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The King Sword

Kingdom of Loeir


a part of The King Sword, by FaddedFox.


FaddedFox holds sovereignty over Kingdom of Loeir, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Kingdom of Loeir is a part of The King Sword.

18 Characters Here

Bismarck Cain [19] "Greed? Exactly. Kings must be greedier than anybody else. In this way, everyone can aspire to be him and surpass him."
Serena Rose Everild [19] "None of us can run away from what is about to occur now."
Varil Jenaqu [16] "Maybe things will change, and people will see each other in a diffident light. But until then, its nothing personal"
Liatris [15] "Revel in the glory of your draconian hero and barbaric savior...wait a minute.."
Routa Belvadear Cain [15] "The weak can protect nothing. It is the strong that raise a hand to both raze and protect the meek."
Cassian Valein Courtsmen [14] "The only way to win is to crush the enemy to dust."
Arcturus Rome Valein [13] "Your lack of action and naive idealism have all led to this. You merely watched as Roune stole everything. And now you blame it all on me. If I am to be made a martyr for our cause--THEN SO BE IT!!!"
Percivale Silvester [13] "Sure, I'll try and get that sword for you- For a fee, of course."
Marthe Artemis Finnley [12] I'll heal your wounds and sooth your soul.
Tessa Macerine Anson [10] 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.

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7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elron Salovy Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Alistair Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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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.

4 Characters Present

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

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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It was not the first time that someone had commented on his unique tongue. There were two kinds of people that he had met on his travels that have commented on his speech: there were the ones that would say something nice; then they would proceed to avoid him like a lunatic plague, and then there were the ones that were quite fond of his 'differences' and would become patrons to his secret missions or just someone who enjoyed his stories. The blonde younger male believed his new acquaintance would be the one to enjoy his stories. But now was not the good time to be focusing on such matters as the king himself was speaking to all the gathered mercenaries.

Going on a mystic quest to find the legendary sword that no one had seen for a puzzling amount of time seemed quite romantic. It was like those tales that he would tell or his other acquaintances would tell about brave heroes who, on the world's brink of destruction would save the world by gathering a secret weapon never known to mankind-the process would involve a sparkling friendship, a deadly rivalry and some sweet character development. He loved those stories and told many himself-though he had never been in one of those high scale journeys himself. It was never in his job description but the young blonde was giddy with excitement, oh the tales he could spin, if his groupie were to delve into the depths of a cavern of trials filled to the brim with dangerous hungry beasts and sitting at the back would be the legendary sword. Killing a lone prince was certainly part of his job description, though it was the much lesser priority in his mind-near the bottom in fact. The king finished his speech.

Amongst all the people that had gathered he noticed a red head closest to the king. In fact it was difficult not to notice him as he stood out from the rag tag bunch of sweaty armor and worn leather. He glittered. Liatris had never seen the prince of Roune before, which was hardly surprising. He was just a mere assassin-not that he was incompetent-it was probably just by pure fate that he would never meet a member of the ruling family until now. At one point he had worked for a nobleman of the court although, under no name and a disguise to hide himself from his client. Even though he had traversed through the halls of royalty he had never seen one during his missions.

The prince seemed displeased with their rag tag group. He did not trust them with the sword or killing the prince of Valein.

A test of power was hardly what Liatris wanted to do. It was like showing his cards to the random gamblers in the den, then they know what an individual needs. Of course one of the most terrible scenarios pop up as he was having a brief joyous moment about the sword. Testing a sword hand would mean no killing, no killing meant there was no quick win, no quick win meant that he would be drawn into a long disgusting fight, the male hated sweating for useless reasons. If these men were fated to die finding the sword or killing the prince, then so be it. Was a test necessary?

Liatris sighed at the thought, allowing a face of disgust to cross his features awaiting for the next moment for details.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marie Deron Inautta Character Portrait: Arcturus Rome Valein
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ImageMarie Daron Inautta
After Marie finished sorting through her treasures, deciding which ones to keep and which ones to sell, she stood up and stretched. Her stomach growled, and she patted her belly, "Shush now, we'll get food soon. Now then, where is the nearest town?", she asked taping her chin thoughtfully. She perked up, and cocked her ear, seemingly listening to something. Marie then smiled, clapping her hands together, "Yes that's right! There is a town not far from here, oh Charlotte, what would I do with out you?", she exclaimed pulling her weapon off her hip, and hugged it tightly; she then returned it to her hip, and set off in the direction of the town.

Marie bit into the beef leg, and moaned in bliss as the warm juices exploded in her mouth. She chewed, and swallowed slowly, enjoying the flavor, and the heat. It had been a while since she last had a hot meal, and she was determined to let this meal last. She had traded three rings, and two necklaces for one beef leg, a quarter of a cheese wheel, and half of a loaf of bread; the man she had bought them from hadn't asked how she had obtained the jewelry, and she liked it. It made selling her wares so much harder when people asked how she had obtained her many trinkets. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a group of Valein soldiers; for some reason she became interested, and began to tail the small group.

Finishing her beef leg, Marie threw it away, and increased her speed. She drew up, silently, behind the first soldier, and quickly pick pocketed the man, successfully gaining his coin purse, and a key ring. Silently putting her new items away, she slowed her pace, allowing the small troop to gain more distance from her. Marie followed them to a small stone hut near the end of town, and watched them all disappear into it; she quickly dashed to the forests edge, and waited among the bushes. When the soldiers left the building Marie silently shot out of her hiding place and caught the door, slipping inside like a ghost.

There wasn't much in the hut, an old closet, a used, rotting bed, but what caught Marie's eye, was the large chest sitting on the far side of the room. She smiled widely, and rubbed her hands together greedily; the stupid soldiers hadn't even thought to put their treasures in a more secure place. Throwing caution to the wind, she jogged over to the chest, and wasted no time in picking the lock; her eyes widened as she took in its contents. The chest was filled with silver, and gold jewelry, bright gemstones that twinkled and shimmered in the dim light, and even a few statues. Marie squealed in delight, and began to ravenously fill her pockets again, "Charlotte look at all the beautiful treasures those lovely men left for us!", she exclaimed holding a silver tiara up to the light, and gazing at it in wonder, then the world went dark.

Marie woke up slowly, on the back of a horse. She blinked groggily, and watched the ground pass beneath her, before glancing up at her surroundings. The setting sun glinted painfully, off her captors armor, so she turned her head to analyze the rest of her surroundings. The men riding at her captors sides were wearing armor as well, Wait, that's Valein knight armor!, she realized with a start. Beginning to panic, she tried to pull her arms up so she could push herself off of the horse, only to find that they were tightly bound behind her, and what was worse still, her feet were bound as well, and Charlotte was missing.

Marie felt her heart start to beat faster, what cruel things had these men done with Charlotte? She tried to scream out for her trusted companion, becoming aware of the gag in her mouth. Unable to control herself any longer, she began to twist and writhe on the back of the horse, moaning, and screaming into her gag. "Looks like the thief is awake", one of the knights commented, chuckling at Marie's feeble attempts to free herself. "So she is? Reico, double check if she is the one, we don't want to bring in the wrong girl again. That mistake was embarrassing enough", said the man on the same horse Marie was on. A third knight pulled out a scroll, and began to check things off of it, "Black hair, check. Black clothes, check. Black hat, check. and most importantly different colored eyes, check. Yep, this has to be her". Marie's eyes darted frantically from one man to the next, searching for Charlotte, or any means of escape while she tried to pull her hands out of her bonds. The knight sitting on the horse that carried Marie rolled his eyes and sighed, "Someone knock her out before she spooks the horse, I would rather I get back to the king without an injury caused by this crazy woman". Marie looked wide eyed at the man, and moaned loudly into her gag before the world went black again.

Marie woke up a second time, her head pounded loudly, drowning out any other sound that might have been made. Sitting up slowly, the world spinning softly as she did so, she looked around her self again; instead of the back of a horse this time, she was in a prison cell, probably residing in some dungeon. Examining her person, she realized she was only wearing a shirt, and trousers, while the rest of her gear sat on a table outside the cell, Charlotte hanging the wall above her hat. She drunkenly reached out for Charlotte, but her arms fell short as the chains holding them became taught. Examining them groggily, she sighed, at her state it might take as long as thirty minuets to pick the lock, and then there was the predicament of she had no tools with her. "Damn. Curse my need to posses objects of value", she said quietly, looking around for anything she could use as a lock pick.

The knight approached the main hall, his holding his helmet comfortably at his side. He waited for the great doors to open, and then strode proudly up to the throne, stopping just short, and kneeling in front of his king. "Sire, the thief woman you requested had been captured and awaits you in the dungeon", he announced proudly, still kneeling.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rorik Kindleson Character Portrait: Lathan Keyull
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#, as written by slcam

Lathan’s heart jumped and his breath caught in his chest as the man neared. He scrambled back only a hand span before the blade was at his throat. He wondered if this would be the end of him. It was rather ironic. The first outing he had been confident enough to take on his own, full of certainty that he would be able to do something important to the world, and he had not even made it a day. The best he could hope for is that someday, his bones would be found sitting in the forest, and someone would be idly curious as to how he met his end among the scattered remains of his life’s work. His poor books lay rumpled in the dirt now, and he winced as a bandits trod on one.

Before the blade could fall, however, a confident voice rung out in the forest. At once, everyone’s attention was drawn to the unexpected archer, including Lathan’s. Lathan wondered if this was another of the bandits. He realized the bow was pointed, not at him, but at the burly men surrounding him. Just a moment before, he had not even hoped for any salvation whatsoever, and suddenly an archer pops from the forest. Lathan gasped in a breath for the first time in what seemed to be ages. The bandit who had been about to cut his throat backed off and was grumbling at the archer, muttering insults that made Lathan’s skin crawl. Still, the archer posed an intimidating figure. He watched as the standoff built in tension, while the leader and the archer sized each other up. Lathan did not dare to move more than his eyes for fear it would somehow bring down calamity.

Yet, the moment passed suddenly as the leader sheathed his knife and the dark-clad men melded into the forest. Lathan felt relief until he realized they also took all his newly bought gear and food. There was a sinking feeling in his gut until his eyes dropped to the books scattered about. He scrambled forward, not really registering the approach of the man, until his fingers gingerly fumbled at the closest book which lay face-down in the dirt. He turned it over, almost afraid of what he would see, but the worst of the damage was a definite tear to a couple pages near the binding, some liberal wrinkling, and a liberal coating of dirt. It was then that he noticed the archer had almost reached his side. He gave a small start, but smiled, though it was more an embarrassed crook of his lips. The burly man offered him a hand, and, misunderstanding the meaning, Lathan scrambled to his feet, almost tripping over himself. He grabbed the man’s hand but Lathan’s handshake felt more like a dead, dirt-covered fish. “Oh, yes! I do believe I am quite alright, and all thanks to your appearance it seems. Lathan Keyull. Very pleased to make your acquaintance indeed, good sir.” He dropped his hand quickly. His eyes then darted back to the slew of books still scattered around the small area. There was a bag or two otherwise, but all else was gone.

The archer asked what he was doing out in the woods, further inquiring after the books in a manner far from genteel. Lathan had already begun going around, collecting his books, handling them and dusting them off with much more care than he had afforded himself. “Well, you see…” he paused, grabbing one of the more trampled tomes and sighing as several pages slipped loose from the binding, “I am actually on a journey related to some research I have been conducting. Fairly technical, no need to fret about it.” His attention never flickered from the books he picked up. After a moment, he moved on, the pile in his arms steadily growing.

“At least they seem to have left most of the important ones. Oh, dear me, wherever could….” His face froze in fear a moment and he began scrambling about, flipping books like mad. He came across a red-bound manuscript, tattered more with its age than its recent abuse. He sank to his knees, picking up the old manuscript as respectfully. Lathan sighed his relief, stoking the vestiges of dirt from the thick leather bindings. He spoke again with a reflective tone, “At least with this, I can get along. It’s funny, they seemed to be seeking objects of value, yet left this behind. It is worth at least a comfortable villa in the highest circle of the Capital, I would say.” He inspected it and added it to the rest of the books. After just a moment, he had gathered the rest and strode to the bags. The first was empty, but for a length of twine and his flint. He carefully placed the books inside and pulled the drawstring closed. He peeked in the second, letting out a sound of delight as he saw his instrument. He set it beside the books. The archer asked his next question and Lathan cocked his head to one side as he thought.

“I suppose I am heading about northwest, but more west than north for now.” He looked up, finding the sun nearing dangerously close to the horizon. He glanced around, a new urgency in his mood, and spotted what he was looking for near the roots of an elm. He darted over and unrumpled the paper of his map. A large, thin section of the bottom had been torn away, but it was otherwise readable. Lathan continued smoothing it out as he approached the burly man. His eyes searched over the recorded woods, cities, plains, and mountains until he found his path. He angled his body so that the bowman could better see the contents of the map. The wide parchment stubbornly flopped down, hiding his hand and baffling his efforts. He fiddled with it for an aggravating moment before finally squatting. “Here, this will do for now.” He smoothed the paper over the uneven ground, looking comically like a little boy playing explorer.

“Obviously no tables in a place such as this, so--” This time, he showed the path he was taking, pointing out the westerly trail he had attempted to use before getting hopelessly lost. “You see, I set out from Anthalon just this morning, heading toward the Shie River in the north. I was attempting to take this shortcut through the woods. No need to fear though, I think I just lost it not too far back. If you can show me back to the path, I am sure I will have no trouble reaching the main road. No need to go all the way out of your way. After all, I am headed to Thein, more than two day’s journey hence, and then up toward Despi mountain.” He considered the map for a while longer, a content look on his face, before a look of doubt crossed his features. “Do you know where the path is from here? It should not be too far. And pardon my rudeness; I did not happen to catch your name. You aren’t lost too, are you?” He laughed nervously.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elron Salovy Character Portrait: Iota
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Image"Though far from gallant, on he rode."

"A boy who dreamt of honor and glory."

"Great was his heart and greater his spirit."

"But, alas his body was worn and old..."

A deep sense of serenity and quiet fell over the tavern, save for the phlegm-induced spit take in the background. The silence was disrupted by the laugh and cheers of the tavern's inhabitants. Whether they were residents or passer-byers, drunk or sober, every soul in the tavern had stopped what they were doing to listen in on the young man's song. Iota opened his eyes, once the first 'clang' rang out in his ears, followed by many more. He eyed the small bucket that laid before him as slivers of copper and silver began pouring in from various directions. He couldn't help but revel in the luck he was having today. This really was the best tavern in town to score off of the local drunks. He would have to give that urchin boy an added tip for the information he had sold him. Then again, he was lucky enough to have gotten anything at all, after his unsuccessful pickpocketing attempt.

After everyone had more or less lost interest in Iota and returned to whatever they were doing prior, he took this opportunity to count his earnings. Setting down his lute, he rushed over to the bucket before some unsavory fellow decided to snatch it up. While not exactly brimming at the seams, the bucket gave a generous jingle as it was lifted up.
"22 silver coins sand 47 copper! At this rate, I might have a buy a round for the whole house." To this, a couple of nearby patrons lifted their brows to Iota. Crooked, toothy grins cascaded under their dirty beards. As Iota pondered whether he should try doubling his earnings, a sudden itch in his throat caused him to cough, implying that his throat was dry. 'My, my. It looks like I'll have to wet my whistle before I can perform again.' Content with himself, Iota made his way over to the barkeep. He moved with the radiance and grace of a prince, catching a disgruntled gaze or two as he passed by the other patrons.

"Good day, my good bar keep! One mug of your finest ale!" Iota chirped, taking a seat at the bar and placing his bucket-sized wallet onto it. A portly man in his mid-30's scowled at Iota, looking noticeably unimpressed as his gaze went from him to the bucket.

"Tha'll be forty two silver, lad. Not that a pup like you could stomach it." After this, the man let out a hearty chuckle before returning to his initial scowl. "Well? Ya got the money er not, boy?"

Iota was perplexed. While he did have the funds to cover it with todays fees, this purchase would leave Iota practically broke. With a drawn out sigh, Iota took five silver coins out of his bucket and gently placed them onto the bar. "Aye... I'll just have what everyone else is having, then."

After slapping a gargantuan hand onto the coins and sliding them into his apron pocket, the large man took no time at all to prepare Iota's drink. The barkeep then proceeded to slam the mug on bar desk dripping a fair portion of it onto the bar itself and his hand. "Try not to puke after the first sip, pup." The burly man quipped, before stumbling off to tend to his other patrons.

Not even bothering to recognize the bar keeps rude behavior, Iota began playing a few tunes in his head as he lost himself in his drink. He was struggling to decide whether he wanted to write about the one armed juggler he met in Heist or the miner who swore he could spotted a dragon in the Grotian mines and even spoke with it. Ultimately deciding that the juggler seemed the much more interesting of the two to write about, Iota woke up from his trance, only to find that he already went through most of his drink. "That's no good... I should go chat with some of the locals to make this last longer~" With a childish grin spread across his face, Iota began walking over towards one of the tables. As soon as he came within eight feet, he was immediately greeted with unwelcoming grimaces and malicious stares. It was obvious that the brutish characters who mostly inhabited the bar didn't quite care for his company.

Well if the confrontational approach wouldn't work, then Iota knew what would. Once again taking a seat at his bar stool by the fireplace, he grabbed his lute and began spinning another tune. This time, it was about widow who's husband was buried under an orchard tree that never bore fruit, year round. The next time she returned to his grave, the tree was bustling with ripe orbs of mouth-watering sweetness. While this didn't bring about as much commotion as his previous song, he received a few bouts of applause from the friendlier looking fellows along with a silver coin and several pieces of copper. While he didn't quite get the response he was looking for, Iota could now at least tell who would be more willing to chat with him.

Making his way over to a pair of young folk, who looked to be no older than twenty, Iota walked up to them with his trademark smile. Luckily, they seemed to be a little more accepting of his company. After only a few minutes he got to know both of the young men quite well. Joan and Parkiff were their names and both of them were soldier trainees, training to become guardsmen. Shortly after their conversation about what kind of women they were into, Iota's attention was grasped by a hooded figure who had made his way into the tavern. "He's quite the handsome one, now isn't he?" Iota commented, receiving a couple of bewildered looks from the trainees as he pointed to the newcomer.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rorik Kindleson Character Portrait: Lathan Keyull
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Rorik Kindleson
Rorik stared at the boy with his mouth slightly open, giving him a bemused expression. He was chattering about, and had shaken his hand with his own clammy fingers when he offered him a hand, stumbling about like a top heavy elk. He fumbled around for his books as if they were his lifeblood scattered across the forest floor, carefully handling him. He was obviously from the city by his talk, overly formal and not musical at all. Good sir? He couldn't remember the last time someone had called him sir. He raked his beard as the lad babbled on about his books, not making much sense at all. Maybe those bandits had dropped him on his head. He should be worrying about the fact that he now had no food, his horse was gone, and with night threatening them, he was stuck in the forest. But here he was, talking about a villa? Rorik rubbed his face. This mite had definitely never been out in the woods before for any prolonged amount of time, to be worrying about books for any other reason than using them for kindling.

The burly male didn't show much interest in what Lathan had to say until he pulled out the map, and then proceeded to flop it around everywhere before managing to tame it against the ground. He knelt down beside it to examine the handiwork, and let out a tch. Other than the fact that the map had been ripped, it did a poor job of detailing the paths through the forest, but he supposed it was a city map for a city lad. When he requested to just be shown back to the path he'd apparently lost, Rorik stared at him blankly. Did he really think he'd make it for any amount of time in the woods by himself? Besides the highwaymen, there were bears and coyotes in these woods who'd make a fine snack out of an easily frightened twig like him. Especially with night coming on and not a spot of food to his name.

"Name's Rorik, and I ain't lost." he grunted in response to the inquiry, then he cleared his throat slightly awkwardly, trying not to be too harsh with the boy, who obviously didn't know the first thing about the forest. "Lad," he said, straightening, but trailed off after a moment. "Look, I ain't tryna patronize ya, Lad, but yew ain't gotta fish's chance in the desert of makin it threw these woods on yer ownsome, 'specially wit no vittles or horse and night commin' quick. A coyote'll et ya as soon as look atcha."

He shifted his weight to search through the pack he carried with him to record deer trails as he found them, and pulled out a much smaller map to show the lad. It was the stretch of forest he was currently living in, following the main road a far ways up. It was lovingly drawn, with deer and other game trails marked along with the main paths and a few foot trails. "Thein's here abouts," He gestured to an area above where the map ended, and then pointed farther down the map. "We're somewheres 'bout here, an' mah camp's there." He drew his finger a bit to one side and marked the area where he was currently living. "I ain't gonna make ya do anythin, but if ya at least get some food inya and a nights rest, I can take ya up this way to Thein, where ya'll be safer like an' ya won't starve three ways ta hell." He followed an intricate web of game trails that met again with the main road near the top of the map with his finger, then glanced at the lad. "I ain't gonna letcha starve, ain't mah way, but iff'n ya dog set on takin the path yew been on, I can take ya that'n way tomorrow wit some vittles in ya pockets, tho I dun't think much ov yer prospects there, lad." He knew he'd regret either path he chose, leaving the lad on his own would mean a certain death for the poor mite, but he could already tell that the boy was going to drive him up the river without a boat if he took him all the way up to Thein, or wherever it was that he wanted to go. "I dun liketa stay in one place ta' long anyways, headin north ain't no trouble for me, lad."

So of course he had to offer his roundabout, slightly awkward brand of help, trying to be friendly, but not too friendly, and also not make the boy do something he didn't want to do, but also make sure he didn't get himself killed. He gently rolled his map back up and restored it to it's place in his pouch and shouldered his bow, though his ears were still attuned to voices, just in case the bandits decided they wanted to go for a round two, in which case he would put an arrow through someone's eye if they had in mind to harm them.

9 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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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?"

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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Marthe was startled as she heard twigs breaking from another direction. It certainly didn't occur very often that she met this ampount of people in one day. As she kept her body still and ready for any threat, her eyes locked on a woman who put away her sword. She had to be a knight with this kind of armour, although she couldn't guess yet from which country. Is it possible that the two travellers were together? Yet it would be odd to ask who she was calling then. If this were to be an ambush, she would be in some serious trouble. She could barely take on one man, two would be the end of her.

"I was welcoming another unknown guest, as he is approaching my humble house", she answered while pointing in the travellers direction. "Yes, I've lived in this magical forest for quite some time now. I find it the most peaceful place on this earth, wouldn't you agree?" Marthe's smile was relaxed, yet her eyes unmistakenly alert. She was relieved though that her senses didn't pick up any malicious intent.

"Dear traveller, would you mind telling me your name? If you want you can sit down and have some tea, the herbs that grow here are absolutely marvelous."

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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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.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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Percivale, who had kept silent the entire time- the blame fell on him; he was too cautious for his own good, and much too observant- was abruptly snapped out of his trance when he heard another person coming in. He froze slightly- it was a woman, but dressed in knight's armor, and undoubtedly she probably had better fencing skills than him. His sword was not properly maintenanced. To his luck, she put away her sword, which at least provided him some sort of comfort.

"...Wait, no." Percivale scolded himself mentally. What if the knight saw him as dangerous? The gauntlet wasn't helping him, not to mention his ragged appearance. But on the other note, maybe since they were both here he didn't seem as dangerous. Slowly though, he began to speak. "T-The name's Percivale." He managed to speak out. "Damn that stutter! That didn't come out right!"

Nevertheless, Percivale decided to answer the girl's earlier question. "I had been wandering through the forest for quite a while, and I was hoping to find some shelter..." He trailed off at the end.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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"I was welcoming another unknown guest, as he is approaching my humble house. Yes, I've lived in this magical forest for quite some time now. I find it the most peaceful place on this earth, wouldn't you agree?"

"I suppose..." While she had sheathed her sword, Serena's hand still hovered slightly in case something unexpected comes from either this girl or this "other guest she mentioned". Still, the emptiness is a little relaxing. At the very least, she was sure that only she, this girl and the "other guest" are the only creatures around so far.

"A little unnerving but I can see why some will prefer living here. At least you'll be far from the chaos of the kingdom." Serena finally rests her hand, away from the hilt of her blade. The other person she mentioned seemed to have emerged from hiding as well, introducing himself to them.

"T-The name's Percivale."

The man's voice was a little shaky though his visage seems to say otherwise. If anything, he seemed to look the most threatening out of all of them. "You don't seem like you're from around here..." Once again, Serena poised to re-draw her sword but the man carried on.

"I had been wandering through the forest for quite a while, and I was hoping to find some shelter..."

A lost traveler. A mercenary perhaps though it didn't seem like he was sent in to hinder their expedition. Hers, at least, since she separated from the main force that was to depart for the sword. Serena finally lowered her guard. It was the middle of the forest and given that the two of them appear to be lost, there's really no reason for them to fight here. Nothing to lose yet nothing to gain for the both of them.

"Ah right! The sun's almost setting soon..." Serena looked back at the forest girl they met. Could she be the rumored witch of the forest? Whatever the case, it didn't seem like anyone had been coming in here which plays to her advantage.

"Dear traveller, would you mind telling me your name? If you want you can sit down and have some tea, the herbs that grow here are absolutely marvelous."

"Oh! Forgive me. The ambiance seemed to make me lose my manners." Serena took a bow in front of the two, without taking off her helm. Just then she realized: what if they were allied with Roune? Two against one will be difficult in this place. Maybe it's best not to give away her status in Valein? No. Lying would only taint her reputation and dignity as a knight. Perhaps she could withdraw some details? But what would she let them know and what will she keep a secret? Deciding would take too long so she settled for giving her account of what she perceives happened back at Valein.

"I am Serena R. Everild, a vagrant knight of Valein." She realized that by then, she would've been considered a deserter. Maybe even losing her status as a knight. The only honor left now is that she take the sword and deliver it to the king in order to save her homeland. Maybe this way, she can save herself too. But right now, she'll need to find a way to stay on good terms with the seemingly neutral parties she'll encounter. "And yes, I think I'll take your offer, thank you. If you please--" Serena takes out some bread she brought along and offered them to the girl and Percivale.

"It's not much but, I hope you find it a fair trade Lady--?" Serena trailed off a bit at the end, realizing that she didn't know the girl's name.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Arcturus Rome Valein
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Cassian Valein Courtsmen
After grudgingly gathering what he would need for the quest and having them packed and his horse saddled while he washed the sweat of his morning spar off his skin and cooled the annoyance burbling within his chest, Cassian made his reluctant way down to the stables to wait for the lady knight. While he'd said that he'd leave without her if she did not show, he hadn't meant it, and as it drew closer to the time he'd prescribed she be there by, the dark heir began to grow frustrated, the scowl he'd only just rinsed from his face returning with an even darker glower. So not only would he have to go on this fool's errand, he'd have to do it with a knight who obviously had no care for his authority whatsoever.

After waiting as long as he could, the chestnut gelding he'd decided to ride shifting saddled and swishing his bound tail, Cassian let out an exorbitant sigh and began to inquire as to where the lady knight was. Finally he found a squire who seemed to have at least a crumb of an idea of what was going on. The boy told him that Serena had gone on to clear a path at the behest of the High Inquisitor. When further pressed, the boy seemed not to have any idea of where exactly the path was, and managed to flee before Cassian could berate him for not thinking to ask that, because obviously she'd lied, and such a dubious lie it was, the High Inquisitor? Really? and obviously she'd run off on her own, and hadn't he a lick of sense between his ears? So instead Cassian clenched his fists and tried to contain his anger at being left by the knight. He needed to keep composed. Perhaps this was for the best? She'd run off, he had no control over that, and surely his father wouldn't make him go on by himself.

A cat-like grin curled over Cassian's face. Well, perhaps the snake of a knight's deceit would work out in his favor. He ordered one of the stable-hands to unsaddle the horse, and he turned to stalk back to seek out his father and tell him exactly why he hadn't left yet.

He found his father in the throne room, and knelt before him for a moment,as was customary, and then straightened, blue fire in his chilly eyes. "Father, forgive my intrusion, but I wanted to report that Serena Everild, the knight you requested to accompany me on the search to find the sword, has left on her own without notice and against my orders." He paused for a moment, his cool voice on edge. "I thought it best to report the transgression to you before taking action of any kind." he did not make any mention that he had no desire to romp around the county-side like a fool, chasing after a myth, he'd already made it clear he did not want to do so and there wasn't any point in pushing the matter, especially when his father had an idea in his head. And it would be incredibly dangerous to send him out to who knew where on his own, especially since he could come across Rounen forces tasked with the same thing he was, and on his own he'd be nigh on defenseless, outnumbered.

He opened his mouth to voice this opinion when another knight entered and knelt, announcing something about a thief woman. Cassian lifted an eyebrow and glanced at his father for explanation.

6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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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.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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Marthe took a good look at Percivale as he freed himself from the bushes. She smiled as she heard his slight stutter, which was a huge contrast with his appearance and the look in his eyes. He seemed to be a dangerous man, yet it was obvious that the forest had been getiing on his nerves. "Welcome Percivale. I provide shelter for all travellers that stumble across my house."

"A little unnerving but I can see why some will prefer living here. At least you'll be far from the chaos of the kingdom."

Marthe turned around to face the knight again. "It is true, the forest is still unharmed. Yet it won't take long for the war to even reach this place. We're very close to the border with Roune, I sometimes hear soldiers outside the forest. The spirits are protecting it for now." The war has never frightened her. She was only scared of the consequences, how the innocent farmers and townspeople would manage if everything is destroyed. And war for what? More territory? More power? Marthe had never understood the greed of the rich and powerful. Her famaily has been neutral for over 300 years and she was taught to love and care for all.

"I am Serena R. Everild, a vagrant knight of Valein."

Valein huh, Marthe thought. She took a better look at Serena's armor. It was good quality and very well taken care of. An active and proud knight. As on the other hand, Percivale seemed to wear normal yet comfortable clothes. Very easy to move around in, good color to hide bloodstains. What a bunch of amusing people.

She was shaken out of her thought as Serena spoke up again. "Ah excuse my manners, I haven't introduced myself either. My name is Marthe Artemis Finnley. And thank you for this lovely bread, it looks very good. Please come in and warm yourself by the fire. Sit down and I'll make some tea." Marthe entered her house and left the door open. Those who wanted could enter, if they chose to stay outside that was fine by her too. She put some water in a kettle and looked for the perfect herbs. Then she looked for some jam to go with the bread.

"I consider you two lucky. The forest is huge and it harbors some dangerous animals further up north. It is filled with raw magic and mythical creatures roam there. If you want, I can show you the way to your destination."

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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"Father, forgive my intrusion, but I wanted to report that Serena Everild, the knight you requested to accompany me on the search to find the sword, has left on her own without notice and against my orders."
Arcturus raised an eyebrow. Serena? Leaving on her own against orders? That was strange. The squire who had come to him earlier had told him that she had rode on ahead upon request of the High Inquisitor. Yes, the path was treacherous, so that may be the reason, but nevertheless slight doubt rose in the king's mind. But no, this was no time for doubt. Times were desperate.

"I thought it best to report the transgression to you before taking action of any kind." His son explained, and Arcturus nodded slowly, thinking of a way. He trusted his son, who had taken up training in combat, but to send him out against the many forces of Roune? With Serena away from his son, he was not quite sure the elder Valein prince would be able to fend them off on his own.

Just then, another knight came into the throne room, helmet under his arm and with a proud stride. "Sire, the thief woman you requested had been captured and awaits you in the dungeon." Ah, yes. That thief had been going around looting the huts of knights lately. She had been a trouble to him, yes, considering resources were running low and territory was disappearing at a quick rate. Arcturus frowned, then leaned back. "I see..." The king trailed off, as an idea came into his head. "For now--" He turned to his son again. "You wish to be king someday, yes? Then I shall leave this thief woman's fate in your hands."

His opinion seemed out of the blue, but the king did want to test his son's judgement. Perhaps Cassian would be able to find a way around losing his companion in the journey by himself.

"Welcome Percivale. I provide shelter for all travellers that stumble across my house."
The moment she spoke, a glint of hope flashed in the mercenary's eyes. That was one problem down for him! Staying in the woman's house was only a temporary solution for his problem, but it was a solution nonetheless. Before he could speak, though, he listened as the knight spoke.

"A little unnerving but I can see why some will prefer living here. At least you'll be far from the chaos of the kingdom."
True. Raised in the Kingdom of Roune, the mercenary knew all too well how much the kingdom valued pride and honor, and the war between it and the Kingdom of Valein did not exactly paint the scenery of a peaceful place.
"It is true, the forest is still unharmed. Yet it won't take long for the war to even reach this place. We're very close to the border with Roune, I sometimes hear soldiers outside the forest. The spirits are protecting it for now."
The woman turned her attention back to the knight. Percivale continued to stay quiet, listening in. So the house this woman lived in was close to the border of Roune...which made Percivale think that he was going in circles within the forest. He had come from Roune, left to try and reach other destinations, and then he suddenly finds out that he was still near the border of Roune. "I knew I should have bought a map," He thought to himself grudgingly.

"I am Serena R. Everild, a vagrant knight of Valein."
"Valein?" The knight's introduction caught Percivale's attention. Well, that was new. Despite having seen some knights in the past, they were all usually from Roune. His orange eyes looked the knight up and down- Valein's armor was considerably lighter than that of Roune's. She carried a sword with her, as expected of knights, and a bow. Percivale could hardly defend against ranged weapons. But when she mentioned that she was a vagrant knight, he frowned. What? Was she a deserter? Why? The mercenary found himself more curious than ever before.

Percivale immediately snapped out of his thoughts as the woman introduced herself as well. "Ah excuse my manners, I haven't introduced myself either. My name is Marthe Artemis Finnley. And thank you for this lovely bread, it looks very good. Please come in and warm yourself by the fire. Sit down and I'll make some tea." As she disappeared into her house, she left the door open. He started to move away from the bushes, shaking leaves out of his shaggy hair and taking slow steps.

"I consider you two lucky. The forest is huge and it harbors some dangerous animals further up north. It is filled with raw magic and mythical creatures roam there. If you want, I can show you the way to your destination."
More dangerous animals? As if the wild boar that nearly impaled him to a tree permanently had he not dodged it in time was enough. Then again, this was a forest. Of course he had to be prepared for the dangers. But Percivale didn't have an exact destination- he considered going back to Roune and looking for jobs, but then, he didn't get enough money to drag himself out of the mess he had left himself in. But Percivale didn't speak yet. Perhaps the knight had a better opinion than he who had none.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marthe Artemis Finnley Character Portrait: Serena Rose Everild Character Portrait: Percivale Silvester
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Graciously taking up the young lady's offer, the odd group Serena followed into the house she mentioned. Serena noted that the interior was rather humble and was more than welcoming to visitors like them, especially since in this forest, shelter was scarce.

"Ah excuse my manners, I haven't introduced myself either. My name is Marthe Artemis Finnley. And thank you for this lovely bread, it looks very good. Please come in and warm yourself by the fire. Sit down and I'll make some tea."

Serena sat down near the hearth, taking off her helm and gauntlets. Her armor was rather cold now, given that she had been walking slowly within a rarely traversed forest without even a map as a guide. Then again, much of the pathways seemed to be uncharted which makes her wonder if there were any maps available in the first place? The thought of adventure was rather thrilling. In more peaceful times, knights like her will be sent on with cartographers and scribes to map out territories like these. Now, most movements mostly consisted of sending reinforcements in-between the front and the other territories. Despite their upbringing, there was a desire in their hearts that honestly longs for peace. Just some time they can have for themselves.

"When this war's over, I think I'll take some time off here..." Serena mutters a silent wish to herself; a small hope to get her through the days ahead. She noticed the mercenary checking her out...or was it her equipment? Well, none of the things she has on her have any high value save for the sword perhaps.

"You've crossed swords with my kind before haven't you?" Serena asks Percivale. She was aware of the reputation mercenaries have when it comes to combat: How they can match even strong knights punch for punch. Perhaps she can strike a deal with this man? Maybe not. She doesn't even have anything to pay him anyway.

"I consider you two lucky. The forest is huge and it harbors some dangerous animals further up north. It is filled with raw magic and mythical creatures roam there. If you want, I can show you the way to your destination."

Serena recalls that she hadn't made any mention of her intentions for being in the forest? Maybe the girl really does know magic. Mind reading? Or maybe... she was basing it from some sort of prior experience. Questions abound Serena's mind as to the nature of her quest...and why Vartanil said that it was evil.

"And I am thankful for the assistance Miss Marthe. You mentioned that we're rather close to Roune's borders, that you hear soldiers walking around outside. Have any of them come to you for aid before?" It's not yet the dangers within the forest which troubles Serena. Has Roune caught on to their legend? Maybe Marthe knows more about it than Vartanil, all the archived information and even King Arcturus himself.

"Did any of them seem like they know? Searching for something?"

6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tessa Macerine Anson Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Mikael Honen Character Portrait: Bismarck Cain Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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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.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Marie Deron Inautta Character Portrait: Arcturus Rome Valein
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Cassian Valein Courtsmen
Very, very slowly, Cassian exhaled through his nose. He needed to keep his head, his wits about him. His father's thoughtful look only meant bad things. There was no way he'd be allowed to stay here, or sent off to fight. His father was stubborn. His fate was inevitable. And honestly, at this point he'd mostly come to terms with it. Though he was bitter that his father was making him play at choosing his own fate. 'Decide what to do with the thief.' He was no idiot, he knew what his father was thinking. All the pawns had been set up in the wrong places, and running away would do no good. And maybe it wouldn't be too bad? Other than the fact that it looked like he would have to travel with a lowly criminal. And a woman, no less. But perhaps she was cunning--though not cunning enough to avoid capture--and if they did come across a Rounen force looking for the 'magic sword', they could wreak havoc among them. That would be entertaining and more worthwhile than just looking for a sword that didn't exist.

He spent a moment in mock thought, mostly trying to organize his words properly and not sound too harsh or too meek. Because when it came down to it, he really didn't want to do this. But how his Father played the words. 'You wish to be king some day.' It felt just the slightest amount humiliating, as if his father was poking fun at him after tying his hands.

"I suppose," He said with a faint grudging to his drawling tone, "While I have little information on the woman, I could take her along in lieu of the knight, if it pleases you, Father." He folded his arms over his chest. "Though I'd like to know her background and speak to her before leaving with her to minimize the chances of her eviscerating me while I sleep." Cassian had little trust in anyone. He'd trusted Serena a small amount, due to her knighthood, and look at what had happened to that. That gave him little reason at all to trust a common thief who may not have any great love for the Kingdom.

If he were to travel with the thief, he'd need to know how to protect himself from her, and how to work with her. It wouldn't do to get on her bad side, because she might not have as many qualms about stabbing him or deserting him on the road and thieving his stuff as a the knight would have.

"Perhaps it would be wise to promise her a sum of money in return for bringing both the sword and my own person back unscathed." He added after a few moments of silent thought. Yes, that's what thieves liked, right? If the reward for not killing him was greater than whatever personal satisfaction it might bring her, then he'd be safer. And it might also stir her to help him fight if they did encounter danger. "How much shall I offer her?" He asked, veiled insecurity in his voice. How much was his life worth to his father? He was the Heir Apparent after all. But, if his father already had the notion of sending him away, perhaps there were other motions in line to make his undoing. Again he wondered if his brother had come back...but he quickly vanquished those thoughts from his mind. Such paranoid ideals would make him weak, he needed to focus on the present.

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cassian Valein Courtsmen Character Portrait: Marie Deron Inautta Character Portrait: Varil Jenaqu Character Portrait: Liatris Character Portrait: Routa Belvadear Cain
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Varil crossed his arms slowly, Bluey? Not the first comment of on my appearance; though to be honest, I rather enjoyed it", he said with a small laugh. "The main road. As you wish", he said, nodding at Routa, then turning and following Laitris outside. "Well my small blonde haired friend, it seems we are to divert attention away from Cain's boy, and his party", he said when he was far enough away from the tent, "A horse would be nice", Varil said in agreement, laying a hand on Gatharin as the pair walked off down the road. He smiled at the remark of their legend being told. As a young boy, Varil had always enjoyed legends, and stories; and had often pretended to be the hero of his own adventures as well. As he grew, he stopped pretending, it was childish, but he never stopped enjoying a good story of adventure. "I hope there are no rats, and black gates forbid and giant ones. I don't like having to deal with those bad tempered rodents, save for even a giant one", he said shaking his head.

ImageMarie Deron Inautta
Picking the first lock had been hard, the world kept spinning, but Marie had managed to do it, holding the rusted piece of thin metal in her mouth. The manacle hit the floor with a loud clink, and she sat back, waiting for the world to stop spinning. She waved a hand in the direction of Charlotte, "Don't worry, dear. I'll get free, in, well. That is to say, when the world decides to stop throwing itself about like an itchy dog". She stopped and though, a wide smile growing across her face, which grew into uncontrolled laughter "Oh, hahaha, just imagine Charlotte, hahaha, the poor mutt, rolling, hahahaha, on the ground, oh the poor beast", she gasped between drolls of laughter.

Marie's laughter finally died down, and she lay back, a dumb smile still on her face. She breathed in deeply, thoroughly winded."Oh my. Well, we need go get ourselves free don't we", she said sitting up, and taking the rusted metal in her free hand and starting on the second manacle around her wrist. It was slow going, and it seemed to take even longer, but Maire finally managed to free herself from her bonds. She giggled in delight, and scooted toward the table that held her belongings.

In desperation, she reached she reached out for Charlotte. "No, no, no, no, no, Charlotte, come closer, please! I, I, oh, no, please my baby, come closer!", she begged, tears starting to form in her eyes. She cocked her, and retreated back into the cell, wiping away her tears, "Yes, yes. I need to be brave. For you, my dearest. Now then, where did I put that pick?", she said looking around. She picked up the rusted pick, and skipped over to the cell door, the sound of her bare feet echoing throughout the cell. She stuck the pick in, and began to work on the lock, but quickly pulled it out when she heard footsteps approaching her cell.