things, but not surprises.
You will love me or leave me when the sun rises.


Allora ended her note perfectly and stopped playing her lyre. Johnathan managed a quick “I love you.” before he fell asleep. His tired body with Allora’s melodies was too much to resist.

In the early morning, long before the sun came up, Johnathan awoke. He freshened himself up and packed his shortbow, Angeline, and his quiver filled with steel arrows. He needed little else for the mission, and if he did it would be easily acquired. He took ten minutes to write a farewell letter to Allora and slid it under her door before he went into the family stable.


-Currently
"So Cap, when we be off?" Johnathan heard from the right of his horse. He directed it towards the voice and approached easily, his arms raised to show he had no weapons. He approached a group of people coming in various tones and background. He already knew by the time this mission would be over, he would have many stories to make into musical tales.

“When you have your bard, maybe?” Johnathan exited from some bushes and nodded to the group. He jumped off his horse and took out his violin from the pouch on the steed’s side. With a whistle, the horse left and returned back to the Illumination mansion, knowing its way without the lead of a rider.

Johnathan stared at the woman who was presumably Caleb Beth-Dagon. Though the upcoming song was for the group, Johnathan stood and played in front of his leader.


Lucien is no longer your bard
But I assure you I am just as well
I am a master of many instruments and tales.
Behold your bard is Johnathan of the illumination!
And none will serve you with a greater passion than I.


Which is the truth, many bards are special for something about their tales, whether it be their voice, their instrument, or their dance, and for Johnathan it was a combination of his voice and violin, he was filled with passion and vigor. He sung his tales standing straight, he never danced and never found the desire to; he believed it took the seriousness from his tales.
“But I would prefer to just be called Johnathan, as my title is too wordy for casual conversation.”

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K N I G H T

Forlorn eyes dwindled, and amidst the voices of her troop, she heard the sentient voice of her kin plague her ears; “And when you do so find your piss-ant glory, it will be not Torm who watches you. No, sister, sweet sister…know that it will always be me in shadows…watching you, hounding you…until at last, in your final moments of virtue – I will destroy you, desecrate you…ruin you, until whatever remnants of your life remain are utterly spent.” Loathing flashed vividly in her mind’s eye – she felt the hatred of her kin’s gaze; it damned her…cursed her, and in the last moments of dissipating shadow, she hopelessly tried to understand Zedek and his intentions. Why her? Why choose the bedeviled paladin as their leader and captain? She was cursed, he knew that. Despite the seemingly honorable task before them, she had never felt such trepidation in her heart. The journey ahead of them would forever change all of their lives – or claim them. A soft sigh escaped her breast and she tethered the magical tote to her cinch. "I'll follow you to the ends of the earth, my lady Beth-Dagon," she heard the drow's flattery, spoken through midnight lips, laced with honey and - by her assumptions - false candor. "If you'll have me, that is." She trusted nothing about the drow, and for good reason, but she did her best to reserve her judgement. "Easy there ladykiller. It's just not seemly to fraternize with your captain." Caleb heard Caine next, and although she regarded him silently, she agreed with him. She did not have time for fraternizing.

"Give me no reason to dismiss you, drow - than mote it be." She replied dryly.


Lucien is no longer your bard
But I assure you I am just as well
I am a master of many instruments and tales.
Behold your bard is Johnathan of the illumination!
And none will serve you with a greater passion than I.


The lyrics of a winsome voice broke Caleb from her brief reverie, and when the entertainer emerged from the thicket - on the back of a white steed - she gave a droll smile and looked away. “I welcome you, Johnathan…the Crowcatcher does not waste time.” She began to take a few steps towards the borders of the camp. “The stage is set, then, and the players present. Let us be off.” She spoke uncharacteristic words with a hint of humor - a rarity at best – then gave one last look to her companions. Such a group; it was a cluster of souls from one corner of faerun to the next, all harboring separate intentions, emotions, beliefs, and gods. “A concoction for disaster,” she thought bitterly. She was no stranger to doubt and underestimation; Caleb knew that many thought her unfit for leadership, and she often felt the same. Yet she had lead men and women countless times in her last fifteen years of service. Still, she could not help but feeling there was some other purpose for her lead.
By the time they were ready to depart, she was hesitant. The final member of their entourage and not yet shown his face – the barbarian from the icy wilds of Spine of the World. Perhaps the Zedek has chosen against his employment – it was dangerous to have such a companion; Caleb had seen more than one berserker turn and murder their own brethren. A shudder coursed through her. Caleb paced for a bucket filled to the brim with water, and grabbed it douse the camp-fire flames. “From herein, cook-fires will be kept separate from camp, and doused after use,” she told them. The reason was simple, yet the logic and practice often escaped even the most intelligent: fires betrayed your whereabouts, why keep them where you slept? In one swift moved, she tossed the water atop the flames and smothered the heat, reaping a squeal and hiss from the coals in a cloud of hot steam.

When no others posed qualms to leaving, and the barbarian had not shown himself, she took the initiative and began to head into the tress. The forest trail was cowled by red and gold veils and the sun had risen over the canopy, mingling with pale clouds on the azure. Soft sunrays filtered through the autumn leaves, revealing flecks and fragments of dust and pollen drifting down from the cover. It was a brisk and chilly morning, but the Cloakwood embraced them tightly and huddled what warmth it could. She reckoned the group would no likely remain close-knit throughout their travels; each seemed to have a different method of travel and trekking. She did not care; so long as she kept tabs on them all, she did not care.
It would be an hour march until they breached the edges of the forest, and from there, about a three hour walk along the coast-way until they intervened on the caravan’s supposive path. She only hoped Zedek was right…