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Ayame The Eastern Swordsman

I hope you don't mind if I rest for a brief moment.

0 · 324 views · located in The Dying Land

a character in “The Lost Lands”, as played by MisterMagicMuffin

Description

Full Name: Ayame Iediori

Nicknames/Aliases: Kyojin Kira, , Pale Devil

Age: N/A

Gender: Male

Occupation/Class: Disgraced Jiamo/Roving Swordsman

Kingdom of Origin:The Far East


Description: Ayame's odd appearance, his stark white hair and youthful face, often makes him a curiosity in lands where such is an uncommon occurrence. His youthful features glow with a good nature, and make each emotion displayed on his face stand out with clarity. His eyes are a warm brown, with bright gold hues circling his pupils. During the heat of battle, his eyes sometimes take on a malevolent red tint, but this could simply be a trick of the light. He is slim, but well toned. His legs, arms, and torso are all covered in grey bandage, leaving no skin visible aside from his face, which is rarely missing it's small, reflective smile. Over this is a thin robe of a robust red, with depictions of various flora, armed with teeth and wickedly hooked thorns scattered haphazardly across the fabric.

Equipment:

The Nagamaki: A curious weapon from the east. The blade is a bit thicker then other weapons originating from the hidden lands, wrought from a dark metal that seems to absorb light. The hilt of this blade is of a sanguine hue, with dark metal plates in choice locations along it's length, which near equals the blade. The more imaginative would claim the weapon looks something akin to hungry, and that it seems to sigh when a person draws near.

The Wikizashi: A small blade from the far east. More commonly associated with Assassins and Emissaries then honest swordsmen. Aside from the strange symbol etched into the hilt, a vine intertwining around a pair of lips, it's unspectacular, and only useful in a handful of situations.

Hilt of Life: This hilt, bound with black cord to make for easy transportation around the bearer's neck, is blue in colour, and missing a blade. It is a kind looking thing, pale blue, with darker blue, curved streaks,naturally occurring on it's surface. It is a calming sight, with a kind tone that seems reflective of the owner.

Ayame's Bandages: Bandages that would cover every inch of a relatively normal sized person's body. Spun from a hardy, eastern plant known for it's difficulty to kill due to it's tough consistency. It is particularly strong against piercing and slashing attacks, which are common in the land it was made. Is only a notch up from being nude due to the way it hugs one's frame.

Ayame's Robes: A robust red robe that hangs comfortably from the wearer's body. In contrast perhaps, to the horrifying depictions of man eating plants embroidered across the fabric with disconcerting realism. On toward the hem where few eyes would wander, it would seem the plants are devouring humans, their blood splashing to the ends of his thin robe, dying it a darker shade then the rest. More often the not, Ayame has this disturbing section rolled up, and thus, obscured from view. Boasts a respectable defense against against that which cuts with no blade.






Personality: Ayame is an immediately disarming character, a warm smile is often the first thing on his face when greeting a stranger, with eyes that always smile in cohesion with his mouth. He isn't fond of deception, and would prefer to stay silent rather then mislead others. He is initially warm and inviting, and maintains that attitude even if it isn't reciprocated. His affinity and skill in swordsmanship and killing are viewed as necessary tools for his life, with the latter being something he tries to avoid when possible. Kind to a fault, Ayame will naturally try to coexist with most. That being said, there is a niche personality type he doesn't like, and will not interact with said personality type unless it's unavoidable.

Skills: Ayame is a swordsman of considerable skill, who can adapt to different fighting styles, and combat situations with ease, as well as float between different sword techniques on the fly. He is able to wield his sword with brutal efficiency, and boasts strength that far exceeds the optimal for using his weapons. Ayame's situational awareness is an asset to him in battle, and contributes to his effectiveness in a team, along with the intuitive ability to call upon the energy that surrounds him, and that which resides within him.

Weaknesses: His lack of heavy armour means that even a single hit can be devastating if not parried or avoided properly.

Fatal Flaw: His dreamlike nature.



Brief History: Ayame's career as a Roving Swordsman started when he struck down Jiama Ni'oshi, leader of the Jiamo, and claimed his sword as his own. With his oath broken, he left the East, a land of writhing mists, absconding lands, and carnivorous plants, to find and perfect a sword technique that would accomplish the impossible. A sword technique that could heal, and nurture rather then kill. Inspired, he Wandered finding the two pieces of this puzzle. The first he found, the second, he has yet to find.

Which is why he was inexorably drawn to this cursed Kingdom.





Other: Is in love with personalities, not people.[/center]

So begins...

Ayame The Eastern Swordsman's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayame The Eastern Swordsman
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Nothing had been left to chance for the Eastern Swordsmen was more statue then gambler. He measured each and every step he took, weighing his options in the seconds to hours between each movement during his incursion. Ayame had crouched in the pungent stew of the sewer system, waiting in the Kingdom of Rodents for the next prisoners wagon. Food was offered as his stipend to their King and his court. A small piece of stale bread in ten tick intervals, and the flesh of a slain beast. An offering to keep these starving creatures from lusting after his flesh.

His humble offer had awoken the benevolence of the Rat King, and the remainder of his time among them was spent without incident. The larger crowd of them had dispersed by the time Ayame was prepared to move, and he bid them the solemnest of farewells. The wagon he had been waiting for ground to it's scheduled stop above him, groaning as it's old wood settled down to rest as the fighting men above gathered unfortunate souls in the dreary garb for their journey to the Yulian front line. For now, the only contrast between he and they was the desire in his heart to see the inside of the Cursed Kingdom, the sanguine robe familiar to him with it's thin fabrics and intricate designs, was stowed in a travel pack, leaving him in naught but his grey bandage to stave off the elements.


His hands, covered by this hardy fabric, grasped the railing of one such wagon that strayed close enough to the Grand Gutter of the Rat Kingdom and shimmied up the wall. Slowly, his arms extended until his body hovered over the ground in a straight line. Slowler still was his rotation, achieved by alternating the position of his hands, one cupping under while the other grasped over. In moments his body had turned completely, and he pulled himself beneath of the wagon.

The countryside that lined either side of the dirt road had long given itself over to the degradation. It's trees arced up in an accusatory fashion, seeming to curse the sky and its inhabitants with every branch and twig it could muster, the grass beneath had wilted to nothingness, and with no nutrition in the soil, the ground had become slush that threatened to suck a plated boot into its belly for eternity. "Woe to any wagon that loses it's wae on this road." The voice was laden with jovial arrogance, the tone of a man who believed in his own abilities enough to never put himself in the category he spoke on. "Fear they'll ne'er get it out. Folk inside will be left to rot. /I/ ain't gonna be fishing n'e of the ne'er-do-wells out of that slop."

"Lest the Yulia's see fit to jab me till I do, aye?" Roaring laughter, followed by a polite chuckle from the guard sat beside him. Ayame was as oblivious to their words as he was to the dead countryside. The turning of the wheels made it hard for him to hear aught else, and the remainder of his attention was focused on ensuring his grasp remained firm. The slightest error would see him cast to the ground below, and crushed beneath iron spokes.

Time passed, and Ayame's aching muscles were rewarded by the final halt of the wagon. He felt it rise and all as it's mute passengers shuffled outward and in to the keep. Even the man who had responded to the desolate land around their travel with his boisterous nature and fallen into an uneasy silence. The Swordsmen could feel the pressure around him, squeezing the stone and it's denizens, prematurely aging both in a haze of pain and depression until cracks had formed on the walls and resentment in the hearts of the living.

When the second to last passenger disembarked, the wagon left, heading towards the warehouse for fitting and repair, while the horses were taken to be nourished. The last passenger lowered himself to the floor, and rolled from beneath his deliverance before the assorted feet, clad in their heavy workmen's boots, worn from use, stomped to where he had been hiding.

Tired eyes tended to focus on the task at hand, rather then wander like the relaxed and the bored. No one care to look to the back wall where Ayame knelt, hastily wrapping himself in a brown cloak, and throwing a saddlebag full of tools over he shoulder.

No guard looked twice at the unassuming man who filtered through the throngs of human gloom, shackled to one another in the chains of slaves. Not even the downtrodden themselves noticed the look of sadness that crossed his features when he stole a glance in their direction.

Someone noticed the smile that pulled his lips into a wide grin when he heard the welcome signs of defiance against a tyrannical power, which, to Ayame, was defiance against the brutal nature of the world around him. This someone was a Yulian guard who watched his corridor with the eyes a Hawk-Bird, and dealt justice with the iron fist that gripped his iron halberd.

"OI!" The Easterner's head turned to follow the sound, still drawn back into the stupid smile that lit up his good natured features. "By whose authority is a mason approaching Mid-gate?" A few of the assembled heads, those not too beaten down by circumstance turned to the subject of the guards ire.

"None, I am not supposed to be here at all, I am not." Ayame's , somber tone matched the soft frown that took the place of the wide smile.

The guard squinted, confused with this unabashed confession of guilt. So confused that he hadn't raised his polearm in a defense posture, which would have most certainly saved him from the tool bag Ayame swung into his face after a quick side step. The guard fell backward into the table, and sent the painstakingly signed and stacked forms askew as the table snapped in half beneath his weight.

"I AM SORRY." He called, as he ran off, quickly slipping his red robes over his body.

"MY APOLOGIES." Said he, as his nimble form sailed over a waist high fence, and he landed on a guard that was kneeling down to unshackle a prisoner. With the howling wind at his heels, the male had blurred into a crimson streak as he ran, using unorthadox things like railings, barrels, people to avoid the mud that would have slowed his movements.

By now the well trained guards of Yulia had gotten over their momentary surprised, and responded like you'd expect a hardened man of the army to respond. A hail of arrows missed his moving from by an inch, and when he landed on the final stretch to the gate, two guards stood ready to greet him.

The Nagamaki whistled as it was unsheathed, catching the falling sword at the base where blade met hilt, using the forward motion generated by the guard, Ayame arched his back, and bent his body ground-ward to throw his first opponent in an ungainly heap behind him. Rounding his body, he caught the second sword in his blades midsection, and slammed his hilt into the guard neck, unbalancing him enough to allow his lithe body to glide around them.

Using his own forward momentum as a springboard, he knelt, then jumped toward miasma that separated the Cursed Lands from the Yulian border.

"MANYY APOLOGIIESSS."

He yelled, sheathing is sword mid jump as he answered the beckons of his desire.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adella of Yulia Character Portrait: Ren of Yulia Character Portrait: Mojohra Jojohrum Character Portrait: Varin Zeracuse Character Portrait: Maeve Byrne Character Portrait: Ludral Character Portrait: Ayame The Eastern Swordsman
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The rain splashed against the cells of the window, slowly gathering into a small bowl that was placed very carefully on the ledge to gather as much water as it could. A man sat in the corner of the cell, his head resting against the wall and his one knee raised and his right arm placed on top of it. His head listed lazily upwards, staring at the bowl as water started to flow overtop of it. With an almost sloth like mentality, he slid his way up the wall and walked over to it. Grabbing the bowl carefully, he gulped down the liquid as best he could. This would be the most hydration he would get in days, followed quickly by a steam box that would threaten to dry him out completely. Normally the rich paid a ton of money to get the spa treatment, and if they wandered into a cell after a fresh rain, they could get the same result.

There was a sharp rap against the bars to his cell, and the man turned around. “Varin Zeracuse.” The guard stated, followed quickly by another guard carrying a set of armor. “Today’s your not so lucky day. You’re going beyond the wall.” The other guard unceremoniously dumped Varin’s armor on the ground before walking out of the cell. “We’ll be back in a few minutes to take you down to the courtyard.” Varin stared at the armor, then back at the guard who locked him back in without another word and walked off down the hall. Varin looked back at his armor, something he had worked on for countless years to get it right, and now currently laying on the ground and about to be donned by an accused murderer. Not exactly how he would have liked to have worn the suit for battle, but as the circumstances were, he was just glad they were allowing him to wear it at all.

Varin placed the bowl back up by the window, letting the rain wash over his hands for a moment, basking in the calm and refreshing feeling that came with it before turning back to the armor. With practiced ease, Varin took the pieces off the armor one by one and attached them to himself. The entire suit took a few minutes to adorn, and it fit as snug as a glove, perfectly crafted to fit his body. He had spent the better part of 5 years crafting it to where it was today, so anything less would have upset him greatly. Once that was all done, the only thing left was his helmet, which he tucked under his arm and made his way back to his window once again. He grabbed the bowl and sipped at what little water had managed to make its way into the container. He managed to steal a glance outside into the courtyard below and witnessed several people already gathering in the rain. Unlucky bastards, being called first into the downpour and being forced to wait the longest with drenched clothes and fever inducing conditions. He couldn’t make out who the leader of the small group was, but he knew it was an Inquisitor for sure. They wouldn’t entrust this to anyone else, there had to be at least one person whose entire goal was to succeed at conquering the Lost Lands instead of maybe just surviving and escaping Yulia’s law.

He held the helmet in his hands, flipping it over so it was staring at him and cursing his current existence. Damn it Oscar, you fucking kid… Varin thought to himself as he flipped the helmet around and placed it on his head, feeling it slide on into a tight fit that suited him perfectly. He made sure the clasps were tight and that the helmet didn’t move when he shook his head. He slapped the side of it slightly just to give himself a physical reassurance that it wouldn’t fall off. With that, he went through the process of double and triple checking everything on his person. A few minutes later and a trio of guards showed up at the door to his cell.

“Hands on the wall.” The first guard stated, which Varin complied. He heard the gate open, followed by the sound of swords leaving their sheathes and the clank of armored boots on stone. Within moments, his arms were being yanked behind him and shackled. At the very least they had allowed him to get suited up before they decided to throw him to the wolves. He had tried to be the model prisoner to avoid any unnecessary punishment from overzealous and sadistic guardsman. For the most part he had been successful, hence why he felt the guards weren’t being as brutal as they were no doubt used to being, preferring to simply shove him towards the door without a further word. Varin complied silently, letting the guards guide him through the hall, down a set of stairs and stopping just short of a door leading to the courtyard. One guard stepped in front of him and opened the door, revealing another set of guards who were outside and holding equipment that was undoubtedly meant for Varin. His weapons were among the things being held by one of the guards, along with a sack that probably held the bare minimum of survival gear. All Varin could think about was the shitty job these guys had to stand out here all day.

“Varin Zeracuse.” One guard stated. “You have been accused of murdering a guard of the Yulian Military and have been found guilty of your crime. You have petitioned the crown for the right to participate in an expedition to Elidia in exchange for your freedom. Your success will be judged by the Inquisition should you return.” The guard nodded to the guards behind Varin, who unshackled him. Varin brought his hands forward and flicked them slightly to get the aching sensation of the cuffs off of them. The other guard holding the equipment handed Varin his weapons, of which he quickly went about attaching the sheathes to his person. His twin blades were adorned his back, and his warhammer was strapped to his side. With that, a sack was thrust into his hands. “Continue forward and gather with the remaining convicts.” The guard stated, stepping aside to let Varin pass towards the group that had already assembled. There was a slight shove from behind to get him going, but nothing more. He continued walking forward, slinging the sack over his shoulder and fixing it to work much like a backpack, sitting on top of his sword sheathes.

The rest of the group that was already outside was a motley assortment of people that Varin wasn’t sure he wanted to get a read on. One looked ready to simply collapse if someone breathed on her, another was glaring daggers into their supposed leader of the expedition, another looked way too happy to be here and the last of the group so far seemed to be nearly as defiant as the woman was. Varin should have been worried, even slightly, but he simply couldn’t bring himself to care enough about these people at the moment. He knew that the main motivation with this group would be to simply do the job and get back home, wherever home was for them. He didn’t care about their well being, only making sure he managed to get back in one piece. Varin didn’t say a word as he took up a spot beside the angry woman, adjusting his pauldron to make sure it sit just right. He lifted his face plate up, allowing his face to be shown and stared into the sky holding his mouth open. There would be no telling when he would get a decent drink of water after they left the prison, so he wanted to make sure he got his fill first.

Naturally nothing was ever calm or normal as a commotion from some guards caught his attention. With a slight snap of his head, his face plate fell down and with a satisfying click, locked into place. Off to the side was some scrawny looking man running through the Yulian guards. The direction he was sprinting towards seemed to indicate that he was trying to get to the gates to Elidia. Varin couldn't think of any reason why someone would go there willingly aside from blind patriotism such as the Inquisitor standing before them, but shrugged and actually ignored everything that was going on off to the side. He could care less if the man succeeded in whatever he was trying to do as Varin found his hands to be much more interesting, flicking his fingers against each other in an effort to pass the time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sairen Varimor Character Portrait: Adella of Yulia Character Portrait: Ren of Yulia Character Portrait: Gallard of Yulia Character Portrait: Mojohra Jojohrum Character Portrait: Ima Creslade Character Portrait: Varin Zeracuse Character Portrait: Anai Calagrian Character Portrait: Garrim the Greater Character Portrait: Maeve Byrne Character Portrait: Ludral Character Portrait: Ayame The Eastern Swordsman Character Portrait: Kormrok Character Portrait: Kalis of Aressa Character Portrait: Callias Dimitriou
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Image


Two of the soldiers of the Midgate Fort, plate clanking in the dank hallway, followed at Vesgha's heels as the Inquisitor walked, no longer alone. Her progress had caused her to be met by the tall, imposing figure of Commander Taron, head of the soldiers stationed at the garrison.

There had been a few exchanges of pleasantries. How his wife was doing, whether his youngest was recovering well from falling from a horse the week previous. Then things turned to rather more formal matters. Most pressingly, that of one of the prisoners.

"Are you certain this is the best course of action, Vesgha?" the man asked, his heavy beard bristling in the cold.
"After all of the back and forth from the Court about the applicable law.. it seems rather abrupt.. we've not even been able to prove a crime took place."

The Inquisitor did not look round, nor alter pace.
"The problem of the Aressan is not just one of justice, it's a political matter." she explained, in a very matter of fact fashion.
"The wolf thought she'd played a rather clever little game by surrendering to Yulian law and then calling a duel. We could have arrested her on violation of the codes, had that pompous fool not destroyed her sword. Killing Garech cemented her place in the consciousness of the Aressans."

The woman traced a gloved hand along the damp stone brickwork.
"Every day that story circulates around taverns and market stalls, growing more exaggerated and ridiculous with each telling. The Aressans regard that animal as some sort of folk hero. Some symbol of resistance to Yulian rule.
The people in this land are riotous and resentful. There are talks of militant groups that hope to reclaim their rightful monarch from Yulia. It is a powder keg... and either freeing or executing the knight could be the spark to light it. Allowing her to walk free makes us look weak, executing her would make us look tyrannical, unjust. This is the best possible solution. We can tell them the Knight went of her own accord, please the plebs with some story of heroics, and get this problem off our hands
."

After a few moments of walking they came to the end of the hall, where a cell sat in gloom and dark water.

For a brief moment, thunder flashed through the barred windows, lighting up off the battered steel scaling and the jagged edges of a distinctly lupine helmet.

It had not taken the knight long to reclaim their former presence.

"Kalis of Aressa, the Inquisition is here to take you up on your generous offer to venture beyond the wall." Vesgha stated, keeping an entirely straight face. Both the speaker and the recipient were well aware of the lie, but protocol was protocol.

As the guard stepped forwards to seize the arms of the prisoner, the lightly armoured for rose seamlessly to its feet.

"There's no need for that." came a level voice from beneath the visor, bouncing off the inside to give a sort of metallic quality.
"I'm ready."

The knight walked silently between the two soldiers, who walked whilst eyeing the prisoner with suspicion, each exchanging a glance with the other in an attempt to anticipate any form of trickery on the Aressan's part. It was not as if they'd not heard the stories. Heard the lurid descriptions of the mad wolf-woman hunched over the red mess of Sir Garech's skull, uniform splattered and sticky with gore and bone.

For her own part, Kalis gave no indication of any of this savagery on the walk down from the tower cell, and passed into the rainy courtyard without a word.

It was shortly after her boots had stepped out onto the sodden cobbles that a heavy metallic crash sounded out behind her.

The knight looked back to see it lying in a puddle, flung out of one of the windows where some soldier up a floor higher suppressed a giggle and pulled back in.

The bladeless sword, a hideous, heavy chunk of twisted metal that looked no worse for its fall, and no worse for years lying in the bottom of some store room. Admittedly, it would be hard to make its condition a lot worse than it already was. No sane man would ever call that thing a sword anymore.

Though clearly if she was able to murder one of their generals with it, Yulia saw it as more than adequate equipment to take on the dangers of Elidia with.

That suited Kalis fine.

The knight swept the broken sword up and rested it on her shoulder, surveying the others present through the visor of the helmet. They seemed to have gathered quite a collection. People from numerous different nations....well, now supposedly all united under the Yulian crest.

Adella had been taking stock of these assembled people too. And not too kindly. She had noted some of the looks that she was getting. Criminals. Traitors. Deviants.
And something even worse than that. Her gaze lingered on the shabby-looking figure of Renevari.
"Abominations." she muttered under her breath.
Abominations. Disgusting corruptions of her noble cause.

Caught up in giving that freak a poisonous stare, Adella had not noticed the arrival of Kalis, or indeed the arrival of the authority...well not until it spoke.

"Mage Darr, would you do the honours?" Vesgha asked, rain beading up on the Inquisitor's black hood.

Adella was pulled out of her reverie and gave a sudden, eager nod, before beginning a very brisk walk across the courtyard to the dark steely expanse of the Mid Gate.

In the centre of the gate, set about chest height for most (and a little further for the rather diminutive Adella) was a seal, some old glyph forged into a round plate that sat over the centre of the divide between each side.

The mage stood before it, taking a deep breath before extending a hand and pressing it against the sign on the the plate.
The sunken metal began to flare a strange, electric blue, and this glow began to spread out from where the woman stood, expanding in geometric lines and shapes across the dark grey surface. As it reached the edge, a low, rumbling grind let loose from the dark guts of the gate. The ground beneath the feet of those in the courtyard shook. Horses in the stables started to toss their heads and whinny in fear. The troops on the edge of the courtyard reached for their weapons in tense anticipation.

The jaws of the Mid Gate slowly, heavily, spread wide open.

Adella was left stood alone at the edge of Aressa, and opened her eyes to find herself gazing ahead into the Lost Lands.

There was no rain.

Before her, the rain simply stopped. In front was a grassy ledge, stretching some distance away, with overgrown shards of paving dotting the organic surface.

And not a hint of rain.

Sunlight peaked through the clouds in the Elidian sky.

A shiver crept up Adella's spine. Then, a sudden shout caused her to whirl around, in time to see another, an intruder of all things, dashing towards the gate.

"What on earth are you doing?!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sairen Varimor Character Portrait: Garrim the Greater Character Portrait: Ayame The Eastern Swordsman
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Sairen remained silent during most of the interchange and moving about of other party members. He hissed imperceptibly under his breath at the treatment of the paladin, and moved to help the taller man with his things as the Deceivers dumped the weapons in the mud. A light centralized breeze lifted the edge of his medic coat, exposing only an inch of the hem of his robes. Embroidered on the hem were marks of Tinon. The same marks would be on his sleeves, though presently his coat covered all of the sleeves.

He paused and gripped his staff tightly with both hands when he felt the ground shake. Lifting his head from his habitually bowed stance, he noticed the cause but still didn't speak out loud. He whispered prayers to himself and made warding symbols against the witch and her devil magic. Warding against evil he did by instinct, which would give way his unwelcome position if any of the Deceivers were watching him. Although, there wasn't really anything any of them could do to him here, since he already stood in a prison courtyard by his own volition, and he already handed in his required access information.

Because of his nationality, the young cleric needed to prove his intentions to the Deceivers. The thought of having to prove himself to them at all burned him, but through their tests and interrogations he survived without revealing his temper. It didn't matter anymore. He was right where the gods wanted him to be, though he personally would have chosen some different companions. Tinon knew what He was doing, and Sairen accepted that. Though he never halted his prayers and warding until the courtyard was still.

In that stillness, other strange phenomena drew his attention. He wasn't very tall, but neither was the witch. Beyond her there was a bright field, and even though he kept his distance to avoid taint of her unholy magic, something about that field drew him, called to him. Without realizing it, he took exactly three steps forward and stopped. From the field burned the light and warmth, he associated with Tinon, God of the Sun. He turned back behind him, and saw and still felt the cold, dreary, dull and even dirty fall of rain over the traveling companions chose for him in the courtyard. Sun in the field and cold damp over the Deceivers' courtyard. Only the gods could create such an anomaly. Strangely enough, while others might be frightened or irritated with the anomaly, it soothed his own fears and doubts.

She shouted over her shoulder and Sairen also noted the creature in unusual garb driving toward the shining gate straight and true as an arrow, without once touching the ground. The creature danced over the wall and just as easily appeared to dodge actual arrows aiming for it. This creature disturbed Sairen's peace. He knew of no humans who could behave that way. Was it a demon coming to claim the witch? He resumed whispering prayers and tracing wards in the air between them.