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Zeroth Post
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Zeroth


Many people have sought to track the days, months, and even years through their own methods with varied success, some using the flowering plants as a guide while others the phases of the moons. The Scholars of Eroammir and the Imperium, however, have long worked since their truce to establish the calendar that most follow today. Were it not for the early work of the Sacred Flame, this calendar perhaps would not have come into existence as it has today.

The Royal Flame is a magical flame created to follow the cycles of the day and night, of the months and years, all to guide the people of this world forward. From this they established that this world, known commonly among them as Ventia, consists of three hundred and seventy-two days split between six months and further split into twenty six hours. The naming of the months has been a long process however what is listed below has been the Scholar’s finalized works.

It should be noted that the starting Date for this roleplay is now officially 33rd of Falistia






Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Mag Lev
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There was no fanfare welcoming the approaching ship, no greeting from King and Country welcoming those bearing the standard of the Order. All that rose to greet the ship in these cold, foreign waters was a sun as golden as their banner and waves as loud as crowds. None of this was meant to be a comfort to the ‘members’ of the Order who had been brought north to Weirn and were facing their deployment in a land which would not accommodate them, let alone recognize them as anything but leeches. It was in this cold land- both to outsiders and citizens alike- that they were to serve the Order and earn redemption, to be freed from their pasts.

The ship coasted along the waves towards the port of Haev, its appearance causing few to stop in their travels and watch as it made port. While in the lands of Ioria the Order’s insignia may have brought crowds running, all for a chance to seem some legendary soldier, there was no such crowd. No glorious uproar of children nor merchants looking to haggle with the weary adventurers. Only enmity greeted the crew as they moored the boat and placed down the plank-way.

The citizens knew not what the Order had brought to their land this time be it more soldiers to ‘defend’ them or more teachers to ‘educate’ them. They cared not for the Order and their foreign ways even as the Kings of Weirn had turned their attention towards squabbling in the relative peace of their land. Not even the Horimir hordes had bothered them in many months, not even the goblins which roamed the dense forest around the Orimmir range had been aggressive. There was no need for these outsiders, no need for the condescending gaze as they looked up the citizens. Who were they to judge what Old Gods they worshiped, who were they to seek to teach them magic or swordsmanship.

Indeed, the citizens nonetheless watched as a lieutenant of the Order stepped off the boat and was followed by his ‘members’. How odd it was to watch a procession of so few soldiers for the Order as they filed off the boat, one by one; Elves and Humans, Starfallen and Orisiri, even half-breeds and a dwarf. To all but a few this was nothing unusual, a common occurrence in recent months as the Order made their presence in Weirn more known to both the Kings and the people. They had brought expeditionary forces in the early spring and eventually ambassadors, eventually seeing a member of the Order was common and their recruits became more common in the fields outside Haev and Vernthouth.

There was, however, an air of mystery surrounding those that the citizens of Have saw before them now. These people were not the usual fresh faced recruits from Eroammir or the Imperium nor traveler from Keirous rather they all seemed to have seen their fair share of trials. Some bore marks of battle, hardly able to be seen beneath their armor, while one even had a mask that seemed to be a part of him. What stood out most of all, however, was the growing worry for the shackles which were attached at their feet.

The crowd’s muffled curiosity at the new arrivals soon rose into anger, a sheer uproar as many yelled insults both over race and alignment with the Order. Those that noted the shackles simply demanded the Order explain what they were doing, how they could protect their lands if they were to bring scum into it. Eventually the crowd dispersed and a brief silence took over the port of Haev, its merchants soon returning to haggling with the citizens.

”You see, neither us nor you are welcomed in this land. Weirn cares not for the Order and what we wish to do for them. They tend to themselves even with bandits ruling entire cities, even with trade barons fighting for control in their courts. You are but a momentary distraction to them. You are unknown.” The Lieutenant sounded somber as he removed the shackles from the members he had brought with them. It was but a precaution, a temporary facet for the new arrivals so they would not escape their fate.

There was little to escape to, of course, now that they had arrived in Weirn. With little than a motion of his hand, the Lieutenant lead the arrivals through the winding streets of Haev to the Western Gate. There had been little to see on the way through the city, citizens milling about in their homes and smiths working their forges. Even merchants from Eroammir could be seen every now and then as they passed stalls and depots. Once outside the gates, however, the momentary calm was broken. Thrust upon them was a sight unlike any they had seen before, a small city of tents and wooden palisades struck into the muddy ground near the walls. Where the palisades ended began another, far smaller, tent city bearing symbols of various merchant companies from Vernthouth.





”We’ve not had much time to prepare in this land so all we have are these ramshackle accommodations, tents that’ll barely keep us warm in the coming seasons but a home nonetheless,” the Lieutenant sighed and looked over his shoulder, ”This is where you’ll call home.” With a sweeping arm and, likely, a slight hit of comedy in his theatrics, the Lieutenant displayed before the new arrivals the mass of tents dedicated solely to the Order. Among them stood several banners organizing companies and squads, even further divided into jobs and ranks by the markings of each large tent. Most of the soldiers had already awakened and begun their training, many assembling to perform daily matches to improve swordsmanship and even a few gathered studying their magic.

To some it seemed little less than a combat field however the occasional chair and table could be seen among the place the Order had called home. Some had managed to set up a ring for wrestling, betting on who would win with rations or coin they could spare. Others had built a meager lodge out of rotting lumber to act as a library. As much as the new arrivals may have wished to, they were granted no time to take it all in as they were quickly ushered along. Little explanation was offered, as had been usual in their stay with the Order thus far, until they were brought to a large tent fit for only those of the highest ranks. Upon arriving they were ushered in and greeted by a sight of a large map and many other strategic devices on a table.

”Ah, they are here,” called a voice from behind a stack of books, ”You must excuse me for the mess, I’ve been rather busy in recent weeks preparing for Fall and Winter. You see, it gets extremely cold up here and we have rather barren accommodations and little in the way of a supply line. If we don’t hurry with our deliberation with the locals, we’ll end up starving to death. Or freezing.” The voice chuckled briefly and stepped out from behind the books with a stack in hand, placing them on the table quickly before smiling at the new arrivals. He could not have been a man more than thirty-five, obviously Human, yet he seemed more wise than any they had seen yet. ”I’ve gotten ahead of myself again, haven’t I? I am Captain Eros Vaughn, I’m the Commander of this little slice of home we call a garrison. And you all are my new recruits here to be redeemed, yes?” -

A quick step took the Captain from one edge of the table to the other, greeting all his new soldiers in turn with a handshake and smile. ”You see, I know about all of you and have every detail I could ever want on how you ended up coming to me. I know that Georgia won’t be going to Vernthouth until we resolve issues over there and that Einarr would be in serious danger were we to send him to Normundr so soon after we got him. One of you tried to start a revolution, another blamed for her Father’s death, another for a noble’s death.” All air of formality and kindness had left the Captain’s face well into his conversation with the Arrivals, instead replaced by a grim look more of disappointment than disgust. ”As much as I would’ve rather seen you come here willingly, I fear that is not the case we have found ourselves in.”

With a brief bow of his head the Captain moved back to his position at the head of the table and surveyed the map briefly. ”Weirn is a dangerous land my friends, so much so that we very will might die by the end of Fall if we aren’t careful. It is less that there are those out there who want us dead, though they exist don’t get me wrong, it is more that every step forward we have made in the past half year has been met with ever increasing resistance. The citizens refuse to recognize us as a positive influence on their lands, mostly due to the failures in dealing with their Kings. We’ve been forced to live outside the walls of Haev for months now and we’ve been unable to secure a supply line in this land, relying entirely on what little we can get through the path between Eroammir and here.”

”You are going to change that. You are going to perform duties not for the Order but for the people of this land. You are free in this land and answer only to me. All I need is your help. Do you accept my terms?”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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ZAVAZggg Lord of Plots / & Slayer of Crustaceans

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Einarr looked around the tent carefully, making sure to take stock of each and every one of the people he'd undoubtedly be working with for the foreseeable future. Each of them was here for their own reasons, although Einarr wished he wasn't. It wasn't the fact that he had to help the Order, he was fine with that as long as he was given an adequate amount of personal space, rather it was the fact that he'd be operating in his own homeland, which was filled with people who hated the organization he now found himself working for. Having seen the hostility they showed towards the Order's soldiers upon their arrival, Einarr was seriously concerned about how they would react to him and those around him.

While he was no stranger to fighting, the thought of killing his own kinsmen, even if it was in self defense, just didn't sit well with him.

Letting out a barely audible grunt, Einarr pushed the thought to the back of his mind and nodded in acknowledgement of the man's request. He could worry about such things when they became relevant to him, the Order, or whatever group he was assigned to.

Until then, he'd just follow Captain Vaughn's orders.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Dealdric
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Lunearo stepped up to the table, putting his armored hand on the table. His breathing was loud and metallic, as if listening to the wind in a cave. His eyes were not visible, but it was clear what he was looking at. With the other hand, he bowed to the captain. "My captain, helping people is what you do, therefore, what I do. I've heard much of Wiern, but only from what manuscripts exist. I have but one question; how many corpses do the locals bury annually?" He chuckled, then looked at their merry band. "Captain, just point and I'll pull the string. I'm betting we all would, eh? We all have nothing left to go back to, I lost my land, she's a former slave, they lost their honor, etc, etc." He took off his right glove, and etched a symbol into his hand. He then dropped the blood onto the bare ground, chanting while he did. He quickly finished, and put his glove back on.
"There, done. Ask me about that later." He saw a nearby stool and sat on it. He saw a stone and started using his dagger to shape it with runes. He watched the others all the while. "Two outta' twelve. I like my odds."
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lionhearted
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Haev.

Tara eyed the city from a distance. The shackles grew colder with the frigid wind, helping to make her ankles go numb to ignore the irritation of her constricted movements. The atmosphere was colder than what she’s used to, goosebumps arising along the surface of her skin. Yet, as they approached the city, she remembered the warming affect of the port-city, brought about by persistent merchants and it’s eager society. ‘Redemption’ is what landed her here. Tara couldn’t help but sigh at the thought, suppressing the anger that continuously tried to resurface. Wrongly accused, thrown out like a prisoner, and stripped of her nobility. Still, even while bundled in leather armor and cold shackles, her posture remained poise, her chin held high.

The release of her shackles came as a relief, but the distaste upon their arrival nulled the feeling quick. She expected nothing more than the insults and spit of the citizens of Haev, ignoring the several comments and shouts that seemed to surround her at all angles. Thankfully, Tara had a gift of being calm in otherwise flustered situations. She paid more attention to the vicinity and the occasional faces of the people, trying to look past their scowls and glares. The layout was coming back to her from when she was traveling, undergoing her trials of restoration magic. The diversity, the unrestricted people, the architecture of the port, the tantalizing mountain range—it was one of her favorite cities. Hopefully this trip wouldn’t destroy that for her.

Tara’s optimism took a hit when they reached the tents outside the gates of the city. This definitely portrayed their social stance with the people of Haev. Tara shuddered as the Lieutenant called the place their ‘home’, trying to absorb as much of the setting as she could. The busy atmosphere of the Order could be felt at the first step upon entrance, so busy that Tara felt the need to concentrate on each step, the fast-pace potentially taking her off her feet at any instant. A faint look of worry came upon her, usually, stern expression. The soldiers were rowdy, as expected since they lived a rigorous lifestyle—training from dusk till dawn, braving quests with low chances of survival, giving their life to such an active organization—all to end up in a bunch of tents, huddling together to try to keep warm at night. She scoffed at the disrespect, but it quickly turned into a nervous sigh. Tara struggled to envision herself among them, her very obvious nobility rooting itself deep within her habits.

Pressingly, they were brought to a large tent that indicated the homestead for the higher ranking members. The captain then introduced himself. An unwanted sense of envy stirred within Tara, seeing the rather youthful leader speak commandingly reminded her of the status she once had. The envy turned into a mixture of shock and irritation as he revealed her crime nonchalantly. The Order must really have eyes everywhere like they say, though Tara was well-known for her stance on peace, so it shouldn’t be shocking that the word would spread. As he finished speaking, she became hopeful that she’d be able to fulfill his task easily. Tara’s healing abilities will easily win over the trust of the city.

The actions of one of her fellow initiates was—peculiar. Tara, then, became reminded of the culture of the order that she would be delving into. She took a deep breath to calm herself, studying the cryptic individual as he demonstrated a display of his skill. The sinister mask, the strange aura, the mention of corpses, the chant of his spell—he was undoubtedly a necromancer. A seemingly confident one. The contrast of the two was alarming and unpredicted. Tara heard of necromancy and even learned of their spells since some of them can be closely-related to restoration, but she has never met one in person. What frightened her more, was his eagerness to serve the Order despite his reason for being here. It could be impatience to finally reach redemption, or it could be fake loyalty.

Tara decided to remain quiet.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Torack
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The expedition was dreadful and cold. Their legs had been chained together and he was forced to bear the cold, frigid air of the north the entire trip, his cloak the only thing keeping him warm. Never during his travels had he been to a place so fucking cold, and trying to get used to it on the sea as they were was futile. The water would often crash into them, making whatever efforts they’d managed in keeping warm all that much more useless. It was only small comfort that he had a gambeson underneath his armour to keep him somewhat protected from the cold, not nearly enough however.

Still, he was brought up onto the deck as they arrived in the north. A dreary place, harsh and unkind to its people. Almost the exact opposite of where he grew up. Oh, this was just going to be fun wasn’t it? The smell of spices that constantly filled the air back home was gone, replaced with the brine of the sea and the scent of cold, hard stone spent too long in ice. The place looked, and even smelled cold. Everywhere was white, the few places that weren’t was where the mud had turned it brown and into some sort of slosh.

And everywhere Itkovian looked, people were looking back at them, huddled underneath layers of clothing and fur, their eyes cold and hard. Mistrusting.

Where the hell had they brought him? They told him he was to be seeking redemption and a part of him thought since he was given his weapons and armour that he was going to be fighting in some protracted war where the Order were desperate for recruits. Alas, that wasn’t the case. This was a freezing landscape and he had no idea what he was meant to do.

They were ushered out of the ship, Itkovian’s helm under an arm as they walked through the city. He heard the curses flung at him and tried to mostly ignored them, his mind wondering how he’d manage to turn this to his favour. It was certainly a dreary place, but something could be made of it, he just had to look for opportunities. At least for the moment they were going to be staying in a town, which was honestly better than what he’d initially imagined.

It seemed he spoke too soon however. The town wasn’t meant for them, but rather the city of tents was… and although it looked back, truth be told it wasn’t that bad. He’d lived in tents before while out with his mercenary band, but the cold was something he was going to have to get used to by himself. Which was going to take a while, and he was loathe to strip down to his small clothes for sleep during the night. How the hell were they going to manage that. Fuck.

They were ushered to meet the Captain, young looking fellow, and not nearly as charismatic as Brush Tath, but who would be under these circumstances. He listened to the Captain speak and his words were reasonable. Beyond reasonable actually, he’d never thought he’d come here and be told he was free, to do as he wished and only answer to one man. It seemed too good to be true. But he thought about it for a moment. The people here looked like they hated them, so what good that would bring he had no idea, and if he was in any way dishonourable, he’d try to escape. Which, undoubtedly, would lead to a slow death in the wilds.

He was in truth a prisoner here. He’d just have to find a way to make the best of it. “Aye, I agree to your terms, Captain,” he said, “seems reasonable enough.”
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Nightingale43
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The boat ride to the new land was anything but gentle to Seiritif. Tied to icy chains which slowly numbed his skin but that feeling felt increasingly irrational due to this being the first time in his life he has been upon a seafaring vessel. Resulting in him puking off the sides of the ship into the sea multiple times until his stomach was empty. So, upon arrival he was overjoyed at the sight of land, rushing to get off the boat as quickly as possible, and nearly falling on the ground in the process. But to his own dismay the reception of the group was that of anger and rage. Instinctively He attempted to raise his voice towards the crowd to attempt to calm the beast before realizing both that it would have been a futile attempt to calm a crowd this size, and that this wasn’t his battle to fight, yet.

Even though Seiritif is no stranger to mistrusting eyes, something in the people’s glances felt… different. Accustomed to the looks of fear, worry, and mistrust from others, but now these peoples’ eyes were full of disgust, not only directed at him but towards the rest of his group. As his normally tall frame slowly slouched down in response. A single thought crossed his mind as he suddenly pulled his frame back up to his normal height. You’ll either get used to it, or figure it out.

The sight of the tents was almost amusing to the tiefling, being no stranger to living with tents as he’s done so for most of his life in the circus. Just now he was trading one batch of tents for another. The main difference being the searing cold, which may prove to be problematic in the later months, silently conccuring to himself that would need to get clothes more suitable for this climate in the near future.

Once the lieutenant finished his speech, Seiritif kept a watchful eye on the grave keeper as he began to speak up. Watching him with the same look of a cat witnessing a new anomaly. Something about the man seemed to draw Seiritif in, as he never seemed like the type to pucker up to others, yet here he is, bowing his head. Being even more caught off guard when he drew his own blood directly in front of the group, his incantation was undoubtedly that of a necromancer as it reminded him of his old guardian back. But of what the incantation does seamed to be a mystery to everyone involved.

Failing to suppress a smile at the old man’s temerity; the tiefling stepped up to speak. Sweeping his arms grandiosely at the rest of the group all while looking at the lieutenant. “I believe the masked man speaks for all of us under this tent, as we owe you my good sir, and the order our lives. And for that I believe the least we can give you is our loyalties to your work as we follow you into this new land. As this sentence is far from gracious for what we have done in our past.” Pulling back, Seiritif gave a brief bow as he began receding to the back of the tent.

“Therefore, if you ever call, I shall arrive at your whim. You have my word.” His last words held a tinge of doubt in the air, barely noticable but it was inimitably there. Flinching at his own voice’s betrayal, he hastened his pace to the back of the group, keeping a watchful eye over his new band of misfits all while trying to avoid eye contact after his slip up. Most of what he said was true, his loyalties are now with the order as abandoning now would be suicidal. Yet he still couldnt make himself trust those around him.



Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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Shackles.

Again.

Aelsu had thought the Order would be a place where she could earn her freedom, but it seemed to quickly not be the case. The heavy shackles were only a minor inconvenience, really, but it was a statement. An infuriating reminder that she was owned. Property. She'd rather have died honorably on the battlefield than this again...but perhaps, such was her fate for not being a true Orisiri. Her gods perhaps, enjoyed her torment and rightfully so. She should have died in the Arena years ago. She was just far too stubborn too. If the gods wanted to constantly test her, then she'd overcome until she had earned her freedom and redemption, even if it never came.

The Orisiri listened with only trained attention to the words of the lieutenant at the port. As the shackles came off, Aelsu merely flexed her hands, taking a moment to get the feeling of them off of her body, ignoring the shouts of anger. Understandable. Criminals and outlaws being bought to your land? No one would find the idea welcome. She'd probably do something similar. Perhaps. Perhaps. The people of Haev were simply being cautious of troublesome outsiders that they didn't ask for or want.

She followed the others obediently, without much thought, taking note of the different people. She had spent most of her life in the Pits, in and out of cells or stone buildings...being outside for a change was refreshing. What wasn't though, were the merchants from Eroammir, peddling their wares. Anyone watching, could easily tell Aelsu was having to physically restrain herself from doing something rash, but thankfully once they reached their destination Aelsu's thoughts were focused on it.

At least it was outside, and not something that barely passed as an upgrade from a cell. Better than the Pits, at least. She'd take it.

The Lieutenant began speaking again, telling them this was to be their home. Aelsu folded her arms across her chest, but said nothing. As long as she wasn't in the Pits, she'd live. Lions, beasts, and blood thirsty criminals had yet to best her in combat, she wasn't going to complain about being a little cold. The only thing that seemed to catch her attention, was the ring people were using for wrestling. Hm. Perhaps she could find some decent entertainment there, but she was quickly ushered once more towards an important looking tent.

Commander Vaughn was quick to introduce himself, and Aelsu immediately didn't like him. Talked too much, and that word 'redeemed' again. Annoying. She had nothing to repent for in these foreign lands. What she had done, was merely try to earn her and those in the pits their rightfully deserved freedom from a barbaric society masquerading as enlightened. She ignored her companions. She didn't care about their immediate opinions, but it sounded like the Order had no business being in Weirn anyways, if they were met with such resistance.

But that wasn't her place to say such things.

"...you took me from an honorable death," Aelsu replied coolly. She was still wearing her armor, most of her appearance being completely hidden, but her voice likely now gave her away as an Orisiri. "at the hands of those godless mongrels of Eroammir. Yet you give me some semblance of freedom, despite being so blatantly shackled...so you have my spear, for now. Don't squander it."
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The journey across the waters was, in a word, unpleasant. Georgia had never even seen the sea before, even less board a boat. She would wander below decks for most of their travel, doing her best to put the rocking of the ship out of mind to ease her stomach. The company of others with such wild histories and personalities would have soothed her but the weight of iron shackles kept her grounded to the situation. From time to time, Georgia sought the company of her Elven friend, Vél, and share her thoughts. Such as leaving Henry back at the sanctuary for some other orders.

Docking at Haev, the group was ordered along in an organized manner. What Georgia didn't expect was the jeering of the crowds, nearly toward anyone closest to the crowd, but she managed to miss the attention of most of their harsh words due to the appearances of her acquaintances. This didn't stop her cheeks from feeling warm, however, and she attempted to focus on the reactions of the crew. Some were seemingly unaffected, others visibly shaken. This gave her mixed feelings as they were all very intimidating people to someone like Georgia. She would allow a quiet sigh once her bonds were released, rubbing her wrists gently.

A hint of disappointment at the sight of the Order's living arrangements. Georgia had grown accustomed to the relatively nice lifestyle of guards, feather beds, and, well, the lack of her life being in danger. There were men and women that were passably happy with where they were, and she couldn't help but watch as people sparred and she believes she had spied someone with some kind of game board. A group of cloaked figures huddled around with tomes and other probably magical devices, forming a mental note to check that out later.

As the group was ushered into one of the larger tents that Georgia had ever seen, an official man introduced himself as their Captain. She eyed him closely until he mentioned her name, forcing her heart to skip a beat and eyes to stare at her feet briefly. She intended to listen, really she did, but a sense of embarrassment washed over her as she believed others' eyes were upon her. It wasn't until others of her group started to speak up that she realized the man was done talking and likely expected some answer. The strange man with the mask made more of a show than anyone, but when the Captain's eyes went over her she could only nod.

The loyalties of the group seemed genuine yet temporary. Everyone here will likely take the first opportunity to leave.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Aristo
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More than anything, Nazan was glad to be ashore. He’d never been on the open sea before and had the barest of experience in the seat of a riverboat. The waves rolled and churned his stomach as much as they did the ship, and Nazan spent the lion’s share of his time aboard heaving over the edge, or ducking down in the bowels of the vessel. Sea sickness was an enemy that a blade could not defeat. He took in a long breath as he stepped off the gangplank and his feet sunk into solid ground at last.

The shackles had been a small price to pay compared to the constant nausea onboard, but he disliked them all the same. They made sense for criminals and lowlives the Order forced into service, perhaps. But he was neither, at least by his definition. The Order had saved him from certain death and he’d come along willingly. Why did he need restraining?

Nazan flexed his arms as the bonds came off, feeling the life return to his hands. As he stretched, he took in his immediate surroundings. Haev didn’t make a particularly good impression. His glance was met with scowls and hushed whispers and the locals shut their windows or turned their backs on the new arrivals. Nazan wasn’t interested in them anyway. He looked forward to getting down to business, a decent meal and a night in a bed that didn’t toss and turn.

His disinterest became mild annoyance when they marched further into the port and the inhabitants got more vocal. They threw insults and jeers and Nazan’s ear picked up more than a few slurs meant for orisiri. He was sure the other, the woman, heard them too.

She hadn’t been in much mood to talk during the trip, not that Nazan’s stomach was willing to cooperate either. He’d been able to gather her name, Aelsu, and knew she was a plains orisiri. She had the bearing of a fighter, carried herself with the knowledge that she could break any of the jeering locals with her bare hands if it was up to her. Beyond that, anything was a guess.

The entire crew was diverse, all things considered. Just about every sapient species had a representation here, even the enigmatic star-fallen. There was more to the locals’ disapproval than that, but Nazan suspected it gave them all the more reason to hate them.

Eventually, the throng was ushered inside a large tent, wherein Captain Eros Vaughn introduced himself and gave a summary of their duties. The picture he painted was bleak. Why did the Order still try, when Weirn seemed like a lost cause? Certainly there were other places more accommodating, where the Order could do its business and not hamstring itself. Nazan didn’t pretend to understand. Without a supply line or outside assistance, this operation wouldn’t last. What happened then? Would the Order pull out and set them free elsewhere, or would it be content to leave them to whatever fate claimed them?

Either way, it wasn’t as if any of them were in a position to back out.

“Agreed,” he said curtly.
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Breathe in, count slowly to three. Breathe out, count back down to zero. Rinse and repeat, over and over again as the seconds turn to minutes turn to hours turn to- you get the picture. It was an important exercise for most novice mages, for depending on who your teacher happened to be controlling your breathing was often one of the first lessons you were given when initially starting to train with magic. That, and an excessive amount of memorizing of excruciatingly specific arcane pronunciations. Of course, all that was completely irrelevant at the moment. Sarathai, lying in the rank darkness belowdeck with an arm draped dramatically across his face, was not in fact practicing his meager magical talent. At the moment, he was trying not to throw up. Again.

His first time aboard a ship and he had been thoroughly convinced it would be his last, as he knew with preternatural clarity that only one on death's door could ever feel this terribly unwell for this extended a period of time. So caught up in trying to keep down the horrific food he had most recently been provided with and not making another mess he would end up having to clean up, he barely noticed when they finally reached their ultimate destination. Not until someone was shouting that it was time to move. With a groan, he had lurched unsteadily to his feet and taken the few wobbly steps out into the sunlight Squinting against the painfully bright sun after all the days in cramped perpetual gloom, he beheld Haev for the first time in his life. As he shuffled off the ship, the chains that bound his legs clinked and he couldn't help but reflect on what a unfortunate and dismal twist his life had taken. At the very least he still had both of his kneecaps and the torments of the high seas had been unable to claim his life in the end. Smooth sailing from here on out, right?

As he and the rest of the 'recruits' were herded through the city, he couldn't help but greedily revel in the sensation of breathing fresh air for the first time in forever. He had become so acclimated to the perpetual stink of bilgewater and unwashed bodies that he had almost forgotten what clean air smelled like. Though initially he had been scanning his surroundings with a great deal more enthusiasm than might be expected from someone in his situation, he quickly grew disillusioned as he recognized just how mundane this city really was. Stories, legends and history books were all well and good, but in reality it turned out that at the end of the day Haev was just a city and the people dwelling here were just ordinary people. Just like everywhere else after all.

Eventually they were escorted from the gates of the resoundingly average city to the resoundingly below average living conditions it seemed like he would end up having to suffer through, out here in the Order's camp. Alas, it seemed dismal accommodations were just something he would have to grow accustomed to. At the very least he had dry land beneath his boots once again. No more fucking boats.

When the lieutenant spoke to the gathered group that had been on the boat with Sarathai, he had initially opened his mouth to speak once the lieutenant posed his initial question, but someone else had beaten him to answering. And what an answer it was! That guy, the one with the mask for a face- he gave the most outlandish little speech, chanted a bunch and bled some before ambling off to sit in his own little corner. Some small part of Sarathai was trying to convince the rest of him that he should feel intimidated, or even threatened by the display. Yet, all he really found himself feeling was bemused. It had been a long voyage and he really need a nap on a bed that wasn't constantly rocking back and forth beneath him. The tiefling's speech soon after sealed the deal- things were almost certainly going to get out of hand at some point soon. He vaguely thought he recognized that tiefling. Was he another the one that Sarathai had silently regarded as his puke-buddy back on the ship, despite never having personally interacted with one another during the voyage? If so, it was good to see the fellow so lively already- not to mention considerably less morose than the rest of this crew. The moment passed quickly enough, as things came back around with some particularly dour words courtesy of a big 'ole armored Orisiri.

Realizing that he had kinda just left his mouth hanging partially open from the time when he had once intended to speak, he let it snap shut. Instead of giving any verbal confirmation, he simply nodded and gave the most formal-seeming salute he could muster.


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‘The bill,’ Stravi’s father had been fond of saying, ‘always comes due.’ Kaltner had used the line whenever his bookies demanded that he pay his gambling debts, or when another of his ill-advised business ventures failed and the Clan were forced to bear the brunt of the financial loss. It was an excuse, born of weakness. If the bill always came, how could Kaltner be to blame for it arriving? Whenever fortune turned against him – which it so often did – he would utter that phrase, ‘the bill always comes due,’ usually with an air of considered ennui, and then move on, learning nothing from his failures. Just another of his father’s clever tricks to avoid having to take responsibility for his shortcomings.

Stravi had been thinking of his father a lot recently.

It was with something of a start that the Dwarven Lord came back into the room – well, tent – jolting slightly from his reverie as his comrades stirred, each struggling with Captain Vaughn’s words in their own ways. At least none of them are naïve enough to refuse the Order’s ‘offer’, he thought to himself. He expected hysterics from some of the more ‘fragile’ recruits, like that half-elf wizard who had spent the whole voyage North sharing the contents of his stomach with the fishes, but thankfully they were all pragmatic enough to realise when that what the Captain called freedom was really little more than indentured servitude.

However, any relief Stravi felt at the lack of whining histrionics was offset by the Necromancer’s mysterious antics. He had learnt over the years never to trust anything that he didn’t understand, and he had no more understanding of Lunearo and his motives than he did the minds of the Gods. One thing was painfully obvious though; that fanatic was going to be trouble. The same went for the Osiri gladiator. He’d heard she had led a failed revolt back in Eroammir, though it seemed she hadn’t learnt her lesson the first time around. She was just waiting for another revolution. The mercenary life attracted some pretty destructive individuals, and he’d developed a knack for spotting them. He recognised her for what she was the minute he laid eyes on her, just another soul living to get themselves killed.

Realising that Vaughn was going to continue on with the charade that they had a choice here until they all answered Stravi was forced to speak up.

“The bill always comes due.” He sighed, voice deep and sonorous, and much warmer than one would expect from a kin-killer. “Now can we get on with it. The faster we fix Haev, the faster we leave his frozen cesspit.”
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The long ocean voyage had treated Vélaneah better than many of her fellow Arrivals; the sea sang to her, and while some had spent the storm puking helplessly over the side she had spent the night in a state of detached enchantment, listening to something only another cryomancer could be expected to hear. The ship drawing closer to shore was thus, for her, less of a relief than a burden. On went the shackles - a pointless gesture to security on the open seas - and the Lieutenant was suddenly playing most-in-sight once more. To Vélaneah, the rising tide of anger as Haev's citizens took one look at their supposed protectors was perfectly understandable and she simply nodded in sympathy amid the cacophony. The damage done, the Lieutenant saw about removing their shackles and the quiet and slight elf rubbed at her wrists to restore the warmth to them.

Vél was content to trail along at the back of the group as they were hustled along, watching each of her new friends curiously during the introduction. She knew of dear Georgia's issues in Vernthouth of course, but who was the the revolutionary? Who the murderers? Her grey eyes returned to study the human Captain closely as he laid out his terms, flickering to each of the others as they accepted but always returning to him. A studious man. A courteous man, for a human. He seemed reasonable, though her hand still felt his brisk handshake.

"Yes," she said at last, emerging from the back of the group after most of the others had spoken. "Yes, we have an accord and I will answer to you during our time here." She half-smiled, a subtle flicker of a dimple and gone. "Yet - the time will come when I wish to leave, and I know that others among my friends feel the same. This is not my land, though I will help to make it a better. What is our path to return home with honour?"

She had never accepted the notion that any of her actions required redemption, for they were all done for those she owed loyalty and returned it in kind. Yes she had been caught out and branded a traitor for her actions... yet that was not wholly unintended either. Better she draw the fire's heart upon herself than leave it to consume all that she had worked for.

"Also," the short woman said at last, drawing back her green hood to expose more of her features as she bearded the Captain directly. "Do you know what it is you would have us do? Or is more initiative required of us, to find those who hold the key to Haev and sway them to support the Order and its ends here independent of your direction?"

She had spoken her piece. She would not fade into the background again, not here. Instead she found her place, standing between Stravi and Georgia. Both friends she had spoken with during the voyage, before the storm came down upon them.
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Lunearo had listened to them all, gauging the best to affiliate with. He liked the dwarf and noble, both seemably hardy and smart people. When he heard the Dwarf say the bill always comes due, he immediately wanted to get on his good side. But then he saw the tiefling. Useful, small, quick witted. Good alliance there. Then he cringed at the Osiri. He had many dealings with tradesmen who had osiri slaves. Those slaves weren't slaves when they left, after they dealt with the grave-keeper. He looked at the last of their group, a young elf girl. She talked as if she spoke for all of us. Of course, he did too, but he simply stated the only option they really had, not saying whether they'd leave or not. Lunearo lost his home; he had nothing to return to. The best thing for him now was find a city in need of a mortician. That's all he could do in society. He couldn't teach, he couldn't establish resource camps, his experiments and ways of doing things would be shunned by most, and most guard positions knew his mask as the boogeyman. Trading would be easy, but he didn't like having to deal with idiots often. He was socially unacceptable and unstable. He was permanently a monster, so what better to do than do what he did best?
When the elf finished, he stopped putting runes in the stone. He tossed the rock at the entrance, then sighed. "I hate to agree with the girl, but I too would like to know if we have to actively search for people to help. If so, then you can expect me finding the nearest graveyard and start diggin' graves. Because this little rabble is going to have a hard time doing so, since these people hate our guts, hat the order, and would rather freeze and starve while they watch the Order freeze and starve." He shook his head and pulled his cloak to, making it where you could only see his feet, pack and mask. He went to the table again and noticed a map. He studied long and hard. "I mean, the Order has such a small hold here I'm surprised you still try."
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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"As am I." Einarr said, speaking for the first time since he'd gotten here, as he stepped forward to join the other's, nodding Lunearo briefly as he approached. "I mean no disrespect...but why do you and the rest of the Order bother to aid people who clearly do not want your help?" He said in the thick northern accent common among the inhabitants of Normundr, as he crossed his arms over his chest.

While he didn't like drawing attention to himself, Einarr felt that it was a question he needed to ask. He'd felt that way ever since he was first told he was being shipped back off to his homeland a few days after entering the Orders keep. To be completely honest, he just couldn't fathom why anyone, especially a large organization like the Order of the Sacred Flame, would bother with a frozen and barren land like Weirn. After all, they had no real political sway or influence here and the "military" presence they did have was downright pathetic.

Einarr briefly considered his homelands natural resources and the desire to harvest them as possible explanations for the Orders recent interest in the north, before dismissing the thought. That couldn't possibly be the reason why they were here, as it would be impossible for them to take anything from these lands without inciting a war, one he knew they couldn't survive.

Einarr sighed internally as he tilted his head to the right slightly and waited for Vaughn to explain.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lionhearted
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Perhaps it was their eagerness for freedom that prompted their inclination to support the Order. Their confident introductions seemed, almost, competitive to Tara, their words clashing at each other like blades—it was to be expected from a diverse band of competent soldiers, all seemingly hailing from a past of great achievements and feats. Tara scanned the group as they spoke, trying to depict which of them would be like her: wrongly accused and not belonging to a pack of traitors and criminals. Destiny had a way of unfolding—cleverly, unexpectedly.

Still, though, she remained silent. Listening to their responses and turning the information over and over again in her head. It wasn't until the questions of her new allies arose that made the assumed scenario dawn on her. Tara spoke calmly, sternly, her voice mature and smooth, "Haev is an abundant city." Her voice cut through the conversation clean, finally making her presence known among the group. Strands of her scarlet hair fall forward to frame her delicate skin, "The city can provide so much to any Kingdom or Order they choose to affiliate themselves with, just like they have to some of the Kingdoms of Weirn in the past. Although, as we can all tell, they are not fond of outsiders and they are very selective of who they choose to ally themselves with. I could be wrong, but I presume this effort from the Order is the beginning of a long process to try and win Haev's trust. Access to their smiths, the Orimmir Mountains, and the location of their port would provide a great deal to the Order. Trust and alliance can be a difficult and complex task."

With her hypothesis laid out in the open, she still continued to juggle the information in her head. The Order was a strategic, third-party army of skilled individuals. The stories of Haev being near impossible to infiltrate bled true, so Tara couldn't help but wonder if this was just a more clever attempt at the possibility.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Adalea
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At first, the voyage had been enjoyable.

The thrill of being on a boat for the first time and the promise of soon being able to explore a completely new land was exhilarating to say the least, and Kuri spent as much of her time above decks as possible. The shackles were just a minor inconvenience to the light-hearted half-elf, who took advantage of the group's uninterrupted time together to get to know more of her newfound companions. After a while, however, the repetitiveness of the days that went by, the blandness of the food that worsened every meal, not to mention the retching sounds that seemed to constantly be coming from below deck, wore down even her.

When they finally arrived, the normally cheerful young woman was happy to quietly enjoy the feeling of solid ground under her feet, barely registering the words of the Lieutenant and the angry jeers and shouts of the crowd that had gathered. It was, after all, simply a louder display of the same disgust and rejection she had experienced for years as a child in the Imperium. As they were walked through their new home, she curiously looked around at her surroundings, old habits making her quickly take note of different pathways and shortcuts between the small tents.

The Captain was much younger than she had expected, and while she was intrigued at first, she soon became distracted by the glint of a small ring laying on the table next to a stack of books. While the others were distracted by the masked man, Kuri quickly pocketed the piece of jewellery and stepped back to join the line. Something about the ring was strangely compelling—she was sure that she would find a use for it.

She grinned when it was her turn to speak. “Sure, Captain! Nice to meet-cha.

Kuri simply listened as her companions asked about their purpose here; honestly, she couldn't bring herself to care much. Haev was a big city full of new adventures, and she just wanted to explore as much of it as possible. "Redemption" could wait.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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Einarr nodded slowly at Tarasynora's words. "Aye, there is wisdom in your words." He said, turning his gaze towards her. "But it'll be one hell of an uphill battle to gain the trust of Haev's people, especially since the Order has decided to use convicted criminals to act as ambassadors." Shaking his head, Einarr looked to Captain Vaughn and said, "I have no more questions for the time being.", before turning round and walking towards the entrance of the tent, inclining his head slightly to Tarasynora in a gesture of thanks as he passed by.

Upon reaching the flaps that seperated the harsh winter lands outside from the considerably warmer space within, Einarr leaned against one of the wooden posts helping to support the tents wooden frame and parted one of the cloth flaps slightly with two fingers, before peering through it as though something interesting was going on outside. Nothing was of course. The bearded warrior was simply killing time until he was called on by Captain Vaughn, while simultaneously putting some much desired space between himself and his traveling companions.

He'd been around them on the boat for much longer than he would have liked and, quite frankly, he needed some time by himself regardless of if it was in the woods, mountains, or the corner of a tent sitting in the middle of a mud and ice filled wasteland.
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The young Captain sighed and moved to the back of the tent, pulling a chair along with him as he moved to the table. ”I wish I could provide you with that information, I really do, but you know about as much as I do. My direct orders have been to establish a foothold here by Haev while our ambassadors reach out to the Kings and Queen. Since I’ve been deployed here I’ve gotten more and more soldiers with every passing month and yet no new orders. We’ve got nearly five hundred men in this camp and another four hundred in one by Vernthouth but we do nothing but idle and hunt.” Vaughn finished his statement by sitting in the chair, pointing at Normundr in the process.

”Right there is the only place I could think of being why we are truly here however only the Commander and his company are up there and I’ve heard of small updates on their progress with talking to King Hagrir. Honestly it feels like being here is useless but I’m not the one who makes the rules,” Vaughn pointed towards the embroidered flame on his tent wall and sighed, ”They are and as far as the Sacred Flame is concerned, we need to be here.” A brief sound of shouting outside the tent took the Captain’s attention and the Lieutenant quickly left to check the source before the commotion halted.

”As for what I want you to do, I’ll leave that up to the majority of you to determine. Stravi, Tarasynora, and Einarr however are required for work I specifically need done. Stravi, I need you to check out the Dwarves causing issues up by the mine north of here. Some fools seem to be messing around with the nobles up there.” The Captain pointed at the map as he finished his statement. ”It is about a day’s ride north of here so stock up before you leave. If you want, take any fool who’ll follow. Keep it small, we don’t want to start a war on accident. As for Tarasynora, the King has sent a missive to us. I understand that you are one of the only Restoration mages we’ve been sent and possibly the best so I’ll send you to handle him. Supposedly his son has been bedridden for weeks.”

Vaughn turned his attention once more to Einarr with a brief nod. ”I understand that Einarr and Georgia are both from this land how Einarr is perhaps the best suited for this task. Those merchants outside our Camp haven’t left in weeks. They are from Vernthouth and we’ve asked their business since their trade is clearly done, the only answer we’ve gotten is ‘Monsters’. I want you to ask around and figure it out. Take any of my hunters you wish to help.” Vaughn quickly seemed to realize something as he abruptly stood from his chair and reached into the desk behind him. He plucked from it a set of packs and slid it across the table to the Arrivals. ”Inside are Emblems that mark you as members of the Order and twenty gold each. You’ll earn more depending on how you perform. If you need any help settling in or finding jobs, ask my men. I’m sure some of them need help or have heard something from the Citizens.”

”Oh, an Lunearo make sure not to get caught if you raise any corpses from the graves here. Weirn is incredibly superstitious about necromancers and certainly don’t like their dead being dug up. The rest of you should try not to kill anybody or steal from them, we don’t want more trouble now do we. Of course, don’t try to run away in the middle of the night either.” With a slight wave and smile Vaughn turned towards the stack of books he had originally brought and sat in the chair, seemingly lost in his work.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Dealdric
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Makes things more interesting... Lunearo thought when Vaughn told him that. He walked outside and looked around. The map gave him a good idea of where to go and what to do. He thought about the assignments given to his fellow 'criminals', and thought accompanying one might be a good idea. Einarr seemed like a good choice to do so. Einarr seemed like a loyal person, and why he was now a temporary member of the order was not what suited the man. Compared to himself, Einarr was still young, but perfectly capable to do what was necessary. Just like any ranger should.
He noticed a long stick, and picked it up and started carving into it. It was long and strong, so he decided to make a walking staff. "Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it." He waited for the ranger to exit while he did so.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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Einarr let out a grunt of affirmation as he walked over to the table and grabbed the emblem and gold. Opening his pack, he placed both inside before closing it again, slinging over his shoulder, and walking towards the tents entrance. As he drew closer to the tent flaps, he looked at Lunearo from out of the corner of his eye and took note of the staff he now wielded as well as the his stance which said, clear as day, that he intended to go with him. The ranger didn't exactly mind another magic user watching his back, especially a Starfallen one at that, but he was still leary about his chosen school of magic.

After all, its not as if necromancy is a very trustworthy form of magic to practice since all of it pretty much involves dark, occult rituals, and the spilling of some kind of blood. But on the other hand it could be an incredibly useful ability in combat, especially if they were surrounded by enemies, as all he had to do was cut a few down and let Lunearo turn them into mindless cannon fodder.

Einarr internally debated the pro's and con's of bringing the necromancer along with him as he got closer and closer to the exit, before finally managing to settle the argument raging within his mind.

"You can come." He said as he stopped and glanced over to Lunearo briefly. "But try to act like you're just another spellcaster when we're around these merchant's alright? The people of Vernthouth are even more distrusting of necromancers than the rest of us and the last thing we or the Order needs is a blood hungry mob out to kill you." With those rules laid out, Einarr exited the tent and began his search for the merchants, his mind going over the possible consequences of his choice. There were a lot of things that could go wrong, but as long as Lunearo didn't dig up any graves they should be fine.

Hopefully.

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