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The World Beyond

The World Beyond

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A group of exiles band together to search for a place they can call home.

1,407 readers have visited The World Beyond since Chari created it.

Introduction

Background
It has been years since Tyvern has been seen as the weak nation that it once was. This view was changed by one man. A man of extraordinary power. Few know exactly where he came from, but from the appeared on the battle field alongside the Tyvernian army, they have been nigh on invincible. And it is to this backdrop that our story is set.

Tyvern, while small, is located in one of the most strategic spots imaginable. It controls a section of land through which all major trade routes run, and has an abundance of natural resources which make it quite prosperous in it own right. The amenities, however, are also the reason for all its tribulations. It is constantly at war, with one nation or another, to defend its land and people. Before the arrival of the hero, they were usually overrun. This has entirely changed now, and while they are still at perpetual war, they are no longer trampled. They beat down the enemy before them, then turn onto the next, lead by the hero who inspires bravery and confidence. The Tyvern army itself is nothing to forget about either; they are easily the most experienced army in the world.

Another thing that is unique to Tyvern is the way the handle there people. Anyone who is viewed as even a possible malcontent is examined, and if they are found to be against the grain of the common society, then they are exiled. These exiles are allowed to return if they change their way of thinking, but most "disappear" after a few months or years in other countries. This is done to keep the people united against the outside foes. People expelled range from visionaries to criminals to just normal men with different ways of thinking.

Geography
There are only a few locations important enough to list right now, but allow me to say them right now:

Tyvern- the country of origin for all the main characters. There isn't much to add from what is up there.

Haarpa- a country that borders Tyvern, and the place where the exiles are first shipped. Hot. Unnecessarily so.

The Deadlands- an area of land around Tyvern that has been the site of countless bloody battles. Made up of sparse grasslands and bogs. Very inhospitable.

Jinera- another country on that boarders Tyvern. One of the few that does not attack it on a regular basis. It is ruled by king or queen who is determined by might of arms in single combat.

Toggle Rules

Ugh, sorry if this seems confusing, but I am tired and I have to get my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. I'll try and fix it soon, but I have no idea when that will be.

The magic in this story is simple enough. There is one person in the world who manifests the powers of a single element of magic. This element can be one of the traditional ones, such as fire, water, or lightning, but I am more than open to ideas of the players themselves for the elements. Just be aware that there will be guidelines drawn as I don't want elements encroaching on each other (ie the water person controlling ice in some way or something). That being said, if there is a way to branch out a power in a way that affects no one else, go for it. That often makes for the best characters and abilities. Fire, Ice, and Wind are already taken.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

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#, as written by Chari
Looking around the room as well, Miralda inwardly sighed in relief. At least they wouldn't all be in the same bed. So long as that was true, then she would be fine. Zhyle jetted off almost as soon as he had stepped into the room. Well, he sure wasn't too social. She had gotten that feeling in the short amount of time they had been together. Of course, their other companion wasn't too social either, so there had been plenty of silence on the trip so far. Speaking of which, what was that guy doing?

She looked around at him. He was in a corner, with a crystal ball and cards. Was he... A fortune teller? She had heard of them, but had never seen one personally. She rushed up to him after he had put his cards back. She said, "Are you a fortune teller? Does it work? Could you read me?"

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Are you a fortune teller? Does it work? Could you read me? Saerin looked up, broken from his trance. He kept his right hand over the crystal ball, but his other hand rose momentarily for silence. He never spoke much, but his sessions in the city had taught him to be more open in these lesser arts of the Spirit. "Maybe, perhaps, and yes... if you are willing to learn secrets you may or may not want to know." His hands fell to the cards. "Anyone may interpret these cards, but only the spirits know which ones are correct or incorrect. I can allow those spirits to guide my hands towards the correct ones, if the conditions are suitable." He placed his hand flat on the cards and spread them out in a wide fan on the floor. "Now let's see what the fates hold in store for you." His eyes went dim as he reentered his trance.

His hand floated to the first card, which he drew out and flipped over in one smooth motion. "The Hanged Man," he said, somewhat ominously. "You are nearing, or have reached, a point of no return. Things will be revealed or learned that prevent you from being quite the same person you once were. It is an omen to those who fear the consequences, yet a blessing to those who are open to new experiences. It is a card of destiny."

The second card sat face up as he finished the last sentence. "The Emperor. You may be facing challenges in the near future, but you have the authority and wisdom to overcome these obstacles... if you are determined enough to continue."

He paused before flipping the last card, as it was often the most important or memorable of the three. "The Fool. Some may taunt you for relying on your instincts. However, if you follow your gut feelings and release your expectations, you will generally come out successful. Those who have the heart of the fool can become great leaders among men, surpassing those who follow cold, hard logic. These are the cards of your future. Keep them close, whether they be helpful or harmful." He fell into silence once again as he reshuffled his deck.

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Zhyle walked in to "The Fool. Some may taunt you for relying on your instincts. However, if you follow your gut feelings and release your expectations, you will generally come out successful. Those who have the heart of the fool can become great leaders among men, surpassing those who follow cold, hard logic. These are the cards of your future. Keep them close, whether they be helpful or harmful."

Huh. The little noble must have gotten her fortune read. Wonder what the rest of it was. He watched briefly as the old man shuffled his cards in the silence and Zhyle sat down to open his new book. It was a sort of history. Nothing he was really good at, but that wasn't what he was really interested in. He was more worried about the pictures... The maps within. He might be able to get an idea of this area or of other areas if he read this some.

Well, he tried to read, but the words gnawed at him, until he just bursted out "HELL WITH IT!"

"I can't take it any more. Screw this! Can you read my fortune too?"

He knew he sounded like a little kid, but he didn't care.

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Saerin had, of course, noticed the growing tension in the boy since he had first glanced at him with his cards. One who fears the unknown, he thought. May the cards be in his favor. He gestured for him to sit, then began to draw the cards.

The first card, Saerin had to think, would probably cause some alarm in the boy. But its symbol was, by nature, much grimmer than its meaning. "Death. But not literal death. This card reveals a great change in your future. Your old identity will be shed or evolved into a new one... be that for the better or worse, that is for you to decide."

The second card was clear. "The eight of swords. You are about to face the toughest challenge you have ever faced. You will be tested and tried, but it will be up to yourself to decide whether you will emerge successful or fall to the hardships that weigh upon you."

The final card was very similar to the first, even to the point of clarifying it. "Judgement. The pieces of you that have been scattered or forgotten through time will once again return to you. You will become whole, reflecting the person you really are. Again, the outcome of this telling cannot be told at the moment. This is a card of personal enlightenment. These are the cards of your future. Keep them close, whether they be helpful or harmful." He reshuffled his deck, falling deeper into his trance.

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#, as written by Chari
Miralda tried not to appear too interested in Zhyle's fortune, but she couldn't help but overhear. It sounded like this fortune wasn't too happy either. Well, Miralda knew that it really wasn't for her to judge. After all, it wasn't her fortune. It should affect her too much. She laid out her stuff next to the bed she was claiming as her own. She said to the other two, "Well, I am going to go to sleep. Tomorrow, we all need to find ways to make money. We really shouldn't stay in the city passed our inn stay. Anyway, good night." And almost as soon as she put her head on the pillow, she was out.

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Zhyle sat there for a minute after hearing the entirety of his fortune. Just comprehending it and taking the words to his heart. So Death, the 8 of Swords, and Judgement. Well according to this, his future was not going to be an uneventful one. Well, whatever.

Zhyle watched Miralda declare her intent to sleep and head off to bed, and Zhyle nodded and said after her "Yeah. Let's sleep well tonight. No idea what will happen tomorrow. Good Night."

But Zhyle himself moved over to a bed by the window and opened his book. He began to read by the light streaming in from the outside, but that didn't last long. Soon, he drifted off to sleep.

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#, as written by Chari
The sun started streaming in early the next day, and Miralda was up in time to see it. While it might seem odd that she was up early, being a noble, she had been trained to basically be a soldier by her master. That involved being up at dawn to do any number of things, usually training. Today, however, training was not the objective. No, it was something else entirely.

Making sure both of the men were still asleep, she quickly changed out of her night clothes to her day clothes. She did not bother with anything fancy, wearing her worst looking clothes (which still looked far above average), and slipped out of the room once she was changed, leaving a note telling the men that she was going to check if there was a good way to make money at the colloseum. Maybe she could win money in matches.

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Zhyle rose and yawned looking around the room, almost surprised to find himself in a room that morning. The old man was sitting there meditating... sleeping... whatever. Then he realized that the little noblelady seemed to have vanished. Maybe she had thought she could find some other nobles that she could take safety with or something. He figured it wouldn't be that hard for her to find something.

Until he found the note. It was sitting on her bed that was, as Zhyle could tell, looked ironicly like it was made up by a man. Then he read the note. THE COLLOSEUM!? If he knew this right they fought in the colloseum, right? To the death, did that little girl know what she was getting herself into? HE knew she could handle herself with a blade from their travels but... he couldn't help but feel a little worried. He got prepared for the day and scribbled out a note on the bottom of Miralda's.

"Went after her" -Zhyle

Then he... well... headed out after her.

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As the door slammed shut, Saerin opened one eye. He had, in all actuality, been aware of the happenings of the morning from the girl waking up to the young boy running out. They just seemed so intent not to disturb him that he didn't see it necessary to let them know, and he did have the decency to keep his eyes shut the entire time. He rose from his spot in the corner and stretched- meditating usually replenished more energy for him, but the cramping from maintaining the same position on a hardwood floor was barely tolerable. Still, it didn't bother him until he moved, so he needed to get it out of his system as soon as he could. His chest band glowed slightly as he did so. "Good morning," he said to, apparently, no-one. But he knew that there were spirits everywhere, and they almost always welcomed acknowledgement from the world of the living. Not many people gave them such attention nowadays.

He flicked his hand out to grab the note. So, they were going to the Colosseum, eh? Then it was as he thought- the girl was more than just some noble, she had the air of a fighter about her. She had gone to the Colosseum to compete, and the boy had followed to ensure her safety. He had hoped to separate himself from companions for a while, but he knew something might go wrong at the fights. Some people didn't stop fighting when their match was over... It became apparent to him that they were bound by Fate through the perpetual desire to protect each other. As such, already knew what he was going to do today.

It was all in the cards.

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#, as written by Chari
Miralda walked into the Colosseum a little in awe of the size. It was far bigger then it has looked from afar. And it was made of mostly marble! She might have been a noble, but this was expensive even by her standards. Why was this the only place that was so fancy? Did the nobles here not have to pay taxes or something to have this much excess? She shook her head. She was always taught by her Master that keeping the people happy was the single most important thing for a noble to do with their money. A happy and relatively wealthy populace lead to more productive workers, a stronger army, and more revenue coming back in. Well... she really shouldn't be thinking about this. She was here as a competitor, not a noble or critic. Speaking of which, there was the sign up desk.

Miralda walked over to talk to the receptionist. The woman looked Miralda over once, eyes lingering on her cloths, then asked, "You want to get in on some fights?" Miralda nodded quickly and the woman flipped around a piece of paper for her to look at. "Now, before we can let you in, you have to sign this, assuring that no one will try and get revenge for your death--provided you should die, of course." Miralda's eyes narrowed dangerously. This woman didn't believe she could fight. Miralda "hmph"'d and signed the paper with the quill and ink provided. The woman nodded dubiously then added, "You also need to pay a fee to get in." Miralda coughed up the requested amount, which seemed to be a little high for average people to pay. The woman then ushered Miralda into a waiting room, then explained, "Wait here until you are called in. Once you are in, you will fight until you either lose or bow out willingly. You will win money each round you win. Okay?" She turned to leave, but before getting too far, she added, as an afterthought, "Try not to die." Miralda's face gained a pinkish red tinge near her cheeks and clenched her teeth in a near snarl that she was lucky no one could see. She was livid! She would show them exactly what she could do!

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Zhyle scanned the crowd for Miralda as he walked toward the coliseum. He really didn't know how much of a head start she had on him, so he may not even catch up to her in time, he thought to himself as he approached the massive marbled structure. And as he drew nearer and nearer, the coliseum loomed higher and higher. This place was MASSIVE! It was incredible. The marble walls glinted in the sun slightly as the throngs of people surrounded the place. Zhyle took a moment just gawking at the thing before he could bring himself to move. He had never seen anything like it! He had hardly seen a piece of marble before! Much less a building made out of it!

But Zhyle soon regained his composure and moved again. Quickly darting his hand down to his money pouch to make sure all of it was still there, and there was no holes. Satisfied, that he didn't lose his only money to his name ha began making his way around the crowd.

By this time he had given up on getting to Miralda in time. She must already be inside if he hadn't seen or caught up to her by now. And this close to the coliseum, there was hardly any chance of finding her in this horde. Zhyle looked back at the coliseum again as he contemplated to himself. It looked like they were holding a massive set of matches right now, so there had to be some way he could make a profit on this. HE couldn't let this day go to waste.

But he also wanted to be there when Miralda fought, for better or worse. Soon Zhyle resolved to make his way away from the coliseum so he could think a little clearer.

He began shoving his way against the flood of people heading into the falls that were the coliseum gates until he found himself into the first side alley he could find. Well, he wasn't exactly away from the noise for the most part, but this would have to do. He didn't want to risk himself going any further out into the flood. He sighed to himself. Saerin could do his magic tricks and fortune telling for a boatload of coin here, god knows he had wrapped Zhyle up in it the previous day, Miralda could do her fighting for better or worse, what could he do. He was an archer, but he was an archer from horseback so he would never fare well in any of these arena competitions. he didn't know if there was a horse track nearby to make any profit on, and if there was, it would probably be too far out to make it back in time to be certain he would see Miralda.

So he was useless. He wandered back further into the alley, exploring to bide his time for now. He could always find a bookseller and browse for a bit to pass the time. Maybe he could even charm one of the fine ladies around, and accompany them into the games. Well, right now, he was just going to bide his time and get to know this town a bit more.

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Saerin moved briskly through the streets, his cloak twirling behind him. Soon he was maneuvering through the crowd around the arena. He noticed that there were more people here than when he had passed through this city last, which pointed to either a population spike or a growth in popularity in the fights. The latter one seemed more probable.

A hopeful vendor rushed through the mass of people, attempting to sell some type snack food to the people as they waited to get into the arena. Saerin stepped aside to allow him room for passage, but tapped him on the shoulder as he passed by. The man turned to him, smiling brightly. Saerin whispered to him under the hum of the crowd and held out a sum of money. The man's smile grew greater as he nodded and handed him a bag of snacks. Then he turned around and began heading back to the arena. The crowd was kind enough to give him enough room to pass speedily, and took little notice of the cloaked man following in his wake.

After some hassle, Saerin and his guide found themselves in the most crowded and active area of the audience. He tossed a few more coins to the vendor, his sped off happily with his money. He sat down and calmly observed the field. Above the fighting area there was a huge sign on which was listed the first round of fights. It didn't take long to find Miralda's name on the board.

Another man in some bright green tunic turned to him suddenly, as if he was sitting there the entire time. "Well what about you? How much do you want?" Saerin paused a second in surprise, but after a series of quick observations he determined that this man was some type of bookie for a gambling ring going around in this area of the arena. He quickly decided he would humor the man. "I'll put 50 on the 'Miralda' girl," he said, handing the man much of what was left in his money pouch. The green man snickered a little as he rushed off to others in the seats.

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#, as written by Chari
"First out, our newest fighter, the short female combatant, Miralda!"

Miralda walked out toward the center of the arena, visibly seething. So, no one here took here seriously, huh? She would have to fix that.

"And now, who you have been waiting to see, this man has a current streak of 6 wins. Please welcome back the "Midnight Seagull," Jonathon Usher!"

A man walked out onto the field with a ridiculous get-up consisting of seagull feathers and black ribbons. Miralda's anger spiked even higher. They would take that... that... THING seriously, and not her? If it wasn't for her good self-control in battle, she would be snarling openly.

"Now remember audience, the point of the match is to try and defeat the opponent, not kill them. They will keep fighting until one of them is no longer able to continue. Now... fight!"

Jonathon seemed on the verge of saying something, but he had no chance. Miralda charged forward, forcing her opponent to draw a weapon. He lashed out has he backpedaled, but former noble was more than ready for it. She smashed whatever the weapon was with her buckler as she swung her sword downward. The flat connected with the top of his head, knocking him out instantly. Miralda then turned her back haughtily and walked back to where she had started. It took the crowd (and announcer) a few seconds to react.

"W-well folks, looks like we have a winner. Miralda has defeated Jonathan in record time! And it looks like they are getting ready to send the next challenger out! Alright, time to see how she does this time!"

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Normally when one reads a book, each sentence is read once, in succession. Zhyle did not find this the case has he watched over the street as he read the book he had purchased the previous day. He constantly found himself glancing up, losing his page and letting his mind wander. The book was by no means challenging, a simple collection of local fables and myths. Local gods, old pagan dieties, that sort of thing. Rather worthless in the long run, but maybe he could get some idea of the people, and more importantly, the land from these.

But as his mind wandered this course he found himself lost in the text again, closing the book in frustration at his own inability to focus for now. It was weighing on him that he was not producing anything of value for the group right now, with the other pair presumably off making money. Saerin probably setting up shop in some back alley somewhere where the mood was right for his tarot readings and Miralda in the large colosseum that dominated the view in front of him. He worried for her, to be frank. While Saerin appeared to have a good head on his shoulders, he was older and if they were to leave this town there was no assurance that he would survive more trips into the desert, despite how well he had held up on the first go around. And if Miralda just foolishly threw her life away for coin now... well, a companion from Tyvern was going to be much appreciated at any rate.

Zhyle approached the arena entrances, looking around at the various patrons as the entered and exited through the gates, frankly wondering how to get inside to satisfy his curiosity. He stood there staring at the entrances and began to think.

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Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
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Well, I bet the green man's a bit greener now... Saerin thought to himself as slid easily to the ground in one of the emptier areas of the Colosseum. Within moments of the end of the first round he had already placed his orb in an upturned hand and his cards in a clear space to his left. His harness glowed slightly as the spirits in the arena began to flow towards him. It seemed that the rules of combat had been broken more than once in this arena, making it one of the more spiritually attuned areas in the city. That suited him just fine.

Pretty soon the first of his customers approached. "Greetings. I see you are a man of great spiritual energy; if you would like, I could read your future for you. For only a few coppers, that is." In actuality, the spirits flowed around this man as if he were a rock impeding their paths. He didn't need to know that, of course.

Saerin's hand was guided toward the cards, which he laid out in a wide rectangle. He picked three and flipped them. The Sun and 6 of Wands paired, followed by the 6 of Pentacles. "You will have unplanned expenses in the near future, but you will profit even more. Your efforts at work are noticed, which will earn you great social and fiscal prosperity. A grand charity is in your future, though whether you are on the giving or receiving end is up to you. These are the cards of your future. Keep them close, whether they be helpful or harmful." The man appeared giddy as he walked away.

The green man approached Saerin as he beckoned to him, looking paler after seeing the results of the first round. Saerin passed him some more coins from in his dark cloak and leaned close. "I'm putting half of what I earn here today on Miralda. I'm keeping count, so don't try to cheat me." He sent the man off with a wave of his and and reshuffled his cards.

A new wave of customers approached, drawing the crowd a bit further from the entrance.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
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#, as written by Chari
"Wow! Incredible! Newcomer Miralda has miraculously survived 23 rounds in the area! Two more rounds will put down for this weekend's tournament of champions and a spot on The Wall!"

The aforementioned Miralda was leaning against the wall of the arena, catching her breath. While no one round had been particularly demanding, fighting 23 straight people was exhausting. At most she had been allowed a minute rest between rounds, and this time was no different.

An absolute colossus of a man walked in from the opposite entrance. He looked to be at least 2 heads taller than Miralda was and made of solid muscle. He was bare-chested, wielding an ax that was almost the size of Mira herself. A deep bass emanated from him, saying, "I am sorry, little girl, but your streak ends here." All she could do in response was straighten her buckler and raise her sword.

With a roar, her enemy charged forward and swept a broad slash at her. It was all she could do to jump back out of the way from the swipe, and had to keep scrambling to avoid the many follow-ups. The man might be large, but it certainly didn't mean he was slow. He was also far to strong for her to parry reliably, and a flat block might get her sword shattered or her shield smashed. Honestly, she didn't really have a lot of options, and time was not on her side.

So she gambled. As her opponent went in with a downward smash, it was caught by the buckler on her left hand. The ax cut into the shield all the way through, cutting her arm, before she her arm was forced down with the ax's momentum. As her arm came down, she used the motion as leverage to spin herself around, ending with her back to the ax and her sword to her opponent's throat. Her arm was now free of the ruined shield, and blood flowed freely to the ground below, but she held her position while everyone watching caught up to the sudden move. Surprisingly, the giant of a man had a small, approving smile for the girl, and said simply, "Well done, little one. This is my loss."

Without any further words, the man turned and went back into the tunnels. Wincing at her injury, she could only wait for her final opponent. She was prepare for an even harder fight, but something even better was in store. "Now, introducing, the Noon Seagull!"

Mira's face went flat for a second, then cracked into a wide smile.

Five seconds later, she walked off the field with a 25 win streak and an invitation to the tournament, not to mention a hefty sum of cash.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
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Zhyle watched somewhat in awe as Miralda finished off the arena in rather spectacular fashion. She was truly no stranger to combat at least. It made him question what those nobles actually did with their time. He smiled to himself at that thought. Nah, any time he had been in the crowd to see some pompus duke or whatnot making his way to their winter villa through his humble hometown, they were nothing like her. She certainly was different, not that he was complaining of course. It went without saying they were far more likely to survive with Miralda here than Baron von Fattenstein.

Zhyle turned and slipped into the crowd that was exiting the arena. He had lost his "date" a while ago and really didn't think that it would be a good idea to run into her again after ditching in the middle of Miralda's fifth match. He couldn't help it! She was just too noisy.

Luckily his exit was uneventful as he found himself once again on the streets of the town, once again in no better standing of what to do than he was before. He decided to explore the city some more, and take in some more of the sights that may prove common in Haarpa. He couldn't be an outsider forever, may as well learn what he could while he was in a place he was planning on leaving.

After a short walk he found himself in the craftsman's quarter. The place was a hive of activity, the ringing of steel being forged rung through the air out of the smitheries, as some hawkers yelled their wares from out in front of the storefronts. Zhyle soon found himself ducking into one of the quieter forges to get himself off of the street for a moment.

What greeted him was first and foremost the blast of heat from the lit forge, to which Zhyle grimaced. The second thing he noticed was the large man sitting behind the counter, finishing the wrapping on a new blade, the man looked up for a second to study Zhyle before turning his attention back to his work. "Welcome in boy-o. Need a blade for swordpractice? Looking to make a name in the arena?"

Slightly miffed at the implications of what he was saying Zhyle snapped back at the smith, "No. There are better things to do with my time than to risk life and limb for coin. Though seeing what the fighters can do in this town I guess I wouldn't risk much."

"Then what are you doing here? You know, if risking life and limb ain't your cup of tea?"

"I don't even know myself. The matches in the arena that interested me are over, so I thought I would spend my time exploring the town" Zhyle responded honestly. The smith nodded in agreement. "The big guy won, yeah? Man's a monster with that axe. Dunno where it came from, as much as I wish to claim it came from my forge."

Zhyle smirked smugly "Actually, no. A newcomer won. A newcomer from Tyvern. Cleaned up 25 rounds in a row. Big guy was number 24." which earned him another glance up from the smith.

"Joking, yeah? Hadn't heard Tyvern had sent some idiots over this way. Right messed up lot some of them are, sending their problems into our lands. S'been a while since any of them made it as far as our city though, so guess I can't complain. They ain't steppin on my lawn."

The irony of this comment was not lost on Zhyle as he continued the conversation with the smith.

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Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
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Several patrons of the arena noticed a man in green, a bookie named Rhon, scurrying about to collect his dues for the matches today. He seemed to be in a hurry, and a bit greener in the face than usual. He then made a second round to pay off the people who had won in the betting (mostly in the rounds that Miralda was not involved in). Once he had collected and paid out all of the betting that night, the people began to pay less attention to him (why should they care about some guy who they have no potential investment or deficit in?).

Perhaps this is why no-one saw him ease closer to the most remote door in the arena, his bag of winnings much larger than on usual nights. It is also likely the reason no one saw the man in the black cape stop him at the door, offering to tell him his fortune, and ushering him into a nearby room.

-----------------------------------------------------

Saerin walked out into the street, being mindful to conceal the large bag of gold he now held inside one of his larger pockets. He didn't know why the man was so hesitant to pay out; he had earned more than enough gold to make up for his losses during the 24th match Miralda had fought in. Maybe he was spiteful that Saerin had begun to sway the betting by providing "guidance" to those who were going to make poor betting choices.

The fortunes he had told, however, were probably false. His ability to tell the future is largely determined by the nature of the spirits present at the telling. In an area full of more gamblers and liars than heroes and the well-intentioned, such as a coliseum, the spirits might intentionally lie just to spite the living.

Still, bad spirits enhanced some of his other abilities. Like intimidation. That proved useful, from time to time.

Having gold would be useful for the journey he was about to embark upon. While he didn't need many earthly possessions, he was sure the children from Tyvern would stay with him, or he with them, for at least a while longer. When it came to his own future, Saerin seldom asked... but when he did, the spirits feared to lie. The money in his pocket would be more useful for the group during their travels, and while Miralda had earned her own share today she might not be as willing to share the wealth she had rightly earned.

For now, Saerin made his way to the market. Even he had to eat sometime, and there were sure to be food carts out now that the fighting was over.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
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#, as written by Chari
It was later on in the night that Mira returned to the room in the in the group had rented out. She was absolutely exhausted, both from the fighting and from what happened after.

The crowds had been fierce around her as she tried to leave the arena. Everyone and their mother were out there to try and catch a glimpse of the new fighter. There were cheers for her victories, but even more jeers and heckling at her, whether for her gender or just the fact she ruined so many peoples bets, she wasn't sure. All told, it took her the greater part of an hour to slip away from the crowd, and even longer to lose the more persistent mockers in the streets of the city.

She did, however, find time to grab a map while she was avoiding the masses. Considering what she just won from doing the colosseum run, it wasn't really too much of a chore. She figured that the map would at least help her and her fellow Tyvernians plan out where they were going to go next.

She spread out the map on the sole desk in their room. While the desk wasn't small, the map filled the whole of its surface. In the dimming candle lights, Miralda traced a finger over where they were currently, and started tapping the map in thought.

Currently, they were in the small country of Haarpa. Quite honestly, there was no reason to stay here, if fact she would rather leave sooner than later. The country didn't have much to it outside of the city they were currently in and the capital. And even if she did stay, Haarpan policy is very very hard on Tyvern exiles from what she had heard back home and from what she had picked up around town.

To the south was the sea, where it was possible to take boats to one of the many small island countries. To the north was Jinera, a country that was known in Tyvern as being a barbarous nation, filled with savages who cared only about strength. But, their society was entirely based around strength, and with what Miralda had been taught by her Master, she was sure she could fight to carve out a place for herself. And the east had only mountains, the Labecks, which were infamously difficult to traverse. So, really, the only options where north or south. The only question was... which was better.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
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With a hearty laugh Zhyle exited the smithery, waving backwards to the smith. The man was a good, honest man, his type of person. The pair had exchanged pleasantries and banter late into the evening as Zhyle probed for as much information about the city and town as he could get. Obviously he had lied about where he had come from, and the smith had apparently bought the fact that he came from a family of traders that made their living off of trade with Tyvern. Zhyle simply told him that his idiot father had sent him looking for an easy path through the wastes to cut on travel times and save money.

As stated; his type of people. Simple and honest.

From what he could tell, they had been fairly lucky to stumble upon this town. The colosseum that dominated the skyline was the pride of this settlement. With the dubious influence of colosseum clientele this was a good way to at least meet people or make some quick cash, even if they weren't citizens of Haarpa and had no background to claim. It would probably be worthwhile to spend time to stock up on supplies at the very least. With Miralda's showing that morning it shouldn't be too hard to make a quick buck or two. He had no idea how much she had earned this day, but he was wary to the fact that staying and fighting in the colosseum would be gambling with the odds rising against them.

His thoughts turned to Miralda. He had been shocked by her performance in the arena. It worked to his benefit of course, but the fact that she had so much skill with a blade as a noble worried him somewhat. He new very little about swordwork himself, the very little he knew was pounded into his head by his instructor long ago. At least he knew not to hold the pointy end. But even to one who knew nothing as he did could tell she had been born with a sword in her hand. It made him question her nobility somewhat...

Not that it was any of his business. He was exiled too.

He sighed as he walked into their room in the inn and was greeted by the sight of Miralda studying a map carefully. He was almost tempted to interrogate her about her performance today, but thought better of it. That was no way to treat a lady. Instead he walked up next to her, placing his elbow on the edge of the table, resting his chin on his hand. "Good to see ya, Miri" he said casually, smiling at her out of the corner of his eye. "Knight and a scholar too, eh?" he quipped settling into his position at the desk.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
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The door squeaked open as Saerin eased into the room. Sweeping his cloak across the bed, he deposited three modest bundles. He sat, not feeling entirely at ease in the small, simple wooden chairs, and unfolded the cloth around his own. Within sat three steaming bowls containing rice, spiced beef, and steamed vegetables. Two small metal sticks flashed into his hands as he began to pick at his meal, holding each bowl as he alternated between them. His eyes moved towards the boy.

"Many people are gifted with simple lives- farmers, smiths, warriors... fortune tellers." He once again focused on his meal. "It would appear that neither of your companions are so lucky." He picked an unwieldy piece of meat apart and placed it in his mouth, then passed bundles to his two compatriots.

This meal was arranged specifically to the needs of the trio- the rice would provide a boost of energy, the meat would help Mira recover from any soreness of the match, and the vegetables would help fine-tune the party's senses. If anything were to happen tonight or in the morning, as was prone to happen in a town where newcomers swooped in and earned a substantial amount of gold, they needed to be as fit as possible to run. There was a certain sense of unrest among the spirits that told him that it was better to be on the safe side tonight.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
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#, as written by Chari
Mira nodded at Zhyle as he came in, but for the most part was to focused on the map to hear what he said. She really was only broken out of her contemplation when a bowl of food was placed under her nose by Saerin. She blinked momentarily, then smiled slightly and thanked Saerin before she started to dig in.

While the group was eating, she figured now was as good a time as any to ask what they thought they should do. After eating about half her meal, she started, "Zhyle, Saerin... Perhaps it is presumptuous on my part, but I was assuming that we could continue to travel together, at least for a little while longer. If you two are okay with this, then I would ask; where do you think we should go next?

"Personally, I think we should head north, to Jinera. It should be much easier to carve out a place there, and we wouldn't have to deal with much anti-Tyvern sentiment since they are so focused inward. What do you all think? The only other real option we have is to try our luck in some of the archipelagos to the south."

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
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Zhyle frowned slightly as he was frankly ignored by Miralda. Aww, she's no fun. He however graciously accepted the meal that Saerin had brought to the group, as his stomach reminded him that he had eaten very little since leaving Tyvern, and a nice hot meal was greatly appreciated. He nodded his thanks to the older gentleman as he moved across the room and sat down at one of the beds and listened to Miralda begin to speak. After gulping down a couple of bites Zhyle answered to the lady.

"Hell, why not. I don't see any reason we should split up here. Frankly I don't wanna stick around this hellhole longer than I have to. Doesn't seem like a great place to just stop down and settle roots to me. Too much blood and sand for me."

He paused for a moment before continuing though.

"Though you really sure about Jinera. I mean... It's Jinera. The people are bloody savages there, yeah? At least that is what I have heard, country bumpkin like me." He joked, smiling between bites of food. "But what I mean is, yeah, they won't care that we're Tyvern in all probability, but does that really increase our chances of survival?"

He thought to himself for a moment, setting down his now empty bowl on a stand next to the bed he was sitting on. Jinera, huh? He never dreamed he would be considering going there. Place was crazy, power was everything there from what he had heard. Granted he had never met anyone from there but to be frank he never really wanted to. Nobody from the countryside really wanted to. Needless to say they were kind of boogeymen to farmers, people who would come and pillage your farms at night because it was within the right of the strong to take from the weak. And now he was seriously considering going there.

Well, it would be an adventure to say the least. How long it would last was a different question though.

"Well, I'm in." He said collapsing backwards on the bed. "Isn't likely we would be going anywhere else anyway. Catching a boat from Haarpa would probably be hard anyway if we get revealed as Tyvernian, so that kinda takes out the possibility of long travel, or at least make it unreasonably hard. It will probably be easiest to cross into Jinera anyway. Doubt too many people wanna stay around that border."

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Saerin wiped his mouth as he finished the last noodle in his bowl. "I will go where the spirits take me," he intoned, "though that seems to wherever you two will be going. I will offer my advice so you are better informed for your decision." He rose from his seat on the bed to get a better view of the map.

Gesturing towards the islands, he began, "I have not had the pleasure of journeying to or encountering many spirits who visited these lands. Journeying here would provide new experiences, but also potentially deadly challenges. I doubt any of us three have been to the sea or know how to survive should we become stranded in the waters.

"Meanwhile," he continued, "I have personally been to Jinera, and I believe that between the three of us we will be relatively safe. It is a land ruled by those willing to tread over the bodies of their competitors, but it is not without honor. A man there will be more likely to show you the blade before he rams it between your ribs. Though most defer to the physically strong means, we would need to remain ever vigilant of those that succeed through wit; honor and candor can often be twisted towards the ambitions of such men.

"If we journey to Jinera, we must all of us be prepared. Not one of us can lean upon any other, as it may be seen as a sign of weakness. While I believe we each are skilled in our own ways, we all have something to improve upon. For example, if you, Zhyle, are skilled at riding and using a bow as your equipment implies, how well do you handle a blade? And while you, Mira, know how to use a sword and buckler, could you improve with a bow? Do you understand how to read a man's intentions? And do you realize the guile behind your fairly impractical fighting style?

"Myself, I have traveled alone a great deal of my life. Sometimes I feel the lost are my only companions. I get the nagging feeling that by pursuing the occult I have lost a piece of my humanity. By traveling with you I may gain that back." He once again sat on the bed, his sapphires catching the candlelight with a faint glow.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
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#, as written by Chari
Miralda nodded slowly after hearing her companions' thoughts. "So, Jinera then? Very well. However, I think we should take the next few days to gather supplies before we head out. I would like to at least wait for a few more runs in the arena before we leave, so if only so we can collect more prize money."

The next three days were a blur of motion for Mira. The majority of her time was spent in the arena, either watching fights or fighting herself for prizes. When not at the arena, she wandered the shopping district looking for better armor than simple leather and a more general purpose shield than a buckler. While she found some chain mail that she took to wearing under regular clothes, she didn't find a shield she liked. To go with the new chain mail, she also found a leather and metal pair of gauntlets to guard her hands so she could use her sword in more esoteric ways, or act as a makeshift way to guard against an attack.

Beyond this, she tried to learn as much as she could about Jinera. She had found the massive man from before, who she found was named Draos, was a native from Jinera and more than happy to answer any questions she might have of the place. She learned that there were many different tribes, all independent from the rest. While people may call the area a country called Jinera, it was really a bunch of warring states. Each tribe's leader was determined by right of combat, but under this leader there would be a council of elected and appointed officials. It was surprisingly similar the Tyvern style, especially for a land that was known as a barbarous land. Who would have guessed they had anything in common at all?

In any event, the weekend soon arrived, and with it, the tournament. It seemed the whole town had shown up to this event, along with every man, woman, and child who had ever won anything in this arena in the past ten years. Still, with her new equipment and her hard-earned skills, Miralda had faith she would make a good showing. Considering the odds against her, she didn't need to win all that much for the small amount of money she had given to Saerin to bet to turn into a sizable amount.

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Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
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Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
Saerin Tytoh

Tyvernian Mystic, exiled for false accusations.

Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
Zhyle Alkuow

Horse archer exiled for his father's deeds.

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
Miralda Cristina de Reon

The daughter of two nobles who was chosen to be exiled for her parents misdoings.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
Zhyle Alkuow

Horse archer exiled for his father's deeds.

Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
Saerin Tytoh

Tyvernian Mystic, exiled for false accusations.

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
Miralda Cristina de Reon

The daughter of two nobles who was chosen to be exiled for her parents misdoings.

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Character Portrait: Zhyle Alkuow
Zhyle Alkuow

Horse archer exiled for his father's deeds.

Character Portrait: Saerin Tytoh
Saerin Tytoh

Tyvernian Mystic, exiled for false accusations.

Character Portrait: Miralda Cristina de Reon
Miralda Cristina de Reon

The daughter of two nobles who was chosen to be exiled for her parents misdoings.


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[OOC] The World Beyond

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