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Tessa Macerine Anson

There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.

0 · 319 views · located in Kingdom of Loeir

a character in “The King Sword”, as played by slcam


Tessa Macerine Anson

Stirred by the wind,
let us go alongside the land, the mountains and rivers.
Just gaining victory is attaining nourishment,
so it is not beautiful at all...

Roune, and loyal to her king for the time being.

Knight of Roune




Tessa is not exactly what one would call a beauty. Her forehead is high and round, Her nose is large and crooked besides from a couple breaks over the years. Her hair is stringy, straight, and somewhat coarse. Her brows are strong, and her eyes somewhat deep set. These features create a strong, more masculine face. Yet, she was gifted with her mother's delicate, rosebud lips and slight, pointed chin. These features lend her little in the way of beauty, instead, creating an odd juxtaposition with the rest of her features.

Her features often bear a blank, though observant expression. She may seem almost innocent at times, but one look in her eyes shows a foxlike, cunning intelligence. Even when she seems otherwise still and uninvolved, her eyes are always roving, keeping her aware of her surroundings. Her lips, with their slight cupid's bow, so often stay straight, hiding the emotions beneath. Still, those same lips often quirk into a wry smile, revealing an air of mischief that sits just below the surface. Her dark hair wafts to her shoulders, and her eyes are a light golden brown.

Standing at a 5'6, Tess is not especially tall, but she is stockily built, with wide shoulders and hips and large feet. She is one that many would say was built for hard labor, and her hard-earned, athletic physique emphasizes this fact. Her calloused hands are hardly those of a noble lady, but she has earned those calluses over years of trial. She moves with the dangerous, wolf-like grace of one who has trained with weapons for years. Tess is consistently steady on her feet, as if always prepared to brace for attack on a moment's notice.

First impressions rarely prove true when it comes to Tessa. At a glance, she seems to be rather tight-lipped, stoic, undemanding, and unimpressive. It is easy to simply forget her presence, and discount her as unimportant. For many, this is the only side of her they will ever notice. While it is true that Tess is a woman of few words, she is a natural leader. When necessary, she can be as intimidating as a hungry bear, and as dangerous. Her words are full of confidence and well thought out. While she is not talkative by any means, she is not too timid to speak her mind. It hardly matters who is present or how appropriate it is to speak at that moment, she will get to the point, with or without tact if necessary. This trait can make her rather unpopular, but her goal is not popularity.
Tess has an odd quirk of talking to herself when alone or in company she trusts. She will often make rather quick-witted, sarcastic comments, or merely make some observation on the situation. These observations often seem to come from nowhere, and just as often appear without context. From these, though, a person who knows her can often pick out the direction of her thoughts and the color of her mood. When questioned, she will sometimes explain what she is thinking. Other times, if she has decided to keep something secret, no matter how insignificant it is, she will not budge until she is ready. Tess is not one who needs to immediately spill all her gossip and secrets to the first listening ear.

This secret keeping is definitely augmented by a wide stubborn streak. Tessa has always put the utmost importance on keeping her word. Once she has firmly decided on a course of action, she will stick to it like a burr. There is little that can change her mind. She is also rarely content to let a challenge pass by unmet. It is not that she is worried about her honor, but simply that she enjoys fighting and proving herself in combat, or even in a simple spar. However, especially when her passions are aroused, it is easy to see a fierceness bordering on bloodlust. It is a qualty that had given many pause, including Tess herself. She is by no means a gentle woman, but over the years she has realized that it is all too easy to slip into the shoes of a killer. Still, this is a side only few see, and those who invoke it rarely live long. Still, she is too stubborn a woman to let many provoke her, and this remains one of her deep secrets.

Beyond her stubbornness, however, is a definite sense of mischief. Few see this side of Tess, and some who do think themselves mistaken. If a point needs to be made, or someone needs to be reminded of his or her place, Tess is fully willing to use embarrassment to teach a lesson. This is also used when she wishes to stir up some kind of trouble. However, she never does this out of boredom, but only on a calculated risk to get information or respect. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty to achieve her aims.

Nevertheless, in her fighting, she is honorable. She is not one to take the first strike, nor is she one to play around. When possible, she will end things in one blow without ever drawing her sword. She prefers to avoid dealing needless wounds, but is by no means squeamish about doing so. Though she will allow her opponent the first blow, she uses all the speed and force available to her with her first blow. In this way, she catches many of her opponents off guard and the fight is often over before it even really begins. She is much stronger and more forceful than most would assume, both physically and mentally. When her opponents do underestimate her, her actions usually right their misunderstandings rather quickly.


+ Hunting and Tracking: Tessa has long enjoyed moving silently after her prey. Though she finds the hunt itself thrilling, she is more apt to hunt for need than for sport.

+ Archery:Though she is no master and her skills aren't good enough for combat, she can often hit what she is aiming for. This skill is useful when she hunts smaller game. After all, it is not very practical to kill a ptarmigan with a lance, is it?

+ Stories and Folktales: There is little that pleases Tess more than being able to sit and listen to a story or learn about old folklore. Even just hearing about someone's life can be entertaining. At times, she will also tell some of the stories she has heard.

+ Sparring and unarmed combat: As stated before, Tess enjoys proving herself. Not only that, but the occasional spar is perfect to hone a warrior's skills.

Image F A M I L Y
Father: Tecer 60(alive)
Mother: Athelia, 53(alive)
Brother: Veris, would be 34(dead)
Sister: Bethel Grenville 33(alive, married)

||....As if I were running away from the suffering
and I was just set on protecting myself,
I ran and fled away.
Yielding myself to anxiety,
I lost everything....||

Tessa's family had long been involved in the military of Roune. Both her father and grandfather served as knights for many years. Tess's brother, Veris, soon followed in their father's footsteps. Though her sister followed the role of a traditional 'Lady' more closely and Tessa was encouraged to take after her, it was soon evident that was not what Tess was suited for. She would attend lessons in etiquette and other such duties only when forced. Otherwise, she would be out with the men-at-arms, watching them spar, and as she got older, sparring herself. Her mother heartily disapproved, as did her father until he saw her fight. It was he who finally convinced his wife to allow Tess to become a squire when she came of age. Until then, however, she often learned from her brother. Whenever he would come home, he would teach her what he had learned, and Tess took to it like a fish to water. She was very close to her brother, even when his duties took him far from her, along with her father.

When Tess was 13, just a year too young to be a squire, there was a major battle not far from their home near the border of Roune and Valein. Both her father and her brother, who was a knight in his own right by then, were called to assist. Tessa begged to join them, but was vehemently denied the privilege, especially by her mother. Her father and brother left without her. That night, she slipped out, stealing a horse from the family stables, and rode after them before anyone noticed. In her head were visions of glory and victories, some of which she would no doubt help bring about with the trusty short sword at her belt. When she neared the battlefield, however, she quickly realized how far her visions were from reality. As the sun rose, anguished screams of men rung out. Horrid smells drifted with the wind. Bloodshed and gore filled her vision. She watched from a distance, unable to approach the horrors happening before her as she lay hidden in a thicket. At sundown, an eternity later, the battle halted. The groans of men wounded and dying still drifted over the battle ground.

Dazed and only half-aware of what she was doing, Tess led her horse around to the Roune camp. She was, of course, immediately stopped by a guard, who took her horse and her sword. Still, when she mumbled her father's name, she was taken to an empty tent and told to wait. Her father entered and gave a terse nod to the guard that came with him, verifying that she was who she said she was. He immediately dismissed the guard and strode over to her. Instead of the scolding she expected, he gathered her into his arms and held her tightly. Tess was taken aback at first. There was no way he had heard of her disappearance from the estate so quickly, so he could not have been worried about her. Though she tried to ask what was wrong, her father ignored her question at first. She was startled when she realized he was crying. Just a moment later, he pulled away, turning slightly so his daughter would not see his tears. He started out hoarsely, but gained strength as he went, "Your brother-- your brother was killed in battle today."

It is amazing how one sentence can so shake a person's life. That is exactly what it did for Tessa, who, at that point, made her first major transition from a child to a woman. She was forced to rethink many things, and the grief hit her hard, along with the horror she had witnessed. The poor girl suffered from horrible nightmares for weeks, and gained large dark circles under her eyes. It was at that point that her childhood officially ended. If it weren't for a vital conversation with her father at her lowest point, Tess may have never become a knight. However, when her father asked her what it was she really wanted out of life, she realized afresh that becoming a knight still was and always would be her calling.

She went on to become a squire on schedule, and trained harder than even most of the knights, a fiery determination in her eyes. Still, there was a secret she held in her heart, and still holds, truth be told. She does not blame Valein for her brother's death, so much as she questions the need for such constant conflict with them. She has spent the years trying to solve this riddle, and still, it festers deep within her heart. So, for now, she remains steadfastly loyal to her homeland, but that very loyalty is unsteady at its core.

When mounted, she usually bears a heavy, steel-tipped lance. Otherwise, she relies on a broadsword with a hand and an half gip. It has a griffin in flight as the crossguard, which is her family emblem. She also has a concealed dagger hidden at the top of her boot, and a small recurve bow used for hunting.

She has yet to decide. At the moment, Tessa is merely following orders.

So begins...

Tessa Macerine Anson's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Artemis Eudora Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Alistair Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Arcturus Rome Valein Character Portrait: Sleipnir Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Marie Deron Inautta Character Portrait: Sleipnir Artis Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Rorik Kindleson Character Portrait: Lathan Keyull Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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Routa Belvadear Cain

Routa found himself looking his father up and down, seeking anything that would give away an injury. He couldn't quite see anything on the man but he did find it rather curious that his father had kept his visor up. He knew his father to take the visor off during counsel meetings such as this. He glanced at the other advisers in the room as they began to talk amongst themselves before he turned back to his father. Upon hearing why his father kept his visor on, Routa gave a light nod. What kind of scar did those knights leave on his father's face? Would he go blind? Was it really bad? Damn his worry and curiosity! It wasn't his place to question his father and king here. He would have to squash his worry for another time. And now he was going to disappoint the man to boot.

"Things on the font aren't as good as we hoped, unfortunately. As you ordered, I took my men towards the Eastern border. In the distance I saw one of the Valein knights and their forces massed around the bridge. We tried to hurry, but unfortunately they were able to destroy the bridge before we had the chance to cross. They have effectively defended the pass," Routa answered and grit his teeth. He clenched his fist and didn't look up at his father. He knew there was nothing he could have done but he had to ask himself, what if they had moved faster, stopped less? They might have reached the other side and defeated the army stationed there. But then again, without rest the men would have been too tired to fight. "I am sorry that I have failed you. If we had gotten across, we could have surrounded the army and had a major victory."

He needed to think of other things besides his failure and there was something else his father had mentioned in his message. The young prince shook his head and did look up at his father then. "I got your message about this fabled sword... if it is true that sword could affirm our victory over Valein and prove we have the divine right to lead. But if it isn't true, then we were on a wild goose chase. What if it is a Valein ploy to get us to separate our men?" he asked then. "Do you have an idea of its location and who you are going to send after it? Besides the sword, what plans have I missed at the counsel? I'll do whatever I can to make up for my failure at the Eastern bridge."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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#, as written by slcam
Tessa Anson

Tessa’s breath puffed in the chilly night air. The sun had just fallen, and campfires dotted the small glade just to the side of the mountain pass. The men were tired from battle, and even the reinforcements that had preceded her by only a couple days seemed in need of a good night’s rest. She, and thus Mikael as well, had been sent to evaluate the situation in the pass. Valein troops had barricaded themselves in a somewhat strategic fort, and had been making trouble besides. It had been a couple weeks since Captain Hox had been sent to capture the fort with his men. He requested reinforcements, and, though he received fewer than he asked for, he certainly used them well. The battle was almost done by the time Tessa had arrived to evaluate the situation. That very afternoon, the fort had been set to flame, and the few prisoners were well-guarded in the glade. It was unlikely that Routa would garrison a force here, so it was better to render the fort unusable rather than leave a foothold. Now that the horses had a rest, Tessa was ready to report back to King Bismark. Her presence was no longer necessary here.

She strode over to Hox, who was overlooking the pass. It was a grand view, in these parts. He glanced at her curiously, prompting her to speak, “I will be off, Captain. You can be assured that I will bring a favorable report to the king.” They briefly saluted, and Tess strode to her horse, mounting in one smooth, familiar movement. She rode nearer to Mikael, gently calling his name and possibly interrupting his chat with some random person. She rode off without looking to see if he followed. Even if he had not heard her, she had no doubt he would realize she was leaving eventually. Until then, she did not mind leaving him slightly behind. If nothing else, it could be amusing.

Soon, her squire caught up and they road together through the narrow pass. Though Tess seemed at ease, her eyes never stopped roving, seeking any sign of danger. Their ride was uneventful, however, and they soon reached the plains. Tessa urged her horse into a canter, and they quickly ate up the miles to Augustgrad.

It was about midmorning when they arrived, and Tess headed straight to the command tent. She removed her helmet, holding it on her hip, and wiped strands of hair from her forehead. No matter how tightly she braided her hair, wisps always managed to escape. Though she held the reigns lightly in one hand, she guided her mount between the tents mostly with her knees. The mood of the camp made it rather clear that something interesting had just happened. Spirits seemed to be high. Tess decided to wait to inquire about it, giving her report would come first.

The tents opened up suddenly, allowing for a wide clearing around the command tent where the king currently was. She dismounted, and a young page took the reins of her horse while one of the guards turned and entered the tent to announce her. When she was told to enter, she strode in. Faint surprise sprung over her features as she noticed Prince Routa had returned. That explained the excitement she had noticed. She dropped to one knee before the two, her helmet still clasped against her right side and her left hand loosely resting on the pommel of her sword, pushing down on it slightly so the scabbard would not gouge into the ground behind her. “King Bismark, Prince Routa, I bring news from the Kapea Pass,” she intoned formally, respect evident in her tone. She kept her eyes lowered and waited until acknowledged, before continuing. If told to stand, she would rise to attention, otherwise, she stayed put as she stated, “The reinforcements were effective. Captain Hox had all but dealt with the situation by the time I and my squire arrived. He handled his men well with few casualties, and that fort will no longer pose a threat, my lords.” She patiently awaited further comment or instruction.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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Varil laughed, "No, i'm afraid there is not title of glory for me. I am just Varil. My name holds my title, I prefer my name to hold the power to put fear, and awe in men's hearts, not some add on, or title.", he said, adjusted his grip on his rucksack. Varil had always found it a little over the top that people would add things to their name, to sound stronger, or more impressive. His father had taught him that skill should speak more then a man or his name, and Varil had taken that lesson to heart.

He glanced at his blonde companion as he spoke, waiting for his answer. He smiled again, this man was quite the speaker; he had a way with words that Varil had never seen before, spinning elaborate sentences, and answers, with great buildups, to simple questions and statements. It was amusing to say the least. "It is nice to meet you Laitris. I have met few with a tongue like yours, and I enjoy it greatly", he said as they entered the camp.

"Behold the climatures! Here comes the domain of the mystery king that dons that armor of night. Come Varil Jenaqu let us see what his kingliness needs of our guardian prescence!", Varil smiled for the third time at Laitris's speech. He greatly enjoyed the smaller mans prescience, he had an aura of joy, that was almost childlike; something Varil hadn't come across as much when among other soldiers, or mercenaries. It was refreshing.

As they approached the command tent, Varil sighed ;he hadn't expected to be meeting Cain at any point in this war, and he had not been looking forward to ever be facing the man in person. He glanced one more time at Laitris at his side, and entered the the tent with his companion. "Your majesty. I am Varil Jenaqu, the mercenary you sent for", he said, slightly bowing so he could observe everyone in the room.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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In that short span of time that father and son spent in talking things over, most of the people who had been called started arriving. Knights and mercenaries--their camp had soon turned into a melting pot with people of different walks of life. Bismarck was rather pleased with the sight.

"I must admit, more have come than what I was expecting." He gestures to some of his squires to accommodate the other people in the room. "What you are about to embark on is an expedition that fills your head with doubt, yes? I'm not really surprised as even I have doubts about this. However, what I've seen on that mountain--the way the enemy fought, the internal strife among the Valein Royal Family--it has given me enough cause to believe that this legend exists. If my anecdotes aren't enough--"

Bismarck turns to another squire in waiting and had him bring a scroll containing a report which he laid out on the table for everyone to see. "Reports from our forces stationed near the main barricade tells that there has been a gathering called by the king consisting of nobles controlling a large percentage of the army. In our years of campaign against Valein, this kind of gathering only occurs once in a blue moon. That, and there are stories of a prince's desertion among the townsfolk in our acquired territories. At this point, we could consider the deserter a faction of his own. Both Valein forces and the prince are going to be looking for it. Regardless if the sword is real or not, this expedition will net us results--"

He temporarily pauses to give the people gathered a glance, trying to make eye contact though his aren't really visible due to the visor he had on. "If the sword is real, we take it in the name of Roune and claim victory once and for all. If it isn't, you engage both the Valein expedition and the prince's. What I'm getting at is that this can either be an expeditionary retrieval mission--or an assassination. If the sword isn't real, we would gain an advantage by ambushing their own forces and possibly capturing or killing the prince. Either possibilities would yield us results and deal a blow to the enemy's morale."

Bismarck finished up, presenting the two possibilities they have. He stood up and firmly addressed the gathering. "Now, does anybody still have any questions and doubts?" He hoped that everyone got his point by this time. Time was of the essence and he hoped to get their own forces going as early as possible.

Serena had just departed from the fort where she was detained to gather her things. The warden doesn't seem pleased as shown by the scornful look on his face. Serena wondered why as she would've been released once the heat had died down anyway. Perhaps it is the little joke she made earlier? Whatever the case, her presence obviously bothered him and she left shortly afterwards.

No sooner as she had stepped into the corridor when she heard a loud yelling followed by something striking the wall. Looking on ahead, Serena recognized the form as that of their other prince. That look on his face implies that like her, he wasn't completely in agreement with their mission. She hadn't really talked with any of the king's family members, mainly due to the intimidating and aloof air they carry around. It seemed as if the slightest dissatisfaction would automatically "send her to the gallows". Yes, she was aware that she was thinking that perhaps the boys were spoiled but, almost everyone in the kingdom carries that notion. Nevertheless, she decided she could try approaching him, if they were going to be working together anyway.

"So you find the order unreasonable?" Serena opens up with an obvious rhetoric to catch his attention. "I thought so too. But the way he spoke of it told me that he was dead serious on this quest. Anyway, unlike you, there is nothing I can do to disobey orders from above. Which is why we just have to find some reasoning behind every order we are given."

Serena pauses and takes in some of the cool air before carrying on. "You've done well, if I may say so myself. Which is probably the exact reason why your father would send you. The very fact that he's sparing good forces on this treasure hunt speaks not only of its urgency but also the desperation this kingdom is facing. Don't get me wrong--I still think that all this is unnecessary but--" Serena pauses for a moment before carrying on, hopefully, her audience was still listening.

"Nobody is perfect. Everyone's prone to making mistakes and irrational decisions at the worst of our times. Me, you, your brother--even your father. It's hard times like these that people seem to seek even the tiniest sliver of hope to cling on. Call it blind fanaticism for trusting in the myths of old but, if it would help people get through the day, then--I don't think it's right to deny them that."

At this point, Serena's conviction, which was once a little shaky had started to grow firm. Whatever her doubts, she has to perform her duties. Battlefields aren't the only places where one can prove one's worth, she realizes. And so she continued. "Have faith your Highness. Know that you aren't chosen to be part of this because he thinks you're useless. Rather, it's the other way around. You were chosen because he believes that you're the only one he can entrust this task to. He chose you because he believes that you'll succeed in a task where many others may fail...

He chose you because in his eyes, you're probably the one he believes is worthy enough to be given the task he finds the most important."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Elron Salovy
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Routa Belvadear Cain
Routa offered a nod when his father indicated that he shouldn’t let this failure fall on his shoulders so heavily. What could he have done anyway to prevent the bridge from collapsing? If they had gotten there earlier, they might have gotten on the bridge but then the Valein faction would have finished destroying the bridge with them on it and they would have fallen to their deaths. It was stupid thinking that it was his fault. His shoulders began to droop a little with his relief and his exhaustion for traveling so far without much rest.

When his father mentioned that he wanted him to go on the expedition looking for this fabled sword, Routa’s eyes widened in disbelief. His father would send him off on a wild goose chase? It was one thing for him to hire others and send out some warriors looking for it, but to send him? Right after he said that the loss at the Eastern gate wasn’t his fault? It sure felt like this was some sort of punishment for his failure to take the passage. Why else wouldn’t his father want him on the front lines? Routa was a warrior and a leader of battle if nothing else! Routa took great pride in his ability to fight and lead his soldiers beside his father. This… this request was almost like a slap in the face for the young prince. Did his father care so little about his battle prose that he would send him so far away from the battle? And he was sending him off with mercenaries no less. He found it abashing that he was tossed aside this way. Didn’t he care about his pride and the image Routa was trying to obtain for when he had to lead and his father gone?

At his father’s last statement, Routa looked up at the man and swallowed hard, his hands fisting in his hurt pride. “Father, you just said that heirs are always eager to prove themselves. I am your heir and I want to prove myself to you and these men. How am I to keep in their good grace if I am sent so far away from the battle field? They’ll think me a coward that has turned tail to hide! A true leader should be beside his men in battle, not tucked away somewhere! Why should I be sent to some mountain to chase after this sword? Let me prove my worth to you, to our people, and to our men on the battle field,” he stated then. “I won’t fail you.”

Before Routa could fight for his case, they were interrupted by a variety of people. The tent was quickly beginning to feel crowded with so many bodies. He wasn’t sure he was liking this turn of events. At least Tessa had announced a small measure of good news. They had a little victory to lighten the air considering the other failures and setbacks they had. It was good to know that they could still defeat the Valein army bit by bit. Before he or his father could react to the good news, other two had entered the tent. Routa arched an eyebrow when his gaze settled on the newcomers. One of them looked rather scrawny and gentile almost. The other looked more battle worn as a mercenary should at least. These were two of the men his father wanted to send after the sword? He almost wanted to scoff at them, especially at the fair haired and skinned man. He didn’t look like much of a fighter.

Routa waited patiently as his father spoke to their group before he cleared his throat and rested his hands on his hips, lightly caressing the short swords at his sides in excitement. “I do have doubts and concerns, father. For this company to truly do your will and obtain the sword or capture and kill the young Valein prince, a measure of skill is required. I would wish to test their sword arm to ensure they are worthy of the task. I would not wish for this quest to fail because our men weren’t suited. Should they prove themselves able fighters, I have no qualms about sending them. May I test them now?” he asked his father. “And what of the matter we discussed about this mission before they entered?” he questioned, indicating the conversation of whether or not his father wanted to send him after the sword or not. If his father insisted… he would have to go. Father or no he was still his king but he would wish to stay on the front if given a choice.


Elron Salovy

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Elron followed his charge as the prince headed towards the village. He was happy the young man had listened to his advice on the horse but he was a little sad that Alistair sent him off to do the task of bargaining for the horse alone. He wanted the man to learn how to bargain for the beasts since they were expensive. Ah well. Maybe next time. He adjusted the bag on his back and gave a nod. “All righ’,” he answered Alistair.

Once they reached their destination, Elron smiled and inhaled deeply. He could smell the familiar scent of animals, dirt, sweat, and sewage, but he was used to those smells by now. The enticing scent of freshly baked bread and pastries were far more attention calling. And ooh in the distance he could smell the tantalizing hints of pig being cooked in the mud oven beneath the ground. He could almost see the fat melting now and flaking off on his tongue. His stomach growled in its desire to sample the delicacy but he had to keep his head in the game. Now was not the time for that. He had a task he needed to complete for his prince.

“When we’re done, let’s meet at the inn, je?” he said to confirm. When given the affirmative, Elron headed out deeper into the town searching for a horse breeder. There had to be one around here somewhere. He was sure they had good stocky breeds to since farmers needed their strength to plow the fields. It wasn’t long until he did find a stable with a few horses tethered to their stalls. Elron smiled and walked over to the first horse; a handsome young thing with wide shoulders and strong legs. His coat was a light as the ocean sand.

“Oi, traveler, you lookin’ for something like?” a man just as muscled as the horse called out from the little house connected to the tables. “I ain’t seen yous about ‘ere before.”

Elron pulled away from the horse and gave a small bow to the humble farmer to excuse his behavior of coming so close to the horses. “Hail, my good man. Indeed, I am a traveler. Just came ta town ‘n lookin’ for some good horses. These be your magnificent creatures? I have coin if yer willin’ ta sell.”

The farmer rubbed his chin as he eyed the stranger and the horses. The burly man came closer before he leaned against one of the stalls and crossed his arms, a look of appraisal in his eyes. “How many ya lookin’ ta buy?”

“One or two. How much for a horse?” Elron asked. “I’d also be willin’ ta offer my arm ta aid you while I am in town.”

“These beasts are me bread ‘n butter on the farm. 1000 Jovels each.”

“That’s awfully high for a horse. How ‘bout 1200 Jovels for two horses ‘n I work your farm with you?”

The farmer rubbed his chin debating before and he shook his head. “Not ‘nough for what I’d be losin’, Stranger. Yer one of dem charmin’ gypsies, ain’t ya? You’s got them marks on yer face. 1400 Jovels, work the field with me till ya leave and I git two of yer charms.”

“That’s all fine, but I won’t go over 1300 Jovels,” Elron finalized.

“Fine. You can pick yer horses when you finish payin’ me. Do ya have the money now? How long does it take ya to do yer witchcraft?” The farmer asked then.

“Couple of days. I’ll give you the money and charms at the same time ‘n I’ll start workin’ for you tomorrow, je?”

“Sounds fair.” The farmer reached out then to shake Elron’s hand with a tight grip. “What’s ya name, Stranger?”

“Elron. ‘n yours?”

“Blake. Good doin’ business with ya. I expect ya here ‘morrow mornin’ before the sun rises, ya hear? Yer not here ready to work, no deal.”

“Well ‘n good then, Blake. Much appreciated. What kinda charms you want me ta weave?”

“One to charm the damn foxes to keep ‘way from them chickens ‘n one ta scare them crows.”
“I’ll get on it,” he promised. “See you on the ‘morrow.” After a nod, Elron turned away from the farmer with a small smile and headed to the inn to tell his prince the good news. That had been a rather good deal for two mountain strong horses. In the cities those creatures ran up to 1500 jovels each depending on the breed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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Mikael Honen

After the long ride, Mikael had been grateful to stretch his legs. Horseback was not his favorite mode of travel, and unfolding his lanky form from the horse once they had reached the fort. Everyone looked wearied, and Mikael felt for them. Tessa, however, contrasted them all, striding purposefully, looking a moving statue with her stoic strength. He sought after another squire to attend to their horses so they could have a drink and cool down for a bit before it was time to ride again. He meant to stay near the horses, but as time wore on, he found himself distracted by talking to everyone that was in his line of sight about anything that popped into his head. The men he talked to looked exhausted, but most were willing to indulge him and talk for a bit.

When Tessa called to him, he was talking to a younger man, well, arguing goodnaturedly with the man, about the best way to take on an opponent whose weapon out-ranged ones own. He didn't notice that she'd called him until the other man grinned and looked up, nodding towards her receding back. "Your knight's leaving you, boy."

Mikael immediately looked around and laughed. That's usually how things went, and he couldn't say he didn't enjoy the banter-like qualities of their relationship. "Hey, don't call me boy, I'll bet you an acre of apple trees that I'm older than you, boy." He said in mock anger as he hurried back over to his horse, made sure she was alright, tightened the saddle a touch, and mounted. He spurred her into a canter and hurried off with a sheepish grin back at the man he'd been talking to.

The ride was uneventful, and Mikael knew that as much as he liked to talk, sometimes he needed to stay quiet, mostly when Tessa was concentrating. But thankfully, and the squire liked to think that it had to do exclusively with his knight's watchfulness, no trouble ran into them on their way to the King's camp.

Within the camp, Tessa seemed relaxed enough, so Mikael relaxed as well, watching her guide her horse easily through the camp. He had no such luck. His horse, seeing the camp, knew it was high time she had a rest, and pawed the ground, unwilling to take another step with him on her back. Mikael sighed and watched as Tessa headed off to report their findings in the outpost, and dismounted to follow. He managed to find the page boy who had taken her horse and followed him with his own horse. The page boy seemed very excited, he was all grins and chatter, and though Mikael was feeling a bit exhausted himself, he returned in kind as he ran a curry brush over Tessa's horse to loosen the marks of the journey they'd just taken. The boy mostly chattered about how excited he was to become a squire once he came of age, and Mikael grinned and told him how great it was. Though he knew that the boy was on another path. If he didn't die before he was able, someday he'd most likely become a knight. Mikael knew that wasn't an option for him, he would be Tessa's squire until the day he died, and he had no problems with it.

Of course, he hoped the King would let them have a bit of a rest before he sent them out again, because Mikael could feel exhaustion lingering close for him, and he longed to have enough of a break where he could have a proper rest, instead of just having enough time to make sure everything was in order before setting out again.

Cassian Valein Courtsmen
The fair lady knight approached him, and Cassian fixed her with his cold blue gaze, a scowl obvious on his face. He had no problem letting the woman know exactly what he thought of her and this mission. As she began to speak, he folded his arms, leaning against the wall and looking down at the knight. He studied her face as she spoke, his eyes calculating. So this was the knight his father wanted to send with him on the mission. Well, at least she seemed loyal. And she'd proven herself before, so she did have some strength. He'd never spoken directly to her before, so he knew little of her personality, though.

After she finished her little speech, which he paid little attention to, as he'd already resigned himself to the fact that he was being sent away. Perhaps some distance on the situation would prove fruitful. At least the goose chase would be better than sitting around. And, well, if things didn't seem too interesting, he could always just leave. It wasn't like this little knight could stop him.

"I hope," he said, his voice more calm now, settling back into his usual lazy purr, "you don't consider yourself my keeper, Knight, because I can handle myself perfectly well on my own." He turned his back on her and let out an annoyed sigh. "I plan to leave before sundown, if you aren't in the stables when I am, I'm leaving without you." He flicked a hand apathetically back in her direction. If he had to do this, he would do it on his own terms, he would not let anyone else tell him how to feel about this fool's errand.

Then he strode away, his chin up and a scowl pasted on his face, to gather his things, find dress more appropriate for the situation, select his weapons, and ultimately head down to the stables to decide which of his horses he wanted to ride.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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The meeting was erupting into quite a rabble with those in opposition and those in agreement arguing over the plan. Bismarck felt the stress bearing down on him. There was still a war to be fought and with each passing minute, other parties draw even closer to the point that even their secondary mission should the sword turn out to be mere fiction might be compromised.

"Seize your bickering at once!" The chatter died down as Bismarck tries calming himself after that outburst. "The force will consist of our other recruits from the conquered lands. The main force poised to attack the capital will move forward while you search. You will lead this expedition, no questions asked, while I deal with the main force." Bismarck remarked in a stern voice all the while pointing to the young prince. He was glad that his son had inherited the same will as he did though stubbornness interferes with plans. There is no point in arguing. He will not waste time thinking of things to say in this meeting when he could use it to find a way to scale the wall.

“I do have doubts and concerns, father. For this company to truly do your will and obtain the sword or capture and kill the young Valein prince, a measure of skill is required. I would wish to test their sword arm to ensure they are worthy of the task. I would not wish for this quest to fail because our men weren’t suited. Should they prove themselves able fighters, I have no qualms about sending them. May I test them now?”

"Then do that if it clears your doubts but the more time you spend on testing, the more time that could've been used to catch up to all other forces searching for it are wasted! Take all those willing to go! The quest itself will sort out who are worthy and who are not!" And with those last words, Bismarck turns away to leave the company, heading back to his quarters. Inside, he contemplated on the state of affairs.

"These last few months on the battlefield is starting to cloud my vision..." He takes off his helm and gazes at the mark near his eye where the arrow grazed him. The Mark of the Witch, as he called it, remembering the woman who shot the arrow. "No, I do not believe it is mere madness that they would defend that treacherous pass. Something lies there that's for sure."

After that attempt, Serena watched as the heir simply brushed aside everything, responding in a much calmer but more condescending tone than before. She watched him storm off, leaving a few instructions along with it.

"You wouldn't exactly make the list of a hundred people I'll consider tagging along with on a journey that may determine the rise or fall of this kingdom..." She muttered under her breath and went on her way, heading back to her quarters to prepare. There was a letter inside, addressed to her. She found it odd but upon learning that it was from Vartanil, her brother, she decided to give it a read.

"I heard you were to depart on a quest for the fabled sword. A fair bit of warning...from what I can gather, the sword is evil and cunning. People have went mad searching for it. However, I also realize that even this warning will not dissuade you from pursuing it. You are still young after all. So I suggest going on alone. Go through the path through the silent forest. Inside, everything will seem to stay still and time will seem to slow down but do not think about these things. A witch supposedly lives in there and although I do not know if it is true or not, the stories and rumors will hopefully dishearten those who'll try to follow you. Go. Leave before sundown."

Upon reading the letter, Serena sighed. It would be hard to sneak out as the prince said that he'll be expecting her. She could delay herself but Vartanil clearly stated that she'll have to leave before sundown. She mulled things over as she took a quick bath to wash away the scent of blood and the battlefield off of her. Beasts are alert to certain scents in the forest and she wasn't one to take chances.

She readied her weapons. Her bow and arrows are obviously coming along. She had doubts about her zweihander so she decided to take a lighter arming sword she can wield with one hand instead, also forged by her younger brothers. She took nothing else aside from some rations and headed to the stables, arriving before the other soldiers did. As she was mounting her horse, a squire noticed her and asked.

"Departing now, my lady? Aren't you supposed to be an escort for his Majesty?" Just then, an idea entered her mind upon hearing the squires question.

"Yes. But the high inquisitor had ordered me to ride ahead and clear the path for any dangers that might lie ahead. Listen...could you please tell his Highness that the Knight Serena R. Everild had gone on ahead at the request of the inquisitor?"

"Of course my lady."

"Thank you." And with that, Serena rode off before the squire could realize that she hadn't made any mention of the path she'll have be taking. She felt a little bad that she broke protocol and may be seen as a deserter but surely she could change their mind as she returns, sword in hand? Despite her doubts though, she pressed on until she reached the mouth of the forest.

"I'll be lying if I say I'm not scared..." She chuckled nervously as she alighted to inspect the pathway. Suddenly, a cold wind blew past her, chilling her spine and disturbing her horse. The animal seemed to have been shaken up and was trying to get away. As much as Serena tried calming it down, she soon lost grip on the reigns and her horse ran off, leaving her all alone. Defeated, she sank to the ground and saw the small bag she placed her rations in, apparently dropped by the frightened animal.

"Thanks a lot..." She sighed as she realized she'll have to proceed on foot. Mustering all her courage, she headed inside, keeping a hand on her sword lest she gets caught off-guard. She expected beasts or even mercenaries to jump out any second but as the name implied, all was still and quiet. No sound can be heard. An hour of walking passed without incident.

"Perhaps I'm the only living creature in these woods right now..." She glanced at the sky. The sun's light was still strong though even the brightness only emphasized the feeling of isolation inside. Suddenly...

"Good day, traveller! Can I help you?"

A voice. Serena turned around and pinpointed the direction it came from. Drawing her sword, she ran towards it, a little relieved that another human was here but wary of her at the same time. The voice sounded young and feminine so maybe...Was it the rumored witch herself? As she drew near, she was able to make out a young woman calling out to the woods. She seemed harmless enough and Serena sheathed her sword again so she doesn't intimidate her.

"Who are you calling to out there?" She called out as she approached the girl. "Do here by any chance?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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Varil took in every detail as he listened to Cain. If the King, the man who was sending them on this quest, held doubts like any other man about the legends, Varil wondered if the king only half heartedly wanted to send men away. After all, if the war was going well, and the Valeins kept retreating, the more sound strategy would be to keep the hitting their enemy with strong blows; but then again, Varil thought crossing his arms, Cain was king and he wasn't.

At the mention news of Valeins missing prince, Vairl raised his eyebrow's in surprise. He knew full well he wasn't a field commander or heavy strategist, but if the opposing royal family was falling apart, that could prove to be an extremely valuable variable in the large equation of this war. Varil raised his chin, and allowed a smile to stretch across his face. But as soon as it appeared, it disappeared as the prince spoke. Measure of skill, he had, plenty of it in fact. He looked over at Liatris, as the prince referred to each of them respectively, sure the blonde haired male was small, and not like most of the other men around camp, but that didn't mean that he was useless.

Slowly a hand unraveled itself from Varils chest and reached back to scratch his head, straying close to the hilf of Fairblood, while the other hand drifted down near his belt, by Gatharin; if the prince wanted a test, he would have one. Respectfully nodding as Cain left, he turned to Liatris, though he remained aware of the young prince on the room. He was eager to prove himself to his father, and who just so happened to be the king; overall, not the easiest desireable outcome. "Well, my silver tonged friend, I am always up for a hike. A little exercise never hurt anyone", he said with a wide smile, "Though to be honest, I would rather far away from both Cain, and his boy", he added in a lower voice. Varil didn't like to fully align himself with either side, he felt it made connections. Connections he would rather not face in his job at any point in the future; plus the idea of kneeling before a man, without personally respecting him felt wrong to Varil.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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Routa Belvadear Cain
At hearing his father's words, Routa quickly stiffened his back. He had already been standing quite straight so tensing himself farther was doing him nothing but making his muscles ache. He could already feel a knot forming in his shoulder but he made no indication of his bodily discomfort. He was far too absorbed in his father's harsh words towards him. His hand tightened on the helm under his arm till his knuckles were white. His face was impassive but his eyes... his eyes were as sharp and cool as ice. A storm was brewing in those eyes. It was obvious his father didn't care for his council or for his preference in this fight.

He was royally pissed off at his father. Here he was trying to show the man that he wanted to lead to lead his men into battle and his father had completely shut him down as if it meant nothing! He wasn't a lowly servant or wayward brat! Why did his father want to send him away? Was he not worthy? What if he died on the road? His father would have no heir left to the throne. Mother couldn't bear any other children. Was his words worth so little that his father could risk him so far away into an enemy's territory as he traced down a fabled sword? It could be a fake! He would have lost so much time and energy for this! He wanted to be on the front lines. That was his place and where he felt most capable to make a difference! Not on the sidelines!

Routa noted his father's discomfort and quickly located the scar near the man's eye. So an arrow had grazed his face. Normally he would have softened at the sight and he would have inquired more of his father's health and ask if he required anything, but right now, his heart was too angry. Besides, if he said anything, he'd bring everyone's attention to the injury and he didn't want his father to appear weak though the man had made him look like an incompetent brat. At least in his view of the whole situation. He couldn't believe his father was giving him such a cold shoulder! Didn't the man trust his arm on the front lines? Why didn't he trust his judgement with these men either? He even backhanded his suggestion about testing them. Didn't he want to send people out there that he could trust to do this? Why hire hands that he didn't know anything about? Fine. If his father wanted to pull his authority card, Routa would let him. He wasn't going to pretend he was happy about it.

"Fine," he answered his father thin lipped. "I'll go after this fabled weapon."

He turned to his knight and the two mercenaries before them. "Liatris and Varil, was it?" he asked as he sized them both up. "It appears that our task is quite urgent. As my father said, let's have this little quest prove who is worthy and who is not. The two of you will go hunting for this legendary sword together. Take the main roads. Tessa, you and your squire will come with me. We'll take the back trails, see what we can find," he ordered. That would keep them a little closer to the borders and nearer the mountain. If this sword was in the mountain, he wanted to find it first and bring it to his father. He didn't want Varil or Liatris to find it first. He trusted Tessa over these mercenaries. A mercenary's loyalty could easily be bought and he wasn't about to let them cut his throat in his sleep. Tessa had been a knight of Roune since she was young and had always fought valiantly and proudly, many times beside him. He still wanted to test these fools sword arms, but it appeared his father would rather have them gone and since he wasn't resting for the night after his long trek back to the campsite, it was better to retain what strength he had left. See? He could be stubborn to. He didn't want to spend another moment in the campsite.

He looked back at his father and sighed inwardly. "Good night, Father," he answered him before he headed out of the tent and motioned Tessa with him. "Go to the horses and wait for me with Mikael. I'll go get us supplies," he announced to Tessa.

He immediately walked to his second in command who was sitting by a fire enjoying a much needed hot meal. He patted his shoulder and squeezed it in a brotherly gesture. "Haren, my father has sent me out with a scouting party to look for that damnable sword of Valein legends. I am going to need you to be my eyes and ears on the battlefield. Keep the mens' moral high for me and make sure my father doesn't hurt himself."

"He's sending you out? Now? You haven't even rested! What about your army?" the man asked a bit surprised.

"Well, you'll be leading it, my brother. Stay safe as much as you can. I don't want to return and find you dead," he said firmly. "And I am leaving now of my own volition. I'll do something stupid if I don't leave now."

"You are doing something stupid by leaving without rest," the soldier counted.

"I'll be fine. Tessa is going with me. We'll rest once we are on the road. Do I have your word about you leading the army in my absence?"

"Yes, my lord. I'll do anything for you," the man nodded. Routa smiled warmly and the two clasped hands and bumped shoulders briefly before Routa got to his feet and stole the man's dinner with a wink. "Go get yourself another helping. I don't think you had your fill," he grinned and started to munch away on the roasted meat he had taken.

"Bye, Routa. Stay safe. I don't want to hear about you going full cocked into a battle and run into a spear," he grinned right back.

Routa just laughed before he waved as he moved away from Haren. He grabbed provisions for himself, Tessa, and Mikael before he returned to the horses and saw Tessa and Mikael. He turned his attention to Tessa and Mikael then. "You two ready to go?" he asked and pulled himself up on his trusty steed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson
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The fiery filly and warrior of bones tis hardly the kind of company I would keep near me Bluey,” the blonde haired male addressed his companion. But what kind of great assassin would he be if he had not worked with members of royalty? Such 'noble' and 'honourable' mentions and 'legendary' references, who would not want that? Liatris did not seek the bubble reputation nor the golden metals that make a man's eyes sharpen at the clink of it. There was something much greater than both of these combined, fun-also to him, royals always seemed so stiff, having to follow sets of rules and such and if a servant did not do as one 'mighty' lady or one 'mighty' man might order, they would be set to flames on a trail where, 'looking back' happened every second of the day, it was not his style. He liked to keep looking forward.

The prince had turned to speak to them. And what an honour- although from the looks of it he did not look too eager. The blonde male flashed a toothy smile at the mention of his name. The announcement from this guy was music to his ears in comparison to what he had wanted earlier. Tests? How revolting.

Liatris was quite satisfied with this verdict. No silly test of loyalty, no silly test of courage and no silly needless sparring. For a moment he thought his hands would get clammy.“It seems Bluey we are now real comrades at arms as I have predicted,” he hummed. “How exhilarating! A tale will now be set, stories of you and I shall find their ways through the thousands of seas and across the starry desert lands of our worlds and find a mighty sword that will go along with their destined handler or heroes!

He sped his way to the tent with a bouncy step. He stopped right before leaving the tent to wait for his new 'partner'. “Come now, Mercenary-Bluey-Hundred-Wyvern-Mountain-Cutter-Varil! We ride now 'lest we waste our virgin time loitering about like buck on an overgrown lump on land!” He exclaimed with gusto. The soldiers guarding the tent entrance turned their heads a little before turning back. Sadly they did not appreciate his energy-how sad.

The thought came to him suddenly. If only he had a horse.

Yes, this start of the journey was missing a horse. The male did not know how to ride a horse-it was never an option for him since he liked making as little noise as possible when splattering someone's brains. He was also more of a ' along the way traveller' with hardly any 'clink-clink' coins. Those were hardly important things to note- it was also missing giant rats. In stories the heroes always fought giant rats in the beginning. Every great adventure started with fighting giant rats, in a basement or storage room.

Not to mention, rat's blood made for an excellent 'ingredient'; he would never say that out loud. “Do you think there will be giant rats along the way? I suddenly desire for those fuzzy loveable hateful vermins,” Liatris placed a finger on his chin thoughtfully.