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  #76    
Old March 14th, 2013, 09:02 PM
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SV
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Varian Sigmund and Cassandra Alexander - Bandit Fort, Eveamoor



The group descended down the steps of the dark fort, creeping ever slowly into the dungeon. It was what you would expect from a place that had been supposedly abandoned for so long, forgotten by its owners years ago. The steps were creaky with stones crumbling beneath their feet as they passed over. Walls were eroded away by time as cobwebs, dust, and dirt littered the area, with not much signs of maintenance or restoration. The foundations itself appeared ready to sink into the ground at any moment, unable to withstand the weight on its old shoulders. Little light was able to peer throught the cracks, leading to Varian having to collect a torch at the beginning of their descent down, and lighting it aflame with the assistance of a big of magic from Xeye. Indeed, to the untrained eye, it would appear that no man had been down here in years. Fortunately, the Highman had managed to pick up a few tricks on tracking through his years. There were subtle hints of intrusion, a vacant holder along the wall where a torch would have been placed to light the path, a broken set of cobwebs, freshly made as something, or rather someone passed through and disturbed the design. Varian also managed to see a dead rat, the kill still fairly fresh. The rodent died by a stabbing wound, not likely the work of a bigger animal. It was to clean cut for that. He was certain the bandits were here now.

"Varian," Alys hissed under her breath, "the bandit back there, he had a pretty intensive quiver back there. Not something most bandits would have..."

At some point, the group reached a fork in the path, two separate direction they could go in search of the daughter. The left path took a much narrower road, but even through the bit of light emitted from the torch, he couldn't see beyond a few meters. The right path was a bit wider, but still fairly narrow as it would take the group deeper down into the ancient fort. They would likely have to travel in a single file on the left side, and possibly only as wide as two-by-two on the right path. In the long run, he thought these narrow paths would actually be beneficial, especially since they didn't quite have the advantages in numbers. Varian gripped his axes tigher in his hand as he pondered their next move, though it seemed pretty obvious. "Right. Cass, go take the left road. The rest of you lot, follow me down the right." His voice echoed ever so slightly, despite his best intention to keep a hushed voice.

"Oh yay! Sending me all alone~" Cass asked as she moved over to the left road. "You sure you okay with me having all the fun?" She cared not for the volume of her voice, secretly hoping it echoed through the hallow walls.

"Cass. Remember what we talked about. Don't go slaughtering all of them randomly. Try to get some information off of them first. Remember what we're here for. There's a lot of money at stake here."

Cass giggled. "You really think these guys are going to bother talking? You saw their equipment. I don't think we are dealing with your everyday group of bandits. Dare I say, they are 'professionals.' Hacking them into pieces is far more efficient."

"Ah, you caught that too..." Varian muttered in his characteristically stoic tone. "It could just be a few brigands who got lucky. We can't be certain of anything. Either way, try not to turn this into another bloodbath, alright?"

"Silly Varian~" Cass said nudging her old friend. "It is likely to get worse from here."

"Trained or not, we can handle thirty men. Watch yourself."

"Your face can handle thirty men," Cass said as she moved over to her path, stumbling a bit as she took a whisk from her flask. "I can handle a whole lot more. Whoa- there's a step there."

Varian shook his head as he watched his drunk friend stumbled down the left path. He looked back at the rest of the group. "Don't worry, she'll be fine," He reassured them, as he lifted up the torch in front of him to light their path down the stone steps of the right path. The path took them down a winding staircase of steps, before proceeding down a few dark corridors here and there. The site produced no combatants, nor any other significant sites. Varian felt his grip on his axes momentarily loosen as he felt the repetitive look of the begin to somewhat bore him. He was beginning to wish that something would happen. Anything.

His grip suddenly tightened again, and he focused himself once more as he heard something. It was faint at first, but after a while, he heard it more clearly. It was men, quite a few of them from the sound of it. Varian motioned to the others to follow behind him, but quietly. He moved closer to the sounds of the hearty men as their laughs echoed through the fort. The path took them down a few more steps, and through a hole-like passage. The sounds of the men grew with each passing step. They were getting closer, each step brought an ounce more of noise, until the level was high enough for Varian to deduce that the bandits were in the next room. A closed door was between them and their target. On the other side, Varian heard the sounds of laughter and yelling, the bandits likely partying in some way or another. It was the perfect moment to catch them with their pants down. They may not get a better chance at it, in fact. With numbers likely in their advantage, a shot at a preemptive attack was the best option.

He inhaled a deep breath, and then exhaled. "We take them out...quickly. Go in fast, and give them hell." He said to the others, looking at each of their faces to make sure they are in compliance. He walked over to the door, lifting each of his axes up to prepare for combat. He broke his foot through the door, knocking it off its hinges. The door flew forward, and made a loud thud onto the ground as it shattered on the ground. Varian rushed inside, axes raised and a scream prepared as he made his way into center the room. There was much more light inside this one provided by the number of torches hung on the walls, and as his eyes had to adjusted to the flood of light, he took in his surrounding for the first time in search of enemies. However, what he saw inside was not at all what he was expecting.

"Well...f*ck." He spat, taking in the astonishingly large amount of bandits. Larger than anything they were led to believe. There wasn't twenty, nor were there thirty. There seemed to be well over a hundred, and then some. Ever corner of the room had some bandit in it. Some were eating. Some were drinking. Others were simply socializing. But once the small band of mercenaries entered the room, they were all staring at them, a bit surprised by their sudden appearance. Varian was equally surprised, and the two groups shared a brief moment of shock as nothing was said or done. However, that quickly ended as a larger man stood up, encased in dull gray steel armor fresh from the forge. The metalwork was made by a veteran with few impurities in its compostion and craftsmenship. On his head was a steel helmet, with his dull brown eyes barely peered through. Engraved on the chest of his armor was a symbol, one that the people of Eveamoor (and the mercenaries too) know all too well. It was a sketch of a black safe with the letters "SS" etched in the heart of the safe. It was the emblem of the "Steel Safe" guild. A large, imposing weapon laid at his side: A hulking, silver circular mass of steel attached to a chain made of black iron. A ball and a chain.

"Looks like we've got a few uninvited guests, lads. Let's welcome them to the party."

In near unison, the 'bandits' rose, drawing their swords in one smooth motion. Clearly they were trained, disciplined, and organized. With seemingly no other options in front of him, Varian did the only thing he could, turning around and breaking into a sprint. "Fall back!" He yelled to the others, but it was too late. Varian shifted back and made a break for the door, but with the sound of rusty lever being pulled back, a small portcullis came crashing down, trapping the mercenaries in the room.
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Last edited by SV; March 16th, 2013 at 12:01 AM.
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  #77    
Old March 15th, 2013, 01:02 PM
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XEYE ANASTASIA ZXKOL

THE BLUE WILDCAT

Wolf Pops' complaint wasn't heard by the distracted half-elf, ready to try her hand at a ranged attack. To her dismay though, she lacked the skills to propel a blade of wind through the air, or to even generate a blade of wind in the first place. It was a dud, and it landed her on her ass.

"You remember what I said before about doing stupid things?" Wolf Pops angrily lectures Xeye, taking her by surprise as her body is suddenly taken into the air from the highman gripping her shirt, which is barely a shirt at all to begin with.

In fact, his hand grips her along the top rim of her shirt, gradually causing her bosom to sink towards the bottom rim of her garment, nearly exposing her bust during her confrontation with Wolf Pops.

"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!"

Her response is a wide, childish grin, doing her best to relax the situation. "S-sorry!"

She giggles for several seconds, embarrassed by the failure of her technique. Despite Wolf Pops' uncanny knack for instilling intimidation in anyone, Xeye merely laughs off his words as if the words were mere jests. Perhaps she's too brave or carefree to feel intimidation, but most observers would probably suspect the reason lies in her thought capacity. Nonetheless, the highman makes his point and drops the small woman onto the green earth just before her breasts can fall out from under her slim, belly-exposing shirt.

Over the next minute or so, the group watches their lone archer go to town on the bandits on guard. Adjusting her shirt back into the proper position, Xeye pucks her lips and folds her arms, pouting like a toddler over the ordeal. One might not even take her expression seriously given how absurd she looks, considering she's a grown woman and not a small child. For an obnoxious young half-elf, however, what she looks like is a lesser matter compared to her expression of discontent. Bow Lady is doing the job she wants to do, but because she messed up, she has to sit and watch. Unfortunately, her previously perky attitude is replaced with a constantly sour, over-exaggerated frown displaying her state of discontent and being horribly outclassed.

"Come on," Wolf Pops gestures to the group after Bow Lady finishes her work. Xeye, still pouting, finds her feet slower than the others and sourly trails the group as they approach the fort to investigate its contents. As they wander up to the door, Wolf Pops takes the lead and examines the fort cautiously before returning his focus to the rest of the group. "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."

Spilling into the fort to investigate, the mercenaries scatter their presence throughout the fort's outside, turning over the freshly slain and collecting data or just looting them outright. Xeye, contorting frown and all, trudges inside, slightly hunching over while her arms are still folded below her breasts.

"That... jerk..." she sourly turns her lip up at Wolf Pops whose ascending a case of stairs to investigate the fallen bandits. "Stupid... dummy! Why can't I do stuff? That... meany..."

Nonetheless, she begins wandering the fort on her own, scouring around for data or unslain bandits. And she finds one. Sleeping. Drool trickling down the side of his plump cheeks, his snore cracks through the air loudly, throwing Xeye to her rear with a yelp in shock.

"A fat guy!" notices the half-elf, pushing herself back up to an erect stance. Approaching the slumbering oaf, she takes a few quick strides in his direction only for the visage of grumpy, gruff Wolf Pops to interrupt her actions, bringing her to a sharp stop.

"Oh, yeah... right. -Quietly-..." reminding herself stubbornly, still mad at Wolf Pops. Unfortunately, sneaking around despite what her figure might suggest is far from her specialty. She carries around two relatively large axes for a reason. Xeye slips on a loose stone underfoot just as she finds herself before the man.

"Wo-woa-woah!" she wobbles back in forth, struggling back and forth to maintain her balance. Instead, however, her body hurdles towards the sleeping bandit's beer belly, slamming into his gut hard face first.

"YIIEEEEEEEEAAAOOOOOOWW!!!" the man roars awake after taking an accidental blow to his belly. He hastily stands himself up against the stone wall he was sleeping against, glancing down at the mysterious thing that woke him up. On the floor, Xeye's face is planted on the rock hard cobblestones of the fort's surface. The bandit's sudden erection left the poor girl's face to fall off of the man's bouncy belly, smacking into the stone hard surface beneath her.

"O-OWWWWWHH!!" she bellows in agony, scrambling on the ground as her hands reach for her face. "It HUUUUURTS!"

"Wha- what the -HELL-!?" the startled man loudly confronts the woman, "What are others doing here!?"

Without hesitation, he pulls out his scimitar from its sheath and thrusts his arm upwards, aiming his blade's edge for the woman's neck. The sharp weapon barrels down towards the ailing woman, optimizing his opportunity to take her out. With impeccable speed, the blade crashes into the stone ground before him, creating a loud clank that reverberates across the fort. The man's eyes widen in shock, finding his victim vacant from the area that she was laying across moments earlier. Goosebumps race up the man's neck in an instant, his head smacking into the cold stone wall behind him. His neck begins to permeate a thin line of red fluid that quickly begins to build up and flood down over the man's tunic. The bandit's eyes are stuck wide open, frozen in the position as his life has just been snuffed out. Moments later, his body stumbles onto the ground, motionless as gravity claims his body.

"Awh, what!? It works -NOW- but not earlier? That's lame..." Xeye complains, inspecting her axe and her kill, slowly approaching the man's downed body and kicking him over so that she can inspect the corpse.

Earlier, she managed to spot the woken bandit's attack, rolling over to her right and speedily finding her feet all whilst withdrawing her right axe from its latch. With a quick, reactionary swing, her weapon hacked through the air in an arc aimed at the bandit. Before he even had a chance to notice, the blade of wind executed the man silently, unbeknownst to him.

"This guy's got some pricey stuff!" Xeye claims loudly to her companions, digging through his belongings, sometimes in very questionable places. Pieces of gold, a half eaten sandwich, various emblems and trinkets that meant nothing to the unsuspecting half-elf, and even a map and a lengthy letter Xeye finds, throwing them to her side before she finishes her work. By then though, the remaining mercenaries have gathered around a large doorway at the center of the fort.

"This must be the way in," alerts Wolf Pops as the doorway opens.

Xeye hurriedly gathers up the loot and stuffs it into the animal-hide sack tucked over her shoulder with a strap, tossing the man's sandwich aside after grimacing towards it with disgust. The young half-breed speeds along, turning the corner to her right and finds herself back in the company of her allies. Just arriving, they begin to head inside the dark passageway. Xeye sheaths her axe and promptly follows them, only to be stopped by those in front of her as Wolf Pops pauses, turning his attention to the mercenaries behind him. Her leg collides with Furface's short stature, smacking into his rear and bringing her foot right up into his nether-regions, effectively assaulting them with a clumsy foot. Yet again Xeye's ass collides with the ground, this time being a much harder landing due to the stone ground.

"Yie-ow!!" she yelps, leaning over to her left while her right hand reaches back to rub her ailing rear end.

"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," Wold Pops promptly and sternly reminds the group, but lending special attention to the absentminded half-elf at the party's rear, giving her an especially cold glare to be sure his point is made.

Xeye's eyes soon fall upon the highman's glare just as he begins to retract it and continues down the dark passage. Her face immediately contorts, eyebrows drooping and angling while her lips pucker and her arms fold across each other. "Meany-head..."

The mercenaries nonetheless descend down into the dungeon. Wolf Pops grabs a torch off of the wall and stops the company before they continue. "Xeye. Light this," he motions to her coldly.

"Hrmph..." she grunts quietly to herself, dragging her resistant soles across the dank dungeon path up to Wolf Pops and the torch. Her eyes scan the torch's surface, observing the terribly aged item she's supposed to light. In fact, it appears to be on the verge of complete disintegration into nothing but a memory. Hopefully it would be adequate enough to illuminate the way until their business in the fort is complete.

Xeye's right hand reaches out over the torch, scraping the surface of it where her fingers meet the ignitable area. Lifting her hand slightly into the air above the torch, her index finger begins to slide quickly across the surface of her thumb. In very little time at all, sparks begin to fly from her hands in a display of an otherwise abnormal circumstance for the average person. After the fifth try, a small inferno erupts around her palm, setting aflame the torch... and also Xeye's arm.

"OOOH! HOT, HOT!!" she yelps, quickly creating an o-shape with the digits on her left hand, blowing into the finger-hole strongly to put out the fire. Fortunately, her magical attributes can also act as damage control, whisking away the flames across her hand near-instantly before serious bodily harm can develop.

With their light source set, the gang continues down into the dark dungeon for several minutes, moving along cautiously and quietly. Sour Apple split from the group at a fork in the path per Wolf Pops' orders. Naturally, Xeye worries little of the fate of their often-drunk red-headed companion. She glances down the path Apple takes, stumbling with every few steps but catches herself. Xeye giggles quietly to herself, amused by the woman's demeanor.

"She's funny!"

The mercenaries continue along deep into the dungeon with one less person to face any threat down the line. Not that it matters much to Xeye, who tries to stifle her agonizing boredom, running her fingers along the creases between the stone walls before finding sharp edges that force her to retract her fingers and suck on them to alleviate her pain. Routinely, she cocks her head way back, glancing up, around and behind her to check for something interesting. Trudging along with nothing to do, the girl begins to grow dreadfully bored.

"Does anyone want to carry me? I think I could..." she yawns, interrupting her request, "Use a nap... Y'know, until we find these bad guys we're supposed to beat up..."

However, new sounds begin to reach her ears. The sound of men shouting, echoing faintly throughout the dungeon towards their location is heard. The crew naturally hastens their pace, reinvigorated by their closing in on their targets. This news gives Xeye a much needed second wind as well, causing her face to light up with a gleeful smile, one of excitement.

"Yay!" she blurts quietly in the back, skipping along with eager abandon, anxious for action.
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  #78    
Old March 15th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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I burn. Come at me, you'll see
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Auden Radke,
The Undead Battle Field.

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Blades of air, pillars of fire and walls of earth began to systematically erupt from Auden as he calmly walked the battle field tearing through any undead monster he could see, almost like a blender that spewed fire and guts. With each of his steps his magic pulsated, causing a trail of bones, burning rotten flesh and blood to follow his path. The undead were clearly mindless as they continued approaching Auden, even as they watched their fellow undead getting turned into puddles of blood. The smile on Auden's face was slowly growing wider with each body he disposed of, his joy gravitating on bodies that were exploding or being disemboweled, causing the creatures to trip on their own entrails. Deciding to experiment with some he allowed them to get closer before cutting their limbs off, laughing at the one zombie-like on that continued walking without a head or arms, a great sight he thought. In all the fun he realised that he had forgotten about the massive monstrosity that he had first decided to approach, and when looking around he realised he could no longer see it. “Hmm, looks like I got side tracked playing with these little ones..” He spoke while tapping his staff to the ground, causing spikes to impale 5 approaching undead through their heads, sending brains and blood into the air. Another tap of his staff and a pillar of earth rose beneath him, bringing him above the hordes and allowing him to survey the battle field, a dangerous action in a battle with living enemies but this brainless army was much less of a threat.

As blades of earth and air spun around the bottom of his pillar, creating a death saw for anything stupid enough to approach it. The blood splatter below him, some splashes reaching his feet while he surveyed the battlefield, seeing one of the iron-clad brothers and the young elf fighting hell hounds together. Shooting balls of fire into the onslaught he watched in interests as a large demon with a club like hand charged at them, apparently without them realizing as the demon's club struck the elf square on, sending her flying into a ruined building which soon collapsed in on her. That bastard.. he thought to himself as he began tapping his staff on the ground, causing spikes to explode from the ground and puncture some ghouls that had ignored his pillar... I wanted to kill that b*tch.

Slightly annoyed he decided to continue to his survey, soon finding the other iron clad brother being slightly overwhelmed. Feeling overly generous Auden sent a pillar of fire to wipe out a group of ghouls that were approaching, that the mace wielding brother had clearly missed as his attention was with the skeletons surrounding him. With magic still pulsating from his body, the corpses began to build up around the bottom of his pillar; a blood mist now forming. Auden's interest in the elven mage kept his attention as he felt her magic rise around the mace wielding knight. “Well her magic doesn't seem like its very good offensively, especially with the undead.” He told himself while he watched her expend much more magic then needed to disperse the skeletons and save the knights life. With his interest starting to wane, he finally saw the gut spilling monstrosity again, and it was approaching the two warriors, whom were seemingly chatting happy together. With a blood curdling roar it charged at the two with surprising speed, its bowels contents spewing out with each step it took. Humorously Auden watched as the two clumsily dodged its first strike, which left a dent in the ground, which soon filled with stomach fluids. As the elf began throwing her weak magic at the beast, though the most it was doing was slow it down slightly, it knocked the knight away with ease, before turning its attention at the annoying little bug that was buzzing around it. Though the elven mage continued to bombard the creature with her magic, to no avail. Tilting its head slightly it shot its fist through Crystia, before removing it, with her guts in tow. Even more frustrated now Auden watched the elf's lifeless body drop to the ground, another person he wanted to torture to death being killed by someone else. Sighing he tapped on the ground and his pillar began to retract back into the ground.

Suddenly, he felt a building magical power to the the west, where he saw a larger looking lady holding a staff to the air. Watching her lips move he slowed his descent, wanting to get a good look at her magic. It was a fairly impressive display of power, wiping out a large portion of undead that were in the woman's vicinity, much more impressive than the now dead elves magic. Stepping off his pillar just before it fully retracted he could hear the faith screams from the direction of the woman, probably shouts for help but he didn't care much for it. Drawing his sword he faced the woman, whom fell to the ground sending up a small cloud of dust, and chanted before swinging his sword horizontally. The wind blade that shot out level with his swing rushed towards her, as another wave of demons pour over the hill, with many rushing for her fallen body. As they reached the peak of the hill, so did Auden's magic, slicing a large majority of them in half, spraying blood upwards like fountains as their top halves fell to the ground. The edges of the waves however were not in the range of Auden's spell, and they continued onwards at the now dwindling number of knights, completely ignoring the large woman’s motionless body. Unfazed he turned around and began towards the large monstrosity as it stood overwhelming large in comparison to the knight who stood preparing to fight it.

As he approached, the monstrosity noticed him, shoving its own hand into its gut. Curious, Auden continued onwards as it ripped out its own guts and threw them in his direction. With a flick of his sword blades of air shot out, blasting away the guts before finding its place again in its sheath, once again making up his staff. “Ah, what was that?” Auden asked himself as he felt a burn under his cheek, before wiping off the beasts guts, which now burnt at his fingers. Pulling in water vapours he washed away the guts to find his hand slightly eroded and burnt, much to his interest. Slowing momentarily he saw that indeed, the ground around him where he has dispatched most of the guts was also eroding. Very interesting.

Frustrated the monstrosity threw its hands down and smashing the ground just in front of the knight before picking up the elves limp body. Ignoring the knight within reach, the beast threw the dead body in Auden's direction, the moment causing more of its stomachs contents to escape and begin eroding the ground around its feet. Uncaring Auden tap the ground with his staff as the body got closer, skewering the head mid air, cause blood to spray forward just in front of Auden, creating a red carpet of blood. Happily Auden walked along his personal red carpet, his blood starting to boil at the thrill of fighting such a strong opponent. With surprising speed, the gargantuan raised his hand and then brought it down at Percival. Quickly, Auden tapped the ground with his staff, creating a fairly thin earth wall to Percival's side as he brought his shield to the same position, though the wall barely stopped the slap, as it sent Percival flying away to the side, and denting his shield.

“Lets do this fatty.” Auden declared to the oozing monstrosity looking as their eyes lock, though the beasts eyes were half falling out. With a swipe of his staff a pillar of fire flare up engulfing the beasts face in flames, releasing the stench of burning rotted flesh. Grunting the started hitting itself in the face, causing the flames to go out and reveal, barely any significant damage besides the beast popping one of its own eyes and charred flesh. “Well..” Taking a step back Auden watched as it began raising its hand again, this time jamming his staff into the ground a much larger wall formed at his side as he braced himself. This time the wall held up much better, but couldn't stop all the monotonous strength in the slap, sending Auden along the ground and causing his head to start bleeding. Pushing himself up he looked up to see the beasts hand coming down towards him, causing Auden to hastily roll out of the way, barely avoiding the crushing strength. Using the motion as he rolled he smashed the bottom of his staff into the ground, allowing himself to stand up and causing a spike to come up through the ground into the creatures foot, holding it in place. Jumping backwards, air blades began shooting out from Auden, battering the monstrosity sending its ooze out behind it, eroding everything it touched.

Stuck on spike, it struggled, not able to break away it let out a gurgled roar. Standing in front of the undead mutation, swiped his staff through the air, causing a ball of fire to shoot out and hit the mutation in its belly, causing the rotten flesh to burn and let out a horrid smell. Taking no notice of it's burning belly the monstrosity looked around before it began throwing boulders and bodies at Auden. Using all his experience he dodged the projectiles before slipping on a crushed hound head. Hitting the ground hard he coughed as he tried to regain his breath, before staring at the massive brute whom had its own hand deep within his gut. Clawing at the ground Auden tried his best to pull himself off the ground. Frustrated as he was not getting anywhere he threw his hands in front of his face as he pushed himself to the side, feeling intense pain starting to form on his right arm. Regaining his breath he stood up and jumped backwards as he ripped his right sleeve off to reveal ooze burning his arm. Quickly he pulled water in and cleaned his arm off, clenching his fist before sending a small pillar of fire at the beast, grazing the side of its left arm.

Taking another step backwards Auden shot another pillar of fire at the beast, whom caught and snuffed it out mid air, though it did char its hand fairly badly. Still unable to move it jammed its hands back into its guts before throwing its oozes at Auden. This time drawing his sword Auden traced a circle in front of him, causing a huge pillar of fire to come and burn up most of the liquid. Though an intense inferno, the ooze was vast and some made it past Auden's defence, eroding his robe and adding a few more burns to his face and arms, causing him to flinch from the pain of his skin being slowly eaten away. Wiping off his face he stared down the beast as it's muscles tensed and pulled its stuck foot off the ground, spike and all and began rushing Auden. Swinging his sword many blades of air shoot out, landing continuous blows to the left arm of the beast, cutting it off before it had a chance to hit Auden. Not daunted the beast swung its right fist at Auden, catching his legs as he attempted to jump out of the way, causing him to spin uncontrollable into a ruined wall. Coughing blood, Auden struggled to push himself up as pain shot through left his arm. Cringing he tried to ignore the pain as the beast turned to face him once again. “Lets do this!” Auden declared to the monstrosity as he fell to one knee and his jammed his sword deep into the ground as the disgusting brute charged at him. Two massive hand like shaped walls erupted from the ground on either side of beast, and closed in, trapping the beast from moving as it tried to brace itself with one arm, its ooze dissolving the ground under its feet. Pushing harder, the walls slowly closed in on the beast, crumpling its arm under the pressure before slowly crushing its body. With one last strong push into the ground the walls quickly crushed the beast sending its bodily contents spraying all over the area, eroding everything it touched, including the roof of earth that Auden had created to shield himself since fire and wind had both failed before.

With chunks of earth falling around him, Auden stood bleeding, his left arm hanging my his side. Clenching he pulled his sword out of the ground and watched the walls of earth that had killed the beast dissolve around a pile of guts, blood and ooze. Wiping his face he felt a surge of magic; the flare magic and looked to the sky to see the flare he had given Tamor shooting into the sky. Don't die. He thought as he began running towards where the flare was, ignoring all the pain his body felt he began using all his magic to accelerate his travel and destroy anything in between him and Tamor.
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Last edited by CarefulWetPaint; March 16th, 2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 04:21 PM
Retro Bug
the apex predator
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Tamor Bellfiend
Xin Kou, Shinguo
Theme Song: Hear Me
The battlefield had come to life; the Knights of Ekilore had sprung into action, well, except one. She stood frozen in fear before the gate; fear had got a hold of her and planted its roots deep down that brushed Tamor’s soul. Her golden eyes followed every movement, they whisked from scene to scene, on the battlefield like a hawk. Almost as if he had overheard her thoughts Niolas soared from her shoulder into the carnage filled land. Guilt stained her emotions, now, even her damn bird had participated in the fight that belonged to her. Niolas’s broad wingspan assisted him into gaining more altitude, once the sleek, dark brown raptor reached the right height he swooped down with talons stretched out. Several of the necromancer’s creatures lost patches of rotten flesh as her avian companion moved in and out the waves of the undead. Soon a realization dawned on Tamor; the acceptance to the Monk’s perilous quest was now an absolute joke, before, in the tower, Tamor had been readily eager to accept it. To be the very first one to speak those words but now she was the last to step foot onto the bloody battlefield. In her case, and her case alone, Tamor’s brave words spoke louder than her poor actions and for that she was overwhelmingly ashamed. A shifted focus led her to see the field set ablaze, Tamor knew that was the handiwork of, and she was reluctant to admit this, her closest human friend who was a deranged, sadistic pyromaniac. The deadly flames, which leapt from creature to creature, would reflect in his lifeless brown eyes, she imagined that a smirk had followed.

Her thin, bony fingers trembled underneath the tattered robes that clung to her body somehow Tamor was able to regain control over her body, thank Tella. What if Fortis had been her primary God that she loved and worshipped every dawn until the sun rose? Would she certainly be planted in this position like a tree that had laid its root? The tremble had spread from her hand up through her entire arm through the rest of her body. Tamor bought her hand to her face, the process was slow almost too painful to watch and luckily no one had been. One by one each muscle in her hand moved each finger downward until it formed a fist. Surely the other knights must have noticed her absence on the blazing field, would they ask her to resign from the prestigious group?

**

“Tamor, you’re not trying hard enough,” She could tell by his voice he was upset, but she was giving it all she had. “This is pathetic. Stronger! Faster! Sharper!”

She breathed heavy, an evident sign that she wasn’t prepared for this type of rigorous training. In her mind she knew that whatever she decided to do she most certainly couldn’t give up now, he was counting on her. Tamor gathered her remaining energy and threw herself full force at the man in front of her, but he had already seen through her movements like any logistical person would. She leapt off with her domain foot, her left arm held out straight behind her while her right one wrapped around her body so that it did the same. In a single motion she brought both her arms forward and around her body in an almost 360 degree swipe. The brute of a man charged forward, his long brown hair flowed with every step. As speedy as she could Tamor jumped to the side then wound her fist and stuck with all her might. His hands sprung from his side and tightly gripped onto one of her thin wrists he then spun her in a semicircle before letting her go, which caused her to slam into a nearby tree.

“You’re dead,” He whispered in ear after he planted a kiss on her cheek.


**

That temporarily flashback had cost her a few seconds, but it was an important moment in her life. The left side of her chest ached every time she recalled a memory about him especially now that he had disappeared, she had been hesitant to even believe that much. Tamor rapidly blinked her eyes prior to when she returned them back to the field in time to see comrades being cut down. An unidentified blur struck down into the earth a few feet in front of her, which upon a closer look she noticed the brown wings that spread out and touched her boots. In that short moment Tamor’s breath ceased as her eyes failed to focus on the dead creature that laid crushed at her feet. These were Dabel’s creatures; the monstrosities that he had taken pleasure in crafting, the Necromancer had done his bidding and now she would rid Aerion of them. Her psyche had already started to shatter with the apparent loss of her avian companion. With Tamor’s thoughts becoming increasing erratic there was only one clear thought that was broadcasted, kill. Each step she took left a deeper impression on the dirt ground that she walked on. The mumbling she had began to chant were the hymns of The Nine and the instant activation of her healing powers. Power flowed within, through, and almost around her if only she had the immense ability to do that. It granted her momentary immunity, any minimal attack would automatically heal while it was being dealt as long as Tamor’s divine magic flourished throughout her body. A more severe attack would take several minutes for her to direct enough energy to that spot.

The more steady steps she took the closer Tamor got to the deadly action. A loud shrill from a heavyset human girl caught Tamor’s attention as the girl then proceeded to collapse on the floor. As Tamor approached the fainted girl she lowered herself onto one knee and softly pressed her dirty fingers into her neck right where the pulse could be felt. Magic transferred from Tamor’s body into girl who was blacked out, its healing properties were so strong that it would not only zap the girl into reality but heal all inflictions she might have gotten or will get for the next few moments that it coursed throughout her body. Before she knew it she had wandered aimlessly into the midst of the next wave that proved that Infernum had made its home here. The heat that came from of the half-burned monsters increased as they surrounded their newest victim. A low-toned moan escaped the first undead’s charred mouth, or what was left of it. Due to Auden’s flame magic half of its body was burnt beyond recognition. The smell that wafted from its mouth threatened to leave third degree burns on anything it touched. Puss oozed from beneath its flaky, scorched skin. Some of its movements were fast; the creature, which stood a few feet taller than her, threw himself at Tamor with its arm wide open to give her death’s embrace. Tamor called upon the Goddess Tella to guide her, and the rest of the Nine to give her the much needed strength and energy to conquer the enemy. In the very next instant the wicked creature erupted from the inside out, its guts spewed all over her clothing.

The attack replayed in her mind, Tamor had become a blur to the human eye. Energy sizzled inside of her and begged for an outing, which Tamor had given it in the form of the now dead being. Even more unseen was the way Tamor had reshaped the energy that emitted outside her body into a deadly weapon. It presented itself in a glowing yellow-gold color that outlined her entire body and also caused the air around her small silhouette to shimmer. Another undead beast sauntered in and took its place in front of her. The beast resembled an overgrown cat whose burnt pelt was slowly peeling off to showcase its bare bones underneath. It sprang forward with its claw unsheathed and bared the teeth it had left, consequently its rotting head slid from its shoulder exploding like the previous being. Tamor now stood behind the being where previously she had stood before it. Her hand met her hooded face and felt the claw marks where it had raked its sharpen claws against her cheek. By this time the defensive ward Auden had given her had promptly worn off now she must rely on her own abilities. The headless body landed with a thud on the ground behind her then sprung back into action. As silently as she could Tamor twisted on the heels of her shoes and engaged in battle once more. Divine magic, Tamor recalled what Auden had said to her, was the perfect offensive to the Necromancer’s battle strategy. The energy that encircled Tamor’s frame was her divine magic; it was the energy of The Nine. It became an extension of limbs that Tamor manipulated into thin, sharp, flexible blades that were able to cut into these creatures. Heavily breathing Tamor kneeled in the dirt she hadn’t trained herself in this type of magic in awhile.

Four demons besieged Tamor; they each wore a skull on top of their head. Where the retrieved such skulls she didn’t know, possibly the skulls of villagers that had strayed too far away from camp. Their disgusting pointed teeth held remnants of their last meal, flesh, and blood. Thordain would approve of her next set actions; she twirled around with both of her hands in the air, each spot where demons tried to land an attack Tamor’s energy cut straight through them. All of the demons perished as they made contact with her blades of energy. For the second time Tamor touched an already healing cut on her face somehow one of the demon’s limb still managed to land an attack. Tamor’s movements had to be stronger, faster, and sharper if she were to ever conquer her restless enemies. An eager Tamor threw herself back into battle she was vengeful for retribution. These creatures slaughtered her longest companion and she was ready to kill everything on field for it. Creatures mindlessly stepped forward to replace their fallen comrades; there wasn’t an end to them. They fought on, similarly to how both the Elven and Dwarven races fought against the dragons, but these beasts would fall in battle today. In order to make her movements faster Tamor, without hesitation, ripped off her overly worn robes, from the bottom up. Fasten in same place it had always been was her Mage’s hood that kept all her braided hair and face from being fully revealed to Infernum’s demons as well as to the rest of the Knights of Ekilore, those that had survived.

Stronger. Another beast made its way to Tamor by crushing its fellow hell raisers; it was almost as large as the monstrosity that she had seen several of the other Knights taking on. The immediate conclusion Tamor drew was that it must be the vice-commander, second in charge and that it wanted her intestines for a meal. This beast was foul in nature and in appearance, a sight Tamor was overjoyed to erase from existence. Its front two teeth were half the size of her, they were shaped like a half-circle, they were flipped versions of the other. Wings sprouted from back, but they were only for show as all that remained left was the bones, which a majority of them were snapped leaving asperous edges. The seared skin seemed to bubble as if there were an unending amount of creatures prisoned beneath its shifting skin ready to be birthed into Aerion. Apparently the Necromancer had been quite hasty when crafting this particular horrendous subject. The being leaned hunched over on its front two limbs as if it were some sort of primate. Tamor stood erect in the face of danger her personality had dramatically shifted after the death of her dearest friend. She stayed focused on adding more to her energy giving it more power, juice, force behind her movements as the beast made its final steps.

Faster. It painlessly tore one of its front teeth out, and dug it deep into its knuckle before it repeated the same pattern with the other tooth. On one of its oversized fists the creature now had two seemingly razor sharp teeth implanted as some sort of weapon. Tamor braced herself; their eyes met, and she foolishly launched herself by first digging her black boots into the dirt. The detestable monster raised a single fist and backhanded Tamor as if she were a pest, not a real opponent, which caused her to go flying back down into the earth. Before the dust had a chance to settle Tamor was on her feet and in the air; her body a blur to anyone that watched her. Her speed had not came from air magic as she had seen arcane mages use rather perfectly time boosts of energy that sped her through the air and at her primary target with ease. Thank The Nine, as Tamor increased the amount of energy boosts she used the more time she had to dodge the tooth fist that came her way. It almost began to appear as if she was teleporting around this creature but it had managed to track her every move. Each time she landed she was almost sideswiped by one of its massive fist, the toothed one had come exceptionally close to beheading her instead it left an already healed scratch.

Sharper. All Tamor’s time thus far had been spent twisting, jumping, and turning to avoid the beast’s coordinated attacks on her, she had yet to launch her own. Upset at the fact that she hadn’t landed a single blow on her opponent and was already out of breath Tamor paused where she was at. A game plan was needed if she was going to continue this fight without getting slaughtered along with her fallen comrades. The blades of energy that she used had to be sharp, her father had taught her had to forge but she had failed at that as well. Thordain, the Father of Dwarves, would be so disappointed in her as well as Tella, the Mother of Elves, because even now she couldn’t make them proud. Taking advantage of Tamor’s frozen state the beast threw both fists down in unisons, the final blow. She threw up her hands and started to create much sharper, longer, more flexible arc-shaped energy blades. A barrier was created over her entire attack range as her hands kept making the same motions over, and over again. The motions she made with her hands were blurry; it looked as if she had a multitude of hands by the speed of her movements. Unable to stop its attack the fists delivered the crushing blow right on top of the golden barricade, the repercussion came soon after, the beast’s entire body's flung back and landed on its backside several feet away. A smirk appeared at the corner of her mouth, she had now learned to utilized the offensive powers as well the defensive just like he had taught her.

The bellow that left the now livid beast’s mouth was surely deafening. It was noticeable that one of its weapons-teeth had been knocked loose as a result of its previous failed attack. Tamor had already lowered her self-made shield and launched herself at an extreme speed forward. She stood on the belly of the fallen beast as it was regaining strength, which was evident by it clenching the dirt next to it. Palms out, where Tamor stored built up energy, she thrust them through its damaged skin. The puss was like acid and ate away at her own flesh, Tamor tried to ignore the alarming amount of pain it caused her. As quickly as she could she released the pent up energy in random directions throughout the Necromancer’s creature’s body. It seized, while Tamor leapt backwards away from her formidable enemy. By chance she looked down at her hands, up to her elbow the flesh had been eaten away. Her flesh and muscle were gone in some spots to the point where she saw the bones that connected her fingers to her hands. Blood spilled from the spot where the acid had stopped eating her skin down onto the ground and onto the rest of her filthy clothing. She already knew the healing process had begun but it wasn’t fast enough as the monster had already regained itself and was currently on two feet once more. She exclusively relied on the teleportation-like speed to avoid the abundant amount of attacks it aimed at her. Its single “claw” raked into her several times before Tamor had gotten the hang of her advance, god-like speed. Without her two hands it was beyond difficult to move herself from one place to another. The Necromancer must have created these being with some sort of intelligent as the beast instantly picked up on this fact and delivered a strike that pierced Tamor through the stomach with its one tooth claw onto a boulder. Struggle was all she could do but nothing freed her from where she was trapped, the jagged tooth had created a gaping hole from below her breasts down to her torso. Pinned in place Tamor had run out of plans, her magic was on overdrive trying to heal two severe injuries, one life-threatening. Tears welled in her eyes, was this her final goodbye? Her eyes caught a string that hung out of her pocket, the flare that Auden had given her! Hooking her slow to heal fingers around the string she brought it out of her tattered pants and followed the instructions Auden had given to her. The bright colors of the flare made Tamor smile, at least she had gotten to see something beautiful at the end. Through teary eyes Tamor saw something pestering the beast hence why it hadn’t finished her off yet. A sole bird was circling the creature’s head diving down every so often to pluck flesh from its face, Niolas! Tamor violently shook her head; he had died right in front of her, hadn’t he? Life flowed back into Tamor, she slapped both of her hands on each side of the tooth that held her in place. The remaining bits of energy flowed into her hands, she gritted her teeth as she applied pressure to the tooth. Crackling and sizzling the energy of The Nine zapped through the tooth and created cracked as it went. With one last push Tamor caused the entire thing to shatter in tiny pieces, which returned to her the ability to move. Something else, not her avian friend, had caused the destructive beast to pause its movements, but that was all Tamor needed. The flesh had almost fully returned on her arms, hands, and fingers but the gaping hole in the middle of her body had only started to heal. She sped forward, faster than any speed she had gone, front flipped and landed with her feet on the standing creatures belly. The momentum she had gathered was enough to give her strength to pass through the creature. At the very moment she passed through and was in the inside the belly of the beast Tamor released thousands of miniature energy bolts that immediately pulsed through it. Its body exploded into a dazzling light display taking some of its fellow demons straight to Infernum with it. Tamor landed on her side, hands pressed up against her stomach, the entrails of the stomach still leaked out of her. The back of the hole had already healed while it was taking much long for the hole in front. Hands flipped her over it was a man with shaggy, brown hair who held her in his arms.

“Niolas, I did it,” She slowly reached up with her shaky hands and stroked his cheek as tears cascaded down hers, had her former love come to take her off to Astrum to be with him?
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Last edited by Retro Bug; March 22nd, 2013 at 04:53 PM.
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  #80    
Old March 22nd, 2013, 09:10 PM
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Percival and Roland Grey- Xin Kou, Shingou



"I'm a bit preoccupied with the little devils!" Roland shouted back after his brother called for aid against the big monstrosity. "Hold the fiend off! The Gods know you've at least been trained to do that much, brother!" He teased at his brother, while two more hellbounds approached him.

Roland concentrated on the foes in front of him now, figuring his brother and the others should be able to handle the larger beast. He may publicly joke about Percival, but he knew he was capable enough to handle himself. Auden seemed to be competant too. The two hellhounds circled around the knight, Roland holding his shield in front of him as he followed their movements, never allowing himself to have their back to either of them. However, that proved to be difficult as their distances from each other began to widen, and they were soon on opposite sides of each other. At this point, the hellhound directly behind him pounce for attack, his deep growl and indication of his incoming pounce, which gave Roland a mere moment to turn and block the beast in time. He brought his shield up to his body, the impact of the pounce of the demon dog meeting the steel of his barricade, and the two bounced off each other, the hellhound momentarily backing off to shake off the hit it took to the head. However, the second hellhound didn't stop to give Roland an opportunity to recover, attacking him while his back was turned, and biting into the knight's leg. A grunt of pain escaped Roland's lips, as he looked below to see the giant beast attacks to his leg, and biting through the metal to the skin, and into that as well. He tried to shake it off, before realizing the stubborn monstrous dog was far too attached to be willing to be shaken off. He brought his sword up above his head, and brought it down right on top of the hellhound's head, impaling it straight through and coming out the other end. The other hound had apparently recovered from its headbutt with the shield and prepped for another attack, doing so immediately, but Roland made a quick spin move and brought the bloody sword in front to meet the dog's pounce, and cutting at the beast as it struck through the air. The body fell into the ground, now split in two, bleeding profusely from the open wound, but no longer attacking.

Roland breathed heavily, examining his leg to see the blood staining his colored armor. As he tried to put weight on it, he felt a stinging pain escape it. He knew it would probably have to be examined thoroughly, but he also knew the demons wouldn't give him that luxury. Seeming to take advantage of the situation, three more monstrous demons of all sorts surrounded the wounded knight, and began to encircle him. He brought up his sword and shield to protect himself, still retaining his mask of confidence, yet on the inside, he knew he was in a vulnerable position.

But then one collasped like a rock and behind it stood an equally wounded knight, breathing heavy, barely holding on to his mace and shield. "Looks like we need to work together for once if we want to live to see another day." Percival turned to another monster, bashing its repulsive half decayed face with his mace, bringing it down to the ground with sheer force. Putting all his strength and weight in the blow proved to be reckless as Percival fell to his knees, gasping for air. The broken ribs were weighing him down, weakening the knight with every movement.

The outstretched hand of Roland met Percival's arm, tugging at him with all his remaining might to bring him back to his feet. "I have no intention of seeing any of the House Grey fall before foes so foul. Come on." He panted heavily, and turned his attention back to the demons, just in time to see on right in front of him, about to bite into his face. Though he didn't have enough distance to slash it, he brought the hilt of the sword to the demon's face, repeatedly smashing into it both as a tool of pain and a means to bring enough distance to the two of them to initiate a strike of his sword. Punch after punch came from Roland as he continued to exhaust what little energy he had to create the distance, before leaping backwards and bringing his sword behind him, and striking forward, impaling the demon directly through. If the demon had a heart, he knew he would have struck directly on it.

A somewhat larger demon approach the two knights. Roland gazed upon it, the pain still coming from his fresh wound on his leg, but also his arm, which held the shield. He turned to Percival, giving him a slight nod of the head, hoping he gets understands his intention.

"We are going to make peace with it, right?" Percival said with sarcasm. Roland rolled his eyes, and the demon attacked, bringing his right arm, which seemed to be about twice as large as his left down upon the pair of knights. Roland jumped out of the way, narrowly avoiding the attack while feeling the sting of his injured leg. Nevertheless, he fought through the pain, and mustered all of his energy to cut at the arm of the demon which now made contact with the ground. A clean slice was made, slashing through its arm from right below the shoulder, the large arm of the monstrous demon falling onto the ground, which caused a roar of pain from the being. As the arm crashed to the ground, Percival charged forward throwing his shield into the head of the monster, splitting its head open. The creature fell back, twitching and Percival walked over to its head, removing his shield and crushing the head like a watermelon with a single stroke of his mace.

Roland, still panting heavily, examined what was left of the demon after Percival was through with it. He nodded at the remains, impressed with his brother. "You know, for a Welmian cur, you sure fight like a northerner. It's good to see you haven't tainted all of your Grey bloodline just yet."

"Thank you?" Percival said, not sure how to take the compliment. Or insult. "You almost seemed rusty today. I wonder how the head of the Lionguard would react."

Roland let a small chuckle escape his lips. "If I have my way, he shall never hear of it. Imagine what he'd say when he finds out I fought side by side with an elf!"

"Heh. That's true," Percival smiled. A pleasant exchange with Roland? That was a first. "Let's check on the others. I trust they are still alive after all those magical explosions."

Roland nodded, checking around to see the conclusion of Auden's fight with the enormous and monstrous abomination. Apparently, he had managed to defeat the thing, before taking off. "That Auden fellow seems to be quite capable. I do not think the monks chose foolishly with him." His thoughts suddenly went back to his mercy-killing of the other knight. "That other elf, Zara. She has fallen." He said, observing around the area to see what other damage was caused.

"As did Crystia," Percival said, staring at the ground. It was littered with bodies, but the waves had ceased. The villagers and guards taking out the stragglers and any other weak monster that the Knights had missed in their crusade. Percival walked back to the gate, remembering the figure from earlier that had agruably saved his life with the wave of magic released earlier. It was a short, wider woman with fiery hair. She was unconscious, having blacked out from the sudden release of magic. Percival knelt down beside her, gently shaking her.

"Milady, wake up. I have some questions for you."
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  #81    
Old March 23rd, 2013, 10:48 PM
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Alys “Victoria” Taimor – Bandit Fort, Eveamoor

Alys split off from the others, heading around the corner of the fort to inspect the felled bandit that had been the first of her targets. With a squawk, Castiel landed back on her shoulder, digging his class into the leather strap on her shoulder while he quickly nursed a small injury. She slipped another piece of rabbit meat from the pouch hanging off of her belt, feeding it to the Falcon.

She rounded the corner, stepping into the rapidly cooling pool of blood around the bandit. With one foot on the bandits shoulder and the other keeping her stable on the ground, she wrenched upwards, dislodging the arrow from the man's neck and wiping the blood and cartilage on his clothing. Rifling through the scouts quiver, she took stock of the arrows before placing them in her own quiver, soon realising that the bandit scout had a similar spread of arrows to her own.

"No ordinary bandit could afford arrows like these," Alys spoke to Castiel, "could that Highman have...?" she trailed off, remembering the adorably sweet Highman that had supplied her with the quiver now slung across her back.

Returning to the group, she gathered in the centre with the others, Varian tossing her a Direwolf Tooth arrow at her before directing them to an open door way that seemed to descend into hell. Strapping her bow to her back, Alys felt Castiel return as his claws dug into her shoulder plate, checking the falcon was sturdy before whipping out the hunting knife strapped to her leg. Crouching, she walked forward, following closely behind Varian.

"Varian," Alys hissed under her breath, "the bandit back there, he had a pretty intensive quiver back there. Not something most bandits would have..."

Varian seemed to shrug Alys’ information off as they continued deeper into the bandit fort. Up ahead, she could hear voices as light penetrated the darkness until it opened up into a large room filled with possibly many bandits; all now glaring menacingly from behind them.

Turning around, Alys soon discovered the portcullis that struck down; cutting of their only way of escape. Shifting her hunting blade into her opposing hand, she drew another, similar in style, from her bag, getting ready for the fight ahead. Not wanting to be in the brawl, Castiel flew up into the rafters to gaze down upon the impending battle like a feathery spectator.
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  #82    
Old March 26th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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Dulinhel Elenren - Somewhere outside of Xin Kou, Shingou

Dulinhel crouched in the bushes, perfectly still, almost a statue save for the slow breaths that moved her lips, and the watchful eyes that scanned the surrounding forest. Risking movement, she slowly reached her hand up, and pulled her hood down slightly further to cast her face further into shadow, before returning her arm to its original position. The cloak kept her perfectly hidden, the camouflage dyes in the soft material blending in with the forest around her. Her eyes caught a rustle in some bushes a few dozen meters away, then let her breath go as a the small form rabbit hopped out of the bushes. She thought back to the past few days, and what hell they had been. Ever since coming to this blasted region. The heat, the annoyingly thick jungle, the rough terrain, not to mention the undead that had been chasing her for the past few hours.

Wolves howled and snarled in the distance. "Nadorhuanrim!" she cursed under her breath. If they had been normal wolves, it would have been simple. A single arrow for each of them would have taken them down. Unfortunately, hellhounds were a bit harder to kill. The necromancer around here was making things much more difficult, and even though she had already outrun the other undead, the hounds were both more persistant, and much faster. Hellhounds were not really much of hounds, closer in appearance to wolves, although slightly larger. In addition, they had softly glowing red eyes, and much darker fur, along with the disgusting blood and guts of normal undead. Another howl sounded out, much closer this time. She cursed herself for not moving earlier. She was slowly being worn down, her endurance being pushed to the limit. What had been a short break at first turned into an hour of hiding in the bushes. Now it was too late to move, the hounds would be on her too fast.

Dulinhel carefully and silently pulled three arrows from her quiver, placing two of them point first into the dirt, and nocking the third one, gently pulling back on the string, just enough to keep some pressure on the string. After a few more minutes, a dark shaggy shape crept carefully into the clearing which the elf had chosen as a place to stake out, nose to the ground sniffing the area. Unfortunately, despite being dead, the hounds kept their amazing sense of smell. Before taking any more actions, Dulinhel made a mental check. Five arrows in the quiver, two in front of her, one pre-nocked. Two hunting knives in their sheaths. Another hellhound entered the clearing, then another, and then another. Four hounds total. Last she had escaped from the pack, there was six. The other two were probably hanging back, or circling around. Again she wished that death had increased their stupidity. Making slight, slow motions, she lifted the bow and pulled the string back. The string dug into her leather glove as she took aim, the largest of the wolves. She then reached mentally inside herself for the magic power she possessed. She hated using magic, it drained her energy quickly, and she was never very powerful. But in this case it seemed vital for survival.

It was quick. Release. An orange glow flying through the air. An arrow stuck into the largest hound's eye socket, then exploded with fire, engulfing the creature as it writhed, covered entirely with flame, before finally becoming still. Two more arrows followed, taking out two more of the wolves similarly, and the air immediately stunk of both burnt and rotten flesh. The last hellhound snarled while it charged the elf that it now saw crouched in the bushes, its mind focused only on killing the living thing that dared travel into the territory of its master. The hound's loyalty was rewarded with an arrow smacking solidly into its shoulder, causing him to stumble and crash to the ground. It stared at its adversary, growling at it as it struggle to rise once again. Then an arrow slammed into its eye socket, and it collapsed once more, now fully dead.

Dulinhel smiled to herself. Good shooting, all of it. She wasn't going to be able to use magic for quite some time, and not until she was properly rested. But to wipe out most of the pack right there, it was worth it. She drew another arrow out of her quiver, now only three remaining, and scanned the clearing with her eyes, carefully watching for the remaining two wolves. Maybe they left the group, maybe they died some how, maybe maybe maybe. The other two could be absolutely anywhere. There was a quiet rustle in the bushes to her right, then another, then an enormous hellhound exploded from the bushes, jaws open, razor sharp claws extended. In the blink of an eye, the monster clamped its jaws around the elf's slim arm, fangs digging deep through her leather bracer into soft flesh. At the same time, its claws dug into her abdomen, raking them across leaving angry red gashed through the leather and skin beneath. Having dropped her bow, she pulled her hunting knife out with her left hand and desperately drove the knife into the beast's face repeatedly, hoping to hit something vital. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the glow in the red eyes faded and the jaws loosened. Rolling out from the heavy body, she gingerly stood, holding her right arm to her chest, not wanting to look at the wound. She slowly wobbled her way into the clearing, stumbling on a small rock and falling to her knees. She looked into the dense vegetation around the clearing, and seeing nothing, turned her attention to her wounds.

Propping herself against a large rock on one side of the clearing, she unbuckled her right bracer, gingerly pulling it off and examining the wound underneath. Small but deep puncture wounds made two semicircles on the top and bottom sides of her arm, blood seeping out of all of them, covering her arm in red. With a grimace, she dug around in her bag, pulling out some form of hard liqueur she had bartered for some towns back. It was disgusting to drink, but it would do as a disinfectant for now. Taking the bottle, she gently tipped it so that a small stream came out and landed directly into the wounds, stinging the raw flesh. Wincing, she turned her arm over and continued to pour the alcohol into the wounds. As soon as she was satisfied, the took some bandages out of her pack and wrapped the arm tightly, then put the bracer back over the bandage to help hold it place. Then pulling off her cloak, then her leather jerkin, she started to examine her chest wound. Gently pulling up her shirt, the stared at the four angry red streaks that angled their way across her body. Dreading what she was about to do once more, she splashed more alcohol into her wounds, before wrapping them up once again and pulling her light armor on. Feeling slightly better now, and slightly less woozy, she risked standing up now. Taking another bottle from her pack, she stared at a half empty bottle of enchanted wine. The stuff was extremely addicting, but it deadened pain and gave strength, and would hopefully last her until she got to some sort of safety. She took the cork off, then took a very small sip, the liquid burning her throat as she swallowed, warmth and strength returning to her limbs, the pain slowly fading away. Replacing the cork, she placed the small bottle back into her pack, then put her cloak back on top of that. Re-energized, she set off in the direction of Xin Kou, her hopeful destination.

A Few Hours Later

Slowly the pain was returning, very slowly. Dulinhel had been aware of it for a while, but she refused to stop, even though her bandaged needed changing and she was becoming tired once again. She had seen the village she was trying to reach when she had come over the rise in the hill a few miles back, and she had seen black smoke rising over the trees. She had heard that the village was having undead problems, but it almost looked like even more destruction than even the undead could do. Almost of course. As she cautiously stepped through the trees, the vegetation became more and more clear, until it opened up into more of a valley, with a half destroyed looking town at the bottom. Dark smoke rose from sections of the town, and from a field that the elf was approaching charred and destroyed corpses littered the ground, burnt ground here and there. Tired looking people walked around the field alone or in small groups. Stopping to examine a corpse in front of her, she saw a starved body, hollow eyes, decaying burnt flesh. The necromancer surely had expended a lot of energy to raise this many undead creatures.

Staring out across the battlefield, she saw the vast number of undead forces. She silently grieved for all of the tortured souls captured by the damned necromancer, and vowed to herself to kill the man that would torture so many people in such a way. Turning her attention away from the undead, she slowly picked her way through the battlefield, winding her way around various grotesque figures littering the ground, trying her best not to breathe in the smell of charred decaying flesh. She stared out at the various people around the town. She tended to avoid groups, it made her uncomfortable, but for now it was unavoidable. Staring at the various people, she focused on to knights crouched next to a woman lying on the ground. Walking slowly up to the three, she saw the the woman was unconscious, and one of the men was gently shaking her, trying to wake her up. Judging by the gentle rise and fall of her chest, she obviously wasn't dead. Probably just fatigue, judging by her magical staff that lay near her it was probably from overuse of energy.

Consciously making her footsteps audible to not startle the two knights, as she often did with her near silent movement, she stood next to one of them, and cautiously said, "I...I can help her. Here, give me a second." She pulled her small pack out from under her cloak and dug around, wincing slightly as her injured arm brushed against something hard in the pack. She then pulled out the enchanted wine once again, and undoing the stopped, carefully tipped it and let a small stream enter the woman's mouth, then gently rubbed her throat to encourage her unconscious body to swallow. Standing, the small elf, replaced the bottle back into her pack. "That should help her recover more quickly. My name is Dulinhel Elenren by the way." She looked back at the two tall humans, a bit uncomfortable speaking with the strangers.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Cassandra "Cass" Alexandra and Joseph "Honest" Sherman - Bandit Fort, Eveamoor

There were no windows. There were no torches. Nobody bothered to stand guard inside the room because, well, they were completely underground and there was only one exit. Somewhere, there was a slow, perpetual drip-drip-dripping noise that would drive any man insane. (Or, he thinks so. Was he going insane?) If he remembered correctly, the stone walls were dank and mouldy, the floor covered in filth. At least he'd gotten acclimatised to the foul smell, which was a blessing. These were old cells, but they had been built to last. It was cold: the subtle, aching kind of cold that wound itself inside your very bones before you'd really noticed, and ate away at you bit by bit. He couldn't quite feel his arms.

Honest had been locked up before. He'd unwisely stolen a horse from a noble--make that a lady--and was sentenced to execution. Luckily there had been a curious child (a boy--no, a spirited girl), a lazy (or was he corrupt?) guard, and some extreme stealthiness on his part to help his escape.

This time... well. It was a funny thing, really.

He had just finished his last job in the Silver Plains (or was it Bayren?) and had been heading to Eveamoore, possibly to look for a lost love or for more job opportunities. Maybe he had an estranged parent there somewhere too. Almost the moment he'd stepped foot on Eveamoorese soil he'd been captured by a group of professional bandits. They had probably been attracted by the weapon he'd been carrying, proceeding to confiscate the glaive, bag of coins he'd just earned, and the throwing knives they found. That certainly put a damper on things.

He hadn't put up a fight. Hadn't felt like it. And an untrained farmer-turned-adventurer like him obviously couldn't stand a chance anyway. (He thought he remembered working on a farm once, but he wasn't sure. Perhaps he'd been part of a troupe of performers and had stopped by a poor farming village...)

He could hear the beginnings of a commotion elsewhere. Honest still had a few of his throwing knives on him, but some bandit had taken a liking to his glaive and decided to try it out. An amateur swinging that weapon in a melee was probably more likely to disembowel an ally than an enemy. Not that he knew anything about fighting, being a poor merchant who was down on his luck. That glaive had been passed down generation to generation, father to son. He would get it back if it was the last thing he did. Somehow.

A small rustling sound nearby reminded him that there was a girl in the next cell over, as well. Not that they'd spoken, but he'd gotten a glimpse of her when he'd been brought in. There was nothing to do--not even any furniture to make use of--except to listen to the now unmistakeable sounds of battle overhead. Or, he assumed it was the sound of battle. How would a simple messenger like him know what a real battle sounded like? The sounds of steel clashing together filled the room. The screams of dying men echoed throughout the halls. The gushing sound of blood splattering everywhere was very distinct. No doubt whatever battle was occurring was great. Or perhaps it was more of a slaughter?

The rusted iron door that acted as the single gate separating captivity to freedom broke down from its hinges, crashing down to the ground with the body of bandit sprawled on top of it. Two knives were plunged deep into his face and blood squirted all over the delicate features of a red haired woman. She removed the knives ever so violently, before rising from the ground with a sigh. She left the room, only to return mere moments later with a torch to illuminate the room. "Oh~ Looks I finally found the dungeon. Let's see what we got in there this time."

The red haired woman walked by the cells on the far side of the room first, quickly passing by them quietly expressing her observations in a hushed voice. Finally she came to the cell of Honest, using the torch to illuminate his features, his brown hair and eyes and lean figure. "You are kind of cute, but I am looking for a girl. So bye," the woman covered in blood said before slowly turning to the next cell.

Honest blinked. His chances of surviving if left alone in his little prison were not good. And, well, there were only two reasons he could think of for searching for a girl captured by bandits. Either this was a rescue mission, or an assassination. Either way, they would have to get behind the bars. And if they killed him, well. Better a fast death than a slow one.

"Please," he croaked out. "Either let me out or kill me now. The girl's in the next cell, but if you can get her out, then how much trouble would it be to get me out, too?" He leaned up right against the bars, reaching out a little in desperation. "I'm probably going to die either way, but at least I'll have a chance."

There was fear in his voice. He didn't want to die before he managed to open his very own inn. He'd wanted to do so ever since he was a little boy. Or... wait. No. Had he? Was he afraid? Hadn't he wanted to wed a sweet girl he'd known since childhood? He felt like his dreams were slipping out of his grasp, intangible as air.

"I..." he blinked a few more times, confusion written all over his face. He wanted to live because... so that he would... in order to...

The woman continued to ignore him, clearly not interested in his needs or desires. She observed the bars and looked at the girl in the cell, who hid from view. She was scared, probably more so than her fellow prisoner. "The bars are rusted, but solid. Breaking this down won't work," she said in frustration. She knelt down and observed the padlock that kept the cell on lockdown. Then pulling a pouch from her belt, she shuffled through the cells, all dripping with blood; prizes claimed from the bandits she had cut through previously. Trying one after another, she reached the right one, indicated by the loud click that filled the quiet dark room. The bloody woman barged through the door, approaching the girl who cowered in the corner.

"Stay back," the girl pleaded as she hugged the wall. She feared for her life and the torchlight showed a face scarred by tears.

"Calm the hell down," the woman said, slowing her approach, before crouching down only mere steps away.

"N-no. S-stay back. I-I-I," she choked on her words. Tears ran down her face like a fountain. The other woman, the apparent rescuer rolled her eyes as she faced the girl. A powerful slap could be hard as flesh pounded on flesh. The girl's tears continued, but her face was not one of fear, but shock.

"I ain't here to kill you. If I wanted to do that, I'd kill you instead of listening to you choking on your tears," she sighed. "Your father hired me and some other mercenaries to bust you out. You can call me Cass," she said sounding almost reassuring, something unexpected from her character. "Now, let's get out of here." The girl nodded, trying to dry her tears as "Cass" helped her up. The girl walked gingerly, slowing the escape from the jail cell. They eventually left and made their way to the broken down door.

Wait, mercenary? That brought him back to reality. For some reason, he hadn't expected that. He'd almost considered telling her of his beloved but estranged best friend for a moment there, but... well. Most mercenaries were easy. He would know: he once hired a group of them to protect his trade wagon.

"I have money!" he called out, still sounding pathetically weak. He should've learned to pick locks. "Well... I know where they took my money. Just get me out of this cell and it is all yours, plus anything else you find. And--and I'll owe you a life debt," he added in case she wasn't entirely sold. "I don't know what I could do for you, but I would try to serve you to my utmost."

If he actually got out, his chances of survival alone still wasn't exactly guaranteed. He could try sneaking out, but he was bound to run into bandits. He had four throwing knives on his person, plus there were two knives in the face of the bandit before him. While he wasn't as proficient in the use of ordinary knives, they would do in a pinch.

Cass whispered something to the girl, giving her a knife to defend herself as the girl perched herself by the door. She gasped when she peered into the hallway, holding in her stomach's reaction to the sights beyond the dark room. Cass approached the cell of Honest, scrutinizing the desperate man. "You don't look like you got a lot of money. Not enough for me at least," Cass said in a haughty voice. "Buuuuut," She said, elongating the word. "I think we can work out a deal. You will be my servant for the rest of your life. Or until I get bored of you at least. You will do everything I say without question. In return, I will keep you alive," Cas said, as she unlocked the cell door, letting Honest free. She then drew her sword and placed it mere inches away from his throat. "But if you try to bullsh*t me for even a second, I will cut you down where you stand and feed your corpse to dogs. Deal?"

Honest opened his mouth, looked at the sword that was unnervingly near his jugular vein (he was scared, he was supposed to be scared), and then closed it again so he could actually think before talking. This was a dangerous woman and it probably didn't do to anger her when he was in such a vulnerable position.

Cautiously, trying to move as little as possible so he didn't aggravate her, Honest spoke. "Well... I swear I won't mess up the big things, but if you sweat all the small stuff too, I can't make much of a promise," he said, quite truthfully. Or he thinks so. He's not sure whether he's planning to run off when an opportunity presents itself or actually stick around. Selling his skills was what he did, after all. If he failed to complete a simple transaction like this one, how could he hope to reel in jobs? A life for a life.

"That's good enough for me~," she said with a wink, returning her sword to the sheath on her back. "Just serve me loyally and you won't have to worry about losing your head."

The sounds of pounding down the stairs reached their ears, distinct even above the sounds of struggle. A voice yelled something incoherent, presumably as its owner caught sight of the carnage outside the door. It was reflex, more than anything else, that sent one of his knives flying straight into the left eye of the bandit who was charging into the room. The bandit screamed and fell to his knees as he clutched at his wound. Honest narrowed his eyes in recognition. That one had been pals with the idiot who'd taken his glaive. It was too late to ask him about it, though. The poison would be spreading through him and paralysing his muscles any second. It was then that he remembered the woman who had sort of saved his life.

"Right," he said sheepishly, turning to her, "I should mention I'm a merchant--I mean mercenary. Sorry. I'm a mercenary too. That's probably big stuff."

Cass could only laugh, while the girl in the corner with a knife cowered in fear. Cass initially want to harass the girl for the lack of warning, but this piece of work took care of the bandit problem easily. "Haha. You are quite the interesting little one," she said patting him on the shoulder. "What do I call you?"

He paused for a fraction of a second before answering. "I am Joseph Sherman," he replied. It was about as true as anything was, after all. "People call me 'Honest'," which was true, "a nickname I received during my couple of years as a soldier." This... not so much. "And you're... Cass?" he asked, recalling what the woman had told the frightened girl.

"That's an awfully plain name," Cass said, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah, you can call me Cass. Well 'Honest', get your knife and let's meet up with the rest of my group. Then we will get your gold, get out of this dump and return her to father. Hope you don't mind getting your hands dirty though. These bandits aren't exactly happy I killed about half their friends."

Honest grinned, feeling much lighter now that he wasn't locked in the cell anymore and Cass wasn't threatening him. (He was relieved he wouldn't die, of course he was. People always wanted to live. Life was... good. Yes.) The bandit was still gurgling a little as Honest walked over to him and planted a boot on his face so he could pull out the knife embedded in his eye socket. It came out with a wet, sucking noise. He'd have to reapply the poison once this was over. Until then, this knife was just an ordinary throwing knife.

Cass led the way out the door, going down the opposite way of...carnage. The dark hallway, illuminated by a few torches (and one burning body, slowly roasting filling the dungeon with a stench) was covered in blood, evidence of slaughter. Bodies were decapitated, impaled (planted on the wall), and others were simply hacked to pieces. The remains of this battle, littered the floor, literally the floor soaked in blood and splatters of the red ooze painting the walls. The rescued girl stayed close to Cass, clearly scared at the display, even if it was obvious that Cass herself was responsible.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Victoria “Alys Taimor and Avangeline “Ava” Highclaw – Bandit Fort, Eveamoor


Theme: “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Looking to her left, Alys spied the sleek, elven figure of Ava hunched over with knees bent and dual broadswords unsheathed in front of her. To her right, Nem growled viciously, baring his teeth at the oncoming hoard of bandits. His growling turned into a deep bark, sounding to Alys as if the direwolf was trying to put together the words “cometh at me, brother,” in anticipation of the upcoming fight. It only took a glance for Ava to lock eyes with Alys for them to both understand their silent agreement.

Elegantly bounding forward, Ava made a swipe at the oncoming bandit, gracefully turning on her front foot before delivering a final slash in to the man’s chest. Piercing the bandit’s chest, she used his body akin to a human shield, running towards her next opponent who could do nothing but stand and watch the limb body fly through the air towards his; his dual daggers not even long enough to pierce the body. As soon as she was within a meter of the man, Ava lifted the shield’s body up as a swift Alys appeared power sliding from between her legs. Recovering, Alys thrust her first hunting knife between the man’s leather, striking true above his groin while her second hand followed through with a sharp slash to the man’s Achilles.

Dropping the body to the ground, Ava smiled at Alys, nodding in confirmation at their current standing of being tied with one another in body counts. From Ava’s left, a plated bandit struck down with his hammer; Ava barely dodging out of the way as his hammer cracked the stone floor beneath her feet. Meanwhile, from Alys’ right, another dagger wielding bandit swiped furiously at her; aiming to slash her neck open.

Ducking down, Alys soon rose up between the man’s outstretched arms, firstly grabbing his left and bending it backwards until she heard a quiet crack before the man reeled back in pain. Choosing the open moment, she surged forward, delivering a double blow of hunting knives straight through the man’s chest and piercing his heart. For her left, a man roared as he drove forward, mace raised above his head before bringing it down in a wide arc at Alys. Narrowly dodging it, she sprinted towards him, angling for the wall instead as soon as she could, running along it for a couple of steps before launching off it and at the bandit and wrapping her arm around his neck. The two of them fell to the floor, hitting the stone floor hard as the bandit’s mace skittered away while he desperately tried to claw at her arm through his thick gloves. With her free hand, Alys launched a series of volleys into the side of the man’s abdomen; ripping his kidneys to shreds as he howled in pain. Two pairs of hands grabbed her by the feet and waist, dragging her backwards as she got the brief glance of Ava and Nem taking down a fifth opponent.

Cursing, Alys flailed, kicking as much as possible, but to no avail. Above her head, a figure launched over her body and within seconds, the grip on her had loosened significantly. Recovering to her feet, Ava and New stood over the massacred bodies of two large bandits.

“Try to keep up, Alys,” Ava winked as she returned to the fray.

Following her into the fray, Alys watched Ava slash at another bandit, utilising the moment that Ava hunched over to roll across her back and launching herself at a bandit rushing forward. Pulling her hunting blades from between the bandits, Alys felt a shard pain as a shallow wound ripped through the leather armour on her back. Swinging around, she slashed wildly, blinded by pain and angry before sleek fingers gripped her shoulders.

“Alys, stop!” Her vision cleared and Ava stood in front of her. She could feel the blood seeping through the leather, but Ava confirmed to her that it was only a shallow wound. However it still did not stop the sharp, throbbing pain that now ran between her shoulder blades.

The two then stood back to back, Nem growling at Ava’s side while Castiel flew down from the rafters, settling on Aly’s shoulder. Bandits surrounded them in three hundred and sixty degrees, slowly moving in on the two girls and their pets. Neither were willing to give up their ground, crouching their legs and preparing for the onslaught.

The bandits ran forward and soon, Alys and Ava found themselves in a fight for their lives.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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Auden Radke,
Battlefield of Xin Kou.

Theme

His surroundings seemingly disappeared from his path as Auden rushed towards where he saw the flare; every ounce of magic he could summon was being released. Since seeing the flare, he had made a straight line in its direction, destroying anything in his way such as an old barn and group of undead. It rained blood as his magic tore them to pieces, not slowing for a second. Air continued to burst out from behind him as he continued to pick up speed, every now and then a patch of earth would explode out and send him flying forward, along with anything that was with him. The scenery was a blur as his speed increased, his magic bursting a wall to pieces as he charged forward. As he drew nearer to where he believed the flare had come from he could see a hawk, presumably Tamors, diving down at a beast of an undead; and a body, Tamor’s, against a rock, pinned down by the beasts arm.

Anger welled up inside Auden as he got closer, clearly seeing that it was indeed Tamor’s body on the rock. She was pinned down not by its hand, but by a tooth-like claw that protruded out the end, piercing through her stomach and into the boulder that she was pinned against. No one touches my toys, NO ONE! With all the power he could muster he slammed his sword deep into the ground, releasing most of his remaining magic in the one burst. A jagged line of earth revealed his magic’s path, speeding towards the beast that thought playing with others toys without asking was acceptable. Concentrating on the control his magic he watched the scene, and to his surprise saw Tamor move, her hands clasping on each side of the tooth-claw before it shattered to pieces. Mere moments after she had shattered the claw, Auden’s magic hit, erupting from the ground like razor wire, wrapping around the beasts arms and legs, halting its movement and slowly cutting through its flesh. This will at least cut its arms and legs- before he had a chance to finish his thought Tamor shot from the rock like a bullet, a near blur of blood before going feet first into the beasts belly. Auden felt a large burst of magic, divine magic, from inside the beasts stomach, before its body exploded, revealing a glowing Tamor who dropped to the ground.

Ignoring the pain that shot up his left arm, Auden pulled his sword out of the ground and ran over to Tamor’s barely moving body. Working with the quick precision of a person who had dealt with one to many half dead bodies, he rolled her from her side to her back, revealing a large hole in her stomach and entrails on the ground. Damn it Tamor. he thought as he carefully replaced her guts.

“Niolas, I did it,” Tamor slowly reached up with shaky hands and stroked Auden’s cheek as tears cascaded down her.

“You did well Tamor,” Auden replied as he took her hands in his and softly placed them over her breasts. Gently, he laid her on the ground before dropping his robe to the ground and taking off his shirt. Pushing his sword in just under the shirts neck he pushed the shirt downwards while pulling, tearing the front right half off. Using it as a bandage he carefully wrapped it around Tamor’s stomach, in an effort to stop some bleeding and stop her entrails falling out again.

While putting his shirt and robe back on he noticed Tamors ragged robe nearby. After grabbing Tamors robe and wrapping it around her to keep her warm, he picked her up before surveying the battlefield. The remaining undead were retreating from view, back to the Necromancer’s lair. What to do now..? He thought before a weight was added to his left shoulder, accompanied by a piercing feeling. Turning his head he saw Niolas, Tamor’s hawk, on his shoulder, clearly worried about its owner. The two exchanged glares, causing the bird to release its grip on Auden’s shoulder slightly. Returning to his survey Auden noticed the two knight brothers standing on the hill around the fat lady, as well as another living person who was hesitantly approaching the two brothers. Looking down at Tamor who was mumbling, he decided to go and join the small group.

His blood flow had stopped since he had picked up Tamor, with the pain in his body slowly receding. Tamor continued to cough up blood every now and then as they approached the group, the unknown person was kneeling besides the fat lady, trying to make her drink something. He approached from the opposite side, in clear view of the two brothers, who both nodded when they saw him carrying Tamor. Joining them he stood and looked over the fat lady before taking interest in the new comer, who was a female that had a slight magical aura.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 03:25 AM
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Joseph "Honest" Sherman - Bandit Fort, Eveamoor

They'd ascended some stairs and left the massacre behind by now. The cold, stone walls were dimly lit by narrow windows. Several halls and passages branched out from the path they were on, through which he could hear the echoing sounds of clashing steel and panicked shouts. Honest walked behind Cass, since he wasn't sure where, exactly, they were heading. She'd mentioned something about meeting up with her group and he had to assume that that meant more mercenaries. He'd worked with other mercenaries before, of course. He wasn't thrilled about it, but working in groups was necessary in their line of work. They never really seemed to take much of a shine to him, either, and usually ended up alienating him after a few days. He'd made a close friend once, though. A man called Ryder, who had beamed all the time and was great with a dagger (and hadn't had his stomach sliced open on the battlefield at twelve years old, cursing the world with his very last breath no). He wondered sometimes if he would ever cross paths again with Ryder. He could drink with him and laugh and maybe it wouldn't even be a pantomime.

The girl who had glued herself to Cass's side whimpered a little, catching his attention. "Say, who is she anyway?" he asked, quietly. "Noble's daughter? Has to be really rich if he could pay off a group of you to take on these bandits."

As though he'd summoned them by calling their name, a group of bandits rounded the corner at a run, their weapons at the ready. They shouted when they caught sight of the trio, moving towards them in a smooth, well-practiced formation. Honest searched for the telltale gleam of his glaive, but alas it was not to be. There was an itch under his skin, probably because he'd never been separated from his weapon for so long before.

"Dammit," he muttered. "I've only got the four knives on me." Well, there was one reason it was good to work in groups, at least. From what he made out from the carnage downstairs, Cass was more than good enough to take out all of these bandits. The only problem she might have had was keeping the girl alive. But he wasn't a (possibly temporary?) servant for nothing.

"I'll take care of the girl, so you can go for it," he said aloud. And then added, "I mean, if you want," in case his new mistress or whatever thought he was ordering her about. He knew it would've possibly gotten him killed if he'd talked that way to a superior officer back when he was a soldier. His father, a commanding officer, would have probably done it himself for the disrespect and disgrace it would have brought to him. He would have to figure out the protocols of this whole life-debt thing later on. Possibly when there weren't so many hostile enemies around.

Honest pulled the shaking girl away from Cass and a little bit behind him. The girl made a very obvious easy target. When the first couple of bandits rushed in for the attack, one of them got a knife in the neck for their trouble, the other knife grazing the second bandit's arm and sinking into somebody else's thigh. The first one was dead, and it would only take a minute or so for the other two to become completely paralysed before death would claim them. Honest ducked down and kicked the gut of a bandit who was charging him from behind, retrieving his knife from the first bandit in the same movement. Spinning around, he slashed at another bandit's face with the knife and then moved so he could block the sword that swung at him from the side. The swordsman smiled at the slight hiss of pain Honest let out at the shock to his wrist, not noticing the knife that flashed in Honest's other hand until it was too late. His knives were made for throwing, not for slicing, but given the circumstances he would have to try and make do.

A dual cutlass wielding bandit was closing in on the girl, and he had to turn and let his shoulder be sliced open so that he could get within the man's guard and slash at his windpipe. He had to get the girl against a wall, because he wasn't sure he could handle the three-sixty degree onslaught with only his knives. The girl being curled into a little quivering ball on the floor with her hands clasped over her head didn't really help matters either, he had to admit. At least she wasn't hanging onto his leg or something, because that would have been as good as a death sentence. As if being surrounded by a group of professionals while you had a wounded shoulder and you were without your primary weapon on hand and you were defending the most useless lump of a girl in the entire world wasn't close enough. He couldn't say for certain, but he didn't think he'd had anything to eat for over a day, either, and not much to drink.

He smiled, though, because he had one thing going for him. He had Cass on his side. And he was pretty sure she was a demon in disguise.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 05:19 PM
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Cassandra "Cass" Alexandera- Bandit Fort, Eveamoor



Cass had no idea where she was going. Navigating old, dark forts was never easy. So when she was forced to navigate such structures, Cass usually resorted to waiting for where the enemy came from. Places not covered in carnage were roads not taken. Cass figured that the fort was probably built in some sort of circle, as the hallways would eventually converge at some point. Varian would likely lead the others through that part of the fort, figuring Cass would simply chop down everyone. Maybe if he was lucky, Cass would have some information. Little would he expect that Cass actually completed the job. This would be the first time in a while that Cass completed a rescue mission without almost killing the target. Varian usually handled those jobs.

"Say, who is she anyway?" Honest asked, quietly. At least the boy was smart enough to not alert everyone. Shame Cass rather liked screwing stealth in favor of a blind charge. "Noble's daughter? Has to be really rich if he could pay off a group of you to take on these bandits."

"Yeah, her father seemed fairly loaded. No idea where he got the money. Didn't seem like much, ya know?"

On cue, a group of bandits rounded the corner at a run, their weapons at the ready shouting when they saw the out of place group, moving towards them in a smooth, well-practiced formation. All the more evidence that these bandits were not bandits, but soldiers. Cass sighed, growing tired of these games. She wanted food, drink, gold and sex. Not fighting. She already had a kill count in double digits. That was enough for today. Unless she wanted to aim for a new record. What was her record again? 69? Probably.

"Dammit," Honest muttered. "I've only got the four knives on me." He was seeming to complain. Cass didn't mind. More fun for her.

"I'll take care of the girl, so you can go for it," he said aloud. And then added, "I mean, if you want." It wasn't a bad idea, really. Joseph, here, wasn't as dumb as Cass originally thought. He had a good grasp of the situation. Any time in the past that Cass had to fight with an escort in the past, usually involved a patron expecting to encounter a fight at one point. They were often older gentlemen who saw the horrors of the battlefield. They knew how to follow orders, and occasionally knew how to use a blade. The girl here was young, innocent and scared. She valued her life, sure, but fear had a way of freezing you in place. Cass would know. There was a moment when she was scared too. But that was a long time ago.

Honest pulled the girl from Cass' side and shoved her into a wall, preventing her from being completed surrounded. Honest, in a quick but risky movements, was able to take out a couple guards, stabbing one in the neck with another one of those poison knives and slash open another's throat, and wound a few more. He endured a few wounds himself, trying to defend the girl while creating some space. Still, the "bandits" had them surrounded and Honest was now wounded, his shoulder bleeding profusely. Cass was effectively all by her lonesome. And that's how she liked it.

The swordsmen that Honest managed to barely avoid earlier (having to sidestep to protect the girl), lunged for another attack, but Cass stepped in, drawing her second knife (the other being held tightly by the girl who cowered in fear), slicing his sword arm off. With a cry of pain, Cass put the man out of his misery with a knee to the gut, proceeding by a slice of the throat. A small pool of collected where his body fell like a sack of potatoes. The remainder of the group of bandits watched the execution of the swordsman with mouths gaping wide open. Not only did a small woman single handily chop a man down, but she did so without any struggle.

Two of the soldiers seemed weary, the daggers from Honest slowly having an effect. Must of been laced with poison. Cass sighed. "Well, you two won't be much a fight." With a quick draw of her claymore, the two heads of the poisoned soldiers were cleanly lobbed off, hitting the ground with a loud pop. They rolled over to their friends frozen with expressions of anguish and fear. The remaining soldiers did not hesitate to step in, their training conquering their fear. Cass ducked under the first slash, cutting off the leg of the solider. He tumbled down on the ground and Cass drove her claymore through the man's stomach, finding the weak patch of his armor. Her sword, however, got stuck in the entrails of the solider. Another solider sought to seize the opportunity, swinging his flail wildly. Cass sidestepped around the solider, driving her backup knife into the man's eye, grasping his flail as fell over. She then swung the flail with bloodlust and intensity, crushing another's man sculpted face, leaving the a bloody mess on the cold ground. She threw the flail away, returning her weapon of choice. Another small wave came at her with Cass greeting them with open arms. She parried a few strikes, before having to jump back to avoid a large sweeping motion of the soldiers. She then charged forward, stabbing the center guard straight through his stomach, twisting it to remove it easily. The others saw the ease of the man's murder, the fear building in their hearts. The one chopped down with an axe, in which Cass nimbly dodged, but the other's slash of his sword cut Cass on the arm.

"Ow," Cass said. Her face was a mix of frustration and admiration. They actually hit her. Cass jumped forward and with two quick slashes, both of the soldiers fell to the ground, blood spewing from their respective wounds. "Well, that's that." Cass turned to the girl and Honest, helping them up (it took a few slaps on the girl's part, but Cass always practiced tough love). Cass decided to ignore that her newly acquired slave was basically bleeding to death. "Better clean yourself up," she ordered. She would have to commend Honest's performance in the fight, despite the fact his less than advantageous weapon. Deeper thought reminded her of the fact that Honest probably hasn't eaten or drank anything in days. "By the way, use this alcohol to clean the wound. I hate to see ale go to waste, but I can't have my servant die on me yet."

After Honest picked himself up, Cass walked down the halls coming to oddly placed on the wall. Curious as ever and not fearing for whatever trap was before her, Cass pulled the lever, opening a door around the corner. Beyond the door was her old friend: Varian.

"Oh, hai!" she called out. "Whatcha doin'?"
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Percival and Roland Grey (with Tamor Bellfiend)- Xin Kou, Shingou



"You're wasting your time and ours," Roland state to Percival who tried to wake the plump woman who had released the powerful magical wave earlier.

"I...I can help her. Here, give me a second." It was a fair elven woman, dressed in a green and grey tunic. It hid her build well, but Percival could tell she had an atheltic frame despite being a fair bit shorter than he or his brother. Her face was angled, and fairly attractive at least in Percival's innocent eyes. Her dark brown hair fell gracefully to her shoulders, and her brown eyes barely made any eye contact with either brother seeming a bit intimidated by the heavily armored Ethorians. Roland observed the elf as she bent down and provided the downed woman a drink that would supposedely recuperate more quickly. He crossed his arms silently, forgetting for a moment that he had a potentially broken bone, of which the pain emitted upon his contact with his other arm. He shielded his emotions as to not reveal the stinging pain, and continued his gaze. He broke his gaze as he noticed Auden on approach, carrying an injured Tamor to them. There was an interesting moment of strange relief in Roland's mind, perhaps not as much for the two themselves as for the idea that they would be able to assist in the battle against the Necromancer, who proved to be more than anyone could expect.

"We've lost two of ours," Roland informed the other two Knights. "And this was in only a few waves this heathen unleashed. If we do not stop that Necromancer soon, you may end up joining the fallen." He stated to the other knights, putting emphasis on the 'you' part of it, to suggest that he himself was incapable of being killed by them. Though secretly, he knew that as the Necromancer would rise more of the dead, and slay more of the living, building his force until it reaches the height of an army, no man would be able to stop him, including himself. "Bah, those Gods-forsaken hounds," He murmured, as he examined his injuries inflicted upon him in his previous encounters. He then gazed upon the other knights, who held similarly damaging injuries which would likely slow them down in their coming fight, and if not treated properly could likely be the death of them.

The overwhelming smell of was burnt flesh and decaying corpses filled the air and Tamor’s nostrils. She awoke in Auden’s arms with both Niolas and Auden staring down at her. Tella hadn’t taken her away to Astrum to be with him afterall that left Tamor slightly disappointed. She craned her neck to see her comrades were huddled in a group around the female human that she had previously tried to heal. A newcomer had graced their presence; Tamor wasn’t sure what to make of her. Auden had laid her robes over her body, she guessed in an attempt to mask the hole in her stomach that still throbbed with pain. With the realization that Tamor had regained consciousness Auden carefully set her on the ground. She winced in pain as she attempted to gather herself in a sitting form, which caused her robe to pool in her lap revealing her half healed injury. The other Knights, Percival and Roland, seemed to have suffered from injuries.

“I-I can fix you, heal,” In a soft tone she muttered the hymns of Tella. To demonstrate what she meant Tamor placed her shaky hands above wound she had received and on the ripped, blood soaked fabric of her white shirt. The injury’s healing process sped up, her muscles were reforming then the skin began after and that completely closed up the hole.

With assistance from Auden she stood up on her own feet, in the process Niolas had transferred over from Auden’s broad shoulder to hers. Thankful that her Mage’s Hood hadn’t fallen off in battle as it now kept Tamor’s face partially hidden from view. Nervously she approached the first Knight, Percival, as she noticed with every breath he took it caused him pain. Once more she started the hymns of Tella as she channeled her divine magic causing it to gather in her palms, it was a healing hands spell. Gently she placed her hands on the Knight, carefully she avoided making eye contact, and she then almost stopped mid-verse to curse at herself for not asking for permission. As she chanted her power flowed from within her to Percival’s injuries, healing his battle scars, Tamor could tell that he had broken his ribs.

“Tella blesses you, Sir Knight,” Tamor muttered quietly, her eyes glued to the ground while her hawk’s were staring at the Knight that stood before him.

She dared not lingered in fear of criticism, what if her magic hadn’t healed him enough? But the questions ceased as Tamor also dared not question or anger the power of The Nine, especially that of Tella. Roland, unlike his brother wore a helmet, which hadn’t left her any openings to place her hands. “Removal?”

Tamor did the same as to what she did to Roland’s brother only this time it was a bit faster, “Tella Blesses you, Sir Knight.”

Lastly, she returned to her savior, Auden. A smile graced her face as she set her hands on his face and stared longingly into his eyes. Tamor wasn’t sure if the other Knights had seen her battle but she only hoped that she had not failed them then or if had she this could recover some of her lost credibility as a Knight of Ekilore.

"Hmm, not bad," Roland stated to Tamor, examining his newly-reconstructed arm, which no longer held any pain nor trace of damage. This was similar to his leg, which no longer felt the sting of the punctures the hellhounds had created. He nodded to Tamor as his sign of gratitude, of whom he saw her beige-colored pants for the first time as her robe was revealed. She did maintain the hood she had never seemed to want to take off. Roland addressed the rest of the knights. "It would be best if we depart with haste. Percival, ask the locals where this Necromancer dwells."

"Right," Percival said, acknowledging his brother's idea. Percival paused a bit, as he turned to face the vilagers. Thinking of the words to say, Percival had forgotten in the heat of battle that he was in Shingou and that their language is completely different than Ethorian. Why couldn't they be in Falke? Falkmor was much easier to speak. Then again, whatever the Highmen spoke was completly different. Sounded like a garbled mess really. Engaging in a brief conversation with the only word anyone outside of the conversation could understand being "necromancer," Percival was appearing to make strides.

As Percival spoke to the remaining villagers, Roland began preparations to depart. He readjusted his armor upon his leg, and also placing back on the metal boot. He observed his blade, which beyond being covered in the blood of his victims, remained in peak condition. He walked over to the body of a dead villager, and proceeded to wipe the blood off of his sword onto the rags of the corpse. "Your services are most appreciated." He stated to the dead body as he finished wiping away all of the remaining chunks of red, returning the blade to its former shining glory. He brought his shield up to his eye level to examine the damage done by the larger abominations before, seeing the large dent that still occupied his previously flawless shield. He shook his head in anger, but figured he would get an opportunity to repair it once the battle had concluded. He returned to the other knights, as well as the elf who had delivered the potion. Percival returned from the villagers, a destination in mind.

"Roland. They said it was 'over there.' It is a short hike in the mountains. Nothing too hard to reach on foot. Identified by...let's see if I can translate this right...a old door once sealed with magic, surrounded by bodies. It appears the area was once a temple, with a large wooden door and a stone foundation. Apparently the immediate area is charred by black magic or something. They were very elabroate with the description."

"We should make haste," Roland suggested, as he readied his horse for departure. He observed the elven woman who helped the plump woman before. "If you can hold your own in combat, you are welcome to accompany us. I am Roland Grey. With me is my brother Percival, as well as Auden and Tamor of Raelus." He stated, motioning to each knight as he announced them.

Going upon their horses, the knights proceeded to the lair of the Necromancer, located deep in the mountains of Ryuuse. Hulking benemoths of stone and earthly materials surrounded the lost knights of Ekilore. The sky bled blue and white as they eteched closer to their destination. Slowly but surely scaling the mountains grew ever more difficult, but in due time their efforts yeided progress as they reached their destination. As the Shingouese villagers attempted to explain to Percival, the once mysterious and lost temple that the Nercomancer has called home for hundreds of years. Built encased in the mountain, the large wooden door was seemingly blown off its hinges, the ashes of the once great door scattered about the charred ground. Marble pillars framed the doorway, decorated in the skulls and corpses of once great soliders who dared face the Necromancer in the past.

Percival tried to admired the Necromancer's rather convential way of breaking free from his imprisionment, but was expecting an more subtle way. Then again, this was the same villian that send waves of vile creatures to the attack one small village on the outskirts of Zhongshen. Subtle was not his style. Percival led the way through the doors, entering the temple. The hallways of the temple were well lit, with a number of torches hung up on the high walls. The passage was wide enough for several people to walk through at any given time and the pointed arches of the ceilings gave the illusion of an opulent structure. But time has not been kind and the once grandiose display of Shingouese culture has declined.

In due time, they reached a large circular room. A single staircase led to a raised platform in which an imposing throne of iron was the home of a single hooded figure. The eyes of the figure glowed with magical energy, beaming through the black hood. His aging red robes draped across the tall, thin figure. Black leather belts were the home to various tools, such as knives and potions. A dark wooden staff with rings and skulls lied beside the throne.

"You must be the group that has sent my creations back to the hells that spawned them. No matter, you will be added to my collection soon enough."

As the Necromancer beckoned to his side, two figures approached from the shadows surrounding the Necormancer's iron throne. Their complexions forced a wide-eyed response from Roland, who was likely as surprised as any of them to see the two women. To the left was a woman with midnight black hair is cropped in a boyish cut. Her body was covered by a thin, yet versatile body armor that protects her from the elements. The body armour was a mixture of the colours silver, black, white, and dark green. To the right was a woman with similar void-colored hair, but a long flowing robe covering the rest of her features.

The reanimated bodies of Zara Serena Freya and Kalashtar Crystia stood before the knights, with a legion of other creatures behind them. Another army to face. Another test to overcome. At least this time, they were ready.

Varian Sigmund- Bandit Fort, Eveamoor



Varian took what little moments he had available to him before the bandits began to attack to curse in his native tongue of Ormurmal, as well as urge the Ragnel god Ullur to unleash his anger upon the corpulent swine of a merchant who had led them to this deathtrap. Even though he wasn't the most religious of Highmen, he yearned for his prayers to be answered, and for their employer to die a prolonged and painful death. He knew for certain if he would somehow get out of this situation, he would be looking for payback.

Varian observed his surroundings quickly, gazing upon the rest of his troop as they took to the coming battle in their own way. Ava and Alys chose to fight together as a team, culminating in their surrounding by a horde of these professional bandits, back-to-back. He knew at this moment he wished he had his own war buddy fighting back-to-back with him, rather than sending her away to find the obese lump of lard's offspring. Seeing a Highman among the group, the bandits quickly surrounded him, probably aware of a Highmen's reputation in battle. However, at this point, reputation was all he had going for him. As he observed, the bandits that surrounded him were all larger, likely slower members of their group who would par with the Highman's estimated strength, thus taking away his advantage. Luckily, Varian was a distinction from normal warriors of the cold country. Rather than relying on the popular single large axe and the notion of 'strength beats all' many Highmen favored, he focused on techniques around agility, while still relying on his good genes and somewhat larger physique to promote his strength. The result was a good combo, and a trick on his part on what his enemies focused on.

The group that immediately surrounded him were clad in large, bulky, and likely heavy armor that covered most of their bodies, though he noticed a few openings. He made note of them. They carried a variety of weapons, some with large swords, while others held lances and large axes. They would probably be able to decapitate the heads of wild boars in a single stroke, and impale right through the largest of the snow wolves of his home country with a pierce of their lance. If any of those weapons would hit Varian directly, he'd be finished. Two larger bandits ran forward first, one swinging an enormous axe at the Highman, while the other sported a decorated lance. Definitely not the tools of a normal bandit. They're definitely Steel Safe, he thought, which means that fat piece of trash who hired us is no ordinary merchant to get caught up with these.

The first swing of the axe came, as well as the other bandit's attempt to impale with the lance. Varian gripped his dual axes tightly, and stepped to the side, avoiding the lance and axe simultaneously, and when their strokes missed, he rose one axe up and swiftly brought it to meet the wooden end of the lance, which caused the lance to shatter. He did the same with his other axe upon the Axe-wielding bandit, but instead of targeting his weapon, he aimed for the exposed part of his arm between two conjoined armor holds, and severed his armor from the elbow down from the large bandit. Blood splattered upon Varian's axe and the bandit screamed in pain, though he didn't for long as Varian brought his axe swift back behind him and removed his head in a clean swipe, while targeting the exposed leg of the broken-lanced bandit with the other, also removing it quickly, causing his newly balanced form to collapse onto the ground, and scream in agony as the blood flowed freely from where his leg once was. The two collapsed at relatively the same moment, one headless and non-moving while the other rolled around in pain.

In the instant they fell to the ground, the others struck at Varian angrily in unison. Axes, Lances, Broadswords, oh my. They all struck at the mercenary at once, and Varian reacted quickly, jumping through the swipes and strikes of their weapons, avoiding those he could, and parrying to the side those he couldn’t. A spear struck at his arm, which he narrowly avoiding, but the sharpness managed to scraped him just enough to draw blood. He quickly dispatched the sharp end of the lance, removing the threat temporarily. Three of the bandits who struck closest to him became his immediate worry, Varian slipping through the sluggish attacks of the larger men and getting close enough to swipe at one’s arm, and planting his other axe into the others chest plate, the premium weapon easily piercing through the breast plate despite it too being of relatively good quality, and striking blood. He removed his dual axes from his two enemies and quickly planted them both into the other large bandit next to him. One axe struck at his neck and pierced into his chest, while the other struck at his hip. Varian cut through these two entry points even more literally slicing his opponent into pieces. His enemies blood flowed all across the ground as he neatly piled onto the ground into three separate chunks of human meat. The others backed away for mere moments, observing the fate of their comrades, and paused hesitantly, as they themselves did not wish to join them. Varian tried to help his case by menacingly displaying his axes and the blood of his enemies that covered them, while trying to get his breathing under control as to not appear exhausted.

In their pause, Varian eyed the room, first taking a look at the other mercenaries to see how they were doing. He then took a look for a possible exit. Much as he would like to say they were handling themselves alright, it was likely that it wouldn’t last forever. They had an overwhelming advantage in number, and half a dozen mercenaries wouldn’t be able to defeat this large number. At least, not in these large, enclosed room. They needed an exit. He recalled the paths down here in the first place. Most of them made up narrow corridors in which maybe only one or two people could come forward at a time. This might be a way to turn the number advantage against them, as the mercenaries would, in essence, only have to keep fighting one-on-one. The question was, how was he going to get them through any of the locked portcullises?

The bandits seemed to be shaking off their initial pause of action and prepared to strike at him again, and in numbers. Varian acted fast, intent on using anything at his disposal to elude his enemies. He breathed in heavily and screamed his lungs at his enemies, hoping his bellow would momentarily shock them enough for him to make his move. He then ran right toward a few of the bandits, stepping the corpse of a dead one he had slain to give himself some lift, and extended his arms forward, in essence preparing a body slam right at a few of them. Most of the bandits looked at him in shock, but a few prepared lanced to meet his flying body. Varian parried these out of the way with his axes, and crashed into a set of the bandits, knocking all of them on the floor. Before they would get a chance to recover and stand in their hulking suits of metal, he stumbled forward and ran away from this set of fighters, knocking down and slashing at any other bandit in his way as he tried to find a path through the large room. A lever caught his eye, and he sprinted for it with all of his energy, reaching it just as two bandits approached it simultaneously and striking at them with his swords. These were regular-sized bandits, and he blocked both of the swings with his own, before overpowering their strength and forcing them backwards. Without a moment to lose, he swiped at his closer opponent with both axes, and then did the same to the other before they managed a chance to properly defend themselves. Both men fell, and the Highman quickly tended to the lever to see what it did. However, as he pulled it, he learned it did absolutely nothing for him, as the door that opened was on the opposite side of the room, closer probably to one of the other mercenaries. He cursed again in Ormurmal, running up to one of the portcullis and banging at it to try to get it open. A dozen or so more Steel Safe soldiers surrounding him, with Varian backed away into the corner. Suddenly, the door slid open, and to his surprise, his friend Cass stood on the other side.

"Oh, hai!" she called out. "Whatcha doin'?"

“Trying not to die!” He yelled back, moving past her and into the corridor. He called out to the other mercenaries inside the room. “OI! Lose them in the corridors! They’re narrow enough to fight in singles or doubles! GO!” He hoped his message crossed the ears of the others. He stepped back, looking quickly at Cass, then at another man and woman who were with him. He figured the two were prisoners of the bandits, but he didn’t have the time to converse with them, as they may very well die if they stay in the open area any longer. “Go back!” He yelled at them and Cass, as he noticed a spear of a dead bandit on the floor next to him. He picked it up, and positioned himself, tossing it to the group immediately in front of him. Unluckily, he didn’t know how to use spears, and the weapon missed the head of the target he aimed for, instead spearing through the stomach of another bandit closer to him. With that, Varian turned and ran back into the corridor and out of the vast room, hoping the other mercenaries would follow suit.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Heva
Xin Kou ---> Necromancer's Temple


Heva felt the contents of a drink coming down her throat but hadn't woken yet. She could hear the voices of men and soft meows of a fragile woman. Her conscious raced as she shouted at herself, "Get up you! C'mon damned body! Useless sod!" It seemed like hours before she finally opened her eyes. The plump woman sat up slowly with a groan and shifted her head back and forth quickly, looking for the men and women that had been there. To no avail, they were already gone. "Blast," she said, coming to her feet slowly.

Heva shook out her excruciatingly long auburn hair, the sand of the battlefield falling back to its rightful position in the ground. "Hello?" she called out, in both languages. No response from the men or the women but from a Xin Kou villager.

"Heva, are you okay?" a woman called back, rushing to her.

"I'm fine," Heva returned. "Where did those people go," she continued. After receiving the information she went, by horse, that she borrowed from the same villager that came to her aid, to the Necromancer's Temple.

"Those fools," she stressed to herself, galloping on the horse loudly. "They probably don't even know how to defeat the Necromancer!" Coming this realization she kicked at the sides of the horse and dove deeper into the mountains.

On the outside of the temple she stopped and saw the knight's gathering of horses. She pulled her horse, forcefully, to the same area before patting it on the hindquarters and delving into the already open temple door. The temple walls were well lit, as if the Necromancer expected guests - this only made Heva even more uneasy as she waddled her way through the maze of halls, following the faint tap tap of footsteps, she was close to the knight's only minutes behind them. More time passed as she tried her hardest to stay in range of the footsteps. Then, suddenly, there was the dark, crackling voice of a man. "Oh no," Heva gasped out, bursting into an awkward run to catch up with the knights.

Finally, she came to a circular room and there a small party was standing off with two twisted sisters and an army of undead. The dark magic in this room could kill and that was the goal. Conflict was inevitable and Heva needed to lend her aid. "Would you look here," the Necromancer cackled as he laid dark eyes on Heva, "the fat one has decided to appear. Heva, the Healthy, is that what the villagers were calling you. Yes, yes it was until I purged them from existence!" The Necromancers chuckled darkly and loudly sending a shiver up the spine of the stable woman.

Heva, staff in hand, took up a post beside what seemed to be the leader of the party. Placing a hand on his armoured shoulder she said, "I believe you will be needed some help with this fight and I'm here to give it. If you 'ave another mage we could deal with those pesky dark creations while you and your melee fellows deal with those wicked sisters. Aye?"

Spoiler:
(OOC: Sorry for the 'meh' post, my creationism hasn't been up to par as of late. I'm just writing through the writer's block.)
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Old April 5th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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Dulinhel Elenren - Xin Kou, Shingou

By the time the plump woman started to stir, most of what seemed to be the group of warriors had assembled, gathered around the two large knights. One of them, the gruffer of the two grunted and spoke in deep tones to the rest of the group.
"We've lost two of ours. And this was in only a few waves this heathen unleashed. If we do not stop that Necromancer soon, you may end up joining the fallen." Interesting how the man said you instead of us, as if he thought himself invincible and that he could not die to the creatures. No, it couldn't be that. The look in the man's eyes seemed to show that he knew just how dangerous the necromancer was, and that death awaited them all if they did not tread with caution.

Taking a look at the group, the elf woman could easily see the amount of pain that the entire group was in. Blood, wounds, and slightly protruding bones showed themselves, as well as general weariness and the haunted look in all of their eyes that all who were sane had after killing. All of them seemed to have sustained wounds, some more serious than others, all of them appearing more threatening than her own. Dulinhel's attention shifted as one of the group members stirred in the arms of a man, who then lowered the woman to the ground. She then pulled herself into a sitting position. Staring at the wound in her chest, she shakily said, "I-I can fix you. Heal." She placed her hand over her chest and muttered some words, some sort of prayer, and the wound on her chest slowly closed itself up, stitching muscle and flesh together.

She then went around the group, healing the two knights and the other two of the group. Dulinhel made her quick escape, not wanting the woman to waste her energy on her. She could heal her own injuries, given some time. They were starting to scar over anyway, some new bandaged along with some herbs, and she would be fine.Scrounging around the town, she managed to collect a few dozen arrows that were still intact. The fletching on some of them were not quite up to what she would call acceptable, and a few of the shafts were slightly bent, but they would have to do for now. She didn't really have time to be picky. Then she spoke with a few of the villagers. Her
Shingouese was not great, but it was passable, and she managed to barter for s a small pouch of medicinal herbs by trading a few trinkets she had picked up along the journey. After treating her wounds, she returned to the group to see if they had made any decisions about what to do next. She overheard one of the knights speaking with one of the townspeople, saying something about a temple in the mountains. Could that be where the necromancer was hiding out? Possibly. It would make sense. Secluded enough for him to do his work, but not too far away so that he could have access to some corpses.

One of the knights spoke up when reaching the group.
"Roland. They said it was 'over there.' It is a short hike in the mountains. Nothing too hard to reach on foot. Identified by...let's see if I can translate this right...a old door once sealed with magic, surrounded by bodies. It appears the area was once a temple, with a large wooden door and a stone foundation. Apparently the immediate area is charred by black magic or something. They were very elabroate with the description." So the temple was the necromancer's base.

"We should make haste," the large man named Roland suggested, readying his horse for departure. He turned to Dulinhel, his eyes looking her over, as if analyzing how well she could fight. "If you can hold your own in combat, you are welcome to accompany us. I am Roland Grey. With me is my brother Percival, as well as Auden and Tamor of Raelus." He gestured to each of them as he said their names.

Dulinhel replied softly, "I would be happy to accompany you, for now. The necromancer must be stopped." Mounting her own horse, a ragged thing she took from the stable, its owner killed by the undead, she followed after the rest of the group. She didn't think that anyone would miss the horse for now, and she would return it once she was done with it. Maybe. As they rode along, winding up a mountain path that lead deeper and higher into the peaks, she got to learn a bit about each of the travelers.

Ser Roland and Percival were brothers, both from the Ethorian house of Grey, although the two did not seem to get along very well. She gathered that Percival had done something to offend the family, and had left to somewhere in Elysia. He seemed rather free spirited, and definitely had his own ideas and philosophy about life. Roland on the other hand was completely the opposite, the ideal knight. Brought up focusing on ideals and traditions, he seemed to have very clear ideas about right and wrong. Dulinhel felt as though she could trust the two for the most part, they didn't seem like the type to betray the rest of the group.

Compared to the two knights, the other two travelers seemed a bit off. The mage Aguden seemed rather levelheaded, but something seemed off about his personality, something that she could just not quite place. What she did learn about him was that he was quite the formidable mage, which was probably the cause of the burnt corpses left on the battlefield at Xin Kou. He and the last traveler seemed rather close, a woman who did a very good job of hiding it. Shrouded mostly in various articles of clothing, it was quite difficult to discern her gender, or even her appearance. She had a much more cautious nature, even though her eyes seemed to gleam with excitement, and heartily laughed at some of the few jokes told along the way. Still, there was something about her that Dulinhel just couldn't place, something that didn't seem right...

After only a few hours of riding through the green mountains, the lair of the necromancer came into view. Almost immediately, the elf woman felt a wave of nausea come over her seeing the entrance. The once great wooden doors were blasted off of the entrance, lying on the ground charred and mostly disintegrated, great marble pillars holding up the mountain from caving in over the entrance to the great temple. But the nauseating part was the piles of decaying corpses and decorated sculls that lay by the pillars, a form of both warning and display of the necromancer's strength. Following the rest of the group, she walked past the pillars into the depths of the temple. The passageway was wide enough for a few of them to walk side by side, and evenly spaced torches lit the entire thing, casting eerie shadows along the walls. The walls and some sections on the floor were slick with condensation, the moisture allowing moss and fungus to grow, which gave the temple a decrepit feeling.

Eventually, after passing through several large rooms displaying broken statues of
Shingouese gods, those with heads staring down at the group with watchful eyes. Eventually, the group came to their destination, a large circular room, with a cracked stone staircase leading up to a raised dais towards the back of the room. A large iron throne sat atop the platform, and the imposing figure who could only be the necromancer sat comfortably in it. He was clothed in aging red robes, and a dark black hood covered his head. His eyes flared with magic as he peered out from under the hood. He was tall, but rather skinny for his height. Several belts made out a dark leather adorned his waist, and multiple knives sat in various sheaths, as well as a large number of small bottles, probably some sort of potions.

The necromancer looked up with a crazy look in his eyes and an insane grin on his face.
"You must be the group that has sent my creations back to the hells that spawned them. No matter, you will be added to my collection soon enough."

"Not likely", Dulinhel muttered under her breath.

The necromancer then stared past the group,
"Would you look here," the Necromancer cackled as he laid dark eyes on the plump woman from before, "the fat one has decided to appear. Heva, the Healthy, is that what the villagers were calling you. Yes, yes it was until I purged them from existence!" The Necromancers chuckled darkly sending a chill down Dulinhel's spine.

Beckoning behind him, an army of undead creatures took ranks alongside the throne, with two twisted corpses looking fresher than the rest leading the mass of monsters. The two at the front meant nothing to Dulinhel, but she heard a sharp gasp from Roland as he saw the creatures. Ignoring all else at that point, she called out, "I'll try to keep the rest of the group busy, try to focus on the two leaders and the necromancer!" Taking off to the right side of the room, she pulled a rusty dagger out of the sheath of some poor soul and taking aim threw it straight and true into the shoulder of one of the two leader undead creatures. Then pulling out her bow as the undead swarmed forward, she reached into herself and cast some spells on an arrow as she drew the bow back and fired. The arrow landed solidly in the eye socket of one of the creatures in the lead, killing it instantly. A split second later, the arrow exploded in flames, throwing corpses in all directions, killing some, stunning others. "Great", she muttered to herself, "A dozen down, a few hundred more to go."
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Old April 6th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Tamor Bellfiend and Auden Radke
Xin Kou, Shinguo
Theme Song: Hear Me & Planet Hell

Lastly, she returned to her savior, Auden. A smile graced her face as she set her hands on his face and stared longingly into his eyes. As if he was giving a friendly reminder that he was still present Niolas displayed his broad, dark brown wings. Tamor wasn’t sure if the other Knights had seen her battle but she only hoped that she had not failed them then or if had she this could recover some of her lost credibility as a Knight of Ekilore. She was grateful that Auden came to her aid after her collapse on the battlefield. Though, Tamor wasn't positive if he would be happy with her for not having used her flare at an earlier time.

"And Tella blesses you, Sir Knight," She stated semi meekly.

Bringing up his left hand, Auden caressed her cheek before leaning in closer. "We will talk about this later," he whispered into her ear as he pressed his right hand into her freshly healed wound, which caused her to flinch in pain. Moving his hands around to her back he pulled her into a gently hug. "Well done Tamor, you did fantastic today," He said aloud.

"Later?" She inquired; his tone and actions led her to believe that talking wasn't what they were going to be doing later on. He had never showed any emotions that suggested he was capable of this type of gentleness it worried her deeply. Quite shocked by the embrace Tamor managed to stutter, "T-t-thank you... Are you, are you okay?

"I'm feeling a lot better now thank you, though my mana is still fairly depleted. Can you do anything about that?" He asked, smiling softly at her, all the while thinking of how he was going to punish her stupidity.

"Maybe..." Tamor's voice trailed off hoping not to upset Auden any further. Her divine magic studies had told Tamor a very minimum amount about the restoration of mana but she reckoned that she could attempt one of the lessons she learned from Eislynn. After she sent up blessings to Makara, the Goddess of Magic, Tamor twisted around to face Auden. Due to the height difference she briefly looked up and met brown eyes for a brief second before she returned them to eye level, his chest. Tamor pressed her hands into his chest and on the soft material that made up his robes. With her eyes closed and chanting hymns rhythmically she began the process of transferring and transforming her magic power into a form Auden could use. It was an ancient practice that Tamor herself didn't understand and wasn't sure it was possible but she was willing to attempt anything rather than risk the rage of Auden. "Any better?"

A slight amount of magical power began to trickle into his body as she hymned, slowly beginning to replenish his mana. "Yes, thank you," He replied, though she had barely given him any mana it was still enough for him to work with while he naturally regenerated his mana. Gradually he took her hands off his chest before bringing his attention back to the two armored brothers, who were once again acting as if they were leaders. Though slightly vexed, he ignored their leadership struggle, as they were a group that didn't need a leader. After orders were spoken Percival walked off to struggle in conversation with the villagers. With slight irritation Auden surveyed his robes, which were now in tatters and missing an sleeve. Sighing at the thought of trying to find some place respectable to get them mended he looked over at the female elf that had just joined them. She was rather short, and wore a mottle green and grey cloak that covered her entire body from the shoulders down, only revealing her elven face. She also had a slight magical presence that Auden had already recognised, just enough to perhaps use basic spells.

"... Auden and Tamor of Raelus." Tamor noticed Auden's interest in the elf, which was the opposite of hers. She subconsciously tugged at the ends of her Mage's Hood to make sure it safely secured her most noticeable elven feature, her ears. Elves would have a particular unpleasant attitude toward her racial status; their kind came off snobbish. The less contact she made with the woman the better chance Tamor had of not ever enduring a conversation with her. The Knights of Ekilore found their horses and mounted them; they were off to an "old door" as she overheard Percival describing it. Niolas flew from her shoulder into the sky, she wondered if one day she could fly up there with him. As they rode through the mountains Tamor laid her head softly on Auden's back and tightly wrapped her arms around him once more. In time the knight's dismounted and were lead by the brother duo into the depths of mountains, which caused Niolas to rejoin the group. They reached a staircase, which is when Tamor latched onto the back of Auden's robes to not be separated from him. As they came to the top they were now on a raised platform that held one noticeable feature, a throne. Tamor frightened by the man she saw who remained seated even as the Knights of Ekilore went farther into the room. His eyes seemed to be embedded with magic, in fact his whole essence, but to Tamor it felt like dark, disturbed magic like someone who solely worshipped Dabel and Infernum.

The throne room had an overwhelming amount of magical presence in it, at least three times what Auden had at his best. Impressive. He thought as he looked at the Necromancer's form, which was basically oozing dark magic into the room. The feel of the magic was engrossing for Auden and almost caused him to reach out and try and gather it in. A slight smile came to his face as the Necromancer stared down at the group as he began to address them.

"You must be the group that has sent my creations back to the hells that spawned them. No matter, you will be added to my collection soon enough."

Two figures with familiar faces responded to the Necromancer's wave, Zara and Crystia! This truly was Dabel's realm; Tamor wondered why had they wandered in this far? Was this a test? How were they supposed to kill former members who they had shared a short but meaningful journey with, Tamor felt sick to her stomach. A swarm, no, an entire army of new and freshly made creatures stood behind their fallen comrades. Tella received a series of prayers from Tamor as well as the rest of the Nine. None of the Knights of Ekilore moved except Tamor who moved in closer to Auden and squeezed his arm tighter with her ever-fastening grip. With Tamor now clasping onto his arm Auden began to hide his emotions, the shear joy of having the opportunity to inflict pain on the two elves which had once been a part of their group was almost too much as he removed his staff from his back. The armored warrior left her position beside the Necromancer first, she rushed forward with the other black-haired mage right behind her. Ferocious beasts flanked both of their sides as they came closer and closer to the knights with incredible speed. The first woman formerly known as Zara held onto a longsword with both of her hands tightly gripped around the hilt while Crystia's weapon of choice was less apparent, but if one looked closely they could see the barely visible shimmer of energy from her magic. Tamor quickly released her clutched hands from Auden's arm and stepped back as far as the room would allow her, she wasn't ready to be a Knight of Ekilore. Not if it meant that she had to disrespect the dead, the Necromancer was a cruel man. As if the duo had caught onto Tamor's thoughts they honed in on her and Auden specifically. A blade struck into Crystia's shoulder, it was thrown from one of the newest addition, the elf archer. Crystia moved her hands slightly as soon as she saw Tamor tried to take another step backward and summoned a fireball. With a flick of her wrist she released the blazing magic toward Tamor as Zara rushed forward toward Auden. Her sword was already mid-swing, which made his chances of saving both Tamor and avoiding Zara’s strike nearly impossible.

With a tap of his staff a small tendril of earth shot up and wrapped itself around Zara's planted foot, causing her to trip, in result her cut was much shallower than she had intended. As he turned, the cut opened deeper, causing blood to drip to the ground, it was now too much for his robes fabric to absorb. The fireball he had sensed earlier was now heading towards a frozen Tamor; he dived, which led to him taking the fireball directly in the back. Auden was only able to slightly cushion the impact with wind magic in an attempt to save his slowly dwindling mana reserves. Coughing he pushed himself up, leaving another puddle of blood and to find another fire ball and a now freed Zara coming towards him and Tamor once again. If only I didn't have to conserve my mana.. He thought as he tapped the ground creating another tendril that shot out at Zara's planted foot once again. With a brush of his staff a quick blast of air magic changed the trajectory of the fireball causing it to smash into the side of Zara who had just effortlessly dodged the tendril. To his surprise the undead Zara let out a scream of pain as the fireball burnt through her skin slowly melting it back. With blood now running down his arms he tapped his staff several times, causing more tendrils to shoot out of the ground and wrap around Zara's limbs and torso, slowly gripping her tighter as she wailed in pain. With Zara momentarily taken care of he looked towards Crystia who was conjuring another fireball in her hands. With haste he turned around and grabbed Tamor as she released the fireball at them. Wrapping her up in his arms he dived out of the way of the fireball just in time, causing it to crash into the wall and send flames everywhere.

Everything around Tamor was a blur of color; she wasn't certain what was happening. The other Knights were already involved in battle, Crystia and Zara were attacking Auden, or at least that what she thought was happening. Niolas had pecked at her face before he flew off into the incoming flood of creatures the Necromancer had summoned to defeat them. She was even more surprised when Auden tackled her to cold floor and she soon felt the warmness of a fireball as it flew over them. She brought her hands up to her face only to notice that they were smudged with fresh blood, had she been hit? Instantly she sent a pulsing wave of divine magic with healing properties throughout her body but found no wound, which only meant one thing... Auden! As quickly as one could she rearranged her body position so that she faced him, her hands found their way to his cheeks that were smeared with dirt. Her chants began simultaneously; Tamor released her divine magic through the limbs that held onto Auden. It would flow throughout his body and seal any and all wounds that the undead duo might have inflicted, but it couldn't restore all the mana he was losing. She looked over at their opponents, Crystia, who had another large fireball in hand, and Zara, who happened to be trapped by some sort of earth magic. Tamor knew that the shape Auden was in he wouldn't be able to get up in time; she'd have to risk her safety for her savior. With no plan in mind she lifted herself off the ground as Crystia aimed the fireball at them. Then right as she let go Tamor armored herself with the intensive healing properties she had used in her last battle. The mage tossed the blazing ball right at her former traveling companion, Tamor didn't make any effort to dodge the attack. Perhaps, for once, she could save Auden instead of the other way another. As the fireball made impact Tamor let out a scream and subsequently fell to her knees, the flames had burned through her clothing and seared right into Tamor's skin. Her hands dug deep into the ground as it had left her skin burnt for a moment before the wound became the source of where her magic started to collect.

His wounds began to close as Tamor’s divine magic pulsed through his body, congregating on where most of the pain was, his chest. He could feel the magic that Crystia was creating reach the same density that the fireballs had all had so far and turned to look. As he began to push himself out he coughed up blood, slowing his ascension as Tamor shot out from under his body's protection. You stupid toy. Pawing at the ground he found his staff and quickly drew his sword as he stood, throwing a small blast of air in attempt to divert the fireball that was rapidly approaching an idiotic Tamor. To his frustration his air blast got there just after the fireball hit, only being able to disperse the backend of the spell. "Looks like I'm going to have to pop your head again." Auden said as he began to sprint towards Crystia, his sword dragging along the ground. Seemingly ignoring his statement the undead Crystia shot another fireball at him, not moving from where she was, obviously confident in her abilities. Smirking Auden dug his sword into the ground deeper before dropping down slight, he bent at the knees almost 90 degrees before suddenly bursting forward while bringing his sword off of the ground. Chunks of earth came out with his sword and shot forward taking the shapes of arrowheads cutting through Crystia's fireball and lodging themselves deeply into her arms and upper chest. She let out a haunting wail before being quieted by the butt of Auden sword smashing into her face, causing bits of it to fall away. With a thud her body hit the cold ground, quickly followed by Auden who forced the spikes in deep. Screams of pain escaped Crystia's mouth as she struggled underneath Auden's weight, trying to create smaller fireballs in each hand to be stopped by spikes erupting from the ground into her hands. "You should have stayed dead," He said to her quietly, pressing his sword down on her throat, the dull blade not cutting but crushing. Still struggling hopelessly her legs kicked at the ground and air to no avail as Auden pressed down harder with his sword, her windpipe starting to deform. Without taking his eyes off Crystia he called out, "Tamor, get here now."

Unable to take eyes off of what happened Tamor hesitated to obey but regardless her feet brought her to her destination, "Y-y-yes?"

"Pull that knife out of her shoulder and kill her," Auden said, pushing down on Crystia throat with his sword as her legs continued to flail about.

"No!" The word slipped out before Tamor realized that she had even said it, but that was her answer. She couldn't... she wouldn't... not Crystia, not a fellow elf; this went against everything Tella stood for and that was one thing she couldn't turn her back on. Angering a Goddess was far more threatening than any displays of rage a mortal could show.

"It's either her or us Tamor," He said calmly as he felt Crystia's esophagus collapse under the pressure he was applying. Blood was slowly pooling around her body as he dug a knee into her belly, causing gurgled moans of pains to be released.

"You, you want me to kill an elf in the month of Tella? Do you know what you're asking?" Tamor muttered in disbelief, her planted feet began stepping backwards away from Crystia and Auden. "Y-y-you, you kill her!"

Taking his eyes off Crystia he looked at Tamor, his glare piercing deeply. "Tamor. Kill her," He said coldly, with no emotion on his face. As he stared her down the gurgled moans of Crystia and the high pitched screams of pain from Zara kept him happy.

"Blessed be, blessed are those who follow Tella," Tamor whispered to herself, by killing Crystia wasn't she bringing peace back to the land? She wondered if the fact that Crystia was a pawn being used by the Necromancer made her second death accepted under these circumstances... The questions she asked hadn't gotten any answers from the Gods, more specifically Tella. After she propelled herself forward she laid her hands on the knife that had somehow been lodged in Crystia earlier. With a twist Tamor removed the knife, it felt weird in her hand as if it were a tool of Dabel's, one that Tella would not condone of such use. As she drew back her newly acquired weapon Tamor sent up her final prayers, for this action would surely damn her to Infernum if the Nine were not pleased. The blade became soaked with the blood of Crystia; it ended her pain and her service to the Necromancer. "Thy shall join our Holy Mother in peace and Astrum."

As Tamor's blade cut just above Auden's sword Crystia's body stopped moving and a smile flashed across his face, knowing the pain that Tamor would be in from having to kill a person that she knew, someone that was recently part of their group was too thrilling. Tapping the ground as he sat back a small spike shot into the back of Crystia's head, just to make sure that she was dead. Something was wrong though, the high pitch screams from Zara had stopped, and Auden hadn't had her in a position in which she would die from the constriction. He shot a look at the area he had left her to see his tendrils broken and Zara very quickly gaining ground on him and Tamor, who was standing there shaking. The speed that Zara was approaching them was incredible and didn't give Auden much time to do anything as she struck forwards at Tamor. Lunging into the path Auden pushed Tamor down with a blast of air before using his sword to try and block the strike, doing nothing more then causing it to glance upwards away from his heart and slice diagonally up to his left shoulder from the bottom of his left pectoral muscle. As the blood spurted from his new wound she readied for another swing while he staggered backwards.

Grimacing Auden dragged the tip of his sword through the ground sending out a jagged line of earth out in front of him, causing Zara to jump back, only to land on another spike, which pierced her right foot, and into her leg. Damn it, this is a lot of blood I'm losing. Auden thought as the blood poured from his wound, with Zara looking at him, her undead mind having trouble figuring out what was through her leg. Raising his sword to level he coughed, "Ugh, more blood," he said to himself as he spat the remaining blood out of his mouth before slashing the air sending out a small wave of fire. It was too slow though, as in Zara cut her leg off falling backwards and clumsily dodging most of the blaze, only slightly scorching her side, both her sides now charred. Dropping to his knees he continued to stare down Zara, who was now standing up, though a little shaky, on her left leg only. Mindlessly she started hopping towards him, quite a funny sight it would had been if he wasn't on at the limits of blood loss and mana. At a surprising speed she drew closer to him while he struggled to raise his sword above the ground. With all his strength he slammed his sword into the ground, releasing a large burst of magic as he did so, almost everything he had left, causing larger spikes to erupt out of the ground in Zara's direction. Not being as nimble as she once was she was caught by a larger spike mid jump through her right side into her left arm, knocking away her sword in the process. He coughed up more blood as he looked at Zara's body, which was still moving and struggling to get off the spike and reach her sword. "What the..?" He asked the Nine as his vision started to get blurry.

The knife dropped from Tamor's shaky hand and clinked on the hard ground, the traces of Crystia blood that had splattered still lingered on her hands. Had she disgraced Tella in her very own month? What were the consequences of doing such? Tamor felt hollow inside, numbness overcame her senses but not her emotions. Tears fell down her round cheeks, she wiped them away but only ended up with her wiping the blood of Crystia all over her face. Through her teary eyes Tamor noticed that Zara had freed herself from the prison Auden had kept her in. When she looked up she saw the swordswoman coming toward her, Tamor wasn't sure how much damage she would inflict but perhaps enough to erase her guilt. A gust of wind forcibly thrust her to the ground once more, she was becoming more familiar with the decoration of the floor than any other knight. By the time she glared up Zara's longsword had already made contact with Auden's chest. The wound she dealt was nothing less than what was expected from someone of Zara's caliber, Tamor then felt drips of blood land on her. Relentless as always, Auden used more mana, she knew if he wasn't careful he'd be drained down to the last drop. The earth around them flared to life under Auden's control, Zara had been snagged on a couple of spikes that erupted from the ground. It only got worse from there as Tamor watched from her spot where she had been shoved down. There was no humanity left in Zara, at least that's the story her movements told. Neither Crystia nor Zara had spoken a word, which was another thing Tamor found peculiar, as if they weren't fully revived. This was a cruel fate she wished not on Dabel himself nor on her worst enemy, the Necromancer had gone too far. Tamor heaved herself up from the ground and dusted off her charred and dirty clothes. Before Auden could even think of his next move Tamor stepped in front of him, she prayed that she had what it took to put her former comrades permanently to rest. Zara had lost her longsword, but she still had her backsword strapped to her, Tamor noticed as the warrior took the hilt of it in the only hand she had left.

Once Tamor had convinced herself that it was her obligation to the Nine to send these unnatural beings back to the depths of Infernum she stepped forward to face Zara. The energy she used in the previous battle bordered her scrawny silhouette, the blades started to shape themselves to Tamor's will. These creatures were not meant to exist, the dead needed to stay that way or else nature's balance would be severely upset that meant Tella's crafty work would ultimately be destroyed. With that in mind Tamor charged forward, it seemed the blades, which were extensions of Tamor's arms, had been fashioned into the blades of each of Zara's sword. A black boot laid on top of Zara's head further crushing it into the dirt as Tamor struck down with the force of the Nine. The divine magic spread throughout Zara's corpse, which caused it to pulsate before it exploded into several thousand pieces; a fitting end for a swordsmaster, companion, and fellow Knight of Ekilore. It troubled to know that her job wasn't done; she had one more body to dispose of so that the Necromancer may never use their bodies as weapons again. She glowed intensely as she found herself over the body of Crystia, Tamor summoned the energy back into its original shimmering form. Thrusting her hands out, she placed them on each side of Crystia's head, each of her fingers pointing inward on Crystia's skull. Each of Tamor's fingers grew their own blade almost as if they were to drill into what lay beneath them. Tamor elongated the blades causing them to completely penetrate the head of her fellow mage, through and through. The divine magic trickled through the rest of the body as well until it reached a point where it had nowhere else to go. In the same way Zara's reanimated body had been torn apart Crystia's soon joined it, but in much larger chunks. As she had no way to dodge the blast Tamor was soon covered in the rotten flesh and blood of the now put to rest Crystia. There was no time wasted as Tamor returned to Auden's side, Niolas had reappeared on her shoulder at some point during the stroll back. Tamor wasn't certain of the repercussions of her actions yet and she was afraid to find out, she prayed that Crystia's and Zara's souls had made it safety to Astrum. As she knelt next to Auden and placed her hands on him her offensive divine magic slowly slipped away instead she brought forth her healing magic. It spread via contact from her hand to Auden's receptive body, the man who had told her to kill. Yet here she stayed by his side, perhaps that was her punishment the entire time. A thought crept into her mind, one that she later on reassured herself that Dabel himself must have placed there; murder the darkness that is Auden before it has overwhelmed him. Instead of obeying the thought Tamor simply ran her hands through his shaggy, black hair before she returned her golden, tear filled eyes to the other knights that displayed their talents out on the battlefield.


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Last edited by Retro Bug; April 6th, 2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Percival and Roland Grey- Necromancer's Lair, Ryuuse, Shinguo



"It seems our mages are a bit more interested in fighting our undead comrades." Roland stated, replying to the woman knocked on the ground earlier. He turned to his brother Percival, who stood close enough to him to be able to lower his voice to the point where he was nearly whispering. "How familiar are you with magic?" Roland asked him, looking around anxiously as the hordes of the undead slowly began to descend upon them.

"Like how it works or how to use it?" Percival asked his brother, griping his mace tight.

"I am more interested in it's derivations. I was thinking: The Necromancer has revived every one of these beings with his own magic, correct?"

"Yes."

"I thought as much. So I imagine that his power still flows inside them all as we speak. In a way, they are still a part of him, a part of his being, and he is the head. I wonder, if we remove the head, shall the rest follow?"

"In theory, I suppose that would work. They have to be powered by something. Perhaps there is a magic connection between the master and the minion. It is the best chance we got of getting out of here," Percival said, shrugging his shoulders. Reading magical books were the least of his pleasures. He much preferred Ethorian history.

"Well, tis worth a try." Roland stated. He breathed in deep, placing his helmet cover over his face in preparation. "Let us cut a path to him. These heathens cannot match the power of House Grey!"

The two brothers charged forward at the undead horde before them, Roland branding his shield and sword while Percival waved his mace with aggressively. There were more demons than in the town below, but they appeared to be weaker, more intending to overwhelm with numbers than strength. Roland charged forward, swinging his large sword, decapitating one demon with the start of his swing, and ending it by cutting a second demon's head in half, revealing a rotting brain. As more demons sprung at him from behind, Percival cleaned up nicely, smashing in their skulls with a single, mighty swing of his mace. They fought well together, an stark contrast to their relationship off the battlefield.

The two took turns watching each other's backs as they slayed the creations of the Necromancer, the fiends of hell. With every being slain, they approached closer to the iron throne, and the dark mage who sat upon it. As Roland brought his sword upon an undead creature, whose skin was branded with marks as if it were roasted alive in a previous life. His cut sliced through the top of his shoulder, cutting into the his rib cages and through the top of his hip, effectively separating the abomination in half. Using the momentum of the cut, Roland kept going, bringing the sword down all the way to the ground, and then swinging at the next closest undead, who was to his right, getting caught by the swing of his sword through the chest, opening the creature open and causing blood to spill across the armor of the Ethorian knight. Percival, who was now to Roland's left, decided to impale his next victim in the face, catching the demon with a sharp end of his mace, the weapon sticking into what was left of the brain of the undead demon. The mace dug in far enough to be attached, and, with as mighty a heave as he could muster, he carried his mace (with the demon still attached) and swung at the next demon, who collapsed onto the ground after being hit with the mace-attached demon. Roland took this moment to impale the fallen being, ensuring it's return trip to Infernum.

With a bloody path of undead slain monsters in front and behind them, they were only a few paces from the Necromancer. Hoping the other knights and Percival would be able to hold off the rest of the undead, Roland decided to make his move towards the Necromancer and test his steel against him. With Fortis' guidance and his own personal skill, he was confident he would be able to bring down the dark mage, and free this land from his evil, for the Knights of Ekilore, but more importantly, for House Grey and Reigncliff. He brought his sword up, now only a few paces between the Necromancer and Roland.

"You pretentious little human. You think because you can chop down some brainless creations of mine you suddenly think you can fight me?"

"I will do more than fight you, you malevolent carrier of sin. I will kill you."

Sensing the imminence of a fight, the Necromancer rose from his iron throne. The Necromancer was nearly a head taller than the courgeous Ser Roland, looking down at the knight with his glowing eyes that would bore holes into a lesser man. "Kill me? If I had a solider in my army for every time I heard that one. Oh wait, I do," the Necromancer said, laughing as he picked up his staff, striking Roland across the face with a swift strike. Roland met the strike with his sword, and the two clashed for moments, before he broke off, and brought his sword around for another attempted swipe at the the torso of the Necromancer. Again, the dark mage blocked with his staff, and the two found themselves clashing on consecutive strikes, each trying to disarm or bring as much harm upon their opponent as they can. Roland noticed that with every strike his sword landed upon the staff, an aura of magical energy dispersed from the weapon, indicating what he believe was a large amount of energy within the staff. He confirmed this again as they clashed numerous more times, each time resulting in a spark or outflow of some residue enchantment. As the two went in for another clash however, Roland was caught off guard as the Necromancer released a powerful dark spell from the tip of the staff, the dark energy blast catching him on his shoulder and forcing him back, the knight gritting his teeth in pain as the attack passed through his armor and struck at his naked skin, and perhaps inside of it as well. He wasn't quite sure how magic affected the human body directly. At least, not one so mystical. All he knew was he felt the pain that resulted, the effect similar to a combination of a deep bruising and burning sensation that resonated from within the afflicted area, rather than on the surface.

The pain was potent, but it was enough for him to ignore and continue the fight, but it unfortunately wasn't enough for him to continue wielding his shield in that arm. He dropped it to the ground, the large chunk of steel echoing even among the filled room of dastardly foes. "You are certainly resilient. Most of my victims cried in pain after experiencing that spell," the Necromancer commended Roland. Sadly commendations rarely win battles.

"I am not most men," Roland replied, doing his best to ignore the pain that came from his shoulder, as he gripped his sword with both hands tightly. Without much hesitation, Roland charged back towards the Necromancer, only to find the new separation between them enough for the Necromancer to take advantage of the distance and begin summoning incantations for other magic spells. He shot off another dark bolt of energy from the tip of his staff, Roland only narrowly avoiding it with a roll to his side, unfortunately on putting weight on the shoulder he had previously injured, which caused him to momentarily pause after the roll. The Necromancer, however, did not hesitate as he continued to unleash more dark spells at the injured knight, this time in bulk. Roland quickly moved to avoid, escaping the cluster of magic missiles, rolling on the ground to narrowly dodge each one.

Roland picked up himself off the ground, his breathing more swallow as fatigue crept in. He had spent much of time dodging ever since the first attack, and his shoulder still stung in pain. It felt as if acid had penetrated the flesh and the wound slowly festered. Showing weakness at this point would be fatal, so Roland continued to hide the pain and charged forward, this time with more intensity. Roland swung his sword with both hands, adding speed and power to each blow. The Necromancer was forced to step back, losing the ground he had controlled for so long. With a quick slash to the head, the Necromancer felt his face being cut, with Roland finally drawing blood. In a fit of anger, the Necromancer clubbed Roland in the head with his staff, knocking the knight back. Roland swung widly, missing the Necromancer completely several times before the Necromancer demostrated an ability unexpected for a thin old man. He parried one of Roland's attack, grabbing hold Roland's injured arm. Then a wave of black lightning coursed through Roland's arm. The pain was sharp, intense and the roars of pain were maddening. A moment of mercy, or perhaps arrogance, made the Necromancer let go with Roland dropping to the ground.

As Roland fell limp, the Necromancer suddenly found himself hunching over in pain. Behind him was the other Grey. The forgotten child. Percival. He stood over the Necromancer, covered in the blood and guts of the Necromancer's creations. "Another 'brave' soul coming to die. What is it with you humans and craving death?" The Necromancer said as he picked himself up from the ground.

Percival didn't bother returning a response. All he was doing was buying time. Percival stepped forward and swung his mace, keeping the Necromancer from gaining any solid footing, blocked any strikes with the staff with his large shield. However, Percival was getting tired, lacking the endurance of a true solider. His mace and shield were heavy and with every exchange of blows, Percival's muscles grew more and more fatigued. A strong spinning attack, amplified by a surge of magic knocked Percival back, his mace rolling away from him. The Necromancer rose his staff above the fallen Knight, a ball of green energy collecting at the bottom of it. It looked like acid, a comparable spell that was used on Roland earlier. As the Necromancer plunged the staff down, Percival picked up his shield blocking the strike as well as he could, but it burrowed through the shield and missed his head by mere inches.

Percival kicked the Necromancer back, using what little strength he had left. Percival, armed with his lackluster shield trying to use it as a weapon, but the Necromancer soon used a spell that knocked the shield away with a gust of wind. The Necromancer charged another spell, gathering the energy in the staff. It looked like a dark stormcloud was gathering at the end and Percival, unarmed was standing in the way of this spell. As the Necromancer prepared to fire the bolt of energy, he found the spell suddenly dissipate in the air through small scraps of magical remains. This was the result of a large slash upon the staff of the Necromancer, cutting cleanly through the magical item and separating it into two pieces, on end which was held still by the Necromancer, and the other which now clanked onto the ground. Separating the two was a bloody sword, connecting to the arm of the bloodied and broken Knight of Ekilore, Roland Grey, who panted heavily as he and his blade stood between the two separated pieces of the staff, and in between Percival and the dark mage. In direct reaction to the severing of the staff, the host of undead abominations which occupied the room seemingly lost their form, their life and anything else that the Necromancer had crafted. Their souls or spirits left their bodies, dragged back into the pits of Infernum that had spawned them. Their bodies crumbled into piles of flesh and bones. The energy needed to sustain such a vast but lifeless army was contained in the staff, now broken into pieces.

"No..." the Necromancer whispered. "No. No! No!" In a fit of rage, the Necromancer unleashed a wave of energy, knocking the Grey brothers away from him. He now stood alone on the plaform, near his throne, cradling his broken staff like a man admiring his precious treasure.

"Well..." Roland began, panting on the ground where the Necromancer knocked him down. He clung his sword loosely, examining the effects of the staff's destruction. "While I can honestly say I was not expecting that, I shall take any advantage I can get against this heathen." He positioned his sword onto the ground by its sharp end, using it as a means to help support himself back onto his feet. The other knights, now free from the burdens of fighting the undead, were hopefully ready to finish the Necromancer once and for all.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Heva, The Healthy
Necromancer's Temple


Heva had attempted to take off with the Grey brother's on their pursuit towards the Necromancer but midst her travels she was surrounded by three bulky creations. The Necromancer's demonspawn were rather grotesque and unappealing and would startle the less iron-stomached but not Heva. The healthy and plump woman simply held her ground, dug her heels in for a struggling battle.

The heavy built one to the right of her let out a gurgling yell that heaved up some liquid gunk that fell to Heva's face. The mage was much displeased with the gunk, wiping it with her sleeve and glaring at the creature. With a wave of her jeweled staff she shot a furl of flame into the face of it. It returned the displeased look and glare and rose it's misshapen arm to strike down on the shorter woman. Heva leaded to the left, running into another grotesque being who came at her with a wave of its own misshapen arm.

The blow hit her in the back sending her stumbling forth into the final creation. The three of them roared in unison, sending a chill down her back. Heva shouted, "Get away from me you filthy demons!" before twirling her staff in the air and setting it down with a sharp and determined thud. The tip of the staff emitted a roar of flame. The cyclone of flame scorched the three demons surrounding her and all three fell with a thud.

Heva searched the chaotic landscape for the Grey brother's. She spotted them making their way up to the Necromancer's throne, slashing through a battalion of demons. She ran to help them but again was stopped by demon creations. This time there were many of them, small, but large in numbers. "Bloody hell," she said as her eyes gazed upon the bloodthirsty pack of undead. Before they could strike however, she struck first. With an wave of her hand a flame erupted from her palm, setting fire to the first line of demonspawn. Their sharp shrills brought a ringing her to ears as they collapsed. The second wave came through, smashing through their crisp brethren charging with blood curtling screams towards Heva.

Two of them jumped to Heva but were swiftly deflected with a single swing of her staff. The staff impacted them in the sides, easily shattering their brittle bones. A dust flew over her eyesight, the dust of their dry skin and brittle bones, obscuring her vision. With vision obscured she didn't see the other three leaping at her. Heva was under attack as the three shrilling beings lurched, bit and scratched at her face and arms - that were raised in defense. "Get off me dammit," she yelled before setting her own clothing aflame in a barrier against the beings. The spawn were scorched and fell off her like roasted bugs. The bodies hit the floor with a crunching thud and their essence, visible to mages only, rose from their bodies and returned to the Necromancer's staff.

Heva watched as the power returned to the Necromancer who unleashed a spell of dark lightning that riddle the burlier Grey brother with a dark static charge. The brother was cast from the throne of the Necromancer. Heva kicked it back into gear approaching the throne faster, dispelling any demonspawn that approached her. Once at the foot of the throne's steps she walked up them slowly. The Grey brother's had pinned the Necromancer down and now were speaking what seemed to be their final words of recognition to them but it was far from the truth. The Necromancer still had to the energy to fight. His dark storage was far from diminished.

Again Heva was assailed by a group of the Necromancer's demonspawn and again she was delayed and again she had to fight her way out. This was no easy fight, two of her assailants were two times her size and the rest just piggy backed on the larger spawns blows. She was in trouble. "A little help here!" she called out, sidestepping a blow and spouting off a chute of flame at another.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Dulinhel Elenren - Necromaner's Lair, Shinguo

It was a deadly dance of death. Up, left, roll right, stab forward, slash, slash, roll again, block. Repeat. Elves loved art, and war was only another type of art, one which her race had perfected. She wove gracefully between her opponents, the stupid creatures not able to process her movements quickly enough to deal any real damage. They really were quite stupid creatures. Individually, they were quite easy to deal with, and only posed a real threat in large groups where they could swarm. As she danced through the waves of enemies, she noted things about them, and about the necromancer. No one had really ever taken time to do any study into necromancy, it was a highly forbidden dark form of magic, and the offenders and their creatures were swiftly killed. She noted patterns in their movement. To her, it seemed as though not only did the necromancer create them, but he controlled them as well. It was quite astounding the amount of thought processing that must take place it that man's twisted mind to control so many beings at once. Perhaps that's why they were so stupid, because he couldn't give so many beings complex commands. So once they narrowed the number of undead down, would they become more difficult to defeat?

Distracted temporarily by her thoughts, one of the undead monsters flung itself at her from behind, biting deep into her right arm, sharp teeth biting through her leather armor and piercing her skin. Grunting, she spun around quickly, shifting the knife in her left hand holding it dagger style, pointed backward. As she spun, the monster's teeth became dislodged, and it staggered back a foot, trying to recover. As it stumbled backward, her knife connected solidly with the creature's head, digging deep into its skull and piercing the rotting brain matter within. Pulling it out with a squelch, she rolled backward out of the fray, quickly checking her arm. It didn't seem serious though, only a minor amount of blood seeping out of the holes in her armor. She leaped back into the fray, digger her daggers into yet more flesh. She considered pulling out her bow to deal even more damage, but she discarded the idea quickly. Taking out the necromancer himself would be much more of a challenge, and she really should save the ammunition that she had remaining. With a little over half a dozen arrows remaining, she couldn't risk using too many against the minions.

She quickly looked around now and then, checking on her various companions. The two knights seemed to be holding their own against the necromancer, one holding the undead off while the other tried desperately to wound the necromancer some how. The elf considered sending a few arrows in the direction of the necromancer, hoping to distract him, but she didn't want to hit either of the knights. She trusted her accuracy, but the knights might do something and get in the way somehow. Better to just let them deal with it. Tamor and Auden had killed the two stronger looking undead now, and were now recovering from their own fight. Both looked extremely tired, they had probably used most of their magical energy in taking the two demons out. Heva, the other spell caster seemed to be holding her own against the swarms of the undead, burning them to a crisp, or using some other form of magic to dispose of the creatures. In a way, Dulinhel envied the other spell casters for their control over their magic, and how powerful they were in it.

Turning her attentions to her own problems, she noticed a quite large...thing for lack of better words battering his way through the crowds of monsters, making its way straight for her. He was covered in layers of flesh and muscle, extremely bulky in form. Protruding from his body were dozens of swords, daggers, and other weaponry, looking like an enormous porcupine. Upon seeing his target, he paused and let out an angry shout, the thing's foul breath reaching even to her, a dozen or so feet away. "Great", she muttered, "All right big boy, lets go."

Quickly pulling her bow off her back and stringing an arrow, she let it loose firing for his head. The brute raised his arm incredibly quickly, catching the arrow in his wrist, roaring at the pain, but seemingly taunting her for her failure. "All right, fine. That's how we are going to play? Very well then." Running full force at the beast, she rolled between his legs, dodging under him as he swiped at her lithe figure. Once behind him, she extended her body straight out from the roll, twisting her body into a quick back flip, landing with her feet placed solidly on one of the protruding hilts of a large broadsword sticking in the beast's back. Her momentum pushed the sword further into the beast, burying it all the way to the hilt pushing it through the monster's body. She jumped off his back, rolling to absorb the impact, then turned to look at the damage she had caused. The beast roared in pain, surprise, and anger as he stared down at the tip of the blade now protruding from his breast. Look at the small figure that had caused him this pain, he roared once again, charging full force at the elf. Rolling to the right, she loaded her bow once again, coming up from the roll in firing position. The arrow flew straight and true, landing in the base of the thing's neck. He grunted, and turned, only to get another arrow in the mouth, silencing his screaming instantly, then another landing in his eye socket, burrowing deeply. He groaned for a moment, then toppled over. Dulinhel strode up to the beast, and unbelievably found the thing still drawing ragged breaths, despite the fall on his back causing even more blades to shoot through his body. Looking at it with disgust, she shoved her blade into the side of the things head repeatedly, covering her arm in blood, till the thing was finally silenced.

Noticing that the plump spell caster was about to be overrun, she raced towards her companion, unleashing several arrows, silently cursing herself for having to use the valuable ammunition. She focused the barrage on the two larger of the group, each taking more than a few arrows to take down. One was effectively dead before she got there, and the other was soon after with a knife thrown solidly into it's eye socket, as well as an arrow poking out both sides of the creatures head. She leapt into the fray, slashing her way through the outer undead, then pulling her thrown knife from the dead monster's head with a disgusting squelching sound. The two of them killed the rest quickly, giving them a brief respite.


Looking around, she noticed that immediately all of the undead suddenly keeled over, becoming lifeless once again. At the same time, she heard a bloodcurdling scream come from the necromancer, who was cradling the shattered remains of what once had been his staff. Obviously his source of power, as it was destroyed so was the control over the monsters. Without a source of power, they became corpses once again. She jogged over to where the rest of the group was gathering in front of the necromancer, preparing themselves. She jogged over to them, motioning for her spell caster companion to follow. Counting her arrows, she became concerned seeing that there was only eight left. She didn't know what kind of tricks the necromancer still had up his sleeve. "Alright", she grunted with disgust, joining the rest of the group. "Lets end this once and for all."

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Old April 18th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Varian Sigmund and Cassandra Alexandera, Bandit Fort, Curilan, Eveamoor



Varian ran back through the narrow corridor, the screams and shouts of the soldiers of the Steel Safe following closely behind them. Some would occasionally chuck spears or shoot arrows in an attempt to hit their targets. Varian knew the corridors provided the advantage for them of reducing their lead in numbers, but it also provided less maneuverability, which meant these spears and arrows thrown had a chance to hit their client’s daughter. And if she died, all of this would have been for nothing, and he would be a very angry Highman.

“This won’t work,” He began to say to Cass beside him. “We should hold them off while the boy and the job move on ahead. We can’t risk her getting shot at. The fat man might be put off.” He stated, referring to the daughter as the ‘job’ to maintain his distancing he typically preferred with human clients.

"And trust them to make it out alive?" Cass began, disagreeing greatly. "Though I suppose if they follow all the dead bodies it would work itself out," Cass said with a slight shrug before continuing her thoughts. "Nah, I rather you or I see them out ourselves. Or maybe send Ava or Alys to do it. The 'boy' can hold his own, but he's hurt. He can't last through another fight without me saving his ass. We should just fight our way through this. So much easier." Cass wasn't a fan of running away. "Not to mention more fun."

For all her inebriation and stubborn recklessness, Varian could see that Cass had a point. They would probably fair better if they were together, especially since they weren’t on enemy territory, and they probably knew it far better than they did. “Fine,” He declared before turning to address Honest, “Keep her in between us. You lead on from the top, Cass and I will fight those coming from below.” As he finished this, he turned to see a string of bandits still coming after them, though they muddled behind one another in the close proximity of the slim paths. He sent a slight nod of the head to Cass who stood beside him as a sign of his readiness to engage them.

Without a single word, Cass and Varian leapt up together and delivering a double dropkick to the leading bandit, causing the others to fall over in succession. A couple of bandits waded through the collapsed bandits, but their loss of balance made them easy pickings for Cass and Varian who effortlessly cut them down, trusting to Honest to guard the daughter, who still held on to Cass' knife in case any bandit managed to get close to her. It was a perfect combination of hacking and slashing, the combination Varian and Cass had used countless times before as they butchered their enemies as easily as a farmer would slaughter pigs. This time was no different, the oddly successful fighting pair bringing their enemies to their knees almost as effortlessly as they’ve done innumerable occasions prior, despite the enemies being no ordinary bandit group. Theirs was an odd pairing, but somehow they’ve managed to make it work, both on the battlefield and as friends. The results were shattered shields, broken bones, and an abundance of blood. The usual.

With the piles of dead bodies partially blocking the corridor, Varian and Cass took this opportunity to lead the other two through the path. The remains of the bodies tried to mount over them and pursue the two, but the delay was enough for them to make a distance between the bandits, enough to move forward. The pair ran forward, following the daughter and Honest closely, until they reached a clearing, where all of the narrow paths that came from the large room where they were ambushed diverged. In this clearing, the other mercenaries who had run down similar corridors finally met up with them, until they were all together again. Varian noted the condition of his comrades, some of them in quite bad shape, particularly Alys, who seemed to be in a horrific state. Hopefully, they would be able to get out soon and take care of their wounded. The group was now closer to the top, and had to persevere only a little more before they would be in the clear.

However, these bandits had other plans. Knowing the tunnels better than the visiting mercenary group, the bandits cut off the band of sellswords and surrounded them. At the head, the same leader from before. With his fully encased armor and wielding his hefty ball and chain, the man towered over his followers. "We don't like people crashing our parties. Gentlemen, try to keep them alive. I want to ask them a couple questions. After all, we have ways of making you talk."

Varian looked around, examining the state they were in. It seemed unlikely that they would be able to take down all of them given the current condition of his comrades, but if they took out the head bandit, that may be enough. A glance was shared with Cass, which she seemed to pick up on, and the two struck at the armor-encased bandit. Varian swung his left axe towards the bandit’s head, the blow striking at the thick armor, but the shielding protecting the sharp axe from penetrating his skin, and only caused him to stagger back. The bandit leader responded by grabbing hold of the axe which struck at him, holding onto it tightly. Varian tried to pry it from his arms, but he kept his firm grip tight around it. The Highman kicked the leader, hitting him as he attempted to break free, but no such luck happened. It was as if the bandit had strength beyond his form, such that cannot be seen, because the man appeared to exert much more power than he appeared, even despite his fully encased armor. Varian already knew what this meant, and how lethal the ball and chain would be if it would land a blow against him, which made his current situation all that more perilous. With the bandit’s free arm, he swung back his mighty weapon, and prepared to land a critical blow on Varian. Thankfully, the Highman was not alone in his fight, his companion Cass watching his back, swiftly intercepting the blow of the bandit by interfering her blade at the chain part of the weapon, thus causing the ball to wrap around. She pulled, trying to loosen his grip on the weapon, but she too learned of the bandit’s unique command of strength. He was a walking titan masked in steel skin, a foe beyond his size. In a show of his might, the bandit leader tapped into his abundance of energy, tossed both of his foes away from him by their weapons’ hold on himself. Varian again was caught off guard by the exertion of this unnatural strength, and was flung through the air as one would expect to do to smaller opponents.

“Urgh…” Varian groaned, standing up despite a few injuries he had received while fighting through this fort, not least of all by this fellow. Varian acknowledged now that this bandit was no ordinary foe, and as such neither he nor Cass should treat him as such, as neither should the rest of the mercenaries. But besides their stubbornness to refuse defeat after going so far with the job when so much coin was promised to them, Varian and Cass both still were capable fighters, as were the rest of the mercenaries. With the help of everyone, they knew they could bring him down. He was tough, but he was just a man, and all men could be killed.

Percival and Roland Grey- Necromancer's Lair, Ryuuse, Shingou



The Knights were assembled in a line, equipped with their respective ways in way or another. Percival had to search the immediate area for where his mace was flung to, but was lucky enough to find it. His shield on the other hand, was useless, being nothing more than a melted sheet of metal. The Necromancer rose from his anguish, his despair, with anger and disgust. "All those years of hard work, gone. Fine then. I will use your remains to start anew. Maybe I will use bones to make a new staff," the Necromancer snickered, clearly any remains of his mind lost in the sands of time. An aura of dark purple energy gathered around the Necromancer, as he focused his energy. It then gathered into his hands, as spheres of magical energy.

Roland prepared himself as the Necromancer released from his arms the spherical dark energy which shot through the air like plasma of a volcano, though in a darker color. As the knight of Grey raised his shield to block the attack, he felt the sting of the energy permeate his armor and strike at his arm. The shield itself decayed below the swallowing dark energy, engulfing around the steel of Reigncliff. He dropped it from his hands, but the metal was dissolved before it even hit the ground. A lingering stinging pain stayed in his arm, which he clutched to his chest as if to ease the pain, though no such relief came. Deciding to put aside what pain he felt, Roland grasped his sword with both hands, preparing for the Necromancer’s next spell, which came almost immediately after, targeting all of the knights. He held him arms to his chest, as if he were praying, though Roland seriously doubted he prayed to anyone, unless it was among the foulest of gods. Then, materializing between his hands appeared to be smog of the blackest color. The smoke began to more prominently occupy his hands, before it suddenly lit up, igniting in the dark mage’s hands, and engulfing them. No pain seemed to resonate from his face though, but rather a sense of accomplishment as the mage was seen smiling menacingly. The smoke was now fire, but not a bright orange or red one. The blaze he held between his hands was black as the night sky, yet Roland knew that such accursed flames would be just as potent, if not more so if he was hit by them. The black fire expanded in his hands, until it surrounded his arms, and with a wave of the magic, he launched an explosive wave of this newly formed black magic in the form of this dark inferno. The fire quickly expanded from his hands and spread everywhere, the small of his arms which it left from not matching the wide range that the spell reached.
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Last edited by Raikiri; April 18th, 2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 01:10 AM
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Honest clutched at his wound and watched as Cass dispatched the rest of the bandits with relative ease, earning only one new wound to her name. He was right. She was impressive. And she was apparently also a lot more forgiving than he was used to, offering him her ale to cleanse the throbbing gash on his shoulder. He had a sneaking suspicion this was a privilege that few would receive; enough that he ignored the strange hollow feeling that spread through him at the word ‘servant’. This was strange, considering his family hadn’t even been able to afford servants and he couldn’t imagine any other reason he’d feel so oddly about the word. He was quickly distracted from his thoughts by the sharp sting of alcohol on his injury. It wasn’t too bad; he could deal with the pain and some limitation in movement of his left arm. He’d definitely had much worse thrown at him before.

"Oh, hai! Whatcha doin'?"

Honest’s head snapped up curiously, having been too busy inspecting his shoulder and watching the shaken girl from the corner of his eye to pay attention to whatever Cass had been doing. There, on the other side of a newly-opened door, was an angry-looking guy with three scars running across one cheek. He yelled something about not dying and then ordered them to take to the corridors. Even now, Honest’s very first instinct was to obey such an authoritative voice. His feet began moving before his mind, taken by surprise, could think it through. He hated fighting in small spaces. He could use his glaive much more effectively when he had room to swing, but he supposed that it didn’t matter when it was still missing and being wielded by some "professionally trained" amateur. Besides, Cass seemed to be fine with it. That was good enough for him.

It took him a moment to realise he was grabbing the girl’s arm and tugging her along so she could keep up, even through her stumbling and crying. He pushed her a little ahead of him when spears began flying around them every now and again. The small corridors meant that they were all grouped together, giving the bandits an advantage. If he’d had more of his knives he could’ve taken a few of them down but, as it was, he couldn’t retrieve any knives he threw, which would leave him even more defenseless. Damn, he missed his glaive.

He half-listened to Cass and the angry guy argue about the course of action they should take. The girl had stopped crying so much but that might’ve been because she’d begun hyperventilating. It didn’t really matter to Honest as long as she kept up.

“Fine.” Honest tuned back into the conversation when it sounded like they had reached an agreement. Angry guy turned to address him. “Keep her in between us. You lead on from the top, Cass and I will fight those coming from below.” He said, clear and succinct and brooking no argument. Again, Honest found himself starting to obey without thought. Ha, this is what you really are, after all, a voice in the back of his mind taunted him. He ignored it.

The girl’s arm was still in his grip (which would probably bruise later on due to the amount of force he had to use, but it was either that or possible death, so…), and his knife was already in the palm of his injured hand in case an enemy appeared from the front. He led the group (followed orders like a good s--) until they reached a clearing of sorts. It looked as though other mercenaries were arriving here, some of them quite heavily wounded. He wasn’t sure, having been blindfolded when he was taken down to the cells, but he hoped they were nearing the exit. If he never had to go through an abandoned-castle-turned-bandit-fort again, it would be too soon.

…Maybe he should just stop hoping for things. The universe obviously existed only to spite him, because the next moment bandits had cut them off. More bandits than they could safely handle, at any rate. The leader of the bandits started talking but Honest stopped paying attention because he’d finally found him. The bandit.

The bandit.

The bandit who was holding his glaive.

Honest narrowed his eyes, his jaw clenching. That was his. That was the only thing of the world he considered truly his and that moron standing there and being stupidly smug had it. It was an heirloom! (He stole it in the first place. It wasn't even his by rights.) That bastard!

When the bandits began to move to attack and Cass and the angry guy instantly headed to the head bandit, Honest went straight for his glaive. He would be much more effective with it back, after all. When it was back where it rightfully belonged, then he would help. Still dragging the girl behind him, since Cass would probably behead him on the spot if something happened to her because Honest started getting starry-eyed at the sight of a weapon, he ran right into the crowd of bandits. Most of them were focused on the pair who were duelling their leader or else occupied with the other mercenaries. Honest dodged a few blows, forcing the girl to duck a sword once or twice, before he reached the one who was swinging the glaive from side to side.

The bandit grinned. “How’s it feel,” he crowed proudly, “facing your own weapon. Do you even know how to use this properly? You didn’t even put up a fight. You’re going to die here today, boy!” The bandit suddenly lunged forward, thrusting the glaive at Honest, who easily sidestepped. Unused to the unbalanced weight of the weapon, the bandit let the glaive dip a little. Honest to this opportunity to step on the flat side of the glaive and send the head crashing to the ground before quickly stomping his other foot on the pole, ripping it from the hands of the shocked bandit and knocking it to the floor. He swiftly kicked it up again, caught it with both hands, and in one fluid motion he cleanly beheaded the other man.

The world seemed to reset itself. The annoying itch that had been running under his skin, stopped. Its solid weight in his hands was calming. If he’d known that he’d feel like this without the glaive, he’d probably have fought the bandits back when they’d cornered him before. Speaking of which, he took a moment to spit on the corpse before something else caught his eye.

“Son of a…” he breathed. Around the bandit’s waist was his knife pouch and what looked to be half of the gold he’d been carrying when he was taken. It only took a few moments to detach them and reattach them to his own belt, making sure to keep an eye on the girl. Feeling more like himself than he had in a while, although still rather lightheaded from lack of sustenance and feeling the ache in his shoulder, he straightened up and grinned. There was the clashing of arms all around him, the screams of defiance, the smell of blood, utter chaos. His family had been in the military for generations. Battle called to him, sang in his blood. If absolutely nothing else, Honest knew how to fight and survive. (He survived, he always survived, but for what?) He hefted his glaive and thrust it through someone’s side, quickly reversing it as he swung back around so that it sliced off another bandit’s sword arm.

He had his weapon of choice back, in the midst of a fight to the death. This, as much as anything could be, was home. (His skills, his weapon, everything he was… they gave him.)

Honest paused, reassessing the situation. Was it more important to save the girl or to help Cass and angry guy take down the head bandit for a speedier resolution? He couldn’t leave the girl alone. If he tried to cause a distraction for the rest of the bandits so they wouldn’t try to interfere with the battle with the leader, they might overwhelm him and the girl might die. It looked as though he would have to stick to protecting the girl for now.

“You gotta get your back against a wall,” Honest told the girl, pushing her to one. They were far enough away from battle against the leader that the crowd wasn’t too thick here, but close enough that Honest could keep an eye on it in case something happened. Well, he could keep an eye on it when he wasn’t dealing with hostile and well-trained bandits, that is. He could hear the girl whimpering behind him, which was strangely distracting. It was difficult not to feel vulnerable knowing something was behind him while he wasn’t defending himself from that direction, even though he knew that the girl was about as dangerous as a wet piece of cloth. That didn’t stop him from splitting a bandit’s skull open with his glaive, though, so he was good to go. He grinned brightly at the next charging bandit who was waving a sword quite skilfully. Unfortunately, the sword rather fell short of two meters long, and the bandit ended up with his stomach skewered through with a glaive before he’d ever even reached Honest.

Honest may just be a fisherman’s son, but he gave whatever he got. And then some.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 07:13 PM
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Dulinhel Elenren - Necromaner's Lair, Shinguo

The knights positioned themselves around the necromancer, the lean figure hunched over on the ground. The other knights looked well enough, well enough as it was. Tamor and Auden seemed a little more worse for wear, looking quite exhausted, but they face the evil being in front of them all the same. She looked around, searching for anything useful, anything at all. Only discarded, rusted weapons, shattered old pieces of armor and shields, nothing really that useful. Her attention was turned back towards the necromancer as he grunted with anger and anguish, discarding the broken remains of his shattered staff. "All those years of hard work, gone", he spat with disgust. "Fine then. I will use your remains to start anew. Maybe I will use bones to make a new staff," he snickered. His voice was laced with lunacy. He was either completely insane, or very very close to it. Purple energy began to flow out of the deranged man, an aura of evil emanating from him. With a laugh, he focused the energy into the palms of his hands, forming it into spheres of glowing energy.

Dulinhel jumped back as the necromancer unleashed the orbs of energy at the group, rolling backward. Her arms scrambled as she searched for something as a few orbs flew through the air her way. Her right arm was lucky and caught the edge of a wooden shield. She pulled the shield in front of her, crouching down low behind the shield, bracing for impact. The first orb hit, knocking her back, burning the edges of her shield instantly, the second all but disintegrating it. The third flowed around what little remained of the shield, burning her arms and face, whatever was not covered by armor. Although her body stung from pain, she stood, discarding the remains of the shield just as she saw some of her companions do the same. She ignored the pain, drawing her bow at full strength, nocking her arrow, pointing it at the necromancer's head. The necromancer was holding his hands close to his chest, chanting or praying. Then he pulled his hands apart, dark smog being conjured up between them, then spreading to his arms. He grinned as the smog covering his arms lit up with dark fire, then cast the dark fire to the group.

Gripping her arrow tightly, she focused, calling out the magic she knew was there somewhere. Finding her energy, she remembered the cooling waters, streams, lakes, rivers, oceans. She brought the memories and energies together, imbuing the magic into her arrow, and releasing it into the wall of fire approaching them. The arrow exploded into enchanted water, exploding outward once it reached the fire. It doused most of the flames, but not all. Some made it through, and she could only hope that her allies had some way of protecting themselves from the fire. Pulling another arrow out quickly, she fired the projectile at the necromancer. The man only laughed as he launched another fireball at the arrow, burning it to a crisp. She launched another two, with the same result. Frustrated, she scrambled backward, searching for something that might reach the wretched man. Finding nothing useful, she hurled a rock at him, distracting him, then rushed forward pulling out her blades. She lunged towards him, ducking underneath a fireball, then plunging her blades into his ribcage. He cried out in pain, then, using some sort of dark energy, launched her backward through the air. She landed on the ground hard, bouncing and rolling a few times, coming to a rest on the ground. The necromancer grimaced as he pulled the blades out of his chest, discarding one, then flipping the other one around and throwing it at the elf woman. To weak and disoriented to avoid the spinning blade, it landed solidly in her abdomen with a thud. She was out of this fight one was or another. It was up to her allies now.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 09:14 PM
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Victoria "Alys" Taimor - Bandit Fort, Currilan, Eveamoor


Alys groaned as she positioned herself up against the brick wall. A gust of wind briefly buffeted her as Castiel landed on her thigh, eyeing up the wound that continued to seep blood between her layers before screeching. She could tell that he was distressed at her apparent weakened state, but she gently stroked his plummage, muttering, "Shhh, it's going to be fine, Castiel, I'll be fine." But of course, Alys knew she wasn't going to be fine. Between the blood loss and the exhaustion, she was on the brink of passing out; and without further medical treatment, she could quite easily become rapidly sick and die.

Her bow now felt cool in her hands after having used her hunting knives for so long, and with her quiver she withdrew an arrow, notching it yet holding out on drawing the string. As soon as she did so she felt the wound tear further as pain now racked her body setting all her nerve endings on fire. Crying out in distress, she made Castiel wince, tears slowly streaming down her face. She had gone from being a high born noble to dying on the floor of a bandit fort within a matter of years; had this been the same fate Elizabeth had threatened her with the day she announced her departure from Rowanion? It seamed almost hilarious that her sister had been right; a noble born had no business dealing with the matters of those beneath them, but for years Alys had felt like she wasn't noble.

"I'm sorry, Castiel" she cried through the tears now streaming down her cheeks, "I didn't want it to end this way either."

She let the arrow fly at the bandit leader. It flew much faster and straighter than Alys would have been able to in the state she was in, striking the bandit leader in the knee. He let out a groan of pain as he collapsed to one leg; arrow firmly planted between his knee cap and his calf bone. Smiling, Alys let the darkness envelope and grasp her; the room and commotion fading away into the distance until Alys herself remained in the pitch blackness of her mind.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 12:20 AM
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>> AVA
>> Bandit Fort, Currilan, Eveamoor

"Alys! Wake up!" Avangeline shook her companion as she closed her eyes, almost seemingly falling asleep in the middle of a giant battle. Ava quickly felt her neck for a pulse and exhaled as she felt a dull thud every moment or so. Dull, but still there. Avangeline pulled Alys out of the commotion, shoving her against the wall behind the new boy (boy? Man? what could she say?). She couldn't rely on him to protect her friend but nobody would swing at a dead girl (or a girl that looked dead, anyway).

"Argh, wretched thing," the giant of a man snapped the stick that protruded out of his knee, and swung his ball and chain up, throwing it at the ground, aiming it at a wary Varian and Cass who dodged it with time to spare. He was big, he was very strong but he was slow. And probably stupid. He was only a leader because of his sheer size and strength and could pulverise a man in an instant, but judging from the way he used his weapon, he was no smarter than a mule.

His inferiors had begun to dwindle out, turning from a war into what seemed like a show. They had stopped trying to kill them and instead formed a circle around him, egging him on as he swung at the Highman and his lady. Their wounds were catching up to them and it would only be so long before that ball and chain would flatten them.

Avangeline stepped forward (gesturing at her wolf to stay back, to which he obliged. Grudgingly), joining Varian and Cass in their dodge-fest, allowing her to get close enough to speak to them in between crashes.

"Step out, I can take him," she shouted, loud enough for Cass, Varian and the Bandit Leader to hear her.

"Are you crazy!?" Varian bellowed over another, narrowly dodging the rubble that had flown up towards his face. "You'll get yourself killed and this will all be for nothing!"

"Trust me, Highman, I don't plan on dying until I see a dragon with my own two eyes."

"What?!"

"Trust me!"

Varian stepped back, nodding bitterly at his female companion. She scowled, but stepped back, taking a chance to catch what little breath they had left.

"You? I'll turn your hair into a wig and wear it like a crown!"

"And I'll turn your dirty face into toilet paper," Avangeline sneered at the man, "and take a giant dump in your mouth."

"That is no way for a lady to speak, girl. I'll make sure to clean your teeth out with my fist," he made the first move, the way Avangeline had planned, throwing the ball out in front of him. Avangeline dodged it with ease, sliding under his legs and slicing past his ankles. He groaned but didn't falter, turning around and throwing his ball again. Avangeline dodged again, slipping around to slice at the arrow in his knee.

The giant moaned yet again, changing his attack plan from scary chain and balls to swinging his fists around like a child. Avangeline ducked her face under the first, not especting a second to swing around behind her, equipped with a small dagger. Curses! Why hadn't she seen him pick it up? The dagger struck her in the shoulder hard, but not hard enough to hit bone. Avangeline pulled herself out of the dagger, the man's monsterous grip left holding a dripping, bloody knife. She cursed again, ducking as he made another lunge. She dodged it easy, this time predicting its coming, but her shoulder stung. She quietly congratulated the man for being the first in a long time to land such a strong blow on her. But it wouldn't happen again.

Avangeline swapped from defensive to offensive, slicing at his exposed skin when he lunged. He didn't stop or cringe like Avangeline did from the pain, instead acting as if nothing had happened and continuing to strike. What was wrong with this man? Was he not mortal to feel the slow and painful attacks of hers? Perhaps he was actually a giant, or a giant hybrid. Or perhaps he was a monster. Either way, she was going to fell this beast. For Alys, at least.

He switched back to his ball and chain, attacking at a faster rate, but not at her. Instead, he aimed for her feet, or at least the ground around her. Avangeline kept up with his monsterous blows, jumping out of the way just as the ground around her cracked and quaked. After the sixth or seventh blow though, Avangeline made the mistake of stepping at an already cracked area, her boot slipping on the fractured earth.

"I'm sick of this game, whelp," he growled, taking advantage of Avangeline's off footing, by sweeping at her, taking hold of her hair and pulling her up. She yelped and dropped her swords, surprised the giant could have caught her even in a moment's distraction. Maybe she had been wrong about him? She pulled her up to his eyeline, grinning what was left of his disgusting, yellow teeth at her. Nem barked from Varian and Cass' side, angry but kept loyal to Avangeline's word. "Perhaps I should keep you with the other girl in the dungeons as a toy I can deflower when I please?"

Now this... this made her mad.

"Don't you dare speak of women in that way!" she screamed, kicking her feet up, colliding with his armour and thrusting it into his jaw. He moaned in pain, letting go of Avangeline and his horrific weapon and clawed at his face as if that would make the pain go away. Avageline dropped, grabbing her swords and ducking underneath one of his swinging arms. She launched herself upwards, using the roaring crowd as stepping stones to the sky, dodging their flailing arms and swords as she went. When she was happy with her height, she jumped again, thrusting herself at the brute of a man as he raised his head to see what was eclipsing the light above him.

"Deflower this!"

She thurst her arms forward, both her swords breaking through each of his eye sockets, his brains and out the other side of his skull. Avangeline let go, using his falling head as a step to land comfortably behind him. His body fell like a tree, his armour clanging and echoing loudly at the now silent room of awe-struck bandits. With their leader gone, these bandits had no direction and no purpose and thus, had no reason to live. This would soon be solved.

"Who's next!?"
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Old April 25th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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Varian Sigmund and Cassandra Alexandera- Bandit Fort, Currilan, Eveamoor



The arrow shot by Alys pierced straight through the metal surrounding the leader’s knee, and obvious indication of the power and accuracy shot through the bow. It also provided Cass and Varian a bit of elbow room, making the bandit leader’s movements a bit slower. He was reluctant at first to leave the fight to Ava, a one on one contest seeming like a foolish move against one with such ferocious strength. But the disadvantage the mercenaries had previously would turn out to play in their favor at the present. Not being regular brigands, the members of the Steel Safe has a shred of dignity about them that did not befit the common thug. Such would be the case that Varian was fairly certain none of the others would interfere with a one-on-one fight. Also, Ava appeared to be least injured of the pack, so she presumably had the best shot. Varian backed away with Cass grudgingly, observing the fight take place between the two of them. There was back and forth action, the large leader taking action both with his behemoth of a ball-and-chain, and a dagger which he managed to strike Ava with. However, Ava recovered enough to continue the clash. It was an insult to Alys which set her off, culminating with her leaping through the air and bringing her swords through the face of the bandit leader, past his helmet, and out the other way.

There were gasps and faces of shock from the other ‘bandits’ at the outcome. Their leader slowly fell to the ground, and Ava screamed out for her next opponent. Yet Varian doubted after defeated their leader, who was clearly also their best warrior, none would likely step forward. Whatever bandits remained after the other mercenaries had quarreled with them was apparently an insufficient number to wish to continue their fight, and so the stragglers took off, running away from the group. He let out a deep sigh, dropping his axes to the ground with a thud. He didn’t remember the last time he had been so worn out. Against all odds imaginable, and through much perseverance, the mercenaries who fought with a little under ten warriors versus well over a hundred well-trained men of the Steel Safe, had won.

Varian turned his attention back to the head bandit, whose body was now surrounded by a puddle of his own blood. He was a man of surprising strength, the likes of which he had not faced in a long time. Even the Highmen he had come across wasn’t that strong. This only further demonstrated Ava’s impressive skill. A bright reflection of light suddenly reflected from Varian’s eyed, coming from across the leader’s neck. He stepped forward a bit, and examining the source further, revealing a necklace of some sort that hung around the bandit’s neck. The chain was of no importance it seemed, but Varian curiously eyed that which hung from it. It was a jewel of some sort, bright red as a ruby, appearing unsullied, spotless, and clear, yet at the same time also jagged, as if it were broken off from a larger gem. It looked valuable, but it also gave Varian a strange sensation deep within his gut, an ominous feeling which he couldn’t explain.

"Oh! Shiny!" Cass yelled as she climbed on top of the leader's body, ripping the necklace off his beck without much thought or hesitation. "Hey Vary, how much do you think this guy's worth? I'd guess a crap-load of gold. Oh the possibilities they make me so excited." Cass' mind immediately wandered to lands full of booze, men and woman. If they sold this, they probably wouldn't have to work ever again. Of course, Cass would probably get bored of that lifestyle, but the idea seemed alluring enough. At least she could save for retirement with it. Or buy a new sword. "Red Snow" had served her admirably enough, but she wanted something bigger. Badder. Meaner. "I say we keep this a secret from the others. I am feeling rather greedy today."

Varian shook his head, Cass’s picking up of the gem breaking his trance from it, and so he looked across at the others. Some were in an injurious shape. Alys was down on the ground, either unconscious or worse, and the others carried at least one wound probably needing to be examined. The battle had taken its toll with all of them. He suddenly found himself angry at this, having put the lives of these capable fighters at risk over false information from their employer. The odds they were expecting were not at all what they turned out to be. His eyes met the gaze of the daughter, their contract. He stared at her coldly, letting his stare fixate on her for a while. She was frightened by this, not sure what the Highman would do next, her bottom lip visibly trembling. However, a moment later, Varian walked over to his axes, holstered them back into the spot on the back of his baldric, and proceeded towards Alys. He lifted her carefully from the ground, taking note of her injury which blood flowed from, and proceeded towards the exit.

“Calm yourself lass.” He stated coldly. “We’re here to help you. Your father hired us to get you out of here. Come with us, and we’ll take you to him now.” As much as he would have liked to pinpoint his anger on her, she had nothing to do with the hiring, besides getting captured. Besides, her safety still depended on them getting paid, and after all the crap they had been through in this Gods-forsaken bandit fort, he sure wasn’t letting her die now. He motioned for the others to follow him out

***

At their slower pace of walking (due to their injuries and weariness), the trip to the inn known as the ‘Strutting Stagg’ was about four hours. When they did finally arrive, however, the first sight they saw of the inn was the familiar sight of the overweight ‘merchant’, sitting upon a bench on the outside of the tavern, awaiting the mercenaries return. “Father!” The young woman who accompanied the mercenaries suddenly yelled, running towards the merchant. The merchant could hardly contain himself either, his jubilance radiating to the point of tears as he embraced his daughter tightly. But Varian was not amused. Handing the injured Alys over to Bofvar, he gave the two a moment of happiness in their reunion out of respect for the job, but his patience wore thin. He stepped forward towards the two, the merchant realizing the existence of the mercenary again as he looked up at the Highman before him. “Ah, I cannot thank you enough, good ma-“ Varian grabbed hold of the merchant, by the arm. “A word.” He stated coldly to him, leading him into the inn, where he expected the other mercenaries to follow suit.

“Ah. Err, of course. If you would, please wait out here, dear.” The merchant told the daughter, who curiously looked at the two, but nodded. “We’re just going to have a friendly chat about the payment promised, not to worry.” He assured her with a smile. As soon, as Varian and the merchant entered the inn, which was largely vacant, Varian took hold of the collar of the fat man, and threw him onto a table, extering as much strength as he could to place them there, the extent of his round form showing how difficult that proved to be.
“You corpulent swine!” Varian bellowed, raising his fists in the air as he prepared to bring it down upon the merchant. The other hand still clung to his collar of his hooded cloak. “M-my dear ser, whatever is the proble-“

“Thirty men tops, regular bandits. Ring a bell? Because of your omissions, we were almost slain. One of our company is heavily injured! You give me one good reason why I shouldn’t gut you now.”

“S-ser, if you would. I have 35 reasons why you shouldn’t!” He pleaded, pointing to the sacks of coin to the side of the room, watched over by a somewhat larger man, probably in the employ of the merchant. “I had to make those omissions. You have to understand. I went to everyone! Nobody would take the mission. I was desperate! Besides, in the end, all of you are alive, and I’ve taken the liberty of bringing some fine physicians to remedy your injured. Furthermore, I have rented out all of the rooms in the inn for your use, and all drinks will have been paid for a weeks worth!”

Varian stared coldly at the merchant, debating what he should do. His fist was still in the air, ready to be brought down upon the whimpering man. When he noticed doctors already beginning to examine the other mercenaries, he backed down a bit, but he still wanted answers. “You’re no common merchant. Or else the Steel Safe wouldn’t have gotten involved. Who are you?”

“Well, I suppose there’s no use hiding it.” He said, standing up now as Varian loosened his grip around his cloak. “My name is Albert Castell, leader of the Golden Authority Merchants Guild of Eveamoor.” He paused for a moment, allowing for the mercenaries to reflect on a name they have likely heard, especially being in Eveamoor for such a long time. Though the country of Eveamoor is officially ruled by Madelaine Robertson the “Sky Queen”, it is run by the guilds. Most particularly, the Golden Authority Merchants Guild takes care of much of the commerce that enters and departs the country. “Now that you know who I am, you must understand why I needed the secrecy of this mission. The Steel Safe brazenly abducted my daughter from me from a previous act that had resulted in earlier hostilities. I had tried everything previously to rescue her, but she was too well defended, and my men could not get the job done. Yet you were able to. I cannot thank you enough, sers.”

Varian proceeded over to the sacks, which contained the promised rewards of the mercenaries. Ensuring everything was in order, he returned his glare at the man who introduced himself as the head of the merchants guild in Eveamoor. Albert continued to talk.

“Besides, if I may say so ser, you should count this job as a blessing.” He said, realizing his words may cause a reaction in the Highman, which it did. He backed away slowly.

“What did you say?” Varian asked threateningly.

“Let me explain!” Albert began, holding up his hands in hopes of calming him. “You may not realize it now, but your venture in the fort has begun to spread like wildfire. There has been much talk amongst the other guilds, especially the Steel Safe. After all, you did just slaughter an entire troop of theirs. I wouldn’t be surprised if prominent individuals in other countries might catch wind of your exploit too. In essence, you entire dynamic has already likely changed. I would not worry anymore about finding more work. In all likelihood, work shall now find you. In fact, I wouldn’t mind hiring you myself one day…”

Varian thought on this for a moment, exchanging a glance with Cass, before addressing Albert once more. “The only way I would ever work for you again, you stout, fleshy swine of a man, is if you were to hire us to claim your own life. You best pray to your gods that we never meet again after this, because I care not what illustrious man you claim to be. I will cut off your head and use your body as a mattress. Get out of here.” He said sternly. The merchant fearfully proceeded out of the door.

“Y-yes, of course. My physicians will remain here as long as you need. The rooms and drinks have been paid for up to a week.” Before exiting the inn, he looked once more upon all of them, earnestly bowing his head in gratefulness. “You have my everlasting gratitude, brave mercenaries.” He said, before heading out of the inn.

Varian sighed, collapsing into the nearest chair to him. After what had seemed like forever, their job was now done and the reward was theirs. “Orbrigg Ale!” He yelled, ordering his favorite drink in celebration of this. There was still a few questions that needed answering, like the condition Alys was in, or whoever the man was that came with them who lingered around Cass, or what exactly happens to them after this. These questions would probably be answered eventually. But for now, he kicked his legs onto the table, and relaxed with a drink, celebrating one more day of escaping a trip to Hielheim, the Highmen’s hell.
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