Reluctant Allies

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Psychedelic, Oct 14, 2013.

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  1. Aila of the Silver Elves was a proud woman, and certainly not the sort to allow arbritray laws and customs rule her life. It was this rebellious spirit that had ultimately led to her subjugation ending, and her new life as Noster of no birth beginning. It had been a clean break, and one that she had not regretted in all the intervening years. Of course she could feel sorrow, but living in the past was no way to be, particularly when there was so much ahead.

    A mere half century had passed, and Noster had managed to remain wonderfully inconspicuous. He took what he needed and nothing more, and where possible worked for his living. Honest work was difficult to come by for such a strange and solitary creature, any person worth his salt was inevitably wary of a boyish young elf turning up and asking to assist with menial tasks. Usually he was simply seen as a nuisance or a con artist.

    This rogue was remarkably average in every way. He was perhaps erring on the side of short for a male elf, but not to the point of being considered stunted. Crudely dyed brown hair was kept relatively tame under an equally crude and dirty cap, only a few wavy strands managed to escape from under it. The only two qualities Noster posessed thaat would perhaps draw attention to him, were his almost dangerously pale skin - a testament to the heritage he would always deny. Should anyone enquire, he was only a wood elf with a disease, a far safer explanation than the truth. And then were those piercing blue eyes, that had proved to be his undoing.

    He had been stocking up on supplies for impending travels, and had managed to have a run of bad luck, accumulating enough witnesses for him to be identified and brought to justice. The law enforcement had come to his room at dawn, taking him from his bed and depositing him in a cell in just a few minutes. And here he sat, only thankful that he had not removed the binding from his breast. Had Aila been in plain sight, there would have been a whole lot more explaining to do. As it was, Noster and his black rooted hair sat shivering in the cell, awaiting his punishment.
     
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    Justina​
    Show Spoiler
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    Gerald​






    Word traveled fast; as rumors of a Sun Elf Justicar aiding the local police force spread like Wild fire. Her arrival created ripples in the geopolitical scene; for wherever a Justicar can be found, death usually followed. With cigarette lit Gerald the Lone wolf of Nabanouu reclined against the chair in his office. Emerald eyes peering out the window over the crisp cerulean skies. It has been ten years, ten years since the chaos of the bloody revolution. Yet during this era of so called peace and prosperity; an old relic like him couldn't find peace. Often his mind did wander, taking in the tranquil illusion wrought by such times; knowing full well that the next storm was building just over the horizon.


    On his mahogany desk laid several unsolved cases; all centered around the recent Oni uprising. As well as a few dossiers of local petty thieves; an unusual combination even in his old eyes. The door to his ofice creaked as it was pushed open, as the local police chief and the famed Justicar stepped into his humble work space. Without hesitation Gerald jolted from his chair, standing at attention as he offered the chief a salute. "Good morning sir!" He barked, his military discipline and bearing aging well even during peace time. The woman next to the scruffy old man was undoubtedly the Justicar; her skin golden as eyes of jade far more vibrant than his own took note of his intensity.


    "At ease Mister Gerald." The old man replied, a faint smile resting on his wrinkled visage. A brief moment of silence brewed between the lot, as Gerald took note of the elven woman's ornate armor, her exposed flesh that was proof positive of her training, as well as her unmistakably defiant soft face. "I've compiled what we know thus far sir! As well as put together a list of local thieves and con artist." The wolf of Nabanouu broke the silence, before putting out his cigarette in the ash tray. Exhaling a cancerous cloud of smoke from his thin lips. "I expected no less from you Captain Gerald...This is the Sun elf Justicar I am certain you've heard so much about..." But before he could finish, the arrogant mer interjected. Much preferring to introduce herself, as oppose to being introduced by another. "Justina, Head Justicar of the fourteenth house of the Solar dominion." Her words carried with them a matter of fact like vibe.


    She spoke as if her title carried weight within these walls, though this was a joint operation between their governments; both sides were territorial by nature. And so her presence was more tolerated by most, rather than accepted. "Pleasure Madame Justina, the name is sir Gerald." He replied, offering a humble bow. "Save me the formality. Such social displays don't suit a wolf of your reputation..." She hissed, as the chief cleared his throat. "Well I'll leave you two be I suppose. Good luck on your case..." He whispered, before closing the door behind him. As a detective he was use to dealing with unsavory partners, but this woman was different. She carried with her a frigid and foul wind; usually accompanied by one whom had seen plenty of death in her time.


    "I have narrowed our thieves down to one whom seems the most promising...based on what little details you provided. As well as a list of attacks from Oni that fit my theorized pattern...Care for me to explain my theory?" He replied, his underhanded slap not going unnoticed, yet not meriting a response. "No I'm good detective, I can read after all unlike most of your woman." She hissed, snatching the files from off his desk. "Shall we?" Justina inquired, as Gerald simply nodded his head. The two exited the office, making their way to the cells located on the east wing of the building. All the meanwhile the Justicar buried her nose into his files. Admiring how for a monkey, this human seemed quite clever and intuitive.


    "Here the thief is..."Gerald replied, before kicking the bars of the cage. "Get up!" He barked, as Justina folded her arms across her defined and exposed core. Shortly after the ruckus Gerald unlocked the cage, sliding the door open as both he and the elven maiden stepped through it's jaws and into it's belly. "We come with a deal..." Justina purred, her full lips contorting giving way to a smile. "One you will find preferable to imprisonment or having your hands cut off..." She concluded, leaving the thief to ponder how foolish it would be to refute whatever offer that lied on the table so lightly.
     
    #2 The Underdark Rises, Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  3. The unmistakable sound of boots heading down the corridor of cells. More than that, the bodies that moved them were full of intent; an intent that was unlikely to be anything other than negative. Although as yet unaware whether these people were on their way to converse with him, Noster still began to prepare himself for whatever might come his way. He stood from his previously passive position, taking up a posture that was relatively relaxed, considering his position, though a steely edge was clear in the slight rigidity of his limbs.

    All the fear the still young elf felt was hastily pushed to the depths of his consciousness, or at least this was attempted. He had not been captured before, and the potential for his identity being discovered was of more concern than any damage to life and limb. Perhaps these priorities were not entirely sound, but any moon elf worth her salt knew the decidedly brutal world that awaite the noblewomen of the somewhat primitive clans. Returning to her homeland was not an option, and so she would live and die as this wily Noster.

    As luck would have it, the tramping boots belonged to a pair bound for his cell. They made the most unlikely team, the justicar in particularly bringing a touch of suspicion into those cerulean eyes. Noster stepped back, if only to maintain a sense of personal space in this less than roomy cell. Although the male was far more openly aggressive, the female was certainly not to be trifled. She was more akin to a big cat; all grace and silence until the scent of blood was in the air, at which point that elegance would be transformed into a deadly dance that would end only one way.

    Unconsciously, Noster couldn't help but folding his arms over his chest, apparently not too fond of the idea of losing his hands. Talking tough was all well and good, but when push came to shove, no sane person would readily allow themselves to be mutilated. And so rather than immediately balking at the idea of this offer, Noster nervously spoke in a voice that had taken a long time to perfect, and still only just verging on effeminate. "What would you have me do?" There was a touch of suspicion there, as was only to be expected, yet this waas matched with innescapable intrigue.
     
  4. Justina narrowed her eyes, as jaded hues outlined with an icy blue lingered on the strange man. Being a Justicar by nature, she possessed a sixth sense. Something about this thief didn't seem right; and she intended to find out what in due time. "Swallow your pride, as a fellow Mer I can admire you for displaying it. However even we are susceptible to the frivolity that plagues mortals." She purred, her words carrying with them a melodious harmony beautiful in nature. The likes of which were only matched by her picturesque face. Gerald remained silent for know, trying his best to ignore her harsh words regarding his kind. Keeping in mind that such bigotry was expected from a lady of her station.


    "I am certain you like your hands...and it would be a terrible shame if such a feminine feature were lost to you." She spoke matter of fact like, her words heavily drenched with a sense of morbid pleasure. Almost as if she would take great sadistic ecstasy in doing so herself. Gerald quickly assumed control, less her nature get the best of her. Clearing his throat as he stepped between them, tossing the dossier of his crimes toward the man. "I am glad you can see reason. We have enough to keep you here for decades easily. But the state has seen fit to grant you a pardon...no strings attached. Well other than a simple favor of course." Arms folding against his defined pecs as he now began to pace about the cage. The elven inquisitor angered by how rudely he interjected, though masked such thoughts with a smile.


    "Well unless of course if you consider dealing with the Oni a simple, and easy hearted affair." She hissed, preferring a path of honesty as oppose to sugary deception. The likes of which the police were often known for. "Nothing is free, so I guess it really boils down to a simple question? Are you willing to risk dying as a free man...or remain caged but be promised life?" Gerald replied, not really caring whether or not the criminal knew the truth right away or not. In the end he'd have to make the same decision regardless.


    "If you're even a tenth the Mer I am than you'd accept. Otherwise your muscles are useless, for what good is strength without a spine to direct it? Or a blade without a hand to guide it?" Eyes of jade and blue were replaced by a raging inner fire. That could only be quenched by the testing of the prisoners character. For unlike her cop friend here; Justina believed that people can change their ways. And display such possibilities during times of great peril."If you need more time I guess we can return in thirty years or so." Gerald added, hoping the emphasis the importance of the elf's current situation.
     
  5. There was a dialogue between the two in authority, and although it might have been silence, it was anything but subtle. The electricity between them was rather volatile, touching the third party and sweeping him into the heady mix of tensions. It was perhaps not sensible to engage in this wordless struggle between them, particularly as there seemed to be far more than enough at stake in his own life. For the time being he made efforts to remain calm and logical, though it was difficult to ensure this when every ounce of his being desired to rebuke certain comments.

    The elven womans presence was more irksome than the males, perhaps because the thief was more familiar with those of her kind. How he would love to bring her down a peg or two, even if doing so would surely cause him to fall off the ladder altogether. Any ill feelings would have to be put aside, maybe he could direct his attention to unravelling the true personalities of both these people. Occupying himself with this would hopefully ensure his sanity remained, along with his limbs.

    A shard of ice lodged itself in his heart when the word 'feminine' was so casually dropped into conversation. With luck, neither would notice the brief and subtle stiffening of Noster's spine. He was fairly disciplined, but fear of discovery still had the power to frighten the life out of him. And so the justicar went on to speak with surprising poignancy. Whether this was planned, or simply an unhappy coincidence, it was impossible to tell, but the response would remain the same, whatever the case might happen to be.

    What the human said was so obviously nonchalant that there had to be something more, which the elf so kindly added to. Oni. Not the problem of a simple wanderer, fugitive or no. But what was said hit home like a meteor. A desire to escape a cage had been the beginning of this mess in becoming Noster, and so the response was on the tip of his tongue, even before the idea of waiting another thirty years was put on the table. "I'll do it." He spoke to neither of them in particular. He didn't want to offend by ignoring one or the other, and so went for the middle ground. "Just tell me what you want from me." Life was nothing without freedom, whether the prison be tangible or metaphorical.
     
  6. The sight of him cringing brought a frigid glare his way; though she had no way of knowing what it was that set him off. She deduced it wasn't the exchange of dialogue regarding freedom or the Oni's. The weight of her stare carried with it colemenity; as if possessing authority and weaving a sinister hypnotic spell over him. Though in truth her eyes were hardly so sinister in their intent, rather bordering on curiosity. For a criminal he didn't behave like your typical thief; perhaps this was repentance for his transgression. Such an idle thought lingered on her mind, as she mused deeply over it's implications.


    Her sudden abrupt silence and retraction struck Gerald as odd, never had he known a Justicar who at times preferred silence. Still he welcomed the change with open arms; for he naturally despised the solar dominion. Perhaps resentment hailing from the great civil war, and their foul involvement.


    Without further delay the lone wolf of Nabanouu returned his attention to the criminal, who inquired into the catch. "We require one of your skills, someone cunning, stealthy and most important possessing questionable morals. Justina here is far too high and mighty to commit an audacious act such a theft, and as a Police officer I am held to a higher standard than ruffians like you. Plus I am far better at killing, than guile." He openly proclaimed, his emerald eyes as stale and cold as winters night air.


    He spoke of death so nonchalantly; the only hint he'd provide into his past and former identity. His words awoken Justina from her state of torpor, icy blue and jaded mirrors glancing his way, as her brow furled. So he fought during the revolution...she thought to herself. This sudden epiphany explaining much of the friction between them.


    "Do you find me terrifying boy? Or just revolting? I sense must disdain and hatred in those passionate eyes of yours. Keep in mind young one, just because we are allies now, doesn't mean were friends. If you get in my way I'll cut you from the body. Better a dog to lose his leg to a trap, than his life after all." She warned, but despite how rigidly her words were poised. Hatred refrained from staining her sharp tongue, she spoke as if it were a mere warning.


    Gerald himself got the chills as her blacken soul revealed itself. But much like him; she was broken. A relic simply existing for the sake of existing...warriors like them had no palce during peace time. Instead they simply rot, collect dust until the next great conflict. To them the battlefield was life, and dying for a cause the only true escape.


    With uncanny speed Gerald drew his blade, the hoarse whisper of steel friction against steel reverberated within the cell. As with one fluid and solid strike, the bonds were cut free. Calmly he sheathed his friend, before reaching into his pocket and lighting another smoke. A fog of fumes parting from narrow lips as defiantly his eyes peered down on the lad. "Get up! You're almost free now..." He barked, Justina acting out of character as she moved to the prisoner. Holding out her hand as she offered him assistance. "My code dictates that what you once were has perished, all that matters is what you are now and what you will become." Honeyed words of poetry seasoned with sincerity escaped those luscious lips of her's. Lips that contorted offering him a soft, genuine, reassuring smile.


    The wolf was taken back by this, chalking it up to nothing more than a mer looking after a mer. Say what you will about the sun elves and their bigotry; they sure do know how to stick with their fellow immortal brothers and sisters. "I am Captain Gerald of this sector...And Justina is an agent of the solar dominion, a Justicar." Promptly he spoke, wishing to get introductions out of the way.


    If this man had any knowledge regarding the solar dominion he'd understand the weight her title carried. Justicars were shock troopers, special forces who served as agents of righteousness. Avatars of the code that defines morality in their eyes; and enforcers of justice. Many look up to them almost like godly myths, while others fear the threat they often pose. For wherever a Justicar can be found, death always follows...
     
  7. Justicars. Bigotted zealots that simply couldn't see the wood for the trees. Their tunnel vision was certainly impressive, though that was hardly an asset to be proud of. Noster knew full well that they served a purpose, it was just difficult to justify their presence in ordinary civilian life. They should be chained up like the guard dogs that they were, kept restrained until some disaster or other demanded their attention. It was a shame they were assigned tasks such as this one had been, as it hardly gave the solar dominion a friendly appearance. But then again, they were powerful enough not to care about allies. Deceptive brute force seemed to be the order of the day.

    Rather than answering what he was sure was a rhetorical question, the young elf only shot the female an unwavering glare. He was unsurprised to find himself developing a dislike of the woman, or perhaaps only the order which she served. It was difficult to tell. This momentary display of stubborn mulishness soon became perplexity as the justicar about faced and became something other than a hard soldier. Her words were much softer, even if they could be construed as a little patronising. Noster hardly knew what to do with the sweet words, tossing them about in his head as he obediently stood. For the time being he supposed he would attempt to withold judgement on either party, or at least offer a small window of change.

    He did not flinch as the blade was drawn, having always preferred to remain stoic in the face of danger. What will be will be, there was nothing a simple prisoner could do to change his fate. As it happened, there was no violence in the gesture, as could well have been the case, should the officer have lost his temper. Rather, the bonds that held him were severed, allowing the rogue to unconsciously rub his somewhat sore wrists. Though no wounds had been caused, angry red skin stood out clearly on usually pale flesh. It was a cruel reality of the routinely rough handling of prisoners.

    Keeping his nerves thrust down to his boots, he nodded curtly at the revelation of the identities of this pair. He wasn't foolish enough to offer a 'pleased to meet you' or anything of the sort, which obviously would have been somewhat inappropriate in the current situation. Instead he simply gave his own name, "Noster. Just Noster." No titles or honours, not even a nickname given to him by locals. He had been so wonderfully successful in his quest for anonymity, until now.
     
  8. She could feel the hate spewing from this man's eyes, his distaste for the Justicars was seldom uncommon nor unwarranted. They had a vile reputation within other holds and realms; often being surmised as threats. For every pure action taken by their organization, a baneful one could also be found. The lines between good and evil, morality and the lack thereof was often a shady grey. The seven vices in excess can destroy a person, but so can the seven traits of their code of justice. An equilibrium of both is necessary to ensure the evolution and growth of one's soul, a task easier spoken of than accomplished. Her eyelids narrow as her gaze lingered, listening to his brisk and straight forward introduction. To most he may have suffered from trust issues, then again she couldn't fault him for that considering his dilemma.


    However it ran deeper than that, in fact it only helped reinforced her original disposition that something was terribly off about this fellow. Though it proved elusive and intangible by nature. She had no doubt that with enough time the mystery will be made known, it wasn't an inquiry of if; rather of when. The bleak atmosphere of the cage and it's damp moss covered walls seemed grimace, contrasting ill with the illusion necessary to succeed. This delusion being nothing more than trust, for without it they would all surely die. Though even Justina couldn't deny the startling fact that this was an alliance, forged not from deep emotions rather necessity. "I see..." She muttered, her fingers gentle caressing her chin as that inquisitive mind of hers began to wander. It was painfully clear by her furled visage that something was on her mind; and Gerald knew better than to ask.


    "Let us get going, shall we?" His question rhetorical by nature, as the two made their way through the station. The weather worn wooden door creaking as he turned the knob of brass, pushing it's jaws open. The sudden flood of light causing their eyes to squint as they stepped into the busy market street. The idle bantering and clamor of the crowd engulfing them, as they weaved in between the locals. These piss filled streets were littered with ruffians and pick pockets, but the sight of a cop and justicar proved enough to ward off their greed. Most would only watch as the odd trio crept through town, keeping their distance out of fear. Justina could feel their misplaced emotions,for troublesome eyes were a common sight. Few mortals took her presence lightly, even the disciplined and well trained police were on edge whenever she stepped into a room.


    Silence brewed among them, hanging heavily in the air as they crossed through the center of town, Passing a beautiful stature adorned with beautiful flowers. "Are yo skilled with a blade, bow or the arcane arts?" Justina purred, wishing to know to what capacity could they utilize their new companion should trouble find them. Gerald had been wondering the same thing, even if the prisoner couldn't fight he would prove useful in other ways. Such knowledge was necessary for their group to function; knowing each others strengths and weaknesses only meant they could work more effectively together. They wouldn't stop, instead opting to proceed as they waited for a reply.


    The group found themselves now standing at the open gates, pausing for a brief moment as the two ensured they had enough logistical supplies to support the three before heading out. For in the wilderness ill preparation proved as lethal as the Polar worms, trolls, undead and other creatures stalking the vast realm.
     
  9. Obedience had never come naturally to this particular elf. It was a trait that was both admirable and troublesome, and could potentially have been avoided if traditions had been just a little different. As children, all of the moon elves were taught at least basic combat and survival skills, allowing them to be strong in the face of anny adversities that might face them at a later date. Of course, most laid down their arms as they approached an age at which it was considered good time for them to follow their ancestors into their seemingly predestined line of work. Unfortunately, there are always those few that couldn't quite live with the quiet life, and though some of those did end up in a military career, for the nobiility that simplly wasn't an option.

    Aila was not one of the lucky few. Destined for a life of parlour politics and simply using charm to swindle rivals, the girl had inevitably come to the conclusion that her life was not worth living in this state. She had felt used and out of control, and so the decision to leave her homeland and the security it gave had been made. Had her fighting spirit not been discovered at such an early age, perhaps Noster would never have come to be, though in truth that was neither here nor there. The elf boy was very much alive, and soon on the tail of the two that had come to relieve him of his sentence - though to what end it was still unclear. Even so, a chance at freedom was certainly the better option.

    The boy followed quietly, taking in his surroundings curiously. It was a very different experience making ones exit, as opposed to being forcibly shoved through the building by some far too enthusiastic guards. Seeing the outdoors again was undoubtedly wonderful, even if that had only been denied him for a short while. It was perhaps this deprivation that would have sent him reeling far sooner than the loneliness of life left to rot in a cell. Solitude had been commonplace for years now, and although it as hardly a pleasant experience, it was certainly tolerable at the very least.

    Brought from his reverie by a purely practical question from the male, Noster answered as honestly as he could, "Call me a jack of all trades, though I have always preferred wielding twin blades." It was a risky option to favour, as it offered little in the way of defensive opportunity, yet the speed at which one could dispatch enemies, along with the reach it granted was just what this particular person liked. "I had also considered myself an excellent sneak, though I suppose that may need review." He offered a wry smile, though it remained entirely false.
     
  10. A jack of all trades, this comment may seem promising to most; but in the eyes of the old wolf he had a different perception. Throughout his years as a warrior; he had known such men to be balanced, but seldom skilled in any of the arts of death. This didn't mean the prisoner wouldn't be useful, just that his role will not be defined until such a time as they could test him in the field. A gamble that could potential back fire, bringing with it unwanted and destructive ripples against the cohesiveness of their party. A heavy sigh parting from thin lips, as between them another cigarette could be found being gripped. With a quick flick of his wrist the officer struck a match, carrying the dancing flame on the tip to the front edge of his cigarette. Inhaling as the paper became lit by the fire, before dropping the match on the ground.


    Calmly he exhaled, a smog of smoke cancerous in nature dangling in front of his masculine visage. Justina could sense something was troubling him; though what escaped her inquisitive mind. She hated this detective, he was the embodiment of everything the solar empire feared and loathed about humanity. He was strong, capable, confident, calm, collective and a tactician. Worst of all he was good at keeping a facade, shielding his thoughts from her by putting on a mask. This guise meant that he could remain an unknown factor to her; and the sun elves despised the ravenous unknown.


    "Jack of all trades eh?" He paused, permitting another cloud to form from his lips as he pushed the air from his lungs. "I suppose we will see whether or not your word holds any weight. You'll have to pardon my inherent distrust; after all...You are a thief by trade. Which often means a con artist; pending on the job you undertake." He spoke rigidly, his words poised swiftly and to the point. The bluntness of his thoughts would hit this moon mer like a wooden club. Leaving splinters that would birth a sense of uneasiness and tension. His words were not sown with hate, their tapestry void of such childish thoughts. Rather distrust and disbelief that many would find hard to fault for him, given their situation and the prisoners vocation.


    The justicar felt different than the middle aged man. Even if he proved weak, the thief would still be useful. After all every pawn can become a queen on the board; it just takes the right strategy and a bit of luck. This analogy may seem cruel, but this was her true thoughts regarding them. Both the detective and the moon elf, they were just pawns unknowingly working toward the glorification of her people. This didn't mean that she looked down on them, well no more than usual. It just meant that she had come to term with all of their purposes in this plight. Stepping forward the sun mer took charge, passing through the mouth of the town and away from it's walls. "Let us be going..."


    Not wishing to stay much longer the wolf followed suite, permitting the arrogant elf to take charge for now. The more control he gave her when whomever called the shots didn't mater; the more tolerant she'd become. "Let us be off; just forget I said anything." He spoke audibly, keeping his back turned toward the moon elf as he followed the other sun maidens advances. For what seemed like an hour they'd traverse the dirt roads. None of the members of the investigation team cared to talk, for they all had an understanding of their roles and positions. Instead opting to keep an ever vigil set of eyes and ears on their surroundings. For the Oni were not the only threat in these parts.


    After sometime when the sun had begun to set and it's pinkish light brought with it an awe inspiring scene. The group found themselves entering a small town without walls known as Illstone. A mining community known for it's salt and other rich minerals. "Wait here..." The sun elf barked, heading into the local inn. Gerald immediately pivoting to face the thief. "How long will you hide your sex? You may fool the sun elf for a while, but I know a lady when I see and smell one. I will keep your identity secret; do not fret. I care not fore your reasons or even if you ever disclose the truth. All I care about is how well you can fight." He paused, fingers drumming against the hilt of his sheathed blade, strapped firmly to his hip.


    "Speaking of which...Once we have a room and the silly sun elf retires for the evening. I wish to test your skills, find out for myself how useful you'll be to my investigation. Do not worry; if you prove weak it will not void our agreement. I am many things, both positive and negative; but a liar I am not." He stated so matter of fact like. All the while his face remained unmoved, not expressing a single emotion. This was the bearing of a wolf of Nabanouu. The special forces of the Shing empire during the bloody revolution that transpired bu a decade ago.
     
  11. The pale skinned elf had little time to think, but in the short while in which the silence lasted, Noster ran over the mistakes of his life. He had no real regrets, but there were certainly sorrows in what was still only a small portion of the life of an elf. He was still very much in his youth, and had decades left to enjoy this, most likely even more than that. Unfortunately, it would appear that this fugitive life would be cut short, or at least the reins of control would be wrested from the hands of the one that ought to have owned them for eternity. Both Noster and Aila were not able to handle the idea of being trapped in one role, but for the time being would go along with whatever was planned. Even if the two were directing, this rogue was at least continuing in his chosen vein, and certainly had the possibility of becoming truly free again.

    Soon after this brief piece of reverie, the wolf politely interrupted with his misgivings. He was incredibly blunt, unlike the sun elf and her wily ways. It was this that most gave the moon elf reason to like and dislike them respectively. It was only a minor smidgeon of a feeling, but it would undoubtedly form into further bonds or rifts as time went on. Three beings forced into living in such close proximity were bound to become intensely intertwined, potentially explosively. In this case, it was really the pot calling the kettle black, as the thief was perhaps even more dishonest than the justicar, though this was for different reasons, and in his own eyes, far more justifiable. It was all a matter of perspective, as most things in life happened to be.

    And they were off. As the two leaders of the expedition set about their journey, Noster was careful to keep up with their confident strides, remaining out of the way, though close enough to be considered a part of the group. He had no desire to give any impression that he might run. He'd already dodged death once today, and he wouldn't be able to do that a second time. For one so used to migrating great distances in order to remain free of suspicions, the time that they journeyed was not a hard slog. The weather was pleasant enough, and so as the sun began to set and they searched for an inn, the rogue was still full enough of energy, though a chance to sleep well would not go amiss.

    He very nearly flinched at the sudden order of the sun elf, catching himself before doing so. However, the equally sudden words from the human did cause a recoil. Noster became Aila, at first her expression was that of hurt surprise, followed swiftly by a scowl of hatred that was hardly warranted. Needless to say, deep seated fear drove this, however irrelevant this may be with this man. Perhaps he would keep to his word. Aila spoke, her voice carefully controlled, grubby fists clenched tightly to her sides. "If you dare -" She cut off abruptly, thinking better of the threat that was about to come. "Keep your word." There was still an edge of unspoken violence in her tone, though not enough to be considered as an out and out threat.

    With that done, it seemed there were more pressing matters to see to. Aila once again assumed her male mannerisms, voice becoming slightly gravelly, her femininity once again taking a backseat to practicality. "I am not weak. You may be stronger, but I am not a helpless fool." He would actually quite enjoy testing his strength, perhaps venting a little of the boiling rage that had so often been his and her downfall. "I was under the impression you were on the justicars leash. Is that not so?" He clearly bore disdain for her, but up until this point the elf had been calling all the shots. Anyone could be forgiven for getting the wrong impression - this made even more difficult by the stoic bearing of the two, though this one seemed to have the edge over the elf.
     
  12. Deep within a spiraling fortress of obsidian, shrouded by blankets of blacken sky. An insidious entity lurked, nesting upon her Iron throne forged from the armors of those who fell under her influence. Through porcelain mask eyes of crimson dared to peer. Intently they lingered on an orb of molten rock, that illuminated the otherwise dark throne room. The time of the Oni was nigh, and though she was not one by birth; the pale queen understood the importance such tools would play in the future. Her form shrouded by a thin black robe only defied by the dark plated clawed gauntlets that shielded her hands. From the shadow veil ceiling a tall and lanky figured descended.

    It's form brittle, but it's face like that of an octopus. Tentacles drenched in slime writhed, as from it's horrid visage a watery voice boomed. "The party has been formed. The Justicar is among them as well; just as you predicted my grace." The monster landing on both feet, dropping to a knee as it addressed it's nefarious queen. "I know." Her words poised callously, showing no appreciation for the slothfulness of this Illithids network of spies. Seldom did something escape her ever vigil eyes, though the threat of spies kept her enemies at bay. Paranoia was a powerful tool, sharper than any blade and stronger than flesh and bone.

    "What is it you have planned?" The creature dared to ask, his curiosity clouding his judgement. From her throne she did rise, stretching her arm out as she raised the entity in the air. Vainly he tried to break free from the spell, only to be launched across the room. Crashing without restrain against the harden walls. "It is time we made our first move against the flowery south." Under the mask, full lips contorted, giving birth to a wryly grin fueled by sinister ambitions.

    "Soon they will all know your name; soon they will all know your power. My beautiful queen Valerna." The Iliithid other worldly voice resonating in her mind as it struggled to rise. "It shall be as it was in the west..." She concluded, as her invisible hand moved the pieces into place.




    -Back at the town.-


    Gerald narrowed his almond shaped eyes, finding little pleasure in her hostility; yet promise in the strength of her rage. If such ferocity transferred not just into her bark, but also her bite. She may prove more useful than they originally thought. Assuming of course she wasn't as Naive as to let her emotions blind her. A chuckle parted from his lips as he once again took the time to lit another cigarette. "If I dare? Did you know wolves are one of the only animals that kill for the sport and thrill?" His threat indirect, but enough to send his point home.

    "Besides..." He paused, glancing over at the justicar as she bartered for their lodging. "I want to see how long it takes her to figure out your deception on her own." His words callous and direct as usual, cutting right through the fat and straight into the meat of the matter. Gerald meant what he said, there was no doubt in his mind that Justina would figure out her secret in due time. It wasn't a question of if; rather of when. Stepping out from the inn the Justicar closed the distance between her and her fellow comrades.

    "We have a room, I could only get two. I'll have one to myself seeing how I am the only fair lady; and you two dogs can bunk together." Gerald was barely able to hold back his snicker, finding much amusement in the irony of her statement. "That sounds fair. Though I see you more as a weasel." He managed to reply, keeping enough bearing not to chuckle. Though the Justicar could tell he found something amusing, other than his rodent comment. Though what seemed out of reach. With a shrug of her shoulder she pushed it off as human stupidity.

    "Tomorrow morning we will head to the site where the Oni's have been known to hunt." Justina uttered, trying to steer the conversation down a different path.

    "Whatever you say our Fair maiden." He replied with a sarcastic bow. Taking his leave as he made his way toward the statue at the center of the town.

    "What's his problem?" Justina questioned audibly; unsure if the prisoner even cared to throw in his two senses. "Whatever; I am off to bathe and rest. I am sure that old human is off to drink."

    Sure enough, the elf was correct. Out of his pack the officer pulled out a bottle of warm whiskey. While others packed food and water, Gerald only desired the necessities. And so his pack was filled with cigarettes, booze and crossword puzzles.
     
  13. The meaning behind his words was painfully obvious, as subtlety didn't really seem to be the strength of this human. Aila was not all that intimidated by his thinly veiled threat, feeling that her life was already in as much danger as it was possible to be, and at this point stacking more aggression onto the pile of likely paths leading to her demise would actually do nothing to make the situation any worse. The young elf could well be mistaken in this belief, though it was unlikely she would ever consider this possibility. She was one to make a decision and keep to it, usually seeing the world in an unbending, steely black and white in which the lines between beliefs were rarely - if ever - even partially blurred.

    Unfortunately, it was also fair to assume that the wolf was correct in his own thoughts over the Justicar. She would eventually see through the crude ruse, and the person beneath the disguise could not quite work out how the elder elf would react. She may take it as an insult to her intelligence, or simply brush the truth aside as inconsequential. There were many choices, ranging from outright wrath, perhaps even to amusement. But, Aila would take her chances. She had no desire to widen the circle that knew her true sex, and so would continue with her lie for the time being. She felt it was always better to go with the risk option that could end well, rather than err on the side of caution that would inevitably end badly.

    When the sun elf returned, Aila couldn't restrain a muttered comment that left her lips in a barely audible whisper, "Female, but certainly not fair." Whether either one of her companions noticed this little insubordinate jibe, it was impossible to tell, though they did not react, thankfully. Rather than bother with this tiny comment, Justina was more concerned with the far too jovial manner of Gerald, though it appeared she could not fathom why his attitude had taken such a turn. The silver elf was privy to that knowledge, and this was shown in the irritated clenching of her fist, along with a gruff shrug as the issue was acknowledged. At least the question was mostly rhetorical, as the stuffy woman soon made her prim exit.

    Now that the Justicar had disappeared to her room, Aila went to speak to the man that had so easily seen through her attempt at deception. "Is that wise?2 She questioned, obviously not familiar with his drinking habits, and fretting that if he drank to excess he may not be in sufficient condition to face the never ending road of their journey in the morning. It was none of her business, and Aila soon retracted this misgiving, "Ignore that. Are you going to test my mettle or not?" She was a direct woman, to the point that tact usually fell by the way side, so it was usually something of a hindrance in her attempts to be social. She was keen to get this done, so that she could go and bathe for the first time since being left in that god damn prison.
     
  14. The peace was preferable to the gut wrenching sound of the Justicar's voice. Her arrogance and sense of inherent superiority to the realm of men insufferable. He much preferred the company of his bottle; over that of her kind any day. The bitter taste of aged whiskey, the warmth running down his throat a comfort. As his mind dared to wander to days since pass. To an era of bloodshed and war, when brothers unsheathed blade against their own kin. A time when the lush fields of the east were stained with the crusted blood of armies. Men who fought for the folly of an emperor.

    War in it's very nature was a vile thing, the apex of human stupidity. Waged over children, pride, religion, bigotry or tradition. But no matter the mask dawned on the conflict, nothing could disguise it's vile face or repugnant odor. And no matter how heavily he drank, the memories of old never seemed to fade for long. A heavy and elongated sigh parted from cracked thin lips, as he heard the approach of the other she elf. "Better your company than hers." He replied, stating the obvious as he took another swig from the old bottle.

    In silence he listened to her, as she pointed out the inherent folly in his current companionship. "Wise? I doubt it...but when does a soldier do what is wise?" He replied, his words drenched with regret as if to reveal but a fragment of what weighed his blacken heart so heavily. A soft chuckle resonating in his throat between sips, as the she-elf went on to request her test. He had indeed promised her a spar, a test of their skills in the hope of understanding her. "You can tell much by the way one dances with the sword. Or their stance with the bow." Gerald replied, placing the bottle on the soft blades of grass.

    "Come...join me. It is best to share a drink and some conversation before one engages another in a friendly duel...Please sit." His hands motioning for her to join him, for the first time his words were not an order...but a humble request. "Pardon this question...but I am curious what a non bigot mer like yourself may deduce. If given between the choice of a lesser evil...or a grand. Which one would you choose?"

    His words though sincere in their approach, were as much of a test as their ringing and clashing blades would soon be. For though one can see much through footwork, by staring into one's eyes in the heat of battle. Even then only so much can be displayed; for actions speak volumes over words. But there are some words actions are incapable of expressing.
     
  15. It had been far too long since she had engaged in an honest conversation with another person. She counted the years since she had fled her home, finding the result somewhat disheartening. As much as she loved being able to live a life in which she dictated her future, there would always be a part of her that longed for the cities carved into the mountainsides that was the homeland of her brethren. She briefly wondered how her return would be received, though no conclusion was forthcoming. It was a foolish thought, anyway, and so it was pushed away with gruff disdain.

    Rather than dwell on this, Aila chose to focus on what was being said here, taking a tentative seat nearby Gerald. Upon being offered a drink, the somewhat pride bound elf did accept, very nearly spewing the warming liqour all over the man opposite her, apparently struggling to cope with the burning sensation in her throat that led to a good round of coughing and spluttering. She did thankfully maintain some level of decorum, covering her lips and doing her utmost to keep some sort of composure. Once recovered, her cheeks were red, her eyes watering slightly as she spoke, "I'm used to watered down ale. Forgive me." The places she frequented were hardly well renowned, and so the alcohol on offer didn't seem to be that wonderful.

    Now that this rather embarrassing episode was over, Aila moved on to the more important task of answering the question that had been posed to her. "Who is facing these evils?" She asked, not trusting the question all that much, "If it were a choice between a minor evil for myself and a great one for many, then I'd take it on myself. Were the roles reversed, I'd probably let them deal with it." The elf shrugged, not entirely sure what the correct answer to this question was, should there be one, anyway. Most likely, there was. Why would anyone ask something if they didn't know the answer already?

    She paused for a little while, rapidly returning to something that had irked her since it had been spoken. She had remained quiet up until this point, but could do so no longer. Without further ado, Aila launched into her own question, "Before you tell me how wrong I am, do you really think all soldiers are fools?" Her voice was strained, almost as though she were angry, though she would most likely deny it, should she be challenged. "Where I come from, soldiers are chosen for their brains and hearts. Strength can be trained, but a good man can only be born." Her particular species of elf was dwindling in number, and now only housed enough of guard to fend off wild animals, but that was beside the point. Aila felt that a soldier should take each of his decisions in battle as a ripple effecting the outcome of the war, not just a bloody swipe.
     
  16. In silence he listened to her words, though his feelings toward them remained ambiguous. The bearing only portrayed by a man of war shielded his emotion, and in it's wake left but an expressionless look. Did he think of all soldiers as fools? No; but what was war but the very epitaph of mans very sinful desires and folly, to include foolishness. One could surmise the fault as a sense of duty, weaving a tale of compassion toward the dogs of war. Claiming that they only follow orders, yet it isn't the steel that cuts a man down, or the blade that extinguishes his ghost. Rather it was flesh, for a weapon is just an extension of our bodies. And can forever be tainted by, or become a beacon of hope pending on one's actions.

    "Myself, if given the choice between a lesser evil or a greater...I'd rather not choose at all." He paused, ignoring the fact that her spit mixed with whiskey blew his way. The sight was comical in his eyes, though his demeanor failed to reflect his inner amusement at the spectacle. "Why must a man choose? Why can't he abolish both..." Gently he bit down on his thin lower lip, as emerald hued eyes drifted to the grass in between his legs. "You asked me if I think all soldiers be fools?" Eyes defiantly peering up, seeking to gaze into her very own.

    "Is there such a thing as a wise war? If the answer is no, than you can relate to my feeling on the matter. If no, than I pity you elf." His words carried with them an unbridled sense of sincerity. The integrity behind them proving infallible as far as his own perception was concerned. "What do you think of us humans mer?" His inquiry seamlessly forming out of thin air, as if he wished to derail the topic of war from advancing any further. In gerald's time, he had met but a few elves whom he'd deem tolerable. Most of them; much like their justicar companion proved rather arrogant. If not entirely insufferable...

    He was unsure if this was bigotry or perhaps a justified emotional responses? With a firm foundation being set on top of his own first hand experiences. It wouldn't be long now before their blades would clash, their soon to be clamor like orchestra to the ear of an true offspring of the raven. But before he could fight her, he wanted to understand and study her. After all, it isn't often you meet a woman far too busy disguising herself as a man to hide from her past...perhaps?
     
  17. Such an answer was merely a dodge, a feint of misdirection that purported to be a nugget of wisdom. Being such a headstrong woman, Aila said as much, feeling that this conversation was one of honesty. She did not fear so much from this man as from their justicar companion. He was not nearly so self righteous, and to be honest, he seemed more at peace with the world. "You're just avoiding the issue. It is a simple question, and even you ought to be able to answer it." She rolled her eyes, finding this all somewhat exasperating, "Try to rid the world of both evils may well result in both succeeding, and Gods know that's happened before." Her tone was almost that of a woman scolding a cantankerous child, not a filthy thief addressing her superior.

    The elf let this brief moment of beratement hang in the air, blue eyes downcast as she thought of evil on a more personal level, though she had not intended to revisit that in all her years. Perhaps the fate of her clan was one of these situations where the council had taken on both threats, when they should have just taken on the one. They had been caught between their fellow sun mer and men, ultimately refusing to compromise to either side, being forced to retreat to mountain caverns which they had emerged from eons ago. Aila was sure their days were numbered, if only because their number had diminished so greatly, but she would not be the one to remedy that.

    As for war, Aila honestly didn't know. She instead shrugged, "There are wise men in wars, and just wars. There's also alot of foolish pride, and perhaps that unbalances it somewhat." She supposed it didn't matter all that much, in the end. Afterall, there was nothing that could be done to change the state of the world - not on her level, anyway. She was just a pawn, and was fairly content with this role. Perhaps she sometimes wished for a little more power to be held in her hands, but for the most part she was able to take life as it came.

    The sudden question of her opinion regarding humans took her off guard, but as usual, she was relatively quick to rebalance herself. "You are ruled by your emotions, and you resort to violence far more quickly than my kind. Well, some of us, anyway." Aila once again looked him in the eye, not wanting to avoid his gaze. "But, I believe there is good reason for that. Your lives are so short, and far more intense than ours. We can afford to spend months deliberating on even some dire issues, you do not have that luxury. And to be honest, sometimes such reflex responses are an advantage." Since leaving her clan, Aila had learned this rapidly, becoming far more human than her fellow elves would ever believe. No doubt, if she ever returned to her noble father and mother, they would be mortified by how emotionally dependent she had become.
     
  18. Somewhere deep in a dark hole, where the light dare not shine. A man with raven hued haired, and potent eyes of jade rested. Nested on a heartless stone throne as frigid and crisp like autumns night air. Here within his dampen home he waited, with a young immobilized girl frozen in a state of torpor resting on his lap. "It is alright my Dove. Soon you will sing again, soon we will become a family once more." A loud and maniacal chuckle reverberated from off the walls, as from the shadows a man clothed in a dark green tunic emerged. "Indeed; soon she will awaken and with her will come the wings of Heaven." The other wordly voiced of the masked guest piercing through the madness of the dark haired fellow.

    "And the pale queen?" He inquired; his words warranting only silence. "I see...I suppose she makes little difference to your grand scheme after all; she is just a pawn. A pawn desperately seeking to become a king...Oh the poetic irony." His laughter continuing as these words parted from narrow lips. "I have something that may entertain you. Seeing how you often complain of boredom." The strangely cloaked man whispered; as the owner of the lair's ears perked with intrigue. "Oh? What is it that could deafen the boredom?" His words carrying with them a sarcastic undertone. "Gerald is alive. And he is trying to stop the Oni. He must not be allowed to prevent the phenomena from occurring Hayden."

    Silently he gazed at the unwanted guest, allowing the weight of his words to seek in. "He is not alone. He is accompanied by a Justicar and a Mer." Hayden busted out with laughter, rocking every which way as he held the child close to his body. "You see my lovely canary; Uncle Gerald will soon be paying us a visit. Finally we can have our reunion and have such fun! What shall I wear?" The cloaked figure did not like this man, he found his methods extreme and his insanity insufferable. "And what of his companions?" Hayden questioned; as the figure shrugged his shoulders. "Do with them as you may..." And with that he dissipated into thin air, leaving the man to his madness.




    Gerald had heard such retorts many times before; their truth though distasteful proved hard to denounce. "Us humans...Blindly we charge into the light head strong; without knowing what awaits us on the other side. This is what has defined us, allowed us to progress. But it is also destructive and anarchist in nature. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if we are but mosquitoes being dangled above a roaring fire by the hand of an angry and cruel God." He replied, pausing briefly as he took another shot from his whiskey. Sighing heavily as he continued his train of thought. "Maybe the light of change I seek will cost me everything, and in the end I'll be left with nothing but despair. However..." He paused momentarily, stroking his chin ever so slowly.

    "To repeat the same cycle out of complacency or fear, is a prison far greater than any cell. In the end it is death; death not of the body rather of the spirit." The lone wolf doubted the mer would accept his thoughts on the matter; yet regardless of her own thoughts. He felt the need to address the issue honestly. "In regards to my misdirection, I apologize. I was not my intent to act so rudely. I see war as foolish, and those who partake of it equally as foolish as the kings who start them. Even the people who do nothing out of fear still possess some fault. Though not on the same scale as their ruler; or their soldiers."

    Casually Gerald stood upright, offering the woman his hand. "Though you may not prefer it, I offer you my hand. I offer you my blade but most of all; my friendship." If she took his hand he'd help her up, treating her as a lady. A notion that may offend her; but if he failed to attempt to do so in private. He'd be betraying his upbringing and culture. "I have seen a glimpse into your soul. As you've briefly peered into my own. I am ready to clash blades with you not as a stranger, nor as an officer of the law. But as a companion, if but for a short while. For it will not be our blades alone dancing; but our very souls."

    Justina in the meantime had already settled in for the night, crawling underneath of her warm sheets as her armor rested next to her; and her blade still in hand. Unlike Gerald she had little interest in their new acquaintance. Almost as much as she cared little for her human partner. Justicar's were forbidden to love or form bonds that may compromise and alter their judgement and positions. To do so is to evoke death, for betrayal of the tenets is to betray yourself and God alike.
     
  19. Unlike many of her brethren, Aila had never been one for philosophy. Of course, she was prone to thinking on life for prolonged periods when she was alone on the road or in the darkness before sleep took her, but she did not devote all that much thought to the greater world, and certainly never took these findings seriously. She believed that there were great men and women in the world, predestined saviours that were bound to lead revolutions or define ethics. In this belief, she was merely a single rogue woman, and certainly not anyone of import. Perhaps the two she travelled wit, or just the one, was worthy of more than simply being a pawn, and the mer was content with this. She accepted that her role in this expedition could well be to sacrifice her own life for the sake of the to that could do more for the world, and did not shy away from this somewhat frightening fact.

    All of this led to this discussion to be fairly meaningless to the elf. It was certainly interesting to hear that a man so obviously forged in a time of war and general violence was so opposed to the decisions so often made by his superiors. The cycle of animosity between individual people and nations as a whole would never end, anyone with half a brain knew that. Even those races that purported to be peaceful could not claim innocence, as they so often were brought into war by the noble idea of 'any means to an end'. It was a shame that there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel, but as far as the elf could see, there was nothing for anyone to do but to continue living their lives and do their best to ensure they remained safe and well, and did the same for those around them - be they strangers or close relations. Simply standing by while a neighbours house burnt was not what a good person would do, regardless of upbringing or species.

    The speech of Gerald was not one that she was accustomed to, and his manner disconcerted her ever so slightly. However, the proffered hand did not offend her, as she did not see this as anything but a gesture of kindness. Among her own kind of secretive travellers, such miniature favours were only a sign of camaraderie, although it was possible that had her gender been known to those she had ocassionally met on the road, their manner would have been entirely different. Even so, her comparatively small, pale hand lay in his for a moment, as the elf got to her feet swiftly, also speaking in her own crude tongue, "I would not call it friendship. But I would call you uptight, perhaps your are more similar to the Justicar than I first thought." It was a true thought, though spoken with a slight smile that belied a small jest. In time it was possible that Aila would see him as a friend, a status that she did not take lightly. In her mind, such a word carried great meanings of trust and tight bonding, and was not to be thrown around willynilly.

    Upon standing, and subsequently finding a suitable place in which to lock horns, Aila found herself feeling a little invigorated by the idea of fighting. She was of no illusions over her own ability, aware that she was up against a skilled warrior, but that did not mean she couldn't give him a display of what a moon elf could do. Her skills were in speed and agility, her light and balanced way with a blade allowing her faster movement that could often sneak past the slower movement of those armed with heavier weapons. No doubt, the blade she was handed would not be quite right for her, perhaps too stout or long, maybe simply heavier than was ideal, but that was not what this was about. Adaptation and overall skill were the skills needed in this quest, and Aila intended to prove herself well.
     
  20. Such a starting notion, an offensive accusation in his pale eyes. The Justicar was passionate and firm; both admirable traits. However the manner in which her blade was swung differed from his own. She fought with hatred, her dance that of insipid intent. To most this may seem of little import; however in truth one's own intentions defined their actions. Not so much the act itself..

    "In many regards your words are true, many would see little difference between her and I." He paused, fingers now drumming against the hilt of his sheathed blade. "However I assure you that both me and that mer couldn't differ more. The gap between our skills, the barrier between our motives more vast than that between heaven and hell." The need to dwell anymore on this matter dissipated.

    What needed to be said had been said. And so the wolf of silver slicked back hair turned his back toward his new companion of circumstance. "Follow me, it would be unwise to fight within the town. I'd hate to destroy something of value or damage relationships between the police and the militia of this town." These words carried with them a sense of understanding and compassion.

    With a steady wide stride Gerald led the moon elf away from the boundaries of the town.Standing among an open field riddled with vividly colored wild flowers he abruptly halted his advancement. "Such a lovely place; a fair battle ground yet at the same time oddly a place of tranquility." Calmly he turned to face her, his once passionate eyes faded, and in their place stood the stern cold eyes of a seasoned killer. "I will not insult you by going easy. Come at me with everything you have!"

    With that being said the hoarse whisper of steel friction against still resonated like a symphony to his ears. As in his hand he firmly held his fine diamond tipped katana. "For I will surely do the same to you!"



    The town had fallen deathly quiet; as the once hard laborers and merchants crawled under their warm sheets to dream of pleasant things. Ignorant of the fact that on this seamlessly normal evening, something unusual would occur. Forever descending their lives into chaos. "Such a void..." Hayden whispered, as by his side a lifeless shell struggled to keep up. A vessel without a soul, destined to forever remain tied to the madness of her captor.

    "Do not worry my lovely Canary! Soon your song will set them all free." A wide sinister grin plastering itself on an otherwise awkward visage. With keen eyes the unwelcome guest surveyed the scene, his unnatural senses picking up on the signature of Gerald and his lunar elf partner. "It seems Uncle Gerald has stepped out for a bit, I can smell his tension. He must be as bored as we are my marionette." Casually he turned to face the inn where the Justicar slept, as a lone sentry noticed the strange man standing in the darkness.

    "I suppose we should start with her. She'll do quite fine while you prepare your masterpiece." Gently petting her head as he noted the approach of the guard. "What are you doing here! How'd you get pass the other sentries without proper authorization?" He questioned, his presence proving a nuisance. "How? Silly question! I killed them of course!" The bluntness in which he spoke, the nonchalant attitude her carried causing the sentry to become stricken with silence momentarily.

    "You did what?" The man questioned; finding it hard to believe a murderer would so openly confess his crimes. "Would you like to see how I did it? Though I guess they aren't exactly dead; since killing an inferior consciousness is hardly a crime. Nor could such pathetic creatures be considered alive." Out of anger the man thrust his pike forward. Piercing the skull of Hayden as he tore his head clean from his neck.

    Blood sprayed every which direction as a sigh of relief escaped his lips. "Justice can only be delayed...never denied." The guard whispered; but all signs of relief would vanish faster then they had formed. For on the Pike Hayden's eyes rolled, as he began to laugh.
     
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