* [A Realm of Uncertainty] * [IC] *

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by God, Feb 7, 2015.

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    ~The prologue is a preface to the primary plot. It is the time to get your feet in your character(s)’s shoes, start to interact with others and get a little more familiar with their homes and the world. After a period of time it will transition into the first chapter.~




    PROLOGUE


    It is a week before the anniversary of Brill's fall. Though their loss is still heavy in their hearts, the people of the realm live and carry on. The capitals, with their rulers and citizens, bustle as they always do, but few if any expect what is to come.




    Gashton

    As the date approaches, shadows still dance on the horizon west of Gashton. A gentle northern breeze carrying the salt from the Sea of Thrones weaves itself through the busy streets of Greycastle. The inns and streets are buzzing with gossip – speculation on the King’s impending speech. It’s hard to get away from the buzzing, in fact.

    The noon bells ring, a perfect octave hums and chimes over the murmur. People have already begun to arrive at the inner gates to the citadel courtyard, dressed in their finest clothes. Most gentlemen sported doublets, some with dress swords on their waist, others with feathers in their hats. The women are in their bright shoes and long dresses, hair done up and make up drawn on comically, as if putting on a stage production.

    The bracketed dark oak doors buckle and bump against their braces as the guards prepare to open them. Then the flood of colors, feathered hats and buzzing fills the modest courtyard. The courtyard was packed as the air grew thicker, but hardly anyone noticed – the girls practicing their swooning, the men comparing dress swords. The balcony doors above the courtyard opened as King Henryk and Prince Xander emerged from the citadel, the King stood and placed his hands on the weathered railing of the balcony as the Prince stood off to his right. Henryk was dressed in finely tailored clothing while Xander wore his much preferred polished armor and a crown adorned the head of both men.

    “People of Gashton, we approach one year since our allies in Brill fell,” his voice echoed like the noon bells. “Shadows remain above that cursed land. But Gashton, Gashton remains in light!” Cheers erupted from the crowd as he spoke.

    “Let the enemies of Gashton know that her people are not afraid and that no magic, in all its wicked forms, shall cross our borders unchallenged. That magic which so tragically stole the lives of our friends and loved ones will always pose a threat, one that we must never turn our backs on.”

    “Turn our backs on?!” Another voice erupted violently from the crowd, which separated like ripples, revealing an ordinary-looking young woman. “And what did you do as your allies died around you. You fled!”

    The Prince walked up to the railing of the weathered balcony as the King stood stunned. “What were we to do, remain to be crushed by falling walls? Do you believe leaving Gashton without leadership would have been a better idea?” Two guards gripped their polearms as they pushed through the crowd.

    “You could have stopped it, but you chose not to!” The woman screamed the words as the guards bound her hands forcefully. “You were too cowardly to see what was right in front of you! You’ve sealed our fates, ignorant fools!” She spat the last words, fire erupting from her wrists and leaving the guards to howl and recoil. The witch was outnumbered – four more guards piled on top of her and she was swiftly removed from the courtyard.

    The buzzing becomes loud once more - murmurs of confusion, astonishment, and disappointment. The crowd is led out the gates under the buzzing, so that all that is left in the courtyard is the thick air. The King and Prince disappeared back inside the massive citadel.



    Eventide

    It was the fourth annual Family Potluck, a party where anyone could attend, one of which was set up by the Prince in order to improve relations between the Royal Family and the common rabble. The air was unusually hot for this time of the year – even for the sun-swept port city. Despite this, the prince’s party appeared to be a success. The gardens of Stormhaven castle are a sight to behold. Climbing vines, exotic flowers, and eroded fountains built by generations passed.

    By this time, the tables lining the walls of the garden had been picked clean of fruits, meats and cheeses; the wine pitchers empty. People of all races and creeds gathered in discussion over the public debate held earlier that day.
    Announcing himself, a minstrel summons the remaining guests for one last act. The crowd grew quiet as the bard tuned his lute.

    “Good evening lairds and ladies! I hope you’re enjoying yourselves.” He posed, ready to play.

    “You might recognize this next old rhyme, arranged to music by yours truly.” He flashes a smile to the ladies and began a lilting melody.









    Five gifts the ancients blessed thee,
    five blade-less hilts to be concealed
    entrusted to the Realm by fate,
    and from the wicked ones be sealed

    For the just and pure of soul,
    born to sea and summer glare –
    a circle of ancestral eyes,
    an empty map of cosmic air.

    To the kind and pure of heart,
    of a good and noble birth –
    the means with which to grow a world,
    a golden nest of fired earth.

    For the ardent, pure of flesh,
    heirs to burnt and scarred land –
    a sign of harrowed deeds to come,
    a metal-glass with liquid sand.

    To the brave and pure of blood,
    scions of a fabled name –
    promise of a legacy,
    a vessel hewn from frozen flame.

    And for the wise and pure of mind,
    born to northern wind and rime –
    a window into pasts untold,
    a silver pool of captured time.


    The minstrel finishes his song and wanders around the guests, entertaining them as well as himself. Those that were still there, look to their peers and begin saying their goodbyes as the hour grew late. The Prince, looking to the skies, lets his mind roam. The first year of this event, little to no people showed up due to the prejudice he constantly faces; but thankfully, as the years went on, patrons started showing up, if not for people then for food. These last few years have been hard on him but looking around, it was well worth it. The Prince walks towards the stage where the minstrel just finished his song and calls to gather everyone's attention.

    “Esteemed patrons and guests! I wish to thank you for attending my party this year and I hope you all come again next year as I plan on making it bigger than this one!”

    He looks around the crowd with a beaming smile.

    “And Sal, I look forward to trying that roast of yours this weekend. Your wife says great things about it.”

    With his closing statement of inviting Sal and his family for dinner at the castle, of whom was a common butcher, the Prince steps down and makes his goodbyes with everyone at the party as they leave.





    Kadra

    The stands were packed and screaming with excitement. A variety of bright colors surrounded the arena like a prism, each crowd attempting to cheer louder than its neighbors. Two matching gladiators stepped into the ring. Their orange-tinted armor gleamed in the sun – plated greaves and bracers strung together with bright green straps of cotton and leather, splint-mail kilts and breastplates stamped with dried blood, all capped with an ornately wrought helm. They clashed their shields and great clubs together, and let out a roar for the audience to lap up. The green section of the stands rose in anticipation.

    Focus turned to the opposite end of the sandy arena, to a single archway with a portcullis in shadows. The bars jerked as gears and chains caught them, and the gate rose with a billowing of dust. From out of the shadows came a massive creature. It had bright red flesh, dried and cracked and flaked with metallic blue. The ground shook as its trunk-like legs carried it into the ring. Boos erupted from the green stands, while the rest screamed as if already victorious.

    Then the three were on the move, spinning around each other, each sizing his enemy up. The half-giant swept his great leg across the ground, blinding a gladiator with a torrent of sand and grit. Charging forward into the cloud of dust, he met a gladiator’s breastplate with a boulder of a fist, sending him hurtling towards the fifteen-foot wall surrounding the arena. The half giant turned, but the other human had gone. Footprints in the sand appeared from beneath the dust cloud, but as the half-giant turned to follow them, the other gladiator leaped to its shoulders and landed a wicked blow to its head and neck.

    The half-giant faltered and fell to its knees, but before the gladiator could set up another blow he was in the half-giant’s hands. Spastically the gladiator squirmed and yelled in pain as the giant rose with him in hand. Gripping onto the man’s feet he began to spin. Then another blow – this time to the back of the giant’s knees. The helpless man was released and tossed by the crippled giant. His partner, recovered from the blow to the chest, circled around to the giant’s front as the gladiator who was just tossed reclaimed his club and moved to flank the beast.
    With a synchronized and heroic leap, the two humans pounded the giant’s stone shoulders into the sand. The dust settled, and the crowd sat in silence. The half-giant didn’t move. Cheers erupted, and the gladiators removed their helms, revealing the man and woman’s faces to their fans. The couple offered their team in the stands a salute.

    Lightning cracked and the darkened sky opened up. The stands emptied quickly in confusion to escape the abrupt rainstorm. Slipping and sliding in the mud, the drenched spectators made their way home.

    Back in the city of Arcay, gossip had been spreading of the King of Gashton’s embarrassment during his address. Though details were lost, one word from the incident carried over: traitor. The citizenry already had their doubts cast and confidence shaken over the loss of the northern kingdom, and the notion of another kingdom’s responsibility was quick to spread through the public sphere. Perhaps it was an elaborate stunt to undermine the image of magic and hence that of Kadra. A hoax even?

    As conspiracy grew, so too did the rainwater begin to rise. No one had seen the storm coming, and the baked roads and hardened earth were even less prepared. As water began to breach residents’ thresholds, the King and council called an emergency. Men scrambled to raise levees – with some success. The city roads became rivers within a day, after which the rain vanished as quickly as it had come. Homes had been devastated – foundations softened and eroded and roofs run through with holes. Even the castle’s magnificent public gardens had been flattened.

    Arcay struggles bravely to recover.





    Ormont

    The trial came to a close. For the first time, doubt had settled itself in the citizens of Calay. Faith in Ormont’s rule had taken a chip that threatened to grow and fracture. The noble Chevalier house was found innocent of all fraud by Duke Alaric. The storeowners and craftsmen of Calay had lost.

    A different verdict would have compensated the working class for the money they had pooled together. Money that was supposed to have secured a promise of subsidy for higher grade trade goods. The glaziers were out of Kadran color, the forgers out of Gashton steel, jewelers their metals and ore, and tailors out of damask and silk.

    Families were already scraping by, albeit happily. But that was while they were occupied. The citizens would be well fed, but their goods would be fewer and cheaper, and shops emptier of variety. Without their trades to keep them occupied, minds wandered in search of something better.

    The evening took over and the cramped and lopsided taverns lit their lamps. Talk was disheartened, alcohol was plentiful. In a dimly lit and incense-filled pub, central to the most centered district of Calay, debate had sparked over the risen price of booze. Soon, dirty cuffs were pulled back and fists flew.

    Soon the brawl had grown and began to fill the streets. Many hid behind locked doors and windows, though just as many stood to watch the blood and teeth fly. Eventually, the guard arrived. Dressed in their light plate mail and silk emblems, the soldiers began to indiscriminately subdue anyone fighting and anyone standing in their way. Many arrests were made, but as a show of good faith Duke Alaric ordered the release of all but two. And with that small gesture, the nobility once again took hold of the gentry’s hearts.






    Brill

    Void of animal life, the land of Brill remains cloaked under a slowly spinning, blackened sky. Occasional flashes of green, like lightning, reveal living shadows on the plains and in the trees. Outlying villages remain abandoned and decrepit while the once mighty fortress of Ivanshold remains nothing but a shell of it's former glory. What evil really inhabits this land is unknown, but there's no doubt that it haunts the minds of all walks of life in this Realm of Uncertainty.

     
    #1 God, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  2. Krieg Rockfist

    It has been some time since Krieg has been home. In fact, it hasn't been since the Brill Disaster that he has been to the mountain his people have taken residence in when they were pushed out by the Bodaks. He has seen first hand what the shadow creatures can do and the fact that his people were powerless to fight it drove him to leave his people to find them a weapon and a defense.

    As of now, he finds himself nearing the border of Gashton, continuing his search for power stones. It has been three weeks since he last stopped to dig because the Mere, while neutral towards him, still holds many dangerous beasts and beings. But seeing as that is all behind him, he sets up his hammer and bell and strikes his heavy tune.

    "Hm."

    The note carried a variation so small, only he or a trained musician would pick it up. He moves his bell to the side and readies his pickaxe and spade, striking the earth. It isn't long before some gatherers from a nearby settlement take notice of the large being digging in the ground and hitting a bell with a hammer and a small crowd starts forming as he works, mostly children.

    Their incessant curiosity brings no end to the questions, often repeated, that he is barraged with. He pays no mind, however, as children grow with knowledge and he is happy to provide it. It wasn't until the lechers started milling into the group when he stopped working. Unfortunately, he stopped just as he uncovered a glint of green and brown-flecked ore.

    One of the particularly nasty men steps forward and spits to his left before opening his mouth: "'Ey, yer on me land. T'at makes t'at 'er metal mine. So, get on outta 'er."

    Krieg looks up to the man with a stoic look and shakes his head.

    "The greed of man will not prolong your life. Walk away."

    The man's face scrunches up in a vile way and he pulls out a dagger from his ragged pocket. Coincidentally, a bottle of some long-aged alcohol falls free from the trusses of the coat as well and shatters on the ground, further fueling his rage.

    "Ya big oaf! I told yer to g--"

    His outrage is silenced with a quickness as Krieg swings his shovel wide and slashes through his jaw and neck with the blade of it, dropping the man to his knees then tumbling into the hole. The people around scream in horror and run away quickly. Those who were splattered with the blood of the now-deceased man stand there in mute horror as Krieg calmly excavates the copper ore from the bloody hole in the ground.

    After several minutes of frozen horror, the remaining patrons walk away in shock, a glazed look over their eyes. Noticing that everyone has finally left and that the ore is taken care of, he begins to bury the body of the man he had killed but leaving the head above the soil.

    "Ikrrg thrrrke drr uooor krro grrtk. May you find a second chance in the life I give."

    He balls up his fist and hits the skull of the deceased man, caving it in and takes a seed out of his belt pouch and plants it in the cavity of the man after filling it with dirt. After planting the seed, he gets up and walks north, hoping to find an arcane stone up that way.
    Thrain Sundershield III

    "Ohhh, my head."

    He remembered the day before: attending the Prince's party, drinking a lot of the wine, and forgetting the rest. He was honestly surprised he even made it to his bunk considering the fact he forgot who he was. He sat up and braced himself on both sides, discovering that there was something...someone, in the bed with him. Apprehensive, he looks over to his right to see who was occupying the bed with him. It was his niece, Morgana, and he was thankful for that. Much rather be her than some nameless whore.

    "Wake up, little cub...oohhh...the sun is out."

    Morgana rolls over in the bed and wimpers, unhappy that she was woken up from her sleep. Lazily, though, she rises in the bed and she rubs her eyes, yawns and stretches, her hair going every which way. Thrain mattes down her hair and gives her a gentle push on her back.

    "Come now, little cub. Let us go get something to eat."

    Morgana nods silently, crawling out of the bed and shuffling behind Thrain as they walk through the longhouse that Clan Sundershield resides in. He waves to the few who are up this early and makes gutteral grunts towards the men who respond in kind.

    Upon entering the dining hall, the two are greeted by their aunt and grandmother (respectively speaking), Elizabeth.

    "Why, look at you two up all bright and squirrely? Shall I fix you something up to eat?"

    Thrain simply nods and sits down at the table whereas Morgana runs up to her Grandmother and gives her a hug, "Yes Gramama!"

    Elizabeth returns the love and heads off to the kitchen to make some hangover and child food. After a short while, she returns and sets a bowl of gruel in front of Thrain, who happily begins eating, nodding in approval.

    "So, Thrain, my dear. How was the party yestereve?"

    "It was quite the party. The Prince is certainly making himself out to be a good man, like his father. Ehh, shouldn't let me have all that wine though."

    "You should control yourself better. It's hardly the Prince's fault."

    "I know, Auntie. Oh, did you hear about the happenings in the other kingdoms? I find it a bit queer that around the same time; a riot breaks out in Calay, a flood in Arcay, and the King suffers public humiliation at the hands of a witch."

    "It is indeed troubling but I feel that they are all circumstance and coincidence. The world is all sorts of crazy right now but it's best not to worry about that while eating. Come now, eat up, you'll feel better."

    Taking the hint, Thrain finished his meal in silence before heading outside to train. The sky was clear, with not a cloud in the sky. It looked to be another hot day.
     
  3. Sylvander Quaid - 1

    The diffuse light from the alleyway was cast across the wall. Barely a closet (in fact, it might have been one at one point), the bedroom was about as peaceful as one could hope for – a treasure in the rowdy north docks district of Stormhaven. A small stand supported a neat stack of books in the corner. A pair of worn slippers was neatly align with the rug (which could have been a half-giant’s handkerchief), and a numerous and colourful assortment of jackets on one wall.

    A man in his late twenties lay beneath the window, tanned and toned by Stormhaven's coastal sun and fit from hard labour. He had short-trimmed beard and a mess of short, black hair streaked with a light shade of brown. His features were rugged but handsome, with enough youth to make the girls look twice or thrice. Sylvander’s feet stuck out over the edge of the bed as he stretched under his covers. Putting on his slippers, he cracked open the bedroom door and peaked out. There was Emily, and the smell of cooked eggs and fried meat. As was the morning ritual, he waited till her back was turned and slipped out and into the neighbouring hall. He grabbed a shirt from a pile of clean clothes, and slung a vest loosely over his shoulders.

    Sylvander pulled up a stool. Emily's dark, wavy hair hung just past her shoulders. Her large, round eyes, a darker and more piercing green than Sylvander's, looked up at him as she filled his plate.

    “You know I’ve seen shirtless men before,” she joked. He smiled faintly.

    Sylvander still felt weird, after three months, about Emily cooking for him. But he went to work on his eggs and ham. He stopped surprised.

    “I ACTUALLY remembered not to salt your breakfast this time!” Emily laughed. He smiled more. “Oh, that reminds me, I signed for the new shop. I finally have the space I need.”

    Sylvander laughed, spitting out bits of egg, “How does breakfast remind you?”

    “I’ll even be able to set up there for sleep, so you can have the house more or less to yourself. You can move out of the closet.”

    He balked on his eggs, “No, you can’t do that.”

    “Why let my bed go to waste? You’re so cooped up in that pen you call a bedroom.”

    “You could get another tenant.”

    Emily faced him, amused and crossed her arms, “That’d be awkward when I come home on the weekends. I suppose the new tenant will be sleeping with you in your cupboard?”

    Sylvander swallowed, “Oh… just during the week then,” and paused. “Well… alright.”

    Emily came around and started to fix Sylvander’s collar. “Good. Now don’t be late for your first day,” she smiled as Sylvander smiled back rushed for the door.

    “Van?”

    “Yes?”

    “…You might want to put on some pants.”


    ***
    Sylvander walked briskly, muttering to himself. He’d held work before, but his new job at the Waltzing Weasel promised to be an interesting one. He passed the docks.

    “Van!” called a group of dockworkers. He turned. “I suppose you think you’re too good for us now.”

    Sylvander turned to his friends. “My dear scum,” he laughed. The men patted each other on the back and locked fists.

    “Come o’er here,” said the tallest and broadest of the group. Down under the docks Sylvander squinted in the darkness. The friend pointed to a lump in the sand.

    “This poor bugger washed up on shore this morning,” explained the shortest.

    “Hand on him fingers a good number o’ rings.”

    Sylvander looked at the drowned man, “you know, I really have to get a move on.”

    “Yeh, yeh, ‘k Van, go push ye papers.” The men moved back up beside the dirt harbour street.

    Then, another voice chirped, squeakier in pitch, “Dock work too much for you, Sylly?” Another gang of dockworkers appeared behind the men. Dressed in swamp-green and standing a foot taller than Sylvander, an olive-skinned man with long black hair stood amid three rather broader individuals.

    Sylvander, half facing the gang as if disinterested, bit back, “It’s not the dock work, it’s just that I can’t stand the smell of all the animals mucking about.” He gave the squeaky man an obvious look up and down, then turned to be on his way.

    The squeaking continued, aggravated, “I believe you gents found something of ours.”

    “We don’t know what you’re talking about,” replied the smallest of Sylvander’s company.

    “The pirate’s junk. He washed up on Orchid territory. We’d like our stuff back,” the olive-skinned man grinned.

    “S’nice to want things,” another of Sylvander’s company.

    The squeaker approached Sylvander, and although a foot taller, Sylvander stood fast. “Your boyfriends don’t seem to understand, Sylly.”

    “You’ve always been a mystery Ajax. We’re till surprised you’re able to form words.” Sylvander’s company reserved a chuckle.

    “Still living with that Evelyn girl?”

    “Emily,” Sylvander replied plainly.

    “And yet you’re still single… people are starting to think you don’t fancy women, Sylly.”

    Sylvander raised an eyebrow, amused by Ajax’s lack of ingenuity.

    “Maybe I’m not being fair, though,” Ajax went on, “I wouldn’t bed a whore either.”

    A swift and powerful uppercut led into the end of his sentence. The sound of teeth clashing together and a beast of a squeak went with it. Ajax stumbled backwards and spat blood. The two groups engaged as other dock workers stopped to look on. The teams were well matched, but it wasn’t long before Ajax unsheathed a small dagger. He swung it wildly towards Sylvander’s neck, missing altogether. Attempting a jab this time, the two entered a grapple, the larger of the two had the dagger close to Sylvander’s stomach. Sylvander watched the dagger move closer and closer as he struggled.

    Sylvander looked to the dagger and stared, focused. He watched to hilt and blade slowly brighten and glow before Ajax released a howl, freeing Sylvander and the dagger, and grabbing his seared hand in pain.

    Ajax leaped to the dropped dagger, but Sylvander had already retrieved it. The rest of the brawlers had disappeared when Sylvander and Ajax were then tackled and pinned to the ground by the port authority. Their hands were tied with hempen rope and roughly brought to stand.

    Sylvander supposed he might be late for work after all.


    ***
    He sat with his head in his hands. The cell around him was dark and grimy. The pile of hay in the corner, a supposed bed, was occupied by an aged man in ragged clothing, quietly mumbling something to himself. Looking to the cell beside his, another man, young and blonde, smiled and winked at him through the iron bars. Sylvander quickly returned his attention to the floor.

    After several hours the old man in the corner shifted. Sylvander pondered. “I suppose you don’t really care, or else realize that I’m here,” he said to the prisoner.

    Crazed muttering.

    Sylvander paused, then continued his one-sided dialogue, “arrested on the first day of the job. Doesn’t look too good, does it?”

    “No.”

    Sylvander jumped in surprise. “What?”

    “Doesn’t look good.” Perhaps the old man was a little more aware that he’d thought.

    “Nice to meet you, I’m Van,” he said, sticking out his hand to the prisoner in satire.

    “Why are you here?” the prisoner asked despondently.

    “Oh. Well… it’s kinda of all a big misunderstanding. I mean, I did assault someone. But least I didn’t try to kill anybody,” Sylvander trailed off. “And why are YOU here?”

    “An empty map.”

    Sylvander squinted, as though seeing through the shadows would help him understand. “What?”

    Muttering.

    “Well that’s… fascinating.”

    A door opened nearby, then a guard appeared in front of the cell, and then Emily stood there.

    “Shit.”

    “Damn right! What did you do, Sylvander?” It was the first time she’d ever used his full name. Emily inhaled deeply “Nevermind,” she cut him off before he could explain, and inhaled some more. “Your first day and–,” she bit her tongue, sucking in more air. “You–,” she exhaled, finally. “Idiot. Come.”
    The guard unlocked the cell and Sylvander slowly shuffled out. Nothing was said as they made their way to Emily’s shop.
     
    #3 Zaith, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  4. Reger:

    With a shake of his head, he watched the witch get pummeled by the guards and taken out. "Such waste... Such lack of patience." He muttered under his breath as the crowd was taken out of the courtyard. With a clank of his steel boots, he followed the flock out of the courtyard with a sheer disappointed thought in his mind. What foolishness that lady had. How dare she attempt such acts in front of all such people. He took off his helmet as he stood in the streets of Gashton, taking a moment to think.

    After so many years of living here, it felt like home, it was his home. But the way they viewed magic was not his own, and he didn't like it. He spent in the inn he always spent his nights at. His life was spent living in that inn, so most of his nights were spent there, either thinking or sleeping. But today, for him, was different. He spent several hours in his room, sitting on the bed that was nigh breaking, thinking on his choices. "Leave... Why should I..." Although the knight was filled with troubles, he kept thinking of this Kingdom as the most. The oppression they kept on sorcery and magic sickened him. "Leave... Leave now..." He spoke to himself aloud, as if speaking to another, as if he was bolstering his courage.

    Without even taking anything with him, he fled that night, with all but a flask of water. He walked the long roads,heading his way to anywhere but Gashton.
     
    #4 Arnold Solomon, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2015
  5. Ranga Abaan Sahir. - Arcay.


    It was a sunny day outside in Arcay, the capitol of Kadra. It was warm and a mild humidity hung in the air it was a beautiful day in so many words.
    The beauty was ostensible however, Arcay had been flooded the night prior by a storm that came, quite literally, out of nowhere. A few levees had been placed in an attempt to prevent damage, and to some degree it worked but not nearly enough. The streets were slowly beginning to dry up as townsfolk pail'd water into a large container that would later be driven out of town by carriage to be dumped in safe location. Ranga Abaan Sahir was going through his shop checking to see what had been damaged by water while his young assistant, Percy, swept water that had come about ankle high out of shop and into the street. Fortunately for Ranga, most of his goods were safe, the rain hadn't done much damage to his shop save for the minor flooding, others in town were not as lucky.

    "I think this shall suffice at the moment, Percy." Ranga said to Percy as he walked behind the main counter of his store, the water was now just a dampness on the ground rather than a puddle. "I think you've earned this!" He said as he tossed a small sack with coins in it at Percy, it was worth at least two days worth of pay, Ranga was well aware that Percy's home would require substantial repairs. "T-thankyou! I don't-" Ranga cut in before he could finish. "Worry not, Percy just hurry home, I'm sure your parents need more help than I do. With that Percy smiled and nodded before running out of the store towards his home. Ranga gathered a few things that had been water damaged and went upstairs which acted as his, small but cozy home. Now that he was alone he could think clearly, he had heard of the witch infiltrating Gashton during the King's speech no less. Then in Ormont, a small uprising and a just one, in Ranga's eyes. Then of course the seemingly sudden storm here, in Kadra.

    "Mmmm..." Ranga made a low humming noise in his throat, he did this often when deep in thought. 'Eventide seems to be the only kingdom without incident, it's possible these were all coincidences, that or Eventide was on the brink of a disaster, man-made or otherwise.' Ranga contemplated in silence the current events. The silence was broken when he heard a voice from downstairs "Mister Sahir are you there?!" It was that of a young man, he sounded frantic. Ranga hurried downstairs to see a young man, sopping wet with a look of immense distress on his face. "Yes yes, what seems to be the problem?" Ranga spoke slowly with concern in his voice. "Ah.. I-i my wife she..." The man paused trying to hold his composure, he exhaled slowly before continuing "She p-passed away last night, during the...the floods she...she, uh I understand you can...help?" The man seemed at a loss for words, but Ranga was aware of what the man was trying to ask and finished for him "Of course, please take me to her." Ranga spoke softly to the man, he wanted to hear her thoughts in death, not many people asked for this but some found it comforting.

    Upon arriving to the mans home where the man lived, which the storm had taken its toll on, he entered what was left of it. In the corner on a bed was the body of a young lady, she had been dried off and cleaned, and from what he could tell put into a change of clothes, her hands were folded over one another in her lap. Ranga stepped forward and reached into a satchel on his hip and scooped out a small amount of light blue power and licked the thumb on his other hand, he dabbed the powder and made a shape on his forehead. Ranga made a swift hand motion, closed his eyes and his finger came to rest on the woman's forehead which he then slowly slid forward until his palm rest on her forehead, fingers outstretched.

    "I should have come with you, I should have I'm so sorry, why didn't I come with you? It's my fault it's all my fault...
    it's cold but....I don't feel scared, not anymore... I'm sorry, Erik I love you."


    Ranga opened his eyes and exhaled sharply, the woman's emotions went from frantic to calm, this wasn't uncommon, and it meant she most likely was killed from something hitting her head. When people drown they're much more scared and it doesn't seem to end. "She went quickly, Erik... she loved you." Ranga said solemnly to the young man and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. The man responded by sobbing for a moment, this was common, but it's what people want. When Erik finally regained his composure he began to search his pockets for gold, only to have Ranga stop him. "You've lost enough, please keep it." Erik nodded and barely managed to whimper a thank you. With that Ranga left and went back to his shop, he had a feeling more people would be asking him to do the same thing in the coming days.
     
    #5 Whisket, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  6. River:

    It had been a long two months to journey from her "home" in Eventide. Well, it was more of a cave deep in the forest rather than an inn or a house, but it was her home. Regardless, it'd been two mo the since she set out as the protection order of a convoy of medics and merchants bound for Gashton. The hunting and gathering was plentiful, the merchants bought some of her goods, the medics taught her a few tricks with some herbs she gathered for them, and she was kept busy when she clashed with a small outfits of bandits. All in all, it was a good trip...until now.

    "For the last time, Guardsman, I am not a mage." The young woman growled deep in her chest in irritation.

    "Well, do you have any papers for you or your "pet" bird there?" The haughty man asked her. River stared at the man, unblinking and silent for a few seconds. Her gaze was wild and animalistic, body tensed as if ready to make a meal of the guy. The bird in question, really a hawk that sat perched on her fur and leather clad shoulder, gave a screech of indignation. The guard jumped in surprise, as did the ones that were there to support him.

    "I do--"

    "She is our bodyguard, Guardsmen. We have our papers here." The leader of the merchants handed over their travel papers to the armored men. He was a lanky fellow, more arms than almost anything else though he stood a few inches short of River herself.

    "She is no mage, we can assure you." The lead medicine man spoke up as well then placed a hand on River's muscled bicep. He gave it a squeeze then pointed to the results. "All hard work and skill, gentlemen. She doesn't shoot fire from her hands, she uses stones and sticks like everyone else. A completely healthy, normal, young woman."

    "'Normal' isn't quite the word I'd use, Doctor." River snickered, only to be gently reprimanded by the smooth part of the hawk's beak. "Sorry, sorry." Emerald green eyes rolled, even as she relaxed a bit. "I didn't realize that Gashton was so...strict."

    "Ah yes, we forgot to tell you, didn't we?" The doctor smiled sheepishly, then took the papers back once the guards verified them.

    "Alright, you lot are allowed. The wild woman must remain here, for the safety of the people." The lead guardsman grunted. His tone made it known that he wouldn't accept it any other way. From the large, strange-looking polearm strapped to her back, to the two axes on her hips, the strange fur and leather armor...he had no doubt that she would cause trouble.

    "She has goods to sell as well." the merchant, a rotund man dressed in richly dyed silks argued quickly. "Top quality furs and rare gems and stones, what better way to get them than from a genuine wild woman?" One of the guards snorted. "You doubt me?" River winced a little at he shrill his voice had gotten. "Why, the nerve! I am an expert at such items, and I'll tell you, this woman has some of the best nature based inventory you'll find! Tell me my boy, have YOU ever wrestled a bear, skinned it, and salvaged his claws with your own hands?"

    "N-No, sir." The man shook his head.

    "Well, I watched her. AND I have the pristine claws to sell. Do you know how much that will fetch to an alchemist?! And look, not a scratch on her." He motioned to the woman whom only looked amused. The fat one was loud, but...he told good stories. Liars always did, even now. While she did fight a bear, it was hardly with her bare hands. "And we have bear jerky that she made with it. And let me tell you, it is delicious. Also, for sale. As well as it's pelt! Should a noble wish to know whom my supplier is, I'd like to have my supplier right there! So I'll not stand her and allow you to ban my business partner just because you THINK she is a mage! Which she obviously isn't! So let me pass, right this instant." The man insisted, quite loudly.

    The hassled guard threw his arms in the air in exasperation, "Fine. But I will make sure she is watched by the city guard. If I have the tiniest inkling that she is a mage, you will all be arrested." He grunted in an attempt to scare River. River just stared back with a smirk, which infuriated the guard.

    "Understood, Guard. Now if you don't mind, we've wasted enough time here. We must set up before the party starts."

    ------

    River grunted in irritation, not for the ninth time in four hours. The party was going swimmingly within the castle, which meant plenty of business in the marketplace. True to his word, the man sold the furs and natural products she had gathered and hunted in the last two months. While she held no interest in the money she'd earned, the merchant--Silas--was positively giddy. From animal fat for cooking, to dried meats, and finely skinned and crafted pelts and pelt rugs, he was making quite a lot of money. "You must supply me with more, River. We are making a fortune tonight."

    "No." River replied from where she leaned against a wall lazily. She blinked slowly when another noble or other stared at her in wonder before he came to the stall to investigate. As expected, he drew his eyes over her features before she nodded towards the table then looked towards the crowds of people. Her arms were folded casually across her chest.

    "No?! Why not?"

    "The forest must live as well. When you take too much for money, you will eventually have nothing to sell." She replied in a fairly strong but quiet voice. "I live there, so I'd rather not see my home destroyed."

    "I see. Well if you wont do it, I am sure I can find someone else." he tested her resolve with a probe.

    "The forest has no laws." She replied with a glance in his direction. Despite her relaxed pose, her voice had turned hard and icy, it alone held the threat. Chastised and understanding, the man backtracked.

    "You know, you're right. Maybe we can make this a semi-annual affair?" River didn't reply, only watching over the wares. "We can talk later." The man gulped quietly and went back to his selling.

    In all of his time with the wild woman, he knew she was dangerous. Incredibly so. Her weapons were sharp, but so were her sense and wit. Her body had been carved of hard muscle, and her mind was sharpened by the wilds of the forest. She could be vicious in one moment then almost charming and adorable when confronted by a small child. He'd seen what she could do to a bear with that tomahawk of hers. He had no doubt that slicing through a man would be child's play for her.

    "What a strange woman, is she your's?" A young noble questioned the man. Silas looked at the man, coming out of his stupor. "Oh, no, My Lord. She is a business partner for the season."

    "How much?"

    "My Lord, please. She is not..." He looked towards her to see if she had been listening. She was, he could tell by the slight tilt of her head. "She is not part of the inventory."

    "Money is no object, my good man. Just name your price." The arrogant young man grinned at her. "You'll have a great time." She remained silent and didn't let her gaze stray from the crowds. "If you're good enough, I might marry you. Quite the story that'll make, the beautiful wild woman as my wife. I've tamed the wild woman. Hah!"

    "My Lord, please. She is not very attuned to the laws of this land. She is no whore, she is not mine to give for marriage. Now please..." Silas really didn't want to cause a diplomatic incident, but the lord's hackling and attention was drawing a crowd. River dug her fingers into her arm, even as her jaw clenched.

    "She's WILD laws don't apply to her." The lord laughed.

    "Things are not done this way, my lord. Just because she-"

    "Silence. I will have what I want. I always will." The lord's demeanor changed as he stood threateningly over Silas' table. "Take her." He ordered his guard. River waited, she wasn't stupid, she'd learned early that she had to wait for the offender to touch her before she fought back. So, she'd wait for the oaf to walk towards her, then touch her. Now the only question was: Should she kill him?
     
  7. Marina Thibault ;; Greycastle, Gashton

    It was the first week of the fourth month; as such, the kingdom was abuzz – Greycastle more than usual. Marina did not fail to note the eager conversations between her ladies-in-waiting while they were sewing, and she would be a fool if she did not listen. All were eager for her father's address to the kingdom, Marina among them. When it was time, she was informed that she would not be on the balcony with her brother and her father, but would instead be inside the citadel. She might have been relieved, if the topic of the King's address had been anything other than the Fall of Brill.

    No. She wanted to be out there.

    “How do you think it's going?” Marina whispered to Avaline, her main lady-in-waiting. Avaline shrugged, spreading her delicate hands.

    “They only just went out there, my lady,” she pointed out, and Marina huffed. Patience is a virtue, Emilee's voice rang in her ears and Marina schooled her expression into a mask of patient docility.

    People of Gashton...,” her father began, and Marina eagerly listened to his booming voice. Technically, she should have been in her solar, consulting with her ladies, but Marina had been adamant to the point of Emilee's exasperation, which in and of itself was not an easy task. However, her governness had insisted that Marina put on her “going out” attire, though Marina would do no such thing. Not today. Not until after the remembrance for Brill was long past.

    Marina would not tell them why. Nobody knew. Nobody would know. She would claim it was mourning for the great nation, and not fear.

    A woman screaming words of accusation broke into Marina's musings. “You've sealed our fates, you ignorant fools!”

    “A witch!” Avaline gasped, and Marina silently thanked her for her good friend's ability to pick words out of a mess. “My lady, we must go to your solar. They shall return before long.”

    “Yes,” Marina mused, glancing at her wrists, covered as was only proper of a maid. She wished more than anything that she could have seen what the witch had done, if she showed her magic, and what that magic was. A morbid curiosity settled in the pit of her stomach.

    “Come on, my lady, let us go,” Avaline insisted, daring so much as to loop her arm around Marina's and give a light tug. Marina inhaled through her nose, calming her nerves, and let her long time friend lead her away. Whether the King or Prince saw her, however, Marina could not say she cared.
     
  8. || Xander Thibault - Greycastle, Gashton ||



    "Once again magic strikes in the heart of Gashton!" The King exclaimed, slamming his fists onto the thick oak table of the council chamber. The sound echoed throughout the large room, the tall ceilings only caused the sound to resonate more. "Why was she not brought in sooner? How did she slip through our net?" He questioned, turning his eyesight to the different men consisting of advisers, knights and other members of the court, including his son the Prince.

    Xander exhaled softly as he briefly looked around at the others before allowing his gaze to fall upon the older man with the aged crown, "Father, it's impossible for us to know or find every single magic user unless someone comes forth or we see them practice it firsthand. Most likely she was just blending in with everyone else this whole time and she lost the ability to control her speech."

    King Henryk watched his son before taking a seat at the end of the long table, "Be that as it may, the whole region will be speaking of this incident and we will respond by renewing our efforts. Xander, gather up some of your men and search this house in the lower city," He instructed as he slide a piece of parchment across the table to Xander, "Collect any evidence of sorcery and detain anyone inside. As for the witch from earlier, she will burn at the stake tomorrow morning."

    "As you wish father." Xander responded and with a small bow of his head he made his way to the large double doors of the chamber which were then opened by the royal guards in their darkened, polished armor. Within twenty minutes Xander was out of the citadel and walking the streets of the lower city, two city guards in front of him, two knights followed in behind and two city guards behind them. Commoners quietly gossiped to themselves while others bowed their heads, happy to have been graced with the young man's presence.

    "There, that's the one." Xander would point with a gloved finger. Seconds later two city guards would kick the door open and rush in, followed by the two knights and eventually Xander himself. The last two city guards turned around outside the door and monitored the streets. The structure was empty of people, but not possessions, "Find anything that could be used by a magic user; tomes, trinkets, poultice. Stuff of that nature, also check that chest and that shelf." The young man instructed, pulling his long red cloak out of the way so he could kneel down beside a chair.

    "Your highness," One of the city guards poked his head inside the home, "There may be a disturbance down the street."

    With one more glance around the room Xander looked to one of the knights, "Confiscate any evidence and bring it to my father." He'd walk outside and look at the two guards, "Remain outside the dwelling until the owner returns then detain them." After laying out his instructions he made his way down the street where a crowd had gathered and he pushed through, the soft gasps emitting as they realized who was there. Xander noticed a few people around a merchant's table, including a nobleman, and another man who appeared to have grabbed a woman's arm.

    "What seems to be the problem here?" The Prince asked, tucking his thumbs under the brown leather belt that gripped his waist, resting his left forearm on the hilt of his sword.
     
  9. Kalin River-Born, Greycastle, Gashton:

    River kept those hawk like eyes on the Man's hand as it made its way towards her. She let him get a grip of her arm then waited for that moment where be pulled her towards him. In that instant, quite a few things happened:

    Silas, whom had spotted the prince before he spoke reached out towards
    the wild woman and called for her to not harm the man.

    The noble whom had ordered her seizure stared in rapt attention until the prince spoke up. His face paled in mere seconds as he stammered out an apology and tripped over himself
    to bow to the prince.

    As for River herself, she shoved her way into the man, and tackled him to the ground. The man barely had time to react before she mounted him and brandished the tomahawk at his unprotected throat. She whispered into his ear, though to anyone else it was little more than unintelligible growls and snarls. Whatever she said though, stuck the man with a bout of terror, to the point that he screamed and sputtered when she stroked the dulled edge of her tomahawk over his unprotected cheek. River grinned over at the nobleman whom was struck at seeing his bodyguard and manservant reduced to the simpering of a child.

    "What--What sorcery is this?! What spell have you cast that reduced him to a babbling child?!" He demanded. River stood slowly and combed her fingers through her hair. One sandal-clad foot foot pushed down on the terrified Man's chest, just to make it very difficult to breath.

    "No sorcery. A warning." She looked back at the man beneath her, "He should expect your resignation by...sundown tomorrow, yes?" The man coughed and violently but nodded best as he could. "Words."

    "Y-Yes!" He struggled for breath again, "Please, mercy! Yes!"

    "Wise man, isn't he?" she asked the nobleman. " I am not a whore. I am not a prize, I am not something to buy. Where I am from, you must prove yourself as a husband. And from what I've seen, I have balls bigger than you will EVER dream of having." She lifted her foot and let the man stand up. Believing that her point was made, she looked at the prince with a critical eye. "I don't see a problem. Who are you anyway?" Murmurs broke out that the wild woman would dare to address the heir that way. She huffed in irritation and snapped for the people to be quiet.

    "This is why I prefer the forest. It is quieter."
     
  10. Gregory groaned at the disaster that had come to his workshop. He was starting to run out of things to dry the inside of the workshop. "No, no, no, curse it all!" He had been trying to save all of his resources during the drawn out storm, but no matter how hard he tried water inevitably leaked into his shop and holes appeared in his ceiling. He had done an assessment on the damages and it would cost him a pretty sum of coin to replace both his roof, his floors, and all the wood that had been warped by the water. He dragged out a large piece of timber out of his house and into the streets. "Damn this accursed rain, ruining my wood. It is worthless now, and pointless to use in any sort of fashion."

    He sighed as he brought a hand to his face. "Too warped to create something and yet too wet to be used for firewood....." He quickly ran inside once more and began to drag out the rest of his warped and disfigured resources. He could only imagine what troubles this kind of damage would bring to the economy of the city. The amount of damages would probably cause the citizens to use most of their money repairing their homes or buying new furniture and goods. It would be good for the shop keepers, but he had heard that a lot of damage had come to the shopkeepers' goods as well.

    After fishing out -literally- all of his damaged goods and tossed them outside he dusted his hands off and looked around.
     
    #10 thief247, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  11. || Xander Thibault - Greycastle, Gashton ||


    As the brazen woman attacked the bodyguard, Xander could only watch in bewilderment. He placed a gloved hand on the golden hilt of his sword as she brandished the tomahawk, however it was clear she wasn't going to actually use it on him so he continued to watch and listened as the nobleman cried sorcery and the bodyguard was reduced to childlike mumbling. A few random city guards had run up to the scene and trained their polearms on the woman who had since turned her attention to the prince.

    "I am the Prince of Gashton and you'd do well to remember that. What reason do you have to assault this man on the streets?" Silas wasn't able to slip a word out before Xander held his finger up towards the other man, not giving him nor the woman much of a chance to respond before averting his gaze to the nobleman, "And you, claiming sorcery is a hefty accusation. I trust you have adequate evidence to back that up as well?"

    The nobleman stammered with his words, "Your highness I just believe it to be true, you witnessed this correct? What other explanation is there? Just look at him!" He responded hastily.

    "He was forced to the ground with a weapon placed against his flesh, I imagine most men would respond similarly, though that's not the point. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't have both of you jailed for this kind of display?" Xander asked, looking between the wild woman and the distraught bodyguard. He then looked to Silas, "You can share what's on your mind too if you believe that will make any difference." The two knights from the house would have begun walking down the street as well, perhaps to inform the prince on their findings.
     
  12. Sylvander Quaid - 2

    Emily unlocked and opened the street-side shop door. Sylvander followed her inside. Sylvander let his eyes explore the new environment. The shop was warm, not just in temperature. The interior had panelled walls of a dark wood and a more lightly coloured floor covered in some rather nice rugs. A large wooden front desk spanned the length of the room, with a doorway behind it leading to shelves of various goods. Ropes, tools, candles, and assortments of who-knows-what. To the left of the front desk, a carpeted stairway leading up to a spacious loft.

    “This is where you’ll be working now? No wonder you want to sleep here.”

    “Shut up, Van.”

    Sylvander jumped, and was reminded of his shame. Though on a level he enjoyed it a little when Emily barked at him. There was silence as Emily hung her shawl on the wall and organized the mess that was left on the front desk.

    “You owe me for the business I lost this afternoon.”

    “I’ll make it up,” Sylvander straightened up, faking as much dignity as he could muster in his self-disappointment.

    “I’m using extra salt tonight,” she replied busily. Sylvander couldn’t tell if she was trying to lighten the tension, or if it was a legitimate threat. There was a pause as she stared at him. He began to sweat.

    “I didn’t start it,” he offered, growing more helpless.

    “For bloody sakes, Van, sometimes you can be…. You’re not a child. And I shouldn’t have to look after you,” Emily paused, stopping her work and exhaling. “I know you didn’t start it, Van,” she said calmly. “Let’s just hope you still have a job."

    “I’ll write the tavern, I’ll come in early tomorrow. I’ll even help clean up there tonight if they’ll have me.”

    Emily stopped him, “No you won’t. Write them yes, but you’re appearing to the court tomorrow.”
    Sylvander expected as much and turned to the floor.

    “It’s a bloody good thing it’s your first offence. Maybe they’ll be inclined to believe your side,” Emily stared until Sylvander looked up. “That ruffian is bringing class one charges. He wants to see you branded for your magic.”

    Sylvander’s mouth was dry. He’d fucked up, using magic on Ajax, of all people.

    “Go home Van. Try not to jail yourself on the way. I’ll be home before dinner.”

    That night was silent as the two ate. Sylvander tried hard to get his food down – Emily wasn’t joking about the salt. After dinner, Sylvander retreated to his cupboard for a bedroom. As he lay there waiting for sleep, he wondered what jacket would look best at trial. He dreaded the morning. He didn’t know if he could live through seeing Ajax two days in a row.
     
  13. Prince Erick was wandering the streets of Stormhaven, as he often did when he wasn't buried in books, entertaining guests or dealing with royal matters. Today, he found himself wandering the lower levels of the city itself. His garb was nothing more than a dark, heavy coat and matching slacks and boots and he found himself blending and weaving through the crowds with ease. He was looking for some excitement in the day as, while the after-effects of the party the prior evening still weighed on his body greatly, he was bored and wished to remedy that problem.

    As he meandered through the streets, going deeper and deeper into the lower class areas, the stale smell of various putrescence and discarded items began to give way to the brisk smell of the sea. He was approaching the waterfront, one of his favorite places in the city proper as it allowed him a greater sense of communal with the earth. Winding through the streets and alleys, he is greeted with the sight of the water reflecting the sun's morning rays, glaring him to the point of barely seeing the fight taking place down the pier between two groups of men.

    "Well, looks like my morning excitement has been discovered." He mused to himself.

    He watched in silence, from the shadows, as the men began getting taken down by the city guard, but not before one of the men pulled out a dagger and went after one of the others. The bladed man looked to be ready to finish the other off before something peculiar happened: the weapon began to glow bright orange and the armed man jumped back, yelping in pain.

    "Interesting use of magic...but poorly timed I'm afraid."

    As he said that, the guards made their arrest of the final men. The fight broken up and over, the Prince made his way to the jailhouse to speak with the jailer before the man could be brought in. Forging a new path through the desiccated streets and alleys, he pondered to himself: Do these people live happy in their filth? I should make note to come through officially and ask.

    After twenty minutes of shortcuts and backalleys, the Prince approaches the front door of the Jailhouse, only to be accosted by a drunken braggart.

    "Heeyy...*hic* Hey you! Yer...yer the Bastard, aintcha? *hic*"

    Suppressing a wince from the insult, he forces a change in his voice and addresses the man.

    "No, but unless you want to end up in a cell for interfering with official city business, I would move along."

    The man mumbles incoherently and stalks off after some woman to accost. He honestly hates having to deal with people as such, but sometimes the situation warrants it. Taking a breath to compose himself, he enters the building.

    The jailhouse is relatively clean, with the exception of a few rotted boards and rusted chains. The jailer, who is supposed to be awake, is not. Calmly and quietly, the prince approaches the front desk where the man is taking his nap. Deciding against waking the man up, he opts for a more creative means of completing his plan. Erick grabs a sheet of parchment and a quill and writes the man a note:

    Good morning, Johan.

    I see that you have taken a liking to sleeping instead of watching the front door. I imagine the ladies in the dreams are more appealing than working, am I right? Today, a man will be brought in under crimes for assault and use of Magic. I want you to send me word of when his trial will be as I wish to attend it. Do not speak of this to anyone else.

    Also, please do replace those rusted chains and locks as anyone could easily break free from those and that would be rather counter-productive to prisoners being there.

    Sincerely,
    Prince Erick Northridge

    Leaving the building as quietly as he entered, Erick made his way back to the castle as he was sure it was getting close to the luncheon with the Kadran Trade Ambassadors.​
     
  14. The woman snorted at the man's use of his title, so casual and just thrown in there. "I asked for who YOU were, not what you're known as." She grunted then sheathed her weapons. "And jail? Ha." The nature-born shook her head, then batted at the shaft of one of the polearms that were aimed at her. "Shoddy work. How would you expect to survive with such..." She trailed off then stared at the polearm in contemplation. "No...it isn't for surviving, is it? It's for taking. Taking whatever you want just because your can." River moved back to her post, seemingly ignoring the prince.

    "That's all you meat sacks are good for: taking." she spat in the nobleman's direction. "He wanted me. I said no. He demanded me, Silas and I declined. Silas, more than me. I gave me answer, I didn't need to repeat it." She looked away from the prince to scan their crowd then looked beyond them. "He was cowardly enough to send someone to force me to do what he wanted. So, I merely shared a few truths with him." She kicked a pebble towards the whimpering man. He covered his head before scrambling and running away. "No magic. Just reminding him that mages are not always the most dangerous people."

    Silas bowed to the prince and struggled to entice River to do the same. She refused as politely as possible for her, which amounted to: "Screw off if you won't have the courtesy to offer a name like a normal person." Silas began to sweat, "Please, forgive her impudence, your highness. She knows little of the role of royalty, living in the forests you understand. She lacks the proper respect--" A loud snort came from the woman. "RESPECT one of your office deserves. She comes from a place that demands...er...." He stumbles for the correct phrase to continue his thought. "Well, royals are not born, you see."

    "Enough, Silas." The young woman's voice and tone were firm and almost commanding. The merchant looked away like a scolded dog at her rebuke. She stared at the Prince in his eyes, "All you need to know, is that his --" she points to the nobleman, "Demands that I become his whore whether by choice or not, were not..." she frowned asthe word escaped her. "I didn't like it." She settles for that with frustration. "His guard grabbed me. I responded...good." her eyes narrow again before she is reduced motioning towards Silas.

    "She is quite harmless, your grace. Honest. She doesn't harm innocents and she is careful with her anger, I swear it. Had this been two months ago, her weapons would be brandished and soaked with the blood of the nobleman for such an offense." he struggled to salvage the situation.
     
  15. Arabella Selwyn - Stormhaven, Eventide

    Darkness.
    It's so dark.
    Why can't I see anything?
    Cold.
    I'm freezing.
    It feels like the walls are going to eat me, to suck me into its infinity.
    Why so dark?

    Would you rather it be bright? Red? Orange? Hot?

    No.
    Yes.
    No.

    You disgust me.
    I'm sorry.

    I'm sorRY-

    Arabella jerked awake from her dream (nightmare), breathing heavily as sweat ran down her cheeks. Her eyes jumped from side to side, searching for any sign of the previous darkness. A sudden grunt made her heart almost jump out of her chest, forcing her to momentarily forget about the nightmare and prepare herself for an attack or anything alike. She threw herself on top of the body laying besides her, her hands reaching for the neck and squeezing it; the gasping face in front of her was what made her stop the assault. Relief washed through her as she realized that that man was no threat, while the other might be thinking the complete opposite. The man grabbed his throat as he tried to breath in as much air as possible, his wide blue eyes gleaming full of unshed tears.

    "Wha- What was- What in the Lord's name, Lady???"

    Arabella didn't spare him a glance as she got out of the bed, picking up her clothes that were randomly laying around the room, result of the haste that both had last night. As she began to put them on, the man jumped out of the bed, grabbing her arm and roughly shoving her against the wall, repeating the same question as before. Bella stood calm, her eyes expressionless as they stared at other's ones. In a slow and serene way, she held the other's face, adjusting it so they would be fully face to face, eye to eye.

    "Don't. You. Ever. Touch me. Again." She whispered, a smile slowly gracing her features. The man started to panic, uselessly trying to free himself of the pirate's hold. As time passed, he grew more and more panicked, his tanned skin becoming white as fear started to take hold of his body, of his mind. Suddenly, the fear was gone, along with the woman's hands. He fell to the floor in shaky legs that couldn't hold him up anymore, his mind trying to make sense of what just happened.

    "S-S-Sorceress..." He muttered, his voice sounding tired and breathless, as if he had just ran a marathon. Arabella smiled innocently, putting on her pants, and covering it with a long dress, before getting on her knees, at the same level of the other. She reached for his face again, but this time kindly, caressing it as the other tried not to flinch away.

    "That is Captain Arabella for you, my sweet little sheep. And this is a secret. You shall not tell anyone about this meeting, and about what just happened. Or else, you'll face something that will make you wish to be dead instead." Arabella pulled the man's head towards her, placing a kiss on his forehead and then going for his ears, letting her lips linger above it as she whispered. "Savvy?"

    The man nodded fearfully. Satisfied, the pirate got up on her feet, rounding the crouching body to reach the little table besides the bed, where her belongings were. Her eyes studied the room, stopping on the pants laying on the floor. She picked it up and reached for its pockets, pulling a little purse full of coins.
    "Also, I'm taking this. And I thank you for last night, it was quite fun. See ya, my boy! And don't forget what I said!" And with that, she was gone; leaving the traumatized naked man alone in the room.

    The Captain wandered around the lower levels streets of Stormhaven, eating an apple she had stolen from a little market not too far away from there. As she approached the dock area, she noticed the commotion going on, unfortunately, she had just got the last part of the engagement, when a few guards were bringing down a man and carrying him away.

    "Captain!" A masculine voice called; Tydes, her First Mate. She turned around to see the tall, black man walking towards her. His dark eyes turned to watch the guards that were carrying the man away, his brows furrowed in what seemed to be concern.

    "What happened, Ty? You look like you just stepped on your dog's tail." Arabella said in an amused voice, opening a smirk in response to the other's frown. Tydes came to a halt once he reached his captain's side, just now taking his eyes off the guards that were already far away.

    "You sure this is the best place for us to be in?" He asked in a concerned voice.

    "What do you mean?" Arabella lost her amused tone, a serious expression now taking over her face.

    "Captain, this is Eventide for sard's sake!" Hissed Tydes. "They're Gashton's allies! You know very well we are not very well known around here. Also, that man just got arrested for using magic! So, I repeat, is this really worth it?"

    Arabella stood quiet for a moment, not making eye contact with her first mate, which usually wasn't a good thing. Tydes grew nervous at the silence of his captain, knowing that a silent Arabella was worse than a murderous Arabella, which didn't make sense at all since both usually happened at the same time.

    "Tydes," Bella said suddenly, turning around to face the other. "You were the one who chose to follow me, not me; you were the one who swore loyalty to me. I respect you as a friend, and as a pirate, but do not test me. If you have a problem with my current plans, you should have said me so before we even sailed. You know why we're here, you knew of our destination; so don't chicken out now. You should have known of the dangers of becoming a pirate, but if you want out, I know of a few good islands to drop you off. Also, I'm not stupid. Why do you think I told you to take off our flag? That flag is the main thing identifying us, and I'm not here looking for trouble. You shouldn't doubt me so much, Tydes. I take offense on that." Tydes stood quiet, not knowing what to say. Arabella was a good person to those she hold dear, including Tydes; but above all, she was a Captain, and she did not joke around with such title. "Savvy?"

    "Yes, I'm sorry, Captain."

    "Now, don't worry about that. Just go back to the crew before they kill themselves, I still have a few errands to do before going to go check the ship. Good luck, mate." Arabella clapped her hand on Tydes' shoulder, giving it a light squeeze before turning around and going back through the way she had come. "Oh!" She exclaimed suddenly, turning around towards Tydes. "If I'm not back today, you know where I am! Remember, emergency only!" Tydes signed a "ok" to her, amused by her antics. Bella threw her apple to him, which he caught without a problem. "Finish that for me, will ya? See you, my fellow sailor!"

    ***

    Arabella threw the woman on the bed, climbing up on her and staring down at her. The pirate's smirk was one of a shark, all teeth and ready to strike her prey. The woman found that strangely arousing, also sporting a smirk of her own. Oh, this was going to be an interesting night.

    Meanwhile, Tydes waited sitting on the floor of the dock, nearby The Lady Death. He sighed to himself and stood up, going back to the ship.
    "Alright everybody! Captain's not coming today! Time to sleep!"
     
    #15 GreatWest, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  16. Sylvander Quaid - 3

    Morning came no differently than the one before it, yet Sylvander hadn't slept much. The idea of the branding flickered in his mind. Though his magic wasn't especially strong, he had great control over it. The thought that he could somehow be more of a danger to society than the Black Orchids gang angered him. What he liked least of all, however, was the fact the Ajax would be there testifying – along with the glaring of dozens of citizens and court members. The scrutiny would be more constricting than his minuscule bed.

    Sylvander rolled out and peaked out from behind his door. He hadn't expected it, but Emily was there, as usual, cooking breakfast. Retrieving a clean, white shirt from the neighbouring hall, he reluctantly joined her at the breakfast table. Emily divided the eggs and toast between them. To his great surprise, his breakfast was not salty. He looked at Emily, who smiled curtly.

    “Why-,” he started.

    “You’ll wear your work vest today, I cleaned the blood spots. And your green jacket,” she paused and looked at him and his plate. “Are your eggs okay?”

    Sylvander had frozen, “ye… yes, they’re good”. It began to dawn on him why Emily was being so nonchalant. She didn't expect the morning’s trial to end well.

    At the door, Sylvander tucked in his shirt and laced his cleaned boots. Emily took him by the collar and adjusted it for him, fixed his hair, and tugged his vest straight. A moment of hesitation before she tilted up and kissed him briefly on the cheek. “What about th-the shop?” Sylvander stammered, distracted by the kiss.

    “Mabel is opening for me, I gave her a run of the new place last afternoon.”

    Sylvander took a moment to take in the woman before him. She was dressed in her good clothes – her expecting-nobility-for-supper clothes. The long dusty blue skirt with needlepoint trim clung to her sides. Her pale cream corset-blouse hung on her gentle features, and the tarnished silver locket which she never parted with around her neck. This woman, who had taken him in with trust and kindness, still cared despite him having let her down. It was quite possible at this point that all she had done for him would become wasted. Branded, he would never be able to hold a good-paying job. He would lead a life of discrimination as long as he remained in Stormhaven.

    Sylvander composed himself and the two left.

    ***
    Sylvander stood in line between four other men. He hadn't considered it would be a group trial. Everything became ten times worse. He would be judged alongside complete strangers, and a collective verdict was therefore a likely conclusion. Before his mind had a chance to wind up again, the door to the benches opened, and the accused filed into the chamber. Their guilt was his.

    All those eyes. Seats above him were filled with men, women, and children who had come to watch the proceeding. Along the far wall were seated the judge and members of the court. He scanned the faces. Young, old, tired, yet attentive, each pair of eyes was already deciding his fate. Four guards stood around the men in a square, watching their every twitch. Sylvander resisted the urge to stare downward. Appear confident, appear civil, Emily’s voice echoed.

    A member of the court began, “the accused stand against charges of sorcery in the first class – illegal use of magic with intent to harm. The court shall present one claimant per charge, and the accused shall present one defense.”

    This was going to be quick.

    “Sylvander Quaid!” the speaker called.

    I’m first? No way. Sylvander stepped forward, and the tall, olive-skinned man called Ajax took the stand.
    A member of the court motioned for Ajax to make his statement.

    “The accused used magic on me and my friends by the docks yesterday. He assaulted me, and his gang jumped us,” Ajax snarled.

    “The evidence?” the speaker asked slightly annoyed, apparently spent from a long morning already. Ajax unwrapped his hand, making a show of it as he did so, and revealed to the court a deep burn across his palm.

    Exaggerated gasps from the spectators.

    “Quaid, your statement,” the speaker motioned.

    Sylvander straightened, infuriated, “You provoked it! Then you tried to stick me with the dagger!”

    Ajax leaned forward, “If I recall, the guards found YOU with a dagger in your hand, not me.” He smiled slyly as he let his words do the damage.

    “But your burn-“ Sylvander was cut off harshly.

    “Quaid has made his defense. It is confirmed that Mr. Quaid was found with a dagger ready to strike.”

    This trial has hardly a trial, Sylvander realized - little more than a show for the public. He looked desperately at the court. Its members scrawled on cards in front of them and collected what Sylvander supposed were their verdicts. Sylvander waited on the rest of the men to be tried, all the while convinced that one young member of the court was watching him intently.

    The defenses finished and a card was passed in a red envelope to the speaker of the court. It’s all just a show. The speaker opened and read the verdict.

    “The court finds the defendants, without exception, guilty of the charges. The convicted are to be branded for their magic.”

    Suddenly, one of the defendants shouted something incomprehensible sending sparks of electricity hurtling through the room. The sparks fizzled, suppressed by countermeasures, and the man was promptly knocked unconscious by the guards. The angry murmuring of the council rose over the dwindling screams of the watching children as the rest of the convicted were ushered out of the trial chamber. If the verdict hadn't assured the public of their guilt, the rogue sorcerer just did.
     
    #16 Zaith, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  17. A tall man walked down the street towards the Artificer. The man walking was covered from head to toe in black. His face was concealed by a black cloak with a black cloak wrapped around the lower half, all that could be seen were the eyes. The cloak flowed around him as he walked, and there was a longsword with a dark wooden handle and slightly rusted pommel strapped across his back. His arms were exposed and strange archaic tattoos could be seen going up both of them before disappearing inside his tunic.

    With each step towards the Artificer the man's staff thudded upon the cobbled street. Small sparks could be seen upon each impact with the ground if someone looked closely enough. Stopping about twenty paces from the Artificer this strange man planted his staff and spoke in a deep voice "Im looking for a man, an artificer. I was informed he lived here."
     
  18. Gregory stopped his gaze from his surroundings as the tapping sound grew closer to him. He turned and looked the cloaked dark man up and down. "Well sir, I am an artificer, yes. This is indeed where I live as well as where I work. If it's my services or products you've come for, I'm am terribly sorry to say that due to the recent weather the majority of my resources have become unusable. I'm unsure of when I will be able to create anything. My apologies."

    The artificer turned and took a few steps up towards his workshop.
     
  19. Erick received notice of the trial time earlier on in the day but still made it to the proceedings itself late. The purpose was both his own desire and not, as while he wanted to surprise the judge and jury he was also busy taking care of some loose ends with the Trade Ambassadors. He opted for a carriage to get him there quickly and his two chosen knights rode on the flanks of the carriage by steed. In short time, they made it to the courthouse.

    The men entered the main hall to find that it was packed, to the point of him being unable to actually maneuver the room. Instead of forcing his way through the crowds, he went in through the guard's door and headed towards the verdict hall, where the lives of men were debated. The room was desolate, a thin layer of dust coating the tables of the room as if it hasn't been used in months.

    "Sir Zachary, how many court cases have there been with men being convicted of capital crimes in the last month?"

    Sir Zachary was a tall and wide man who was both strong in body and in mind. He often came to the Prince to be taught various aspects of the city and would have intellectual conversations when he could. A man of learning and brawn.

    "I think there have been a couple dozen ranging from sorcery to murder to grand theft, why?"

    "Because this room hasn't been used in months. Why is that?"

    "I'm afraid I do not know the answer to that, Erick."

    The three men walked through the room to the hall leading towards the proceedings.

    "Igor, please watch the verdict room. Zach, please stand by the door when we enter the hall. I want to see how this proceeding is run if these rooms aren't being used and I don't want too much of a noise made on my arrival."

    The two acknowledged their orders and the remaining two made their way down the hall. The door was of an open sort, not so much a door as an entryway. Erick stepped through and stood behind the jurors, making sure none noticed his arrival.

    "...Sylvander Quaid!"

    Looks like the man he was here to watch. The man gave his defense, albeit it was more damaging than helpful in his case. He looked around the rest of the courtroom: three other convicts were in the line-up. What, are we so poor that we must try everyone at the same time? Do they not get a decent and fair hearing? His inner questioning silenced itself as all the men gave equally unappealing defenses of themselves. He could not speak for them, however, as he was not their at their moment of arrest. It was Quaid who he was here to defend if he had to.

    "...The court finds the defendants, without exception, guilty of the charges. The convicted are to be branded for their magic."

    That's it?! No deliberation of the verdict?! Do we live in a base state where only arrogance and bigotry rules our homes and lives?

    As he was about to speak up, one of the convicts attempts an escape and assault, but is stopped due to the guards and magic countermeasures on the building. Funny, how magic is frowned upon so much yet little do the people know, it surrounds them in this very building. Below, the men start being marched out to receive their punishment. Now was the time to act.

    The Prince steps forward in front of the jurors and a collective gasp is heard throughout the building.

    "Sylvander Quaid! I, Prince Erick Northridge, hereby pardon your crimes of sorcery against the party of Ajax!"

    Another gasp is heard and murmuring and voices of discontent rise through the crowds.

    "Since when did our fair city, our home and shelter from the world outside, become the very jail in which we live? These men right here have yet to even leave this room to actually debate the men's judgement. That room has been untouched for months! How many innocent men have been put to death or banishment for their neglect!? Have we become such a corrupt state that not even our legal system is protecting you?"

    His hand movements are very linear, accenting his speech and with each accusation, he looks towards the person in power over that position to shame them.

    "Since when was self defense a crime punishable by being branded a mage? So what if you are caught doing magic! -a loud gasp is heard through the courtroom- Silence! You will listen when your Prince is talking for what I am discussing determines the very fate of your existence and you will do well to listen. Sylvander Quaid. I watched you use magic, yes. But what the court and the public fails to realize is that when it comes to the accused, they will always go with what they were fed and not what they see. I saw what happened. Ajax came at you with a knife in the middle of your brawl and was going to stab you in the chest as he pinned you to the ground. You responded, whether willingly or not, with the only defense available against a larger man: your magic. Did you kill him? No, but you very well could have if you had so chose. No, you only caused his knife to turn red-hot.

    "Ajax, I hereby charge you with Sorcery! You, a man who lied to the court and to the people; using one man's own skills in the defense of his life against him, are more of a sorcerer than he. You have manipulated the masses around you for your own petty gain. If anyone should be branded, it is you.

    "As for the jury, I hereby charge all of you with negligence! You have dirtied the hands of our country and our city, throwing the lives of those you try away like refuse. You will no longer be allowed to work in any official office henceforth.

    "The judge, I am placing you on suspension until a thorough investigation is held for your own integrity. We will find out if you have been a part of this blame scheme soon. Personally, I think you are guilty of that as you know these men never left the room."

    The Prince turns to face the awe-stricken crowd. Erick has never acted out in public like this. Never before has he exercised his power as a prince and it left the people speechless.

    "People of Stormhaven. The time of living in forced aggression, forced fear, and forced bigotry is over. No more will I allow such...hostilities...such atrocities...run rampant in the streets of my city. I will be overseeing the complete restructuring of our city's legal system and I will be enforcing this change. If anyone has any complaints, I urge you to write to me in the Palace. I will read and I will respond but do be warned: I am a busy man so do take that into account if a delay is had. This city is meant for all of us to live in harmony and happiness, not bigoted arrogance.

    "Sylvander Quaid. You will leave this room a free man and if anyone, and I mean anyone, accosts you for your magic; come to the Palace and I will deal with it...personally."

    With his speech finished, the crowd stunned into silence, and Sir Zachary smirking on the side, Prince Erick Northridge left the courthouse.
     
  20. As soon as the artificer turned his back Hade's sword was drawn. He took two steps forward and placed it across his back. "I would advise you to never turn your back on me." Hades said. He slowly reached up and pulled the scarf down from around his face and around his neck. As he did that he turned the artificer to face him and sheathes his sword once more. He put his arms out "Did you miss me brother?" Hades said waiting for Gregory to respond.