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The Gala-Dor Expedition

Zoltia

7.75 INK

a part of The Gala-Dor Expedition, by CrossKnight35.

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CrossKnight35 holds sovereignty over Zoltia, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for The Gala-Dor Expedition
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Zoltia

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Zoltia is a part of The Gala-Dor Expedition.

12 Characters Here

Esther Alfsson [81] Journeyman Alchemist, Healer, Saboteur
Serena L'aporte [80] "Calm as the ocean, wild as the seas."
Ashera Vallenai [79] A young and reckless archer with a sense for danger...
Dreador [43] The deadly, mysterious assassin... and unwilling choresmaster of the expedition.
Maria Solaster [42] A weirdo in a cleric uniform.
Orcimedes Lavatrina [36] Green is the mightiest flavor.
Hilgur Black-Mane [33] Businessman. Warrior. Amateur Harmonicist.
Anaïs Botrel [22] academic and record keeper
Iz'Hana Daudol [15] A wandering Ranger, always eager for the next hunt.
Henri Le Chevalier [8] Knight by name, Knight by nature

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashera Vallenai Character Portrait: Esther Alfsson Character Portrait: Serena L'aporte Character Portrait: Orcimedes Lavatrina
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#, as written by Byte
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“We look like shit.” Underneath the folded masks with scents that had gone and went, a toothy white grin was revealed. Perhaps one of the few bits and pieces not covered in the murky leftovers of their sewer adventures. And Serena was all the more glad for it to be over, and decided then and there that she’d probably argue for a workers union when the day was done. “You think we’d get hazard pay?”

Probably not.

On the pirate’s shoulder, the poor owl remained still. Flinching once when sunlight chanced a glimpse across his flattened face, a familiar feeling for a nocturnal creature. Although Wilthro hadn’t felt it in a while it seemed. He gave a hushed hoot, turning towards his companion with an almost disagreeable look. That… thing was still with them, apparently. The rat.

A horrifying creature to the owl, or maybe he was just frustrated that it couldn’t be swallowed in a single gulp. He was feeling peckish after prowling the dark and dank depths.

“Well, you’ve heard the princess.” Serena turned to face the alchemist. “Can’t see grand daddy paladin before smelling like roses.”

Brown eyes beamed gleefully at Blondie. “Or lavender, if it’s that important to you.”

Serena followed closely behind the other two women to the Marble Spring. For all her boasting of not minding the smell of crap and blood, she sure wouldn’t mind the opposite either.

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"Ah, hyvasti!" he replied, with some confidence even though he'd have to mull over the meaning of the word later. "I will not forget. Just past sun up. After morning mead. Like clockwork. Product of consuming foods high in dietary fiber. Becomes important later on. Just you wait," he prattled awkwardly, like he just couldn't stop. Georgina nudged him impatiently.

"Right. Guess we'll just have the inn keep draw us a bath," he remarked to Georgina, who snorted in disdain. "Don't you look at me in that tone of voice! The Spring tenders wouldn't appreciate all this and you know it," he said, gesturing to all of the creature. Afterwards he took his leave of the ladies and led Georgina through town, waving gleefully to the "intrigued and happy" shouts directed at him, and arrived after much commotion at the southern edge of town.

"Hark! Innkeep! It is I, Orcimedes! Terror of Thum-Dor! Inconvenience of the slightly farther away Ruzmok-Dor! I desire two washtubs and tools to groom a... a 'horse' to my room!" he boomed as he approached a door.

With grunt, the monstrous 8 foot tall orc, covered in dried viscera and unknown grimy sludge from the sewers threw the door to the southern watch tower nearly off its hinges. Georgina shrieked in delight as the guards scurried away and dragged Orcimedes through the entrance in pursuit. The pair jostled their way down to the holding cells where Orcimedes finally secured the animal in an empty cell by throwing in a piece of the mysterious jerky whilst humming a soothing Orcish tune. He stretched as he entered after, propping his staff up in one of the corners and stripping his tunic off as he began to sing loudly.

An Orcish bathing hymn who's words have been lost to the ages.

He'd shed his boots and his trousers were about to follow when something caught his eye.

"Oh? What do we have here?" he asked with a curious note, moving back out of his cell and taking care to close the bars behind him so that Georgina didn't get out to terrorize the guardsmen. Her eyes gleamed out at them from the darkness as she ate her treat. Orcimedes approached the cell containing the two Drow, making a painfully obvious show of putting his hands behind his head and flexing. Power rippled down his arms, crossing his chest, and echoing down into his vast, barrel-like abdomen like a coin dropped in a well.

"Hmm! The spirits smile down upon us today. It's always a fine day to bump into the fair folk, but today... I never thought I'd encounter one as beautiful as you in a place like this," he said sultrily as he laid himself down on his side with a thud, and propped his head up with one hand so he could make eye contact with Iz'Hana.

"What's your name, young lady?"

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Character Portrait: Dreador Character Portrait: Orcimedes Lavatrina Character Portrait: Iz'Hana Daudol
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The orc spoke to Iz'Hana, and though the drow tried not to laugh and instead keep a deathly calm stare leveled at the prone creature... He couldn't. His voice barked out into the air was a vicious rasp and crack. Much like a hyena who may have smoked a pipe of tobacco or four too many.

Iz'Hana stared through his laughter, the smile never quite reaching his eyes as he simply shook his head at the orc before returning his attention to the other Drow in the cell with him. His words were once again in that olden tongue, that comforting drawl and hiss and rasp and twitch of language. "Usstan xuat sieva dos orn'la zhaun lu'oh ulu soh'rad ulu nindol, orc, orn'la dos?"
He asked with a tilt of his head, glancing away from the woman in the shadows, back to the orc who was... Laying... Outside the cell... And not in one of his own.

Iz'Hana's brow furrowed as he quickly stood, yanking hard on the chains that kept him confined within the cell. He could feel his wrists scream in agony as his voice leapt from his maw with a force that belied the strength in his bones. "You're not a prisoner! Who are you? What are you doing here!? Let us go! ... Also, I am not a woman, thank you very kindly!"

The manacles and cuffs within the cell were taut now, clinking and clanking with Iz'Hana's forceful attempt to be free of the damned prison. Once again, the roar of his blood in his ears nearly deafened everything else around him, and his heart beat so hard it sought to leap from his chest.
The orc brought freedom, hopefully! Maybe! Just maybe!

AND YET. HERE IT WAS. FLIRTING WITH HIM!?
The Gods of the world obviously still held hatred for Iz'Hana's people, regardless of their time of birth during that once great war. Which was evident considering the damnable circumstances!
"Dos z'klaen ori'gato udossa doeb! Usstan b'eeti dos! Ol orn'la tlu mzilst valyrin!"
The words leapt forth, hissed through teeth that bared themselves into a desperate snarl. Freedom was so close, so so close, and it was FLIRTING with him. What ridiculous farce was that!

Maybe if it were any other damned situation, Iz'Hana might have laughed and even taken the Orc up on its- Er- on his...? Courtship, if only for the company.
BUT THIS WAS NOT THE SITUATION.


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Character Portrait: Anaïs Botrel
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The public archival library of the University was warm and perpetually, ever so slightly darker than the rest of the Sainte Pucelle Archives, despite the best efforts of pyromancers to keep it well-lit. It was staffed, most of the time, by a single librarian, accompanied only by a handful of interns around tax and census season to help with the increased workload - which is to say, at the moment, it was staffed by a single, very tired librarian named Marjorlaine DuPois. She lifted her head from the book into which she was stitching a recent death certificate as the door to her domain creaked open, brushing a few loose strands of prematurely greying hair from her face and sitting back when she saw who it was.

“Archivist Botrel,” she greeted.

”LaRue,” Anaïs corrected.

Marjorlaine scoffed. “It’s still Botrel in our records.” She put a pen in the book to mark her work, then gently folded it shut. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Anaïs gazed out over the rows of shelves briefly as she crossed to the librarian’s desk near the entrance. ”The Flame needs a death certificate from a few months ago,” she said, coming to rest near one corner of the heavy furniture and tapping her middle finger lightly against its polished wooden surface. ”Listed name Dreador LaRue, cause of death lawful execution?”

Marhorlaine tilted her head to one side, furrowing her brow curiously. “And they asked you to retrieve it for them?”

Anaïs shook her head. ”Not exactly,” she began tentatively. ”But it’s relevant to an ongoing investigation, so I thought I’d save them some time.”

“I hadn’t taken you for a social climber,” Marjorlaine commented, touching her thumb thoughtfully against her lower lip. “Hoping to worm a favor out of our siblings in steel?” A slight, nervous laugh escaped from Anaïs’s lips. Marjorlaine just scoffed again and moved to return to what she was doing. “So long as you don’t rope me into it. Public legal documents should be in the third row.”

Anaïs thanked the librarian, who dismissed her with a wave of one hand, then stepped briskly around the shelves to the row Marjorlaine had indicated. She ran her finger along the spines, checking the labels under each until she found what she was looking for. She pulled one book from the bookcase, leafing gingerly through the stitched-in parchment to find what she was looking for. It didn’t take long; there, less than a quarter of the way through. She lightly folded one corner to mark the correct document, then quickly flipped through the rest of the pages before placing it back on the shelf and pulling out the next volume. She thumbed through this one more hastily, as if she were very quickly skimming through the names, then returned it to its spot and repeated the process with the next volume.

”I’m not seeing it,” she called over the bookcases. ”Did someone misfile it?”

“What?” Marjorlaine responded, confused in a way that made her sound as if she were genuinely considering the possibility. Given the timeframe Anaïs had given, it very well could have been. “Uh… check public death certificates, along the back wall.”

”Okay.”

She relocated to the shelves in question, mimicking her prior behavior. There were far more volumes with the name “LaRue” in it here; it was, after all, the common name given to bastards, foreigners, and vagrants with no known legitimate family name to speak of. She flipped through seven full volumes before speaking up again. ”I’m not seeing it. Did one of the interns forget to file it? It would’ve been around the year-end shuffle, I think.”

Anaïs heard Marjorlaine sigh from across the room. “I’ll check in the back.” The slim wooden chair scraped softly against the floor as Marjorlaine stood, and Anaïs listened intently as the soft padding of Marjorlaine’s feet moved across the floor, followed by the creak of a heavy door leading into the public archive’s restricted back room.

Anaïs moved quickly and silently back to the book she’d marked, flipping it open and fumbling with the stitching on the document she needed, ears straining for the sound of Marjorlaine’s return. Her fingers struggled several times against the tightly bound thread holding the writ of execution in place, and she cursed under her breath, certain the librarian would return before she finished. Almost… almost…

There! She folded the parchment and stowed it up her sleeve before placing it back on the shelf, then turned and slipped back out into the hall just as she heard the other door begin to creak open behind her.

“So I didn’t find it, but I did find a number of others they forgot to file, as well as one or two which were meant to be sent to other sections of Sainte Pucelle’s, so I’m thinking maybe it could have been delivered to the wrong-” Marjorlaine’s words fell off as she registered that the room was empty. “Anaïs?” The librarian huffed in exasperation. “You could’ve told me if you were leaving.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hilgur Black-Mane Character Portrait: Dreador Character Portrait: Anaïs Botrel Character Portrait: Orcimedes Lavatrina Character Portrait: Iz'Hana Daudol
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Anaïs’s robe swept lightly above the cobblestone road leading to the western watchtower, dust lifting in tiny clouds with her footsteps. This particular structure sat at the very edge of the city, and it showed; few buildings sat nearby, and much of the limestone which served to mark Arc en Lume was crumbling or absent. There were no crowds, or really anyone of note aside from the occasional pair of guards circulating between patrol shifts. Anaïs pulled her back close against her as she drew near to the large, imposing wooden door, rehearsing her lines once again in her mind.

She was not suspicious. She was not suspicious. She was not suspicious.

Anaïs reached to push open the heavy door of the tower, unsure of how much force she would need to move it, and yelped quietly when it instead fell off its hinges and landed on the floor with a bang.

“Who goes there?!” A guard demanded, pointing the end of a sword in her direction. Anaïs reflexively put her hands up.

”I”m so sorry! I just touched it!” She immediately replied.

“Are you with the University?” the guard interrogated, taking a step forward and lowering his weapon slightly when he spotted the symbol on her robes. “What are you doing here?”

”Y-yes, I’m an archivist with Sainte Pucelle’s Memorial Archive, I was here to…” Anaïs finally took in the scene around her - guardsmen running to and fro, collecting armor, weapons.. siege supplies? She squinted, straining to see what could have happened here. Echoes of something big and green, storming through and heading down to the cells… a troll?

The guard grunted in frustration when he noticed her distraction. “If it isn’t important, leave. A big damn orc just invaded the stronghold, likely probing us for a larger assault. It isn’t safe here.”

An orc?

Anaïs stepped around the fallen door, turning to get a better look at the hazy ghost of the tower’s intruder. Yes, an orc, she saw it now, and a big one… an old one, if that explosion of white descending from its face was any indication. How many orcs got that old? Would a warband even allow him to stay…?

An old orc…

”That’s why I’m here!” Anaïs stated cheerfully, wheeling around to face the guards again. They all froze where they were standing at her declaration. ”He’s a guest of the University, you see - he must’ve gotten confused. You know how old people get.” She chuckled in a way she hoped was convincing.
“The orc… is with you?” a different guard spoke up, halfway through donning his greaves. “A guest of the Royal University?”

”Right, right!” she insisted, stepping her way carefully across the room. ”We’d heard rumors of an old orc wandering around the wilderness, outcast from his warband, and, well, how many opportunities do you get like that? Imagine everything we could learn about them! I was supposed to guide him, but he slipped away when I wasn’t looking. Crazy how quietly they can move, despite that size! So he just went down here, right?” Anaïs slipped through the door to the holding cells, careful not to touch it lest it come free of its last, incredibly tenacious hinge.

Anaïs descended the steps quickly, ignoring calls for her to wait as she jogged down the lines of holding cells until she saw a large mass blocking the floor. ”There you are!” she called out, praying silently that the orc was not in fact the vanguard of a larger war party, as the guards had assumed. ”You went the wrong way!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dreador Character Portrait: Anaïs Botrel Character Portrait: Orcimedes Lavatrina Character Portrait: Iz'Hana Daudol
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"Hmm? I did not!" Answered Orcimedes indignantly, sitting up and turning towards the new arrival. "My room is thither, across the way," he explained, gesturing vaguely towards a cell that appeared to be empty... at least until the enormous wolf-rat leapt out of a shadow at Anais and thrashed against the bars shrieking. Orcimedes nodded.

"That's right, she didn't bring the washtubs we requested! And do you know how long this young lady has been trapped in her room?" He asked, motioning to Iz'Hana. "She's even become tangled up in her erotic swing! And look how upset Georgina is. This is outrageous! I demand to see the manager!" Huffed the orc, as he pushed himself to his feet.

"This used to be such a nice establishment..." he muttered, putting his hands on his hips with an air of disappointment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashera Vallenai Character Portrait: Esther Alfsson Character Portrait: Serena L'aporte
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#, as written by StarGW
Leading Ashera and Serena, Esther attempted her best to follow her way to the Marble Spring. She had an inking of where to go; the Diamond Quarter, named for being the preferred area for Arc en Lume's most wealthy, wasn't too far off from the Merchant's District. It was only up down the east end of the District and up a hill over to the Quarter. Walking there, however, was a borderline-audacious trip for Esther. Besides the aching of her legs, she received a varied series of looks and glares from the populace. It wasn't every day that someone came up from the sewers and then walk around, smelling like shite and grime and leaving sludge marks upon the neat stone ground.

And the damned fragrance she bought didn't do squat to drown the stench. Why'd she think a small bottle of Tulip Heaven would help?

Leaving the crowded scene of customers, music, and salespeople, the three trekked up the smooth stone to the Quarter. Symbolized by towering buildings of the finest brick and mineral, Esther felt like an ant surrounded by Beaucourt's lavish hubris in architectural form. The less crowded, yet overly-wide streets gave her more room to breathe, metaphorically and literally, as she turned the corner left, right, left again, then finally found it. A building of brick, painted over in silver, and decorated in its unique and recognizable marble pillars; the Marble Spring was distinctive in its excessive design. "Well, this is it," Esther commented as she took off her helmet.

Up the few steps and through the smooth wooden door, the three entered a small reception room. They were greeted by a comfortable red rug, light brown walls and a young woman with long brown hair. "Welcome to Saint Lucine's Marble Spring," she began in an all-too-sweet voice reflecting hours of practice. Despite the soft smile, the receptionist's lips quivered at the sewer stench radiating from the three.

Esther, not intent on wasting her or the staff's time, spoke up. "Hello! We were sent by Hortensia Halifax. We were told you-"

"Ah, Ms. Halifax! Of course," The receptionist hastily interrupted, opening up her checkbook and reading off the latest listed entry. "The reservation has already been booked. Please proceed down the hall and to the showers on the right. The baths are just beyond."

Taken slightly aback, Esther nodded quietly, removed her boots as to not stain the floor with the remaining icky water, and went down the hall, turned right, and washed up in one of the Spring's many private showers. Out of her messy armor and clothing, to be washed and/or pressed, the warm, rainy waters was beyond refreshing. The rather-absurd volume of different soaps and shampoos didn't hurt, though there was nothing resembling the kind made in Stormhold. Ah well, guess she'll have to smell like sickeningly sweet fruits and flowers for the next day.

Following the rinse, Esther eased herself into the Spring's famous hot baths, big enough to support a few people and bubbly enough to feel almost playful. On one hand, it was just like the saunas in Stormhold; on the other, the amount of bath soap was rather excessive.

She expected Serena and Ashera to join her in the bath, at which point the alchemist speaks again. "Well this almost makes up for that trek," she said with a heavy sigh of relief. "Have you two ever been to one of these places before? Certainly nothing like I know of."

cron