1. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    The Road to Dragon's Peak

    Discussion in 'Archive' started by murasaki_sama, Mar 12, 2013.

    The Road to Dragon's Peak

    The world of Peoem is vast, stretching across endless continents. To the south of the Unknown Islands, on the continent of Rhoselut, lies the great mountain range known as the Dragon’s Peaks.

    Therein, on the mountain known as Sindori, resides the last living dragon, Elatrix, the great mother herself. It is said that the dragon can grant fame, power, wealth or knowledge to the pilgrim foolish enough to brave the steep passes and hidden valleys.

    It is also said that the all the dragons are dead, and that Elatrix is nothing more than a myth. That the mountains of Dragon’s Peaks hold only monsters and death. Some even claim that deep in the mountains lay cults that worship the bones of an ancient past.

    An ambitious noble from the still rising Empire of Logoth, who seeks to restore prestige to his family after the death of his elder brothers, has gathered around himself a small band of daring adventurers. They seek the dragon.

    Meanwhile, a charismatic madman was the Undying Desert has gathered together his own little group of questers, and had set out find Sindori and the dragon that lives within. He claims his goal is peace, but is he lying?

    As these two groups travel the Road to Dragon’s Peak, searching for Sindori and the last of the dragons, the truth will be revealed.

    [hr][/hr]

    Characters

    Group One
    Leader – Saif-Al-Rahmen Hui Shariah [The Ambitious Noble]
    Fighter - Maron Barosh [The Marauding Berserker]
    Magic User - Maghatch Crookmouth [The Dark Mage]
    Rogue - Talahari Ken Kinodoko [The Lone Watcher]
    Support - Cassius Strahan [The Traveling Minstrel]

    Group Two
    Leader - Balefore Lark [The Charismatic Madman]
    Fighter – Lavanya Maellan Einar [The Honorable Mercenary]
    Magic User - [Available]
    Rogue - Crispin Kabryalson [The Apostate Priest]
    Support - [Available]

    Currently, there are only 8 characters available. I will be playing the other two. Depending on level of interest, more characters will become available as the RP progresses.

    Until further notice, all characters must be human. There are no elves, dwarves, Sidhes or vampires on Peoem.

    Character nicknames should follow the format above [The (Adjective) Type). Some good ideas would be The Apostate Priest, The Foreign Tracker, The Questing Maiden, The Maid's Companion, The Dark Mage, The Wondering Poet, The Reluctant Thief, The Loyal Soldier and the like. There are two support positions in each team; these would be trackers, guides, thieves, poets, and the like. The Magic user can be a priest or mage of some kind. Other characters can have limited magical abilities.

    [hr][/hr]

    Rules and Gameplay

    Please follow all the rules of the forum. These include no auto-hitting, no god-modding and the like. In addition, follow the rules below.

    1. Post Length – A post should be at least two paragraphs long. Posts should average between 4 and 10 paragraphs. Do not exceed 20 paragraphs if you can help it. One liners are not allowed.

    2. Formatting – Please keep text formatting to a minimal. You may include quotes or small images in your post, but no large images. Also keep text at standard size, do not decrease to size 1 to save space.

    3. Paragraphs – I ask that you separate your paragraphs with a line of white space. Also, please avoid posting large block text paragraphs. Vary your paragraph lengths.

    4. Character Profiles - PM your character profile to me. Consider posting dibs in the discussion thread if you think it might take a while to finish your profile. Additionally, please include at least one image with your profile. This image can be a reference to a weapon, clothing, or the character’s appearance. Images are considered reference only, descriptions trumps any images.

    5. Try to post at least once a week. If you cannot post, or believe you will be offline for some time, please notify me in advance.

    Word of God Posts
    Occasionally I will post a Word of God post. These posts will help set the stage; either by describing a new location, or by establishing an obstacle. They may sometimes even be an NPC post, necessary to move the groups further along in their journey. In the case of an obstacle, I trust all players to play out the encounter with and overcoming of that obstacle in a reasonable manner.

    Word of God posts are law, and must be adhered to. If the post says everyone looked left while the monster snuck up from the right, no one is allowed to say “except Timmy, who felt a tingling of premonition and looked right, just in time to warn everyone of the monster.” Word of God posts are plot devices that will be used very sparingly.

    Contributing to the Game
    There is a pre-devised plot. However, it is vague and open to revision. If you have an idea for a plot, or wish to play out a specific scene, just PM me and we will set it up. I like to know what everyone is doing, so no one steps on anyone else’s toes, and everyone has a chance to influence the story. Additionally, if you would like to name a location not currently named on the map, just ask.

    [hr][/hr]

    Setting Details

    Peoem is divided into several continents. One of the largest is known as Rhoselut, and is home to six kingdoms, the Free Cities of the Plains, the Undying Desert and the Marshlands.

    Free Cities of the Plains – There are seven city-states bordering the plains. There are also several nomadic tribes which wonder through the center of the plains.

    The Undying Desert – The people of the desert seek spiritual enlightenment. They have very sophisticated art and elaborate rituals. When they are not fighting with Logoth, however, they are fighting with Pohoni.

    Marshlands – Home to a few hermit mages and two tribes who eck out their living in the hostile environment.

    The Dragon’s Peak Mountains – Mountain range that covers a large portion of the northern part of Rhoselut. Contains at least two known valleys of significant size, and several smaller valleys and vales.

    Pohoni - An isolationist kingdom, which places emphasis on military experience and combat skills. Is run by a council of women. Does not trade with other nations, nor allow foreigners to cross its borders. Few Pohoni choose to travel abroad. The nation of Pohini is in a constant state of war with someone, be it the nation of Logoth, the people of the Undying Desert, or Ra’Shala.

    Logoth – Once a small nation, Logoth has spend the last two generations expandings its borders. It has an on-again/off-again state of aggression (but never outright war) with Pohoni. The last state of aggression ended one year ago. Currently, Logoth is focusing its attentions on the nation of Nerilwyn, which it hopes to add to its empire.

    Nerilwyn – Trade and industrial kingdom which is currently trying to withstand Logoth’s attempt to annex it into the Empire.

    Qinqu – A wealthy nation of farmers, miners and lumberjacks. Sends many of its younger sons to the schools of Ra’Shala, or and its younger daughters to the academy at Veratis.

    Ra’Shala – A theistic nation which believes in intellectual pursuit above all else. Does not encourage the practice of magic.

    Veratis – Home to the largest academy of magic on the continent.

    Sindori Valley (and Mountain) (SVM) – The small valley at the base of the Sindori Mountain.

    Dom Eminith – The Vale of the Dead. A second valley in the Dragon’s Peak Range. Considered cursed or haunted. While it was once home to a glorious city, it is now nothing but ruins.

    Mountain Passes – There are two passes through the mountains to the Sindori Valley.

    Please view the map for further details.

    [hr][/hr]

    World Information

    Magic
    There is magic on Peoem. Mages are ranked based on level of power and type of magic. Any kind of magic user can become a Priest or Priestess. Additionally, Gods can give their Priests/Priestesses extra powers or abilities. Most Priest/Priestesses, however, have little more power than a Witch or Wizard. A Dark-aligned magic user a power level greater than Warlock is simply called a Dark Mage.

    Magic is divided into three kinds - natural, academic and ley

    Natural magic deals with the elements (of which there are 8), in born abilities (like the sight, the ability to speak to animals, and the like). Witches/wizards/warlocks (hedge as well) and mages generally practice some form of natural magic. Magic is rarely genetic and can pass to anyone.

    Academic magic deals with symbols, incantations, charms, wards and the like. Magicians, some mages, and sorcerers prefer this kind of magic. Any form of divination outside of the Sight is academic magic.

    Ley magic is the magic of high sorcerers, gods, and priests. It can also be used by mages and accomplished witches (although not very well). This magic uses the raw energy of the ley lines which criss-cross the planet. Nodes are those areas where two (or more) ley-lines cross. A nexus is any place where several ley-lines cross and leave behind a sort of ball of energy. Those born above the nexus can draw on its power; the larger the nexus, the stronger the mage.

    Magical Ranks
    Hedge witch/wizard – can access some small magic, often little more than lighting a candle flame or reading the future in tarot cards. Often healers (herb based), midwives or village wise men/women. (Can live to be 100)

    Witch/Wizard – Has nature based magic, elemental (fire magic, light magic, water magic, ect) or plant/animal related. After much practice, they can levitate, predict the future (with crystal balls, tarot cards, and such), lend and borrow magic, light fires, and sometimes cast basic energy spells. (Can live to be 150 or so)

    Warlock – a dark witch or wizard, who has stolen magic, or uses magic to serve the dark energies/forces of the world. (Can use dark magic to extend their life, up to 500 or so years)

    Magician – gifted with general magic, can do all a witch/wizard can do, but is not connected to a specific energy/element. Spends their time crafting magical artifacts of various potencies. (Often lives to be less than 300 years)

    Mage – Strong magic, often gifted with two to four elements/energies/forces, or strange powers, such as spatial/dimensional magic, healing by the laying on of hands, or weather magic (rather than just water, fire/heat, lightning, or wind). Also known for making magical artifacts, such as wind knots, containers that are bigger on the inside, magic mirrors and more. (Can easily live 300-500 years)

    Sorcerer/Sorceress – Two magic users fall into this category, although most people are aware of only one of them. The most common sorcerers are those who study magic, rather than practice it. They are also known for summoning circles, highly esoterica magical abilities (curses, mental healing, ect), rather than the more practical magics of mages and witches. While most sorcerers have been gifted with general magic, some have elemental/energy magic, or even hedge witch level magic. Basically, a magic user who studies magic, but rarely casts it, or casts highly academical magics (summoning circles), is a sorcerer, regardless of skill and power. (Lives 300-500 years as well)

    High Sorcerer/Sorceress – The less well known group of sorcerers, on the other hand, relies entirely on power and skill. These sorcerers are classified as those who were born over a small magical nexus, who can wield pure magic in various levels of strength. However, as few people know about nexuses (ley nodes), few realize that mages/sorcerers of this ilk are in fact High Sorcerers. (Often lives upward of 1000 years)

    Gods/Goddesses – those born over a large nexus, on the other hand, become gods. The knowledge of how to gain power from followers/worshippers, and how to create and gift priests with magic, is inborn in them, and comes to them, like with all magical ability, during puberty. Like all magic users, gods are mortal, although, like other magic users, they live much longer than the average mortal. Gods live an average of 1500 years, although most live to be over 2000 years (many live only to be 800 or so).

    Creatures
    There are several strange and magical creatures on Peoem. Information on them will be revealed during the course of the RP and then edited into this post.

    That information will go here

    Weapons and Combat
    Standard fantasy, medieval weapons and methods of combat apply. No guns or explosives, no energy weapons.

    I don't think I will need to elaborate on this, but just in case.

    Weather
    The continent of Rhoselut lies near the equator of Peoem. Its climate is on the tropical side of temperate. Higher altitudes are, of course, colder.

    [hr][/hr]

    Updates on any of the information above, as well as new information, will be posted in a blog entry, and indexed in the WGE post linked above. The blog posts will also include characters, both of the original 10, and any new comers/NPC/whatevers who come later.

    [hr][/hr]

    Character Template/Skeleton
    Copy the code in the spoiler below. PM the completed form to Murasaki_Sama. Accepted profiles will be posted in the discussion thread. Template is provided in non-parse so that coding remains intact.

    [noparse]
    CHARACTER NAME
    ~Nickname~
    "Quote"

    Basic Info
    ╔═══════════════════════════════════╗
    Age: (Must be over 15.)

    Gender:

    Height:

    Position: (Questing maiden, dark mage, ect)

    Group: (One or two?)
    ╚═══════════════════════════════════╝

    [[Reference Images. Post as Links]]​

    In Depth
    ╔════════════════════════════════ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═
    Physical Description: (Body, clothes, whatever. Be brief.)

    Interests: (Likes/dislikes, hobbies, ect)

    Skills: (Be reasonable, but make them interesting.)

    Home/Family: (Siblings, parents, whatever)

    Relationships: (Love interests, rivals, best friends.)

    Motivations/Aspirations: (What does your character want? Why are they on the quest?)​
    ╚════════════════════════════════ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═



    Details
    ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ════════════════════════════════╗
    Personality: (Rough outline is fine)

    Biography: (Try for at least three paragraphs, but don't go into too much unneeded detail.)

    Extra: (Any little tidbits you feel the need to add? Add them here!)
    ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ═ ════════════════════════════════╝​
    [/noparse]
     
  2. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Approved.
     
  3. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Saif-Al-Rahmen Hui Shariah
    Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Hui Shariah threw the scroll down on his desk and fumed. Another rejection, carefully and politely worded, of course, as an expression of concern. Doubters, fools! Even after everything he had accomplished, they still treated him like a child enamored of fairy tales. He was an accomplished scholar and an esteemed graduate of the Institute of Veratis! It seems, however, that such credentials were not good enough for the nobles of Logoth. They wanted assurances, promises of wealth and power that he had no mind to grant.

    Very well. So be it.

    If he was not to receive aid from his peers, be it in the form of financial support or man power, he would seek aid elsewhere.

    * * *​

    Two days later, Hui followed a nameless guardsmen through the thick stone walls of the city prison. It was late, at least an hour after midnight, long past official visiting hours. The bride for free, and private, access to the prisoners was hardly a burden; it was the careful finagling to set up the visit that had taken him so long.

    The guard took Hui into a darker part of the prison; the dank halls reeked of mold and decay. This was where they tossed foreigners and those sentenced to death. The cells were solid stone on four sides. The doors were half stone and half metal bars, allowing a limited view of the incarcerated. The reached the closed door of the only occupied cell, and stopped.

    "'Well, get yas business done quick." The guard snarled. Hui just waved him off, dismissing the man. In any part of the prison, the guard would have moved out of sight. For this cell, however, he only moved a dozen meters down the hall.

    Hui ignored him and looked at the prisoner he had come to see. The hulking shape revealed a behemoth, looking as untamed and wild as the plains from whence he came. No one would miss this man when he died, nor care if he lives. Hui smiled slightly. Perfect.

    "Do you want to die?" He asked the man as the over-active gears in his head started turning. For a price, any man could be spared from justice. What Hui wondered was, is this man worth that price?


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
    committed citizens can change the world;
    indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    First quote by Salvadori Dali. Second quote by Margaret Mead​
     
  4. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Lavanya
    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    The market place hummed with the steady cry of capitalism as traders hawked their wares at the top of their lungs. The din pressing against her like a drum beat, Lavanya tried to weave her way through the crowds. She hated cities, with foreigners jostling against her with disrespect, completely unaware of utterly empty and pathetic their existence truly was. A city like this, were the only battle was over prices, and warriors were regulated to show pieces, was the very essence of hell.

    Clutching her strangely ornate weapon hilts, Lavanya pushed and shoved her way past the bazaar's booths. Anything, and anyone, could be bought in Sanatis [City 7]; somewhere in the crowd there was a small tent where mercenaries, sell-swords and trackers could seek employment. It was, in Lavanya's mind, the worst place in the city. It was also the one place she made sure to visit every day.

    She finally reached the tent, and, bracing herself, walked inside. The glances and whispers, the intentional jostles, all began immediately. Men, all, they questioned her place in battle, her skill at arms. A few saw her as truly foreign, stranger than any they had encountered before. Fewer still recognized her as a warrior maiden of Pohoni. Considering that her nation was at war with, or engaged in aggressions against just about every nation on the continent, it might be a good thing that so few knew her for what she truly was.

    The tent was only half filled today, mercenary captains, a few trackers and guides, and two other individual sell-swords like herself. The buyers, or employers as they called themselves, were just as scarce. Lavanay looked them over scornfully. The daughter of the High Lady of Pohoni, reduced to working for men like this, for a few meager silvers. It was an unpleasant thought, nigh unpalatable.


    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  5. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Location:
    The Windy City
    Balefore Lark-The Charismatic Madman

    Rabble, all of it. These people passing through life with their goals fixed squarely on the acquisition of material and monetary means, how pathetic, Balefore though as he moved through the streets of Sanatis. He was here under a pretense, supposedly seeking aid for his country and tribe. He was after all the Second Named Ambassador of The Undying Desert. He had earned that title, through hard work, perseverance, and above all, focus, focus on his goal.

    He was a man well suited to the life of a diplomat, skilled with his words, and able to see through people's motivations and desires. He always seemed to be able to discern what it was that drove people, then exploit it with perfectly placed words. This skill had earned him the name The Desert Song in the court of the Undying Desert. At first, it was a title of derision, made by one of his rivals, who said that his words were like the sweet song of the desert winds, pleasant to hear, but slowly sucking the life out of those that heard him. The name had stuck though, and Balefore rather liked it, and the nasty connotation.

    He sidestepped a street urchin picking pockets, and then put a foot out, tripping the boy and sending him sprawling on the ground, stolen coins spilling from his pockets. Balefore smiled as the boy was beset by angry people who knew where all that coin had come from. Served him right, he though as he continued down the street.

    Up ahead was a rundown tent that he knew to be the place to go when looking to hire mercenaries. Stepping inside, he looked around, scanning the denizens of the tent. There was nothing impressive to be had here, he concluded. And was about to turn around and walk out, when he happened to glance over a female warrior. Something about her caught his attention, she had drive, he could tell, and she appeared capable.

    "You there..." he said, walking up to her. "What is your name?"
     
  6. Erik-the-Enchanter!
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    Erik-the-Enchanter! Contributing Member

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    Location:
    LA, California
    Maghatch Crookmouth
    My greatest confidante in this world is a chicken. Shoot me now.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+


    Maghatch Crookmouth walked beside her latest employer in the marketplace, an older merchant with a balding crown and a wild dark beard named Wulfric Snaptrap. She was working as Wulfric's personal bodyguard--his devious younger brother apparently owned a rival business and he was known to send assassins to kill his elder sibling. All in the spirit of competition, Maghatch thought wryly. A dyed-purple basket was slung on her left arm and a hen with gleaming black feathers roosted inside. Her name was Greta and she was Maghatch's greatest confidante. Maghatch often joked that Greta was her greatest love, since she had yet to fall in love with a man all these years.

    The bustling crowd parted as Wulfric's procession came through. Aside from Maghatch, he had three muscle-y guards that followed him like shadows. Still, Mags couldn't help but think the men were moving out of the way for her. She was, after all, beautiful in her own strangely attractive way. Her face wasn't classically beautiful, but combined with the force her alluring personality and her busty figure, she could hook any guy she wanted. Maghatch crooked a grin at a guy carrying an armful of groceries. He blushed dark crimson from the neck up and accidentally rammed into the side of a building. "Did you see that silly man, Greta?", Mags muttered to her hen. Greta clucked and ruffled her feathers in agreement.

    "You can have an hour of free-time, then come right back", Wulfric Snaptrap barked at Maghatch as they came to his stall for precious and semi-precious wares. Maghatch frowned; did he really think it was wise to be so rough with her? If she made a complaint, he would probably say that she was being emotional and that he was paying her so much that he didn't need to be kind to her. Plus, he was just as rude to his servants and many of his housestaff rumor that he neve rlets his wife leave his manor. As Wulfric turned his back and stomped into his stall, Mags black-purple mouth twitched at the corners as she decided to make him a "bad prophecy" and then make it come true. Oh, she so enjoyed teaching bad boys a lesson!

    Turning on heal, Maghatch pulled up the huge hood of her black-velvet cloak, casting a shadow on half of her white-powdered face, and stalked out into the marketplace. Upon seeing her gothic appearance, a crowd of rough-looking street kids assumed she was a witch of some sort and got out of her way. It was just as well, Maghatch would hate to have to teach a pickpocket a lesson he would never forget. "Lets look for some nice silky undergarments, and then some bread crumbs for you, 'kay?", Mags told her hen. It was not long til she returned to Wulfric's stall, having placed several orders for lingerie to be sent to her current address. Greta was currently picking at a crust in her basket.

    "Where have you been?! It's been an hour and a half!", Wulfric shouted, storming out of his shop. He raised a hand as if to hit Maghatch. Maghatch merely lifted one brow, a warning. Wulfric breathed out and let his hand drop to his side. "You were late, witch", Wulfric snapped. "I don't pay you to be late. Now get inside." He stepped aside and pointed into his shop to a chair in the corner where she was supposed to sit.

    "Don't you want to hear about my...prophesy?", Maghatch said instead of going inside. Her mouth twisted sardonically and her deep-violet eyes glittered with dark glee. Greta clucked with nervous anticipation. And so the mischief begins..., Mags thought giddily.
     
  7. Fan7asticMrFox
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    Fan7asticMrFox Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maron Barosh
    ~The Marauding Berserker~
    "Let the Queens of the Sun gaze down in sorrow as I drown their lands in blood!"



    “Do you want to die?” A silence filled the air, lingering softly in the moonlight. The pale glow squeezed through the cell, glimmering over the beast within.

    Hmmph. You know nothing of death.” The words were cold, whispered under his sunken head. “The dark mistress preys on the ignorant likes of you.”

    The prisoner’s head lifted to meet Hui’s gaze, his brown eyes sullen with fury. The Kings of the Moon had truly abandoned him, and now he knelt in the moldy filth of his final humiliation. Trembling, the prisoner rose to his feet, blacking out all the light. The heavy brooding stare exploded in a roar, and he charged them both. The guard slipped down the cold stone wall, fearful the door would not be enough. But a dagger’s length away the prisoner jolted back slightly, leashed by rusty iron chains. His teeth bared through the tiny view, eyes now firmly on the quivering fool in armour.

    “Caging me will be the last mistake you make, little boy!” The chained stones wriggled and loosened, grinding in the wall. He would not die like a rat, maimed in a trap longing for that sweet release. His place was on the battlefield, covered in the blood and tears of others as he finally fell to rest. That was honourable. That was his death.
     
  8. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Lavanya
    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    A man approached and asked for her name. Lavanya looked him over calmly, letting a tense silence breathe between them. He was tall, and did not carry himself like a mercenary. His stance was balanced, his form strong; so she knew he had some training in combat, but he was not a warrior. He lacked the standard arrogance. There was something about his manner of dress; he was not a Plainsmen, that was certain. An employer then, one from far away.

    "I - She began before closing her mouth, biting back the titles that were no longer hers by right. "Am Lavanya Maellan Einar." There was no need to way where she was from; in fact, the last time she had laid claim to her homeland by name, she had been forced to fight her way free of the mercenary tent and hide in an alley somewhere up north.

    Her whole body turned as she shifted her stance and looked the man straight in the eyes. "And you? What are you called?" There was a lilt to her words, a strange cadence and tone unlike that of the common traveler. Her consonants were more softer, her vowels more fluid. It marked her, much as her weapons marked her, as having traveled a long way.


    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  9. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    192
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    1
    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Saif-Al-Rahmen Hui Shariah
    Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    When the monstrous man charged the bars, an almost animal snarl escaping his lips, Hui stood firm. He didn't even flinch when the prisoner was pulled up short. This was the third time he had come to see a convict in this part of the prison; it seemed they all tried to attack him. It was almost enough to make him want to study the habits of caged men. Almost, but not quite.

    Maron Barosh, the records called him, some sort of wondering Plainsmen driven from the Plains. He was more savage than Hui would have expected, but then, perhaps that was for the best. After all, they were going to savage places, untamed and full of demons.

    "What if I freed you?" He asked as Maron had gotten a chance to notice his lack of fear. "What would that be worth?" Hui needed to convince this man to join him, and he needed to do so quickly. There wasn't much time left, if they were to reach Sindori before the storm season. And he would be just the first; Hui needed others, skilled and daring, but non so clever they could steal the ultimate prize.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
    committed citizens can change the world;
    indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    First quote by Salvadori Dali. Second quote by Margaret Mead​
     
  10. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Balefore Lark

    "And you? What are you called?" she asked him.

    "Lavanya Maellan Einar, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Balefore Lark, a priest of the Desert Wind, and Second Named Ambassador of the Grand Council of the Undying Desert, The Desert Song," Balefore said, in a bored tone. Normally, flaunting his rank like that would not be a wise idea, especially in a place like this, but he wanted to see how this woman reacted. She had a certain air about her.

    What the others in the tent did was immaterial, he had already summed them up, and decided that they would prove no threat. If they did try anything, it might be an interesting opportunity to see the merit of this woman.

    "And I am looking for skilled persons to accompany me on a possible life threatening quest to the ends of the earth. And don't worry, payment is offered, and very good."
     
  11. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Lavanya
    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    Her name rolled from his heathen tongue as if he were tasting its flavor. His own introduction, including titles, followed in the same tone. At the name Desert Wind, Lavanya tensed, Desert scum! she thought viciously, hand clenching around her broad sword as if preparing to draw it. Only four years of experience, four years of being left entirely on her own, stayed her hand. She didn't know what madness had brought this man, this once neighbor and eternal enemy this far from his homeland. She did know one thing though.

    "This is the ends of the earth." Sanatis was as far as it was possible to go from Pohoni and the Desert, except perhaps into the marshes. That was the entire reason Lavanya was here, in fact - it was as far from the memory of home as she could go.

    Lavanya considered his words again. A life threatening adventure...It sounded grander, if only slightly, from the horrible mundane employment by feuding traders. Still. "What are you offering, priest?" Lavanya asked as she relaxed slightly. She would rather work for a peasant of Logoth than a man of the desert. On the other hand, she had nothing else to do. She could at least listen to his pitch.


    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  12. Erik-the-Enchanter!
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    Erik-the-Enchanter! Contributing Member

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    Maghatch Crookmouth
    My greatest confidante in this world is a chicken. Shoot me now.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+


    There were screams and the pressure of heat on bare skin and the choking black smoke that drifted through the air. Out of the billows of smoke waded Maghatch with her hen basket at her side. A sheer violet scarf was hung over the basket so that the hen would only breath clean air. With a smug lopsided grin, Mags looked back at the tragedy she had wrought, her dark purple hair flying in the wind. It was Wulfric's warehouse, the place where he kept his stores of products until they were bought by rich noblemen across the lands. He was famed for his exotic curios from distant, heathen territories.

    And now it was all up in smoke, because of Mags. She had told Wulfric something horrible would happen to his warehouse and so he immediately arranged for them to go there. As he was searching the warehouse, Maghatch trailed her fingers along the wooden crates, leaving behind flaming tracks that quickly spread. She had successfully fulfilled another one of her notorious self-serving prophecies. If there was a god in heaven, he would get so poor that his wife would leave him and find a husband that treats her better. Maghatch pulled up her hood with a sense of accomplishment.

    "Guess I need a new employer", Maghatch said, still grinning wickedly. Greta squawked when a cinder landed on her scarf covering; Maghatch pinched away the glowing red ember and flicked it into the air. "Now, how about we go find a nice little tea shop? We'll get a private room and I'll let you out for a bit. C'mon, no time to waste!" Maghatch chuckled at her own joke--as if Greta had any choice but to come since she was in the basket. One of the men running with buckets of water passed Maghatch by and she stopped him to say, "Use sand, that is much more efficient." She patted his shoulder and kept walking, rolling her hips sensually.
     
  13. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Balefore

    "What are you offering, priest?"

    He noticed her tense and reach for her sword when he said the word desert. Hmm, interesting, he thought. He began to connect some of his observations. Her features and mannerisms were not those of a commoner, and he weaponry was different, more ornate than any ordinary mercenary would carry. She spoke with the tones of a highborn. An exiled noble perhaps? She obviously didn't consider this to be a desirable place to be, implying that she was far from home, and against her will. And then her apparent hatred of the Undying Desert, Logothian, or Pohonian? He suspected Pohonian, from her weapons, but wasn't sure.

    She had not attacked him, which said that whatever her feelings were, she was good at controlling them, but not hiding them, since he'd been able to read them quickly. An interesting person indeed. Unfortunate that she was also an enemy of the desert though. Still, she might be useful to him, if he could convince her to follow him.

    Smiling, only a little smugly, he replied, "I am willing to pay 500 gold marks up front, and another 500 at the end of the journey. The destination is... well, I do not feel comfortable revealing that here. If you're interested, come to the Embassy Inn on the southern side of the Government District, I'll be there tonight after sundown," he said, then before she could answer had stepped out of the tent and onto the street.

    Then he was off to make a perfunctory visit to the city's capital to treat with the lord over a trade agreement that neither the Undying Desert, or the city of Sanatis had honored for hundreds of years. There would be no agreement today, just empty words and promises, and both he and the Lord would know it.
     
  14. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Lavanya

    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    The money he offered was obscene; more than enough to shock Lavanya into momentary silence. One thousand gold marks? She was lucky if a job earned her twenty gold marks. Guarding a caravan might earn her fifty, but only if she traveled through several cities with it. So little lasted only long enough for Lavanya to find new work, and there was little chance to save it up. What could she do with so much money?

    She just nodded idly as the man left. Her curiosity was sufficiently pique, she would see him after sunset. Once he was gone, she glanced over the other mercenaries, and a scathing assessment, and then left herself. If she did not find Lark's proposal to be acceptable, and at 1000 gold marks, it would have to be truly horrible not to pass, she would return the next day and seek work again.

    Somehow, though, she didn't think she would be returning to the mercenary tent.

    * * *​

    Since she had a few hours to spare until nightfall, the whole day, in fact, Lavanya decided to see to some matters of her own. It had been weeks since Mirindar was seen to by a farrier, so that was her first stop. The second stop was a blacksmith, who luckily enough, was next door to the farrier, to sharpen her blades. After that came a stop by the leather workers, to check over her saddle and weapon sheaths. On the probability that she would be starting work later that night, Lavanya also took the time to restock all of her supplies.

    Only when she was as ready as she could be did she make her way to the Embassy Inn. The sun was setting, lighting up the sky in tones of purple and orange, when she rode up to the Inn's front gates. After dismounting, she handed the reins to a bowing stable bow, loath though she was to hand such a majestic creature as her horse to anyone.

    "I am here to see Balefore Lark, Second Named Ambassador of the Grand Council of the Undying Desert." She declared. Then she was led inside and told to wait. Of course, the likes of her, mere mercenaries, were not taken directly to ambassadors. No matter, patience was a virtue, and she had little else but virtues and honor to cling to these days.

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  15. Fan7asticMrFox
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    Fan7asticMrFox Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maron Barosh
    ~The Marauding Berserker~
    "Let the Queens of the Sun gaze down in sorrow as I drown their lands in blood!"


    His eyes tore away from the trembling guard, and turned to the character in front. This one had stood strong, his words bold and daring. But the clothing was laughable, with the fabric so thin and loud in colour. Jewels of azure, jasmine and gold circled his fingers and neck, no doubt purchased with foolish coins. Maron took what he truly deemed his.

    He would have had more respect for the lad, were it not for the puny size and bony physique. If he turned sideways the boy would most likely vanish.

    “A dwarfling... with the power to free? Hah.” Chains rattled and moonlight glared as the prisoner moved away. This reeked of trickery and deceit, and Maron would not fall claim to moronic schemes. But Hui persevered, desperate to break through the barbarian’s thick skull. Eventually, he got a bite.

    “You wish to know what I want, puny one? What I desire?” At that moment Maron felt every ounce of the betrayal set upon him, and it weighed heavy on his soul. “I wish for time to stop in one specific moment, found in the past. To live in it forever, happy, and free.” The anger rose again. He boomed to the door, and stared face to face with Hui, his counter in every way. Height, weight, mind, and the side of the door.

    “But you cannot small man, can you. You cannot turn time. I have no use for riches, no need for slaves, and wish for no grand houses.”

    “So all I want is three things. Freedom. Retribution. And Isabella.”
     
  16. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Saif-Al-Rahmen Hui Shariah
    Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


    Three, Hui counted, one fist clenched so hard his knuckles turned white. Three comments regarding his height. As a consummate politician, Hui often managed to conceal his opinions, his thoughts, until and unless they were needed to prove a point. One thing, and one thing only could rise his anger, and that was comments about his diminished height.

    "You desire freedom?" He asked in a curt and biting tone of voice, his courtly manner peeling back for a moment to show the man beneath. [color=#40000]"That is easily arranged. In fact,"[/color] He reached into his jacket and withdraw a thing scroll, sealed with a the stamp of the Grand Magistrate. "I already have." Never let it be said he didn't come prepared.

    "Your power is brute strength; my power is more subtle, more devious and significantly greater than your own." He handed the scroll to the guardsman. After frowning for a moment, the man tore open the letter and read it through. He mumbled something about checking with his superior, and walked off. Hui raised an eyebrow, as if to show that he had proved his point.

    Then he stepped forward, closer to the bars, hands moving to grip each other behind his back. "You are right. I cannot turn time backwards, nor hold it in a perfect, eternal moment. But a dragon can." This was the point where every other warrior told him he was a foolish little boy. Since the man in the cage had already told him that, Hui hoped his reply would, if it was negative, at least be original.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
    committed citizens can change the world;
    indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    First quote by Salvadori Dali. Second quote by Margaret Mead​
     
  17. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Balefore Lark

    So she'd come. He knew that she would. He dismissed the messenger and went to the stand beside the bed, reaching into the drawer and pulling out a leather coin purse. He spilled some of it's jingling contents into his hand and counted out ten 50 mark pieces, and put them in his pocket. Money was not an issue to Bale, he had as much as he wanted, taken directly from the Council treasury. The morality of it was besides the point, he needed the money to ensure a lasting peace for his people. He was sure that they would understand.

    Slipping on a pair of sandals he stepped out of his room and went down to the lobby room where Lavanya would be waiting.

    "So, you came!" he said, clapping his hands together as he came down the stairs. He had made sure that the coins were in a loose enough pocket that the clinking of metal would be heard. He wanted her to remember the money, to be able to hear it, just out of reach. "I'm rather surprised actually. I didn't think that you'd be up for it," he lied. He had judged her correctly, right from the start. "So, I take it you would most likely want to hear where I'll be paying you to go, isn't that right?" he added, without giving her a chance to respond.

    "I warn you, this is usually the part that send people either running or into a fit of laughing hysterics," he said with a smile. "I aim to find Sindori, and the Last Dragon, Elatrix. So, now that you know that, are you still interested?"
     
  18. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Lavanya

    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+


    He came down the stairs several minutes after she arrived. Lavanya heard him before she saw him, the clinking of soft metal giving him away. At first, she assumed it was caused by something he was wearing, perhaps a keyring or an loose buckle. After she got a good look at him, however, she could think of only one reason for the sound - coins, large ones, and lots of them, were shifting around in a pocket.

    Was the man a fool? She didn't know how they did it in the Undying desert, but this was the Free Cities. Merchants and thieves made these streets their homes; gold for the taking was taken, often by force. Walking around announcing one's wealth was just asking to be attacked. She shook her head as he approached. Religious servant. Desert scum. Idiot. Was there a worse combination for a potential employer?

    Her opinion of him continued to drop with his rushed approach, right to business. Not even a moment was wasted on social niceties. Barbarians, she thought, all of them. Truly, exile was a more severe punishment than death.

    And then he told her his goal, the final destination. She didn't laugh. She didn't even smile. A fool indeed, she realized, to think he could just find Sindori. Or to assume it needed finding. The dragon now, that might take some searching, but the valley?

    "Let me guess, you want to go the short way, straight through the main pass, where you will be beset on both sides." If there was one place the where Pohoni fought more than any other, it was the pass to Sindori. "Or perhaps you considered the lay way, through the vale of the dead?" She shook her head again, haughty disdain evident in her posture, tone and expression. "Only someone with a death wish trespasses in the Sindori Valley." There were things in the mountains, forces older, and far more powerful, than this priest could imagine.

    Still, 1000 gold marks promised freedom from the life of a mercenary, a return to a more honorable way of life. Suicide by Sindori was almost worth it. "I choose the path, and I will join you." They wouldn't survive either option, but at least one did not contradict her honor.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  19. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Balefore

    I choose the path, and I will join you." She said to him.

    "And knowledgeable of the path as well. I'm glad that I picked you out in that tent," Balefore said, still with a smile. He could see what she was thinking, what she thought of him. But that was fine. All he needed her to be was a sword, and she had already surpassed that by demonstrating that she knew something of the path he wished to take.

    "I agree to your terms," he said, then reached into his pocket and pulled out the ten coins, and placed them on the table in front of her. "There is the down payment for your services. Upon arrival at Dragon's Peak, and location of Elatrix, or at a point that I feel satisfied with your service--providing we are unable to locate the dragon--I will give you the rest of the gold. If you leave my service before the task is completed, I will consider out contract void, and no further payment will be provided. Do you understand and agree?" he explained in a very careful manner, in the way of a diplomat.

    "And, allow me to apologize for getting right down to business. Pleasantries are wasted on those who do not care for them. I do not care for them, and I dare to say neither do you," he said, taking a flask of wine from a nearby stand and pouring two glasses, offering one to Lavanya with outstretched hand.
     
  20. Love to Write
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    Love to Write I'm a lover of writing. What else is to be said? Contributor

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    Cassius Strahan

    Twenty-eight year old Cassius Strahan sat on the edge of a stone base surrounding a 100 year old tree near the center of town. He'd pulled out his lyre strumming on it, while humming quietly to himself. Those who passed by would occasionally glance towards the minstrel wondering if he would perform. Though he had performed in this town before in the past, that wasn't what he was here for today. He was here for Hui. And to help him gather people for his quest to seek the mythical mother of Dragons. How he longed to see the creature with his very eyes. To write the poem about it that would be remembered for hundreds of years.

    "A quest...to seek...the Dragon Elatrix,
    To find...the truth...and perhaps the dragon's nest.
    Through river, mountains, and dangers all,
    To join the quest, you brave we call.

    Yes, a quest...to seek...the great dragon Elatrix."

    The traveling minstrel sang with practiced voice and perfected measure. Only the brave and willing would answer the call. The rest would write off his song as a lovely ditty. His eyes briefly scanned the street from which Hui would come after his talk with the behemoth. Cassius should his head as he continued his song. He'd tried to warn his young friend that trusting a creature like that would only get him killed, but Hui would hear none of it. If there was one thing Cassius envied about him...it was massive amount of courage he had in his small frame.
     
  21. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Lavanya

    Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land
    or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    Lavanya was taken aback slightly when he actually agreed to her condition. She was more surprised, unpleasantly so, when he only put down ten gold marks, and dared to call it down payment. Perhaps he had forgotten his original offer; she had not. "A promissory note from a reputable financial institution for 500 gold marks will be more than sufficient." It would be easy enough to transfer the money into her name before leaving, or at any of the major cities along the way.

    He had laid out further terms of their contract, and since Lavanya found them all to be reasonable, she made no comment. Especially since he had rushed on into an apology, or something of the kind. Then he offered her wine.

    She took the goblet, gripping it from the top, fingers grabbing the rim at several places. She placed it on the table next to the gold coins, untouched. It was forbidden for warriors of her rank to consume alcohol of any kind; something only a Pohoni would know. Since she had no interest educating heathens about her homeland, she said nothing about it, just ignored the wine.

    Instead, she traced the black marks on her skin, the tattoos she had been born with, from the edge of her eye down to her chin. Silently, she pressed two fingers to her forehead, then to her heart, and held her hand out, palm up. "My honor to yours." It was the closest she could come to an oath of loyalty to a foreigner, but it suited the nature of their arrangement well enough. As long as he honored his word, she would keep hers, even unto death.

    The formalities out of the way, Lavanya choose to return to business. Lark had been right about one thing - she was not particularly fond of wasting time on pleasantries. "We shall take the path through Dom Eminith. When do you want to leave?" Her eagerness, she admitted, had a little to do with the prospect of dying. Most of it, however, was caused by a single fact - for the first time in four years, she would be close to home. She would be in the mountains again, with all their terrors and wonders. If they survive, an unlikely prospect, she might even be able to look down at her homeland from some mountain in the range.


    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.
    It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle.
    The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of life.
     
  22. Erik-the-Enchanter!
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    Erik-the-Enchanter! Contributing Member

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    Maghatch Crookmouth
    My greatest confidante in this world is a chicken. Shoot me now.
    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    Maghatch stayed in the shady, cool private tea room for an hour or two, sipping passion fruit tea and throwing crackers to Greta, who clucked around the room at her leisure. The male servers of the tea shop kept thinking of excuses to barge in and ask if she needed anything, which Mags found amusing at first, but then it got highly annoying. When she left the shop, leaving some coins on the table, she left the severs wrapped up in shadow chains that the could not easily escape. Fortunately for them, the chains would disentegrate in fourty minutes or so. But they didn't need to know that, was Maghatch's crooked way of thinking.

    The day was winding down and there were lesser people in the streets. Maghatch decided to stroll along trying to pick up any gossip on Wulfric Snaptrap before heading back to her rented house, to see if his warehouse had been burned to the ground or partially saved. It was on this stroll that Maghatch heard a minstrel singing about dragons and a journey. The dark mage followed the sound of his voice until she saw him playing an instrument and getting lost in his own lyrics. Greta clucked and flapped her wings twice in her purple basket, as if to say, This song is way to exciting for me! Maghatch chuckled softly, it was one of her past-times imagining Greta's voice as a fussy old woman's.

    When there was a slight lull in the minstrel's song, Maghatch glided forward ghost-like and swiped back her hood to reveal her white face. Her glossy black-violet hair tumbled over her shoulders and framed her bosom. With a crooked grin on her painted lips, Maghatch said, "Goodday, sweet minstrel. I am a humble witch by the name of Maghatch Crookmouth." (She liked to make herself seem less powerful than she was, as a personal joke. Most people had heard of her anyway, at least most rich people had.) "I was passing by when I heard your lovely tune. Can you tell me more about the dragon?" Her curiousity was piqued. Was this man merely singing an old diddy? Or was there any truth to his melodic words?​
     
  23. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Talahari Den Kinodoko
    The Lone Watcher
    "Never think you are alone. The trees have ears, the birds have eyes, and I have both to heed and record your words."

    Torches crackled, and footsteps sounded along stone as two figures moved through the shadows in a maze of alleyways between buildings.

    Bah -this guy really likes pick the best places to meet. Talahari thought sarcastically, disgusted as she made a neat side-step to avoid stepping in a puddle of some green-colored slime. The constant plunk of water dripping from a roof and the thick, heavy stench of manure and trash made her want to grit her teeth and scream in frustration, but she was on a job. Jobs were what she was made for, so she must pay attention and ignore the irritating sounds and smells around her.

    Plus, this was like the place she had grown up in after her mother had been stolen away by the plague.

    "What is it that you need, my liege?" she spoke with a serpentine fluidity, her dark eyes glimmering in the light of a passing lantern. Her pale hands were clasped behind her back and the comforting clink of the bottles in her side-pouch soothed her ire momentarily as the nobleman halted, glancing at her out of the corner of one eye. She had to give him some respect for that -he knew better than to bother to try and recognize her for her looks.

    Currently, she was garbed as a female mercenary -a bit flashier than what she was used to yes, but a good disguise anyways. A blood-red cloak hung loosely about her hips, billowing out behind as she moved, her brass armor glowing with the reflection of the lantern's flames. Her dark eyes narrowed speculatively as the man bit on the inside of one cheek, thinking. Then:

    "I want you to keep a lookout for a boy by the name of Hui. Saif-Al-Rahmen Hui Shariah." he muttered, and Talahari's eyes flashed as a small bag was quickly tossed to her, the clink of coins sounding as she caught it mid-air. A thin smile quirked her lips, and she made a small bow in the nobleman's direction. He was a crude one, and good at knowing what she wanted.

    "Yes, my liege." she slurred, then pivoted and strode back in the direction from which she had come. The lanterns flickered and her armor glared, but she was aware of the nobleman's eyes on her as she turned a corner and dissapeared from sight.

    Now the game begins. Hui huh? she thought, tossing the bag of silver speculatively, then her teeth flashed in a hungry smile, a high price for a competitor's brat. I wonder what is so important about him...
     
  24. Love to Write
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    Love to Write I'm a lover of writing. What else is to be said? Contributor

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    Cassius and Maghatch

    "I was passing by when I heard your lovely tune. Can you tell me more about the dragon?" Said the witch. Cassius continued to strum but smiled in return. He found the woman to be beautiful, in her own way...but she was nothing compared to Charlotte. "Ah...Crookmouth." He replied as he noted her twisted smile. He had heard of the infamous witch in passing. "I have long wondered where the name came from. I am Cassius, son of Count Strahan. The dragon I speak of is none other than the mythical Elatrix, the mother of all dragons. According to legend and song she is the last living dragon and that she can grant fame, power, wealth or knowledge to the pilgrim foolish enough to brave the steep passes and hidden valleys." Cassius said in the tone of storyteller. The music of lyre added to the anticipation of what the listener might hear next.

    "The Noble Hui and myself are gathering all the brave questors we can muster. It is our goal to brave the dangers and see the truth about Elatrix for ourselves."

    Maghatch's playful grin vanished as she heard the minstrel's story. At first she thought he may be jesting, but then she realised from the sincerity of his words that he was being truthful. When he was finished, Maghatch concidered her options. If she went with this man and his noble friend she could get a wish from the dragon to keep herself and her family happy for life. Especially her family, who were living out of tents presently after their home was destroyed. "What do you think, Greta?", Maghatch asked her pet chicken. Greta clucked and glared up at Mags with a beady red-black eye. Her look echoed Mags' own thoughts: There isn't anything to think about, you have to go for your family.

    "I would like to join you and your friend on your quest", Maghatch announced, her crooked grin slowly returning. "I think you could value from my unique talents. And Greta, too, free eggs and all that." She patted her chicken's shiny black feathers. "So...where do I sign up?"

    Cassius stopped his strumming for a moment. "Our leader, Hui, will be returning shortly. Possibly with another companion in tow. Until then I would suggest you gather the necessary supplies. The journey will be a long and arduous one."

    Cassius suddenly resumed his strumming and returned to his song, this time adding a stanza.
    "A quest, a quest to the dragon's lair.
    A man, a dwarf, and a woman fair.
    Who else shall seek the truth of she,
    Who wields the power to grant your dream."
     
  25. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Balefore

    "A promissory note from a reputable financial institution for 500 gold marks will be more than sufficient."

    Balefore chuckled. "Promissory notes are well and good, but I would prefer if there was as little of a paper trail to this as possible. There are political elements that oppose me, and I would like to avoid having to explain to them what I spent 500 gold on in a far off city. Once a rumor starts, it can be the end of a career, I'm sure you understand... " he said.

    "As for when we leave, I need a few days to make preparations, and assemble some, other, how should I say, supplies," he said, thinking over his words carefully. "If it is agreeable to you, we shall depart in two days time at dawn."

    This interaction so far was going about as well as he could expect. He could tell that she didn't think much of him, but that was fine. It might even turn that he could use it to his advantage later.

    He noticed that she hadn't touched the wine, a curious fact. He guessed that she was suspicious of him, which she had every right to be. Suspicion was a good quality in a guard, it kept them on their toes. But he felt like there was something else to it as well, there were many layers to this woman. He wondered if she had managed to guess the same of him, but thought not. He had grown very skilled at coming across whatever he wanted to, a good trait for an ambassador.

    "Do you have a place to stay in the city? If not, I can provide you with a room here until the appointed time to leave?"
     

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