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Mercenary on the Winds

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  1. Lucille really, really just wanted to be left alone at this point. She was just tired of it, and just plain tired too. Even if her magic wasn't being sapped anymore, it had been sapped, it was hot before, and then she was thrown into this mess. Her patience was razor thin, and the woman opened her mouth one more time, mentioning a monastery, and an order. More importantly... she mentioned escaping with her. Then, Susan called her Cosette. Lucille tilted her head, and started to raise her hand, "My name is Lucille, not Cosette. I said to start making se--" Then her name was called, again, by someone she didn't quite recognize by voice. She sure recognized her once she turned to look, it was the fox woman that she'd seen with the King, and hung around with the crow. She was generally very hard to miss because of her appearance, and her appearance. Lucille didn't like the immediate dismissal of her magical capabilities--even if she was definitely right that she wasn't going to be able to kill anyone with her level of magic, and especially not now--but her focus now was on what she came to say. "...Seven centuries? T-t-this woman was sealed here? For seven centuries?" There was also a mention of "Ishtaria". Was that the place where they were now? Lucille had never heard of Ishtaria. If this place was constructed back then, surely some record of it would exist. Lucille wanted nothing to do with the place, but she could admit that it was a magisterial place. One that she wouldn't have minded visiting if she hadn't needed to weather such worry to do so. Though, there was still one glaring issue, "...If, If she's been here for seven centuries then why on--" Interrupted yet again, by a voice she sort of recognized. This time it was Nisha, and her words finally made the questioning woman slump to her knees. It also made Lucille's spell finally dissipate into the air. "...Descendant of her sister?" Lucille looked at the crumpled woman. She half wanted to just leave things be, and just find somewhere to relax before they made their way out of this place. Lucille could only sigh, as she thought about the possibility. She couldn't just leave it there without explaining what she could. "...No, my last name is, Altair." Lucille looked around, hoping that no one here would recognize that name, and not ask her any questions. "My mother's last name was Laranoa, and I don't recognize any mention of the name Green... but..." Lucille looked closely at the woman finally; Lucille was still exasperated, and annoyed, but hearing what may have happened to Susan, and seeing her reaction now... Lucille flinched for a moment. The brown haired woman shared similarities with her mother, but she was almost a dead ringer for her mother's sister, one of the aunts that Lucille had to watch die in their attempt to protect her. "...I can't really deny that you do look like... someone I used to know, and... my mom sort of. I don't know much about... her side of the family, aside from her brother and sister. So..."
  2. Cinead's anger sets his arms alight! Cav 1 looks over at Soldier mouthing the words, "Help." Cinead uses Burning Fist (-1 HP!) [52, 23], [47, 37] The only help Cav 1 got was an express ticket to the afterlife. Cav 1 Mauled! Cinead gains 30 EXP, and +3 Brawling EXP! Cinead reaches Level 6! 30 22 14 80 21 90 40 23 +HP, Str, Mag, and Speed! Cinead's Black Magic rose to C! Cinead Learned Elfire! 16 takes Renais from Ullr, and Places her on 8, 10! Alvira accepts the Light, and decides to make it Merc 1's problem! [21, 3] With a flawless cast, the words said aloud, and the symbol draw before her in the air. Alvira waved her hand, and Merc 1 was seared, the blast more powerful that Alvira likely had been expecting. Merc 1, too, hadn't expected it and perished wordlessly. Merc 1 Vanquished! Alvira gains 26 EXP, and +2 Light EXP! Syndra on the other hand, accept the call of Darkness, and calls upon one of the 13, to strike Priest 1! [88, 95] (12) Syndra procs Vengeance! Syndra just a little mad about the axe from before, decides to make it Priest 1's problem, with just a tad more oomph put into the spell! Priest 1 takes 15 Damage! Syndra gains 12 EXP, and +1 Dark EXP Soldier 1 turned to respond to Cav's 1 desperate plea, but as soon as the Cav went down, there was an unnervingly fast woman with an axe fast approaching. He turned to run, knowing that his time had come, but Aegean wasn't having any of it. [36, 4] Whether Aegean realized it or not, she was quite mad. If not for the soldier's armor, he would have been cleaved in two by the savage strike. However, his armor did not save him from being launched several feet away, and his soul to a place he would never return from. Soldier 1 deleted, critical! 69 damage. Aegean gains 22 EXP, and +2 Axe EXP! Siorel dances Renais, a touch of red on her face, both of purpose and worry. (22) Siorel refreshes Renais, and also grants +3 Magic to Renais for remainder of turn! Siorel gains 15 EXP! Renais rushes to Cinead's side, empowered by Siorel's plea! Renais uses the Mend Staff, to fully heal Cinead, for 28 HP! Renais gains 24 EXP, and +3 Staff EXP! Lani decides to bully Priest 1! [95, 2] "Always shoot the healer." Except in this case, it's stab. Priest 1 goes down! Lani gains 34 EXP and +2 Sword EXP! Lani reaches Level 5! 17 57 21 33 70 85 63 17 +HP, Str, Skl, Def, Res!
  3. Cinead angrily swings at Fighter 1! [40, 26], [60, 10] Cinead's anger guides his fist, and Cinead's fists guide the fighter into unconscious! Fighter 1 felled. Cinead gained 26 EXP, and +3 Brawling EXP! Renais moves in to heal Aly! Aly recovers 14 HP! Renais gains 12 EXP, and +2 Staff EXP Siorel decides that Renais could use a little purple in her life! (Purple Dance) [90] Siorel successfully refreshes, and boosts Renais's defense by 3 for the turn! Siorel gains 15 EXP! Renais continues on to heal Syndra! Syndra recovers 15 HP! Renais gains 13 EXP, and +2 Staff EXP Renais reaches Level 5! 13, 52, 39, 88, 17, 42, 23, 14 +HP, Mag, Speed, Res! Ullr Rescues Renais (Rescue Mechanics are identical to GBA mechanics, so Ullr currently has halved Skl and Spd) The Mother Tiger has chosen her prey... Brandishing the Iron Poleaxe, Mage 2 looks on in terror! [52, 24] (52) Mage 2 was cleaved in twain. No hesitation, no resistance. Mage 2 is dead, but you knew that already. Natalya gained 6 EXP, and +2 Axe EXP Lead by Example's effects are doubled for the remainder of the turn! Lani follows up Tasha's display of force by targeting Merc 2! Iron Sword to Iron Sword combat! [16, 50] Or you know, it would have been combat, if Merc 2 hadn't crumpled from the joint attack of Alvira and Lani! Merc 2 downed! Lani gain 30 EXP, and +2 Sword EXP Miria, with some difficulty, hefts her new blade and is eager to test Sword Armor 1's durability! [88, 57] Miria swings the blade, finding that it punches right through the man's armor, and the crushing blow was enough to instantly render her target unconscious! Sword Armor 1 defeated! Miria gains 26 EXP, and +2 Sword EXP! Miria reaches Level 6! 50 63 11 47 44 63 7 71 +HP, Spd, Def! Nyx Enters the Village(Inn) on 18, 17 The moment Nyx entered the building, she would find the young man standing directly in front of her, with a reasonably well maintained knife out. He flinched realizing it was her again, and sheepishly scratched his head, as Persica came out from behind the desk. "Oh! Nyxied? ... ... ...Are things going well out there?" She noticed that her brother had his knife drawn again, and huffed. "Xanth. I told ye to hide when someone came in. ... ... ...We could both get the, uhhh, jump on them. It's safer... Oh heck." She marched over to Xanth, and quickly took the knife, and handed both the knife, and the sheath--when did Persica grab the sheath?--to Nyx. Xanth patted himself for the sheath realizing that his sister had given it to their savior. "Take that. There's someone among you... ... ...who could use it better than either of us. Oh. O-one more thing." Persica dipped behind the counter, and pulled out a small object. It looked to be a talisman of some sort. "I, uhhhhhhh, don't know if this will help. But I got this from a man who stayed here once. He... ... ...said it had protective magic in it, that it might help in a pinch. So... here, it might help ye all out. Please... protect Liste, and, uhhhhh, stay safe." Xanth just nodded, but there was a look of annoyance and exasperation on his face. He quite liked that knife, even if it was the one that nearly took his life. Nyx obtained a Steel Dagger, and a Guardian Charm! The knight sighed deeply, a small scowl on his face, "I almost wish you wouldn't call that man my commander. The only place I would follow him to is his funeral so I could maybe spit on his grave. Whatever truly happened at Axios is not worth the lives of the people that he's seen fit to put at risk. But the Regent has put out exorbitant bounties for any sort of information, and we're seeing the end state of that." The knight's eyes slowly widened, "Sylph Garrison? Hah, damn, I almost wish you weren't seeing this sorry display then." The other knights slowly led their weapons down as they heard Ferid speak. Sylph Garrison was one of the more renowned orders, and often employed veterans. "Maraval has our order acting as if we're bounty hunters instead of actual knights... Tch, Captain Celine wouldn't have allowed any of this. These... clouded, are within our borders, and so we are supposed to protect them, until we've proven their guilt, not before. Your... message, Sir Gead, is it related to what happened at Axios?" ENEMY PHASE TURN 2! Merc 1 watched as her partner perished, but she waits no longer, rushing Alvira! [59, 87] The strike rakes across Alvira's scales! Alvira takes 8 damage! Magical Short Circuit triggers! Alvira returns the favor with an brick of ice! [65, 12] The brick flies into the woman's stomach, pushing her away from Alvira! Merc 1 takes 15 damage! Alvira gains 8 EXP! Priest 1, half out of fear, and out of duty rushes to the side of Merc 1 to put their expertise to use! Heals Merc 1 for 13 damage! Cav 1 sees his target, brandishes his Monster Blade, and charges for Cin! [30, 78] The blade strikes true, sending shockwaves through out Cin's body! Cin takes 26 damage! Cin down, but hardly out, he swings to counter! [78, 26] Cin gets in a good blow! Cav 1 takes 9 damage! Cin gains 10 EXP, and +1 Brawling EXP Soldier 1 saw Cin be targeted by the monster blade, and copying the dragon, and feline, he decides to team up on the tall dragon bringing his Javelin to bear! [53, 24] His form was good, the tactics sound, his aim true, but at perhaps the last possible moment the spear wavered, perhaps it was the dragon realizing danger approached, or perhaps a cruel trick of fate depriving a man of his first kill. He could only click his tongue in disappointment. The click was a silent curse, knowing that he would not be given the same mercy. Miss! Priest 2 heals Maraval to full HP! Getting ready to change targets to his Lieutenant. The other knights hold their positions... waiting for something. PLAYER PHASE TURN 3! Maraval listened for a moment, scowling at the fighting before him. Damn it all... these half breeds are even better than I gave them credit for... Then, his scowl turned into a smile as he looked up. The sun had vanished now. The passage of time since battle started evident. They should have arrived, or be arriving now. "2nd unit! Advance! Our reinforcements should have arrived by now... Begin our assault! Lieutenant, you and your men stay with me for now. We'll engage them last with our units that should be approaching from the east!" Enemy Reinforcements have Arrived!
  4. 16 enters the fray with Flux in hand! [66, 66] (That's a sick RN) The sphere of darkness closes around the knight's head... and he silently passes on. 12 Damage! Lance Knight 1 felled. 16 gains 30 EXP, and +2 Dark EXP Alvira decides to break the Ice with Merc 2! [52, 55] The refreshing cold was offset but the pain of taking a block of Ice to the chest. 12 Damage! Alvira gains 8 EXP! Syndra follows suit, and engages Fighter 1! [90, 52] The blast barely connects, but connect it does! 17 Damage! Fighter 1 tries his luck! [2, 51] His axe flies true, striking Syndra! 17 Damage! Syndra gains 10 EXP, and +1 Anima EXP! A slightly disappointed Aly engages the fighter who drifted too close! [56, 33] Alriana's knife flies into the man's shoulder! 11 Damage! Fighter 2 did not ask for acupuncture, and hurls an axe in response! [31, 56] Despite his horrific accuracy earlier, his axe also finds its mark! (They're better than the Crows, I'm so proud...) 14 Damage! Alriana's Armor Purge triggers! Alriana gains 8 EXP, and +1 Hidden EXP Aegean approaches Fighter 2 with stormclouds over head... [82, 63] Aegean plants her feet, and with that swing, Fighter 2 had nothing left to say. 22 Damage! Fighter 2 goes down! Aegean gains 30 EXP, and +2 Axe EXP Aegean reaches Level 5! 13, 8, 43, 20, 7, 79, 92, 37 +HP, Strength, Skill, Speed!
  5. Alvira Enters the Village on 5'17! A rotund woman with glasses looked up as Alvira entered, a spell of darkness at the woman's fingertips. "Oho. A dragon. I think that clears up what side you're on." She let the spell dissipate, and looked over Alvira. "Hmm... no. You couldn't use it, but perhaps someone else among you could." The woman moved over to a bookcase, and pulled off a tome, handing it to Alvira. "I would quite like the knights to... disappear from this area. I've worked much too hard to vanish, and I quite like Liste. I can't help you in any other way, but this tome should be enough. Perhaps if you all live, you should come back to the bookstore? You might find something worthwhile... hehehe. Good luck." Alvira received an Elflux! The Knights guarding the caravans all gave each other glances, until one of them stepped forward. "Hold a moment... You're not with our unit. You're..." The knight paused thinking for a moment, before their finger flew up. "You're one of the knights from closer to the capital. Why exactly would you be all the way out here, and without your unit?" It was a pertinent thought, but it was quickly cut short by a hand on the knight's shoulder. "It don't matter. He's a Knight o' Altair, and so he's one o' us. If we're needed... Wasn't there a path that we ignored back a ways?" "Yes, but, surely something is a bit out of the ordinar--" "Knights! We circle about, and use the rear path!" The man drew his sword, "About time we get to handle some traitorous half-breeds... We'll leave you, and a couple knights to handle the caravan." The man looked Ferid over. "The knights from closer to the capital don't disappoint. Don't beat up on the new blood too hard now, yeah? Whaha! Alright! Knights, with me!" With a loud cheer, a large contingent of the knights guarding the caravan charge back down the highway, making for the rear path. Only leaving six knights, counting Ferid, to handle the caravan. The first knight sighed as he looked back over at Ferid, "...Damned glory hounds. Captain Celine will be furious when she hears about this... If she hears about it, I suppose. So then, I'm assuming you're a messenger of some sort, if you're out this far on your own." Maraval scowled as the mercenaries seemed to hunker down instead of pressing onward. "Cowards, one and all. Knights, surge forward! Be sure to cover each other as you move forward. These half-breeds are clever, don't take them lightly!" ENEMY PHASE TURN 1! Armor Knight 1 engage Miria! [87, 72] The man's strike goes wide! Miss! Miria gathers her focus and retaliates! [66, 5], [86, 12] Miria connects with her one-two strike! Critical on the first strike! Armor Knight 1 takes 20 damage! Miria gains 10 EXP, and +2 Sword EXP! Fighter 1 tries his luck, and hurls an axe at Miria! [87, 7] The man's axe falls considerably short, in fact, almost hitting his fellow knight instead of Miria. Miss! Fighter 2 sees a target in Aegean, and shouts "Yeet!" [90, 53] The Axe falls wide, but less wide than his buddy. They're both a little new at this. Miss! Priest 2 Heals Maraval for 15 HP! He would gain 12 EXP, and +2 Staff EXP, but he's gonna die soon! The first wave of the knights creep in closer, ready to strike all at once... PLAYER PHASE TURN 2!
  6. Marina looked over her shoulder as her name was called, seeing Agni. The man had spend a large part of his time with Taliyah after the events at Mixoco, so they had felt a bit distant. She still hadn't spoken with Taliyah since it all happened. Marina couldn't fault her; her march as Hero turned Vaia into fertile ground for Ithraxl's rebellion. She may not have been the one to end his life, but she was almost certainly at fault for placing the timer on him. She wondered if it was even right for her to worry about Taliyah, since she didn't see her among the gathered group. "Agni... It's, It's good to see that you're alright, too. Is Tali with you?" The woman seemed confused at Lucille's sudden panic, but clearly she had no idea how confused Lucille was about this whole thing. Then, perhaps right on cue, Seilan arrived. Lucille didn't drop her spell, but turned to look at Seilan, "S-Seilan... You're alright." She glanced back at the woman, spell still leveled at her, "This woman shows up out of nowhere, hugs me without my say so, and then starts saying a bunch of crazy things." Lucille had half a mind to hug the mage, both because he was okay, and because she really could use a hug right about now. However, the confusion of who this woman was, and what she wanted with her was still more pressing. Lucille then suddenly twitched as the words left the woman's mouth. 'Big Sis Susan.' She raised her hands, and took a step back after saying it. Perhaps it was because the woman saw Lucille's face just cloud over. She continued on, about an experiment, a coma, and a farmer and his wife. Perhaps the most damning thing in all of this was her last plea, 'Please don't be upset.' It was a little too late for that. Lucille took a deep breath. "...In my twenty years of life. I don't think I've heard a worse attempt at a lie. Let's start from the beginning. Firstly, I do have a sister, but she's my younger sister, and you most certainly aren't Soleanna. Believe me, I'd know if I had an older sister because none of what happened to me would have happened if I did. Which brings me to my second point, I don't know how you know about an experiment that took place in Coteon, but you best tell me that you're not involved with the Church, because if you are, I'm going to bury you in these ruins. I take it back. I take it back, I take it back, I take it back. Today is definitely a fucking fever dream. It has to be, there is no way that something this nonsensical can happen in real life. I bet I'm still in the wagons just passed out from the oppressive heat of the wastes." Lucille still had the wherewithal to point her spell into the ground. She knew she could accidently finish the spell if she wasn't paying attention, and with the insanity in front of her, she wasn't going to be. She'd already started listening to this nonsense, so she might as well finish it. She kept the spell at her fingertips; she didn't have to, but she wanted to make the threat as tangible as possible. "Literally. Nothing you said. Makes any sense. I spent. My entire life. In Coteon. With my parents, and my younger sister. Please. Please. Don't let a lie be your last words on this world. It is. Far too late for me to be anything, but upset. But I'm going to give you one more attempt. Maybe you can start with my name since you seem to know so much? And do take care; I will follow through on my words. So you better. Start. Making. Sense."
  7. Renais's light comes to lift Cinead from the creeping dark of Death! Renais heal Cinead for 15 HP! Renais gained 13 EXP, and +2 Staff EXP! The Swaying Scales performs her first dance, and successfully lands the flourish! Renais refreshed, and gains +3 Mag for the remainder of the turn! Siorel gained 15 EXP! With Siorel's plea, and footwork, Renais finishes up her care of Cinead! Renais heals Cinead for 15 HP! Healing him to full! Renais gained 13 EXP, and +2 Staff EXP! Renais's Staff Rank Rises to C!
  8. "Ye... Ye will?" Her clouds hanging over Persica seemed to part, and the sun peaked through for a moment. Persica hugged Nyx, almost not even realizing that she had. There was a single request attached, and now that Nyx would help her stop her brother from taking part in the fighting, she felt like she could smile. The speak with him." Persica hugged Nyx again, this time entirely on purpose, and ran back out the door. Hopefully, Xanth wasn't silly enough to just rush out there after her asking him to wait. Sure enough, the other rabbit was still waiting in the lobby. Seeming impatient. She came back, and he turned to move out the door, "Wait, Xanth... Someone, someone wants to speak with you. Someone important, and you'll remember her." Xanth simply cocked an eyebrow, realizing that his sister had calmed down considerably since vanishing. He walked back inside, and looked down the hallway. Who exactly could Persica have spoken with? Who exactly would he have remembered? The Knights quickly formed up, and cut off all avenues of escape. Maraval looked towards his lieutenant who was still issuing orders. He'd also taken a preemptive strike, but had been faster on the draw than he had with the elf. Though, with the frightening speed that the man moved with, Maraval thought that it may have been better not to even bother. However, the rest of the half-breeds had no chance of being anywhere near as threatening. "Knights of Altair! The enemy lies in front of us! The people of Liste have sanctioned this brazen obstruction of our mission! Spare the citizens, but if they try to save the fools who have come to the slaughter..." Maraval smiled grimly, "Add them to the list. Set their hiding places on fire if necessary. Let us show these mercenaries that there is a difference between us and petty sellswords! Allow them close, and then overwhelm them! Our other forces will arrive shortly... but the these fools will never see them! Advance! For the glory of Hecatia!" Maraval rode over to his Lieutenant, and whispered into his ears, "Have the fresh recruits engage them first. Then we'll follow behind with the main force." Late Night Questions MAP START! PLAYER PHASE TURN 1!
  9. Persica both knocked, and entered Nyx's room at the same time. Freezing when she saw the arrow in the woman's hands, but she had to ask. She looked at Nyx eyes still a bit damp, "N-Nyxied... I, I are ye, uhhhh, not going to fight out there?" For a moment she pondered, and then let her ears droop a bit. "I, haha, I guess I... shouldn't have been too presumptuous." She looked at Nyx, she'd been removing the jacket she'd entered in, the opposite of what one would be doing if they were preparing for battle. She was still maybe the only one that could maybe speak some sense into Xanth. "I'm, I'm sorry. But, Nyxied... ... ...could you try to speak some sense into my brother? He... wants to go out there to fight, and the last time he did, he..." The thought trailed, but unlike the others it never came back. "Please. He remembers you... he won't listen to me, but he'll listen to a mercenary, and well... th' person who saved his life." Persica tried to put on a strong face, but the fear, and sadness were overwhelmingly evident on her face. She couldn't let him just go out there himself, even if she couldn't fight, maybe there was something she could do to keep him safe. Hopefully it never came to that, but the possibility existed.
  10. Micheal started moving at Ferid's urging, if not a bit before as he watched the rooftop top arrival begin to make their move. Everything started happening all at once, as he darted by the elf struck at the rogue captain, and their commander spun about with the instrument on her back downing another of the guards that surrounded the boy. That just left him with the last one. His weapon was back at his post, but he just had to put the man off balance long enough for the wolf to put distance between them. Which he did but full body tackling the man to the ground. He quickly rolled off of him to avoid any retaliation, "Go now!" The mercenaries' leader called to defend the townsfolk, which meant that as long as he was necessary, he'd do what he could. If the knight from earlier was successful in freeing the people from the caravan, that would probably fall to him. He could only hope that the mercenaries were enough; the Altair Knights weren't bandits, or pirates--even if they were acting as such--they were knights of the realm. Perhaps this battalion had more fresh faces, or this could become an issue... Persica had spent the majority of events focusing on getting things prepared to shelter people if things did in fact go south. Several papers with neatly written names, and things. She was no good with a weapon, or seeing blood. Not after everything that happened. So she would instead do everything else she could. The door opened, and Persica immediately whirled around to see Xanth standing in the doorway... with the knife strapped to his thigh. The same knife that he'd tried to use on the assailants from years past, and the same one that had been turned on him to take his voice, and nearly his life. "Xanth... what are you doing?" The young man looked down, and then started scribbling on a piece of paper. "I can't just sitting around and do nothing. I'm not going to let anyone put our home at risk." As he finished writing, a shot rang out. Xanth turned, and almost ran out of the building, but Persica grabbed his arm. "No... ... ... No, not again. Please... just leave this to them." Xanth just shook his head, not bothering to write a message for this one. The sad, but fierce look in his eyes would be enough. If there was to be fighting, he was going to be part of it, even if it just meant protecting the inn. Persica's eyes started to well up with tears as she squeezed her brother's arm. Then, they stopped, and Persica wiped her face. Meeting him with her own gaze. "I... ... ... I won't, I won't let you go alone. I don't want what happened to happen again." Xanth shook his head even harder, and gently pulled his arm from his sister's grip. Quickly he wrote down another message, "Persica, please stay here. I'll be okay." Persica shook her head. What could she do? What could she say to stop him? Then Persica remembered that there were footsteps coming back into the inn earlier. She'd noticed them while she was recollecting the names of the people who lived in Liste, as well as their new arrivals. She could have sworn that it was Nyxied who had walked back inside. Surely she'd heard the gunshot. If Xanth wasn't going to listen to her, maybe he'd listen to a mercenary, and the woman who was responsible for giving them the chance to escape after all. "Just... wait here, Xanth." Persica turned, and ran to the room Nyx had chosen. Nyx surely would help them again, right? Maraval's words were met with swift, and surprisingly coordinated action. No sooner had the slights left his mouth, his arm felt searing pain as he took the scorching bite of the elf's steel. He was horrifically fast on the draw, but Maraval reacted quickly, putting space between him and the man. The tiger spun about and fired at one of the soldiers guarding the boy, and then the guard from earlier tackled the other, leaving the wolf free. "Damn you!" Maraval raised his voice, "Knights of Altair! Form up!" The man urged his horse onward, holding his injured arm, "Give these blithering idiots no quarter! Slaughter the cursed half-breeds, and set fire to anyone who dares to assist them! Find me a healer!" The Lieutenant almost hadn't reacted to Cinead's sudden flare up, and then crushing blows. The blows were strong, but they hadn't been enough. He quickly unsheathed the sword at his side, and countered the man's blows connecting with Cinead's being, before pulling back. A faint smirk on the man's face. He couldn't have known that the weapon at his side was what it was, but he'd certainly pay for it. "You heard the captain! Form up! Block all of the escape routes, and send some of our forces to the east! See if we can't hem them in here. We outnumber them." The knights quickly formed up, with some of them taking off back down the pathway heeding the Lieutenant's call. The time for combat had come... Cav 5 starts 15 HP (Took 16 Damage from Cinead's sudden Attack!) Maraval starts with Half HP (Due to Ingverd's sudden Attack!) Cinead took 28 damage on counter from Cav 5, leaving him at 1 HP! DEPLOYMENT! Objective: Defend and Survive for 7 Turns! Mastery: None!
  11. Micheal kept looking for an opening. Fortunately for him the Altair Knights were more focused on the mercenaries, and they weren't really concerned with a lone guardsmen. Well, all except one reasonably attentive knight. "I can walk te my post mysel--" He looked at the man as he raised a finger to his lips. Micheal then nodded. The boy was his first real objective, along with the others in the caravan. "Assuming ye're not just saying this te turn on me later... They're also others in that caravan back there. I--" Micheal turned his head to look back over towards the boy, and noticed something... strange. Something moving on the top of the buildings. "...I think things have developed." The guards hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary yet, which meant anything would be best left up to their roof crawling friend. But if it came down to it, he could make a distraction. Micheal looked at the captive wolf, hoping that the young man was more attentive than his captor, and tilted his head up slightly. Up to you, and whoever's on the roof. The Lieutenant took a deep breath watching the display in front of him. He couldn't tell if this was a genuine distraction, if they were mocking them, or if they were genuinely just this nonchalant. Though, there were only four or five of them, one less after the strange monster had just bolted off. No doubt out of fear, but it would probably be a reasonable idea to keep her in mind. A scared beast could also be a more dangerous one. One of the women seemed to be going around and whispering, and had come from the direction that the monster had run off in... He looked over, Maraval was still dealing with the elf, and now an armored feline woman. They just kept multiplyin-- He looked up randomly, and saw something that he was sure shouldn't have been there. That couldn't have been... Right? Maraval closed his eyes. The commander of the rabble was equally as uncooperative. He scowled, adding in a shake of his head, "You're the second person today to mention these Evokers. But you're also the second person to not have them standing before me to prove that you're not lying through your teeth. Even if those magical floozies were about... I'd still have more questions than answers." The man lowered his head, starting to chuckle a bit. "You know, I just remembered something too. I already overspoke with your subordinate, so I think its fine if I tell you a little more, yes? The people we're hunting for? They're clouded, lovely little half-breeds such as yourselves. That's not all, oh no. It turns out that we have very good reason to believe that the people who orchestrated the attack... Were acting on Lufiria's orders. If you're escorting the Evokers, that means you're allied with Glacies, and that means that you have some explaining to do as to why your ally has launched an attack on Hecatian soil. The international incident has already begun, bitch. A mission from the distant queen of the frigid, forgotten north means as much as your petty little lives do. So long as you stand before me, on Hecatian soil, you, the boy next you, the damned Evokers, none of you mean anything." He turned away from the pair towards his Lieutenant, "Search the wagons, and the locals." He looked back at Natalya with a smirk on his face, "If the locals were content to house traitors to the Alliance, then they're just as much suspects. Oh, and if they try to stop you, you have the authority to subdue them."
  12. Marina rounded the corner, and true to her word, Lucille had caught up to Bladen. Though, it seemed like something was visibly wrong with Lucille now, holding herself tightly while speaking with Bladen. Marina started to move closer when she noticed that the air no longer felt as heavy as it did a moment before. Like something had changed in their immediate situation. That didn't stop Marina from holding her blade tight. Everything had just gone wrong today, and there was no way that things were just going to even out like this. Gabriela and Bladen seemed to have things handled, but... something just bothered Marina about continuing to run away from things. Lucille had helped to protect her when that machine attacked her with that Runesword, even after her sudden, and still unexplained outburst. Marina took a deep breath, before moving towards the panicked rider. "Gabi's right, Lucille. I didn't hear all of it... But everyone is definitely around here somewhere... Look, over there even." Marina had only barely noticed Nessraya walking through their view and into another room, while Jade seemed to pull up stopping as she saw someone else. "I just saw the general and Jade." Though she looked anything but happy, which, admittedly, was probably the default state of everyone that was down here. Marina turned to Lavinia, still gripping her sword handle tight, "Let's follow after her." Lucille got smaller as she heard both Gabriela, and Marina both console her. She half wanted to say why she was so out of sorts, because the girls weren't entirely hitting the mark, but how could they? How exactly were they supposed to know that she was deathly afraid of fire magic, and that his horrific scene in front of her was nothing but a reminder of events that she wished that she could forget? The other half knew that a good amount of her panic was the fear of whatever might have happened to everyone who may have been close to the blast, so their consoling was at least somewhat on the mark. That didn't stop any of it from being embarrassing. Was she going to have to deal with this every single time she took to the battlefield? Lucille shook her head, and then nodded at Marina and Gabriela. "I'm, I'm... I'm okay... We, we should just find our..." Marina then pointed out that she had just seen Nessraya and Jade, Lucille looking up to see if she caught the general. Marina wouldn't lie like that, so Nessraya was alright. Lucille's anxiety lessened, but only slightly, and not nearly enough. Now that Lucille was focusing on something other than her thoughts, she notice that Villkiss was behaving strangely again. She was going to have to treat her to something special when they got out of here. She forced herself off Villkiss, and took her by the reins. "M-M-Marina's right... we should follow after the General... Th-Thank you both... for the. Words. I'll, I'll be fine once, hah, we link up with... more people." Marina was at a loss. Most everyone seemed to be present along with a red demon... person, and a being with an uncomfortable number of eyes that happened to be staring at Bladen for one reason or another. Then there was the construct in the middle of the room joined by Thesephine, and Asami. The construct in the distance seemed to be completely shut off, so things did seem to be over. Which meant that Marina had all the time in the world to wonder. Why had she jumped? She knew now that she likely would have been fine, but she couldn't have known that before. Yet, everything told her that she had to. She had to jump. Bladen and Ayane falling to their potential grave was reason enough, and people probably would have believed it; Lucille certainly did. Marina though, couldn't be sure that had been why. She was glad that Ayane and Bladen were both okay, but she still wasn't happy. Surely, she would get some form of scolding for running off to jump in without a plan... but maybe that had been the plan? Things were starting to pile up. Marina already had the weight of the title of Hero on her shoulders, the destruction of Vaia, and being the direct cause of their civil war. The war that pitted brother against brother, family against family, father against daughter; destroying many lives irreparably, including someone like Tali. The weight of disappointment and anger from those she'd harmed, herself included, threatened to crush her. Maybe for a moment she'd just wanted it-- Marina shook her head. Where did that thought come from? She needed to focus on things at hand. It seemed like Nessraya was questioning the two newcomers curled up in the corner away from them. Thesephine and Asami seemed enough for the construct in the center, so she joined the General. "I'm... glad to see you're okay, Nessraya. Who are... they?" Lucille's first order of action once joining everyone--and it did seem like everyone had made it--was to look for Seilan. Lucille was just done. She didn't want to be in this place anymore. She didn't want to be around so many people anymore. She was almost sure that she preferred the scorching hot wastes to this; at least she hadn't needed to worry about what the heck caused that blast, nor whether Ayane was okay. Though, if Bladen was alright, there was a good chance that she had to be as well. General Nessraya seemed to be interrogating someone, and on Lucille's immediate glance, she very quickly decided that she didn't want the knowledge right now. It was good to see that she was safe. Seilan hadn't quite come into view yet, but Lucille did hear footsteps coming towards her. Not sprinting footsteps, but certainly hurried. Perhaps Seilan had seen her, and was actually worried about her! Lucille found herself hugged, and for a moment she felt a sense of calm. Before the person who hugged spoke up which revealed two things to Lucille. First, the person mostly definitely was not Seilan, and in fact, was a woman and someone she didn't know. Second, more important and anxiety inducing, she was speaking as if they were supposed to know one another. Lucille froze entirely as the woman slightly released her grip, and slid in front of her. Lucille didn't take note of any of her features, or anything really after the opening hug and words. She just stared at her, rapid sparks running up her arm. Lucille didn't answer, but after a moment she pulled herself away from the woman's grip, and reflexively pointing a spell at the woman, "...g-g-get away, from me. W-w-w-w-who are... you?" Her fear started to mix with her frustration at everything that was going on. She was so very tired of this place, and only get more exasperated by the minute. "W-w-what the heck do you mean that you never expected to see me wake?! Wake from what?! You're, You're... going to tell me who you are, right now. Right this second. I was mostly fine before coming down to this... I don't even know where I am!! I've had it! I've had it with this place!" Lucille's spell started to take shape in front of her, "S-s-start talking, and if you take another step towards me, I will put several s-s-spells through you, d-d-d-do you hear me?!" Even this one moment of supposed solace was anything but.
  13. The lieutenant cocked an eyebrow as Cinead stood to his full height--lord was he tall, and placed himself between the wagons. The lizardwoman seemed content to remain, and he could just tell that there was a edge to her words. A sharp edge. "Surely you were listening when I said that obstructing an investigation is a crime, yes? Mercenaries, or no, you are subject to the laws of the land, unless you have diplomatic immunity. Your agreement was not requested, or required. In fact," The man rose his hand to signal the knights that were now forming behind him, "I'd say that give me more reason to believe that you're hiding somethi--" The man looked down as a newcomer addressed the tall dragon. While his knowledge of monsters left much to be desired, he was sure that this one was unusual. Pale white skin, scales, and a freakishly long tail. "What in the... Are, are you with them as well?" He looked over his shoulder at his men, before clearing his throat, "As I was saying--" The man was interrupted once again by another tall clouded approaching his commander. "Hmph... Is that your commander? Feh, if so, I suppose we can wait a moment. Not a moment longer than that, however." The other knights held, but were prepared to move at a moments call. "Do you believe for a moment that I care about your relationship with Celine? If anything, I--" Maraval reached for a blade before stopping, as he finally noticed that the elf wasn't alone. Maraval's eyes narrowed. What was he looking at? The man in front of her was simple enough to classify, the tall dark skinned man was a dragon, the woman with him as a lizard. This one seemed to be a lizard of some sort, but that seemed incomplete. Something about this one frightened him. He let his hand drift away from his sword. He'd have to go about this differently. "Hmm. No. You will bring them all here. After all, I can't leave my suspects unattended. Especially not with all of you. I won't be releasing any of them until I get my answers." The man's tone had evened some, perhaps because of Maraval's new concern over the unidentified monster with the man. Then a tall feline woman walked up introducing herself as the commander of the Iron Tigers. Maraval looked over at her, "So you're in charge of this man? I admit, I had little problems with your stay in Liste until the dog here began yapping." Maraval shook his head, frustration with these uppity half-breeds growing steadily. "As I've explained to your man here, we are on a search for any clues, or individuals involved with a theft from Axios Hall. Regent Altair has given us the authority to do as necessary to find what we need. That includes search of any clouded caravans, or people, given probable cause. Frankly, your subordinates have given me nothing but probable cause. I can't help but notice that you're also prepared for combat. I'd strongly advise against anything you'll regret, ma'am. You seem more reasonable than the boy; bring the Evokers--if they're really here that is--and Sarasin here, and submit your caravan for search." The three soldiers that were guarding Ullr we're more focused on the commotion surrounding the caravan, and their commander. Micheal was watching them at a distance. The young man was still held between them, but there was little that he could do. On his own, that was. At best, he could serve as a bit of a distraction, but if he did, there was a chance that things could break out into combat. Nika arrived with the Tigers' commander, so that seemed to be getting handled, but Micheal couldn't help but feel that no matter what they did, they were heading towards combat. The Knights were riled, both by their obvious racism, and their necessity in finding what they were looking for. Whatever happened at Axios had to be extremely important. Micheal would have to keep waiting to see if anything changed. He wasn't going to let these knights just hold a young man hostage. Though, that did raise a question about what he was going to do about the others still inside the other wagons... "This is nothing but trouble..." Blanc had no idea what was going on outside, and really, the moment he heard that there were knights outside, he didn't want to have an idea. Damned Altair Knight bastards... I already had to deal with one of you, why are more of you here? He didn't bother hiding the scowl, as he moved to tell the others to hide as the ladies from earlier all started to head out. He had been about to dip as the brown haired mouse of a girl walked back in, and pointed at him. "Eh?" Was all Blanc managed before the girl became surrounded in golden light, and suddenly... had armor on. Blanc's head tilted, and kept tilting, and kept tilting... "...You know what? Sure. I didn't see anything. I'd have to be able to put things into words to be able to say what I saw. But I can't, so you're fine. If you're going out there to deal with those damned thugs... if they try anything, shove a sword up their ass." With that the feline man disappeared.
  14. Persica stepped aside to let Nika take the lead. "Uh, yeah. These guys are on about something that happened at Axios Hall." She paused a moment, and then scratched at her beak. "Err, right. The Axios Hall is where the Hecatian Relics are stored, or so the stories go. It's to the west of here, not too far from Kanalet. Something got stolen, and now they're in a bit of a tizzy looking for it, or anything that could point them in the right direction." The woman shook her head, "The problem is that aside from you guys, no one's been around that would know anything about that, except for maybe Sarasin. But these guys don't appear to be taking no for an answer..." She waved for Natalya to follow, "Micheal's out there now trying to at least keep things cool, and see about the clouded they're parading out there... I think there are more in those wagons too. Persica, you might want to get things ready; we may be sending people here if things do escalat--" It was only them that Nika realized that Persica was already well down the hallway, head down, presumably scribbling away on a piece of paper. "...If only she talked as fast as she thinks. Come on, we should probably hurry." The avian took the lead stretching her wings, hoping that she was just stretching them and not preparing for something big. "Escort work, huh? So that would place you as mercs, wouldn't it?" The knight felt like he recognized the Evoker title, but there were many who would say that they were involved someone special. "I think you could divulge the actual specifics of your mission, yes?" The knight allowed his gaze to linger over Siorel, and the display. "I would ask that the lady refrain from doing whatever she thinks she's doing." His eyes then narrowed, "Joining a traveling group is not a crime, no. But disrupting an investigation, which, seemingly has nothing to do with you, is. So move along." He turned his attention back to Cinead, "The boy is under suspicion for aiding in the theft. As such, he will be treated as a prisoner until we've ascertained that our lead here is nothing but hot air. Which, will start with your wagons." The man waved at several of the knights behind him, and they began moving towards the wagons in the center of the square. "I'm sure there's no problem with that, right?" Maraval grinned at Versaris's immediate response to his call, but it slowly evaporated as the well dressed, and well refined man began saying things that were mildly concerning. "I suppose you'll do. These supplies, as well as the people inside are currently under suspicion, as I'm sure you heard." The man crosses his arms atop his horse, "Yes, I've heard the title before. The Evokers are apparently some mages from Glacies, two hoity-toity noblewoman with an ability to wave their hands. I've heard stories as to their beauty, but that's about the only thing that interests me in anyone from that backwater hovel. Which I suppose brings me to a question: Why would two Glacian noblewomen be out here in Liste? You're well dressed boy, well spoken even, but clearly you think me to be brainless. I accept your invitation, but you are going to bring these 'Evokers' here. In the meanwhi--" Maraval's spiel was immediately halted by the man uttering the accursed name. "...What would you know of Celine? I think you'd be interested to know that she, along with the Regent enacted our orders. Our orders were to find, and follow, any lead, no matter how small to find the thieves responsible! The Regent gave us authority to do whatever was necessary to find out who stole the Escaflowne from Axios Hall! We knights are sworn to him, not a stuck-up bitch like Celine." The man paused, realizing that he'd spoken much too loud, and said far too much. The fact that it was the Escaflowne, the sword gifted to Galari, the hero-queen of Hecatia, was to remain knights' knowledge only. "I suggest," Maraval's voice had dropped in tone, now dripping with malice and frustration, "That you go and find your employers, and hope that they clear things up. For your sake."
  15. Persica had heard the footsteps of someone hurriedly approaching, but she had assumed that they were going somewhere else. So when Nika had burst into the lobby practically shouting at her, the rabbit woman quickly covered her ears. She was unprepared to be yelled at, but fortunately, Nika realized that she had been shouting. Persica shook her head, "...Yes, a tall feline woman, Natalya, is... ... ..." Persica pointed down the hallway, "That way." Despite pointing down the hallway, Persica had already hopped up, her body moving faster than her words. "What's... going on out there?" Persica led the way, not really waiting for an answer. She knew Nika well enough to know that there really was something going on out there, if she was in here shouting. She turned, and looked at 16--One of the Tigers, and the one with perhaps the strangest name--who was wiping sleep from her eyes. "I, uhhhhhh, don't know. That's... what we're hoping Miss Natalya will know." Persica knocked on the door at the end of the hallway, "Miss Natalya? There's, uhhhhh, someone here to see you." Persica's foot started tapping the floor. This couldn't be a good omen. To her knowledge the supplies were late, and for Sarasin, that was incredibly out of the ordinary. The messenger Altair Knight looked up as a lizard, and an incredibly large... dragon(?) man seemed to be approaching them. They'd both hopped out of wagons towards the center of the square. He looked over at some of his compatriots, and gestured towards the wagons. "Get a couple knights, and get ready to search those wagons." He turned back to the approaching part as the surprisingly buxom lizard hailed them. "Halt there." The man pointed towards the wagons where they'd come, "Are those your wagons? I'll also need your names, occupation, and why you're here in Liste. We're currently on a search, and that search has led us here." He then pointed to the wagons that were still effectively surrounded by the other Knights, "The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can release these supplies. As far as we know they're for Liste, but with what we know of Liste, the amount of supplies is higher than would be necessary. Neither of you two would know anything about that, would you?" Maraval found himself bristling a bit at the audacity of this town guard, this clouded man. Speaking back to him was something that he wished he could just punish with a flick of his blade through the half-breed's neck, but answers were more important than asserting dominance. For now, at least. His lieutenant seemed to have things handled with yet another group of clouded that seemed to be approaching. The mutt was right; Liste was quite full of their kind. He turned to look at the audacious guard, "Where is Sarasin, or someone who knows the specifics of these supplies? I need to speak with them to ascertain why these supplies are as vast as they are." Micheal pointed up to the manor on the mountain, "Lord Sarasin's would be up th're. He's in th' middle o' a meeting, so you won't--" "I did say someone who knows the specifics of the supplies. Be that Sarasin, or anyone else. Unfortunately, we won't be leaving until we have the answers on that, which also means, I won't be releasing the boy either, nor these supplies." Maraval smiled at Micheal, "So I think you're going to find someone. I'd rather not be out here all night." Micheal scowled at the blatant display of antagonism, but there wasn't anything that he could really do about it. Aside from what was being asked. There were quite a few Altair Knights about, and surely there were more following behind. With the little that he knew about the Altair Knights, if they weren't being led by Celine Altair, there was a high change that they would become hostile towards them if they didn't get what they were after. There may have been a few progressive people amongst the knights, but the majority of them had been steeped in prejudice since the moment their eyes opened and they inhaled their first breath. Some of the other villagers had started peaking from the homes. Maraval took the opportunity to stride forth, "Citizens of Liste! Do not be alarmed, for we are the Knight of Altair. Serving Lord Artorius Altair, and thus the province of Altair. We have simply come to ascertain the truth. If any of you know anything about these supplies that we have... escorted, here. I ask that you step forward!" The man made a sweeping gesture, seemingly enjoying the spotlight, "Our aim is simple: To discover what happened at Axios Hall, and to find, and capture, anyone who could be in league with the vagabonds who have stolen one of our national relics from the treasury. We believe to have found one such vagabond amongst your supplies, and now we need to be sure that there are none here waiting for him." The man grinned, surely that worry would be enough to push some into action. The half-breeds were good at a single thing: Self-preservation. If they knew the stakes, and he left the consequences vague enough, the beasts' imagination would hopefully fill in the gaps.
  16. The guard sighed as evening rolled in. She stretched the small, white wings on her back ending with a yawn. Being a guard paid rather well, but it was largely boring work. Micheal hadn't returned from escorting the Evokers up to Sarasin's place just yet. Though, it was more likely that he'd stopped by Blanc's place to get a drink and some food. She never quite understood why Sarasin's place was so far away from the main town, but it wasn't really something she worried about. As long as Sarasin was amiable to the clouded, and to Liste more specifically, she wouldn't mind what a human merchant did with their own money. She was a little disappointed that she hadn't gotten to speak with the newcomers. They seemed rather intriguing, and if they were working with people as important as the Evokers, they had to be competen-- "Huh?" The guard perked up as she heard horses, and the creaking of a wagon--no, multiple wagons? She squinted her eyes to see an abnormally large caravan approaching, and with Altair Knights at the head. "Oh heck." She turned to look for Micheal, hoping that the chief guard was on his way back. The feline man was walking back towards her now completely unaware of what was approaching. "Hey, Micheal! Get over here!" The woman called, "You're gonna want to see this!" Micheal popped his head up from the drink that was in his hand, and hurried over. Just as one of the horsemen started to break from the caravan. "What in th--" "Is this the town of Liste?" The Knight asked, his gaze bouncing between the two. "It certainly is, but who's askin'?" "I'm sure you know who we are, but the reason we're here, is because of those wagons." The Knight pointed back towards a group of wagons in the distance, also surrounded by more knights. "Uhhh, yes, we are expecting supplies..." Micheal's eyes then fell on a group of knights at the front of the pack. They appeared to be apprehending a young man. Micheal pointed at them, "What's with th' boy?" The Knight nodded, completely ignoring the final question from the feline man. He waved at one of the knights, and that knight nodded. With a crack of that man's reins, the caravan started moving towards the gate. "You will need to take us inside, sir. People with this caravan are currently under suspicion of aiding in an attack on Hecatian soil. As the Knight of Altair, we cannot overlook the possibility that the people who requested these supplies are also in league." The avian woman tilted her head as if the man in front of her had just morphed into an unrecognizable demon. "I'm sorry? What attack? No one has hear--" "Then I'm sure that none of you will have any issue with allowing us to check into things. The faster we get this done, the faster you all can return to whatever it is you do here." With that, the messenger's horse pushed on past the pair, with the convoy following behind. "Hell... Nika, hurry on back, let th others know about what's going on... and head te th' inn. Look for a tall Feline gal... this has the scent o' trouble..." "Gotcha... be careful." The avian girl hurried after the horseman, quickly overtaking him and heading back into town. Hurrying along, passing by the wagons in the center, she shouted at the other guards across the square. "Hey, look alive! Something's going on, wait here in the square, the supplies are here, along with some knights..." She turned, and continued darting towards the Inn. She quickly pushed opened the door without bothering to knock, "Persica! Persica, is there a tall feline woman here?!" Nika stopped, took a breath, and lowered her voice a little. She realized that she had been almost shouting just then, "There's something going on outside, and it's over these supplies... Micheal told me to find someone here." Maraval looked over at Ullr, as the caravan started moving in towards the square. "Last chance to say something, boy. We'll find your treachery whether you say anything or not." The man cocked a brow as a feline man approached, the same one that his lieutenant had been speaking with. "You understand our situation, do you no--" "Release th' boy." "I'm sorry?" "Release th' boy. Ye just have questions, don'tcha?" Maraval shook his head, "He's under suspicion, I won't be releasing him. Not until I'm sure that he, and you, have nothing to do with it." Micheal's eyes narrowed at Maraval, "At least, let th' boy stand on his own. No one here has any idea about any attack, or anything, so I don't think ye'll be finding what ye're looking for." "We'll see. We're the knights here." He turned to his men, "Let him stand. He knows better than to run, or fight."
  17. The boy started started to break ever so slightly, but he managed to catch himself. "You're under suspicion, yes. I suppose you're correct about the rider perhaps being human, but I'm sure that even someone like you knows. Knows that Pegasus are incredibly rare outside of Lufiria. Riders, then, are almost exclusively Lufirian, with the few outside being wealthy nobles with underground connections." He didn't know anything else about the rider. So even if he had wanted to tell the boy, he couldn't. Maravel then chuckled, "Fine then. That's what we were going to do anyway. Drag him here, I'd prefer to keep an eye on him. Then once we get to Liste... we can use him to flush out any potentials. There are more people like him there, after all. I hope he doesn't mean more Hecatian traitors then." He looked at Ullr with a sickening smile, "Pick up the pace. The young man needs to see how us 'lazy asses' work. Maybe he'll open up then." The man cracked the reins, and urged his horse to move at a prance. As the calls for the other knights to move faster started to sound. Damned half-breeds...
  18. Maraval's eyes narrowed as her studied the mutt. Perhaps the wellbeing of the other passengers had finally gotten to him. Still, his evasiveness was telling. "I never said that you were the thief. We at least have an idea of who the main mastermind is. A Pegasus rider, and forgive me, I don't think you could tame a horse much less a pegasi. However, that doesn't absolve you of being party to it." He shook his head, "Make no mistake, boy. You are the only unknown element here. You argued with my knights, and you are the only one who has no one to confirm who you are, or where your from. Not only that, I have no idea why you're heading to Liste." Maraval started to reach for the blade at his side, and then stopped. He looked at one of the knights dragging Ullr along. "You said that we're about 30 minutes away, yes?" "Shorter now, sir." The man grinned, and then looked at Ullr, "If it wasn't obvious, I don't believe you. Frankly, I don't believe any of you. If what I was told about Liste makes any sense, then the supplies in this caravan are almost in excess. This... Sarasin is a well known merchant, he wouldn't make a call like this without a reason, and to find that it is a bunch of ha--" He cleared his throat, stifling the venom tipped word that had risen, "Clouded. Clouded, in this caravan after Axios hall was attacked by a gaggle of them. I'm sure you can see just how I've come to this conclusion, yes?" In truth, it was a stretch. There weren't many leads on their escaped thief, and so the Regent and Captain Celine--begrudingly on her end, he heard--had authorized the halting and search of any clouded or monster caravans. They were working quite blind, and if things didn't work out, they had the backing of the Regent anyway. "I would suggest that you drop the act, and begin talking to me. You'll be dragged all the way to Liste like this, I don't mind, and I'm sure the knights don't mind, either. I'd also say that you shouldn't be placing such kind individuals at risk with your lies. Who knows what might happen to them?"
  19. Blanc nodded at the girls, quickly scribbling down their requests on a piece of paper. Not before raising an eyebrow at the young girl who had excitedly asked for the chili stew. That was one a rare ask; often said to be hot to the point of drowning the rest of the taste out. Blanc himself had tried it once, and he could only stare at his brother and sister in horror as he did. Well, that was neither here nor there. Blanc wasn't going to turn down someone who seemed so excited for it, and the feline had asked to match the girl's ask. He wouldn't mind seeing the fireworks. Blanc looked at the knight, neutral face once more, "I'll go place these orders inside, and be back for you, sir." He quickly disappeared back into the doorway that he'd appeared from. The Tigers made good use of the time that they had been gifted through their quickened arrival. Liste was quiet, and only getting quieter as the evening finally started to roll in. The heat from the sun's rays started to dissipate. Elisa and Tio had arrived at Sarasin's home after a fairly long trek up the mountain, nearly another hour's trip. So far no messenger had been sent back. However, there was something approaching. The hooves of horses, and the creaking of wagons slowly moved their way towards their destination. The knight in the lead looked over his shoulder, making sure that the wagons were still as hemmed in as they were supposed to be. Surely none of the half-breeds were stupid enough to try and escape, but he had thought the same about Hecatia ever being attacked. The days since had proven that wrong, so it was prudent to be as meticulous as possible. Leave no chance for openings lest they exploit it. "We're near Liste now, aren't we?" One of the other knights pulled up alongside him, "Yes, commander. We're about half an hour away." The man grinned. Even with the sun starting to go down, it was still quite warm. If this excursion turned out to be nothing, then he and his order would have a place to rest. Admittedly, he knew nothing about Liste, aside from the fact that this caravan had been on its way there. With all that was occurring, they couldn't take any chances, and the wolf from before had convinced him that perhaps there was something there. Absolutely any clouded, or clouded sympathizer could be involved. "Bring the wolf up here, and be sure to warn him that if he pulls anything funny, we'll torch him and these wagons." The other knight saluted, and then returned to the wagons. He exhaled a breath, wondering for a moment. He and his order had been commanded to sweep the providence east. Apparently, their target fled to east after stealing something from the Axios Hall. If these people were involved in some manner, they would likely be quite skilled. Breaking into the Axios Hall was something that many thieves both dreamed of, and died for, attempting. The reports were all muddled, but there was exactly one thing that was clear: There was a Pegasus Rider among them, and they, along with a small retinue of fighters, managed to break in, and steal an artifact. His thoughts were broken up, by the sounds of footsteps, and struggling. He looked over his shoulder once more, to see the blue furred mutt being brought towards him by three knights. "Sorry for the wait, Captain Maraval." The knights kept their hands on the dog, as they basically dragged him along with the movement of Maraval's horse. Maraval ignored the knights, looking exclusively at the young man in their grasp. "Hah. You're suddenly a lot quieter now. Lost a lot of your bark, haven't you?" He chuckled before he switched gears, glaring at the captive, "Let me ask you again. The others in the caravan said that you had just showed up, and you seemed content to argue with me and my knights. With everything happening, I have reason to believe that you're involved with the thieves in some manner, and are traveling to Liste for reasons aligned with that. Tell me what you know, boy, and maybe we can work something out."
  20. Two warring thoughts battled for control of Lucille's mind. The real realization that the magic was gone, that this had little to do with her past, and that there was still good chance that everyone was fine. The other, more powerful, all-consuming thought was that they were gone, incinerated by a wave of flames that would surely come for her next. After all, it was only a matter of time, before the flames came for her a third time. Once for her family, second for her new home, and a thir-- Lucille heard a voice speaking. 'Lucille, I... are there other people with you?' The voice was familiar, yet, entirely unfamiliar. She managed to pull her face up to look at the crow. She'd half expected a look of disgust, or a smirk at her sudden weakness. She didn't find any, at least, not on the surface. There was real concern on his face, and in his voice; a far-cry from his distrust of her earlier. It was going to be okay, and a promise to find everyone else? Words that she'd never have thought would leave his mouth, and least of all, to her. She looked back to the destruction in front of her, shrinking again. She shook her head, and took a series of quick breaths to try to get herself under control. She didn't really believe what the crow was saying. He hadn't trusted her before, and that wouldn't have changed so soon. However, his words had reminded her that she'd already made a promise, and had said that she was going to catch up with the crow to tell him about the others. "Y-y-yes... The, the, hah, the others aren't f-far behind. I, I, I'm fine... I'm okay... Marina, Lavinia and Gabriela, were with me." Suddenly Lucille couldn't really feel the cool air. The place was suddenly very warm as her embarrassment started to mount alongside the anxiety. She shrank even more to the point that the crow wouldn't have been able to hear Lucille's, "Thank you... ." She'd never have been able to say it out loud, nor did she think she would have wanted to, but she appreciated the crow's attempt.
  21. Luca waved as the girls left the store. The man went to store the gold, when he froze for a moment. He remembered that he had forgotten to ask why the girls were around. It wasn't overly common for travelers up here in Liste, and certainly not for a group of them. Luca sighed, and then shrugged. He figured that one of the locals would come and tell him at some point why they were around. It would probably be Persica since she and Xanth ran the inn, and Persica always talked about her patrons and what they told her. The knight on the other hand... was intriguing. An Altair Knight that was fine with Clouded. Not entirely uncommon, but those sorts tended to be much further west. He said that he was a messenger so being from closer to Kanalet wasn't a stretch either. It wasn't his place to think about it for too longer. Things to do. Blanc nodded at Miria, "Then I'll see what I can do for you." He waved her over to table, before turning back to Syndra speaking with the lone man of the group. The man explained that he was an Altair Knight, holding his cape to reveal the single star on his cape. Blanc couldn't help but scowl before quickly turning neutral as the man walked to a table. "That can be arranged." Altair Knight? Feh. Knight is too good of a word for them. Sarasin fortunately didn't employ the Altair Knights. Given their large clouded population in Liste, they would surely take advantage of them. The Islexians hardly appeared around here anyway, and the town watch was often more than enough for any happenings. The feline clouded moved over to join the young lady that Blanc had ushered over to the table. Blanc disappeared into a doorway, and returned with a couple pieces of a paper, placing them in front of the pair and holding onto one more. "Location makes it difficult to supply anything too extravagant, but we specialize in many types of stew. Regretfully, some of our ingredients are behind schedule, so we don't have the ability to make some stew and soups. But everything on that sheet is available and can be made." The man's tail swayed behind him waiting for a response. Xanth heard the conversation between the two odd monsters, and the man on the other side. His shoulders shook as he silently chuckled as the young man's plight. He wondered a bit about what Persica was up to, but as long as this group was here, he couldn't go anywhere to find out. Persica nodded, "I can... ... do that. I'm good at reeeemembering names, and I can write them down for ye." Persica pulled out a piece of paper--seemingly from nowhere--with the names of Natalya, Nyx, and Alvira already on it. Natalya and Alvira's name right next to one another, as well. "Uhhhhh... I suppose that anyone I don't recognize is probably with ye. So if I see them, I'll ask." Persica reached under the desk, and pulled out 8 keys, and set them on the counter. "Probably won't need th' eighth key, but... ... ." Persica took two keys, and handed them to Tasha and Nyx. "Th' both of ye are here, sooooo, you two can pick the rooms ye prefer. Oh, right." Persica looked expectantly at Nyx, "Is there someone I should look out for in particular for ye to room with, Nyxied?"
  22. Luca had to stop himself from leaning forward with a concerned look on his face when the seafolk clouded offered three times what was necessary for the buckets. He couldn't stop the confused blinking. Fortunately, her feline companion hadn't quite lost her marbles and corrected her. "...The heat really driving you mad, yeah? You'll have to give me a moment, to get you another bucket with everything." He quickly gathered the materials, and took the took the gold. "If there's anything else you need, I can't say I don't have it if you don't ask, yeah? So do that." Persica nodded, and hesitated a moment before she started counting on her fingers, "Eight. There aaaare eight rooms, none of them are occupied at th' moment. Th' rooms are a bit small, so it would probably be best to give ye seven, so they're aren't three to a room. Uhhhhhhhhh... Travelers through these parts are... pretty rare. Don't think we'll be seeing anyone else tonight." Persica took a deep breath, finally coming down from her burst of emotions. Though her ears had perked up, and remained as such, as well as her whiskers still twitching every now and again. "If ye need th' eighth room, then ye can have it too for the evening." She said with a smile on her face. Persica was simply happy to give back just a little to Nyx, and those who were helping out those magical ladies from before. They'd stayed here once before, and had helped with a malady that had been magical in origin. They never quite explained what it was--not that Persica would have understood it in the first place--but their expertise helped Sarasin and Liste immensely. "What have I told you about entering before knocking, Persica? Especially when we're getting tow--" A tall, dark furred, feline man peered out from one of the doorways. He blinked realizing that who had called was not Persica--rather surprising, Persica was normally here at this time of day--but a human girl that he didn't recognize. In fact, he didn't recognize anyone that was standing in the doorway; three humans, and a feline clouded. The surprise on his face was evident, and his tail whished behind him wildly. "The heck?" He cleared his throat, and walked out from his hiding space. "Sorry about that. I thought you were my most frequent patron." The man's manner of speech was relatively refined, and he gave the group a little bow, "Welcome to the Tavern. My name is Blanc, and I run the place--It is my home, after all. It's rare to get travelers, especially ones such as yourselves. Are you looking for something? Food, drink, just a chat?"
  23. Marina wasn't sure what she was doing, or where she was going, but she was sure that it would be better than here. They needed to find the others, and the tremor that they felt earlier from that blast told her that they couldn't spend a lot of time here. Fortunately, her dashing seemed to pay off, as not only did she find and open door, she also found Bladen also charging his way through the door. He hadn't noticed any of them, and he was long through the door before Marina could get any words out. There was a feeling of relief knowing that Bladen was alright, and it rekindled hope that the others were going to be too. Lucille had just overtaken Marina when she'd also seen the crow go by. She frowned, but simultaneously released a sigh of relief. At the very least he was seemingly okay, and they were going in the same direction. Though, if anyone was going to catch up with him, it was going to be her and Villkiss. She had no idea what was waiting for them around that corner, but it would be better if they all stuck together. Even if Lucille didn't like that thought very much, it was the best option overall. Lucille took a shivering breath. She still was not doing well after feeling that intense blast of fire magic. She looked back at Marina, "I-I-I'll catch up to Bladen, and, and tell him that we're, uh, following behind." She snapped the reins, and Villkiss flew off after the crow. Marina realized that her previous assessment had been right. Lucille's frustration and anger from earlier had almost completely evaporated; replaced by anxiety and fear. Was it the blast? She didn't have much time to worry about it, or respond, as Lucille flew off after the crow as soon as she'd spoken up. The only thing to do was follow. Marina to 25, 38! Lucille rounded the corner, and froze, as she now had understanding of what the blast was, and the carnage that it had caused. Lucille had almost forgotten why she'd flown ahead. The blast alone was enough to be concerning, but the rubble, the burn marks... "Oh my... god..." The scene was familiar, if on a larger scale. It was just missing the bodies. The bodies and the men and women glaring at her with twisted smiles, and grotesque movements. Of course, Lucille didn't have the full scope of things. Just because there weren't bodies now didn't mean that no one had been felled by the blast. Perhaps turned directly to ash, or their bodies had been thrown out of view. Perhaps she'd find Seilan, or Nessraya. She felt like her neck was being crushed. It was suddenly hard to breathe, hard to focus on anything but the memory. She doubled over, arms wrapped around herself again. "No... No, no..." Whereas she'd managed it earlier, it was just too much to hide now. Lucille was off, alone, seemingly in her own world. Villkiss did the only thing she knew to do in this situation; find the nearest person. Which was the crow that Lucille had followed after, and if he didn't help, the others were following behind. Villkiss landed close to the crow with a whine. She was a very trusting horse, even if her rider was the direct opposite. Lucille to 24, 36, May be panicking.
  24. Luca blinked at the dragon's display. Magic already flew right over his head, and this was little exception. The only thing he really understood was that magic actually wasn't the real thing; magical fire wasn't quite the same as real fire. He touched the block of ice, and sure enough, it was a genuine, frigid, article. "Woah... That's crazy. Real ice out of thin air." The man pressed a finger to his forehead. A container that could hold her ice was simple enough. Insulating it was a different matter altogether though, especially in this heat. The man pressed his forehead a little harder, before pointing his finger to the ceiling, and then rounded the counter. "Well, yes and no. The summers here can get pretty bad; hotter than it is right now. This is about a usual day, give or take. As you guys get further inland though..." The man spoke while gathering a couple things, two small wooden buckets with relatively thick walls and a lid, and white cloth. "Fortunately, we're not near Islexia. Used to live there after leaving Karavel years ago." He shook his head, as the placed the bucket and cloth on the counter, and turned to grab some of the leather covering behind him, "It's no good. It did teach me a little something though." The man took the white cloth and wrapped it around the outside of the bucket, and placed the leather inside. "The white cloth reflects the light, and the leather keeps the inside cooler. Not really elegant, but you do with what you have, yeah? It should work for what you need. I'll give you everything for two of these, for 40 gold." He looked at the group, specifically Gean and Laniva. "On second thought, 30. Wouldn't do to have two ladies pay extra not to melt, yeah?" Persica nodded at Nyx, "It's fiiiiine. We all survive around here just fine. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sir Sarasin is lovely and help us all out often. We're just a small town in th' middle of where ever; we don't need much. Not doing nooothing that we haven't done before." Persica did wonder about this Natalya not know about what... Persica's head popped up as she thought about it. She didn't know her savior's name. "Gosh... Uhhhhhh, I didn't realize that I never got your name. A, uhhh, little rude of me." That thought voiced, she returned to wondering why her savior hadn't mentioned her deeds to her commander.
  25. Luca shook his head at Ferid's curt responses, but it was his response to having vivacious lizard woman about that Luca held onto. It was a little strange for an Altair Knight--especially one out here--to have a chivalrous bone in their body for a clouded. Before Luca could say anything, the man had placed the gold on the counter, and was off without much more of a word. "Heck. Talk about a man on a mission, and with his lips locked to it. How strange for an Altair Knight to act well towards a clouded. I guess he had to be one of Celine's followers..." Luca overheard Laniva's words, "Hmm. Looking for something for the heat then, yeah? Sorry to say, the best I've got are these covers," Luca pointed behind him at the large, sewn coverings behind him. "And, things like buckets for water. I never really got around to it, but you guys aren't from around here, are you? I know Hecatian summers get bad, but it hasn't gotten bad just yet." Persica didn't expect Nyx to ruffle her hair. She wasn't quite sure if she liked it, or was annoyed by it. On the one hand, it felt nice, and it felt nice to be appreciated like that. On the other, she was sure that she wasn't too much younger than her savior, even if she was much shorter than she was. It made her feel like she was being treated as more of a child than the woman she was. Both women confirmed that there would be thirteen of them, not counting the two magic ladies from before, and also confirmed that they also employed the three who'd come and gone a-running for the baths. "Oooooh..." She stepped back slowly from Nyx's ruffling hand, "Thirteen... Weeeeeell, we don't have thirteen rooms. How would you like te split things in that case? Don't woooooorry about payment, Sarasin would have already asked me to halve the price, but not only are ye helping those ladies out, ye also got her with ye. So I'll give ye the rooms free of charge."
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