The Ace Of Spades

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    In front of the child, did the house stand bathing in the light of evening's peak. And the gray stone of the patio pushed gently against the toes of her feet, and the girl couldn't be happier. She was home. But why does she smell of a salty scent?

    The white-haired girl awoke from her dream when a large, fat hand shook her shoulder. She let out a small yelp at the sight of an obese, fur-clad swine man standing in a slight crouch in front of her, and not another moment did pass before the tiny drops of slobber leaking from between his lips soon rile her awake. Mavis almost pulled her arm back to let loose a fist to his face, had he not spoken to her and in doing so dispel any and all thoughts the lass had of harm.

    "'Ou've been sleeping here. Too long. Thank Jarr, that no one rob 'ou." the swine man spoke, the mustache on his face swaying with every word. It was a white, the same tint of greyish white of the fur that covered his body. Shaking off her daze, Mavis swallowed and came to. She was lying at the mouth of a narrow alleyway, resting against the body of a building. Apparently, it was the swine man's herbal shop. "The sea get to 'ou?" he asked again, helping our little heroine to her feet. Slightly flustered, Mavis thought about it for a while, but couldn't bring herself to provide a concrete answer. It's not that she's any bit of a stranger to the seaside air, but it did felt differently here. She paced out of the spot where she'd slept, and it took only a few steps for her to come into view of the parts of Monsha she was currently in. Parts of which, she knew not where.


    "That's day one then, spent losing my way..." said Mavis, rubbing at her temple. Opening her eyes, a feeling of awe swept over her when she tread closer to the water, and looked out to the Alraude Sea. The world was vast and beautiful; all the more reason she pitied herself. She knew the world in front of her now was not that which she needed, but Mavis couldn't help but feel a longing for it, and all its wonders. Mavis looked down at the tides of water upon stone, and turned around, back to the swine man, who held in hand her bag. Never before has the girl felt like such a mess.

    "Want a few herbs? Might help clear 'ou head."
    he asked, handing the girl her pelt bag, to which she uttered a modest word of thanks, glad that she didn't struck him in the face.
    "No, but thank you." Mavis replied. She dusted away the dirt that clung to her skirt. "Though I was wondering, sir. I... Well, I need to get to the marines' offices. Do you know how I could get there, from here?" she asked the swine man. Hopefully, yesterday's events wouldn't repeat themselves, and she'd actually get the hang of following the directions this time around. Of course, her situation was understandable. The sun had started setting, after all. She was confident that this time, the outcome would prove different.

    Or... not. Mavis looked up to see the sun hanging from the highest peak in the sky, and wiped away the beads of sweat that littered her forehead. Despite having walked for only a little more than an hour now, she's already lost count of the all wrong turns she'd taken.

    "I'm sorry, kind sir..." Mavis thought back to the swine man herbalist, struggling through his thick dialect to put out the astoundingly detailed directions necessary for her to get to the marines' main offices. All of it gone to waste, the girl from Akrima wondered again, how she even managed to find her way to Monsha, the biggest port city in the land. Perhaps it wasn't too miraculous, and that the paths between there and here were simply straightforward. Or perhaps the roads of Monsha were too complex? To her, that was most probably the case, as she recalled seeing a written piece that was most unhelpful yesterday. It by no means tried to pass itself off as a map, though. Presumably, someone sketched it to give travelers like her a rough idea of how Monsha looked like.


    Letting out a sigh, Mavis simply stood in place at the moment, right in the middle of a junction, deciding to gather herself together before attempting anything else. It was all too new for her, the sights, smells, and sounds. Too new, in fact, that the thought of food only did cross her mind just now, as she looked to her left to see the junction that broke off into a bazaar street packed with all manner of people, moving from one stall to another.


    The girl looked strange, almost out of place, as she seemed to loom over the people in the streets, turning in one direction after another, a wary eye seemingly taking notice of anything of interest around her. The truth is she was hungry was all. From time to time she'd crane her neck and peer out through the crowds of people, trying to see if anything in the stalls could fascinate her enough. It was without doubt a major hotspot for those that passed through the port city, or are living in it. Various men and women shouted in common, advertising their wares.

    "Get yer talons here! Soul talons, soul talons! Be prepared ye for facing the adversaries not of this world!"

    "Please, come right up for some chopule fruit! You'd only find these on the western banks, now! Hauntingly sweet and tender, yet carries a good, juicy bite! Unlike any other fruit you've tasted before!"

    "Mantar tails, high quality mantar tails in toad oil! Calling all talented crafters and leather-workers! get them now, while they're still soft!"
    #1 Katzenbach, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2014
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  2. Tryver Von Distallus, a nobleman from the north rode south towards Monsha with a host of guards and sellswords upon the request of his father - if he had it his way, however, the sellswords would have been killed and only half the guards would have accompanied him. His skill with magic, after all, was better than most and he could very well handle himself in the wilderness on his own, but he understood his father's worries nonetheless. A young nobleman alone in the wilds was cause for alarm for anyone with power, and a chance for any ill-intended fool wanting a quick buck, not to mention the barbaric, uncultured clans living in the northern regions that would ambush him were it not for his large party. Even he had to admit, despite his skill with magic, if they all rushed at him he would either end up captured or feinting from overexerting himself; in a way, he was content but told the guards to keep a close watch on the sellswords - his father no doubt had enemies, and sellswords could change loyalty faster than the wind changes direction. He ordered that every night a few guards would rotate around the sellswords' tents to constantly keep watch on them and every morning when they set out their ranks were to be infiltrated by a few guards to keep them well apart.

    He knew full well the sellswords were offended by his actions; bugger them, he thought, better they be offended than him dead. He wanted to reach his destination without conflict or trouble and he reasoned that was the best way to do it, gladly though, no sellswords had been stupid enough to openly defy him. When they reached Monsha however, he vowed to let them go, there was no way they would follow him afterwards; he planned to go out into the sea to visit the fallen Yvetian Isles in place of his magic instructor to research how and why it had crumbled and the forces behind it, and since he had to go by sea, it would be his most vulnerable moment. If the sellswords had indeed been bought off, that would be the most opportune time to strike and he wouldn't have it. How he wished he could just kill them now and be done with it, but doing so would be uncivilized, he reminded himself, and a clear affront to his father and a shame to his family name. No doubt his father would have him killed for it; but he could always come up with a valid excuse. No, he said to himself. I want no conflicts on this trip whether from me or any others. So he rode on silently through the white fields of the north, brooding to himself, his hawk circling high over them.
  3. Among the troop of mercenaries, guardsmen and royalty, Gallan Ignis was one of the fellows who bright up the back. The hunter had been far less than enthusiastic about this trip as a whole, given the presence of so many other warriors-for-hire. Their grim, scarred faces, brutal muscles, unclean looks... everything just did not seem right, to Gallan, and that belief hoisted the self-imposed fact that as long as he looked anything like these men, he would appear no more trustworthy. Of course, that was one of the reasons that he and human society got along with such hesitation in the first place.

    It was, then, a unanimous decision on Gallan's part to go about this mercenary business in a different manner, if at all possible, the first chance he could get. Before then, he had to get this nobleman to his destination first. Upon the horizon that place stood, a massive city upon the coast with a harboring ring of stonewall jutting out from the city shore. One of the continent's main rivers (and one or two of it's secondary ones) led straight through the city out into the self-imposed bay of the city. Supposedly, this great port into the ocean was called Monsha; why a nobleman would go to this place, there were only a couple of reasons...

    Might be as good of a place as any to start again, Gallan considered.
  4. Carbon and steel. Bronze and silver ingots. Baby soft leather strips perfect for hilts, it was just beyond the woman's comprehension. Like a dream made from the finest gold wrapped up in delight melded with lush desire. Oh she was in a heaven beyond a heaven! But what did one expect from a port town, nothing less. Nothing less indeed.

    Ask her what the city looked like and she'd reply with stone and mortar. Ask her the details of some people's faces and she might shrug. Her focus has been anything but in the place and it would prove that verily with nothing more than a rightly timed question.

    But ask her about the supplies before the slope of her nose and she'd tell you the make, the craft and where it came from with a snap of her fingers. Tapered ears flicked and twitched much against their own accord listening to the practiced calls of the merchants all buying - literally- for one's time, one's curious eye. She had heard many better pitches and many far worse in her day, but none here seemed to catch her attention.

    At least most of them didn't.

    Fletching the round white pear from her elbow, bouncing it upwards to be caught in her ashy palm; the deep blue ocean reflected gaze peered over the wares of metal and leather. Her mind trapped in the loop of simple ores and ecstatically unaware to what was around her. Debating taking a bite from her choice fruit as she browsed by eyes only the wares of her trade and other's; the half drowling hummed a private ditty shuffling here and there to ignore merchants alike while keeping her focus firm and poised. Oh she made a rightly choice coming to Monsha, yes she did.
  5. Tamlen leaned against his amethyst staff as he spoke to the large sailor before him. "I'm serious! An Eidolon swooped in from the north, blasted the Yvetian Isles, and flew off to the south. I saw it with my own two eyes. My pops can vouch for me too." The sailor scoffed before leaving the lavender-haired man alone in the streets. "Sheesh. Tough crowd." Tamlen shrugged, walking towards the food market. His victims were either wiser than he thought, or his lie was too unbelievable. "I thought it was pretty believable. Or so unbelievable that it made sense." Tamlen rationalized his idea to himself, and nodded with determination. That's right. Step one to a good lie is confidence. Without that, people will just think you're a weasel. Though I never understood why weasels are treated so badly. I think they're pretty cute. Maybe I'll make up a rumor that it's actually marmadoodles that should be used in that phrase...I hate marmadoodles.

    As Tamlen created the start of the marmadoodle lie, he reached the food stalls while the sun was high. He browsed the wares, looking for Talbu fruit. It was the ugliest fruit in Eidos, but it was the most delicious. Tamlen felt he could relate to the fruit, so he had designated it his favorite. As he searched, Tamlen noticed a confused looking girl. Curious, Tamlen watched her as he walked among the crowds. Tamlen's lips curled into an almost sinister smile. Young girls new to Monsha were always easy prey. He had once convinced a young lady that a female kuraku could lay seventy eggs a day and that a male kuraku could lay eighty. It never hurts when his victims are uneducated too. Tamlen broke from the crowd and took a spot right beside the girl. He cleared his throat to get her attention before speaking, his face completely straight. "I can eat ten chopule fruits at once." Tamlen's eyes were locked onto the fruit, letting his statement appear to be towards no one in particular. All he needed was some sign, some indication that he'd drawn the attention of the white-haired girl, and he'd continue to speak. Maybe I'll try the Yvetian Isles story again. This one might just be gullible enough to believe it.
  6. Mavis thought the 'hauntingly sweet' (or at least she heard it that way) fruits that were on sale sounded nice, and even thought about whipping out her wallet for a piece or two, granted they weren't so expensive. She gazed upon the bazaar street and a flicker of a desire can be seen in her eyes, all the while immersed in those optimistic, bright pools. Before she can even move a muscle, however, a voice spoke up and mentioned the fruit's name, and Mavis came to her senses. She was bit startled at the sudden sound, one much closer than the rest. But she was even more startled at the sight of a young man standing beside her, dressed in an odd manner. At least, that's what she thought of his clothing before she pieced together that his attire was one of classic mage fashion. Do people actually still dress like that? Pointed hat with a wide brim, and a cape to boot... If it wasn't for her trying to figure out what, exactly, the bespectacled youth had just said, she'd be busy thinking herself with a slight case of a fish out of water.

    "...Pardon?" Mavis turned and settled for a simple response to the youth, slightly hoping that she'd caught his words right. For all she knew, it could have been a manner of invitation to a luncheon of said fruits. He did look a little bit the part, after all.



    The large barong growled and strode forward a great inch, the hair on its legs bristling against the earth as its hooves sank slightly into the soft riverside soil under its great weight. The beast lumbered forward as was told, guided by farmers at the sides as it ploughed their fields for planting. Across the plains outside Monsha's main gates, this was a common sight; nearly all the fields had at least two barongs towering the produce, or the empty soil that came before. Underneath the brown hide clothing that covered their knees, the sound of wet joints snapping into place can be heard as these tall animals moved about their daily dues, if one pays close enough attention.

    "Wow." the young farmer simply remarked, hearing his old man recount seeing the Eidolons with his own eyes in the days when their kind still roamed the lands. He reached under his straw hat to scratch at the skin beneath his brown hair, while the father let out a laugh.
    "You'd never have figured me fer a living man, son, if your uncle Ralph hadn't been there ta wake me. We hauled arse, th' both of us, like the Reaper himself was hot on our heels. Rakhasa was quick, but I wouldn't settle for something else determining my fate!" the man scratched his chin, and wiped the sweat that formed on his wrinkled forehead. He opted for a quick rest, and let both arms rest atop the end of his hoe as he looked around at everything under the midday sun. In the distance, he sees a large number of men traversing the hills on their steeds. "That's something you don't see ev'ry day..." said the farmer to his son, who spots the riding party easily enough. He wondered what manner of person it was to ride onto the golden roads of Monsha this time.

    At the same time, on another field nearby, a strange occurrence was manifesting itself. The oldest, largest barong in the fields began to fidget nervously, and struggle against the harnesses that fastened the heavy wooden plough around its carapace. Its owner looked upon the troubled beast and saw something strange in its eyes. As the beast that beheld a skin of a darker tint to its ilk let out a small roar, he understood what it was that he saw in its eye. He saw fear.


    The golden-haired girl bared her teeth in a mischievous smile. Looking for a suitable target was a simple business of pie, it would seem. A mark had left the deep waters, and was now in plain sight. Delving into the crowds, she ran up to the drow girl, who, despite was holding a fruit in her hand, had reflected in her eyes a state of mind that was up and all there in the clouds. She had no idea what was so engrossing to her at the moment, but anything goes as long as it was engrossing enough for her to work, thought the pickpocket.

    While pretending to be looking elsewhere, she ran into the drow girl on purpose. After letting out a grunt that sounded to be hurting enough, the girl tread around the drow and kept on running through the crowd, and she waved back in a seemingly good and apologetic spirit, shouting back "Sorry!" while she was at it. Once it was done, Alister brushed back her wispy bangs with a hand and looked down at the small wallet in the other, the weight of all the coins in it making her happy. This was a good catch, it seems.

    Oh, how she was feeling a little bit more confident that day. She looks to have forgotten her brother's advice yet again.
  7. It was as if she was startled awake. Rudely at that!
    But it brought a firm clear eyed focus to the irises of the young woman, flicking sidelong towards the accosting figure of golden tresses that seemed far too busy and in a hurry to be plainly mistaken with a run in.

    Her face pulled into a narrow iron wrought stare, hands knowing better than most would deem; an irritated exasperated silent sigh rose to her lips. Really.... Really? Did she look that stupid! She wasn't raised to be a fool especially to little gutter crawling curs!

    Fingertips told her what the mind already knew, her body turning already in swift motion allowing the flicker of frustration touch her brow. It only firmed it up in the forefront of her mind watching the girl turn around to 'apologize' that made it evidently clear. Most people she knew in the port city from pure sake of watching were far too busy in there own self conceded minds to apologize or wave or just about anything in the ways of interaction let alone purposely bumping into another. Helped that Saint seen this thieves sort of trick before.

    "Little ragamuffin," the light accent rolled across her tongue, shifting through the throng of bodies keeping an all so vigilant eye upon the sea of crowns. Blonde hair was sort of a sore thumb here with all the browns and grays and blacks.

    It wasn't hard not in the least. Keeping a firm yet lazy tracking saunter, often disappear and using the crowd as cover from the wee pickpocket, it took very little time at all before Saint reached out to grab tight to the girls shoulder, giving it a warning pinch that if she tried to flee that the drow wouldn't hesitant to thump the thief on the head. "Now now wee lass," Saint grinned sincerely enough though it wasn't hard to tell there was a bristling fury behind those teeth and fangs, "How about you give me back my wallet and I'll maybe treat you to a meal in gratitude. Unless you prefer me to use your hide as new leather for a hilt or two." a tone gentle in nature, commanding in calibre, this thief picked the wrong pocket.
  8. Several weeks had passed since his departure and nothing out of the ordinary happened. They came across a few of the northern tribesmen, but the encounters weren't anything special. None of his men were injured nor even died; not to mention the skirmishes, if he could even call it that, lasted no more than a couple of minutes before the barbarians retreated into the mountains. Of course he'd send a few of his men to hunt them down and make sure they never bothered them again, but all of that ended when he entered the green lands.

    Growing up his whole life in the northern frozen city, it took Tryver a couple of days to get used to the heat of the south and it was always like this. Every time he would visit south with his father the heat would get to him, how his father bore it he could never understand, he supposed it was a skill he gained due to the constant travelling and figured if he kept it up, he would get used to it as well, in time. Although, he did notice the cold effected his father much the same way the heat effected him, perhaps due to all the time he spent away from the north, he figured.

    They rode for a couple of more days before they were within view of Monsha, the gated port was large and the smell of the sea, and the way it unclogged his nose always made him feel better. Even from their distance he could already see the beauty of the port city, smell its mixture of meats, fishes, and fruits carried by the wind. None of this was present in the north, only a sort of frozen fish that tasted good at first, but after having eaten it for most of his life, he'd gotten sick of it. As they were making their way into Monsha, his eyes glazed over the large beasts that plowed the land and near shook the ground under their feet with each step. The beasts, although tamed, were of a frightening nature; how these people ever tamed them he would never understand, much less how they stood by them nonchalantly.

    Tryver began to focus on Monsha once again when he heard a roar and looked to see one of the beasts acting strangely. Feeling a pit in his stomach he ordered his men to draw their weapons and be prepared for the worst, almost instantly the formed a defensive structure, though how effective it was he couldn't say since they rarely, if at all, ever dealt with anything of this sort in the north. Keeping with the formation, he ordered the pace to be increased to a small trot and constant eyes to be fixed on the creature and he gave a signal for a few outriders to break from the formation and circle around the beast to figure out what was going on.
  9. Without even waiting for any sort of signal, Gallan broke off from the convoy. It was obvious that one of the barong used to crop the land here was getting anxious, and the noble had felt justified to worry about it. His guards formed a defensive weapon formation around the leader, prepared to stay and vouch their lives in place of their lord. But Gallan didn't care about that enough, given the group had plenty of arms available; they just didn't really have any true reason to use them. They were not aware that the huge, two-legged trunklike beasts would never go out of their way to harm something, intentionally or not.

    But when a barong was acting like this, Gallan knew, it was because something was frightening it. That was something to be nervous about, given how the bulk and structure of the barong made it near invincible to most attacks. As he broke off with the other outriders, Gallan scanned the immediate area, including the skies, for any possible threats. Something that could frighten a barong was either really big and very obvious, or had a lot of magic potential. When nothing obvious appeared, Gallan began to conclude it was probably the second option: something powerful.

    What could that mean? Whatever it meant, it was quite possibly a threat greater than any ballistic barong. Speaking of, the outriders seemed to be holding their ground against the massive beast; the discoloration seemed to indicate it was older, perhaps the oldest among the few here. The barong's eye grew more angst-filled, struggling against it's harness and plodding the earth, desperately trying get away from whatever it was sensing. As Gallan paced around the barong cautiously, he tired to discern which direction the beast would run if it could.

    Gallan, too, could sense something irregular, some force that began to agitate his blood, warm his bones. It brought forth intense emotion, the urge and call of nature's necessity, an apathy and sympathy of the barong- The hunter shook his head, attempting to clear and focus his thoughts, his human thoughts...
  10. Tamlen turned his head to face the girl beside him. He smiled warmly, or at least that was his intent. The girl's reaction meant she was now fully focused on him. Good, time to work some lying magic. First, he needed to learn if there was anything she was interested in. A person is more apt to believe something if they have a desire to know about it. Being in the food market, the girl probably was hungry. "Oh, nothing. Just talking about the chapole fruit. The shopkeeper lies, it isn't very good." Tamlen reached into his pouch and produced a small, brown nut. "However, this pico nut is the most delicious thing you'll ever taste. Here, give it a try." He offered the nut to the girl. The nut actually was quite bitter, and hard on the teeth too. Regardless of whether or not the girl took the nut, Tamlen continued to speak. "You're new to this city I take it? What brought you to port, dare I ask? I might be able to give you some information. I'm quite knowledgeable about the surrounding area due to my years of traveling. Monsha, Yvetian Isles. You name it, I know it!" Tamlen still had his friendly smile plastered on his face. He awaited to see if the girl was interested in anything he'd mentioned.
  11. Mavis gave a small frown when Tamlen smiled at her a smile she could not figure out. Despite a slight disappointment coming over the girl when the well-dressed youth told her how the chopule aren't as tasty as they're being advertised to be, she couldn't help but lit up at the sight of the nut Tamlen held up to her, if only for different reasons. What kind of game was this mage playing her for...? Mavis didn't understand at first, why her thoughts sounded so unfriendly. Maybe it was the additional disappointment of not getting any chopule fruits, or that they were supposedly horrible in taste? Maybe it was the hunger.

    "Mavis. Mavis Ambrose... I came from another port town, one called Akrima, to the north-east." Mavis said to him, taking the brown nut and holding it up to her face. She figured that she'd fare better in taking it as a trade, and trading her name and then some in its place. It was also a form of showing goodwill, she guessed. As harmless as the brown nut seemed, she feared that swallowing it might just turn her into a babe. However, as moments passed, curiosity started to sink in, and the girl brought the brown nut close... only to stop at the last moment.
    "Oh, I'm sorry." Mavis turned to Tamlen, deciding it was a manner most terrible to eat and leave him hanging. "I suppose I didn't catch your question just now. I.. Well... You see..." Mavis felt like kicking herself for this embarrassing bout of doubt, for it was due to her not trusting this strange boy just yet. In the end she settled for a question. "Perchance you've heard anything new about the Yvetians...?" Mavis turned to Tamlen and asked. In the meantime, she slowly brought the nut closer upon her mouth, ready to swallow, yet still listening to what the boy would say.


    "Meep!" Alister let out a small yelp when she felt long fingers clamp adamantly at the clothes on her shoulders, and a wince worked upon the girl's face as her fears are suddenly brought to life. Curses, thought the girl. The cute, innocent countenance she'd sported for the other usual marks didn't carry through as it had the tens of times before, it seemed. Alister grit her teeth as Saint spoke, and realized she couldn't be the weaker one here, what with the drow and her attempt at a persona of tranquility that belied the seething wroth that only sensibility alone could procure in this given scenario. Her frown turned into a grin, and Alister reached into a small satchel hanging by her waist with her free hand, a slight quiver in her wrist.

    "Treat me to a meal? Then what, an all-expense paid trip to the Enforcers HQ?" Alister mocked the drow that towered over her slightly, knowing full well that this bodes a circumstance that was nowhere lesser than grave at worst. She can't let herself get caught by the enforcers, not again. If not for her, then for her brother. She reminded herself that he wasn't the only one, even. But, only those that carry on with their lives and their choices without hesitating deserved a life to be lived well in this world, the girl has already vowed to herself long ago. "Sorry, but I gave my brother my word, that I'll be joining him for lunch. I'm keeping that promise, because that what thieves do." said the nimble pickpocket to the drow, as she clutched the few small spheres made of paper in her hand. "How about this... then?!" Alister declared her retaliation in a swift flick downwards, sending the paper balls to bombard the pavement below.

    The paper smoke bombs exploded into waves of white smoke. In an instant, the widening cloud of smoke grew to engulf both her and Saint, and grew further, swallowing the rest of the people in the street, be they merchants or travelers or common city-folk. In the midst of the small panicked screams and terrified shouts, Alister managed to break free from the drow, and ran forward, Saint's wallet still in hand. She shoved aside the people in the crowd, but at one point her foot snagged somebody else's foot and she teetered forward in the haze, before stumbling forward, and running face-first into a male figure, his details blurred by her very own smoke.

    "Oof!" did Alister hear the man grunt, knowing from his voice alone that he was young. She grunted herself as she fell on top of him, and with his body a natural cushion, her injuries naught. As the smoke rose higher, slowly but surely, Alister saw his face, strewn into an anguished grimace.

    "I... Damn, I think I broke my butt." the youth with light golden hair spoke sorely. Truly, falling backwards onto the hard pavement with a shovel's rod angled from up to down across one's backside is an excruciating painful experience. Hess could feel the reddish sore that bit into the skin on his backside. Brushing off his pain, Alister rose to knelt on the ground with one knee and looked back, wary of the drow. Hess caught a glimpse of her face just enough for him to narrow his eyes in slight irritation. First the strange (not to mention rotten) marmadoodle pie for breakfast, then a sudden curtain of smoke blew up in his face, then this? Looks like his lucky stars were away for the day, Hess thought to himself. "You... What was--" before he could finish, the pickpocket looked back at him with a hint of fear in her eyes and ran off without another word. "What the chests just happened...?!" Hess asked, bewildered, as the smoke thinned.

    >>>>>> Give chase; the blonde little pickpocket's started to panic, becoming sloppy and rushed in her escape!
    >>>>>> There're many others in the street... but some are staying put in irregular spots, as if they were pushed down...?

    She's done it now. If she doesn't find somewhere to hide now, who knows what the drow would do to her. She might even - gulp - do good on her promise earlier, and Alister shuddered at the thought of the word 'hide', ringing in her head in the drow's voice, a sound that came off a bit twisted to her. Alister dashed into an alleyway, but as soon as she turned around the building, she found herself in an alley that was almost empty, with all the windows and doors barred to a close. The few windows that were open were too high for her to reach. She jogged forward, thinking of the next step available to her, assuming the enforcers have seen the smoke in the street and are gathering around this block. She had to be careful.


    "We must make haste, young lord." one of his guards spoke to Tryver, ever with his humbled tone. "The walls of Monsha would grant safety, for who knows why this beast bewilders so?" he continued, watching on as a few of the outriders circle the strangely-acting barong, which seemed to have calmed down somewhat. Yet, its breathing continues erratic, and the beast stands hunched in the middle of the field, as if tensing for a rush to come. Some of the mounted guards have started to ride up to the nearby farmers, wishing their distance in case the elder barong runs amok.

    In the main group of sellswords, two were speaking, and their eyes constantly batted back to another of their ilk.

    "I tell you, Mort. That isn't Qwark, and can never be... He is an imposter! Silent, and strange." one of them spoke, eyes glancing at another rider in the back, encased in a a mask and armor made from beast hide, enshrouded in a tattered cloth. This was supposed to be their friend, but the man named Ringo felt a friendship no more. Unlike the others, who stood at awe and at the ready with their weapons in the face of this single barong, the man who's supposed to be named 'Qwark' merely kept at the reins of his horse, silent.
    "Hush, Ringo." his friend, Mort, replied. "What are you babbling on about? What reason is there to not be silent with this large animal in vicinity, have you not thought about that?" he continued. Ringo was silent at first, but as Mort turned a shoulder upon his friend to get back to the barong, Ringo spoke.
    "But I fear. I fear talking to him."



    At the same time, another one of the sellswords, a figure clad in full-body armor, attracted a few pair of eyes when his mount started to careen to the left, and veer away from their group in an almost comical fashion. They wonder if he has never ridden a horse before, how shameful.


    "No, not that way... Oh, for the love of..."

    What they did not know, however, was that it was a woman within the armor. A person that, indeed, has never ridden a horse before. Yet, she thought it was to unacceptable to have told her superiors that before she departed along with the rest of the party and the guards and Lord Tryver. Regene's horse veered outwards even further, and before she noticed it she was merely inches from another rider, a man who hid his head under a tattered red cloth. From a glimpse she's caught of the equipment he carried on his back, she believed the man was a bowman. She tried not to look into his eyes when her horse almost brushed up close to his, but what hope did she have in controlling fate when she couldn't even manage a simple farm animal?
    #11 Katzenbach, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2014
  12. The elder barong had stopped struggling, but remained to fidget, tensed for an opposition nobody could discern. Gallan glanced to the rest of the riders, sensing a wave of idle chatter among the riders in this moment of downtime. Among it seemed to be some suspicion over a rider dressed not too unlike Gallan himself, but with more order and power in the intent. The person, somewhat unlike the hunter, had barely even glanced up at the barong, suggesting that he either was extremely uninterested or knew what was going on in the first place and therefore didn't need to look. Regardless, one rider in particular seemed to regard the turbaned figure as an imposer of some sort, perhaps suggesting that his presence among the other riders around the barong was just to reduce suspicion, with presumably mixed levels of success.

    Meanwhile, the more obvious topic of diversion was another rider fully clad in armor, who seemed unable to control his horse properly. Gallan took measure of the number of figures who clearly didn't want their identity obvious, which set some amount of possible infiltration. People who hid like that most likely had some secret tied to their face, something not worth the risk of discovery. This armored figure, though, wasn't hiding very well, considering the fact that he was riding his mount poorly. The full armor was a large account to that, as it beset the weight and balance of the horse, among a lack of general control technique.

    As the rider unwillingly was trotted towards Gallan, the hunter looked to the other rider to see if he was regaining control at all. No such evidence presented itself. With a reach, Gallan attempted to pet and calm the other riders horse, at least being able to stop it. The actual rider was the one who had to exercise control correctly, and that wasn't something taught in a moment. Despite the rider's effort to not make eye contact (presumably out of personal shame), Gallan forced a look at the rider's upper face as best as he could. "It's not easy. You have to know when to lead the horse and when to let the horse lead," The hunter attempted to advise, "Use your body to steer, not just the reigns."

    If the other rider could at least get the idea, then at least she could exhibit some control more than none. In a half-act between demonstration and departure, Gallan spurred his mount forward, leaning aside to guide the horse in a half-circle around the stationary rider. Now pointing towards the proceeding caravan, Gallan turned back to the armored figure, snapping his head back towards the arguably more suspicious outriders, including the motionless hooded character. "Trust me when I say that we all have something to hide. Yours is not the most grave." With a slight nod, Gallan turned from her and pulled his horse away, starting a canter to pass the other outriders and catch up with the troop.
  13. "How about this... then?!"

    This was exactly why her father told her not to be so lenient in the ways of the world. Not to hand out the briefest sight's of vague compassion because others, other's were not so willing nor honest enough to extend the same. Even when caught.

    "For the love of the eternal god's," covering her eyes from smoke bombs that hit the ground, popping to hiss and plume covering the spanse before her in a ashy gray silhouette portraying more of a fog than a smoke. There was chatter of confusion, cursing of dismay and a general inconvenience that hovered around the entirely of the throng of bodies just as much as the smoke did itself.

    Waving a hand hurriedly before her face as if it was truly going to ease this haze from her gaze, Saint narrowed her sights letting spark of manna within her natural blood emerge for the faintest of seconds. Suppose it really couldn't be called a magic more of a racial right as pupils thinned into slits and peered through the cloud producing a very very minor increase of sight. She could at least make out certain bodies more so than others, and with her body moving forward without the slightest of thoughts; it was no wonder that she seen the well... well the klutzy thief go tumbling into the male using him as a cushion than a being.

    There was a rise of scrambled noise from the pair of them, her using the moment to come closer, stop catching the thief getting to her feet just to go running off in a disorienting spree of feet. Oh she was not letting this little street rat go now. Just about as stubborn as an old gray mule out in the fields for days straight, Saint was prone to making a point even if it really overly wasn't worth the time and effort. It was the principal at hand! Sure.... that sounded valid enough in her own mind.

    As the smoke was clearing, Saint noticed the beings that were trying to get back up from evidently being shoved down, a thin sigh came from her lips. Really... was her wallet really worth that much. There really... wait a minute. Saint slowed her steps with a casual smirk that seemed rather out of place in such a scene but it went to her face nonetheless.

    A mind turning over the contents of her own self, a hand into the pocket on her hip and the girl pulled out nothing more than lint and air. Azure eyes drew up, her body came around with a grin that she earned all on her own; the drow came around to offer down a hand to the gent that the thief had tumbled across. "Yah alright?" she asked gently, reveling in the private thought that the pickpocket had really chosen the wrong person to rob today. Not for the obvious reasons, but for the fact that in her wallet she had been keeping some of the iron balls for making closures and buttons of detail on the more decorative pieces of wear. It was worth no value.

    The drow had learnt well from her father - though remembering seemed lacking some days- that he taught her to keep more than one wallet hidden on herself. Her true one was still with her but hidden in the depths at the toe of one of her boots. Which was a mystery and honestly she felt like a daft fool for forgetting. Though that wasn't the first time.

    "Sorry about that, little pest stole my wallet." she grinned finally purely and sincerely honest, "Ain't worth the time of bowling over others."
  14. "Eh... huh?" Hess heard a voice, one that was soft to his ears at first but seemed to grow once a female figure came into sight, though none too pronounced yet. He still lay supine on the ground, a slight cramp in his mid-section, an intensity combined from consuming a terror of a pastry and a bash from a young skull. It was a deterrent for any attempt by the lad to get up by himself, as though the flares in his backside were not torment enough. When the voice called out to him in a gentle manner, he stared for a while at the gray hand being offered to him, coughing whilst the smoke had yet to subside completely. "Could've sworn she looked like the victim back then, but I guess it makes sense." Hess remarked, taking in the drow's words. Hess coughed again, and considered just lying down on the ground there until his butt goes numb, if it weren't for the fact that somebody had just had their wallet stolen, and was standing in front of him to boot. "Bear with me here, The Gallant can weigh... a whole obsidian chest at times!" he told the girl, clutching her hand with his own. "Ain't worth the time...? Help me up, so that I can see if I can change your mind about that." Hess told the girl, looking straight into the pair of azure trinkets that seem to pierce the white smoke.
  15. The Silver Day was pulling a slow two knots as it came up to dock in the large port town of Monsha. Monsha, home to a multitude of people from all walks of life, typical of a port town. It was the perfect place to find more information on the Yvetian Isles. No Island could just disappear. Something was behind that, and his hunch told him that there was adventure and riches to be found in this. Still, the port town held no guarantee of truth, it was a port town after all.

    Cairo stood upon the crow's nest as Silver Day pulled into harbor. He could see the business of the streets and the people shuffling to and 'fro; a city in motion. It was definitely Cairo's type of town. As the Silver Day approached the harbor, he took a rope and slid down to the deck, his hands used to the burn of the rope. The journey over here was uneventful. Despite the amount of goods on board, the ship didn't receive the delight of an attack from pirates or privateers. In any case, he was happy to be ashore.

    The ship's first mate emerged from the underbelly of the Silver Day and began to oversee the unloading of trade goods. The customs officer and the captain chatted idly as the goods were taken off the ship. Cairo went down into the storage and pulled his share of the labor before taking leave into the city. His first stop would be the market, reveling in the hustle and bustle of city and enjoying the music of street vendors promoting their wares. It was there the market went up in a cloud of smoke, enveloping people in a gray fog. That... was out of the ordinary. It baffled him on what that was. Soon enough, the cloud dissipated and nothing more came of it, other than a blond girl weaving through the crowd. It was probably just a scared child. He put the thought out of his mind and proceeded to his regular business: refilling his supplies while he was at the market before hitting the tavern for some rumor mongering.
  16. Well wasn't he just the curious sort of a pickle in the barrel of brine. His wide open eyes staring at her hand as if it might try to bit him stating something about that little ragamuffin looking more like the victim in this circumstance than naught. Wasn't he taught not the judge a book by its cover? Humans were strange at times and that was saying something coming from her raised by her human father.

    Finally he put his hand into her own as her brow popped up with amusement to his previous muttering of an obsidian chest and his own weight in conjunction to it; Saint gave a hearty chuckle listening to him. Yes this one was curious.

    Stiffing her feet into ground itself, giving a strong jerk back to retrieve his hind end off the ground with more oomph than probably needed, Saint wasn't as weak as she looked. Couldn't be with her line of work.

    Once she was certain he found his own feet so she could dust off her hands for no reason at all, Saint gave a wide grin and if it wasn't for the slowly dissipating fog that hung in the air, fangs would have been seen. "Change my mind over what?" she repeated his words in loose phrase, "That wee blond pickpocket got herself nothing more than a good handful of iron balls. Useless for her." a chuckle escaped her darker lips.
  17. Doubtful, wary eyes wielding an midnight shine looked on as the bowman's steed carried him off to a greater matter at hand. Her mount remained vigilant, if not slightly distressed for no obvious reason. There was no fear, but neither was there tranquility in its blood, this horse. As is the rest, but it was a negligible behavior. Quite simply, Regene's horse appeared more aggravated because her armor was the heaviest, the most imposing out of the rest. Yet, donned by a woman of Regene's average stature meant that while others were more likely to leave her alone, it also meant she wasn't a head taller than the other riders.

    Regene went about to heed and apply what's been told to her by the man in the red cloth, but found herself in a short, disquieting sort of reverie at his words, one only to be broken by her horse's cry as it looked to joining the rest of its kin in formation. She harkened back to Gallan's words and let it come to her naturally, based on the faintest sensations of control she's had for the few past weeks of journey, grueling as they were. Perhaps all this while the horse had been leading her, true to the man's words. She's never thought about it, and found that it was wiser an advice than it'd first appear.

    "Regrettably, the advice constituted a word of thanks... But he is a strange sort of fellow." thought Regene, wondering what goes on in the mind of a warrior, one of thousands across the land just like him. Or, at least that's how it's supposed to be. Perhaps some of the simple-minded riders of the north were more than they appear; all the better for her to blend in and get close to the young lord. She'd need to, in order to make it to the Yvetian Isles with all her limbs intact. That is not to say doubt has not left the young woman. "If it comes down to it, it might be wise to keep a closer eye on this archer."


    At the Beastly Pristine, the few candles that lined the mahogany bar and a corner of the tavern accentuated the calming, relaxing atmosphere its owners wished to present, away from the brightness of the sun and winds of the seas. However, they never intended for it to be a pastiche of absolute finesse, oh no. In their minds they believed the calm that preceded a merriment only makes it heartier to beheld and to partake in. A well-known spot in Monsha for its fine-tasting dishes and well-meant skirmishes, the tavern is no mere house for food, beverages, and parties alone. Upstairs, there existed rooms for lodgings by the worn and weary traveler, and in one corner stood a stage, often featuring performances by pianists and lone songstresses to whole quartets.
    Though it was not the best place for the exceptionally rowdy and the truly unruly, the tavern was inviting enough for those wishing to relax, have a good time, or to look for and see, plentiful rumors and the occasional sarees.
    Behind the bar, a woman in her thirties or so clad in a crisp dark blue blazer sat down with her fingers wrapped around a tall glass of white wine, propping her chin up with the other elbow. Business was decent, and half the tables were accounted for full. The sounds of people discussing things from their bounties to their hearties to the various adventuring niceties were like music to the female bartender's ears. The other barmaids would stroll from one table to another, tending to the needs of the wildly-varying patrons, from the humans to the few elves to some river-folk to even a friendly but quiet moss-folk seated in one corner, away from the other tables.

    They were dressed in odd ways; never were two garments alike. An unspoken policy was that as long as they didn't make too much of a noise, she or anyone else wouldn't have to come along asking questions. The woman, her pale black hair tied into a ponytail, merely sat and watched, her post freer than that of the others. Seems not many people come a looking for a surly drink when the sun hits high noon. She smiled, creases flowing down her cheeks from her upper lip, as she listened to the chatter.

    "Holy yokes, drem! One mo' of that durianthus smoothie, table 14, sweets!"


    The man looked out the window of his office, down at the street junction packed full with all kinds of people below. He drew a long breath and exhaled just as slowly, as if enjoying a quaint moment in the day. Only a sight of the few well-furnished ships leaving the docks that reminded him how he hasn't taken a vacation in a long time. Too many things have been happening in the past few days. Not only in Monsha, but also in the rest of the world. He, standing at one of the summits of a legendary port town such as this, laughed a silent laugh at the thought of unwinding on the beach, a ridiculous dream.

    His mind hovered above the Yvetian Isles incident, which had struck the man a personal blow. Even before that, too many have been happening. Monsha was a city that basked in the light of the new world, but there are always places where light cannot reach. Whole criminal dealings, connected to numerous syndicates, have taken place and are still taking place in Monsha. The man's hands, held on top of one another above his cane, twitched, and he felt an itch to scour the streets after the fall of night, like he did in his youth.

    The man dressed in formality glanced once at the documents that lay strewn atop his desk, a short sigh leaving him. Camlann turned back to the outside scenery, or rather, the plume of white smoke rising into the skies from within one of the streets. He's been informed that a squadron of enforcers have already been sent out to investigate, but this was not the first time it's happened. Camlann felt it oddly intriguing, this mostly harmless occurrence.


    "Thanks for that...!" Hess leapt to his feet with a huff and stood a drooped stance as he pulled aside his shovel and rubbed caressingly at his buttocks, still sore. It wasn't going away at any point in the near future, but once the initial shock effect wore off the lingering discomfort (as he calls it) was something the young man just shrugged at. "You've got one helluva arm. Let me guess, you run the forge? I can't think of any other kind of person who'd stuff her wallet chock full of iron balls." Hess smiled at Saint, finally standing to his true height. He was thinking of the tinkerer sort of person, actually. But the word blacksmith did almost roll off of his tongue. His eyes studied the drow girl for a while, still unfamiliar with her kind, but Hess liked what he saw. She was quite the lovely girl, kind enough to have helped a hurting stranger to his feet. With this white mess around him, though, Hess decided to save the introductions for later.

    "So much, in fact, that some pickpocket would mistake it for money..."
    Hess said as a means of propagating some form of petty conversation while he glanced around, his arms fluttering about to dispel the thinning smoke. "She's no young fluke either. Or maybe she is...? To be carrying smoke bombs..." Hess then whipped to the closest downed person he could see, carefully reaching out beyond the veil of smoke to help whoever it is up to their feet.
    #17 Katzenbach, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2014
  18. "You've got one helluva arm. Let me guess, you run the forge? I can't think of any other kind of person who'd stuff her wallet chock full ofiron balls."

    She might have given an grand hand gesture to accompany her response but that would only prove to be futile. "Aye, I have run a forge a time or too. Not in recent." Saint smirked more so for her own purpose. "You just get busy doing something with your hands and things just end up in the wrong pocket or wallet." And she could think of someone , nay, a few sorts of people who might end up putting some irons bits into their wallet. Either a real daft being or someone clever enough to trick those apt enough to pluck the wallet in the first place. She was going with the second option right now, made her sound a little more brilliant in her own mind.

    Attention skewed sidelong briefly mingling her sights amongst the haze listening all the while as she caught him vaguely helping up another being that had been toppled in the whole incident, an idle hand took to raking through the tresses of her hair. "It don't take much to throw a couple smoke bombs when you're in a panicking hurry. Skill has nothing to do with that, now-" this would really be the time for someone with wind manna to come along and sweep up this mess into the atmosphere, "Now putting all the ingredients together to ensure it reacts the way it should, that's where the talent lies."

    Following a familiar suit - namely she had been one half to this mess- Saint took to helping those around that needed it due to the folly that was the pickpocket and the blacksmith.
  19. Krune sighed as he looked down upon the bustling people from one of the many roofs in the city named Monsha. "Too crowded for my tastes....." He murmured in a hushed tone. He had heard rumors that the Yvetian Isles had been wiped from existence, so, the person that he was, he went to see for himself. Supposedly now and again a rumor would spread, then slowly die down. In a city like this, at one point he would find someone who knows of the happening, though they may take a while to find. Patience is a virtue, as they say and it truly is.

    Krune sighed again, getting up from his crouched position and dashing across the rooftops, looking for nothing particular. Now and again he'd slip, still not used to being on the rooftops for so long. The past few days, he was busy training with his sword, too idiotic to notice he would need to practice anything else. He decided to take a hold to see if anything pointed out to him. Nothing. Sure, there were traders selling their goods practically around every corner, but nothing really shone out to him. He frowned, remembering the difficulty he went through to get here. The pathways were often too twisted and complex to walk through to him, so he decided to take to the roofs. Now, seeing a view from above, the city was beautiful in it's own way, but if he did walk, it would confuse him and probably leave him scarred for life. He crouched low, taking time to scan the people of the city. Now and again he saw some people of interest, but it was practically normal. Once more, he sighed, deciding to stare at the passing and going of the citizens, travelers and traders.
  20. The girl took the nut from Tamlen and gave her name. She also told where she was from and Tamlen nodded casually. "Ah, Akrima. A fine town." Truth be told, Tamlen had never heard of Akrima, let alone had seen it. Tamlen watched Mavis seemed to be taunting him, almost eating the nut before saying something else. She was obviously unwilling to share her story, which was understandable. She instead changed the subject to the Yvetian Isles, which Tamlen couldn't help but perk up a bit. It was like she was delivered to him on a silver platter. However, Tamlen knew if he didn't play it cool, his lie would fail before he even uttered his third word. So calmly, Tamlen brought his right hand to his chin and let his right elbow rest on his left arm. "Yvetian Isles huh? know what? I actually do have a juicy little bit of info that you might find interesting." Tamlen paused for effect before continuing. "Would you believe that the destruction of the Yvetian Isles was actually due to an Eidolon left over from the war? It flew over the islands, let out a great roar that could be heard all the way here in Monsha, and then BAM, the islands were gone. The Eidolon flew off afterwards, probably off terrorizing some other bundle of land somewhere." Tamlen looked to Mavis to try and evaluate her reaction. Would she believe his tall tale?
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