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Felix Brandt

"Few gentlemen are thieves and fewer thieves are gentlemen. Rest assured that when one is the other, interesting things are bound to follow."

0 · 415 views · located in Ankáthia

a character in “Seeds”, originally authored by Verdandi, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description



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« Honestly, this is an awful lot of fuss for what could be a mere irritation. But I suppose some people are just predisposed to the dramatic. »

⌠Smoke and Mirrors | Poets of the Fall⌡

Fᮀᮄᮇ Cʟᎀɪᎍ ◆ Ikki ❘ Pᎏʀ᎛ʀᎀʏᎇᎅ Bʏ ◇ Verdandi

Dɪᎀʟᎏɢ᎜ᎇ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ◆ #0076A4 ❘ Tʜᎏ᎜ɢʜ᎛ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ◇#91278F
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↪ ↩
⌊Gideon Felix Brandt⌉
⌊GIHD • ee • uhn ❘ Warrior; Cleaver⌉
⌊fey • LEEKS ❘ Lucky⌉
⌊BRANT ❘ Sword; Weapon⌉


↪()↩
⌊Professional monikers include the Spectre and the Prince of Thieves. His friends, and basically everyone else, call him Felix. It's unlikely anyone even knows that's not actually his first name.⌉

↪↩
⌊Male⌉

↪↩
⌊25⌉

↪↩
⌊Larkspur ● Original Seed ● Levity, Caprice, Lightness⌉

↪↩
⌊The Thief⌉

↪↩
⌊Flexible, but seems to prefer women.⌉

↪↩
⌊English ● Welsh⌉


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Look your fill if it please you, darling, though I hope you know I operate on a system of strict reciprocity.
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↪ ❖ ↩
⌊6’0” ❖ 155lbs⌉

↪ ↩
⌊It is a curious phenomenon, Felix’s hair. His family’s trademark hue is a platinum blonde color, distinct in nature from the white that characterizes the king, for instance. That said, recently, it seems to have changed, bleaching out not to the snowy hue of some, but to actual translucence. Each of Felix’s individual hairs is largely devoid of any color at all. Taken together, much like the coat of a polar bear, they appear white, but the apparent shade can change at a moment’s notice depending on the surrounding lighting conditions. If the light is blueish, his hair will tint the same color, under red light, he will appear a true redhead, and under a blacklight, it’s a glowing purple. The sun seems to catch it just so and throw iridescent rainbows onto nearby surfaces, almost like it would with a properly prismatic crystal. The basic idea is the same. His hair is well-tended, though cropped short, a rebellious move in court, to be sure. It slides through the fingers like woven strands of spider-silk.⌉

↪ ↩
⌊Dazzling, to say the least. His direct family line usually possesses blue eyes, but to call them blue alone is to do a disservice to the color. It is a fair mix of a bright azure and a deeper kingfisher hue, the latter flecked into the former to create an almost illusory effect—where the light strikes, one or the other color will predominate. Since his unwitting ingestion of the Seed, another color has been added to them, another facet for the jeweled irises: a fascinatingly-saturated violet-purple. His eyes no longer look like anything a normal human being can or should possess, and for this reason, he’s made a point to wear shades on any occasion he can get away with it. Notably, his eyelashes are the same color as his hair.⌉

↪ ↩
⌊Quite fair, unsurprising considering his lifestyle.⌉

↪ ↩
⌊There is a natural beauty mark underneath Felix’s left eye. On most occasions, he uses cosmetic paint to give it the appearance of a spade.⌉

↪ ❖  ❖ .↩
⌊Felix has quite a few more scars than one would expect for someone of his apparent lifestyle. Fortunately, his style choices allow him to conceal these quite easily
 as well as the newer marks, the ones of uncertain origin that have started to overtake his arms and chest, including the outline, faint but present, of a Larkspur flower, right over his heart.⌉

↪ ↩
⌊There are those who, upon first meeting Felix, are inclined to describe him as something akin to a peacock bird—flashy, graceful, and more than aware of the fact of his own appeal. He wouldn’t mind the comparison so much, for after all, who does not stop to watch such a creature go by? Certainly no one with even a hint of curiosity would ignore such a thing, and the curious people are the ones he likes. There is indeed some truth to the comparison; his looks are exotic to say the least. They always have been, and the recent changes in his coloration have only served to highlight what is already present. His visage is comprised mostly of sharp angles, saved from being feminine only by the line of his jaw and nose, perhaps, for indeed the rest of him is steeped in a sort of androgynous elegance that would be just as appealing on a woman as a man.

His build tends to remove some of the ambiguity—though slender for a male, there is definition to the leanness of his musculature that betrays him for masculine. It is in the cast of his shoulders, the sharpness of his angled frame, harsher in the places a woman would be expected to be softer, more rounded. His body tapers rather than curving to the thinnest point at his waist, and his legs seem to go for miles, though perhaps that is but a trick of his comportment and tailoring, who can say? He is certainly built leanly and lightly, deceptively so, should one ever receive a demonstration of his physical capability.

Felix moves with the absolute assurance of someone completely comfortable in his own skin. Like the strutting bird, he is well-aware of his appeal, and it translates to a certain unnamable sensuality of demeanor. One gets the sense that this is a man of impeccable and discerning taste, and there is something about the utter confidence of his bearing which makes it seem that, were he to turn his attention upon another for even a moment, it would be because there was something in that other that was, just for a moment, likewise sublime. It comes as no surprise that he has many admirers at court, and perhaps even less that he seems to enjoy the attention.⌉


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What, it wasn't obvious?
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↪↩
§ Charismatic § Flirtatious § Obfuscating § Trickster § Perceptive §
───────────────────────────────────────────────────
⌠If all the world’s a stage, then I’m the leading man. ⌡
───────────────────────────────────────────────────

⌊Some people, by some flaw of perception or judgement, manage to be both comely and talented without having the first inkling of it. Felix
 lacks such flaws in perception or judgement. Indeed, he seems at every moment to be keenly aware that he is observed, watched and studied, both because he naturally draws the eye in the way beautiful things do and because of his personality and station in life. When one is born to nobility, one is doomed to always be observed, watched, scrutinized, and judged. One can either embrace that or attempt to run from it or ignore it, and Felix has done some combination of all three, while appearing only to do the first.

His outward affectations are those of any noble fop, a little too concerned with clothes and women and whatever should happen to catch his passing fancy, as the case may be. Entirely superficial, not too bright, and very much a gilded thing in a cage, pretending to its own freedom. Indeed, there is no denying that his mannerisms to fit this pattern, and so he is often judged to be just so—and he would have it no other way. The thing about beautiful, stupid people is that they are rarely bothered to be anything other than what they already are. If everyone knew him for as clever as he was, after all, he might be bothered to go into politics or something, and goodness knows no man in his right mind wants that.

No, indeed his outward demeanor is mostly affectation, a distraction by which attention is effectively diverted from what lies beneath. There is a certain charisma to him in either mode—when wearing his mast it is the innocent charisma of a well-meaning fool, guileless and benign as a summer breeze. But when the mask falls away, he is a different kind of charismatic altogether—a reckless, dangerous charismatic, exactly the kind of person one could believe has been stealing things from under the noses of the king and all his nobles and knights for years.

In either guise, Felix enjoys the company of the fairer sex, though admittedly, he will always prefer an intelligent woman over a lovely one, not that he can let on that such is the case. He seems always lighthearted, easygoing to the point that things don’t bother him nearly as much as they should, and carelessly indifferent to the plights of others, as a good nobleman should be. Of course, the Prince of Thieves cares deeply about the plights of others, though even he is not so reckless as to let the extent of his altruism be known. No, better that even those who think they understand him believe him simple and motivated only by money and risk. He is a man of deep complexity and many guises, to the point that it is difficult to tell where one character ends and another begins—and which of them is really Felix at all.

One thing, then, can be said with great certainty—it is basically impossible to be bored in Felix’s presence. His ever-shifting landscape of traits and demeanors is liable to keep anyone guessing, and his predilection for trickery and wordplay is quite entertaining, when not turned on oneself, and indeed, perhaps even sometimes then. He is, more than anything else, a man who prizes his own freedom, his ability to make his own choices, and in that sense, the opinions of others are but secondary. He seeks no one’s approval, but nor does he act just to make people disapprove. He does what he feels like doing, says what he feels like saying, and whether anyone else understands it is rather beside the point.⌉

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Curiosity killed the cat, they tell me. Why does no one ever remember the second part of the adage? Satisfaction brought it back. Curiosity is nothing to be stifled.
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↪↩
◊ Freedom ◊ ↣ Perhaps nothing in the world matters more to Felix than his ability to decide himself what he will do.
◊ A Challenge ◊ ↣ Intellectual, physical
 it matters not. He is always keen to test his limits and his mettle, and improve both. Puzzles are a particular hobby of his, actually.
◊ Clever People ◊ ↣ Little is more satisfying than playing with words around people who can give as good as they get. He tends not to take rounds of verbal banter seriously, and as such is remarkably difficult to offend.
◊ Flouting Authority ◊ ↣ To the point that Felix will sometimes do something he’s not allowed to just because he’s not allowed to.


❖────────────────❖────────────────❖

↪↩
◆ Orders ◆ ↣ Don’t tell him what to do. He accepts advice, suggestions, and requests, but not orders. He is not a dog to be brought to heel by anyone.
◆ Court ◆ ↣ One would never guess it, by the way he behaves, but he really does despise being at court.
◆ Buzzkills ◆ ↣ Whether one is serious or flippant about something rarely changes it, so why waste all that energy being too serious? It just brings everyone else down, and only a cad intentionally does that. Notably, even when Felix isn't feeling so great about something himself, he will act as though nothing is wrong to avoid troubling others.
◆ Secrets ◆ ↣ Perhaps ironically, he doesn't like the feeling that important things are being intentionally kept from him. He’s fine with people keeping personal secrets, of course, as long as they don’t have salience.

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↪ ❖ ↩
◊ Flirting ◊ ↣ It’s honestly a reflex by this point. That said, Felix can be surprisingly good at sensing the difference between this annoying someone and making them genuinely uncomfortable, and in cases of the latter, he is generally sensitive enough to desist.
◊ Manners ◊ ↣ He may be a thief, but he’s a gentleman thief, thank you very much, and he acts the gentleman part to the nines.
◊ Hair ◊ ↣ When particularly pensive, he’ll often unconsciously play with his hair, or run his hands through it. He also seems to have a fondness for other people’s hair, especially if it has interesting qualities like color or texture.
◊ Lip-Biting ◊ ↣ Just a small tic, really. He tends to worry his lower lip with his teeth.


❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪↩
◆ Grace ◆ ↣ There is an uncanny, catlike balance about Felix that makes feats of climbing and height-navigation almost laughably easy for him. He’s fairly acrobatic and flexible as a rule, aided by his slimmer frame.
◆ Lockpicking ◆ ↣ What thief worth his salt can’t get through a lock or a safe? Certainly, the best of thieves makes it look easy as breathing, and Felix is the best of thieves.
◆ Martial Arts ◆ ↣ He has always found weaponry unreliable, and so has trained since his youth in several styles of barehanded fighting. He has three blackbelts.
◆ Stage Magic ◆ ↣ Felix is very good at slight-of-hand, and tricks involving distraction, misperception, and illusion. He doesn't have the ability to actually make anyone hallucinate, of course, but what he can do is enough for his purposes.


❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪↩
◊ The Mask ◊ ↣ Few people take him seriously. This can be an advantage, but as of late, he’s been reminded that it has its downsides as well.
◊ Bleeding Heart ◊ ↣ It’s concealed, but exploitable.
◊ Cynicism ◊ ↣ It’s not always easy for him to place his trust in people, and he usually doesn’t bother pretending to do so if he can’t actually do it. People tend to mistrust him in turn.
◊ Uncertainty ◊ ↣ For a man that oozes confidence the way he does, Felix can be surprisingly unsure of the rightness of his actions, and tends to second-guess himself.


❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪↩
◆ Confinement ◆ ↣ What does a free bird fear more than the cage?
◆ Emotional Connection ◆ ↣ He keeps his relationships of all kinds light and jovial so they don’t have to be deep and serious.
◆ Death ◆ ↣ There is so much he must yet do—to die now is to die too soon.


❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪↩
◊ Identity ◊ ↣ The nobility don’t know he’s a thief, and the thieves don’t know he’s a noble. It’s a delicate balancing act, to be sure.
◊ Regret ◊ ↣ For someone who seems to live solely in the present, Felix spends an awful lot of time thinking on the past. Not happily, either.
◊ Talent ◊ ↣ An adept musician, Felix has long since ceased playing.

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I must confess that I do not fully understand what has happened to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to panic about it.
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↪R E A C T I V E X A D A P T A T I O N↩
───────────────────────────────────────────────────
⌠What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.⌡
───────────────────────────────────────────────────


⌊An interesting application of a seed, to be sure. Felix, upon receiving some kind of damage, is able to instantaneously “adapt” to that damage, bolstering his resistance to it in future instances. Shooting or bludgeoning him will increase the resistance of his skin to damage, for example. If he survives a poisoning, he gains immunity, if he's burned he becomes more fire-resistant, and so on.⌉

❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪X↩
─────────────────────────────────────────────
⌠
It might still kill me. ⌡
─────────────────────────────────────────────


⌊Well, chances are good that if he’s shot in the head or poisoned with a high enough dose, he won’t survive to adapt to it next time. Also, the ability is almost entirely defensive, leaving it with few offensive applications. That’s not, of course, to say it won’t serve him well in a fight, because it will, but actually doing anything but surviving is up to him, not the Seed.⌉

❖─────────────❖─────────────❖

↪B A R E X H A N D S↩
───────────────────────────────────────────────────
⌠Why gamble by fighting with something that can be taken from you? I would rather use what is always present. ⌡
─────────────────────────────────────────────


⌊Fortunately, Felix’s proclivity to fight only with what is constantly available to him is made slightly more practical by the fact that he really knows how. His blackbelts are in Wing Chun, Aikido, and Shaolin Kung Fu, all of which he will happily discuss with any interested parties. He was also working on another art, Krav Maga, before this whole thing happened and shot his plans to oblivion.⌉

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My every secret, laid bare for your perusal? I daresay you’ll have to try a little harder than this if that is what you desire.
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↪↩
⌊Felix’s history is fundamentally the history of two different men: Gideon Felix Brandt, heir to the Brandt duchy and scion of one of the most powerful noble families under the king, and Spectre, the Prince of Thieves, proud, independent proprietor of the kingdom’s notorious criminal underbelly and black market system. Considering that people are sold on the public markets, he personally doesn’t think the Black Market should be nearly as scandalous, but there you have it.

The Brandt heir was born first, as such things go, to parents who had both availed themselves of a loveless, political marriage that nevertheless left them partners and friends with one another. Not the worst of such situations, by far, but also not the best, and clearly not, for Felix was their only child, and neither showed any interest whatsoever in having another. He was the heir, and one heir was enough
 provided he could be kept safe. The Brandts were an old family, and for many generations had had something of a reputation for being one of the more martial houses in the kingdom, refusing to let their sons and daughters soften under the illusion of security.

Like his father before him, then, Felix was trained in the martial arts, both with and without weapons, though it was indubitable that he took best to the use and implementation of his own body as a weapon. His mother tutored his more tender sensibilities, making him a musician of rare acumen, and a great appreciator of art and beautiful things. He certainly has the accompanying sense of taste.

There was no mistaking, however, that that same mix of traits cultivated in one so young carried some risk. Felix’s heart was tender enough that it genuinely bled for the downtrodden, those who fell under the heel of the current system of power. His mind was sharp enough, and his body strong enough, that he decided to do something abut it, and that is how the Spectre was born. At first, it was something of a challenge, with the side benefit that the money gained from selling his stolen goods on the Black Market was untraceable, and could be given under the table to those who needed it, and those who could help them use it properly.

But within a few years, it was a full-blown enterprise. Others of similar disposition, emboldened by the Spectre’s blatant flouting of authority, joined his cause, not only as thieves, but fences, informants, bookkeepers, and even the occasional noble sponsor. All organized underneath the one figure none of them were ever sure they’d seen, and in time, the Spectre was the Prince of Thieves, still playing the part of the nobility’s foppish son at court. His deception even extended so far as robbing himself, all the better to throw suspicion.

It was on his last job that it started to rain just before he entered the mark’s home, and he thought nothing of turning his face to the sky, finding the feel of the water on his skin to be sublimely soothing. What that simple, innocent gesture would mean for him was something Felix could have predicted in none of his guises.⌉

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Yes, well
 I suppose we can all be glad that our family can only influence us so far, hm?
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↪ ❖ ↩
❖ Father ↔ Lord Liam Brandt ↔ 55 ↔ Alive ❖ Felix considers his relationship with his father to be fairly average, as far as nobility is concerned. They are not affectionate with one another, certainly, but neither are they actively cold. They just both acknowledge that the primary motive for Felix’s existence was a concern about lineage—a business transaction, in all honesty. Still, Felix doesn’t resent the old man.
❖ Mother ↔ Lady Edith Brandt ↔ 53 ↔ Alive ❖ Felix does retain some tender feelings for his mother, considering all the things she nurtured in him tended in that direction anyway. He does feel affection and regard for her, though in truth it is the same kind of affection and regard others would profess to feel for a favored aunt more than a mother. Still, it is the relationship style that works for both of them, and so he doesn’t let it disturb him that it’s so.


⒞ⓄⓅⓎⓇ⒟⒌⒜Ⓣ ⓌⒶⓇⓃ⒟Ⓝ⒌
cs by © જ૮૚Α
filled by Verdandi

So begins...

Felix Brandt's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait: Dismas Pettigrew Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Sigma
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Thwack. Thwack. Violet couldn't help but feel annoyed by the unnecessary sounds of large thorny vines being cut and the trudging of the few people behind her. Normally this trip through the woods would be quieter and more speedy, but for the sake of the others following her who might not have had the same training as her, she had to go along at their pace. The exodus from the castle was, in and of itself, crudely executed. One could not have accounted for circumstances such as the abilities of those trapped within. Not to mention the lack of people skills that Violet had already been lacking in. Yet, even if the castle is on a high alert, Violet did her task and got the designated four out of there.

However, once the group had entered the weald, she focussed herself on getting to the rendezvous point, rarely checking behind her back to see if the others were keeping pace. She made it as simple to follow her as she could; she cut both her pace and any protruding thorns in half, allowing the others a slightly simpler path to follow. Soon enough, after an elongated walk through the forest, making occasional off-course movements in the case they were being followed, Violet and her group arrived at the meeting point.

It was a small clearing within the grove, the canopy above breaking to allow just enough sunlight inside. Violet raised her arm, gesturing for the people following her to go on in. She, herself, walked straight into the grove and took a seat right in the middle. She watched as the rest filed in, going to their own areas. "We still have to wait for another group of people to arrive, so for the time being you are allowed to go about doing your own thing." She said to the rest, "Though, I don't recommend wandering off. If you get lost, which you will, I am not coming to find you. Furthermore, if you try to harm myself or anyone else here I will personally end the problem." She added, tapping the sheath on her thigh that held one of her katars. It was the first time she spoke to them since getting out of the castle, which even then was not very informative. Violet glanced at each of them in turn before leaning back against the grass. "You may address me as Argo if you wish. Also, you may ask any question to which I will provide an answer if I wish." Violet reached into the pocket of her leather jacket and pulled out a small book, holding it open. "Wonder if everything went okay on the other's end." She thought to herself.

The setting changes from Ankáthia to Louloúdia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard
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The setting changes from Louloúdia to Ankáthia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard
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⌠There is no room for me to fail.⌡
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The second group that advanced through the weald did so much more quietly, owing partly perhaps to the demeanors and skills of those that comprised it, but also to its much smaller size. Indeed, this group was nothing more in number than a man and a woman, the former having taken the front, and apparently going to pains to prevent any of the natural hazards of the forest from damaging his charge. He was careful to hold off thorny vines until after she had passed, using his superior height and familiarity with the trail inwards to put himself between she and the features of the environment that would otherwise have accosted her.

He did not, however, aid her any further than that. She walked by the strength of her own two feet, though that was by her disposition and not his. He would have offered to make it easier on her by carrying her the whole way himself, if he believed she would accept. But no, Sir Rainier knew the princess very well, and her refusal was obvious to him before the question was ever asked. He had to admit, he admired that about her—many in her position would have gladly taken advantage of all the things that came with their newfound station, but Corin had always been more modest than that. Sometimes frustratingly so, but he declined to tell her that.

After all, he’d already uprooted her entire life this morn, and he had no desire to make things any worse than they already were. But there it had been, that rogue thought in the King’s head—that those with the new Seeds must die. It was something he had acted upon immediately, enlisting Argo to see to the main group’s escape, considering how well-suited she was to it. Then, he had waited long enough for the news to break, and with the other knights, gone out in a search party, directing his eastward—a way he knew they had not gone. Those in his party were loyal to him first and foremost, and so when he told them to carry on the search without him, none had so much as batted an eyelash, and it was simple for him to avoid the notice of others as he doubled back into the palace.

He hadn’t been able to explain much to the princess, and he knew that she was taking much of this on faith, something that troubled him. Should she trust him so? She was his best friend, his oldest friend, but she was also the princess, and he a knight with a traitorous streak. There was so much he had not told her, for her own safety even more than his. That he would do it all again the same way did little to quell his unease.

Still, they were in the forest now, and he sensed no other minds nearby, only the faintest brush of animal consciousness, content to leave them be if they would do the same. Perhaps there was yet time to rectify some of his error. “Highness,” he started, his voice contrite. He only ever called her that when he felt he had erred, or was uncomfortable, or formality was necessary for some other reason. She was never just a princess to him, after all. “I feel I should apologize. I have told you very little of why we must do this, and I fear it is not happy knowledge. There are those who can tell the most of it better than I, but
 I feel I owe it to you to try myself anyway.”

Rainier glanced back over his shoulder, a slightly-wry smile just barely touching his lips. “Is there somewhere you would like me to start?” He didn’t need to imagine her thoughts right now—he could perceive every one of them with all the clarity of daylight. He had not felt such regret in a long time as he did now—that she had been drawn into this shadowed corner of his world, she who was far too innocent to deserve any such thing.




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⌠Rescue or no rescue, I don't do cages.⌡
───────────────────────────────────────────────────

Felix was hardly the type to trudge, but then he supposed the same could not be said for everyone. He carried himself through the forest with a sort of cervine grace, picking his way over and around obstacles rather than trying to move them aside. Of course, this was hardly any assistance to the people behind him, but he had to admit he wasn’t really thinking about them overmuch at the moment. An unforgiveable breach of courtesy, on most occasions, but he figured if anything gave a person a free pass, it was the events of roughly the last three days.

It had all started with the marks on his skin. Being from a military family, he recognized what he saw, he just didn’t understand it. He had ingested no Seed, and would certainly never volunteer for such an ignominious fate. For a darkly-tilting, paranoid moment, he imagined that someone must have slipped him one somehow, but soon discarded the notion as impossible. He was very good at what he did, and part of that involved sleeping lightly and being very careful about the sorts of things one eats and drinks. His skepticism had lasted as long as it took the blue-purple flower to take faint form on his chest, and then he’d almost begun to panic.

He’d told no one, but somehow they’d found him out anyway, or else they’d found out about his other secret, and either way, he’d found himself soon imprisoned within the castle. Protestations, delivered flawlessly in-character, had gotten him nowhere, not even when he threw his (rather weighty) surname and lineage into the equation. Well, he’d met very few things in life that didn’t bend for the Brandt name. He wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or impressed, so naturally he’d settled on cynical. Call it a coping mechanism.

And now here he was, but a day later, traipsing through the Thorn Forest at the behest of some diminutive double-agent, or whatever she must be to have palace access and also want to prevent whatever was planned from happening to them. Or perhaps it was all part of the same ploy, though if so, he would have to tip his hat to the planner, because he could make neither heads nor tails of it. Grimacing at a hanging vine that dared to try and entangle his hair—and that had been an exercise to try explaining to his mother—he continued forward, for once bereft of his usual smart mouth.

It returned, however, when the little agent went so far as to inform him what he may do if he so desired. Like reflex, an eyebrow ascended his forehead, and he blinked behind his sunglasses, proving quite useful now in the glare of morning sun. Raising his hand, as one about to ask a question in a classroom, he didn’t actually wait for permission to speak. “Not to seem ungrateful for the
 assistance, Miss Argo, but I do have a question. Can I leave, if I wish?” he used the same phrasing as she had quite on purpose, though the emphasis to it was only slight, his tone one of polite inquiry, though that was hardly the motive behind it.

He figured, of course, that the answer was no, but he was, in certain circumstances, far too snide a bastard to let it go unremarked upon that for all their wishes, they were no less prisoners here than they had been a few minutes ago, it would seem.

Captivity didn’t agree with him.




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───────────────────────────────────────────────────
⌠The forest speaks, to those who will listen.⌡
───────────────────────────────────────────────────

The area to which Argo had led the strangers was, in fact, more than its location in the forest would cause one to believe. Though they were currently halted in a clearing, not too far beyond it was something considerably different from that. It was actually a small village of sorts, protected by the weald itself as well as the man who led it, and those who followed him. The first of those followers, though perhaps neither of them would describe her as such, was currently down by the river that ran to the west of the settlement, curling her bare toes into the silt of the riverbed, soft and smooth and thick against her skin. Crouching, she filled first one of the wooden buckets she carried, and then the other, attaching them to either end of a long pole, which she then set over her shoulders and stood with, her balance apparently effortless.

It was on the way back that she felt the subtle shift in the life-force of the forest that tipped her off to the fact that something had changed. Her eyebrows drew together in a faint furrow over ruby-colored eyes, and she pursed her lips just faintly, taking a detour from her planned trek to drop the water off at a closer location and then head, not towards the disturbance, but rather in the opposite direction.

It had been remarked before that Aurel was, when he so wished to be, a very difficult person to find. Aria had never encountered such difficulty, though it was hard to explain why not. It was as though she simply knew where he was at any given time, the same way she knew where the parts of her own body were—it didn’t stick out at her unless she thought about it, but the knowledge was always there anyway. So she knew that he would be, presently, on the roof of his library, and it was indeed there that she found him, for once bereft of his foxlike mask.

Her feet made no noise over the roof as she padded over to him, but their awareness of one another’s presence tended to work both ways—she had no doubt he knew she was there. When she reached him, she crouched again, hugging her knees to her chest with one arm, and then reached down with the other, the very tip of her index finger meeting the end of his nose with a gossamer touch. It was something she did habitually, almost, a gesture familiar from the oldest days of their acquaintance, when both of them were much different.

For a few breaths, she was silent. Then: “Something new has arrived with the sun this morning. The east clearing, I think.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait: Dismas Pettigrew Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arrow-
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Luxia truly had no clue as to what was going on. Of course, as a woman of high intellect, she could piece it together quite well, but no matter how hard she tried, there was still ever-growing gaps in the information. She assumed it began with the growth of the thorny tattoo-like scars that had began growing on her body as of late. Luxia remembered being out in the rain one night, enjoying the mist that the sky had so beautifully cast down on them, and the next morning waking in pain. When she had looked in the mirror she had instantly noticed what was wrong. Spiralling out from the spot in which her heart rested, were the thorny marks. They slowly grew, and over a few days they had swirled down her abdomen and began to just kiss the fair skin of her shoulders. Luckily, she had been able to keep them well covered, but she supposed not well enough.

As though it was a normal day, she had been brought to the palace, but this time it was not for her tantalizing dancing and mellifluous voice. No, this instead was for another reason unbeknownst to her. She hadn't been the only one taken though, in the room she had been sent, she had seen another woman and three males, one of which she recognized well. Luxia hadn’t the opportunity to talk to them, as the commotion kept her quietly observing in the background, trying to sort what was happening. This was until a woman with light lilac coloured hair decided to so eloquently initiate their liberation from the castle.

At first, with not much to go on, Luxia hadn’t known whether to trust the woman and follow her out, but one faced with impending doom and death usually flees as soon as possible. She had followed behind the group quickly, yet silently, and she wasn't sure if any of them really noticed her as she trapezed over branches and vines.

Now, they had finally reached their destination, that seemed like just a normal clearing, but she was sure that wasn’t all, otherwise they wouldn’t be stopping there. She watched as Felix, her friend who had yet to notice her, waltzed right up to the woman now known as “Argo” and began his usual sarcastic banter, and while others may find it quite obnoxious, she was used to his attitude. She padded up behind him, quiet as always, waiting for the woman's response. Luxia herself had question to be asked, but she would wait.

The setting changes from Ankáthia to Louloúdia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait:
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#, as written by moahi
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Finnian but his lip as they raced through the vines as fast as they could. Honestly, he thought they wouldn't make a few paces away from the castle before they were caught, but this escape went better than expected, even if they had to run through a forest of thorny vines. He already considered the worst case before he decided to make his escape, but with the veins over his body and the pain clutching at his hear,t he felt that he didn't have too much of a fair choice. He frowned as one cut his sleeve, looking at the rip in fabric with dismay. It was a while before he even went out of his bedroom, let along race against their possible capture. He felt like he was more clumsy than ever, trudging through the thorns and vines.

He gasped when he felt his breathing grow shallow, his lungs trying their best to take in as much oxygen as possible, almost giving way under the strain of running. His health had never been too good, but this time it felt worse now that he was pushing himself to go faster all the time. How long has it been since he was allowed outside? The last time ended up making him a freak, with his left eye changing and reading others as easily as a book. Odd markings began to form of his skin, and his family thought it was an aftermath of the illness, until it got worse. Then, when the flower started forming slowly on his skin, the guards came to find him. Perhaps the outside world was really a dangerous place, like what his parents always said. He should never have ventured out of his own small universe, the one made out of fantasy and fairy tales, where he felt secure.Tearing away from his thoughts, he focused his gaze on the girl with purple hair, the one that helped them escape the castle. Even without his other eye, he could tell she was experienced in going through the woods. Her feet hardly made a sound unlike his, and he was sure that she was purposely slowing down just for them to catch up.

Thankfully, they reached the clearing just before his breathing gave out and he collapsed on the ground immediately, hissing out in pain. A bruise was already forming on his knee, showing clearly against the pale skin. He propped himself up into a sitting position, pulling on his pants to cover his wound when the girl finally spoke. "We still have to wait for another group of people to arrive, so for the time being you are allowed to go about doing your own thing. Though, I don't recommend wandering off. If you get lost, which you will, I am not coming to find you. Furthermore, if you try to harm myself or anyone else here I will personally end the problem."

Her instructions weren't so hard to follow then. He was hardly going to go anywhere in his state, neither would he even try to harm them. As for inquiring her, he was used to trusting people to make the right decisions, and the girl is definitely more capable than him. His hand moved to the back of his neck, running his fingers along the protruding veins. His fingers felt the stings holding his eyepatch in place, then stopped. It wasn't the best of times to reveal what his odd looking eye the others. They don't even know each other that well, let alone start sharing secrets immediately. With that thought in mind, his hand dropped beside him again while he concentrated on getting his breathing back to normal. His body was really causing him quite a lot of problems, and it was probably only going to get worse from here on. The man with blue hair was the first of them to ask a question, though his was spoken with a snide tone. His wish to leave is probably not one of the wisest decisions in this situation. But again, he couldn't blame him for wanting to be free.

The setting changes from Louloúdia to Ankáthia

Setting

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Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait:
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Dɪᎀʟᎏɢ᎜ᎇ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ◆ #A14C67 ❘ Tʜᎏ᎜ɢʜ᎛ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ◇#D7B2BD
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    Honestly, she thought the escape from the castle would be a lot harder, but they somehow managed to slip by without being noticed. The plan had to have been carefully planned out, and she had to give credit where credit was due, it was solid plan. Now they were trudging through thorns and vines, stepping on sticks, trying to move as fast as possible. Keeping up the group wasn't a problem for Avra. She personally thought they were moving quite slow, but it was probably so the others wouldn't end up falling behind. The lilac colored woman was moving with confidence, as though she'd already been through here hundreds of times. She certainly didn't seem like she'd be slowing down for anyone else soon, even if they did end up falling behind.

    She had no real clue about what was going on, and right now she didn't really care too. She was just glad to be out of that cramped castle. Though, there was no doubt in her mind that it had to do with the vein like scars growing along her lower back. They've been growing ever since she first discovered her power, by accident of course. After that, her former master reported her to the king and she was taken away. A part of her was glad that she was taken. At least she wouldn't have to see him again.

    There were three other people taken to the castle as well, as though she knew next to nothing about them but their appearances. One other woman with blonde hair, a boy with dark blue hair, and a man with hair that appeared to be white, almost bordering on that of a shade of light blue. The four of them weren't at the castle for long before they had escaped.

    Soon they had reached a clearing where it seemed they would be resting at for the time being. Although she had a plenty of questions that needed to be answered, she didn't bother with asking them. She preferred to wait and see what would happen before taking any actions. The girl with lilac hair had introduced herself as "Argo" and gave pretty straight forward directions. Avra had no intention of harming anyone there, though she couldn't say quite the same thing about the others. The first of them to speak up after directions were given was the man with whitish-blue hair. Avra almost scoffed at the question of his, but stopped herself. If he wanted to leave, then that was on him. He'd probably get lost in the woods and if he did get out, he'd probably get captured by any of the guards that were still out looking for them. He wouldn't last long at all.

    She noticed that the boy with dark blue hair who'd also escaped with them had collapsed as soon as they had reached the clearing. Maybe he was putting strain on his body in order to keep up with the others? Whatever the cause was, she didn't want to just leave him there when it was clear that he was having some difficulty. Silently she walked over to where he was now sitting and kneeled in front of him. "Are you okay?"

The setting changes from Ankáthia to Louloúdia

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Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Sigma

The setting changes from Louloúdia to Ankáthia

Setting

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Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Sigma
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DialogueColor: #cc00ff
ThoughtColor: #8c00ff



Argo lifted her head slightly as the sound of rustling grass could be heard getting closer. Laying eyes at one of her wards approaching, the first thing she noted was his vaguely pale green hair. Squinting her eyes, she noticed that the male's hair was actually reflecting the pigment of the greenery around them, quite peculiar.

“Not to seem ungrateful for the
 assistance, Miss Argo, but I do have a question. Can I leave, if I wish?”

The question itself was voiced in a rather polite and mannerly fashion, but one could tell by the, rather accentuated emphasis of certain words, that this was no more than average sarcasm. Argo couldn't help but think, He's patronizing me, isn't he? The nerve of some people. Pushing herself back to a standing position and brushing stray blades of grass off of her clothes, she took a step closer to the person in question and stared him in the eyes. Well, at the very least she stared at the tinted shades that covered his eyes. She looked him over, summing up his characteristics. Quite a shame that he was such a snide person, considering that he definitely seemed like the definitive lady killer.

"I apologize. I did not take into account that a person I was escorting would be unable to comprehend my words. You did catch the part about me recommending you stay in this general vicinity, yes? That being said, by all means, if that is what you wish, you may leave." She stated coldly, proceeding to partially unsheathe one of her katars, "That being said, if I decide that you leaving will compromise the task I am assigned to, I will take drastic measures to put an end to such possibilities. While I am to bring you to the rendezvous point alive and well, nothing was stated in my task briefing that prohibited me from causing you bodily harm, so long as you are living."

Argo raised her voice a little with the last few statements, hoping to catch the ears of all four of her wards. The idea behind this was intimidation, a tactic that would be more effective had she not been half a foot shorter than the person whom she was primarily addressing. Of course, it was meant to be nothing more than intimidation. If she could avoid it, Argo would rather keep the bloodshed to a minimum. She couldn't help but pray that this male didn't challenge her bluff, otherwise she'd really have to do something. "I trust that answered your inquiry, Mister Svoloch?" She said in a mocking tone, taking the male's sunglasses revealing another peculiar set of color, the ranging depths of blue in his eyes.

She put the sunglasses on herself, enjoying the sudden shift from bright light to a darker, cooler shade. She brushed passed the male whom she had just previously spoke with, moving towards the girl who had been patiently waiting behind him. Before addressing the girl, Argo noticed the other two just a ways away, one appearing exhausted on the ground while the other seemed to be making an attempt at helping them. "Oi, futari tomo! Please refrain from planning a tryst, yeah?" She called out to them, "There aren't any romantic spots out here in the weald, I can promise you that! At least wait until the leader gets here to bring us to the village!"

Turning back to the other girl with a shrug, Argo let out a small sigh. "So, what about you?" She asked quickly, "You look like you have a question. What is it?"



Svoloch-Russian for Scum
Futari Tomo- Japanese for You Two

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Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Felix Brandt Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arrow-
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Luxia watched quietly as Argo treated Felix rather harshly, though the man could certainly handle himself in these situations, so she needn't worry too much. Felix' attitude also certainly asked for these kinds of responses when he treated others with sarcasm, but he rarely got them, most girls would giggle and swoon. This is why her and Felix were very best friends. Ever since she had moved into the kingdom, they had easily acquired a friendship. He needed someone who wouldn't fall for his flirtatious ways, someone whom he may confide in about anything and know they wouldn't spill a word, someone who was intelligent enough to banter with him. Luxia was just that person, and in turn, he made her laugh like no other could. He was quite charming that way, but alas, he was also a major ass as well. She liked him anyways.

When Argo took his glasses, she bit the inside of her cheeks, hoping that her friend would not lose his cool. The lilac haired girl then walked past him and towards her, stopping to bark out at the other two in the group before returning her attention to Luxia. "So, what about you? You look like you have a question. What is it?" The woman asked. Luxia refrained from sighing. She understood that the woman was in the spot of authority here, and Luxia was willing to submit to that. There truly was no need to act so irate to a person who had done seemingly nothing to her and was complying by her rules.

"I was just wondering if you could explain to us exactly why we are here ma'am? I am thankful for being relieved of my death sentence, but I would like incite as to what these markings on my body mean, and also I would assume you affiliate yourself with a group. Who would they be?" Luxia spoke softly and calmly, much unlike her male counterpart who was still behind Argo. For a moment, Luxia wondered if she was asking for too much information, but then again, the woman said she would inform them of anything she wanted according to their situation. Plus, a part of her thought she had the right to know why she had been tossed into this fumbling situation.

Luxia's life before this had been pleasant. Maybe it wasn't the most exciting, other than her performances of course, but at least it had been comfortable. She had loved strolling about with Felix and laughing with him, spending time in the libraries with other friends, and practicing her art. Within a few short hours though, everything had been flipped in not only her life, but three others as well. The intellectual side of Luxia was now aching for the knowledge of the unknown.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel Character Portrait: Corin Apollonius
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⌠The truth can be infinitely more painful than a deception.⌡
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Rainier was silent for a few minutes after the request, though Corin would be able to tell from the way his face assumed a vaguely-thoughtful expression that he did intend to answer. He gave no protest when she drew as level with him as she could—though no matter what either of them did, he would always be an exceptionally-tall person, and so in that sense at least there was little for it. But though he did in the literal sense have to look down to see her, he didn’t in the figurative sense. They were actually very much the same, in some ways, though he chose not to linger on it.

“The rain
” he murmured. That was indeed Téo’s best guess—that the rain had delivered unto those five people their new burdens. He didn’t truly understand why, and perhaps, were there an opportunity when he returned, he would have to make inquiries of a very unique sort. But that was not something to think about now. His first priority had to be seeing Corin and the others to safety. Whatever the reason, he knew it had to be important. It had to matter.

“What you have
 the reason for the changes you’ve noticed. It is a Seed.” He paused, filtering through the information he had at his disposal. The others had thought a great deal about what had been happening to them, not that he could blame them. He knew that at least most of them could already see the outline, however faint, of a flower. A process that usually took a much longer period of time. “But it is not like other Seeds. Already, it
 it has too much hold, and you are not the only one with this problem.” He sighed, so soft it might be mistaken for an ordinary breath, out his nose, pushing aside another hanging vine with a gentle hand.

“There are four others. You know that Seeds are not freely given to those outside the army, and so when four civilians began exhibiting symptoms
 Helios had them arrested and imprisoned within the castle.” Two of those people, he knew, one somewhat better than the other, but nonetheless, he was aware that it was a substantial risk to imprison at least the Brandt heir. That was a powerful family, after all, and even the king required the support of his nobility, at least to an extent. It was part of the reason why Helios’s resolution had surprised him. But
 the king was not always a predictable man, even for Rainier, and that meant he had to take every potential threat seriously. Better to be too careful than not careful enough.

His brow furrowed slightly, and he glanced over to Corin, meeting her bright eyes with his own hazel ones. He wasn’t sure how one could say this gently, if there was any way at all to make it less horrifying than it really was. But he tried. “The king, he
 he decided that he would have them executed. I do not know if that decision was also to apply to you. I sincerely hope that it was not. But I could not ask, and there was no other way to be certain. Had I the time, I would have told you everything before we left. If you yet wish to return, if you believe he will not harm you, then I promise I will see you safely back, but.” There was another long pause, and Rainier’s jaw tightened. He didn’t trust the king that much, but he didn’t want to influence Corin’s judgement unduly. She knew and understood a different facet of Helios than Rainier did.

“I could not risk your life, not on such uncertain ground.” He stopped, turning to face her fully. It was not his place to make important decisions about the course of her very life. It was, however, his place to do everything possible to make sure she got to make those choices. “Nor can I promise that what follows will be easy, or enjoyable. If you wish to turn back, I can make it seem that you never left at all. But I do not know what would become of you. Even if the king
.” He shook his head. “Seeds are dangerous enough as they are. The people I’m taking you to know a great deal about them. I hope it is enough.” That was a great deal more than he usually said at once, but he wanted her to understand just how fraught this choice was that she was making. It was not an easy situation, and he deeply regretted that she and not someone else had been placed in it. That the five of them had. He would not wish this upon anyone he knew.

But though he was her friend, he was also her bodyguard, and because he was both, he would give her the choice, and respect whichever one she made. That was both his duty and his honor.




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⌠Well, isn't this just quaint?⌡
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Felix held perfectly still when the little agent removed his sunglasses, partially, he had to admit, out of some surprise that anyone would dare invade his personal space in such a way without his permission. Oh, he was a tactile man, to be sure, but generally speaking, people didn’t initiate contact with him, it was the other way around. He suppressed a small flare of irritation, the emotion not even making it close to his expression, and instead smiled at the young woman wearing his sunglasses. “Fetching,” he offered, reaching out with an index finger to push the glasses the rest of the way up the bridge of her nose. They were bound to slip, being made for his face specifically. He wore the most benign of smiles, mild enough to be downright suspicious, actually, and shrugged.

“So, I’m free to go, but only under threat of grievous bodily harm? Well, I do love a little risk every now and then.” And then, of course, he had the audacity to wink, and tousle Argo’s hair with a gloved hand, false smile firmly in place. He withdrew far too quickly for her to actually make good on the threat intended by the half-drawn knife, however, surprisingly agile and sure on his feet for a fellow of his sartorial sensibilities.

In truth, however, he was also a little curious. Luxie had about the right of it with her questions, and he, despite all appearances to the contrary, preferred to act with all the information in-hand. He had little doubt in his ability to navigate this forest back to the city, and even less about his ability to disappear beneath the radar when he got there, but it was not a particularly appealing option, and he might as well see what all this ruckus and fanfare was about first.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Acantha Periit Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros
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#, as written by Scra

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↪If you listen closely you can hear the whispers of the wind.↩
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Dɪᎀʟᎏɢ᎜ᎇ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ✩ #5dbede || Tʜᎏ᎜ɢʜ᎛ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ✧ #aedede
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Aurel couldn't rest or more like something was preventing him from resting. It was only moments ago that Aurel was enveloped in silence, than the peace was quickly invaded by noise. Not noise one could hear with their ears or see with their eyes. No. It was the one you could feel with your gut, an impending noise that if not contained it cold cause much havoc. Maybe it was this that was causing him such disarray, such uneasiness in his mind.

A soft touch, almost like a feather, landed on his nose. In reaction he quickly twitched his noise and he heard a soft laughter. Slowly opening his eyes, Aurel locked his eyes with Aria’s own red orbs. His sharp gaze stared at hers for what seemed forever, but was only a few seconds. He quietly listened to his friend's voice, ”You are right Aria. Something is here. And just not in the clearing, but throughout the forest.” Reaching for his mask, Aurel put it back on. Silence once again returned until he spoke up, yet this time one could no longer see his expressions as the mask restricted their visibility.

He stood up and stared out toward the east, “But
.someone has passed my illusions.” Aurel could feel Aria’s gaze on him and he turned to her, his expression soft behind the mask. ”Do not worry, it is just Argo and Rain.”

Aurel spoke cheerfully, though he had left out the small detail that they weren't alone. Though he knew Aria must have felt this as well, so he said nothing. Walking to the edge of the rooftop he swiftly jumped down onto a nearby branch. Once balanced he than preceded to the next and to the next until he had finally reached the bottom. He didn’t even have to glance behind him to see if Aria was there, as he could feel her soft footsteps following him with great ease.

About to exit the village, he paused at the sound of extra movement behind them, “What is wrong?” He saw that some of the villagers stood behind Aria and Aurel with grimaces on their faces. One of them spoke, a tall muscular man by the name of Decim, “Aurel! Why are you leaving the village?! Is something the matter?”

Aurel stared at them for a while before speaking in a calming voice, “Well
it seems Argo has brought back some new friends. So I was- “ Before he could finish Decim interrupted, “If it is new refugees why hasn’t she brought them here? Why has she kept them out of the village, if they are allies?!”

At this question Aurel looked straight at Decim, ”Do you
not believe in Argo or I?” At these words everyone froze saying nothing. A different kind of silence surrounded the area and everyone could feel it.

Quickly Aurel lightened the mood making everything seem as if it had only been a minor issue, “Well! Why don’t you come with us Decim? I would like for you to see our guest, and maybe if they see you they won’t be so uneasy."

Decim could sense the hint of teasing in Aurel’s tone but he only let out a simple sigh, “Of course. If you want me to than I will happily come, Aurel.” With those words Aurel, Aria, and Decim exited the village.

Arriving at the clearing Aurel spotted only one familiar face, which was Argo, quietly walking up to her he noticed that the others had their eyes on him. He lifted a finger to indicate them to stay silent. Standing behind Argo he spoke to her, “Argo you weren't being mean to our guest were you?” He said this in a playful tone as he knew Argo was not one to play around. She was a woman who got the job done without any unneeded attachments. So if that meant the people who she helps doesn’t like her, oh well.

Aurel was now crisscrossed on the ground examining the four new intruders. Was that a harsh word? Well, that was what Aurel thought of them, and he was doubtful he wold change it anytime soon. “Well isn’t this a surprise. When you told me you had some new faces
I didn’t expect them to look so
interseting.” He couldn't help but let out a light laugh at the expressions of the four. But than he stopped and looked at them. The air turning sort of serious.

“Well, to be honest I don’t quite understand all this either. All I know is what Rain has given me. He told me that five people need my help. But
” Glancing around Aurel surveyed the surrounding area, “It seems neither he nor our fifth guest has arrived. Oh well
I guess I can introduce myself in the meantime.”

He stood up with ease and bowed at the four, “Hello, it is nice to meet everyone. My name is Odysseus Aurelius, but you can call me Aurel.” Pointing his finger behind him he introduced the others, ”The one with the doubtful expression is Decim, Decim Titian. And the other one is Ariadnê Spyros, but we all call her Aria. And it seems you already meet Argo.”

He glanced over at Argo, than back at the guest, ”It seems you have a lot of questions and not a lot of information, though until a certain person arrives I can’t tell you much.” He said this in apologetic tone. Suddenly he heard the crunching of twigs and maybe Decim heard it as well as he stood in attention with his weapon readied. Though he slowly lessened his grip once he saw who it was. You could see Aurel's mannerism change, happily welcoming the visitor, “You’re finally here Rain! I was wondering how long you were going to be.” Seating himself back down, Aurel let the side of his face lean on his fist. He waited patiently for Rain to draw closer so he could explain all the commotion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Acantha Periit Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros
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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Acantha Periit Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros
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Four others. Corin's sense of confusion only grew for this statement. It was enough to have been left in the dark on the subject of the seeds, there hadn't been much time after all, but the existence of four others? Where in the castle had they been kept? Some part of Corin must have realized that other people had been affected as well, had begun to see the outline of a flower over their heart, but perhaps her mind had wandered from this fact. A strong need to meet these other four develops as a matter of course. She can figure out why she had been kept in a different room than the other four, given her position, but still is lacking her preferred state of clarity on the matter as a whole.

This, however, is not the most important thing to be dropped upon her. Father was going to kill me? There must be a misunderstanding, Certainly, King Helios is not always the most open of men, and it is difficult to read him at the best of times, but Corin has always been quite decided on the fact that he is a good man. He took her in off the streets, after all, gave her the means to become literate and well-informed. This is the man to whom she has grown up owing her debt to, striving to please and prove herself to. Rainier is her closest friend, but Helios has always been a sort of higher power to the young woman who calls him father. In another situation, this news would be enough to stop the girl in her tracks. However, she merely hesitates briefly and continues walking.

The girl hardly processes what Rainier says following his reveal of the king's orders, for her mind has become so dominated by this news. She had partially expected that her leaving the castle had been the bidding of the king to some degree, the steps of one of his strange schemes; after all, Rainier is his spymaster and one of his highest ranking knights. His loyalty, one would expect, must lie with the king. Yet he goes against his king. Corin does not want to accept this as true, but her will to survive has always been incredibly strong. She wishes it were merely her trust in Rainier that pushes her to the decision to seek out these strangers, but it is also the fear of the chance of dying. She'd rather take the risk of upsetting the king, her father, than that of being executed at his hand.

The young woman remains silent for a long while, the pair returning to the music of crunching leaves and the occasional twitter of birds. Her eyes flicker up towards his profile. It is indeed up that she has to look, for Rainier towers over her by an even foot. She has spent a good portion of her life looking up to this man, who fills her dream position as a knight, a servant of the kingdom. Her arm stretches out to briefly place her hand on his shoulder, feather light as she does not place any weight upon the hand.

"So it goes, then,"
this is really all that needs saying for her decision to be clear, something Rainier would know even if he hadn't likely been listening to the conflict within her mind for the past several minutes. Corin smiles very slightly, but it is the smile one gives when offering comfort, perhaps blended with her court smile. It lacks the usual sincerity of smiles shown to Rainier, but for good reason.

It vanishes as they come upon a group of people in a more open area. To Corin's surprise, there are people here she recognizes: Luxia being the first to catch her eye. There are also people from the court, however, such as the Brandt heir, a notorious flirt, and Violet Kodoku, who she knew as a member of the king's army. Very curious, however, is one person she does not know. Given his mask however, the peculiar thing about him, she wouldn't be aware even if he were someone she had already become acquainted with. It becomes quickly clear that he is friends with Rain, leading her to wonder what else Rain has never told her about himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Acantha Periit Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros
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#, as written by phnx
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Dɪᎀʟᎏɢ᎜ᎇ Cᎏʟᎏuʀ ◆ #b24db3 ❘ Tʜᎏ᎜ɢʜ᎛ Cᎏʟᎏuʀ ◇ #e4b9ad
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The Sun had not yet risen when Acantha woke, a sharp ache pulsed through her entire body instantly rousing the young woman. Softly sighing she rubbed her temples. The nightmares had gotten better but once in a while she's still wake up covered in cold sweat with strange kind of pain making her chest throb. Going back to sleep was out of question, these night horrors would often leave Acantha feeling paranoid. She just couldn't escape the feeling that once she closed her eyes she would be back in that room, that her escape had been nothing but a hallucination.

Having regained her composure Acantha left the bed, she was an early riser anyway. The village was still asleep so she quietly made her way to the river. Acantha's special spot was a secluded area on the riverbank. It was a perfect oasis of calmness and tranquillity, the only thing disrupting the otherwise silent scope had been the gentle murmuring of the river.

The Sun was slowly rising, its light passing through the thick forest of thrones. Acanthe relished the feeling of sunlight, the rays were dancing across the woman't pale skin, heating it with their warm glow. A small smile formed on Acantha's lips she found it funny that a simple mundane things like sunlight or birds chirping could fill her soul with more joy than she's felt in years. Beneath her distant façade she was still that simple little girl who wanted nothing more than to be happy.

With the day starting and herself now completely calm Acantha returned to the village. She was surprises to a group people collected around something or someone, Acantha wasn't sure what as the growing crowd was blocking her view. Dark thought immediately crossed her mind, what if the king's guard had broken the barrier and found them?

Wanting to know just what was going on Acantha pulled on one of the bystander's sleeve. The only indication of a question was the worried look in her eyes and a nod of her head towards the crowd but the man understood her intentions. Their interaction had been done without a spoken word as the other simply pointed toward the people who were slowly being surrounded by the crowd.

She could now see Odysseus and Aria, they seemed to be leaving the village. The words coming from both Decim's and Auriel's mouths escaped her hearing but she could sense that Decim was worried about something. Watching the duo turned trio leave the village and the crowd clearing Acantha wondered what the ruckus had been about. Maybe we're having visitors? The prospect of being confronted with new people was a bit terrifying as well as exciting for Acantha. Having decided not to dwell about visitors who may not even be coming, Acantha occupied herself with work at the village. The thoughts of just who might be coming still ended up occupying her mind but it seemed like Acantha would just have to wait and see.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel
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⌠There is not one part of this that I enjoy.⌡
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He hoped he had made his own doubts sufficiently clear with his words. Even he found it difficult to believe that the king would do away with Corin as easily as he would with other people he believed to be threats to him—but that also did not mean that her mere survival would be good news for her. Rainier was a little too familiar with how the palace’s science division tended to work, and they were under the direct orders of Helios, always. But regardless, he could only do what he believed had the greatest chance of keeping everyone alive and well. He had his own goals, too, of course, and generally speaking, when the king wanted a threat eliminated, that meant Rainier wanted it preserved. There were so many threads, woven together, and while he saw more of the tapestry than most, he did not delude himself into believing he understood the entirety of it. He doubted anyone did, not even Helios, perhaps.

Her internal musing about how much he’d kept from her stung, mostly because it was true. There was a great deal she didn’t know about him, and he’d intentionally kept some of the details from her. What did she need to know of how he had come to the position she so admired? The pain of it wasn’t something he really wanted her to know about, nor indeed Helios’s role in it all, nor what he had discovered and decided after. The world was an ugly place—was it terrible of him to want to spare his friend that knowledge? Perhaps it really was.

Worse, perhaps than the thought was that the smile was false. He couldn’t have expected it to be otherwise, however, and he appreciated that she was trying to help him, though in truth he thought that rather backwards of her. He was not the one who had just been torn from the comfortable atmosphere of his previous existence and thrust into a bright world of suffering that could—and would, unless a solutions was found—kill him. No, that had happened to Rainier a very long time ago, not this morning.

In time, they drew close enough to the rendevouz point that he could hear voices, including a slightly-muffled one. That would be Odysseus then—the man rarely took off his mask. Rainier hadn’t seen his face since he started wearing it, actually, and wondered how much the years had changed him. But it was a fleeting thought, and he stepped fully into the clearing, Corin at his side. At the masked man’s words, he inclined his head faintly in acknowledgement. “Your pardon, Odysseus. Certain facts made our taking an alternative route necessary.”

He caught a few looks of recognition for himself, and even more for the princess, and he knew several of the others as well, taking moment to spare a small smile for his acquaintances. Actually, he knew all of them, though at least two as nothing more than names, faces, and the occasional stray thought. “I apologize in advance, but I fear there is not much time for courtesies. They have seeds, gained naught but a few days ago, and already, the flowers show.” He paused to purse his lips, raising a hand to his chin in a thoughtful sort of way. “The king desired to kill them. You know better than I do what that must mean.”

Beside Odysseus, the young woman introduced as Aria stirred for the first time, looking intently over the newcomers with a slightly-unsettling pair of bright red eyes. “The Tree,” she murmured softly, and Rainier nodded his head.

“I suspected so, and therefore I had them brought here. I don’t understand why things have worked out this way but
 they are meant to be here.” He did not say how he had come by the knowledge, but he knew Odysseus and Ariadnê would understand what he meant.

The setting changes from Ankáthia to Louloúdia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel
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#, as written by moahi
Jesus I keep forgetting.

The setting changes from Louloúdia to Ankáthia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel
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#, as written by moahi
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"Are you okay?"
Finnian raised his eyes to meet a pair of deep pink ones, belonging to a girl who was now kneeling in front of him. He instinctively moved back a few inches, before his thoughts caught up. She was a new face, one that he hadn't seen before, and it took him a while to think of what to say to strangers. Been cooped up all your life doesn't really help the fact that he was at a loss of how to speak to the strange girl in front of him. "I... I guess." Answering her question seems to be the right decision for now, but what was the next step? Talking to strangers is harder than he expected. He could feel the slight flush creeping up his cheeks when their host spoke again.

"Oi, futari tomo! Please refrain from planning a tryst, yeah? There aren't any romantic spots out here in the weald, I can promise you that! At least wait until the leader gets here to bring us to the village!"
Argo called out to them, only serving to cause his cheeks to heat up more as the realisation of how awkward their positions must be right now. He completely understood her message, unfortunately for him. His vocabulary range was wide, and though he didn't know the japanese terms, the rest of her message through easily comprehensive. "Excuse me." His manners were still present, even when he was feeling flustered and awkward. Backing away a few more inches, he lifted himself off the ground, brushing the dirt off himself and trying his best to look cool and collected. He bent down and offered his hand to the girl however, as despite the fact that things might be more uncomfortable for him, she was still a lady. It was rude not to thank her for being concerned about his health, even more so by inconveniencing her without helping her to get up. As he helped her up, a sixth person entered the clearing.

A new man entered the clearing, his face obscured with a fox mask. Is he a spirit? The first thoughts that sped across his mind was the teenage from Japanese folklore his parents used to read to him when he was sick in bed. The mask certainly had the same design to it. Although he knew that it couldn't be true, for a moment, he believed that they were truly spirits hidden in the forest. The man placed a finger on his lips for silence, before speaking to Argo, teasing her gently. So he wasn't a spirit after all. He had been expecting that, but he still felt his heart fall in disappointment.

“Well isn’t this a surprise. When you told me you had some new faces
I didn’t expect them to look so
interseting.”
Interesting? Finnian raised an eyebrow at that. In what way? It must be the hair. Other than that, his appearance was by far the most normal out of all of them, with the odd hair colors of two of the escapees. “Well, to be honest I don’t quite understand all this either. All I know is what Rain has given me. He told me that five people need my help. But
” “It seems neither he nor our fifth guest has arrived. Oh well
I guess I can introduce myself in the meantime.”

There was a fifth guest? He was surprised that the person had not escaped with the rest of them as well, judging from how things are. One would think that escaping your death sentence would be the most important

“Hello, it is nice to meet everyone. My name is Odysseus Aurelius, but you can call me Aurel. The one with the doubtful expression is Decim, Decim Titian. And the other one is Ariadnê Spyros, but we all call her Aria. And it seems you already meet Argo.” Finnian's eyes moved to the figures standing behind him, just noticing them for the first time. His attention was completely attracted by the mask that he had not noticed the others following behind him. The man with the mask must be their leader, judging from how they were all following him. The leading figure usually speaks for the rest, standing out as a leader. At least, that was the way it was put in books. Whether it applies to real life would be something he needs to figure out.

A man bearing a girl came into the clearing then, most likely the 'Rain' person the man in the mask was talking about. More and more people were now entering the clearing, and he wasn't sure if he liked that. He would probably make a fool of himself in front of so many people... Biting his lip, he managed to make himself move just a few steps closer, enough for him to hear the whatever he had to say. He had a feeling that it was going to be important. “I apologize in advance, but I fear there is not much time for courtesies. They have seeds, gained naught but a few days ago, and already, the flowers show.The king desired to kill them. You know better than I do what that must mean.” The man knew about the flower? He had never told anyone about it before, hiding the blue bud on his chest. How could he possibly know about it? Moreover, it means that they were all alike, with the same issues he was facing. Was that the reason why the king wished to execute them? Perhaps it was actually an infectious virus that might affect the whole kingdom if not dealt with immediately.

“I suspected so, and therefore I had them brought here. I don’t understand why things have worked out this way but
 they are meant to be here.”
Finnian could feel the slightest hint of annoyance touch his heart. Meant to be here doesn't exactly cut it. From the information he gathered, the things in them were like some sickness that were consuming them slowly, and now the man was saying that it was all meant to be like it was in some part of a destiny. In most situations, he would be thrilled, but right now his life was being threatened and he was not getting the answers he needed. It was nearly infuriating, but it wasn't the right moment to interrupt. That was impolite, no matter how indignant he might be feeling right now.

The setting changes from Ankáthia to Louloúdia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard
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#, as written by Scra
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The setting changes from Louloúdia to Ankáthia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Rainier Abélard
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#, as written by Scra
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↪If you listen closely you can hear the whispers of the wind.↩
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Dɪᎀʟᎏɢ᎜ᎇ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ✩ #5dbede || Tʜᎏ᎜ɢʜ᎛ Cᎏʟᎏʀ ✧ #aedede
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Aurel was at a loss for words, which, if you knew Aurel, that rarely occurred. He always had an idea or something to comment on, but this time he was clueless, or maybe a better word would be cautious.

He silently gazed at the people who Rain stated held Original seeds. Such a rare thing, and if true it could only come from no other than it. Aurel felt the eyes of the strangers bouncing back and forth from him to Rain, trying to understand all this vague information.

Standing up Aurel faced Rain, his usual happy demeanor overlapped by a very serious air, "The Tree..." He didn't even have to wait for a reply as all his questions were answered by Rain's stone cold expression. Aurel turned to face Aria who looked just as worried as him, if one could see his face.

A small sigh escaped from behind his mask. One could feel how heavy it was, as if a huge burden had just landed on the man's shoulders. It could be interpreted for the fact he had just gained new people to take care of, but that wasn't it. No, what worried him wasn't them. It whats inside of them, its because they have Original seeds, and that in itself is a huge deal.

The man seemed to be pondering very deeply about the whole matter, "Rain..." Aurel's voice still remained in its unusual serious tone, which commanded the attention of everyone, "You know I trust your decisions...but..." He stared at the five one by one, "Originals...and on top of that they are wanted by the King..."

Aurel knew Rain would have never came to him if it wasn't extremely important. So all he could do was hear him out on this. He would never bring them here if he didn't believe they would be safe, "Okay Rain... They can stay with us."

At hearing this Decim spoke out, "What?! Aurel, you can't be serious?!" Aurel tilted his head, "Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"

Decim hit his palm against his forehead, "Didn't you just hear what that man just said?! You even said it! The KING is after them! The King! And lets not leave out yet another important fact. If the citizens learn who she is, they would definitely not approve."

He didn't even try to hide who he was talking about as he stared dead at the girl beside Rain, "Isn't she the King's daughter?!" Decim had only vaguely worked inside the Palace near the King, though he had seen her only a few times he had come to know who she was by the gossiping inside the Palace walls.

Aurel nodded slowly, "Hmmm, you are right. I guess we are gonna have to make sure no one figures it out. Right?" Aurel was staring Decim straight in the face, and this made Decim avoid the masked man, "Right...Aurel." You could only guess that Aurel was smiling brightly behind his mask.

Finally having the situation settled, sort of, the masked man nodded at everyone, "Now that everything is settled. You five are now under the protection of the people of Ankáthia, or what the people of the Kingdom call us, The Outsiders. I hope you five can come to trust us, even if it is only a little."

Pausing he looked up at the sun for a moment, "We must get going before darkness hits, and since we have five travels unfamiliar with the terrain, it might take us a little longer to reach the village."

Aurel let out a light laugh, "But do not worry I will teach you five how to maneuver through the forest later, also since I now understand the situation and it seems some of you want answers as soon as possible, once we get you all situated I will answer all your questions."

Believing he had said everything on his mind he started walking off but than suddenly stopped, "Oh! And don't lag too far behind me, because if you do, the forest will eat you." As Aurel said this the forest around them started to slowly grow closer towards them, and the clearing they were once in little by little began to disappear. The small rays of light that provided them with warmth and everything else was disbursing as if it was only an illusion. Without waiting for an answer he continued to walk.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luxia Hale Character Portrait: Odysseus Aurelius Character Portrait: Violet "Argo" Kodoku Character Portrait: Avra Stavros Character Portrait: Ariadnê Spyros Character Portrait: Finnian Amsel
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#, as written by Sigma
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DialogueColor: #cc00ff
ThoughtColor:#8c00ff



Argo quite nearly begun swinging her katars around when the male she had previously conversed with pushed up on the glasses perched upon her nose and proceeded to ruffle her hair. Luckily for him, unluckily for her, he was somewhat faster than she initially expected. Nothing she couldn't handle, she was sure, but this was not a time for bickering. She slowly eased her grip on the handle of her katar and took a deep breath to calm herself down for it was the turn of the girl to ask a question now. Svoloch! Mukatsuku! How about I throw your stupid glasses into the woods so you can go fetch that! She thought to herself, as she faced the girl.

"I was just wondering if you could explain to us exactly why we are here ma'am? I am thankful for being relieved of my death sentence, but I would like incite as to what these markings on my body mean, and also I would assume you affiliate yourself with a group. Who would they be?"

Violet had expected at least one of them to ask such questions. Given their current situation, the markings on the body, them being wanted, the sudden prison escape, it was only natural for them to be curious and wanting to know more about what was going on. "Ah, ah. Straight to the point? You don't waste any time, do you?" Argo answered with a nod, "For the first question... You're here because, well, I'm not sure how to answer that one. I'll let the Commander or the Leader fill you in on that once they arrive. I'm sure they'll touch upon that info. Same goes for the markings on the body, I think they'll get to that. And yes, I am part of an organization. While we ourselves go by a different name, the people of the Kingdom, that is you, most likely know us as 'The Outsiders'"

Almost immediately after she was done talking, Violet had heard sounds of approaching footsteps coming from beyond the clearing. As a reflex, she dropped to a knee and drew a katar, preparing herself to make a dash at the enemy. She relaxed as soon as she saw a familiar masked face appear at the edge of the clearing, putting her katar back in its sheathe.

“Argo you weren't being mean to our guest were you?”

Argo sighed and replied simply with a shake of the head. Which, in her mind, was not a lie, though it may have seemed that way to others. And soon enough, the final members of the operation had arrived on the scene, Rainier and the Princess. While she did hope to give her debriefing right now and go back home to rest, Violet knew this was not a good time. Rainier acknowledged the presence of everyone else in the clearing, but immediately went to Odysseus, the stone cold expression was one she wished she could not read. She tried not to listen in on the conversation happening, but she caught two words and her expression went from stoic to menacing. The Tree... She looked at the four people she was entrusted with escorting and if she was interpreting those few words correctly, the stakes couldn't be any higher.

Decim's words, as though the idea of volume didn't exist to him, echoed throughout the clearing. His obvious reluctance towards the situation, his obvious objection towards involving the people of the village. It was a pointless argument at best, but... Violet couldn't help agreeing with the man for once. Is the risk worth the reward here? Is the trade-off worth it? I'll have to confirm my task with Rainier or Odysseus later. She thought to herself, rubbing a gloved finger on her temple.

As the group set out to the village, Argo allowed herself to stray to the back of the group. This allowed her to keep watch for the rest of them, make sure no one got separated , as well as give her some time to think about what comes next. Chyort! I didn't enlist to do this kinds of stuff. Damn it...