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Amulets of Auredura (Closed)

By Osiris

+Watch
Replies: 15 / 156 days ago

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[i [b "Now then, which story would you like me to recite to you tonight, my child? Auredura? My, that is a long story indeed-are you sure you wouldn't want a lighter bedtime story? No? Very well, I suppose it will take a few nights to go through it all. Tuck in and I will tell you all about my most famous adventure, and my most dearest friends. Let me see, hm, where should I begin..."]]

[i "I suppose I should start by saying we were all slight acquaintances way back then, there were five of us, including myself-a band of fearless dragon slayers who relied on each other to take down these fierce-some beasts that blacked out the sun with the spread of their wings, and burned through ramparts with blazing fire. They destroyed cities and crumbled castles under their weight, tore down walls like brittle reeds along the mountainsides. Auredura was a name we did not know at first, for that foe slept under rock and stone, buried beneath the treasure it coveted for millennia. Each dragon we slew demanded our respect and our understanding for the carnage they could deal; we were introduced to each other by an oddly coincidental mutual ally by the name of Ulthred."]

[i "Once we slew our first dragon the people really started to notice us, our reputations were distinguished by our weapons of choice. They gave us these silly, little monikers as we saved their lives, paid us with whatever small belongings that could be scrounged up in the wreckage, called us heroes! Yet nothing we had ever faced could prepare us for the power of Auredura, the ancient scourge of the land that destroyed our kingdom long ago from one coast to the other for five continuous centuries. The great horned dragon was taller than any civilization, its shadow cast consumed multiple cities beneath its wingspan, and its breath could char the steel of a knight's armor like it was made of tree bark."]

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[i "It was Ulthred who told us about the Tale of Auredura, a fiendish creature who killed without conscience and kept our country bound in terror of his thunderous approach along the skies. The King of the time could not defeat the dragon, so they laid a trap in the mountains, it took years to carve out the underside of the mountain range, stemming from an abandoned keep nestled deep in the crook of the terrain. A giant cave took a few hundred years to complete, big enough to house the largest dragon the world had ever seen; once it was done, the new King, the great-grandson of the first, ordered it to be filled with large quantities of treasure."]

[i "A massive hoard of gold, silver, gems and jewels were poured in by the cart-full, piling as tall as a grown man filled the cavern. Among such riches the royal placed five powerful artifacts, amulets that emanated pure arcane energy-these would be the trigger for their trap. Dragons could never resist a treasure trove, desiring the glittering gold and shiny baubles with a strong determination to claim it as their own. Yet Auredura was far more intelligent than any mountain drake, what it desired most was [b magic], the gold was a nice enticer for any dragon, and it did not take long before the monstrous beast came crashing through the foundation of the ghostly keep to claim its prize."]

[i "The monarch threw everything they had at Auredura, and the dragon fought back so strongly the king even lost his own life, in a last ditch effort the magi sealed away the entrance to the keep and cave, locking the beast beneath the mountains for several hundred years. Until the world forgot the dragon who slept under the mountains, yet the greed of Man came to haunt us-thieves and robbers swarmed to find the hidden treasure, unknowing to the danger they were unleashing..."]

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[i [b The Shield:]] I was given the moniker 'The Shield' due to my large tower shield I used with my heavy mace; a Paladin I used to be in my youth, sworn to serve the Aegis God, Pelandrin. A watchful guide to travelers and protector of the weak, my shield blocked dragon fire in defense of my comrades. Among the wreckage and burning beams I stood, covered in ash and soot my shield at the ready, I held the line with bravery and commitment. As stalwart as ever I never bothered with fear in the face of death, as the trust I placed in my friends pulled us through every fight. [b [+red TAKEN]]

[i [b The Sword:]] The Sword was a monster with any blade, deflecting falling debris and slashing against talon and fang until they were able to plunge their hungering sword deep into dragon hide until it punctured bone. They were strong, both concerning their will and their melee prowess; if there was ever an ideal dragon slayer, it was them. When dragons roared, they roared back with singing sword and thunder, cleaving through our enemies like a scythe through grain. They fought in front, slashing the exposed flesh as the others held the dragon's attention. A true companion the likes of which I have rarely seen in another of such ferocity and valor. [b [+red TAKEN]]

[i [b The Bow:]] The Bow was an extraordinary marksman, with a flurry of notched arrows they would rain down volleys and snipe dragons out of the sky with their aim; their arrows flying true against the opposition, arrowheads slicing through scales and pinning painful pressure points. Lithe and swift, their balance never wavered as they dodged blasts of fire, pelting the hard dragon hide with deep biting arrows. Every battlefield held no boundary they could not reach, no wall could stop their arrows from finding its mark. A true companion the likes of which I have rarely seen in another of such precision and skill. [b [+red TAKEN]]

[i [b The Staff:]] The Staff was a master of the arcane arts, wielding both the powers of destruction and restoration like two halves of the same whole. Perfectly balanced they stood in the wake of burning cities, gazed upon the great reptiles who dove at them and they held their ground unflinching. Their knowledge of lore and alchemy saved our lives on many occasions, even when our defenses failed and we were on the brink of death, impaled on dragon's claws, their magic brought us back. A true companion the likes of which I have rarely seen in another of such intelligence and power. [b [+red TAKEN]]

[i [b The Dagger:]] The Dagger was a mastermind of subterfuge and misdirection, as an agile and acrobatic fighter, their daggers would find the soft points on dragons without remorse. They were leaping upon the backs of dragons throwing caution to the wind-stabbing their blades into the eyes and ears of our foes, sliding and ripping down the membrane of their wings-shredding them to tatters. They jumped and flung themselves like a ribbon dancing through the breeze, fluidly dodging the larger opponents, who were slowed down by their size unable to defend against the onslaught of poisoned daggers. A true companion the likes of which I have rarely seen in another of such cunning and agility. [b [+red TAKEN]]

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[center [b [size25 RULES]]]
All ES rules and regulations apply.
[b [+blue Please send me a [i sample post of your writing] through PMs, with the TITLE being what role you'd like.]]
Literacy required: [Proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization], minimum of three paragraphs please. Give us something to work with.

Swearing, Violence, and Romance are allowed.
Text-talk, Cybering, and GMing are not allowed.
[b Pictures-Illustrated.]
Make it creative, make it fun.

[center [b ~*~*~]
The Shield: [http://rp.eliteskills.com/u.php?u=1001 Osiris]
The Sword: [http://rp.eliteskills.com/u.php?u=860 Animeluver]
The Bow: [http://rp.eliteskills.com/u.php?u=80562 Canadonewithursh-t]
The Staff: [http://rp.eliteskills.com/u.php?u=79909 Ravanya]
The Dagger: [http://rp.eliteskills.com/u.php?u=80562 Canadonewithursh-t]
The small woman with the sharp tongue was an annoyance to Destrian, Loreena with her constant insults thrown his way left him giving her plenty of glares but there were more dangerous things to be involved in. The people of Hamir were desperate for salvation, it completely overtook their strange curiosities and general confusion about the five-plus Ulthred-who entered the town. Taliya and Juliet seemed to be willing to work with whatever the paladin threw at them and he caught himself wondering just how far he could throw the half-pint acrobat. His thoughts were interrupted by Ulthred who motioned where the hills were on the outskirts of town, that was where Olithir and Taliya should be positioned.

The dragon would come directly to the town and it'd be up to Destrian and Juliet to make enough noise to agitate the beast into chasing them out of the town limits and into a potential trap. It was why Destrian questioned Taliya's magic capabilities, if he was going to run a monster into a large open space outside of Hamir he wanted to be able to keep it there long enough for the five of them to take it down. Olithir could place some well-aimed shots to hinder the beast, keeping it preoccupied long enough to where Loreena could do whatever the young roguish woman needed to be of assistance. Any type of blinding or deafening to the beast would keep it grounded, but that meant putting Loreena in a dangerous position should Destrian or Juliet fail to keep its attention.

He went over his thoughts with the group and Ulthred was rushing them to get ready, the townsfolk were already running to their houses and closing all their shops down. It was almost a frenzied panic as they vacated the square, leaving the six of them alone, even the mayor closed and locked his home-they would find no assistance in the town frozen in fear. Ulthred managed to slink off somewhere when Destrian wasn't looking, figuring it to be for the best as the large, portly man wasn't much of a fighter. He shouldered his weapon and shield starting to move towards one of the city walls, with everyone inside their houses the two front-line fighters would have to get to one of the ramparts just to be seen, get the beast's attention and then race down the stairs, out the city gates and into what Destrian called the 'fighting zone'. He wanted desperately to keep the dragon in the designated zone but honestly had no idea how they were going to pull such a thing off.

The sky was dark as pitch by the time everyone was in their positions, Destrian watched the heavens as if expecting the beast to just pop right out of the sky. For a while it almost seemed like tonight would be a false alarm, but as the city's candle and torchlights took over its small blinking dot on the horizon they heard a strange roll of thunder. It was an uneven and off-kilter thunder, without a raincloud in the sky the booming thunder came closer until they saw it. The dragon was lumbering even in the air, it barely had a neck that supported a heavy bone-crunching jaw and horned head that sat squarely on a disproportionately heavyset body. It was a marvel the beast could even fly, its wings seemed to struggle flapping but that was the cause of the strange thunder.

The closer it got the bigger it came into view, it had grown large and heavy, feasting on the good people of Hamir, reaching twice the size of their first dragon from Farewyn. Farewyn's dragon was lithe and dangerously fast, yet this dragon seemed built to favor a more direct approach to fighting. It's body was like stacked mortar bricks, if Destrian had to liken it to something, and as it came to check out the village for tasty morsels its weight crumbled a few buildings that it dared to rest upon. When it didn't notice anyone in the streets the beast roared to announce itself, deafening to Destrian's sensitive ears he cried out as he covered his ears against its disgruntled call. The paladin nodded to Juliet for them to start making a ruckus to draw the beast's ire enough to make it want to give chase, Destrian used his mace to bang against his shield in reverberating blows as he hollered at the massive creature towering above them. At first the dragon didn't notice them, or if it did it chose to ignore them, only when they began introducing torch-fire into the mix did it turn its head. A combination of noise and firelight it did not care for, giving another roar of a challenge as it crushed a few chimneys to start chasing the nuisances who bothered its feeding time.

[+red "That's our cue!"] Down the wall ramparts Destrian ran, hefting the weight of his weapons like a champion to keep distance between himself and a very angry dragon. The beast belched forth spews of hot, clumping lava in globs before it let loose a breath of raging flame. Practically singing their heels it bashed through the side wall that stood in its way, the way it ran could not help but drag its engorged belly along the ground, churning in a rotating gait the dragon managed to keep up with them and then some, causing Destrian to pause a few times to block a blast of fire with his shield for protection. He ran as bait for the most part, pulling the dragon further from the town and into the trap where the rest of their group waited to strike, once they past where Loreena waited she could spring onto or up the beast and Olithir could start raining volleys down on their foe.

Destrian hated the idea of having to use Taliya's magic for more than just mending, but they couldn't risk this beast taking flight, he waved towards them to initiate their portion as he turned around finally to face the creature. Between Juliet and Destrian it didn't seem like it bothered to make a decision, instead using its large, thick jaw to pummel the ground where they stood and attempting to roast them alive with its fire. Destrian got a few good hits in when it would miss with a slam, the blow from his heavy mace actually dislodging a tooth from the dragon as he bashed its head straight into Juliet's waiting sword blow. There were a few moments when the creature would attempt swiping at them or swinging its tail but its size and weight worked against it, telegraphing its move long before the hit would land. At least it was until it got angry... The more infuriated the beast was becoming with the heroes' antics the faster it became, fueled by its contempt and bloodthirsty anger it was becoming more difficult for the fighters to dodge or block the blows from incoming.

Most of its meals died without so much of a fight, allowing it to become lazy and scrape free meals off of Hamir's populace, but these beings did not go down screaming. They brought pain and frustration which fueled the fat dragon to show why it was still a fearsome monster to be eradicated. Destrian was struck by a backhanded swipe, catching him in the midsection as he was sent flying to the hillside, the air completely knocked from him lungs and his attention dazed. The dragon began to flap its meager wings in an attempt to escape, calling for either a spell or a well-placed shot to render the beast trapped to its fate. Destrian didn't see what happened next, but there was another deafening roar that shook boulders around him and made him try to cover his ears once more. Just like Farewyn's beast, this dragon wasn't going out without a fight and it would take all five of them to bring it down.
Destrian / Osiris / 30d ago
((OOC- Sorry for the wait. Had most of this typed up ages ago, just been too tired to finish ;~;))

After all discussion was finished, and her fellow dragon slayers were retiring to their rooms, Loreena stayed awake in the company of the humans. She joined their groups and they were more than happy and willing to pay for her drinks and more food. She was aware that she was taking advantage of their kindness, but she had reasoned that she deserved it after the fight with the dragon in the cave.

That night, for the first in many, she felt like she was able to have fun again as she danced in between the table, around the locals and with the children to the band that blasted song after merry song. She played games ranging from hopscotch to arm wrestling, some of the men had seen her rather short height, as she stood at great height of five foot, and petite frame and challenged her, thinking that she would be an easy win.

But she proved them wrong with a wide grin, she would pretend to struggle, feign a look of panic before slamming their hand down onto the table. Their shocked looks would soon turn to surprise and a booming laugh before they paid their debt on whatever they had placed their bets on. She even flirted with waitresses who blushed and giggled when she complimented them. Loreena stayed until the owner sternly told her that she needed rest. She had placed her hands up in mock surrender, but ultimately she did leave the warm tavern and to her room. With no one left to entertain, an emptiness began to creep in as she walked the halls, the old wooden floor boards creaking with her steps.

Her smile now long forgotten and her eyes casted down until she saw the number to her quarters for the night. She pushed the heavy door open and almost immediately closed it upon entering. She pressed her back and head against it with a loud sigh, she raised a gloved hand and took the simple mask away from her face. The cool night air hit her clammy skin and she pushed down the hood. Long, thin pointy ears stretched out and her spiky, pastel purple hair fluffed up due to longer being constrained. Her icy eyes twinkled under the moonlight that streamed through the window. Eventually, she pushed herself up and stripped of the clothing to finally climb into bed… Slumber took her quickly, the exhaustion settling in fast, replacing the rush of adrenalin.

Loreena had completely forgotten when Ulthred said to meet, but it didn't matter as song birds and the bright sun woke her up. She let out a big yawn as she slowly regained consciousness, she blinked and rubbed at her eyes before stretching her arms up. She groaned, not wanting to move from the comforts of the bed, something she wasn't used after years of sleeping on the streets. But it was something she could happily get used to. With one final groan, she got out of bed and gathered the clothes she had so carelessly thrown to the floor. However, just before she changed into her clothes, a glint in the mirror caught her eye.

Wings.

They laid flat against her back, extending down from her shoulders, almost dormant like. They were almost see through, much like glass, but there was an opaque, translucent look that made things look blurry. Veins decorated the pointed wings and she studied them for a moment, a frown forming on her brows. She concentrated and tried to move them, her fists clenching, her breath stopping as she placed every bit of effort into making her wings move. In return, all she received was a small, pathetic flutter. She huffed in annoyance and proceeded to dress herself. With her wings, hair and face once covered she exited the room.

She had been walking down the now lighter hallway until another glint caught her. Her head snapped to see it and there, in all its magnificent, Holy glory, was Destrians shield. The deep, seated urge to take returned as she stared at it in longing. Something, somewhere in her told her to take it. Her subconscious willed it. So, she took careful steps to the Paladins room, not wanting to alert anyone of her whereabouts let alone the owner of the shield himself. She peaked inside and her signature grin spread. With a childlike giggle, she tiptoed over to the large shield and picked it up. She didn't get very far with it, perhaps an inch of the ground before she had to settle it down again. She didn't realise how heavy it was and could now only imagine how strong Destrian must have been, he seemed to carry the thing with ease… But then, he did have an advantage over her.

Determination settled in and Loreena perked up as she thought of a brilliant, genius plan. She crouched down and picked the shield from its base, it was still heavy but now she had the support of her back and she successfully managed to walk with it. She could picture herself as she swaddled down the hallway, she could see that she would look rather like a turtle. She snickered to herself and could then see her goal in sight. The stairs. She was getting closer until she was caught. The Paladins deep voice halted her movements and she cursed under her breath. She just needed to get down the stairs, perhaps even slide down on the shield. She was so close, so when she didn't hear Destrian move, she hurried up her footsteps. She was almost there until the weight was suddenly lifted off of her. "Hey!" He couldn't see it, but she had glared at him and then further stuck her tongue out at him in response to his warning. Rather like a child, she crossed her arms and stomped down the stairs after him.

The others did not know, but Loreena was not human. At least not completely. From her brightly coloured hair, excessively pointy ears and dormant wings that she hid under clothing, she was obviously part pixie. Her circus parents were not blood related to her, however, they had raised her and she considered them to be her parents. Loreena, in fact, was the result of a one night affair. Her mother, a pixie, used her magic to become human sized. She lured in a man and slept with him. Having satisfied her needs she returned back to her normal size and to her community, until nine months later and she was heavily pregnant. Not wanting to look after the child, the pixie grew to human size once more to give birth and then dump the baby on the unsuspecting father. The man was not prepared, he was poor and wanted nothing to do with the mutt he created. So when the travelling circus came to his town, he sold the freak of nature to them.

That baby was Loreena, who grew up unsuspecting of her true parentage until she was older. But by that point it hadn't mattered because she had a family. She did not care to meet her blood related family, but she had always wanted to explore the world of pixies. Very little was known about the tiny creatures and she wanted to learn all about their culture, way of life and her ancestors.

Despite her physical appearance, she did not possess the ability to control magic and she was always a tad jealous of those who could. She had wings but they did not fly. They were too weak and it was always too painful to move and force them, besides she had found a different way to fly… However, she had pixie qualities. A knack for mischief and harmless chaos, her need and obsession for shiny objects… She wasn't sure when she would reveal this part of her identity with the others, but it was bound to happen at some point or other. As she waited for the others downstairs, the waitresses she had tried to court offered her some bread and in return she winked at the flustered women. Her attention often wondered back to the shield, she would make it her own.

She [I needed] it.

She would just need a better plan to take it. Soon enough, they were all loaded into a wagon and on their way to the next town where their new target was waiting for them.

She only paid attention to the parts of the conversation that concerned her and she scoffed at what Destrian commented. "Me? Afraid of heights? You're asking a professionally trained acrobatic? I knew you were dumb but not that dumb." She replied mockingly. However, after that she simply stuck her head out of the side so that she could watch the passing countryside of tall trees and luscious fields. When they reached the town, the danger of her task finally settled in and so did a nervousness. She was afraid. She shook her head as if to get rid of the intrusive thoughts of failure and distracted herself with trying not to laugh at the attention the others were receiving. Especially the Elves of the group. Loreena was reminded why she kept her identity hidden, folks wouldn't be able to stop staring, touching and talking. For pixies were usually unheard of, nevermind a half pixie. She stayed away from the crowds, sticking to leaning on walls, dismissing any who approached her til it was time. She took a deep breath, blowing it out slowly, readying herself for what was to come.
[i (//OOC: I thank you all for your patience with me in my absence!)]


Juliet could only smile nervously, glad her sudden and gleeful outburst was at best appreciated and at worst swept under the rug for serious discussion. As the others began to talk Stratagem, the brutish fighter listened and continued to eat and drink, eventually ordering a second mug of ale as she tried to follow along.

[#4655dd "I'll do my best workin' with y'all. I'm not the best at coming up with the plans and the like, but you can for certain count on me to hit somethin' hard when you want somethin' hit hard!"]

Juliet had gotten back to her room, cheeks rosy and stomach full. The bed was warm, and just a touch softer than what she was used to - only one thing would make this better but she figured she was still young and life may yet have romance in store for her to have and hold through the coldest of nights. She pulled the covers over herself and drifted to a heavy slumber in a slight haze that ached when daylight reached in through the small windows, by how nasty her gut felt she was pretty proud she had managed to get back into her own room on her own, and hoped she hadn't gotten too boisterous last night. Though she had heard people use the term 'blackout drunk' she herself had never been, and was anxious at the idea of someone like her not remembering the night prior. What if she made an ass of herself, or flirted awkwardly with a little liquid courage to back up her impulses and shunt her over abundance of nerves aside, or started a fight, or [i ended] a fight, or worse of all somehow managed to lose her equipment!

Wiping rheum from her eyes with balled up fists, Juliet made bid for water at the earliest convenience, somewhat drowning out the antics of her exceptional company. These expeditions had been nothing short of live exercises in trust that left a nervous spark in Juliet's gut. [i Bravery goes a long way in a fight, but what matters more are the men at your side]; at least that's what adventuring stories held scribed between their parchment folds and leather bound skin. For the woman who knew a handful of people prior, half of which were related to her she could not quite say for a fact wether this were true or not, however without her allies beside her she certainly would not be able to put all of herself to such a rigorous and exciting adventure.

Outside of her armor she could surely sneak past her brother's keen eye, but she was certainly no lithe and confident Loreena who in Juliet's mind could, without a doubt, get away with just about anything under the sun without even the most perceptive beast thinking to look in her direction. Surely, her armor would be concave, and her flesh cut to ribbons before she could aptly wield a shield with the same stalwart vigor as Destrian. Perish the thought of her casting anything either, that wonder and glory was meant for a higher echelon of folks, regal and glorious like [i li'l] Taliya. And sure Juliet could fire a bow - and alert every deer and rabbit worth hunting in a mile radius and get chided for doing so. [i My brother would like Olithir.] She thought with a slight chuckle, keeping her eye ahead and idly listening to the chatter as she stayed in her own mind. [i He's never met an elf, I don't think at least. Serious, short-spoken gentlemen are all birds of a feather though.] [#4655dd "Yea, he'd like 'em just fine."] A mumble came forth, Juliet didn't hear it herself as she pictured doing all of this without Ulthred's careful budgeting and generous treatment. [i She was a terrible counter with a terrible appetite.] Convenience aside, in Juliet's starstruck eye none of these components could be replaced by anyone else in the entire world. This group was special. It had to be.

Downing the rest of the water offered to her she would let out a satisfied sigh and beam at Destrian as he made contact with her. [#4655dd "Sorry, early as this is it's still sleepin' in t'me. Got most of the grog outta me though."] She would snort with a nod already hearing the caucaophany of clanking metal alongside any other attempts they might endeavor. [#4655dd "I think loud we can do right easy, the both of us tin men of alike. Though it might be a might silly t'see you hootin' and hollerin' alongside some farmer."] The image of Destrian attempting in leading animals to a barn came to mind and just would not rightfully leave.
[font "Times New Roman" Taliya was usually very good about keeping things to the common tongue around the group, unless she and Olithir were sharing something to one another. That meant it was either something only Elves would know, or it was an inside joke that they were using to annoy one of the others. Loreena had once asked Taliya if something had been going on between them, and she simply looked to her with a look of child-like innocence and blinked at her wide eyed claiming that she didn't understand what the woman was asking. She did, but it was easy to feign not understanding human slang words or phrases. Loreena seemed to buy it and left her alone.

If only she knew how asking such a thing would be viewed based on Elven culture. Usually females Taliya's age were married off by their families, mostly political marriages to strengthen Houses and Clans. But no one had been brave enough to marry Taliya. Or if they had thought themselves brave enough, just a modest show of her power had scared them off. No male liked that she was stronger than them magically. She hadn't even used Offensive magic. She had given life, not taken it. So for this, she left home.

Now she walked the darkened streets of the town. She had heard the baker in passing through town mention that he missed the crisp apples of an old apple tree that grew outside of town in the forest. He would go every week to try and nurse it to health but to no avail. She had liked his cakes and butterbuns, and she needed away from the group a moment, so she decided that with fresh air, she would help the baker with his wish.

Unaware of being tailed, she made her way through the streets, using her magic to lead her to the tree. When she found it, her heart ached for the old tree. It looked far too gone to save, unable to bear anymore fruit, the bark flaking away as if the tree were turning to ashes. [#2E8B57 [b [i "Tye pende nat, taken -o coiv- ar yet so limbe coiv- ana anne-...."] ("You poor thing, taken from life and still so much life to give....")]] She spoke in her native tongue. She rested a hand to the trunk and wanted to cry. The baker had been trying, but his attempts were too late. She stepped back and lifted her staff in her right hand and touched it to the tree as she spoke softly to the tree in a blend of languages - something her magic had taught her to do - and slowly she would breathe life back into the mighty apple tree. The tree grew stronger and more vibrant, and had even lifted several feet in height and thickness when she was done with it. In a give of thanks, two ripe, red apples plopped down in front of her.

She smiled and bent down to pick up the apples, placing them in a small satchel at her hip. A voice startled her and she whirled around, her staff at the ready in a defensive stance, her eyes glowing teal green in magic. Her eyes locked onto Olithir as he stared to her and the tree in awe and wonder. She blinked and relaxed her stance, but she looked nervous. Many of the group thought she was reckless with her magic, thinking she used it wildly and without limitations. Did he think the same of her? She hadn't expected anyone, let alone him to follow her. She thought he had preferred the humans over her. He spoke of how he had no idea that magic could be so beautiful and she found herself blushing.

He asked why she had left as she had, and if he had done something wrong as he walked to her. He was only a foot or two from her before he stopped. She shook her head softly to his words and answered him in Elvish. [#2E8B57 [b [i "Vamme a nat was spoken ana martime- me insult. Ni had merelime meant ana care- a ae, ana agree as tye -esse a pata, yenya ni realized -o manen guiltime ni was -esse mime her- words. Ana bare our souls ana er another indóme n- lala easime task ana complete an anime -o us. Eala so exposed na- vamme a comfort emme láv-."] ("Not a thing was spoken to cause me insult. I had merely meant to make a point, to agree with you in a way, before I realized of how guilty I was in my own words. To bare our souls to one another will be no easy task to complete for any of us. Being so exposed is not a comfort we allow.")]]

She stepped to him and pulled one of the apples from the satchel and handed it to him with a smile. [#2E8B57 [b [i "Romen, emme lende ana roita- torne a beast emme are vamme maite ana take on. Sina could help us ana grow, or kill us. Emme ilya have a selfish reason an whime emme hunt i beasts i emme care-, mal too often ni lar- i reasons are moneime, alkar, fame, ar ana n- another legendarime storime yare emme fírima. Ni care- han- i balance must n- had. I tai i martime- faire ar despair must n- met as coiv- ar alasse. Mal ni vanta a teréva téma imbe imeúyo. Ni never sinte yare mime yallume súle indóme túl."] ("Sunrise, we leave to chase down a beast we are not skilled to take on. This could help us to grow, or kill us. We all have a selfish reason for why we hunt the beasts that we do, but too often I hear the reasons are money, glory, fame, and to be another legendary story when we die. I do understand that balance must be had. That those that cause death and despair must be met with life and joy. But I walk a fine line between both. I never know when my last breath will come.")]] She shook her head softly and offered him a smile to change the subject.

[#2E8B57 [b [i "Emme should tolde at- ar get some sér- yenya i others are given i raica impression. Ar emme indóme maure sér- yenya emme battle such a beast."] ("We should head back and get some rest before the others are given the wrong impression. And we will need rest before we battle such a beast.")]] She moved to pass by him, stopping at his side and reached up on her toes to press a gentle kiss to his cheek in thanks for coming to check on her before she made her way back to the town. She knew he would follow behind, so she made sure to keep where he could see her until they made it back to the roads. She didn't say a word more that night. She had gone in, taken the key to her room, and was silent the rest of the night.

[center [#2E8B57 [b [i ~]]]]

Taliya had come out of her room sleepily when something waddled by her door. She blinked and watched as Loreena was trying to "run away" with Destrian's shield. Soon after came the Paladin's deep tones chastising Loreena while taking his shield back. It was when he passed by her that her eyes caught something, but it was her nose that confirmed it. Destrian kept a distance from the others, only truly getting close when they were too distracted to pay attention or he felt more at ease than normal. She had known that other than Olithir that everyone else was human. She could smell it, all Elves had sensitive noses so long as they paid attention enough to use them. But this close while her brain was still in the fresh reset of the morning, she had smelled it. The faintest hint of Elf.

She didn't say anything, she didn't have proof other than smelling him, and she needed to make sure that it wasn't just from him being around her and Olithir, though it hadn't smelled like either one of them. It seemed they all needed to come clean about many things.

She had made her way downstairs and waited for the others until it came time to leave. They took the day to travel, and Taliya had spent most of the trip sleeping. She had used a bit more magic than she had meant to in helping the apple tree as it truly had been a lost cause. Only the barest thread of life kept it to this world, and though she knew how the magic was used, she did not bring things back from the dead. If there was no life to save, she did not try to be one of the Great Ones.

They arrived at night and she immediately let out her senses to get a feel of the land and what it might need or hold in ways of magic and spirit. Fear clung to the land deeply, blood was spilled deep into the earth and the air carried the weight of smoke and the screams of the dead. She shivered hard though the night air was warm. She didn't like this at all. She listened to the stories that the people had been telling them about the beast and its terrors. When Destrian turned to her and asked her about her snares she frowned in thought before she spoke up.

[#2E8B57 [b "I can snare the beast, but I cannot promise not to snare one of us in the trap as well. The size of this beast in much larger than I have tried to trap before, so everyone will have to be mindful. I will not be aiming for you purposefully.....I can also cloak us visually from the beast, but it will still be able to smell us. The cloaking will also allow sounds to echo from all around to throw off where you are, that will help with distracting it. I can try to hold a barrier around the town so that no damage comes to it, but too many spells all at once will be very tiring. I'm good, but I'm only Elven.... you will have to work fast...."]] She answered him, though it was spoken to the entire group. Her attacks worked better from a distance, so she would be best for traps and defense, while those with offensive weapons could take that time to bring the beast down. She was still a little tired, but she would be able to give the fight her all.
Taliya / Ravanya / 93d ago
Destrian listened quietly to the rest of the party, nodding in return to Juliet by which he held the most kinship with and he was surprised he even agreed with Olithir's suggestion to have more communication. Yet that meant that Destrian would have to talk as well, it was something he didn't really care for but to protect the others and trust that they had his back it would have to happen.

Ulthred went and paid for some rooms, tossing keys on the table for the party and told them to be ready at dawn, giving a loud yawn before he left for his own room just as Taliya and Olithir left the tavern. Destrian got up from the table and went to the lit fireplace as the night fell over the world, he gently placed his shield and mace on the floor at his sides as he knelt before the fireplace to give his night prayers. He was open with his faith but not much else, letting the others go about their evening as he spent his locked in silence.

It was only a short time before the paladin went to his paid-for room, hefting the heavy weight of his weapons as he climbed the stairs without so much as a 'goodnight' to the others. The fair-haired paladin kept to himself the rest of the night and into the dawn before he awoke before the sunrise. He was awake before most of the party, he even heard the loud rumbling snore of Ulthred down the hall as he braided the sides of his hair to cover up a secret he held from everyone. The pointing of his ears.

Human in all forms of appearance save for the tips of his ears and fair complexion, bridging the world between humans and elves by the abomination that was his birth; joining two worlds yet wanted by neither he was given to the temple in a broken basket and threadbare blanket. He never knew his parents, nor if there were any others like him around; the priests became his parents, the paladin order became his family and Pelandrin became his God. As he made sure to hide away the only describing factor of Elven blood he went out as usual to greet the Sun, giving praise to Pelandrin for protecting their world.

The sun was already raising off the horizon as Destrian came back to collect his shield and heavy mace, as the others were just starting to wake and get ready to ride out to Hamir. He had just returned to his room when he saw something out of the ordinary, his tower shield was not where he left it. Looking around the room and down the hall he spotted the culprit, bent under the weight of his shield he saw two legs waddling down the hallway, two distinct legs in dark colored cloth.

[+red "Loreena..."] The legs froze confirming his accusation before they sped up, trying desperately to make it down the hall with their coveted prize. Waddling down the hall towards their room, Destrian rolled his eyes before he got the rest of his things and walked up to the woman, lifting the shield from her back with apparent ease, accustomed to its weight. [+red "Do not touch my things."] His tone was firm as he gave her a warning, yet he did not know if she would listen.

The paladin then went downstairs and waited for everyone else to wake and join him, soon after they were off with Loreena still looking at his shield and the rest of them just barely awake. The ride to Hamir would barely take a day, they'd reach the city at the edge of night right about the time that the dragon would strike. From what Ulthred told them yesterday it also liked to hunt the citizens at night but this time they did not have Farewyn's caves to deal with the dragon. They'd be fighting it in the open, where it had room to move and fly when threatened, they had to be careful.

[+red "If I remember Hamir correctly it has a few hills and ridges to the left of the city, near the forests of Surdon, it would be a good position to hold with Olithir's arrows and Taliya's magic. Juliet and I can get the dragon's attention on the ramparts of the city and lead it to be ambushed by Loreena at the city's edge."] Destrian spoke to the others as they rode towards Hamir, Ulthred was too busy singing travel songs off-key to really give his input to their plan. Destrian's sky blue eyes hid his tiredness, resting his crossed arms over the top of his shield as the wagon jolted over ruts in the road. [+red "If the dragon takes flight..."] He turned towards the small dagger-wielder, [+red "-Hope you're not afraid of heights."]

[+red "Have you any snares?"] He asked Taliya directly, not really acknowledging her magic unless she could trap the beast to keep it from flying away. He still did not trust her gifts, it was too unwieldy, untamed-she had offered to heal his burns but he refused. The last thing he needed was to be touched by wild magic. Destrian had witnessed many forms of magic as a child of the temple and most of them led to unholy encounters that needed the healing of the church to fix. He did not want that temptation near him in any way lest he be corrupted against his God.

Whether he liked them or not the paladin would have to work with them, and as he took the lead in planning things he seemed to fall into the role quite easily, yet unintentionally. They would spend the majority of the day going through plans, trying to break down the barriers between each individual for a successful dragon hunt. It was near the evening by the time they rolled into Hamir, the jumping of the wagon on the worn-out road gave them plenty warnings of their destination laying ahead. As the night settled in, with no time for meals, Ulthred would speak with the mayor to procure ample payments for their troubles.

Destrian got out of the wagon and the weight lightened without his heavy weapons and armor weighing it down, the city of Hamir was mostly comprised of humans, a few dwarven races struggled to make lives in a human-dominated city. Even so, people came to crowd around the wagon of newcomers, yet they showed a combined growing fear as night was approaching. A few people flocked to the paladin, noting the shield insignia and began to pray for protection, Destrian tried his best to calm their fears, grasping their hands and offering prayers while a bunch of others were curious about the elves in his group. They poked and prodded as if they had never seen Elves before but mostly they were just afraid. Fear was heavy in the air, their eyes widened with it, they crowded together to be close out of fear of the dragon coming in the dead of night.

Not even the warm light of the torches could give them peace, as the dragon held no fear to the fires of Man. They talked about the dragon freely, telling the group in many ways of how it swoops down from the clouds, taking people by its claws before shredding them to pieces. The dragon delighted in raining down the body parts of its prey over the city; it burned half the town to cinders in two nights and it came every night for more. Tonight would be no different, when the city would quiet down and the lights of their candles and torches be shining in the dark the dragon would come.

Bigger than a house, wider than their church it was a fat, gruesome beast whose wings barely held it to fly; growing fat upon the people of Hamir it now held a lazy gait in the air yet its fury was just as strong as the last. Ulthred returned to the group and let them know they would be compensated for killing this dragon, although Destrian would gladly kill the beast for safety's sake alone, he could not deny the rumbling of his stomach as they hardly ate anything since leaving the tavern. The one piece of information the people gave to them that was very helpful-to Destrian at least-was the dragon hated loud sounds, it roasted their belltower to stop the ringing, which told the paladin that all he had to do to get the dragon's attention was to cause a ruckus.

[+red "That's not too hard."] He murmured to himself as he continued to give people solace with his prayers, leading them to Pelandrin's protection would help let them sleep at night and hope to wake to the morn. When most of the citizens were sated, Destrian walked over to Juliet and placed a hand on her shoulder. [+red "You and I are going to have to make a lot of noise..."]
Destrian / Osiris / 104d ago
Despite what the others thought, Loreena thought that their last battle went rather smoothly. She was aware that prior to this set up, she had not been that much of a fighter… But, with all things considered, it went well. After all, as Olithir has put it, they didn't communicate very well and as a result injuries were made on not only the dragon but themselves too. Fortunately, she only came out with a few scrapes and bruises.

She cackled at the drop of Destrians smirk and the comment he made about her sitting on the table, to make it worse she even brought her legs up so that she could sit criss-crossed. "I'm [i only] sitting on the table, Church Boy. It's not as if I've dressed in my Sunday worst and spat on the Kings shoes. Don't be so dramatic." As she finished her sentence, she picked up a slice of white, buttered bread. She began to tear it into smaller pieces and ate those. The conversation grew boring for her and her mind wandered to their last battle, a small smile playing on her lips as she gazed off into the distance….

The dragon was settled deep in a cave, half an hour's journey from the town it had made its victim. It was reported that the dragon attacked at night, it stole livestock, treasures and burned anyone that stood in its way. Olithir managed to track down the animals from the town which led them straight to their target. Loreena didn't know much about dragons, but she knew that to stay in a cave one would have to have good night vision and she assumed that the dragon couldn't see so well during the day. So, to give them the upper hand, she suggested they attack when the sun was high in the sky. The cave was deathly silent, whatever had lived there before was long gone, or long eaten, and the only sounds that could be heard was the scraping of their feet against stone and the drip… Drip… Drip of water. They ventured far in and she was about to suggest they try somewhere else when a deep growl resonated across the walls and a white pair of piercing, hungry eyes stared at them… Nothing happened for a moment or two, both the beast and the group waiting for something to happen…

The moment was gone when Loreena accidentally dropped her dagger, the blade clanging on the stone. The dragon snarled it's teeth and lunged forwards, revealing it's tremendous size. It was much rather like a bat. It used the front of its dark, ash grey wings to support itself. For a dragon, it's teeth were small yet razor sharp. It made the first attack as it swiped the singular claw on its wing at them. As the others dodged she ran straight for the wing to climb on.

The monster was too preoccupied with the others to really pay attention to her. She was light and nimble on her feet and the beast had hard scales for skin. To it, she was a minor nuisance. She tried to keep herself as steady as possible as she walked up the back of the dragon, which proved to be difficult as it wouldn't stop moving. It had been some time since she had used her acrobatic skills like this and she ignored the creeping nerves building up inside. Meanwhile the others were dealing with the brunt of the dragon. Each of them using their selected weapon to weaken the beast and trying their best to avoid it's fiery breath and dangerous claws.

Loreena managed to find a secure spot on the dragon and she pulled out her other dagger, she had just managed to pick up the one she had dropped before boarding the beast. She took a deep breath before beginning to plunge them into the overgrown lizard. She penetrated it's skin but they were still only small stab wounds, it was nothing compared to what the beast may have previously endured. She then glanced at her peers and they also seemed to be struggling to make any real damage. Just as she was considering jumping over, her face lit up with an idea.

She pulled the daggers out and without thinking twice, she ran up its neck and to its head. She made a cartwheel and landed on its snout. It didn't react at first, it was simply too shocked to find a human on the bridge of its nose. However, this gave Loreena the opportunity to bury her daggers deep into its eyes. It screamed out in pain and tried to shake her off. She grabbed her daggers out and managed to fall of its snout and, as if on pure instinct, she stabbed her weapons into the chest of the dragon, where the skin was less tough, and as she held on tight, her weight causing the daggers to drag down its chest and too it's stomach. If her weapon had been larger she would have been able to kill the beast, instead it gave a window of opportunity to her fellow fighters and they slayed the beast.

After they had regained themselves and Taliya had healed them, except for Destrian who was too cautious of the Elf's use of her magic, they returned to the town who celebrated their victory. They were all given free food, drinks and a bed to sleep in for that night. The people danced, laughed and sang at the death of the dragon by the fire. Children even pretended to be them and played their own reenactment of how they thought the battle had gone. All Loreena really cared about was the money they were owed, and once she was paid, she bid her group goodnight before retiring to bed. The excitement and adrenaline had left her body, she was now exhausted and tired… As much as she loved acrobatics… It pained her to perform as she could no longer perform with her family. She missed them and seeing a dragon only brought back memories of that night…

However, she would find that she had a new partner… Not too long after their first fight, Taliya found her and asked her to teach some basic acrobatics. She had never felt happier and readily agreed. At first, she had taught simple stretches and how to perfect balance. Over time she would progress onto more challenging techniques and skills. However, she hadn't had much interaction with the others. She found Juliett to be a tad annoying, it wasn't anything to do with the woman except for how naive and innocent she seemed to be. Loreena often found herself rolling her eyes whenever the other opened her mouth. For Destrian, well, the two of them seemed to have a jab or a tease whenever they spoke. Of course, the Paladin disagreed with many of her ways and often pulled a face like he had done that night. Olithir on the other hand, well… He just seemed sneer at her and only merely grunted at her up until now.

She was taken from her thoughts when the Elf spoke to her she scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Oh, I enjoy the celebrations… But celebrations don't buy food, Elf… Also, how do you know that I'm human. You haven't seen under this hood." She replied back, rather cockily. The Elf didn't reply and she chuckled to that.

After some more conversation passed by and Destrian agreed to the new quest, Olithir made some suggestions on what they should do to improve and for once, she agreed with what he said. Before any could really reply, Taliya gave her opinion first. However, she spoke in a foreign tongue. It was unlike any human language she had heard before and assumed it was Elf. Then the mage suddenly walked off and out of the tavern. From beside her, she heard Olithir sigh and mutter something from under his breath. "Is something going on between you two or-" Loreena had begun to say but was cut off by the remaining Elf. "No, and if there was it's nothing to do with you." He almost snapped at her and she held her hands up. "Sorry." She replied sarcastically. Olithir stayed to hear their opinions before following after Taliya.

With there now being a free chair, Loreena perched herself on that before looking to Ulthred. "So, old man, when do we start?"

[Center ~•~•~•~]

[Right [pic https://i.imgur.com/KwJHwH9.jpg]] Olithir left the warm tavern and into the cool night air. The scattered stars lit the night sky where flaming torches provided light on the ground. He searched the street before he just saw a glance of Taliya's fleeting figure. He frowned slightly and followed after her. He wondered what she was doing and why she had reacted so… Seriously to his suggestion. He was aware of why there was a lack of communication between them all and had stated that he knew it would take time. But, it just didn't seem like her to behave in such a manner. He followed after her through cobbled streets and busy crowds until they reached a forest, he hesitated… Not sure if he should go too far and potentially lose himself amongst the trees..

But he saw her disappear and the thought left. He searched and searched for her again only to find her by a tree. The thing seemed old, rotten and lifeless. It lacked leaves and its branches drooped. Truly a sad sight to behold. But then, Taliya gently placed her staff to the trunk and began to mutter words that, for once, he didn't understand. The tribe he had come from had very little to do with magic, they were aware and respected it's presence but it was otherwise a bedtime story for children. Humans very rarely held the capabilities to use magic and if one such lucky being did, then they abused it. Olithir had come to expect the worst when it came to magic but suddenly colour began to creep back into the tree, bright green leaves sprouted from its branches along with dark red apples. The tree straightened and stood up tall, bark regrow back and once she was finished the tree looked as if it were brand new.

He was in complete awe, his eyes wide and lips parted slight. "Wow…" He had said this quietly, but with there being no other noise in the forest Taliya still heard him. She turned to look at him and he directed his eyes to her. His expression was now soft and he seemed relaxed, as if comfortable that it was only the two of them. "I didn't know that magic could be so beautiful." He stated, slowly moving closer to her. Once he deemed it close enough, he asked. "Why did you suddenly become very serious? Did I say something wrong?"
[font "Times New Roman" Taliya listened to all those around her as she continued to munch the fruit on Juliet's plate. She was always thankful that she usually got more to share. Or maybe it had been because Taliya usually stole from other plates instead of getting her own. She wasn't sure why she did it, but she knew it annoyed some of them. She was starting to tune them out as the conversation became all of the same thing. All the wrong reasons to take on this deadly mission. Fame, fortune, wealth, money, glory, valor, honor, heroism, legendary status. It was all the same. No one was mentioning that it should be done to save the people or that the dragon needed to be taken care of before it destroyed life everywhere.

Taliya was always a very curious child, even for an Elf. She had shown abilities very early in age, and though her aging was a bit slower than most Elves, her mind was fast and sharp. Very rarely did something confuse her, and when it did, it drove her mad until she understood. Though something she truly understood was that life was a very precious balance in life, and though she helped to take down beasts that harmed others, she did not take killing lightly. She often wondered if the others knew that she would go back to every battle scene they had been in and she would give a small ceremony to allow any soul or spirit to pass on fully so that no more evil would taint the land.

Once she had mastered her abilities, she had been frowned upon for her free willed ability to use her magics without seeming to have a cost. What they didn't know was that it held a large cost. She had to try and keep balance with her magic. Any time she used it in battle and killed, she must also make life and create, otherwise she would begin to lose years of her life. This was a deal she made with her magic at a very young age. At first it had been brushed off, but the magic had proven to her in dreams that it was all too real.

In that, she would often sneak away to be alone, and in such she would help give life where she could. Whether helping villagers to conceive, or animals, or giving life to the Earth around her. Doing one more than the other caused her pain. Since she was so often in battles to defend people, she chose not to eat meat if she could help it, so that she would not have to kill for food and tempt tilting the balance. The thought of going after this legendary dragon caused her concern. Would killing the beast tip her into darkness and claim her years? Or would saving so many people tip her into the white hot light and make her look even more a child?

When Olithir had been introduced to her, she feared that he would find her secrets. Another Elf, surely he would see. But as of so far, he seemed to mostly keep himself from her. He was around the others more than her, and this had often confused her. Something within his eyes when he looked to her claimed that he preferred the more human bound to the Elf bound, and she wondered what happened to him to cause him distance from his Kin.

The others all seemed to keep their distance from her as well, but mostly because of her use of magic. All except for Juliet. She had taken to Taliya's child like look, and seemed to allow that to comfort her into being able to bombard her over the short time of knowing one another with questions of her magic. It had been amusing, her questions were the same as all others that were curious, except for a few of them. Yes she was able to do things like change them from one thing to another, completely. Right down to the DNA. But, the larger the thing was, the harder it was, and she could not make non-living things to live. It needed a soul. What she found funny was the woman's fear of being turned into a toad or some other amphibian. Taliya was very curious to whom was wandering around telling non-magicals that they would be turned into such creatures and she had assured Juliet that she had no intentions of doing such things to anyone.

She knew that Destrian didn't care much for her wild magic usage. He often turned down her offer to heal some wound or ailment. She didn't blame him, considering how the Holy Knight would see her magic. But she would continue to offer, because she could have patience. Such was the ways of the Elves. Or at least most of them. It was something learned with age.

She watched around the group as one by one it was given that they were going to take on this quest, for one reason or another. She was about to use the excuse of finding a room to slip away when Olithir mentioned that he needed to bring something up. The fact that they had not been acting as a team. This much was very true, and Taliya agreed. But she wasn't so sure that it would be so easily done. They all had pasts that held them to keep to themselves more or less.

[#2E8B57 [b [i "Maybe tar na- lala centa cainen tar na- too limbe i holds i fea at-. Emme man are still sinya ana er another, ar vamme lin- -o us are trulime ana term -o trusting ana aqua quet- -esse i ways i láv- us ana fight o-."] ("Maybe there is no communication because there is too much that holds the soul back. We who are still new to one another, and not many of us are truly to term of trusting to fully speak in the ways that allow us to fight together.")]] She spoke up to Olithir, using Quenya, one of the two most common Elvish tongues. Sindarin was most common for Northern Elves like Olithir. Quenya was for Southern Elves like Taliya, but both were commonly known to all Elves, it was mainly dependent on the Elf. There were few times when the Elves would speak to one another, their conversations would be in Elvish instead of the Common Tongue known to humans. Sometimes this amused Taliya.

Learning languages for an Elf was usually easy considering their life spans. Elvish was always first, in all forms, then Common Tongue. Then any other more mortal language they decided to learn. Taliya mostly used Common Tongue unless with another Elf or doing her magic. She could cast her magic in Common Tongue, Elvish, and Latin. She preferred to keep it more Elvish to keep it more pure to her roots and heritage. It felt cleaner that way.

When she finished speaking with Olithir, she frowned softly to herself, the grape in her mouth before having gone sour in her new mood. She was right, they were all still new to one another, and not ready to let the others in to trust to allow the easier flow of communications in battle. They were still testing who had their backs and who would sell them for their own get away. Even she held things back from them. Outwardly, she would seem almost confused along her features. She was usually very bubbly, child like and enthusiastic. Almost living up to that "whimsical" view of Elves that the Humans held. But this time she was more serious, and her age would shine more so within her eyes.

[#2E8B57 [b [i "Apsene-."] ("Forgive....")]] She said softly, her way of excusing herself as she leapt down from where she balanced on her staff. Landing lightly on her feet, she took up the staff as though it hadn't just been impaled into the stone and wood flooring with magic to stand straight, and then left the tavern to head outside and into the newly night air that had surrounded them while they had drank and talked.
Taliya / Ravanya / 109d ago
((OOC- Sorry for taking so long!!))

Olithir, in his years of banishment, hadn't always been on the road, completing tasks for money and never having a home. He had been searching for a home when he stumbled upon a quaint village, the kind of place where everyone knew everyone, the kind where people would leave their doors open and children would very happily play in the streets. It was a peaceful, safe place. It was just what he needed and so he begged around the village for a job, they all turned him down except for an old tavern owner who stated that due to his old age, he couldn't do as many tasks as he used to. Olithir happily accepted and he was given a room free of charge on the condition that he would help the old man.

Over the years, they built up quite the friendship and the Elf met his family, he was even considered to be family… Well, they all considered him to be family apart from the old man's daughter. Her name was Faye and she was the kindest, most beautiful human woman he had ever met. The first time he saw her, he fell for her. She was fair and just, she had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that was so contagious it spread like wildfire. They ended up saving enough money to buy a small cottage just outside of the village, it had a thatched roof, white walls with green ivy growing up the sides, it had a garden filled with all sorts of vibrant, beautiful flowers. A vegetable patch with rich soil that grew various plants. Around the other side were tall, sturdy trees that sported an abundance of fruit and provided plenty of shade when the hot sun was unforgiving on the skin. From their small patch of paradise they could see the village, but were far away enough not to be disturbed.

Everything was perfect, they were happy and Olithir knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman. One day, he told her that he was going to the city to grab some more supplies and without suspecting a thing, she kissed him goodbye and tended to their garden. So, with a horse, he travelled the ten mile distance through fields and farmland to reach the nearest city. He searched high and low for what he wanted, he spent so much looking for the right one that by the time he found the perfect ring, it was nearing afternoon. He had saved up for months and had a whole plan, he was going to cook a meal for them tonight and the after, he was going to take her to a nearby pond where a band would be waiting for them. They would play her favourite music as they danced under the moon and then, he was going to get down on one knee nd ask for her hand. He could hardly contain his excitement as he gathered a few pieces of what he needed when he returned home.

But, when he arrived, he found that once again everything had been taken from him…

He was nearing when suddenly their home lit up in flames, from the light he could the villagers and their angry faces. They held pitchforks, daggers and torches. Then they dragged out a body… It was Faye… And he just managed to see her fighting against their grip, but there were too many… He willed his horse to run to them but then her father came up and blocked his path.

"What are you doing? Out of my way, old man, I need to stop them from hurting Faye!" He snapped trying to go around the man, but the other was stubborn and kept blocking the way.
"Olithir, you don't understand… Faye she's not who you think she is…"
"What do you mean? Of course-"
"She's a witch!"

At first, he didn't quite understand and he frowned… But then it dawned on him… Elven medicine was quite different to the humans. It involved different ingredients and methods, he had taught them to Faye as they were more proficient… She must have used some on an injured villager and they must have reported her.

"You idiot! She is no witch! She was using Elven practices!" He practically growled out his reply and without hesitation continued forwards, knocking the man to the ground. He hoped… He prayed that he was not too late… He followed the shouts of men and the light of their torches, past his destroyed home, to the pond… Their pond…

But by the time he reached them, Faye was nowhere to be found. He drew his sword and glared at the men. "Where is she?"

"She? You mean that disgusting witch you call a partner? We sunk her in the pond."

Without another word, Olithir dove into the pond. He didn't care about his clothes getting wet. Nothing mattered more in that moment then Faye. He found her lifeless, cold body at the bottom and when he resurfaced, with the love of his life in his arms, all the villagers had gone. He laid her on the grass and stared at her a moment before tears began to well in his eyes… He couldn't remember the last time something had made him this upset. Not even being banished made him sob. He held her close to him as the tears streamed down his face. "Im'm sorrui, nin mel." (I'm sorry, my love.) He repeated this sentence over and over again until his voice grew hoarse. "Im'm sorrui i im couldn't beri- cin." (I'm sorry that I couldn't protect you.)

He stayed there until the moon shone bright in the starry night sky, a bitter reminder of what could have happened that night. He stood up, with her in his arms and he carried her to the forest. His eyes were red and puffy, but they now lacked emotion. He felt numb as if there was now nothing left to feel… He was surrounded by light and life, yet it seemed meaningless. He laid her down on a bed of flowers that he knew she would have loved, he then went on to proceed to gather a whole basket full of the plants and plaited them into her hair, then placed the rest into her hands. He pressed one final kiss to her forehead before he left her, the forest, their home and the village forever, never to return.

Now, many decades later, he was sat in a rowdy, fire lit tavern, a tankard full of ale in his hand and with his so-called teammates... As the conversation drifted into something he deemed interesting he took his feet off from the table and leaned forwards.

From their previous fight, despite nearly ending in more than just burns and scrapes, Olithir had observed that they were all skilled fighters. But, taking on large, fire breathing dragons was not a one man job. It needed a team where each member had a role. This was why, whether they fight this beast or not rested on Destrians soldiers, as the Paladin had boasted, they needed him for protection, to take on the brunt of the dragon along with Juliet as he, Taliya and Loreena weakened the dragon from the sides. It had been some time since he had hunted in a pack, but he still remembered the tactics and his training from his former tribe.

He finally spoke up again. "I'm glad that that is now settled. Before we turn in for the night I would like to… Suggest a few things…" He paused for a moment to ensure he had their attention, before continuing. "I don't know if any of you have worked in a group before but we definitely need better communication… We almost paid the price of our sloppiness in our last fight and I'd rather not make the same mistakes again. It's obviously going to take time, but if we start talking to each other, then it's a step in the right direction." He stated, looking at them individually for their reactions.
Juliet would duck her head down, reacting to both her excitable outburst and the others reactions both dull and equally vigorous. In doing so she would notice Taliya plucking another fruit off her platter and give a gauche smile, glad she got extra if only for the peckish small one beside her.

[#4655dd "What few stories there are... Wouldn't it be somethin' to just, I dunno, be a part of one of those legends? Six heroes, the lot'a us."]

[b Magic,] Elven or otherwise, before this venture was nothing but the works of colorful stories, or salesman trying to profit off the sick or unlucky. And even though Juliet wanted to believe of the more whimsy filled side of the world magicians did not just wander in and fix everything. Nothing could have prepared the simple girl for some of the first few tricks Taliya had preformed around her. Real, true Magic still dizzied Juliet to think too deeply upon, it was not divine -- and though she would never admit such blasphemy -- It was maybe even just as powerful. [i Or maybe it was Taliya.] While traveling between their previous job Juliet had asked a handful of questions which weren't anything special, some silly in fact.

[i How long did it take ya to do your first spell?]

[i Could ya turn folks into toads with your magics?]

[i ...And ya promise ya aren't gonna turn any'a us into toads in our sleep right?]

She meant no harm, but could see how these questions, which surely had been asked by any townie or other drifter that might have her ear and a inkling of curiosity for a moment, couldbe rather tiring. Especially with how occasionally crude Juliet could not help but come off. And yet Juliet [i had] to know, and it surely didn't help that poor Taliya looked naught but a child, killing a majority of intimidating factors. Juliet could just keep rattling on about things that were exciting to her about the adventure and their travels thus far, things she wanted to do, recipes shared with her from locals, or any of the terribly simple questions she may have loaded up the night prior to meeting back up.

Her gaze passed to Loreena, who's antics would never fail to amuse her. Every jest, Juliet would hold her tongue as to not bellow at her audacity and wit. [#4655dd "Gold's all good an' well, but what about the stuff ya just cannot buy?"] Gold and silver could buy all the meals she could eat, all the room she could afford, but she had a home to go back to; and there Juliet could grow or hunt any other need. Sure she would want gold, to travel, do and see more. For Juliet there would always be a gluttony, a something more out there, but she did have to wonder if it would at all be the same without this little team, which held the fool she now addressed. [#4655dd "Not that it ain't needed of course."]

Where magic eluded her, [b Might] was Juliet's way and right to live by. Her fighting style still had some raw edge to it, brawny talent and a brolic form molded in labor that she would simply throw at a problem. Whether it were an abhorrent monster stalking children in the night, or some creep sinisterly gawking at the party, Juliet could not help but move before her companions. She was no shield, not like the shining templar that was Destrian. Where Destrian's shield surely would never crack, she knew her skin could easily in the wrong situation but she would damn herself long before harm came to those trusting her to be strong.

Juliet would nod to the infallible paladin across the table. She would wave a hand, trying to ward off his worries. [#4655dd "It's not as though I'm gonna go attempting to just up and nab the legendary beast by it's throat."] She would retort playfully. [#4655dd "It's way too big, so I'll be keepin' that in my daydreams."] She would pop another morsel from the platter into her mouth and keep her head down. [#4655dd "Forgettin' that nonsense now, I sure am glad to have ya watching our back, good Paladin!"]

As the ever charming Ulthred announced his plans, Juliet would raise her tankard in good spirits. [#4655dd "I'll drink to that!"]
Destrian drank and listened to everyone's input, noting Ulthred's enthusiasm getting more and more potent as each of them agreed to his task; the man was practically drooling over the prospects of what laid inside the ruins of Kelonis. The paladin's blue eyes looked between each companion when they spoke, hiding his emotions through a calming gaze he had perfected as a man of the cloth. Even as the tavern filled with more patrons the longer they stayed within it was clear they were all in favor of hunting for some famed dragon.

The man gave a slight smirk to the jester's jab, a curling of the side of his lips as she picked up on a new nickname for the paladin. She was masked and garbed in bright colors that highly contrasted the normal drab of the common folk who wandered the streets. However colorful her clothes were the mask that hid her face was surprisingly plain, white and blank of decorating carvings as if to denote that the person wearing it could be anyone waiting to stick their blade between one's ribs. Though his smile was short-lived as Loreena sat directly upon the table, cross-legged right as food and drinks were served.

[+red "I was unaware that Ulthred recruited from the local asylum... for surely your lack of manners stems from someone mentally unwell."] Destrian's ire was not only directed towards Loreena as he had plenty of words to give to his allies. They barely held together the first dragon they all fought together, had they fought with more practice and discipline he would certainly be sporting less burns, the charred soot still coated parts of his shield even.

Juliet spoke up next, quite exuberantly she popped up in her chair the eagerness only dimmed slightly the more she spoke. Her accent was laden from the terrain of her youth, speaking of fields sewn in rings or rows, of harvests abundant in gold and green. She was a decent fighter, if Destrian must give credit, as they fought their first dragon it was difficult to hold arms with someone he had not trained with before. Many times blows would go off-skew and glance off scales as the two front-fighters tried desperately to keep their footing fighting the massive beasts.

[+red "Do not hope so quickly for battle, eager heroes find early graves..."] Destrian muttered to himself after Juliet spoke, he did not have a problem with Juliet per-say but his cloistered mindset made him judge most harshly any slip or mistake, and during their fight there were many mistakes. From the fair lands of Elven blood came two others, Taliya and Olithir; Taliya was blessed with magic Destrian would never understand-she was born with it. A paladin's magic was given or taken away by divinity, the ability to mend minor wounds and smite favored foes with the powers of the heavens came with some heavy guidelines to follow.

Taliya had no restrictions, no restraints to her magic and thus was something to be wary of greatly, Destrian did not know what transpired between drunken patrons and Taliya but she wielded her magic too freely for his liking. Her healing arts were seen as blessings by many but to a holy warrior like Destrian they were to be monitored with great caution-magic of such abundance oft led to corruption. Destrian drank in silence once more, listening to rest of them give their opinions and join in their two-cents about why such a task would be great for them to take-it spoke volumes to their characters-why they chose to fight beasts far larger than them.

That left Olithir, an archer the paladin did not speak much with, the elven man distantly kept to his own counsel; even he sat with disregard for manners, making the paladin's gaze sour as the ranger's boots rested mere inches from plates of food. The man shot a response to Loreena, before he turned his attention to Destrian, he even asked his opinion on the matter; the paladin for the most part had taken each response in stride as Ulthred nodded eagerly to more people jumping on the wagon to hunt for this fabled mountain of gold. The paladin felt the others' eyes on him as if expecting him to refuse, with the dragon out at Hamir it was demanding his aid to those dying to dragon fire yet this Auredura...

If truly a dragon was locked and sealed beneath an entire mountain range it would be of no threat, his oath of protection held no rights to force him to hunt and kill this beast like it did in Hamir. Ulthred watched Destrian with bated breath, as if the entire operation was hinged on his word-they wouldn't last long if there was not someone holding the dragon's attention-they'd be picked off. Destrian set down his drink, placing a gauntlet-covered hand to his chin as he thought about it carefully. If he was not there to protect them then his 'allies' would surely fail and die, would that mean he was to be bound to making sure they stayed safe? Is this what his God was asking of him?

The paladin's oath was the binding contract to their powers, both of holy retribution and aiding those in need; if a paladin refused to uphold his vow they became oath-breakers, disowned from the church and cast out by the very God they swore to serve. If he refused to help them take down Auredura, would Pelandrin disown him for not protecting those in need? Ulthred and the others seemed content to drink and eat while Destrian fought with his inner turmoil, he did not want to fight dragons-it was not what he left the temple to do... Yet was this Pelandrin's will?

[+red "I suppose if you all are heading there anyways you would need a shield to stand behind in case the dragon decided to eat you..."] Ulthred took that as a yes, guffawing as he excitedly clapped his hands and rubbed them together.

[b "That's what I like to hear! We'll get you all set up with a couple rooms an' head out to Hamir tomorrow, we'll show those overgrown, fire-breathing iguanas a thing or two!"] Ulthred did not join any of the fights, he always managed to find some sort of excuse to keep himself far from the battle and away from anything flammable. Destrian supposed it was better to have Ulthred act as their informant and he did seem to have a way with local folk when procuring items and services for their adventures. Destrian couldn't really imagine Ulthred with a weapon unless it was wielding a coin-purse, and unless Ulthred was going to bribe the dragons to death he was better off leaving the fighting to the five of them...
Destrian / Osiris / 136d ago
Olithir could still remember the power rush through his veins for the first time, the way the arrows were lit with an electrifying blue flame. It was his. The bow of legends belonged to him. It was said that the bow was a gift from the Sun and the Moon, that it was made from the finest wood and strongest metals, that only a select few were worthy to tap into its magic… Who knew that a lowly hunter boy would be among those few…

He grew up in the woods guarding the Elven Kingdom. His whole family, his friends and neighbours were Huntsman. They lived in-between the tall trees, hunted the creatures that survived with them and traded essentials with travelers. They mostly kept to themselves, occasionally wandering into the kingdom. It wasn't that they were not welcomed, it was simply that they preferred the ways of old. However, despite being free of modern day society, Olithir always felt… Trapped. He longed for adventure outside of the forest. He wanted to scale great mountains, explore caverns and swim into the deep unknown. It was because of this sense of adventure, that he often found himself in trouble, whether it was wandering too far from the clan or stealing little trinkets from the elders just to feel that rush of adrenaline. As he grew older, he became more daring and soon he ventured away from his tribe, starstruck by the tales about the bow of legends.

He faced many challenges, trials and beasts. He hadn't been sure that the bow was even real, he had just been following the stories he was told as a child. But, he wasn't doing this for the weapon, but simply for the thrill. The bow and arrow was a mere bonus… But, what the stories didn't tell him was that to prevent evil from taking the bow, it was declared forbidden for anyone to take it, whether they worthy or not, and it was guarded in the temple of the Sun and the Moon. Somehow, he managed to surpass security and enter the hall in which it was kept.

It was simply magnificent. Strong, dark wood was decorated with silver metal and opal stones. The quiver and arrows were of a similar design. The paintings of its previous owners were hung upon the stone walls, lords and ladies, royalty… It seemed that he was the first of his kind. He had stared at the weapon in awe for a moment or two, he could feel it's power radiating from it… It was calling for him… He reached out and as soon as his fingertips brushed against horns blared out and he was surrounded by the monks and nuns of the temple. They had tried to take him away, but the bows magic allowed it to follow its owner. Despite having the bow, Olithir had committed a crime and so he was banished from all the Elven lands, if he were to set foot in their territory he would be taken as a prisoner.

He had asked the temple to send a letter to his family to tell them to meet him at the border of the forest. They complied and a day later and was escorted to the border. He explained to them what had happened and he tried to convince them to travel the lands with him, find a new home. But, they refused. They told him that it was too risky, that it would put them in danger to leave the clan and move to uncharted, non-elven territory. That day, his heart turned cold and he promised to not grow attached to anyone… If his own people, his family could turn their backs on him then anyone could.

The following years, he never truly settled in one place. He took on jobs for people who paid good coins, the task ranging from relieving messages, parcels, to retrieving rare ingredients found in dangerous environments to slaying beasts. He often slept in an inn or he would take a room as payment for a task, sometimes he'd drink at a tavern and let a woman take him to their home, but in the morning he would always leave before they awoke.

But, it was on one of these tasks did he meet Ulthrid. The old man asked to accompany him on a journey, he stated that he needed protection from potential bandits. Olithir thought this as an easy job and accepted… What Ulthrid hadn't informed him of was that they were walking through dragon territory until they were attacked by one of the fire breathing beasts. The man found it rather amusing, laughing as soon as Olithir slayed one dragon another came along. Fortunately, the dragons were small, and they both made it out. Once they were safe, he demanded an explanation and he was told that word of Olithirs skills had reached Ulthrids ears. He had wanted to see if the Elf could face a monster such as a dragon and become a part of a group that would target the beasts that terrorised humanity.

He had immediately declined the offer until he was told of the money involved. It piqued his interest and now, he was sat in a tavern with his fellow fighters. He was leaned back into his chair with his feet on the table, his bow right beside him and a tankard of ale hand. So far, he had kept to himself and his drink as the others spoke.
He saw Loreena roll her eyes and scoff.

"Who cares about being a hero and having them sing their praises to us? All I care about is their money. Also, there's no point in thinking negatively about how dangerous this beast is. Either, we can die rich or die trying." She had stated in response to Juliet and Taliya. It was now his turn to scoff.

"Money isn't everything, human. You should enjoy a little celebration. Plus, not all of us have such short lifespans." He replied, referencing that Elves had much longer lifespans. He too looked rather young, yet was over 100 years old. "But, I'm not sure what we should do… What do you say Destrian? You've been rather quiet." His brown eyes shifted from the circus clown to the Paladin.
[font "Times New Roman" Taliya was an odd one for the group. Though she looked like the youngest - almost adolescently child like - in her facial features, she was probably one of the oldest ones of the group. Only her knowledge, her figure, and the fact that she was Elven was proof of that. Ulthred had found her in a traveler's town performing magic for coins when she ran out of money for supplies. He had thought her a child based on her looks as most do. But she had proven otherwise when a human male tried to grab her backside saying such a young thing should be protected.

Taliya had swung out her staff out of nowhere and all but used the man to sweep the street. With that, Ulthred had offered to buy her dinner if she would listen to his proposition. It wasn't unusual to hear of Elves traveling from their homes in the mountains and forests, but it was rare to see one as young as she was traveling on her own. She was older than many many humans, but still considered a young woman by Elven statures.

She had been behind Ulthred and the others on their way to meet up with Destrian when someone outside had asked to speak with her. She was used to people asking about her form, her magic, her people. So long as they were respectful or at least kind. This time was not one of those times. Another human male making crude remarks of how he can protect her and how she looked beautiful for such a young thing. Sometimes Taliya thought of using Glamours to hide her features, but that was a was a waste of her abilities. They thought her soft and weak, unlike the other women of their group who looked strong and dangerous.

She offered the man a smile and stepped up to him, coyly placing a hand center of his chest, as if leaning into his strength. Then her emerald eyes would glow bright green and her voice would echo as she spoke her Latin words and magic imbued from her. [#2E8B57 [b [i "So man na- lecher, shall sinte his crime. An er isil quanta, so na- i victim sina lú." ("He who is lecher, shall know his crime. For one full moon, he's the victim this time.")]]]

Sparks came from her hand, and the man began to notice he was in trouble. The power enveloped him in a green glow before he was blasted through the door of the tavern and plowed into the back wall, while Taliya remained as she stood. The glow faded and she smiled sweetly like a child as she found her way over to the table with the rest of the group as Destrian was sitting back down after stabbing a man's hand. Ulthred claiming he would be lame for awhile with such a hand. Taliya shrugged softly. [#2E8B57 [b "I could heal that easily, but if he is disrespectful, then he doesn't deserve it..."]] Her voice had a lilt to it that no human would be able to mimic as it came from living a life speaking Elvish.

She swiped some fruits from Juliet's tray, avoiding eating meat when she could. She leapt up to "sit" on her staff that now stood straight up from the floor. When it came to acrobatics, Loreena had been teaching Taliya here and there, sometimes without her realizing it, but otherwise, most of her balancing acts were magic. She was always chastised from her Elders about abusing the magic, but she was the only one of her kind to master the magic before she had reached an adult age. She knew the consequences of magic, and didn't take it lightly, but she also didn't fear the magic. It was her friend in a way.

Ulthred brought up that he had heard of another mission for them and she smiled eagerly. Sometimes she dove into danger without thinking, but being an Elf she wasn't too afraid of dying. They talked awhile, and soon they had began drinking - which had been hard for Taliya as she had to have someone vouch for her - even being an ELF - that she was old enough. She even threatened to drink the bartender under the table, though an Elf's taste buds were very picky. More of the older aged and finer drinks she could handle. But something newer and more bitter she'd have issues drinking. After a couple drinks those just tasted like piss water. Ulthred began to hiccup as he spoke and Destrian told him to knock it off, making Taliya giggle around a grape.

The figurine had been beautiful and Taliya had been wondering if it was an Elvish peace in its ornately designed carvings when Ulthred mentioned a name and she froze to look up, all her cheer and happiness gone. She'd heard the rumors and stories on her travels, people barely survived coming from that keep. Ulthred was strumming it out like just another treasure hunt, and the others were agreeing here and there in eased agreement. Taliya frowned when Juliet spoke up of wanting their praises sung like the old heroes before them. Loreena was boasting their skills like this was another bounty run. She thought a moment to speak up.

[#2E8B57 [b "Ulthred is right, would be our biggest payday ever, and possibly even have us remembered for many, many generations to come..... but.... this isn't any other dragon hoarding gold in a mountain.... the rumors of this thing claim his wingspan could block the sun and spread a whole city into night at noon... His reign on his hoard still holds because no one can get close enough to truly battle him, dead or chased off in their failures if only to spread his story more."]] she murmured from where she sat on her staff.
Taliya / Ravanya / 109d ago
[b [i Once upon a time, Dragons of Every Color you could imagine lived.]]
[b [i They flew, high and mighty above all.]]
[b [i Peace was ours and theirs to share]]
[b [i as life itself was one of their great treasures to preserve.]]

[i Colorful, winged figures danced across well aged pages, interwoven with the words being read aloud. The book spread open, only a few pages in, was thick with the promise of many stories to tell. Little Juliet wanted to hear *this* one again, just as she did every time without fail. Her older brother would only oblige some of the time if and when he agreed to read to her; However their mother, when she was home would pull both children close and immediately start just where Juliet desperately needed.]

[b [i A true dragon was a majesty to behold,]]
[b [i regal and true.]]

In truth, Juliet never learned much about her mother personally, she knew select facts that did not in any way paint a concise picture: Her name was Willow, she kept a blade frequently at her hip - one of the very same now accompanied Juliet, and would rarely come home until she just didn't ever again. Anytime Juliet saw her she smelled of something like strong perfume and blueberries, she also smiled unfalteringly. Looking back, Juliet could only assume she was an adventurer like how she was now. It was fine though, her brother Lucien was old enough to care for her when it mattered. Her childhood was happy, if not quiet.

[i Her Mother would turn the page and with an intensity continue to read as she always had.]

[b [i Three madnesses over took them:]]
[b [i Hunger, Greed, and Wrath.]]
[b [i No longer were they noble creatures,]]
[b [i but beasts hoarding and taking all they pleased.]]
[b [i They took gold, and secrets, and worst of all;]]
[b [i lives.]]

[i Twin beasts of gold tangled around one another, ripping into the throat of the other - soaking the page surrounding them with a bright crimson which never ceased to make Juliet's eye widen in fear and awe every read along.]

She could remember bits and pieces of the stories she was read as a kid, but for some reason that one stuck with her. She couldn't tell it to someone word for word straight from memory, but the pictures she could at least try to describe - though she might not be able to properly convey it - every detail of the vibrant illustrations stayed with her.

Juliet had a large tray of food in front of her, mostly meat with some fruit and cheese on the side that she ate at as she listened. Her mug of ale half emptied. Since she was small she had grown considerably, now a woman of impressive physical stature and above average frame, an intimidating build brought about from laborious upbringing in the countryside along with a well kept diet. She shook her muddy-blonde hair from her starry eyes as excitement blossomed within her, finally erupting vocally.

[#4655dd "Yes!"] Her voice squeaked a bit as her eyes darted between her current roster of companions. [#4655dd "I'm kinda' hopin' for a bit of a fight?"] Juliet had a bit of a drawl when she spoke, and was horribly aware of how improper she probably sounded against the contrast of Destrian, and the resident charmer that was Ulthred. She readjusted in her seat so she was better facing everyone and tried not to seem too anxious or self-aware about speaking up as she had. [#4655dd "Bein' the people's heroes an' all..."] A smile was directed over in Loreena's direction, as she subconsciously slouched in her seat trying not to talk down on her. [#4655dd "Of 'course we're gonna' come out on top but I want it to be something that'll be sang about I guess?"]

Her best attempts at being friendly had all come across a little nervous or awkward, but she was trying her best to warm up to the faces of those she would be continuing to go into battle alongside in hopes they would extend the same olive branch. [i She didn't even want to remember how her first conversation with Ulthred went, or how she didn't realize he was trying to enlist her until after she had left - only to run back with an out-of-breath apology and acceptance.]
That night was supposed to be one of wonders, of joy, laughter, magic and more. It was supposed to have magnificent performances that would leave the audience on the edges of their seats and holding their breaths. But instead, it was one of fire, destruction and chaos. In just one night, Loreena lost it all…

She was born to a young couple who worked in a travelling circus. Her father looked after the animals of the circus and her mother was a fortune teller, at least that's what she told the public. It was quite a well known and successful Circus, never staying in one place for too long. Roaming across the lands, entertaining the people with their acts. Despite having both of her parents, the rest of the circus was her family too. She learned everything from them, to read, write, speak different languages and when she was finally old enough she learned to be an acrobat. She had always marvelled the dancers and it was a dream come true to be taught their ways and to be like them.

By the time she was fifteen, she was the lead acrobatic dancer. She was flexible and light on her feet, ensuring that she was good at what she did. But, she also loved it. How the air blew through her brown locks as she soared. That rush of adrenaline when her partner's would catch her from falling and how she would amaze the audience with the ways she could bend and stretch her body.

However, that all changed in one night.

The Grandmaster decided to settle on a spot near the mountains. It was right in the middle of three villages, granting easy access and meaning that more money could be made. However, he did not listen to the advice of his employees and insisted that the show would go on… Loreena's act was just about to be called when the ground shook. At first, they thought it had been an earthquake but then they heard a mighty roar and roof of the large, tall tent was set ablaze. The people began to scream as a pair of yellow, menacing and hungry eyes stared down at them. The dragon snarled it's teeth before beginning to rip apart the tent to gain better access to its prey.

The people rushed to escape, but the dragon would only block them with a wall of fire. They were trapped as the fire spread, it's biting touch destroying everything and everyone. Loreena had been frantically looking for her parents when the dragon's tail came spinning round and sent her towards a fallen post, knocking her unconscious.

She awoke to her shoulders being shook and a muffled voice. She groaned and placed a hand to her head, a dull ache pounding at her skull. She slowly squinted her eyes open and found herself surrounded by ash and bodies. She pushed the man away, stumbled to her feet and clumsily searched for her parents. She shouted their names as tears streamed down her blackened cheeks. The only thing that she could find was her mother's necklace. She dropped to her knees to pick it up, shaky hands clasping around the golden chain as she accepted what had happened.

After the incident, the villagers offered to take her in. But, she refused. Nobody could replace her family and she did not want to stay so close to the scene of their deaths. Over the next few years, she continued to travel and perform, but she lived and worked on the streets. Sleeping in whatever shelter she could find and whenever she didn't have enough money, she would steal it from the public or food from market stalls. That was actually how she had had the pleasure of meeting Ulthred.

She had been performing a show when he walked by, a large, leather pouch clanking with the sound of coins as he did so. She quickly wrapped the show up and began to follow him. She blended in well with the crowd and it seemed to her that he had no clue of what she was doing. So, she quickly walked past him, bumping into his shoulder and grabbing the porch as she passed. However, it turned out that she had underestimated her target as he grabbed her wrist and she, somehow, ended up on the floor with the man proudly grinning down at her.

"Not so clever are you now, eh?!" He laughed in her face before helping her up. "Let me buy you a drink, lass. You look like you need it." He commented and without waiting for an answer he walked to the nearest tavern. At the sound of a free drink, she willingly followed after him. As they drank and ate, Ulthred explained his plans of bringing together a group, or gang as he put it, of skilled fighters to brave against the feared dragons. He told her that she would receive great rewards for completing tasks, but she was sold the moment he told of the beasts they would slay. She despised the monsters and wished that the creatures would be wiped from existence.

A few months later and she was now within this group, clean and polished. Gone was the woman with dirty skin and matted hair. Ulthred had re-trained her, trying all sorts of weapons and in the end she had taken a liking to daggers. They were small, agile, light but very deadly… Rather like her. Her new attire was a tribute to her past. The top half of her face was hidden behind a white mask with red detailing around the eye holes. She wore feathers in her brown, plaited hair and her two piece clothing consisted of plum purple, gold and sea green for colours. The material barely weighed a thing and she wore no armour. This was discouraged by Ulthred, but the heavy metal weighed her down and she was confident in her ability to avoid the dragon's attacks whether it be it's jaws, claws or fiery breath.

Currently, she was sat upon the table, preferring the height it gave her compared to the low chairs. She had a large tankard of ale for her first drink and she downed it all in one go, gulping the liquid. She finished it and lifted the cup for it to be filled again whilst Ulthred excitedly talked of slaying another dragon. She had been ready the moment they had slayed their first one, but she couldn't be bothered to listen to the details of the new one. So, she looked to Destrian and grinned a little.

"Church boy, huh? I like it." She commented, her growing. "From now on, I am going to call you Church boy. It suits you." Her tone was teasing and her eyes glinted under the candle light from behind her mask. The rest of the team had not seen her without it yet, and they would not until they could find a private room. She did not want her face to be known to the public and so was hidden. The barkeep placed a full tankard back into her hand and this time, she nursed the drink. It was then that her eyes looked to Destrian's large shield and she was just beginning to think of all the fun possibilities she could do with it when Ulthred caught her attention again.

[Right [pic https://i.imgur.com/SlA9s0M.jpg]] He talked of masses of treasure being guarded by a great dragon. Ambition began to bubble inside of her and, rather eagerly, she said. "I think we should do it! We are skilled enough to take on any dragon or at least I am... I mean, how hard could it really be? If these riches exist and the dragon that guards it does tll, then that means that the dragon has probably been in there for a while. It must have grown old by now and had very little to eat over the years." She was overly confident with this statement and even scoffed. "It will be too easy for people like us."
[center [b 'Sleep with the fallen, into darkness of the Age;
Under mountains bound by magic, trapped in its earthen cage.
With captured gold and silver lining the cave;
The monstrous beast will waken from its grave.
Auredura! Curses the land in its forgotten keep;
An age of greed to wake him from his centuries-sleep.
Red scales and horned crown burns with rage untamed;
To break free, it will return to the world unchained.
He who causes the fear of men to swell;
Has come back to slay all with fires of hell!']
-Galveth 8:12, Age of Inferno.]
Destrian was quietly sitting in the tavern, awaiting the arrival of Ulthred and the rest of his... 'allies'. The fair-haired paladin was resting his tower shield against the wood-splintered table, the heavy mace dangled from his waist, hung by a hooked leather strap at the pommel. He would have always been first to arrive, paladins of his order always rose before the dawn praising the sun, the glowing shield held by the arm of Pelandrin the Aegis God, as he marched dutifully around the world for eternity, protecting it from the desecration of the other Gods and Goddesses who would seek to end their world. Destrian was no longer a brother of the temple, yet he had received blessings to go about the land freely and lend a shield to any who would need it.

That was how he met Ulthred. He said he was looking for some strong individuals to help him out with a rampant dragon that needed to be dealt with. Destrian wasn't typically looking to be a dragon-slayer, but he was bound by oath to help any who asked for it, otherwise a decent sized drake could kill countless civilians. Ulthred had a strange knack for persuasion for he not only recruited a paladin but he managed to pull four others to his cause, each of equal talents. Destrian worked well enough with them, though he had very little knowledge of them on an individual level-they helped take down a dragon so it was enough for him.

[i "Heh, hey... Lookit here."] There was an unknown voice from his side, a kind that held a drunken drawl and he knew what was coming though he tried ignoring them-it sometimes worked. [i "It'sch on'a those church boys, th' ones who constantly ask ye on th' road for donations."] Destrian closed his eyes and listened to the heavy boots stagger forward to his table, it was true many of his temple brethren lived off the donations of others, as they took vows of complete devotion to true poverty. Yet people often forgotten the Aegis Brotherhood were warriors above all else, the paladin kept silent until he could no longer ignore the drunkards that wanted to bother him for fun.

"Well, go on, giff the poor bast'rd a coin." Goading from an equally drunk friend, the first drunk came and leaned on Destrian's table, digging loudly through a coin pouch he pulled out a grimy coin and set it on the table.

[i "Go on, beggar. Beg for it."] They wore dirty smiles, covered with dirt from their menial labors, grit lined yellowed teeth and their eyes had sunken in from lack of nutrition. The man had rested his dirt-stained hand flat against the table, holding the coin beneath his palm waiting for Destrian to ask for it, nay, beg for it. The paladin set down his tankard calmly, even put a light smile on his face as he leaned slightly to the side, unhooking his mace from his belt. Without saying a word Destrian thudded his mace-head first-on the man's hand, and watched as the weight of his weapon did all the talking he needed it to.

Immediately the drunk's smile faded into a huffing stutter as the large weight of the heavy mace crushed the bones in the man's hands, pressing heavier the longer it stayed there. Destrian could see the discoloration consume a lot of the hand as large bruises blemished with broken bones, the man's disbelief as the pain traveled up his arm erupted into a scream. The vagrant's friend said something about guards, and pulled his friend back to safety, Destrian kept a silent tongue, returning his weapon to his waist and his mind on his tankard, letting the drunks stumble out of the tavern. He never did see any guards...

In a stroke of luck the man even left behind the coin, to which Destrian would put forth to pay for his drinks. How generous a donation, he will pray for good health to the donor, and a fast recovery. Ulthred had caught the end of the scene, with the others, the paladin was unaware of the background during his 'conversation' with the peasants. Ulthred was [i laughing], or at least trying to hide his loud guffaw at the scene-he even started clapping, which brought Destrian's attention to them.

[b "Poor sod's going to be lame for a while with a hand like that, huh, gang?"] Ulthred asked to the others, motioning for everyone to join Destrian for some drinks, even though the paladin did not offer a seat nor tankard. [b "And here I thought you was about saving people, not maiming them."]

[+red "Read a book, Ulthred. We are warriors, soldiers who have killed far more men than you could ever imagine. Protection of one person usually warrants the death of another."] Destrian's voice was smooth and polished, cultured and educated by years of inscribing and reciting the holy texts of all the Gods during his stay at the temple. The other four the paladin had fought with to take down Ulthred's dragon pest took their own desired places around the table and the holy warrior nodded to each of them quickly. It was all the acknowledgement he would give.

[b "Right, so how're you all feelin' since you took care of Farewyn's problem? Are you ready for another, because I got a lead..."] Ulthred rambled on but Destrian quietly tuned him out, focusing on nothing but his drink, Ulthred one could say was their informant, a man of little talent except the gift of gab he ended up getting the five of them together in the first place. Destrian could handle another dragon if he wanted to, he supposed, he just preferred not to if at all possible. [b "It's been huntin' people at night out in Hamir, it's gotten so bad they've even issued a city-wide curfew to limit the deaths, but that would leave the city defenseless without guards or garrison..."]

People were dying, Destrian closed his blue eyes in contemplation, his oath of protection would demand he'd rally to the defense of Hamir's villagers yet it was moments like these where he wished it wouldn't. He was worn out and tired, nursing several burns that managed to find him from their first dragon kill. He couldn't trust the people he fought with, they were too erratic, too irrational-they seemed to have no desire for discipline or a plan of action. He couldn't work with them, Ulthred obviously didn't understand, there was no way he could keep these reckless ruffians alive. Ulthred sat looking at the contents of his drink for a short while, something else was on his mind, Destrian didn't know it but tonight was going to change his life forever as Ulthred would utter the name... Auredura. For now Ulthred said nothing, letting the party get a few drinks in them before approaching the subject, yet Destrian was a quiet observer, something was not right with their mutual ally.

They had been drinking for a couple hours now, the drinks sufficiently loosened up the six of them; there had been jokes and laughter, mock dancing and horrible off-key singing. Obviously the drinks did wonders to break down some of the invisible walls the party held with each other, Destrian was finally relaxed-albeit he was still in his darkened steel armor, accentuated by the red cape and red shield insignia in the center of the breastplate. Ulthred had rose from the table, burped once and tapped a finger on the surface of the wood, his words were skewed and ended in a southern accent revealing a history one had hardly told.

[b "Listen, listeeen, gang. I... [i *hic*] -heard talk of great t-treasure in these... [i *hic*] -lands. G-guarded by the [i *hic*] biggest dragon you'd ever laid eyes on."] He stumbled over himself searching his person for something to show them, after finding it he laid the token on the table and pointed at it. It was a solid gold figurine, shaped and molded in a figure knelt in prayer, intricately carved and heavy to the touch. [b "T-That... came from [i *hic*] -on'a my lads, said he snuck it from an [i *hic*] old keep, t-tossed away in the rubble. Glinted off the torchlight, 'e said, dimmed under d-dust. This is no ordinary [i *hic*] dragon, I did s-some diggin' int' the library about the [i *hic*] keep..."]

[+red "-Take a drink, Ulthred, your hiccups are driving me crazy."] Destrian intervened to which Ulthred obliged, more than eager to down another pint and wave for another. It was a momentary reprieve and Ulthred began speaking again, his eyes fixated on the figurine.

[b "The keep my lad took this from has a nasty history, legions of soldiers died there, thousands starved to death with no chance of aid as they were..."] He trailed off and grabbed the token to put it away safely, [b "It was written that an ancient king filled a mountain with treasure, created his own mountain of gold in the belly of the earth, high as a man I read. We know what other creature likes gold, yes? This dragon was like nothin' anyone had ever seen before, the king of the dragons it was called, and it was named Auredura..."]

[b "Now, people's heard 'bout the trove by now, looters will never keep their gobs shut, I have a few people scoutin' the place-but you guys! You could kill that dragon and any others that g-get in our way! We need you..."] A stranger would think the liquor made Ulthred mad, his eyes glazed but burned with an intensity of excitement. [b "Think of all the glory you could obtain, the riches, the renown-you'd be makin' off like royalty with your fair shares o' the loot. I say we butcher the dragon in Hamir fast, cutting through the forests of Surdon would be a g-good idea. The keep was once known as Kelonis, surrounded by mountains with only one path in or out, bolstered by the city now known as Kenton. O' course, ol' Ulthred'll keep his nose to the ground and listen for any more dragons that need'a killing."]

[b "So, what do you think, gang?"] [right [pic http://imgur.com/lgB9AQd.jpg]]
Destrian / Osiris / 155d ago

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