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Tom Crow

"A soft heart is a vile one"

0 · 435 views · located in Valie

a character in “The Shadow Children”, as played by unicorns.are.real

Description

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"A soft heart is a vile one"






Introductions






ImageImageN A M E
Thomas Mulder Crow

N I C K N A M E
Call him Crow unless you're close enough to be sure he won't run you through with a blade

A G E
24

G E N D E R
Male

S E X U A L O R I E N T A T I O N
Heterosexual

R A N K
Captain of the Daggers






On the Outside




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A P P E A R A N C E
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Tom has dark curls, that remind him far too much of his father for his liking. He always has a dusting of facial hair that show off his uncaring attitude towards his appearance. He isn't a noble or someone made to stand at the Queen's side. He commands her secret army from the shadows, so he looks like the kind of guy you'd find in the shadows, out of the limelight and fancy world of nobles. He doesn't' stand out to anyone not in the know. He is average height, and whilst he does posses muscle from his hours working out and practice sparring but he was never meant to be a real bulky guy. Tom has bright blue eyes, far too bright for his dark outlook on the world.


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Tom has a light scar across his forehead, a deep nasty one on the right side of his chest and several sprinkled over his arms. Tom wears whatever. He's got himself sturdy boots to trek around in, and the rest is just whatever clothes he gets his hands on, he's not one to put a lot of effort into his outfit choice.






On the Inside





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P E R S O N A L I T Y

Tom is the type of guy who set realistic goals. Sure, sometimes ambitious and usually selfish, but always attainable. He never sets himself up for failure, he isn't pathetic enough to dream beyond his means. Though it seems not much is outside of Tom's reach due to the type of guy that he is. When he has a goal in mind, Tom will do whatever he needs to in order to achieve the goal. He wants what he wants and nothing else really matters to him. Tom is a rather uncaring guy. Despite some of his crueler actions, guilt is never something that weighs heavily on his mind or his shoulder. He takes care of himself and his wants, weak people who can't do the same aren't worth any concern from him. Though don't mistake Tom for being overly cruel or sadistic when he burns your family home to ground, he's just following orders. It brings him no joy to watch other suffers, though it doesn't cause him any discomfort either.
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Despite being capable of severe hate for people who have wronged him, Tom is often viewed upon as a relax, easy-going guy. Well, at least until anyone annoys him or pisses him off. Tom in a good mood whilst never really cheerful, is usually tolerant and seems to hold no stress on his shoulders.
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Despite his best efforts and deepest desires, Tom isn't the emotionless and callous individual he likes to envision himself to be. He still has remnants of his humanity and care for others weighing in on his decision making. This part of his personality is obvious in the way he treats his Daggers. Sure he claims they are all disposable tools for him to throw away when necessary. However he knows deep down and perhaps most of them know too, if it came down to it he'd risk his life to protect them, and do anything to protect them. He also has his suspicions about whether he would truly be able to kill his sister, something he hasn't been able to do in the past. Though this doesn't mean he's secretly a bleeding heart. Tom very openly and very vocally despises this kinder side of himself. Sure he'll jump into a burning house to save a fellow Dagger's life, but he'll hate himself for it. Tom is a confident, cocky guy, but he hates his humanity, in fact he is disgusted by it.

H O B B I E S
Dice: He'll play dice with any of his Daggers who are keen. Though he won't play for fun, there has to be stakes, even if it's just spare coins from your pocket.
Training: Tom's position isn't one that comes easy. Not only does he have to keep the Queen's enemies at bay but he has to keep the respect of his Daggers. So he is often working out and practicing his sword skill.

S K I L L S
Sparring: His sister learnt a little from their father as extra protection. Tom was forced to train hard and often, with his father away it was up to an 11 year old to be the man of the household and keep his family safe. This skill was earned through blood and blisters.
Resourceful: Tom wants what he wants and he clever and resourceful enough to get it. He'll find someone who can help him and then find something they want that he can give them.

H A B I T S
Carving: Tom's always carving away at wooden surfaces with his knife, Seeming absentmindedly.
Eye-Contact: For people who haven't earned Tom's respect he generally refuses to give eye contact to. It's just another form of a power play.

O D D I T I E S
Pollen: Pollen makes Tom sneeze and any contact causes him to break out in a rash.

T O L E R A T E S:
Apples ✓ Independence ✓ His Vice Captain
The Forest ✓ The Cold ✓ His Daggers
Isolation ✓ Ale ✓ Women
D E S P I S E S:
Idiocy ✗ Nobles ✗ Politics
Riches ✗ The Shadow Children
Weak Willed People ✗ Direct Sunlight
Flowers ✗ His Parents ✗ Taking Orders






The Past






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B I O G R A P H Y
O R I G I N
Valie

H I S T O R Y
Tom was his parent's first child. Obviously Tom doesn't remember a lot of his earliest years, he remembers a grandfather with kind of eyes who died, a green blanket he used to drag around with him everywhere. Mostly though, Tom remembers his mother being happy. She smiled a lot, she always had her sister around to gossip and drink tea, and she used to sing whilst she gardened.

Then Tom was seven, his mother announced her pregnancy and everything seemed to change. His mother ballooned up before giving birth to a healthy baby girl, Leila. After the baby girl was born though, Tom's mother wasn't the same. She didn't smile, someday she didn't even leave her bed and sometimes he would wake up in the middle of the night to hear her crying. Too young to understand, Tom tried his best to make his mother happy again but nothing worked. Tom's father tried his best for a long 5 years, working hard to support his family, parent his children and be a supportive spouse. Tom didn't see how hard it was on his father though, he was a kid who loved adventuring through the forest with his sister. The day Leila learned to walk, Tom knew he had a sidekick for life, and it wasn't soon before Kat joined them too.

Then Tom turned 11. Old enough to learn to be responsible according to his father. Taking a job that took him away from home for long periods of time, it became Tom's job to look after house. He had to learnt to fight to protect the girls. He had to cook, clean and keep the house in good repair. He also had to take up a laborer job for the afternoons. He couldn't play with the sister he'd taught how to adventure, or with Kat who gave him butterflies. Instead he had to grow up. Quick.

Needless to say Tom's hatred and resentment grew. Like a black pit in his stomach. For his pathetic mother who day after day would mope about in bed. For his weak father who left his family for days at a time and forced his son to work in his stead. Even for his favorite sister, whose youthful ignorance always left her smiling when Tom was in the worst of moods. She didn't understand what their family had really been like.

It was a deal Tom made with The Red Lady. She'd lend him aid in getting rid of his unwanted family, and when the time was right, he'd help her dispose of her enemies. Mutually beneficial, that was the very nature of their relationship. He wasn't like the others, he never felt himself indebted to her or wanting to do right by her. Tom didn't have the heart to kill his favorite sister though. He was supposed to wake her up and get out of there, protecting her with his new position.

He hadn't counted on his mother being up crying that night when the Red Lady's men came to kill them in their sleep. She woke up his father and then the old man himself was up and ready to fight back. Leila was gone from her bed when Tom came for her. Then on his way out, Tom came face to face with his father, without hesitation, the son killed his father. His first kill, but certainly not his last.

A fire was started to conceal the murder, but only his father's body was burned in the fire. His mother had disappeared into the night and no one knew where Leila was. By the time Tom found Leila, she and Kat had chosen their side with the Shadow Children, and they were now his enemies. A fact he easily accepted, and is more than happy to do what is necessary when he finally gets the chance.





Face Claim: George Blagden
Hex: #2E2E2E

So begins...

Tom Crow's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Mavis Crusico Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Alexandei Joscelyn Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Contessa Tavner Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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Image What started out as a quiet, clear night would forever be known as The Day of Blood and Fire.

It was late evening when the screaming started, emanating from the stone fortress of the castle. The people gathered at the doors, too frightened to go inside, but too terribly curious to stay away. The doors flew open with a bang and people, Nobles and Servants alike, fled from the interior of the building. They trampled people and wrecked stalls as they fled, but they wouldn't get far. There were plumes of smoke rising from the different districts of the city. Orange light began to glow and the air was filled with more screams. There was the crashing of glass, the clang of metal on metal, and the heartbreaking sounds of people losing their homes. Some even losing their lives.

The culprit? A woman dressed in the same shade of red as the blood staining the throne room who wears the face of the queen. But the queen is dead, the king is nowhere to be seen, and the princess is missing. This new queen, this Red Lady, and her young army are tearing down the kingdom. Not just to conquer it. No. To rebuild it. First comes the fire and the cleansing. Then the reconstruction will commence and the kingdom will be remade.

The key players are all in place. The Queen stands at the head of the square. A shimmering crown of gold sits upon her head, glowing in the orange light of the fires. The Captain and Vice Captain of her guard, her soldiers, stand on either side of her giving a... trial of sorts for the nobles that refused to help when she had appeared to them before. Her daggers moved throughout the city, seeking rats on two legs who must face their crimes against the crown.


Image The Shadow Children were mostly settled in for the night, the younger ones already asleep in their cots in the glow of the lanterns while the older ones worked and did their playing. The herbalist was at the one of the man tables near Soup, their kitchens, playing cards with her brother, the Medic. The weapons master was in her treehouse, staring up into the night sky, an open bottle of wine in her hand. The Captain was up in her treehouse, another young man wrapped around her finger. The master of the guard was out with her troop, scouting the forest and the kingdom for any sign of the snakes called Daggers. And any sign of her missing brother.





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ImageThe missing Princess--Drew--was fleeing her kingdom, dressed in rags and covered in dirt. Her hands were riddled with blisters, sore and festering from the prison work forced upon her. Her back still stung where a whip had cut her skin and painted the walls with her blood. The sound of screams shook her body to her core. So much so, that she had fallen to her knees repeatedly until she was too far to hear them. She turned, high enough to see the smoke and flame filling the night sky. She let out a choked sob and collapsed, her tears leaving streaks in the dirt that coated her cheeks. Her kingdom was falling to pieces and she was powerless to stop it.

"Winn," she said, barely a whisper, "Winn, we should go back." She pushed herself to her feet, her legs weak beneath her. She had been working in the gardens all day after being sick all night from the drugs they fed her. She didn't have a choice. She needed to eat to survive long enough to escape. And she had, but it was bittersweet. She didn't understand why Angelina chose to strike that night when it was obvious she had her men in the castle for weeks. Her torment had only gone on for days, but the time seemed to stretch down in the cells. She wouldn't tell Winter the truth about what was going on down there. Not yet. She doubled over and wretched. Whether from exertion, drugs, or shock she couldn't tell.

She straightened and wiped her mouth. "Winn, we have to go back."






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ImageKat swung from the hammok she had hanging one of the walls of her treehouse--They were comfortable but not as practical as a bed--dressed in her underthings and a long shirt. She was unaware of the events taking place on the other side of the walls. She was sure the others thought she was fooling around with one of the boys--young men really--but in truth she had sent him away hours ago when he realized that she wasn't interested in anything he wanted. She had her own needs. They were met. She was done with him. Now, she let her mind wander. More about the past than the present. The happy parts of her past anyway.

She had half a mind to reach for one of the bottles she had tucked away, but then she remembered that Leila had been in her room earlier that night and she had yet to get her report from her vice captain and Mavis. She would need that before she decided to incapacitate herself for the night. Things in the forest had been quiet lately which Kat found incredibly unsettling. "What are you up to you crimson bitch?" She mused to herself.






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ImageLeila sat in hear window, leaning against the back frame. There was a throwing knife in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. If she cut her hand, it wouldn't be a big deal. It wasn't her dominant hand and she had someone who could fix her up. She just needed something to take the edge off. It was getting closer to her birthday. Closer to the day her life turned upside down all those years ago. She looked out the window again only this time she was staring down at the tables where her best friend and his sister were playing cards with some of the other kids. She supposed this family wasn't all that bad. Things hadn't been the same at home for a long time anyway.

She took another swig of wine and gulped down the sour liquid. Wine wasn't her favorite, but Kat always had some stashed away in her treehouse and never locked the door. She too was oblivious to the monstrous deeds happening on the other side of the wall. Hell, the forest could be on fire and she wouldn't know. She was watching the stars with a reverence. The only way she was leaving her treehouse was if Will came in her and talked her out of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Mavis Crusico Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Alexandei Joscelyn Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Contessa Tavner Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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ImageSomething was off. Mavis couldn't tell what, but something about tonight was different. The woods were clear, nothing but the odd animal. Maybe Mavis was just paranoid as the anniversary of her parents death was coming up. Nothing would happen, she was worried for nothing.

Still she had to be sure. If they got attacked tonight because Mavis though she was seeing things the teen would never forgive herself. She sent all but one of her party back to camp with the instructions to tell their Captian that Mavis would return later. Kat would need to know after all.

She made her way to the edge of the forest, her ruined home in the distance. Was that smoke from the city? Mavis had to check this out. She turned to the Shadow Child with her, hand on her blade. 'Return to The Captain. Tell her of the smoke. I will go further and look for signs of those blasted Dagger.'

'But Mavis-'

She silenced him with a glare. Young as she was her troops respected her. He nodded grimly and after placing a calloused hand on her shoulder, ran off. Mavis faced the castle again. Just what was happening?

She took a deep, calming breath and took off, a blur in the night. As she got closer Mavis could hear the screams. Painfully she was reminded of the flames licking at her skin, her brothers screaming for her.

She shook her head. Now wasn't the time. Something big was happening and Mavis needed to find out what. The Castle's main entrance was in sight but Mavis didn't need that. Anyone of intrest would be escaping in the smaller routes, sewers and holes in the ground.

Not wanting to be noticed, but wanting to see what was going on Mavis did what she does best. She scrambled up a tree and planted herself on a thick branch. If no one important came out within an hour she'd return to camp.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Mavis Crusico Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Alexandei Joscelyn Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Contessa Tavner Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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The day had finally come. Besides the day of her gaining her crown, the day of reckoning had come, as well. It's been days that she had been exacting her revenge as today was just pure icing on the cake. Angelina roamed around the castle with a few grapes inside of her hand. She popped them all into her mouth then turned to look towards the throne room and saw that there were blood on almost every single aspect of the room. The aroma of smoke began to crept at her nose as she knew that the day she took over that there was going to be turmoil - Her turmoil.

Angelina was heavily guarded by her recruited group of misfits. She wondered if this display of the day would bring out those obviously terrified children in the woods. They were pathetic in her eyes as she continued her waltz throughout the castle as most places she went, she could see the flames still burning a bright orange. The black smoke of already burned places that were slowly turning to ash.

As she entered the square and took her rightful place in front of her throne, she directed her soldiers to stand guard beside her. She stood there proudly and looked as she had one of her hostages tied with their hands behind their back to a wooden pole. Angelina looked at the person as she parted her lips to speak.

"One last chance to bow down to me or suffer the consequences." She spat as the male tied to the pole eyed her with a disgusted look. "I'd rather burn in the deepest depths of hell before I bow down to a wretched person like you." Angelina chuckled as she lowered her head to look down at the ground before her eyes fixated back towards the male. "Well, let me help you out a little bit, huh?" Before the male could even respond, masked men that carried torches had already set the male ablaze as his piercing screams filled the square.

"Kassandra, make it stop." She muttered towards the female as Kassandra nodded her head and grabbed her bow along with an arrow and shot it towards the male, ultimately silencing him. A smirk began to form among her lips as she took a few steps forward and looked down at the other nobles before her. "This is just the beginning. There is plenty more where that came from. Bow down to me or the King you all once knew is next." Yes, those last words she had uttered were simply breathtaking as no one truly knew what happened to the King - Their King. At least they knew that he was truly alive or maybe she was just toying with them.

Angelina along with most members of The Daggars truly knew where the King was kept hidden. He was kept in a tower within the castle as she didn't quite know what to do with him yet. She didn't know if she wanted to kill him or just torture him until he cannot take it anymore and asks for his own sentencing. Angelina couldn't think about that now as she eyed her loyal army. "If this doesn't bring those children out of those woods, I do not what will." She spoke softly as she turned back towards the audience. "Now, we feast!"

After she spoke those words, the audience was still at a hush as they followed her to the dining area, a place in which she has yet to burn. Her army trailed behind her as she entered the room and took her rightful seat at the top, where she could see down at everyone else. "Now, we wait." Angelina spoke as she sat back and relaxed for now as it seemed like people were actually enjoying themselves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Mavis Crusico Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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Tom took another large bite of his apple. He swung his dagger around in his free left hand and he watched the first set of flames erupt. This was her plan and now it was in motion. Tonight would go well, there was no doubt in anyone's mind. Tom eyed off the smoke that rose through the dark sky. Sure he didn't need to be here waiting, it wasn't exactly a job that called for a person of his position, but he preferred to be out here rather than in that castle watching the chaos from a distance. Down here he could hear the screams, feel a part of the madness. Besides Kass would be at their Queen's side. He trusted his vice captain as much as he trusted his own to hands.

Tom was getting impatient now. He took the last bite of his apple and threw the core to his feet stomping on it with one of his boots. Then finally, the door he had been watching swung open. A portly man saddled up with luggage appeared followed by his wife and three children. Just what Tom had been waiting for. One of the Queen's enemies looking to make a hasty exit. Tom strode forward pulling out his sword. "And where you guys be off to on such a fine night?"
The family all jumped at the sound of Tom's voice and the father looked at him like a guilty child caught stealing an extra cookie. The man made a move to run, but Tom was able to immediately stop him by way of sword. "Oh no. I wouldn't try that. A noble family like yours shouldn't be skulking around alleyways so late at night." Lord Albert, cousin to the king. A title that brought him a stunning commoner wife and access to as much food as he could stuff down his pie hole, a liberty he had clearly taken advantage of. Another one of the nobles who had turned their backs on his Queen. Tom wasn't one for politics but he knew how to follow orders.

"Please, just let us go." He pleaded, his face red and splotchy from the panic that had clearly set in. Tom closed in on the group, his features giving none of his thoughts away. “I’ve got money. Lots of it.” None of the man’s arguments swayed Tom at all. “Just let me go,” His wife said stepping forward, batting her big brown eyes Tom’s way. “I’ve done no wrong to The Red Lady like him. And I’m not royal blood like the children.” Tom’s face held a sadistic smile. How quickly the parents rose up to betray their children.

He shrugged and moved aside to let her past. After all, she was right. The wife wasn’t anyone his Queen wanted revenge from. Although, she only managed to run a few meters before Tom slipped out a small dagger and pierced it through the back of her skull. With blank features Tom tugged his jacket back into place. “Sorry. That was personal.” Tom had a thing about shitty parenting. “Now the rest of you.” Tom made quick work of cutting down the remaining family members. It was messy work. It had to be as so to leave behind a warning for anyone else thinking of going against the Queen.

Once he was done. Tom left the bodies how they lay and walked through the backstreet towards the castle. Fire seemed to roar all around and people ran about through the streets, screaming and yelling. Tom liked the sense of it all. It felt like change and Angelina provided the means that allowed Tom to be at the heart of it. Heading towards one of the many lesser known back doors into the castle. He pulled up a grate in bedded in the ground and was about to jump down when his attention was caught by some movement out of the corner of his eye. Glancing upward towards the tree foliage, he narrowed his eyes searching for the same movement but he couldn’t see anything. Shrugging off the feeling of being watched, Tom jumped down into the tunnel below the streets that led straight into the castle.

Tom entered the dining room quietly and with little fuss. He had been picked for the Dagger’s because he didn’t stand out or have much presence. Wandering around the edges of the room Tom made his way up to his position at Angelina’s side. As he walked past Kass, he briefly put a hand to her back and whispered “Nice shot.” He had seen her previous show out in the square. Then he passed her and took his spot of Angelina’s side. He flashed her a smug smile. Their day had finally come. Tom wasn’t much into politics and he really didn’t care much for bloodlines or who he was expected to bow to. Though this was one political move that mattered to him. Being by Angelina’s side meant he had a lot to gain from this movement. “How are things going from your end?” He asked quietly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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A collaboration between myself and unicorns.are.real


Angelina took a sip from her goblet, a smile warmed her face as she eyed out towards her people. The music had just began and people were going over to the floor and started dancing. She had called over some guards and gave them an assignment. She had sent them to summon the princess down the stairs so that she can also enjoy these festivities, as well.

Her eyes looked out towards her army of comrades as she looked up and saw the captain, Tom, come over towards her. She smirked a little and took another sip from her goblet, her eyes fixated on Tom now. His question rang through her ears as she smiled out towards the people that was dancing then looked over at him.

"Let's see, now that I have the Kingdom within the palm of my hands and that I am finally Queen, things are pretty great here." She responded bluntly then eyed him. "Any news to deliver to me?" Angelina asked Tom as she waited for a response.

"It sure looks it,"
mused Tom as he looked out of the dancing people. Wine was flowing throughout the entire room. In here seemed more like a fancy ball was being held rather than the rebellion the flames outside represented. He looked back at his Queen when she asked his news. "Nothing of note. Everything is going as planned." He shrugged lightheartedly. "The other Daggers should be out. Taking care of a few things." Of course, they both new by things, Tom meant people.

Tom moved his hands behind has back and looked out at the party going on. He tried to keep his look casual to anyone who would glance over. "So. You figured out what you're going to do with that father and daughter duo?" He was of course asking about the King and Princess, Angelina had kept captured below the castle. She's been awfully vague about her plans for them, which was something that annoyed Tom. She wasn't supposed to keep things from him. Sure this was her thing, but he was supposed to be her right hand man.

Angelina looked at Tom with another smile as she admired what he was doing with his group. She had an impressive smirk upon her face as she continued to look at him. "Seems like I've chosen the right person to be captain." She slightly teased as her shoulders shrugged at his last question. She honestly didn't know within herself but she wasn't going to let Tom know that.

"I have my plans. It's just not the right time right about now." She responded as the guards she had sent to check on the princess came back with worried expressions. Angelina gave them a scowled face as she raised a brow at them. "Well." The guards looked at each other before one of them finally spoke. "The princess wasn't where you left her, my lady." Angelina stood up before her seat as she eyed them.

"She escaped? How is that possible?" She asked as she waved her hand towards her guards, dismissing them as she looked down at Tom now. Angelina had another small smirk curve among her lip as she sat back down beside him. "Gather up your comrades. Find that little princess and when you do, don't kill her. Leave that for me." Angelina looked at him and waited to see what he had to say. Though, it was her orders and that was final.

Tom lounged in his chair, though he clenched his jaw slightly when Angelina refused to answer his question. She was being evasive, and it didn't annoy him as much as irked him. He liked to be let in on plans. Tom didn't enjoy being treated like any old lackey. Though he knew there was no point pressing the issue. If Angelina didn't want to spill the beans he wouldn't be able to persuade otherwise and he wasn't pathetic enough to try.

Then his Queen's attention was stolen by two guards approaching them. He quirked an eyebrow in amusement and they told her the bad news. As they walked off he murmured to Angelina, "I could have sworn you were a kill the messenger type." She turned to him and gave her orders. He shrugged. "Sure. Would you also like me to bring you back a goose that lays golden eggs?" Tom replied sarcastically. Finding the Princess would be no easy task. Who knew who was helping her, and how long she'd been gone?

Angelina looked at Tom once he had made a statement then shook her head. "You didn't let me finish, kill those two guards." She demanded then quickly snapped a glare towards Tom after he responded sarcastically towards her. "No but if you bring me the head of one of those Shadow Children, that will be good enough." She wasn't really up for sarcasm right about now as she wondered if it was just the princess that had escaped or is the king missing, as well.

Her sharp response proved that there was no denying his Queen and if anyone could do it, his Daggers could. So he reluctantly got to his feet. Though he leaned into whisper to Angelina "But whilst I'm doing that, you better find your traitor." It was clear if the princess had escaped someone had helped her, and if Angelina intended on holding onto her throne traitors could not be tolerated.

Angelina looked up at Tom as she sneered over at him then leaned back within her seat. She took her goblet again and took a big, very deserved sip from it then sat it back down. She needed to go to see if the king was still within his little cell but she was going to wait for when her group, The Daggars, left the premises. Her heart was literally racing right about now as she dismissed Tom then watched him as he made his move.

Then he left his Queen and went to stand beside Kass. Despite the time pressing task he'd been given, his demeanor was casual and relaxed. It would do no good on the night of like this to look scrambled. Tom gave Kass a meaningful look, that said he'd explain later, then he motioned over one of the closest guards. One of the ones most used to working with the Daggers. Tom spoke lowly, "I want a message sent out. My group is out and about and I need you to pass on to them that 'the bird has taken flight'." Tom nodded that his message was done. He knew his team would understand the meaning of the message and he couldn't allow the message to fall into just anyone's ears. At the last second Tom reached out and grabbed the soldier, "Oh, and make sure to put you most loyal on our Queen."

Then Tom was done with the soldier. He motioned to for Kass to follow him out into the night. They had a princess to catch. He intended to fill Kass in on the details along the way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Raven Delacroix

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Raven was beyond bored, she was glad the Queen finally had her crown, but sitting at a feast with an entire room with people whose combined IQ was lower than hers, including that of her so called peers, no thank you.

She didn't enjoy physical torture, unless it taught her something. She didn't do it for the sake of bloodshed, she wasn't a psychopath like the rest of these lower lifeforms. She had a scientific mind, if she was going to use physical torture, it was going to be because she wanted to learn what it did.
She spent her time inside watching the carnage unfold from her tower room. The fires burned, the screams echoed, blood spilled.

Bored.

Raven looked over, narrowing her eyes at a tree, she'd found one of her 'peers' in, sipping wine with a wide grin. She rolled her eyes.

"Julian..." she groaned.
Another textbook psychopath... He annoyed her the most.

She turned away, just as there was a knock on her door. "Come." She called. A herald entered and bowed. "Milady." he said and she looked at him with a look of disinterest. He didn't seem to know what to do with the little girl with the dark reputation. Most knew of her, most where afraid. He stammered.
"Out with it." She huffed.

"The Queen, she requests your presence." He said and she rolled her eyes. "Was it mine, or was it all of us?" She asked and he didn't seem to know how to answer "Fool, Where is she?"
"In the throne room, milady."
Raven walked by him with a huff, a cape billowing around her tiny frame as she moved.

She found Tom and Kassandra first. "Whose grand idea was it to send a completely inept herald to my chambers?" she asked them as if she weren't the younger of the group. "I have no idea, what is supposed to be happening now, all I was told was the Queen 'requested my presence' but since you lot are together, and armed I figured she had something she wants us to do?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Raven Delacroix

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ImageImageImage Climbing up the face of the castle was a simple enough feat--there were many protruding stones and little divots in the brick that told stories of hardships so long past that no one really remembered anymore. Khara idly wondered as she leapt to a further hold than she could reach, if this would just be another coup scratched out of history or changed to make this Queen seem kinder. What would people years and years from now think of this moment? Khara shook out her mane, dislodging the unwanted introspection with a grunt and kept climbing, arriving at one of the many lit windows and the one with the most noise coming out of it, slipping herself through the opening silently, the redolence of rich, expensive food hitting her as soon as she came in, making her nose scrunch up against the variety of scents.

Khara zoned in on Crow and Kassandra, her feet whispering over the intricate marble flooring as she made her way over to them, patrons blissfully unaware of the predator in their presence despite the way her barbaric-looking clothes and the blue face paint made her contrast against the warm tones of red, gold, and brown that permeated the hall. She came up behind the leader and co-leader of their little plucky band of murderers, reaching their side at the same time the deranged little girl--Raven--marched up to Crow and Kassandra.

"I have no idea, what is supposed to be happening now, all I was told was the Queen 'requested my presence' but since you lot are together, and armed I figured she had something she wants us to do?" The Wolf glanced down to notice that they were, in fact, armed and now that it was mentioned, she could practically taste the tension in the air though it was probably just the nobles trying their hardest not to get killed.

"Hm," Khara grunted to make her presence known, though she was sure Crow had already sensed her. She rose a dark brow in wordless question.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Raven Delacroix

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She had killed her fair share of people within the early years of her life and now, she was at it again but for another cause. She was killing for her Queen, The Red Lady, Angelina and it was for her vengeance since most of the people will not bow and those that didn't, suffered their own fate. Kassandra looked down at the multiple bodies before her as the smell of smoke tickled at her nose. She smiled with sheer delight as she stepped away and met the Queen along with rest of The Daggars in the square for a trial, well more like execution. Her eyes fixed themselves upon the male that horribly failed to plead his own case as he was set on fire. The Queen didn't like the fact that his screams filled the square so Kassandra did as she was asked and shot an arrow directly into the male.

A soft gasp came from her parted lips once her captain, Tom, came up beside her and muttered that it was a nice shot. She couldn't help but blush then straightened up when Angelina called for a feast, which was already planned. Kassandra followed behind her and into the feast hall as she sat down right beside her. She wasn't hungry. She wasn't thirsty. Kassandra just sat there and waited for the Queen's next orders.

A few moments have passed and she had learned of the little princess escaped. She knew that their Queen was going to send them on a mission and that's sort of why she didn't get too comfortable within her seat. Her eyes went back towards Angelina as she whispered to Tom then went back straight ahead when she turned to look at her.

When Tom stood and gave her a meaningful look, she was slightly confused but she still decided to follow him anyway. Kassandra stood beside Tom silently as she parted her lips to speak but a little girl, unfortunately a Daggar came before them as if she was their size and much older than them. Kassandra raised a brow up at the little girl then looked as Khara joined them, as well. Her eyes fluttered over towards Tom as she waited for his orders on what to do. She really wanted to say something to that little pipsqueak, Raven but decided against it, for now, anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Mavis Crusico Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Contessa Tavner Character Portrait: Queen Angelina Character Portrait: Frere

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ImageLeila snorted and grabbed another knife from her bedside table and started twirling it as she had before. "I've got plenty more where that came from." She raised an eyebrow at him, daring him to come nearer, but she knew he wouldn't take it. Instead he would just stand in the doorway and attempt to talk her down from there. Unfortunately, he knew exactly what to say to get her to do so. She listened with feigned disinterest as he spoke and snorted again when he spoke of handsome men falling at her feet. She didn't want to be a hero. She didn't want glory. But handsome men? She looked up at will. Well.. that probably wasn't happening any time soon.

The temptation to wait and watch was easy to overcome when faced with the second option. There was no way she would allow Will and Kat to do anything dire without her. No. If she was to die in battle it would be with them. There was no way she could live without them. She'd forget how to function without her sister and her best friend. A sick feeling rolled in her gut at the thought of either of them being dragged back, broken and lifeless to be buried. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing the nausea to pass and when it did, she looked up at him again. She stood and walked over to him, slightly unsteady, but nothing a run couldn't fix. She held out her hand for her knife to be passed and she held up the uncorked wine bottle for him to take. "I think, Doctor, you drive a hard bargain."

Once her knife was once again in her possession, she went to grab the others before also grabbing her cloak and making her way down to ground level. When she was most the way down she started barking orders as if she was the captain and not Kat. "Alright, we haven't received much ammunition from our jobs as of late, so everyone will have to stick mainly with sword. Only those deemed "sharp shooters" are allowed to use a bow or cross bow tonight. Blasters, grab whatever you need in case of an emergency, but do not get selfish with the powders. Save them for what they're meant for in times like these. Emergencies. If I see any explosion with our signature in it, you will be hung from the cave ceiling by your toes until your legs go numb." She continued on like that until they were at the mouth of the cave and ready to leave.

There, she saw her sister. She sauntered up as if she hadn't stolen her wine and as if she hadn't been drinking most of the evening and said, "Hello, sister dear." That was honestly a dead giveaway. It was only ever Kat or Sis. Never Sister Dear unless she was drunk.





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ImageKat finished rounding up those who could fight, many had left before the others, members of the guard currently on and off duty. She split them into two uneven groups. A mix of those with skill and all those under the age of fifteen were made to stay behind and guard the little ones. Even though Kat was sure the Daggers wouldn't be attacking their home base (not that the idiots would be able to find it) since their attacks were focused on the city, but she would rather be safe than sorry.

As she was making her way to the cave entrance, she glanced up to check on the status of Leila's coming or not and smirked as she saw a familiar dark haired figure make her way clumsily downwards from her treehouse. She shook her head in bemusement as she began to bark orders at the others even though most had already gathered their weapons. She didn't bother to say anything until her sister was beside her at the cave opening. "You're late," she greeted with a smirk, but the time for talk had passed. With a nod, she turned and took off through the trees. Branches whipped by her face, but none struck her as if the trees were aware of their urgency and parted so they could pass. She heard Leila give out a curse every so often as they ran which told Kat two things. One of which she already knew and another that surprised her, though she'd never admit it. The first was that Leila was still buzzed from the wine. The second that the trees seemed willing to hinder her. Guess she must've done something stupid.

The made their way to the hill that overlooked the entire kingdom when she stopped them and motioned for them to split up. The different groups were to go to different parts of the city in search of people to bring down to the tunnel systems. Kat, Leila, Will, and two others were going through the front. They were to serve as a distraction for the Daggers. Not that they would truly take the bate, but they had to try.

With a crack, the sky opened up and the rain came down, causing the cobblestone streets to become slick, but it did little for the fires. Kat pictured the streets in chaos, but now they were just a mess. There was noise in the distance, but most of what she could hear was glass breaking and fires raging. No Daggers in sight and no people. At least, no people who were living.

"Come out, you red bitch!" She yelled into the streets, her voice echoing off the stone. "You're going to regret waking your neighbors!"





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Image Drew froze. She recognized those faces. She had seen those faces before. Not just in the castle, but after... in her cells. It took a moment of coaxing to get Drew to snap out of it enough for her to move and hide. Normally, she'd whip out her sword, but--other than the fact that she didn't have it--she just... didn't have the fight in her at the moment. She should be angry with those men, but instead all she felt was fear towards them. It was herself she was angry with. Angry that they had broken her. Angry that she had allowed it.

So now she watched, practically cowering behind a stone wall. Valie's once strong princess reduced to hiding in the face of danger. How sad. How sickening. Maybe The Red Lady was right about her. Maybe there was no way she could ever be queen.. The sound of metal on bone broke through her daze and brought her attention into the present and what she saw she hoped to never have to see again. Winter had sliced one of the guards' heads clean off and had stabbed the other into the wall. He was angry. Why was he angry? Well... besides for the obvious reasons.

He gave his call for her to come out and she felt the corners of her mouth lift ever so slightly as she made her way out to him. It brought back memories of playing in the gardens as children, giving each other clues as to each others' whereabouts while playing hide-and-seek. In a place as big as the castle, one needed hints in order to keep them from playing the day away with the same match of the same game. She stopped a couple feet from him. She reached out with a hand and wiped a spot of blood from his face. "I wish you didn't have to do that.." She whispered and then made her way out of the gate. "You have to show me the way to camp. I don't know how to get there. Also, do you have my sword?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Khara Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Raven Delacroix

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Tom led himself and his Vice Captain out through the castle passageways. Then Raven approached. Her usual severe attitude in place. Tom had been angry at having a kid on his team. A girl her age couldn’t possibly serve any use and would only get in the way. At least that’s what he had thought, but the truth was she was the one of the group with the best head on her shoulders and was always useful. “Delacroix. Everyone is found inept when compared to you.” Tom said wearily, appeasing to side of her that thought herself permanently in the company of idiots. Sure he liked Raven, but right now he was lacking the patience for all of his team’s different idiosyncrasies.

“Khara. Good.” Tom said as Khara’s face appeared out of the shadows behind him. Sure Khara acted more like a ghost than a human, however if one knew her well enough and they knew what signs to listen out for one could know when she was around. In fact it had become a bit of a game between the two of them with her always trying to catch him off guard. Not that either of them were childish or joyful enough to ever voice their game out loud to each other.

Then Raven asked what they were up to. Tom could feel both Kass and Khara giving him inquisitive stares. Whilst keeping his face impassive, Tom sighed internally. He hated having to explain things and honestly he just wanted to get moving. “I’ll explain on the way.” He said leading his group through a few more corridors and then out a back door of the castle. It was a little-known peasant entry that led to a narrow alleyway that smelled of urine more often than not.

Tom had taken no more than ten steps when he ran into his weapons master returning to the castle. “Bribois, come.” He ordered the bloodied man, not breaking his stride. In fact as rain started to fell from the sky he speed up his pace. The rain would only watch away tracks and clues. “So the Princess has somehow managed to escape and our new orders are to re-capture her.” Tom explained to his current comrades. He looked pointedly at Julien, “Alive. Obviously.”

Tom took a few more steps before looking at Khara. “I’m going to need your expertise on this one, first though I think we should-“ Tom’s instructions were cut off by some rather noisy citizens. "You're going to regret waking your neighbors!" From the side street he’d led his team into, Tom couldn’t see who the voices and numerous footsteps belonged to, however he could of recognized that voice anywhere.

“Of course the forest brats are here,” Tom groaned to his team. Using his own little nicknames for the orphans who likes to hang out in the forest and cause trouble for everyone else. His old friend, Kat, and his sister, Leila, included. He did not have time for this. They were clearly up to something, no one makes such obvious movements against an enemy, but he also couldn’t just ignore them and let them do whatever they wanted. Thinking quick on his feet, Tom easily evaluated the Daggers he had with him. “Okay, Khara and Delacroix. You guys keep going, find the princess.” Khara was easily his best tracker and whilst Raven had many strengths he preferred Julien and Kass had his back. He trusted their skills more. “Don’t either of you dare come back with empty hands.” He dismissed them and turned back to his remaining comrades.

“Okay. Kass, wanna’ get up high. Watch our back with your bow?” Tom said to Kass treating his Vice captain with suggestions rather than the orders he gave the rest of his team. He hoped she’d take him up on his suggestion. At least with some sort of marksman they could bluff that they numbered more than three. “Brisbois, with me,” He ordered before creeping down another side street that led to a large courtyard the forest brats had gathered in. With eyes on his enemy, Tom was able to identify Leila, Kat and three others. “Keep going, I’ll distract them and you can come at them from behind,” Tom whispered his combat suggestion to Julien.

Kat’s back was to him and silently Tom pulled out a small dagger. Narrowing his eyes he held it between his forefinger and thumb before letting it fly directly at one of her comrade's head. He ducked back behind the corner without seeing the result. Tom called out tauntingly, ’Red Bitch’? I’m not expert on royalty but I believe you’re supposed to say ‘Her Majesty’? Tom pulled out his sword and dragged in along the ground so it made a loud scraping sound, very clearly directing them to his location. He crouched down ready to attack whoever came around the corner looking for him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn

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ImageLeila rolled her eyes at Kat's display. She was going for distraction and was doing a good job of it, but she wished she didn't have to make them all look incompetent. Her stomach lurched at the number of bodies that littered the street. People discarded in the gutters like trash. If this was how The Red Lady intended to rule her kingdom, Valie was doomed. She retrieved the sword at her waist and drew it quietly. She had the sudden sensation of being watched and she knew they weren't alone. She began to wonder if the bodies in the street were really dead..

There was a familiar metallic sound singing through the air and she just barely had time to turn and deflect it before it sunk into the back of Will's head. The knife fell to the ground with a clang. Leila faced back now, her eyes searching for the assailant. She prayed that Kat would remain facing the street. And then his voice called out in response to Kat and her veins turned to ice. Tommy.

One hand gripped her sword tightly. The other reached down for her own throwing knife, ready to toss at that bastard's head when he showed himself. "Tommy! What have you done! All these lives! All these people! They're dead because of that woman you serve! How could you! Don't you remember all those trips we made into town? These people were kind to us!" The sound of metal on stone cut through the air, rising goosebumps on her arms. It made her teeth feel like they had been rubbed with sandpaper. Kat turned at the sound of the sword on stone and Leila cursed under her breath. She turned to watch Kat's back--albeit reluctantly. "Show yourself Coward." She muttered into the orange light of the town painting in flames. Something still felt off, but she couldn't put her finger on it.





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Image Kat's feline like eyes watched the dark, looking for movement. She distantly heard steps on the stone, but she could not be certain of friend or foe so she wouldn't bother to investigate. Not just yet anyway. Something flew at them and--thankfully--Leila had managed to stop it. Kat refrained from turning around just yet. The Daggers used diversion often to strike a foe. They're too cowardly to kill honestly. Men, Women, Child all murdered from any angle. Including being stabbed in the back. She heard Crow call from behind them and Leila responded before she could get a word out. Her heart ached for her sister at how she pleaded with her brother. They had the same conversation repeatedly about how far gone Thomas was. The little boy she once played with as a boy was gone. He's gone, Lei. Let him go.

But they were here to distract and give the others time, So.. "Coward! You hide from me?" She called as she turned her back to the street. Leila sighed and covered for her. Sorry Kiddo. This has to be showy. She grinned, feline and took a sauntering step towards the sound of metal on stone and Crow's voice. "You know what I'll do to you when I get my hands on you Thomas Crow!" She knew he probably couldn't see her, but she knew the others were probably watching. She pretended to slash her throat and die from the blood loss. She knew the others would have her back if something happened. Her eyes were trained on the rooftops looking for that damned archer of a vice Captain, but if she was there, she couldn't see her yet.




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Image Drew nodded at his words, but it didn't erase the guilt she felt leaving her people behind to die. She had no ideas as to what her aunt had planned for those who remained in the kingdom, but she knew they couldn't be good. Not with the amount of fire and ash she saw throughout the kingdom. "If you had tried to stop them.. you'd be dead.. or worse. She might've tossed you inside as well." At the sound of her name--not her title-- her head snapped up to look at him, but he was looking down at his hand. There was red, angry skin on his finger where a blister had formed and broken open. She moved towards him and stopped to take a look at it. His skin was warm beneath the ice of her fingertips. "We should probably clean and wrap that. We can't let anything get infected out here. Where are the bandages?" Then she realized she didn't know what exactly the plan was. He had said something about the Shadow Children, but had he finally believed the stories? That they had existed.

"Where are we going, Winn? Are we really hiding out here until things.. what? Blow over?" She ran a hand through her tangled hair, shaking slightly with the cold. Her breath was beginning to form clouds in front of her as the temperature continued to drop. As she looked for medical supplies, she found a satchel at the foot of her cot and pulled it over to her to search it. It contained clothes and food, obviously for her, but no bandages inside.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn

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Will was only aware of the knife heading for his head when Leila knocked it out of the air, mere inches from the back of his skull. A shiver ran down his spine as he wrapped both hands around his sword, raising it as he scanned the streets carefully. The two sisters took up their own displays- but that had never been Will's style. He kept his back to Leila and Kat, searching the shadows for the slightest sign of movement. The sound of metal on pavement sent chills down his spine, but he knew that they were trying to distract them. He kept his attention on the streets themselves, listening closely to his surroundings. They had to be surrounded.

He shifted onto the balls of his feet, already mentally flicking through tactics. Andei had put nightshade into his pack, so even if he was disarmed, he wasn't going to be entirely helpless. They probably had archers on the roofs, so he needed to be ready to stick close to the ground and move as quickly as possible. If they had to scatter, the shadows would be best to avoid the archer- but that was also risking encountering more foot soldiers. So, the best tactic was probably to stay as close to his opponents as possible, make it hard for them to strike without risking injuring their comrades. That is, if the Daggers weren't beyond attacking their own people.

Something moved in the shadows, causing his hands to tighten around the sword. He didn't call out though. Partially because he didn't want to draw any unnecessary attention to them, but also partially because he couldn't think of anything smart to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois

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It wasn´t a surprise to Julien to see most of his Queen creatures coming from the castle as he was arriving nor was it to see that both of the Corvus had a determined or slightly angry expression on their faces but for some reason that anger found his way directed at Julien, taking away his excellent mood, disgust and nuisance was the usual vibe the little Lady deigns to bestow on Julien but being scolded by his Captain wasn´t some playful antipathy "Yes I´m greatly displeased by nobility but I haven´t killed Angelina yet my Crow... nor anyone who can be beneficial for the future of Valie"it wasn´t important for Julien if people did not understand his way of life but he respected his leader, this and similar things coursing through his mind while the Captain was talking to The Inquisitor...

"You're going to regret waking your neighbors!"

"So Kat is finally here I wonder if she found Frere maybe I really will get my second chance at a dance" With this thoughts cheering his mind he turned his attention to the direction of the screams he quickly assessed his weapons and wounds, the a gash on his right thigh and the one on his arm were going need some favoring the rest weren´t of importance like the split lip.

There were only five Shadow Children in the courtyard and that gave Julien some doubt, although selfish and too passive none of them were oafish, at least not those that he remember and Kaitlyn couldn´t know how many of the Queens people would answer such a challenge "What are you thinking Kaitlyn... and why have you brought the young ones, you did not intervene when everything was at its worse and now that things are finally starting to right themselves you come and bring those that know nothing into this purge His eyes dissecting the kids behind TSCs Captain, two seemed weak and disturbed by the dead bodies and the other two seemed equally disturbed but more ready to join their song of steel to the orchestra of the night “Keep going, I’ll distract them and you can come at them from behind,” The Crow said and this inspired Julien, making his way quickly around the courtyard he decided to give aid to his captains plan for distraction. Selecting a shadowed alley close to the Captain he hung his dark coat to a pole with a knife coming from the sleeve barely in eyesight of the two brown-haired shadow boys and climbed his way to the first floor of the house next to it, waiting and observing his knives and his scythe were ready he just needed the boys to make a move towards the mildly billowing shadow or the reflection of steel or Crow

"Give me a small opening and I´ll test your painting skills all the models are in their positions" In his mind he already had envisioned the end image for this encounter, the dark haired girl was skilled enough to create quality art and therefore she would escape mostly unscathed probably carrying a broken forest Jaguar maybe even with a defeated soul after my asymmetrical perfection was discussed and the fate of the other three determined. Those three and both of the Daggers with him were the wild inspiration the strokes that would create their own colors and bring versatility to this piece, he just had to wait for the right time to bring down his stormy brushes and give life to this courtyard.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn

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Once her group had trailed off for the mission that she had given Tom and he delivered the message, she was still within the dining hall and enjoyed everyone within her presence. Angelina was really enjoying being the Queen of Valie as she sat there and drunk from her goblet a few times. Her ears twitched when she heard a familiar voice. A voice that called her the red bitch, instead of Queen. Her eyes peered towards the doors and her piercing stare went to the outside.

Angelina had stood up as everything seemingly stopped. She waved her hands towards her people as they all stared at her. "Ladies and gentlemen, I assure you that everything is alright. I'll be back." She said as she scurried her way towards the outside, her eyes were locked on her Daggars, as they split up. She knew that Kass was going to be perched up on the roof somewhere as she went and stood beside Tom, a soft smile came over her lips.

"Now, now, darling, you're a little bit too late for the festivities." She muttered towards the Shadow Children captain, Kaitlyn. "But I am sure we have some food left." Angelina continued as her eyes peered towards Tom with a chuckle. "Oh, Tom, I've been called much worse." She said as her hand rested upon his shoulder now, her piercing, cold stare fixated upon Kaitlyn now. "Surely you do not want to get into this fight here. Especially with those little weaklings behind you."

Her index finger pointed towards the people that stood behind Kaitlyn as she smirked. "Plus, this is no longer your territory as you no longer know the ins and outs. So you might be at a slight disadvantage here, dear." Her eyes went back towards Tom as she smirked again. "This isn't some silly forest where you children hide. This is a kingdom and if you wish to fight, at least let's do it right." Her movement made her step a little bit forward now as she smiled.

"The battle arena. Captain versus captain is too easy and boring, might need to make this interesting. Your best against our best, perhaps." That was all she had said before she turned heel and went back to stand behind Tom now. "But if you refuse the challenge, which is clearly understandable within your case then you must never show your face here again but..." She breathed a little before she continued. "I'll like the princess to be returned to the kingdom. No harm will come to her but if she is not returned, her father might suffer the consequences." Angelina had made her demands as she waited for Kaitlyn to respond.

"The choice is yours, dear." Angelina said as she now stood there with her arms folded over her chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winter Valentine Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Drew Phoenix Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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ImageThe sound of heels echoed on the stone as someone walked towards them. An arrogant someone who knew that they could take their time moving and no one would object. No one, but Kat anyway. Finally She thought and pushed herself up until she was standing. "I honestly hadn't expected my taunting to bring out the Red Lady from her chambers. Aren't you supposed to be feasting on whatever the poor commoners could provide, and entertaining whoever is left to torment? Why bother with us little people if you're just so high and mighty now?" It was a weak taunt and she knew it. The whole point of being out here was to distract. She was honestly surprised Crow and Kassandra weren't painting the cobblestone streets red with her blood. Surprised, but thankful.

When the arrogant queen spewed off some hoity toity talk about "the proper way to fight in a kingdom", Kat skeptically raised a blonde eyebrow. A battle arena? Who does she think she is? Caesar?" She could feel Crow's eyes on her and she thought for a moment. Technically the two were equally matched. Crow was stronger, but Kat was faster. They had spared more than a few times since his betrayal, and both ended up badly beaten each time and they only left because of their people. You could say what you wanted about Thomas Crow, but at the end of the day, he'd stick his neck out for his men. So would Kat.

Then Angelina gave Kat something to really think about: a bargain. The princess's life for some well earned peace and quiet. Kat pretended to mull it over for a moment to buy her people time to evacuated whomever they could. She even put down her sword. There was no way she would ever agree to such a thing. The Princess--wherever she was--was the only way that the kingdom could ever be whole again once they sorted this mess out. But peace...

She took a deep breath and looked at the "queen" in the eye. "I have no seen the Princess, but if you give me time I will have her and I will transport her to you." She could feel Leila's eyes on her, wide with surprise and suspicion. "But you must swear on your title that you will leave us alone." This part, she wanted--no needed--to hear. Even if Kat managed to find the princess and... well she wasn't sure what she would do, hide her? Ship her off to a different kingdom so she can rally their forces? Maybe that would buy them peace...There was a high whistle that rang throughout the air, three short bursts.

Time's up. And I didn't get to wipe the smirk off Crow's face.. "Your word, and we will disappear." She knew she should bow, make it believable. Hell she probably should've even said "Milady" or "your majesty", but she nearly vomited from thinking of such an action let alone actually going through with it.





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Image"The Shadow Children?" Drew asked in disbelief. It wasn't so much that she didn't believe, she grew up on those stories. It was more that she couldn't believe that Winter believed. Even as a child, he would listen to Victoria's stories and would tell her not to fill Drew's head with fairy tales when she would have to be queen one day. She needed to be logical and realistic. Of course, Drew would throw one of her many pillows at him which would spawn a pillow fight that would leave the two gasping for air from laughter. Those were the days...

Her fingers felt something warm and dry in the back and she pulled out a set of clothes: a long shirt, breeches, and a belt to cinch at the waist. "Are these for me?" She asked hopefully. She couldn't wait to get the rags off her. The smelly, thin, torn, itchy rags. She held the fabric to her face and sniffed. They smelled like home. So much her eyes pricked, but she wouldn't allow herself to cry right now. If they were going to find the children, they either needed to get moving or to get some sleep and either way, she needed to be warm and dry.

"I don't know about getting help from the other kingdoms," She said quietly, frowning down at the clothes in her hands. "Father never shared their relationships with us to me. We have visitors all the time, but I was always ushered off to some lesson or to play with visiting children.. well you know." She sighed. "The Shadow Children are probably the best hope for Valie now." She looked out the front door at the dark, damp forest. "When are we leaving?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassandra Capps Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Julien Roux Brisbois Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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Tom's sister called out first. "Tommy! What have you done!" He closed his eyes listening to rest of Leila's talk. She didn't understand. He didn't serve the Red Lady exactly. Sure she was in charge, but they worked together. They both had a vested interest in seeing her on the throne. The kindness his sister spoke of wasn't an act Tom could recall. No part of Tom's childhood involved kindness. So now he wasn't in it for anyone else. He was doing all of this for himself. He would have been happy to have Leila come along with him but he has given up on that dream. She didn't understand his choices and he'd long since accepted her as his enemy.

Tom sighed at Kat's taunts. Honestly he wasn't like the others. He didn't thrive on blood and violence and he didn't look forward to a challenge. It wasn't that he was reluctant to hurt his former childhood friend, but it honestly just felt like so much effort. Luckily Tom saw out the corner of his eye, the Queen appear. Smirking he sheathed his sword and stepped out into the light, showing himself to the forest brats. The Queen followed him out. When she stated that he'd been called worse, Tom smirked at her, and said, "I bet you have."
He wasn't too concerned with Angelina's safety he was sure Kas and Julien were in place, though he didn't dare look for them and give their places away.

He listened to Angelina's proposal. Their best vs His best. It would be interesting, again he'd fight if he had to, but he wasn't showy enough to immediately assume he was any better than Julien or Kass. Then he listened to Kat's deal. Giving up the princess? Now that seemed very unlike her. Smirking he put his hand to his sword's hilt. "You're hardly in the situation to position to make demands. We have you surrounded." He bluffed easily. Though he was very confident that him, Kass and Julien could easily hold off the brats.

Then he looked to Angelina. "I think it only takes one to go off and collect the Princess for us. It's probably best we keep the rest as an insurance policy." He asked sarcastically in a flippant manner. Tom was going to make sure some of these brats were staying here under his comrades' watchful eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaitlyn Singh Character Portrait: Leila Singh Character Portrait: Tom Crow Character Portrait: Will Joscelyn Character Portrait: Queen Angelina

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A chill ran down Will's spine as he heard the woman's voice. He didn't have to guess who it was. He kept his back to her, though, watching the shadows. There was still movement in the shadows- not much, but enough to make him uneasy. She would be the perfect distraction for an ambush, and they'd all be easily overwhelmed.

He hadn't exactly been relaxed, but now that the Red Queen herself was there, he was even more tense. Her offer did nothing to help that- and Kat's acceptance only made it worse. What was she doing? They couldn't betray the princess, the one chance of a whole kingdom. And besides, they didn't even know where she was. Lying and betraying the Queen would only end badly for all of them.

"Kat," he said quietly, his eyes still on the shadows. "Think about what you're doing. All of the consequences." He knew that she'd probably thought it through already- but betraying the queen could result in all out war between her Daggers and the Shadow Children. And they were not prepared for war.

The movement in the shadows was still there. But why weren't they coming out while their queen was there? They had to be outnumbered, especially with the self-proclaimed queen. So why were they still hiding? Waiting for one of them to try and attack her? Did they seriously take them for fools?

At Crow's comment, Will couldn't hold his tongue. "So why do your soldiers hide in the shadows instead of coming out where we can see them? If we're so painfully outnumbered, then them being visible shouldn't make any difference," he said.