Immortality's End: Return of Gods - IC

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Asuras, Apr 9, 2016.

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  1. [​IMG]
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    The Bare Fields; an expanse of flatlands stretching for several miles under a generally sunny sky. Though it was a floodplains, the season at the time called for a comfortable breeze and clear blue skies, with no indication of the ground sinking beneath them. Located within the Mecrundyr state of Emil-Trou, it had been designated as the spot where the cross-continental gathering would take place. Within days the plains had become a virtual city, covered from end to end in makeshift tents and encampments. The more industrious opted to make temporary wooden homes from the ground up. What was once a land given the moniker "Bare" for its naked appearance where nothing could hide had now become an urban development sprouting from the spring ground like an infant flower.

    Tens of thousands of persons from all walks of life brushed past one another. Every race, every nation, every status. It was hard to believe that such a world, full of diversity, could have been controlled by a uniform nation a mere ten years ago. One could only imagine the logistics involved to maintain such a feat. Merchants gathered together to exchange their goods and to seal deals that would undoubtedly begin a level of trade the world had never seen before. It was already clear Mecrundyr and Ollas were on the receiving end of the best of it, being situated in a prime location to deliver. Spirits were high, save for in a particular section of the field.

    The gathering was, of course, not simply for merchants to stuff their pockets full to the brim with gold and silver. Politics were truly the main reason for forming the "festival" (as people had begun to call it), as officials from each nation met to discuss the state of their world and what was to come of their newfound freedom. For two countries in particular, things were not going well, as was to be expected. The center of the field was reserved for official high-top tents, including those of Alkrisian and Complesian political figures. Already things had turned sour, and the two nations refused to show to meetings in which the other had appeared. Ultimately, neither parties were involved in many of the meetings thanks to this refusal. Fights broke out within the festival elsewhere which were nevertheless quickly suppressed; full blown riots between the two nations were not an option.

    In more than one place people had already devolved to gambling. Countless swindlers set up tables for people to test their luck (or test how gullible they were), while others created makeshift arenas to house small-scale sparring matches, encouraging onlookers to place bets, if only for the fun of it. The last time anyone had the opportunity to slug one another from across nations had been lost to burned history books.

    In such a place as this, opportunities were once in a lifetime. Whatever one could think of, the festival likely had it in droves.
     
  2. She hated the basin. Nowhere to hide in the shadows, no chance to ambush. To Nyxia, the basin meant certain capture, or worse. Naturally she was pleased that the once empty flat land was beginning to have some sort of resemblance to anything other than a deathtrap. That said, a city didn't lend itself well to a heist, but rather petty thievery. Well, petty thievery for some. Were this any normal city, there would be nothing but a few pieces of gold, or some food to steal. She'd have to pick a whole day's worth of pockets to make as much as she would during a heist. But this place was different. Nobles, merchants, and politicians all around. Why this was a rogues gold mine. Of course word of her escapades had travelled across the allied merchant states, so she made sure to keep a low profile, dressing as a common soldier, whose clothes she had claimed a while back.

    However, that was just a sideshow at this carnival. Every nation in the known world was present. If she wished to every obtain information on that caravan she attacked so long ago, this would be the place. The pain still fresh in her mind, and the scars still engraved on her body, they proved an ever present reminder of that failure. Had that been in the arena, she would have been slain. But, that is something else about her, she had perhaps the strangest luck. Everything in the world could go wrong, but Nyxia would never die. And that's the way she liked it. She proved to the world time and time again, she is stronger, even in defeat. And in defeat she always swore to seize victory from the hands of victor.

    As she drifted the streets waiting for the next time a major meeting took place, she picked a few pockets, amassing a small fortune. One of the fighting rings caught her attention. It was simple pugilist brawl. No weapons, no magic allowed, just speed, cunning and strength. However, she was fairly observant, more so than the crowd gathering. In the current brawl one of the fighters was using magic to enhance his body and attacks. It was subtle, but just enough to give him an edge eventually.

    "Place it all on the smaller gentleman."

    She placed the majority of her "earnings" on a small, crude stand where many stared in awe at her bold move. To bet so much on the smaller opponent when there was no clear advantage in the fight thus far seemed unfavorable. But then again, they didn't have her perception. Nothing else to do, might as well make some money real quick. That never hurts.
     
    #2 Reanimator Bob, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  3. Finally, a place that was similar to her homeland.

    Trekking from the center of Verdigris to the coast and then sailing across the Yismel Ocean was certainly an interesting experience for Vaneil. She hadn’t been ever travelled abroad before, after all, and while she regretted throwing up her lunch after the wind picked up on the open sea, it was definitely something to remember.

    The sway of the waves, the taste of sea-water, the bountiful greenery, the painfully bright sun, everything was a new experience, and with it, came new friends. The caravan had met up with a few other merchant wagons on the way to the Bare Fields, and her encounters with the famed Axe-Orcs of eastern Mercundyr proved to be a fun experience for both parties. Some friendly fisticuffs, some story-telling over the bonfire, some gloriously unique cuisine, and Vaneil could say with some confidence that they were good people.

    Even if they smelled like sex all the time.

    Hm…

    Maybe she’ll deduct some points for having one of her new orc buddies drag her into a pugilist ring during her break from guard duty as well. The young lady had been looking forward to exploring the makeshift shops that had already been set up in the Bare Fields, or perhaps getting a tailor to fix up a few tears in her leather combat dress, but instead, she was in a ring made of human bodies, the unpleasant heat of a too-large sun burning into her fair skin. Whatever pleasant breeze she previously enjoy disappeared, replaced by the excited shouts of men and women alike, and her opponent was a tough nut to crack as well.

    Skinny, short, and yet surprisingly strong, Vaneil wondered if this ‘Welkins’ was a big name in Mercundyr. He was certainly faster than he looked, and his strikes held a weight that pushed her back. Each one poked into a particularly painful spot, a pressure point or whatever, and the knight could totally understand that she was facing off with a professional martial artist.

    But, alas, even amidst the flurry of sharp strikes that came at every conceivable angle, Vaneil kept her footwork up. With an elvish grace, she wove around Welkins’s snake-like strikes. His pressure point attacks hurt, and he was moving just slightly faster than her, but she began to anticipate them, always staying barely out of range of his attacks. His fingers grazed past her a few times, catching strands of hair, brushing by her dress, but as the battle continued on and on in that open-hair furnace, less of those hurricane-like blows caught her.

    He tired, but Vaneil was still fine. The man may be a martial artist, and she may be a swordswoman, but on the other hand, he was human, while she was a werewolf.

    And then, an opportunity.

    A misstep. Two feet, aligned in a straight line, in a dangerously imbalanced position. Vaneil sensed it now, the sudden burst of physically-enhancing magic that Welkins would use to tilt the scales in his favour, the arcane distortion that will empower him further, granting him the miracle that he desired.

    But it was too little, too late.

    Vaneil accelerated, her eyes widening as her beast-like strength poured into her limbs. Before the man could hop away, she grabbed him by the arm and slammed him into the ground, instantly ending the match. A heavy thud resounded, temporarily hushing the crowd, before an even louder roar of excitement filled the small arena. Amongst the crowd, she could see the Axe-Orcs shouting in jubilation as well, clutching newly earned money from their bets, as a chant began to pick up.

    “BLACK WOLF! BLACK WOLF! BLACK WOLF!”

    Oh gods, why.

    Scanning the crowd, her sapphire eyes caught a glimpse of another familiar visage, that of Knight Aewill, one of her seniors from military academy.

    “…ugh, why did he have to let that nickname slip out…” A blush formed on her face, as she wondered whether or not it’d be appropriate for her to share to the general public his embarrassing nickname from early knighthood. Even then though…Black Wolf? Ugh.

    It was almost as bad as ‘Deadly Gazer’ or ‘Uncrowned Sword Saint’.

    These Verdigrisan males and their love for cringe-worthy titles.

    She let out another sigh, before recovering from that shame and shooting a cheerful smile at the crowd around her. With a quick curtsy, the young knight pulled her opponent up once more, awkwardly patted him down, and dove through the crowds. There was probably some sort of reward money she got for winning, but at the same time, Vaneil didn’t care about it.

    After all, now that she was done with all this, it was time to go shopping!
     
  4. Clank. Clank. Clank.

    The fresh sun glinted off the metal man's armour, the visor of his helmet occasionally pointing with curiousity towards one of the various stalls. The lively atmosphere and crowds of all sorts of people were giving Archie Haulden a bit of a headache, but the whole thing in general was quite exciting to him. It was like a massive party to the guardsman, and Archie loved parties. A pity he barely got invited to any.

    Keeping an eye to make sure everything was in check, a quiet, muffled sigh came from inside the metal man's helmet as he kept watch. He would've loved to try some of the various things on offer here, but he was supposed to be on duty. A medal proudly pinned to Archie's metallic chest for the occasion, he wore some of the scars and dents on his metal body with honour, as he'd been told to.

    Stopping buy a loaf of bread from one of the markets, for no real reason other than the lady selling it looked quite pretty, Archie occupied himself with feeding a squirrel who'd dared to come close for a while, a low-pitched chuckle coming from the gruff but soft man's voice as he watched the squirrel eat.
    "Hur hur... you are hungry, yes? Oho... want more? Archie not hungry anyway." The huge man laughed. Breaking off more pieces with his gauntlet-encased fingers, Archie hunched over and watched the squirrel fill its cute cheeks for a moment, before sighing as stood up. "Archie would give more, but he busy man. Can not mess around with rabbit." He explained to the squirrel earnestly. "He take job very seriou-"

    "Oi, you, big guy! Think you can take on the champ?" A smarmy-sounding voice called out from behind him.

    Archie turned around curiously, peering at who interrupted his friendly chat. Under a stall was a scrawny man dressed in fancy clothes - the one who called him - standing next to an extremely muscular fellow sporting a large beard, with his elbow rested on a wooden table, an empty chair opposite him. Like a curious dog, Archie wandered over to see what he'd been called for.

    "Um... who champ?" Archie enquired. There was a pause, before the muscular and scrawny man laughed in unison.
    "Why, this man sitting at the table right here, who else? And you, my good Sir, look like a challenger! Iron-arm here hasn't been beaten in an arm wrestle for all of his life - do you think you can take his title? A simple game. It's free of charge to try, but if you lose... you have to pay us two an' twenty. Win and you get a lovely prize. Sound good?" Archie pondered it for a moment.
    "Huhhh... no no, sorry, Archie is busy."
    "W-Wait! Hah, 'busy'? Sounds to me like you're a big chicken, Sir! Can't face the challenge?"
    "Uh... Archie not chicken. He Archie."

    The two men paused in disbelief of this armoured man's stupidity for a moment, before laughing again in unison, leaving Archie just looking confused. Once the laughter finally dyed down, the muscular man folded his arms and just shook his head.
    "Wha'ever you say, shit-for-brains. What a joke... yer' jus' another coward. Oo's next?" The bearded man said, grinning tauntingly. As the words processed in Archie's head, his nervous stance suddenly became solid, as he sat down with table to the muscular man, slamming his elbow on the table, seemingly triggered.

    "Archie. Not. Coward." He growled with a sudden ferocity. Blinking, the bearded man just chuckled - albeit a little nervously - before taking up his own elbow on the table, locking hands with Archie. The bearded man's absolutely huge right arm suddenly glowed with some sort of red energy - likely a strength enchantment to ensure he'd win - though Archie had no idea about the obvious scam.
    "Well then! It looks like our armoured friend his taken up the challenge after all! Get ready, gentlemen... three... two... one-"
    *BLAM!*
    "-A-ARGHHHH!"

    "...I win prize now?" Archie asked after a long amount of thought. He looked at the bearded man, who was still holding his arm on the floor next to the broken table. Archie had won the arm wrestle in the blink of an eye - smashing the table in two with the velocity he slammed the so-called 'Iron-arm' down. "Oh no... Archie not mean to hurt. Sorry... Archie go lighter next time. Please forgive." He mumbled sadly, looking guiltily at the floor, before starting to bandage the bearded man's arm. The scrawny man was silent for a moment, before shaking his head, groaning.

    "Well... a... a promise is a promise. Pick your prize." He said reluctantly, still in disbelief his scam had been won for the first time by this simpleton of an armoured idiot. "For your prize, you may pick one of the following. We have a large sum of cash, a beautiful eastern sword, or a scroll said to bring eternal youth. ...We also have this big ol' toy lying around, but we're guessing a true strongman like you wouldn't want that, right?" The scrawny man laughed, pointing to a particularly fluffy, white, hand-crafted doll resembling some sort of rabbit-like creature. His joking smile suddenly turned to disbelief as he saw Archie looking at the plushie intently. "...Right?"

    ~ ~ ~

    Holding the fluffy rabbit toy under his arm, Archie continued to wander around the fair, making sure everything was in order. Damn those silly men, distracting him when he was on the job... but in the end, whilst his face wasn't visible, he clearly seemed chuffed with his prize, oblivious to the various stares of disbelief when they saw the huge armoured man holding a fluffy toy rather than some sort of blade under his arm. It had been worth turning his head for a quick minute.

    Other than that, not much else notable happened to Archie. T'was a usual day for him - watching over people, though not everyone belonged to his city. Yet, Mecrundyrian victim or not, Archie was ready to step in at the slightest initiation of something going wrong. No lives would be lost; no conflict would happen this day on his watch. And even if the man was simple-minded, and seemingly looked like he wouldn't kill even a fly - he was ready to do his duty when the time came.

    But for now? Everything was mostly happy and full of friendly (and sometimes intriguingly beautiful) faces. The man of metal hoped it would stay that way as his footsteps clanked through the fair, and his metal visor remained ever-watching.
     
    #4 Jakers, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  5. There was game that many caravans and travelers played known as "Pargura" and ironically, despite being designed for the rigors of travel, it contained a multitude of pieces. Cards, dice, coins, pieces depicting animals, even smaller pieces you could stick into the other ones: it wasn't too hard for something with a certain skill to turn the tides in their favor. With money on the line, it was also a game that started many fights and fatalities, even if you weren't cheating. Fortunately for him, his opponent was simple in thought, whose single-minded focus proved to be his undoing despite having amassed an impressive pile of spoils from the previous challengers. Wolfram would prod, pry, bluff, and chip away at the other man's thoughts during his turns. He felt bad for the fellow, who most likely wasn't even half his age, yet the world was cruel place.

    With his coin purse practically bulging, he contemplated the other sights and spectacles this so-called festival offered. Of course, he could always go back to his caravan and assume his duties, but he had grown tired of all the pompous, holier-than-thou attitude some of the Ollasians had. Then again, maybe he would have ended up the same way? The thought was absolutely frightening.

    His thoughts drifted as he heard the roar of a nearby crowd erupt in cheer as someone bashed another's face in. A brief glanced determined the fight included an Alkrisian and Complesian, which explained the inflammation of passion heard in those cheers and jeers. Wolfram never really understood the hatred between those those two countries, but he definitely understood the irrationality that hatred could bring from personal experience. Doing whatever you could do to inflict pain in any form in the name of vengeance, no matter how reckless or stupid it was. He would probably always feel that way toward Baelwill, but years in exile had tempered him. "Ahhh..." He sighed, "I can't believe I'm getting depressed during a festival."

    Wolfram had to find something interesting soon, else he'd end up wallowing in drink to take his mind off such thoughts.
     
  6. Allen, a newly bladed knight from Verdigris had been on patrol for more than two hour now since his arrival. The festival, for the most part, was an uneventful one as far he was concerned. There was the occasional pick pocket and a few arguments between factions, but that was to be expected. These were, or course, the reasons that the knights of Verdigris were presently on guard. Tensions were assumed to be high and maybe that was the reason things had been going so smoothly so far. Security was ripe and people tend to be on their best behavior when under a watchful eye, Baelwill was proof enough of that.

    His duties aside, Allen had also been meaning to check up on one person he'd arrived to the festival with. She was a friend he'd traveled all this way with and despite not being a knight by name she shared much of the skill and training he had. Why she decided to forsake a name under the service of the sword was beyond him. At times he even regretted not being able to share this honorable privilege with her. Instead, her love for the sword took her to the title of Black Smith, something this gathering had brought little. As Allen made his way to her setup, he was sure she'd of already made quite the profit. This was, unfortunately, not the case...

    ~~~

    Freya could barely stand it. Two hours had passed and for the last hour and a half she'd had to watch the shameful display of the business right across from her shop. Using young girls to peddle your swords and armor was a dirty trick. Sitting alone, Freya watched as the rival smith's girls picked up a few long swords and paraded them around. Freya could almost feel the veins in her head pop, not because of the over abundance of cleavage showing from both of the girls chests but for more personal reasons...

    "For Christ's sake she can't even hold the damn thing properly!"

    Her words had little impact on his business. Still, one person approached her stand. She'd recognize that golden hair and that bowel cut from anywhere. The knight who had helped her set up shop before going on his rounds, Allen. She could tell he'd clearly assessed the situation she was in, that or he'd been assessing the young girls from the Eastern Empire clad in skimpy and impractical armor.

    "I see business could be better."

    "Jesus... Just look at this farce."

    "Indeed, but perhaps you'd have better luck if you expanded the range of your inventory.

    All around Freya was a stockpile of weapons. Anything ranging from pole arms to shorts swords, even daggers, was available for the right amount of coin. Yet, despite the abundance of pointed steel there was not a single plate of armor to be found.

    "You know I only deal in weaponry... Besides, you know damn well that's not the problem."

    "Oh, clearly." Allen said, his eyes working their way over to the supple bodies of the young ladies across the way. "You think he needs the fair skin of those lovely ladies in order to compare to the finest of steel that is your workshop."

    "His steel isn't the problem, it's those GOD DAMN TRAMPS-" Freya was quickly cut off as Allen stood in front of her, motioning her to lower her voice.

    "Now now, no need to cause any trouble. This is simply business at it's core we're seeing. Personally I think you need to even the playing field a bit." Allen's eyes took a glance down at Freya, their view was dubious to say the least. "Let's face it Freya, you've clearly got the assets to rival his business strategy. Why if you let the girls breath a bit, strike a pose or two... Maybe even smile for the crowd?"

    As Allen's eyes met with hers he felt an immediate sense of dread. Hers was a look that spoke clearly "I'll bury you."

    "Keep that talking, I'll find a river and help you cool off until the bubbles stop."

    "Alright Alright, no need for that. Maybe you'd like to take a break? I know you aren't the best gambler, but I hear there having some friendly cage matches not to far from here. What do you say, give it a look?"

    "No need..." Freya said, staring across the path at her competitors. "I can already tell the winner from here." A judgement she was making from the small amounts of mana she was picking up. A form of magic being cast on the body that she was more than familiar with. "I appreciate the offer Allen, but I honestly feel I'm the only person that should be selling these blades. Call it a smith's pride if you want."

    "If you say so, just promise me you won't go causing any trouble. Remember, Verdigris knights aren't the only ones on guard for this event."

    "Don't worry, I won't do anything to put the name of Verdigris's blades to shame."

    Allen smiled. "Of course." He said, as he made his way back into the festival. Meanwhile Freya was stuck, stewing over her situation and watching melons flop from side to side across from her. Then was when something big caught her eye. Coming down the strip was a giant clad in armor. With him he seemed to be carrying... A rabbit? Surely, the strangest thing she'd seen all day. Still, the mans size reminded her of the Halberd she had crafted a while ago. The weapon itself was more of a showpiece, something much to large for a normal person to handle but Freya had none the less made it battle ready. Surely this Halberd would be just what she needed to gain his business over her competitor. Still, she needed his attention first... Unfortunately she was still a bit sour.
    [​IMG]

    "Hey, the big guy with the stuffed rabbit! Get over here..."

    @Jakers
     
  7. "Hey, the big guy with the stuffed rabbit! Get over here..."

    Looking around slowly, it seemed to take Archie a while that he was being the one called over. Squeezing the toy at his side nervously for a moment, Archie eventually mustered up the courage and wandered over to the white-haired woman. Young ladies never called Archie's name, so he had a feeling something fishy was going on.

    It wouldn't have taken a genius to notice that Archie had been privately shooting a quick glance to the women at the neighboring stalls displaying their 'armour' and 'weapons'. He hadn't stared for too long - as he knew stuff like that would just get him in trouble - and he would've just moved straight along if it wasn't for this woman calling him. Was she angry at him? Archie's stance seemed nervous as he drew near.

    "...Um, yes?" He eventually mumbled in his low and gruff yet quiet voice, the near seven-foot giant towering over the girl as he came close. "...Archie is on duty, so... uhh.. please don't offer Archie gambling things." He suddenly became stiff. Hiding the toy behind his back, hurriedly, he added: "And, A-Archie is not slacking, he promise. He take guarding big party very seriously."

    Pausing, the huge man assessed the woman in front of him for a moment. In his opinion, she was pretty like most ladies around here with a lovely skin tone, but she looked scary. The sort of woman that would slap Archie if he did naughty things, so he did his best to focus on her head only.

    It was a nice stall she'd set up - and whilst he wasn't much of a weapons connoisseur, Archie preferred the solid steel pieces here to the gimpy but intriguing things some of the women were showing off in the neighboring stalls. He tried to play it cool by bringing up some conversation about the weaponry on display.
    "Uhhh... is nice steel, by way, very pretty. Sharp as rock and strong as dragon claw. ...Or... um... oh..." Archie sighed sadly at the fact he got his words mixed up again.

    Looking around the stall she'd set up, occasionally getting very close to a weapon now and again to closely examine it out of curiousity, particularly the larger weapons. He barely used weaponry, but it was still fun to take a look.
    "Um... so... what you want of Archie...?" He eventually said.
     
    #7 Jakers, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  8. "How the hell!..."

    She pulled off one of her gauntlets, slaming it into the ground. What just happened? He made a stupid mistake and tried to compensate by increasing the power he was currently using. No doubt someone else in the audience noticed. This "Welkins" was through, exposed a cheater, and shamed as the loser. A large mob was beginning to form around the man.

    "I lost a lotta money cause of you... You fraud!... I told you I never lose!... There's a good place for people like you!..."

    Nyxia pushed to the front of the of the ring enclosing around the man, who now coward on the ground, terrified of what was to happen. Nyxia appeared so much different than the rest of the crowd. While they seemed to seeth with anger, she looked at him with cold disgust.

    "Even when deception is on your side you fail. You see, that is one thing I can not stand. Deception can win any fight. So seeing someone lose while trying to deceive just proves they are an amateur. If you are looking for mercy, I will give it to you. My mercy is I won't be the one to deal justice, as were this an arena fight..."

    She stood over him, her icy stare meeting his terrified eyes. She extended her hand, balling it into a fist. Her thumb extended, as she made quick stabbing motion skyward. And then she left the circle as she left the man to the crowd. After all, it was often the crowd who decided the fate of fallen fighters. But again, her strange luck had reared its head once more.

    With that last surge magic he had strengthened himself with, there was almost no chance a human female could have defeated him with such a simple strike. She had no magic that Nyxia could perceive, so that was purely her natural strength. A terrifying thought. The orcs she had traveled with had chanted some title as she won: Black Wolf... It wasn't much, but the closest she had to a lead. Besides, Nyxia had taken an interest in her immense strength.

    She followed behind at a safe distance. There were a few stalls that she checked, blending into the crowd. Black hair, in a black suit of armor. How was she not dead from heat stroke yet?! As she passed by a blacksmith stall, she heard a woman call out to a man on a large suit of armor... cuddling a stuffed rabbit doll?... She had to admit, that sight made her do a double take. That wasn't something you see out on the highways. But what she really didn't understand was the Eastern blacksmith across from there. Girls in "armor" stood outside talking and giggling. How did female warriors in Ren Kyo even compete with protection like that? She never thought she'd understand their culture. But their business strategies seemed quite effective... Even if slightly offensive. But Nyxia understood. It got the job done, and she respected that.

    Of course, there was still money to be made. Stepping up to different stalls, pulling a small portion here and there, an apple or two from food stands, all while watching the girl. It truly was a rogues life.

    "Hey Light-Skin you okay? Sure you're not going to burn in this heat?"

    Great... In her pursuit of the girl, she had found herself in a gang of Dark Elves. She didn't care what race better than what. To her it wasn't My race or your race, but Me and You. And she was always better.

    "I assure you, this heat is truly not a bother to me. After all, I'm not the one who looks like I've been left in the oven for too long. Now if you excuse me I have more pressing matters than who ears are longer."

    She continued on her way, but it was obvious they were not going to let her go that easily. The group began closing around her. She had no concern, as they were people she has no trouble taking down, but it was such a hindrance.
     
    #8 Reanimator Bob, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  9. A pair of uniformed individuals pushed through the crowds of patrons, gamblers, and traveling merchantmen. Donning military dress uniforms of Alkrisia, to the trained observer, it was obvious that they lacked any form of rank identifier as they slid their way towards a makeshift arena ring. The festival was certainly a lively one, but it with a such a large gathering, it wasn’t without its own threats, especially with the presence of two nations on the verge of war with each other. Because of that, Alkrisia had one of the more sizable military forces accompanying their caravans for the event.

    Rue Selvere and her executive officer, Tiwht were the commanders of this force. The Alkrisians patrols they maintained were uneventful; aside from breaking up drunken brawls between their own citizens and other nations, citizens from Alkrisia and Complies seemed to avoid each other aside from a few isolated incidents. With such temporary peace, Rue took advantage of this to get the sights of the stalls and activities, leaving the management of the day’s patrols in the capable hands of a subordinate field officer. It was her own turn for some good rest and relaxation. Naturally, having the two highest ranked officers of the Alkrisian force out and about was a bit of a liability, so they had made steps to mitigate any potential issues. The pair stripped themselves of their rank pips, carried their weapons at their side, and had a small party of guardsmen trail behind, ready to pounce at even the slightest whiff of any trouble.

    --

    So far it worked out well. They stopped at the outer limits of the ring for a few minutes, casually observing a fight between a raven-haired girl and an older martial artist. It actually looked like a fair fight. The silver haired officer thumped a silver coin onto the chest of her subordinate. “Hey Ti. I’ll bet you a silver that the girl’s going to win.” After all, didn’t that style seem familiar? “Oh, but her opponent seems to not be using mere strength…” The younger elf’s counterargument signaled his acquiescence of the bet, and he slid his own piece of silver into Rue’s palm, completing their modest betting pool.

    The brawling man quickly enough slipped up, and Rue kept the two pieces of coin in her hand. Watching a small mob form around the fallen combatant, she angled her head towards her red-headed lieutenant. “Her fighting style was familiar, don’t you think?” Watching the small mob continue to swell, the elf pointed at two robed guards in the crowd and gestured towards the loser to take care of the devolving situation. Jingling the earned coin, she turned to move away, asking to the air “Where to now?”

    --

    The pair shortly found themselves perusing the stalls and shacks of merchants, particularly in the arms quarter of the festival’s makeshift city. Armorsmiths, swordsmiths, and all sorts of arms suppliers plied their trade from every corner of the world. For Rue, she was like a child in a candy store, and she quickly spent a far greater amount of time here than watching the marginally sanctioned brawling and gambling. If it was not to consider arming her troop with new weapons, then it was for consideration of getting herself a new toy to play with.

    Like many others, Rue was soon drawn to a flashy and flamboyant display. Clutching weapons probably over half their weight, young scantily clad girls waved and danced around weapons at one particularly large shop. It was rather crowded; they clearly knew their marketing. Standing around, she picked up an Eastern style curved sword displayed outside, looking down its curve before rapping it sideways against a metal pole that made up a makeshift awning for the store. She then foisted the weapon onto her subordinate. “What do you think? It feels like horseshit to me. Handles like it too.” Tiwht shrugged; his commanding officer had just spent the half hour making jesting comments about the quality of various weapons to him. He took the weapon and played around with it for a few moments before sheathing it and nearly throwing down onto the stall that it came from. “Gods, you’re right. The balance is all wrong.” Rue nodded to herself. Of course it was. They wouldn’t need sex appeal to sell weapons of proper quality.

    Looking across the ill partitioned street, Rue nearly laughed out loud at the sight of the neighboring stall’s grumpy proprietress. She clearly wasn’t having any of that nonsense, and she was irritated with good reason. The elf decided that she might as well take a look, and made her way across. It was very much devoid of customers, unlike a certain other stall. Only a tanned girl that shared her own hair color seemed to be manning the storefront. Rue assumed she was the owner. Besides Rue and Tiwht, the only other person in the store was a rather large fellow juxtaposed with what was apparently a stuffed rabbit, much to her amusement.

    Like Archie, she weaved about the displays, picking up weapons and subjecting them to minor trials before moving on to another. Leaving Tiwht to inspect a rack of polearms, she drew closer to some rapiers and parrying daggers, fondling several of them before choosing one and idly pointing it at the silver-haired blacksmith.

    “So, what sets apart these oversized letter openers from all the others?”

    @GlassTrinity @Jakers
     
  10. The more she listened to this 'Archie' fellow the less Freya found herself caring about the other shameful practitioners. As soon as she heard him speak Freya knew there would be no need to put up a tough front for him, and when he muffled his words around about her swords her sour face gave off a welcoming smile. "Well, a man as big an strong as you needs a weapon just as big and just as strong. I just so happen to have one..." Freya said just before stepping back and pulling out a Halberd standing just as tall as Archie himself. The weapon itself was heavy, something that clearly needed the use of both hands to carry. Despite the weight Freya had very little sway in the way she carried it, in fact it almost looked as if she could wield the halberd with one arm should chose to do so. Freya planted the bottom of the weapon on the ground and held it up with one hand for Archie to inspect.

    "What do you think? Feel free to give it a try, I'm sure you'll find the balance fine despite the flair."

    Then, the other customers who had stopped by began inspecting several types of her stock. Clearly drawing in such a large and intimidating person to her shop was the right call as he seemed to be attracting others. Either way she was beginning to get in a better mood. The girl eyeing the daggers seemed more than interested and luckily when she inquired about Freya's steel it didn't seem too rude. At least she was asking the right questions.

    "Depends on what you use it for. A hard enough thrust and it'll pierce armor fine enough, and like the rest of my steel you'll find that Verdigris fire has made them the strongest weapons at this gathering. I'd be surprised if any of my weapons came up short against what I've seen here so far."

    Freya looked over the girls shoulder, past her white hair and over at the smith across the way. Her eyes narrowed.

    "Take those Easterners for example. The problem with Empire swords is that they fold their steel, they have to because of the poor quality of their lands minerals. After folding out the impurities in the blade, damascus steel makes for a pretty and shiny blade. Unfortunately this leads to a weak structure, resulting in an easily broken blade especially when folded quickly. Call it a smith's eye, but I'm sure that the steel in that Easterner's shop is riddled with air pockets. They might be decent against other Empire weapons, but their nothing compared to our solid forgings."

    @Click This @Jakers
     
  11. He could feel their eyes upon him, judging his existence to see if it was worth even acknowledging. Some judged him solely based on his appearance and attires, while others watched how he stepped and his demeanor, but above all else, they eyed his coin purse. Merchants: they made his skin crawl at times. Perhaps it was because he had learned enough from his father to understand what was occurring and felt such revulsion. Or he could have been just prejudiced, Wolfram never really bothered to determine the source of that feeling.

    A few of the vendors called out to him; such promised him weapons that could cleave mountains, others spoke of the most refreshing drinks in the world awaiting himself, and then there was the girl clutching a sword like it was some sort of child. Apparently she had been hired as some sort of lure for a blacksmith, but he could only wonder how such a business could fare when one concerns himself over a girl who was one stumble away from falling on her sword. Judging by the glare the blacksmith got from a neighboring vendor, it appeared that he might have been wrong. Still, Wolfram found it prudent to ignore both smiths, lest he be assaulted with awkwardly sword-wielding girls or a weapon smith's glare that looked much sharper than the halberd she was trying to push on an exceptionally thick fellow.
     
  12. "U-Uhh... h-hurhur..." Archie seemed suddenly shy when he'd been called 'big and strong', and even more so when yet another woman joined him - a white elf, with hair as white as snow - at the smith's stand. With women on both sides of him, Archie's huge figure curled up a little, letting forth some metallic clanks as it did. Archie looked like he was so intruiged by the white elf's hair next to him that he was going to touch it, but he held back his hand and made it look like he was just going to take the halberd.

    Taking the halberd offered to him, Archie picked it up and twisted it around in his hands to look at it as if it weighed as much as a stick. The way he held it shown that he didn't have much experience with a weapon like this, and perhaps hadn't even wielded something like a halberd before. Lightly punching the blade, Archie seemed impressed when it didn't even dent.
    "Oh...! Archie can tell you clean it and care for it with love... no rusty..." Archie commented to himself quietly. "This like... um... like axe and spear in one. And weapon pretty, like its maker." Archie paused, before realizing what he'd said. He cowered a little, hoping she hadn't noticed, trying to play it cool by giving the thing a test swing. He swung it in an inexperienced fashion, but the sheer velocity he swung it at in his beefy arms would've sent someone flying if they got hit by it.

    In truth, Archie really wasn't interested in using weaponry. His whole body was his weapon. But like with the lady who sold bread earlier, Archie's mind could only process to buy this big halberd because he liked the look of the lady selling it.

    When the smith talked about the Easterners - which Archie could only assume were the neighboring smith's goods - Archie commented:
    "Easty ladies on stall wear not enough armour; they die in one hit. Armour has many weak spots around chest and leg area... why do that to self? Archie feel worried just by looking at them." Archie seemed confused around the whole concept of deliberately revealing armour.

    Pausing, Archie looked back to the weaponsmith, holding the halberd in one hand and his toy under his other arm.
    "U-Um, Archie buy solid forged axe-spear. How much?"
     
  13. A hooded dark elf roamed the streets, perusing through stalls as she wished. With a good amount of free time before she had to return to her duties as an agent of Complias, Elara found herself searching the makeshift city's markets for magical artifacts and tomes of lore. Of course, with this city being as makeshift as it was, very few mages were setting up shop here, and the mages that were present in the city were part of various countries' delegations, like herself.

    Still, the mundane wares being sold in the streets didn't exactly intrigue her. She had no need for blades when she could raise a servant with a blade at a moment's notice. Food had lost its luster in the past year or so, and damn near everything tasted like ashes in her mouth anyway. Likely an effect of her delving into necromancy as deeply as she had, but that was more than an acceptable trade-off. With no sources of magical knowledge accessible to her, and with shopping being unappealing to her, Elara simply started whiling away the hours by people watching.

    After a while, something of interest finally came up: a light elf thief being accosted by a group of dark elves. Raising an eyebrow, the hooded woman kept her mask off, simply choosing to watch from a closer distance. Elara leaned against the wall nearby the altercation, making no secret of her presence.

    "If you're going to do something, get on with it already." She called out from the sidelines, wanting to egg the group on. "There's six of you and one of her." To be honest, Elara didn't care who came out on top if these people fought. If her countryman won, that was one more light elf being taught a lesson. And if the light elf won, well, that gave her an excuse. Their nations were already refusing to meet at the bargaining table and altercations were already starting between the delegations. One more wouldn't hurt.
     
  14. The call of the hooded elf caused snickers and laughs to ring out from the group.

    "Hear that, you Pale-Fleshed bitch. We got the crowds approval. Sounds to me like we Dark Elves are the people's choice."

    People's choice? That only made Nyxia laugh to herself. It reminded her of the days in that pit. She was often a crowd favorite, but she knew when they liked her opponent more. They were the must dangerous, maybe not because if their skill, but because should she be defeated, she was far more likely to lose her life. All this meant was that she had to win. Not that there was any other out come

    "Well then, better show the people they picked poorly."

    Shame it was so sunny today. Not a cloud on the sky. Oh well, perhaps it was better that way. It wouldn't look well on her should she kill all six of them. The group was ready to attack, their ring leader initiating the first swing. Their shadows were being cast upon the white cloth of the stall beside them. A prefect set up. Nyxia kept her hand to her side, her ring softly glowing a dark shade of purple. She had not budged in the short few moments that the Dark Elf had advanced upon her. But without even touching her assailant, the Dark Elf found himself flipped over head, and landing flat on his back, gasping for breath. To those with moderately keen eye, and were viewing from decent angle, the trick was impressive, but not undetectable.

    Her shadow had moved on its own. It had preformed a counter attack the Dark Elf could not have seen coming, flipping him hard into the ground. The others all stood in awe for a moment, before their hatred shook them free from its grasps. They all charged in. Only a split second to react, she extended her forearm, as an ethereal bow formed. She drew back the "bow string" as a dark, not formed loaded in the bow. She let it fly... straight into the ground

    A black, misty haze developed upon impact with the ground. It was thick enough to skew the view of most people, but one thing was indeed noticeable. The Light Elf was moving so swiftly within the field, it seemed unnatural. And as soon as the haze has appeared, it slowly dissipated. The group began running in terror, crying

    Monster!... She's every where!... No where to hide!...

    And Nyxia was left, standing in the same position she has started the fight. That was an absolute waste of time. Not to mention it called on far more attention than she'd like.
     
    #14 Reanimator Bob, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  15. OHMA OHMADON
    LOCATION: Festival | COMPANY: Wolfram, Archie, Freya, and Rue | MOOD: "I'm a beautiful genius. Shit. Well, at least I'm beautiful."

    Ohma tapped his foot impatiently. It was a quick flutter of sound against the hard packed earth. He harrumphed and crossed his arms over his chest. He’d never been a patient person. This was the third information broker that he’d contacted. The two before him failed to show, and this one wasn’t looking promising either. It made no sense. Did people hate getting paid? Were they allergic to good coin? He’d come to this blasted festival out of a promise that there was information about his mother. Now he was trapped in this cesspool of tallfolk with nothing to show for it. He looked around at all the fighting, the haggling, the swearing, and a bit of disgraceful street magic. This was the nature of things. Tallfolk loved to roll around in the dirt and call themselves clean.

    A thought nagged in his mind like a gnat flying around his periphery for attention. There had to be a reason none of the information brokers showed. While Ohma consoled himself with the thought that maybe they were enjoying themselves too much, that didn't seem entirely right. He needed to keep his guard up. What if Siegfried was here? Ugh. Ohma didn't have the time or the patience to deal with that man. Not today and especially not while--

    Something hard slammed into Ohma. He staggered forward, having lost his footing. He turned to see a very large, very drunk tallfolk careening around the narrow walkway like a boat taken by the tide. The man leered at him, settling his bloodshot eye directly on Ohma's form. "Aye, look where you're going weasel face. Blasted tiny, little dog people. I should just kick 'em in the face. Next time. Yeh. Next time." The drunk man chuckled, not even making eye contact with Ohma.
    Weasel face? Weasel face! "Look here, you're the one that--uh--and you're walking away. Well, that's just rude."
    The drunk tallfolk continued their meandering course forward, not at all waiting for Ohma to release his ever snarky rebuttal. Yet, Ohma was not the sort of person that enjoyed being slighted. He had a problem with preserving the sanctity of his name. Even if preserving it meant dragging it through the mud in the name of "comeuppance." It all made sense in his mind, and that's all that mattered. Ohma had a plan.

    The tallfolk turned onto a crowded street that was filled to the brim with merchants and gawkers in equal number. Ohma followed him until he located a nice barrel to hide behind. He squatted behind it and concentrated, using his hands instead of his mouth conjure the spell. A perfect illusion of Ohma sauntered up and stood in front of the drunk tallfolk.
    The man hesitated and stared at the magical projection. Ohma froze. He'd hoped the man was pickled enough not to tell it was magic. "Didn't I tell you I was going to kick ya the next time I saw you?"
    "Hm. Did you? I can't say I remember that. Then again, you don't look like the sort that can commit things to perfect memory." Ohma's illusion leaned in. "I'm saying you're dumb."
    "You son of a--" The tallfolk punched at the illusion, his hand sliding through it. He hesitated.
    Ohma peeled from his hiding place and swiftly approached the man. He unlooped the tallfolk's coin sack and backed away as quietly as he came.
    The illusion faded and the man stood there awkwardly. A few eyes landed on him, but most just ignored him.

    Ohma returned to his place behind the barrell, which he was immedaitely informed that it smelled like fish. Oh. There was fish in it. Well, that was not something that needed to be sitting in the middle of the street on a hot day. Ugh. Tallfolk. So, maybe he took a few steps to the side of the barrel. He unlooped the coin sack and dumped the contents into his hand. Ohma was more than surprised when not a single coin landed in his palm.
    Instead, there were two brownish-white marbles, a thick rolled piece of what seemed like waxed parchment, and something that could either be a scale from some fantastical beast or a fingernail. Ohma frowned and slid the contents back into the pouch. The tallfolk was either more dumb than he looked intially or far more clever. Ohma didn't care. His plan had backfried and he was back where he had started--bored and surrounded by tallfolk.

    He tossed the coin sack into the barrel full of stinky fish and wandered through the choked artery of stalls and people. It was awkward getting around with all these tallfolk. Ohma's entire world was more-or-less at viewing range with most races' backsides. Then he would get his tail stepped on or his ears touched. He was not some fluffy animal to be caressed, he was a person. A handsome person. A handsome person that in no way had a weasel face. Many a woman, and a few men, had thought so. Ohma was attractive, dammit.

    His ears came to a point when an odd, tinny voice caught his attention. He turned to see a very large tallfolk, wrapped in armor, inspecting wares at a weapon's dealer. His voice grated on Ohma's sensitive hearing. Currently the hulking collection of metal was talking to a flagrantly dressed woman that Ohma would not turn away from his door. A pointy-eared tallfolk was also in the stall. Yes. Ohma knew they were called elves, but he didn't care.

    Ohma turned to a figure that had taken to staring at the weapons stall. For a moment his blood went ice-cold. Siegfried! No. Ohma stared harder. This man was perhaps a little younger than Siegfried and debonairly dressed. He looked to be in a sour mood which contrasted with the revelary around them. "That's not how one enjoys a festival," Ohma said. "Though, to be fair, you tallfolk have extremely odd customs. Why celebrate one day and not all of them? The other days might get jealous. They're like kids, you shouldn't pick a favorite. Yet, here you are, picking favorites."

    He went ot say something else, possibly a little too talkative for a complete stranger, but he was interrupted.
    "You!" a familiar voice rang out. Ohma turned to see the drunk tallfolk from before.
    Well, horse shit.
    "You stole my coin purse. Yah need to return it. It had my grandma's eyeballs in it."
    Oh, no. Oh. Oh, no. Ew. Why? No. Ohma didn't even want to think what the other things were. Ah. The rolled piece of parchment probably had been skin. No. Why? No. He gagged a little.
    The man approached him quickly, furiously, and a lot less drunk than he'd seem before.
    Ohma had to think fast. "He made me do it," he said, pointing to the sour looking human. "He said if I didn't, he'd take my ears and string them on a necklace. The man really likes his bodyparts." Ohma smiled hard.
     
  16. To be honest, Wolfram was more annoyed by the fact he let his face betray his displeasure in the festival than by the sudden appearance of the smallfolk addressing him. Even if he hadn't seen the little one, it didn't take much to peg Ohma as one with the other's usage of the term "tallfolk" and that sickening saccharine sense of optimism that seemed to saturate that race. Eventually, he turned and addressed Ohma. "Such festivities are a farce to distract the many from the decisions made by a few." Such a fact was well-known, but it was cathartic, none the less. "Tell me: would you eat an apple, even if you knew that only rot and worms lie beneath? I should hope not! To me, this is nothing more than such an apple and thus, I cannot pretend to enjoy it." Usually, Wolfram did not let loose so much to such a stranger, but if the small folk wanted to talk, then by damnation, he would get such a talking!

    Unfortunately, the continuation of his conversation would cease by the staggering approach of a drunkard who spewed forth accusations towards Ohma. The smallfolk faced the charges of misdeeds such as theft of coin and...desecration of the dead? The former was one Wolfram was well acquainted with from his youth, having stolen quite an amount day in those days for the sake of survival. The other brought forth a look that conveyed his confusion and disgust towards Ohma. "Pray tell, do you usually celebrate everyday with grave robbery?" His puzzlement would be left unsated as the small scoundrel proceeded to sully his good name and nature with slander, depicting him as some sort of demented ring leader.

    One's first thought in such a situation would be to declare one's innocence, but having used such tactics in his youth to deflect the rage of a victim upon another, Wolfram knew that it would only be a waste of his time. With a soft sigh, the mercenary relaxed his body and posture in preparation for whatever may come. "This will be my one and only warning, sir." He advised the drunkard, "Go with the wisdom of your gut, not from the whimsy of spirits you may have indulged in. You know very well who took your possessions and you know what you must do to get them back. Make the right decision."
     
  17. “Hmm.”

    Verdigris was indeed well known enough for the quality of the steel in the weapons they produced. As a rule of thumb, however, Rue knew that they tended to favor sheer strength over speed and finesse; the broadswords, halberds, and heavy lances that they produced were a testament of the knightly origins of their nation. Looking at the polearm that had been presented to the other customer in the store, it was very likely that the blacksmith here followed a similar philosophy. “Oh? It’s quite similar in weight.” Balancing the straight edged weapon she’d picked up, she raised her arm up and down as if contemplating the value of the blade. Judging by the weight, the parrying dagger weighed about the same as her Alkrisian forged sabre, so it was a sizeable tradeoff if she were to carry it. She nodded lightly at Freya’s comment on the thrusting power of the dagger; being equal in weight to her main arm and sturdier, it had much more of a piercing power even over her narrow bodied, pointed sword.

    It was different than what she was used to, but Rue wasn’t narrow-minded to see its potential usefulness in a future scenario. It certainly meshed far better with her style of swordplay over the Eastern style designs. Would carrying a dagger be worth it when she could just use her metallic liquid to crush an enemy? Well, maybe she’d try it if the price was reasonable. Verdigris weapon imports in Alkrisia were rare.

    “Okay. I’ll bite as well. Let’s see how well you represent your nation,” she nodded in acknowledgement of the larger, peculiarly adorned man. “What’s your price?”

    @GlassTrinity @Jakers
     
  18. @Jakers @GlassTrinity @Click This

    "I beg to differ," said a suave, feminine voice just beside Archie. The woman arrived stealth-like, too quiet to be taken notice by the larger Mecrundyr metal man. She was dressed in a similarly provocative attire to the Eastern girls across the street from Freya's stall, but that came as no surprise; she was clearly an Easterner herself. Still, she appeared far more mature. She owned the getup she wore, and she rocked it.

    "Might be worse material, but when you truly apply the technique we've developed it performs well," she said after a puff of her kiseru. Her eyes were focused on the merchandise, swaying to and fro across each weapon with an utterly neutral expression on her face. She eventually stuck the pipe between her lips and picked up a longsword with two hands, examining it tenderly.

    "Can only imagine what sort of katanas you could make with this kind of steel," she said, slightly muffled from her occupied lips. "Don't suppose you sell any of your metal? Countries aren't too keen on trading weapons material just yet, so I gotta pick the stuff out from smaller traders." She put the sword down and retrieved her pipe, letting out a long sigh filled with smoke. She turned up to Archie with a yet still neutral gaze.

    "Phantom Knights are defecting now, huh?" she jested, giving a quick knock on Archie's armor with her fingers.

    @Psyker Landshark @Reanimator Bob

    The spectacle's onlookers quickly returned to their business when it had ended; just another scuffle between elves, even if it did involve some peculiar magic. They were lucky guards weren't anywhere to be seen. The fights that had broken out during the festival had only been fisticuff exchanges, and sometimes a stabbing; overt arcane slinging of that scale was far less tolerated. Still, it seemed the crowd wasn't going to make a fuss about it. No one was killed in the end.

    "It's like watching a small child step on ants, thinking themselves mighty," said someone from the crowd, directly to Nyxia. At a mere four feet tall, the diminutive woman, or rather... child was easily missed within the crowd that still walked around the former miniature battlefield. She looked up and towards Nyxia from the sidelines, a smug expression on her face. The child was as pale as a daylight moon and wore similarly colored clothing; witches clothing. The staff in her hand was pointed and yet gnarled, like a branch had been only partially straightened.

    She approached Nyxia fearlessly, right up to her toes. She had to look straight up to see Nyxia's eyes, as her wide-brimmed hat obscured practically everything that wasn't three feet in front of her.

    "That was interesting magic, though. Where did you get it?" she asks.

    Meanwhile, Elara found a hand resting upon her shoulder from out of view. A dark elven man, one she was familiar with, stood at her back with a stern gaze. His eyes were cold, though knowing him, she knew it was anything but worrying; the man never smiled. Neron was a Compliesian captain, donned in black and red officers attire. His hand was held rested upon the pommel of his sword; ever the dutiful one.

    "You didn't help them?" Neron asked. "Though I suppose, there are few dead here, as it should be." Even joking, he failed to ever change his frigid expression.

    @CasketCase @Tyrannosaurus Rekt

    The drunkard was on the verge of a decision, albeit a slow one. In his teetering posture and half-open gaze, he seemed to be contemplating something, however sluggishly. Another swig of his drink and he seemed ready, opening his mouth with a likely horrid breath escaping it.

    "What're ye foolin me midget? Man's Ollasian p-pure as day. Don't know nothin' bout any churches but I know fer sure they don't take midget ears. Gimme my pouch back 'n I won't bury ye in the mud," he muttered. Fortunately for the both of them, a pair of guards arrived on the scene to dissolve the quarrel. They stood at the drunkard's side, indicating that it was time to stop.

    "You've had your fun sir. No need to disrupt festivities here," one said. The drunk man ripped his shoulder from the guard's hand and practically spat, pointing towards Ohma.

    "Brat stole my belongins'. He's a damn thief!" The two guards gave a look to the smallfolk and, as if coming to a mutual silent agreement, seemed suddenly more inclined to help the drunk rather than take him away.

    "That true?" one of them asked of Ohma, "And who are you?" they said next to Wolfram, apparently suspicious of his being there as well. Perhaps it wasn't so fortunate they arrived.

    @ERode

    The smell was unquestionable. Perhaps if it weren't for the fact that food both heavenly and hellish filled the festival grounds with a myriad of scents, Vaneil might have been able to pick out the particular smell far earlier, and at a greater distance.

    The smell of a fellow werefolk.

    Werefolk's kind were not welcome in the festival, but it likely wasn't much of a surprise she could sense one in the area. After all, only they had the senses to smell one another. Otherwise their status was invisible to the public. Despite being made up of several tribes. the werefolk of Mecrundyr had quickly forged an alliance after Baelwill's retreat. Where once survival as mere wild animals was their focus in life, they now had the opportunity to seize power, but not on their own.

    When the council of tribes refused to participate peacefully in the political talks of the festival, their whole kind was barred from entry. No surprise given how much ill-will they had for them even after offering a seat in the discussions. It seemed as if, even if they hadn't refused, things would have still gone poorly.

    The smell was easily traced among the tents and people, like an invisible path that coursed through streets. The decision was up to her; there were still unknowns about the unseen werefolk, though Vaneil could reasonably make predictions. If they were walking about the festival grounds without causing a stir, then they probably weren't of the "wildman" sort that wore fur pelts and fought on all fours even in human form. Then again she couldn't be sure it was in her best interest to even seek them out, or for that matter, allow herself to be found by them as well. Did they smell her too? For the time being, they were nowhere to be seen, though the trail remained before Vaneil, clear as the sun above.
     
  19. When Archie swung the halberd she had poured much dedication into forging her lips parted and Freya was a little shocked. "I've changed my mind." She said bluntly to the armored giant, a tone of irritation in her voice. Freya quickly snatched the halberd out from Archie's hands. "Your going to hurt yourself, swinging around like that. My weapons aren't for untrained warriors..."

    Even though she really wanted to be rid of the old halberd she knew deep down that someone such as Archie couldn't use it, not to its full potential. Freya's eyes then rolled over to the girl who had then inquired about her price. After seeing Archie's blunder Freya clenched the poll of the halberd and eyed the blade in the elven girls hand. A weapon like that could suit just about anyone and she seemed to hold it well enough. Freya saw no reason to deny her, but just before Freya could give her an answer they were interrupted by the arrival of a girl from the Eastern Empire. The woman, as sultry as she was, gave off an air of superiority that Freya didn't much like as she commanded the conversation now. Freya let her finish her talk of steel and technique before holding out her hand towards her first customer.

    "50 gold coins." Freya said aloud to the elf, not taking her eyes away from the Easterner.

    "Even with the right ores it wouldn't do you much good." Freya said, crossing her arms across her chest after setting aside the halberd. This easterner may have an appreciation of swords and materials, but she was no metal worker as far as Freya was concerned. "I've tested the Eastern forging techniques used to make your 'katanas' and while a katana made from prime materials would have the advantage against other katanas of your nation, it would still be inferior to the western swords you see before you. Technique, as far as a smith like me is concerned, is irrelevant in a comparison of swords."

    @Jakers @Asuras @Click This
     
  20. As Vaneil walked through the streets, enjoying the sights and the smells, her ears picked up the disturbances that were left in her wake. Sounded like gambling was a vice after all, with how angry the crowd got from her victory. Also sounded like racism between light elves and dark elves was alive and well. There really was quite a lot of conflict that was popping up behind her, but the raven-haired youth gave it no attention. After all, the conflicts of citizens from other nations were of no concern to herself, and she was off-duty anyways.

    Of course, the screams that came out of the dark elves sorta ruined her mood, but it was nothing to bat an eye about it. After a year or so on the field, blood-curdling screams were no longer blood-curdling.

    Right now, Vaneil was going to gorge on exotic food and maybe drop kick Knight Aewill if she sees him again. With a coin purse bulging with coppers and silvers, as well as an appetite that had worked itself up during the bout with Welkins, she followed her nose to the festival of food. An aroma of spices, meats, and cheeses grew stronger and stronger as she walked through the heavily populated dirt roads. The sun was pleasantly warm, and the breeze brought with it more scents. There were fruits that she did not recognize, teas that had flowers blooming in them, and a variety of other wonderful delicacies, as well as some odder scents as well.

    Stopping by a small stall run by a rosy-cheeked smallfolk, Vaneil’s eyes glittered with fascination at the delicate gelatin meat cakes that were kept cold with a small degree of ice magic. In the Mercundyrian heat, they looked positively delicious, and the sliced fruit cakes that were placed beside them would act as a sweet finisher as well. She untied her purse, and was about to inquire the price, when an all-too-nostalgic smell wafted into her nose.

    The smell of a fellow werefolk.

    She had heard, of course, about how the werefolk of Mercundyr were denied entrance into the festival, and now, they were sneaking in, huh? Vaneil couldn’t fault her kind for wanting to at least take a look at the festival, because, in a way, she was doing the same thing. However, unlike the reclusive, secretive werefolk of Verdigris, the werefolk of Mercundyr were barbarians, honorless mutts incapable of reigning in their desire for violence. It could, of course, be one of her kin, but at the same time…how likely was that?

    Verdigris, after all, had only sent their council members and guards, none of which were werefolk like herself. She closed her eyes, smiled at the smallfolk, and brought out four coppers, exchanging it for a gelatin meat cake. Gingerly holding onto the cold meal, she savoured its juicy, umami flavor, taking in large bites, before licking her fingers with relish.

    Out of respect for the common heritage they shared, Vaneil decided to turn a blind eye to this. Turning on her heel, she headed away from the scent trail that promised fellowship with her own kind, instead heading to check out the weapon sales that were occurring farther off.

    If those werefolk were simply there to enjoy the festivities like others, the Verdigrisian knight will let them be.

    If they were there to cause trouble though...well, the blacksmiths shouldn’t object to a knight borrowing their weapons in order to settle a put down some uncivilized beasts, after all.

    Shame she left Starfall back in the caravan, but, well, that’s life.
     
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