Welcome to the Guild

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by CrazyDragon, Sep 13, 2013.

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  1. https://www.iwakuroleplay.com/threads/welcome-to-the-guild-sign-up-and-occ.33211/#post-870327 : The Sign-Thread Link

    I
    n the far West of the Continent is the citadel Caer Wal Llywd, a stronghold for the Hunters Guild. It is here that our tale begins. Here, the Guild is taking in a new batch of fresh recruits eager to start on their first missions. These missions are in a way an initiation into the fold and are graded without the recruits knowledge. If a recruits show signs that are viewed as weakness, they are released from their contracts. The recruits are accompanied by a more experienced Hunter who will watch their progress thoroughly. If they see a recruit who shows a real level of leadership, they may allowed the recruit to lead the mission with the Elder Hunter as supervisor.

    Night has fallen in Caer Wal Llywd and the members present in the Caer are filing into the Mess Hall for dinner. The hall is large and spacious with enough room for the long four dinner tables and benches that a person can walk comfortably through without bumping into anyone. The wall of the Caer are built from stone and the voices of the crowd echo from its high ceiling. The talented chefs have prepared a hearty dinner for its members and reserved some drums from the local taverns of their special stock of ale. Bon Apetit.

    Á
    ine had spent a few weeks on the road back from the Great East and she still felt like there was sand in places. If she seen another desert it would be far too soon for her, she thought. With her fair skin, a desert was not a place for her. She was happy to be home and hoped to have a nice vacation in her bed. It wasn't that she disliked sleeping out under the stars because she really didn't mind it, but a bed still beat a sleeping bag any day and she spent far too many nights in one this month.
    The trip to the Eastern Deserts hadn't gone as well as they had hoped. The library she was investigating had been swallowed by the sands and sadly became a breeding ground for the Shadow Scorpions that loved to hide under the sands waiting for prey to get close enough. They had to be one of the most difficult of Shadow Beast to kill. With their bodies covered in black scales that were tougher than most armor, destroying their hearts was nearly impossible. Those were the kind of Shadow Beasts that had to be killed from afar and with a lot of magic. Only problem was that they were almost immune to lightning magic with their eight spiky legs acting like lightning rods. She glassed the area before she was able to kill one.
    After taking forever to clear the buggers out, the tomes she was to collect from the sunken library had been damaged. She had to drop them off at a friend of hers at Lake Callahad College. He specialized in magica repair and hopefully, she would be getting word from him soon that she could come and pick them up. Not wanting to dwell on her great hopes that the tome would have the answers she was looking for, she followed the line to nab some grub. Her stomach rumbled when she began to smell rabbit stew and herbed bread.
     
  2. Beware of heroes. Much better to rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes.
    - Abthane Cailan Lutair, The Leabhar Cheanannais

    The baby in his arms did not cry, it did not wail, it lifted up its small, stubby arms, and reached out to grab at his hairless chin. The child had a shock of bright white hair, but the eyes were wrong, inherited from the father that looked down upon his son. The father was thin, with ropes of hair the colour of a bleached skull - and much like the small infant son he held in his arms, his eyes were wrong - the strange red-orange hues of a man who had used magics from the world where mortals were not supposed to go. Behind him was a bed, a bed with torn sheets and an exhausted looking woman with the same sort of hair plastered across her face, drenched in sweat. Her face was flushed, and her jaw was lax - a true expression of being utterly spent, used up. The boy in his arms was his son, and she was his wife, he knew. They did not love each other, he and his wife, but they had a son, a son who was born with all of the memories of the father, with the identity of the Lutair family behind those blood-coloured eyes. The father glanced out the window ; the bells were tolling. The banners of his Clan - adorned with the silver portrayal of a stag crowned in holly - were flapping in the breeze. But then there was a shout, a shout that hung in the air; "Buidseach! Buidseach!" went the cry. The banners were consumed in flame - and he could hear the pounding against the door, it was getting louder and louder. They were storming through the door.

    A burst of jovial laughter cut through Eirioch's vision. His red-eyes had been intensely focused on the leg of lamb before him, garnished with little bits of cracked and dusty herbs. A drunken man was swigging mead from a thick pewter stein and laughing at a comment that his neighboor had made about 'those pale witches from the North'. His red-eyes flicked towards the man, and the laughter abruptly stopped. He stared at the man, eyes narrowing on the man's lopsided features. A whole history flooded through him, a history of large noses and lopsided jaws. The man was descended from a high lord of some kind, who had been so deformed that his tongue hadn't fit within his lopsided mouth and when the autopsy had been filed, they had determined that the man's heart was the size of a peppercorn. He had died after only thirty summers. This laughing drunk would live much longer, Eirioch supposed, as he reached out a pale hand to pluck his wine-glass from the table. He and his wife were seated together, near the front of a long banquet hall. He glanced over to her from the sides of his heavy lidded red eyes. She was a beautiful woman, he thought to himself. She had far skin, free of blemish, and shortly shorn white-hair that framed her thick eyelashes. Her face was round, a rarity in his own branch of the family ; the Lutairs of Taigh an Croch had nothing but angles. She was his cousin, but they were distant enough that their children would not be as disfigured as the gentleman who had laughed at his neighbor's jape.

    Eirioch had foreseen it, after all. He knew that their child would be a mutant, bear red-eyes and his mother's cunning. Eirioch reached out a pale hand to rest on his wife's hand, if Brigit allowed the gesture. It was not a tender gesture, it was to keep up appearances. He was certain that she would understand the meaning behind the gesture. He was dressed in a suit of sables, with a high, heavily reinforced collar that encircled his neck. His sleeves were long and tapered into points. Everything was very form fitting. around his waist was a heavy sword belt, where two swords sat on either one of Eirioch's thin hips ; strange swords that ended in an axe's head. The hand that was around the wine twirled the stem of the glass between his fingers. It was a deep, dark wine, almost black. It smelled sickly, and the Abthane could only assume that it had come from an area overtaken by the Shadow Beasts, but he did not know. That was a past that was not available to him. it was just wine. There was no importance to it. It was not significant. If there had been poison, he would have known. Poison was something that was easy to find. It was like a red splash across a wall of white, a severed head in a bowl of grapes. No. He would have known if there was poison.

    He lifted the wine to his lips as sipped it, watching with his strange eyes as the party roared around him. He had no interest in anybody at the table, not yet. There would be others that would join Eirioch and his wife. There would be a black-hooded man with strange pupils - eyes that were not right - who valued power above all else. There would be a woman of his age, who preferred a red cloak, given to her by her Grandmother. But even though he knew that he knew there names, and he had memorized their features, he did not know them yet. He could not possibly know their faces, because he still existed in the present, even though he had already seen this whole mummer's play hundreds and hundreds of times, in dreams and in nightmares. The small-folk whispered about him, saying that their abthane had gone to the mainland to never return, and what had come back in his place was a ollphéist - a monster - who would devour all of Innis Buihde. But he was not. He was none other than Eirioch. Eirioch of Taigh an Croch, who would one day be hailed as a saviour and a Thane - but he was also responsible for the flags of his father burning. Eriroch's eyes flickered back to where their host should be sitting, the head of the table. Were they there yet, or did they come later? Eirioch could not remember. He could only recall that at some point, the Senior Hunter had sat there. Whether it was now, soon, or in the past ; it did not matter.

    Eirioch's red-gaze turned to his wife. Or were they married yet? They would be soon, betrothed. And they would have a son, a son with eyes bright like blood. She had normal eyes, the appropriate blue eyes beneath heavy lashes that glittered with cold intelligence and understanding. He could only imagine what she was thinking - thinking about their Southern hosts and their lavish party, while the smallfolk died in droves. She was strategizing, likely. He had seen her on the back of a great silver stag, lifting a gallowglaigh into the air, screaming a warcry at the top of her lungs. But that was not now. Now, Brigit was tactically approaching the battlefield of a dinner party. "Our host will address us soon, cousin." Eirioch knew that the Senior Hunter would soon be there, and would soon tell them of what was come. He would be only able to guess at the future, as all others did. Only Dream-Seers really knew.
     
  3. The wine was sour.

    Brigit had never wasted her time considering the ways of the mysterious Southerners, the morthir that lived across the sea. She only considered those who could be a threat to her, and the likelihood of any noble family in Earisse committing even a single ship to sail to Innis Buidhe was so small it almost made her laugh. But now, here she sat in a Southern hall, drinking Southern wine and she couldn't help but find it sour. She assumed it was hard to find land suited for growing grapes -especially with the constant threat of the Shadow Beasts - and those able to scrape together the required elements for a vineyard charged a pretty penny for their product. It was this product that Brigit was used to drinking. In the halls of Taigh an Croch and Taigh an Leardaigh, wine shipped North many summers prior was reserved for special occasions, but it was undoubtedly higher quality than the dark, bitter vintage she was calmly sipping now. This was comforting to her.

    Caer Wal Llywd was a well-designed castle, built to withstand Shadow Beast attacks and as such, it was larger than the keep Brigit had grown up in. The Hunters had resources at their disposal, or at least they had once had resources, when the castle had first been built all those years before. In Earisse, their name was often only heard in hushed conversations, but the Hunters were easily more prominent than the white-haired Clan Lutair from the far North. Brigit and her betrothed were strangers here and they were at a disadvantage in nearly every way but one: the wine. She took another sip, the sour taste doing more to calm her nerves than the alcohol.

    Her icy blue eyes scanned the crowd, taking in every detail she could. It was important that her observations look casual, so she took her time. She took note of who was carrying weapons and more importantly, who was not. She considered who would be most susceptible to her attacks should something go wrong during dinner. Those furthest from the roaring fires would be the first, but she would likely have to douse the flames with water to be of any use in a fight. And naturally, her cousin would do his best to undo her work, spreading his own flames wherever she put them out.

    They were an odd pair, Brigit and Eirioch. In their youth, they had almost been close. Brigit rarely let people get close to her, but back then his manner had been almost endearing. She had allowed herself the smallest sliver of optimism and dreamed of a happy marriage that benefited both her and her clan, but Eirioch had ruined the chances of that. After crossing the sea to learn how to harness his magic, a skill Brigit had learned on her own through determined practice, he had returned riding a white stag and speaking prophecies. He was the very image of the great founder Lutair himself, come again. But his eyes were wrong. His eyes were red; red as the fires she had seen him bring to life or the blood she was sure he had spilled. His eyes were red and that could only spell trouble for Clan Lutair. But no matter what evils Eirioch would bring down on the family, his greatest sin was surpassing her in the eyes of the Thane. No matter how hard the blue-eyed ice mage tactician from Taigh an Leardaigh tried, she would never be anything more than Eirioch's bride. She hated him for that.

    Brigit lowered her glass to the table, done with the wine for the moment and she felt her cousin's hand on hers. It was warm; warmer than any other man from Innis Buidhe. Eirioch truly was a morthir now. He was an outsider in her eyes, but only the Lutairs of Taigh an Abhainn Dubh had agreed and the Thane had named them enemies of the family. So she kept silent. Instinct told Brigit to pull away or to turn and spit in her betrothed's face for disgracing the name she'd spent over twenty years building up, but she resisted the temptation. Thane Asgall had no other heir for her to marry, and she dreaded the thought of facing the Hunters alone. As wretched as he may be, Eirioch would protect her in a pinch. She couldn't say the same for any of these other drunks. She turned and smiled slightly, though her eyes showed no sign of genuine affection. He spoke, reassuring her that their host would arrive soon and address them.

    She nodded, doing her best to ignore the certainty with which her cousin spoke. This was his way since returning to Innis Buidhe a changed man. Eirioch was never wrong anymore unless he meant to be. Sometimes Brigit wondered if he meant to unease her with his premonitions. Perhaps it was some sort of revenge for her own manipulations or a show of power to remind her that he . But then, the Eirioch she had grown up with had not possessed that kind of cunning. More likely, he simply wanted her to know so she could strategize and be prepared. "I should hope so, my darling," she replied. She did her best to keep the venom from creeping into her words.

    Brigit looked around the hall once more, looking for someone who fit the image of Senior Hunter she had in her head. As much as the other Hunters in the hall were her enemies, only good to her if they feared and respected her, the Senior Hunter was the biggest threat. If she couldn't best him, Innis Buidhe could be in great danger. A thin, wry smile crept over her lips and her fingers grasped the stem of her wine glass, lifting it to her lips again. This should be fun, she thought.

    The wine was still sour. That was good.
     
  4. W
    hen she approached the serving table, she was greeted by her favorite chef slicing a turkey. They didn't have food like this often, this was a special occasion. Searching her mind, she remembered that today was the anniversary of the Guild's founding. She would hear her Clan's name be mentioned in honor, she only felt pride that her ancestors had created such a service for the people.
    Áine was raised with her cousin, the future leader of the Clan but her uncle was a mellow sort of man. Her family did not practice keeping the bloodlines pure and marriages were between those of either love or admiration of honor. She remembered something her great-grandfather had said long ago that was quoted later by family, "Breeding for purity produces stupid dogs." It was noted in the family histories that he bred dogs as a hobby. It wasn't that she was ashamed of being a Noble of the Clans, it was seeing how other noblemen of other Clans and Royalty act in the rest of the world that made her wary of introducing herself as MacTire. When she addressed herself, she used her common father's name of Rohan and she was damn proud of that name. There were many strong and honorable Rohan that had served these hallowed walls.
    Margaret, her favorite chef came around the corner of the serving table when it was her turn and embraced with the strength of an Ursal. Having the wind knocked from her and her vision blacken around the edges, she patted the woman's back to tap out. Often absent minded of her strength, the woman released her immediately and apologized. The two women stepped out of the way of the line and conversed over their month apart. When she remembered the gift that she had been carrying for the chef, she dug in her bag and presented the woman with a wooden box of exotic Eastern spices. Margaret exclaimed in delight and crushed her again with a hug.
    Áine kissed the woman's temple and went to grab herself some stew and bread when she was intercepted by a Senior Hunter, the same man who had supervised her for the past two years. Although they normally partnered together on missions, he was unable to venture with her to the East. "Was hoping to find you. We have recruits to greet."
    "We? Amudar, have you forgotten I'm still considered a rookie?" Áine asked but her superior waved it off and began to lead her away from the dinner line. She turned around in a vain attempt to grab something to eat but was dragged away. "Wait I haven't eaten since yesterday"
    He sighed and snatched a herbed bun from passing hunter's plate and popped the pastry into her mouth as she tried to protest. "Here that should hold you over. Now get yourself familiar with these files."
    Tearing a chuck of bread, she juggled the sheets of paper and began reading while eating her herbed bun. Stopping on the first two sheets when she recognized a Clan name.
    "Lutair, are you serious? And it says they are considered liaisons. When the hell did we ever have liaisons?" Áine exclaimed with indignation.
    "Don't asked me. The Guild Leader decided to award them the titles. We get to be their supervisors tomorrow and the next week or more. Buck up, it may not be that bad."
    She humphed and scanned the room for the two and sure enough the white-haired noblemen were seated at the head of one of the long tables. Thinking to herself, they better be good.
     
    #4 CrazyDragon, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  5. Malik shoved his books aside and slammed the gleaming sapphire in their place. Furious at his own folly of imprisoning the soul of a Naga in the small gemstone. He watched the translucent form of the creature entrapped within, wondering what it was thinking, plotting some way to release it when he heard the knock at his door and quickly hid the gem in his robes. Pulling his hood up and using his scythe for support, he walked his lean, frail body to the rosewood barrier to have it gently pushed aside by another man of rather diminutive stature.

    "What issss it?" Malik asked, slurring the 's' in a fashion similar to the creature just out of the mans sight.

    "Get your head out of your books young one," said the man, a senior hunter by the insignia on his helmet. "You're supposed to be in the mess hall soon."

    "Very well. Just let me get a few things back in place." With that, Malik slid the door back closed and hid the gem in a rolled-up scroll. As he opened the door again, he placed his amulet around his neck and, with a rather frightful bearing, made his way to the large dining room.

    "I will never understand that boy," the man stated to himself as he watched the young Mage hobble down the hall, then turn a corner with surprising suddenness, and disappear.

    ************************************************

    As Malik entered the dining hall, in another of his coughing fits, things seemed to get quieter. Several people who had been talking together immediately shut their mouths and looked down at their food, not making so much as a squeak. Malik was, of course, used to this. Not wanting to cause too much discomfort, he made his way toward a shadowy corner of the table and sat down, taking no food save a small barrel cactus fruit as he threw his hood back and revealed his grim face. He quickly scanned the room until his eyes rested on the two silver-haired people at the head of the table.

    "Heretics," he muttered under his breath, then returned to his 'meal.'
     
    #5 Vexor, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  6. "All the way from Gardenia just to look over some brats? There's got to be more important things to do in Campus Gnaeus!" Palomina wasn't satisfied with being drug from her vulnerable homeland to watch over the new talent all the way out at the Guild's main HQ. It was a long ride, and a great risk - still, though, she had her duties to fulfill to the Guild, and she'd heard a few of her neighbors had children in Guild Training - a load off her mind, and a good reason to accept.

    The halls were just as she remembered them from her own time in training. She had recently eaten a meal she cooked herself, so she was just sitting in the dining hall for news on her charges and partners. She saw a familiar Senior Hunter walking with one of the rookie initiates. She was a full-fledged hunter, but...

    Oh, God, the Senior's coming her way. What could it be for? "Sir," she said, nodding respectfully. He stopped for a moment, gesturing her to the girl he was talking to earlier. "Wh-" "You two are going to be partners."

    But she was still a fledgeling! A rookie! A single-stripe hunter! "Sir, I thought I was training initiates, not rookies!" "You're both training initiates. Aine is going to co-supervise them with you. Do not put her down based on her rank. She has merit." A solid argument. "Yessir, Amudar. I'll speak with her immediately." With that, he nodded and continued on his way.

    Cautious at first, Palomina stood and walked tentatively towards the girl. "You're Aine, right?" Her voice was low and grainy, fit to make your run of the mill coward flee immediately, but unvexing to others.
     
  7. H
    earing Amudar state that she was to be paired up a woman that appeared to have crawled out a jungle, she rose an eyebrow and stared at the Senior like he had grown a third eye. The woman was a rank above or more to her own measly Rookie and Amudar was setting her up with work that should have been reserved for a higher rank than her. This was going to be a crazy week, she just knew it. Oh Amudar what are you getting me into, she thought.
    "That it is." She answered with a forced smile and shifted the files she was carrying into another arm to free a hand. The voice didn't do much to her as she heard worse from the elder hunters sitting around them swigging down their ale and telling their "war stories." Now those men, the sound of their voices told you they smoked way too much and were the grumpy types that ate unfortunate rookies for breakfast. She extended a hand to the woman and hoped that a handshake was recognized where she came from. "Pleasure to be working with you. You are?"
     
  8. The Barbarian Maiden took Aine by the forearm and held it with a powerful grip, giving a firm shake. "Palomina, House of Riortii." Her identity did not match her culture in the slightest. "You're the rookie that's supposed to be supervising with me? I'm not quite a senior, but I've had my fair share of battles. In case you didn't know, most of the Hunters with pets probably got them from me. I taught the others how to get their own." She seemed proud in her work - though she wasn't the only Beastmaster in the Guild, she was one of if not the most prominent, and definitely the only Beastmaster in Gardenia.

    "So what can you do, Aine? Amudar says you have some merit, so I think I can trust you right now." She sat down, gesturing for Aine to do the same. She hoped Amudar's judgement was still as good as ever. He was her superior, after all. "You're still a single-stripe, aren't you? How'd you catch Amudar's eye?" Her eyes turned their direction to the files in Aine's arm. "Any significant persons we'll be watching today?"
     
  9. A Southern Clansmen, not the first thing on her list but she immediately felt a great deal of respect for the woman. It wasn't often that you found someone from Nobility that made something of themselves that had nothing to do with the Clan but for themselves. She had read some journals over the Southland culture but seeing this woman made her consider that she needed to take a trip down there and see it for herself. Áine knew that there were somethings you couldn't obtain from reading books, those were the things that you had to experience with your own senses.
    "Yes, I remember hearing the others saying they got some exquisite hunting partners from someone. They kept thinking I got my Cara Cú from you it seems. But no, Gáe Bolg is mine." She responded and thought of how her Cara Cú was doing in their room upstairs. She remembered when she first came to the Citadel two years ago that the housekeepers were absolutely terrified of the massive hunting hound. It was like they saw a Shadow Beast. It took some time for them to get use to Gáe Bolg but now they love him.
    They were lucky to find a decent seat in the hall at the moment with the celebration in full effect. Watching a tankard slid across the table, she scratched the back of her head as she thought of a way to answer her rather complex question. "What can I do? I spent a good portion of my existence in the Mage Colleges learning how to control my Lightning Affinity and I learned a great deal of White Necromancy while I was there. My control is quite good that I change the amperage of my strikes. So I could fricise a critter or just taser their ass."
    Turning so she could spread the files out on the table she continued to answer questions. From first appearance, this Palomina didn't look the type to be so inquisitive but it was a nice trait. She liked seeing curious people, it gave her hope for a brighter future of intelligence. "As to why Amudar took a shine to me, it could be that he was friends with my father and sees some of him in me. He was my Senior when I joined in and supervised me, ever since then he was always with me."
    She pick up a file and examined it. She was seeing alot of things that were troubling. At lot of the new recruits were Noble born and came from families that were rumored to dabble in dark matters. She had recently heard of a family that were rumored to be serpent lovers that were blown off the face of the earth. She didn't know how much of rumors were true, but she was keeping an eye on all of them. "And to answer your last inquiry, all of them."

    ((Sorry it took me so long, I had dinner.))
     
  10. He sighed lightly as his golden eyes slipped open listening to his roommate at the guild, he went on and on about how he was going to be the best that the guild had ever seen. His magic, and weapon skills were the best or so he says and he continued to ramble on and yet Viper seemed lost in his own thoughts, this place it had become home the few days he had been here and yet he couldn’t help but wonder if he could fill the shoes of a hunter. He had the expert skills of an archer as well as an assassin, as well as a light dabble in the arts of herbalism but he was sure he fell behind a lot of the new recruits from what he had seen just piling their way into the mess hall earlier. He breathed another light sigh even do to his own thoughts listening as the boy that he shared a room with excitedly jumped up and down saying it was time for them to get down to the mess hall and like that his excited form took off out of the room and down to the hall causing him to shake his head in a slight bit of amusement before he rose from his bed and began his long trek down the hallway and the stairs.

    He walked slowly, his metal grieves pounding against the concrete with each step, the clanging echoing in his ear seeming to remind him of the echo of days ago. He wouldn’t let those trouble him on this eventful night so for now he continued walking, his feet stopping just as he passed through those mighty wooden doors, his golden eyes widened in surprise but just as much glee at the large room that he now stood in. The lights cast a white gaze upon the floor and walls but for a moment he swore it centered around him, he allowed his eyes to wander the massive room dancing them over each of the beautifully handcrafted stone walls, the waxed marble floors gleaming his own reflection back at him he looked into his own golden eyes for a moment before beginning to make his way down the long row of tables deciding where to sit and who to sit with. He was so mesmerized in the look and feel of the mess hall he nearly missed his roommate shouting out his name.

    “Viper, over here”

    His eyes wandered around catching sight of the boy jumping up and down waving his arms like a madman causing a small smile to cross his lips beneath the darkness of his dark hood. He stepped over and took a seat beside the boy at a table with a mix of different genders and races of people, he smiled and merely nodded as his roommate began all these introductions of him to people, he raised his gaze around the room and the first two to catch his gaze was two silver-haired people across the table from him. One a male of some type and the other a female, they both seemed to have some sort of importance to somebody by the looks that many were giving them. Viper extended his hand across the table to the two his golden eyes falling upon them. When one if either took his hand he would push a small smile enough to speak in a small tenor like voice.

    “Hello I am Viper one of the new recruits here at the guild”

    (Sorry Guys I got called into the hospital earlier mom got hurt so sorry if this is bad)
     
  11. "The Innisian people are gentle and docile; except for their enormous and unconscious cruelty."
    --Thane Martainn, Reflections upon a Northern Life

    Eirioch studied the wine in his hand, plucking the goblet up by the stem, lost in his own thoughts. The shadow-creatures were destroying the fishing towns along the coast, as Eirioch twirled the glass in his hand, causing small ripples to break out across the surface of his wine-glass. In his mind's eye - the wine's colour drained, turning a deep, grey-blue, the colour of the waves of his home country. A thick foam lapped at the edges of the waves, thick as cream. In the waves, Eirioch could see the pounding of fish like serpentine tails, covered in thick black scales. Black motes of darkness curled around these fleshy snakes, writhing like tentacles in the deep. One of the naga dragged itself up from the depths, and wriggled across the grey-rock beach with surprising haste. In its wake, mussels cracked, seaweed blanched, and barnacles withered and died. This creature, this shadow-beast, was the anti-life. Men approached - dressed in thin leather armor, each with a bough of holly pinned to their chest - and brandished their gallowglaighs. Their weapons were fashioned from the crude plows, hammered into instruments of war. The naga made a sound, in-between its silvery fangs. It was a hissing, sputtering sound - a laugh - that rolled off of its forked tongue. It raised one of its huge, clawed hands and brought it down upon the brave soldiers - from a Lutair coalition - and sliced them as easily as peeling a grape. Vast hunks of their skin floated to the ground, and their precious bodily fluids spilled out freely on the beach. The surf washed it clean once more, clean of the colour of wine.

    Eirioch let out a small sigh. He took another sip of it, the sides of his lips twitching slightly at the sour taste of the beverage. A bit of it stained the corner of his pale lips red. He knew this, without looking into a mirror. In his mind's eye, he saw a perfect representation of himself, wiping his mouth with the napkin at the same time he did it within the waking world. But the simulacrum within his head-space's eyes glowed brighter scarlet than he knew his ever would in the real world. Or perhaps they would change, in time, to reflect that bright hue that Eirioch saw in his mind. His thoughts drifted, as he lifted one of the pewter forks to brush against the skin of the roast bird before him. Red-eyes were wrong - this was something that was known. It was a sure sign that there was witchcraft in the blood, something that had polluted the very esscence of one's being.To his kin, he was considered morthir, the word which meant 'outsider' in the Innisian tongue, for the colour of his eyes. He knew that some of the allies that they would make, here in the mainland, would have wrong-coloured eyes. He closed his own, briefly, recalling the shades and natures to his mind. One, he would have eyes that had pupils' the shape of an hourglass, ticking away, surrounded by the natural colour of his iris. Another, his eyes would be the same sort that the naga who plagued his country had, cold, reptile eyes that did not belong to any man woman-born. He punctured the bird's flesh, and steam came up from the holes where his fork had been.

    Eirioch opened his eyes and began dividing the bits of the bird into section, removing the roasted partridge's spine dextrously with his fork and knife. He set the bony protrusions, in tact, to the side of his plate, to Brigit's side, not the foul smelling drunk next to him. The allies that he and Brigit would attempt to court were going to make her more vile-tempered and sharper tongued than she already was; but it had to be done. Even if their eyes were wrong, such things would have to be done. He lifted his eyes from the bird on his plate the moment that Malik stared across the room to him, and to his not-quite-wife. He watched the way that the small-folk near him silenced themselves, while the rest of the room continued jabbering blindly ahead. The boy had an effect on people. Eirioch knew why. The touch of witchery was not hard for a dream seer to see. It hung around the boy in a thick, red cloud that only Eirioch could see. It was red, of course, because red was wrong, red was the colour he saw when things were out of place, when there were things that were supposed to happen at that exact moment, things that he was supposed to do. This boy's eyes were wrong. The boy had eyes that told time, sands slipping through the hourglass pupils. Though he didn't express it with his face, the Abthane felt a chill run through him, the very beginnings of his hair standing on end. This boy was his death, he knew. Or at least, could determine that moment. Eirioch had seen the moment of his death before, but he could not determine when or where it was. He knew that it was painful, ironic, and ended with a gallowglaigh coming crashing down upon his neck ; and while he knew who swung the sword, he rarely could bear to look.

    As the boy murmured, "Heretics", beneath his breath, too quiet for any at the grand table to hear; Eirioch's features twitched into a frown. He had heard the words. The mainlanders were the heretics, truly. The Horned King sat upon his high throne and ruled over all men, beasts, and gods. The Horned King could not walk the earth, because his mere presence would have blinded all of mankind - from Innis Buidhe to the Southlands - so he gave the world lesser gods to take his place. A disturbing religion, he supposed, given what would soon transpire on the island, of the cult that he would found and that his son with the strange eyes would form. But it was the true faith, even if he was not the true prophet, and not the son of the Horned King at all. He turned his head to Brigit tilting his face to stare at hers. His mouth was mercifully free of wine - he knew that she would loathe him for that, think him a fool. Then again, she preferred Eirioch the fool to Eirioch the morthir, the creature that he was now. Eirioch spoke clearly, but softly - enough that the drunken guests wouldn't heard them, but loudly enough that perhaps the boy with hour-glass eyes would. "The boy with mícheart eyes, Brigit." He set down his glass, gesturing to the young man with a flick of his white fingers, "He will be assigned to the same group as us - an ally." Eirioch nodded once to the man, before glancing back at Brigit, red eyes flickering like embers in his thin, pale face. His lips twitched upwards in the smallest of smiles, a departure from his frown. "He thinks us heretics."

    Another mainlander, man approached - as Eirioch knew he would. The pound of greaves against ground had given him away, and the Abthane already knew his face, having seen it drift and dance through his waking dreams. This face had the wrong eyes too, wrong, wrong eyes. They were the eyes of a snake, set in the eyesockets of a man, and he knew that like his own eyes, those eyes had not always looked like this. An introduction was made. Viper - curiously, Eirioch knew that the name had been something the young man had possessed since birth, no merely an unfortunate nickname that had come with those wrong, wrong eyes. As he looked at the young man before him, he could see other eyes as well, eyes that he knew that the man before him had closed forever. He was an assassin, not a monster hunter, and came from a stock that valued such things. There were no assassinations in Innis Buidhe. Men fought wars, men commanded armies, women killed their brothers for the throne - but there were no assassinations. And the assassin before him was smiling and cheer, as he offered his hand towards Eirioch.

    The Abthane glanced at the hand. A red mist swirled around the fingertips, and then, congealed into a viscous liquid; blood. The liquid dripped off of Viper's hand, and sizzled against the wooden table. The flesh on Eirioch's partridge shriveled and then crumbled, turning to ash on his plate ; only the remnants of a desiccated skeleton proved that a partridge had ever been there. But this was only in Eirioch's mind. There was no blood. The bird was still sizzling, and the spine was still pushed to the side of Eirioch's plate. The Innisian's eyes flickered over Viper, and then, at the offered hand. A mask hung over the man's face; Eirioch could not imagine any assassin who wore one such thing, unless they took pride in their vile profession. He, suffice to say, did not take the hand. He glanced at his wife, and gave her information that he knew she would use in her tactics and strategies, in her constant chess battles against the rest of the world. His tone was confiding, and quiet - scarcely above the most discreet of whispers. He knew that his cousin would hear him. "Assassin-turned-hunter." The statement of the man's nature was hardly the thing that Eirioch was trying to conceal - that was simple fact. He clarified his intentions to his cousin in their own language, the Innisian tongue that none from the mainland save for the oldest and greatest of mages spoke. His tone was the same, but had the hint of an order in it, a direction; "Bí ag faire air."

    Eirioch turned his attention back to Viper. He cleared his throat, and spoke once again in the common tongue. "I don't take your hand." He said, his tone apologetic. To Viper's ears, he would have heard the twinge of an accent in the Abthane's voice, the sharpened, ennunciated syllables that came out of high-bred Innisian society. "I'm glad that we are finally meeting in the waking world, Viper." If Eirioch had taken his hand, all the following events could have been changed. There would not have been banners burning or a boy with red eyes - there would not be the gallowglaigh, coming down swiftly upon his neck. But Eirioch knew that for the future of his son, and for the nation of Innis Buidhe, he could not take that hand. It was astonishing to think that even the barest brush of fingers, at that moment, could have altered the course of history - but the moment had passed without incident and history remained in tact, for better or for worse. Eirioch, deprived of the handshake, settled for a quick bow of the head. There was no introduction made. Perhaps Eirioch had forgotten, or perhaps the Abthane was merely continuing on the path that he knew was ahead, the path that denied him the ability to introduce himself in that split second. Whatever the case, Viper was greeted with a formal nod, and no name.
     
  12. "Nobles... Northerners? Why would they be interested in becoming Hunters?" Palomina was under the impression that they would've had a powerful militia, at the least. Considering that these nobles were also martially trained. One was a tactician, the other, a swordsman. She took to calling this particular type of swordsman a "Gallowglass". "And then we have Snake-Eyes here... Not exactly a chip off the old block, is he? Says here he's more interested in apothecary than Necromancy or assassin contracting." He'd certainly be useful if they faced human opposition.

    "The thing that some people don't get is that I don't train Cara Cu. Hounds aren't my pleasure, no I train wolves, bears, stags, horses, you name it. I specialize in wild animals. Any breeder could've gotten you that dog, but I'm a Beastmaster. I can tell you how and why I tame any animal you can imagine. Most of them are just a matter of establishing dominance, except for foxes, boars, and the like. Wolves are great skirmishers, able to get in and out in a flash. They could cripple horses, dismounting cavalry, and a full pack could take down a bear, if they surround it. They're also fiercely loyal to their Alpha. Stags aren't the best fighters, but they make great charging mounts, if they're lean enough. Bears are great for a lot - they can take plenty of hits, and deal out plenty of damage."

    Most of this knowledge on wildlife was written in her codex in Gardenia, but she had plenty of it memorized. "Do you know what the mission is, Aine? I didn't receive a brief, just a formal request to come act as an instructor." She was taking a liking to this girl. Perhaps she should be this nice all the time - although Amudar's good word probably had something to do with it.
     
  13. S
    he snorted playfully and responded with a good humors smile. "You'd be surprised how close to wolves they are. And not just any breeder could get me Gae Bolg, only the Western Clans can bind with such a delightful hound. Oh, you should have been here when I first moved in. Gae Bolg scared the daylights out of housekeeping." She chuckled and cleared her throat once the laughter left her. "On the mission? Not yet, Amudar is the only one and he will probably inform us once we all meet and whatnot."
    Aine turned her vision to the two Northerners and realized that the third of her recruits had gone over to introduce himself. Seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone - well..three birds actually. Aine beckoned Palomina to follow, took the files with and caught Amudar by the arm, dragging him with her. She wished to get the formalities out of the way so she could eat and go to sleep.
    Before she could cross the halfway point in distance to them, her skin tingled and she knew that a spirit was amongst them. She stopped in her tracks and looked around as inconspicuously as she could. Mortals couldn't see spirits unless they wanted them too. It was one of the things that Dream-Seers could not foresee. She therorized it was because spirits were not apart of their realm and therefore were not in the stream of time that Dream-Seers were privy too. While she was at the college, she researched the subject to better understand her secret, her gift but across nothing. Either those who had the sight kept it to themselves or her grandmother and self were freaks of nature. Time would tell, she hoped.
    It wasn't her sight that found the spirit, but her sense of touch. She felt the sensation of a caress as ethereal tendrils danced over her skin. In her ear, a voice like heavenly bells whispered in her ear, "You will not be seen. Seen only by us. We are in danger, just like you."
    The spirits radiance seeped into her body and she felt a soothing warmth spread into her very essence. What she did not realize, was that Malik and Eirioch could no longer see her with their gifts. They could see her as she was in the real world but her death and future exploits were longer within their power to see.
    As the episodes faded, she stumbled into Amudar and squeezed her eyes shut. Her dizziness faded and all she heard was Amudar asking, " Hey, are you alright? You really must be starving then."
    "I'll be fine. Lets just hurry this up." She said with wariness in her voice. Whatever the spirit had done to her, it was a draining act. Aine knew without a doubt that the spirit had not caused harm to her. It's message had sent chills down her spin however how sweet the voice was.
    They came up to the table that the Northerners and the hooded man congregated and she stood beside Amudar as he grinned broadly. Her partner of two years was a man that smiled cheerfully even if the sky was raining fire. He may have appeared friendly and most of he time he was, he also bore a presence that spelled that he didn't take crap from anyone. He was in his fourth decade of life and bore many scars from his battles with the Shadow Beasts but it never darken his soul. In his heart of hearts, he knew a dawn was coming for them. "Welcome, I am Amudar and I will be your Senior Hunter for the next week or more. These two ladies are going to assist me in supervising you." He gestured to the red cloaked lady and wild maiden. "This is Aine and Palomina. We have files on you three but I feel it's better to introduce yourselves anyway. Since we will be shedding blood together, it's polite after all."
     
    #13 CrazyDragon, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  14. As she did her best to take in every detail of the dining hall, her gaze moving slowly and deliberately to give the impression of disinterest or ignorance, Brigit noticed a pair of women across the room. While the rest of the Hunters feasted, these two seemed caught up in something more important. Pages and pages of what appeared to be tiny, scrawled words spread out across the table before them and Brigit was overcome with curiosity. She wanted to know what secrets the Hunters were keeping. As long she was in Cael Wal Llwyd, information was her greatest weapon.

    Had she been less shrewd, Brigit may have stood and approached the women, but she knew she would have to wait for them to come to her. If they knew how eager she truly was, they would realize just how important the papers they held were and they would withhold them. If she made the first move, she would seem impatient or overly willing to meet their demands and they would take advantage of her. No, she would have to stay here. Brigit reached for a pear, calmly taking a bite. The pear was juicy and succulent, but none of the juice ran down her chin. Before she had been a tactician, she had been a lady.

    The last time Brigit had tasted a pear had been at the feast before Eirioch was sent to the mainland. He had been different then, still cheerful and carefree. His eyes had been blue and he had rode a horse named Brae. He had been simple and easy to manipulate. The cook at Taigh an Croch, a jolly mountain of a man named Ringean, had presented the Abthane with a duck sauteed in pears, fruit juices still rolling off it's back as water would have if it still had feathers, and Eirioch had not hesitated to send it to her. It had been sweet, far sweeter than she was used to and she had enjoyed it immensely. That had also been the first night the cousins had shared a bed. She had enjoyed that significantly less.

    Eirioch spoke, bringing Brigit back to the current dining hall. The pear in her hand dripped a bit of juice onto the earthen plate before her. It was the first food to have touched it. Doing her very best to stay collected despite the mention of another foolish boy with eyes that were wrong, she lifted her gaze from the pear. It was difficult to miss the hourglass eyes, fixated on the single piece of cactus fruit in his hand. Immediately, Brigit wished she could leave, abandoning Cal Wal Llywd, the hourglass eyes and the man who could have been her dear husband forever. The boy did not frighten her especially, but his eyes did. They spoke of evils she wanted nothing to do with and they reminded her far to much of Eirioch. She knew she could not trust this morthir with eyes mícheart. She was at a disadvantage again and there was very little Brigit hated more than being disadvantaged.

    The man thought them heretics, Eirioch told her. Brigit trusted him even less. She had never found much worth in the Horned King, despite all the prayers she had spoken in his name, but a man whose intentions weren't his own was a different sort of enemy. His gods, whoever they may be, were beyond her reach and beyond her understanding. The Hunters were becoming increasingly more dangerous. The joy she took from a battle well fought was already beginning to fade, and her fake air of professionalism with it. Her lips curled downward into a noticeable frown and she placed the pear on her plate.

    Before she could begin to plan her next attack, another man appeared. His eyes were wrong too. Everything here was wrong. She could already see it, images of the serpent-eyed man staring her down as the shaft of one of his arrows pierced her chest. He was laughing. The other boy, the one with hourglass eyes was laughing too, false idols of the Earissian Trinity dancing around him. Eirioch did not laugh, but simply looked down at her as she fell, already at peace with her passing after reliving it so many times. Her death played out several times in her mind, with all manner of terrible ends at the hands of those who would be her allies and she barely noticed the arrival of still more Hunters. There were too many possibilities here for her to rationalize and none seemed to give her the upper hand she desired. Innis Buidhe would fall to the morthir, to her betrothed and his posse of ollphéists and maniacs. Cael Wal Llywd brought only doom for the Lutairs.

    Again, the voice of one of her companions brought Brigit back. Her mind sometimes took her through more possibilities than were reasonable and in greater detail. This was what made her such a fine commander, but it could limit her as well. She took a deep breath and looked up. The Senior Hunter had finally arrived and he was not what she had expected. The image in her head had been a mix of the greatest heroes of Innis Buidhe, a soldier that towered over her tallest cousin and commanded respect without question, or a mage that made the very air around him tingle with elemental energy and could destroy the entire castle in a moment if he wished. This man seemed capable, but he was not so imposing.

    "Blood?" she replied, her face concealing the mix of fear and rage boiling up inside her. "I'll not shed blood, not with these morthir and not with you, sir." She spat the last word with an edge of venom. "There is magic and there is witchcraft and I'll not align myself with those who dabble in the latter." Even as she said the words, Brigit knew her threat was hollow. These men were dangerous, but the Hunters were the only hope Clan Lutair had. Eirioch was a morthir and a witch, but she stood by him.
     
  15. A
    mudar rose an eyebrow at the Lutair woman and thought maybe the rumors about the political games of the Northerners were true after all. If that were the case, the woman was holding onto a facade of calm professionalism when in fact she was freaked out. She must of thought everyone in the room had an agenda that evolved her head on a pike and the ruination of her of island nation. In a way he pitied her a bit, but at the same time he was starting to get irritated. He may not have shown it but he shared the same belief that his younger partner did, if you joined the Guild it was to serve the people. As he regarded her, his pleasant air was gone and all that was left was the imposing mountain that dictated the laws of the land like holy commandments. "Miss, this is your initiation into the Guild. They may have given you a fancy title like "Liaison" but you will follow orders like everyone else. If I tell you to do something, you will do it or you will find yourself going home or whatever place that will have you. These morthir you like to look down upon are going to be your comrades for the next week or more. You don't like it, well you know where the door is. Don't let it hit you on the way out."
    And just like that, he had turned he's attention to the hooded man. He hoped his words would sink in and that she would see reason but if she suddenly stood up from the table and left the citadel that very moment, it wouldn't crush him. He would be disappointed to say the least as from her files there was some potential, she just had to dump the bullshit. It was one thing that made him a bit sad, was people finding ways to interfere with their own potential and sometimes they didn't know they were consciously doing it.
    Extending his hand to the hooded man, his pleasant exterior was back again. His was a nice, cheerful man most of the time and as long as people did their duty when they were suppose to and pulled their weight, that was all they would see of him. "You are Viper, correct? How was your trip here?"

    Á
    ine shook her head during his reprimand of the woman. Like she had dreaded, at least this one was going to be a problem. There was a possibility that she didn't understand that what he said was just a saying, not to be taken literally. "Since we are to shed blood together," was a saying sometimes taken as a joke. The Westerners used it often but now that she thought about it, the rest of the Continent may not have.
    She shuffled the files until she found the two Northerners and came up to their table. Looking at the man and his red eyes, she frowned. Those weren't natural to the Northerners or any human. From her research, that was a sign of dark magic tainting. It may have been done by an ancestor and traveled down the bloodline, things like that can sometimes skip generations. But reading his file and seeing snippets here and there of why he had came to the Guild, she had a guess that he tampered with something he shouldn't have. "You are Eirioch and Briget Lutair. Do you have any questions?"
     
  16. "Hmm..." Johnathan mused as he walked. His blue hood was covering most of his face, leaving a few markings and his eyes visible. That would be an accurate description if one was real...turns out, he's not. As a spirit, Johnathan was walking through the town while looking for something. He wondered where that guild was for it was something he wanted to check out. While being intangible, this seemed like a decent idea. Y'know, scout things out before deciding to join them under a cover alias.

    Sadly, he had no luck after he whispered something to someone. Sure, he may like a little fun every now and then but this time, it's all business. Now, to continue the search.

    (Late into is late. Sorry bout that and it's length guys.)
     
  17. Malik caught wind of the nobles words as he downed the last of the fruit. He stood up again, pulling himself to his feet with the black hilt of his scythe. His body was weak, feeble even, he knew this to be true. He knew that his trials had left him a shadow of his former self, and he embraced it. Embraced the darkness surrounding him, the sheer silence that people gave when near him, the fear that he inspired in man and caused him some respect amongst the darker beings of the world and yet, something about the man intrigued him. He sensed no fear from him, nor any apprehension at what he had said. No, he sensed nothing from this infidel.

    His approach was altogether slow, and he noticed three others having made it to the couple before him. One, a woman, intrigued him still more than the original subject of his scrutiny. He saw her, but not as a walking corpse as everyone else seemed in his eyes. He stopped, and the drunken man next to him fell face-first into his plate. Maliks thin lips twisted in a wry smile at what he knew would be the cause of so much suspicion until the man awoke, and moved along, slightly quicker than before as he took the tiniest slivers of energy from those he passed, until he came to the group, now in a coughing fit from his sudden burst of speed.

    "So, you two must be the new recruits," he stated as he locked his gaze on the two, obviously having no respect for their nobility and his amulet of Umbra swaying back and forth around his neck, seeming to taunt them with his faith. "I must say, you are quite, fascinating," there was a deep hunger in his eyes, one that went beyond that of average mortals. His lust for power had driven him to consume souls before, and he was debating in his mind whether or not these two would be worth it when he felt a sharp pain in his skull. Something he took as a reprimand from Umbra. "Forgive my manners, I am Malik Sivart of the Oasis of Vitality," the young necromancer said, slowly extending a pale, bony hand in greeting to the red-eyed nobleman with a grin that could only be described as malicious from an external standpoint.
     
  18. He pulled his hand back when neither of the red-eyed nobles took it, the man that spoke he was rather odd speaking about how if he did things would shift in a different manner than the red eyed man wanted. Now viper was an intelligent man but the way the man spoke, it was confusing. His words seemed to dance as if he knew what was coming and how the very world would revolve or change if they made a certain decision. He only knew of one who could read the energies of the world to an extent they knew the future or how the decision of one human would turn out and she was dead now. His hand rested back upon his side as the man spoke speaking something about how they finally meet in person, his golden eyes raised to fall upon the red eyed man when that comment extended forth a look of seeming surprise on his face. They had met once before in his dreams, his eyes upon the man he finally leaned forth and began to speak his words slipping forth in a somewhat low tone.

    “So we have met before?”

    Well he wouldn’t receive time to get an answer by the time two senior hunter members made their way over and began introducing themselves. He listened as they spoke about the group they would be in for a few weeks and how they would be their mentors, his golden eyes fell upon the two of them as they spoke about how they were all going to be together and shedding blood together, this caused a shiver to run down his spine for a moment. He was going to introduce himself as Viper to the two of his mentors and the rest of this little group, but it seemed their male mentor went off the deep end and began reprimanding the female across from him. He seemed upset at the fact the woman was being so uppity as a royal member of another continent, his eyes fell back upon the two slightly widened, he had just talked to these two like they were commoners…he had been trained as an assassin but he still held a sort of respect for those with a higher rank than himself. He parted his lips to speak again but before he could the same male that was reprimanding the female spoke at him.

    “Yes I am Viper, the trip here was better than the circumstances that…..”

    His voice trailed off, he had felt it even a mile away the dark energies that swirled around the male as he trudged along the marble….his golden eyes shot to the dark figure with the scythe, a dark figure that used the darkest of magics…the same magic she used. He heard the echo of the mans feet as the pounded against the marble, each step matching the angered beat of Vipers own heart….then he would stop at the table, his table..the dark energies dancing from his form he could almost taste, a necromancer just like her. His grisly form only seemed to cause a tinge of hate to dance through out the entirety of his body. His hands quivered beneath the table itching to reach for the bow that rested on his back and fire one of those arrows between the mocking creatures eyes. He couldn’t hold back not when creatures like him existed, Viper shifted from his sitting position standing straight up from his position on the bench, his mind merely on the target at hand.

    He drew the bow from his back and positioned it quickly in his hand, just as he leaped upon the table shooting the food and stuff all over the floor next to the table and on a few people. The tip of the arrow was facing the spot in between the necromancers eyes. A look of disgust was pasted across Vipers face, followed by a tinge of anger his brows furrowed and his eyes not leaving the necromancer that stood only inches from him seeming to taunt him into releasing the arrow into him, to send him to join that witch in the hell he deserves. Yet he didn’t fire the arrow why he did not know maybe the fact of all the others that surrounded him. Yet he seemed to growl at the necromancer, speaking in the harshest tone he could.

    “Why are you here Demon?”
     
  19. "There is no such thing as an honourable morthir. Only dead ones, and living ones."
    -- Iar-Thane Asgall Lutair

    Eirioch watched them all approach with his red eyes, his hands delicately removing the roasted partridge's ribcage. He set each of the bird's floating ribs next to the spine, reconstructing the bird on his plate, separating flesh from the small, fibrous little bones. The action was mostly unconscious - the Abthane's eyes were directed to the group that had assembled before him. All of them were morthir, and he had not expected differently. He had seen all of their faces before, in waking dreams and nightmares that forever coloured his red-tinged visions. Eirioch's red eyes lingered on Amudar, for a moment, studying the man's face with apathetic red irises, his lips draw into something that was not quite a smile, but had not yet turned to grimace. He knew that soon, it would. He studied the first of the mainlanders who had come before them - Áine and Amudar. When his wife's eyes lingered upon Amudar, he found his own red eyes were drawn towards the girl who accompanied the man. She wore red, with a crystal pendent fastened around her throat. The cloak was a gift from her grandmother, that was something that he knew. Eirioch's red eyes converged on her face, staring blankly into her own eyes with that faintest of smiles upon his thin lips. But as he looked at her, there was nothing to see. There was no great future stretched before her or behind him. The implication of this was that she was not important - she was as meaningless as the wine that had come out from shadow-stained fields. But Eirioch knew better. He knew that there was a reason that he could not see her fate and future. It was part of the times that were to come. His inability to see her was simply a ysmptom of the greaterdisease that he and his country men would soon be facing, a bit of the Shadow Beasts that he would have to contain. But this was only speculation. He felt a shudder rush through him, ecstasy. His mouth corners twitched further up in a smile. It would not last - but what it was to not know. To be an Innisian again; not truly human, but still with true mortal knowledge.

    This did not last. The smile faded as he heard the words that Amudar spoke. Of course, he had known what those words would be, and he knew what Brigit's reaction would be. His wife was upset, as he knew that she would be, but they were not married yet, and he knew that day would be the day she hated the most, for as long as she lived. The detestation Brigit felt now was only the barest hint of what would soon come her way ; their wedding night would provide bruises and broken hearts. Eirioch released his grib on his fork and knife, and set them gently on the side of his plate - the archeological dig to find the bones through the flesh of the bird only partially completed, a half assembled ribcage resting at the side of his plate. Eirioch reached over to place his hand over Brigit's, knowing that his touch would not soothe her hatred and frustration, but also knowing that it was still valuable to supply her with customary affectionate glances and touches. He would regret not loving her, this was something that ate it him, twisting his insides into knots - but she did not love him, and she would not regret not loving him. She was stronger than him, Eirioch knew, but he was gifted ; and in this world, talent overrode strength, if those who stood before him were any indication. Like an actor in a play, he said his mummer's verse in response to the harsh commentary of Amudar. His words were controlled, and quiet - but carried with them a certain sureness, a strength in the phrases that came from knowing that he had said them thousands of times before through the spaces of hundreds of dreams; "We are here to aid in the destruction of the ollphéists that plague your country, and my own," Eirioch's red eyes flickered over Amudar. He was a proud man, a strong man. But strength was always overcome by talent, soon enough. And his smile faded further, twisting into a tight-lipped grimace. "My cousin only comments on the forces that you have employed. Forgive us, Amudar," he spoke the name with a strange friendliness, as if Eirioch had known the senior hunter for years. His next words were apologetic, but also carried the air of an explanation with them, "Innis Buidhe has seen its share of dark magic."

    And so the island had. A witch - red-eyed and black of hair - had come to Innis Buidhe one day. Nobody knew who she was, or were she had come from. But she was morthir, and she was accursed. Nevertheless, good Iar-Thane Kathal Lutair - known to many as Thane na Trócaireach, the King of Compassion - took her into his care and household. He had needed a witch, after-all, for he waged a long and bloody campaign against his cousin, Donahue Lutair who commanded the forces of ice and snow with a meticulous care that had not been seen in generations. And so, the witch was taken care of, and told the good Thane that she could win the war for him. In the battles against Donhue, hundreds died in droves to the bitter cold of Donahue's forces and his legions of white-armor clad warriors, with swords forged of ice and iron. The good Thane was infuriated, wondering why the witch would not help, why she was letting the soldiers die. The witch only smiled. She waited until Kathal, unwilling to see more of his men die, cried out a retreat - and then she worked her witchery. The blue and silver clad warriors of the true king of Gods and Men rose from the earth, blue fires in their eyes. They demolished the white army with teeth, sword, nails - and then, devoured the corpses. Iar-Thane Kathal Lutair was horrified, and though he was the victor of the battle, he could not reconcile the victory with his morality. So he had the witch strung up on the ramparts of Taigh an Croch, and let the big black crows pick away her flesh, until she died. She had screamed and cursed him as she died, but her words fell upon death ears. Donahue was destroyed, ultimately, and Kathal enjoyed his uncontested throne for five years before he was gored by a silver stag - which many people said was a sure sign that the line of Lutair had fallen out of favour with the Horned King. Eirioch was uncertain if that was true - or even if this story had any truth to it. That was not something he could see, all the participants were long since dead. He could only see the lives of the living. But witchery was here, and he could see it.

    A pale, bony hand was proffered, and the boy with eyes mícheart was attached to it. Eirioch glanced down at the hand, studying the protrusions of bones, and edges of the skin. This boy brought death with him, and more importantly - was more involved with the dark arts than Eirioch would ever be. Though Eirioch had become a witch, had become mícheart, he had started as something very different. This boy had always been an abomination. Eirioch felt a twist in his heart. Just as his son would be. That would be the kinship that would unify this boy - Malik - and himself. The fact that Eirioch pitied him, just as he pitied the son who would soon come after him. Perhaps it was pointless for a dream-seer to pity, knowing that what was going to happen would have to happen, but Eirioch pitied this black-haired boy with the taint of the mícheart-dteagmháil, the wrong-touch, upon him. The grimace of Eirioch's face shifted into a downturned line, small furrows appearing between his thin white brows and around his small lips. The look was one of great sadness - of exceptional understanding and sadness. Eirioch knew the boy's tragedy, even if the boy did not know it himself. The hand was still being offered. And much like Viper's hand, the Abthane did not take it. If he had taken his hand, the vision would return, the vision of that drizzly day with the gallowglaigh being lifted above his head, and he would not be able to turn his head to see who wielded the blade, even though Eirioch knew quite well. He settled with a small nod, the same sort that he had given Viper. He greeted the man, but tone was less friendly, and carried with it a somber note. The words were clear, however, and the Abthane did not shrink from Malik as so many others did; "Hail, asarlaí Malik." That word would be something his wife would note, he knew. It literally meant 'sorcerer', not a vile term on its own. But the implication, and the modern connotations the word had were ill. It meant 'one who practices witchery', but who was not a witch. There was a different word for that. Asarlaí was the word for a witch who was an outsider. It had been the name of Iar-Thane Kathal Lutair's witch. But Malik's offered hand was not taken.

    Eirioch turned his attention back to Viper, listening to the question that rolled out from the young man's mouth. They were nearly the same age, but Eirioch knew that they shared no commonality, no similar sort of maturity. Eirioch was older, in some way, even if this young man had closed the eyes of men and women alike since he was fourteen. The question that he had asked had been without wisdom - there would be no answer, either way. Viper had already directed his so-called venom towards the sickly asarlai. The assassin was like his wife, in that sense. Neither would be able to truly tolerate the dark powers in their midst. The bow was in Viper's hands, clutched tightly. Eirioch noticed the expert swiftness of the assassin's action, which had clearly come from a long practice with the weapon. He never could bear bows himself - his people rarely used the bow, and to be an archer was the lowest rank one could possibly hold in the military. Eirioch raised his hand from Brigit's, placing his hand back on the fork and knife. There was nothing to be concerned about, after all. This was not how Malik died. He knew that - as did Malik, he supposed. The Abthane returned to excavating the bones of the partridge from the soft, pink flesh. It was no longer steaming, it had long since gone cold. Between the ends of his fork and knife he produced the bird's furcula, the wishbone. He gently set that in its proper place within the bird skeleton that he had reconstructed. He spoke once again, and his words, though quiet, seemed to be directed towards Viper - and like all things that Eirioch said, carried a sureness and a certainty. "Put your weapon down, Viper. He, like us, is here to subdue the shadow beasts." He inclines his head, a long strand of his white hair brushing against the oaken surface of the table.

    Only now, did Eirioch seem to realize Aine's words to him and his cousin. A request for questions - for anything that would guide him and Brigit along. Though he knew the answers, he also knew that he asked some questions. He was helpless to divert himself from his fate, just as his cousin was, much to her constant fury and frustration. He lifted his head, red-eyes staring straight at Aine - through her, more like. He was still trying to see, even though he knew that this would be a pointless endeavor. For the time, she was protected from his all-seeing sight through some supposedly beneficial magics. But he was a Dream-Seer, and he had seen how this story ended - with or without her. He did not need to see her fate, for him to know the exact outcome that this venture had. She was confirming who they were. That he was Eirioch Lutair, and that this was his soon to be Lady-Wife, and cousin, Brigit. He nodded his head once, and set his knife and fork down once again. The bird skeleton lacked head and feet - merely a mass of vertebrae and ribcage. He offered her a confirmation verbally, "Yes. I am Abthane Eirioch Lutair, and this is my cousin, the Lady Brigit Lutair." This introduction would be preferable to his cousin that the term 'lady-wife-to-be-' or even 'betrothed.' How she loathed the idea of being his wife, and nothing more. Better then, to be cousins. Dutifully, in recognition of the fate that had led him here, Eirioch asked a question; "How will we begin our training?" Even as the words escaped his lips, the lilt at the end of his pronunciation that should have signified a question was absent. There was a mechanical quality to the question. He already knew.
     
  20. Palomina wasn't too fond of these high-horsed nobles - or at least, the lady-boy, anyway. She was rather cocky - Palomina felt these nobles needed to be taken down a notch. Amudar seemed to share the sentiment. His bold statement was daring and careless, but not brash. One of the reasons she respected him was because of his way with words. Certainly, he was quite the Bard - or, rather, he spoke like one.

    She looked to the Northern Nobles and snarled, not in disgust at their heritage, but at their attitudes. Palomina was a noble herself, but cut her own path. "You're the Northerners, right? Lutair?" Her questions were rhetorical, and she used a harsher tone than usual. She despised their gall. "Your blood won't get you any points unless you leave it on the battlefield. Then, it's just as valuable as the hungriest peasant's, as far as I'm concerned. You 'liaisons' aren't any better than the servants we have scrubbing the floors, so you better learn how to polish your own boots, nobles, because there's no one to do it for you out in the field. You want to learn how to tame and dominate the wild? You listen to me. You want to learn how to fight a Shadow Beast? You listen to Amudar. You want to learn which magics to use against which creatures? Ask Aine.

    "You're under us right now, in rank and training - or at least as far as Shadow Beasts go. Sure, you might be able to kill a man, but can you kill a Shadow Beast? Why are you here? You, Gallowglass," she carped, referring to Eirioch, "you seem like you know a few things. Those fancy blades of yours are great for ripping out a man's throat, but are they suited for gouging out a Beast's eye? They look like they can cut it a bit, but they have no tip, just hooks on the sides. You can only do as much as my ax. Those swords are only good for hitting a Shadow Beast's armorless parts, like its belly or its neck. Do you know how hard it is to get to a Worg's stomach? You'll be practically useless against a Naga, they're pretty well armored. You'll have to get into their mouths. Never a good move. I recommend bringing a dagger along in case of a Scorpion or a Naga." He was polite, but in a conciliatory fashion. He didn't seem to really care. Naga tended to cluster in the North, so maybe she cut a nerve about them.

    "Princess," she growled, referring to Brigit, aka Lady-Boy, "I probably don't need to remind you of this, since you were just told a few minutes ago, but we don't need you. You need us. There's no way around that, so you better get used to the idea, or get out. What are you, a mage? I don't see a single sheathe, not a single piece of cutting steel on you. No, you wear your fancy boy's suit and act like you know everything about Elementalism, don't you? Sure, you'll be more useful against the Naga than your boyfriend right now, but I want to see you fight an Ursal. They won't be phased by your glorified snowflakes. You'll need Lightning or Air. Then maybe if you can manage to pinch off a spark, you might be able to tickle it. Who knows, you might actually be able to help us."

    Her long winded speech was about finished. She had plenty more to say, but she imagined Amudar already had a distaste for what she'd already burst out.
     
    #20 VerbalAbuse, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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