To Reclaim a Kingdom.[Closed]

/ By Vreal [+Watch]

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Was she hearing right?

Shouting met her ears, and the trampling of aged wooden floorboards became more and more distinct as time went on, patrons inside the inn behind her scrambling to find their swords. She frowned, soaked through but wholly curious. She hauled herself upright unceremoniously from the tiny marsh forming at her feet and retrieved her broadsword, fastening it back behind her securely as she picked her way to the other side of the inn and the field just outside it. Why would everyone choose to be awake, shouting on a dreary, storm-heavy night like tonight? The dwarf had circled around, at first a bit lost. She hadn't left this town in a few years, and thus, had forgotten her way around the surrounding forest. It was hardly her fault, what with all the repairs she had to make, day in and day out, she never got to leave these days. She could see flashes then, however, lighting up the forest with the intensity of lightning. It wasn't lightning, though; The color scheme and the precision was distinctly magical, and she hurried toward it. Magic had always acted as a lure for miss Emerald, having been born without any natural affinities or gifts herself. Enchantments were her gateway into the realm of sorcery, enabling her to wield something more than simply metal.

Yes, there was a love, a deep reverence. Magic was dear to Emerald, the reason for which her family could not accept her aspirations. Housewifery was not a life she intended to settle into at such a young age, and whether she cared enough to be was or it remained to be seen. Emerald wanted to study, and travel, and see new things. For what reason would she ruin it all to nest in a pit of smelly, screaming dwarven children and a husband who left her to deal with them all by her lonesome? Her mother was a fool to believe every girl would romanticize such life, gravely disappointed in her newly nomadic daughter, not that it was of any concern to Emerald herself. Because, there were nights like tonight; Exciting, glorious, and terrifying all at once. Wisps and undead slithered and scooted about, cut down by mercenaries, guards, and townspeople alike. Normal smiths will have slept right through something like this, but not Emerald.

She aimed to see all manner of interesting things with her own two eyes.

A heavy breath sent her whirling on her heels, having not seen the rotting fellow drawing in nearer and nearer still. His head had been snapped at the neck at some point, his black eyes watching her aimlessly from well below the usual position. Swollen, festering flesh reached out toward her, to which she responded with a broadsword straight through his body. It was ugly, the wet, ripping noise that followed, and worse yet was the coating of thick black decay spilling out over her blade. It smelled rancid, and it was all she could do not to wretch there in the grass. Her nose crinkled, and she immediately began scrubbing at it with some moss and some mud, allowing the pouring rain to assist in the removal of the awful ooze the creature had left behind. There was a thought, her killing one of the risen dead for the first time! Her father would chuckle after hearing about that one.

Luckily for her poor stomach, two mercenary looking types had made quick work of a large number of wisps, leaving the townspeople to take out their work week frustrations on the corpses traipsing about the wood.

Why, though?

Why were these creatures out here to begin with? She sheathed her hefty weapon once more, the awe having faded to give way to concern. This wasn't going to become a weekly occurrence or anything, right? Emerald trudged along after the group of others who joined in to protect the town, brows folded as she considered the placement of the town. It wasn't near any particularly notable bandit or gypsy encampments? They shouldn't have made it this far inland, usually people got paid a pretty penny to mince such creatures before they could even manage to happen upon towns. Were they summoned then? A customer had spun quite a tale the prior week, but she'd taken him for drunk fool and written him off. Was he on to something? Maybe it WAS a summons? Her grasp of necromancy was, of course, not the best. She had met so few self proclaimed necromancers that she questioned their legitimacy, and of course, there was always her lack of care for most dangers. She was sure to put less stock in necromancers abilities than, say, a juicy steak. Why? Because big steaks don't talk big, they ARE big. If she wasn't looking at it, it could be assumed to be a lie. Emerald took most words with a grain of salt.

Not tonight, though. She beelined straight for the tavern across the way, shouldering a path for herself through several dozen people so as to better listen in. Once she'd forced her way to the front of the pack, she folded her arms, all ears, and a bit addled by the night's events. [b "Aye! S'pose something like that's happenin' other places, same as here? I 'eard' some rumors, didn't think they were worth much, but here we all are."] She grunted, pulling a drying cloth off a guy beside her for herself. She ignored his protests and began to dry her hair, focused in.
  Stone / Miss-Shion / 217d 13h 7s
How had her journey led her here? She was in search of something to help rid her of this curse. This town seemed promising in her search, and yet, here she was. On the edge of the forest that lead to the town, stabbed and bleeding out. What if the item was here? Would be rather ironic really; dying just as she found it. Would be an interesting end to her.

Her mother dying by the hands of the town that misunderstood. They thought she had put a curse on them, when it was actually their own fault for their crops failing. But they didn't see it that way. To them, knowing there was a woman who had bred with a demon was enough reason for them to kill. They knew of the child she had bore, and they wanted to kill it too. Sadly, they didn't succeed in that.

Their yells were still fresh in her mind, like it had happened just yesterday. She knew it wouldn't go away anytime soon. What she had done was horrid, even if it was in self defense. There was no reason for it to become so bloody...but it did. The evil inside of her had awoken, and there was no turning back. There were three ways this could go, and she was determined to stop the worst of them. Still, sometimes it became too much for her.

[center [#00BABA [b It won't end here...]]]

[#00BABA "Here we go again..."] She muttered, hearing that voice in her head. [#00BABA "Alright, so you're about to take control aren't you? Might as well go out with a bang..."]

As some watchmen neared her, they stopped. Undead started to rise, the three wisps going for their attacks. But that wasn't what they noticed. Agona slowly stood, using the tree trunk to help, a change happening to her. What little skin she showed seemed to change to an even more pale color than it usually was, cracks appearing randomly. Looking up, her eyes were blue, horns growing from her head. They quickly ran away in fear, knowing exactly what she was changing into.

A demon.


She was half-demon. A monster that wanted nothing more but human suffering and their souls. Taking her sword out, she stumbled a bit down towards the undead. Her sword started to change, a drop in her stamina as it did so. Now it was a scythe, making her seem more like a reaper. Swinging it, she decapitated three undead, and one that was alive. The last one wasn't part of the plan, but the demon within her didn't care much about casualties like this.

As she continued on, she could feel the drop in her power. Her disguise had taken too much, despite being a fairly simple spell. Of course, she was also injured greatly, so she didn't have much strength to start with. She managed to kill a few more undead, and thankfully no others that were actually alive. Two more were taken out before she started to stumble. She hadn't paid attention to what anyone else around her and didn't know their reactions to seeing a demon killing undead. She could only imagine they were confused.

[#00BABA "I...can't..."]

She let go of the scythe, changing back into a sword. Dropping to her knees, Agrona lost consciousness due to blood loss. It seemed she was now reaching her end...
  Agrona Rhiannon / Kikido / 221d 14h 35m 42s
Lapis was sound asleep when the sound of the Big People had her jumping across the room to crouch defensively. Nai-nai's skull was held out in her right hand in front of her and glowing an otherworldly shade of purple. A few moments passed as she listened, her heart pounding. When she was able to calm herself, she heard fists knocking on doors and people shouting.

[b Wake up ladies! The Homestead's under attack!]

She snorts and stands, smoothing her rumpled dress with one hand whilst the other cradled Nai-nai to her small chest. [#7c0c77 Noisy aren't they, eh Nai-nai?] She hums into the silence and retrieves her satchel from next to the bed. [#7c0c77 Best to be prepared for anything~] she declares in a sing-song and giggles, the sound reminiscent of tinkling bells. She exits her room, skipping her way through the crowd.

Once outside she pauses, tilting her head and humming in thought. [i [#7c0c77 I can't see a bloody thing down here, so how...]] Her train of thought trails off as she spots a ladder nearby leaning against the outer wall. [i [#7c0c77 Well, that'll have to do I guess. Don't want to attract to much attention to myself unless I have to yet.]]

As she climbs she notices an elven archer firing a steady stream of arrows into what appears to be a horde of undead and some wisps. She reaches the top and huffs loudly in annoyance at the situation. Her arms crossed, she taps her foot and scowls down at the chas below. [#7c0c77 Well [i this] is [i bloody brilliant]!] She whips out Nai-nai and forgoes her 'staying low profile for now' plan out the window by leaping from the wall with a shout. Using her innate levitation/flight abilities she shoots into the fray surrounded by the same unearthly purple glow from before, it being strongest around the skull held in her hand.

[#7c0c77 REVERTO!!] She sends off a little over a dozen of the intruding beings in this manner before her magick starts to put a strain on her small body. Taking note of this she returns to the wall and observes the last few undead get taken out by a man with silver-white hair and a woman with hair of a similar color. [#7c0c77 Well, that was fun,] she snarks, tracing the contours of Nai-nai with slightly shaking fingers. The elven archer goes out to collect his arrows not long after and she lifts her nose to the wind. She inhales the scent of upturned earth, spiritual residues, and that of an unknown magick. Similar enough to her own that she'd bet several gold pieces on there being another Necromancer involved in the attack.

The rain begins to pick up and she slips back into town, following the elven archer she'd noticed earlier into tavern. She slips Nai-nai into her bag and snickers as he bumps into the silver-white mercenary and slips through the door right on his heels. Hands still shaking slightly she talks the elderly-looking woman behind the bar to help her into a stool and accepts the proffered food and drink. [i [#7c0c77 Man, I must really look like a carps right bum cheek right about now...]] A glance at her hands confirms this, her skin more gray than its usual rose-gold. Keeping an ear to the conversations going on around her, she eagerly tucks into the meal.

Every now and then she glances around at the other patrons, mentally keeping notes on who looked to be the most promising candidates to entertain herself with in the near future. [i [#7c0c77 If the spiritual and magick residue is anything to go by, this place has GOT to be pretty interesting... Mayhaps I'll stay awhile...]] She continues to muse as the discussions about the room pick up more and more, some people almost shouting to be heard above the others. She smirks and downs her drink, enjoying herself thoroughly.
  Lapis Waterbriar / NikolasRevellian / 223d 14h 45m 36s
Several loud shouts from just outside on the streets made Clark sit up, wondering what was going on, and as he started to getting up there was banging on the doors of several rooms, including his own. “[b Wake up ladies! The Homestead is under attack!]” Under attack? The elven man looked out the window of his room and he could see guards as well as the town’s folk heading towards the town gate. “[+orange Well…]” He sighed sitting down to pull on his boots before reaching for his quiver and bow. “[+orange Guess I was right about not getting any sleep.]” He murmured and left his room, seeing several others also armed and ready to defend.

Stepping out into the night, Clark jogged his way to the Town gate where just outside, he was met with the skirmish of undead and a few wisps still floating about. There were enough guards and town’s folk to hold the monsters off and even push them back, but all undead had to be put back to rest. Stinging and arrow, he took aim and began shooting. Downing an undead here, clipping the heart of a wisp and watching as another fighter got it. Subconsciously he wondered how many of his arrow’s he’d be able to get back after this but that didn’t stop him from firing away till the last of the dead had been slain. Once the skirmish was over, the guards and fighters began to head back into the town.

Clark took this moment to pick his way across the muddy ground, pulling his arrows from bones and picking a few up that had struck the earth. During his search, he wondered what had caused the sudden attack. “[+orange Wasn’t this place attacked a few weeks ago?]” He murmured to himself, plucking his last arrow from a body and making a mental note to clean them and do a more thorough check to see if any needed to be replaced. The rain started coming down even harder, like it was trying to wash away all that had happened in the short time blood had been drawn. Looking up, Clark noticed most of the fighters were headed back to the town gate, retreating from the rain as it continued to pour down. Wiping his face with one hand, he broke into a swift walk after the other men and women, eager to get out of the rain and get to someplace warmer where he might be able to dry off.

He was on his way back to the inn when he noticed that many heading to the tavern, one of the largest buildings in the town, and it seemed unlikely that they were going for just for food and drinks. Clark walked towards the doorway to head inside, and his mind was elsewhere when he bumped into someone still clad in their armor. “[+orange Oh, pardon.]” He said meeting the gaze of a young man with whitish hair and two swords strapped to him. Taking care to recognize him for what he was, but say nothing more, Clark slipped around him and headed inside. He knew of the mercenaries that worked out of this town but he hadn’t expected to run into any, at least not under these circumstances if any.

Many were starting to discuss what had happened and why there had been an attack seemingly out of nowhere, others were there sitting and listening to the discussions and ideas, and very few just wanted another drink. Clark was apart of those who wanted to sit in and listen to the discussion. They were now beginning to openly talk about what had just happened and try to figure out why it had happened and the elf leaned forwards from where he was sitting, listening with curious intent.
  Clark Sandwo' / BBJ / 223d 16h 55m 41s
Vreal stared out into the line of trees. He heard someone climbing up into the watchtower but did not move. He gripped the rail tightly. The wisp oddly enough did not move. His attention was wholly absorbed by it. They were never a good omen something was coming and it was coming soon. He heard Yui approach and tell him the festivities had come here from the tavern. He turned to face her as blood returned to his knuckles. He accepted the drink and downed the bottle. [+blue Thank you for the liquid courage.] Vreal said jokingly as that is what he liked to call it.

He had once made a statement to a nervous mercenary who had been staring at Yui that if he wanted to ask her for her hand all he needed was a smart-ass remark and some "liquid courage." Needless to say that mercenary quit the next day after the embarrassment that he suffered. Vreal turned back to the rail to look into the woods and see if the wisp still lingered. His eyes must have deceived him. He now saw two hovering out there. He kicked the stool leg from under the guard. [+blue Rally the men...and women, get all guards on post and shore up the defenses.] He ordered as the guard stumbled to an upright position with a gruff Hey. Vreal put a foot up on the rail and used it to launch himself to the ground below with a roll. He stood up to his full height and started at a brisk pace to where the wisps were. Magic was extremely potent in this area and it made it impossible for someone to magically spy on a target here.

He squinted as there was someone at the edge where the wisps were. He couldn't see well enough as it was though. [+blue Visia.] He said as his eyes flashed green and went into night-vision. He felt a slight drop in his stamina as the spell consumed what little it needed. He saw a woman lying on the ground. The rain didn't help the vision out here that was for sure. He ordered the guard to retrieve her from where he was and take her to the inn. However the matter now turned to the wisps yet a third had appeared.

Vreal had no good run ins with wisp-mothers and one was here now. This meant someone was going to die here today or rather multiple someones. He unsheathed his sword and from the pommel he ran a finger to the point of the blade. [+blue Wraithmetal.] He said while enchanting the blade to be able to hit Ethereal foes. He once again felt a small drop in stamina but now he was properly equipped to deal with the problem. He heard the screech first and then saw the Mother flying in his direction. He braced himself with a defensive posture as guards poured out of the gate and took defensive stances as well. They seemed to sober up at the prospect of an attack. It was common knowledge that Wisp-mothers were accompanied by both wisps and undead.

Vreal ducked a clawed slash by the wisp and countered with a slash of his own the blade caught only the torn ethereal dress but missed an effective hit entirely. He recovered with a back-step and turned to dodge a dive by the wisp-mother. He got caught but just barely as the wisp-mother passed right through his left leg. It was cold. Like a tendril of ice had lanced through his leg and froze it. He got feeling back into his leg just in time to effectively roll away from the second dive. He drove his blade into the wisp mothers arm and severed it. It was a funny idea maiming an ethereal creature but magic makes many things possible. He heard the groaning from the wood line as a row of undead soldier shambled out with rusted blades and termite bitten bows and arrows.

The guards rushed in now to defend their homestead. As lazy as they Vreal was impressed by their tenacity to defend their homestead. Some of them seemed cowardly at times but when this village came under attack they were fierce fighters. The sounds they made as they clashed with the undead were indeed one of glory. Vreal turned his attention to the wounded wisp-mother who took a good slash at him once more. He back-stepped it and moved to the Wisp-mothers side. He brought the blade up from the ground in an upward slash. He deeply wounded the wisp-mothers chest where a mortal man would have collapsed dead. [+blue How hard it is to truly kill the dead...uh re-kill the dead?? Fuck just die..again.] He whispered to himself while rolling behind the wisp-mother and driving his blade into it's back now. He knew he had to hit a very specific spot on the spirit in order to finish it. The wisps started shooting missiles at him now. He deflected two of them with his blade the other simply missed.

Vreal opened his right hand and fired magic back at them and wiped them out in one good strike but that one attack drained a substantial amount of his stamina he was a novice caster after all. [+blue I have to end this now spirit no hard feelings eh?] He asked while pulling his strength together and aiming for the heart of the wisp-mother. He was caught completely off guard though. The wisp caught his his blade with its free arm and yanked the blade out of his hand sending it spiraling into a tree where it buried itself 2 feet deep. [+blue Really mom your gonna throw my sword at a tree? Druids must love you at grand gatherings.] He said sarcastically while evading attacks now. He drew his other blade which was a special sword he didn't like to use..even though it would have been more effective from the start. It had been a gift from his teacher.

He didn't have to bless this sword the way he did with his other. He slashed and started driving the spirit back. Vreal was a fierce warrior for his age. He made mistakes but he was human after all they all did. He slipped on some mud and lost traction for a moment. He regained his footing swiftly and hit the spirit with a stab just below the heart. The Wisp-mother passed it's free hand through his right shoulder. [+blue Mom what the hell? That's cold.] He said while a shiver went through his body. He didn't take his time to recover this time. He drove the blade through the spirits heart. The wisp-mother exploded in a cold blue light which washed over Vreal causing him to shiver again.

He turned to look at the guards who weren't faring so well as they couldn't get decisive hits on the undead. [+blue Don't act dumb remove their heads you fools!] He yelled energetically at them. It was almost as if they had never encountered the undead before. This place was notorious for them. Magic permeated the air here so this kind of event was not unheard of. He sheathed his silver sword and ran to the tree where his blade was deeply buried. He put a foot on the trunk and with his hands grabbed the hilt of the blade. He yanked the blade out and fell back once it was torn free.

Vreal rushed over to where the guards were fighting and joined the fray with them. He saw Yui in the conflict and made his way to here whilst fighting undead. [+blue I killed the wisp-mother so all the real work is done.] He said with a joking tone. [+blue Now let's see who can re-kill the most dead.] He said while laughing. He had a seemingly unnatural love for fighting to the point it was almost maniacal. He decapitated one of the corpses head of and kicked it into the stomach of another which made it stumble back. He rushed forward and continued the fight.

[b I will end my post here as I want to see what everyone else does in this skirmish. ^.^]
  Vreal Soruria / Vreal / 224d 18h 59m 5s
[b [#87CEFA “ BEEEELCH!”]]

Yui slammed her shot glass down to the table upside down and smirked with rosy cheeks at the brute who sat across from her. [#87CEFA “Your turn princess,”] she nearly slurred to him. Making sure to articulate her words. The Brute, just as inebriated if not more, swayed in his chair before reaching out for his shot glass and raised it to his lips. Yui and the crowd of mercenaries around them held their breath to see if he’d actually take the shot. Yui hoped for his sake he didn’t take it, or he was going to be in for a hurting come morning. For a moment his eyes slid closed, his jaw slackening, and everyone thought he would fall off his seat. He shook his head though and forced himself back up. Too stubborn to entertain the thought of losing to a woman. Yui smirked, he wouldn’t be the first man to lose to her, and he certainly wasn’t going to be the last. Much to everyone’s surprise he took the shot… and immediately fell over his seat knocking the tavern table askew, vomiting before he passed out, and causing everyone to erupt in drunken cheer. Yui raised her fists drunkenly to the air in victory and laughed.

Now, you’re probably asking how a perfectly lovely young woman ended up with a band of dirty cutthroat mercenaries. That explanation was a story in itself, but the short version boiled down to being orphaned, raised by her batshit crazy grandmother, and then left home to find the world. What she found was a collective group of cold hearted men who welcomed her. Eventually her natural talent was seen and she was trained to become the hardened mercenary and killer she was today. They even sent her to a brothel when she began to grow into a more womanly figure to learn the art of seduction. Learning how to use her own body as a weapon, had taken her a long way in making a name for herself among the brotherhood. One thing was for certain, she was a prime example of a woman’s Attractive to Craziness ratio.

Yui was a pure blooded human, with Druid ancestors. Her Great Grandmother was the famous Seer Vega, but she wasn’t quick to claim that old bat. Life with her Grandmother had not been easy, and many nights of magic lessons were forced on her in her youth. Sure Magic had come in handy from time to time, but Yui didn’t rely on it. She tended to use her brain and her ability to coerce men more than she did magic. Yui should have felt honored to have that ability, her parents didn’t have it, and over time the ability was diluted in her bloodline. That made it all the more shocking when Yui showed the capacity to preform basic magics at a young age. She just didn’t like to use it.

Glassy drunk blue eyes glittered victoriously over the coin purse she collected, and in the process snagged the nearly empty liquor bottle. She bid the men farewell, and tossed a few coins to the barkeep to put her defeated opponent up in a bed to sleep it off, and stepped out of the tavern. The air was damp, meaning rain was coming, and she could feel the static of the ozone heralding a nasty thunder storm. She whipped her cloak around and draped it over her shoulders before making her way through the dark streets.

The Village of Temlis was a quiet one, it was uneventful, and the people weren’t anything to look at, but for a mercenary that was always finding something to get in trouble with; the quiet was often a welcome reprieve. Rain began to fall over her head and she pulled her hood up, taking another swig of the booze she carried. She was close to the front gate and saw a couple of the guards take cover under wooden and tarred awnings. However it was the figure of one of her brethren laid out in the mud by the village stables that caught her attention. Corking her bottle of liquor and stuffing it inside a pocket of her cloak she walked over and squat down to slap her fellow mercenary on the cheek several times to wake him up.
[#87CEFA “Wake up dip shit… you’ll catch your death out here, and you’re no use to the Brotherhood if you’re sick or dead.”] She scowled down at the drunk as he groggily woke up from the rain and the constant firm taps of Yui’s hand to his cheek. He slowly sat up with Yui’s help and looked around dumbly and finally up at Yui who moved to stand with her hands on her hips. [#87CEFA “Can none of you buffoons hold your liquor?”] she chided and held a hand out to him. He gave her a sloppy smile, but took her hand and stood up on wobbly feet. He thanked her, before stumbling off back towards the tavern to find a bed. Yui could only shake her head. The rain was falling hard by then, and Yui looked towards the stormy sky, when lightning struck illuminating the town for a brief moment. That brief moment illuminated another figure and a mischievous smirk graced her lips.

Vreal was the only other Mercenary that could hold a candle to her, and she to him. Vreal was the only person Yui could honestly call a friend, and a rival. They were always locked in competitive behavior against the other and had been from the day they met. Weather it was outbidding the other for a job, or seeing who could get the job done first, who could get the most kills, haul the most booty, charm the most ladies… it was never ending. They were constantly trying to one-up the other. It was all in good fun, and Yui hoped Vreal knew that for all the shit they slung at each other, she’d have his back if he ever needed it, and she hoped he had hers. Then again as Mercenaries you generally couldn’t rely on others to have your back -you had no one but yourself. That was why Yui had joined the brotherhood… to find a sense of the family she had lost. She still hadn’t found it yet.

She jumped up to the top wall and watch towers, climbing the ladders to reach him when she finally made it to him and jumped up from behind him. [#87CEFA “You bailed on the festivities, so the festivities have come to you, brother,”] she said moving out from under the rain to find refugee under the awning he took watch in. She stopped short seeing a guard passed out asleep, and rolled her eyes. No wonder this town was threatened by rouge bandits, with lazy idiots like the sleeping guard keeping watch. She offered him the bottle of liquor, an instigating grin on her face, but she could see he had been preoccupied with something else, so she looked where he had looked out at the field. [#87CEFA “Did you see something?”] she asked, her tone changing from playful to sober and serious.
  Yui Azii / darien / 229d 5h 35m 20s
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[left [center [b [size20 {Apprentice GreenStone}]]][pic][center [b [size20 The Half-Orc.]]]]
Settling into the witching hour, the orb of flare that gave daylight from the heavens above to the earth's soils down below was now submerging with the horizon. As the sun drowned into the black abyss; the twisting, whirling, and blending in the azure skies had change the pigment of the canvas; painting the atmosphere with warm and inviting colors of autumn. Within seconds, gold, crimson, as well as cherry blossoms and the delicious and tangy fruit: orange had now consumed the bright blue skies.

Stretching out in the distance, fluffy marshmallows loomed in the sky. Though, these clouds weren’t creamy nor white like a pillow promising sweet dreams of nothing. They were obviously ominous and threatening; in which if you were to sleep on this kind of pillow it would give you a horror as a fantasy instead. The white cotton-balls were covered from head to toe without exception of a shade of monochrome from silver. Grey and black clouds they were, but grim as a cemetery on halloween night...

Breaking that cimmerian in the overcast was a spectacle of lights, that moved and change throughout the darkened clouds sporadically. Though, the radiance of the light glowed just like the tips of a cigarette; igniting crazed fireflies that festered forth. Aimlessly wondering about, the red fireflies were born to die; or in this case to perish into the smoky clouds. It was only heat lightning for the moment. But behindhand, the lights that wavered beyond the horizon would transform into ferocious lightning bolts sent from the god zeus to wreak havoc upon the mortals beneath the deity's. Our [i improbable] hero had to proceed with haste.

[right [b {Part I}]]

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He itched his beard, skeptical as he watched the tiny woman set about her work.

She could feel it, the doubtful wince of his posture and tone not unlike a fly in her ear. Her eyes rolled skyward. Bloody Hell.
[b "Problem, mate?"] she breathed warily, carefully inspecting the dings and bumps in each area of the blade and hilt. She didn't look up, noting each imperfection but keeping the silence all the same. The portly soldier grunted, not meaning to comply so earnestly but confirming her intuition just the same. [i "Ain't men dwarves s'posed t'be the hammerin' type? 'Never seen a lady one in a smithy, not never."] he stated with a raised brow, stroking his beard a bit. She pointed his shortened right at him, dark eyes narrowed down to slits. [b "If you REALLY need this blade, you might well try to keep within my good graces, porky. Any other charming questions, mate?"]
He exhaled through his nose, apprehensive but not ready to taste her wrath by his own sword. [i "...Suppose not, then."]
She smirked. [b "Good. Now, tell me straight. Y'had it repaired 'afore now, aye? Don't feel right in the hilt, do it?"] the dwarf inquired, letting the weapon kill to and fro in her hands. He blinked, nodding. [i "Right. Had it looked at a few weeks ago but it doesn't feel right, balance is off, I figure."]
Her face was one of agreement, her lips pulling tight with displeasure. [b "They used a different ore when they fixed your pommel, likely painted 'er over for show. Same with your rain guard, the fuller bein' heavier on one side like this. This'ere, would be bronze."] She informed him, much akin to signing a death warrant as she gruffly chiseled off a slathering of silver overcoat applied by the last 'smith'.

He slammed his fist down on her workspace, but she looked up at him blandly, lax as ever. [i "What are you sayin', then?! Speak up, lass!"]
She leaned in, increasingly more amused.
[b "Y'paid full price for no work, mate, that's what."]
He swore profusely then, and she crossed her arms, waiting. [b "I'll fix her, but y'd'be better off buying a new one, if y'ask me."]
Still enraged, he signed the form anyway. [i "Two hundred, and iff'in' she ain't the best y'ever made I'll be back for YOUR HEAD!"] he roared, shoved the agreement back toward her and storming out of her shop. He was likely on his way to blow off steam, or to pulverized the sorry sod who'd yucked up his blade the previous month. Either way, she was getting paid. Two days was ample time to fix his little letter opener, she didn't mind it any. Emerald set about locking up her shop for the night, casting a heavy spell on her innumerable runes and hiding them properly before she headed out to eat a hole through Grendelhaus' inn. She enjoyed Gren, he made for nice banter at least? Certainly could cook a decent fish, too.
With her broadsword strapped to her back, the she-dwarf headed out into the streets of the town, making her way out to the town outskirts to Gren's inn.

Once inside, she picked her way to the counter and took a seat, drumming her fingers. A scrawny blonde human eventually meandered over to greet her, taller than anything, a honey blonde goatee and chuckling green eyes seeking her conversation as he poured a flagon of hard ale. [i "I didn't see you at first, Em, I'm sorry. Was it hard to get up into the stool again?"]
Her teeth locked, but she was grinning anyway. [b "Oh, aye, harder than anything to get into your stools Gren. Tell me, when's the next rain? You're a beanstalk, true? Give us the weather, then."]
[i "Temper, temper. Careful, sweet, your attitude will turn your little face to rot."]
[b "Sweet, nothing, I'll eat YOU for supper next, mate. Fix me a salmon or your patrons will catch the fire first."] Emerald threatened, of course never meaning a word of it. Other regular were chuckling, as well, and Gren shrugged himself, smiling all the while before he ducked into the kitchen to put her fish on the stoves. Even though a number of others were working for him that night, he always made her fish himself. It was nice to be appreciated.

After she'd eaten about six large salmon, Emerald said her goodbyes and pulled the broadsword off her back, deciding to get a little practice going behind the inn. She focused her attention on a tree, sliding one finger along the edge of her blade. Each of her ten fingers had a different ring on it, each one meant to infuse her weapon with an added element. Tonight, the rain was her ally, and so too was her water ring. The blade was coated in water, then, much to her enjoyment. She took a running jump at the tree, hoping to strike it down. She cut through most of it, but the blade was wrenched from her grasp, caught in the trunk, and she fell away from the tree, swearing. Emerald could swing, but if she couldn't concentrate it...! Was she even hitting at HALF power? She pushed wet hair from her eyes, grumbling despite the rolling thunder and the accompanying lightning. She would keep trying, she didn't need sleep. Not yet.

Her father wouldn't teach her to fight with a blade, so she'd had to learn in secret, and that could only get her so far. Smithing was her job, not her dream.
  Stone / Shion / 231d 21h 43m 0s
[#00BABA "Those damn demons..."]

A hooded figure stumbled through the forest, her breath heavy. Her magic was starting to fade, which would be bad if she did make it to the town below. She wasn't sure how they would react to someone like her, but she needed medical attention. The demons attacked her and she barely got away with her life, again. They always seemed to have the upper hand on her, catching her off guard every time.

[#00BABA " rain is coming..."]

Agrona Rhiannon, daughter of a high ranking demon and a human mother. Life had never been easy for her. Not only did humans fear her, but demons wanted to see just how powerful she really was. This happened all her life, despite her mother trying to protect her. It was like this until one day demons came, sent by another high rank demon who was an enemy to her father. They were merciless, killing her mother and her escaping just in time. Now, they were hunting her, following the same orders given to them those years ago.

They had got her pretty bad this time. Her right arm and chest were bleeding badly, other cuts scattered around her body. She didn't let them get her that easily though, her changing blade at her side. Lann ag Athrú. The Changing Blade. A gift from her father that was left for when she was born. Though she wanted nothing to do with him, she had to admit, the blade worked well for the situations she was always getting stuck in.

She tripped over a root, falling hard to the ground as the rain started to fall. Agrona struggled to get up again, leaning against a tree as the rain poured down more, soaking her through. Looking up, she noticed a light in front of her. What could it be? Who in their right minds would be out here in the rain?

[#00BABA "A wisp..."] She muttered, sighing a bit. [#00BABA "Guess you're here for me..."]

Agrona closed her eyes, ready for the wisp to take her soul. She hadn't noticed the light disappearing, leaving her alone in the woods. The two was just a little further, Agrona having stopped near the edge. Now the only question was, would she be found in time. If at all?
  Agrona Rhiannon / Kikido / 231d 22h 26m 40s
A small figure sat in a tree along the edge of a forest watching the nearby village as darkness fell across the plains. [#7c0c77 Big people are so strange, making hovels out of dead things...] She lifts a small animal skull and gazes serenely at it. [#7c0c77 Though I suppose I can say much, now can I?]

She kicks her feet like a child and lifts her face to the wind. She can smell rain on the horizon and scowls. Rain reminds her to much of home, and the plans her family had made for her. [#7c0c77 I'll never go back there, even if the Bastard King himself tries to drag me, kicking and screaming. Never.]

A thunderclap draws her out of her musings and she smirks up at the sky. [#7c0c77 Oh Lapis, you silly thing...] She looks at the skull in her hand and frowns. [#7c0c77 Well, hovels or not I suppose I should get out of the open before the storm hits, eh?]

At the lack of response Lapis snorts and tucks the skull away into her satchel. She leaps down from her branch, nigh on 50 feet high, and uses her magic to land safely on the ground with nary a sound. A flash of light to the side catches her attention and she twirls to face it, her skirts and hair flaring dramatically around her.

[#7c0c77 Who's there?!] She follows the light and her mouth drops open in a small 'o'. [#7c0c77 A will'o'wisp? Here? But... why?] The light disappears into the forest and she shakes herself. [#7c0c77 Well... that was strange.] She turns back and starts towards the village and scowls as the rain starts to pelt herself and the world around her. [#7c0c77 Lovely. Bloody brilliant. Knew I shoulda fashioned a cloak out of those vines the other day...]

She tromps into the village through the West Gate, using her size and magic to slip past the mercenary standing in for the snoozing guard unseen and unheard. Getting a room at the Inn was child's play, especially with her size. She slips some coins onto the counter and smiles her most dazzling smile at the woman. On receiving her room key and putting up with a few patrons insisting on 'buying the poor small child some food' she slips away up to her room and settles in the enormous bed. Before drifting off fully she pulls the small skull from her bag ad cradles it to her chest. [#7c0c77 Goodnight Nai-nai, see you in the morning...] She drifts off to sleep curled around the skull in a nest of blankets, smiling gently.
  Lapis Waterbriar / NikolasRevellian / 231d 23h 40m 53s
Word got around quickly when there was a stranger that might cause some trouble. Being a sweet talker was the first hint, though it wasn’t uncommon for traders to try and bargain prices up or down. It was uncommon when those goods came with fanciful stories that even the village traders would have a hard time believing. The host of these tales was a young Elf, tanned from travel with a fair face. Shorter than most average men of his race, around 5’3”. He had a small frame and a silver tongue for these outlandish stories.

And his name, though uncommon for an elf, was Clark. Something he’d taken to calling himself right after he took up trading. The name along with his demeanor and appearance was most of the time enough for most to let down their guard. It was also because of his name and his stature that some would have a hand on their purse while talking to him and the other on their knife, just in case. Now he’d never stolen anything in his life, never had to, but that didn’t stop people from judging him from just by his unsuspecting, yet cunning nature.

Walking the streets, Clark noticed the looks he was getting from a few men and a few guards, but no one approached him and he was just fine with that. He had only succeeded in making a little profit by trading down instead of up and it was only just that he walked away with a few more coins then before. It was normal but all the same he didn’t like it. He always thought that if he’d just kept up a little longer he’d be able to get a little more.

“[+orange Oh, what a wonderless life.]” He sighed in a dejected manner, sitting in the back of the tavern and recounting his coins. He’d have enough to get him to the next village if he caught something he couldn’t carry, but if he was met with the same prices he’d found here… Clark sighed again, paid for his meal and drinks and sauntered back to the Inn where he’d be staying. He’d originally wanted to continue on that afternoon but a feeling told him to stay, so he did and he was glad of it. Being caught out in the rain was never fun while on the move. He much preferred a roof over his head then anything else when it came to bad weather.

Hearing the rumble of thunder in the distance, Clark glanced towards the village gates seeing the dark rolling clouds growing closer. That was his cue to head inside and get some rest for the next day. At his room, the young elf fiddled with his quiver before setting it aside and laying back, listening to the rain. He tried to recall how much farther he had to go the next day but he was too tired to remember and instead he closed his eyes, ready to drift off….

When a loud clap of thunder jolted him back up and he saw through his window a flash from the woods outside of the village. He waited to hear the next clap of thunder but nothing came after the flash he saw, only another crackle of lightning and a low [i boom] in the distance. “[+orange Hmm…]” He continued to watch for a while longer before laying back down, but after seeing that flash, Clark had a feeling he wouldn’t be getting to sleep any time soon.
  Clark Sandwo' / BBJ / 232d 6h 20m 22s
The stars were so bright as they shined in the sky above. It was a peaceful night and many of the villagers were in the tavern drinking and reveling in their glorious battles that they have survived. A young man sat outside the tavern looking up to the sky. He was the lost prince but none of these people were aware of that. He was known only as a mercenary here. He flicked a coin up in the air and caught it in his open palm. He didn't really know what to do anymore but a storm was gathering in the distance and he could just feel it wasn't going to lead to anything good. The young man stood up and started walking towards the village gate. A gentle breeze overtook him and he shut his eyes. It was nice as far as heat and humidity go. He stepped past a drunk mercenary who was passed out on the walk-way.

Vreal passed a guard and the man turned to grab his arm. Vreal stopped when he felt the tug and faced the guard. [+blue Can I help you?] Vreal asked a little irritated. [+red Yes young man you can. I just wanted to warn you that a stranger has been in town that no one i've asked knows who he is I was wondering if maybe you were expecting recruits into your leaders mercenary faction or even just expecting someone in general?] The guard asked. Vreal looked him in the eyes and shrugged. [+blue I am no ones leader so if he is expecting anyone I wouldn't really know about it.] The guard nodded and walked off.

Vreal continued to walk and arrived at the gate shortly after. He looked out into the blackness of the plains beyond the gate. He had fought there recently when they repelled a bandit raid. He recalled the battle with a slight smile. They weren't expecting so much resistance from this average sized village but they definitely got more then they expected. There were two very powerful mages here and many well trained and seasoned warriors. Vreal leaned on the wall and felt the first drops of rain as the storm finally came over the village and blocked out the stars. He sighed and moved to a wooden structure to take watch and let a guard who was sleeping there continue to do so. He wasn't tired and he didn't mind taking the job of West gate watch. He grabbed the rail and leaned forward as he saw a torch light in the distance. It wasn't moving and that wasn't normal. It wasn't concerning at the moment just strange. He enhanced his eyesight with magic and noticed it wasn't even a torch...[+blue Is that a...wisp?] he asked himself while noticing it start to move into the woods at the end of the field. He decided to investigate later but for the time being he stayed where he was. He found a lot of value in protecting this average village. He had come to call this place home. He wanted to help this place stay safe.
  Vreal Soruria / Vreal / 232d 13h 32m 25s

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