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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Thinslayer
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The horses' uneasy whinnies were the first sign that something was amiss.

Prim glanced up at the sky. Dark clouds billowed above, and the telltale petrichor odor wafted up from the earth. The townsfolk moved to cover up anything that was vulnerable to inclement weather. Disturbed, the princess urged her horse to move faster.

"He's here," she warned the knights beside her.
Wesley snorted. "You read too many novels."
"There's a reason authors keep using dramatic rain, you know."
"Because it's cool, not because it's realistic."
"Your 'realistic' got me caked in mud the last time."
"How is that even-"

He cut off when he heard a foul, unearthly shriek in the distance. It sent a shiver up Prim's spine, and all the horses began to whimper. She'd know that cold howl anywhere. Prim broke out into a gallop and sped toward the city, her knights trailing behind her. Already, the town guards raced into position along the walls, and whole companies of archers marched out. Engineers loaded their cylindrical nitro-catapults and pointed them to the north. Swarms of wyvern knights took off en masse.

Then the screams started. As she raced toward the city center, the screams drew closer and closer to the city limits. An explosion ripped through a nearby house, prompting the girl to look up at the sky once more. Guts and armor rained from above. Wyvern knights crashed into each other and tumbled to the earth. Soldiers trembled with fear and reverence.

There, in the center of it all, an unsettling streak of black tore through the sky. In the blink of an eye, dozens of soldiers erupted in flame and melted like wax in a furnace. Prim covered her eyes and raced for the central tower, praying over and over that it was strong enough to protect her. No sooner did the horse grind to a stop at the wall than the princess burst through the doors and run up the spiral steps.

From the top of the tower, she witnessed a sight she would never forget.

It wasn't the countless burning buildings that once held generations of families. It wasn't the rivers of blood draining through the streets. It wasn't the hellscape strewn out around her.

No, it was the dark, monstrous animal hovering in the air before her, a creature of majestic ebony whose very presence served as a consequence of her arrogance and a living testament to her failures, the one creature in all the world she hoped never to meet again:

Abraxas.

The princess straightened her back and stiffened her trembling lower lip.
"What do you want with me?" she demanded.

The dragon perched on the balcony and brought his face to her eye-level.
"You."

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Thinslayer
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This bustling metropolis serves as the capital of Drakengard and domain of its namesake Haven tower. With its paved roads, sewage system, street lights, and social services, it's one of the most modern cities this side of the continent. The palace sits at the base of the Haven tower, thoroughly dwarfed by the ancient structure, but still an impressive marvel of architecture in its own right. With its precise stonework, intricate carvings, and botanical gardens, the palace's splendor truly fits the noble lineage it houses.

You arrive in the palace lobby, whether by magic or some other mode of transport, to find it abuzz with activity from nobility and commoners alike. Standing tall amidst the busywork are two guards: one a handsome, clean-shaven blond with a permanent smirk, the other a chubbier fellow with tousled brown hair and a warm smile. Both are currently engaged in giving directions to visitors, and when they see you, they wave you over.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Lumiere
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A thumb folded the sheet of paper over after reading it for what had to have been the dozenth time. Shimmering steel folded the familiar crease to a smooth edge the same as when it'd first been read almost a week ago, and the reflection off of a grated visor blurred up to reflect a distant castle past the forest of roof points and other myriad towers.

A pale and haunting skepticism danced in the back of my mind in spite of the straight-forward nature of the note. In as many words that were necessary to earn my intrigue: embark for...Fellmore...ascend The Crown, insist upon a beast of nightmarish legend the mistakes it had made, return the princess...to Southaven Palace.
To Southaven Palace I went. It was a lead, one that I graciously appreciated, and it certainly would save me the time of diplomacies required to request the aid of the realm.

Seven souls, all now my responsibility. Such optimism would surely be my bane, my hope rekindled with just a handful of words speaking of people I, in a word, never met. Seven.
Was I the seventh? I suppose I am a bit rusty with math or interpreting intent through written text, but it was worth investigating. Keeping my expectations tame, I bowed to the courier and inflicted upon them a small handful of gold for their trouble. It must not have been easy to track me down in the middle of the forest, though the phrasing of the note implied I was somehow expected...news travels fast, I guess. The rest was truly secondary, though I am guilty of many of my readings of the note being during the evening where I shared a wild turkey and onions with the courier. They seemed harried by travel, which was understandable, given the contents of their delivery.

This time, when I looked up from the note for what I hoped to be the final time, my eyes met with a portly fellow wearing Drakengard colors, accompanied by their elegant associate. Wrestling with attempts to direct the bustle, they still found time to gesture into the crowd to call others over. Pardon my aforementioned skepticism, but I was not entirely certain this opportunity was taking place until it took both of the men to gesture to me in order to gather just how expected I was.


Plume upon their helmet and a shimmer from between the battlements striking the freshly polished plating, a figure whom, in whole, must have stood almost seven feet tall from feathers to toe, waded through the crowd. Every few steps, they would stop for individuals carrying various goods, offering them "Fair days" and other variations of the pleasantries, until reaching the two.
Aark stood off to a side to allow them to continue about their business while leaning in to show them the message's wax seal that once held it together.

"I am expecting zeht I vahz expected?" their voice came, hollowly, from within the helmet, thick with an accent which immediately betrayed her heritage. A deepening in their voice was present, though first impressions may break expectations, as there were still hints to their tone being lighter than what they then spoke with. However, their tone was directive while welcoming, the most a voice could offer amidst the crowd in order to be heard and convey blatant intent.
As they seemed to be the first, Aark turned back to the crowd to better observe the others being flagged down by the two men, quite easily managing to see over most of the heads in the crowd, though not too far into it, otherwise.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Darkwatck01
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Darkwatck01 The Last Transcendent

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Looking up from his current seat, a bench from the looks of it, in the middle of this gods forsaken town, the man with the metal deer head looks up at the courier. Without a word he takes the letter opening it up and looking it over. In that moment of silence he just shakes his head, another asking for his power it seems. Yet this time it was for a good reason as it seems someone lost a child.

With a silent nod he takes out a coin and hands it to courier, but grabbing his hand firmly. "Take this, but don't lose it." With that said he stood up and started walking away. "That is your lucky coin after all, but it's just a normal coin if you put it with the rest." The sound of his boots slowly marching away with the soft rattling of bones being the only merrier each step. In his left hand a Slightly longer longsword (Better known as a Basterd Sword) was held, in a soft case of Leather and wood with Steel Loops to hold its form.


Dismounting from his Pale Horse outside of the Castle Nebel slowly went over the events that led him here. Looking around he couldn't help but let out a muffled growl of agitation at all the 'corruption' he saw. Another cesspool where this worlds evils lie and wait to claim another for its horror's. Still he marched on after Tying his horse down. Reaching to one of the saddle bags he pulled out a brush and started cleaning her up. all the while taking in the sights around him.

Despite his perspective Nebel had to admit it was a nice looking town. Outside of the expected nooks and crannies of side street gambling and petty crimes that always seem to happen in back alleys, the normal things for a city, nothing seemed off. Still what danced in his mind was how did they find him and more importantly, why did they want him to go back to his long fallen home. That hell whole that he left behind after seeing how it feel to the temptations of this world. It might of been his home at one point, but now it seemed to match what his mind always said it was a true cesspit of the corruption of this world.

Putting the brush away after cleaning his Pale Horse's hide and mane Nebel grabbed the Stirrup and hooked them to their respective keepers. One he was done with that he turned to the palace, heeding no mind to anyone but the two who seem to be waving at the Knight. With a respective nod he holds out the letter to them, remaining mute for the moment. After a short confirmation he leaves them behind going to the main entrance steps and taking a seat after removing his weapon from his back. Once siting down, with the weapon resting on his shoulder and the tip touching the ground in front of him, Nebel slowly starts to hum an old Ispar Lullaby. A simple one, about a Hunter who wondered too far and befell to his own trap, a warning to those who do not heed their step lest they wish to be trapped by their own doing.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Rhiven Knight
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Sir Rhayven A. DarkMorne


Rhayven exhaled upon reading the letter he had just received, then looked out his window at the core keep of South Haven. A teleport spell to the main keep was an interesting thing, especially if it could be preserved. Looking up from the castle to the sun in the sky he estimated he had plenty of time to gear up and get to the meeting. As he dressed he frowned his mind returning to a night in the not to distant pass where unearthly screams had echoed across the city. With a grunt mostly to shake himself from his thoughts he holstered his two weapons. He now stood armed, and armored, a layer of leather reinforced with small light, metal plates made up his armor, what most people didnt know was that those plates were magically enchanted, offering him the protection of scale male, but weight more akin to light chain. Crossed across his lower back he wore two weapons, one a sword about the length of a long sword, but curved slightly and with only a single sharpened edge, the other was a spear, identical in total length to the sword, it looked a child's toy, though upon inspection it would become obvious it was deadly sharp and wrought like the sword, from what seemed to be a single piece of metal.

Rhayven had been a resident of the capitol since he had completed his studies at the college and pledged himself into knighthood. As would probably be a familiar story he had served, for fifteen years he had been in service to the crown. At fifteen he had been shipped to the college, his mothers arrangement after discovering he had the talent, but also Rhayven's hearts desire at the time. Ten years he had studied magical theory and the arcane, but in him was a drive to use magic practically, to experiment, discover, and refine in real world use. He choose the knighthood, after all, his father had been a knight, and his grandfather before him. It felt as much a calling to the twenty five year old as magic had to the fifteen year old. Sometimes you just know what you are born to do. As a child he had practiced horsemanship, though he was by no means an expert, his skill was still on display as he mounted up at the barracks at the city's eastern wall where he had been serving a rotation in the guard.

Rhayven trotted his horse through the outer city easily avoiding carts and other mounted knights on business, he wore the tabbard of his station as one of the city's guards and knights, and so citizens as best they could made a point of being out of his way. Lifting his eyes he focused his attention on the letter he had received now safely rolled up in a scroll case and in his traveling bag. It took him a little longer than expected to reach the castle. He still had sometime before the meeting, but he would need to hurry to accomplish his other task before the meeting. At the gate he explained his summons and the letter, he was thankfully taken at face value probably in accordance with his standing and rank. Riding through the inner courtyard he left his horse with the stable master offering the man a handful of silver coins so that the horse might be given barley with its oats instead of hay, he liked to spoil the animal since it could not spoil itself. Overhead a raven circled, before plummeting towards the courtyard, Rhayven used to this spotted the plummeting animal and held his arm out. The bird caught his wrist guard as it brought itself to a stop and picked its way up his arm to stand on his shoulder, its beady black eyes a little more intelligent than should make anyone comfortable.

Rhayven got a few distasteful looks as he entered the hall the bird on his shoulder, but he had long since gotten used to it. The raven was large, much larger than a falcon or hawk and its imposing place on his shoulder had been established not long into his tenure as a knight. The bird had been part gift, part joke, from the men of his first command, though at first Rhayven was not amused the bird grew on him and stuck to and with him in ways that seemed odd at times, so he would not face this next assignment without it. Spotting a man with whom he had some familiarity he approached Sir Zed Petronus, often a fixture for knights who had business in the kings keep. Rhayven quickly explained his business and his needs, first to the infirmary, then from the infirmary to the council chambers. At a brisk walk Rhayven made his way towards the infirmary a tingle building in one of the scars across his back, he had never had the pleasure of being treated by the kings own physicians, but he had plenty of experience with infirmary and field hospitals.

This hospital was no exception, they all smelled the same, chemicals and antiseptics, and the subtle scent of death. Rhayven shook his head as the bird rustled focusing on the moment he was in, and the business he had. Rhayven found one of the attendants a nurse by the looks and sent her to find the doctor he was supposed to be procuring. As the woman returned accompanied by a man who demonstrated authority within this element, Rhayven spoke"Doctor Hawthorne?" the words hung in the air while the knight held the doctors gaze until a nod was given, all the answer Rhayven would get. "Your presence is requested in council," Rhayven accompanied the words by removing the scroll from its case and unrolling it so the doctor could read the instructions the knight had received. With the doctor satisfied some nobody knight was not just ordering him about for no reason, Rhayven returned the scroll to the case. "If you would follow me please Doctor Hawthorne."

Rhayven made brisk time, the doctor at times jogging to keep from falling to far behind, the directions he had been given were burned into his mind and he followed them to the letter. His arrival at the council room was what you might expect, he wore no helm as some other knights might but the hood of his armored leather coat was down, his white hair falling around his ears a contrast to the vibrant blue of his eyes, as he pulled the door open, and allowed the doctor to proceed him. Unlike others who might be seated or the doctor who was pacing and mumbling about this being important as he had patients to attend, Rhayven found a place to lean against the wall where he could both see and hear the business of the council. His eyes swept around the room to identify those within he did not recognize two others who seemed to be knights, and it seemed their host had yet to grace them with their presence.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by AtomicNut
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AtomicNut Baka Shinji

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The streets of the city were bustling as ever, come hell or high rain. It was a pitiful instinct, a misguided attempt at survival. Humans flocked to cities and tall walls made in eras whose knowledge had been struck from all of their books. Humans wanted hope, they wanted safety, and like moths to a flame, they would gather here, at Southhaven. The city would never cease to be bustling, not even when a calamity borne of the skies, an once myth made flesh, a dragon, was dangling its threats over the rest of creation.

But for what reason? A beast knew of no glory. No fortune. Had not the cravings for human flesh, or else they would have sacrificed more maidens to placate his anger. Some sort of spite? Perhaps. The mantled knight, clad in a worn coat ragged at the ends to preserve his incognito, flipped the shining coin to the bard. He had been there for a while, after paying the courier for his services upon being delivered the news. He had arrived earlier, for he had been born in the ruling family of Southaven, and knew shortcuts many people never suspected of. The heart wanted to escape his chest, and the thrumming of it hurt his eyes. He had never felt so angry before. Prim was one wild princess, but she had been her sister, and the one beloved sibling of his. Unlike Gerald, whom he usually met strong opposition, to the point that both their parents had to take measures in the situation.

No, it would not do to show an angry face. And so he decided to feel the cobblestones beneath his feet for a short while. Hear the voices of people. Commoners, nobles, merchants and bards. The people... the word in the street so to speak. Unrest was certain, according to the bard who thankfully did not notice how High-birthed the knight talking before him was.

His eyes darted to the gates, where he had spotted the insufferable poise of Sir Patronus, whose prowess with the ram had been the tales of drunk knights. A couple of people with...unique attires had been shuffled inside the castle. That was his cue. For they looked outcasts, and whom other than the desperate and the madmen would take the insane edict of his father, the King? With somber strides he closed the distance, without announcing himself. He even made sure, when they decided to look at his face, to gesture them silence about his presence, as he passed in, the ragged incognito cloak hiding his features.

He did not wanted to start with the official paraphernalia, not just yet. Two folks from Fellmore, it semeed. One whose armor was vaguely familiar, but could not recall. Plus someone which, according to rumours, fitted the description of a mage-knight. Darvus thought to himself it could have been worse, as he waited patiently for his cue to identify himself or be addressed by the Castle retainers, or his Highness.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by unicorgi
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Ysabelle was looking over her things was there anything else I could possibly need? she checked them again and just like the last ten times she could find nothing else she needed. “Welp, here goes nothing” she said to nobody in particular, the servants and her family has already been made aware of what she was doing, she opened up the letter and touched the paper and found herself suddenly in a lobby she gave a tiny yelp of surprise. She looked around and asked a servant where she needed to go, thanked them and then found the meeting room, some of the knights were already there but she didn’t know any of them.
Then she saw one of them dressed in what seemed to be rags. Did she recognize him? Unlikely that she did, she was pretty sure the only one she would recognize would be the prince whom she had seen only at a distance and this couldn’t be him could it? She always liked to keep all possibilities in her mind so when the truth was revealed she would never be suprised and she would be ready to answer as necessary having thought of the proper thing prior as she had reviewed every outcome. She decided to figure out who this one was so she walked up to them and greeted them “hello, I’m ysabelle runeglass” she added as a second thought “LADY ysabelle runeglass” She didn’t want to make a bad impression with anybody who might be a stickler for titles “who might you be?”
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Pie Flavor
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Pie Flavor No ordinary Pie

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Count Alexander Gallagher

In the heart of Drakengard lied Southaven where the king's summons were destined to meet and what matter it concerned wasn't much of a guess upon traveling to the bustling city. Having received his letter early in the morning where a messenger delivered his summons to him, he was already awake at such an odd hour, with some of his paperwork sprawled across his desk. Clerical and unimportant in its nature compared to a message with the king's seal as he unsealed and read its content...

Upon finishing it and rereading it, he began preparations to leave upon receiving that summon, he enlisted several servants to prepare some gear for traveling and a few of his messengers to acquire two of his own soldier to accompany him upon horseback when the time came. He'd make the trip easily within an hour or sooner if he rushed, taking time to make sure all his business was in order as he kissed his family goodbye and a shallow explanation of what was happening. Grabbing something small to eat and washing himself thoroughly before dressing himself, he left in the morning where everyone were preparing themselves for the day.

Having an entourage of four guards under his employee as he had them alongside himself for the short journey, for one could never be too cautious during these times. Having made sure to dress modestly and wear a cloak on top as an additional layer, it was an odd time for anyone to be traveling but the roads were empty and that was good enough for him.





Entering Southaven an hour or two before the stroke of noon, he entered the city with no problem despite the recent situation that may have put them on edge. Being a notable figure of nobility that they were probably made sure to recognize, Alexander didn't mind their duties as he was compliant and engaging with them as he warmly brought them into some small talk to wind down their nerves while they check his group over. Eventually asking them what they know about the dragon situation in Brixton and if anything notable is happening because of it before attending the meeting.

Once they were done, his party left into the city as they walked through the streets, heading toward a small property possessed by Alexander that was effortless to do. Being comparable modest in amenities and size, it was intended for its subtly as it would occasionally house himself if needed or in this case, his personal guards until he retrieved them. Asking them to stay close for the duration of their stay if they were needed to be called upon.





Having the time to look himself over and fix his appearance, swapping his clothing for more finer apparel in preparation to travel to the palace, having two of his guard accompany him as they exchanged small talk throughout the city. Getting closer to the palace lobby, upon seeing the blonde Petronus, he dismissed the two guards that accompanied him before approaching them.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Thinslayer
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@Lumiere
"I am expecting that I was expected?" Aark asked the guards.
The blond one spoke up. "Yes, we explicitly expected your expectation. Shall I expressly expound some explanation, or expell all exposition to expedite your exploration?"

The guard laughed and shook Aark's hand. "My name is Sir Zedekiah Patronus, or, to express it expeditiously, Zed. The Council Chamber is through this door." He jabbed his thumb at the open door beside him. "Expect much exposition. Good luck to you, sir."

@Darkwatck01 Another knight in a metal deer helmet wordlessly stuck a letter in his face.
Zed leaned away and nodded. "Mhm, that's the one. This way, sir. Have a good day."

@unicorgi A lady knight came in and asked for the Council Chamber.
"Right this way. You're welcome."

@AtomicNut Upon seeing the Second Prince, the two guards struck a formal pose and saluted as he passed. "Welcome, Your Highness!"

@Pie Flavor Alexander soon found that really only the traveling merchants had any useful information to share; almost everyone else fed on rumors and hyperbole. Those in the know agreed that the dragon attack was significant enough to warrant stockpiling weapons and armor to sell. People were seeing nobles from all over the country teleport in, including many famous public figures. The consensus was that whatever was going down, it was going to be big.

Some names were dropped. Lee Roberts, Count of Brixton, was coming as an eyewitness. General Hedstrong, who once swore he wouldn't leave the northern front unless the world was ending, left the northern front to join the meeting. Duke Richard Carnagee of Durhan, Duke Edgar Mitchell of Gungar, and other national leaders were coming. So too were the heroes: there was Sir Rhayven Auric of the Darkmorne clan, Heir-Countess Ysabelle Runeglass of province Runglas, and a few foreign knights like Aark of Ispar and the mysterious Nebel Mesanychta.

And so, when Alexander Gallagher approached the two guards at Southaven Palace, Zed could not immediately place the older man. After a few embarrassing moments studying him, the guard exclaimed, "Gallagher! Of course, Sir Alexander Gallagher! My deepest apologies, sir knight. I meant no disrespect. The Council Chamber is right this way, sir."

@Rhiven Knight Finally, Rhayven Darkmorne arrived. Zed briefly explained where the medical ward was, and Rhayven left for the medical ward just as quickly as he came.

He beckoned for a nurse to find Doctor Hawthorne, and she came back with a tall, bearded fellow in a gray longcoat. Rhayven appraised the man and, satisfied, addressed him. "Doctor Hawthorne?"

The man shook his head and gave a sad smile. "I'm the secretary, so the nurses always come get me whenever there's official business. Doctor Hawthorne is this way." He escorted Rhayven into the ward and whispered to a diminutive young woman. Standing at only 5'4" with a slender build and soft features, it would have been easy to mistake her for one of the nursing staff, but her distinctive brass-buttoned lab coat pegged her as a certified Court Healer.

Rose Hawthorne.

"Yes?" Her innocent emerald eyes turned up to gaze at him.

"Your presence is requested in council," the knight said, unfurling a scroll.

She leaned in to peer closer at it.

Rhayven rolled it back up and stuffed it in a case before she could finish reading it. "If you would follow me please, Doctor Hawthorne," he commanded. He turned and made for the door.

Panicking, Rose glanced at her secretary. "Huh?"

The secretary pointed at Rhayven. "Go."

"Now?"

"Now."

Rose scampered after him, dropping a paper trail all the way to the door. "Wait! Hold up! I haven't finished- I haven't finished all my reports-"

He did not wait. He marched at a brisk pace toward the council chamber, with the doctor running behind him as fast as her perilous stack of papers would let her. Once they arrived, they retreated to a remote corner of the room and both leaned against the wall.

Rose hugged the stack to her chest and shut her eyes while she caught her breath. "Goodness! I only just met you. Aren't we moving a little fast?" Her lips puckered into a smirk before she kicked him in the heel. She finished signing off on a dozen more reports, stuffed them into her notebook, and stretched out her hand to shake. "I propose we do this properly. Doctor Rose Hawthorne at your service. Your name, Sir Knight?"
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Rhiven Knight
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Sir Rhayven A. DarkMorne


Rhayven couldn't help but crack a smile at the young woman, he had minutes ago taken her completely off guard and out of her familiar surroundings, and drug her into this mess. Rhayven let sharp, bright blue eyes survey the room, the others present, before turning them back on the young woman. If tidings coming from his time at the gates, the stories of refugees and their families and the murmurings of other guards and scouts could be believed a dragon attack had occurred. Those who swore they had been there refugees or recalled guards described a haunting sound an eerie baleful cry from the heavens, then chaos reigned and fire fell like lightning from the heavens. Rhayven's weathered but genuine smile faltered as he recalled the dreams he had been having, sure that they were a product of his mind, still they haunted his eyes and dragged down his smile as the doctor introduced herself. "My apologies Ma'am, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, I am Sir Rhayven DarkMourne, or Rhayven if you prefer. It was unfair of me to rush you so, but it really does not do to be late to these things. I see this meeting is serious, you will subtly note the younger prince's presence, and some of these knights are from far afield in the frontier, this is no casual council meeting." The mage knight was polite, even a bit bemused, but the haunted look in his eyes was plain to see. He placed a hard emphasis on subtly recognizing the prince, hoping the woman caught on, as some of those in the room seemed so far to have missed it.

As an acknowledgement to the prince, Rhayven inclined his head in respect and deference. The younger man outranked him by function of his birth, though, rumors said the prince was an accomplished rider and fighter, excelling in many of the skills of knighthood. Given that he need have little concern for the throne, it was a worthy pursuit to serve the people and his father as a blade, and the knight respected him a little more for it, though based on the way he carried himself currently he was lost in a storm of his own emotion, anger and possibly distress. The royal family had been quiet on the issue, but it was spreading as all rumors do that the princess was missing, since the night of the dragon attack, the princes demeanor indicated strongly that something was wrong, Rhayven put two and two together easily enough and his mood became more somber, as the eerie wail his mind had constructed echoed through his mind once more. A quick sharp shake of his head was all it took to rouse him back to the present even if it could not banish the noise in his thoughts.

This sapphire blue eyes looked out at the others, he knew them all for knights, by the carriage of their bodies, and the disposition of their gear. His eyes made notes of the other name in the room he could pin by description alone, Ysabelle, of the others he had only rumors, some from the knighthood, and others from his families political ties, he had after all been drilled by his mother and father before journeying to the capital for his education and subsequent enlistment. Of the others he knew rumors, one he placed as Aarak or perhaps Aark, or Arc, or something along those lines, his grasp of the name had always been somewhat faulty, Aark, his memory noted came from Ispar. The other was another like himself, if rumors could be believed, a trained mage, though he specialized in much different magics, but also a committed knight, the mans name escaped him, but the rumors persisted of a family or clan of specialized knights who wielded strange cursed magic in battle, by the looks of this man, he fit those descriptions, still Rhayven secured his skepticism, it would not due to be rude to satisfy his curiosity.

"It would seem madam doctor that we are in esteemed company, foreign knights of great renown, and the countess Ysabelle, the young prince and by the look of it another member of the aristocracy, a Count, if i dont miss my guess. Instinct tells me this meeting is no casual affair, and, it would seem our meeting as such things can often be will be starting late, we should introduce ourselves, dont you think, seeing as how we have the opportunity? Rhayven's blue eyes turned on the doctor, curious to see how she would take the suggestion. She had thus far presented herself as adaptable and much stronger than her initial impressions as a very young woman might have allowed for. He suspected in her element she was something else, and while he was sure she was skilled, he was glad thus far that he had not found himself in a situation that needed such a level of care, he had done just fine with battle field medics and others in the profession for his needs.
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Invisible to the two was a smirk in response to their brand of humor as they shook the hand of the man who introduced themselves as Sir Zedekiah Patronus, 'Zed' for short. With a nudge of express expectancy phrased in the way of expectance, Aark nodded to the two men and left them to their work in favor of ascending the stairs to the main lobby. In the process, they passed by Darvus and offered a bow in stride as the guards greeted them. Exactly which 'highness' they were, Aark couldn't be sure of at a mere glance.
An eerie tone emanated from the congregation of odd individuals, all apparently arriving for a similar purpose. Why else would so many oddities be gathered in the same place at the same time? While wondering how many they would be in association with, their ear caught the muttered tones of one of the individuals, more inclined to lounge with their weapon and...mutter in an all-too-familiar tongue.

Their helmet was all too haunting. Something seemed familiar in a way I was keen on investigating. The world is small, and us noble animals that wander it do so for a reason. This being known, there was a question that was burning at my curiosity since I first conceived of this idea that I should be serving with strangers; how desperate was the king?

"Guten tag..." Aarkenhan greeted in Nebel's direction as a door opened to the side of the hall and half of a dozen middle-aged servant ladies rushed out. The knight's tone was laced with a hiss of suspicion of a very direct nature, likely aimed towards Nebel's appearance. With stark knowledge of the land, any humor intended to be expressed by the ominous getup was lost in a very negative manner by Aark. "Machin wir-" was the end of their questioning as they were immediately beset by the servants who took handfuls of grungy fabric and edges of armor to lead them away.
"I-I Beg your pardon but I-!" the towering knight began to resist, wholly capable in stature to likely lift the entire congregation, but still complying enough to stumble in the direction they were dragging them, a few steps.

"Y'smell like tha road!" one barked in interruption before being joined by another, "N'ye trackin' oooll manner a'filth!"
True and...probably true on the part of the former, Aark had arrived on foot, lacking the luxury of appropriate transport, given the circumstance. While the etchings on mithril and gildings of fabric were apparent, all was begrimed by the toils of flight. Truly a shame, and- "Y'naught see tha king, such as y'is!"

Aark groaned and relented, the oppressive attention within the darkness of their helmet that once focused on Nebel instead turning in the direction of where they were being dragged, luckily in time to tilt their head so the tip of their helmet would not strike the doorframe. The door closed shortly after, and the fading sound of clanking metal and muffled curses in old accents hinted to the knight being dragged off.
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Still humming to himself the Knight on the steps didn't even noticed that someone said anything till he heard someone speak his native tongue. Looking up Nebel felt as if he was looking into the past for a minute as he took in the armored figure before him, then like an infestation or bad itch from the back of his mind he felt his rage start to take over. On the outside he had no visible expression from the lower part of his face that could be seen but his presence could best be described as, heavy. Now standing up tall he hunched over slightly, if anything just showing off those Ispar genes for the tall and strong, as his mood started to manifest in the form of heavy breathing.

His weapon still dragging the ground, perhaps in a relaxed position to some, but to his fellow Kinsmen a warning. In his mind, as it remembered who this armor once belonged to, this was a high insult to him. Perhaps on the level of slapping his love, but that might be over stating it. Still in his eyes what he was seeing as the memories hit him were very enraging. Still on the outside he held a blank face, even if it was covered, only letting his actions speak. That was till his kinsmen was snapped up by the servants.

He still remembered the servants from his kingdoms seat, oh they were honest people but savage about keeping things clean and in order. He had no pitty for anyone caught by the honest caretakers of any keep. Still as soon as he felt them pulling on him he turned around, still slightly hunched over and looked at the one holding his coat. Perhaps being civil would of been the smartest choice, not snapping his coat back busting one of the stitched spots open leaving a small opening in his favorite pelt wasn't his brightest move. After all this was Her favorite coat of his and he takes a bath! At least once every other day, or if he did anything that would leave him with a stink.

"Wir sehen uns später Verwandten." The Ispar Knight said, his voice calm and void as normal. Turning down the path he just started talking into the Hall, his weapon still held in his left hand, at least holding it's holder, and resting slightly on his shoulder while he hummed a little louder. That old Lullaby starting to haunt the hall as he was 'escorted' to it. Deciding he didn't need to follow the caretaker's advice was fruitless he instead found he was more or less placed in the meeting hall. Still humming his little hunting lullaby he still did not like this kingdoms decor. Giving it no never-mind he instead looked around the room, his humming carried around in front of him as he did so.

Yet in the back of his mind he was trying to think of that 'Knight' who tried to ask him a question before being accused by the caretakers. Sure some Isparians might of survived, but to get out with that set of armor. They were either lucky or perhaps someone who was a late looter before it's fall. Either way he was going to have questions for that 'Knight' when he had a chance, many questions.
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Sometime later, though conveniently around the time when others were beginning to file into the council chamber, the door opened for the refurbished Aarkenhan to stride in. Dingy intricacies of their armor were renewed with a polish that still lingered and mingled with a faint aroma of potpourri and lavander. Light glinted from the rare metal with a mirror-like sheen as they passed by a window in the process of selecting a seat. The presence of eyes from the darkness behind the visor peered out of, looking over the present attendance.

Blame it on the refreshed state, but their previous venom was stifled enough to relax in the presence of questions that would have otherwise gnawed at them. For the moment, this was business, and surely there was a story to every character's detail.
A soft inhale reverberated from behind the visor before the prompt for the congregation to introduce themselves was suggested by Rhayven. Pleased by the likeminded initiative, Aark elected to reply in the doctor's stead as a gesture intended to break the ice.
With a nod of their head, one hand on the back of a chair and the other hovering over their heart for a moment, they spoke with an effort to come off more masculine, "Fair days to come, eit iz a pleasure to be makink an acquaintance vith all of you. Such iz...unfortunate...zeht I am not zee most familiar with some names, but you may know me as Aarkenhan of Ispar...Aark vill suffice, as I should not so boldly inflict a mouthful vith simple addresses, ah?"
Their tone, rich with an Isparian accent, was angled to come off warm and welcoming, concluding with a mild chuckle at the attempt at implying humility. They then continued, "I vould hope to learn your names, as vell, given zeht I expe-" before pausing, shaking their head briefly and concluding, "...anticipate...zeht we may come to refer to each other, often."
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Still humming to himself, albeit louder, Nebel just keeps looking around the room. To the Hexer this feels less like a meeting and more like a holding cell. His mind starting to race as old habits kick in, looking for every chance he had for an exit. In his mind the knight from before, in the Mantel Scharlachroter, it was completely infuriating. His home, his lord whom he gave his sweat and blood, his old masters who gave him both strength of mind and body. To see someone, who he had no idea who it was even if it was someone from Ispar, doning that armor IN FRONT OF HIM none the less was a long slash across his already hurt heart. Only one person ever mended that hurt but she was never with him for long stents at a time, alas he found semblance in the fact his home was gone with Her help. And now to see someone with it on, who clearly didn't give it the respect it deserved. Still perhaps seeing it clean would of enraged him even more.

And that theory was about to become truth.

In the mist of his thinking Nebel didn't even notice the Knight from before. He seemed to walk in and sit down and talk with the others as if it was but a normal day. Once Nebel's mind recognized the voice from before he looked over and saw it the Knight who called them self 'Aarkenhan'

Red

That's all he saw at the glory of the Mantel Scharlachroter being warn as if it was some common armor. Clean and back to a standing that, in his eyes, had a glow. Yet this did nothing to placate him, it only added fuel to the already burning inferno of rage in his mind.

Standing, his humming dead, he walked over to the table on the otherside of the knight and in a swift action pulled out is hunting knife and SLAMMED it into the wood with enough force to bury it half way down. The clean metal surface, no stranger to his rough handling, giving off more of his rage then any expression he was making.

With one hand still holding the handle he looked at the Knight. "Warum trägst du den Mantel von Scharlachrot? Es ist kein einfaches Gewand, mit dem Sie sich schmücken. Ich schlage vor, dass Sie es sofort entfernen und aufhören, mein Zuhause von Ispar zu beschämen."{Amendment-changed to make more since in english} His voice as cold and devoid of emotion as always.

with his freehand he reaches up under the metal deer helmet and pulls down the cloth covering the lower half of his face, the upper half still covered by the deer mask, showing off ink marks. Tattoos that showed he was indeed a 'Hexer' of Ispar. All the while his breathing, heavy and pointed at Aarkenhan.
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@Rhiven Knight
Rhayven's studied expression broke into a smile. He shook her hand and introduced himself. "My apologies Ma'am, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Sir Rhayven DarkMourne, or Rhayven if you prefer. It was unfair of me to rush you so, but it really does not do to be late to these things."

Rose squeezed his hand harder and lifted her chin in faux superiority. "Apology accepted, Admiral." She gave him a half-smile.

The knight inclined his head toward the corner, where a man in a ragged cloak stood with unassuming presence. "I see this meeting is serious; you will subtly note the younger prince's presence, and some of these knights are from far afield in the frontier. This is no casual council meeting."

She noted the way his smile faltered and eyes widened. The others in the room, too, had long lost their smiles, and the Prince in particular looked to be in a foul mood that she did not want to engage with. The haste with which Rhayven dragged her here, the informality of the gathering, the use of costly teleportation magic, everything pointed to this being a matter of great urgency. With so many heads of state present for the meeting, it was surely of great import too.

Rhayven had already picked out the names and ranks of several individuals. "It would seem, madam doctor, that we are in esteemed company: foreign knights of great renown, and the countess Ysabelle, the young prince, and by the look of it another member of the aristocracy, a Count, if I dont miss my guess. Instinct tells me this meeting is no casual affair, and it would seem our meeting, as such things can often be, will be starting late. We should introduce ourselves, don't you think, seeing as how we have the opportunity?"

He turned his enchanting blue eyes on her. Calm, keen, professional, good-looking... she brushed a stray hair behind her ear and averted her eyes. "Yes, you're right. We absolutely should." She stuck her hand out to shake- to him, again. A smile drew its way up her face as she quipped, "Hi! I'm Rose. Nice to meet you."

Her hand lingered there a moment before her smile faltered. Rose withdrew her hand with an embarrassed flush of her cheeks. "Right, serious meeting. Sorry." She turned away and subtly stomped her foot, whispering "stupid" to herself before moving to make introductions with the other knights.

The sudden entry of the king and queen made her stop in her tracks and flee back to Rhayven's side. Both of the royal couple looked deathly serious. Though they weren't wearing their ceremonial garb, they carried themselves with no less authority- or gravity.

Alexander planted his hands on the table and looked around the room.

"My apologies, everyone, for the informality of this meeting and urgency of its summoning. Abraxas kidnapped my daughter Primrose, and he destroyed a whole city to do it. Somehow, we have angered that legendary beast to the point of open hostility, and we need to know why. We also need to know how to stop him." His eyes turned to the Queen.

@Pie Flavor Queen Vali set down the stack of documents she was carrying and rolled out a map. Her voice carried clear across the room. "We should have seen the signs a long time ago. When he struck Ispar and burned it to ashes, we didn't think he would come for us. When he started hunting down knights from around the continent, we failed to see his pattern. And when we heard of cremated villages wiped off the map, we chalked it up to the routine frontier threats. Now that he crossed our border and brought his trail of violence with him, we are unable to ignore him any longer."

@Darkwatck01@Lumiere She pointed to Northaven on the map. "My sources tell me Abraxas makes his lair here, in Castle Ispar where the nation made its last stand. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop the dragon and rescue my daughter. Please do not kill the dragon, at least before you discern his motivations. If his wrath can be assuaged, or if we wish to avoid repetition of history, learning his reasons will be critical in our mission. He is immune to conventional attack and resistant to magic, so a diplomatic solution would be ideal, but if force must be applied, only the Ancient weapons can do him any real harm. How should we handle this?"

@AtomicNut Prince Gerald, who up to this point had spent his time cozying up to the other nobility in the room, approached the table and traced his finger on the map all the way from Southaven to Northaven. "I say we send an army of mages and attack. If he's immune to normal weapons as you say, but only resistant to magic, we should employ our best mages and make the most of it."

@unicorgi The Count of Runglas, infamous for his rigid adherence to tradition, sniffed and lifted his chin, pointing with his cane at the four sides of the map. "I say we go get the Ancient relics. They were always our inheritance anyway. If they work, I see no reason why the other nations should keep them from us."

Queen Vali clenched her fist, but said nothing. King Alexander rubbed her back in solidarity. "Nonetheless, they will try," the king replied, "and whether or not the relics are our inheritance, we cannot simply show them a Will and expect compliance. Their cooperation will be paramount if we expect to put a stop to the dragon's rampage. If nothing else, we need them to stay out of the way, which will prove difficult if we antagonize them."

The Queen looked to the knights. "Whatever we decide here, you will be the ones asked to carry it out, so your input here will be vital. What are your thoughts? Can you stop Abraxas?"
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Rage still boiling over Nebel had half the mind to reach over and strike his kinsmen, but tradition forbid such action. In his head he was going over the many ways to make this Knight talk and explain why he donned this armor. Still his rational mind was telling him to back down because it seemed business just walked in and his Kinsmen could wait, at least for now. With one good yank of his arm the Hunting knife came free with a metallic twang. Putting it away back in its home behind his old coat the Hexer placed his blade down infront of him and remained standing.

At this point it seemed his host, or rather hosts decided to grace them with their presence. Turning his head to look in the direction of the speakers he felt his rage slowly simmer down along with his breathing, the only sign he was calming down. Unseen his left eye twitched as he heard where this creature now called him, his old him. Perhaps they exhausted the old Hexes that protected the keep, or they were never set. Either way a chance to go home and rid it of the Corruption that now infests it isn't something he is going to give up lightly.

"Ich werde diese Korruption bekämpfen." Nebel's cold voice speaks out. "I vill go. You vetter pay."

Perhaps speaking common wasn't his strong suit, with how angry his normal speech is but this drives home his point. He will fight for his home, but the extra money won't hurt.

Turning to Knight Nebel gives his straight dead expression. "Mein Grund hält mich jetzt in Schach, aber wir werden draußen ziviler reden." He points outside before turning back to the hosts and humming the old Ispar Hunting Lullaby.
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Sir Rhayven A. DarkMorne


Rhayven had smiled slightly at her blush but hadnt pushed her on it, when she started to move to introduce herself though, things got very serious. The king and queen's presence triggered Rhayven's years of military training, and he snapped into a traditional salute, out of hand. He hadnt been addressed so he spent the time listening and processing information. The dragon Abraxas, not seen or heard from since the fall of Ispar, well it certainly explained the Isparian Knights who had just been seemingly at each others throats. It also explained the gathering of the nobility two of the counts and the prince, perhaps even the doctor's presence. What didnt mesh for the knight was his own presence here. Sure he was an accomplished knight with fifteen years of service, and twenty five years spend as a mage might offer some relevance, but even his military service and education didnt quite fit. He was happy to serve since he had been called to do so, but it would be interesting to see how he could apply his skills to this.

As a commander Rhayven was looking at the map of his country, and thinking that it seemed pertinent to array the army in such a way to track the dragon if it was still laying waste across the country side, those reports could help determine the dragons patterns, which would be important for deploying resources to protect the people. Meanwhile scholars should be pouring over old texts, attempting to identify and locate the relics, in a war you dont leave any weapon you can use lying on the ground for someone else to use against you. It also occurred to Rhayven that with the chaos would probably come incursions monsters and the like crossing the borders attacking the people. Then hanging over it all, the princess, and what had changed that the dragon had suddenly crossed into the kingdoms territory to take her. The dragon was no wild beast, and getting ahead of it would require understanding what motivations the dragon might have.

"Perhaps it is not my place to say so, but acting against the dragon with the present state of things seems unwise. The dragon took her, rather than burning her in the wreckage of that city as he well could have, so he must have some motivation that keeps her alive. For the moment then we should turn our eyes on how to best the dragon, protect our people, and assure victory, rather than racing and risking when such isnt necessary. With careful preparation, and thorough understanding, Abraxas will fall and gods willing the princess be saves." The knight in Rhayven felt as though he risked much speaking that way before the nobles, but the mage in him, well, it told him to speak his mind and share his thoughts, he had been brought here for a reason, and it wasnt as a wall ornament.
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The smack of metal hitting the base fortification of the once pristinely ornate table which no doubt held its own history drew Aark's attention. A slight turn of the head allowed the edge of their visor to view the deer-skull sallet of their apparently misguided kindman. This position was held for a palpable moment longer than what some would consider a glance and far before what others would term 'staring'.

"Ich glaube, Sie irren sich verzweifelt darüber, für wen Sie mich glauben..." Aark spoke in an unammused tone once the queen had finished speaking, attention questionably still aimed towards Nebel. Armored fingers clicked through the woven metal of the guard on their rapier, softly drawing it and placing it on the table with a hand over the blade as well as the guard in a casual manner of displaying their weapon rather than flourishing it through some brandish. "Wird das alles sein?" Their voice came once more, this time in a hastened hiss of a tone meant to hush the man before returning to the queen without waiting for Nebel's response, hands remaining where they were in spite of how the helmet turned back to the local nobility.

"Zee ancient weapons vould be zeh best place to start. If Abraxas vill not cease its violence through persuasion, alone...we must be ready to respond in kind" Aark answered the queen, their tone imparting a respect for the request of keeping the beast alive while impressing a professional edge that sizzled with the wrathful scorn of one who would, in some misguided sense, anticipate the answer they were proposing with their proposed proposal.
"If there is any love for the goblinoids or other aberrations who've taken The Crown of Ispar, I should know, now" The tone continuing from the first response, though this time more expecting in a phrasing that could easily be construed as a joke. All things considered, the request that the dragon being spared was play enough into the humor found in the seriously spoken words of the knight, assuming the royalty had even a hint of who wore the armor, now. They would do their best to play by the rules that would yield the most favorable outcome, but, contrary to the fanaticism found in Nebel's mannerisms, this Isparian's thirst for blood was planned for the long term.

On that note, Aark turned their head back to Nebel as they withdrew their knife, following suit with returning their blade to its scabbard. "Eine Handvoll Glaube würde Ihrer Paranoia eine Summe Gutes bringen..." They mused as the hexer before continuing, "En... Bitte zeigen Sie ein wenig Respekt vor unseren Gastgebern? Bitte? Wenn wir auf derselben Seite sein wollen, werde ich von Ihnen verlangen, dass Ihr Verstand klingt." Their patience waning as the hexer proceeded with their humming as if knowing how it grated against their kinsman's nerves. "Ich verspreche, dass ich Ihnen alle Antworten geben werde, die Sie verdienen, wenn die Zeit richtig ist. Es ist respektlos, unter anderen zu sprechen, die die Sprache, die Sie sprechen, nicht verstehen. Dies würde ihnen Gründe geben zu glauben, dass wir über sie reden." They conclude with a chuckle of self-awareness, attempting the peculiar humor as a way of bridging some kind of gap beyond what could be seen in the mere presence of their armor.
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@unicorgi@Thinslayer@Lumiere@Rhiven Knight
The Prince stood there in a corner, for the most part. He had been unmasked so easily, despite his indications. Were the guards of the kingdom any trustworthy? And there came a young woman with the curiosity of a cat asking for who was him and what was his deal. Some people just didn't see the signs. For them a "don't bother me" was a "want to meet you" and "danger" was "must explore". He wondered if this one was the sort of deadly overconfident type, who would charge boldly for promises and glory. Despite her looks and warm worms, the prince had chosen not to say who he was- the guards had done the job with him

Well, it was one of the types this kind of call would gather. Along with the two Ispari who seemed engaged in banther in their own tongue. As if he couldn't understand them. He had received some lessons on it, and while he wasn't entirely confident he could speak, he managed to piece together a few meanings.

"Very disrespectful indeed, I would say. You have heard and chose to answer the summons of this kingdom. It would do good to the both of you if you were so kind to put... this little business with my lord Father the King first, and then your Ispari spats second." Darvus stated all but bluntly, before pacing towards the table where everyone was gathered.

I am sorry mother, you said not to get in a fight with the crown prince, but surely you don't expect me to keep my hands crossed when he boasts such trash in front of so many people. Darvus thought.

"Do that, brother, and that will earn you a bunch of magical ash and an aggravated dragon. That beast is ancient, even more so than this kingdom, and yet it has survived. I am sure people have tried that obvious strategy before. And it probably failed. You should heed my words and put those mages where they belong." Darvus said with applomb, his eyes maintaning contact with Gerald.

"Sir Rhayven does have a point, we should not thread this lightly, and while i do not place much faith in wondrous artifacts, I'd gauge that the beast's prowess and firepower matches several kingdoms given by the fragmented historical records as a conservative estimate. We would need scores of powerful siege weapons raining death for days on his lair at the minimum to obtain any kind of result." His fist clenched on the table.

"I don't think we can beat the dragon. My lord father is asking for the impossible." He said, eyeing everyone in the room. "Then again, here is here and now is now. The past has shown that some impossible feats can be achieved. So mayhaps. Mayhaps we oughta use the artifact search... as an excuse to scour the kingdoms for the artifacts and any piece of information which can get us leverage. I doubt he will be very open to diplomacy given our limited information, but... it's better to have strength to back up diplomacy." He added.

"And one more thing. I know it's said impossible. And some people call me sullen... craven... moody." He paused. "But even I am tied by duty, and bound by blood. My sister the princess was taken. And I swear with all of you as witnesses I shall see her safe return, or I shall never return at all. This much I will guarantee." He finished, letting his words sink in.

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