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Fantasy The Great Games of Nye

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"The pleasure is shared between us all." Giovanni smiled at a man sitting on his armrest, a young model with dark brown hair. He was mirrored by a woman sitting on the other armrest, and she was eqaully as beautiful, picturesque in every way.

Giovanni breathed deep and leaned back in his chair, swirling a glass of wine in his hand. He took a small sip and glanced sideways at Bean, a simmering hint of hatred in his eyes. "I won't waste any more time than needeed. Though I welcome people such as yourself—

He nodded at Vixie and Nihall.

"A centurion's presence perturbs my esteemed guests, especially one as storied as your companion."

Bean snorted and snatched the glass from Giovanni, spilling some on the carpet. "Good stories ain't they?" He chugged the glass without savoring the taste, wasting three hundred coins of wine.

"Yes..." Giovanni clenched his teeth. "The very best stories my friend, but my guests are less appreciative of your tales. The faster you complete your mission the less my business suffers, so I wish to aid your little... adventure."

"You seek the slayers of centurions hiding in the darkest, coldest recesses of Nye, but you will not find them here." He knowingly smiled at the group. "They're beyond even my reach."

"However there is a man." He gestured at his guards. "One who was captured by them months ago, only to escape in a stroke of good luck."

"You may have him as a guide, it will settle his considerable balance with me, and help expedite your mission. It is a deal without any losers, I suspect."

His guards returned with a man bound in chains. He wore a purple tabbard with puffed frills on his shoulders, and his clothes shone with gold filigree. He had a red plush hat like artists from Valencia, and his shoes curled up at the ends. His skin was olive in complexion, and a feather hung from his black, unkempt hair. He bowed as he was brought before the adventurers, flaring his hand like a courtier.

"Marigold Pennysmith at your service — a bard extraordinare! The finest poet and wordsmith in the seven seas! You, my friends, are a most welcome sight to these sore, sunlight seeking eyes, for I have wallowed in the darkest depths of dungeons and despair. The miserable morose midnight that marred my many months! The—

"Silence," Giovanni groaned. "Will you spare them your dreadful soliloquy? You have a mission to complete and if you fail them, I will toss you in the dungeon where you belong."

"How could I be so foolish!" Marigold leaned back and slapped his forehead. "Ahh!"

"I am blind with happiness and robbed of my good sense! What has life come to where good men suffer in chains! But I will do what I can for you, my finest of fine people, and lead you where the killers lay!"

Anne Boolean Anne Boolean Lost Echo Lost Echo
 
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Elriel had started to believe that Magnus was exaggerating how perilous their journey to the great tree would be during the first few days of the voyage. Perhaps it had simply been a way to keep them from going to protect their traditions? — But then he remembered the intensity in his eyes and that didn’t seem right.

The winds were piercing cold, especially at night when he was out on the deck for his turn to be lookout. But the seal skin coats were near perfect at blocking out the freezing temperatures. So while the style didn’t necessarily match the noble's tastes, he could now understand why all the locals in the village wore them. Being warm in these conditions was more important.

The daytime hours were even easier for Elriel to handle, actually enjoying watching the large waves hit the boat and occasionally playing his flute into the open air when no one else was on the deck. But most importantly .. spending time with Ada as often as he could. The two were practically glued together when they didn’t have specific assignments from Darius that kept them apart.

For him, the worst part of the whole trip so far was that he once again had to stop touching Adamaris. He .. didn’t want to expose just how strongly he cared for them to the group, especially so soon when he lacked trust in the others. But at least they were together. Optimistic they could break away again soon enough .. and maybe then he could see if Ada would be interested in more than holding hands.

— — — — —​

But then on that tenth day — it was bad. Worse than bad honestly. The storm had almost come out of nowhere. The sky turning dark before soaking the noble to the bone, unsure if he’d ever be able to feel warm again. It was quickly nothing but ice covering the ship, freezing his feet to the deck as he wrapped an arm around Ada refusing to let them go overboard as Darius did his best to fight the massive waves.

When Elriel heard the call to raise the sails he took a few steps forward. He knew the large sheets of ice on the canvas material would make it almost impossible for them to lift with the additional weight. Risking snapping the ropes or worse damaging the fabric. And it was only getting thicker with every moment that passed.

With his hand raised, he closed his eyes in an attempt to focus, the howling wind and rocking boat making that almost impossible. But after a moment the ice started to crack loudly. Elriel separated it off as gently as he could before he quickly twisted his body and dropped it into the water.

Now would be the best time!” He yelled out loudly, looking over at Ivan’s large build as he began pulling the ropes to get the sails up, spotting Mavior running around helping while Zak was getting tossed around like a rag doll.

Yet no sooner than they finished getting them secure did the storm decide it wasn’t done with them. Elriel watched almost in awe of their bad luck as one of the masts burst into flames from a strike of lightning. The ship moving with such force that he felt his feet start to pull up from the ice below him.

His eyes looked to Zak who had a death grip on one of the masts, which thankfully wasn’t the one on fire before he heard Mavior call out that someone needed to get the supplies. He’d been so distracted by the lightning that he hadn’t even noticed the crates had gone overboard.

Elriel knew that without those boxes the mission, everything they’d worked for, would have been for nothing. Cringing at the thought of going back to Magnus with their tail between their legs .. if they even had enough supplies to get back.

Fuck!!” He yelled out. A bit classless for the noble, but as his father always said — sometimes it was necessary. Elriel looked at the pitch-black water threatening to swallow him whole, but no one else could do this. So he steeled his nerves, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the railing and fused with his familiar.

He looked back again — only to watch as Zak hit Mavior in the head with a mud ball. Maybe that would have been funny under different circumstances .. or not. But now wasn’t the time to criticize him. Elriel grabbed the rope that had snapped from the sail, untying it from the ship and handing it to Ada. “I’ll need your help getting our things back,” he spoke before jumping over the edge without another word.

His feet froze the surface of the water as soon as he landed, falling down onto one knee from the impact. But that was the least of his concerns as he tried to gain his balance on top of the powerful waves. Knowing that with one wrong move, he was done for.

After a moment, Elriel was able to get to his feet, beginning to make his way further from the safety of the boat. The attention it took to keep the ice together below him was nothing short of exhausting, panting from the cold air burning in his lungs. But Elriel continued, getting closer to the supplies.

He could see the crates were starting to spread out .. which was bad. Only having one option if he wanted to save more than one. Elriel stuck his hand down into the water, unable to keep from grimacing at the pain shooting through his fingers. But it was easier to freeze when connected. And then, suddenly, what could be described as an iceberg engulfed the supplies, bobbing up and down. It was large, taking almost all of his remaining energy .. but it was worth it.

He breathed a soft sigh of relief as he pushed his wet hair from his face, getting to his feet once more. But as soon as Elriel successfully climbed onto the ice with their belongings .. he collapsed forward with a heavy thud, managing to tightly attach the rope with his last bit of power before his eyes shut.

Emphoa Emphoa (Ada) Jet Jet (Zak) ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles (Mavior) EldridSmith EldridSmith (Ivan)
 
Narzas.jpgShe watched the odd man sip his tea and putter about his shop as if she hadn't said a word in silent impatience - broken only when Johan suddenly appeared in the shop beside them. They had all been uncertain about the weird portal-thing that had brought them here to this place, but not once during the curiosity had she thought Ren dead... yet those were the words Johan chose as he dragged her tightly into his arms. Her eyes darted in surprise for a moment between his tortured expression and then Damian. Ok they hadn't exactly been hiding it all that well, but she still thought they'd done a slightly better job of not overtly displaying their affections for one another while there was a possible enemy in their midst.

Marjorie's sudden appearance and intrusion not counting in Narzas's mind because... well after all who can truly ever account for crazy ex's?

Nevertheless, she thought it more prudent to comfort her lover than to pretend like she wasn't privately glad herself the trip hadn't killed her. Being separated from her familiar like that had definitely been less than fun. She leaned into his embrace and hugged him back as gently and as gratefully as possible and smiled slightly up at him. "I'm fine, really. Definitely do not recommend sending your familiar alone through that thing... gives you serious separation sickness." She explained, pulling away as Johan went to go hug Ren as well. She smiled at his concern, and then her eyes twinkled in further amusement as he gave the man in the room the very edge of his patience. Good, at least they were in agreement there.

She listened to the man prattle about exchanging one thing for another and frowned slightly, but let Johan take the lead. He was better at this sort of thing than she was. She trusted he would both get answers and make sure that whatever the price was for getting them wasn't going to be more than what was necessary. Briefly, she acknowledged Ava crossing the border as well. Now they were all present, aside from Marjorie (who was making a nice picnic for herself to settle in with on the other side and in no way intending to cross over as well) she imagined they'd finally get somewhere.

Jet Jet Lost Echo Lost Echo ZackStop ZackStop Huntertabbysandshark3 Huntertabbysandshark3
 
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Isaac leaped from the ship cracking his knees in the process; two pops like he snapped both his fingers. He clutched his lower back and sprinted as fast as he could, which was little more than a power walk. He waved his walking stick at the warriors down the street, mouth curling in a frown so deep, it could find oil at any moment.

His eyes snapped onto Felix. "We must stop them dear boy. If we fail, her fate will be far worse than death." They were catching up to the warriors with every step. The men were unbothered and taking their sweet time, and Isaac couldn't fault them. He was ancient and Felix was an older man. They weren't imposing warriors who struck fear into the hearts of many — only nursing homes would shudder at the sight of them.

"Cease this madness!" Isaac screamed at the men. "Release her and forgiveness will be yours!"

The warriors stopped in their tracks, a dozen eyes snapped onto the old men. Their scowls were burning and sharp, intense enough to melt even steel. Two of them stepped forward muttering at each other — perhaps they discussed strategy or who would take each man, or which geriatric would die first. Whatever the case was, one of them barked an order down the street, "Cease or die!"

"Die?" Isaac balked at the word. "I was meant to die years ago! My time is borrowed not owned!"

The warrior sneered and sent beams of fire down the street. Isaac stumbled away and careened across the road. He lost his balance and teetered over on one leg, luckily avoiding another blast. He collected himself with a long, meditative deep breath, leaning back as a fireball soared past his face, exactly where he'd been standing. "Their accuracy leaves much to be desired! How reassuring!"

He tapped Felix with his cane. "I'll take the flame caster."

The other warrior scowled at the men. "You should know your place as keepers of the texts, teachers of children and advisors of a clan — not casters of the way."

He clapped his hands and the street rumbled like an earthquake. Isaac nodded solemnly while stroking his long beard, thoughtfully concluding, "Not good!"

The street rose like a wall on both sides of them, two slabs meant to crush them in the middle. Isaac glanced at the slab and with a mischievous grin, poked a weakspot with his cane. He snickered as cracks crossed the wall before it moved towards him, crumbling away as the other wall threatened Felix. "Careful there my boy! It looks like that would hurt!"

He was having quite a time indeed. The threat of death mattered little to an exhausted old man, who'd outstayed his welcome on earth. He was prepared to die and if this was supposed to be the end, at least it was an exciting one. He could only smile and laugh at how inept the two mages were, though his smile quickly vanished when they rushed forwards with their spears pointed out.

ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ZackStop ZackStop Fred Colon Fred Colon Goliath Goliath Emphoa Emphoa
 
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"The past my dear girl." Damian gave Anya a small toothless smile. "It must be confusing so envision it like this. The barrier between present, past and future is a mirage made by a higher power. And here the curtain has been pulled down, the illusion dispelled."

Johan ignored him and stayed with Ren and Narzas, exhaling when she stood from the ground. "You scared me shitless," he said with a relieved smile, but his mouth pursed when Marj was mentioned again.

He really, really hated that poor excuse for a human being.

"Yeah her." He crossed his arms and clenched his teeth. "If you ask me..."

"If she crawls back to her cave and never shows her face again, it'll be too soon."

"Now for this guy." His gaze moved to Damian. "Ren you find the most amazing friends, the mob would love you."

He sensed evil like a cloud over their heads, a sixth sense that whatever they were dealing with, it wasn't honest or decent. His hands balled as he examined this humble merchant — and from what he could tell, there was something wrong with him. He was too practiced and perfect. Too composed and confident and smooth. Then there was his tremendous power, no ordinary man could influence time.

"How does one master time?" Johan said. "Is it your summon?"

"No nothing of the sort," Damian said. "Though a magician never tells his secrets."

"Why time specifically? Why not another part of the universe?"

"Well," Damian mused. "What other dimension should I master? Width?

"Sure," Johan said. "Or length, but that's neither here nor there. We need answers — real ones this time. Why are we here?"

Damian read the room and after a moment of collecting his thoughts, he gestured at chairs around a table. "Come, let me explain why I summoned you."

"There is a place where people are imprisoned — poked and prodded by men in white coats, deep in the sea making escape impossible. None have ever breached its thick steel walls, and on paper it doesnt exist. It might be the most secretive place on earth.

"Within is the one you are seeking." He looked at Anya before adding, "She has something I've spent eons looking for."

"It's a blessing and a curse that endlessly torments her, a power not meant for human minds. I shall remove her curse and once I possess my prize — you will know who murdered your informant. They are a most powerful man and without their destruction, many more will die."

Lost Echo Lost Echo Huntertabbysandshark3 Huntertabbysandshark3 rozukitsune rozukitsune ZackStop ZackStop

 
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Ilana.pngIt was about what she expected, a run down excuse for habitability which was nothing new to someone who was brought up in the Outlands. Ilana watched as the town came into view and soon landed in its heart. She once again stepped off of a ship onto the hot soil. It took some time but the heat coming from the floor no longer bothered the girl even as it tried to sear the toes in her sandals. Still, she put a hand over her eyes from the beaming sun.

At first she didn't even bat an eye at the flames rising from the buildings, thinking it to be a part of the décor. It was a lawless land of savages at the end of the day wasn't it? But as the kidnapping came into view and the faces of the three newcomers; Yua, Isaac and Felix, Ilana with crossed arms tightened the grip around her bicep. She looked back at Dalton for a moment before feeling the warmth of a fireball on her cheek as it whizzed by a few feet away from them.

And then her eyes sharpened into a glare in the direction of the assault. Her arms dropped to her sides as she too went in the direction the two men had gone. To catch up, She began to sprint with a little help from earth magic, with each step she took came lumps of rock that pushed her feet forward to increase her strides. The stones walls coming up registered in her mind as something she could use, and as she came up on Felix's wall, a well place stone pillar launched the girl up into the air on top of it.

Ilana traded some forward momentum to grab the side of the wall to barrow some stone. In the midst of pulling rocks around her hands for some armor, She began to run across the wall before flipping off of it to intercept the spearmen.

Landing right in front of one as they mindlessly rushed forward, she swatted the spear blade off course with her right and swift slammed her left into his chest. She cried out as she took out her anger on him before stomping. In a similar fashion to a poor battered woman, Ilana threw the man into the air with a stone pillar and with a quick strike, sent a part of it flying into the crowd of kidnappers like a cannonball. It was clear that this girl really needed to blow off some steam, like a ravenous caged animal was just released. Her tail flicked, ready to strike the other man who decided to rush forward, but most of her focus was glaring towards the crowd.

Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles Fred Colon Fred Colon Goliath Goliath Emphoa Emphoa
 

Leon stood on the ship, looking out at the destruction of what he guessed used to be a grand city. The only thing he could compare it to was Nye .. but this one was full of craters, ruined buildings, and empty streets. It was very apparent even to him that something awful took place here. “What happened do you think?” He asked Mischa and whoever else was around.

The redhead couldn’t help but feel for the people who’d once lived in the city .. but like a flower through the concrete, there was a cute town reestablished at the center while the farmland reminded him of home. Much better than the desert mountain they had been on earlier.

Leon was in pretty high spirits as they walked, whispering to not get yelled at by their centurion. “Do you think Issac and Dalton are going to end up fighting??” They don’t seem to get along at all,” He chuckled.

As they stepped into the town finally Leon froze, feeling a tingle sensation down his spine telling him to run away. But women didn’t like cowards. Right? He looked at the attackers dragging away the women, but that wasn’t really his strong point and he’d probably get in the way. No. Leon had been one of the worst fighters in the entire games.

But as his eyes fell to the burning building he thought he might have found a way to be useful. Why was only one house on fire? What was hidden there?

I’ll .. try to put out the fire,” he called out with a forced smile before running between the buildings to try his best not to be hit by any stray or deflected attacks. His heart pounding in his ears as he heard an explosion, but he kept moving forward anyway.

Once he got to the house he was only slightly out of breath. Surprised by how hot it was, and wondered if they’d used some kind of accelerant to get it to become a burning inferno so quickly.

Leon began to look around. Water. He needed water. And a lot of it. His blue eyes finally spotted a well not too far away. That could work .. though he couldn’t see how full it was or how deep down it was dug from here. But what other option did he have?

Leon spread his feet shoulder length apart to balance himself, just as his sister had taught him. And then a steady stream of water started to flow from the well to the burning building.

It was jagged in shape, not nearly as fluid as most water users were when controlling their element. But that didn’t matter. It was still water that could put out the fire.

As it got to the building, Leon was feeling pretty good about himself. Just like when he watered the fields at home. — Until he felt what he thought was some kind of arrow piece his shoulder from behind.

He fell forward with a grunt. Losing control of the liquid as the small amount of water hissed against the building and the rest that he’d worked to raise from the well soaked into the dirt. Of course the assailants didn’t want him to put it out or they wouldn’t have lit it in the first place.

Jet Jet (Mischa) ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles (Yua) Emphoa Emphoa (Rat) Fred Colon Fred Colon (Bracken) ZackStop ZackStop (Ilana)
 
Yua Smith
ユア・スミス


Yua had busied herself immediately as soon as she arrived to the site of the wounded. There were at least a dozen, maybe a dozen and a half, people in need of medical attention. Minor scrapes, bruises, and burns for some of them. Others were in a much worse state, bleeding from puncture and slashing wounds, no doubt attributed to the warrior's weapons. Nothing looked lethal...outright, at least. Some of this could become lethal if left untreated. All she had in regard to proper medical supplies was a single kit on her person which she'd carried back from the ship. She'd expected to only need what was inside for one person, not several. She'd already used two of the tourniquets she had from her kit on two of these wounded civilians, arguably the worse off the lot. Two larger men who had their arms gouged and cut, no doubt having tried to at least do something at the time of the assault. She was frantically working through scenerios in her head, even while she did her best to present herself as calm and collected to the surrounding wounded. If a doctor lost composure, everyone did...she had to have the anxiety attack later, she could pencil that in for the coming hours. But not right now.

She glanced up in time to see one of the males from the other group rush forward to try to put out the fire. An almost relieved smile tugged at her lips, thanking her mothers gods for the luck of having someone with an affinity for water in that moment. Her eyes went wide, mouth open in shock as she saw an arrow fly down range and bury into his shoulder. A wince ran up her body at the sight, standing upright. She looked towards the people here, already wounded and beat up...but if the only one with a mastery of water was too hurt to help, the house burned down and the fire would spread. "Wait here! Keep pressure on that wound, and don't move too much." With those instructions left to the man she was tending to, she set her supplies down as she ran towards Leon...towards danger. A muttered prayer on her lips as she did so, glancing further ahead towards Isaac, Felix, and one of the women rush further into the fray. She really should have memorized their names, but it'd been a long day. Alas, that was no excuse! "I'm coming! Don't move!" A fireball came soaring down from uprange and flew wide further down the streets, the small blonde setting her jaw. At the end of her manic sprint towards Leon she slammed her heel into the ground as a stone wall raised up from the other side of him to block further projectiles. She was not a combatent, and she'd rather not prove that point today...she just hoped Felix and the others could take care of things up there.

She knelt down beside Leon, taking but a moment to catch her breath as she grabbed his wrist to hold the shoulder, and thus arm, steady. "Don't move, please," she said. Her voice was soft like a whisper, but it had a certainty to it that was just shy of a command. "Use your other arm to cast if you have to, but I need to check you...we're lucky the arrow didn't go clean through your shoulder." She reached towards the afflicted shoulder, so long as Leon wasn't intent on fighting her, and flicked her wrist. There, protruding from her index finger on her right-handed prosthesis, appeared to be a small blade. "I'll get you a new shirt, but I need to look at the skin. Make sure there's nothing else going on here." There came the soft sound of fabric beaing torn and cut as she moved a steady hand to get a good cut into the shirt before opening the now widened hole around the haft of the arrow to examine the wound itself. There was of course the risk of the arrow head burying itself into bone, which would require a full surgery later. But there was also the risk of poisons or venoms, or abrasive substances that one could put on a weapon to damage the skin after it was embedded. It was obviously severe, she just needed to determine how much so.
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Goliath Goliath Jet Jet Emphoa Emphoa Fred Colon Fred Colon ZackStop ZackStop
 
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Mischa was overwhelmed by the chaos around her. Her eyes went from one crisis to another in rapid succession, showing the indecision inside her. There was no easy answer of what to do — she could chase the woman but then houses would burn down, but then again, ignoring the wounded was bad too. Her hands became fists as she stood there like a statue, below the ship with heels dug in the ground, cursing herself as the others rushed forwards. How brave they looked heading into the madness — how sure of themselves. There was no hesitation in their swiftly moving feet.

Mischa wasn't made for chaos and death and destruction. Her brain worked in percents and fractions and equations on a page, where all was accounted for, where every problem was solved and nothing was sacrificed. But here it was different. There would have to be an exchange but what would she give away? What would she—

"LEON!" Her feet moved on their own. Her hands reached out as she sprinted across the street, heart pounding from her chest like a drum. Her eyes widened as his shirt stained like a canvas, veins spilling like cups of red paint. "LEON!"

Her cries cut across town like a siren, everyone heard her desperate screams — her panic as she skidded to a stop. "You idiot! What if you died!?"

Mischa wanted to wack him on the head for getting shot, he was going to die at this rate. There were arrows whizzing overhead and thunking walls, burying in the sand around their cover. It was a fucking disaster.


"Yua!" Her eyes were frenzied and intense. "He's gonna go around!"

She looked at a man running on the rooftops, leaping from one building to the next. He looked young and freshly introduced to war, but unlike the rookies coming from Nye, he was born into conflict. In a wasteland surrounded by violence and death, and no matter how young he was, he would kill them without thinking twice.

"And Leon," Mischa panted. "If you die I'm going to kill you."

"Thanks for looking after him," she said to Yua. "You're braver than any doctor I've met."

"But we have to get this prick before we do anything, unless you want to work overtime." Miacha gave Yua a little smile, making light of their desperate, screwed up situation. In truth she knew they had serious problems. The enemy had highground and as she examined one of the arrows, buried in the ground three paces away, she realized they were made of stone. That meant he had unlimited ammo and could do this until sundown.

"We can do this," she said to convince herself more than anyone. "It's gonna be easy just wait and see. He only uses a bow cause he can't throw a punch."

ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles Goliath Goliath
 
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Evaline glanced over towards Kwame and Kilderkin once more, her expression ever softening from both of their words- and it relieved her to know that perhaps she was on the right track, after all. A smaller smile gracing her features before she dipped her head to both of them. "Well, we'll only see how I continue to prosper moving forward- we just have to be able to get through this hurdle, don't we?" She let out a breath at the thought, and the woman looked up ahead with her eyebrows furrowed ever so slightly more...

She didn't expect to be interrupted by what looked to be a band of knights, her eyes narrowed as she straightened up her posture and she kept close to both of the others. She didn't have much of a foothold, here, of course. And Kwame seemed more than keen on trusting them- thus Evaline followed with her head held high and listening to every word shared between them as they were brought into a sort of 'base of operations'.

But she couldn't help but feel like something just didn't settle with her right, her arms crossed over her chest and her eyebrows furrowed the more they spoke between one another... She couldn't help but agree with Kilderkin, it just felt like something was... missing, in a way. "She's correct." The woman finally spoke up, and she lifted her head as she gave the knights a more stern look. "If we base this merely off of hunches- rumors, suspicions- then that will ultimately do us no go. IF you are going to offer help, it should be provided with more... substantial evidence." She puffed out, and her eyes settled back onto Kwame as she thought it over. "... What are your thoughts, Kwame?"


Jet Jet Fred Colon Fred Colon
 
What a treacherous journey it was.

Adamaris was grateful for the moment Elriel had held onto them- they had almost lost their footing and perhaps could have gone off the ship just as it seemed their supplies decided to do. A silent curse left their lips- squinting against the harshness of the weather as they fumbled to get a better grasp on something, anything. With their affinity for earth, truly they felt the most out of their element as they watched their friend handle the ice, relieved that he had control over it... Lest they could think about what their state would have been without Elriel.

"I-" They had started to speak up, only for the crack of lightning to come down upon them and Adamaris flinched back from the spark of flames with another curse leaving their lips. "Hells- Could the storm not have a little bit of leniency?" They gasped out, and their attention snapped over to the supplies just when Elriel's attention had been brought to them. Their eyes flickering with alarm as they knew they would do little good without them- to think of even having to end their journey was something they knew they couldn't afford. Their eyes snapped onto Elriel from the rare curse that left him, and they moved- carefully- stumbling to see what they could about their supplies.

They gripped onto the railing- their heart hammering within their chest as they considered their options, and it was their old friend that had beat them to the punch, a confused expression lit across their gaze, rope in hand- until their eyes widened and they gasped out the moment Elriel jumped off of the ship. "Elriel!" They were alarmed first, looking down in time to see him landing on ice and by the gods they could feel their chest tightening with every moment he was taking this risk. They couldn't take their eyes off of him, their hands gripping so tightly onto the rope as they watched him warily, every moment felt like hours as Elriel moved forward.

Then he made the iceberg.

Ada was proud- scared, but also impressed, it was well thought out but the moment Elriel had collapsed their heart sunk. "Elriel!" They called out, and grit their teeth, grip tight onto the rope as their eyes darted about. Trying to find the best way to get Elriel to safety as they started to try and pull the rope back- their arms shaking with the effort admist all the chaos as they were determined... They couldn't lose Elriel, and they were going to give him a good scolding for taking such a risk like this. They flicked their eyes around- before their gaze settled onto Ivan. "Ivan! Help me-!" They gasped out- grimacing as they could feel how the ice berg was pulling them- digging their heels in with their teeth gritting.

EldridSmith EldridSmith Goliath Goliath Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles
 
Anya looked at Ren incredulously, “You think we’d be able to control her? Hell no. I wasn’t going to stay with her alone.” She looked back at the spot she’d come through, “Ava’s gotta be coming through soon: we were holding hands…” But they hadn’t come through together and as the seconds ticked by, the more likely it was the checkered woman had done something to the larger girl.

It was a huge relief when the massive woman appeared, her eyes closed. “Ava!” Anya wrapped her arms as much as she could around her. “Bloody Bohr, I’m glad you’re okay.

She turned back around when the new man spoke. She wasn’t sure she believed him, even with the previous experience of the time mage. She stayed quiet while Johan pressed the man for answers. Her jaw clenched and her nails dug into her palms as he began to mention a prison lab. Instantly she knew that must be where Hannah is, but her lightning would be useless. It was Blake who was water. The grief tried to burn, but Hannah came first. Anya knew Blake would agree.

Still, she was surprised when he knew. “And what will it do to her when you remove it? Kill her?” She asked harshly, obviously against that action. She had no idea what the man was talking about. Hannah was a smart girl, she’d been learning engines and machines faster than Anya could teach. But she didn’t have any mythical power. She didn’t even have her familiar yet.

Then why don’t you kill them? If they need to be destroyed, why don’t you kill them. Surely with your power, you can kill them early on.” He could probably also prevent Hannah from being taken. Would he take her himself? Did he take her? Is that how he knew of her?

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Ah good, this Giovanni guy was just as eager for them to leave. Vixie had to concentrate to keep from looking around at the risque surroundings. She wondered if Dante would get in trouble for delaying them. This man had been stuck with Bean while Dante was schmoozing Nihal.

She paid attention. She wondered what had led Bean here. It had obviously been the right move, as a man bound in chains was led in. He looked rich, as if he belonged in this bejeweled place more than she did. He spoke like he’d swallowed a thesaurus, causing Vixie to scrunch her nose. Still, she dared to speak aloud, even if Bean was obviously the one in charge. “How did you get free?” Had they let him go because they couldn’t silence the man? Where the hell were they even going? She didn’t dare ask that question--what if she was supposed to know and everyone thought she was stupid?
 
Rat could feel himself growing to be very overwhelmed- everything seemed to be happening so fast and he couldn't quite put the pieces together within his mind, even when Leon had gotten hurt, there was a moment he couldn't help but freeze. It was going so fast- Leon was hurt and bleeding, and even with Yua tending to him it didn't stop how his heart was racing, fretting over the very fact that one of them had gotten injured. Maybe it made it all the more real, maybe it made it too real. And finally, River snapped himself out of it as he looked over at Mischa, and he let out a shaky breath.

That was right, the danger wasn't gone.

River grit his teeth together and he moved alongside the red head, his eyes snapped onto the very individual who had brought harm to any of his new friends. "Don't underestimate him either way- we'd have to be able to get close to him to do anything first." River spoke up, and his eyes settled onto the young woman with a frown as he looked back at Leon and Yua- worry crossing over his expression as he thought about what they did have to lose. "We can try and get him together- if we can corner him it would be better." He finally murmured, glancing at Mischa as he said this.

Then, his gaze turned on Yua and Leon, he wanted to stay with him, but he wasn't sure how safe that would be, they needed to get Leon somewhere with some cover at the very least. "You should- Leon need to get somewhere inside, we're too exposed out here." He finally stated, and he frowned deeper at the thought, as he looked back at Mischa. "... You and I can go after that guy, but we have to be careful."

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Felix Abdon
Felix had cast a glance out of the corner of his eye towards Isaac who he easily kept the pace with, a knowing nod of his head. "Of course. You have my word, sir, that she'll be returned into your people's care." Felix's attention snapped ahead at the warriors ahead of them who moved to confront them, a hand slowly going to one the wrist of a white glove before slowly peeling it off. Then, he repeated the process with the other glove before they were safely put away into his pocket as he fixed an icy and cool gaze down the street towards the younger men. Youths who only saw the two of them as dawdling old fools and themselves as the pinncales of excellence. It was sad to see that even in a land that was as far from the 'modern' views as any land could be, that still a book must be judged by its cover. Though, perhaps, it made his duties here easier. Cease or die came the barking order, and Felix's polished and refined tone came in response after Isaac's own remark. "There will not be another warning, I'm afraid. Return the girl, unharmed, and you will leave the way you came."

Whether they had a short temper, it was something one of the two had said, or they simply hadn't 'ceased' fast enough a few bolts of fire came scorching down the road. Where Isaac managed to almost comically stumble out of the way, Felix moved with a fencers grace with several steps in a sidelong advance. "Their aim is poor. And their flames are paltry, it should seem." Felix had rushed face first into an inferno and participated in a centurions demented idea of a 'game'...in comparison, this warrior's fire was a cool summer's breeze. He gave a simple nod towards Isaac then as he continued forward, undaunted, "As you bid, sir. I leave him to your care." He wasn't about to unsheathe blade, not for this rabble. It was bad enough he was going to dirty his suit, he'd rather limit the amount of cleaning he'd have to do ever further. Felix had come to a pause for just a moment, offering no response to the Earth casters belittling remarks as he made the street rise up in an effort to crush them both. Isaacs maneuver, however, earned a curious raise of the brow from Felix. So easily, with just a tap he'd managed to bring down the entire wall. It seems that his suspicion had held true that the old man wasn't as senile as one would imagine at first.

The two mages rushing forward with their spears earned an enraged hiss from the large King Cobra at his side, its hood flared large in defiance as it stood up in its place. The sound of footsteps and something...more caused him to glance around for just a moment to see one of the young women from the initial group charge forth. Almost gracefully, she was launched into the air atop the wall that still threatened him. She claimed some of the stone of the wall for herself before lunging down towards one of the men, leaving Felix to contend with the initial problem. "Oh, undoubtably it'd hurt if I should let it hit me," he agreed with Isaac. However, unlike the eldest of the one's present he couldn't just tap it to make it go away. Simply destroying the stone as well would lead to damage to the village, which he was none too keen on. Instead, he would simply outpace it.

With a single burst of speed he rushed ahead out of the walls reach, moving far faster than a man his age had any right to be moving. Now out of its looming fall, he glanced up as Illana had sent a man soaring into the air. The Earth mage, so not Isaacs quarry. He raised his finger up towards him as he soared, and with an all too uncaring look focused. There was a sudden flash of light, and then another, and a third, as large beams of Light energy shot forth. Larger than the mere 'pinprick' lasers some could conjure, each was enough to put a bowling-ball sized hole into a target. And alas, the warrior who had seen a simple old man previously, and who by now no doubt had several bones broken, was quickly punched with large holes as the heat of such cauterized the wound as it travelled through. Once through the stomach, once through the chest, and a third through the shoulder.

Two more warriors rushed forth from a sidelong alley of the street, no doubt having been dispatched to cut them off from behind. Felix turned about face to focus on the charging threat, only for a warrior to thrust his spear forward with a war cry straight through the old man's chest. Suspense hung in the air for just a moment before the delight of a victor in the man's eyes faded away with confusion. There had been no give with that thrust. A human body, no matter how skilled he was, would have held resistance to a spear point. And then the old man who had been impaled simply faded away like a mirage.
"Sloppy, and over-eager," he remarked. The warrior spun about face only to find the old man had somehow managed to come up behind him. A fingertip was suddenly pressed to his chest before a needle thin beam of light shot straight through his heart and into the dirt behind him.

The old man removed his hand as the warrior dropped to his knees, quickly sidestepping a spear thrust. A wide swing from the second warrior, now filled with bloodlust to avenge his fallen brother, was ducked beneath. He thrust again and went wide, only for the streets to be filled with a loud crack as Felix delivered his elbow straight to the man's temple and rip the spear from his grasp. The butt of it was unceremoniously slammed into the man's groin as he doubled over in pain, Felix dropping the weapon as he began to hurry towards Illana and the retreating war party. "C-coward," the warrior squeaked out, "Fight me!"
"I would be more observant of your surroundings, rather than on me." Felix's remark, delivered without even a glance over his shoulder, caused the warrior to look over in shock at the loud hisss in his direction. A scream of terror was suddenly silenced as the large Cobra, Felix's familiar, lunged forward. Jaws locked around his throat as it thrashed for a moment, a deep and venomous bite before it unlatched and slithered after its other half; the warrior laying dying.


"Miss Illana, Mister Isaac, keep your attention about you," he called out, "There's more still about beyond the main party it seems!"
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Jet Jet ZackStop ZackStop Fred Colon Fred Colon Goliath Goliath Emphoa Emphoa
 

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Kwame shrugged and looked between his companions, a faint smile playing on the corners of his mouth. He liked their aggressive approach to the knight. The prying and pushing for every scrap of information, leaving nothing to worry about later. It was contrary to his methods though. He was trusting and content by nature, accepting because his world was simple and stark — cold and factual. There was no room for lies in a foxhole.

But that was a flaw not a feature. The mentality of a well trained, fully brainwashed soldier.

"My thoughts?" He wondered in a pondering voice. "You're both miles ahead of me when it comes to this. Indeed we should know as much as possible, but I never considered asking questions."

"Think of me as a passive observer." He locked eyes with the man. "For now."

Godfrey clenched his teeth and squared up his feet, matching Kilderkin move for move. His brows knitted and lines crossed his forehead. His eyes were narrow and sharp. "You want their identity?"

"My confidential informant? Who, if revealed, they will torture to death? Who's name is known by me and me alone?" He chortled at the group. "If I betray him then I prove honorless, and if proven honorless, what trust can you have in me? What would stop me from revealing you to your enemies?"

He relaxed as the words escaped his lips, like his argument was air in a balloon. His face softened and he opened his stance by a little, no longer standing at attention. "However, I can reveal why I suspect her."

"Irina Hydraline." He opened a folder on the table. "Dissappeared fifteen years ago under mysterious circumstances, presumed dead until she resurfaced five years ago."

He pushed a picture across the table. It showed four corpses covered in their own blood, laying broken and battered on a streetcorner. Their armor was dented and twisted like tin cans. "That happened a week after her appearance, and she hasn't slowed down since. Her targets aren't average guards either. These are Hydraline elite, knights skilled as they were strong."

"The centurions fit her target profile, and were found in similar circumstances."

He took a deep breath in the silence. He didn't have the stamina for arguments and long winded explanations, but Kilderkin wanted more and more and more. He desperately wished this was the end of it.

"There is no hard evidence but this... it's an odd coincidence to say the least, and as for my informant." He carefully considered his words. He didn't want to reveal enough to compromise their position. "They report movements, plans in occasion, scraps of information we can use. I was about to move on Irina when this—

He looked at the devastation outside. The smoke and flames and shattered buildings on every street, it was so heavy on his heart. "When this happened," he said after a moment, his sadness radiating from each quiet, somber word.

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Ivan nodded to Mavior as he acknowledged that his prior experience could be of help. He was quite unsure how to react to Mavior's abilities of foresight, but it was something to worry for another day. He could see Mavior's eyes drawn to the book and was happy to see someone was excited about it, he was willing to use it but not overly excited by the prospect. He almost chuckled, suppressing it down to a small grin as Mavior responded to Zak offering to tell all but him if that's what he so chose. As Mavior turned to Arnheid to thank her for it, Ivan nodded in agreement. He didn't bother either as calculations and discussions were held about rations. Ivan merely shook his head, feeling sorry for Zak more than anything to not know or have ever felt how precious life was, but he didn't say anything or further respond to try and avoid an argument, now wasn't the time.

"I can sense it with rudimentary precision at best with my feet on the ice merged with my familiar. Mammoths lived in such timed long ago." He explained, but still he would be of little help in that regard on the boat. "I will be careful, and thank you again for your help." He said, grateful for her goodwill with her blessing and aid. Any further discussions were oblivious to him as he stepped outside to enjoy the cold weather until it was time to leave at which point Ivan looked like a shambling mound more than a man as he carried most of the supplies to the ship. Ivan chuckled at Zak's comment about being unable to see anything as he summoned his familiar and began loading half of everything onto it. The large creature was quite the help considering it's strength and size. "Why would I spin when we can put things on Asja? Here hand us what you must so you can see..."
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Ivan spent the days leading up to their departure meditating and helping with all the heavy lifting he could and acquring a small mountain of dirt and an even smaller mound of various metals to use in their trip. On the day of departure he was feeling a strange feeling, both like he was home and homesick, in foreign but familiar lands, he zoned out staring at the frigid sea before someone got his attention for the ceremony. He hadn't seen an event like this since many went to fight in the civil war of Byzantine, many of whom were never to return fighting a war that was pointless bloodshed over politics and misused and heretical religious doctrine. Ivan silently boarded the ship and stayed on deck watching the horizon until long past the time the village disappeared.

The following days he spent either alone meditating, helping above deck with the heavy lifting, or keeping Ace in friendly company especially while her brother was busy above deck and he wasn't needed. He spent little time with the nobles or Zak, and only some time with Mavior considering how introverted he is.
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As the storm raged and chaos stirred through the ship, Ivan was the least affected as his wool clothing remained warm even as it was soaking wet, and being merged with his familiar gave him a thick furry hide even under it keeping him entirely unbothered in the weather. He turned as the mast Broke and was quick to grab the broken mast to hold it in place using the combined strength of himself and his familiar as Mavior went for supplies before he could even tell him to grab the iron and copper from his room. The loud crack of thunder next to him was deafening as the mast next to him started burning. He was no help with the fire at the moment, Mavior would be the best bet at putting it out for now considering he could use the wind to blow out the fire or funnel the air onto the mast. Thankfully Zak came to his rescue as he used his powers and mud to reinforce the mast giving Ivan the time to run below deck. Thankfully his room was the closest to the stairs which made it easy for him to grab a huge chunk of iron and a small chunk of copper as he ran back upstairs. He strained as he spread the iron into a sheet and holding it against the mast where it wrapped around it forming a sleeve to hold it together before turning at being called by Adamaris to see Elriel's predicament.

He dropped the flat lump of copper on the deck and sprinted towards him to grab the rope helping pull Elriel and the ice in, even with the massive strength granted to him by his training and familiar it was no easy feat dragging the iceberg towards the ship. Practically roaring with effort as he forced himself forward against the rocking of the ship towards one of the masts to try and levrege it as a pulley. After a tough battle with the iceberg he managed to wrap the rope around the mast he just repaird as he started pulling it in hand over hand, grateful for the thick padding his familiar gave him now in this instance. As the iceberg neared he called out to Adamaris to try and retrieve Elriel and the supplies from the iceberg, pieces of the iceberg were beginning to break off under the strain and he didn't want to risk losing Elriel or the supplies, aside it wasn't too terribly far from the ship either at this point. At this point he was fighting with the rope to try and tie it off as the ship rocked back and forth violently, not making it easy for the man to properly secure it...
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Zulan was glad that Renee had shaken herself out of her defeatist attitude as she possessed herself to stand up once more. As she looked at him all she would see were eyes of glowing magma roiling in inner turmoil as his the sins of his past and his ability to do good in the present clashed as moral uncertainties seemed to be in the middle stirring the pot as he watched the scene unfold.

Gailene seemed to be processing the entire scenario in the meantime, and Irina was weighing options and decided to weigh in their favor, for now. Irina seemed unaware Zulan was already likely to be under a death sentence, whether it was to Nahzir alone coming for his head or Nahzir and Nye, what difference did it make? At the moment, none. She called them zealous, Zulan wasn't sure if that was the right word, but they were willing to hear her out and wanted no part in the atrocities of Nye. The sisterly banter insued and Zulan said nothing, it wasn't his place to comment. He was more taken aback at the fact they were going to find a coffee shop here and now. Charlie's comment on blood being a good moisturizer illicited a small grin from Zulan as he found some humor in her words, helping calm some of the inner turmoil he was facing for a few seconds.

Irena's response was what had his mind stirring once more. "I sell myself short? Perhaps.. how is one to know if the sins of the past can be redeemed by the good intentions and ideally actions of the present and future or if one's good works and ideals are worthless when all comes to pass. I can only hope you are right and what you say is true." He questioned, the philosopher in him keen on finding the truch and redemption but the monster he was keenly aware how grave his sins were. Regardless the group advanced to the decrepit shop. Zulan's training from the military made him instantly realize that the dry rotting wood and thick layers of dust would have this place up in a blaze in under a minute, with a possible dust explosion in the mix. He couldn't use his powers here without burning practically everyone. He was used as living napalm and was actively taught to not bother controlling his fire. He regretted not spending more time learning control isntead of blindly focusing on being a torch.

In the meantime Charlie used her vast amounts of sarcasm as she played the skeptic. No, skeptic wasn't the right word... perhaps something beyond words at this point. Regardless the room was like gunpowder in a barrel, and regardless of the decisions made... the powder keg of a situation would explode whether it was at Nye, the people here, or another option unforseen to him here. The dice were being cast, the lots drawn, the cards being played, and the bones would soon be read... whatever divinations, divine inclinations, or threads of fate, Zulan could feel them, the weight of his past and the potential futures. Would the cards cement his descent to the abyss, or pull him from his fate. He couldn't tell. Regardless, he had goose bumps as the significance of the situation weighed on him as he awaited information to try and pick the right cards and avoid being deceived by the devil in the deck.
Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles rozukitsune rozukitsune Lost Echo Lost Echo
 
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If her power were somehow mind-reading, the thoughts on the other's minds regarding her being overly dramatic and just making a show for sympathy would have set the girl firmly off the path of light right then and there. Right now, in her fragile headspace; she was barely even really present. The old Renee who had come with them here had died, and a new one was being born as they followed Irina to whatever better spot for conversation she had in a rather self-same manner to the Myths of the Phoenix in general.

Her passion and her desire for the things she'd wanted had been waning, burning down to their cinders ever since what had happened in the Arena. Her attempts to rekindle the dying flames within her had only served to blow more smoke onto the remaining ashes until this final straw had put them out for good. Her familiar hadn't taken the shape it had for no reason. This particular red-head was resilient if nothing else, and capable of starting over after the dust of her previous life had settled into ashes at the bottom of her soul. She wasn't particularly consciously aware of the fact she'd finally achieved her originally stated intention to try starting over with this whole mess as a catalyst, but that was in effect what was happening right now.

She was a clean slate. A brand new ember of possibility that would be guided by these miscreants and the person who was currently calling all the shots. She neither knew what she wanted nor cared to look back on the things she had lost to get to this place. There would be no more complaints regarding what had once been. All memories of that past life, that time in the spot light sharing her shallow concerns with other similarly shallow individuals... all emotions that had been tied to that time. All of it was now fully dead and buried. The ashes of the memories of those years sinking to the very bottom of her heart and the unimportant details within them blowing away as though on the whims of a non-existent breeze.

Irina held all the cards to whatever future there still was possible... and so like a zombie in a fugue; Renee followed to see where that future would lead.

Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles EldridSmith EldridSmith Lost Echo Lost Echo
 
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Isaac watched them with a slow-growing smile, laughing as they vanquished their enemies. He was so enamored he barely focused on his opponent, only looking when a spear neared his face. He gasped and fell over landing on his back, raising his hands in mock surrender. "Wait please! You wouldn't hurt a weak old man, would you?"

The warrior hesitated. His eyes flashed with sadness before steeling once again, raising his spear above his head. "Your age is not a shield, old man."

"What a shame." Isaac waited until the man stepped forwards, sliding his stick beneath his feet. The warrior wobbled and fell over bracing himself with his arm, coughing as dust covered his face. He rolled over and lunged with his spear again, but Isaac whacked him once, twice and three times with his stick.

"Spare the rod." Isaac smacked him again. "Spoil the child!"

"Do you see?" Isaac stopped his for a moment. "You must respect your elders!"

The man growled and rolled onto his stomach. "Traitors don't deserve respect." He attacked again but Isaac was a dexterous old man. He tapped the spear and redirected the attack, making it whoosh past his face.

"You fool of a sprite," Isaac said. "Zygote without a name! Were you born inside a barn?" He smacked the man until he was unconscious.

"That should teach you!" He stood shaking his head at the young warriors. They were rookies with more anger than sense, and were probably working alone. He wouldn't hold this against the Atsali tribe.

"Three down," he said with a smile. "With quite a flourish I should say, you're both impressive fighters."

"Now for this lot." He stood abreast of the other two, tapping his dangerous, lethal stick on the ground. "My attention strays but I've never felt so lucky, by all means I should be dead twice over."
 
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The knights posture softened at the end of his explanation, but Kilderkin's didn't by even a fraction.

"So you can't reveal... to a centurion trusted by Nye to investigate the very crime you believe Irina committed..." She nodded to Kwame, "Who your hidden subordinate is? Yet you still want us to go after this Hydraline?" She made it very clear in her voice how stupid she thought this position. "Don't you think that Kwame is *exactly* the person you *should* entrust that information to? That it would be even less honorable *not* to share such vital information?

The knight seemed tired. Kilderkin knew it was often a good idea to press during these times. It was easier for tired people to make mistakes, to overplay their hand just to get away, or to reveal cracks in their story.

"How are we to know who not to kill if we run into them? Why wouldn't you give us the identity of a valuable ally? What if he tried to contact us to offer help? How are we to differentiate him from one of Irina's lackeys seeking to deceive us? What if he's been compromised?" Kilderkin crossed her arms, making her exasperation very visible.

"If we're going to cross paths with this individual, as seems likely if you want to try setting us to hunt this Irina for you, it seems logical to give us their identity. Surely you can trust the Centurion sent by Nye itself with this information. Give it to him and him alone, if you must. But I dislike going in blind, especially when I know that more information could have been afforded to us. If we make a plan to bring down this Irina, its useful to know as many of the pieces on the board as possible. "

"I dislike these suppositions as well," She said, meaning his 'evidence' of Irina's guilt. "But it is very suspicious, I will admit. Where did she disappear from? Did she give any indication, upon her return, where she disappeared to? Did anyone look into it? And what are the similar 'circumstances' surrounding the deaths? While I'm on the subject, what are Irina's abilities? Is she known for being a skilled fighter? Or does she associate with those who are?"

Kilderkin sighed, her annoyance palpable.

"So many questions, sir knight." She shakes her head. "A few more, that you should answer if our interests truly align. What are these plans and 'scraps' of information that have been reported? And are you suggesting we move against them in tandem with you? Or has this event tied up your resources and you're hoping to send us off without help...." She smirks at the knight, "... and without any useful, concrete information other than that *you* would like this Irina Hydraline brought down. Because, to be frank, that's all you've really told us that we know is true for certain. Everything else is 'a secret' or just a 'suspicion'. If I were in charge, I wouldn't lift a finger based on this flimsy information." Kilderkin relaxes slightly, finally.

"But, of course, I'm not. I'm interested to see what my companions think." She turns toward Evaline and Kwame. She actually hoped to investigate this Irina. It was as good a lead as any. But acting suspicious, unwilling to help, might push the knight to give more to them, to tell them more, in an attempt to convince them, or possibly reveal flaws in his reasoning. Or it might just piss him off. But that was a risk Kilderkin was willing to take. Hopefully Kwame or Evaline had noticed that she was playing the 'bad cop' and would step in with a 'good cop' routine.

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Nihal eyed Giovanni as he spoke and then went on to bicker with Bean. This place... really was meant to appeal to people's vices. The high class drinks, the lavish cigars, the beautiful people (hopefully) employed having to do nothing more than act like attractive furniture... and then even Giovanni himself. The man's age was visible, but he wore in a way such that it was fitting he owned a place like this. The pop star couldn't help but wonder if money motivated him more for that than just taking pride in one's appearance. After all, his own face, hair, and body were tailored for what would be considered most attractive to his target demographic by his management. He eyed his bangs as they fell into his gaze. Should he try something new with it? Or maybe get some clothes that he hadn't been allowed to wear before? Tattoos and piercings could be an option too.

As the exchange went on, his gaze shifted between Giovanni and the male model sitting on his arm rest. Dante was better looking than both, he concluded. Despite his mind being elsewhere, he still did manage to pick up on some of the conversation. So it seemed Giovanni also didn't know where the people they were looking for were: the people capable of killing a Centurion. But apparently someone did, someone who somehow managed to escape from them. The pop star turned to watch the guard go off and return with a man in chains.

The man's attire made him raise a brow. Where had they found this man? How had he gotten involved with people so dangerous? He claimed to be a bard, a profession which was the ancestor of Nyaall's own. He introduced him such as well, requiring to be cut off by Giovanni.

"How did you even get involved with them?" Nihal followed up after Vixie's question. The man claimed that he would lead them to the killers, but he wasn't sure whether it was theatrics or not. Either way, he turned to Bean. "Should we regroup with the others?" He honestly didn't quite remember the plan, but confronting people dangerous enough to kill a Centurion seemed like something where more was better when it came to allies.

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Gailene watched the stairs appear and realized. She wasn’t going home again. Maybe Rini still cared enough to not kill her, but she wouldn’t let her go. But she didn’t have a choice. She’d followed Irina everywhere until she, well, until they thought she died. How could she not follow the woman now?

Closing her eyes, she breathed in the dusty air, burning in her lungs. She’d left the tower with 2 objectives. 1) to escort the group to the factory to investigate the missing centurions. 2) keep the group alive. They’d practically solved the latter part of number one, even if she was missing half her group. So she’d lean on the second one. Glancing over her group, she didn’t see anyone who disagreed with their plans to follow Irina, even if Renee seemed practically dead. But she’d followed them into this dusty warehouse at least. Gailene promised to keep an eye on her, but she couldn’t talk to her yet. Best to wait.
 

Leon blinked through the pulsating pain, gritting his teeth in an attempt to keep from crying out. This is what he got for trying to be the hero. The blood staining his shirt proof that he was nothing more than a simple farm hand. He hadn’t even noticed the attacker.

No. Leo didn’t belong here and — he heard Mischa’s voice call out his name. The desperate, worried sound overtaking the noises of battle as he glanced back over his shoulder to see her dashing over to his aid.

He shifted his weight to his toes, getting ready to stand on his feet once more so he could try to put out the fire .. hopefully with more success this time, only to hear the words of the younger blonde girl who was also rushing over. Just how bad did it look?!

If Leon remembered correctly, her name was Yua. She was one of the newcomers. A medic. And now she was instructing him not to move, so he decided to oblige at least for the time being.

He watched as a stone wall appeared, guarding his back from any further attacks from the same direction while Yua came to a huffing stop beside him. Mischa only a step behind. “Hey, hey. I’m fine. There’s plenty in a worse state I’m sure,” he winced, making his words less than believable as she grabbed his wrist to hold his arm steady.

Leon gave an apologetic smile to Mischa and her panicked words, wanting to reassure her. But man he did not look cool right now. “It’s not the first time that I’ve been told I’m a few bricks shy of a load. — Don’t worry though, it takes more than an arrow to keep me down. You’ll have to put up with me for a while longer.

He looked back over to Yua when she told him not to move for a second time. Had he moved? “I’m not,” he groaned, listening to her tell him to cast with his other arm because it needed to be checked. His eyes widening in response.

Eh?! I’m left-handed. You’re asking me to put this out without my dominant hand?!” He asked, watching the fire blaze in front of them as he clicked his tongue against his teeth.

Leon wouldn’t complain any further, or risk pulling away and causing more damage to himself, so he just conceded with a nod. Quietly listening to the fabric of his shirt tear. The air cold against his back. Yua’s lack of words was troubling though. Was it .. okay?

The wound was deep, looking significantly worse now that the shirt wasn’t hiding the damage. The entire arrow was made from a light grey stone, telling them the attacker was an earth mage. And where the sharp arrowhead had buried itself in the muscle of his shoulder, it was bleeding a dark crimson. But there was no sign of poison visible.

Leon looked up watching the man move across the roofs when Mishca pointed it out. The attacker was agile, pretty sure if he tried to do that he would fall off or face plant .. or both. “Mm. Don’t worry, no dying here. Promise,” he smiled back to Mischa, nodding as she talked about needing to take out this guy before he caused them any more problems. “Do you have a plan?

He was very aware not to underestimate him as Rat had said, the wound in his shoulder was enough of a reminder of that. And he was no help in getting close either, frowning slightly at his own lack of ability. So how would they corner him? That did sound like the best option.

The redhead raised his eyebrows as he was distracted from his thoughts and told to move inside. Were they exposed? Sure. But so was everyone else. “Sorry Rat. That’s not an option. — I can’t just hide away while you guys fight. This injury isn’t going to stop me.” He shook his head.

Leon watched as another arrow whizzed by, landing in the dirt close to them. “I’ll let you do what you need to later Yua. But right now just leave the arrow in like a cork plugging the water barrel, right?” He asked as he got to his feet.

I wish I knew a good way to fight him. But the only thing coming to mind is for Mischa to go to the air for a better vantage point. — And from there while he’s distracted, we can force him into some kind of trap.

Jet Jet (Mischa) ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles (Yua) Emphoa Emphoa (Rat)
 
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The God forsaken forest who's entrance was now a smidge torched from none other than the drunken mercenary, that is where the men began to flee. Spivey watched as they retreated back to where they belong where the children tear each other limb from limb out of sheer boredom. That is at least what they imagined their kind would do as the resident murderer stood there in somewhat of a daze. To think these psychos would retreat was baffling and somewhat hilarious.

Their distorted laugh emanated into the forest as the men disappeared into its leafy branches. "Go ahead back to your huts ya panzees." Spivey said over the gentle roar of fire at their feet.

The merc fiddled with their cannon, pulling it open, which was followed by the metallic 'clink' of their air cartridge ejecting from it that was promptly replaced. It was no larger than beer can, similar in shape but with a much thicker, tougher alloy exterior built to store highly pressurized air. In this case however the particularly small tank that was just flung through the air stored highly flammable gas to produce flame from the mouth of Spivey's cannon. With the thing landing on the ground beside a man possibly unconscious but more than likely dead, the small red caution symbol of a flame could clearly be seen printed on the side of it.

Although it now laid on the ground a few feet away from the flame it helped cause, Spivey wasn't all too concerned with retrieving it but instead their attention was directed to the man's bleeding head. The crimson had poured out and stained their scalp from the impact of the masked killer's shin. Their gaze quickly shifted down to the man with eyes looking to take a prize.

Spivey knelt down beside the man to get a closer look. They weren't at all interested in what the others thought of the practice, so did not hesitate to yank a necklace off their person. "Don't think you'll be needing this anymore, ey?" They glanced down at the painted design strung together by thin leather before balling it inside a fist. The merc gathered their things and wandered back to the group.

"Well that was exciting." Their words addressing the party before turning their head to Rhys. "Wasn't it, boy?"

Spivey was so close to sympathizing with him. He didn't need to be involved with the killing of an enemy to way Spivey did at such a young age, but here he was. And granite, they were much younger than Rhys is now when their first kill was had.

"Apologies, Doc..." They then walked closer to the shore where an archer would likely want to be in a fight. "...it was either us or them." They said with a shrug. "But I know you're tired so tell you what, I'll carry you for a mile. How's that sound?" Clearly this was a ploy to get under Esther's skin, though after what just happened it was likely she simply would not have the energy for it. Regardless of the response she may have given, they were once again approached by the man who got them all into this mess.

Huracan's words quickly soured on Spivey's ears as they 'thanked them' for helping him escape, but the mud man more so used the survivors of the crash as a diversion to save his own hide. Neither here nor there as the man was clearly eager on returning after the fighting was already done, and while Esther was way too interested in the idea of sticking around to chat, Spivey had other ideas in mind.

"Sorry to interrupt your conversation." Strapping their cannon back to their hip, the merc hiked over towards them and with a quick and violent motion, threw the man onto the ground. "You're the motherfucker who led those dumb apes right to us!" They shouted down at Huracan with a stern point.

"This dude probably doesn't even know what I'm saying-" Looking away for a moment out of pure frustration before shouting and pointing again.

"If it wasn't for you we wouldn't have to waste our limited resources fighting off your problems!"

If Spivey was equipped with a handgun it would be in their hand right about now, but luckily for everyone involved that was not the case. Instead the merc managed to back off despite their rage towards the native.

"For all we know this man is a criminal. A thief or a murderer, fuck if I know." They threw their hand up with emphasis before reaching for their bottle. "There's probably a damn good reason why they were after him in the first place."

Lost Echo Lost Echo Arcanist Arcanist Jet Jet
 

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