Safe Guard

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Inati, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. The tavern was noisy that night, though it wasn't as bad as most nights were and for that, she had to feel grateful. The usual patrons were there; wayward travelers and bandits and nomads that had decided to indulge themselves with a few drinks of ale and trade stories of their adventures with whoever would listen. She could feel a few eyes on her, running up and down her body in bold curiousity and slight hunger, but she left it alone; as long as they didn't touch her, they could look all they wanted.

    A sigh left her lips as she brought a hand up to push dark red, wavy hair out of her ebony face, golden eyes flashing in the flicker of the torches set up around the tavern. She crossed one leg over the other with slight impatience, placing her chin in the palm of her hand as she looked over at her companion, another young woman that had actually convinced her to come to the tavern for a possible job opportunity.

    "Now your'e sure this is the real thing, Letty?" the golden-eyed woman asked her friend, narrowing her eyes suspiciously for the upteenth time.

    The woman named Letty rolled her own eyes at her and nodded, "Yes, Claradean, I'm sure this is the real thing. They showed me the money and everything."

    "I don't know why you referred them to me when you could have just taken them to the knights. They are always doing work like this, escorting and protecting," Claradean mumbled, sighing as she continued waiting.

    "I referred you because you're the best when it comes to this kind of thing, even better than the knights. The scholar will have no trouble with you around and you will be paid enough to just laze about for the rest of your life," Letty answered with a cheeky grin, nudging her friend in the shoulder, "Come on, I just thought you would find it interesting and fun. It seems like an adventure and you know how much you like adventures."

    Claradean rolled her eyes with a small smile. "Besides, the guy asking for protection is kind of cute, so...hey, you might have a little 'fun' if you know what I'm saying," Letty continued with a coy smile, laughing when her friend smacked her arm.

    "Where is this guy, anyway? You said George was escorting him here, right?"

    "Yeah, but you know George. Always wasting time for no reason and showing up late. He should be here any minute now."
  2. Silas made his way through the streets, looking to his silent escort for a moment before focusing on the road ahead. The male was dressed for the adventure, loose brown pants tucked into high leather boots. A leather jerkin over a cobalt blue tunic, lined in intricate celtic knotwork. His pale grey eyes looked out from beneath the brim of his hat, a bit of dark chestnut hair falling out, the rest pulled back into a short pony tail behind him. What marked him as a scholar was the pair of glasses perched upon the bridge of his nose. Upon his back rested a leather pack, a bedroll attatched to the top, a pot hanging from the side. His hip sported a short machete like hunting hangar just in case.

    He entered the tavern, looking about confused, showing his lack of time spent in such establishments. The sheer fact that he had left his study worried him just a bit. None the less George motioned him towards the proper table and he avoided certain, less reputable looking fellows on his way. He stopped, looking down upon the girl, his features a bit soft, showing obvious highland irish decent. A bit of short stubble upon his chin and cheeks. "I was told you are the best..." He spoke looking to the ebon fleshed woman, his voice holding that tell tale accent while he observed her, appraising her with a bit of cautious skepticism. It wasn't to insult her, he was just expecting... more somehow. None the less he reached into a pouch upon his hip, drawing out a small drawstring bag and placing it before her. "The rest will come once my journey is over..."
  3. Claradean eyed the bag set before her before lifting her gaze to the Irish man tanking in front of her. He looked so out of place, this lean, skinny man with all his knick knacks and glasses, especially among the burly, brawny men within the tavern. She gave him a small grin and leaned back.

    "Such manners you have, stranger. Not even an introduction," she said as she stood up from her chair, "but I suppose you figure a woman like me wouldn't need to be shown manners like that. After all, what real lady would be in a place like this, right?"

    Before he could reply, she held up her hand, riddled with scars to tell her own stories about, and grinned again with a small chuckle, "Never mind. My name is Claradean, but you can call me Clara and on the question of if I'm the best, that's for you to do your research on. I simply do the job I take on and more often than not, I am successful. I don't like to brag."

    She took the pouch in her hand and weighed the heaviness of it, whistling a second later, "This is quite a bit of gold and silver, Mr. Scholar. You must be going pretty far. Tell me," she locked her golden eyes with his grey ones, "what are you looking for that you need my protection?"

    She was generally curious by this man of the books, wondering why he was willing to pay such a large sum of money to go exploring.
  4. Silas frowned as she scolded him for his manners. It was more a matter that he was rather nervous of the choice of venue, feeling eyes upon him for being less dirty than the rest. It worried him a bit. None the less he gave a quick nod to her words, "My name is Sias Mc'Collen, scholar." He replied with another nod before he gave a weary glance about the room, hoping no one heard the comment. He was just a cautious man, time spent behind guarded gates made one such. None the less he sighed, "I am looking for relics, the remnants of a people known to many as..." He frowned realizing it'd sound preposterous to many. "Atlantians..."

    He reached into a side pouch, drawing out an old map, the lands for hundreds of miles shown upon it, small x's marked across it. He laid it out before her, "tale states that they existed, and that they had ideas and machines that far surpass our wildest dreams... these places are were I believe there may be remnants of them..." He spoke looking to her with a dead serious expression. "The reason I need a guard is that there is a lot of bandit country... and who knows if the 'Atlantians' had some form of method for keeping their secrets safe..."
  5. Claradean stared at the man for a moment, one word flitting through her mind.


    She had heard of many explorers going on adventures to find the lost city and she had simply brushed off the idea of it, especially when those same explorers never returned to the cavern. What happened to them? She wasn't completely sure, but she did feel cautious of the journey. After all, like Scholar Silas said, who knows if the Atlanteans, if they were real to begin with, had methods for keeping their secrets safe? Deadly methods? Still, who was she to tell this man this journey was futile when he seemed so sure of himself? She looked down at the map he pulled from his pack and analyzed it, her eyebrows lifting a little in recognition of some of the regions. She pointed to an area that was right in between the Beldar Mountains north of where the town with the tavern was and the open area that Scholar Silas had marked.

    "This is the Salt Margin," she stated, tilting her head to the side, "Apparently, there was once a great body of water that filled this entire area thousands of years ago, but then it suddenly just disappeared, leaving behind hills and pillars of salt in its' wake. Dozens of explorers had tried their hand through this area, but only a small handful had ever been successful."

    She lifted her golden gaze to meet with his, her seriousness matching his, "Just from looking at this map, I can already tell it's going to be a harrowing and dangerous journey, especially for you, Mr. Scholar. I dont' have a problem with traveling with you as your guard and protector, if you're still willing to trust me, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into."

    Claradean took up the bag with the payment in it and gave a small grin, "I will take the job, Mr. Scholar, if you are still willing to make the journey."
  6. He had almost expected her to laugh him out of the tavern or take his money and leave. After all it was a crazy idea, to go after a mythical civilization. None the less he lifted his eyes to her as she began to speak, pointing out places on his map. Silas knew of the reputation of these places, heard the stories of those who never came back. It worried him deeply. His heart was racing by the time she explained how dangerous this would be. Taking a deep breath he sighed, nodding to her. "Alright, I know what I am getting into, and I am ready." He spoke forcing confidence into his voice while he nodded to the dark skinned woman. "I have to make the journey, it's my duty as a scholar... and since you're the 'best' I am more than glad to have you at my side."

    He stood straight once more, nodding to her, "I am ready to leave as soon as you are, everything I can take and need is already on my back." Given it was mainly tools and books, it was what he knew. Resting his hand upon the hilt of his short sword he tried to seem a bit tough, a bit confident, the eyes upon him worrying him a bit more. After all he looked to be wealthy enough to warrant robbing him. "There is more payment if we make it through this alive, and more yet if we find something."
  7. ' endearing,' Claradean thought to herself, giving him a small smile while nodding to him.

    "Fine then, as long as you know," she told him, taking up her black satchel with strange, foreign designs on it and her cloak, "Might as well get going if we want a good start, right?"

    She bid farewell to her friends Letty and George, the two wishing guard and scholar a safe journey and that they may be fruitful and satisfied. They left the tavern, Claradean having them stop by the local merchant's market to get a few other things she was sure they would need such as water canisters and healing salves and the like. She was even able to rangle some horses for them to use on their journey. They walked through the town, heading for the gates that lead to the outside world and as soon as they were passed them and they shut behind them, Claradean looked at Silas and give a side ways grin.

    "Our journey starts here, Mr. Scholar. I hope your ready for your little adventure."
  8. He followed her, looking about the shop though he seemed more interested in the books and tomes than things of survival. Silas followed her to the stables, looking to the horses. He took a deep breath as they left the city, the ominous sound of it shutting behind them made his mind recall the dangers and that now there wasn't really any turning back now. "You can just call me Silas..." He replied offering a slight nervous smile while he looked to the road ahead and adjusted his backpack to make it a bit more comfortable. Glancing to her he pulled out his map once more, finding their current location. "Nearest is at the Darkpass..." He spoke looking back to her hoping she'd know a decent way there as he folded the old parchment back up, stuffing it back into his leather pouch.
  9. Claradean looked at the man beside her, noticed the slight tremble in his stature and the way his eyes darted around him nervously. He was every bit the sheltered person that she had thought he would be, but he had every right to be nervous. There were bound to be bandits and thieves on their journey, probably whole collections of them as well as bounty hunters and monsters and orcs and goblins. The world was big, bigger than he could imagine...and he made the right choice in trusting her.

    She approached him silently, lightly pushing him against the side of his horse as she gently placed her hand on his cheek.

    "Listen to me...Silas," she spoke, using his actual name for the first time, "For this journey, you will need to at least be aware of your surroundings so that no one can sneak up on you. A man of your appearance out in the open will draw bad guys to you like moths to a flame."

    Despite her warning, she smiled kindly and stared into his eyes, "But I will protect you, no matter what. Enjoy this journey as much as you can and do what you do best: learn from it, hehe."
  10. Silas lifted his gaze in a bit of surprise as she pushed him to his horse, the beast not moving with the action. A bit of worry crossed him before the hand upon the short stubble of his cheek eased it. For a moment he had expected her to rob him and leave him for dead outside the gates. Slowly he tilted his head to her as she spoke, listening closely to her words. A bit of a lump formed in his throat while she gave him warning just for who he was. Maybe they should have bought different clothes at the shop as well. His concern played plainly on his face, he wasn't confident in his meager sword skills after all. He took a small moment to console himself, looking back up into her eyes.

    "Thank you Claradean..." He spoke, his heavily accented voice seeming very much sincere while he nodded to her, unsure of what to do with her so near and touching him none the less. It was a bit of an awkward moment, his pale eyes staring into hers in a bit of nervous confusion while he gently pet his horse. Though the sudden touch to it's flank spooked it making it whinny and move away quickly, letting Silas fall over backwards with a thud and a groan as he hit, staring up at her. "I was never too good with horses."
  11. Amusement flashes in the guardian's eyes as she furrowed her brows in sympathy for him. A small chuckle left her lips as she reached down and hauled him back up with strength most couldn't even fathom a woman like her having. Once he was on his feet, she grabbed hold of the horse's reigns and calmed the beast until he was standing still once more and ready for their adventure.

    "Well, you'll have to get personal with this one," she informed Silas, handing him the reigns and gesturing for him to hop on the animal, "Make friends with him and trust him because he could be a factor in saving your life as well should things head south, though let's not wish for bad luck. Besides, you've got a very good horse; his name is Lucky, after all."

    She smiled at the scholar and turned to swing up on her own horse named Brotus and whispered gently to him before she indicated with her head the path they would now take; "The Dark Pass is where this forest ends and these small mountains begin. There are creatures that hide in the trees of that trepid forest and it's as if the sunlight can never penetrate it. Whatever you do, don't panic and don't leave my side."

    Her golden eyes suddenly flashed seriously as she urged Brotus forward, expecting Silas to follow after her.
  12. Her words didn't exactly calm him much, none the less he pet the horse's neck before hauling himself up onto it's back with a bit of difficulty, almost falling off the first time before he finally got himself situated and comfortable upon the animal. Taking the reigns firmly in one hand and patting the horse with his other he looked to her as she spoke. "Alright..." He replied, slowly nodding and adjusting the hangar on his side before giving the horse a nudge with the heels of his boots, getting it to trot after her, trying to get it to her side, wanting to stay close. "If I may did you get into this business... the guard kind." He questioned, mainly wanting to have some form of discourse to keep his mind from going to the recesses of his mind, to recall the childhood tales of monsters and beasts that hid in the dark forests. He knew most couldn't be true, still though, every lie had a bit of truth within it.

    Looking ahead he released a small sigh, taking off his hat and resting it in his lap while he ran a hand through his hair, just trying to make sure he was prepared. Turning his eyes back to her he couldn't help but admire her strength, confidence in her task. He had to wonder if he had been born into a different world if he could have been like her, strong, adventurous. Well he supposed he was being adventurous now, given that he was actually going out after a long dead civilization. This was one of the few times he left the city though, and this was the first time it was without his peers going to another one to share ideas.
  13. Golden eyes turned to the man now riding beside her, a hint of mystery darkening her pretty irises as she regarded him appraisingly. She gave a small shrug and made sure the hood of her cloak was securely over her head; being a woman wasn't going to make her job easier either, for bandits always thought women were easy targets. Hiding her face would also hide the disadvantage.

    "I'm not exactly sure," she answered truthfully, "I had always been a traveler, going off on my own adventures to see what other worlds lie beyond the house I grew up in. Then, one day, I was joined by a man that needed my help to get to a certain kingdom. He paid me handsomely for being successful and after that, I had always been referred to as the Traveler's Protector. At least, that's what Letty tells me thatshe refers to me as."

    She chuckled at the memory, "Where are you from, Silas? If you don't mind me asking, that is."
  14. He hadn't caught her gaze, his pale hues looking over his horse's ears at the road ahead. As she spoke his attention was brought back to her. Slowly he nodded as he listened to her, seeming a bit surprised that she took the task on a whim it seemed. None the less he gave an approving nod before he felt a little smile curl at his lips. "I come from the north, a small city called Eldrige..." He replied, the city was known for it's scholars and library, offering little to the world save for knowledge and the protection of it. His eyes softened thinking of home, "From there I moved south to here, seeking the college and what it could offer. I learned of the Atlanteans there and came across the map there... and was refereed to you. That's how I ended up on this horse..." He spoke with a slight chuckle.

    He looked ahead once more, turning his eyes toward the setting sun. "I suppose there aren't any nice taverns on our way?" He asked, a bit sarcastically knowing they were leaving civilization largely behind them.
  15. "Depends on your definition of nice," she replied with an ominous chuckle, urging her horse to jump over a small, fallen tree before it's clomping became rhythmic once more, "You'll be surprised what you'll find out here, hehe."

    After a moment of silence, she smirked and looked at him out of the corner of her eye, "I have this feeling that I'm not exactly what you expected when you first met me. Perhaps you were hoping your protector would be a man? Preferably with large arms and a scary glare? Haha."
  16. "As long as there is a bed and a warm meal I don't much care." He replied glancing over to her and releasing a small chuckle. A bit of concern crossed him as his own horse jumped the tree, comin back to her side once again. He released a sigh of relief, his worries about possibly falling ff the horse or getting it injured on the tree subsiding. Looking back to her he raised a brow as she began to speak again.

    "I suppose not... Though I was told by many that you were the absolute best." He replied nodding to her. "I can't imagine that you expected to be guarding someone like me or on a quest like this." He was trying to keep the mood between them light, not wanting to start off their journey with unneeded tension. "So I suppose we may be even."
  17. "Actually, I expected someone exactly like you," Claradean replied with a playful laugh, "People who aren't familiar with traveling to far away places on their own are usually the ones to enlist my aid in getting them there alive."

    They chatted for the next couple of hours that the horses trotted along, getting to know one another as best as they could considering that they were total strangers and one was leaving their life completely in the hands of the other. After a while, Claradean went silent as heightened all of her senses to the noises surrounding her. The sky seemed to be getting darker, though it wasn't necessarily from the sun going down. The air started becoming dank with a sense of fright lingering around. The sweet song of the birds had died out and instead was replaced by the growls and snarls of darker, more vicious creatures in the trees. Even the trees themselves seemed foreboding and evil as they loomed over the traveling pair, their skeleton branches reaching for them darkly.

    "We're getting closer to the Dark Pass...I hope you don't fright too easily because you'll start seeing some startling things," she warned the scholar, her eyes catching a glimpse of hungry, yellow eyes watching them from the shadows, razor sharp teeth flashing in what little sunlight there actually was.
  18. He played a good part, showing disappointment at being exactly what she expected. She could have at least humored him a bit about it. None the less he enjoyed their chit chat, talking about his studies into ancient schools of thought, no doubt boring her like every other woman he talked to about it. He enjoys tales of her own adventures. Giving small tidbits of useless information that loosely partained to it as they spoke. Silas was obviously a smart man, just a bit awkward when it came to non scholarly socializing.

    He hadn't noticed the darkening skies until she grew quiet. The foreboding atmosphere about them sending a small shiver down his spine. Her words didn't much help his concern. "What sort of startling things?" He questioned wearily looking back into the hungry eyes, his hand holding the reigns tighter. The other resting upon the wolf head pommel of his hangar. He feared whatever was watching them could hear his heartbeat for he could certainly hear it in his ears.
  19. "Oh, you know, just the monsters that you're parents tell you about in their bedtime stories before telling you to go to sleep," she replied nonchalantly, but despite how light she made of the situation, her eyes were very serious and hard as she stayed tuned in to the noises that surrounded them.

    Rustling could be heard, quick and skittish, as if something had just scampered into the bushes. Something rustled again and again, the noises becoming louder and moving closer. Reaching behind her, Claradean removed the bow that was strapped to her back and pulled out a strange, red arrow. She hooked the arrow against the taut string of her bow and lifted it up, shooting it into the darkening trees. Once it struck the bark of a dead tree, a spark of flame lit up the blackness and hiding within it...

    "Malachies," the woman muttered when the sight of ugly little creatures, covered in scragly black fur with big, manic eyes and sharp teeth flashed before her eyes, "They're more or less scavengers, but they will also attack for food if they're really desperate."

    Stuffing her hand into her satchel, she produced two large sticks, big sticks that looked like they had no business being in that little satchel at all, and set them ablaze. The fire from the now roaring torches sent the creatures scattering away, hisses of pain reaching their ears.

    "They hate the sight, smell, and feel of fire," she informed the scholar as she handed him a torch, "Keep that close and don't fall behind. They'll leave us alone once we've made it to the Dark Pass, though I wouldn't say that was a good thing."
  20. "Well that is completely reassuring thank you." He replied to mention of monsters. His pale eyes wide, searching the darkness as the eerie sounds of the forest reached his ears. It made him gulp, grasping the wire and leather bound handle of his hangar looking about only to see her draw and knock the bow. As she set fire to the trees and revealed the devilish creatures he felt a bit of repulsion well up in him. Nearly wanting to trample them out of existance and rid the world the the monstrosities. None the less he took the seemingly magic torch. Holding it high in his hand not holding his horse for dear life.

    "Why is that not a good thing?" He questioned, not taking his eyes off the skittering little daemons beneath them. Waving his torch at those who dared stray near. He made sure his horse was within arms length of her, his concern plain on his pale features a bit of sweat forming on his brow while he tried to steel himself to what was around them. What else could lurk in the darkness. He had to hope something good lay ahead.