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Talazar D'Tvala

"I like you, so I think i'll kill you last."

0 · 171 views · located in Traviellia

a character in “The Jewel Princess”, as played by Centi85

Description

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|Race|

Human, though Talazar can be so fanatic that he may have even convinced himself of his convictions of divine immortality.


|Age|

Talazar was never one to give care to the frivolities of age, especially in discerning and distinguishing viable targets; though he appears 30, he himself may not even know.


|Sexuality|

Heterosexual


|Appearance|

Talazar stands just under six feet and is a formidable presence on the battlefield, foreboding imminent death at his whim. The man has a functional-muscular build, and an erect and proud posture. Talazar's presentation is very neat despite the man's tendencies towards meaningless manslaughter. There is a certain level of professionalism to his immediate appearance in his neatly combed grey-white hair and clean-shaven face, though his piercing purple eyes laced with malice easily extinguish any doubts a person may have. In addition, the man wears a high-collared, midnight black cloak which falls to around ankle height and that always appears clean and unblemished. Beneath the cloak, the man is clad in a grey tank-top and black pants, with leather boots that come to just below his knees. The belt, secured around his waist, is adorned with jewels; prizes taken from dozens of fallen victims.






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|Personality|

Talazar confronts the world with a seemingly perpetual sneer of dysfunctional exuberance and euphoria, self-induced through his need to kill. While Talazar may seem wild and fanatical to the point of hysteria on the battlefield, it should be know that the man is no fool. Talazar, when not in a frenzied release, is an extremely quiet, calm, calculating person. He excels at maintaining control of his emotions, though makes no attempt to conceal them; not that he feels much else other than an overwhelming contempt and loathing for the living. Normally coming off as blunt and somewhat rude, he has a cruel sense of humor assuaged only by the pain he can inflict on others. Let it be known that the man works to exploit weaknesses in his enemies, and he knows that words can be as good as any sword in demoralizing a person to little more than an irrational and emotional bundle of meat. Any good that once sought refuge within this man has either been subdued completely, or thrown out due to his own ideals that mercy and benevolence breeds weakness. Although rare, Talazar will usually only back down if ordered to; but take note, he remembers everyone he comes into contact with, and vengeance will never be below the man's moral standards.

|Likes|

Talazar enjoys little in the world, save the pain and sorrow he can administer to the general populous. Preferring to work alone, there are only a select few Shades who may partner with Talazar and not find themselves at the mercy of his blade, simply because they got in his way. Talazar loves playing with his prey, often inflicting serious damage and backing off to observe his work, all the while allowing his acid-tongue to tear down the mental integrity and will of his targets.

|Dislikes|

Talazar dislikes a vast majority of the universe, but he particularly despises being unable to complete a kill, or his victim dying before he has been satisfied with playing with them. Additionally, the man sees no true pleasure in what he deems as distracting frivolities such as aesthetics and decorations, birthdays or especially wasting unnecessary time; Talazar is efficient, even when playing with his prey.

|Equipment|

Talazar is equipped with and wields masterfully a massive scythe adorned with a wind-type jewel nestled between two iron bolts which secure the blade to the shaft. The shaft of the weapon is seven feet, and the double-edged blade is three.

|Abilities|

Talazar can manipulate his scythe with an extreme precision and incomparable skill and agility. The man wields the weapon with a certain grace, though he can attribute a lot of his power to the wind-type jewel set into the weapon's shaft. The jewel itself, aside from being able to be utilized in attacks to produce massive wind-gusts which, when channeled, can be blunt or precise, also works to produce a cushion around the weapon, aiding in its maneuverability and reducing drag and weight. Talazar also has been known to boost himself as well with the jewel's abilities, augmenting himself substantially. When Talazar wishes to add an extra bite to his weapon in order to catch an enemy off guard, he may also channel the wind-type abilities to increase the blade length beyond what can be physically seen. While the blade may terminate at three feet, the around it may extend further.

|Strengths|

Talazar is a very skilled tactician and melee combatant. At medium range is where the man is the most deadly, and even without his scythe, he can still hold his own against most enemies. The man's keen eye and fast reflexes allow him to make fast assessments and execute his decisions with ease.

|Weaknesses|

Talazar's skills center mainly around battlefield expertise and the high esteem he holds himself in. Thus, one of Talazar's main drawbacks is his inability to work well with others. Often he begins fights with the Shades he is assigned to, and though he normally won't kill someone crucial to the mission, it can cause trouble during the mission. Additionally, the man's combat effectiveness is mostly limited to his scythe. Disarming the man reduces his deadliness quite substantially, and even with his scythe, Talazar's reach is the length of his scythe and continued. Getting within the man's extended range to a close-melee confrontation, Talazar loses leverage and strength he can build in his strikes.






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|What will others know about them?|

Talazar has taken claim to the nickname of "Reaper of the Shades." or simply "The Reaper." The man's black cloak and massive scythe, and his unruly, undiscerning pallet for death, are more than deserving of the title.

|What will others not know about them?|

Little is known about the mysterious Reaper. Despite his powerful presence wherever death reigns, Talazar keeps much to himself. The man sees no reason to dwell too much on past events or to waste precious energy on frivolous exchanges.

|History|

Of the history Talazar has divulged, it is known that at the young ripe age of 10, this man's life began breeding apathy and contempt. His parents especially were amongst those who had instigated this demeanor, and after constant arguments and disputes, most of which escalated to physical confrontation, he finally murdered them. It was then that Talazar felt the rush, the joy in seeing the fear in the eyes of those he was about to slaughter. It was then that Talazar felt a contentment in seeing those who had caused him such turmoil to feel it reciprocated. It was exhilarating to the man to finally run a blade through flesh, to see the shock and misunderstanding, and the hurt, and the misery a person felt, especially after they knew they had deserved it, that their words which they couldn't control, and their actions had caused this. Talazar never truly felt bullied, never felt underpowered or abused, but merely that people should act in a more meaningful manner despite an irrational streak. It was because of people's cries for pity that Talazar grew apathetic. It was because of people acting out that he developed his contempt. Talazar remained always calm and in control. Talazar rarely loses his anger, for even he knows that such actions cause mistakes. Even in killing his parents, Talazar was aware. After leaving home, he sought refuge amongst the Shades; merciless killers. Talazar learned to fight and shut himself off from the world, not wanting anyone's sorrow or pity, and turned to relieving the world of the unnecessary people that inhabited it. Soon the man adopted his nickname as "The Reaper," and now he traverses the world in order to unleash his judgment unto others.

So begins...

Talazar D'Tvala's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Cheyanne

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#, as written by Siryn
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Several days ago: Forest trail leading to a small town in the north



Sunlight filtered through the trees, making the dirt path splotchy with the golden rays. Their warmth was lost on the woman who moved through the trees without really seeing the path, or anything around her. Each step was measured, slow, but not quite. She was in no hurry to get to where she was going... wherever that was. The soft crunch of boots along the path behind her alerted her to their presence, but she didn't do anything. Continuing to walk forward without looking behind her, she disregarded the men's presence until one pulled a blade from it's sheath. The ringing steel seemed to snap her from her reviere.

A sharp burn coursed along her arm as she sidestepped unconsciously from the thrust of the sword. Drawing her own weapons, she lifted it and batted aside the assailants. Five she thought to herself as her gaze shifted to each man who had drawn weapons against her. Three of them had swords, the other two axes. She could see the flash of jewels embedded in their weapons, but she couldn't quite catch their color. She didn't have to wait long for an answer though as the ground beneath her feet erupted violently with rocks tearing free and shooting at her.

Both swords moved in a vain attempted to keep the projectiles from hitting her. Backing up, she was busy with the rain of rocks to miss the attack of one of the axe wielders. Just barely managing to move her blade down, she diverted the horizontal slash enough so that it wouldn't cleave her side in half. Stepping back again, she felt the rocks cutting across her arms and face. The second axe user came upon her other side, his weapon coming down in a large overhead arc. Raising her second blade, she stopped that one, but was now locked between both axes.

One of the sword wielders rushed up, a swift kick to her abdomen sent her to the ground and following that the man stood over her with his sword descending rapidly. She closed her eyes, a soft sigh leaving her lips as she lay there. She wasn't even going to attempt stopping the attack, not that she could anyway. Both swords were being held down by the other assailants. Not really driven to save her own life she was accepting it.

A shout echoed from one of the men, a heavy thud followed and cloth flowed over her face. Opening her eyes in confusion, all she could see was black for a while, which shifted around her face as the one who she assumed stood over her, moved. Steel clashed, a curse, then a grunt following after. Another thud as someone fell. Kirrah waited, laying still as the one standing over her moved from one side to the other only by a twist of their waist and hardly moving their feet at all except for a few times when it may have been necessary.

It was over rather quickly and finally the dark cloth was pulled away from her face as the one that stood over her stepped away. Blinking a few times from the sudden increase of light, she sat up slowly. He was tall with dark hair. The long cloak was what had been draped over her moments ago. He turned slightly, eyeing her for a moment. His eyes narrowed at her, almost as if he were either disappointed or angry with her. She couldn't quite figure that out. Without a word, he sheathed both swords and walked away, leaving behind in his wake, the five men that had attempted to kill her, all dead in their own attempt.

Standing, Kirrah brushed herself off. Though she was slightly disappointed in the fact that the men hadn't been allowed to finish the job, she supposed she felt a slight bit of relief. Little as it was. Sheathing her own weapons, she gazed down at the men for a little while and then continued on her way as she had been before.

~~~

Present day


Taygean leaned against the wall, a cup of mead in his hand, the other one crossed over his chest to support the arm that had the cup between his fingers. He watched the tavern with very little interest. The conversations were of no importance either, so after a while of trying to pick out some interesting news as of late, he eventually tuned it all out and let it be background noise for him. It had honestly been a while since he'd stopped in a town for a while, not to mention had a drink of alcohol. Chasing after Shades was one thing, and the trail he'd been following for several days had suddenly disappeared on him. Though it was irritating, he supposed he shouldn't have been too surprised. It had happened before after all. Though it did make him wonder if it was the same one that kept doing this to him.

His eyes narrowed as he glowered down at the golden drink in his cup. Bringing it up to his lips he took another long drink of it. Taygean would probably end up staying the night in the inn and then leave the following morning. He wasn't going anywhere in particular, but if all went well, he'd find a poor Shade and bring in some reward for their head. Not that he was a bounty hunter, but sometimes the extra bit of gold did help.

A town like any other, not to mention a tavern like any other. The smell of alcohol, the slurs of men. She had forgotten how much she hated it. Pulling the cloak around her tighter, all that could really be seen was her eyes. She sat alone in the darkest corner she could find, she wasn’t there for a particular reason just a stop before moving on. She feet had grown tired and well even she knew that there was a certain point to stop.

Her glass was half-empty, and while she liked a good drink, this one was leaving her unsatisfied. She was tense and alert, she hated not really knowing her surroundings and she disliked even more the lack of space to move around.

Talazar stalked obtrusively through the little town, navigating easily the throngs of people as they went about their business, the various sights and sounds being of no particular value to the man. He wore is large cloak in full, and dragged his scythe arbitrarily behind him, his grip on the shaft as the blade dug like a tiller through the ground behind him, marking where he walked. The reaper's purple eyes wandered back and forth stoically, looking for something of possible entertainment value, but finding no such luck. The man had no real business here, but was here in a whim. He was bored, and mayhem was on the agenda. He had a self-prescribed quota to reach.

Glancing around casually, Talazar judged his surroundings in order to locate the best possible location to begin his frivolities. He minded not the looks of the civilian population at the sight of his cloak and weapon, but reveled in their acknowledgement. Finally, a tavern, home to a commodity of drunks seemed like the best possible choice for the reaper. Drunks always enjoyed a good fight they could never win. Not to mention the fact that Talazar probably wouldn't have to instigate much. The man shrugged, figuring it was a better waste of his time than trying to find the illusive Princess that he had no true interest in.

Stopping just in front of the door, Talazar glanced up at the sign. Useless, Talazar thought to himself. For a moment Talazar stood chewing his tongue, as if contemplating how to best make an entrance, then gave a slight huff of contempt.

"Oh door, on sweet, oh lovely door," Talazar mumbled to himself. Talazar held his scythe in a reverse grip now, the blade still impaled into the earth behind him, then in one fluid motion the man brought his left arm up, dragging the scythe into the air and, stepping into a right front-stance, swung his arm around, the weapon following easily. The black jewel glowed wickedly as its power was ignited, and the blade, which cut an arc into the door, emitted a rather over-excessive burst of air, catching the door and blasting it inwards and off its hinges, leaving a small cloud of dust and other debris in its wake.

Standing again, Talazar moved his arm back around so that it hung lazily at his side, reversing his grip on the shaft and waiting patiently. After a moment, he entered.

In the midst of taking another drink of the mead, Taygean dropped the cup, choking on the liquid as the door suddenly exploded. Standing against the wall, near the front of the inn and possibly closest to the door, he was lucky to have not been sitting down. Those not so lucky were lost under the debris of the destroyed wood. Dust followed, making him cough a bit to try to clear his lungs. Having turned and covered his head, he peered out from the cover of his arm, the other hand gripping his sword. Another cough pulled from his lungs, and he squinted to see through the dust that was just barely starting to settle.

Someone stepped up into the inn, the sound of cloth moving and with it, the scrap of a weapon, whatever that weapon may be. Taygean shifted, turning around completely now and drawing both swords, the steel ringing from their sheathes, the young swordsman moved to confront the man who had decided to destroy the door. He couldn't see the weapon, and so telling if this was a Shade or not was hard, until the smoke settle. His gaze fell upon the enormous scythe and he took in a sharp breath.

He didn't say anything, only lunged forward. The weapon in his left hand came up in an underhanded arc, the one in his right remained at his side lifted slightly in preparation for a following strike.

One moment she was eyeing the front door, thinking about an escape, another there was no door, as it was blown towards the inside and looming there now was a figure. So, I am guessing there isn't going to be an escape anytime soon the thought entered her head as soon as she glanced that the bodies she would have to step over to get there. A curse, soft and well extremely unladylike fell from her lips. "I hate tavarns," she mumbled. Yet she still didn't get up from her seat, still somewhat intact and well far away enough that attacking would serve no purpose other then getting her killed.

Talazar didn't even get a chance to order a drink and the brawl was on. A rather eager, not to mention stupidly audacious, attendee had waited just long enough for the dust to settle before attacking. Talazar reacted swiftly and easily, wielding the scythe in his left arm and bringing the blade up to parry the incoming strike, the man's arm crossing over his body to block. Fluidly, the man then shifted his weight again and pivoted slightly, bracing his right arm now on the shaft and stepping forward while pushing against the weapon, forcing the blade forward towards his adversary, rotating the weapon as his left arm compensated, pulling the other end of the weapon backwards.

The steel clashed against the man's scythe, ringing out loudly and then the man wielding the weapon moved it with incredible accuracy and speed. The curved end of the large weapon turned around and came forward, then pulled back to catch Taygean's sword. He gave a soft growl, a curse on his lips as he lowered the weapon. He would much rather keep his sword than have it taken from him. The end of his blade ground across the curved portion of the scythe as he pulled back, recoiling to try again. Taking a moment, he tried to discern the best course of action.

His fingers tightened around both handles of his weapons and he came at the man again. This time, he waited to attack until he was close to the scythe. The weapon in his left rose up and slammed down on the flat of the scythe in an attempt to bring it down and out of the way. Should that work, he would continue forward, the other weapon in his right hand coming up to thrust straight at the man's chest once he was close enough.

Talazar saw the strike, and he knew that the slash was a good chamber which would more than likely lead to a subsequent thrust, simply because the rotation put more force behind the strike, and re-chambered the opposite side for another strike. The man considered this, contemplated how he would react, and then executed his rebuttal.

The way he was now, Talazar had placed himself into a rough front-stance, with his right arm leading with the scythe and extended in front of him. Deciding he would use the close proximity to his advantage, Talazar sneered as he allowed the flat of his weapon to take the initial strike, the steel ringing loudly. As the blade dropped down, Talazar utilized the weight of the weapon as forward momentum, placing his center of gravity entirely on his lead leg and picking up his back leg. Pivoting easily, the swordsman's thrust penetrated vacant air as Talazar rotated around the swordsman's left side. Regardless of whether the sword was there or not, Talazar would garner that he was probably faster. Following up, the reaper, having completed a complete turn, brought his left arm up in continuation of his rotation with the heavy iron shaft, the strike aimed for the swordsman's head.

Taygean's eyes widened a bit as the man suddenly pivoted out of range. He turned completely, going in a complete circle around Taygean. In mid-rush forward, the young swordsman turned as he skidded to a halt. Only to have the end of the shaft slam into his cheekbone. With his head snapped to one side, he stumbled, hitting the destroyed door frame with his shoulder. Taking a breath and letting it fall from his lips rather heavily, he glowered at the cloaked man and then went at him again, this time he went under the scythe. The right sword slashed out at the man's legs, bringing him into a kind of twist and as he came up the left blade followed as it extended out, aiming for the hips and then one last time his right came across to slash down from shoulder to midsection.

Talazar stood back now to admire his work as his target was thrown against the doorway, releasing his stance so that his arms waited patiently at his sides, the scythe leaning idle against the wooden flooring. Tilting his head, he gave a slight nod of approval as the swordsman picked himself up again for another round. A sadistic grin crossed the reaper's face now as he raised the scythe again so that the shaft was suspended parallel to the ground in his left hand, palm facing up. Placing his right hand, palm down, just slightly less than shoulder-width distance along the shaft, Talazar began rotating the weapon, the scythe's blade gleaming a wicked silver intmitted between the streaks of the black shaft as it spiraled back and forth from one side to the other.

The swordsman's attacks were little more than annoyances, gnats to be batted away by the man's windmill of a weapon, and so Talazar backed easily, maintaining the rotation until the third and final strike came in towards the man's shoulder. Dropping into a right back-stance so that Talazar could face the strike, he ceased the rotation and caught the swordsman's blade easily. Without even giving pause, Talazar then unleashed a deadly lead-leg side kick into the swordsman's torso.

Not one strike hit. Not one. He was getting a bit frustrated. His attempt to get close, to forgo the scythe had failed for the man had simply backed away. The twisting blade was annoying him. Then the scythe twisted again when he finished trying to cut up his opponent and caught his sword once more. Immediately following that he felt a crushing pain through his stomach and he lost the air in his lungs. The grip on his blade that had been caught loosened and he was sent backwards by the sudden force of the attack. He destroyed a table on his way down. Tumbling with the broken debris, he finally came to a halt on his stomach and pushed himself up slowly. Magic... he cursed to himself. The scythe wielder had a jewel of some sort, and if he was using it in this fashion, then it could really only mean one thing.

He was a shade.

Shit. Taygean stood up, wincing as he went. One arm curled under his chest, the other held tightly to his blade. His gaze settled on where his weapon lay, just in front of the Shade's feet. Grinding his teeth, he hesitated now. This was going to be very difficult.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

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Travelling was honestly the worst part of doing this for a living, as Sebastion really never found much excitement in doing it. Rather, he wished he could just find a comfy spot, lie down, and then let the bad guys come to him. Sadly though the world didn’t appear to revolve around him, so it he was forced to travel to find the next bounty to track down. His hands rested in the pockets of his jacket, walking at a calm pace down the road to wherever he was going. He never paid much attention to what town he was going to next, considering it really didn’t do him too much good.

So currently, walking into the unknown town, his next though was simple. Find somewhere to just sit down and relax for a while, then find the local authorities and see what issues they needed fixed. It was a tried-and-true method, and sometimes going to the local tavern/inn, which was the usual spot he had to choose to relax in, would lead him smack into a bounty to collect.

However, entering the town, it didn’t take long for Caine to notice the rather large rut that had been dug into the ground and was trailing its way down the road. He was careful to step around it so he wouldn’t trip on it, but it was odd to see what looked like a plow had been dragged down the road. What caught his attention though was the sound of steel clashing with steel, a noise he was all too familiar with. It was fairly loud, and it actually seemed to be coming from the direction the trail went. He smiled a bit, now imagining some farmer in a fight using a plow as a weapon, curious he started waltzing towards the sound.

Sure enough, some kind of fight was going on now. Sadly it wasn’t a farmer swinging around a plow, Caine’s smile becoming a frown, but rather the two were crossing swords with a scythe. It definitely wasn’t a farmer’s scythe, that wasn’t hard to tell. Honestly he was more annoyed because they had decided to have their little scuffle inside of the place he had intended to rest. Sighing, he decided to wait outside, leaning against a building opposite of the tavern and crossing his arms as he waited. He certainly had no intentions of getting involved at the moment, as he had no idea who was who or why this fight was even occurring; Caine just felt he was better off not throwing himself into it, less he find himself getting caught up in some trouble. Arriving as he did, Caine could see the sword user was not in too good a spot considering he was currently prone amongst a pile of wooden debrey from the table that had failed to catch him.

He wanted his other sword back. Taygean moved slowly, his gaze flicking between the weapon on the floor and the scythe that was keeping him from it as well as keeping him from killing the Shade. This man was probably the most volitale that he'd encountered. Calculating and fast, it was going to be a rather long fight, and Taygean wasn't in the buisness of walking away. Nor did it seem this man was either, something in those purple eyes told him that this Shade was just getting started. Turning his blade around in a slow circle, rotating his wrist as he went, he stepped around the debris in a sort of prowling walk. His arm dropped from around his stomach, feeling far to empty with the other weapon gone.

He changed hands, putting his sword in his right and then rushed at the shade again. Again, he tried to knock the scythe out of the way, however the difference now was not to attack the Shade, but to retrieve his lost sword if he could. If the scythe moved, he would drop, grab up his weapon and roll to the Shade's side in which he would unleash a flurry of strikes. If it went well... he'd land a blow or two of his own.

While taking in the sight of the two men, she could see the difference, one with an advantage and one without. One moved faster, the other though skilled had some trouble keeping up. It was that leg kick, she didn't see it, and sort of wondered if she would move out of the way fast enough. She was indeed taking mental notes, because she also recognized the one with the scythe for what he was. She had an itch to intervene, especially now, and it was her own reflex mostly to pull a dagger from its hiding place. However it remined unused, and she sat there still watching.

Talazar sighed now, rolling his eyes up to admire the carpentry of the building as the swordsman picked himself up from his bed of woodchips. Chewing his lip idly, the man considered what the swordsman could possibly do next. In truth, Talazar was becoming quite bored of the whole ordeal. Though the swordsman's tenacity was admirable, it was a foolish misallocation of potential, especially against himself. The man should invest in either giving up or simly dying.

Passing his gaze over the other inhabitants of the little tavern, Talazar sought out another possible source of release, though it seemed nobody felt like doing anything about the current situation. Very well, the man thought. He'd finish this quickly and suffice to burning the place down. That decided, he looked back to his poor little swordsman who it seemed was preparing for another go. Talazar noted that he would more than likely attempt to retrieve his weapon, and so the man stood over the blade passively. The swordsman paced now, and Talazar remained unmoving. Watching the young man's eyes, Talazar tried to judge when it would happen. The swordsman switched sword hands, and then moved.

Without bothering to react, Talazar allowed the swordsman to come in and push his scythe out of the way, then as he reached down for his weapon, Talazar put his foot down hard on the blade, locking it under his heel and stunting the swordsman's attempts. Looking down casually, he raised an eyebrow.

"What now?" he questioned maliciously.

Taygean's heart seemed to seize up as his hand gripped the weapon and then it was suddenly pinned to the floor. He looked up sharply, gritting his teeth as the shade asked him what he was going to do. Forgetting the sword, he grit his teeth and with a light growl lunged forward, swinging his blade upwards to try to cut through the man's throat. If he missed, he would continue forward following with another slash.

Caine had now shifted his hands to the pockets of his jacket, still resting against the wall as he watched the two have their little....scuffle, I guess was the word to choose here. The sword user was certaintly tenacious, which made Caine wonder just what the hell the two had said to one another. Did the scythe guy sleep with the sword fella's girlfriend or something, because damn that sword fella wanted some blood. Course, with his position on the opposite side of the street and his late arrival, he had yet to notice the black gem set near the sycthe's blade.

Yawning and shifting his weight some to try and make himself comfortable again, he continued to observe the two. Hopefully one would kill the other soon as Caine would rather be sitting around inside the tavern where he could at least get something to drink.

Chey narrowed her eyes as the grey-haired guy clamped his foot down on the sword and what seemed like an act of desperation the other went for the throat with his other sword...

This was getting a little to one-sided for her. Judging angle and distance, the dagger she had in hand wouldn't make it. She was going to try for something a little lighter, but just as fun.

She slipped her hand back into her cloak and pulled the needle from the inside. The flick of her finger was sublet, and watching it go toward the foot covering the sword. All it would really do is numb it for a little while, but she hoped at least the advantage wasn't so one sided now.

As expected the swordsman relinquished his grip on the blade beneath Talazar's foot and went for a more direct approach. Talazar was beginning to get tired of having the swordsman constantly in his face and on the offensive, Talazar was supposed to be the hunter, and so the man had another method of distancing himself from his target. With his scythe still in his left hand, Talazar raised it just slightly, then brought the shaft back down hard against the floor. Channeling the energy of the jewel inset between the iron casting bolts, a burst of air erupted all around the man in a shockwave that rippled outwards with deadly force.

Of course, Talazar hadn't noticed another person interloping into his fight, but even if he had, a needle doesn't have much surface area to be corrupted by wind. A moment after he'd unleashed his attack, the man felt a sharp pain pierce his boot and into his foot. Choking down the cough, the man more or less growled out in rage as he glared down to the shiny metallic projectile impaled into his foot. Snarling ferociously, more or less to cover the pain he felt, Talazar shifted his stance and swung his scythe in a massive arch over his head and unleashed a second gust of wind out in front of him, not caring what it hit, but knowing that whatever it did would probably not enjoy the feeling. Regardless, Talazar had to keep everything away from him as he reached down and pulled the needle from where it had sheathed itself into his foot. Glancing around, the man located Taygean, and though he doubted the swordsman could have done that, he launched it at him still.

Whoever had actually done it was no matter to Talazar. Everyone was as good as dead now.

Taygen didn't get close, well, rather he got close but then the man unleashed his weapon's jewel. The rushing air literally launched him through the air. Body flipping, he hit the far wall and the crumpled. He coughed hard, blood in his mouth and cuts and scrapes running along his arms now. A second cough came and blood spilled further. Groaning he pushed himself up again only to feel a sharp peirce of something in his shoulder. Wincing slightly, he glanced down to the needle and as his arm went numb he cursed. Ripping it free from his limp arm. He stumbled up to his feet. It was probably one of the rare times he wished he used jewels, but a stubborn pride kept him from doing so.

He glanced around the tavern, spotting a man at the doorway and glowered at him, "So... just going to stand there? That's a Shade you know," he growled in anger. Not really one to ask for help from strangers, he was irritated with himself for even doing so. Still, to continue like this... he was going to lose his life, something he would rather forego if at all possible.

"Talazar," a rich voice came from the corner of the room. A brilliant glow was just starting to fade out, which Taygean had missed entirely. A woman stepped from that glow and moved up to stand next to the Shade. She tilted her head, long hair falling off to the side and she curled on slender hand upon her hip. Around her wrists were leather bands, each holding a couple of black jewels that glittered and pulsed as she stood there. Her lips curled up in a smile, "Playing without me. I thought we talked about this."

Caine recoiled some in shock when the man with the scythe unleashed air magic as he did. It had caught him off guard, as he hadn’t expected someone to do something so reckless. Scowling some, he then groaned. It wasn’t reckless; the man just didn’t care about hurting anyone else with his magic. Just as Caine had thought earlier, sometimes all it took was him going to the tavern to find something to hunt down. ”Son of a bitch, so much for a rest.” He said while quickly drawing both pistols from their holsters.

He quickly ran towards the tavern, fortunately Caine had not been too close to the initial blast of wind to really be harmed by it, and the second wind blast the scythe-man had thrown was aimed in the opposite direction. So he was free to make his way to the entrance, now having been cleared by the scythe-man having lunged towards a target inside the room, and once there quickly looked to determine what was there and who was a threat. It was easy enough to determine that it was only the scythe-man. Leveling both pistols for a shot, Caine had to be careful to not catch any one else if he missed or the bullets somehow managed to go completely through the target.

He didn’t fire just yet though, rather he withheld the shot as a new person had entered the area. Caine then scowled some as he noticed the far more obvious black gems on her wrists. "And~ another, crap." He then turned so that he could aim one of his pistols at the woman as well as the scythe-man, keeping his aim trained on their torsos to maximize his chance of hitting. With both targets lined up, he pulled the triggers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

0.00 INK

#, as written by Centi85
The woman tilted her head even more, an eyebrow lifting as the man with the guns fired at them. The discharge was rather fast and the elven woman's grin grew wider. Her fingers splayed open, hardly moving from in front of her stomach. The bullets hit, and instead of hitting their targets, a brilliant light opened up around where the rounds struck. Circles of power, the rings of magic swirled into existance with strange symbols and other old etchings inside each ring. The bullets dropped as soon as they lost their momentum.

Moving forward a step, her eyes narrowed in on the gun user. Leaning forward with a menacing look on her face, moved with a stealthy grace that put most men in fear. Her other hand lifted from her side and along her fingers crackled a dark black magic with pale white light that looked almost purple, "He's mine, dear Talazar, don't touch him. Have fun with the other," she said and flicked her fingers forward. The black magic streaked out towards the man with the guns.
Taygean ground his teeth as the man's attack did nothing. He settled back on the sycthe wielding Shade. Still missing his other sword, he was at a disadvantage. The young swordsman moved forward. Now well within the range of the sycthe, he was going to have to be very careful.

As the second wind blast went through the tavarn, it knocked her from her seat. She fell with a thud to the floor, now that pissed her off. She heard the woman's voice nearby, now there were two of them. She watched the attack from door, and couldn't help but grin a little.

She sighed and stood, she felt the cloak fall away as she pulled her sais from their sheaths. The one thing though that really couldn't be missed was the red jewel sitting dead center around her neck. "Ok lets try this again, how about you both fuck off."
"Nira," Talazar spoke indignantly, his words tasting sour but still reverent. The man sighed deeply, taking a moment to pause to see what the woman wanted. He eyed her cautiously, his brows coming together slightly, though he showed no disrespect or mistrust. Merely a curiosity. The man scoffed slightly at her words, but then turned as another brave soul dared intrude onto his territory. Without flinching, the reaper watched as the man raised two firearms and fired simultaneously at each of them. As expected, Nira caught the attack and then dismissed it. Huffing again, the man smiled, seeming to calm from his earlier rage as Nira chose her target. He offered one glance towards the unfortunate man, knowing that no amount of luck or skill could possibly save him now, then redirected his attention ahead again.

Looking towards the swordsman, Talazar reached down and picked up the young man's sword, admiring it under the light for a moment before glancing over the blade towards the wielder. It was a rare find, someone who didn't use jewels, but Talazar had no more patience for the swordsman.

A voice diverted the reaper's attention for a moment now as another woman stood, her cloak falling to the floor as she produced a pair of sais. Her words displeased the man, and he frowned, almost looking hurt. Contemplating her presence, Talazar shrugged, as if deciding that she meant nothing to him before glancing back to the swordsman who had moved forward. One at a time, Talazar thought to himself.

"Fine," Talazar said simply.

Suddenly Talazar moved, turning slightly and hurling the sword end-over-end at the girl before directing all his attention back towards the swordsman. Moving quickly, he closed the distance easily and unleashed hell upon him, hacking, slashing, jabbing, rotating, and otherwise being a being of perpetual death, each attack flowing right into the next with just as much force as the previous and no time for recovery. Talazar would bring the swordsman to an end, and then finish everyone else.
When he watched the bullets get stopped by a magic that the woman had produced, Caine could on think to swear before his eyes widened when he saw a black streak of magic come flying in his direction. He quickly dived to the side, rolling over his shoulder and up into a crouch with both pistols aimed towards the woman. If she blocked bullets, then he'd switch his "projectiles".

He concentrated on the blue jems lodged in the handles of both pistols, then pulled both triggers of his pistols; he didn't really need to do, but it was just a reflex. As he did so, electricity arced along the pistols and along the barrels then arced across the room and towards the woman. He was back up on his feet, keeping both weapons aimed at her as he began rapdily "shooting" the bolts at her.

She watched the male shade throw the sword in her direction. He had forgotten one thing though, she hadn't wasted any of her energy yet. She may have been tired from traveling, but she had gotten that back watching them fight. She dodged the sword rather easily, hearing it clang against the floor behind her.

The fury of his attack against the swordsman was insane. She actually wondered when the numbing would get to his foot, or didn't it have any effect on him. As she put one of her sais in one hand three daggers appeared in her other hand. She let them fly, one aimed for a shoulder, one for the leg. She just hoped her aim was as accurate as it usually was, she was a little unsure with the weapon he was using. The other well that one seemed to be attached to something on her middle finger, it would come back if it hit nothing

Taygean ground his teeth as he quickly fell back, his sword raising up to try his best to keep the scythe from cleaving him in two. Steel scrapped across steel, grinding and occasionally sparks flying off from between the two weapons. The young swordsman noted the slight limp in the man's gait but that didn't seem to lessen the strikes. Or maybe it was because of that limp that the strikes had become wild and less calculating. Even so, Taygean wasn't well defended as he was missing his other weapon, and already tired from the fight, he got his fair share of cuts. The scythe was doing what it was supposed to. Destroy. Taygean was starting to feel the burn in his muscles and he wasn't sure how much longer he could keep going. Having already been injured enough, it wasn't looking good for him at all. Each strike was making his arm shake. Trying to duck and get out of the way was becoming increasingly difficult the more wounds he ended up having.

Finally, as he backed away in an awful attempt to keep distance, his foot caught and he tumbled. Crashing into the broken debris of several chairs and a table he felt a bit of fear course through him for a moment. Shit!

Nira's grin hadn't faded as she rushed the gun slinger. A bright light flashed through the air at her and she twisted her body so that it avoided her. The curl of the light brushed across her shoulder and she felt a slight tingle along her arm. The man was quickly backing away from her, his guns firing off the element as if they were their own bullets. The elf moved swiftly, gaining distance on him soon enough, though the closer she got the more accurate his gun was. Nira compensated for that with her free hand. The magic circles began appearing around her body, a few peices of her armor smoking if the light managed to touch it just before she blocked it. None of which bothered her much though.

As she got up next to him, her hand reached out, the black magic tingling all along her hand, "Lets see how long you last," she hissed at him.

The ecstasy grew in Talazar's eyes as he watched his prey fall further and furhter back, the reaper once more the dominant hunter occupying his opponent's space rather than the other way around. Talazar continued his frenzy on the swordsman, watching teh desperation grow on the young man's face as he worked to get his sword to move fast enough to cover the various angles the scythe could reach. Talazar's weapon pivoted and turned and reversed and spun in a dazzling display, attacking on one side before the opposite end of the weapon would come around on the exact opposite faster than the swordsman could block. Hits were connecting, and the swordsman's energy and morale were beginning to deteriorate, Talazar could see it. By the time the swordsman finally faultered, collapsing backwards onto the wreckage of the bar's interior design, Talazar was more than content. Glaring down at the swordsman, the reaper's eyes were laced with a malicious contempt. The man's sneer creased his lips to reveal teeth that almost looked shaped and pointed, and the man ran his tongue along the rough ridges, as if tasting the blood and fear and defeat in the swordsman.

Luckily though, something else caught the reaper's attention at the last minute. A flash of steel from the girl he'd launched the swordsman's weapon at had retaliated, and Talazar would bet that she was more than likely the perpetrator of the reason his foot was now numb. Talazar was fortunate though that, even without feeling, he was more than adept at combat and his muscle memory was more than enough to rely on still. Shifting his gaze to encompass the woman's presence, Talazar held the scythe out towards her, then tapped the shaft against the ground again, releasing another, more controlled shockwave towards the incoming projectiles. That done, Talazar looked back towards the swordsman and placed a boot on his chest, applying pressure with his heel to force him down.

"This battle is over," The man spoke softly.

Stepping back and spinning quickly, Talazar used his scythe to attack one of the nearest support beams of the little tavern, then evaded as a part of the ceiling flexed and ruptured, collapsing inwards. Whether or not the swordsman would die was irrelevant. Talazar was just sick of him at this point. Turning back towards the woman, Talazar brought his chin up as he looked at her like a trophy to be won, or prey to be fallen. He contemplated her, then glanced over to Nira. He could probably finish her before the elven woman was done. Very well. Talazar accepted the challenge. Stepping back into a fighting stance, Talazar held his scythe ready, inviting the woman to make the first move.

The woman rushed him as he had suspected she would, as fighting from a distance would have been foolish for her. Then again with her magic tricks, maybe it was where she was stronger. Clearly though she figured that engaging him in close quarters would also be a good thing to attempt. Honestly, Caine thought that it was in her best interest, as it certaintly would put him more onto the defensive especially in this confined of a place.

His shots kept hitting her, but she was blocking most of them with her magic and any that did make it through semed to have little effect on her. Regardless he kept up his volley until she rapidly closed the gap with him and reached out to grab him with a magic encased hand. As she did so, Caine lifted one of his feet and spun on the ball of the other one onto the same side as the arm that had reached for him. In doing so, he was able to slip around her hand and bring him to her side; it would give him a second to move back away from her further. As he slipped by her, he angled his gun to aim it at her side and fired off a bolt of electricity at her before he stepped down on his foot and then immediattly began backing up from her once more, giving him the space he needed to raise up his other weapon and continue his volley.

He knew he'd need to switch off from the electricity gems soon though, as he didn't want their power to run dry in the middle of the fight. Hopefully the volley would eventually wither her down before he needed to switch them off. His attention though was brought from the woman for a moment when he heard a loud crash, turning to see the swordsman get buried under a pile of wood debry. Caine didn't bother to see how it got there, as he quickly turned his attention back to the woman in hopes she wasn't already in his face.

She quirked an eyebrow at him, what did he think she was stupid, he had a longer reach on his weapon. She wouldn't even get close without losing an eye, or a limb. Both of which she was rather fond of, she just needed one of the daggers to connect. Yet she heard the two hit the floor as the third flew back at her. She almost missed catching it, which would have made her at least lose a digit, yet her reflexes weren't that rusty.

She stood there, either he was going to get annoyed at her non-action and rush her, or they were just going to stare at each other all day. Of course she could probably help a little bit, "What, you scared of a little girl, pretty boy." She always had a problem with keeping her mouth shut.

Taygean huffed, a short sharp cry of discomfort telling of the pain in that heavily placed boot. Wincing, he reached up with one hand and grasped the ankle of the Shade in an attempt to remove the weight from his chest. The Shade backed away then and with a sweep of his weapon, took down a beam near their position and the roof crumbled. Dirt, wood and shingles fell into the tavern right where he was. Covering his head he twisted to the side to avoid being hit over the head, though most of his frame was covered in the debris. It would be a while before he was freed from the small pile of rubble.

Nira was slightly surprised at the man's sudden move to get around her. He was quick, that was for sure. The elven woman turned to face him as he ended up on her other side. A strike of lightening lashed out at her, striking her side. Nira gave a shout as it burned. Her smile faded as one hand reached up to cover the area of her side that had taken the strike. Glowring with a look of rage in her eyes, she lifted her free hand and spell circles opened up around her. A couple of her jewels glowed brightly as she weaved their power into her own innate one.

As the spell circles grew, her magic crackling all along the glowing power, there was a sudden roar from behind her and she turned briefly to see a flash of white. A flood of air tore through the tavern, rocking it violently. Whatever had been in one peice was now thrown and destroyed, the hole in the roof seemed to tear even more with the torrent of air. Nira stumbled, losing her balance at the sudden force. The pulse of air increased considerably to throw everyone in the vicinity of the attack before it died down.

Hitting the floor roughly, the elven woman ground her teeth, her spell circles forgotten as she lifted herself up and looked out into the street. Then she gave a laugh. A wild, wicked tone that bordered hysteria. Standing up, she was grinning yet again as her gaze settled on the frame of the woman standing outside with both her swords drawn and air still whipping about her body, "Talazar... Look who decided to make things easy for once," she said. Then her smile faded all together and her anger returned.

"Kill her," she snapped, her voice a darker tone than before.

Under normal circumstances, Talazar would've had the patience to endure the waiting game of seeing who would make the first move. However, after having to deal the swordsman who had tried Talazar's patience to the last, the man was in no mood, espeically when the taunt came. The man shifted and was about to move when something else caught his attention. Again. The man set his jaw hard and took in a sharp breath, and even he had no time to react.

Talazar worked to try to land on his feet, but not even he was ready for the sudden explosion of power that had decimated the tavern. The man reached out with his scythe, planting the blade and gripping the shaft as hard as he could, the force pushing him back and so that when the blade caught, the man hit the ground hard and lost his grip, sliding and rolling over before coming to a stop. Grunting and growling over the pain of having being tossed like he was, Talazar rolled over and forced himself up, shaking his head from where his hair had come forward into his face. The man looked up, enraged as he got to his feet. His eyes sought out Nira first as an eerily sadistic laugh escaped her that put a chill down even his spine. The man's gaze then drifted to the second figure as Nira spoke.

Testing his jaw and eyeing the Princess, Talazar spat next to him, then rocked his head back and forth, the man's neck cracking loudly. Moving casually back to where his scythe was when he had dropped it, he took hold of the hilt, flexing his grip along the smooth, cold steel. Whatever had become of the others was no longer void. And as much as Talazar had no interest in this pest of a girl, orders were orders. Nira's tone left no room for doubt or insubordination, and Talazar was always up for a fight that was more up to par with himself.

Uprooting the weapon, the man set his acid stare on the girl and came up beside Nira, resting the weapon over his shoulder. Sighing, he gave one side-long glance to her, then to the new advesary that took precedence over all others. Dropping the blade forward, the scythe fell like the executioner's guillotine, plunging once more into the ground.

"Ladies first?" he asked sarcastically.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

0.00 INK

#, as written by girlwt
The blast of air that rocked the foundation of the tavern through Cheyanne back against the wall. "Now what," she said to herself. She found herself next to the other sword and looked for the swordsman who it belonged. Ok so dumb and dumber where distracted, maybe she try getting him out of here. He looked to be in pretty bad shape as it was, she grabbed the sword and slipped around the rubble looking for any signs. She caught a glimpse outside, and paused in her searching...was that...the person whom they called the jewel princess. She had heard only rumors, gossip and tales, but she had trouble believing them. The shades she knew about, the two now turned on the princess were definately two of the strongest that she had seen.

As the scythe fell, burying itself in the ground, the jewel princess' gaze followed it almost as if she were in awe by it, or in a kind of trance -which was probably a better description-. Her red eyes had a kind of glow to them that normal humans never had. She looked up at the Shade. At his request, she dropped down to a crouch and in a single powerful burst of air, she rushed him, swords dragging behind her as she went. The air whipped around her and just before she got close, the magic was unleashed in a wild flurry right at him.

Under the debris, Taygean shifted just slightly. He gave a soft groan as he moved. He could hear someone near him and fear of it being the Shade made him shove aside a few of the peices of wood to see clearly. When he only spotted a woman he seemed to settle a little bit and then worked to uncover himself and find his blade.

As Caine turned to look back at the elven woman before him, he saw the various circles of magic that she had formed before. They were floating all about her, and she looked mighty pissed that the gunslinger. He had no idea what was about to come next, so all he could think of to do was to mutter a simple "Aw crap..." as he braced himself for whatever it was she was about to throw. However, the roar of a powerful wind was what struck him, and just about everything in the tavern, instead.

He tried to brace himself, but it was little help as the wind knocked him right off of his feet, sending him sprawling backwards before he thunked up against a wall. He grunted as his back smacked into it hard, coughing a bit as he tried to recover from the wind being knocked from his lungs. Sitting there, he slowly began to push himself up the wall, one arm against it to support him while he held up his other pistol aimed in the general direction of the woman he had been fighting. Finally having caught his breath, he glanced up to see just what had unleashed that torrent of wind. He blinked a few times as his eyes settled on another woman standing just outside the tavern, easy to see through the gappnig hole in the wall she had made with twin swords at the ready.

The scythe-man and elf both seemed more concerned with the newcomer, and rightly so as Caine watched her lunge forwards quickly to engage the scythe-man. Judging by the heavy disturbance of air around her as she moved, Caine had a strong suspicion she may have been the one who unleashed that "roar" of destruction.

Talazar smiled wickedly and set his gaze onto the Jewel Princess before him. Settling back into a ready stance, the man took a deep breath and exhaled, preparing for a fight. He knew this one would promise to be more interesting than his previous encounter, and he only hoped that if his collapsing the ceiling on the swordsman hadn't of finally killed the man, that at least the Princess would've accomplished that instead. Satisfied with that thought, the man once more ran his tongue along teh sharp ridges of his teeth, his sneer revealing an almost unnatural white. He waited patiently for the Princess to oblige his sardonnic courtesy, and then moved to engage.

The reaper tensed just slightly as the Princess rushed him. He remained clam and poised, holding firm as a burst of powerful air empowered the Princess' charge. Talazar knew he was fast, but even he probably couldn't counter the powerful magic the Princess wielded. Instead, the man left that job to Nira. The reaper's eyes moved steadily as the Princess closed the distance, then, as she drew up directly in front of him, and as her magic suddenly erupted, Talazar reacted.

Utilizing his own jewel, Talazar released a cushion of air directly between himself and the Princess. As her energy impacted it, the cushion 'burst.' Talazar used this explosion of power as a springboard to leap backwards further than he could have managed without it, and also in to disrupt and absorb most of the attack, or at the very least, scatter what would've otherwise been a focused blast.

The man, ready to be blown off his feet this time, spun easily through the air, rotating skillfully and landing, coming into a low crouch, one hand outstretched and dragging through the dirt to stop his momentum. Looking back towards his target, he still couldn't see beyond the cloud of dust and dirt that had been raised, but he only hoped the Princess was now between him and his weapon. Standing and raising his hand, the man activated the jewel again, calling the scythe to him, rotating it parellel to the ground, a windmill of death.

Cheyanne heard something move near her, and she looked toward the noise. She moved toward it and helped clear some of the pieces off the swordsman, "Can you walk, I think it would be a good time to get out of here." She didn't realize that she still had his sword in her hand, "I guess I landed near this, here." She knew how some people were about their weapons, so she didn't want make him think she was keeping it.

She backed up and watched the first attack of the princess, but that freakin shade had some interesting attacks.

Kirrah brought both blades up, crossing them before her as her magic hit the air magic of the Shade. The burst of it sent her bacwards. Kirrah pulled her swords back down and the wind magic caught her from hitting the ground. She regarded the Shade as he stood there, whirling his sycthe around, the blade on the end flashing every so often and making an awful sound even from where she was standing. Her eyes glowered at him and then flicked over to where the elven woman had exited the tavern. She recalled the spell circles having erupted around the male Shade, protecting him from the worst of her magic.

She looked between the two of them, trying to decide which was the most dangerous and which to elliminate first. Once she was decided she shot off again. A swipe of her sword in the male Shade's direction erupted in a whirlwind of power that kicked up dust and loose debris. However, she was headed in the direction of the elf. As she came in close, her swords both slammed into spell circles. The blades vibrated as she was stuck there, struggling to get through. Wind propelled her forward still and Nira ground her teeth as she held up the spells but was forced back a few steps.

The blades shimmered as the wind that was still swirling around each weapon concentrated onto the tips of the blades. The elven woman lifted up her head in a bit of shock and anger.

"Talazar!" Nira yelled as she suddenly sidestepped, dropping one spell and weaving another while the other shifted to compensate for the jewel princess going around her. The woman let off a blast of magic that sent the princess flying into the broken tavern. She hit the wall, fell to the floor and then stood up again, almost as if it hadn't affected her. Without hesitation yet again, she sprinted from the broken building, her wind kicking up the wood everwhere without care to who was inside as she burst from the doorway and tried again to overpower the elf.

Taygean looked over to the woman as she helped him out from under the debris. Pushing himself up, he took his sword that was offered and groaned a bit, "Yes, I'm fine," he answered her without looking. Brushing away the other shingles and dirt, he uncovered his second sword and stood up slowly. He took a couple of steps forward, testing his strength. When he was satisfied that he wasn't going to drop, he looked over at the woman, "You can leave if you wish," Taygean said shortly and started for the ruined entrance of the tavern where the princess had just burst from.
Oh so he wanted to die, she sighed. She shrugged her shoulders, where the heck else did she have to go in such a hurry anyways. Her own weapons at the ready as she followed after him.

Caine watched the fight between the three combatants, scowling some as he pushed himself off the wall. He shook his head to try and clear the confusion, enough in time to jump back out of reflex when the wind-generator flew into the tavern and smashed into the wall. She fell to the ground and was back no her feet in but a moment before immediattly rushing back out the door to engage the two shades. Caine simply lifted one arm to shield his eyes from the dust and wood that was kicked up as she did so, lowering it as he watches outside.

He glanced over to the swordsman who was back on his feet and rushing out the door to continue the fight, as well as some other woman he had not noticed before. She must have been within the tavern before this whole mess kicked off, or maybe smacking his head from the initial blast of wind had resulted in him forgetting a few things. Regardless, Caine sighed before jerking his head to the side, cracking it and then doing so once more before taking one breath.

He saw no reason to not throw himself into this fight against the shades, especially if the other three were doing so as well. He quickly followed the others through the hole that was once a wall, jumping out with both pistols at the ready quickly scanning for the targets.

Talazar saw the Princess' strike and saw the wave of power as it surged towards him. Worst yet, he saw the Princess then turn to engage Nira. The man swore under his breath, but he knew he had no time to evade this strike in order to help Nira. Accepting this, Talazar confronted the Princess' attack easily, stepping into it and ending his scythe's rotation in a downard arc that plunged the blade once more into the ground, bringing with it a counter-current of air. The man by no means expected to stop the Princess' attack, it was too much power, but rather inteded to 'slice' through it and create a point of divergence to split it to either side. Brancing against the attack, Talazar held-fast his scythe, coming into a low crouch against what residual wind he couldn't redirect. The man's hair flew wildly through his face, and his cloak flapped loudly in protest until finally the blast had died away and the dust had settled. Standing and huffing, the man turned now back towards Nira.

The Princess had just been blown into the tavern, and without so much as a moments pause in orer to recover, she was up and moving again. Talazar growled and shot off, moving to intercept the blur that was the Princess, his mighty scythe trailing behind him. As he came up to where he and the Princess would collide, the man plunged his scythe's blade into the dirt so that his speed was cut short, while simultaneously producing another cushion of air beneath his feet. Launching upwards, tucking and spinning, Talazar came down explosively, directly in the trajectory of the Princess, not feet from Nira. The man landed with a powerful shockwave that extended to his side as his scythe swept around at the Princess, the weapon held firm in the man's left hand as he swung out at her in a powerful arc. Talazar pushed as much power and force as he could manage into the strike, because he knew the Princess could handle it, and then moved fluidly into a standing, ready position.

"Don't get hurt now," Talazar spoke to Nira over his shoulder. Though his words were always harsh, to her there was at least a hinted undertone of respect and Talazar's equivalent of caring. Without waiting for a response, Talazar decided it was his turn to go on the offensive. "Why don't you be useful and cover me," the reaper said as he eyed the Princess. Then he spotted the trio coming from the destroyed remnants of the tavern. With another low growl, he glared towards the swordsman but dismissed him as folly. "Keep them away from me," he added, looking back to the Princess again. "She's mine."

With that, Talazar was off. The man used the Princess' rush tactic, propelling himself on air towards his target. As he came up to her, he unleasehd teh same hell he'd wrought onto the swordsman earlier. His scythe flowed easily around him in a granceful dance of flashing steel and sparks, but this time the man worked the weapon in conjunction with the jewel, releasing bursts of air where he could to try to slow or impede the Princess.

"Same to you," Nira ordered, her voice dripping with anger. She turned just slightly, enough to keep an eye on him as he engaged the Princess and then enough to keep the other three busy. With one hand, she weaved open several spell circles and unloaded a barrage of magic at them. Her other hand curled as her black mist slowly covered her fingers and wrist. She flicked that hand every now and then, casting out that magic at the group to the keep them occupied.

Taygean's blades came up at the first attack, barely able to take the hits himself. Wounded as he was, he was starting to think that maybe sticking around was a bad idea after all. Still, with two shades before him -both very powerful- he had to wonder. Not to mention, if he could kill them... that would certainly turn the tide wouldn't it? Even so, he was still missing most of the blocks than making them. How to get close to her he thought... though he wasn't sure if he wanted to. She had been rather fast and up against the man with the pistols... Taygean shook his head a bit. He would just have to try.

Kirrah, having been blocked off from her original target, turned her attention back to the male shade. She raised up her weapons when the billow of air stopped her head long rush. Following that, the heavy weapon slammed into her own, tossing her back again with a powerful burst of air. Yet again the Princess caught herself and was soon faced with the rushing Shade, using her same technique to cover the distance rapidly. The scythe moved quickly, slamming down at her blades. Kirrah backstepped quickly, her own wind slashing out at him as the scythe made contact with her swords. Steel ground together as she took every hit from the curved blade with her swords, working both arms fluidly to keep the blade from landing a hit on her.

Her power flexed, contracted in on herself and with the next contact between all of the weapons, she crossed her's and then leaned forward, slashing outwards as he pulled back to move again with another strike. The air erupted, sending a torrent of power at him, concentrated to get past the blade and cut through him.

Chey jumped out of the way of some of magic thrown at her and moved quickly out of the way of the exit they took. She sort of wondered how to stop the barrage because she didn't do to well against magic. She had to duck slightly to avoid the worst of spells being thrown at them. She was going to try something but had no idea if it was going to work or now. She pulled three daggers from her belt, and concentraed on them. She was entirely sure how to control the weapons yet with her jewel, but she had been watching the guy with the scythc. She threw them toward Nira's hands.

As soon as the three of them had excited the tavern, they immediattly came under a barrage of magical bolts from the elf. his attempt to shoot back was stopped as he immediattly went on the defensive. He was side-stepping, slipping by, and diving to the side to dodge the shots, trying to find an opening in which to fire back. However each time he was about to line up a shot, he had to sacrifice the attack to make sure he himself was not struck by the bolts of energy she was throwing at them in thick volleys.

Each bolt tore a decent chunk from the ground, which was far better than the chunk being torn from his own body. Grimacing some, Caine knew he was gonig to eventually get hit if all he did was stick to evading, so he finally took a chance to try and hit the elf woman. As he saw a bolt come towards him, he choose to dodge the shot by simply fallnig backwards while aiming both pistols towards her. It worked, as he was able to dodge the initial shot, firing off two more bolts of electricity towards her before falling onto his back, where he quickly tried to get to hit feet. Pain shot through his side though when he felt a bolt hit him there, causing him to stumble, and fall over once more as his foot slipped into one of the small ruts that had been made from missed shots.

He quickly worked to regain his footing, lucky to have a a few bolts hit around him as he began blindly firing back at her before he was finaly able to get back to his feet.

Although Talazar had the Princess mainly on the defensive with her weapons, that wasn't to say the man was void from her attacks. The magic of the Princess swirled around her and erupted from her strikes to match Talazar's as their weapons clashed. The physical strikes were easy enough to block, but the only way Talazar could counter the magic was with his own jewel, and at this particular moment, the man had little maneuverability room to maintain a safe cushion against her attacks.

Biting through the few minor cuts, Talazar continued his barrage unrelenting. His scythe sung selpulchral tones as it lunged at the Princess, dodging back and forth to occupy her blades, waiting for an opening. The man could feel the power around her like a fog, and he was wary of it. By the time he registered the sudden fluctuation, his strike was making contact.

Reeling away, the man's weapon was caught by the Princess' rough x-block with her swords, and as he had retreated, she advanced. Talazar had just a moment to counter, but even so he couldn't muster the power in his jewel fast enough. The blast of air was at too close a proximity this time, and the man felt the ground leave his feet and the rushing of wind. Where his scythe went, he wasn't entirely sure, but foremost the man focused on recovering and landing on his feet.

Turning awkwardly through the air, the man spun just fast enough to just avoid a tree, only realizing how far he'd been thrown after he'd caught the rough object and then been hurled off the side like a toy. An angered cry escaped the reaper as he hit the ground and rolled, all the air in the world seeming to have been used against him with none available to breath, and so he sputtered and coughed as he tried to push himself up from where he landed. Shaking his head, the man looked at the back of his hands as the world stopped spinning, noting the scratches and blood. Through his hair, the man glared daggers towards the Princess, then searched for his scythe.

"Damnit," he spat between breaths. Rubbing his jaw and getting into a kneeling position, he turned back to Nira. "Nira! Kill!"
The elven woman heard the yell and with a brief glance over her shoulder caught sight of Talazar kneeling on the ground. Her eyes grew wide slightly and an unspeakable rage filled her. As she was about to turn her attention, something sharp caught her arm and she gave a yell of surprise and pain. Her good hand went to the one that had a knife embedded in her wrist and she quickly stumbled backwards. Hissing in rage, she looked up at the woman who had thrown the knife and had Talazar not been injured probably would have unleashed hell upon the girl.

Her gaze narrowed and they held promises of tearing apart the wretch when they would meet again later. Her good hand, now covered in blood, opened up before her and Nira's body shimmered. She faded out and reappeared near Talazar. With her wrist ruined she had no choice then. Besides' they had dawdled enough in the town. Played with the Princess far too long and it seemed that she was far too much of a match for just the two of them at the moment.

"We're leaving," she cursed under her breath, "This" she showed him the ruined leather of jewels covered in blood. The jewels had been placed specifically and now they were ruined with the broken strap that she'd just managed to save from falling off her wrist, "Will have to be fixed..." she sent another deadly stare at the woman.

"Kreon will want to know of this," Nira uttered under her breath and beneath both of them a very large spell circle opened. In a matter of seconds it swallowed up both Shades.

The moment they were gone, the Princess dropped. It wasn't as if she stumbled, or simply collapsed. She'd been in the middle of getting ready to send another blast at them, both swords raised up and her face expressionless as she stared at them. In the next instant she was on the ground. The air had seemed to leave the entire area for a moment before finally a gentle breeze came through it. The town was long empty by now, the fight that had broken out scaring off most, if not all, of the residents into the outerlying area and possibly the next town over to gather officials to come and stop the fight.

Which didn't bode well for the group at all. Taygean ground his teeth as he slowly went down to one knee. His hand reached out and steadied himself on the ground, the other gripping his sword tightly. Though he knew that at least he was going to be leaving to avoid the unnecessary questions of the authorities, he still needed a moment to recover. Bleeding heavily still and bruised up nearly from head to foot... he'd taken one hell of a beating.

Caine let out a heavy sigh of relief when the two shades had vanished, taking a moment to lean forwards onto his knees to catch his breath. Taking a deep breath of a air, he then stood up completly as he exhaled and holstered both pistols. He then brushed himself off while looking around, eyes settling on the woman lying on the ground nearby. He scowled some at her, before turning his head to the sword-user nearby. He shrugged and walked over to him, peering down at him; Caine's hands resting on the handles to his pistols. He was gripping them, but he wasn't about to put down his guard yet.

"So then, any explanation as to what that was all about?"


He then looked up, looking towards the other woman who had been a part of the fight. He raised an eyebrow,
"This wasn't some love triangle thing, was it? Because if so then that was not the apporpriate way to handle it." He then looked towards the unconcious woman, watching her for a moment before looking back at the other one who was still awake.

"Sorry, love pentagram. I kinda hope it's that now, because if so that is impressive. Impressive and interesting."

Chey looked at the guy carrying guns as if he had two heads, "Yeah didn't you notice how lovey-dovey we all were...idiot." She had come out of where she had been to see the death glares she was getting from the female elf.

She was definately going to pay for that later. She took a look going from the swordsman to the woman now on the ground. "They probably got people coming, we should get out of town."

She sort of wondered who she was talking to at that point. She had her doubts that the gun-toter was going to be of any help.
Taygean glowered up at the man with the pistols, he eyes narrowing to mere slits. If he had more energy he probably would have said something back, or even nailed the man. However, he didn't have the energy -nor enough alcohol to boot- to do much of anything. So, he restorted to shaking his head in annoyance. The woman, though, spoke well enough and he was slightly grateful that at least she was smart enough to say something to that extent.

Taygean heaved a heavy sigh, "Well lets just point out the obvious now shall we..." he uttered in annoyance. Of course the towns people that had fled went to grab authorities. It always happened that way, "And who the hell is 'we' exactly?" he asked bitterly with a glance up at her over his shoulder.

Chey narrowed her eyes at the swordsman, "Fine...I'll leave your ass here, I can walk, but if you decide you don't want to get arrested, then have him drag your butt from here cause that was a one time...offer." Yeah she really didn't really offer anything...but that was beside the point. She started walking toward the other, she was scared and sort of interested in the same breath.

She had to least get the lady some help, she looked like she ran out of energy mostly. "I know a healer, he might be willing to help...if you got the money."

Caine nodded his head, watching the woman walk over to the unconcious one. "Well good to know that's not what I dragged myself into." He then walked over towards the unconcious one as well, moving his hands away from the weapons on his thighs as he stopped next to her. He kneeled down, looking down at her.

He stayed there for a moment, listening before sighing in annoyance. He didn't really want to spend his money on healing up some lady, course morally he felt like he had too. She had helped the others to fight the two shades, so he couldn't jsut leave her here. "Pfft, right then. How far away is this healer then?" He said before he reached down, carefully sliding one arm under the knees of the woman and his other arm carefully under her sohulders. He then stood up, lifting the woman up in his arms while looking the conscious one.

"And I hope it is somewhere we can get to quickly and out of sight. Like you, I'd prefer to be out of here before the authorities decide to put me in manacles and into a jail cell. They aren't comfy and I have bad relations with some of the people in those cells." He said. He then looked at the sword user, "You are welcome to tag along, but if we are too awful of people then I understand."

"A couple of hours, going that way," she pointed to the road that was heading north, it would led them into the nearby forest. "I sort of feel the same way about the authorities." She didn't turn and look at the other, as she said she was done trying to of be of any help to him, if he really wanted something, he was going to have to speak up. She picked up the woman's swords, tucked them somewhere out of the way. "So if you are ready, I say lets get walking." She started the way she had pointed, not really saying much else to the other.

Taygean watched them for a long while as they both gathered up the girl and her swords. He groaned at the mention of them being 'awful' people. It wasn't that they were... awful persay... he just wasn't... social. He hated company of people he didn't know. Which usually played around into a tight vicious circle of his not knowing anyone because of that. With a slight groan of pain he pushed himself up. He definitely needed a healer. It didn't matter how much it would cost either, not that it was going to be that big of a bother for him anyway. He had money enough, saved up and stashed away.

"I'm only coming for the healer," he mumbled to himself, though even that sounded half hearted too. Taygean slowly followed after them, leaving the destroyed town behind them. He shook his head a bit as he took one more glance at it. The tavern was nearly nothing but rubble, a pile of wood heaped in on itself. Enormous ruts in the ground from the sycthe being dragged around helped to add to the eerie destruction.

The young swordsman turned away from it all. It disgusted him. To add to it, the Jewel Princess whom he'd been hearing all of those rumors from with her destructive power, was now right in front of him. He wasn't going to like this at all. Not one bit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Varen Alteir Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
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What took a little over two hours, mostly because she had to admit the whole group wasn't moving that fast. She didn't say a word though as she led them down a trail that she had been on only several hours before, on her way to town. At last she came to a small camp set up by the water. "Put her down there," she said as she indicated a cot that had been rolled out on the ground. She pulled the swords out and put them nearby so they would be in the line of vision of the woman when she woke up.

She still hadn't even acknowledge the swordsman until that point and addressing him and the one with the guns she said, "Sit, I will go find him, he is probably nearby." She started in a direction that took her closer to the water.

Taygean had tagged along, only because he'd just wanted to get his wounds healed. Not because he was interested in these people. Nope, that wasn't a reason at all. He sighed as he rolled his eyes, slowly making his way into the area behind the other two. The woman turned and finally seemed to acknowledge him as she ordered him and the other to find a place to sit. Taygean was grateful for the chance to rest though. Moving up to a tree, he hit his back against it and slide down it with a soft groan.

The walk had been a bit slow going, but considering one of the party members was still injured from the fight, and Caine was carrying an unconscious woman (not to mention his own hurting side which would flair up from time to time) it was a bit understandable. At least to Caine it made sense, but who knows maybe he was moving slow compared to the other people the leading lady had been with before.

As they moved through a forest, they continued on their way until the woman had guided them towards a small camp in which she indicated to a cot to set the unconscious one on. Nodding his head, Caine carefully laid her down there before he sat himself down near by. Yawning, he leaned back against a tree while pulling his coat around himself. He then looked around the area, curious as to who had chosen to live out here. "So, did you just stumble upon this fella before or you old friends or something?" He asked, looking at the woman as she walked off towards the water nearby.

"Lets just say we were walking the same path," this voice was coming from behind them and it was definitely more masculine in nature. The tall green-haired fellow that stood there was carrying some fish, blue eyes scanned the three there in camp and the other who had stopped and turned at his voice. She sort of shrugged at him, but her expression didn't change.

"I thought you were going into town looking for information, and you come back with three new acquaintances...that is rather interesting," he said to her. He took in the condition of the three there and narrowed his eyes, but then he looked away and smiled when he turned back. "Welcome to my camp, I am Nym, humble musician and healer. The silent one over there, because she doesn't like giving her name out is Cheyanne," Cheyanne tossed him another look of annoyance and he chuckled slightly.

Caine glanced up at the green-haired man as he came walking towards them. While he did not actually grab one of his firearms, his hand did twitch as if he had planned too. Hoping it hadn't been too obvious, Caine lowered his hands back down to his sides as he remained seated where he was. "Well, it seems she made some friends down in town, found her self a scuffle to get into then I kinda just stumbled my way into it as well. It's funny how things just kinda happen like that really. Considering we all got banged up in some way, some more than others," he said while glancing at the sword-user, "Cheyanne there was kind enough to show us to you in hopes you could patch up this sorry bunch of folks that we are."

He shifted some, sitting up more as he watched Nym. "I'm willing to pay of course, so hopefully that'll convince you to help us. If not, the only other thing i really have to offer is my wonderful smile, which some do say is better than gold. Also I'm Sebastion Caine, by the way." he finished while crossing his legs and his arms, letting his head rest back against the tree he was sitting against.

Nym looked at Caine for a second, there seemed to be a sentence on his lips and he stopped himself before talking. He glanced at the girl and at the swordsman and then back up at Cheyanne. "Its a pleasure," he finally said.

At the mention of others getting 'banged up more' and the slight glance in his direction, Taygean rolled his eyes yet again and promptly looked away. A deep frown was on his lips as he sat there, clearly put out by being singled out by the other guy in their 'group'... if he was even going to call them a group right then. The half-elf sat there for a long while not really wanting to engage in conversation unless he was prompted to... or really unless he had to. So, the woman's name was Cheyanne, and the gunslinger was Sebastion. Apparently it was introduction time.

Taygean glanced over to the green haired man. For a moment he thought about just ignoring them all together, but if this person were to be healing them, then even the swordsman had to be polite, "Taygean," he said softly.

"I am aware of who you are," Nym said politely, "and its an honor." It was all he said to Taygean, he used no elaborate titles, he hated elaborate titles. He actually stepped in front of the black-haired man first though, "Do you mind, it helps if I have some sort of contact with you. How is up to you, and it won't hurt."

Taygean felt his lips drag into a deeper frown at Nym's mention of already knowing him. Damn those rumors... he thought to himself. Still, it wasn't something that he could control. Speaking of rumors though... those two Shades they'd dealt with... He'd been too busy at the time with trying to stay alive, but now that he looked back on it. No wonder... The Reaper and the General.... he glowered at the ground. They'd definitely picked a fight with two of the strongest Shades ever known. In fact, all of them were lucky to have gotten away alive.

He glanced up at Nym, having only caught the last part of his words. It wasn't that he minded or anything... he supposed it was an odd way of going about it. He offered his arm up to the man though, but he didn't say anything.

Nym noticed the frown, yet didn't say anything else. He placed his hand around the half-elf's arm and it would feel warm to the touch. As Nym shifted to a slightly better position, he looked at the swordsman. "A few broken ribs, bangs and bruises, of course you could have probably guessed that yourself. I can relieve the pain, but broken bones I can not heal." Well it wasn't the actually truth, but to heal bones, Nym would be unconsciousness for days afterwards, and well he wasn't that trusting. Suddenly his touch grew a little warmer and it spread from the arm to all over the swordsman.

He let go after a little bit, "I hope that helped," Nym stood slowly, slightly dizzy, but it really didn't show outwardly.

Taygean's gaze closed as he felt the warmth spread through his body. The pain indeed had gone and he gave a slight sigh, "Yes. Thank you." he said softly, testing his muscles as he moved a little bit. With the broken bones he knew he shouldn't do too much, so he decided to stay still. He took that moment to look around the area, "You live here? Alone."

Nym chuckled, "I am a traveler just like the rest of you, and yes mostly I travel alone." The elf kneeled down next to the woman, and brushed her hair from her face. Putting his hand on her shoulder, he did the same that he had to the swordsman, he could tell that she had expanded quite a bit of energy. He couldn't replenish it all in one healing, so he did one that might help with her being unconscious. When he was finished, he again looked at the three.

"I shall go make some food, I hope you are ok with fish, its all I got." Nym moved away from the group, so he could clean the said fish.

Taygean shrugged a bit. He didn't mind what he ate. The swordsman wasn't picky on food after all. Leaning back against the tree, he rested his head there, closing his eyes for a while as he just listened to the sounds around him. A few minutes later he heard the woman start to stir and with a slight groan she sat up. Taygean looked over to her, his lips pulling into a frown. He'd thought she'd looked familiar when he'd seen her collapse after the fight. Pulling himself forward just a bit, he eyed her with a cold expression.

"You're the 'Jewel Princess'," he stated with a bit of a growl, "And yet, when I saw you just the other day you were about to be killed. Why is that?"

The girl looked over to him. Her eyes were wide as she gaze at him and then to those around her. The girl was confused, it was clear. Taygean's eyebrow lifted. Surely she knew that she'd been in a fight just a little while ago, right? And that those around her were there as well. She'd seen them. She had to have. Still, her reaction... it was more than odd.

"Where am I..." she muttered softly, then slowly reached for her swords.

Taygean shook his head, "I wouldn't, if I were you," he snapped.

"Taygean...," the elf had come back from the spot he had been. "You of all people should know the absurdity of rumors, you shouldn't jump to the conclusions you are making just based on that."

Nym kneeled again, "So you are Kirrah Shay," he said it in a curious tone of voice. "And you are safe, and if others are of a different opinion, they are more then welcome to leave." Cheyanne had stepped closer, yet it wasn't curiosity in her eyes. Her stoic expression left little to what she was thinking.

Caine watched Taygean speak about the woman on the cot, the bounty hunter turning his attention to her. So she was the Jewel Princess then, huh? Guess that did explain the massive amounts of destruction she had caused alongside the shades in their fight. Well, this was an interesting day; certainly more interesting than most of his normal days.

"Well, I'll say I have no intentions of shooting you for whatever you might be. Honestly I don't really care what you are, so long as you aren't a Shade or you aren't trying to kill me. Really about my only stipulations for being in my presence." He then looked at Taygean, cocking his head to the side.

"You have an issue with her or something? Or you just generally anti-social?" he asked.

Cheyanne actually spoke up at that point, "There are the rumors that the jewel princess is just about as destructive as a shade, and while I don't generally agree with listening to rumors...her actions today seem to make them truthful." Cheyane wasn't trying to be insulting, but the girls action's seemed to speak rather loudly. She was actually slightly grateful, if the girl hadn't shown up, whose to say that the three of them would even be sitting here at the moment.

Taygean rolled his eyes again, leaning up against the tree as he crossed his arms, "I just don't like other people," he answered without missing a beat, "Especially people who don't fight back when they're about to be killed," he gave the Princess a meaningful look then, a scowl on his face.

The woman's face grew into that of shock and realization at the same time, "You... so it was you who helped me."

"On a whim," he said with a shrug as he looked away, obviously he wasn't about to admit to it whole-heartily. To add to it, he was still slightly fuming about Nym's words with the rumors. Unfortunately, the elf was right and it was what put Taygean in a rather sour mood... at least more so than he had already been in.

Kirrah glanced around once more time at the group. The elfs speech that she was in safe company only slightly settling. There was no such thing as safe for her. Not as far as she'd learned anyway.

As Taygean and the girl talked, there was plenty to take in by their conversation. So it would seem the girl had a death wish, obviously she had to have her reasons. Cheyanne glanced at Nym, sort of wondering if he was thinking the same thing. Nym was glancing at the half-elf again, and then turned back to Kirrah, "so what do you remember from today." He thought he start there instead of the other conversation. There was something else going on here, Nym just couldn't pinpoint it yet.

Kirrah turned her attention back to him after he'd spoken, asking her a question. She then dropped her gaze to the dirt and shook her head, "I don't remember much," she answered softly, "One moment, I was leaving the forest road and the town was ahead of me. I walked to it and when I got closer... I... don't recall anything else other than this... unbearable urge to get to the town," she shook her head, "After that feeling overwhelmed me, all I know is waking here."

"Well ain't that a shame, after all it was quite spectacular. Though I'll admit not what I was looking for today. But that's how the world seems to work, so guess I gotta bear with it." Caine said with a yawn, stretching out some before closing his eyes. "But you kicked a bunch of ass, or at least the asses of those two shades. So thanks for that, honestly."

He kept his head rested back against the tree, with arms and legs still crossed as he sat there. "Help is always appreciated against those types."

Cheyanne was partly grateful to Caine for saying what he did, "Yes and she almost killed us all with a building...not that it was in any great condition in the first place thanks to that shade with the grey hair." Cheyanne had questions, this was all sort of new to her.

"Those two Shades, were the top of the foodchain," Taygean interjected as he leaned against the tree, eyes closed, "The one with the scythe is known as the Reaper. Talazar is one hell of a force. The other, the elf woman, she is the Commander. There is only one other person above her and he's their leader. His orders are her orders, and the other Shades listen to her command as if their life depends on it. Her name is Nira and if you couldn't tell, she's adept at magic. Protection spells, close range, long range. It doesn't matter. She's nearly impossible to hit. And those two are always together."

Cheyanne looked at Taygean and actually started chuckling, yet before anyone could ask her what was so funny, she turned on her heel and walked away from them. Nym looked at her retreating back, and couldn't help but to her that her laughter got louder.

Nym now turned to Kirrah again ad said, "So...two of the most powerful shades, yes I could see why you were drawn to the town. You have no memory of it, so what is the one thing you believe about yourself, Kirrah Shay."

"That I... believe about myself?" Kirrah repeated, unsure as to what the elf meant. She didn't believe anything about herself, she knew she was a tool, a weapon, "I'm a monster," she answered simply.

"A monster?" Taygean repeated, clearly shocked, "What kind of idiotic answer is that?"

Nym looked at Taygean again, "And what do you believe about her master swordsman," he quirked his eyebrow ready for the other to say he thought differently.

"It would be the answer of somebody with a low opinion of themselves, Taygean." Caine said, he still did not open his eyes as he continued. "Or the answer of a guilty conscious, one of the two; maybe even both. Not the most satisfying answer though, that I will admit. I mean if you are going to go that route of self-pity, at least spice it up some. I can't think of any good examples right now, but I believe that if you put your mind to it you could come up with something a bit creative, miss."

"Idiotic, or lack of creativity beside...the answer was honest," Nym turned his attention to dinner. "I bet we all have taken the road of self-pity."

Taygean heaved a heavy sigh, "Honestly..." he ground out in irritation, "What do I believe about her? She's destructive. But she's also empty. I've no pity for someone whose given up on their life. You either find a reason to keep living, stoke that fire, or you can just go wallow in your own self-pity," he answered back simply.

Nym didn't turn as the swordsman spoke, "So...give her a reason to live," he said simply. It probably wasn't that simple though, yet hadn't any suggestions on how to do that either. Footsteps were heard as Cheyanne returned to camp, the girl looked at Nym slightly and sighed. "The shades they are going to think we are with her anyways, so why not have a little fun...while giving her a reason to live."

"A reason..." her eyes darkened, "There is no reason. I'm either a tool for others, or a monster. There is nothing else," she responded coldly and made to stand up.

"Then you're even more of an idiot," Taygean replied. As much as he hated it, Cheyanne was right. The Shades were going to think they were with her anyway. And having already been marked by Talazar for sure, it wasn't a good idea to be traversing around alone. Taking on the Reaper by himself was proof enough that he'd just barely managed to get out of there with his life... as well as in one whole piece.

"Well congrats miss, looks like we'll be joining you as 'tools' or 'monsters', cause I like to have extra-hands with me when fighting against shades. Makes things so much easier." Caine now moved so that he was lying down on the ground, again adjusting his jacket to cover himself up better. "Less you just want to leave us poor souls to fend for ourselves, fighting day and night to fend off those nasty shades we made friends with. Up too you really, no pressure."

Kirrah stopped for a moment and then slowly sat back down. She fiddled with her fingers as she sat there, unsure of what to do or say. For a moment, she could only stare at the ground. She didn't want to stay, but at the same time she couldn't quite get herself to leave either. With a sigh she nodded, "I'll stay," she responded softly.

Taygean scoffed a bit, "You don't sound so convincing. At least make it sound like you're not being put out by staying."

"But that would be lying, Taygean. And that would be rude." Caine said from his spot on the ground. "I hope you don't advocate rudeness. It makes for poor company."

"And you're going to be a pain in my ass," the swordsman shot back as he shook his head and closed his eyes again.

"How rude, and all because I was just trying to give you a lesson in manners. You know, I'll let you think about what you said while I nap. Hopefully you find it in yourself to apologize when I wake up." He finished, putting his hands behind his head.

Cheyanne rolled her eyes at the two men, "I don't think we should stay long though, I got a feeling we pissed off those two, one way or another." She looked at Nym, "what about you." Nym looked at the four of them, "I will be alright, I can help a little though, cover of some of those tracks, or at least confuse the witch for a little while while you guys travel. A few hours maybe, but that is all." Nym was really saying that he wasn't going to go with them. "And...as a personal piece of advice, I would avoid taverns for awhile."



Nira and Talazar

The pair materialized in a dark mist of her power. When the spell circles faded out, Nira growled lightly as she gripped her wrist tightly. Tossing the leather band to the side she moved about the room that she'd taken her and Talazar too. It was dimly lit, a familiar chamber that belonged to her actually. A bed was off to the side, a table and a desk and several shelves that held various weapons, jewels and other items upon it. One of which was a long white cloth that she flicked open with her good hand and wrapped around her wrist. She was far too tired to do anything else for it.

"Are you injured?" she asked, though her voice was cold and the words slightly snapped out from her mouth.

It wasn't worth Talazar's time to bother checking his surroundings. He'd been within Nira's chambers before and there wasn't anything worth acknowledging that would immediately benefit the man in any way. Instead, the man stood facing away from the Elven woman, his head bowed as he inspected his left forearm. Rotating it, he glanced over the various cuts that the Princess' winds had inflicted on him as if willing them to disappear. The reaper's breathing was heavy still and labored, and one could tell he was holding back a substantial amount of frustration and working to calm his composure. As he flexed his hand he released blood into his palm, and for a moment he simply admired it as if contemplating its importance or why it was even present. After a short moment, he simply shook his head and let his palm drop to his side.

Glancing over his shoulder, the man's steely gaze was stoic as he consulted Nira. His eyes wandered over her aimlessly, with no real words present. Her question was insulting and useless to the man. As much as he would love to contend his injuries, the fact that he had sustained them was clearly evident, and thus the question was completely unnecessary. With a growl, he turned away again.

"You left my scythe," he said simply. Turning abruptly on his heels, the man looked over Nira again, then dismissed her as he moved to the shelves. With the bloodied hand, he pushed back the hair out of his face, leaving a red streak across his forehead and in his hair. Looking over the weapons, he sighed. "Now what?"

Nira seethed, "Your life was more important. I will send someone to retrieve it, or we can go back later," she answered with a heavy sigh of irritation. Once she finished wrapping her arm, she quickly looked him over, noting the scratches and feeling her anger rising, "That woman will pay dearly," she uttered, her voice dripping with her dark intentions.

"We inform Kreon we found the girl," she said then, "After that, we'll go after them," a wicked grin lifted her lips, "After all, payback is in order, don't you think?"

"Kreon?" Talazar scoffed, looking now amused. "Kreon? To what avail is it to tell him? What does he do that would make telling him at all important? Order more Shades to converge? Tell those that will actually do something themselves."

Talazar shook his head again. As he spoke, he worked to take the torn cloak off his person, throwing it angrily off to the side. "Regardless," he continued, "I agree. They'll all pay. That damn swordsman in particular." The man's gaze navigated the shelves again, inspecting the various weapons available. After a moments pause, Talazar finally took a sword from the shelf. "This is now mine," he said, then he stopped again, as of considering the weapon. With a satisfied nod, he smiled as he held the weapon up, rotating it to test the weight and balance.

"Straight fight and no jewels? Fine." Looking to Nira now, the man cocked his head condescendingly at her wrist. Without a word, he moved towards the door and held it open. "Come on."

"You know what will happen if we don't," Nira shot back at Talazar's scoffing. However, she felt the same as he did. She hated having to do this, to answer to him. She wanted nothing more than to kill him, to be rid of his damned existence. Her fingers tightened as she stood there. Her gaze followed his to the sword on the shelf. Crossing her arms, she watched him, her grin coming back slowly.

Nira followed him to the door, "I only have one request for you, Talazar," she said, her voice smooth and dropping to a be a bit more seductive, "When you kill him, make him pay for it, dearly," she said as she turned to look up at the larger Shade. She allowed a brief touch between them, her fingers lingering on his chest for a moment before she pushed away from him and stalked down the hall silently.

"The triumphant return!" a smooth, condescending voice called from a dark alcove along the hall. With a smug grin, Varen stepped into the path of Nira and Talazar, interjecting himself casually as if he belonged amongst them rightly. Turning immediately to Nira, Varen offered himself with a graceful politeness that was inbred to him from his clan, bowing deeply and reverently. Immediately, his voice dropped the condescension and rang with a pleasurable tone made to charm, if not manipulate.

"Lady Nira," he sang, "a pleasure as always." Dismissing Talazar all together, the elf then stood, though he did spare a moment to bathe in the glory that was being just taller than the all powerful, exhalted Reaper of the Shades. Looking to her wrist, he spared no time or effort to look unconcernered.

"Oh, tsk, tsk," Varen cooed, "what on earth happened?"

Talazar glowered at the elf, but remained silent as his gaze caught Varen's. For a moment, the two stood, gridlocked, enforcing their will over the other until finally Varen smiled and laughed, dropping his gaze to Talazar's hands.

"Where's the scythe?" Varen prodded, working to gain some ground after breaking from the man's stare.

"Wouldn't you like to know," Talazar huffed, his eyes still boring into the elf. "Shouldn't you be doing something useful?"

"A little more useful than getting my ass kicked?" Varen shot back, noting the scars along the man. "Of course, bu-"

"Then get to it." Talazar interrupted angrily. With that, he stepped forward, forcing his way past the elf.

Varen looked at Nira, mocking offense, then grinned and bowed his head again. Flicking his hair back, he stared after the reaper. "Not too polite, is he? Humans, pfft, think they own the world..."

"And you would do well to leave him be, lest you don't like that head on your shoulders, Varen," Nira cooed back evenly. She pulled her injured hand down to her side as she glowered up at him, her boots only just giving her a bit of height. Shaking her head a bit she glowered at him and then at Talazar's back. The two of them were always at each others throats. As much as she wanted to shove a blade through Varen, she couldn't because Kreon ordered her not to. The elf was just as powerful as they were, and thus was 'important'.

How important, though, she didn't know or understand. All Varen cared about were himself and anyone else that was an elf. Everyone else was dirt, especially half-elves. As she started to walk away, a thought occured to her. A bit of a grin flashed across her face, her eyes dancing wildly with the idea, "You know, we met a half-elf today," she called over her shoulder, "Too bad Talazar has labeled it his to kill," she said with a slight wave of her hand over her shoulder as she continued on down the hall after her taller companion.

"Putred, misbred.... filfth!" Varen growled, appearing over Nira's shoulder as she walked. The Elf was now intrigued and mildly enraged at the same time. How anyone of such a respectable breed could degrade themselves enough to associate, let alone copulate with a... human. It was beyond Varen's comprehension. He intended to kill Talazar as soon as the moment was right, but other than that his relations to the man, or any of the human Shades, was show.

Shaking his head, Varen huffed again. He was at a loss for words, but then he had a revelation. "Tell me," he said suddenly, calling down the hall after Talazar, "did the big bad Reaper get beaten by a halfling? A misconcieved spawn?"

Varen barely had time to duck as Talazar spun on his heels with absolutely no prior warning, the sword in the man's hand whistling as it was flung over Nira's shoulder, cutting through the vacant air where Varen's head was. In response, the Elf had his weapons out and ready as he stood again, stepping up in front of Nira, almost defensively, to confront the man.

"Is that a yes?" Varen continued, advancing still.

"Nira," Talazar shot, "bring us straight to Kreon. I'm done with this."

"Aww, don't leave me," Varen mocked. Varen knew he could take Talazar now, especially when the Reaper didn't have his trademark scythe, and he had to capitalize on the moment. Still, he needed Nira on his side too.

The elven woman stalkled past Varen, she'd half hoped that Talazar would take the man's head, but apparently the elf was a lot swifter than that. Of course, Talazar was missing his own personal weapon. With a soft growl, she moved next to Talazar, her hand resting on his arm as the spell circle opened up beneath the two of them, "Kill each other later," she snapped angrily and her power engulfed the two of them to take them directly to Kreon.

When it faded out and deposited them where they needed to be, Nira closed her eyes for a moment. Her fingers tightened around Talazar's arm unwillingly as she was slightly unstead for a moment. When she pulled herself together, she released him and headed straight for Kreon who turned slightly at the sound of her approach.

"Nira," Kreon said as he set down the book in his hand and approached her. One hand reached out and snatched her jaw, tilting her head up to give her a kiss. The elven woman cringed at the touch, but she didn't pull away. After all, she was unfortunately married to the bastard.

When he released her, she suppressed the urge to rub at her lips, "What news?"

"We found the Jewel Princess," she offered back, though she wasn't all too happy about standing there talking to him.

"And?"

"There were three others with her. She's very powerful."

"You didn't kill her?" Kreon's voice dropped dangerously low. Nira narrowed her eyes at him.

"I just said she's powerful," she answered.

Kreon turned and the back of his hand knocked her head off to the side. Nira took a step to steady herself, her eyes wide in shock. It wasn't the first time, but it was the first time in front of another Shade in the room. Her teeth ground together as she turned slowly to face him. Pulling her hand back behind her, the fingers curled into a fist and her dark crackling power shimmered there.

"You will kill her next time, won't you, my beautiful wife?"

As much as she wanted to turn around and put him down on the ground, she with held from that desire and offered him a strained grin, "I'll bring you her head," without waiting for his answer, she turned on her heel, quickly snuffing out her magic and threw the doors opened to exit into the hall.

Talazar stood expressionless where he had appeared after Nira's spell. Watching with a mild intrigue, the man made no effort to express his presence or thoughts. Even as Kreon's hand came in at Nira, Talazar maintained himself. If Kreon thought it was that easy to capture the Princess, then he could get her himself as far as Talazar was concerned. And even Talazar would admit to himself that she was a worthy opponent. Nothing he couldn't beat, given enough time and with the right backup, but still powerful. Only as Nira's hand crackled with energy did Talazar allow any amount of interest to cross his face. He knew she wouldn't, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Kreon would get his own in time.

Still silent, Talazar followed Nira as she exited the room. They hadn't gone more than twenty feet when Talazar's sixth sense kicked in, and a blade was extended at him from a doorway. The man, anticipating it, didn't flinch, but looked into the shadows at Varen who held the blade out in front of his neck.

"I'm coming with you," Varen said. "And you dropped this."

"Don't get in my way," Talazar offered back calmly.

"Then the halfling is mine."

"So you think."

With that, Varen removed the blade and tossed it up, catching the blade and extending the hilt to the man. Talazar eyed it but said nothing else as he took the weapon.

"So where are they?" Varen asked, taking up ranks behind Nira, though wasting no time in trying to part her and Talazar by stepping forward as he asked his question.

"I'll assume you have some sort of tracking spell, Nira?" Talazar inquired, dismissing the elf who had forced Talazar more to the side. "We'll get my scythe and drop in to say hi."

Nira rolled her eyes at them. Stopping in the hall, she flexed her hand. Did she have enough power to take them back to the town? Maybe. They at least needed to retrieve Talazar's weapon. Once he had that... She would only have to worry about protecting Talazar from the other woman's spells. They would have to do something about that Princess though. She was devistating.

She turned to Varen then, "I will take us to get his sycthe. Once there, we will track them. When we find them. Incapacitate that damned jewel Princess. Keep her off us. If you manage to put her down quick enough... you might get a chance at some other fighting," she said with a wicked grin. Her hand opened up and beneath them her spell circle swirled to life. Nira was straining now to get the power to take all three of them.

When it engulfed them and they were deposited in the middle of the dusty street where she'd taken them from, Nira dropped to one knee, panting heavily and holding herself up with one arm against the dirt. She ground her teeth. At least the walk they were about to take to find those insolent wretches was hopefully going to be enough time for her to recover her strength again.

Talazar sighed deeply as he arrived back in town, his gaze drifting across the destruction and assessing the damage. The man's purple eyes were discerning and hard as he admired the scars in the earth and the wrecked pile that was once the tavern. It took only one person to notice the arrival of the trio of Shades, and with that one person, all eyes were directed towards them, and Talazar found himself confronted with several dozen stares of mixed expressions. One of the largest groups was near the tavern, the other had encompassed his scythe which had impaled itself into the side of a nearby building, with a few other miscellaneous stragglers meandering about.

Seeing as how Varen had knelt to check on Nira, more than likely offering up some of his magic to the elven woman, Talazar was free to work alone unhindered and know that Nira wouldn't risk being targetted. Not that any resistance was expected.

Talazar moved deliberately slow, considering each of his steps as he approached his scythe, taking time to allow his presence to register in everyone's minds so that the proper amount of fear was enstilled in his prey. The reaper always enjoyed the decisions of the people. Do they run? Can they run? Are they petrified. The man's eyes flicked to the side, forcing a pair of civilians to avert their own and cringe. With a smile, Talazar stopped in front of the perimeter of armed men who stood around his scythe, more than likely for some sort of report to file. None of them spoke as Talazar passed his gaze from one to another, noting the tension in their grips, shifting of stances, the regulating of breathing. They exchanged quick glances of reassurance to each other, as if they could actually match the reaper, and Talazar only grinned wider.

"You're in my way," Talazar spoke finally, holding out his free hand towards the scythe and meritting a flinch from the officers. Reaching out to his weapon, the jewel flicked in the shaft and then came alive, wind building around the weapon as it shook against the wooden entrapment. The officers were quick to turn and scatter, but not quite fast enough. The scythe tore itself free easily and rotated with the current, the blade gleaming wildly as it was dragged across the circle of men, with the shaft landing firmly in the man's grip. Talazar consulted the corpses, then turned back towards the rest of the town.

"In fact," he said thoughtfully, his eyes inspecting the fresh blood on his blade. "You're all in my way." With that, the man plunged the sword into the earth and hefted the scythe above his head, rotating it skillfully as he did so as he had done before, ending the rotation only as he brought the weapon down in a single mighty mid-level sweep out in front of himself that burst with power. A massive gust of air erupted from the blade, harolded by a cloud of moving dust that expanded as it traveled further. Catching the people as they ran, it cut viciously and threw bodies whimsically until only a scattered bunch of bodies lay dotted around the area. The moans and cries of agony of those still alive was none of the man's concern, but even so he figured he'd end it this time. Lowering the scythe and dropping the blade into the ground again, Talazar began the laborious task of walking to each of the still living victims, and then walking past them, dragging the scythe through them.

Figuring he'd give Nira and Varen enough time, Talazar finally retrieved the sword and returned and looked at the pair. "Shall we continue?" he asked finally, gesturing for either or to lead the way.

Varen shook his head distastefully, there were elves in the crowd, then looked at Nira. He wouldn't contest Talazar this time. The man had his scythe.




Taygean stood up and though he really wanted to stretch his body, he refrained from doing so. First off, it would hurt, and second he didn't want to undo any healing that had started while he'd been resting. It was a handful of hours later and though he was feeling better, he wasn't quite up to par just yet. Checking his weapons, he moved and tapped his boot against Caine's, "Hey, you plan on sleeping all day? We need to go," the swordsman offered. He wasn't quite yet pleasant, but at least he wasn't too harsh this time around. It was going to take some practice, and definitely a lot more time.

He didn't really stick around to see if the man answered him or not. He moved to the Princess and shook her shoulder rather roughly, "Up. We're leaving. Unless you wanna stay here with the green haired elf. Be my guest," he said. Yeah, he was going to need a lot of work in the social department.

Kirrah's eyes snapped open and she flinched at his touch. Pulling away from him, she gave him a frown but didn't say anything. He was pretty sure Cheyanne was already up and thus didn't go looking for her, nor did he go try to find the elf either. They already had their plan and once they were far enough away, Taygean wasn't sure if he was going to stick around with the group or not. It was still a matter he was debating furiously with himself, "South is probably a good idea. Less people, less towns. Which means the less possibility of that bitch Nira finding us. She can only shift to where she's been before."

For Caine, it had been a pretty uneventful nap. Much to his disappointment, for him it just felt like he had simply closed his eyes only to feel something tapping against his foot. Groaning some, he cracked an eye open to see Taygean standing over him, speaking to him. "Well I would more than happily sleep all day, but since you didn't listen to my advice about being rude, that's not going to be happening."

With a big yawn, he stretched out both his arms and legs, feeling some pops from joints lossening up before he just went limp; sprawled out spread eagle on the ground. He remained there for a few moments before yawning again and standing up, stretching just about everything. He also gave his neck a light twist in both directions, cracking it before putting his hands into his coat pockets.

"So now our plan is to avoid them? I guess that is fine, but are we just going to keep running around and what not hoping we don't run into them? It makes for poor fun if we aren't even going to try and get them." He then walked from his spot where he had been lying down, stopping nearby Taygean and Kirrah though he looked out into the water rather than at either of them. "Now if hunting other shades is the plan, then that is one I can get behind."

"I like that plan also," Cheyanne appeared all ready to go as she entered the camp, but she was alone. "Hunting other shades would be benefical for a number of reasons, as well as going south." She had to wonder though if any of them were going to stick around long after they left camp.

Yet she would be lying if she said she hadn't had that thought herself. She didn't want to face the two more powerful shades alone, so she wouldn't mind the others being around.

"I'm not a bounty hunter," Taygean replied evenly, "But if I find myself tracking one, I'll follow it. I get rid of them for my own reasons, not for money," he continued as he gaze Caine a side long glance, "South it is, and if there happens to be Shades, then so be it," he shrugged.

Kirrah stood up slowly. She didn't want to go after Shades at all, but she supposed she didn't really have a choice. Either she stuck with them, or she left and chanced an encounter with bandits that wanted her dead and boy where those starting to increase too. The last time was a close call and if Taygean hadn't been around, she probably would be dead. Her gaze dropped to the ground. Stay or leave now... she thought. A very small part of her wanted to stay. They were the first human's she'd had decent contact with in months. At least they hadn't tried to kill her just yet. Yet...

But then, there was always the fact that they could be in league with each other and only acting, that way they'd win her trust and then they could use her as a weapon as she'd experienced once before. Just the thought of being with a bounty hunter was bad enough. He wanted to hunt Shades, she did not. She was lost whenever she came into contact with those black jewels and every time, she didn't remember a thing, only waking up to be covered in blood with black dust in her hands. Kirrah shivered.

Taygean was starting down the trail, hardly waiting for anyone and she sighed as she looked back the way they had come. Live or die...

"Well at least that is a strike in your positive column," Cheyanne sort of half-said and half-mumbled. She looked at the Princess, the girl had been rather quiet, and while that was ok with Chey. She had to wonder what the female was thinking. Yes...this was going to be loads of fun...

"I am not going to tell you what to do, but we aren't your enemy," she said to Kirrah as she stood there. Cheyanne was picking up the last of the supplies she needed.

"So what, I'm a terrible person for being paid to kill Shades?" Caine asked as he began to follow, keeping his hands in his pockets as he walked. He stopped though, watching Taygean. "And if not for shades, then why are we even bothering to go South? To try the local cuisine, judge the different places based on their cooks?" He scowled some, as usual not trying to hide his sarcasm.

"Sorry to be that asshole but we need some kind of plan in mind. Now if that plan is to develop a plan as we go, then fine. But I hope we do actually try and think of something by the time we run into some town. Or else eating their food will be the plan I decide on for us. Least for me."

He then spun on his heel, turning to look at Cheyanne, "And Cheyanne, how much should I leave for Nym? Don't want to be rude afterall, he did help us. Or atleast gave me a comfy place to take a nap. So figure I owe him." he asked her.

"Just leave him a gold piece," she said, Nym probably would have objected, but Caine was right, they should leave him something for he help. She wasn't going to comment on the fact that Caine was a bounty hunter as least not yet. What could she say other then the fact she just didn't like bounty hunters.

Caine nodded his head, reaching to his belt where he kept most of his thing. It was where he always stored things such as money, other trinkets, as well as ammunition for his pistols. Pulling two pieces and walking over to the cot, he set them down there before he then looked up at Kirrah, watching her for a moment before putting his hand back into his pocket

He watched her for a moment, looking like he had a plan to say something. He however just nodded his head to her, before turning and heading after Taygean. So, only a few moments and it looked like he'd be getting dirty looks from these people, being a bounty hunter and all. It made sense though, they hardly knew him and so far he had yet to show any signs of being somewhat decent. So based on those first impressions it made sense for them to think he was just a fella hunting down the bad guys solely for a coin.

He smiled some as he went though, heading after Taygean. Well hopefully he could show them otherwise, that or at the least get them to stop looking at him in such a mean way.

Kirrah resigned herself. With an inward sigh she followed after the group, allowing the tall bounty hunter to go ahead of her to catch up to the swordsman. She could already tell that those two were going to bicker a lot. It was just one of those things. Taygean had turned just enough to look at Caine and give him a frown as he rolled his eyes and continued on down the path. The Princess was too far behind to hear what was being said, but Taygean must have said something. Their voices were just barely heard to her.

Maybe she should catch up... Nym was, after all, covering their tracks. It would do no good for her to lag behind. She sighed and then quickened her pace to catch up, glancing around to make sure they were indeed the only ones left in the forest. Kirrah wasn't sure why but she had a horrid feeling crawling at the back of her neck.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Varen Alteir Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

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Two days later

As expected the swordsman and bounty hunter were almost always going off on something. Taygean seemed more irritated then ever, but Kirrah ignored him. He didn't like her at all, not that she cared. Caine was... nice enough. She was still weary about him though, thoughts of his using her to find those Shades still plagued her and she kept her distance when they camped and even when they walked. Cheyanne was alright, but Kirrah didn't talk to the woman either. Maybe that was what irritated the swordsman. He was always referring to her to have lost the 'life' in her eyes. Well that wasn't far from the truth.

"For the last time, we're not going back. Did you forget who almost killed us? Wait... let me rephrase, who almost killed you? Those two are generals and they're dangerous. You wouldn't stand a chance and I'm not in the buisness of getting myself killed," Taygean growled, "The father we are, the better not to mention if we happen to run into any Shades, that husk of a woman behind us won't destroy an entire town out here because there is nothing out here to destroy."

Caine chuckled, having been walking beside Taygean though with a few feet between them. His hands rested in the pockets of his jacket as usual, and he simply kept his eyes forwards as they chatted. "Wait...let me rephrase that, who almost killed you. I was handling my fight, as I recall I only got his twice. I lost track of how many dents in the ceiling and floors were created through forceful application of your head to them. You should go into carpentry, as hard headed as you are you wouldn't even need to buy a hammer." he said with a smile still on his face. "Also, I think you owe that lady back there some respect, with how your ass was saved by her. Instead you just keep calling her a 'husk', 'shell', or 'as lively as the moss on the side of a rock.' " Caine paused for a moment, "Sorry, that last insult was too creative for you to have said, my apologies."

Caine was loving this guy too much. It was so easy to prod a nerve and get him riled up, that it made it impossible for Caine to resist egging him on. Honestly he wondered why he had never travelled in a group before, this made these trips far more enjoyable.

Cheyanne had taken to also being away from the two men as they went back and forth at each other. She had found herself behind this time, and had stopped almost right next to Kirrah. "You know with those two around who needs any form of entertainment. They are more amusing then a short person with a water hose." Cheyanne shook her head and looked at the girl beside her. She felt bad because of the fact that this girl was the thing that the three of them were sticking around for however the girl didn't even want to be around herself.

Kirrah looked up to Cheyanne as she spoke to her. She was confused as to the reference at the end, but she would slightly admit that the two men were a bit amusing. Though, she wasn't sure what exactly was 'amusing' about them or really what was so funny but... maybe she would find out later? Kirrah sighed. She paused in mid stride though. A shudder passed through her body and she slowly wrapped her arms around herself before she slowly dropped down to one knee. Kirrah shook uncontrollably as she stared wide eyed at the dirt before her.

"....coming.... they're... coming..." she muttered almost as if she were afraid.

Up ahead, Taygean had shot Caine a rather dirty look, "Next time lets see you deal with the damned Reaper. If I remember correctly the bitch of an elf had you scrambling and you could hardly touch her," he shot back, "And yes, that's what I call her. Why? Because that's what she is and it's pitiful. I've no patience for someone who is just willing to up and die because they had a bit of bad fortune come their way," he snapped angrily. Why the hell was he even engaging in talk with this man? He was doing it on purpose, Taygean knew this but he still... he shook his head. He knew someone like that once, a long time ago.

"Will you two shut up and pay attention, something is going on," Chey had an edge to her voice, mostly because she could hear Kirrah and her mutterings.

He turned away and directly in front of them not but a few feet, a spell circle opened upon the ground. He cursed as he back tracked quickly, both hands dropping to his weapons.

"That elf sure did try, but really, there was no match," Nira's condecending tone snapped as her spell deposited not two, but three Shades this time. She stood a bit unsteady behind the Reaper and another Shade that Taygean did not recognize. He could tell the elven features quickly enough though. Not good... he ground his teeth together as he flicked his gaze between the three of them.

"Now, kindly die this time," she hissed and her magic seemed to swirl up around the other two Shades. Looking to Caine, Taygean said, "She's not fighting, she's protecting... target her, we'll have a better chance. Otherwise we're all-"

Before he could finish, the Princess shot past both of them, her wind carrying her furiously across the open area and straight for the elven woman.

Caine scowled, having been interrupted by Cheyanne before he could respond to Taygean; he turned to look at her as he spoke. "And that something is?" Then he caught Taygean moving out of the corner of his eye, turning to look ahead and stopping mid-stride as the elf from before appear in front of them from a spell circle, accompanied by several other shades. Looking between them all, he then stepped back a bit to give himself some space between himself and them.

He pouted a little at the elf's request for them to die, "Well that's just mean of you to say." He didn't look at Taygean as the swordsman said something to Caine. "Noted, except we still have to contend with the other shades while dealing with h-" He blinked as he felt the rush of wind go past him as he watched Kirrah shoot between the two men and straight towards the elf.

Glancing over his shoulder where Kirrah had been, then looking back ahead somewhat confused he then looked over the shades nodding his head. "Dibs on the one with the scythe, I'll show you how it's done Taygean." Caine said while removing his hands from his pockets, moving them to his waist. As he did, he flared his jacket back for no reason but to be flashy, reaching down and drawing both of his pistols. He then gave his neck a twist once more, cracking it as he usually did before any fight; raising both pistols up to shoulder level as he stood there with a smile.

Cheyanne swore at the two guys, and watched the woman leap from beside her toward the group of shades. Darn and now there were three of them, she pulled her daggers first, and approached Taygean and Caine slowly. "If you guys are going to make this a pissing match, then go ahead by all means, I will wait my turn."

Varen's gaze worked quickly and sought up the halfling among the group easily, his brows furrowing as he marked his target. The Princess was primary only because she had moved the fastest, but Varen wouldn't bother wasting too much effort on her. Holding up his hand towards her charge, Varen almost looked bored as he spread his palm out in preparation for a spell, a circle appearing with a series of lines and runes drawn across its perimeter. The Elf cut his finger across the center, shattering it as the Princess drew closer, and unleashed his wrath.

Simultaneously, Talazar had stepped to the side and begun wielding his scythe. The man's jewel worked to lighten the burden of the weapon as it rotated, summoning power into a deadly forward strike. Rarely did Varen and Talazar ever work well together, but when they did, they had outstanding results. Both watched with stoic faces as Varen unleashed an infernous blast from his spell, the flames closest to him burning a brilliant blue as they shot out wildly, catching on Talazar's cutting gust of wind and exploding even more chaotically, the speed and power of both strikes increasing dramatically. The combination was aimed solely at the Princess, though once she was incapacitated, both were vying for the swordsman.

Without wasting any time, Varen had prepped another series of strikes, drawing a wide arc with his arm. More runes and symbols hovered around him, unleashing eletrical charges concentrated at nothing in particular. Without even waiting to look beyond the fire and the results, his eyes returned to the halfling.

Kirrah brought her blades up, crossing them in front of her as the fire unleashed hell upon her. The air all congregated right in front of her but between that, the wind from the other Shade and the heat, the resulting explosion of all three magics sent up a gigantic mushroom cloud of dust rushed further upwards by the heat of the fire. When it settled, Kirrah was sprawled across the dirt some feet away. For the moment, she didn't move. One blade was gone, the other held loosely in her numbed fingers. The Princess' fingers twitched ever so slightly, telling that she wouldn't be lying there for long.

Taygean sheilded his eyes as the powers all exploded and the dirt was sent upwards and out all across the open area. He was shaken by the amount of energy that was put into those attacks. Slowly lowering his arms, he released a heavy breath, eyes wide as he gazed towards where the Princess had been standing. The earth there had a tiny little crater impacting the dirt. Shock pulsed through him. This was not going to end well.

Caine shielded his own face as the dust and dirt that was sent flying through the area, coughing and waving the same hand in front of his face to shoo away the irritating particles. As he looked through the cloud, noticing the lack of Kirrah there, he wasn't really sure what to think. All he could think to do was simply click his tounge as he did when at a loss for words, slowly lowering his hands now to his sides.

He nodded his head some, then looking over at Taygean as he spoke, "Well that plan went well, course I don't think the goal was a pyrotechnic show. We might as well this mess over with now, I say." He said while turning his attention forwards. "No point in dreading the mess we are about to have." He said before raising one of his pistols up, aiming at the Talazar before firing off a shot aimed for his body.

Cheyanne decided she was going to use the cover of the dust cloud to move, she could feel the energy of those blasts as they flew past her. plus, she hated being out in the open. The trees were close enough she could inch closer past the two males and see what she could do about the female. Not that she really wanted to face the female elf on her own. Her movements were rather fast as she made it to the treeline.

Damnit... she thought, had she ever been in worse situations.

"Guess that leaves the other elf," Taygean muttered to himself as he eyed Caine's advance on Talazar. He wasn't sure how well the bounty hunter was going to do up against the Reaper, not to mention how protective Nira was over the man. If anyting Caine probably should have taken the elf... then again, could Taygean even stand a chance against the man a second time? Probably not. He ground his teeth and turned to look for the elf that Nira had brought with them. Having not paid attention to placement after the blast threw Kirrah, it took him a moment to locate the man.

As predicted, Nira's magic opened up in front of Talazar, the small spell circle only large enough to stop the projectile to protect the large man. It definitely wasn't as flashy as her spell circles used to be, but it did the job none-the-less.

Talazar raised an amused eyebrow as the gunman's round impacted Nira's protective spell. The man glanced down at the round, suspended in the air, then watched it fall. Chuckling to himself, he turned his attention to the perpetrator of the shot and rolled his eyes. Too many people were in his way for him to get to the swordsman, and Talazar didn't feel like wasting his time on any of them. To the side, the Princess still hadn't gotten up, and so Talazar dismissed the man in lieu of the swordsman.

"Take the gunman," Talazar muttered to Varen as he stepped forward and past the elf. "I've got the swordsman."

Varen's acid stare shot directly to Talazar as the man spoke, a look of utter bewilderment on the elf's face. Varen had clearly marked the halfling as his own, and he'd more than respect Talazar's power to incapacitate the Princess, but he would not allow the man to do his own job for him. Varen watched as Talazar brought his scythe around to attack the swordsman now, felt the power surging in the jewel as the air was manipulated into another massive strike, then held up his hand towards the man.

The Reaper's strike explodedly wildly from the man's scythe, though its trajectory was thrown off and a little upwards as Varen redirected it, interjecting himself easily with a spell. The Elf's tonfas were out now as he began stalking up behind Talazar to engage the halfling himself, and the man glared back over his shoulder..

"Damnit, Varen!" Talazar snarled, growling at the man, his teeth barred.

"I told you he was mine," Varen contended easily, stopping just short of Talazar.

"I told you we'd see," Talazar retorted again. With that, the man swung his scythe out at Varen, catching the Elf as he blocked and forcing him to backpedal. In the time it took for Varen to recover, Talazar had spun around and launched another strike towards the swordsman.

Varen in response summoned another spell and cracked it with the edge of his tonfa, unleashing a blast of electricity at the halfling, certain that, if Talazar wanted to play this game, he'd strike first.

Caine frowned, though wasn't really that surprised by the fact his bullet had been blocked by the one elf's magic. It was not the first time and to think it had been the last would have been idiotic. Though it was frankly becoming somewhat irritating, but it just meant he needed to change his tactics a bit. He looekd at the two shades decending on Taygean before he turned his attention to the elf woman.

"Then I guess your up." Was all he said before he bolted at her, not aiming either pistols towards her as he did. Instead as he moved, he simply fired off the last bullet of his pistol, then began utilizing the earth and fire gem to form and shoot more bullets towards the scythe wielder. In all honesty, he had no idea what was ognna work; it wasn't the first time he had to improvise though, and if they could block the shots from afar where they could see it coming from a mile away then he needed to get closer where they had less time to react. it had worked before on the woman, so hopefully it'd work now.

Cheyanne was watching the two male shades with a slight tilt of her head, ok the whole male ego thing...was starting to annoy her. She was actually pretty close to where the princess landed and stopped. Now her decision could be try and see if she could get the princess out of the way. Or go for the female elf and leave the two males without their protection. She spotted Caine sort of aim for the woman also, maybe she could use that to her advantage. Two daggers were thrown in the direction of the woman, one aimed for her arm the other for her leg.

Two other daggers were heading in the direction of the males, both intended for some point in their bodies, she couldn't get any good aiming in cause they were to close together.

Taygean's gaze grew wide as instead of the elf, the Reaper came at him. He groaned inwardly. Lowering his body, he prepared for the fight, narrowing his eyes. Except as he went to block the first strike, duck under and deal out his own attack, the scythe's power missed him by mere inches. Talazar moved, yelling at the elf. The pair, it seemed, had both marked him as their target. Great... he thought sourly. He could understand the Reaper's reason after all, they had fought already. But the elf... what was his reason for being so adamant about killing him? He rolled his eyes.

"Look, why don't you both kill each other... save a lot of ti-" the Reaper turned, his scythe lashing out at the elf and for a moment, Taygean thought they were actually going to fight each other. Until the enormous weapon came back around and stuck out at the swordsman. Lifting his swords, he managed to block that strike, though it knocked him back several steps. However, what hit him next the half-elf hadn't even seen coming at him. The elf's magic struck him and he fell backwards, a cry of pain filling the air as he hit the ground. Everything burned, his muscles twitching from the shock, and he eventually didn't feel anything after it. Slowly he rolled to his side and attempted to get up.

Nira raised her hands, stopping the weapons headed for her, but only just barely. The tips of each one scratched her skin as they were almost going to make their mark and she glowered over the blades to the woman who launched them. Coupled with the attack from the gunslinger, she was running out of energy to protect the two men wholly. So she did what she always did and left Varen to fend for himself. Keeping Talazar safe was her first priority. However, now she couldn't just stand in one place. Forced to move, she was going to concentrate on keeping the Reaper from taking any damage while she did what she could to dance and dodge any following attacks, and if she had enough energy to spare, she might... might retaliate.

Varen's head snapped back to Nira as the two others launched a series of attacks at the elven woman. The elf grit his teeth angrily at the gal of their actions, and, seeing as how he'd just dealt the necessary damage to the halfling, redirected his attention quickly. Spinning the tonfas in his grip, Varen deflected the incoming knife easily, then now wasn't the time for such weapons, he wasn't close enough. Sheathing the two at either hip, he summoned a disc of magic in each hand, suspended over his palms and glowing a bright white-ish purple. Stepping back away from Talazar and towards the other two, Varen launched the discs at each of the new attackers. Whether or not they hit wasn't his concern entirely, because once they were in distance, he would detonate them like the fire previously for an area effect. He sensed also that Nira's magic had stopped defending him, but that wouldn't matter. Varen didn't need protection.

Talazar stood, watching as Varen launched attacks at the other two, seemingly satisfied with the damage dealt to the swordsman. With a smirk, he lowered his head and shook it, more than amused at the elf's commitment to such a frivolous waste of time. Although he had to agree that Nira was invaluable with her protection spells, having just deflected another series of attacks from the pair, he knew that those weren't Varen's motives entirely. Besides, with Varen around, why did Talazar need to keep jumping back and forth? Turning away, Talazar put his gaze on the swordsman who was in the process of picking his person from the ground, and slowly Talazar approached.

Dropping his scythe into the earth and leaving the blade embedded there, Talazar relinquished his grip on the shaft as he stood over the boy. Drawing the sword he still had which held no jewel, he merely waited for him to stand again, his eyes watching intently.

Taygean heard the sound of the scythe burying itself in the thick dirt and turned his head just enough to see the Reaper moving towards him. Getting feeling back was going to take a while, of which he did not have. Staggering up the to his feet finally, he turned to face the man. He couldn't quite straighten himself but he lifted his weapons anyway, the one in his right leveled at the man's chest, held up at shoulder height for Taygean, the one in his left held horizontally just a slight bit away from his body. He shifted, turning so his right side was away from Talazar. A bit of a grin spread on his lips. Damn he was feeling a slight bit cocky for some reason, probably because he wasn't expecting to win this, "Sure you wanna try that? You might have been better with your scythe, Reaper," he ground out.

Kirrah shifted now. The air moved where she lay and the Princess was up on her feet. She only weilded one blade though, but that didn't seem to deter her. The Princess took a moment and then settled her gaze back upon the weakened elf woman. She was the easiest one, and without her... well then all the peices fell, didn't they? She shot off again, her trajectory very clear.

Caine finished firing his shots at the scythe wielder as he neared the elf woman, finally skidding to a stop while comnig down to one of his knees with both guns aimed right at her. This time he deactivated the earth gem and concetrated on the fire gem, and with a reflexive pull of the triggers a gout flame shot from both barrels of his pistols, streaming out towards the eleven woman.

As he fired at her, he then caught a glimps of something flying towards him. Turning his head enough to see, still firirng the flames out at Nira, his eyes widened when he saw the disc coming straight towards him. Doing the only thing he could think of, he immediattly pushed back on his feet, once again narrowly dodging the disc as he fell onto his back with it sailing over his head.

His fire attack was interrupted though, and quickly began to get to his feet to continue his attack on the woman; raising up one of his pistols to fire another shot at her.

Cheyanne also saw the disc flying at her, she wasn't going to stick around to that one spot to find out what it did, she flpped out of the way and decided to run a little bit. She saw the princess move, and fly again toward the female elf. It was then she felt it, her jewel activited, it was drawing out the energy from the female elf.

"Kirrah...," she was going to try to get the girl away and go help the others. Again she pulled something to throw, but who was she going to throw it at. She decided to aim for male with the sword now in his hand, because he seemed to be the worst threat.

Conflict. So much conflict, and yet these people insisted on instigating it all. Varen's eyes moved carefully, assessing the targets that all decided that Nira was their convergence point. Varen watched as his discs flew beyond their targets, then wasted no time in detonating them. At least he could distract them momentarily. It seemed he hadn't stopped the one girl from hurling another knife at Talazar, but what did he care?

If Varen could occupy the attention of the other two for long enough, he could confront the Princess too. The detonations were powerful, but more so attuned towards a distraction. They had a heavy fallout.

The Princess was up and moving again too, and Varen swore under his breath. Eventually he'd be forced to use his jewels once his magic was depleted, but he figured by that time he'd have slowed down everyone enough so that they couldn't fight at full capacity. Although the Princess... She seemed to come with the same power and might as she had previously, even having being bombarded head-on with his and Talazar's combination. However...

"Useless underling breeds," Varen growled as he slammed his palm into the earth. He couldn't by any means get between the Princess and Nira in time, but he could put something else there. A massive circle opened up beneath the elf, glowing red, then began webbing its way outwards and forward. From it, the earth split, and a wall of stone was erected. With his other hand, Varen traced out a second circle, then broke it, igniting the wall in flames. He was running out of magic, he had to act quickly..

Talazar tilted his head at the swordsman, nodding slightly in acknowledgment to his words. With a grin, he shrugged, as if surrendering to the truth in his statement, however he merely chuckled. "Fair point," the man conceded, "However you might have been better off with full use of your person. I'm sure you're not running well right now, are you? Not after that blast of magic. Figure'd I'd give you a chance."

Talazar rotated the sword easily in his hands as he spoke, then set the weapon in front of him, closing both his and the swordsman's stances by mimicing the swordsman, though without a second weapon. The man sneered again, offering up the first move to his opponent, then his scowl broke.

Pain shot through the man's side, an unfamiliar feeling, as suddenly some object bore into him. Talazar winced, growling again as his free hand hovered over the weapon protruding from his side. Glancing back, he noted Varen's power surging all over the battlefield, then cursed the elf for letting something slip through.

"Bastard," he hissed.

The explosion behind her sent her flying out of the treeline and into the lane, and she landed with a rather loud thump on the ground. Something didn't feel right, and her shoulder felt out of place and was way to wiggly for her liking. Yet with a groan she stood up again, and turned to see a wall of fire appear in the middle of the road. In fact she was close enough to feel the heat come at her.

She knew the princess was going straight toward that wall and well was going to hit it at full force. Yet Cheyanne had landed a little to far away to actually help in that situation, and now was a few feet from the male elf who was creating the magic. One unless arm, and well most likely other things she turned to face him.

Her whip appeared in her hand, and with the help of her jewel it started to glow red. With a flick of her wrist she sent the end which was weighted with a metal ball toward the elf. She was actually just trying to distract him, as she aimed for his chest.

He had attempted to unleash a second gout of fire at the elven woman, however his chance was interrupted by somethnig exploding behind him. He felt the pressure of the blast smack into him, knocking the bounty hunter face first into the dirt as he skidded across is for a few feet before comnig to a stop. As he smacked into the ground, he lost his grip on one of his pistols; it slipping from his hand when it smacked into the ground handle first. It skipped across the ground and ended up away from him, though he had somehow managed to keep hold of his other weapon.

Coughing away the dust that was kicked up, he slowly stood up, running his unequipped hand across his upper lip to wipe away the blood coming from his nose which he had smacked on his way down. He pushed himself up to a hand and knee, blinknig and trying to see just what the hell was around him. He saw a flash to the side, turning to see a wall of fire and earth where the elf had been; he fell over though when he turned his head to fast, realising his equilibrium had also been thrown outta whack from the blast.

Groaning, he again tried to push himself onto his feet before looking towards the male elf. "Fine," Caine grumbled while he stumbled towards his lost weapon. He fell over with a thump again as he did, grabbing the other pistol then stumbling up to his feet. "Your turn then!" he said, smiling some while wiping blood from his nose again.

Taygean ground his teeth. Unfortunately the Shade was right. He was battered from their first encounter with a few broken ribs to boot, and having been electricuted by the damned elf's magic, he'd lost most of the feeling in his body. The half-elf didn't respond though as the Reaper came forward, about to deal out the first strike. However, the Shade cursed, as his attention was turned to something else. Taygean glanced down to see the blade sticking out of his side. Without waiting, the swordsman lunged forward. The weapon up in his right hand thrust straight at the Reapers shoulder, the one in his left still horizontal in preparation to deflect any other attack that may come at him.

The Princess found that she couldn't halt quite fast enough as the wall came up between her and the elven woman. Then it erupted into fire and her sword came up, the air swirling around in front of her to help break apart the flames so she could pass through. Stumbling through the fire, she felt the heat scorch at her skin, her forward momentum lost and her footing off balance. Kirrah tumbled as she exited the flames, the smell of burnt hairs surrounding her body and her skin reddened from the flame. She'd just barely avoided being cooked, quite literally. However, now she didn't know where her opponent was and with the new flood of magic, she was deciding to change tactics. That third Shade was starting to prove quite bothersome.

Getting to her feet, she turned, surveying the area around her before she spotted the male elf. Nira had long since moved, having seen the attack and the wall being put up between herself and the Princess. Slashing her blade upwards, Kirrah sent a whirlwind of power straight at the male elf, the air dancing as they were sharpened like blades and the force of it enough to at least knock someone over if hit.

Talazar growled angrily as the swordsman attacked, his eyes narrowing maliciously at the man, though it wasn't like he had expected anything less. Talazar would've capitalized on such a moment as well, but even so it annoyed the man. More annoying though was the fact that Talazar had even been hit, but the reaper grit his teeth regardless.

Seeing the strike coming, and with one hand hand pressed against his side, the blade protruding from between his bloody fingers, the reaper evaded easily. Dropping quickly, Talazar ducked beneath the incoming strike into a crouch, then spun full circle, extending his leg as he did so in order to catch the swordsman's lead leg in a fast sweep that would bring him down as Talazar returned to a standing position, ready to strike. At this point, the man knew better than to evade by retreating, giving ground wasn't his tactics anyway. Additionally, such actions put the man at risk for overextending himself on any counter attacks if he backpeddled too far. No, Talazar would have to stay right on top of the swordsman, but the man was more than content in seeing just how well he could dance.

As Talazar stood again, however, the man could feel the blade still, a sharp pain extending and surging throughout one half of his core and through his arm. It seemed his body was more than content with the man relaxing his muscles to drop, not so much to stand again. This was going to be interesting, surely.

Varen watched from his kneeling position as his sequences worked wonderfully in rerouting the enemy attention. His remote discs had successfully voided the attacks of the other two, even dispelling one from the treeline, and his wall had effectively stopped the Princess. Three on one wasn't too fair for them, but Varen assumed he could be nice enough in limiting himself. He'd have to now. Up to this point, he'd been unbarred in his magic. Soon he would need to actually ration. Or start siphoning power from his jewels. He doubted they'd get close enough for melee, and Varen was more than content with that outcome.

Sneering, the elf stood, just managing to notice the whip as it came into his peripherals. Ducking to the side and turning to face the girl, Varen traced out a half circle with his arm, forming a rough shield that caught the attack. With a smirk, he then pressed lightly against it, tipping the spell circle over and launching it at her again like the discs previously. So long as they were all out of range Varen could handle this, he was sure of it. By no means was he going to let a bunch of lesser beings best him.

Even as the elf thought that and stood to admire his other two opponents, he felt the surge of power as it rushed him. Damn, the Princess was fast in her attacks. Varen barely had time to shield himself from the air strikes as they barreled at him, shattering the magical circle he'd summoned in front of him and launching the elf backwards and airborne. Rotating quickly, Varen summoned another circle and used it as a landing pad, coming back to the ground easily in response. With a huff, the elf summoned several smaller circles now, autonomous magical entities of differing elements. He'd need them. Tracing out one last circle, the elf then created a larger circle, a shield from ranged attacks, then stood back, waiting.

Chey saw him block the first attack and the whip recoiled, yet what he did right after that had her cursing. She backed up as fast as she could, but found herself almost knocked forward by the princess who was attacking behind her. So she dropped, or fell, whatever way it looked to people she really didn't care.

She watched the rest of the attacks being warded off and decided the other two could have the male. She looked to see where the female elf was, because she wasn't where she had been previously.

Caine watched the other two bombared the male elf with a series of attacks, with Kirrah leading the charge against him. Caine took a deep breath to collect himself before he ran towards the male elf, firing both pistols towards the elf as he moved towards him. He had seen the elf create the circle, though Caine really had no clue what it was for. Judging by the ineffective shots though, it was an easy guess that it was meant to block Caine's attack method.

Which meant he needed to be where past that shield, or at least close enough to prevent the elf from defending himself. Caine continued his volley of shots though as he closed the distance, but as he closed the distance he quickly changed his direction so that he was running towards the side of the shield to try and slip a shot past as he continued towards the elf.

Kirrah took off again, fueled by the power of her jewels and her own magic, she crossed the distance rapidly. Her only focus was the elf and more importantly those black jewels. Her blade came up again, the wind billowing around the weapon as she hit the barrier, only barely stopped by it but definitely pushing forward with as much power as she could muster.

Nira cursed softly as she watched the woman slam into the barrier that Varen had erected. She wondered briefly how much power that little girl really had and if she'd ever run out of it. It was definitely an unusual phenomena that she was watching. By now, even for one such as herself, Nira would have been completely drained and more than likely unconscious from the lack of energy. As it was, the elven Commander was struggling to keep going. Her teeth ground together as she eyed the fight.

The elven woman lifted her hands and her spell circles weaved in the air. They crackled as they swirled in front of her. Nira's gaze narrowed as she worked the spells. The circles started to spin, growing faster with each rotation. Finally, after a minute of build up, they released their power directed at the people who were trying to kill Varen. As much as she really didn't want to give him a helping hand, Kreon would be mildy upset if the elf died. He was... after all, one of very few compitent and powerful Shades.

Taygean cursed to himself as he tried to backstep to avoid the low kick that was meant to bring him to the ground. He barely managed to keep his footing as he backed away, feeling the tail end of the boot clipping the front of his shin. Backing away just enough, he reset his body. Twisting the blade around, he glowered at the Shade before he came back in for another strike. His right blade slashed upwards, from hip to shoulder, immediately following that his left weapon slashed out horizontally and both blades came back down to his side to follow up with another strike or block right after.

Talazar could feel the knife contesting his movements every time he tensed to combat the swordsman's strikes. Working entirely with his left arm, Talazar kept his right arm in defensively, though as soon as he'd released his grip on the weapon, he regretted it. Pressing his palm back against his side again, and steading the knife sheathed under his ribs with his fingers, the man grunted. His lower stance was unhindered, and so the reaper set most of his power and stability into that as the swordsman's strikes came again. Talazar deflected the strikes, wincing slightly, but then turned on the offensive quickly. He could grit through the pain enough to end this.

As the swordsman's horizontal sweep came in, Talazar blocked easily with a mid level parry, then, from his left-back stance, the man stepped forward with his left leg first, crossing into a full side-stance,then placed his right foot behind his lead left. The man then unleashed a powerful side kick, something the swordsman should be familiar with, and Talazar only hoped it would be just as painful this time. However Talazar did not end there. Continuing to advance, the man switched lead legs and unleashed the same attack with his right side this time, then, after placing his lead leg, he rotated again, pulling his full momentum into a follow-up side kick from his back leg as it swung full rotation around. If all went well, Talazar would plant the final kick and slash out one last time with his left arm.

Varen caught the shield with both hands as suddenly the Princess charged it and impacted it, then kept forcing her way through. The elf barred his teeth and pressed hard in return, though much to his dismay he found his stancing being forced backwards. Even in a powerful front-stance Varen's heels were dragging, and the magical barrier was starting to crack under the sheer force of the girl. Where in the hell did her power come from, the elf wondered, but he had no time to consider it. From his side, the other gunman had started attacking again. It seemed he intended to get in closer and circumnavigate Varen's shield which was currently occupied. Lovely.

Trying to stay concentrated ahead, Varen ordered his other conjurated circles onto the gunman, while at the same time focusing to create a second, smaller barrier on his flank. Even as he did so, he felt the magic wearing, and watched a large crack splintered between himself and the Princess. Varen had all of seconds to act, and so Varen did.

Waiting for just the precise moment, Varen suddenly released his grip on the shield and subsequent Princess. He knew she'd shatter it, but he only hoped he could draw fast enough. Reaching down into the two sheaths at his side, Varen took hold of his dual tonfas and raised them at the incoming charge as his shield broke. The Princess couldn't possibly avoid, but then again, neither could Varen. How much could she take, the elf wondered.

Raising the two weapons, Varen plunged them forward at the incoming body, then unleashed what was left of his magic into the jewels to ignite their power. So long as both made contact, Varen had a positive and negative terminal with the dual tonfas. He'd fry her to a crisp. And quite possibly himself.

When he saw the second shield form, Caine came to a stop and immediatly changed direction. He ran towards the elf's otherside, again hoping to get past the shield. When he saw Kirrah smash into his shield and begin pressing her attack, he figured that now he'd get a chance to slip past. He stumbled though when he felt something smack into his side, scowling as he noticed the various circles of magic near the elf. Each was throwing blast of magic in Caine's direction, and he had to stop his charge for a moment as he began slipping by the shots.

He fired back his own return shots at the elf, side-stepping and moving between the return fire from the circles. They slowed his progress, but he was able to keep moving towards the elf; though occastionally he'd take a hit from one of them and knocking him back. He noticed though as Kirrah finally slipped past the shield, though Caine was a bit confused at the lack of the barrier breaking. He didn't know what the shades plan was, but Kirrah was going to feel it.

Caine dropped to a knee to slide beneath a shot and came back up to his feet as he continued forwards, the blue crystals in the handles of his pistols beginning to glow. Getting close, he then lowered himself until he was sliding across the ground; lowering himself enough that he could slide beneath several blast that came his way, his pistols arcing with electricity as he fired two bolts of electricity beneath Kirrah and towards the elf's legs.

The spell that the female elf fired, Chey barely managed to avoid as she found herself rolling, painfully out of the way. She finally got to her feet again and with the whip in her hand. She lingered on for a second, before sending the whip in the direction of the female elf.

Taygean ground his teeth as each strike was deflected. He saw the strike but was too slow to bring his swords back to defend that particular strike. He'd been looking for a sword strike. Damn... he stumbled as the kick connected, knocking the breath from him and an explosion of pain pulsed through his chest. His hand released the one sword as he backed up as best he could. Talazar followed and threw another kick. This one was aimed at his right side. Turning his blade, Taygean managed to get the flat of his weapon in the way just in time, but he was still pushed to the other side from the force of the strike. He winced as he tried to breath.

Following that the Reaper kicked again, once more at his left side which was already ruined. As it connected, he gave a shout and then a cough followed. The sword came right after, a quick slash that tore open the front of his armor, drawing blood from one side to the other. Taygean took a couple more steps backwards, gaze wide in shock and in pain. He reached up with his free hand and pressed down on one section of the long gash that spilled blood all down the front of his frame. Heaving a heavy breath, he lashed out with his other weapon, hoping to at least deal an equal blow at the Reaper.

Nira, having been concentrating on Varen, missed the attack that came at her. The metal ball on the end of the whip connected hard against her stomach, right in the center, just under her chest. She doubled over, arms wrapping up around her slender body as she struggled to stay standing from the hard crack. Her gaze was livid as she looked for the culprit. However, she knew that she didn't have enough magic to retaliate. They were going to have to leave and soon. In light of that, rather than deal with the woman who had just dealt her an embarrasing blow, Nira skirted around the battle and towards Talazar, her own magic only just barely increasing her speed to get there without wasting too much power.

As she was about to tell Talazar that they were leaving, her eyes were averted to where Varen was. The Princess had closed in on him, and without hesitation the woman had put her blade through him. However, it seemed that the girl had taken a similar blow. The crackling light that exploded between the two of them made Nira wince. She weaved her hand below her feet, making sure that she could reach Talazar as well. Varen, though, would have to move in order for her to reach him.

"We're leaving," she snapped, her gaze shifting to Talazar briefly to make sure he heard specifically. If he wanted to kill the swordsman, he would have to wait another time. Although she wouldn't mind seeing another wound suddenly make it's appearance if he so wished, "Varen! Move," she ordered, her voice yelling across the small battlfield and hopefully loud enough for him to hear over his own volatile magic. If he didn't move, she was leaving him there.

Talazar winced and wobbled slightly from his attacks, the blade in his side contending each and every one of his moves, but the man's will was stronger than his pain. Expecting the final retalliation, Talazar dropped his sword with his left arm and caught the swordsman's wrist as it came in. With a sharp twist, Talazar moved to remove the weapon from the man's grip, then stepped in closer to force a knee into his gut. With a grin, Talazar glanced back as Nira called out to him, and then Talazar smirked at the swordsman, his purple eyes glowing with malicious intent. Still holding the swordsman, Talazar dragged the man closer to him and within Nira's circle.

"I'm not done with you, boy" Talazar hissed, "You're coming with us."

Unfavorable circumstances were stacking with each passing moment and Varen knew it. A sharp pain and coldness penetrated him, even as the elf unleashed all his power in an electrical strike in the Princess, and even Varen had to admit he was surprised at the force it took to get through it. Just registering the gunman having gotten beyond his magical conjurations, now moving in to strike beneath where he could defend, Varen was forced to retreat and concede victory.

As Nira yelled, Varen forced his power to discharge violently between himself and his adversaries. The lightning blew apart eradically and Varen relinquished himself to be blown back with it. The elf flew through the air, his long hair whipping around sporadically and obscuring his sight, but he could sense enough to land, albeit roughly and awkwardly, on his feet, skidding to a halt just close enough to Nira. Spitting on the ground, he looked up, marking each of the three to death before he knew Nira would transport them away.

After firing off his lightning shots, Caine quickly rose back up to his feet with a grin on his face. He and Kirrah had both managed to hit the elf with their attacks. Annoying enough though, it seemed they had full intentions of leaving. He took a moment to spit some of the blood that had dripped it's way into his mouth, not having gotten the chance to wipe it away during the whole scuffle.

He switched back to the earth and fire gem, raising both pistols up as he began firing rapidly at all three; switching his targets with each shot, the shots aimed for their torsos as he slowly moved towards them.

Chey blinked as she saw the female move, and concluding in another thought that she must have run out of energy. They must have been teleporting out of the battle. She gasped though as she realized that the scythe guy had grabbed Taygean. She moved as quickly as she could, yet she was to far to get there quick enough. "Caine...stop shooting you could hit Taygean," she shouted. Even though it was rather late to say that, she tried anyways

This was really bad, and Cheyanne didn't have a clue what to do at the moment.

Taygean ground his teeth as his arm was caught and his body hauled forward. In the next instant he was disarmed and then further incapacitated by a knee shoved into his stomach. A cough was forced from his mouth along with a good bit of blood. Dizzy and unsure of which way was up and down anymore, he felt his body pulled forward even more and could hardly focus as the Reaper spoke to him.

Nira gave a soft growl as the gunslinger unleashed a volley at them as Varen came flying back towards her. The elf just barely caught himself from the blast of his own magic. She rolled her eyes at him. Idiot... she thought but didn't say anything. Her fingers weaved at the ground beneath them, the spell circles opening up. However there was nothing she could do about the projectiles being sent at them from the gunslinger. Her magic exploded around them and with it took the gunshots as well. All three Shades faded out of view along with the swordsman. The only thing left behind were his two swords.

Kirrah's body burned from the attack, she felt the swords cut into her skin and the magic lacing across her. When the elf left her, she stumbled and dropped to the ground on both knees. She was still awake for the most part and her jewel's swirled with power. The Princess would have gotten up and charged again but as the Shades disappeared into smoke, her raging power subsided. As soon as it was over, she crumpled yet again into another dark sleep.

It was until he noticed the female elf summoning more spell circles when he finally noticed that Taygean had been dragged amongst them. Caine's eyes widened as he immediatly cease shooting at the shades, lowering his pistols before shielding his face as the magical energy exploded outwards from the four. Once it faded, Caine lowered his arms to see all of them had vanished.

"Shit!!! Taygean!" He looked aorund the area before just sighing in frustration, wiping the blood from his upper lip again before he slowly holstered his pistols. Looking aorund the area, he then scratched the back of his head before he looked towards Cheyanne and Kirrah, the latter currently outcold on the ground nearby. "Well...um...how ya both feeling?" He then noticed Chey's arm, clicking his tounge for a moment before he started towards them. "Nevermind, ignore that last question."

He knelt down next to Kirrah, checking her over briefly to see the burns of the magicl blast from the male elf, as well as other injuries she had suffered. Glancing up at Chey, he then looked back down the road they were travelling down before back at Chey once more. "Well, I'd suggest we simply rest at this point. Neither of you are in any condition to keep going, and we need to figure out just...well what we are going to do about Taygean." he said to her.

Chey nodded in agreement, and well for the most part didn't really say anything. "Just let me rest for a little while, and her, maybe we could find some shelter nearby." Her words didn't make any sense...or at least they were a little out of order.

She noticed two things, Taygean's swords and the jeweled scythe, "Shit...that means they will be back for that accursed weapon. We can't stay long again."

Caine looked at where Chey was, scowling and nodding his head. "You're right...that means we'll have to keep moving till we can find somewhere else to rest." he said before spitting more blood from his mouth. He then looked down at Kirrah, moving his arms into position to carefully pick her up. He was beginning to think that if they were going to be travelling with her, this was going to be a trend. With one arm under her knees and the other beneath her shoulders, he stood up with her in his arms as he looked at Chey.

"Grab Taygean's swords, hopefully we find somewhere to settle before it gets dark." He then used his shoulder to wipe away the blood, hoping his nose would cease its bleeding soon. He began walking down the path in the direction they had been heading in before the interruption, keeping an eye out for anymore hostiles as they went.

Cheyanne nodded and picked up Taygean's swords, this sort of travel was started to grate on her. She needed a good nights sleep, oh and someone to push her shoulder back in place.

Yet she was worried about the halfling, even though she didn't know him that well, no one should have to go through what she was picturing him go through.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastion Caine Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku Character Portrait: Nym Sultaasar Character Portrait: Midas

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#, as written by Centi85
The spell circles faded out as Nira dropped them just outside of their complex. She stood for a few seconds, her breathing heavy. Her fingers dropped down to her stomach and when she pulled away there was blood there. Grinding her teeth she swayed as she took a step forward and then dropped to the ground right in front of the double doors leading inside the large black building.
Talazar sighed now as Nira's magic deposited them just outside of the Shade complex, and the man glanced back as the woman collapsed. Varen was present too, of course, and the elf seemed less than pleased, staring off angrily at something. With a huff, Talazar released the swordsman and stepped back.

"Varen," Talazar spoke dryly, "The halfling is yours to play with. I'm guessing you can at least still handle that much."
Varen looked up at Talazar, staring daggers into the man. Much of his hair was singed, leaving a distasteful smell around the elf. With a growl, Varen got to his feet, considering the reaper for a moment. His eyes drifted to Nira, collapsed in front of the doors. Talazar was already pacing towards her, and Varen glared at the man even more now, though he knew with his shoulder he wouldn't be able to help her. They were both out of magic.

Resigning himself, Varen scoffed and looked at the halfling with dangerous eyes. "Fine," he said finally. Holding out one of his tonfas towards the man, Varen released a wide area-effect swarm of electricity to incapacitate him. He didn't have weapons. He'd play later.

Talazar glanced back only once, then knelt next to Nira to retrieve her. His vision was blurring from loss of blood by now, his head swimming and thoughts becoming incoherent. The man forced himself, willed his body to ignore it and function, wobbling slightly as he stood with the elven woman, then he entered the building. Now he had to decide. Did he want to find Kreon and report to him, or fix his own condition. Even now, Talazar would contest the man, but he made his way to Nira's chambers, glaring down any other Shades along the way before dropping the woman not too softly in her bed. Taking a moment to inspect the wall, Talazar grit his teeth angrily. His scythe was gone again.

Taygean groaned as he was released from the Reapers grip. He hit the ground with a thud and slowly curled his fingers into fists. He moved a bit as he tried to stand. Everything hurt immensely and he wasn't too fond of this whole 'captive' thing. His dislike of the entire situation was further increased as the elven Shade that was standing released his power over the swordsman. Taygean cried out and crumpled to the ground in a heap as soon as it was over. He managed to stay conscious for maybe a few seconds before he faded out.


A few hours later
Nira woke on the bed in her room. She groaned heavily as she pulled herself up. Immediately she regretted the action as a burn pulsed through her abdomen. her hands gripped the wounds that reopened and she hissed as she fell back against the mattress. Taking a moment, she breathed deeply and then her magic swirled into existance around her fingers. She healed what she could of the deep wounds. It wasn't entirely healed, but it would do as she could now sit up without feeling too much pain. Her next stop was to locate Talazar and then Kreon. She growled lightly as she rolled her eyes, "I will take his head..." she hissed to no one in particular.

Standing up, she felt a pounding headache but ignored it as best she could. She would rest more later. Nira headed for the door and opened it with a slam that got the attention of several Shades passing by. Moving past them, the elf went on the search for Talazar. She would also have to know what they'd done with the swordsman whom they'd brought back as well.

Talazar stalked through the dark halls of the Shade facility, idling flipping the tiny knife in his hands and rotating it between his fingers. The weapon was still slick with blood, and the man's side would pulse with a sharp pain every now and again with certain movements, but other than that, Talazar was content with the healing results.

Prior to appearing before Kreon, Talazar needed to gather up Varen for a second opinion and battle report. He detested the elf's quarters, always swarming with radical elves who had allowed themselves to indulge in Varen's preachings and lose themselves to pitiful idealogy. Still, Talazar held respect, and so his path was unhindered. As the man approached the door, his brows came together suspiciously as it opened.

"I suppose you'll need me now," Varen called scornfully.

"Hurry up," Talazar ordered. Then he turned on his heels and returned down the hall. Pausing only once, Talazar glanced over his shoulder as Varen came up next to him, flanked by two other elven Shades. Talazar rolled his eyes as he navigated back towards Nira's chambers.

"Where's the swordsman?"

"Locked away playing with skeletons," Varen answered simply. "Where's Nira?"

"Last I checked, in her room."

"Hmmph."

"We'll collect her and report to Kreon," Talazar continued stoically.

"Or she'll collect us," Varen said, spotting the woman ahead. With a grin, he approached with his usual air of misplaced pride and arrogance and gave a bow, the other two elves following suit.

"Lady Nira," Varen offered. Talazar scoffed and continued walking.

"Varen," Nira returned, though her voice was less than elegant and more on the edge of highly irritated. Her gaze settled on Talazar and for a moment softened before their dark depths grew cold again. She flicked her eyes over to the other two elves that followed after Varen. A scowl pulled her lips as she glowered at them before turning on her heel to continue down the hall, "Kreon is sure to be waiting," she hissed and stormed down the hall. Of everything that was her duty as a Shade, this was something she hated.

Finding the door to his chambers, she pushed them open without knocking. She was too livid to even care at this moment. Seething as she stormed into the room, she found him buried in another book of old magic and crossed her arms as he lifted his head. Setting the large tomb down, Kreon stood and came around the room to greet her. He ran a finger along her jaw as he regarded her, "Welcome back, my lovely wife. I do hope you have better news for me this time."

"The Princess is a volitale force, Kreon. She won't be killed so easily and certainly not when she has more than one companion with her."

"So, she's not dead then. You realize she is the only living being on this planet that could possibly hinder us?" As he spoke his fingers had curled under her jaw tightly, holding her head up roughly as he glared, his voice thick with rage, "Destroyer of the black jewels that we're relying on to wipe the slate clean, Nira. If she lives, she'll only get stronger and she'll only become more of a thorn in our sides. I told you to kill her!"

Nira's fingers curled at her sides. Her eyes narrowing as well at him. She didn't speak though, only let him rant and rave as he seemingly crushed her lower jaw between his fingers.

"Kreon," Varen spoke mellifluously, stepping forward with his feigned grace that he used so often. "If you would order it so, I and my Elven brethren can guarantee success." Varen's voice held his most charismatic charm as he could muster in order to win favor, and his eyes sparkled with a particular determination and confidence.

"I have a score to settle," The elf continued fluidly, "and I would love nothing more than to aid in your conquest over humanity. I even rescued you a present from the battlefield! A halfling swordsman, although you may know him, or his name, differently. He is the master swordsman."

Varen offered a sickeningly evil grin to the man, stepping forward even as he spoke and enticing the man with his words. Talazar stood back, concealed within the shadows, watching stoically.

"I have already taken the liberty to assemble a team. On your orders, sir." With that, Varen bowed deeply to the man.
"The master swordsman? He was with the Princess?" Kreon released Nira's face and she growled lightly as she stepped away from him.

"Yes," she answered coldly.

"Well well, that is better news. I assume you have him locked away nicely? And in what condition?"
"Wounded, heavily from both fights. Unless there's anything added," she glanced over to Varen breifly. The swordsman was, afterall, handed over to the elf.

"Merely unconscious from a good dose of electrically persuaded comatose," Varen answered smugly, standing once again.
"At any rate, I have deduced that we will need more than what your typical jewel wielding, brazen Shade can bring to the battlefield results wise. We need magic and ranged units. I can supply that."

Turning to Talazar, Varen smirked at the man in the shadows whom he knew was scowling. "It seemed even the Reaper couldn't get too close, not from what I saw in the first run, hmm?" Talazar crossed his arms defiantly over his chest, remaining reclusive and did not answer.

"Jewels can only do so much for a man," Varen said, almost sentimentally. Talazar bit back a response as Varen turned towards Kreon again. "Nevertheless, sir, the swordsman is yours."

Nira rolled her eyes wanting nothing more than to slam Varen down into the concrete floor. Her arms crossed as Kreon turned and moved to his desk. Turning back to face them, he leaned against the wood, crossing a leg over the other as he rested his hands on the desk to hold himself there. He eyed them carefully, "Well then. It seems that Varen has thought this out properly," his cold gaze narrowed in on Nira who ground her teeth together.

"In the meantime, perhaps this swordsman has a bit of knowlege about the Princess. She's a mystery all on her own. If he's traveled with her then he should know a few things about her. You keep telling me that she's volatile and a powerful force. Get him to spill how to kill her, surely that shouldn't be too hard?"

Nira narrowed her eyes. She glanced back at Talazar for a moment before answering Kreon, "Fine."

"Good," Kreon looked back to Varen, "You can either help in the information gathering or you can go hunting. Though, I might advise that you stick around to see how it is we kill this pest of a woman. I wouldn't want to see you fail as well... because I'm getting quite tired of hearing that you're not fulfilling the rather simple task of killing someone. Surely you enjoy having that pretty elven head of yours connected to your shoulders, yes?"

Varen's smile wavered just slightly, but the elf regained himself to look unphased. With a nod, Varen agreed. "Yes, of course. I wouldn't mind interogatting the halfling myself, actually."

"Hmm," Varen continued as if Kreon had just opened a new tangent he had yet to consider. "Indeed," the elf stated, nodding again as if coming to a more suitable conclusion. "I agree. It would be more beneficial to stay during the process. Knowledge is power, is it not? Unlike my dear Talazar, I know that not everything can be confronted with force."

The last statement as shot directly to Talazar, but the reaper ignored it. Varen gave himself a pause to see just if Talazar would speak up now, then continued smoothly when he didn't, as if he hadn't expected him to in the first place. "Men like us," Varen nodded to Kreon and to the tomb the man had been reading previously, "those who value knowledge. We prosper."

With another sly grin, Varen bowed his head just slightly to Kreon, then stood again and looked to Nira. "He's in cell six. Shall we proceed, Lady Nira?"

"Well," Varen stopped, looking back to Kreon as if just remembering something and acting embarrassed over missing it and seeking to rectify the mistake. His act was beautiful, if not thinly veiled, but it worked. "That is, with your dismissal, sir."
"Get out," Kreon hissed, "Your fluffy words annoy me, elf."

Nira sighed and crossed her arms as she turned on her heel, "Lets get this over with quickly..." she muttered as she gave a sharp glare to Varen, "Lead the way, you're the one who put him there," she hissed at him. She was actually interested in finding out where the swordsman was and what she might see. She was also very much interested in learning about the Princess from the swordsman. The sooner they found out about how to kill her, the better and then they could be rid of that wretched woman's existance to continue on with their work. Or rather... her work. A wicked little grin pulled at her lips as she cast a sidelong glance over to Talazar. Oh how she couldn't wait to put him in power and then decimate everything.

Varen's smile faded as Kreon shot him down, but the elf bowed again briskly and turned on his heels to exit. His pride was hurt and it showed, but Varen moved easily regardless, taking the lead at Nira's orders. The two elves fell into pace behind Varen, moving almost robotically, and Talazar took up the rear with Nira.

It was a short walk navigating down to the inner chambers of the little facility to the makeshift dungeon where the holding cells were, but all the while Talazar wanted to eradicate the elf who insisted on dragging his blade across the wall, producing an ungodly and unnecessary shrieking of grinding metal. Talazar grit his teeth and balled his hands into fists, knowing well that Varen was just trying to instigate violence, and so the reaper held back. Talazar would kill him once he got his scythe back.
Finally reaching cell six, Varen scowled at the figure already present. Talazar raised a curious eyebrow but said nothing, instead looking inside to where Varen had tossed the swordsman, apparently thinking that restraits weren't a necessary feature.
He simply stared at the half-elf within the cell, not saying a word the whole time he had been there. Occastionally he'd pull his head back and let it lightly hit the bars of the cell, so that there was a light "clank" of metal on metal as his mask stopped his actual forehead from colliding with the bars. He had been curious to see what had been brought back by the others, though he was more curious about the "why" rather than the "who".

He heard them approaching long before he saw them, simply based on the sound of grinding steel. It was an irritating sound sure, but not enough for him to care too much or react in anyway. Instead he just continued his little head-bonking, trying to think of what made this fella in front of him so important that he wouldn't be brought back as a corpse, let alone brought back at all.

Finally he heard the sound stop, alongside foot steps ceasing behind him. He kept up his head-bonking though, not moving from where he sat cross legged in front of the cage. He could feel the eyes burning into the back of his own head, the eyes of a usual grump. Funny, he figured there'd be at least two more sets of eyes, but oh well. Maybe this set would give an answer.
"I can hear you staring. And it sounds annoying, go back to the sword on the wall please. At least that one I could block out with my hands." He finally spoke, letting his forehead hit the bars again.

"Get up and move," Nira hissed between clenched teeth. If it wasn't Varen being annoying it was another Shade who was too damned curious for his own good. Her gaze lifted to the room inside where the swordsman lay. Her lips curled up into a cruel smile as she reached out to open the doors with a flick of her hand. At the sound of the steel grating across the floor, it seemed to wake the man for he twitched slighty and shifted on the floor. He curled in on himself before pushing upwards.

Taygean turned his head to glower up at the Shades who crowded the sell. He ground his teeth, narrowing his eyes at them as he shifted and pulled himself up to his knees. Nira seemed to dislike his glowering as she flicked her hand at him and sent him tumbling backwards into the wall. He slid to the floor with a groan, wincing as he gave a slight cough.

"Who wants to start?" she asked cruelly. Taygean's gaze narrowed further and he bared his teeth at them with a partial growl low in his throat. The elven woman tilted her head as she regarded him, her smirk still remaining.

"Why is it no one around here can just say 'please'? We may be people with hairpin triggers but I don't think that means we have to be rude." Still, Midas put his hands on the ground to shift himself over to the side out of the way of the doorway. Having moved, he still remained seated and looking into the cell with his head resting up against the bars.

He watched Nira smack the half-elf to back to the ground as he tried to stand up, watching the two stare at eachother. Who would crack first, he wondered. The boy's tolerance for pain or the other's patience. That was what had him most curious.
At her question though, Midas suddenly raised his hand in the air. "oh, oh, me first! me first!" He said with a sense of mock excitment. Lowering his hand and not giving a moment for the others he continued. "So who is he? Why is he here? Who brought him here? Where do you get your hair cut, Nira?" He paused in his questions, tapping his mask where his mouth would be. "Oh wait, you meant questions for him didn't you? Whoops."

"Silence, wretch," Nira snapped back, "He's the Master Swordsman. And he's here because he knows the Princess," she turned her gaze on him as her lips pulled up into a smirk and crossed her arms. Glancing at Talazar, she motioned for him to step in, "And he's going to tell us everything there is to know about her."

Talazar nodded back to Nira as she motioned him forward, though still didn't speak. The reaper moved slowly in the confined space, each of his actions deliberate and calculated as he knelt in front of the swordsman. Talazar regarded the man for a moment, his eyes rolling over the wounds sustained, and then he looked directly into the swordsman's eyes. Talazar was searching for some amount of will or resentment, a reason for the man's perseverance. Holding out a hand, the reaper took hold of the man's chin, then rotated his head in his grip, clicking his tongue thoughtfully.

In his other hand, Talazar rotated the knife through his fingers, as if considering the implications of forcing the blade into the man's body. After a short while, the reaper finally nodded again, then forced the blade into the inner thigh of the swordsman. With a fast twist, he removed it again and stood, standing back a step.

"Now then," Talazar said, "I personally enjoy the idea of inflicting a wound per each question. For each answer, someone will be kind enough to assuage your pain."

Glancing over his shoulder to Nira, he nodded again, tossing up the knife and catching it again, waiting patiently.
As the Reaper came at him, kneeling down and taking his face, Taygean reached up and gripped his wrist tightly every inch of his frame taunt with anger. He wanted to fight, yet at the same time everything felt like lead, making it hard to move. He took in a painful gasp as the knife plunged into his thigh, then shouted as it was twisted and pulled out. Groaning, he wrapped his fingers around the wound and slowly toppled over onto the cold cell floor. He winced as he watched the Reaper take a step back.
Nira tapped her fingers on her lip as she watched Taygean, "The Princess. What do you know about her? More specifically any weakness?"

Taygean ground his teeth, eyes narrowing as he looked up at her. In response, his other hand curled around a rock and he hurled it at her. Her spell circles came up and stopped it her eyes glittering with dark malice as she regarded him.
He didn't say anything, rather he simply watched. He began his head-bonking once more, taking in the little spectacle. Master swordsman, eh? An interesting find, it would make sense to have him travelling with The Princess then. A powerful duo they would make, but that would go against the rumors of her travelling alone. Since those had been prevalant for so long, it was hard to argue them; so why was he with her then? Was he the second in her previously one-person act; The Princess figuring she could use more help in her crusade against the shades?

He stopped moving his head, resting it against the bars. He hadn't gone info searching in awhile, so it could very well be that he was a new addition. If he was the swordsman that Midas figured he was, based on Nira saying he was "The Master Swordsman", then it still seemed off. He too was a loner, but then again he did occastionally travel with individuals. The lone Princess though?
He began the head-bonking once more, deciding to see how this went. Maybe the swordsman's responses would give him the answer he wanted.

"Insolent halfling!" Varen spat as he witnessed the swordsman hurl a rock at Nira. "What gal do you need to attack a pedigree!" Raising his palm out to the swordsman, he forced the meanginless figure against the wall with his magic, suppressing him. Talazar glanced sidelong at the elf, then put two fingers on Varen's wrist, pushing down his extended arm so that he could move forward. Neither men said anything this time as Talazar approached the swordsman once more.

"In my defense," Talazar said, almost as if consoling a child, "I'm being civil. In a world of choices, we sacrifice the less appealing choice, and we make other choices more appealing with a bit of incentive."

Talazar took the blade now and pressed it into the swordsman's side, shrugging as he did so. "Now I cannot tell you personally to answer any questions of ours. But I can certainly persuade you to consider the best possible choice, considering the circumstances." Talazar smoke methodically, matter-of-factly and casually, as if this conversation were as normal as pleasantries amongst friends.

"For instance. That was an awful choice. Because now you have another wound and more pain, and surely more to come. Versus, what? There's no honor in protecting this girl, unless of course you're planning on using her to some means. In which case. There is less."

Talazar retreated again, pulling the blade with him and inspecting it, the dull steel painted over red.
The force of the magic was heavy on his chest making it hard to breathe and he struggled to even move past the heavy feeling. It was lifted if only just a bit as Talazar came back to him, kneeling and talking as if he were a child. Taygean glowered up at him as he knelt there and then felt the sharp peirce of steel in his side. A cry filled the cell as he writhed on the ground, his bloodied hand pulling away from his leg to grip the Reapers wrist to stop him from pushing the blade further, but the man was so much stronger. Taygean's scream faded to painful moans as he grit his teeth.

"Not... protecting her," he ground through his clenched teeth. The knife withdrew and Taygean groaned as he rolled forward further on his side. His breathing was short as he turned an icy stare up at them, "I'm not using her either. Ask all you want, you're not getting anywhere," he gave a cocky grin as he lay there, panting.

Nira rolled her eyes, "Well then it seems you've chosen the hard way. You know the question. Once you give me an answer I'll... consider stopping your punishment," she said as she turned to leave, "Do what you will, just don't kill him," she ordered to the other Shades and left, her heels clicking against the stone. Her voice called through the halls. She was yelling at a couple other Shades, ordering them to get ready to leave.

Varen glanced back as Nira made her leave, waiting until he could not hear her orders any longer. Talazar had begun to wander off to the side, seeming uninterested, and so Varen decided he may as well take the reins of this operation. After all, he'd told Kreon that he intended to take the Princess himself, he may was well lead in every aspect of acquisition. The other Shade was being less than productive, but Varen ignored him now as he stepped up to the swordsman, enforcing his will over him again and using his magic to bind him to the wall. He wouldn't stand more rocks ricocheting around.

"Now then," Varen spoke smoothly, "I'll be honest right now. I don't give a damn about the Princess, so we're on equal terms in that regard. My concerns are ... well." Varen chuckled to himself, looking up at the ceiling in ecstasy at some obviously glorious envisionment. "Let's just say that I work towards vindication."

"Is that what you call your delusions?" Talazar remarked from the darkness, having taken up to leaning against the wall. "Hmmph."

"So tell me about yourself, swordsman." Varen continued, disregarding the reaper. "Let's acquaint ourselves... How are your parents? Is your mother a nice woman? Your father a gentle man? Or. Elf..?" An inquisitive eyebrow came up as the elf spoke, his gaze seeking out the swordsman's for any sort of reaction.

"It must be a shame to be a mutt. But I wonder which parent was the perpetrator of sin. To have belonged to such an elite caste, a race that was once dominant... Only to sully their bloodline, their respectable self, on something so filthy... Was it your mother? Was she so lusting, the little slut, that she couldn't help herself? Or was your father the elf? A weakling elf whose will was broken by the slightest temptations... I wonder.."

Taygean at first was easily ignoring the elf. The pain in his arms and body was enough to keep his thoughts on that and not on the words. He was crushed against the wall, unable to move with the damned elf's magic. However, as the Shade droned on, he found himself catching certain words that he did not like. His eyes darkened at the mention of his mother, if she was a nice woman and even more so when he asked if his father was a gentle man. He kept his mouth shut though, only grinding his teeth.
He huffed at being called a mutt. Then he felt immediate rage right after. He didn't care if the elf called him a mutt. What Taygean cared about was the attack on the woman who actually cared for him rather than his father. He gave a growl now, eyes narrowing dangerously as he started to pull against the magic holding him. As he pulled against the binding to try to get at the man sitting not but a few feet from him, he thought of something. This Shade didn't know which of his parents was the elf, a small smile spread, though his enraged look flickering in his eyes remained, "Dominant? Respectable? But now look at you. Your own race is nothing more than sniviling little ants trying to get a place in this world. You're dying and nothing is going to bring it back," Taygean gave a short laugh. He didn't know much of the elven language but there were a few things as he flicked his eyes up and down the elf before him in arrogance, he spat "Lle holma ve' edan"

Finally Midas decided to contribute to the conversation, but only to laugh at the swordsmans remark. He leaned back and laid down on the floor as he laughed at the comment, though even he wasn't sure what about it made him laugh. Still, it did and there wasn't anything he could do to stop himself at this moment. From his spot, he spoke once he collected himself, "We don't smell that bad, so clearly he's giving you a compliment there, Varen!"

Varen's acid stare fell dangerously, like the executioner's blade, onto the swordsman, his eyes narrowing lividly. Magic swirled around the elf in angry tendrils that licked around and lashed out like flames, and suddenly Varen was holding his hand out towards the swordsman, guiding him, suspended through the air, like a puppet. "You filthy. Wretched, ungrateful, pitiful piece of dog meat!" he snarled, giving a twist of his wrist. The magic condensed and was now a palpable fog, and at Varen's command it compressed in around the swordsman.

A slur of Elven curses spilled from Varen's mouth as he considered his prey, guiding him wildly through the air until finally he slammed the man against the wall again, his voice escalating into a final shout that resonated throughout the lower chambers, echoing ominously down the hall.

"Sniveling little ants?!" Varen spat, his eyes wild. "Who are you to speak when you are in such a condition, halfling mutt! You humans and your fucking jewels, just like your first discovery of fire, you think you know power!? Egotistical species, you are nothing more than primordial underlings that have just managed to swim and spill over the edge in the last storm!" Varen's fist tightened slightly now, applying more pressure with his magic over the swordsman. "And a dying breed? We die because you parasitic humans consume, only to ultimately collapse in on yourselves! You indulge and gorge on every aspect and ultimately suffer the same fate, no matter the caliber! We elves forged our worlds, our utopias amongst the trees to live within nature and within the confines of its parameters of self-control and moderation. You humans know only your sick, narcissistic, vengeful and pathetic, mistrustful ways! You are a useless, pathetic excuse for a race! We've transcended your wars and witnessed your hostility, your in-fighting and in-breeding of false emotions and delusions that you own this world! Nature makes everything bow, and we will watch too as you are brought to your knees as we were! We have ascended like this beyond what you could even possibly fathom or hope to obtain!" The elf's magic swirled still, Varen's hair now beginning to hover around him in wisps and strands.

"And as for whichever of your pathetic spawners had insulted their race. They deserve whatever fate has in store."
For a moment, Taygean relished the look of pure rage on the elf's face. His short breaths released a short laugh at the man until he was suddenly pulled from the wall and lifted upwards. Thick magic curled around every limb and it's crushing force made the halfling gasp in pain. He curled backwards just a bit though the magic still held him up off the floor, Varen's hand weaving back and forth as he moved Taygean's body. In the next instant he was slammed into the wall so hard that everything went dark for a moment and he coughed, blood flecking his lips.

His breathing was strained as he panted, trying to get air into his crushing lungs. The cell was filled with his own moans of pain along with Varen's heavy words as he spewed forth his thoughts on what exactly humans were to him. The crushing power increased and Taygean let out a harsh scream into the room this time. He could feel blood slowly trickling from his nose as well. Wincing, he took in painful gasps before he found his voice which was heavy with his agony, but still laced with his own determination and defiance, "Human's will be the ones to break your neck first... filthy elf... not even your little, disgusting, elven woman can save you," he coughed out, feeling warm liquid in his mouth.

"Insolent boy!" Varen hurled again, "You will not insult any elf in my presence!" With that, Varen allowed his magic to keep the boy pressed against the wall as he drew his weapons, the ends of either sparking with power, the electricity arcing back and forth between them and to various objects around the cell, particularly the metallic bars. A shadow fell over the elf's face from the light as it flickered with the electrical charge as he advanced now, the static doing nothing more than aiding in making Varen's hair fly even more wildly around him.

As Varen reeled back in preparation to strike with both tonfas, to impale them into the swordsman and unleash his wrath, augmented no doubt by his magic, he paused. A look of calm overtook the elf, followed by a confusion. His eyes flicked around in his head eradically, rolling in circles, and his magic suddenly fell like a curtain, followed shortly by his body. Varen crumpled into a heap on the floor, his weapons clattering noisily to the ground at his sides, his hair splayed around him like a blanket.

Behind the elf, a shadow stood looking down at the body and shaking his head. The Reaper sighed and clicked his tongue. Bending down to retrieve the weapons, Talazar then wasted no time in using his boots to kick the body out of his way, though a limp Varen was much less annoying than a conscious one, he was also more of a burden. The reaper, after a few moments, finally managed to move the elf far enough to the side and then settled for resting his heel on Varen's chin, facing his gaze in the opposite direction. With that, he threw the elf's Tonfas outside of the cell.
"That was mildly annoying," he said to nobody in particular.

Taygean panted heavily, as he slumped against the wall. The heavy crushing weight of the magic was lifted off of him, but he could feel the lingering pain all across his body. His breath wheezed in and out as he struggled to stay conscious. One hand braced himself against the floor, the other limp across his lap as he slowly pulled one leg up to shift himself up against the wall to a better position. Taygean glanced at the Reaper and then down at Varen, an eyebrow lifting slowly.

"So... you do know how... to be effective," he ground out, "Now what... I hope you aren't going to try to play with that tiny, little knife of yours... You're really horrid at it," he snapped.

Talazar sighed, nodding at the swordsman somewhat. In all honesty, Talazar detested knive combat. It simply wasn't as fun as wielding a massive curved blade around, but he shrugged regardless.

He'd observed the swordsman carefully through Varen's little exploits, but unfortunately the elf had lost to his temper prior to discovering anything particularly useful. Even so, Talazar had noticed the hardening of the swordsmans' features, the anger, at the mention of his mother. Indeed. That was always a weak spot. But why? Talazar didn't have enough to go on yet, so he'd either have to pry it out, or follow one theory to its conclusion. Now the man simply had to determine which possibility would create the proper results.

"Where did you learn to fight, master swordsman?" Talazar finally said. His expression was stern, but it wasn't harsh. The question would almost seem genuine if not for Talazar simply being who he was.

"Why does it matter," Taygean spat, he moved again, shifting painfully against the wall, "I could ask the same, but I'm in fear of your answer. That ridiculous weapon of yours is really just over compensating for something isn't it?"

"I learned to fight when my father would go on drunken rampages," Talazar spoke simply, a deadpan look in the man's eyes as he consulted the swordsman. "The scythe compensates for nothing more than a loathing for humanity. It balances hatred through death, for if there is no one else alive, there is nobody else to hate."

Talazar chuckled to himself now, shaking his head again. "But of course where you learned matters. Your technique left too many openings. Your body can take hits in combat, and a simple rotation to direct that strike from a critical point in your stomach to your side goes a long way. A correct stance also allows for a faster transition from a lower to an upper block. Now I ask again. Where did you learn?"

Taygean was silent for a long while. He was quite honestly confused. The Reaper... a man who killed in cold blood... was telling him how to fight. He narrowed his eyes. Talazar had wanted to kill him earlier, and now he was trying to fix his fighting style. He thought this over for quite some time. Most of his fighting he'd taught to himself, but the basics came from a man in his home town when he was defying his fathers wishes to join noble parties and things like that.

"A man named Everett taught me how to weild a blade... but I mostly taught myself. You learn quick when you're trying to defend yourself in a fight," he answered with a soft growl, "What is the point of this, Shade?"

"I agree wholly," Talazar said. "As for my point... My point is that if you ever face me on the battlefield again you will need to be better prepared. If you ever face Varen, you will certainly need help. Your wreckless endangerment of yourself puts your skills to waste, and any motives would therefor be plagued in vanity and rendered void. Unless your primary goal is to depart this world looking like a hero because you are too cowardly to undertake the task personally, you will need to change. I could kill you now, but my orders are otherwise."

"I know now that you do not know much of the Princess, however," Talazar continued. "You couldn't possibly. So what do you know of? Swordsmanship? You still couldn't possibly. So what use are you to us or to anyone? No knowledge in the world, not even the sense to remain silent in the face of adversity for the proper moment. Yet you, the master swordsman, so they say, and a motley crew of others had managed to persuade the Princess into companionship. Certainly there was some incentive present. Strength in numbers? No. Teamwork lacked, or did you think the Princess would simply keep you safe with her unrelenting, unlimited power? Seeing as how you lack so in your supposed field of the sword."

Taygean, at first, was angered but then he calmed himself. He looked up at the Reaper and though he really was tempted to stand and pick a fight with the man but he knew he couldn't move his body as he wanted. He was too battered, he could feel it with every tiny breath he took, which was definitely a bad thing, "I see you enjoy listening to rumors. I didn't think Shades stooped so low as to believe them too," he offered with a frown as he tilted his head off to the side and up a little, "People call me that, it doesn't mean I am. And why would you go through all this just to tell me how to fix it? What, did you take a liking to me or something?" he scoffed giving off a slight sneer of annoyance.

"Well," Talazar said thoughtfully, "I figured because you're so hellbent on masquerading as someone you're not, you may as well play the part a little more effectively. Besides, we aren't on the battlefield. Seems to me like you've somehow managed to gain the Princess' trust for whatever self-absorbed reason. It would be a shame if she saw through that ploy, so your ruse as the 'master swordsman' must remain unblemished too. Wouldn't want her getting suspiscious, thinking that you're not as genuine as you may have said. Especially seeing as how you're one of the first people to actually succesfully pull it off. I wonder what you have in mind with such a tool? You're certainly doing her no favors. We simply wish to oblige her deathwish and yet you... The benevolent swordsman to the rescue that day..."

Taygean's eyes grew wide. That day...? then he narrowed them up at Talazar. So, they had seen him save her life. Probably from a good distance away because she seemed to like to go crazy whenever a Shade was too close to her. Taygean shifted again, his body straining but he ignored it to the best of his ability, "She's not a tool, Reaper. And who the hell cares if she knows I'm not the master swordsman. It's just an idiotic title people say because they feel like it," he ground out. He'd pulled himself up to a better position by now. It was going to hurt like hell, but he wasn't about to wait around for too much longer. Besides, the bitch elf had left the door opened. He hauled himself up in one motion, lashed out at Talazar a sharp strike to the man's face and made for the door.

Talazar had anticipated the rash actions and maneuvered to counter as he saw the swordsman force himself up, however the man's reactions were stymied by the body of a particularly useless elf lying behind his feet. The reaper found his foot caught as he paced backwards, disallowing him to evade the strike, and so Talazar growled loudly as the swordsman's punch did manage to deal a fairly substantial blow. Talazar's head snapped sideways, his body rolling and following as he collapsed over Varen, catching himself just barely as he held himself awkwardly over the still unconscious elf. The knife Talazar had escaped his grip and hit the floor with a light metallic clanking, then slid away across the floor. Looking up angrily, Talazar rolled quickly off Varen, one hand pressed against his sore jaw as he swore, his gaze moving towards the masked Shade still by the door.
"Stop him!" Talazar commanded.

Midas watched as the little scene quickly escalated, leaving his head up against the bars as he watched the swordsman make for the doorway. Midas was a bit happy though about earlier, as clearly the swordsman had more willpower than Nira did patience. He wasn't really sure why it amused him, but it did and that was a good enough reason for him. He glanced over to Talazar as he yelled out for Midas to stop the swordsman, who simply sighed and tipped himself over so that he fell sideways towards the doorway.

As he did, he stretched out a hand and snatched hold of the swordsman's wounded leg as he went past the door, keeping a tight hold on it. He didn't make anymore motions beyond that however, instead he simply remained there with his hand latched on tightly to the swordsman's ankle. "Gotcha boy! Don't run just yet, I haven't figured you out yet!"

Taygean ground his teeth as he found his leg restricted. He looked around quickly and spotted the weapons that Talazar had thrown out when he'd knocked out the elf. Letting himself drop, Taygean hit the floor rather hard, wincing as he went and stretched out for the two blades. His fingers wrapped around the one that was close enough and he gave up on the other. Twisting around, he slashed the weapon out at the one that held onto him, aiming for the hand that held his ankle as he pulled at his leg which burned from the wound.

Midas didn't let go as the swordsman swung for his arm, instead he lunged forwards as he reached out and caught hold of the blade with his other hand. He felt the sharp pain and the burn of the blade cutting deep into his hand, it growing as Midas wrapped his fingers around the blade tightly. With the grip, he began to pull himself up so that he over the swordsman, keeping a tight hold of the sword as he looked down at him. "Here's a lesson for you swordsman, something people don't always think of." He then pulled the sword forwards so that it was between them, letting the blood from his hand drip down it and fall where it did.

"Blades only cut when drawn across the skin, hold onto it tight enough, it doesn't move, it doesn't cut." He then looked at his hand. "Course here not so much considering I caught it in mid swing, lucky it only struck the palm though, eh?" He looked back down at the swordsman, fighting him as he slowly began to press the blade down towards Taygean's throat. "I found it interesting honestly, though not surprised most people don't think about it. Because considering the risk of grabbing a blade, and the fact that my hand really, really hurts right now, most people don't experiment to figure out that little bit."
Midas stopped pressing the blade any further, rather he just kept it held there. "So then! Your next plan?"

"Heh, good job, Midas," Talazar spoke as he came up behind the man, looking down to where he'd pinned the swordsman. "You're causing a lot of trouble for us, boy," Talazar continued, pacing around the prone figure. "Things would have been so much easier had you simply cooperated, but seeing as how you've forsaken my hospitality, I suppose there's no other choice."
With a submissive sigh, Talazar shrugged and moved back to where Varen still lay on the floor, removing a knife from one of the sheaths along the elf's body. Flipping the weapon around, he prodded the unconscious figure. "Hey," he spoke, annoyed, "wake up. The halfling wants to play games."

With a groan, Varen's head moved, and the elf stirred, his gaze drifing up to the ceiling dizzily as he regained his bearings and sat up. The look of confusion on Varen's face lasted only a moment befure suddenly the elf realized exactly what was happening, and immediately his expression changed into that of a glare. His eyes moved widly now, intent with a purpose as they sought out the swordsman. Talazar had moved by now as Varen stood quickly, flicking his hair back and advancing on Midas and the boy.
"You almost let him escape?!" Varen spat angrily, stepping up to the pair on the floor. "Fool!"

"You said you could handle it but you were busy sleeping," Talazar spoke back casually, now inspecting the knife he held. "regardless, I'll not tell Nira if you start being useful."

"Well you're being passive today aren't you, Reaper?" Varen's gaze flicked back to Talazar now, and he noted the mark on the man's face and sneered, nodding somewhat in acknowledgement but saying nothing about it. Talazar's stare in return was all he needed. "Well then," Varen continued. "Seeing as how I have to vindicate myself. Midas, you can move. My magic will hold him. And I'd enjoy my weapons back, if you don't mind. I'll show you, boy, just what a purebred's magic can do. An untainted lineage more potent than you could possibly imagine..."

Varen would wait for the Shade to move, then unleash his crushing force again. Talazar moved up behind Varen now, wielding the blade carefully, more than obviously out of patience.

Midas let out a sigh of annoyance, glancing back towards Varen. "Seriously, nobody here knows how to say 'please' do they?" He then stood up, yanking the blade from Taygean as he did as he kept a grip on the weapon. "I didn't know manners had to die with out sympathy, but I guess that's the way of the world. A little depressing really." He mumbled the last bit to himself as he moved over to the spot he had originally been sitting at, though he turned to face the other three as he did.

He finally let the sword go when he sat down, letting it fall to the ground as he lifted his wounded hand up to exam it. The blade had made a nice gash in his hand, but nothing to terrible to deal with. He brought his other hand up, one of the gems on his forearms glowing as he began to draw his finger along the gash. It was followed by the sound of blood and flesh sizzling as he cauterized the wound shut, finally lowering both his hands once he was finished.

The third Shade climbed up over him as he caught the blade and began preaching something to Taygean. Of course, he wasn't really listening as he was more worried about the weapon as it was starting to come back at him. He pushed as hard as he could to stop the weapon, but it didn't stop. His other hand came up and pressed against the flat of the blade just as the tip of the weapon hovered over his throat. Taygean lay there, straining with short, heavy breathes leaving his chest. His gaze narrowed as he glowered up at the masked Shade over him. Then the pressure released but the blade didn't move. He kept both hands there to make sure.

Talazar followed now, and Taygean watched him pace a bit. He gave the Reaper a roll of his eyes as he scoffed. Of course he wasn't going to be nice and lay down for him. He'd be damned if he just sat around in the god forsaken cell to rot as he waited for something to happen. He was pretty sure he was on his own anyway, so what was the point in that? "Admit it..." he started, his voice straining, "You'd hate it if I just rolled over for you."

Talazar moved back into the cell and woke the elf that he'd knocked out. The halfling grimaced at that. His lips twitched into another one of his cocky grins when things were looking to turn very bad for him. After all, his mouth had always gotten him into trouble, especially around nobles who tried to tell him what to do. It wasn't that easy with Taygean, "Oh, wonderful, you woke the filfthy elf. I can't wait," he ground out, he uttered something in elvish then too, most likely another insult.

"Imputent bastard," Varen hurled back, his magic building again. "This time you won't be so lucky." With that, Varen held out his hand to the boy, crushing him with his magic while at the same time summoning a spell circle below him. The elf spun his fingers, working the runes along the edges before suddenly the entire circle began crackling with electrical currents that arced and sparked back and forth and along the walls, scorching the stone as they did so and attacking the swordsman's figure.

"I could burn you. I could crush you! I could exsanguinate you! You are worthless! More of a shame to your family name than your wretch of a mother or failure of a father, you are the spawn of a sin!" As Varen spoke, his voice did not fluctuate, but remained calm and precise. He watched with a certain cool intensity, his magic working to unsheath the various throwing knives he carried on his person, the weapons floating around the elf. One by one they attacked. Each strike corresponding to Varen's words. "And. You. Will. Die."

The elf increased the electrical charge with each passing moment, knowing well the man wouldn't die, but also not caring what pain he experienced in the long process of wishing to. The knives were in each of the swordsman's limbs too, each targeted towards a nerve bundle.

"It's no great surprise you weren't one of the halflings born with the gift of magic. You don't deserve it. And even if you were, no magic is greater than that of the High Clans. If you have no information, you may as well tell us so you can die. Don't think we'll wait for you to snap. I'll tell Nira you took your own life..."

Taygean ground his teeth, groaning from the heavy pressure again. Both eyes squeezed shut tightly, the hall filled with sharp cries from the elf's magic. Gasps followed after when the knives hit. The screams grew louder until eventually Taygean's body started shutting down. His breathing was sharp, very loud in his ears as the hall grew dark for him. He didn't even hear the elf's last few words as he slipped into darkness induced by pain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kirrah Shay Character Portrait: Taygean Derativear Character Portrait: Talazar D'Tvala Character Portrait: Varen Alteir Character Portrait: Cheyanne Character Portrait: Nira Ku

0.00 INK

#, as written by girlwt
"Just push," she said as she sat there, trying to get Caine to fix her shoulder. It had been a couple hours before they finally all pretty much collapse from pain or exhaustion. She was beyond the point of caring about the pain, she just wanted it over.
Their camp was small, in the midst of some trees. Yet Chey couldn't sleep with her shoulder messed up, and not even with that, she couldn't sleep in fear that the shades might return.

"I got it, I got it." He said as he carefully grabbed hold of Chey's shoulder with one hand, the other hand going to her collar. It seemed Caine had come out of the struggle the most fortunate, as he had just banged up his nose pretty good. The way it stung, he imagined he must have broken it, though he'd have to worry about that some other time.

They were currently hiding out in some forest, hidden amongst the brush to rest. He was up near Chey at the moment to help her with her injured shoulder, having laid Kirrah down nearby on the ground. Currently he had draped his jacket over the injured and unconscious woman, as he certainty had no need for the jacket at the moment. Hopefully she would recover soon, hopefully before they ran into anymore shades.

"Here we go then, also need to promise me that when I do this and it hurts like a motherfucker, you don't punch me, stab me, kick me, or injure me in any way shape or form. Sound good? Good. Here we go." With that, he pressed down on her collar to hold her in place as he gripped her arm. Then suddenly, he pressed the arm in towards her shoulder roughly; he heard the loud pop of the joint snapping back into it's place, and then braced himself for the hit he was expecting from Chey after that.

She eyed him with a look of annoyance before he actually pushed her shoulder. She braced herself until she heard the pop herself. The pain came suddenly, and she cursed rather loudly. Yet she managed to keep her hands, feet and other objects to herself. She let the pain run its course, "thanks," she said rather ungratefully after it finally just became this slow random shots of pain in her arm.

When he didn't feel anything touch him in a hostile and painful manner, he relaxed as he nodded to her. "You're welcome, Cheyanne" He said before he moved away, sitting down near a tree. He hadn't lit a fire simply so they didn't give away their position. The light of it would stand out through the trees, and with shades on their ass they didn't need to give themselves away. Hopefully they could last through the night without the light and warm.

He looked over at Chey again as he shifted himself into a more comfortable position, "You can sleep if you want too. I'll keep watch for the night." He then let his head rest back against the tree, looking out ahead into the forest. He couldn't see anything in particular, not with the heavy brush and the little amount of light making it's way through the canopy above.
He then looked at Kirrah, watching her for a moment before talking. "You think Taygean's ok..?"

She moved so at least she was in a more comfortable sitting position. She heard him, but didn't answer as she did not have a clue if she could sleep or not. She sat trying to think over everything that happened in the last couple of days. She heard his question, "I have no clue, maybe one of them will think he is an asset of some sort and keep him alive." It would mean, they think he knows something about the Jewel princess, and a way to kill her

She looked toward Kirrah, what exactly did any of them know about her. She was silent for most of their journey so far, not really doing anything much, other then being a target for the shades.

She looked across the darkness in the direction of Caine, "What is the next step?" She did not put any pronouns into that sentence, he may decide to leave, Kirrah might regain consciences and decide to go on her way. None of them really owed the halfling anything, but for some reason it just seemed wrong to leave him to the shades.

He didn't look away from Kirrah, though he was really just staring blankly in some direction. He lifted his gaze up to stare out into the dark now, tapping his thigh with his hand. He thought over what Cheyanne had said, and he was wondering the same thing. Just what the hell was the next step? Still they had no leads to go on for hunting down the shades, or for finding Taygean.

He simply pursed his lips together, exhaling through them to produce a simple "pfft" sound. Once finished, he then shrugged and tapped his thighs while looking towards Cheyanne, "Well, I can't just leave him there in the hands of those Shades. How I'm going to do that is...well up in the air at the moment. I'll handle it like I do most other bounties I have to chase down, go somewhere with a bunch of people, listen around, ask some questions, eventually you figure out something. Then you make more plans from there."

He continued to watch her, lightly tapping his fingers on his thighs. "How about your next step?"

"Well, I started this journey, might as well continue it, anyways wouldn't be a second set of ears be helpful," she said in response to her question. Yet what did that mean for Kirrah, or could she actually help in some way. Would she help in some way, the girl looked away and took a deep breath. "So where do we start, I don't know this land as well as probably you do," she asked him wondering if he had an idea there.

He watched her as she talked, smiling some and nodding his head. "Always glad to have a second set of ears." He brought one of his legs up so he could rest an arm on his knee. By now he was tapping some beat to a song that he wasn't sure if it actually was a song, or just one he'd made up at the moment. "So thanks for tagging along and sticking with the mess."

"Where do we start, where do we start...well we'll have to keep things simple for now. Search broad, then narrow down the search as the clues presents themselves. I'll tell you right now, the process can be quite rough. Sometimes gives no results for quite a while. So, unless the shades come-a-knockin' again, don't expect to find stuff a day or so in the town."

Chey wanted to chuckle, yet she kept it to herself, "okay," was her only response to him. He made it sound like a science, yet the one thing she had learned over the years was how to be persuasive when the time called for it. One way or the other, she usually got answers when she asked questions.

She knew though this task, wasn't going to be the easiest, no one wanted to be on the bad side of a shade. Not that she learned that lesson herself.

That was the story of her life, in the wrong place, wrong time, and with the most screwed up enemies she could find. She really had to put this time in her top ten at least. The question she was avoiding though was about Kirrah, were they just to take turns playing baby-sitter, or just let her go her own way.

He nodded his head to Chey's small answer, looking over to Kirrah once again. He wasn't sure what her plan was to do, as he hardly knew what she even usually thought. She had hardly said a thing to anybody these past few days, not to mention with how Taygean had been acting towards her over the course of those days, he wasn't sure how excited she'd be at the prospect of saving him.

"Tomorrow, we'll figure out what her plan is. Until then, I suggest you grab some sleep Chey." He looked over at her, "You look like you could use a good nights sleep. Sure, dead leaves, sticks, and rocks are not the most comfortable bedding; but~ if you get creative you can actually make it a nice place to sleep. Trust me on that one, I've had to do it plenty of times."

She was glad of the darkness, because then maybe he couldn't see her rolling her eyes, "I am fine, I ain't exactly the picky type." She wasn't exactly the any type to put it plainly. Even though, she would have loved a fire at the moment, but wrapping her cloak around her she did the best she could and closed her eyes.

That Morning

Kirrah shifted feeling a heavy weight over her body. Her eyes opened and she shifted around even more as she took a deep breath and her fingers felt heavy leather over her. Slowly sitting up, Kirrah winced a bit. There were definitely some bruises. From what though she wasn't sure. Her gaze looked up as the sun was just starting to breach the mountains. The air was cold and there was dew still clinging to the brush around her. They were in a different area than what she remembered last. Trees surrounded them instead of open, desolate dirt.

Her gaze settled upon Caine, her voice was soft and she almost didn't want to ask but felt the need to do so. After all, she did note that Taygean was not with them. She felt bile in the back of her throat. Had she...? "What happened," it wasn't really a question the way she said it, more of a statement.

It had been a bit of a rough night for Caine, as he had to find ways to not fall asleep and to stay on watch encase they were attacked. The cold had been helpful in that, but that too only made the night pretty suckish. One activity was to begin to carve random things into whatever tree he happened to be near. They were just a random series of doodles, which were pretty sloppy considering they were done with a knife and all.

At the moment though he was just sitting back against a tree, repeatedly throwing his knife into the ground over and over again. He looked up when he heard the sound of rustling, noticing it was Kirrah who had finally woken up. He picked up the knife and re-sheathed it, bringing his knees up and looking at her with his arms crossed on them.

"Good to see you up and running now." was all he said, he glanced over to Chey who was still out before back to Kirrah. Hearing her question, he couldn't help but frown some before answering. "It seems the shades choose to flee that fight, unfortunately they took Taygean with them." He looked down at the ground as he continued. "Chey and I were planning to head to the next town, hopefully find some information or something to help us search for where they might have taken him."

Yawning, he then stood up and began stretching out his arms and torso, cracking his neck as he usually did; he looked at Kirrah as he spoke again, "How about you? I mean you are more than welcome to join in on our shenanigans, course Taygean was kidna rude the whole time so I can understand not wanting to deal with him."

Taygean had been taken?! Her heart froze, eyes widening a bit. Although, it was probably better news than thinking she'd killed the man. Which had been her first worry. She looked down to the ground. Kirrah sat there for quite a while as she thought about this. Sure the swordsman wasn't the nicest person to her, but did that mean he had to suffer? Her eyes narrowed, eyebrows coming down as she stared at the ground. On the other hand, she still wasn't sure about these people. As it was though, for the past few days they hadn't done anything to her and seeing as she'd passed out twice on them, they obviously didn't wish to kill her otherwise they most likely would have already.

Cheyanne had been awake for most of the conversation between the two, she didn't want to interrupt, because she was interested into finding out what Kirrah thought, or any ideas she might have.

Kirrah looked up at them and slowly stood up. She handed Caine his coat back, a faint blush on her cheeks, very faint, "Thank you," she uttered softly the words sounding odd out of her mouth. Once he took it, she stepped away from him and then looked around, "I will... go with you," she said slowly. She wasn't sure the entire reason why she agreed to go with. Only that she knew if they went by themselves, storming a keep full of Shades was going to be very difficult and perhaps she could make it at least a little bit easier seeing as she went crazy every time she was within range of a demon jewel.

Caine nodded his head to her as she handed his coat back, putting it back on before brushing it off some. "You are welcome." He put his hands into the pockets of the jacket, looking at her as she spoke again. He smiled some at her answer, "Well, glad to have you along. Any ideas of where we might be able to start off?" He moved over to one of the trees he had carved on, looking over the goofy drawings of his. "Because as I said, we don't really have a good, solid plan at the moment, just the one I usually do."

He turned to look at her again, leaning back against the tree. "The downside to that issue, is that if the town we go to has not had issues with shades then it'll probably just be a big ol' dead end. Which has happened before, in which case I usually just go to the bar, get a few drinks, then head on out grumbling the whole way~. So if you do have a plan, and don't want to put up with me being a possible grump, then please say something."

"I would be grateful also for your help too," Cheyanne spoke up finally, "yet my question is going to be about your control, you lose it every time you get near a shade's jewel. You don't remember things also, is it going to be safe for you near whatever town we go."

Kirrah frowned as she listened. The questions were ones that she could not answer. Cheyanne was absolutely right. She lost it every time someone came near them with a demon jewel and unless she was taken down in someway or sedated or even just purely running herself dry, she didn't stop. It didn't matter what was in her way either. She bit her lip as she shook her head in answer to almost all of the questions, "No. It won't be safe. If there's even a chance... of a demon jewel..." she trailed off and looked into the trees. Kirrah wasn't fond of this conversation at all.

"I don't know of any towns, but... sometimes I've heard talk that there is more activity from Shades in towns more to the north."




As leather boots struck the ground sticks could be heard to be snapping within the woods just outside of Dryken. With bared teeth Seryith saw red as the human's blade was drawn and ready to meet the flesh of the bomber. Twisting his neck to the right he jumped back as he narrowly dodged a dart.

Peering his eyes into the trees he saw the elven man as he got into stance and readied himself. With both hands upon his blade and a bend at the knees, Seryith grunted at the Elven man as he watched him casually walk along the thick branch of the tree to reveal himself.

"In the name of Lord Valosa you are under arrest! Disarm yourself at once and come down here!"

In response to that, another dart was launched in Seryith's direction as it narrowly missed the hunters face.

Arika drew a cocky grin on his face as he casually jumped from his branch and landed upon the ground softly as he was now crouched on the ground. Just as casually as his departure from the tree, Arika stood up slowly as his cocky grin became toothy.
"You would think the Lords would send better hunters after me eh Hunter Seryith? I mean after my last two hits you made this big vow of "I shall put down Arika Derativear down like the dog he is and avenge blah blah.."..heh.." Arkia lightly chuckled as he had masked his usual voice with a insulting version of Seryith's more rugged voice. With his mockery out of the way Arikia cleared his throat as he continued on to Seryith's annoyance.

"I dispatched Lord Valosa, I left his home in flames, and I eliminated your pitiful squad. I would kill you too, but you're just too much fun...Now what're you going to do?"

"I'm taking you down." Seryith responded as rage burned at his eyes. As he had lost his men to countless traps in the forest, he now realized this was what was all planned out by the killer. Thinking it through he knew in his mind he wasn't going to catch him this day. Sheathing his blade he merely looked to Arika with hate as he said. "Go on, I'm ready. You're just going to vanish in some smoke, or knock me out with some gas. You've obviously ready for me."

With a snicker, Arika shot out. "Nope! You're just a fool" As he took off running through the woods.

Growing Seryith realized the trickery as he begun to stomp off after him as he yelled "Hey! Get back-". Suddenly he felt his world flip as he was suddenly strung up by his ankles. Struggling to cut at the ropes the last he heard of Arika was his laughter as he pulled a double trick upon him.

~~~~~~~~~~~At Dusk~~~~~~~~~~~~

After what seemed like hours of evasion and scurrying to new locations, Arika was miles out upon a back road of a very unkempt path. His hazel eyes looked upon the trees as he looked over them. With a little breath he grinned gleefully as he reached into his satchel to pull his map out. Crossing his legs as he stopped and sat he realized he needed to go south to meet up with his payer.

With a light sigh though he realized in his fleeing from the guards and Seriyth, he'd headed south by mistake. After a bit of a mental struggle he figured out where he was upon the map and turned to his right. If he was going to have to go south then the fast path would be to leave the path and go through the woods.

The thought of sleeping in trees for the next few nights made his ears lower. He truly did miss the bed and pleasures he had back in his hideout. With a sigh, Arika glanced over to see the rising smoke from miles away. "This will bump me up a few on the bounty board." He thought to himself with a chuckle.

And with the half-elf left the path and went back into the forest.




The change in direction was annoying, especially sense that this was the way she had originally planned going, it was however overshadowed by the fact she was running away from pretty powerful shades. Maybe they would catch the green-haired elf in the town in which they were heading. She just hoped that they could find out something to help Taygean.

Now they were traveling through the forest mostly to avoid the town where the tavern got destroyed by their first encounter with the shades. At least it was cooler amongst the trees than out in the open, as yet again Cheyanne found herself behind the other two.

Kirrah walked along as if she were an empty doll. She wasn't paying attention to anything much like she always did and her eyes were on the ground. It was a steady movement, not too fast, not too slow. The only thing she made careful to be aware of was how close she got to Caine and how far behind Cheyanne was. She didn't want to run into the man and she didn't want to fall too close to the other woman. So, Kirrah did a fairly good job at staying in the center of the two of them.

She wasn't at all used to this, and her nerves were a bit out of whack, but aside from that she'd effectively ignored both of them for the most part as they walked. It wasn't that she didn't like them. It wasn't that she was cruel, or cold or anything like that. She just didn't know how to interact with them and for all of her hopes, she was more then certain they were either going to turn on her at some point or they were just going to use her because of her skills when it came to demon jewels. However if a fight broke out with no demon jewels at hand... they were going to be slapped in the face with the fact that she could hardly fight to keep herself safe.

She gave a very soft, inaduble sigh as she strode behind Caine. Kirrah wished that they would actually just turn on her. She would let them. The Princess wouldn't even put up a fight. Not that she'd ever stand a chance anyway. Still, she slightly relished the thought, at the same time she felt cold chills spread across her back. This certainly wasn't how she planned for things to go. Not in the least.

Their trip had been very quiet for the most part, save for their footsteps when the scuffed the ground or stepped on some dead leaves. All in all though, none of them were really saying much to each other. Less the two ladies were whispering behind his back, considering Caine was at the front of the small pack of people. He chuckled a little at the thought, thinking about what they might be plotting or saying if that was the case. It probably wasn't, but it paid to be cautious.

At times he'd glance back at them, just to see how they were doing, but it was usually the same. Nothing to say, maybe a nod to him or a strange look, and then he'd just shrug and look back ahead. He just watched the road ahead, hands in his pockets as they moved along. He wasn't sure how far away the next place was, and how large it'd be and if there would be any good information to make use of. Hopefully they'd find their way to Taygean before anything to terrible happened to him.

He looked back at them, before looking behind finally deciding to break the silence. "So, how about you guys tell me a little something about yourselves. You tell me and I'll tell you, I promise." He said as he looked back at them with a smile.

Cheyanne was slightly surprised at the others words, now what could she possibly say to him, "what do you want to know," she finally asked, trying to decide what exactly she wanted to tell him. She wasn't the most open person when it to herself, as most likely Kirrah wasn't either, yet she got the idea that Caine would have no problem with that.

"There isn't much to tell that you probably don't already know from rumors," Kirrah muttered in answer, her eyes still on the ground as she walked. She nibbled on her lip just a bit as she kept her distance evenly between the two, sometimes fixing her pace to adjust to them.

He chuckled softly, looking at Chey. "Well how about, we start with....family?" he then looked at Kirrah, "as for those rumors, I don't always pay much attention to rumors. Only the rumors about those I happen to be hunting, and since I'm not hunting you~....well yeah."

Cheyanne was shaking her head, "I don't have any," was her short response to him. She wasn't going to offer anything else freely, if he wanted to know, he would have to actually ask about it.

"Dead," Kirrah answered shortly and then ignored him. Her lips pulled into a deep frown as she was not tossed into unwanted thoughts and memories of waking up from another rampage and seeing blood all over her small frame and the house burning. Those were things she simply did not wish to remember and now she was feeling bitter, a cold sharp ache in her heart as she walked.

With his head buried in his map, Arika moved quietly through the woods as he hummed quietly to himself. Avoiding trees to the best of his ability, Arika managed to only bump into one as he stopped and rubbed at the gnawing dull pain upon his forehead. He was tempted to kick the tree as he felt his ears twitch at the sound of voices.

Ducking behind the tree, he didn't even glance out as he assumed it was yet another party of guards or hunters after him. It had grown nearly dark out as the last of the sun was peaking on the horizon. His mind was racing as his hand slid into his overcoat. He had run out of smoke, but he still had a few tricks up his sleeve.

With the knowledge that the people past the tree were not guards, Arika pulled from his overcoat a large leather gernade shaped object. Cover his nose he pulled a metallic pin from it as he hurried in rolling it out from the tree. The gas would be much different than the smoke as it would knock its victims from consciousness.

Rolling away from the tree, Arika moved to get away from the area before he would get a whiff himself. Just one whiff would be enough to disorientate even him, one who had been working with those materials throughout his life.

She was following the others and something came out from behind the tree ahead of her but closer to Kirrah, it was smoking, "What the hell," she said rather loudly and looked past the tree, she caught the scent of the smoke. She had to stop and steady herself, yet she couldn't, "Caine...," she said as she slowly hit the ground.

Kirrah heard the slight clink and turned to see the strange device roll up behind her. Her eyes opened wide as she thought for a moment it was going to explode with some strange magic. However, it only exuded some strange smoke. With her being the closest to it, she got an entire nose full and quite literally dropped to the ground. Dizziness took her off her feet, but it was darkness that swept her away into unconsciousness from the strange, awful smelling smoke.

Seeing Kirrah go ahead, Cheyanne again tried to clear her head, but the breeze picked up and she got more of the smoke in her nose, it finally got to be to much and she fell the rest of the way to the ground and let the darkness take over.

As they walked, Caine just listened to their short, blunt answers with a bit of a frown. "Well, I still only have my brother with me now. As in the only family I have left alive. Not really on good terms with him though, so don't ever see him. Been~....well over a few years since I had seen him." His story though was cut off though as he noticed a leather bound object come rolling from behind a tree.

As it started pouring smoke free, Caine immediately began to try and back up, but he had failed to move away in time as he got a face full of the smoke. coughing and shielding his mouth and nose, he tried to not breath in anymore but the cough made it hard and he could see the edges of his vision going black.

He drew his pistol as he aimed towards the tree, hoping the individual would show themselves before he passed out.
He fell to a knee though as his vision continued to go black, and it finally began to go, he reflexively pulled the trigger on his pistol; it fired off a shot wildly towards the tree, pinging off the side of it and gouging it before Caine finally collapsed to the ground. He struggled to try and shoot a gout of fire at it, but before he could charge the crystal he finally went unconscious.




With a glance back to the scene of the area he struck, Arika moved to place upon his face a horrid looking leather mask of which had not aged well. As he watched the green gas disperse he wondered if any of them would have food on them. A long journey to the south would best be supplied by food.

As he approached the location he wanted to at first fling his masked face into his palm as he had knocked out travelers. However as he stepped over a stump and approached them a small grin grew upon his face. He was going to need money to get where he was going.

After spending the time to look through their pockets he found himself being hit by a little guilt. He didn't enjoy robbing commoners, there was just no fun in it. Besides, maybe they had some information worth selling.

Patting his hands together, Arika took the time to move each one of them to a tree of which he tied them to with a rope he had used in his assault on the Lords property. Taking the pistols and any other obvious weaponry he could he piled next to him as he went off to prepare a campfire.

"Wait...three...two..ehhh oneish...they should be waking now.." He spoke quietly to himself as he cocked his head to the travelers as he removed his mask.

The grogginess started to clear up and she moved, yet she couldn't move, and looked around. "Not again," she mumbled to herself, she looked around and saw the one that must of been behind the whole thing. She blinked, maybe she wasn't seeing things straight yet, "Ok, whoever you are...get these fucking ropes off of me right now,"

Cheyanne really had something about being tied to a tree. It was starting to bring back a bad memory, one that she would like to really forget.

Kirrah gave a soft groan. Someone was moving next to her and it jostled her head which was resting on their shoulder. She flinched as the first thing that hit her was a headache. Lifting herself up, she released a heavy sigh and opened her eyes which she blinked several times to try to get the fogginess to go away. Taking in a deep breath she looked around and noted Cheyanne right next to her, cussing at someone. Kirrah turned her attention to that particular someone and then took a gasp.

Her breath was sharp. He looked... almost exactly like Taygean. And she just about called out to him, to ask what the meaning of this was, but then she silenced herself. Just a tool... always a tool. However, as she looked at him, there were very very slight differences. For one thing, his ears were pointed where Taygean's were most definitely not. This was... strange, "Who... are you?" she asked softly.

Coming up with something quick to say in retort to Cheyanne. Arika raised his hands to the sides of his face as he walked closer to the tree. "Gesh, I know you're quite the looker princess with those rather stunning breasts and all, but this is for my safety."

Quickly rethinking what he said, Arika tried to shed himself in a better light as he said. "Sorry for the forwardness, you'd be surprised what kind of goods and weaponry are hidden in those kinds of locations..."

Taking a knee in front of the tree, Arika ran a hand through his hair as he said. "This is really just a wrong place wrong time kind of thing..." As he heard the voice of the other girl he quickly drew his eyes to her as he said in response. "Arika Derativear...the /second/ bastard half-elf of the family. And...who might you be?"

"You look like someone we know," she answered instead, not giving her name. She watched him carefully. Yes. He really did look like Taygean, a lot, "Second half-elf.... he is a half-elf too..." she mused softly.

"I don't care who he looks like, I am going to rearrange his features...very shortly," Chey said, really the guy had to go to most insulting thing. "And Taygean definitely would have more manners than that," she was starting to wiggle out of the ropes that held her to the tree.

Smirking a little playfully at Chey, Arika rose to his feet as he reached into his overcoat and withdrew a small bag of coin. Tossing it to the feet of the three, Arika turned and begun to walk away. "Something for your troubles." He spoke gently as he started to get some distance from the group. "Oh! And don't break the rope cute-one! Seriously it's good rope....now ta-ta!"

Just as he started to get a little distance from the others another small leather grenade dropped from him. At least this time the white smoke was obvious of his retreat rather than the aggressive green smoke of earlier. In the back of his mind he was really curious what the third one would of had to say, but information comes and goes.

Hesitating for a moment, Arika looked back as he shrugged from the safety of a distant tree. The information would come eventually. He'd just have to get it when he came back up north.

"Northern girls are quite the lookers." Arika thought to himself as he paused for a moment longer.

"Asshole...," Cheyanne muttered as she continued working on her ropes, "I can't believe he just up and left, do you think I came on to strong." She slightly smirked in Kirrah direction and then shook her head. Finally she twisted her hand and got the rope free, she rubbed her wrists slightly and got up and untied Kirrah first before she did the same to Caine.

"Hey sleepyhead time to get up."

Kirrah stood up slowly, her gaze off into the trees where the smoke had taken the other halfling, "I... don't understand..." she muttered to herself, "He looks exactly like Taygean. Yet... he said nothing about him... Do... Do you think they are even related?" Kirrah asked softly. It was probably the most she'd talked in the entire time she'd been with them. But she was honestly perplexed by this new development.

Cheyanne looked over at girl and shrugged her shoulders, "Could be, quite honestly I don't care, I would rather get moving again, Taygean's still a prisoner and sitting here is not helping him." She walked over to the pile of weapons and pulls her own out of it. The sais were last, she stuck them back into their place. She glanced off in the direction that the half-elf went with a scowl on her face. She picked up Taygean's swords then and put them back where she had been carrying them.

Caine groaned as he felt the world coming back to him. He tried to move, but felt the world spin as he fell over. He fell up against something, grumbling to himself as he cracked open his eyes to look around. He saw that they were still in the forest, cause he could feel the back of a tree against his hand as he reached back for it. He then looked to his left to see what he fell against, blinking and looking up to see it had been Kirrah's legs. "Whoops...my bad, Kirrah..." He mumbled, pushing himself away and slowly getting up to his feet.

He rubbed his head, looking up and around to see who else was there. All he saw was Chey, Kirrah, and himself, but no one else. He looked towards the pile of their equipment, and saw his pistols there which he quickly made his way over too. He stumbled here and there, he assumed his system was still feeling the effects of the gas, or at least the residual effects of it. He knelt down as he collected his weapons, sheathing both of them before standing up and stretching.

He looked towards the two woman, resting his hands on the handles of his pistols. "Either of you two see who the hell threw the gas bomb?"

"He looked like a lesser version of Taygean," Cheyanne mumbled, "headed south." She didn't really worry about the money. If he took it or not, that was the least of her worries. She was still slightly disgruntled about the whole thing.

The Princess widened her gaze as she felt something collide with her leg. She stiffened for a moment and then looked down. Caine was using her leg as a rest it seemed and it made her just a slight bit uncomfortable. When he realized what he'd fallen against, he pushed himself off and slowly got up to his feet, apologizing as he went. Turning her head, she tried her best not to look at him for the moment. Her voice was very soft, "It's... fine," she said in response to his apology.

Kirrah nodded in agreement with Cheyanne. She was still confused and curious. Then again, Taygean hadn't said a word about his family, or last name, or even a brother. Not that she was all too surprised about that. It wasn't like the four of them had just opened up to each other in the span of a few days. Kirrah finally turned her attention away from the road where the man had disappeared and looked back to Caine and Cheyanne, "The town won't be much farther... who will go?" she asked knowing full well that she wasn't going to go inside a town full of people that she could possible destroy within seconds.

"A Lesser version of Taygean then, huh? Well ain't that nifty." He then looked down the road in the direction they had been originally heading. "Well, when we get there, we'll figure out who wants to go in. Draw straws or somethin' like that." He looked at them as he began walking backwards down the road. "Away we go!" He said before spinning on his heel, not missing a step as he continued walking.

He transferred his hands over to his pockets, watching ahead though with a bit more caution. He kept his eyes on any place that looked like it could hide someone, now a bit more paranoid that others may be out to get them. "I've never had this many people trying to get to know me before." He said to no one inparticular.




Northern Town

Caine kept his hands in his pockets as he walked down the street, mostly to keep his jacket closed enough to keep his weapons hidden from view. It did also help to stop any mud and other unpleasantness that were kicked up from splattering on his armor or clothes beneath. He looked around at the people as he walked, as the streets were mostly filled with the usual commuters going here and there. Nobody paid him any real attention, just occasionally glances here and there; worked for him, drawing too much attention was usually a bad thing. Course if he was going to be looking for information about shades, attention was inevitable.

He decided he had for the tavern first, as he usually did when he made it too a town. It served as a way to possibly find info right from the start, as his last visit to town showed, considering it landed him in the situation he was in currently, sometimes it just takes going to the bar to find what was needed. He did keep his eyes open for any place that looked like it held a mayor's office or a sheriff as he looked for the actual tavern.

His thoughts began to wonder as he walked, thinking about what he was in at the moment; more so how it escalated as quickly as it had. It was all just a matter of bad timing, having chosen to go to the tavern at the wrong time. Now he was travelling with a group of people he had only met a few days ago, all of whom were trying to avoid being killed. All of them he knew next-to-nothing about, except for the simple rumors about Kirrah and her title as "The Jewel Princess", who was apparently an engine of mass destruction. He shrugged, as it wasn't that far from the truth, as she certainty had it in her to break a lot of things. Then there was "The Master Swordsman" that he had heard of before, and now was off to rescuse him. Then there was Chey who...Caine's thoughts paused. "Ok I know absolutely nothing about her then." He then glanced up at the sky, "If someone is up there, then I know you are fucking with me."

He looked back ahead, finally finding himself to the tavern which he made his way into. It was as busy as a tavern usually was mid-day, which was to say not very. People were out doing whatever it was they needed to, and so it meant hardly anybody having the free time to get themselves sloshed. He simply made his way up to the counter and took a seat there, crossing his arms on the counter and resting his head there. He held up a hand to draw the attention fo the bard tender as he spoke, "Something light, just enough to distract my mind for a few." he then let his arm flop back down onto the counter with a sigh. "Wish I could get drunk honestly...augh my life." he mumbled into his arm.

A drink was slid to the man who asked for it, the bartender ignoring him immediately afterwards to continue on with what he was doing a moment before. It was mostly silent in the tavern aside from the few drunken slurs and a couple of whispering patrons. One pair that was seated in the corner next to the bar whispered to each other fervently, though the words were just low enough to not be heard as of yet because another pair on the other side were talking a bit too loudly for their own good.
"I swear it's true, Robin," the male said as he leaned across the table to the woman he sat with. They looked rather close in age as well as almost identical to each other, marking them as siblings.

"Shh, someone will hear you, idiot!" The one named Robin reached out and smacked his head.

"Ow!" he reached up and rubbed where she'd hit him, "But it's true. They say the manor was on fire!"

"Did ya see it yourself?" Robin asked in irritation.

"Uh... n-no, but you can see smoke in that direction!"

"Idiot, it's probably just a campfire."

The boy pouted at his sister, "That's way too much smoke for a campfire, Robin!"

The girl rolled her eyes, huffed loudly and stood up, "Fine, we'll go talk to someone," she gave in and stormed out of the inn. Her brother trailed behind her and with their leaving it was much quieter again inside the near empty tavern. Which was only filled with the sounds of the other two who were still whispering. They were dressed in darker, heavier clothes than the young kids that had left. One had a hood drawn up over their face while the other was looking around as he leaned in next to his companion.
"Something happened when they came back."

"So I've heard. Nira collapsed didn't she? That's rare."

The male snorted softly, "Some powerhouse. Obviously she has limits, everyone does."

"You'd be wise not to let her catch you saying that," the one with the hood said sternly as he lifted up the mug and took a slow drink. The other man glanced to the door briefly before continuing.

"Did you see who they brought with them?"

The hooded one nodded slowly, "He's not going to last long. Hell, you could hear Varen screaming in rage. The idiot must have pissed him off somehow."

"They're taking bets, on how long the Master Swordsman will last against the Reaper and Varen."

The hooded one scoffed as if he didn't really care about the idea, "There are better things to do, idiots. Besides, he'll perish by tonight. Why they brought him is still a mystery."

"Something about Kreon wanting him for information."

The cut set down with a soft thunk, "Well then, he's going to be one hell of a mess when they're done with him."

Caine took hold of the drink, lifting up his head to drink it down in one chug. Letting the cup smack on the counter as he sat up, taking a deep breath. He nodded his head smiling a bit before he just let it flop back down on his arm. "That felt good." he mumbled, though when he heard the first two having their discussion about an unknown fire nearby. Now that was interesting, and something to go on.

When the louder two left, Caine had intended to leave, lifting up his head and reaching into his pockets to retrieve a gold piece to give for the drink. He didn't get up though when he caught the other two whispering to each-other. As he listened, he narrowed his eyes as he recognized the names they were dropping. So they were nearby, or at least that what he was hoping for. He needed to figure out how to find where they were stationed, and then they could get Taygean out of there.

He smiled a bit, cocking his head in an obvious manner as he listened to them continue. Caine knew how to be subtle, but he also knew that people hated having their conversation being listened in on. Especially those with the ethics of a shade, so he did a good job of doing a poor job of trying to be subtle about listening to them. He needed to talk with them, and that was going to be violent, and he wanted to take it away so others would not be caught in the crossfire. Once they had finished, Caine slid the coin over to the bartender before he stood up and made his way for the doorway, casting a quick glance over to the two figures before he continued out the door.

As he made it out of the tavern, he then looked around for the smoke the other two had spoke of. Spotting it up over the rooftops of the nearby buildings, he glanced back to the tavern once more and began making his way towards it, once more slipping his hands into his pockets with a slight smile on his face.

The one with the hood reached out and tapped his companion's arm. His face was obscured by the darkness his hood provided. The other's lips pulled up slightly into a smirk. Both waited until the man in the long coat left the tavern. Standing, they didn't pay for their own drink and food and swiftly left the place to trail after the other. The one with the hood, reached into his clothes and his fingers curled around a couple of knives. The other just trailed behind his companion, waiting until they'd gotten some distance away before anything happened.

The hooded Shade threw his weapons once they were far from the area at the back of the man they trailed after and his companion moved, darting out to the left and then shooting at the long coated man, a knife in hand, his black jewel glittering as flickering flames began to pulse along the long knife.

Caine just kept his eyes ahead, getting a glance at his followers out of the corner of his eyes when he'd turn a corner. He smiled a bit more, making his way out to an area mostly clear of people. They'd have enough room to get the hell outta there when things went bad, as things were going to in a moment. As he walked out, he finally turned to confront the two, but they had decided to step up their plans as he felt and heard a knife scrape and glance off of his cuirass, followed by a few more which Caine quickly dodged while stepping back to make some distance. He could see the other moving to the left to flank the bounty hunter then quickly darting towards him.

Caine quickly drew both pistols, aiming and firing both bullets towards the shade that was furthest away before moving his right hand so that he could aim and fire his pistols at the charging one. Caine quickly began backing up, firing shots at both of them though he mostly kept his eyes on the one coming straight towards him.

The one charging Caine cursed under his breath. He hadn't been expecting a gunslinger. This was going to be difficult. He moved, having to use the trees as cover if he didn't want to be shot. His companion moved as well. The hooded Shade ducked into the treeline and from there tossed out another array of knives at the bounty hunter. When they knives were let loose, the Shade to Cain's left shot out from the cover at him yet again in an attempt to get close.

Caine was able to push them both back, which was lucky for him and not so much them. they only had knives, but they did have numbers. Caine quickly watched them run for cover amongst the trees, which worked for him. Using them as well, Caine moved as the knives flew past him, ducking behind a tree for cover while turning to face the one charging him, who he quickly fired a few shots at before turning and bolting for another tree.

He needed to use the trees to separate the two for this fight, or else he'd get taken down by the them. He turned back around to fire another shot towards the one charging towards him, keeping an eye out for the knife thrower and using the trees to keep him from getting a good shot on the bounty hunter.

The one charging Caine hissed as he felt a burn pulse through his side. He immediately stopped and pulled himself behind a tree. His hand stretched down to his side and pulled back with blood lacing each finger. Grinding his teeth and looked through the trees to try to locate his companion. Rolling his eyes, he hissed as he put pressure on the wound. It was a pretty good shot, he'd give the man that much.

The other Shade moved quickly, his hood dropping back now as he moved through the trees. A long red tattoo traced its way from the corner of his eye down his neck. Reaching into his clothes again, he curled his fingers along another set of knives and frowned. He was going to have to get closer and he didn't know where the other Shade had gone to. Whatever, it didn't matter to him, he would have this kill and perhaps that would please some of the higher ups back at their manor. He grinned a bit as he darted through the trees, trying to gain some more distance. With a grin on his lips fully in view now, he moved from behind a tree and came up close to the gunslinger. His fingers withdrew his weapons and he prepared to fling them at the man.

When he saw the charging shade retreat behind a tree, Caine moved himself behind one and pressed himself up against it. He sat there for a few to catch his breath, peeking around the tree to look for and listen for the other shade. The one that wanted to engage in close hadn't moved yet from their spot, but Caine could hear the sound of rustling leave from the other one moving. He poked his head out more from the tree to try and get a look, but when he didn't see anything he then went to move for another tree.

He didn't get a chance to though as he heard the leaves get kicked up behind him, Caine turning just in time to feel a knife skim past his cheek and cut it as another glanced off his armor only to slip between two plates in his stomach. Grimacing, Caine dropped down onto a knee, lowering his body close to the ground yet remaining on his feet to move his body out of the way of more knives as he fired off several bolts of electricity towards the knife thrower. He then rolled to the side and behind a tree, grimacing in pain as he looked down at the knife sticking from his stomach. Fortunately, it hadn't gone too deep, but it stung all the same.

He looked back up and around the area, listening and watching for which one would show up next. He kept his pistols charged with the electricity, ready to snap off a shot the moment one showed themselves.

A sharp cry filled the air as the Shade that had finally managed to get close, got a full dose of electric bullets right at him. The Shade crumpled to the ground, twitching slightly. The other one that had heard the cry twisted out behind his tree to see where his companion had ended up before rushing behind another one. His hand twisted his blade around as he ground his teeth, eyes narrowed as he looked through the trees.

"Alright now, why don't we make this nice and easy?" the Shade called out, his voice low and bordering angry.

Caine moved his head in the direction of the voice, peeking out a bit to glance at the one he had just shot full of electricity. He was out of this fight, and Caine would make sure he was finished once he had the other one taken care of. He chuckled, though it was somewhat weak as Caine breathed a bit heavily from the work, "Now hold on! That's my line fella!"

"Or is this the part where you charge me again and hope that I miss several times? I mean you are welcome to try, or you could just put down the knife, comes out with your hands up, and then I ask my questions and only take your friend in for a bounty?" He was still alert as he spoke, keeping watch for if the shade tried to charge again or sneak up on him. "I'm willing to turn you into a twitching body though if need be, but I tell you what it'll be a bit of an embarrassing story when I let the authorities know! Because then the other prisoners won't respect you and that's when it get really bad!" he finished with a shout.

The Shade ground his teeth. Take his chances, or live to fight again? He glanced out into the trees and then sheathed his knife. He started his retreat through the trees as quietly as possible. He wasn't going to chance fighting this man with another Shade with him, and especially wounded. Besides, he was sure Nira would like to hear there was a stranger lurking around the area listening in on conversations that were not meant for his ears. After all, the town the cloaked stranger had found himself in was owned by the Shades, and Kreon didn't like people who snooped around. So he left, not bothering to look behind him either or even asking for his companion. After all, it was always 'save yourself' for a Shade.

Caine stopped and listened for a moment, his smile fading to a scowl as he heard no response. He peeked out from behind the tree, looking around before slowly stepping out. He could hear a slight rustle from the leaves still, but he knew it was someone trying to sneak around. He watched each tree carefully as he moved towards the last location he had seen the other shade, ready in case the individual tried to jump Caine.

He heard the noise stop for a moment, then caught sight of the shade slipping from one tree to another. He turned his weapons in that direction, weapons leveled and readied for the shade to move once again. Caine slowly began to approach, occasionally glancing to the ground to see where his feet were landing, being mindful to let his heel touch down first then roll his foot forwards to try and prevent himself from crushing anything and making noise.

Then he saw the shade move from behind the tree, and Caine immediately fired with both guns, using his earth and fire gems to fire two bullets at one of the shade's legs. Caine didn't need him dead, least not yet.

The Shade let out a horrid yell as his leg was torn through by the bullets. He tumbled to the ground, rolling back and forth as he gripped his bleeding limb in both hands, hissing between clenched teeth. Frantically he looked around, trying to see where the gunslinger was and see if he could at least try to find a place to hide, but he could hardly move with the intense pain burning through his leg and up to his hip.

He smiled as he looked at the shade, nodding his head before turning to look towards the other one that was on the ground. Caine simply raised up one pistol, shooting the shade he had knocked out first simply through the head to make sure that one was dead before turning and walking over towards the shade with the now bum leg.

He kept one pistol aimed at the shade as he approached, ready to shoot him in case he tried anything funny. "I was going to keep it simple, but you choose an option I didn't give you." He stopped near his feet, one gun still aimed towards him. "You mentioned Nira and them having taken in someone, I'm looking to get that someone out. So now this the part where you help me with that by telling me where he is, what kinda of guards would be around him, and anything else that may be important." Caine paused, then faked a look of surprise and shame, "Excuse me, where are my manners?! Please tell me that stuff?"

The Shade spat at him despite his pain as he rolled slightly on the ground, "Idiot. With Varen and Talazar torturing him, he won't last the night. He's probably already dead! Shoulda' heard the screams," the man grinned as his fingers pressed hard into the wounds.

Caine raised an eyebrow, lifting his foot up and stepping down right on top of the Shade's hand and the wound in his leg, pistol still aimed towards him. He put his weight down, pinning the hand to the leg and wound as he continued to speak. "then I guess I'm going to be getting his body out of there, and if no body then I go find where he was locked in and say my prayers for him. Regardless, I'm going there and need the questions I asked answer."

He pressed down more on the hand and wound, looking at the shade with a questioning look, "So~, gonna let me know or do I have to get creative? I wouldn't recommend creative, as I'm not very creative and it'll only bore us both."

The Shade shouted at the pressure, his fingers now unintentionally digging into the wounds. He squirmed on the ground, "Alright! Alright! The place is huge, you can't miss it. It's a black manor, just to the north of the town. Cell six! They took him there!" he ground his teeth as he tried to pull his hands away from the burning wounds, "He won't be guarded... too many shades inside the place for him to even get out! Good luck getting in you son of --"

Caine listened intently, nodding his head as he took in what the Shade said. Once he got to the "Good luck" part of the statement, Caine simply pulled the trigger and shot the Shade through the head before he could add in the "bitch" part. Holstering his pistol, Caine then knelt down to put the body of the dead shade onto his shoulder to collect a bounty on it in town. "Don't insult my mother, asshole." he said as he made his way over to the other body to collect it as well. Hopefully he'd get a decent amount of coin off of these two fellas.

Once they were dropped off and he got his money, maybe, he'd then head back to Kirrah and Chey to give them the information they had all been looking for. Hopefully Taygean wasn't dead, as Caine was not really looking forward to finding a corpse of the young swordsman.