Sword Mages and the Song of Dark Tidings

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  1. [​IMG]
    ((OOC is here ))

    The legends have come down to us over time, of how the first sword mages, their names long forgotten, defended the world from the energy burst released by warring gods. Since then, whispers and rumors of the incarnations of the sword wielders and their magic swords have echoed throughout time, but nothing has been heard of them for two centuries. Now, something has caused the wielders’ present incarnations to awaken, to seek their blades, disguised as insectoid talismans, and to search for the others. There is trouble in the air, but none know where it might be found. The usual overt threat is missing. Still, the call must be answered, and you have only old legends and the urgings of your blades to go by...

    Adra leaned against the crumbling stone wall, absently stroking the scarab charm that hung from her necklace. It was the same story: another town and still no sign of the lava sword’s master, or any other wielder for that matter. The uncertainty must be driving them by now, causing the masters to seek for one another out or to at least start to research. But although she’d searched in libraries, in farming communities, in witchdoctor’s huts and in pubs, she’d found no one.

    The wielder of the sword of plasma made a disgusted face. If there truly was something dangerous, they were losing time. And they would not have been called if there was not some lurking menace or imminent trouble. That’s what all the legends whispered. They had to have some idea! She couldn’t be the only one searching. And somewhere out there, someone had the lava sword, whose nature was searching and who had the capacity to ferret out the rest of the swords and their masters.

    Giving up for the moment, Adra pushed off the wall and started to stalk through the busy town of Kinrashi. Maybe she could at least find a place to get a bite to eat.

  2. The Immoral Dragon was not the finest establishment in Kinrashi. Just barely reputable enough for the "good" side of town, its peak hours tended to come close to midnight; as such, this afternoon found it mostly empty. The only patrons at present included a stout merchant (already deep into his cups), a disgruntled-looking young man who was clearly the paramour of one of the barmaids (the pair of them were having a none-too-quiet lover's quarrel in the corner), and a finely-dressed elven swordsman named Zuriel Cimmerian.

    His cup of wine sat mostly untouched on the table before him. Instead, his piercing blue eyes were flickering over the script of an open, aged tome as he thumbed through the yellowing pages. The book had been purchased at a local curio shop, and was one of the oldest (and driest) chroniclings of the original Swordmages' tale that Zuriel had ever read. He'd been studying such books very intently since discovering his own identity as the wielder of the Shadow Sword... a detail he kept as much to himself as possible. Very few accounts spoke well of the Swordmages of Shadow.

    What they did say about them was unsettling: nearly all turned to darkness, regardless of what sort of beginnings they had. But was that the sword? Or was it simply in the nature of the soul? Zuriel was keen to find answers.

    So he read, and he took infrequent sips of his cheap wine, and he did not notice much whether anyone else entered the tavern.

  3. Kinrashi had meant to be nothing but a stopping point, refresh, resupply and move on. But it had been a month since the Nothern orcs had entered the town, one of them gravely sick, but today the last would leave. Egna Runk, with a purse of coin and an itch to be on the road again after one more taste of comfort. Or that was the plan. As everyone knew when a thirty or entered a tavern, even one like the Immoral Dragon then tender to stay until broke, thrown out, or there was a good fight.

    Pushing open the door Egna was framed in the light filtering if the frame for a moment as she took in the scene ans the scents:

    Drink, it was strong in the air, good!

    Smoke, mixed types, something fruity... okay.

    Dwarf, solid honest folk who on occasion bartered with orcs. Good!

    Humans, mixed bunch but expected.

    Elf... not so good, could never tell why they did anything.

    Egna decided to ignore that though because the promise of ale has her grinning, and her magical magma sword remaining in place (it was better and more fun to use fists in taverns anyway) she placed a few coins on the table, their faces marred with dwarven numbers scratched into them with the point of a knife and sat down.
  4. The-Rangers-Apprentice-Movie-Poster-e1333486323696.jpg

    Rubbing the leaf talisman on his cloak, the ranger was sitting on the edge of the roof, looking out over the city of Kinrashi. He'd come through here once before, years ago he thinks, because he remembers the city. He was what most people called a Ranger, a person who helps those in need but then vanishes as though never there. He doesn't do it for the old hero effect, but because that is his job. To appear and then disappear. No names, no anything. It was who he was, no denying that.

    He had been searching for the others since he woke, researching everything he could, but something in him said that it wasn't necessary. Something in him said that he knew almost everything he could about his life now. Researching only brought more questions and he could often find the answer in himself, a comfort that he could only barely understand. Still, the ranger had a life to live true too, and bearing his talisman was a start.

    Taking a moment, he leapt from the building, grabbing a few wires and balconies on the way down. He landed lightly on his feet and started walking as if nothing had happened. He was good a blending in, even at times when he should stand out. He pulled the cowl of his cloak down over his eyes and put his head down slightly. Dominic Treaty, or just Nicco, was just doing what he was good at and there was no changing that.

  5. Show Spoiler

    Darcilla Von Burke.

    The road we find laying before us seldom proves pleasing. This friction triggered by our environment and inner disposition often served as a catalyst for personal progression. Those who end up tossed to the wayside often symbolize the potential for failure which lurks within us all. Though the roads never change, the people whom dear to traverse them are forever altered. The life of a pilgrim was never easy, without a home nor roots they often withered when exposed to the tribulations that dawn with the morning’s sun. A harrowing plight which has birthed many fables that have endured the changes of seasons and all that they do.

    Darcilla was one such Pilgrim, her boots adorned with the dust of this world. Her stride heavy with the frigid terrors she endured. Yet those potent eyes were not filled with despair, rather they were ablaze. Conviction and resolve plastering itself on her very aura, contorting it ever so subtly. She was a strong willed woman, independent yet humble. Her body language strayed from arrogance and rather leaned toward confidence merited.

    Like a fox without a hole she wandered from town to town. Seeking to end her holy pilgrimage whilst providing assistance toward any in need. She sought not material possessions for her deeds. Such acceptance would defame and corrode her image. Living by a strict code these monks have earned a duality when it came to their reputation. For no man or woman was perfect, no being incapable of being corrupted. from afar she could be seen, casually closing the distance between herself and this settlement. This silver haired woman would appear to be nothing special. But within her lurked a power, one which defied the understandings of most of the known world.

    By nature pilgrims were reclusive, elusively evading inquiries as they went about their own affairs. These monks were no exceptions, for their delicate code forbade them from disclosing certain information. Even using their own abilities in public could get them in trouble if it should be perceived as show boating. Now passing through the mouth of the gate, her very aura itself screamed her foreigner status. The attire that adorned her body alone was unusual. The upper half was clad in golden plated armor, the fabric a beautiful shade of crimson. Her lower half a long skirt composed entirely as the same shade and fabric as her upper half.

    Slipping pass the multitude of commoners which flooded the streets, the monk instead walked a more solitary route. Finding respite in the silence, practically relishing it. Abruptly Darcilla would come to a halt, freezing in place as the arches of her luscious lips contorted themselves, giving way for a faint smile. Those golden hues of hers averting from the brick road which lay ahead of her, resting on the weather worn door of a local pub. The smell of vice and intoxication tickling her senses as her nostrils widen. But what enthralled her so was not their taint, rather a sensation metaphysical in nature. The sort words failed to illuminate.

    Pivoting to face the door, the silver haired pilgrim approached it’s mouth. Making her way up the cracked stoned stairs. Grasping the knob of brass firmly as she turned it, gently pushing the door open before passing through its threshold. Her odd appearance giving wake to a few idle stares and bantering from the local populace as she made her way across the wooden floor. Rooting herself at a vacant boothe before closing her eye lids. A few bold men would approach her, as if they could enthrall her so easily. But only silence would greet them, for she had no need for their manhood’s. At the very most maybe their swords…
  6. Her hand flattened against the wood of the doorframe. The grain was weatherworn and rough and the building it belonged to was not of the best repute. The Immoral Dragon. She would have chosen another place to eat, but she’d yet to check this particular haunt for any sign of other wielders. Opening the door and slipping inside, she let her eyes adjust to differing light.

    Almost immediately, the weight of disappointment settled onto her shoulders. There were so few people here that the chances of any one of them being one of her future companions were miniscule at best. The elf’s motions were graceful as she crossed to one of the tables nearest the bar, perching on the edge of the seat before letting her fingers curve over the talisman that rested just between her collarbone.

    For a moment, she was overwhelmed by sorrow and a sweet, deep anger that threatened to overtake her, but in a flash it was gone, suppressed, forced back into storage. She forced a smile and beckoned the barmaid over, only to be ignored as the barmaid continued her quarrel. With a flash of irritation, she turned her back on the woman and rested her chin on the hand not caressing the talisman, setting her elbow firmly on the table.

    “Such wonderful service,” she muttered, just loud enough to possibly be overheard.
  7. Having entered the bar the back way like he often did, Nicco had only just sat down when the woman walked in. He was in a dark corner, so as not to be seen by anyone, and he stayed there for a few minutes before going to the bar and fixing himself a drink. Barmaid was useless, as was the bartender. He rolled his shoulder. The Immoral Dragon. The one place he didn't feel unnoticed. Everyone here was noticed at some point, be it as they were coming or as they were going. He glanced at the woman, hearing her muttered words, then fixed a second drink.

    He walked over lightly, noting the item resting above her collarbone, but otherwise just handing her the drink. "Service is wonderful if you get the right person." He said, winking lightly at her. So I was a little bit of a flirt, nothing wrong with that. Not when the woman looked nice like she did.

  8. A voice lightly accented with elvish tones was the first thing to rouse Zuriel from the near-stupor his book was inducing. It wasn't too unusual to find his kinsmen in this part of the world, but that particular accent was strikingly close to his own- and after a moment to dwell upon that notion, so too was the voice strikingly familiar. A sudden mental image of something short and blond and full of song came to mind, and he was sent back to the days of his youth in his hometown of Amaranthca... days spent in the company of his childhood friend Lorellan, and Lorellan's young sprite of a sister, who was al[SIZE=3]ways ha[SIZE=3]nging 'round and pestering them[SIZE=3] [SIZE=3]about the so[SIZE=3]rt of [/SIZE]things which two maturing [SIZE=3]elven lads[/SIZE] [SIZE=3]had no time [SIZE=3]or inclination for.

    Zuriel lifted his head, [SIZE=3]his long[SIZE=3] and[/SIZE] silky raven hair falling back against his shoulders, and turned to look [SIZE=3]at the table by the bar.

    While he[SIZE=3] took a moment to collect his thoughts,[SIZE=3] the [SIZE=3]elven [SIZE=3]lady [SIZE=3]whose voice had claimed his attention[/SIZE] was approached by [/SIZE][/SIZE]one of the[SIZE=3] other patrons who[SIZE=3] had wandered in whilst [SIZE=3]Zuriel[/SIZE] was lost in[SIZE=3] stale text. [SIZE=3]He watched the man offer her a drink[SIZE=3], and raised an eyebrow at the unmasked [SIZE=3]fli[SIZE=3]rtatious advances in his tone. [SIZE=3]Zuriel's[/SIZE] fingers strayed to the clasp of his cloak, a stylized [SIZE=3]moth brooch, rubbing the cool metal in what might have been an unconscious move.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3]With [SIZE=3]a soft thud and a[SIZE=3] [SIZE=3]shower of dust, he closed his book[SIZE=3] and[SIZE=3] [SIZE=3]rose from h[SIZE=3]is seat[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE].

    A moment later, he was settling into the chair [SIZE=3]opposite hers[SIZE=3], legs [SIZE=3][SIZE=3]casually crossed[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE].

    "Adra,[SIZE=3] little si[SIZE=3]ster," he greeted her with a small- almost[SIZE=3] secretive-[/SIZE] smile. He didn't so much as [SIZE=3]nod to [SIZE=3]the other gu[SIZE=3]est at her table. [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]"Is that really you? I scarcely[SIZE=3] reco[SIZE=3]gnized[/SIZE][/SIZE] you."[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

  9. [​IMG]

    Luminescent Purple crystals projected dancing beams of lavender across the smoothly painted walls of the grand foyer. The warrior sat with his black hair resting gently against the back of a carved wooden armchair, eyeing his broadsword as it leaned sheathed against the wall next to him. Occasionally, the muted priestess would raise her hand over him, turning her hooded face and taking in the beauty of his armor, adorn with gleaming silver fixtures weaved thickly inside tightly knit chain mail and iron wool. The gentle glow of healing on his left arm itched from underneath his armor and his heavy black brows twitched impatiently in his downcast, close-eyed position. His leg was solid and bound to a splint, in an attempt to heal an recent battle wound.

    The warriors eyes finally opened and caught the corner of a golden yellow gown, flowing melodically against the slender legs of a figure he never met. A woman’s wrist reached his line of vision, pale skin adorn with many golden bracelets. Her hand lay open, her palm up toward his face.

    "Calm your spirit Warrior..." Her voice was like a small chime in the heat of battle, delicate and barely audible among the busy cathedral. "You have come for healing and your wish will be granted" Without direction, the Warrior looked up to peer under the golden hood that shadowed the woman's face. She had Elven features, but something was wrong with her eyes, they were muted of color; she was blind. Her face was solemn within the golden hood that shrouded her features.

    The priestesses hands clasped around his face and without warning she bowed, keeping her faded eyes open she began to whisper. It took only and instant for her hand to move to a small, ornate amulet that hung from a long chain around her neck. From that amulet came a flow of power, filling her body and passing to the Warrior.

    A breath of air filled his lungs as he suddenly stood, bending his knee as if he was twenty years younger.

    "This is truly a miracle, thank the gods!"

    Without a word the Priestess bowed her head and strode away, walking out of the Cathedral without any need for assistance.
  10. Eve before the other elf has brought it's earthen scent into the tavern Egna had a flagon of mean in front of her and ignoring the cup and lifting the jug without sitting the orc opened her mouth and with the clank of tusk against pottery as the jug was tipped back and the liquid guzzled without slowing.

    The the empty flagon was places forcefully back on the bar and more coins were pushed across the bar top. "Another." again the cup was ignored as Egna picked up the jug and with a concerned expression chiseled into the keeper's face at an orc getting drunk on his property Egna turned and noticed the bickering couple. They could use a drink, clearly but there was a tightening in her wrist and she glanced down There was a hint of metal, a long dull body and four delicate wings, a dragonfly.

    "Shhhhh." she scolded it before grinning. Metal couldn't talk of course but maybe swords made from the blood of the earth could... it never had but all of this was just a distraction from the goal of finding people to share a drink with... and there right in front of her were three elves, two of them witting the other standing. Or at least they looked and smelled like elves. Again there was a twinge in her wrist and she moved forwards unsteadily and in two strides was at the table. But before talking there was important business to take care of. Raising a finger to gesture the on-audience to wait she drained the jug clasped in her hand and then with a satisfied sigh wondered why, of all the table, was she at the one with elves? "You three could use a drink." she declared. "Mead or ale?" because drinking wine was expensive and who wanted to drink grapes?
  11. And so it came to pass that the reuniting of the Swordsmen was upon the world once again. None currently knew the origins of the danger that was existing, nor did many even know that danger was existing in the first place minus the normalities of day to day living. Yet, despite this, the time was still there, and the Swordsmen were expected to answer the call. But, how would the lot of them even meet to begin with? Would they even get along..?

    But, Darceous didn't allow him to disturb his evening. As the wielder of the Storm Sword, the sword of the purest and rawest form of energy known as electricity, he matched that which he used: Eccentricity was rampant with this particular fellow. Though his dark gray hair fell to beyond his ear and down to his neck, not one single strand covered the oddly crimson eyes that always seemed to fiercely stare at others. Some called him a demon, others a vampire, yet Darceous was none of these. To be honest, he didn't even know what he was, just that it was very akin to both elves and vampires in the strangest ways.

    If anything could describe him, it would be a true partier. He always loved arriving at pubs and inns early to get some sort of enjoyment of solitude, yet when the night came surely he would be completely changed into something that enjoyed the crowds, the noise, the drink and more. How often was it that he went to some sort of 'shindig?' Well, it was honestly not a truly thought out question, as he went to one just about every night. His clothes screamed wealth, so there was no need to question his daytime occupation, yet none of these currently mattered.

    Tonight's agenda was to visit the inn known as the Immoral Dragon. Certainly there would be some sort of interesting crowd there tonight, no? He smelled it within the air itself, his blue talisman hanging from his neck and bouncing with each sway in step. Darc showed no care in the world, lips pursed to whistle a jovial tune and his walk being quite... Extravagant to say the least. Skilled with blades and magicks, he saw no real need to keep on obvious constant guard though he was always truly on guard. Ever vigilant, ever thoughtful, ever searching for... Something. Someone. Anyone that was like he.

    And it was during these thoughts that his hues scanned a strange yet attractive femme form entering his destination. What attracted him to her was not any form of looks; Rather, it was the very aura she gave off. A small smile cracked his lips as he walked in after her, seating himself at the bar counter yet keeping constant watch to the area in which she sat. His voice, it was as if water had broken through ice. Surprisingly strong, yet still carefree and full of interest in that which he had spotted, yet the words were only spoken to himself.

    "Perhaps fate has smiled upon me after all..."
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  12. This institution seemed to be a cesspool for the several races that inhabit this realm to congregate. Even now as Darcilla basked in solitudes light, those golden eyes of hers remained ever vigilant. Observantly she’d casually take note of the other patrons. Ranging from man to orc, but all of which equally strange in her eyes. The elves were known for their beauty and treachery, while the orcs for their brute strength and lack of respect for the other races. Even the dwarves had a stigma about them, caring for their coin and mead more so then their own women. Her fellow man served oftimes as an unknown element. Regardless of their shell one thing always abounded. Each of these races stood the infinite capacity for good and evil. Making them all potential allies and foes.

    Adorned in her eccentric attire the pilgrim would for the moment keep to herself. Ordering only a glass of water, for her code prevented her from indulging in self intoxicating antics. Even now as silence did greet her, the silver haired woman found herself drifting deep into thought. Recalling the tragedies of her past, a frigid melody which often crept on her. Throughout her travels Darcilla learned to never avert her eyes from death, to stare at those she was forced to kill. Taking in their face and names if at all possible. For though we may forget those who have given up the ghost. They will never forget us, so it was only respectful to return a similar courtesy.

    As she sipped on her glass of water, those golden eyes of hers would avert toward one table in specific. Watching as both man and faerie massed into one. The two elven kind seemed to be vaguely acquainted while the human sought to engage in idle flirtations. This much she was able to deduce from afar, whether or not it was accurate remained unseen for the moment. But before she could observe them for more than a few seconds. A tale, brutish man stood within her line of sight. His rugged face exposed as the rest of his frame was covered by a suit of armor. A heavy sigh parting from her lips as she looked up at him. Out of all the males here, she could tell this one would not take her silence well at all.

    “What brings a pretty lady such as yourself to these parts eh?” He inquired into, his lips contorting to form a simple grin. Their eyes would lock, but no words would be exchanged. “I see you must be a mute. Don’t worry sometimes I like a woman who can’t talk back.” This simpleton retorted, his voice reeking of liquor. However he didn’t seem drunk enough to justify such a rude comment. His words posed without stuttering or abnormal pauses. His stance far too firm for that of a drunk as well. But less she be dragged into temptation to strike this man, or to give into her anger. Darcilla would rise from her nested position.

    “Where do you think you’re going?” He inquired into before tightly grabbing her arm. Pulling her in close as his nostrils widen, taking in her scent. “You smell good…you know those guys you ignored earlier? They were my buddies, you see we’re soldiers and the least you can do is offer us a reward for protecting you.” His tone threatening as a sneer now plastered itself on his face. “Odpusťte mi otec, lebo som o hriechu. “ She spoke in a foreign dialect hr accent thick, causing the man to chuckle out loud. “I love exotic women! “ He bellowed, his breath almost enough to make Darcilla sick. “I wonder what it is you said.” Without pause she’d immediately replied. “Forgive me father for I am about to sin. Zat is Vat I said.” She replied; her words seemed to turn the man on. As if he misinterpreted what she meant.

    “I like this game tell me al-“But before he could finish these words the monk would take advantage of his complacent state. Pushing his hand away from her arm. Whilst her now free and dominant right hand sent a powerful upper cut his way. The blow would connect with great force underneath the right side of his jaw. Instantly locking his jaw as the man was thrown backwards. Slamming against the both, his heavy ass causing the frail wooden furniture to give way to his weight. “Vill zere be anything else I can do for you? No?” she would then make her way to the bars counter, tossing a small pouch of currency toward the tender. “For ze damages.”She stated, offering a bow. A small worn talisman falling from out of her armor. Dangling in the air. It wasn't extravgent. But it clearly possessed deep meaning to her, and perhaps a few secrets as well.
  13. Alec strolled along one of the many backstreets of Kinrashi, his hood drawn to hide the top portion of his face. This wasn't the safest place to be after dark, and the nature of the work that had brought him here made it all the more dangerous. He couldn't afford to be seen by anyone that might recognize him later, so he quickly made his way to his destination without stopping, never making eye contact for more than a fleeting second with the people he passed. Alec knew very little about the place, nothing more than its name, which he had read on a small slip of paper that had been passed to him discretely by one of his anonymous contacts earlier that day. He suspected it would be a hole-in-the-wall pub or some similar type of dive. Ultimately, it wasn't important, though. The place mattered less to him than the information he was expecting to learn of there.

    Finally, he found a doorway with a small painted sign hanging above it. The Immoral Dragon. He withdrew the paper from within his cloak and read it once more to be certain. Yes, this was the place. Wasting no time, he entered through the door and stepped into the dimly lit interior of the tavern. After the moment it took for his eyes to adjust, Alec scanned the room and its inhabitants. Mostly human clientele. A table of guffawing dwarves who had apparently already had plenty to drink over near one wall. Another table was occupied by a group of two elves that would most likely not be associating with anyone else. The only thing that made him cock his eyebrow was the the lone female orc rapidly emptying the contents of a jug directly into her gullet. Orcs weren't known for mingling well with other races, but he supposed even a she-orc might get in the mood for a drink and a little atmosphere occasionally.

    All in all, it was a good spot for business. He couldn't imagine anyone springing a trap on him here. But then again, his instincts had been proven wrong before, and was lucky to have gotten out alive of those few situations where they had failed him so disastrously. Still, he hadn't seen any hints of a set-up so far, he reminded himself, remembering it was imperative to keep his cool unless any signs of danger suddenly cropped up. There was such a thing as being too careful, and he couldn't afford to look conspicuous this early on in the mission.

    Since he had been given the name of the bar, presumably the owner or someone who worked there would have his information. Spotting a girl dressed like a barmaid, he walked over to her, only to have a hand thrust palm-open in his face before he could even say a word. She was busy having an argument with some young man, and in between her cursing at the poor fellow and shouting accusations for which she wasn't allowing him so much as a second to defend himself, she blurted at Alec that he would just have to wait if he wanted to talk to her. Backing away slowly, as if he had disturbed a sleeping mother bear in her den, he made his way over to the bar and took up a seat close to the wall.

    The barkeep approached, but Alec waved him away. He wouldn't be getting drunk on the job, even if he had no idea who he was supposed to be doing business with yet. For now, he would just bide his time and wait to find out who was interested in hiring him until later. Reaching under his shirt, he pulled out a jeweled scorpion-shaped pendant that was hanging from his neck on a small chain. Rolling the trinket between his thumb and forefinger, he settled into his chair and got comfortable. He desperately needed the pay the job could bring him, so he would stay here all night if necessary.

    After all, to a cutthroat assassin like him, patience truly was a virtue, and perhaps the only one that ultimately mattered.

  14. She glanced up in time to see the man approach and offer her a drink. Well, this was an interesting turn of events. A part of her wanted to hide, especially since more people were coming in and it seemed that the bar was more crowded than it had any right to be this time of day. She could have sworn she hadn’t noticed half of these people before. She reached to close fingers delicately around the glass he offered.

    “Oh, truly, sir? Do you work here or do you just happen to be on friendly terms with the owner?” A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. It would be better to have someone to sit with and talk to while she observed, after all, and with more and more barflies showing up every minute, this was going to take a great deal of observation. In the interest of not appearing too conspicuous, she gestured that he take a seat. A seat that was suddenly very full of elf.

    His words were strange, and dredged up nearly lost memories of childhood and summer and chasing fireflies. Despite herself, her smile became more genuine for a fleeting second before she could school her expression. The glass was set upon the table as she leaned forward in excitement.

    “Zuriel, is that you? It can’t be, not after so long! Zuriel, this gentleman here was just about to tell me his name, I do believe,” she prompted, her gaze flicking to the clasp of Zuriel’s cloak. A flash of excitement rushed through her, and she would have taken a second, longer look but a question-- carried on a new voice she did not recognize-- stole her attention. She’d noted the orc briefly earlier, but now that the tall woman was at her table, she couldn’t very well ignore her. And the offer of drinks, however well intentioned, was an inconvenience that must be dealt with.

    “If you are purchasing drinks, perhaps you will sit with us for a time and--”

    Crash! The sound of a fight and broken furniture snared her observation and prompted the elf to stand in case a full on brawl were to start. But the fight was over almost before it began and the well muscled woman who’d been party to the argument seemed to have come out the victor. The sight of the talisman dangling from the woman was enough evidence that something odd, some strange convergence was occurring at this particular time and place. Taking her seat again, she gestured to the woodsman and the orc. She’d keep an eye on the oddly dressed warrioress, too.

    “So. Drinks and names, then?” She had a feeling things were about to get incredibly interesting.
  15. Nicco didn't even bat an eye when the elf came up; most were like that, and he didn't care. The elf was clearly protective of the woman, easy as that, and clearly knew her. So, Nicco only shrugged, looking around briefly. He pulled up a seat from another table and sat, leaning back slightly while he took a swig from his pint. "Name's Dominic, Lady, but feel free to call me Nicco." He subconsciously touched the leaf clasp on his collar, feeling the pulse of the sword-or rather the bow-beneath. Earth, Nature, either could qualify as the name for the sword he bore.

    "And I'm on good terms with the owner's wife," He lifted the glass slightly and the women at the stairs smiled slightly before disappearing back up them. "I helped save her daughter, she feels like she owes me is all."
  16. Another joining the table with the same pull about him and a small fight across the tavern, maybe this was Egna's kind of place after all! ... "NICCO!" the Orc bellowed clapping the seated man on the shoulder never once thinking this might be a private gathering he might be interrupting, they were introducing themselves. Then she was standing and lunching towards the bickering couple. Grabbing them each by a shoulder she yanked though out of the corner.

    "Argue later, now is time for drink and food!" she said before leaning in and holding then fast despite their protests gave them each a very tusky kiss on the cheek. "Meat, break, mead ale..." she reached into her purse again and dropped a few coins into the barmaid's hand. "The table with all the elves! Quickly before I get sober!"

    And then she was striding back to the table and dropping into a chair. "Egna Runk." she said pointing so herself with a thumb and grinning, giving both her Orc and Dwarven name. "We are all wondering into eachother, yes? Strangers? So tonight we eat and be happy." her voice was made loud by her intoxication she was happy to have company and her seat was the one next to Nicco's the least elven looking of the assebled group, but she leaned forwards and idly played with the dragonfly on the band around her wrist. "Any of you know Duk Shuk Tro?" it was a popular song where she was from and supposedly as old and the mountains themselves. "We should sing!"
  17. The Priestess found herself settled on a long bench next to the busy door of the town tavern, listening to the commotion going on inside. Her faded eyes stared straight forwards, with no real reason to close as she focused her attention. Of course, like many times before, the Priestess felt the curious looks of passerbys that spread an uncomfortable nervousness through her body. Slowly, her painted eyelids closed as to not attract anymore attention.

    From deep within her mind, she felt the pulsing familiarity of power. Power much like her own, but variying in purpose. Unfortunately, the young woman could not bring herself to enter the bustling bar,so, she remained outside. There was far too much noise in there for her to be able to concentrate on the speckled source of power that she wanted so badly to investigate.

    It seemed that waiting was her only choice.
    Alistair yawned as he made his way through the crowd, his heavy white braid barely slipping through the throng of people. At the end of it, an onyx dragonfly brooch clamping the end together. It was something he'd grown quite attached to, seeing that it sparked within him a sense of completion.

    Well, despite the fact that he seemed to grow evermore restless after a familiar power coursed through his being for the past three years.

    As an elf, he'd known well the lore of the Swordmages, and more importantly, the Terra Sword -- the same brooch at the end of his rather thick rope of hair. He couldn't exactly escape the history lessons -- elves were expected to be quite knowledgeable -- as did his caretaker. He'd been drowned in the earliest tales of the earth, some older than the stale air everyone shared and recycled.

    The gray eyed elf yawned again, wanting nothing more than a drink. The nearest tavern seemed to be the best choice, and so he took it. As he neared, he met a woman there, dressed almost delicately. He gave her a nod of respect before moving to stand a ways from the tavern door. With a frown, he noticed that inside was more crowded than usual. He felt something strike his spine -- an aura of sorts he'd not been able to detect, focusing on his physical needs.

    Alistair looked over his shoulder at the woman. A priestess, now that he took a careful look. Curious, he walked back toward her and squatted so that he wouldn't seem so imposing. He peered under her golden hood, only to have something glinting in the sunlight capture his attention.

    Odd, he thought to himself. Normally priestesses would carry rosaries or staves. But this woman... And that amulet... It looked too familiar to ignore.

    "Pardon me," he spoke gently. "That amulet. Where did you get it?"


  19. Elsewhere in town...

    “Is it working?”


    “But is it working?”

    “I said be silent!”

    In a tavern named the Feisty Cat on the other side of town, a room had been rented to a small group of people. They appeared to be tired travelers, dusty and worn, the men appearing to have not shaved in quite some time. The room was the largest the innkeep’d had available on such short notice, and steps had been taken to give the current inhabitants more room. Straw and mattresses had been piled into a corner to make room for maps, weapons, and bags. Buckets of water sat around the room and a few of the dusty commoners were using them to clean faces and shave. Others remained dressed as they were, their job being to act as a cover when leaving the room publicly was needed.

    In the center of the room, a chalk outline with intricate figures and scrollwork had been drawn around a tall, thin pedestal upon which a cloudy grey orb sat. Two women, one old and as faded as worn parchment and the other young, sharp featured, and vital, faced each other across the air above the orb. Their hands met on either side as the younger gazed into its depths.

    Nearby, amongst the quiet, diligent workings of the twelve other people in the room, a boy of barely twelve moved from group to group, asking questions and generally getting underfoot until sent on an errand. To anyone outside of this group, he appeared to be the son of one of the peasants. He seemed to be irritating the old woman at the pedestal especially, curious as he was about the workings of the scrying orb.

    “What will it do when it works?”

    “I told you-- look, why don’t you go make certain the girl is comfortable?” Both women at the orb turned their attention to it. Images only they could see crept out of the smoke, coiling and revealing and then vanishing. The younger of the two smiled, the older spoke.

    “I have located them. Have the mage tell the others. The Wielders have congregated as the prophecy foretold. Now that we have the girl, we shall move against them. The swords will be ours! Now, to open her soul...”

    The boy knelt in the corner, his palms resting lightly on the sides of a large trunk. Slowly, he slid his hands together, popping the latches open and lifting the lid. Within, a woman had been bound, gagged, and appeared utterly terrified. She’d long since stopped screaming, but she still tried to hunch up in the corner of her box.

    “Granny says to be sure you’re comfortable. You look comfy to me. I think maybe it hurts. Maybe that’s why you try to bite and scratch the men when they put the people in your head. But it’ll be okay. You’ll be okay. Pain’s learning.” He reached out and patted her head, smiling when she flinched. “Granny says pain’s learning and you have to learn it all.”
  20. Alec had been sitting at the bar for quite a while, surveying the patrons that came and went, some drinking while others seemed content to merely blend in with the crowd, perhaps to fade out of their daily lives for just a bit and become just another face among many. The only relatively interesting thing that had happened had been a brief and minor scuffle at one of the booths. Looking over when he had heard the raised voices that served as indications of the mounting conflict, Alec was surprised to see the exotically dressed woman in a place such as this, but slightly less surprised to see that she was being cornered by some drunken lout. Alec turned away for just a moment, then heard a loud crash. When he looked back to see what had happened, the man was now laid out over the shattered wood of the booth and the woman was walking away towards the bar. He quickly averted his eyes, lest he fall on the wrong end of the woman's attention himself. Glancing back towards her surreptitiously, he managed to see her offer some money to the barkeep, most likely for the damages she had caused, which he accepted, and with that the matter seemed to be resolved.

    Maybe this place might liven up a little, after all, he thought to himself. He was just beginning to consider asking for a drink of water or something else light when the barman made his way over and pushed a piece of paper across the bar to Alec. Staring down confusedly at what he had just been given, Alec looked back at the bartender for clarification about this little "present", but by now he had walked back down to the other end of the bar, all without looking back or saying a word about what he had just done.

    Alec peered down at the piece of paper dubiously, wondering whether he even wanted to know what it said. Placing a single gloved hand on the counter, he slowly reached across the bar for it before grasping it lightly between his fingers. He turned the page over in his hands, feeling the smooth texture of the parchment. This type of paper had to have been expensive, meaning if it had come from his client he likely stood a good chance of getting paid well for this job. Still, it was the high paying jobs that often were the most complicated. And the most dangerous.

    Alec started to read the message scrawled on the page in thick lines of dark ink, only to find he couldn't. The words were illegible to him, although the script was vaguely familiar. His eyes swept over the elegant curves and finely traced shapes of the letters, which at times seemed to blur together into one long, flowing line of indistinguishable yet delicate penmanship. Some kind of elven script, most likely.

    Remembering the table of elves he had spotted over, Alec glanced over his shoulder and saw they were still there, although now they had been joined by the female orc. Steeling his nerves and trying to ignore his suspicions about the strange turn this job was taking, he made his way over to their table. Hopefully, their delicate elven sensibilities would not be too put off by a strange, unfamiliar man approaching them out of nowhere in the middle of a seedy tavern.

    "Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt and all, but I was wondering if one of you," at this he quickly glanced back and forth between the two elves, one male and one female," could help me with this message. I believe it's an elven script and I'm afraid I can't read it."

    Crossing his fingers behind his back in the hopes the information in the message would not be too delicate or give him away as an assassin, he placed the parchment on the worn wooden surface of the table. Alec smiled as guilelessly as he could at the table's occupants in an attempt to disarm them. He couldn't come off as too suspicious, or this wouldn't work out in his favor, leaving him clueless as to how to follow up on the first good lead he'd had in a while.

    "The name's Alec Rahn, by the way. Pleasure to meet you all."
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