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The Multiverse

Mountain Side Temple

30 INK

a part of The Multiverse, by Remæus.

The looming temple stands sentinel over the icy peaks. Wayward soul or hero to be, all with benevolent intentions will find sanctuary within these hallowed halls. The temple is inhabited and guarded by the Patronus and the Knights of Le'thorian.

lostamongtrees holds sovereignty over Mountain Side Temple, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,267 readers have been here.


The Temple Grounds

A spacious courtyard is situated at the base of the temple and several small out-buildings surround the area. To the east lies the temple barracks, a formidable and defensible structure that currently houses the Knights of Le'thorian and their Captain, Arrow Flight. Much of the structure has been raised from rough hewn rock from the mountain itself, leaving it laced with rich veins of adamantine to reinforce the walls.

To the west is a large training yard surrounded by sturdy stone walls. The rich veins of adamantine within the mountain leave the natural hewn walls of the training yard well capable of withstanding a great deal of abuse.

To the north the main temple itself stands sentinel over the icy peaks, both tall and proud with its banner flying high. Wayward soul or hero to be, all with benevolent intentions will find sanctuary within these halls.

The Mountain Side Temple serves as the central base of operation for the Patronus, an ancient order of champions and heroes, and an ever present call can be felt to those of a heart to walk the path of the Patronus. With a vast array of knowledge contained within its library, the temple also serves as a strong lure for scholars and historians. Adding to the diversity of the temple residents, wayward travelers often pass through its halls.
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Mountain Side Temple

The looming temple stands sentinel over the icy peaks. Wayward soul or hero to be, all with benevolent intentions will find sanctuary within these hallowed halls. The temple is inhabited and guarded by the Patronus and the Knights of Le'thorian.


Mountain Side Temple is a part of The Icy Peaks.

13 Places in Mountain Side Temple:

27 Characters Here

Tyrant Wyrms [17] The collective consciousness that is the Tyrant Wyrms.
Sha Li [14] Mage recently trained by the Patronus
Anzo Tinzdale [13] Heroic Slinger
Loyahl 'Sentry' Zpolebh [11] "Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as eternity; speech is shallow as time."
Gal'mok Fireblade [11] "I taught him almost everything he knows, and now I must pay the consequences for it."
Sarah Lightblade [10] Maker of Creation
Rahuna Kell [10] Dangerously intelligent.
Urza Slate [10] Knight of Winter - Bearer of the Unseelie Knight's Mantle
Rida Galimas [8] 'Sup?

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#, as written by Tiko
(This post was written by myself , Daimayo and Imehal)

North of Wing City - A temple at the base of the mountains

It had been several weeks since Kento had joined up under the Patronus' cause, and many weeks of hard work and persistence in getting him ready to face the trials ahead.

The afternoon at the temple was pleasant enough, despite the chillingly cold weather, and the light layering of snow over the ground. However, the glare of the sunlight against the white covering, left visibility painful at best.

Rynhart was seated atop a large rocky outcrop, at the edge of the steep hill, playing a catchy little tune on his flute, while the others engaged in more vigorous activities.

“Watch your footing,” came the rumbling growl of the dragonborn warrior, stepping forward with a powerful backhanded slash of her longsword towards Kento's midsection. Taima was seeking to use her larger size and strength to force Kento back across the treacherous terrain, slick with snow and ice, and littered with rocks.

Kento was far from a beginner, but fighting on such icy ground was difficult for even veteran warriors.

Stepping back and trying to resist the urge to look at his feet, Kento didn't attempt to block the heavier blade, moving quickly out of reach of the swing... he'd been playing defensively for the entire sparring match, his outclassed ability with a blade and the feelings of intimidation that he couldn't resist letting control him every time he looked at Taima's larger frame keeping him from attacking.

The blacksmith had already almost fallen twice now, slipping on a sudden patch of ice, but each time Kento blocked the dragonborn's blade, the jarring sensation numbed his fingers a little bit more. Steeling himself, he sidestepped away from the side that she held her blade at, and lunged in an attempt to thrust his sword into the leather armour that she wore... he didn't want to be pressured into continuing to walk backwards, opting to circle and push her back with the stabbing of his blade.

Parlina had taken her place beside Rynhart, naturally assuming that the pleasant tune coming from his flute reflected accurately his temperament. Not that she was paying terribly much attention to him, as interesting a fellow he was. No her aquamarine eyes were watching the slanted combat between Kento and Taima. There had been a few sessions like this already and she liked being present for more than one reason.

Little green spirits floated within a few feet of the combatants, not interfering but acting as her eyes and ears. Other than observation and gaining insight onto better cohesion for the group, the druidess was sitting on the sidelines just in case anything went wrong. When this had all first started she had felt constantly nervous for Kento but now, Parlina often just felt a sense of pride. He was not exactly fighting toe-to-toe with Taima but it was a vast improvement over the entirely defensive nature of previous sessions.

Her smile was infectious, leaning forward with her chin in her hands.

The resounding clang of Kento's sword against Taima's shield echoed down over the rolling rocky hills, but Rynhart did not seem disturbed, his eyes closing as he became lost in his musical piece. The lively tune was almost invigorating as it seeped into the minds and souls of those that listened to the notes.

It would be difficult to place whether the effects were magical in nature, or merely inspiring, but Kento's reservations against his larger opponent were a concern that would need to be addressed. His fear was keeping the courage Taima had witnessed previously, locked away, and Rynhart subtly sought to coax that back to the surface.

Not that anyone would be aware of what it was he was doing, as the clash of steel against steel continued to fill the air.

Kento barely noticed the tune, swept up in the fight now... Although he was focused on the sparring match, the young man couldn't help but feel some pride in how quickly he knew he was progressing in his training. Kento was still no match for his larger mentor, that much was sure... but he was also beginning to make a few attempts to attack.

The thoughts elated him as he stepped forwards again, pressing the offense and unwilling to relent the momentary respite from dodging and sidestepping. Feeling his heart pounding, he swung his sword at the dragonborn... his hesitant attack growing slightly bolder. Kento began to smile as they sparred. The weeks of training were paying off.

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#, as written by Script
The crunching of booted feet on snow would become faintly audible as the battle progressed, an early sign of an approach. Before long Sylvire would come into view on the mountain path leading up to the temple, heavy cloak wrapped around her as protection against the wind and cold, a light dusting of snow covering it. She lowered her hood as she first spotted Rynhart and Parlina at the edge of the rocky outcrop on which Taima and Kento sparred, allowing her hair to blow free.

Using her staff to aid her approach, the sorceress made her way over to the group, calling out as she did so, "Hail!"

The sorceress was not familiar with those assembled here, barring Taima, though she had met Parlina once before. "I hope I find you all well."

Sylvire inclined her head to the group. "I am Sylvire Nasazura, to those of you who have not met me previously. I am sure that Taima has mentioned me before." she said, "I have come on Taima's recommendation to meet with the one named Kento."

Sylvire looked to Kento himself, "Which, I assume, is you?" she queried - the only other male present being, after all, an elf (at least in appearance) as opposed to human. "But before we skip straight to there, I would like to acquaint myself with all of you. A general is no use if she does not know her allies."

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#, as written by Tiko
At Sylvire's arrival, Taima signaled a cease to the spar as she slipped out of her readied stance and offered a respectful bow of her head towards Sylvire. Even with the months she had spent in the sorceresses company at the library, Taima was never one to overlook formalities.

The pleasant notes drifting from Rynhart's flute ceased with the greetings and introductions, the small object vanishing beneath the folds of his heavy coat.

“It is an honor, as always. Sylvire Nasazura,” Taima said, her voice more of a throaty growl.

“Indeed, he is,” she added, as Sylvire correctly picked Kento out of the group.

“Parlina you have met," she continued, a gesture of her shield arm towards the druid seated beside Rynhart.

"The other is Rynhart, and ah..." she paused, her tone shifting almost to one of exasperation. Though it would be difficult to tell for the newer additions to the group. For those that hadn't spent a great deal of time with the dragonborn warrior, the draconic visage and throaty growls could be a challenge to read.

"That would be Alair," she finished, her gaze shifting above Sylvire, towards the sky overhead, somewhere behind the sorceresses position.

At Taima's introduction of him, Rynhart offered a brief incline of his head, a subtle nod, towards Sylvire, though for the time being, he was content to watch the happening events. The late arrival of his pupil, Alair, was met with a brief questioning arch of his eyebrow, though he was confident the half-breed would explain his late arrival soon enough.

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Alair landed sheepishly, seeing everyone was gathered already. He nodded to Kento, Taima, and Parlina and bowed sheepishly to Rynhart, clearly trying to look at least a little contrite. He failed, more than a little bit. "Forgive me, please. I was having a few minor wardrobe problems." By that he meant he couldn't possibly decide what on earth to wear to this, and so had spent about four hours in his walk-in closet before finally choosing an outfit...and then realizing he was late. But he was hoping not to have to explain that to Rynhart in detail.

Of course, considering this was the oh so vain Alair, he was fooling no one. Though to be far he did come fully armed of course, with his broadsword strapped so it wouldn't inhibit flying. The half breed turned to face Sylvire and bowed shallowly to her too. "Please, forgive me my tardiness, Ma'am." He moved next to Rynhart's side, more than a little embarrassed. Well, at least he wasn't too late. It could have been much worse after all. His closet was the size of most people's bedroom and living room combined. He could have easily spent at least another two hours in there.

The half breed was extremely well put together in appearance, being nothing less than vanity itself. Everything from the oh so neatly tied back black long locks to the perfectly maintained nails spoke of this. Though those same nails made it clear he did work, somewhat, for a living. He smiled at everyone, especially Sylvire, hoping to put this behind them.

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#, as written by Daimayo
Kento stopped sparring the moment that Taima gave the signal to cease, although he did not immediately see why. He heard Sylvire's greeting a moment after, and turned to the sorceress, bowing out of respect - He had never met the woman, but had heard enough about today and her description that he realized immediately who it must be: Sylvire, the one seen as the leader of the Patronus. As he listened to her introduction, the blacksmith respectfully sheathed his blade.

Kento was surprised at how quickly things were moving. - The fight outside of the smithy still seemed like it had taken place only yesterday, and now already he was meeting the leader of their organization. He remembered arriving here weeks ago, wearing both his blade and the green armour the he currently donned, carrying only food, and his smithing materials - since then he'd been able to set up a small forge in the mountains, and although he had yet to be tasked with creating anything of real worth, the man could tell that he was being tested.

Hearing his name, Kento nodded to Sylvire, indicating the he was who she was looking for... eyes wide. She'd sought him out? He glanced at Taima, wondering what it was that his mentor had had told the caster. Unclipping one of the shoulder guards of his armour, he watched as Alair landed, raising a hand in return to the other apprentice's greeting... but his mind was still focused on Sylvire. He'd been told that she was going to arrive, but not why... and her interest in him made him immensely more curious about the happenings of the day.

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#, as written by Imehal
The fight had halted in the wake of Sylvire's approach, her little spirits dashing over from the spar to the new and relatively unfamiliar arrival. The druidess did not immediately rise, displeased by the ending of the tune although she appreciated the cause. After all, for all intents and purposes, Parlina was still not much more than a child despite her manners and experiences.

“Hello Lady Sylvire,” she returned with a wave after Taima had finished introductions, standing to curtsey politely to the woman who had cleansed her of the taint some many months past. Mostly, she did the greeting to avoid smiling outright.

Alair was always late and truth be told, as long as he wasn't late for you know, real situations she would continue to be amused to no end by it. The spirits bounded around Sylvire curiously for a few extra moments before their joy could be felt at her presence. Kento looked rather taken aback and her eyes lightened to a pale blue. This meant he was one of them now!

Her silence was just about kept, squirming a little on her feet though she turned to beam up at Taima briefly before waiting for introductions to come to a close.

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#, as written by Script
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Rynhart." Sylvire said as the elf male was introduced, inclining her head, "I will admit to being impressed by your music, when it caught my ears down the mountain path."

A compliment was always a good way to begin a relationship, be it that of friend, or merely acquaintance. Even this far after Amarathia's fall, politics still flowed in Sylvire's veins. As Alair arrived, Sylvire nodded him too. "And equally a pleasure to meet you, Alair."

The sorceress smiled to Parlina before returning her attention to Kento. "I have matters to attend to, as you know, Taima, so I will move swiftly onwards. Kento, Taima has told me much of your training. She says you show great promise, and skill, but by no fault of your own you are lacking in the power necessary to go toe-to-toe with our more fearsome enemies. I am here to alleviate this."

As she spoke, Sylvire drew out from beneath her cloak a long metal pole, identifiable after it was fully revealed as a weapon-like javelin. Along its length, blue lightning crackled. "I wish to bestow upon you the Lightning Javelin, one of the artefacts that we are tasked to protect. It was previously in the care of a knight named Faris, but he disappeared, leaving it behind. I can only assume that this was because he was called away to a place where he could not fight for our cause, as he was an honourable man. It is a powerful weapon that will grant you the powers of lightning, and be bound to you. It will always return to you when you call it, so long as it is able."

Sylvire extended her hand to proffer the weapon to Kento. "May it serve you, and you it, well in the days to come."

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In amidst all the introductions that Sylvire's presence at the temple had prompted aside from the intended one between Kento and the leader herself, it seemed there was one more round to be made this day. Natalie's spell had carried both passenger and herself across the distance between the two locations in scarce moments. In the instant that they both began to shimmer into existence did she finally see the rather impressive number of Patronus and allies gathered just a little distance from where she knew was the entrance to Dallas' temple.

The moment that both had arrived, Ziel's eyes seemingly blinked for a second. Though he'd possessed the talent of 'transporting' himself much the way Natalie could, it still brought on a distorted sight once the traversing thus completed. His eyes, slowly beginning to take in the sight before him, then fell upon what he could only assume as the Patronus. The numbers were great, and he found himself slightly confused as to why so many were present. It only made him debate on how terrible their enemies really were. Assumptions brought about the realization that perhaps they were more powerful than he'd first thought, being who he was, it didn't dent his resolve in the least.

The frost and ice of late had introduced Natalie to a type of weather that she still wasn't entirely sure she approved of. Up here, it seemed to worsened still, the ground covered by a reasonable layer of snow, hiding the rocks and enviroment under its all-covering white blanket.

Her composure did not seem affected, greeting Taima with a polite nod as she released the hand of Ziel's she had, bemused to find that luck had found Sylvire present as well. Her posture dipped into a bow appropriately, though there was a slight smile on her features as she straightened, gaze directed towards the group in general.

As his hand was released, he watched in silence as Natalie thusly bowed; doing so himself moments after...simply for the purposes of respect. A smile, he too, then chose to give, aquamarine eyes remaining solid upon the many before, and around him. The area in general, he'd noticed, was very secluded, and rather dull, in it's own beautiful way, he could suppose. In the short moments he took this all in, he then came to place his attention on Natalie, about to speak himself. But, as he went to open his mouth to speak, he quickly shut it.

"Taima, Lady Nasazura, Rynhart and... everyone else, greetings," she chuckled lightly though there was a touch of annoyance to her expression briefly. "I do hope we're not intruding. For those of you who are not aware, my name is Natalie Oldburn and well, I think you can introduce yourself."

Her gaze then turned to focus on whom none of them would recognise. "I don't think I need to explain why I brought him here, regardless."

Ziel had all but forgotten what he was about to say, perhaps infer...more than likely, as she set her gaze upon him. He was to introduce himself, but of course. All in proper, he knew that much. "Ah, yes. Hm, such staggering numbers, in a sense. I almost find myself tongue-tied. But, My name is Ziel Cepheus, and it is with great pleasure that I make all your acquaintances..." he states in a slightly mild tone to those he'd be speaking to. His aquamarine hue's seemingly wavered for a moment, rather shy in a sense for some strange reason. Perhaps it was because he'd not expected just as many as he was now standing before.

"I appreciate this opportunity..." He begins before smiling softly. "I hadn't really expected this, actually. It seems this lovely lady here came to seek me out for a purpose in aiding you all, in which I openly accept and would love to do..." he softly finishes, eyes rather shimmering now. His resolve to protect was rather unending, infinite, in a sense.

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#, as written by Tiko
Alair's explanation for his tardiness didn't overly impress Taima, but she overlooked it. He was Rynhart's pupil after all.

Rynhart likewise, opted to address the matter at a later date, though he did offer a subtle smile to Sylvire's words, a rare expression on his normally passive face.

“A compliment from a lady of such notoriety, is a compliment well appreciated,” Rynhart replied pleasantly.

With the greetings resolved, and Sylvire's offer to Kento underway, Taima was in an unusual state of ease, her guard let down amongst allies, and Natalie and Ziel's abrupt arrival left her momentarily caught in a rare state of surprise. Though outwardly, she gave little to display such matters, it was a moment before she inclined her head once more.

“An unexpected visit, but you are welcome, as always. Natalie Oldburn. Ziel Cepheus,” she replied gruffly.

The growing group would be addressed with a simple offer. Though she did give pause, to await Kento's reaction and words to Sylvire's own offer. Such a moment would weight heavily on the young blacksmith, and until his reply was given, Taima would not speak further. Once concluded though, she would continue.

“Shall we reconvene inside and out of the cold?” she offered.

“If you have nowhere pressing to be,” she added, her gaze falling on Sylvire.

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Alair looked more than a little eager to get inside. Despite the fact that his internal heating issues had begun to end, and he was much warmer than he otherwise would have been, he still preferred nice heated buildings to winter weather. The half breed looked to Natalie and Ziel somewhat curiously, mostly just glad that they were later than him, so he couldn't be in even more trouble.

Or at least, the attention was taken away from him and moved elsewhere. Rynhart likely was upset with his reasons, but really, he had been meeting someone important, so of course he was going to dress for the part. At least Parlina was amused by his tardiness.

The thought, of course, prompted him to send a flirtatious smile her way. She was a cute little thing, though too young for his tastes. Not that it would stop him from a little very light flirtation. So long as Rynhart didn't send him any heavily disapproving looks at least. Though he meant absolutely nothing by it, and no doubt she would know.

That Kento recieved a javelin from Slyvire surprised him slightly, but not enough to bother him at all. Kento would do better with any weapon, but especially one that would even the odds in his favor somewhat. The other apprentice was so different form him he didn't really connect but still, he worried somewhat. There was no need for him to get injured in the skirmishes that appeared to almost randomly happen.

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#, as written by Daimayo
Kento couldn't help but blush slightly when his lack of skill was mentioned by Sylvire... he knew that he couldn't go against many enemies that they had and win, and was still slightly embarrassed by the fact - he needed to train much more, of that he was sure.

The blacksmith's thoughts were interrupted as the Javelin was revealed, leaving him staring at the weapon openly. The magical nature of the throwing spear was clear as lightning crackled along the haft.. he knew of the artifacts. Taima had even shown hers to him, though she'd not let him touch it. Despite his small knowledge about their nature, he had never expected to possess one of his own - and certainly not so quickly. He knew that this was a responsibility that he now would bear for the rest of his life, but the young blacksmith knew that he would bear it happily. He was a true member of the Patronus, now. Kento's gauntleted hand hesitated, but, looking up at Sylvire, he took the weapon carefully.

"It...tingles." He held it closer to himself, his gaze passing over the blade, drifting to the handle... it felt as though a current was running along the arm that held the Javelin, a current which threaded it's way through his body, making him shiver mildly. It felt as though something was trying to feel him out... to familiarize itself with him. Slowly taking his eyes from the weapon he earnestly bowed to the woman who had given him the weapon. "This is an honour... thank you so much."

Holding the javelin tightly, Kento barely noticed the arrival of the two newcomers - neither people were known by him, but their easy acceptance by the others was proof enough that they were allies. Looking at Taima when she spoke, he nodded wordlessly, listening to his mentor - He may be another bearer of an artifact, but that did not change the amount of respect he had for the Dragonborn.

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#, as written by Script
Sylvire nodded, smiling to Kento as he received the weapon. "It is bonding with you." she explained, "And it will remain so until you willingly pass it on. I know that Taima has explained to you our mission, so I will not reel off a spiel on the importance of the duty this artefact bestows upon you."

The sorceress gave a wry smile to the dragonborn, "I am sure that Taima will make certain that you are well informed."

As Natalie and Ziel arrived, Sylvire turned to face them with a slightly raised eyebrow. So many new additions. She felt almost out of touch, but perhaps that was good. It was a sign that their number was expanding. A general could not know every soldier in her army, but she trusted the judgement of those she had chosen, and those who had joined her already.

She tilted her head respectfully towards the two new arrivals and smiled, "It is good to see you, Natalie." she said to the mage, before turning to Ziel, "And Ziel, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Sylvire Nasazura. I thank you for lending your aid to our cause; we will need every hand we have in the days to come."

At Taima's offer, Sylvire nodded, "Very well. I will join you all for a short while, that I might become better acquainted with those I do not know, but I must depart before too long. I have left Aiedai to look after herself for a short while, and whilst she has a very calm and independent demeanour, I do not like to leave her for too long."

With that said, Sylvire would turn to follow the others inside.

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#, as written by Imehal
(Co-written by Vejisama and myself.)

Taima was caught off-guard and it was all Parlina could do not to laugh. Luckily her spirits were providing an excellent distraction, having no idea who to focus on first. The new arrival or the equally interesting subject that was Sylvire Nasazura? Ziel he said his name was? Parlina leaned forward to get a better look, sliding a beaming smile towards Alair as she did so. The half-dragon and her had always had an easy and humourous rapport even if she thought him a bit... well... ditzy at times.

"Hello Sir Ziel," she said cheerily, waving at him before observing the bonding of artefact to Kento with undisguised awe. It was certainly a feat to behold and although the magics behind it escaped her, she enjoyed the visual show and the reaction it brought out in their newest member. That was what he had needed.

Ziel, in his watching, found himself being hailed in a sense. Turning, he spies Parlina waving. With a small laugh, his eyes flutter shut and he raises his own hand giving a rather awkward wave in return. The gesture, itself, was...somewhat foreign. He, as a Youkai, never really 'waved' to others. It was a human and Saiyan gesture he hadn't but watched. "Hello, Miss. A pleasure..." He softly replies, before turning back to the others.

Parlina bounced to her feet at Sylvire's agreement to go inside, almost skipping across the distance, a soft humming coming from her as the green spirits that were her constant companions hovered away from their interests to focus on the task at hand. It was a shame that the spar had ended but as always, Parlina looked beyond the disappointment at the good that would come next.

This was... unusual.

Loneliness was something Natalie felt often but usually not in such intensity, looking away from the friendly interactions as soon as both dragonborn and leader had made their greetings towards her. Awkwardness made her want to leave almost as soon as she had arrived but the sorceress held her ground to follow the others inside the temple.

Ziel on the other hand happened to direct his attention toward Taima, a soft bowing of his head in response to her words. She seemed rather gruff in some aspects, but there was always need in such a type of being in this area. Already, the male had begun to piece together what he saw as a minute army of sorts. This initially drew flashbacks into his mind of a waged war long ago in his youth. Though the circumstances were different, the base layout of everything remained. His silence though...was rather definite as he knew not what to say at the moment. Instead, his eyes remained trained upon them all, shifting softly from person to person.

Natalie meanwhile distracted her mind with Sylvire's bestowing of the javelin upon Kento, for whilst she was glad to have new allies, it surely boded ill for the knight who had once wielded it with pride. I owe him my life and he's... just gone. That was how things happened though wasn't it? In this war you couldn't afford to look back and wish what was. A pity that that lesson was not to come to Natalie's senses for some time yet.

"And you Lady Nasazura," she returned shortly with impressive sincerity before her footsteps began to crunch in the still soft snow towards the entrance. Her robes did a good job of keeping her warm enough but Taima was quite right. Inside would be better and everyone could have informal introductions with Ziel. Then she could slip away once business was done.

Ziel at that moment, hearing Sylvire's words offered a mild smile, bowing most respectfully toward her, yet again, before righting himself to part his lips. "...No, the pleasure is all mine. And I find myself content, and more than willing to offer my assitence. The cause is a righteous one, and I am more than honest in stating that I wish to help you all. Anything I can offer, you can have from me." He states rather truthfully.

"...But I will say, I do wish to get to know all of you well," He begins before smiling. "So that when we do go into combat, whenever it comes about, that I can be sure I will have all of your support, as will you have my unrelenting support." He finishes, bowing one final time and then nodding at the invitation to head in.

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#, as written by Tiko
Rynhart rose from his seat, with a nod of his head for Alair to join the others inside as he to made his own way towards the temple entrance, his heavy coat gusting open briefly from the chilly air.

Taima on the other hand lingered behind for perhaps a moment as she watched the rest of the group filter inside. A lot weighed on the D\dragonborn's mind, but for now, things were good. Their numbers were growing, and as a group, those that resided here at the temple grew stronger and more unified with each passing day. To see them grow filled her with pride.

As the last of them entered the temple, Taima entered after them, descending into the inner sanctum along with them. There was a lot of catching up to do, and a few new faces for people to become acquainted with.

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#, as written by Daimayo
(Post co-written by Tiko and Daimayo)

It had been several days since Sylvire's visit to the temple and Taima stood atop a rocky outcropping, overlooking a deep ravine that cut through the mountain. Given their rocky surroundings, there was little chance of any notable damage being inflicted on the environment, or of fires being set.

She glanced overhead where dark clouds were gathering, rumbling with the distant rolling of thunder. The storm was brewing far too fast to be of natural origins, and the air seemed to be growing electrically charged.

With a deafening crack, Taima called down the heavens themselves, as a bolt of lightning struck her halberd, charging it with the full force of the lightning bolt. The sound was enough to leave her momentarily deafened as she let the arcing weapon loose across the ravine.

The halberd wasn't exactly designed to be thrown, but her size and strength granted her the leverage needed. And though it was far from accurate, the area of effect that the lightning bolt would cause, made it a worthwhile endeavor.

As the halberd struck, the lightning bolt was released, shattering the rock and leaving the surrounding area blackened.

“I cannot create lightning, but I can make use of it. What you possess is a powerful weapon, but one that must be wielded with care. That was one of my more powerful spells, and the javelin can do what it took me calling in a storm to do, in but a moment and without the energy investment of a spell,” she explained, her voice rough and gravely.

Their ears would no doubt still be ringing from the bolt she had called down, though the electrical charge in the air was an almost invigorating feeling.

“However, lightning is indiscriminate - it will harm friend and foe alike. Without precision, you are in just as much danger of striking down your allies, as you are your enemies.”

Despite the growling nature of her voice, once one spent enough time around the dragonborn warrior, it became apparent that there was an almost gentle patience to it.

Kento winced, having flinched at the noise of the thunderous crack against the halberd, even though Taima had given him fair warning. Watching the damage that her spelled weapon had caused, he stared, glancing at the artifact that he'd been given... the blacksmith could feel the power of the holy javelin coiling up and down his entire arm, but he still hesitated.

He'd never cast magic of any variety before - what if he was unable to? Sylvire had told him that the weapon was bound to him. Despite his earlier awe at receiving the artifact, Kento couldn't help but feel a sudden rush of nervousness. He wanted to be a useful ally to the other Patronus members, and the thought of the artifact being bound to his life without him being able to actually use it made him more hesitant to try than he'd let on.

"Alright..." He swallowed, taking in her words. He'd be careful with the weapon - his own natural nervousness around the magic that was still so new to him would certainly help for the time being. Holding it out, he first tried to inwardly will the weapon to charge... he wanted to see if he could let it cast its lightning without making him throw it. After his first battle caught empty-handed, the idea of willingly letting go of his most powerful item was daunting.

Feeling the power surge in the hilt of the javelin as it responded to his thoughts, Kento's grip tightened on it as he felt the pressure build in his palm... after a moment, his ears seemed to complain at the air pressure around him, an instant before a mighty lightning bolt leaped across the ravine with a loud thunderclap.

Surpised, Kento fell onto his behind very suddenly. The magical lightning was unguided as it flew from the outcropping and struck the most natural course to the ground that was within its reach - Taima's halberd. Losing sight of the magic as he'd fallen, the blacksmith blinked, realizing that he'd been momentarily deafened. "Holy hell."

Taima watched on stoically, as the lightning struck the halberd. The weapon had been enchanted and imbued with the element of lightning, and even still it could not withstand the impact of the lightning bolt generated by the artifact in Kento's possession.

All that remained of the weapon was a twisted molten mess of metal.

Well, at least she had replaced her more traditionally worn heavy plate armor, with the leather artifact armor she now wore. This might be more dangerous than she had thought.

Fortunately for Kento, patience was something Taima had a great deal of, and the destruction of the weapon she had wielded since her youth was met with little more than a grunt.

“Focus,” she instructed. “Try again.”

Climbing back to his feet, the young swordsman stared at the destruction he'd wrought against Taima's long-held halberd... he looked at her guiltily, despite her nonchalance. "Um ... after this, I'll definitely get to work on fixing that."

It was the least he could do - and many of the materials that he'd been able to purify in the area that they were in would do an extremely good job in fixing her weapon - it'd be good as new after a few days. Sighing, he took the powerful weapon up in his hand again. At least he knew now that he could wield it.

“Perhaps I should try ... throwing it?” The man had a good arm with a stone, and knew the basics of spear throwing mostly from his own observations of others on his travels, but he knew that he was far from a professional. Hopefully the sheer force of the weapon would counteract that as he learned to be more accurate with it's ranged ability.

Taima inclined her head briefly, “It may assist with directing the lightning to your target, rather than aiming the lightning itself. Until you have more control anyways.”

With that said, Taima moved back a pace, to give Kento room to move.

Taking a step back, Kento eyed a target - a boulder at the bottom of the ravine. it was far enough away that it would be a difficult throw for someone with his skill level, but still close enough that he knew he could reach it with the throw.

Inhaling slowly, he let the magic that was stored, latent inside the javelin that he held flow around his palm, charging the weapon almost audibly. Within a few moments a very quiet humming noise could be heard in the quiet morning air, and Kento exhaled as he stepped and threw the javelin, his eye still on the boulder that he'd mentally marked.

The weapon flew true, much to his own surprise, and instead of chittering off of the rock like he'd half-expected, it sank into the stone for nearly half of the length of the holy weapon's blade. Moments later, a noise like a gunshot echoed across the ravine as the magic stored in the blade released, turning almost half of the boulder into shrapnel to burrow itself in the dirt surrounding the target.

Giving a whoop, Kento clenched his fist victoriously... he was surprised at the damage that the stone had withstood, due to the electrical nature of the attack. It seemed that part of the force of the javelin was more than merely lightning, but kinetic as well - he looked down at his artifact... if still looked clean and unharmed despite the dusty cloud that it had created... he held his hand out to the weapon, staring at it from where it was thrown. Hadn't Sylvire mentioned being able to call it back to his hand...?

The weapon shimmered, and a moment later Kento's hand grasped the artifact again. The blacksmith looked at it with open surprise; He hadn't expected it to be that easy.

Taima was more than pleased with Kento's progress, though she rarely showed it outside of brief and occasional words of encouragement. Doting and flattery were certainly not her style. And so the only implication of her pleasure that she gave was a brief incline of her head in a nod.

She stood a time in silence, pondering over her coming words. Kento, still so full of youth and vigor, was understandably experiencing the thrill of his new weapon. However, there was more than fun and games to the trials ahead and it was time to discuss more serious matters.

“I imagine it goes without saying, the weight of this burden you have taken. These artifacts, are more important than our lives. You quite literally, took the world on your shoulders when you accepted this responsibility,” she began, her voice heavy with the weight of her words. “This is your moment to make a stand, for what is good and righteous in this world. To do your part to make sure that there is a world for the younger generations to look forward to. However, the time will come, that your moment passes. Our days in this world are fleeting. Always remember that, and never think yourself beyond falling. If you do, when you pass from this world, all that you have done will be lost to time, with no one to carry on for you.” There was a somberness to Taima's words, a weight that was perhaps a touch more heavy-hearted than it should have been, but it passed as she nodded her head back towards the mountain path in the distance.

“Come, let us be on our way,” she instructed.

Glancing at the boulder one more time, Kento nodded to her, breathing a tad heavily from a mixture of excitement and effort: He was getting stronger now, he could feel it... The blacksmith contemplated her sobering words... how old was Taima? She'd never told him, although her vast knowledge and clear experience was beginning to make him think that she was much older than he'd originally guessed.

He'd climb down to collect the remaining pieces of her halberd, and then they could return to camp... and he could repair the weapon in between his practice with the dragonborn. Glancing at the skyline, he was surprised that it hadn't cleared up entirely from the magic that Taima had cast earlier... it gave the morning an almost ominous hue. Shivering from the cold, he shook his head. Kento's imagination had a way of getting away with him sometimes.

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#, as written by Marcus

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(Post co-written by Daimayo and Ishae Junta)

A few days after Kento had accidentally destroyed Taima's halberd, Alair made his way to the smithy, to help out his other Master. It had been Rynhart's idea for him to learn from the other apprentice, but Alair hadn't fought too much.

Rynhart was a bit scary for that. So instead he was here to train in a 'respectable' job field. He refused to tell Rynhart exactly what it was Alair used to do that let him laze about all day and still live his very rich lifestyle. That was his past and it was far behind him. Very far behind him.

The half dragon knocked on the door of the smithy and looked in, entering right on time. And people said he could never manage that. "Kento?"

"Come in!" The yell came from the back of the makeshift smithy, a cough accompanying Kento's call for the other apprentice to enter... There was a hissing noise that drowned out any further invitation, the sound of scorching metal touching cool water.

Alair headed to the back of the smithy, wincing at the sound of a cough. Kento better not be sick. The halfbreed reveled in the heat of the building and the tension flowed out of his muscles. He may not enjoy the fact that he was essentially forced to do this, but he enjoyed the heat in the building, and the work was actually a bit relaxing.

The smithy itself was small, having been built in barely over a day by Kento, with Taima's occasional assistance. The building though partially underground, opened up from the mountainside, offering an ideal location outside of the temple for the inevitable smoke and heat of the room to slowly billow out.

The inside had granite walls covered with weapons of various sizes, and several tables had been pulled into the makeshift smithy. Tools of the trade littered the majority of the surface, although they were clearly arranged in a manner, and on one table a long halberd was laying, it's metal twisted beyond the recognition of anyone who didn't already know what the weapon was.

In the midst of the organized chaos, Kento stood, clearly less comfortable in the heat than Alair, stripped to the waist as he held thick tongs in a gloved hand, moving yet another dirk blade into the cooling vat of water beside the forge. The air near him rippled with heat, and smoke rose from the water with another loud hiss. "Hey, glad you could make it." The Blacksmith grinned, wiping some perspiration from his brow as he looked at the half dragon.

Alair glanced around and spotted Kento heading to his side and smiling slightly. "Yeah. I'm here for my latest lesson. On time too." He said with a shrug. The half dragon watched the other creating more weapons, and hoped the other side didn't have anything like Kento.

He would like some sort of advantage, at the least. He well knew that they were out powered, though it wouldn't stop him from fighting.

Kento seemed less concerned with the balance of power between the Orsa and the Patronus, holding the tongs out towards Alair "Here, I've got another one that has been drawn already, just take the blade in the tongs and use the hammer on the table to start shaping it. Let me just get you the gloves..." He began to take off the thick, heat-resistant gloves to give to the half dragon.

Alair shook his head and simply took the blade in his bare hands. "Part dragon, remember? I can handle the heat." He pointed out, grinning. "There's a reason we only have one pair of gloves.

The half breed began to work, slower than Kento, but still managing to work before the metal cooled too much. Shaping the blade wasn't too hard, considering it had already been drawn to the correct length, all Alair really had to to was taper the edges.

That he could handle, well enough at least. Though it occassionaly took a bit before the blade was correctly tapered.

Kento nodded with satisfaction, although he'd been a bit shocked when Alair had taken the scalding steel with his bare fingers... The other apprentice had a knack for the work, and the blade didn't even have to be reheated before it was finished. The blacksmith nodded with satisfaction. "Excellent, that looks just fine, just toss it into the vat and we can sharpen this batch later."

Kento wiped his brow clean again, inhaling a deep breath. He'd created the dirks as a secondary weapon to any in the Temple who required them, although the metal that the young man had used was hard enough that the creations could be used as a tool for other things as well.

"I know that I mentioned perhaps working on Taima's halberd while you were here, but it seems I'll need her here to lay down the enchantments as I forge the weapon itself, so..." He let the sentence trail off. They were running out of time, the ominous air couldn't help but give him that impression.

Alair nodded solemnly. "I understand. In the meantime, I suppose I'll be making more dirks?" Dirks, dirks, and more dirks. They were almost as bad as the sheer number of nails he had made before being allowed to do anything else.

He was pretty certain that no one out there could possibly use half that many nails. After all, he had spent several days straight of doing nothing but making nails. At least, nothing else in his smithing lessons.

His fighting lessons were another matter entirely. The half dragon dropped the dirk into the vat and watched as steam billowed upwards in response to the heated blade. It was always something that fascinated him.

"You will be making plenty more dirks where that came from." Kento couldn't help but chuckle... Alair was more than capable at this point to make something more complicated, but there were no requests by any of the Patronus for other creations. "Later, what you should do is talk to Master Rynhart and see if he can help us to learn enchantments. Taima has been busy lately... and more and more I'm learning that we're going to need something better than the simple physical weapons that I can make. If we could create simple enchantments, weapons and armour would become far more useful."

He'd truthfully prefer asking Taima to help, and was aware that the fact was likely because of his own preference to his master, but as little as he'd spoken to Rynhart, Kento liked him and was sure that Alair's master could lend his assistance.

Alair nodded at that and made a mental note to talk to Rynhart about the possibility. There was no real telling what his Master would teach, or when. The half breed had long since discovered that.

"I'll ask him soon as possible then." He said quietly, thinking as he found the metal bar for the next dirk and set to work at heating it. He was looking for the perfect orange-yellow that indicated the metal was ripe for the shaping.

"He may be willing to teach us. If nothing else for the cause." And wasn't that an awkward thing to say. For the cause. A cause he most certainly had not known about when he had begun to apprentice under Rynhart. But where the Master went, the student followed.

That sentence stuck with Kento, too. For the cause. Something that both of the apprentices had joined mere months ago and were already becoming rapidly more involved and dedicated to. It was rapidly becoming harder to have imagined his life going in any other direction than the path it had now taken. The blacksmith nodded, not needing to say anything in return.

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#, as written by Tiko
A Mountainside Temple

(Post order: Imehal, Vejisama, Daimayo, Ishae Junta, Tiko, Parabola)

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#, as written by Imehal
(Collaborated post between Imehal, Daimayo, Ishae Junta, and Tiko)

The light snowfall that blanketed the area had broken momentarily, offering a brief reprieve before the storm that would be arriving later into the evening. It was a chilly night, but at the request of Parlina, the small group that had made their home at the mountainside temple were gathering outside for the young druids blessing.

Taima arrived first, though she didn't yet approach the tree, opting to keep a distance, observing the arrivals of the others with her customary stoicism. As the days wore on this past month, Taima had been growing more and more aloof by the day, often watching rather than joining the others outside of training.

Her eyes held a note of sadness to them, but also joy and pride. She couldn't be more proud of those gathering here tonight. They had come a long ways, though only time would tell if it would be enough to see them through the coming trials.

Following a distance behind Taima, Kento looked up at his master with a worried expression. – He had stayed behind her so that the dragonborn had her own space, but truthfully she worried him. Especially after the reforging of his blade, the blacksmith had noticed her withdrawn nature where he previously would have attributed it to how busy they had all been.

Looking up at the tree, he noticed his master stopping a fair distance away, and opted to move closer, glancing up at Taima almost apologetically as he passed her. When he was a dozen feet from the large home that Parlina had made he stopped too, looking up and peering to see if he could make out the druidess.

Alair had arrived shortly behind Kento, following the blacksmith with a slight smile on his face. It seemed to be a trail From Master and Apprentice, to Master and Apprentice. Only Kento had the rather uncomfortabe position of being both at once. The half dragon was merely glad it wasn't him.

He stopped infront of Parlina's tree, looking up with a smile. Parlina was a sweet girl and he liked her. She was full of joy and it bubbled over.

He could admire it. Which was mostly the reason he and deigned to come along.

As Rynhart moved past Taima to join the rest of the group, he paused a moment to stand at her side, observing the two younger apprentices moving ahead to join Parlina at her tree.

“You should tell them,” he said simply.

“Soon,” Taima replied.

With a nod Rynhart moved ahead to take his place with the others, and soon Taima herself joined the rest of the group. Not tonight she thought, tonight was a night of joy and celebration. Tomorrow perhaps.

There was noise outside her tree.

She was thrilled.

Positively, utterly thrilled.

Aquamarine eyes shone with unnatural energy as Parlina glanced about the make-shift grassy area just outside her literal tree house, slipping out of the funnily angled hole that was hidden beneath of the thicker upper branches. Nimbly and without fear, her little feet navigated across a branch, brushing aside intrusive littler ones until she came to nearly the end, quite easy to see against the backdrop of her great oak tree's imposing outreach of branches. Some distance down below she finally spied everyone else beginning to gather at the base of her created sanctuary.

It had grown swiftly over time, now reaching to cover the left-hand side of the hill with outstretching branches and even the trunk bent unnaturally against the upwards curve. She made no announcement of her readiness, seeing no need to rush them despite the distinct chill that the night's air possessed and not for the first time, Parlina found herself grateful for her acclimatisation to the elements. Even so, she couldn't help a shiver as the wind picked up, swaying her branch and covering her bare skin with goosebumps.

Finally her friends and allies had all gathered underneath the impressive natural structure that was her home, she knelt slowly, careful not to unbalance herself as she did so, anticipation for what came next bringing a bright and easy smile to her lips. Her left hand dipped down to her waist to draw out her little staff out of her belt, grasping it in the middle before holding it out horizontally at arm's length, whilst her right arm remained relaxed at her side, eyes slipping closed to concentrate on the task at hand. That task was the ritual of thanks to the Divine, traditionally give at the end of Snow's Fall back on Arthain.

The calendars didn't correlate well, so she had decided that Christmas time would suffice, as it was apparently a universal time of thanks across many cultures and that suited the purposes of her ritual well enough.

“Blessed Divine, we, those whom live humbly through your gifts of sustenance and life, come before you to give thanks for that which was given to us throughout Snow's Fall.”

The words were spoken in scarcely a whisper, merely an accompaniment to the true nature of the ritual, which came to light – quite literally – as her familiar green spirits began to solidify around not just around her but indeed, the whole great oak. Their enthusiastic and thoroughly impatient voices passed through Parlina's mind, garnering a wider smile to take rest on her lips, bright eyes opening as she rose with her staff, twisting it to tap one end against the branch's surface.

An action that might have seemed wholly arbitrary caused all the spirits – numbering in their hundreds at least – to rush towards the trunk of the massive tree, the glow that they had bathed the entire scene vanishing with them, leaving a rather muted environment in their wake.

“Grace us with your favour in whatever trials the new season will bring and give us the strength to overcome them as we always shall strive to do.”

Then her eyes finally opened, arm bending to draw the staff to twist it vertically so that it was parallel with her body, scarce inches between the wooden rod and her outer furs. She and the others who were able could feel the powerful flux of spiritual energy morphing within the tree's trunk. What was to come next was anyone's guess down below but of course, she knew. Parlina's happiness was practically radiating off of her, taking a moment to wave excitedly down at the temple's other occupants in the lull provided whilst the Divine decided whether to accept her offering.

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Ziel had taken it upon himself to follow the others who seemingly chose to gather at this location, one he'd not been to before. Apparently, some ritual, or gathering, of sorts was to take place...and he, himself, would have felt rude not to partake in such a thing seeings as how the rest were as well going to inject themselves into the event. More so than anything, he'd been informed that it was under Parlina's doing, and thus he wished not to hurt the poor females feelings...even though he was more than in the dark on the entirety of the event itself.

With that, he found himself gathering a short distance from the massive Oak that Parlina currently happened to be within. Watching for merely a few moments, he gives a few glances around toward the others before smiling and then taking a sudden seat upon the ground. Folding his legs, he then places both hands upon his thighs and gently allows his eyes to flutter shut. Though it may have not been the least bit utterly silent, he still found himself transcending the bounds of his typical mindset into a strange realm of its own, his meditation. Calm, soothing, thoughts and complete and utter focus to keep his mind sharp, and his Psionics in their pristine condition.

Though, as a short time passed, a foreign 'energy' of sorts began to permeate the area beneath the Oaks mighty branches...and in this Ziel allowed but a single aquamarine eye to open and take in the sight of what appeared to be a green shine around the tree. Peculiar in a sense, he kept that eye trained upon it for the moment.

Not one word did he speak, but his silence was something typical. Unless he was spoken to, he usually did not utter but a sound.

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(Post co-written by Vejisama and Tiko)

Hidden within the temple could be found Ziel, within it's somewhat expansive library. With nothing but seeking information on his mind, he'd spent some time browsing through the minute collection of old and dusty books with intent on finding information upon the group he'd thusly joined. Though he was more than happy to be with the group, as they all seemed more than pure and righteous, he still did care for a bit of knowledge regarding their history, and what had all befell them within the countless years, or so he'd assumed, of their existence. His browsing took him from shelf to shelf, sifting through books and other texts that he had not a clue of what they spoke of...strangely enough, he was content with that. The world known as Terra was beyond foreign to him, and though some of it he could relate to and understand, there was a whole new world within these books that he was unfamiliar with.

It didn't take him as long as he thought before he found a rather large book, though the print upon the cover stood out well enough. Seemingly embrodered in a goldish hued tint, he plucks it from the shelf and begins to scan page by page. His interest was immediately peaked as it happened to be what he was searching for. A glance around, and he spies a seat of sorts and finds himself nestling into it. Though it happened to be vague as he read, he still garnered a minute amount of knowledge and information. It's formation and actual construction all but a mystery, he came to learn that the organization as a whole had been around for much longer than he'd suspected, more than likely replenishing its members often whilst others either faded into obscurity, or...on the more negative side, perhaps perished in conflicts of sorts.

What he did get a vague semblance of thought was a reference to holding 'objects' that seemingly posed as a safeguard to the protection of this world. His quick thought instantly shifted to his first initial meeting, and spying a young man whom held something akin to a staff. Its immaculate design being as such, he could only put two and two together, though...mayhap the less talented in intellectuality wouldn't even stumble upon such a possibility.

A short while later, after digging up all the possible information he could from said book, he finds himself nodding contentedly, and then gently closing the book and placing it beside him on a table surface. Now, he simply remained quiet and began to reflect on what he'd read as well as contemplate on his possible contribution to the group as well as his true worth.

Taima had come to stand in the doorway of the Library, her eyes on Ziel, as curious of him as he was of them no doubt. She stood that way for a time, not interrupting the man's studious nature. The temple barred access to any with malicious intentions, and so she was not greatly concerned that Ziel's heart was in the right place. However, only time would tell whether or not the man would prove to be reliable.

At last she stepped into the room, allowing the sounds of her movements to announce her present as she removed her helm, setting it atop the table along with her halberd. That she was armored up in such a manner, was a sign that she had likely only just returned to the temple grounds.

In such a state, Taima could be an imposing individual, given her large stature and draconic vissage, but she inclined her head politely.

“Ziel Cepheus,” she greeted him, her voice a gravely growl.

Her eyes shifted to the book resting atop the table before she continued.

“We haven't had much opportunity to speak yet, but you seem to be finding yourself at home,” she said before pausing, as if contemplating her following words.

“I imagine you have questions, given the state Natalie Oldburn arrived and departed in.”

Ziel suddenly found himself drawn from his contemplative demeanor as Taima arrived. How long she'd been there eluded him. On a typical occasion, he'd have known but in his heavy thoughts he'd been completely oblivious. Turning, his aquamarine hue's seem to shine momentarily as he returns a bow of his own, albeit it only his head.

"...Taima, if I remember correctly." He replies before offering a smile. "No, no we have not. A shame, but yes...I am adapting well. It is still a new setting, but it's nothing beyond that plague of a city, as I see it." He states, a slight tone of condemnation in his voice...though it was moreso of regards to the hell hole that was Gambit's with its infestation of cruelty, lust, greed, and furthered traits of selfish, evil, and petty characters.

"As for questions, they are not so much as inquiries as simple curious wonderments. I was simply trying to research the 'Patronus' in a sense. I understand what has been explained to me, but...knowing the History and such does not hurt," He states with a mild chuckle, and then holds a hand out palm upward in simple gesture. ", Correct?" He then adds with a smile.

If such an expression were possible with her draconic visage, Taima would have smiled at Ziel's words. “A scholar is always welcome within these halls, though it is warriors we are in need of at the moment,” she replied. “Finding both in one, is a rare discovery. However, if it is knowledge of the Patronus you seek, this isn't the place I am afraid. While our Library is vast, it is with Sylvire Nasazura that such knowledge is contained,” she explained.

Ziel could only perk a brow at her statement regarding 'warriors'. Closing his eyes, he slowly finds himself righting to his feet. A soft brush of his hands down his sides to straighten his outfit, his deep eyes reopen with a smile upon his lips.

"A scholar, I can be. I hold plenty of knowledge, though not of Terra I will admit. But, you also see before you a more than talented warrior. It may be difficult to come across a being that carries both traits here, if that is what you say, but it is not impossible..." He states with a mild bow, and a soft chuckle.

Leaning back to his height, he tilts his head and places a finger upon the corner of his mouth. "Hn, perhaps I shall request to see such articles, if she allows it. My curiosity hasn't been peaked yet. Though I am mildly content with what I've read, there is still more to it, I am sure. Such as this opposing group known as...Orsa of Terminus? I believe that is what Natalie explained to me. The information is more than just for interests. Whereas I can be a very potential warrior, holding information on both sides whilst being a warrior can expound upon what I am initially, and craft me into an exceptionally knowledgeable warrior, one who holds the facts and the history. its own can pave the way for what I, as a warrior, can expect." He finishes with a nod.

Taima merely inclined her head as she took in Ziel's words. Taima herself wasn't exactly a being of many words, but Ziel seemed to talk more than enough for the both of them. Not that she minded.

“Our knowledge of the enemy is unfortunately limited at the moment. Though they have till this point displayed one critical weakness. An inability to cooperate,” she explained. “Do you know what it is I seek to accomplish here?” she asked after a pause.

Ziel found himself blinking in absolute silence for a moment before then a small smirk tugs at the corner of his mouth. "An inability to cooperate? Isn't that typical of such fiendish beings? I could have easily told you that without even knowing of them. All evil, no matter how 'jointed' it may be in a cause...always finds itself nipping at the heads of each other...much like that fiendish hell hound from...what is it? Earth's simply stories?" He begins, severely butchering the planets name...making it sound akin to that of the hearing device on most beings craniums. "That creature known as...Cerberus? The hound of hell that guarded the gates? Though it was one body, it still, with its savage heads, attacked one another..." He explains, and than waves his hands dismissively. "I am sure you understand without explanation." He states, and then offers a grin.

Though, she had him taken in a stupefied manner with her inquiry. "...Pardon? Explain a bit further. I can list several possibilities for your presence. Of course, on being within the Patronus, you wish to protect this world. I see you as a mentor for that young one as well. There are several reasons. Though, your presence here in the Library can be for several things." He states with a chuckle.

Taima inclined her head once more at his words. “Indeed,” was all the reply she gave to his brief side-story. The dragonborn had a near infinite supply of patience, and was unhurried with the pace of the conversation.

“I will not see us suffer the same failing as the Orsa of Terminus. Those you find here, share a common desire, and they are learning to work together and to trust in one another,” she explained, with a gesture of her hand towards the doorway she entered from, implying the temple as a whole. “To compliment our strengths, and to cover for each others weaknesses. A formidable fighting unit.” she continued before pausing.

“We cannot know what the Orsa of Terminus has in store, but we do know that it wont be overcome alone. I seek warriors who fight smart, rather than relying on raw power. I have a feeling that Natalie was wise in bringing you to us,” she stated carefully. “It will be dark soon, but tomorrow morning, we shall see what you are capable of, if you would oblige,” she finished as her eyes leveled on Ziel's own.

Ziel slowly found himself bowing once again in respect, before rising and giving a nod of his head to her words.

"Most definitely. I see much promise. I've kept my eyes open, and I've seen those whom have been here as wonderful assets, though I may not know them personally yet." He softly states and then smiles.

"I am glad that Natalie did choose to send me this way, I believe it is a new purpose now that my last has exhuasted." He softly adds, and then nods. "A new day, and a new set of tasks at hand. I am more than willing." He states with a beaming smile.

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The cold air of the mountainside tossed Neferata's bleach-blonde hair where she stood, arms crossed as she looked down upon the group gathering around the druid's tree. The slim vampiress' gaze was even icier than her surroundings, her grey eyes as devoid of feeling as they were of colour. Arrayed behind her were those of her clan who remained in the city - sixteen in total. Nine of the sixteen were soldiers, but all were more than capable of handling themselves in the coming battle.

"We move." The queen said quietly, her voice firm.

To her right, the armoured figure of Korah Nieght - Neferata's general - turned to her soldiers. "You heard her! Liandrin, take Carrena, Naen and Asne to sweep around from the far side, to the northwest. Temaile - you, Faiselle and Selande take the due western approach, from lower on the mountain."

The woman looked to Neferata for approval, and she nodded. The soldiers moved out, slipping from their perch on the mountain to swoops downwards through the air, slipping through the darkness as shadows obscured their forms, blending in with the night sky. Neferata then turned to the remaining vampires - the remnants of her council, after the uprising.

"Muriel, use your magic to get the others, as well as Nesune, to cut off the front entrance without detection." she instructed, glancing between the four councillors and the single remaining soldier, a younger blonde girl wielding a sword that gave off a low purple glow. "Selene and Diane, investigate the upper entrance - as far as I can detect, you won't be able to get inside, but investigate nonetheless. If you confirm my suspicions, then join the battle. Otherwise, try and find a good place to lie in wait for any who survive through to within the temple."

As those indicated moved off, it left Neferata and Korah alone upon the viewpoint. Neferata turned to her general and nodded, "Are you ready?"

Korah tilted her head respectfully, "By your command, my Queen."

"Then we strike now."

A few minutes later...

At five separate locations around the mountainside, the Lahmian sisterhood as it stood within Wing City prepared to attack.

Liandrin moved silently through the air to the south-west of the tree, rising towards the plateau area where the group were gathered. Her sword - cold in her grasp - breathed clouds of white from its metal. As it passed near a rock upon the slope, a slick white frosting appeared upon the stone. Light brown hair cut short for ease in a fight, the ancient guard glanced to her left and right. Her fellows - Carrena, a brown-haired vampiress who whilst short in stature, could pack a more than considerable punch with the mace she gripped; tall and thin Naen, shortbow drawn with an arrow already nocked to it, her blonde hair tied in a braid reminiscent of traditional Viking heroines, and Asne, a large and strong readhed, a greatsword the length of her entire upper body gripped firmly in both hands - were close behind her. Silent, long centuries of service together making speech unnecessary in a combat situation where instinct could take over, they neared the point of attack, hovering just out of sight to wait for the signal.

On the other side of the tree, to the north-west, Temaile moved with a malicious grin upon her face in anticipation of the coming slaughter. A bladed chain-sickle hung at her side, hilt intricately designed with a thorny rose pattern to match the band that kept her fiery red hair at bay. Alongside her, Faiselle and Selande - twin sisters, both with braided black hair and cold dark brown eyes. Even Temaile was nervous around the twins -- they were far too in sync, even for twins (though that might have had something to do with being twins for over five thousand years), and frequently finished one another's sentences. That just made them all the more effective with their dual curved swords in combat though.

At the temple entrance, a cloak of shadows disguised the councillors and their guard as they moved in front of the entrance. Muriel's shadow magic was limited largely to manoeuvres like this, stealth and silence, but for this situation it did the job very well. Distinct only to each other, they waited silently for the inevitable retreat that their enemies would attempt. Muriel looked around at her fellow councillors -- none of them were warriors, but their vampiric abilities gave them an edge over others, and when you lived for as long as they had, you had time to pick up a few things here and there. While not as skilled as Korah's soldiers, Muriel was confident that her sister's troops would not be the only ones with blood on their hands by the end of the night. Dark hair laced with blackened bone, she crouched with her sword ready. The other women were similarly armed, apart from Tuon, veiled and dark-skinned in contrast to the other pale women around her, carried a long knife-like blade, curved in the style of her people in the past.

Upon the top of the temple, Selene stepped silently around the rooftop entrance, testing it. She had swiftly established a perimeter within which she could not step without feeling the effects of the holy wards. The assassin looked to her companion - Diane Atha appeared young, dark brown hair tied back in a bun, away from her dark brown eyes, her skin pale and lips red. Of course, like the rest of those who remained in the city, she was far from it - all of them had been members of Neferata's court before the change, more than five thousand years ago. Selene herself was hard to place, in age, so little of her visible behind the wrappings around her head.

"We can't get inside. We should go down, before they attack." Diane said, "We have a duty to protect Neferata. Both of us."

Selene smirked beneath her wrappings. "I have a duty, little maid. You have a desire." she noted - banter that the pair had exchanged for a long time. They were old friends with remarkably similar roles, considering their respective titles.

The pair turned from the upper entrance, and began to descend toward the front of the temple.

Korah and Neferata's shrouded forms descended towards the group around the tree, vague shapes barely distinguishable from the landscape, hidden as they were by their mantles of darkness.

"On my word." Neferata whispered as they closed -- they could hear the group speaking now, the words of some foolish ritual.


The two women diverged, splitting up and circling around. A few seconds later, and a cone of magical fire shot forth from Korah's blade, spearing through the air towards Parlina and her tree. As the fire burst outwards, Neferata seized it with her fire magic and extended it, lent it strength and force to sear through the air and reach the tree. If successful, the fire would engulf the tree in almost its entirety within a few seconds, creating a beacon of heat and flame visible from all parts of the soon-to-be battlefield. If not, the cone of fire would still be more than ample signal for the attack to begin.

As one, Korah's soldiers ascended the few metres left for them to climb and charged. Liandrin, icy sword in hand, as well as Carenna, moved towards Kento with vampiric agility, the former slightly ahead and the first to attempt a strike, a precise thrust towards the chest. Asne, the slower but stronger warrior of the group made to challenge Alair, greatsword curving downwards at his torso. Naen, the archer, took a moment to aim before loosing her arrow at Rynhart.

Temaile wove a lightfooted pattern across the ground, zig-zagging to avoid interception as she snapped her chain sickle around, the deadly blades of the weapon shooting through the air and upwards towards the tree's branches. The redhead let out a sadistic gleeful cry as they flew towards Parlina's body, aiming to wrap around it and pull tight to jerk her forcefully out of the tree. The weapon had an eerie green glow to it, and upon contact would begin to draw energy from any wounds inflicted, feeding it into Temaile herself. The twins, curved blades at the ready, both made for Ziel's position with unnaturally mirrored movements. Closing the short distance swiftly, they struck as one from either side of the man, making to slice his neck before he even had a chance to stand.

With the fiery signal given, Korah hefted her sword and shield and charged into battle, making to strike at Rynhart from behind whether or not Naen's arrow struck home. Neferata herself stepped forwards serenely, her hand beginning to glow bright green as she pointed it toward Taima. The sorceress Queen channelled a malediction upon the dragonborn, paralytic energies beginning to surround her, aimed to bring her to her knees within a relatively short time.

Her own sword held at her side, Neferata cracked a heartless smile. "You should be honoured!" she shouted over the clamour of the battle.

"It is not often that I attend executions personally."

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(Co-written by Daimayo and Tiko)

Kento’s gloved hands gripped the bellows firmly, the blacksmith giving a small noise of exertion as he began to heat the flames of the open forge further. The coals flared and fire leapt up, sparks occasionally escaping the furnace and landing on the man’s bare arms or chest, although they were ignored – his forge grew uncomfortably hot when he heated the special metal that was now slowly being softened amongst the coals, and he was used to the occasional fleck of fire attempting to interrupt the heating process.

The apprentice Patronus released the bellows, wiping his thick gloves on the tough trousers that he wore... he looked at the blade with satisfaction – it was beginning to glow a dull orange. Soon it’d be hot enough for Taima to begin to teach him.

As the blade in the blacksmith's hands grew hotter the coals around it grew cooler, almost as if the blade itself was drawing on the heat of its surroundings, glowing redder by the moment. With Taima's aid, not only could the metal be heated faster, the heat could be contained until she released it, unaffected by the cooling touch of the surrounding air.

Looking at his master, and entirely aware of his own shirtless status, he laughed to himself. “You don’t look uncomfortable... and Alair could grip the metal of the blade with a bare hand and not feel too warm. I think that I am slightly jealous of the different varieties of dragon-blooded, it seems like it would make my job much easier.” The man grinned as he used a pair of heavy tongs to turn the blade over. “It should be hot enough, I think.”

Taima stood at Kento's back, towering over the blacksmith as he worked, seemingly unfazed by the stifling heat of the room.

"Mind over matter, nothing more," she replied gruffly as she ignored the building temperatures.

Passing a parchment to him, she moved to rest a hand on his shoulder, a firm reminder of the importance of the next task.

“Not a line out of place,” she stated before moving back to give him room to work on the engravings.

The air was thick not just with the heat and smoke of the blacksmiths work, but with the unmistakable charge of magic.

Kento took the parchment in his free hand, looking at it... he’d studied the runes somewhat before, but still could not glean the meaning of the parchment at a glance. Taking out his smallest carving tool, he held the metal needle close and took the hilt of his blade in hand, moving it away from the fire.

Fortunately, he would have some time before his prized weapon cooled, but he knew that even the slightest mistake would result in hours of work lost as he would be forced to re-layer and re-form the entire section of the blade. Inhaling, he leaned over his weapon and began to slowly work.

The needle slid into the metal weapon with some difficulty, and Kento bit his lip habitually as he worked... his hand was steady, and slowly but surely the runes began to form vertically along the weapon, perfect copies of the parchment’s designs. Every so often the weaponsmith was forced to straighten, the heat of the metal blistering against the hand that he designed with, but his persistence was beginning to pay off.

As Kento worked, a low growl filled the air, the guttural sound of Taima's incantations. For all the effort and precision Kento was putting into the engravings, Taima likewise dedicated all of her abilities and focus into the delicate weaving of the spell that would infuse the runic carvings with the appropriate enchantments.

Minutes bore on into hours and as each rune was etched into the blade, the words seemed to grow more fervent and heated. It was a rare moment for the dragonborn to display weariness, but the taxing nature of the sheer complexity of the enchantment left her taxed and her voice ragged.

The completed runes began to light up, one after the other as the spell progressed, until in almost flawless synch, Kento struck the final blow and the last of the runes flared to life.

The heat would be near unbearable by this point, driving Kento back as the runes grew hotter. The heat from the blade seemed drawn to them until the thin red glow of the engravings etched across the blade were all that remained heated.

So many enchantments contained within one weapon was no easy feat, and if not for the final rune binding them into inactivity, it likely would have resulted in a catastrophic clash of magic as they all lit up in synch. But as the magic was forced back into inactivity, the runes dulled, leaving the five enchantments suppressed and waiting to be unlocked.

As the last rune began to glow, Kento barely managed to keep from dropping the blade, setting it down and quickly stepping back as the heat grew too intense for him to even stand near the weapon. Looking at Taima, her outwardly calm nature reassured him that the immense heat was to be expected, and he lowered his arms, glancing at the tool in his hand and finally tossed away the metal needle...he could tell that the magical heat had ruined the tool beyond repair.

Slowly, the runes began to dull, and the weaponsmith pulled his gloves more tightly on his hands as he approached while the heat reached levels that he could bear. Making a small noise of effort, he lifted the blade, his hands shaking slightly as he carefully set it into the vat of cool water, steam coiling around his arms and a sharp hissing noise drowning out the roar of the furnace.

Half an instant later, Kento threw off the thick leather gloves and plunged his own hands into the vat, a second, more quiet hiss accompanying the action. Looking at his heavily scalded hands, he swallowed. “Ow.”

Underneath the water, the runes still glowed slightly as the blade cooled... he looked down at it through the clear liquid with a smile. They had done it. The realization that his weapon had become magically powerful filled him with pride, both at his own efforts, and the understanding of the trust that Taima was placing in him. He looked at his mentor with a wide smile. “Master Taima... I don’t know if I’ve thanked you, for this.”

He wanted to take his hands from the vat, but the notion of letting them leave the water was daunting. “All of it. I know that I’ve entered a world far more dangerous than the one that I came from, but ... you know, I think that I want nothing more than to be able to serve the same cause as you. I’m very, very grateful.” Perhaps he was rambling... but the blacksmith didn’t mind the distraction from the reddened skin.

Taima took a few raspy breaths, steadying herself as her strength began to return. Though it would be a time still before she recovered from the toll the past hours had taken on her.

Stepping forward she took Kento's wrist in her grasp, to roll his hand over to get a look at it, though keeping it submerged as she did so. A brief grunt was the only sound she offered as she took note of his scalded skin.

She took in the rest of his words with a sort of detached stoicism, offering an incline of her head in acknowledgment, but little more. Such was the way with her lately. She spared occasional words of encouragement, but as time went on she seemed to grow more and more aloof from the rest of the group.

Everything she did was with care and to prepare them for the coming trials, but she couldn't afford to allow them to become emotionally dependent on her.

“I need to recuperate, I'll send Parlina to see to your hands,” she said as she moved back. Much as it had weeks ago when she took Kento to learn how to use the Hunter's Javelin, a heavy weight seemed to hang over Taima's words as she departed from the room.

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#, as written by Tiko
(Post co-written by Imehal, Daimayo, Ishae Junta, Vejisama and myself)

Her beloved tree - the creation that Taima and she had worked on together - was burning and there was nothing Parlina could do but drop from her perch some fifty feet in the air to escape the flames. The voices in her head cried out, begging her to go back with the blessing that the Divine had given her and indeed, she could feel the swell of power that rested within the great oak manifesting but instead she summoned that power to slow her descent by manipulating the very air around her.

Even if she had seen the harnessed fire coming with scarcely seconds to spare, what could she had done, having barely escaped as it was with just singed furs? Dwelling on what could have been would only distract her from the very real fight at hand. Besides, the shock was waning and with its passing came an emotion that she could use much better.

White hot rage.

Her eyes had darkened to a very vibrant forest green, touched with the power of the Divine as she fell through the air, focusing on the blessing that had been gifted to her and drawing it from within. This was a split second process as the large green gathering scattered from the burning tree immediately only to focus onto her stave at a thought from the druidess herself.

The wooden conduit began to glow emerald with a burning intensity that Parlina's senses were drowned out by the horrified screams in her head of the spirits. It was only as she forced herself to twist mid-air to comprehend the scale of this sacrilegous assault that she saw the blades slicing through the air towards her person, barely a few feet from her.

Her first reaction was too slow. Luckily for her, her own mind wasn't her first line of defence these days. The artefact sprang to life at her panic, its impressive ability repelling the blades when they got within inches of her easily skewed body, forcefully thrusting them back in the direction they had come from.

Kento's eyes widened with shock as the tree that he'd been looking at moments before erupted into an inferno - and the area erupted into chaos. Seeing the two women running towards him, the blacksmith drew the blade from its sheathe at his hip, fluidly slicing it across his body to parry the lead attacker's thrust for his chest.

I'm glad that I learned the first time to keep my armour and weapons on me... Any thoughts after that were soundly muted as his mind became focused on the battle. Trying to turn his head far enough around to make sure that his master was unharmed by the assault, he quickly realized that the effort would be suicide - Both of the women attacking him were incredibly well trained. Despite the leaps and bounds of progress that he'd made over the past months, the force of the woman's blade as he pushed it aside reminded him of how much he still had to learn.

Kento stepped back rapidly, holding his blade in front of him defensively. Inwardly, the man recounted his options, and his free hand reached slightly behind him, unclipping and digging into a pouch that he had at his waist. He knew the different runes now, sorting quickly through the half-dozen carved gemstones in an instant and drawing the one that he wanted in a gauntlet-covered thumb and forefinger. Looking at his adversaries, the man's guard dropped for barely an single moment as he slid the dark purple amethyst from his fingers, into the hilt of the blade.

"The hell!" Alair shouted dodging backwards. He glared darkly at Asne and pulled his sword, more than ready to retaliate. Where did this come from? Didn't they realize it was Christmas? No one attacked at Christmas!

Oh the half dragon was not pleased. Not in the least. Bad enough they had been ambushed when finding Kento, but to be attacked when they were celebrating Christmas as a group? That was beyond low, and he was not impressed.

Over the chaos of battle, the audible sound of a bowstring being released preceded the grunt from Rynhart as pain blossomed from around the arrow imbedded in his chest. His left hand rose to the wound as he fell to one knee, Korah's sword descending towards his vulnerable back.

His right hand rose to grip the hilt of his sword strapped to his back, but it wouldn't get the chance to leave its sheath before Korah's blow could fell him.

Alair was close. That was likely why he had noticed his master being attacked. Oh hell no. That was not happening. The half breed ignored Asne momentarily to cover Rynhart's back and intercepted Korah's slash with a wordless shout. His own sword caught Korah's, a horizontal block to the vertical slash.

Where had they come from? This didn't bode well for the group. Snarling, the half breed swore. He wielded a two handed sword so held no shield, unlike Korah. He rarely even wore armor, having become dependent on the dragon scales that covered his skin as armor. This wasn't good.

Rynhart was hurting, there was no doubt about that. The thick padding of his heavy coat and light padded armor had saved him from what should have been a fatal blow, but the coppery taste of blood in his mouth and the wet sound of his voice as he shouted his warning were both signs of the grievousness of his wound.

“Archers! We need cover!”

His sword slid from its sheath as he pushed forward, rising to intercept Asne before she could flank Alair. Wounded or not, he held his ground, his back to Alair's and more than ready to fight to his last breath if need be.

As Rynhart's warning came, the druidess's free-fall ended as she landed beside her allies gracefully with the aid of her spirits. Her back was to them, charged stave held upright in one outstretched hand, gleaming peridot eyes flashing for scarcely a moment. Spirits - about twenty-one in number - released themselves from her conduit at Parlina's silent command, their movement increasing to change the nature of the normally still air around them.

The result was a barely perceptible - by the human eye - shield of air that would activate to intercept any more ranged threats towards the group, be they magical or physical.

Ziel had been watching with a single ocular toward the tree when the sudden sounds of battle breached his hearing. Overhead, he watched as a single flying flame ignited the once grand oak and set it ablaze like hell. It wasn't but a mere few moments later that his ears then caught wind of advancement. His remaining eye opens with a snap and by the blessed God's themselves he manages to lean backward and avoid having himself decapitated by dual blades of what appeared to be two foes.

An attack? For what reasoning would such a travesty come about on such a momentous affair? Flat upon the ground, he turns slightly placing a free hand upon the ground before kicking momentum into his feet. In that spiraling motion, his right leg extends outward in an attempt to bring the two off of their feet in a swift and precise action. In that fleeting moment, he then propels himself back upon his feet before drawing Tengirimune and then attempting to leap back a good distance. The more distance between him and the two, the more he could then begin to evaluate and then establish a minute plan of sorts, not that time was on his hands.

"What is this madness? Who are you. How dare you..." He begins before catching the scent of what he could only establish as death, decay, and certainly an aura of malicious intent. With that established, a sudden light springs forth around his blade glowing a pristine, almost translucent, white. The blade now with its Holy essence threw out a mild glow illuminating a small percentage of the area around him...and his eyes then adjusted before narrowing on the two who'd dared attack him. "By my blade, your evil shall be extinguished..." He then monotonically states.

All around her, the peace of the evening had exploded into chaos and cries of battle, and in a swift motion Taima drew her longsword, opting for a two-handed grasp.

She could feel the weapons blood lust rising and it invigorated her as she turned to face off against Neferata with hardened eyes. However, the vampire Queen's spell left a heavy weight to Taima's limbs and her arms wavered, the tip of her sword lowering slightly.

Taima's stance held strong though as the guttural incantations of a dispel magic spell spilled forth, rapidly unweaving the magical influence seeping into her body and keeping her from action.

Rather than engaging Neferata, Taima roared out an instruction as she stepped backwards towards Rynhart, Alair and Parlina, her sword held before her in a defensive stance, “Fall in!”

It was obviously clear that the small group of Patronus were largely out numbered, and if they allowed themselves to be split up, they would be overwhelmed.

“You will rue the day you and your foul kin laid foot on these hallowed grounds,” she promised Neferata, her voice a guttural snarl as she bellowed out a holy word.

With a flash of light, the holy symbol around Taima's neck flared to life and a wave of divine energies fluctuated out from her, engulfing her and her allies. Invigorated by Taima's outrage and the consecrated grounds, the simple turn undead attempt would instill a powerful and crippling fear upon any vampires within its reach, and though the effects would be momentary – the light holding for only a few seconds, it would perhaps drive their enemies back long enough for her companions to regroup.

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The tumultuous chaos of battle raged around the burning tree, as with practised expertise the unit of Lahmian soldiers sought to put an end to their foes before they had a chance to truly fight back.

Her sword knocked aside by Kento's parrying slash, Liandrin fell back a step and into a more guarded stance for a moment, bringing her shield up. The captain of the unit wasn't about to allow the blacksmith a moment's reprieve, however, and after only a moment of recovery, side stepping once to his left, she swept her blade upwards from where it had been deflected, a slash aimed to hamstring Kento, using her shield as cover for the long-reaching attack. At the same time, having been waiting for Liandrin to move aside slightly, Carrena hefted her mace and made to strike at the man's upper right arm.

Safe to say, Temaile was more than a little surprised when her sickle was reflected away from Parlina without the druidess so much as lifting a finger. Flicking her arm, she brought the weapon back under control with a jerk, sneering in disgust. Whatever intelligence the bastard Architect had provided was sorely inaccurate -- he had told them that the dragonborn wore the reflective artefact! Well, it was no matter. Temaile was a master of bringing pain, and pain did not require blades to be brought. Pain had a mind of its own, and a bloodlust to match the fiercest predator. A guttural growl came from Temaile's throat as her lips curled in a snarl, and darted forwards. The vampiress closed the distance between her and Parlina in seconds, and leapt forwards. Mid-air, the beautifully dangerous vampiress' form distorted, twisting and reshaping itself, and by the time she would impact the druidess (or the ground) Temaile was a hulking black wolf, red eyes oozing an insatiable thirst for blood. Her jaws snapped towards the girl's neck as her claws would rake across the leather armour that she wore.

Asne scowled fiercely as Alair evaded her sweep, the momentum of the strike carrying her sword down to the floor. However, Asne was practised with the use of the blade, and the powerful redhead simply shifted stance. As Rynhart moved to replace Alair, she simply growled - one enemy was as good as another. The soldier twisted, sweeping her blade upwards in a powerful slash aimed to knock Rynhart's predicted parry up and away from his body, leaving him vulnerable to the following downward sweep towards his neck.

As Parlina's wind spirits moved into action, Naen cursed, the arrow that she had just loosed to follow up on the first one embedded in Rynhart's chest knocked aside and away. The archer holstered her bow in a quick motion, and drew out a long knife from her hip, sprinting forwards to join the scuffle. Agile even for a member of her kin, Naen leapt to grip onto a burning branch of the tree and kicked off from its trunk, soaring straight over the heads of Temaile and Parlina and homing in on the duel between Alair and Korah. The archer aimed to land a few feet from Alair, and slash upwards at the side of his stomach with her knife while he was distracted with facing Korah.

Korah herself reacted quickly to Alair's parry, and a small, focused burst of fire shot from the tip of the weapon and straight towards his chest. At the same time, she swung her shield forwards in a punch-like strike for his face, the thin metal edge of the shield more than capable of breaking the half-dragon's nose and slashing a nasty line across his features if he was incapable of avoiding it.

As Ziel spun his legs around to try and trip the twins, Faiselle and Selande barely ceased motion. As their swords missed his neck, they both launched into simultaneous somersaults, cartwheeling over Ziel and each landing in a crouch, in unison. Turning as one, they slashed around towards the man as he drew his sword, Faiselle's swords slashing towards his neck and chest, and Selande's towards his stomach and legs. Whether their swords were drawn across him or not, they would then diverge away from any retaliation, retreating back a few steps in preparation for a renewed assault.

Striding forwards in quick movements, Neferata herself ignored Taima's words. "You wouldn't believe how many holy men and women have told me that over the ages, dragonborn. I have yet to rue a single day." she mocked, smirking.

The smirk fell from her face, however, as Taima's turning ward flashed into being. Hissing, the queen took a step back as the holy energies instilled her with an urge to make haste in the opposite direction as fast as possible. With the willpower and strength of her position and longevity, however, she resisted the power - though she was still held at bay, holding her sword up protectively. Taking two more steps away from Taima's spell, she lashed out with her magic, twin beams of crackling dark energy shooting out from her eyes at the cleric, scything through the air at high speeds.

Around her, her soldiers were, she observed, more affected by the spell. Carrena fell back from Kento regardless of the results of her strike, shield arm coming up defensively as she back-pedalled several steps, hissing angrily. Beside her, Liandrin too was forced back, though the stronger captain maintained some of her resolve at least, staying threateningly close to the blacksmith. The twins turned angrily in unison towards Taima, abandoning their poised stances to fall away, circling around Ziel in defensive postures to place him between they and the dragonborn. Korah, with experience of battle greater than that of Neferata, reacted no more drastically than the Queen herself, her prowess making up for her lesser magical ability. She took a step away from Alair, but stoically continued to present herself as a definite obstacle between they and the temple. Naen, centred as she was in the midst of the fighting, had little room to manoeuvre, but the magic drove her dangerously close to the burning tree as she struggled to resist the fear it instilled. The hardy Asne stumbled backwards in her haste to disengage Rynhart, retreating closer to where Liandrin and Carenna made their stand, while Temaile, still in wolf form and caught up in her bloodlust, would attempt another vicious bite at Parlina before the magic forced her to turn tail and dart away a number of paces.

Neferata circled around to mirror Korah's position, the two vampires making it clear that they had no intention of letting the group have an easy time of retreating.

"Your little spells won't aid you long, cleric." Neferata spat, "You do not face some petty coven of younglings, we are ancient, and we have slain more of your like than you would care to consider. See, already, we rally against your puny magic!"

And true to Neferata's words, the brief respite that the turn undead spell had provided was clearly coming to an end as the soldiers gathered their wits and readied to renew their assault. It might have given them time to regroup, but they were still almost entirely encircled. It would be a hard fight to escape, that was for certain.