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Old April 2nd, 2013 (6:31 PM). Edited April 2nd, 2013 by SV.
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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.

A Legend once told me that roleplaying is about bringing people together and celebrating creative vision.
Paired with the Artsy Infinite and the Spectacular Shak
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