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Fantasy A War of Kings

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

  1. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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

    Leaving the blacksmith, Fleet said a respectful goodbye to Hektor. The large man acted like a long time friend, a kind gesture the former urchin appreciated in great measure. Some would call him naive, and maybe he still was in many respects, but a gesture of kindness was something he would long remember and would endeavor to repay.

    The same was true for the opposite.

    Bren was equally kind and social, which made this portion of their stay in the Kalkheim a pleasant one. Fleet had always been a transient, no matter where he went or for how long. Hospitality and feelings of ‘home’ where concepts found in tales, longed for and best left to the imagination. Now, he was having a small taste of a life he always wished for and never believed he could have. It was frightening. Not the having, but to lose something precious after possessing it for a fleeting moment. No, it was best not to overthink these things and just enjoy the moment for what it was, since that was all that one could inhabit…a moment in time.

    To the young boy’s surprise ( then again, not really ) Lorain asked the friendly guard about Lady Chelsee, from the sounds of it she seemed like a bit of a rebel, which was quite exciting news. Briefly, Fleet wondered if they would get to meet her and smiled broadly when Lorain had pretty much spoken aloud the very things he had been thinking.

    Excitement aside, there was still so much to do before the expedition to rescue Ser Willis. Fleet welcomed the challenge and hoped he had the smarts to do well despite his lack of ‘formal education’, only royals and rich merchants got that. But none of them had an awesome teacher like Lorain.

    Briefly, he wondered what Ser Caliban would be like. No count he would find out eventually.

    The moment he looked up to glance at Lorain she met his gaze and gave him a wink. Fleet chuckled, feeling the strength of their bond and the comfort it afforded. He certainly hoped it was mutual. He so desperately wanted to offer his new ‘Ma’ the same kind of protection he felt when he was at her side.

    “Perhaps we can visit Freedom whens we get back, and see how he is doing?” Lorain suggested. Fleet’s blue eyes lit up.

    “Aye.” He readily agreed. “An’ we could bring ‘im sum feed too! He’s got t’be starvin’ by nou.”

    “I wonder if his room be as fancy as ours?” Lorain added as she chuckled and smiled. Fleet let out a hearty laugh.

    “He’s got t’be rollin’ en the softest hay’ don’t yu know….Wheeeeeeee!!!”

    In his mind it was pretty funny stuff, so he laughed again with a bit more abandon.

    Tag: @Ktala @spycoder9
  2. Jedi_padawan_leigh

    Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 13, 2003
    OOC: Combined post with our lovely GM :)

    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Delmaristead , Castle Tower

    You don’t understand child, not truly,” The chief maid directed them down another hallway, “These people here, they might look less dangerous than those out there,” As the small entourage passed a window in the hall, Jeanette glanced out it, “But they aren’t. They just hide behind veiled promises and false admirations.”

    Gwenn's brow furrowed as she listened to Jeanette's words. "Beggin' pardon milady, I don't understand..." she watched as the older maid glanced out of the window as they passed it. Gwenn followed suit and chanced a brief glance out at the castle grounds before continuing "...So yer sayin' their liars?"

    "Some of 'em aren't. . ." The older woman muttered, "Some of 'em are genuine. It's hard to tell them from the false ones though."

    Gwenn let out a small sigh and ran a hand through her dark blonde hair. Given her upbringing she always thought herself to be a good judge of people, learning to spot the signs of lies and falsehoods when people had tried to take advantage or rip her off in some way. The signs were often subtle, and most thought she was too stupid to notice. More fool them. It was easy to spot such things when people did not have anything to hide behind...but these lords and ladies, they most like hid their true selves beneath the many richly embroidered robes and layers of powder and baubles, behind the entourages and advisers and those they had to do their bidding for them. "So what do I do?" She asked the older maid before dropping her hand back down to her side.

    "You do best as ya can with what ya have." Then the older woman smiled, as she led them into a cathedral stone room, with a spiral staircase leading endlessly upwards. "Don't worry, child. I've served the King for years now. I know this place and these people, who's good and who's false. I know 'em bout as well as the King himself. He'd never let it on though." She winked at Gwenn as she began to climb the cold stone steps. Sunlight from outside shone through windows and provided ample space to see.

    Gwenn nodded gently in understanding as the small group approached the spiral staircase. Gwenn cast her grey eyes upward. It seemed to go on forever. She felt somewhat reassured by Jeanette's words. The older maid must have seen and experienced a lot within these castle walls; perhaps she would have a friend here after all. Following the maids up the well-lit stairwell, she cleared her throat slightly "Pardon me askin' milady, but how did ye come te serve the ki...I mean, me father?"

    "I've worked for your father for years. I knew him even when he was a boy, helped his mother some before she passed. I took him and his brother under my wing for years, even cared for him while he was off sailing and fighting with his brother. Nathan was never the true lord though, not like his brother..." She wandered off.

    When Jeanette suddenly trailed off, Gwenn was concerned that she may have upset the older maid in some way. Nathaniel had told Gwenn stories of his older brother back aboard the king’s flag ship, stories of his triumphs and achievements, but also of the sadness that fell over the Delmari family when he had passed away due to illness.

    "Me father told me he looked up te his brother. That he were a great lord an' the people loved 'im" She paused for a brief moment as she cleared a few more of the winding stone stairs. Her father had mentioned in their talks that he had initially struggled to adjust to his new duties as lord, which was understandable, given the freedoms (and pleasures) he enjoyed in his sea-faring days. Letting out a quiet breath, Gwenn looked at Jeanette once more, maybe she should stop asking so many questions "Sorry if I upset ya"

    "No, no," Jeanette shook her head, "You didn't upset me child. Words can't do that to me, not anymore, not after living here. They won't to you either. You must wrap your heart in steel. Make it the stone that is Delmaristead."

    Gwenn pondered the maids’ words silently for a few moments, running a hand briefly along the curved wall that made up the tower. Stone. Strong and resilient...a cool sensation spread through her palm "I can but try, milady"

    "I believe you can." Jeanette nodded as they came to a wooden door at the top of the stairs, "I'll leave you here child. Edeth and Paege," She gestured to the two young women at her sides - one with dirty blonde tresses, the other with black locks that were chopped severely at her shoulders, "can help ya prepare for the feast tonight. It should be a grand event."

    "Oh" Gwenn said quietly as Jeanette took her leave. She bowed her head briefly to the older maid "Thank ye" she finished as she watched the woman round the corner and disappear back down the tower. Looking at Edeth and Paege she suddenly started feeling quite apprehensive. She couldn't help but feel that her presence would offend the nobles and lords that would be attending the welcoming feast, but her father did want her to be there and as far as she knew, there was no way of getting out of it... Drawing in a quiet breath she glanced back at the two flighty maids. They were here to help "prepare" her. Just how they would do that remained to be seen, but the bastard woman had a feeling it would involve a lot of scrubbing, cleansing and hair pulling...

    TAG: None TBC
  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Posted with details from spycoder9

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    The Desert, outside Kalkheim

    Eleven days before the Wedding

    The party of horses moved slowly across the sand, dirt, and rock. The other people of Mirwyth forgot about the last two. They believed that the Desert was all sand. Sure enough, there was enough of that to be had for large stretches, but citrus trees could not grow in sand. They could, grow, in dirt.

    When the walls of Kalkheim shimmered behind ripples of heat rising from the ground, one of the cloth wrapped riders raised a hand to halt the party. It was a hand encased in plate mail. The halt was far from unexpected for those in the party. One of the other riders pulled the cloth that shielded her head and neck from the sun off.

    “Must we always stop so you can admire your own reflection like a sun stroke addled ijit?” Chelsee groaned to her eldest sister.

    Ginnifer slipped off of her horse and paid Chelsee no mind. She remembered the words of her mother the very first time they had made this return.

    “The people want to see their Lady glowing. You must always remember this. The moment that you seem anything like them, you will lose their respect. That respect is what keeps us secure. Never let them see you anything but glorious.”

    Sophee got off her donkey and retrieved a chest from the baggage train. She carried it to where Ginnifer stood, looking upon her city. The lady’s maid carefully peeled the rough cloth that blocked the harsh rays of the sun from burning her skin. Underneath was a light (both in color and in weight) green dress that flattered the right places on the Lady’s figure. Sophee touched up the color (ever so slightly, for too much rouge would evoke a much lower class of woman) in Ginnifer’s cheeks to make her look fresh after the long ride. A comb was pulled through her hair to restore its sheen after being trapped beneath the heavy cloth that had been wrapped about her head.

    The final item that came from the chest was a velvet pouch that Sophee carried ever so carefully. She extended it deferentially towards her mistress. Ginnifer reached in with her right hand and pulled forth a coronet, a thin hoop of gold unadorned by any jewel or ornament. With both hands, Ginnifer settled it upon her head. With the assistance of two of the guards, Ginnifer resumed her seat on her steed, riding side saddle.

    She was ready to return to her city now, resplendent as expected. Ginnifer clicked her tongue and her horse began to move towards Kalkheim, the rest of the part following behind her.

    Inside the city

    The guards woke Lorain and Fleet at dawn.

    A day of relaxation and preparation had done the battalion (and Lorain and Fleet) well. Ser Caliban had yet to introduce himself to the two, so involved in training he had been. This was a journey that hinged on the life of his brother.

    “Brilliant morning for a rescue,” Bren greeted Lorain as she exited her room. Fleet had already been retrieved, and once the two were paired together, the guards led them out of the alcazar. The town was abuzz with activity, even this early. The presence of knights all prepared for a great venture had sent the commoners into afrenzy. Though they continued about their lives, many stopped to speak to the travelers. “They whisper that you ride to war,” Bren told Lorain and Fleet at one point, “That the true war has begun.”

    The people did eye Lorain oddly. They couldn't decide what to make of her. They were used to the Lady’s sister Chelsee, but Chelsee wasn't as broad and openly muscled as this stranger. This foreigner seemed to flaunt her strength as if it were openly accepted everywhere. Kalkheim was a more open place than some in the Desert, but still, it was an interesting sight to them.

    Zooey Kildare joined them eventually. She wore a simple, red gown. It appeared to be more for comfort than anything. She went to Lorain and Fleet near by.

    “Please, find Willis,” Zooey said to Lorain, “and soon. The Desert needs to know that right and order still prevail in these times.” She turned and bent as she addressed Fleet. “And your job is to help keep your friend safe, little squire.” She ruffled his hair playfully. “Now, you have—”

    Before Zooey could finish her sentence, there was a tremendous and rapid clomping of hooves that turned heads. The party’s leader had arrived.


    Ser Caliban Kildare’s dark hair was in stark contrast to the sandy locks of the rest of the Kildares. It was said that he carried more Tann blood in him than Kildare, despite his last name. The knight was wearing light mail armor for his departure from Kalkheim. It was impressive, if perhaps slightly impractical for travel through the Desert. Caliban sat ramrod straight in his armor all the same, proud to wear it.

    “Cousin Zooey, here to see us off?” Caliban asked, “Don’t you have other things to be doing? Chores from sister?”

    “I’m here to remind you to find Willis and bring him straight back,” Zooey said tartly to her cousin, “Do not think because you go into the Desert with swords that you have license to use them on anyone. Don’t provoke Fenton or his retainers.”

    Caliban barked out a laugh. “Cousin, do you think so little of me? A sworn knight who would be so reckless?”

    “You have not proven yourself otherwise,” Zooey muttered, loud enough so that Fleet and Lorain could hear, but probably no one else. Whether the lady had intended for the pair to hear it or if it had slipped out unbidden was unclear.

    “So this is my war party,” Caliban said, looking at the men.

    Rescue party,” Zooey stressed.

    “Indeed, V’hallar rescue our target from us,” Caliban said, flipping his head. Then his eyes rested on Lorain and Fleet. “After all, we have a woman and a boy in our number. Surely they will tremble.” The words did not seem so complimentary coming out of his mouth.

    “Come now,” Caliban commanded, “Let us get moving. My brother rots in chains and every minute we tarry is a crime against my kin.” He gently spurred his horse forward and began to lead the party out of the city.

    So it was that two groups of travelers met each other at the gate. Coming in was Lady Ginnifer Kildare. Going out was Caliban with Lorain and Fleet. One weary from the road, one fresh and ready to do battle.

    TAG: Ktala greyjedi125
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  4. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    Combined With Spy!

    IC: Abbott Tuckman
    The Capital of Mirwyth, Leaving WhiteBridge Castle for the Docks

    "Are her words true?" Zia asked him finally, once they were out of the castle. Her voice was a whisper, quieter than even her usual tone. "Is the Queen missing?"

    Tuckman took a deep tankard of the castle air as they left it, once more nearing the free air of the sea. Only the Temptress' need to talk disturbed the quiet ruminations of what the Cold Eyes could be doing to the trade negotiations. The trouble they were possibly drawing near abreast of.

    "I have no mystic orb to verify, why I traded the wicked thing for a boat I'll never know. What I do know, she had not the air of a liar nor wheedler about her." he responded in the same quiet hushed voice that barely carried in it's depths upon the breeze to the Temptress' ears.

    "Death..." Her words compressed from her lips in a tight hiss. Her accent remained thick on her words. "I don't trust these lords and their castles..."

    He looked at her and grinned large and big, his face a full read of humor, "Nor I any that have not at least waded the sea. Nor tried to sell upon the docks."

    She cut him her eyes, those brown daggers. "You laugh, as if this is a mummer's farce. As if your life is a mummer's farce."

    Feigning a more serious mane to the Temptress he looked deep into her murderous eyes, "My life is. My family are. To be anything else is to die far to simply and without worth if never the part of mummer is taken." He spoke all seriousness and still yet in a whisper.

    She twisted her lips, but didn't give a response. Instead she forced her eyes away from his and strode towards the busy harbor. Even in her anger, she slithered around and between people effortlessly, with a practiced ease.

    Watching the Temptress walk away, he had to admit. This just might be his favorite view of her.

    With a twist of the head and a sigh on the breeze he followed behind her with less ease to return to the docks and busy harbor.

    TAG: spycoder9
    Trieste likes this.
  5. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

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

    The guards woke Lorain and Fleet at dawn. Lorain did her best not to groan, when they came to wake Fleet and her up. Gods, she did not mind it so much, when she was back at home, tending to the irons. But after their ordeal, a bit of late night sleep would be welcomed. Then again, it would be most foolish indeed to wait for the heat of the day to catch up with them, so she understood well. She quickly took what would be most likely the last of a relaxing bath for some time to come, and then quickly got dressed, packing a few fresh fruits with her. She wondered, just how far they would have to travel, before they reached the boats. Such things had not really been explained, but since they were simply there to point things out, Lorain was not too worried. At least they had a day to relax, Fleet and she. And Lorain was able to show Fleet some of the basics about holding a weapon, and giving him pointers on how he should use it. The crossbow, she held back for later, seeing his initial reaction of the weapon. When Lorain was told that it was Ser Caliban who would be leading the voyage, she thought of Hektor, and the fact that he had been the one to choose the weapons of another smith. Lorain wondered if he had reason, or simply did not wish to follow along with what the rest of his family did. He did not meet with them the day before they were to travel. Training, they had been told. He would meet them when it was time to leave. As Lorain dressed, she went back to her normal mode, of dressing more like a male, than female, pants, tunic, hair braided and hidden, with an apron in front.

    “Brilliant morning for a rescue,” Bren greeted Lorain as she exited her room. Lorain smiled, "I would agree with ya, Bren." Lorain replied cheerfully, as she looked over, seeing Fleet already out in the hallwell as well. She walked over, and gave him a quick hug. "Did ya sleep well?" she asked him, as the guards turned, to lead them out to meet the others.

    Lorain was suprised at how much activity there was so early in the morning. So many people were gathered about, with the sounds of many voices buzzing around them. It was quite a sight. "They whisper that you ride to war,” Bren told Lorain and Fleet at one point, “That the true war has begun.” Well, that would explain some of the strange looks she was getting. That, and the way she was dressed. Lorain whispered to Bren, "Well, lets hope that pirates be the only thing we run into on this trip." Strange looks was something Lorain simply considered as normal, and continued on. Soon, they were met by Zooey Kildare, wearing a simple red gown. She made her way over towards Fleet and Lorain. “Please, find Willis,” Zooey said to Lorain, “and soon. The Desert needs to know that right and order still prevail in these times.” Lorain nodded solemnly. "I'll do my best, M'lady." she told the woman. She watched silently, as Zooey bent as she addressed Fleet. “And your job is to help keep your friend safe, little squire.” She ruffled his hair playfully. Lorain smiled. Everyone seemed to naturally want to rub Fleet's head. She chuckled softly. But before Zooey could finish her sentence, there was a tremendous and rapid clomping of hooves that turned heads.

    Lorain turned to look to the sound of the noise. A man, wearing armor, with dark hair sat at the reins. He sat as if new to the armor he wore, sitting stiffly. Lorain remembered what the other Kildare's had said of him during the earlier talks. Lorain eyed the main curiously as he spoke. “Cousin Zooey, here to see us off?” Caliban asked, “Don’t you have other things to be doing? Chores from sister?” Lorain didnt turn her head, but the general comment sounded rather rude. Especially when getting ready to embark on such an important mission. Lorain looked over towards Fleet, giving him a slight nod. Zooey continued on, her ire quite evident in her voice.

    “I’m here to remind you to find Willis and bring him straight back,” Zooey told him. “Do not think because you go into the Desert with swords that you have license to use them on anyone. Don’t provoke Fenton or his retainers.” Caliban barked out a laugh. “Cousin, do you think so little of me? A sworn knight who would be so reckless?” Zooey response to that question was both quick, and surprising. “You have not proven yourself otherwise,” Zooey muttered, just loud enough so that Fleet and Lorain could hear, but no others. THIS was the man they were sending out for such an important mission?! They had not taken two steps yet, and already the cur was beginning to leave a sour taste in her mouth. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Hektor didnt seem to like the man either. Caliban sat in his seat, looking out at the group assembled.

    “So this is my war party,” Caliban said, looking at the men. “Rescue party,” Zooey stressed. “Indeed, V’hallar rescue our target from us,” Caliban said, flipping his head. Lorain was doing her best to remember that this was a royal, and they were here on their request. She also didnt want Fleet to pick up any feelings about how she felt about the man either. They would need a clear head, both of them, for the trip ahead. Then the man looked on Lorain and Fleet. “After all, we have a woman and a boy in our number. Surely they will tremble.”

    Lorain gave the man a long hard glare. "As well they should." She answered calmly, before turning to lead Fleet towards a horse that had been shown to them. She had no idea if Fleet knew how to ride. And right now, she would prefer that he rode with her, so that she could continue her lessons to him, as they moved. Ser Caliban continued. “Come now,” Caliban commanded in a loud voice, “Let us get moving. My brother rots in chains and every minute we tarry is a crime against my kin.” He gently spurred his horse forward and began to lead the party out of the city. Lorain shook her head. It was hard to believe that this man was the brother of the one she had met on the ship. She looked over at Lady Zooey, and gave her a solemn nod, before mounting her horse. Lorain then smiled, and held out her hand to Fleet. "Ride wif me for awhile. It's a bit different than ridding a camel or donkey." Lorain told him. "Besides, ya can make sure I dont get's into any trouble." she stated, as she scooted back, making room for him to sit in front of her. Oh yes, this was going to be quite an interesting trip. She looked around the area one last time, and once Fleet was settled, began to follow the group out. Lorain looked to see if any of the guards they had met before was travelling with them.

    On their way out of the city, Lorain could see another group, once equality as large, making its way into the city. There seemed to be quite a few guards around it, and wait. It looked like there were several women near the front of the procession. Was that the Lady Ginnifer and the woman Chelsee? Well, it seemed that they were about to find out, as they would have to pass each other at the gate. Lorain was about to cover her face and head, but stopped, curious as to see what would transpire as the two groups passed each other at the gate. This could prove interesting.

    TAG: greyjedi125, Trieste, spycoder9
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  6. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    Leiliana Caine
    21 Days Before the Wedding
    Monastery of the Order of Avos

    The butterfly disappeared into the fog, as did the castle, Leiliana quickly ran down the stairs from the wall and towards the abbey. Entering the main hall she made her way to the observatory, Eldest Ynsilvund could usually be found there amongst the tomes and charts, he and his apprentices had spent years examining and cataloging the stars, moon, and planets. The observatory was a tower with a domed roof; it's second story was a walkway lining the walls, which lead to exterior balconies, facing four different directions. The first floor was lined with bookshelves, desk tables rest upon a worn hardwood floor, Ynsilvund sat at a desk reading over his notes with a chart upon the table.

    "Eldest!" Leiliana called as the door burst open, old Ynsilvund nearly leapt from his chair in fright, his notes flying into the air. He stood up and put his hand over his chest, "By the light of the moon, child," he said breathing heavily, "what is the matter?"
    "I've been given an omen," she explained.

    "What makes you say that?" he asked, his breathing returning to normal.

    "A Blue Silk Wing, it came to me as I meditated before Artemis' rest. It lead me to the top of our southern wall," she paused, "I saw a castle, far in the distance. I couldn't see much besides it's walls, banners, and tiers. My garden had always brought the silk wings, but I had not seen a blue wing for months, I feared they were all dead."

    Ynsilvund rubbed his nose thoughtfully, glancing to the ground then bringing his eyes to meet her expectant gaze. "Come," he said beginning to walk past her, "Let us go to Elder Deckard." Deckard was the third oldest of the Elder Four, he kept watch after the library and was one of the last Monks to practice Divination before it was mysteriously forbidden by the previous Eldest of the Order. Even still, the practice was forbidden but all knowledge was free in the Order, this was symbolized by the archway to the library lacking a door, allowing any of the monks to come and go as they please. Elder Deckard kept notes, maps, manuals, and tomes of generations past in the library for the monks to seek knowledge, should they have the drive.

    Leiliana patiently followed behind Ynsilvund as he made his way through the main hall and towards the library, his staff tapping along the stone floor. His blue robes flowed around him, he had become quite skinny in his advanced age, often Leiliana wondered at how he has managed to live so long. The Alchemists of the Order had never produced the Elixir of Life, the Order as a whole considered it an irresponsible and dangerous creation, each generation vowing never to pursue it. Their notes could be found in the library as well, but to take on such an endeavor could last a lifetime, with no guarantee to success....

    Pulled from her thoughts by their arrival at the library, Edler Deckard smiled as he looked up from his desk to see the Eldest followed by the Youngest. "Eldest Ynsilvund," Deckard said, placing his hand on Ynsilvund's shoulder, "You have a look about you, I hope this is a happy visit."

    "Our Youngest feels she has been given an omen, Elder Deckard," Ynsilvund said, placing his hand on Deckard's shoulder to return the greeting. "Did she," he said, turning to Leiliana and raising his eyebrows.

    "Yes, Elder," she said, then explained the events to Deckard as she had to Ynsilvund.
    "Ahhh," Deckard breathed, "Quite. Interesting." He said as he turned to lead them through the library. Leiliana followed on, Elder Deckards blue robes fit better than Eldest's did. He was only seventy-three, the third oldest of the Elder Four, his hair and beard were grey and unkempt, though not dirty as Elder Wulfgar's; the fourth Elder whom replaced Artemis. Deckard's blue eyes, looked left and right as they continued on. He abruptly turned left, the library was the largest part of the monastery aside from the gardens, stables, and crops along the mountain's side. Book cases lined the walls and were in rows stretching along a large room, larger than one would think until they began to walk through them.

    The three walked between desks and tables at the ends of the book cases, the tables had stacks of books, papers, and dried ink pots with quills stuck in them. Others had alchemical flasks, burners, and other material on them. Forgotten research of previous generations. Perhaps even Elder Deckard has forgotten about some of this... Leiliana thought as they came to the end of the row and paused. "Not much further now," Deckard said, turning right and continuing on, as if retracing his steps. As they walked along, small hallways with book cases along them were to their left, Deckard turned into one such hallway.

    It had an old table at the end, a chair before it, and a window that had likely remained unopened for many years. The book cases were full of old tomes, the three stood and examined them, Elder Deckard spoke. "This is where you'll find what you need," they began to sort through the books, stacking a few important ones upon the table and others in front of the book cases.

    The sky turned orange and purple with the setting sun, Elder Deckard grabbed a portion of his sleeve and wiped the dust from the window. "This should narrow it down a little," he said, holding his hands out gesturing to the books all around them, smiling at his own humor. Elder Deckard is quite odd, Leiliana thought. "You'll find a book on the symbolism in nature on the table. I suggest you start there and try to look for a book on omens," he said as he began to take his leave. Elder Deckard always pointed the younger Monks in the right direction, but it was up to the individual to find their own way. 'If the one discovers it for them self, they'll be closer to becoming a master than if I had simply taught them,' he would always say. Ynsilvund stood near the end of the hall, "I will send Brother Katan to gather your notebooks and materials for your study," he said, "as well as supper, I imagine you shall be here for some time." With that he turned and left.

    The sky grew dark, stars shone beyond the window and light from the old melted candles reflected off the glass. Leiliana sat, her notes strewn about the table, a book propped up before her. A pewter plate with scraps of food left on it, her pitcher of water half full next to a tankard. I should have asked for ale, she thought. Reminiscing of the times her and Artemis had spent studying in the library, all manner of subjects were taught to her by the other monks and elders as well, but her study was always guided by Artemis. She sighed and rubbed her forehead, the night had drawn on, but she didn't want to give up.


    Looking through her notes on a tome titled Spirit Animals and Their Guidance, all she could find was a vague paragraph on what the butterfly meant. Pushing her papers aside she reread the important part:

    The butterfly is emblematic; symbolizing personal transformation. If you see the butterfly as you meditate, pay attention to the areas in your life that are in need of change or transformation. This animal guides you to be sensitive to your personal expansion and growth, as well as the beauty of life’s continuous cycles. Just as the butterfly's life cycle is continuous. An important message carried by the spirit of the butterfly is about the ability to go through important changes with grace and lightness.

    Grace and lightness... Change or transformation... As helpful as the passage might be to explaining what a butterfly means it didn't tell her whether or not the occurrence was indeed an omen. Whomever had written this must have been at the pipe leaves too often, she thought. This is just horoscope.

    Leiliana sighed turning the page of the small tome opened before her Omens and Divination, Recognition of Signs. These weren't published works, merely the notes of another monk's research, which is what made this all the more frustrating. She read on...

    Omens are not easily recognized, most have taken them on a gut feeling which lead to nowhere, others have been lead to their destiny. Some have meditated for years, discovering that their destiny was to travel and live beyond the walls of the monastery, only to find they have grown too old for such a journey.

    The walls beyond the monastery.... Leiliana reread the paragraph, too tired to process it's meaning and continue, she fell asleep with her head on the desk.


  7. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    May 4, 2003
    IC: Ser Aran
    Valona, The Royal Gardens
    3 Days Before the Wedding

    The world was surreal. The sun was out of place in shining so bright. The flower blossoms were too radiant, and the lawns to well kept. Birds sung oblivious to the call of mourning. It was as if the Keep had been ripped from time, and placed in a strange limbo where no one had died. One where, perhaps, there was no revolution in the outer provinces, and no unrest in the city gates. One where guards and soldiers walked beside royals as their confidants.

    It took this brief respite from the chaos to realize how tired he was. His behavior was off. His eyes kept lingering on Emilia, for instance. When her hand swung free at her side, he had the notion to catch it in his own and draw her close. If he closed his eyes a moment, he could see their conversation taking pleasant, meandering tangents. Perhaps he was too long among these silk-shirted men. Or was it his way of dealing with Fenton's sudden absence? Not that he'd done any of those things in recent memory. Increasingly, Aran saw, he'd neither understood nor appreciated what he had. The knight tried to push those thoughts aside, though. His Queen had summoned him for a purpose. He had to be ready to help her.

    Breaking his reverie, Emilia asked, “Such a beautiful morning, is it not? It is almost as if he’s sending us a--a sign from beyond.”

    Oh? And what might he be saying, my Queen?” Aran replied.

    TAG: spycoder9
  8. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    IC: Ginnifer Kildare
    Gates, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    11 days before her brother's wedding

    “Back straight, shoulders back, head up, eyes front.”

    The Emilie Kildare four point checklist for looking regal before your subjects. The gates of the Kildare’s city opened ponderously, creaking on their hinges in advance of the arrival of the travelers. Ginnifer’s eyebrows hopped up for a moment, but the rest of her face remained impassive. The gatekeepers were usually not so welcoming. Even Ginnifer usually had to declare her identity before them to gain admittance. Entry to Kalkheim was a carefully regulated privilege. Too many ne’er-do-wells came out of the Desert addled by sun and thirst and seeking to satiate their desires (wherever they lay on the hierarchy of needs) in the cities of the Desert. The Lady would have to have a word with the guardsmen as she passed through.

    As she drew closer, Ginnifer in the lead of the traveling party, she saw that the gates were not opening to admit her—they were opening to let someone else leave. Much more acceptable. Those leaving Kalkheim were on horseback. Ginnifer would have the opportunity to look them square in the eye and wish them well. It was likely they were worthy of Ginnifer’s time—the most precious commodity she had—so some kind of salutation would be required. Ginnifer relaxed into the familiar state of noble address that had been inculcated through instruction from her mother.

    Just before Ginnifer was set to raise her mailed hand, she realized that she knew the leader of the travelers.

    “Ser Caliban,” Ginnifer called out.

    “Lady Ginnifer,” Caliban said. There was just a slight more deference in his voice than he’d had when talking to Zooey. “You return unexpectedly.”

    “I return precisely when I intended to,” Ginnifer said. “The Lady is always precisely where she should be,” Emilie had said, “and never anywhere else.” That point aside, Ginnifer’s trip had run precisely as long as she had expected. If it had gone any longer, Sophee would have fretted over clothes and provisions. The lady’s maid, further back in the train, had been glad to be on their way back to Kalkheim when last Ginnifer had seen her.

    “Of course,” Caliban said, his mouth curving into a rakish smile, “How fortuitous that you should return to see the expedition off.”

    “Do you mean fortunate or accidental, cousin?” Ginnifer asked. Caliban should know better than to stay away from words he didn’t know how to use properly.

    The knight didn’t appear to appreciate being called on the slip of the tongue. “Now that you mention it, both,” Caliban said tartly, “Wish me well. I’m off to go rescue Willis.”

    That got Ginnifer’s attention. “What?” she asked. She sensed that the guards and riders who had come with her were equally surprised given the shifting of steeds she heard in the dirt behind her.

    “Willis has been captured by slavers. We have reliable information as to where they are,” Caliban said, “In your name, Zooey dispatched me to find and free him and punish those responsible. As you can see, I’ve put together a nice little war party.”

    War party. The expression set Ginnifer on edge. War was the last thing she wanted around here. Before she could make a reply, a clopping of hooves preceded the arrival of Chelsee next to her side.

    “Nice indeed!” Chelsee said, “You’ve got more sense than I thought, cousin. You’re bringing a woman with you on your party?” Her words directed Ginnifer’s attention further back in Caliban’s group to where a tall and broad woman sat on her horse. “No wonder you were trying to scamper off before we got here. I’ve got a mind to go with you now that I know what kind of person you’re taking to rescue Willis.”

    Something about this didn’t sit right with Ginnifer. Why did Caliban have a woman with him? Ginnifer peered down the line…and discovered a much smaller figure next to the large woman.

    “Indeed, Ser Willis,” Ginnifer said, her curiosity piqued, “a woman and a child on a party for battle?”

    Something was not right at all…

    TAG: greyjedi125 Ktala @spycoder09
  9. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    Leiliana Caine
    20 Days Before Wedding
    Monastery of the Order of Avos

    Leiliana awoke with a start, the candles had burnt out, their wax was melted over onto some of the closed books they were set upon. The sun's meager light rose above the mountains, fog gently pushed past the window from the cold morning air. No snow had fallen, just fog, as always. It seemed the fog lasted longer these past months....

    Rubbing her eyes and breaking away from her distracting thoughts, Leiliana looked behind her to see Brother Katan turn the corner with two large wooden bowls of breakfast and tankards of juice from the apples in the orchard. "Ah," he said, "good morning, Youngest."

    "Hello Brother," she said, taking the food from him. Brother Katan sat on a stack of books by the desk and took a bite of his bread. "The chickens laid plenty of eggs this morning, Elder Wulfgar had picked the finest for you. I believe Elder Deckard spoke with him of your studies over last night's meal," Katan said after washing down the bread with the juice. "I had suggested we attempt a cidre, now that our orchards are growing stronger."

    Leiliana rubbed her face with her open hands before digging into the breakfast brought to her, listening to Brother Katan as he spoke. "Cidre would be wonderful," she said tiredly, not very interested in conversing, "I've yet to taste any at all. Surprising, that we have the knowledge but have not attempted it previously."

    "Indeed," Katan said with chucks of potato in his mouth, he was the youngest after Leiliana; much of his habits from his previous life still remained, even at the age of twenty-eight. "Have you any progress in your research," he asked.

    "I'm not sure," Leiliana said, then taking a drink and flipping through some of the papers. "Something stood out to me as I read it, but I was too tired to continue and my want of sleep took over."

    "Each of us have had such nights," he said, "the only way you will fail is if you give up in your search." His words gave Leiliana pause. Recalling part of the passage she copied to her notes, Some have meditated for years.

    "Years... " she said, thinking aloud.

    "I'm sorry?" Katan said.

    "No, it's.... " she set her spoon in the bowl and picked up a sheet of parchment from the ground, "this here." she handed the notes to Brother Katan, he read them over. "I see," he said, "what will you do now?"

    Leiliana sighed, the thought frightened her and excited her at once, could she do it? Was she old enough? Or even ready? Was this truly her destiny? The questions seemed countless, one after another racing through her mind, she continued eating. Not answering her Brother Monk's question.

    When they had finished, Leiliana picked up her napsack, placing her notes between the pages of one of her notebooks and putting them in the bag. Brother Katan looked at her, "Well?"

    "I need to talk to Eldest," she said rather curtly, "forgive me, I'm still quite tired. Thank you for breakfast." Putting her quill into it's case and the cork in the ink pot and packed them into her bag's smaller pocket. Donning the pack and taking the staff in her left hand, she turned to walk away and stopped just before the corner, "I think you already know what I must do." Leiliana turned to look at Brother Katan, "Can you get Anaïs ready?"

    Katan looked at her, his face appeared full of disappointment, "Will you at least tell me what it is you're planning? I want to hear you say it."

    "Please," she said.

    "That's not what I meant."

    "I'm leaving for the castle I saw in the mountains."

    A heavy silence fell between him, Katan tried to show supportive smile, but this would certainly create a stir within the Order. No one had left for longer than a few days, only ever to make trade with distant farms and towns. Katan had felt strongly for Leiliana, though his reason for coming to the monastery was the death of his own wife when they were younger, he had grown to love her as he began to find peace with himself. Drawn to her even temper, cool intellect, and serene bearing. The smile was gone from his face as Leiliana left towards the Library's entrance, he knew he could never have been with her, she was always busy with study, work, and training. All to which she put forth her absolute focus.

    Collecting the dishes with a sigh, Brother Katan made for the kitchens, and then to the stables. Picking a few apples from a barrel for Anaïs, Leiliana's beloved and proud Northland Workhorse. Her intimidating appearance belied her kind nature, though sometimes she seemed impatient with others, but not towards Leiliana. Always strong and ready to pull plow, logs, or cart. Katan approached her carefully, holding out an apple for her to bite into, as she ate he pet along her neck. "That's it, see?" he said warmly, "What a beautiful lady." Leiliana always said this to her, with suspicion that Anaïs knew what the compliment meant. Brother Katan never had luck with animals, but Anaïs seemed to sense his mood and nudged his face playfully with her nose before taking a bite of the next apple.

    As Katan tended to her horse, Leiliana quickly walked to the observatory, this time ensuring to knock before entering so as not to startle Eldest Ynsilvund again...

    "Enter," his voice called from within, muffled by the door. Leiliana opened the door, looking up to see Ynsilvund leaning against the stone hand rail of the upper walkway, looking at the book shelves in front of him. "Would that be... Youngest? I can tell as you knocked," he chuckled slightly, unlike him to break his serious nature, "your brothers merely open the door, not burst in or await permission, you know." His humor was quite dry, when he let it show.

    Leiliana smiled, "It is I, Eldest." Putting her free hand on her hip and shifting her weight she looked up to him, her eyes and voice full of excitement. There was no question any more, she would do this, only his blessing could release her with good tidings. He turned to her and walked along the walkway and down the stairs, speaking as he did so, "have your studies produced answers?"

    "Yes, Eldest," she said, moving to the nearest table and leaning her staff on it. Putting her bag down and taking out her notebook then opening to the loose parchment pages she had written in. Giving them to Ynsilvund, he read them over, and again. "Very interesting," he said, "I can see you have made your decision then. You desire my blessing, do you not?"

    "I do," she said earnestly.

    "Very well," a small but warm smile crossed his face, "your brothers will prepare you a cart of supplies and I will prepare your blessing. Come, let us gather the others. We can't give you much on short notice, when do you wish to leave?"

    "Before nightfall," she said, then changed her answer, "no... by midday." Ynsilvund nodded thoughtfully and put his hand in the crook of her elbow, they exited the Observatory together and made their way to the abbey's foyer and main hall. Ynsilvund bade some monks to gather the rest. Soon after, the twenty other monks gathered around, the Eldest informed them of Leiliana's omen and her plans to follow it. They murmured to one another, some seemed confused, others seemed happy for her, few would warn her of the dangers beyond the walls. Ynsilvund raised his free hand to silence them. Each was given tasks to help her, some sent off alone and others in groups.

    Eldest Ynsilvund turned to Leiliana, "I shall take my leave, to prepare your blessing," he said, releasing the support of her arm.

    Leiliana placed her free hand on his shoulder, and he did the same to her, "Thank you Eldest."

    TAGS: spycoder9
    Trieste likes this.
  10. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - Leaving The Fair Groves, Kalkheim
    11 Days Before the Wedding - Showtime!

    As the two groups grew closer to each other, Lorain whispered softly, so that only Fleet could hear her. "Stay quiet unless dey speaks to us directly, and listen closely. Learn from how they speak. They be watching us, they will." she told him, as she watched as the two groups closed the gap.

    A female voice from the other group called out. “Ser Caliban,” The annoying knight quickly responded, “Lady Ginnifer,” Caliban called back. At least he sounded a bit more respectful there. He continued on. "You return unexpectedly.” The response made Lorain smile. “I return precisely when I intended to,” Ginnifer told him. Lorain coughed politely, hiding her smile. She had been ready to cover her face, prepating for their travels, but she halted doing so for the moment.

    “Of course,” Caliban said, his mouth curving into a rakish smile, “How fortuitous that you should return to see the expedition off.” he told the woman, and Lorain got a bit closer, to listen in on the exchange. “Do you mean fortunate or accidental, cousin?” Ginnifer asked. OUCH! The woman knew how to choose her words well. And she didnt take anything from the young man. Good for her! She could get to like these Kildare women. Lorain also noticed a rather large lady in the group with this Lady Ginnifer. Lorain took pains, to get a good look at the woman. Lorain gave Fleet a wink, and then nodded for him to watch carefully.

    Ser Caliban didnt seeme to like her remark, and quickly changed subject, sounding rather put off. “Wish me well. I’m off to go rescue Willis.” The woman's response was quick. “What?” she asked. Lorain noticed that the group of riders behind the woman seemed to not take the new well at all, as was to be expected. If Caliban noticed, he didnt react to it, but only continued on. “Willis has been captured by slavers. We have reliable information as to where they are,” Caliban said, “In your name, Zooey dispatched me to find and free him and punish those responsible. As you can see, I’ve put together a nice little war party.”

    Lorain frowned, her expression flickering. HE PUT TOGETHER THE PARTY! REALLY? And he was now calling it a War pary?!' They were NOT a war party. They were a rescue party. A small group, who planned to use stealth, not brute force. But Lorain was not about to simply open her mouth, when it was a bunch of royals in the mix. Unless they were addressed, for now, she would stay silent. The sounds of hooves, and the woman that Lorain had noticed earlier moving forward caught her attention now. “Nice indeed!” the woman said, “You’ve got more sense than I thought, cousin. You’re bringing a woman with you on your party?” Lorain smirked. The woman had a good eye, to identify her, dressed as she was. That had to be the woman identified early as Chelsee. “No wonder you were trying to scamper off before we got here. I’ve got a mind to go with you now that I know what kind of person you’re taking to rescue Willis.” Lorain gave a knowing nod to both of the woman, as she sat straight in tall in the saddle, instructing Fleet to do the same. Lorain woudlnt mind if the woman joined the group. Not at all.

    “Indeed, Ser Willis,” Ginnifer said, “a woman and a child on a party for battle?” Lorain did her best not to grin. The woman was no fool indeed. Perhaps she would quickly realize that a war party did not usually rely on such a small force. Lorain was quickly wondering if this Willis was a smart as the others she had met so far in their travels. Lorain was quite determined to make sure that whatever this Knight did, would endanger herself or Fleet, even if she had to be the one to beat some sense into him. Now she was beginning to see why Hektor did not like this one so much. This was a test. It would be most interesting to see who would win it. Lorain took note of the reactions of the others in their party, before looking back to Lady Ginnifer and Chelsee. They had not even left the gates of the city yet, and already the knight was showing his lack of skill. Lorain hoped that whatever they were heading to next, he will have improved his standings by then.


    Lorain looked down at Fleet, as he watched the proceedings. She flashed back to earlier, when she had been training him with the weapons he had chosen. Even the friendly guard Bren had managed to give Fleet a hint or two, while they had practiced in simple basic things, to give Fleet a fighting chance. Lorain showed him, how easy it was to remove a weapon from someone if they were not that skilled, much like she had batted the stick away from him, when they had first met. She tried to show him, it was not always just strength, but knowledge as well. Knowledge combined with quickness, was something else that could help you out in a battle. It was much later in the day, when she had drawn out the crossbow.

    "I know ya dont like such weapons.." Lorain stated softly, as she showed it to him. "I'm not much for 'em either. But if it comes down to they being dead..or you being dead, I'm choosing them. This is for emergencies. I'm gonna kept it hidden, I dont want em to knows we have it. But you remembers it. Could save our lives." Lorain covered back up again. "Dont haves to like it. But to use it, yes. Cause at the end of things, we have only ourselves to depend on. Not them knights. Not da other fighters. Us." Lorain reached out, gently outlining Fleet's cheek with her hand. "We have to be ready to stand on our own, just in case. Boats, and pirates, and stuff we dont know might be out there. Things could get ugly real quick." Lorain smiled at Fleet. "But, we be ok. Cause we're family now. We look out for each other. I hope we do get Ser Willis out, all safe and sound. But Im not trading your life for his." Lorain gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead, and then stepped back.

    "Now, let's get back to training." They trained for the rest of the day, before she made him stop, making sure he would get plenty of rest for the travels of the next day.


    Now, she sat on the horse, waiting to see what the Lady Gennifer had to say on the on going proceedings. She doubted the Lady Gennifer would let the other woman go on such a dangerous trip, but it would be interesting to hear her input on the mater.

    TAG: greyjedi125, Trieste, spycoder9
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  11. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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

    One of the good things about being Fleet, was that the fact that he was a quick study, shrewd and a keen observer.

    To say that his first impressions of Ser Caliban were less than stellar, would be a great understatement. He had seem what happened to men who acted as he did and their end was never good. He didn’t expect this would be an exception. Ma’ (Lorain) was right. They only had each other to depend on. This trip was already ‘not fun’.

    But that didn’t matter. This was for Ser Willis, the man who freed Lorain from her bonds. If she believed he was worth all this, then he would be there for her, for he belonged at her side.

    Now the Kildare women….

    Well, they definitely bore their ‘royalty’ quite well. Fleet’s eyebrows went up as he spied them. They were ‘easy on the eyes’, to borrow a phrase from some of the more well mannered workers whenever referencing the fairer gender. For the moment, he did as Lorain instructed. Remain quiet and speak when spoken to.

    Fleet nodded at the big woman and payed keen attention to the proceeding, not wishing to miss anything and eager to learn from the ‘living examples’, for that’s how he learned best.

    Sparring and training with Lorain and Bren had been very educational ideed. He’d learned so much by doing and following their instructions. He didn’t let himself rest until he got things right. Footwork, balance, control and speed. So much coordination and so much work. Fleet couldn’t recall the last time he’d sweated so much, but the results spoke for themselves. He was feeling a whole lot more confident about his burgeoning skills and planned to heed to the advise given, ‘not to take unnecessary risks’. He could do that, but he was also thankful that he also possessed an element of surprise, something he would not squander.

    As for the crossbow…

    Lorain was right. He needed to know how to use it, no matter his initial dislike for the weapon. He had to move past the ‘past’ and look to the future, especially if he had plans. Yes, he would move past such obstacles and become something new. There was little choice.

    The two Kildare women looked at them now, after their verbal sparring with Ser Caliban. Fleet remained very still and tried not to stare, though it was hard not to. The other big woman was almost like Lorain, but blonde.

    Fleet heard her mention something about being tempted to join them, which caused Fleet to smile and silently wish that she would do just that.

    Tag: @Ktala, @Trieste, @spycoder9
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  12. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    Approved by Spycoder!

    Name: Shalavon Distantdreamer

    Template: Peter Cushing

    Age: 57

    Gender: Male



    Lean, wiry build upon a light and narrow frame

    Deep set vibrant blue eyes

    Prominent cheek bones

    Sharply defined facial features

    Ashen hair, weathered light tan skin, long elegant fingers

    Attire: light tan cotton tunic and trousers with black leather travel boots, carries a walking stick, a flute, and small satchel

    Occupation: Wandering Holistic Healer

    Allegiance: Prairies

    Symbol: The Bull Elk—connection to the land, courage, intuition, caution

    Biography: Shalavon is peasant-born, and though he knew little of luxury he knew that he was loved and that he had a purpose in the world. He is not academically gifted but Shalavon as a knack for understanding creatures. He likewise has developed a keen skill for observation. From his mother he learned healing skills and his empathy and compassion were honed and channelled. From his father, Shalavon gained a respect for nature and a deep love for life.

    Usually quiet and agile, Shalavon prefers to avoid conflict but when he can he will offer advice to guide others. Very attuned to nature, he is concerned with maintaining balance wherever he wanders. Though he is very mild and he has never left his native Prairies, Shalavon is energetic and is active outdoors often. His animal companion is a raven named Pal.
  13. KGA91

    KGA91 Jedi Padawan

    Mar 21, 2014
    Name: Cort Leon
    Age: 22
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: Cort has a scar running down his face from an attack from his father on a drunken night.
    Homeland: The Mountains
    King: None
    Occupation: Traveler/Merchant
    Family Banner: House Leon uses a symbol of a lone mountain to symbolize their solitude from much else of the world.
    House Words: "One alone can move the mountain."

    Cort Leon has always been searching for what his purpose in life is.

    He was the sole child born to House Leon. A mere year into his life, his mother died in a fight with a band of merchants who had tried to rape her. His father was forced into depression, one that led to him taking much of the anger out on young Cort. This made the young boy wary of human emotions. Despite this, his father still trained him in the ways of their House and forced Cort to face many struggles.

    When the boy came of an age, his father forced him out of their lands for a year. He told Cort that all Leon's faced the world alone. That year was one which changed Cort, and he does not discuss those details. As the years went on he improved in his skills, all the while watching his father fade away. One night after he had returned, his father was far too drunk, and attacked his son. He confused Cort as one of the merchants who had killed his wife. It left a scar on Cort, and the young man left the house with all he could carry.

    He travels the land, swearing allegiance to no one but the mountain which he was raised on.
  14. Master Selkath

    Master Selkath Jedi Knight star 2

    Oct 5, 2013
    Spycoder Approved

    Name: Helena Vane

    Age: 49

    Gender: Female

    Appearance: 5'6" ,average build, dark green eyes, dirty blonde hair

    Homeland: The Mountains

    King: King of the Mountains

    Occupation: Lady of House Vane/ Advisor to the King

    Family Banner:

    House Words: "Power is what makes the world go around"

    Biography: Helena Brivolus was born to the aristocratic House Brivolus of the Mountains, in the small city named after their family. She and her parents lived on a keep that was built into the mountain. Her father was a wealthy man, and the leader of the small city. When she was young, her mother suffered a malady of the heart that killed her, and her father fell into a deep depression. Helena took to learning the basics of running the city from the maester, and as a teen, secretly led the city in the shadow of her grieving father. Before she left Brivolus, soon after the death of her father, she handed command of the city to the maester that had been her guide. The city has been prosperous to this day.

    In her travels, Helena tried to become a maester like the one that had taught her before. She received much scorn, as it was virtually unknown for a woman to seek that profession. She became very educated in the politics, foreign relations, and domestic issues of kingdoms. She tried to form a small chapel, but could not hold the title of a maester if doing so. She decided to focus on the political side of being a maester instead.

    She met her future husband, the Lord Saren Vane, at a gala hosted by Lord Desmond Rolmar, whom she had been acquainted with when she was younger. Soon after, they were married, and Helena was offered to be one of Rolmar's advisors. Many of his advisors believed this was a controversial choice, because of her gender and career paths, but Helena brushed it aside and accepted the position.

    Only one child came from her marriage, a son she named Viktor. He was her pride and joy, though in her husband's dealings with House Reynard, he was bartered. Desmond warned her of the growing oppressiveness of the King, and in turn she tried to sway her husband, but he was wouldn't back down on this matter. Their child was sent to foster in the Capital, to be trained in the ways of the blade, though Helena prayed he would return to rule House Vane one day.

    It was then, with her son sent away from her and her relationship deteriorating with her husband, that Saren died suddenly. It was whispered behind cups that she had poisoned him. She retained her status as Lady after his death and served as a advisor to Lord Rolmar with fierce loyalty. She was one of the most vocal advisors to push him towards the Mountains splitting from the Capital.

    She had hoped to attend the wedding of the Princess and the Desert knight, but an avalanche of magnificent proportions crushed their roads and stalled travel for several days. By the time her retinue of knights had cleared them, the time had already grown too near.
  15. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Three Days Before the Wedding

    The Prairies of Mirwyth
    The Prairies are a land of ill repute.
    Teeming with bandits and outcasts, tribes and drifters, the poor and desolate, it is a home for only those strong enough to brave it.
    Pressed in-between the Mountains and the Desert, its green majesty is a wonder to all those who pass through.
    The animals are vicious, almost as wild as the lords and ladies.
    It is a poor land, one that lacks control.
    A land of ill repute.

    Homelings Village

    The girl was dying.

    She writhed in her furs.

    She was in a small hut, one of the only standing structures in a village of nomadic men and women. Homelings, they had gotten the name, mainly for the homely look they had about them. They wore skins if they wore anything, though none of the children had clothes. They were a simple folk, not much for communicating, but they knew Shalavon Distantdreamer. They had called upon him several times, those with their gruff voices and short words. Even the women had voices deeper than thunder on a summer's eve.

    They came for the healer on the dirt paths. Stepping from the reeds, they jabbed in the direction and spoke quickly.

    The mother of the girl stood outside the hut. She had the highborn look to her. Black hair dark as sin, with brown pools of mystery for eyes. Her robes were fine silk, even if they were torn and shredded into pieces. She didn't even try to hide them. When she saw the healer coming, she rushed into the hut, gesturing him onward.

    "Please. . ." She quietly sobbed to him. "Please. . .save her. . ."

    A man stood beside the girl in the bed. He was garbed from his neck to his toes in a dirty armor. He never took his eyes from the girl, except to move from her so that the healer might help her. The closer he got, the more Shalavon would be able to tell, she was a young woman, perhaps fifteen or sixteen. A bloody scar from from one side of her head, across her eyes and the bridge of her nose, to the other side of her face. Her hair was the same dark color as her mothers, and her features looked very noble.

    She writhed in her furs.

    The girl was dying.

    The Dragonwood
    Wooden Palace

    "Who are ye?"

    Her flaming red locks framed her face, all pined back in the leafy crown that rested on her skull. Her green eyes never blinked as they studied Cort Leon.

    They had dragged him before the Lady minutes before, in her thorny palace in the wood. Cort had been straggling down the trails in the Dragonwood, when he was pounced upon. Snarling wolves, tethered back by leather leashes. The men who held the dogs wore thick furs, even on this warm of a day. There had been more than ten of them. They snatched him from the road fairly easily, and then bashed him over the head for good measure.

    He awoke in a palace, with balistrades and pillars entertwined with thorns and roses. A rope was tied around him rather severely, and several feet away, the young woman stood.

    "I asked, who are ye? Are ye deaf?"

    TAG: Cushing's Admirer, KGA91
  16. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    IC: Shalavon Distantdreamer: Homelings Village, The Prairies

    Three Days Before the Wedding

    Shalavon Distantdreamer’s keen blue eyes scan the village he has just entered. Such a land of wild beauty—with tall grasses and reeds, the warmth and revitalising power of the sun beats down upon his worn but kind features as he nimbly advances along the dirt path, his walking stick in hand. He’s been wandering for some time. This most humble of villages, the first sign of Humanity he’s had the pleasure of in nearly a week. His skin, ashen hair, and simple but durable travelling clothes are splattered in grit and dried soil.

    Hearing loud cries as a shadow passes overhead, Shalavon smiles slightly as he sees a large raven of sleek black plumage land upon a rat and begin pecking at it. ‘A fine catch if I do say, Pal.’ He acknowledges in very soft tenor tones.

    The raven pays Shalavon no heed and continues tearing into the carcass of his prey.

    Pausing, Shalavon listens intently for he’s detected rustling among the reeds that line his path. Suddenly, a Homeling bursts forth and instantly starts yammering in their short deep tones. Used to the rawness of his land’s inhabitants, the Healer feels his empathy and compassion surge as he willingly follows the new arrival’s proddings towards a lone hut.

    Noting instantly the difference in air and attire of the woman directly before the hut, Shalavon bows deferentially to her. ‘Is it you that seek me, Lady?’

    Listening to the woman’s words, the Healer soon realises it is the Lady’s child imperilled.

    Just prior to entering the abode, Shalavon gently rests an elegant hand upon his summoner’s shoulder for but a moment as he meets their eyes.

    Approaching the straw pallet, Shalavon studies the man beside it, at guard yet perceptive—the lass’ father perhaps. His attention zeros in on the writhing youth. Instantly, horror fills him as does great pain. Setting his jaw not a sound escapes him as his deep set eyes grow intent but gain greater gentleness. Leaning close to her, he murmurs as he very briefly strokes her fine hair: ‘Hello, Precious. Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’

    Shateki Fever. This menace he’s contended with before. A small comfort. Moving over to a lone pitcher that contains the last dregs of semi-decent water, the Healer pours it in a crudely-fashioned bowl then takes off his satchel and withdraws a mixing utensil and a couple of tan-gold leaves. Swiftly, he crushes and mixes the concoction then returning to the agonised and rapidly wearying girl, he sets down his medicinal ingredients before bowing his head as he lightly runs his hands all along the young one’s limbs and body, flesh to flesh. With every ounce of his being, Shalavon urges the illness to quiet its raging within the lass’ blood and body.

    Minutes later, drained, Shalavon sighs in grateful relief when the writhing ceases. Urging the young woman’s mouth open, he carefully pours the leaf-paste down her throat.

    Running his long fingers through the now sweat-drenched dark locks soothingly, Shalavon whispers: That’s right, Luv. Rest now.’

    TAG: spycoder9
  17. KGA91

    KGA91 Jedi Padawan

    Mar 21, 2014
    IC: Cort Leon

    The Dragonwood
    Wooden Palace

    Three Days Before The Wedding

    Truly he must be one of the unfortunate the walk this world. It was bad enough that he had been tied up. Now he was stuck here getting interrogated. How could he have been so stupid to walk those trails? He had tried to be clever was what it was. Trying to find a shortcut, or a new trail which he could lead fools on for extra coin. Tell them how it was an ancient path of some great warrior. Of course he would have been met by more men then he could handle. It was nothing, but his own lack of intellect which had landed him in this place. A look of disgust fell upon his face as he heard the laugh of his father in his head. He almost cursed at the sound of his father's voice in his head.

    "You call yourself a Leon?" His father said spitting on the ground. The man sat in a chair facing the fire. Rain stormed outside as the young boy of now more than 14 looked back at his Father. "No the Gods have tricked me. No son of mine would be as pathetic as you." The sword in his hand sent shivers through young Cort's body. He knew far too well how easily it would be for his father to cut him down with no second thought or care.

    "I asked, who are ye? Are ye deaf?"

    He heard the Lady ask for the second time. An insult he had heard quite a few times in his life. Listening was not a strong suite the Gods had blessed him with. A moment passed as he returned himself to the present situation where he was having such a great day. Perhaps they would even feed him here? He could only pray for such luck.

    "Is this the way you greet everyone? I admit certainly it has some qualities to it. Perhaps if you cut me free I could hear better? Also I have this horrific headache not quite sure how that occurred." Cort replied in a tone fitting of a Leon. Something that did not sit well with him at all. He tugged against the rope for a moment to no avail.

    "However since I don't have many options at the moment," He continued cursing his father under his breath. That was always who he chose to blame for the problems which seemed more than plentiful in his life. It was his only way to keep moving blaming the drunk of a man who had caused so much pain.

    "My name is Cort Leon, of the House Leon." He recited with a slight mockery. He could just imagine his father disgusted with him stating that. "Let me assume like most you have not heard of them?"

    TAG spycoder9
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  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    OOC: This post come was worked out with spy via PM.

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Gates, Kalkheim, The Fair Groves, The Desert
    11 days before her brother’s wedding

    Ser Caliban bristled at the inquiry from Ginnifer. “The woman was taken captive by the same pirates who took my brother,” he said, “Unless we’re going to go around clearing out every den of pirates on the coast, we’ll need her to find Willis.”

    Not such a bad idea, Ginnifer thought. But word would get around and if the pirates found out who was doing the clearing, it could endanger Willis’s life.

    The Lady looked around and saw that her entrance and Caliban’s departure had drawn attention from the people of Kalkheim.

    “The Lady commands wherever she is—and she makes sure that those beneath her know she is in command,” her mother had said. Right she was.

    Ginnifer pulled her horse away from Caliban to give herself distance, circling around to place her charger in the center of the gateway.

    “One week ago I wrote King Mors Santagar, King of the Desert, about the threat that piracy posed against the Desert. I learn now upon my return that my concern was too-well founded. A member of my kin find himself in chains at the hands of such buccaneers. Ser Caliban Kildare, my cousin and fair knight,” Ginnifer said, raising her voice so she would be heard, “You are dispatched in my name to find your brother, Willis Kildare, who serves the Fair Groves faithfully in trade, and punish those responsible for these depredations. May you return safely and swiftly.”

    The assorted townspeople cheered the rousing speech and Ginnifer brought her horse next to Caliban’s. She leaned in and took his head with her good hand and leaned in as if to kiss him.

    “Whatever you do, do not engage Fenton’s men. I will not have us take the first action against him,” Ginnifer said, low and with threat in her voice.

    Be loved by the people, but know who should fear you, man and woman,” her mother had said.

    “Do you understand me?” Ginnifer asked, locking eyes with man she had once knighted.

    Caliban nodded, though not pleased with the private chiding. Ginnifer rode on past him. Chelsee followed with a broad grin. She appeared to have a good idea of what her sister had said to the knight.

    Ginnifer paused by Lorain and Fleet. “Find my cousin quickly and return here. The Fair Groves will be in your debt,” she said.

    And with that Ginnifer gently spurred her horse and her road-weary party headed for the alcazar.

    “Come on, let’s go,” Caliban called back to his men, eager to get out of the city and on his way to finding his brother. He gave his horse a kick and set a brisk pace out of Kalkheim.

    TAG: greyjedi125 Ktala spycoder9
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  19. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - Leaving The Fair Groves, Kalkheim
    11 Days Before the Wedding - the Fanfare..

    Lorain could come to like this Lady Ginnifer. She seemed to pick up on things rather quickly. A good thing, for a leader. “Indeed, Ser Willis,” Ginnifer said, her curiosity piqued, “a woman and a child on a party for battle?”

    Didnt take much to see that Ser Caliban did not like the way the question was put to him. “The woman was taken captive by the same pirates who took my brother,” he stated, “Unless we’re going to go around clearing out every den of pirates on the coast, we’ll need her to find Willis.”

    "THE WOMAN?!" Lorain sat tall in her saddle, as she held back a snort and a few terse words. The Knight had not bothered to even speak with her, on what she did or did not know. Didnt seem to want to be bothered with such things. Or to even learn her name. Fine by here. Perhaps that would is a good thing. Looking down at Fleet, who was busy grinning from ear to ear, she blew out a slow, deep breath to calm herself. Lorain simply smiled.

    Lorain started that the two groups sitting there in the doorway, were drawing a crowd. Obviously, the Lady had noticed the fact as well, as she suddenly pulled her horse away from Caliban, and moved to place her charger in the center of the gateway.

    “One week ago I wrote King Mors Santagar, King of the Desert, about the threat that piracy posed against the Desert. I learn now upon my return that my concern was too-well founded. A member of my kin find himself in chains at the hands of such buccaneers. Ser Caliban Kildare, my cousin and fair knight,” Ginnifer said, raising her voice so she would be heard, “You are dispatched in my name to find your brother, Willis Kildare, who serves the Fair Groves faithfully in trade, and punish those responsible for these depredations. May you return safely and swiftly.”

    Wow. The woman was good. Almost scary good. The assorted townspeople cheered the rousing speech. The two moved together, to share a moment. After the moment, Lady Ginnifer.. and headed straight for Lorain and Fleet. Lorain gave a respectful nod of her head, tapping Fleet who seemed a bit overexcited to notice he should be doing the same. The Lady came close, pausing briefly in front of Lorain.

    “Find my cousin quickly and return here. The Fair Groves will be in your debt,” she said.

    Before Lorain could even begin a reply, the woman spurred her horse forward, heading into the city. “Come on, let’s go,” Caliban called back to the group, as he gave his horse a kick. Lorain could not help but notice that he seemed to be rather in a hurry to get out of Kalkheim. That gave her another reason to smile. But she did think of the Ladies words, while she spurred her horse onward. Finding Willis, was one thing. Returning to the city? True, so far, it did not seem to be a bad city. But Lorain didnt want to spend her life here. She hoped, their gratitude would extend to eventually getting them home.

    TAG: greyjedi125, Trieste, spycoder9
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  20. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    9 Days Before the Wedding

    The Isles of Mirwyth

    Tower by the Sea

    The youngest servant of the two stepped forward to Gwenn. A pretty little smile was painted on her face, intensified by the freckles that dotted her cheeks. Her curly blonde locks were pulled back in a messy bun. Had it not been for the large gap between her two front teeth, she might have been pretty.

    "Paege, if it pleases m'lady." The girl curtsied, even taking her the time to lower her head completely.

    The other maid curtsied as quick as she could. Her dark eyes were solemn and quiet, like the calm that came before a summer storm. Her skin was of an olive tone, which hinted of at least some foreign ancestry in her line. Gwenn had encountered her once or twice on the ship, though the maid had never once spoken.

    "She's Edeth. . .of course you know that," Paege giggled her sweet smile again, and then walked past Gwenn. "Lemme open the door for m'lady."

    She did so easily, and then stepped aside so Gwenn might get a good view of the entire room.

    These were some of the largest quarters Gwenn had ever had the pleasure of being in. A feather bed was pressed against one of the stone walls, with fresh covers folded and warm at the foot of it. An intricate fireplace made of a charcoal stone was placed in a corner near the bed. A wooden table and chair sat adjacent from the bed. A banner of House Delmari's anchor hung from the rafters. A side room was set up, to be used for getting ready in the morning.

    But none of those things were as appealing as what lay directly ahead of Gwenn.

    A balcony, framed by stone pillars, displayed a panoramic view of the sea.

    A warm, salty breeze ruffled the curtains that had been tied back. It filled the room with a taste of the ocean.

    A flock of seagulls flew past, squawking to one another in their bird language.

    Sounds from the harbor were faintly heard.

    This was the Tower by the Sea.

    TAG: Jedi_padawan_leigh
  21. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    {Double Post}
  22. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Combined with spycoder9

    IC: Safia Kildare

    Safia walked in the direction the fog seemed to be pushing her, and she began to notice walls coming out of the mist, and a grand golden staircase. Had she somehow entered the castle? Or was she somewhere else now? She still wasn’t sure if any of this was truly happening or if she was dreaming, or hallucinating, perhaps.

    As she moved closer to the stairs, she noticed at the top there sat a white snowbird, watching her intently.

    The snowbird blinked once, and then turned and flew from her view, into the space above the stairs. Once Safia reached the top, she would find it was an entrance to a snowy balcony, one that contained its own inner beauty. A brilliant sun sat in the horizon, casting light over all the lands below. Except, those lands were all swallowed by the strange fog. The snowbird had landed the arm of a tall chair turned away from Safia. Suddenly, a pale hand reached over and gingerly stroked the snowbird.

    Safia's brow furrowed a little in consternation. So far, any attempt at conversing with anyone in this strange place had proved fruitless; even Lawrence had not actually said anything to her to clarify her situation to her. She honestly didn't expect any different now, but she had to try.

    "Pardon my intrusion," she spoke to the figure in the chair, "but can you help me?"

    The hand froze from petting the bird. The snowbird sang a soft melody as the person in the chair rose to their feet. Golden hair caught the sunlight, cascading over the shoulders of an immaculate white gown. The person turned to face Safia, and she would find her mother staring back at her.

    "You truly are beautiful." Her mother whispered. It was an elderly voice, one too wizened for the mouth it came from.

    Safia had been taught from a young age not to stare, but she couldn't take her eyes off of the other woman. She had only ever seen her image on paper, but she still knew her: the parent she had grown up without, the one she had inadvertently killed.

    "...Mother?..." She took a hesitant step toward her, still entranced.

    They did look just alike, almost mirror images. Safia had not inherited Corrine's nose or the curve of her brows, but in almost every other way, she might have been looking at her own reflection.

    I'm dead. I must be, or she couldn't be here. But then why had Lawrence been taken from her again? And how had she managed to 'kill' the shadow-beast? How had it been able to hurt her?

    "What is this place?" How are you here? Why are you here? Why am I here?

    "The land of decay," Her mother whispered as she stepped forward as well. She reached her hand up and stroked Safia's cheek, as she had the bird's. "A castle of death, a keep of corruption. There are many names for this place." A small tear fell down Corrine Rolmar's cheek.

    Tears stung her own eyes, burned a path down Safia’s face. Her mother's touch was gentle, warm, comforting, even as Corrine's words seemed to confirm Safia's fears as to her own fate.

    Corrine said that this place had many names, none of which Safia suspected to be pleasant. "Why are you here, in this dark place?" Her mother, she had always heard, was a kind and gentle woman--and though she had only known her for moments now, she was already inclined to agree--and she didn't seem to belong in this place. Was her mother a prisoner here? Was Safia now trapped here, too?

    "Why is anyone, anywhere?" Her mother answered, before taking Safia's hand and leading her to the edge of the balcony. Swirling, dark mists lay below them. "I only know that you are here, as am I. Isn't that all that matters?"

    Safia eyed the dark fog warily, hanging back a bit from the balcony rail. After the shadow-monster, she would not be surprised if there was something else in the mist, and Safia was not keen to find out if she was right.

    "Yes, you're right," she said to her mother, with a nod. It didn't matter why they were here, for there was probably nothing they could do about it. "Is there anyone else here?"

    "I. . .I can't remember." Her mother's face turned foggy then, as if she was uncertain of everything going on around her.

    Safia's frown mirrored her mother's. She hated to think that they were alone here, and the sudden thought that her mother might have been alone here, possibly for a very long time, before her own arrival made her feel guilty. I killed her. I am the reason she died.

    "How long have you been here? Do you know?"

    "I don't. . .my mind draws blanks. . ." Corrine collapsed into her chair, rubbing her forehead. "I don't understand. . .just thinking of. . .of those things. . .I feel so weak. . ." Her eyelids fluttered.

    Safia went and knelt next to the chair, taking Corrine's hand. "Mother, I'm sorry." She had not meant to distress her.

    "I remember the pain. . ." Corrine turned her eyes to Safia. Sweat had begun to bead on her forehead. "I remember you. Your father was shouting. . .he always had that cold temper."

    Safia knew immediately what her mother was talking about. No one had ever actually told her what had gone so horribly wrong during her own birth, and she wasn't quite sure she wanted to hear. "Mother...don't..." She didn't want Corrine to upset herself further.

    Slowly, her eyes calmed down. "How. . .your brothers. . .how are they?" She breathed in and out, and slowly she seemed to calm down.

    Safia relaxed a little as her mother seemed to de-stress a bit, changing the subject to a more comfortable topic, even though it hurt to think of her brothers now. "Karridan is a knight now, and he is--" She broke off, correcting herself. "Was, my bodyguard. We were very close." The unwelcome memory of Karridan handing the house sword to Desmond as he prepared to take Lawrence's head off suddenly came to mind, and brought a few more tears to her face. She wouldn't tell her mother of that, though. Not if she could avoid it.

    "Ectarion..." She didn't really want to tell her mother this. She didn't know if Corrine could remember what Ectarion had been like before Safia's birth, but if she could, Safia would rather let her mother remember him that way, rather than know about the bitter young man he had become. Nor did she want to tell her mother about how Ectarion resented his sister. But she couldn't lie to her mother. Even if she tried, Corrine would know. Mothers always knew when their children lied. "Ectarion is more like Father," was all she said.

    Corinne nodded at that. She seemed to understand. "And your Father?"

    She had suspected the question would come, but she didn't know how to answer. How could she tell her mother what Desmond had become? How he resented his daughter, how he had betrayed her, killing her husband on their wedding day right in front of her?

    The heartbreaking memories sent fresh tears coursing down her cheeks, and she had to look away from her mother. "I think you'd be happier not knowing," she said.

    Corinne closed her eyes. "I knew. . .I always knew. . .he could never control that temper." She reached up and wiped the tears away from her daughter's cheeks. "It's cold here too. Cold like his temper." The lady was whispering now. "And the beasts that rise from the mists. . ." She shivered. "You can't stay here. I remember now. You mustn't." Her mother stood from her chair.

    At the mention of the beasts, Safia shuddered, unconsciously touching the scratch on her arm. There were more of those things?

    But she frowned in confusion when her mother told her she couldn't stay here. "Why not?" she asked. Cold and dreary though this place may be, she didn't quite want to leave--at least, she didn't want to leave Corrine. And what did it matter anyway? Wasn't she dead? "Where do I go, then? What do you remember?"

    "I remember enough. Enough to know this. . .this afterlife, is not one I want my daughter to be in. No matter how cruel Desmond has become." Corinne walked to the balcony, staring out at the horizon. The rays of sunlight cast on her hair left an ethereal glow to her. Her gown fluttered with a breeze that wasn't there. "This is the land of death. And you are life." She smiled and grasped her daughter's hand. She smiled, even as a tear fell down her cheek. "You are life."

    Her grip tightened. Corinne yanked her daughter forward. The girl's thighs touched the banister briefly as they slid over the edge. Corinne only let go when Safia began to fall.

    Safia wondered if her mother would have the same opinion if she knew the extent of Desmond's cruelty. But before she could say anything to the effect, Corrine grasped her hand and yanked her forward, and suddenly she was falling.

    TAG: None (TBC)

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  23. Stryker01

    Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Dec 4, 2012
    Martyn Forsythe and Callista Halleth nee Sand
    The Throne Room, the Oasis of Dawnsgrace
    13 Days Before the Wedding

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The trio stepped into darkness.

    Sparse torches gave off light, though not enough to see the faces of those gathered along the sides of the hall. Callista kept her eyes on the shadows. They were silent shadows, save for one, who continued to cough into a handkerchief.

    Martyn's eyes didn't linger along the sides.

    Look ahead, his mother had always told him. Look ahead to find the truth. To stray from that, is to seek death itself.

    The throne was empty.

    At its sandy legs, two corpses lay wrapped in golden shawls. Martyn knew them for what they were. The stench of the dead threatened to overwhelm his senses, but Martyn had been raised to hold back, and so he did.

    Ombur gagged on the stench, and began to hack like one of the shadows.

    "Bow to the King," One of the knights behind them spat.

    Martyn took the young woman's hand in his. It made his bones ache, but he held on tight.

    She looked up at him. He was as silver a fox as he had been when she first met him. The glint in his eyes had tempered some since they'd entered the throne room, but hers were dancing to a different song. No matter how much she blinked and wiped at them, the tears continued to build.

    They both knew what awaited them in the shawls. But they walked on anyways.

    The first corpse was wrapped twice over.

    The corpse was tiny.

    Callista bit her lip. The pain and the smell and the sight led the tears from her eyes.

    The second corpse wasn't covered completely. His face stared at them.

    Callista vomited on the floor. Sobs wracked her body.

    King Mors Santagar, First of His Name, Lord of the Oasis of Dawnsgrace, Protector of the Desert, and Keeper of the Sands, was dead.
  24. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    The Sand Fury
    Somewhere in the Desert
    Thirteen Days Before the Wedding...
    Somewhere indeed, for no eyes of man have seen this place and spoke of it again their madness consuming them, it's horrific monoliths and ancient statues once a testament to the power of Hsamozaal. Sands shift beneath the feet of the tribe as they gather before a twisted and scored black stone pyre, the sand around it black as death, the assassin stepped forward. Holding the False King's heart in her hands before her. The tribe shrieked and hissed in dark revelry, some brandishing their katanas, others leaning forward as if to strike bare handed.

    The Sand Fury placed the heart into the pyre, it's blood soaking the black sand within, the Sand Furies fell silent as the assassin stepped back and lowered to her knees, holding her hands towards the sky. The rest of the tribe followed suit, and the sky blackened. Thick, oily, smoke rose from the pyre. The sickly smell of rotting and burning flesh filled the air. The heart boiled and bubbled, slowly turning black and shapeless, the smoke rising from it. This was a sacrifice to Hsamozaal. The Sand Furies rattling hisses filled the air and Hsamozaal would be pleased....

  25. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 10, 2013
    Leiliana Caine
    20 Days Before the Wedding
    Monastery of the Order of Avos

    The cart was ready in the courtyard where Artemis was cremated, the ground swept clean and no trace of him left behind, Leiliana looked at the stone altar. Quietly thinking... The destiny that lay before her. Life outside these walls were a mystery to her, but the supplies the monks had readied for her would be enough for a good start, they had no coin or riches; only goods to trade. Food, ale, tobacco and other items loaded into her cart. Elder Deckard brought books and alchemical supplies for her, reagents and herbs as well, he knew she would need them. Lastly...
    Brother Katan arrived. The other monks were inside preparing her meals to be ready to cook as she traveled, some split wood in the forest outside, but they were alone. "Leiliana," he said.

    "Yes brother?"

    "Please... Don't call me that," he said as he lead Anaïs to the front of the cart and secured her to the yoke and reins. "And why not?" she asked, Katan tried to control his fuming at the question. Was it not obvious?

    "I love you," he said. Leiliana looked at him, unknowing of how to respond, how could she anyways? Such things were a mystery to her, Leiliana had never been interested in a man, she only had her brothers; they had never shown interest in her, even then their vows prevented such involvement. Most treated her as the family she never had, no different from a true brother or a kind father. Or Uncle as she lovingly called Artemis.

    Her blank stare communicated her ruminations to Katan, Leiliana's loss for words only made him feel worse. He finished setting her horse up for her then walked towards her, looking into her eyes he took hold of her shoulders and placed a small kiss on her lips, and spoke "I'm sorry, I should have told you sooner," he paused, his face an expression of his own disappointment in himself. "You'll never hear this of me again, don't worry."

    "It's alright, Katan," Leiliana said as he removed his hands from her shoulders, she held them in her hands. "I know life has been a difficult road for you to walk... " she said, letting go of his hands and embracing him. Tears rolled down Katan's cheeks as he rest his head atop hers and hugged her tightly. They let go as she spoke again and she touched his face, wiping his tears with her thumb...

    "Be brave."


    The sun sat in the sky, just past midday as the gates parted and the Order gathered in the courtyard to see Leiliana off to her journey. However, the Eldest was not present, Leiliana waited by her beloved workhorse and talked to the other Monks of the road ahead and dangers she would face. Still having the faintest idea of what lay ahead and what she would do when she reached the castle in the distance. As the day went on the few whom cautioned her against leaving ceased, there was no changing her mind. She would do this.

    The doors to the monastery's main hall opened, Eldest Ynsilvund walked forward, a neatly folded blue cloak in his hands, almost dark as an evening sun; the color of their Order. Fur lined and hooded with an onyx clasp of the symbol of the order lain upon it. Could it be? Leiliana thought.

    The monks made two lines next to the Eldest and Leiliana, the lines ending at the front gates, Ynsilvund walked to her. He wasn't hobbling or with his cane as usual, he seemed assured, powerful and confident in his stride.

    "Youngest," he said. Lowering his head slightly and holding the cloak and clasp forward.

    "Yes, Eldest," she said, bowing and extending her hands for the cloak.

    "Today you leave us, you go to the world to seek your destiny, and while many have cautioned you. None will restrain their blessings," he said as Leiliana took the folded cloak from him. They stood up straight and he continued to talk; "know that you will always be home here, you are as wise as Elder Artemis and as strong as Elder Wulfgar."

    "Thank you, Eldest," she said with a faint voice, a lump in her throat.

    "You carry the love of Artemis with you, it is what makes you strong in your ceaseless quest for knowledge as Elder Deckard had taught you to be," he said, taking the onyx clasp and unfolding the cloak, "you will always be of the Order of Avos."

    Ynsilvund placed the cloak over her shoulders, it flourished in the movement and fit her well, placing the clasp at her neck to hold it. "This is the last blessing we can give to you," he said, "but it is our most precious, our love of the Order is strong as is our love for you."

    He placed his hand on her shoulder, she did the same to him and spoke, "Goodbye Eldest, I promise I shall return one day."

    Leiliana walked from him and sat on the cart's bench. Taking the reins and setting for the gate, the Monks of Avos bowed as she passed; some offered farewells, others blessings. Last was Brother Katan. Leiliana slowed the cart and leaned over to him, placing a kiss on his forehead as he handed her a small wooden box.

    "Farewell brother," she said.

    Katan replied,

    "Be brave."


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