All The King's Men

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Karyra, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. 'We've been walking forever! It's about time that we stopped to rest!" Roshi said, spinning dramatically around and flopping down on the soft, green grass. She gripped the grass as she laid there thinking. It felt so peaceful in these woods just outside of Kalico's capital, Dunstan. How strange these turn of events were, that she would be working with a king who wanted to take over the world. She usually would try to use this position to poison the king and end his crazed quest for power, but... Roshi snorted at her going soft and rolled over on the grass. It's not going to work at all. This group will just fall apart like all the rest that have tried.

    Roshi sat up finally, to see the rest of the group. They were small but others would arrive soon she hoped. Although perhaps a small group would be best to move quickly over land. She rested her head on her knees as she watched the other set up camp. A shame that probably most would die in pursuit of peace. Roshi didn't care about them, though. No reason to care about cannon fodder, she figured.

    Rill on the other hand, stopped walking and started to set up her tent. She shook her head at Roshi. Lazy elf. Rill didn't think herself racist, but being amongst humans habits and thoughts tended to rub off on her. "Hey don't forget that tomorrow we're going into Kalico, you stupid brat. The festival there will be a good cover for us and allow us to see the state of the kingdom. Kalico was a close relation for Morcrest and don't forget that we're here to do our jobs of making sure we have their support." Rill snapped at Roshi.

    Roshi made a rude gesture in return, shortly after, she rolled over, seeming to ignore the nagging Rill. Rill rolled her eyes and went to see if she could help the others with anything. She wondered how long it would be until the rest showed up, they had a few here but a larger force Rill felt that could probably handle whatever happened in Kalico, which Rill had a bad feeling about. Whatever was going on there, it wasn't something that could be handled with a few choice words... but maybe Rill was misreading the situation. Rill heard Roshi snoring and picked up Roshi's bedroll and threw it at the stupid elf.
    #1 Karyra, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
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  2. The group was... small. Unusually so. Quick, intelligent, and fairly efficient, absolutely, but Mihai wondered how such a small collection of people as this could possibly complete such a world-spanning task as the one assigned to them by the King. Would the brute strength of an army not have been better? Or perhaps Mihai's pitiful inexperience in the politics of humans barred him from seeing the reasoning behind the monarch's actions, expecting more where there should be less. A small thing that he wouldn't worry himself over. A leader knew what he was doing, and Mihai was confident enough to accept that.

    The wildling settled cross-legged into the cool grass amid the small company, his eyelids drooping to compliment his lazy half-smile. He felt right at home among such a diverse group that reminded him, in the most amusing way, of his old mercenary band. A rowdy bunch of argumentative warriors with nothing better to do than follow the orders of an idealistic monarch. Mihai leaned back on his palms, and surveyed the group with a practiced eye.

    One other Wildling, an elf. Humans, or perhaps humans and a half, made up their small group. He hadn't seen an elf in years, nor had he had he the pleasure to be in the company of another wildling. The humans were the most familiar to him, with their broad optimism and wide frames that were distinctly human. Mihai had begun to look past the racism common among human communities when he took to their cities, and now considered them all potential allies.

    If he wanted to get into philosophy, he could go on about how they were all truly wildlings, but Mihai was never one for such silly concepts.

    He rubbed at his temples and perked up as an idea came to mind. "Anyone a singer?"
    #2 Dipper, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
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  3. [​IMG]

    The woods. Nature. Wildlife. Fields of grass. The sounds of birds. The scents of plants.

    Home. Sage felt at home in the woods. Although he was surrounded by absolute strangers whom he knew nothing of, their presence was quite tolerable as he was in his element. The thought of walking throughout the city streets of Dunstan was distressing, what with their refined buildings surrounded by strangers upon strangers with strange scents and foreign customs.

    Instead, the man chose not to think of their destination and rather the environment that surrounded him. An environment he felt more than comfortable in. He hoped to utilize this opportunity to become an ally to those around him rather than a stranger. It was a task better said than done.

    "We've been walking forever! It's about time that we stopped to rest!"

    And with that, the Wardens began to setup camp.

    Sage back-stepped away from the others before crouching, his forearms resting on his knees as he briefly began to observe the group construct their tents and what not. His head remained still, but behind the Wilding decorated mask were a pair of eyes that darted from one Warden to the next, eyeing each of them curiously from head to toe.

    A long time ago, the concept would have confused the man. Why would one choose to sleep on a bedroll in the woods when there was lush, gentle grass surrounding them for miles for all to lay on?

    However, years spent traveling Ellira in the company of mercenaries revealed all he should know in regards to the basic mannerisms of people. Still, he couldn't help but feel that they were missing out. The night sky was a beautiful thing to gaze at as one drifted to sleep.

    With haste Sage ceased his staring and set his leather rucksack on the grass and unclipped the short sword from his belt, leaning the blade on a tree. With a noticeably hunched posture and bent knees the man began to circle the area around him, scanning the woodland grass for firewood and rocks before piling those he found worthy into his arms.

    "Hey don't forget that tomorrow we're going into Kalico, you stupid brat. The festival there will be a good cover for us and allow us to see the state of the kingdom. Kalico was a close relation for Morcrest and don't forget that we're here to do our jobs of making sure we have their support."

    Sage froze on instinct the moment Rill began speaking, both arms wrapped carefully around the cluster of wood and rocks held to his chest, his worrisome eyes firmly planted on the wilding. Her spiteful tone startled him, and he hoped that the exchange wouldn't escalate further. He dreadfully disliked the idea of violence amongst those who should be considered allies.

    Fortunately the elf known as Roshi ignored the wilding. Sage exhaled silently and returned to his belongings, plopping the resources he collected onto the ground. A Wyvern-bone short bow and six lifeless rabbits with arrow wounds hung from the side of his rucksack, and he assumed the others would require nourishment before rest. He eagerly began to setup a campfire.

    "Anyone a singer?"

    As the rogue began to assort the rocks and firewood in their appropriate positions, he planted his gaze on Mihai, observing the mans friendly features before silently turning to the rest of the group. He, too, was interested to find out if there was a singer amongst their squad. A song would certainly compliment the vibes radiating from the woods.
    #3 Gossamer, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2015
  4. It was hot.

    Not that Lauchlan was unfamiliar with the weather, but he had never preferred the warmer climate of the southern kingdoms - nor had he ever spent such an extended period of time traveling in it. When the small band of Wardens had left Portsmouth, the Summer weather was coming into full swing and he'd managed to tolerate walking the first week with his hood up and still concealing his face. The second week in, however, the man had caved and removed his hood. He still kept the cloth covering the lower portion of his face, though it had earned him a few questions that he had largely ignored. Now concluding their third week of travel through increasingly sweltering weather, Lauchlan wanted nothing more than to strip down and lay in a pile of snow.

    It never got this hot in The Barren - even after midsummer had passed and the heat of late summer set in - and he never thought he would miss the chilling winds as much as he did now. How did people live in this?

    Although it was, admittedly, cooler within the shade of the small forest where they'd stopped, Lauchlan was still uncomfortably warm. Selecting a spot under a particularly large tree, the Warden unloaded his weapons and gear, then quickly began to remove his armor. That, at least, would cool him down a little. Somehow, his fellow Wardens did not seem too terribly bothered by the heat and were settling themselves in the shade-cooled grass. What was he even doing here with these people? Just over a month ago he'd been participating in a tournament at the suggestion of a client he'd served - and it had landed him here: traipsing through Kalico as an Exalted Warden. Whatever that was worth. The entire situation was ridiculous if he thought about it - and though he'd been needing a change of pace - he wasn't sure that working for King Akard was the change he sought. Nevertheless, he'd taken an oath to serve to whatever end awaited him. This was very likely a fool's errand - though she would have been glad to see him doing something more than mercenary work with his time.

    Ignoring the bickering between the wildling and the elf, Lauchlan went about setting up his tent and stowed his gear away inside of it. The other wildling, more even-tempered than Rill, inquired about singing talent and Lauchlan rolled his eyes.

    "I'd suggest settin' up camp before anyone starts in on nonsense," he snapped, his tone a bit harsher than he'd intended. "We have an hour left before the sun sets - use it." He knew the other had only meant it as a friendly gesture, but Lauchlan was hot, tired, and irritated because of it. He also felt that their last hour of daylight would be better spent preparing food and ensuring they had everything readied for nightfall. At least Sage was being productive.

    Nonetheless, he felt somewhat bad for snapping at the wildling and hurriedly moved off toward where Ignatius had stopped. So far, none of the Wardens had spent an significant amount of time getting to know one another, but Lauchlan found the pale-haired man to be pleasant enough. Despite the healer's visual disability he traveled well and was agreeable company -- in that he was nonintrusive in his manner. Thus far, he seemed tolerant of Lauchlan's harsh words and the former sell-sword felt less awkward talking to him than the others. As such, he'd been content to help the man set up his tent and manage his gear when they stopped to make camp - a sort of silent routine he'd fallen into over the past weeks.

    "Hey," he said, tempering his voice to be less cold than it had been prior. He knew that if he was to get along with the other Wardens he needed to rein in his temper. They, in turn, would simply have to learn that he meant no harm with his harshness. "Alright to setup here?"
    #4 Perfect Neglect, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2015
  5. "Anyone a singer?"

    "I'd suggest settin' up camp before anyone starts in on nonsense..." Lauchlan snapped. A bit harsh, but understandable for someone of his origins. The Barren. Ansley had traveled there a few times before. Once with Falin, the rest on his own. Every time the cold bit right through him to the core no matter how many furs he brought along. Ansley couldn't help but sympathize with the man, it was probably the same in the heat as it had been for him in the cold. It simply gets to you, no matter how hard you try to rein yourself in and keep control, the slightest annoyance easily makes you snap under the pressure of it all. As quickly as Lauchlan had began talking he was already heading off toward the mage of the group... Ignatichus. Or something along those lines. Ansley hadn't ever been very gifted when it came to remembering names, one thing he did remember however was that he was practically blind. "A lot of help a blind mage is. Tch" he said under his breath.

    He diverted his attention to the task at hand. Finding food, and hopefully whatever mead the Wardens had left over, as his would not last him as long as he had hoped. He scanned around for a nice area to lay his pack down and set up his tent, a medium sized tree with a luscious patch of moss bellow it caught his eye some twenty meters from where the group had come to a stop. "I'll be over here by that tree that resembles most of the trees in the area. If anyone is confused just give me a holler" he said with a wave behind the back as he walked away from the group.

    Ansley began to set up his tent, something he had done many times before. Within just a few minutes his tent was pitched and his armor was hanging from the tree just to the right of the tent itself. 'Alright then. Time to find some food. It had looked like that rogue... Sage? Sage. had a sizable amount of rabbits... Hopefully he'll share' Ansley thought as he finished tying down the tent, the idea of the freshly caught hares cooked over a blazing fire set his mouth to watering. Licking his lips he grabbed the small amount of mead he still had left over and set off toward the tree that Sage had been building his firepit under.

    Ansley rounded the tree and came upon Sage as he was setting down the fuel and tinder in order to get the fire going. "Sage right---?" he asked as he took a seat, resting his back in the knots of the tree to make himself comfortable. He gave a simple smile to the wildling and pulled open the cork on his last bottle of mead. Ansley took a long swig, exhaling deeply when he had finished "Nothing like some of the good stuff to settle down after a long journey huh?..." he said as he outstretched the bottle toward Sage.
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  6. "Anyone a singer?"

    "I sang once, but honestly people threw stuff at me and told me I was terrible. Also broke a few windows, it was a terribly messy affair." Roshi said, laying out her bedroll and setting it on the soft patch of grass. "Also that's why I'm no longer allowed in Bellows." Roshi said, moving over to Mihai and hovering over what he was doing. There wasn't anything particularly exciting happening, so she figured that she could at least provoke something to happen from Mihai. Rill was no fun and Lauchlan had a stick up his- "we could go get firewood Mihai, that would be productive and keep people from complaining."

    Rill felt watched as she yelled, and she turned to find the human -Sage was it?- staring at her and his face appeared concerned. I don't kill comrades when I'm on mission, jerk. She's just lazy as all get out. Rill tried to communicate this silently, but shook her head and moved on from it.

    She moved closer to Sage but was interrupted by the question. "I used to, but then I realized I didn't have time for it. Like now. We need to finish camp before the sun sets. No need to end up Bane-bait." Rill was all business and brass tacks. She saw something that needed to be done and she got it done. There was no reason to mess around here with singing and that nonsense. Plus the sooner the mission was over with the sooner she could get back to her group.
  7. [​IMG]
    It was a basic campfire setup, nothing too complicated. The man had set a circular perimeter using the various rocks he collected and proceeded to dig a hole in the middle of it using his gloved hands. The firewood would be placed within, and additional kindling placed atop. It was as simple as A, B, C, and the wilding raised rogue had done it far too many times to count.

    "Sage right---?"

    Sage snapped his head towards Ansley in an instant. His body was completely still as he stared through the black holes of his mask into the warriors eyes, studying the man intently as he sat himself against the tree. Curiously he observed him chug what he could only assume was a bottle of water. He seemed to have really enjoyed it, too, which made sense as the summer heat may have been a nuisance for some.

    "Nothing like some of the good stuff to settle down after a long journey huh?..."

    Quietly, Sage shifted his gaze between the bottle and Ansley. Both his tone and expression seemed genuinely friendly, and the rogue couldn't help but appreciate the kindness. The man had simply caught him off-guard is all.

    "Good stuff." He repeated Ansley's words curiously, it sounded like more of a question than a statement. Crossing over towards Ansley he plucked the bottle from the weary warriors hand, making sure to handle it with the upmost care. Sage glanced at Ansley with a shy expression. He didn't want to refuse the drink, but the man had a severe habit of eating alone.

    Cautiously, he gripped the mask tied to his face with one hand, gently pushing it upwards, only revealing the bottom half of his face. Doing so basically blinded him, which he disliked greatly, but there was no danger present at the moment.

    Sniffing the contents of the bottle, it was apparent that he had not been drinking water, but mead. The scent was quite familiar to the rogue, it lingered in taverns across Ellira. His mercenary companions had a knack for drinking it at campfires as well.

    Sage quickly swigged some of the mead. He had to clear his throat afterwards, letting out a rough cough as he did so. The scent was familiar, but the taste was something he had to get used too. "Good stuff." He repeated rather hoarsely this time, handing the bottle back to Ansley before pushing his mask back down to its original position.

    Sage crossed back to his place in front of the campfire. "Unfortunately," He said aloud, placing pieces of firewood in their appropriate positions within the hole, "We will not be hearing a song, as we have not time to waste. But - I have food?" He turned towards Ansley with a piece of firewood in his hand. "Would you like to help me prepare food, for the others? I - have enough."
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  8. Mihai whistled sharply and sat back on his palms with a smug grin on his face, his brows lifted in amusement. The diverse reactions were enough to give him an idea of what to expect from each member of the company. Short tempered, silent, chatty and conversational. He could manage so long as the more agitated among them weren't perpetually angry, as he was so often led to believe. Poor Mihai, thinking those with tempers were stuck in a constant loop of anger and sleep-- what a terrible life, in his perspective. Maybe if he pestered them enough with fun games, they'd lighten up a bit.

    "Must've been messy," he said. "Firewood it is."

    He hopped back up to his feet and wandered off towards the trees, stripping thin bark from the trees and gathering loose sticks, all excellent fire fuel. When he dumped them into a pile at the center of the group, he broke into another smile. "Fine, no singing. What about cards? We can't just sit here doing nothing the rest of the night, can we?" Mihai clicked his tongue and glanced around at his companions expectantly, dark eyes gleaming in almost childish excitement. His gaze landed on the masked one, Sage, as if trying to draw out the story behind the mask with sight alone.

    It wasn't successful, but the look hopefully got across what he had intended. "Or - listen to this - stories. I've got plenty to keep us busy until we pass out."
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  9. Having gotten the go-ahead from the mage, Lauchlan began to setup up the man's tent under a nearby tree. It was simple work, and he was glad to have something to occupy himself that would allow him to turn his back to the current chatter, and he was doing his best to ignore the rogue's comments about her departure from Bellows. He could hardly give solid judgment about any of the other Wardens, as they had spent so little time getting acquainted, but something about Roshi rubbed him the wrong way. His opinion on the woman had nothing to do with her race, but rather her occupation. More often than not, he was hired as an escort for those traveling in The Barren, though he retained his status as a sellsword; he was a fighter, and for the right price, a killer - but he was selective about his clients and his work. No matter his job, he was never one to condone skulking about in the shadows like a criminal - and those that did put him on edge. The woman was also exhibiting a sort of blatant laziness - which did nothing to improve his opinion of her.

    By the time he had finished with Ignatius' tent and left the mage to settle in, Lauchlan was surprised to find that Roshi and Mihai had done something helpful by gathering more firewood. They had, however, immediately resumed a quest for entertainment - which Lauchlan ignored in lieu of snapping at them over something so trivial. Cards had never been terribly entertaining to him - largely because he'd never bothered to learn any of the common games, but the idea seemed unappealing. If he was going to stare at pieces of paper, he would rather just read a book. Before entertaining the idea of reading or listening to stories, however, he would prefer to know that food was prepared and that everyone would have enough to eat before their arrival in Dunstan. Initially concerned with getting in hunting before they lost too much light, Lauchlan was pleased to discover that Sage seemed willing to share his catch.

    Two pleasant surprises - that was more than he could've hope for out of the evening.

    Consoled by the thought of not having to hunt in the fading light, the Warden made his way across the small camp to where Sage and Ansley were seated. The wild-seeming human was busy building a fire, and Ansley appeared to be in a pleasant enough mood. Then again, from what he'd seen of the man so far, he always appeared to be in a pleasant mood. Whether or not this attitude was related to his, seemingly often, consumption of mead, Lauchlan wasn't sure. Sage, on the other hand, was difficult to read. This was partially due to the mask that obscured his face - but also because of his unusual mannerisms. Either way, the man was an effective hunter and seldom wasted time when there was work to be done - an admirable trait.

    Still uncomfortably warm, Lauchlan knelt as far away from the fire pit as he could while remaining within reach of the presented game. He'd never been gifted with starting conversation in a tactful manner, but he doubted either of the men would mind his intrusion, especially if it led to a faster preparation of dinner.

    "I can help you dress those, it'll go faster with three people," he offered with a slight shrug. "Since some of us seem so eager for songs and stories and I have none to share, I might as well make use of my time." His voice was more even than when he'd addressed Mihai, though he didn't sound terribly pleased, either, and the cloth covering most of his expression made it difficult to discern his mood. In all actuality, he was content to clean and skin game, or set up tents, or prepare a fire - or do anything that kept him occupied and not thinking about his reasons for joining the Wardens (or lack thereof).

    Perhaps hearing a story wouldn't be such a bad idea afterall.
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  10. [​IMG]

    Yrïé spotted her destination, the place in which the Wardens were to gather, only a short trip to Kalico's capital of Dunstan and put her mare into a gallop, wishing to join them soon, out of purely practical reasons naturally.
    The beautiful dark-haired Wilding, with the reputation of "Savior of a Prince", came to the camp area just as Sage drunk the mead Ansley offered him, stopping Irëyá a dozen or so meters from the campfire and dismounting. She took a good look at the few gathered Warens, allowed herself one stray though: "The Exalted Wardens ha? What a bunch of different people. Hope that each and all of them have their worth as people," before proceeding to put down her bag with camping gear which had a bedroll strapped to it with two leather straps. Then she took a simple four inch wooden wedge out of her camping gear, stuck it in the ground and tied Irëyá to it, before giving a small turnip out of her pocket to the horse as a reward.
    With that done she finally approached the Wardens still in her full gear leather armor still worn over her usual clothing, two short staves on her back, a long staff in her right hand and with three bags (one with camping gear, one with various utilities and the last with food) of which two hanging from her shoulders and the third held by her left arm. With a emotionless face she simply introduced herself in a loud and emotion-lacking voice: "I am Yrïé. I answered King's Akard call and became an Exalted Warden. I greet you my fellow Wardens. My the Creator protect you all.
    Then she proceed to move towards the man with rabbits hanging from his horse, the masked man that called the name Sage. Reaching him just a moment or so after Lauchlan offered his help with the rabbits and stopped some six feet from the masked man asked him: "Mind sharing your plans for those rabbits?"

    [Interactions: Sage (@Fairy)]
    #10 gamer5, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  11. Sage shifted his glance from the bottle to Ansley before finally speaking, "Good stuff." Sage said, repeating Ansley's words. 'I guess he doesn't drink too often... Or interact with others for that matter.' Ansley thought to himself as he eyed Sages' mask, he had ever noticed Sage remove the thing the entire trip and it was starting to make him curious as to what lay beneath. 'Disfigured?! Burnt? Maybe he's a marked...? Maybe just self aware of his image.' Whatever it was it didn't matter because Sage took the bottle from Ansley's hand and lifted it gingerly to his lips as he raised the bottom of his mask up. Anxiously Ansley watched Sage take a swig, and let out a small laugh as the man coughed from the taste of the alcohol.

    'He mustn't be used to the taste of some good mead. I'll have to change that.' Ansley thought as he reached back fro the bottle, ready to give it another swig. Sage offered up his rabbits in return, and Ansley knew that his quest for food was complete. The only thing was that he would have to help prepare it, and Ansley was not the best at preparing food. Quite the contrary he was an average hunter, an abysmal cook, and a champion at feasting. "I'm not too sure that would be the best idea." Ansley said slightly defeated, images of the dinner he had once prepared for a group of travelers flashing through his mind 'Those poor souls' he thought eyes suddenly cold and distant. Then as if on queue to save the others from their doom, Lauchlan appeared and offered his assistance in preparing the rabbits for the night. Ansley took another long swig of the mead and peered up to Lauchlan, "Please do, I'm rather terrible at prepping food. It wouldn't turn out very well for those that consume it." he said with a smile and a slight red showing on his cheeks.

    Leaning to the left Ansley noticed a female wildling approaching, tail and canine ears in plain sight. 'She hadn't been traveling with us earlier...' he thought slowly as he noticed she was still clad in armor and seemingly scoping out the group, as he began to rouse himself to stop her from getting to close she spoke "...Yrïé... answered King Akard's call and became an Exalted Warden... fellow Wardens..." the wildling said in a monotonous and emotionless voice.

    "Make yursewf at home.. Yu- Y--- Yuree..?" Ansley struggled at the name, too many accents for a simple man such as he "...We could always use an extra set of paws- erh.. hands." he said to the new addition to the Wardens, speech noticeably slurred as he slumped back into the tree and gave a nod of his head toward her.
  12. [​IMG]
    "I'm not too sure that would be the best idea."

    Sage paused, processing the words. He had not been expecting such a peculiar answer and was unsure as to why Ansley preparing food may have been an awry course of action. "Oh, I understand." He replied, albeit he did not. Maybe he simply did not know how to prepare food, which was reasonable. Or, he was lazy, which was fair enough. He was not obligated to feed the others.

    Suddenly, a familiar feeling resonated from within the rogue, a feeling he was all too familiar with. He turned to catch Mihai, gazing intently in his direction, or more so, directly at him. Over the years Sage had learned from experience when people were giving him curious looks, as he had received so many of them, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes even to the point where things became violent. Vivid memories of the past brought upon anxious emotions. He had faith that the owl wilding stare was only out of curiosity.

    Mihai suggested they tell stories, and Sage was not keen enough to realize he was vaguely regarding the origins of his mask. However, before any of them could offer some sort of immersing tale, Lauchlan had taken Sage aback with his offer. He had been too focused on Mihai to notice the warrior place himself near the unfinished campfire, which was taking longer than expected to get going.

    Ansley urged Lauchlan on, confirming the rogues suspicions as to why he avoided preparing the food. Although he had been taken aback, Sage silently appreciated Lauchlan's offer and was more than willing to receive his assistance. However, before he could admit this to the warrior, Yrïé startled the man even further with her question, only adding to his social anxiety.

    "Mind sharing your plans for those rabbits?"

    "I - uh," He started, when suddenly Ansley began speaking, which seemed to be a difficult task for the man. He glanced at him, assuming the mead was beginning to come into effect. The sight reminded the rogue of his victims behavior after he managed to strike them with a poison-tip dagger. For just a moment, he prayed Ansley had not been poisoned, an inane thought, but a thought he had nonetheless.

    Sage began to glance between Lauchlan and Yrïé, struggling to decide who he should address first, as they had both spoken to him directly. Yrïé was closest, and so he turned towards her, hesitating before he speak to find the right words along with the courage to speak them aloud.

    "I was - going to cook and serve them, to everyone. There is enough. If you would like some, I will be happy to share? Just, allow me to cook them first. It should not take long."

    The man immediately stood up and started towards his rucksack once he finished speaking. He leaned down to remove the lifeless hares from his bag, which had been tied together with string, and started towards Lauchlan, walking in an odd fashion.

    "I will create the fire," Sage said, crouching before the hooded warrior as he held out the rabbits, "I appreciate your assistance." He remarked shyly.​
    #12 Gossamer, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2015
  13. [​IMG]
    "My name is troublesome to someone again," she though upon hearing Ansley struggle with her name and gave him a quick reply: "It is spoken as Irie. And they are hands in this form."
    Then she shifted her attention to Sage and the rabbits, the interest that actually brought her to this part of the emerging campsite: "I was guessing that you are going to cook them. What I am wondering is how are you going to cook them, because I have a few propositions on how they could be done. And I also have food to share." While waiting for a reply to come she took a quick glance around and spotted a good place to set down her stuff. She moved there, it was still inside a dozen or so feet from Sage and the others so talking was not a problem, and laid down her stuff.

    [Interactions: Ansley (@FrostedCamel), Sage (@Fairy)]
  14. Mihai felt his shoulder feathers ruffle at the presence of another wildling. He'd grown uncomfortable around too many of his own species, it seemed, especially those on the opposite spectrum of beasts. And although humans were illogical - burning the flavor out of the meat, as Mihai would never understand - they made much more enjoyable company, in his professional opinion. Why a wildling would need a mount, on the other hand... was a totally different issue entirely. One Mihai found more amusing than curious.

    "Yrïé, Yrïé. Why-ever are thee... agh, nevermind. Welcome to the Wardens."

    That was one greeting down, several to go. He stretched his arms above his head and strode towards Sage, putting on a warm smile in greeting. He stood far enough away, out of Sage's personal space as he had learned was "respectful" among humans. "Neat mask," he commented, admiring the strange coloring and designs of the thing that adorned the other man's face. "What's it for?"

    As was customary among his old family, Mihai was open to sharing something of his own past in return. Besides, the Wardens couldn't be kept uninformed about their fellows when they were going on a world-changing journey together, and surely there would be a few among them with a insatiable curiosity like his own. He gently slid the beaded headdress from his head and clutched it in his hands. "Here. A past for a past?"
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  15. Valience


    Wind swept past Valience's stalwart form, sweeping around the sleek contours of his armor, as though water crashing upon rocks. The highly ornate armor he was wearing was surprisingly very functional. Every detail did something, rather make him even more imposing, deflect blows or make them glance off entirely. Nevertheless, the majority of his imposing presence came from his height and sheer savage capability. If that wasn't enough, his mount often scared enemies into submission being a wyvern. Elarinya as he called her, had imprinted on him from an early age, ever since the two had been inseparable. Unless of course it was a summons by the King, he'd instilled her a great obedience. He'd always seemed to have that sort of effect on wildlife. It wasn't a power as it was intuitive and instinctual. He could make war dogs whimper and lie down just by glancing at them.

    With the beating of two massive limbs, Valience rode upon Elarinya whose golden scales shimmered as they were struck by the luminous rays of the sun that were above the clouds as they were. It was like gazing upon an enormous pile of moving gold coins. A terribly beautiful glimmer; deadly deceiving. He'd seen thieves make the same comparison and before they knew what they were up against, jaws that could sunder trees were upon them. Biting wasn't her only weapon, she had a massive barbed tail, and a venomous bite. Though, venomous may have been the wrong word. Infectious was closer to the truth. Her teeth could punch through most plate mail through sheer jaw power. And she need never worry about losing teeth permanently--as she seemed to readily grow them back. But wasn't her teeth that spread the infection though many serpents injected their venom through their fangs. The trick to her nasty bite lie in her saliva. It was a breeding ground for diseases, though she seemed unaffected by the festering.

    Once he'd spotted the campsite, he postured himself, and made a distinct 'clicking' sound with his tongue alerting the wyvern. The beast heeded his command, halting mid-flap, arching it back and then, folding its wings back. As its girth allowed it to descend quickly, it naturally angled its body to make complete circles around the camp. Large leathery wings flapped, causing gusts of winds before it extended its feet; immense talons gripping the earthen soils as its weight was bolstered on two tremendously powerful legs. Careening its neck, it allowed Valience to dismount, with a slow stroke across her head.

    "Esta sinome..." He said in Elvish tongue before disembarking to join the rest of the Wardens. "I was summoned here by the king. Who's leading?"

  16. Feeling somewhat reassured in his decision to offer assistance in preparing the caught game for dinner, Lauchlan gave a nod in Ansley's direction in response to his comment. How the man had worked as a mercenary and could fail in the task of basic food preparation, he was unsure - perhaps he traveled with others who did - but it was a little consequence now. Mildly perplexed at Sage's silence regarding the offer, the warrior had been about to inquire once more - when he noticed the appearance of a stranger, drawing too near their camp. She looked to be a wildling, though she, oddly, rode a horse - and she gave little hesitation in approaching their location. Having left his axe in his tent with the rest of his gear, the man's hand instinctively went to the hunting knife at his waist and he got to his feet. No sooner had she dismounted, she introduced herself as a newly-recruited Warden, and Lauchlan lowered his hand, though he regarded the wildling with a wary look.

    While she introduced herself, Lauchlan went about collecting a few long, sturdy-looking sticks to skewer the animals on once they had been dressed. At this rate, they would likely be a bit pressed to have enough meat to share; he should've gone hunting or fishing. They had only recently passed a decently-sized river, and with the approaching sunset, it would've been a fair time to fish. He still had the makeshift fishing spear in his tent and, for a moment, he considered going to do so - but he had already offered to help with the rabbits. Settling back as the others addressed the newcomer, the warrior withdrew his knife and whittled away the tips of the sticks he'd collected, sharpening them to points. When the newcomer asked about the plans for the wild hares, Lauchlan arched a dark brow and observed her with a skeptical look. She possessed even less tact than he did - at least he knew the man he had spoken to - and had offered his assistance. Before he had time to issue a snide remark, Sage quietly answered the woman, and the warrior swallowed his irritation.

    After that, Lauchlan was mildly surprised when the timid-seeming rogue approached him with the rabbits and spoke of his appreciation of the offer. "Sure," he said simply, taking the animals and laying them beside the sharpened sticks as he again withdrew his hunting knife. "I'm decently quick at it," he shrugged, "Thanks for sharing."

    Allowing Sage room to work on starting the fire, the warrior laid the first rabbit on a flat rock and set to work on it, removing the head and pulling the skin away with practiced skill. Behind him, he could hear the wildling girl speaking of how she thought to best prepare the rabbits and Lauchlan rolled his eyes. His snarl of irritation was covered by the cloth around his face - though he was glad his back was to them. The time they had spent traveling had given him little time or reason to be overly pleasant to anyone, really - and it made him feel somewhat guilty for his actions. Often, he didn't mean to be as brusque as he was - and he knew having the lower half of his face constantly covered made it difficult for others to discern expression and, as such, emotions - so he very likely always seemed angry or irritated. While that was only partially true, he couldn't stifle his current annoyance with the newcomer. Having gutted the, now bare, rabbit, he deposited the organs beside the rock he was using as a table, skewered the animal onto the stick, and planted the other end of the spike into the ground to keep the meat out of the dirt.

    It was now Mihai's turn to address Sage, and Lauchlan idly listened as the wildling inquired about the man's mask. There were all things that the warrior was interested in learning, though he never found the pretense to ask or initiate conversation with the other Wardens. Instead, he continued to listen and work.

    He had made fair progress and was working on the last hare when strong, gusting winds drew his attention upward to an approaching shadow. There appeared to be another new arrival to their camp - and this one, in his opinion, was just excessive. Due to the figure's face being obscured by a helm, Lauchlan could not discern the man's race - though he assumed from his sheer size he must be a wildling - or perhaps just an abnormally large human. Either way, he couldn't help but feel like there was some form of overcompensation going one - what with the massive armor, dual swords, and overlarge mount. The man could very likely be a great asset to their cause, but Lauchlan was too absorbed in his irritation to be intimidated or impressed. Honestly, he felt that the entrance had been too dramatic. He also disliked that, before even giving them a name, the man asked for their leader.

    Quickly finishing up with the last rabbit, the warrior stuck the skewer into the ground and got to his feet. For a moment, he considered addressing the newcomer, though he couldn't find the motivation to cause further tension and drama. Instead, he collected a few pieces of liver from the discarded organs, sheathed his knife, and stalked wordlessly off toward his tent to collect his fishing spear. Six rabbits were not going to feed this many people. In addition to his makeshift spear, he also slung his great axe over his shoulder; while he did want to reach the river before the light had completely gone, he was hesitant to leave the camp until he was more confident of the newcomer's intent.

    Silently, he waited on the edge of their small camp - cold, blue eyes focused on the wyvern and its rider.
    #16 Perfect Neglect, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2015
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  17. He had forgotten how it felt. The comfort of being graced in the dazzling warmth of sunlight. It stirred memories of his youth, back to the days when he had spent more of his time in gardens and on hills. How things had changed. Before he joined the Wardens it was not uncommon for Ignatius to spend days on end entirely in his study. The sun had seemed an abstract concept. It might have become a foreign thing entirely if not for the concern of his servants. But now it was different. So very different.

    Three weeks of near constant walking had left the fibres of his muscles straining in protest. Ignatius wasn't about to pretend he was as physically fit as even the average soldier. At least— to himself. Outwardly he believed he was doing a good job of not making his weakness known. In addition to continual soreness the sun was casting him into a haze. Lethargy urged him to fling himself onto the ground (which would surely not be the soft meadow he was picturing) and take a nap. Without a doubt such a scenario would end when he woke to find his skin charred. Such misery upon his skin had happened several times already. The burns were by far the worst part of the trip. His skin flaked and itched. Scratching it only made it worse. And it constantly burned. It wasn't so bad right now, as he had gotten smart about it, but the first week in particular had been most miserable.

    Without any official word the company came to a halt. Roshi complained. Rill retorted. And everyone agreed it was a good time to prepare for the night. Exhausted, Ignatius found a nearby tree and took a seated position at its base. He let out a long slow breath. There wasn't enough organization among the Exalted Wardens. He couldn't help but think Rill was largely the reason things were still going smoothly so far. She seemed committed to the task at hand and wasn't going to deal with anyone's non-sense.

    “Anyone a singer?”

    Being a singer and being a good singer were to entirely different things. Ignatius definitely preferred those who were the latter. And he knew he was particular about who he considered a good singer. Instruments sounded better to his ears in most cases. Not that now was a good time to be singing. Or socialising, for that matter. Sitting around doing nothing wasn't useful either. His brow furrowed. With a huff he pulled himself off the ground, using the tree as aide.

    Ignatius angled his face in the direction of the speaker when he was greeted. A polite habit. It didn't seem unlikely that someone unfamiliar might mistake his lack of “looking” at them to mean he was ignoring them. “Yes, thank you.” He was gladdened for the warrior's assistance. Yet, at the same time he was disappointed at requiring it. Burdening Lauchlan—or anyone—was the farthest thing from what he wanted to do. Once things were set up and the warrior had departed, Ignatius took some time to familiarize himself with the premise around his tent. Low hanging branches in specific were a thing he was on the lookout for. As he walked around he could hear flecks of conversation which the others were having. He disregarded most of it. However, two things stood out. One was mention of hares. The other was a feminine voice which he did not recognize. He paused a moment and listened more intently. Her name appeared to be Yrïé. There wasn't hostility in the conversation and he concluded she was an ally. Satisfied, he entered into his tent to finish settling his things.

    The mage emerged from his tent again just in time to hear another unfamiliar voice. This one much more masculine. He only caught the end of whatever the man had been saying. “...the king. Who's Leading?” Reinforcements? Perhaps Yrïé had not arrived alone? Were there others? After a moment of contemplation, Ignatius chose to get a bit closer as to better hear what was going on.
  18. The Celebration Begins
    "Come one and all to the Festival of the Sun! Eat, drink, be merry! The king sends his lamenting regards, woefully saying that due to illness he cannot attend this year as well," a squire said from the stage. His eyes looked over the crowd, which were all listening attentively and eagerly. "However, he shall be at the end of the festival and will set off the last firework for the day. He promises that the mages and firework makers have worked year round on this year's finale and he promises it to be a killer display!" With a bow the brightly colored squire bowed and the crowd dispersed to the games and booths housing goods from all around.

    Whispers could be heard from all around however, some more disturbing than others.

    "I heard the Queen is dead, but his majesty says that she is alive and well. I've seen her in the tower's window once. She looked unwell..."

    "The king has been bedridden, how will he set off the firework in his condition? No one is allowed to see him either, lest they catch the Black Cough."

    Not to mention, the stone towers of the castle looked almost black against the glare of the sun, which had recently risen behind it. Rill didn't like the situation, but there was nothing she could do covertly, she was about as covert as a brick to someone's head. She scanned the castle for another moment before turning to the rest of the group.

    "I don't like this. We're not going into this negotiation blind and fumbling. We might need to split up, but... I need to know what we're going to do next. I say we send a recon team for the castle, they poke around the kitchens and keep out of the royal chambers. Or we could try to all sneak in and find the king. Either way, we risk catching this Black Cough, and I'm not eager to get sick again. What do you guys think?"

    "I vote we split up. A group stays here to see what the people here know and the other tries to figure this out. We have enough to split up fairly decently, but I don't like the look of these festival goers. Might be bandits and I'm not sure anyone wants a knife in the back if they stay here too long and flash too much gold."
  19. Ansley stood clad in his armor, maul slung over his back, all of which covered in a brown travelers cloak, listening to the royal squire give his speech about the festival. The squire finished his short speech, and Ansley couldn't help but feel uneasy at some of the talk from the festival goers of the Kings condition of the "Black Cough"... 'Whatever the bloody hell that is'. He turned his attention from the stage to the crowd surrounding the Wardens.

    The crowd was lively, a true festival by Ansley's lenient standards, as long as there was alcohol and some fine women to chase Ansley was sure to have a good night. 'Too bad I'm on work, plenty of fine women.' Ansley thought to himself as he woefully surveyed a group of broads. Shops, food stands, jesters and other assorted performers, and of course, the average folk. The festival goers. Many of them seemed just... average. And every so often there was the one that Ansley could spot a mile away. Pick pockets, thieves, and the kinds of men most people wouldn't want to be cornered in an alley with.

    Rill had been saying something of a possibility of splitting up and entering the castle to look for the King, Ansley wasn't paying much mind to her. He was busy focusing on a stand some fifteen meters away, "Sp---- Spi---" he struggled to read the small text of the banner, "Spirits!" Ansley proclaimed to no one in particular and rather to his own surprise as he said it out loud.

    He shrugged it off and directed his attention back to the Wardens. The small and troublesome wildling, Roshi, chimed in and suggested that one group infiltrates the castle while another stay at the festival in case something were to go awry.

    "I'll volunteer to stay within the festival, I'll have no trouble holding my own in a fight here." he said as he lifted his arm from under the cloak and waved it around generalizing the square "Plenty of space to move about, I'd be too confined in a castle. And if something does go wrong, it would be better to have me out here to aid in any escape." Ansley said to Rill, "That is, if we do end up splitting into two parties."

    'And if I stay out here, I may be able to get my hands on some good wine, and at least some average mead. I'm in need of a restock.' Ansley thought to himself, a slight grin on his face. "Also, I would rather not be in charge if we do split up..." Ansley never much liked being a leader. He was here to take orders, swing his maul, and break men that stood in the Wardens way.
    #19 FrostedCaramel, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  20. The festival grew loud, a little too rambunctious for Mihai's humble tastes, with smells that made his eyes water and grating human voices that sounded... of in his ears. He figured they were drunk with happiness, or maybe they were just drunk. As long, he supposed, as the choppy human music retained some form of order and melody, then he had no issues. Maybe there'd be time for him to make company later in the evening...

    Mihai's lips quirked in concern at the murmurings of the attendees. A sick King, stricken with a cough that held him in his own castle? He would feel for the citizens, if his sympathy wasn't so occupied with the state of the city itself and his own - musically assaulted - ears. Mihai sighed and ran a hand through his hair, pushing a few stray locks away from his eyes. "I'll go," he offered. "I can fly in and out in no time, and nobody would ever know I was there."

    Unless the Wardens had intended to make themselves known. Mihai saw no logic in such things, as storming the castle in such a way would only get them removed completely. And with no way to communicate to the King, they might as well disband. "Not to sound offensive, but I probably can be quieter on my own without any of you clanking around after me."
    #20 Dipper, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015