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Fantasy A War of Kings

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by spycoder9, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Abott Tuckman
    The Capital of Mirwyth, Whitebridge Balcony

    Giving a bob of his head in return to her bowed head he watched and waited a moment more as she moved to a seat. Sitting after the Cold Eyes had taken her seat he simply luxuriated in not standing for a moment in the open sun. An odd past time but sometimes doing nothing was the most pleasurable and decadent thing he could imagine. Cold Eyes enjoyed her fruit as only the nobles or a cat would, a tiny morsel at a time. It was enough for him to wish a bird from the docks would interrupt their quiet time as he awaited any further reply from Cold Eyes, or stem off any reply from the Temptress.

    Luckily luck was on his side as he nibbled his cracker some more. The Cold Eyes spoke first and spoke words that were music for his ears. Two ships! Ah, he would be admiral yet for sure. Leave with one and come with two, such was the greatness of the little things. Only the nagging question of the woman gave him pause. This was obviously important to her, but she held the ships of food in reserve. Her questions then were the purse required for them, an odd business practice but appropriate if she was a friend of the Scabbard as her words noted.

    "He was well last I saw him, sailing to a wedding or some such. Announcing a long lost daughter as a departing cheer to his own people, a young lady from a dalliance long ago that would accompany him. Her mother died long ago from what I know, and so it was as much a surprise to the girl as the isles." patting his mouth from the crackers he nodded. "Is there anything else we can do for you M'Lady?" If not the ships and goods would quickly need taken to the isles, fresh fruit and meat was never intended to be long for this world in the heat of the day.

    TAG: spycoder9
  2. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - The Fair Groves, Kalkheim
    13 Days Before the Wedding - Blacksmith's Shop

    Lorain smiled, as she heard Fleet ask the question, “So, what’s wrong with those….” as he pointed at the various Kildare swords. “Are they cursed?” The guard Bren responded quickly then. “Not all of House Kildare has the same weapons,” he explained. “Ser Lawrence doesn’t even carry a sword, but a scimitar. It’s just, these blades have such fine craftsmanship. . .” Hektor stepped in at that. “They were made fer Ser Caliban.” Oo.. Lorain noted the sharpness to his tone. The large man continued. “He chose. . .to use a blade from a different blacksmith.” Well, Lorain could understand his touch of bitterness. No one wants to lose business. And having the advantage of being the one working the armor and weapons for the royal family, yes that was prestidge to gain, or lose. It was almost tempting to ask which blacksmith, but it would not do to have the man angry at them. Best she keep her own council and curosity to herlsef for now. And once more, Fleet showed his quickness to think on his feet, as he looked towards Hektor, and replied... "Well, I like 'em well enuff." That earned him another warm smile and pat on the back from the large man. Lorain was still searching the wall, as Bren quickly quickly changed subject, this time speaking about the war and a wedding. A wedding? Well that could certainly make for some bold changes indeed. This Ser Lawrence was getting married to a Princess. Perhaps joining forces? And as far as Fenton drawing his troops into the Capital, could that be the reason that he was using pirates then, for his attacks elsewhere? War was a complicated thing indeed. As Lorain searched the walls, she could see Bren handling a blade as he spoke, and Lorain became alert once more as she still looked for a certain weapon. Ah, there is was.

    There were a few crossbows. It looked dark, but it was small. A good size. Both she or Fleet could use it. Fleet stepped up next to her then, as if he was going to say something, but then she saw him visibly flinch. She wondered if he saw something she did not, but then she saw him looking towards the wall.


    His face drained, and he looked as if he was seeing something else, no longer focused on Lorain. Lorain took one step towards Fleet, but stopped when Bren called out, “Made your choices?” That seemed to snap Fleet out of whatever place he had been, as he smiled an nodded, his face quickly changing to the normal look Lorain was more familiar with. Fleet brought over his choices of items to Lorain. Lorain knelt down, carefully inspecting the items he had chosen. They all seemed quite well made indeed, as a well balanced as any she had seen. She looked up at Fleet, giving him a wink, and then looked over towards Hektor. "Ya does good work, Hektor." she said with a smile to the large man. She then walked over, and took the crossbow down, and some bolts. She walked back over, and looked over at Bren.

    "Aye. We've made our choices." she responded. A belt was easy enough to find to properly hang the hammers, but for now, she simply tucked them into her waistband. Yes, she felt proper once more. Well, at least a familiar weight. She looked down at Fleet for a moment, a thoughtful look crossing her face. She really had no place to ask, not with so much that was being afforded to them already, but she truly wished she could get some better fitting clothes for herself and Fleet. Or at least something more fitting for the desert. Their clothes did not breath as well here. But, that was another worry. Right now, she still had much on her mind. And no doubt, they would be expecting a response from her soon. Still, it was nice, to be in a blacksmith shop once more, if even for a moment. Lorain turned away, as if looking at the weapons once more, as she wiped her eyes. Given the chance, she would rather forge her own weapon, to smash on the head of the Captain personally. But this would do, for a close second. Lorain turned back around, as if nothing had happened, and gave a nod, ready for whatever else they needed to do, before heading back towards the palace. She would need to show Fleet an thing or two about his new items.

    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
  3. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    Triple combined post with spycoder and HanSolo29. I am specially dedicating this to HanSolo29, a great player who, despite her short time here, gave us some of our most memorable moments. Till all our paths next cross, we bid you a fond farewell.

    IC: Ser Aran
    Castle Reyneer, Capital of Mirwyth

    Aran wasn't quite sure what he'd expected. Things were so unreal that it was probably laughable to talk about "expectations" in the first place. Which would've made him about the same as the others mulling stupidly through the castle. The only difference between them now was his willingness to act. It's why he was in the Queen's chambers, while they stood outside, deferential of her mourning.

    Was she? He didn't know. Did she blame him? He didn't know. There had been clear tensions between them, but that wasn't necessarily the same thing as wishing the other dead. All he could is find out of it would be in this case.

    When he finally came into her line of sight, he swallowed hard and said, "Emilia, about what happened. . .that wasn't what we planned."

    She could feel his presence long before he was ever in her line of sight. Some might have called it the gift of divination, but Emilia did not believe in such nonsense. No, it was much simpler than that. It came down to having a guilty conscious and as she turned slowly to face the solider, she hoped that he could not sense it permeating off of her. It had been fabricated to appear like nothing more than an accident, after all.

    "Things...very rarely go according to plan..." she said softly, her gaze going distant as she reached up with a handkerchief and dabbed the moisture away from her eyes. " all happened so fast. I--"

    She trailed off, shaking her head in disbelief.

    Aran stepped closer, wanting to comfort her, but awkwardly hesitant. He had known her, of course, as he had most of the royal family. But they hadn't been particularly close. He was Fenton's man. Now, all the sudden, fate had pushed the two of them together. The kingdom demanded someone to help calm her, and he felt totally inadequate.

    As this moment could only remind him, he was too weighed down with his own guilt. It was strange how the mind could twist things, violating even the most basic facts. A lifetime of experience taught him it was impossible to save the King. Foolhardy to try. He still blamed himself. Not to say his mind wanted that burden. The more he thought back on it, for instance, the more distorted it all seemed. Why did she fall that way, and why then? The bucking was worse afterward. That line of question led to a place that seemed particularly awful as he stood just in front of an inconsolable, weeping widow.

    Aran put his hand firmly on her shoulder and said, "Emilia, look at me. You can't blame yourself. These things. . .they are beyond us. If anyone failed, it was me."

    "No, no-" She lowered her handkerchief so she may meet his eyes, "You did all you could..."

    Fresh tears dotted her eyes. Spilling them, that was all she needed to seal the deal. "Have they have..." She struggled on her words.
    "Nothing yet," he replied, sparing her the need to complete the thought. "But that will change soon. My men are combing the area, and eyewitnesses have been rounded up. When I leave her, they will be put to the question."

    Then, softening his voice again as he looked into her eyes, he finished, "I truly am sorry, Emilia. No one should have to live through this. If answers about what happened are the only small solace you can have in this life, then I swear I will give them to you. At any cost."

    They hadn’t found him yet. She felt an inner happiness blossoming the more the knight spoke. “There is still…hope then…” Emilia broke down into another fit. While silently complimented herself for the tears dotting her cheeks, she knew there was still one more question she had to ask him, before he left. She raised her dark eyes until they met his.

    “If I may…did you see him…fall?”
    Aran raised his free hand to Emilia's other shoulder. He stayed that way for a moment, hesitant, as if he would pull her into an embrace. As if he might do something—anything—to offer her comfort. But the long, searching moment passed shamefully, because there was nothing to be done. He considered something else, wiping away a tear, or offering her a cloth. But it was all the same problem. This was awful. The familiar, unwanted impotence.

    The last time he'd been a boy. Smoke was rising from the battlefield, their herds stampeding everywhere. There was no shutting it out. He could close his eyes, certainly. But not the ghastly, keening wails of the woman. Those whose dead warriors would cost them their place in the tribe, and forfeit their children. He remembered their long fingernails, raking against arms and faces, wanting searching some physical outlet for an overwhelming grief. This was the chaos of defeat. Shame and sorrow and rage, burned into his mind, shaping him into something that could avoid it.

    He hated it, and did everything in his power to prevent that day from recurring. He lived his whole life mounted, until he was deadly with a battle axe. He crossed over into the world of these silk-shirted lords, with their strange affectations. He found a place where war was played like an elaborate child's game, and where women could rule a people in her own right. This was the result. He looked at Emilia, hair for once unkempt, dark eyes bloodshot with worry, cheeks unmarred from gnashing, but blotchy, flushed and tear-streaked. He understood that this chimeric half-grief of hers, held back from the full-on, visceral howls of his own childhood, was so much worse than what he already knew. It was a terrible joke, trying to be more than human, even while the full weight of the universe reminded one otherwise.

    Aran looked to her, and began to comprehend the weight of what he had done. So many of Fenton's plans had been predicated on petty resentments, like the notion that she might despise him. So much of his own attitude and execution of those, plans, too. But only now, at the end did the knight see. This vision of perfect devotion, of deep love, uprooted by a national prank. Aran wanted to unburden himself to her, to tell how he'd handpicked guards stupid and ill-tempered enough to rile the crowds, how he'd personally intervened to aggravate things the more. All of it. But she was Queen now. A thousand subjects needed a thousand things of her, and right now, she'd asked one task of him: tell her what he knew.

    Swallowing, he finally answered, “Just seconds before, I'd been trying to pull up to the chariot. I was close enough to see everything. I was there when all of you slipped. He went over the rail. His feet were clear off the ground, and his head was headed for the street. But my horse saw it too, and it spooked him. By the time I was steady enough to look again, the chariot was yards ahead, and Fenton was. . .nowhere at all.”

    She gave him a half-hearted smile, stricken with false grief. "You did all you could." As did I. Emilia found the young knight's hand and squeezed it. "Fenton always liked you. He would have--" Another sudden fit of sobbing took over, and she buried her face again. Between quiet sobs, she spoke. "I...a few moments please...just to myself..." She hoped he got the message. She needed more time to think.
    Long live the Queen,” Aran said, bowing deeply before turning to exit. Her touch faded quickly enough, but her anguish would echo in his head far longer. He knew the only way to silence it: Find out the truth about what happened to Fenton, on that day and afterwards.
    TAG: spycoder9
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  4. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    13 Days Before the Wedding

    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves

    Blacksmith's Shop

    Then they were fitted for their armor.

    It was a very light, airy armor. Thin, but thick enough to withstand a blow of an arrow or a sword. Finding things to fit Lorain wasn’t hard, as her figure was shaped for the armor of knights.

    Fleet was a problem.

    They had to have him fitted in the refinished armor of a deceased squire. Of course, they neglected to tell Fleet that little tale. Hektor fitted the boy, and then stepped back a moment to view Lorain and Fleet.

    “A knight and her squire,” Bren grinned ear to ear at them.

    One of the younger blacksmiths grumbled from their seats, “Unnatur'l. . .”

    “Keep yer mouth shut," Hektor snapped at the man.

    “Yer parading that woman ‘round here, fittin’ her in armor like she’s some kinda knight. Probably met that Chelsee girl, got the queer idea—“

    “I said,” Hektor rose to his full height, his face darkening, “Keep yer mouth shut.”

    The young man grumbled again under his breathe but turned back to his work.

    “Apologies, milady,” Hektor smiled at her, “We got us some loudmouthed youths trainin’ here. Haven’t learned when to keep their mouths shut.”

    “Send him to stand before Lady Ginnifer, when she returns,” Bren’s lips were tight, “That’ll teach the boy to keep his opinions in the tavern.”

    “I’ll teach him, don’t ye worry,” Hektor kept the opinionated youth in the corner of his eyes. “But if ye’s fine with ye armor, everything fits right, those mariner straps on there good, then we can get ye out of them suits and send ye on your way back.”

    TAG: Ktala, greyjedi125
  5. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 24, 2004

    OOC: Another combined with spycoder9.

    IC: Safia Kildare
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Corridors—shortly after the Wedding

    “You were always mine, Princess,” Malcolm strode towards her then, kicking the Desert knight out of his way, “Your father sold you, like his prize sow, to the highest...bidder.” The man cocked his head back and laughed. “So come to me, Safia. We can make this easy.”

    As he advanced toward her, Safia continued to back away. She wasn't sure if she believed him, but given the way things were going today, she wouldn't be surprised if he was actually telling the truth. Even so--

    "I'd rather die."

    "You can," He smiled one last time, "After I'm finished with you."

    She glanced behind her, trying to make sure he didn't back her into a corner, before looking again at Granville. "You knew what he was planning for Lawrence, didn't you?" She was stalling, hoping that perhaps if she could hold him off long enough, someone might come to her aid. "Why? What was the point of all this?"

    "He only wanted the best for his daughter," Malcolm came towards her still, taking his steps slow. "Or was it his wife? The line between you and her grows thinner and thinner everyday."

    She glowered at him. "How can he say that killing a decent man such as Lawrence without provocation and giving me to the likes of you is what is best for me?" She angrily pointed back toward the hall where her husband had just been murdered. "How in the name of all that is just and good in this world, does he think that was best for me?"

    "Because he wants you for himself," The knight loomed over her, "You are no longer Safia to him, but Corrine. His mind, it's slipping over the edge faster than I've ever seen a man's."

    She tried to shake off the very disturbing thoughts that his words brought to mind. Unfortunately, it did explain some things--assuming he was telling the truth. "If he's so possessive, why would he let you have me?"

    "Oh, just for tonight. One night in paradise, and then you're his. A decent price to pay, considering I put every sword in those Mountain knights' hands." He stood directly in front of her then. The smell of blood reeked from his sword. "I've been wanting to **** you since the moment I first saw you, Princess."

    She shrank away from him, only to find the wall behind her. Nowhere left to run. As Granville leered at her, Safia glared back--if looks could kill, Malcolm would have fallen dead where he stood. She'd meant it when she'd said that she would rather die than let this animal have his way with her, and he certainly wouldn't get her without a fight.

    "Go to hell, Granville," she spat at him, before making a grab for his sword.

    "Just what I wanted to hear."

    Safia was fast, faster than Malcolm had expected--

    But she wasn't fast enough. The broad side of the blade swung for the side of her head. The blow came hard, yet as hard as the darkness that followed it.

    Safia descended into a confusing haze of flickering moments of consciousness between periods of blackness. Even those brief seconds when she seemed to be awake, she wasn’t sure of what was real; she vaguely thought she was being carried somewhere, and a little afterwards, she thought she was in a bed. At some point, she might have screamed, and all she could feel was pain…where was all the blood coming from? Was it hers? Was she dying?

    At last, she slipped out of her semi-conscious state and fell into painless darkness.

    TAG: spycoder9
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  6. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet-Thirteen Days before the wedding
    Fair Groves, The Kalkheim, A Blacksmith’s Shop

    He couldn’t help it. It wasn’t intentional, but relative to everything else, the metal from the armor felt ‘cold’ every time it touched part of his skin that became expose. It made him jump every time. It also made him laugh. At first, it was clear it was an accident, then he wasn’t sure if Hektor was doing it on purpose or not, but it was making him laugh just the same. The whole event was turning out to be quite an enjoyable experience, to the urchin boy. It felt good to socialize again.

    ...And why was Lorain’s fitting so trouble-free? She’d looked so awesome in her knightly armor, but that was to be expected. It was Lorain.

    Fleet on the other hand lost track of what was really going on during his own fitting. Some of the initial murmuring was out of earshot, which sounded like Hektor making decisions about his smaller armor. Perhaps it belonged to some diminutive knight, he couldn't tell...but he had to admit, there was something alluring about wearing armor. It wasn’t like what he’d imagined. This was not the ‘Heavy Metal’ he’d thought they’d receive. Then again, he hadn’t walked in it for most of the day. Still, he liked what he saw and had decided not to wear the whole suit for the sake of mobility.

    From the side and much closer than he’d expected, he heard someone speaking. Fleet turned his head as he looked over to see who it was.

    “Unnatur’l…” the voice belonging to one of the younger blacksmith’s grumbled, his tone and meaning unmistakable. Feelt’s eyes narrowed as he took a good look at the man.

    “Keep yer mouth shut!” Hektor snapped.

    “Yer parading that woman ‘round here, fittin’ her in armor like she’s some kinda knight. Probably met that Chelsee girl, got the queer idea-”

    Fleet turned red, but not from embarrassment. Being an urchin meant you had to know about certain things to survive. He understood the man’s meaning-and his tone. A rush of anger coursed through him.

    “I said…” there was movement one the other side of him, and he glanced around in time to see Hektor rise to his full height, his face darkening. That level of intimidation. Fleet wanted it, for his own reasons.
    “Keep your mouth shut!” The head blacksmith demanded of his younger subordinate. Fleet returned his leveled gaze to the offender to see the results, if any.

    The young man grumbled again under his breath, but turned back to his work. "Hmph". That was 'mildly' satisfying.

    This one was going on the ‘bad list’, unlike Bren and Hektor, who had moved from a neutral position, to the ‘good list’.

    Hektor affected a pleasant demeanor as he apologized to Lorain. Fleet fidgeted with his armor and the attached ‘mariner straps’. He had a feeling these would be important. He also wondered who ‘Chelsee’ was. She might know things they needed to know.

    “Send him to stand before Lady Ginnifer, when she returns…”

    Fleet looked over to Bren, who had just spoken with and edge in his voice. His lips were tight, his expression evinced his displeasure at the offender’s outburst. He wasn’t a fan of his either it seemed. “That’ll teach the boy to keep his opinions in the tavern.”

    From how Bren told it, it sounded like Lady Ginnifer was very important. Like Ser Lawrence and all the other Kildare kin. Hmmm….

    “I’ll teach him, don’t ye worry..” Hektor said now, uttering a promise Fleet didn’t think he was consciously aware of. A one time flogging was hardly cause to change one’s mind nowadays.

    “But if ye’s fine with ye armor, everything fits right, those mariner straps on there good, then we can get ye out of them suits and send ye on your way back.”

    Fleet only nodded as he kept his face neutrally blank and began to remove what was now his armor. He chanced a furtive glance at the offender, but could only see his back now. Still, he had a good memory and would remember this face for a long time.

    “Yous got to haves a list. A good list and a bad.” ‘Snatches’, their current ‘master’, leader of the street team of coin robbers, instructed the lot of them from their muddy hide out. He wasn’t much older than them, but he had at least twice as much experience. “You puts the good folks, the ones that helps ya and looks out for ya on the good list and the ones that git yer bloods a-boiling on da bad. Yous ‘member their faces, their looks an their ways, and yous gets them back later, when they don expect. After ya makes ‘em pay, then ya reminds them…and then ya sees the looks in their faces, the looks in their eyes….they be the ones feelin’ sorry then.”

    Though the ‘coin robbers’ where disbanded not long after their leader was sent to the prisons for stealing from some local merchant, Fleet barely managed to escape. He would remember the words ‘Snatches’ had passed on.

    A thin smile appeared on his face as he ‘placed’ the offending man on this mental list, as he had many others. Fleet didn’t know how to write, so he depended on his memory for these things.

    ‘Yu’ll not insult my Ma’s honor as yu please….’ he thought with no small measure of acrimony, before mentally storing this and returning to the scene at hand.

    Perhaps he’d share this with Lorain, for it was only right. Her opinion would be invaluable, but even so, there was no doubt about it. He needed to get stronger, much stronger…the quicker, the better, for their sake.

    Tag: @Ktala, @spycoder9
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  7. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    9 Days Before the Wedding

    The Isles of Mirwyth

    Castle Grounds


    Many homes and shops were crammed together side by side. A lot of the homes had been put to the torch, while others had been ripped apart by the wood. Farmers and maidens and peasants swept towards them to get out of the way for the royal entourage. Some eyed the King angrily, others held tears deep in their eyes, while many applauded his return.

    Then they watched Gwenn.

    Blue eyes and green eyes and brown eyes. All staring in her direction, curiosity mingled with confusion at her. She looked like one of them, and yet she walked in the royal procession.

    It was a slow crawl slowly upwards, as the ground beneath their shoes slowly turned from sand and dust to hardened rock. One small girl with dirty hair and no shoes held a small blue flower out to Gwenn as they passed. Her face was covered in grime and dust, and her little brown eyes were filled with sadness, but she found pleasure in handing Gwenn the flower.

    The settlements still crowded along the sides of the street, though there were side passageways now, separate pathways to turn off. As the castle loomed closer and closer, the homes grew sturdier and larger in size. The last few were made of pure stone, and the people who stood in front of those dressed in fine clothes and waved handkerchiefs at the profession.

    Then, the large stone gates awaited them.

    The gates opened slowly, swinging so that all those could see the courtyard. Soft grass had grown in the center, with a large stone rock jutting up in the very center. It spurted sprinkles of water down, coating all those who walked beneath in a thin film of water. It was refreshing though, like the breeze that had caressed them since they left the boat. The courtyard was very silent now. No children laughed and ran about.

    King Nathaniel Delmari turned around and took Gwenn’s hand then. If she looked closely in his eyes, she might see the beginning of tears pooling in them.

    Trumpets declared their return into the stone castle, where knights and advisors stood along the sides of the grand entrance, greeting the entourage a welcome return. And yet two spots at the very end of the lines, right beside the door, remained empty. They had been reserved for the Queen and Princess. . .they hadn’t returned.

    Korianton stood in front of two wide wooden doors, and he bowed before the King.

    “Rise, Korianton,” Nathaniel gestured.

    “Your Grace,” Korianton rose to the man’s height, glancing at Gwenn out of the corner of his eye, “I can’t believe you would flaunt—“

    “I’ll have no words on it, Korianton,” The King snapped, “Have they been found?”

    “No.” The young man shook his head, “Our men are still scouring the seas.”

    “Very well.” Nathaniel shot Gwenn a glance, and even a smile, though it was heartbreakingly sad. “I assume we have a few minutes to rest before the supper?”

    “Whatever you bid,” Korianton said.

    Jeanette, is she around?” The older maid scurried out from the back of the procession, flanked by two flighty young girls.

    “Here I am,” The woman huffed.

    “Take Gwenn to the Tower by the Sea. She can have the highest quarters.”

    Korianton seemed to take offense to that and opened his lips once, but shut them immediately afterwards. He watched the maids break Gwenn away from Nathaniel and lead her off a side hall, his eyes burning holes in the girl’s neck.

    “I’ll send for you when supper’s ready!” The King called after her, and then his voice faded as they rounded two more corners.

    “Gwenn Cliffe. . .” Jeanette shook her head, “All he needed was to flaunt a bastard around here under those royals’ noses. They gonna say words about you girl,” The older woman, while brushing silvery strings of hair behind her ears, gave Gwenn a look with her steely eyes, “They gonna say some hurtful things about you, but not anything worse than you’ve probably already heard.”

    TAG: Jedi_padawan_leigh
  8. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey
    The Fair Groves - A Blacksmith's Shop

    Ah, then the armor fitting came to be. Lorain bit her lip hard, as she allowed Hektor to put the pieces of armor on her, and then adjust them as necessary. SHE was used to being the one to handle that job. She wanted to shoo them all away, and simply put it on herself. But she dared not to insult a fellow metalworker. Especially since he was going to be paid well, and to see this as an honor. Also, truth be told, there were a few places she could not see, that he could, so he would be better to adjust as necessary. So Lorain simply kept quiet, giving Fleet a wink, as each piece of metal was placed on her. It reminded her quite a bit of her father's work. It was light, but strong. It made sense, as being in a desert surrounding, heavy armor would be the death of any out there in the desert sands. Soon, they had her into the armor, and Lorain flexed her arms and legs, checking the movement of the armor. She picked up a hammer, and swung it around a bit, noting the feel of it. Hektor really did do good work. Not as nice as her father.. but good work.

    Then Lorain turned to watch Fleet get fitted for his armor. Lorain tried not to laugh, but gave Fleet an amused smile, as she watched them work on him. His slim stature seemed to be giving them a bit of a challenge, and Hektor had to make many adjustments before he was satisfied with the fit. The fact that Fleet seemed to jump and giggle every time a bit of exposed metal seemed to touch his skin, made Lorain smile even more. Hektor fitted the boy, and then stepped back a moment to view Lorain and Fleet.

    “A knight and her squire,” Bren grinned ear to ear at them. Lorain smiled back. But before she could respond, she heard one of the younger blacksmiths grumbled from their seats, “Unnatur'l. . .” Lorain held back a small sigh. This was a song she had heard before. But Hektor beat her to any reply that she might have stated. “Keep yer mouth shut," Hektor snapped at the man. But the young man seemed to be bent on his crusade, as he continued on. “Yer parading that woman ‘round here, fittin’ her in armor like she’s some kinda knight. Probably met that Chelsee girl, got the queer idea—“

    “I said,” Hektor rose to his full height, his face darkening, “Keep yer mouth shut.” The young man grumbled again under his breathe but turned back to his work. Lorain wondered who this Chelsee girl was. Sounded like someone interesting to her. She looked back to the young man. He would never become anything more than an apprentice. Not with that view.

    “Apologies, milady,” Hektor smiled at her, “We got us some loudmouthed youths trainin’ here. Haven’t learned when to keep their mouths shut.” Lorain looked back over towards Hektor, and gave him a silent nod.

    “Send him to stand before Lady Ginnifer, when she returns,” Bren’s lips were tight, “That’ll teach the boy to keep his opinions in the tavern.” Lorain looked over at Bren. He was serious. Obvious, such comments were not taken to well here. Not where women seemed to lead. Lorain could learn to like such a place. Hektor then replied to Bren's earlier comment. “I’ll teach him, don’t ye worry,” Hektor kept the opinionated youth in the corner of his eyes. “But if ye’s fine with ye armor, everything fits right, those mariner straps on there good, then we can get ye out of them suits and send ye on your way back.”

    Fleet only nodded as he kept his face neutrally blank and began to remove what was now his armor. "Wait a moment." Lorain addressed Fleet, as she walked over to Fleet, who had watched the confrontation with a various degree of looks. Looked down at him, smiling, and then she gave a gentle tug of his armor, checking on the fitting. She smiled, satisfied of her test. She gently tapped his head, and then looked back towards Hektor. "Aye, ye armor does ya justice Hektor. The mariner straps look good as well." With a nod to Fleet, she then began to unbuckle the armor she wore as well. As she did, she made it a point to flex her arms as she did, saying nothing as she removed the armor. She simply acted as if it did not mater to her at all, (As it did not), and quickly, with a practiced manner, finish getting out of the armor. She then quickly fixed her clothing back the way it had been before.

    Lorain looked over at Hektor with a smile. "What be yer mark, Hektor?" she asked the man, meaning the emblem or stamp that many blacksmiths used to mark an item that they had made. Usually it was hidden someplace not noticed by the untrained eye. A man that made such quality work..she might have seen his mark, when helping her father work on items. It was a point of pride for most blacksmiths. And if anything, Hektor was no simple Blacksmith.

    TAG: greyjedi125 , spycoder9
  9. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    IC: Ser Aran
    Guard Tower, Castle Reyneer
    3 Days After the Capital Riot

    Aran was tired. The last few days had been relentless. Trudging from one dungeon to another, squeezing every out every ounce of information he could. He had re-walked the streets he'd rode, spent hours staring into the ruined chariots, poured over parchment interviews by candlelight until his eyes blurred. There were no bodies, no answers, and most of all, no King. Part of him wanted to sleep. But the greater part knew that sleep was useless. To close his eyes was to face Emilia's anguish, and admit to her that he'd failed after all. So he'd dug deeper, pushing for something satisfying. The sweeps, the interviews, the rewards and the torture had finally led him here.

    The room was squat and ugly. Squarish, low-ceiling, and made entirely from rough-hewn stone. That gave it a chill and dampness that never quite shook, and a stench that wouldn't easily dissipate. But it was better than most of the prisoner cells, too. He'd ordered a small bedding of hay brought in and arranged in the corner. The privy pot was changed frequently. The small table and chairs were they now set were there permanently, as a writing desk or for simple contemplation. Most of all, though, were the [windows], where sunlight and open sky poured in. Unless they'd been prisoners before, most people didn't understand what that meant. But these people erected artificial caves to huddle then. They didn't understand what it does to them. So how could they understand the horror of totally denying the sun? Aran, knew, though; looking into the eyes of his witness, he knew that this man did too.

    “What brought you to the Capital?” the knight asked softly.

    “We are part of a traveling circus, a band of performers. I am an acrobat,” the witness replied.

    “They tell me you saw everything?”

    “As I said, m'lord. I'm an acrobat. When fighting broke out, I climbed to the upper tier of the plaza's central fountain, so no one would hurt me. I just wanted to get out of the way. When the arrows started, I breathed through a reed and kept only my eyes above the water.”

    “How long?”

    “The square was clear when I climbed out. People were dragging away bodies.”

    “And so you saw everything,” Aran finished. The guards reported his skin was still wrinkled and wet when they found him. He was telling the truth. It really was the perfect vantage point. They could get down to business, then. “Did you see what perturbed the royal chariot?”

    “The King went overboard with the reigns.”

    “Yes, because the chariot was disturbed. Do you know why?”

    “The Queen—”

    “I am aware. We are all aware. I was hoping you could tell me why.” Perhaps this would be less productive than he'd hoped.

    “The horses are always responding to the passengers, m'lord.”

    “Why does the sun ride the sky” Aran replied dryly. It was an old children's couplet, catchy enough for him to learn in his first weeks: Why does the Sun ride the sky, chasing the Moon, his wife? Because she walks it daily, to end his search and strife. Running after one another, when stopping was the solution. Rhyming nonsense. We're going in circles, he meant.

    “M'lord that's the first thing I have to tell you.”

    His eyebrows raised in expectant interest.

    His voice gaining strength, the acrobat continued, “I don't know much of the world. But I know my trade. Balance is everything. If I get it wrong, I die. I know the fear of falling. I know what a person looks like when they are trying to re-center themselves, because I've experienced every possible variation firsthand. I know all of it. And when I looked at the Queen, m'lord, it wasn't there. None of it. She never fell.”

    Impossible. He had seen Emilia's face when it had mattered. He knew her. When, against his will, he drifted into sleep, his dreams fought him. Sometimes, trying to think through his failure, his own memory fought him. Now, a sniveling acrobat Lies were everywhere. He'd almost entertained it once, and in doing so nearly destroyed one of the last people that mattered. He couldn't make the same mistake twice. His heart knew the truth. Nothing would contradict that. Nothing.

    There was a tacky sound as his gauntlet finally separated from drying blood that soaked his morningstar. Just as much had sprayed over his face and chest. The acrobat, too was, a bloody pulp. Panicked arms had been swatted aside in a single blow. Then Aran had kept swinging until the crack of bone against steel gave way to something more akin to dunking his weapon in gelatin. Over, wordlessly, in under a minute. He came to himself now. Saw the corpse pressed halfway into splintering wood by the force of his blows. The guards outside had poured in at the sound of screams, only to be waved off at few terse words about plants by the Mountainmen. Or perhaps just the distant, ghastly expression on his face.

    But Aran's heart was thrumming. That, more than anything, surprised the knight. There were only two times when that happened. The first, was in battle. But questionings and executions weren't battle. The past few days had more than confirmed the difference. The alternative, though, meant that what he was feeling. . .

    . . .was fear.

    TAG: spycoder9
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  10. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    Combined with Spycoder9!

    IC: Abbott Tuckman
    The Capital of Mirwyth, Whitebridge Balcony


    The noblewoman's eyes had widened considerably large.

    "Did you say, a bastard? He has recognized a bastard?" She frowned at the very thought of it all.

    Oh boy. Nobles. Cold Eyes was one through and through, to recognize something so dour as a bastard child was anathema to them. He never understood them on that point, but they were customers and the customer was always right. Or in this case the supplier was always right. "Only at the Isle he found her, news will travel slow." He left the words, Unless he keeps declaring her unsaid.

    "He plans on making her, his heir." The woman snapped, "Damn him."

    This, did not sound good. Cold Eyes was using foul language, foul language from a noble of another noble was never good. They could curse a commoner to their hearts content, but each other in front of the others hirelings? This was not a good sign for business. Time for the most hated of arts, placating the customer/supplier, "Or merely a pawn for marriage and alliance? Being a bastard well into age she is not one to be leading a work crew much less a nation if you pardon a merchants views M'Lady."

    "You haven't heard the news, I'm guessing?" The Lady stood from her seat and paced the balcony.

    "What news?" Zia hissed.

    "Queen Kalera and Princess Raven are missing." She spoke the words so emotionlessly. "There was a revolt in Delmaristead, and the two have been missing since. Most likely dead, or worse."

    The words were revealing. The Scabbard already had an heir that was missing, how Cold Eyes knew was curious with him having left the same time as the Scabbard and Board. Could something like that truly have been kept a secret? No matter, it was good information if this noble was to be trusted as he sure he should. With knowledge the prices could be raised and the customers true desires met, "Still, a good marriage to another will be needed. What I know from her she has heart, simplicity, but no mind to rule."

    "Still. . ." The woman brooded, her brow furrowed so much so that it may freeze that way. "I shouldn't be discussing these matters with you. My apologies." She shook hands with Abott once again. "You'll find your ship down on the docks, like I said. It was a pleasure to meet you."

    Her cold eyes remained focused on Tuckman as she said so.

    Bobbing his head he shook the Cold Eyes hand, "The pleasure was mine. Nothing goes beyond this balcony." he said with added sincerity of a squinted glance and firm nod to Cold Eyes and a second nod to the Temptress. Rising he waved to the Temptress to come along, the interview with Cold Eyes was over. "If I can ever be of service. . ." he said before leaving with a raised hat before leaving. If she wanted his services she would stop him, otherwise he had a ship to see back.

    "I will see you again," She dipped her head in return. Then the Lady turned away from them and gripped the railing. Her thoughts consumed her.

    Taking that as his signal to leave he looked pointedly at the Temptress before leaving, hopefully she would follow him straight out of here. Now was the time to leave with all respectable speed to her ship and get it ready to sail with the goods they were here for.

    TAG: spycoder9
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  11. Jedi_padawan_leigh

    Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 13, 2003
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Delmaristead , Castle Grounds

    Gwenn observed her surroundings intently as the kings procession made its way through the streets of Delmaristead. The streets were narrower here, homes crammed together side by side, a lot of them more than two floors high. There were businesses too, shops and taverns and inns, but not all was well on streets as signs of the earlier revolt were plain to see. Some buildings had been badly damaged and some, even more devastatingly, had been burnt down to the ground. The citizens in the streets moved to the sides to make room for the king’s entourage, but their appeared to be mixed feelings amongst the populace. Some applauded Nathaniel’s return, but some looked at their king with anger in their eyes, some with tears and looks of hopelessness. Gwenn could kind of understand their reaction…how many people had lost their homes and livelihoods in the riots?

    She was pulled out of her thoughts when she briefly caught the gaze of a young maiden, a few years her younger. She was staring at Gwenn with a curious expression her eyes, but the bastard woman soon discovered that the maiden wasn’t the only one taking an interest… A mix of curiosity and confusion were present in many onlookers’ eyes as they stared at her.

    “Why they lookin’ at me as if I got two heads?”

    She wondered. Then she realised, with her old tunic and unkempt hair, she was probably the last person they would have expected to see walking alongside the king and his entourage, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the fine fabrics and the intricate baubles others in the kings procession wore. She was starting to feel really uncomfortable, but did her best to keep the rising anxiety welling up within her off her face as she continued on. For someone who had spent most of her life being ignored, she was still not used to all this (mostly unwanted) attention.

    A little girl stepped out a little from the crowd as the procession moved past. Her dark hair was matted and dirty and she wore no shoes. In her tiny hands she held a little blue flower. Gwenn felt a pang of concern as she noted the sadness in the girl’s big brown eyes. She thought the child was going to give the flower to the king, but was quite surprised when she held the flower out to her instead. Although the kind gesture was unexpected, Gwenn accepted the token (albeit somewhat awkwardly). The girl seemed to like that, and quickly scampered off and was lost within the crowds before Gwenn had a chance to say thank you. She looked at the flower for a few moments as she walked, a thoughtful look crossing her face. Carefully, she palmed the plant in her right hand as not to damage it and continued on.

    The closer they got to the castle, the landmarks and geography of the city changed. The buildings they passed became larger than those on the outskirts, several floors high, and their construction studier and of higher quality. The last cluster of buildings seemed to be made of pure stone. Gwenn didn’t need a maester to see that these were the homes of people who had wealth and privilege. The occupants of these houses stood outside them to greet the procession, dressed in their finery, and Gwenn couldn’t help but wonder how much bread one of those intricate garments could buy if sold. Her thoughts drifted to the troubles in Breezecroft...

    Soon the entourage had reached the castles gates. Gwenn had never seen gates made out of stone before; it was a truly impressive sight. She did not have time to dwell on the mechanics of such structures however, as they slowly crept open, revealing a beautiful courtyard that lay on the other side. Soft green grass grew in the centre, and in the centre of that, stood a large rock, that functioned like a natural fountain. She could just see the fine mist of water as it fell upon the grass below. Although the sight was impressive, the thing that hit Gwenn the most was the silence within the courtyard walls. She could hear no sounds from the city here, no children running and playing. The feeling of a hand clasping around her own brought Gwenn back to the present. She looked up at her father. Were those tears in his eyes? Then she remembered…The Queen. The princess…This was most likely a very bitter-sweet homecoming for the king. Despite herself, Gwenn felt a nervous knot twisting in her stomach and she blew out a soft breath.

    “Beyond here I’ll most like face me worst judges…”

    She thought, feeling somewhat apprehensive as the air filled with the sound of trumpets. The whole affair felt surreal to the bastard woman as they walked through the courtyard, it was like something out a queer dream. The sides of the castles grand entrance were occupied by finely dressed advisors and knights whose intricate enamelled armor shone in the light. The king’s protector Korianton stood in front of the castles large doors, bowing as the king approached him.

    There was no sign of the Queen or the Princess.

    “Damn…” Gwenn said mentally as her father greeted the young man, bidding him to rise. “Your Grace,” Korianton rose to the man’s height, glancing at Gwenn out of the corner of his eye, “I can’t believe you would flaunt— “It took a lot of effort to not let the annoyance she felt show on her face at the mans comment. Korianton did not like her that much was plain to see. “I’ll have no words on it, Korianton,” The King snapped, “Have they been found?” Korianton shook his head. “No. Our men are still scouring the seas.”

    “Very well.” Nathaniel shot Gwenn a glance, and even a smile, but there was no joy or happiness in it, and understandably so. “I assume we have a few minutes to rest before the supper?” Korianton agreed and Nathaniel called out to someone called Jeanette. An older maid, flanked by two younger girls approached him “Here I am,” The woman huffed. Gwenn had a feeling this woman was someone who did not tolerate fools or time wasters. “Take Gwenn to the Tower by the Sea” The king said “She can have the highest quarters.”

    The maids then quickly ushered Gwenn away from her father and his remaining entourage and she was led down a side hallway. The king called after her, mentioning something about supper before his voice faded away, the maids spiriting her around a few more corners. She was now alone with the three maids, and it did not take long for Jeanette to speak up and voice her opinion.

    “Gwenn Cliffe. . .” Jeanette shook her head, “All he needed was to flaunt a bastard around here under those royals’ noses. They gonna say words about you girl,” The older woman, while brushing silvery strings of hair behind her ears, gave Gwenn a look with her steely eyes, “They gonna say some hurtful things about you, but not anything worse than you’ve probably already heard.”

    Gwenn sighed and shrugged her shoulders slightly. "Most like I heard it all before milady, ‘cept they might use more fancy words”

    TAG: spycoder9
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  12. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    OOC: Let’s get this set up right. The song's topic is not indicative of my inspiration for the Fair Groves, just a song that I think encapsulates life inside the alcazar perfectly. :D Posted with approval from spycoder9

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert

    Seventeen days before her brother’s wedding

    A hot sun creeped over the horizon, spilling its slanted morning rays over sand and rock. As it inched higher and higher into the sky, it shed light on the beige walls that stood against the sand and heat of the Desert, a bulwark of relief for its inhabitants. The temperature would soon begin to rise to levels that would melt Mountains, wilt Plains, scorch Islands, and fry the Capital.

    It would be just another day in the Desert.

    “The mason and the miller rise with the sun. They may be plebian, but they are not stupid. Lying about in bed is weakness of the first degree.”

    Those were words that Lady Emilie Kildare had instilled into her eldest daughter from an early age. She had not grown into a young woman who lazed about when her internal clock told her that it was time to get up…even if she did like the feel of silk sheets against her skin. With a little stretch and groan Ginnifer rolled to the edge of her bed and pulled the bell rope situated next to it. She then pulled the sheets over her head and curled up underneath them. Sophee wouldn’t be along for a good four minutes, no matter how much she hurried. Ginnifer intended to steal every minute she could get before she had to follow her mother’s advice.

    It was not much past four minutes later that the door to Ginnifer’s chamber opened. It was no surprise that her lady’s maid was the one who came through it with a train bearing breakfast.

    “Good morning milady,” Sophee said. Her accent was rough, but then again she was a lady’s maid, not a lady. Her schooling had been little, if any. “Did you sleep well?”


    “Soundly,” Ginnifer reported, giving up the ghost and pulling the sheets back to face the morning. Her hair was its usual dark golden tangle after a night’s sleep. Sophee was the only person who ever saw Ginnifer look anything less than refined. Every lady’s maid had to be trusted with such things, but the Lady of the Fair Groves had to be especially careful. Sophee had served Ginnifer ever since the noblewoman had come of age.

    “Oh good,” Sophee said brightly as Ginnifer sat up in bed. It was not exactly proper for Ginnifer, an unmarried noblewoman, to take breakfast in bed. That was a privilege reserved only for married women like her Aunt Regina or Aunt Spectra. However, the Lady of the Fair Groves could not be expected to breakfast in the common hall with the unmarried women of the family. Accordingly, she took the privilege of having breakfast in bed. “I had the most frightful dream.”

    “What was it about?” Ginnifer asked as Sophee arranged the pillows behind her to support a sitting position.

    “Ser Lawrence and how he must be shivering in the snow in the Mountains right now,” Sophee said, “It was terrible.”

    “Do you even know what snow looks like?” Ginnifer said, her mouth curving into a smile. It was no secret that Sophee thought that her lady’s elder brother was dreamy in more ways than one. The lady’s maid’s thoughts never went further than that. She might be near the top of Kalkheim’s ranks of servants but she was still a servant all the same.

    “Well…not exactly…” Sophee admitted, “but I heard someone say that it was like sand, just colder. And fluffier.”

    “That’s about right,” Ginnifer said as she cut into her eggs. It was not exactly easy to do so with only one good hand, but Ginnifer had learned to do it well enough, though she would be the first to admit that her method was not refined.

    “Have you seen snow, milady?”

    “Not up close,” Ginnifer admitted, “but I’ve read about it. I don’t see how anyone can live in such stuff.”

    “Maybe you’ll have to go to the Mountains and to visit the Rolmars after the wedding,” Sophee said, her eyes lighting up. The thought was clearly exciting. Ginnifer was sure it had more to do with the fact that Sophee would have to accompany her mistress on such a trip, as all lady’s maids traveled with their mistresses on journeys of a night’s duration or longer and Sophee was no exception.

    “Let’s hope not,” Ginnifer said rolling her eyes, “The King Desmond can keep his snows, thank you very much.”

    “It was just an idea…” Sophee said, beating a hasty retreat.

    “Though it would be a good excuse to buy some good heavy furs…” Ginnifer mused before taking a drink of her orange juice.

    “Oh but wouldn’t it?” Sophee purred.

    Ginnifer smiled inwardly. Sophee was nothing if not earnest—and smarter in her own way than others knew.

    Kalkheim had not been built by accident. Its location had been very precisely determined by its founders—and there was only one consideration in those calculations.


    Some ancestral Kildare had discovered water deep below the surface of the sandy rock.
    The well they had sunk to reach it sustained the entire city. It provided irrigation to the surrounding groves of citrus trees. It kept the people’s throats from drying up. That well was everything to the city. It was jealously guarded by the Kildares and the people of the Fair Groves.

    After breakfast, Ginnifer had risen and been undressed from her light nighttime garments before being surrounded by a soft cloth robe. She had descended a set of stairs from the Lady’s chamber with Sophee in tow, her bare feet pattering down the stones. These stone stairs went deep into the earth, into the foundation of the alcazar. The air grew cooler not just from the surrounding stone, but because of what lay at the bottom of the stairs.

    The Deep Bath was fed by the well and was the exclusive luxury of the Lady of the Fair Groves. The cool water was almost always welcome in the heat of the Desert and it was a refreshing way to start the day. Ginnifer shed her robe, which Sophee dutifully picked up, and descended from a small platform before the path to the stairs that led into the water as it licked past her ankles, calves, thighs, hips, torso, bust, and shoulders in turn. She submerged her hands, one bad and one good, in the water. The cold was one of the few things that felt good against the old, burned tissue of her left, useless hand. Sophee was the only person who ever saw what the tight, glossy skin of the old injury looked like. The muscles had been so badly damaged that Ginnifer could do next to nothing with it. Sometimes she still felt it burn even though the maester told her that it was a trick of the mind. The mind, however, could be a powerful thing.

    This morning her hand did not burn. Ginnifer screwed her eyes shut, took a deep breath, clamped her mouth closed, and squeezed her nose with her right hand as she pulled her head underneath the water. She stayed in the darkness of the Deep Bath for just a second before her head bobbed up again and she gasped pleasantly for air.

    There were very few people in the Desert who could enjoy an experience like that in their lives. Lady Ginnifer Kildare experienced it every morning at Kalkheim.

    Coming back to the steps, Ginnifer sat down on one of the higher ones, leaving her in the water up to her waist, and allowed Sophee to run a bar of lemon scented soap over her body. Sophee’s hands caressed Ginnifer’s body with care and pride. The lady’s maid took personal pleasure and satisfaction in turning out the Lady nicely every day. It had been hard self-teaching, but she had gotten the hang of it soon enough.

    When this was done, Ginnifer rinsed herself off with one more dive and then came out of the bath, water running off her body in streams. Sophee toweled her off before wrapping her in the warm, plush robe that came from the looms of Valona. Hair would have to be dried soon and then would come dressing, all of it performed by Sophee for her mistress. It was all part of the daily rituals that made up the life of a noblewoman of prominence.

    When Sophee had finished her ministrations, Lady Ginnifer Kildare, left hand gloved with plate mail, arrayed in a light green dress of the lady’s maid’s choosing, exited her chambers and just about strutted down the halls of the alcazar. It was rare that she did not enjoy the morning. She was mistress of her own domain, answerable to none. Mornings were a good part of the day, before the pressing concerns of state crowded in on her mind.

    There was one aspect of her morning walk that she always enjoyed.

    “Good morning, mother,” Ginnifer said, oozing satisfaction.


    The imposing portrait of the late Lady Emilie Kildare hung on the wall of the alcazar, her visage always glaring down at whoever passed by. Ginnifer paid it absolutely no mind and rather enjoyed walking by it. After all, it was stuck on the wall. Ginnifer Kildare, by contrast, was going places. If there was an afterlife with V’hallar, Ginnifer was sure that it involved her mother glaring at her daughter flippantly passing the portrait every day.

    She enjoyed that thought quite a bit.

    The affairs of being the Lady of the Fair Groves included sitting in judgment, adjudicating disputes between citizens of her realm from her seat in the Great Hall. Ginnifer reserved time every week to hear these quarrels, often relatively minor to her or the Groves, but major enough to these citizens that the intervention of the Lady of the Fair Groves not only impressed them, but projected her power throughout her domain effectively. Some would leave pleased, others would leave disappointed. In all things, Ginnifer acted as was best and just, or some combination thereof. Rendering justice was often not a perfect art, even when it had to deal with water rights and goats.

    Today, Ginnifer sat for a shorter period than usual. Most days involved her devoting a portion of her attention to some aspect of the affairs of the Fair Groves, often related to trade, farming, or the common good, Ginnifer had been taught by her mother that one could not always remain in the alcazar or even Kalkheim.

    “Happy tenants pay their rent on time. Tenants are happy when they see their Lady.”

    The Lady of the Fair Groves made periodic visits to the farmers who tended the land that the Kildares owned. They all owed a portion of their harvest to Kalkheim and Ginnifer liked to get in one visit a year to each of them to remind them of this duty. However, it was more than just collection duties that took Ginnifer out to the farms. It was a sign of great respect to receive their Lady, even if very briefly as the poorer farmers could only afford to do. It was a point of pride for these farmers to show their neighbors and fellow villagers that they stood in good stead with the Protectrix of the Fair Groves. Ginnifer had learned all this from her mother, who had learned it from her mother before her. Generations of Ladies had made these pilgrimages out from the alcazar to reinforce with their tenant farmers that they were not only noticed, but considered worthy of the Lady’s time.

    As usual, Ginnifer had arranged to leave the alcazar under her sister Zooey’s care. Zooey had never let Ginnifer down in any of the times she had been entrusted with Kalkheim. Ginnifer knew that Zooey took these responsibilities seriously. She had received much of the same instruction from Emilie as Ginnifer had, though the later lessons had been excluded from Zooey’s education. As a failsafe, Ginnifer usually arranged for Lawrence to be around just in case extra judgment was needed, but events had not allowed for that this time. Ginnifer hoped their Uncle Aron would provide guidance if the need arose. V’hallar help them if Zooey turned to Uncle Widmer for assistance—though considering the enmity that lay between Aunt Regina and Zooey, the chances of that were nonexistent. Regina would likely fume in her chambers the entire time that Ginnifer was gone. The very sight of Zooey in charge was often enough to get Regina’s blood roiling. Having so much family under foot had disadvantages, though it could have its benefits too. Earlier in the week Ginnifer had dispatched her father to the Oasis on an errand. She intended that his presence would cause King Mors to give the matter the full consideration it was due. The pirate raids that were being reported were eroding the King’s authority at just the moment it needed to be strongest. The Desert sat squarely before Fenton. It was best not to tempt him with shows of weakness to undertake an expedition. That was the thing that Ginnifer feared most. The sands of the Desert and scarcity of water had made life hard for those who lived here, but it had also been the bulwark against raiders over the years. It might not prove so effective against an orderly and well-supplied army.

    Lady Ginnifer headed to the stables where the party for the tenant visit was gathering to leave. Sophee had already packed what Ginnifer would need for the trip and seen it added to the baggage train. There would be a small complement of guards for safety, plus a steward to assist with any questions of economics that might arise during the visit.

    “It’s the Graythwaites tonight, the Allsopps tomorrow, the Rodazels after that…” Sophee muttered to herself, counting off the tenant houses that they were to stay at, all of them the larger ones who had the means to entertain a noble of bannerman status, mentally rechecking that she’d packed the appropriate clothes for each tenant, great or small. Ginnifer knew better than to mistrust Sophee in such matters. She was not a perfect lady’s maid, but she covered her mistakes well enough. It was best not to worry Sophee with

    “Are we ready?” came a voice from behind Ginnifer.


    It belonged to Chelsee Kildare, her youngest sister, who was also accompanying her on the trip. Chelsee was tall and broad—and was wearing her dress with the usual disdain for it. Chelsee was good hearted, but out of place in most places. Ginnifer knew from long experience that somewhere on her person the big girl had hidden a knife. Ginnifer rued the day that Lawrence had shown Chelsee how to use one, but it couldn’t be helped now. The youngest of the sisters had always fit awkwardly into the life of the alcazar. She had literally been birthed as an insurance policy against the deaths of Ginnifer or Zooey. When it had become clear that her elder sisters were hale girls who would live out their childhoods, Emilie had not bestowed any further attention on Chelsee. What to do with this young lady with very unladylike interests and pursuits had vexed minds greater than Ginnifer’s. The only people who’d had any sort of idea of what to do with Chelsee had been Lawrence and Martyn, who had gently encouraged the interests that were so frowned upon by Lady Emilie, and they were gone. Ginnifer felt it was best not to leave Chelsee knocking about under her own recognizance without her supervision. Besides, Chelsee could use getting out of Kalkheim for a change.

    “Captain, are we?” Ginnifer repeated as she used a step placed by a stable boy to mount her steed. Behind her, Sophee scrambled onto a donkey to get ready for the departure. She wasn’t a great rider, but bouncing along awkwardly was better than walking so Sophee toughed it out.

    “Aye, milady,” the head of the soldier complement said.

    Chelsee vaulted onto a horse, which she rode like a man despite her skirts. Ginnifer had long since given up trying to correct this habit. Emilie Kildare had never learned to leave it alone and it had vexed her to the day of her death. “Then what are we waiting for?” Chelsee asked, taking the reins in hand expertly.

    “Onward, Captain,” Ginnifer said. She wrapped a light cloth around her head to shield her skin from the sun. It would not do to show up at their destination looking like a lobster. Gripping the reins with her good right hand and setting the mailed one on top of it for show as they left the alcazar and traveled through city, Ginnifer spurred her mount forward gently.

    With that, the little party began to wind its way out from Kalkheim into the vastness of the Desert.

    TAG: None
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  13. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    13 Days Before the Wedding

    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves

    Blacksmith's Shop

    Hektor grinned and picked up a sword from the wall of weapons.

    It was a simple blade, but when he gestured directly underneath the hilt, a tiny detailed fox head stared off benevolently.

    “In honor of the Lady Ginnifer, and her mother, and even her mother ‘fore her,” The blacksmith returned the weapon as he spoke.

    “You have some beautiful craftsmanship,” Bren said. “I understand now why the royal family calls on you.”

    “Thank ye,” Hektor grinned and shook the guard’s hand. “And thank ye two, for bein’ good sports. Especially,” He ruffled Fleet’s hair again, a final time, “this little squire right here. You gonna be a big knight, one of these days, and then you’ll be callin’ on me to make ye some armor. Am I right?”

    TAG: greyjedi125, Ktala

  14. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet - Thirteen days before the wedding
    Fair Groves, The Kalkheim

    Fleet’ big blue eyes widened in understanding. A ‘Blacksmith’s’ mark was something like his signature. True, the young boy couldn’t read or write, but he understood the power of symbols and the marks of ownership. He’d seen many examples of this and heard quite the many stories.

    He smiled at Bren’s opinion of Hektor’s wares, which mirrored his own, though his was that of an unlearned youth.

    Smiling up at the adults, he watched as Hektor and Bren shook hands, a clear sign of ‘good business’. Fleet chuckled as Hecktor ruffled his hair again. The fleeting thought of charging a copper every time someone other than Lorain did that entered his mind, but the thought was only for self-amusement. The big man’s camaraderie and kind words meant more to him than a treasure chest laden with gems and gold.

    “This little squire right here. You gonna be a big knight, one of these days, and then you’ll be calling’ on me to make ye some armor. Am I right?”

    Fleet’s eyes glinted as he looked up and grinned at the big blacksmith.

    “Aye! Aye!” He exclaimed excitedly, his fist pumping into the air.

    Yes, Bren and Hektor were going on the ‘good list’, there was no doubt about it. Since the Kildares were being so nice, he supposed they would go on the good list too, especially Ser Willis, who saved Lorain through his selfless actions. Same for Uncle Ersha and his nephew.

    He had no doubts at the moment about his new path. He wanted to be a Knight at best, as Hektor suggested, or a ‘sellsword’ ( was that right?), but one who fought for good! But first, he would need to get some training and skills. Fleet was ready to watch and learn everything he could during this new journey. His ‘list’, the one etched deep in his heart and mind - that would keep him continually motivated. There were so many folks he wished to repay, both good and bad. It was a long list on both counts.

    So he smiled at them all, inwardly visualizing that one day soon, he would embody a worthy arm of justice.

    Tag @Ktala, @spycoder9
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  15. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey
    The Fair Groves - A Blacksmith's Shop

    Lorain watched as Hektor grinned and picked up a sword from the wall of weapons. She took a look at the weapon. It was a simple blade, but still of wonderful workmanship. She then noticed that he pointed to something directly underneath the hilt. She took a closer look. Directly underneath the hilt, a tiny detailed fox head stared out at her. Lorain smiled as Hektor explained. "In honor of the Lady Ginnifer, and her mother, and even her mother ‘fore her,” The blacksmith returned the weapon as he told her. Bren spoke up then. “You have some beautiful craftsmanship,” he stated. “I understand now why the royal family calls on you.” Lorain nodded in agreement as Hektor shook the guards hand, offering his thanks. Hektor then turned to Fleet and her.

    “And thank ye two, for bein’ good sports. Especially,” He ruffled Fleet’s hair again, with a grin. “this little squire right here. You gonna be a big knight, one of these days, and then you’ll be callin’ on me to make ye some armor. Am I right?”

    Lorain found it hard not to chuckle softly as Fleet's eyes grew wide, grinning as he responded to the blacksmith.

    “Aye! Aye!” Fleet exclaimed excitedly, his fist pumping into the air. Lorain gave another smile to Hektor. "We thank ye for ya helps. We we'll do are best to speak kindly of yer mark, and pass it along." She gave him a firm nod of her head. And she gave Fleet a wink. Aye, you'll be a great fighter. And a great young man." she told him. IF Fleet did take that path..Lorain was sure she would be the one, or at least someone in her family, to forge that armor. But she simply smiled, like a proud mom she was beginning to feel like. She managed to resist the urge to ruffle his hair.

    As soon as there business was concluded, and they had finally left the blacksmiths shop, with whatever items that they had gotten, she turned and looked at Bren. "Bren. Who is this Chelsee that the boy spoke of? Sounds like someone I would like to meet." she asked the guard, looking over towards him.

    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
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  16. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    Spycoder says YUS!

    Name: The Sand Fury (Her true name is only spoken amongst her tribe "The Sand Furies")
    Age: Unknown
    Gender: Female
    Appearance: As pictured, 5'5" Skinny build, the glass over her eyes will reflect a green glow if there is ambient dim light and darkness or in combat. She is extremely acrobatic and has great reflexes and even known to dodge and block projectiles. (Note the grey part of the face are cloth, not skin.)
    Homeland: The Desert
    King: None, will take contracts from all brave enough to seek them out and offer them enough in return. King or peasant, friend or one considered an enemy.
    Occupation: Assassin, Thief, Mercenary, Marauder.
    Family Banner:
    Those trying to locate the tribes must follow the few and far between tattered scraps of cloth bearing this symbol, the path is dangerous, and word of this method is difficult to attain.
    The few that seek them follow the signs wandering the desert to the edge of their sanity, only when they see one has come far enough, will the Sand Furies show themselves. Only the strong-willed and truly desperate will find them.
    House Words: Shakhir Rashh Ta - Sands Consume You
    Wandering the deserts of Mirwyth in tribes, they are collectively known as Sand Furies. They are proven to be expert warriors and masters of ambush, oftentimes burrowing into the sand only to spring from the sand itself and surround their targets. They utilize katanas, kukri knives, and a small one-handed crossbows, indicating a high level of intelligence despite their lifestyle. According to legend, weapons such as those were used by the Sand Furies to slaughter every last male in the tribes, leaving their re-population capabilities a mystery. Some say it is was demonic ritual to slaughter of the males, a sacrifice to their hellish god to give them immortality and unnatural skill. Most say the Sand Furies are creatures of legend from traveling traders and parents to scare children into behaving.

    Covered head-to-toe in distinct garb, Sand Furies remain mysterious beings. Though their appearance implies that they are human, their acrobatic skill and dexterity, combined with their shrieking battle-cries and rattling hisses; suggest that they may be an as-of-yet unknown desert creature. Anyone outside their tribe that have heard them speak are the few that were able to trade goods or weaponry for their deadly skills, currency is meaningless to them. All dealings done in secret, and most of those that have been in their presence are too fearful of the event to speak of it again.

    They have no borders or defined territory their life tied to the sands of Mirwyth, seemingly few in number they have no political aim beyond outlasting all conflict of the Kingdoms, playing the sides if necessary to prevent their widespread discovery and the conquer of their home; the Desert. Ending the political conflicts that plague their lands is their hidden desire, as open war may threaten their very way of life. Their hidden and watchful eyes rest with hatred upon the house of Kildare and any who would claim the desert as their own. The desert is the embodiment of their god, it shall not have claims to ownership lain upon it.


    A curse upon your souls;
    We will devour the very heart of your kingdom.
    Nothing shall remain but what once was,
    When the black sands consume you.
  17. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey
    The Fair Groves - A Blacksmith's Shop

    As soon as business was concluded, and they had finally left the blacksmiths shop, with whatever items that they had gotten, Lorain turned and looked at Bren. "Bren. Who is this Chelsee that the boy spoke of? Sounds like someone I would like to meet." she asked the guard, looking over towards him.

    "Chelsee Kildare," and as he said her name, Bren smirked. "She's the youngest daughter of the late Lady Emilie, and the least like her. Tall and broad, sort of like you in that way, but blonde hair like her sisters. And rumor is, she carries a dagger around on her, and knows how to wield it too, but those could just be rumors. I've never been close enough to her to know." Lorain nodded, smiling a bit as she heard the description of the young lady. She had not run into many, male of female, that were of 'her' size. Lorain laughed. "She sounds like fun." Lorain finally stated with a wide grin. "I can respect someone for wanting to know how ta use a weapon." Lorain smiled. "I wonders if we'll see her, before we leave on our trip?" She gave Fleet a wink. She looked back over at Fleet. "At least, might gets a chance to get used to yer new iron ware.." she smiled at Fleet. Lorain also knew she would have to give him the bare basics of using a sword as well. A skill that seemed to be growing in need, in these troubled times.

    Lorain looked away, as they began to walk. Fleet was in a good mood, so she did not wish to spoil it for him. But Lorain wished she could get a message back home. She was sure they were as worried about her, as she was of them. She didnt want them to worry. Perhaps, when they went back to speak to the royals, she could ask if they knew a way. Lorain did a soft laugh. "Well, at least Freedom, gets to stay behind for this trip. He can get fat on oats and hay." she chuckled softly, knowing that Fleet would get her meaning.

    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
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  18. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    3 Days Before the Wedding

    The Capital of Mirwyth


    Normally, in the wake of a king’s death, the castle and realm would be in mourning.

    It was morning, but that of a different kind.

    The winter seemed to have thawed completely that morning, as a golden sun cast the entire city in a urethral light. It was unmatched by any other light, save for that of the Queen’s eyes. She had invited Ser Aran for a walk in the gardens, to discuss what was to happen the following days.


    She wore a stark white gown that accentuated her lithe body, with a golden belt strapped around her waist that showed even in her age, she was skinny. The strangest thing to note of her appearance was the silver crown resting on her brow. She had never worn one outside of the throne room, until now. No matter how down her mouth appeared, or how hopeless her words sounded, her eyes glowed with an inner beauty that was unmatched by any.

    “Such a beautiful morning, is it not?” She murmured finally, after leading him past handfuls of roses and lilies. Gentle water bubbled in a spring. “It is almost as if he’s sending us a--a sign from beyond.”

    TAG: Jabba-wocky

  19. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013

    The Sand Furies.

    Their very name evokes Fear. Curiosity. Memory.

    Before the succession of King Reynard, even before his line took the throne, they existed. Their lives were that of legends, not tales of great warriors, benevolent kings, despotic rulers, or powerful empires. Their legend grows from mystery. From the shadows cast by the desert sun and the harsh wind of it's cold night. Never will you hear their shrieks, their hiss, their rattling breath. Nor will you ever see them. They are the very sand you tread upon, the air you breathe, and the sun that saps your strength. They are the very strength of their twisted god, Hsamozaal -- Darkness and Death.


    The Sand Fury
    The Oasis of Dawnsgrace

    Glowing eyes appearing through the darkness, tireless, unblinking. Deftly moving along the city's outer walls, citizen nor soldier aware of the darkness that descends upon them. Leaping forward to land upon the rooftops of the sandstone structures, it's tireless form precise as it ran, unceasing energy born of a darkness unknown to the world. Tumbling forward to push off the stone with it's hands, it's skill was without compare. It leapt from a rooftop to land on a small wooden crane holding a bundle of wood. Holding it's arms out for balance it ran, vaulting the gap landing in a roll onto the top of the wall around the stronghold. The sentries in the tower saw nothing, they gazed out across the sands, the moon casting a strangely darker blue light across the dunes.

    With a forward hand spring, the creature left the wall, lightly landing on it's feed in the shadow of the inner wall. It's silhouette and the shadows around it darkened as she stood, looking to the keep. It's body moved forward, low and silent, reaching the wall it climbed using imperfections in the sandstone and protruding planks to find the Royal Chambers. They were not as one would expect, unfinished and empty. Entering the room through the window the creature moved across the room, opening the wooden door and into the hallway.

    The shadows of the night were thick inside the hall, two torches lit the small hall, no guards. Two doors were at the end, the shadows grew and the light from the torches slowly diminished into smoke and ember. Gently, it opened the door to the first chamber.

    The glowing eyes slowly moved in the chamber belonging to the King of the Desert; Mors Santagar.

    The figure, it's nightmarish visage moved forward, not making a sound. Shadows followed with it; opaque, oily, black smoke writhed around her form. Silhouetted by a few dim candles in the room, tendrils of smoke reaching out to extinguish the flames, now only the light of the moon and stars shining in. Quickly, the creature jumps forward landing on it's hands to push off and onto the sleeping king, covering his mouth and drawing it's curved knife. The king awoke, startled, but all too late. His arms pinned to his side by the creature straddled over his chest. Unable to scream, the hand of the creature covering his nose and mouth. His eyes widening as the glowing lenses came into view... It could not be. The legends...

    Hissssss..... Shakhir.... Rashh.... Ta......

    Black sand poured from the hand of The Sand Fury, filling the kings nose and mouth, unable to cough or break free as it filled his lungs. Dagger poised to strike, the Sand Fury plunged it into his chest, cleaving flesh and bone. His life fading quickly, struggling no longer, the Sand Fury released her grasp. Replacing the dagger to it's sheath below her back, the monster gripped the open would as blood spilled onto the bed and floor.

    Removing the heart, it still beat for a few moments as the creature held it within her hands. As the heart finally died, the Sand Fury placed it into a small sack at her waist, then melted back into the shadows. The corpse of King Santagar remained on the bed, his eyes filled with horror, chest torn open, black sand trickled from his mouth as his head slumped to the side.

    The light of the moon shone brighter as the Sand Fury slid out of the chamber, opening the door to the other chamber. The son, his heir, lay in his bed. A single candle lit his room, green eyes peered down at the delicate life before it. Drawing the sword from it's back and raising it over her head. The light of the candle was extinguished by the smoke as the life before her was ended. All that was heard was the snake-like rattle of the Sand Fury's breath.

    The black smoke returned to her underneath the wrappings of her garments. It was finished, sprinting through the chamber the Sand Fury vaulted through the window and caught hold of the protruding stones, quickly climbing it's way down from the keep. Dashing and leaping through the city rooftops and back to the outer wall. It peered back to the keep for a moment, placing a hand on the sack which held the heart of the now dead king. Standing on the edge, she dove from the wall, landing in the sand; her body seeming to disappear within the sands of the desert as if it were an ocean.

  20. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    Spycoder approved!

    Name: Leiliana Caine

    Age: 19 (estimated)

    Gender: Female

    5'7", average build, light skin, brown hair, hazel eyes.
    Leiliana and Artemis:
    Leiliana's Clothing:

    Homeland: The Mountains

    King: King of the Mountain, though she is only loyal to his crown due to accident of living near his domain. She has no idea of the events that have begun to unfold in Mirwyth.

    Occupation: Adept alchemist (Potions, herbology, transmutation theory), librarian, research of all realms of elemental magic along with V'hallarian and Hsamozaalian mysticism.

    Family Banner: None, she has no royal or noble connection that is known. The Order of Avos avoids such vanity.

    House Words: No official words or motto. She always remembers the words of her master: "The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them."

    Biography: When she was an infant she was abandoned by her parents, bundled in furs and placed in a basket, hidden in the back of a donkey drawn cart; driven by an old monk named Artemis Caine, who lived a life of near seclusion in a monastery beyond the mountains of Mirwyth. The order was of all males and within their walls they studied the nature of life, the universe, and the land itself. In the Mountains of Mirwyth they are primarily known for their varieties of ales, grown and brewed from well maintained gardens. They traded these ales at rare times (generally once or twice a year) for seeds, livestock, and other goods they required. Behind the walls they kept vast historical libraries, manuals of herbology and animal care, maps of the cosmos, as well as committed alchemical study.

    When it was discovered that an infant female was stowed among the various goods Artemis brought to the monastery, the monks were shocked, never before had they been required to care for an infant nor a female. Many spent days of meditation in the gardens and others consulted the libraries to see if there would be prophecy from the days in which they practiced divination, that would foretell of such an occurrence. When their research turned up nothing, the monks whom had meditated extensively concluded that they could not let this life die, as all life is sacred. The monks searching through the libraries agreed that this was accordance to their code, though her destiny was deemed unremarkable. The Order of Avos (the name of their founder) took the girl in, calling her Leiliana, which means 'enlightened courage.'

    As Leiliana grew, many of the monks had mentored her in the ways of herbology, animal raising, alchemy, brewing, history, defensive hand-to-hand and staff combat, astrology, and philosophy. Bestowing upon her the knowledge they had taken generations to attain with the hope that she might spread this knowledge and peaceful ideology through the lands. Becoming wise beyond her years she was taught a profound respect for all life and inhabitants of the world, though ignorant of it's actual workings due to her seclusion. Because she is a woman and did not willingly seek them out, Leiliana was never required to coincide with the code of their order, allowed to drink the ales and practice the long forbidden art of divination as well as delve into the research of the elemental magics and the mysticism and history of V'hallar and Hsamozaal; all widely considered dangerous practices. Her master Artemis was forever mindful of the potential danger she placed herself in and was her foremost caretaker. The monks research and meditation never found her to be of prophetic birth, however their training and stewardship of her had caused her to grow into someone who could help shape a better world, if it's people can come to accept her.

    Now on the eve of her assumed birthday, she attends to Artemis as he lay upon his deathbed....
  21. Jedi General Gelderd

    Jedi General Gelderd Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 6, 2004
    Spycoder9 approved....

    Name: Arlington Bailey; known as 'The Phantom'.

    Age: 37

    Gender: Male


    Homeland: The Isles

    King: None - his rightful King is dead

    Occupation: Former Bailiff of Nzelbren, but now acting as a hired protector and assassin for those who fight injustice, helping restoring the land to some sort of order.

    Family Banner:

    House Words: 'Tenebras Expellit Et Hostes' (He drives forth the darkness and the foe)

    Biography: Raised on Nzelbren, in the Isles of Mirwyth, Arlington was born into a loving family. His father Fester and mother Kelise were both in the brewing trade and popular amongst the locals with their quiet yet charming life.

    But once the old King of Mirwyth was murdered, Arlington's parents lost their way under the new rule of the King Hanrey. The once unified land seemed to divide before them and heavy taxes were introduced which any small businesses had no hope to pay. Fester lost the brewing trade, most of his possessions and his passion for living, and in a fit of depression cast Arlington out of the family home when he was 16 to seek a life better than he could have living at home. An act seen as evil, but motivated by desperation to help a father see his son earn a richer life than he.

    Arlington was fuelled by a fire to make something of himself and to return home in a position to help his family, and so found employment as a Bailiff, hired for his determination, no-nonsense attitude and hand-to-hand fighting ability by the Lord of Nzelbren, Izacc Kymmil, to help keep peace and order to those who paid taxes, provided goods and offered trades. With an honest, but at time cold-blooded job, boosted by a growing reputation, Arlington soon helped his parents live comfortably, but by no means richly, on the outskirts of Nzelbren farming vegetables and crop with small deposits of his earnings going to them.

    On a routine stop by a local Silversmith, Arlington was attacked with a meat knife by the drunken, violent keeper and the right side of his face horridly scarred and cut up. He was beaten and left broken, fleeing as best he could to avoid death. He wasn't seen of again around Nzelbren...

    Years passed.

    When an older, stronger, masked man visited the Bailey plot years later, he was greeted with a ruin of what once was a cozy farmhouse. No sign of life, no sign of his parents. Just debris, ruins and death.

    Arlington now adorns a white iron mask grafted over the right side of his face to cover his disfigurement and dresses in black and crimson fabrics, carrying o a small cutlass, all of which he assembled himself to mark the ghost of the man he once tried to be.

    Seen around Nzelbren and known to few as the 'Phantom of the Isle', or simply a wandering 'Phantom', Arlington wants to seek out those who butcher, slay and abuse those not in a position to defend themselves and help restore a sense of order to the land of Mirwyth that he once loved, and still wants to in these difficult times to help him find salvation to a life once full of promise...
  22. Jedi General Gelderd

    Jedi General Gelderd Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 6, 2004

    IC: Arlington Bailey
    East Coast of Nzelbren

    He stood erect on the steep cliffs of Nzelbren, facing east and looking out to the distant shore of the mainland. Over the rippling waters ahead was a greater expansion to the land of Mirwyth than the one he knew at present. The mountains, the deserts and the bustling capital city for one; all holding a promise of redemption and revenge for the Phantom.

    The wind was crisp and salty coming in from the sea, lapping against his dark overcoat, whistling around his tall stature. Arlington Bailey closed his eyes and felt the breeze cleanse the exposed flesh on his face, cooling and soothing him, direct from the hands of nature herself.

    His left hand rested atop the golden rapier hilt on his sword by his side. It wasn't a large, domineering sword by all means, but it had taken the lives of those foolish enough to cross his path for greed, violence or other such crimes. Resting his right gloved hand upon his chest gently, Arlington knew he had to leave Nzelbren by the end of the week if not sooner. He had to find passage across to the mainland and start seeking those responsible for the eventual downfall and demise of his parents at the hands of forced poverty and desperation.

    Those answers lay elsewhere in Mirwyth, and maybe he wouldn't find everything he wanted, but Arlington had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was getting away from the Isles that had taken so much of his youth.

    He raised his smooth chin slightly, as if showing the waters he was going to conquer them soon and leave.

    The tight sensation of the white mask over the right side of his face reminded him of the turning point in his life; the point where Arlington ceased to be the man he thought he was and became the man he knew he had to be. Upon discovering the remains of his parent's small farmhouse on the outskirts of Nzelbren and no sign of them amongst the ruins, Arlington dedicated the remains of his lonely days to act as a tool to cut away injustice and defend those subjected to the horror of being a certain status who didn't fit in with the longevity of what society demanded.

    His untreated scaring and disfigurement burnt away under the mask, but every moment it motivated him to never stop seeking and never stop fighting because out there, in Mirwyth, was an answer; a cause; a person maybe who could help him and maybe even save him, dare love him?

    There was nothing around him causing distraction, and he could stay atop the cliffs most of the days and nights, watching the world pass by slowly and think even more about a time gone by, but Arlington had to leave.

    He gently smoothed back his dark hair from the wind and softly traced the edge of the mask with his fingers, clenching his fist as he did. Turning away from the cliff edge, ignoring a few distant children rooted to the ground staring the masked man, Arlington Bailey, the Phantom of the Isles, headed across to one of the small docks down on the coastline to start his journey...

    TAG: spycoder9
  23. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013

    The air was cold, the weather of their mountain home always was, but somehow life found a way. The rising sun shone brightly over the mountains and the monastery. A young woman surrounded by bright mountain flowers of purple, red, yellow, and blue. This was her garden, the very first life she had brought from the ground had now flourished into the flowers around her. Years of gentle stewardship yielded the canvas before her. Sitting on her legs with her shins to the ground the girl lowered her head. Artemis... Her greatest friend and caretaker sat in an old modest chair beside her, looking to the sunset. He knew his time was near, his dying wish was to see the sun shine over the mountains and break the fog, illuminating his dearest Leiliana's garden.

    "Lily," he said. Calling her by the name of endearment he had given her as she grew.

    "Yes, uncle?"

    "My walking stick, please," his voice was tired, but content. Leiliana did as she was bidden, picking up old Artemis's staff from the ground beside him and placing it in his open hand. "Thank you," he looked to her the love and pride in his eyes showing through, Leiliana's eyes looked as if they were glass, a single tear finding it's way down her cheek. Her legs gave out and she fell to her knees beside him and began to cry, clutching his arm and wetting the sleeve of his dark blue robe. Reaching out with his left hand, stroking her hair and smiled, "My child... " he said, placing his rough hand on her cheek and lifting her head gently.

    "Do not feel sorrow, for death is just another path we must take, and when I pass the sun will rise; just as it always has. You need not cry, my body will return to the earth, and new life will flourish over me," his voice did not tremble, he was not afraid. "But uncle, what will I do without you?" she protested, tears streaming down her face. Artemis took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes he still had one more lesson to teach her, "Lily... You have tended to this garden ever since you were a child. Do you not remember it's first bloom?"

    "Yes," she said, looking down, her voice weak.

    "Do you see that first flower here today?"

    "No," she said.

    "Then you already understand, the first flowers of this garden withered away, but their seed returned to the ground. And so the others followed, generations bringing forth new life into the beauty now before us," he said, "all life must pass and so it is my time. I cannot stop it, nor should I try. You cannot stop it, nor should you try." Leiliana clung tightly to his sleeve as he spoke, she felt like a child once again, helpless. "Look at me," Artemis said, his eyes full of love and his mouth formed into a sorrowful smile. "Take this," he said, "you were my greatest apprentice and it is all I have left to give to you."

    Artemis moved his arm slightly and Leiliana took the staff from his hands, replacing it with her left hand, resting the staff on her right shoulder. They faced the rising sun together as it crested the distant mountains shining light on to her garden, the morning's dew glistened and the snow was bright. Artemis blinked heavily, no tears, no sorrow. His life was complete.

    The sun's light was now shining fully onto their monastery, the warmth touching Leiliana's skin and drying her tears, Artemis's hand loosened. Leiliana sighed, her heart was heavy. Gathering two of each of the flowers around her, she tied their stems to make a small bouquet. Placing his hands together on his lap and the bouquet within them. Artemis' body was reclined, facing the sun with his eyes closed, he looked dignified to her; as if this is exactly what he wished.

    Leiliana stood, placing a hand on Artemis' shoulder she gently kissed the side of his forehead before leaving to inform the Monks of his passing. Turning away from the sun towards the monastery, the elder four of the Order of Avos stood behind her, lowering their heads in solemn acknowledgement. Artemis was not the oldest or grandest of the Order, but he was the kindest and the most gentle, some considered him the wisest aside from the Eldest.

    As the sun crossed the sky, Artemis' body was brought to a low stone altar in the courtyard of the Monastery. While the other monks prepared bundles of wood for cremation, Leiliana cleared a circle of ground in her garden, replanting the flowers and digging a hole in their place. When she was done, dusk was beginning and the sky turned purple, it was almost time. She walked through the main hall of the Monastery, held the staff in her right hand, it's height matched hers. Once the staff was a strong roots, now brought together and it's end twisted intricately, inscribed with the words of Avos along the shaft, written in the script of the Old Kingdom. Reaching the courtyard the twenty other monks were gathered in a circle around Artemis' body, laid upon bundles of sticks atop the low altar, firewood placed around him that had been soaked with oil that would smell pleasant when burned.

    One by one the monks came forward, bowing to the body of Artemis, then placing incense into a small stone pyre before them. Last was Leiliana and the Eldest Monk, Ynsilvund. Standing on opposite sides of the incense pyre, Ynsilvund passed a torch to Leiliana and spoke, "Let this body rest, I pass you this torch as time passes from one generation to the next. I bid you carry the work of Artemis Caine to the world as he would have wished of you. From henceforth you are Leiliana Caine, the Legacy of Artemis."

    Leiliana knelt before the altar and placed the torch among the tinder, the flammable aromatic oils took the flame with ease and spread to all sides of the altar.

    Backing away Leiliana stood before the pyre, Elder Ynsilvund rejoined the circle and the monks lowered their heads. Their hoods drawn over, the shadows obscured their face while the light of the fire made their eyes shine. Leiliana lifted her hands slightly with her palms facing upwards and began to sing the eulogy for Artemis.

    The morning approached and the ashes were cleared from the altar and placed in an urn, carried in a procession lead by Leiliana, followed by the others to the hole she had dug the previous day. As the sun rose the ashes were poured into the ground, half of the urn was emptied and seeds were placed in the ashes before the rest was poured into the ground, then covered in soil. After the ashes were covered the Monks quietly dispersed to seek solitude and reflect quietly on Artemis' life, as was their custom. Leiliana remained behind, sitting cross legged with Artemis's staff across her lap before the soil, meditating.

    The sun peaked in the sky and clouds gathered over the monastery, insects flew from flower to flower, drinking their rich nectar. A butterfly landed on Leiliana's hand, breaking her concentration. She looked down, it's beautiful black and blue wings fluttered as it settled into her palm, Leiliana smiled as it crawled across her hands and up her arm before fluttering away. It flew directly south, not the usual random and carefree patterns that a butterfly will, though it still bobbed up and down as it flapped it's delicate wings. She giggled lightly and stood up to follow it as it flew over the southern wall. Running up the stairs along the side and reaching the top of the wall, startled birds scattered into the air, squinting to see where the butterfly was Leiliana gasped at what she saw.

    Far in the distance, there was an imposing castle among the mountains, sunshafts peered through the clouds over the hills and valleys between them. She watched as the butterfly continued on southward towards the castle, fog rolled in to obscure her view.

    A sign, perhaps...


    To be continued.
  24. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey
    The Fair Groves, Kalkheim - 13 Days Before the Wedding

    Once all the business was taken care of and their armor was taken care of, Bren, Fleet and Lorain headed back towards the Kalkheim. Perhaps tomorrow, they could pick up a few clothes for the trip, and Lorain spoke to Bren about it as well. But right now, she rather get back to their rooms. Lorain had much on her mind, and many thoughts surfaced. She thought more about contacting her family, but she soon decided against that, in case something happened while on board the ship. It would be terrible to gain hope, only to have it dashed yet again. But perhaps she could speak with the Kildare's about making sure word made way back at least to her village, once this was over. Or if something did happen, . Knowing, no mater how bad the news, was never as bad as simply not knowing.

    Another reason that Lorain wished to get back, was that after a bit of rest, she wanted to start teaching Fleet things he would need to know for this trip. Across the desert, she had taught him as much as she could, about crossing the desert. Now, they would be entering a new element, and Lorain needed time to show him as much as she could, before they left. She wanted to make sure that he had as much information as she could give to him, in case things went bad. Out on open water, anything could happen. And it was for as much as his sake, as it was hers, that he learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, so that they had a chance. Lorain hoped that with all the other warriors most likely to be on this trip, and others, it would not be necessary. But she was not going to leave Fleet's safety to hope. No, he needed to be prepare for anything. And Lorain would do her best to make sure of that.

    But right now, she wanted him to enjoy this moment, and have fun. They had been on the run for so long. And right now, for the briefest of moments, they had peace and were relatively safe. And more importantly, they had each other. So she would let him enjoy this time, smiling as she looked over at him. He was a child. It would be nice, to let him enjoy at least some bit of his time, as a child. If only for a little bit. Lorain gave him a wink.

    "Perhaps we can visit Freedom whens we get back, and see how he is doing?" Lorain asked Fleet. "I wonder if his room be as fancy as ours?" she added with a chuckle and smile.

    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
  25. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: This post written with much guidance from spycoder9

    IC: Safia Kildare

    She groaned a little as she was set down and her head contacted something rather hard. Feeling whatever she was lying on begin to move, Safia opened her eyes to find herself in a wooden cart. Sitting up and frowning in confusion, she saw that the cart was traveling down a dark road, pulled along by a dark horse, ridden by a dark man.

    “Who are you?” she asked.

    He didn’t answer. Even when Safia repeated the question, a little louder, he gave no response.

    Made uneasy by the shadowy, silent driver, Safia crawled to the the side of the cart and tried to look ahead, but she could not see where the path led to. A thick haze obscured everything but the cart itself and a bit of the trail.

    “Where are you taking me?”

    Again, she received no reply. “Could you at least tell me where we are?” she tried once more to get some kind of information out of him.

    And yet he still held his silence.

    After bumping along a short distance, Safia began to notice something ahead of the cart, an intimidatingly large shadow flying amidst the fog. She couldn’t make out its exact shape, but the cart rattled when it let out a roar, causing Safia to shrink to the bottom of the wagon and cover her ears agains the deafening sound.

    When the creature—or whatever it was—appeared to have moved on (she did not hear it anymore, at least), Safia poked her head up again to a most magnificent sight:

    A beautiful castle in the distance, surrounded by green grass and flowing waters, glowing in the darkness, though there was no sun here. As the cart drew closer, she could hear birds singing, animals scampering about.

    “Is that where we’re going?” she asked the driver, forgetting briefly that he wasn’t going to answer her. She wondered who lived here; this was no castle she had ever seen before.

    They eventually reached the castle gates, and a figure approached to help Safia down from the cart. He was sandy-haired, his skin was tanned, and as he got closer, she even noticed a familiar scent about him. Only when she got down from the cart did she manage to see his face.


    But he was dead! She had seen it!

    What was this place? Vaguely remembering the blood she had seen on her own body before she had blacked out and then woken to find herself here, Safia wondered if she was actually dead herself. Was this the afterlife, then? Was this even real?

    Just like the driver, though, Lawrence did not speak. But he did smile at her, a sad, bittersweet smile. His hand came up to caress her face, and Safia leaned her cheek into his warm touch, her eyes closing in bliss. If they could just stay like this…

    But Lawrence’s hand left her face, gently trailing along her neck, down her chest, then coming to rest on her stomach, where it lingered for several moments. He leaned down to kiss her, just once, then began to move away.

    “Don’t go,” she said, reaching for him.

    Suddenly, the black shadow-creature descended out of the fog, and though Safia quickly clamped her hands over her ears, its shrieking roar still made her ears hurt. She tried to reach for Lawrence again as he went to investigate, but the beast snatched him up and swallowed him whole. Safia let out a cry of fear and despair as the monster roared again, then turned its burning red eyes on her. Hatred, contempt, spite were clear in those fiery eyes, and Safia knew instantly that if it caught her, it would kill her.

    Lawrence’s scimitar had fallen to the ground when the beast had grabbed him in its teeth. It was crazy, she knew, the beast was enormous and her chances of killing it were slim at best, but she wasn’t just going to cower there and let the beast have her. Trying not to take her eyes off the creature, Safia crouched down to try to take up her husband’s curved blade.

    The beast launched itself at her, roaring in her face--she could feel its hot breath on her skin. Safia's hand closed around the hilt of Lawrence's scimitar, and she blindly swung the sword at the monster, even as she backed away from it.

    The blade swooshed the air in front of the beast. It screamed in rage, swinging a claw at her. It caught her arm and, even though it barely touched her, it left a jagged scar on her pale skin. Its hot breathe smothered down on her then, as it stepped close to her, towering above like an angry mountain.

    She briefly took shelter behind the wagon as the beast again tried to scorch her with its scalding breath, waiting for the roaring to cease before rushing out again. Ignoring the scratch on her arm, Safia didn't give the creature time to think as she threw all caution to the wind and rushed at the beast, jabbing Lawrence's sword at whatever part of the monster she could reach.

    The blade sank into its neck, and the beast reared back, yanking the sword from Safia’s hands. She breathed a sigh of relief as it seemed to die, its final roar shaking the grounds and the castle, but frowned as the mist itself seemed to swell, blocking out any light and strangely pulling her along.

    TAG: None, to be continued.