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About Balcerzak

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  • Birthday 04/23/1983

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    Eden Prairie

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    Blazing Sword

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  1. When Seilan confirmed her strong suspicions, but more importantly told her his brother was indeed alive and well, a peaceful and relaxed smile slipped across the zombie's face. While Jade had had no real reason to suspect otherwise, it was always good to know for certain. And that he'd be taking over the shop, settling down and not having to be on the road as much, well, that was as close to most merchant's dreams as any. Sure, the travel could be exciting, but it was much less reliable. And certainly more dangerous. Her thoughts wandered temporarily to wondering when she would be able to settle down and build a brick and mortar establishment, before she recalled that the mage's question, honest confusion evident in his voice, still needed answering. "Oh, we met on several occasions when I was still alive. It would probably be a bit of a stretch for me to call him my rival?" Jade paused and tilted her head, trying to figure out if that were actually true or not. Maybe she had thought of him that way without fully realizing it? "Anyway, I obviously haven't really been in position to visit Hwein recently, so..." She shrugged, trailing off and leaving it at that for the moment. Her lull was quickly filled by an unexpected party, who somehow knew her name? Slowly, Jade swivelled to face the newcomer. Blinking slowly, she asked the horned woman in the white dress, "Where did you come from, again, Verah...?" Lucille hadn't been bothered by her lecture, rather seeming eager enough to leave that conversation behind and taking this opportunity to go ahead and follow the suggestion for introductions. Probably for the best, there, truth be told? And maybe the zombie would have been more accepting of things herself, if she hadn't been the one singled out to be used as a form of unearned familiarity. It was hard to say, but for the moment she was on her guard.
  2. Ah, when Lucille suggested that perhaps it had been because she and Seilan were humans that they hadn't known, that was probably the time to step in and gently correct. Grunting a bit as she pushed herself off the ground, Jade took the few shambling steps needed to come out from around the back of the tree where she'd been sitting. "That's not... entirely accurate. One of the other humans was the first to know, if I remember right," the zombie explained. "I don't remember the General's reaction, but I do recall it having been quite the shock to the head of the Royal Guard when she found out. Ah... and this is obviously excepting Erephis, of course. Ithraxl's sister was the reason the rest of us found out Taliyah was her niece. I'm not sure what prompted her to have told Agni first, or if she'd have brought it up to the rest of us on her own, given enough time, but... I don't think it was really meant to be a secret. Not entirely? Just... an uncomfortable and unfortunate truth." Her face slipping into a bit of a bitter frown, she continued. "That's... civil wars for you. Ugly. Divisive. Tragic. Personal. Thankfully this one was stopped while it was still somewhat a minor insurrection; put down before it embroiled the whole nation. But that doesn't ease the pain for those affected." A flash of realization crossed Jade's face, and she faced Lucille directly, apologizing. "...That's actually terribly unkind of me, isn't it? Lecturing you in this way after you were just forced to fight against your old unit? I wish I could have been of more help, but it was quite a chaotic time." A moment's silent pause, then she turned her gaze to the other, and tried steering the conversation to a hopefully less dreadful path. "On the subject of family not being kept secret for any particular reason, though..." Jade's eyes narrowed slightly as she took in one last good look, confirming enough of her suspicions. Even having never met Seilan personally before arriving at Tepel, family resemblance, and stories from the elder about his 'baby brother' went far enough. "How is Dorren doing these days?"
  3. Lavinia had had the right idea, and luckily it seemed Jade's good first impression with Villkiss still carried some weight. Lucille hadn't put up much fight either, dozing in and out as it were, and aside from a few soft words of explanation the zombie hadn't tried to press her with questions or conversation, taking them outside the fort, and setting up "camp" as it were near a few trees. It didn't quite feel right to leave the girl completely unattended, what should happen if she fell and needed help or something, so Jade sat down at the base of one of the trees just on the other side from where the pegasus was standing. Given her speed she wouldn't be close enough to actually stop a fall, but she could react after the fact at least and there was something to be said for allowing some personal space as well. Before long, the rest of the troops had gathered, the Demon King saying a few words, then passing the torch to the Hero for a few more. For the most part, the speech was generally comforting, but Jade would be lying to herself if she didn't acknowledge some discomfort and apprehension about the notion of a return to Hwein. Her situation there was... complicated. The zombie found herself idly toying with the end of the rope laying in her lap, though the more than enough slack she'd left on the line meant there was no effect on the steed it was connected to. She absently watched many of the others split off into small groups, but remained unaware of Lucille's near slip from her saddle. Honestly, it wasn't until Seilan approached and began speaking to the former church soldier that Jade pulled herself back out of introspection and began to listen. She had some unresolved questions about that boy. There had never seemed to be a right time to ask, especially when weighed against the then-upcoming fight against Ithraxl and how there would really be no importance one way or the other what the facts actually were. But, with the insurrection now firmly in the past, and the path their future seemed to be leading... Mmmm, she should just listen for now, interrupting so soon would be rude. But perhaps after the two had wrapped up their pleasantries she would step out and stop him before he left.
  4. "That was a warning shot," Jade lied to the priest before continuing with an ultimatum for him and his friend. "Drop you staves and weapons and line up against the wall if you want to live." With their general dead--dying?--it seemed the smart bet to take for any remaining enemy forces, but it couldn't hurt for her to verbalize the demand for their surrender. Speaking of dead and dying, thankfully the zombie was far enough away from the wounded (on both sides) that so long as she wasn't looking at them, it wasn't a difficult matter to keep an unpleasant... urges under wraps. Putting a little more purposeful distance between herself and them, and... ah, here came the rest of the side-door squad. The sight of Lavinia, Lucille, and Gabriela's arrive, after everything had wrapped up, not even in time to see the climax--much less contribute to it--asking 'what happened?' It really sparked the sudden wonder in the zombie of whether anything they had done on their little trek had even mattered for the assault. But those were certainly not the sort of thoughts one could speak out loud. "Well, I'm not exactly sure quite how to describe it," Jade struggled to explain the events that had occurred to her new-come friends. "Most of the action was around the corner, out of sight, I didn't even properly engage with him myself, was focused on corralling his support troops and keeping them from causing trouble. But at one point Ithraxl transformed into a dark blue dragon," her pitch turned upwards here, questioningly. "It was rather massive given the available space here. As his life began failing him, it seems that power has come undone..." As for the pegasus rider and her question, Jade merely gave a thin, tight-lipped smile and nod in response, then changed the subject. "How is Vilkiss?" The woman herself seemed not to have been physically hurt, just some exhaustion from spellcasting at worst, but there had been something of an episode, she remembered, though she'd been too far to see quite what had gone on. Her best guess was something had spooked her steed and it had taken a bit to regain control. It wasn't until after Jade had spoken that she realized she might be coming off the wrong way, caring more for the pegasus than the human.
  5. While Jade was reasonably she could survive one go with the raging dragon, with that mindless husk of the insurrection commander's former self, she wasn't sure she could put him down with a single shot. However, she'd seen the priest right behind him go on the offensive, and if he incapacitated whoever was holding back the bulkhead on the other side of the corridor... Or even if he just topped up the insane monster. No, better to remove that elf from the field, weather whatever hit came her way in the meantime, and then withdraw to safety. Jade to 10,24, Rifle Priest 2
  6. As Lavinia came up beside her, healing Gabriela, the sound of shouted voices carried out, an extended back and forth. The siren flew up ahead, to check things out no doubt, and there was no denying that was the right call. Jade smiled with a touch of resignation, "I suppose that's our cue then. I'll be just around the corner, if the big man kept on his warpath, that should be just out of his sight, yet maybe close enough to snipe at the rearguard. Catch up as you can; with any luck Gabriela and I can get the magical threat pruned down some before you arrive." Jade to 8,29, Rifle Mage 4
  7. "No sign of our main forces that I could tell. They must not have penetrated so deeply yet. There were, however, about a half dozen mages in there and, I have to assume from his hubris, the mastermind of this foolhardy rebellion." Jade scowled as she remembered the man's insults, whispering one of them under her breath so she wouldn't forget it. "Were it one or the other I might have held ground at the doors up there, but in this case discretion really seemed the better part of valor. How is everybody faring here, no lasting wounds I hope?"
  8. "Ah, no, that certainly won't be necessary," Jade carefully backed her way into an apology. "Clearly my flight from those Coteon pegasi, followed by my chase of an obvious rogue has landed me into a situation quite above my head. Worry not, this lowly zombie shall now depart." The half-embarrassed, half-ingratiating smile on her face only looked so natural because it was a well-practiced expression. The customer was always right, after all. Wheeling about, she returned to the base of the stairs marking the side entrance, and quickly beckoned to the other party members nearby. She could explain more when they were closer. Jade moves to 6,26
  9. "I'm gonna poke my head in, see how things are inside. If it looks too dangerous, I'll be right back." Jade to 6,30 Glacial Gun the Thief, Canto to 6,32 Between the thief and the pillar it was hard to get a good look, but after moving in a bit deeper, Jade could catch sight of several mages and quite the monster of a man. Depending on if they saw her, and how they reacted, it very well might be a good idea to just slip back out the side entrance. Time to watch and see.
  10. At the sound of the screams behind her, the new girl's seemingly included in the mix, Jade turned to look, worried she'd made the wrong choice in leaving the cleanup to her rather than finishing the enemy captain herself. ...No, the enemy had been dispatched things were just... hmm. Well, Lavinia seemed to be on top of things, and their enemies weren't going to stop pushing to let them all group up and address whatever had just happened. The zombie would just have to trust. At least for now. Maybe once this was all over... The armor knight seemed like the largest threat currently, though it had so far refused to engage her. Jade pulled out the magic pistol, and prepared to fire, but saw Gabriela moving in on it from the corner of her eye, so she adjusted to follow up on Lavinia's shot on the mage instead. Jade shoot Mage 9 with glacial gun, canto to 6-25
  11. "I'd rather be a zombie than a mindless slave to some church..." Jade scowled, reloaded, and aimed at the flier she'd missed on the first pass. Jade Rifle Peg 1, if she hits, canto to 2,22 "I'll show you holey soldiers." if she misses, canto to 1,17 "Am I losing my touch, or is she really just that fast? Huh..."
  12. Jade thought she heard raised voices arguing behind her. She hoped she was wrong, now was not the time, but even more reason to just do a quick hit and run and maybe put out some fires if needed. Unfortunately it seemed the pegasus were slightly more wary than she'd hoped for, so she'd need to advance further and retreat less. It should still work out though, hopefully. Jade to 1, 16 Rifle Peg 3, Canto back to 1, 18
  13. Jade to 1,23, use Glacial Gun on Draco 7, canto to 2,19 The current flying threats were nearly all dealt with, but a quick look behind revealed more trouble. Sure, there was trouble closer afield too, but rifles were made for long distance shooting, and her nightmares were pretty fast. Maybe should could get a quick shot in and be back before anyone missed her. Well, first thing was first. Time to clear the immediate danger.
  14. Jade frowned a bit as her companions seemed about to squabble. Nothing overtly rude or provocative had been said, thankfully, by either party, but there was a tension to the atmosphere that was almost palpable. Just focus on the enemy, she whispered a small prayer in her mind as she advanced, lining up a shot with her rifle. "Gabriela, I'll grab the other flank here. With the two of us keeping up a defensive line, I have a good feeling about this." A little positive reinforcement never hurt. Jade move to 2,22, Rifle Draco Rider 11, Canto to 1,22
  15. Hmm, there were enemies oncoming, and Jade wasn't sure she trusted the pegasus rider to form an effective frontline with her. Maybe it was prejudicial of her, but she seemed more of a hit and run type from personality. Lavinia might be an option, but she didn't like the though of her getting up close with the enemy when her favored weapon was a bow. So that left, Gabriela. The siren could handle herself well enough, she knew that from experience. But between the two of them, if anyone needed this shield... "Gabriela, I'm thinking we might need to hold the line together, so I'd like you to have this for now, at least until the current danger is met and we can re-evaluate things. What do you say?" Jade Trade Iron Shield to Gabriela, Rescue Lavinia, Move to 2,18
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