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Alain Rolands

"Talk about wrong place, wrong time. What have I gotten myself into?"

0 · 340 views · located in Korratoth

a character in “Thorns Within the Rose”, as played by Aufeis

Description

Name: Alain Rolands
Age: Twenty-Six.
Gender: Male

Description: Preferring a lithe build over bulky muscles, slicked back chestnut hair, and brown eyes that know more than they express, Alain looks pretty much like your average joe on the street. With a dual-steel weave tunic (a cloth tunic with finely woven steel fibers in it which is very useful and lightweight, but maybe not quite as protective as something more like chainmail) and leggings, along with thick, rough hide boots with steel plates embedded in them, rawhide gloves, and a cloth cowl, Alain is mostly protected from glancing or light blows from lighter weapons, such as knives or one handed blades, and even the occasional arrow, but mostly, he just relies on not getting seen. A direct impact with something such as a mace or spear would crush or slice right through his 'armor'.

((I can never find a picture I like, if it's necessary, I'll sketch one up.))

Personality

Alain is extremely laid back. His loyalty is very easily bought with whatever he perceives as valuable at that moment in time, though his chief loyalty is always to himself. When he becomes serious, he executes plans and jobs with deadly precision, since they are his livelihood. Alain's moral compass is constantly set to spin towards whoever can do him the most good, rather than the right or wrong of things. (you don't become a thief or a sell-sword because you think about right and wrong.) Alain's attitude is often described as near apathetic as he very rarely lets his emotions show externally, though he is always calculating. He may not be overly intelligent, but he is extremely crafty and 'street smart'. When walking into a room, he can usually find two or three escape routes immediately, with more popping up as time passes. He is definitely not one to sacrifice his own well-being for the sake of others, though he may appear to be at first. Charm is, of course, just another form of lying.

Equipment

Favored Weapon: Dual daggers, one slightly longer as his left handed weapon, while the other is slightly shorter as an offhand.
Weapon Training: Alain knows how to use daggers, short swords, bows, crossbows, and a vast majority of throwing weapons effectively in combat, as well as some training in unarmed combat.
Armor: Because Alain relies on speed and stealth, he has very light armor. Dual woven material in the form of leggings and a tunic are the vast majority of his protection, if one could call it that. He wears tough boots and glove to protect his hands and feet from the elements more so than weapons, and a cowl does little more than keep his face obscured.
Magic: While he doesn't know how to shoot fireballs or raise the dead, Alain is capable of healing moderate to severe injuries (usually on himself) though he does not have a deep well from which to pull magic. His magic is generally an emergency type situation.
Alain's Lucky Coin: A simple looking coin from some other land, though it is very close to Alain emotionally. The coin has little value elsewhere. It is probably the one thing that would procure his attention entirely.

History

On the streets at an early age, Alain had to learn to help his family in any way he could, or else it was out on the streets, or worse...nobody would ask where the little street urchin went if he simply disappeared. Because of this life-style, Alain became very distrusting of others, never truly getting close to anyone and keeping himself emotionally and moralistically detached. Not that morals mean much on the street.

Alain is, for all intents and purposes, a jack-of-all-trades. A skilled thief, with skills ranging from pickpocketing, lock picking, and remaining hidden, even in what should be plain sight, an artful assassin, with expertise in both poisons and traps, and even a self-proclaimed medic, with an adequate number of healing skills at his disposal. When you rely only on yourself, you have to be able to keep yourself healthy, of course. Preferring to fight with speed over strength, and stealth over speed, Alain gets the fighting over with as quick as possible, and isn't bogged down by things like honor or playing fair. If there is a sand cloud to be thrown or caltrops to be dropped, then they will be taken full advantage of. His clothes conceal a series of throwing weapons, poisons, trap components, and on his belt are two savage daggers. Or there would be, if not for the fact that all of that had been confiscated when he got caught rifling through the kingdom's treasury. Locked in the castle's dungeon, he was contemplating when exactly he should pick his way to freedom and leave, when this invasion began. Interesting. So he hung around. Let's see if things stay interesting.

So begins...

Alain Rolands's Story

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#, as written by Aufeis
A dungeon, yes, a dungeon. Just like every dungeon before, no doubt like every dungeon afterward. Dungeons were always the same, no matter how many times Alain was thrown into them. How many days had it been? Not too long. Just long enough for this invasion thing to set in. He had stopped counting. Or rather, he had never really cared enough to start counting. He tossed an apple (from yesterday's lunch, or the day's before? He couldn't remember) up to the roof of his cell, deftly catching it before it hit him as he lay spread on the prisoner's cot in the jail cell. He was bored. This was really all there was too it at the moment. Sure, this jailbird thing had been nice for a few free meals and a bit of a show, but all in all, he was bored. When the swords stopped clashing, and everything was said and done, he was bored. He really wasn't even sure why he'd stuck around to watch the invasion (though it had been somewhat humorous to watch as the royals were ironically thrown into their own dungeon, as they had done to him only days before) but now the days of even that excitement had vanished. He doubted anyone from the new leadership cared what he had done or did with himself, or whatever, now that the old royals were bye-bye. And besides, it wasn't like he'd murdered...okay, well, killing two nameless, faceless guards shouldn't have been much of a crime. How valuable could they possibly be? Surely royalty could buy new guards. Eh, he supposed he didn't really care. The point was, it wasn't like he'd gone on a killing spree and murdered a town. He'd just snuck a few coins from the royal treasury, no harm, no foul, right? It wasn't like they didn't have an infinitesimally large quantity to begin with, surely they could spare a few to such a handsome and roguish man as himself? Eh...given their quickness to lock him up, maybe not. In the end, he supposed it didn't matter. He'd lost his coins, as well as anything else of even remote value on his person. They'd almost stripped him of his clothes, but come now, was that really necessary? Yes, it was, but in the end, he won out and kept his clothes. After double and triple checking them, of course, the guard gave them back to him. Also of course, was the fact that nobody ever found the hidden pocket along the line of stitching.

Alain smiled as he stood up, took a bite of the apple, and dully walked over to the edge of his cell, looking around. If he tried really hard, sometimes he could see the royals in their cells, but he didn't bother this time. No, he was looking for guards, this time. Not that the little pretty birds were capable of getting out of their cages, because why would they? Pampered little brats, mostly. Or was it brat? He didn't know, and to be quite honest, he didn't care. The point was, that because the royals were so...royal, he guessed, they didn't exactly have his skill set. Why ever would the queen need to know how to pick a lock? Why would her child need to know how to sneak past armed guards as though it were daily routine, "Ah, my dear, but how the tables have turned, yes?" He mused out loud to himself, beginning his work on the lock. A twist here, a wiggle there, simple as that, really, "Anyone want to partake in a nice chat? No? Aw, too bad. I did so look forward to an idle conversation today." He said, as though talking about the weather while sipping brandy, instead of making fun of royalty as he escaped the very dungeon they were locked in. With a click, a pop, and then a clunk, the door sprung open, "Yes, thank you, thank you. I am fantastic, am I not?" He said, bowing as though to some invisible crowd. Well then...time to leave.

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Character Portrait: Anastasia Character Portrait: Aethyra Character Portrait: Parthenia "Paige" Daphine Character Portrait: Daniel Alaric Character Portrait: Leon Gideon Delrin Character Portrait: Alain Rolands
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Leon's head was rocking slightly, his eyes partially shut. he had heard every word his heir spoke; though it sounded far off; distorted by the sleep that called to him. Had he been in any other state of mind, Leon would have said some kind, comforting word to his heir and sent her on her way, but the need of sleep had dulled his senses and judgement. "Do as you wish, My Heir, but hurry back." Somewhere far off, he heard the man from earlier, Daniel, flirting with a girl. Let them have their fun; they deserve it He stood and nodded to his heir before waving her off. He didn't have any other scheduled meetings, but still felt he should take his seat. "Oh, and while you're down there, can you tell the men on duty to bring up that one prisoner? the one not connected to the royal family" he had to ask the man a few questions, and possibly answer a few.
___

Daniel watched the girl fade off unto dreamland, drifting away from their conversation. she brightened when he mentioned magic, then quickly explained the 'magic' she had once observed "those are simple parlor tricks, miss Paige. real magic is strong and powerful, pure energy of nature and the arcane" He raised two fingers, sending a crackle of blue lightning across them. "would you like to see some real magic, Miss Paige?"

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#, as written by Aufeis
Alain wasn't exactly going to wait around for someone to realize he was gone. No, that would just be silly...though entertaining. Well, as entertaining as that may be, he wanted his things back. He felt a bit naked without them. Most of all, he wanted his coin. A simple trinket of no real significance to anyone else, no real intrinsic value, but it was a more of a personal worth. A lucky charm, if name be associated with it. Perhaps the notion of luck was juvenile, but it had been the first thing Alain had ever stolen, and it had seemed to bring him relative good fortune since. He didn't know, and more importantly, he didn't care. Either way, he wanted his stuff back. Hopefully it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to find, so long as he stayed hidden. And nobody checked his cell while he was looking, that could always make things a little more complicated than they needed to be. He stalked the halls, avoiding guards when necessary (leaving a trail of dead or unconscious guards was just too much of a hassle) and making his way to a small room on the opposite side of the dungeon from where the staircase up top. "Because of course sneaking out of a dungeon could not be as easy as picking my things up on the way out, no, that would be too simple." he murmured to himself ruefully. He peeked inside to see if there were any guards, which luckily there weren't any awake guards, and slipped in the door.

He made his way quietly over to the chests of prisoner effects (god forbid the king be accused of stealing things from prisoners) and began to rifle through them, "Junk...junk...family heirloom...could pawn this...bag of cookies? Why in...You know what, I do not actually care." He muttered, taking a cookie and chewing it thoughtfully before tossing it back in the chest, "Too much sugar. Junk...ah, here we are, you little bastard." He said with a smirk as he pulled his knife belt and cowl out of the chest. After a bit more searching, he found his other things, the small weapon vest he wore to conceal his throwing weapons, his medical satchel for obvious things, and finally, the little pouch of gold that had started the whole mess. He snickered as he tied it to his belt, taking the coin from the top of the bag and tying it around his throat, "Right where you belong."

At that moment, the guard who had been sleeping on the job decided he'd like to wake up. Perhaps Alain had been speaking louder than he had thought, but the guard roused from sleep, "Who the heck...?"

Before he could so much as move, a knife found itself embedded in his forehead, between his eyes, "Sorry about that one, my friend, but I cannot exactly have you running off to turn me back in, now can I?" He asked, walking over to the now dead guard and retrieving his knife. It took a few good tugs, but finally it came free with a sickening grating sound, the sound of metal on bone. He gently wiped the blade off on the guard's sleeve before tearing a piece of paper off of some document or the other and plugged the guards forehead (crude, maybe, but effective, but he couldn't have blood dripping all over the place) and leaned the guard against the table, as though he were sleeping as before, "Right as rain. Alright. Now time to leave."

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Character Portrait: Aethyra Character Portrait: Alain Rolands
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"Yes, my Lord." Bowing her head, she nearly ran for the dungeon, breath coming shorter and shorter. Wrenching the door open, she began to descend, forgetting being proper and tossing off her slippers as she went. The choking feeling grew stronger as she descended, and she paused to catch her breath before entering the guard's hallway, attempting to keep her face regal.

"The Lord wishes for the--" she froze as her eyes fell upon a man wiping his blade on the guard's--who upon closer inspection, was indeed dead--sleeve. Aethyra stayed still, keeping her eyes on the blades the man had. Clearing her throat to attract his attention, she kept her hands loose, cursing that she didn't think to bring her bow or hunting knives before rushing down. But if she had, she may have missed him.

"Hold," she whispered, then stronger, "hold. Stay your blades, man, I am no threat to you."

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#, as written by Aufeis
'Hold' was the only word that escaped Aethyra's mouth before a knife found itself buried into the door just west of her head, maybe three inches away. When Alain actually got a look at the speaker, he only shook his head. A girl, not even a woman yet, who looked to be in her night gown and shoeless, stood in the guard's doorway. The lord? Alain wondered what the girl was going to tell this unfortunate man. He continued to give her that odd look, "My dear, do you make a habit of approaching known killers from behind, when they are more than apparently armed unarmed, without back-up, and with only the words 'hold'?" He asked, going to the chest, grabbing the bag of cookies, tossing them to her, "You have a lot to learn about the outside world, kiddo. I do not miss often, so take that as good luck on your part." He didn't wait for an answer as he walked close to her, inspecting her. The nightgown would signify someone important, he could tell by the quality of the fabric. But her face and hands...they were not the hands of some delicate princess, nor did her eyes contradict that assessment. Her eyes were cold. Killer's eyes, perhaps. Maybe not a man killer, but this girl had drawn blood before, "But perhaps not so much as I initially thought." He took his knife from the door and pushed past her into the prisoner's hallway, "Have a good day, miss. Try to stay away from armed killers, it would be a shame for a pretty face like yours to be carved up and end up in a ditch somewhere." He wasn't about to stick around this place, though he was curious what exactly this girl was doing in a place such as this. She wasn't a servant, definitely, but she did not carry herself like a knight either. Curious. Oh well. He had only taken a few steps from her, but it would not take him long to disappear from view.

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"Hold, I said," Aethyra spun to face the man again, furrowing her brow, "You killed the guards. You escaped the prison. That is...amazing." She felt truly awed by his skill; the kills were clean, simple, and quiet. Jealousy almost crawled across her face, but she blinked, and sent it away. He was skilled, but had surely been locked away for a reason. Trying to ignore his comment about her "pretty face", and the strange tilt of her stomach when she looked at him, she pressed on.

"You are not entitled to me in any way. You more than likely despise me, for no other reason than because I am woman and I have seen you. And you have no reason to accept my request. But I ask of you," taking a shuddering breath, she stared at him harshly, raising her chin high to give an air of bravado, "accompany me deeper into the dungeons, there is something I wish to check. If you accept, I shall reward you handsomely, and shall not tell the Lord about your escape." Closing her eyes, she hissed out air before speaking one last word, "Please."

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"I am Aethyra, the Heir to the throne, once the Lord has passed. I appologize if it sounded as though I was commanding you, that was not my intention. I shall give you a great reward, and if you'd like, I can give a bit up front." With quick hands, she reached and unclasped a string of pearls from her wrist, a pretty bauble that she rarely removed. "This you may have, if it pleases you." Aethyra tossed it towards the man, and studied him. "If you help me, I will assure that you leave these grounds unapposed."

"You were right to say that I have spilt blood, I am a hunter, whenever I can escape these damned walls and slip away to the forest. Noble wench, however, I am. I cannot promise that I will follow all your orders, but I shall try. Now, I ask one more thing of you, sir. I ask what I may call you, whether a name or a title, I care not, but something easier to say than "the escaped convict from the dungeon" would be simpler, if you don't mind too much."

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"Alain." She nodded, recording his name to memory, and beginning her descent lower into the dungeon, her footsteps silent on the stairs. "I do not blame you for not giving me a weapon, it is indeed smart. I do not wish to slay you, however, though I commend your thought process. I have no plans to double-cross you, I despise this place as much, maybe more, than you do."

As she descended, and they faded from the torch light, Aethyra was constantly growing more and more annoyed with her nightgown as it swished about her ankles. With a frustrated growl, she pushed past him back up to the guard's post, and studied the more slender of guards. Blinking sympathetically, she began to wrench his clothing from his lifeless body, before throwing the cloak from her shoulders and tugging the nightgown up and off of her tiny body, shameless and unafraid. She had been naked in the woods, in the castle, in the bath; this was just one more place to add to the list. Tugging his simple tunic over her head, she fastened her cloak back around her shoulders and pushed past Alain once more to continue dropping into the catacombs.

"And you know my name. Do not call me 'majesty,' I despise the very word."

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"I dislike pants, they cling and hinder my movement, and I try as hard as I can not to wear boots. They are clumsy, miserable things, and I much prefer to feel my surroundings than to guess at them." Aethyra was tired, and annoyed, and was not one for small talk, particularly with men. They had many things on their mind, most of which disgusted her, and the rest bored her.

"Though I do not doubt of your skill, I have no qualms that I could turn a blade against you if you were to attack me at a given moment. It was merely kindness that kept me from taking the man's sword as well." Glancing over her shoulder at the man, she kept her tone monotonous, her eyes steely, "And if I did not think you a smart enough man not to attack me whilst I bore myself, I would not have done so. As much as you detest it, you have a kind sort of shine in your eye, under the murder and smart comments."

Facing forward again, she stared straight into the blackness, enjoying the creeping dankness that began to crawl across her skin the lower they walked. "And I shall ask that you do not call me child. I am no such thing."

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Aethyra chose not to comment on his claims of power. She had no doubt he was extremely skilled, but she also had pride in the fact that she could at least excape his grasp, if not a blade. He reminded her a bit of a raccoon: smart, sneaky, thoughtful, easily aggrivated, but you need only be nimble and loud to escape him. Nearly grinning, she shook her head and followed him as he passed her, pressing herself against the wall so his body could not brush hers.

She explained to him her nightmares; the constant darkness, how she cowered as a child each night, but the previous night had been different. She had released it somehow, and did not want it searching. Silently, she added to herself how it searched for innocence, and while Aethyra herself was innocent, she was cold and calculating, not exactly interesting to a darkness such as that. It would search for someone such as Parthenia, and Aethyra would not let the girl be hurt.

"I am merely here to find out what has plagued me, I do not ask for bloodshed today. If it is neccesary, then it is neccesary, but I'd otherwise like to keep this clean." Her shoulder burned from where the weight of his hand had pressed against her skin, even through the tunic. It bothered her. Something was strange about this man. She found herself nearly unable to look him in the eye, and when he spoke to her, her tongue became thick and heavy. Was it possible he had poisoned her somehow, or perhaps even cursed her?

Glancing down at the rough tunic she'd stolen from the guard's body, she mentally cursed herself. Of course it was more comfortable to move around in, but she looked a fool. It fell barely below her knees, had no cinch nor ribbon to make it actually fit her; she looked a child playing dress-up in her elder brother's clothes. With a quiet curse, she wrapped her cloak tighter around herself and continued down, biting her tongue.

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With a nod, she tightened the sash around her waist. Aethyra was not vain, but she did enjoy wearing clothes that fit, they were simpler to move in. Keeping silent, she listened to him prattle on about his fighting abilities, an eyebrow raised slightly. The cold did nothing more than nip gently at her ankles, but she paid it no mind, it was hardly unbearable. Alain seemed, not nervous exactly, but definately wary. He didn't like it down here, that much was obvious, and Aethyra couldn't exactly blame him. Placing a steady hand on his shoulder, she whispered gently, "It will be stealthy and quick as well."

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#, as written by Aufeis
Alain gave her a look, but said nothing. He didn't quite know what they were looking for, but he supposed they would know it when they saw it. Down and down they went, until finally the staircase ended. Finally. It had seemed like forever. How deep were they below the earth now? He couldn't possibly know, "These catacombs...what purpose could they possibly serve? The royal dead need not be buried so deep...there are crypts for such things..." he asked the air around them, not really expecting an answer. The air was stale here, not at all fresh...but there was the hint of rot on it as well, as though dead flesh had become pugnent and old. These narrow passageways were not to his liking in the slightest. He needed open spaces where he could manuever, "How much farther?"

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Closing her eyes, Aethyra could see a darkness licking at her from behind closed lids, pooling off to her right. Placing a hand on the wall beside her, she pushed, and the wall gave slightly, then slid open. A secret prison, she thought, clever. But not clever enough. Shivers coursed down her spine once she opened it, but something further down called to her. She took one shaky step, then another, and turned to look at Alain. He was not happy here, it made him nervous, and while being so far under the earth bother Aethyra as well, she was better situated here.

"You do not have to continue on if you do not wish. You may find your payment in my bedchamber, a satchel of gold sits beneath my pillow." What was this feeling in her gut? It couldn't be fear, no, Aethyra was not afraid, not of anything. Was it...regret? Regret that he may leave her? Shock apparent on her face, she turned back to face the dark hallway in front of her. "Your duty ends here. If you do not wish to leave on your own, you may wait for me at the guard station, and I shall pay and bid you leave once I return." As she began to walk further into the stale, rotten air, she found herself hoping that he would not leave her. And that scared her more than the darkness could.

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Alain bowed his head a bit at her words. Well, that was easier than he had thought. She didn't even want him to stay and help her investigate whatever creepy dream shit lurked in the darkness? That worked for him. Easiest money he ever made. With a smirk, he took a few steps back up, when an odd feeling caught in his chest. He physically put his hand to his chest, as if expecting to find something there. Nothing. Yet the feeling persisted. Guilt? Did he feel guilty about leaving the unarmed, under-clothed, teenager in the dark depths that literally smelt of death? He shouldn't, but he did. He rolled his eyes. He already knew why he was feeling this. She reminded him of himself at her age. He sneered for a moment as he gave a sigh, "Fuck me...easiest fucking money I ever made my ass..." he said to himself before turning back and following her into the depths, "If I go back up there, I am going to have to actually work to get the hell out of here. And I am not waiting and some ridiculous little guard post like a coward. I am no coward. When we get topside, you are walking me out of here, girl."

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Aethyra nearly smiled, and continued to walk, her pace and gait unchanged. So, he wasn't leaving her...good. But at the same time, terrible: because he was suscepting himself to her nightmares. Things could get terrible now, especially thanks to the dark feeling that sat festering in her chest. "Be careful, Alain," she said gently, "or someone may believe you care about someone other than yourself." It was unfair and a bit cruel to say, she knew, but it was her attempt at teasing. It made her somewhat happy that he decided to stay, but she squelched those feelings, her mind on the darkness ahead.

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#, as written by Aufeis
"I will bear that in mind. Do not get any funny ideas, girl. You are a client, and my ticket out of here without soldiers breathing down my neck. Nothing more." He hoped she wasn't romanticizing their little foray into the darkness. This wasn't some child's fairy tale where the princess falls in love with the pauper, and even if it were, he wanted no part of it. Women, love, politics. All of it was just...more trouble than it was worth. He had been down the path of love once before, and he had been stabbed in the back because of it, literally and figuratively. He wasn't about to do that again, especially not for some tart in a castle wrapped up entirely in politics and such. Usurping a kingdom didn't exactly come free of political fallout. It already bugged him that he felt guilty about leaving the girl down here. He would not let that feeling become anything more than mirror to his own past. He couldn't deny that she did have a certain beauty to her, but she was still a child. The precipice of childhood, perhaps, but a child no less. He shrugged a little, "I care about my coin purse and my life. By extension, I care about my clients."

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Aethyra stopped dead in her tracks, and spun to face him, anger marring her face. "Listen to me. This is the last time I will say this. I do not care if you are the best thief in the entire land. I do not care if you could slice my throat in the blink of an eye. I do not care anything about you. But I am no girl. I am not a child. This has nothing to do with my station, but I will not be treated as a mere girl. If you refuse to follow this, than you are not bound to help me. I'm sure you can find a creative way out."

Twirling back around, she continued to walk, face red, eyes harsh. Embarrased and angry, curling and uncurling her fists, she strode down through the darkness. How was it that this man could make her so incredibly angry? She never showed this much anger, this much feeling period. Aethyra knew that the only way to make the terrible feelings in her chest would be to distance herself from him. She only hoped that poison-tipped words could keep him far enough away.

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#, as written by Aufeis
This was not the first, nor did he doubt the last time he would be shouted at for refusing to use someone's name, "Until you prove yourself my equal, I refuse to waste my breath with your name. I do not care if your Lord himself were to give me his name, I would not use it either. It is not just you, do not think yourself to be special." He said with a shrug, "What would you have me call you, then? Child and girl only seem to anger you, and heir and princess seem to do the same; I do not do it as a sign of disrespect You need not get so frustrated by such simple terms as this, especially as it is your title. It is not fit of a young woman taking the place of queen of a kingdom one day." Mostly he was just trying to get her goat, but his words did hold a small amount of truth as well. He kept his weapon in hand, but put his hands behind his head and stretched as he walked. He really didn't know what else to say to her little outburst.

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Character Portrait: Aethyra Character Portrait: Alain Rolands
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"I never said I wanted to be the blasted, bloody Queen," she hissed, but otherwise kept quiet, walking down the corridor until she came to a large metal door. Aethyra pressed against the door, huffing with effort, until it finally gavem and she stumbled into the now open room. It was dark, save for a circle in the middle of the room, lit by a single flickering lantern. She stepped close and studied it, coming to the conclusion that it absolutely had to be magic that kept the blasted thing burning so long. Kneeling down, the pale-haired heir noticed many shards of strained, shattered glass that absolutely pulsated with something dark, centered around the circle. Everything was wrong here.

She stayed silent, letting the hunter mentality come into her, swiveling her head side-to-side, pupils large as she surveyed every inch of the room. Her eyes looked ethereal, and she tilted her head, trying to pick up on any un-natural sounds. Any worries about Alain, looking odd, or being angry had disappeared from her mind.

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#, as written by Aufeis
Alain stood quietly as he watched her do her own thing. Nobody ever got born as what they wanted to be, huh? People always found something to complain about. If you wanted to change what you were and how your life was, you had to work at it, "This place is old...very old...and tainted. With what, I do not know." He murmured, more to himself than to her, running his hand along the wall closest him. The centerpiece to the room just gave him chills. He could feel the...well, he didn't quite know what it was, but he didn't like it. He held out his hand and conjured up a small flame in his palm, the white fire just sort of bobbing around in his hand. It was hot enough to burn, but it was by no means an offensive spell. Just a small, personal light; it just seemed to be consumed by the darkness, though, "The inky blackness just seems unending. Not even a magic flame seems to penetrate it..." they shouldn't be here. That was what rung out in his brain, screaming. They shouldn't be here. The body just knew this kind of thing. He walked closer to her, standing close and alert. The quicker she finished, the sooner they could leave this forsaken place.

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Character Portrait: Aethyra Character Portrait: Alain Rolands
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Aethyra's curiousity would be the death of her, that much was apparent in the way she stroked the bits of glass, glanced about the room. Something was calling to her. And she knew that if she pressed farther on, she would die. But the call was so heavy, so beautiful...she wanted to get to the end of it. If Alain wanted her to leave, he'd have to drag her kicking and screaming. Her eyes were hazy, and her voice coarse as she spoke. "I'm going deeper," she croaked, and began to stagger across the room, eyes locked on another door.

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#, as written by Aufeis
Alain looked back at her as she talked about going deeper. Eh, no. This place was bad enough. Even he knew it would be foolhardy to venture deeper into these unholy grounds. He took her wrist, turning her towards him, "No, we are not going deeper. We are going back to the surface. You want to come back here, you come better equipped, do you hear me?" Hang on a tick...his own eyes widened as he looked at her. She was under some sort of trance, it was written across her face like bold print, the way she spoke, the way she caressed the glass as though it were something precious instead of some shard of glass. Now they'd done it. He snorted as he disobeyed his own second rule, pulling her close with one swift motion and hefting her up onto his shoulder. She wasn't heavy by any means, though climbing the stairs again would be a burden, "We are going back, now. You said you would follow my orders, well, that is an order. Once you have your wits about you again, then we will talk." There was some sort of connection, between her and whatever dwelled (or had dwelled) in this place. He didn't know what kind, and now they'd triggered something. A trap, maybe. A curse. These sorts of things happened from time to time. He expected her to fight him and tried to prepare himself for her flailing, but if the girl really wanted out of his arm, she would get out, "You will thank me later, trust me."

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Character Portrait: Aethyra Character Portrait: Alain Rolands
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Aethyra began to struggle, clawing at his back and kicking her legs, occasionally screaming to be released. She had to be nearer to the dark, had to know why it sang to her...but the farther and farther she got from the glass, the more her mind cleared, and her thrashing slowed, became less violent. Eventually, she stopped, and her face filled with blood, her cheeks and ears tinted entirely pink. "I am alright now," she muttered, "you may place me down." Embarrased beyond belief, Aethyra couldn't believe she had acted so childish, let alone be effected by the blasted spell! She had thought herself stronger than this.

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#, as written by Aufeis
Alain had to grit his teeth against her nails digging into his back. She was like a very angry animal, and he had just disturbed her from her den, and she dug deep. Finally she stopped, though, which he was thankful for, but when she mentioned being put down, he shook his head. No, he wasn't putting her down until he was sure they were far enough away that she wasn't going to run back down here and make him chase her again. The guard station was far enough. He set her down on the table, shoving the dead guard out of his chair as he did, before pulling his own tunic over his head. He looked at a nearby mirror, looking at the array of scratches across his back, "Well, is that not just fantastic. I look like I was rolling around in the glass shards myself, instead of carrying you back up the stairs." He said with an irritated shrug, before conjuring another white flame in his hands. Gently it rose from his hand and spread over his back. When the flames subsided, the scratches were gone completely. With that done, he turned his attention back to her. He could still see the pink that echoed in her cheeks, though whether it was still as bad as it had been initially, he didn't even think about. Or, he tried to casually ignore it, anyway, "Feeling all better now, are we? Have our wits about us and all? If so, then tell me if that entire trip was wasted or not."

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Aethyra seemed to find her hands very, very intruiging, and studied them in depth, trying desperately not to look up at Alain, who stood annoyed before her. He had carried her the entire way here, dropped her into the chair, and she was sure he was going to scold her as though she were a small child again...but she was. Or had been. The darkness had brought out a need in her that she hadn't realized was there, brought out a young demon in her. Not only had he thrown her over his shoulder in an attempt to save her, but she had repaid him by scratching him, harming him, though if he had not come with her, she would surely be dead.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, confused as to why she was shaking so. He healed the scratches with a fair bit of magic, yet her guilt remained. She had never hurt another human being before, was that why she was so upset? She had not drawn blood, only scratched his skin a bit, yet she could not bring herself to look at him. Guilt, embarrasment, anger, sadness...she had never felt so many emotions, especially not in a span of a few hours.