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Sierra Shaeffer

"My family's served the King and Queen for years...this IS the right way...right...?"

0 · 361 views · located in Purplexia

a character in “The Right to Rule”, as played by Eskay

Description

Image

Image


~Age~
23

~Race~
Human

~Affiliation~
Loyalist

~Appearance~
Standing regally and slender at 5'8, Sierra appears to be fairly frail and unassuming, however, her lithe build enables her to move quite swiftly, even when casually strolling through the courtyard! She is in every way a lady of the castle, always well groomed and elegantly dressed (the only exception, of course, is when she is on a Kingdom sanctioned operation!) Her wrists and ankles are always adorned with a large golden bangle, which serve to augment her magical powers.

~Personality~
Cautious, yet not soft spoken. Analytical, yet impulsive. Opinionated, yet knows when to hold her tongue. Sierra is a very interesting blend of apparent antonymous qualities, yet they meld together to create a very competent and poised young lady, if not just a little too serious! As House Shaeffer's most gifted user of destructive magic, she is an asset to the Kingdom's Magical branch of military, and she takes her job both publicly as Royal Mage Instructor and privately as a Royal Agent very seriously. She is not above small talk and making friends, but as long as she is on the clock, her job will always take precedence (unless of course, matters of urgency involving her family surface. For her, family is more important than even the Queen herself!)

~Weapons~
Vysl'kand Arts- Immersion into the studies and practices of the War God Vysl'kand, Sierra has gained an expertise in the field of Destructive Magic. She is able to conjur the elements to aid her in vanquishing her foes!

Vysl'kand's Scythe- The weapon of Sir Vysl'kand himself, Sierra is able to summon this mystical weapon to reap the souls of her enemies!

~Abilities~
Magical Prowess- Being talented in the field of Destructive magic, Sierra is knowledgeable in both theory and practical application of magic. Though she is still able to cast for more prolonged periods than the ley-magician, her petite constitution still fatigues her from prolonged usage of higher-level spells and the summoning of Vysl'kand's Scythe.

Level-Headed- Calm, cool, and collected, Sierra is adept at both giving and following orders in the heat of any stressful situation! This comes quite in handy, as it is her job both to command and to be commanded!

Frail Build- Though she tries to refrain from getting hit during combat, her petite build can render her far more prone to injury than the average soldier.

~Bio~
Sierra is the middle child of Zaneth and Esmerelda Shaeffer, head of the illustrious House Shaeffer. In direct service to the Purple Kingdom, they are historically known for being the kingdoms most trusted Military Contractors. For years, House Shaeffer has provided their knowledge of training and tactics to help better the kingdom's military. Zaneth is a renowned former general of the Royal Army, and Esmerelda is an accomplished healer who still periodically offers her services to the kingdom.

While her eldest brother Wolfe excelled at diplomacy and her youngest sibling, Vincent, at swordplay, Sierra found her niche in magical arts. Being first trained by her mother, she quickly advanced through the rudiments of spellcasting and became an apprentice to a renowned magician, eventually specializing in Vysl'kand-level conjuration. Shortly after Wolfe resigned from his position as Diplomatic Advisor to the Commonwealth, she was employed at the Purple Royal Castle, where officially, she would act as an instructor to the magical branch of the kingdom's military. However, under the table, she acts as a Royal Agent, conducting investigations into shady matters that the Queen and King would rather not make public.

Though this job initially seemed legitimate, she soon began to question the motives behind these operations. Her jobs quickly became more and more bloody, and she found herself morally conflicted by the people she was being made to kill. Realizing now why her brother left, she continues her service to the Queen, hoping that one day, Wolfe will again re-surface and she can seek his council on the matter.

She would never admit it, but she had always known that Wolfe was always the more practical out of the three...

So begins...

Sierra Shaeffer's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Starlight Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Wolfe Shaeffer Character Portrait: Lady Dream Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Eskay
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The rays of the early morning sun shone brightly through Sierra's silk curtains, accentuating the natural luster of her equally silky mulatto skin. Slowly and cautiously she slipped on her stark white dress, firmly applying her magical bangles as the final part of her morning procedure.

Though usually quite swift in her movements, the commotion caused by last night stilled her usual push for punctuality. Even after personally sweeping the castle, she made every move with a weather eye looking behind her. These assailants wouldn't have attempted a direct infiltration into the castle just because the spirit struck them- they were professionals, and as far as she knew, this could be simply the beginning.

This was probably the purpose for her most recent summon. Her last investigation into a black-market merchant (which, after one too many misunderstandings turned promptly into an assassination,) had left her bed-ridden and unable to engage the infiltrators directly. Were she a betting lady, she would bet that the Queen was going to sanction an investigation into the recent attack.

She strode gracefully from her room, with much less haste in her step than usual. She was not fond of being caught unawares, and sleeping through a direct assault was borderline embarrassing. Her room was not far from the throne room, so truancy was hardly a concern.

She recognized the deceptively commanding tone of Lord Alterez calling for the adjournment of a meeting. After nodding to a few unrecognizable advisers, her eyes brightened at the sight of the General. This man had been a comrade to her father quite some years ago, and has remained a friend to House Shaeffer since her older brother Wolfe was born. She had always thought of the man as a second father, and working as his colleague in the castle had only heightened her respect for him. Even though her paygrade would suggest that they are of equal rank, he was every bit her superior, and she savored every opportunity to seek both his council and his company.

"General, good morning!" Sierra greeted, clasping one of his gargantuan hands with two of her own petite palms. Her strict adherence to a professional demeanor prevented her from succumbing to her usual 'bear hug' routine, but the two had been through far too much for her to resist all forms of affectionate contact.

"I trust your meeting with the Lord and Queen went well? What news do you have of the assailants of last night?"


Image


"Ah, my dearest Madame Verseaux!" Wolfe chided to Dream, adopting a feign drunken stupor convincing to all but the Queen-to-be herself, "Dare I say that you simply radiate all the grace and beauty of a Tavern Harlot this fine day! Allow me to buy you a drink- nothing but a hard tankard of ale will do to adequately compliment that exquisitely pungent aroma of sensual fluids and regret!"

Wolfe quickly scanned the tavern, noting multiple suspicious patrons whose attention suddenly turned from the auspicious Lady Dream. His stunt hadn't turned away all of them, however- he noted three particularly hardy looking interlopers, who also happened to be concealing some form of blade within their doublets. Wolfe suspected that these gentlemen would not be so easily swayed by his coy acting- he hoped that he wouldn't have to let his old friends Fame and Fortune speak on his behalf, but if the fate of the Rising Queen depended on it, then he would allow them to speak until their vocal folds succumbed to fatigue. He couldn't afford for her to fall.

At least, not here...

"Milady, you really aught to consider doing things less Queen-y." he spoke to Dream, losing the drunken persona, "Most people don't show up to greasy spoons like this drawn in a carriage and looking like ten thousand gold pieces personified!"

His attention was momentarily interrupted by the appearance of Dream's latest potential recruit. He took a moment to flash Starlight a wink.

"And you must be the pirate that we're trying to recruit! I'm a politician myself, so I couldn't be happier at the prospect of having someone around who's just as much of a bottom-dwelling, scum sucking criminal as me!"

He didn't take long to observe the pirates reaction before immediately turning his attention back to the Lady Dream.

"I've managed to cast most eyes off of you, milady, but you've got two on the northeast corner and one at the entrance who are still gazing this way. They all conceal similar blades from the looks of it, so I imagine that they're together. I'll warn you if they start doing anything un-gentlemanly, but do try to make this quick!"

With that, Wolfe sat down at one of the tables, resuming his drunken act with a couple of the local bar wenches. It would become crystal clear soon enough that he was enjoying the act far more than they were!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Starlight Character Portrait: Lord Alterez Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Wolfe Shaeffer Character Portrait: Kota Pierce Character Portrait: Captain Rubber Fruit
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#, as written by Centi85
Omega - Poliferus & Sierra

“Sierra darling, good morning.” Poliferus said happily, his earlier feelings of annoyance, worry and whatever else seeming to melt away. The man gave the young lady a pleasant smile, relieved that she had arrived, but more so happy about her impeccable timing. The advisers could be so sour and thick-headed sometimes, he definitely would not want that rubbing off on her, and yet, despite whatever attitude they would grace upon the General, he found it always dispelled by the innocent, sweet demeanor of the girl he’d come to know as his own.

"I trust your meeting with the Lord and Queen went well? What news do you have of the assailants of last night?" she inquired.

Poliferus took his hand away and stepped back, allowing Sierra the not required but still deserved bow of respect he addressed everyone with. Standing tall again, he strode half past her and put one large hand gently behind her to guide her with him. “Please, follow me. We can discuss it on the way down to the Courtyard.”

--

“You slept well then?” Poliferus said finally, after they’d walked a good distance from the throne room and out of earshot of the self-concerned politicians. The only sounds now were that of the outside world coming in through the windows on their left, and the heavy footsteps of his guards that marched otherwise silently behind him. “It’s sometimes so difficult considering all that’s happening, but then again, with the King having hired so many other precautions alongside his Guardsmen, I suppose it can be achieved.”

Poliferus sighed deeply, a bit of worry troubling him again. “Alterez is so young… I fear that he may not know what to do, and that all this time around these pompous fools has tainted his mind. Be wary, being at such the age he was when he began, many things can be so.. influencial…” Poliferus spoke gently, a rare side seen by few. “As for the happenings of everything, they aren’t good. The mercenaries last night, confirmed by Phoenix himself on account of having worked alongside several, were indeed professionals… This is deeply concerning, as it means whoever is sponsoring Lady Dream has some sort of power, or at least money. Personally to me, they go hand in hand, but I won’t jump to conclusions.”

Poliferus stopped, turning down the hall and proceeding down a flight of steps. “Luckily we do have our own sources, and we’re just fortunate that they served true. I felt so ineasy having most of my men take the night off, but if they’d been there, they would’ve been killed alongside those few that were present.” The General was frowning now, considering this. Although he did care for the lives of his men, it wasn’t only because he was ensuring they weren’t killed. Having only a small platoon on standby, that meant that the only real threat was the mercenary Phoenix. He’d underestimated the man despite his renown reputation; a mistake he won’t make twice.

“Nevertheless," he continued, "we’re receiving reinforcements from Baron Vreakalks. I trust you remember him? I have to meet his men when they arrive, and then we have to ready the castle for the Royal Address.

Approaching a large balcony overlooking the North side of the Castle, Poliferus strode into the open, his gaze drifting down to the barracks below, stationed around a large field nearly overflowing with the King’s finest, training, moving in units, tending to equipment or armor, or simply lounging. Poliferus placed his hands on the edge of the delicately carved marble railing, his thumb tracing the purple painted fire. "I just hope Lord Alterez and Queen Violet are ready for this task…” he said after a short time.

A cool breeze tugged on the man’s cape that hung over both his shoulders, ruffling the Purple fabric while making the gold sparkle in the morning sun. Poliferus sighed resignedly again, then turned to Sierra. “Anyway, enough about all this… What sorts of things have you been up to? Heard you were on a mission as of late. How did that go?”


The Tavern -- Captain Rubber, Lady Dream, Star & Wolfe


Sergeant Antorak strode confidently down the street, followed closely by at least a dozen men. Armor-clad and battle-tested, they moved with a purpose through the thick throngs of people that governed the streets, vying for whatever baubles they wished to waste their money on. Ignoring entirely any and all social graces that an exalted member of the Royal Military was supposed to exude, the man pushed aside anyone that got in his way. Toppling a woman carrying fruits, or an elderly veteran who possessed far too many scars that would hinder his ability to move, Antorak remained indifferent. Cold green eyes scanned the area menacingly. The man was on a mission, and his target was directly ahead. With a short nod, his he and his men continued on, their armor and weapons clanking with each step, steel boots kicking up patches of dirt.

--

“Hey there buddy,” a man said suddenly. He’d been positioned near the back of the bar for some time now, but finally he felt as if he should make an appearance. Having grown tired of watching the Queen simply lounge around in public, no doubt at this very moment gathering people for her vanity cause, this man, being a self-respecting loyal citizen, knew that it was merely his civic duty to turn her and her subordinates in. Deciding that this man who had gone through so much trouble to put on a well played act was the more dangerous threat to be engaged, he allowed himself to take a seat next to him. “Name’s Gregora,” he said in a gruff voice as he looked up to the shaggy haired traitor.

While Gregora himself was a rather small, stocky man, he could handle himself just fine against whatever brute dared threaten his Kingdom. Already he’d sent word of this meeting with one of his men to fetch the guards, so now all he had to do was stall until they arrived. After that he could collect his pay, one hell of a bounty that could buy him and his accomplices’ drinks for a lifetime, and continue on his merry way as the man who captured the runaway Queen with family problems. He gave a toothless grin to the man. “So what brings you here today, kind gentleman?”

Gregora’s presence was enough to send those few wenches and barmaids which had accumulated around the man to scatter. His reputation wasn’t the best, but sometimes it helped. He looked to the older gentleman, holding up a half-drained pitcher. “If you’re trying to drown the sorrows of your recent losses against the Kingdom, this ain’t the place.” His gaze shifted back to the Queen, finding that another had joined the group. He shook his head disapprovingly, as if amused, then leaned forward and whispered almost maliciously, “It’s a crime to be in league with pirates, you know. It’s a crime to be against the kingdom.” A blade appeared in his hand as his smile widened. “Treacherous bastard.”

It was just then that the door to the tavern was thrown from its hinges. The kick came from two steel-plated Knights, and the force sent the large wooden object careening into the table directly in front of it. The occupants collapsed, cries suddenly emanating from most present. Bottles and glasses were spilled, but no matter how much people wanted to panic, the commanding voice which bellowed out a moment later ensured that didn’t happen.

“Alright, I hear there’s a little rat in town?” Antorak’s reputation was well known around the few blocks that he was tasked with patrolling and enforcing. Using pain as means of intimidation, he demanded not respect, but fear. His Purple cape, draped over one side of his decorative steel armor, marked him as not just authority, but a man who commanded the authority. The rank of sergeant was low, but it still meant that he had at his disposal a platoon of soldiers, and a plethora of weapons to employ. Of course, if the top brass was aware of what occurred below their noses, Antorak would no doubt have been thrown from his high horse. Unfortunately however, it takes only a few falsified reports and documents, as well as a great deal of inspired awe, to ensure that nobody need know about the dealings the man dabbles in.

Striding in, his eyes took a quick sweep of all present, his men forming up in a rough semi-circular formation behind him, shields raised, swords brandished. A smirk formed on his lips, visible only because officers rarely wore helmets. The Queen wasn’t at all difficult to spot, and so the man nodded, heaving a sigh of satisfaction. His content grew even more so as he recognized the infamous Captain Rubber. He'd surely get a promotion for this lovely catch.

“Everyone present that doesn’t align themselves rightfully at this very moment is under arrest, your renounced majesty.” The man spat the last word as if it were some rotten peace of mutton, speaking directly to Dream, then continued hideously. “Anyone dares try to run, they should ensure they be ready to spill themselves before the might of Purplexia.”

By now several people had regained themselves from the shock of the Sergeant's entrance. A few stood, facing the Queen with looks of disapproval or satisfaction, while others remained uncertain, sitting in their neutrality. Weapons were now appearing in the hands of many.

“Get ‘em," Antorak finally sneered.


Omega – Kota & Lucie

A knock came from the door of the little cottage known to belong to Lucie. Without waiting for an answer, the door was then thrown open, allowing for three men to enter. All were dressed in a simple chainmail shirt accompanied by a few steel plates, as well as a surcoat with the Crest of Purplexia on it, but none held position within the military. These men were simply the police force that monitored civilian matters, rather than diplomatic ones that would escalate to war. Perhaps it was because of their humble yet still respectable positions that kept them from being as easily tainted as those with the true power, or perhaps it was simply because they lived amongst the people they monitored. Whatever the case, they were willing to look past some petty things, but after enough complaints, they were required to take action.

A young man, well groomed, probably mid twenties took the stage, unfolding a piece of paper. “Lucie Mauvais, you have hereby been charged with crimes of theft amongst the citizens of Omega within the great land of Purplexia. You are from henceforth to be apprehended for said violations of the law, and are to be brought in for questioning and trial. If found guilty, the consequences include but are not restricted to monetary fees, servitude to those to whom the acts were committed, or a sentence for up to but not limited to, sixty days.”

The man looked down from the paper towards the young lady, but then stopped short as he became aware of the other presence in the room. Dropping his head almost immediately, and snapping his feet together while putting his arms against his sides, he gave a brisk bow to Kota.

Looking up, his face was flustered, embarrassed due to missing the presence of someone aligned personally to the Queen. “Apologies, Lady Kota. I did not see you there. Please, excuse the interruption, but by law we are to take young Lucie in for questioning.” The two other officers behind the man had stiffened as well, and now all looked expectantly to Kota. She had authority, and so they were to await her response before taking further action.


Omega – Alterez, Violet & Phoenix


Alterez adjusted the lapels on his decorative, sleeveless overcoat, brushing them down and plucking off a single piece of his long, brown hair. The man inspected it thoughtfully, then simply threw it aside. Admiring himself in the mirror for a moment, he disliked having the silent shadow Phoenix with him at all times, but knew it was a necessary precaution. The man was standing in the far corner, head down, but Alterez knew that he was present in every way possible. Turning now away from his reflection, the Lord of Purplexia sighed.

“Am I doing this right?” he asked to nobody in particular. “The late King, Violet’s father… He ruled with so much certainty and dignity… And my father knew the answers to anything he didn’t… Violet and I… Ugh..” The man sighed again, dropping his head. Of course Phoenix didn’t respond, he didn’t expect him to, but he still wished he had some input. He probably did, but then again, it wasn’t in the man’s job description to act as councilor.

Alterez bit his tongue, thinking, before finally he moved towards the great doors of the Royal Chambers and strode back into the throne room.

"What did the General say in the meeting?"

Queen Violent, whom he hadn’t even acknowledged her for he was too annoyed earlier, was sitting in her place at his side. The man was grateful, and watched as her own right hand dismissed herself in search of food, if he had heard correctly. Smiling at the woman, she never ceased to amaze him with her radiate beauty. The elegance she possessed, as well as her father’s strong will. Alterez took a moment to admire her, standing silently to one side before moving to take his seat by her side. He was lucky to have her, he knew, and one day he did plan to marry… But not yet. Things were far too troubling, and besides, they’d agreed on sharing the power if ever possible. It seemed the only way was to remain separate, as dictated by the laws of Purplexia. Maybe one day he’d change that. Yes, that would be lovely… Just another thing he could be known for, another way to better himself and gain complete acceptance. The man smiled, finally deciding to answer his beloved Violet’s earlier question. Leaning back in his cushioned throne, Alterez hated to break the all too welcomed silence of his throne room, but he wouldn’t leave his Queen without an answer.

“Poliferus is simply searching for a way to weed out all traitors and finally put a stop to this rebellion. It seems nobody has any surefire ways to do that… Always holes.” Alterez huffed, a hint of annoyance returning in his voice at simply the thought. “Anyway, he’s off doing his General thing, and the advisers are all off plotting some total domination plan in order to enforce stricter laws, and I’m here without any idea at all.. Supposed to address the people in an hour? Yeah, that’ll be lovely.”

Alterez fell silent for a moment, brooding. His temper was one of his flaws, and it had only gotten worse due to the stress of recent events. “Why is it worth my time anyway? Your sister, without offense, renounced herself. She’s not worth the color she wears. If we could just crush this damned thing now without a problem, I’d love that… It’s just too tedious.” Sighing, the man dropped his face into his palms again, leaning forward in his chair.

“Our dads would know what to do… Hell, I may just let them enact these new laws. Only option that’s actually presented itself! If she weren’t royalty it would just be dismissed like everything else. We’ve had rebellions, but they were all just common rabble, not worth our time. Give the problem to the nearest Baron and his forces, and boom, done…” Alterez was rubbing his temples, growing more and more aggravated the more he thought and talked about it. “Whatever happened between you two anyway? I don’t remember that much fighting amongst you guys, and we all practically grew up together. When did all this happen?”

Looking to his Queen now, Alterez waited expectantly. It was true, despite all the time he’d spent watching them trying to get one of them to notice him, he’d never seen them fight. Albeit he was probably too worried about making himself look good to notice any real bickering about who would be heir, but he surely would’ve noticed the two most beautiful girls he’d ever seen clawing at each other for the throne. Heck, if he had, he could’ve stepped in and given compromise. He was almost literally trained to do that… Alterez tilted his head now, waiting patiently.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Synclair Prunson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Synclair, Poliferus, and Sierra


Synclair's morning had been a rough one. He had decided months ago that this day would be the one where he would shed his mourning attire. Three days before, it had been exactly a year since his young wife died. Today marked the anniversary of the death of their child. It was not good for morale for Synclair to wallow in past sorrows. That was why he had decided he would only mourn for a year, and no more. But then he had awoken to the news that many of the men posted as guards during the night had met tragic ends. Synclair was tempted to continue in his mourning attire, having been provided an excuse to do so. But if he delayed his return to normalcy every time a man under his command died, he would never wear purple again. Such was the nature of their lives during these times, when usurpers were after the throne.

Swathed in purple, Synclair went about his duties for the day. He ignored the startled looks or odd comments on his attire. If it was too soon, or too sudden for him to be coming out of mourning, Synclair didn't want to talk about it. He had made this decision like he made all decisions whenever possible; with a clear mind that took into account all foreseeable outcomes. Though he may have to tolerate uncomfortable situations, coming out of mourning at this time was what was best for his men. Luckily, toleration was a strength of his, and Synclair was only mildly frustrated by those few who questioned how strongly he had felt about his wife and child.

What honestly frustrated Synclair was the situation surrounding the deaths of the men posted on guard the night before. The General had made alterations to the schedule of the night guards himself. Synclair had disagreed with these actions. His men were not pawns, setting up those few men to die was not something Synclair was comfortable with. The only reason he had not fought harder to protect these men was because Synclair knew that the assassin Phoenix would be there to add strength to their defense without the obvious giveaway of larger numbers. But reports suggested that Phoenix had not lifted a finger to help the guards as they died. Synclair would be including a complaint with his report on this subject.

As it was, Synclair had to report a few minor formalities, among other topics. The problem was locating the General at this hour. Synclair had first gone to the throne room, only to be informed by the guards posted that the General had gone off in the direction of the courtyard. Synclair changed his course, walking quickly in hopes of catching the General before he managed to wander off again. Synclair wanted to get this report off of his chest before he burst from the unusual amounts of frustration contained within.

Finally spotting the flowing cape at the General's back on one of the north-facing balconies, Synclair slowed his footsteps. The Lady Sierra was in the General's company, which made Synclair hesitate. Were he a selfish man, bursting into their conversation would give him little pause. However, Synclair was entirely too selfless to easily interrupt. He knew that the General and Lady were close, and that their conversation was likely personal. And yet, what Synclair had to say was weighing on him heavily. Synclair stood weighing his options until he noticed the General turn away from the view that the balcony provided. No doubt the General would soon notice Synclair standing in silent observation, with no obvious purpose. In an attempt to avoid the embarrassing alternative, Synclair strode forward, bowing deeply to the General and then again to Lady Sierra.

"My apologies to you General, Lady Sierra. I have little choice but to interrupt your conversation. I will try to make myself as brief an inconvenience as possible." Synclair adjusted his purple shirt once he was upright, his blue eyes shifting from Lady Sierra to the General. Synclair had cut himself off from society for the past year, only functioning when it came to his work. He had not seen a lady in quite some time, and the lady before him was one to inspire curiosity. His most burning question about her at present was whether she could be trusted within earshot of a report or not. He would have guessed that the General trusted her, much like he would trust a daughter. Some things were best kept between the individuals who most needed the information. Synclair kept his eyes trained on the General. "Permission to report, sir." He then glanced at the lady again, silently asking if it was appropriate to report in her presence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Starlight Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Wolfe Shaeffer Character Portrait: Synclair Prunson Character Portrait: Captain Rubber Fruit Character Portrait: Lady Dream
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#, as written by Eskay
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The prospect of taking a walk with 'Uncle Polly,' as she used to affectionately call him in her youth, was a most welcome one, especially given the bizarre nature of the castle this morning. He began the conversation on a light note, asking about the quality of her sleep. She let out a sigh, nodding at his question.

"Though I'm remiss to admit it considering the events of last night, yes, I slept like a rock!"

Upon finishing his small talk, he moved into the crux of Sierra's concern, to which she listened intently. She smiled at his gentle concern when mentioning Lord Alterez, honoring the fact that Poliferous was probably not near as tender-hearted with the rest of the castle residents.

"Well, I'm sure as long as you're here, I won't have to worry about getting taken advantage of. Father always had such a black and white view on these sorts of things, but you were always better at helping discern the shades of grey!"

He would go on to discuss the nature of the mercenaries and to speculate upon the benefactor of the Rebel Queen. She merely nodded at his rationale, having nothing further to add.

The mention of Baron Vreakalks, however, was what almost shattered Sierra's impeccable composure. She had only encountered him once before, and it was a visit that she would rather have forgotten.

"Ah, yes, the Baron..." she grimaced, recalling that look of unsatisfiable lust in the Barons eyes, "I'm sure that our forces will be much better served by the presence of his troops..."

Admittedly, the mention of the Baron proceeded to infect her mind, negatively impacting her ability to process the crux of the rest of the conversation. It was when he posed a question directly to Sierra that she managed to snap out of her unintentional stupor.

"Ah yes, the mission. Truth be told, these investigations the queen has been sending me on have become successively more bloody with each mission. What was supposed to be a simple black market bust turned out to be an assassination of one of the top dealers in the trade..."

She needed to choose her next words carefully. Though it wasn't Poliferous's judgement she feared, Lord Alterez had plenty of eyes and ears hidden about the castle- especially that enigmatic mercenary Phoenix, who seemingly appeared out of thin air!

"It's not that I distrust the Queen's judgement," she began, using her eyes rather than her words to convey her concern to her old friend, "but I can't help but shake the feeling that I'm resorting to killing far more than I should. Perhaps there is an error in the manner in which I'm conducting my investigations? I hope that the Queen will be able to provide me with more counsel..."

The distress in her face would speak volumes more than that in her tone, and just as quickly as it had manifested, she had withdrawn it, adopting yet again her poised posture. Her smile also returned, as though it had simply vacated the premises for a brief moment.

"But, enough about that! How is Vincent faring with his lessons in swordplay? Him and Father can't be bothered to write, so you're the only connection I have to my family!" She paused, remembering another concern that had been bothering her, "...speaking of family, you haven't heard from Wolfe perchance, have you? I haven't spoken with my elder brother since his abrupt departure from his employment..."

Before she could get an answer, however, the elusive Synclair made himself present, looking rather harried. She knew very little about the man, save that the tragic loss of his wife had kept him in mourning for the better part of a year. At the mention of a report, Sierra became unnerved, yet compliant.

"You needn't be afraid to speak your mind around me, Sir Prunson," Sierra started, noticing his hesitance to present his report, "I can take leave should you wish to confer your report in private."

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As this 'Gregora' appeared, Wolfe felt several negative sensations- deflation from the departure of his newfound wenches (both physically and emotionally,) uneasiness at the man's lack of understanding of the finer points of 'personal space,' and utter disgust at both the toothless visage and the gag-inducing stench which protruded from his unkempt person.

The man began by making small talk. No man approaches another man in a tavern to make small talk, unless of course he fancied the company of other men. Wolfe's worst fears were potentially realized when something large and firm pressed itself against his leg.

"Dear God," Wolfe thought, dread gripping his very soul,"PLEASE be a dagger..."

A quick glance would prove that Gregora indeed had drawn a dagger to Wolfe's exposed leg. Crisis averted.

"Well friend, that's quite an impressive blade you've brandished!" Wolfe responded, choosing not to pay his accusations any mind, "However, they say that the size of ones sidearm is inversely proportional to the size of his other 'prized weapon.' Judging by the impressive girth of your dagger, I'd imagine that you have several 'small issues' to work out, along with whatever animal droppings you've opted to bathe in..."

Wolfe could have spent the entirety of the day indulging in his new witless acquaintance, but the appearance of an older 'friend' of his shattered his charming first impression. It was none other than Sergeant Antorak, perhaps the sketchiest higher-up in all of the Purplexian Army. His appearance was enough to get Gregora off of Wolfe's back- a favor that he would not soon forget!

He simply smiled coaxingly as Antorak put on a wonderful facade of toughness. Wolfe knew better than to take him seriously, especially when he went on a self-righteous tirade as farcical as this. He often wondered just how strenuous it was to make Sergeant in the Purplexian Military, given all that Antorak was good for was hiding behind his soldiers.

Upon the conclusion of his speech, however, Wolfe's smirk transformed into a focused frown. His vision obscured by the ensuing chaos, he kicked his table onto its side, shielding him from thrown glass and blades. His aegis would only last so long, however, as one of the thugs he had spotted earlier lunged his way with a short blade drawn.

"Why must we resort to being so uncivilized!?" Wolfe chided, rolling out of the way of a lethal strike. He then followed up by nimbly withdrawing his right hand dagger, Fortune, deftly slaying his pursuer.

Almost as quick as it had started, he noticed the Lady Dream, the pirate girl, and a new face (presumably her Captain,) gathered at the hind end of the bar. He knew that it was going to be tough for the three of them to get away without some form of distraction...

"STOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!" Wolfe bellowed, his voice carrying over the commotion, "Antorak, surely even you are capable of a more civilized endeavor than this? Skirmishes like this are beneath even the likes of you! Cease this dreadful commotion and speak to me like a man!"

He wasn't sure how Antorak would react to his odd outburst, but his reaction was not integral to his plan. Unbeknownst to the Sergeant, the words 'dreadful commotion' were part of a series of key words developed by himself and the Lady Dream. 'Dreadful Commotion' was used when a situation dictated that one party should exit while the other party acts as bait. In this scenario, it was fairly obvious who was doing the baiting and who should be escaping...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Starlight Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Wolfe Shaeffer Character Portrait: Synclair Prunson Character Portrait: Kota Pierce Character Portrait: Captain Rubber Fruit
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#, as written by Centi85
Poliferus, Sierra & Synclair

Poliferus chuckled happily at Sierra's words when it came to himself and her father. The man was brilliant, and Poliferus was honored to know him, as well as his children whom he could almost call his own. The girl especially reminded him so much of a life he had rejected. Of course if he chose to he could've juggled General with father, but having first gained his title at a young age, the hassle was too much. Looking back now, he almost wished he'd accepted it before, his age and experience having finally served to open his eyes to reality. Nevertheless, he was grateful for what he did have.

Only the look of concern and doubt on Sierra's young face at the mention of the Baron was enough to erase the man's smile. Her less than pleased tone at the thought of the esteemed man's troops was even more upsetting. Poliferus would be sure to address that matter separately. Until then, Poliferus silenced himself in order to listen to the recent missions that had been assigned to the girl.

Poliferus frowned deeply at the girl's words, understanding the conflicting emotions she felt. In a fatherly and defensive way, he was very much displeased with the girl being placed into positions where she'd had to succumb to killing someone. The thought of Sierra, the young, innocent girl he had watched grow up having to take another's life because of orders received by Alterez or Violet, or because she was forced into a scenario where it was the only option... The man heaved a sigh. As a realist he knew he couldn't shelter her, that she wasn't his and she had chosen this path of her own accord, but he also felt like she was experiencing some things that she shouldn't. To kill someone was more than simply putting a blade through them. No, you had to look them in the eye, see a person who had dreams and goals, friends or family, and fully understand that after you do what need be done, they'd be gone forever. Their life force would be expelled from the world, never to return.

Poliferus was well acquainted with the shadows of guilt after so many commissions to the battlefield; the constant regret and self-doubt over whether or not there could have been another way, and the nightmares that constantly replayed the horrors of the screams of men impaled over red-stained steel. The man knew how she felt, and sincerely wished that he could have been there in those troubling times to help her decide the right course of action. Many times, looking back, even a war-hardened veteran saw something they could've done different... It was stressful, cynical and hideous, something which his sweet Sierra shouldn't be tasked with doing. Simply the look in her face as she spoke hurt the man too. Poliferus was all to aware that she was choosing her words carefully and deliberately, and sincerely wished that she didn't have to. It wasn't good to not be able to talk to someone so close and still have to knit-pick your own words, but the man allowed her to continue uninterrupted so that she could hopefully get most of what was bothering her off her chest.

"But, enough about that! How is Vincent faring with his lessons in swordplay? Him and Father can't be bothered to write, so you're the only connection I have to my family!" Poliferus noted the abrupt change in her voice and posture, smiling almost sadly with how easily she could alter herself. Although he knew it was only to accommodate a happier subject, it was also something politicians tended to like to do, as well as killers. She definitely wasn't the same young girl that needed protection, she'd grown substantially.

"...speaking of family," she continued as if as an afterthought, seeming to pick up the same concerned tone, "you haven't heard from Wolfe perchance, have you? I haven't spoken with my elder brother since his abrupt departure from his employment..."

Poliferus raised an eyebrow. He deeply considered telling Sierra about his contacts with Wolfe, but he didn't want to trouble her any more than she was. Life shouldn't be this troubling for her. As it was, Poliferus still had to send the latest reports to Wolfe, and had been on his way to do that when he'd been intercepted by Sierra. Not that he minded it, of course, but Wolfe needed to be aware of what was happening. The General went to answer, but instead found that another matter insisted on making itself known first.

Snyclair. Poliferus looked the man up and down, noting his lack of mourning clothes in-Lou of the usual colors adorned by those of any power. With a nod of satisfaction, the man welcomed his Captain back, but held up a hand for the man to wait.

"Sierra, darling," Poliferus spoke, turning to the girl, "Your brother is doing just fine. His swordsmanship has progressed extensively in the past few weeks. He truly is gifted, but what else should I expect from the esteemed Shaeffer house?" Poliferus offered an encouraging smile with that, winking playfully. "As far as Wolfe..." The man stopped, thinking a moment. He sincerely hated lying to the girl, but the times and situations, as well as the circumstances surrounding nearly everything, were far too delicate. Not to mention he had to be careful for the same reason she did of what he said. General or not, he would be monitored as well. "Latest reports reveal nothing new. Although he's still with Lady Dream and her rebels, I do believe there's a chance with him. He isn't stupid... I believe he has his own reasons which are entirely justified for leaving... Don't worry at all."

Patting Sierra on the shoulder he smiled again. "Why don't you run along and see if Alterez or Violet need anything of you? I'm sure that these missions as of late are entirely in the best interests of the kingdom. Trust your instincts, and don't second guess yourself. Alright?"

With that, Poliferus turned to Snyclair. "Proceed."


Kota & Lucie

Watching the girl, the head officer noted several more charges to be put on Lucie's record. Disorderly conduct for one, and for two, wearing purple when not affiliated to the monarchy or without holding any position of authority. Even though the officer was well acquainted with her, having always seen her around town and being kind enough to overlook previous excursions, if not for Lady Kota, he'd have had no other choice but to arrest her then and there. It wasn't always fun having to do these sorts of things, especially to friends or people he'd known for some time, but the man had learned to overlook his own feelings in order to perform his duty.

Blocking out Lucie's behavior and looking to Lady Kota, the main officer nodded respectively at her, both in agreement of her words, and at hear admirable loyalty to her friend.

"Yes, Lady Kota," the man said, keeping to his professional demeanor in the situation. "Your pardon has been acknowledged, and will be documented in the report. No fines will be administered, but all stolen items will have to be either returned, or paid for. All other complaints, however, will have to be addressed by yourself or the Queen. The people will not take kindly to a thief being granted protection under the law with the right to steal without being held responsible through proper courses of action. We will return to see that the terms have been adhered to."

The man waited a moment for his words to sink in, his eyes moving sternly between the two before him, ensuring that they understood. After a brief moment, he finally nodded, satisfied. "Excuse our interruption, and thank you for your time. Enjoy your day," he said finally, bowing one last time to Kota before exiting the small house, his men falling into step behind him.


Lady Dream, Captain Rubber, Star & Wolfe

Antorak smiled greedily as the entire bar seemed to stop with Wolfe's sudden outburst. The Sergeant tilted his head to one side, a single eyebrow raised in mock amusement as he considered the man's next words. With the same grin, he chuckled, beginning to shake his head, all eyes in the bar on either himself or Wolfe.

"My dear friend Wolfe, it's been too long!" he began, spreading his arms wide as if inviting him as an old acquaintance, "How are you? I'd assumed that someone so esteemed would have better things to do than seek allegiance amongst the midst of traitors... As for this unnecessary ruckus, it was in fact you rebels who decided you didn't want to come quietly." The man's gaze drifted over the room, noting several people stopped in the middle of a punch or other attack and one of his own men currently lying dead on the ground, a crossbow bolt having penetrated the steel over his chest. Antorak huffed a poorly feigned sigh of regret, clicking his tongue as if displeased...

"Tsk tsk," he said, looking at everyone present. "For those of you who took up arms against the rebels, you will be adequately rewarded. For those of you who chose to stand and fight against the law, against the authority of a Purplexian soldier, you will be punished in the same manner! If you indeed wished to go about this in a more civilized manner, I would have been more than happy! You all chose to throw the first punch and resist being arrested!"

Antorak looked to Wolfe now, brandishing his blade and leveling the tip with the man's chest. "I'll be sure to get a handsome promotion for this. Lady Dream, a notorious Pirate Captain... And a once exalted member of the Courts?" as he spoke, Antorak took the time to identify and point out each of his three targets. "This is quite a haul."

Swinging the weapon around in his grip and settling into a better stance, with his blade positioned directly in front of him in a dual grip, at waist level, Antorak smiled. "Forgive me, but you've missed all chance of civility. You'll come quietly, or I'll take you by force!" With that, the sergeant charged, moving in fast for an overhead diagonal chop from the left, followed by a reverse motion in the opposite direction. Using that as the signal, the bar attendees continued on with their combat, the noise quickly rising once again with the sounds of men bellowing their battle cries, the maids screaming, weapons clashing and bottles smashing. Most people were far too busy to notice anything beyond the immediate threat in front of them. Gregora used this chaos to escape out a rear entrance, planning to return near the end and, should Antorak succeed, claim his winnings.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Sierra Shaeffer Character Portrait: Synclair Prunson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Synclair, Poliferus, and Sierra

Synclair nodded in the direction of the Lady Sierra, acknowledging her words to him. "Many thanks, my lady. While I do not distrust you, and indeed have every reason to believe in your integrity, I do prefer to keep my reports private and uncomplicated. The choice ultimately belongs in the hands of our General, but your willingness to accept my interruption has not gone unnoticed by myself." Synclair bowed again to the lady.

At the raised hand of the General, Synclair took his cue to take a step back, sufficiently cutting himself out of the conversation for the time being. He kept his gaze trained out over the balcony to further detach himself from the General's parting remarks to the Lady Sierra. While he could not help but overhear, he refused to dwell upon anything that was mentioned. Everything that he heard was out of context, and entirely unrelated to any business of his. With the Lady Sierra dismissed, Synclair stepped back into the General's confidence.

The General's permission to proceed unwound Synclair's tongue. "Sir, to begin I have several superficial formalities to report. Those killed during the course of the night will be replaced within the week, I have been assured. As to the information released to their families..." Synclair hated this part. "They were reported killed during a robbery outside the walls, as instructed. No connection with the upstart queen or any other rebellion will be affiliated with their deaths." Synclair had received these instructions directly from those diplomats closest to the throne. While Synclair did not answer directly to these diplomats, he and the other captains were encouraged to avoid openly disobeying the suggestions made by the officials above their heads. Synclair gritted his teeth a moment, fighting against his building frustration once again.

Synclair took a breath and continued. "Reports regarding the events of the previous night indicate that the man known as Phoenix dispatched the enemy targets only after our guards were killed. I intend to make a formal complaint against this man and his reckless disregard for the lives of those who serve the Queen." He was not entirely sure that the General would not try to stop him from doing this. Regardless, Synclair included it in his report on the off chance that the General might even support his complaint. It would be hard to touch a man who was the pet of Lord Alterez, but with the General's word behind him, Synclair might just reach his goal.

"Lastly, I must report an object of discomfort." Synclair revealed a piece of paper and offered it to the General. "This map was found on the bodies of the dead assassins. It is a detailed map of the inside of the castle, marked with the altered schedule of the guards. While other maps and schedules were recovered from the bodies, it is assumed those were taken from our guards as they were killed. This map, however, is a compilation of all the maps issued to our guards on a single sheet. No lone guard would be privy to this information, General." Synclair was sure his point had been made, but was obligated to further explain the situation at hand, however he disliked to. "Someone who knew the schedules of every guard that night leaked this to the assassins. Which means at the very least, it is likely one of our sergeants has betrayed the Queen. Or worse still, it could have been a captain." Synclair shifted on his feet. He did not take pleasure in delivering such reports. If the matter were less pressing, Synclair would prefer to investigate for himself and be sure there was no misunderstanding. As it was, the decision was out of his hands. He provided the General with the information observed, and all he could do was hope there was something that he had overlooked.

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