Amvir The Walled City, was once the Greatest Metropolis of the Human Empire Cathoran. It has long sense declined to the statue that it holds today. The Capital of the Phoenix Order who thrive to bring all the human kingdoms under their banner and bring about a new peace within the land. The problem? The harsh treatment the Phoenix order gives out to those deemed unworthy within their borders.
From the very first breath the Phoenix order has held one thing above all others. Magic is to be contained. If one is found to have magic they are to register themselves with the Order guard, Or as many call them the Hounds. Apostates are treated harshly if not publicly executed upon their capture, that or forced within the Tower. Anyone who attempts escape are dealt with even harsher and forced to go through a ritual that removes their magic...and any other human thing to become mindless servants to the order.
Many wish to see the order's fall, but none dare to have an open rebellion upon their overlords for fear they will be fed to the pet dragons each one holds. They couldn't ask for aid from the fair elves or the stout dwarves for fear of a price to high to ever repay, so their only hope is the other human kingdoms or the Apostate mages that follow. That or the bloodline of the true king, rumor has it the true heir will show himself through the transformation from human to dragon and back. He will have magic never seen before in the land, and those who consider him an enemy would best fear him. That the True Heir would also reign all dragons free instead of the pets of the Phoenix order.
The Royals of every country now see the Order as a threat to their kingdoms and have come together to aid the rebellion, but not in open war. They do not wish to loose the little power they do hold still, And yet they hold the biggest secret of them all. That each Royal family is descendants of a dragon aspect. There are in total Eight royal families still in power, each one holding a dragon type. What they also didn't tell you is with this power each Royal family holds a key. A key to the Vault. A hidden place among the World edge mountains and its peaks that Hold the highest prize to the Order. The largest nest of dragon eggs and the souls of the dragons of the past. Guarded only by the keys each given to the Royals.
With the order growing in power, the Dragons have gone into desperation, binding themselves to the forms of the two legs, but for those who refuse they are killed or captured. Forced to work for the order or fight in the Pits for entertainment to the humans. The Dragons that once lead the Glorious race to their golden age have disappeared, those few who are known fight for what they can hold, or are bound to forms and hide until the fall of the Order or until the day they are discovered.
Rules and Regulations
1. No God moding/ Insta killing obviously
2. Be sure no one liners please is all I ask I understand having difficulty being able to type a lot all the time, but I understand that you can do it.
3. Artish photos please if you need help let me know.
4. Send me a Pm with the skeleton
5. I understand that the Chat system is suppose to help keep the OCC's to a minamum, but please as I'm not sure how long the Chat system will be in place, so OCC will go Here
6. I understand real life things come up every now and then or writer's block happens, please try and be active I would like to see no more then 4 or 5 days in-between posts from people.
7. Please follow the posting order
Posting order 1. Dawn Eclipse 2. Nixi Fy 3. Vodurra Twohammer 4. Insae Nellix 5. yui Azi 6. Marius hoyer 7. Nova StarCrown 8. Darien 9. Wither Smirch
Sekeleton Puppetmaster: Who are you? photo: a photo of your character Name: Last, First Nickname: what do those who know you call you? Age: How old are you? race: What race do you hail from? Elf, dwarf, human, etc (see Bestiary pages) Magic: Do you have magic? If so what type? Registration: Are you Registered with the Order? affiliation: Are you apart of the Order? Apart of the Rebellion? Or a person who doesn't care for ether? Occupation: This will be affected by if you have magic and if your registered. Other info: Some useful Info if necessary, or if you want us to know more info about your character.
Name: Starcrown, Nova Nickname: The Blood grove keeper, The Vault Guard, The Goddess on High. Age: Ageless and unrecorded. She was birthed far before mortals could count. race: Wild aspect Magic: Yes, several different that will be shown in time Registration: No affiliation: Neither, Nova is on the side of survival, she kills both order and rebellion alike to stay alive and keep her grove at peace Occupation: Guard of the Vault and the lands that are around it. Other info: Nova being one of the last few Wild aspects is considered a God like creature, but is not so. Once a creature of the wild she can change shape, size, and nature at will copying those she has seen. Her forms range from a single warrior to an entire army of assassins that act on one mind. Her most common form seen is a small dragon like creature or a twin set of war panthers found the night elves ride in the Dreamwoods. Nova is the original Dragon; she started their kind by shedding her scales into the world. From them the eight aspects of the dragon and their kin. Any would understand her more properly as Queen and Mother. She rarely travels outside of the World edge mountains fully, but only does so with her companion Tasia the huntress.
Name: Eclipse, Dawn Nickname: The White Blade Age: unknown, due to no one being alive that does know his age and him not remembering. race: He is known as a High elf to the Human Order, but his elf race calls him a Pandryl col (in Common it means Dragon Kin) Magic: Yes, Mostly Shadow and the darker forms of magic. Registration: Partly, He is registered in some Areas of the Order's lands under some of the Lords that would make up the council of the Order; others he is not registered at all. affiliation: Rebellion. He is a piece of the rebellion and has been sense its founding. Elves, humans, dragons, and the like shouldn't be forced to fight for human entertainment and the other "lesser" races to humans shouldn't be treated as slaves if not worse fodder for their armies. Occupation: A Spell blade, this is a special trained assassin that is resistant to magic to the point where it doesn't work on them. Forming weapons out of their affinity. The least likely person could be a Spell blade. Other info: Dawn is a part of the Elven house Eclipse, his older brothers Anjui and Ado rule the house together, and are slowly bringing the High elven houses of the Crescent isles under their flag, but to make sure humans don't mess it up they have sent their special unit of Spell blades to the human kingdom under guise of being slaves sold to them. Dawn killed his master, and this had brought the wraith of the humans. Sent to the slums of the Human Capital Dawn has been secretly killing Key members of the Order to draw out the regional leader or learn his location.
Name: Nellix, Insae Age: 120 Race: Dragonkin Magic: Illusion magic, but will not deceive those with higher magic skill such as experienced mages and elves She can do limited fire breathing, but that is less magic and more draconic heritage Registration: No Affiliation: Pretends to be aloof, but secretly roots for the Rebellion Occupation: Mercenary Other info: Insae is an offspring of Orass and her Rider. Insae took details from her mother as tails and horn and even her magic affiliation, however he hatred for the Order comes from her Father who's name has long been erased from the pages of History as he is only labeled as one of the Fallen. Those few who served in the Dragon rider ranks, but died upon the rise of the Order.
Name: Caine, Durrin Age: 80 (looks early-mid 30’s) race: Shifter Magic: As a shifter he can walk as a man, or a bear on a whim. He is also what is known as a berserker, which can cause him to turn into a gruesome beast fueled by a berserker rage. He is highly volatile in this form, and it always leaves him weak when he comes out of it. Aside from his ability to change his form, he has increased meta-human strength, reflexes, and senses. He’s a basic brute power force. Registration: Nope affiliation: He doesn't care for either, but if a good enough reason came along, he’d be inclined to help out a little. Occupation: Unemployed, a wanderer by no choice of his own. Cast out of his clan for his berserker blood, considered cursed. Has spent his years wandering from town to town living off of the charity of others, odd jobs, and the land, learning to control the rage inside him in a quest for peace.
Name: Azi, Yui Age: 26 race: Human, Druid Magic: Yes, as a Druid Yui is very in tune with the nature around her, the phases of the moon and stars, and the general turn of the world. She has the ability to divine the future through runes, perform basic simple magics, and make a mean potion, tonic, salve, or even poison. She has shapeshifting abilities, but it is limited to a handful of forms. Her greatest gift is her ability to heal with a touch, she can not cure disease, but her healing might help save one from death. She has the potential for powerful magic, but as she has always struggled to control it, she is moderated by a talisman that dampens her abilities. Registration: Not registered. affiliation: Neither. Yui and her small clan of Druids live on the fringes of kingdom boarders, living a nomadic lifestyle that requires them to live off of the land. They stay under the radar of the Order by not performing large powerful magics, not that many of them can. Yui however, is the most powerful in her clan. Occupation: Despite her wealth of power, Yui’s unrefined magical skills make her a terrible choice for being a defender for the Clan, but her proficiency with botany and potion making, have made her the apprentice-healer of her Clan. She knows she can not stay with her clan, but she is uncertain how to proceed after leaving.
Name: Høyer, Marius Nickname: Klog – means clever, in his native tongue Age: Thirty-four – one-hundred-and-two in human years Race: Størremænd – literally ’Greater Men’, a human race known for long lives, great wisdom and mighty strength Magic: None Registration: Yes Affiliation: Currently Neutral Occupation: Formerly a Hound for the Phoenix Order, Marius now works as and when he wishes. From general labour to guard work, bartender to farm hand. Other Info: Having left the Phoenix Order a decade prior, Marius has been traversing the world learning where he can. He enjoys the cultural differences of the different races and kingdoms and lives a very nomadic and thrifty life. At present, he has no allegiances to the Order nor to the Rebellion – though he works with an open mind and remains open to helping where he sees sense.
Name: Wither Smirch (IKstravegent). Nickname: Wive. Age: Twenty-seven (27) in human years. Race: Half-Orc. Magic: None. Registration: No, they are not registered with The Phoenix Order as they are a foreigner to the land. Affiliation: Wither Smirch is not exactly a part of The Phoenix Order nor against it. Wither Smirch is a mere footman sent from the ruling household Ikstravegent, who reign over the far east past The Belia Empire through the sea. She follows under the king 's as an enslaved half-Orc. With that her opinions and freedom have no say in the matter. As to disagreement with the ruler over her homeland may lead to her own death. Though, if she could answer as she pleased. Wither would tell em all to go “Fuck themselves.” Occupation: Depends on what her King wants her to be honestly. ;3 Nonetheless she is a slave of sorts for her King’s will due to the binding of magic that keeps her in check. Other Info: -Maiden Name: Wither IKstravegent. -Disowned Name: Wither Smirch. -Title’s: The King’s Wyvern, Thee Eldest Daughter Of Ikstravegent, The true heir Of Ikstravegent, Queen of Ikstravegent.
Name: Twohammers, Vodurra Nickname: Vo - used only by close friends or family Age: Fifty-three Race: Dwarf Magic: None Registration: Yes, registered with the Order for forging abilities rather than magical ones. Affiliation: Forced into blacksmithing for the Order, but is actively involved in the smuggle/supply of weaponry and armor to the Rebellion as well. Occupation: Blacksmith Other info: Vodurra is yet another victim of the human's widening conquests. Hailing from the Two Hammers Clan, she and her fellow Surface Dwarves were some of the first to be attacked since their fortress lay outside of the protection of hills or mountains. While the Fortress of Rhak Khaz did not fall, many were taken prisoner, Vodurra included. She has worked in the city of Amvir as a blacksmith in the thirteen years since her capture. Throughout those years, she discovered the Rebellion, its hidden city, and has been providing eager aid to their cause when she can. She hopes that with the Rebellion's help she can one day return to her people.
Name: Fy, Nixi
Nickname: Nixi, Nix, Fy Age: 17 in human years race: Elf Magic: Yes. Illusions are her specialty. She's still learning her magic and could improve.
Registration: No affiliation: Neither Occupation: She recently got fired from a bar as a bartender Other info: She was unable to use magic for most of her life, so she trained with weapons such as staffs, swords, and hooked swords.
[Center [pic https://i.imgur.com/eXV9dL1.jpg]] [center [i Dragons. Once the most powerful and feared creature in the world. Their teaches advanced those who had no intelligence. Made lesser racers Gods among their own kind. It was Dragons that ruled the world over eons. Yet now they are attacked like mindless monsters, or Hunted for sport. They understood that this would be their end if they did not adapt to the situation. Many fell during the first few wars, but their numbers didn't seem to dwindle. It wasn't until Humans started to force them into slavery or worse as Pets that their numbers really started to show the decline of their kind in the world.]
a single sound could be heard. The turning of a old crisp page and the flicker of a flame on a candle.
[center [i To this day outside of the Aspects dragon numbers are far and few and rarely seen, Those who have been seen only few have been given names worthy of fear. The most powerful dragon of them all. Nova. A small dragon with unknown abilities , believed to be the original dragon where all others came from. Truth to this is unknown but the location of her nest is only record to be inside the Vault. A long lost myth that no one remembers. It is said from her all dragons bore life. It is from her that the world was shaped.]]
another crisp page turning broke the silence as the fire light burned low.
[i I have discovered her location however. Far to the North, beyond the borders of the known world is an uncharted, unchanged land in the north who's denizens yet remain unaffected by the others of the world. It is in these mountains she resides and it is here the vault can be found. I have seen the entrance but dare not get closer for fear for my life and the wraith of the Goddess.]
A slam of the book closed and a few startled screams could be heard across the library. It was here within the walls of the Tower of Amvir that you could find all sorts of information and not just the housing of the magic users here within the capital. Many slaves came here to learn of their origin or to learn of ways to find freedom. Perhaps poisons, earning money, etc.
But one male elf came here for a different reason. He came here instead to learn about the rebellion and the true hair's line of the kingdom now ruled by the Order. While a secret agent to his old brothers Anjui and Ado. Melori Thaelyr or as he is known in the human world Dawn Felwood has been sent to make sure the Order didn't spread their influence to far out from their own borders. The wood elves and moon elves close by would not be able to stand both the might of dragons and humans alone.
Standing up Dawn's golden white hair gave him away as being a member of the High elves, but his clothing gave it away he was a slave or as some called them "slum rats" the elf however was much different he had no master, and a home he was slowly carving out for the rebellion. It was a simple place right now, but those who knew of it kept it a secret. [b "Excuse me I must ask you leave now. The library is meant to be a place of silence and you have made a commotion."]
Dawn looked to the man speaking to him. The Blue gray robe gave him away as a caretaker to the library. While once considered a mage this man must have attempted to run away one to many times for the Order's liking and was wiped of everything he had. Being placed in the care of the mages to show them as a warning he became what the mages called a Tran. a human being who has lost all sense of identity and self and only are there to serve the Order.
[#125638 "So sorry. I will take my leave."] he said in a very thick crescent isle elf voice. Clutching the blade just inside the band of his garment. The guards watching as he left. Once he reached the streets he took instantly to the outside wall, looking up the great alabaster and stone the white city was pretty as can be, but the running of the city was over run with cruel people and they shit on everyone below them. With that it also trickled down and down until it got to the bottom. Taking a left turn at his first change he stopped dead in an ally. Walking up to the wall it was like he was almost going to it it, but instead walked right past it. Looking behind himself before going any farther to make sure no one followed him.
He disappeared into the wall. Dawn had used the Northern entrance into the hidden city. Amvir was the Capital that the Order had established after taking the crown from the Royal family, but it was Elves who had built the city. It was dwarves and elves who knew every secret tunnel, entrance, hole in the place. As Dawn walked down a nonlit pathway his hand on the wall to not loose his way he stopped as a light came from in front of him.
[b "Ova, Natini Ondori."] coming into view was a short dwarf bald on top and partially blind in his right eye a scar across his face from a battle he dare not talk about. [b "Ah Dawn it is just you. How fairs gathering information?"] Dawn placed his hand on the bag at his side. While being removed from the library they had not noticed he slipped the book into his bag More concerned of what he would say or do as an elf they were closer paying attention to his ears. [#125638 "It fairs as usual, nothing useful to us. There is however a small caravan that should be coming close. I hear their leader Sorian knows some information possible leaked to him from the Darkrider herself."]
the dwarf looked unimpressed about this new information, but the book held his fancy, while not a usual dwarf by standards the man liked to fight, but his age prevented him from doing well in a battle anymore, and so he became an expert builder. It was because of this man that the Hidden city was as well designed and well hidden as it was. It was because of this man and his Clan of Dwarves that those within the rebellion have been able to Hide from the Order and the city Guard so long. Its also because of this man that Dragons have a hidden city they can live within without worry of being discovered.
[pic https://i.imgur.com/7bCEOUA.jpg] The hidden city. A gem in its own right would one day be the Crown jewel of all known cities. Built originally for trade between Dwarves and men it had long been lost to the ages when Dwarves fell from their Golden era and the Dragon riders had taken Amvir as their home base. It only recently had been rediscovered by the group of slaves and mages trying to get away from their captures, however those who did make it down here had long passed either trying to find the correct way to the city or to the guards when they returned to the surface.
It was this discovery that Dawn reported to his brothers and his brothers used Dwarves to get the information and returned it to Dawn and those who he knew were apart of the rebellion. Those also whom he knew to be dragons in guises of humans or other folk. It was here that the Rebellion held themselves at the most populated. It was also here that they took the biggest of risks being right under the noise of the Order. [#125638 "Any news Doran?"] It was at these words the dwarf looked behind himself and his gaze returned to Dawn a sad expression on his face.
[b "We lost two more today. That is a total of nine now. The hunger is bad, but until we can reestablish the city and make contact with the dwarves we are on our own."] a sad ping to his voice. Doran knew the feeling of loss. He had lost his wife and child to the hunger not long ago, and to see people still suffering from it hurt him more then anyone else could know. [#125638 "We will figure something out Doran, we always do."] It was indeed time to do something about it. [b "I hope so, and soon."] his voice trailed off. [b "For now, You have a guest here. Someone by the name of Tasia."]
Dawn had stiffened at the name. She was the one regarded in the book he held that was the rider of Nova, but what would she want with him? He didn't have a chance to find out. Running in bounds he found his chamber only to find it empty, a letter upon the makeshift bed sealed with a glowing dragonscale. [b [i Come find us at the Vault.]] was all it read.
Leaving his chambers Dawn saw several other rebellion members. [#125638 "I leave for the Caravan in an hour."] Grabbing his armor he placed it upon himself. The gold and black of the House of Eclipse shown brightly. Placing his arrows, swords, and bow upon his being he set out.
The longer you wandered the more questions ended up being answered in forms you liked, disliked, or even detested. But along the way, new questions would pop up here and there. Sometimes they would be answered, other times they would remain unanswered. It was not those types of questions which became a bother. The most bothersome of any question were those which were present at the very beginning and were never answered, no matter through which spaces one looked through. Especially questions concerning self.
Insae knew who she was, hard not to know oneself when you belonged to a race that had a high bounty for each individual to be enslaved in any number of nasty ways by the Phoenix Order. Insae knew with no room for doubt she was a dragonkin, although she would not be able to answer how a union between man and dragon produced dragonkin such as her. Nor were there any other wandering dragonkin to ask. They were either hiding in the farthest, deepest or highest areas, away from the eyes of order, or had already been enslaved and either been bent to submission or killed. Where before the dragons had soared high and mighty, some of them trusting humans enough to ride on them, now they were yet another entry in various, Phoenix Order approved books.
There was only one reason why Insae wandered, along with an equine companion, around the companion, selling her services as a tough, female human fighter. She didn't remember the details, but somehow her dad had hid her somewhere before disappearing forever. There was only one memento left from her parents: a carved dragon scale that had come from her mom. While the smell of the scale had long since gone stale, Insae swore she could feel something within the scale connecting with her on some level.
At the moment Insae let her black with brown main and tail horse wander through the low vegetation. Having just finished up a contract and collected the money, Insae had decided to take a small break away from everything. Not only did it help her keep whatever part of her sanity was left, it also helped with keeping a much lower profile. The latter being extremely useful when your skills in a certain area weren't strong enough to evade those more learned in the same area of skills.
She pulled on the reigns on her horse, the animal dutifully stopping leaving the occasional tail flicking as the only sound. A collection of various huts was dead in front of her. They all had wheels as well, which meant that this was some sort of caravan. This couldn't be a merchant caravan since they did not have wheeled huts. And they weren't abandoned. The wheeled huts just did not have that dilapidated appearance that usually came with abandoned items. If they were neither merchants nor relics of some driven off group of people or other creatures, then what where they? Insae's hand kept a cautious grip near the pommel of her sword, ready to unsheathe it in case of trouble.
The caravan sounds and chatter of her Druid clan were long gone from Yui’s ears. She had another task to see to this day, but that did not help to keep her mind from being distracted. The Caravan was always uneasy when traveling along the Cathoran boarder. She knew why they were uneasy, it took no great genius to figure that out: The Order… and their Hounds, but it wasn’t just the Hounds that had the caravan spooked. It was her. Yui was the greatest bane to her caravan this close to the Tower, and the border of Cathoran. Unlike most Druids which possessed little to moderate power, Yui had quite a bit of it to spare, and they had all learned the hard way in Yui’s youth how great that power could be. Now she wore an enchanted necklace meant to dampen her powers and hide her at all possible, which by extension allowed them to move relatively unencumbered.
The pendant that dampened Yui’s powers was a round sparkling opal, the shimmering shades of iridescent colors seemed to mimic the flow of Yui’s own power, if it had been allowed to move freely. However, that tiny little stone was the only thing protecting Yui, and her clan from the watchful eye of the Order. The unfortunate flip side to this arrangement meant Yui never learned to control her magic, a part of her too afraid to even try using it in fear that she and her clan would be discovered.
She was currently foraging while her clan made to set camp for the night. These particular woods, coupled with the time of the season, were perfect for mushroom hunting. Finding a dead and rotting tree, Yui walked over the leaf covered ground towards it and bent down with her knife and basket. She rummaged around on all fours, sifting leaves out of the way, searching, until her eyes finally settled on it. The mushroom sprouted from the ground, several of them in a happy bunch. They were a strange looking sponge of black and brown, but when fried were a delectable treat. “Dinner is going to be delicious tonight.” she mused softly to herself as she gathered her mushrooms.
Food wasn’t the only thing on her mind, and it too wasn’t enough of a distraction for what was really bothering Yui.
Yui had been thinking of leaving.
She sighed once she finished collecting her mushrooms, and sat on the dirt with her back against a tree. “What am I going to do? I can’t stay here any longer…” Yui’s face fell down, her blonde hair and hood dropping to shadow her face. Her elbows rested over her knees, and Yui balled her hands into fists with frustration. A slight tremor was all that became of it before she released her hands and silently stood up, and continued with her foraging.
Yui managed quite the haul of goodies, edible, medicinal, and poisonous alike. She looked at the grouping of Morels she had found and smiled happily thinking about how delicious they would be with her supper that night. She’d also found several herbs for healing purposes, some that could be steeped in tea, and others that could be used for eating. The tree bark she’d found could be ground down and dried out into a powder for headaches, and the moss could be pound into a paste and used for treating wounds.
For the time being, she was done dwelling on her thoughts of leaving the clan. She had decided earlier to simply finish the day and later that night she could revisit her thoughts with Saoran. If she was meant to leave, a sign would present itself. Besides, her master was no doubt waiting for her back in the wagon, she still had lessons to attend as an apprentice- healer. Yui had learned much, and while she knew she could simply use her healing powers, she also couldn’t just use them... especially this close to the Cathoran border. She had to know how to do this without the help of her magic.
Yui broke through the trees, walking up hill and coming upon a mounted rider. There was an odd shimmer over the rider, but Yui gave it little thought and simply carried on. She walked up from behind the horse quietly and stood there to look down at what the rider was looking at. Her Clan’s camp. She smiled at the sight of them all. Watching them go about their day, it was total freedom, and it was evident in the people’s faces. These were the people she loved. The people she wanted to protect. She finally looked away from the clan for a brief moment to gauge the woman on her horse. “They look rather content, wouldn’t you say?” Yui greeted the newcomer with a friendly smile. With a single look Yui could tell this lonely traveler meant no harm and coveted that which she did: freedom. If anything, the lonesome rider had looked nervous at the sight of Yui’s clan. A laughable thought to Yui, her people were entirely harmless, and over the years had taken in their fair share of travelers. Some had stayed, but more had been temporary companions. These travelers were usually the only source of news they got from the outside world.
Yui also chuckled, blushing with slight embarrassment, having no doubt startled her guest. They seemed surprised someone managed to sneak up on them. Feeling a little awkward, Yui continued to smile, even as she spoke, because despite it all: Yui wondered if this rider was her sign.
“Sorry to catch you off guard. I’m Yui, are you hungry or thirsty? We’ve got plenty of food and drink to go around. You look weary, Traveller, what do you say?” Yui was entirely too kind, and it would no doubt be the death of her one day, according to the elders. Yui didn’t mind. This world was so sad to begin with, it needed a little kindness, and Yui would give what she could to the world. Besides the good intentions one put out into the world, often had ways of coming back in great rewards.
As the two women made small talk and passed time with gentle conversation, there was a little commotion in a farming village not too far away. A dozen decrepit farm houses circled around a small tavern. It’s windows were shuttered with scraps of broken wood, the roof in dire need of new thatch, the pig-pen out back leaving a strong odour in the air to mix with the sounds of revelry and booming voices from within.
The latter fell away to silence as the heavy oak door swung in and slammed against the inner wall, dust falling from the rafters and candles flickering in a gust of a wind. The hulking giant in the doorway stood still a moment, so tall that his head was above the doorway, his impossibly large hands clenched firmly at his side. The revellers watched in silence, curiosity melding with panic as they awaited his next move.
He strode forward, ducking down under the egress and shining golden eyes peered into the gloomy room within. The strands of silver through his hair and prominent scar running along his cheek belied the man’s age as he returned to his full height, reaching across to grasp the side of the door and pull it closed behind him. It took a moment for the candles to return to full and his heavy boots scuffed the wooden floorboards as he turned back to the waiting crowd.
“Sorry for the disturbance, the door got away from me.” His rich, husky voice was disarming, the apologetic tone and gracious smile further easing the tension of the room.
He gave a nod to those who continued to give him mistrusting glares and proceeded to the makeshift bar – a length of wood propped atop several barrels – and those bright eyes came down upon the short, chubby tavern owner with stereotypical dirty rag in hand.
“Evening. Can I get this filled with warm wine?” From where it hung on a length of rope over his shoulder, Marius pulled out a leather wineskin twice the size of an average man’s. Placing it down before the smaller man, his dark eyes staring at the icon of a hound that hung around the newcomers neck, there was a few seconds of silence before he leaned against the bar.
“Eight silver.” His monotone voice showed his dislike for the man before him. The price was two silvers more expensive than Marius had expected. But he did not delay before fishing out the appropriate coins from a pouch at his waist. Dropping them into the waiting hand of the owner, he saw the man check each coin individually. One could never be too sure.
Seemingly satisfied, he snatched up the wineskin and turned to a steaming bowl of wine off to one side. He pulled the stopper from the skin, fitting a wide funnel, and began to ladle the drink with a steady and experienced hand.
“You’re huuuge!” The squeaky voice followed the soft patter of tiny feet running up to him. On looking to his side, Marius saw a gap-toothed youth staring up at him in awe, his head barely reaching the mans knee. His chubby face was streaked with dirt but vivid blue eyes filled with amazement and wonder shone through.
“Am I? Or are you just very small?” He grinned as humour tickled his voice, looking at the child beside him. “How old are you boy?”
“I’m almost five summers old!” He thrust his hand up, short stubby fingers and thumb extended.
“Ah, plenty of time for you to grow. Do your chores and drink your milk and you’ll be as large as me one day.” He looked down at the child with a growing smile though there little moment of understanding was broken by the wineskin being dropped back onto the bar.
“Don’t talk to my boy. Take your wine and get gone.” His unamused tone matched the look on his face, leaning against the wood as Marius turned back to him. His aggravating manner did not go unnoticed, and not wishing to make a scene or start an argument the tall man did as he was commanded.
With the warm skin of wine slung over his shoulder once more, he doffed his head in thanks to the man and offered his kind son his own nod before turning back to the door. The room had remained quiet throughout his stay and he cast a glance into the room. It was not a friendly atmosphere, the curiosity of before having been replaced by animosity once they realised who he was.
Rather than stay and risk further antagonising those around him, he quickly left and shut the door firmly behind him. Only a step or two from the door and the revelry and talking began anew, as if the Størremænd had never existed. Each village had their own way of interacting with him. Some would be fascinated, others unimpressed, the vast majority indifferent to his presence. Thankfully places like these, where he was tolerated to an extent, were rare exceptions.
Regardless of how they treated him he was only stopping on his way through. He had heard there was a Druidic band travelling nearby and he had need of fresh salves and medicinal supplies. Marius tucked his warm wineskin close to his side, hopeful he could find them quickly enough.
Dawn had headed out. The capital city of Amvir's white alabaster walls behind him a short distance. The red tiled roofs that could peak over the walls still lingered in the far distance, but most of all was the Horrid ever watchful gaze of the tower. The ruby red pedals of the Tree they called the Mage tower was nothing but nightmares to those who understood the true meaning behind the color.
While to those outside it was nothing more than a wall that stood between them and the monsters the Magistrates and the Order kept locked away and registered. Anyone who escaped become hunted by the "Hounds". Those deemed unfit to keep their magic was purged of it. and many did not survive the purging; of course Dawn knew of this place it is where the Vale Sentinal had stood before it was lost to time. At least that is what many of the elven kind wanted to believe, instead it was here being used by humans as nothing more than a way to keep their own kind from using magic.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/XQeFCbGm.jpg]] As he turned to look at the city once more the Tree came pushing back to the front of his mind. Two guards stood by the front door. Beyond it was unknown to him, but he could only imagine the horrors that those inside faced. As he shuttered from the thought he turned back around and continued his march. The city was behind him. He had to push forward no matter the cost to him be it personally. Even if that cost was his life he would pay it to see the Order's fall. As he continued his walk the great walled city vanished into air.
Light became nothing more than a glimmer of rays on the eyeline just beyond the mountains that lay to the north. How far those were no one truly knew only that there was a vast desert between the Order's lands and where those mountains claim to stand. Anyone who had been there had done so by the use of dwarven tunnels and not the surface. The desert either being to hot or the Undead that claimed home in the sands would consume you.
Dawn had to stop for the night, but not for long really. A small bit of rest for his body and a restocking of supplies before he continued, but that would mean a village would be necessary close by, and yet there wasn't any. Drawing up a small fire Dawn closed his eyes for a short while only to awake to the sound of early morning chirps of birds.
Making on his way after packing up his camp and making it so no sign of him was ever there he continued. Dawn had a little after midday reached a little village what seemed to be a farming kind of town. Being cautious the elf slung his hood up and made sure most of his elven features were hidden. Making his way to market he had purchased the few items he needed with no issue. Bread, cheese, and a little bit of salted pork he could use later. As the elf made his way to the only known place that sold liquid Dawn made his way into the tavern.
As he swung the door open eyes instantly jumped to him and a cup had been tossed at his head [b "I said get lost Hound."] Dawn grabbed the cup before he could make contact with his face. He placed the cup back on the counter he spoke up. [#125638 "I am not a hound, nor am I a beast."] as he spoke the man behind the bar seemed to jump and spin around another mug in one hand and a towel in the other, [b "Oh.. What can I get for you.."] he said with a puzzled eye.
As the man looked Dawn up and down the elf sat his water skin upon the counter top, [#125638 "I need some Dunland Ale."] the man looked even more surprised to see this little kid like thing knew what he was talking about. [b "Are you a bit young to be drinking lad?"] Removing his hood to show his elven features Dawn had tapped his ears. [#125638 "Young maybe, but I am pretty sure I am older than you are bar keep."] Before he could finish the words dawn heard the sound of wooden chairs being pushed back and men stood up swords being drawn.
[b "We don't serve your kind here elf. Now get out. I won't ask again."]. Before the man could spin back around Dawn curled up the cuff on his left to show the markings of the master he had killed. [#125638 "I doubt my master would be pleased if I returned to him without the ale he is asking for. More so to know that a barkeep kept me from obtaining it for him. Now I know you sell Dunland Ale here and are the only place that does so within the Order's lands. So unless you wish for a Magistrate to come through here with a bunch of these hounds you best give me what I want."]
grumbling for a moment or two while men approached the elf from behind his eyes flashed with a light. Dawn spun just in time out of the way bow and arrow drawn and fired pinning the man who had just attacked him to the countertop. [b "I said we don't serve your kind here. Now get out or you will be forced out."] Dawn just laughed for a bit before drawing his bow back with three more arrows. [#125638 "I warned you my master would not be pleased."] the man only huffed even more. [b "Fine. Two gold pieces and nothing less."] Digging at his side for a moment Dawn dug out the remainder of his funds for this trip and placed them on the countertop along with the waterskin.
Filling it up from a hidden room he came back and threw it on the counter right next to dawn who was still ready with his bow. [b "Here now get. We've seen enough of the Damn order's pets here."] Curious as he was Dawn wasn't going to push it. Slaves from the order was one thing, but Hounds entirely another. As he left Dawn saw him. He had seen the giant man who had nearly captured him many years ago. Sticking to the shadows of the village he had left in a hurry hoping that the man had not seen him.
Trudging a little bit through some treelines, very tall grass, and hills like no other he saw it. The border of the Orders lands. The very Forest of Ordin. It was said inside the treeline the caravan made camp, but that is not what caught the elf's eye no instead it was the Horse on the hill not far from him just shy of the camp itself.
One day. Twenty-four hours. That was the all the time off the Dwarf was allotted once every month. It wasn’t much, but even that meager amount was a welcome reprieve from the forge. Truly, it was a shame. Years ago, the sweltering heat of white-hot flames and the uproarious clamor of metal on metal were the elements of a sanctuary. There was a powerful pride to bending unyielding and hardened materials to one’s will. That came from the physical toil alone. Adding artistic craftsmanship to pieces, a personal stamp to showcase a creation, was an additional fulfillment unmatched by anything else. It was a labor of love. Or it used to be. Now, that once sacred place and that once divine work was nothing more than a prison. An unfortunate consequence of the Dwarf woman’s enslavement in the Phoenix Order. Quantity mattered far more than quality in their eyes, so the work became just that: work. At least she got one day a month.
Vodurra Twohammers was spending her leave in the same way she had been for the past thirteen years – face buried deep in a tankard of ale. Her seventh one to be precise. The reddish-brown beverage had a mildly nutty flavor that dropped right into the pit of her belly and warmed her from the inside out. It was, perhaps, the one thing she felt she could still look forward to in this miserable life. Although, it was still little more than water compared to a good Dwarven brew. With a strong concoction from home, Vodurra could be twice as drunk with half the amount. But one had to make do with what they were given. She tipped the tankard back, downing its remains. Good timing too because had she taken a moment longer, she would have spat the stuff back out again as a deafening slam sent the front door nearly careening off its hinges. Instead, she jumped, bright green eyes immediately shooting to fix the newcomer with an aggrieved glare.
It was a giant of a man who filled the entryway. From the distrusting looks of the other patrons in the tavern, he even appeared enormous by regular standards. Standing at a mere three foot eight herself, it could be difficult to tell at times from Vodurra’s point of view. Much to the relief of the general occupants, however, this giant seemed to mean no harm. A child even felt comfortable enough to toddle up to him as he waited for the barman to fill his order. Vodurra hopped off her rickety stool with a heavy thud to go place an order of her own. As she approached the poor excuse for a bar, she caught the last moments of the owner ordering the man to get out and, as he turned, saw the reason swinging around his neck. [i Hound.] Now, Vodurra did spit. It was a purposeful fat wad of phlegm in the giant’s general direction as he left.
With the unwelcome guest gone, chatter resumed pleasantly as the Dwarf stood on tiptoe to order another ale. Normally, non-humans would be hard pressed to find any service so close to Amvir. It was a difficult first few months of searching for such an establishment when the redheaded woman was initially brought to the city. The farming village was well past the first dozen or so attempts. Since she was a fully registered servant of the city who could drink more than an average man’s weight in alcohol, however, the owner of the rundown tavern was willing to take what little coin she had to spare. Carefully, Vodurra lifted the refilled tankard off the bar, tossed the man his silver, and balanced the drink back to her stool. Every drop was precious, and she intended to spill none.
As she began to sip at the frothy head, the door swung open again and brought in another stranger. He received a welcoming cup chucked at his head. Luckily, he caught it before it made contact. Vodurra choked back a laugh as the bartender made a halfhearted attempt to modify his misplaced anger. She looked on with mild interest as the man revealed himself to be an Elf. Several others around her took more than an interest. They stood, weapons drawn, the air tense with the promise of a fight.
For a moment the Dwarf idly thumbed a battle axe tucked away in her belt. She didn’t know whose side she intended to be on, but that didn’t matter. A fight, particularly a bar fight, was always a good way to release pent up emotions of which Vodurra had many. In the end (and with some difficulty) she decided against involving herself. It would be no good getting in a brawl when she knew there would be punishment to follow if her captors caught word of it. Quickly, she guzzled down her drink and made toward the exit.
Once outside Vodurra continued to hover around the tavern. Refraining from getting into a fight did not mean she had to keep herself from listening to one. Much to her dismay, one never ensued. Instead, the Elf walked out only a couple moments after she had. She was about to reenter the tavern again but did a double take upon seeing the Elf up close. Then she realized from his hair color that he was not just any Elf, but a High Elf. What’s more was that she recognized him as Dawn Eclipse, a key figure of the Rebellion.
Vodurra had only been within the walls of the hidden city beneath Amvir a couple of times. While she supplied weapons for the Rebellion’s cause, it was oftentimes through a secretive drop system, so she never had much need nor the spare time to go to the organization’s site. One of the times she was there, however, another Dwarf by the name of Doran pointed the High Elf out to her as he showed her around. He spoke of Dawn’s commitment to the cause since its beginnings and the sacrifices he made to pose as a slave in the city. If anyone had information on the Rebellion’s movements, Vodurra was certain it’d be him. She had been longing for intel for the last few months; communication was extremely limited when the risks of being discovered were so high. So, as Dawn left the village in a hurry, Vodurra followed after him with more than a few questions burning her brain.
Tailing the man proved to almost be more trouble than it was worth. She initially hoped to catch up to him quickly, but his single stride matched three of hers. Vodurra had to practically sprint after him in order to keep him in view. After what seemed like hours, he finally began to slow. By that time, there was a painful stitch in the woman’s side, and she felt as though she could feel her heartbeat pulsing behind her eyes. The alcohol in her system certainly didn’t make things easier either. Everything looked pitched diagonally on a ten-degree angle at least, making it difficult for her to find secure footing. Still, she willed her feet to drag far enough to come up behind the Elf as he gazed at a nearby hilltop.
[#B22222 “Oi!”] she shouted when she was near enough for him to hear. She had a round, full-body voice that carried a surprising distance despite her stature. [#B22222 “It’s you, innit? Yeah, I’m sure it is!”] When she was closer, Vodurra paused to cradle the stitch in her side. As she panted heavily, she looked the man up and down. She licked her lips, stroked her beard, and nodded as if to confirm the answer to her own question.
[#B22222 “It’s you all right. You’re Dawn Eclipse. Doran told me [i all] about you once. Name’s Vodurra. You and me we’re,”] she looked around conspiratorially before continuing, [#B22222 “On the same side, ya know? ‘Cept I haven’t been hearing much from that side at all. I don’t suppose you could spare a mo’, could ya? Fill in a fellow.”] She laughed and gestured back the way they came. [#B22222 “I’d say I’ve earned it!”]
Yui was delighted the rider had agreed, if not somewhat reluctantly to join her down in the valley for some some respite from traveling. Yui smiled happily and led the way to the wagon she shared with her master. The clans-people seemed to ignore Yui, but were kind enough if she addressed them. They all dressed similarly in clothes that were handmade, but well worn. They were simple people, trying to live a humble life, and while travelers were not uncommon, they were still wary of new faces.
It was a rather large wagon that Yui led the stranger to. The blue paint faded exposing the wood and the wagon’s old age. It was a curved top, and hanging from the wagon’s awning were wind-chimes, and hanging baskets of plants. The wagon was currently parked without an animal to pull it, and the stairs to the door of the wagon were folded down, the top part of the door was already opened, but the bottom half was latched, and as Yui climbed the steps to the door she called out to her master. “Saoran! I’m back, I found a traveller!” From the interior of the wagon came a clatter and the master Saoran made his presence known. He was a frail old man, with thinning frizzy white hair, a shallow face, and crooked nose that had no doubt been broken at least once in his life. He had a deep set of blue eyes, scowling going blind in his age. His voice was raspy and thin, just like his skin, and his robes were pilled wool and muslin in the shades of blue, green, and grey. Around his neck he wore a necklace of bones all etched with runes, and with his robe sleeves rolled up, one could see the myriad of runic tattoos that covered his arms. He stood before a wooden bowl filled with bones.
“A Traveller? Welcome! Welcome!” He raised a single glass piece that was clipped on a chain to his robes, to his eye and took a good look at Insae and suddenly grinned. “Oh and it’s a pretty one too!” “Don’t be disgusting, old man. You’d flirt with anything in a skirt… I came to drop off all of my collection for today-“ Yui said setting her basket down and shuffling through it, but even Saoran saw what she had found. “Are those Morels?” he asked, knowing exactly what they were, Yui grinned back almost wickedly. “They are, and I’m eating them with my supper. If you’re really nice to me, maybe I’ll share some with you,” she teased, and Soaran chuckled warmly, nodding his head taking the basket from Yui after she collected her mushrooms. “Very good, then. Well, welcome Traveler. Yui, will take good care of you.” Yui gave Insane a quick grin, and turned her attentions to the wooden bowl Soaran was tinkering with when they walked in. He was looking Insae up and down, seeing with his experienced eyes what Yui could not. “You were trying to divine something?” Yui asked suddenly looking down at the bones. Soaran looked back at her and gave a nod of his head. “I am no good with divination, perhaps you could shed some light?” He’d had an ominous feeling as of late.
Yui observed the bones, but was unable to see a thing, with a sigh she tossed them to the table and let them fall with a clatter. She took in their positions, how they laid, their directions, and as her hand moved over she was struck with powerful sensations, and very hazy images in her mind. Knowing what was fogging her ability she subconsciously reached up and gripped the opal pendant around her neck. “I see a figure, They are familiar to you. I see a collection of misfits, a gathering of some kind… I…” She sighed and released the pendant. “I can’t see more than that.” She admitted defeatedly, but it was the sort of defeat she had accepted long ago. So long as she stayed here, she would never reach her full potential.
The path Marius took to the druid’s camp was different to everyone else. Whilst they kept to the shadows, he proceeded down the well trodden path. Such a large man was not accustom to hiding or taking quieter routes. His large frame could not hide much like a child retreating from a parents scorn was often easily found. To his benefit, with his heavy sword slapping against his strong right thigh and his thick and heavy cloak pulled about his broad hulking shoulders, he did not look an easy mark for any would-be highwayman.
Finding the camp was somewhat simple in the end. The waning sun and rising smoke contrasted perfectly so that he saw the clearing they had stopped in and could decide on his approach without accidentally stumbling out to their alarm. With a little thought he devised his plan and raised his huge hands up, palms outfacing and empty, stepping out to the far side of the clearing.
[+royalblue “Good evening.”] He called out in his booming voice that carried to those nearest. The man he had called to, an older, bearded fellow, immediately called out another’s name. [i Perhaps someone more senior?] The glow of their fire cast Marius in a flickering golden hue, and as others heard of a newcomer they began to gather en masse. He could see eyes directed to the sparkling jewel that hung around his neck, the blade on his side, the scar on his cheek and their worries were easy to see. [+royalblue “I mean you no concern. I seek only to trade and perhaps share the warmth of your fire.”] His voice was calm and level and he sounded genuine, though it was not hard for a Hound to disguise their true intentions if they so wished.
From the gathered druidic folk, dressed in their earthen toned clothes and each laden with several pouches about their simple rope belts, an older woman stepped forward. Whether she was the leader or just the most confident of those gathered was not immediately certain. Her hair was a vivid blonde and dry like freshly cut straw and her face showed wisdom without age. She was a buxom woman, but so were many of the women here. Likely mothers, no doubt, but his concentration did not linger there as she stopped only a few feet before him and peered up. Those rich mahogany eyes glared at his necklace with mistrust even before she spoke.
“We are humble travelling folk. We offer no cause for concern with others and seek only the same in return. To be left in peace.” She spoke with such a strong and stern tone and he admired her for holding her nerve before him. Not many could. “There is no more space at our hearth and we have nought to trade but the clothes on our backs, which would not fit a man of your size.” The bright golden gaze of Marius looked back on those behind her, the men mainly, seeing they were not a fighting force should he have had ill intent towards them. A teen or two here and there but mostly men past their third decade or children not yet men. “We have no quarrel with you Hound. We know of your kind and the work you do. And we ask only that you leave us in peace.”
That was all anyone saw in the tall man these days. A profession. A talent. A past. He allowed a smile to tug at his lips and could see some of the more frightened folk shrink back at such a slight action. His hands slowly came to the necklace in question, and grasping the chain he lifted it up and over his head. [+royalblue “I understand your worry, it is a valid thing to be worried about. But I can assure you I am no Hound. Not any more. Come, see for yourself.”] His smile only grew larger at that.
Tentatively he stepped forward, only two small steps needed to close the distance with her. He leaned down and with an exaggerated grunt, he took a knee before her as if to propose. Even on one knee he was taller, but now her eyes flittered from the canine shaped piece of metal to the shining eyes before her. [+royalblue “As you see, I am no more a Hound as you are simple travelling folk.”] Raising the piece of jewellery for her to inspect, she debated with herself before reaching up to take it from him. In her hands it was heavy and the metal was cold on the front, warm at the back where it had lay against his body. Inspecting the piece she found it incomplete. Eyes of ruby had been removed, left black and hollow. Turning it over she brushed her thumb over an inscription, a name. [+royalblue “I do not conceal who I was, rather, I carry it in public for all to see.”] His name was finely engraved into the piece, though even if she could not read she could appreciate the artistry. [+royalblue “I am Marius Høyer. I am [i formerly] a Hound, but now.. just a humble traveller. I help where I can. And I have need of druidic folk like yourselves.”] He had held onto the chain of the necklace, and as her inspection ended, he retrieved the piece.
She eyed him with renewed suspicion. Again, a Hound was adept at subterfuge. They could lie with the best of rogues and spin a tale as well as a bard. Such devilish tongues they had. Still, he had been truthful. He had wore the emblem of his former employer out in the open, not sought to throw it away or hide from his past. The missing rubies added credence to his story too, the defiling of one of them emblems not something they would allow to pass lightly.
“Whilst you may speak the truth, we still have very little by way of possession, even less that we would be willing to trade nor coin to make purchases from you. I am afraid we have nothing for you here.” There was a deflation of tension in the air, those listening behind her letting taut nerves relax as it looked like she deemed him not as much a threat as they first believes.
[+royalblue “I do not come to take your coin, but perhaps offer a trade of services.”] The necklace was replaced. [+royalblue “I offer myself where needed. Furnish me with axe and I will fell you a tree. Give me a basket of soiled clothing, I will see it cleaned. Put a pitchfork in my hand and I will clear out the animal pens.”] No job was beneath the man.
“We have no need of your help.” She remained stubborn in that respect.
[+royalblue “Oh? Perhaps you only think so.”] He said with a defusing smile. [+royalblue “From afar, I saw you had a wagon with a broken axle. Heavy things, wagons, especially when it holds a families belongings.”] He commented with a nod to the one in question, heavily laden with personal belongings and the like. [+royalblue “It would make things easier if I simply lifted it and you roll the new axle into place. I could even show you a type of peg that will hold the wheel in place for longer and put less stress upon the axle itself.”] He could already see one or two of those behind her nod in agreement, eyeing the giant stranger. He could be useful purely for his strength if nothing else, and the thought of breaking down less often was tempting.
“And what would you ask of us in return, knowing we have so little?” It seemed she was open to the idea of taking his help, and he smiled broadly.
[+royalblue “I need herbs. Some general ones, like scented mayweed, yacon, and some goldenseal root. But, I would have a coin or two to spare for some wine-bloom, honey-cups and maybe a few pieces of pepperbark?”] They were all forms of medicinal herbs, used for healing smaller cuts, quelling a turning stomach after drinking bad water, or easing toothache respectively. His years had given him a broad knowledge of survival techniques.
For a time, the woman would consider his proposal. Herbs were simple and free. They found them all the time and were quite abundant in their supply, given they lived off the land. She stepped back to those behind her, taking the council of an older man who whispered in her ear whilst ringing his hands. His nervous state left Marius unsure of their answer, but she turned to him quickly after and doffed her head to him.
“Alright, former-Hound. You have a deal. We will provide you your basic herbs. You in turn will lift the cart and help drive in the holding pegs you speak of.” He had expected as much. He offered very little by way of threat, and it was best to use him for menial tasks that he could accomplish swiftly than a lot of swearing or risk of injury in lifting the cart themselves. “As for your medicinal needs, you will need to speak with Saoran and his charge. They will most likely have what you seek. They live in the wagon over there.” She pointed to a wagon that was set aside from the others. A soft melody of wind-chimes played and baskets of plant life swung gently in the wind.
Although Marius would nod with understanding, he made one final gesture to the woman who had approached him. He rose back to his full height, and his right hand took hold of his swords hilt. With a rasp of metal it pulled free, the crowd shrinking back several steps as the heavy longsword, gleaming in the waning light of the sun and its polished surface reflecting the flickering embers of the fires around, was raised forward and thrust point down into the soft dirt.
[+royalblue “In my homeland, our swords are as one with us as our own kin. They are a part of our legacies. As a sign of my desire for no trouble, I will leave this in your care until I leave.”] His hand slowly lifted from the pommel, fixing the woman he had spoken to with a stern gaze. He did not give up his sword with little care; this was his way of showing them he truly had no ill-will in his heart. With that, he turned and began to walk for the broken wagon, flexing his arms as he went to do the work he agreed to.
Perhaps it was the silence that had something to do with putting the great dragon to sleep. Her charge had not been disturbed in nearly two centuries. Not sense the fall of the Riders, and the rise of the Phoenix order did she run away. Perhaps it was the loneliness, but that couldn't be it. She had a companion her partner Tasia the Huntress whom had bonded with her and became her rider. While thought to be the first dragon to have a rider she was instead the first of her kind. The reason all dragons live and breath.
A slow swirl started at first, a wisp of light, Magic. at first growing no larger then the head of a sewing pin. Then a flash. Blinding light turned into a blaze. The heat coming from the blazing fire was felt by the creature the Fire devoured it whole. Swallowing the creature the skin and bone and from it flew wings and magic. From this unknown came Nova. her skin as black as the starless night. Her eyes as White as freshly fallen snow. As she grew older her white faded to blue and the underbelly also faded to a glowing blue. Her wings started becoming spotted like that of the stars in the sky.
Ages had passed sense her birth, but not long enough had passed sense the attack. At first no one knew it was coming. Caliesto had somehow convinced members of the Riders to join his cause. Thus the Phoenix order was reborn. Their goal was to reform the world, to reform the Riders themselves. Caleisto's dragon Dargon while against the idea fully agreed the Riders needed reformed to include other races besides Elves themselves. The Riders agreed and allowed humans to join, but to their mistake.
Humans had abused the power they had been given. The humans would also quickly outnumber the elves at least ten to one in the ranks of the Riders. This however did not stop Cal and his reformation idea. He had kept going to make sure all races were included into the ranks of the Riders.
After elves, Humans joined, after Humans came the Attempt to have Dwarves join, but both dragon and rider died after the bound had been formed. No matter what Dwarves and dragons could never be bound together. After the attempt a few decades went by before another would attempt to join, and out of the unexpected they came.
After Dwarves came Lizardfolk, who have to this day the strongest bond with their own kin. From Lizardfolk came Beastmen, Fae, Halflings, even the race of Ordos joined the Riders ranks.
It was not enough however for Cal and Dragon. From there they recruited the 'darker' races. Orcs, Trolls, Origini, even the Shifters. While these races at first were not accepted Cal forced the Riders to accept them. They even accepted Celestials into the Riders ranks with very harsh treatment of the creatures; but what had been the hatchet within the war was when the Phoneix Order pushed to have Undead riders join as well. The council of Riders would not hear of it. To bring back their dead by the use of Necromancery was outlawed and forbidden, but Cal had the elves bring the Undead bound to dragons and taught them in secret the ways of the Riders.
It was the Worst day of anyones life when the Order attacked the Isle the riders called home. No one knew it would happen, no one but Nova and Taisa, but they were sent away by the council after attempting to warn them repeatedly. It was after the last attempt that the order attacked. Nova would have died had Tasia not dug her blades into Dargon's heart during their battle.
Dargon's lifeless body lay still impaled on a spike within the towers of Black marble and Starlight stone. It was there that she had lost her voice. Through her bond she could speak to Taisa, but no one else. It was what had caused nightmares for centuries. Seeing the blood of her children spilled, not just by others but by their own kin as well. The war was not over quickly, no it took hours just to destroy the Riders home fortress, It took Years later to hunt down and kill the last name on the Riders registration. [b "Nova!?!"] A strange female voice came a calling, but from where the dragonness couldn't tell. a shake of her small body and another calling of her name. [b "Nova. We have to move. The hunters approach."] Nova woke with a start.
Rising to her full height the Great being that would be known as Mother of Dragons stood no taller then that of a house cat. Her off spring had been imbued with magic from the Gods to grow to the creatures they are known for today. Had it been left to natural things the dragons would be no bigger then house cats, but still be very powerful companions to keep. Lifting her eye lid Nova looked over her companion. The Great Huntress of pale skin and white hair clad in fur and armor sat across the kindling fire worry in her eyes. [b "You were dreaming again little one."]
her voice was soft spoken, but rang clearer then anything else in the whole chittering of the Forest and Mountains. That was until a single word rang in her head. [i [b "RUN."]] Not a second later did Nova move and just in time. A ballista arrow landed right in the middle of the fire they were just using had landed.
Now wide awake Nova could hear them. The shuffle of armor against cloth that was meant to silence their approach, but whomever wore them only shuffled their feet not fully lifting them. The sharp pain returned to Nova's brain, this time is was a command. [i [b "RUN, Get to the Vault."]]
Nova looked to Tasia who once again the concern appeared upon her face, but she heard the voice also. Tasia only raised her finger to her lips to show silence even in their bond. Signing that they should not go towards the Vault. If they did that whomever or whatever was hunting them would surely follow their tracks to it. That Nova would not allow.
A low growl escaped the dragon as she shifted. At first nothing seemed to happen. the pair were hidden away from view, but it was the slow pressing issue and the nagging voice in her head constantly telling her to run to the vault. to check on the eggs, to make sure the seal was still present.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/0w5Hz9om.jpg]] As a low growl escaped from Nova a second time her form began to chance. The small little lizard like creature at first became a seed like shape, but from this seed came what looked to be eight limbs, Four arms, two legs. From the other two extremities sprouted trees. The leaves upon the trees the same bright blue her scales would be. A roar escaped her now bark lips. Standing far taller then her companion now.
As she charged the group of hunters now she saw them. The Celestials that was with the group, but that is what hurt her. she took their form instead of her true form even held them in high esteem, but to see the Order fall so low as to higher Celestials meant they were desperate.
Nova stopped dead in her tracks, now she was more then happy she didn't go to the vault. Celestials knew of mind links and used them as forms of communication. to use them on prey or on a target was not out of the ordinary for them. As she drew back into the woods the battle was a slow agonizing wait. The hunters now became the pray.
Nova dimmed her lights when she was hiding, but when she raged to kill a person her leaves glowed so bright to blind everyone. She had dispatched three hunters quickly. the forth expected her light and turned his back toward Nova, but to the unexpected arrow to his head from Tasia who aided her companion. The last of the group of hunters the Celestial had taken the form of a bear in hopes to take on the great beast herself. Nova returned to her dragonish form and spoke to the Celestial.
[#13a7ae "You come here in works with the Order. And in hopes to bring them the treasure inside the Vault. No one knows of its location accept myself. You used your mind tricks to get me to lead you back to the Vault."] It was put as matter of facts not questions. The venom leaked from Tasia's voice as she spoke for Nova. [#13a7ae "You tried hurting my companion, and now you shall pay, but not before you tell me how you found us."]
At first the creature remained still, silent. As time passed Nova studied the creature and decided instead of waiting for an answer she pushed into its own head diving into the things memories and mind for answers. Finding them she cursed the name. Rasha, Rulian, Aleria, Ayana, and Orido. Drawing her mind back the Celestial only had what would be a smile upon its face if it had a mouth. As its smile faded and the light from its eyes turned to fear Nova drew her jaw back and snapped the creature's neck while biting its head clean off.
As the body fell limp to the ground Nova finished by eating the rest of the creature. Tasia the huntress waited not even a moment before setting to tend to the other bodies. Hanging them from branches of random trees within the Forest itself.
Its how they had gotten their name, The bloodgrove
It had taken Dawn by shock to see Marius out here. The one hound that had hunted him endlessly. The man was a beast and well known among the Hounds themselves, but to have come so close to the man and live was unheard of. that was of course until Dawn had done something to remove Marius from the hounds and into slavery himself. Not knowing if the giant had forgiven him yet from that Dawn's focus was on the man so he did not hear the little the little dwarf women come up from behind him.
Hearing the thick dwarvish accent behind him the Elf spun around arrow knocked and ready to fire, but when he saw that it was a dwarf he lowered the arrow and returned it and the bow back to their homes upon his person. her words at first came out in huffs and puffs. It had indeed been a very long way to walk sense the village they had just left. Elves were quick agile creatures and for this dwarf to have kept up with the elf was a talent on its own.
When she did finally clearly speak she said something of Doran. This shook him just a bit, was it because Doran was a dwarf and they tend not to be able to keep their lips sealed when it came to being drunk. Perhaps it was the fact Doran was apart of the Windstone Clan of dwarves and they keep a close tie to the Two Hammers. Either way she knew his name and that either boded ill for him or good for him.
Nodding his head Dawn listened on. She introduced herself as Vodurra Two Hammers. It was her signature that seemed to be upon the arrows that he used. He had pointed a weapon she had made at her. As she pointed back the way the pair had came he indeed agreed she deserved information on how the hidden city was coming along and the rebellions current situation.
[#125638 "As it sits I do have a moment, but come with me. We are exposed out here."] Not waiting for an answer Dawn turned around and went down into the Caravan circle of wagons. Watching from a slight difference as Marus did various tasks for the Caravan itself. Dawn however was not greeted the same instead he got a few odd ball side glances like the people here had never seen an elf before. Perhaps not as elves usually don't travel outside of their forests or places they claim as home. As he stepped up to the rickety almost run down Wagon. Before he could knock however the door swung open and to his surprise an older gentlemen stared at the elf no different then anyone else from the camp.
[b "Ah good day young lad."] he said as he looked over the elf. Dawn took a few steps back as the door finished swinging open. He had came out pot in both arms. Dawn grabbed it however as it seemed the old man was having problems carrying the heavy thing. [#125638 "I am looking for someone, but I am told this is his wagon."] a Curious eye now glanced at Dawn from the man. [b "Tell me who is it your looking for stranger?"] Dawn just looked at the man puzzled a second.
[#125638 "I am looking for a man named Saoran."] The man nodded a few times while he started the fire under the pot. [b "Interesting. It seems the Caravan is a popular place these days."] Dawn was about to speak when he heard the foot steps at first. The sound of Hoofs beating against the dirt. From behind him he heard a female voice speaking. It was however also the sounds of even heavier footfall hitting dirt that caused his alarmed look. Dawn looked around but could not find the source of the noise, that was until Marius was already within the clearing the older man was crouched in, but he did not have his blade with him.
[b "Sit young man. Food will be served shortly."] It was then the female Dwarf had drawn Dawns attention back to her. Still eagerness blazed in her eyes. [#125638 "The Rebellion that is right. As of right now its facing starvation. and we loose more and more everyday to it. Those who can go up to the surface can't bring enough food back to feed everyone. As for contact with the dwarves until we have dug out the tunnels that we discovered we won't be able to establish a way for supplies from them without the Order noticing. Even then its still dangerous. When I left the tunnels were being dug out, but most of the city was being secured and made safe. There are still some pockets of Goblins and Orcs found in the city from when the Dwarves were still in their Golden Age. We have discovered the city the Rebellion occupies was known as Kor Varekan Khaz, or in common tongue Star light Hall. The dwarves used it as a point to trade for or mine Masali or Starscale. Its very rare and hard to come by especially today, but its mainly found in the area around the Dreamwoods or the Lands the Night elves claim as home. Dwarves were given lands they were allowed to mine from, but they still needed to trade for it as much as they were going through it. The Stone itself is a combination of a dragons fire breath and wood that has come from the Teirar Maelolaer Tree or more commonly refered to as the Crystal Sentinel."]
Holding up his hand a bright light came from his palm it showed the outskirts of the Dreamwoods, but from the top you could see a very bold tree standing above them all, but you could see straight down the tree almost like it was unoccupied space. [#125638 "Its called the Crystal Sentinel, because it is crystal clear you can be anywhere around the tree and still see through it like its nothing but open air between where you are and where you are looking."] Focusing the light zoomed into the tree itself. [#125638 "This is the only tree outside of the Crescent Isle Aeraesar Maelolaer tree to have been Blessed by the Gods and Goddess's together. All but one that is. The Eternal Sentinel was blessed by all gods and goddesses, however the Crystal Sentinel was missing one blessing. The God of Magic knew better, He held on his blessing from the tree and it is what caused the Gods to divide among themselves. It is what caused the Great rift among the elven people. It is also why each race of elf has their own Sentinel tree. Even the Dwarves your own people were given one by the Elven Emperor."]
Making referance to the Stone Sentinel that all Dwarves known of. [#125638 "The Stone Sentinel was the Elves way of agreeing to peace. Giving up a seed of their tree which grants them immortal life. It was into this tree the throne of the dwarves was carved. It was on this throne the true Dwarven king will sit. However that all fell away when the Dwarves lost their Capital to Orcs and the darker races."] Pulling one of the arrows out of its quiver he admired the work. Instead of a metal tip arrow with bird feathers and a wooden shaft. Instead it was solid Metal down to the finest detail was gone over with a fine eye. [#125638 "I thank you for your Hard for Vodurra, you do some very nice work and I have yet to find arrows better then these outside of those on the Crescent Isle."] Falling silent a moment Dawn continued. [#125638 "It is also my brothers Anjui and Ado whom your current ruler Godric Ironside has an agreement with. The Dwarves will retain their tie to the Stone Sentinel, however it will be returned to the Elven lands of the Crescent isle. in turn Hose Masjhol will aid the Ironside House in reclaiming Karaz Khaz and solidifying Godrics claim to the throne over all dwarves. It will also secure him as a Living Paragon to his people. Returning the Enduring Halls to the Dwarven houses will make whomever claims it a Paragon to the people of the Mountains. It will also make Gron Khaz no longer the Capital, but instead the Crown Hall will be the Jewel of the likes no one has seen."]
Vodurra’s jovial grin quickly transformed into a bitter scowl as the Elf took off ahead of her once again. Since Dawn had no knowledge of the Dwarf’s earlier pursuits, Vodurra could forgive his quick pace. Now, however, as he took strong, steady strides without allowing her a moment to catch her breath – let alone catch up – she was thinking some very nasty things about the lithe limbed creature indeed. Muttering a quick curse unsuitable for leaving the lips of a proper lady, the redhead quickly sprinted after her ally.
Thankfully, her stout legs did not have to carry her far. The two came across a clearing where a caravan had settled itself. Although the sun was quickly making its descent behind the horizon, the denizens of the encampment still milled around as they busied themselves with various tasks. By the savory scent wafting in the air, the main one at hand was supper. A large kettle pot balanced over the main fire at the center of camp. As the flames licked its underside, Vodurra couldn’t help smacking her lips together at the thought of its contents. She wasn’t even hungry since her belly was still plenty full of beer. She could always simply appreciate a well-made meal. Though she wanted to peek, she continued to follow behind the Elf. With her mind preoccupied on the prospect of food, she took no notice of the eyes she and her travel companion attracted. Two non-humans together so close to the Cathoran border without an Order attendant in sight could likely be seen as an act of rebellion in and of itself.
When the pair stopped in front of a faded blue wagon, Vodurra shot Dawn a quizzical look, wondering what business he had here. The question was answered almost immediately with the appearance of a wizened man. The Elf was in search of someone named Saoran. But for now, it seemed, that would have to wait. Rather than aiding the Elf, the old man beckoned the two to sit down in preparation for supper. The Dwarf needed no further invitation. Hiking up her trousers, Vodurra plopped right down to the ground on a heavy exhale of breath. It was a welcome reprieve to ease some of the weight off her aching feet. She relaxed, leaning back for a moment and listening to the pleasant tinkling of wind-chimes overhead. As Dawn began to talk about the Rebellion once more, however, she eagerly craned herself forward.
Vodurra listened without interruption as the Elf droned on. And on. And on. Knowledgeable creatures, Elves! Their record keeping skills were unmatched, and their histories were rumored to predate the beginning of creation itself. But why they insisted on burdening other races with their profound precursors Vodurra did not know. She knew that Dwarves too could talk at length – particularly while drunk – but at least their stories were [i fun.] Still, it wasn’t all bad. It was nice to finally hear some news concerning the Rebellion even if it wasn’t altogether good news. Idly, Vodurra wondered how she could contribute to the ongoing food crisis. Her employer provided her with meager rations as it was, but perhaps if she was able to spare a bit of bread and cheese in addition to the weapons she smuggled to the hidden city, it could go a long way.
As the Elf moved from updates to archives, the Dwarf produced a small circular tin from one of the many pockets of her coat. When she held the dinged-up container in the flat of her hand it stretched over the sides of her palm by a couple of inches. Taking her knuckle, she rapped along the outermost edges three times followed by twice in the center. It was the only way to open the thing. There were no tricks nor magic at play, only time. The tin had been passed down for generations, nearly rusting the thing shut. The continued changing ownership was more for convenience than sentiment, but as it was one of the few possessions Vodurra had on her person the night she was imprisoned, she continued to keep it close.
The Dwarf dumped a modest mixture of tobacco and mugwort into her free hand before closing the container and replacing it in her coat. From another pocket she pulled a briarwood pipe. Expertly, she pressed the empty bowl on top of the blended herbs and swirled it round. This was a much quicker and efficient method as opposed to filling it by hand. She packed the stuff tightly by pressing down with her thumb and topped it off with just a sprinkling more of the mix. Placing the pipe in her mouth, she checked the draw to ensure it wasn’t too free, but also not too blocked. Satisfied, she lit a match pulled from yet another pocket, and teased the top of the pipe with the flame. Light clouds of smoke created another beard on top of the one she already boasted. The mugwort mellowed the harshness of the tobacco and offered a slightly sweeter flavor. It was just enough to take the edge off the prolonged history lesson.
In the end, Vodurra was grateful to the Elf for his grasp of events lost to the ages. Ever a progressive race, Dwarves preferred looking forward, never back. Particularly not when it came to losses and defeats. Therefore, unsavory histories were often left untold. Vodurra never knew anything of a lost capital, a throne from the Stone Sentinel, nor the hidden city’s Dwarven origins. It was a lot of unfamiliar territory to take in, to say the least. Almost all of it, really, save for one thing.
Although she was at a loss for words by the time Dawn was finished speaking, she did manage a smile as she gazed upon the handiwork that he twirled between his fingers. She extended a hand for the weapon. Slowly it closed around the metal arrow, handling it as gently as one would a newborn. The puffing on her pipe slowed as she took in her own craftsmanship. A single arrow made entirely of metal was no small feat, let alone a full quiver. It was a painstaking process to finetune. On the one hand, metal was a much more formidable force in comparison to wood. On the other hand, it was an incredibly heavy material and difficult to make fly. Through trial and error, before her enslavement, Vodurra shaved down the metal to its thinnest possible construction in order to fire it from a bow yet still maintain its integrity. Dawn’s arrows were therefore twice as narrow and twice as deadly as traditional ones. And toward the back of the shaft was her sigil. Two hammers crossed one another to form an X – the typical image of her clan. Above their intersection there was something more: a second, smaller outlined V with an O hovering over it.
[#B22222 “Well, I’ll thank ya for your kind words about that there,”] Vodurra mumbled humbly as she handed the arrow back. There was a mistiness in her eyes that she made an effort to choke back. [#B22222 “As well as the info to boot. It’s better being in the know, ya know? But,”] she cleared her throat and managed half a laugh. [#B22222 “Sure’s a lot.”] The Dwarf leaned back once more, inhaling two more long pulls from the pipe as she processed it all.
The pensive moment was short lived. There was a scattering of congratulations and applause from across the clearing as a giant of a man singlehandedly set a wagon down. The Dwarf’s brow furrowed as the man straightened. Then she recognized his scarred visage. It was the same [s man] [i Hound] from the tavern. Vodurra scrambled to her feet, suffocating the remaining lit bowl by covering it before stuffing it back into her coat. [#B22222 “Dunno that we’ll be wanting to hang about here much longer,”] she told Dawn darkly as she jerked her chin in the Hound’s direction. [#B22222 “If you’re worried ‘bout being exposed ‘n all, anyways. Oughta tell the folks here too…”] She scanned the area for the old man who had invited them to supper. Since she didn’t see him in the immediate vicinity, she climbed the stairs to the wagon he previously occupied; Vodurra had heard him talking to someone before they’d arrived. She knocked urgently on the lower portion of the door before letting herself inside.
Leaning over a pile of bones strewn atop a table was a young woman with blonde hair. She suppressed a look of disgust. [#B22222 “Erm. Sorry to disturb. Not sure if your people know this, but that fellow out there’s no good. The big’n, I mean. He’s one of them Hounds, ya know. Saw his symbol myself not more than an hour ago. Now, I appreciate this whole welcoming thing your folks got going here. Issa right nice change, that’s for sure! But, I dunno if it’d be good extending the courtesy to the likes of him, s’all I’m saying.”]
Saoran looked to Yui with a glimmer of pity. He could see the muted frustration in her own eyes and a depressed acceptance of her current situation. He knew she was restless here, that she craved more; but he could not teach her what she needed, nor could he give her release. He had taught her all he could, but he was also a selfish old man and didn’t want her to leave. She was the child he never had, and he loved her as if she were his own daughter from the moment he had found her and decided to claim her as his ward.
“Don’t worry over the bones, child. Let us allow this traveler to rest. There is always space by the fire for a bedroll, weary traveler,” he said to the woman who had come with Yui. “So long as you do not mean us harm or concern, you are welcomed here.” He began shuffling to the back of the wagon. The interior was cozy with faded yellow paint that complemented the pale blue exterior. A dark blue curtain blocked out the folding cot against the wall where Saoran slept. In a painted loft above their heads was a small space filled with a myriad of mixture matched pillows and blankets where Yui slept. The main space they currently occupied was where they kept their tinctures, ingredients, tools, and books. So many books for such a small space. They were crammed everywhere along the free space of the walls, kept in place by a strip of leather so they would not fall in transit. Every item and furniture was designed to maximize the space allowing for them to operate as healers and live within the large wagon.
Saoran collected goods for their supper from a small latched cabinet built into the wooden frame. Yui let her gaze follow, watching as he put them all into a large pot so it would be easier to move. He moved slowly in his old age, but efficiently, gathering the goods he needed, and speaking in his raspy weathered voice, “In the meantime, I am going to prepare some supper.” Yui gave a nod of her head and made her way to follow him out and offered help with open arms, but he gave a nonverbal shake of her head that he did not need it. So Yui simply opened the door for him to exit. There at the steps was an elven man. Yui had never seen an elf before, and surprisingly a red-haired dwarf maiden followed him. They were certainly an odd pair and the poor woman looked winded. They must have been travelers, just like Insae.
As Saoran chatted with the gracious elf who took Saoran’s pot of food, the dwarf following, Yui noticed the commotion within the camp. There stood a mountain of a man on the other end of the wagon ring. He wasn’t easy to miss standing far taller than the men of her clan. She glanced back inside and allowed for the traveler to leave her wagon and Yui was finally left to her own peace. She retreated back into the wagon and climbed up the little ladder against the wall to let her crawl into her sleeping space. It was also where she kept her very small collection of belongings. Above her head instead of wood was a pane of glass and the alcove was painted with delicate illustrations of stars and plants. One such vines specimen climbed around the space from its potted home on a recessed shelf in her cove. Next to it was a bowl made of wood and inside a black pouch were her own runes and collection of crystals. There was also a square slab of quartz the size of her palm with a small hole chiseled out for her to burn incense. She thought of removing her pendant, just for a little bit, just so she could try to glean a clearer image of the gathering of misfits.
There were already too many strangers in camp and Yui did fear reprisal from the elders if she was discovered. She thought she might at least give her runes a toss. Yui had made her runes from polished river stones, hand painting the runes onto them. Saoran’s runes were made of antler and bones. It wasn’t the same reading his runes as it was her own. She slipped down from the loft with the slinky grace of a cat, runes in hand and padded across the wagon to the table Saoran had been working over earlier. She took several deep breaths, closing her eyes, and letting the stillness inside the wagon center her. She tried to picture the gathering she had seen earlier, grasping to the already hazy edges of the image. She opened her pouch, eyes still closed and poured them into the bowl. She continued her intention, what she wanted to see… was it time for her to leave?
She tossed the runes up just as she opened her eyes, and let them fall back down to clatter in the bowl. They came to settle at the base and she leaned down to investigate. She allowed herself only a glance at the runes before closing her eyes again and feeling out the energy of the world. It was muted, and she knew she wouldn’t get much further than what she’d already seen. Yui had just managed to grasp the gathering as she’d seen it before, trying to dig deeper, but the future could be fickle. It resisted her for some reason, and it did not help when an urgent knock came upon the door and the lower partition suddenly burst open. Yui simply opened her eyes and looked over at the door.
Yui caught sight of the dwarf woman, giving her a kind smile, and offered a friendly greeting, “Hello!” Perhaps she was not meant to see what was coming. Perhaps there were not enough factors locked in, and she did not have enough of a connection to the energies of the world. Perhaps she just had bad luck and the dwarf woman was struck with a case of poor timing. The Dwarf gave a quick apology, but was then very prompt to inform Yui of the large man she had spotted earlier. “A Hound you say?” She had a run in with hounds before…not that she remembered it. She was far too young and she’d only known of that because that’s what Saoran had told her.
Curiosity took over Yui and she left the bowl of runes for the door and opened the top portion to look over and saw as he helped mend a damaged wagon, the work nearly complete. At first glance earlier she had noticed his height, but that was superfluous, no doubt everyone noticed that at first glance. Yui had simply not looked ‘at’ him. She did now, letting the Dwarf woman say her piece and her warning. Yui let a small smile play on her face, green eyes glittering above a slight smatter of pale freckles across the bridge of her nose and the apples of her cheeks. “Oh I don’t think he looks that scary. Sure he’s big, but…” his eyes were soft, and she also spotted a large sword sticking in the ground -his scabbard at his hip empty. She could certainly understand why someone might think him frightening at first glance. “If he was a threat, I don’t think he would have helped to fix that wagon. You may find it foolish, but we will try to provide aid to or trade with those we can. It is our way of life, and what connects us to the rest of the outside world. So long as they mean us no harm or concern. All are welcome. Same as you, same as your elf friend, and the woman who came earlier today…” she looked down at the Dwarf, but only because the woman was of such short stature. Yui stood at a rather average height for a human woman. “We do show caution to those we welcome, as you can see, we’re not fighters, but we would also not turn away someone in need of a warm fire and a full belly,” she motioned an arm towards one of the fire pits throughout camp. It was the one Saoran had taken the elf and the dwarf to earlier. “Speaking of full belly’s there is food to be had, and ale to drink. So please go and help yourself, you are welcome at our fire, and if you should need to speak with me again, my name is Yui.”
Yui and Vodurra parted ways and Yui made her way towards Nivya, one of the clan elders who had welcomed the mountainous man into the camp. She was a stern old woman, but crafty, and level headed. “We are certainly popular today, Elder Nivya,” Yui said coming to stand beside the woman who was currently overseeing the final repairs to the wagon. Her lips pursed into a thin line and her gaze left the man and some of the clans people to the lonely blade in the dirt. Yui looked at it as well. No one had gone so far to show their good intentions. She supposed when one was as obviously strong and powerful as him, it would be easy for other more weaker people to be afraid. “We are too popular. If so many were able to stumble upon our camp, then perhaps it is time we moved again,” Nivya mused with a dark edge to her tone. Yui spared the woman a side glance, knowing her main concern was the safety of the caravan. “Perhaps, now that will be easier seeing as how someone was kind enough and able enough to help us repair one of the wagons. I wonder what else he might be able to help us with…” Yui knew exactly what a kind of man like that could do for the caravan. Protection. If only they had the coin to keep someone that strong. Still he was only one man. Nivya gave Yui a look of her own, as if displeased by the idea of allowing him to do anything else. “He said he was once a hound… but claims to have forsaken that life, and goes by the name of Marius. He may come to you and Saoran later for some medicinal herbs. Be mindful…” she warned. Yui gazed over at Nivya knowing the woman meant for Yui not to draw attention, and to better yet not interact with the man at all. Former hound or not… so long as they showed no display of power they would be safe…. Hopefully.
Yui spared the man one final glance and then left Nivya with a disappointed look back to her own fire.
Saoran was far more mischievous. He began his preparations for their supper, by beginning the broth for a hearty potato and vegetable soup. His gnarly hands worked the knife carefully as he cut up his potatoes into cubes, dropping them right into the simmering liquid. He cast a glance at the Elf and smirked to himself. Yui had seen the gathering as it was beginning to form. Saoran could see it himself now. He noticed the number of those already gathered in the camp, and he’d wager there were probably more that might join them as time went on. Though he didn’t know any of these newcomers, that wasn’t to say someone might show up later that he knew. “So,” he called over to the elf who had so far remained sitting patiently, and the dwarf who returned. “You are looking for Saoran… Who are you and what business do you have with me? He asked, giving the elf a impish grin, as if he’d seen them coming all along. Though truth be told, he was just old and he liked the excitement new comers brought to the camp.
For Marius, being the centre of attention was natural to him. It wasn’t some statement born of vanity however. He knew most saw him at his base values; tall, imposing, a man with thickset thighs like tree trunks and shoulders broad enough to carry a horse. He was simply a large slab of sentient meat to some, uncaring for the principles, morals and lived experiences hiding behind bright golden eyes. The first reaction was hostility, to raise ones hackles and become immediately defensive. At one time, long ago now, he thought it was through just fear that they reacted thusly. It was a sad thought that they might judge him solely based on how he appeared and it had been very difficult on a younger Marius to accept. But accept it he had, and now it brought him great joy to subvert their expectations when they saw Marius was truly an irenic man as well as a hospitable one.
Thankfully for all involved, Marius was accustomed to this wary stand-off with all strangers. He walked calmly forward towards one of the wagons that was still complete and would first remove then lay against the wagon his satchel of belongings, his full skin of wine, and the woolen covering and metal pauldron he wore around his shoulders. It afforded him much greater movement in his arms and the sapphire blue gambeson beneath was both vivid and beautiful. Standing to his full height and lifting his arms above his head to stretch he could reach the top of the wagon with ease, so tall as he was. Course fingers would brush back unruly strands of hair and he would turn on the task at hand, the broken wagon, eyeing it with renewed interest. Moving across in four large strides, a hand pressed against the rough wooden siding and he leaned down low on one knee to assess the situation.
The rear axle had splintered terribly in the middle, likely when it had dipped into a deep rut in the road, and now the rear of the wagon rest atop two logs that left it at a worrying tilt. The wheels, still in good condition, had been removed and placed onto its replacement not far away. His free hand rose up and stroked his hoary beard in contemplative thought. Strength mattered greatly in such a task as this, but there were ways to utilise strength for greater effects.
The new axle was brought forward and Marius took his spot. With his back to the wagon door he grasped the smooth wooden lip and slowly began to extend his legs, lifting the wagon. He let out a soft grunt to signify the exertion of energy this required, the lift slow but purposefully so. His arms quivered momentarily and the wagon lowered a fraction, before a renewed bout of strength saw him lift it once more and higher yet than before. It was a well prepared hoax, as if this was some great test of his strength, but unbeknownst to those around that this was just a ruse to hide his true strength.
Overall it would not take too long for the logs to be removed, the old axle removed and the new axle rolled into place by two men, carefully aligning it with the old marks. With their affirmation that all was in place, the wagon was eased back down and took a moment to settle onto its new holding. Marius would shift onto his knees, reaching under with a wooden mallet offered to him and the metal bands that secured the axle to the wagon would be beaten into place. With three bands secured, the golden eyed labourer would finally move back and with only a moments inspection he bellowed a triumphant cheer, animatedly clapping his hands to which several others joined him. Approaching each of the men who had helped and seizing their hand in his, he shook heartily and thumped their backs in joy, all the while with a face lit up with pure delight.
[+royalblue “You did very well my friend. Thank you for your help,”] he told the two men who stood taller and raised their heads with pride. Such small offerings of praise often went amiss in the world and Marius was always keen to bring about smiles wherever he could.
[i “What about the holding pegs?”] An older man’s voice called out as the celebrations died down. The tone was borderline accusatory, as if he might forget on purpose and leave the job half complete. For his part, Marius only turns and offers a pliant grin.
[+royalblue “Of course.”] Moving around to the wheel he inspects it, gives it a reaffirming pat when he was done. [+royalblue “Do you have any wych elm to hand?”] Looking around he saw only blank faces. [+royalblue “Only wych elm will work. It is easy to work with and as hard as stone when burned – perfect for holding pegs.”] The two men who had helped him only offer shakes of their heads and shrugs of their shoulders.
[i “There is one, not far from here, near a brook to the east,”] a helpful stranger offered up.
[+royalblue “Well, then I have a tree to go visit.”] Smacking his hands together as he looked up to the sky to orientate himself correct, he then peered out the way he’d been directed. [+royalblue “Alright, I’ll be right back then.”] And with that he strode forward, directly towards the treeline the wagons backed onto, and was soon lost to the darkness of the wood. Only the fading crunch of his heavy feet revealed his growing distance to them until it feel silent.
Not long after the first voice spoke up, and for the first ten or so minutes the air was rife with conversation as the Druidic travellers tried comprehending just what had happened. There was talk of whether he was safe to have around given his size, his brute strength, [i those arms!] His previous life with the Phoenix Order only further exacerbated the fears of the concerned whilst others tried to defend him, or at least afford him neutrality, pining that he had voluntarily given up his weapon and he offered to help them but for a few simple herbs they had in abundance. This only pushed the former group, the fearful, further into their denial, believing that no man who could serve the Order would accept mere herbs as payment for anything.
Then, an entirely innocent observation was made that his return seemed overdue and eyes began to look around hurriedly. That was when anxiety began to take hold.
[right [i ‘What could be taking him so long?’]] [i 'Maybe he's just lost?'] [center [i ‘Maybe he came to merely scout us.’]][i ‘Perhaps he had allies waiting in the wood.'] [right [i 'He's coming back with other giants!’]] [i ‘Should we prepare? Can we leave?’] [center [i ‘They are so strong and tall, they would crush us.’]][i ‘Yeva, take the children to the wagon and hide.’] [right [i 'Someone should get Elder Nivya!']] [center [i 'No, grab weapons! Quickly!']][right [i 'What weapons? We're not fighters.']] [i 'I have an axe! I could get that!'] [right [i 'I have a wooden shovel, will that do?']] [center [i 'We can run before they return!']][right [i ‘A wood shovel? What good is that?’]] [i 'Oi, that’s my axe Gryf you stupid git!'] [center [i 'Someone get his sword!']][right [i 'You think any of us can even hold that thing?']] [center [i ‘We can’t possibly defend ourselves from a giant’s attack!’]] Ignorance worked rapidly to grasp at peoples hearts like that. It was a hold and squeezing in moments. Though it was not entirely their fault, for they worked as a collective and shared their fears like bread around the fire. Like the Størremænd saying went; [i ‘a man is smart, a group of men are panicky idiots.’]
All this talk played over one another like the families of an orchestra, light strings clashing with the hard brass and high percussion in a rising symphony of hysteria and alarm. Where once they had cheered and celebrated the repair of the wagon, now they collectively contemplated what to do before Marius had time to return. Amusingly their few minutes of vocal worry would be enough time for the familiar crunch of heavy feet to sound the man’s return.
Stepping back out the way he had left, Marius’ large sapphire figure returned to the glow of the fires rather clueless to what was going on. He looked particularly surprised to find all eyes back on him as if the previous meeting had never happened and he was back to first striding out of the wood into the clearing. Then again, perhaps it was something else entirely. Grasped under one arm he carried multiple heavy logs of dark wych elm, quite a beautiful wood really. No, that wouldn’t be it. They knew he’d gone for the wood specifically. Under his other arm he holds a hog, a live hog, its tusked head thrashing for a moment before falling still as it looked at the crowd ahead, dark beady eyes staring at them. It was a chunky little thing, young too, and perhaps a hundred pounds of energy and rowdiness.
[+royalblue “I’ll have to make the holding pegs later, have to take care of this boy first.”] He lofted the boar who squealed in greeting at them. Marius continued on ahead and dropped off the wood in a spot he hoped was out of the way, the silence of those around rather stark at that moment as if there was expectation of something in the air. [+royalblue “I promise to have them done before morn.”] He offered up though saw this brought no change in their mood. It was only then he thought that perhaps they were just stunned to see him hauling a live animal back like it were no great feat. [+royalblue “Oh, you’re perhaps wondering about the boar,”] he started, chuckling lightly as his new companion grunted in return. [+royalblue “Well I found him under the wych elm. He has a broken leg,”] he lifted the hog and indeed one of his rear legs hung limp and still, [+royalblue “and he won’t last more than a few days because of it. It’s more merciful that I end his suffering than let him go on in pain, to pass alone. His passing will have more meaning that way.”] Marius paused there, fetching the belongings left by the wagon in his now free hand and turning back once again to those who followed him. [+royalblue “There will be too much meat for just myself. Allow me a moment to make preparations and offer him respect, but feel free to come share in his bounty.”] The affable man turned away from them then and returned over towards where he left his sword protruding from the ground – even the boar offered a grunt of farewell.
The sword was left be as he passed it by, only pausing to deposit beside it all but his satchel before he continued on towards the edge of the clearing where he then knelt. With a little finagling the boar was brought around from his side and laid down, a knee placed over it’s back legs and a strong hand to its neck, both points to hold it in place as it thrashed and bellowed in alarm. Muttered words from Marius were lost under its panicked cries, loud grunts for help, its front hooves lashing out and digging ruts into the ground as it fought to break free. His free hand came to his waist for his knife and the felling thrust came behind the front leg and angled to pierce between its ribs and punch down into the beasts heart. It was mercifully swift. The panicked screech rose in pitch and the body trembled and shuddered as its life gave out, Marius pressing down to hold him still. The little hog soon eased and lay motionless, only then did Marius gently ease himself off the beasts body.
[i [+royalblue “Hvil dig, min ven.”] [size10 (1)]] The giant Størremænd stroked his hand down the boars side slowly several times, silent and reflective. He returned to his satchel, fishing out a much smaller and slender blade. Working efficiently he gutted the animal and cast the undesired parts far out into the woods, allowing the blood to drain away from the camp so that it didn’t attract predators. The only organ’s he kept were the liver and heart, retrieved from within and carefully move aside. Once done he dug a small hole with his hand, placing the heart within, offered a final prayer of thanks and recognition, and covered it back over with dirt.
Wiping his hands on the grass he gathered his two blades and satchel to him. The remains were lifted up and carried back over to the sword where the light was better and he could begin to silently and efficiently butcher the animal. Despite his large hands he clearly had practice at this, working diligently to get the most meat from the animal with very little wastage. Throughout he would talk to himself, a deep voice that spoke in ancient tongue not spoken by many. Størremænd was not one of the common tongues like human, but it bore resemblance to ancient dwarven speak. As he leaned back, observing the work he had already done, he looked a little despondent.
[i [+royalblue “Jeg ærer dig og takker for dit liv. Jeg er ked af, at det sluttede så hurtigt, men jeg beder for din sjæl, må den hvile i evig fred.”] [size10 (2)]]
From there, his lips moved silently in further prayers and words of thanks as was his custom, and he went on in finishing his butchering. Eyes would still watch him from the wagons, whispered words exchanged from the shadows, the attention of several remained entirely focused onto him; just a quiet giant working by himself.
1 – “Rest, my friend.” 2 – “I honour you and give thanks for your life. I am sorry that it ended so soon, but I give prayer for your soul, may it rest in eternal peace.”
A lot had happened to Nixi in the past few weeks. She was sent on a mission and both her and her comrade got captured, but for some reason she was set free. She got a job at a bar to collect information but eventually got fired.
Nixi was never good at stealth and blending in. She would blatantly ask for the information she wanted and converse with the customers instead of work.
As she was walking down the main road of the small town she was in, she suddenly remembered something.
[b [i She did get what she wanted]]
She always wondered who founded the rebellion, and turns out it was the person she was looking for.
Dawn founded it. Dawn was who she got separated from that day. Obviously they saw his worth and her less worth. Which is what she told herself day in and day out. When she trained, before she went to bed, when she was eating, it didn't matter when. She subconsciously took them taking Dawn as a way to beat herself up to be better.
She was currently gathering information on where Dawn was. Naturally, it was quite the task. Someone who didn’t want to be found would make it seemingly impossible to do so is what she thought to herself. What really helped is the crow that Dawn and her used to communicate was killed for game by a human. The recollection of that brought Nixi to a whole new thought. [i Humans], seems to her that they’ll be the end of this world. They are a race that fights itself, but never to extinction. They’re so plentiful that you could kill hundreds and thousands would come in their place. It was bothersome to her. She was aware not all of them were bad but many had evil hearts.
She kept walking and was led to a wood. The path extended to a brook from what she could see. Perfect place to practice her magic. She wanted to create a large-scale illusion, like cover a certain area with her illusion. Such as the wood she was currently in. Her Elven brethren were all known for having powerful magic, and Nixi was no exception.
Slowly, she collected her thoughts. Weaving a complicated web that expanded from tree to tree, which turned into vines with sharp-looking thorns. As she imagined this and focused her magic, exactly what her brain had was what illusion came to be. The vines grew and expanded rapidly. Suddenly, she became overwhelmed. She heard screams and suppressed her magic. The vines disappeared. Nixi really hoped that no one would see her magic but it seems as if what she wanted to have happen happened. She ran to where she heard the screams and found a druid camp. There was a giant man, a dwarf, a druid, and [i him]. She ran up to Dawn and tried to explain everything to him that had happened. She was happy to see him and she showed nothing less than that. She explained that after they were separated she immediately tried to find information on where he could be and found out about the rebellion. As she was talking little blue sparks flew and did a little explosion around her head, which of course was an illusion.
Nixi looked around and realized that she might be killed here. She completely forgot about the giant, which could crush her with one hand is what it seemed like to her. The dwarf she wasn’t super worried about but the druid, like most druids, would have amazing magic powers. She whispered to Dawn, [b [i “Those people…are on our side…right?”]]
As the hunters seemed to pause at the giant monster now in front of them Nova lunged. Not giving the group a moment rest she lashed out with everything Tooth, claw, etc. Even growing from the branches that were on her shoulders sharp throwing sticks which she tossed into the group. Eventually changing back to the small dragon form she stalked up to the very last of the hunters who was stunned.
crawling up the man's body she had him pinned on the ground a single wooden blade produced out of his shoulder. Nova grabbed the wooden blade and twisted. Speaking in a very menacing tone in her voice [#13a7ae "You will not find what you're looking for. Humans come here in and out expecting to hunt me down or to find the location of that which my kind of kept secret from everyone." ]
Twisting the wood in the man's shoulder a scream of pain came from him and his brethren came into the clearing seeing Nova upon the man. [b "Kill it. Kill the damn beast."] A growl escaped from Nova that all of them had never heard of before. A few of them even stumbled backwards. [b "I SAID KILL IT."] the man screamed again this time attempting to draw the knife that was at his side.
Nova only twisted the wood even more and the man stopped moving. [#13a7ae "Who was it that sent you here for us?"] the man only laughed. [b "You no, the Vault yes. Its Secrets will belong to the Order. We are not the only group here. And the others have far worse machines then we do."]
Just then a bright flash of light came cracking across the sky accompanied by a loud booming noise. Giving the man his final release of freedom the last breath sharp in his body escaped. Nova flew a bit higher to see the forest on fire a stream of flame coming across and burning the woods. A growl escaped her again more hunters and more damage to her Forest.
Dawn had followed Vodurra’s nod direction seeing Marius the hound. A little laugh escaped from him as they spoke. [#125638 "Marius may have the mark of a Hound, however he is as much of a threat as a stick. While yes still harmful on their own unless wielded correctly by a person including himself is potentially deadly in their own right."]
Before he finished what he was saying he heard the little dwarf get up and head to the Caravan wagon. Dawn would have said something had Nixi not come into the clearing. Seeing the little water elf gave him some joy. [#125638 "I am glad to see you are still alive too Nixi."] another chuckle escaped his mouth. Hearing her last question caused Dawn to pause a moment.
[#125638 "Honestly it could go either way. My main concern here has disappeared I'm guessing into the wagon for something, but with the sense we carry I can feel the inside of that wagon is much larger than the outside. He is likely somewhere inside of there, and so is everyone else."]
Leaning towards Nixi a smile played his lips. [#125638 "I'm glad it was not you who was taken back then Nixi. It allowed me to do things I needed to. It also allowed me to discover places that normal elves in the Human lands can't go."] Dawn looked around the fire a small spark as his eyes landed on everyone that yet remained there.
[#125638 "The order is pushing its borders northward. They are likely going to go to war with Dunland and Ordin next. Maybe Fata or even Antina. They are likely going to leave Tali alone until the rest of the northern lands are conquered and they can put up a fight against the Caustonda Empire as the pair have always been in a partnership."]
Lowering his voice more so only him and Nixi could hear what he was saying next. [#125638 "They have also sent raiding parties to the Crescent Isle. They are also constantly hunting for information on the Vault. The World edge mountains seems to be where they go the Most, but the only person close by that is a potential friend to us that has been there is Saoran."]
Raising his voice as the old man returned from inside the Hut on wheels with a few extra tools he heard the words that slipped from his mouth. This old man was Saoran, but how? The tales of this man were far grander than this skeleton. Taking a few blinks to readjust himself to the man in front of him Dawn spoke.
[#125638 "I am trying to find a way to travel the the World edge Mountains. To find the Mother and her travel companion Tasia. I was told and confirmed that you had been there once in your younger days as a sailor man under the banners of Silveria the rule of Rulian. That was before the Order took over the Kingdom and expanded it to swallow up Bleakhaven, and Colaurum. We need her help in removing the Order from power and returning the lands back to their rightful rulers."] pausing a moment Dawn continued.
[#125638 "Each day that passes the Order comes closer and closer to getting the location of the Vault. And if they get what is inside the world will fall to the Order's control. no matter how many people resist, no matter what races band together there will be no stopping them."]
[+mediumaquamarine “Oh, I don’t think he looks that scary.”]
Vodurra wrinkled her nose. When did she ever used the word ‘scary’ to describe the Hound? A threat, yes, – and a large one in both size and menace – but never [i scary.] Why, if the brute showed even the slightest hint of malice, Vodurra would only be all too glad to be one of the first to charge him with her battle axe. Whether or not she’d actually manage to fell the giant was another matter entirely. An unlikely one. Far be it from the Dwarf to know anything about those odds, however. Luckily, the young blonde dissuaded her from taking such drastic measures. She and her people were champions for equal treatment for all those who wandered into the druid encampment. And she was right: Vodurra did find that rather foolish.
Instead of harping on the strange and unwise customs of Yui’s people, Vodurra allowed the conversation between the two of them to end. Since an invite to eat and drink followed, there was no real reason to prolong it. Attitudes were often improved by a full belly and a buzzed mind after all. Perhaps her own toward the Hound would be adjusted. Until that time, however, she committed to keeping a close eye on him.
The only thing was that he was nowhere to be found.
As Vodurra descended the small steps of the wagon, her eyes scanned the clearing once, twice, several times. This, in retrospect, seemed silly; spotting the man was no difficult task. A wandering eye was naturally drawn to the hulking figure if only because of its jarring existence. Yet in the Hound’s disappearance, Vodurra noticed that his sword remained firmly rooted in the ground. If he was gone, it certainly wouldn’t be very far nor for very long. This thought reassured her enough to take her seat once more alongside her Elven companion. Rather than taking part in the sudden swell of anxious panic that seemed to shroud the rest of the camp in the Hound’s absence, Vodurra concerned herself more with the newcomer by the fireside.
The stranger, someone named Nixi from Dawn’s recognition, was yet another Elf. If her hair and ears didn’t give her away, her magic certainly did. Vodurra frowned as the blue sparks encircled Nixi’s head. Automatically her head whipped around to survey the area. Since the people were welcoming enough to break bread with creatures such as Elves and Dwarves, it stood to reason that they would remain tolerant in the face of magic as well but being so close to the Walled City still set Vodurra on edge when it came to using it. The Dwarf had no powers of her own, yet she could just as easily be accused of being guilty by proximity to the miniature illusions. As her name was already on the Order’s registry, a Tower sentence or public execution could very well be the next steps. Thankfully, no one else seemed to notice nor care. People concerned themselves instead with the Hound’s return, logs of wych elm under one arm and a young boar under another.
Since Nixi and Dawn were having hushed conversation with each other, Vodurra kept true to the commitment she’d made to herself, training her eyes on Marius and his capture. He moved to the furthest edge of the clearing adjacent to the faded blue wagon’s firepit. She watched him carefully, her elbows resting on her knees as she leaned forward, prepared to jump to her feet if needed. Vodurra would’ve assumed given his size that he might have made a bloodied butchered mess of the animal. Instead, there was a quiet care that reflected in his whispered words, his soft stroking. The language was both foreign and familiar to her as it sounded as though it shared a branch with the ancient Dwarven tongue. Although she didn’t understand the words entirely, there was no dismissing the reverence and respect with which they were spoken. Vodurra, a creature of tradition and rituals herself, was surprised by just how much this simple act shone a more favorable light on the giant. Not enough to trust him fully, mind, but enough to tear her eyes away from him when Dawn’s voice rose to speak to the man called Saoran.
A laugh nearly escaped the Dwarf as Dawn spoke of travelling to the World Edge Mountains in search of the Mother of Dragons. After all, it was a laughable quest. The Original Dragon was recognized in some of the oldest Dwarven myths and legends, but they were just that – myths and legends. Stories that predated some of most well-known histories of the species. While there wasn’t any doubt that such a being once existed, and likely still did, undergoing a journey to seek it out would likely be next to impossible.
As Vodurra continued to listen to the Elf’s reasoning for seeking out the Mother, it became clear why the journey was such a necessary undertaking. If the Order seized control of the Vault, there would no longer be a need for the Resistance; it, along with the rest of the world, would fall. Vodurra heaved a heavy sigh at the this, eyeing the Elf. [#B22222 “You don’t expect to be able to go makin’ that trek alone now, do ya?”] As the Resistance’s founder, Dawn was likely the most capable and qualified to travel to the World Edge Mountains, but even with his skillset the woman had her doubts that he’d reach his destination intact. [#B22222 “No offense meant, friend, but I don’t reckon you’d get even more than halfway or so’s from here.”]
The redhead stroked her beard thoughtfully, finger combing the unruly curls as she did so. For a fleeting moment she felt that she was trapped between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, as a member of the Resistance herself, she felt that it was her duty to offer her assistance in locating the ancient Wild Aspect. On the other hand, the sun was setting and her twenty-four hours of freedom from the forge were quickly coming to an end. If she did not return to Amvir on time, it would be viewed as an escape attempt. She’d be branded a criminal within the Order’s registry and face deathly consequences if she got recaptured. In accepting the mission, Vodurra slim chances of returning to her people would become all but nonexistent. However, is she didn’t ensure the Elf’s quest was a successful one, there would be no people to return to at all. Choice was an illusion in this situation.
[#B22222 “At least if you’re fool enough to turn down help. I’ll be going with ya.”] Vodurra clapped a stubby hand to Dawn’s knee, giving it a friendly squeeze. [#B22222 “Now don’t even go tryin’ to send me away neither. You’re stuck with ol Vo now!”] At the wary gaze of the other Elf, she released Dawn’s knee and extended the offer of a handshake. [#B22222 “Vodurra Twohammers.”] After exchanging formalities with Dawn’s other companion, Vodurra turned her attention back to the elderly man still preparing the meal. [#B22222 “So, where exactly [i are] we headed then?”]
Saoran had always been an adventurous man in his youth, but age had weathered him and now the most he got was by being mischievous with the clans folk. He didn’t bother to hide his chuckle when the elf was rendered shocked that Saoran was the man he was searching for. Saoran also noticed the she-elf who was new to his fire. The Dwarf was also seated comfortably and Saoran set to preparing for them a meal they could all eat.
Saoran was quiet while he listened to the elf plead his request. He wanted information to reach the mysterious World Edge Mountains. A dangerous quest on its own. Further, he wished to find the Mother of Dragons and Lady Tasia. It was also a little unsettling that this elf knew so much about such an old man.
It was true, once Saoran had been a young Druid living comfortably and safely in Silveria… before the Order swooped in and destroyed everything in the name of conquest and ‘order’. Druids lived very differently from that point on, to managing what few of them were left by remaining nomadic.
Saoran had been a Naval Medic, traveling much of the world with his crew. Of course when war broke out, their ship was unable to return, and so began a years long trek of wandering the lands in search of other Druids who had survived. Eventually Saoran found this clan, and later on found Yui.
Before he found himself settled in with his clan of Druids, he had come across the Mother of Dragons, just as the elf suggested, and he knew what it was she and Lady Tasia safeguarded. They had vowed him to secrecy, and only one other person came to know the secret location of The Vault: Yui. “Each day that passes the Order comes closer and closer to getting the location of the Vault. And if they get what is inside the world will fall to the Order's control. no matter how many people resist, no matter what races band together there will be no stopping them.”
Saoran had his back to them, for the most part looking mildly disinterested, too preoccupied with the task of food. “My you certainly have a flare for dramatics,” Saoran sighed. His expression turned to the Elf giving him an expression that clearly said he understood [I exactly] what the Order was capable of “You don’t expect to be able to go makin’ that trek alone now, do ya? No offense meant, friend, but I don’t reckon you’d get even more than halfway or so’s from here.” The Dwarf didn’t mince her words with the elf, but by evidence of his little she-elf friend, he wouldn’t be traveling alone, but just incase: “Lady Dwarf is right, to travel alone would be unwise,” Saoran mused as he dropped a handful of potatoes into the simmering stew.
The Dwarf introduced herself as Vodurra, and finally asked where it was they were heading. Saoran studied the three of them -these strangers who were asking for information Saoran had protected all his life. “If you know what it is you seek, and you know I possess such knowledge. What makes you think I would part with such precious information as that to you? You are a stranger to me, why would I trust a stranger?” Saoran asked, his tone almost bitter and cold. It was a challenge of resolve. Saoran might have been old, but he wasn’t stupid, and his question was rhetorical. “I made a vow to the Mother of Dragons, and her good Lady Tasia that I would never spill a word or whisper of the location to the Vault. So again I ask, who are you to make such a request of me?” Saoran challenged. The Elf had still yet to introduce himself to Saoran, displaying his lack of manners, and leaving Saoran to be very distrusting of this character who came requesting information with naught to barter.
[I ‘Be mindful’]
Yui wasn’t dumb, that was Elder Nivya’s code for: stay out from underfoot.
Sour and feeling a touch spiteful, Yui sat back on the steps of her wagon, watching camp and the disappearance of the giant man, and contemplating what she could do to entertain herself. As curious as she was to listen to the conversations happening with Saoran at their fire, she also hadn’t been called over to join (which was their standard practice if someone was at their fire). If Saoran felt their company was friendly enough, he’d call her over to join them. So far he had done no such thing, and she was left to hear the beginning musings of her more paranoid clansmen.
She couldn’t stop the irritated roll of her eyes. They did this when anyone left after a visit. ‘Would they come back with more to do harm?’ Was always the main concern. Yui hated to admit her people had become cowardly, even if they tried to not act it. There was no denying it. They wouldn’t even join the resistance, opting instead to simply stay on the move, keeping out of reach from the Order. Yui knew that would only work for so long…
The Giant, Marius returned with his wood, and a small pig. Yui, doing as instructed, stayed out of site and mind, but she also did what she always did: Observe. With Marius’ return, the Clansfolk, hushed their paranoid fears and returned to what they had been doing previously. Fires were cooking meals all over camp, and it was common practice to travel from fire to fire to get a little sampling from everyone’s fire and to gossip. Nearly everything in the camp was communal, as everyone shared what they had with the other, but meat was not something they got to indulge in often. They had only one good hunter, but he’d injured his shoulder and could not draw his bow.
Several interested eyes followed Marius and his offer to share the meat from his boar. Food would always work to appease another person, and what Marius was gracious enough to share, would do nothing to earn their trust, but they would appreciate it, and it would quiet their fears a little. Yui was more intrigued by the little prayer she observed him do. She did not need to hear, or understand his words to know what it was he was doing.
Not interested in watching a man who could break her neck as easily as the boar’s go about his butchering, she let her gaze drift across camp to her own fire. There Saoran was looking slightly put off by their elven and dwarf guest, which gave Yui a touch of concern as to what could be bothering him.
Across from camp, Yui felt a pair of eyes on her, and looked over to see that elder Nivya was watching her with calculating eyes from her own fire surrounded by her grandchildren. Yui stared back for a moment, before she stood up and walked around her wagon and right into the woods. If Nivya wanted Yui out of the way, she would remain out of the way.
Or at least, she’d let the old bat think that she had left the camp. Yui circled around the camp through the shadows. She never lost sight of the light from the fires, or the sound of chatter or laughter. She looped around to the far edge of camp, taking her time, step by step until she reached a spot where she could observe the newcomer. Nivya had been irritating Yui more and more lately, being more strict, and on at least one occasion Yui caught Nivya arguing with Saoran about her. It was time for Yui to leave, but could she trust any of these people who had come?
Where she stood, hidden by the shadows cast by the trees and the setting sun, Yui was able to watch the camp and the lonely giant. She crossed her arms leaning against a tree and observed. It wasn’t long before the giant made a subtle change to his face, and Yui knew he was aware of her presence. She didn’t step out of the shadows, but she did raise her head to meet his gaze head on. “Apologies for my stare,” Yui said from her hiding spot amid the coverage of forest. She was mindful her voice was loud enough for him to hear, but not so much others might catch the sound of it. “I have a bad habit of going near things I’m told to stay away from. Though, I honestly can’t see what all the fuss is about.” She slid away from the tree she leaned against and began to approach. She came forward enough for him to see her, but still allow her some coverage from Nivya if she was looking. “My name is Yui. If you’d like, you’re welcome to join our fire for supper. Master Saoran generally hosts any travelers we receive, and I heard you are in need of herbs. If you tell me which ones, I can go get them ready for you.”
The butchering was a solemn experience. Marius would console himself that this was a form of symbiosis with the animal world, though he would be left wanting for like minded souls as no-one came to collect a portion. He was still oblivious to how deep their paranoia ran, though he was understanding of their hesitancy to deal with him. Being a descendant of true giants, or [i ‘ægte kæmper’] in his tongue, his people had become accustomed to the suspicious eyes looking back as he peered at the myriad of fires before him. At one he had seen the eyes of a small girl looking over his way, their bright ginger hair rivalled the flames before them as they swiftly turned away upon being caught ogling. They sat at a fire away from the main camp, their pronounced diversity about their hearth obvious, though he didn’t stare long enough to discern much more than their uniqueness.
With no-one to take up his offer, Marius brushed his bloody hands in the grass either side of him and collected the offcuts of his butchering. Stealing himself away back towards the darkness of the forest these scraps were cast out into the shadows like a farmer casting seeds over his land. He was gone no more than a minute but returned with another bundle of sticks and a handful of large, heart-shaped leaves.
By the time Yui had circled around the camp and found a good spot to gawk silently from, the newcomer had dug a shallow pit and lined it with the sticks. He was busy wrapping pieces of meat in the broad leaves when the faint, almost imperceptible scent of incense caught his attention. From under a heavy brow, he peered ahead and could see the vague outline of someone watching from the woods before him. An amiable smile spread on his lips, happy for the company even if it was in secret. Whoever it was, he got the sense they were watching out of intrigue than malice. Though that was not to say he felt any threat from the others.
The young woman spoke softly and respectfully, and Marius did not interrupt her but bowed his head in return. She stepped forward enough so he could see her as his gaze lifted to look at her directly. She was a small thing – who wasn’t to him? - and characteristically dressed like much of her kin, carrying rich earthen scents that intermingling with the incense he’d smelt before. She had a gentle face. He could not sense any animosity in her words, only earnest honesty. Her words brought a chuckle when she was done.
[+royalblue “No apologies required; I am used to being the talking point,”] he replied in a genial tone as he returned to wrapping the little food parcels. Her admission that she had been told to stay away brought clarity to his loneliness. It was a wise and sensible choice after all, given they had no reason to trust him. [+royalblue “It is nice to meet you Yui,”] he continued as he worked, [+royalblue “I am Marius.”] The smile grew as he glanced back to her. He noticed how she remained hidden from the camp, stealing a glance towards it to ensure her cover remained intact. [i The young were truly rebellious against authority].
The offer of joining her fire came with a bow of her head in its direction, towards the one with a curious fire-haired watcher and quiet but intense conversation. He looked across then back to her, a polite shake of his head and a smile lingering on his bearded face.
[+royalblue “Your offer is very kind Yui, but I will graciously decline.”] He did not look offended at the offer, indeed it was quite sweet of her to try. [+royalblue “I notice your cart is placed apart from the others, and you hide so as not to be seen talking to me – as you were told not to do.”] He shrugged lightly to himself as his work continued in a slow and methodical manner – giants weren’t exactly known for being swift after all. [+royalblue “And your guests don’t seem all too pleased to see me either, not least the girl. A dwarf I think? I’ve caught her watching me so many times, I’m starting to believe I really [i have] insulted her somehow.”] A deep barrel of laughter shook his chest as he sat back on his heels, brushing his hands over his thighs.
[+royalblue “I hate to see people split in their reaction to me. Either for [i who] I am or [i what] I am.”] A finger tapped the wolf’s head which jingled softly. [+royalblue “Your leader was kind enough to offer trade for work and come morn’, when our paths separate once more, I’d feel sad to have caused a rift between you and your people.”] He knew only too well how quickly division could destroy a group, and how hard it was to ever bring two sides back together.
Not wanting to be that wedge, he smacked his thighs lightly with his hands. [+royalblue “However, those herbs would be very useful, so, here,”] he dipped to the pouch at his waist and drew out several silver coins, [+royalblue “I said I would pay for special herbs, you are the one I was directed to deal with, and so pay I shall.”] He took a parcel of hearty meat, neatly bundled inside some of the broad leaves, and tucked the three coins within. [+royalblue “Wine-bloom, pepperbark and honey-cups. However much you can spare, if you have any at all, I would be most thankful. Though don’t worry if you don’t have them all.”] The parcel was lofted up towards her to catch. It was a hefty portion of meat that would work well in a stew, given that was the most common meal for travellers. [+royalblue “Take the meat as a personal thank you gift, for being brave enough to come talk to me.”] A final snicker brought warmth to his golden eyes, bright in the glow of the camp’s fires.
Nixi sighed in relief at Dawn’s reply. Her response to Dawn’s second remark was laughing nervously. She never took praise from him well, since she was under the impression before they met that he was not one to give grace.[b [+purple “Okay, glad to know I could help.”]]. She had a slight idea of what Dawn would propose. It being so. . .extravagant and to her, a bit dramatic is what surprised her. This group was certainly going to be a unique one. Nixi finally noticed who he was mainly talking to. A frail old main that seemed grumpy in his old age. Was this the one [I Dawn] was concerned about? It seemed that she misunderstood Dawn. Not hostility was he concerned about, but the fact that the man would agree to such a task. After the dwarf agreed to the journey, glancing at the giant from time to time she pat Dawn’s knee, which he didn’t seem to mind but Nixi looked uneasily at the dwarf. She seemed to notice and offered a hand, which she gladly took and shook hands [b [+purple “Nixi Fy. Nice to meet you.”] Nixi had never seen many dwarven people in her travels, so this was a good thing for her. The old man eventually spoke up: [b [+yellow “My, you have a flare for dramatics”]] he said. In confusion she asked Dawn in a hushed tone, [b [+purple “This- is who you’re looking for….right?”]] It made her feel uneasy that a man well past his prime, who no doubt was wise and knew his way around, but physically was a different story.Once Dawn answered her question she immediately understood and began playing with her hair, a thing she did out of nervousness. Nixi noticed a field of lavender to her right, she walked over to it once Saoran made his point. She picked a few flowers and wrapped it in grass. To her kind, lavender was a symbol of calm and in some circumstances, peace. She walked over to the old man and put it by where the man was. [b [+purple “Here. Take this, please. My name is Nixi Fy. My companion and I mean no harm I assure you. Whether you take that to heart is your choice. But if you know what the order can do with such power, why do you try to protect it so much?”]] She was used to negotiation, but not with other races. This would prove a challenge for her, keeping this seemed-to-be group together. Saoran seemed a person hard to convince. She walked back to Dawn, leaving the old man and her gift by the man’s fire. Eventually she said to Dawn, [b [+purple “So, Lady Tasia made a pact with him, but doesn’t he know we just mean to protect it? Maybe you should tell him that. I’m good at negotiating, which is why I’m here, but this man is like a wall. You have to get through somehow, but there’s no response. All I sense from him is resentment.”]] Nixi did not want to disappoint Dawn and much less her superiors but it seemed to her a hopeless battle unless the man had some incentive. Nixi again asked Dawn, [b [+purple “I remember seeing a map where I got a job in a bar. Some drunken asshats were gathered around a map but it seemed significant…at least to us-should I show it to him or you first?”] She was reluctant to show the old man anything really, the fact being that there was no guarantee he was on their side. If she showed him the map he might try to stop the journey dead in its tracks, and know exactly where to go to stop them. This information seemed very important to the old man, him having guarded it for so long. He was definitely out of his prime, nevertheless was still a man of his word. Nixi was under the impression for years that old humans went senile and insane. Evidently that was applied not to every human, Saoran being one of those few. Nixi was raised on the idea that Elves were better than most races. By this, they meant other ground-dwellers. The House treated creatures of the sky with great respect. Birds, Angels, and Dragons being only a few of them. At one point in time, Elves were most dominant in the world (They were and still are considered one of the most prominent races with magic) along with giants, fae, and least of all humans. This was before Nixi was born, though. Humans had been known to be power-hungry but with this Order coming to fruition, it proved that for Nixi. Part of her treated them with sympathy but the latter had a small bit of malice towards them. Fae were never seen anymore, elves were in hiding, and giants were basically extinct to her knowledge. She wanted to dwell in those times and used to daydream about it. She wished every day that she could train her magic in peace; as she did when she was younger. Nixi missed her master day by day. He wasn’t specialized in combat magic like most, but in distraction and escape. The superiors believed she could be used for things like that. Support is what she showed proficiency in and what she was taught. Rebelling like most younglings do, she trained herself in hand to hand combat. Knives, bow, swords etc. This was what her childhood was composed of. Training for the future. She was never one to depend on others, and she hated that in some situations she would have to be. Especially with her proficiency That’s why a group such as Dawn and her was organized for such a trip. At least, that’s how it was voiced to her. She believed in Dawn’s abilities and he hoped he trusted in hers.
Nova shifted in the air. the fowl taste of ash and dust upon her tongue. As she landed her size grew much bigger. She would be a menace to these hunters that dare tread upon the land that she claimed as home. The Flowering forest of the End mountains was her home and would remain that way until her death or until her charge was done.
As she shifted her body expanded taking in what seemed to be shadows from everywhere. Eventually a cocoon wrapped her body. As she let out one more very loud roar her body busted form. Its once mighty form before she became the Mother of dragons. The Sheer height of her expanded taller then a mountain. her skin black with speckles of white like the night sky full of stars. Her eyes darker still. [pic https://i.imgur.com/v3iNK4b.jpg] The creature that emerged was only one being. The creature that even Gods, immortals, and mortals alike feared. She was the abyss. each step rumbled the ground, the very air coming from her body black smoke her skin dripping off in pieces and reforming.
As the group of hunters came into view Nova took a deep breath and let out one breath of Fire. They had already burnt the part of the forest they were in, but as her breath made contact with the dead trees they regrew, the humans, orcs, and other various creatures dropped like a needle to the floor. Nature however quickly swollowed them all leaving no traces down to the tiniest mark showing signs of life outsides of the natural habbitate.
Dawn had looked over this elder. He was cautious and that he could respect, however he was partly correct in some things. If he knew exactly how dangerous the order could be, more so he should be willing to help knowing that Dawn and a few of his companions were working against them. Knowing also that the elfing had gone through so much work already just to discover where this man was and some of his history should have been a sign of good faith, but it was not it seemed.
Dawn pulled out the blade that hung at his side. never before unsheathed, as Dawn was never trained in the use of a War glaive. The spear was not in choice of combat. He used a bow like most of his Elven kind, or he used a short sword like that of his class the Spellblade.
Placing the head into the ground he looked towards Saoran. [b "I am Dawn Eclipse, of the House Starlight on the Crescent isle. Once known as House Felwood. Lady Tasia is kin to me and my older twin brothers Anjui and Ado. Both are fighting a war on the Isle to return the Crescent isle under a single banner. They also aim to return all the Immortal trees under Elven rule."]
Pointing to the weapon he continued. [b "You gave this to Lady Tasia after the two of you departed. I know this as she returned home to the Isle shortly after the fall of Silveria, she saved your life and took you to our home. It is there you gave this to her and set sail back to the human lands. The two of you ended up in the World edge mountains and it is from there you sailed home. I know she is there in those mountains and I know you know exactly where."]
Returning his hands to his lap he took a deep breath. [b "The order cannot win. They win and they will plunge the world into chaos. They would make sure their rule lasts until the death of this world. Anyone or anything with magic would be turned into a slave of the order."]
Turning to Nixi a frail smile on his face. [b "It is fine Nixi I am sure Saoran already knows hunters are getting closer and closer each day to finding the vault door. Lady Tasia and Mother dragon can only keep going for so long, and with more and more people becoming bold. The Order offers rewards to the person who can bring back the location to the Vault."]
His eyes fall to the fire as he spoke the last few words. [b "If the order ever gets it. Ursa 's death would be for nothing. He would have given his life in defending the Dragon eggs for what the order just to take them later? No that cannot be, but yet it will happen if nothing is done about it."]
A low chuckle rumbled out from the pit of Vodurra’s belly. With all the talk about end of worlds and authoritarian rulers there was hardly any real reason to laugh, but the old man’s bitter grit surprised one out of the Dwarf anyhow. Frail though he may have appeared to be, the elder was fashioned out of tougher materials. Although it didn’t make the ragtag group’s task any easier, Vodurra couldn’t help but admire the stubborn protectiveness with which Saoran kept the vital information. It reminded her of her own people who all revered strength. It was not only the type of strength that manifested physically in the muscles on the body or in the durability of weaponry, but also the type of strength that came from within. It was that same soundness and resolve that kept Vodurra’s own demons at bay after her many years of servitude for the Order. And she knew that much like herself, this old man would not be easily swayed nor broken.
Her gaze rose as Nixi did and it followed her to the lavender field. There she took a few of the long blooming rods to produce a makeshift bouquet. As she set it by Saoran’s side Vodurra shook her head slowly. Since she hailed from the surface rather than the underground like most of her kin, Vodurra knew the significance of the symbolism for Elvish kind. At times the same action was extended to her in trades or transactions for armor and weaponry. Yet although she had knowledge of the gesture, she did not find it particularly profound. More often than not the flowers ended up being disposed of shortly after receiving them. What good were flowers in wartime aside from decorating graves?
When Nixi took her seat again, it appeared to be Dawn’s turn to take a chisel to Saoran’s stony resolve. He finally made his grand introduction, dropping the names of both his brothers as well as his House – admittedly a couple of compelling arguments in and of themselves. He also produced a weapon that was originally the old man’s but was later passed to Lady Tasia. Vodurra raised an eyebrow at this, impressed that Dawn had held onto the relic for so long just for this sole purpose. It was another strong gamble. He ended his ask trying to impress upon Saoran the significant consequences that would come to pass if the Order were to gain control.
Vodurra caught the elder’s expectant eye when Dawn was finished speaking. She simply raised her shoulders in a noncommittal shrug. [#B22222 “I’m tryna see to the Order’s end same as anyone else with any sorta sense about ‘em.”] Her tone was very matter of fact. [#B22222 “I expect we’d get there eventually with or without your help, sir, but I’d wager it’d take a mite longer without.”] She let out a sardonic laugh. [#B22222 “‘Specially if the Order’s got the jump on us already tryna find the Vault ‘n all.”] The Dwarf didn’t see the point in badgering the man with long-winded reasons why he should help them. There was no doubt in her mind that he’d already made up his anyways.
If he could offer no geographic assistance, at least they’d still be getting a hot meal; it wouldn’t be a complete loss.
There was silence following Saoran’s request. He had them cornered, as there was no reason for him to trust any of them with such precious information. It wasn’t so much the vault’s location he wanted to protect, but Lady Tasia as well. She had saved his life, but it was more than that. It was a secret he had kept these many long years.
He glared at them all while awaiting his answer. When the she-elf got to her feet and made her way to the adjoining field of wildflowers and grass. He spared her only a glance, before his eyes focused back on the male elf. If Saoran had been a younger man he would have challenged the elf a little more. As it was, Saoran was not strong enough to take on an elf, and certainly not a feisty dwarf such as the young red-haired lady at his fire.
The lithe fey woman returned a moment later with a bouquet of grass-tied flowers and lavender. She sought peace from him. He took it from her and set it aside, but his frown did not diminish. “Be that as it may, Miss. Nixi, I am still wary of parting with information I have guarded for most of my life. Lady Tasia showed me great kindness, and I vowed to her that I would not reveal the location of the vault,” Saoran stated plainly, though he appreciated her effort. Nixi looked crestfallen that Saoran still refused, but he couldn’t allow himself to feel guilty for her concerned expression. They claimed they wanted the downfall of The Order. To be honest, Soaran wished for the same thing.
The elf suddenly stood up after conversing quickly with Nixi and produced a magnificent weapon. The blade of the glaive glinted in the firelight before it struck the earth and buried itself. The Elf introduced himself as Dawn, claimed that Lady Tasia was his kin, and now he needed to know how to find her. Saoran grit his teeth, but he was only half listening, his focus was on the weapon - [I his] weapon. He hadn’t seen his glaive in many years, and much of his history from his earlier years had been kept hidden. He let Dawn say what he wanted to say, impassioned to stop the Order, and desperate to know where Lady Tasia was.
Saoran reached over and grabbed the long handle of his glaive and pulled it up from the ground. The swift and elegant twirl of the weapon belayed Saoran’s old age. He had clearly known how to handle the weapon with his experienced hands. He cradled the weapon in the crook of his arm and reached a hand up to smooth over the blade surface. In it he saw his aged and weathered reflection, but he could also see past memories of his youth.
In the hazy images of his past he saw a vision of Lady Tasia looking over at him. He swallowed past the lump in his throat to be reminded of his time with her. What had begun as a friendship of happenstance, quickly became an entangled love affair that spanned over stolen nights together across decades. The last he’d seen Tasia was twenty-seven years ago, and a year later… Yui came into his possession.
Soaran’s past was full of secrets, and his mind was busy reflecting on those hidden memories. He didn’t hear the finishing conversation between Dawn and Nixi. Saoran’s eyes traveled over the weapon as he carefully moved it, relishing in the familiarity of his old glaive. It didn’t look like it had aged at all over the years. It still looked as it did when he gave it to Tasia.
He didn’t know why, but he looked to the dwarf-maiden. Instinctively he knew she would be the most forthcoming, and he was not disappointed. From her nonchalant shrug of indifference, to her cool logic, Saoran decided he liked this Vodurra very much. He liked a person with candor. Looking back at the weapon he thought a bit more, and finally came to a decision. “Very well… I will offer you an alternative solution. I am honor bound by my vow to Lady Tasia not to reveal the location of the vault, and I am too old to make the trip. However, there is another… who knows the way. It is time they learned their own self and destiny. I have done all I can for her, and only Lady Tasia can help her now. Perhaps it is fate you have come here, Dawn Eclipse.”
Soaran looked across the fire to Dawn with a steely expression, in it was a near promise of pain. “She is precious to me. I will send her in my place, and she will show you the way. In exchange you will keep her safe,” Soaran did not ease his expression until Dawn seemed to accept such a term. Soaran made a gruff sound from the back of his throat as if he didn’t fully trust the elf to keep his word. He glanced over to the fire and pointed to it with the butt of his glaive. “Eat, and I shall return with your guide to the World Edge Mountains.” Soaran did not sound pleased as he walked away from the trio at his fire. The glaive was still tucked under his arm as he made his way back to the wagon to find Yui. Only she wasn’t there. He frowned and looked around the outside of the wagon. Where had that girl gone?
Across camp, from Yui’s hidden spot among the trees and shadow, she accepted Marius’ decline to join her fire for a meal. She grinned to herself, completely understanding his reasoning, and not the least bit surprised he declined. She had at least offered. At his mention of their current guests her gaze drifted over and she could see that the elf had produced his own weapon, and Soaran looked stunned…maybe furious. Though she wasn’t going to pay attention to that until it involved her. Soaran would tell her about it or he wouldn’t, it was that simple.
At Marius’ mention of the dwarf, Yui’s giggle was much softer in comparison to Marius’ deep chuckle. She wore an easy smile as she recalled her meeting with Vodurra earlier. [+green “Ahh, yes, well she was quite…opinionated about you. Honestly if she hadn’t made such a fuss, I might not have come over to see so for myself: if you really are as mean as you are tall. The council is still debating.”] It was a teasing comment that passed into the conversation of his disquiet in upsetting others. He tapped his necklace as if that was explanation enough, and she shrugged as if to assure him not to worry. [+green “Don’t take it personally, they do that with [I everyone]. We once crossed paths with a merchant and his family, the rest of the evening all anyone could talk about was if the merchant family was really Order Spies.”] she shrugged, her people were paranoid no doubt about it, and perhaps she was too naive to be afraid like them. Regardless, she did not want him to feel completely at fault for the division among the clans folk about welcoming outsiders.
She watched him suddenly clap his hands over large thighs, and he began to collect coins and meat while he spoke. He listed the herbs he would need, and Yui committed them to memory. Those would be relatively easy to get, they had a healthy collection of all sorts of herbs from their travels and constant foraging.
Yui had only a moment to see that Marius was lofting a decent sized wrapping of meat her way. She quickly brought her hands up and managed to catch it. She smiled more out of shock that she caught the bundle, not that it was given to her. He claimed it was for her bravery, but Yui did not see herself as brave. Still, it was a kind gesture on his part. Looking down at the bundle in her hands, she felt a sudden compulsion to ask him what it would take for her to travel with him when he left. Perhaps if she explained herself, he might take pity and at least travel so far as to a town or city. She said nothing in the end, not wanting to intrude on his own travels, and instead offered him a friendly expression. [+green “Find me tomorrow morning at my wagon. I will have the herbs you requested ready. Anyway, thanks for the meat and the conversation.”] She gave him a quick wave of her hand and stepped back into the shadows disappearing from sight and making her way back around to her own wagon.
She had just found the silver coins tucked into the folds of the bundle when she came to a full stop in front of an irritated looking Soaran. He was waiting for her behind the wagon and not looking one bit pleased. “Where did you go?” He demanded irritably. Yui frowned, the visitors must have upset him. Not wanting to answer him just yet, Yui pointed to the glaive in his hands instead. [+green “That’s a fancy blade, your new friends give that to you?”] She wasn’t sure what he would do with such a thing. Seeing right through her attempt to change the topic, he simply glared at her, and she offered a large toothy smile, guilty, because they both knew she’d gone off to do something she probably shouldn’t have.
He didn’t budge, and so Yui was forced to relent, her smile fading into a sigh, and slight roll of her eyes. She held up the offered meat and confessed she had been over to speak with the giant of a man. He gave her a chiding expression, but withheld his words as they meant little now that things were about to change for her. He looked to the glaive, the memories and truth its presence represented, made Soaran’s shoulders slump. “You must come join me at the fire. There is much to discuss.” Yui was left to her confusion as he walked away from her and back to the fire. She had no choice but to follow him over.
Yui looked at the three travelers who looked at her, and she felt the threat of anxiety. “This is Yui. She will take you to the World’s Edge Mountains,” Soaran stated without any pretense for Yui. She stammered at his words, and though she understood what he said, she remained confused. [+green “S-Soaran, I-I don’t understand. Are you -“] “Yes, I am sending you away. I want you to lead these people, be their guide. They are going somewhere only you can lead them to.” Soaran’s expression suddenly turned soft in an attempt to wipe the stunned expression from Yui’s face. “Do not be afraid, Yui. It is time.” Yui looked from Soaran to the trio. She had been thinking about leaving earlier in the afternoon… now it was happening. With Soaran’s blessing, no less!
Yui suddenly felt a flare of excitement.
Vodurra she had met, and Soaran made quick work to introduce them all to her. Yui did her best to be polite and greeted them back. [+green “I look forward to traveling with you, and hope I can be helpful.”
Whilst the girl was a breath of fresh air when compared to the mistrusting glares of both her kin and the guests about her fire, he could see in her refusal to leave the shadows of the woods that even she harboured misgivings about him. Perhaps the woman he had spoken with before held much more sway over the collective than he thought. But then again, he wasn't here to cause divisions. Her caution was warranted if she wanted amicable relations with the rest of her kin.
Instead, a small silence followed and she made note to come find her in the morn. He caught her charming smile and the soft wave of her hand, calling back a farewell of his own before she was gone from sight. It was a lovely if short conversation, but he had at least paid his due and now could spend the night in relative peace, if a little secluded.
Marius found no other takers for his offer, though he could see some gesticulating from far away and the twirling of a weapon that caught his eye. He didn't gawk, but keep a watch over that group of newcomers and misfits. From elves to dwarves to an old man twirling a glaive, it was a very unique and interesting group certainly. He would have watched on but he chastised himself for thinking of such an action. His days as a hound were behind him yet the training and the investigative background remained strong.
Distracting himself he set to starting his fire and slowly cooking the meat wrapped within the leaves. It would take time and careful nurturing, but in the end he would have good smoked meat that would stretch his supplies a few more days. With the herbs he would collect come morning he would have plenty for the days ahead and would be well stocked to begin his journey south.
The Great Dragon like beast landed on the piles of ash. Trudging across the scorched land. Hearing coughing coming from the side her red eyes fixed upon the point. Switching forms quickly she threw a spike at the sound as the dust settled around her new human like form. A slow stalking walk flexed her muscles as she came ever closer to her pray. The like of a Lion or great cat stalking pray to pounce.
As the distance closed, she saw a human boy no older then sixteen now frozen in terror as he watched Nova draw closer. Screams pierces the dragoness's ears. [b "No, stay away... I don't want to die here, not here. I have to much to live for..."] they all however fell upon death ears. Her body only inches away from his Nova took in a deep breath the smell of burnt flesh came from this boy. Tears fell down his face as he begged for his life. [b "Who...what are you?"]
Nova paused only a moment to think at this question. In a hollow, almost void voice she spoke out loud. [b "I am vengeance. I am Death's mistress. I am the mother of Fire."] she spoke the final words and watched as the boy's body became lifeless. Out of fear or blood loss? neither concerned Nova at this point.
The sounds of the wind beating against wings caught her attention. [#1f9e61 "Great Mother. I was told you asked for me."] Turning Nova looked upon one of her oldest children. [#13a7ae "Ah Ivetius. Yes. While I may have the ability to produce dragons, I Cannot heal the lands. I need you to return the forest to its florishing state please."]
Ivetius, leader of the Green dragons, While the Emerald dragons are mostly known for their lightning breath, Ivetius had a gift bestowed upon him by the gods. He was known as Ivetius the Healer and for an important reason. His touched restored anything, that is as long as there was something there to be healed he couldn't replace what was completely lost. [#1f9e61 "As you wish mother."] the green dragon now in a human like form placed his hand upon the ashes lands. As he chanted in an old language to low even for Nova to hear the ash began to disappear in gold whisps, where there was once ash and death stood a sprawling forest like nothing had happened to it.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGmTulNl.jpg]]
Dawn had watched as the older man grabbed the blade. He had hit a nerve and he most certainly was afraid it would have costed him his only way of making sure the Order did not get what they wanted most. While everyone here at the campfire had a different reason to remove the order from power. the elder most of all had a reason.
Dawn had watched as the elder left from view, going around the caravan wagon he claimed home. Not inside of it, but to the dark side of the vessel. As they spoke Dawn's eyes caught a glisten of light somewhere else. As he watched more fires popped up across the caravan. Two, three, four, five other fires. The group seemed to be much larger than initially dawn had thought. Was it because many of their members were out in the wilds gathering things for their group? Or perhaps they had kept hidden in case one of their newer "guests" had bad intentions. During his distraction Saoran had returned and this time a female close by. It had thrown them all for a loop when the old man had said this lady would show them to Tasia. [#125638 "How is this Young lady going to show us where The Huntress is?"] Turning to face this female a recognition pass his eyes.
[#125638 "Never mind lord Saoran. I believe I know."] turning to the older man and watching the exchange between him and Yui a little awkward moment passed. Yui had came and introduced herself to the group.
Dawn stood and greated the lady in front of him. [#125638 "My name is Dawn Eclispe. I hail from the Crescent Isle. I am from house Starlight. Currently ranked 15th house of the Isle."]
looking Yui up and down he had only guesses, perhaps it was true about his sister, but if that was the case is she Tasia's blood and claim elf lineage? Dawn formed a smile on his face. [#125638 "I am happy you will be joining in on our adventure."]
Nixi just couldn't wrap her head around what Saoran was going to do. She had a bad habit of trying to figure out people and predict how they might react. Yet this man was unreadable. At the very least, to her. The dwarf then offered some optimism, which did cheer Nixi up. She could use some of that in this moment. All this talk about the end of the world had her a bit down. Saoran conveyed his appreciation for Nixi's gift as well, which did make her feel less useless at the current moment.
Dawn then pulled out the blade he was so protective of, and she was never told why. Of course, even through their partnerships over the years they both had their own little secrets. Nixi's not so much as interesting as Dawn's seemed be, however. Once he explained the history behind the blade and she found out its significance as well. Apparently Saoran had much interest in it. It used to be his, so it's only natural.
Saoran left behind his wagon, and brought back a young girl who he told was supposed to lead them.
Which struck both Dawn and Nixi by surprise but Dawn seemed to warm up to the idea faster than her. Nixi smiled at the two [b [+purple Thank you, sir. Yui, My name is Nixi, house of Fy...let's not talk about what I'm ranked..]] she trailed off, slowly zoning out.
All her life it seemed as she was purposely being held back. From the moment she found out her magic affinity. She was restricted the combat training grounds, restricted the library, restricted outside access. As much as she loved her master, she felt as though it was excessive.
she had the 'fact' that she wasn't special ingrained into her brain from the moment she could process on her own. She eventually tried to leave her house's residency. She knew nothing of the security at night but the first hurdle was unlocking the door she was locked in.
Once conversation resumed she silently thanked Anjui and Ado for taking her in as a worker. She wondered what type of group these people would make, since they're all so different. In heritage and in personality.
There was a tension that lingered over the fire pit as the old man left the small group to venture behind the wagon. Perhaps it was the dust settling over the long-entombed memories that Dawn had just unearthed for the elder. Perhaps it was the quiet anxiety that came just before meeting with a stranger. In either case, the Dwarf had no trouble brushing off the bristling air to make her way to the simmering pot atop the flames. The man said eat and she was not about to turn down the invitation to a hearty meal. They were victorious in achieving a guide to the World’s Edge Mountains, after all. That was reason enough to fuel themselves for the journey ahead.
Vodurra helped herself to one of the wooden bowls sitting by the fireside and ladled a generous helping of stew into it. Briefly she considered fixing up a portion for her Elven companions, but they both seemed too lost in their own thoughts to eat. Rather than distracting them from their deep contemplations with questions about food, Vodurra plopped back down onto the ground and distracted them instead with her noisy slurping from her dish. Her crude table manners were not typical of her kind, but as there was no actual table nor utensil readily available, improvisational eating methods didn’t seem entirely inappropriate. Besides, her rumbling belly didn’t much care how the food was delivered, only that it arrived with haste. And to their host’s credit, it was quite tasty!
Saoran hadn’t disappeared for too long, but Vodorra was already helping herself to a second serving when he returned with Yui following close behind. The Dwarf tipped her head in friendly acknowledgement of the young woman as she approached. It snapped back up when Soaran informed them that she’d be the one to act as their guide. This seemed to be news to everyone there [i except] Soaran judging by the way Yui fumbled over her words after the declaration. Dawn immediately expressed some skepticism, and Vodurra couldn’t help but agree with the sentiment. If she wasn’t privy to the task before the old man made his announcement, who was to say she was willing to participate? Was it simply a task that she was forced to complete at the behest of her mentor? Did she even have any real opposition to the Order if she so readily welcomed one of their lapdogs in her midst?
The road to the Vault was long and perilous. Only those sure in their intention of braving it would have any hope of seeing it through to the end. Vodurra wasn’t fully convinced about the courage of Yui’s convictions to fully trust her as their guide, but as they had no other options…
[#B22222 “I’m sure we’re all hopin’ you can be helpful seein’ as we’d be all but help[i less] without ya!”] Vodurra exclaimed with a laugh. She finished off her second bowl of stew, wiping the residual drops of broth in her beard away with the back of her hand. [#B22222 “So, when do we expect to be shovin’ off then?”] she asked to no one in particular. [#B22222 “S’gettin’ dark. Might be best to hold off till the mornin. Then that’ll give us a bit of time to gather some gear together.”]
As the Dwarf hadn’t anticipated for things to take this turn, she was woefully underprepared for extended travel. The only things she carried on her person that might be of some use on the trek were her battle axe, a dagger, half a day’s worth of nuts, some matches, and a few miscellaneous herbs. She turned to Soaran and asked, [#B22222 “Don’t suppose your generosity could extend a bit further in helpin’ us out with those matters too, hm?”] It was a longshot to assume that the nomadic people would be willing to part with any of their own supplies for travelling, but Vodurra figured it couldn’t make matters worse to ask.
She could tell by the look on their faces, that none of them expected her to do much of anything. To be fair, Yui wasn’t certain just how much she could do, and Saoran certainly would have a great deal to explain once they were alone. For the past few years when she’d ask to leave, he’d told her ‘No’, now he was suddenly sending her off. It didn’t make sense and under her calm exterior, Yui was terribly confused. Each of them greeted her, and while Yui didn’t understand, apparently elf houses had ranks. Dawn was forthcoming about his house rank while Nixi seemed more embarrassed and wished not to mention it. Yui would respect that, it sounded classist, and if Nixi was a lower rank it would make sense she didn’t want to talk about it.
The dwarf, Vodurra was more vocal and brought up good points about staying the night and asking if the Druid generosity might also include supplies for the trip. “We will give you what we can to make your trip more successful. I recommend you all stay the night to prepare and rest. Come morning you can gather your things and go,” Saoran said, leaving no room for argument. This was his fire, his clan, and his rules for the outsiders. Besides, if things were as desperate as Dawn made them seem, then there was no time to waste. “Excuse us,” he finished with and ushered Yui away from the fire and her new companions.
They both walked into their wagon, and Yui set the package of meat down on the small counter in their space. [+green “Why are you sending me away now? Who are those people?”] Saoran sighed heavily and took a seat on his stool and gave her a tired look, before finally holding out his hand. Yui looked at him, and reluctantly took his hand, letting him lead her to the stool near him. “You remember the stories I told you as a little girl? The ones about a great warrior who guarded a secret vault at the edge of the world?” Yui frowned at his question, with a heavy desire to roll her eyes. [+green “Of course, but what does that have to do with any of this? You said I would lead them to some mountains. I have no idea where to go, why would you tell them I could?”] She demanded, the nervousness evident in her voice, there was also anger as well, but Saoran remained patient and continued to stare at her. “You know the way,” he told her gently. “The way is in the stories.” Yui stared at him in disbelief, realizing exactly what he meant. They weren’t just stories, it was a cipher to tell her the way to go. [+green “Why not just tell me?”] she demanded. Saoran shook his head. “Can’t -couldn’t, It’s too dangerous. All you need to know, is that if you do manage to find Lady Tasia, she will answer your questions and more. All I can give you, is this…”
Saoran got up and walked across the wagon to his cot, which was folded up against the wall and reached into an old chest he kept locked. Yui had never been in it. He rummaged for just a moment, knowing exactly what he needed and turned towards her to reveal a sheathed knife. It was ornate and delicate looking, and it was made by no human. Dwarves or elves made this blade. She took it from Saoran when he returned to her. “It belongs to your mother. It was with you when you came into my possession. I give it back to you, she would want you to have it.”
Yui didn’t know what to make of all this. She frowned, and though she had more questions, Soaoran would not answer them and told her to go to bed and get some rest. He then left the wagon, and Yui watched through the window to see him meeting with Elder Nivya and the two of them stepping away to speak with the other. She sighed and looked around the wagon. It would be her last night here.
Slowly she climbed up into her little nook and looked around at her small collection of possessions. Tomorrow she’d leave with complete strangers, and she had very little time to try and remember the stories in their entirety. If she got them lost, she wasn’t sure what she’d do, but with one look at her mother’s knife, she also had a feeling it would not only help protect her, but might also lead her to finding answers…
With his days of rationing cooked and set to one side to cool, the large giant sat back on his backside and happily warmed his hands over the fire. The breeze was crisp and fresh that night and not particularly strong, though it did little to help him gain friends amongst the caravan as it swept in from his back and carried the scent of pork over to his nervous watchers. He caught sight of an older woman making a particularly obscene hand gesture in his direction as if he were purposefully sending the delicious aroma to taunt them, forcing him to tuck his chin to his chest to hide the grin that grew.
He drew a smooth piece of grey sandstone from a pocket on his belt along with the remaining hard tack he had started the day with. Between slow and methodical strokes of his knife along the whetstone he would chew at the hard biscuit and hum an old song from his childhood to match its rhythm.
Taken at face value, Marius looked to be in his own world. He looked like any traveller in these lands, sat by his fire, eating from his meagre supplies as he happily worked on maintaining his equipment. Yet those inquisitive golden eyes couldn’t stay away from that group of misfits about their cauldron and from under a strong brow he found something even more curious about them to focus upon; [i the glaive].
It was nothing overtly decorative. No shiny gold or twinkling jewels to draw the lithe fingers of greedy thieves. But perhaps that in and of itself was noteworthy upon closer inspection. He could not make out finer details from such a distance, but a niggling thought in his mind was tapping away, teasing him with a forgotten memory. It was not an unpleasant memory, that much he was sure, but one he couldn’t recall the details of thus leaving the whole thing in a haze.
Soon the weapon would disappear with the old man and Yui into the wagon and Marius would continue with his work on the knife, the grating sound of metal against stone slowly growing louder over the crackling of the fire or talk of the druidic folk. A flicker of recollection would spark in his gaze, and he stared into the flames as his hand came to an abrupt halt.
The memory began playing. [right [i That distinct rasping sound, that exact weapon.]] He felt his chest tighten sharply. [right [i A small and delicate hand worked along its curved edge.]] He stared directly at the group. [right [i Joyous laughter filled his ears.]] His focus honed in upon the elven male. [right [i He looked into brilliant and shining eyes, captivated by them.]]
A breathless whisper broke forth from his lips; [+royalblue “Tasia..”]
As the land was healed the Dragonness had a wash of calmness come over her, she knew what it was from it was how the forest felt after being healed. After all the damage done was all but returned like nothing had happened. Anything that lived here would return slowly of course as the sense of magic would hold over the land but a few more weeks yet to come.
As the green dragon finished Nova nodded. her humanoid form standing in front of the great beast. As the green dragon took off she only smiled her hand upon a tree. [b [i I'm sorry for the damage I caused Great Forest of war, I shall try and do the least amount of damage as I can.]] her thoughts passed to the tree and another wave of calm washed over the dragonness.
Hearing rusling of plantlife behind her Nova turned to face her companion. Tasia the Huntress stood in her glory and elven form. [#13a7ae "Ah, Tasia. Lady Huntress we must get back to the Vault."] Nodding Tasia looked in the south direction. [#13a7ae "Home sick?"] Tasia only nodded her thoughts twinkled in her mind. Home sick isn't exactly what she would call it. [#13a7ae "More memories came to me seeing the way you protected the forest. I remember how I first got the title Huntress. It was Marius who had first given it to me. He said I moved like a great cat, like a Huntress."]
Blinking a few times Nova looked to her companion the Bright azure blue color of her eyes seemed more brighter. [#13a7ae "The elves called me the Huntress, because I was apart of the Ashes of the Moon. A temple guard and Spell blade for the Goddess Eluna. The elves knew if I was your hunter they would not escape. I was known to the humans as the Hound Master."]
Turning over a small double sided glaive she turned it over. a few more memories flooded in.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGmTulNl.jpg]]
As Dawn watched the group sort of scattered, he stepped up to the pot and took a bit of the food from inside. While not hot from when it was freshly cooked the pot was yet still warm from the cooling embers of the fire that yet burned. Dawn had slowly eaten the meal as he studied the group that would be accompaning him around.
Firstly, The newly introduced member Yui. a young lady who carried more knowledge than everyone else in the group of where it was, they were going. A young druidess who it seemed had power but refused to use it. Likely due to no one within the caravan knowing how to do so fully.
Second was the dwarf who had followed him from the city all the way here. A part of the resistance along with himself, she had been outspoken and always made her thoughts known even if some didn't want to hear it.
Then you have Nixi, the little flower fae who had come to the human lands with him from the Crescent isle and his home. She refused to inform some of her past, even Dawn knew very little of how she came to be apart of the houses that serve the Eclipse house. All he knew is one day she wasn't there the next she was. Timid and a little shy, she has shown great potential to be an amazing companion. Trained in swords unlike most of her kind she took ways to the way of the elves very quickly.
Then you had Dawn himself. the youngest member of house eclipse. He had Six older siblings, two of which sent him to the human lands to spy on them, while the others served in other houses. Information from home was lacking though. While he can be outspoke, he knows how to pick and choose words and use them. He also is stern and cool headed even in situations most would panic in.
Finishing his meal Dawn placed the bowl into the water and washed them with the wooden spoon provided. Placing them next to the others to let dry he crawled up into his bedroll and fell asleep.
Several dreams and a few other more vivid things came to him while asleep, but for the most part nothing he could remember upon opening his eyes to the birds chirping close by and the blood red and bright orange breaking the tree line to show the coming of his namesake Dawn.
As the elf packed away his nightroll and prepared to leave a curious thing happened. The giant of a being Marius stormed over, almost like he was angry, or more concerningly going to demand something. Waiting to hear him out Dawn had his hand upon the curved blade at his side if necessary to use it.
Nixi sighed. In her heart she wanted to approach the druid girl, but she was far too nervous to do so. She silently gathered around the fire and took a bowl, filling it with the stew. She sat down on one of the logs, slowly eating the stew. It gave her a warm feeling she didn’t feel comfortable having. Shivering slightly at the thought of that, she continued eating and went off to her own little world again.
Again she started to reminisce on her past years. Before she was accepted into the House Eclipse, back in her old house.
The memory was her master scolding her for training in ways which were forbidden. [b [+green How dare you, girl? I agree to teach someone with absolutely no talent and you betray me by doing the one thing I forbade you? All these years and all you could bear was childish illusions. I told your parents that you should’ve stayed back and not even learn about such things, for it was a folly ideation.]] Her old master’s voice rang in her head.
Then the memories cut to him being murdered in cold blood, with a look of hate toward her…A moment which she suffered from greatly, as she could never seem to forget it. She always blamed herself for what happened to him, yet she did not know the reason for the execution. It could have been something he did, but she did not even think of that being feasible.
On the outside, she looked like she was in some sort of trance as she was staring into the heart of the fire. Once she stepped back into reality she looked around noticing how many people started to drift off to sleep. Nixi knew that it would benefit her greatly to get some shut-eye but every instinct in her body advised otherwise.
Nixi stood up, putting her bowl down and began to walk toward the heart of the forest. What seemed to her the most peaceful place. Away from all the clutter of voices and people.
This is where she settled down for the night.
In the morning, she began to gather all the supplies she brought. Talking to herself, listing what she needed she said: [b [+purple Knife, dagger, sword, check. Amulet, porous, books, check.]] Once she noticed she was outwardly announcing what she had she continued to go down the list, but in her head.
Once she had everything in her bag, she put it around her arms and walked back to the camp. To her surprise, everyone was still there. Nixi was glad that they decided to stick with it.
Nixi watched as Marius walked up to Dawn. Looking to Dawn, she found the giant standing near him. Dawn seemed to be on his guard and she firmly believed in his skills. If things went south and she was needed (which she believed would never happen) ,she could help him.
Despite how surface-level their partnership was, she still cared for him. Not only that, she needed him for this trip they were about to set foot on. You could say part of her thinking was quite selfish, and she would not object for there was a part that was looking out for herself as well
Continue reading this role play by signing up to Roleplay.cloud Roleplay Now ! No email required!