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Lord Vinicius

"Vegeance is in my heart, death in my hand, blood and revenge are hammering in my head."

0 · 895 views · located in Imos

a character in “The Tribes of Imos 2”, as played by VivaVictoria

Description

Lord Vinicius
"I am legend because the fire that burns inside of me burns brighter than the fire around me. "
Theme Song: Nice To Meet Me- Zack Hemsey|| Greeting the Menace- Zack Hemsey|| Vengeance-Zack Hemsey



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Full Name: Zotar Thanos
Don't say that name, Zotar is dead.

Title(s): Lord Vinicius, in the tongue of the Inferno Vinicius means, Vengeance or One who avenges. His clansmen understand this address which brands his identity since kingship, from knowing the horror story of his past. Zotar died on the battlefield with steel in his hands, blood on his skin and fire burning in his heart. Son and father born of ashes, and at that hour, ashes they return, with Vinicius to avenge their death.

Age: 30
Age is an insufficient number when you are an immortal.

Gender: Male
Yes, I am male, but I am more than man.

Tribe: Fire
Sky above me, earth below me, fire within me.


Position in the Tribe: Leader
Of the fire clan I am lord, I am guardian, I am Vinicius.

Sexual Preference:

Heterosexual, the rumors are that Zotar is still a virgin but no one would say that in front of his face, but could he really be mad if the gossip is true. Zotar is a workaholic, he never found interest in romances nor pleasures of such, he spent most of his life at the frontline with his father. And that was one flaw Ivana, his mother, always saw in her son, that she fears he hungers for battle rather than for a woman in his life. But Zotar is waiting until he finds his soul mate, but is also concerned that he does need an heir and that his mother does desire that he has one also.
While should I toy with boyish fantasies? When I look upon a woman I see a soul not a body.

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Positive Traits:
Adaptable- able to adjust to new conditions.
Affectionate- Those outside of his clan see Vinicius as a bloodthirsty madman, but that is completely the opposite to those of his clan. Vinicius bonds close to his men, he sees each and everyone of his loyal soldiers as his brothers. Vinicius's clan is his home, his family, and he will be their keeper.
Ambitious-he is intended to satisfy high aspirations and therefore difficult to achieve.
Brave/Courageous- he is not deterred by danger or pain
Emotional- he is driven by his emotions, this can be also seen as a bad trait, but it is a side of Vinicius that shows that he is human too, no matter how much he could wish he could be more.
Decisive- Vinicius shows the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively
Determined- believes absolutely nothing can stop him from meeting destiny than no other than himself
Fearless- lacks fear, which in some cases can even be since as a flaw
Patriotic- having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for his homeland
Hard-working- puts all he can ever be or ever do into his work
Humorous- strangely enough he sprinkles a little humor here and there, mostly dark humor
Independent- he does not depend on anyone else, because he believes as a leader he is the one depended on, the one who ultimately makes the choices
Loves Children- Vinicius knows back when he was not ashamed of his name Zotar, when his father was alive, he remember how each word of his fathers was like air to his lungs. Why? Because Zotar had a good father, trying to raise his boy to be a good man. And now Vinicius wants to do the same, he developed the spirit of a father from his very own.
Passionate- showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief.
Quick-witted, he has learned in his former training to think fast, quick because every second he waste is another second his enemies have to bring him defeat. And he will not tolerate defeat.
Tough- strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling
Guess I'm not as bad as the storytellers of foreign lands make me out to be.

Negative Traits:
Aggressive- Anger and hatred paved his aggression, of course not to his people, but those who are not
Battles Grief and Depression- Since the lost of his father Zotar changed, he changed his name, his attitude, the atmosphere around him, and most importantly his heart. Zotar has become bitter, but not quite so much to his clansmen but to himself. Everyone is fully aware of the self-torment that lingers in Vinicius, he haunts himself of his father's death, telling himself that he could of somehow save him. Due to the grief and mourn, Vinicius has stopped eating and started fasting. A cause of this depression is because really anything that goes wrong in the clan, Vinicius blames himself. And currently not only has his father died, but his mother is fatally sick.
Callous- to those who are not of his people, especially the water tribe
Complusive- he commits actions without giving a second thought
Confused- Vinicius thinks he is doing right for his people yet he does not understand that he is only hurting them by risking wars. He was taught solve problems with violence. Some almost see pity in the eyes of a man cursed by many, because in the end he will be forced to see the destruction he caused to the one he so dearly loves, to his child, to the fire tribe
Deceitful- if it takes lies to protect and save his people, then so be it
Hot-headed- he bears a short temper
Harsh- he'll will push his men to their breaking point in order to strengthening them
Impatient- having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provoked, especially if the situation involves the lives of his people
Pushes himself too hard- everyone in tribe knows that he strives to benefit his people in the most extreme measures. Yet he tries too hard, to even believe his every dead enemy will bring fortune to the fire tribe. This results in pointless killings of those related to the water tribe.
Stubborn- having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to
do so
Trusting- Vinicius has a bias of trusting his people over another individual that is a foreigner
Vengeful- his name even speaks of his greatest flaw. He proclaim there is nothing he would put before his people, but there is one thing, vengeance
I have said a lot about myself, but I never said I was prefect.

Likes: Target Practice||Sunny days||Dark meat||Candles||The color red||Brawls||Duels||Wrestling||His two swords||Sprinting||Summer||Fine ale or wine|| Family||His tribe||Vengeance
Though in times of sorrow, there however, still remains things of my liking.

Dislikes:The Water Tribe||Rain||Winter||Sweets||Cheap alcohol||Cats||Riding horses||People who oppose or condemn his tribe|| The Earth Tribe
Yes, but there are those I absolutely have a thriving hate for.

Fears:To disgrace his people||Drowning||Torture||Too lose his mother||To betrayed especially by his brother
Though I lavish myself with the title of immortal, say I am more than man, I know there is nothing I can do to overcome the fact that I am human. And all human beings have fear, it is what makes us, us.

Hair Color: Black
Black like the feathers of a raven.

Eye Color: Bright Blue
Blue, like water, sometimes I am tempted to rip my eyes off.

Tattoos/Markings:Brand mark of a flaming lion on his chest and a tattoo on his left, nearing to his shoulder
Markings do not define me but decorate.

Weight: 209 lbs, majority of it being muscle
But I am not the most bulky nor meaty man, thus I would not say I am the most physically strong, but fast, yes I am light on my feet.

Height: 5'5, short and average man and his enemies mock him for it
Yes, I am short, but size does not really matter when you are trifling with a fire bearer.

Brief Appearance Description: Nothing much to say other than that he looks like a sinister warrior. Though, I will add that he is of course not heavily armor, this is because he wishes to be light on his feet.

Carrying: The longer sword is titled 'Zarfu', for his father, and the other one is titled 'Valor'. Though the dagger wrapped around his boot ankle is titled 'Ivana' after his mother, anyone can truly tell how much Zotar loves his family, perhaps that is why Zarfu choice Zotar.
With my speed, my blades will sing.


Notable Skills/Abilities: Can do the basic fire powers listed for the fire tribe in the opening page of this roleplay, is able to set his weapons on fire, not immune to fire but has trained his mind to numb it out, can go without eating for a long time, cunning, and is quick. But one of his special powers is Infernius Vortex where he can create a tornado of fire whirling wherever he steers it, but depending on how big it is depends on how much strength he loses and exhaustion he gains.
He can also preform traditional fire dances and juggle.
Fire burns brightest in midst of darkness.

History:

Childhood

Zotar is the second oldest among three of his siblings, two brothers, and one sister. Zotar was indeed, like the rest of the children, treated like royalty, being that his father was the leader, the king, of the fire nation. Zotar was the most of an extrovert, the most out-going out of his brothers and sister, he was the one easiest o get along with. But Zotar's relationship with his father, Zarfu Thanos, was the strongest at all of them, though his father admitted to no favorites. As he grew older Zotar's older brother became general, however was really just happy to always be fighting alongside with his father, no matter what battle, who's lands, as long as he was with his father, that is all that mattered.

Father's Death

Fire and water will always fight, they have waged war for years and years, and since birth that has been paved into the mind of a fire-bearer. And because Zotar was always at the right hand of his father, he walked in his ways, followed him wherever his feet carried. And Zarfu was a king, yes, but he never scattered away from charging into the fields of battle with his sons, with his brothers, with his tribe. Thus, during the charge up against the water tribe, the men set up camp. And during what seemed to be any other night, the tribe was attacked and ambushed by bands of earth-bending assassins. However what they did first was trap the men by conjuring thorns from bushes to grow and mold into massive fences. And while trapped in the night, the assassins went to work. And who did they strike first? Zarfu, and Zotar watch the blow striking his father's death right before his eyes, regretting that it was too late to save him. And now the one thing Zotar hungers for is the cold meal of revenge against the earth tribe, but little does he know that the ones who attacked him was actually rogue earth warriors hired by the water tribe to bring the fire’s attention off water and onto earth. And while the fire tribe is focused on earth, they can attack and perhaps even capture the nation while they are off guard.


Tradition Broken

When Zarfu was killed someone had to take his place, originally it was suppose to his wife, Ivana, but a cruel sickness lingers on her soul, a disease that enables Ivana of enough strength to assume the position of queen. In tradition it is always the older son next in line if the current queen nor king can claim leadership, but Zarfu broke tradition. In his will he stated to follow the throne after him will be Ivana, but if she is not able to do so, Zotar will take position as the fire nation's new king. This added mountains of pressure against Zotar, he would of never expected that he become king and not his older brother. Zotar wishes that he could give the position to his brother, but then that would show Zotar's defiance and disrespect against his father if did not heed to the will. Sure Zotar was always his father's shadow, but Zarfu loved all of his children, he never admitted to favorites. So why did he choose Zotar over his brother? It was not because of skill, they both had their own talents, sure Zotar's older brother was stronger but Zotar was faster. And as for their pure technique with fire, they were equal, not one powered over the other. And now the agony of why Zotar was chosen crawls and squirms his mind in question, establishing weighs of stress on his shoulders. And Zotar fears his brother may betray him for having his throne stolen.


Mother's Disease

And in the midst of broken tradition, as said before, Ivana is gravely sick, Zotar claims that she has been poisoned but she urges her boy and scolds him not be rash. Zotar cannot imagine to lose his mother, but the physicians and healers cannot find a way, they are all frightened of what Zotar will become if he loses his mother. She is what keeps Zotar calm through the lost of his father, she seizes his temper and rages and trades them for a more peaceful spirit. Ivana even fears her son's path if she fades away, thus she has been pushing him to find a wife, a woman like her who will take care of her son, one able to lift him up when times of grief and to rebuke him when he ties himself to his blood thirsty feast of destruction. Ivana does not agree with his name Vinicius, she does not want her son to be of hate, she refuses to call him such the name. But being stubborn Zotar refuses to dispose of his vengeful heart.

The Royal Ball

So, because Ivana wishes her son to marry a good woman, she ordered her son one thing to at least commit to if he is not willing to give up his vengeance, and that is to throw a ball, welcoming all women of the tribe and nation in doing so that Zotar may find a women he trust and perhaps may even fall in love. But romance has always been something Zotar is quite awkward at, however cute. It is something Zotar does put enough attention on, in fact, he ignores it, believing he has other things to bother his mind with, but he knows his mother is right, he needs a compassionate woman, one to maybe purify his heart from the grudges he holds. But at the night of a ball, perhaps even intruders disguised as amorous women may come to steal the king's heart away, to later stab him in the back...

A Man of War

Zotar has his hands tied, the fire nation has been at war with the water nation, but now with the raiders whom killed Zarfu, earth steps in. Zotar is determined to rip earth apart, but he cannot really afford to do that right now, but so many are concerned that he will not listen to reason, even Ivana is worried. Zotar could establish peace with water and then go after earth, but he claims he rather be a fool by taking on two wars at once, than be a coward and beg for peace. Not yet has war been declared between earth and fire, but Zotar is on the very verge of doing so. Will anyone be able to sway his mind differently?

I am forged by my past.

So begins...

Lord Vinicius's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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#, as written by Lyysa


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When Cailu entered the house he had grown up in, the place that now belonged to him, the tribe leaders house. Even if it made him feel uncomfortable to stay there since it felt like it wasn't really his, he still liked it since it made him able to stay with the only family he had left since his younger siblings had decided to travel together to study other techniques and learn more. Because he still had Ara here with him, on the upper floor and when he returned home from meetings he usually always walked up the narrow stairs to knock on her door. He didn't wait for her to open or call out that it was okay to come in because they both knew that it was, so he just opened the door and lowered his head as he walked inside seeing her sit by the small window as she usually did.

"How did it go?" Ara didn't turn her face towards him as she spoke, obviously too mesmerized with the scenery outside to bother with such unnecessary gestures. Cailu could hear how important the question was anyway, he knew it even before it was brought up that it would be the first thing she would speak of.

"I think it turned out fine."

Ara turned her gaze from the window, as did she turn her body towards him. Looking directly at him with a wrinkle between her eyebrows, clearly not satisfied by the answer. But Cailu was happy anyway because she didn't look that worn out at the moment. Even if they were concerned at the moment her eye's still looked lively. "What do you mean?"

With a small smile Cailu stroke the back of his neck, "Well... I didn't really remember what you told me to say so I improvised... But they decided to keep on trading with us so it's good, right?"

Ara blinked a couple of times, confused by what she heard, surprised even, "You improvised? Do you know what problem that may have caused us if you hadn't succeeded?"

"Of course I do, I can think for myself you know."

"This is not about you and your thoughts, this is about you almost making us lose a trading partner."

Cailu quietly looked away, he knew there was nothing that he could say that would make her believe that he could handle the situation by himself. Ever since he had told her about how anxious he had felt about the leader position being put over him, how he felt crushed be the pressure of the expatriations she had been controlling his every move as the leader. Sure, he had appreciated it at first, to get that help, to not feel like he had the whole tribe positioned on his shoulder. Getting more pressed towards the ground by every single day that passed by, but now it felt like it was Ara that pressed him towards the ground more and more by every single thing he had to do. But it was not like he could take that away from her, he knew it was the thing she appreciated the most, to feel needed even when sitting in this room every single day. Even he would try to revolt it wouldn't bring him anything more than perhaps an angry mob chasing him out from the tribe. He knew that if he displeased her so she could easily take the position from him since she had the tribe’s approval and love. She could easily take his place without doing more than just ask their tribesmen to do it for her, she wouldn’t even need to raise up from the chair.

"I'm sorry for forgetting," Cailu walked over to her and lightly picked the flower she had in her out from it just to replace it with a new one, mumbling while doing so, "I'm very sorry."

Ara waved away his hands from her face and shook her head quietly, "Fine. Even if you didn't listen to me you still succeeded and that is all that matters," As soon as she had uttered the sentence her face lightened up by a smile as she leaned back in the chair again, "So now tell me about what happened, who did you meet? How did it look? Oh, Anastasia was with you right?"

Cailu just chuckled slightly at the questions that continued to be sounded be Ara's mouth as he took the second chair in the room and dragged it over to her. When he had placed it beside her before he sat down and started to try to form some sort of answer to the questions that had always been voiced while more continued to come to life.

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


General Zaheed was rather frustrated at the moment, he ordered the palace guards to search among the living, in hopes to find Zotar. However, it had only seemed like the to-be king was nowhere to be found. The general could assume the position of the throne due to the disappearance of his brother, but what if Zotar were to return to see his brother wearing his crowd, how would the people of the tribe feel? No, it would not be the quick-witted man's decision, and Zaheed always stuck with the clever initiative. Zaheed knew where his brother was, but did he really have to go journey off to his father's tomb, now of all moments, his crowning ceremony would happen in less than an hour.

This was a reason why Zaheed found Zotar unfit for a king, he put emotions in front of his duties, his power and will as leader of the fire tribe. It was cold, cruel, that Zaheed found a visitation to his father's tomb "a waste of time". Zaheed exited the place, and as he did he took a glance at the royal through, with curses and blind anger surging the veins of his brain. But Zaheed was never the one to burst a vein letting the rage spill into a disruptive scene. No, instead he bottled the feelings, letting his emotions grow like parasites hinged to his heart, and eventually eating him up from the inside.

Zotar ran off like that to cry his eyes out, perhaps that is then why I call him 'baby brother', the name suits him far more than that dense-minded name he gives himself, 'Lord Vinicius. Zaheed thought to himself as he marched through the doors of the palace, where he made his way to the royal stable, where the finest horses of the nation was brushed, fed, and cared for. There Zaheed arrived to see his own personal steed, Shadow. The black stallion was fashioned in steel horse armor, as it always was, even out of combat, due to the inclined habit of the fire bearers to be quite flashy or prideful with their war-related equipment.

Zaheed didn't hate his horses, however had no affection to it either. He looked at the animal as did he look at his own family, his wife, and sons. He didn't hate them, because he knew he could control them, however the same was not for his brother. Though this is secret to ever living soul, no one knows that Zaheed shares a fiery passion to despise his own blood, because due to his father's decision, it will be the older brother bowing knee to the younger. But as for Ivana, his mother, Zaheed hardly ever noticed the woman, no he let all of his focus and ever beheld on his father, never giving concern to her, not that she ever treated him unfairly, but that he wanted his father to instead.

Zaheed arrived to the mountain where from there he must climb up the stone built stairs to the tomb. Zaheed finally finished trudging up the stairs and walked into the tomb where he found Zotar pressing a twig with the wooden end masked with his own blood. The cut to which he sourced the blood out from sprouted out from his ring finger. It was fire tribe tradition to write a letter from their own blood to then proceed to toss it to the flames, in order so that the fumes would fly to the realm of the spirit world.

Zaheed patiently waited, letting his brother finish the traditional practice. Honestly Zaheed found it superstitious and pointless, not only because it was Zarfu, the man who denied what he believes is his destiny, but also because Zaheed saw it as once someone dies, they die, there is no need to be hung up over it, there is nothing man can do to prevent death nor resurrect life. After Zotar dipped the letter into the fire, letting it burn to ashes, Zaheed spoke out, "Zotar--"

And to where Zotar immediately butted in, "Its Vinicius, soon it will then be Lord Vinicius."

There he goes again, correcting his brother for using his real name, Zaheed tried his best not to roll his eyes to that comment, but smiled apologizing, though it felt like a thorn through the heart, "Forgive me, Vinicius. But, yes, you will be king and I ask you why are you not in the throne room by now? Your crowning will occur less than an hour from now--”

“Zaheed, can’t you see—,” Zotar sighed, he was getting flustered and aggravated again due to the sorrow he had stored, the guilt he could not afford. “Sorry, Kal’bo.

Kal'bo, it was word meaning, brother, it was a sweet word, a word only given to those who trusted each other, family. And though Zotar wish he could accuse his brother of being jealous that he has the throne, but however he cannot with clear evidence. No, General Zaheed was a master of faces, at one moment he could play the part of a supportive, loving older brother, at another, he lives to be the snake, deceitful waiting to slender among ground to strike his own blood against the heel.

"Don't worry, I understand if you are stressed right now, but wouldn't father want you to be happy the day you honor us Thanos by taking the crown and having the steel of the same bracers that the first king of us once forged into his skin by the flames." Zaheed put his hand on his brother's shoulder, really selling to him the idea that he cared.

"But wait," Zotar drew glances to Zaheed. "Aren't you mad at all?"

"Disappointed, I have to admit, but no matter, I trust father's word. Now, I trust you, Kal'bo."

Lies, lies, and more lies, it gushed through the crevices of his teeth and into the ears of his brother. And it worked, Zotar, loved his brother, he trusted him, even when he didn't want to. "I believe in you," Zaheed vomited yet again another lie as he held his hand out, to where the brother clasped forearms, it was a bond, it was an illusion.

The doors unleashed forward as Zotar stepped into the throne room, he looked around at the people crowded to the sides. Everything felt like slow-motion at the moment, like Zotar stared into each eye of every being in the room, like he was counting every soul trusting him as king, as savior, as protector, as hero. People of all types filled the room, from children to elders, common folk to nobles. But the majority of it was taken up by military, for through out history it was the fire tribe that lavished in strength and might, it could be seen as an obsession with their military.

General Thanos positioned himself in front of his troops, as he wore the mask of a smile watching his greatest enemy rob him of his greatest treasure, his throne, his power.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii Character Portrait: Helina Dynaris Character Portrait:
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Helina Dynaris


“Mr. Forsberj, you have to let me change the bandage or your wound will get infected. Then you'll die.” Although Helina Dynaris was sorely tempted to throw up her hands and leave the old man to his fate, she knew she could never live with herself if she did.

“Good. Get out of my house.” Said 'house' that Mr. Forsberj was referring to was really more of a one room shack that had a bed and a chest. He had moved there when his wife died a couple years ago in order to wallow alone in his misery. He was now laying on his bed with his arms crossed defiantly.

Standing over him with her hands on her hips, Helina glared down at him. “Well, as your healer, I forbid you to die. Now move your hand. And stop drinking!” With his free hand, he had grabbed a bottle of who-knows-what and started to chug it. She snatched it from him and tossed it out the window. “If you weren't drunk every second of the day, you wouldn't have this wound in the first place!” She was there when he had passed out on top of a broken bottle during the celebration of the new tribe leader. She patched him up while he was still unconscious, and a guard had to carry him home.

While he was sputtering in disappointment over the loss of his drink, Helina set about removing his hand from his wounded leg. She had managed to pry it off, but was backhanded in the face. Surprised by the strength in the seemingly frail old man, she actually fell to the floor. Her face stinging, and her hair bun in a mess from the impact, she had had enough.

“You stubborn old man! Do you think your wife would want this? Slapping women around, being constantly drunk, and having a death wish?”

His face consorted in pain as he thought about it, and never answered. Helina's anger evaporated, and her face softened. She stood up and put her hand on his. “No. She would want you to be safe and happy.” He still didn't respond, but he did remove his hand from the wound. Smiling in relief, she set about her work, cleaning it and applying the paste, then wrapping it up in a fresh bandage. As she was finishing up, a knock came at the door.

Knowing Mr. Forsberj never got visitors, Helina frowned in confusion and opened the door. The two guests were the tribe leader's governors.

“Lord Rostovii requires your presence,” one of them said bluntly.

Her eyebrows shot up. Most unexpected. “Uhh, very well. Let me finish up here, and then I will...go to him.” The governors nodded, and left without another word.

She finished dressing the old man's wound and quickly gathered her things. As she was heading out, she received a light swat on the bum from Mr. Forsberj, who winked at her. She laughed in spite of herself, said goodbye. At least he was feeling better.

A few people greeted her as she made her way through the city. Just a quick hello as they went about their daily lives. Being the healer, she knew most of the people in Shadowfen, so she saw a friendly face around every corner. When she arrived at her destination, she remembered that her bun had fallen apart, and her cheeks pinked when she realized that she had just walked through the city with messy hair. She quickly fixed it and stepped inside.

“You summoned me, my lord,?” she said to the new tribe leader.




Sholeh Kanaka


“I'm going to leave you behind!” Sholeh called out to her sister, Serafina, who was lagging behind her. “The ceremony is starting soon, and I'm supposed to be with the military. So move your ass before I leave you, and you have to go with one of your boyfriends.” Sholeh smirked. “Or should I say, clients?”

Serafina just rolled her eyes. “I'm coming.” She picked up her pace slightly, but not enough for her sister. Who groaned.

“Come on! Mom and Dad even made it before you did! And they're old as dirt!”

“Alright, calm down. Look,” Serafina said, pointing ahead, “I can see it from here. Just go!”

Sholeh wasted no time speeding off toward the palace, roughly shoving some people out of the way in order to make it to the group of soldiers marching inside. She quickly slipped into the ranks, but did not go unnoticed. Several of her comrades turned to give her dirty looks for being late. She stuck her tongue out, but otherwise ignored them.

As they walked into the throne room, Sholeh had to resist the urge to whistle in appreciation. It was so much fancier than the little farmstead she had grown up on. She had been inside several times, but it managed to astound her every time. As the soldiers took filed in, she saw that she was lucky enough to get a spot close to the throne. From her position, she would be able to see everything.

More people began to pile in. First the nobles so they would have the better positions. The commoners then came in, and Sholeh shamelessly waved to her family when she saw them bringing up the rear. Beside her, one of her comrades, Kieran, elbowed her in the side.

“Ow!” she protested to him, rubbing her hurt side. She glared at him. “What was that for?”

He gave her a look. “You broke formation.”

She huffed in irritation. “I was just waving to my family.”

“General Zaheed will punish you if you break formation.”

Sholeh looked around the room in an exaggerated manor. “Well, I don't see him! So mind your own business!”

Kieran mumbled something probably offensive, and turned his attention away from her. She didn't stay quiet for long though. “How much longer until it starts?” she asked him.

He growled in annoyance. “When Lord Vinicious arrives.”

A few moments passed. “Do you think he'll be a good leader?” she asked him.

Her comrade looked at her in disgust. “Hold you tongue woman! You tread very close to speaking treason!”

Extremely put off, Sholeh looked away and let the matter drop. She didn't understand why her question was so offensive. She had no idea what kind of leader he was going to be, so it would be natural for her to be curious about it. And it was not like she was suggesting he not be the leader, or anything.

Suddenly, the doors swung open, and revealed Lord Vinicious. She grinned as he passed by, unlike the other soldiers who stayed as serious as always. She saw General Zaheed take his place in front of his troops, and forced down the temptation to stick a tongue out at his back.

'Well,' she thought, 'Lord Vinicious certainty couldn't be a worse leader than his brother would be.

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


Zotar's heart was beating, faster and faster as each second passed, he was battle with an army of anxiety as the nervousness sunk into his gut. No, this was not natural to Zotar, he was never scared, why is he scared right now? Zotar has always been the fearless one, he has had to jump off climbs, battle beast, and charge on the frontlines, but even then he was not fearful. But everyman has a fear, to disgrace his people, to fail them was one. He tried his best to hold an emotionless stare but a trickle of terror was shimmered in his eyes.

Did father make a mistake? he asked himself, because all of it seemed so wrong to him. There had been so many times in his life where he bragged and boasted about himself, but was he good enough to be king? Why didn't Zarfu will the oldest son to be king, why isn't Zaheed sitting on the throne this very instance? Zotar even arrived late to his own crowning, and his height was also another problem. Zotar was always insecure about that, he was a short guy, and Zaheed was a mountain. Aren't kings suppose to be mighty, towering above their loyal subjects?

But there was something inside of Zotar that outweighed and outgrew everyone in the tribe, it was his heart, his passionate for his tribe, perhaps suggests the reason why he is still a virgin. Zotar never gave eye to his own pleasantries, instead he chased his obsession, he would chase the flames until he hit the inferno. Zotar final reached his throne, his posture was not the best however he looked discouraged, with his shoulders rolled forward and his head slightly down. In front of the throne stood a fiery iron pot of the royal bracers, that were branding into fire flesh of each king and carved off when he died.

"I-I would like to t-thank... everyone who-- that attended," Zotar was stuttering, he never stutters, but the nervousness ached his heart. His bawled fists trying to keep his hands from shaking. "I--I..." Zotar had no idea what to say, he was as speechless as the day he discovered Zaheed was not going to be king. However Zaheed on the other hand was loving this, At this point it will only take a matter of days before the people over throw his majesty. But then Zotar gave glance to his mother, which torn him even harder, but with that tear he was able to but himself back together. Because looking into the eyes of his mother, Zotar was reminded of his father, he was going to make his family, his people proud. How could he have forgotten the flames that filled his lungs? No, he only had one chance and this was it. Like a dragon, Zotar was going to breathe that fire.

"Children of fire, born with the inferno's kisses and caressed with a heated passion for its sparks that embrace us. Our fires never cease to scorch, and though the spirits of our brothers, sister, mothers, and fathers may return to the realm they never fold to ashes. We will never fold to ashes, and we will never stop burning. Because it is fire that shines the brightest among the darkness!"

Zotar stepped to the pot where with much concretion he dipped his hand inside to grab the bracers, he felt his fingers melt at the touch of it, but he sucked in the heat, harnessing the fire, letting the energy of the flames sink into his very own power. He put the first on giving a ferocious growl. But once he got on the second one he lifted up and clasped his forearms together making a letter "x" with his arms, with a roar of ravenous sound. All the memories clashed his mind, the camp, the tents, his father's tent, the earth rogues' intrusion, the dagger through the back of Zarfu's neck, the inability to defeat death.

"To the cowards of earth, I will have my vengeance. Zotar is dead, he died in honor as did his father, from the warm of their flames arose Vinicius to avenge their deaths. So they can send their armies, their legions, even their own damned leader against me, but for me, all it takes is one spark to set my enemies ablaze. Long live the children of fire!" And with that those that consumed the room cheered for him.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Canowicakte (Good hunter of the forest) Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii
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Helina Dynaris


"I'd like to gain your opinion on things, along with giving you some jobs. You think you could do that?"

Helina bit her bottom lip as she pondered his words. She of course had no problem giving her opinions, sometimes she had to restrain herself from doing so, but the jobs could potentially be troublesome. She had a few apprentices but, and not that she was bragging, but she was far superior to them, and there were some wounds only she could heal. But she was not about to turn down the tribe leader.

“I will do whatever you ask of me, my lord. Uh, within reason, of course,” she couldn't stop herself from adding. It was true, though. She wasn't about to go frolicking through the streets naked just because he told her to. She saw a chair nearby and automatically went to sit down, but changed her mind in case it would be seen as disrespectful, and settled for placing her hands on the back of it.

She remembered that it was his governors had retrieved her, and a question sprang to her mind. “Is this about the war, my lord? Are there injuries I need to attend to?” It hurt her to know that people getting hurt, or worse, dying in this war, but she knew that it was sometimes necessary. Sometimes children needed to be punished so they'd behave, and she supposed nations were no different. It was just a shame that men were killing men when they should be helping each other survive natural dangers, like disease, deadly animals, and natural disasters.




Sholeh Kanaka


When Lord Vinicious finished his speech, the room exploded with cheers and clapping. The crowds' excitement got to Sholeh, who screamed and clapped, and even jumped and shot sparks from her hands. The joy at having a new leader again after they lost the last one was enormous. Celebrations began immediately, the people mingling, talking and laughing, servants walking by with trays of wine. Sholeh did not hesitate to take a glass of wine in each hand and scurry over to her family, who looked so out of place and uncomfortable. Well, except Serafina, who had snatched a glass of her own and was flirting with some noble man.

“Having fun?” she asked her parents, who looked they were trying to merge with the wall. They shook their heads at her and gave her looks that could only be described as guilty.

“We're sorry dear,” her father said, “We just don't belong here. We're going to go on home now.”

Sholeh was taken aback. “You're not even going to stay long enough to watch me pledge my loyalty to the new tribe leader with the rest of the soldiers?”

“We really are sorry,” her mother said. “If only your brother, Vukan, had been here.” Sholeh watched her parents push through the crowd and the door as fast as they could. Her excitement dampened a little bit, She downed both of her glasses of wine, set them on a nearby table, and went back to stand with the soldiers.




Kala


Kala sat in her hut at the edge of the village, sitting on the floor with her legs crossed and Lnoli napping on her shoulders, communicating with the spirits. Or rather, trying to communicate with the spirits. They weren't being particularly chatty at the moment.

“Spirits, I seek guidance. I seek to know if Lami has your blessing in letting all the livestock loose in the outsider village that tried to steal her spirit animal last week.” Kala went silent, waiting for a sign. When none came, she cried out in frustration, “Spirits, why won't you answer me?”

“Perhaps because you ask them a question every five minutes. Maybe you've them into silence,” she heard Lnoli say.

She snorted. “Perhaps they mistook your snoring for a demon and fled.”

She heard a wheezing sound that knew to be his laugh. “Perhaps,” he allowed.

Suddenly, the wind outside picked up, make a slight whistling sound. Kala grinned and clapped in glee. “Did you hear that, Lnoli? that's a yes! Thank you Spirits.”

“My joy is unrivaled,” the black fox said lazily.

Kala ignored him and posed her next question. “Spirits, will the war between the tribes end soon?” Suddenly, the wind picked up even more, taking off a small piece of her roof. She frowned. “That is not a good sign.”

She gently put Lnoli on the floor, and stepped outside her hut, though with that hole in her roof, she could still see inside. She was unsure whether it was fortunate or unfortunate that the Great Spirits said no often, but she did have the means the fix her roof handy. She carefully climbed up and set about fixing it with grass and paste.

When she was about halfway done, she looked up to see Chief Canowicakte making his way into the village. She called out to him as he passed. “Welcome back, Chief! Did you have luck on your trip?”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


The palace submerged itself in an array of joys by the celebration of the new claimed king. Lord Vinicius embedded in his flesh, and in his appearance the bracers of the fire kings, however not his crown, his custom designed piece of art, as did every king have there only personally designed crown, where each was stored in the royal display room. No, a symbol of monarchy among countrymen has already been exposed through the bracers, however the crown was only used through meetings or encounters with other kings or official foreigners, for those alien to the land may not be aware of fire tribe traditions.

As Vinicius was making his way to seek out his mother, he was met with hindrance that she could not be spotted in the crowd. He only had left to come to the assumed conclusion that she retired to her chambers due to the lingering illness. And at the point Vinicius was not sure what to do, he was so use to following his father's footsteps. Should he speak to the common folk, or perhaps the nobles? Maybe he should banter with the fellow soldiers? He was undecided until General Zaheed patted him on the back, "Well done, Kal'bo! You are now a king!" The nobles watched at Zaheed applauded his brother's coronation, and by the witnessing of it, the friendly behavior and attachment looked genuinely real, it broke all suspicions of Zaheed being jealous or angry over the situation.

"Yeah, and it was all able to happen through the death of our father," Vinicius muttered back in sorrow, he was still depressed over his father's murder, it was a week before that he was buried, but the images of the blood flowing from Zarfu were still fresh and vivid. Vinicus did since then, battle with depression, grief, and guilt, wishing and believing he could of done something however the truth was he couldn't. And Vinicius never asked for power, but he wishes now he could only have enough to save his father.

"I understand that father's death still affects you, it affects all of us, and because it had such an impact on me I will be dismissing myself from the celebration quite soon to scout amongst the earth tribe, you never know what they may plan to do next. Yes, I could send scouts, but really I volunteer to do this, it may give me a sense of security and a peace of mind."

"Let me go with you," was the first thing that came out of Vinicius's mind and right out of his mouth, wishing to go so that he may be able to also spy on the earth tribe.

Zaheed chuckled, "I wish you could join me also, but you are king now and the king must be with his people, they want you Vinicius, sure you said your words, gave your speech, but now must be the time you give them your heart. Come on, be social, you spent many hours in sad silence, I believe even father would not want you to dwell in such sorrow."

"You're right, Zaheed."

"Yeah, now follow me, a king should get to know his soldiers better," the General led the king to the large and wide dining room where the room was only filled with military, however they were not as uptight as they were at the beginning of the ceremony, now was not the time for the absence of emotions but now was the time for the overflowing of the good of them, with most fist clutched with a strong drink.

But as they approached Zaheed the soldiers turned to him in attention and kneeled, even the General fell to the ground. Vinicus bowed back giving them the signal of his gratitude for their honor, and the troops returned to what they were doing. "So is that going to happen all the time?" Vinicius whispered to his brother.

Zaheed laughed, "You'll get use to it in due time. But for now, I suggest you entertain a bit of a drinking game, yes?"

"What? I don't want to get drunk on my coronation."

"You're right, how about a wrestling match? Not against me, I will have to slip away soon but against one of my fine soldiers?"

"Ha, Kal'bo, you have quite the humor today--." Vinicius never had a problem with rough-housing and wrestling matches, no in fact it was a hobby of his, but he did not believe his brother was being serious, not until the General interrupted with his loud thunderous voice, "Who in here is brave enough to challenge Lord Vinicius to a wrestling match? All for good fun of course. Anybody? Anybody with the sheer amount courage and valor?"

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Canowicakte (Good hunter of the forest) Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii
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Helina Dynaris


"You have a sharp mind," Lord Rostovii said to her. Helina blushed slightly at the compliment, and replied, “Thank you, my lord. I certainly like to think so.” And now it sounded like she was bragging, which made her even more embarrassed.

Lord Rostovii must have sensed her unease, because he moved closer to her and said, "I may have gained my power only recently as your leader, but I prefer to be seen as an equal. All lives are of equal value, afterall."

His words did make her feel more relaxed, and she loosened her body from its stiff posture.

"I would like to ask your opinion on risking many lives to end this war. I wish to regain peace across the land, the most efficient and quick way I have figured out would indefinitely compromise the lives of our people..."

He moved even close to her, and she looked at him straight on, where she would have looked at him in the eyes if she could see them. He continued his speech.

"The job I have for you would be a lot of work. This includes gaining many followers to teach them how to heal others. Of course, those who have gained a considerate healing ability would be sent to the front lines. We simply need more and more healers, more soldiers, more hope..."

Helina frowned in thought. Did she think that risking the lives of soldiers in hopes that they would be able to heal should they incur mortal wounds was worth it? Yes, she absolutely did. If there was a chance for thee soldiers to live long enough to win the war, then it was absolutely worth the risk. Although, it did lean heavily on her teaching skills, for which was up for debate.

The blind man must have taken her frown for rejection, as he proceeded to get down on one knee and bow. "I apologize for any forms of annoyance or inconvenience this has caused. You may decline if you feel as you surely can't."

The gesture put Helina back into a flustered state, as she was not used to such treatment. ”Oh, uh, of course I will do it! Nothing would make me happier! Do you already have people in mind?”





Sholeh Kanaka


Somewhere between leaving the spot where her parents had been and returning the troops, Sholeh had picked up another glass of wine, and was sipping it with one hand and fending off the advances of a comrade with the other.

“Come on, this is a night of celebration! I'm drunk, you're drunk. Spirits are high, and all that. Let's celebrate together!” He tried to cop a feel under her sorry excuse for a top, but she easily batted his hand away.

“One, I'm not drunk,” she said, in a completely steady voice. “I'm only on my third glass of wine, and my limit is in the six or seven range. Two, it is almost unbelievable that your opinion of your manhood is so low that you would bed a woman who not only beats you in hand to hand combat daily, but also one who's fire abilities far exceed your own.”

Her comrade only smirked. “What can I say, I have no pride.” He tried to touch her again, but again she slapped it away.

Just then, Lord Vinicious and General Zaheed made their way over to the troops. Sholeh quickly set her glass on the floor and knelt with the rest of the soldiers. As she was on her knee, she distinctly felt a hand on her rear. She quickly kicked her foot roughly behind her, making contact with a hard body. She was rewarded with pain filled grunt, which made her smile in triumph.

"Who in here is brave enough to challenge Lord Vinicius to a wrestling match? All for good fun of course. Anybody? Anybody with the sheer amount courage and valor?" she heard General Zaheed boom loudly.

Things could not have taken a better turn. A wrestling match was right up her alley. She bolted right up from her kneeling position and pumped a fist in the air. “I challenge him!”

She immediately ran out to the center of the hall and put her hands on hips. “I gladly challenge you to a wrestling match! And please don't insult me by saying you won't fight a girl, because I've taken down most of those men!” She indicated the soldiers by nodding her head to them, then then punched her fist into the palm of her hand for emphasis.




Kala


"Make your way to the Longhouse with the others of your ilk! I will address the Elders and the council!"

With a slightly raised eyebrow, Kala watched the Chief disappear into the Longhouse, then jumped down from the roof. She grabbed the attention of a nearby child. “Ero, go tell the other shamans to meet in the Longhouse.” The boy nodded, and scampered off to do as he was told.

She went back inside her hut to retrieve Lnoli, who seemed to be more alert after his quick nap. “Come on,” she told him. “Chief is calling a council meeting.” She exited her hut and started walking towards the Longhouse, Lnoli pattering beside her. He did not stay quiet for long.

“Its about the lack of food.” It more more a statement than a question, but Kala answered anyway.

“Yes, I suspect that as well. I hope a solution is found, because although I know you don't mind eating insects, I would prefer not to.”

They entered the Longhouse ahead of the other shamans, and Kala took a seat as far away from the rest of the tribe as she could, Lnoli curled up on her lap. Its not that she disliked her tribe, quite the opposite, but sometimes they were uneasy around her, so she found it much easier to just keep her distance. It wasn't long before the other shamans had shuffled in around her, and the meeting began.

The Chief addressed the issues of lack of resources like she thought he would. When he mentioned a diplomat going to the Air and Earth Tribes, she became excited. She had been hoping to get out of the village and see the world a bit, and here was the opportunity offered to her on a silver platter. She quickly stood up and said, “It would be my honor, Chief, to be said diplomat to the Air and Earth Tribes. I promise I will broker peace and come back with what this tribe needs to endure.”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


I challenge him! I gladly challenge you to a wrestling match! And please don't insult me by saying you won't fight a girl, because I've taken down most of those men!"

Vinicius hinged his teeth together to conceal the curses from inside as he elbowed Zaheed, "Did you really have to do that?" He snarled to his brother, but not that Vinicius was restless over the fact he was thrown into a fist-fight, but it was a fist-fight with a woman, and though the tribe treated women and men quite equally by law, there will always be sexism. But it was not like Vinicius was a sexiest, but that he was a gentleman, and he did not simply believe in hitting a girl, plus due to the fact that the only females that he has had the most interaction was with his sister and his mother. So he has not had much verbal contact with women thus never has he laid hands on them in any form or fashion, thus he had come to the conclusion that it is not right for a man to bring hostile touch to them, including in a wrestling match.

And as for General Zaheed, yes, Vinicius was perhaps not angry at his brother because it as not his fault that a woman volunteered, but annoyed that he did not think to ask Vinicius first before announcing this match. But Vinicius could see this as a way that Zaheed was trying to loosen up his brother's nerves, and he couldn't hate Zaheed for doing something that almost seemed thoughtful and considerate.

And it was not like Vinicius could straight up reject and refuse the challenge, his reputation was on the line. Therefore instead of directly declining it, he would see if he could entertain the soldiers, say no in a more humorous way. And if Vinicius is going to make this enjoyable, he must be confident with himself. He stepped out into the center space of the room with his hands moving slightly as he spoke, "I wouldn't say refusing to a hit a woman is an insult, rather in polite intentions. Yes, I rather be a gentleman, I think the whole rest of the world is tired of bloody bone-headed bastards, yes?" Vinicius did rather well with his remark, entertaining the crowd amongst him. "So with that--."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Sholeh Kanaka


"I wouldn't say refusing to a hit a woman is an insult, rather in polite intentions.”

Sholeh blood boiled when she realized that he was going to refuse the match. She crossed her arms glared at him as he spoke, remembering the days when she first joined the army. Even though women were technically allowed to join, few did, so the men were unpracticed in fighting one. At first they all refused to train with her, saying it was beneath them to fight a women, but after a few arms were broken they quickly got over that.

Yes, I rather be a gentleman, I think the whole rest of the world is tired of bloody bone-headed bastards, yes?" he went on, and a few in the crowd made sounds of agreement. Sholeh spared a glance at her eldest sister, Oriel, who was standing in a corner with her husband. A sharp look and a shake of her head told Sholeh to agree with Lord Vinicious, and bow out. She shook her head back.

"So with that--" At this point, Sholeh had had enough. She rushed forward, grabbed a hold of his ankles, and pulled, knocking him to the ground. She wasted no time in jumping on top of him, wrapping her arms around his waist grabbing his hands so they were restrained behind his back.

”Yeah, well, a bloody bone-head is about to beat your ass, Mr. Gentleman!” she said, grunting a little from the exertion of trying to keep a hold of his hands. It's too late to walk away with your dignity, but if you admit defeat, I might let you walk away conscious.”

Even as she said these words, she hoped he would put up more of a fight then that. She wanted it to last for a while yet, so that she would know that everyone would know that she earned her victory.

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Lord Vinicius



”Yeah, well, a bloody bone-head is about to beat your ass, Mr. Gentleman! It's too late to walk away with your dignity, but if you admit defeat, I might let you walk away conscious.”

That was it, the right amount adrenaline to exterminate every nerve laced with anxiety, yes, and for right now Vinicius for the first time sense the death of his father felt some other feeling besides sorrow. And perhaps he did need a beating to the ground to snap back into, because for once he felt alive again. But the antidote to clear away the stress seemed so simply for it was only a mere surprise of a wrestling match. Whoever this soldier was Vinicius wanted to congratulate her not only for her bravery to face a king, for her stepping out of line to engage in a brawl without permission, but also because she gave him that boost of determination.

But Vinicius was caught up now in quite the pickle, and he was not going to lose. Now, he did have some options, the first that flashed in his mind was fire of course, it was second nature to him, she held down his hands, he could bawl his fist and burn hers. However there was a lot of problems with that, one, was that she was a fire bearer just like him, the heat would only be transferring more energy, helping her. And two, this was a wrestling match, planned or unplanned, no match like this involves bending, and he was not going to cheat in hopes to win. Though, Vinicius also didn't want to fight her, but now was his moment, earlier he showed his patriotic love and his heart in the throne room, now was to display his speed, his skill.

Vinicius didn't squirm inside he reinforced himself with knee kicks to her stomach, and after he had struck her with utter swift and quick raw talent he noticed her start to wear down after the pain delivered. So, with a final shot to get her off him completely Vinicius kicked her in the stomach. However he did just kick her, he kicked her with his sharp pointed steel boot. Of course, he was wearing his ceremonial armor, it was a special and formal event, it was his coronation so he was going to dress fancy. And fashion of the alike was not the kind suitable for a wrestling match.

Thus anyone could of imagine that the metal boot pierced deep into her flesh, however not deep enough to kill her. But with that attack she was plunged off. But everything happened so fast that Vinicius did not quite notice what task he had pulled off until looking down at his bloody boot and then looking up at the woman. Vinicius then felt extremely guilty, completely forgetting the fact she was a soldier, he hurt a woman, and Vinicius felt self-conviction due to it. He rushed over to her as he watched her still getting up, she didn't wallow in the pain, no she did not crawl like a weakling, but Vinicius was still worried. "Flames!" he cursed to himself. "Are you okay-- I didn't mean to." Yes, Vinicius spoke the truth, he had no intention to cause her to bleed, but sometimes his aggressive trait consumed him, but thankfully there was still good inside of him to feel shame for his behavior.

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Sholeh Kanaka


Sholeh tried to keep a hold of Vinicious's hands as he knee kicked her in the stomach, but with each kick her grip loosened. She knew it wouldn't take much to knock her off, so she prepared herself for the battle that was about to commence as soon as he got free. Now that the element of surprise had worn off, this was going to be a little tougher. She had heard of his prowess in battle, he was son of the former king, how could not have? She was gonna fight tooth and nail in this match, but that was the whole reason she had volunteered for it.

She received quite the shock, however, when his pointy steel boot collided with her abdomen, tossing her off him. She landed flat on her back, her ears ringing from the impact. But her adrenaline kicked in, and she was back on her feet in moments, her survival instincts insisting that there was a threat. As she got back up, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach where she had been kicked, and reached her hand down to touch it. It came back up bloody, the wound slowly oozing.

"Flames!" she heard someone curse. She looked up and realized that he had moved closer to her. "Are you okay-- I didn't mean to."

A little voice in her head told her she'd asked for it, but she rarely listened to that voice. Her face hardened and she wiped her hand on her sorry excuse for a top, leaving a blood stain. “Maybe not,” she said. “But I'm going to mean this!” But she finished the sentence, she had rushed toward him at full speed with her head down, intending to head-butt him. She was then surprised to feel no impact, and skidded to the floor, smearing blood on the floor. Humiliated, she jumped back onto her feet and faced her leader.

“Are you going to jump around like you're Air Tribe now? Stand still, and fight!” She rushed at him again, having enough sense this time to anticipate him moving. She threw a punch at him, and missed. Getting more and more agitated, she threw punch after punch, all missing their mark. She groaned loudly in annoyance.

“Stand still and fight like a man already!” she shouted in frustration.

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


“Maybe not. But I'm going to mean this.

It was a sheer dodge, Vinicius had no intentions to fight, well, not anymore. He tried to keep his eyes on her entire body and not on just one portion, that portion being the bleeding wound. And perhaps it was not the biggest nor serious of injuries to a soldier or to a king, but it was enough for Vinicius to stop his offensive in this battle all together. However, if this soldier wished to fight, then so be it, Vinicius guessed his brother trained them hard, never retreat, never surrender.

“Are you going to jump around like you’re Air Tribe now? Stand still and fight!”

“Air Tribe? I don’t suppose they even know what a wrestling match is.”

”Stand still and fight like a man already!

“You mean like a heartless bastard? Real men don’t hit women, especially wounded ones.”

Vinicius continued to dodge even after the taunt, and besides, dodging could have been a good motive of his in order to show off his talents, in order to display his speed, agility, and grace. If he wished to, Vinicius believed he could have already beaten her, such as, when she was on the ground, if he ever were to be so cruel and ruthless, even unfair perhaps, Vinicius could have kicked her in the weakened spot as she was arising from the ground.

But something such as that to do to a woman, seemed sinister to Vinicius, and he could admit that the fire tribe has had their past with evil kings, and Vinicius did not want to be one of them. Though it was hit by hit, blow by blow, and Vinicius continued to cause his enemy to miss, but it then came that point that Vinicius could see that her stamina wearing down. Yes, that was exactly what he want, the soldier to tire herself out, and perhaps with her exhausted state it will seem that Vinicius was the victor.

However in came another troop to interrupt the brawl, “Milord,” he greeted Vinicius hoping to cease the fighting, but the two did not stop, nothing. “Lord Vinicius—“

“Soldier, cannot you not see I am quite busy right now?” Vinicius quick spoke as he duck to dodge her kick. No, Vinicius did not wish to tolerate an interrupt right now, he was so close to tasting his victory. But there was one thing, one person, Vinicius could not force himself to ignore. “It’s your mother! S-She hit the floor,” the soldier cried stuttered as he was nervous to intrude on his king.

The audience in the room froze, everything was dead silent and Vinicius immediately forgot about the match he encountered and stormed to the interrupting soldier whom informed the bad news. Vinicius is known to have a bad temper, an explosive anger, so anyone could imagine that everyone in the room was just counting on Vinicius to now act with another match, but this time against the soldier, and perhaps then a much more violent one, a battle Vinicius was passionate about. But Vinicius knew he could not waste his time with the soldier, and honestly, Vinicius felt that he had no right to hurt the man though Vinicius may have been angry at the moment due to the sick state of his ill mother. Thus Vinicus charged out of the room, and that was the last seen of the lord.

And after Vinicius had left the soldiers that filled the dining room expected that the General would reprimand Sholeh for attacking the king, she had none of permission in engage in a match, but as for Zaheed, he too had vanished from the setting.




General Zaheed


Shadow galloped out of fire land headed for earth, or so it seemed, but Zaheed steered his stead once far away from the eyes of his country to the water tribe. But alongside Zaheed the one other being that travelled alongside with him was his raven named, Icarus. The bird was an eerie sight to be seen, some may say that it looked as if Zaheed had entranced it was witchery. Though it must not be true, Zaheed had trained it, Icarus was the most valuable of Zaheed’s animals, and if he could anything in his life, Zaheed would say it to be that bird.

However as he was far away from fire, in the midst of nowhere, Zaheed stopped, where he pulled from a pouch of his a letter that read,

Dear Zianro Azura, the Wandering River Dragon,
Come nightfall, I will arrive to Lakeshore. I am aware water and fire had fought for years, and it will continue as long as Zotar sits on throne. Yes, his attention may be dragged off of the water tribe, but he is looking to declare war on earth, quite predictable, but also quite insane. And not only would a crazy man accept two wars at the same time, but also a blood-thirsty one. How much longer before he may attack water, how much long may even capture earth ground, building an empire to defeat water. And by then, I cannot be any use to you.

So I venture off to compromise, and speak of further matters in person…
General Zaheed


Zaheed equipped his bird’s beak with the letter and Icarus flapped its wings and glided to water tribe land. When the bird had spotted Zianro, it unleashed the letter. But in decisively clever manner, after ZIanro had finished the letter and set it down, the bird swallowed and devoured the letter, so that no proof that Zaheed was affiliating with the water tribe king may be revealed. And immediately after it was up, up, and away. It learned well from its master…

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Sholeh Kanaka


“It’s your mother! S-She hit the floor,”
Sholeh's fist froze in mid-air when the soldier spoke. Her eyes followed Lord Vinicius as he all but ran from the room. She lowered her arm and shame washed her. Everyone knew the queen was ill, it was why Vinicius had taken the throne in the first place. She now felt guilty for attacking him, and insulting him when his mother was in critical condition. What a way to add salt to the wounds.

She suddenly felt strong hands grabbing her arms, pulling her away. “Hey!” she protested, and looked to her sides and saw

Kieran and Ivarr, her handsy comrade. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

Kieran gave her his signature glare. “We're getting you out of here before you're arrested, you idiot!”

“Why would I get arrested?”

“For attacking the king, Sho,” Ivarr said in a patronizing tone.

They managed to drag her from the palace, and into the cold night air, though they didn't slow their pace. She didn't try to escape their grasp, either, as she easily could. “Do you really think they'd arrest me?” she asked, a note of fear in her voice.

“Absolutely,” they said in unison. They kept pulling her until they arrived at the Sour Vixen, a popular tavern. They wheeled her upstairs and into empty room, where they finally released her.

“So what now?” she asked, sitting on the single bed. “Am I a fugitive? Am I going to have to leave Murtovaara like my brother did?”

Kieran crossed his arms. “Hopefully tempers will be cooled by tomorrow, and you'll just get reprimanded or dismissed.”

Her eyes went wide in panic when what he said registered. “Just dismissed? I can't think of anything worse!” She fell back on the bed and buried her face in her hands.

“Its better than death, Sho,” Ivarr said, unhelpfully. She groaned in answer.

Suddenly, the door slammed open, and all four of her sisters burst into the room.

“How could you be stupid?”

“Do you know what kind of shame you brought to the family?”

“How could you be so reckless?”

“How bad is your wound?”

The last one was Serafina, who's voice broke through the chastisements of the other women. The approached Sholeh with a glass of water and rag. She got down on her knees and peered at the wound on her sister's stomach. “It doesn't need stitches,” she said. “But I'll need to clean it so it doesn't get infected. She dipped the rag in the water and began cleaning the wound. It stung, but Sholeh refused to make a sound that proved her pain.

“Why would you do this?” Oriel demanded, bringing Sholeh's attention back to her other sisters.

“General Zaheed offered the match,” she said, defending herself.

“And then the king called it off,” Nuria said.

Sholeh's face hardened. “Because I'm a woman, and he thought I was too weak to be an opponent.”

Eshne huffed in annoyance. “No, you idiot. He backed down because it is dishonorable for a man to fight a woman. Something the rest of the men in the army obviously don't understand.” She gave a pointed look to Kieran and Ivaar. Kieran ignored her, and Ivaar gave her a stupid grin.

“I just hope the queen is well,” Serafina said as she finished tending to the wound.

All of Sholeh's arguments fled. “Yeah. I couldn't imagine what I'd do if Mom was sick.”
Serafina pulled out a bandage from her bag and started wrapping it around Sholeh's abdomen. “Leave this on for a few day,” she instructed her. “Then leave the wound naked so it will scab over.”

“I know the drill, Fina” Sholeh sighed.

Serafina smiled at her, then turned around to address the group. “Alright, everyone leave, the Aggressor needs her rest.”
The sisters protested, but eventually left. Kieran and Ivarr were next to leave. “You'd better enjoy this room, Sho,” Ivaar said as he exited the room. “I was going to bring a lady back to this room.”

“Dream on,” Kieran said as he followed him.

Sholeh leaned back on the bed. “I'm coming to the training yard for thing in the morning!” she called after them.

“We know!” she heard them shout.

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed


"Okay, okay, overstepped on the air tribe a bit. I understand. Now, now, Zaheed, don't you worry. You want it, I'll help provide. But if we want to ensure the plan to work we have to trust each other. Do we trust each other?"

"Of course, I have no quarrel, no need to deceive," he answered with full clarity and validity. Zaheed had no desire to betray the water tribe, and perhaps it may be a good thing if he were king, perhaps this plot of treason may actually seal the bond of the two tribes for once. But only in due time in the future, shall anyone ever discover if things were truly that easy. However did Zaheed trust Zianro? For the time being, really because the General could not think why he should not, what would Zianro tattle on the General to Zotar, no of course not. In fact if Zianro even wished to warn Zotar about his brother's plan to kill him, the Lord would attack Zianro for the accusations against his brother. Zotar has always been prejudices to other tribes, especially to water, and now earth has its higher place on his list.

"Very good. Now I'll smuggle some soldiers in and you provide the uniforms. Stay in touch, let me know if there is something I can use to distract Zotar for a much easier grab. I'd better get back to the palace...weed through more 'pig shite.'"

"Have fun with that," Zaheed gave his remark as he climbed back onto his steed, as he was ready to start galloping away he lastly heard the water leader command, "Don't be a stranger Zaheed." The general turned his head to watch Zianro walking away, "One day... One day, no one will forget my name. I can promise you that. And I can also promise you that I will keep you informed." Zaheed then let his horse trot away back to where he spotted footsteps, earlier he recalled an encounter with Bellistrad, the exile rushed away and Zaheed would use the boy as an excuse to why he returns to the castle so late, and if Zotar finds out his brother was in water land, Zaheed would use Bellistrad as a reason why he was there. But Zaheed knew his time was precious and he was not going to waste it looking for him. Instead Zaheed whistled for his little servant. Icarus glided to the shoulder of his master, Zaheed whispered softly to the bird before giving it a light slap on the back as it flew away to stalk the boy, to where it would give a painful and loud screech once he was spotted.

From there Zaheed charged his way back into the castle and away from foreign ground.




Lord Vinicius and General Zaheed


"Argh!" Lord Vinicius gave his fierce bark as he broke a hole through the wooden dummy by the force of his flaming knuckles. Vinicius is not one known for his brawn, but for the burn of his fire, he can break through solid blocks of wooden carved bodies, especially in his state of anger. It was already the day after his coronation and he was frustration, like usual. But it was not only frustration that he was met with, but panic, anxiety, he was fearing his mother's death, and what angered him was not that he could not stop the death from occurring, but that he can not stop it from starting and Vinicius also has no evidence to put a blame. "Poison, flaming poison! I swear! And she does not believe it! Someone killed our father, now they're after mother! I bet its those dirt brains."

Zaheed was leaning against a wooden column in the training quarters as he listened to his brother's bickering, "Well, we cannot rely on assumptions."

"Assumptions?! Is that all you think this all is? Our mother is dying and you say some poisoning her is just an assumption?"

"Well, I'm just being reasonable and if an accusation does not have facts then--"

"Then what I'm saying is unreasonable?"

"Listen, Zotar-- Uh, Lord Vinicius, can you calm down. Please? A request from your brother. Good, I just think you need to relaxation, this whole king thing has gotten you stirred up more than usual."

"Fine... But if I'm going to get my mind off all this stress. I want to pound it out, and not by fighting these dummies."

"Me, brother? If you truly wish to--"

"Nah, your already suited up in your armor, and I learned a little something yesterday, never spar in armor. Err... I don't want to explain the whole story. And why did you just leave like that anyways? Do you know what type of nonsense you caused?"

Saying Zaheed was getting annoyed with Vinicius was a light way to put it. But he had to tolerate I for a time being, at least Zaheed knew for sure, with Zianro's aid, that he was getting his throne. "I apologized that I had to go, but I did warn you beforehand that I had to leave soon to scout our enemy, the earth tribe."

"Well, I guess you had your mission, but couldn't it wait?"

"Actually, it was rather good that left early, I spotted Bellistrad the outcast."

"Alright," Vinicius then rose the volume of his voice, "But I want one of my men to spar me!"

None of the soldiers responded for moments until one spoke up nervously, "W-We are in armor m-milord, already suited up, just like the general, yes?" Vinicius glared at the troop as he approached him menacingly, "Well, if you were listening a bit better, you would recall him about to volunteer himself. If you weren't such a coward, you would do also!" Vinicius sighed, and looked to Zaheed, "I thought you trained your men better."

Zaheed would only confess to himself that he has not been pushing his men the hardest, because has not been concreting much on his current occupation but rather how to acquire his future on. "Fear not, Vinicius, I will see to it that not only him, but the rest of my soldiers are fearless and discipline. And about the woman who attacked your majesty, there has already been a dispatch of guards to arrest her."

"Wait, your arresting her for her bravery? Damn it, she should be rewarded for the courage to face a king."

"You were happy with her actions?"

"Why shouldn't I be? I want her summoned to my throne, room, but stick the arrest, I want to give her a surprise." Vinicius started walking in the direction to his quarters, where he would then dress into his everyday armor attire. But then he stopped. "Oh and Zaheed. What is her name?"

"Name? I had a report done on her due to the event yesterday. Her name is Sholeh Kanaka."

"Good, then I will be seeing Kanaka soon."

Lord Vinicius laid back high and mighty in his great throne with chin against the palm of his hand, with his finger tapping against the arm of the chair impatiently. But when Sholeh did arrived, Lord Vinicius sat up and leaned forward, glaring at her. He was not mad at her in any form or fashion, but instead was curious how she would respond to him, and how would she feel about the whole situation, her not given the chance to fight the king simply because of her gender, and his honor. "Sholeh Kanaka, you are accused of treason. That is a serious offense. You attacked me even after I continuously dodged your attack. You do know the punishment of treason is death yes? Do you have anything worthy to say to make me consider otherwise?"

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Sholeh Kanaka


The brightness of the sun shining through the open window woke Sholeh up from a deep sleep. She cracked her eyes open, quickly scanned the room, then groaned. She shifted in the bed to face her sister, who was sleeping right beside her. “Please tell me last night was a nightmare, 'Fina,” she said, hopefully.

Serafina opened her eye and gave her sister a pitying look. “No.”

Sholeh groaned again and buried her face underneath the covers. “I can't believe I was so stupid. I've shamed myself and the entire family. What I did was worse than Vukan deserting.”

“It wasn't that bad.”

Sholeh peeked her head out from underneath the blanket to give her sister a dirty look. “I assaulted the king on his coronation day in front of a crowd of witnesses.”

Serafina paused. “Alright,” she said at last. “It was that bad. But you don't bring as much shame to the family as Great-aunt Meela.”

Sholeh arched an eyebrow. “Who?”

“The one with the goat who we say is a pet.”

Sholeh rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah.”

“Or cousin Hiron who stands at street corners and shouts prophecies at passersby.”

Now Sholeh was grinning. “I guess when you shake our family tree, a bunch of nuts fall out.” Both sisters started laughing, which lasted until Sholeh jumped out of bed.

“Where are you going?” Serafina asked, her eyes filled with worry.

“Well, first I'm going to the barracks for a change of clothes. I can't go anywhere wearing bloodstained clothes. Then I'm going to the training yard, like I told Kieran and Ivarr.” Sholeh made for the door, but her sister roughly grabbed her by the arm.

“I thought you were joking when you told them that. You can't really go anywhere, the king probably has men looking for you.”

Sholeh pulled her arm out of her sister's grasp. “Well, what am I supposed to do? Run and hide? I'm no coward, if the king wants to punish me then I'll take it like a man.”

Serafina opened her mouth to say something, but the door was suddenly thrown open, and two guards rushed in. They grabbed Sholeh by the arms before she could run away.

“Sholeh Kanaka,” one of them said. “You are being arrested for assaulting the king. You are to be taken in front of him to be judged for your actions.”

Sholeh signed. “Well, I was on my way there anyway, but thanks for the escort.” In front of her, Serafina was livid.

“Wait!,” she said, with tears streaming down her face. “She has to change the bandage on her stomach or the wound will get infected.”

Sholeh gave her sister a sad smile. “I don't think that's something I'm going to have to be worried about where I'm going, 'Fina.”

The last thing Sholeh saw as the guards dragged her from the room was her sister sobbing uncontrollably.



"Sholeh Kanaka, you are accused of treason. That is a serious offense. You attacked me even after I continuously dodged your attack. You do know the punishment of treason is death yes? Do you have anything worthy to say to make me consider otherwise?"

Sholeh tried not to wince at the mention of death. Instead she stood up straight, a difficult feat when you're practically being held down by two guards who each were over a head taller than her. She actually took a moment to consider, but came up with nothing.

“No, I don't,” she said truthfully. “I could say that I was stupid or hotheaded, or I drank too much, but none of those are really good defenses. If anything, those give you even more reasons to get rid of me. You probably would've killed me right then and there for being so disrespectful if you hadn't had to attend to the queen.” She paused, then fully remembered what had happened, and her eyes went wide. “Oh, how is the queen? I hope she's better, I wouldn't know what to do if it had been my own mother.”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Lord Vinicius and General Zaheed


“No, I don't. I could say--."

"That is enough!" General Zaheed barked, but Vinicius gave him a quick split-second glare that said, Settle down, I got this. But Zaheed was only trying his best to make the whole arrest and confrontation more believable and intense to Sholeh. However, Zaheed backed off, and eased himself.

"Continue," Vinicius permitted Sholeh to finish.

“I could say that I was stupid or hotheaded, or I drank too much, but none of those are really good defenses. If anything, those give you even more reasons to get rid of me. You probably would've killed me right then and there for being so disrespectful if you hadn't had to attend to the queen.”

Reminding Vinicius of his ill mood had only darkened his mood, but he was still going through his plan. He knew Sholeh was a brave and courageous soldier and he liked that, which was rare, for most kings of fire despise the type of fearlessness when it came to standing up to their king. Not that Vinicius would be please in rebellion, but in the courage it took to arise to the occasion.

“Oh, how is the queen? I hope she's better, I wouldn't know what to do if it had been my own mother.”

Vinicius did not want to answer the question, because in reality, he did not want to face the truth. His mother was getting weaker by the day, she was no longer living, no she was dying, and like his father, Vinicius was watching, unable to do anything about it. More and more the healers, and physicians become fearful, as if they feel terrorized themselves, dreading the day when Vinicius loses his temper, the day she dies due to their inaction to stop it.

"She's... My mother... is fine," he finally choked, trying to convince himself of the truth. But Ivana had pushed her son to make the date of the ball sooner, because she herself can sense that her exit in his life is near. And she wants to be alive to see what woman would take care of her son. Yes, Ivana was worried about Zotar, ever since his father's death, ever since the whole Vinicius thing started, he has lost it. Sure he had thrown fits with others so easily now, but it is even worse with himself. He has been doing more than just grieving, he has been hurting, hurting himself. Such in ways that he has fasted to an unhealthy state, and some servants have witnessed himself purging his body in water for long moments, almost as if he is trying to drown himself, but knowing that his father called himself to be king, he lifts himself from that self-torment, but only returns for another session.

But as Zaheed hears this, as sick as it sounds, the General smiles in joy when he hears his brother attempts to drown himself. It not only puts a higher chance that Zotar may die, and Zaheed gets the throne, but it also weakens Zotar's fire, cooling the veins, causing his flames to take longer to fuel.

"If that is it... General Zaheed, would you do the honor of the execution?"

"My pleasure, lord," Zaheed unsheathed his sword and stormed to Sholeh, where guards pressed her head down to face the floor, revealing the back of her neck. Zaheed rose up his sword and let it dive downwards, aimed for the flesh. But only hairs away from the neck, the lord, rose his hand up, "Stop! Unhand her. Kanaka, walk with me."

The soldiers let go of Sholeh while Vinicius stepped down from his throne and walked alongside with her out of the throne room and into the outside balcony, another region for dining, but before they reached their destination Vinicius noticed Zaheed tailing them, stalking them. "Zaheed," Vinicius started. "You can stopped following me now, I'm not a little boy anymore. I think I can handle myself."

"But can she handle you?" Zaheed remarked. "Okay fine... I'll leave. I was just making sure she would not attack you... again." The General finally left them alone. Vincius leaned against the balcony fence, over-looking the massive city of Murtovaara. "He can pestered sometimes... Often, but I'm sure he feels the same way about me. But we're brothers, and I remember family sticks together... well, unless they are dead... Unless a bunch of dusty dolts kill them... Bastards." It was obvious since Sholeh had brought up his mother, he has become genuinely depressed, earlier he was acting angry but now was no joke, no show. He was in sorrow, sorrow mixed with fury as his clenched fists on the stone fence started to fume smoke.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Sholeh Kanaka


"She's... My mother... is fine." The way Lord Vinicius said it made Sholeh doubt the validity of it, but for once she had enough brains in her head to hold her tongue.

"If that is it... General Zaheed, would you do the honor of the execution?"

“Shit!” Sholeh managed to gasp as the guards pulled her to the ground. Never in her worst nightmares had she expected to die like this, a traitor killed in her own city. She had always expected to die on the battlefield, surrounded by enemies. She closed her eyes and waited for the end.

"Stop! Unhand her. Kanaka, walk with me."

At these words, Sholeh's eyes shot open and the guards released her. Surprised, she quickly jumped up and eyed the king in confusion. As he got up to leave the throne room, ran over to follow him before he changed his mind and went through with the execution. She followed him outside to a balcony that overlooked the city, but he stopped to address the general.

"Zaheed, you can stopped following me now, I'm not a little boy anymore. I think I can handle myself."

"But can she handle you? Okay fine... I'll leave. I was just making sure she would not attack you... again."

Sholeh gave him a rude gesture behind his back, then turned to Vinicius, who was leaning against the fence.

"He can pestered sometimes... Often, but I'm sure he feels the same way about me. But we're brothers, and I remember family sticks together... well, unless they are dead... Unless a bunch of dusty dolts kill them... Bastards."

She knew he was talking about the death of his father. The fact that he was killed by earth assassins was common knowledge. Still incredibly confused about these turn of events, but being a girl possessing no reservations or timidness, she walked over to the fence beside him and jumped onto it, her back facing the city and her feet dangling in front of her as she got into a sitting position.

“They'll get what's coming to them,” she said to him, trying to be comforting. “Karma has a way of making sure everyone gets what they deserve.” She paused and smiled. “And when Karma fails, that's what soldiers are for.” After a moment of silence, Sholeh blurted out, "So...are you going to kill me or...?"

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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General Zaheed


“They'll get what's coming to them, Karma has a way of making sure everyone gets what they deserve. And when Karma fails, that's what soldiers are for.”

Vinicius kept his glaring eyes down in the city as he spoke, "Soldiers... Believe me, I have thought about attacking the whole damn earth kingdom, going into another war, though we are already in one with water. My mother and brother both urges me to reconsider that thought, to man lives are at risk, and though we are dominant in supply and resource when it comes to weapons, armors, and such, but are prepared enough to go through two wars. And if I don't attack, bite back like some vicious dog, the public will see me as a coward. Flames, they probably already lean to that assumption due my refusal to hit you. It’s not that I find you weak to be a woman. I just don’t think it is right for a man to strike a woman."

There was of course another reason why Vinicius would wish to slaughter the earth tribe, of course, it was obvious, why did his name mean vengeance after all? Vinicius hungered for that revenge, but he had a distaste for a defeat on the tribe. In hard decisions like this, Vinicius wished his mother was queen, she would know what to do, however not only that, but how to do it. Vinicius could always listen to her of course, but what voice yells louder than hers? His. Vinicius was always the stubborn one, but also one who listened to his heart, he was a passionate man. But in the end, or at least for now Vinicius has decided to hold off any attacks until after the ball, which was occurring soon in a matter of three days.

“Kill you?” Vinicius questioned, backing off the fence. “It sure seemed that way. Don’t worry, I just wanted to give you a little surprise in the throne room.” Vinicius looked up at Sholeh, “But if you are worried about dying, you may want to get back to ground, rather than sit at the edge of the fence. Let me have your hand.” Vinicius held his out and when she grabbed her pulled her back to stand beside him. “Wouldn’t want to fall yes?” It be a lie if Vinicius said he didn’t care about her, of course he did, he cared about all those of his tribe, be he cared for her specifically because of the bravery that shone through her.

“I want to promote you,” Vinicius confessed. “You are courageous, and though our soldiers are known to be a fearless bunch, the truth is, due to history, due to the type of kings we have developed through the past, people fear our kings. But you didn’t, I like people who can take a stand.” Vinicius blushed when saying that, and looked away. “Well not like that. I mean… Errr… I do like you..." Vinicius was getting nervous, he felt different, perhaps it was because he rarely carried conversations with women outside of his family, mainly because before with his father, he was a child, he was not worried about being king, not worried about an heir to the throne. But since his death, and with the ball, finding a wife, he could admit to looking upon woman differently but not lustfully. No Vinicius would never do such, in fact he is rather sheltered in the topic of sex. Why? Because he never felt a hunger to it, he values a relationship, not a body.

Vinicius finally sighed, "I admire your courage, for you to approach me. I have never seen anything like that before, a soldier standing up against her king. And I don't see it as treason either, treason is disloyalty. You to face me, I must say... It was an honor, though I did not fight back. And because of that, I personally invite you to the royal ball, the town criers will go out today to the public to announce it. But I thought it be better to invite you myself."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa
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Sholeh Kanaka


“Kill you? It sure seemed that way. Don’t worry, I just wanted to give you a little surprise in the throne room.”

Sholeh's eyes went big. “Wait, so you were just having fun with me? But...” She paused to think about then grinned. “OK, I probably deserved it. You really had me, too.”

“But if you are worried about dying, you may want to get back to ground, rather than sit at the edge of the fence. Let me have your hand. Wouldn’t want to fall yes?”

She took the hand he offered and hopped off the fence, but couldn't resist a little teasing. “It sounds like you're doubting my flying skills. I should have you know I've only broken three bones falling off of buildings.” She settled for leaning her back against the fence and facing Vinicius.

“I want to promote you,” he said, and she was actually glad that he got her down from the fence, because she surely would have fallen right over the side wasted said promotion. She even literally felt her jaw drop and was positive that she was staring at him like a crazy person. She was so happy that she almost missed what he said next.

“You are courageous, and though our soldiers are known to be a fearless bunch, the truth is, due to history, due to the type of kings we have developed through the past, people fear our kings. But you didn’t, I like people who can take a stand. Well not like that. I mean… Errr… I do like you..."

And now she was being complimented for being courageous when everyone else just called her stupid and impulsive. Most people just look down on her for the way she is, but here was the king of the entire fire tribe praising her for it. She had to bite down on the inside of her cheek to keep from grinning like an idiot.

"I admire your courage, for you to approach me. I have never seen anything like that before, a soldier standing up against her king. And I don't see it as treason either, treason is disloyalty. You to face me, I must say... It was an honor, though I did not fight back. And because of that, I personally invite you to the royal ball, the town criers will go out today to the public to announce it. But I thought it be better to invite you myself."

Sholeh was so touched by his kinds words that she forgot who she was talking to and threw her arms around him. “I am so unbelievably grateful for all of this! I can't believe I'm being rewarded for...” She suddenly remembered what she was doing, and quickly withdrew and took several steps away. “Oh, I am so sorry, you know I have impulsive control issues, and I probably just violated every one of your boundaries. So, assuming I didn't just ruin everything, I would love to come to the ball. Maybe someone will do something so stupid there that everything I do will pale in comparison.”

Her mind drifted back to their earlier conversation about the earth tribe. She stepped over to the fence and faced the city. “You know, I don't think the people will be upset if you don't retaliate against the earth tribe. I mean, some will be, but I don't think the majority will be.” She glanced back at Vinicius. “Do you know how many funerals I've been to for my comrades? I've lost count. The common folk just want their loved ones, they barely pay attention to the war. And we're the winning team, I can't even imagine how many loved ones the common folk of the losing teams have lost.” She gave a half smile. "Not that I'm complaining. I love being a soldier, and I'm on your side, war or not."




Kala


After days of traveling, Kala and her group could finally see the edge of Airdale. She hoisted Lnoli up on her shoulders in his usual place, and turned to address the warriors who had accompanied her. “Alright, you guys stay here while I go talk to the guard. We don't need them to think we're coming to attack.”

She left the ten warriors and the supplies behind while she approached the outskirts of the village. There were a few people that Kala assumed were guards, and she approached one of them. “I come from Northpass hoping to trade some rugs, clothing, and hides for food. I come with ten other warriors solely for protection. May I be permitted to speak to your leader?”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


“I am so unbelievably grateful for all of this! I can't believe I'm being rewarded for...”

Vinicius was a first startled by the embraced, but soon enough, he liked it, actually letting an arm wrap around also. He enjoyed that she did not let his crown get in the way, it was one thing Vinicius feared, that people would treat him differently because of his position. Well, actually they always have, Vinicius was born Zotar Thanos, born into the royal family. But after being crowned king, he assumed there would be significant change, a change he never wanted to experience at least not from his soldiers. Sure he wanted respect, but he still wanted to be treated like a human being.

“Oh, I am so sorry, you know I have impulsive control issues, and I probably just violated every one of your boundaries. So, assuming I didn't just ruin everything, I would love to come to the ball. Maybe someone will do something so stupid there that everything I do will pale in comparison.”

"No harm done," Vinicius replied, letting a slight smile form in his lips, though he was starting to blush again. "I don't care for the restrictions put on soldiers, even commonfolk, when it comes to my position as king. I like that you break those rules. So, I don't find it stupid, I find it... appealing."

“You know, I don't think the people will be upset if you don't retaliate against the earth tribe. I mean, some will be, but I don't think the majority will be. Do you know how many funerals I've been to for my comrades? I've lost count. The common folk just want their loved ones, they barely pay attention to the war. And we're the winning team, I can't even imagine how many loved ones the common folk of the losing teams have lost. Not that I'm complaining. I love being a soldier, and I'm on your side, war or not."

Bringing up war brought Vinicius back into a bad place, dark thoughts, "No, I swear, and I have already swore, whoever killed my father will pay. I just want to make sure its the right son of a bitch I blaze to flames. Its just that right now I don't have enough to proof that it was the earth tribe, sure earth bearers were the ones who attacked, but what if it was not the kingdom, what if someone else hired then." Vinicius sighed, "It just doesn't make sense for them to attack. As far as I remember we didn't ever piss into their ale to cause them to kill my father, a king. I have so much on my plate right now, trying to get some off before worrying and deciding about going into another war. I do consider what you say, death among the clan should be avoided, but if we do not execute those who wish to cause further harm, could only conjure more destruction to us than to fight back. And maybe, it be easy for me think after the ball, once I'm married and it is not only I would have to make the hard decisions."

Yes, Vinicius believed he would have an easier reign if there was a queen. Sure he had advisors who advised, but they did not know nor lived in his shoes, in his positions. It would be better to hear guidance and suggestion from someone who felt the same pressure and stress as him.

Vinicius looked back to Sholeh, "But, know is the time to talk about you. Promotion, I did promise, however what rank are you now? A foot-soldier, a lancepesade? Well, how about a vassal lord, a captain, perhaps? Ever thought of being in charge of your own company?" Vinicius did just meet the woman the day before, he didn't know if she did well with others, or if she was a good leader, but none of it matter as long as was loyal to the flames. Captains were those looked up to by their subordinates, and by her stand, Vinicius believed anyone should follow her steps. Sure Sholeh acted by impulse, but she was human, so many soldier lose their humanity, in the end they act like animals, heeding command in fear of punishment, not due to bravery. And courage is worth much more than an terror locked into heart.

So no, Vinicius will not regret promoting Sholeh to be in charged of her own company, her own band of soldiers. It was a significant jump in the ranks, usually its a lancepesade to lance corporal, to corporal, to second lieutenant, to lieutenant, and finally to captain. With her promotion, she would be a commissioned officer, an elite rank. The only rank higher than that was general. Sure some may call it foolish that Vinicius was just giving out a promotion because of something that happened in one day in his dining room, and not in a battlefield. But how many men in fire kingdom history, approached their king refusing to retreat, to surrender. And you never know, maybe she might get her biggest promotion after that, queen.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed


Even after Vinicius dismissed his brother, Zaheed continued to eavesdrop on their conversation. How couldn't he? General Zaheed was a snake, he slithering his way into other's secrets. There is no doubt, he is a keeper of blackmail and slander, things left best unknown. But as he listened to their conversation, there was no doubt that Zotar found interest in Sholeh, especially due to the fact of the promotion he gave her. Captain? Zaheed questioned his brother mentally. Is he insane? Not only does she attack a king without punishment, she is rewarded for it? That reward, being captain? He is condoning rebellion! Treason! This is exactly why I must be king!

As the rage within mind waged, Zaheed heard a screech sound, but it was not any cry of an animal, it was Icarus's, the raven. That was it, Bellistrad Indorial had moved out of the water village, now was his time to strike, to capture the exile who trifles with the water tribe. Not that Zaheed has a problem with the water tribe as a whole, but the fire tribe does. And by law it is a grave crime to be associated with foreign enemies. But Zaheed could not care less about fire law, he only had cared about himself, afraid that this Bellistrad may have done his own eavesdropping on him and Zianro. Why in that moment Zaheed did not waste time ending or dealing with Bellistrad when first encountering him, was because it is not everyday that the water lord will associate with a child of fire.

But now was his time, the General rushed out of the palace, and to his steed, and already mentioned before, the horse was dressed in battle armor due to traditions. And as for Zaheed, he was always wearing his armor, it comes with being General. However he was now wearing his menacing pitch black helmet, the headgear was designed to look terrorizing, it was what Zaheed wanted to strike his eyes with- a nightmare. Zaheed kicked his horse's rump, causing it to gallop fiercely to the direction of Icarus's cry.

When Zaheed arrived to Bellistrad, the General was positioned behind the young man, sword unsheathed and wagging as he charged his horse towards the exile. The chase was on.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


“And maybe, it be easy for me think after the ball, once I'm married and it is not only I would have to make the hard decisions."

“Ha,” Sholeh laughed. “You're probably right about that. In fact, most of the married women I know make all the decisions, so I'd choose your wife very carefully if I were you.”

"But, know is the time to talk about you. Promotion, I did promise, however what rank are you now? A foot-soldier, a lancepesade? Well, how about a vassal lord, a captain, perhaps? Ever thought of being in charge of your own company?"

In a very rare moment for Sholeh, she was speechless. She stared at Vinicius for several moments before she managed to say, “Uh, that would be amazing. Actually, that would be my dream come true.” Ever since she had first decided to join the army, she had wanted to be the best damn soldier the fire tribe ever had, and reach the highest position possible. She had just expected it to happen in that order. She decided that she would use the opportunity she had been given to become even better, and maybe then her family would finally approve of the career path she had taken.

“Wow, that's an even higher position than my brother, Vukon, had. He only made it to corporal. He probably would have made it all the way to captain if he hadn't...” The memory of her brother brought a mix of pain and anger with it that caused her voice to falter for a moment. “If he hadn't deserted his tribe for that strange girl he met on the road, he would have been one of the best. Who does that? Who just abandons their family and future like that?”

She sighed to calm herself down when a sudden thought occurred to her. “Wait, this whole promotion thing isn't just another joke like the execution is it? Because I'd be disappointed, but I'd understand. I mean, I highly doubt the men that used to be my superiors are going to want to take orders from me. They barely see me as more than an annoying weapon to throw at the enemies.”



Kala


"I can bring you to our leader, but your warriors have to wait outside of Airedale. If they need anything someone could bring that to them but they will not be let inside, we don't appreciate when people bring such large amounts of soldiers to our village."

Kala briefly considered protesting, but dismissed the notion. If the roles were reversed, she would certainly not appreciate a small traipsing around in her village. So, instead she smiled and took the arm extended to her, and allowed him to guide her through the village.

As they came upon the market, Kala felt shy and nervous for the first time in her life. She had only interacted with the members of her tribe her entire life, so the throng of strangers before her was a new experience for her. But she was not one to let such nervousness show, however, so she flashed her most charming smile at those she passed by. She got only curious stares in return.

The home of the tribe leader was the fanciest house Kala had ever seen. After living her life in huts, it looked like a mansion indeed. Even the obvious wear and tear did not detract from it's appearance in her eyes, and she resisted the urge to gawk at it. She instead focused her attention on the man and two women in front of it.
The guard anncounced her, then the man stepped forward. "I'm Cailu Elre, the leader of the Air tribe. Perhaps we should continue inside? If you come with me we can continue this talk in my office where only people who should hear will listen."
Kala followed him inside and up the stairs to the second floor. She leaned against the wall and waited for the leader to speak first, as was the custom in her own tribe. After a long silence, he said, “So... You want to trade? Why? Oh, and perhaps you could tell me your name..."

She lowered Lnoli off her shoulders and onto the floor, much to his annoyance, so she could give Cailu her full attention, and smiled widely. “Kalagisa. But I prefer Kala. The shapeshifter tribe has sent me as a delegate to trade for food because the game around Northpass is getting thinner and thinner.” She let the smile drop from her face before she continued. “Without those animals to eat, we'll starve to death come winter. So, I'm here to appeal to you to help us by making this deal.”

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


“Uh, that would be amazing. Actually, that would be my dream come true. Wow, that's an even higher position than my brother, Vukon, had. He only made it to corporal. He probably would have made it all the way to captain if he hadn't... If he hadn't deserted his tribe for that strange girl he met on the road, he would have been one of the best. Who does that? Who just abandons their family and future like that?”

Vinicius was glad that me could fulfill one of her dreams, she deserved it, well in his eyes of course. But really, Vinicius saw that she proved herself to be a true warrior and soldier. However, he could be making a mistake due that he has not yet seen how she fares well with leadership, it may have been better to give her a promotion of corporal instead to see how she does with that position first instead of automatically allowing her to be captain. But also to Vinicius, he thought why not, soon in a few days he was going to crown some woman in a matter of one night, queen, so it did not seem to be a problem to move Sholeh up far in the ranks.

But he also noticed how she went to a dark place in her mind when brining up her brother, Vinicius could relate. He often visited his own nightmare when reflecting on the event that ended his father's life. He could see the frustration and sorrow instead, as did he experience it in his own self.

“Wait, this whole promotion thing isn't just another joke like the execution is it? Because I'd be disappointed, but I'd understand. I mean, I highly doubt the men that used to be my superiors are going to want to take orders from me. They barely see me as more than an annoying weapon to throw at the enemies.”

"Yes, I'm joking, I'm totally joking, ha ha," the lord spoke sarcastically, but then turned his eyes back to Sholeh. "No, being serious, I want you to be captain, perhaps your brave motives and courageous actions may influence those of lower ranks below you, and even those of same position, and maybe even my brother may be inspired. But if Zaheed were to praise you for anything, then I would say you were from the divine, for that is doing of the impossible. Yeah..."

Vinicius knew that Zaheed did not like Sholeh, even though it was him that started the wrestling match that got Vinicius to meet her in the first place. Zaheed hated Sholeh's stand against Vinicius, he saw it has rebellion, as treason, that she should no be rewarded, no but executed by a slow and painful death in example against all that side with defiance.

"But you shouldn't be looked as a weapon, no one should. I know that when I get a body count during aftermaths of battles, that it is not just a number, because it is a person. So many of our military leaders forget that, the thirst for blood has always ran rampant in this tribe. However, I never thought us perfect. But I also never thought us weak, either. And we won't be, not while I am king."




General Zaheed



As Bellistrad tossed his blue flames asunder to the General, Zaheed evoked a shield of infernos around him, protecting both himself and his horse, he fought fire with fire. Zaheed knew there was no defeat reckoned for him in this match against the exile, Zaheed preferred hungry fist over wagging tongues, he saw things better settle with violence rather than politics or talk, but he is not one to rush into battle, not if he has every ounce of belief inside that he was going to be the victor. No, Zaheed never just wanted to fight, he wanted to conquer, and to conquer successfully, you must be clever.

"If you want to kill me this bad, I must have slept with someone you like. Or your brother liked, which is worse. I would have rather gone to bed cold and alone!"

General Zaheed had to make his way to circle around Bellistrad, but he wanted to do it quietly, catching the young man off guard. Thus he stepped off from his horse, because he believed if he was going to do this right, the best thing would to have Bellistrad strangled in his grasp. But being practically silent is not quite realistic when equipped with his type of heavy armor, thus loud clunky noises sounded as he walked, Zaheed knew he needed a distracted, luckily Icarus, the raven, had flown and perched itself to its master's shoulder when seeing that he had arrived. Zaheed whispered to the bird to cause it great disturbance, and thus it listened and soared out and landed on the ground in front of Bellistrad, piercing loud and horrid screech through his sound barriers.

Though the bird sudden stopped, complete dead silence, but it had only ceased its screaming when Zaheed was finally behind Bellistrad, he pulled him into a choke hold, his blade against his neck, responding back to the taunt that was earlier made by Bellistrad, "Believe me you are doing the world a favor by returning to bed in solitude, just like Zotar." Zaheed dragged Bellistrad to a tree and pinned his body against the trunk, back facing him with his sword pressing against his back, if Bellistrad tried anything Zaheed could surely stab the blade through the boy. Zaheed's other hand held tight against his face, pushing his cheeks against the bark.

"I could kill you," Zaheed announce. "But that would be a waste of opportunity on my part. I still have some questions. Were you spying on me last night? Do tell the truth, I already have a headache from the screeching of my bird, I would have a bigger one due to your torturous screams if lies were to arise.."

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad kept his eye on Zaheed as he dismounted his horse and started towards him. While Bell had known the General since before he had achieved such a rank he had never been fond of him in the least. He was sure that a few of their past feelings would come out in this fight, feelings that Bellistrad wished to overcome and move on from as was the way of his beliefs. Emotional attachment to the past, or any attachment therefor, was only holding one's spirit back from it's true potential.

Bellistrad almost jumped however when a small raven stood in front of him making a loud ruckus. "Oh, so you are the one who sold me out eh? How nice of you to stop by." He had a profound respect for all living things and that included the raven despite it's part in Zaheed finding him. In an attempt to touch the bird Bellistrad gained a nasty peck to his finger followed by more noise.

"Well that wasn't nice, you..." Bellistrad's words were cut off by an arm around his throat and a sword at his back. All he could get out was a strangled chocking sound as he was pinned from behind by Zaheed. "Believe me you are doing the world a favor by returning to bed in solitude, just like Zotar." Being moved to the side of the road, Bell was thrust face first against a tree right beneath his pack which hung above their heads. Zaheed pressed the sword harder into his back as he spoke.

"I could kill you. But that would be a waste of opportunity on my part. I still have some questions. Were you spying on me last night? Do TELL THE TRUTH, I already have a headache from the screeching of my bird, I would have a bigger one due to your torturous screams if lies were to arise."

Bellistrad hadn't the slightest idea what he was talking about, until he remembered seeing Zianro as well on the road last night. It all came together, either Zianro was selling out the Water Tribe to Zaheed, which was less than likely. Or Zaheed was selling out his brother to Zianro,which was almost a perfect plan for Zaheed to cook up. Bellistrad sighed and leaked sarcasm into his voice.

"Well, you are just too smart for me, you caught me red handed...or blue handed in this case." Blue flames were surrounding Bellistrad's hands which were coming up from underneath to grab Zaheed's sword blade, clamping his fingers on either side of the flat edge so he did not get cut. Channeling all his energy into his fingers Bellistrad would melt his way through Zaheed's sword cutting it in half and turning a good portion of it to slag.

Whipping around Bellistrad drops the sword pieces he was holding and shook the extra slag off of his hands so he did not get burned when his energy left his hands. "That's better. But seriously, no I did not stay on the road long enough to hear whatever was said. I was tired and wanted to find rest in the Water tribe. So you can just back off old man!" Striking with punches at Zaheed, he sent balls of blue fire out at him in an attempt to drive him further away. A long range battle was more in Bellistrad's favor.

Continuing the assault behind the many balls of flame, Bellistrad did sweeping kicks through the air to send arc of thin blue fire in Zaheed's direction, making him have to work in order to not be hit and put him on the defensive.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa
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Sholeh Kanaka


"Yes, I'm joking, I'm totally joking, ha ha. No, being serious, I want you to be captain, perhaps your brave motives and courageous actions may influence those of lower ranks below you, and even those of same position, and maybe even my brother may be inspired. But if Zaheed were to praise you for anything, then I would say you were from the divine, for that is doing of the impossible. Yeah..."

Sholeh smirked. “Yeah, he's a real sweetheart isn't he? He's a little too serious for us to really get along.” Not that they had ever interacted much. There were too many stations in between them for her to ever get any direct orders from him. But she always got bad vibes from him, and she was one to trust her intuition. “But at least he's...dedicated,” said, struggling for a compliment.

"But you shouldn't be looked as a weapon, no one should. I know that when I get a body count during aftermaths of battles, that it is not just a number, because it is a person. So many of our military leaders forget that, the thirst for blood has always ran rampant in this tribe. However, I never thought us perfect. But I also never thought us weak, either. And we won't be, not while I am king."

“I think the tribe being weak is the last thing you have to worry about. The soldiers I know are passionate about protecting their home and their king, and they'll fight to death. Their loyalty runs deep, probably because they're young enough to remember only one king, and they had it pretty good under him. They're hopeful about you, too. I definitely like you so far.” She grinned. “You're a very good sport about...everything that happened.”

The fact that he was rewarding her for something most kings would execute for still baffled her. Not that she was going to start bringing up points on why he should execute her. She'd tempted fate numerous other times before, and they never ended well, so she wasn't going to do it now.

“And when you find your queen, we'll be loyal to her, too. That's why you're throwing the ball, right? To find a bride? You know, I've never been to ball before. In fact, I haven't been to many parties since I joined the army. No time for fun when you've got training to do.” No time for fun when you've got something to prove, either. Her family was particularly adamant about her not becoming a soldier. They were more serious about women not joining the army than most of her comrades. At least her fellow soldiers gave in once she proved she could fight. Her family is still steadfast against it.

“You're going to make all of some seamstress or tavern wench's dreams come true. Almost every little girl in the world has dreamed about some prince...well, king, in this case...sweeping them off their feet and carrying them off to live a life of grandeur.” Except her. She preferred her feet firmly on the ground. “You know, you made my dream come true, but I was the one who literally swept your feet out from under you.” She giggled a little from the memory.




Kala


“So…If we now do have some crops that we can refrain from… What will we get for doing so? You forgot to mention what your people will offer in exchange...”

'Idiot,' she heard Lnoli say in her head.

'I was getting to it,' she thought back at him.

She fought back the eager smile at the possibility that trade would go through, and instead kept her face neutral. “We brought an assortment of rugs, hides, and clothing. Rugs for decoration, clothing for...well, not running around naked. Now, hides are the most valuable, because you can turn the leather into furniture, more clothes, whatever strikes your fancy.”

On the ground, Lnoli yawned and jumped up onto a chair that was probably where she was supposed to sit. He sat up on it and gave her look that she knew to be smug. 'Being a merchant is not your calling. So much for being clever enough to sell flint to a fire triber.'

She sent a glare his way, then turned her attention back to Cailu. “And this could just the first step in establishing regular trade between our tribes. And with regular trade comes good relations, and potentially an alliance. I think if we come together, both of our tribes would be stronger for it.” Even as she said the words, she wondered how the Chief would take the proposal she offered them without consulting him first, but she decided to cross that bridge when she got there.

A thought suddenly occurred to her, and she smiled. “And I could offer my own services, as well. You see, I'm a shaman, so I know a few rituals that could...tip the balance. I can help get revenge on your enemies, help your sick get back on their feet. I even know a ritual that can help a woman choose the gender of their unborn child. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the rituals don't work one-hundred percent of the time, but I have a reputation in my tribe as someone who can get things done.”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Lord Vinicius


“I think the tribe being weak is the last thing you have to worry about. The soldiers I know are passionate about protecting their home and their king, and they'll fight to death. Their loyalty runs deep, probably because they're young enough to remember only one king, and they had it pretty good under him. They're hopeful about you, too. I definitely like you so far. You're a very good sport about...everything that happened.”

"Let the other tribes fear me, but not my own. No, how is a nation ever strong if they tremble, terrorized at their own leader, it can't. So, I didn't kill you, it was not right, executing someone for not retreating. Sure, some may say that you were disobeying orders, but is that not quite contradictory? You know, when first enlisted into the military, a vow is required in our code to never surrender, never retreat. You did that. King or not, you showed me you can stand up to anyone, the reason why I promoted you to captain."

“And when you find your queen, we'll be loyal to her, too. That's why you're throwing the ball, right? To find a bride? You know, I've never been to ball before. In fact, I haven't been to many parties since I joined the army. No time for fun when you've got training to do.

"Believe me it was my mother's choice," he smiled chuckling. "I'm like you, I guess picking training over partying, though I was a prince... Not too long ago... I did participate in my fair share of parties, but they were not necessarily balls, more like banquets in celebration of a birthday, or parties after our success in major battles. But not a ball. My mother in fact said, this gathering... will be a little different. Wild, I guess is the word, she wants it to be a surprise for me, but told me that Zaheed will inform me if she anything I need to know before then."

“You're going to make all of some seamstress or tavern wench's dreams come true. Almost every little girl in the world has dreamed about some prince...well, king, in this case...sweeping them off their feet and carrying them off to live a life of grandeur. You know, you made my dream come true, but I was the one who literally swept your feet out from under you.”

"Yeah..." He said quietly, looking down, leaning against the stone fencing again. "Honestly, if my mother gave me a choice I would call off the ball, I just never did anything like it before. But... Everyone knows about the king and his virginity!" Vinicius rose his voice, not much in fury however, but in irritation and annoyance. He wished he found the man who first gossiped to every citizen in Murtovaara of his purity. Sure he was not ashamed of it, but he is tired of being treated like a child for it, like to be a real man was to be chasing skirts all day. Every knows who blabs their mouth, telling everyone about that particular part about Vinicius, it was Zaheed, and yes Vinicius has been told it was him, but the Lord has always even before being a king, very naïve towards his brother, especially because the General wears such a perfect mask among Vinicius.

Vinicus sighed, "Unlike everyone else, I don't know what the rush is for. I just want to give it away to the right person, when I'm ready. I see it like this, my virginity is like a gift, and once I give up to just anyone, they have opened the gift. But what if they aren't the right person for me? I leave them, simple as it seems, but really no, because its not fair for my true soulmate to give them a gift already opened and tainted by someone else. No, if I truly do love them with all my being, then I want the best for them, thus I am going to wait. But that does not mean I judge a person if they are not a virgin like me, no, if I love them then why would I just them? I wouldn't."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


"Yeah...Honestly, if my mother gave me a choice I would call off the ball, I just never did anything like it before. But... Everyone knows about the king and his virginity! Unlike everyone else, I don't know what the rush is for. I just want to give it away to the right person, when I'm ready. I see it like this, my virginity is like a gift, and once I give up to just anyone, they have opened the gift. But what if they aren't the right person for me? I leave them, simple as it seems, but really no, because its not fair for my true soulmate to give them a gift already opened and tainted by someone else. No, if I truly do love them with all my being, then I want the best for them, thus I am going to wait. But that does not mean I judge a person if they are not a virgin like me, no, if I love them then why would I just them? I wouldn't."

“Well, I like the fact that you're the first guy I've ever met who didn't try to stick his hands down my pants,” she said, jokingly. Most of the culprits were guys who were just messing around and wouldn't seriously force her into anything, but the attention still bothered her. It had started right around the time she had learned to fight, so she could fend most of them off, but sometimes she worried about drawing the attention of someone she couldn't fight off. Not that she would ever admit that.

“I wouldn't worry about you not being a lascivious fiend. I admit that I'm not an expert on love, but I think most women would find it romantic.” She wasn't going to tell the king this, but she had never participated either. She had always seen it as her submitting to a man, which she would never do.

“And don't say you'd be tainted. The only way you'd be tainted is if you forced yourself on someone. You'd just be someone who thought they were with the right person, and it turned out you weren't. A real soulmate wouldn't care about who you had been with before. I think that once you were with the right person, it would be like your gift was being opened anew. Just my personal opinion of course. Though I suppose the point is moot.”

She looked out at the city again and realized how long they had been talking. She thought about her family and guilt seized her. “My family must be crazy with worry. Knowing them, they're preparing my funeral rites as we speak.” She turned to Vinicius. “As much as I would like to stay, I think I need to show them in person that my head is still attached to my body. Can I have permission to leave and stop a horde of overly dramatic mourners?”




Kala


"Uhm... Heal the sick you say... Is it true? We've been haunted by a plague this summer, many of our youngest and oldest has left us because of it... Could you help us with that? There is another thing... My cousin... She suffered from poisoning a while ago... A healer from the Earth tribe took the poison out from her but she's still sick... You did say you could get the sick ones back on their feet’s... She was with me when you came, it was the one who had a cane to lean on..."

Kala noticed the strange man glance at the wall a few times, but couldn't work out what that meant, so she ignored it. “I've had luck with ridding the body of poisons, but you say that the poison is no longer within her? Then the poison must have permanently damaged her body. I know a ritual that restore strength and stamina to a person's body. It's a sort of catch-all ritual that I do first when someone isn't feeling well, then if it doesn't work I move on to other rituals. It would be easier if I could bring her back to my tribe where all my supplies are, but I'm guessing that's not an option.”

Settling in for a long explanation, Kala picked up Lnoli and finally sat down in the chair. She crossed her legs and sat the fox down on her lap.

“Firstly, she's going to need to sit a sweat lodge, which I'm going to make a tent with hides and tree branches as tightly as I can so as little of the heat escapes as possible. I'm going to build a fire inside and let her sweat out any remaining toxins. I want her lying down so I can place my hands on her and pray to the Spirits to heal her. After that I want her to eat a salad everyday for five days containing evening primrose, maca, rhodiola, and schisandra. Eating these plants will help her regain her strength. On the six day, if she is not feeling even remotely better, then I will take further measures.”

She wondered how the chief would feel about her being away so long. She'd probably have to send a few warriors home to alleviate his fears.

“The problem is, I don't have any of these ingredients with me, so I will have to go look for them, or return to my tribe. Have you heard of any of them growing around here? The evening primrose looks like a yellow petunia, the maca is an ugly little root that almost resembles a rutabaga, the rhodiola looks like a yellow weed, and the schisandra are red berries.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


“As much as I would like to stay, I think I need to show them in person that my head is still attached to my body. Can I have permission to leave and stop a horde of overly dramatic mourners?”

"Um-- Yes, yes, sorry about wasting your time," he apologized that the conversation carried longer than usual. But talk was good for Vinicius, since the death of his father her has been wallowing in solitude and loneliness. One reason perhaps why he had forgotten how much time he was spending to speak to her may have been because he was enjoying another person's presence.

Speaking of the company of others, soon the night of the ball arrived, and the day before preparations were made. Not only for Lord Vinicius, but also the general made his own plans and successfully smuggled and delivered to Zianro the promised armor of the palace guards. Of course the general did not bring the goods himself, but instead hired a merchant boy, and by hired, he actually made death threats against his family, and Zaheed has the reputation to be the person you don't want to mess with. But in the end, when the young man finished the job Zaheed swipe a blade through the boy's back and threw corpse to a pack of wolves to which it appeared he had been attacked by the ways of nature. Zaheed knew he could not risk anyone knowing of his dealings, he was tempted to do the same to Bellistrad, kill him of some sort, but what convincing words could an exile hold? None.

Vinicius was now in his room where he prepared himself for the ball, he had already bathed in water anointed with the riches and finest perfumes, combed his hair- which he rarely does, and dressed himself in truly charming royal garments made of the wealthiest of fabrics. It was tight, not the most necessarily comfortable outfit he could of worn, but it was pleasing to the eye, attractive. Besides, balls are to be fancy, right?

Well, not this one, once the party spun into action it was full of life, laughter, excitement. But not full of clothing, no most of the women were loosely cladded, however covered with unique designs of war paint. Vinicius understood that the meaning of the ball was for the king to pick a woman, and by them exposing their bodies was to show the most attractive or also to reveal the stronger women, the ones with scars- a body says a lot about a person. But Vincius was not into that, and it was a bit nerving that his mother planned but he understood that in history kings have thrown these types of gatherings, she was only following tradition. But then it clicked to Vinicius, how could she had planned all of this, wasn't she too sick to do mostly anything. And she didn't she say that Zaheed would give him any further details.

"Baby brother!" Zaheed called as he was in the dinning room, where most of the partying happening, as he watched girls dance to the beat of the drums as he had his arm around another whispering flirts to her ear. Zaheed didn't even act like he was married, like he had a wife and children. He has tried his best to keep talk about him having affairs with other women secret, but now he didn't care if his wife left him anymore, in fact he wanted that, so it would only be him who ruled the throne. In the past he forced his wife to never leave him because he wanted the power over her, but now he didn't want to rule with her. He wasn't going kill her though, Zaheed was just going to finally give her the freedom. He was a disgusting despicable man, a snake. Zaheed stood up and walked to his brother with a tankard in his hand. "Ha! You look adorable, but terribly out of style tonight." Zaheed also blended with everyone else, no shirt, war paint. "Sorry for not informing you, but I have just been so busy with plans for tonight." Actually Zaheed more over planned the entire ball for his own taste and pleasures.

"Zaheed, I... um.. well... Wished that--" Vinicius started.

"Come one! You have to admit this is thrilling! Grab a drink and party!" And there was no doubt, even the soldiers partied. Zaheed handed the cup over to Vinicius to where he took it and sipped, until he spotted Sholeh. Vinicius gave the tankard back to his brother and approached Sholeh. He wanted to talk to her, because out of any girl in the ball he wanted to see her because meeting new people was always something that gave Vinicius anxiety, but because he has already met her, he thought he would not be as nervous.

"Kanaka, or should I say Captain Kanaka," Vinicius greeted her, but it was quite loud, Vinicius preferred his eardrums not be busted so he suggested, "How about we go to the garden? Its too loud in here."

Finally when they were in the garden, Vinicius smiled, he was in a better mood now outside, away from the crowds. You say he was comfortable. "Believe me, I didn't plan the gathering, or I wouldn't be so out of style. It was my brother. Besides, like I said, parties aren't my thing... But this isn't about me, well actually this all is made kind of, actually for me, not that I want it to be-- but what I'm trying to say, or more like ask. Is how have you been since the promotion? I'm glad that you said I made your dream come true. That's what I do, well I had to, you deserved it." Vinicius paused and then continued, "I know there's something special about you."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


Sholeh found Serafina outside as she left the palace. The older girl was bawling until she saw her sister, who embraced her in a tight hug.

“I thought you were dead!” she cried.

“Oh, come on,” Sholeh said, comfortably patting her sister on the back. “You know I wouldn't leave you here alone with the rest of our crazy family.”




The day of the ball came, and the sisters helped each other put their war paint on, dressed up in their skimpy outfits. Sholeh's outfit was slightly more conservative than Serafina's, who basically wore a bra and thong.

“Wouldn't it be less troublesome to just go naked?” Sholeh asked her sister.

Serafina smirked. “I'm advertising.” Sholeh just rolled her eyes. Serafina looked at the wound on her sister's belly and frowned. “Are you sure you want to keep that exposed? It could probably use one more day with a bandage.”

Sholeh scoffed. “Please. I've rubbed worse wounds with dirt. Let's go.”

The ball itself was wild and full of half-naked people. They had barely arrived when some guy scooped up Serafina took off running with her.

“Hey!” Sholeh protested.

“Sorry, Sister!” Serafina shouted, giggling.

Sholeh sighed and was about to go find someone else to party with when the king approached her. "Kanaka, or should I say Captain Kanaka. How about we go to the garden? Its too loud in here."

“Sure. My escort just deserted me, anyway,” she said, pointing in the direction her sister has just disappeared to.

She followed him to the gardens, and raised an eyebrow when she noticed how the king was dressed. “Someone's dressed awful comfortably. I think you forgot to forget something,” she said, tugging on his material for emphasis.

"Believe me, I didn't plan the gathering, or I wouldn't be so out of style. It was my brother. Besides, like I said, parties aren't my thing... But this isn't about me, well actually this all is made kind of, actually for me, not that I want it to be-- but what I'm trying to say, or more like ask. Is how have you been since the promotion? I'm glad that you said I made your dream come true. That's what I do, well I had to, you deserved it. I know there's something special about you."

She gave a small half-smile. “Well, I agree I'm one-of-a-kind. Usually its a bad thing, but sometimes its a good thing. Like getting this promotion. Which has been great! The other soldiers, and even regular people actually treat me with respect now.” Though sometimes she wonders if its just complete shock at having been promoted to such a high rank under the circumstances. The first day, some had to be convinced that it wasn't a prank. “Thank you. For this.”

She crossed her arms and furrowed her brow as a thought occurred to her. “I know you said you don't like parties, but...isn't the whole point of this ball is for you to mingle with the ladies and find a wife. Its going to hard to do that if you're here talking to me.”




Kala


“Uhm…You can take Ara with you. But I will send two guards with her so she don’t end up getting harmed. I hope that this will work, if she gets worse I will hold you responsible for it.”

Kala smiled. “I think that would best. Treating her in my natural environment would ensure the best results.”

'It sounds like we just received more cargo,' Lnoli said with a laugh.

Kala gently ran her fingers through the fox's black fur. 'And you will be nice. No biting.'

'Please. I only bite children with grabby fingers.'

“I assume that means we have a deal. You will give us the food in exchange for supplies and healing your cousin? I promise that I will personally ensure that everyone in the tribe treats her with the utmost respect a guests deserves.” She didn't know how she was going to accomplish that, but she figured she'd cross that bridge when she got to it.

'I think you overshot on that promise,' Lnoli said. 'She'll bothered to death by the curious half of the tribe, and completely ignored by the other half.'

'It'll be fine. We're not savages. Its not like she'll be in any danger.'

She looked back up at Cailu. “I was planning on spending the night camping with my warriors, but we can leave as soon as tomorrow. Or whenever its convenient for your cousin. I like seeing the world outside of Northpass, so I wouldn't mind a little delay if you need more time to prepare.” Originally she had planned on staying away from her tribe for longer than this, but she decided that after this business was done, she would travel around Imos on her own, without the warriors as babysitters the whole way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius



“Well, I agree I'm one-of-a-kind. Usually its a bad thing, but sometimes its a good thing. Like getting this promotion. Which has been great! The other soldiers, and even regular people actually treat me with respect now. Thank you. For this.”

Promotions, Vinicius was glad that Sholeh liked hers, sadly being king was not such a great promotion for him, knowing that the man that once took his place, his father, is dead. But Vinicius noticed what drove him away from the grief and mourning of the lost was helping others, and Sholeh has shown him that. The way she rejoiced with joy, it made Vinicius want to help others, really to the point that he forgot about the whole you-killed-my-father-now-I'm-going-to-kill-you thing.

“I know you said you don't like parties, but...isn't the whole point of this ball is for you to mingle with the ladies and find a wife. Its going to hard to do that if you're here talking to me.”

Vinicius gave a nervous chuckle, "Actually, I never really talked to a girl. Well, I'm talking to you now, but your about the only person outside of my family. Well, I have spoken to other females like maids, cooks, noble women, but not young girls, well, around my age. Its just that, when my father was still alive, I was a little boy, always my father's shadow. But he never seemed disappointed that I didn't grow up and become a man. I wonder if he ever was though, but just didn't tell me." Vinicius looked down gloomily but shook his head, "But I'm going to do my best not to be angry or sad tonight, I think too much about his murder, it must make me seem moody and emotional. I'm going to have to do better at hiding that, because don't women want strong charming men, not a man on the impulse of his feelings. I don't know, I'm afraid if I approach any lady that I will faint out of anxiety." Vinicius gazed into Sholeh's hazel eyes, "But you, your not like the other girls. I feel... comfortable. Even though when we first met you put me exactly out of my comfort zone. Its probably because you have a love for this nation as do I. And I believe it is the ones fighting for this tribe that love it the most. No matter what happens to me I will always have the heart of a soldier, even when I wear ancient bracers and a flashy crown.

Oh and besides, I think this ball was really for Zaheed because he planned it due to the fact that my mother is--," Vinicius stopped, he remembered that he had not yet spoken to her, he wanted to check up on Ivana before the ball. "Listen, I will be back, I just have to go check up on the queen. I'll be back though." Vinicius was always a family man, loved every single family member, but that love could be seen as a weakness when he is too blind to believe the evil behind his older brother. Vinicius turned walk away from Sholeh, but once the darkness he felt a bag fall over his face, he tried blazing fire from his palm but he felt water gush into his hand, pouring like a waterfall, Vinicius immediately suspected water bender. But eventually he could not suspect anything when unconscious. And he could not possible fight back and be victorious with no sight, dying powers, and striking pain directed to the head.

But Vinicius awoke, but not in a pleasant destination nor position. His wrist and arms were stretched up as they were cuffed with a chain attached to the ceiling. And his ankles shackled to the ground. However Vinicius could not even melt the metal of the shackles, the cuffs were surrounded by ice. So the lord was thinking fast and decided to blow fire from his throat and through his mouth to melt the ice, but as he did a bucket from the ceiling was pulled by some lever to drop water against him. No, Vinicius knew not only was he completely stuck, but completely vulnerable. He no longer had his fancy ball garments, no he was stripped down to nothing but a loin cloth, however what angered him the most was that he didn't have his bracers, for generations kings have worn those ancient arm bracers, his father wore those.

Vinicius was furious he could only give a fierce roar.




General Zaheed



It had been quite awhile since Zaheed had seen the lord, well the use-to-be lord. But it was not like Zaheed was looking for his brother, he knew exactly where Vinicius was, a special little place, the exact place Zaheed wanted him to be in. But oh, all of this was part of his selfish power-hungry plan, because luckily Vinicius was last seen was Sholeh Kanaka, which made things like blaming someone, easy for Zaheed. He had already sent the front palace guards, the real one, out to search for Vinicius, but gone, but like he wanted. "I know exactly who did this!" Zaheed announced as he stormed to Sholeh.

When finding the woman he clutched her wrist, dragged her to the throne room, another place consumed with crowds, and threw her to the ground, his sword unleashed. "Lord Vinicius is missing all thanks to this bitch! Yes, he was last seen with her!" Every soul in the palace either turned around or gathered to the room to witness the situation as soon as they heard Zaheed loud and booming voice. Palace guards pushed through the people to surround Sholeh. "First my father killed, now my brother kidnapped! I suspect she's a spy working with those who murdered our great King Zarfu! It all makes sense, you're soldier and you must of been informed about our troops' encampment and spread news to the spies, to have my father killed! She is the reason for his death and perhaps soon she will be responsible for Vinicius's death!"

The crowd was shock, angry and indignant towards Sholeh, but you couldn't blame them Zaheed was putting on a good show. But this show may cost Sholeh's life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


"But you, your not like the other girls. I feel... comfortable. Even though when we first met you put me exactly out of my comfort zone. Its probably because you have a love for this nation as do I. And I believe it is the ones fighting for this tribe that love it the most. No matter what happens to me I will always have the heart of a soldier, even when I wear ancient bracers and a flashy crown.”

Sholeh smiled. “Well, I feel pretty comfortable with you, too. You're not as intimating as I thought you'd be.”

”Oh and besides, I think this ball was really for Zaheed because he planned it due to the fact that my mother is--Listen, I will be back, I just have to go check up on the queen. I'll be back though."

“It's fine. I completely understand,” she said, truthfully. If her own mother was sick, she'd be going crazy with worry, too.

After he left, she took a few steps and leaned against a statue, almost knocking it down when she was startled by a voice. “What are you doing?” The voice was distinctly Serafina's.

Sholeh righted herself, and shot her sister a glare. “Don't sneak up in me like that. And what do you mean what am I doing? Aren't you supposed to be consorting with your male harem?”

Serafina walked over to her with an amused expression on her face. “I needed a break. And I meant what are you doing always spending alone time with the king?”

Sholeh rolled her eyes. “I'd hardly call twice 'always', Miss Drama. And I know where your dirty mind is going, but don't even think about it.”

Her sister opened her mouth to say more, when they were interrupted by Kieran. He ran over to them with a look of panic on his face. “The king is missing!”

Sholeh just stared at him with a look of disbelief. “That's impossible! I was talking to him not too long ago.”

“Well-,” Kieran started, but was interrupted when General Zaheed barreled through, and dragged Sholeh by the wrist.

“What are you doing?” she demanded as he pulled her into the crowded throne room. He threw her to the ground and unsheathed his sword.

"Lord Vinicius is missing all thanks to this bitch! Yes, he was last seen with her!"

Sholeh was struck speechless by the horrible accusation. She barely noticed the guards surrounding her.

"First my father killed, now my brother kidnapped! I suspect she's a spy working with those who murdered our great King Zarfu! It all makes sense, you're soldier and you must of been informed about our troops' encampment and spread news to the spies, to have my father killed! She is the reason for his death and perhaps soon she will be responsible for Vinicius's death!"

Finally finding her voice, she pleaded, “No, it wasn't me! I have no reason to do any of that! I am completely loyal to the fire tribe, my home is everything to me!”




Kala


“Oh, we do have some empty rooms in here and I could probably ask our local tavern if they could lend you the rooms they offer as well, you don’t need to set camp outside. You’ve shown that you are here as friends and not foes so you are more than welcome to explore Airedale and what we have to offer. When you want to dine just say that you are visitors of Ara and myself, you don’t have to worry about paying for anything. It’s the least we can do when you show such hospitality as taking Ara with you and treating her.”

“My thanks,” Kala said, rising from the chair and putting Lnoli back on her shoulders. “With your permission, I'll take my leave to tell my tribesmen the good news about our accomplished mission. And about our new traveling companion.” She gave a respectful nod to him as she passed.

When she came upon her fellow tribesmen, she opened her arms wide and grinned. “Mission accomplished! We're getting the supplies!”

“They're trading with us?” one asked excitedly.

“Yes!” Kala said. “And we're taking the leader's cousin back with us and healing her!”

There was silence for a few moments, then one said, “We have to drag along an invalid with us?”

Kala glared at him. “No, we're taking the daughter of the former leader with us. And we will all be as welcoming as we can possibly be, or risk making an enemy out of the air tribe.”

There was still some grumbling, but Kala ignored it. “And we can stay in the village and eat their food.”

“No thanks, we're staying right here,” one of the warriors said.

Kala's jaw dropped in shock. “Why? You're going to be rude if you turn down their hospitality.”

The same warrior continued speaking. “If all ten of us go in that village, we'll cause a ruckus. You go ahead. We'll stay out here and sleep on the ground like we're used to doing.”

Frustrated, Kala sighed and walked back to the village alone. This time several of the villagers seemed to accept her presence, so she got a few nods as she passed by them. She even waved to a young child, who smiled shyly in return.

When she got to the building that she assumed was the tavern, she went inside and addressed the woman who looked like she was running the place. “Do you have a room available?”

The woman looked at her for a few moments, then said. “I take it your our new visitor?”

Kala smiled widely. “How'd you guess?”

“I took a wild stab in the dark.” She glanced at Lnoli perched on Kala's shoulders. “Is that animal going to be in the room, too?”

Kala patted the fox on the head. “He'll be a perfect gentleman.”

The setting changes from Imos to Lakeshore

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"There is no need for your yells, no one will hear you from where we are, Vinicius, or can I still call you Zotar?" Came a voice in the shadows as Zianro slowly emerged from it. "You know who I am, and by consequence where you are and how you got here. But if you're willing to hear me out I can explain the one question remaining out of the four, Why. Why, why is such a complicated word. Whys are existent everywhere, like why did our forefathers come to Imos if to escape persecution alone. Why do our four sides argue, and so on. But we are focusing on why you are here."

Zianro pushed himself from the wall and looked at Vinicius with sorry eyes. "The answer I will speak is the truth no matter how hard you deny it. If you refuse to listen then so be it, but it will make your stay a lot more uncomfortable." He stated calmly. "Someone within your family wanted what you had, and now lost. Someone with hungry ambition, he came to me with promises of leaving me alone if I did this favor for him."

Zianro kept a straight face. "But what I didn't expect, according to my spies, was that he would fly off the handle immediately and blame that red headed vixen. Who knows what he'll do to her-ah ah ah. Watch your temper or another load of water will drench you." He sighed. "If you want what is yours back, you need only ask and we will conspire to rid of our mutual problem, and hopefully achieve a peace between us. So what do you say...Zotar? Will your stay be comfortable, or uncomfortable? Either way doesn't matter to me as I will have what I want in the end. Now make a choice." He took several steps backwards to listen to his reply.

The setting changes from Lakeshore to Imos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


"Shut up! You have no proof! But I do. Not only were you last seen with him, but on his coronation you stubbornly assaulted him even when he refused to fight back. If you didn't want to hurt him you would have listened to that order. But no, now my brother- my blood is missing because of you! But, I will not be so mercifully to end you with a quick death, vengeance must be acquired, and anyone knows revenge is always served cold. And 'cold' will be taken literally to you, a liar and traitor!

Unable to say a word because her throat was being constricted, Sholeh could only make a gurgling sound for her protests. The horror that was happening to her caused her brain to shut and she had a hard time thinking straight. This type of terror was new to her, even when she thought she was going to be executed, she experienced more of a numb fear. Finally, the general flung her to the floor.

“Bind her, with chains against the wrist and ankles upside down, only allowing her desperate moments right side up to prevent death. If she tries escaping, report to me immediately."

Sholeh could do nothing as she was put to chains and dragged away from the palace. Her mind went completely blank, and she went into a daze as they walked. She went into a little bit of denial, and insisted in her mind that this couldn't possibly be happening, that this was just a nightmare and she would soon wake up in the barracks like every other morning. But she never woke up, and they arrived at their destination.

In front of her stood a great frozen lake, with faint lights twinkling in the distance, probably a village or city. She knew immediately where she was. Lakeshore, enemy territory. Her heart jumped in her chest when she realized she was being exiled, to the enemy, no less, who would most likely kill her on sight. She was unchained by the guards, and they roughly pushed her forward onto the ice.

When she was told to cross the frozen lake, and realizing she was outnumbered, she said nothing, just gave a defiant glare. She squared her shoulders, then strode onto the lake as if she had the slightest confidence. In reality, she had none. Since the water tribe was her enemy, she had always carried a fear of it, and had never learned to swim. Which meant that if she fell through the ice, she was a goner.

She stepped very carefully as she walked across the lake, making sure to distribute her weight evenly with each step and looking out for thin ice. The wind was so harsh that it almost threw her off balance a few times, but the low temperature of it barely registered with her, as she was naturally very hot-blooded, and did not get cold easily. The hanging beads from her ball outfit banging against her body like she was being whipped, however, drove her insane, and almost ripped them off several times.

Finally, after what felt like the longest, hardest walk in her life, she could see the edge. Immensely relieved, she picked up her pace so it would be over with faster, when she felt her foot go through the ice, and was underwater to her ankle. She screamed and tried to pull her foot out, but only managed to trip. When she fell down, the impact broke more of the ice, and she went completely underwater.

Sholeh struggled, and tried to kick her to get to the opening, but she just seemed to go deeper and deeper. After a short amount of time, she felt her vision blurring, and soon everything went black. The last thing she was aware of before she passed out was strong hands gripping her arms.




Kala


Kala spent the whole rest of the day outdoors exploring the village and talking to the people. Many of them were interested in her culture, especially about the animals. They were very interested in Lnoli as they had never encountered such an intelligent animal. A few of the children expressed their desire to have one too, which caused a discussion among them over what their spirit animal would be. At dinner time at the inn, there was even a small crowd that wanted to listen to more stories from the foreigner. When it was time for her to go to bed, she tried to sleep in the soft bed, but she was so uncomfortable that she eventually laid down on the floor like she was used to doing, and went to sleep. Lnoli didn't seem to mind, however, as he slept through the whole night curled up on the bed.

When morning came, she was up bright and early like every day, and happily ate breakfast before running out to where the warriors were camped, and she helped them deliver the hides, rugs, and clothing to the village. Well, not physically help, more like directed them on exactly what to do and how to do it. She sighed as she lead the warriors through the village. Looking around, she knew that she would soon be leaving her small piece of independence from the tribe behind.

'Don't be sad,' Lnoli, who in a rare moment was actually by himself beside her. 'After you deliver the woman back here, you can just keep going.'

Kala perked up a little bit at that. 'Yes,' she said back to him. 'Maybe the Spirits will favor her and she will get well soon.'

She went looking for Cailu and when she found him, she said, “We brought the supplies. Just direct my tribesmen on where to put them, and tell them where the food supplies are so they can pack them up. After that, we're ready when your cousin is. Also, they made a sling out of wood and leaves for her to use for her own comfort. The warriors will have no issue carrying her throughout the journey.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius



And finally, in the midst of Vinicius's cries, he heard a voice, "There is no need for your yells, no one will hear you from where we are, Vinicius, or can I still call you Zotar?" Vinicius lifted his head up to lay his eyes on Zianro Azura, the king of the water tribe, or formally known as, The Wandering River Dragon. As soon as Vinicius recognized the face, he felt his heart sink to the floor, the regret to be blinded, only focusing on the earth tribe, crushed Vinicius. All he wanted was to make his father proud, and over his own older brother, Zarfu chose Vinicius, and he never wished to shrink from that duty nor be in the hands of his enemies due to the failure. However now, that is exactly what has happened.

"You know who I am, and by consequence where you are and how you got here. But if you're willing to hear me out I can explain the one question remaining out of the four, Why. Why, why is such a complicated word. Whys are existent everywhere, like why did our forefathers come to Imos if to escape persecution alone. Why do our four sides argue, and so on. But we are focusing on why you are here."

Zianro was right, why was a significant word, and even further as Zianro also said, why Vinicius is here. Yes Vinicius was eager to have that question answered, but he was not desperate enough to break, well at least not yet. One reason that Vinicius could perhaps purpose of why he remains a prisoner to the water king, is an obvious one, Vinicius was blind-sided, he should of been more aware of the water tribe. But no, instead Vinicius feared what happened was that he concreted on the earth tribe, and was fixed on acting against them after the ball.

"The answer I will speak is the truth no matter how hard you deny it. If you refuse to listen then so be it, but it will make your stay a lot more uncomfortable. Someone within your family wanted what you had, and now lost. Someone with hungry ambition, he came to me with promises of leaving me alone if I did this favor for him."

So, it was clear who Zianro meant by the someone, and it was not Vinicius's younger brother, no, it was definitely Zaheed. But did Vinicius believe him for one moment, no, not a bit. Vinicius always entrusted his family, his own people over logic, or common sense for that matter. Vinicius was annoyed by hearing this come from Zianro, he would be passionately furious if he was in better state of mind, not being shackled with chains and branded with ice against wrists and ankles. This weak, it would take a lot more to truly kindle this inferno in the cold blizzard.

"But what I didn't expect, according to my spies, was that he would fly off the handle immediately and blame that red headed vixen. Who knows what he'll do to her-" Was it believable that Zaheed would accuse Sholeh for his absence, yes, but Vinicius would not be mad at his brother if he found out that was true, because he expected Zaheed not to know any better. But now was he tipping over the level of being annoyed to anger, yes. He would clench his fist at this moment but with the ice around his wrists, he lost feeling in his hands, as if when he first woke up seeing the blocks of ice he felt the sensation of his hands being sawed off his arms, thus one reason why he cried in a roar. So instead, Vinicius frowned with his teeth showing, giving an ugly scowl. "-ah ah ah. Watch your temper or another load of water will drench you." Every time he felt the down pour of the icy cold water, the closest visual of what Vinicius felt was electrocution threading through his spine leading out through the rest of the parts through his body with piercing thorns hooking into the flesh.

"If you want what is yours back, you need only ask and we will conspire to rid of our mutual problem, and hopefully achieve a peace between us. So what do you say...Zotar? Will your stay be comfortable," Vinicius closed his eyes, he imagined light, he loved the light, fire gave that light, it had a glow of warmth against it. The darkness was cold cruel, something he feared would sacrifice his sanity if he remained it, his mentality poured down the drain the way the water from the buckets clashed against his skin. He could have that light if he cooperated with his enemy. "or uncomfortable?" Vinicius opened his eyes and turned his head up to stare at the large buckets that over filled with water, he could quiver now just imagining the excruciating pain if he were to refuse the offer.

"Either way doesn't matter to me as I will have what I want in the end. Now make a choice."

Vinicius directed his head to the ground, turned away from Zianro as he was thinking. What if he did cooperate with Zianro, maybe he would shortly let Vinicius after then, Vinicius would be able to see his mother, but what son could he be, what worth is it for him to ever come to her, having the nerve to show his face when in the end he surrendered himself to his enemies.

So finally, not even giving Zianro any eye contact, and ignoring his question, Vinicius decided to ask his own question, "Are you the reason why my father is dead?"




General Zaheed



Zaheed approached the frozen lake with Sholeh in captivity, bound with chains, when they reached their destination Sholeh was released from her cage, where Zaheed gripped her arm, roughly towing her to the frozen body of water, he kept a dagger to her neck, just in case she had any thought to fight back. "This time you will die, and Zotar is no longer here to proclaim it a joke, all thanks to you." Zaheed, lowered the dagger, in order to throw her to the lake, "Have a nice dip, captain!"

Then the walk began, she tried keeping tings slow and steady at first, Zaheed could tell, he studied her every moment, watching closely with intent and full attention. But soon she decided to pick up her pace, causing a foot to be swallowed by the ice, thus the same happening to the foot, until she sunk deep into the water. The lake had eaten her alive. Zaheed could not help but smiled, because at that moment he could already feel the metal of the throne as he had dreamt years and years of sitting on it. And that girl, Sholeh, gave him the belief and reassurance that she sealed his future as king.

Zaheed climbed onto Shadow, where he held the reins of the horse saying to his men, "Coronation begins immediately."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"So, the uncomfortable route then? Ah, alright then, but I believe seastone chains will be more fitting on you, as that ice must be a bit too much, feel any fingers?" Zianro asked before smirking. "A few days of reflection on the past few days for you will be interesting. Oh, and one more thing, I might turn you into a temporary slave if you continue that screaming. Well, ta. I will let you know if your red head survived your brother." The Wandering River Dragon smiled before sauntering out of Vinicius's cell.

Thoughts crept in his mind, if he could find the red headed woman, she would be useful for leverage on the deposed Fire Lord, or in Zianro's mind the more reasonable of the two brothers. He kept having a funny feeling if Zianro left Zaheed alone with his plans with the earth tribe, the moment he'd be done he'd focus on him again.

"I'll need to plan accordingly...."

---

Na'ari listened to the bright haired woman silently, rubbing his neck slightly sheepish of admitting his fear. "It makes me wonder if there's a heaven." Na'ari said softly. "It's where I think my birth parents are. They died in a raid long ago." He smiled ruefully as she apologized.

"Don't apologize, it's just old scars of my childhood." He said as he directed the men carrying the corpse down into the basement, only for one full minute later have the men walk back up without it with pale faces.

"Well it isn't the palace morgue, so of course it's going to look messy you sissies! Now go get a drink I'll join you later." The Right Hand ordered the men as they walked off. "Well, I'm sure my Lord Zianro would love to hear from you after his awkward call to his duties. It's been a pleasure meeting you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir
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"Seize any suspicious characters, in case this 'serpent' epidemic is nothing more then a murderer on the loose. If it is, I want those responsible not only in chains, but with legs and arms broken. If it is a foreigner's then I will be even more angred. Oh, and wear your shin guards." Zianro said to some of the guards who walked out immediately to inform the soldiers. He had heard of what had happened, and he had to send for the healers to try and save lives before it was too late.

"You damned fool!" He said to himself. "If it is the work of the other tribes what can I do?! I had offered them love and peace, and one of them dares reward it with murder in the night, to wipe us out?! Wait..." Zianro stopped his ranting and half realized several things as he stormed towards the dungeons. He knew he had to see one man and one man alone for suspicions like this.

Upon reaching Vinicius's cell he simply used his own set of keys to unlock the door and walk in, slamming the door on his way in. He looked at an ice cold bucket of water and used his magic to wake up the prisoner. "Wake up Zotar. We are going to talk, more like I'm going to talk and you answer me when I'm done." Zianro stated as he sat on his bucket. "Something is out in my city this very night attacking my citizens. If I find this is a ploy of some kind by some loyalists of yours to try and rescue you and challenge Zaheed I will be very mad. Because I want to help you, really I do. But your hatred for other tribes has got to stop first and realize Imos needs all tribes. Otherwise, I cannot speak for your freedom. I could even make you a slave with a new name. Or I could torture you again and again."

Zianro then smiled a most chilling smile, a smile that also matched the dragon part of his title. "He banished the girl you know. The one you were with. To my lands of all places. Looks like the new King, yes King not Lord, wants all loose ends tied. If Zaheed has his way everything that our forefathers envisioned for us will fade away like moths in a flame."

---

Na'ari was riding through the Water lands in silent patrol, seeking out the Exile his lord was telling him about. Though, he was unsure of where to start, or how to find her. Long had he pondered on how to find her or whom to turn to. He knew of one other exile who was actually a friendly type of person, so maybe it wasn't a bad idea to find and pay him a visit if he was in town.

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


A slap of water whipped against the cheeks of the prisoner, Vinicius awoke, shivering, shaking. And though when he awoke trapped, he awoke tremble, always. Because inside he was filled with fire, the only flames left to burn danced wildly in his heart, but they were just flames, no longer an inferno, for the pride has been knocked right out of his lungs as each second passed confined, as each drip slipped against flesh was like a electric pulse drilled in, though rendering him powerless.

"Wake up Zotar. We are going to talk, more like I'm going to talk and you answer me when I'm done."

Vinicius was not in the mood for any type of communication with Zianro, well more like he doubt he had full mental capability, for his physical being had taken a toil, no food, no heat for the once praised fire lord. But was he insane, well, it depended who you were asking. But the only type of insanity he was filled with was one turned to violence, blood, vengeance. And yes, did he before want vengeance? Yes, of course, what boy would not wish to avenge the murder of his beloved father, especially if that boy clearly witness the slaughter? But now, things were personal, more personal than they have ever been. Sure Vinicius has always hated the water tribe, really any tribe that is not his, but that was just the fire tribe as a people. Its like once they are torn for the womb they are drilled with a slogan of, We are the best, and damn everyone else. But that was because the fire tribe has not only been known to be a people of pride, but one of anger, and those two traits can spur war, war then forging hate. But now, was far beyond war, Vinicius experienced something else, this right here, this was utter torture. So if possible, Vinicius was far beyond hate.

"Something is out in my city this very night attacking my citizens. If I find this is a ploy of some kind by some loyalists of yours to try and rescue you and challenge Zaheed I will be very mad. Because I want to help you, really I do."

If Vinicius could he would of tightened his fist, tense his muscles, as if he was ready to fight, though no matter what his mind wanted his body was far too weak, too deprived. And though the ice had melt, Vinicius could no longer feel his hands nor feet, they had gone completely numb. But Vinicius had an issue with Zianro's last sentence, it was a sickening lie to Vinicius that had only twisted even further the thorns of his revulsion.

"Otherwise, I cannot speak for your freedom. I could even make you a slave with a new name. Or I could torture you again and again."

And one day, people, even his friends, if Vinicius ever escapes, will wonder what happened to Vinicius. Why all the hate, violence, and bloodlust? It was because of moments like this, that uprooted something ugly inside of him. And when he believed there was no possible way to become any more bitter, Zianro then spoke these words, "He banished the girl you know. The one you were with. To my lands of all places. Looks like the new King, yes King not Lord, wants all loose ends tied. If Zaheed has his way everything that our forefathers envisioned for us will fade away like moths in a flame."

Even if Zaheed did all of that, if he did capture Sholeh and exile her, Vinicius still did not paint his big brother as the bad guy, but Vinicius sympathize him, for Vinicius claims he would do the same thing, find blame to fill the sadness, but Vinicius choses not to believe the whole story, the bigger picture.

"Zianro, there will never be an us between you and me, and if us concerns you and your people, I hope they enjoy the heat."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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'Reap what you sow,' Reshar thought to himself as he looked at the dead body of Borz Hilk. A skilled warrior to be sure, those were always tricky to catch off guard, especially in situations like this when one's guard is naturally high. Reshar removed the dart from the dead man's neck. It was a more visible than he would have liked but there was something he could do about that. He chanted softly and made a cosmetic affect and simply healed the skin over the wound while leaving the poison inside the body.

The man before Reshar had single handedly be the cause of several deaths from the Earth tribe. Nobody Reshar was close to, but he wasn't really close to anyone. He hid the body in some bushes nearby and caused it to over grow to conceal the body a little easier.

'This person is rather thorough,' Reshar thought as he couldn't help but admire someone that would still consider the killer being an actual person. Reshar considered the need to kill someone this skilled, but remembering the list, knew that orders were absolute. If the name wasn't there, then their life was extended a little longer. Death was simply part of the cycle. Reshar was just one that sped that cycle up for certain individuals.

'Now to wrap this up and head to the land of the Air tribe.' Reshar thought as he began to plan his escape. Should he slip into the crowd or simply disappear into the woods. The last target was a young woman. She had noble blood and her name was well known. With this the quota will be complete. An influential merchant, a famous warrior, and soon a noble born. The message will be clear that no one is safe and shall serve as a way of keeping the countries in check. Though personally the collection isn't the same without a Royalty dead as well, but apparently the Warden doesn't wish to escalate things too far too fast.

Reshar watched the scared young woman moved with her guards and they were quite skillful.
'This was going to be a little annoying,' he thought to himself.

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Zianro's smile silently fell. "To think I believed you to be a man of respect. Your father chose the wrong man to groom then it seems. I wanted to share my dream of a balanced Imos with you, but it seems you are as blind as both your father and Zaheed." He rose from his seat in his statement. "Maybe I'll keep you here longer until revelation hits you over the head to increase your vision. Maybe I'll enslave you. But rest assured, until I have what I know is needed for the entire continent, you will never escape my sight. I will plague your mind like a gnat. We are so alike. Stubborn, isolated, longing for the touch of a woman. But I think that's where the similarities end."

Zianro turned to leave. "I'll give you updates on your family whenever I hear of it. Until then, make yourself comfortable." Zianro sighed as he walked out of his cell and back to his palace. All the while he was sure that whatever was currently going on in lakeshore is causing pandemonium. He whistled for the captain of the city guard.

"Search for anyone not of the Town, or tribe. If he or she is the elusive Serpent, arrest him. If they resists arrest...bring me their head." Zianro instructed as he sat on his throne, brooding.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Zianro smiled that his subjects were accepting their positions. It made himself all the more comfortable. He then saw a guard walk in and whisper several things to him. "Thank you. Well, as much I don't like to cut visits from company short, I have an appointment to get going to. We shall talk more later, but Eden, enjoy your new position." He stated it with a smile and walked off towards the dungeons again. He knew he had an appointment to fill. Destiny's.

He arrived back at Vinicius's cell and walked in feeling merry as he used the handle of his blades to rattle the bars. "Wakey wakey Zotar, I have news for you." He stated as he leaned at a good distance. "I'm happy to announce I found your lost girl, but sadly she's been stuck in a sleep like death. But when she awakes, I doubt a cold cell is what she awaits to see. I imagine, she'd see, a much more pleasant cell, with furniture, a cozy bed... And you, I imagine. So let's get down to real business Lord Vinicius. I won't treat the redhead badly, if you agree to listen what I have to say for the good of both our tribes, and of course, families and loved ones."

His smile simply grew wider, but inside he felt more like a mastermind behind a large scale scheme, which was probably true. "So what is it going to be Zotar? Will it be a deal? Yes, or no?"

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


At this point of time Zotar looked dead, he felt like death itself. How long has Zotar been Zianro's prisoner? He had no idea. Ideas... He felt like he could no longer think either, like he no longer had the strength enough so to even conceive a single thought. So when Zianro came in, believe it or not, Zotar was already awake, for the biting hunger that struck seeds of pains deep into his stomach that allow not for him to find any rest, any retreat from the reality of this chains, of the truth that he was trapped and no matter how much he wanted to see freedom or feel the heat of the sun. Zotar was truly weak, so much so he could not muster the able to admit so.

When Zianro did speak, when he mention having captivity of Sholeh, Zotar did not have enough focus to comprehend a single world that fled from his lips. And even from little understanding that Zotar had left he was confused, it was like he had even forgotten her, considering the past weeks he had been only concentrated on one thing and that was survival. Even in his face Zotar looked broken, well going much further than brokenness, as said before Zotar looked dead. But he was breathing, shallow breaths as his body attacked him with nerve signals begging for better treatment, from an escape of the abuse given, though he could only do nothing, nothing at all, for no longer could he hang on the thought of hope when he could not bear an utter thought without bounded in fits of struggling.

And as for Zotar's expression, it was no longer the menacing glare he so often gave to Zianro, his face resembled that of the undead, like a moribund zombie- already dead, but dying again. That is the feeling Zotar felt in his last days of having a closely decent amount of focus and sense of himself. Like he first experienced death at his own ball, when a bag was placed on his face and all he saw and felt was darkness. And when he woke up he was in hell, but in this world of torment there were no flames, nothing but the bitter cold and the loneliness to swim through his veins that molded into ice. That feeling of dying, that was the worst, just begging and begging and begging so desperately inside his head that death would finally be met, that the battle would finally be over, at this low point no longer caring who one or lost, as long as it would finally end.

Zotar said nothing, not because he was purposely ignoring Zianro, but because he couldn't not only because he was unable to understand him, but because even if Zotar attempted to choke even a sound from his lungs, his body swung pains to his stomach if fashion of a scourge. Zotar's frail state could be clearly seen through the look of his physical state. When Zotar first was incarcerated, he had the body of any king trained from since a young age to become a worthy enough warrior to rule thousands of lives home to a war-driven nation. So anyone could imagine Zotar built his body as muscular and strong as humanly possible. But in a course of weakness of abuse done to the body Zotar's muscles faded as the frame of his skeleton began to settle in.

The setting changes from Imos to Lakeshore

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Goodness me you haven't been fed in awhile. Maybe some food is what you'll need to get a coherent response from you." Zianro stated as he left the cell again and ordered his guards to make sure plenty of food was given to his prisoner. It would not do him good if Zotar wasn't alive and healthy to take on Zaheed if he decided to leave his company,with the girl.

---

Na'ari walked into the bar, since he had returned to townhe had found that there was a tense chill in the air. He didn't know what to think of it. So he ordered a drink and watched the area, wondering if something was going to turn up. It did in the form of Eden DeSoleh entering, beaming at first and then he began to order drinks. It seemed he endured some loss then gain in his productive life. His eyebrows twitched as he heard him mention Zianro and then his sister.

The conversation he was having seemed to be turning away from what he wanted so he listened in. He felt his hand twitched at how drunk that Eden was at saying his assumption of Eirene. Had he not been Eirene's brother, Na'ari would've killed him, but that would stain him as the Lord's Right Hand. But he had a feeling that wasn't the only reason his hand twitched. No. Na'ari felt there was another individual in the bar, one who might be dangerous...foreign even. His mind went on the alert.

The setting changes from Lakeshore to Imos

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius


"Goodness me you haven't been fed in awhile. Maybe some food is what you'll need to get a coherent response from you."

Yet again, Zotar could not understand Zianro again, due to his unhealthy state. However, he watched as the water king exited the room to allow guards to come in and for Zotar's chains to be let down. Once the chains were down Zotar fell weakly to the ground against his face. The chain that upheld his arms to the ceiling was removed from his shackles, but the shackles itself remained. Zotar did not move though, it was almost like he had forgotten how to, for so long he was kept in one position, well unless you count the so few times he was permitted to relieve himself.

He felt a rod poked at his boney back, struggling to, Zotar lifted his head to make eye contact with the poker, this poker being of course a water tribe guard, who pointed the rod to a rusty metal bowl of rice. Food, there it was, right there. All he had to do now was crawl, and for a man in health like Zotar, that was asking a lot. It was amazing how weak the strong could become if you strip them, take their food, deprive them of any warmth, forbid the sun to shine against their face, and most importantly mangle their minds hard enough they prove to lack any slight definition of hope.

But Zotar crawled, and though none of the guards beat him to eat, his stomach did, it was piercing thorns, ordering Zotar to eat the food, and eat the food now. This was perhaps the lowest moment in Zotar's life, to crawl at the feet of his enemies and to feast hungrily at bowl as if he was a lower than a street hound. Zotar did not taste the food, he ate it to fast to even notice that, but if there was one thing Zotar was aware of, the food was cold.

And when he ate the rice, it was like first step to becoming him again, whether him was Vinicius or Zotar, he was starting to feel alive again. But that was starting, he was not near close there yet, there was still so much he lacked. Like most importantly, he lacked heat, he knew he was still dying even with the food, any man can freeze to death. Maybe the fools did not know that, or perhaps they feared even with the littlest heat Zotar was given to survive, he would somehow be able to use it against him. Because after Zotar finished devouring the rice, they hung him up again in his usual position. Sure now Zotar could at least try thinking without his stomach constantly biting at him, but yet trying can only go so far.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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General King Zaheed


King Zaheed stared intently at his hand, as he had been doing to many parts of his body over the course of the last few weeks because things have turned to abnormalities. Muscles that surged down the whole right arm had enlarged and swelled up five times the regular size. The same as went for his hand with fingernails ascending out like a short sword blade from the long menacing fingers. Yet on his left, his arm remained the same. And as for his torso, it grew at an unhuman state of volume as his back formed him to hunch over with the spine poking through flesh. He had also morphed taller, his legs heightening as if he were a giant, but he looked more than that of one, instead, he looked like a monster.

Zaheed was the clear example of what happens when a man hungers for more. He care not for balance, all he desired was to devour. After he was heated and saved by Deborah when he misused his powers, he felt that he revealed to his mage a weakness in himself. That day Zaheed told himself never again, because now he was ready to show all of Imos who he truly was. For once, he was going to stop the games and strip off his mask.

Zaheed discovered something in his time of finding powers of a god, as he were absorbing heat, he started to sense another essence deep inside a vessel body, he found power, the magic all of Imos bear. So he did what anyone would expect Zaheed to do, he robbed them of their gifts, leaving victims powerless. Though he would not be able to bend other elements, he would be able to feast upon the very extract of magic. Their magic energy would course through his veins, making him stronger and more deadly, yet the question Zaheed lacks to be concerned about is, how much more power can he absorb before his body refuses to take anymore. Are there limits to his madness?

Zaheed heard something fall behind his causing a great disturbance to him, thus he turned around to have seen his raven friend, Icarus. The bird had flown in such a hurry he lost his stability, but it was for Icarus had urgent news.

“Zaheed! Zaheed!” he squawked, a noise only Zaheed could understand, and only was it Icarus permitted to call on the King by just his first name. “I-Its about Bellistrad!”

“What did he do, run away?” Zaheed questioned, stepping closer to Icarus, to which then the bird backed up, noticing what Zaheed had become. But instead of asking questions about Zaheed’s body, Icarus decided to stay relevant.

“Much more than that, I’ve been spying on him just as you ordered, and Bellistrad seeks to free your brother… And he got the air tribe involved.”
There was a pause, Icarus was afraid what may happen next. But Zaheed only laughed. “So the boy wishes to help out little brother. I doubt he be successful, but perhaps it would have been better that I had killed him. Yes, that is what I should of done.” Zaheed snatched the bird by its neck. “I will have you know I commanded he find the shape shifting tribe for you!”

“Zaheed, I know! I know! You wished to find some way to undue the curse, so you hoped on finding the ones who form animals, perhaps to find a way to break the spell. You wanted me as a man once again, I know. Could you comprehend how dearly I covet my old life?”

Zaheed held the bird up higher, tightening his grip. “My friend, your words portray you as a weakling. I shall make the weak strong!"

“W-what are you doing!” Icarus squirmed as he felt something surge through his soul, he felt something he had not felt in years- magic. Zaheed transferred his magic to the body of the bird once man. And as this power grew inside of Icarus, so did his physical being. The black wings swoop out in large stature, as his beak sprouted through greater lengths in a point. Icarus looked as twisted as Zaheed, yet Zaheed saw Icarus as a worthy opponent against his enemies and a pleasant and menacing sight to be displayed against his bulging shoulder.

“I will stain Imos with my existence! So you said Bellistrad wants to free Zotar? Heh, well I better let baby brother know what it means to truly be in control. We attack the earth tribe at nightfall! Zotar will blindly love me for it.”

Just as Zaheed had ordered it, soldiers surrounded around the earth tribe at nightfall, though in secret. Archers were prepared and ready to fire their flaming arrows against the tribe dominantly surrounded and constructed of trees. Since Zaheed had been king, the military of the fire tribe has advance, though even when he was a general, the fire tribe had always been known for its great stance military wise. But Zaheed has drafted all boys of the tribe of age seven, the amount of training without rest has proven to be brutal but effective, but yet his men were ready as they will ever be.

Zaheed stood slightly in front of his men, though he wore not armor, for his body had emerged too large to fit any longer. Besides, his body was not the only thing growing bigger, it was also his pride, his belief that his body had sunk image to that of a god, thus no longer did he need things of mortals, such as armor or even weapons. Instead Zaheed wore a pair of trousers and a deep dark crimson cloak with its hood lurking over his black locks. Against his shoulder perched his grisly pet bird.

Zaheed brought Deborah along with him, he wanted to show to her his greatness, that he was not weak and what vision he promised when he first met her was coming true. “Are you prepared to witness reality molded by my hands, Deborah?” He looked down at her, for his height reached above all others. It was a surprise to everyone else of what creature Zaheed had turned into. “Experience it, be immersed in my eminence, all of Imos will be.” Zaheed suddenly with great force sung his arm up signaling for the archers to fire, and then it started. A wave of flames soared against the great black sky, reaching for Shadow in a fiery fiendish embrace. And when the first arrow struck into the bark of the tree village, all hell fell upon the nation as it burst into flames.

“Slay those who decline their salvation, and deliver it to those who surrender through their capture as slaves!” Zaheed commanded his men as the arrows flew over them. “Today I shall deliver the children of fire into warriors strung to the call of glory!” As soon as the arrows fell onto ground, infantry fled Shadowfen, and Icarus jumped off of his master’s shoulder and launched into the night to screech battle cries, to intensify the earth tribe’s fear. Zaheed also entered seeking the head of the leader, with power and pride blinding his eyes. He wanted to be worshiped, but above that, he wanted to be feared, so much so, he spared a few so that they may cry to the other nations in message of the horror Zaheed has wrecked upon them and that he will not stop here.

“Ah… I never sought out fire so beautiful, not until it was forged in my name,” He spoke to Deborah. Zaheed stood before the Shadowfen’s grand tree which held the leader’s home, but now burned in an inferno. It was the aftermath of the battle, the earth tribe was destroyed, though not extinct, no Zaheed surely would put his new slaves to work in an army against the rest of the tribes of Imos. “I wonder what nation I will burst into flames next, perhaps the air tribe, yes.” He acted so causal when it came to destroying tribes, because he did not see it as destruction, he saw it as a game of conquering. “Will the fire tribe praise for joy, their god has arrived? No, not just this tribe, but all of Imos will see my godhood. Yes, I put death to the old myths of divinities by pronouncing it illegal. How does that sound, Deborah? The lawbreakers be beaten into submission of my worship.”

He saw himself as a god, and would force others to as well, but little did he know, or more like, accept the many flaws that hindered him. Such as flaws in his physical body- unbalanced, heavy, and in will of recklessness, and no one mustn't forget the flaws in that sinister mind of his for there was no strategy only a hunger for pride and power.




Lord Vinicius



There he stood, wrist stretched and bounded by chains as they were from day one. He was being fed, but only to the very subsistence in order to keep him as Zianro toy, or so Zotar felt. Another cruel joke Zotar witness Zianro play was the candle. Whether or not Zotar was a fire bender, he was a human, and all people need some type of heat to forbid them from death. So Zianro's men put a candle inches away from Zotar's reach so that he could have only poor ounces of the warm, but also enough to mock him, enough to give him a false sense of hope.

But Zotar did keep in thought, how much longer does he have to live, before Zianro gets bored? He was surprised he has been able to survive this far, but when does the day that ends his misery- when does that day come? Will it ever come? It was as if the thoughts Zotar did conceive were either concerns and worries mixed in with confusion and questions. He knew he was never going to surrender, Zotar was too stubborn for that, even in his weakest moments, he was not going to surrender to Zianro. Instead, he hungered for an escape as he did from the first second he was imprisoned, but now, he had only believed that escape would come out of death. And he would take it if he could.

Though it was not until this moment that forced a change of mind. Something came over Zotar, no it was like he came over it. Zotar felt his veins be filled and his body consume an energy so long ago he had felt. It was heat, real heat, no mockery, no tease, no joke, this was real. But did Zotar believe that at first, that he was feeling something more than grief, that he was alive? Of course not, it was unimaginable. So, as soon as he felt the first thread of heat, he told himself it was a dream. Sure he will go along with it, but he trusted he would wake up to suffering all over again.

Zotar felt the heat in his veins, but he concentrated all the power to the shackles latched to his wrist. And by that, he was able to demolish the metal by melting it. And as soon as the cuffs were off, Zotar felt the wrist, he rubbed his finger on the bone, for the shackles hugged on so tightly, the skin and flesh were crushed beneath the metal. Zotar stepped to the candle, he stomped his foot against the wax, feeling the flame burn into his heel, and he loved every second of it. He dipped his fingers into the hot wax, toying with it, but though he told himself again, it was only a dream.

Zotar looked to corner of his eyes, a light, like footsteps. Maybe the dream was trying to tell him something, so he followed it. He pressed his hands against the wooden door meant to lock him in, but he burned through it, to chase the light. Zotar knew he had to hurry, he did not know how much time he had left before guards smell the smoke from the door.

The light let him through tunnels and out of the dungeon. He was on the surface, but that had not yet hit reality to him, still in thought this was a dream. Zotar was also not observant of his surroundings, other than not be caught, for he was not sticking around to admire anything, instead his mind focused on the light. Even when he made to Zianro's palace, he did not try to bring up such a thought, to him, that would be insane, freedom does not just show up one day, or does it?

The light let him to a person, this was when Zotar started to believe this was real. He stepped closer to what appeared to be a blue haired young man. All Zotar's eyes were stationed on was him, for the light follow this one person and no one else. Zotar doubted the stranger would recognize Zotar, for the once strong healthy lord, now closely resembled a skeleton with a thin mask of skin. Zotar's hair grew longer, so did his beard, and because of the stress and worry, he looked slightly older. There was one part about him however that could identify him as a former ruler of the fire tribe, it was the brand marks from the day he wore the traditional arm guards of lords generations before.

However, as soon as Zotar stepped close enough to the man, Zotar touched his shoulder. He wanted to know if this person was real, or was it just a hallucination? If he was not dreaming because a dream would not possible go on this long and make a bit of sense, then Zotar questioned if he was delusional. But as soon as Zotar laid his fingers on a stranger, feeling that this was a real person. A person that was not Zianro or one of his heartless guardsmen, someone that was not going to hurt him.

Zotar immediately then wrapped his arms tightly around the man, never wanting to let go, determined to never be alone again and to never let solitude bite against spine and into his mind. It was an embrace that expressed the amount of desolation Zotar were strangled and suffocated with. Sure the face was familiar, he did not know who this was, he did not know this was Bellistrad Indorial the exile he wished arrested, nor did care. An abundance of emotion flooded Zotar, it was something he could not let dwell inside, so Zotar wept in joy with his head buried deeply inside of Bellistrad's shoulder. Zotar was known to be a man who acted on emotion, but not like this. He never cried in public, even when his father died, he knew he had to be strong for his people, especially when he found out he was going to be lord.

But now nothing else mattered to him right now, but this moment, that he was actually in contact with someone. He ached for many things he lost when trapped inside of his cell, one of those things being utterly the ability to know you are not alone. He felt the heat of another soul, and it was enough to bring him to tears and his voice into sobbing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

When Bellistrad had first confirmed that the soul his spirit had found was indeed Zotar, he had identified him by the strong amount of damage to the souls wrists and forearms in a specific size and shape equivulent to the Fire Tribe's traditional royal bracers. Bell had let Zotar drain some of his own energy and heat so he could regain his strength. Unknown to Bellistrad until after Zotar had freed himself, the now free Firebender's third eye had been awakened during the energy transfer. Bell took advantage of this and spread light from his spirit as he made his way out of the dungeons to lead Zotar to his body.

He had re-entered his physical form and opened his eyes, staring at Zotar with a disappointment so profound it was like he was judging the man's soul. Bellistrad remained sitting and showed his annoyance with Zianro through his eyes, accusing for blatantly lying to him about something so important over an emotion as primal as pride with only a look. The torches around the room were fueled by Bellistrad's emotions and they all became blue in color as they burned through the torches faster than before. Bell got his emotions under control before speaking.

"You have lied to me Zianro, and I can no longer trust your judgement. But I will be taking Zotar as soon as he arrives of his own accord. If you dare try and stop us than we shall truly see who is the greater legend, the Wandering Water Dragon or the Sapphire Lion! But... I understand why you did what you did. I am sorry to say that now is not the time to correct you, for war is close on the horizon if not already on our doorstep."

At that moment Zotar shuffled into the room led there by Bellistad's energy. Bell had not been able to see Zotar's physical body before and only now saw how much Zianro had let him go during captivity. What shocked Bellistrad most was the embrace and tears that he received from his past enemy. The ordeal must have taken a larger toll than Bell first thought. Returning the embrace to Zotar and giving him more energy to settle his nerves, Bell reached for his torn up cloak and wrapped it around the once proud royal prince to hide his weakness and give him at least a shred of dignity.

"It is alright now Zotar. I will keep the cold away from you. Until you are ready." Bell kept an eye on Zianro to judge his reaction and what he would do next, but was interrupted by a strong nauseating feeling coming from the west. He felt death, heat, and the horror war. Something had stirred in the west, and it was more violent than even the bloodshed between the Fire and Water tribes. It was nearing time for Zotar to face his destiny, and there was only one thing between Zotar and that fate. His will to learn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"Uhh..." What was this? Zaheed rose his eyebrow in concern, something was odd. It seemed Deborah was afraid? No, a woman like her looks and acts as if she could fear nothing. Even before times in the castle when Zaheed clutched her neck, she did not seem scared at that moment, instead only irritated or threatened. But now, now, she was behaving much differently. "It... sounds magnificent.... King." Did she truly think so? Or was she just agreeing to save herself. Zaheed sensed the same type of comportment as he did with his men. Was it how he looked? Yes, that had been the reason, wasn't it. Zaheed wanted Deborah to respect him for his strength, did he want her to be terrified of him. He could not say yes to that.

"Is there anything... I can do? Or... something."

"Ah...," Zaheed stepping closer to Deborah, approaching her face to face, with only a couple of inches away for distance. "Now you are trying to avoid me. You want to leave my presence. If it was anybody else, I would not have much a problem with it. But was it not you, that led me and my body to this state? You told me to find myself, to rediscover my powers. And now... now you are scared? You out of all people."

Zaheed was not mad, it was what he wanted, people to fear him, make his subjects shudder at the sight of him. But he did not ever consider Deborah as one of those people to do so. "Thus, what, what now? Are you going to glow your shining ball and threaten to blind me?" Being feared, totally feared, it was not what Zaheed wanted after all. Because even as a young boy he wanted praise from his father, that what he wanted from Deborah. He in a way, like this father, he wanted Deborah to praise him. All others of the world, could shake in terror, but Deborah, he now targeted her as the unit he sought to please.

"Why aren't you happy? Don't you hate the world and people because of your past being raise in the slums? Years of being seen as low as dust, being spit on as if you were nothing? Shouldn't you of all people be happy when we burn it? When we give the world a piece of who we are. We have power to do whatever we want..." Zaheed paused. "Wait, that's right, I have not shared my ability. Do you want me to..." Zaheed was talking about transferring his power to her, just as he did to his bird.


Lord Vinicius


Zotar's thin body, or what was left of it, was shielded by a cloak given by Bellistrad. But still, it was a mystery to him who this man was, though also Zotar did not care. For after being locked away for who knows how long, Zotar was not going to be picky about his rescuer. He however, perceive thought of what was going to happen next, no instead, he treasured this moment, Bell's presence. But the best part of all this, was that it was real, not some dream as he once considered. Because yes, Zotar in the past, has had dreams that only felt like a mockery. Dreams of escaping, being back in the tribe, or even dreams with a world where his father never died. In such deep misery, it had gotten to the point, what in his life before imprisonment he would consider good dreams, had too become a nightmare. Because those good dreams felt only there to express and emphasis the horrors of his present life.

"It is alright now Zotar. I will keep the cold away from you. Until you are ready."

Looking up to the man, confused and in question, Zotar asked in a low quiet voice, this being the first time he has talked to someone and it not being Zianro in weeks, perhaps even a month. "R-ready? Ready for what?" That was when it all clicked, "Wait, why am I here... anyways? Where is here?" Zotar back away from Bellistrad to now observe his surroundings, but that was when the anger that had once been strip from him returned, and it was an eruption of fury.

Because as soon as he looked Zianro in he face, he felt his insides boil, and every muscle he did have, flexed in tenseness. Everything Zianro did to Zotar swarmed his mind, he wanted vengeance. "Zianro..." teeth were gritted as Zotar spoke, but he was not going to go by Zotar any longer. "You took everything away from me!" His veins started to brighten, with the brand marks glowing the most radiant. "My family, my hope, my spirit, even my own name!"

Like it being natural to him, perhaps maybe because it was, Vinicius angled his hands where the right was over the left with space in between for the forging and conjuring of a ball of fire. As it grew, Vinicius spoke in all bitterness and rage, "Before I hated the water tribe because of traditions, histories. Almost like I was born to. But now, now its personal. And I will make you remember that when I am kicking your ashes about until my foot breaks." Vinicius did not care that he was much weaker than Zianro, well, perhaps weaker than anybody in the whole nation he was captive by. But Vinicius was crazy and ridden with enough rage, he was willing to die trying to kill Zianro.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska Character Portrait:
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"You think to kill me by endangering your own life Vinicius?" Zianro asked as he simply chuckled and summoned a wall of water to extinguish the flame. "I did not lie, yet I did not tell the whole truth. You see before you Zotar. Not Lord Vinicius of the Fire Tribe. A man who's hatred has caused for his brother to usurp his power Bellistrad. Take him and leave, for in the end, no matter how hard you try, you will never uncloud his eyes from his hate, and hope for true peace on all Imos." Zianro stated as he sat on his throne again, bitter at being exposed as part of the General now King's sinister plans for Imos.

---

Na'ari felt someone, something take him and begin to mend his wounds. His conciousness was elsewhere in his mind as he began to experience a harsh dream, he heard the screams of thousands of people as he saw a great tree burning before his eyes. He saw people burning, people running from their homes in terror from the flame. He felt his worst fears. Death had come.

His eyes snapped open and gasped as he sat up, panting. "The Fire tribe! What have they done? What has Zianro done?!" he thought fervently as he thought he then saw someone next to him as he backed up a bit in slight fear. "Who are you, and where am I? What happened? How long was I out?!" The usually silent Former Right hand of Zianro questioned rapidly as he looked around, seeing he was still on the road to Airedale. Then why did his visions make him see Shadowfen in flames?

But if that vision proves true, what major tribe city is next? He had to warn the leaders of Airedale and possibly help defend the city from the perpetrators of Shadowfen's possible destruction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell immediately jumped at Zotar as he began to threaten Zianro. He got in between Zianro and Zotar as the fireball was released, and though it missed Bellistrad, Zianro was able to stop it. Bell listened to Zianro and shook his head in disapproval of the water king. The man had dug his own trench with those words, closing off as many doors as he opened. Bell turned his back on Zianro and put his hand on Zotar's shoulder to turn him away as well and started to lead him out of the room. "Zianro, I am sorry you would be so caulous as to deny that this is possible. Where is the hopeful young leader I once knew? I pray that before this is all over I get to see him again." With that Bell ushered Zotar out of the palace of the water tribe and stopped short as he realized there was a platoon of water benders outside the palace doors, or what was left of them, examining the damage with dropped jaws.

Bell had almost forgotten that he had blown apart the entire front of the palace in order to gain entrance to see Zianro in the first place. As the soldiers stood in awe of the utter destruction, Bell walked Zotar down past them and they all let them pass by moving out of their way. They were either too scared of Bellistrad to dare make a move against him, or too confused to question his presence. As they neared the village gates, Bell found his horse in the nearest open stable and set Zotar on it with some difficulty. Bell took the reigns and started walking down the road now leaving the villages.

"Well now, I suppose we should find a place to rest and get you healed both physically and spiritually. We wont have much time until this all spills over and you need to be prepared." At that exact moment a strong wave of emotional disparity comes over Bellistrad. His horse is in as much distress as he is in that moment, as a flood of terror pain and death rolls over him. Turning to the side, Bellistrad pukes on the edge of the road and expels a groan afterwards. He had never felt anything like it before, and it could only mean one thing.

The war had escalated and an entire culture was now reduced to little more than dust and memory. "Correction, we have no time."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


Zaheed was mocked, and by the first words that came out of her mouth with that mockery now turned the monster that Zaheed could be against her. She had pride, enough that Zaheed believed that she could not admit that she was working for him. As if she could not stand being under him. Was she trying to rise above him? The way she carried herself, that was how Zaheed decreed it.

As she talked, as she glowed, there was changes Zaheed made also. Because though she glowed, not particularly an ugly thing, in fact beautiful perhaps, yet when Zaheed tensed, a grotesque image he unleashed. Something he had not done before, for he had not felt so infuriated before, no until this moment. Every muscle, even the ones that irrationally poked out and about flexed, bulging, with every vein amongst his flesh jolted from the skin. His back hunch, face darted down to the ground as he clenched his fist. Something about Zaheed was not normal at that moment, well, nothing he had done was normal, but now that abnormal creature was ready to attack, not because he had a delusional vision to make a god of himself, but because Deborah had awaken the rage from inside him. And Zaheed, unlike his brothers and father, did not get mad so easily, he often bottled the anger inside, thus created him what he is today. But he was now ready to unleash it all.

With his left hand, he back hand slapped her, the though that was not the hand being unnaturally large and massive. Yet it was enough force to bring her to the ground. "To be formal, you were my magical adviser! It was what you were hired for! So don't act like you were my prisoner! Don't act like you did not have purpose, like I made you worthless! I listened to your advice and instruction! And you know well enough, I don't do that for everyone. In fact, I confess to worshipping you! I wanted your favor, it was why I always showed you my progress, so you would be pleased with me!"

After she had been knocked to the ground Zaheed jumped on her legs, feeling the bones of them crack out of place. "So, no Deborah, you didn't play the fool, I did!" And then by that moment, he witnessed a powerful flash of light. He had never seen something so bright, yet when it was over he saw nothing but darkness.

"What did you do to me!" Zaheed roared randomly punching where he felt her torso and targeted it. He jammed fists into her stomach with each blow getting harder and harder, ribs shattered. "What did you do!"




Lord Vinicius



Even after Zianro had extinguish Vinicius's ball of fire, he still wanted to fight, and not just the water lord. Vinicius wanted to rip apart every member he saw apart of the tribe. He doubted he could even trust the man who supposedly rescued him. Because by the sound of it, this man was once friends with Zianro. Yet he could not attack, after trying to conjure that fire before, he felt dizzy. His body was not probably well enough to start busting flames out yet, not after it had been deprived of so much. When they exited the palace, Vinicius felt blinded by the sunlight, he had no choice but to weakly squint his eyes. Thus he could barely see the rubble of the palace and what it took for Bellistrad to free him.

Well now, I suppose we should find a place to rest and get you healed both physically and spiritually. We wont have much time until this all spills over and you need to be prepared." On the horse, Vinicius was confused. He did not know what to believe, yet his mind started to go to one place, one idea- slaved. Sure, it did not feel like a slave deal, but Vinicius did not feel free. This random man comes to get him and tells him he needs to be prepared. Prepared for what? But one question only led to others, like How long was I gone? What has happened since I was gone? What is going to happen now?

"Correction, we have no time."

"Wait," Vinicius finally spoke up. "Who are you? And what do you want from me? I get the feeling you did not free you. You want me to do something, what is it?" Everyone was feeling something, everyone but Vinicius. Was it their powers, that told them of the violence among the earth tribe? Because if that was so, it gave reason why Vinicius felt nothing for his powers where in the same state as that of a young adolescent first learning to do something amazing with his fire. So Zianro really did damage him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska
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Bellistrad Indorial

After Bell had recovered from him emptying his stomach on the side of the road he stood back up straight and listened to Zotar's questions. It was then he realized that in his haste to get Zotar out of Lakeshore he hadn't explained anything to the battered man. He must have tons of questions more, so Bell grabbed the reigns and continued walking with the horse as he talked. "Well, let me start at the beginning. I don't know if you have realized this already, but Zaheed is now King of the Fire Tribe. He made a deal with Zianro to kidnap you so he could gain the power of kingship. Zianro also has another female fire exile, who I assume you know since they wanted to use her to get to you. Right now Zaheed is probably attacking the Earth Tribe, and I fear the worst for them."

As he walked along with the horse he suddenly felt extremely exhausted, but he kept walking even though the last twenty four hours had been some of his hardest pressed in a long time. "You have been a prisoner for almost the last month, if my memory does not deceive me. Maybe six weeks, not entirely sure since I only figured it out sometime after it happened. Anyway, I need to prepare you so you can defeat Zaheed and take back the throne. No pressure, eh?" Bell lets out a soft laugh to soften the mood as he goes down the path, before he suddenly realizes something important.

"Ah crap, I forgot to ask Zianro about the Fire King bracers. Ah well, we can always come back and ask about them. We will need to get that female exile after Zaheed is defeated anyway."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


When Zaheed heard the sounds of crying from Deborah, he stopped, for the king did not want her dead. Thus, he slowly got off of her, not quite sure where he was position, but in the end he was on ground and on his feet. Soon approached him were soldiers that had been also blinded due to their closeness of the fight. They were confused, they asked Zaheed questions, but he was not in the mood to answer them.

"Shut up!" he hollered to the troops, thus dispatching silence among them. Though not for long because Zaheed then whistled for his friend. "Icarus!" Zaheed called his name, most people thought Zaheed crazy when he spoke to the bird, yet the creature always obeyed him, so he were not see much of lunatic for that reason. "Sound for the others."

"As you wish," the bird responded, though everyone else could only hear chirping. Icarus then soared up high to the red sky to then screech wildly, therefore bringing other soldier, though these ones being able to see. After Zaheed left, Shadowfen was reduced to nothing more but ashes, though the king did not just walk away from his new conquered land. Instead, slave camps were settled. There they would deal the slaves, but also train others to become forced warriors for the king.

Back in Murtovaara, Zaheed had Deborah locked away in a dark room constructed inside of the dungeon. She was shackled to the ground while lying also there on the ground. She remained still broken, for Zaheed would of course not bring her to healers and physicians, not after what happened back in Shadowfen.

He entered the room, a place only filled and immersed with darkness and nothing put. Even if Zaheed had his sight, he would not be able to see his hand in front of his face, not inside a room like such. But that was the type of setting he wanted Deborah trapped inside, he specifically commanded his men to do so. Because how frightening would it already be to be trapped inside, shackled against the floor with a man bloodthirsty like Zaheed, but now it was dark.

"I dismantled you...," Zaheed hung his words eerily in the air. His heavy foot steps were sounded and could even be felt through the floor pacing around her in circles. "Dismantled, it is word people use when they break things. But I don't see you as a thing. Because I don't get mad at things. But people... that's a different story..."

Zaheed stomped his foot, the one not abnormally large, against her body. He then shifted it to her neck when he felt it, putting all his pressuring there, bringing her to close ties of death by choking. "You mocked me! You blinded me!" Zaheed removed his foot to then replace it with his hand. And showing just as strong Zaheed was he pull her up from the ground, breaking the chains that kept her there, and threw her against the stone wall. "You could of left! Yet you thought me weak didn't you! Do you find me weak now?!" Zaheed's grasp was still on her neck, yet he was not strangling her as hard this time. "My eyes may not be of use, but I still see. I see what I feel! And I feel power, the energy of magic that courses through your veins. In the midst of darkness, I see a vessel of power."



Lord Vinicius


"Well, let me start at the beginning. I don't know if you have realized this already, but Zaheed is now King of the Fire Tribe." When Vinicius heard this, it was no surprise, of course Zaheed would take the throne once empty. In fact, Vinicius was happy for his brother that he had been crowned, yet Vinicius had no knowledge of the violence and warfare Zaheed and wrought while using the fire tribe people as his instruments of destruction. Vinicius only had none how much Zaheed yearned to be king one day, even when he acted like he was fine when discovering his younger brother was entitled instead.

"He made a deal with Zianro to kidnap you so he could gain the power of kingship. Zianro also has another female fire exile, who I assume you know since they wanted to use her to get to you. Right now Zaheed is probably attacking the Earth Tribe, and I fear the worst for them."

That was when Vinicius felt the instinct to be defensive, because he did not know why he should trust a stranger. Sure, the stranger may have led him out of the dungeon, but why? Perhaps it was a test, but only a test to see whether or not Vinicius was an able enough slave. And when the man made such claims against Zaheed, Vinicius felt hurt, that was his brother. He trusted Zaheed even though there was a rivalry between them. Throughout the first few days after their father's death, Zaheed was so positive and encouraging. To Vinicius, it all felt genuine, but Zaheed was always a good actor. Maybe he would of been one if not born unto a royal family, with eyes since childhood, set on a throne, on power. The man continued, he spoke of a female, however Vinicius had no idea who he was talking about. Vinicius knew no female exiles, so what, or more like, who was this man talking about? Vinicius was confused.

"You have been a prisoner for almost the last month, if my memory does not deceive me. Maybe six weeks, not entirely sure since I only figured it out sometime after it happened. Anyway, I need to prepare you so you can defeat Zaheed and take back the throne. No pressure, eh?"

Vinicius furrowed his brow, no, he was not going to be used, especially if that meant fighting his own brother for a complete stranger. So he did not let the man finish, he ceased him after that by saying, "Hold on-- stop, stop." Vinicius turned his body and dropped himself to the ground. "You accuse my brother of dealing with Zianro! Even if my brother wished to betray me, it would not be with an ignoramus like him. Putting charges like that against my own family does not settle well with me, especially when you want me to fight him. You did not even answer my question, who are you?"

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell stopped when Zotar got off his horse, and he turned to face him to listen to what he had to say. He was getting a little tired of people not believing him about Zaheed, but he guessed he should have expected it from Zotar since he was family with the now rouge king. Sighing, Bell walked the horse over to the side of the road and tied him off on a tree branch to let him graze in the grass and rumbled in his pack for something."I understand that you have to defend your family, but you will understand in time that he is not the same as before. I am actually surprised that you have not recognized me yet, but it has been many years. Would it help to say that I am a fire exile as well?"

Bellistrad brought out his blue crystal hookah and sat cross legged with it, loaded some marijuana into the top and sparked a blue flame on the tip of his finger. He lit the herbs and inhaled through the tube then blew out a cloud of smoke. "Bellistrad Indorial, at your service once again. Would you like a puff? There is a second tube here." As he sat there and smoked he hoped his low position would make Zotar more at ease, he was used to being in a position of power and he needed that feeling again after so long. He contemplated on the best way to get Zotar on the wagon with his idea, so to speak. It would be a task to itself, and he feared the only way to do it would be dangerous and hardy.

"If you do not believe me about Zaheed, why don't we just go to Shadowfen and see what is there for ourselves? If there are no threats by Zaheed there than I am wrong and you can go on your merry way, live your life as you see fit to on your own. That brings up a good question, what did you have in mind on doing once you got free of Lakeshore? I hope it was something constructive."

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"Yes, you seem so much weaker now than you did before. I respected you, now? No, not at all."

"I to be the one weak?" Zaheed questioned, moving her from off the wall to now lifting her above ground. "You need light to see, you are blind in the dark, whereas I walk in. Let us see who is weak." Zaheed slung her down to the cold stone floor. "Stand, if you are strong. Prove that I am the weak one." Zaheed scoffed. "Oh that is right, you cannot see in the dark. Let me brighten up the room. Have a taste of my light..."

Zaheed surrounded the room with a wall of fire, it was one of his signature moves. The flames brought about light, yet he was not doing that to help Deborah, but so she could see herself lying on the ground unable to climb to her feet with legs broken. "Do you feel that heat, that fire. Oh, wait, you don't like that do you? Being shown your inabilities. Sure you cast a ball of light, blind me, but I can burn you." Zaheed approached Debora closer. "Yet, I rather not. You said I was weak? Why don't you get up and fight me then? Oh... that's right, I dismantled you."

Zaheed was done with his rage, now he was just being bitter, though he did not hate Deborah, because by her blinding him he actually felt stronger. Because no longer did he only sense magic energy, he saw it, blurs full of colors. Blurs being bodies, color being their element. He could see it from rooms ahead if he wanted to. But the sad thing was they weren't people, they were power.

"So, either you could just lie there struggling, or I can fix you. You don't the sound of that, don't you, Deborah? But what choice do you have? Either way you are still going to feel weak. Its your choice, but if you lay there, I will absorb your energy, it might even kill you, but I will be stronger." Zaheed continued to pace in circles around her. "I don't why you came here, but I will say this, your power, it is unique and with training it might prove to be useful. Killing you would be wasting it." Zaheed was done trying to gain approval. "Oh, what is this? Are you feeling used? We could of left on good terms. You did this, you asked for it."




Lord Vinicius


Bellistrad Indorial, Vinicius now remembered that his brother was actually after this guy. So, Bellistrad does seem like the person that would make false claims against Zaheed. Now, he was doubting he should stay with Bell, and thought perhaps the best idea may just to start running now while he was on the ground with his smoking contrapment Vinicius had never seen. Yet he didn't, because Vinicius feared me would be making a big mistake, and perhaps Bell was there for a purpose other than to free him.

"No, I don't know what that is," Vinicius refused the puff. "If I wish to build my body up to the stature it once was, I mustn't sit, I mustn't rest, and do what you are doing... whatever that it. But yes, let us go to Shadowfen, let it be you who rides the horse, and I the one pulling it. I need to gather my strength. Though to answer your question, if I ever escaped from Zianro's dungeon, I planned on killing him. Getting my revenge, why else do they call me Vinicius? You might be an exile, but may know in fire tongue, it means vengeance."

What Vinicius was about to ask may sound odd, yet that was one thing, one thought, and constantly popped into Vinicius's mind. "I am grateful that you had taken me from Zianro, yet I wonder am I you slave? Do I have a choice in this?"

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad half expected Zotar to run when he mentioned his name. That fact that he didn't was a good sign that Zotar would accept his journey to self-repair and self-exploration that would be required for him to gain victory over Zaheed. He nods in acceptance that Zotar did not wish to partake in his smoking session which was over none the less as all the plant matter burned out and Bell exhaled the last of the smoke contained within the blue crystal.

When Zotar mentioned that he was determined to build his body back up with hard work it surprised Bell. He had never seen the fire lord be so humble about himself that he would take a task just for the benefit of his own well being instead of some goal oriented work. It was a step in the right direction, and Bell would encourage it. Packing away his hookah and taking up his pack once more he climbed onto the horses back and pointed down the road."Than let us be off, oh Revenge the Mighty. If all goes well you can make true your namesake."

At the mention of a slave, Bell got rather confused but did not show it externally as he answered the question."I gave you freedom for you to choose your own path. If that path takes you away from me and out of my reach than so be it. Can't say I would pick any other path in your position though. I would rather live in a world that was not burning to the ground by a family members hands."

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"Now let me tell you this, I have not a problem with correction," Zaheed's tone went back to aggravation rather than acting as if he was stronger and superior. "My life has been enthralled with correction..." Zaheed paused, and turned around as he stopped circling around her but instead walked away. Lowering his voice to a muttered he said, "My life, hm, no one knows about it, what lies behind these castle walls, underneath this crown and this hard, power-feeding body. Perhaps... perhaps no one should."

Once Zaheed finished speaking to himself, well half of it was to himself, the other half to Deborah, he turned around and stepped back to her. "But your mockery, that was different, that was unnecessary and waste of your breath. I've gotten to many measures... and much blood... to get to where I am as king, and that name deserves none of your mockery. What was this about me pushing you away? Do you jest? Remember at Shadowfen when I was speaking with you, you know before you pissed me off, well was it not you who asked if you could do something? It was apparent, you wanted to get away from me... No, wait, are you talking about when I did not see you for weeks and weeks? What more do you think I was doing?--"

Zaheed stopped, he knew there was a better way to put it, a better way to put all of this together. So Zaheed ceased the fire that surrounded them, he didn't need that. No more games, no more intimidation, no more trying to domineer himself, nothing but an honest confess. "Do you recall when I first showed you how I could attract and detract heat from bodies, and how I messed up and transferred so much of my heat that I collapsed to the floor, shivering and shaking. At that moment I felt weak, so blithering weak. I hate being weak, but what I hate even more is being weak to those I sought to impress."

Zaheed let another pause go before he continued, "Sure you may scoff when I say I wanted to impress you, but just think back to the beginning. When I first met you I opened up a glorious vision, told you that you would be fighting with a god. Because that is what I wanted to be, a god, indestructible, undefeatable, and immune to weakness, enough so that you would be amazed with me. Then I gave you a room, sure it was in the dungeon, but I tried to dress it with all splendor that I could, even said if you had a problem with it or needed anything more that you could send letter to my servants.

I had reason to not put you above in the castle itself, because above the surface, that's where all the eavesdroppers and fools that can't mind there own business roam. No one thinks to look at what lies underneath. But I wanted to keep my things secret, and I entrusted those secrets with you. But back to the fact that I didn't see you for weeks, it was because I was doing my all to come back to you strong, so I would not be on the floor again helpless. But now... now I see that is what I've done to you..."



Lord Vinicius


So Vinicius was not a slave, so he had choice. And though he did not believe Bell, Vinicius still wanted to see for himself what lied of Shadowfen. So Zaheed supposedly was raging war against the earth tribe, as he could recall Zaheed was the one that preferred they not. Therefore, one could imagine in Vinicius's shoes it seemed odd for his brother to do so.

When Bellistrad got upon the horse, Vinicius grabbed the rope and began leading the horse, hoping he was going the right way as he was following signs and trails that committed guidance to the earth tribe. "Do you know how long it will take for us to reach Shadowfen?" After his question had been answered Vinicius said nothing more, and did only what he knew mattered at the moment and it was getting to his destination. He had a goal in mind and was not going to stop for anything. That was how it always was, commit to a responsibility and surrender to nothing else- that was his determination, and what others called being stubborn.

He went hours without stopping, no matter how much his body ached, or when his feet and legs screamed for less, he did not care. But even his carelessness could not stand a chance to his body when it collapsed. With Vinicius on the ground, he tried pushing himself off, but when he did get back on his feet again he fell. "I must keep going," he spoke out with a tone of anger frustration of how fragile his body over time had become, with how much it was damaged by his enemies.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial
Bellistrad felt his horse sway as Zotar began pulling it along with his walk. Zotar's first question was a simple one to answer, as Bellistrad had traveled between Shadowfen and Lakeshore many times before. "If we were going full speed, two days. Walking it will more than likely take at least four." Bell was content with the silence that Zotar kept going for awhile so Bell continued smoking his hookah on the horse's back as they went. He also took out a book from his pack that showed a map of Imos made by a fellow traveler like himself. The only part of the book he contributed to was the part on the Fire Tribe. The author traded a copy of the finished book in exchange for his information on the tribe to put in it.d

When Zotar collapsed Bell looked up from the book and supposed it was a good place to make a camp. Jumping off his horse, Bellistrad began unpacking everything onto the road. "We will camp here for the night." Bellistrad lit a sharp flame onto the lit of his first two fingers and made a hot blade. Bell cleared a spot on the side of the road free of brush and debris using this blue fire blade and started setting up two mat rolls along with a campfire. After a half hours work Bell had everything set up with a campfire in the middle already burning and the horse tied near some tall grass not far away. Bell broke out some bread and soup from a flask, heated it with his fire, and passed it around to Zotar."Eat, you'll need it. I can get you some meat as well if you want it. I don't eat meat anymore myself."

Bell smoked his hookah for awhile longer as he took watch so Zotar could get his rest, and Bell could sleep on the horse anyway. The night was not silent unlike the day, as the sounds of nocturnal creatures filled the air. It was all calming to Bellistrad, but he wondered what Zotar made of it all.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"Fine! Perhaps I am a little... helpless. You are right!"

Thus Deborah then admitted so. Zaheed liked to be right, it does better for him than being wrong, well it was what he had hoped in most situations. But he could understand why she would not wish to state so, because though Deborah was not a full-bloodied fire bearer, yet she has lived in the tribe her whole life. And within the tribe, there has always been a sense of determination and persistent to never admit to weakness, to never surrender even if it means a better chance of survival. Zaheed had it, consuming power to claim strength yet retreating from weakness. But also did Zotar have the same type of trait. Zaheed then thought of his brother, perhaps the most stubborn person he ever met. He would of never accepted a surrender. The king wondered what Zianro did to him, but as he could recalled Icarus informing him that Bell equipped a plan to free him. Zaheed would like to know how that went.

Zaheed was considering that he put her bones back into place now by himself, it would be extremely painful, yet that was what he was thinking of doing when he was enraged. Yet now, he felt that to be sadistic, and sure he was a megalomaniac, but not sadistic. "I will summon guards to bring you to healers. I am letting you know that if you still wish to leave, the opportunity for that is still present. Yet, if you do not, I will meet you soon." Zaheed then had to guess where the door was as he felt around for it, because though he could sense people, that was it, only life forces, not objects nor structures. Same thing went for a good amount of his soldiers, but they will still be useful, Zaheed was sure of it. So, in between the time he just had departed from Deborah and the time he will be meeting her again, Zaheed planned for his next attack. Without his eyes, it was as if he could feel himself become stronger when it came to the intellect, though Zaheed was already a man to be identify as clever when he was not mad with power. Without his quick wits and cunning behavior he may have not made his way thus far as king. But not, bearing not a single ounce of strength he had to be more thoughtful of each step he took physical and mentally.

After working upon his strategies to overtake the air tribe, he went to train his blind soldiers. He would have to be harder on them, to break a quite impactful hindrance. But Zaheed was determined to make those men his strongest, perhaps the blind warrior will one day because some of a myth, because there was one thing Zaheed was certain, they were going to be legendary. There was not weakness that Zaheed believe could beat him, well, that was what most fire tribe members had in mind.

When he finished training the soldiers, Zaheed walked his way as best he could to where Deborah was taken so that healers could tend to her wounds. Deborah had enough time to leave if she wished so from since Zaheed last had spoken to here. Yet, the question was, did she stay? Zaheed opened the door...



Lord Vinicius


"We will camp here for the night."

And though Vinicius wished to go on, Bell thought otherwise, it of course being in best benefit for Vinicius. Vinicius in the end agreed to the idea of camp, "Well, alright, this will be the first time I get to sleep lying down, instead of hanging from chains." Yes, event he concept that he would be touching the dirt as he rested, that gave him joy. Since he had been ripped away from his castle and robbed of what he once treasured and needed, even the smallest things sparked a type of happiness he never felt even when having those past luxuries.

While Bell worked on clearing the campground Vinicius was going to make himself useful though he was exhausted and tired. Thus, he ventured out but not to far to some trees, there he scouted for branches because he did not have a blade to cut down the tree itself. With the many different sized branches he drug them back to the camp ground. Vinicius then built two small shelters one for himself and the other for Bell. Even though Vinicius just met the man, a man that he did not entirely trust, he was still going to in a way, look after and take care of him just as he did to Vinicius. It was because of his many missions in the military with his father, because during those years serving as a warrior for his people, he learned that what holds any army together is the brotherhood bred, because without unity there is division and with division there is disaster. So Vinicius learned with whoever he is traveling with that he cannot declare a threat treat them as a brother until so does the time come that he can decree differently.

After the half hour, he sat with Bell, still thinking about his blue fire. That was different, though Vinicius never liked the color blue, though he has blue eyes himself. It was for that is what the water tribe uses to identify themselves, just as the fire tribe uses colors like red, orange, and yellow.

"Eat, you'll need it. I can get you some meat as well if you want it. I don't eat meat anymore myself."

Grabbing the bread and flask of soup Vinicius responded, "Meat-- Hunting, may help me train my combatable skills, though to really consider it, hunting is not like fighting. No man looks at a hunter and thinks of him as a soldier. Because hunters hunt animals and soldiers fight men, man and animals are different. Animals kill to survive, it is one reason for them, but for a man, it could be a thousand. Heh," Vinicius chuckled slightly and then turned his head briefly to Bellistrad and then back at the fire. "My... my father told me that when I was little boy. I wanted to go hunting instead of training. Because hunting was quiet and still, yet in training there was a lot of yelling and running and fighting and... well.. I should of just been happy with anything he told me. I would do anything in a heartbeat if he could just be with me now."

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell sat by the fire and listened to Zotar speak of his past, opening up to Bellistrad in the simplest of ways. This was good knowledge that would help Bell heal Zotar of his pain, for the past is the first place that one must heal. Bell turned his body to Zotar after he finished his meal and took on a cross-legged meditation pose. "Sit like I do. I am going to show you something." Bell charged his lowest root chakra, the red chakra aligned with survival and fear. The root chakra was most powerful in Earth benders but if used correctly anyone can master it. Bell sent some of his root chakra energy through the ground to Zotar and started charging it for him.

"I want you to focus on your energy at the base of your spine. Tap into it like you were about to fire bend. Sort through the emotions that come from there, and tell me what you feel." This was the first step of the training Bellistrad would systematically reveal to Zotar to help heal him. After Zotar began concentrating on his root chakra Bell felt his aura fluctuate with his root chakra churning. "Feel your fear that you impose on yourself, and let it go. Forgive yourself and let it fall from you." He did not expect Zotar to be able to truely understand what he was saying or to complete the task at this time, but the attempt was enough of a start. If he did end up understanding this first time alone than it would be a large gap skipped for them and would save them time in their progress.

After the energy session, Bellistrad said nothing more and simply laid down to sleep and have his lucid dreams. He imagined that Zotar might have some strange dreams after altering his own chakra system as well. Whatever was going to happen with Zotar, Bell went off into his own world for a time as he slept, resting for the day to come.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


Walking in Zaheed saw the healers and made a gesture with his head that signaled for them to leave. Zaheed preferred things to be private. You never know what stories can be spread and information twisted inside the walls of a castle.

"Oh... You are here. If I've known you would come here I would've made myself a bit more presentable... Or at least avoided letting you see this."

"See what?" he asked, confused to why she would mention him see anything. The only form of sight or really vision Zaheed had left, was to sense life forces. But other than that it was nothing, just darkness and blobs which were people, their energy. Zaheed stroked his beard, trimming it would not be easy of course blind. And he wouldn't want a servant with a knife anywhere near his face. Growing out will have to do for now.

After an awkward pause sunk in Zaheed decided to speak out, “Your legs… how are they?” Zaheed cared to know how much damage he was capable of though his intentions were not kill her. Death is not always the best option for a situation, yet Zotar always thought otherwise. Zaheed thought his brother too ignorant to not allow himself to be led by his emotions. One day that will hurt, and hurt more than anything else ever had.

“My intentions were not to kill you, my intentions were to make you suffer,” he was honest at least. “Crushing your legs and leaving you crippled was also not of my intentions.” Why Zaheed did not think to leave her legs unusable it was perhaps because making someone cripple cannot be undone, so if he did do that it may be a mistake, one he might regret and never be able to fix. Because now, her bones could be put back into function, yet his eyes could never be cure. Did he ever regret that he did not make Deborah cripple yes, but he did not let his emotions guide him this time.



Lord Vinicius


Vinicius did as Bellistrad had told him, whatever this was, he was going to trust him. Though, hours pervious, Vinicius felt uncomfortable, but he knew he had to get over that if he wanted to know who Bell really was- his strengths, skills, weakness, fears. So in the cross-legged sitting position, he continued to listen to Bell.

"I want you to focus on your energy at the base of your spine. Tap into it like you were about to fire bend. Sort through the emotions that come from there, and tell me what you feel."

This was quite odd for him, he never heard of this time of method for anything. What was he trying to do? Extract information from him, it did not seem so, because what would someone want to do with his feelings? That's not valuable information to Vinicius, so Bell could not be a spy. Then, what was this for?

"W-what I feel?" Vinicius questioned. "I... I feel like I need to fight. Yes, you told me to tap into my spine like I were to fire bend. And when I create fires I burn things, that's what fire's about- burning." Yes, he did not know at all how to answer that question. Was he suppose to say something deep and sentimental, Vinicius did not know that. Sure Bell told him to sort through his emotions, but all he could feel was a sense of instinct to be defensive. So that was what he did.

"Feel your fear that you impose on yourself, and let it go. Forgive yourself and let it fall from you."

"Fear? I-I'm not scared though," Vinicius claimed, though he was in denial, even trying to convince his own self that he did not feel the touch of fear. Of course he was scared, he did not know what was happening, but he suspected Bell was talking about his past. There was many things Vinicius wanted to say to Bell that night, like the past is the past and why does he want to go digging up what can't be undone.

That night, Vinicius pondered what Bell had said, Forgive yourself and let it fall from you, he was talking about the death of Vinicius's father, that was what Vinicius gathered though at first he had hoped that was not what he was speaking of. Vinicius did not want to think about forgiving himself, he did not want to dwell on the impossible. Because his mind steered with another direction with images- flashbacks of that night. Much like this one it was peaceful, calm with the sound of a warm crackling fire. Then suddenly they were ambushed, no they were trapped by cages of roots and thorns conjured by earth benders. Vinicius, with all he could of done, he burned through the plants that entangled him, but there was just so many of them. And by the time he finally made his way out and to his father, it was too late.

First struck the feeling of fear, then of regret, now anger. And Vinicius was never one to bottle his anger, not like his brother. His anger overflowed far to much to be contained. So he slipped away during the middle of the night where he found himself a pile of stones and boulders. There he struck the surfaces of the rock, over and over feeling the cartilage of his knuckles crumble with the skin bleeding. It hurt, it hurt bad, but nothing hurt more then being trapped. It was sad, because now though he was free, Vinicius still feel the chains around his wrists, the thorns surrounding him, with water like ice lashing against his freezing flesh. This was worse than being taken captive by Zianro, because now Vinicius faced that he created his own prison.

When the pain had gotten unbearable he yelled out in anger and frustration as he fell to the ground, griping a hold onto his bloody hands with knuckles opened and swollen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska
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Bellistrad Indorial

When morning came, Bell came out of his dreams and sat up inhaling the air. He immediately started performing Tai-Chi and energy flow movements similar to that of a water bender. His breathing was controlled and the growing sunlight made his hair shine bright blue almost like his flames. Now fully awake, Bellistrad looked around the camp and saw no sign of Zotar. He did not expect him to have gone far and scanned the area with his heat sensing ability. He found a large heat mass not far away and started for it.

He found Zotar asleep on the ground next to a blood stained rock and his knuckles scabbed over. Bell shook his head at the scene and laughed, hoping he had gotten his emotions out of his system. Kicking at Zotar's feet to wake him, Bell turns around to head back and wait for Zotar to return. Back at the campsite Bell starts to pack up things for their travel. He left the structures that Zotar had made for other travelers in potential need of shelter.

Once Zotar had returned and the campsite cleaned Bellistrad did one last thing for the road ahead. Since he would not be in contact with the ground he instead put his palms to the earth for several minutes, taking in as much energy from the ground as he could. Earth benders could take more energy from the earth than he could but his root chakra was trained enough to do so for him. Now charged, Bell got on his horse and let Zotar take the lead same as yesterday. "When we get to a fork in the road, take the left path. I would rather not go to Murtovaara just yet."

Bell soon fell asleep on the horse again, his book in his lap like last time open with pages flipping in the light wind. His energy was elsewhere as he put full faith in his safety to Zotar.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"I first wished to know of your condition, and now I hear you can limp. That is better then not walking at all. But getting onto my second reason to coming here, I do not know where to go from here with my powers." Yes it was true, Zaheed was unsure of what of goals and potentials he had left for this new ability for him. It was because he had done the impossible, what he would never think could happened did. Now what?

"Thus, I now believe I will focus my mind on other matter such as conquering other nations and strengthening my troops. As I had said before Shadowfen, you did indeed fulfill what I had planned when I hired you to guide me." Guide Zaheed never put it like that, but it made sense now and was actually quite beautiful that way, knowing that Deborah has the ability to conjure light, bringing him out of the dark lack of magical knowledge. "Hm, Deborah how do you feel about being an agent? Of course you will have no ties to the military, so you won't have to worry about that. But instead picture yourself as a rogue, perhaps even accompanied with other ragtag warriors."

Yes, though Zaheed was once a general he did not completely rely or put faith into his soldiers, because there are some things troops won't do. No, they care too much about honor and glory, yet with the right price mercenaries will do anything. "Now most kings do not value mercenaries yet, I am not like most kings. And besides, I believe you will fit right in, most sellswords are looked down upon for their past and unusual powers, therefore they cannot never find a job as a soldier. But no matter, its perhaps more fun as a mercenary, less rules."

Zaheed believed Deborah will heal in a matter of days, or even perhaps in just one week. He has seen soldiers reeking with death, yet they still manage to bounce back up and fight.



Lord Vinicius


He was awaken with knuckles stinging and hand throbbing in the morning by Bell. To his surprise Bell did not make much of a reaction. But instead they gathered up what they had and left the camp with Vinicius like before taking the ropes and leading the horse. But before they left Vinicius tore off fabric from the cloak given to him so that he could use it as bandages for his bloody hands.

When we get to a fork in the road, take the left path. I would rather not go to Murtovaara just yet."

"I was not planned on it, I was headed for Shadowfen." Yes, Vinicius wanted to make it there first, he wanted to see if this was true, his brother attacked the earth tribe. During the journey Vinicius walked many steps through hills and streams he went, though stopped when he felt his body aching for him to quench his thirst. He tried ignoring it long enough but had gotten to the point of staggering steps and dizzy vision.

Stopping, Vinicius did not actually want to dip his hands into the pond he approached, he felt sick when just looked at water ever since Zianro's dungeon. But it was what his body wanted, and if Vinicius wanted to survive then he had to listen to it. So Vinicius cupped his hands together for a drink. And as he submerges his fingers, he could see the blood from his hands mix into the liquid. While doing so Vinicius asked Bell, "How much father did you believe we are from Shadowfen?"

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad woke to the sound of water nearby, and slowly perked up. He adjusted his book and put it away for the moment as he looked up at the sky. It was a little after noon already by the suns positioning. He looked around and found they were nearing Airedale. They had not yet gotten to the second cross path, which leads to either Airedale or on a north path to Shadowfen. Bellistrad stood up straight in his saddle, his feet balancing on the leather as he looked far ahead on the trail to judge their distance.

He only noticed that Zotar was tired when he stopped and went for a nearby pond and asked his question. "At this pace we should arrive a little sooner than I thought, maybe two days after this one." Bell started stripping off his clothes when Zotar wasn't looking and jumped over his head to dive into the pond with a whoop and splash. Unlike most other firebenders, Bell could suppress his fire nature enough so that water did not hurt him for a short time. He was unable to bend fire with any strength while this occurred however.

Popping his head out of the water Bell squirted a stream of water out of his mouth at Zotar playfully."I think this is a great place to rest for awhile. Why don't we fill up water skins and have a bite to eat before we go on, eh?" He swam around in the pond for a while longer than exited and dried off with a burst of fire across his body. He re-clothed himself and took out some dried food, giving some to Zotar and eating some himself before filling up their water skins and canteens. He had a quick smoke before getting back on the horse and thinking about where they would be going next.

"Now, there is another fork about a mile up the road. Go down the northern path on the right and we will be clear all the way to Shadowfen. Watch out for fire soldiers, I don't know how many will be in the area."

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General King Zaheed


Zaheed could tell Deborah was not much happy or even in the slightest form happy about his new idea. Yet, there was a chance he did not say it the right way. So as she may her way ever so slowly to her bed grumbling, Zaheed continued speaking, "Hm, perhaps I did not say it quite as so it should be put. They are not actually mercenaries, well, I guess in a way they could be called that, but a better word to identify them would be assassin." Zaheed did not know if that made things better or not, but he was being clear and honest what type of people he was talking about. "They of course all work alone, and by they, I mean my three other assassins, each one has a different target or general task they fulfill each with such secret information." Zaheed's voice was now lower, he was speaking of something he would not typical want eavesdroppers to hear.

"But now, I have a new target..." He of course talking about his brother, yet she did not know, she did not know anything of what he had done to gain the throne. But soon she will. "It is going to be one of the most important matters at hand. Let's just say that this target determines whether or not I stay as king." Zaheed would be putting a lot of faith in Deborah to be hiring her for a type of mission as such, but he felt she could get things done without having pity emotions or patriotism get in the way. "Though I understand you have never had rogue training. No worries, I will try to train you all I can in a matter of three days." It will be quite a task, especially knowing that Zaheed is a warrior not a rogue, yet he has trained thousands and thousands of men and women of the tribe in his military career. Besides he would get a little help from a friend.

"However before we start that, I will meet you in your room once you inform a guard you are on your way. Because there are things I must tell you in a much more private setting." Zaheed made a small bow with his head before taking his exit. He already started thinking about the words he would gather, all the secrets he would tell.



Lord Vinicius



Vinicius watched as Bellistrad fully submered himself into the body of water, something Vinicius would never dared to do, and really never has done. Yes, it was true, for even when he decides to maintain a quality hygiene he does not bathe but instead is showered with water and perfumes, but never does he dip himself into the water. After their break, the two, headed back to the trail.

"Now, there is another fork about a mile up the road. Go down the northern path on the right and we will be clear all the way to Shadowfen. Watch out for fire soldiers, I don't know how many will be in the area."

"Soldiers, huh?" Vinicius did not want to discovered yet and if it weren't for his brands he would not be. But because he had ripped part of the arms from the cloak for bandages, his marks shown. Vinicius stopped, "Is there anything I could use to cover my brand marks, I prefer not to be found out yet."

Though Vinicius since he was taken, had the urge and the ever most desire to run back home, he wasn't, he wanted to be wise about his decision. However most in circumstances Vinicius proves to be impulsive when it comes down to making choices. It seemed his time as Zianro's prisoner has matured Vinicius. He had plenty of time rotting away and thinking about life and death. Now it was time to put those thoughts to the test.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell had not thought about the brand marks on Zotar's wrists, but luckily he had a solution. Bell rummaged through his pack behind him for several minutes, shifting things around as he went until he pulled a pair of leather bracers that would perfectly cover Zotar's scars. He tosses them to Zotar and turns himself back around on the horse after shutting his pack and brings his hookah around with him in his lap.

"I think we should cut your hair as well. All that time in the prison has let it get long and tangled." He let these words float between them as he place his usual herbs into his hookah and smoked as they moved. The fork was easy enough to see when they came to it, with a small sign faded from years of disrepair. The right path was slightly overgrown, but not hard to travel by. Bellistrad got a little excited when they traveled about 3 hours down the right path.

"We are about to enter the great forest of Shadowfen. It is going to get very dark very fast." Almost on command, they rounded the next bend and bear witness to a wall of giant trees at least three times taller and wider than the ones they had been traveling through before. As they moved under the first branches the shadows that covered them was almost like a silk cloak that covered everything around them. Several places ahead of them had small streams of light coming into the forest like godly pillars of salvation where certain plants grew around.

Bellistrad lit his raised hand ablaze in a orb of fire around it to shine into the darkness. This light still only illuminated the traveling pair, their horse, and anything within ten feet of them. It was enough to travel by however."This is strange. Normally the tribesmen of Earth would be watching us right now, but I don't sense them nearby."

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General King Zaheed


Zaheed entered Deborah's quarters, though this time he brought guards with him. It was not that he needed soldiers to defend him, no he was very much capable enough to handle himself. Yet, the king instead wished to send a message- that he was the one with advantages here, he was the superior. Ever since what happened in Shadowfen the question of whether not he could trust Deborah still lingered in her head. But why dispose of a tool when you can instead fix and put it into function? Tools, weapons, things, that all he saw others as since his sight had been taken away, all he can see now is power, energy, not faces, not expressions, just power. And he had an appetite for power, though he also had self-control. And he had not made the decision to drain Deborah of hers.

Once he was actually inside the room he waved off his guards, he needed privacy, and only wanted to show his control for mere quick moments. He wanted for all of the men and women to leave before speaking, "Now... I give you the choice, do you wish to become an assassin? I do have another job for you. Though its actually you keeping your old one, well you would still be my mage. Though not in the same way..."

Zaheed started to do his thing again where he paced around Deborah. It was extremely uncomfortable for he did it in a way a lion stalks in a circle around his prey. But Zaheed liked the thought that he showed he was the apex predator here. "So Deborah you know how I said when you were inside your cell, that if you were not going to get up, if you were merely just going to lie there that I would absorb your power. Well, I can still do that now, but I give you the benefit of a choice. Become an assassin and face a path that may prove foreign even uncomfortable for you or.... Hold out your hand."

Of course he did not need her to hold out her hand in order for him to feed off her magic source, but he enjoyed giving her the illusion that she had power while also showing his superiority. Zaheed stopped, not sure if he was facing her or not. "I promise... I won't kill you. Make your decision now... or you know what, perhaps it be better I do this."

Zaheed focused on the glowing light he saw through all the other darkness of his blind vision. There he transferred a very small amount of his energy source to hers. "Did you really believe I was going to devour you? Or make you an assassin? I strengthened you, I can do continue to do so, when on my side, perhaps not specifically in that way. But I'm sure you get the point. Your fate is determined by how you answer this question, Deborah what is it you wish to become? If there be any position you want, say it now."




Lord Vinicius


They approached what was suppose to be earth tribe territory, but he did not see any of their tribesmen. What if Zaheed was a bad man, a monster? No, Vinicius rejected his mind to make such thoughts, he loved his brother, and believed Zaheed felt the same way. But what if Bell was right, that Zaheed basically sold him off to Zianro. Could Vinicius find anywhere in his heart to forgive him?

"We must be stealthy about this, because if my brother's men are here they will take fast notice of two wandering travelers and a horse." Vinicius stopped, he perhaps thought it be best he go by himself, but he was in no shape to defend himself against a band of military trained soldiers if he were caught, and Vinicius did not want to go home, not yet. He wanted to sort things out first. "Do you have any weapons with you, Bellistrad? A dagger? Maybe two?"

No Vinicius was not planning on springing into any type of combat, though he wanted to be best prepared as he could. After the night of ball, Vinicius felt always had to be prepared for anything.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell slid off the horse as he put his light out and took the reigns from Zotar, replacing them with a Fire Tribe sword. He knew Zotar would be glad the weapon in his hands was a familiar one. Fire Tribe swords were always warm when held by their nations benders and gave them comfort. Bell took the saddle off of his horse and folded it so it could be tied to the back of his pack. He put his pack on and adjusted it until it was comfortable.

Letting his horse loose back the way they had came Bell started down the path a ways."I suggest we don't use lights from here on out, if we wish to remain undetected. I know my way through this area, so if you need to use your heat sense and stick close to me. I will be scanning for heat ahead of us as we go." The trail was long and had many curves to it. It went around giant boulders, ancient trees, cross over rivers with almost natural looking bridges and even became overgrown in places. The journey took them until it was noticeably night time as they could see the full moon through some of the tree branches.

Bell stopped them under a particularly large tree with a large branch low to the ground that would act like a partial roof above their heads. They made no fire but they hardly needed it as the forest offered trapped heat that kept them warm throughout the night. Bell began meditating and gestured for Zotar to join him."Let us continue with breathing techniques. Similar to those used in fire bending, meditation breath is all about calming the mind and body while keeping a steady rhythm. Eventually your thoughts will drift off on their own. Count your breathes and concentrate on the same subject as our last session."

Bell meditated next to Zotar throughout the night. Whether Zotar meditated that long or not was up to him, as Bell knew he would have to work at his own pace. When daylight came Bell was still meditating, his mind at rest while he soul explored.

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General King Zaheed


Loyalty? Zaheed was not expecting that, not after what happened in Shadowfen. But what confused him even more was her saying that she would be fine if his decision were to forbid her to ever come back to work for him. But no matter, Zaheed believed her because she did have the choice and chance to leave, but she didn't. Thus, she proved to be trustworthy to lay a very important mission into her hands.

Zaheed ceased his pacing and instead back up, folding his arms. "Very well...," he responded, preparing himself for the news he was going to soon release. Yes, there were places in his mind doubted that he could trust her because that was just him as a person, always wary of others, never sure who they really are inside because he knows from himself, people are liars. The only being that yet knows about his sinister schemes to the throne was Icarus, his bird, but other than him, no one. "Deborah, do you recall me mention that I went through much blood to get to where I am as king?" His voice was much lower now, perhaps the lowest volume he could put it in and not be inaudible. "Well, I was not lying of course, but-- Hm, let me start from the beginning. Let us have a seat."

Zaheed staggered his way, finding a chair, he eventually needed help from Deborah. But this was it, the first time he spoke to a someone about his past, who he was as a person, and unleashed his dark secrets. "Lord Zarfu, my father, broke the tradition of the eldest son of the king takes the throne, and decreed Zotar become the tribe's next leader. I should of suspected it sooner, because you see ever since I was a child nothing I ever was could hold a candle to Zotar in my father's eyes. Nothing. And it was not like I did not put any effort, I was General of his armies, I was the reason for his success, well much more than Zotar. Because what was he to my father? A prince, that was it, a mere prince, he had no military rank, yet Zotar was the golden child enough so to steal the throne away from me. And I was determined to go through any extent to get it back. But what really pisses me off was that Zotar was one always angry, so much so he named himself Vinicius, vengeance. He had no right to be angry, he had the throne, I should of been the furious one. And I was, but I did not let him know that...

My mother was ill, so she was not in a state to rule, so Zotar took over. And in the meantime, I devised a plan to get rid of Zotar and to make sure my mother stayed sick. Thus I met with Zianro Azura, the leader of the water tribe, and discussed a plan to sneak his men into the castle on the night of Zotar's ball where he then was kidnapped. Of course situations like this happening within the fire tribe is not unusual, they have a past of assassinations of kings so that others may take their place.

But whatever Zianro did with Zotar I don't know, but I do know he is free and knowing Zotar he will try to come back here as if he is welcomed. And I cannot risk that, especially knowing it is his right to take back the throne. And thus that is the reason I needed you as an assassin, because I believe you are the only person I can trust with this type of information. And of course, because I need Zotar eliminated before he reaches this castle."




Lord Vinicius


The feeling of a sword in hand was one step to forging Vinicius back into the skillful warrior he was rather than a mad wrestling with self-torment and hate. He tightly wrapped his grip around the hilt as he stroked his finger down the flat side of the blade, "It has been long..." It indeed had, the last time he was equipped was the night of his father's death. So one could imagine the mix feelings Vinicius was flooded with, feelings and thoughts like, Those murders will pay. No, I shouldn't be impulsive, shouldn't make a stupid mistake that I can never get myself out of. But what if restraining myself is a stupid decision?

Vinicius finally just put the sword down by his side, those thoughts will have there place later. But Vinicius was grateful to have it at hand, but not only that, he started feel better about this Bellistrad. He armed Vinicius, he did not have to do that, he could of lied and said he had no weapons with him. Yet he didn't, and because of that Vinicius felt safer around him. Besides, Bell did seem like a smart guy for now though there were things about him Vinicius did not understand. Though bringing up the suggestion that they should not conjure any flames was a wise choice, one Vinicius agreed to in a swift nod.

He followed Bell to spot under a tree with a branch to act as a roof. "Let us continue with breathing techniques. Similar to those used in fire bending, meditation breath is all about calming the mind and body while keeping a steady rhythm. Eventually your thoughts will drift off on their own. Count your breathes and concentrate on the same subject as our last session." And then there goes that part about Bell that Vinicius did not understand, well Vinicius has heard about meditation, but never really met anybody who actually meditated. But because Vinicius so far trusted Bell for first freeing him and second giving him a weapon Vinicius did not ask questions but inside cooperated.

He sat crossed legged, closed his eyes, and tried remembering what they last talked about while meditating, whatever that was, which he presumed breathing slowly and calmly. He started to think about his father again, how much he always wanted to make that man proud, doing his best to do so. But that was the thing, doing his best, that got Vinicius thinking, Was I not doing just that, my best? What more could I do? What more could anyone do? He felt like he was pleading himself innocent in front a judge, that judge being himself. And that was when he responded back, Nothing... nothing. You did your best, Zotar.

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Bellistrad Indorial

When morning began, Bellistrad came out of his meditation and immediately smile. His reality had become lucid and profound after the nights meditation as it usually was. Everything he experienced was fuller and richer than before as his eyes were opened to the true world, not covered by preconceptions or veils of emotion. Enjoying it for a time Bell knew he could not make it last forever as he had things he had to focus on that would cause his reality to shift once again. Letting the lucid reality fade into obscurity Bell stood up and started packing their camp site.

He let Zotar sleep as long as he needed to and when the camp was clear he woke Zotar gently. Zotar felt different to Bell this day, as if his energy had changed. Whatever it was Bell did not want Zotar to get too deep into it. He held up his hand palm out and fingers point to stop whatever Zotar might have wanted to say. "Whatever you experience in meditation is for you alone, unless you know otherwise."

With that Bell started on the last leg of their journey. It would take them all day to get to Shadowfen but it should come into view around nightfall. Bell was having mixed emotions about coming to Shadowfen in the first place, but it was needed for Zotar to accept the truth. He himself wondered what his reaction would be to whatever they found. He feared the worst but hoped for the best.

The trek ended soon enough as they finally saw torches in the distance, and a lack of trees continuing on. Bell crouched down and snuck closer to the light of the torches and beckoned Zotar to do the same. What they saw, was almost unbelievable. A large part of the forest where Shadowfen was supposed to be was now bare to the ground of any trees. Crude structures housed what was left of the Earth Tribe in slave shackles and Fire Tribe soldiers patrolled them carrying torches to ward off the darkness of night.

Bell had felt this destruction all the way from Lakeshore, but seeing it upclose was far worse for him. He stared at the scene with tears falling from his eyes, his heat and energy becoming scrambled within his body and soul. He could hardly move from his spot and had to swallow his saliva so he did not puke from the stress. It was has he had feared, everything was destroyed and an entire race was enslaved.

"Zotar... do you believe me now? Your brother needs to be defeated one way or another." His voice was shaky and weak as Bell's eyes dilated and overflowed with tears. He wiped his eyes and tried to hold himself and stop his shaking. The pain of loosing Shadowfen was almost unbearable for Bellistrad.

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General King Zaheed


Zaheed was pleased that she was completely fine with taking the job of an assassin. He felt it a wise choice to put her in the place of one because she had a unique power, one that could not identify her with a tribe. Because Zaheed knows proof from the murder of their father, Zotar will blame a whole tribe for the assassin.

"Well, I think you understand what I'm implying. How am I supposed to kill him before he kills me."

Yes, Zotar was a talented fighter, he was quick and fought like a rogue. Yet with Zaheed knowing that Zotar has been locked away from almost a month and most likely it was by the hands of Zianro, he is not nearly as skillful as he once was. And his honor was another thing, as Zaheed recalled on his younger brother's coronation, Zotar refused to duel a woman. He was always like that, being a polite gentleman. Though Zaheed cannot bet he will act the same way again, perhaps not to an assassin.

But if there were one thing the king was confident in, it was his training. Sure, he would only take a matter of three days training her due to time, though Zaheed has trained thousands of men and women before in both warrior and rogue classes. And Deborah also had that power of her, she could easily blind him and then swiftly slice his throat. However, Zaheed was going to give her freedom in how she wishes to execute her kill.

"That will depend upon the weapon you choose and also the tactic. Though I wish for you to be not in far distance, so no arrows nor throwing knives, because I want you be sure this man is my brother. Thus you are going to have to check his forearms; if they are covered with any sort of wrapping, you must rip it off before killing him. Which may not be hard for you if you simply blind him, rip any covering off, and discover if he is Zotar are not. Tomorrow I will get an update of the suspected location and a suspected man that may be my brother.

However you have another interesting option, you could go undercover. This will buy you time to get closer to him without him assuming anything and thus easier for you to make your kill. f you decide to do this you will require less combat training and inside more insight information about Zotar. A stab to his back gives you a higher chance of survival. But the choice is yours."




Lord Vinicius


"Zotar... do you believe me now? Your brother needs to be defeated one way or another."

Vinicius frozed letting his eyes absorb the horrid sight in front of him as his back was faced Bell. So Zaheed really did attack Shadowfen, well, attack would only be vague, he burned it, exploited it; Bellistrad was right. But Vinicius did not agree with him, no, not when hearing that Zaheed should be defeated for conquering Shadowfen. "Its Vinicius...," his words were like venom, menacing even threatening. His whole body had tightened start from the spine and spreading throughout with fist clenched and brow deeply furrowed.

He was trying his best not to allow his palms to erupt infernos, but the anger inside of him boiled profusely, so much so that his veins glowed like red hot iron, with light sweeping out of the crevices of his fist. One moment Vinicius felt he could actually trust this Bell, he began to like this guy. But now, Vinicius was one step from doing something he may highly regret, something rash, something deadly...

"These people deserve this," he growled. "Their people killed my father!" Yes it was true, rogue earth tribe assassins though hired by the water tribe, but Vinicius did not know that. And even I he did, with this much anger and vengeance, he did not care. "How dare you hope for my brother's defeat, when they were destined for this the second the first drop of my father's blood fell." Zotar lifted up the sword in his hand, marching closer to Bell in an offensive stance. "Who are you? Bell, is it? You really believe my brother should be my enemy here?"

Vinicius could already tell Bellistrad was in enough pain as it was, but he did not care. He was mad at Bell, for him to wish for his brother's downfall. Right now in Vinicius's eyes, Bell was hurting his family. And there was one trait that stuck out very dominantly about Vinicius, he was a family man. And when anyone held such unrighteous claim against them, he was willing to end them.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell listened to Zotar's words, and knew that he was far from ready to face his brother. He still held onto his naive family traditions and was never let into the know about his heritage. Bell did not care much that Zotar was now threatening him with his own sword, he was too much in emotional chaos to lift his energy to defend himself. "Kill me if you wish, 'Vinicius'. If my death will help you understand yourself than by all means, let me help you by not fighting back." Bell sat there unmoving, watching the events of the slaves and soldiers that had once been Shadowfen.

Bell almost missed the one person that would notice them hiding near the fringes of the forest edge. A Firetribe mage had sensed their heat and wasted no time making Bell and Zotar's position apparent. Bell let his body fall flat on the ground as a large missle of fire came at the two of them. The fire would blaze right over Bell's body, and whatever Zotar did about the attack he ignored. Bell had little will at that moment and it would take a few days of self repair to get himself back on track. He doubted he could even bend fire in his current state of mind.

He rolled back into the woods further and hid in the bushes, suppressing his heat as to not be sensed again. He stayed there as he calmed himself down from his chaotic emotions and afterwards crawled away from the fight about to ensue. It took him several minutes to find a small and secure hole for him to hide in as he took refuge from the fire bender and Zotar. He would eventually regroup with him but under controlled circumstances. For now he had to wait and watch.

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General King Zaheed


Zaheed did not feel that Deborah was questioning him, rather that she was questioning herself and her abilities. Pretending that he loved Zotar came natural to Zaheed, thus getting his brother on his side with his trust was easy. Yet again, Zotar is a family man. And Zaheed does not have any updates on his brother's temperament; people can change over time through circumstance, and Zotar just might be one of those people.

"And I have never really been that good at not getting angry at people… all the time. Wouldn’t I just get kicked out of the camp in the end? Before I’ve been able to confirm that it’s him?”

"Zotar has a much shorter temper than I do. So angering him is quite easy as it is..." If she had already admitted that she tends to bring people to fury, then perhaps it be best she not go undercover. Or, Zaheed could always state that if there are any issues that appear, she could always decide to attack him. Therefore she seems less of an assassin and more of a woman who got pissed off.

“I haven’t really done anything like this before… I just want to succeed…”

"No worries," Zaheed smiled, enjoying her strive for success. "We will devise a plan of course. But if you decide to go undercover you may wish to decide on a false identification, thus meaning story and such. Which the best idea you can keep in mind is bend the truth but stay the closest to it. Although I must say, there are some traits of Zotar that may prove to be a problem to you, knowing that you will feel the opposite of. One being, Zotar is extremely patriotic. He loves this nation as the fire tribe, an anyone apart of it he sees automatically as one of him.

If we could somehow create a backstory for you involving some positive affliction with the tribe, he will be open to trusting you." Zaheed was happy on sending Deborah on a undercover mission because if she gets caught, Zotar will not account a tribe for her. Yet if she claims some connection to the fire tribe Zotar may blame them, yet there is also a chance he may not if she only had connection, though not apart of the tribe.



Lord Vinicius


"Kill me if you wish, 'Vinicius'. If my death will help you understand yourself than by all means, let me help you by not fighting back." Vinicius was expecting more of a reaction, sure Bell had spoken to him, though that was it. Because Bellistrad did not even move nor look at a man threatening his life with a sword in his hand. But that did not stop Vinicius's urge to attack, sure he felt conflicted due to the fact that it felt unnatural and sadistic to him to fight a man willing to just stand there and accept his fate. But then Vinicius reminds himself this man wishes to hurt his family, his brother, that is.

Though as Vinicius began to charge Bellistrad, he noticed the man collapse to the ground, flattening his body. That confused Vinicius enough that he froze to give an facial expression of bewilderment. And as he did, he heard type of rushing roar behind him. Thus, he turned around, and while doing so the flames from the missile caught onto his long flowing hair spreading to both his face and to the clothing it was touching. Everything happened so fast for Vinicius, but most importantly, it was all unsuspected, or at least he did not keep anything like this happening in mind.

Next thing he knows the missile strikes the ground near him, causing him to fall back against the hard ground. Vinicius could not hear anything but a high pitch ringing in his ears from the attack of the missile. His vision was getting blurry as his head throbbed and shook with pain. But he was not going to allow himself to turn into unconsciousness, not in an area with potential attackers. Though when Vinicius tried getting up his back screamed with torment; he could smell the burning of his own flesh. Almost half of his head, where his hair once was scorched with one half of the left side of is face burnt also. Yes, he was a fire bender, yet burning his body like this was far from bearable.

No soldiers came to investigate any further. Before Vinicius came to Shadowfen, he looked like corpse already, now he was a burning corpse to them. But it pained Vinicius to know those were his people, and they hurt him. But it must of been a misunderstanding, or so he hoped. Also he tried to hang onto the faith that his brother would not wish for this type of destruction against him. However, no matter what, he had no choice but to lie there, though as stubborn as he was Vinicius pushed his body to get up until it gave up, and he went into something he so dearly wished not to- unconsciousness.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad was able to calm himself down and think rationally for a moment, leading him to move out of his hiding place and take a peek at what was going on with Zotar. It seemed the Fire King was on fire; the very thought of which sent Bellistrad into a fit of laughter that lifted his spirits for a moment. Crawling over to Zotar, Bellistrad took a blanket out of his pack and poured water from a canteen onto it than draped it over Zotar. With the flames now smothered Bell dragged Zotar back into the cover of the forest where the fire soldiers could not see them.

Bell recovered his sword and leaned it against a nearby tree. He kept an eye on the slave area as he took the blanket off of Zotar and examined his burns. They seemed to be luckily minor thanks to the short amount of time they had actually been lit. Bell searched his pack for a container of burn salve and spread it onto his hands so he could easily apply it to Zotar's wounds. As he spread the soothing and pain relieving salve across Zotar, Bell almost laughed again at the situation. "This should teach you a valuable lesson about Karma, Vinicius. Your emotions dictate how the world reacts to you. If you are negative than your world will be negative to you, and vice versa. This is why I choose to spread love and happiness no matter what other people think."

Bell wipes the access salve back into his container and stores it into his pack once more and cleans his hands off with some leaves."Makes you wonder why you've had so much bad luck after you changed your name doesn't it?" Bell tries to spark flames across his hands to get the last bit of salve off of his hands, but nothing happens when he does. He attempts again to make fire in his hand but only gets a small flickering light instead of the blue orb he wanted. This meant he needed to cleanse out his emotions once more, or if need be use his negative emotions to fuel his fire in an emergency.

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General King Zaheed


Could this work? It was a question Zaheed continuously asked himself. Deborah has never done any undercover work, or anything near. So sending her in with a false identification is a big risk. But the fact that Zotar was patriotic to the tribe was a high concern. Zotar basically stalked their father, well that was probably an exaggeration from Zaheed, but would there be a possibility that his brother may remember Deborah's mother, thus concluding who she is.

"You have a good point there. Perhaps the wisest action to take for this mission would to blind him, check his forearms for the brands, if there are any wrappings over them- rip those off, and if you see the markings, then you are confirmed to make the kill." It sounded simple enough, but through Zaheed's many years of military life and personal experience, he knows nothing is ever so simple as it seems. "Come now, we mustn't waste anymore time. Your training must start now."

Zaheed with help of his guards were guided to his private training grounds. The reason why Zaheed chose those training grounds, rather than the public ones open to soldiers, was because he did not want anyone to know Deborah was the one training. That would then raise a lot of questions because of her lack of any military rank or history. But instead, if they were both alone, everyone who just assume Zaheed was trying to woo her with his combat skills even though he is blind, because at this point perhaps everyone in the tribe knows nothing his going to stop this man.

Though they were not the only two in the room, instead Zaheed's little friend tagged along. Icarus was once a man and Zaheed's assassin before the curse that changed his life forever. But no matter, apart of that curse being that his master would be only one who could hear him cry, his master being the man who hired him, Zaheed. In other words, Zaheed would be the only one who could understand Icarus's chirping. Zaheed stood back with his bird riding on his abnormally large shoulder, as he trained Deborah to wield to daggers. It would be good for her to learn that weapon style well, studying the strengths and weaknesses of it. Because that was the way Zotar often fought.




Lord Vinicius


"Ah...," Vinicius woke up feeling like his head had just gone through a thrashing like a bucket stomping grapes. But his head was not the only problem, though a part of scalp was singed, his back also stung as it also had gotten into the way of the fire. But fire and pain was not the only things to encounter Vinicius, no, for Bellistrad had eventually caught of with the former fire lord. Vinicius did not know why, well, he had the idea, it may have been because of the trait inside of Bell that he noticed, forgiveness. This guy just won't give up, will he? Vinicius thought to himself, rolling his eyes as he could catch a glimpse of Bell's blue hair.

"This should teach you a valuable lesson about Karma, Vinicius. Your emotions dictate how the world reacts to you. If you are negative than your world will be negative to you, and vice versa."

"Huh, is that right?" Vinicius spoke in a scratchy rough voice, almost like his growl but not so intimidating, moreover grumpy. "Well the world can kiss my-- Ah! Easy! Easy..." Vinicius did not even try at this point to comprehend Bell's sayings, no, he was tired as cranky as an old man. Because if Vinicius was in normal mindset, he would not be so complaining as he was now. But after taking some pretty bad burns to different parts of his body and especially to what happened between him and Bell, Vinicius wanted to do the exact opposite to what Bell instructed him to do. Yes, in fact, to Vinicius, the world sucked.

"Makes you wonder why you've had so much bad luck after you changed your name doesn't it?"

"First of all," he grunted "I don't believe in luck. Everything happens for a reason. And second, if bad things happened to me after I decided to bear the name, Vinicius. Then explain my father's death? You know what,I don't... I don't want to talk about." That was right, Vinicius does not want what happened to him last time when dwelling on his regret happen again. Though, perhaps even if he did, he would not allow his anger to get the best of him. Because there is a difference between him now and him then when he was smashing his bloody swollen knuckles into rocks, he has forgiven himself. But still, Vinicius felt a seed of sorrow bloom into his heart every time he thought of spoke of it, usually sorrow mixed with anger.

"Okay, I saw Shadowfen. Now, I'm going to find some sharp pointy objects and show them off to Zianro and that stupid head of his." Yes, yes, Vinicius was still holding a grudge against Zianro, but how couldn't he, a man who is known to hold grudges, even so much so his title implies that.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell listened to Zotar as he spoke and felt he was ready to move on to the next stage of training. It would have to be faster in this process if anything was going to get done. But this revenge on Zianro would have to be quelled, nothing good would come of it. "Zianro was acting as a leader should. He made a deal to protect his people from an enemy in a partial truce. All the truce required was your containment. Personally I am sure you would have done the same thing in his situation, and more than likely attacked the opposing tribe while they were confused." Bell inspected the burns now that the salve had a chance to soak into his flesh.

The burns looked to be swelling as they should be. Bell reached into his pack and took out some light gauze, wrapping the first couple inches around his wrist for easier access and proped Zotar's head up on his knee before getting to work lightly wrapping the burn sites. He did not see any fire soldiers approaching them so he guessed they fooled themselves into thinking it was nothing but a forest animal they had shot at.

After he had finished wrapping up Zotar Bell helped him stand up slowly so they could move. "I don't see a good way to deal with Shadowfen right now, so I suggest we go to a safer place until you are healed. I have just the place in mind and it is actually not far from here." Bellistrad started walking to the south and grabbed up his sword and pack. He handed the sword back to Zotar so he could use it as a walking cane. He did not care if Zotar tried to strike him down with his back turned, if it happened than Bell had failed as a teacher.

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It would take them only four hours to arrive at Bell's location, by that time it was midnight. The gentle sounds of falling water filled the forest air as they came down a shallow hill and around a bend to a tall waterfall. "Where we are. What do you think?" Bell laughed and stepped on a thin ledge that went under the waterfall into a cave. Not the most original hiding place but it would keep firebenders out just from the fear of getting wet. Inside was a large room filled with all sorts of supplies, a couple of beds, and a single ray of light from the outside through a small crack in the ceiling illuminating a flower rested there by Bellistrad.

Bell went to one of the mat beds and sat on it cross legged and began to meditate."I believe you are ready to begin the next chakra. Begin by focusing on the energy in your naval, same as before. This time I want you to think about your relationships with other people. Family, friends, platonic, romantic or sexual. Focus on the source of your emotions for them, what beliefs do you have that limit your emotions or cloud them and see what you really feel about them and yourself." Bellistrad could not help Zotar with energy this time, he had to heal his own energy which he began doing immediately.

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General King Zaheed


It was a good couple hours that Zaheed trained Deborah, though he had only wished he could see her progress. The only way he knew of what she was doing was by his bird being his eyes for him. Today was going over some basics of combat, nothing too fancy yet. But either way, one high worry for Zaheed was Deborah's legs, knowing against Zotar she would have to be quick and graceful. Zaheed wondered he could fix that concern.

"That's enough," Zaheed concluded the practice with Icarus squawking words to him he could only understand. Zaheed turned to his pet, "Shut up, you shouldn't say things like that. Need me to remind you of your past? Besides, don't tempt me to put you in your cage, because I will." Icarus was jealous Deborah indeed, well, he also did not take any liking to her. The only reason why he cared to aid in training her was because Zaheed summoned him to. Icarus was prideful to think he would be a far superior assassin than Deborah, which he was probably right but that is because his life was dedicated to the assassination business.

Though sure, Zaheed could of hired a different assassin in the first place instead of Deborah. But Zaheed felt he could not trust them. Zaheed trusted Deborah when after the brawl in Shadowfen she had the choice to leave him, yet she did not. Sure, he could be enraged all he wanted about how she mocked him or blinded him, but there was a positive trait about Zaheed, he knew how to move on from things, putting his mind on bigger better things, thus moving him forward. That was one matter he never understood about Zotar however, why would he devote a large amount of his life to constantly keep in mind someone or something he hates? Why not move on?

"Icarus, you can leave," Zaheed dismissed his bird, with it chirping away before reaching an exit. "Deborah, how are your legs doing? I wish you to be in best health when you head out for your mission." Once she had responded he then, out of subject asked a question rather than barked a command, "Could you hold your hand out for me?" But then he suspected she would hesitate to because of his way to shift power into her, but he was not planning on doing that. "Here," Zaheed grabbed her hand after a few misses of grasping the air, it may have been incredibly awkward, but he had an explanation.

"I have already mentioned that all I see is darkness and then a blur of light- your energy source. I wished to grab your hand because I've been losing an image of what person looks like, all I ever see now that power. But due to your loyalty, the fact that you had the chance to leave me but didn't, and your willingness to go to wherever I call you, I don't want to see you as a thing to merely be used, though you are a person, a soul." Zaheed let go of her hand, "Forgive me, if that was uncomfortable, its just that, when first meeting you, I claimed that you were special, I know now why."




Lord Vinicius


More traveling, well, what more could they do? Vinicius just wished he could go back home, but he did not believe he was well enough to survive a trip from where he was then in Shadowfen all the way back to Murtovaara. So going where ever Bellistrad took him next did not seem as such a bad idea. It was apparent now Bell was not set on ever attacking Vinicius especially when he handed back to him the sword Vinicius was so earlier set on ending him.

Vinicius held the sword close by him, ready for anything to come his way. That was what he strived to keep in mind- be prepared. He thought he was being aware enough, but that was not so, he had burning flesh to remind him. However the thought that he was attacked by his own men bothered him. He tried to tell himself it was a misunderstanding, that they only fired because he was a potential threat. The thought that his own brother actually did give him over to Zianro, that he hated him, it scared Vinicius, it hurt him. So, he went with his first instinct- reject the thought.

"Where we are. What do you think?" Vinicius heard Bell say as soon as they both reached their destination.

"I want to go home...," Vinicius muttered in a low but grim voice. He was tired, not just physically exhausted, but tired of all the travelling, all the surprises, all of the foreign surroundings. Vinicius just wished to be back with his people. But little did he know that if he did return to tribe he would not be accepted, not because of the people, but because of the one of claimed kingship over them.

They had to past through the waterfall, which was not quite so bad, in fact, Vinicius felt relieved when the water poured down against his back and head, hitting those burn spots. Vinicius was hoping he could get him a new pair of clothes, armor would be nice, but anything really would due. The cloak give to him by Bell had already been ripped in some spots to act as bandages and wrapping, though it also was caught in way of the fire. Vinicius also wanted to go ahead and cut his remaining hair short, and trim his long beard down neatly.

But then Vinicius saw Bell sit crossed legged again, that had to mean one thing- mediation. "Oh yay...," Vinicius said to himself sarcastically. Mind as well... The reason why Vinicius did not completely shut down the mediation practices was because it did help him in stop blaming his father's death on him. But he wanted to train, like swords to dummies, wresting, obstacle courses, stuff that he did back when he was home, not sit and think about life.

So he did what Bell wanted, he put into mind his relationships and all the ones Vinicius built was his family. And the source of those emotions was love, or so Vinicius believed. Therefore, he could not understand why his brother would hand him over to Zianro. It made more sense to Vinicius that Zaheed would lure him somewhere and then kill him to take the throne. Why go through all the trouble to making deals with a nation they have been enemies if not rivals with for what feels like ages? But thinking about

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Bellistrad Indorial

When morning finally came Bellistrad stood up and stretched, doing his usual wake up routine before looking over at Zotar. Bell felt his own energy and found it partially healed, but the grief of loosing Shadowfen still lingered. He could make small flames easier than before but larger combat fires still were too much. Bell wrote a letter for Zotar as follows:

Dear Vinicius, I have gone out to gather some things we will need in the coming days. You may roam in the forested area immediately around the cavern and are welcome to anything inside or outside it. Make yourself at home, find some clothes in the storage, and train or meditate as you see fit. I shall return around sundown. Sincerely, Bellistrad Indorial.

After leaving the note Bell had a quick meal of stored nuts before he ran out of the cavern. He traveled to a hidden glade only a mile or so from the cavern and began to fill a leather sack with local flora growing in the glade. All sorts of medical and theraputic flowers grew there along with several marijuana plants put there by Bellistrad himself. There were only a few plants out of around twenty that were in season for the buds that he was to smoke, so he harvested those few plants worth and moved on.

Several hours later Bell had all the plants he needed and set out on his next agenda, gathering something for Zotar to eat and heal on. He needed meat, and so Bell went hunting. He had brought a single dagger with him and it was all he needed. He tracked a young deer through the woods and after an hour he spotted it near a small stream, which ironically ran out of the pool at the bottom of his caverns waterfall uphill from him.

Bellistrad aimed his dagger and threw it with some difficulty at the deer, hitting it in the side and stunning it for a moment as Bellistrad jumped out of the bushes and tackled it. The deer was too scared to run and just tried to buck him off, but Bell grabbed the dagger from it's side and ended the deer's life with a thrust to the heart. Bell said a small prayer for the animal and began to skin the animal, draw and quarter the meat then clean and finally bury it. This process took up the rest of Bellistrad's daylight and he made his way back to the cavern with a satchel full of flora, marijuana and wrapped meats for Zotar.

He was exhausted when he returned and set his pack down to begin taking out the meats and set it on a metal pan over the fire pit."Here, cook this meat and eat it. You are going to need the muscle." Bellistrad washed himself in the waterfall after unpacking everything and then ate a larger meal to compensate for his harder work. "So what did you do while I was gone? Any progress with... anything?"

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General King Zaheed


“If you wish to remember how I look like isn’t it my face you should be touching? Or am I supposed to believe that you only looked at my hands?”

Zaheed chuckled, "Well, I just assumed you would be uncomfortable if I suddenly grabbed your face. But now, that you mention it...," he reached up for her face, trying to touch it without missing or needing guidance by focusing on her voice. "I guess you won't quite mind." He caressed her cheek with his hand, the one that didn't grow to an abominable degree. He guided and glided his finger over the bridge of her nose and to the other cheek.

Zaheed started to long for his sense of sight again, though he claimed he was stronger blind, because without it he would not be able to obtain a unique type of vision he has; Zaheed at this moment felt like he missing out on something special. But yet again, if he were not blind he would be able to feel this type of observant experience. No instead, he would just be simply looking at her, something he would take for granted, something he would not cared as much about as he did now.

"Perhaps it is a good thing that you blinded me. As my fingers stream down against your smooth face you, my mind paints a beautiful portrait, one I dare not to forget. Because this will more that is ever likely be the only image I am permitted to see. I was selfish with sight, not to cherish it-- you, as I do now."

After Zaheed had spoken those words, he noticed something- he was getting attached to Deborah. Those words outpoured through him, and not because he had any plans to make statements today as he just so did. Zaheed now knew why he started to feel this attraction, it was not just because of the loyalty. In a way, Zaheed felt like she understood him or at least tried to, instead of departing and ignoring him or judging and claiming him to be a madman and fool. Also because Deborah did not see him as a monster either, she did not fear him like the rest. At first, that was what he wanted, to be feared by everyone, yet when getting to know Deborah, he did not want that. She was not like everyone.

The woman that made him blind helped him see so much more and because of this, Zaheed rubbed his thumb against her cheek tenderly before leaning in and laying down a kiss upon it. It was a gentle one, the type giving not out of lust but instead of honor as if he were giving respects to a king by kissing his ring. Though Zaheed did not see her as an object, such as a ring. Zaheed was a man that hardly acted upon impulses, but instead made decisive and tedious plans, unless he was under two powerful emotions one being hate and the other love. And out of the two, it was obvious which one he was under.



Lord Vinicius


Vinicius slept just fine, though not completely peaceful, not when he kept in my his family and how much he missed them. Though came the time of morning, Vinicius rushed himself up, he was going to work out his body before Bell decided some event for them. Yet by the looks of it, Bell was no where to be found. That was quite odd, Vinicius was skeptical at first, negative ideas lingered. But fortunately Vinicius came across a letter.

Vinicius was happy that Bell was giving him some free time. First things first, Vinicius wished to find him something to wear so he would feel less naked. Well, he did not seem to be able to find any suits of armor, but no problem Vinicius always preferred to be light on his feet anyways. So he put on a linen long-sleeve shirt, though too big for him but that was also because he needed to gain some weight, and a pair of trousers. Then Vinicius discovered a brown cloak to keep warm and some sandals. Done, now he wanted to do something about his hair, thus looking down at his reflection through the body of water by the waterfall, he cut off any unwanted locks and shaved. His hair was shorter now, shorter then it had ever been, Vinicius usual wore out long hair, now his hair spiked up a bit. And his beard was also trimmed very well and shaved around corners to look cleaner. Having a better looking appearance now lifted Vinicius's spirits, not because he was vain, but instead, he no longer appeared scruffy and broken as he when leaving Zianro's dungeon. Though the burns were still noticeable.

Bellistrad arrived with some items brought after the sun had gone down. "Here, cook this meat and eat it. You are going to need the muscle." He was thoughtful, Vinicius liked that and was no longer mad at Bell for what happened back at Shadowfen, especially because he did not leave Vinicius for dead, and then even handed him back the sword. And Vinicius understood perhaps why Bell would want Vinicius against his brother. Besides, Vinicius is known to hold grudges, but not over everything.

Vinicius grabbed the pan, holding it steadily over the flames. It smelled like paradise to Vinicius, he was ready to tear his teeth into the meat, it has been long. Besides, he knew it would help regain his strength. "So what did you do while I was gone? Any progress with... anything?"

"Oh yeah," Vinicius responded as he feasted on his meal. "Went for a run first, then I decided to build back by muscle by using that sword you gave me as an axe to chop down some firewood." Vinicius directed his head over to the large pile of firewood in the back corner. "But after that I still thought I needed to make more progress so I worked my upper body by climbing trees. Found some nuts also, lots of nuts actually placed them in that basket. Oh and I touched up on my appearance."

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell was going through what supplies they currently had as he listened to Zotar talk about his day. Such a simple aspect to Bell must be new to Zotar as being royalty he normally did not get asked much about his own well being. It was good that Zotar was building his body back up to fighting status. Bell himself was out of physical practice besides all the walking he did from village to village. He thought about maybe training with Zotar in the near future, and he did have a second sword stored at their cave.

When Zotar mentioned his appearance Bell had to see it for himself. Turning around he immediately approved of the look and nodded in acceptance."Much better, now all the woman of Imos will fall to your feet." His sarcasm lightened the mood in the room, and Bell was glad for it. The dark feelings that Zotar had brought with him had been dragging down Bell the entire trip.

As far as Bell could predict they would have non-perishable food to last them another month. Luckily they would not have to wait that long, perhaps a week more at most. As long as Zotar could finish the training within that time, which reminded Bell he should continue with the second chakra training. Bell sat down cross-legged once more and motioned for Zotar to do the same."You have done well, both spiritually and physically. But we have a long road to go still. When I first started this training it took me almost three years to finish with minimal supervision. You must complete your training much faster than that. Let us continue with the naval energy."

Bellistrad placed his hands on opposite sides on his naval area and a bright orange ball of flame burst into life in between his hands. "Just like this flame, your naval and all other energies I have or will show you pulse with energy within your body. But these energies can become clouded and blocked by our emotions. These energy points, called Chakras, are essential to our life source, and use of our magic." He let all this soak in for Zotar and for him to ask any questions he needed. This part of the training would hopefully not take very long but it was all up to Zotar.

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General King Zaheed


After Deborah had reacted Zaheed gave a small bow of his head, signaling his exit. He said nothing more from then, just silence as he left. The course of the next two days training went rather normal, nothing else that may be known as surprising occurred. The lessons went on just as they were suppose to, Zaheed with assistance from his pet teaching Deborah the ways of a skilled assassin. And though the training proved more and more challenge as each hour past, Zaheed was assured with this intensity Deborah would prove the mission to be a success.

And so past the three days all was left was the time of Deborah's departure. After the first day, when her training started, Zaheed did something that almost felt like instinct perhaps because it was on impulse. It was most highly likely that Deborah sure did not forget his feat of the kiss he delivered against the cheek. He sure did not forget it. He questioned if that was a mistake, if she secretly hated him for it. Yes, she thanked him, but Zaheed hoped she would responded in similar action. And how he felt about Deborah for the course of those three days were conflicting. His logical side of Zaheed told him that he was making a mistake attaching himself to her, yet his emotional side, one that he often kept numb and ignored, sensitized ever since she made the choice to stay. And because of this conflict between the two Zaheed became grouchy, not with Deborah of course, but between his servants and subjects. Though around Deborah he was quieter and more reserved, holding in those two diverging mindsets.

Though now was the time for her to leave and journey on her mission, it was when the battle inside his mind grew much more extreme. His logic questioned if she was ready for this, She only had three days, could this mission truly be successful? Yet his emotions pushed Zaheed to be faithful, She will not let you down. And evidently his emotions won this battle.

It is the moment of goodbyes, one last meeting. "So comes the day," Zaheed started with as he made it to their meeting place. "I guess this is farewell for now. I hope your legs are doing well, but either status, I believe in you."




Lord Vinicius


Again, more mediation practice, though Vinicius was hating it less and less each day. It starting getting to the point where the mediations were just daily training, or that was the best way to put it. But yet Vinicius did not see it as training. To him, training is suppose to make you sweat, pant, get the heart pumping. However this, this was just calm and peaceful, training is not suppose to be calm and peaceful, or so he believed.

Then Bellistrad mentioned that it took him three years to finish it? And how long was Vinicius going to have. He always wondered where all this mediation was going towards, why was he learning this in the end? Sure, he guessed the mediations were somehow going to help him understand and wield his powers better and there was also self-evaluation there. But when that was over and done, what then? Vinicius hoped Bell was not still wishing for him to defeat Zaheed, because all the hospitality given to him would make it harder to say no.

Learning about the Chakras was something that did spark Vinicius's interest. Through all of Vinicius's years of training he never learned something like that. Really, he never had a lesson or lecture about magic. He was only taught how to bend fire, not how to understand it. Another thing that Bell stated that drew Vinicius's curiosity was him saying energies become blocked by emotions. Vinicius wondered what kind of warrior could he turn out to be if he could find some way over those emotion. He did not know how to solve that problem, was the solution just not have any emotions at all? Then what would be the point of living?

So in question Vinicius asked, "If emotions create discord what must I do? Rid myself of all emotion?" It did not make sense to Vinicius, were mediations suppose to help him learn about his powers, strengthen them, yet when mediating he often had to think about his life and relationships which led to him thinking about his emotions.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell laughed a little at Zotar's question and showed him exactly how wrong his assumption was. "Quiet the opposite, emotions are key to using magic. But negative emotions put limits on yourself and block your energy flow. Positive emotions have the opposite effect. Why do you think my fire is blue instead of like everyone else's?" As a case in point Bell made a small amount of blue fire in his hand and extinguished it. He was still rather weak from before.

Centering his energy in his palm Bell moved his hand over Zotar's naval and poured his energy through it to help unblock the energy."Focus here for now, and work your way up from there. Soon you will realize that it is not how you are different from everyone else, it is how you are the same. It will show in yourself as well." With that Bell went into a deep meditation until the end of the night.

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When morning came Bellistrad left again for a further distance this time. He left for a secret ruined circle in the middle of the woods for spiritual growth. He arrived at the overgrown ruins and immediately started meditating, healing his energy once again. He would be this way until nightfall,sacrificing a day's time for his energy back.

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She hadn't dreaded for the day but when it finally was there and she listened to the king's farewell Deborah mostly felt anxious. Perhaps she felt a bit nervous as well, but not scared. She just dreaded failure after he had put so much faith in her. She only whished not to let him down, but she couldn't help but feel doubt. And she wanted to express her concerns, but she couldn't. She could just keep quiet and smile before saying her farewells, "Thank you king, and I hope we'll meet again."

After that she left Murtovaara for the second time in her life, this time by herself. And she didn't know if that was the thing she felt the most anxious about, being out there all by herself. Trying to go to the right place, which probably was easier said than done. She knew where she was supposed to find the one who was suspected to be the king’s brother but she still needed to get there. It was a great honor to be handed such an assignment but at the same time it was a great pain, extremely troublesome. Requiring so much of her.

But she didn't complain that much about her, while traveling she got plenty of time to think about things. Her life. What had happened between her and the king. To her there were so many question marks around the whole thing. She was pretty sure that the king was or at least were married at some point, which meant he had a wife some time ago. Because she knew for sure that he had kids. She had lived in the same place as him and them for quite some time even though she was placed in the basement. But she had seen his kids not just once, the servants was not that good at keeping secrets either. She had just asked them about it once and they had told her almost everything. What really troubled her was her position in the whole thing, what would that make her? Some sort of mistress? Deborah was not that keen on such an idea.

In the end she had actually made her way to something that resembled what she had been told about. It was at least a waterfall, if it had some sort of cave or space behind it was not something she could judge from the outside. And just walking there to try didn't seem like the best idea. But she didn't need that, when she arrived it was still night time and the third ability she had found out worked the best in the dark. After a long breath with her eyes closed she opened them, indeed detecting the two heat signatures in there. As soon as she had made sure it was the right place she closed her eyes again, because even though it was an extremely simple thing to do it was at the same time extremely painful. It felt like her eyes were burning up and at the same time the head started to hurt like crazy. But it was another mixture of the air and the fire which made her heat sense more refined than most fire wielders. But she preferred to not use it, at all.

For some time she wondered if she should just head in now while they slept. But after a bit of thinking she decided that it wasn't the best choice, in there she would be trapped. She had no idea how the inside looked or what they could be hiding. There only where two humans but that didn't mean that it was just to walk right up to them. And her head still felt like it had just been smashed against a wall, so she doubted an attack at this point would be the best thing. She wasn't able to focus at the moment.

So she waited for a while, for the headache to ease and the target to leave the cave. Sadly the first one who left didn’t look like the one she waited for at all. She doubted that he could be the king’s brother, they didn't look even slightly related. So when he walked away she didn't make any attempts to follow him, instead she continued to wait for the second one in there.

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Lord Vinicius


Vinicius listened closely to Bellistrad's response because he truly did wished to get his questions answered. This whole mediation think, it was so different, yet the unknown things in life are what make man curious. Bell urged Vinicius to see how he was not different from everyone else, then that means everyone else is not different from him. Vinicius struggled with that idea, he felt it be a good one, one that prospers peace. But it seemed to him that since birth he was taught that he was different, the tribe was different from all other nations. Even to put it this way, the fire tribe is superior to all others.

Vinicius mediated harder, because this was no longer just sitting down and thinking to him. Mediation started to appear to him as a time of discovery. He started to list inside of his mind the same things he had in common with his enemies, people he would affiliate as different from him. One person that came in mind was obviously Zianro, Vinicius hated that man and struggled believing they were the same.

In the end Vinicius fell asleep during his mediation, he exhausted his mind enough it went to rest. In the morning, waking up Vinicius still felt tired from the night before. But he was going to wake himself up with some combat training. Getting up, Bell was no where to be seen. He was probably out again, so Vinicius lifted himself off the ground and onto his feet. His back was still sore from the burns, and he was starting to feel it from his face. But Vinicius was a man that made the decision to usually shake off pain. So he did.

Vinicius grabbed his sword given to him by Bell. Vinicius then walked out of the cave, feeling that refreshing cool sensation of the water hitting his back. Water was not so bad after all, perhaps being singed a few days ago was not so bad after all. Sometimes life's torments are its best teachers. Vinicius sprinted over to a tree where he then began to duel it with blade in hand, sure the tree was not as good as an alive opponent, but it would have to do. After preforming clean quick strikes Vinicius stopped, he thought he heard something, but yet he kept in mind that he was near wildlife. So he continued driving his sword into the trunk, but stopped again, this time he swore he heard somebody, and ever since the ball night Vinicius learned you can never be to careful.

Thus he just stood there, he did not turn around or anything, but instead appeared as if he was catching his breath. If there was anyone after him, he wanted to give them the impression that he was merely occupied to gather air into his lungs, but his real intentions was to find this person.

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The second one to exit through the waterfall could be the one, out of the two he definitely looked more like the older brother. Or well, they had the same hair color. That was everything she could tell from this distance. And it was not like she knew how the smaller brother was supposed to look, she had never seen him before. If it weren't paintings of him in the castle, but even if that was the case she never took time to look at those. The second thought that troubled her was the thing he held in his hand. It didn't exactly look as a stick, and it shined as the light hit it. So he was most likely armed now. She almost regretted not deciding to pursue the other one, that one just looked easier.

But it wasn't her decision, she knew who she was after and it was definitively not the first one. But a part of her hoped that it wasn't the second one either. He just looked like a lot more trouble, but who could it other could it be? A third person she hadn't even seen when she looked? Not likely. Or was there supposed to be another location that looked the same as this? That was not likely either. So with a small sigh she started making her way over to the man, trying to see if she could spot his forearms. But it was as the king had said, they were indeed covered. So she really had to get those things off first.

The closer she got the more troubled she got, that was a sword he held and those hurt. She had never been in a sword fight for real, she doubted it was the same for him. So with each step she got more nervous, more doubtful, the adrenalin pumped through out her body. Like she was walking towards death himself.

It wasn't as easy as the king had described it like, she couldn't just blind the man temporarily while checking his forearms. He wasn't facing her. It didn't work then. She needed his eyes directed towards her, or at least not turned away completely. As long as he wasn't facing away or had them closed it would work. Now, not so much so. And it scared her. That she had no idea how she was supposed to do it once she got close to him.

Her hand was clenching down at the blade by now as she tried to keep her breathing under control, trying to think out how she was supposed to do this. But it was as if she drew a blank, no ideas popped into her mind.

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Lord Vinicius


Vinicius waited and waited and waited some more, but nothing. He first considered that he was being too paranoid. Yet when that thought first arrived his mind, he quickly brushed it off. After the events in his life, he knew you could never be too cautious. Perhaps if he were careful enough in his past he would have to deal with the burns against his flesh. And speaking of those burns, as Vinicius stretched back his arm to strike the tree, he felt the pain scream from his back. He tried ignoring it, as he often does with afflictions, yet it had gotten to the point that his practice was being hindered by it.

So he quit his supposed sword fighting and made his way back to the waterfall. He first let the water splash down against his face, hitting the right spots in the cheeks, before he went to strip of his cloak. His cloak was what was covering his brand marks, so when he removed himself from it, his markings were revealed. He gave his arms quick glances, checking out if he had built anymore muscle. He was making progress, that was all he could hope for now.

Vinicius turned, face directed to the cave entrance. He then took of his shirt, exposing the burn and letting it be submerged by the water that streamed down. It felt so refreshing to bear the sensation of such cool water against the singed skin. He remembered how not to long ago Bell jumped fully into the pool of water. Which was quite odd to Vinicius at first, for Bell is a fire bender, yet he embraces water. But now, Vinicius's mind started opening up, he could see now why Bell would do such a thing.

But though Vinicius was basking the relief of the waterfall, he still kept in mind a paranoia that would protect him for the attack yet to come. For he hooked to his belt the blade, such he would feel more comfortable with it in his hand however it would make washing his face inconvenient. At his waist side would do for now, or would it?

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She must had freaked out by some point, because she had apparently stopped. Hesitating so much that she had not approached them man further. She had just watched how he went inside the cave again. And she got annoyed at herself for letting him do that, because now he was in that secret place she couldn't study before. She had no idea what hide behind the water covered entrance. But she could wait and hope for him to return outside again. But she doubted that he would. And the second one could return anytime now. More people could get here at any time, she had no idea if they actually was waiting for someone since they had stayed here for some days.

So she knew she had to go inside there and just hope for the best. So after some deep breathes she made her way over to the waterfall, standing beside it and hesitating once more. The second man could return at any point, that got her even more nervous. So she had to look around, see if she could see any such movements in the nearby environment. But nothing, everything was quiet and it was now or never. Or she tried to tell herself that at least, to force her mind to that point where there was no return.

This time she prepared before, she had no idea what would face her on the inside but she just had to hope for the best and use her light to blind the man. If she was lucky he wouldn't be facing away this time or covering his eyes. So the glow spread from her hands over her body, until all of her glowed like she had done inside of Shadowfen. But the light was not nearly as strong as that time, at that time she had lost control over it, it was her rage that had shown itself. Now she had control, she couldn't let the man inside see her approach from the outside, so she couldn't use as much power as then.

But the water streaming down her face wasn't nearly something she would call refreshing while she passed through it, it just made everything worse. She felt the weight of it, how hard it hit her body, she felt like the pressure on her shoulders just got twice as heavy because of it. That little moment when she had it streaming down over her felt like an eternity, but when it finally was over she let the explosion lose. Still not nearly as powerful as the one in Shadowfen, it had just about covered the whole cave. And she had no idea if it was enough, but she wasn't blinded and she had to use those precious seconds or minutes where she hoped that the man couldn't see to get to him.

So she dashed forward while trying to check where she stepped, she still feared traps, but she got to the man and the first thing she went after was his forearms like she had been instructed. She needed to know if it indeed was the little brother of the king. But with each second that passed her heart beat got more violent, she had no clue when the man would regain his vision.

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Lord Vinicius


Vinicius continued showering his body in the streaming waterfall, it seemed his body had gotten use to the water after his imprisonment because even then was he showering but in sake of torture and torment. The water rushed down fast but especially loud, so at this point he could not hear anyone and necessarily he could not see anything with the water in his eyes. Plus his mind started to wander, sure he would try to force himself back to being cautious yet when people usually shower its a time of relaxation not a time to be on guard.

When Vinicius was finished he grabbed his cloak, drying his face with it, when suddenly he looked up a great flash of light blinded him. Vinicius first reaction was to take a step back, but evidently when he did, Vinicius caused himself to fall into a great pool of water. This was his worst nightmare, because not only could he not see but he was drowning. And drowning was one of his dire fears. He splashed and kicked around, not knowing how to swim. Well, it was more like not remembering, because he once did have lessons on how to swim just as a water bearer may know how to heal their burns, Vinicius learned how to rescue himself from suffocating underneath the weight of water.

But he brushed the lessons off, he hated ever dipping himself into water. And sometimes, he hated his father for urging him to, though now Vinicius knew it was for his best that father did so. He wished he treasured those lessons, enough to remember them, he wished he treasured his father more, enough to have been more obedient. In the midst of Vinicius's struggle between life and death, he started to feel ungrateful. Like he was not thankful enough in the past for his father, for his family, and even for Bell. Bellistrad, Vinicius wished he was here now to save his life for the third time, the first was from Zianro, the second time was from death by burning. And it hurt Vinicius to think he was going to end that kid's life.

He wondered what Bellistrad would do now, what would he tell Vinicius? He recalled their mediation sessions, how it always seemed to Vinicius that Bell talked about finding peace, forgiveness in himself and in others, to stop fighting. And that was it! Perhaps that was the best option in this situation, stop fighting. So that was what Vinicius did, already getting exhausted by the kicking and squirming, he ceased it and let his body sink. If anyone would of seen what Deborah did, they would suspect Vinicius had died, that he had drowned under there.

But beneath the surface, Vinicius experienced flashbacks, lessons with his father. As if his mind was forcing him to remember in hope for survival. Though it was not only his father he had heard, but also Bellistrad. Keeping a rhythm, letting his energy flow through him, that is how Vinicius felt about the water that surrounded him.

And with those words making home inside his head, he was able to ascend from the water, grabbing and climb over the rocks and onto the surface, when he spotted this attacker departing. He was not going to let her leave. So with all his speed- which was an incredible amount, he charged over to her, leaped his light body up into the air and hook a kick right in the back of her head. Perhaps that was not enough to knock her fully on the ground, but the strike stunned her enough to lose balance where Vinicius then swept his foot under herself, taking her down at lighting speed. And with one more swift blow Vinicius jammed his palm against her forehead, rendering the assassin unconscious.

When she out Vinicius tore strips of fabric from the bottom of his cloak for binds to put around the assassin's wrists and ankles. After tightly securing the makeshift ropes, Vinicius drug the woman back to the waterfall, near the pool. He woke up her up by submerging her head into the water, keeping her there for ten second before lifting her back up. "Who sent you?!" he yelled, not getting answers, he bashed her head back into the water for twice as long this time. "I said, who sent you?!"

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell was returning from his spiritual healing with a smile on his face and blue flames in his hands as he tossed a ball of flame from one hand to the other. He was now able to fight with fire once again, but not at the level shown in Zianro's palace. He didn't think he would be able to do that ever again. It was something he felt in his body during meditation, a pain in his lungs he did not have before.

He had decided to be more cautious and to slow his smoking habit. Bell quenched his fireball as he neared the waterfall and stepped out into the clearing so he could see it in all it's glory. He inhaled the moist aid and... stared in disbelief as Zotar was dunking a strange looking female's head into the water and screaming at her. Bell reacted on instinct and shot a small missile of blue fire at Zotar aimed at his chest, the fire only going as far as contact so it would not have enough time to burn him before it went out but the force of the impact would send him back several yards.

Bell did not speak and aimed his closed fists behind him, jumping at the same time he sent out a large stream of fire, launching him forward so that he landed next to the girl. Bell immediately examined her and lit a small flame in his hand to flash in front of her face. If she was paying attention she would more than likely follow it with her eyes letting him know she was okay. After examining her Bell let her lay on the ground still bound in the rags and stood to stared at Zotar.

"Have I taught you nothing? Violence will only indulge more violence, you will get no where doing this. I thought you would have learned that from Zianro already, but you obviously need more training than I thought." Bell looked down at the girl and then back at Zotar, standing over her with his fists burning blue. He knew that Zotar would more than likely attack him now, so he got into a combat stance and kept his blue fire at the ready.

"I will take care of the girl, I don't what she is doing here but I will handle it. Go and rest for tonight and I will join you soon."

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Lord Vinicius


Vinicius felt a force launched his body back, knocking him off his feet and onto the ground. He caught hint of a blue flame, and by just the sight of that, Vinicius knew it was Bellistrad. Vinicius despised the fact Bell had to come in at this time, at this exact moment, it looked bad for Vinicius, he look rather vicious. At the ground Vinicius quickly got back up by rolling his body side ways and jumping onto his feet.

"Have I taught you nothing? Violence will only indulge more violence, you will get no where doing this. I thought you would have learned that from Zianro already, but you obviously need more training than I thought."

"Now is not the time for you to lecture me, Bellistrad! This is an assassin!" Vinicius yelled with aggression, although he was not set on attacking Bell. Instead Vinicius merely marched closer to him. "She tried to kill me, you know what I have been through. And don't think for one second I would not fight back." Vinicius did not want to hurt Bell, he owed his life to this man, but that does not mean Vinicius will not disagree with him.

At least Vinicius knew one thing from the little time that he had to interrogate the intruder, she was not a water bender. That was what Vinicius first made note of when the flash of light blinded him. He was lucky when his assumption was right that the power came from her. Though he did not know if he was happy for making note of that. Because if she could create light, fire is light, what if she is some type of fire bender? No, she could not be, the fire tribe after Vinicius. He tried to convince himself that perhaps if his own people were after him, what if it could be because they were spotted in Shadowfen. But why would they track them down? And how would they know it was Vinicius they fired at though the soldiers did not investigate.

"I will take care of the girl, I don't what she is doing here but I will handle it. Go and rest for tonight and I will join you soon."

Vinicius stepped back, rest, he would like that right now. Some time to clear his head, sort out thoughts that tormented his mind. "Fine...," Vinicius responded bitterly, but at least he cooperated with Bell on that. Vinicius slowly turned around glaring at Bell and then at the assassin, mainly at her really. He then emerged into the cave.

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She wasn't sure what had happened, because the first thing Deborah saw when she awoke from being knocked out was the subject. The one that had been drowning just a moment ago, or she thought so. But apparently not. He was screaming. She didn't really care, she was just concerned with how much her head hurt. He wanted to know who sent her, she didn't tell. But as she returned from inside the waterfall again, coughing, she did at least look at him. She wasn't surprised that the both of the brothers seemed to favor choking others.

And then she fell to the ground, getting pulled down as the man flew backwards. It had happened in seconds, she wasn't really sure what had happened, but she was sure she had seen something blue. It was strange, she couldn't remember seeing anything like that before. But apparently it was the other stranger from before, the one she had seen walking away. And even if his speech seemed friendly Deborah only glared at him from the ground. If she wasn't bound, she would probably try once more. Blind the targets and go after the little brother, but now she could only lie there and glare at them.

She tried to get lose, to squirm around, but she didn't get lose. Her wrists and arms was still trapped, like this she was not going to be able to complete her mission. Like this she wasn't able to do anything. Just lie here. Reminded her of the prison or the sickbed. But this was probably worse. The smaller brother knew she was an assassin, he had warned the other one, there was no point in hoping that she would be released. Therefor she wouldn't even try begging and she was not even close to being good enough at manipulating herself out of this mess, so silence was the only choice she had at the moment.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell only released his fighting stance when Zotar had fully entered the cave, and even then stared at the waterfall for a full minute before finally relaxing. He slipped the pack off his shoulder and set it down, pulling out his hookah and setting it up on the ground. Bell drug some dead logs over to where Deborah was and made a little camp fire complete with two larger logs set aside as seating. Bell set up a tripod over the fire that held some water Bell put in it and some vegetables to make a vegetarian stew. After putting the last of the food in the stew Bell finally paid attention to Deborah.

He made a small blade with blue flame at the end of his finger tips and approached her. "Let me give you some advice. Before I cut these bonds I will ask you kindly not to run or fight back. If you run I will either have to eliminate the threat you are before you can harm Zotar or myself. Or I can let Zotar have you to himself, and I don't think he has as much tolerance for half breeds as I do." Yes, he knew about her parentage without needing anyone to tell him. He could sense the fire energy in her, but also something else. It was almost certainly Air but he couldn't be sure.

As per his promise he cut the bonds and immediately stepped back to sit on his log while the other log sat open across the fire from him. He took his hookah tube and started smoking, the other tube nearer to Deborah. He gestured to the open invitation and waited calmly."Join me, have a meal and we can talk about things. I mean only the best for everyone here."

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Some people she would never be able to figure out, how their mind worked. Deborah only watched the stranger with his blue flame as he approached her, talking about how he would let her go. Set her free. But apparently thought she would just gladly join him for dinner and sit their obediently as if it was a completely normal thing to do. If she had wondered if the king was crazy at times he wasn't nearly as insane as this one was. In her eyes he was a complete idiot.

As soon as he had cut through the thing that kept her trapped she sat up, she was still moving slowly. Watching him and what he would do while rubbing her wrists. One thing that puzzled her extremely was how he could know that she was of half breed, he hadn't seen her power - yet. There was nothing in her opinion that would spill the truth about her. And clearly she didn't care the slightest what he thought or his threats about either killing her himself or just handing her over to the little brother.

She still hadn’t spoken even a single world as her skin started glowing once more, lighting up the cave and even its darkest corners. She wasn't scared about being spotted this time, she had already been seen. There was nothing that would make her restrain her power. She didn't care about blinding the men - but that was never a guarantee. She just needed enough time to get to the other one and finish him off, she wasn't sure where her blade was but she didn't need it.

And she released the explosion, just like last time, letting the light swallow the cave whole as she turned around and dashed after the smaller brother. She only needed to get close enough, death or not she would bring him down with her. From her palm the small orb grew, it was reasons to why she had told the king not touch it when she had warmed him up. But this time there would be no warnings, she would let it meet someone else’s flesh for the first time. She had never used it is a violent way before, she wasn’t sure what it would do. She just knew it would be painful if it succeeded, she had a self-made sun in her palm.

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Bellistrad Indorial

The flash was unexpected, but for Bellistrad it was something beautiful instead of frightening. The light had always been a symbol of purity in his visions and now to bare witness to pure light being created brought tears to his eyes, not from him becoming temporarily blinded but from the afterglow of this light in his memory. "That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Thank you for showing me this." Bell bent forwards and stretched his arms out across the ground as far as they could go, making himself flat in a low bow of humility.

He sensed the heat of her palm becoming extremely powerful, but he seemed not to care for the incoming threat. He was not her target as far as he knew so he felt no danger from her. He sat up and stared into oblivion only seeing outlines of heat against the black. "If you choose to use violence against Zotar, know this. He is more than willing to do the same. I will not stop you in your path if you wish it to be filled with bloodshed. Mine on the other hand is much calmer and has open arms for anyone willing."

Bell started smoking again, the heat of the still burning material giving him the basic idea of where the tube was for him to grab. He sat in silence and stared at where Deborah's outline was against the energy of the forest around them. He made no move to stop Deborah from getting to Zotar, knowing that whatever fate had in store would not be stopped one way or the other.

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Lord Vinicius


Vinicius rushed one foot after the other, sprinting quickly from what he left behind, that being the assassin and Bell. He did not know what happened to that young man Vinicius would consider his friend after the couple times he saved his life. But Vinicius had only hoped the best for him. Sure, there were many times Vinicius did not understand Bell, but that would not force Vinicius to forget his kindness. Vinicius did feared the kid was too compassionate for his own good, however he also seen Bell efficient when it comes to fire bending. In otherwords, he has his special blue fire, that has to be good for something.

But now was the time Vinicius departed from Bellistrad, things would perhaps be better that way, bringing danger farther away from Bell. Because according to Vinicius the assassin would not be there in the first place if he was not. So, that had him concluded if he is gone, then Bell will be safer. Besides, Vinicius felt he no longer was needed with Bell anymore, from the first moment that Vinicius was put in Zianro's dungeon, he has been longing to return home. And finally, he was going to make that reality. He was a free man, Bell claimed that he was not his master, that Vinicius could make his own decisions. And he did. For while Bell and Deborah were outside of the cave and Vinicius inside, he immediately prepared him for a journey back to Murtovaara. Once gathered what he needed, Vinicius approached a space in the rock walls, a small hole which he had been taking notice of from since when he first entered the cave. Vinicius bent his knees and crawled in, making his exit.

And now he was gone, on his way back to a place and a tribe he called home. He did not know if he was going to be welcomed, or if what Bell had said was true. But he saw this as a time to get answers once and for all.

Vinicius travelled for the course of five days before he made it to Murtovaara. He was starving, thirsty but none of that mattered when he set foot on his homeland. He was happy to finally be there, but things were different, the whole atmosphere of the tribe felt like the way Vinicius felt when imprisonment, the people there seemed trapped, his people. They were not slaved, yet looking into their eyes from far distance, Vinicius saw brokenness. Life here had no color. Vinicius wore the hood from his cloak to keep from being spotted as the tribe’s former king, he wanted to explore a little bit more. Though when he did, he discovered something quite odd- Zaheed had his very own statue of himself, well, it more than just a simply sculpture, it was worshipped. Candles, people, offerings, it all surrounded him with criers proclaiming the victory Zaheed gained when tearing down Shadowfen and of Zaheed’s magnificent godhood. Vinicius was confused, he worshipped the tribe’s gods, not his brother. This was not right, it did worry Vinicius. Another thing that struck Vinicius was the statue itself, sure it had Zaheed’s face, but its body was deformed, parts bigger than others.

But instead of wondering about his brother, it was about time he gave Zaheed a little visit. Vinicius made his way to the palace gate. When he approached the guards there, they were of course alarmed when meeting a mysterious hooded stranger and when he lowered his hooded, they could not entirely recognized him, not with the new hair due and burns. So Vinicius lifted up his forearms, revealing his marks, and they knew who this exactly was.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Gone. He was gone. Her target had escaped. Where and how he had been able to escape she had no idea about, she had been there, in the front, where they had to go through when leaving the cave. She had been watching it the whole time! But he was gone. She couldn't understand how he could be gone, but he was. And she had failed because there were no way for her to track him down now. She didn't know how he did that. He wasn't a member of the air tribe! If anyone was supposed to be able to do something like that it should be them, but fire members couldn't turn invisible, right? She had never seen something like that before.

And she was furious. At him, at herself, at the idiotic person in the front that was bowing to her because she blinded him. He was extremely annoying. Everything was extremely annoying. She was exploding, on the inside and probably outside as well. She wasn't sure, she only knew that she was screaming as she threw the light ball at the cave wall. Nothing happened, it was stone, what could heat do against something as stone. It was just as useless as fire.

She continued to wreck the cave like that for a good while, she just didn't know what else she would do. And she was so mad, she couldn't help it. The anger had consumed her. She didn't actually realize what she was doing until the moment she gazed down upon her knuckles and saw how the skin had gotten scraped off, reveling the flesh underneath while the blood started to drip. At that point she gave up, she stopped going berserk and just stood there and stared into the wall. Wondering what she was supposed to do now, go back? Probably. There was nothing else she could do, she had to admit her failure and see what faith would be awaiting her now.

After a while of just standing around and thinking she walked out of the cave, she paid no attention to the strange second man she had no business with. She just walked out and started to make her journey back to Murtovaara, which would be a lot longer than planned. The forest looked them same wherever she went. Trees everywhere, a couple of larger stones here and there. Nothing that really stood out. And she had no idea from which direction she had come from, she was lost. But there wasn't anything else she could do but continue to walk through the forest that got more and more irritating according to her.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS



Vinicius was walking, more like he pushed and shoved- forced, would be the word. For now he would reach a destination, but it was not the palace, no he had already completed his path there, one he wished he never made. Because it was there at the palace that Zaheed spilled everything, and not just the blood of their two other siblings, Zenas and Gabriella. But Zaheed told Vinicius of every crime he committed to own the throne, to be king. Vinicius's kidnap, that was Zaheed's fault, their mother's death, Zaheed poisoned her. Vinicius was surprised their father's assassination was not Zaheed's fault either, but no, he only replied to say no matter how much he rejoice in the hour of discovering his father's death, he could not take credit of it.

Vinicius stood up for his brother, and now, it felt like he was taking a stab to the back. And soon enough he was going to receive much more suffering. Vinicius was on his way to judgment, to face a punishment he did not commit. He could hear Zaheed's voice from a distance, it was a loud roar, a powerful one, he played the part of a superior very well.

"My only sister and youngest brother are both dead, because of Vinicius. As you all know, on the day of his ball, Vinicius was kidnapped, kept in captivity. Yet somehow escaping he returned here, but not with a longing for his family, not to cherish time with the ones he loves, no, he came with a wrath, a bloodlust, vengeance. In anger that we did not rescue him, Vinicius ended their lives," Zaheed lied, yet convinced every soul that surrounded as Vinicius was kicked into the center of the circle the people made up.

They handed him a sword before making it to the center of judgment, and he accepted it, for now. Yet he then found out what was happening, four armored soldiers surrounded, ready to make a show of him. They wanted him to fight, wanted to see the violence in his eyes. But no, Vinicius did not want to be that, not anymore. He had his eyes closed before in the past, as he ran berserk with weapon in hand, though now, his eyes were open and so was his palm. Vinicius dropped the blade.

Zaheed, seeing this, waved a dismissal for his troops, as he then walked into the circle. "Go on, Vinicius, pick up the sword, and fight me, spill my blood just as you did to Zenas and Gabriella." Was Vinicius tempted to do what he said and charge at Zaheed? No, not even close, he was just broken. More broken than he was when he was imprisoned, because even then he had hoped he had a family and tribe he could one day go back to. But now, his family was gone, nothing but a monster of his blood lasted, and the tribe hated him.

So Vinicius fell to his knees, and Zaheed shot a smirked at him and eyes that said, I win. It was what Zaheed dreamed of, his brother to the ground, and Zaheed rising above him. But if anyone knew Zaheed, they would know, he always wants more. "So he accepts the cost of it a murder deserves," Zaheed turned around to grab a branding iron that was dipped into a pot of fire. Zaheed lifted up the glowing metal that held shape of the letter "v", "Though I could order his execute, let it rather be he walks the miserable life as an exile. And to remind him of who he is, this mark will carve the name of which stands for, Vinicius, vengeance."

Zaheed deeply pressed the branding iron into Vinicius's cheek, with Vinicius groaning, and though the pain of burning was one not unfamiliar with him, thus it did not bring as much suffering as what it stood for, Vinicius, Zotar did this to himself, sure he did not kill his two siblings, but he harvested and dedicated his life to holding grudges and cursing his enemies, to be violence, to be vengeance.

No, he did not want this anymore. After he was exiled, banished, on the outskirts of the fire tribe, Zotar grasped his cheek, wanting to rip it out. He did not want to be Vinicius anymore, he just wanted to be his self again.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell heard the ruckus coming from the cave and sighed, knowing that his hide away was all for naught now. Zotar had found the secret way out and more than likely went to the Fire Tribe. Bell stood and extinguished the fire having waited long enough for his sight to return. He did not have time to worry about the girl and instead had to rush into the cave shortly after she left to find whatever was left and salvage it. In the end he took what food he needed, any herbs he could find and enough clothing to last for awhile. He hid himself within a black long cloak and pulled the hood over his head, found the second sword and equipped it then finally started his way out of the forest.

It would take him several days to reach Murtovaara and he arrived just in time to watch Zotar's exile in person as he hid in the crowd. He couldn't help but think that Zaheed seemed to be corrupted physically by energy similar to Bell's only the polar opposite of his alignment. Zaheed had gone completely negative and it showed in the worst way. Bell dared not try and stop any of the events, that would be suicide at this point. All he could do was wait for Zotar to leave the village and do so himself soon after.

Unfortunately for him the guards at the front gate stopped him on the way out by blocking his path and questioning his presence. Bell answered their questions with a small average colored flame on the tip of his finger showing that he was indeed from the Fire Tribe, but they were too curious. One flipped up Bell's hood with their sword and immediately Bell knew he would be exposed from his blue hair. He spun in a circle and made a ring of fire around him but was too slow, one of the guards had shot a smaller fireball at Bell and hit him right in the face knocking him on the ground and burning the tips of his hair.

As Bell was grappled and subdued he managed to knock his attackers off with plums of flame from his mouth but was stabbed in response. The pain was not too bad but Bellistrad was bleeding his life away on the ground slowly from his side. Without many options Bell gave up the fight and let them shackle him. His wound was hastily cauterized and he was thrown in the jails. There was no way out of this prison for him, everything was set up to disallow fire from being effective in the cell. All carbon-steel shackles and walls surrounded him as he hung from his arms against a wall.

As he waited for anyone to come for him, more than likely Zaheed, Bellistrad filled his body with positive emotions and became almost happy with being in prison. He didn't understand why but as long as he was happy with it he didn't care.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed


Zaheed's footsteps were heavy and could be easily heard from a distance. So, Bell had been captured, Zaheed would not expect to see his face in tribe again, not after their encounter near Lakeshore. But here he was, shackled against the wall, hung up by his wrist. It seemed anyone who messed with Zaheed ended up in some form of imprisonment, or struggle, Deborah, Zotar, and now again Bellistrad.

Too bad for Zaheed, he would not get to stare down at Bell's frightened face, or at least what Zaheed had hoped would be the expression on the boy. Sure, Zaheed has questioned himself, asking if fear is what he wants from people? Sometimes, he wonders what life would be if it would be love he got from people, but he would not know, or so he would claim, because according to Zaheed he did not get that growing up. Though in reality, he just blocked out all others if he could not get what he wanted, that of course being his father's favor.

"Bellistrad Indorial...," Zahhed called out his name in a low but eerie voice. However Zaheed could clearly see Bell in an energy embodied form, he was lighter and brighter than any people he has yet met with, for not his brother nor Deborah, even known of all his loyal subjects did he see have such a vivid shade of blue. "Surprise, I'd be seeing you hear again. Heh, you never learn?"

Zaheed did not see Bellistrad as a threat, he saw him as a fool. What was his goal in freeing Zotar? Did not Zotar hate Bellistrad already, anyone who defied the fire tribe, anyone who was exiled from it, were people Zotar lowed down upon as worthless, well the Zotar Zaheed once knew, or more like perceived as. Even before Zotar took up the title of Vinicius, Zotar was one to hold all love to the fire tribe, and all hate to those who were not.

"I have gotten much stronger since we last met," Zaheed lifted up his abnormally large fist, then smashed it right above Bellistrad's head, crushing the stone that made of the wall behind his knuckles. He did not suspect he scared Bellistrad, nor was that his goal. But the move was more over showing off, and he was not going to stop there, he had another feat he wished to display. "But not only with my physical strength, but with my magical being also..." Zaheed reached out to absorbed Bellistrad's energy.



Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


In exile Zotar had with him his clothes he was wearing now and his daggers, his personal ones. And now they even much more meaning to Zotar, for the two blades were what was used to kill his siblings. He knew if he was going to stop Zaheed, he would have to survive, and those he wished to throw asunder the blades because of what they reminded him of, Zotar knew he needed them Zaheed of course gave them to him to torment his brother, the man was sick.

Zotar needed to build an army if he wanted to end the destruction in Imos. So he journeyed his way to Airedale. Zotar did not know anything about the air tribe other than the fire tribe never messed with them, well at least not any moment that Zotar could remember in his lifetime. Zotar set up his camps when he needed rest, stopped at rives when thirsty, and hunted when starving. But kept him sane through all this was mediating. Zotar was lonely, he wished he had Bell was him, though every time he did that crossed-legged sitting position and preceded into mediating, Zotar felt at peace, like he was not alone again, like he had Bell with him.

Soon enough, mediating was something Zotar felt he needed. He did a little different from Bell however, for when Zotar mediated he stood at a fighting stance, practicing combatable moves, letting the energy flow through him, and it felt like dream, tranquility. Within many days he finally reached Airedale, but how was he suppose to get the air tribe leader's contact? He had an idea, he needed to get attention, well its going to get him noticed.

At the very boundaries of the land, when he was first seeing air tribe soldiers, Zotar first alarmed them by lifting up a flame, showing his element. "I am Zotar Thanos, son of King Zarfu. I require immediate contact with your tribe's leader." Of course they were not going to just bring him to whoever was in charge, no he needed to sound like more of an issue. "The air tribe will be attacked, ignore me and the tribe will be destroyed. This is not a threat, this is a warning." It did not matter what Zotar said it was, saying a tribe would be destroy was a bold statement, one that got him arrested, but he got what he wanted, a trip inside the air tribe and soon with its leader.

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Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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What a horrible day. She had been arguing with the elders of the tribe while waiting for Cailu to return with the water exile when she suddenly learned by what was happening outside of their walls. Apparently the son of the previous fire king took his time to make his way all over to their small village while wearing rags according to the guard who brought her the news. Ara didn't know what was going on inside of Imos anymore, it seemed the whole world had turned upside down. It was mad. Completely insane. Water lords who almost demanded her to put their right hands in a jail they didn't have and now fire princes that preached about destruction and the end of things.

As soon as the news had reached them all Ara sent the elders to their homes again, they had no saying in matters like these. They were only allowed to help her decide what she should do about the survival of the tribe in general. But this wasn't about that, at least she didn't think it was. This was supposed to be her greeting, or questioning what the Fire tribe was doing on their land for the first time in years. She couldn't even remember her father having any trouble with them, they had always been so focused on everyone else or mostly the Water tribe.

Her meeting had been taking place upstairs, in the room that could be described as an office. Most of the time every meeting took place there - but that was because most of the time they only spoke with fellow tribe members over rather trivial things. This time the meeting wasn't going to take place up there, instead she made her way downstairs in the old and worn-out mansion, a place that was built be her ancestor had built. It was the leader’s home, it had always been like that. And now many years after, when the Air tribes glory days was long gone, the original family still lived there. But it was nothing compared to the castle in Murtovaara or the palace in Lakeshore.

But down there, on the first floor was a room they nearly never used, the throne room. They weren't kings or queens, but every leader needed some sort of throne or leaders chair to show that they were the ones in control. To state their superiority. Which was why the Air tribe nearly never used it, they didn't do things like that normally. But now she was supposed to meet a prince of the Fire tribe and she felt like she had to sit in that chair, just to be able to face those people. She didn't want to be the one who wasn't in control, it was the prince that had steeped into her land. This was her territory, she couldn't let him run her over.

So once she was inside the room she sat down on the chair, still holding on to the cane in case she needed to leave in a hurry. You never knew with those kind of people. So when the fire prince, or the one that claimed he was the son of the late king but didn't look like it at all, entered the room she had just gotten used to the old ornate chair. She could see why the guard hadn't believed the man when he claimed to be a prince. She had doubt as well.

But she gestured that the guards should let go off him anyway, but they didn't leave the room, they just placed themselves in the back besides the door. Ready if needed. "I'm is Ara Cilivren, the daughter of the late leader of Airedale. I'm the current leader. My guards told me that you claim to be the son of the late king of Murtovaara, we've heard of his passing but nothing more than that. News from Murtovaara is quite rare around here. But is it true, are you who you say you is? I would like some proof of that in that case."

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed


"Zaheed, you are so naive like a child trying to play with a man's sword. You never learned that magic and emotion is nearly the same thing, and it effects everything around you. I hope this experience has taught you something."

It was not so much Bellistrad’s words that awoken Zaheed’s wrath, it was to feel a depowering among his body. If he could see his physical self, Zaheed would watch as veins dim. He worked so hard to get to that almight status, and now it was faded right in front of him. Zaheed balled a fist with normal hand, slamming it into Bell’s head four times before then kicking and kneeing him in the stomach. “You’re the fool here! You are! Not me! You!” He shouted madly as he struck him.

“I have plenty of slaves, plenty of vessels to drink from in Shadowfen!” Much to drink, yet he would always be thirsty for more with the now positive energy destroying his negative kind. On the down side for Bell, Zaheed would be leaving great amounts of earth bender powerless when robbing them of all their energy. “I could kill you now, but, I never waste an opportunity. You might actually prove useful. Talking with Zotar before I exiled him, he mentioned you, he actually saw you as a companion, eh? Well, then you’re the perfect thing to use against him.” Zaheed spat on Bell before turning around and exiting.



Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


In Airedale, everything looked so much smaller. Well, the fire tribe were a people known to find the most appreciation in things being big and flashy. Zotar would say after observing his surroundings, the air tribe people were modest. It would be nice to meet humble people for once, someone who could trust him putting aside their own self-interest. Yet when thinking of that, Zotar reminded himself that he is also going to have to team up with Zianro, just the thought of it felt like his head was spinning.

"I'm is Ara Cilivren, the daughter of the late leader of Airedale. I'm the current leader. My guards told me that you claim to be the son of the late king of Murtovaara, we've heard of his passing but nothing more than that. News from Murtovaara is quite rare around here. But is it true, are you who you say you is? I would like some proof of that in that case."

The stereotype back home, or what Zotar use to consider as his home, the fire tribe, said that the air tribe were soft people, that's the supposed reason the fire tribe never bothered with them, it would not be worth slaughtering the lambs, there is no glory in that. But could it be true that the air tribe's kindness was mistaken for weakness, Zotar considered so. But he was happy enough that it was the air tribe that he first went to build up a future army. Because if it were any other tribe-- if it was Zotar on the throne and someone busted on their lands saying their tribe was going to be destroyed, Zotar would have that person beheaded. Well, back then, when he was closed-minded and cynical, now he has matured, and was glad to meet a mature leader also, though she did not appear to look the part of one. Not that Zotar was judgmental of appearance, but back in the fire tribe and back to the part about them being flashy, every child of a king is not only told to be strong, responsible, and bold, but also beautiful. To the fire people, appearance is just important as the personality, and the perfect appearance is held in what makes one superior, such as height, physical strength, even a stern look. Zaheed, even before he turned into some kind of monster had the perfect look of a king, he was tall, buff, gave glares, even had the loud powerful voice of one. Zotar on the other hand was short, though had defined muscles he was still skinny, but Zotar did master the glare, he would believe better than his brother.

Zotar flipped off his cloak, revealing himself topless in a unintentional dramatic fashion. But afterwards, Zotar lifted up his arms, revealing his brands, yet he was not expecting her to know what he was talking about, it was fire tribe culture, but he could explain. "Every leader on his coronation day among the fire tribe bears ancestral bracers, it is branded into our flesh, so even without the pieces on, the king could be identified. Sure, one could forge a false brace with the brands and there is no way I could prove these are not false. But why would I be mentioning that if I were an imposter?"

Zotar lowered his arms, "I know it seems that I am one because I did not bring with me horses, guards, nothing more than rags and two blades, which I had already turned in when arrested. That is because I a exiled from the fire tribe, my brother, Zaheed Thanos, is insane, a monster, I did not believe it until I watched him kill my..." Zotar paused, it was still hard for him not to let his emotions overwhelm him, but it was his emotions that gave the most proof that what he had claimed was true. The trembling of his jaw as it shook and then tightened with Zotar trying to stop himself from weeping. By that and the water that suddenly covered the tops of his eyeballs, showed the genuineness in his words. "Well, let me start from the beginning, being the eldest brother, Zaheed believed he would gain throne after my father’s reign, yet when my father died, in his will King Zarfu decreed I would take the throne next. Zaheed being furious and power-hungry he conversed with Zianro, leader of the water tribe, to sneak his men in on my ball night to kidnap me. Which, Zianro did successfully, I was kept in captivity for almost a month before I was rescued by Bellistrad Indorial.

Meanwhile Zaheed… poisoned my mother, she was already sick therefore not being able to take place as a one leader once my father past, Zaheed made sure when I was out of the picture she would not be healing anytime soon, eventually she too… died. Skipping ahead to things, I returned to Murtovaara where Zaheed explained everything to me himself, immediately after he murdered my youngest brother and only sister. He pinned their murder on me, claiming that I was with rage that I was never saved by my family from Zianro. The tribe was all I had left until he punished me for his horrid crime, punishment by exile, giving me a brand of the letter ‘v’ for vengeance, for Vinicius. It was a title I so stupidly once clung to for comfort, but now I live by the name Zotar Thanos."

Zotar feel to his knees, if he had to beg then so be it. He was not going to allow pride to get in his way of saving innocent lives, “Please, I do not want to see Imos burn like the way Shadowfen did, because Zaheed will not stop until there is nothing left to control, to eventually destroy. He told me himself, he will have Imos. The man thinks he is a god! The fire tribe worships them because he forces it. He has abominable powers, he can absorb one’s energy, adding it to his own, and he displayed to me. He boasted how he has bountiful amounts of vessels of power to feast upon, these vessels are people! Men, women, children enslaved for his appetite.

I do not know how much longer we have, but I’m giving up. Because if I do, then there is absolutely no hope. And with no hope, what is the point of breathing now? Please, Ara Cilivren keep Imos alive.”

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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At some point she found her way to the path she had taken in the first place, but it was hard following that either way. The trees looked pretty much the same everywhere, but all forest's was like this, right? Deborah didn't like them. It had been interesting at first but after days of walking around among the trees she'd had enough of them. It wasn't fun anymore, not that it had been extremely fun at first either but now she just got angry at the environment.

It was a relief to finally see Murtovaara once more, at least she was relived at first then she dreaded her return there. She had failed the king and not succeeded with the mission. She was not looking forward to admitting that but she doubted that lying would be a better choice. The thought of him finding out that she had lied... no, she didn't want to find out how that would end in reality.

Once inside the city she didn't give the people much thought, she didn't give anything much thought. She just walked towards the castle while she tried to figure out what to say. Or how she was supposed to say it without ending up head less or something like that. But somehow she doubted that something like that would happen after what had happened with the king the last time she was in the city. Which also was one of the things that made her dread the moment she had to confront that whole situation at some point.

The moment she arrived at the castle she just asked one of the guards to tell the king that she had returned, she had no intention to walk around and search for the man. She doubted she would be able to find him anyway, there were too many hiding spots and too easy to just pass each other.



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Ara had no knowledge when it came to Fire traditions, so when the man showed his forearms she just had to believe him. But it seemed brutal, to force someone to hurt themselves like that just because they were supposed to lead the people. She couldn't connect to or understand something like that, it was nothing compared to her tribe's mentality. But his story just continued to shock and horrify her, that people could do such things towards their own family. And truly his story was too excessive to be made up, or at least that was what she tried to believe.

She had never been one that enjoyed feeling superior to others, well she did to some degree, but having someone that once was a prince kneel before her was more than she wanted to achieve. She didn't enjoy it, but she didn't say anything about it either because interrupting him felt impolite, “Please, I do not want to see Imos burn like the way Shadowfen did, because Zaheed will not stop until there is nothing left to control, to eventually destroy. He told me himself, he will have Imos." The stories about Shadowfen in flames wasn't new, she had heard it before. How the Fire tribe had attacked them in the middle of the night, survivors of the attack had made their way over here and was hiding in the village. So she had no other choice but believe him by now because if he was telling the truth that would be a huge problem.

Everything seemed to fit together suddenly and it troubled her. Everything was much worse than she had imagined it to be and everything had happened without anyone from her tribe knowing. She had always thought that keeping her tribe away from all of the trouble and just minding their own little space would be the best. But now she started to think that perhaps she had been wrong when thinking like that.

But she continued to think about it for while without speaking, "What are you suggesting that I'm supposed to do then? My tribe are not even close to the numbers your brother has when it comes to the army, we are not even specialized in destruction. For centuries we have only tried to survive and protect our land."

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


Deborah was back and because Zotar did make it back to the castle, back to the tribe, then it was obvious that she had failed her mission. We Zaheed angry or upset? No, he was asking a lot, and besides, everything worked out in the end, perhaps even better because the tribe now sees Zotar as fiend.

Once he informed that she had arrived, Zaheed made his way to her, meeting her in his war room. "So, you are back...," Zaheed was not sounding his best, he seemed stressed. The reason for his worry was because of Bellistrad, he had done something to Zaheed's powers that he had tried so hard to obtain. But on top of that, he still wished to stick to his plan on conquering Airedale but with his powers ruined, things would not be as easy as he once though. He could already feel his body decreasing in size, going back to what he once was, which was not particularly weak at all. Even before he started absorbing other's energy, he still had a very strong physic. Though of course he wanted more.

He sighed taking a seat in his chair, dragging a finger to rub his head, his temple, trying to ease a headache. "I'm not disappointed with you. I trust you did your best, and everything worked out in the end with my brother. It's just that-- well, I'm feeling so bloody stressed now." Zaheed was comfortable enough around Deborah to confess those times of things, instead of always acting superior and that he has everything under control.

"You may have heard I exiled Zotar for killing my two siblings, and on the day I made a ceremony out of his punishment, Bellistrad Indorial, the outcast that freed Zotar was captured. I tried to absorb his energy, and he did... something to me. My powers feel like they are dying. He said something about emotion and energy having a connection. All I can gather from it, is that when I absorbed his powers, I took in something that is hurting mine. I use to be able to just harness energy, but that is not the case anymore."

Zaheed paused before continuing, "My plans to conquer Airedale has been put at a challenge now... But I'm not going to give up."



Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


"What are you suggesting that I'm supposed to do then? My tribe are not even close to the numbers your brother has when it comes to the army, we are not even specialized in destruction. For centuries we have only tried to survive and protect our land."

"Survive and protect, that is exactly what I want for your tribe, because Zaheed is coming to Airedale. Survive and protect, that is what he wishes to stop you from doing," Zotar rose up from the ground. "We could talk strategies now, but perhaps it is best to first gather allies, well there is one that comes to mind... Zianro." He said the water tribe leader's name quietly, letting himself soak in the reality that he was going to his enemy for help.

"I must leave now, there is no time to waste. I am headed to Lakeshore to speak with the leader there, to gain his allegiance in this brave act to put an end to my brother's chaos. I pray Zaheed does not attack Airedale before we even have a chance to fight back, but I guess for now all we can do is hope. Soon enough, I promise we will have much more than that. I know you have not yet officially agreed but you can think about it while I am off on my journey. I will return, yet if you decide to call of the alliance, then kill me when I stay on your boundaries. I rather die by your hands than by suffer in the boiling blood my brother will wreck upon Imos if we do not stand together."

Zotar started walking away but stopped, "Perhaps when this is all over, and we do make it out alive. Maybe, just maybe, there will be no need for boundaries, for the separation of tribes. We just might see that we are no different after all, we all bleed, we cry, we all die, we all live, so let's live to together. Thank you for your time, my lady."

Once Zotar left Airedale, he did exactly what he had claimed, he traveled to Lakeshore, where he then felt quite nervous about approaching the water tribe guards. Yet did Zianro really see Zotar as a threat? As he could remember in his cell, Zianro repeated how Zotar useless, worthless, and in the end he just let him go with Bellistrad. So, perhaps there was not much to be nervous about.

Approaching the guards there, Zotar took off his cloak and threw down his weapons, "Tell Zianro it is I, Zotar Thanos, wishing to have a word with him. I mean no harm, only the best for Imos. Listen, if you kill me now, you are turning away valuable information concerning this tribe, concerning Zaheed. But I need to speak to him. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad hung in his cell, sweating in place as he calmed himself down. The cell itself was rather cold, but that was not his problem. He had just been exercising using his shackles to perform pull ups and vertical crunches to keep his body from atrophying. He was tired from all the movement and had to sleep, so he sent his mind into a deep relaxation and astral projected his spirit out of his body. He traveled to Zotar and remote viewed where he was and what he was doing. He was on his way to Lakeshore when Bellistrad viewed him, and Bell feared he was there to get revenge on Zianro. But when Bell took notice of Zotar's energy it seemed stressed and not violent.

Bell questioned why Zotar was in Lakeshore if not to attack Zianro. Perhaps he was there to get Zianro's help, but Bell could only hope for the worst and prepare for the best. He thought it was about time to cause Zaheed an even bigger headache than he already had. Straining his arms he began to flow energy through his arms and concentrate heat there. Normally this wouldn't do anything to the carbon treated steel but by heating it with Bell's super-heated blue flames Bell could use his heat sense to 'see' through this sense to find the weaker parts of his shackles and concentrate heat to those parts in order to break them. This process took about half an hour of trial and error until Bell could break out of the shackles and land on the floor in a pile.

He laid there for about ten minutes gathering his strength until he felt it was best to get on with his escape. His lower food intake would take a beating on his fire bending but as his most recent achievement showed he was still able to pull off some cool things. One such thing was copying his earlier technique on a larger scale. By super-heating the entire door Bell could focus on the weaker parts. He then lit the entire door directly on fire and began punching the door in those sections with a flame covered fist, denting the hot metal.

He had to take a moment to let his had cool between each punch and he used a constant breathing technique to make his fist hit harder and with more heat to dent the metal door outwards. Eventually Bell had the door bent until sections of the door were thinner and weaker. With one last jab at the door Bell extended his fingers outwards this time and pierced the hot metal. Bell felt a moment of triumph before quickly retreating his hand out of the hot door and blowing on his hand from the hot pain down his fingers.

Bell took his prison outer jacket and tore it into strips to wrap his fingers and hand individually in the blood red material. His white undershirt was now the only thing covering his torso as Bell now used fiery barefoot kicks to open the door the rest of the way. Now out of his cell Bell snuck through the corridors and took out the first guard he saw with a quick knock-out blow of fire and found keys luckily on the guards person. He restrained the guard and began emptying the prison cells one by one. The contingent of varying Water Tribe soldiers and common criminals with the occasional bandit all made a fabulous army of 65 men.

Luckily Bellistrad was no longer the only bender, with some water benders now in the mix. Bell led the charge as the prisoners went on riot to free more prisoners, but Bell made sure they stayed in the lower prisons to hold out until Zotar came for them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska Character Portrait:
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Zianro had just overseen part of the repairs on his entryway when he saw Zotar walk towards him. He threw off any weapons he had and knelt down. "And to what do I owe this visit? Come to stir up more trouble. Or else do, has the fool finally opened his eyes, mind, and heart to the reality of the situation?" Zianro eyed the fire tribesman carefully, wondering his intentions.

---

Na'ari sighed. "I would follow you if I could but my legs are bruised from being waylaid. So you'll have to lend me your shoulder or else tell your leader to come to me, but I'll give you my arm regardless since I have a feeling it's the former." The former right hand stated as he put his hand on the man's shoulder shoulder and walked gingerly outside the room. His legs still smarted from the bruises given to him but he hoped it was going to subside eventually.

But what did the leader of the air tribe want with him? Didn't they know of his exile? Well, in his mind it was obviously a small chunk of that info. He still couldn't make up his mind if he was really going to stay in air lands, away from people or just continue wandering all of Imos when his legs got better. He had a feeling this meeting would answer that decision really fast.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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General King Zaheed


"But do you really need that strength to win? You didn't use your abilities in Shadowfen and you won anyway. I don't think this will change anything, you will be able to defeat them anyway."

Zaheed broke slowly a slight smile when he listened to Deborah's words. "You are right," he responded, though only that because soon rushed in a messenger. "My king!" he yelped in panic. "B-Bell-Bellistrad, he escaped, starting a r-riot!" Hearing this, Zaheed was not furious, but rather frustration, he felt like he started to really hit hindrances that may stop his plans, and Zaheed absolutely hates his plans to be stopped. "Pull yourself together," Zaheed commanded, yet not in an angry bark, but rather a tired and stressed demand. Most likely the servant was in paranoia in fear that Zaheed may put out his rage on him. Instead Zaheed ordered, "Gather thirty soldiers as soon as possible. And oh, Deborah, follow me. If Bellistrad wants to get out of his cell, fine, I'll put him a better place."

Soon enough Zaheed stood with his army of thirty men as they faced the prison. Zaheed was fast enough to equip his armor on as the men were summoned. Zaheed knew he was not as strong as he were with power absorbed, but he did not have time to upgrade his body now. But besides, his ebony armor has proven protective in the past, and Zaheed felt more reassured wearing his helmet for once.

Zaheed turned around to Deborah, "You know what you have to do." That gave her signal to go inside and do what he had instructed her when they made there way to the prison. Zaheed had told Deborah that she must use her powers to blind the riot, making it really no fight at all for his soldiers to put down and slaughter the rioters. Once Deborah had taken all the prisoners' sight, Zaheed waved his hand in direction to attack.

And when his men charged, so did their king. Zaheed felt better to have his sword than he did when he was feeding off others' magic. Zaheed was a master with his blade, and even questioned himself to why he neglected it. Zaheed reached Bell just in time, he was not sure whether or not he was blind, but it was obvious he had him surrendered. Zaheed threw his elbow into Bell's mouth, but quickly grabbed his neck with his sword against it. "I could kill you now, I could of killed you when you were shackled and back in Lakeshore, but no, I'm going to first force you to watch as Airedale chokes beneath my heel and as Zotar slips into death by my blade. Then, you go with him." Zaheed struck a fist to his head, knocking Bellistrad out.

Zaheed threw Bell into the arms of guards to which they tightly chained him up. "I'm not waiting to let life throw any more problems at me, we march to Airedale now!" Zaheed has been planning to attack Airedale since he had conquered Shadowfen, so he was confident in his forces and in his war strategy. Zaheed sensed Deborah and approached her saying, "Well done, I want you to come with me to Airedale. If there is anyone I trust to fight with me, right at my side, it be you." Zaheed lowered his voice in a whisper, "Besides, I would not want to lose you. And while your keeping me safe," Zaheed put his hand on her shoulder, "I promise to keep you safe." Zaheed bowed his head and turned, preparing for the journey to take one more tribe.



Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


"And to what do I owe this visit? Come to stir up more trouble. Or else do, has the fool finally opened his eyes, mind, and heart to the reality of the situation?"

"Now is not the time for insults," Zotar started, clarifying that he was not here for a fight with Zianro. "Besides, I opened up when there was a world opened for me to explore, and find the ugly truth for myself." Zotar sighed, "Listen, Zianro, I've been through a lot." That was already a given by the looks of Zotar with his burns marks and the exile mark against his cheek. "Enough to make me push aside my tensions, to forget you are my enemy so we can save Imos. I know, I know, that sounds a bit dramatic, but its the truth. You know my brother's mad."

Zotar paused, taking his eyes down to the ground, staring at it. "I found that all out myself, he made deals to have you kidnap me, poisoned my mother which let to her death while I was gone, and when I came back he murdered my two siblings in front of me, later then framing their murders on me and causing me to be exiled. But I'm not saying that to have you care about me, however instead, to care about Imos. I don't want a man, more like monster, to be controlling and eventually crushing Imos to pieces."

And just like Zotar did to Ara, he fell to his knees begging. But the big deal about now, was the fact that he fell to the floor into front of a man he would consider to be a great enemy. Though none of that matter to him now, the suffering and pain caused to many was not worth Zotar's grudges.

"Please, rally your troops now to Airedale, I know Zaheed will be attacking the city next, he boasted about it like he was some kind of god back in the short moment me and him had. If you refuse, you know the tribe will not stand a chance, and once he captures their tribe, yours will not stand a chance. He will enslave the air bearers into soldiers, in the end to take down yours, thus meaning he will have three armies, the earth tribe, the air tribe, and his. This may be our only chance, so please Zianro, don't waste it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

When Zaheed and his soldiers came to end he riot Bell and the other prisoners were ready. They hid in the shadows waiting for the soldiers to reach a four way junction before ambushing the party. Even with the prisoner's numbers they stood little chance of surviving the fight. Bell was the only one who could hold his own against the soldiers with bursts of fire holding them at bay and larger waves of flame with wide arcs to scatter the opposition. Bell however did himself in shortly, using a wide burst fire breathing technique that re-opened the wounds in his throat. He had hurt his throat while performing the flame lion bomb to gain entrance to Zianro.

The technique consumed a lot of Bell's energy because of his concentration being nulled by the pain and made him weaker. Coughing into his hand Bell expels a fair amount of blood from his mouth and splatters it across the floor in front of him. It was then that Zaheed caught up to Bell and pummeled him into submission. He barely responds to Zaheed's words and threats, his body in too much pain to comprehend it. He passes out shortly after and begins to have a lucid dream.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska
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Zianro listened to what Zotar has to say. The way h