The Cardinals (Gilgamesh & Alexa)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gilgamesh, Dec 7, 2014.

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  1. On the planet Aserathia laid one of many cities by the name of Haloren ruled by Lord Daveth. However, Daveth didn't truly rule the city. He was Earl;no doubt, all alike had to swear fealty him, but copper, silver, and sovereigns alike easily replaced a guard's loyalty as they turned a blind eye to crimes and people. Those that refused to be bought and kept their loyalty to the lord were dealt with in other ways, death, being the most efficacious one.

    Today everything had to work perfectly. The captain of the guard had to position his men at very specific posts, and at those posts guards who had their allegiance bought had to be placed at those posts. The ship had to be on time at the port, and, most importantly, the Sicarius had to be ready.

    Deep within Haloren’s twisting depths and between its towering buildings stood two figures that bore black cloaks covering the entirety of their bodies and hoods that concealed their faces. One was a woman, who leaned against the wall with her arms crossed and head down, but her hazel eyes anxiously scanned the exit of the alley she stood in. Her red hair fell slightly from behind her hood as she shifted her freckled face to get a better look at the exit. “Patience, Stella,” said the man standing across from her; his low, deep voice, seemingly devoid of all emotion, reverberating throughout the small corridor of the alley.

    “That little urchin should be here by now, Azrael,” she retorted, but as if on cue a little boy, no older than eight or nine, turned the corner, nearly running into the man. Azrael had his head bowed, but looked up upon hearing the boy’s return; his bright blue eyes practically glowed beneath his dark hood. “Are they here?”

    “A-aye,” the boy said as he took a step back, attempting to take in the man's features beneath the darkness of his black hood. The man's most distinguishable feature the boy could make out were his strikingly bright blue eyes that seemed to gleam on their own beneath his hood. The man's chiseled and stubbled chin peaked out from beneath his hood, as his straight jet-black hair almost blended in with the rest of the darknss within the hood. “They’re here,” the boy said, slightly nervous as he felt the heat of both pairs of eyes stare intently at him.

    "Then move, kid," she said before pushing past the child, dropping her cloak as she left the alley, nearly knocking him to the ground if it weren't for the man who caught him.

    "Thanks for the help,” he said before kneeling down in front of the boy and looked him right in the eye. “Make sure to get this to your parents." His eyes looked down at his pocket then back towards the boy. With a grin, the man dropped a single sovereign in front of the boy whose reflexes prompted him to catch it, "Whoa!" the boy exclaimed as he gaped at the glistening gold coin in his hand, "Than-" Before the boy could finish, the man had already dropped his own cloak as he quickly attempted to catch up to his partner. The boy turned to see Azrael's tanned skin and tall stature at 6'1. His long hair reached slightly below his shoulders, and he flexed his broad shoulders as he cracked his neck, preventing his body from tensing up before he put on his guard helmet. The boy looked to the girl, observing her athletic stature standing at 5'6, and her pointed ears that pointed out from either side of her head.

    "Damn she's impatient," thought Azrael.

    "Stella, let's not make the murderous pirates jumpy, shall we?" he said. Stella flicked her eyes toward him and followed suit.

    Azrael and Stella turned a series of corners almost mechanically. As they left the alleyway, they slowed their stride and nodded knowingly at two guards who responded in kind and an entourage of seven guards approached and followed behind them, “Not bad guard uniforms," one of the guards said to her. "Where’d you get them?”

    “Do your job and shut up,” she said. “The quicker and quieter this is, the better.”

    The guard gave her a threatening look, and she shot one right back at him. They turned a corner and the aromatic smell of baked goods permeated the air as they left the shadows of the alleyways and into the beating sun. The streets filled with civilians and merchants attempting to buy and sell fruits, vegetables and weapons. The incessant chatter of a hundred people surrounded them. However, as they walked into the dense crowd, the people parted, intuiting that they should move.

    Azrael and Stella walked confidently and quickly through the crowd, not making eye contact with any of the citizens that stared directly at them. As they walked through the crowd, the shine of open, shining ocean came into view. The waters along the wooden docks crashed against the ships. Standing on the docks and surrounding a rather large ship were eight dwarven men and women pirates and smugglers who looked around anxiously with crossed arms and darting eyes. Azrael and Stella approached the ship, and one of the smugglers held out his hand, stopping them, "You ‘ere for the goods?" the dwarf asked.

    "We are," replied Azrael.

    "Just you two? There's a lot here just for two people to carry."

    "Not quite," Azrael replied, as he pointed over his shoulder to his party. "We just want to see it first."

    The smuggler looked back at the guards and then to Azrael, "Fine. To the boss." The dwarf proceeded to lead both Stella and Azrael onto the ship and below deck to the captain’s quarters. There sat the captain of the ship and Stella and Azrael's target. "Ah," began the dwarf captain who carried a thick, graying and braided beard. "There you are. How do you like the ship?" he said, making small talk with a smirk.

    Stella shifted uncomfortably as she threw two pouches of sovereigns on the dwarf's desk, "Where's the explosives?" The bag beheld Earl Daveth's seal on the side of it.

    Azrael's eyes flicked between Stella, clearly clightly annoyed, then back to the Dwarf, "Very cozy."

    But the captain didn't pay any mind to Azrael as he laughed at Stella, "Straight to business, eh? That's okay." The captain motioned with two fingers to bring the explosives in as he counted the sovereigns in the two threaded pouches.

    Behind Azrael and Stella, two dwarves carried a large chest into the room and placed it to Azrael and Stella's left. They then opened it, revealing the explosives.

    "Only fifty sovereigns?" the pirate said, flabberghasted. "Let me tell you two a story." Stella sighed in exasperation, a move that tempted Azrael to smack the new Sicarius in the back of the head, "I stole these explosives, mid-route to their destination from King Valdrik. He would personally see my head on a spike as he fed the rest of my body to his pet thanks to this. I sailed all this way to your king's piss stain of a city. I risked my life and my crew's to bring this because your king practically offered to suck my dick for this dwarven exclusive weapon." The dwarf captain’s crew brought in a chest which they sat to their left and opened for them both to see.

    "This is probably the first time anyone, aside from a dwarf, has laid eyes on explosives. Do you even understand? The unstoppable power of explosives stands before you," he said, pointing at Stella and then motioning his eyes toward Azrael. "Want to only give fifty sovereigns? Consider me insulted."

    Stella looked at Azrael and then back at the dwarf. The entire time the captain gave the speech Azrael had been observing the Captain's quarters. "One," he thought upon glancing to his right then his left. "Two dwarves," Azrael looked over his shoulder, "three, four, and five. Let's hope she can handle this. The one on our left isn't heavily armored, and he's standing in front of the explosives. Cut his throat and I'll handle the one on our right before he can draw his weapon. She'll need to ignite the explosives before the three dwarves behind us stab us in the back." Azrael glanced at the captain who had made himself comfortable in his chair by kicking his feet up on his wooden and messy desk, "Perfect," thought Azrael. "He's leaning back in his chair. We need to do this quickly and with precision. Now."

    "You know what," Azrael began as he seemingly reached for another pouch of sovereigns, "You're right. You des-" mid sentence, from behind his back, Azrael grabbed the dagger on the right side of his belt. In an extremely quick motion he moved his foot closer to the dwarf, bent his knees to the dwarf's height, and swung the dagger at the dwarf's throat.

    Immediately Stella did the exact same, but with the dagger and dwarf on her left. He swung it to his right and he felt his dagger enter and exit the dwarf's throat. It sounded like the ripping of fabric as blood gushed from the dwarf's throat onto Azrael's face, but he couldn't stop now.

    He followed through the swing, allowing the momentum to turn his body to the three dwarves behind him. The one in the middle had reacted faster than the other two, so Azrael twisted his body to face him, and let go of the dagger, allowing it to fly right into the dwarf’s eye. The dwarf's lifeless body crumpled to the ground in mid reach for his weapon.

    Stella conjured a fireball and threw it straight at the explosives, and as the fireball flew, Stella's force-field enveloped both of them. And boom. The explosion was so large it blew the quarter and main deck of the ship apart, disintegrating the wood around them. It managed to catch a few of the captain’s pirates along with it. The bottom of the pirate ship burst wide open, sending Azrael and Stella flying out the gaping hole of the ship and into the ocean. Azrael’s face slammed into the spherical force-field surrounding his body. With nothing to hold himself stationary, he was propelled by the explosion into Stella.

    The ship collapsed in on itself as the explosion sent a shock wave across the water, rocking the other ships next to it. The people in the merchant square panicked and scattered, as screams shook the square and people fell over themselves to get away from the port. Dystopia descended upon the market square as some merchants abandoned their goods to seek shelter, and others quickly attempted to gather up what they could before running away. Pieces of burning wood fell from the sky, and charred limps and corpses fell into the streets.

    Folks opened the doors to their homes to see what the commotion was about, only to find people running for their lives. Black smoke ascended into the air as red flames danced across the debris of the ships.

    Azrael and Stella swam to shore, making sure to stay beneath the water and away from any eyes that would notice two figures walking away from the explosion. "Not bad for your first time on a contract," Azrael said, as they crawled onto the deserted beach within the walls of the city. "We killed the traitorous captain, got rid of the explosives, and made it all look like an accident in a single blow. For your first time out, not bad, but your people skills certainly need some work. Next time, try politeness.”

    “He was a pirate and traitor. He didn't deserve politeness,” she retorted, obviously peeved.

    “Maybe he didn't, but if we had pissed him off before we managed to kill him, he might've not brought out the explosives."

    "Who cares? We were going to kill him anyways."

    "But killing him would be significantly easier if he thought he was in total control and unprovoked. He's a pirate. Maker knows what he'd do if we really pissed him off and I'm glad we didn't find out.

    "Just know I don't have any more magical energy," she said, deflecting the conversation away from her own misgivings. "It took nearly everything I had to create a force field that strong. I won't be doing that again anytime soon. Or any magic, really."

    "We need to stay in Haloren for a time."

    "You sure that's a good idea? If someone recognizes us they'll be wondering why we
    aren't dead."

    "That’s why we’ll lay low. It'd be a bad idea to leave immediately when people are
    buzzing about this."

    "Let me guess, you have some poor friends we can stay with?"

    "Yeah, I do. And they're good people," said Azrael in a critical tone.

    Stella scoffed at this, "How much did you give that little urchin boy anyways?"

    "Ah shit. She isn't going to like this..." Azrael steeled himself for the storm that might take place. "A sovereign."

    Stella's eyes grew wide in shock, "Are you out of your damn mind?!"

    "Listen, Stella, these people need this. They need the money more than we do. Besides, we should get a pretty good payout for this assassination."

    "You spent more time with that kid than you should've. If he recognizes you after all thi-"

    "It'll be fine. I doubt he'll be able to connect us with the explosion."

    "Someone will if they ask how he got that sovereign. I mean, a whole sovereign, Azrael!"

    "No, the poor know that we look after them. They won't rat us out."

    "There are big bounties on our heads, dammit! A single sovereign is measly compared to the money they could get if they helped capture us!"

    Azrael sighed, knowing she was right, but now wasn't the time to have this argument. "Listen, let's just lay low for now. It won't matter if they can't find us to begin with, which they certainly will, if we stay here arguing."

    Azrael led Stella deep into the labyrinth of Haloren's twisting alleyways, and into the poorer lower district of the city. Azrael stood in front of a cottage and knocked on the door. The door opened to a frowning old man whose face lit up upon seeing Azrael. "Azrael! My friend!" The old man said weakly as he limped over to hug him, "You're soaking wet!"

    "Yeah, d-"

    "Don't ask. I know, I know. I never do. Your clothes are over here. My home is your home. Although it may not be much, it's still yours."

    "Thank you, Glasg."
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