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Thread: (M) Rogue's Gallery IC

  1. #121
    The Art Vandal

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    By the time Sheva and Jazi caught up to Vel she was already heading in another direction altogether, the shadow of a man could be seen in the background and Sheva recognize his features. It was Trist, and seeing how they both departed quickly, Sheva could assume the hunter was sending her on some mission or another.

    Jazi was also gone, probably going to present Yn with his gift and Sheva was left alone. With heavy steps she went to the stables, “Here girl”, she said, giving some food to Rain, and after petting her mare she pulled out the coin which was given to them by Ky. The silver lining, the emblem, the shape and weight. It was indeed hailing from the treasury of the palace of Salivan.

    The kingdoms of the north, Novigard, Dominion and Salivan were not only somewhat closer in terms of distance and trading roads, but they were also joined by blood. Their custom and court behaviour along with currency were practically the same to the untrained eye, but Sheva could tell that this coin was hailing from Salivan directly. And who would use the treasury to hire an assassin to kill Jamon? Maybe lords that wanted to rid themselves of their new monarchy? But seeing how many years the new king and queen been in power that seemed unlikely… unless there was another reason to it or…

    “Think! Think!”

    Sheva tried to recall Ky’s words. He was so confident about his mission. To the point that once the group knew who was behind it, things will be clear. How can one be so certain of his intentions?

    “Gah!”.

    Sheva clutched the coin in her hand. Having the boy dead will not be a bad thing in the long run. Using this favour with whomever hired Ky to get closer to the throne was appealing and yet… the idea left a terrible taste in her mouth. War was a dirty business. And sometimes to get what you want you needed to consider doing horrible things, but the boy's death was simply uncalled for. Jamon was not an active foe, and all his bad deeds was of him being in the wrong place and wrong time. Even if he was a useless meat and an idiot, Sheva knew his death was unjustified.

    But what would she do with all this information? And would someone be able to solve this puzzle for her? And what if Ky is playing tricks on her? After all he has Morinth by his side, and she knew exactly how to make Sheva move according to her tune.

    Once Yn offered a gentle farewell, Shel turned back around to scrutinise the bare-backed man as he made his departure. Even in their short conversation, there was something in the Dusha Kin that had caused an unexpected rush of emotions to bubble up within the orc, leaving her unable to deny the impression that he had made on her. Because behind Yn’s gruff appearance, there was deep kindness, one that Shel could see through the soft pools of his eyes as he repeatedly enquired over her wellbeing. As it were, the she-orc appreciated the genuine way that the man expressed himself—in spite of her own contempt over his admittance to snuffing out the life of one of her kind.

    Living alongside these other breeds truly was proving to be one wild ride and a test of the soul, and a confusing one at that. Because since Shel was young, all she had ever been taught was that loyalty to the orcish always came first. No questions asked and no exceptions made. It was a training of the mind that fortified the belief that the survival of the orcish race outweighed everything; this perhaps being the creed that had kept the orcs standing tall through their many trials and tribulations. It was a belief that had always aided them in conquering threats of extinction, whether by plague and pestilence; or by the human, elven and ogre aggressors they had warred with at many points in past millennia.

    It was a long and violent past that brought about a resilience that embedded itself into the very genetic fibres of orcish biology after thousands of years of struggling for survival… even leading to an eventual physical alteration of their very biology. And it was the berserker abilities that became chief among those evolutionary defense mechanisms that had developed. It was the nature that they drew from the most when in need, passing such traits on to posterity through their lifeblood.

    And Shel still subconsciously carried these echoes of the past, her momentous ancestral heritage that played like a mantra within her psyche as ominous as war drums. She even could almost hear the chants of her own tribe’s wise women who always sought to rile up the people to keep the inner warlord alive within every orcish man, woman, and child. That way, lurking below the surface, the berserker was always there, prepared to act when the day of reckoning once more inevitably came.

    May curses rain down like fiery stones from the heavens, bringing a swift end to every enemy of the orc! May any who dare rise against the orc with weapon or tongue be crushed and brought to the dust!

    These were Shel’s earliest memories. Being told that any who threatened her well being was the enemy. Any rival deserved no pity, no explanations, and certainly not to be met with anything other than hostility. Or so was what had been drilled into Shel since childhood. But what does one do, she now wondered, if her enemies were more of a blurred line? And what if there were no longer only external enemies to worry about, all of the outsiders who would dare hurt an orc...

    Like Yn?

    ...but a more internal enemy?

    Like me?

    And why could there be no explanations? Shel had always carried so many whys about all of these things on the inside of her, and it was that simple word that always seemed to get her into trouble.

    Seeking solace from these troubling thoughts, the she-orc grew more conflicted and veered towards Maso to distract herself, gently caressing the beast while Lu curled herself up quite comfortably beside the elk. The indecisive boar had eventually settled upon collecting her warmth from Twig Head (for now), finding it difficult to decide between Maso and Faur in this very confusing moment. Why couldn’t they all just enjoy one giant cuddle fest, she wondered?

    Meanwhile, Shel had begun to study Maso’s largest wound, the one on his giant thigh, before rubbing a salve deeply into it. That dose of tranquilising tonic that Balder had given Shel to administer upon the mammoth truly was working a charm, it seemed. And how powerful these herbs must be, whatever they are, Shel thought to herself. Because what in Eisignol held the power to bring down the mammoth so gracefully?

    Little did Shel know that the recipe was a carefully guarded secret that no giant ever spoke of (save with other giants), but it was a plant-based concoction discovered and cultivated by the giantfolk some centuries ago. In fact, the very herbs used for it grow exclusively on the ancestral territories of the giant clans, only under very specific conditions and in certain types of soils. Because what fertilised this soil was the key to its potency—the bodies of giants lost. It grew in the lands where the wise giants of the ages had been laid to rest, the Great Ancient Ones… as well as those who had released their spirit to the Father and gave their body back to the Mother more recently.

    But why keep something so profound a secret, so carefully protected? If one were ever brave enough to pose this question to any giant, they might be told it was because they as a people were just not convinced that other childlike races could be trusted with herbs and secrets of such efficacy. Not until they chose to set aside their violent ways. Then the giant would likely ramble on of his or her distaste of the tendency for their little brothers and sisters to bastardise what is meant for healing into weapons of war and carnage.

    The giants therefore justified hiding some of their more powerful discoveries from the world, as their bioluminescent herbs must never fall into the hands of the violent, nor the power-seekers. They believed that this was the only way to ensure its potent power could not be used for destruction, but only restoration.

    Because to the giantfolk, Eisignol was the Great Mother To All. So how could they ever sanction the suffering of Earth Mother’s sons and daughters, all of whom She greatly cherished? How could they ever do anything but hope that one day the Sky Father would look down to see that his children had finally turned aside from their reckless ways of ripping each other apart?

    As it were, Balder’s glowing tonic left the mammoth absolutely comatose for the day, seemingly advancing Maso’s healing with more haste. It was while Shel was sitting in amazement at this that the door creaked open, causing her to hold her breath at the unwelcome sound. She was not keen on any more visitors right now, so opted to remain as silent as the dead as she hid behind the mammoth’s great hide.

    But who was it? Some stableboy? The answer proved easy enough to find, because all Shel needed to do was patiently wait and listen as this uninvited individual began to speak. And the voice was all too recognisable… one that had an air about it like wind chimes.

    Hm. Sheva. Speak of the devil.

    No doubt coming to seek out her prized mare? Well, this did make her need to confront Sheva a lot easier, Shel thought. Because what sort of huntress did not appreciate when the prey simply came to them? Taking advantage of Sheva’s momentary distraction, the orc tip-toed towards the stable door, shutting it with an obvious bang before securing the lock and pocketing the key.

    “Oops,” was all the orc said, looking right at the mage with her one good eye.

    Sheva gasped as she turned around. But her expression changed immediately. Whatever was up with the Orc, she definitely did it on purpose. Why was she always like that? Sheva shook her head. She got up and the moment she landed her eyes on the Orc her face switched colors, “What happened to you?!”.

    “You tell me,” Shel responded with an orcish ire, giving Sheva an honest chance to explain what was bubbling somewhere beneath the surface. That is, if this human was bright enough to put the puzzle pieces together (which Shel doubted), and understand that what was being referred to was her gift... as well as the circumstances surrounding the bandit raid itself.

    “I have no idea?”, Sheva tilted her head. She didn’t recall Shel needing healing… or being around during the attack to begin with. Shel was probably going to blame her for something, that at least she could tell from the tune of the Orc, but for the love of god, she had no idea what was going within that woman’s mind, “Do you want to tell me?”

    Shel looked at Sheva for a moment, almost hating the woman for fooling her with those earrings (as she assumed that’s what had occurred), but allowed a few moments of peace to pass instead. Sheva really did seem lost, Shel realised, so perhaps she really did not know of the earrings origin or what had spurred the attack? Perhaps she meant no harm after all?

    “You gave me these,” was all Shel revealed, taking the distinct silver and crimson studs from a hidden pocket inside her cloak. “But why?” Shel then concealed the treasure of royal origins once more with one smooth movement. What was Sheva hiding? And who was this foreign queen the bandit had been so adamant about, wanting to know how an orc came upon a monarchal piece of jewelry?

    “Because I wanted the mare!”, Sheva said with anger, “You set the price bar too damn high, and I was willing to part with those earrings, which are fucking expensive mind you!”, Sheva shook her head, “Why else would I do it?”

    And I wanted to impress the giant... with coin! But you chose to give me earrings instead. Ones with ties to some foreign ice queen, a dangerous one!

    “Because it made you angry that you could not best an orc,” Shel quipped back, starting to list off the motives that she assumed had inspired Sheva to bestow her with such a poisonous gift.

    “Because I was shoving it in your face that I was not afraid to tell you off, or above dirty tactics. You knew I was on the verge of taking your glorious Rain for myself, because your offer did not please me. And that would have driven you crazy, wouldn’t it? Riding in circles around you on the most prized mount? Seeing an orc take possession of the things you most desire?”

    At this time, Shel began to act without much thought, her single-eyed gaze darkening as she roughly seized the mage’s collar to pull Sheva’s pretty face over to closely view her own.

    “Because you knew to wear those earrings was dangerous! What do you know of the attackers? Sheva! Look at MY FACE!”

    However, unable to keep the hand that held the collar from trembling, Shel’s expression began to betray so much pent up emotion that it appeared as if a dam was on the verge of breaking. Damn it. Noticing the way her arm suddenly shook, the orc began to experience a small trickle of clarity, which ultimately led Shel into releasing Sheva in a burst of inner remorse.

    Damn it. Damn it. Damn it.

    Intimidation truly was a most deadly weapon, a double-edged sword, one that too often destroyed the humanity of both giver and receiver. Shel sighed. The last thing she wanted right now was to see yet another person become hardened by such, like she had been. And somewhere deep down, neither did the orc want to see anyone feeling small or lost, like Sheva had back in Balefire when the two of them had spoken of the dastardly Adam.

    Speaking of whom, Shel still was immensely curious about the circumstances that surrounded Sheva and this man. What had Oakland done to her that instilled such a strong reaction, one that spoke of rage and intimidation the day that Shel handed Rain over? Why had Adam carried this woman into the Rogues partially disrobed and vulnerable… before he frightened her? Who was this man… truly? Shel was not sure she wanted to know.

    As for Sheva’s curious way of responding to Adam after he did whatever he had to upset her—speaking peaceably to him in the Rogue Gallery courtyard for Tris and Shel to see—well, it was confusing for the orc to say the least. Shel ached to know the truth of it all. Because if this Adam fellow was as unsavoury as others she had known in the past, the orcish huntress would take great pleasure in seeing his downfall. Perhaps she may even attempt to instigate it, because in Shel’s mind, such a person did not deserve to wield power over anyone in the Gallery, much less anyone in general.

    “Tsk”, was all the fair lady said, and for a moment Sheva gave an expression that was hard to read. Yet even though she was hard pressed for judgment by the fearsome she-orc, she remained fixed at her, not averting her eyes from her face while her hands were slowly fumbling to remove one glove from her right hand. And just like that, without allow Shel a moment to understand what Sheva was about to do, she quickly pressed her palm against the swallowed cheek of the Orc.

    The impact was swift as Shel anger began to be absorbed along with her soul’s energy and Sheva’s eyes shone with strange light. Shel tasted differently. Not bad, but not pleasant either. The wrath was so boiling in her that it was almost impossible to control the energy, but it had to be done. The woman was furious, and if it was any other situation Sheva would have probably started to attack her with fire.

    But not now. Not when a woman’s pride was on the line. No one has the right to hurt a woman’s face. Not like this. Not ever.

    But Shel was not in a mood to explain, or even listen to reason, so another method had to be in order, even though she didn’t want to reveal her powers to her.

    This is my command to you. Explain to me what happened, everything, in the clearest way possible

    Shel was a bit taken aback by Sheva, not merely by the fact that the human gave little response to her collar being grabbed, but more so by her ice cold stare. It was difficult for Shel to decipher. But as the orc found it notoriously hard to apologise, she struggled to find a response, instead choosing to lean on silence.

    Perhaps it would be best to stop playing games now and plainly ask Sheva who she really was and what connections she had to Salivan. Be forthright about it. Because whoever this woman was, whatever she was, had nearly gotten Shel killed and the orc believed that the very least she deserved for that was the truth.

    And then it hit her.

    The truth.

    The dark arts.

    Shel made an impassioned attempt to block Sheva from touching her with hidden, cursed magic—a dirty tactic, Sheva!—but was unsuccessful due to the suddenness of the mage’s movement. Instead, Shel became overwhelmed by the force of supernature; and though she could not fully counter its power, this certainly did not mean that Shel did not savagely try with her own force of nature.

    Her innermost will.

    I do not... take commands...

    These were the words that Shel was able to get out when their two energies met in full force, almost reminiscent of two hurricanes that collided, playing off each other and engaging in a sort of dance over a tempestuous sea. Just in this way, the results were always transformative and brought on the birth of a new and stronger superstorm.

    Only… re... quests...

    Shel felt the same in the case of Dagur.

    And Adam.

    And Tristifer.

    Even Balder.

    So she most definitely would not take any such thing from Sheva.

    Even so, considering the circumstances, it was all that Shel could do to not just give in. With each passing moment, whatever the mage was doing to her made her increasingly tired, not to mention how much it stung her to the core. So when these unpleasant feelings got to a boiling point, Shel just wanted it to stop. (Besides, was she not on the verge of spilling all of this to Sheva anyway, in search of the truth? She might as well fucking speak now.)

    Shel therefore began to share everything that had occurred with the bandit beside the dead fire, seeking answers from Sheva, but also finding the conversation comforting.

    ***

    Flashback


    ***

    I need Balder.

    I was consumed by that simple thought when I was climbing out of the creek that I had been swimming in yesterday. He was the only person I could bring myself to think about right then. Well, other than Sir Tristifer and how fucking much his rooster call had irritated me. I despise being summoned like some underling, which was what I thought Tris had been doing. So I took my sweet time in responding to his wake up call.

    I began to dress myself ever so slowly, primping and preening so that I would look as charming as possible when I finally decided to return to the camp and the giant. Feeling so fresh and clean, I even braided my hair artistically and put a wild flower in it, wanting to appear pleasant before I went to prepare a traditional orcish breakfast for Crag to enjoy. It was then that I remembered the jewelry that I now possessed: the ancient orcish necklace that I had [strike]stolen[/strike] borrowed from Rhok The Mammoth Slayer, and those beautiful foreign earrings that you had so graciously given.

    Both of which are complete lies.

    Rhok is no true Mammoth Slayer, as he claims.

    Nor are you gracious, Sheva.


    With that, Shel paused the metaphysical conversation that she was having with the mage, suddenly distracted by something very profound that was happening to her own being. Looking down towards her chest, Shel could see that the area around her heart had begun to glow with a more vivid life force with every truth spoken. It was like a warm radiance was in the midst of growing ever brighter as she communicated with genuine expression.

    And the longer Shel chose to speak in this manner, the sting of Sheva’s magic seemed to ebb too, as if this was the key in releasing the healing that cascaded from Sheva in an ever-strengthening white glow. All of it was so good and so weight-lifting that Shel chose to continue further, wanting this sensation of cool water trickling down her face to continue.

    Anyway. Once I was satisfied that Tristifer had more than enough time to realise that his summons mean nothing to me, I started to slowly meander back towards the camp, amusing myself with a hundred ideas of how I could coerce Bigwit into annoying the archer for my own personal enjoyment. But all of these inner musings only kept me from realising what was actually occurring with you all.

    I had floated so far downstream that I could no longer clearly hear what was going on in the camp, and was so blissfully unaware of the bloodshed that I only started to hear the chaos once I veered back towards the fire pit that I had shared with Velaire.

    It was then that I was jolted back to reality, hearing another shout, one that clearly signified that danger was nearby. It was a noise that I instinctively knew belonged to a man who was in the midst of experiencing death, and this was the exact moment that I knew I was no longer alone.

    Because from some hideout in the bushes, a blood-covered man abruptly revealed himself, breathing strenuously but otherwise appearing unhurt. He wasted no time in approaching me with his blade raised, shouting curses and calling me a Rogue, ordering me not to move.

    Perhaps I should have ran right then, but my gut told me to lie and stand my ground. Fleeing seemed too suspicious and… as I had no idea what was even going on or why this person was being aggressive... I chose to bet my cards on charm. I did what felt right.

    I smiled.

    But that was one of my many mistakes.

    Nor should I have taken my precious time in braiding my hair and putting a flower in it—even though that made me feel beautiful. I should have been armed and ready for when that man arrived, not donning beautiful earrings and the like. But it still is hard to scold myself, because sometimes I just want to be and feel like a woman, even if that’s what seems to fuck me over at times.

    I tried to talk the man into putting down his weapon, thinking I was in full control of the conversation, and he seemed to be eating up my every word at first. I told him I was merely a lone traveller, and was absolutely not a Rogue. Yes, I had encountered the Rogues on the road, I told him. But I had no affiliation and no meaningful interactions with them. As such, I apologised for being little help, always aiming to conduct myself confidently.

    That was when I realised I was not as in control as I thought I was. Because when I bade him farewell and meant to take my leave, I again smiled pleasantly while tucking a bit of my hair behind my ear. Which was when his expression suddenly soured, and he seized my arm to stop my departure. He would not stop gawking at me. At first, I didn’t know what he was looking at so intently, but it did not take too long to understand. Because he started to tell me what bothered him, plainly.

    ‘Those earrings… belong to her,’ was all he kept saying to me, mumbling things about his foreign Ice Queen as he began to search my person. My own expression darkened at this. I did not appreciate being grabbed in such a way or being combed over like some common criminal. So I backhanded the man, warning him to let go.

    But he didn’t.

    Instead, he returned the bite I had given him twice over. He pulled his free hand out from searching me, first revealing Dagur’s abominable Rogue pin that everyone carries around like a pack of fools. ‘And you... are a liar,’ the man conceded before striking me in the eye with his fist. And it hurt, that… so much that the pain blinded me for an instant.

    Either way, I wanted to show this man—whoever he was—that his hurting my eye could not shut up my voice. So I just said the first thing that came to my mind to prove this point, adding insult to injury. I called his queen a whore.

    So he struck me again, this time in the mouth, presumably to quiet me. And the busted lip was worth it, I must confess. I enjoyed the look of upset that my words brought him in those fleeting moments, because it clearly showed me how much power words truly held. Even the words of an orc. Even my words.

    It was at this time that he fell upon me like some avalanche, lifting me up off my feet and slamming me down to the ground. I landed in a puddle with a splash that sent water up my nose and into my eyes as the air was driven out of me, and he grabbed his blade to strike me with that now.

    But I kneed him in the groin with haste, which caused him to veer just enough to slice my arm instead of my vitals, which also earned me time to take advantage of his pain and toss his weapon away from reach. He resorted to using his hands once more, as I assume he did not want me to turn away and flee.

    So he grabbed me again, this time taking hold of my hair, using his greater weight to snap my head down against some half-buried stone, one that was part of the circumference around the fire that I had enjoyed with Vel the night before. There, he drove me deeper into the ash and grabbed my neck to stop me from breathing.

    His body felt as heavy as a horse, impossible to move, and I felt as if my own body was betraying me. My own orcish ability to protect myself was betraying me. Where was the berserker in my time of need? What was the point of this life and such abilities if one could not easily summon their strengths at will? I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for it to come to my aid—that grotesque thing that felt so fundamental to my being orcish and so crucial to my very existence.

    Had life somehow taken that from me too?

    I could hear a dog barking and men shouting in the distance, but all of it seemed so far away and so unimportant. To me in that moment, my whole world was only as large as the hands of the ice bandit that had me in a chokehold. Because I could feel myself spiralling down into darkness, too far separated from the Rogues to seek help. It almost felt as if I was floating above myself, watching what was occurring and judging it harshly, as if it was happening to some other woman. Some stupid girl who was arrogant enough to think she needed nothing and no one.

    But I can’t die yet, I kept thinking. Not like that. There was something I still needed to do, and I could not allow this person to stop me.

    This recollection was what turned the situation on its head, tipping the scales, and causing rage to flash like lightning and peal like thunder inside my skull. Finally, I felt the dam break as the berserker hormone broke through and released itself, causing orcish adrenaline to flood my veins and make my eyes bloodshot.

    This was when I could effectively begin to defend myself, even if only slightly. I was not able to push him back fully, but partially, which allowed me the freedom to use my good arm to fight back. I took this opportunity to edge my weary hand over to a craggy stone that sat in the dead fire pit, raising it up and striking it down upon the man’s head like a hammer from behind with every bit of force I could muster.

    This jolted the bandit from the chokehold, and finally, I was free. Yet I could waste no time, as every second was precious. So I struck again while the iron was hot, bending down to use my wounded arm to toss a cloud of ash into the air, momentarily blinding him, even as I grabbed another stone with my other arm. This stone was used to jar him a bit more, giving me a chance to run for Balder.

    But he once more came at me like a rabid dog, and I realised there would be no fleeing, nor would there be any Balder to help me. Not this time. Just me. So I took ownership of this, feeling like there was no other choice but to test the limits of my racial abilities. What else could I do?

    I don’t remember what I did after that. All I know is that his face was smashed to a pulp with a rock, and he was dead. I then started to stagger back to the camp, feeling extremely faint from the level of exertion that it had taken out of me to defend myself. I was entirely sapped of all energy, and the last thing I remember is falling down a gully and landing beside a dead rabbit.


    ***

    Flashback ends

    ***

    Sheva was crouching on the ground as she looked up. This controlling power was a double edged sword but it allowed her to make some sense of the Orc’s accusation. Curses. Seems like even here, far away, her past won’t stop hunting her.

    “The three kingdoms of the North are having shared traits. Not just by customs or even trade… but by blade. The Dominion, the lion king, Novigard, the raven queen prophet, and Salivan, the wolf defender. This their emblem, and your earrings will not have been noticed by common folks, and I should have probably seen it coming but… how could I? Who would have known about this? Who would see pass through a trinket? What I wished to give away as coin trade has come back to bite me, even though I only see it as jewel”

    The connection between the bandits and the kingdom of the north made clear, and even though they were able to tell the jewel came from Salivan, they still assumed Shel was associated with Novigard’s affirts, a thing that put her at risk.

    Or maybe those were Ky’s men and they were trying to hurt everyone meddling into the affairs of Salivan?

    Either way, Shel was hurt… because of her.

    “Long ago it held a meaningful use, it was a gift but when I was exiled I refused to ever wear. I will not ask forgiveness because.. How could I know… alas I can offer something else…”. While still weak, Sheva reached out her hand, once again touching directly into Shel’s skin. This time the energy was smoother, less painful, and somewhat cold. Tissues began to mend as the open wound in Shel body and her face began to shrink back.

    Sheva was healing her… And by the way the woman was sweating and heaving, Shel could tell that it was at the cost of a great effort. Sheva had nearly collapsed, but stopped the connection when she was almost depleted. She couldn’t have spent herself before finishing the things she wanted to do today.

    There were some scars and marks, but it was clear those will heal with more time, yet it seems like the wounds were nearly gone.

    Finally released from whatever magical spell that Sheva had concocted, Shel once again felt fully in control and free to do as she wished. It was a refreshing feeling, to be sure, but it was the betterment of her face that brought her true reprieve. Shel touched the places that had been healed, lightly, to see if it was real.

    And it was. Not only was Sheva a mage… but one with connections to the royal court of Salivan? Shel wished to delve further into what all of this truly meant. What relationship did Sheva have with the Whore Queen (as Shel now affectionately called her), and why did Adam intimidate her?

    But it was apparent that now was not the time for questions such as these, because as Shel diverted her attention back to Sheva, she could obviously see that it was the mage who was now ailing. So Shel reached forth to support the woman so that she would not keel over from exhaustion.

    “Who are you?” the orc asked in wonderment, but did not press the issue too much further for now, as Sheva seemed much too drained to continue on much more with explanations. But weren’t they in Alegast, the City of Scholars, where there was an ancient library to roam?

    Perhaps I would benefit from some explorations into the history of this kingdom that Sheva speaks of, the orc pondered. Perhaps that is another way to shed light on this manner, as I still believe she is hiding something.

    “I will keep your secrets,” Shel then assured Sheva in confidence, still holding her upright as her tone melted into something a bit more soft, more genuine than before. “But only if you agree to never forcibly use your magic on me again.”

    Sheva nodded, her eyes half closed, “I was… betrayed… and…”, she looked into her hands, which one had still a glove on, “Turned into… this… abomination… now I need energy to sustain whatever power in me… and it’s never enough...”, Sheva moved on to place her glove back on her hand, “But few advantages are within this curse… as you saw… my healing is second to none… as long as it doesn’t involve growing new limbs or body parts. Once branches are cut, they cannot regrow, however, it is always possible to mend destroyed husk… to a point….”, Sheva looked at her, “I don’t trust people to keep secrets. It’s hard for mortals to do so, however, I will be very grateful to you if you keep this information with you. I will promise you to never use this power on you again, not unless I’m provoked to the point I have no other means to use it, or if it will be to save someone or your own life”
    Last edited by Leanna; 06-25-2019 at 05:20 PM.

  2. #122
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    Default Girls night Co - Part 1 (P.K., Kris, Storm, Bluemoon and Leanna)

    Vel had found an empty room far from some of the others that looked as if they had been claimed already. Hoping that no one would come to claim this far room and she’d be left in solitude after today's events. She carefully folded her new clothing and set it aside on a table before taking a quick look over the letters Tris had given her.

    There were a few words she couldn’t understand but she was certain she could piece them together. She was debating if she should try and locate a book in the library, longing to roam between the bookshelves now more than ever. She had all night, as doubtless the others would sleep leaving her time to wander while others slumbred, so long as the library was not closed during that time.

    She sighed as she finely set down, settling herself as she pulled her book free along with her quill and ink. Flipping to a blank page near the back of her book and laid the letter open using her ink well to keep it open as she went about translating. She left a blank space for any words she couldn’t immediately read determining she could look for a book tomorrow while she went in search of information about the tears with the others.

    She should have the letters translated with in two days at the most, a day and a night in the least. She hadn’t gotten more then a few lines before she heard the door open and remembering Tris’s words She quickly folded the letter and put it between the pages before closing her book, hopping the ink won't smudge too much for doing so.

    “There you are”, Sheva said as she entered, yawning and rubbing her eyes, “You stormed out really fast before”, She was holding the fabric she had bought previously, not it was already sewn into a proper dress. Most likely using the time to get it fixed until they were all heading to bed, “Our gracious leaders said we need to settle in for the day, and while we may spend a day or two here they don’t want us to slack or stay up late… not that they really care, but they do want to make sure we are in our rooms and safe… so… you choose this one?”, Sheva scanned around it, her backpack leaning at the doorway and she slowly pulled it inside, “Mind if we share?”

    Vel frowned under her hood as Sheva came in, nervous about the possible questions she had but for now she only seemed intent on finding a room to stay in. Thought there was literally like a hundred of them why Sheva spent however long to search out the one she’d claimed Vel was not sure, but she bet it had to do with Sheva’s questions that Vel didn’t doubt she had. Was Sheva concerned for her? It was a nice thought but it still Made her nervous as She asked if they could share.

    There was really no reason Vel could say no, the room was fairly large and no one else was here so she slowly nodded, glad the women couldn’t see her face underneath her hood as she opened up her book once more to a blank page. With any luck Sheva would go to sleep soon and leave vel to spend the night translating still.

    “Hmm!”, Sheva hummed and clapped her fingers together as she removed a scroll of paper. A sensation of magic brought forth a small gust of wind that carried two heavy looking desk into the rooms (and also seemed to make some papers to fly about). The tables landed with a heavy thud upon which Sheva started to organize her things, and make a vanity desk for all her make up and accessories.

    Vel shifted uncomfortably at the display of magic but made no other move beyond that as she watched. As Sheva began to set up a vanity desk Vel leaned back on the table and watched with some interest. She’d had one once but that was so long ago she could hardly recall what she’d used, if anything at all. Even as a sort of ‘high’ statues she’d always preferred simple things. A light fragrance, very little makeup and a fine but simple gown was always her choice on a good day. Sheva on the other hand seemed to take much more pride in her appearance then She ever had, even living.

    Sheva hummed softly as she began to rub her face and neck with oils and start to powder herself. She kept checking the mirror when she used eyeliner to make sure it was perfectly drawn while adding some shades to her cheeks.

    Having entered the Annex after the troubling encounter with her brother, Su Lin and Mynx proceeded down a hall, Su Lin’s steps ultra quiet. Having heard a light humming as she passed a room, Su Lin gazed inside taking notice of the hooded woman whom has spent the entire journey avoiding close contact with others as well as Sheva. Having maintained close observation on Vel during this journey, Su Lin has surmised that the woman either had a bounty on her head or had a physical appearance she was uncomfortable allowing others see. If it was not a bounty on the girl, was she of a species that humans naturally took mistrust of? Her stature was too small for Elf or Ogre, mahaps the girl were Vampire, Lycan or Undead. She dismissed the Lycan straight away as Mynx had not growled any time they were in the same proximity. No matter the case, it was a time for formal introduction. That and she desired to know if Sheva’s sister had made herself known in town yet.

    Su Lin stepped through the entry to the room resting her hand to her chest bowing her head slightly, her tone friendly as though she were making an introduction to a diplomat

    “Gentle day Miss Sheva and Miss Velaire, I pray I spoke your name correctly Miss Velaire?” with a gentle gaze in Vel’s direction “..I hope I have not intruded during a time of rest.” now looking toward the two women in the room, not stepping further until mainly Vel made some gesture for her to enter.

    Vel had simply been watching sheva, unable to get back to translating with her in the room. She’d leaned back on the desk, crossing her arms over her chest until she heard someone begin to speak. Vel looked to the door to See Su lin in the door. Vel felt herself tensing at the woman's appearance her mannerisms reminding her of Ky which in turn reminded her that Ky had mentioned that Su lin was his sister.

    Ky had observed her being so easily and she was not eager to find out if Su lin could do the same. She realized the woman was talking directly to her making vel start for a moment, her nervousness rising under the women’s gaze. Something about if she’d pronounced her name right. Vel nodded before turning her head and pulling her hood down further praying that Sheva would not be reminded of Ky’s remark about her.

    As Su Lin entered, Mynx followed, the ocecat starting to get her balance back although she still swayed slightly, her hand going to the wall to steady herself, nails extending for purchase. She nodded to Vel and Sheva, her pose rigid, all too aware that there was a lycan on the premises. With a light inhale, her attention shifted to the desk with the beauty products upon it. She was aware of the things women put on their bodies and faces, but had never used them herself. The perfume’s scent in the room was pleasant, one that slightly masked the undertone of each woman’s personal aroma. For Mynx, nearly all odors were pleasant, the downy follicles in her nose using the unique chemicals for identification...and if she had to be inside the Annex, this room was better than most...the dog’s musk barely perceptible over that of the manufactured product.

    “You want to try some?”, Sheva asked turning her gaze at Mynx.

    The ocecat lifted a brow, considering the offer, then smirked. “Yes...you make me pretty...with colors?” The thought amused her. She kept herself clean, brushed her hair, and occasionally wore a jewel around her neck or forehead...but never had she made up her face. It seemed like a game to her...perhaps a bonding ritual between women. She glanced quickly at Su, then released her claws from the wall, making her way slowly over to the mage.

    “Okay then!”, Sheva grinned a little, enjoying the fact she could apply some makeup on the girl. She picked up a towel and began to clean Mynx’s face a bit, “Sorry, it may hurt a little bit, but I’ll be gentle”. Truth be told she never applied a make to anyone who did not have human or elven features, but the thoughts excited her. So much potential to try with bright and more daring colors that will suit the nature of Mynx. Sheva was so joyful and she began to work immediately as she moved a stool for the ocecat to sit, “So”, Sheva said while mixing some colors with a brush, testing it on the back of her palm, before rubbing it on Mynx, “We got to meet you brother”, she told Su-Lin without looking at her.

    As Mynx had replied ‘You make me pretty…’, Su Lin let out an unusual sound, always being guarded in public, maintaining a flat demenior, she tried to withhold the giggle yet it escaped. Still with a slight smile on her lips, Su lin resumed watching as Mynx takes a seat and Sheva begins testing colors which might bring out Mynx features.

    Su Lin was in thought how she was going to bring up the topic of her brother when Sheva casually mentioned a meeting with Ky. Had Sheva been looking to Su, a moments facial expression of pain flashed for that fleeting moment. Had Ky spoken the title she had been spending years trying to forget, this was not her any longer. Trusting Ky would respect the first meet protocol, she did not think he tried to do harm to any. Recalling how Sheva and her sister interacted, with Sheva’s casual demeanor, Su Lin did not think that Morinth accompanied Ky during that introduction. Keeping her tone flat

    “I trust my brother spoke then of who he takes their gold and trinkets for? If he did not speak this, the boy will be safe today, he is just around to view those who might be protection for who he seeks. He did however have troubling words for me, of deception, that the boy might not be who even he believes he is.”

    Giving a moment's pause considering a diplomatic way to deliver the next in the event Sheva were not yet aware, her tone unusually softens “My brother also spoke ‘She’ travels with him and too is in town.” watching Sheva for any reaction, if she were aware already that her own sister was in town with Ky. Su Lin had no reason to doubt Ky, even though he was now a Palace Whore, he only spoke true words.

    Vel set quietly as she listened to Mynx and Sheva talk about makeup. She wondered how that would turn out on Mynx but she only looked up as Su lin mentioned Ky. She glanced at Sheva. She? She reached back and took her book and opened it to a blank page before writing. “He’s confident, he’s revealed his mission to many people it won't be long till the whole guild knows his goal, even as skilled as he might be he can’t fight all of us.” She said before turning the book around so they could read.

    “Hmph”, Sheva answered, too occupied in applying the right colors and making sure Mynx won’t lick off the powder. She peeked at what Vel wrote and nodded, “We do not know who hired him though… but I have my suspicions- Hold still Mynx!”

    With a grunt the feline stopped fidgeting, her attention divided between the conversation and the pleasing aroma of the make-up. She glanced in the mirror before her, peering closely at the shadow over her eyes, then to the note Vel had held up. The letters were familiar, but the words they formed unknown.

    “What Vel write?” she asked, once again looking at her reflection. She lifted her lip in a mock snarl, running a finger along it and looking at the lipstick stain on the tip. “Hmmm...no eat?”

    “No Mynx, you can’t eat that!”, Sheva said slowly, her expression serious, even though there were hints of enjoyment in her eyes, “Vel wrote that Su’s brother talked about his plan to kill the boy, and the fact that he is rather bold to risk everyone knowing his plan. After all, he can’t take the entire Guild on!”

    As Vel wrote in the book and held it to be read and Sheva and Mynx responded, Su Lin’s expression grew blank. Her tone somewhat ominous,

    “I do not believe Ky has the intention of taking on the entire Guild. If he has spoken to some, it would be more a peace offering before he brings about destruction. It does not matter if he is out bladed or face large numbers, in the end, it may not be a blade that need be feared. He has in the past gone to the extreme of bringing about the death of an entire Palace Ballroom just to rebir… to kill one.” She closed her eyes not wanting to look at the other women “Should he want to take this approach, he would simply use a natural blend which would remove life. He is well gifted in creating … poisons. One can be exposed to what is blended and would be unnoticeable. Within one rise and setting of the sun, the mixture would take its effect upon the one or the many…or simply use a blend which would remove life within several breaths.” her tone lowered, one that could sound remorseful “... no, numbers do not deter Ky when he takes anothers coin and trinkets. We can only pray that he decides to keep to steel and arrow, not what he has learned about blending death.”

    This was her worst regret in teaching Ky about a few poisons before understanding he used these for gaining palace coin. Fast acting and also those that have delayed effect. Mynx had already been exposed to the sedative ball so he had already displayed his willingness to use what she has taught him. She opened her eyes looking at an unoccupied spot in the room.

    “He is not one that we want to fight with numbers. When the next sun rises, he will not be seen again till such time he is ready to collect the life he seeks.”

    Vel withdrew her book quietly thinking over what Su lin said. Of course she’d know the man better she supposed. She frowned under her hood as she mentioned the lengths he would go to kill just one person. Barbaric. She thought before she dipped her quill in the ink and wrote again. “If not with numbers then with what?” she wrote before pausing glancing at the others. “Do you have a plan to keep the boy safe?” She had more faith in the members of the gallery but she had to say a plan was really better than winging it. “He’s your brother, you know how he will move better than the rest of us do.” She turned the book around so they could read.

    Sheva just finished to clear the brows area of Mynx, adjusting and applying the coloring properly, as she leaned in to read the letters, “Is he a guy who likes to hide in the shadows and attack, or announce himself? I pray it is not the former, it will be such a shame… you know, him having such a pretty face, one should be proud of his beauty”, Sheva grinned, looking at Vel. While her hood was still down, from the little bits she saw of the girl, she notice lovely features and often wondered why she insisted on hiding herself. The words of Ky rang again in her head, and she considered bringing it up but decided not to, instead she said, “Don’t you agree Vel?”

    As the conversation continued, Mynx listened in, thinking the only solution to the problem was to kill Ky. Unable to read Vel’s notes, she remained silent, watching with interest as Sheva continued to color her face. She was intrigued, but interacting with others in such a manner was not typical for her, making her social skills lacking. Whatever plan they came up with she was willing to follow, as long as she did not have to endure another of Ky’s sleeping powders. She tilted her head in query as the women voiced their opinions.

    Vel snorted as she turned her book around and wrote once more. “As charming as a snake trying to sell you his venom as pricey spirits.” She wrote with some contempt.

    “Indeed!”, Sheva grinned as she repeated the words in the book for Mynx’s sake, “Regardless, gems come in many shapes and forms, but I get not everyone sharing the same taste… so… my dear Velaire, what type of men do you fancy?”.

    Vel was visibly taken back by sheva’s question. Why was that important? She closed her book with a shake of her head. She didn’t have a type, She couldn’t have a type. It had been so long ago when she was transformed and so young she hadn’t had a chance to find out, and now there was no point.

    Having read Vel’s last entry in her book, a slight breath escaped Su Lin, could it have been a refrained laugh. Trying to regain her flat exterior appearance, with a slight giggle in her tone,

    “A snake selling venom as pricy spirits, I believe you may have summed up my brother.” Her tone going a little more monotone and serious “As far as how to keep the boy safe, yes, I do know my brother, from the words he spoke to me when we first met, he may intend on giving me an opportunity to face him alone. Whichever of us remains in this life will continue on what our fate has laid out for us. Should I return from our meet, the child would be safe, at least from Ky. What troubles me more is how he speaks in riddles. There may be more to this play brings than what is before us. Like with anything Palace, there may be a darker ploy than even he was told.”

    Su Lin’s demeanor softened slightly as she looked toward Vel watching the reaction from Sheva’s question. The woman obviously kept her appearance hidden though she was certain Vel was not Lycan, that would be apparent when the other Lycan was brought into camp. Vel did not display the traits of a Vampire or even Sorceress, even those with a price on their head display their form when within the safety of those they travel with. She had dismissed the thought of Banshee within the first day’s travel No, Vel displayed the mannerisms of an undead. Communicating with quill and parchment was one manner which undead speak, though not all undead knew this one, Su Lin thought she would try hand communication (sign language)

    ~Did that question make you uncomfortable~

    was all she signed to Vel. If she was wrong, the girl would simply think Su Lin was making odd hand gestures to her, if she did understand - even if not offering a response, Su Lin watched her features closely for indication that the gesture was understood.

    Sheva read the gesture… she couldn’t understand what Su-Lin asked, however it was rather obvious she tried to calm the spirits. Alas, Sheva wanted the opposite. It was rather rare sight seeing Vel so… emotional… it was rather… exhilarating… Licking her lips, Sheva pressed on, as she tried to force the girl to look at her and ignore Su-Lin, all the while still applying the makeup on Mynx, “Hmmm… I say… you are probably into the more… shy type… no no no… that feels wrong…. Maybe more… considerate… sensitive… maybe even… hmmmm ... sympathetic… kind hearted… but he still gotta be somewhat more proud and strong… am I right there”, Sheva grinned softly.

    Vel cocked her head in the assassins direction, those odd hand gestures seemed as if they meant something, Much like how Yn had tried to communicate with her that night. However before she could put much more through into it Sheva spoke up again. How did they even get from talking about how dangerous Ky was to what kind of man she was interested in? She crossed her arms and shook her hooded head.

    “Well… if I am wrong….”, Sheva grinned, “How about you tell us?”, Sheva tapped on Vel’s book.

    Vel quietly set for a moment before she seemed to sight, opening her book once more and putting quill to paper as she thought it over. She didn’t think Sheva would be satisfied until she answered with something.

    “Well…” She started writing. Where to begin?

    “Adam is dependable and strong. But he seems distant and unapproachable.” But perhaps that was the case with most everyone for her.

    “Bigwit is amusing and friendly, Easy to get along with.” The snow elf was a good friend of his and Vel felt that maybe if bigwit knew about her he wouldn’t make a big fuss about it.

    “Ashvel is more like a brother to me, and Dagur more like a father.” She wrote. They were the only ones who knew without a doubt what she was and had accepted her for it.

    She paused, thinking over the other men she’d known over the years. She wouldn’t make mention of her real family here, they had no place in her life now so they didn’t matter.

    “Tarrok and I rarely interacted but he seemed kind enough.” Though truth be told she had avoided the orc shaman due to his… connections.

    “Tristifer... Will have your back in a pinch.” she wrote slowly not sure how to address her feelings about the archer exactly. In a fight she was certain he’d have her back but he made her nervous. “But he’s a bit of an enigma.” He was hard to read, she could never tell what he was thinking. "He’s hard to read and it makes me nervous." She supposed there was no reason not divulge a little information, after all only they would see this.

    “Yn and I have only interacted once but he’s…” what was he? “...Pleasant. in manner and looks” she wrote finely. “We made a good team during the bandit raid, he seems easy to be around.” While he made her nervous due to his obvious connection to nature she didn’t feel the need to avoid him. "In fact I wouldn't mind having another patrol with him.". And for someone who was so secretive and alone all the time that was saying something.

    Vel shook her head, realizing she’d paused to long in writing about Yn. He really did seem very easy to be around and she wondered if they could continue growing a language of signs. “Balder Is easy to approach with almost anything, helpful and kind he’s extremely dependable though intimidating when angry.” that was a given though…

    “And then there is Jamon.” She wrote. She’d watched the boy from afar but had yet to interact with him. “He’s...” she paused. “... has lots of potential.” she finished with a shrug.

    “I don’t think I have a type.” she wrote finely. Not that it would matter if she did she could do nothing for them. “I care for each of the guild members, no one more or less than the others.” She turned the book around for sheva to read.

    Sheva read aloud the notes for Mynx, while grinning madly. ‘Not having a type… pfff’, she thought to herself, the gesture about Yn’s didn’t escape her, but she didn’t say anything. It was a good information to be of use at some point, “There”, she told the Ocecat as she pointed her to the mirror, “What do you think?”

    Before Mynx could respond to Sheva’s query, Shel burst unexpectedly through the door, clutching Balder’s finely carved tobacco pipe. The room had proven easy enough for the orc to locate, not because she had been trained in tracking since childhood, but more so because of the obvious trail of wall scratches that had been left by Mynx.

    “I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation,” Shel blatantly lied, as the huntress rarely felt contrite for anything. The orc then offered an affable nod in the general direction of Sheva and Velaire before turning to address the group as a whole. “The giant wants all of the women to rest together tonight—but not me, of course—and to stay in the Annex. You know… for your safety and such. Balder is worried about all of you after the raid and doesn’t want any of you going off alone.”

    The she-orc then sauntered confidently through the room to give some nonverbal reinforcement to this announcement, all the while toting the large pipe along and acting somewhat vicariously, almost as if she was the giant herself.

    And what was it that giants smoked, she wondered? Whatever it was would have to wait for a moment, though—as she had left someone waiting out in the corridor. So Shel simply made way for the table to set down the pipe, almost hitting Vel with it in the process, but gave the Hooded Mystery a cheeky half-smile. Perhaps this could be interpreted as an almost-apology, but the orc did not linger on this too long because she needed to properly explain the current situation to the rest.

    “All of the men have stepped out...,” Shel clarified, turning her attention towards Sheva to gauge the mage’s reaction to what she was about to say next about the gentleman rogues, “...probably to seek women, truth be told.” Because after a fight, isn’t that the first thing males went for? It was the way of the he-orc anyway—I should know—and Shel did not think these other breeds would be too different in that manner. The same red blood flowed in them all, did it not?

    But Shel digressed, suddenly remembering the one that she had left waiting beside the door in the corridor—the meek prisoner. Turning heel to disappear back out the door and giving no explanation as to why, the orc removed herself from the room for a few moments.

    Some seconds later, Shel reappeared to darken the doorway of the women’s quarters once more, all the while muttering to the one who still hid in the corridor... just out of sight. It did take a bit of coaxing, but Selene eventually did step forward timidly, revealing herself to the others.

    It was a situation that Shel had been unwillingly thrown into, as looking after this prisoner for the night had been briefed on short order. Either way, the last thing Shel felt like doing was explaining the little she knew about it, and her very gaze warned against any questions. Shel was just not in the mood to explain.

    “Over here,” the orc then said quietly to Selene, still not actually knowing her name or much about who the woman was. Because the prisoner barely even spoke it seemed, saying very little to Shel in the walk over... despite the orc’s ardent attempts in getting answers.

    All she had expressed, exhaustedly, was a desire for a bit of water and to sleep in privacy.

    “You can sleep here,” Shel said, pointing over into the far corner of Vel’s room.

    With that, the she-orc left the prisoner to rest, before taking a long drag of the giant’s tobacco. The inhale made her so light-headed that she let out a small giggle, despite herself. “Anyone who has an issue with this... well, feel free to take it up with the giant. Otherwise, I suggest you all get comfortable, because the rest should be here soon.“

    Because in the last hour, Shel had been out herding in the remaining rogues, telling them to follow her into the as per Balder’s request, looking for a red sash that she had just tied on the door knob.
    Last edited by P.K.; 06-30-2019 at 06:43 PM.
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  3. #123
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    "Yn, you still here?" Jezi asked after returning from the shopping. The conversation with Ky was still fresh in her mind, so she wasn't fully atune with what was going on around her. With her mind elsewhere, she almost walked square into the large man, only managing to stop just short of his chest. Yn himself had been in thought himself, just thinking through the healing method of Shel and the oddities of it. Hearing Jezi speak up, he looked up only in time to avoid running into Jezibel. They stated at each other for a few moments before finally Yn coughed to break the silence.

    "Right! I got you a shirt for the library. Less people staring at you." Jezibel offered up the vest, making sure he put it on. It was a bit of a struggle, but the vest was rather well fitting and the black with gold pulled together well. Yn adrmired the outfit a moment longer before looking back to Jezi, a bit of a scowl forming his lips for just a moment. The two of them had yet to have a real chance to talk while on the road to Alreast so now was as best a chance to do so. Giving a wave of his shoulder, he motioned them into the town. Talking in the resting spot, while comfortable, would make things awkward there.

    "So, about what you told me a few nights ago?" Yn started, seeing Jezibel stall just a moment before picking the pace back up. She looked to the ground, her face drawing blank as they walked. People gave them a wide berth as the two of them traveled silently in the town. Yn allowed the woman to be silent a few moments longer, but even he was getting tense waiting for a response.

    "Jezi?"

    "Yeah…. Yeah we should. In here." Jezi spoke up with a morose sigh, just before pushing him into a tavern. Several people looked to them as Jezi pushed them into a booth in the corner. She held silence as the waiter came over to them. She ordered two mugs for them and kept Yns attention for a few moments longer.

    "What I said was true. I was a trench wife and ran. It was a while ago and I want to forget about it." Jezi spoke into her mug after it arrived, thankful that Yn had remained silent. He looked down at the mead before him, allowing the spices to flow through his nose as he glared at it.

    "Well, i just want to let you know that I'll help you out if needed. Since we'll be traveling, I want to help protect,"

    "It's not that simple Yn. I don't want to drag you into pointlese battles that should just be hidden. The black vultures had their tribes near the north, and yet I had to run so far away just to find myself a home away from them. Even if I wanted to return to my tribe, they couldn't take me. I was taken by right, so they couldn't defend me. I lost everything, and my own sense of self truth be told." Jezi spoke, both bitterness and emptiness mixing together. Yn felt similar to her, knowing the pain of losing family and friends alike. It was a bitter reality to hold onto the guilt that burned inside of one's chest.

    "Hey, I know what it's like. I lost the tribe I should I have been protecting…"

    "It's nothing alike!" Jezibel hissed at him, shocking the poor boy. The room grew silent for a brief second before the murmur continued around the duo. She allowed a sigh and hung her head, pained that she spoke so hurtful to the man. Loss was loss, and even then knowing the death still hung hard on his shoulders.

    "I'm.. sorry. I didn't mean to speak like that. I know the sorrow of loss, but you don't have to see the resentment and pain in their eyes. My family still yet lives, but I would be a disease to them. If the vultures ever saw me return, they may attack to retaliate. I couldn't even make myself a family with that group as I've been tainted by them." Jezibel promised the young man, taking a swig of her second drink. She didn't want to get drunk yet, but the burn did help a lot.

    "Hey, it's fine. Pain of loss and pain of death can feel the same, but they are different. But, you don't have to suffer alone. I know you have your own guild, and they seem like family. Here as well, with the group of people we travel with. You don't have to suffer alone with this." Yn spoke, trying to sound wise before getting a snort from Jezibel.

    "Yeah, that would be a great conversation starter. 'Hi, I'm Jezibel and I was once a trench wife'. Great way to start making friends." Jezi spoke, knowing that he was trying. It did make her think of her team back home, wondering if they were doing well. She didn't even think Giblit knew about her. Would he still accept them with that knowledge out there. Suddenly her drink was feeling more sour than she remembered it.

    "I know that look. You don't think they would accept you if they learned what truly happened with you and your past." Yn spoke, making her jump in surprise. Was the booze getting to her that badly? Even a young man before her was able to pick up on her thoughts that she usually kept so close to her chest.

    "No, I can't read your emotions that well, but I've seen that look in friends and beast alike. No I'm not saying you're a beast, but… I told you that I was the grand matriarchs child, and as such I've seen people and animal alike cause pain to the family. There has been the rare occasion where a child and animal don't survive the bond, one every few years. The first time I could remember it, one usually survives while the other dies. The grief and fear in their eyes is the same you just had. They are still accepted in the tribe, as they were not the cause of the grief, just the unfortunate victim of bad luck." Yn spoke, seeming much wiser than his age led him to be seen.

    "Well, if they don't I can always rough them up for you." Yn spoke with bravado, pulling a chuckle out of the girl with a dour look on her face. She let the smile hold for a breath longer before the corners turned down. This boy, as dumb as he was young, kept surprising her at each turn with how different he saw the world, along with how he acted to it. It would be very interested to see how the hardships of the world hit him, yet in ways it had.

    "Thanks Yn. You keep showing me things I do not expect from you. You've given me some things to think on, but I want to be alone with my thoughts for it. By your leave though." Jezi asked her, setting a few coins on the table and finishing the last of her drink. Yn gave her a polite nod and took the last swig of his drink.

    "Even Dreams, can be a nightmare"
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  4. #124
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    Unlike most of his comrades who decided running around shopping or beating on a foolish Prince were better uses of time Adam was a pragmatist. He found a small room that looked to be a Professor's office complete with a couch covered with a heavy white cloth. It had a nice view over looking the courtyard, he watched the interactions between Balder, Shel, and everyone, some of it looked quite heated, but he was too tired to care.

    Moving at a snail's pace in his mind he was finally unpacked enough to be comfortable by the time Balder got the visit from the Elf boy and got dressed for some kind of meeting. Like the other discussions it didn't look good. He was sure he'd hear about all of it later, and somehow be tasked with remedying some of them. Balder was the Captain, but with Tris running after some tail or game of chance he was stuck with keeping the group held together when Balder wasn't around. But as a big yawn rocked his body he threw his bed roll onto the couch and barely had time to pull his boots and sword off before he was passed out face first on the couch.

    His usual dreamless sleep was interrupted by flashes and disturbing images of the Spell Knights. Awakening from their tombs in the sealed ruins of the Dovg Clan breaking through the walls and wards keeping them locked away from the world. And as they emerged into the moonlight a bolt of fear shot through Adam's entire sleeping form. Each Knight glowed softly in the hazy light each scanned the horizon their movements slow and precise as if honing in on some distant firelight only they could see. The Iron Knight looked to the East and began running at unnatural speed it's lance cutting through the air, next the Steel Knight took a step to the North moving at a slower but unstoppable pace smashing through a large boulder with her devastating hammer, and lastly the Ebony Knight stared deadly into the West before he seemed to sense Adam's presence and quickly jerked it's head around the dead black slit in the helmet boring into the Hidden Prince's soul before he pulled a large, but ancient looking sword from his back swinging it at the man's sight forcing him to awaken with a start and dodge from the attack that was no where near him.

    Adam fell to the floor of his room panting heavily his head and eyes swimming violently. But as he began hearing his ragged breath he knew he was still alive. It took him a few seconds to relax, but when he did he saw it was only an hour or so past sundown. He hadn't slept as long as he wanted, but it would be enough to carry him until he actually went to bed for the night. He groggily changed his clothes into something practical, but still protective. Rugged trousers, form-fitting shirt, a leather vest, black boots, his sword belt, and his new eye-patch. He splashed some water on his face and left his room moving slowly through the Annex building the images haunting him still even as he felt the cool wind on his face. A low voice filled his ears making him look up, the voice belong to Balder and he was singing a slow song to the animals in his native tongue. For those who have never heard the Giant tongue it can be quite the frustrating shock. Like everything the gentle behemoths do their native tongue is slow and incredibility low. Nearly below the register of humans to hear, but once you get past the frustration of waiting nearly a full minute to understand one word there's a strange beauty to it.

    It was like listening to the wind blow slowly through the trees at night. The man had no clue what Balder was singing, but it sounded like a lullaby. And as he approached closer he saw that it was exactly that as the animals from Maso to Lulu and all the horses had gathered around the Giant and were laying down drifting off to sleep as he lightly drummed on the ground adding a steady beat to his voice. Adam smiled and leaned against the low gate listening until the Quartermaster stopped.
    "A rare treat Balder, sad no one else was around to hear it." He chuckled approaching the smiling Giant.

    "Well that is probably for the better, you know how we Giants love keeping our culture secret from you young blood races. Not that any of you could steal our language, but why let everyone know I like singing?" He chuckled low shifting his seated position painfully, healed or not he was still very sore.

    Adam nodded approaching the big man watching the soundly sleeping animals. "I suppose, also I saw you get dressed up and wander off somewhere. Anything I should know about?"

    Balder nodded slow leaning his head against the wall watching the evening stars come out.
    "Yes, Dagur's sister is the Dean of the Library, and she is giving us free reign of researching as long as we don't cause trouble within Alegast's walls."

    Adam's eye widened some and he let out a slow whistle.
    "Well that explains why everyone looked like they wanted us dead when we got here."

    Balder nodded looking at the man and quirked his eyebrow noticing the patch.
    "Didn't know you got injured in the bandit attack Adam."

    Adam absentmindedly lifted his hand to the patch almost forgetting it was there. Thinking quickly he nodded adjusting the strap. "Yes, not too bad I don't think, but best to keep it covered for a few days can still see out of it for the most part." He then cleared his throat changing the subject. "So I just came from the Annex, the place is empty. I hope the rest of our company isn't off doing anything stupid before we even get a chance to take up the Dean's offer."

    The Giant nodded lifting his water skin to his lips to take a long sip. "Indeed, I sent Shel out to gather the women and find someway amuse themselves as long as they stay out of trouble before we all buckle in for the long haul of researching these Tears. Haven't seen any of our men today though, so I'll send you out with the same request. Gather up our men and let them get the stress of the past few days out of their systems. Be sure you grab Jamon too, the boy could likely use some time away from Mynx and Su Lin, but keep everyone safe my friend, and do you best to keep Tris from pissing off anyone important. If you can get our group back here before it gets too late, we'll be starting as early as possible. Some of us will be in the Library reading the rest will be working the town looking for supplies and whatever info they can about the Red Cloud of the Ice Nation Bandits, understood?"

    Adam nodded quickly and tossed Balder a salute. "Will do my best sir, you just rest up. If you die I'll likely have to sell Tris to a local brothel to pay for your body's return to Stonestead." Balder let out a low rumbling laugh followed by a wince as he waved the warrior off going back to singing for the animals.
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 07-04-2019 at 04:23 PM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Shatter the fools and walk the path towards the Light.



    Spoiler: The Stories I've written 



  5. #125
    Your daily overdose of cute
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    Default Girls night co - Part 2 (P.K., Kris, Bluemoon, Leanna, Koti, The Texas queen, breggo)

    ‘So they are gonna have some… fun with women huh?’, Sheva thought to herself. For some reason the thought upset her greatly, but because she couldn’t point out why exactly she remained silent and her expression was unchanged.

    Mouth snapping shut as Shel burst in, Mynx still had a smile on her face from Vel’s response to Sheva’s probing. She had her own thoughts on the men Vel had listed off...thoughts she would keep to herself for the time being. The smile slipped off her lips quickly as the orc brought the she-lycan into the room, all hopes of avoiding the dog’s stench now gone. She let out a low growl then turned her grey-blue gaze on the mage. Not wanting to appear rude and ignore the question posed of her, she looked into the mirror once more. “I think is nice...pretty...and smell good too...unlike dog,” she said quietly. Canine teeth exposed in her distress, she turned her attention to the Orc, her eyes narrowing as she stared hard at her. Although they had passed one another often enough in the camp, they had never interacted, and even now she found herself drawn to the woman’s appearance, as she had been to Tarrok’s, the prominent tusks the center of her fixation.

    Huffing, she looked to Selene. “No dogs allowed,” she stated in a harsh tone, her nose twitching as she was distracted by the overpowering scent coming from the pipe. There were so many new odors in the room, not to mention the new faces to look upon, that her head was swiveling. The feline shook her head, trying to sort through everything. For her, it was a bit overwhelming. She inhaled again...deeper this time...needing a further distraction from the lycan. “What in pipe?” she asked. Every instinct cried for her to flee...or attack...but in current company she held back, her muscles spasming with anticipation.

    Selene looked at the cat-woman with bored eyes, completely disregarding what she had to say. Whatever it was, she heard it before. Sighing, she meekly followed the orc and sat down where she was told. She didn't want to be here but her new master instructed it and she was still too tired to do much and so she had been passed among his companions until she ended up with the orc after the giant half bartered, half ordered it. Sighing, she pushed up against the wall with her back, eyes observing everyone here. At least she could get some intel into who her companions were.

    Vel wasn’t certain why sheva was grinning so but it made her uncomfortable as she closed her book. However at that moment the Orc woman burst in and brought more unwelcome news… and apparently guests. She threw her hands up at the announcement that everyone was staying in this room before she had to duck to avoid being clocked by the giant pipe she was lugging after her. Vel gave a glare from under the hood, not that she could see it.

    There was no way she was going to get any translating done now. She crossed her arms and slumped back against the table as she watched the Orc walk back into the hall and a moment later bring a new face into the room. Vel leaned forward as she heard the growl from Mynx. Yes she’d known they had some prisoners but she hadn’t paid much mind to them until now. She eyed the women from under her hood before looking to Mynx. Dog? Did that mean that women was a werewolf? Yet another cursed was in their midst.

    Vel became slightly more tense as she watched the woman take her place in the corner before casting her eyes to the orc and watching her take a huge puff from the giants pipe and wondered how healthy that could possibly be. She leaned on one hand with something of a sigh. So all the men had stepped out had they? She wasn’t entirely sure she believed Shel though, Tris most likely Some of the others sure but Ashvel wouldn’t and she didn’t think Yn would either… probably.

    As Shel entered the room with the rather huge pipe, Su Lin listened to what the Orc had to speak. A rather confident race, skilled in combat, she waited until Shel had finished speaking and took a hit on the pipe. She glanced over toward Mynx as she inquired what was in the pipe and the corners of her lips curled trying to refrain from a giggle. Her tone as casual as she could sound, knowing that many different blends could be in such pipes. With the effect the substance in the pipe seemed to have on Shel, Su Lin offered a statement/question

    “Perhaps a calming blend?” was all she offered to Mynx before gazing in Shel’s direction, moving her hand to her chest, offering a slight nod “I do not believe we have formally spoken, my name is Su Lin, a pleasure.” Not really expecting much response from Shel, her curiosity was peaked into what was in the pipe the Orc had.

    “She is Shel”, Sheva snapped before the Orc could speak, “It appears they found a perfect shepherd to guard us poor little lambs? Clever, but I don’t get the point of the pipe…”, Sheva shook her head. Were the men really so afraid they will cock block them or something? Cowards, pathetic fools. And why was Shel playing along with them? The whole situation caused Sheva to be angry, even though she couldn’t nail exactly why.

    Peripherally, Shel considered the nuances of Sheva’s mannerisms (but otherwise appearing to be listening to the complaint from Mynx and greeting from Su), and noticed that the mage did not wince at her comment about the men. Good, the orc thought to herself, respecting that. Shel then gave Sheva a meaningful glance before turning to respond to Mynxella and Su-Lin, in proper order.

    So Shel was somehwat surprised at Sheva’s abrupt outburst, which clearly showed that she was unable to hold her cool as she jabbered on about shepherds, lambs, and other meaningless drivel. Tilting her head, Shel had to stop herself from bursting into full out laughter at Sheva’s misconceptions.

    More like a lamb in wolves’ clothing, Shel corrected the mage in silent retort, shifting towards Mynx to hand over the long pipe… to inspect or inhale, as she so wished. Shel could not exactly name what herbs it consisted held, but they smelled earthy and carried a hint of mint, offering up an interesting bouquet of fine fragrances and flavours.

    “True,” the orc eventually repeated in light-hearted mimicry to Sheva’s upset demeanour, turning the introduction into a thing of pride, simply choosing to own it. ”I am Shel the Shepherd, and I’ve come to separate the sheep from the goats. I thought if we were stuck here all night, we all could at least use some entertainment after the raid,” the orc calmly suggested. Because if she had to endure Balder’s insistence that she remain with the ladies, she would at least ensure that it would not be dull… and make sure they all slept sweetly.

    Firstly, the orc passed Balder’s pipe over to the ocecat, interpreting Mynx’s expression as one of interest. Secondly, she removed her outer cloak, revealing the largest flask of red wine she could find within the Rogue’s stock, handing this over to Su-Lin as an implied nice to meet you. Because wasn’t a bit of wine justified after such a vile attack? Shel thought so, at least... and irregardless of who would agree.

    The dice that she then tossed onto the table were more of an anomaly, they being something that the orc had found lying on a random table in the Annex. “Let’s play Truth Dice,” Shel proposed as she glanced directly at Sheva, not in an unfriendly manner. Instead, Shel’s tawny eyes displayed a thankful recognition of the healing that the mage had administered upon her face… while also sporting the slightest hint of underlying goading that the orc could not help.

    It was a tone that lightly mocked Sheva’s magical abilities, because such abominable power was something that was difficult for Shel to stomach. This person should not be able to force her speak things that made her uncomfortable.

    Sheva grabbed the bottle from Su-Lin rather roughly, searching in her small backpack a glass into which she poured the liquid before handing it back to Su. She needed the strong drink, as the anger had increased within her, “Are we allowed to play games, Shel?”, she mocked as she drank slowly, wiping her lips with a napkin once she was done, “And such an exotic ale… Shouldn’t you keep us out of trouble, shepherd?”

    Shel remained in a staunch silence as Sheva’s temper spiked once again. The fiery yet fickle display of raw emotion gave the orc a sense of utter bemusement, and it was all that Shel could do to keep herself from grinning outright now. What was that about? The men, or…what? Shel briefly considered if she had been wrong a moment ago about Sheva being able to face the more carnal behaviours⁠ of males. Learning to not bat an eye was essential when it came to understanding them—or better yet, beating them at their own games.

    Mynx couldn’t help but pick up on the tension coming off the mage in waves. She tilted her head curiously, pipe now in hand, and lightly touched the woman’s arm. With a nod of her head, she offered the herb infused concoction to Sheva first, thinking the potent brew might help with her anxiety. For herself, she fumbled to remove the leather pouch around her neck, loosening the string that kept it closed and shaking out some of the contents. The dried herbs, mostly consisting of mint, littered the surface of the desktop and the feline used her finger to pick up the pieces, inserting them into her mouth slowly. The effect was almost instant, a charge of energy flowing through her lithe body as her pupils dilated. Like the adrenaline Su Lin had given her earlier, it helped to combat the effect of the sleep powder which continued to drag on her senses, the cat feeling recharged and ready for whatever the night held. She had no intention of sleeping, the presence of the lycan a constant on her mind.

    Vel could feel the tension and she set back looking between the two women wondering where it was coming from. As always she remains silent but her attention was fully between the two as if she was ready to step between them should their tension become something more.

    Taking over from where Mynx left off, almost as if the ocecat had just passed a baton, Shel once more addressing Sheva⁠—but this time in orcish. She just had to speak her mind or she would burst, but couldn’t bring herself to say these things in front of the others.

    ”Sheva,” she began slowly, each word pronounced carefully but deliberately, in a tone almost reminiscent of a shamanic curse of the orc. (Again, Shel had to hold back her laughter at these antics, because the irony of speaking to a human mage like this felt as enchanting as it was gratifying.) ”Daj zabroju na. Daj ŭ ruki niemy. Daj nam vočy gnatz. Yor ghaz breet—ba brudu ta ruki—pregu ŭ dakranucca bor naruk prikdarok. Ja vyratuju ciabie vyratuju siabie... klicha ŭ boj... z jraro taboj. Daj nam zniaviečanych karahod, lamant dular gat bres.”

    Spoiler: True Translation 


    Shel then paused for a moment after speaking, soon proceeding to give a false translation of the orcish words, supposing that the room was wondering what she had said.

    “I said… Are you done? Fine then. Go. There’s the door. Walk through it if you please. No one will stop you… not even me. I won’t even tell Balder you defied his explicit instruction,” the orc conceded before concluding with, “...although... I would like you to stay.”

    Sheva inhaled the pipe and let out a long white smoke line move out of her lips. She hated smoking, but she needed to get some steam off. Literally. She nodded before giving it back to Shel. Now was not the time to fight indeed. Looking between the girls she realized she needed to get her fixed expression unchanged and cold again. She needed to preserve her reputation after all.

    While she didn’t understand everything that Shel was saying in the clack and dialect of her tongue, as the orc language was extremely hard to master, and didn’t had direct clear grammar rules like the high elven speech, not to mention the way it sounded from Shel lips was even rougher than everything she heard before. However studying under her druid master was enough to enable her know few words, and at least get some of the idea. While she didn’t understand most of it, she could understand the She-orc’s will to not fight. She was also able to tell that Shel was not translating the words or that she was not telling the truth.

    “I will stay”, she answered the ‘translation’ as a smirk spread across her lips, “And of course… we will play…”, she added, “Always better than a quarrel”, obviously Sheva was addressing the real words Shel spoke, but she figured poking a lioness was not wise right now, mainly when she waved a white flag of truce and definitely not many people were around them, none of which actually related to everything between the two, “So… What are the rules?”

    “Rules for what?” Nalvhasèa asked as she approached the group of women before her. She hadn’t spent much time with the group since she decided to join them in their journey. Now seemed like a better time than any to try and get to know the people she would be traveling and fighting with. She could sense there was some tension among them, but thought it would be best to not mention it.

    Vel looked between the two women, picking up on the orcish words. She raised a questioning eyebrow that no one would notice, what she said she said, wasn't what she said. Before she could think much more on it a new woman once more walked through the door to asking the question she herself was thinking.

    Shel’s lips curled up around her tusks in a playful smile.

    “It’s an orcish game,” she responded to both Sheva and Nalvhasea, killing two birds with one stone. “One that I used to play… a long time ago.”

    What feels like a lifetime ago, in fact.

    Pausing at this troubling thought, Shel extended her hand out towards Sheva, seizing the pipe from her to take yet another hit of the herbs. It was… so unnervingly strong, whatever it was that giant’s smoked… wasn’t it?

    Because for a moment Shel grew incredibly dizzy, which in turn caused a momentary distraction from her explaining the rules of the game. Instead, she was attempting to pass the pipe back to Mynx… but finding this task difficult as she navigated through her fuzzy brain to focus on which ocecat was the real one. Because Shel was now seeing three ocecats… all thanks to the great headrush given to her from the tobacco.

    Not entirely fluent in Orc, Su Lin did have a base understanding of what Shel had spoken. A refrained grin comes to Su Lin as she listens to the ‘translation’ offered by Shel. Ever proud this Orc was, she certainly would make this evening interesting. She set the wine to the side as she continued to keep watch on those in the room.

    "This… looks like a nightmare waiting.." Jezi followed shortly after the new woman. Her eyes showed confused emotions, both at the odd sight before her, yet at the meeting between her and Yn. She felt relieved that they had addressed their conversation after the bandit raid, but she herself had been hoping to avoid and let that history pass unquestioned. Yn, for as kind and block headed he was, was good at remembering things she didn't want him to recall.

    "I think I'll pass on whatever this is going to be." Jezi spoke to the group at large before she headed towards an empty chair to claim as her own and sat down. Taking up her spot Jezi looked over the group before letting her mind wander to different thoughts of her own.

    The feline leaned forward as more women joined them, a slight scowl on her face when she saw Jezi enter. “I play,” she said despite the young woman’s decision not to join them. “I like truths. Cat no lie.” The blue of her eyes were mostly obscured by her pupils, her upper lip twitching. “I want food. We have meat?”

    By this time, Shel’s vision had finally focused enough to pass the pipe to the ocecat, who was throwing questions at her like spears. Raaaaaaaaaaaaah. Why do I need to explain my actions all the time? “When I got the pipe and flask, I managed to gather a few bites, yes. But I had to be quick. So, erm, no meat. Just some stupid stewed plums… most likely elven,” the orc commented with a look of disgust before remembering the new recruit, Nalvhasea. “Erm, no offense. I also brought some sweet rolls from Balefire, and a few types of cheeses. But for mercy’s sake, don’t ask me what kinds there are... because I don’t bloody know.”

    “As for the rules of the game, it’s simple,” Shel explained as she made her way towards Vel, focusing on her quill and pen. Shel’s gaze was all it took to clearly inform the Hooded Mystery that her writing utensils would be needed soon. “Essentially, every player comes up with one question that they want someone in the room to answer, with each question coinciding with a side of the die. Before each roll, the player must take a drink of wine and then… truthfully... answer whatever question goes along with their number. You can play as many rounds as you want, but that’s a good way to either pass out or start arguments… if you play the game right, that is. Lightweights only gamble with chance once, hah.”

    Too bad it’s not with real coin, Shel thought to herself privately, before hinting at Vel to go around the room to quietly listen to and write down everyone’s questions.

    “Sheva should roll first,” Shel said, unable to help herself, wanting the mage to answer something uncomfortable… hopefully. But the orc decided to leave it to luck and tossed the die to the mage, instead.

    Sheva glared at Shel before narrowing her eyes on the dice and looking back up at Shel. Shel appeared to have some idea in the work, maybe something to trick her? Whatever she was planning Sheva knew it was not going to stop her from playing along. If Shel threw a gauntlet at her direction, Sheva was more than willing to raise up to the challenge. Besides she really needed another sip of ale. She lifted the cube up in the air and scanned it, “Number 4 has always been my lucky number”, she said slowly. Even though it never really brought much luck as far as she remembered, “I’ll pick it then. As for my question”, she looked up at Shel again, darts in her gaze, “Is there someone you hate? Something that the mere thought of makes your inward twist inside?”, she looked at the other girls, “If so, you must name it, and the reason for your hatred as well”, she said giving Vel the cube.

    Vel wasn’t sure if she wanted to participate in the game but as Shel made her way over to her looking to her book and quill Vel had a pretty good idea why. She sighed realizing she was going to be a part of it anyways as she couldn’t let anyone else have the book in case the letters were discovered. She opened up the book to the page after her thoughts about the men of the guild and folded the book.

    Sheva still seemed so… angry and Vel couldn’t fathom why that was. She listened to what Sheva said for her question and couldn't help feeling There was almost ulterior motives for this little game, between the orc and the mage. She took the dice as it was handed to her and began to write, marking down Sheva’s question before she pointed to the next woman in the room.

    Before any of the other women spoke up, Su Lin while maintaining a straight face couldn’t help to think of some of the questions Sheva posed to Vel earlier. Her tone was flat though her playful side was beginning to come out, glancing slightly in Vel’s direction

    “One - that is as good a number as I could think of, with one, the question shall be ‘Who would you marry tonight?” the ever slight trace of a giggle escapes before biting at her bottom lip to put on her shell of an appearance.

    Vel stared at the usually stone faced women for a long moment not sure how she should feel about that question but wrote it down next to the number one before pointing at another woman in the room. After a bit of writing and waiting on each woman to think up a question or adamantly refuse Vel eventually had a complete list, including a question she felt compelled to add so they would have an even number and one for each side of the dice.


    1. Who would you marry tonight?
    2. Who is your secret crush?
    3. What's your favorite sweet?
    4. Is there someone/something you hate? And why?
    5. Is there anything sordid in your past?
    6. Biggest Regret?



    She turned the book around so everyone could see before making a roll to determine when she would go, rolling a 5 she held out the dice for someone to take.

    Having listened to the talk of drinking wine with each roll, though normally not one to drink to keep a clear head about her, Su Lin takes the wine and takes a small sip to allow the liquid savor in her mouth for a brief moment. Like any liquids, she is more determining if there are poisons in the liquid. Without the tell tale signs of numbness on her tongue a poison would produce, she proceeds to take a healthy drink.

    As the liquid warms her stomach, she picks up the dice to see which order she would roll for the question roll. She looks to the odd shaped dice and whispers softly to it as though it were a close friend

    “Provide me a large number my friend…” before shaking the stone in her hand as she had seen several males do in other games of chance. She releases the dice and watches as it displays a single dot.

    “DAMN!” she uncharacteristically blurts out as she grabs the wine again taking another rather larger swig. Her face already growing red, she looks to the other women and softly offers

    “So that is how the thing is rolled? That is interesting, so when do we really roll for question order?” trying to recall how maidens would offer cute words trying to avoid obligations. With that, she took another gulp of the wine before setting it on before her so as to allow others to partake on this oddly stimulating liquid.

    Pipe in hand, Mynx took a hit of the odd tobacco, looking at the die’s roll, then to Su. “You answer question?” she asked curiously, not sure how to take her friend’s attempt to distract the others away from the result of her toss. “You have one...who marry?” Trying to keep her expression neutral, the feline bit her lower lip, a light chuckle escaping her regardless. She put her hand over her mouth as her laughter erupted, the sound unusual even to her own ears. “I sorry Su…” she said between breaths, “...but not see you as wife.”

    With Mynx question, Su gets a panicked look over her usually serene features. She quickly grabs the wine taking another swig thinking this liquid provides her a calming sensation. The wine bringing her skin a rosy red so the blush at the question not that evident. Quickly she counters her friends inquiry

    "No Mynx, we roll now to see order of who will roll wif the thing. I not answer THAT quesin, only see order, not qeshtion yet."

    Su Lin folds her arms across her chest looking at the dice as though it was her mortal enemy. Silently she prays her question would be who she hates so she could announce how she now hates that damnable rock she just rolled. In a slightly huffy tone

    "Someone kan now rol that stupid rock." Slightly swaying as she looks toward that round thing on the floor dreading if that THING would come up with a single dot on her question roll.

    Mynx eyed Su suspiciously after her explanation, not sure if the woman was joking or not. Finally she nodded and got to her feet, looking at the pipe in her hand for a moment before handing it off. “I get cheese. Need food...head feel funny.” She glanced at Su with a smirk, then turned away. “You marry Adam...he like stubborn women,” she declared with another chuckle.

    “Yes, he does…” Shel commented in an off-handed whisper, after seizing the pipe once more to blow a billow smoke in a way that almost looked artistic. (As it were, the prominence of orcish teeth caused tufts of smoke to branch out in quite peculiar ways when they smoked, unlike the elven or human.)

    As she partook this time, however, Shel could not take her eyes off of the sleeping Selene, wondering why the woman had refused to speak, much less run away. She suddenly felt as wave of empathy wash over her, and felt sorry for having forgotten to get her a small bit of water.

    “It’s my roll,” Shel said as she grabbed the die, throwing it down confidently to take her own chance at luck. “Two,” was all she whispered as she instinctively glanced towards Velaire.

    Vel watched the antics already starting to unfold as the wine was passed, raising an eyebrow at Su lin before taking down the other’s rolls. Once everyone had rolled to see when they would go she’d write the order:


    Order of play
    1. Su lin
    2. Shel
    3. Sheva
    4. Mynx
    5. Vel
    6. Nalvhasea



    Once done penning it down she looked to Su lin who had rolled a one and so was the first to roll for a question.

    As the rolls are complete and the question roll is ready, Su Lin reaches for the die before staggering forward slightly keeping her balance. She grips that rock in her hand gazing upon it much as she would one she would remove from the living. Recalling a language Hawk was teaching her that others did not seem to understand, she raises the die looking dead at it, swaying slightly, in the language Hawk used when wanting to speak privately to her even in the presence of others, unusual hostility in her tone

    "Be a single dot again, I will end you!"

    before tossing the wicked thing to the ground. It takes a moment for her eyes to focus on the dots on the die, six, a silly giggle escapes as she smiles down at the die she successfully threatened. She looks in Mynx direction

    "Six! I do not has to marry anyone tonight." Standing with her arms proudly folded across her chest and a quirky grin before looking toward the book on the question she is to answer.

    'Biggest regret?'

    Such a simple question … for some. Drifting off in thought, she can think of so many. Her arms drop to her side staring blankly at the parchment with quill ink on, a similar question which Hawk once asked her during a tea. For the here and now however, with Ky around using what she has taught him about toxins, she mumbles

    "Teaching my brother."

    Her thoughts drift back to the conversations she and Hawk would have, the strange way he would speak to her alone compared to when with his men. She slowly closes her eyes a moment, her biggest regret? She thought there were many, perhaps her biggest was each time she would walk off after having a pleasant discussion with Hawk. Could her regret be not spending more time with Hawk?

    She slowly opens her eyes, the whites of her eyes now red. She softly mumbles

    "Thas my ansher, next…"

    taking a moment to gaze in Mynx direction recalling the joking Mynx made when she saw how Hawk was around Su Lin. No, that was some time ago, much has happened since then, surely that memory has past with all the other Mynx has gone through since. Su Lin looks toward the Orc tapping the die with her foot in her direction, almost losing balance at the same time.

    With that, Su Lin takes another sip of wine, mind drifting on the times she and Hawk spent talking over tea.

    Vel wasn’t sure how well the assassin was taking her wine as her words were already slurred and she had only two swigs. She looked to Shel as the orc acquired the dice and proceeded to roll the dice landing promptly on a two.

    What twat thought of this?”” was all the orc could think as she considered answering the random question, one that gave her pause. Who do I care for?

    What a very difficult thing to answer.

    Yet her mind immediately went to Nazrak, her once preferred mate, the he-orc being someone that she did not feel like mentioning here… much less his uncontrollable brother, Rhok.

    But then there was Balder, remembering the giant suddenly… to her own surprise… as warm feelings bubbled up in her core. (Ones that she knew she must immediately squash for multiple reasons.)

    He was so kind to her, even if Shel tried to ignore that aspect of him for the most part… because how could a giant’s good will ever get her what she wanted? Any gentle contentment from Balder could only work against her overall goals, quite frustratingly, as it was his body and not his feelings that she needed to roughen up a few orcs in her own personal vendetta.

    It was all just so upsetting.

    Because what is the point of being a giant if you don’t stomp around and use your superiority as you please? What else is the purpose of such great size? Shel wondered, her mind going off on a rather tipsy tangent. If the gods were any bit gracious they would have made me a giant!

    “Infatuation is dangerous,” Shel then stated bluntly. “So I only look for sex, and the last person I did that with is Nazrak, an orc hunter from my tribe,” she lied as she mentally blocked out Rhok.

    Vel listened to the orc for a moment supposing she was right, it could be dangerous. She looked to Sheva motioning for her to take the dice as it was her turn to role. And then it was Mynx and then it was her own turn, she could only hope she didn’t role one of the more, intrusive questions, but they all seemed to be exactly that accept for her own so she was probably out of luck.

    Nalvhasèa had taken a more quiet role in the group, just sitting back and watching the women interact with one another. Some of the questions and answers made her chuckle quietly, but she wasn't keen on the rules of the game. She wasn’t about to drink or smoke with a bunch of people she didn’t know considering the circumstances as to why the group formed.

    Sheva took a mouthful of liquor and drank another 3 cups fill, “What’s that about… a … sweet… sweets… sweetness..”, She began laughing, “Aromatic, sweet… like energy… Ad-”, she blushed in bright crimson before she quickly added, “Apple! Apples! Caramel… muscles… no no… Caramel…. Apples… sweet… energy”, she laughed some more as she drank another cup and passed her drink to the next person around her.

    Funnily enough Sheva rolled her question, she seemed a little tipsy to but she’d downed at least four cups by now. She was tempted to take the alcohol away from the mage but thought better of it as she picked up the dice and held them out to the feline women. Perhaps a little more interested in the game now than she was before.

    It was difficult for Shel to not react to Sheva’s response, but she resisted nonetheless. Instead the she-orc gulped, feeling rather light-headed and silently hoping for the wine and tobacco to put these ladies to sleep soundly.

    With a quick glance at the women around her, Mynx took the offered die and grabbed up the cup of wine before anyone else might think to take it. She went over the rules in her head...drink...then roll. Putting the cup to her lips, she swallowed the contents in one gulp, her face pinching up from the foul taste before she smiled. Alcohol had never been her cup of tea, but she would keep up with the rest of them. Not wasting another moment, she tossed the die.

    Diverting her attention downward, the feline saw the dots staring back at her menacingly. “Two…” she said with a soft growl. It was her own question. Easy enough...she hoped. At least she wouldn’t have to think too hard, her mind circling from the mixture of mint, tobacco, and drink she had already consumed. She let out a heavy sigh, remembering her vow not to lie, before giving her answer.

    “I like many...like Shel...enjoy sharing warmth. But also have had many in camp...so not include them in crush?” She chewed her lower lip, small pinpoints of blood beading up where her canine teeth punctured the soft skin. She licked away the moisture then smiled again. “I say beast man. He smell good...like animal...and has lots of fur. Plus, can purr like cat. Yn my crush...even if very young and pure.”

    She leaned back in her chair, satisfied that she had answered well. It was too bad Tarrock had left the camp, he also would have been a good choice.

    “Vel now,” she said with a smirk, staring at the zombie with half closed eyes.

    ...many like me?

    Shel, despite her previous response, felt a bit offended at the notion of the ocecat somewhere deep down… but still kept silent about it. Perhaps the orc did care more than she had admitted out loud?

    Vel listened to the Ocecat’s answer cocking her head. Hum, she supposed she had to agree, Yn was a good candidate for a … crush. But not for the reasons the feline mentioned. Vel sighed picking up the dice and taking the wine, though it did very little to her as she carefully took a swig from behind her mask and tossed the dice.

    Favorably she landed on her own question, the least intrusive of them all. She took her book and wrote quietly. “Anything with blueberries in them.” she could imagine her mouth watering at the idea, but unfortunately she simply couldn’t taste it like she used to. “Fresh warm blueberry bread or fresh blueberry pie.” she could practically smell it… the thought was slightly disheartening as she turned the book around to reveal her answer to everyone.

    Nalvhasea who had been content to be quiet and observe the women up until now took the dice and rolled a one. The elf raised an eyebrow as she looked to the corresponding question. She was silent. The only male she’d really truly met was Jamon and he hardly seemed like marrying material. She’d briefly met Balder as she had joined the group in travel.

    She opened her mouth finely. “I don’t think I can say.” she said finely. “I don’t know your men as well as you all do. So I suppose I’ll have to honestly say, no one.” She took the dice and held them out to Su lin. “Another round?” she asked.
    Last edited by P.K.; 07-11-2019 at 10:20 PM.
    P.K.'s character locker ~ P.K.'s word works ~ P.K.'s Idea store

    1x1 = 4/5 Multi = 3/5 PW = 1/2
    Spoiler: Other things. 

  6. #126
    Poppa Squirrel
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    Default Dnefein, Breggo 13, Storm Tri-Op - Enter The Wolf

    Still rubbing his head, Jamon moves his hand to his chest nodding his head slightly as that awful girl does offering in a hesitant tone

    “I shall bring the new girl Master Barton.”

    With that, Jamon moves over to where his sword still lies upon the ground and picks the steel back up placing it back in the sheath across his back. Unlike that awful girl who does so with effortless ease, it takes Jamon several tries before slowing down and replacing the sword in the sheath. With swelling starting to take form about his head and his hand still in pain from one on the last strikes from Tris’ bow, Jamon makes quick pace back into the Annex to locate the new girl Tris brought to camp before their travel.

    It was a few minutes of looking through the annex rooms before Jamon happened upon the room Selene was occupying. As he took one step within the room, he paused for a moment looking upon the pretty girl. Were it over a week past, he might offer some word upon how pretty Selene was however he was quickly finding out that like a rose, pretty things could draw blood. With his thoughts drifting for the briefest moment, he offered on as best a formal tone as he could muster, still a slight rasp in his voice, how did that awful girl start when she spoke to those she made first aquanitence with again? Jamon moves his hand to his chest, nodding slightly

    “Gentle day Miss, I have been sent on Master Barton’s stay to bring you with me into town.”

    Jamon’s eyes focus on the pretty girl hoping that he spoke the words correctly and she would be receptive to them.

    Selene yawned and curled up on the soft blankets, tucking her broken arm in such a way that the throbbing was minimal. Her nose took in a fresh scent and an elegant hint of spices coming from the material, beckoning her to continue sleeping. She was almost ready to tumble back into oblivion, smiling softly at her current comfort but something slowly was creeping up on her. Not physically but a memory, a thought, a gentle nudge to wake the hell up and figure out where she was. Her eyes fluttered open and she observed the area - a clean, plain room with a large window and delicate curtains, a pair of heavy material ones tied to the side away from the sunlight. The bed was indeed soft and big, full of pillows and thick blankets. The one she was currently snuggling atop was a rich blue color with golden fringes.

    Sitting up, groggy and cradling her freshly rebandaged arm, the young wolf yawed and blinked away the sleep, taking in the unusual smells of the city. It wasn’t one she visited earlier so maybe there was a new mission here, one that Jameyson wanted her to complete for one reason or another. The sun was shining through the window past its prime, signaling that it was not morning. How long had she slept? Her mind was still slow, a sign that she slept more than usual, something that never really happened.

    The girl’s eyes grew large, memories of the previous night coming back. Her master was dead, Jameyson was dead. She remembered his dead body, broken, laying cold on the ground with blood surrounding it, his surprised expression at his own death. Then there was the man….he didn’t kill her. Didn’t even disarm her - he simply forced her to feel useless, a failure. And when she tried to attack him, she wasn’t able to land a single blow. For the first time, another human had beaten her. She should have been dead but….but what?

    She was alive and bandaged up enough that her arm was not hurting her unbearably. Her weapons were all with her and she was allowed to sleep since the vampire doctor had patched her up. Somehow, she ended up in this place, probably carried by one of the strange people who captured her. Was she a captive? If so, why wasn’t she in chains? Shaking her head, Selene swung her legs to the side of the bed, her feet sinking into the carpet on the wooden floor. For a moment, she looked in awe at the unbelievably soft material, wiggling her toes. During her days with Jameyson, she rarely had the luxury of sleeping under a solid roof, let alone staying in a room that didn’t smell of cigars, cheap whine and barf. Wherever she was, it felt absolutely surreal.

    Her eyes lifted up to look around her. The room was simple, providing only the necessities but tastefully put together. A bedside table made of sturdy wood with brass handles stood near the bed, an empty vase residing upon it, painted with images of birds. A large dresser, similar to the table, haunted the far wall, simple and contrasting with the white washed background. The sun peeking in from the window created dancing shadows upon the rough floor and the pile of bags in the corner. Selene frowned - those were definitely not hers. Curious, she slowly stood up and started to make her way, careful not to make a sound. She was almost by the strange belongings when the door burst open and she jumped, turning in midair and barely landing on her feet as the intruder walked in.

    He was tall enough for a human, with pale eyes and dark hair. Dressed in regular clothes, he seemed genuinely…. simple. Selene tilted her head, trying to understand who in the world this child was. He was definitely not the man that had defeated her earlier, be it a day or a week. Nor was he the vampire healer - his smell of sweat proved him a typical stinky human male. Was this a joke, an insult? Did these strangers that captured her really think that she was so weak as to send a boy after her? She really must have looked dead if they acted to recklessly. Or maybe this kid was just too annoying and they finally devised a plan to kill him - murdered by a lycan in broad daylight as she tried to escape. For a second, her eyes danced with a killer’s fire, savoring the way his blood would spill from his broken chest, her hand reaching down, ready to grab the hilt of a knife.

    His words made her stop, blinking in confusion. How was he so calm? Or did they not tell him everything? Did that man - the archer who had defeated her and carried her to camp - know who she was? Who was this Master Barton anyway and what did he want? The amount of questions quickly dampened Selene’s rather benevolent mood. The boy looked at her as though expecting her to curtsy and comply. Perhaps, if she had a master who gave an order, she would have done so but now she just stared at him, trying to understand what she was missing in this situation. Maybe he was just suicidal? The swelling and bruised definitely wanted to prove that thought correct.

    As Selene seems to be staring at him and not moving, Jamon’s first thought was
    ‘Have I spoken stupid words again as Master Barton put it…’

    Mayhaps the girl before him was not made aware of the trip to town so to obtain a crossbow for him. His own features betrayed one not knowledgeable of the danger before him. Though his body showed years of growth, his demeanor and gaze was that more of an innocent child. As Jamon struggles to correct what he believed was a mistake spoken, he offers

    “Please forgive my words, I was of thought that you were already aware Master Barton, Sir Tris as he in known, and I were traveling to town to purchase a crossbow for me. I then could assume you are not an armorer?” trying to recall the title Father gave those whom provide the Knights their weapons “... please forgive my assumption my lady. Allow my introduction, my name is Jamon…” a slight cringe comes to his features “...though Master Barton speaks my name as Peanut.” before trying to resume a formal appearance “If you will do me the honor of become at the ready and accompany me to see Master Barton, he does wish you in town with us.” now with a slight reddening of his face still easily embarrassed.

    Having regained her own calmness and now assessing the situation with the lightning speed of a hunter, Selene watched the boy without blinking, her face not showing any emotions. What had he done to be so...sacrificed? Was he just stupid and this was a casual way of Master Barton, Sir Tris to encourage survival of the fittest? Honestly, how hard would it be to just flick her wrist and send the knife flying, to maim or kill, no matter. Then slip down the corridor (picking up the knife on the way), disappearing in the city streets and stealing away once the sun set low enough out of the civilization.

    Rolling her shoulders, she slowly pulled out the knife, smirking at her own thoughts, revealing elongated fangs as she watched the youth’s face grow more and more red. Come here little doe, she cooed in her mind, taking a step towards him, her feet making no sound. This was just too easy.

    As Selene drew her knife and started across the floor as silently as Su Lin could, a pang of fear gripped Jamon for a moment, the awful girls words coming to mind
    ‘A quiet predator will remove you from the living before you know…’

    Once again a pretty girl shows herself to be a dangerous threat. Unlike days past, even with a fear gripping him and beads of sweat forming upon his forehead, this time there is no crying, no begging, no calling for a loyal protector, this time as practiced with that awful girl, Jamon takes a step back reaching behind his shoulder sliding his sword from the sheath. He brings the sword to his front. It would be clear this was not a typical broad blade sword men carry, the blade is thin and well constructed, often carried by females or assassins. There would be a unique inscription on the hilt, completely oblivious to Jamon however dependent on Selene’s travels, she might recognise the region this steel this doe holds was crafted. There is an uneasiness in his tone not consistent with those who typically hold such steel, a slight tremble in his hand which were Su Lin or Tris present, would earn him a thump on the hand with a staff or bow

    “Miss, I must ask you to stay your approach.” hoping he spoke the words correctly realizing he is nowhere ready to confront a skilled warrior this pretty girl apparently is.

    An acorn whizzed past Jamon's head bounced from one wall off another toward the back of Selene's head. About the time the seed would make contact, Tris thumped the boy on his head. "Oi!" The archer said loudly. "I said fetch the girl not wave your steel at her. And if you want to stab the boy go ahead, I'll feed you to the cat one piece at a time.

    "Well?" The archer said crossing his arms and looking from one to the other. "I don't have all day."

    Looking nervously toward Selene, he notices an object wiz past his head about the same time he feels a slap on the back of his head causing his head to jerk forward slightly. Hearing Master Barton’s words, Jamon reaches his sword behind trying to slide it in the sheath effortlessly … which fails the several times he tries so reaches his free hand to steady the sheath. Once his sword is in the sheath, with the previous thumps which are now nice knots on various locations on his head, offers

    “I am ready Master Barton, as you may have noticed, I was having some trouble speaking to the pretty girl, I wrongfully took assumption she was aware of our quest into town.” now looking to Selene hoping that she was not going to continue at him with the blade in her hand.

    Selene felt more so than saw something aiming towards the back of her head. Jerking out of the line of trajectory, she tried to catch the acorn in flight but her fingers just missed the nut and instead it bounced across the floor, finally resting at the edge of the super soft carpet she admired earlier. Watching it for a second as though it was planning to attack her, she lifted her eyes up to the older man. Unlike the youth who now looked a little baffled, this man was familiar, from the bow in his hand to the confusing colors of hid eyes to the smell. Yes, this was the man who bested her - was she his prisoner?

    Ignoring the blabbering of the younger man - Bait, she decided to call him - she focused all her attention on reading the newcomer. So this mysterious Master Barton was her….who? He had beaten her and she faintly remembered him carrying her to camp and then….he hadn’t been around for a while or she simply didn’t remember him anywhere near her. He threatened to feed her to a cat - must explain the scent of an angry feline stalking the perimeter. The dagger didn’t return to its place, but she tilted her head, trying to read the man’s expression.

    As Selene still held her dagger, a fleeting thought went through Jamon’s head, although she did not have fir like Mynx, he wonders if this pretty girl simply did not understand what Master Barton was telling her. Recalling there were times he had to speak a little slower with Mynx as human was not her primary language, Jamon wishes to show Master Barton that he can still handle this situation, after all, it might be merely a communication matter.

    Holding his hand up for Selene to see, he starts making a stabbing motion with his empty hand while pointing at his hand with his other. He then moves the hand he made the stabbing motion with a moment earlier to his waist. His tone flat while slowly emphasising his words

    “Master …. Barton …. say …. put …. steel …. away …. Miss….”

    A look of dismay comes across his face as he apologetically offers
    “I beg your forgiveness Miss for I never properly obtained your name, as I offered earlier, I am Apprentice Jamon, and might I know your name Miss?” naturally assuming the pretty girl simply was acting defensive toward him as he may not have provided her a proper introduction.

    Selene didn’t respond, only her fangs showcased in a warning, all her attention still fixated on the archer. When the Bait spoke again, she lazily flicked the dagger in his direction, immediately reaching for another dagger. She didn’t even look to see if she hit him - she knew perfectly well that his jacket would now have a solid rip in it. If the little child couldn’t take a warning, her next throw would be his demise.

    Watching the girl, Tris saw her hand flick. His empty hand shifted. Grabbing the head of the falcon on his bracket his own hand flicked forward; The hidden throwing knife intercepting the girls throw with enough force to slow and create a tumble.

    As the girls blade fell short, the archer shrugged. "Alright, if that's what you want. Maybe the giant won't accidentally drown you when he dumps you in a trough. Let's go boy."

    Tris motioned the boy to leave. Watching the girl, Tris comments. "Getting hard to breath with the stench anyways."

    Jamon had been watching Selene’s dagger as that awful girl had always instilled into him. In the early days of training when she threw stones at him hitting him at various locations, she would mutter ‘If this were steel, this is where your blood would feed the soil…’ Selene was incredibly close yet Jamon was about ready to try and avoid the dagger when the archer negated the pretty girl’s throw.

    Jamon thinks back on something else the awful girl would tell him and thinks now is the time to listen to this advice
    ‘There are times thoughts in your head need to stay there and not flow from your mouth.’

    As Master Barton motions to him, he decides to keep his words in his head still expecting a thump on the back of his head or the bow to strike his head. He steps back before following Tris hoping that the pretty girl does decide to follow. Biting at his bottom lip, he is a little too nervous to ask Master Barton how he should have approached the pretty girl, his approach having miserably failed.

    Her eyes narrowed but she didn't do anything when the youth silently obeyed, looking at the archer. "Why? You left me alive - there won't be a ransom for me. So why am I here?"

    As Jamon moved to leave Tristifer entered the room and collected both blades. "If you're going to wax philosophical, do it without the blade. Otherwise people will take you for a cultist who will eventually demand human sacrifice. If you are seriously asking then again it's best to be blade free. Lest you find yourself disarmed, bound and the person who let you keep both blade and life considers using one to grant your apparent death wish."

    As he spoke he deftly returned his blade to its hidden sheath. The girl's blade Tris spun across his knuckles. "Alternatively, you can instead find yourself thankful, choose to cooperate and end up not dunked in a horse trough by a giant to be cleaned before being dumped into the nearest cell. If so better catch up quick." Tristifer turned and started after the young man.

    Before he's gone more than a step he stopped and spoke without turning back. "Oh, before I forget. You ever point another weapon in the general direction of me or my associates and you will never have to ask why you are still alive again." With that said the archer left the building and started towards the town.

    Selene growled but he was gone and she was intrigued. If he was the one who kept her here, mayhap he needed her for something. It beat staying in a cell where she would easily be picked on - she saw it often enough, men getting angry at her with her background when she was down. They would beat her and kick her, trying to inflict pain on her that they perceived her kind to inflict on the world around. This was different - he didn’t threaten or get angry, he simply laid down his rules that she was to follow. Of course, it sounded like a choice but he made it clear that her choice was only to obey like a dog or be drowned like one. With her current state, she doubted that swimming was beneficial to her health.

    Giving a small whimper of exasperation, she hung her head and followed out of the room, dragging her feet for a few steps in denial, the perfect image of a reluctant mutt.

    Stepping back into the open air, Jamon looked up into the sky, it did seem that it would be a pleasant day which would make this quest to find a new object to train with. Though never holding a crossbow, Jamon was familiar with these. Father’s Knights would use them in conjunction with the archers. ‘Yes, this crossbow would be one that even I can not mess up’ drifts through his mind as he awaits Master Barton and hopefully the pretty girl.

    His mind drifts as the warmth of the day’s sun surrounds him as he lazily puts his hands on his pockets. His thoughts drift wondering what Miss Jezibel was doing as well as what that awful girl that has given him so much torment since the first day she happened into his existence was doing. A slight chuckle to himself as the thought of ‘Miss Su Lin must be thinking of more ways to torment and belittle me…’ as the corners of his lips betray the slightest hint of a smile.

    Selene caught up to the man she assumed was her new master, a quiet shadow behind him and to his right, her eyes weary and looking at everything around them. As they stepped outside, she ducked her head away from the sunlight, cringing and blinking back at the light. As her pale eyes adjusted, she caught the youth chuckling to himself with a sappy expression painted across his features. Silently growling, she didn’t do much, glancing from under her eyelashes at the archer.

    Tristifer moved through the streets of Alegast, weaving his way through the crowds gathered around the various stalls. The archer would occasionally stop at a stall, though anyone paying attention would notice the archer wasn't looking at the wares, but rather watching the stalls owner. There were a few times Tris would ask an unusual question; One question ended up leading into a short conversation with a robust seamstress.

    Afterwards the archer lead them on and down a street filled with the clanging of hammers. His eyes scanning the buildings; Finally the archer came to a stop before a shop tucked a little back from the street. "Try to keep quiet for once." Tristifer said to the children following him.

    Following Tris, already having decided he was going to try to remain silent and follow Master Barton's lead - Jamon followed along as Tris visited the various stalls and spoke to an assortment of people, the seamstress reminded him of a tavern maiden Sir Falstskog once went into an extended overnight discussion with to find passage back to Father - so he said. There were many a night Jamon would remain in the safety of the cramped abode his loyal servant secured for the night while sir Falstskog bravely would wander the darkness of the night to offer his guard so the young master could sleep in safety. The perfumes his loyal protector would smell of in morning light were never questioned.

    As that awful girl drilled into him was being aware of what was around him. This was finally something he started doing. Jamon was certain the eyes upon them were due to Master Barton or mayhap the pretty girl in their company.

    As Tris instructed their silence, Jamon simply moved his hand to his chest nodding slightly, a trait he was picking up from that awful girl. As they moved off the main street, Jamon started feeling more at ease, the busy stalls made him uncomfortable. Jamon glanced over to ensure the pretty girl was still with their accompaniment.

    Walking a half step behind, Selene tried to stay out of view while looking around at everything with large eyes. She rarely had the opportunity or the need to look at all that was sold in cities, Jameyson often hiding her away and smuggling her around like a rabies infected animal or a sought for criminal. Frankly, it was as much as to keep her secret as to ensure the relative calmness and acceptance of the people he worked with. Most rogues and bandits, even corrupt merchants who knew her value, were rather distraught whenever the young lycan strode among them. Still cowering a bit and unsure of where she was, avoiding the hustle of the people in the street and trying not to meet anyone’s eye, the girl allowed herself to finally see a bit of the foreign world around her.

    Clothes of a variety of colors blinded her with brilliance, resembling the colors of butterfly wings and the ocean’s breeze, the fallen golden leaves of autumn and the winter sheer frost. They moved in different ways too - the heavy velvets and weight-less silk, the slightly fluttering cotton and wool, the heavy leather sometimes studded with metal. Some stalls contained bottles and bags of different dried spices and fruits, the aromas tickling her nose that she ended up sneezing quite a few times prior to finally appreciating the different and foreign scents. Jewelry, gold, precious stones, animals, medicines, fancy fruits - each stall seemed to possess more absurd things than the previous one. Eventually, however, her new master made a turn down a less busy lane and Selene finally let out the breathe she didn’t know she had been holding in.

    She nearly collided with the man as he stopped but quietly steadied herself, her reflexes quick and beast-like. Looking around curiously, her lips curled up into what was a shadow of a bemused smirk. This seemed more like the areas where Jameyson let her roam free, fulfilling his bidding one way or another. Silence was not a strange notion to her but the youthful abomination with them - she glared at him, ready to show her canines again but the direct order from the man still echoed in her mind. Drowning was not something she wanted to experience.

    Having received what little acquiescence as he expected, Tristifer gave a nkd and turned to the building. He lead the party into what appeared to be your basic blacksmiths shop, if strangely one that looked bigger on the outside. After a brief scan the archer approached a large heavily muscled man. "Fetch Rolo; We have business."

    The proprietor studied the trio before motioning the way they came. "No Rolo here."

    Tris skirked and muttered, "Why do the new ones always play this game." Turning his smirk into a smile the rogue repeated himself slower and louder. "I need to talk to Rolo, open the door."

    The blacksmith's eyes narrowed, "There is no Rolo here."

    Tristifer reached over and grabbed an iron rod, turning he threw it at a wall used to display various horse shoe styles. All but one shoe tumbled to the ground as the wall shook, the mundane half rusted shoe didn't move at all. Turning back to the smith the archer pointed to the wall. "You're going to open the door, one way or another."

    The black smith offered a dark smile, before cracking his knuckles. However before the blacksmith could take a step a small little man interceded. "Tristifer, so nice to see you again."

    "Especially since you knew that thing you sold me wouldn't work?" The archer offered off handedly, his eyes on the blacksmith.

    The little man froze and llicked his lips, his eyes darting between the archer and the blacksmith; Weighing the odds as he did so. "It didn't wor-"

    Tristifer's hand motioning to Jamon interrupted the little man. "The youth would like a crossbow." He started.

    "Of course," The little man started, "Everything in Rolo's shop is for sale, as sell is what Rolo does. What does the young mas-"

    "He needs a crank reset," The archer interrupted turning his eyes to the little man, "Specifically the one I said might be worth looking at."

    "Of course, a discerning marksman like yourself knows his weapons." Rolo said, "Unfortunately it has been sold."

    "Is it in the shop?"

    "Well, yes." Rolo stated, "I am holding it for the buyer."

    "Excellent," Tristifer said with a smile, "Package it, and that hammer," The archer pointed to an immaculate hammer near the forge. "And I'll pay half the price you quoted me."

    The little man began shaking his head, however before he could speak Tris did. "You clearly stated last time that if anything I purchase does not meet the standard you claim, my next purchase is half off. And today you stated that anything in the shop is for sale."

    Tristifer's eyes turned cold as he studied the little man. "I am however, just an archer. I can however fetch our groups merchant. The giant, you know doubt saw. I certainly hope you don't try to trick him. Hate to see you end up like that spice merchant."

    Rolo paled, and Tris hid a smile. The story had been twisted and changed since the event brought up. The truth of the matter is that Balder accidentally destroyed a spice merchants stall in a sneezing fit. People being people however turned the tale into a fit of rage leading to the destruction. Balder of course tries to explain what actually happened every time it gets brought up; Whereas Tris took advantage of it.

    The proprietor swallowed and motioned the blacksmith to grab the hammer; He then walked to the back quickly returning with a carefully wrapped box. Tristifer took the box and turned handing it to the girl. The archer pulled a thin looking coin purse from his belt and handed it to Rolo. The archer then grabbed the hammer and handed it to Jamon. "Don't drop that." He told them both.

    Tris turned back to Rolo who nodded, having finished counting the coin. "A pleasure to do business with you Rolo," The archer stated, shepherding the children out the door. "Maybe next time we both will get a fair deal."

    Tristifer lead them back to the market street, refusing to answer any questions. Upon reaching the stall with the seamstress, Tris stopped and handed the woman another purse. Taking the large bundle she handed him in return. Afterwards the archer lead them towards the camp.

    Stopping outside the door to the building they are staying in, Tris handed the bundle to Selene, setting it atop the crossbow. "Help the boy take his new items to his room. Then put your clothes away and go ask the giant if he has any chores for you."

    The archer pointed at the boy, "I'll have instructions for you tomorrow, I'm late."

    As they walked back to the inn, Selene kept replaying the scene in her mind, holding the box under her arm with the intent to protect it with her life. It was the first time she had seen her master in action - or at least not in combat - and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Jameyson had often weaseled his way through difficult situations using words but he was always much more….oily? Sleezy? Slimy? The girl didn’t know how to describe it but the man she followed now had more heart and wasn’t afraid to bend a situation to his advantage. Sighing, she once again nearly collided with Tris when he stopped, blinking in surprise as he passed on the bundle to her.

    Swallowing at the mention of the giant, Selene dropped her head in submission and started towards the door, the very image of an obedient if very reluctant dog.

    Remaining silent during Master Barton’s ‘negotiation’ for the crossbow and hammer, once back at the Annex and instructions given, Jamon stowed his newly acquired crossbow the pretty girl held in his room, before he had a chance to thank the pretty girl, she was gone from sight. The day was complete and Master Barton had no task for him tonight, mayhaps it was time to find his friend Yn and Miss Jezibel. With that, Jamon was out of the Annex heading into town.

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