Before The Dawn [IC]

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  1. Narrator The sun shone gloriously over the Kingdom of Amorynthia, and it seemed that the whole land was basking in the warm embrace of Summer. It was barely midday, and the townsfolk of Woodsend were revelling in their day of shunned responsibility; opting instead to rejoice in the spirit of Summer and in celebration of the day's importance. Dining furniture had been moved outside of the homes it ordinarily occupied and arranged lengthways down the streets in preparation for a communal banquet. Yes, it was fair to say that festivity was in the air on this day in Woodsend, with colourful garlands strung from each window and music playing on every corner inviting passers-by to share in a joyful jig. But the frivolity was to be expected: after all, it was not every day that the town played host to Royalty.
    Avarielle Wheeler
    Avarielle Wheeler looked over the parchment in her hand with an air of disinterest; the words "KING VALDEZ" were the largest scripture on the document, which contained details of her imminent mission to the North and instructions to meet in the town square of Woodsend. The name of the town hung heavily in her heart as she glanced up at the building across the street. Her mind was transported to a different time; one of innocence, laughter and amazement. She recalled the first time she'd seen magic, and how she'd wondered at the meagre fireball that boy had conjured all those years ago, outside this very house.

    But, Ava reasoned, the passing of time was an inevitability that brought with it the winds of change. Elymas was not the child of innocence he had once been; he had proven that much at the Tower. Rage burned within her at the thought of the betrayals she'd been subjected to. And for what? She had little to show for it, other than the damned invitation she held between her slender fingers. She screwed it up impulsively and stashed it into her robes, turning her back on the quaint house that homed some of the only fond memories she had; now stained with bitterness and locked away in a part of her mind that she only delved into during moments of pained nostalgia such as this.

    As she made her way back through the cobbled streets and out into the town square, she noted that the rest of the group seemed to have already arrived. They stood tall and proud, looking for the most part like they collectively bore a chance of surviving this decidedly daunting expedition. Ava had no doubts that their mission would bring about some degree of tragedy; one does not venture north of the Amorytes without expecting to lose the lessors. Aware of the dangers that lay ahead, Ava had but one concern: to ensure she was not among the weak.

    The party were gathered in anticipation of the King's arrival; and they were not the only ones. His word had been that he would arrive personally when the sun reached its peak, and as the townsfolk gazed upwards into the cloudless blue expanse, they knew it was time. The air hummed with trepidation.

    Avarielle kept her distance from the rest of the group, standing further back and blending in amongst the crowd as she watched. They seemed silent and the group dynamic was lacking; though she assumed that the King would formally introduce them to each other upon his arrival.

    And yet, it soon became apparent that there was to be no arrival. Out on the horizon, a lone horseman brandishng the Royal red and gold colours made his way into the town; he brought with him no guards, no fanfare and - most disappointingly to the people of Woodsend - no King. They began whispering and mumbling to each other as the vast crowd began theorising as to what might happen next.

    "I come bearing word from His Highness, King Valdez III," the messenger announced, rather unsurprisingly, as he drew close to the group. They seemed to shoot each other suspect glances that revealed their concerns. "King Valdez has opted against appearing personally today. You are Royally expected to introduce yourselves and collaborate on forming a strategy for your venture North, by word of the King, to the Dwarven settlement of New Kelda, where our good King hopes to amend the strained relationship of our people." The applause from the gathered townsfolk was mild at best; whilst something angry stirred within Avarielle. Instantly, she stepped forward.

    "And what is so important that our Good King was otherwise engaged?" she spat, using all the spite she could muster when addressing the tyrant as such. "If His Highness had not noticed; we gathered here are offering our services in a most perilous venture with no knowledge of what he wishes for us to achieve." What she said was true, other than the notion that they were to visit New Kelda on a diplomatic mission, none of the adventurers had been given any further information. "Are we just expected to waltz into the North on blind faith and the promise of gold?" The crowd began to grow uncomfortably quiet as the mage said what most were likely thinking.

    The messenger cleared his throat, withdrawing a scroll from his pouch. It was bound in a steel case, and from the runes carved along its side Ava deduced it was likely sealed by magical means. "You are to deliver this document to the rebel leader in their city." he said curtly, handing the scroll to a scrawny-looking young man with mousy, shoulder-length hair; to Ava's surprise, he seemed to be part of the mission. She wondered how an obvious weakling such as him had made it onto this mission... But she soon scolded herself. She of all people knew that power came in many forms; perhaps he would surprise her. "That is all that the King requires of you, and on behalf of the Royal Household and the City of Ryth, we wish you the luck to carry out the task efficiently."

    With that, the messenger turned on his horse and galloped off along the same path upon which he had entered the town, the stallion's hooves threatening to shatter the cobbled earth with each footstep. Avarielle scowled in contempt, her eyes narrowing with fury as she watched the man shrink into the distance. Dejectedly, she let out a sigh, and turned to face her new allies.

    "My name is Avarielle Wheeler." she said, withdrawing her invitation to prove she was a valid member of the party. "I think we'd better find someplace to discuss the matter at hand."

    Narrator Soon enough, the Crooked Hatchet Inn had been cleared out by its obliging owner; with the pub to themselves, the King's recruited mercenaries would have the privacy they needed to introduce themselves and plan the first steps of their journey. Where would they head first? Were they to stay in Woodsend for the eve, or begin their quest in haste? And what of the scroll given to young Damian, its secret contents kept secure with a magical seal? Whatever path they opted to take, it was sure to be one full of surprises...
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  2. Damian Seville

    The Journey To...

    It was all very overwhelming to the young man, really. He had only ever stepped outside his small village of Tethersall once when he was but a small child. Not to say that he was scared, the sense of adventure seemed to run in the family, but this was to be an entirely new experience for Damian. After receiving his grandmother's blessings, the initial adrenaline rush of adventuring dissipated and was replaced with an extreme sense of dread and paranoia. Every so often he would keep checking his back to make sure his stuff wasn't stolen or hadn't dropped onto the ground somewhere. After passing through the inconspicuous town of Drayling, he had stepped into the much larger city of Dray. It was as if stepping back into that time more than ten years ago with his parents. His hand reaches down to the holster which sheaths the dagger his late parents had bought for him here. He sent a quiet prayer to his parents hoping they'll wish him well on his journey.

    Indeed, it was as if his parents' fortune were right beside him. After inquiring some of the locals on the best way to get to Woodsend, a merchant was more than happy to give him a lift on the back of his horse's carriage. After introducing himself and showing the letter of invitation to be in the king's party, it seemed he was even more than happy to comply. So with stacks of crates surrounding him he sat, a rather uneventful start to his journey. The merchant, who looked to be a human in his sixties, made idle small talk with Damian. On any other day he would be more than happy to engage but he was half attentive, but most of his attention was on his spellbook trying to remember the spells he learned back home.

    The Horseman's Address

    The town was bustling with activity as they approached the city. Damian looked out to see colourful decorations and fancy furniture set out. This was a big occasion. Much bigger than he initially thought. People were out in droves expecting to see the king and there was never a spot for any quiet. Not on this day.

    Damian boarded off the carriage and said his thanks to the merchant to which he nodded and replied with a noticeable degree of familiarity in his voice, "your ma' and pa' were good people, Seville. Make 'em proud."

    Nodding wordlessly as he left, he looked around to find any sort of gathering that could constitute as a band of travelers. In the end they weren't that hard to find. It looked like less of a party and more like a group of misfits but he shouldn't judge. Everyone looked like hardened adventurers. He was a small fish in an ocean. If he didn't think that this expedition was that big of deal yet, the people in front of him put a rest to those thoughts.

    He walked up to them and simply stood quietly. The mood gave no room for any sort of discussion or introduction. So he simply waited in silence. As did the others. It would be great if someone were to diffuse the tension somehow but something tells him that he'd only get strange looks if he were to speak up now. Thankfully, the few minutes of silence spent with his fellow party members was rewarded with a lone horseman approaching them. A lone horseman? Where is the rest of the escort?

    Not here. Damian was a little upset that he wasn't going to be seeing the king. As he sighed in acceptance a woman who he didn't notice in the group before spoke up. "And what is so important that our Good King was otherwise engaged? If His Highness had not noticed; we gathered here are offering our services in a most perilous venture with no knowledge of what he wishes for us to achieve. Are we just expected to waltz into the North on blind faith and the promise of gold?" She sounded very annoyed, irritated, angry. She also did raise some good points. Yet another sign of his inexperience as an adventurer, if but a small one, but a sign nevertheless.

    In response, the horseman told them of their objective and handed him a sealed scrolled. He starred at it for a moment, caught off guard by the movement. He looked back at the woman, who was clearly eyeing him with an air of disdain. Was his inexperience that noticeable? Damian showed no reaction however, and simply stored the scroll securely in his bag.

    Inns and Introductions

    They were guided into the town's inn after its patrons had been cleared out. They had some privacy to themselves now but he still couldn't help but feel, as ashamed he was to admit this, intimidated by the people surrounding him.

    The girl who was glaring at him earlier, Avarielle, had broken the ice earlier with a simple introduction. But now that they are here in the quiet of the inn they can begin their introductions proper. It was clear that they needed some serious bonding time as at a glance no one could tell they were a party. They weren't sitting together at one table sharing a friendly drink and some banter. Some were sitting, some where standing, others were looking aloof as if they were only half focused. It's going to be hard to get this group together but if someone was to do it, it would be him.

    "I guess we can introduce ourselves properly now that we're all together," he announces, standing to address the others as how he'd address his own friends. "If we're going to be travelling together then I think it would be a good idea for us to get to know each other. I'm Seville. Damian Seville. From Tethersall."

    He finishes his brief address, looking at his companions to see who would go next. Or if they had any questions for him.
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  3. When Gerrard saw the snow-white polar owl land on his window, insistently chipping on the wooden frame with its beak and staring at him with his red eyes, unwilling to even move at his presence, he knew what was coming. Already a young man, of around twenty years, Gerrard had remembered the strangers that his father had welcomed into their house as honourable guests, asking him and his sisters to serve them food and drinks and even sleep in the barn for the night, offering the newcomers their beds. He was too young to understand it back then and too naive to suspect the reason his old father, who wasn’t afraid to tell the King’s tax collectors to fuck off, would tremble like a leaf at the sight of the men who arrived in the dark, cloaked in black, their leader being a slender, bearded man of no particular strength. He also did not understand why exactly did his dad never allow him and his sisters to speak to the guests and instead dealt with all the interaction himself.

    A few years ago it had all become clear, though. On his death bed, his father had conveyed to his first-born child and heir to their already well-off farm, what the source of their upheaval was. They, he had explained, had come when he was still in his thirties and still poor. They were Nosferytes – men of the night, men with craving for other men’s blood. He had been terrified back then and still was, to the day of his death, but the group of six did not bring him harm, in fact – they brought him gold. Gold that he bought their cattle and extorted himself out of poverty with. Apparently those who came were no ordinary killers, like the rest of their cursed kin, they were royalties, or something along those lines – men with power. In exchange for a safe place to stay, provisions and information, they wouldn’t harm him or his and would pay heavy coin – each time they came. The only demand they made was that for complete and utter secrecy, which is why the old man had waited until his last hours and had even then, chased all the servants from the house and had the curtains closed, before disclosing it to his only son. “The Nosferytes live for thousands of years, my child, so they are bound to come again. Every time before they come, they send me a message – an owl from their lands that you cannot miss. Their leader stares through the bird’s crimson eyes, so do not even think of running away or exposing them. It falls to you, as my heir, to accept them. Treat them with the highest honours, and they will honour you like they did me. Do not ask them anything and do not let the servants know.” His dad had gripped Gerrard’s shirt with unexpected strength at that moment “Do not tell anyone! Nobody must know of this!” The man who had brought him into this world died a few hours later, leaving Gerrard to pounder if that was just the wild imagination of a mind, taken over by old age and impending death. Perhaps his dad merely wanted to think of an adventure in his relatively boring life of hard labour and slow success?

    Such were the thoughts, that Gerrard comforted himself with, whenever he thought of his old man’s message in relation to the visitings he had witnessed as a child. But as the polar owl stared at his kitchen, he couldn’t even swallow his breakfast properly. His young bride seemed concerned, as his own face showed concern the youth rarely exhibited. Nevertheless, despite all her pleas, the husband was adamant in keeping silent. In the days that followed, Gerrard personally rode to the nearest town to shop for the finest possible food and wine the merchants could offer, not even phased by the steep prices that would sustain his entire household, including the servants him for a month at least. Coming back, he ushered his pregnant wife and the maid that lived with them out of the house, to visit her mother. Despite her sheer amazement and protest, he also had almost all the servants travel with their carriage, under the pretext of protective escort. Emillia wasn’t stupid, he knew something awfully odd was taking precedent over their normal lives, but her husband, who would usually hide nothing from her, even the time he cheated, remain silent and stern in expression. With some visible discontent, she kissed him and bid him goodbye, moving away with her escort.

    In the next few days, Gerrard would prepare the rooms of his empty house, as if he was expecting the King himself to pay a visit. The only two servants that remained in the large farm were both old and had also served under his father – they knew what the preparations their young master was making meant, but spoke nothing of it. A few more days had passed and Gerrard was getting anxious, even asking himself whether he wasn’t just plain silly in doing all of this…. And at that night, the night watchman – a man in his sixties, with hair already white, knocked on the door in the deepest of nights, holding an extinguished lantern in his hand. The sleepy Gerrard could barely spot a dark figure standing behind him. The young man’s blood froze and all his drowsiness suddenly vanished, as he rushed to open the door, cursing himself for wearing his pyjamas, instead of sleeping with his best clothes, as he had originally intended.

    “Welcome, welcome, my lord!” he opened the door widely, gesturing what seemed to be a man of undistinguishable age, pale complexion and red, almost glowing eyes, in. “Begone, Vaskes, and speak none of my guest, he is… just a good friend of the family.” Gerrard tried to speak confidently, as he addressed his old servant, but his voice was trembling at times, especially when he spoke the word “friend”.

    “That’s quite alright” the stranger had spoken for the first time – it was a weird way of talking, he sounded detached, as if his thoughts were somewhere else, his voice close to a whisper and yet, somehow deep and penetrating the quiet of the night “Old Vaskes is an old acquaintance of mine too. Thank you.” The last was addressed the old man, who nodded back at the Nosferyte and as he was about to leave, the newcomer pointed with his left hand, that wasn’t holding the long silver staff, at the extinguished light and the flame inside loomed once more.

    “Please excuse my attire, I am not prepared to receive. Would you like to take a sit and will change quickly, until your friends arrive?” Gerrard asked, trying to regain his composure, after witnessing the casual display of magical power the stranger showed.

    “There are no others… this time I come alone. Where is Brinan?”

    “I’m afraid my father has died, some five years ago.” – Gerrard explained and hurried up in adding “But he has instructed me into receiving you and yours. I have made all the arrangements!”

    “I see. He was a trustworthy man, I trust I can expect the same of his heir.” – the Nosferyte spoke simply and respectfully, but at a certain point in his sentence, it was as if he was extending a warning.

    “Of course, my lord, of course!” - Gerrard was quick to reassure him

    “Well, good. I am hungry, I brought no provisions –“ the man intentionally spoke slowly, to allow Gerrard to interrupt the end of his sentence and the young man was, for the first time tonight, happy, as he felt well-prepared.

    “Naturally, my lord – I have everything you need. Please, have a seat at my table and I will bring you food and drinks.”

    Soon after, Gerrard had littered the table with exotic and expensive foods and, as the Nosferyte took to devastating those, he asked “Unfortunately, in his old age my father had forgotten to instruct me as to your lordship’s wine prefferences. I have bought Abror Golden, Red and White wine from Amor, all over fifteen years of age. I hope some of them will suffice…”

    Water will suffice. I don’t consume wine, but you are welcome to pour some for yourself. I need you to be bolder, in order for you to be of use to me.”

    Realising that wasn’t a request, but an order, Gerrard poured himself a large glass and sat at the table, while the Nosferyte was finishing his meal.

    “Drink. Your father and I had an agreement: nothing we would speak about would ever leave this room, but inside we would speak only the truth. So answer truthfully, what do you know of King Valdez?”

    “I…” Gerrard drank half the glass in one large gulp – he was not used to drinking, especially not wine this expensive, hence that strong, so it hit him in the head almost immediately, but the effects were not as big, due to the large pressure he was under “I am merely a farmer, like my father, my lord, it is not for me to know about kings’ business.” He answered, a little bit confused and red-headed

    “I know what you are, but that is not what I asked. I asked what you know of your king. Tell me everything: facts, lies, rumors, and whispers – everything you may have heard.” Sayazar’s voice had remained calm and his patience didn’t fade, but in his voice he clearly showed he meant business

    “I…” Gerrard took another sip, not as large as the previous “He is… rich. I mean, too rich. I know his taxes have been breeding discontent in many regions, not here, of course. The tax collectors who work for him, oh of them I know all too well – they are all very corrupt. Even if the punishment for corruption is capital, they still take bribes and hoard money. King Valdez, he… he is a greedy man, they say, but he is smart – very smart and very sly. They say he cannot be killed…” he eyed the Nosferyte for a reaction, but when none followed, the human continued “He has a huge army but, lately, the people who come this way say he has been gathering extraordinary individuals…”

    “Oh really?” Sayazar pretended to be interested, as if it was the first time he was hearing this news, thus prompting the man to feel as if he had actually contributed some value to him, raising his self-esteem and confidence in the context of the situation “Please, elaborate”

    “Well… not much more is known. He is going to gather a small party – presumably of skilled warriors and diplomats and send them off to… well to where you come from – to Vastoria. I really don’t know much more, but some speculate he wants to procure peace with the rebels of New Kelda.”

    “New Kelda?” this time Sayazar was genuinely surprised “The King believes this place really exists?”

    “Or so they speak….” Gerrard concluded, taking another sip, his confusion and fear slowly melting away to the warm and fuzzy feeling of tipsiness

    “Interesting… very interesting, thank you… uhm…”

    “ – Gerrard, my lord. ”

    “Your help is much appreciated Gerrard.” Sayazar paused, thinking a little bit “Now could you tell me what this King looks like?”

    “Well… ” Gerrard also seemed to pause, thinking as hard as he could “They say he’s really handsome, but… I haven’t really seen him. No many have, he rarely leaves his Palace or the capital. Publicly, at least…”

    “You have been most helpful, Gerrard.” Sayazar smiled at the tipsy human who also seemed visibly pleased with himself. “Make sure no one disturbs my slumber. Tomorrow night I will be gone and I will be taking your black horse from the stables. Don’t drink too much.” With those words, Sayazar stood up swiftly and, without letting Gerrard say or do anything else, retired to the room he knew would be prepared for him.

    Gerrard woke up with a terrible headache, in his own puke, as the trees had begun to cast long shadows over the windows, harbingers of the approaching nightfall. The young farm owner was terrified when realised he had slept through the entire day, not tending to the needs of his guest. He jumped off quickly, only to see the old Vaskes, with his ever-present lantern handing him a rug to clean himself with.

    “Lord Sayazar?” Gerrard asked

    The old man merely shook his head with a smug smile “He said to give you this” – the silver-headed man spoke with his hoarse voice, handing a small, yet heavy leather bag, which sounded like it was full of golden coins.


    It had been a few days, before Sayazar had finally reached the small town of Woodsend. The air bore the atmosphere of interrupted festivity and bitterness, which were evident from the conversations of the men and women, sitting around the streets. The inhabitants of the small town’s expected royal celebration had turned into a huge disappointment and, as if to mockingly add insult to the injury, as dusk approached, the sun was hidden by stormy clouds, which seemed to appear out of nowhere. Both young and old were painfully surprised, as the blue sky had quickly blackened and drizzling rain began to seep in. Men and women ran around the streets, too slow to hide their belongings inside, cursing and splashing rainwater all around. In that chaos, nobody even noticed the hooded figure that quickly strode across the streets, sometimes even under city lights or open windows. Nobody heard a silver staff clinging as it hit the pavement and nobody saw a pair of red, glaring eyes, which swiftly scanned everything.

    It wasn’t long before the Nosferyte would reach the notorious Crooked Hatchet Inn, around which half the conversations on the streets revolved. The conversations inside weren’t particularly loud, but they stopped completely, as he knocked on the door three times, with his staff. A young woman with brown hair and green eyes opened the door and stood a little bit sideways, allowing everyone to see him. He could judge around seven or eight people to be in there, not all humans, which was interesting. Seeing as no one spoke, Sayazar stepped inside, even if there wasn’t a drop of water over his robes, as he had manipulated the wind currents above his head to misdirect the raindrops, he didn’t want to stay outside more than was necessary.

    “My sincerest apologies for the interruption, adventurers” nothing in the mage's voice showed any remorse, as he spoke quietly and yet in a well-defined manner, soft and polite, with a remote hint of threat in his odd voice “I am Sayazar Sagareth Sainguinar – chief advisor to lord Drachall, the leader of all Nosferytes” the latter wasn’t completely a lie, just a gross overstatement “I am pleased to make all of you acquaintance.” he finished by taking his invitation scroll from his bag and showing it off to everyone “Am I to assume I’ve missed on laying eyes upon His majesty, King Valdez the 3rd?” he spoke the last words in complete seriousness, without any irony. Naturally, after all he’d heard he didn’t expect the human king to actually show. Sayazar had spent enough time around and with lord Drachall to know a good leader always remained in the shadows, hidden from his enemies for as long as he could, but what he was interested in, was the reaction of the other members. If any of them had actually counted on anything else, then he knew which ones were the naïve.
    #3 Archmage, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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  4. Vancerith Rythian-Mill
    The Night Before the Journey

    Within Vance's alchemy shack, fumes of strange greenish-blue seeped from the windows, and rose in a thin column that floated upwards to be camouflaged by the night sky. Those who noticed the strange smoke, however, did not fret. They only knew that - as usual - the Alchemist of Woodsend was only up to his usual late-night brewing before bed. Especially considering that, presumably, the biggest quest and moment of his entire liftetime awaited him.

    Within the shack, Vance murmured to himself impatiently as a variety of mixture hissed and fizzled within smoking, large glass bottles. Counting to himself before adding ingredients with delicate care, Vance adjusted the small pair of spectacles on his face as he performed - as he liked to think of it - a symphony of alchemical brewing. The different colours, the different sounds, and the occasional, satisfying *POP!* were all a delight to Vance, though his face remained straight and fully concentrated as he moved around the shack, usually to grab more ingredients to throw in, or a specific tool.

    The only bad thing was the fumes that made him gag and choke occasionally, but no matter! They were... mostly... safe. Curse those dwarves! O, what he'd give for such a resistance to poisons. It'd let him work with so many more ingredients... but alas, Vance had learnt to use whatever he was given. Currently, he was preparing a few bottles of alchemical fire - that exploded in small but wonderful blaze of searing blue flames when ignited. They were the last potions to brew for his compulsive list of supplies - and after that, all he needed was just a little rest, before he set off to travel in the early morning.

    Eventually, the fumes from Vance's shack died down - a signal that his brewing was over. Giving a satisified sigh to himself as he carefully corked his potions, and folded up his spectacles into his trouser pocket, Vance pulled up a simple wooden chair at his shack. He was to write a note before he left the dear place. He knew the place wasn't much, but... he'd been here, alone, for years. He'd come to miss the little place, where he'd made a living that he somewhat enjoyed.

    Pulling up at a table, Vance dipped a quill in a makeshift pot of jet-black ink, and prepared to write possibly the final of his diary entries within his shack. Though he'd leave this page as a note, atop his desk.

    The Note (open)

    Behold, you are reading the final note of Vancerith Ryhtian-Mill before he embarks upon his quest of a lifetime!

    After hard hours of preparation, I'm more than confident in my supply of alchemical wonders and - though a little shoddy for the soon-to-be Great Vance - many tools of my trade. But fear not! My days of residing in this small little shack are starting to tick down to an end. An adventure - one too great to be ignored by the civilians of many cities throughout Tyrannia awaits my experienced footsteps! Amongst others, my name shall be treasured!

    But how will a simple alchemist make himself useful, amidst the undoubtedly world-renowned swords-masters, magicians, and tacticians alike! Aha, that's what most would think! But alas, people have yet to see my wonders! With the simple throw of one flask, my concoctions are enough to flip the tables of a battle upside-down! Not to mention I've received a little tutoring in the arts of simple ranged weaponry. At the back-lines of a battle I will stand, reigning doom upon my foes! This simple alchemist may lack in strength, but my intelligence will be used as raw power.

    ...Alas, I am aware of the risks. Should the small chance of the quest failing and me honourably falling in battle, you may find this note within my empty, never-to-be occupied house. I wish that, if my body is returned and mourned for my noble sacrifice, to be buried with the tools of my trade. Do with the shack as you wish, though ensure it doesn't become passed down to a simple ruffian.

    And if thou are a filthy bandit to steal The Great Vance's undoubtedly priceless collection of spare potions and ingredients - the joke's on you! I have hidden all but the filthiest, most worthless ingredients, or taken them with me. Such bandits will fetch mere pennies before they're imprisoned to rot within jail!

    ...Either way, this is the final entry written within my shack before I embark. I will return to be respected... and the experience of all the things I will see will only make me stronger.

    Soon to be back,
    Vancerith Rhythian-Mill

    Vance was quite aware that his 'journey' was literally to the town square of his own home-town - but for the sake of keeping his ego and confidence, he did his best to make the beginning of his adventure sound just a little bit more dramatic.



    After a morning of quick and somewhat obsessive last minute preparations, Vance panted heavily as he gripped the straps of his backpack, wiping a bead of sweat from his forehead as he made his way to what was undoubtedly the group of adventurers. He was lucky to have the event in his hometown - it saved him from a long (and perhaps treacherous) journey - though he was used to embarking for ingredients and the like.

    Such a collection of different races - equipped each with their own weapons, styles... yes, here it was. It was quite exciting to Vance. Though he often didn't interact with other people, it'd be a display to see what others could bring to the table. Perhaps he'd get to see the most stunning swordplay, or the most stunning magic in all of Tyrannia? And he was aware a lot of people were picked for their utility - he was one of them. Perhaps another alchemist was amidst the group? ...Though they would be a mere novice compared to him, hmph!

    The various pots and flasks in his backpack jingling as he joined the group, Vance cleared his throat as he panted for breath after the hurried walking, holding up his invitation to declare his presence. Though nobody seemed to be paying attention, he did so anyway.

    Vance kept very quiet as he regained his breath, trying not to stare too much at others as he brushed back his comb of raven-black hair. For a brief moment, he looked back in the direction of his shack, before looking back to the quest at hand. He was going to miss the place dearly. But such sacrifices had to be made for such a quest.

    Vance listened carefully, a little intimidated by a fiery young woman who had the courage to speak potentially ill to the King. ...Already, Vance had a feeling of dread that he was most certainly not going to fit in here. But he would try his hardest! For when they saw his skill, they'd see him as a valuable ally, and not the little ratty man people prejudiced him to be.

    Vance carefully listened on. So... deliver a scroll? T'would be a long journey, and the perils they would encounter would be inevitable. But he'd prepared his mind, body, and potions alike for such a thing! With adventurers who had world-renowned skills such as he, Vance was confident that such a simple delivery would be an easy mission.

    When the fiery young woman announced her name, Vance lifted a finger and inhaled, ready to introduce himself next. However, he dejectedly lowered his finger and exhaled when she gave the suggestion to go somewhere else. ...Ah. Right. Yes, it made sense. The Crooked Hatchet was a rugged, albeit quite pleasant tavern. Though taverns were usually just a place where Vance would be pushed around, but still.

    So, it would begin! A brilliant alchemist, ready to meet his comrades in the adventure of a lifetime. ...Hopefully they weren't too rowdy. And he'd be damned if they weren't appreciative of alchemy after seeing what he could do.


    The Crooked Hatchet

    Vance cleared his throat, shuffling and lowering his head a little as he entered The Crooked Hatchet. 'Awkward' was somewhat of an understatement as all eyes were drawn to the variety of people who so suddenly walked through the tavern door. A few of the tavern-dwellers recognised Vance, and gave either a nod or a snicker to him as he entered. Giving an awkward smile and wave back, Vance did his best not to let rabble distract him. People thought he was funny and bizarre and usually didn't take him seriously - though some admired what he could do with his little alchemical tools.

    Leaning against one of the wooden beams as casually as he could, Vance decided to listen to a few of the others' introductions before he made a grand intro of his own. He made a mental note of the first name - Damian Seville. He didn't look like anything special - but Vance knew better than to judge someone by mere looks! ...Though it didn't look like he was to state his occupation. Vance was tempted to ask what it was he could do, but kept quiet, expecting someone else to ask.


    No? Well, he supposed now would be a good time to make his introdu-


    Vance once again lowered his finger dejectedly - and this time with a little anxiety - as most eyes were turned to a hulking figure that entered the tavern, reeking indimidation in each step. Vance swallowed as the silence filled the room, a little relieved when the figure held up a letter. ...He had expected the man to be some sort of assassin to intervene with the adventurer's quest at the very first square, though it was a bit of a... silly thought, now that he considered it.

    My... what a bizarre alliteration of a name. A little unnerved by the man's voice, Vance took his chance to speak - and answer the somewhat silly question of the so-called Sayazar Sagareth... Sasas... sweh? It was a tongue twister of a name to even think about. And... a Nosferyte?! Vance had only heard rumours about those. And most weren't good ones. Despite this - having such a strong member was somewhat of a relief, if intimidating.

    "Erm... no." Vance spoke up at last without an interruption. "You're... q-quite mistaken if you thought he'd be attending here. We were merely informed of our quest by a messenger: and that is to journey to the lands of New Kelda to deliver a scroll. You should do better to be informed of such cruci-" Vance stopped, unable to follow through a complaint to the figure. He switched the subject quickly.

    "We're introducing ourselves before we get started... pray, you already did a good job." Vance said, in his somewhat nasally and oddball voice. He realised he was shaking a little bit, and cleared his throat as he stopped.

    "A-Anyway! As for myself." Vance took a bow. "I am Vancerith Rythian-Mill, the humble and renowned Alchemist of Woodsend! Perhaps you have heard of my many famous brews and aliments throughout the lands?" Vance announced, lifting his finger with a burst of confidence this time. When nobody seemed to recognise his name, Vance's confidence dropped a little, but he pressed on.

    "I would be... honoured... to lend my abilities to this group. Be it coating a weapon in the deadliest of poisons, or curing the dastardly, inevitable diseases we encounter on our journey, you'd be surprised what this humble alchemist can do! So..." Vance paused. He wasn't sure what to say from here, and he had the feeling he was getting weird looks.

    "...So...! Erm! Yes. There's me. I can do a bit of magic too, and... y-yes. There's me."

    Vance abruptly cleared his throat, leaning on the wooden beam again as he kept quiet. Curse the others! They probably had titles ten times as impressive as his own, and now he felt like a downright imbecile. But no matter.

    Time would tell what he could do, not some little introduction. Vance listened out of the introductions of the others, willing to get to know the rest of his 'crew'. He wanted to ask some people in particular some things, but he kept that to himself. He would prefer to hear a steady flow of the basic information of others, and didn't want to break it with tomfoolery.​
    #4 Jakers, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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  5. The Crooked Hatchet
    Ansley leaned against the Crooked Hatchets counter nearest to the door, rubbing a temple with his left hand. He surveyed his companions, much as he had the rest of the day but still he was quiet. Opting to let others introduce themselves first as to get an idea of what sort of a group the King had really put together. Glancing about he noted a Dwarf and a Wildling, as well as the one who had introduced herself as Avarielle Wheeler. 'A mage no doubt, by the looks of the robes.' he thought as he glanced around the rest of the inn.

    A young man by the name of Damian Seville was the first to break the silence that had crept into the Crooked Hatchet, just as a chill from the door had slowly began to lick at Ansleys' legs. Ansley noted the family name as one that he had heard in old tales told at the Abbey. "A family of adventurers! Known throughout the lands!" the old bell-keep; Mr. Igde; used to tell the children when they were released from teachings. Ansley had merely brushed the tales off as that of a crazed old man, searching for meaning in his delusions.

    Ansley watched and waited, a man of shorter stature and much smaller a build than him seemed to step forward from the post he leaned on. Confidence was evident on the mans face but all of it suddenly drain from him as the door to Ansley's left swung open. A man, taller than Ansley and larger by two stone suddenly entered. Ansley shifted uneasily against the counter, moving the head of the maul slung over his back close to his right hand, grasping the shaft as it appeared from the immense steel slab that made the killing end of his formidable weapon. The newcomer wreaked of trouble, and it was only confirmed by his introduction as a Nosferyte, or so Ansley thought until the man produced the same letter the rest of them had received.

    Ansley released his grip on the shaft of the maul, allowing blood to return to his white knuckles. Breathing a sigh of relief as he realized what it would have meant to have swung at a Nosferyte, he decided to take a seat at a stool as his headache increased ten fold. Facing the group, with his maul still slung over his back he tapped two copper coins on the counter. Moments later he was presented a pint of what must have been the Hatchets most basic of ales. But Ansley was not one to complain when it came to alcohol, he needed something to clear up the headache that had been bothering him all day, and he needed it now.

    He graciously indulged in the ale, and to his surprise missed an introduction. Something about an alchemist, and helping the team. He looked the man over, small in stature, and definitely not one to hold his own with swordplay. Yet Ansley dismissed the loss of the knowledge the introduction brought as he finished the ale, quickly producing two more copper and flashing them to the young server. Relief came once again in the form of amber liquid, frothing at the top of the tall glass. Taking a few swigs Ansley abruptly stood from his stool and took a few strides forward. Ale in hand Ansley quickly came to realize he wasn't too sure what to say.

    "I'm Ansley Norcott of Amor..." he paused giving a quick look to his comrades, "In honesty, I'm not very sure why I of all of us have been chosen to be a part of such a party, I was just a mere City Guardsmen before all of this, yet I still find myself here." he said motioning his hands to the Inn, more specifically to the rest of the group. "But I can say this, even though our gracious King did not appear before us..." he paused taking a swig from the ale, now half empty, "I intend to give this mission my all. More importantly I'll lend my maul to this cause." he stated with a simple pat to the head of the maul with his hand. Satisfied with his introduction Ansley made his way back to the stool he had previously been seated at.

    Slumping back into a comfortable position, he readjusted the maul in its sling as to better accommodate himself on the stool. With one final swig Ansley finished the ale and placed the empty glass on the counter. Quietly the server appeared from behind closed doors and cleared the counter of the empty glass, quickly disappearing into the same room she had come from. Ansley leaned back, waiting for more of the group to introduce themselves as he contemplated just how well the hastily thrown together group would fair in the harsh North.
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  6. Lucine Cyrion

    Before the Journey...

    "Must you really go, my child?"

    Lucine stopped mid her packaging as the rasped voice of her father cut through the thick tension in the air, it heavy in sadness and forced calmness. No, she wanted to say, really not, but I need to. Otherwise, I might end up killing myself in this worm hole, for I spent my whole life trying to save you, hoping to save you, and all in vain. All I've done was delay your inevitable destiny. Now I know, there's nothing I can do, you know too. And this, this journey is the only thing that might give me will to live after you're gone, that might give me a goal. Instead, she replied: "You are falling more ill as each day goes by, papa. The treatment is getting more expensive, my... Job might not be sufficient to pay it all. This mission that the King has invited me to is worth a lot of money, a lot of money. It might be our only chance, your only chance."

    Her father, Robert, stared at his daughter's back as she refused to look back at him. They stayed like this for a minute, mutes, unmovable. Until he could no longer bear it. "I know."

    "What?" Lucine asked, turning around in a haste to look at her father in the eye. Her heart jumped for a second, threatening to burst off her chest. The words she absolutely dreaded to hear were coming, the truth she feared to face. She already accepted it all, but to hear them come from Robert's mouth was atrocious. She didn't want to.

    "My situation. I know of it already. Elddo told me. There's no need to lie." He spoke in short pauses, taking breaks to breath and cough. Lucine immediately rushed from her spot to the bed, murmuring papa as she held his left hand in between her owns. "I just wish you'd stay here instead, with me. You'll be out too long. Please." He whined. "Please."

    The woman didn't know what to say, nor what to do. So she stayed silent, letting the tears fall. In the end, she ringed the bell to the healer's room, Elddo's room. Robert stared at her with pleading eyes, knowing what was about to happen. "I can't." She said. " I'm sorry, I can't."

    Lucine picked up her bag and left the room, leaving her father behind while trying to block out his screaming. Do not abandon me! Don't dare! Not now! Lucine! Lucine! Please! All while ranting I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being a coward. Elddo will be there. It'll be fine. Except she knew it was not true. She abandoned her father at his most dire moment, it'll never be fine. Ever.


    The Meeting

    It was not that hard to find the meeting site, where the King would meet the group of "adventurers" (that's the word they used in the message, adventurers) and give them the details of the journey. All she had to do was look for the place with most concentration of people. As she said, not that hard, especially when such people were whispering not so quietly among themselves. She wondered what happened, has the journey been cancelled, perhaps delayed? She doubted it, the King sounded pretty urgent in the letter. However, a side of her hoped for it, then she wouldn't have an excuse to abandon her father like she did.

    The whispering became louder as the halfblood blended into the crowd, looking for the group she was supposed to meet, and the King. Except she saw no King, just a Messenger. Oh, this is what the commotion is all about. The King has decided he has better things to do than come see us all personally. Royals. At least the group of "adventurers" was present, and they were even easier to find, what with that girl - a sorceress, by the outfit - yelling at the Messenger. So, that was one of the folks she'd have to travel with. First impression: not so good. Lucine despised people who were unnecessarily loud, they tend to be annoying and bossy. Oh, she was already regretting this.

    Then, the Messenger gave a letter to a scrawny looking man. Oh, heavens forbid. Lucine kept her distance from the group, choosing to watch them from the distance, to study them first. So far, nothing amazing. By the way things looked, they could be considered lucky if they manage to survive the first week. Or the first day.


    The Crooked Hatchet

    Well, at least the tavern was nice. Lucine sat in the same table as almost everybody was, ignoring the dirty looks from some as she put both her booted feet on top of the table, kicking her empty mug aside. She crossed her arms and simply waited. The tension weighted heavily in the air, a silence only broken by the sounds of the other customers. Not really wanting to wait any longer, or lacking the patience to do so, Lucine ordered a cup of the strongest ale they had, just to make it all much easier.

    Finally, someone decided to interrupt the silence with their loud voice. Oh, if it wasn't that sorceress girl. Avarielle, is it? Irritating. Then, the scrawny one talked. Nothing special, she's sure he'll not last long. But then, she should not judge someone by their appearance, she should have learnt that by now.

    Lucine watched as a man full of confidence stepped forward to introduce himself, but paused even before saying something. Then she felt a chill going down her spine, and heard the door opening. A man much larger and taller than herself entered the tavern, his crimson eyes already stating what he was. Many things she expected, a Nosferyte was not one of them. The halfblood herself lowered down her feet, pressing them against the floor as she felt for her dagger. Lucine wanted nothing more than to return home at that moment, to travel with an annoying sorceress was one thing, to travel with the thing she most despised about herself was another. Even after he showed his letter she didn't drop her guard, he was not to be trusted. Never. Sayazar was his name. She'd remember that.

    Then an alchemist introduced himself, Vance... Was it? She wasn't interested, since she couldn't take her eyes off the monster. She wasn't making sure to be subtle either, she wanted him to know how much he made her uncomfortable. And finally someone else introduced themself, this one was able to make Lucine look at him, even if in disdain. Ansley seemed to be the righteous type of person, she didn't know if he really was, but he looked like it. So far, she liked the scrawny one, Damian, the most.

    And silence befell. Lucine waited for more people to introduce themselves, but seeing as no one volunteered, she did. Going back to her previous position, with her feet on the table, though now she played with her dagger - the Nosferyte was still in the tavern-, she talked. "I'm Lucine, Lucine Cyrion. But some know me as Death Dancer." A pause. "Not much to say, really. Only that I hope we have fun in this little cute party of ours." She gave an icy smile, not noticing the way her smile reminded that of a Nosferyte. Oh, this would be dreadful. What has she gotten herself into?
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  7. "Faen-boy, there's no two ways about this. You're as rough as shit."

    Ser Faen of Amor, the famed adventurer, storied hero, and fearless warrior, had spent the best part of half an hour glowering at his own reflection in the mirror of Baron Osbert's vanity room, wrestling with the urge to vomit and struggling to summon the courage to face the rest of the day, a task made ten times as difficult by the relentless hangover that was threatening to kill him at any moment.

    "Aye, you really ain't a pretty sight." His reflection added. That was probably a good sign though, he supposed, as dying men typically don't use self-deprecating humour. "Just what will the king say."

    Though that thought just made things worse. A strangled groan tore it's way through his lips at the thought of having to meet the king later. It was that bastard's fault that Faen was in this predicament in the first place. His royal-bloody-highness, handing out royal-bloody-decrees, sending people off on royal-bloody-diplomatic-missions without a bye-nor-leave. Sure, he's the king, he's got a certain inalienable right to order his subjects about, but by the sounds of it everyone else on this fools-errand quest had been given the choice on whether they wanted to go or not. Not Faen though, oh no, good ol' Faen's attendance had been 'personally requested by his majesty, King Valdez III', which was as good as saying mandatory. Hell, it might as well have read 'You don't really have a choice, not if you like having the standard number of heads'.

    The real rub was that technically speaking Faen wasn't one of the kings subjects, as he was, in fact, a homeless drifter! Well, a knight errant if you listened to the story tellers, but Faen tried not to.

    "Ser Faen, is everything alright in there? It's been quite a while, and the day grows old. The king will be arriving soon, and you wouldn't want to be late." Came the wheedling, reedy, voice of his host: Baron Osbert of Woodsend, from the other side of the vanity closet door.

    When the Baron had caught wind of the news that Ser Faen would be spending the night in Woodsend before the diplomatic expedition set off, well he had all but fallen over himself in his rush to suggest his country manor as a suitable venue for the hero to bed down in. The Baron, a truly average man with nigh-on-zero court presence, had probably thought that playing host to such a famous figure would work wonders for his political standing. Faen hadn't minded that he was being used. He'd gotten a night of free wine, and a comfy bed.

    "I'm fine, my lord." Responded Faen, pushing his way out of the vanity, resigning himself to the fact that he couldn't put of the day's festivities any longer. Osbert, short and chubby, had to leap back to avoid being hit by the swinging door, a fact that couldn't have bothered Faen less. Not that he didn't like the Baron, it was just that at that precise moment the adventurer was feeling far to fragile to care about anyone else s well being.

    Osbert peered up at his guest, his eyes narrowed and lips pursed. No doubt he was noting the red-veined eyes, the heavy lids, the waxy pallor to Faen's cheeks, the waft of stale alcohol on the air. The night before he had tried to get the hero to stop drinking after he'd polished off two bottles of expensive red, though Faen had assured the Baron that he was still well within his limits. The Baron's servants would later inform him that the adventurer had made a valiant effort in emptying the wine cellars in search of those limits.

    "Are you sure you are well, Ser Faen? It's just you look. . . well, you look ill."

    "I'm fine." About as verbose as Faen was willing to get. He feared if he opened his mouth too often then his stomach would take that as an excuse to empty itself.

    "But are you sure, after all, you did drink quite a lot of wine, and - "

    "You trying to say that I have a problem!?" The adventurer spun on the Baron with frightening speed, spittle flying from his mouth, his hangover forgotten, eyes wide and tinged with just a hint of what a generous man might call madness. The Baron leapt back with a squeek, throwing his hands up defensively.

    "Good Ser, forgive me, I never meant to place slurs upon your honor! I would never dream of insinuating that you have a problem with -"

    "Well good, because I don't."

    "Yes Ser, quite so." That settled Faen calmed down. Unfortuantly his hangover returned with a vengeance, and it was over a minute before he felt safe speaking, moving or generally showing any signs of life again. The Baron was unwilling to break the silence in fear of offering some new offence, so instead wiped his face while waiting uncomfortably for his guest to pick up where they had left off.

    "Well then, shall we?" Asked Faen, noting that his voice still slurred slightly, no doubt an after-effect of the wine. Hardly a befitting trait on a diplomatic envoy, but then Faen didn't even want the bloody job, so if anyone didn't like it then they could shit right off. He set off down the manor's hallways, Baron Osbert being forced to chase after him, chubby legs pumping furiously to keep up with Faen's long strides.


    Faen would have described it as a beautiful day, if not for the job that waited before him. The sun was shining, kissing the streets of Woodsend with a jolly light, the breeze was warm and pleasant, and the people were in high spirits. His headache was fading, and a pretty young woman, a farmers daughter by the looks of her, had just asked him if he was planning on staying long, and that if he was where he could find her later that night. It was downright flattering, and though he wouldn't have taken her up on her offer even if he had been free it just added to the sting that he never really had a chance, and instead had to hurry along to the village square, and his 'date' with the king.

    When he arrived at the garlanded square it didn't take him long to spot the rest of the adventurers, his new 'companions' who were to set off on this quest with him. It was pretty easy in fact, as they were the only people who didn't look like they were enjoying themselves. Instead of hurrying over to join them, Faen took up post on the other side of the square and observed them from a distance. It would give him time to get a feel for his new allies.

    As the morning wore on he could feel the crowds anticipation grow, almost in concord with his escalating sense of dread. God's, but he didn't want to have to meet the king. He was afraid he'd lose his temper, and tell the most powerful man in Amorynthia to take his royal decrees and special missions and go fuck himself with them. That would be a fatal mistake, even for the Saint of Swords. Though he'd love to see the singers and storytellers try and put a positive spin on that one for the conclusion to the Saga of Ser Faen.

    So it was fair to say that Faen was fairly elated when a royal messenger arrived to break the news that Valdez wouldn't be making an appearance.

    "Praise be!" He muttered to himself, flashing a knowing grin towards the heavens.

    Sometimes, it seemed, the Gods did listen to man's prayers.

    Though it didn't appear that his sense of relief was shared by the masses. The villagers wore a uniform expression of disappointment, and one of the adventurer's, a young woman wearing the robes of a sorceress, was committing the cardinal sin of shooting the messenger. In fact she was so loud and so scathing that Faen visibly flinched, wondering just what caliber of idiots he was saddled with, seeing as they so brazenly insulted their tyrant king in the middle of a crowded square.

    He was quickly coming to realize that there was no way this nightmare of a quest wouldn't end in stunning disaster.

    The messenger was leaving now, the crowds dispersing, and with heavy sigh Faen followed the group of adventurers, resigned to his fate.

    Sometimes, it seemed, the Gods just didn't listen to a man's prayers.


    Faen stepped to the table that the other adventurers had commandeered, drew a chair, reversed it, and sat down with his arms folded over the backrest. Not the most comfortable way of sitting, but he had noticed it was the preferred form for veterans and mercenaries the world over. When he'd asked them why they'd told him it was all down to a fighters instinct, how that as any soldier worth his salt can tell you a belly wound is the most painful way to die and how the backrest protected the stomach from a straight knife-thrust. Which was all well and good, but what if someone tried to stab you in the back, huh? Painful or not, you'd still be dead! Regardless of the sense, it added to the illusion that Faen knew what he was doing.

    He still hadn't introduced himself, nor flashed his royal seal at the group, so for all they knew he was just some over friendly busybody, wanting to lug in on their conversation. Luckily none of them told him bugger off.

    A serving girl approached and asked if he wanted anything to drink. She looked nervous, to be serving so many strange and weathered figures. Faen flashed her a grin, trying to put her at ease, and asked for water. He would have dearly loved a wine or two, but he reckoned he'd need a straight head for what was to come. He turned his attention back on the group, and the introductions that were taking place.

    The first - or second, if you considered Avarielle Wheeler's terse dialogue an introduction, which Faen didn't - was the young man, Damian Seville. He looked pretty unassuming, all things considered, and Faen figured him for pretty green. Though unassuming didn't mean useless, and green didn't guarantee talent-less. Even a bairn could pick up a knife and stab a man dead. Faen should know, he'd seen it done. And there was something about that name, Seville, that struck a cord. Wasn't there an Ignatius and Amellia Seville running around once. Pretty capable adventurers if Faen was remembering rightly. Maybe this boy was born into the life? That would count for something. . . Maybe.

    Either way, Damian had the mysterious scroll, and that alone made him interesting. Faen resolved to get a peek at that before handing it over to it's intended recipient, one way or another.

    His attention's where stolen by an ominous knock on the door. Something about the usually banal noise set Faen's hackles up, and as the serving girl went to open the door he surreptitiously palmed a throwing knife, still not sure what it was that was bothering him so. Instinct, maybe, and he had long learned to trust his instincts.

    There was a figure in the doorway, as tall as Faen and a touch wider, garbed in woolen robes, conspicuously dry despite the rain outside, and wearing some weird silver ornamentation helmet. Faen just didn't understand style anymore.

    As soon as the stranger stepped inside his red eyes betrayed his Nosferyte heritage, which set Faen to worrying even more. The Nosferyte people hadn't held the fraudulent hero in high regard lately, not since that incident with Subida, Bandit King of the Hidden People. Subida had been a Nosferyte noble who, for lack of a better term, had gone bat-shit crazy, upped-sticks, and became a road bandit, feeding on any helpless traveller that had the misfortune to cross his path. It had gotten so bad that Faen was forced into sorting the whole mess out, and had ventured into the wilderness to try and get Subida to stop killing everyone he laid eyes on. Unsurprisingly Subida had tried to kill him. To cut a long story short, during the fracas Subida got himself eaten by an angry bear, Faen's legend grew ever larger as the vanquisher of the Bandit King, and the Nosferyte people had declared that they would never forgive for killing a member of their nobility, even if he had been a bit of a shit.

    Regardless, it looked like this Sayazar was joining the quest, so Faen resolved to give him as wide a berth as possible.

    Next up was 'Vancerith Rythian-Mill, the humble and renowned Alchemist of Woodsend.' Faen nearly snorted out a laugh at that. Was that it? Was that all his titles? Faen accrued more titles than that when he got up in the morning to go for a piss. The Saint of Swords was ready to dismiss the strange, little man as overconfident blade-fodder before Vance's seemed to realize he'd lost the interest of his audience and crumbled in front of them. So not so confidant after all, just blade-fodder.

    Then there was Ansley Norcott of Amor, a righteous arse if Faen had ever seen one, waxing on about righteous kings, noble missions, and giving things his all. Despite all that he looked competent, moreso than Vance or Damian anyway, and didn't look halfway as sinister as Sayazar. And he handled that big hammer like it weighed less than a sparrows fart, so he had that going for him too. Faen quickly made up his mind of who he was standing behind if the group ever found themselves in a fight.

    Faen had heard about the next one to speak up, Lucine Cyrion. Or, to be more specific, he'd heard of the Death Dancer. When you were in his profession you made a point of keeping tabs on all the best assassins, just in case you ever found yourself matching steel with one, and to go by the stories Lucine was one of the better ones. She also made a habit of killing folk up front, which Faen thought was a bit backwards for an assassin, but there it is. She sat with her feet on the table, spinning a knife through her fingers, not looking like she was all that impressed with their little group. Well that made two of them, mused Faen.

    Then there was silence as the adventurers waited for the next introduction. The Saint of Swords figured he'd do as well as anyone else. Taking a sip of water he sat forward.

    "I'm Faen." He said simply. He'd considered listing all his titles and accomplishments, really hammer forth his pedigree, but had ultimately decided against it. For one they'd probably realize who he was in context, seeing as Faen wasn't that popular a name. Well, maybe now it was, with impressionable folk naming their babies after him, but he certainly didn't look like a baby. Secondly he had found that people liked their heroes to be men of few words, mysterious and taciturn. It let them fill in the blanks themselves, use him as a canvass to create the heroes they wanted.

    Besides, he really hated shoving his own fame down people's throats like that. Sure, in the beginning it had been nice to be recognized, for people to sing his songs and buy him beers, but now it was just a unique pain in the arse that lead to situations like this, where he was forced to go on bullshit diplomatic missions by Kings he didn't care for, with people who all looked like they were either going to get him killed or try to kill him. So no, he wasn't going to call himself 'Ser Faen of Amor, Lord of the Whisperwood, Slayer of Dragons and Stealer of Maiden's Virginity'. Hardly any of it was true anyway.

    The hard work done, he fell silent once more.
    #7 Blacksam, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  8. Well this had a great start. Shit went south before they even had the chance to meet formerly with the king ditching them out in the nowhere, and now they sat in this tavern with people showing up late and awkward introductions being done. All putting up for a merry fucking journey that was likely to fall apart before even starting.

    Returning from her thoughts to the conversation around her, Adri drank from her mug listening in silence.

    The dominant parts of the group were already clear and there where even a few submissive neutrals here and there. She recognised a few of the names from her travels. Adrianna had enough encounters and contacts to have heard them at least through rumours and gossip.

    The dwarf woman looked at the pint standing in front of her and then pushed the empty thing aside.
    “well getting this over with” Adri placed her hands on the table and looked around.

    “I’m Adrianna Forge not a big name, no stupid titles, just some years of gathered experience and a good set of contacts to get around with.” On a second thought Adri glanced at the empty mug and then waved for a refill. Something told her this could be a drawn out evening.

    “Now do we have any more introductions to finish? Because this atmosphere is really taking a piss on me. Feels like a damn Mercenary camp about to fall apart” Having said her piece the Dwarf nodded towards the bartender refilling her Mug but refrained from drinking for a little while longer.
    Eyeing the people in the room stopping at the latest additions having just showed up sizing them up.

    Leaning back the woman sighed. There was plenty of babysitting to do on this journey that was for sure. And possibly fights to if people where this edgy, it sure made Adri want to punch something. Especially that Faen brat though the Sorceress was tempting target to.
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  9. The Day After the Message Arrived

    Feyre couldn’t help but sigh for the millionth time as she listened to her grandmother list all the reasons why she should not accept the mission.
    “They could just find somebody else Fey, you do not have to respond. What has that king done for you anyway? Nothing. He is nothing but a good for nothing son of a-”
    “Granny stop!” Her grandmother stares back at her, shocked. Feyre had never raised her voice to her before, and she had shocked herself by doing it. She could see the hurt in her eyes and cringed as the weight of guilt settled in her stomach.

    “Granny I’m sorry. I need to do this…I have a feeling.” She fought the urge to roll her eyes as her grandmother let out her signature scoff. “Feelings. Feelings are going to get you killed, I just don’t understand why you cannot stay here, practice you magic with me Fey. Your just a little girl…” Sadness overcame Feyre as she looked upon the stranger in front of her. The once strong, resilient and brave woman she once knew had somehow managed to age ten years within the last six months. Her grandmother went to sit down at the table and begun wringing her shaking hands, her eye darting back and forth across the room.

    The paranoia had been going on for a little over a year but it only came in short bouts and then she was back to normal before Feyre could notice something was wrong. Then six months ago after she came back from a fruitless journey she discovered the house in shambles and her grandmother nowhere in sight. She had somehow wondered two miles to their neighbors home and they had kept her there. She had forgotten that Feyre was on a journey and was looking for her thinking that she was ten again and disappeared.

    The doctors were useless. Since there was nothing physically wrong with her, they said it was all in her head. Old Persons disease they said, and it would only get worse. They suggested she be institutionalized or even put down. A knock at the door made them both jump, and her grandmother’s shaking worsened. “Fey block the door someones..someones trying to get in.” Fey came up and carefully took her trembling hands and got down on her knees to get her to look into her eyes, “Granny it’s only Mrs. Baker remember? I told you she was visiting today.” Her grandmother slowly blinked at her clearly haven forgotten all about it. “Oh…oh! R-Right yes. Mrs. Baker…oh! Her daughter is getting married soon, I-I have that potion as a present. I’ll go get it.”

    And just like that she somehow had gone back to her semi normal self. Fey swallowed the lump forming in her throat as she quickly walked out the door to Mrs. Baker who was waiting on the steps below.

    “Thank you so much for doing this Mrs. Baker. ” Mrs. Baker smiled sadly at Feyre looking at her disheveled state, “Fey…when was the last time ya slept? You can’t go meet the King looking so worn.”

    “I have no idea…she barely sleeps, just wanders about the house.” “Me mother and both aunts did just that bout a year in. You just have ta let ‘er wonder about, till she tires out.”

    Fey could barely speak as she forced back the tears, “How long can you watch her?” “A week at most, maybe a few days over but i’ll got to get back to me daughters soon.”

    “I’ll send something, money or something valuable you can pawn very soon. Take some for yourself then give the rest to that special home in the very inner circle that one doctor mentioned…then take her there and tell them they’ll receive regular payments soon after.” Mrs. Baker gasped, “Your institutionalizing her? Fey.”

    “It’s a home for the very wealthy, then when you put her there, give this place to your daughter as a wedding present.” “Feyre, do you realize what your doing? Ya’ll worked so hard to get it…we wouldn’t feel right bout it.” “This quest I have a feeling it’s going to be a long one. I can’t have this place just sitting here with no one in it. Besides, after all your family has done for her. It’s the least I can do.”

    “Bless ya Feyre Halleck. Bless ya.” Feyre looked back through the window at her grandmother trying to put together a potion at the kitchen table, “I think it would be best if I just didn’t go back inside, my horse has been ready for hours now.” Mrs Baker nodded in agreement, “Aye, at this point in the sickness if yer out of sight yer almost out of mind.”

    The thought almost killed her, but she just turned away to her black stallion waiting below. “I’ll send word as soon as I can.” Fey mounted his strong back, dug into his sides taking off down the dirt path away from the cabin, never looking back.

    Woodsend Square Meeting

    The journey to Woodsend was a peaceful one, no troubles at all. Nicodemus, Feyre’s horse was almost as anxious as his owner as they made their way through the town seemingly abuzz with activity. Feyre almost let a smile cross her stoney mask as she watched little children run by her gapping in awe at Nic, asking to pet him. She complied and they thanked her and went along about their merriment.

    Once she reached the square, it was almost impossible not to spot her future companions, they were all wearing similar looks on their face, and not affected by the cheery mood. Fey couldn’t help but nervously fuss with her ponytail in the window of some shop before she and Nic made their way over to the group.She made eye contact with some, but did not say a word as she leaned against Nic’s side letting her hand come to rest at the parchment attached to her belt, her insides a mess with emotion.

    "King Valdez has opted against appearing personally today. You are Royally expected to introduce yourselves and collaborate on forming a strategy for your venture North, by word of the King, to the Dwarven settlement of New Kelda, where our good King hopes to amend the strained relationship of our people.”

    “Son of a bitch…” Fey mumbled under her breath.

    As the crowds meager applause faded away Feyre rolled her eyes and shifted her body weight, She pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed, barely suppressing the rage and confusion overcoming her. A young woman had the balls to do what she wanted and a slight smile crossed Feyre’s face as she watched the woman explode on the poor horseman.

    Feyre was the last to enter, as she tied up Nic outside the Inn near a water troth and took off her heavy knapsack to give him a little break. She couldn't help but wonder if the feeling she got when the letter arrived was wrong, she always trusted her gut in almost everything in life. When she entered and spotted the others around a table, she hesitated. Feyre reached into her belt and pulled out the parchment feeling it's costly thickness. The thought of leaving never crossed her mind, adventure was calling, and she was about to answer.

    Walking over to the table she kept a neutral face as she stood towards the end of the table, listening to the introductions. She nodded at them all in respect as they stated their names and various titles, Fey decided to keep her client title out of it. She placed her parchment on the table and raised her head high as she readied herself for the stares she was about to get.

    "My name is Feyre Rathisa Halleck of the city of Amor and I look forward to working with you all especially you Miss Wheeler, I quite admire the set of balls you possess."
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  10. The Day Before...
    Marian upended a crate as she staggered across the streets, pausing only to empty the contents on her stomach onto the cobblestones. She reached the border of the town, her boots pressing damp, dewy grass in the night as she collapses onto hands and knees, shuddering like a leaf. Her thick braid of fiery hair tumbled down to the floor as she stared at the dirt with her wide green eyes. For a while she remained that way, chest pounding against her breastplate, as her thoughts pitched and reeled in her head. Reeled. Real. "It's real," thought Marian frantically, "It's really going to happen. They're actually going to try it." She felt her heart hammer on the metal sheet covering her torso as she rolled onto her side, a faint smile playing on her lips. It had taken a copious amount of alcohol to mentally prepare her for what would happen the next time the sun skimmed across the horizon; finally, she was going to go home.

    The Day Arrives...
    Well, that wasn't surprising in the slightest. Marian wasn't wearing her armour today, and her weapons and backpack were stashed away behind one of the inns to stop curious busybodies from poking around her things. Instead of standing in the centre of the square like the rest of their-...mighty heroes, Marian opted for a bit of light celebration with the locals. It disgusted her that the humans were able to lavish themselves in the wealth stolen from her people, so Marian assumed it was only fair that she indulged in it whilst she had the chance; mainly by 'accidentally' tipping drinks and expensive plates of food over as she danced joyfully with their infectiously catchy tunes, getting a little bit tipsy to further enjoy the exhilarating happiness brought upon by a proper celebration. She was stood in the crowds as the messenger arrived, and she let loose a rueful chuckle which she disguised under an inconspicuous cough as he declared his message from her beloved monarch.

    The chuckle died in her throat as she noticed the scroll, however. Not one to trust her tyrant to be up to anything good, Marian resolved to crack that casing open as soon as physically possible to make sure the contents within had no ill meaning. Immediately, Marian assumed the worst, as she is wont to do; she'd be willing to bet it was an official declaration of war. "This band of worthless, spineless freaks would taste their own medicine," mused Marian as she watched some naïve lady in the middle shoot the messenger, "when the dwarves slay them all where they stand after opening that box." Marian made her decision quite quickly; all possibilities of playing Vladez' game were out of the window. She'd stick to her original plan, bugger the rest of these merry men.

    The Crooked Hatchet
    Or, at least, behind the Crooked Hatchet. Hidden under a pile of hay for the horses, Marian dug out her hefty traveller's rucksack, and grasped the hilt of dear, dear Mary-Lou from the strands of dusty gold. She pulled the rucksack onto her back, the armour plating clunking together as it dangled off the straps. As Marian glanced up to the setting sun, she noticed the tempest beginning to stir in the air, cursing her own luck. Marian fumbled with the raincover for her backpack, pulling the sheet of waxy canvas over everything, muffling the clunking noise considerably. She sauntered over to the front of the tavern as the rain started to pelt down, dragging Mary-Lou along with her, when the figure stopped her in her tracks. Her heart skidded up to the general region of her throat, and Marian saw flecks of red, as bright as his eyes, as she regarded the stormbringer in the gloom. It had to be an adventurer. "I could kill it here and now and nobody would notice," thought Marian; but the little voice of logic called out to halt her - "Everyone would notice if the party's down a member. They'll find the corpse in the middle of the town, and the blood on your clothes. You haven't got your armour on. Nosferytes are tricky enough to kill as it is, let alone trying to kill him quietly. LET HIM GO."

    Begrudgingly, Marian let the filthy monster into the tavern. She waited in the rain a while longer, allowing the cooling droplets to calm her down, trying to regain her breathing. "Patience, patience, I need to be CALM now." Marian understood what was at risk here for her; she could be abandoned by this group if they felt like it, everything could go horribly wrong. She just needed to keep them safe until Kelda Tor was in sight, and then, and then...

    Grimly, Marian wondered how long it would be until she burst a vein with her own self-restraint. She understood herself rather well; this little farce wouldn't hold out until the mountains of Vastoria. "Fusilus grant me strength..." she muttered, before pushing the door of the Crooked Hatchet open.

    She didn't even really stop for her introduction; instead, the dwarf strode right on past the others, cheerily calling out "Marian Steelgut, lads 'n' lasses, that's about it. So, we got a plan up yet? Gods forbid someone had the incentive to pull out a map from their bag or sommit? Nae? Wonderful, start as we mean to go on, kids, it's fine."

    Marian couldn't keep the sarcasm out of her tone. These people were really pathetic. Powerful, perhaps, but the lot of them seemed utterly incompetent, completely unable to handle a social situation. This was the diplomatic party? Marian knew for a fact these were the war scouts, even if they didn't know it themselves. Tugging the raincover off her back, she reached into the side pocket and flicked through the little folds of parchments. "Tumeken, Vastoria, Ithelm...Ahh, THERE we go, I knew I 'ad one of Tyrannia hidden in 'ere." she continued talking because nobody else would. Unfolding the square of parchment into a large sheet and slamming it onto the table, nudging past Feyre in order to get there and going on her tiptoes to manage to point at where she was planning.

    "Now I dinnae know about ye lot, but I did a bit of thought before actually leavin' the house, as you do. We're in Woodsend, aye? Well, directly north of us..." explained Maria, a podgy finger sliding up the parchment, "Is Port Amor. An' on my map at least, there's sommit called Port Kelda directly north o' THAT, in Vastoria. An' a wee bit to the north o' that, is Kelda Tor." Marian stepped back, giving these simpletons a moment to soak in what she was explaining.
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  11. Avarielle Wheeler
    Avarielle had stood by the door, glancing out of the inn's window as she wistfully observed the storm emerging on the horizon. Something wicked this way comes, she thought to herself, scowling at the notion as she turned her attention back to the gathered party. They congregated around a table; some sat, others dotted around the vicinity as they picked their own vantage points just as she had done.

    "I'm Damian Seville," announced the scroll-bearer, rising to his feet for some reason that was unapparent to Ava. She had almost paid no mind to Damian's introduction, figuring that his name would not matter when his corpse was being picked at by the vultures of Vastoria, but something about that surname struck her. Seville? she mused to herself, certain she had heard the name before; her suspicions grew further when he proclaimed his hailing from Tethersall. It all just seemed to stir a certain familiarity within her, as though the information was somehow not new. Alas, wrack her brain as she might, the root of her intrigue remained foreign and she was forced to let it fade... At least, temporarily.

    Allowing her gaze to drift back outside, the rain now falling quite consistently over what had thus far been a glorious summer's day, Ava regarded the droplets that hit the glass with disdain. If there were two things Avarielle did most, it was travel and study magic. The young sorceress knew this storm was not natural; the way the dark clouds had rolled in from nowhere, like a dog heeding the call of its master, told her all she needed to know. There was a figure approaching, she noticed, watching the hooded silhouette of a tall man make his way to the door of the inn. She opened it, pulling back the door as he near-filled the frame. Avarielle said not a word, save for the mental one that warned her to be ready to fight. The air around this man was sinister, she noted as his blood red eyes peered from beneath his cowl.

    "My sincerest apologies for the interruption, adventurers," he announced, though Ava detected no hint of sincerity as the man introduced himself. "I am Sayazar Sagareth Sainguinar; chief advisor to Lord Drachall, the leader of all Nosferytes." As he produced his invitation, Ava reluctantly stepped aside and allowed him into the room, where he began to address the others.

    Outside was a Dwarf, who seemed to be caught up enjoying the feeling of rain on her skin. Ava hadn't noticed her behind the Nosferyte, but she could relate to the sensation; there were often few things more desirable to an adventurer than a surprise shower, and Ava would often find herself relishing the cool drops that the sky spat on her. There was nothing better to refresh the soul, and cleanse blood from skin... She smiled pleasantly at the Dwarf, whom she assumed was one of the party judging by the mighty axe she gripped tightly, and gave her a nod of understanding. The Dwarf, however, did not seem to appreciate the gesture. Avarielle closed the door.

    As she turned to face the group, she caught wind of Sayazar asking whether he had missed the King. "Fear not, Nosferyte, you are not alone." she said somewhat passively as she withdrew a chair and sat herself at the table. "None of us saw him. It seems that we have all shared in that stroke of fortune." she said, smiling wryly. She hoped to make it clear that she was here for the adventure and the gold; not out of servitude to that damned tyrant.

    Her point was elaborated by a tall and slender man, his long black slicked back and falling loosely around his shoulders. He had a certain jitteriness to him, like some kind of paranoid woodland creature living in constant fear of predators. Nevertheless, there was a hint of daring beneath that anxiety that caused Ava to smirk to herself as she watched the man very nearly try to berate the Nosferyte before wisely thinking better of it. So he was smart, too. Interesting.

    His name was apparently Vancerith; a local of this town and an alchemist by trade, and, if his own word was to be believed, he was one of renowned skill. Whilst his apparent eccentricities were sure to grate on the nerves of the party over time, from his trembling dialogue to that voice that was just too nasally for comfort, Ava had to confess to herself that having an alchemist onboard was a wise move. Of course, she wasn't going to carry him and she expected him to stand his own in battle or just get out of the way, but the presence of someone able to cure ailments and rid the body of toxins was a reassuring one. Valdez might have been dishonourable, but he was not stupid. After Vancerith's nerves got the better of him and he ceased his introduction, Ava allowed her gaze to linger for a moment. She smiled ever-so-slightly at the man, before moving her attention to the next speaker.

    An undeniably attractive man, this armour-clad individual boasted all the looks of a fairytale knight; all chiselled jaw and brooding eyes. He introduced himself as Ansley Norcott of Amor. Ava hung to his words, his sultry voice enticing her to listen attentively as she watched those eyes of his glisten as he sipped from his ale in between speaking. And then in an instant, Ava's opinion warped from quiet lust to burning disgust as the man referred to blasted as their gracious King. She was unable to suppress her scowl, as she turned her attention around the room in search of something more interesting. Avarielle had no time for idiots.

    The next introduction was swift and sweet; Lucine Cyrion, the Death Dancer. Ava was sure she had heard rumour of this individual, perhaps on just one occasion, though she recalled no details. Still, she must have been somewhat efficient in order for her name to be carried on the whispers of Amorynthian gossips. It would be a bonus to have some competence in the party; that much she was sure of.

    "I'm Faen." came the next voice to interrupt the silence, though it swiftly resumed once more as the group took it in. It seemed everyone was thinking the same thing: the Faen? Ser Faen of Amor, the Saint of Swords? Ava had personally always assumed him to be a myth; some kind of imagined idol around which adventurers and thrillseekers could focus their dreams and ambitions. How else was she able to hear his name in half the inns she came upon, each time with a different tale of his greatness? But alas, here he was... Avarielle said nothing; her smile saying everything she was able to. Now things were getting interesting.

    The next to introduce themselves were the other women. The first, a Dwarf by the name of Adrianna Forge, appeared to be the most uncouth of the group. Whilst others had seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the mission, and the rest had at least made polite but unconvincing efforts to feign commitment, Adrianna seemed to have no intention of following suit. In some ways, Avarielle had to respect the brazen Dwarf, but in reality her brashness struck Avarielle as disingenuous; some sort of facade intended to intimidate and deter. And that was a sign of weakness.

    The next, a beautiful red-haired woman who seemed to be younger than the others in the room, identified herself as Feyre Halleck; another human born to Amor. Ava hoped she didn't share the same deluded perception of the King that Ansley had expressed earlier. Feyre caught Avarielle off-guard when she addressed her directly; til now, Ava had largely remained uninteracted with, save for a few glances that struck her as being... Less-than-favourable.

    "I look forward to working with you all," Feyre had said. "Especially you Miss Wheeler, I quite admire the set of balls you possess." The direct and unwavering declaration struck Ava as sincere, and for that she was grateful. In a room where her supposed allies seemed to silently berate her for reasons unknown, it was somewhat empowering to have one of their number make such a public display of support.

    Avarielle nodded in appreciation. "And I you, Miss Halleck."

    The door to the inn burst open, disrupting any further exchange between Ava and Feyre as the Dwarf that had been waiting outside barged into the room, her huge axe in tow. She announced herself without any sense of formality, stating herself as Marian Steelgut as she made her way straight over to the table and began berating to the group for their lack of progress. She had a valid point; all this discourse so far had been but casual acquaintance. It was time for action; time to address what they were all here for... And Ava had to applaud Marian for her practical approach, if nothing else.

    She impressed Ava further as she produced a map, one of several, and highlighted her suggested route. Ava herself had not been aware of a port on the other side of the Amoryte mountains, which she had initially planned to suggest they scale through a path she had heard off from a man she had met on the road. It made much more sense to make the reasonably safe journey to Amor, and charter a vessel. She would've smiled at the realisation of how solid the plan was, should it not have meant she had been so incompetent herself. She was just glad she hadn't gotten the chance to make her own plan public...

    "Your plan seems to be the natural choice," she agreed, moving over to stand beside Marian and view the map from her angle. "It would be foolish of us to attempt to scale the Amorytes, and whilst we know not of the state of Port Kelda after these years of disrepair, we could always anchor our vessel and row smaller boats to shore." she said, before placing her finger on Woodsend upon the map. "Were we to leave now, we could be in Amor by the second sunrise," she theorised, knowing that the journey had previously taken her around two days.

    She dragged her finger up towards Amor. "Alas, there is little civilisation between here and Amor; only the Greenwood forest. It is likely that we should be prepared to set up camp." she said, somewhat reluctant to expose herself in that kind of situation. Whilst she might have been a seasoned adventurer, Avarielle was always the kind to continue walking til she found an inn, where she could sleep in comfort and eat warm, wholesome foods. Sleeping in a meagre tent in a woodland no-doubt infested with wolves, bears and Fusius knows what else... Simply did not appeal to her. She swallowed quietly.

    "Unless... Anyone knows of some... discreet abode, within which we might lay our heads." she put to the group, hoping that at least one of them knew of some cavern or shack hidden away amongst the trees.
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  12. The revelation of his name didn't summon forth the stares, gasps of excitement and whispers of 'is it really him' that it usually did. It went a bit quiet for a moment, and Ava might have smiled (Which served to make her-until-this-point severe features look quite pretty) Then again, the assembled party were supposedly hardened adventurers themselves, and maybe a touch more immune to starry-eyed hero worship than the excitement starved, mud spattered peasants that he was used to. Either that or he just wasn't as famous as he thought, which was quite a pleasant notion. Almost made him hopeful that one day he would succeed in shirking the weight of his heavy reputation.

    Almost. He'd long come to realize that hope was a fools notion.

    Speaking of fools, there was a dwarf female that was looking at him like he might just be the biggest fool that she'd ever laid eyes on. Which, while he was forced to admit was probably true, was still a tad irritating! She didn't know him, so what right did she have to judge him or his inherent foolishness!

    He glanced back at her to realize she was still glaring him. Eyeing him up almost. In fact, she almost looked like she wanted to punch him, glowering at him above her empty mug, cracking her knuckles with grim forbodance. Big heavy, calloused, scar covered knuckles, he noticed. Knuckles that she'd no doubt put to good use in the past, rearranging faces and breaking bones.

    Faen wasn't sure just what it was that he'd done to annoy her so, but he wasn't much in the mood for being assaulted by a hairy, stinking, cave-dwelling, knuckle-dragging, supposed she-dwarf, not when he was still recovering from the effects of a pretty legendary hangover. He still had a throwing knife close to hand, so if she tried anything 'untoward' then he'd just have to show her the sharp end, real fast like. He had to hope that it wouldn't come to that, but as a great man once said 'Those who fail to prepare, prepare to get punched in the face by an angry, little dwarf,' or words to those affect, at least. Maybe it sounded a little uncompromising, a little like an overreaction, planning to knife somebody who looks at you funny, but Faen just doesn't fist-fight, at least not with people who look like they're better at it than he is.

    If the rest of the party complained about his use of undue force on a supposed comrade then his very next move would be to see if he couldn't bluff them into believing that Miss Forge was, in fact, a Kelda Tor dissident who had infiltrated the party with the sole intent of undermining the integrity of mission. If his life had taught him anything, it was that people are always willing to believe an unbelievable story, if it's told with enough flair.

    Plan made, he flashed a wink and smirked a subtle grin at his Dwarven 'admirer', just to let her know he wasn't for intimidating. Well, truth was he was very intimidated, mostly because she looked like she could break his kneecaps without breaking a sweat if she wanted to, but it wouldn't do to let her know that. He had an image to maintain, after all. Wouldn't do for the 'fearless Ser Faen' to be shaking in his boots just because he got the eye off'a one surly dwarf.

    He almost missed Feyre's introduction, though he did hear her declare her admiration for Wheeler's big balls, a statement that almost made him groan in annoyance. Possessing balls is it? Is that how people refer to public sedition against the established order of a well documented tyrant nowadays? Funny, Faen thought it was usually referred to as 'attempted suicide'.

    And then, as if this group hadn't already hit it's quota of cretinous idiots, another – mark it, two in one party – mouthy Dwarf arrived. And by Carminda's firm titties, but if this one wasn't even worse than first! Thinking that somehow bluntly barging into a conversation, being passive aggressive to everyone in sight, then handing out geography lessons somehow constituted wisdom. And she was picked for a diplomatic mission? She might as well use her thrice-damned maps to guide them to the nearest cliff-face so they could all throw themselves over it, as the only way he could see this all ending now was in disaster, and at least death by mutually realized acrophobia was relatively painless compared to the other grizzly ends they would no doubt find themselves facing!

    “You suggest. . . travelling in a straight line? The fabled wisdom of the Dwarves truly astounds.” He murmured, voice carefully neutral, so that only one with as masterful a grip as he over the art of sarcasm would realize he was being less than genous in his praise. After all, he didn't want the battle-scarred dwarf with the big axe, nor the battle-scarred Dwarf with the big fists, to realize he was publicly lambasting the intelligence of their entire race. Though, if those two where the only Dwarves a fella ever met then he might just be justified in writing the entire race off as a collective of spectacular cretins.

    Though to be fair he would have suggested the exact same route, as it was clearly the quickest, and probably safest road to Kelda Tor. He just didn't like the attitude on Maria, treating them all like they were idiots. Sure, it was a safe bet that she was right and they where all idiots, but that didn't mean she had to point it out.

    Still, he felt he had better contribute something of substance to the discussion, otherwise he'd be no better than that walking-boil Adriana.

    “When we make it to Port Amor I can get us a ship. I have some friends among the free-sailors." Free-sailors being a dressed up term for 'pirates'. He might have burnt a few bridges (along with boats, houses, and people) the night he'd accidentally let a pyromancer loose on Rat's Nest, but he still had some connections among his old sea faring comrades, and he'd accrued a fair few favors during his time as First Among Pirates that were ripe for calling in now.

    "As for a roof over our heads on the way," He said, turning his attention to Ava, "I've always been one who's preferred the open sky." Which was true. He'd grown up as a trouper, never staying in one spot for more than the length of time it took to exhaust all their shows in front of one audience. After that he was a drifter. A man learns to feel a certain amount of animosity towards pillows and roofs when he lives like that, if only to make himself feel better about not having them.

    "We should be safe enough hereabouts in the Amorynthia heartlands. Might as well get used to camping, cause things will only get worse north of Amor. Though it would be nice if this rain stopped before we got to getting." He looked forlornly out the window, before fixing the Nosferyte with a pointed look. He had a fairly good idea from where this rain was coming from. Stood to figure that the guy who was outside in it without getting wet might be shouldering some of the blame for the weird weather patterns.

    "Though if you really can't stand to be outdoors," He added, willing to accept that not everyone enjoyed camping as much as he did "I just met the Baron. Reckon he could point us in the direction of somewhere warm and safe to bed down upon the road."
    #12 Blacksam, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  13. Damian Seville

    A Self Assessment
    Damian sighed to himself as the others were crowding around the map. Ava and Marian were already planning their route and Faen had contacts he could ask around for the use of a boat. As expected from an adventurer of his stature.

    He recalled that many of his companions who had introduced themselves had a title with their name. Those that didn't let their body language speak for themselves. He knew his family name was quite famous. Just how many people here knew about his parents? Will he be expected to uphold the same standard? No. That was a foolish question. Of course he'd be expected to. After all, it was by name that was brought here. If these people were truly genuine adventurers, heroes, travelers, then they would be able to spot a rookie easily. Which brings the next question: how many people here could tell he was inexperienced?

    The whole group was adorned with some sort of combat gear. Their costumes added to the flair that each of his party members exuded. Meanwhile he donned a simple set of clothes that he fashioned himself! It didn't give him any sort of protection or enhancements. It looked rather plain to be honest and now that he thought about it, also gave away his status as rookie.

    Sooner or later they would realize that him being here would be more of a liability. There are already mages here that are most definitely stronger than him, people that could handle themselves better in combat, and people that are more well equipped to deal with such a long journey.

    Despite his own misgivings, Damian wouldn't give up. If he doesn't have a function in the group yet, he'll make one himself. He couldn't let his dreams of being an adventurer die just because he felt intimidated by his companions. He knew how one couldn't judge a person without getting to know them first. It could very well be that his companions will be easy to get along with once he dug under their tough exterior.

    This was an opportunity to learn from the best! He had to take it!

    First Impressions
    But if there was one thing he now knew clearly from this group, it was that he was hopelessly and pathetically outclassed. Observing his companions, it looked as if everyone in the room had a way of carrying their selves with assurance. Each of them, while of few words, exuded an air of confidence that he himself was undoubtedly missing.

    More than that however, what troubled Damian the most was how... perhaps not hostile... but how uncomfortable the atmosphere was in the inn. It just seemed with each new introduction the air became a little thicker. Coming from a small village where it was natural for everyone to get along with each other this was an entirely new feeling. And not one he wants to continue experiencing. Thankfully, the tense atmosphere was cut with Marian the Dwarf, who thought it best for them to plan out their route.

    It was clear that any hope Damian had of bringing this group together significantly dwindled with the end of their introductions.

    Leaving the route planning to the more experienced members of the party (ie. everyone) he took a glance at each of his companions once more, wanting to remember their names.

    The towering man with the glowing red eyes struck him the most. Sayazar. He had never seen one in person before but had read about them from his books. Nosferytes. Strong creatures that lived far longer than Humans. Just how old was he exactly? The man was dry as he entered the inn even though rain was pelting down. Magic, then? Damian chewed his lower lip, that simple observation a reminder of how weak he really is. What other types of magic did he know?

    The one who spoke next was not nearly as terrifying. Vancerith Rythian-Mill was his name. A local alchemist. So, if Damian wasn't mistaken, he dabbled in potions and the like? The way he tried to act all grand and boisterous was quite endearing in a way. His introduction managed to draw a faint smile from the rookie adventurer. Out of everyone in the inn he probably took a liking to Vance the most. He wasn't glum and serious like the other adventurers.

    Ansely Norcott. He didn't have much reservations for him. Though the maul he was wielding was undoubtedly impressive. He'll most likely be one of the few people he could get along with in this group.

    To Ansely's left stood Lucine. Other than her ominous sounding title, Damian had no qualms with her. Though the way she kept glancing at Sayazar while the others spoke was not lost on him. The Nosferyte was drawing quite the attention to himself.

    Faen was the only name he recognized out of everyone in the group. His parents mentioned his name several times in his youth. A famous adventurer just like his parents. Damian was hoping for more out of his introduction. Perhaps he was the lone wolf type? Either way, it would be invaluable experiencing learning from such a seasoned adventurer. Well, Damian had already decided that they will talk at least once during their journey. If he wasn't willing to engage in conversation then his actions will teach him all he needed to know.

    Adrianna was one of two Dwarves in their group along with Marian. He couldn't clearly remember the Dwarves he encountered in the town of Dray when he was a child, but it seemed like the Dwarves here had a very straightforward, no nonsense attitude. Then again, it could just be this group.

    Maybe a drink would be appropriate right now?

    As Damian's gaze moved to the end of the table his eyes settled on an unfamiliar beauty. Almost immediately he turned away from her, yet her figure was vividly implanted in his mind. Most noticeably, her fiery auburn hair which Damian could have sworn flickered in his vision like an afterimage when he pulled his eyes away. He briefly rubbed his chest, feeling his heart beat a million miles a minute.

    Wasn't there something else he was thinking about?

    Blinking a few times he stepped back and, in his daze, tripped over a decaying piece of floorboard sending the man stumbling onto the ground with a rather audible crash. Oh dear...

    The eyes of everyone were momentarily on him at his untimely interruption and he could only muster a weak smile, slowly dusting himself off as he muttered, "eheheh...sorry guys. Just, umm, you know, go back to doing your thing. I'll be here if you, umm, need me."

    Looking away to hide his beet red face, he grabbed the nearest stool and sat quietly.

    Adilah, is this a test too?
    #13 Stuffies12, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  14. Party Thoughts

    As the others made introductions, Vance leant over to the barmaid, treating himself to a quick brandy. For he knew that there'd be a lot of planning to come - and he hoped so, too! Woe would be the day when he, The Great Vance, died by simply being led into a hellhole by brainless thugs. Lightly taking the mug in his hands when it arrived, Vance looked around himself, before sprinkling in some sort of herb into his cup. T'was the cinnamon-like flavour of ground Pesk'ir leaves that he so loved with his brandy. Brewers these days, in his opinion, did so many things wrong. Ha! Since most seemed to ignore him, (though it wouldn't last long after seeing his great skill!) Vance could enjoy his favourite drink without being berated that it was a 'sissy drink'.

    Taking a small, calculating sip - so that he'd be able to enjoy exactly 20 sips of brandy before the cup was empty - Vance reviewed the companions that he would have to take as his dearest for a long while. Even if there was someone he couldn't stand, he would need to learn to tolerate them! Thankfully, however, nobody seemed intolerable. Just a few he'd likely... erm... perhaps have to avoid. In particular, the Nosferyte that had changed the very atmosphere of the room when he walked in. But alas, he may be a decent person on the inside, correct?

    One that took Vance's interest was, 'The Death Dancer'. ...O, for he was a man, he could not deny the beauty of her. Such wonderful hair, such wonderful eyes... and so... mysterious. Vance was no pervert, and certainly no womaniser, but surely other male members of the group were thinking the same things? Alas, women mysterious, skilled, and illusive such as she seemed to repel away from Vance. For he, though he liked to think of himself as one sometimes, was no young and dashing adventurer. And as expected, such a creature completely ignored a humble alchemist such as he. Sighing, Vance accidentally took 3 sips worth of brandy in his cup at once.

    Feyre seemed to possess a bow, which was wonderful! Vance knew that ranged attacks really did give the edge in combat, and although he could supply a few himself, he'd much rather be 'tactically blowing things up'. Her compliment about 'possessing balls' to Avarielle confused Vance a little. Erm... he had no idea about women, but... did they enjoy being told they - ugh - enough of this! He could not think about such silly things, for his mind would drift, and he would not be the most prepared in this group like he desired to be!

    On the subject of Avarielle, she seemed to be dressed in what he'd assume mage attire. Her fiery attitude displayed earlier was one Vance would prefer to stay away from, though her looks were - ugh - no! Not this again! Anyway, Vance could've sworn he saw her giving him a slight smile when he'd broken down. This had warmed Vance's heart a little, though she probably wasn't directing the smile at him, in his opinion. She seemed to have a story to her, though Vance knew he would probably never find it out.

    Er... 'Faen'? Vance seemed a little blank after he made his introduction. Two words weren't exactly enough to say what he was able to do - it was jolly unhelpful, in fact! Was he, someone who was mostly shut away indoors, supposed to know such a name? Was that it? Vance settled him to be one of the 'dashing swordsman' types - the same with Ansley, too. No doubt they would be getting the looks from the women. Hmph! Not that a refined, humble alchemist such as he cared about that!

    Hearing a crash, Vance turned around only to watch Damian fall over and seem like a bit of an imbecile. Ha! So he, Vance, was not the only one who'd looked like an imbecile today! Though Vance wasn't sure what caused the man to blunder in such a way. Alas, he would still not judge the man to be a whelp like he looked to be, because he was hand-picked amongst all of these people! Vance settled that Damian would be a powerful mage of some sort, as he didn't seem to possess a particular weapon.

    And lastly, Vance was rather pleased with having a pair of dwarves in his group. Those who looked like they'd prefer to get up in enemy's business, too. This pleased Vance, for the unmatched resistance of poison of the dwarves could potentially be very useful. Though he certainly wouldn't be getting either of them to assist him in potion-making, it seemed, for his gonads may be swiftly punched should he use them as test subjects. Oh well, they'd likely knock something over anyway. And... eh... not that he, The Great Vance, would miscalculate and accidentally poison his own front-line fighters - but in the >0.00000000001% chance that happened, they would likely still be alive! Oh, what was he thinking. In his many years of alchemy, he'd only made serious mishaps... twice...? Yes... twice... maybe.

    So this was the party! An able one - and in terms of skill - Vance was already happy with what those who had revealed their skills bought to the table. Not that he, Vance, would stand behind the stronger ones but... eh... it was good to have some more... battle-hardened people to protect him whilst he obliterated the enemy? Yes, that sounded quite good indeed. Vance wondered why his brandy was 3 sips short of what he'd calculated as he placed the empty cup on the counter behind him.


    When the louder dwarf stated if any of them had the sense to bring a map - Vance did indeed own one in his backpack.
    "Erm... actually, I-" He began, fumbling in his backpack, but he was too quiet compared to the booming dwarf to actually be noticed by her.

    To avoid trouble, Vance closed his backpack and fastened his mouth. But he... er... wasn't a toddler. He knew how to read a map, and he almost felt like he, Vance, was being patronized. But alas! At least he didn't have to unpack, unfold, refold, and pack his own map! It was really quite a bothersome task that'd always got on Vance's nerves.

    As Avarielle elaborated on, in Vance's opinion, the fairly obvious route to take - he was quite glad about the manner she spoke and went about things. She sounded rather intelligent, which increased the likelihood of his guess that she was a mage. Having one other intelligent member other than he, the genius alchemist Vance, was something he really desired in this party - as opposed to a group of 'UGHH! SMASH!'-kind-of-people. And perhaps this Faen hadn't been helpful in his introduction - but he certainly seemed to own a few extremely important things for this journey! O, how useful a boat would be! Though Vance did get rather seasick at times.

    After a little while, Vance spoke up at the mention of Greenwood.
    "Ah, Greenwood! I assure you, for our first part of our journey, we should not fear the outdoors. Should bears or wolves alike try and disturb our sleep, I can easily create a mixture that'll send the beasts running in fear!" Vance said with confidence. And he actually was confident this time - the little area up North was a place he was used to - though Greenwood contained mundane ingredients, some of them were still crucial for recipes nonetheless, and could be sold for quite a bit in bulk.

    "Tis' quite a beautiful area, actually. T'would be easy to live off the land in such a place..." Vance continued, before abruptly shutting up again. Babbling wasn't something he wanted to do in front of some of the seasoned adventurers here.

    He could probably even set up shop overnight and brew a few things for the first part of his journey, very useful indeed! A repellent for beasts was a very simple recipe... compared to some of his other potions, at least. Vance preferred not to kill beasts. He was no druid, but he was already helping himself to many of mother nature's ingredients. Though the sailing part he wasn't looking forward to, at least he could be comfortable with this. Wonderful!

    "Oh, also, if I may interrupt for a second... erm... one moment please...!" Vance spoke up again, fumbling in his backpack. He looked through a large department in the large pack, mumbling to himself as if he were flicking through books in a library. Then, he pulled out four small vials, containing a red-green, sludge-like mixture that seemed to bubble a little.

    "I see many of you wield sharp weaponry - and are likely very skilled with it - so please, if you wish, help yourself to these!" Vance said as he placed the vials on the table carefully. "No, they are not for drinking!" He clearly pointed out with a raise of his finger, pausing before he carried on. "But in a time of need, simply coat a blade, arrowtip, or anything sharp with this mixture. Tis' a poison - and once in the bloodstream of even a large foe..."

    Vance made a snapping gesture with his hand to accompany his next sentence. "The enemy's muscles will, after a brief delay... lock up immobile! An easy victory to avoid injury! Do be careful with it though, and use it wisely!" Vance said slowly. He didn't want some bloody idiot dumping the whole thing onto their blade to kill a mere boar - it would be a terrible waste of such a finely and lovingly crafted poison by he, the Great Vance~. The vials would not shatter when dropped, also. He was expecting morons, so he'd prepared for the worst.

    "Er... anyway, please carry on. Our travel plans seem brilliant so far." Vance said quietly, sitting back down.
    #14 Jakers, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  15. Adrianna rolled her eyes at Faen’s wink and turned away. As inviting as it was to punch him it would not help the situation. Grasping to control her temperament she had let loose from the stiff atmosphere in the room she focused on the red haired woman that introduced herself as Feyre who used quite a bold choice of words to describe the previous little confrontation by Avarielle and the messenger.
    And it seemed she wasn’t the only one surprised by this as the sorceress being complimented responded back. But before further talks could continue another character entered the tavern.

    And to Adri’s delight it was another dwarven woman wielding an impressive axe. Mariana as was her introduced name was clearly uninterested in social talk and quickly put the groups focus towards where they should head next procuring essential maps from her pockets and placed them on the table. Which soon brought up the talk about the Greenwoods. Personally Adrianna didn’t like those woods. But as Vance said yes it was good lands, except for prowling wolf packs that could number up to thirty in just one group. And then there where the larger beasts.

    “Yeah good lands but also deadly”

    She stated with a softer looming voice compared to her previous growling and moved to their side of the table to point at the map. Hesitating a moment at the sound of someone falling behind her Adri continued shortly after could hear Damien’s apologising voice.
    He might be a rookie but with that last name his parents must have taught him a thing or two or at least that is what she silently prayed to the old ones for it to be the case.

    “I know a camping ground along the route that hunters tend to frequent. Nothing fancy but it’s a roof over our heads when we sleep.”
    Showing on the map approximately where it was the female dwarf then moved aside so others could get a better look. At least stopping at that camp would better then sleeping in the open forest. Unless someone else knew a better place which would be a welcome option.

    That and now she was free to look at those those flasks with poison that the alchemist had put on the table. Looking at them she nodded in approval and grabbed two that quickly disappeared into her clothes. "I like the sound of that"
    Considering the combined skill set this was a journey where everything was expected to go wrong. For the group at least. It wouldn't surprise her if most where expected to die along the journey so better to decrease that risk early.

    With that in mind there was that other question that people had mentioned on the side. Did they wait out the rain or did they leave the moment the route was decided.
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  16. "Interesting..." was all Sayazar kept thinking, as he observed his would-be companions. This was certainly a... rather tenuous gathering and if wandering the lands of Tyrrania had taught him one thing, it was that in crucial situations group cohesion was much more important than the individual merits of all its members. The only reason he had made it across Vastoria in his initial journey, was because each member of his group took care of themselves and, even if they had all disliked him for being weak, they all managed to shoulder part of his work, whilst following his lead without question. In the current group, that was completely lost and the hopes of building any sort of a bond were thrown out the window by the latest introductions. On the other hand, those were all seasoned adventurers, so maybe, just maybe, incredible individual prowess could compensate for the utter lack of espirit de corps. Perhaps...

    Sitting quietly on one of the tables, he flashed a silver coin, thus grabbing the attention of the frightened servant girl who seemed awry about approaching him. Having earned her awkward smile, as he asked her to keep the change, the magi politely asked for a glass of water and, when the girl brought one which seemed a tad bit cleaner than those his companions enjoyed their spirits from, he rewarded her with another silver coin. The girl took with with another, this time less awkward smile and a slight bow, before retreating hastily back into the kitchen to, either brag or, if she was smart, - hide her new treasure. Time had taught the Nosferyte that it was good to make allies in the unlikeliest of places and with the unlikeliest of people and nothing earned the appreciation of the simple folk better than a well thought-out monetary gesture, lest the latter not be too extravagant, in which case it only intimidated them even more. No, the peasants or the townsfolk, in that case, needed to feel they have, themselves, earned the rewards through their service to him, with just a hint of extra generosity and good intent. Hitting the exact mixture of intimidation and benevolence produced an atmosphere where the individual was willing to serve loyally and be both unwilling and afraid to betray. It had taken him long time to master this real science, of witch lord Drachall was a good teacher. Allies could easily be made into enemies, if needs be, but the other way around was quite difficult.

    Taking a sip from his glass, the stormbringer couldn't help but notice the way the other Nosferyte in the room was looking at him, while playing with her dagger. Not that he ever returned the favour by looking in her direction of the room, it was just that her body language was plain and when you live the life Sayazar had lived, you tend to get a thing for sensing when someone was death-staring you. "The Death Dancer", was it? A laughable title that only a novice would pride herself in. Whilst there was the possibility of her slitting his throat open while he was asleep, he didn't feel in any way threatened by her obviously mischievous looks - a dog that barked too loud was seldom the one to actually bite and besides, she didn't look like a spellcaster and no non-mage could ever hope to defeat The Stormbringer in an open battle - not anymore, at least. For all his contempt about that woman, Sayazar was never the one to neglect an obvious threat, regardless of how pathetic it was. It would serve him well to earn the appreciation and sympathy of at least some group members - this way he could always make sure there was someone awake who wasn't completely indifferent towards whether he lived or not.

    But what was it, that had made this woman so hateful of the only member of her species within this group? He couldn't tell, but it was hardly anything personal. Could it be, that his House had paid an assassin to deal with their insolent offspring? It wasn't entirely beyond the realm of possibilities, but judging by her attitude and openness, it was hardly the case. So it was likely that she harboured some hatred towards the house of Drachall, which he served, at a quite high position on top of that. Well, there certainly never was a shortage of people to hate the Drachalls and the reasons were as ample as the pebbles on the shores of Rothsanger isle. His best guess, since he has neither seen that bitch around, nor heard of her fancy title, was that she or her entire family had been banished for some reason. Most likely one of her parents had turned Feral and they refused to surrender him or her, leading to the forced banishment of the entire House for a capital offence. Being doomed to a life of poverty or crime amongst the humans was certainly a good reason to make anyone hateful. It certainly wasn't unheard of, even if it was rare. Sayazar could, however, hardly perceive the reasons why someone would defend a Feral, even if it was their family member - he would certainly be the first to push his father's unmanned boat across the sea, if the latter ever drank blood. Anyways, the enigma would be interesting to uncover, if he ever got to it...

    Moving towards the other members, he was positively intrigues by two of the humans. Their faces he would forget and their attitude didn't strike him as anything too peculiar, but from experience he knew those to be the most resourceful of types: Faen and Seville. While he had never seen the first, the tales of his deeds, if definitely grossly overstated by the simple folk, were certainly based off real events and were not to be neglected. Hopefully, an adventurer so renown, was as full of himself as he seemed - in that case, he could easily become Sayazar's ally.

    And Seville... oh Seville. Sayazar's party had sampled Damien's parents' steel in one of their travels. Never had he though, that humans could hold their own against his kin, especially the ones he led with himself. Never had he even suspected that they could also hold their own in a game of treats and bargaining against him. It wasn't often the The Red-Eyed Wanderer had been seriously challenged in order to acquire something he wanted and that was one few of the memorable occasions. They had, eventually, united towards raiding a particularly well-guarded hideout of ancient scrolls and parted ways as frienemies, leaving a certain bitter-sweet taste in his mouth. For that reason, he wasn't sure how he felt about their son. On one hand, logic dictated that the inexperienced lad that was currently looked down at by the rest of the party, especially after he had slipped and fell like a little monkey, would be easy to make friends with, his pride, on the other hand, made him somewhat unwilling to befriend the son of a pair who had once challenged him, without paying for it with their lives - it felt dangerously close to conceding a draw. And Sayazar Sainguinar was NOT the type to end a confrontation in merely a draw.

    The big guy with the hammer was certainly easy to befriend and seemed simple-minded enough to manipulate. A knight no doubt, faitfull, no doubt - the perfect clay to mold a puppet from, and if Valdez had managed to do so from afar, judging from the way Norcott had referred to the king, then imagine what a mastermind like Sayazar could accomplish from up close. Was he actually staring at a potential spy within the Royal Guard right now? "Not completely unlikely", he though as he touched his beard, shifting his look.

    The Alchemist was utterly pathetic. He was as easy to read as a black text on a white parchment and perhaps even easier. A coward by heart, a weakling by posture, his only usefulness lied within his occult craft that was nothing but a pathetic attempt to accomplish magical properties by means of... what? Mixing brews? Disgraceful. Even if Sayazar could easily see himself siding with the man, even manipulating him for his own gain, he wouldn't prefer to stoop so low. He was an arrogant men and one of power at that, it was no longer neither necessary, nor useful for him to side with mice. Especially ambitious mice, which were more likely to betray than serve.

    “I’m Adrianna Forge not a big name, no stupid titles, just some years of gathered experience and a good set of contacts to get around with.” - Sayazar laughed sincerely, in his own thoughts of course - his facial expression had not changed throughout the entire conversation, apart from the occasional smile. "Some folk... hahahaha.... some folk..." was all he thought of, listening her short introduction. A typical dwarf, the likes of which he had seen a lot... and perhaps the only persona within this circle that he genuinely liked. What she said, she meant. And unlike others, she didn't seem to keep her intentions hidden like daggers. She probably disliked him, though, so there was a good chance he would have to go through the racial stereotype wall in order to befriend her.

    "Ah, perfect! Just what this group needed - in his desire to be useful this moron probably just killed off half our members!" - Sayazar grinded his teeth at the sight of Vance handing out poison vials to all who would reach for them - what a complete recklessnes, especially amidst a crowd like this! Ignorance was truly a blessing, unlike the agonising death of poison. He didn't even need to look at the Nosferyte woman, to be certain she would be the first to grab a vial - maybe even two. Surviving her just became trickier... Sayazar realised he was faced with two bad choices - grab a vial and have some of the same weapon his potential enemies had, or stay idle. He choose the latter option - everyone knew he was a magi and given the already stern looks some were giving him, it would serve nothing, but raise the suspicion and dislike towards his person, had he reach out for a vial of poison to stash in his bag.

    Feyre. A redhead with no obvious experience or proficiency. She certainly had a story behind her, however neither her introduction, nor her behaviour hinted towards it. Until she praised Avarielle, publicly declaring allies. This could either be plainly the outcome of serious lack of experience, in which the woman just admired the sorceress for speaking out when he herself was too afraid to do so, or a well-calculated move to earn the emotional support of the older and already experienced adventurer; time would tell Sayazar which - he was, after all, a very, very patient man.

    And, finally, Avarielle Wheeler. The most outspoken, hence, the most targeted group member. Also the one that the inexperienced members were most likely to follow. She certainly had the "balls", as Feyre had so aptly described... but, just why she had them intrigued him. Naturally, as she was the only other obvious mage within the group, he felt some sense of comradery towards her - did she knew he had caused the storm that presently reigned around the countryside? And what magic did she use? The latter was, perhaps, the most interesting question. The woman seemed generally well-intended, like the mother of the entire party, steering them whenever she could. It was certainly interesting, though he didn't know yet how he felt towards allying with her. She was certainly an interesting one, nevertheless...

    And just when he thought the situation was as bad as it gets... another dwarf female stormed in, stinking of alcohol and barking orders, basically insulting everyone. "You won't last very long." he smiled, as she opened some sort of a map and started drawing a route. Wait... she had entered after him, meaning she had stayed outside, looking at him... without him noticing. The latter could be explained by the sounds of the townfolk and their movements all around, but still, it took quite some dexterity to hide from him, especially in the dark. And effort... most of all - effort! The midget had hidden from him on purpose, which, in his book, only spelt trouble. Her bitchy attitude was also quite peculiar. It was understandable if she was upset for some reason, but even Lucine, who obviously hated him and was outspokenly violent, didn't go to such lengths to win everyone's dislike. It was almost as if she hated the entire party already... almost as if she didn't want to be a part of this game. And yet, she had taken the most proactive role in organising everything. This contradiction certainly made him cautious of her - maybe the one he had to be most cautious of, from any of the hereby-gathered.

    The plan was good, though, he had to admit as much. Not that it wasn't obvious what they would have to do, but still.

    At this point Sayazar had to make a decision for his participation in the party. He could just walk away, follow them from a safe distance alone, or with some sellswords at his back. After all, he owned nothing to the King and Drachall had only asked of him to see what the purpose of this all endeavour is, probably look at the chance of them profiting from it in some way - he would certainly understand if Sayazar back off, out of risk for his own safety - he was, after all, irreplaceable - there was only one Stormbringer in all of Rothsanger. Yes, following the group two steps away, possibly to their gruesome fate and back, seemed like the most reasonable thing to do, in which case he needed not do anything to aid them and just slip away the first chance he had.

    And yet...

    There was something about travelling with some many souls, all attuned to the same frequency as his, that simply lured him in to a degree that it was almost painful to refuse! After all, this was only going to happen once in his lifetime, and, all things considered it wasn't the money, the power, the fame or the revenge he lived for - it was the thrill that crept over his back when he entered the frozen reaches of Vastoria with only five trusted companions! It was the slight nausea that always crept over his mind, as he walked into Tukemen and it was the pure joy of discovery, when he visited dangerous sites in Amorynthia. Even if most of the people here hated each other, from a higher perspective, they were all like. Like him. And, after all, how silly would it be, if his unnaturally long live ended in his bed at Steinplatz, instead of having his guts spilt on some unknown shores!

    So, he was going to partake in their journey... well in that case, he'd better help their dysfunctional group a bit, while also moving towards winning some allies in the process. He knew all too well he would need them, if he was to survive travelling with this band of renegades and, having judged everyone already, he knew which ones to pick.

    Having made up his mind, Sayazar stood up and walked towards the map, having left his staff on the table, to avoid looking even more threatening, than he already was.

    "Thank you, Miss Mariam, for stating the obvious path." he threw a quick, knowing glance at Faen, to show he has appreciated the human's sarcasm "I believe we have nothing to worry about until we're at Vastoria... but if I may interject, I have travelled across the whole frozen plain on multiple occasions, the last one being only a few days ago and I would like for us to make some preparations in the city of Amor, before venturing north. You see, almost none of you is really prepared for a journey across these lands and we would need to procure a certain set of supplies, otherwise we risk becoming victims of the wilderness. Worry not for travelling by sea, for sea-fairing has been my... specialty for many years." he threw encouraging glances the the few faces who had showed concern at the mentioning of a ship

    "I can guarantee you, the wind will always favour our course." he spoke in an even tune, quietly and yet, distinctly and easy to comprehend, keeping his polite register at all times, almost like a real royal advisor.

    "I am also afraid that, Port Kelds, as well as most of Vastoria is a home to a growing population of... for lack of a better word, the trash of my kind, which we call Ferals. While I am sure that dispatching them would be an easy feat for a party like ours," he looked around, giving acknowledging nods to some people "I strongly advice that we keep moving in a steady pace and exclusively by day - both serving to avoid unnecessary encounters. Also, it would be of tremendous benefit, should someone be adept at casually using fire magic, Miss Wheeler, am I to assume you possess such knowledge?"

    That was enough. It was enough to get them started, he could bug their minds with his concerns regarding the nature of their very travel later.... and yet, why wait? Probably someone else of his breed would have, but he wanted to taste the waters now. So, as he moved back towards his chair, he suddenly turned back and looked at everyone.

    "And yet..." his whisper-like voice sounded dangerously low, as he peered into the eyes of almost every other member of the party

    "Before we discuss our means of reaching the destination, would you not consider it wiser, if we were to examine our present situation first?" noticing the few confused glances, he quickly added, in his previous polite manner "Allow me to elaborate: we were sent on a presumably diplomatic mission by the King himself, correct? Nevertheless, the latter never showed up, and all we possess is a scroll to speak for us... But do we even know if New Kelda even exists? After all, no one had had any contact with their civilization in many years? And even if it does exist... what guarantee do we have that this scroll is actually a peace offering, or a scroll at all? Please do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to question your King" he looked at Norcott when speaking the latter words, although his tone of voice may have betrayed how little trust he actually had in Valdez's good intentions "but many things can happen to a lone messenger on the road, as I am sure you're all aware. Wouldn't it be wiser for us to inspect the contents of the thing we will carry across half the world? I'm afraid my knowledge of rune magic is... sketchy at best, but I do recognize the middle one to mean "danger" or "peril". Perhaps miss Wheeler would be so kind as to read the rest and see this letter open? If it is beyond our grasp, fear not, for I am quite certain I could procure us a Runesmith in the city of Amor, quite discretely." fully aware that everyone was now staring at him, Sayazar pinned the final nail in the cofin: "I, for one, believe we all have the right to know what we are risking our lives for."
    #16 Archmage, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  17. Planning
    Ansley sat in silence. His ale long since drained, and his headache finally subsided. He waited and watched as the last of the party members entered the Hatchet. A woman by the name of Feyre came to introduce herself, she was beautiful he had to admit. Her long red hair was enthralling his focus until he realized his blunder No....A girl not a woman. Ansley thought, sure she was well old enough to be wed and have children, but she was far too young for Ansley to chase. Especially not when a mission from the King himself was in their hands, Aye no women for a while I guess he thought begrudgingly.

    Ansley was ready to pull some more copper from his pocket and summon the server back to him for another round but he decided against it in favor of a clear mind.

    Then the dwarf came. Her voice was laden in sarcasm, and her tone was almost mocking the others, she must have been listening... He had thought almost embarrassed. It was true however, none of them had yet even begun to think of a way to actually reach their destination. As far as Ansley had been concerned he was much more interested in learning just who he had to deal with on such a journey as this, how he would get to the end of it? Ansley hadn't given a single thought. But the dwarf was prepared, she pulled a small parchment from her bag, a map as it soon became obvious and suggested a simple plan to get to Kelda Tor. Quite practical really, "The fastest way to a destination is a straight line" someone had once told Ansley, he retorted with something along the lines of "What if there is a mountain in the way?" and in turn received a good whack from a stick for his smart-ass comment.

    Ansley leaned forward a bit, the conversation was finally falling upon what really mattered. Sure he hadn't even mulled over it, not even briefly but now that the topic had changed from the dreadfully awkward introductions to the real task at hand.... Ansley couldn't help but show interest. The dwarfs plan was almost perfect, but it seemed that the mage, Avarielle hadn't much enjoyed the idea of camping out in the wilderness. Why? Ansley couldn't fathom, he had slept under trees and hitched rides on merchants carts on the journey all the way to Woodsend from Amor, and now the most amusing part was that he was about to make the same journey all the way back to his starting point. He was hit with an intense feeling of irony as he recalled the days all the haggling that he had to work though to get rides from the merchants.

    Faen spoke next, Ansley moved his attention to him as he talked of friends he knew, and a ship he could muster given the time. Ansley didn't expect anything less from the famed adventurer, if a man like him didn't have such connections as to easily enlist a ship and its Captain to this cause... Well he'd surely be a fake he thought a sly smile quickly vanishing from his face. But he shared the same view on sleeping outdoors as Ansley, and he liked the man for that. Still he couldn't help but feel that something was simply off about the famed swordsman.

    Ansleys' attention was drawn to a loud crashing noise, his hand instantly pulling his hammer from its sling as he stood knocking over the stool, he hefted the massive hammer to a ready position, and then he noticed the young man, Damian Seville was his name, sprawled upon the floor. In front of the boy was a cracked and rotted piece of floorboard. Honestly? How is he going to survive this.... he thought, almost sad at the thought of dying so young. He put his maul back over his back and picked up the stool. Taking a seat once again he pulled the two copper from earlier back out of his pocket and tapped the bar counter. His headache had returned in full force, and he was not about to just let it tear away at his mind. I don't need to be entirely here to understand a simple talk of travel he mused as he raised the new pint of ale to his gullet.

    The next member to interrupt the new found silence after Damian's fall was Vance, the Alchemist that Ansley had only slightly paid attention to in his original introduction. But he did have some interesting things to share with the group. The ability to craft powerful deterrents for bears and wolves was something Ansley had never once heard of. Especially not in the monstrous city of Amor, had a bear wandered anywhere close to it's walls the nobility were instantly on the hunt for a new pelt. As if they needed it he thought in disgust. But the alchemist went on, and Ansley began to like the man. Quirky sure but they were all weird in a way, and this one seemed to be one of the more normal of the group save for Damian and the young girl, Feyre. He decided that the alchemist would be a good friend on this journey, and that in any situation he could he would protect the man from close combat.

    Poison? The words caught Ansley by surprise. Vance was capable of procuring such potent posion as to be able to kill a man with just a single slice from a blade. It was truly quite a trick up his sleeve for Vance. Briefly Ansley was depressed when he realized that his maul did not possess sharp enough edges to truly warrant a need for such poison, but he was content with the sheer brute force attacks he had long grown accustomed to.

    The next two to speak where the less rowdy of the dwarves, Adrianna, and the Nosferyte that sent chills though his spine every time he opened his mouth and spoke in his unusual, inhuman voice.
    The dwarf touched on points Ansley had stashed away fro his chance to speak, and the Nosferyte... Well his telling of what might have awaited them on their journey. Be it the lesser of the Nosferytes or the fact that there was a possibility New Kelda just simply didn't exist made Ansley feel like he may have made the wrong decision in accepting the Kings letter. Then the Nosferyte brought up his best point, that they should at least think about opening the scroll. No doubt it would clear up any confusion the party had about their "Diplomatic Mission".

    "Aye." Ansley said gesturing his pint toward the Stormbringer. "I'm loathe to say that the Nosferyte is bringing up the most important matter of this entire mission. What just exactly it is that we are taking to a land that--" he paused taking a drink from his ale "For all we know may not even exist." he said. Standing and walking toward Damian he placed his ale on an empty table. "You, Mr. Seville. Best produce that scroll at once." he insisted of the young adventurer, now standing just feet away from him. He had no intention of attempting to open the thing, that task was for Avarielle, for someone who actually knew what they were dealing with. But he figured that Damian needed a bit of a nudge in the right direction in order to hand over that which had been solely entrusted to him.

    "Give it to the mage, boy." he said just loud enough for Damian to hear. His headache was starting to return, and the thought of Damian not complying was threatening to worsen it.
    #17 FrostedCaramel, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  18. Upon looking at the map the dwarf laid out on the table, Feyre moved away from the end of the table crossing a young man who glanced at her quickly then shifted his gaze away. "Do I frighten him or is it something I said? Odd..." "I took up permanent residence in Greenwood Forest almost three years ago, about eight miles outside of Amor near the shoreline, um...around here if I am correct. Feyre's slender stark white finger pointed to little bay on Marian's map. "Excuse me for a moment I might have something that could aid us."

    "Are you-" A crash interrupted her thoughts and Feyre's hand automatically flew to the blade on her waist. She let out the breath she's held when it was reveled to be Damian as the source. He lay on the floor for a brief moment before scrambling upright, he abruptly dismissed himself to a stool as if he were a child in punishment. 'Poor lad.' They had to have been around the same age, if one not a bit older. If this were ever going to work out she would need to somewhat befriend, or at least gain trust in her allies. Something that did not come easily to her but, if this was going to work an effort had to be made on her behalf. Fey took out a few copper coins from her pouch and walked over to the server at the bar and requested two mugs of their house ale. While waiting, Feyre moved a stray lock of hair back behind her ear causing her to briefly made eye contact with the blonde gentleman also from Amor by the name of Norcott if she recalled correctly. When the drinks arrived she slid Ansley a copper,"Another on me sir." she took by mugs and brought one over to Damian who still remained in his little corner.

    "Here." She placed the mug in her right hand on the the little end table next to him and offered a small smile and lifted her own mug, "Salute," taking a big gulp she grimaced as she swallowed, the liquid burned in her throat but left in her belly a warm tingling sensation. "*cough* You should come back to the table, i'm sure you have some wise input to the situation the king wouldn't of chosen you otherwise." Taking another gulp she left the mug with him and kneeled down at her knapsack a few feet away and once again addressed the group around the map, "Are you aware that there is no official map of the Greenwood Forest? So I hope you all do not mind my horrid penmanship."Feyre took her own little map in her hands and pulled it's ribbon letting it spread out on top of the other parts of the map they were not examining at the moment. The map was a crude yet somewhat legible drawing of the Greenwood Forest from the very edge of Amor all the way to Woodsend and even included some parts of Bellepoint.

    "I obviously have no skill in mapmaking but I have made note of my travels throughout the forest. The dirt roads are fairly stable, so carriages would have little trouble going over it. I am aware of two such cabins that are abandoned, both are not in the best of conditions but will do in a moments notice." She avoided making eye contact with anyone and quietly uttered out, "I apologize however I cannot allow you all to stay at my residence for the evening, I have a relative who is fairly ill and does not react well to unannounced guests."

    "Ah, Greenwood! I assure you, for our first part of our journey, we should not fear the outdoors. Should bears or wolves alike try and disturb our sleep, I can easily create a mixture that'll send the beasts running in fear!" Feyre suppressed the smile that came up at Vance's choice of words but could not deny he was somewhat correct. "Mr. Mill is correct, the forest is relatively quiet although contrary to popular belief there are little groups of Amor citizens who've built clusters of cabins throughout the road to Amor and the ones closer to the border have reported someone stealing and killing their livestock as of late."

    Before she could continue, Vance had a bag in his hand and begun fumbling around. The four little vials he produced stimulated Feyre's curiosity. Poisoned weapons? Something she had never dabbled with, she often thought about it when she first started her training but at the time most of her weapons were used for solely hunting only. Her focus turned to the male Nosferyte whom she'd avoided the whole time, she directly stared him down as he made his ill-mannered comment to Vance. She had no direct experience with the species but Feyre knew plenty to know that he clearly showed off their ruthlessness and love of conflict. Carefully she took a vile, examining its contents under the candlelight overhead, "I happen to disagree with our.... simple-minded companion. With your poison we would not have to waste as much resources or energy during battles. This is quite intriguing Vance, I have often thought of using poisoned arrows but could not find such a unique alchemist."

    She planned on not sparing the Nosferyte anymore of her attention but, her logical side comsidered his opinion. Their journey is imdeed clouded in mystery, yet she still willed herself to believe what the king claims was true. She could not help the unrelenting NEED to know the contents of the that scroll in Damian's charge. She willed her eyes from their fixture on the map and focused on Damian's. She decided to remain silent on the matter, she saw no point in her chiming in, causing the man more stress.
    #18 Navi Jay, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2015
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  19. Damian Seville

    A Slip and A Fall
    Now that was an unnerving situation if he ever saw one. That moment kept replaying in his mind as he sat alone on the stool. Several people drew out their weapons after hearing the crash and Damian was pretty sure he could see the pitying gazes of his companions as he looked at them. Sighing to himself, he rubbed his temples to try and block out the animated voices of the others who were discussing the route for the day. Vance brought up something about poison vials and briefly pondered of accepting it for his dagger should he need it but decided against it in the end. There won't be any senseless killing from him.

    He really should be observing them at the very least. For someone who has never ventured outside their own village knowing the landscape is going to be even more important to the rookie, but just how could he show himself again after that fumbling display? From what he heard they would be going through the Greenwood forest. Naturally, Damian had never seen been to such a place, but he would be more in his element there. If there was any place for him to show his usefulness it would be there.

    While thinking of whether he should grab a drink or not, he brought his sling bag to his lap, checking for the scroll's safety. It was still sitting there, as unassuming as ever, hidden among the pile of books and other knick knacks he had brought for the journey. There were patterns, runes, engraved on the scroll which locked it from prying hands. If it was shut, it was shut for a reason.

    So busy he was with the all important quest item he didn't notice someone approach.

    It was the red haired beauty, Feyre. From up close he could see even more of her captivating features. The dim glow of her lime green eyes, her hair swaying gracefully with her movements, her impossibly pale smooth skin. He was stricken. Completely and utterly stricken.

    Only after a change in her expression, indicated by a pair of furrowed brows, did the man realise he was staring at her. Muttering a quick apology he gratefully accepted the drink.


    He raised his glass and finished the mug in mere seconds, the buzzing already spreading throughout his body.

    Yes. He definitely needed this drink.

    At her offer for him to come back, he shook his head and said, "Actually, I-" And immediately stopped himself. What was he about to say next? 'Actually, I've never traveled outside my village before.' 'Actually, I don't know the first thing about these lands.' 'Actually, I am not an adventurer and was called here only by name.' He already drew contempt from his embarrassing fall. The last thing they need is for him to voice his own incompetence in person!

    Clearing his throat, Damian finished his sentence.

    "Actually, I think everyone has already made valid points. All that remains is for the weather to lighten."

    He returned her smile and thanked her for the drink as she turned back to the planning table.

    Time for another drink.

    Devil's Advocate
    At least, that's what he originally thought as he approached the barman, until the Nosferyte's commanding voice took hold of everyone in the party. He spoke things about their mission; it's sketchy premise and objective, and Damian was sure the Nosferyte was insinuating the King having ulterior motives. Frankly, he never was good at those things. If he were truly honest with himself, he didn't care about the objective, what it was for, or where they were heading. An adventure with a lively party was all he ever wanted.

    Deja vu, Damian thought to himself. Once again, all eyes are on him. He bit his lower lip. Something didn't sit right with him and it seeing their stares he understood what it was. It was a look one would give to a child. A look of coercion and expectation, that he should be expected to simply do whatever they said just because he was inexperienced. Something reinforced by the way Ansley addressed him. Yes, he didn't exactly exude confidence or showed his worth, and his actions so far haven't helped; but he'll be damned if he'd just sit there following orders!

    "I'm not sure if that's a good idea," Damian said, clearing his throat as he stood up. The group's attention was all on him now. "If...If you are so sure of your suspicion, then what's to say that the King or whoever had come up with this mission hadn't showed the same level of skepticism? Maybe the scroll is booby trapped to explode if it were to be opened! Or summon some sort of undead army to kill us or something. You said it yourself!" He pointed to Sayazar. "You said the runes meant 'danger' and I don't know about you, but I'm not inclined to mess with something that has 'danger' printed on the front.

    "And if you're so uncertain about this whole mission, then why even follow through with it in the first place? You don't seem like a guy who's strapped for cash or has something to prove. You don't have any obligation to do so under King Valdez either. You could walk away safely and I don't think anyone here would hold it against you."

    Silence. No one was saying anything. Did he step out of line? Now feeling more than worried, Damian quickly added in a more softer tone,

    "I just think we should be a little more cautious in opening this scroll if you all agree on how dubious this mission is. The last thing I want is for anyone to die from carelessness..."
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  20. In all honesty, Lucine has expected many things: mages, warriors, archers, whatever, none of the present members of the party really surprised her - except perhaps the Nosferyte - even Damian Seville didn't surprise her, what with the fame of his parents and all. But Ser Faen was not one she expected to meet today, or any day. The guy was almost a legend, the protagonist of a heroic tale that parents used to tell their children. Quite a feature, actually, especially because he managed to capture Lucine's father interest, and he was not an easy guy to impress. She'd make sure to get an autograph, not for her of course, but for Robert, her father. She'd send it via bird-messengers so that it could arrive in time, maybe that would put her father's heart at peace, to see that his daughter was traveling with a known and honorable hero.

    "Well, getting this over with." Said a voice coming from who knew where. Oh wait, a dwarf, what a joy. And a feisty one, it seemed. Adrianna was her name, she'd made sure everyone knew that. Lucine already didn't like her, though she did applause her brutal honesty, sometimes it was better to be straight forward than to keep playing mind games, like she did. Not really her fault though, mind games were one of her favorites.

    "My name is Feyre..." Started a soft voice. Its owner was a beautiful red head, a woman whose head was held high and confident. Her compliment towards the sorceress, Avarielle, told a lot about her character. It could either mean the lack of courage to speak up as the other did, or she just wished to get on Avarielle's good graces, who seemed to be the one everyone would follow. Either way, they could both add something interesting to this trip.

    And then, she came in, Marian. The dwarf didn't even attempt to be polite, she just came barging in and shoving her name in their throats. Not even Lucine lacked that much elegance. But then, Marian was a dwarf, and they were never known for being elegant creatures, quite the contrary actually. The halfblood never had anything particular against dwarfs, they never did her any harm, but she was set to change her mind if she had to travel with these two buffoons. They both lacked politeness and good manners and that itched Lucine in the wrong way, but her feet on top of the table near the food refrained her from making any comment. She could be an assassin, a bitch, whatever, but she was not an hypocrite.

    However, she had to admit, the little one was efficient. Marian already had pulled a map from her bag and crafted a plan, a simple one, but good. Avarielle's comment about finding a place to stay instead of setting a camp brought a snort out of her throat. An adventurer who was afraid to set camp was no adventurer at all. There were times Lucine had to spent days in the forest just waiting for the perfect time to strike her target, and just with the clothes on her body. Setting camp was a luxury. But, as expected, Faen had a solution for both the camp problem and the ship one. Well, if the hero wasn't versatile. Lucine was about to talk about a safe place she knew around that area - which was a cave, but it was safe nonetheless - when she was interrupted by a loud crashing sound. Damian had just fallen on his own, as if the boy couldn't stoop any lower. But there he was, on the floor all shy and shit. Lucine wanted to laugh, really, but she didn't, not after seeing the determination in his eyes. Damian reminded her of herself when younger, when the only thing she worried about was to prove herself to the others. To show them that she could be just as great as them. She wouldn't admit it out loud, but maybe, maybe, she'd do her best to protect Damian the most. She remember wanting someone to do it for her, and now she has a chance to be this someone. It wasn't sentiment, don't be fooled, it was actually a selfish act, Lucine wasn't doing it for the boy, but for herself.

    And then Vance's voice interrupted her thoughts, the alchemist was meddling with something in his bag, only to pull a few flasks of... poison, was it? The fool. Who in sane mind would give people they didn't even know or trust such a deadly weapon? Lucine wanted nothing more than to tip the tip of her dagger on the poison and slight his throat with it, but she refrained to doing so and opted for grabbing two flasks for herself, not really bothering to hide the second one. She also noticed one of the dwarves, Adrianna, pick up two of them, to which she just chuckled.

    However, the Nosferyte's voice made the chuckle die in her throat. Right, he still was in the room. Damn it. It was amazing how his voice boosted through the tavern, making everyone shut up and just listen to him.

    "And the freak speaks..." She couldn't help but hiss, her voice no louder than the sound of a feather hitting the ground. Lucine was set on not listening to the monster, but it was quite hard to ignore him, especially when such monster only spoke truths.

    "He's right." She grudgingly accepted, her arms crossing themselves as she frowned her brows. "We know the King we have, what he's capable of. Is this mission really what he told us about? Os is this a fraud? " Lucine shifted her position as to sit straighter, a hand on her leg and the other pointing to Damian. "And what about that letter? What does it say? I don't wanna risk my life for a fraud, thank you very much."

    Lucine watched as Ansley intimidated Damian for the letter, not really liking his attitude towards the boy. However, she didn't stop him, this was a matter of urgency, there was no time for fear. Then he spoke up, she would admit, there was truth in his words, but even so, not knowing what the scroll was could screw them over later, but if Damian truly believed it was safer to keep it close, than she would let him follow his word, not without a warning though.

    "Let him be." She said to Ansley. "He seems to know what he's doing." Lucine's voice was emotionless, as was her eyes, though when they glued on Damian's ones they sparkled with something akin to mischief. "At least, I hope so." The assassin said as she pulled her chair back and stood up. Her steps towards the guy were slow, but firm. They meant business.

    "Do you?" Lucine asked once she was face to face to the other. "Will you take the risk of carrying that scroll? You said it yourself, it could be an explosive. Will you be responsible for it? What if something happens and it causes the death of someone? Will you be able to live with yourself knowing that you could have prevented that?" A pause. "Will you - no, are you strong enough to do this? You could be targeted simply for holding that scroll, this is no possibility, it's almost sureness. Think about it."

    Lucine knew she had been harsh, but those were the same words her father once said to her, perhaps with slight modifications. She just hoped that Damian's choice, whichever it may be, would be the right one. But that, they would only know in the future.
    #20 GreatWest, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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