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Talael Tamira

"Things are never as simple as they seem."

0 · 386 views · located in The Badlands

a character in “The Fall of Xamos”, as played by Hyperewok

Description

Name: Talael Tamira
Age: 170
Race: Drow
Gender: Female
Appearance:

Image

Young by drow standards, Talael appears to in her late twenties by a human definition of age and appearance. While not to the point of vanity, Talael takes care of her appearance as much as she can while still spending much of her time traveling. Her bluish-black skin is smooth and almost seems to fade into the shadows when it is dark and her body is lithe, built from an active lifestyle, but not muscled with any sort of regular heavy lifting. Her hair is a silvery-white, thick and braided into a long ponytail that reaches down to the middle of her back. She usually wears simple black robes while traveling, keeping her hood up to hide her drow features until she feels comfortable with her surroundings and the people there. She carries little else but a pair of concealed knives in her robes, and a knapsack with traveling essentials, a warmer set of robes and cloaks, and set of finely embroidered robes for formal occasions.

Personality: Having seen enough violence, cruelty, and conniving in her life, Talael has committed herself to striving for compassion and aid to those in need. However, her warm nature is still steeped in her drow upbringing. Her offers of friendship are to secure an ally rather than make an enemy, and she always carries a simmering fear of potential betrayal and poisoning. Talael’s strong stance of aiding and defending the innocent often leads to a fierce approach to those the cruel or oppressors. She also has an insatiable thirst for magical knowledge, coming close to a dangerous pursuit of the more powerful and darker workings of her magic. Talael has always loved the rush of power she feels from using her magic, even when rending another’s mind.
Allegiance: Having spent several decades traveling mostly across human lands, Talael is somewhat more sympathetic to them as she views the vyldkin as more barbaric and their attacks on human villages as quite detestable. However, she would prefer a negotiated peace and understands that some humans have less than honorable intentions against the vyldkin.
Skills/Abilities: Talael was born with the ‘spark’ and promptly educated in the use of magic from a young age. She is highly skilled in mental magic, from creating illusions to delving into another’s mind for secrets or simply to cause havoc. She has also had extensive training in the art of persuasion to the point where she is unflappably polite and in control, charming to potential friends and deathly calm to enemies. Talael has learned some skill in alchemy from her travels, knowing what plants are safe to eat and what sort of properties they have in potions.
Weaknesses: While robust enough to handle a life on the road, Talael is still a spellcaster at heart, lacking the training and physicality for melee combat. Her natural charm is so ingrained to the point of a tendency to manipulation, a shy smile given to anyone who seems open to her wiles for nothing else but another who will be open to her suggestions. And while peaceful and abhorrent of brute force, when pushed to violence, even if only to defend herself or others, Talael’s wrath is sudden, brutal, and final. Her most devastating mental magic risks intense feedback, more complex illusions turn into nightmarish creatures, and intense mental scrying and ravaging risk unhinging her own psyche. Her proficiency in mental magic has also greatly limited her use of the other two schools of magic to only the most basic of spells.
Bio: The eldest of several children to a prominent drow noble house, Talael was groomed from a young age to excel at what drow valued. Power and manipulation. And Talael did indeed excel at this, growing in magical prowess and more than capable of using her looks and charm to gain what she wanted. However, while she was barely an adult by drow standards, Talael’s youngest sister, still a child, abruptly died. Poison was the obvious conclusion, and Talael’s parents pursued a subtle but brutal campaign against the rival house that they assumed to be responsible. Disgusted by her own family and race, Talael fled from her home,to the place she felt farthest from her people, the surface. For decades she continued to wander, avoiding the lands of dwarves and elves, as she feared they recognize her as a drow and judge her by the reputation of her people. Instead she took to human lands in hopes of being seen more as a curiosity than a threat, and indeed Talael found the occasional compatriot in the fellow mages of the humans, and her charm has gained the friendship of people in high and low places, though she rarely remained in one place for long. Her drive for magical knowledge took her to far reaches, where she would offer help to locals in exchange for supplies or simply knowledge of rare spells and potions. More recently, Talael’s travels have brought her to the borders between the lands of humans and vyldkin, where she hopes to help prevent an expanding conflict at the source.

So begins...

Talael Tamira's Story

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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The ambassador watched as the newcomer wolfed down the apple and took large gulps from the waterskin she had been handed. He scanned her ragged clothing over and over again, trying to analyze what had caused her these massive tears and rips in her shirt and her pant—had she been in a fight? Had something attacked her? But there was no blood, just the tearing of the fabric. Most interesting, however, was the sword that she carried with her into the camp; in all of his years in the hold, he had never seen something quite like that blade before, and even his men seemed a little put-off by the shape of it and the fact that this young woman carried it with her.

“So where are you going?" The young woman’s forwardness caught the diplomat off-guard—why did she want to know so badly where they were going? Had she no concern to where her family had wandered off without her? He had no idea why she suddenly so interested in what they were doing and where they were going, but he felt that this woman was in no place to know about what he was off to accomplish.

The ambassador took a few steps toward the guardsmen behind the girl, wanting to say something but not necessarily finding the words to do so. “Well… Young lady… We’re… I understand that you may be curious, but don’t you believe that—“

“Ambassador, I was right!” one of the guardsmen interrupted, pointing to something off in the distance. “I told you I had seen a drow!” He pulled out his sword in preparation. “Shall I—“

“At ease, soldier,” the diplomat sighed, putting a hand on the guardsman’s pauldron to calm him. “Sheathe the weapon, guard the girl here. Captain, you come with me,” he motioned to the most veteran of the guards. “We will discuss this with the drow. Protect the girl.”

“Sir, I assure you that you are wasting time by—“

“If this drow is of the intent to harm this girl for any reason, I feel it my duty to negotiate—after all, it is my line of work, captain…” the diplomat shot back. “If this latest newcomer decides it necessary to attack, then I will allow you to perform your duties. This one does not seem ready to attack, however…” He walked out toward the figure with the captain grudgingly following him.

“Hail, traveler,” the ambassador bowed his head toward the dark elf, now noticing for the first time that it was, in fact, a she. “Don’t see many dwehga on the surface, especially those that wander around the middle of nowhere. What business do you have here?”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Protect the girl. Protect the girl?! Jura growled a little before reminding herself that this guy had not met her before and must be given a little leeway. He obviously didn't know that Dodger Darling could take care of herself very well, thank you very much. Despite the whole going missing, getting hopelessly lost and falling into custody more than a few times. But apart from that stuff, she was great at looking after herself. In her own opinion...

At the protest of a few of the guards, she slipped underneath the barrier of people in front of her. As one guard tried to catch her, she dropped to the ground and rolled out of the way. She then got to her feet and gave the offending guard a wink. Guards, they think they must always guard people. Pfft. Jura casually stepped around the scene around her, taking a large bite from her apple.

She observed the two brand new "most interesting people of the group" talk to each other. After all, guards, as fun as it was to annoy them, weren't all that interesting most of the time. The suit seemed very much the leader of the guards and seemed more of a talker than a fighter. He was good with words and used this to his advantage. He reminded her of her father who always tried to resolve the arguements. Funnily enough, Jura was more like her mother's side with the hot temper and "action before words" mind set.

The newest addition seemed more mysterious. The suit had called her a dwehga, whatever that was. Sounded cool what ever it was. The young woman wondered if this woman had magic or anything cool like that. She'd never actually met anyone with magic. Jura finished off her apple before actually paying attention to what was being said. That whole attention thing was always a problem for her sometimes.

"I am merely a traveler and your group aroused my curiosity. I have seen few representatives from the Ivory Hold in this region, much less armored knights." The young woman giggled at this and stepped into the fray.

"Yeah, me and you too, love! Boy, was I surprised to see a couple of guards and a suit to be wandering around out here! Well, honestly, I was surprised to see anyone..." Jura trailed off, thinking of her few hours of adventure through the empty grasslands. Jura folded her legs before falling to the ground elegantly. She sat cross-legged on the dusty ground, her long sword lying by her side. She lifted the weapon gently, unsheathing the glimmering and well cared for blade. She hid the blade from plain sight again before looking up at the two in front of her.

"Although, I am well surprised to see you here too. Seriously, did this place become a metropolis for travellers when I wasn't looking?" Jura laughed again before spring back up to her feet.

"Silly me! I forgot to introduce myself. Well, that's manners thrown out the window, huh? I am Miss Jura Darling but call me The Fantabulous and Ever So Amazing Dodger. Or just Dodger for short." The young woman gave them both a playful wink, conveying the joke.

Even though it would be quite fun to be called The Fantabulous and Ever So Amazing Dodger.

"But yeah, what's your name? And I never quite caught your name either, Mr Suit." Jura let out a quick giggle before regarding the two people in front of her eagerly.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Geoffrey Ivorygate




The ambassador was rather surprised at the amiable drow standing in front of him. From his previous experiences with the race, most had been wary of him at best and downright hostile at worst. It was unusual that the woman had not greeted him with a death threat, which from what he had gathered was the norm for the more xenophobic clans that lived underneath the surface. This one, however...

"I am merely a traveler and your group aroused my curiosity. I have seen few representatives from the Ivory Hold in this region, much less armored knights." The drow's voice was soft but carried with it an inner strength that the diplomat recognized to be almost characteristic of her race.

The silver-haired man cleared his throat. "Well, seasoned travel--"

"Yeah, me and you too, love! Boy, was I surprised to see a couple of guards and a suit to be wandering around out here! Well, honestly, I was surprised to see anyone..." The ambassador was shocked to find the young girl his guard had brought to their little picnic had escaped their watch, still munching on the apple she had been given. She smiled playfully, taking a seat on the ground and playing with her sword. "Although, I am well surprised to see you here too. Seriously, did this place become a metropolis for travellers when I wasn't looking?"

"Um, young lady, what exactly are you doing away from my guard?" the black-clothed man asked in a rather neutral tone. He was attempting to come across as non-threatening as possible, although it might not matter as much if the woman with the sword was acting as overtly playful and outgoing as possible anyway.

"Silly me! I forgot to introduce myself. Well, that's manners thrown out the window, huh? I am Miss Jura Darling but call me The Fantabulous and Ever-So-Amazing Dodger. Or just Dodger for short." The girl had enthusiasm, he had to admit. The name, though... He could not do anything with that imaginary title. "But yeah, what's your name? And I never quite caught your name either, Mr Suit."

This young girl... She did not quite understand the concept of silence and discretion, it seemed. The diplomat exhaled quickly through his nose, darting his eyes back and forth between the drow and the newcomer with the blade. She was right, at least--he had not given his name...

He bowed twice, once toward the drow and then once toward the girl. "Geoffrey Ivorygate, ambassador to the Ivory Hold and for humankind. A pleasure to make your acquaintence, Lady Darling..." his voice trailed off as he had not been properly introduced to the drow at this point in time. "As to why we have such armored men, well... They are my personal elite guard, tasked to accompany me whenever I ride out anywhere business-related. I will be continuing on my way with them as soon as we can. Miss Darling, one of my guards will be more than happy to escort you back to the Hold if you so wish, or perhaps they will be able to take you home..."

He turned back toward the dark elf, bowing slightly once again. "I do not believe I caught your name, miss...?" he extended a hand toward her, a small half-smile threatening to betray his professionalism. He enjoyed interacting with other races, the dwehga being no exception.

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Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Talael slowly raised an eyebrow at the young girl, a bemused expression on her face. Humans never ceased to amaze her, if only with their propensity for occasional nonsense that touched upon seeming insanity. But it wasn't her place to ask about strange little human girls, and so she did not comment on it. Part of her briefly wondered how long the girl would last until that bright eyed innocence and boastful pride were shattered, but she was more interested in the ambassador and his knights.

Looking back to Geoffrey, Talael resumed her amiable smile. "It is an honor, ambassador. I am Talael Tamira. I suppose I should be thanking you for your amicability." She reached up to pull down the hood of her dark robes, more clearly revealing her dark blue skin and the contrasting stark white braided ponytail that trailed down under her robes. "You must be on important business, so far from the Hold and with such protection."

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Jura smiled as the two introduced themselves. She always liked to put names to faces, made them easier to remember. And easier to blackmail. But that was not something the young woman really wanted to get into at the moment. Blackmail was always tricky to plan. The suit...Geoffrey had mentioned something about one of the guards taking her home. Well, she was going to have to hit that on the head sharpish as there was the slight problem of Dodger not really knowing where home was at the moment. She knew where the farm was...but that would be razed to the ground by now...well, at least that's what her parents were saying. Jura didn't really believe that the vyldkin would burn down their farm. That whole story was just a few people getting on their high horses. She hoped.

Jura felt she should inform Geoffrey of her slight home problem. Right after the drow...Talael had finished talking to Ivorygate. Well, she was going to tell him when she caught sight of Talael's appearance.

"Oh my gosh. You're blue! That is so freaking awesome! I wish I was blue but I'm more of a pasty white. I bet you don't get nasty sunburn, huh? I would give anything to not have to deal with sunburn. It sucks cos I always seem to look like a tomato and then it goes all..." Dodger trailed off as she realised she was babbling and with these more mature and responsible looking people, rambling probably wasn't going to fly. The young woman gave the two people in front of her a blinding smile before falling silent once again.

That didn't last too long.

"Oh yeah, I forgot to say. Geoffrey, about that whole "one of my guards will be more than happy to escort you back home" thingy ain't really going to work since...um...I don't really know where home is right now. We were moving and then I got lost and then...well, I never really asked where we were moving to..." Jura finished off, blushing a little. Her inability to have everything under control was really getting rather frustrating. And when she said frustrationg, she meant it was getting widely out of control and was starting to have not so fantastic consequences.

Dodger gave a soft laugh before blushing a little. So maybe she didn't know where she was going...but these people did. Thus, if she stayed with them...she would have a heading and would probably find her family eventually. She usually did in the end.

"But, if I stick around with you, I'm sure I'll find my family at some point. And I could help you on your journey and stuff. I mean, I'm pretty good with a sword!" Jura exclaimed, her fingertips brushing her prized sword. Another thought occured to her before she joined the quest with no intention of leaving until it was complete.

No one can say Dodger isn't anything but committed to adventuring. Especially when it involved guards. Annoying as they were, they usually indicated exciting stuff.

She turned to face Geoffrey head on, her deep green eyes seeking out the older man's dark blue orbs.

"So where are you guys going anyways? I mean, we need a direction to head in, right?"

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Geoffrey Ivorygate




"It is an honor, ambassador. I am Talael Tamira. I suppose I should be thanking you for your amicability." The drow removed her hood, revealing the normal features that one of her race would display--inky-blue skin, pointed ears, bright crimson eyes, stark-white hair. "You must be on important business, so far from the Hold and with such protection."

"How observant of you to note, Miss Tamira," the ambassador bowed his head once more, internally cursing as his inability to remember how to respectfully address female drow. "This is in fact my--"

"Oh my gosh. You're blue! That is so freaking awesome!" The girl--Jura, she had called herself; Ivorygate did not remember the ridiculous title she had given herself, nor did he care to call her that, mostly due to the professionalism he wished to maintain--interrupted his train of thought. Perhaps she had never met any of the other races before, he mused; it was most likely the logical explanation as to why the girl with the sword was so excited about meeting the drow for the first time. He waited until Jura had slowed her excited speaking, letting it taper off to nothing before clearing his throat again.

"As I was trying to say..." the diplomat focused his attention on the drow in front of him. "Those are my own personal guards, who accompany me--"

"Oh yeah, I forgot to say. Geoffrey, about that whole 'one of my guards will be more than happy to escort you back home' thingy ain't really going to work since..." Had this girl no sense of manners? He had only known this young woman for a total of five minutes and already she thought herself to be on a first-name basis with him! Perhaps she was a farmgirl--the twinge of her accent really spoke volumes to the diplomat--and did not know any better; perhaps she just did not care, especially since she had met him outside the hold. The girl had mentioned something about not knowing where her home was--surely she could not have gotten this lost on accident?

"But, if I stick around with you, I'm sure I'll find my family at some point. And I could help you on your journey and stuff. I mean, I'm pretty good with a sword!" The ambassador finally took a good look at the sword the girl carried with her--she seemed to take rather good care of it, that was for sure. As to how well she could wield the blade, well, it was up to her to display the talent. However, despite how gifted she claimed to be, she was no diplomatic guard, who had not only had ten years of training in the regular military track but also spent an additional four years training to spot any potential subtle threats that could endanger the ambassador's life. These men had been training for about as long as this girl had been alive--there was no way that she could help him as efficiently as his guardsmen could... but there was that enthusiasm...

"Young lady, I do not doubt your skills with a blade and I undoubtedly sense your enthusiasm..." the man chuckled, simultaneously amused and put-off by the girl's talkative nature. "I do, however--"

"So where are you guys going anyways? I mean, we need a direction to head in, right?" The girl's eyes seemed to widen as she interrupted the diplomat yet again.

"I do, however, fear for your safety--it's not the safest place out here for someone of your age and experience--"

"Ambassador!" The captain of the guard had finally made his way over toward the group. Ye gods, how many people must interrupt him today? "Sir, we must keep moving now--we are losing valuable daylight, and you know that the vyldkin don't like to be waited upon..."

The older man sighed, hoping to keep the mission a secret from the excitable girl and perhaps even the drow--despite the rather amicable feelings he received from her, he could never tell when the species as a whole spoke genuinely about their feelings or were merely masquerading them as to not display what they truly planned. Better safe than sorry, he figured--best to play along now...

"As my captain just said," the ambassador took a quick glance in the armored man's direction. "We are meeting with a tribe of vyldkin in an attempt to help negotiate peace; barring that, we seek neutrality from their tribe. If a war is to indeed break out between them and us, it is in our best interests to keep the opposing numbers as low as possible. What I was trying to explain to Lady Darling here, captain, was that despite her supposed skills with her blade, you and at least three of the guards in our small contingent have been training in combat for longer than she has been alive--I assume, at least, you're no older than twenty-five?" He turned his attention back toward the girl. "One of my guards can house you in the barracks in the Hold until my return, at which point we can attempt to locate your family and reunite you with them."

"And now, my dear dwehga," the silver-haired man focused back on the drow. "If you may forgive my forwardness, what brings you to the surface? As I had said before, we humans do not often see your kind often unless you happen to be on business; and your kind, from what I understand of your culture, lacks the wanderlust that you seem to possess. Anyone can travel, but you, m'lady, to use a human phrase, stick out like a sore thumb." He eyed her carefully, trying to analyze how the dark-skinned woman would respond, if at all. If he suspected anything, he would merely leave her to her travels, but he and his captain had already said too much--

...Perhaps she could help out after all...

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Talael opened her mouth to respond, only to be interrupted by the flurry of chatter coming from the excitable little girl. She watched the exasperated ambassador try to deal with the interruptions of the constantly curious girl and his own worried guard. Her eyebrow twitched as Jura pointed out the foreignness of her blue skin, but she kept up her polite smile. While she did not need any reminder of how out of place she was, there was no need for the others to see her discomfort. She wore her hood up in most places for a reason, after all. Gawking children tended to draw as much attention as her skin did.

"Ah, a man of peace. Some days I fear they are a dying breed in this world." Talael commented when the chatter finally lulled out. "Hence I worry that the vyldkin will be unable to see such reason. Though, I supposed you worry that as well." She paused, glanced to the armored knights, then meeting Geoffrey's scrutinizing gaze with a wry smirk. "You need not worry about myself, dear ambassador, I am a rarity among my people, and my wanderlust is quite insatiable. And I am quite aware of my appearance, but I find that most reservations fade after an honest conversation such as this, wouldn't you agree?"

Her gaze then briefly flicked to Jura. "Perhaps you should listen to the good ambassador, child. The road can be far more dangerous then the bards will have told a young girl at the tavern. They have a dreadful habit of embellishing away the rigors and tarnishes of the wanderer's life."

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Jura placed her hand on her hips as the ambassador attempted to ship her off with one of the guards. Eh, no. Oh no. Oh heck no. The young woman had never played particularly well with others, especially not guards. Especially not the fancy guards. They were always the ones who were the most annoying. They were also the people who were under the impression that Dodger could not care for herself and were usually the ones on the receiving end of a hefty kick. But that was just her own personal opinion.

Dodger pulled a face when she remembered about the barracks. That would mean even more guards which would equal even more trouble. And honestly? The less trouble the better as far as Jura was concerned. Her parents were already going to have a field day over this nonsense as it was. No point throwing even more material at them. The young woman sighed heavily and frowned as the other woman of the group threw her opinion in as well.

"Perhaps you should listen to the good ambassador, child. The road can be far more dangerous then the bards will have told a young girl at the tavern. They have a dreadful habit of embellishing away the rigors and tarnishes of the wanderer's life." Jura pasued a little before replying. She didn't want to insult this traveller as she seemed to have "magic user" across her forehead and Dodger sort of wanted to avoid being a donkey or something.

That and she thought that Talael was hella cool and wanted to stay in her good books as much as possible Why? Because drow, dude, were freaking awesome. Even if they called her "child".

"Now, I don't mean any offence, Miss Tamira but I'm not a newbie to this traveling lark. Born into the school of tough nuts, I was." Jura gave the woman a beaming grin. Then she turned to Geoffrey.

"Now, Geoffrey, Mister Ivorygate, Ambassador Dude, whatever you want to be known as, you ain't got to worry about my safety. I can definitely look after myself, even around a whole lot of vyldkin who, by the way, are the reason I am lost in the first place. Well, actually, no." Jura paused for a second, her eyes narrowing as she thought.

"They are the reason I had to move in the first place. Cos a few of their groups were getting a bit too near my farm. And my dad, being my dad, flew off the handle and moved us all out. Even my sister Canna who is way too pregnant for any of that moving lark. Her husband Mark was freaking out about it..." The young woman bit her lip and turned away, suddenly feeling a bit more empty inside. She had no idea if Canna and the baby were alright. She didn't know Georgie's baby Ceit was alright. A lot could happen in a few hours. Her family could be...Dodger inwardly cursed herself.

She couldn't afford to be thinking like that. They would be fine, they had to be. She was just scaring herself. Jura shook her head a little before turning on the spot. She gave Geoffrey a cheeky grin.

"Besides, they can't hurt me, if they can't catch me. And I haven't met many people who can catch me." Jura winked before letting her fingers brush against her sword again. She wished she could show them all that Jura Darling with a sword was not someone who wanted to cross. But, she couldn't. Not with all the people, she could hurt someone. And definitely not with horses about. Scaring people was fine but not animals. That was just cruel. And Jura had always been taught never to mess around with the livestock because if a horse or cow decided to kick at you for freaking them out, they would break your leg easy.

And besides, the horses never did anything to her. So instead Dodger faced the ambassador head on, her eyes clearing of previous mirth.

"So, even though you're probably just going to send me to the Hold with one of your guards -which is a really bad idea if you ask me-, just remember that if you need someone sneaky and hard to catch," the young girl grinned mischeiviously. "I'm your girl. As great as it would be to find my family, I'm not too sure they've noticed I'm gone yet. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I do something to help the whole of Xamos while I've gone walkabout. Again." Dodger grinned and let out a giggle.

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Geoffrey Ivorygate




"Ah, a man of peace. Some days I fear they are a dying breed in this world. Hence I worry that the vyldkin will be unable to see such reason. Though, I suppose you worry that as well."" The drow nodded, impressed to find a human that did not necessarily wish ill on the species that would potentially be attempting to kill his race. "You need not worry about myself, dear ambassador, I am a rarity among my people, and my wanderlust is quite insatiable. And I am quite aware of my appearance, but I find that most reservations fade after an honest conversation such as this, wouldn't you agree?" Tamira quipped immediately afterwards, almost as if she was trying to prove something to him--Ivorygate, of course, was still slightly cautious about drow away from their homeland. At least under the ground, the drow were rather vocal about where their allegiances were; above, it could be anyone's guess--she could be an assassin for all he knew, but there was still something about her...

"Perhaps you should listen to the good ambassador, child. The road can be far more dangerous then the bards will have told a young girl at the tavern. They have a dreadful habit of embellishing away the rigors and tarnishes of the wanderer's life." Ivorygate knew that the drow had a more logical way of looking at the world, most likely due to the harsh conditions they put themselves through in their never-ending search for power. Thank the fates that this logic continued to aid him--the more he talked with this woman, the more the ambassador realized that the dwehga, in fact, could be a potential ally for his cause.

"Young Jura, please understand that it is for your safety than anything else--you will be safer in the Hold than out here, I assure you that. Where my men and I are heading, well, is not the most friendly of places... The guards--" He noticed that the youngest among them scowled slightly whenever he mentioned the guards; why did she think them so untrustworthy yet attempt to converse with the diplomat as if they were good friends? Did she not hear him before when he had said that they were his personal guard under his command?

"Now, I don't mean any offence, Miss Tamira but I'm not a newbie to this traveling lark. Born into the school of tough nuts, I was." The young girl interrupted his thoughts once again--this sort of thing was beginning to become a nuisance to him. Of course, he would be as patient as he could possibly be given the situation, but this sort of thing had to be kept under control...

And now she continued to explain her current situation with moving out of her home and having to deal with potential vyldkin problems--seems as if everyone must deal with the aftermath of that travesty now, especially those that live farther away from the Hold. From the sounds of what she had been talking about, though, it appeared that Jura came from a larger family, especially larger for a farming family. As she continued speaking, there seemed to be a more distant look in the young girl's eyes, almost as if she did not want to reveal anything to the ambassador about something that might have happened... but as quickly as this sight had come, it left her face, once again displaying the rather optimistic side of the young woman.

"So, even though you're probably just going to send me to the Hold with one of your guards -which is a really bad idea if you ask me-, just remember that if you need someone sneaky and hard to catch, I'm your girl." Jura flashed a mischievous smile toward the ambassador before standing up and playing with her sword once more. "As great as it would be to find my family, I'm not too sure they've noticed I'm gone yet. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I do something to help the whole of Xamos while I've gone walkabout. Again."

"...This has happened before?" the ambassador muttered, bringing a hand up to his forehead and massaging his temple. "I understand your enthusiasm, but I also know that the city can be a somewhat... well, intimidating place, especially for someone that might not come from a very large hamlet. If you must stay away from the city--"

"Ambassador, think about what you are saying!" The captain interjected, his eyes growing wide.

"Please, captain, allow me to finish my thought..." Ivorygate's voice seemed to catch a bit of an edge to it, mostly because he was quite tired of being interrupted by the other two humans in the vicinity. "As I was saying, if you must stay away from the cities, my men and I can escort either of you to your destination, so long as you are heading in the same direction as us. It will be dangerous the further out we go, especially as we near vyldkin territory, and we may not have quite as much food as we would have without two extra travellers... Lady Jura, if you must stay with me, you will not interfere with any diplomatic proceedings that will come to pass. Lady Tamira, I do not know what direction you are headed, but you are more than welcome to accompany my men and I if you wish..."

"Are you mad, ambassador!? You know we can't--"

"Captain, if you are so inclined, you may head back to the Hold. Otherwise, you will assign two men to keep an eye on the young one to make sure she does not interrupt anything that may be helpful to the survival of our species..." With that, the diplomat bowed toward the two women and made his way back to the waiting guards, wondering whether the others would be interested in his offer...

Ye gods, I hope this works...

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Talael remained silent, the hint of an amused smile still on her face as she watched the ambassador, the captain, and the girl chatter and bicker. This was certainly one of the more interesting, albeit a tad odd, group of humans she had encountered. It was certainly enough to pique her curiosity further.

"I find that the most rewarding journeys are the ones where the direction is not so narrowly defined, Sir Ivorygate." Talael said in response to his offer. And certainly an interesting offer to her. She had no interest in seeing the vyldkin ravage the countryside and had even less inclination of waiting until the tensions erupted into warfare. Such detestable conditions would make her travels far more difficult. "Therefore I would be honored to have such fine company, so long as you wish it. And you need not worry about my well being, I have my own supplies." She gestured to the pack slung across her shoulder.

She then looked to Jura. "I would suggest you pay heed to the ambassador as well, child. There are times when stubborn will and cheery disposition are of little aid in the wilderness. You would be best to have some small amount of caution." Fortunately there was plenty of burly guards to look after the girl, Talael considered, while perhaps she and Geoffrey could find a solution to the threat of the vyldkin.

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira
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Jura furrowed her eyebrows after she grasped what Georffrey was saying. She wouldn't have to go with the guards? She could adventure with them too?! She let out a little squeal before jumping up. Her sword brushed her side and hit a nearby guard on the shin as she leapt. She didn't really care since guards could look after themselves surely. They were so uptight about guarding others that they just might be good at guarding themselves a little. Perhaps. Hopefully.

"Oh, that's awesome! I love to adventure, even if it is with a bunch of guards!" She exclaimed gleefully. Dodger turned to Geoffrey, giving him a thankful look. She knew that this guy wasn't doing this for his own benefit and she appreciated that. Even though she would be helpful to have along. All those guards looked very burly and would be no good at sneaking around and getting into small spaces. The ambassador obviously had not thought of that. Dodger raised her eyebrows as she looked over the the guards. They didn't even look like good liars. Lying was always important when you had to talk to people. Well, that is what she had found after years of sibling "negotiations".

Jura let out a giggle before grinning widely. She turned to the ambassador, her green eyes glinting with excitement.

"So! What's our heading?" She called over to Geoffrey, her hands on her hips and her mind racing. The sooner they went on this adventure, the better!

The setting changes from xamos to The Badlands

Setting

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Feral Bloodrazor Character Portrait: Ahn Surestrike Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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The ambassador was relieved to hear that the drow at least had some extra provisions for herself, but the girl was going to be slightly problematic. At the rate that they were adding people, they might not have enough supplies to feed everyone for the rest of the day--or at least, make sure they had somewhat full stomachs in order to feel comfortable. Still, Ivorygate was not about to leave someone out in the middle of the plains who required help; that would be too cold and cruel, even for the vyldkin. The guard, as correct as he was in his assertion that they could not sustain many more mouths especially with their already-limited supplies, did not seem to realize that being cold-hearted was making them more and more like the war-faring beasts that they did not want to emulate.

Geoffrey smiled as he heard the dwehga tell the young girl about the dangers of travelling on the road. At least someone else was trying to bring a bit of logic into the girl's mind, even if Jura was not going to pay attention to the sage words of wisdom that were being imparted by two elders. There was, however, something to her enthusiasm that Geoffrey enjoyed... Perhaps he did take his job a bit too seriously at times... But with the fate of the world at stake, there was no time to shirk off in his duties to the Hold.

He led the others back to the circle of horses, nodding to the guards. "Men, this is Lady Jura Darling and Lady Talael Tamira. They are travellers who I have offered protection to for the time being. Men, you are to treat these two women with respect and dignity at all times, understand?" The guards saluted in response, although Ivorygate could see a bit of apprehension in the mens' eyes.

"Find a guard to sit with, ladies--if they give you any trouble, feel free to call out their attention to me," Geoffrey nodded before climbing up onto his horse. "Men, we ride to the Bloodrazor Grounds." With that, the captain led the way to the east, heading out toward the Badlands.

An hour passed. The group found themselves in an area with quite a bit of overgrowth. It was not long before the travelers came across another group of people--these were rather poor-looking fellows that seemed to be gathered around a slender man...

"Bandits!" Geoffrey exclaimed to no one in particular. "Men, you know what to do." With that, he stopped his horse and dismounted, walking toward the group before watching the bandits suddenly collapse onto the ground as a tremor shook through the immediate area.

"What was that!?" one of the guards exclaimed as the not-bandit of the group seemed to get back up without so much as a scratch on him.

"...must be some sort of magic, I believe..." Ivorygate's voice seemed slightly distant. "Men, make sure this man is able to fend off the rabblerousers. When you've finished, I'd like to speak with the mage."

"...Sir, with all due respect..." the captain muttered through gritted teeth. "We are already behind schedule and overburdened with extra people. Do you really need to talk with this man?"

Ivorygate turned to the cynical captain, a glint in his eye. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I'd like to. It is your job to guard those that require protection, no? If he attacks you, feel free to arrest him in self-defense."

A few of the guards nodded in compliance and ran out to assist the young man with his battle. Geoffrey, in the meantime, watched from the sidelines, giving an occasional glance back to the newcomers. After a few minutes of fighting, the attackers scattered back into the woods, rather infuriated that they could not get their money or goods or whatever they were looking for. Satisfied, the ambassador approached the remaining figure, who he realized upon closer inspection was an elf much like Talael except for the lack of dark-blue skin.

He bowed his head in respect toward the stranger. "Andaran atish'an, fheyga'mal", he greeted, using the proper greeting toward males of this particular race. In the limited time he had spend living and observing the elves, he had picked up snippets of their language. "Are you alright? Who were those men that attacked you just now?"



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The vyldkin on the ground looked up toward her compatriot, catching his smirk out of the corner of her eye. While the first two choices sounded legitimately plausible, the third she knew was a joke--it had to be! How could Ahn say something as ridiculous about her as that? After she had talked up such a big game, too?

"You imply you even had a chance in the first place," she growled back to the silver-furred vyldkin beside her, more of a joke than anything else. Feral knew that she had a tendency to come across as a bit aggressive at times, and she figured that Ahn would have enough common sense to understand that. She had, after all, noticed him watching her when she had sparred with other vyldkin and he had conversed with her in the past. Besides, he was a blade-brother--how could she not joke about this sort of thing with him, despite the fact that it was more than a joke to her?

"Of course I have a chance, battle-sister," he grinned a her, "I have to make it hard for you, otherwise it would not be challenging. Besides, you wouldn't have it any other way, would you?" He asked her as he strode next to her. He looked down at her, his grin reflected in his silver eyes. How he couldn't wait to see her in action once again. It was always entertaining to watch her during her sparring matches.

"Please--you have strength, I give you that much," Feral shot back without missing a beat. "I, on the other hand, can rely on more than my blade. A true hunter must be stealthy, agile, and ruthless. With a huge blade like that, you can be none of those things. If, however, you relish the thought of hunting through instinct and natural prowess alone, well... that is the embodiment of the hunt. It's how our ancestors would want us to hunt--besides, it's more satisfying this way." She managed to keep her pace consistent with the others despite being on all fours. For whatever reason, some vyldkin were more naturally adept in this particular posture; Feral just happened to be one of these hunters.

"You do not think that I am capable of stealth? Or agility? My blade is all that I need, dear Feral. I'm willing to bet that I am much quieter than you," he teased. However she had one thing right: he wasn't agile at all without his weapon and became a lumbering mess of muscle without the blade. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to learn a few things from her in the future, but until then, he would be just fine with his sword. "Our ancestors run deep in us all. I think a bit deeper in you," he suggested, referring to her tendency to be overly excited when hunting. He tried to hold back the chuckle that threatened to ruin the mood, but it slipped out just a bit before he caught it.

Feral crossed in front of Ahn, a bit of a smirk creeping across her face as she listened to Ahn's counter-argument. "I never said you lacked those capabilities, but rather are hindered by your reliance on that blade. You need to become... versatile if you want to catch your prey off-guard. If you're disarmed and rely only on your blade, what then?" She looked back up at Ahn, presenting vicious-looking teeth toward him. "This is where your true strength and inner fire comes to the front, Ahn. It's in this moment where you feel most alive. The ancestors know it and bless us with their prowess."

Ahn watched her as she shifted to walk in front of him, moving her body backwards and yet still keeping pace, a wonderful trait if he said so himself, "Versatile, hu? I can show you versatile," he said with a laugh. Unhooking his blade, he let the weaon drop and fell forward, tackling her suddenly in a playful manner. Ahn growled at her and nipped at her as he rolled forward, trying to bring her down.

"Really... you want to do that now?" Ahn heard Gnash comment from the front of their party. Ahn ignored him and kept up his play.

Feral was, admittedly, caught off-guard as Ahn slammed into her side, causing her to shift off-balance and nearly fall to the ground. She felt the silver vyldkin biting at her skin in almost a playful manner. Without hesitating, Feral scratched at Ahn's chest with one claw as she threw her other arm around his shoulder, slightly digging into his flesh and possibly drawing a bit of blood. She mustered a powerful kick with both of her legs as she found her opponent's other shoulder and bit into it, letting her teeth bite down on his skin without drawing any blood this time. With a grunt and a growl, she attempted to flip him onto his back, where she knew she would have the advantage.

"Save it for the beasts, you two!" Bane growled, turning around to attempt to settle their mock fight. "If you really need to do this now, head back to the clan--we have no need for distractions like this on the last hunt before the exodus. You both know how serious this is--are you two even listening to me!?"

Ahn grunted as Feral was quick to retaliate against him. He felt her claws digging into his back as she attempted to roll him to get on top. Only there would she have the advantage. Her jaw locked over his other shoulder opposite to where she was gripping him, but she did not bite down hard enough to break the skin. Ahn grinned as he let her kick roll them. If she thought that he would allow her to take top, she was very much mistaken and he used the roll to continue across the grass until he pinned her, and leaned up with a broad smile.

"Heard, yes. Listening, no," Ahn answered Bane who had yelled at them.

Feral was not one to take this pin lying down. In his moment of distraction, she placed both of her hind limbs square on his chest and kicked him hard enough to break his grip on her arms. She quickly got back onto all fours and smirked.

"You know I am not the largest prize of this hunt, Ahn..." she growled through a bit of a grin. "We have bigger prey to find..." With that, she followed behind Gnash and Bane, eager to get the hunt underway once more. "They're right, though--we'll settle it later at the camp if you would like..."

Ahn fell backwards, knocked off of her completely and the wind taken from his lungs as he hit the ground. With a cough, he regained the air needed into his chest and rolled over to his stomach to pick himself back up. Growling lightly, Ahn picked up his weapon and followed after her, "You may not be the largest, but you're a prize to hunt," he commented, "If you think you can handle it, I would be pleased to finish back at camp."

"If you two are done, we have a herd to find..." Bane muttered once again, turning his attention toward the the north. The four wandered for another fifteen minutes or so before coming across a herd of gray-skinned beasts, each with four horns curling from atop their heads. They contented themselves with feasting from the grasses that grew sparsely across the badlands. A few of the larger beasts, however, decided to display their strength to the others of the herd by charging at one another and locking horns in combat.

Feral smirked as she felt a glimmer in her eye. She looked back toward Ahn, displaying a bit of her jagged teeth. "The big one's mine..."

The setting changes from the-badlands to Xamos

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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Talael smiled to the guard as she climbed up onto the saddle behind him, quite aware of his discomfort but choosing to ignore it. She was quite glad for the human propensity to follow the orders of their elders, despite their own foolish misgivings.

She relaxed into the saddle as the ride progressed, glancing around her surroundings somewhere between contentment and boredom, when she perked up as soon as she heard Geoffrey's exclamation.

Following Geoffrey's gaze, Talael saw the bandits, but made no move from the saddle. There was a plenty of well armed guards to deal with petty thieves, and she had no intention of revealing her magical abilities on a trivial matter that they could easily dealt with.

Of course, even that was not necessary. Talael sensed the hint of magic a half second before the ground swallowed up the bandits. She tensed, wary at the impressive display of power. She peered at the figure, watching from the saddle as the guard directing the horse stayed with Geoffrey.

It was an elf, she realized and she promptly pulled up her hood, tugging it as far as it would conceal her face and more importantly her dark skin. Talael shifted a bit in the saddle, letting the guard and his bulky armor hide her from view. She had little interest in bantering with a Fheyga over outdated petty conflicts and animosities, and was content to let Geoffrey deal with him.

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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#, as written by Ion
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The black blade blossomed from the back of a bandit, but Aransandorian did not linger long enough for the fool highwayman to collapse upon him and weigh him down, tearing the shortsword from the man’s rent flesh and pivoting neatly one foot, bringing it up to parry the next downward strike from a bastardsword, ducking under the simultaneous hammer-strike with uncommon fleetness. Lighting a palm-sized flame in one hand with a thought, the elf shot this over the bar of his sword-arm, unceasing in motion and not bothering to watch as it smote a third man, dropping him to the earth below.

Snaking upwards from his crouch, the lithe man twisted, contorting in such a fashion as to come up under the guard of the swordsman he’d parried, swiveling his dagger so that he had a backhanded grip upon it and thrusting it into the side of the bandit’s abdomen, in between the gaps in his leather armor. Rotating his own torso, he brought the fellow in front of the next hammer blow, which crushed his skull like an overripe fruit. A swift clenching motion of the fist as he again withdrew the darkened blade from the body of a dead man, and a small buckle appeared in the ground, tripping the hammer-wielder and sending him backwards into another throng of his comrades.

Aransandorian straightened, using this brief moment of respite to take stock of his situation. The entirety of events had taken no more than a minute—combat was quick like that. As he did, though, he felt the passing of many footsteps through the earth, and his mismatched eyes flickered in the direction of their arrival, to see a number of guards approaching, apparently intent on helping him with his little problem.

Well, if they wished to throw themselves into the fray, he was not going to stop them. It didn’t take much longer to make short work of what bandits remained, and a few with more intelligence than their comrades fled into the distance beyond. None of his business, as long as they did not think to enter his forest. Surely even they would not be so stupid as to disturb the sacred places of the elves.

On the heels of the guards came others—more dressed like them, two women, one with a hood over her face, and the other quite small, and a man wearing some armor and clothing with insignias of what Aransandorian could only presume to be rank. He was probably in charge, then, and thus responsible for ordering the other humans to aid him. To his surprise, the man spoke to him in elvish, albeit the tongue of the fringe-dwellers rather than the deep ones. It was still more than he’d expected.

“Alaquenta, istyar,” he replied in his own dialect, “for one who speaks the tongue of the thin-bloods.” The words themselves did not seem particularly kind, but he infused them with no malice, and indeed the language itself (high elven, a nearly dead version of the tongue) was of such a nature as to be almost musical in its cadence, and difficult to speak inelegantly, though he had no doubt a human could butcher it if given half the chance. “I am unhurt, though the same may not be said for all of those who sought to try me.” He glanced askance at the dead bandits. “Thine assistance was unneeded against simple rogues, but it does not go disregarded. I am called Aransandorian Dwin’shadr, by those who have cause to use a name of that kind.”

He assumed there would be more questions yet forthcoming, but he would not answer them until they were asked.

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Jura was sat behind a lump of muscle on a poor horse that was trying to transport them both. The young woman would gladly walk if the ambassador wasn't so focused on get to this "Bloodrazor" place super quick. So walking was out of the question. She settled for petting the poor animal as it trotted along. She was amusing herself by following the pattern on her belt when a sudden stop caught her attention. Well, jeez. What was that for?!

At the cry of "Bandits!", Dodger's hand flew to her sword and she held the blade firmly in her hand. Fighting always was a strong point for the young woman. The hulk of muscle leapt off the horse and Jura was able to see properly. A group of people surrounded another man and they were getting their asses handed to them. Jura let out a whistle as the guy offed one of his attackers. The group of guards took off to help him out and Jura let out a huff, sheathing her blade. Didn't look as if she was needed here at the moment. Her green eyes moved quickly to see that Talael and Geoffrey were still on the horses. She watched as Geoffrey moved forward to do his whole negotiator thing. Jura herself vaulted off her horse elegantly, landing on the ground with a soft thump. She slowly made her way over to the newcomer, her eyes wide. New people were always so freaking awesome, especially ones that could kick ass. Dodger slowly hopped over to the ambassador, a soft grin upon her face. She felt she should make a good impression. But this was Dodger and good impressions weren't something she excelled in. She listened into the conversation quietly, sitting crossed legged upon the ground. Sitting was always her favourite position, no matter where she was. Didn't want to get tired legs or anything! She dipped her head as the man spoke, his voice sounding pretty to her ears. He even used funny words like "thine". That was adorable. She giggled and leant forward. She liked this guy so far.

However the name...the name would be a problem.

"Aransandori-what?!" She blurted out loudly, scratching her head. She then realised she had spoken out loud and blushed. "Not that there's anything wrong with being named Aransaiandorian...um...yeah. It's just where I'm from we have names like "James" and "Hannah"..." The young woman once again, realised she was rambling. "I'll be quiet now." She almost whispered, directing her words more at Geoffrey. She didn't mean to intrude but this guy was interesting. That and it really felt good to sit on something that wasn't constantly moving. Horses were fine and all but the ground was a lot more comfortable. Jura raised her eyes and sighed.

"I suppose I best introduce myself then so I'm not just "the girl who interrupts and rambles." Jura Darling, at your service. But call me Dodger. That goes for everyone, by the way." She turned to gesture at the guards. "Even you, Mister Ambassador, dear. No more of this "Lady Jura" stuff. I am as much as lady as my horse is." With a quick grin, she turned to the new guy.

"By the way, you kicked ass back there. It was pretty awesome." She flashed another wide grin before looking back at Geoffrey. She wasn't quite sure what this guy felt about her and wasn't too sure if he was going to shout at her or just plain ignore her.

Well, Jura was never one for simply wondering and this was as good a situation as anyone to find out.

She just hoped that if Geoffrey was going to leave her in the middle of nowhere, a guard would draw her a map of some sort.

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"Alaquenta, istyar, for one who speaks the tongue of the thin-bloods," was the reply that the ambassador received from the elf. Strange that it was in a dialect that he had never heard before--possibly something archaic, considering none of the elves he had ever spoken with had used language that sounded like this before. “I am unhurt, though the same may not be said for all of those who sought to try me. Thine assistance was unneeded against simple rogues, but it does not go disregarded. I am called Aransandorian Dwin’shadr, by those who have cause to use a name of that kind.”

The diplomat bowed his head in respect. "The honor is mine, fheyga'hahren. I am called Geoffrey Ivorygate, Ambassador of the Ivory Hold. Do you dwell in this forest? If so--"

"Aransandori-what?!" A shrill voice interrupted the conversation as Jura attempted to wrap her head around the elf's name. "Not that there's anything wrong with being named Aransaiandorian...um...yeah. It's just where I'm from, we have names like 'James' and 'Hannah'..." The ambassador shot the girl a stone cold glare, unamused by the interruption.

"...I'll be quiet now..." she whispered sheepishly to Geoffrey, her face turning a bright crimson in the process.

The ambassador merely brought a hand to his face and rubbed his temple, shaking his head slowly. "Abelas... The young one cannot control her... impulses..." Another look toward the girl before he cleared his throat, addressing the elf. "As I had asked before, do you dwell in this forest and protect it?"

The elf had been about to respond to the diplomat, inclining his head in a return of the respectful gesture, when he was interrupted by a disproportionately-loud feminine voice. At first, he did his best to assume that the interruption was a misplaced but well-intended one, and was intending to supply the proper last syllable to his name. It seemed, however, that his input was not at all required, as she continued to speak, cutting both himself and the human called Ivorygate off from the possibility of further communication.

Well.

If she was going to be uncouth enough to do that, he was going to ignore her, as was the expected response when one was irrelevantly interrupted. On no interpretation of her words could he assign them much consideration or courtesy, though he did note the name, as it was polite to do so. As soon as he was certain she was done, he turned back to the diplomat, who apparently felt the need to make her excuses. To this, Aransandorian merely elevated a single eyebrow, choosing to put it from his mind altogether and answer the meaningful question addressed to him.

"I do, though the center of mine realm is quite a fair distance from this place. I approach the edge that I might depart my ancestors' home for the first time in a century. I would inquire of you, and your purpose here." He was not going to assume that they were here to interfere, and they were close enough to the fringes that he would allow them to travel without confrontation, but that did not diminish his natural protectiveness of this place. He was not its guardian for nothing.

"You are fair to ask," the ambassador replied, bowing slightly once again. "My guardmen and I are currently seeking an audience with a nearby vyldkin tribe, and we must first pass through this forest in order to arrive in the quickest manner possible... Of course, this has been after a few detours..." he looked toward the girl sitting on the ground once again. "As you may have no doubt heard, the relations between humans and vyldkin are... rather uncomfortable at this time..."

Ah. This was logical. "I see." He took a moment to cast his eyes once again over the members of the group."This is a most interesting piece of wyrd, then, for I seek something of a similar kind. I am sure you understand that, given its location, my forest is bound to become the site of much bloodletting and outside interference if such a conflict were ever to rear its despicable head. I seek to avert this course, whatever the cost." There was a pause, and he allowed a moment for his implications to make themselves obvious.

"If you seek the most efficient way through my home, I will guide thee. Take nothing from it, and it will take nothing from you." He left out the part where he was the instrument of such retribution-- the point spoke clearly enough for itself.

A slight smile came over the ambassador's face at the good fortune. "Ma serannas," he nodded once more before turning toward the rest of the group. "Men, you heard the elf--do not disturb the forest as he guides us through toward the vyldkin clan. We do not need people doing things they should not be..." he more or less directed this statement at Jura, who sat off to the side of the group. "Now then, Aransandorian, do we continue on foot or on horseback?"

The elf considered this for a moment. "It would benefit you to keep seat upon thine mounts," he decided at last. They were not, after all, aiming for silence. "Though I do not advise straying far from the path I shall take, lest they turn their feet." Bringing his middle finger and thumb to his mouth, Aran whistled, the sharp sound infused with an almost-mirthful trill.

From the trees emerged a creature slightly larger in stature than the average horse, though it appeared to be some species of ibex or elk. Its fur was a tawny color, dappled in white, such that the outline of it seemed to blur against the trees. He'd sent her away when he felt the humans approaching, but there seemed little need to hide her now, and he swung astride her bare back with the ease of familiarity.

"It is best to continue now," he advised, "the journey will consume the better part of the day, even mounted, and it is ill-advised for the unfamiliar to linger in the forest at night."

Ivorygate nodded as he turned toward the others, noting that the drow had taken the time to cover her features as to avoid an unnecessary stigma between the two elves. "Back on the mounts, men--we follow Aransandorian'hahren and he will lead us to the tribe we seek." The ambassador mounted his steed, making sure to stay near the elven guide. "You say you are about to leave this place for the first time in a century. Perhaps you might share your wisdom of your sanctuary with one that seeks to better understand the ways of your people."

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Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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For once, Talael was glad for Jura and her brilliantly obvious presence, as it at least kept everyone's attention on the young girl. She carefully looked over the elf as she listened him and the ambassador, still letting the bulk of the guardsman she sat behind hide her. While she could not fault Geoffrey for his diplomacy, Talael was not particularly enthused about traveling through the elf's woods, despite the rarity of such an opportunity. His veiled threats had most certainly not been lost on her.

However, she made sure her discomfort was not evident on her face. It was not her place to argue with the ambassador, so Talael remained silent. Shifting restlessly in the saddle as the group prepared to move on, she alternated between warily eyeing the elf and glancing around for any further surprises. Such as the elf's mount that suddenly appeared. Talael smiled faintly as she admired the creature's natural beauty. This certainly was an interesting adventure she'd gotten herself into, Talael mused to herself. She could only hold a faint hope that it would not end in pointless bloodshed sooner rather then later. For now she simply continued to listen in on the ambassador and the elf.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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Jura was perched upon the back of her guard's horse, her hand covering her mouth. Well, it was obvious that Geoffrey and Arando...rianso...Aran (She wasn't even going to try to pronounce that name ever again. She had difficulty saying "catastrophe" on a good day) wanted her to stop talking all the time. So she sat, clinging onto the guard in front of her desperately, covering her mouth. The large horse beneath them made its way through the grassy forest floor, the horses' hooves thumping softly as they created imprints on the forest floor. Dodger winced as she spotted the sprawling weeds and greenery covering the forest floor. If a horse tripped...the young woman winced and closed her eyes tightly. It didn't do well to dwell upon such dark subjects. Death was not a good place for her to stay especially as she was unaware of her family's situation. Jura quickly moved her hands to cover her ears and screwed her eyes shut tightly.

"Nope. Nope. We are not thinking about that right now, Darling, stop it." She hissed, uncaring of who could hear. Well, if they thought it was weird, they could keep to themselves. Nobody asked them to listen in. The young woman opened her green eyes to distract herself with the surrounding greenery. A few streams of light glinted off the leaves, gleaming emerald in the sunlight. Jura was sure all this would look very pretty if it wasn't for the over arching fact that she was bored. The young woman let out a muffled sigh behind her hand. As pretty as the forest was, she'd be a lot happier when the convoy were out in the open again. And besides, they might meat some vyldkin soon! The others seemed to be wary of the idea but Dodger just thought it seemed pretty cool. She'd already met a few new species today, why not go for the full house?! She grinned softly as she petted the horse beneath her. Yep, the sooner she got out of here, the better.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Feral Bloodrazor Character Portrait: Ahn Surestrike Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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#, as written by Siryn
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"You mean like that killing blow?" Feral called out to him. Ahn laughed lightly at her as he continued to work his sword into the thick hide of the creature. He'd made his way close to the stomach of the beast, intent of shoving his blade upwards and forcing the beast to the ground.

"No, this killing blow," the voice belonged to Gnash who leapt up and delivered the killing blow to the creature. The beast shuddered once and then crumpled to the earth causing the ground to shudder by its massive weight. The beast slid across the ground before coming to a halt some ways off. Ahn flipped his blade around in his hand, the blood on it sliding around. Leaning over, he wiped it off on the tall grass before sheathing the massive weapon at his side. His grin never left his face as he figured that either Bane or Gnash would get the kill whilst he and Feral had been messing around.

"Why did you do that!? I told you that I would be the one to land the killing blow..."

"Well, dear battle-sister, if you were less focused on the theatrics and showing up your blade-brother and more focused on working with the group to bring down the prey... You may have been the one to land the killing blow."

"There will always be another hunt, blade-sister," Ahn said, patting her shoulder with his hand. Leaning over he grinned at her, "Of course our next hunt, I'll be the winner. You should train hard, Feral if you want to take the next kill," he laughed and quickly stepped away from her so that he could start helping to skin the creature and take back the meat to the village.

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The badlands were slowly turning into thick trees and the further they went, the more it seemed that people were around. There were quite a few trails that the pair passed, and then finally they'd come upon a main road. Havinthir turned right and left as he glanced down each way of the main road which was empty at that moment. He wasn't sure which direction they should head in as it had been some time since last he'd visited the humans realm. Of course, being out in the wilds with the Vyldkin had made him used to following the open air as a direction.

With a slight hum, the elf turned and glanced down at Berry and gave her a small smile, "Well, any direction is good. If we follow it, we'll be lead to the human's developments no matter what. Their main roads always connect their cities," with that, Havinthir chose to go left down the path. He followed it for some time, leading the way before he came upon a group of people up on horses. Havinthir didn't recognize any of the people there, however his eyes did spot someone he'd only heard in legend and stories.

The elf's eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat. It was a Fheyga, but not just any Fheyga, this was the Lord of the Forest. One who earned respect from all of the elves, at least, that was what Havi had been taught. He never thought in all his years that he would meet the famed Lord of the Forest. He was frozen in place as his eyes laid upon the beautiful being before him. At first he wasn't sure what to do, but then his conscious kicked in and he realized he was staring at the Lord, a most disrespectful thing. Havinthir tapped Berry's head gently to gain her attention before he spoke to the elf.

"That is the Lord of the Forest, Berry," he told her softly and then turned his attention back to the man because he was going to address the Lord first before he addressed anyone else. He bowed low to the Fheyga before him and spoke in his own tongue, knowing full well that the Lord of the Forest would know what he was saying.

"Ver kesh derianshiy illiandiale," Havinthir greeted the Lord, his words smooth as they rolled off his tongue. He hoped that the greeting would be worthy enough to the Fheyga standing before him. Havi would wait until he was granted the permission to speak via the Lord before he spoke any further on the issue of why he and Berry were there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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After about an hour from his awkward silence with the elf, the diplomat noticed through the underbrush that they were no longer alone. From a clearing just ahead of them, two more figures emerged--one an elf like Aransandorian, the other humanesque but rather stout. Either this woman was very short for human standards or she was a dwarf... although why a dwarf was so far away from her mountain home was anyone's guess. Either way, Ivorygate was rather intrigued by the newcomers, especially when one of them seemed so out of place here in the forest.

The newcomer elf began to address Aransandorian in elvish, although this was a dialect that the ambassador had little experience with. That, coupled with the fact that the two were speaking rather quickly with one another in two completely different tones and inflections, made it all the more difficult to attempt to comprehend what they were saying to one another. The dwarf, however, was rather quiet and merely watched as the conversation unfolded, much like the other non-fheyga in the clearing. Perhaps the dwehga could make out bits and pieces, but then again, the ambassador had no way of knowing otherwise--how long had she even been on the surface? What of these newcomers? Apparently, they seemed to be fine, as Aransandorian was not attempting to murder them as he had the bandits from earlier. However, he did seem somewhat distant... maybe that ennui was just a part of who he was as a deep forest dweller...

"...what do you two speak of?" The ambassador looked toward their guide with curiosity and genuine interest. "What are they doing out here..." He realized that it was probably not a very good idea to let his curiosity get the better of him, so he held his tongue and allowed the elves to converse with one another until Aransandorian was ready to explain the current situation to them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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#, as written by Ion
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They must have been right on the edges of the Badlands, for with enough travel, they were treading into a thicket of trees. She followed Havi’s lead here—in the past, she had only ever skirted the edges of the elves’ forest, and visited one of their outlying settlements. Rikash had had a great respect for the forest-dwellers, enough to leave their lands alone unless he had a definite reason to be there. She had followed the same model since leaving him, so her familiarity with the area was very limited indeed. She tried not to break too much undergrowth as she passed, but she was no leggy elf, and a bit of damage was unavoidable for someone of her construction.

It took a while, but eventually they came upon a band of travellers, and she was about to hail them when she was tapped on the head, Havi indicating with something approaching reverence that the mounted elf was someone of importance. She chose to keep her peace during the exchange, though, and watched with undeniable curiosity as her friend bowed low and spoke in one of the elvish dialects. Her eyes flicked over the rest of the travellers for a few seconds, then back to the man Havi was addressing.

Aransandorian tilted his head faintly to one side at the address, nodding slightly upon the other elf’s greetings. A child of the middle lands, from his language and inflection. Aran answered in the same. “Adrast ist valla, fheyga’dahl.” Rise, and be at peace. The next few minutes, he spent inquiring after the nature of the newcomer’s business here, specifically why he was accompanied by one of the durgen’len, the stone people. The answers he received were a bit surprising, but nevertheless, he turned to Ivorygate upon the human’s question, and answered in the common tongue.

“They seek the same as you, it seems: a way to meet with the vyldkin. It appears another settlement has fallen.” His words were pronounced with the same neutrality as most of the things he uttered, and Berry nodded solemnly.

“We saw smoke on th’ ‘orizon, ‘n’ followed ‘t. Everythin’ was burned ‘fore we got there, ‘n’ th’ people dyin’…” her own voice was heavy with sorrow, and she addressed herself equally to all those present, though that was somewhat difficult, given that all of them were mounted and she was under five feet tall. “If’n yer goin’ t’ see th’ vyldkin, then we’re headin’ th’ same way.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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A man, an elf, and a dwarf walk into a bar...

Talael was sure the humans had a joke for these sorts of situations, but she couldn't quite recall it. More to the point of her concern was the further addition of strangers stumbling across Ivorygate's little group, and another elf at that in addition to a dwarf of all people. She tilted her head, trying to listen in as the two elves spoke, but her understanding of their tongue was limited and her own language was varied enough that she could only understanding a smattering. Her eyes narrowed at what she did comprehend, that the elf immediately knew Aransandorian and gave him his due respect. Most curious indeed.

She continued to listen as the dwarf spoke now. Another vyldkin attack, another burned village. Talael cleared her throat, looking to Ivorygate as she spoke. "If I may inquire, ambassador, how we are to approach the vyldkin? Talael grimaced at the thought of walking into a vyldkin camp with only the pretense of diplomacy as protection. It was a pretense she did not expect the vyldkin to understand. "Given that they have made their aggressive intentions rather clear, they may react with hostility even if we approach with peaceful intentions." Talael paused, glancing at the ambassador's guard. "The knights are not quite peaceful looking either." She said dryly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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#, as written by Siryn
Havinthir Leitni


“Adrast ist valla, fheyga’dahl.” The Lord said and Havi stood up straight, though he did not directly meet the elf Lord's gaze. So strictly set in the ways of respect towards their Forest Lord, he did not wish to seem arrogant in front of the beautiful man, nor to upset him in anyway. What transpired next was a set of questions asked in the elven tongue to which Havinthir answered easily enough. His head was bent forwards slightly as he answered the Lord's questions.

“They seek the same as you, it seems: a way to meet with the vyldkin. It appears another settlement has fallen.”

Havinthir flicked his gaze over the group that had been with the Lord. He noted that most all of them were human and the guards looked rather... intimidating. They meant to go meet the Vyldkin like this? An eyebrow rose as he took in the escort and the man who seemed to be the leader of the entire group. What did they intend to do so heavily armed and looking ready for a fight?

“We saw smoke on th’ ‘orizon, ‘n’ followed ‘t. Everythin’ was burned ‘fore we got there, ‘n’ th’ people dyin’… If’n yer goin’ t’ see th’ vyldkin, then we’re headin’ th’ same way.” Berry said, speaking up so that the attention was on her.

Havi reached out and gripped her shoulder for comfort. His eyes dropped to her, feeling her own sorrow as well. Both of them had been hurt by the events they'd encountered.

"Illiandiale," Havinthir started, addressing the Lord of the Forest by his title in elvish, "Con vash Beryl-" he introduced Berry to the Lord and was about to continue with his own name when he was interrupted. A woman's voice issued from behind someone up on the horses and Havi strained to see who it was. After a moment he finally caught a glimpse of the feminine voice. It belonged to a dark elf and her lips were twisted into a frown as she spoke. Havinthir was more than curious about her reasoning for being with the guards right then.

"If I may inquire, ambassador, how we are to approach the vyldkin? Given that they have made their aggressive intentions rather clear, they may react with hostility even if we approach with peaceful intentions. The knights are not quite peaceful looking either."

Havi looked between each of the guards and then back to the woman whom he'd spotted as she'd peeked out to speak to the man in charge directly. Figuring it was better to speak the common tongue rather than elvish, he cleared his throat to get the attention of the people around him.

"I've acted as a medium between the two peoples before," he offered, "I've spent many years among the Vyldkin. I can assist in the negotiations, depending on what they may be. I do hope that you intend to help the Vyldkin..." Havinthir added slowly, pausing to measure the reaction to his words, "Though I must agree with the Dwegha, your men are a bit... imposing."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Geoffrey Ivorygate Character Portrait: Jura "Dodger" Darling Character Portrait: Talael Tamira Character Portrait: Havinthir Leitni Character Portrait: Beryl Shatterheart Character Portrait: Aransandorian Dwin'shadr
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Jura tried to keep her mouth shut. She really did. But it was rather difficult. She was used to blurting things out and that obviously wasn't going to fly in this situation. Especially not with mister super uptight ambassador and the lord of the forest. And the hulk of a guy she was sharing her horse with. In fact, as the two newcomers began to speak, she had slid off the horse and tried to see what was in front of her for once. The young woman still had her hands over her mouth in a vain attempt to keep herself from talking since none of the group seemed to like that. And she need a ride. So Dodger stood by the horse, her mouth covered and trying to stay silent. But being quiet wasn't really her forte.

"Though I must agree with the Dwegha, your men are a bit... imposing." At that, Jura couldn't help but open her mouth.

"I know right? First time I saw them, I would have been a little bit put off if I wasn't...you know hopelessly los-oh come on!" Jura exclaimed as she realised what she was doing. She slapped her hands back onto her mouth and started cursing herself, muffled by her hands. She made a face before looking up at Geoffrey.

"Come on! I was trying really freaking hard that time! No fair." She pouted, crossing her arms and making a face. She didn't care how silly she looked, she had tried to be quiet really hard and boy, was it difficult. And then Dodger ruined it by talking, of all things, about guards?! Well that was just not on. Those guards were going to pay. Later. Now she had to get back into Geoffrey's good graces. Into everyone's good graces. Jura let out a tired sigh and mused that life was a while lot simpler before the vyldkin decided to wreck the joint.

"I'm sorry, ok? I really did try that time..." Dodger spoke quietly, her eyes down cast. The young woman cringed under what she imagined would be a harsh glare. She scratched her head gently before sighing heavily. "I'll get back on the horse now."