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  #51    
Old February 7th, 2013, 09:42 PM
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Xlugon Pyro
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XEYE ANASTASIA ZXKOL

THE BLUE WILDCAT

THUD!!!

Xeye's vision slowly returns to her, gradually changing from back to a dull blur before the full color and detail of her surroundings find their way to her eyesight. However, the recovery of her vision didn't answer another problem. The girl's head throbs with blunt pain on the side of her head that happened to have a make-out session with the ground. Why is she in pain? Why is she on the ground? Why... is this town so ugly? Wait a second...

"...This really hurts!" she realizes, sitting herself up to rub her ailing cranium.

Her eyes zoom around the landscape, taking in the derelict town in front of her before her vision passes over the scene of two people mingling to explore the scenery behind her: a vast, open landscape of fields, farms and trees that detail the fading from civilization towards the untamed wilds.

"What is this place? ...What's that!?" her gaze shifts upward, inspecting the architecture of the town's gate, which, surprisingly, are quite artistic in design, contrasting with the dull architecture across the rest of the town.

"Oh!" she locks onto the barked plant above her: a tall tree with large branches growing out all across its trunk. She must've fallen out of the tree.

The half-elf's memory rolls back to yesterday, recalling the events that transpired at the Crappy Crud or whatever that stupid tavern place was called. Her gang had vacated the bar's insides and were about to set out on their own to reconvene later the day after. Wolf Pops had left with Apples over his shoulders and told everyone to fend for themselves. It was a sensible course of action, and one that she suspects is typical of the gang's operation, using it gives them all a sense of independence and also prevents one of the mercenaries to become too reliant on the assistance of others to maintain job efficiency.

"What are you, mad?" she recollects Wolf Pops' words earlier yesterday. "Are you fixing to get a price on our heads? Or hanged?!"

"Well... I-uh..." Xeye stammered for words, briefly remembering that she actually DOES have a bounty on her head, and igniting that one guy back in the bar might not help her keep the low profile she's been after. She wisely kept this fact secret from Wolf Pops, her face depressed by his remarks on her proposed actions.

He later continued as the rumbling of guards was heard in the distance. "Alright. Do what you want. I care not . But mark me. Tomorrow upon the dawn, we set out on the job. If you're not present, I'll take it as a sign you've decided to part ways. That, or you're in the dungeon. Or dead. Whatever the reason, we take off without you."

"Eeeheeheheheehee!!" she giggled in delight as Wolf Pops and Apples took to the streets in retreat. "Guess that means yeeeeeeeeesssss!!"

Her gleerful delight brought her up to the tavern, swinging her axes twice across its surface, cutting open a deep gap into the bar's walls while releasing a stream of flames with each swing of her axes. The act therefore set that portion of the bar ablaze, grinning childishly over her labor before she scurried off into the streets like a squirrel.

What happened after that was fairly inconsequential. After successfully escaping the stampede of angry guards in the pursuit of bringing order to the town, she found a small joint that served grilled and spiced meats: an attraction that Xeye just couldn't refuse. Her meal gave her awful heartburn later, but the tastiness was worth it, as the rest of her day was spent scrounging around for drinkable water, a commodity that was far too difficult to find in a urban hub. Her day left her in an exhausted daze, grappling with an angry esophagus and dealing with the crazy townsfolk who all seemed to be suffering from dramatic mood swings or who were just unpleasant people. She found herself at the tree right by the city gates after deciding that the inns available in town were full of strange men who never left her alone or were ran by cranky grampas who yelled at her for all sorts of crazy reasons. The tree looked nice at the time, so she had thrown herself up into the boughs of the large tree, left hidden by the camouflaging leaves as she drifted to sleep right by the place Wolf Pops designated as their meeting place the following day.

"Oh!" Xeye's memory snaps back to her, recognizing that her rude awakening resulted from her curved body slipping from the tree before colliding with the hard road below her. Her head still hurts though, rubbing the sore spot to distract herself from the pain. However, the bright side of this situation is that she's up early and is likely to be on time for Wolf Pops' appointment.

"Who were those people?" she remembers, dialing back to the figures she spotted earlier convening at the city gates. "Oh! Wolf Pops!"

Xeye leaps on onto her feet, excited by her recognition of their gang leader. She stumbles slightly as she approaches him, still delirious from her fall, but she collects herself, righting her posture and continues prancing towards Wolf Pops like an excited child.

"Hey! Hey hey hey! Wolf Pops! Hi!" she yells, scrambling towards the two men's positions with a ridiculously blissful smile beaming towards her gang leader. "Heeelloooooo!!!"

Her eyes don't stay fixed on the Highman for long, identifying the strange, cloaked man they met yesterday who offered them their job. He's the whole reason why their gang decided to gather here in the morning.

"Oh! Hi there Mister Cloaked Guy!" she exclaims excitedly, waving obnoxiously in the air despite him being a mere meter or so away from her. "What're you up to? Why are you here? Is this about this job thing you offered us? Huh? Is it?"
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  #52    
Old February 11th, 2013, 10:55 PM
Vintage Arachnid
im always watchin
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Tamor Bellfiend and Auden Radke
Captian's Ship / Shingou City
Tamor instantly shrunk herself as Auden came into her line of sight, his tone conveyed such confidence that it bothered her. It felt like he knew he had her like a cornered rat and that she should just be submissive but if she let that happen, what else would he be able to get away with? Before she realized it she had slapped him hard against his now redden left cheek, which left a visible handprint on it. Her anger had been waiting to get out and now it had its chance. Tamor snatched the mug from his fingers and emptied its contents onto Auden before smashing it onto the ground. Afraid of his reaction she ran back into the room and shut the down, she leaned against the door, which she hoped would prevent him from entering. Tamor heard her heartbeats as if it was ready to burst out of her chest, she wasn't ready to die. Auden needed Tamor, after all they were going to be stuck on this boat for quite some time and it was clear he didn't have another "toy". As if they were automatic her eyes started to water again, Tamor was now doing exactly what Auden wanted her to do and despite her unwillingness to admit maybe it was for the best.

Fire started pulsing around Auden's dripping wet body; controlling himself, he allowed just enough heat to speed dry his clothes. Sighing he thought of how to properly punish his new toy who clearly was ready for more fun after showing her defiant attitude. After about a minute his clothes had dried considerably and he pushed on the door, not surprised to feel weight behind it. "Tamor," he said calmly moving in closer to the door. "You have till the count of 5 to let me in.." Tamor planted her feet further out so that she could have more of her strength forced against the door.

"Five, four, three, two, one." At "one" a burst of air rushed through Auden, that aided his push as the door flung open with a dulled thud of Tamor falling to the ground, her nose bleeding. Stepping inside the room Auden closed the door, looking and activiating his privacy spell once again. He cracked his neck as he began to speak to Tamor. "So, you thought it was a good idea to reject my kindness Dwelf?" She scampered backwards, desperately trying to get away from him as he approached her. Fear was in her eyes, as well as a slight amount of defiance, as if she could just bare with long enough this she would be able to get out unphased, a look at excited Auden immensely. He paused infront of her for a moment, allowing her a chance to respond before he enacted his punishment on her.

A slight smile developed on his face as she refused to say anything. "At least you realise.." His right hand suddenly shot out grabbing her around the throat, lifting her up. "That you did something wrong." His grip tightened as she struggled to get away, to no avail. Catching her left hand he looked deeply into her eyes. "Let's not forget Tamor," his hand moving over hers, forcing all but her index finger to clench. "You need me to survive this." A crunching sound followed by a muffled scream filled the room, her struggling slowly down as she began to gasping for air. A smile was his reply as he tightened his grip around her neck and brought her middle finger up. Tears rolled down her face as another crunch sounded out. Letting go of her neck her body fell to the ground as she began to violently cough.

"S-sorry," Tamor croaked through her coughing fits as tears and blood running down her face.

***

It happened again and again, it was always when Tamor felt her absolute lowest like she had nothing else to live for. For some reason he never tried to persuade her against joining the other Knights but it still felt to her as if he had a leash on her. At nights she wandered the ship where she checked on how the other Knights were, she hoped she could make connections with them. She doubted that they even wanted to have anything to do with her since she was the pathetic, Tamor thought she didn't even deserve their attention. Sometimes she would just sit in a corner and whisper things that she clearly couldn't tell to the others to her only friend, Niolas, her hawk. Why hadn't she paid attention to her hawk's clear discomfort at the former mysterious man was a question she constantly asked herself day in and day out. Auden and her conversations were limited to small chit-chats it was made clear that Auden didn't like to talk about his past, which naturally was what Tamor was the most interested in. They slept in the same room but she refused to share the same bed as him and rightfully so he respected her decision.

The rest of the days aboard the ships seemed blurry they went by so fast Tamor couldn't recall the details to them. She remembered getting sick off of some food that some onboard sailor had given her and she had embarrassed herself by having retched all over the lower deck floors. Auden appeared more compassionate on those days as he made sure she got to her bed and was properly taken care of. Tamor felt as if they were getting closer, not intimately, but she was definitely getting used to his company. Often she felt disgusted at herself for even having the thought of considering someone who called her a "toy" a friend. She often wondered what he was thinking as he laid only a couple feet away from her. It was probably something complex, if only she had the chance to hear his thoughts but maybe a filtered version. Well, if she had one wish it would go to getting off the boat because she hated every minute that passed by on that vessel.

This trip was infinitly more bearable than the last for Auden, mainly due to the addition of his new toy Tamor. He had spent most nights indulging in his guitly pleasure, except for a few days when she had gotten sick and he had taken care of her; a sick toy being never fun to play with. The sun was beating down on his face as he thought back on the weeks that had passed, and a very interesting fact he had found out; Tamor was a divine mage who had healing magic, something that he'd definitely be taking advantage of when he tortured people other than her. The sound of seagulls broke his mind back to the present, a sign of land being close. "Land Ahoy!" Captain Crewe declared to the ship, reinforcing the fact that their time on the boat was finally coming to an end. Standing at the bow of the ship he could see the outline of the isolated Shingou nation quickly forming. As they drew closer to the land, the ship became busy as the sailors prepared for docking. Tamor joined Auden as the ship began to slow down to dock at the port. The sailors worked quickly as they anchored at the port, tying the ship down securely within 5 minutes of anchoring.

As everyone started to descend from the ship, Tamor stuck close to Auden, holding onto the side of his robe as if it was some kind of security blanket. Awaiting the Knights at a port was a very large crowd of people, which slightly confused Auden as he couldn't work out why so many people were gathered to greet them. At the head of the crowd was a man who were surrounded by soldiers, who had the armor of the rumoured "elites" of the Shingou nation. Why do we have elite soldiers here to greet us? The man who was clearly an important person on the island considering his guards stepped forward and greeted the Knights. Tamor noticed his robes and was glad that he had chosen to do a red over blue outfit instead of the other way around.
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Last edited by Vintage Arachnid; February 12th, 2013 at 10:03 AM.
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  #53    
Old February 11th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Claire*
Here's to the crazy ones.
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Age: 23
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Bofvar Blyr

The prior night, post bar fight, was all a blur. Everyone had gone their respective ways, off to do who knows what they were intending to do. As for Bofvar, he found the nearest inn, regardless of price or quality and immediately collapsed on the first available bed. Said bed was not where Bofvar woke, however. Somehow, he ended up on the floor, opposite where he had rested his head. His arm draped over his eyes, a futile attempt to keep out the sunlight that began bleeding into his room, he raised himself with an obvious moan of annoyance. Grasping his head firmly between his hands, he waited for the room to stop spinning before he even attempted to stand. The Lion’s roar took a bit more out of him than he thought. That, or the vixen from the alley had done quite the number with her headbutt. He had fallen asleep thinking of her and woke with the same thought. It was the mystery of her that enraptured him, not infatuation. Never having seen her in his life, it was a total conundrum as to why she so desired the challenge of him in battle. Deciding it was not worth dwelling on, he pulled on his trousers and shirt, not even remembering when or how he got naked in the first place.

Aside from these, admittedly, not wholly abnormal circumstances, everything seemed to be in order, until he reached for his coin purse. Lifting it from his belt loop, it immediately struck him as to its weight and not in a good way. Hastily untying the small bag, he peered inside and noticed a piece of paper that had never been there before. Setting it aside, he went about counting the coins held within. After a few minutes of counting and recounting, he safely came to the conclusion that two coins had indeed been removed from his tally. His first assumption was to early payment for the room, but he rarely ever did such a thing. Remembering the paper that he had set aside, he carefully unfolded it and read the message aloud.

“Hello there, short stuff,” Bofvar paused and tried to stifle a groan, the insult meaning nothing to him anymore after all these years. “Just wanted to say thank you for last night. I found you to be most compliant with my demands. Then again, I attribute that to drink. I guess you were the one who ended up ‘paying dearly’. Thanks again, -E-.” Having finished the note, as mad as he was, Bofvar couldn’t help but smile. Sure, the woman had followed him, disrobed him and stolen from him, but he could respect that. That girl had gumption. On the off chance he ever ran into her again, he’d give her a piece of his mind and maybe something else, Gods willing. Folding up the note and returning it to his bag, he finished getting his armor on and running last checks of his equipment.

Happy that everything was in order, he left the room and descended the stairs of the inn. Quickly settling his debt with the keep, he strode out into the disgusting, filth covered streets. All things considered, it seemed a bit more cheerful today. Or, maybe he was just a bit more sober. Either way, it was an interesting start to the morning.

It didn’t take long to reach the gathering point. Without even realizing it, he had coincidentally picked an inn that just about neighbored where they were supposed to meet. Varian, Xeye and the client had already arrived, most likely waiting patiently for the rest to arrive. How good of them to arrive early. Had it not been for the rising sun and draft that ran across his nether region, Bofvar probably wouldn’t have been here when he was.

“Oi!” He shouted in greeting, a bigger than usual smile plastered on his face. “Good to see you two up and out, especially you, milady.” Bofvar nodded in Xeye’s direction. “So, where be the rest of our sorry lot?”
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  #54    
Old February 12th, 2013, 01:39 AM
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Skymin
the gratitude pokémon
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: australia
Age: 21
Nature: Quirky
>> AVA
>> The Broken Keg, Dalenham, Eveamoor

The fighting in the bar soon felt a little too out of control, which felt like an indicator to leave the dump. There was a loud crash and Avangeline turned to find Cass jumping out of the front window. Varian yelled something about leaving and Avangeline pouted as the man followed his partner out. Leave? Already? The fight had barely begun! Ah well, another time maybe.

"Nem!" she called, putting her hands in her mouth to blow a loud whistle. Her direwolf jumped up and bounded over a few patrons, following his master's beckon and gracefully jumping out of the window. Avangeline bowed before she followed her wolf, waving to the fight. "Thank-you for the memories! They were great!"

Some of the others were outside, but not for very long. After a few snaps from Varian, he left with Cass, leaving Xeye and Avangeline alone. Of course, Xeye, the child, bounded back into the fight to set things on fire. Silly, what was the point of fire? What happens if the Broken Keg burned down? The poor bartender! He probably paid... no, the place was a dump and probably came cheap. Still... Oh well. Avangeline, choosing not to become involved with Xeye's shenanigans, walked away with her direwolf.

Should they go shopping? Go eating? Perhaps find an inn to sleep in? The night was very much still young!

"Should we paint the town red, Nem?"

* * *

Avangeline rose early the next morning, gathering her things for a quick checkout. She waved goodbye to the innkeeper, plopping a few bronze pieces on the desk as a nice tip. The innkeeper was thankful, bowing as the half-elf left.

"First stop, that blacksmith!"

It was only up the road. Avangeline had left her shoulder plates to be repaired last night and the blacksmith said he would only take a night to repair them. Plus, Avangeline had business with that Miracyian bow and arrow set.

"Good morning!" she called to the blacksmith. The young man looked up from his work. He was quite attractive, especially for someone who lived in Dalenham. He wasn't the same man who had served her yesterday, who had been an older man. He was nice, but not nice to look at. This man though had a familiar feeling about him. It was comforting.

"And to you, miss," he replied politely. "What can I do for you?"

"Hello, I was here last night about my shoulder plates."

"Ah, yes. The young woman with the direwolf. Hold on, I'll go get it," he tore himself away from the shield he was decorating and went behind the counter to pull out the plates. They were like new again! Not only that, they had new indents and decorations surrounding the edges. Feathers? That was the trademark of...

"Sorry, I got a little carried away," he laughed. There was something all too familiar about his tone of voice. "I hope it's not too much, and I don't expect anything extra."

"Are you Falkan?"

"I am!" he beamed, as if Avangeline had commented on how nice the colour of his hair was. "Are... you?"

"Yes, it's nice to hear a voice that sounds like home," Avangeline smiled back. "It's been too long."

"And to you!" he bowed his head politely. "Even your pretty face brings back memories of the streets of Falcon Peak. It gives me great honour to serve a fellow falcon."

"Well," Avangeline began, choosing to word her sentence in Falkmor instead of the common tongue. "Perhaps you can help me with more, if you would be so kind. See, I'm very much interested in purchasing the Miracyian bow and arrow you have and perhaps we can come to an agreement of sorts."

"Your Falkmor is very formal," the blacksmith replied, also speaking in their own tongue. "I guess you were not raised in anything lower than the high district."

"Please, we can speak of home later."

"I apologise," he bowed his head again and stood up, heading over to the window where the bow was. "The Miracyian bow and arrow set! Crafted by the elves and from the tall trees of Miracyia. Very high quality and it's meant to be enchanted with all kinds of elven wards. It's currently fetching eight silver."

"Eight silver? Hmm... That's quite a lot for a bow and arrow set."

"I assure you that it's worth every piece."

"And I can assure you," Avangeline tapped her lip, "that I could purchase a similar style of bow, fit with similar enchantments for less than a quarter of this set. I understand the Miracyians do not release weaponry to outsiders very often. How are you sure the charms are still in effect?"

The boy pulled the bow and arrow set off its stand, showing Avangeline letters that had been carefully carved into the wood.

"These are Eldaquente runes, which bring the user protection. I've been told that it says 'safeguard'," they were indeed in Eldaquente, as Avangeline could still read it from her mother's teachings. Safeguard was a good translation, though its literal translation looked like safety wall. Though, as far as she could see in this boy, he was just an apprentice or new blacksmith from Falke. He looked like no expert on elves or their culture. So it was time for the good old Avangeline charm.

"Who told you this?"

"The man who sold it to us. He was an elf himself."

"And did he also tell you all the other information you told me?"

"Indeed."

"Well, I am sorry to say that you have been decieved, my fellow falcon," Avangeline slowly shook her head. "See, these Eldaquente runes are not legitimate. The markings are sloppy and poorly written. If there are guards on it, if none at all, they would be weak and useless. And the wood is from Miracyian, but I suspect it was stolen from the edge of the woods and carved by human hands. The elves would never shape a bow like this. They are never uneven, always perfectly symmetrical."

The boy made a face, seemingly sceptic of her. She answered his question by brushing her hair back, revealing the points at the ends of her ears.

"A-are you sure?"

"Yes. I am from Falke but my mother is an elf. I studied under her. I know what I am speaking of. I would price this... perhaps three silver. Four would be generous," Avangeline shook her head sadly. The boy stepped back sighing. He seemed a little upset with himself, staring at the bow and arrow set in his hands.

"Listen," Avangeline put a hand on his shoulder, "I am still looking for a bow and arrow set. You look like your mother has just died, so I will save you some grief. I will purchase this set and pay for my repairs and give you... five silver. How does that sound?"

The boy looked up at her. Though attractive, he was younger and shorter than Avangeline. Perhaps almost twenty. She almost wanted to pat his soft hair.

"Would you be that kind, miss?"

"Indeed. You have made my shoulder plates beautiful. I will pay for your kindness."

The boy nodded with a smile, pulling the bow and arrow set off its stand and taking it over to the counter where the shoulder plates lay. Avangeline took out five silver pieces out of her purse and handing it to the boy. The boy took them and graciously handed over her purchases.

"Thank you kindly," she said, bowing her head.

"No, thank-you, miss. Until we see eachother again," he returned the bow and Avangeline left the store, Nem following, pulling her shoulder plates and her new bow and arrow set on.

Another salesman successfully decieved and another deal successfully made. Avangeline was a goddess. Or an evil witch. Whatever.

She quickly grabbed something to eat (some bread for her and her wolf) and dawdled off to their rendezvous point. Awaiting for her at the gates of Dalenham were Varian, Xeye, Bofvar and the 'merchant' who had given them their mission. At least she wasn't the last person. Where was Cass and Evelynn and Alys?

"Good mornin- oh," she rubbed her lips. She was still speaking Falkmor. Oops. She switched her brain back to common tongue. "Good morning, companions! How are we this morning?"
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  #55    
Old February 15th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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revlis
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Age: 22
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Victoria “Alys” Taimor – Dalenham


Once everyone had made it out of the tavern alive, some even running back in to stir up more of a ruckus, Varian signalled for everyone to break up. If they were to meet up tomorrow morning at the gates, then that gave Alys plenty of time to explore Dalenham; not that there was much to offer save for the markets.

A fluttering caught her attention as a pair of talons sunk into the hard leather hide of her shoulder plate. “Castiel!” Alys called as the Falcon squawked on her shoulder. Reaching up, she gentle scratched the bird’s neck by the shoulder blade.

Alys had only met Castiel a couple of years ago, and the bird was already full sized. Alys had helped exterminate an infestation of fire-ferrets on a farm in the lower regions of Falke. She had gotten more than a couple of burns, but nothing major and in thanks, the man taught her how to train Falcons; eventually gifting one to her in thanks.

For now, Alys cruised through the night markets of Dalenham, beautifully lit by the many different coloured lanterns that lay strung between the fronts of shops. The night markets were perhaps more extravagant than the markets during the day; often selling rare, exquisite and more… dangerous goods. As she walked past each shop, she took a look at the goods on offer; slabs of meat for a couple of copper, weapons ranging in differing prices in silver and even rare jewels and relics said to have come from the far-flung shores of Shinguo.

Finally, she came across a fletcher’s shop selling various arrangements of bows, arrows and sets. She huddled inside as the shopkeeper gave a wary eye to the Falcon atop her shoulder.

“Good Evening, Sister, how may I help you this evening?” The man’s voice was thick with the Ethorian dialect, reminding Alys of the man she had been arranged to marry.

“Evening, Fletcher. I am after a quiver of arrows; full quiver with a selection of tips and shafts.” Alys concentrated on keeping up her Raelusian accent, even though those couple of ale’s fought to throw her accent off.

“Ah, I see,” he exclaimed excitedly, pulling half a dozen arrows out of crates from behind him muttering like a fool, “Falken wood….Ethora Stingray Barb…. Raelusian Pyro Weed….”

Within a couple of minutes he lay a quiver of arrows on the bench; all ranging in different pairings of shafts and heads. Alys was amazed at the selection he now had on offer for her, “how much?”

“Fourteen Silver.”

“FOURTEEN?!?!!? That’s murder!” she exclaimed harshly, even Castiel squawked angrily at the shopkeeper.

“You said you wanted a range; this is the widest range possible. These materials aren’t cheap though.”

“I still refuse to pay Fourteen Silver for that selection.”

“Then what are you after?” A cool voice washed over her shoulder as another man joined the tent.

“Who do you think you are?” She turned around and her heart skipped a beat.

Handsome, muscular and red as a forge, the man’s accent and height all shouted Highman, yet his suave looks and rather cool voice sounded like he was from a class higher than a mere forger. “Get out of here, Highman, this is my customer.” The shopkeeper growled.

“I have a forge by the gate, come at dawn and I will have a quiver ready and suited towards you. Two Silver.”

Alys looked into the man’s soft gaze and tried to shake his domineering attitude as it washed over her. “Alright then.” She stormed off, not wanting to fall for the man’s suave nor charm. Finding a tavern close by that allowed pets, she settle in for the night knowing that it was an early morning on the horizon.

XXXXX

Bow slung, boots belted and Castiel on her shoulder, Alys was ready to hit the road on the way to this new job they had been offered last night. On her way she would make a pass by this Highman’s forge and see what kind of arrows he had picked out for her. As much as she tried to tell herself she would not fall for her charms, just remembering the events of last night made her weak at the knees. She had left the Golden Islands because men thought they could control her, and she was playing right into the hands of one.

“Vanaheim Crystal Ice, Mindirion Air Steel, Direwolf Tooth, Falken Sky Hawke Talon and Dergen whistling arrow heads, all on an array of Vanaheim Snow Pine, Falken Oak and Ethoran Elm wood shafts ending in Falken Sky Hawke feathers. This quiver is all about speed and slash. Judging by your height and weight, lighter arrows are your forte; and your best friend. It’s all about striking your opponent quickly rather than forcefully. For two Silver, what do you think?”

Alys was shocked; she hadn’t expected this kind of treatment not to mention range of arrows that he offered. Weighing them, they felt a lot lighter than the stock standard arrows she had been using so far and even the tips were of impeccable craftsmanship. “I’ll take it, but why?”

“You look nothing like any Raelusian girl I’ve ever seen. Plus, a girl with mystery is hard to come by these days. They either play up in the castle walls or in the fields of mud.”

Paying the man and thanking him, she quickly left his forge, walking briskly to the gate only a short walk away. He had definitely been flirting with her and while flattered, she had no time to worry about relationships. There was a job available.

Quiver slung over her shoulder, she approached the group noticing the half-elf, Ava, with a bow strapped over her shoulder. “Nice bow there, a little typical don’t you think? An elf with a bow?” Alys took the laugh before noticing the Direwolf growling by Ava’s side.
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  #56    
Old February 16th, 2013, 08:49 AM
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Xlugon Pyro
Dragon Tamer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Gender: Male
Nature: Bold
XEYE ANASTASIA ZXKOL

THE BLUE WILDCAT

“Oi!” a gruff voice bellows from behind the perky half-elf.

Her eyes spot the culprit; a short man with a beard and one of their group. “Good to see you two up and out, especially you, milady.”

Xeye waves frantically towards the stunted fellow, shouting cheerfully, "Oh, hi Furface! Are you ready to go? Yeah?"

However, the crowd around them soon grows as two of the other ladies of the gang assemble, first being Puppy Lady and the next one being Bow Lady. The Puppy Lady makes her entrance first though, greeting the assembling crew.

"Good morning, companions! How are we this morning?" she states, her dire wolf by her side.

"Hi Puppy Lady! You ready to kick some butt!?" Xeye beams towards the fellow half-elf, grinning jubilantly while reaching her hand high into the air to greet the woman.

"Heheh, yay adventure!" Xeye yells excitedly, anticipating the work they'll soon set out to do.
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  #57    
Old February 16th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Roland Grey- Duānkǒu, Shinguo



“Twelve days...” Roland began to utter as he adjusted his bright, steel armor in preparation for their docking in Shinguo. “Twelve days on this Gods-forsaken piece of rubbish you southerners pass as a ship. Tella be praised with her gift of the earth, for I have long grown tired of these waters.” He hissed, glorifying the sight of land, not particular on the location.

He had only ever once been to Shinguo before then. It was back when he was a squire, and was sent to the foreign, strange lands as an apprentice. This was before the darker times, before the assassination of the Ethorian King Eliwood, and the collapse of negotiations with Vanaheim and Falke. Those times seemed like a dream now, as if they never actually occurred, perhaps a tale now from an old book of myths. Although to be fair, it wasn’t as if those times were perfect to begin with. Aerion has had its share of problems long before. The difference between then and now is that in those times, the problems of the world seemed reparable. Now, the deterioration of the world had reached a point that occasionally made Roland wonder if the next day would be his last.

Roland walked off of the ship, admiring the landscape of the nostalgic land. Even if it had been so long, it did not look all that different. There was a peculiar combination of serenity and mystery about this land that he had felt the last time he was here, and so again this time. His eyes fixated on the man who had greeted him, along with his posse of sentries. He wore an outfit that seemed to indicate his importance, but he still had enough humility to greet them with a bow, though that was probably a custom of the land. Roland was not sure. It was a while since he was last here, after all, and although the land may have been wondrous, he didn’t quite find it all that important enough to remember.

“I assume you are the ‘friend’ the monks spoke of.” Roland said to the man, who raised himself from his bow to meet the gaze of the knight from Ethora.
“Indeed, Ser Knight.” The man answered, his accent thick with the stain of Shinguo in him. “I am Yoshuro, royal advisor to Taiki Okane, Emperor of Shinguo. I am here to provide you council, and direction.”

“You greet us with quite a large number of your bodyguards.” Roland noted.

“Ah. I apologize for this manner by which you are greeted. I assure you it is merely for appearances. Both for myself and you. You see, it is not often that we receive foreign visitors, especially ones so well-armed. And it is not often that the people of Shinguo would see me traveling without the necessary security arrangements, especially to meet such foreigners. I promise you that for the purpose of maintaining the rouse of secrecy as well as the appearance of normality, this is the best course.”

Roland glanced across the group of Shinguo elite guards, their faces hidden behind the traditional masks of their uniform, but he seemed to accept the reasoning the man known as Yoshuro gave. “So, you have some knowledge about a shard of Ard-“

“Hold!” Yoshuro exclaimed, holding a hand up to obstruct Roland from finishing his sentence. Yoshuro eyed the green plains of the countryside, examining it as if to see if they were being watched. “It would be best if we were to speak of this in my estate here in Duānkǒu, where our conversations are shielded. If you would, follow me to my estate. It is not far.”

As Yoshuro had said, the walk to his estate was a short one. His residence was by far the largest and most easily noticeable of all of the homes in Duānkǒu. Rather it was more of a mansion among shacks, something that obviously didn’t fit with the serene environment it was placed in. In fact, Roland felt that way about the man in general. Where the port town appeared more as a minor fishing village, Yoshuro seemed bred for the city life, where he was probably daily pampered and spoiled, wearing the finest clothes the lands had to offer, and eating the rarest of delicacies. He seemed a connoisseur of all items of rich value. Roland did not doubt that even as they approached his estate, this was likely not even his primary place of residence.

The mansion was decorated with engraved silver and gold, with the front gate guarded by statues of bright, golden mythical beasts (along with the Shinguo elite guarding beside them). All around was a fence thrice the size of any man, with sharp edges at the end to keep the townfolk at bay. Roland was certain with the combination of guards and fortification, they would have their conversations ‘shielded’, as Yoshuro put it. But Roland couldn’t help but wonder from whom exactly they were hiding it from to begin with. The monks mentioned ‘nefarious groups’, if he recalled correctly. The origin of which, he did not know. But he reckoned he would soon find out.

As Yoshuro led them inside, Roland found the interior of the mansion to be just as majestic as the outside, if not more so. Tapestries, paintings, and rare art were hung from the walls. The finest linen decorated the ceilings and windows, and suspended from the ceilings in each room were chandeliers, every one of intricate and unique design, and as Roland noted, none of them being the same.

They were led from this room into an adjacent one on the side. Yoshuro motioned for the guards inside the home to depart from the room they now stood in, what appeared to be a library of sorts, where resided a collection of books and scrolls that, while did not quite match the magnificent one of the monks, did come close to its size and wealth of knowledge. Yoshuro walked over to the door which led to this room, and closed it shut, the knights all gathered inside. He locked it, and then wandered over to a desk which was located in the middle of the room. A few open books lay there, though he did not seem interested in them at the moment. The man stood behind the desk, hands clasped behind his back as he gazed upon each of the knights, examining their features in preparation of addressing them.

"I will skip right to business. It is how I have always done things. Have any of ever heard of the...oh how you would say it in your tongue...The Dragon Stone?" Yoshuro said as he made eye contact with each of the individuals before him. It didn't take long for one of them to respond. With some frustration.

"I didn't come hear to talk of some Dragon Stone. We are here for the Orb of Ardo-" Roland said with a powerful roar, before being pulled back by his brother, Percival, who had kept to himself ever since the departure from Ekilore.

"If my memory serves me correctly, none of my fellow men and women here are from your esteemed country of Shingou nor do any of homelands have extensive knowledge of Shingou, leaving us at a loss of words concerning most of your history. However, I have spent some time with merchants and nobles who spent time within your borders and I have heard of this artifact. This "Dragon Stone" as you call it, was it not held by a hero of sorts and responsible for Shingou's rise to prominence?" Percival interjected, showing some of his knowledge gained as a member of Robert Welm's court.

"You have more knowledge that I would've given any of you credit for," Yoshuro said with a noticeable widening of his eyes. "You are..."

"Percival, milord."

"Well, Percival. You are partially correct about the Dragon Stone. Generations ago or so the stories go, a young traveling wizard had come across a stone and gained immeasurable power. It was said he could create anything from nothing. At the time, Shingou was experiencing great hardships such as famine and disease. The country was at a breaking point and a civil war was all but guaranteed. But then, miracles were appearing left and right. Suddenly, fields were overflowing with crops and the people were healthy. Tensions gradually eased and the uprisings were calmed. The savior of Shingou was the young wizard and he was heralded as a hero. He decided to continue his good work across Shingou and aided the people whenever he could, using his gifts as a charity. In his old age, he took an apprentice with the hopes his student would continue his good works."

"Let me guess," Roland said. "He didn't."

"How astute, but not the whole truth. At first the student was filled with great promise and served the aging hero with great enthusiasm. However, the powers he had learned and further amplified with the Dragon Stone corrupted the young apprentice. In his prideful recklessness and greed, he took the stone for himself and killed his master. Using the stone he terrorized the land, summoning monsters to do his bidding and eventually taking the throne of Shingou for himself. Luckily for the people of Shingou, his tyrannical reign was brief and he was successfully overthrown by a group of upstart rebels led by a young lord."

"What happened then?" Percival asked, fully captivated by the story.

Yoshuro walked from around the table, grabbing a book on his way before continuing his story: "The freshly defeated apprentice was sealed away in a a believed to be abandoned temple in the mountains to the north. The stone was sealed with him as it was believed to be too dangerous for lesser men to possess."

"So what? What does the Dragon Stone have to do with anything?" Roland was clearly getting angry. The story had dragged on for long enough.

"You must be Roland. I have heard about you. Well Ser Roland, it so happens that the Dragon Stone is in fact a shard of the Orb of Ardor," Yoshuro said with a grin revealing a artistic recreation of the Dragon Stone. It was a red shard, clearly broken off from a larger work. Percival nodded his head, agreeing with Yoshuro's sentiments.

"I take it that we are tasked with entering the sealed temple and reclaiming the shard," Percival said. "Sound easy enough."

"Don't be so naive," Roland said. "No doubt there is something stirring to make it far more complicated than that."

"I wish Lord Percival was correct, but indeed you, Ser Roland, are in the right. Since being sealed, the student had earned a new...legend. And with it, a new name: The Necromancer. The Ryuuse mountains have since them been cursed. Monsters, particularly undead manifestations roam the mountains, often terrorizing the northern villages. It is a common belief, almost a myth now, that the Necromancer is at the heart of the problem and uses the Dragon Stone to power his dark magic. If you truly wish to claim the Dragon Stone or the shard of the Orb of Ardor if you prefer, you will have to find the temple, cleanse it and defeat the Necromancer. Do that and you will have not only the shard, but a legacy in the land of Shingou. Of that, I can promise."
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Last edited by SV; February 18th, 2013 at 04:40 PM. Reason: added extra sh*t
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  #58    
Old February 17th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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Cassandra "Cass" Alexandera- Dalenham, Eveamoor



"Mhmm…five more minutes…" Cass mumbled under her beer ridden breath as she rolled from side to side trying to find the position that let her lull to sleep easily the night before. With a frustrated growl, Cass sat up as her eyes slowly opened and adjusted to the morning light. The light was much stronger than she expected and a more sober Cass would swear that her eyes were playing tricks on her like an elven thief. From her little outlet that only a fool would consider a bed, Cass could see the not so breathtaking city of Dalenham, with its low wooden rooftops, cobblestone streets and calming lack of crowds that roamed the streets in the morning. Cass staggered to her feet, shifting her balance from foot to foot as she attempted to gather herself. However, her body was limp and weakly wobbled around, and her head felt heavy. Her vision blurred and Cass slipped in a moment of weakness and she tumbled from the rooftop and crashed onto the ground with a thunderous thump.

"Not bad, Cass…not bad," Cass groaned in pain, picking herself up to a chorus of loud cracks as her joints realigned themselves. The fall seemed to knock most of the hangover out of her system, but she still felt groggy when she returned to her feet. Cass had fallen from what appeared to be a generic home of one of the richer members of Dalenham, and it remained a mystery of how she found herself perched upon the rooftop of the home. In fact, the last thing she remembered was drinking with Varian before barging out to find some companionship after Varian ditched her for some other broad. She really needed to stop drinking and put to an end to nights like that.

Regardless of whys and hows, she needed to find a way back to the city gates as there was little doubt as to the fact that once again, Cass was late to the party. She looked around, holding her throbbing head. Cass was in the city square, in a courtyard of sorts. At the center was a fountain, with several streams of clear water falling into the body of water at the bottom. At the top of this fountain was a marble statue of the current queen of Eveamoor, Madelaine Elizabeth Robertson, also known as "The Sky Queen." Elected about ten years ago, she quickly rose to prominence as a venerable and popular queen (in spite of her eccentric and whimsical character traits), which was much needed after the series of forgettable rulers that preceded her. However, she has done little to truly bring Eveamoor up to the level of its neighboring countries, which still intimidate and chide the young kingdom. Nevertheless, the people love their Sky Queen and have appealed to her artistic nature with the statue built at the center of the capital city. It was the first time Cass ever saw the display of masterful craftsmanship (though she couldn't tell if the likeness was at all faithfully represented), her attention was more drawn at the crown atop the statue's end. A single gem was embedded on the front of the crown and it glistened in the morning sun like a star in the night sky.

"That's Eveamoor for you. Always doing strange crap," said Cass the all knowing critic as she stumbled away, reminders of the last night of drinking slurring her speech and her gait. The streets were clear enough to make Cass' walk as easy as possible, but the lack of urban planning of Dalenham made the same journey longer than she would of liked. Soon enough, Cass found the city gates and to her satisfaction, her drunken prediction of being late was not without fail. Anybody who was anybody was there.

"Good job, everyone. You made it all on time," Cass said as she slowly shuffled her way to Varian's side. "Honey~ you left me all alone again. You big mean Highman!" Cass said, slugging Varian on the arm. After teasing her long time friend, she turned to the others. "Are we missing anyone or can we raid a baker real quick before heading out? I'm kind of hungry after all that action yesterday."
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  #59    
Old February 17th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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Evelynn
Gates of Dalenham, Eveamoor

T'was only yesterday where Eve was acquainted with her future allies, only to lead to a job right near her present location. Yesterday was also the great bar fight, where Eve first thought it was quite uncooth of her to evoke on a fruitless task of slugging with her fellow man, that was until, someone had accidently topped her strawberry cake, which in turn, made her furious enough to slug the first man she saw. That was quite the fest.

The gates of Dalenham was as she remembered. Her father took her here occasionally from the age of 7. Its gates were as strong as the steel weapon that she held, but as free and accepting as birds to the sky. When she finally broke the news to her father, her father was quite pleased that she had finally taken her tasks seriously. Or at least, serious enough.

"Oh, sweet potatos love me, potatos love me~" Eve started to sing. Along side dancing, singing was her habit whenever she traveled. She didn't know why, but it was a habit, nonetheless. "As the grass grows, the oranges blows its scent of divinity~" Of course, as signing, she at least remembered where she was supposed to go. It was then that she saw them -- some her faithful colleges just around the corner.

"Hold on there, good morrow my friends! Evelynn has finally joined the party," Eve addressed with her signature spin. "I hope the night for each of you was as joyous as my dancing: true, and delightful. I do apologize for my recent dissaperence at the bar. While the fighting was uncooth of me, I was not about to let a sweet delight of Evelynns get crushed in vain. Eve takes pride on the sweets you eat, you see. So I did the unfortunate task of hitting a man on his Adam's Apple. Out of love for my sweet, of course."
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  #60    
Old February 17th, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Varian Sigmund- Gates of Dalenham, Eveamoor



Varian crossed his arms as he awaited the arrival of the rest of his group. He wasn’t certain which of them would join him and which would decide to depart, although he had some suspicions based on what he knew. In truth, he expected less than half of them to show up, and he accounted for that. The job didn’t seem like they would need the entire group anyway. Surprisingly, the first person to arrive was Xeye, screaming her lungs out as she scrambled towards the two of them waving her arms around with her seemingly endless abundance of energy. Varian had actually thought she would be one of the ones who would decide not to join them. First surprise of the day. There was bound to be more. He greeted her with his customary cold stare and a nod of the head, though nothing much beyond that. Xeye took her energy to the merchant, who gazed at her through his hood, examining her as if she was an oddity (which he probably thought she was), gawking at the whole of her body.

“Umm, yes.” He finally articulated. “I am here to dispense the funding and relay any other information to yourself and your group, once the rest of them appear. Speaking of which, how many more are we expecting, sir…?”

“Sigmund. Varian Sigmund.” Varian replied without looking at the merchant, but rather to the interior of the city as he scouted for the rest of the troop. “And should be a few more.”

“I assume that all of the individuals you’ve selected are in fact capable fighters. Am I correct?” The merchant said, eyeing Xeye once more. “I wouldn’t want to sending any of them into danger.”

Varian snorted. He knew what the man was really asking. He wasn’t concerned about the well-being of his mercenaries, but rather the welfare of his pockets. He wanted to accomplish the job with as little muscle needed as possible, as the merchant agreed to pay 70 silver to each of them. Even in the situation of his daughter’s life hanging in the balance, the merchant still sought to be as frugal as possible. Yep, it was safe to say Varian was beginning to like the man. “Don’t worry about them. They all know what they’re doing.”

The merchant nodded, and the three awaited the arrival of the others, which soon occurred as Bofvar the dwarf made his way to them. “So, where be the rest of our sorry lot?” He asked.

Varian didn’t much answer, but rather greeted him with the same cold stare and solemn nod of the head he had given Xeye. Soon after, Ava arrived with her dire wolf. Varian gave the same cold stare and nod, as if he were a machine programmed to do the same thing each time a new member had appeared. He did give a few extra glances to the wolf, which reminded him of an event from his past. The memory lasted mere moments in Varian’s mind, as Alys soon came, apparently with some additional equipment on hand. He listened for a moment as the ladies interacted with each other. It seemed that they all relatively got along with each other, which was good in his opinion. Not that he cared personally if they liked each other, but usually getting along in this way might be a good indication of whether or not they would work well together on the battlefield. Xeye also seemed intent on causing as much noise as possible, and giving everyone strange nicknames related to something about them. Varian was now Wolf Pops. Bofvar was Furface, Ava was Puppy Lady, and Alys was Bow Lady. Varian hoped she wouldn’t be this noisy on the battlefield. He imagined she wouldn’t, as he got no complaints from anyone in their first job in Sabamin, although they mostly worked separately on that one.

Still, Varian knew that the persona one had in battle occasionally was in contrast to the one they wore outside of it. It was in his belief that one’s true persona was the one they carried in war, or when death was upon them. That was one reason he disliked speaking to people much. To him, it seemed inconsequential. It was also a reason he didn’t dismiss any of these individuals when they first signed up for the group. Whether he adored them or disdained them as individuals was unimportant. He would get to know all of them in his own way soon enough.

As he waited for the arrival of the rest of the group, Varian decided in his mind that the appearance of Cass would be the signaling to move out. Cass typically arrived late to begin with, so once she was here, it likely meant anyone else was either not coming, or incapable of coming. Either way, they would move out then.

It didn’t take long for Cassandra to stumble toward the group and Varian, being her usual self. He rolled his eyes at her antics, yelling back at her. “Woman, if you wanted to eat, you should have done so before you got here!” He reached for something in his back, pulling out a loaf of bread, and shoving it into her mouth. The merchant looked at the interaction between the two of them as if they were an oddity. Varian looked at the merchant now. “Well, I guess that’s the lot of them. So, to business?”

The merchant nodded, reaching into his own bag for a rather large sack, from the sound of the shingling Varian was certain was payment, and a marked map of Eveamoor. “Very well. First, the matter of payment.” He said, reaching into the large sack and pulled out a smaller sack from it. Varian was able to peer into the large sack and see a bundle of identical sacks in the larger one. The merchant handed the small sack to Varian. “If you would, inspect the contents of the sack, sir.” He articulated to the Highman, who grabbed the sack from the merchant peered inside. Within it, he saw a bundle of shining silver pieces, the promised individual pay for the completion of the job.

“I’d say there is about 35 pieces in here.” Varian declared.

“Half the individual pay.” The merchant confirmed, distributing the smaller sacks to each of the other mercenaries. “To each of you, 35 pieces of silver handed out now, and the remaining 35, as well as the 200 surplus, to be given out once my daughter has been returned to me.” Varian counted the coins once more to confirm the amount, before looking up to the merchant and nodding his head. The merchant returned the nod, and opened up the map he had with him. “If you would, good Sers, gather around.” Varian obliged him, walking up next to the merchant and squatting down to look at the open map. It was a rather detailed map of Eveamoor, marked up with certain important cities and locations, as well as landmarks and trade routes. “Here we have our current location at Dalenham.” He pointed with one of his large, sausage-like fingers. “Over here is Curilan.” He said, his finger moving north to point to the city on the map. The fort is about four kilometers west of the city. It was once a heralded fortress under the control of the Eveamoorian government, but as the economy declined, many forts like this one were abandoned because of the impracticality of maintaining them.”

“How many men are we expecting inside?” Varian asked the merchant. Even through the hood, he could see the man’s anxiety rising as he answered the Highman.

“About twenty, maybe as many as thirty.” He said, watching the expressions on the faces of the mercenaries to see how they would react. Varian didn’t give much of a facial reaction, but followed with an additional question. “Anything special about these bandits? Do they have an affiliation or benefactor?”

“To my knowledge, they are simply a group of brigands from around the area. Nothing remotely special about them, as far as I hear. The only problem is their number, and fortification.”

Varian examined the map once more, before standing up. “Alright. We’ll get it done.”

The merchant also rose to meet his gaze, beaming at him. “Excellent! I cannot thank you enough, Sers. Here.” He said, handing the marked map to Varian. “I’ve taken the liberty to mark another area on the map, on the outskirts of Curilan. When the job is complete, proceed to the inn there, known as the ‘Strutting Stag’. I will be awaiting your arrival with the remainder of the payment, in full.” The merchant gave the group a bow of his head. “Good luck, and may the Nine watch over you.” Varian nodded his head, and watched as the merchant strode over to his horse, struggling a bit from his weight to mount it, before finally succeeding. He gave the mercenaries a slight bow of his head, and rode off to the north. Varian put the map away into his bag, and gazed upon his group, checking to see if they were all ready to go. He didn’t want to say anything in front of the merchant, mostly because he didn’t want the man to go back on his word after realizing the ludicrousness of his sum he offered. But at the very least, he knew (and any of these other mercenaries that have been long enough in the business) that if what the merchant said was true, they were about to receive comically high payment for minimal work.

“Right.” Varian began, scratching an itch that resided on his shoulder, before realizing it was the site of a cut he had received the previous day, jumping out of the window. He faced the group, crossing his arms. “Seems fairly straightforward. We go in, clear out the fort, and rescue the daughter of the fat one. Before we move out though, I’ve got a few words to say, since this will be our first job as a group. The Sabamin orcs don’t count. We operated separately, and I was mostly intent on see if you could handle yourself.” Varian eyed each of them with his habitual cold gaze of his eyes, the kind that made men think he was always in a bad mood, though that was his habitual look. “Now, we are a team. I care not what opinions you reserve for each other, nor do I care of your opinions of me. I care not what you fight for, be it gold, gods, guidance, or glory. Nor do I care where you hail from. When we carry out a job, we will watch each other’s backs, and we will work together. We won’t charge ahead shouting of foolish pursuits of glory and honor, especially if it were to endanger one of the others in the team. Likewise we won’t do stupid, reckless stunts unless it is necessary. The job is the most important thing, followed by the team. Everything else is trivial. Should you work together and follow my lead, everything will go smoothly. If not, you can tell your gods I said hello.”

“If you’ve got any inquiries, now is the time. If not, we’ll be off. There’s work to be done.”
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  #61    
Old February 24th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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XEYE ANASTASIA ZXKOL

THE BLUE WILDCAT

Cloaked Guy responds to Xeye's inquisition, "Umm, yes. I am here to dispense the funding and relay any other information to yourself and your group, once the rest of them appear," he states before continuing on to ask Wolf Pops about the remainder of their gang.

Nonetheless, the group had assembled quickly thereafter, including even Apples who always seems to be either crazy or drunk. Is there a difference? Xeye wouldn't know. She doesn't know what being drunk is like. Wolf Pops greets Apples by shoving bread down the red-head's throat.

"That's... odd!" Xeye contemplates to herself, dumbfounded by the exchange of her fellow mercenaries.

Wolf Pops wastes no time getting to business as always, consulting with Cloaked Guy who hands the highman a smaller sack of what turns out to be coins out of the larger sack that Cloaked Guy keeps to himself. Counting the coins to himself, the two men confirm the contents to each other as Cloaked Guy begins to distribute the coin sacks to the other mercenaries. The odd man walks up towards Xeye, returning his gaze with her own puzzled look before he drops the sack of silver coins in her hands. However, the bag slips her grip, crashing into the ground and spilling its shiny contents.

"Noooo!" she screams, falling to her knees as her hands reach out for the fleeing circles. "Come baaaaack!"

Scrambling for her runaway coins, Cloaked Guy finishes distributing the coins and calls out to the mercenaries, "If you would, good Sers, gather around."

"No-no no no no, WAIT!!" Xeye yelps, scooping up the last of her coins before depositing them in her pouch. "Don't start without meeeeee!"

The discussion of the assignment begins promptly, forcing Xeye to stumble and scurry over to the assembling gang as they meet around Cloaked Guy.

"Here we have our current location at Dalenham," states Cloaked Guy, dragging his fingers along some map he has laying across the ground just as Xeye joins her gang to see what the man's instructions are.

"Over here is Curilan," Cloaked Guy continues, sliding his finger across the map that Xeye recognizes as Eveamoor when her eyes fall upon his finger pointing at the city's location.

Doing her best to catch up to the details she missed, her eyes dart across the map, finding the map's compass, key, and the aforementioned Dalenham before returning her gaze swiftly to the city Cloaked Guy called Curilan which she spots to the north. moving north to point to the city on the map.

"The fort is about four kilometers west of the city," the hooded man informs before he goes on, "It was once a heralded fortress under the control of the Eveamoorian government, but as the economy declined, many forts like this one were abandoned because of the impracticality of maintaining them."

"How many men are we expecting inside?" Wolf Pops inquires from Cloaked Guy whose expression begins to depress before he relays the bad news to the mercenaries.

"About twenty, maybe as many as thirty," Cloaked Guy pauses, his gaze glancing over Xeye briefly, but her response is blank as if she's daydreaming or, most likely, not paying attention.

"Anything special about these bandits? Do they have an affiliation or benefactor?" Wolf Pops presses further.

"To my knowledge, they are simply a group of brigands from around the area. Nothing remotely special about them, as far as I hear. The only problem is their number, and fortification."

"Alright. We’ll get it done," Wolf Pops assures the man who has assigned them the risky rescue mission.

The two men exchange words briefly. Wolf Pops receives what appears to be a marked map and the Cloaked Guy gives the mercenaries instructions on where to meet him should they succeed in their mission. After exchanging good byes, Cloaked Guy departs on his horse, and Wolf Pops wastes no time addressing his band of mercenaries of the work ahead of them.

"Right," Wolf Pops begins, scratching himself briefly but quickly gets to his point, "Seems fairly straightforward. We go in, clear out the fort, and rescue the daughter of the fat one."

"Heeheheeee!" Xeye giggles like the little girl that she should've outgrown long ago but has yet to make that effort. "You called him fat! Funny! Heeeheheheheehee!"

"Before we move out though, I’ve got a few words to say, since this will be our first job as a group. The Sabamin orcs don’t count. We operated separately, and I was mostly intent on seeing if you could handle yourself," he pauses, glancing over his colleagues.

"Wait, slaying orcs doesn't count?" Xeye interrupts in confusion. "I worked -VERY- hard to kill those orcs! They -SHOULD- count, meany!"

"Now, we are a team. I care not what opinions you reserve for each other, nor do I care of your opinions of me. I care not what you fight for, be it gold, gods, guidance, or glory. Nor do I care where you hail from. When we carry out a job, we will watch each other’s backs, and we will work together. We won’t charge ahead shouting of foolish pursuits of glory and honor, especially if it were to endanger one of the others in the team. Likewise we won’t do stupid, reckless stunts unless it is necessary."

"Well -that's- no fun..." Xeye mumbles to herself, upset that Wolf Pops essentially condemned her battle strategy.

"The job is the most important thing, followed by the team. Everything else is trivial. Should you work together and follow my lead, everything will go smoothly. If not, you can tell your gods I said hello. If you’ve got any inquiries, now is the time. If not, we’ll be off. There’s work to be done."

"Wait... so... where are we going?" Xeye stares at Wolf Pops blankly, hopelessly clueless on the mission that was -just- told to them.

"Okay, let's go! Who cares!" she bursts aloud, jumping to her feet and throwing her arms into the air. "Let's do this! Aaaaaaadventure time! Yaaaaaay!"
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Old February 26th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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Heva Azcadelia Jade - Xin Kou, Shingou - Northern Villages


Heva, a wandering mage and mercenary, had found herself in the northern villages of Shinguo, a couple miles from the nation’s capital, Zhongshen. Heva had been drawn to this island nation because of legend she had heard from the mainland.

As a traveler from the mainland nation of Ethora she was greeted with mixed signals. Possibly because she was sporting mage's robes and an over-friendly attitude, but she didn't take that into consideration. Heva, with her squat healthy merchant build, had been studying the legend of the Necromancer that was sealed inside the mountains just a few miles north of the villages she had been hopping between.

Nearly every day she was in a new village that had called for assistance; the villages were under attack by the Necromancer's conjurations. These conjurations were fueled by dark magic and held even darker attitudes towards mortals like her. There was an unnatural stench about them, they smelled like the essence of anger, hurt and hate itself. Heva had known that mage's magic could be affected by how they felt at the time of casting the spell. By the way the conjurations were tainted with the stench she could tell the feelings of the fabled Necromancer -- that was turning out to be very real.

Heva had recently taken up station in the village of Xia Kou. She was greeted by warm faces and white teeth. All the good feelings soon turned sour when the taint of the tainted conjurations began to attack the village, again.

~~~

"Here they come!" one of the village lookouts had yelled, the villages in the north established lookout to warn of the impeding danger. Heva was eating a rice dumpling when her call to action was heard. She took up her staff that had been leaned against the table she was eating at. She was in a small family's home; they housed her since she was fending off the unknowing assaults of the Necromancer. She wobbled her healthiness to the door, a rice dumpling jutting from her oral orifice.

"You get 'em, Heva," a small girl called out as Heva left. Heva scarfed down the dumpling as she made her way for the north gate of the village. There she met a small minute men force, which the town had thrown together from its farmers and merchants.

"C'mon, boys," she said, waving her chubby, sausage fingered hand for them to follow her through the gates. The minute men force was a rag tag group, to say the least; they were only equipped with the stereotypical pitchfork and occasional spear. Heva on the other hand had her staff; hand crafted from the wood in Ethora, encrusted with a jewel, a jade, from her father's business. The jewel itself was enchanted with magic properties to empower her spellcasting.

On the northern horizon the tainted creations started to come, a hoard. "Brace yourselves, boys!" Heva yelled out, her voice hearty. The jade in her staff began to glow as the magic flowed in Heva's squat figure. Her eyes turned from emerald orbs to icy blue radiations. Her hands began to glow and warm, fire soon igniting on them. "Charge!" her voice rang out, battle cries from the men soon voicing off in unison with her own. Heva had turned them simple farm folk and honest merchants into a fighting force, a small battalion.

The tainting beings and mortals engaged in a melodramatic combat, the occasional sharp shank of a spear piercing through the creation. Heva had led the 'front line' into battle. She used her frenzied casting of small chunks of dangerous fire into the 'ranks' of the Necromancer's creations. The battle was a small war in her eyes. Heva held her staff in hand, swinging it in between her quick, fluent spellcasting, to knock the Necromancer's minions down a notch.

With each sling of a spell, whack of her staff, spear of a minute man and the lunging of a pitchfork the minions went down fairly easily. This lulled the men into a false sense of security. Soon after one minion would fall two or three more would take its place. It was as if the Necromancer himself was summoning them there in the exact location.

Heva, unknown to conjuration magic, didn't understand what was happening. For three days she fought these hellish minions from village to village; never had they gotten this heavy in numbers. Soon she and her squadron found themselves outnumbered three to one. They had lost ground and now were at the very gates of the village. The assault was relentless. So much so that Heva had witnessed her first casualty: the death of a young man, no older than twenty, who had fallen one of the more eviler minions.

"I think," Heva looked to her men, who now cowered in their boots, "we may have taken on too much." She laughed nervously, unsure of how she was going to get out of the situation. The minions kept spawning, as if breeding like rabbits. "Inside, men, inside!" she barked out an order. They hurriedly made their way inside the gates of the town. The wooden walls would have to hold. The town of Xia Kou was under siege.

"What are we to do, Heva?" one of the men pleaded. Heva shook her head unsure. She had been the sole protector of these lands. The Shinguo army had yet to arrive after much pleading, by herself and the villages that dotted the border before the mountain range. There was still a glimmer of hope: she had caught word that Knights from Ekilore had landed on the island that day. Hopefully, they would get here soon. Or an entire village of citizens would be slaughtered.


((OOC: Too much? Not accurate?))
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Old March 1st, 2013, 06:33 PM
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Auden Radke and Tamor Bellfiend
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The ever vigilant Roland Grey stepped forward from the Knights' group, much to Auden's dismay. Apparently he had taken it upon himself to be the group's leader, even though they weren't that type of group. As long as this idiot doesn't do anything stupid he can handle the talking. Roland began to exchange pleasantries with the man who was surrounded by the “elites”. Instead of paying much attention to the conversation between the two, Auden began to survey the surroundings, taking in the number of villages that were around and a general idea of the land's topography, well, at least the area that he could see. Tamor was still clinging to his robe, clearly nervous from the size of the group that had gathered and the arguably intimidating bodyguards of their “friend” from what he had heard. Tamor wasn't sure what was happening, but everything was going on so fast. Uneasiness settled in after the way that Yoshuro referred to them as "such foreigners." Auden's mind began to wander and soon he was thinking of the joy of slowly gutting the Shingou's elite guards in front of the villagers, before realising that their group had began walking, with Tamor guiding him, possibly picking up on his drift into fantasy. Tamor heard the sound of wings flipping before her much missed companion landed on the worn material that made up her robes. Her face formed a feature that it hadn't in quite a while, a smile. She instantly let go of Auden and began to focus her attention solely on Niolas, who cawed loudly if Auden got within touching distance of Tamor.

The walk was very serene, with the exception of Tamor's hawk, which had beginning cawing regularly at Auden on the way to the man's, Yoshuro, estate. Farming fields expanded to the edge of a large mountain range which encircled the small port town of Duānkǒu. Thick woods grew up, which covered everything in dark green, from the base of the mountains that had low clouds hiding the top of the mountains. Auden thought it was a fairly impressive sight to behold, as if the clouds were swallowing the mountains which were in turn swallowing the town,with the only thing that could make it better being if the clouds actually did swallow the entire town, killing everyone there slowly and painfully. The time that it took to reach the estate pleased Tamor greatly, she wasn't ready to walk a long journey just quite yet. It also pleased her that she was able to soak in the nature that Tella had created as well as that peace that came with it. She wished that her and Niolas could take flight and leave behind the retched world that she had become so entwined with.

Though beautiful, the walk was fairly short, with the group stopping outside the largest building that Auden had seen in Duānkǒu. The over extravagant building stuck out like a sore thumb in the town. Must be our rich friend's estate. He thought, following the group as Yoshuro lead them through said estate. The manor was filled with rare art, and tapestries, even fine linen decorated the rooms ceilings and windows. A manor that was worth burning down and destroying were the first few thoughts that Auden had, suppressing the urge to start burning it down out of boredom. Their tour of the manor was cut rather short, much too Auden's delight as Roland and Yoshuro began conversing once again. Auden, still lost on how Roland had been nominated the Knights grand leader, had began casing the library like room that the guards had been ushered out. It was clear their was little trust on delicate matters between Yoshuro and the Shingou elites, which lead Auden to doubt how much they could trust Yoshuro's word on the location of the shard. Tamor listened as Roland, their new "leader", and Yoshuro spoke about The Dragon Stone or this orb that were apparently significant to their group. She laughed as Percival spoke, he had mentioned that somehow he knew that none of them were from Shinguo, which was funny because she hadn't known his name or Roland's name until they had spoken them just now. In fact, they hadn't even had proper introductions, but she kept to herself because who was she to correct him, the brother of their leader? Yoshuro launched into a story, full of interruptions from both Roland and Percival, which irked Tamor to a certain extent.

Why are these two idiots the ones who are being spoken too? They do understand this isn't the kind of group that would have a leader don't they? Though a bit frustrated at the fact that Yoshuro was only really addressing Roland and Percival he allowed Yoshuro to complete his story, something that the two brothers seemed hell bend on interrupting. "..If you truly wish to claim the Dragon Stone or the shard of the Orb of Ardor if you prefer, you will have to find the temple, cleanse it and defeat the Necromancer. Do that and you will have not only the shard, but a legacy in the land of Shingou. Of that, I can promise." Yoshuro finished looking over the group. Tamor waited until the conversation finished before she returned her attention to Niolas, it was as if Roland and Percival were the only two that existed. Were they truly going to be a part of a legacy, Tamor clutched her clothing and wondered what she had to offer to defeat this Necromancer.

"Sounds simple enough. Tamor and I can handle this ourselves if you two want to continue to appreciate the artwork and books here. Let's go Tamor." Auden replied as Yoshuro's gaze fell on him. There was clear confidence in Auden's voice, though he did have to dip into his years of experience to hide the excitement of killing, and hopefully torturing. Slowly he looked at the brothers before turning for the door, ready for the job that he'd just accepted. If the hood hadn't obscured her facial features Tamor's shock would've been well known. Instead of questioning Auden she simply went along with his grand exit and hoped that Roland and Percival would soon be right behind them.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 06:10 AM
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>> AVA
>> The Gates of Dalenham, Eveamoor

"Nice bow there, a little typical don’t you think? An elf with a bow?" Alys made a laugh at her, noticing Avangeline's new purchase. She giggled at her companion in reply, patting her direwolf so he would whine for affection as opposed to softly growl.

"Thank-you! I know very little about shooting arrows, I was wondering if you could perhaps school me at a later date?"

"Hi Puppy Lady! You ready to kick some butt!?"

"I sure am!" Avangeline punched her other first in the air, keeping her other hand preoccupied with patting poor Nem. Cass soon joined the group, as well as Evelynn. When it was confirmed that everybody had arrived, the merchant got to business. He passed out the pay, Avangeline's chinking as it was placed in her hands. She quickly counted the insides by feeling the weight, which, judging by the weight of the bag, felt like 35 silver pieces.

"To each of you, 35 pieces of silver handed out now, and the remaining 35, as well as the 200 surplus, to be given out once my daughter has been returned to me," she nodded as he opened his map and began to explain the mission and when asked, leaned in closer to look. "Here we have our current location at Dalenham. Over here is Curilan. The fort is about four kilometers west of the city. It was once a heralded fortress under the control of the Eveamoorian government, but as the economy declined, many forts like this one were abandoned because of the impracticality of maintaining them."

"How many men are we expecting inside?" Varian asked. Avangeline wouldn't have bothered with the question, confident she could take down an entire army of useless brutes. She listened to the merchant's response anyway.

"About twenty, maybe as many as thirty."

"Anything special about these bandits? Do they have an affiliation or benefactor?"

"To my knowledge, they are simply a group of brigands from around the area. Nothing remotely special about them, as far as I hear. The only problem is their number, and fortification."

"Alright. We’ll get it done."

"Excellent! I cannot thank you enough, Sers," the man seemed pleased that they had said yes. Had he asked others before who had declined? He then passed the map to Varian. "Here. I’ve taken the liberty to mark another area on the map, on the outskirts of Curilan. When the job is complete, proceed to the inn there, known as the ‘Strutting Stag’. I will be awaiting your arrival with the remainder of the payment, in full. Good luck, and may the Nine watch over you."

With a bow and and a stumble over to his horse, the man left them to the mission. Avangeline waved the man off, beaming at him as he rode far enough away that Avangeline couldn't be bothered focusing on him. What a wonder! Such great payment for a task that could arguably said was easier than yesterday's! Avangeline clapped her hands together excitedly. Varian spoke first though.

"Seems fairly straightforward. We go in, clear out the fort, and rescue the daughter of the fat one. Before we move out though, I’ve got a few words to say, since this will be our first job as a group. The Sabamin orcs don’t count. We operated separately, and I was mostly intent on see if you could handle yourself. Now, we are a team. I care not what opinions you reserve for each other, nor do I care of your opinions of me. I care not what you fight for, be it gold, gods, guidance, or glory. Nor do I care where you hail from. When we carry out a job, we will watch each other’s backs, and we will work together. We won’t charge ahead shouting of foolish pursuits of glory and honor, especially if it were to endanger one of the others in the team. Likewise we won’t do stupid, reckless stunts unless it is necessary. The job is the most important thing, followed by the team. Everything else is trivial. Should you work together and follow my lead, everything will go smoothly. If not, you can tell your gods I said hello.

"If you’ve got any inquiries, now is the time. If not, we’ll be off. There’s work to be done."

"Wait... so... where are we going?" Xeye was first to ask. What a silly girl. Though it was fun to be silly, one should always be informed! Even Avangeline remembered that it was a fort in Curilan. "Okay, let's go! Who cares! Let's do this! Aaaaaaadventure time! Yaaaaaay!"

"I have no questions," Avangeline raised a hand, a bright smile across her face. "I am very much ready to save this man's daughter from these awful men. The princess from her tower. Plus, I get to try my bow and arrow! This is going to be fun!"
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Old March 6th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Percival and Roland Grey- Xin Kou, Shingou- Northern Villages



"The village of Xin Kou should be over this hill if I am reading this map right," Percival said as he looked up from his map purchased from the port town. It had been two days of traveling on horseback through the hilly countryside of Shingou. The Knights of Ekilore had kept quiet for most of the journey, with only Percival and Roland ocassionally arguing Ethorian politics to pass the time. "Well, it could be Xia Kou. My Shingouese is not very good to be honest," Percival joked, of which only Roland could roll his eyes to. Yoshuro had pointed Percival to the village of Xin Kou, saying it was closest to the relative location of the Necromancer's lair. Also, the village had experienced a recent surge of raids by the creations of the Necromancer, having been the victims of all sorts of unspeakable creations. Percival had spurned his horse to a gallop taking a more dramatic lead. In a few short moments, the Knights found themselves on the afoermentioned hill, overlooking the objective of their journey.

Sadly, Xin Kou was not as homely as Percival had hoped for. From the vantage point, Percival could see the ruins of a once peaceful rural village. Black clouds of smoke rose from the burnt rubble of small homes and huts. The surrounding farms drained from any life. The dirt roads that Percival followed to the center of village were soaked with blood. Bodies littered the streets. Some were of once living people, many clearly lacking the noble birth that Percival and Roland were blessed with. Others were of monsters. Things that Percival believed only lived in fairy tales. Progress had been replaced by ruins.

"Gods, what has happened here?" Roland muttered under his breath, as he pulled into the village, even his horse giving some resistance to enter.

"Something tells me I do not want to find out," Percival said to his brother, barely hearing his brother's remarks. And something tells me we will find out anyway, he thought to himself.

As Percival dismounted his stirring horse, he saw a small crowd of villagers with pale faces covered in blood, sweat and tears. They were barely armed, carrying rusty tools and weapons. If one could even consider a pitchwork a weapon. In a panic, they swarmed the arriving Knights, screaming in Shingouese with the occasional broken attempt at Ethorian. Roland reached for his sword, preparing to pull it from his sheath and cut down the first one of them daring enough to make the first move. Percival stepped in, motioning his brother to stay his blade.

"No reason to cut down scared villagers. I can try to translate with what little of their tongue I can understand. Perhaps I can learn what happened." With a breath, Percival did his best attempt to speak the strange language, his Ethorian accent that blended the Bludrock and Elysian accents butchering much of the Shingouese. The villagers laughed and smiled possibly for the first time in days, which allowed Percival to feel at ease. After several moments of conversation, Percival turned back to his peers.

"Well, we are in the right village. This is...or was Xin Kou. They have been fending off the 'monsters' of the Nercomancer for days now. An 'outsider' that supposedly looks like Roland and myself has been helping them fend them off the best she could."

"Hmm...interesting. She could be useful. Ask them where she is." Roland demanded, his eyes scanning over the area of the town, making sure nothing dangerous was around. Percival rolled his eyes at his brother's command. Each and every time Roland opened his mouth was another reminder of why Percival left to join House Welm. Percival asked where the outsider was rather easily. Basic questions were easy. Understanding the quickened response in the roused villagers was hard.

"Last they remember, she was in the northern part of the village. That was the last place to be heavily attacked. I think," Percival said with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

"We should probably seek her out there. It's obvious this...thing needs to be destro-"

"AAAHH!"

Various cries and screams echoed in the gentle winds of Xin Kou. The words were difficult to understand, probably even for native speakers of Shingou but it was easy to know why. "The villagers are telling me there is another attack coming at the north gate. Let's go!" Percival sprinted forth, drawing his mace to his right hand and equipping his shield on his left. Roland followed swiftly behind, unsheathing his sword and putting on his helmet over his head. The north gate was a short sprint through the ruined village, the damages becoming even more disheartening with each step. It was abundantly clear the northern quarter had experienced the worst of the attacks.

Percival took a stand in the center of the gate, swallowing his nervousness. He was never fond of fighting but was capable enough. It was the mystery of what he was bound to encounter that unnerved him. The large wave of beasts came forth. And Percival's mouth gaped open as the creatures approached. Dark, hideous, hellish creatures marched forward. Undead humans slid their decaying feet across the ground, with all kinds of rotting flesh pouring onto the ground. Large imposing ghouls with sharp fangs dashed on all fours at the head of the pack, while skeletons of former warriors with rusty blades brought up the rear. Strange abominations with body parts of various creatures and monsters blended into the army. Seemingly leading this pack of creatures was a fat monstrosity with bloody fluids spewing all over the ground as he dragged his giant body around. With a roar of the vile beast, the entire army charged forward.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Varian Sigmund- Outskirts of Curilan, One Week Later



It had been a good seven days of travel across the flat plains of Eveamoor, not much in terms of scenery other than a few hills and green plains. Their path took them along one of the main roads north, a dirt road which was often the path of traders and other merchants seeking passage between Dalenham and Curilan, and so it was unusual to see a few of them along that route. Varian figured it would be best to stay along the road for the bulk of their journey, thereby avoiding any unnecessary squabbles that would undoubtedly happen should they stray too far off of the roads. After all, poverty brought desperation, and though he didn't fear the low-lives who would try to put a sword against him, neither did he wish for such an altercation. Besides, the trade route would likely have brought a chance to do business. Varian managed to deal with a trader a few days back, picking up a few commodities for a cheap price. It was one of the few things you could expect in Eveamoor: you may not acquire items of quality, but you're sure to get the cheapest price around.

But eventually, as he followed the marked map of the merchant, they found taking the last leg of their journey off of the road, and into the green plains, as they made their way to the fort located a ways west of Curilan. Eventually, Varian signalled for a halt of the company, double-checking the map once more as he climbed the hill in front of him, falling down to his arms and knees, and crawling to the top, to keep cover. He motioned for the others to do the same. Varian crawled to the top, the blades of grass scratching at his elbows with each push, but doing nothing more than tickling him as he passed over. When he reached the top, he saw it.




In the valley below, an old fort stood at the corner of a cliff, and below the cliff the lush valley of the Eveamoorian countryside was in full view. The bandits had certainly picked a nice spot to nestle up. But the condition of the fort was another matter. Moss had begun to cling to the sides of the ruined fort, and parts of the building had already began to crumble. The front gate was either destroyed or had been removed, and wood was supporting a few of the walls to ensure it didn't collapse. Observing the immediate surrounding area, there wasn't many places to hide upon approach, besides a few large rocks and perhaps one side of the fort which might be a partial blind spot. But that might involve stepping to close over the cliff. Varian double-checked the map once more to be sure this was the place, but he was fairly certain: this was the bandit fort.

He scanned over the ruined hideout. The bandits seemed to hide their presence fairly well, obviously intent on not attracting attention to themselves. The positioning of the fort, and the fact that it was so far away from the main road meant that few people would travel far enough to tell if anyone inhabited it. For those who did, they would likely not venture inside, for fear of the collapse of the building on top of them. But he and Cass had some experience in forts. He could tell the signs when people were around. For example, the woodwork that was placed on the sides of the fort was recent, to ensure that the wall did not fall. This meant someone was intent on keeping it that way. Certainly the Eveamoorian government didn't have any more use for the thing. If any more proof was needed, Varian squinted his eyes and managed to see the figures of men patrolling parts of the fort. There didn't seem to be many around on top, which led him to deduce that the bulk of the 20-30 bandits were inside, underground. That probably was where the daughter of the merchant was being kept as well.

Varian turned over on his back as he addressed the other mercenaries laid out next to him. He spoke in a hushed voice, to avoid being heard by the bandits. "Looks like five, maybe six scouts outside. Anyone with bows or long-range take them out quickly and quietly. Then we storm the fort."
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Old March 8th, 2013, 03:51 PM
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Evelynn
Outskirts of Curilan

It has been quite a while since Evelynn had journeyed a quite amount of time, especially with a colorful bunch such as this. Eve, all the while, still had her eyes set on Varian; the handsome, yet strong man that she had encountered... With his cool, yet brash demeanor... ah, how Eve cherished all her time admiring him from a distance. She danced for him, but, while it was out of love in admiration, it was also from a requited perspective. But, she was confident that she would someday, prevail.

Walking 7 days on the old dirt trail made Evelynn thought of the gentlemen that were up ahead. Her blade was just as hungry for a dance of the bloods as she was, and it was time that Eve had fed it proportions that will last for years. However, she knew about blades -- from the touch of blood, they will weep for more of an appetite. It was up to Eve to deliver. Soon Eve found herself climbing a steep hill. While it wasn't dancing, climbing was certainly quite a pleasured challenge for her. The blades of grass could only tickle Eve's kneecaps on the way up, for the cuts and bruises she felt deep on her skin had much more of an impact of her memory. She danced for those days too.

Pretty soon after the climb, the target fort was in her sights. The colors it radiated; a deep gray, and... more grey, held a more impression for her than any ol' grey wolf she had combatted with. Oh, now she can wonder how many bandits inside she can dance with; hopefully hundreds will watch her performance, as her applause would be the screams from the bandits as their own blood pours from their ears! How appropriate! She can only roll around the grass thinking about that time... it was going to be the dance of love.

Evelynn then noticed Varian as he then turned over on his back as he addressed the other mercenaries laid out next to him. He spoke in a hushed voice, to avoid being heard by the bandits. Evelynn longed to hear his voice once more, so she turned for attention. "Looks like five, maybe six scouts outside," said Varian. "Anyone with bows or long-range take them out quickly and quietly. Then we storm the fort."

"Hmmmm, if only Evelynn was worthy of such the task laid out by fair Varian..." Eve said in a quiet, yet disappointed tone. "I curse myself for not learning bows. My apologizes."

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Old March 9th, 2013, 02:35 AM
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Heva Jade - Ruins of Xin Kou, Northern Shinguo


Heva and the makeshift warriors had stood valiantly in the face of danger. The storm, the hurricane of undead and ghost manifestations pounded the walls, ripped through the barriers, slaughtered townsfolk. A bloody and gruesome scene indeed. Heva had failed her Shinguo dependants, they had depended on her for protection and she failed them. Now she sat under the rubble of a fallen tea house, waiting for her own rescue.

In the depth of battle, after the Necromancer's scourge had broken down the Northern walls, she had led the bulk of the scourge onslaught towards the north-western end of town. There she held a final defence. Heva took as many as she could, hoping that her men had fled with their families by the time the scourge had killed her. Unluckily the scourge didn't kill her, her actions of mixed physical and elemental attacks weakened the infrastructure around her causing the buildings to collapse in on her.

Heva had put up a barrier around her hefty figure. She sat in the dark panicked and scared. Outside the scourge, that had once been trying to gnaw her leg, had turned their attention on the townsfolk. The town's people's screams of murder and redrum; death and ending. Then silence. Heva had collapsed on her knees weeping. The town had been exterminated, destroyed, decimated. Her mind raced with images on how the town looked now, ruined and barren. Now she, too, was ruined and barren. The darkness of the collapsed buildings was a bright light compared to how heavy her heart had felt that day.

Two days had passed since the incident and Heva had turned in on herself; she sought out comfort from her discipline, which she had learned from studying under monks for a time. Heva sat, in the darkness, her butt resting on her heels, her knees on the ground and her hands folded calmly in her lap. The mage had kept the barrier up for so long through deep meditation and channelling of her energies. Her red hair swirled around her head in a static mess, from bending the will of her magic for so long, her eyes were open, stark, not blinking an icy blue frost emitted from them. The barrier gleamed yellow, strong against the rubble.

Two days, she had been in this state. A state of extreme meditation, extreme concentration, extreme dedication; nothing could budge her. Nothing but the calls of an ally, an all clear signal; just something to restore her morale.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 12:11 PM
Vintage Arachnid
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Tamor Bellfiend and Auden Radke
Xin Kou, Shingou
The trip had taken a toll on Tamor, two days of nonstop traveling through the hills of Shingou with only Niolas and Auden to conversate with. Percival and Roland never paid much attention to the duo, instead they chose to bicker with each other. If the group dynamic was like this when they weren't in battle, how were they supposed to fight together? Still they had yet to have formal introductions, Tamor rightfully blamed herself, why should they care about her? This first fight would most certainly be her last because as of right now her death was imminent even with Auden's sworn protection. Tamor usually wrapped her arms around Auden's waist and held on tightly, Tamor wasn't fond of horse rides. Fortunately Tella's remarkable beauty had transferred to the nature and that gave Tamor something to look at when her face wasn't buried in Auden's robes, which had a perculiar but pleasant smell.

Somehow they were to get to a town Yoshuro called Xin Kou, the Necromancer's liar was the closest to this town. Tamor was scared, here they were the Knights of Ekilore off to battle on horseback to slay a Necromancer and his army. One thought was constant, why had the monks chosen her? The most she could do was heal her comrades, well, at least that's the only thing she had mastered. Divine magic was a tricky subject, Eislynn had taught what she knew before she passed. Most mages she met were Arcane magic users like Auden. She hadn't sought out another teacher because she wasn't worth it, she wasn't good enough.

"Can you use your divine magic offensively?" Auden inquired, not taking his eyes away from the road. He had been thinking over her divine magic since he first learnt of it, and from what he had learnt in his time in the Magic Corps. It could be used offensively, with him making an assumption it'd probably work rather well against undead creations.

"O-o-offensively?" Tamor asked then wondered why had he taken a sudden curiousity in her magic.

"Yes, I've actually watched divine mages use offensive magic like holy bolts, though they weren't that strong I'm fairly certain that they'd do a lot of damage to dark magic, such as the magic the Necromancer is using." He replied, this deduction seemingly fairly logical with his knowledge of magic.

"How was it summoned?" Holy bolts, she was fairly sure that wasn't the technical term for them. Eislynn had mentioned the effectiveness of divine magic against the undead. "I c-can't do it."

"I'm not entirely sure, but my guess is you would have to envision your faith being able to banish the evil.. or something along those lines. Even if you can't do it now, it might serve you well to think about it encase you're forced to defend yourself." He was rather gentle as he tried to explain it to her, though he didn't really have any idea how it worked. His reply was also to let her know that there is a chance, albiet small, that he could die in the upcoming battle.

"I can't fight, I won't. I don't know how to," Tamor quietly admitted, more to herself than to anyone else.

"As long as I'm alive and you stay by my side, you won't have too so don't worry." Auden turned and reassured her, caressing her cheek as he did so, slightly surprising himself, I really treat my toys well, don't I?

Reaching the top of the hill Percival stopped in his tracks, causing the whole convey to stop, much to Auden's aggitation, though he did see why someone would stop at the sight before them. The village that they were meant to be going laid in ruin in front of them, with the shapes of bodies lining the road they would soon be travelling. Sighing, Auden continued onwards only to have the two brothers spur ahead, once again taking the lead for no apparent reason. Indeed the shapes were bodies, though they weren't all human, some being the disfigured creations of the necromancer, interesting enough, I've never seen creatures like these before. This should be fun. Every now and then the ground would squeech beneath the horses weight, indicating a pool of blood that had yet to seep into the earth or dry out, a wonderful sound to Audens ears.

The small group of knights entered the city, the sight was apparently a shock to Roland even though it really shouldn't be. A crowd of villagers quickly gathered around them, they looked as if they are been dragged through the blood stained Earth surrounding the village, and no doubt some of them had been. Tamor's heart ached for them she felt the need to heal their wounds and to show them the kindness that others had not. For once she could do something, be a better mage and use her magic, but was she good enough? What if she promised to heal them and her divine magic decided not to work, what if this was against Tella's wishes? So, instead of leaping off the horse's back Tamor stayed put as tears welled up in her eyes. Not surprisingly, Roland, the hero, went to draw his sword at the villagers, before being stopped by his brother whom began comminucating with them. Clearly great leadership material sire knight. At least your brother has sense to talk to them first. Auden thought as he looked around, surveying the area for future reference. He was hoping they wouldn't have to defend the village, but wasn't counting it out as an option.

Suddenly a scream rang through the air, that brought joy to Auden's ears. It's starting, I can finally let off some steam. He thought as he dismounted his horse before gentle letting Tamor down, whom had been holding onto him rather securely since they reach the top of the hill. Percival suggested they go to the northgate, and though Auden wasn't to happy with being order around by a fellow knight he followed after the two, now sprinting, brothers with a casual walk and Tamor in tow. Halted by the sight of the destroyed village Tamor was left frozen before the gate. Niolas had already spread his wings and soared ahead of her, even her own bird was fearless. Tamor knew that this was her job, this was the quest but her body felt numb and didn't respond to the weak commands she ordered to it, not like she wanted it to. Once she stepped foot inside of that gate she must fight. The other Knights would've known she was absolutely useless and abandon her altogether. If she stayed here perhaps she had a chance of still living or keeping the villagers alive.

"Not coming? Hmm," Auden's voice sounded like he had already known she was going to do this. He drew his blade and geared himself for battle, this was the moment for which he had been waiting for for two days.

"I-I-I-" Tamor's voice had failed her just like her body.

"Here's the best defensive ward, it'll protect you from being hurt physically for at least a minute against these monsters," Auden casted the magic over his toy, the least he could do was spare her life for a couple minutes. So that when he got back to her hopefully she wasn't dead, he still had a lot of planned for her. He resheathed his sword and pulled out a cylinder, about thirty centimeters in length, with a string on the end. "Also, a magic flare. If you get in trouble aim it to the sky and pull the cord and I'll come rushing to you. You are my toy, you are not allowed to die, if you're in trouble just use the flare and run."

"T-t-thank you," Tamor smiled weakly, because that's all she was, weak.

Auden patted her hooded head before he took off toward the action, which left Tamor all by herself to soak in the screams like the ground had soaked in the blood of the villagers. "You'll be fine, I won't let you die or be hurt as long as I'm alive. Cya."

Staff in hand Auden continued his casual walk towards the gate, seeing the two armor-clad brothers backs first, and then the wall of undead monsters a in the distance. As he got closer the monsters began their charge, with a big fat monstrosity who could barely hold in his own bodily fluids leading the pack. Auden almost laughed at the sight of the two armor-clad knights standing alone in the middle of the gates against the massive approaching army of dead. Nonetheless he continued walking, waiting for the the monsters to get into his casting range.

Closer the army came, unknowingly making life a lot easier for Auden, whom was now only about 20 metres behind the two brothers. This should do. Raising his free hand and pointing his staff forward Auden began, releasing two massive pillars of fire through the gates, one pillar a side, the flames close enough so the brothers would definitely feel their heat. Within about ten seconds of being released the pillars hit the first line of undead, spreading out wide and incinerating almost everything they touch, leaving a wall of fire or walking fireballs. Walking calmly passed the two brothers he continued onwards, with monsters pouring through the wall of fire, the large one who was leading before was still advancing, though now he was spilling fire with each step. Finding his target in the biggest undead he could see, his path was set. Magic erupted from him as he walked towards it, allowing few undead in his vinicinity to continue their charge on the village.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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Roland Grey- Xin Kou, Shinguo



Roland took his place beside the other Knights in front of the northern gates of Xin Kou, as the horde of creatures fast approached them. A chill ran down his spine as he saw the monstrous abominations sprinting at them. They were beings the likes of which he had never seen before, and some he couldn’t even hope to describe in words. They shrilled and screeched and screamed their way towards the gates with sounds that would have made any lesser man soil themselves and run for cover. Had the knights not been who they were, they too may have ran for cover. It was the very image of these repugnant beings that caused Roland to stay his ground. He almost felt as if this gateway was the representation of the very gates of Infernum, of which these vile creatures were trying to cross over to Aerion, and he, a warrior chosen by Fortis, was to shield the people of this world from their evil. So here he would make his stand, smiting these creatures as a service to Aerion and his gods, and send their broken carcasses back into the hell the Necromancer dragged them out of. Blind romanticism of an otherwise dangerous situation perhaps, but this fusing of overconfidence and narcissism continued to serve in his advantage. One day, perhaps, it would get him killed. But not today.

Fire rose to meet the horses of Infernum. The creatures burned and screamed as the flames passed over their bodies, leaving many to suffer the blaze of Auden’s magic for the remainder of their lives, while others would fight through the pain and continue on to meet the other knights. It certainly didn’t help for the sickening smell, of which the odor was foul and potent enough to pierce even through his helmet. He ignored it, as his first opponent approached him, a half-burnt creature, standing about the same height as he, but with flesh which was peeled long before the fire had reached him. Bones stuck out from parts of the monster’s body, so distinctly so that the ones that protruded from his arms, he chose to use as his weapon of choice, a bone sword in place of an arm. Though he found the demon disturbing, he did not flinch in meeting the beast’s first blow, clashing his strike of his ‘arm’ with a blow from his sword. Unfortunately for the abomination, the knight’s blade proved too much for his bone, and the collision resulted in the blade slicing clean through the creature’s arm, and without relenting for a second, continued down to slice the demon cleanly in half. The two portions of the demon made no more movement as it fell in pieces onto the ground, with Roland stepping over it and awaiting his next enemy.

Two smaller demons sprang at him, their claws and teeth sharp, blood and bits of leftover flesh could be seen in openings between their sharp grazers. But Roland would probably consider them the equivalent of dogs. They were hellhounds, glorified wolves, and though their appearance would strike fear in many, he only saw wild beasts, and struck at them with his sword. The first hellhound bit at Roland’s sword, grabbing hold of it with his teeth and held it in place. This allowed the second one a chance to encircle the knights and attempt to pounce at him from behind. Attempting to release the demon dog’s grip on his sword, he tried to kick the beasts side, which caused a yelp, but didn’t release his weapon. The other hellhound took his position in the back of the knight, ready to pounce. In a desperate effort, he decided to push forward with his sword instead of reaching back, causing the blade to pierce into the hellhound’s mouth, cutting his jaw open, and then reaching further inside and effectively slicing the head of the beast in half. The hellhound behind Roland sprung at him, his teeth making contact with the knights armor just as he made a turn at the hound. The strength of the beast was remarkable for its size, causing the two of them to collapse onto the ground. He struggled to get the hellhound off of him, already seeing that the puncture managed to draw some blood from his arm. Their teeth were sharp, and the stinging pain he felt gave Roland the sense that maybe the beast had reached deep into his arm. With a swing of the sword, he smashed the hilt of his sword onto the back of the dog’s head, finally managing to get it off of him. He quickly rose himself to his feet as the hellhound followed suit, and took his stance just as it rose up to pounce at him once more. The blade made direct contact with his stomach, puncturing through the beast with ease. Blood sprayed from its mouth, and it lingered on its now shaking feet for mere moments longer before it fell with a thud on the ground. The moment the thud sounded, Roland heard the sound of another abomination screeching behind him, his war cry the signal of an oncoming attack. He had not time to think, but his reflexes kicked in to bring his sword up and quickly spun around to aim for the target’s head. The quick motion must have caught off guard the demon, as the blade connected with the being’s head, removing it from its position and sending it flying through the air. Roland smiled at his work, but the smile lasted mere moments as he witness the form of the monstrosity in front of him, a man-sized demon riddled with all manner of spears and weapons through its torso, and not one, but too heads upon his shoulders. The second head, which had a sword protruding from the front, eyed the empty spot where the other head once sat, and angrily screeched the knight who had removed it. In a move Roland perhaps did not see coming, the fiend charged forward, prepared to impale the knight with all of the weapons that have already been impaled inside the demon. Not wishing to become a bloody order of swiss cheese, Roland broke into a run, trying to make some distance between the demon and himself to give himself a chance to bring out his shield he carried along his back. He noticed that the hellspawn was fast, and was mere moments away from overtaking him, just as the knight turned, bringing up his shield to block the demon’s thrust of his body while also piercing at the creature with his longsword. The impact of the shield met the torso of the demon, but Roland’s sword also penetrate right through the second head. Though he did not realize, the demon was dead upon his shield, his full weight upon it as it no longer had the life to stand. Roland pushed it off of his shield, and stood up. He admired the once-beautiful shield which bore the sigil of his House, but which was now dented with half a dozen hits of demon’s weapons. He stared down at the hellspawn on the ground, and had to admit the idea to send at him, in essence, a porcupine abomination was quite clever. The ‘design’ of this creature was, in fact, so compelling, that even Roland himself had to stop for a moment and silently praise whoever (or more likely whatever) had the ingenuity to invent this bizarre being.

"Not bad, ser knight." A voice called to him. Roland raised his head from the demon whose blood he had spilled on the ground to the source of his voice, seeing before him one of the other knights, Zara Serena Freya, smiling at him. Around her was three unique creatures that she herself had successfully slain with her own longsword. Roland's eyes went between the young woman and her own creatures sprawled on the floor. Though he had not seen her slay them herself, the thought that she had the capability to kill these creatures (and as Roland could attest to, it isn't easy) put him at ease over the capability of the Knights of Ekilore as a whole. Though he wasn't one to offer praise, he gave the woman a nod of the head, his signal of respect among the battlefield.

Unfortunately, that 'tender' moment lasted mere moments, as in the next second, a large, monstrous brute of a demon swooped in. He came in with speed that certainly didn't match his size, which was probably twice the height of Roland, and probably thrice his weight. It's skin was partially charred from the effects of Auden's blaze, but that seemed to hardly deter him. All across its body, it had rotting or charred flesh. When it's mouth opened, Roland could a few teeth that remained, rotten to the core, but sharp like daggers. However, the most profound part of it was what it has in replace of an arm. Attached to its left hand was a large club, with spikes and nails protruding from it. The club was large, the size of which probably led Roland to deduce that would have likely not been able to wield a weapon of that size. It was only in the last minute that both he and Zara saw the demon, and so Roland was powerless to stop what happened next, as the demon swooped in and brought the club in a direct hit on Zara. The club connected directly with the knight, Roland hearing the sound of bones crunching, and caused her to ascend through the air, before coming to a large crash at a small home. The side of the home crumbled on top of Zara, and the demon now stared at Roland. While he was momentarily caught off guard before, he quickly formed a stance, his sword hanging at his side and his shield brought up in front of him, separating himself from the large demon. Without a moment's hesitation, the demon charged forward at Roland, and the knight ran forward to meet his charge.

The demon swung wildly with his club-arm, matching each swing with force and speed. Roland kept his distance letting each swing carry full force across before trying to close in any distance. He tried to time it so that he would be able to land a blow just after the demon missed his, and then back away before the next strike from the club came upon him. It was a tricky maneuver, but he remained confident he would be able to pull it off. The demon swung once wildly trying his best to decapitate the knight's head with the pure strength of his swing. Roland backed away and narrowly avoided the swing, then quickly stepped in to slice at the demon. A swing of his sword connected with the abomination's stomach, and a large gash was formed, causing the demon to bellow in pain. Roland stepped back to avoid any additional attacks, but was upset that the hit he landed did not manage to be a finishing blow. He decided to try again. Again, the demon swung at him, and again he backed away to narrowly avoid. Swiftly, he stepped in and swung at the demon again, and landed again with a large cut across his chest, this time deeper than the first. However, as the demon's swing came around for a second time, Roland was unable to back away far enough to avoid the club. In a last ditch effort, he brought his shield up to protect against the swing, the club connecting with the steel of the shield, but the force of the hit caused him to fall down hard onto the floor, and the shield to develop an enormous dent on its front.

But from behind his shield, he could hear a large thud, as he noticed the demon fall to the ground dead, the last wound Roland gave him being the icing on the cake, and his last swing he had tried to land on him was merely his final effort to do damage to the knight. Unfortunately, he had only partially succeeded. He could feel a crack in his arm, the same one which the hellhound had punctured early, as a sign that it was now perhaps broken. But for the purpose of appearances in front of the others, he acted as though he was perfectly fine. Rising now to his feet, Roland strode to the place where Zara had been hit, lifting up the loose rubble that littered her body to observe the extent of her damage. He finally reached her body under the rubble, examining many puncture wounds across her face, torso, and arms, all causing her to bleed out badly. He noticed a few large holes in her throat and chest, probably reaching her lungs, as she was barely able to keep on breathing. It didn't take much for Roland to realize that she was obviously in extreme pain and hardly able to keep breathing. She would not last long, and her last moments, if gone unchecked, would be painful, and cold.

Through the eye sockets of his helmet, Roland stared down upon her broken body, and decided out of respect for her status, he should give her a merciful death. He sighed, dropping his shield to his side before gripping his sword with both hands, and flipping it upside down so that the sharp end pointed directly into the chest of Zara. "Pray to whatever gods you cherish, ser knight, for their kingdom is now open to you." A few seconds later, Roland brought his sword into Zara's chest. Her eyes momentarily widened from the impact, before she exhaled her last breath of life, and closed them forever. He gave her one more lasting glance, before turning around, picking up his shield, and returning to the battle.
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Last edited by SV; March 11th, 2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 10:43 PM
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Heva Jade
Ruins of Xin Kou, Shinguo

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Silent thoughts of home, life, sweets, pie, loves and companions had been flowing gently through Heva's mind as she waited calmly inside her rubble prison. Through meditation she had brought peace to herself, her heart no longer was heavy with the lives of other men. Her mind no longer bogged down with guilt. The men, women and children were at peace now, in the arms of the gods they believed it.

The golden barrier around her hummed quietly, white noise to her meditation, replacing what would be a waterfall or babbling brook. Heva's eyes emitted mystical blue light that swirled in the same pattern as her auburn red hair. Aside from the occasional rumble in the distance, all was calm in her mind. Heva was at inner peace, singing and dancing with the goddess of magic. Through her meditation she had been praying for strength, guidance and advice throughout her life. The goddess hadn't answered directly but Heva knew she was listening, knew that she wanted Heva to guide herself through her own trials and tribulations.

Heva's amulet of Makara glowed brightly around her neck, the glow was green, not blue like the light from her eyes. The rumbling she had heard subconsciously in the distance grew louder, more urgent, it was another battle. Had the Knights finally come? There was only one way to find out. Heva's barrier humming grew louder, turning into a large roar as the rocks around her began to shift under the expanding barrier. The golden bubble exploded, causing the building rubble around her to jet into the air and fall around her, crashing into the decaying town.

Heva stood slowly, the magic in her amulet, eyes and being coursing through one another singing out in perfect harmony. The battle was coming from the North Gate, the gate she and her men had made their last stand. The gate that led to the decimation, declination and extermination of the village. No time to dwell on the past, Heva, she thought to herself. She needed to use her burst of power now before it faded, this was a gift from Makara, a temporary redemption.

Heva launched herself off her heels and sprinted, guided with magic, towards the Northern Gate. In the distance she saw a party of people, donned in armour, the armour of the Knights. A small joy filled her but she had no time to express it. The mage approached from the west and slid on her heels into the opening of the gate, before launching herself again, this time into the battle. Heva's large figure blurred past a Knight kneeling over a body, Heva past it too quick to take in a description. The heavy woman ran headlong into the next rank of Necromancer's demon spawn. There she stood in front of the charging demons, calmly. She raised her staff above her and it lifted into the air, levitating magically. The jewel that was perched, locked, into the centre of the wooden, warped wood began to glow. Heva raised her hands above her, as if she was cupping something, and a surging green light appeared in the palms of her hands. The world around her seemed to hum in charging energy. "The Great Goddess Makara guides me!" Heva roared in a dialect enchanted and distorted by her power. The mage finally released her power. A slashing, destructive, yet rejuvinating beam of mixed emotion flowed calmly from her hands. The staff's light grew brighter as the wave of the Necromancer's army was wiped, banish and obliterated from the dust covered battle ground. The purplish, undead, half-dead, limping, gargantuan abominations evaporated from the gust of elegant energy. The energy flowed to completion of the rank of undead before disappating in a quiet woosh.

Her redeemed power spent Heva's nearly collapsed from exhaustion. Her staff came down at a dangerous speed and stuck, stiff in the ground beside Heva. The squat woman leaned over on the staff heaving in breaths, exhausted. She turned to the Knights behind her and yelled, "Get your bloody arses up here! The next wave is coming soon!" Her final words before all went black and she collapsed with a thud where she stood, a dust cloud puffed up around her fallen body.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 06:31 AM
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XEYE ANASTASIA ZXKOL

THE BLUE WILDCAT

"OOOOOHHHH- KAAY!" Xeye screams across the valley, causing her booming voice to echo off of the rolling hills of their new location.

"We're here! WHOOOOOH!" she cries again, pointing across to the abandoned keep that Wolf Pops identified as the bandit hideout.

Scrambling up to the top of the hill, she takes the initiative, unlatching her left axe and throwing it over her shoulder to rest.

"Have no fear! I will take them all out with a single blow!" she hollers again, focusing on the bandits' hideout before her.

Unhooking her other axe, she leaps forth and positions herself in front of the gang, her pale silver eyes fixed on the rundown fortress in front of them. Wind currents begin to pick up gradually, swirling around the energetic half-elf and in particular, her matching weapons. Concentrating enough twisting wind currents wrapping around her weapons, she throws her arms forward with incredible force, letting out a high-pitched grunt that sounds more like a squeak. Her bladed weapons cross, the right axe passing over the one held in her left. Her arms unleash in a sudden, loud burst a gust of cutting winds, but the energies begin to rapidly destabilize, causing a small whirlwind to develop in front of her.

"Huh?" she perks up, her face growing more grim as the whirling winds begin to backfire.

"N-n-no! Not whaaat I waaaaanted!!!" she bellows as the small twister scoops her off her feet, blasting her several yards back behind her, just over the hill where the rest of her gang lays.

The half-elf woman's body collides with the hard, grassy earth, sliding a bit from sheer momentum, dislodging her leopard scalp bandana from her head. Xeye slows to a stop, her body falling limp onto the earth. Her eyes, opening slightly, appear dazed, looking up into the sky above her while her mouth gapes open slightly, moaning. Her wild blue hair is sprawled out over the ground below her, dirtied up by her rough landing. Despite her best efforts, the winds were not at her back. Or, perhaps she didn't actually know what she was doing. Whatever the case is, she paid the price.

"O-ow...." she utters softly, lying mostly immobile across the ground. "Why... didn't it... w-work?"
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Old March 10th, 2013, 03:49 PM
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revlis
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Victoria “Alys” Taimor – Outskirts of Curilan, Eveamoor


It took them a week to travel from the dry, flat plains of the Eveamoor Prairies surrounding Dalenham to the more verdant rolling hills that surrounded the nearby city of Curlian like waves. While she wasn’t one to marvel at the scenery, it was always nice to notice the kind of environment they were in since several factors could inhibit the striking of targets when it came to using bows. When she had first started off using the bow, Victoria found it difficult to hit a solitary target, much less a moving target, but with a lot of trial and several errors, she soon learnt how to properly use a bow well within a year. Now, it was almost as natural as walking or striking with her fist.

Crawling over the hill the now lay sprawled, she watch Varian intently as he scanned the fort, “Looks like five, maybe six scouts outside. Anyone with bows or long-range take them out quickly and quietly. Then we storm the fort."

Looking down, she could confirm the presence of the guards, yet she was the only one who could use, successfully so, a bow and soon she felt the weight rest on her shoulders. Before she could do anything, Xeye launched over the apex of the hill before landing on her backside. Victoria cursed under her breath at the stupidity of the girl, wondering even why someone like her was even in this group much less made it as a mercenary. During their trip here, Victoria had found her frustratingly annoying, wanting to strangle her neck at several points with her childish antics. If Varian wanted them to work as a team, then he was definitely pushing it if he wanted her to work with this child that followed the like a sick puppy.

Spying a rocky outcropping a couple of metres to their left, she turned to Varian and the others, “Hold tight, I’ll head over to that outcropping. You’ll be safe to head down when the last one is taken out; I’ll meet you all at the gate.” After talking to them, she gave Castiel a piece of meat before the falcon left its perch on her shoulder, soaring high into the heavens on an updraft.

Not wanting to waste time in case the guards rotated on a timely basis, she moved off to her left, moving around the hill in a wide arc before moving forward to the outcropping. Hiding behind a large boulder, she took a peak over the top at her targets below.

Notching her bow with a simple flint-headed arrow, she lied in wait for the moment to strike. A dark figure in the sky shot through the air, heading straight for the fort, flapping above the heads of the guards before soaring back into the air. Victoria let the arrow fly, striking a guard near the back of the fort while the others were busy being flustered by Castiel. The arrow struck true and the man clutched at the arrow lodged in his chest slightly above his right lung before tumbling over the fortifications to the ground below.

Notching two Direwolf tooth arrows now, she followed a pair of guards as the continued their path along the fortifications of the old, abandoned fort. Castiel struck again, this time disrupting the group of three guards that seemed to be arguing over how better to fight the ‘monster of the sky’. As the pair turned to survey the commotion, they both doubled over, blood pouring from their stomachs as two pale white tips protruded for the ripped skin and tissue. Together they slumped to the fortifications, alerting one of the other guards.

After some brief, heated discussion, one of the remaining guards went to check out what the commotion was. As he arrived on the scene to find the two bleeding bodies, he didn’t have a chance to yell before another direwolf toothed arrow scored through his throat, flooding his oesophagus with gurgling blood.

Castiel landed back of Victoria’s shoulder as she notched another two flint headed arrows; aiming high into the heavens. Letting them fly at the two remaining guards, she watched them sail high in the air before raining down on the unsuspecting guards. The first arrow struck true between the shoulder plate and helmet, causing the guard to fall to the floor in spasms as the second arrow struck the other guard in the back of his head as he removed his helmet.

“Head shot!” she congratulated with Castiel as the falcon squawked. Feeding him another piece of meat, Victoria waved at Varian, signalling for him and the others to join her at the gates to the fort.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Varian Sigmund- Outside Bandit Fort



"What do you think you're doing!?" Varian hissed at Xeye, who was making it very hard to catch the bandits off guard, her voice echoing across the valley, and more than likely reaching the ears of at least one of the bandits there. He was about to pull her down below to the lay on the ground with the rest of them, before she started summoning some sort of magical spell on her weapons. However, the spell appeared to backfire, causing her to be knocked off her feet a bit of a distance below the others. The Highman immediately crawled over to her position. He reached where her body landed, just as she muttered something softly to herself. He crawled up beside her and grabbed her firmly by the shirt and lifting her off of the ground to meet his gaze.

"You remember what I said before about doing stupid things?" He asked rhetorically. His quintessential cold stare covered his face, but mixed with it was also an expression surmounting close to anger, though not quite at that level yet. It was more of irritation. "Well this would probably constitute as something stupid. Don't pull that kind of sh*t again, especially when we're trying to get the jump on someone!" He stared her in the eyes for a few more moments, hoping she had gotten the message, before loosening his grasp on her and releasing her back onto the grass below. Varian began to crawl back next to the others just as Alys spoke to the rest of them.

“Hold tight, I’ll head over to that outcropping. You’ll be safe to head down when the last one is taken out; I’ll meet you all at the gate.”

"Alright, hurry. They may already be on alert." He replied, just as the woman made her descent for a cover of rocks. He observed her methods carefully from his position in the grass. She was smart, using her pet falcon as a distraction in order to get the jump on them, and then quickly began picking them apart one by one with remarkable precision. Varian wouldn't often be the one to give compliments. But he had to hand it to the woman: she was a good shot. Beyond good. She was a deadeye. Just as the last of them hit the floor, Alys shouted in victory before motioning the others that it was safe to proceed. The Highman mercenary leader took the silence as verification of that, also noting that no commotion on the inside probably meant that no one on the inside had been roused either.

"Come on." He motioned to the others, pushing his body off of the ground with both hands before proceeding swiftly down the hill and towards the gate of the bandit fort. While on approach, Varian removed both of his axes from their holsters on his back, and gripped each one tightly in his hands. He moved as quickly and quietly as he could, a sort of middle ground between a full on sprint and a silent approach. He had become quite good at these, and despite his height and the reputation most Highmen got, he was rather successful. "Right," He began as he reached the gates of the fort with the others. He peered quickly inside the open gates to see no one else in sight, before returning his attention back to the others. "Let's split up and check on the bodies real quick. Make sure they're dead. See if we can salvage anything useful off of their bodies." He proceeded into the interior of the fort, the building looking as crumbling and ruined on the inside area as it did on the outside. He made a left, and climbed on the staircase leading to the outer wall, where he expected to find the bodies of the bandits Alys had killed. While he moved up, Varian noted a rather large door on the far side of the fort, one that led into a passageway of some sort no doubt, and possibly underground. He was certain this was where they would have to go once the bodies were secure.

He reached one of the bodies, and approached it. An arrow was lodged right in his chest, a perfect hit probably right into the man's lung. He stared at the body intently, not actually looking for anything in particular like he intended, but instead gazing upon his appearance. There was something off about it, something peculiar. The dead bandit had worn what would appear to be hunting attire, a sturdy pair of brown boots, and brown gloves to match. He worn a similar-colored brown leather armor, of which an arrow stuck out over it and blood still flowed from the wound delivered. This was over a white shirt and pants that also matched. The clothing was somewhat worn and torn, as expected from a bandit. By all accounts, this was in fact, the dead body of a bandit. But as his eyes fixated on the weapons he had, it made this seem a bit more than that. The bandit was a scout, so he carried a bow as well as arrows. His collection of different arrowheads was somewhat various. He saw a few Direwolf tooth arrows, a couple of Raelusian pyre arrows, and Falkan wood arrows, and a few flint arrows. It was a collection somewhat similar to Alys's. The bow itself was a fairly decent one too, made most likely out of some elvish wood.

And there lay the problem. The collection was too nice, and the bow too finely crafted for any normal bandit to be carrying. Sure, it was likely that he could have stolen the set off of somebody, a well-traveled hunter of some sort, but what was the likelihood that these bandits would have found someone like that way out in this wilderness? The merchant himself had said they had been holed up in this fort for quite a while. Varian looked over at another body Alys had shot down close by this first one. He too was a hunter-type bandit, and though his collection of arrows weren't as vast as this first one, there was still a degree of variety and craft that one wouldn't expect such 'simple' bandits to have. He was getting the feeling that there might be more to this that what they had been told. He decided for now to keep quiet about it though, seeing if any other unusual signs would pop up before he'd share with the others. Besides, he figured by not telling, he'd see if any of them would be able to pick it up themselves.

Varian knelt beside the fallen bandit, re-sheathing his axes across the holsters on his back. Grabbing the arrow lodged into the man's chest, he pulled it out, before rummaging through the man's pockets for anything else that may be useful. He then walked over to the center of the interior of the fort, where the others would be after some went to check on the other bodies. He tossed the Direwolf tooth arrow over to Alys as he approached the doorway he noticed before. "This must be the way in." He unsheathed his axes and gripped them firmly in his hands once more, before slowly opening the large, creaking doors, which led down into an underground path below. The air was damp inside, as the stairway led down into the darkness below. He took a look at the others, his eyes passing over all of them for a few moments, lingering on Cass the most as he exchanged a customary look with her which meant to be on the lookout (though she would likely not care either way).

"Remember what we're here for. The girl. Weapons up, eyes and ears open. And for the gods sake, try not to alert every damn bastard in there that we're here."
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:20 PM
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Percival Grey- Xin Kou, Shingou



Percival was never a great warrior. From his birth, he had always a better mind for the court. For the politics. For the games that tested a man's intelligence and ingenuity rather than his skills with a blade. But now was not the time for regrets. For questioning why he was here. For wondering if death was coming for him. In some ways, he was already in Infernum. The flames of Auden rose from seemingly nowhere, blasting though much of the throng before them. The stench of burnt rotting corpses filled the air, carried by the wind to the nostrils of Percival. He had closed his eyes to try to imagine a better place at a better time. The salty air of the city of water, Dinas, was a good place to Percival with fond memories of spending time with Elizabeth Taimor, now the head of her family, and her siblings during the visits he had when his mother brought him south to the Golden Islands. Those were times in which the harsh realities of Aerion were nothing more than topics and problems reserved for adults. In this brief fantasy, Percival gained a clearer mind: That fantasy was Astrum. But where he was, with the deathly smell, the wailing sounds and horrifying sights; that was Infernum.

The first demons of the Necromancer that braved through the flames lunged forward for the Knights. The sliding of the rotting limbs awoke Percival. He took a deep breath to gain his composure, to remind himself that what he was fighting already had a chance at life. That the creature before him was awaiting a second death, a release from its life of undead servitude. In Percival's self righteous mind, it would make facing the hard truth that Percival would have to kill much easier. He opened his eyes to see decaying bodies of flesh and bone slide over to him. Once humans, probably farmers, the only remains of their past life was their stature. Their faces were rotting away, with flesh and bone exposed, hair falling to the wayside with each weak step. The skin was pale and peeled away, revealing muscle tissue and the occasional bone piercing out. It was an unwelcoming sight to be awoken to after such a pleasant day dream. The first undead creature, resembling "Zombies" from the children's literature he read as a child, lunged forward at Percival and he batted away the creature with his shield. As it collapsed to the ground, Percival stomped on its head, with its insides spewing all over the ground in a juicy explosion. The second felt no fear or remorse and attacked Percival in a similar fashion, clawing at the armored knight before him. Percival swung his mace at the zombie aiming for the head, disposing of the creature in a single strike. A third zombie flanked Percival, but he used his shield to block the attack. He pushed the creature back and struck the creature in the torso with his mace knocking the beast down to the ground. However, Percival's mouth fell in shock as the zombie rose from the ground gingerly, lacking the proper muscle definition to lift himself with ease. "That strike would leave any man in need for a healer," Percival said to himself. Angry, Percival slammed his mace down on the head of the zombie as it rose to his feet, causing the monster to collapse into the dirt.

"The head seems to be their weakness! Everyone aim for the head!" Percival called to all those around him. As he finished calling out to the others (making sure to repeat himself in his best Shingouese), a hellish hound-like creature tackled Percival, bringing him to the ground. Barely managing to put his shield up to protect himself from the gaping jaws, Percival realized far too late that he was separated from his mace. The vile breath from the hound made Percival light headed and produced a weak illusion of a beast with three heads ready to make Percival a delightful meal. A cracking of a rib brought him back from the brink of death. The hell hound was a large imposing beast with red eyes, sharp fangs and vile breath. It pressed on Percival's shield, the only thing keeping it's drooling mouth from consuming Percival like a smoked ham, as it snapped many times. Percival barely managed to keep himself alive, but with a sudden surge of defiance he shoved the beast back, throwing it back enough of a distance for Percival to climb back to his feet. He rolled over to his mace as the hell hound chased him down and with a quick spin bashed the beat in the face as it leapt in midair. The hound coiled back, jaw dislocated, but Percival charged forward beating the beast down in cold blood.

Percival felt blood run down his head and breathing became ever more painful. Crap, my ribs must be broken, Percival thought to himself as he grimaced in pain. He had to reason with the pain, as another group approached him. Walking skeletons. Just what Percival needed. The group attempted to surround him, but Percival was running on fumes. He swung violently, the mace crushing the heads of the various skeletons before him. One after the other, the mindless grunts fell before Percival. But fatigue soon had its way with him. Out of breath, Percival barely dodged the slash of a skeleton, his face ultimately scarred on his right temple. Blood clouded his vision and he fell back, losing his once impressive strength. The skeleton stood over him, spear drawn back. Percival tried to lift his cumbersome shield to defend, but he had no strength. No more resolve. All the self doubt that gathered over his life amounted to this moment of weakness. This moment of defeat. There was no hope to come back from this. Percival had met his end. At least, he would die in battle. Maybe in Percival's death, his brother would finally miss him.

But then again, as if Andal himself willed it, the skeleton froze and crumbled into a pile of bones before him. Percival willed himself up to a seating position, confused at what had occurred. "Strange that a 'damsel' would save a knight in this situation," an elven focus said from behind.

"I owe you one…Crystia."

"You can repay me later," she replied coming to his aid, helping the wounded Percival up.

"That is assuming we can get ou-" Percival's quip was cut off by a vicious roar. It was the lumbering beast that led the horde. If he could afford to be sarcastic for another moment, he would. But fear had other plans for Percival. As the creature brought with large fleshy arm down for a crushing slam to the ground, Percival pushed Crystia away as he fell back, clumsily dodging the attack. The beast towered over them both, with Percival's fair sized stature barely coming up to the beast's waist. He was a giant, but slow. Maybe that could be their advantage. "Crystia what spells do you go-" Percival was knocked back the fat beast with utter ease, his equipment luckily enough falling only a few feet beside him. His vision blurring and his body battered, Percival was conscious enough to bear witness to a tragedy. Crystia did her beast to fend the beast off, using all forms of magic to slow the monster down. The beasts strength was too vast, able to resist the power of Crystia with seemingly great ease. With a straight shot due to the body of Crystia, the fist of the beast impaled the elf mage, ripping her entrails out of her body. Crystia's body limped to the ground, nothing more than a bloody mess for the monsters to clean up.

Percival struggled to bring himself to his feet, for both physical and now emotional trauma had affected him now. He had witnessed the death of a comrade and the realization of facing a powerful beast in his condition planted a great fear in him. Not to mention, the wave of beasts that had surrounded him and his comrades were undoubtedly having their way with them.

But then a wave of energy swept through the battlefield. Many of the creatures were turned to ashes, utterly obliterated from the spell. Percival was confused, bewildered. He turned around to see what was the godsend. It was a woman in the distance. She appeared to be larger than most, but Percival's vision was weakened from the blood loss. Her faint voice filled the air: "Get your bloody arses up here! The next wave is coming soon!" As she collapsed, Percival turned around and saw the fat beast that had killed Crystia still standing before him. The great wave of magic slowed him down, but could not kill such a great monster. It roared again and the woman's words were true. Another wave was upon them. Was the fat beast leading them here?

"ROLAND!" Percival called. "We need to take down the fat one! Get over here! NOW!"
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