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Lymnas — Eastern Border of Iltana


Trade was not something that the small town of Lymnas saw much of; though wood was plentiful and the farms unspoiled by unsavory hands, people from outside seldom arrived in town. Of course, one could not blame the town so much as they could the way that the rest of the world around them had developed; none of the major roads of the nation passed nearby, and with the advent of air travel a few years back, the town itself felt, in many ways, like a relic of an era long since past.

But in many ways, it was that atmosphere—and rumors on the wind—that had brought the young mage here in the first place. A town located away from prying eyes, and a passing mention of an old hermitage of a great sage from ages past from an old scroll... It would be hard not to at least check it out. Of course, she would not have been so foolish to come here alone anyhow; whether by coincidence or otherwise, the elf travelling with her meant that there was at least one less thing to worry about on the road.

@VitaVitaAR@Pyromania99@Kiki is Anxious

Orlot — Southern Coast of Iltana

As far as port cities went, Orlot was surprisingly profitable despite its seedy atmosphere might have implied. The dwarves who took to the seas to fish or less "savory" activities paid far less attention to how the place was run than the lord of the land had... Though that might have also had something to do with how said lord seemed to love indulging himself in drinks more often than his assistants would have liked. In the end, they seemed to be more in control of the city than he, and with that came the problems that managing a commercial center had.

For instance, the lack of any actual public safety.

As capable as many of Orlot's residents were with a weapon, many seemed to pay more attention to their own troubles and desires. This was, of course, a problem for those who wished to make use of the fact that the city was still a fairly noteworthy place to trade in. To that end, the lucani mercenary who had come to town would find that work was by no means in short supply. With the efforts so readily placed upon the success upon the efforts at sea, it became the surrounding unworked, rocky land that posed the most threat. Bounties upon beasts that had tasted the flesh of those who attempted to move goods about, bandits who found good profit in looting those same people...

Though hiring people to escort them was a straightforward solution for the merchants, it seemed more profitable to those in control of the city to try and cut the root of the problem out at its source.

To the runaway that had just blown into town, though... Well, nobody would look two ways about someone who looked so unassuming at a glance.

@Lugubrious@Dead Cruiser
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Pyromania99
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The last couple of weeks have been an interesting one for Elmeria. She was in a city, dancing on a stage and enjoying herself as normal. After she finished, she sat at a bench to rest a small bit when she was accosted by some bombastic girl. A mage of sorts and she asked Elma to be a traveling companion. Despite her astonishment, Elma agreed. It didn't matter too much to Elma who she traveled with so long as they weren't overly suspicious people. This Pyra girl was somewhat worrisome but seemed to be the safe type of person to travel with. Narcissistic people were easy enough to read anyhow and she trusted her idea of the girl's personality. Though, for the most part, she liked Pyra.

As they traveled, Pyra had mentioned a small town she wanted to visit for some reason or another. Truthfully, Elmeria didn't pay much attention to the why they were there, just that they were there. It was yet another chance for her to dance for people who have, in all likely-hood, never seen it before. "So, this is the town?" Elma asked as the come to the town proper after traversing the fields of grains and forest. It was much unlike anything she had seen in the desert. There was a small bit of awe on her face as she studied the area.

"Where did you want to start? I probably should ask the leader here if it would be fine for me to dance, rather than strangely start in the middle of town." The desert elf mentioned, trying to see if the leader was in sight. She had a mostly one track mind when it came to things like this. The town didn't seem a danger immediately, though the same probably couldn't be said about the surrounding forest and such. She was interested in what her traveling partner might say. Perhaps she had insight that Elma was not privy to.
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Though tinged with the odor of fish, a salty sea, and saltier men, the breeze surrounding the port town gave Lucya a fresh of breath air. For all her humble origins and years spent working the land with her folks, she held little fondness for the great outdoors. Sure, the wilderness had its privacy and freedom, and the occasional tidbit of beauty, but more often it offered her sore feet, an empty stomach, cold nights, boredom, lonesomeness, and max effort just to get by. She hated going hungry most of all. Unfortunately for Lucya weapons alone did not a hunter make, and a few choice encounters with bad plants taught her to stick with only what she knew wouldn't poison her. Almost as bad as the harrowing hollowness was the accompanying feeling—that she was failing the most basic duty of a living thing.

She sighed, crossing her arms as she looked out across the port from her rocky hill. Well, some day I'll have forgotten what it's like to be hungry. Rich and happy, far away from the filthy hamlets, and the Troupe... She didn't know how to get there, but if she played her cards right the path could very well start here. All she needed to do was find a sucker, which she doubted would be hard. How can I tell who's a sucker? she remembered asking, years ago. Neither the smirk nor the response of the Ringmaster had ever left her. There's one born every minute.

Lucya turned back to look at her traveling companion. A lucky find for the road, that guy. Their short-lived partnership, established on the mutual understanding that bandits and monsters were probably worse than each other, was at an end. She needed his survivalist skills no longer, and he...well, she suspected he'd be glad to be rid of her. In terms of personalities they couldn't be more different. While she commanded great humor, cunning, and hidden depths -obviously- he was appallingly dry, amazingly straightforward, and utterly boring. Surly warrior types with dead families and no purpose but fighting were dime a dozen—how else could countries have armies, after all? He didn't appreciate her telling him as such, of course, nor for that matter did he betray an ounce of susceptibility to any of her jokes and barbs. Oh well, Lucya figured. Their few commonalities, those being distrust and a respect for competence, served them well enough to get them here. And now they were finished. “Welp,” she said to get his attention, putting her hands on her hips. “As fun as tagging along with you has been, and boy has it just been buckets of fun, it is about time I got out of your fur. You have a good arm, a lot of guts, and no anger issues at all, no sir. Still, take a break from cracking spines sometime and crack a smile instead, huh?” With a theatrical half-bow she doffed an imaginary hat at him. “Farewell!”

She got four steps before she span around to face him, her long ponytail flapping in the briny breeze. “Ah, yes! And if you happen to come across some strange, vaguely threatening circus-folk, kindly deny having met me and do not pique their interest. That should not be too hard for you, yeah? Eheh.” With that Lucya marched into town, keeping an eye for anywhere an enterprising gal might make a buck or two.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by VitaVitaAR
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It had finally paid off!

She'd been rejected plenty. She'd been told she was too young plenty. Also she once blew up someone's tent, that immediately killed her chances of getting to join them.

But now she'd finally found someone to travel with! This dancer elf lady was actually willing to keep her around!

Which meant she was the smartest person she had spoken to so far, frankly. After all, who would be so foolish as reject the assistance of the great Pyra Kaos, Daughter of the Dark Flames of Brilliance at the Core of the Sun Itself! Indeed, there is no Master of the destructive power of flame sorcery more capable then her! So surely, surely, the others had to be completely foolish not to accept her assistance! She definitely didn't cry a little last time she got rejected! She definitely hadn't been crying right before she spoke to Elmeria! She'd just been... questioning how they could be so foolish as to turn her away!

And now they'd come here.

Pyra had insisted, after hearing there may be some kind of problem here... not that she knew what the problem was or who to talk to in order to find out, but if a problem couldn't be solved by lighting it on fire, blowing it up, or riddling it with lasers, then it wasn't much of a problem at all, right?! So it was only natural for her to get involved!

"It's only natural that we go right to the top," insisted the petite black-haired mage, nodding to herself after her travelling companion mentioned speaking to whoever was in charge around here, "Surely, they shall want to know of the arrival of Pyra Kaos, Daughter of Sunlight!"

@Pyromania99
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Saaral breathed the sea air deeply as he crossed the threshold into the port town of Orlot. A Lucani's nose was very keen, and picked up many scents that humans and other races couldn't, but the ocean's decaying fish smell overpowered many of the subtler odors he would have been picking up. Frankly, he didn't enjoy the smell much; it reminded Saaral of seafood, the salty flavor of which he found stifling. Even so, he cherished what time he got to spend near the ocean. Even if he didn't like the smell, the fish, the warm weather, or even swimming, looking out over the vast blue ocean brought him a sense of calm. It reminded him of winters in his homeland as a cub, when the snows and ice would blanket the flat tundra in white for as far as the eye could see. It gave him a sense of freedom and boundless possibilities, a feeling that he found he missed more often than not for the last few years.

His sense of calm was quickly shattered by the inane chattering of his "traveling companion," a haughty human that seemed unable to live without the sound of her own voice. They had run into each other by sheer chance a few weeks before at a crossroads leading to Orlot, and once she had sussed out that they had the same destination, she had decided for the both of them that they would be traveling together until they reached the port. Saaral had tolerated this purely because he had decided that she was harmless, and there was the remote possibility that he would feel guilty if he happened upon her mangled corpse on the road if they had separated. As the journey wore on though, he was willing to take those odds. She simply never shut up, constantly chattering about some pointless thing or another, oftentimes clearly trying to provoke some kind of reaction from Saaral for her own amusement. She may have made him into her bodyguard against his will, but he wouldn't be her fool, and so Saaral obstinately refused to play along. He was used to traveling alone with his own thoughts for company regardless, so keeping quiet was hardly a burden for him.

As the human girl departed with a few last remarks, Saaral sighed, his ears flattening against his skull with his mental fatigue. She didn't really contribute anything throughout their brief, shared journey. She didn't know how to hunt, or how to make camp without attracting attention, and she seemed to vanish whenever the threat of bandits or wild beasts became apparent. Even so, she cleaned up after herself and didn't slow him down in any appreciable way, so he figured a nuisance was more benign than a hindrance. Though just thinking about her shrill voice and piercing laugh made his tail twitch in irritation, and so he was glad to see the back of her.

Saaral hefted his weapon, a sturdy, practical, if somewhat dulled and rusted two-handed axe, up over his shoulder and strode into town. He was looking for work, first and foremost, and had a general idea of where to find it. A noticeboard, town crier, or constabulary would be the readiest place to find news of bounties or other work for a man of his skills. As he made his way further into the town, the press of bodies became more abundant, and they took notice of Saaral. Lucani were hardly common this far south, and he attracted attention from most people he passed by. Sailors, privateers, fellow mercenaries, and other salty personages all glowered at him, but he returned their unwelcoming countenances with his own steely gaze. He had been a warrior for a long time, and he knew very well how to deal with these types. Everything about him projected strength and experience; from the scars on his body, to the well-used axe over his shoulder, and only a fool would choose to trifle with him.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Kiki is Anxious
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It had been a long journey to get to this small town, regardless of whether it really was or not, it felt that it had taken ages and the Jihu had seen many things she never happened upon in the forest that had been Akko's home. Her wide-eyed gaze that tried to absorb every small detail of the relic like town was easily displaced as her simply being not from the area, just as her appearance raised no questions. No one could tell she had a fluffy tail swishing about behind her, right at her tail bone, or ears that stood up excitedly on her head. She was just a pretty young woman dressed conservatively in nicely tailor robes with a decently sized satchel secured on her person, completely in awe at seemingly mundane items she crossed paths with.

The disguise was nice enough to keep her from being messed with by the unsavory sort, and the rest underestimating how fast she was kept her safe from the rest. Though that may simply, and more likely, be due to luck being on her side since having left her comfortable little home on this trek of hers. She had only two goals in mind, but that didn't mean she wouldn't get sidetracked at times with the unknown.

Curiosity beamed in her golden orbs that danced all around as excitedly as she walked with a skip in her step. Why had she came to this remote town? Well, from what her real ears had overheard was the spreading whispers of someone who was well versed in magic might be here. Now as well off as she is with her own, it wouldn't hurt to get some kind of advice from a person who had mastered the arcane arts of mana. However that left her to her own devices to find such a person, and so being more on the clueless side, the little vulpine was easily distracted by a mere fountain that she could feel the cold water wash over her fingers when she poked at the gentle stream cascading down into the basin.

Unbeknownst to the incoming duo, their conversation fell on a pair of hidden fur-covered ears that twitched. The leader? Was there a matriarch in this town? Her fingers were withdrawn from the water for her to stare at as her thoughts swirled.

"That doesn't seem right..."
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Lymnas

The two traveling companions quickly drew a few curious gazes as they seemed to stroll into town, though that was less because of how much they stood out and more...

No, actually, it was really just how much the pair stood out compared to the residents of Lymnas. They were nothing on the level of spectacle, of course, but those gazes that lingered for a moment (and no more) caused more than a few people to wonder what exactly their reason for coming here was in the first place. After all, unlike the other cities (or even towns) of the kingdom, Lymnas was probably less than noteworthy.

That didn't seem to stop the two from walking straight up to the old man who had come out of the medium-sized building in the center of the town, near the square. His greying hair and cane more than made his age obvious, but the air of experience he held as he stared the two down made his role more than obvious.

"Hm... Visitors, I presume?" he asked, looking the two over quietly before nodding. "What brings you out here to Lymnas?"

@VitaVitaAR@Pyromania99@Kiki is Anxious

Orlot

As luck would have it, the two 'companions' that had since left each others' company soon found it once more at a large local bar: 'The Singing Serpent'. As one might have expected from a port city like Orlot, the locale was more than bustling with vigor. Drinks were downed (and more than a few spilled) closer to the tables themselves, and food and empty dishes were passed around amidst the raucous laughter and occasional punch, but there was one section of the building that was kept clear of any of the possibility for damage.

A job notice board, set up by the owners of the bar, found itself more than ample returns given how often people used the thing; with so much money flowing through the city, it only made sense to have a place to allow people to hire others for coin, regardless of purpose. Of course, it had to get by the person overseeing the board (a rather battle-worn dwarf with a sword propped up against the wall nearby) and a fee had to be paid to place those requests, but if they had the money to ask in the first place...

Well, needless to say that the mercenaries, sailors, and everyone else from all walks of life here gave enough respect to the board and anyone looking to take a job. Wouldn't do to have their drinking buddies a few coins short for another round, after all.

Of course, there were more than a few requests from Orlot's governing body proper—requests to inspect goods, escort personnel, and, the all-important subjugation requests and bounties. Boasting about stories always made for a good pastime, after all, but those were always the riskiest. They paid out well, sure, but only if one could minimize the costs in taking down quarry.

There were more than a few of those up, though—wayward beasts wandering the seas and land terrorizing merchants, bandits (also terrorizing merchants), and even a request to find and return someone's pet were all scattered across a corner of the board.

Well, given that the pet seemed to be some sort of crocodilian beast, maybe that last one deserved its spot there among the more bloodthirsty targets.

@Lugubrious@Dead Cruiser
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Elma put her hand over her heart and tilted her head down towards the old man. A greeting of sorts that her teacher had showed her to use when out and about. "A pleasure to meet you. My name is Elmeria, please call me Elma. My friend is Pyra." The elf said, relaxing her stance after introducing the two of them.

"We both came here for separate reasons and I will let Pyra speak for herself. I'm traveling to share my love of dance with the world. For my part, I would greatly appreciate if your town would allow me to put on a show in the center of town. I'm a dancer, of course. Not to brag, but I like to consider myself very good." A small smile crossed her face for a second as she nodded at the man. The elf cleared her throat and looked at her partner. "Why exactly were you wanting to come here again?" She asked. It's not that she forgot but rather she didn't really pay attention in the first place so she was slightly curious since she was just standing there talking to this old man.
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It didn't take long for Lucya -like any good knife- to find her way to the heart, in this case the beating center of the industrious port town. The destination of workers and employers alike, it funneled talent and personnel throughout the area, enriching its visitors before they flowed onward. The Singing Serpent. Sounded like something that would make for a good sideshow at a circus, but wouldn't they all? The Laughing Donkey, the Dancing Goat, the Cantankerous Fool. Everyone knew taverns and inns and such were where one went to get the scoop, and Lucya knew everyone knew it. When she noisily pushed inside she kept track of every face that wheeled her way, and especially the few that tried to play it off the next moment. A quick scan of the place revealed no carnies in waiting, although she couldn't be sure. Some of her former colleagues could look downright ordinary if they had a mind to. Wherever there were people, Lucya decided early on, she needed to keep her guard up.

At least she saw one familiar face as she perused the job board. Of course, a traveled axeman like Saarl Stick-in-the-Mud would know to come here. He probably wanted work as well. If they ended up on a job, he might even get a chance to find out what made Lucya so special. Few in this world got the privilege of seeing her tricks in action, and fewer still for free. More than likely, he would avoid her like a plague, his perception of her incompetence more effective than any body odor for keeping him at a distance.

Her eyes fell upon the bounties and subjugation requests. Now there's something I can do. Alone, quick and clean, she could take out a little trash and skip town without getting involved in local affairs. Couldn't go wrong with the classics. She scooped up several at once, all on the lower end of the difficulty spectrum, and carried them over to the administrator for approval. “Sign me up, if you please. I am looking for a good time, so do not mind the amount, yeah?”
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Ah, it was time.

Pyra placed one hand to her chest, stepping forward with a confident smile on her lips. This old man wasn't going to be able to ignore this! Whatever possible dangers faced this town, whatever commissions they may have...

She was going to blow through them like a gust of wind that was also on fire!

"I am the great Daughter of Sunlight, the Fiery Mage of Flames of Retribution!" she declared, twirling her staff in her free hand as she did, "The Child of Fire and Destruction who obliterates the darkness with justice! I am Pyra Kaos!"

She paused for a moment, to allow what was clearly a brilliant declaration of her awesome might to truly sink in.

"And I am here to take on any commissions this town may have! I'll wipe out any threat in the blink of an eye!"

She snapped her fingers on her right hand for emphasis, channeling magical energy into them as she did to make a tiny snap of flames. After all, she had to really make sure her introduction had impact! ... Not that she had any doubt that it would, but why not go all-out?

@Pyromania99@PKMNB0Y@Kiki is Anxious
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Akko remained quiet, so she could listen intently at the conversation going on a few ways behind her between the two who had just strolled into the little town and the elderly man. Very curious as to what his answers would be.

She had appeased her curiosity to when the smaller one of the two spoke up. Loudly and with a confidence that exuded from her tiny frame just like the small display of magic she had shown.

A dancer and a mage. How lucky, they were an intriguing pair to be sure. Both with opposite volumes, as the dancer was by far the one who spoke the calmest with passion easily lacing with her tone from what the volpine female could hear. Which easily reminded her of simpler times where she felt the same when she alongside her mother as a child... Elma was a name to remember, and Pyra was not a name she would forget.

Maybe she would be a suitable teacher? Her boisterous nature surely would be a fun one to learn from, or so Akko assumed. Though she doubted fox fire was the same as normal fire magic in some ways, it surely had to be enough so that she could be taught a thing or two. From sight alone, she tried to mimick Pyra small trick with her wet fingers to dry them.

Her face scrunched up when all she could produce was a little whisp of smoke.... At least she didn't set her sleeves on fire by accident, and her fingers were slightly warmer at her fingertips.

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Lymnas

After the more muted introduction from the elf, the old man found himself a bit more taken aback by Pyra's introduction—one which, after a few moments of thought, caused him to chuckle lightly to himself. The girl's mannerisms reminded him of his own children and grandchildren when they were younger, playing hero or whatever else during the free time that they had. Though he thought the young lady a bit too old for that sort of fantasy, the level-headed nature of her companion apparent caused him to simply brush the matter off as mere eccentricity.

"Hm. Well, I suppose that a little dancing never hurt anyone, so by all means," he began, gesturing towards the center of the town before turning to face Pyra. "As for you, young lady... Well, if there is any sort of trouble, it won't be long until you hear about it. If you want to help, though, you could try asking around town; I'm sure that nobody would turn down an honest helping hand here."

With that said, though, the old man nodded before shifting over to the side and beckoning over to the robed person who had been following the two from afar.

"As for you... Well, hiding away like that like a shy child won't get you anywhere. Do you have something to ask, too?"

Needless to say, it wasn't hard to pick out the three unfamiliar people in a town where almost everyone knew each other by name.

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Elma gave a nod of acknowledgement towards the village elder with his allowance of her dancing. Good. Now she just needed to plan a small bit and get everyone's attention later. Perhaps she could use Pyra's assistance later. It would be wonderful experience for them both and the town itself. How she wished it would cause them to have an annual festival where they all dance! Ahh, but perhaps she was getting ahead of herself there. The Elder seemed like Pyra's... enthusiasm has made an impression on him. Better than most of the other people they ran into atleast. He didn't seem to give her an odd glance or anything.

When they elder started speaking to someone behind them, Elma turned to see who he was speaking to. A woman. Nothing Elma really felt like mentioning specific about her. A traveler just like them? Well, it wasn't like she really had anything to say to this woman. After studying her for a small amount of time, she turned to her partner. "Well, Pyra. Did you want to ask around town? I'll go along with you if you want. I still need to figure out what I want to do for my performance. Of course, you're going to help with that too." The elf woman seemed very confident with that.

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"Fu fu fu!"

Placing her hands proudly on her hips, Pyra grinned. Excellent, the elder had accepted her greatness! Now it was time for her next move.

"Indeed, Elma! We shall investigate this town and achieve our goals of greatness! For I am among the most great!"

But first, before they left the old man, she wanted to ask her question. There were a few reasons she had elected to explore this town, for one thing it was only natural to assume that there were varying jobs worthy of an adventurer in a given town. But there was a far more specific purpose that had brought her and her travelling companion to this place.

And it only made sense to start with the first man they had spoken to, didn't it?

"Before we depart, I have one final question to ask," began the young mage, placing one hand to her chest, "Aside from commissions, I've heard rumor of the abandoned home of an ancient sage around these parts. Naturally, a brilliant sun-heart mage like me is curious about such things! Have you heard anything about these rumors?"

@PKMNB0Y@Pyromania99@Kiki is Anxious
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Lymnas

Seeing as how the person in the robe refrained from reaching out to him proper, the old man simply shrugged his shoulders and turned to return to his home, had the younger of the two girls not called out to him moments before he did so. The mention of the abandoned residence caused him to pause before shaking his head.

"...I'm not sure where you heard about that sort of thing, but... There's nothing like that here. You'd be better off not looking," he responded, leaving the two behind on the road.

Of course, the way that he spoke about the matter compared to how he had greeted them earlier was rather suspicious, but when it came to matters such at these, it might have only been expected that the information would not simply fall into their laps.

@Pyromania99@VitaVitaAR

Orlot

The man at the counter who Lucya had sidled up to simply raised an eyebrow as he gazed down at the half-dozen pieces of paper spread out in front of him. There was nothing within that really seemed out of the ordinary, but taking so many at once was a bit... Odd, to say the least.

Odd as it was, though, something like that wasn't unheard of.

"Mm. Got it," he responded simply, swapping the papers out for a few dogtags and leaving them in front of the bounty hunter-to-be. "Time limit for each job's on each tag. You're a fresh face around here, so I'll just make sure that you know you've only got a week tops for all these, or else your claim on the job goes null. Clear?"

The difficulty in most of what had been picked up was really in finding the targets as much as it was taking them out. A smuggler who bit off more than he could chew, wolves roaming the countryside, a rowdy drunkard who had forgotten his tab, and so on...

Even if the jobs themselves weren't inherently noteworthy, depending on how fast they were done, the price tags on each could easily pay for a few days' efforts.

@Lugubrious
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