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The Edge of light

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FearItself

There is nothing to fear
Edenian Palace Gates
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As the two figures walked towards the gate soldiers stiffened on either side of them meanwhile ahead of them men scrambled to get the gates open. Neither paid the soldiers any attention after all they had gtown up with such treatment their whole lives. The king was obvious he wore ornate magical armor, a shining crown, and carried his guilded sword on his hip, all of which glistened in the bright sunlight. The prince on the otherhand had donned his elven silk clothing and wore the silver hilted blade he was so proud of. They seemed to be laughing at a mutual joke as they approached the blonde female knight who waited on the other side of the gate. She knelt as the pair approached but was quickly motioned to stand. "So poised and professional, my baby brother is in good hands i see." The king said with a smile. Without breaking face natalie nodded saying "Of course your majesty, no harm shall befall our prince." she then turned her attention to the wagon as the brothers hugged it out and finally the prince hopped in the back signalling for natalie to climb atop elmer and urge the wagon on.
~~~
Grog goblin tavern
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After nearly an hour of slow riding through the city streets the pair finally came across the inn they sought. For the past few weeks they had been posting notices around the kingdom, or rather Zeeds servants had been. The prince himself was far to busy trying to convince his brother of the validity of his quest idea. So it came as no suprise to them that the tavern was full to the brim, a crowd had even gathered in the area surrounding the tavern. Zeeds face had lit up with excitement, however Natalies eyes continued to scan the crowd with disdain. There were too many people, all of whome were armored up and ready for battle. It was a guards nightmare from her perspective. Nonetheless she responded with a yes when seed asked if she was ready.

The prince nearly leapt out of the wagon, while natalie was careful to decend from her mount as confidently as she could. There was no need to show others her concerns, it might give them idea's. As zeed walked towards the crowd the murmuring stopped and they parted for him each hoping to be noticed. Natalie closed the wagon up in the barn turning to see Zeed already well within the crowd. Sighing she grabbed the bag of gold coins and hustled to the princes side.

Inside the tavern was no less crowded but it was quickly allieviated as the owner of the tavern ushered the prince and Natalie to the reserved table. After being seated the prince slipped the owner a gold bar which the man took into the back returning with a wagon of silver coins. After natalie got seated he took her bag and plopped it on the table with a heavy thud that echoed in the suddenly silent establishment. "Thank you all for showing up, i must admit i didnt expect such turnout. Sadly i only have room in the wagon for five more. Now i count about a hundred of you give or take a few. So i have proposed a series of challenges to eliminate the contenders. You can drop out now, but i will pay 2 silver to each participant, and the winners will be selected to join my crew and receive 1% of their very generous pay for this endeavour. So for our first contest...a long sprint. Roughly two miles from the road to the west is a river. Line up at the road and await my signal. Then sprint to the river. The first fifty to make it will move on, the rest will be eliminated and can collect their silver." the princes voice carried far and after he finished the sound of scraping chairs and jostling could be heard thoughtout the Tavern as the crowd made its way to the road.

@FromScarsToNew @ElenaIsCool @SadistPoet @Worthlessplebian @Golden Grace
 

ElenaIsCool

Member
Elidda wasn't comfortable with leaving her cabin. It was filled with more books than people, other than the occasional visiting parents and relatives and it was much quiet. Unlike the tavern, which was loud and crowded and somewhat filthy and weird smelling. Men and women of all sizes and faces, the majority of them wearing armour, as if ready for battle. Ellida herself wore some light leather armour underneath her tunic and cloak with her walking stick leaning next to her. She decided to bring a book to occupy herself but the constant shouts and laughs kept distracting and irritating her. She could tune them out but she would miss something important.

A thud was heard and everything was silent all of a sudden, the only thing people dared do was to whisper. Taken aback by the sudden quietness, Ellida looked up and knew the reason instantly. Prince Seed and Lady Natalie were sitting at a table, clearly reserved for them and in the said table was a bag of coins. One could only think how much was in there. Ellida listened attentively at prince's words. A race? It would be easy, given her quickness. She got irritated once again when the crowd made cheering noises and started to move on. Not really having another choice, Ellida followed the crowd, doing her best to be at a distance to have her space.
 

FromScarsToNew

What doesn't kill you makes you you
Arcron paused at the forge when he heard silence downstairs. Considering this was the first time in hours that they hang decided to shut up, it seemed like it was time. He set down the half forged rod of steel he had been working at for the past hour, carefully laying the hammer and tongs in their respective sheathes before rolling up the tools, stowing the leather sheath in one of the many pouches he wore. Looking at the forge, he chanted a single line, and it slowly folded into itself, anvil, hearth, basin and bellows collapsing into a small block of steel that could fit comfortably into his hand. This too was slipped into a pouch. Pausing for a moment to crack his neck and back after several hours of being hunched over, he made his way out of the room and to the edge of the stairs.

When he had first arrived at the tavern, he had expected many things. Some serious adventures, yes, a few newbies, of course, and maybe the occasional mercenary. What he had not expected was a mob of chattering, drinking, naive idiots who popped up in daddy's armor. Sure, he had spied a few actual fighters as he made his way to the solace of his room, but the vast majority left much to be desired. Especially when they were drinking heavily right before they would most likely be tested. But now he could see that this would be interesting.

He hadn't expected a race to be honest, thought a tournament of fights would be the best option, but oh well. He followed the crowd out of the tavern, making his way to the far side away from the huffing plate stampede that would be sure to happen in the center of the group. He saw that a few others also had the same idea, and spaced himself out to make sure that they wouldn't get in each other's way, flashing a smile at those who did look at him.
 

Worthlessplebian

Worthless pleb
Webb was sitting in the tavern long before the Prince and his bodyguard showed up, his day was very productive, he did a small quest in which he had to protect a herbalist looking to gather some plants in the field nearby, netting him a copper bar and 10 copper coins, he couldn't complain. Just as he was about drink his alcoholic beverage, the vaunted Prince and his acclaimed bodyguard had shown up, Webb did wonder why the tavern was so full today, he thought the owner was throwing a happy hour; he should've paid more attention to what all the commotion amongst the others was. He sighed as he put down the mug and placed his helmet on his head. A thud was soon heard, Webb knew it was from the Prince's table as the tavern goers were suddenly silent as if their throats were sliced and their whispers were the quiet gurgles of blood.

Webb heard the Prince's offer then from their meek sounds the crowd erupted into cheer and joy, he smiled underneath his helmet as he got up from his chair at his table, he removed his cloak as it would only slow him down, he placed his backpack and weapons near his table. He followed the crowd outside, having placed himself at the left of the mass of people. He also noticed that blacksmith and that short elf with gray hair but he doesn't think they noticed him.
 

Golden Grace

Four Thousand Club
The notice around the kingdom had reached far away, and Aaron was one who ended up interest in joining this adventure. After all, who wouldn't dream of being side by side with the prince in a quest of fighting evil? To be fair, it was a harsh decision that took him more than a few days before accepting it. Since the growth of evil, he received more and more letters from his family wishing him to be more careful. In the end, it was good because they weren't trying to force him to come back anymore, but wishing him good luck. An improvement, certainly. He was sitting on a chair, reading the last letter he got with a deep smile eating a plate of meat for a rare occasion. He closed the letter and put it on his pocket, it was time to go. Thankfully, he was hosted by a man who he helped before that lived close to where he needed to head to. He left with a goodbye note and took all the stuff he needed before departing. The wind brushing against his face, he walked to the tavern as it was already fueled with many different kinds of persons.

When he opened up the door, severely people had glanced at him with a smirk. His attire and height surprised the many people that were there, considering the prince would only recruit the very best of them all, they thought he had no chances. Despite all this, Aaron stayed relatively calm and took a seat at a table, thinking back at his choice of being there. He wasn't the person looking for merits nor rewards, but he never had the opportunity to fight along with people this important. And who knows, if he succeeds at joining his side, maybe he could train himself to be better and get more experience, way more then he ever had, and grant rest to the population that was always scared from monsters if they defeat the great evil. Looking by, more and more people entered into the tavern and he was seemingly enjoying the last nuts he had stocked in his pockets. In the end, the tavern ended up crowded and he had to share his table with others.

The entrance of the strongest gave him chills across his spines. The prince definitely looked handsome, and lady Natalie held a cold stare just like the rumors that flooded before their entrance. He listened to the prince speech, his hand holding the table.
The prize and the silvers coins weren't his main goal at all, but the words "sprint" surprised him. It was probably just to remove the weakest right at the beginning with a simple, but effective first challenge. A grinned appear on Aaron's face, although he quickly dismissed it. Because of his stature, he's pushing a little bit the people in front of him and was careful to not be stepped on with the few giants that were there. His gaze went across three notable characters, and he smiled back at the guy with a hood as he was readying himself.
 

SadistPoet

Ippen, Shinde Miru?
Shallie could not pass up this important opportunity. The prince of this land was going to be contracting adventurers for some sort of task. Unfortunately, Shallie's painfully basic grasp of this lands writing made it unclear what she was going to be doing. All she could gather that a skilled combatant, such as herself, was needed. She was sure to arrive at-least five days prior to the time of the contract, and even then a small crowd already awaited in preparation. Great, this was another time she would have to prove herself. In her ten years of experience, usually contracts that filled up early had some sort of test to distinguish people. If it did not have some sort of test, then the quest providers usually picked based of appearance - under these circumstances, Shallie was almost always picked. Her foreign features, and mysterious language, seemed to attract people. Unfortunately, contracts based off appearance, usually caused Shallie great grief. If a provider was going off appearance alone - it only proved their incompetence. Shallie watched many young men die alongside her due to incompetent quest placement.

Experience after experience of attempting to mend a dying boys wounds as he dissolved from acidic slime only served to harden Shallie's heart. This is why Shallie felt all the more reason that she needed prove herself. Deep down, Shallie wanted to go home, and free herself of this turmoil. Shallie could only see home if she purged the darkness of this land. Despite telling herself that she had given up, Shallie had secretly kept a desire for success deep within her soul. Making contact with the prince of this land would be vital in finding direction, and people, to slay the great darkness she had been destined to slay.

In the coming days, more and more people gathered in the town - all amassing in the Grog Goblin tavern. Shallie kept to herself on the outskirts of town and quietly prepared herself. She spent 10 silver coins in town to acquire resources to make three small poison bombs, three shrapnel bombs, and three incendiary bombs. She used her medical encyclopedia to find specific herbs surrounding the city to concoct a weak potion of elemental resistance, and a potion to resist her own poison. Neither very high quality, but they would get the job done. She had to be prepared for the job, and arriving early, she might as well work to get ready.

Once the day had come, Shallie stood on the outer perimeter of the tavern, and began to size up her competition. Many people looked rather standard - like the fodder on the frontlines. Shallie began to scan the tavern looking for people of notable demeanor.

Shallie spied an annoyed looking, little, silver haired elf trying to occupy herself with a book. Elves made up for their smallness, and general weakness, in under-handed ways - so Shallie knew that she would have to watch out for her. This elf-appeared to have small, purposeful muscles from some sort physical activity - maybe running? Certainly not lifting things. @ElenaIsCool

Another man came from the floor above, sporting a well crafted mix of plate and leather, and several weapons. It only took a passing glance for Shallie to wager that this man was not impressed with his competition. That little detail in his disposition told Shallie that this man too, was a worthy opponent. @FromScarsToNew

A man sitting, with armor more impressive than any discernible skill, was ready to enjoy himself a drink. Shallie did not detect anything terribly notable about the man from first glance - perhaps she was underestimating him? At the very least, in a test of combat, that armor would be trouble. @Worthlessplebian

The final person Shallie took note of was a rather slight, young human 'boy' wearing odd shamanistic clothes along with... weird armor? She wanted to tell him to not bother, and continue enjoying his plate of meat. He did not look like combat materiel. @Golden Grace

Shallie listened to the prince's instructions, and was surprised to learn that this would be a race. That certainly evened things up a bit, and maybe even made things unfair to some brawnier contenders. To make things worse, that damn elf would certainly run circles around everyone. Shallie then had a devious idea. She brought two of her small poisonous bombs to hand, and drank her potion she had prepared to give her some resistance. This particular poison would only cause vomiting and dizziness - hardly lethal at all. It would weed out a good portion of the competition if she detonated the bombs at a key choke-point in the race. She made her way to the designated line, keeping her bombs hidden in hand, and awaited the start of the race.
 

ElenaIsCool

Member
The thing was sort of unfair. No, very unfair. Ellida had expected the choosing ceremony or whatever to be a race. Knowing most, if not all, we're wearing armour would give her an advantage but it was still feeling off. Ellida saw some people that she didn't notice her like the weird dressed boy and the tall exotic looking lady. She looked like she could punch her to her cabin and back. Ellida shuddered at the thought. She should probably keep an eye on her, or on both of them.

Ellida started stretching. The race was going to be easy, but she still had to look out for a nimble looking person, like that boy with the shaman clothes. He looked like he could run. She could probably ask him about his travels and the thought quickly dissolved. She would have to talk in general, and she had no idea how to start conversation. Maybe when she got back, she should look for a book that helps in conversation or maybe she should research on their clothes, especially the exotic lady's.

Ellida saw also the blacksmith, who smiled at her and everyone who bothered to look. She felt her cheeks heat up and looked away quickly. This kind of thing always happened, but she felt strange that someone she never knew would smile at them. Shaking off the thought, she decided to concentrate on her stretches
 

FromScarsToNew

What doesn't kill you makes you you
Arcron took his time studying his opponents, chatting with the few others that had wandered over into his neck of the woods. A few mercenaries from the same band, a bright-eyed newbie adventure with a longsword much too big for him, a grizzled veteran with an ancient set of chainmail, and a few others. All of them weren't a threat. Who did catch his interest was the exotic looking female a few dozen feet away. She seemed to radiant that primal aura of the hunt, and had the lean grace of a predator whenever she moved. She didn't walk so much as slink to her starting position, with a quick glance at him as she passed. No smile for her, just a nod from one hunter to another.

He spied one of the daddy's armor guys as well, slowly clanking his way over to them. He turned away, stepping a few paces to his left to distance himself from the walking disaster waiting to trip and found himself next to a small elf girl. The smith looked down at her and managed to catch her eye, flashing her a small smile as he started to slowly Reinforce his legs and torso, preparing for the sprint to come. He caught the slight glint of red on her cheeks as she hurriedly turned away, and chuckled. He noted that unlike many of the others, she was actually preparing in some way, going through a series of basic stretches that highlighted her small but compact muscles along her legs. This one might actually be worth something.

"No need to be embarrassed little one," he said, tilting his head sidelong toward her, "I work at a forge, I'm used to being hot." He barked a laugh at his own terrible pun, grinning at her. "Sorry, just breaking the ice. Name's Arcron, and you are?"
 

Worthlessplebian

Worthless pleb
Scott started doing some basic stretches, a race as this would require some warm-up less he wants to cramp his muscles; those that viewed him would find his armor was surprisingly maneuverable, more maneuverable than the average plate armor that's for sure. While he was stretching, Scott noticed an exotic woman moving amongst the crowd, stealthy to the untrained eye yet noticeable to the experienced, he perceived an odd sight, she drank a potion of some type, this made Scott weary and his suspicions of her being dangerous than the rest was already notable, if there was going to be battle part to these challenges then she will be his greatest foe.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the small elf and blacksmith chatting it up... Well, it was only the blacksmith that was doing the talking, perhaps the little elf was more shy than confident although he assumed that with her always hiding in that cabin of hers. The sea of plate, leather and chain stopped moving and shuffling around like ants finally. During this resting period, he spotted that shaman looking kid, couldn't be older than 19 or 20, he thought good on the kid, braver than some of the cowards he's met.

He completed his stretches and then threw a gaze at the most notable of characters in the lot.
 

FearItself

There is nothing to fear
Old Town Road

Zeed and Natalie sat in their booth waiting until the crowd had begun to die down. The prince doing a very poor job of hiding his excitement. Natalie on the other hand had already managed to get eyes on several contestants she figured would make it to Zeeds last round. Personally she hoped the apparent blacksmith made it, not only could he repair and supply them with gear, but he was also pretty nice to look at. Zeed had already wandered off to find some ladies to talk too, but natalie broke away from her eyeing the contestants and managed to drag the prince back to the road right ahead of the gathered adventurers. She handed him a pebble and took a sheild from one of the contestants who made no objection.

After a few moments zeed nodded at her and she tossed the sheild high into the air. Zeed then launched the now glowing opalesent stone, which hit the shield with a sound akin to a gong. Very blatently signalling the start of the race then watching in amusement as the most inexperienced adventurers tripped over the weapons or armor they hadnt bothered to leave behind. The gap between them and the others grew and the prince nodded already off to a good start.

The trek to the river was a bit treacherous, on the other side of the road from their starting point was a small 3 or 4 foot wall, they would have to get over that somehow, then came an open field with tall wild cudgel cane plants, delicious sure. Yet also heavy,hard, and a total pain to run through. After about four hundred yards the cudgel cane field would give way to the woods where low hanging branches would swipe at the adventurers heads as they ran. Wildberrys and thistles would ravage the legs and feet of the unprepared. The real danger came closest to the river itself. Just before its banks there was a steep drop of about 7ft where the river had flooded and carved away parts of the shore. That drop would end poorly for those who were unable to react once they burst through the bushes which were only a few inches away from the ledge and hid its drop well. Another fofty feet beyond the drop was the river itself, and wading in the river seeming to enjoy the sunlight would be the Tavern owners Son, holding a bag of Lumenstones that gave a faint glow even through the burlap sack they were in.

As the contestants took off Zeed and Natalie made their way to the barn and stables where both climbed atop a horse they had rented for the day. It was pretty easy for the magnificent beasts to make it to the head of the pack allowing the two of them to spot the first one to arrive at the Shores...
 

SadistPoet

Ippen, Shinde Miru?
Shallie had tried her hardest to be subtle with her sipping of her poison resistance potion, but it seemed that some had prying eyes. That armored up fellow from earlier had been looking through the crowd at her. He had a keen eye at the very least, and Shallie was beginning to feel that he might be more competent than she initially thought.

She made her way through the crowd of people. Shallie moved slowly and purposely, keeping her eyes locked on the armored fellow who saw her drink the potion. As she moved towards him, the well armed man from earlier gave her a nod. She nodded back as it was the customary and respectful thing to do.

Shallie made her way to the armored mans side. She stared at him, and sized him up even further. How was he expecting to win a race in such weighty armor? Sure, Shallie's armor and equipment was not light, but she had spent the greater portion of ten-years adapting to it. None-the less, Shallie had a good feeling about this one. He had a keen eye, and a low-profile demeanor.

All while Shallie processed these thoughts, she just stared at the armored man. It's not like she was secretly watching him either - Shallie was right in front of him. Once she was done contemplating, Shallie reached to her potion belt and grabbed her extra poison resistance potion, offering it to him. "Drink..." her voice had some sort of exotic and low accent, "It calm self." This was a lie. Shallie hoped to throw off anyone else who had noticed, and pass off potion the as some sort of calming potion. @Worthlessplebian

--
(OOC: Fear updated the thread as I was writing, so I'm just going to write what I would next)

Acting instantly as the race began, Shallie utilized her quick step technique that put her nigh-instantly about 10ft ahead of the crowd. She ignited both of the bomb fuses with a bit of flint built into her gauntlets palm. Shallie tossed a bomb back, and it detonated on impact blanketing the center of the crowd in vomit inducing, and vision impairing poison.

She was not done yet. Shallie tossed the other bomb at the small wall ahead, knowing that many people would be obstructed by it. The bomb detonated right beneath the obstruction, and it would surely poison anyone who took their time climbing over it.

Shallie drew one of her long-swords and used it like a pole-vault to clear the obstruction in a singular, bounding, stride. She continued on afterwards, dashing forwards with all the speed she could muster.
 
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ElenaIsCool

Member
Exercise was good, it helped your body and made you somewhat stronger. Walking and running every morning and evening gave Ellida her fair share of small muscles, and endurance to long speeds. Then her exercise was cut short by a shadow casted over her, like a giant or a boulder, the two meaning incoming danger. A voice was what she didn't expect. She then turned and saw the smiling blacksmith standing right next to her. Her cheeks flushed red once more. She was definately not used to having men around, that is, except a few exceptions. Ellida blinked at the joke. Was that supposed to be..What did her mother call it again? Flirting? She had to admit, it was as horrible as it was funny and felt herself smile. When the male, now known as Arcron, asked her name, she couldn't do more than stutter. That is until she composed herself
"Ellida..N-Nice to meet you" That was all she could say before the hing. The race had begun

Elidda stopped stretching and started to jog lightly. According to her, suddenly sprinting would make her more tired afterwards. It was better to take it step by step, to get her legs used to the movement they would have to endure for the rest of the race. Ellida decided to separate some more from the crowd, to be able to see better since pretty much everyone were giants to her. The exotic lady was on the lead before she could even blink. Did she enchant her boots? Ellida decided to pick up speed but a sudden feeling of uneasiness washed over her, making her tumble. What was going on? She knew it was not something she ate, since her bread and soup were prepared by her. She wasn't sick was she? That would be unlikely since she didn't have any illness or symptoms for the past few months. Ellida also saw others get dizzy and fall. Since they were grouped together, they made others fall. She was glad she wasn't within them. Shaking away the feeling with little success, she picked up speed and ran faster, with the occasional tumbling. Ellida noticed that if she pictured her mind at the exact opposite way her vision was swaying, she could see clearly. With her now improved vision, She saw the wall and the exotic woman use her sword as a pole of some sorts to pass over it. Ellida didn't have a pole, but she did have her legs and daggers. Holding her breath and taking two of her, She jumped to the wall. The same effect from before was there but stronger and made her eyes water. She began to scale the wall, in long distances, knowing she her need to breathe would kick up if she took it slowly. Her vision was somewhat worse, her remedyfor it was making it somewhat bearable. When she finally reached the end of the wall, after a few long strides, she landed at the other side not so gracefully, but she didn't hurt herself. She ran for about a minute before finally breathing. Who knew oxygen felt so good!. Recovering her breath, Ellida started to run once again.
 

Worthlessplebian

Worthless pleb
Scott had stopped his stretching when he noticed that exotic woman was inching her way towards him, he wondered what could she be planning but his thinking was cut-off as she offered a similar looking potion to the one she drank to him, he accepted it and heard her words. Other than the weird grammar and accent, Scott felt something was not right about the situation, should he trust this stranger? He had never interacted with her or knows anything about her so the decision was made to trust her albeit hesitantly. He lifted up his helmet enough to drink the potion, revealing 12 O' clock shadow against white skin, he downed the potion and placed the empty glass into his pouch; hopefully this decision to drink the potion won't bite him in the behind.

"Thanks" was his only word, muffled behind metal, to the woman who offered him the potion. @SadistPoet

----- START OF THE RACE-------

As the race began, Scott fell forwards into a sprinting motion, his legs like pistons propelled themselves off the ground, his armor which by normal means should slow him down but wearing it since he was 18 almost made it seem like it was weightless to him like his muscles adapted to the added weight. That was when he noticed that woman suddenly appearing about 8ft in front of him, he deduced that she had somehow traveled 10ft from the starting line! Wow, he thought to himself, she's fast. But while he was processing his thoughts about her, he had noticed she set off a gas cloud of some sorts in front of everybody and Scott couldn't stop in time... That was when it dawned on him, the potion she gave him was a resistance potion... Clever girl; He barreled through the first gas cloud without any sickness while the other contenders were not so lucky. After the gas cloud, he noticed that little elf trying to regain her stride, he zoomed past her. While nearing the wall, he noticed another poison cloud while the potion did offer resistance it was best not to linger in it.

He noticed a young adventurer with leathery gear skidding to halt just before he entered the gas cloud on the wall, he took his opportunity and called out.

"HEY!"

Just as the adventurer turned around, a metal fist met his face while his neck was snatched up by the same hand that punched him, Scott threw the adventurer into the wall with a satisfying thud, Scott leaped onto the unconscious adventurer's shoulders and used them as stepping stones to help him vault over the wall, he landed perfectly but another bloke had the a similar idea but it involved jumping on Scott's shoulders. He felt weight on him as some elf leaped from the wall onto him, Scott fell to the dirt and the elf thought it was so clever alas arrogance was his downfall, as before the elf could even make another step, his ankle was gripped by Scott's hand as the elf was pulled into the dirt, Scott managed to move into crawling position which then turned into a sprint, thankfully he had lost a bit of ground between him and the other contestants but he knew he would regain it.
 

FromScarsToNew

What doesn't kill you makes you you
"Ellida huh? Well, it's nice to meet you." Arcron's eyes flashed to the flurry of movement, spying the thrown shield a split second before the start. "Try to keep up El!" He grinned, giving her a two finger salute before the starting sound.

The ground around him cracked and exploded, the Reinforcement he had been channeling during the few minutes they had launching him thirty feet ahead, before he settled into long loping strides, not so much as running as throwing himself forward. But for what he lacked in grace he made up for in speed, the small touches of Reinforcement keeping him slightly faster than he normally would be. A quick step off the wall sent him farther ahead with a boost of magic, and he took the brief time midair to look back, and witnessed the mayhem. Seems the armor boy wasn't just for show, easily taking down a youth and making it over the wall just fine, even exacting revenge on an elf who had tried the same on him. @Worthlessplebian

He saw also the one who had settled alongside him, the huntress he had spied earlier. He was surprised that someone could have caught up in just the short amount of time since his first leap. His eyes narrowed at her, and flicked back to the cloud of vapor that was causing such a commotion in the rear, smiling to himself. He really hoped that she would make it to the finals, she seemed fun. Just as he was thinking that, another cloud appeared next to him, and he quickly dived out of the way, only catching a wisp of the poison. But even that was enough to water his eyes and send a few coughs throughout his frame.@SadistPoet

He also noticed that Ellida had made her way through the poison and was only a little behind them, eyes watering and gasping, but still going despite the cloud's effects. Seems he had been right about her, she was definitely more than her small stature presented. @ElenaIsCool

The smith turned his attention back to the task at hand, who's next challenge reared its head, a large field of hard cane. Grimacing, he drew his sword, holding it by his side as he ran a hand along it's length, casting Wreath of Fire upon it, coating its blade with a thin film of fire. He gripped the sword in both hands, and with a touch of Reinforcement to his arms, began carving his way through the field.
 
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Golden Grace

Four Thousand Club
That was indeed, a very surprising start. He caught a few names of the people that were brave enough to talk but didn't answer back, he was already getting tired of people mocking him there. Before he even started, a woman that came late was able to surpass the whole crowd by far and threw a bomb that unleashed a sort of poison that made people sick. His speed was enough to hold on and avoid getting too much of the effect and he passed several armored guys that looked pissed of. His boots were certainly getting handy at this time. He opened up his eyes wildly when he saw a fully armored man passing the first step with great efficiency and seemed to be able to hold it easily despite the mixture around.

However, this wasn't good. He was almost certain that some would use some dirty tricks, but right off the bat? Well, Thankfully, Aaron was used to running around and find opportunities when needed. Whether it was his parents when he was going to get scold varying from beasts that wanted to kill him, it was still something he loved. Of course, it wouldn't be that easy and he had to find a plan to pass the second bomb that went against the wall and slow down the others. This time, the poison really started taking effect, and his vision started getting dizzy just like everyone else that was unfortunate enough to not have any resistance against it. He was right to not went to the front although the first in the race were magical users, weightless or speedrunner and started thinking before he would collapse from the strains of the potion. It seemed like people were pushing each other away, and he didn't want violence unless it was necessary. He took his crossbow from his back and concentrated while closing his left eye, locking up a spot that could fit. He shoots up a bolt that passed near two guys right into a hole, using this opportunity as they both felt and threw a few guys asides. Aaron rushed in by holding his breath as much as he could before jumping on the bolt that almost cracked under the pressure, passing them and succeeded at passing the first checkpoint. "Sorry..." He quickly looked back when he passed the wall and saw the not prepared that passed out from the poison and many who were still struggling. But still, he was even more impressed by the people he noticed before who all used some kind of strategy, whether it was knocking someone out and using a body as a platform or sheer determination and clever maneuver.

When he finished jumping, he gazed across the field and took his daggers out, just like the strong guy that seemed to do the same although he was certainly stronger and more efficient than him and set his blade ablaze. He was surprised, because if a fire where to start here this could be even more troublesome. He accelerated a little bit but remained on his guard. Who knows what these people were still up to, he wasn't going to give up now that he was starting to get excited from the disheveled race.
 

FromScarsToNew

What doesn't kill you makes you you
Arcron slashed and hacked his way through the field, trying to stay ahead of the horde that was following close behind. With the clouds and wall having sorted through those who would pose a danger and those who would fall behind, the smith began to take in his competition. The exotic woman disappeared into the field, and he quickly lost sight of her and her quick steps. @SadistPoet

He spied the armor boy moving in close behind Ellida, surprising him with his speed even in the full plate he sported. Obviously, he had to have been wearing it for years, even the strong had some difficulty with the restrictions of the armor, but this one moved as if nothing was there. He would have to rethink his assessment of him. Ellida also was making an impressive show, leading the pack of those affected by the cloud and slowly gaining on him now that he was being slowed by the cane. @ElenalsCool @Worthlessplebian

But the one that caught his attention was the small robed boy who he quickly lost sight of. He had escaped his notice up until now, but it seemed that he was full of surprises, deftly navigating those who got caught up in the clouds and pulling ahead of the group. @Golden Grace

Picking a few balls of steel from one of his pouches, he cast Wreath of Fire upon them and hurled them behind him into the cane, the flaming balls coating anything they touched in fire, slowly turning the land behind him into a torrent of flame. Hoping that would slow at least a few of them down, he redoubled the Reinforcement of his arms, straining a bit on the pull to his reserves. He was burning through his magic faster than he would have liked, but he needed to get as much distance between himself and the group if he were to have even the slightest chance.
 

ElenaIsCool

Member
They were playing dirty. Everyone did whatever it takes to win, no matter what. It took her a second to realize that there are no rules. Everybody got their way this way or the other. Ellida shook her head, and ran faster. It was time to play dirty. She saw Arcron lit his blade on fire with his blade and hacking and slashing through, leaving the rest in flames. Muttering a line, a perfect replica of herself appeared right next to her, following her exact same moves while she jumped at the canes that weren't burnt yet, stepping on the top and jumping from cane to cane.

Ellida's eyes widened as some canes were on fire and they were spreading fast, breaking her concentration making her illusion disappear. She began to take long leaps from cane to cane to be away from the fire, while also managed to keep her balance and not fall. It was somehow like dancing. She smiled and continued until she caught sight of the woods.
 

FearItself

There is nothing to fear
The forests Edge

The Two poison clouds worked wonders at scattering the crowds, the first unfortunate souls to pass through it serving as a warning to the rest. They split up taking extra time to circumvent the hazardous clouds. Just as many found the cudgel cane on the otherside a hassle, a few foolish men tried to rush through the field only to quickly find themselves under assault from all directions. The rubbery stalks of the cane would bend and their bulbous heavy tops would snap back bludgeoning the men. However they split well under a blade leaving behind flexible and sturdy sticks with bulbous heads that seemed a natural weapon. The spreading flames however were quickly quenched by the sap filled plants only managing to spread a few yards before snuffing out.

However it was at the edge of the forest where many men came to a slow pausing to consider wether they would continue. It was only natural, after all forests were very dangerous both natural born and Darkborn dwelled there at all times of the day. The foliage blocking the sun allowed the shadows to become thick enough that monsters could spawn from seemingly anywhere, and any natural born beast able to survive those conditions would be dangerous to encounter even for the experienced. However it didnt take long for pride, greed, or willpower to overcome the natural fear held in the hearts of mortals. The would be adventurers braved ahead, a few taking out torches, lanturns, and lumenstones. Yet all drew their weapons leaving a sympony of steel leaving sheathes.​
 

Worthlessplebian

Worthless pleb
Scott noticed the flaming mess that blacksmith had created and wondered should he stop to put it out but he figured since no one would stop to put it out then he should continue. He grabbed a cane that was pushed over and snapped, holding it like a spear, he ran straight towards the blazing inferno; taking a page out of the exotic woman's handbook, he embedded it into the ground and launched himself over the inferno, his metal shell piercing through the roaring flames, getting heated up at this risky attempt to regain speed. Once he punched through the blaze and for a brief second spotted that tiny elf leaping from cane to cane. @ElenaIsCool

Scott's feet touched the ground and began sprinting, following the blacksmith's path, this cretin will possibly burn down the entire town with his reckless stunt, Scott thought to himself. @FromScarsToNew

It was at this time that Scott realized that they are going to have to brave the forest... And he only has his dagger on him with a single torch... Well, maybe he can throw the pyromaniac in the forest and burn it down.
 

Golden Grace

Four Thousand Club
So, that was really his plan. (@FromScarsToNew) He avoided the most fire he could and started taking another path in order to dodge the flaming balls and since the fire was only beginning he was mostly ok, but the people them were doomed while the canes were getting crazier and crazier while he keeps cutting them. He was almost hit by one, and his focused came in clutch when he dodged it when he finally reached the end of the field. Now, the numbers of people along him was getting slower and slower and he got closer to the end of the group, which made him more confident and he also caught briefly an elf jumping from cane to cane (@ElenaIsCool), which was risky but seemed to work really well. And then it comes, what seems to be the final challenge where some would probably give up. When looking at the fully fledged armored guys (@Worthlessplebian), he understood that some left most of their equipment at the tavern, which would make things harder considering the threats hiding inside the forest. They should avoid doing anything reckless here, there's no point in trying to slow down the other anymore unless they really wanted to win no matter what.

He gritted his teeth at the glance of the forest. He was still marked from an event that happened two years ago, but this time he was prepared for it. He put on his back a bottle containing butterflies and walked at the entrance of the forest. He climbed up a tree, taking a glimpse of what was ahead of him. In the trees, he felt safer and was able to plan ahead while providing support if needed. Despite the few lights he had, the thick fog made things extreme and he was extremely careful to not fall. He even stayed with a few others adventurers if something bad were to happen here.
 

explosiveKitten

Fanfic Kitty
To be honest, Bridget wasn’t entirely sure why she was here.

She was a thief, not somebody’s paid-for hero. She just wanted to live her life, get her pay, sleep the next day. Rinse and repeat. Maybe that was why she was here.

She reached up and idly scratched her pet squirrel’s chin, who seemed to be thoroughly pleased with it. Maybe she just needed a change of pace. Maybe she just liked the promise of money. Who knows? She was here now. Listening to talk of races and trials, and... ugh. Great. She thought that she’s could just walk through here without a problem. What a time, truly.

She quickly shoved her squirrel into her pack, whom gave an indignant squeak, before she quickly gave her legs a few shakes. A race? She was agile. Fast. She could do this.

1...2...3... GO!

Shit hit the fan immediately. People were throwing punches, somebody threw down a gas cloud, and a couple POISON CLOUDS, and YEESH, she thought these people would be honorable. But no, they were attacking each other like savage animals. How fun.

Poison gases she had dealt with. Many a noble’s lockbox had poison traps. She just pulled her bandana over her mouth and nose and barreled right through, holding her breathing and cutting in front of a huge group of people by passing right through the crowd. She had started late thanks to her late start, but this little cloud was helpful to slow her opponents down.

Quickly she came upon a wall, and it was what? Only four, maybe five feet tall? Honey, please. Her tiny, trained frame scaled that thing in a hot second, practically just hopped over it, doing a neat little roll once she’s hit the ground, getting right back on her feet. Keep running.

The cane fields came next. She hopped across the top of those things like nothing. She even managed to snatch up a loose cane and began to chewing on the end, drawing sweet sugary syrup out of the hard outer shell. Though... to be honest I didn’t work as well as she thought it would.

When she came upon the forest, she skidded to a stop and sighed. Oh. A big, dark forest. Wonderful, perfect. Exactly what she wanted.

... Well, I could use that fancy lumenstone amulet I got off that dead guy from three months ago. But the light will attract... undesirables.
She grit her teeth. She was wasting time.
I could just run through as fast as possible, but that’ll make a ton of noises... Oh, I can make myself invisible!

She set her feet, then scrunched her face up and concentrated really hard. SHe started to mutter, “don’t see me, can’t see me, don’t see me, can’t see me, don’t see me, can’t see me...”

When she dared open her eyes a sliver, she looks at her arms... and finds nothing.

“Yes! OH, thank you gods! I DID IT! WOO!”

Triumphant, she took her cloak off so it wouldn’t snag on anything in that forest, before quickly taking off, her invisible form being swallowed by the darkness.
 
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SadistPoet

Ippen, Shinde Miru?
Shallie drew her long-sword and began to hack through the cane. She would slice at an angle then circle the blade around once more losing no momentum. This winding, circular, slicing motion is what allowed her to proceed through the cane at a steady pace. The real challenge came at the forests edge. Shallie knew all too well what kinds of beasts lurked in the darkness, and to a degree, she was one herself. This is why she elected to enter the dimly lit forest with no source of light.

Shallie kept her left hand out to aid in navigation, and kept her keen eyes focused on the dark outlines of trees. She was in no hurry considering she had a comfortable lead, and had probably taken several people out of the race with her poisonous gambit.

It was only a moment into the darkness that Shallie encountered her first enemy. She did not see it, but she could sense it. It came rushing to her right. It had light, skittering footsteps. It probably was some sort of insectoid creature. Shallie awaited until its skittering ceased - this signaled that it had bounded towards her. In one swift motion, Shallie plunged her blade towards the darkborne and impaled it through it's weaker underbelly. Shallie had very little light, but could make out the faint outline of some sort of mantis creature.

Shallie could see illumination behind her. A few adventurers had brought themselves torches. This was a small oversight on Shallie's part, considering she usually buys equipment for a job, rather than any situation. Fortunately, this had the benefit of keeping herself light. Shallie kept lurching onward, keeping keen to the sounds around her.
 

ElenaIsCool

Member
That place was dangerous. The forest reminded her of her first incident with a Darkborn. Landing at the entrance. Walking in while shaking away the memory, Ellida summoned a beam of light strong enough to make her see her way and small enough to fit in her palm. Her grip on her stick tightened. There was no sign of a darkborn near her. She did hear sounds of struggle of some sort. Her heart pounding, she continued to take small but quick and silent steps deeper into the forest, avoiding the branches with a beam of light in hand, her walking stick, her daggers and her fears.

The sound of rustling leaves made her stop her tracks. She slowly let the beam levitate while she took out her dagger with a trembling hand and a high guard. The rustling stopped but Ellida didn't relax just yet. And she was lucky she didn't, because a few seconds, a darkborn bug creature that resembled a spider leaped at her. Her quick reaction and her speed took up as she bashed it away with her walking stick. The creature landed about a few feet away from her before leaping again, baring it's fangs with hunger or some other thing in it's many eyes. Ellida dodged out of the way and hurriedly blasted light into it's eyes as it lunged at her again, making it fall back with a loud, shrill scream that made her hairs stand on end. She decided to end the fight by stabbing the darkborn's head multiple times, it's shrill voice becoming quieter with each stab until it became completely silent.

Ellida was trembling, with a dagger stained with whatever the liquid was, with some also on her clothes. She felt like crying. It was her first time killing another being. Shaking, she picked up her walking stick and made her light orb follow her, with the light showing her now pale, horrified face.
 

FearItself

There is nothing to fear
The Darkborn Birthing

The adventurers had just made it a couple dozen yards into the woods when the very air seemed to shift causing flames to breifky flicker. An eerie silence fell over the woods before a man shouted "Wha-" on the western edge of the group and the obvious sound of his cry being cut short was left to remain. People began to panic looking in all directions. A few even made a break for the edge of the woods a mere thirty of forty feet away only to vanish into the purplish mist rising from the shadows, and vanishing with onky a grunt and the occasional shout of surprise.

One by one pairs of glowing eyes began to appear in the thick darkness until it looked as though a sea of faint glowing orbs surrounding the adventurers, seperating them into smaller and smaller groups centered around their sources of light. Finally the first of the creatures would begin to come into view. Bluish black wolves with glowing eyes and some form of bluish crystal growing from their chests. At first it was one, but as soon as it was spoted the forms of more would arrive in the peripheral vision of whoever spotted it. They seemed calm, almost majestic until one of them lunged at a man clad in armor with a shield, sword, and a necklace with a Lumenstone on it. He thrust his sheild forward knocking the creature off balance, but as soon as he had done this two more lunged from the shadows behind him one biting his ankle, the other pouncing onto his back and knockong him off balance. Then the three together draged him away, the one on his back ripping the lumenstone medallion off with its teeth and leaving it behind. The sounds of his struggling and steel armor being torn open filled the woods before the silence again washed over the woods.

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SadistPoet

Ippen, Shinde Miru?
Shallie heard the noises of the darkspawn beginning to awaken. It could not be much further to escape the woods, but Shallie looked back to see a beam of mystical light. It was unclear who it was, although it was obvious that they were having a rough time. Shallie could tell this by the speed, and how they were moving. She felt that she had a comfortable enough lead to be able to double back. After-all, there was not going to be just one winner.

She kept low approaching the light - moving with the sinister grace of a well trained predator. Once Shallie had made it nearby, she made her presence known, "Calm calm. I help" she stated making her intentions clear. Shallie then recognized it was the little elvish girl from earlier.. Shallie drew her mysterious, unblemished katana that reflected off the elf's light. Shallie hoped that seeing this well-crafted weapon would demonstrate her skill, "Follow..." Shallie ordered. She trusted that the elf would gladly tag along. This was an ideal arrangement (if the elf chose to comply) because she had both her hands free, rather than having to carry a light.

@ElenaIsCool
 

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