Pegulis, Chapter 3

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  1. CHAPTER 3
    Eimund's Wrath

    A little murder goes a long way.


    When a fisherman turned up dead among the rocks of Marvus Cove, it caused a shaking of the chess board. The local landlord, Senator Marvitus, had always feared the Lost Ocean - that misty, silent sea northward of Sunne. It was an undiscovered abyss that laid heavy on his nightmares, as it did on any man who stared too long beyond the borders of the known. While saner fellows of Tavark had learned from birth not to linger by the ocean's grasp, the Senator had made it obsession in his twilight years. And the sea had worked its spell.

    Marvitus took the murder as an omen, and ordered his militia to watch that stretch of coastline.

    This move caused counter-move from the hunters of Tavark. Their foraging routes were blocked, and those wise enough not to dare the crossbow-happy militia took detours to the west grounds. In days the patterns of predation shifted, and this in turn caused bolder moves from the ice trolls and sabre-bears who found their territories unharassed.

    And in this the final move was triggered. Tavark's standing army - the finest sons of the trapper houses - were repositioned to the south, to ward against the restless predators. And when the Ghoul Sage's storm touched down, these men were caught in rescue operations through the hamlets and camps beyond.

    The play was perfect.

    A little murder goes a long way.


    Shadows broke the shoreline at first light. A single ship, though one was too many. One should not have come from that haunted ocean. No ship that ever sailed, from smallest fishing boat to largest galley, had ever lasted in that sea. The Lost Ocean was death. Every child of Tavark knew this. And yet here was a ship, peeling in silence from the morning fog.

    It made the shore and was a moment like a phantom - a mirage coughed up by the deviling sea. Then splashes proved it physical, as armoured men leapt down and waded through the rocks. Like an ant hill they spread, warrior and wizard spilling from the decks. For a moment they seemed to relish their freedom. So long crammed together in the bowels of their vessel, this newfound space was euphoria. But then the instinct of their fellowship... the edge of their training... and the eye of their masters, brought them back to heel.

    In double file they moved, a black line of blade and armour snaking up the shore and between the trees. The forest took them in like a cancer, and in moments the ship was left. A relic, swaying in the tides.

    * * * * * *​

    The invaders moved as fast as words. Captain Thrake of the Tavark Watch caught the stumbling form of a milk maid, and heard her panicked talk of strangers at the gates, and no sooner had her news been given than he saw the shadows soaking through the alleyways.

    "Get inside," he told the woman, and let her go as his small squad of watchmen grouped around him. They were a handful and they were tired. While their comrades dealt with storm relief in the south, this little squad had been left in the city to watch the captive dragon and to hunt the murderer M'Vae. And though both tasks were done their bones were tired and ready for sleep.

    "Keep your weapons sheathed. These aren't trolls." The captain knew that much from the motion of the figures filing through the north gate. He led his squad towards them, down the main street that slumbered in the chill of morning. Their pace was the same as the strangers, slow and methodical. He saw men in armour, dragging sleds and leashing pack dogs. Their equipment was familiar.

    Had the main army circled back to the north?

    As alleys and town squares were occupied the Captain still could not fathom it. He paused in the street and let the strangers come forward. Some of the gate guard were among them, shaking hands and slapping shoulders. There was celebration, but it was muted, soaked in a sheen of menace. One silhouette had seen him and made directly to meet his squad. And as the ice wind blew between them, the captain made recognition. His gasp was one both joyful and horrified.



    "Never seen a dead man before, Thrake?"

    The voice was ocean deep, black and ancient. The captain felt his men retreat. He could only stare at the face before him.

    "Your ship was lost!... we searched..."

    Behind Lord Eimund, a second figure stood, a hooded cloak that trailed like seaweed. "Yet it was God who found him."

    Eimund's beard cracked with frost as he smiled to Thrake. "Give us the city."

    The captain's eyes went wide. He shook his head, one hand on his sword hilt, and breath misted as he implored his old friend. "Don't do this, Ei--"

    Then the world turned strange. The houses and the pine trees tilted. The street swung upside down, and the sky went dark.

    The captain's head had been removed from his shoulders.

    Tavark would be taken within the hour.


    #1 Asmodeus, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  2. Barvelle, GoldenRod Stretching he arose from his bed and put on clothes, another day has begun. Surely it would be a nice one, he was going to Aldus after all. A very nice city as Bagroh finds, it's mysterious walls heavily populated with great minds, many a person tired of the usual diet.

    Stepping outside of the door, he noticed that it already was late morning.
    "Eh, Bagroh! Good morning!", Laod shouted from over the street
    "Ah! Good morning, friend. Slept well?", Bagroh asked in return.
    "Damn well I have! Got some chocolate?"
    "Is my name Bagroh? Come here!", he laughed and went over to his chocolate wagon to pull the full-cream chocolate out. Laod's default order. In the meantime Laod has passed the road and pulled a few coins out.
    "Er, here.. it is all I got... my girlfriend insisted on new shoes..", he muttered.
    "Haha - women, eh? Here, friend-discount! And take this one, too -", he pulled out some dark chocolate, which was Laod's girlfriend's favorite chocolate, "for your girlfriend. I go to Aldus, when I come back you owe me beer!", Bagroh laughed.
    "O.. Of course! Thank you man!, Laod walked off smiling.

    Just like Laod, Bagroh was smiling and put the money away. Yesterday's shipment was already loaded into the wagon, he did that before going to sleep. So he began pulling his wagon to a stable and rented a horse. Coins were switching pockets while Bagroh and the equerry were talking, beeing good friends he even gave him a small discount and only his best horses. After that and a lot of chatting, provisions were bought by the market and Bagroh was finally ready for the journey ahead, so he set out on the road to Pegulis...
    #2 Wolk, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  3. ETHELWEN-BARVELLE, royalblue Ethelwen was leaning just a hair too close to the paper spread out before him, his whiskers quivering slightly as he carefully traced in the last line of Pegulis' symbol in the upper left corner of the bulletin. He had painstakingly drawn the symbol from memory, determined that every line be perfect, to match the perfectly straight lines of the lettering that covered the rest of the page.

    He had not guessed that the Archon's task of drafting a bulletin for the Barvelle military would become such a challenge, but perhaps it was his desperate desire to impress Eirene that drove him to such lengths. It was entirely possible that the Archon would never see his work, but word of its success or failure would certainly reach her ears. As Ethelwen's entire sense of self-worth currently rode on the impressions of others, his obsession with Eirene's beliefs was hardly a passing fancy.

    Around his neck, his currently scarf-like Aux tightened briefly, the pressure far more like a stranglehold than a hug. Ethelwen took a deep breath, carefully checked that the last of the ink on the bulletin was dry, before proffering the parchment to the young man seated across from him.

    When Ethelwen had reached the offices of his friend and mentor Feneri, he had fully expected the Calm Sage to politely depart, leaving Ethelwen to draft up the bulletin and make the copies that would be scattered all over the city of Barvelle. To his surprise and pleasure, Arktus had chosen to remain with him, even though almost all of Ethelwen's attention would be occupied by the drafting. Perhaps the Sage had been more serious than Ethelwen had guessed about studying his advent, and replicating the results through a spell.

    He offered the bulletin with some wariness, remembering the Sage's rather strong words about the failures of a standing army, but he was also certain that any comments that Arktus offered, caustic or not, would be of value to him.
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  4. The sky was barely blue with the first light of morning when Milah had awakened, Ssirm had been making a nervous ruckus in his stall. His bucking and incessant braying igniting such a restlessness in the other horses that Milah had no choice but to rise with dawn's icy dew. The hearth had long gone cold as Milah groaned and shoved back the bear furs that kept her warm throughout the night. "Ssirm I swear to the Old Gods I will skin you for this." Milah growled under her breath as her feet touched the freezing stone floor. Biting her lip she called out, "Nola... Nola you damned girl!" The energetic girl that made for her apprentice was always late to Milah's beck and call, if she hadn't been such an extraordinarily good study and groomer Milah would have fed her to the greedy old Bawds in town. Milah wasn't exactly even tempered, she left that to her Aux.

    "Yes Mistress!" The blonde young thing dashed into Milah's chambers with all the energy of a startled foul. Massaging her temples, Milah pointed with her spare hand to the white fur boots. A two year old gift from Midah, Milah's dead twin brother. The boots were well made and stood up well to the weather and time. "Help me dress, I find myself a bit out of sorts." Nola nodded and fetched the aforementioned boots along with the favored tanned leggings and thick white leather coat that Milah had sent for a fortnight ago. It still needed breaking in. In the distance the stable was still awake with panicked whinnies, frowning as Nola yanked unceremoniously at the leather stays Milah swatted her away and threw open one of the shutters to her stone window. Looking out at the massive stone stable, Milah called out to the sleeping stable boy still besotted with ale from the night before. Grumbling incoherantly, Milah grabbed at a leather shoe with a thick steel heel and pitched it down at the bale beneath her window.

    "You imbecile!" Her pitch paired with the shoe caused the boy such a start Nola was surprised the poor boy hadn't soiled himself as he jumped to his feet. He stood there blinking stupidly causing Milah such a rage that she would have jumped out the window and flew upon him if Nola wouldn't have called out to him in a more even tone. "The Horses Devrin! The Horses!" Devrin turned a full circle when he finally caught notice of the din coming from the stables, finally before Milah could toss some other offensive object at his head he started off quickly to see what the matter was. Slamming the cold from her room, Milah grabbed her bow and slung it across her shoulder, Nola had finally caught on to the sense of urgency as she strapped Milah's dagger to the woman's thigh. "Mistress... if I may?" In Nola's hands were hairdressings. The chestnut colored mane on Milah's head was notorious for being unruly and quite a hassle to keep up. Sighing she nodded her head briskly as Nola simpered, the horsehair brush catching every snag on Milah's head.

    Milah and Nola stepped out onto the dark green grass, crisp with freezing dew. The din from the stable now a cacophony of terrified brays, the noise caused Nola to shy behind Milah who felt the terror as a tangible thing. "Nola, get me a quiver." Nola nodded before asking, "The silver?" Milah started for the stable without answering, the roar of a sabre-bear causing Milah to quicken her pace. Moments later, Milah pushed past the heavy wooden door to the warm musky stable. Horses were bucking against the doors of their stalls, and the metallic smell of blood hit Milah full force. Her nose wrinkling she prepared herself for the sight of an adolescent Sabre-bear, still the size of a full grown man, ripping into her stable boy's flesh. Heart pounding she stood completely still, her fingers twitching over her bow. The beast hadn't noticed her yet.

    "Mistress I couldn't..." Nola's daft peppy voice pierced over the din like shattering glass, Milah's breath left her in a slow hiss. The next few moments played almost in slow motion as the beat's ear's twitched in time with its haunches as its brilliant crimson eyes locked onto Milah and her apprentice. Slowly holding out a hand, Milah spoke in a low rumble as the beast in turn slolwy raised its blood dripping maw. "Give me the quiver Nola. Then I need you to slowly unlock Fenrir's stall, climb onto his back, and ride to town and get me a ranger." Counting heartbeats as the beast sniffed the air, Milah felt the leather strap of the quiver slide into her palm. "... GO!" Milah pinched the stiff feather of an arrow and slid it into her bow. Nola whimpered as she dove for the pale horse's stall, the beast reared and roared as Milah expertly let an arrow fly right into its shoulder. The thing was much bigger than anything Milah herself had killed, this was obvious as the arrow only annoyed it. As she let another arrow fly she realized he wasn't alone. Another albeit bigger beast prowled from one of her stalls, its maw covered in crimson and between its teeth was the neck of the tawny Bri. The shock of seeing one of her horses torn to pieces was unsettling, tears burned in her eyes causing her to falter in her stance. It had been years since predators had last attacked the stables. Then her father and brother had easily taken care of the troll that took three of their horses down. Back then there had been over-hunting in several territories that caused many beasts to migrate to safer less harassed areas. Being on the very edge of town nearest to the southern woods had been a problem only a handful of times.

    Milah had been caught with her defense down, and it was such a wonder that the woman wasn't a morning person.
    #4 Wanderfool, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  5. M'VAE DON - TAVARK, blue
    acing back and forth across the damp and dimly lit cell, M'Vae felt his stomach rumble as he let out a low growl. Three days had passed since he had been placed behind bars and given his previous run ins with the Pegulian law enforcement, he had assumed he would have been sentenced already for his crimes. Perhaps they intended to punish him through starvation, aside from the unfortunate rat which wandered into his cell, M'Vae had barely eaten. The cell however was more affording in terms of moisture, had he been in Barvelle the cell would have likely been occupied by sheets of ice instead of stale puddles. Continuing to pace, M'Vae's tail swished behind, having been freed of the trousers within which he kept it hid to divert further attention from himself. His face alone was shocking enough to most people, but the grey toned striped tail only further informed those around him an Anima was among them and for some people that was enough to force them to panic. Suddenly M'Vae stopped and rushed the bars of his cell, they shook under the force of the strong beast but held still none the less. Before rescuing Rose, and restarting his life as a hermit and a woodsman, M'Vae had made his living as an Enforcer. Essentially he was acted as an assassin, a thug and a 'recruiter' for one of the Pegulis' most notable traffickers. Naturally that only lasted until he betrayed his employer by not handing over Rose. None the less, M'Vae had learned many notable skills while working for the Draken, skills that were less than useful when one lived alone in the woods. Though learning how to skin a person did actually turn out to be rather valuable in the fur trade. Shaking his head, M'Vae's thoughts were brough back to Rose and her fate as he couldn't help but wonder if Alasdair knew his parents had intended the same fate for her as Alasdair himself had eventually cursed Rose with.

    Gripping the bars between his paws, M'Vae roared loudly, the rage in his chest at the thought of Rose being used and abused as a cheap toy fueled his roar as it emerged from his throat like the mighty dragons' breath of fire. Half expecting the guards to come running at the disturbance in the dungeon, M'Vae looked towards the door only for nothing to happen. There were no creaks as the swelled door struggle to be freed from the stone frame, no clattering of plate mail as the guards made their way down the cold steps. The few other prisoners were quiet, all the fight having been drained from their system but M'Vae wasn't determined not to die yet. Despite Alasdair and his cohorts leaving M'Vae for dead on the night they ambushed their home, taking Rose and leaving M'Vae for dead. M'Vae had promised himself if Rose was alive he would find her, and now he knew where she was and there was no way he was going to die in a prison in Tavark.

    M'Vae yellow eyes were suddenly drawn to a single shaft of light as the old wooden door was drawn open. Men in black armor descended the stairs, as the one with the most decorated armor surveyed the prison and its occupants.
    "Pitiful, malnourished, these may as well be men on death row. Barely strong enough to lift themselves to their feet let alone wield a weapon." His eyes strayed to the grey beast leaning against the iron bars, the large Anima stood almost a foot above the tallest man in his squad as the Captain looked him up and down."And who do you serve Cat? Surely not Tavark and its people if they locked you away in here." M'Vae let out a low growl, some of the squad members winced as their hands went to their weapons though the man in front of M'Vae remained unflinching.

    "I'm personally more interested to know who you serve." M'Vae too was not about to flinch before this man as he let out his own response in another low growl.

    "I serve the man who's willing to set you free if you'll join our cause and take this city as our own. Tavark will belong to Lord Eimund Rath with or without your assistance, however it's in your interest to take my deal otherwise you may rot here. I know for a fact your keepers won't be checking on you anytime soon."

    "I'll need weapons and armor." M'Vae growled back as he released the bars between his paws and stepped back. "Otherwise I will join your ranks."

    "Excellent," The Squad Captain nodded his head towards two others. "Restrain him, I don't trust the Cat." Turning back to M'Vae as he slid the key into the lock while the two soldiers drew their weapons and held up the restraints, the Captain smiled. "You'll get your weapons and armor as soon as we ensure this isn't a rouse to simply free yourself for some drawl mission of revenge or whatever it is your kind does. Lord Rath will ensure you'll loyal to him and then and only then will you be outfitted."

    M'Vae could only nod his head in agreement as his throat held back another growl while he was once again taken into restraints before being led out of the prison and towards the Captain's commander.​

  6. Outside Tavark

    Darin trudged down the path, his shield strapped to his back and his sword to his side. He had been walking for two days since he had chosen to aid the caravan. It took a day for the captain to make it to Barvelle and other healers to arrive. Then, and only then, was the busied paladin willing to part to return to his quest of rev-justice.

    Telra had been his light since he had chosen to walk through the night and now that the night was giving way to its opposite, Telra dimmed. The morning light reflected off his plated shoulders casting small speckles of light on the trees as he past them. It had been a very long time since he had last visited Tavark, though this time it would be for a very different reason.

    His memory tested him as he recalled his previous visit to the city. Selphia had accompanied him, wishing only to ensure her over eager husband didn't heal himself into a coma. A family with a very ill child had sent for a member of the order and Darin had been the one to answer the call. He smiled as he recalled the look of relief on everyone's face when he had saved the child from his illness. Selphia had poured heaps of praise on him throughout the day and gave him a grand reward in the privacy of their own quarters.

    "Darin," Telra's soft words shook him from his thoughts. Only then did he realize he had been holding to Selphia's necklace and rubbing the locket with his gauntleted thumb, "Darin," Telra spoke again, her voice urgent and almost a whisper. His eyes shifted to her in annoyance from being shaken from such a precious memory buyer dull glow chased it away.

    Darin recalled the last time Telra had dulled. It was but three days ago when the he had encountered the caravan on the road to Tavark. She had perceived a threat and dulled to give him the element of surprise. Now she was the same luster. His right hand pulled his shield from his back and slid it over his left. It was a heater shield, red with the golden hammer of Orden centered. As he lowered himself ever so slightly, the fingers of his right hand wrapped around the hilt of his sword and clicked it loose for quick removal. His red cape danced ever so lightly in light breeze.

    Telra huddled close to him, hiding slightly under his dancing cape to reduce just how much light she casted, "Something is wrong, Telra," shadows moved beyond the trees, Darin's eyes catching one every so often, "Something is horribly wrong." [\solid]
  7. Tavark Amazing, he's still out cold, Amara noted, checking on the avian scout once more. It had been three days since he suddenly collapsed right in front of her and at first she thought he really did kick the bucket right then and there, but a few pokes and prods showed he only fainted from the sudden onslaught of a fever. She couldn't exactly take him home, they had no room for him, so she took him back to his place after finding out where exactly that was. Well, a guard did help her after he stopped her to make sure the body she was dragging around was even alive. She didn't know how to take care of a sickly person, she just draped a damp wash cloth over his forehead after she laid him down and hoped for the best. He was still breathing so she must have done something right.

    The clueless huntress plopped herself down in a nearby chair and watched Ture for a long moment, the only sounds breaking the silence was his soft breathing. At least he looks better now... She silently observed. When boredom finally got the best of her, she huffed and jumped to her feet, deciding to poke around his house some more. Fortunately for the avian scout, his home was one of the luckier ones, only taking minimum damage and while it wasn't completely repaired, Amara had roped in the tavern keeper to help her patch things up if only to temporarily keep out the cold. A warm fire crackled in the hearth where some stew was cooking and Amara stoked it some before continuing her exploration. She pretty much covered every room but one, and that one was locked, forcing her to endure the rest of the blandly decorated home.

    She was observing a book laying around when she suddenly heard a rustling sound coming from the direction of the locked door. Her eyebrows furrowed and the book was carefully replaced in favor of creeping toward the offending sound. What she found was a corner of parchment poking out from under the door. Curiosity piqued, she fished the paper out of the room and looked it over. It didn't take her long to figure out it was a map of some sort. Intrigued, she did want only logical person would do and left the warmth of the house and circled around it.

    Upon finding what she was looking for, she pressed her face against the glass and discovered a room full of scattered papers and a fairly large map dominating one wall. The window had been broken during the storm and she used that to her advantage to weasel herself inside. The room alone was pretty amazing really. Once she tidied up a bit and threw the fur that was originally covering the window back over it, she settled herself down and began shuffling through her findings. Closer inspection revealed the largest of the maps to be a carefully detailed of the whole of Pegulis, but rather than focusing on hunting routs and passes, the map focused solely on what could only be the ruins Ture had mentioned earlier.

    Amara wasn't sure how long she was in there before Ture had eventually awoken from his sleep, too engrossed with the maps to pay attention to the time passing and completely unaware of was happening outside.
    #7 Noctis the Devious, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
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  8. Jalidin His beard was thicker now than it had been in a long time. It covered his cheeks and chin covering up the scars and his northern pale skin underneath. He didn't know why he decided to let it grow out he always preferred to be clean shaven. Maybe it was because he was getting older he was now heading into to his twenty-seventh year or maybe it was that it fit his mood better. Since leaving the strange group he met in the Chersonese he felt a dark and cold feeling always trying to creep up on him and the more he traveled north towards his home it sunk in deeper slowly choking the life out of him.

    He didn't meet any travelers on his path home so it was a lonely one. The only thing he had for company was his horse and his Aux, Rayne. She seemed to feel the foul mood just as much as he did or maybe it was because that she was a part of him that she was only feeling what he was feeling. He sighed to himself best to keep his mind from that to something else. Thoughts like that only lead in circles for him. It wasn't that he wasn't smart he knew his history, math, and the such and he could argue with the best about politics almost anyone in Barvelle could. But rather than putting extra effort into learning what other people knew or discovering what other people had already discovered.

    He wanted to be the one to discover something amazing. Something to put his name into the history books so the other children would learn his name and want to be like him when they grew older. So as a child he spent all the time he could exploring and going out on 'adventures.' When he reached man hood he went out and visited every corner of Pegulis. Writing and mapping everything down always waiting and hoping to find the next big discovery. But after a few years of venturing into every cave and turning over every rock he found nothing but the same shit someone else had found.

    One day he found a trading caravan from Tavark heading to Aldus. He saw them taking the standard traveling route but he knew of a faster and safer route so he offered his services to lead them that way. They agreed and when they reached their destination they paid him and pretty heavily at that. At first he try to say no but they insisted. That's when he came up with the idea of guiding people between cities taking them the best routes he knew.

    So now here he was heading back to where it all started, Barvelle, his home. The cold northern winds blew against him as he entered the ancient city. But he fought on and before he realized it he was home. His horse clopped on at a steady pace through the network of tunnels. He pulled his white fur cloak tighter still feeling the chill in his bones from the cold harsh winds. Tying up his horse he went into one of his preferred taverns, The Rusted Sword. It was a modest place not shabby but not fancy either. He ordered a mug of ale and went to a table near the fire. His aux sat on the edge of the table closest to the fire and even though she couldn't feel the heat she put her hands towards the fire as if to warm herself up. He couldn't but smile and take a drink of ale.
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  9. Barvelle Prison, brown

    Mahavir plants one hand on his forehead while using the other to support himself into a sitting position, he's in a bed. He lets his hand run down his face, squeezing his nose while opening his eyes.

    The room is dimly lit. The walls are made of stone bricks with no decoration on them. There is a night table next to his bed and a bowl to piss in. The first thing he clearly spots as he opens his eyes are the prison bars, he is in a cell.

    Someone is talking, Mahavir is not focused enough to make out the words.

    "Captain! He's awake!"


    Two tall and dark figures stops by his cell, Mahavir's eyes still need time to adjust, so he covers them with his hand, staring down onto his bed quilt while blinking repeatedly.


    "What?" Mahavir answers frailly.

    "Your name! Sir!" The captain raises his voice.


    "Is that your full name?"

    "Tiwari...My name is Mahavir Tiwari."

    Mahavir can hear the captain writing as he speaks.

    "You're lucky..."

    "What?" The courier asks again, obviously shaken from his travels.

    "You're lucky we found you-..." Mahavir interrupts the captain. He gasps for air, eyes wide open, before he blurts.

    "Please! I need to see the Northern Archon! I've travelled for months to get here! I have an important message to deliver to her!" He pleaded uncharacteristically.

    "This is Barvelle, right?! The Archon is real?!"

    The captain grins slightly as he writes down more in his book.

    "Yes, Tiwari. This is Barvelle and Her Highness Eirene is definitly real."

    The captain stops what he is doing and restarts what he was about to say before Mahavir's outburst.

    "You're lucky we found you when we did. Had you been out there longer, our healers would not have been able to do the fantastic work they did on you."

    He takes a moment to breathe.

    "Your legs were about to give up. We would have had to amputate them both..."

    Mahavir stretches his upper body forward to touch them. He cannot feel a thing.

    "It's been two days."

    The Kaustirian looks at the captain in shock.

    "You have to stay in bed until tomorrow morning. And then you will still struggle to walk properly for the next few weeks."

    "Aaw man..." Mahavir lies back down in bed.

    "And you will not be seeing the Archon until she lets you. She has many important matters to tend to."

    The captain is about to walk away, but halts.

    "We're keeping you as a prisoner until further notice."

    Mahavir wants to get back up. He wants to shout, he wants to wave his arms around while declaring his business here as important. But he does not have the strength to, so he lies there, and falls back into slumber.
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  10. Tavark

    Darin moved cautiously unsure of exactly what moved under the cover of shadow. They moved slow and steadily and seemed to only grow in number the nearer they drew to the city. Telra huddled closely to him to conceal her light as Darin began to straighten himself up to better blend with other men that were beginning to come into view. He was only steps away from the gate.

    The lantern light wrestled with dawn over who would reveal to any visitor the grim scene beneath it. In the end, the overpowering light of dawn revealed to Darin a body, blood and men who could of cared less. His heart drummed against his chest as his grip on his shield tightened. He ducked behind cover wincing as his plate clanked against the stone of the stalls.

    Telra floated out from under his cloak, "There is something, seriously wrong here," she stated the obvious. Darin nodded and peeked around the corner to see that he had lucked out. None of the men had heard his armor smack against the stone. He needed in, but how? He couldn't just walk up to them and ask for permission to enter the city, nor could he risk a fight without knowing exactly what was happening inside.

    "Telra," he flattened against the wall, "I need to get in, can you draw them away from the gate?" He either needed to sneak in by going in undetected, or take out the guards to get in. What he knew for certain was that Telra's light was distracting enough no matter the time of day.

    Telra said nothing as she sped away and into the open. Darin watched for the response of the men at the gate. Their reactions would determine life or death for them. Selphia's murderer was in Tavark, he would not be denied no matter what the outcome would be. [\solid]
  11. Outside Tavark Durael walked along the uneven, rugged road to his destination. He had been traveling for nearly four days to Tavark, and now the city was within some 100 yards. He had packed lightly this time around. Bringing with him only his sword, a large canteen, and enough food to last him for this trip.

    He had been traveling behind what he made out to be a warrior for the majority of that day. He kept enough distance from the man to avoid too much contact or suspicion, but he tried to keep him in sight. He had originally traveled to Barvelle to meet a fellow mage whom, in his time there, had taught him a few things in terms of fire magic. He had planned to stop by Tavark on his way back to Kaustir to restock on food and supplies.

    At the present time, he had lost sight of the warrior he was following. His hand instinctively moved the the grip of his sword. His eyes focused in for a few moments, and he saw the man huddled against the outside wall, and could no longer keep up his "no contact" rule.

    He moved cautiously towards the man, this time moving along the treeline quickly as he approached. The town, he had realized, was eerily silent. He was in obvious sight of the man now. He spoke to him in a hushed tone.

    "Is there a particular reason you are acting this sneaky?" he said, his grip tightening around his sword. It was a bit easy to tell the man had good intentions, but why the sneakiness. He looked at the man, waiting for his answer.

    He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach... Something was wrong.

    Something was very wrong.
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  12. Somewhere in Barvelle, white


    "WILL DIE."

    Many winters past, teal "So."


    "Have you thought about it?"



    She took out a chisel and scratched a butterfly on the stone table they were sitting on. Nearly all space in Barvelle was public space, the entire city basically a forum where discourse between everyone was encouraged.

    The outline of the drawing peeled itself off the table, a beautiful fluttering mote of light.

    Arktus watched over Ethelwen's shoulder as the Anima sat down and began to inscribe his words. Shortly in, he realized that hovering over Ethelwen was probably not a good idea, and devoted his attention to Feneri, making small talk, quiet talk, and sometimes just examining the collection of literature that he had.

    Eventually, the announcement was done. Arktus extended an asking hand and took it, eyes skittering over the text.

    "Mmm. Mhm."

    "It is a sincere text."

    "Which is precisely why it feels insincere."

    Arktus smacked the parchment with the back of his hand, an approving look on his face.

    "In truth, those who love Pegulis would have volunteered anyways. Those who don't would have ridiculed you anyways."

    "But the good thing is, you learned more about yourself from writing this announcement." He smiled, sneaky teacher deception complete.

    He placed the bulletin down, taking a seat on the table next to him.

    "Now. What do you know," his eyes glittered,

    "Of magic?"
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  13. ETHELWEN-BARVELLE, royalblue Caustic words mixed with little to no actual advice. Almost exactly what he had expected. Ethelwen couldn't help but smile. He would still send it to Coul, and if the General liked it, if he saw the efforts of a "warrior-poet" in Ethelwen's writing, then it would be copied and distributed around the city.

    He set down the quill carefully, clenching and unclenching his hands to try and ease the pain of a cramp that had formed while he had been writing. He then proceeded to cap his ink, and place the spare and wasted pieces of parchment into his satchel. Finally, no pointless tasks left to distract him, Ethelwen was forced to meet Arktus' eyes, and actually answer his questions.

    "Almost nothing," he replied, ears flitting back in shame. "I was never exposed to it in my childhood. And most of my time here has been spent learning and doing... other things." Admission made, Ethelwen was able to look away from his hands. Now he waited with the expectant silence of a child. Ethelwen knew that magic was an art, and that it was made up of specific elements designed to create a specific effect, but there was still a part of him that saw magic as unlimited advents. And perhaps that was the dream of all who studied magic.
  14. Barvelle~

    The rules were simple enough, not too filled of Freedom but they were definitely workable. Wolfsin would himself wandering the halls often, though it was a fairly quiet place a lot of the time. His duties were easy, mostly because no one was attempting anything stupid. The Archon was kind in her own way, he would see that from time to time, but not really ever directed at him. She seemed to have a pretty solid disposition about him despite his light hearted attempts to fool around and make light of their relationship. Still being a lap dog was something he had grown used to; not to say he was too fond of it.

    The days before he had come to service of his prior lord he had fought off trolls and the like, great bears, giants. battles having been won with positioning, adventuring, skill, but what he did currently? Well how about just waltzing about and looking pretty in his armor? That summed it up really and he couldn't deny he was starting to find himself a bit restless especially with the way people seemed to be assembling at the guard station.

    Coul, that was the man who had made such a lovely impression on him the first they met. he was whiny, bitchy and grumpy as an old man; pompous to boot, perhaps stirring things up and dueling him for the right to control the forces would liven things up. Then again Wolf often had to remind himself that the cultural diploma-tics of this place did not astute to the places he had been, and likely had no such rule to follow duels.

    The Archon was on her own at the moment, secured away and he was just standing around looking outside the building to the hustle and bustle of the streets. Nothing too profound happening but it was certainly more exciting that listening to her highness companion snore like a beast through the crack under the door. "damn... this truly is for the birds. I might find myself untested and shabby if someone WERE to attack at this rate." There had to be something more that could be done, but as she had made it clear; as a guardian he was responsible for her safety and so if she were to get hurt it would be his head in return for his ignorance... not a pleasant amount of weight to bear on one's shoulders mind you.

    That continuing thought on his mind was only interrupted when someone familiar came into view. A bald old bastard, a great axe at his back, and furs to line his shoulders and leather patch-work armor. he didn't really remember the name of the man but he did know him for being quite the thug back in the wheres of Tavark. Now THERE was a fun place to be, filled with hunters and adventuring parties that often passed through. it was grand for work if you had a name. unfortunately getting their alone was not a very viable option, and with his reputation as one who had his charge die under his service, age or otherwise; it didn't boast fine regards for Wolf to find work.

    It brought back fond memories of when he had frequented that place, and even one such memory when he had beat that same bald man with a bottle, a chair and well whatever else was handy at the time. A sudden itch to run out there and punch the man to provoke combat; and see if he'd improved started crawling at Wolf's back, with a soft sigh; he brushed it off and reminded himself of his duties. "This is the job now... so i can't afford to indulge in my fun.." A sad thought that occured for him of course but this was how it was.
    #14 Wolfsin, May 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
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  15. Tavark

    Darin was waiting for Telra to distract the guards when he felt eyes on him. He slowly lifted his blade free from behind his shield until it cleared its scabbard. He held it against him, poised to strike should the eyes be hostile. When he heard feet shuffling toward him, he looked out the corner of his helmet to find a man. Telra...

    Darin had two problems. He had been discovered by a man he didn't know in a time where things didn't seem right and Telra should be returning with potential threats any minute now. Darin's eyes turned to the immediate threat and he studied the man hard. He shifted slightly, he was at the disadvantage if this was a threat and was immediately regretting his choice of hiding against the wall. Then the man spoke in a hushed tone.

    Darin still was not sure if this man was friend or for, but there was a way to find out, "The guards at the gate. One of them lays on the ground, dead while the others continue on about their business as if nothing ever happened or that he isn't there. That seem a bit strange to you?" He spoke in a low quiet tone. The only thing that kept him from speaking on was the sound of rustled footsteps and the return of his Aux.

    They were about to have visitors.[\solid]
  16. Tavark
    Consciousness came slowly to Ture, he opened his eyes, taking in very little other than the fact the bed was comfy and the room was warm. For a blissful ten seconds he didn't notice that he felt awful. For an additional, less blissful, ten seconds he did't notice that his Aux wasn't resting on his forehead. There was a brief scuffle with the covers before he put his hand on it, someone has placed it on the little table by his bed.

    The eyes of the snow goggles had taken on a distinct slant, creating a decidedly pained expression on the mask. "You look how I feel" Ture commented groggily as he picked them up and pulled them on, letting them rest on his forehead. He let out a sigh of relief followed by a groan of pain before taking stock of the room. Only now did he notice the stoked fire and bubbling pot of stew. He looked at it for a second or too, rolling some thoughts over in his head, before he jumped up and darted through his house towards his study door.

    He tugged a chain around his neck, revealing a key for the primitive lock that held the door shut and after a few attempts managed to insert it and swing the door wide open.


    There was an awkward standoff as Ture took in the situation. Amara was on her knees in the centre of the small room, facing him with a guilty expression on her face and a wad of parchments in her hands, many more strewn about the floor. "H-how much did you see!?" Ture exclaimed, running over to her, tugging the selection of maps out of her hands and flicking through them, scanning the room and the collection that now lay haphazardly over the floor "Oh you saw everything! Wonderful!"

    Ture sagged noticeably, holding his head in his hand. He took a second to breathe, swearing quietly to himself before turning to the girl and pointing a finger at her. "You tell no-one about this room. Ok?" He hissed as he leaned in closer to her, narrowing his eyes. He turned away from her, moving to pick up the scattered maps and add them to the stack he held. "But uh.. thanks for looking after me.."
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  17. Tavark West Gate
    With no trees for a half mile around Tavark, the paladin Darin and the battlemage Durael had only the cover of the city wall itself as they confronted one another. The rising sun painted shimmers on plate mail and shoulder pads. And in the sodden ditches preceding the gate, their footsteps spoke in mud and snow.

    It was folly to linger here.

    A shadow moved to their left, a single guard stepping onto the roadway, head tipped back to follow Darin's glowing Aux. He wore black furs and a domed helmet dented from combat. In one hand a mace; the other a wooden shield. They were in plain sight of one another, with only the turning of a head to keep them from discovery. And in the gatehouse behind the warrior, three others could be heard, dragging off the slain man and shifting weights of wood and metal.

    Something was afoot.

    Tavark Southern Farmsteads
    "Who's in there?"

    Tears, mud and matted hair cloyed the face of the servant girl Nola. Were it not for the blade at her throat she would have trembled, curled up, screamed. "My mistress..."

    Another man peeled her skirts one by one, his knees pinning hers. "Two gifts? The gods are generous."

    A third warrior held Nola's horse, Advent sheen on his fingertips to calm the beast. Milah's servant girl had barely made the treeline when the trio intercepted her. "Who else?"

    Nola whimpered. "Seth, the stable boy... he's... the Sabre Bear..." Tears streamed along the edge of the blade.

    "Hear that, Arun? Your one's dead." Laughter cut between the trio, and Nola felt a hand on her thigh.

    "Well, girl. Let's see how much of your mistress's flesh the bear left us."

    Nola was seized by the hair and dragged by the largest of the men. A second brought the horse, while the third unslung a crossbow. With slow steps and weapons drawn, they climbed the fences and made their way across the snowfield to Milah's stables, dragging their hostage with them.

    Dion trod the last few steps to Ture's door, breath misting with each sigh. Morning found the large man pale and stubble-faced, and his arm was aching in its sling. He stood there a moment, gathering his thoughts. He wished he had food in his belly; drink in his throat. He wished he was still in bed.

    The Guildmaster glanced over his shoulder, across the icy width of Greymane Street. His stare was returned by two dozen shadows. Eimund's men were watching, and waiting, weapons drawn, movements silent. Between their dark gauntlet a handful of other elders huddled. Guildmasters like Dion, patriarchs of the houses, shopkeepers and artisans. They too were silent and stood with a mixture of fear and acceptance.

    And why shouldn't they? The situation was a twisted one. Sons and daughters had returned, old friends and storybook legends. And yet these friends were telling them now to empty their houses and call their servants to bear.

    No one knew how to feel.

    Dion sighed again, and with his good arm turned and knocked on Ture's door. His deep voice rang through the rooms beyond.

    "Ture! It's me. Get out here."

    Better this than let the soldiers storm the place. If everyone in Tavark just stayed calm, no one else would have to die.
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  18. M'VAE DON - TAVARK, blue
    he binds around M'Vae's wrists and torso began to cut against his skin as the rope rubbed its way through his thick fur leaving him vulnerable to the coarse threads. His arm struggled briefly as M'Vae moved to instinctively shield his eyes from the dawn's early light only for the guard to yank hard on the rope and ensure M'Vae's hand stayed at his side. The damp ground found its ways between M'Vae toes as he stepped out of the prison and into Tavark. Men in similar armor to his current captors were on every street and in each alley as they took Tavark for their own.

    The soldiers quickly guided M'Vae and the other former prisoners towards the town square, the sounds of women and children alike screaming in terror filled M'Vae's ears as he looked around with a grim satisfaction at the fate that had befallen the town. Shop keepers were thrown to the mud as the soldiers ransacked their shops, gathering anything of value they needed immediately while the rest was stockpiled as the shop was completely taken by the newcomers. Not even the guildhouses were immune as the artisians and other craftsmen were turned out of their sanctuaries and left to fend for themselves like the beggars they truly were. Everywhere M'Vae looked he was impressed by the overall lack of resistence Tavark had managed to put up. Not a hunter or guardsman was in sight as even the battlements were lined with the men in dark armor.

    As he was pulled further into the city, M'Vae noticed it was not only him in bindings but also the town's elders as they too were captured and taken from their home. Tavark's new lord obviously wanted to lay his judgement upon them otherwise M'Vae imagined that no one would have hesitated to kill them. Suddenly his escort stopped as M'Vae was dropped to his knees. Looking around he saw the other convicts endure a similar ordeal. They were truly at the mercy of the man who commanded these soldiers. M'Vae had to admit he was impressed, still though he wasn't about to die if things went South.

    The soldiers were seasoned warriors, their skin and body language indicated as such. M'Vae could smell the sea on them and while they were strong there was a chance if he needed to, he would be able to overpower them. More than likely at least one of those who held his bonds suffered from a lack of proper nutrition at sea, and that meant M'Vae could also likely seize his weapon in the struggle if it came to that. The soldier's suddenly stood straight, their posture going rigid and M'Vae heard a blades being drawn as one found a resting point at the base of his nick. Judgement was upon him and perhaps escape wouldn't be as easy as he had originally assumed.
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  19. Outside Tavark
    Durael didn't exactly have time to respond to the question. An armed man that resembled nothing of a guard was approaching. He hesitated for a moment, and then shifted backwards into a shadowy spot not yet graced with the presence of the sun, laying in a prone position. He was sure that he was out of sight. He opened the palm of his empty left hand, readying himself to conjure a fireball if the need came.

    At the present, Durael was immediately filled with regret. Regret for bother to stop by Tavark, He should have just went around. Now he was stuck, he couldn't just leave without figuring out exactly what was going on. It wouldn't sit right with him. Tavark was so close to Kaustir, what if it was a threat to both nations? There was no way around it, he had to stay and get to the bottom of this... or die trying, if it had to come to that.

    But Durael knew he might have to do a little bit of work to uncover what was happening in Tavark. There wasn't much he could do in the present except for wait; either for what he perceived as an enemy to pass, or for the enemy to discover him, which would lead to the inevitable.

    In the unfortunate occurrence of a battle with this man, he had confidence in his own ability. Durael, in all honesty, was rather conceited. He regarded himself in a high manner, and some believed that he had the skill to do so. The odds were especially in his favor, considering that particular battle would be two on one.

    He had gotten way too far ahead of himself. He hoped that it wouldn't have to come to that.

    #19 OverCast, May 21, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
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  20. South Tavark
    Red now poured freely from the exhausted woman's scalp, the metallic of her blood sharpening her focus as the adrenaline of fear pumped through her veins. Crouching at the trunk of a tree just outside the stables, Milah had been able to finally lure the two beasts out of her beloved stables and away from a third dead horse. After dancing with the bears and being knocked onto her back with a claw to the leg, she managed to weaken the smaller of the two. Siellruk snorted and stomped in a furious fit as he reared at the two bears, but the beasts knew better than to feel anything but primal ignorance to an Aux. Milah leaned back on the tree, breathing heavy as her numb fingers mindlessly clamped onto the bow. Reaching with a fearful heart back to the quiver, she felt any nerve flee as she felt nothing but the icy Tavark air between her fingers. There were no arrows to be found.

    "Mercy." She gasped as she wrenched the quiver away from her back and tossed it into the woods with the force of a child throwing a tantrum. There was a slow gnawing at her mind, a painful pulling in her mind as Siellruk urged her to let him take action. Milah, however, hardly ever used an advent let alone for an emergency. Siellruk brayed angrily in reply to her thoughts, "You would sooner let your stable be taken by two bears you stubborn girl." The thoughts were of course Milah's own, but they matched the intuition that belonged to Siellruk. It was only appropriate. Looking down at her leg that now adorned a lovely claw marking, she watched as it weeped her lifesource. Taking a deep breath, Milah leaned against the tree to stand.

    When she was finally vertical the bears had already caught her scent, their growls ripped through Milah's chest. She should have listened to her father long ago, but marriage had never been very appealing to her. Even if the protection would have come in handy at times like this. Catching the bear's eye she slipped the bow over her head and crouched, the ring of metal being unsheathed catching the bear's eye. "Well what are you waiting for?" She taunted, the smaller bear needed no more prompting as it charged at her. Flipping the dagger in her hand she narrowly dodged the bear, the metal of the knife cutting deep into the beast's side as it roared in raged pain. Spinning on her heel she panted and eyed the second bear, it was easily older than the first. Milah could sense that this creature enjoyed the suffering its prey would endure. The crimson eyes never left hers as they circled, Milah enduring on with the heart of a hunter. Being raised in the center of a Hunter's wood was bound to rub off.

    The horse mistress had been so focused on the bear in front of her that the younger bear was allowed an opening. Milah felt the red hot pain before she realized what was going on, the bear's teeth ripped into her arm as it pounced on her. Screaming Milah slashed out blindly, every nerve in her body urging her to fight whatever had caused so much pain in her. Finally Milah's vision cleared of black spots and she was able to calm herself, her body shutting down the overwhelmed pain receptors. Gripping her trusty dagger, she roared as she burried the double edged knife into the bear's skull. Its hot blood ran down her arm and and into her face. The beast groaned pitifully before its terrible eyes rolled back into his head and his jaw released her forearm. Before Milah could escape from beneath the creature, its full weight was upon her. Gasping for breath as its weight crushed her, she frantically tried to push the dead bear off her. The woman kicked, shoved, and groaned but she was silenced as Siellruk warned her of approaching strangers.

    The other bear had wandered off back to the stable, she could see its white hide pawing outside the wind closed door. Stupid things Sabre bears were. Siellruk however was out of sight, but nearby at the very least. Somewhere to her left in the woods there was the sound of approaching footfalls, they had to have snapped every twig as they approached. Milah's heart lifted. Nola must have been successful in reaching a spare hunter or ranger. "Who goes there?" Milah called out breathlessly against Siellruk's pleas for her to be silent. "I would be ever so grateful if..." Were those sobs? Milah's heart stopped, a dark feeling settling into the pit of her stomach like curdled milk.
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