Neko Archy

Original poster
The Free State Of Aurealia is a small, oceanic nation lying between Rythar of the Five Nations Alliance and the Midnight Consortium. It's position between the superpowers has caused Aurealia no end of strife and political dischord-it overthrew the tryannical government it had as a Midnight member state, only to replace it with a weak and ineffectual republic. Since then a just and firm Monarchy has come into power with the backing of the Five Nations, but even now Midnight-backed rebels seek to plunge the golden state back into darkness and depravity. Tourists are thusly advised to be cautious and alert when touring the capitol's magnificent streets. Notable sites include the Royal Palace and various noble homes built by the undead lords of the Midnight era.

Primary industries include fishing, whaling, and the gold from which the nation derives its name.

-A Citizen's guide to the world: Aurealia

The loss of Aurealia was a minor blow to the The Consortium, at best. Its gold deposits will be missed, but the more pressing (and humiliating) matter is the fledgling dictatorship's partnership with the Five Nations Alliance. To have a member state turn and become a puppet of our rivals so quickly only serves to show how incompetent the Selenim clan was and continues be.

-Modern History, vol. 2, part III

Traveler's Rest is a small farming village right on the border of Aurealia and Rythar, and it's here that our story starts. Or rather, it starts in the Traveler's Rest Inn, a small lodge in the middle of town. There are no customers, yet, but the atmosphere is still warm and inviting; a fire is gently burning in the fireplace, and some pies are out cooling on the counter.
It had been a while since he was here last - too long for him to have even remembered... Still an infant, taken on a mission of diplomacy between the House of Fear and the undead nation. It mattered little to him now, flying over the town, his jet-black fur an obvious blot against the sky. Carrying his book all this way had been an unwise choice - his body was too frail to fly for any long distance with any real weight. For now, he tired... Swooping down to land on a building, he takes a look around.

The action sets a few watchers to gasp, staring up at the cavernfolk - the reclusive race was hard to see on the surface, if at all. While the shock displayed the the folk lifted his spirits, he had to show some semblance of geniality. Looking down at the folk, he calls out a clear: "My appy-olly-jeez!" His heavily accented voice was... Interesting, to say the least. It was not easy to speak the common tongue with a muzzle, no matter how skilled one's lips were.

Ears flicking at the sound of a fire - plates being moved... The smell of pie setting his mouth to water... Nothing like sweets. "Wouldn't 'urt to een-duldge vile I am 'ere..." He justified to himself, before gliding towards the source - an inn. He was getting tired anyway! Taking the time to make himself presentable - fixing his hair, un-wrinkling his clothes... He stepped inside. No other customers, yet - good, at least in his mind.

The aristocrat's posture gave him away as he walks towards the pies on the counter, taking all his will not to pounce at the fruitiest, sweetest-smelling of the lot.
The initial reaction to the cavernfolk is one of fear and amazement, which quickly gives way to some quiet snickering once he talks. It's clear from the apologizing that this guy isn't any threat, and his speech is quite amusing.

A bell rings as he steps into the inn, and quickly there's a plump woman leaning over the counter at the newcomer.
"Are 'ya lookin' to buy somethin', hun? Or just passing through?"
"Oui." The cavernfolk turned to smile at the plump woman. He gestures at one of the pies, "Two slices of... Theez one. A glass of fruit juice as vell, eef oo vould... No al-kay-hool." He had never had a drop of the stuff in his life, he wasn't about to start... Messed with people's heads, and a magic-user of his skill didn't need a lessening of mental processes.

"Oo'r inn eez pret-tee. Eet eez a von-dair oo 'ave not got cus-oh-meres ozzair zan myself." An inquisitve tone, he gestures at the woman. "...Ah, but eet eez too early for oo surface-vorld-airs... Or too late?" A carefree shrug precedes it, waiting for his meal.
"Aw, thanks. Comin' right up, then!" She hums merrily as she set about the job, shortly putting a plate with some of the still-cooling pie and a mug of warm apple cider before him.
"Bit early, actually. Folk don't stop here for the night unless it's night, usually."
The woman leaned forward on the counter in front of him.
"So, what brings you out here? You certainly don't look like a merchant."
"Tha' so...?" He nods, looking outside. "I can nev-air ree-lee un-dair-stand moving by ze amount of sun outside. Een Chalice, ve just work until we are tired, sleep until ve are not, an' go about eet zat vay." He shrugs, "I guess I vill 'ave to get oosed to eet." Smiling gratefully at the woman at the food placed in front of him, he takes a careful drink of the cider. "Ahhh, per-fect."

He takes a seat, leaning upon the bar, "I'm on leave from ze Academy of Four Winds. Magic-oos'air classes. I vas 'op-eeng to gazzer a bit of strength an' some extra-curricular studies on zis vacation... tak-eeng a year off for zis." He shrugs happily, "Maybe play my 'and een a little pol-ee-tics, zoh zat might make me take more out of my studies zan een-ten-ded. Probably just go-eeng to work on gather-eeng some power an' mag-eec items... got a thesis to write as vell."

He smiles, "Eet's on archeology, so zat'll be ex-sigh-teeng."
"Most people can't conduct their business very well in the dark, ya know." The barmaid smiled slightly at her customer, then leaned back to continue talking.
"Four winds, huh...haven't heard much about it. The Capitol's not to far up the road if you're looking to get into politics, and the old Decroix manor's just down the left fork. That place's 'suppost ta be full of magic items. Just be careful, both are pretty darn dangerous."
The cavernfolk's ears perked at the second. "...Mah-jeec items, oo say...?" He leaned in, taking a blissful bite of the pie. "...Vhat sort of people were ze Decroix? With mah-jeec items, zey must 'ave been... nobles or vizards, an' seence oo' say eet eez dan-ger-ous... like-lee vizards..." Shroking his chin, he smiles, "Vair vas zis... manor again? Left fork..." He nods, "I do bee-leeve zat eez my dest-ee-nay-shun, zen... af-tair oo'r pie."

Finishing the pie, drink, and offering a payment - both for the food and the information, he said farewell to the keeper, walking outside and taking flight into the mid-morning sky... following above the road, enjoying the feel of the breeze through his hair - the flexing of muscle under fur as he flew. It would only have been improved had it been night, with the stars - that blissful black.

The mansion stretched below Wir as he flew through the air, regal and refined despite its age. It had started to fall into disrepair, with a few shingles here and there out of place, but the overall effect was still one of a quiet, refined place for the rich in the woods.

Off behind the house there was a small cabin, probably servants quarters, but more notable was the tent set up just up the road from the house. A small campfire smoldered in front of it, and a bright, slightly garish flag flew from aside the tent.
Wir's eyebrow raised as he flew over the manor, flying a few circles over the manor, observing it from a distance, before diving down into the woods nearby, taking a few moments in silence before mumbling a spell over himself (Wir casts 'Shield of Faith'). He strides forward out of the woods, now within clear view of the small encampment. He would stand in place, waiting for signs of hostility - his ears flicked in annoyance.

Competition for the loot within? That would spoil his fun entirely. A part of him envisioned summoning a few of his servants to make quick work of the beings that camped here. If they did show hostility, he would summon one of his minions (Wir prepares an action to summon an owlbear skeleton if hostile action is taken against him)... until then, he would approach and wait, his mind screamed against such an action - self-preservation being overtaken by the need to be polite.

"'Allo?" He states, offering a smile upon the inhabitants, if/when he sees them.
A man came out of the tent, wearing some slightly torn and dirty courtier's clothes. He had a sword by his side and a shield on his back, but they stayed where they were as he ran up to Wir and put an arm around his shoulders.

"Right then, I'm an adventurer with the Ashenwood Company. Heard of them?" He glanced over at Wir, noticing the confusion on the cavernfolk's face.
"Ah well, it's not too important. We do your standard business, right wrongs, save princesses, all that good stuff." He looked off towards the mansion he had camped outside of.

"And boy, do I have a deal for you...alright, listen here. I've been sent to check this mansion out for treasure and such for the rest of the company, but I'm thinking, what if you and I split it between each other? Then I'll get more money and you'll get some nice stuff too! All ya gotta do is distract this girl who's got NO sense of humor while I sneak in and case the joint."

He let go of Wir, patting him on the back hard enough to stagger him.
"So, what do you say? I'm thinking we'll split everything between you and me, nice and even, fair and square, 60-40..."
Staggering from the blow, the batlike individual caught his balance and scowled at the man, catching his glasses as they fell off his face and re-adjusted them back. His ears drooped, disliking how... loud this individual was. Whether or not he knew of the 'Ashenwood', he didn't care. Though the man was annoying, he had given what information that would come in handy - that the manor was guarded by some female. While an ally would be useful... not this man.

"Oo'r of-fair eez gen-eer-ous. Geev-eeng me ze mah-jor-ah-tee like zat..." Raising his eyebrow at the man, grinning - knowing that the man was giving himself the higher part of the split. "Zoh... I vill ad-meet... I care not. Oo vould 'ave been able to keep all ze coins for oo'rself, an' I vould make due vith ze ma-jeec items..."

He glances wistfully at the ruin, ears perking. With a few motions of his hands, the skeletal remains of an owlbear rose from the ground behind the man (surprise round/prepared action to do so - normally takes a full round.). He gives a halfhearted smile to the man. "...Zoh I am not ze type to share."

( Initiative total: 4
[Frost has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 5 [Total: 5 Average: 5]] )
The man's eyes narrowed as Wir mentioned getting the majority. That was not according to plan...

And the GIANT SKELETON showing up behind him wasn't exactly helping. In a flash of steel he drew a elegant, thin sword, thrusting forward straight at Wir.

Unfortunately, his schooling in dramatic fighting was just too strong, and the blow was only a light graze to the Necromancer's cheek. He smiled slightly in triumph, knowing that with such an impressive display of skill his foe was sure to back down.

It was also probably the last blow the man would ever get off.

((Bard Guy: +3 dex -09:59 Mar 07
[Bard Guy has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 5 [Total: 5 Average: 5]]
Nat one on attack roll))
Wir, while quite versed in dramatic fighting, had no reason to show off to the man. Thus, he stretched out an arm to prod the man, channeling negative energy into his hand. Planting the hand firmly on the man's chest, the black wave of energy went off with a brutal whump sound, burning a hand-shaped mark in his armor, darkening the material. Wir smugly takes a jump back, nodding towards the owlbear.

...The owlbear didn't care a lick for subtly or grace, and began to swipe wildly at the man, unleashing a deadly trio of attacks. None of them, however, manage to hit the bard, who relied on his faster movement to win the day. Wir scowled at the thing as he regretted choosing such a large creature for such a task.

...Or at least, that's what he thought... before he simply planted a hand on the bard, pushing him forward into the claws of the owlbear, who get a direct hit. Smirking at the flanking maneuver. The bard, falling onto his face at the assault, groans pathetically. Kneeling, Wir whispers, "Oo're just pathetic." He grabs the man's head, and channels a burst of negative energy into it... killing him.

Looking up at the manor, the batlike creature nods. "I 'ave all ze een-for-may-shun I need... let's see vhat else our friend 'as in store for me..." And with that, he leans down and begins to loot the deceased bard for magic items, casting 'detect magic' to help him in this search.

(Total: 16 damage).
[Wirlovel has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 13 [Total: 13 Average: 13]] [Wirlovel has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 4 [Total: 4 Average: 4]]
[Wirlovel has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 2 [Total: 2 Average: 2]]
[Wirlovel has rolled 1 8-sided dice with results: 3 [Total: 3 Average: 3]]
[Wirlovel has rolled 1 20-sided dice with results: 15 [Total: 15 Average: 15]]

[The Owlbear has rolled 2 6-sided dice with results: 4, 2 [Total: 6 Average: 3]]
Out of the bushes came out a young man, or so it appeared, smartly dressed in red and black with a large, jaunty hat. His boots clicked on the ground, slightly muffled by grass and dirt. His face was partially obscured by a red bandit mask, though he was far too finely and richly dressed to be a bandit. He clicked out of the tent, and smiled, revealing a set of white, small sharp teeth. He glanced at the bat-like humanoid, and then at the large skeletal owlbear. He did not seem particularly puzzled by the fact that they were there.

"Oh goodie. I've been vaiting for somebody to keel dat bard vor sometime now." He nudged the corpse gently with his boot. He was only a little taller that the small, magic using boy, but he got the impression that the bat was a great dealer older than him, or at least, more powerful, "His songs vent round and round in my head."

He swept off his hat, revealing short, scruffy auburn hair, and bowed to the little bat, "My dear sir, you are cleerly a vizard of some magnificence," He positively beamed then and swept his hat dramatically upon his head, "I am Zee Scarlet Carson, zee bravest of zee brave, zee dashing of zee dashing, and of course, highly disreputable," He struck a dramatic pose with one of the two rapiers that dangled at his waist, "I'm an old name in zee business."

The Scarlet Carson pulled a face of curiosity and hope, half obscuring by his mask, " I don't zeposse you've seen my airsheeep?"
"Anuzzer one?" Wir turned to scowl at the new arrival. Despite the look of malice, and the male's black aura of death... It was an attractive look for him. Something about the scowl on the bat's face was oddly appealing. "Non. I 'ave seen no air-sheep, not even vhen fly-eeng 'ere." Looking through the deceased bard's belongings, he whuffed his disapointment... Nothing good.

He turned, inspecting the Scarlet Carson, waving a hand to dismiss his minion. With an echoing screech, the owlbear skeleton sunk down into the earth. "Oo look a leel' young to be ze Scarlet Carson. Ze Academy 'as four copies of ze book. Each different." He snorts,
ears folding in distaste. "Eef oo' are 'ere for oo'r ship an' notting else, I suggest leav-eeng. I've laid claim to zis area."
The Scarlet Carson beamed at the bat-humanoid. He tipped his hat to Wir, and put his sword away. The young man watched with some fascination as the owl bear skeleton sank into the ground, having never come across a necromancer before. He'd heard of them, and a couple featured as arch-enemies in the original book about the original Scarlet, but he'd never actual seen one. He hadn't ever come across one quite like Wir either, a necromancer who didn't appear to be insane or eager to destroy the earth. It was pleasantly surprising.

"Please calm yourself," He said, and smiled pleasantly, "I don't vant to steal anytheeng from you," His accent faltered slightly, but he cleared his throat and managed to get it back on track, "I don't vant what that moronic bard vanted! I don't vant money or arcane mastery or anytheeng," He folded his arms across his chest, and leaned against a tree, "I just vant to be remembered as a great hero. I vant glory. I vant to be remembered."

The Scarlet Carson gave Wir his cockiest grin, a look which suited him rather nicely, and made him appear even more like the original Scarlet Carson. He offered Wir his hand, and the way his mask moved symbolized that he was raising his eyebrows. He tried to convey friendliness in everyway he could, "Besides, I vould very much like a friend. The Scarlet Carson never got anyvere on his own." He paused, thinking about what the original Scarlet Carson would say here, "Vhat do you say? I don't vant any of the vealth, I just vant an adventure, and maybe a companion on my quest."
"'Eroics? Glor-ee?" The large bat rose his eyebrows at the man, "I am not on some... svwash-buck-leeng ad-ven-tair. Such moronic ack-teev-ah-tee is ben-eeth a person of my pow-air. My goal is prac-tee-cal een nature." He waves his hands dismissively at the catfolk, before really taking a look over the man... specifically, the tight chest and toned arms that the man sported.

"...Hrm, but I could oo'se a... com-pan-ee-on, yes. Some-vun to come along, an' stand een front of me vhile I vork my ma-jeek. Gold, ma-jeek, and pow-air eez vhat I seek. Pol-ee-tee-cal and ozzer-wise..." He calmly looks at the man, "...Let eet be known, friend, zat I am no 'ero." The male turned his back on Carson for a few moments, thinking...

As he turned his head back to look at the catfolk, the wind picked up - blowing his folded wings and causing them to billow like a cape. His stone-cold face betrayed nothing as he tilted his head back, commanding the youth to follow him. "Come. Oo'r 'ad-ven-tair' avaits."
The Scarlet Carson grinned, happy to be accepted on the strange bat-man's adventure. He knew that he couldn't do much on his own, not being particularly strong, nor skilled at magic. He was aware that his current worth to Wir was one of meat-shielding, but he figured that it was possible for him to rise in status. He was, afterall, The Scarlet Carson. Batty here might not be a swashbuckler, he thought to himself, but I think that he could use one. Particularly one like me. Carson was not above a little vanity. He rested his hands on the hilts of his swords, not a threatening gesture so much as a position of relaxed self assurance.

He followed Wir closely, always staying with in a few inches of his billowing, cape-like wings. He wondered if he could come up with an interesting name for the bat, who he had already started thinking about as a sidekick. The Scarlet Carson and Batboy? The Scarlet Carson and The Death Dealer.... no, that sounded too much like a villain name. The catfolk realized he didn't actually know the bat's name, he hadn't overheard it, and the bat hadn't given it to him like Carson had given his. "Friend," he said with a smile, "You know my name, but I don't know yours. That puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. What should I call you?" Hopefully this would give Carson some ideas for a name for his sidekick.
"My name eez Wir'lovel Repense, one of ze Princes of ze 'ouse of Joy. It be'ooves me not to 'ave my tattoos yet," he indicates his wings - a House of Joy member normally has them covered in painted ink, to showcase their many experiences in life, "As I 'ave done leettle vith my life, yet." He bows his head, "Vhen I get back to Chalice, I do bee-leeve my vings vill be a testament to my pow-air an' pride."

"Zoh... I guess I should 'ave been born to ze 'ouse of Ambition, no?" He chuckles, smirking. "Eet's zis ambition of mine zat got me my neek-name vith ze serv-ants of ze 'ouse. Zey call be ze 'Prince of Stars', for zey assume zat I vill not halt my ascent until I claim ze very stars as my own." He shakes his head, ears flopping slightly, "A ro-man-teeq notion, but a tempt-eeng vun."